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clarify - It's Not the Destination, It's the Journey - Finding Clarity
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Posts tagged "clarify"

Gay Rights – Is a Quebec-style Charter a Template?

I know, as a liberal, that I am supposed to be infuriated by the Quebec Values charter. I am supposed to be incensed that people’s religious rights are being impinged upon. I should worried that Quebec is a the top of a slippery slope which leads to attacks against religious rights.

I should be feeling that way but, in truth, I am not that revved up about it.

In the last months, I have read stories about:

  • people of, to me, unknown religions asking to be separated from the female students in their courses
  • gays being arrested in Nigeria
  • people protesting to move the upcoming Olympic games from Sochi due to Russian laws about gays
  • laws making gay activity illegal in parts of Africa and Asia
  • honor killings of women

These are just the tip of the iceberg and does not even begin to address legislative and social discrimination against sexual orientation and religion which seem to be expanding across a large part of the world. This discrimination seem to emerge in countries that are easily identified as religious (primarily Islamic and Christian).

I understand that I am supposed to respect the religious and cultural tenets of my fellow human beings. But I don’t. I don’t respect cultural mores which consider women chattel. I don’t respect religious ideas that do not allow disagreement. I do not respect any call for tolerance which includes the requirement to not disrespect the religion’s originator.

Even as I do not respect these ideas and beliefs, I would fight for the right of anyone to believe as they would, in the privacy of their home or place or worship. That said, in the general population, I am coming to believe that we need to consider that the freedom of religious practice is much less important than the promotion of our social rights (i.e. the equality of women).

I don’t begrudge women from wearing wigs or headscarves or even full body coverings. I don’t begrudge men from wearing hats or turbans. Far be it from me to tell anyone what to wear. I don’t begrudge people from practicing their religions. I don’t begrudge people from believing what they want. I believe this should be a right.

What I begin to believe is that their may be a place for a hierarchy of rights, with religious ones being on a lower rung than others. While the Quebec charter may be a clumsy start, there may be something to it.


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Posted by Carey Miller - January 20, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Categories: Politics   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Justin Trudeau – The Liberal Party Has Israel’s Back (video)

Iran's nuclear program is an existential threat

Justin Trudeau – “The Liberal Party has Israel’s back.”

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was at a great program on Thursday, November 29th at Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Toronto. Visions for Canada is billed as an opportunity to engage with senior politicians on issues of interest to the Jewish Community. The first program was that night, featuring Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. With almost 500 in attendance, I think we can call it a rousing success.

When asked about Canada’s relationship with Israel, Justin came out with a straightforward and direct answer.

The Liberal Party has Israel’s back.

Check out the video below for this great answer (sorry about the shaky hands).

I am glad that in Canada, the Liberal Party and the government fully support Israel, our only democratic partner in the Middle East.

James Morton. The right candidate for Thornhill.

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Posted by Carey Miller - November 30, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Categories: James Morton Campaign, Politics   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why I am Working on James Morton’s Campaign

Since May 2nd, I have listened to many explaining how horrible the cpc government is and how vital it is to the country that the Liberal Party come back. I believe they are sincere. My feelings are a little different. To me, the Liberal party of this century has taken navel gazing to such a high art form that its most advanced political members can do accurate freehand renderings of their intestinal tracts. Frankly, the loss of the Liberal Party of 2001 – 2011 would not be terribly significant.

So, I am asked, why do I expend time, effort and lucre for a party which, at this time, I would not mourn? I do so for two reasons:

1. The party has a foundation in history.

2. It's competitors are hidebound creatures of ideology whose long term success would be unfortunate for Canada.

At the Biennial Convention in January, we have the opportunity to make changes to the party and how it works. Frankly, I am not optimistic. Like so many elections, the candidates who are yelling for change are so tied up in internal Party politics that a dictionary definition of the word "change" should show their posteriors, walking away. Still, there are exceptions. In the race for VP (English) one is James Morton.

I have known James for some years. Not the closest of friends, I have had the opportunity to see James in action over decades, rather than months. I have seen a rational person with a defined set of beliefs who will work harder that one could ever expect. As a lawyer, he practices in both Toronto and Nunavut. Between his practices he is a senior volunteer for the Liberal party, he writes, lectures, is often heard and seen in media, he blogs and tweets and, somewhere during all this he has published almost twenty books.

James is a passionate Liberal. He truly believes that the party can have something to contribute to the Canadian political landscape. I have known James long enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. To that end, I have been happy to work with him, to help refine ideas which can help the Liberals regain some of their historical gravitas. James ideas and initiatives, while aimed at the Liberal Party, are those that apply to any large organization with many semi-autonomous local sub-organizations.

Of James' competitors, I am sure they are nice people. One is very new to the party. I am sure he is a good man but this is not the time to be learning the location of the washrooms. The other grew up in the party, rising from position to position as a youth. I am sure he thinks it is his turn. I think we should wait to bring the entitled types back until we want to sink the party again.

Its time to bring in people who have worked hard, are passionate but whose resume is not defined by their Ottawa work history.

