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].
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.
Five years ago Albertans threw out the Conservative government which had proven to be corrupt, privileged, and unethical. This week they elected a Conservative government which is proven – before being elected – to be corrupt, privileged, and unethical. Continue reading “Alberta’s choices”
You apologized for Canada’s actions in the past, which were reprehensible. Canada identified an ethnic group for selective discrimination. I applaud that. The BDS movement targets a country, Israel, for doing the same thing. I applaud them, too. Continue reading “Dear Mr Trudeau, about that BDS comment”