Due Process in the Time of #MeToo

PM Trudeau supports #MeToo – Until ‘Me, Too’

Initially, American President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau voiced different opinions about the #MeToo Movement:

Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused — life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?
– President Donald Trump –

As women speak up, it is our responsibility to listen, and more importantly, to believe. Sexual harassment in business and in government is a systemic problem and it is unacceptable.
– Prime Minister Trudeau, World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland –

Then, in April 2018, a story surfaced with allegations that Trudeau had groped a female reporter in the year 2000. Trudeau avoided responding to the story, but on Canada Day weekend 2018, he finally said, “I remember that day in Creston well… I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all.”

Trudeau is said to have apologized to the journalist a day after the alleged groping. At the time, he was quoted as saying, “I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper I would never have been so forward.”

Trudeau was asked if there would be an investigation into the alleged incident (since he says his policy on sexual assault is zero tolerance). He responded: “I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way, but I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently. Often a man experiences an interaction as being benign or not inappropriate and a woman, particularly in a professional context, can experience it differently. We have to respect that.”

Could it be possible that Canada’s Prime Minister  and the American President have arrived at the same conclusion in acknowledging the need for Due Process? Should a politicians past haunt them? If so, why and for how long?

 

Opinion Dressed Up in ‘News’ Clothes

The QuipperyWhat we used to call the ‘News‘ isn’t really news anymore, is it!? Often it is simply ‘Opinion‘ dressed up in its ‘news’ clothes… and there is so much of it. It is hard not to be overwhelmed with the volume of information that you might have to digest in order to make a decision about something.

This is why people switch to the default mode –  ‘Confirmation Bias’. It makes life so much simpler. You can simply choose to read opinions that support what you’ve come to believe, and ignore the rest.

Terry Pratchett calls this type of ‘news’ – ‘olds’:

In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is olds… Not news but olds, telling people that what they think they already know is true.
– Terry Pratchett; from the novel The Truth –

Are you Stuck in the Olds?

There is a wealth of information on the internet that can help you to explore fact based arguments that might take you beyond where your bias has parked you. Unfortunately, you have to dig pretty deep sometimes to find the information that supports a narrative that opposes the politically ‘correct’ arguments of the day.

The News is Worse but the World is Better

In the video that follows, Steven Pinker, Author and Harvard Professor discusses the basic paradox – news today seems worse than ever – but based on a number of key metrics, the world is better than it’s ever been. Pinker explores the data and makes the case for how can we tackle the world’s problems while not drowning in negativity.

Let’s explore bias.

What controversial issue do you feel strongly about? Would you be willing to seek out information that contrasted with your belief?

 

Mike Rowe – Not all Knowledge Comes from College

If you don’t know who Mike Rowe is, please  make it your ‘job’ today to find out. He is perhaps the most down to earth, profoundly intelligent, practical person in the world. Yes, in the whole world.  This is his bio: About Mike.

In this video, Mike Rowe talks to Ben Shapiro about many things, including the skills gap that exists because young people are being educated for jobs that don’t exist while the jobs that are available go unfilled. (Don’t get upset because Ben inserts advertising – someone has to pay so you can watch this!)

We’ve become slowly and inexorably and profoundly disconnected from a lot of very basic things that, when I grew up, I was really connected to – like where my food comes from, where my energy comes from, basic history, basic curiosity, you know? The things that fundamentally allow us to assume a level of appreciation that, in my view, is the best way to bridge those gaps.

… if we don’t have appreciation… If we’re not blown away by the miracle that occurs when we flick the switch and the lights come on; if we’re not gobsmacked by flushing the toilet and seeing all of it go away; when we start losing our appreciation for those things, the gap deepens. And I think the gap right now is extraordinary.
– Mike Rowe –

The Revival of Conversation – Peterson, Shapiro, Rubin

Jordan Peterson (Canadian clinical psychologist and educator) and Ben Shapiro (American Jewish conservative) join Dave Rubin (American gay libertarian) for a discussion about postmodernism, religion, free speech, and rules for life.

Two of the most well-spoken advocates for freedom and responsibility take the stage on one of the best free thinking forums today. The individual versus the state, religion, gender politics, and the art of the conversation.
– The Libertarian Catholic –

In an era of goldfish-level attention spans, Rubin hosts a talk show featuring two or three people, seated in chairs, who discuss politics or society or religion for about an hour, often longer. It’s his solution to a societal trend he considers harmful to free speech.

Rubin, Shapiro and Peterson: If these three men were NFL players, their rookie cards would be worth a fortune. They aren’t quite household names, but you get the sense they will be, and anyone who’s attuned to the new media landscape knows how consequential they are.
– Kevin Ryan –

Drinking Straw Ban – Facts and Fiction

The movement to ban drinking straws and other single-use plastics is growing around the world. The ban prohibits restaurants, bars, and other food service businesses from handing out plastic straws to their customers. Some cities impose fines. Other cities are considering the possibility of jail time for repeat offenders.

The humorists have had a field day. (See more Memes at the end of this post.)

In 2017 there were about 63 billion straws used in the United States – about 170-175 million straws per day. (Data from Technomic – a consulting and research firm).

The Be Straw Free Campaign, however, claims that Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day. That’s an average of 1.6 straws per person per day which supposedly is enough to fill over 125 school buses. The 500 million number apparently came from a 9 year old boy who did a telephone survey of some straw manufacturers in 2011. No one bothered to check the validity of that number.

The City of Vancouver recently claimed that Canadians use 57 million straws a year — a number they extrapolated purely by adjusting the 500 million figure for Canada’s population.
National Post, July, 2018 –

Strawless Ocean takes that exaggerated number (500 million) even further by saying:

Plastic straws are really bad for the ocean. We use over 500 million every day in America, and most of those end up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing marine life.

Most of those straws, however, don’t end up in the oceans:

A 2015 study in the journal Science ranked countries by their rate of “mismanaged” waste. Ocean pollution heavyweights such as Bangladesh were mismanaging up to 89 per cent of their garbage. In the United States that rate was only two percent — a number made all the more notable given that the average American generates up to five times more trash than a Bangladeshi.
National Post, July, 2018 –

500 million straws is just one example of estimates gone wild. How many straws do you suppose are discarded on the entire world’s coastlines? To find that number, two Australian scientists used the amount of trash collected on U.S. coastlines during cleanups over five years. They came up with a figure between 437 million and 8.3 billion plastic straws.

In other words, no one really knows to any degree of accuracy how many plastic straws are used, nor how many end up on beaches. They also have no clear idea how many are washed into the ocean, but it is estimated that if all the straws that might be on beaches all washed into the ocean, they’d account for about .03 percent of the plastics estimated to enter the oceans in a given year. Maybe.

What really kicked off the Straw Ban Campaign, though, was a viral video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw in it’s nose. The turtle was the trump card, if you’ll pardon the pun.

The drinking straw ban – a feel good thing that let’s people feel virtuous without actually having to do much.