Discussion Group Issues
Bill Schrader Pavilion
25 February, 2015
A – A few years ago, college students in Quebec organized thousands of people to bang pot and pans in the evening and successfully convinced their government not to impose large fee increases for their studies. This excellent article explains the way successful non violent protest can shake, even end, dictators. Could these techniques work in the US or the rest of Canada? Could driving slowly be a way of combating municipalities who balance their books with aggressive traffic fines? Could a predatory employer, like Amazon, be forcibly reformed by a campaign that orders stuff and then returns it?
B – Routed by the WAR ON DRUGS, both the US and Harper’s Conservatives impose long mandatory prison terms at great cost and with little benefit. Various US states have shown that more rational policies can lower both prison costs and crime. Why do you think it is so difficult to implement improved sentencing?
C – There appears to be intense interest and support for alternative medicine among the expatriate community here in Ajijic. However, advocates of evidence-based medicine claim that most such therapies are scams (e.g. 5 and 6). Where do you stand? (John Milton)
D – Neither side of the global warming debate has explained in any gripping way what global warming will do to people, other animals, and the planet. Instead there is a mix of unemotional statistics and colourless end-of-the-world predictions. Do we need someone to write another Silent Spring or is it wrong to inject emotion into the debate?
E – Canada’s Supreme Court has given the federal government a year to implement specific right to die legislation. This is interesting for two reasons. Prime Minster Harper does not like the ruling; and an ethics philosopher helped advocates demonstrate that “passive” suicide assistance – regarded as ethical in Canada, is not different to active assistance. How will the ruling fare in Canada? Will the Canadian argument persuade the US Supreme Court?
F – Kitten and puppy pictures are right next to desperate letters from the Congo in my list of e-mail I can do without. (And I just got one from a Ukraine bank.) Would curtailing them destroy the sender’s right to free speech?
G – The Graph below shows the fall in real non-interest spending by the Euro debtor nations. Therefore it measures hurt. It is clear that Greece’s suffering is orders of magnitude more than any other country. In fact it exceeds Germany’s suffering in the recession of the thirties.
Graph did not come out. Will fix.
Does world order require that Greece remain so depressed?
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