Agree or Disagree: Cameras on Police Officers

Agree or Disagree: Cameras on Police Officers

I sense that there will be an instant reaction to this one.

The idea of installing Cameras on Police Officers is becoming a more common thought and discussion as time goes on. Some have suggested that it would help in what is going on in Ferguson right now. As well, some have already started.

The reason? The early study’s are suggesting it is preventing crime. I’ll let you read the link above as an example.

What do you think of this idea!

Agree or Disagree: The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised awareness for ALS

The History of the Ice Bucket Challenge


It has gone viral.

It has involved athletes, celebrities, and others.

This summer, people all over North America have had ice buckets of cold water poured over them

It is the Ice Bucket Challenge. The intent is to raise funds for ALS.

Above, is a link giving the history of the Ice Bucket Challenge. It was started by Pat Quinn, an ALS survivor. At first, this was not successful. Then his friends got involved, and well, everybody is doing it.

However, the question is if this has actually been effective in raising awareness for ALS? Before you say the answer is obvious, let’s look at a couple of things.

I’m not sure how you heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge, but I tell you how I did. I saw it on a sports highlight show. It was Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll getting dunked. Then others had it happen. And others. However, it took me several dunks before I was aware this was for ALS. I wonder how you heard about it.


It had raised an incredible amount of funds. Particularly where they were last year. In the same space of July 29-August 16 2013,there were ALS fundraisers that were reporting between $20,000-$30,000. Now, many are reporting over $1, million dollars.

If you think about it, the concept is a good idea. Especially in the athletic world. Many organizations celebrate major wins or championships by dumping Gatorade on the winning coach. Plus, professional sports teams have been very conscious about their involvement in their local community. Let’s also not forget that ALS has also been called Lou Gehrig’s disease. Gehrig is a legendary baseball player that died of ALS

That still leaves the question on the fundraiser’s impact.

Has this helped you be aware of ALS? Do you identify with it? If you, or your family have ALS, has this opened the conversation about it?

1 in 5

1 in 5.

It’s been a number that has been ringing in my head this week.

1 in 5.

If you believe the statistics from the Canadian Mental Health Association,and there is no reason not too, 1in 5 Canadians suffer from some form of mental illness. Maybe it’s depression. Maybe it’s anxiety. Maybe it’s behaviour or substance abuse.

Let’s put this in perspective.

As you scroll down your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest feed, 1 in 5 people’s status could suffer from a mental illness.

Of the people that you might have an online debate with, 1 in 5 could be suffering from a mental illness.

When you are at work,1 in 5 of your colleagues could be suffering from a mental illness.

When you are at the bar or the pub, 1 in 5 of the crowd could be suffering from some sort of mental illness.

If you are a church goer, 1 in 5 people in your church could be suffering from a mental illness. This by the way, will include the pastor, the ushers and the worship band.

We were all impacted this week by the sudden death by Robin Williams. A very talented, gifted actor and comedian, with apparently from us on the outside, wax successful and rich. We were shocked to learn it was death by suicide. We expressed our condolences, reflected on his great movie’s and TV Shows and honoured his talent.

Then a blog was written by someone that angered, hurt and deeply offended many people about depression and suicide. You know who it is. I’m not going to talk about it, because it is not the point of this conversation.

There was debate about solutions, choices and options. There were also many posts about mental illness this week. Here were a couple of things that stuck with me.

The first on is that depression is not discriminatory. It can happen to any of us, no matter the social status. There were many comments about how money cannot buy you happiness. If that is your thought, then I highly suggest you educate yourself on mental illness.

The second one might make you feel uncomfortable.

It is estimated that there are approximately 3,500 death by suicides in Canada. That averages out to 9.5 a day. Let’s put this in perspective.

The day before Robin Williams passed, it was possible that up to 9 people died by suicide.

The day that Robin Williams passed, it was possible that up to 9 people died by suicide.

The day after Robin Williams passed, it was possible that up to 9 people died by suicide.

I have to ask if there was any moving tributes or thoughts about that on social media this week?

Something else. The Distress Centre reported that there was a 6-7 percent increase in calls from people considering suicide this week. On Tuesday, they reported 200 calls about considering suicide.

There could be a number of theories as to why that is. However, remember this.
The Distress Centre takes calls like this every day. 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Including Christmas. The day before Robin Williams passed. The day of Robin Williams passing. The day after Robin Williams passing.

They will also take calls on suicide when this story becomes a distant memory.

I’m not an expert on this topic at all. I’m learning and continuing to educate myself on this issue. The main thing I’m learning is that there is lots to learn. And as much as we can tell someone to cheer up pray more, eat better, or look on the bright side of live, I’m learning this issue is much more complex.

I do think that the conversation around this needs safety, security and respect. There was a time I brought the topic in this thread and it came off very offensive. For that, I’m sorry.

However, this leads me to some questions.

