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Blast Furnace Canada Blog: No notwithstanding clause on assisted suicide

In the three months since the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its decision on assisted suicide in Carter v. Attorney General of Canada, there has been a lot of thumb twisting about what to do. The Court gave Parliament a year to come up with something new before the law is officially taken off the books. Given a fall election, it’s hard to imagine our legislators will come up with a new law

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: What the NDP platform said about ethics in government

After 44-years of one-party government, Alberta voters stampeded to the polls to remove the Progressive Conservatives from office in the May 5 election. The defining narrative of the election was accountability and ethics in government and on this issue voters coalesced around Rachel… Continue Reading →

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Not-My-Fault Dance

There’s a story in this weekend’s Collingwood Connection about the PUC board meeting this week. The board confirmed that council’s dumping unexpected costs on the utility will mean an unplanned increase in the cost of your water this year. One of our council representatives tried to dance around it as if he wasn’t among the causes of that increase. This hurtful rate increase […]

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: "You cain’t pray a lie" – H. Finn

Canadian Press, April 7, 2013: [Premier Christy] Clark told a Vancouver Island economic summit her government’s highly touted September 2011 jobs plan — with its focus on increased trade with China and Asia and promoting liquefied natural gas exports, new mines and exploring innovations in technology and agri-foods — was working.

Vancouver Sun, April 15, 2013: There was Premier Christy Clark Monday, dedicating herself to the goal of a “debt-free British Columbia,” and telling reporters that debt reduction has always been “a central value for me.”

As a central part of her campaign, Christy Clark promised more (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Myth busting

Andrew Nikiforuk wrote advice for Albertans in his recent article Eight Steps to Reform the Broken Petrostate: Behave like an owner: Alberta’s oil and gas resources belong to Albertans. The Tories’ “strip it and ship it” approach was not only wasteful, but also environmentally destructive.

…Governments that run on taxes raised from the general population represent their people. Governments that run on resource revenue represent the resource and its multinational extractors.

…The Tories consistently avoided transparency on bitumen revenues, and the impact of volatile prices or mining of unconventional resources on royalties. They gutted their own expertise on the (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Four Books

For many centuries, the core of Chinese education was focused on four classical works from the Confucian school: The Analects, The Great Learning, The Mencius, and Maintaining Perfect Balance. This didn’t really change until the arrival of the West and the industrial era was forced onto China in the 19th century. These were sacred books and […]

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – Cows! Milk! Rape! RPOJ! – Christian “Morality” On Display

Usually we get to watch loopy christians say loopy stuff in support of their sincere belief in magic here on the the Disservice. Not so much fun today as we are going to look at how belief in magic can warp the moral fibre of people into condoning rape and the abuse of women. Let’s visit our new shitstain friend over at Christian Husbands.

[ed. I’m almost done and I really need to put a trigger warning on this post because this depraved example of humanity has written a how-to manual on how to dominate and (Read more…)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: You don’t have to take income splitting. At least one guy hasn’t …

The income splitting option is not mandatory for those who qualify for it. Like any other tax credit, it’s optional. Tax software will flag credits to make sure you get every loophole you’re entitled to – problematic if you still do it manually. One guy in the 15%, a labour leader, was given the option by his software to opt out. And he did. Even though it cost him 1500 bucks. His reason: Health,

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Not Getting It

In a recent opinion piece in the Enterprise Bulletin titled “Swayze overused by council?” EB reporter/editor Paul Brian comments, I think the overuse of Swayze is outlandish and it is not congruent with the tough financial situation of the town.* Like much of the EB’s increasingly vague reporting since former editor Ian Adams left, the paper’s current […]

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: The Senate and transgenders

To my knowledge, I have never met a transgendered person in my life. That does not mean I don’t have respect or compassion for those who live the sex opposite of the one they are by birth, or for those who decide to take it to its logical conclusion and have sex reassignment surgery.

Our society has generally become accepting of gays, lesbians and bisexuals, which is a mark in this country’s

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: We Need a Different Integrity Commissioner

Monday night’s council meeting again underscored why the town needs someone new in the role of integrity commissioner. Lawyer Robert Swayze presented his report about a complaint filed against councillor Deb Doherty and it was accepted by council in a recorded 6-2 vote*. But his report shared the same flaws his previous report about former Deputy […]

Dead Wild Roses: How Equal Do We Want the World? – Dan Ariely

More than you’d think really. Human beings seem to intrinsically value fairness and equality and yet, as of today have constructed societies based on moving as far away as possible from any sort of equitable norm.

Take note of the piece on John Rawls and how using the Veil of Ignorance idea as a cognitive filter for making decisions. I think it is a great idea adding to the list of processes one should go through in making tough decisions in the personal, moral and political sphere.

Filed under: Culture, Education, Ethics Tagged: Dan Ariely, (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Liberal transparency: secret agreements, no oversight

If politicians become so focused on reaping rewards for themselves, their friends and associates, they begin to act as British Columbia Liberals are acting now. Like furtive night prowlers, government members seek the cover of darkness.

Publicly owned lands and natural resources have values minimized or ignored, then are privatized without oversight. Construction projects – Convention Centre, BC PLace, NW Transmission Line, Port Mann and other bridges and highways – are commissioned at contract amounts that elsewhere have no precedent. Lobbyists enjoy access and influence not allowed elected MLAs. While the disabled and the most poor are denied relief, senior (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Would you trust a prevaricator with $128 million?

