Critique of socialism lacks substance
Re: Socialism discourages charitable giving (March 5)
Just ugh. I feel compelled to rebut Lee Harding’s opinion piece as well as subsequent opinions supporting the main comment because, while it may very well be the case that people who pay more taxes donate less, there are many other important things to consider.
Harding speaks only of the volume of dollars given relative to tax rates, but does not mention the effectiveness of said spending. He also does not mention what is meant by socialism, but I took it to mean spending by governments on social programs, rather than a true socialist economic system.
If people perceive a less-urgent need in their communities, they may very well donate less. The rate of charitable giving per person might vary across provinces, but which have lower rates of child poverty, less homelessness and better public health? How is that not a part of this discussion?
Harding takes it for granted that more giving equals a better society, but this is not necessarily the case. Government spending is at least obligated to be well-researched and transparent, whereas non-profit organizations are less beholden to the public in general.
Also, government spending can support helpful but less popular programming, such as literacy programs for adults.
Harding also gives the example of the Plymouth Colony, and says communal living nearly starved them all. What would the alternative have been? Fighting for resources and letting the weak simply perish? While that may sound to some like a better model to build society on, it certainly wouldn’t be the one I want to live in.
‘Hi guys’ can include females
Re: Hey you guys... (Letters, March 12)
With reference to the letter writer who remembers when "guy" or "guys" did not apply to females, the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition of guy is... "person, used in plural to refer to the members of a group regardless of sex."
I and my four siblings, three of whom are women, have used the word "guys" for as long as I can remember and we are definitely part of the older generation. My late husband and his seven siblings used it as well, in addition to most of the people I grew up with in South Fort Rouge and many, many acquaintances and relatives from hither and yon.
When I leave a group message for my siblings I start it with ..."Hi guys, it’s me, Karin." I’m very pleased to say that no one has ever taken offense to my friendly greeting.
I’m just fine with being greeted in almost any situation with a smile and a "Hi guys."
Conversion therapy has history
Re: Feds look to ban conversion therapy (March 10)
It is reported that Justice Minister David Lametti has introduced a bill to eradicate the use of "conversion therapy," which is popularly defined as the practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions. This practice has been recognized as cruel and many voices label it as "pseudoscientific." Lametti is reported to have asserted that it has no basis in science.
I remind readers that certain practices of conversion therapy came directly from the scientific beliefs of its time. When I studied psychology, we were told about this form of psychotherapy as an application of the principles of "operant conditioning." It was a therapeutic modality based upon the assured science of mental health reflected by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. There was no association of the practice with religion in those days. It was considered to be the modern application of pure scientific knowledge.
Oh, how times and science have changed. The same science that has given us penicillin and bypass surgery also gave us coal plants, textile mills, the internal combustion engine, eugenics, nuclear bombs, thalidomide and conversion therapy. What current practices that are claimed to have the assured backing of science and with it the full weight of a moral imperative will we be banning for the good of the world in a few decades?
For a brief moment of sane honesty, let’s admit that science is not free from the possibility of silly ideology and fallacious conclusions that lead to unhealthy practices. And, as we have seen, they come with the authority of academia, the voice of education and the weight of government edict.
Donations better than hospital lotteries
The Free Press has been featuring articles about the generosity, and lack thereof, of Canadians toward charitable fundraising.
Regarding the big hospital lotteries which seem to have become constant over the past several years, I wonder how much of the money raised through ticket sales actually goes toward the stated causes. The amount of money spent on advertising in various media outlets must be astronomical, and the number of actual winners for each draw is proportionately minimal.
Wouldn’t it make more sense for people to make cash donations to these good projects with the "rewards" consisting of tax receipts for the donors? At least that way the administrative costs would certainly be proportionally less than lottery ones.
Province has no plan for Dauphin
Re: Provincial government firm on decision to close jail (March 5)
Rural municipalities and communities should take notice of what is happening in Dauphin, represented by Progressive Conservative MLA Brad Michaleski, in regard to the closing of the Dauphin Correctional Centre. The Manitoba government has disrupted families in and around Dauphin, forced them to make life-changing decisions in short order, and done nothing to mitigate the effects of their decisions, in spite of cogent suggestions offered by the community.
The Dauphin Coalition met with Justice Minister Cliff Cullen this past week and presented their arguments. It is reported by a coalition member that Cullen and staff asked one "minor question" regarding their presentation, and then Cullen proceeded with his original edict: the DCC is closing.
Repeatedly, this government has claimed that consultation with constituents is its priority. Someone needs to tell them what consultation means: someone talks, then someone listens, then discussion starts. The Dauphin Coalition’s meeting with the minister is more evidence that listening is not this government’s interest.
People in the Parkland region keep asking for the plan for Dauphin’s future after the loss of 80 well-paying jobs. Cullen last week stated that there is a transition committee underway involving "human resource professionals, various government departments, and Dauphin Economic Development."
Prediction: this government’s delegation of their proposals to a transition committee will amount to no help for the affected families, and no economic development. Not because these departments/individuals are not capable, but because this government has no plan, no vision, and no interest. Its solution to Dauphin’s problem is to download the problem and fragment the decision-making so far away from government that it will not be blamed for the failures.