Did She Even Read The Post?

This tweet was in response to an article I posted on Friday morning.

Roseanne Barr_Twitter

It certainly makes one wonder if Roseanne Barr bothered to read the article before commenting on it.

Idle No More: Celebrating Defeats

West Coast Native News has reported on crude oil and toxic water spills for a lengthy time already.  From Imagenia Energy‘s 60,000 liter toxic water spill to Spyglass Resources Corporation‘s 500,000 liter toxic water spill, and countless others in between, the number of spills is shocking.  In fact, here’s a brief list of spills in Alberta (just one province) last month (October 2014).

Oct 03, 2014: Canadian Natural Resources Limited (11 Km East of Delia) – 10,000 litres of Crude oil
Oct 05, 2014: Nexen Energy ULC (2.5 Km SouthWest of Kinosis) – 5,800 litres of Toxic water
Oct 05, 2014: Cenovus Energy Inc (56 Km East of Brooks) – 9,800 litres of Toxic water
Oct 05, 2014: Nexen Energy ULC (41 Km SouthEast of Ft. McMurray) – 13,000 litres of Condensate
Oct 10, 2014: Husky Oil (30 Km SouthEast of Vermilion) – 50,000 litres of Crude oil and 25,000 litres of toxic water
Oct 13, 2014: Arc Resources (5 Km North of Redwater) – 150,000 litres of Toxic water
Oct 11, 2014: TAQA North Ltd (44 Km SouthWest of Spirit River) – 24,000 litres of Crude oil
Oct 14, 2014: Whitecap Resources Inc (37 Km NorthWest of Sexsmith) – 10,000 litres of Toxic water
Oct 15, 2014: Penn West Petroleum Ltd (14 Km SouthEast of Slave Lake) – 52,000 litres Crude oil
Oct 14, 2014: Zargon Oil & Gas Ltd (26 Km NorthWest of Vauxhall) – 8,000 litres of Toxic water
Oct 17, 2014: TAQA North Ltd (32 Km NorthWest of Rocky Mountain House) – 18,000 litres of Toxic water
Oct 21, 2014: Harvest Operations Corp (20 Km East of Galahad) – 200,000 litres of Toxic water

October Total: Over 625,000 Litres of crude oil and toxic water spills!

Imagine how much crude oil and toxic water spills will happen along the Keystone XL Pipeline trail.

This is why, when the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill was voted on in the U.S. Senate, many people were pleased to see it hadn’t passed.  For the Bill to pass, it would have needed 60 votes, and it didn’t meet that threshold.

Greg Grey Cloud, a member of the Crow Creek Tribe northwest of Sioux Falls in South Dakota, was in the gallery, and he broke out in song.  Had the Bill passed, the Keystone XL pipeline — and  $8 billion, 1,700-mile-long pipeline that would carry 800,000 barrels per day from the Alberta oil sands in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico coast in the U.S. — would have cut through land owned by the Crow Creek as well as other the lands of other Indigenous peoples.

The result of his joyous celebration at the defeat of the Bill was that he was detained in jail for five hours because he had disrupted the U.S. Senate.  He was released with a court date for December 10, 2014.

While some say this is abuse of power and some say that this is discrimination, the fact of the matter is that rules in place for those who are in the public gallery watching the U.S. Senate.  No food or drink is allowed.  Cameras and cellphones are not allowed.  Talking, clapping, or any other noises — including singing — are not allowed.

Five people were charged with Unlawful Conduct: Disruption of Congress.   The maximum penalty if found guilty of this charge is 6 months in jail and/or a $750 fine.

  • Gregory Grey Cloud of Yankton, South Dakota
  • Deirdra Shelly of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Kayla Lang of Lynwood, Pennsylvania
  • Maria Langholz of St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Anthony Torres of East Islip, New York

While the penalty may not seem much of a hardship, and while there was reason to be pleased the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill did not pass, there are a few important points that are being overlooked.

The most important point is that, starting in January, the Republicans will be the majority in the U.S. Senate thanks to the election on November 4, 2014.  That means that they will undoubtedly meet the minimum threshold of 60 votes for the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill to pass.

