The Tolerance Paradox, and political speech

Cover for The Open Society and Its Enemies[A]. Via Commons.Wikimedia.Org
Academic freedom is a hard-fought and eminently defensible idea that one must – in the academic setting – allow all forms of thought and endeavor, even the study to support world views which may be morally repugnant. But, as philosophical and legal study have concluded, this has a limitation when it comes into conflict with the right of self-preservation.

This, in a nutshell, is the Paradox of Tolerance[en.WP].

Continue reading “The Tolerance Paradox, and political speech”

Strange facts

My fellow Canadians to the East, in Alberta, seem to have forgotten that while money talks, forensic accountants speak louder. That is, the record of financial facts is the record of financial facts.

Rather recently tar sands oil was selling for a deep discount compared with the benchmark of West Texas. The government of the day added a cap to oil sales, incidentally reducing the amount of energy and money spent on producing oil. The price paid for the oil went up, while the cost remained the same.

The price went up a lot.

In fact, the gross revenues for selling less oil was more than than the gross revenues for selling more oil at the previous steep discount. Stop. Think about that. The money received for less was greater than the money previously received for more.  Stop again. Alberta got more money total than it had gotten before. Okay, now you can go on to the next thought. For Alberta citizens this meant net revenues were even higher. Win-win, right?

Wrong. Because the producers in Alberta are basically selling that deeply discounted oil to themselves, in part to increase their much *greater* net revenues of selling discounted Alberta oil at full price to US consumers.

So Albertans elected a Premier who promised to remove the cap, so Alberta can earn less money but US oil interests can earn more.

Which is the difference between what the facts are, and what money convinces politicians to say they are.


The Liberals are rolling out their fall campaign. Every week they roll out a new A collage image of the Parliament building the logos of the Bloc Québécois, Liberal, Green, New Democratic Party, and Progressive Conservative parties.initiative, looking for the slogan which will hook the voters, and keep them in power.

Last time that slogan was “2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system”[O] Continue reading “#Canadapoli”