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Posted by Carey Miller - January 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Categories: Common Wisdom?, James Morton Campaign, Politics   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We’ve shot ourselves in the head

We’ve shot ourselves in the head and now we are in a forced coma, unaware of our relentless decline. Unaware, we dream of the good old days of wealth and pleasure while our strong arms atrophy. On the odd occasion, we wake up and yell for help but our injuries are too severe.  Our doctors drug us again, forcing us back to the dream.
We are in a short state of awakening right now. The Occupy Movement is yelling, calling for help. But like anyone waking from an extended sleep, they are unfocused and unable to properly elucidate their issues or desires.
If you ask someone about the Occupy Movement, they may tell you that it is an anti-capitalism movement or an anti-bank movement or a movement calling for more money from the government or higher taxes on the rich. Listening to the occupiers, all of these ideas have emerged. The ideas are, of course, both wrong and right.
The Occupy Movement is identified as anti-corporate. They rail against the high salaries of the 1%, pointing out the ever-increasing disparity of both income and wealth. They rail against tax strategies which provide welfare-like support to corporations while negatively impacting the lives of the 99%.
They have the right to rail against these things. They are not wrong. These and other economic injustices are symptoms of our decline.
Where they are wrong is their target. They have taken aim at corporations. But corporations are only doing what they should and must do. The only job of a corporation is to make money. Nothing else. Corporations have no responsibilities to societies, countries or even to their workers. Period. End of story.
In our dreams, we go back to a time where things were better. Companies paid their workers better. Pensions were commonplace. Raises were regular, the effect of increased profits being shared more equitably between management and labour. We dream of a time where we built things and shared the benefits.
These dreams are take us back to an earlier stage in corporate evolution. The economy was growing in spectacular ways in 50 years ago. Massive amounts of demand, pent up by WWII, were released. Decades of scientific advancement was converted from research to applied science, then to innovative new products to meet this demand. The rest of the world was recovering from massive destruction or under the yoke of totalitarian regimes. Money was plentiful and businesses needed ever-increasing new workers.
During this time, it was in the interest of business to provide incentives to bring in new workers. It made sense to value highly the contributions of workers. Growth brought prosperity and a vast middle class. This was a great time, much better than decades before, when businesses hired thugs and police to prevent union organizers from negotiating with owners for a slice of the pie. A nightmare time.
One of the unforeseen consequences of growth and prosperity was the rise of the professional manager and transition of company management from innovators to executives. This transition created an evolving new species of corporate leaders wholly disconnected from creation and ideas. Their job was to grow profits.
This new corporate species, divorced from real ownership, was religiously dedicated to finding new efficiencies to reduce costs and raise profits. This was their job. Combined with cheaper transportation and the availability of slave labour around the world, it was a natural progression to build a business case for transferring our creative industries from North America to Japan, then to other low cost locations.
Again, and I cannot state this strongly enough, this is what corporations are supposed to do. They did nothing wrong. In the short term, their behavior resulted in more profits and greater salaries for the professional management class. They behaved according to their incentives, as amoral profit generating machines.
The Occupy Movement should rail against the success of the corporations in feathering their own nests. It is easier than point the fingers at the true culprits, ourselves and our representatives.
Our governments became partners with the corporations, taking on management structures reflecting business “best practices”. Growing businesses were recognized as the drivers of the economy and business leaders as the real heroes.
The outliers who reminded us that our success depended on checking the unfettered drive for corporate profits were dismissed as irrelevant, their warnings the ravings of the ignorant.
And we, the people, were too taken by ever cheaper goods built by slaves and children far across the ocean. We were blinded by easier credit while both parents had to work to pay the bills. We watched and celebrated as we hollowed out our own economy.
We have an opportunity now to take a step in the right direction. We must recognize that corporate behavior is rational and predictable. Our economy and our own individual interests are met when we understand this and constrain corporate behavior. This will require significant regulatory and structural changes and you can count on corporations and their mouthpieces to scream in panic.
We need to face the panic and begin making changes. Otherwise, we can return to our dreams until we end.

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Posted by Carey Miller - November 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Categories: Economy, Politics   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Banal Discussion of Evil

I ran across this on YouTube and, unfortunately, did not find it hard to believe. It is labeled Arab Men Should Sexually Harass Israeli Woman As Resistance.

What struck me was not just the suggestion that sexual harassment and rape should be used as a weapon of “resistance”. Given the current activities in Africa, rape as a weapon is hardly a unique concept. The suggestion and the woman suggesting it are both vile. What struck me was the nature of the conversation. If you did not read the translation, the two could be conversing about taxes.

There is a gulf between western and Arab culture which exceeds language and religion.


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Posted by Carey Miller - October 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Categories: Outside Content, Politics   Tags: , , , , ,

Campaign Manager Training

I am sitting in a room of Liberals in downtown Toronto, listening to a series of presentations delving into the details around communications and campaign management. What strikes me is how similar these discussions are to those I have been a part of in many businesses.

Good management of the product and brand. Good control of the message. Motivation of workers. Incentives for workers. Marketing to prospects.

More later. Maybe even some pics.

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Posted by Carey Miller - March 12, 2011 at 11:53 am

Categories: Politics, Project Management, Technology   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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