Now whether you agree that settlers and colonials had the right to create their republic is immaterial.  They created a republic in what is now known as the United States of America.  Their laws are subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court and can be changed through elections and constitutional amendments.  That is the law of America.

Indigenous peoples also have laws, and it is unconscionable that Indigenous laws are flouted by political and military leaders.  This erodes the respect that is due Indigenous peoples, culture, and heritage.

However, two wrongs do not make a right, and just because someone struck first doesn’t mean that striking back in similar fashion is the most effective way to address the wrongs visited upon Indigenous peoples.

As Irish author Laurence Sterne (24 November 1713 – 18 March 1768) wrote, “Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.”

While it’s a fact that Indigenous culture uses songs to express emotions, this would not have been a problem if the act had happened where this sort of free speech is allowed.  The problem is that it was an appropriate expression in an inappropriate place — the U.S. Senate public gallery.

Respect is one of the tenets of Indigenous culture.  Respect of self; respect of others.  If we are to expect others to respect our treaty rights and to respect our culture, we must show them respect as well.  This includes respecting the fact that there are codes of conduct for spectators in the U.S. Senate public gallery.

Let us not fall prey to bad behavior in our efforts to protect Turtle Island.

Elyse Bruce

Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

He conquers who conquers himself.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

A Nation’s Day of Prayer

4 Questions That Might Spell Trouble

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you may find yourself hiring part-time or full-time employees or working with contractor employees.  This is great news for the most part.  However, there are four questions you need to keep an eye out for that can spell trouble for you in the short-term as well as in the long run.

Do you have a drug testing policy?

Most people who ask that question ask that question because they have reason to ask that question.  You should be aware that substance abuse in the workplce is regulated in the U.S. by the Drug Free Workplace Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family and Meidal Lave Act, and other federal laws.

NOTE:  Other countries have similar federal acts and laws in place to address substance abuse in the workplace.

If your company doesn’t have a drug testing policy, meet with your legal counsel to go over the legalities of adopting a drug testing policy.  Make sure you are aware of what your legal responsibilities are if you have a drug testing policy.  And ask your legal counsel what the repercussions are for your company if you don’t have a drug testing policy but your employee or contract employee indulges in illicit drugs.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with addressing the use, possession, purchase, sale, manufacturing, or dispensing of illicit substances, or of being under the influence during work hours.  You have to also take into consideration that certain prescription drugs may adversely affect a person’s ability to safely and effectively perform certain job duties.

How much overtime is there?

When you put out a call for an employee or a contract employee, the job description generally outlines — along with the requisite and preferred skills sets and abilities — the duties to be performed as well as the number of hours per week.  The applicant who asks about overtime may have concerns that additional hours will conflict with other parts of his or her life.  Or they may be looking to pad their hours by finding ways to go beyond the traditional eight-hour work day.  They may not be as proficient or efficient as their resume indicates, and the question is meant to shore up any deficiencies that aren’t apparent in either the resume or at the interview. Regardless of the reason for asking the question, chances are the reason is one you, as an employer or contractor, will find difficult to work with or around.

How fast do people move up the ladder?

Generally, those who ask how quickly they can move up the ladder are more likely to jump from job to job, and position to position.  They usually aren’t interested in doing their job well, and are more focused on getting to the big financial pay-off.  Oftentimes, they aren’t interested in learning the ins-and-outs of the current position, and they tend to fob off onto others those parts of their job they dislike most.  When an employee is more interested in getting into middle or upper management as quickly as possible before proving himself or herself at the entry level, chances are you have just met someone who is far more adept at justifications and excuses than meeting quotas and a job well done.

What do you do exactly?

It’s an assumption that applicants will take the time to acquaint themselves with the business they apply to for employment.  Not every applicant takes the time to find out if the company will be a good fit for their lifestyle and interests.  For example, if a vegan applies for a job at a slaughterhouse, there could be a number of moral and ethical complications for the vegan that will cause difficulties for the slaughterhouse.