I’m wondering how does topic move from something that we talk about when this happens to a person of stature to reminding people to be aware that mental illness is a real daily issue?

I’m also wondering how we help people be aware of others. How do we remind people that there is more to us than what you see? And there is power in connecting?

I also wonder how us in the blogosphere can move this topic to a respectful, kind, open, dialogue?

How does the 1 in 5 continue to resonate with us?

Agree or Disagree: AMP Radio decision to change format to QuickHitz

AMP Radio made a very polarizing decision this week. They have decided to change their format from a Top 40 to a “QuickHitz”. QuickHitz, to put it simply, does not play the complete song. So, you will hear a part of one song, then you will go on to hear part of the next song.

The reason AMP Radio has made the decision is because they feel their listeners have a short attention span. They don’t actually listen to full songs.

Now, the Internet has seen lots of comments. However, the most outspoken critic has been Jann Arden. She has posted numerous Tweets expressing her anger of this decision. She even went so far as to ask AMP Radio to not play her songs anymore.

Her reason? While her opponents say it’s about her current relevance, her tweets clearly show that she has a concern with how disrespectful it is to the actual artists who create the music. The thousands of hours the musician spends on perfecting their craft. She feels that the QuickHitz format and AMP Radio is going to massacre the music industry.

There are two interesting things to consider in this discussion. The first is how people are actually listening to the radio. As well for that matter, watch TV. We do flip from channel to channel when we are not “in the mood” for something. If you look at your radio listening, you can determine if that is true or not.

The second part of this discussion is how we are listening to music. It seems that people are actually listening to the radio less. I, myself, simply download my music from ITunes. I can listen to what I want she I want. There are other options as well including satellite radio. Point being, there seems to be less interest in mainstream local radio.

So what do you think of AMP radio’s decision? Will it massacre the music industry?

Sent from my iPhone

Agree or Disagree: Accepting the Hook-Up Culture is Getting the 20-Somethings Nowhere

How the Hookup Culture has affected 20 somethings

The above article proposes that the current hookup culture has impacted the 20’s something in a negative light.

For those that are in their 20’s, what do you think of that?

For those that don’t know about hookup culture is. It is a culture that encourages casual sexual encounters and casual sexual relationships.

What do you think?

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-A Christian who lived in Palestine

Agree or Disagree:The Podcast

Click the above link to listen.

Steven Britton, Agatha Smykot, and I speak with Chris Dittmann Chris lived in the West Bank and has a good perspective on what is going on in Palestine.

Topics include,
Chris gives us a history of Israel-Palestine. He admits his position is viewed contentious.
His perspective on the current situation.
His time in Palestine
Some suggestions of solutions
Who is Hamas? Can you be Pro-Palestine without supporting Hamas?
Israel’s response.
The challenges of being a Christian and supporting Palestine.
The current protests and why there are incidents.
The concept of Canadian Values
How do you get educated on the issues?


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Agree or Disagree: It’s easy to find support and discuss issues around addictions

When we talk about addictions, there is many things you could be addicted too.

Of course, there is the obvious ones. Drinking, drugs,and gambling. However, there are some other ones that don’t get as much attention. Things like food, smoking, and perhaps yes, sex.

Most researchers will agree that in general, the symptoms of addiction are the same. However, how it is dealt with by the specific person, and friends and family around them, is very different. People of course, have different expectations on how this should be handled.

But, is there enough space to actually discuss how one deals with addictions? Do you think there is enough community support or programs to deal with this effectively? How about in normal social settings? As an example, if a group is at a pub, is there an expectation that everyone would drink? What if someone stepped out of line and got too drunk? Do people have the courage to ask questions about that behaviour? Or, do we politely laugh and think it’s funny?

How about someone who had a struggle with eating? Maybe eating too much,or eating too little. Is there a safe place to have that conversation?

I have also attached an interesting article. It is from a man who interviewed the Dalai Lama. He has some interesting perspectives on this topic and how to deal with addictions.Talking to the Dalai Lama about addiction

Agree or Disagree:Internet Porn has a negative impact on society

The Great Porn Experiment

From time to time, I do get requests to do a particular topic for Agree or Disagree.

This topic is one of them.

She presents this TED Talk as a basis for her question.

The TED Talk explains how they think pornography has had a negative impact. They use some studies to prove their point.

After listening to the TED Talk, do you think Internet Porn has had a negative impact?/p>

My observations of what is going on with the Israel/Palestine rallies








I’m not a person that attends rallies. The reason is that I’m not convinced that are an effective method of getting your point across.

