It's the law, so obey it

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I’ll start with some serious news this week, beginning here: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/03/21/terence-corcoran-seven-years-that-belonged-to-canada/#more-27307

This is what makes me nuts about the Conservative party – they’re not. The rate at which Flaherty and Harper spend our dollars is scandalous. The funny thing is, all that money still doesn’t buy us a top 10 spot in the human development index: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-falls-out-of-top-10-in-uns-human-development-index/article9758218/?service=mobile

They’re socialists when it comes to big government spending, yet they fail to produce the ostensibly good comprehensive social programs welfare states purport to have.

Here’s a new motto for the Conservatives: “All the spending, none of the benefits!”

(Don’t worry, I still have lots of scorn for the Liberals and Dippers, too…and for another perspective on the UN development index: http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/03/23/why-canada-doesnt-need-an-ego-boost-from-the-un/)  

Joe Weider is dead: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/24/montreal-bodybuilder-joe-weider-who-helped-promote-arnold-schwarzenegger-to-fame-dead-at-93/

Never heard of him? You’ve probably never graced the entrance of a weightlifting gym, then. Weider was basically the father of modern bodybuilding (for good and bad). He published Muscle and Fitness, Flex, and Shape magazines,  sold shake powders and weight benches to many millions, and influenced everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Lou Ferrigno. No idea if he was an especially good person or not, but his passing is, I suppose, personally significant just because of the obsession with weightlifting I had in my 20s. (Interesting coincidence: I’m planning to hit the gym today for the first time in ages.)

Don’t take this as religious conversion on my part. But the issue of consciousness and how exactly it emerges from configurations of meat/brains should interest anyone who likes to think about the nature of reality. A writer who seeks to explore this phenomenon deserves more than contempt, even if one disagrees with his conclusions: http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/03/23/what-has-gotten-into-thomas-nagel-leading-atheist-branded-a-heretic-for-daring-to-question-darwinism/

Proof that we should never make the mistake of thinking what is legal is the same as what is moral: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/25/us-cyprus-parliament-idUSBRE92G03I20130325

I’ve always been amazed by people who will openly state they obey laws because it’s the law. Now, there is a very high-minded explanation for that viewpoint. It involves a profound belief in the sanctity of democratic institutions and the moral rightness of adhering to the views expressed in law in a democratic society. But I don’t think that’s what’s behind most people who are “law-abiding citizens”. I think it’s a simpler belief that what is legal is right and what is illegal is wrong.

I have no use for that concept.

I obey the law for three reasons. 1) It frequently dovetails with my own values, 2) I don’t want to face the consequences of breaking the law, and 3) habit. Where a law doesn’t fall within those three categories of deterrence, if I want to do something and I believe it’s not immoral, I’ll do it. I don’t believe the law carries moral weight itself, and Cyprus is a great example why (don’t for a second think Canada doesn’t commit immoral acts under the cover of law; just ask anyone incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses).

Scientist opines on the likelihood of microbial life on Mars: http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/03/23/the-once-flowing-rivers-the-drinkable-water-and-when-well-walk-on-the-red-planet/

Finally: I guess it’s better than not leaving a note… http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10873419

I happen to think there are some among us who’ve gone too far with their vigilance towards their kids and their neighbours’ kids. It’s gotten to the point where a person worries social services will be called if they leave a child in a locked car while they duck into a kiosk to pay for their gas. But this looks to be pretty far at the other end of the spectrum. So just in case you were unsure: Don’t leave your infant in the car while you go to the movies, visit the casino, buy a cart-load of groceries or really any activity that will take you a considerable distance from your baby for any extended period of time.

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