If the applicant is sure what your business is, you need to ask yourself what the reason for that may be.  Is the applicant desperate for any job?  Is the applicant looking for a fast ride up the corporate ladder?  Is the applicant disinterested in applying for the job but only doing so for reasons you aren’t aware of during the interview process?

Regardless of the reason, be aware that if an applicant has no knowledge of what your business is and what your business does, they could very well bring that attitude to the job if they are hired.

Final Note

No question is a stupid question if the person asking it doesn’t know the answer.  It’s up to you, as the business owner, to know as much as you’re legally entitled to know about applicants so you can make the most informed decision when hiring.  If you have any doubts about an applicant’s ability to work well within your business, ask more questions and take your time chosing the right employee for the position.  You’ll be glad you did.

Elyse Bruce

Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Band Aid 30′s Shame

The following is an OpEd piece that looks at peer pressure shaming, coercion conformity, and bullying.  For expert advice on the subject of bullying, harassment, and stalking, consult a lawyer, barrister, or solicitor who is qualified to answer your questions on all aspects of the law in your country.

This weekend, a number of well-known, recognized recording artists congregated in the studio with Sir Bob Geldoff to re-record “Do They Know It’s Christmas” as a fundraiser for Africa — 30 years after it was first recorded as a fundraiser for Africa.

Among those recording for this version of the song are Bono, One Direction, Rita Ora, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Chris Martin, Sinead O’Connor, Angelique Kidjo, and others.

Now this isn’t an article on the success of the recording.  After all, the 1984 version raised £8 million (12.5 million USD) for famine relief, and it’s laudable that a similar attempt to raise funds to address the Ebola epidemic is being made thirty years later.

NOTE:  The song was re-recorded in 1989 and again in 2004.

That being said, it was disconcerting to read in print media that Bob Geldoff allegedly told Dan Wootton of the Sun newspaper that Adele wasn’t among the recording artists because she is “doing nothing.”  And all this, according to the Sun, along with a claim that Bob Geldoff and his friends supposedly phoned Adele one hundred times about being on the single.

According to the Daily Mail, Bob Geldoff reportedly said to Dan Wootton:

Adele is doing nothing, she’s not answering the phone.  She doesn’t want to be bothered by anyone… She’s bringing up a family you know. Some people just don’t think they can’t make any impact by coming along.

The fact of the matter is, Adele’s management has stated publicly that the singer is supporting Oxfam’s Ebola Appeal, and so she is, indeed, doing something … it’s just not the something Bob Geldoff wants her to do.

He wants Adele to help people in Africa who are fighting Ebola by doing what HE believes she should be doing — re-recording his single from thirty years ago.

So while Bob Geldoff attempts to peer pressure shame Adele for her decision to help in a way other than how Bob Geldoff would have liked her to help, she neither snubbed him as is reported in the media, nor chose to do nothing.

Of course, putting his story out first is a pre-emptive strike, and the negative repercussions against Adele will be ones that no one will be able to stop.

It’s been reported that the proceeds from the sale of the single will go towards this cause.  The profit.  And profit means the amount that remains after expenses are deducted.

The copyright owners of this song are Bob Geldof and Midge Ure (who wrote the song back in the day) and Chappel Music Ltd., (which owns the publishing).

It’s clear that the royalties from the mechanical license will be donated.  It’s not clear if the royalties from performances will be donated.  It’s also not clear if royalties from synchronization rights will be donated.  And lastly, it’s unclear if royalties from print rights will be donated.

Or will Bob Geldoff reap — and enjoy — his traditional royalties from these other royalty streams?

The answer is immaterial because it’s nobody’s business how Bob Geldoff decides to donate his time and money to help the less fortunate.

It’s also why it’s not right for Bob Geldoff to besmirch Adele’s name for deciding how she chooses to donate her time and money to help the less fortunate.

To think this peer pressure shaming and public bullying happened at the start of Anti-Bullying Week.  And if Bob Geldoff and friends actually phoned Adele one hundred times about this, that doesn’t play well at the start of Anti-Bullying Week either.

Elyse Bruce


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