However, within the last week, I’ve been to three rallies. They all were involving the current Israel/Palestine conflict. On Saturday in Toronto, I was walking down the street when I noticed a father and a daughter carrying an Israeli flag and a sign. I quickly turned around and followed them. I landed in Queen’s Park where a two security fences were put up. In the middle were three cops guarding the pathway in between. No one was allowed through. Turns out that it was the largest Pro-Palestinian rally in North America. On one side of the fence was the Pro-Palestinian crowd. They had speakers planned. On the other was the Pro-Israel side. They were there as a response to the Pro-Palestinian rally. The leaders of the Pro-Israel side was the Jewish Defence League. I never have seen this group before, but my first response was this would not be a group of people that I would want to anger.

As the crowd gathered for both the Pro-Palestine and Pro-Israel sides, I decided to sit in the park and observe. There were a few people with cameras observing. However the crowds got so big that I moved to the middle of the park. To my left was the Pro-Palestine group. Signs raised high and pointed directly to my right, the Pro-Israeli side. Their side of the park filled up. They had their signs pointed at the Pro-Palestine side. The anger from each side vibrated the park. It felt like a volcano was going to erupt. If the police were not there,I could not imagine what would have happened. Both sides were yelling at each other. One person tried to reason with the Pro-Israel side and was shouted at. He was called an “Arab lover”.
Organizers from the Pro-Palestinian volunteers were quickly escorting Palestinian supporters across to their side. One very large man from the Palestinian side wanted to go across to the Israel group and attack them but was held back.

In the middle was a group that was trying to bring a smile to the situation. They were a group offering Free Hugs. It was a group of younger people with funny names and titles. One name was Oz and his role was Laughter Supervisor. As sincere as that seemed, unfortunately, it wasn’t helping. As an example, one of the huggers went to a member of the Pro-Israeli side to offer a hug. The response was this

“You remember why you have the freedom to hug someone.”

I’ll explain why this didn’t work in a moment.

As the afternoon went on, the intensity and the anger continued to rise. Fortunately, there were no fist fights, but lots of insults. Which is hard to watch.

The next day, there was a Pro-Israel rally. I was curious what would happen. That rally felt peaceful. It seemed like it was a different group that came. Families, seniors and Rabbi’s. What was interesting was that there was one Pro-Palestine member that showed up. I didn’t see him, but someone mentioned this on Twitter.

The third one was last night. The Calgary for Israel rally. It was organized by Ezra Levant in response to an incident that happened between some Palestinian and Israeli’s did get into several fights in Calgary. Ezra initially tweeted out that there were “easily 2,000 people there”. I asked security there how many he saw, he told me 700. I also asked a quick member of the media and they estimated less than that. The number that came up wad 900. While there was a debate about numbers, the actual rally was peaceful and respectful. They had a security checkpoint before you came in. The only issue was there was a small group of Pro-Palestinian that were there. They had their flags and there was yelling back and forth. It was only until one of the speakers told people to leave them alone. People walked away and police covered the event like a blanket.

After watching these three rallies, reading some online conversations and listening to different perspectives. I have come up with four observations.

The first one goes back to the Free Hugs group. The reason that doesn’t work is how serious both sides are taking the issue. It is very personal and impacts in a deep way. There is a long history of loss. Not only Mothers, Fathers, brother’s, sister’s, friends and children. But ancestors and people before them. There is also the slightly small…….big issue of land.This is not something that a Free Hug and a smile can give an instant cure too. As a matter of fact, I think it came across as disrespectful. Not intentionally, but it did.

The second one is about holding up signs at each other. Observing this, I wondered what would happen if somebody dropped their sign and offered to listen. Really listen to the story your enemy has. I wondered what impact would that have on future rallies and if they can become future dialogues. I also realized that was idealistic.

The third and fourth one hits close to home.

I think Christians need to learn more about both Judaism and Muslim. I say that because of some comments I heard from the rally last night. It’s not necessarily that you will agree with the faith’s. However, you will be informed.

The final one comes is about Christianity At the Calgary for Israel rally, there were several shirts that said “Wherever Israel stands, I stand with them”. Now, I love the Jewish faith. It’s very beautiful. I myself have never been to Israel, but I have friends that have. From all accounts, it’s a beautiful country. However, I’m not comfortable with the idea that I simply need and obligated to support Israel because I’m a Christian. What I feel obligated to do is to research and give thought to the issues. If there is a place to observe and critique what both sides are doing, then I can challenge that. If there is a space where a perspective can be given, that should happen too.

As a Christian and as a human, it is sad that innocent lives have been, and continue to be lost. And as a Christian, and a human, I hope one day these rallies I observe can be more about the dialogue needed to learn from each other.

Agree or Disagree: Restaurants banning “distracting children” from their establishments

Agree or Disagree: Restaurants banning “distracting children” from their establishments.

This is an article about a restaurant called the Old Fisherman’s Grotto in Monterey California.

They have decided to ban crying children. ¬†They have also let customers know that they don’t welcome strollers, high chairs and booster chairs.¬†

You might have reacted negatively, but the restaurant says their business has grown. As well, according to the article,other restaurants are taking the same policy.

What do you think of this?