Less than three weeks ago, a 2,100 ft² house on a 3,350 ft² lot in east Vancouver sold for $2.2 million although the asking price was $1.6 million. Two weeks ago, a modest 60-year-old home near my North Vancouver residence sold for $1 million, also above the asking price. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said February sales were 20% above the 10-year sales average for the month and the average price for a single family detached property in Metro Vancouver is over a million dollars. Houses are routinely selling 100 to 200 thousand above asking price.

(Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Email and Confidentiality

A story in this week’s Connection titled “Private talk with CAO leads to Collingwood integrity commissioner complaint” sparked the following comment. No, this is not about what strikes me as the unethical and secretive behaviour of the councillor in question and his defending that behaviour in the media as if the town’s Code of Conduct did not […]

Dead Wild Roses: DWR Feminist Quote of the Day – Gail Dines on Porn Culture.

“Pornography has socialized a generation of men into watching sexual torture,” Dines said. “You are not born with that capacity. You have to be trained into it. Just like you train soldiers to kill. If you are going to carry out violence against a group you have to dehumanize them. It is an old method. Jews become kikes. Blacks become niggers. Women become cunts. And no one turns women into cunts better than porn.”

-Gail Dines, quoted By Chris Hedges in “Pornography is What the End of the World Looks Like“.

Filed under: Ethics, Feminism Tagged: (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: Alberta Needs Charlie Hebdo

Wednesday’s massacre of eight journalists, five of whom were political cartoonists, at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo unleashed a torrent of “We are Charlie Hebdo” editorials across the world.

Newspapers fell all over themselves in an effort to demonstrate solidarity with the slain cartoonists—but they had a concern. Was it enough to simply describe Charlie Hebdo’s controversial cartoons or did they have to reprint examples of the magazine’s work?

Some reprinted the cartoons, others did not, arguing that reprinting an offensive cartoon would be disrespectful to Muslims.

In both cases publishers reassured themselves (and us) that when it came (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: The ethics of business

Something got me thinking about business ethics and that brought to mind a short piece I wrote for the Jewish Western Bulletin (now The Jewish Independent) in 2003. The item described a course by the Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) and, although more than a decade has passed, I think part of the article is worth repeating: Are the rules of conduct in business different from those in private life? Must a businessperson deal equitably with all, even the ignorant, weak and foolish? What constitutes fraud or theft? Who defines principle and where do the rules originate?

Nobel laureate Milton (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice…

“Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.” – Edmund Burke Promises vs. ‘political speeches:’ Tories’ honesty questioned on support for injured veterans, Matthew Coutts, Yahoo News, Dec. 3, 2014

…A group of veterans known as the Equitas Society have launched a class-action lawsuit suggesting that the benefits paid out under the New Veterans Charter is inadequate, and does not live up to promises the government had previously made…

…the government had unsuccessfully tried to have the B.C. Supreme Court reject the lawsuit and is now (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Trolley Problem

I had read about the “trolley problem” in the past, but not given it much thought until recently when I saw Thomas Cathcart’s little book of that name in the philosophy section of an Indigo bookstore. It’s subtitled, “Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the bridge? A Philosophical Conundrum.” I, of course, was so […]

Trashy's World: Harper’s politics of cynicism….

… and an empty shelf in the pantry where “ethics” used to be… Wandering around the Interweb, I found this cutting piece that brilliantly sums up the CPC modus operandi as follows: The Harper Government is a public relations oriented government. The machine seems to operate in the following manner; get the youngsters in the […]

Dead Wild Roses: The Un-Friend Zone

We’ve all heard plenty about the so-called “friend zone”, which is where a person you want to date, just wants to be friends, and somehow that’s unfair and bad and mean. Let me tell you about its converse, the Un-Friend Zone.

A while back at work, we got a new deskside support/IT guy. He quickly identified me as the person in the department to talk to, because I know what I’m doing – and what everybody else is doing – with computers (even if they don’t). We were going through a major hardware and software upgrade at (Read more…)

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Film ‘Boyhood’: Reflections on Holding On and Letting Go

A date night with my husband Jim doesn’t happen often.  We have fallen into our habits of cooking dinner together, followed by reading or watching a British television drama.  Sometimes, though, a movie or play catches my eye and I peek out of my turtleshell long enough to organize an escape from my comfy chair at home.

This week, we saw Richard Linklater’s new film, ‘Boyhood’.  I’d seen the word ‘masterpiece’ attached to the project, but it was the idea of a film being made about a boy growing up over twelve years that captivated me.  At first, Mason (Ellar (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Hippocratic Oath for Bankers

Bankers destroyed the economy and in too many countries those responsible walk free despite the damage they wrought. Iceland jailed bankers at fault in their country, but what can we do to ensure that bankers behave in the future?

Doctors take the hippocratic oath in order to practice medicine, now it’s being suggested bankers need something similar. We don’t want bankers to be like people with MBAs.

In contrast to a rigid moral regime that most ethical systems call for, the theory of virtue recognises that people’s needs are all different and as a result, argues for the fulfillment of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: If you can’t trust Postmedia when it reports on oil and the environment, when can you trust it?

If you can’t trust your Postmedia website, who can you trust? I mean, other than Alberta Diary. Regardless, don’t blame these poor guys. They’re just trying to earn a living. Below: Economist Robyn Allen, Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey.

Industry self-regulation doesn’t work and never will for a simple reason: He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Companies that tell fibs to their customers don’t like being regulated by their own tame “watchdogs” any more than they like being told what to do by the government. The difference is, in the case of in-house regulation, they’re big enough to kick (Read more…)