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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…)

Law is Cool: Is Work-Life Balance Attainable?

By: Shannon O’Connor

Maintaining a work-life balance has been difficult for numerous legal professionals. The question still remains: can a balance between work and life be attainable within contemporary society?

I believe that it is possible to achieve a balance between work and life. This balance ensures that an individual is able to complete work while doing the activities they love. It is quit a challenging endeavor and comes with multiple obstacles. Ultimately, this balance can be achieved through multiple avenues.

Guidelines for Achieving a Work-Life Balance:

• A work-life balance is more attainable if you run your own practice (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice Extra Edition – The Freedom to Believe in Stupid Ideas (Religion)

Dear Religious people,

Have you thanked your local atheist today? If not, you should because atheism and by extension secular society, is saving you from the immoral loopy shit your bronze age beliefs demand. The latest demonstration of how immoral and barbaric religion is comes to us from the Sudan. (read more about Mariam at Al Jazeera)

“Mariam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese mother, doctor and Christian, has been sentenced to flogging and death unless she recants her Christian faith. She is 8 months pregnant and has a two-year-old son. Please, join the international community in (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Now That…that is a Catch-22 – Belarus 1942

If you have not picked up or borrowed Blood Lands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder yet, I suggest you do so. It is a shockingly candid dissertation on what happened to the people on the Eastern Front between Stalin and Hitler. I quote from that text:

“Partisan operations, effective as they sometimes were, brought inevitable destruction to the Belarusian civilian population, Jewish and gentile alike. When the Soviet partisans prevented peasant from giving food to the Germans, they all but guaranteed that the Germans would kill the peasants. A Soviet gun threatened (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Now That…that is a Catch-22 – Belarus 1942

If you have not picked up or borrowed Blood Lands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder yet, I suggest you do so. It is a shockingly candid dissertation on what happened to the people on the Eastern Front between Stalin and Hitler. I quote from that text:

“Partisan operations, effective as they sometimes were, brought inevitable destruction to the Belarusian civilian population, Jewish and gentile alike. When the Soviet partisans prevented peasant from giving food to the Germans, they all but guaranteed that the Germans would kill the peasants. A Soviet gun threatened (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: No Charges Doesn’t Mean Wright Is Clean

On Friday, we learned that the RCMP will not be laying charges against Nigel Wright for writing a cheque to Mike Duffy in the amount of some $90,000 and change.  The CPC, and the PMO, seem to think that this is some kind of exoneration.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The RCMP only lays charges when they have evidence of criminal activity that is sufficiently solid to have a “reasonable expectation of conviction”.  If for any reason, the evidence is insufficient to meet that bar, charges are not laid. In no respect does this mean that what (Read more…)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: With the new Québec government, the provinces should push back

Monday’s landslide win by Phillipe Couillard and his Québec Liberal Party is a great sign that the idea of sovereignty may have been set aside for a long time. But I think it should lead to something more. It should lead to the federation our Founders wanted but has often wavered from this principle, especially under Stephen Harper.

At the outset, I have to say that with the win, the new

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: What in the world is Eve Adams?

When I was a kid, I was known for throwing hissy fits on just about anything that didn’t go my way. Now a lot of us adults probably were like that in our younger days, too, but we smartened up. In that vein, though, I have to wonder if Eve Adams was like that as a child, because lately she’s been at the edge of losing it – and her party’s respect too.

Adams started out as a bright light in an

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Two steps forward in America, one step back in Uganda

Another good (and bad) week for common decency.

1) Freedom of religion. That’s the excuse a lot of business owners used well into the 1970s when they refused service to Blacks, Asians and Native Americans. So it was good to hear Gov. Janice Brewer of Arizona veto the so-called “religious freedom” bill that would have allowed people to do business with gays and lesbians. It followed the

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Finally, the Confederacy gets on board — well, one state does

In a decision that surprised me, a Southern federal judge overturned Virginia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen also ruled that the state also had to start respecting the laws of 17 other states and Washington DC that permit the practice. This marks the first time a Confederate state has joined the bandwagon of equality. (Read the decision in Bostic v.

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On Mass Surveillance

The revelation this week that CSEC has the capability to monitor the movements of Canadians simply by gathering some metadata from the traffic that goes by on public networks raises a lot of interesting questions that are worth discussing.

In an e-mail conversation on the matter, the following question was raised:

And I see that in a debate in the House today Nicholson (Defence) says that the documents don't support that Canadians were targeted. But if WIFI generally is being monitored how can Canadians avoid not being targeted?

It's a good and legitimate question. One that I wish had (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: DWR Quote of the Day – If You Look at the World…

It is a new year. Some small sliver of optimism remains -

If you look at the world and say “Yes, there are enough homes for people, yes, there is enough food for people, but if we give it away for free they won’t have earned it and the economy will collapse.” Then you have chosen money (a constructed medium of exchange) over living beings who only want to continue living in peace and safety.

And I have no qualms telling you, that is the wrong choice, and you have been brainwashed by this destructive, exploitative system.

From (Read more…)