If In (Arbitrary) Doubt, Destroy

Last evening in downtown Montreal, as reported by The Canadian Press, the Hudson’s Bay Co. had a commemorative plaque removed from one of its buildings. The plaque was installed in 1957 and was supplied by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to “honoring the memory of its Confederate ancestors.” The ancestor being honored was Jefferson Davis. The 1950’s was a more innocent decade. No reasons were reportedly given for the actions taken by Hudson’s Bay Co. but it appears to have been a preemptive step in the wake of violence in Virginia this past week arising … Continue reading If In (Arbitrary) Doubt, Destroy

Trade: It’s What People Do

Donald Trump wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the US, Canada and Mexico, apparently because he thinks he or his agents can negotiate a better deal. An article in Canada’s National Post today gives a hint of what sort of nonsense these kinds of international negotiations entail. I encourage you to read the whole thing here, as it will give you a perspective on how far we have strayed from simple barter between individuals. Now I don’t think barter lasted very long as it would become evident very quickly among traders that some medium of … Continue reading Trade: It’s What People Do

Canadian, Watch Thyself

John Ibbotson of The Globe and Mail in Canada offers that “The fascists are mobilizing in Donald Trump’s name.” What follows his opening remarks is the observation that the US Justice Department is going to start investigating universities for discrimination against white applicants. His apparently condemnatory conclusion is that this “. . .is how this administration views affirmative-action programs”. This conclusion is on a par with the reasoning of the anti-conceptual Donald Trump. There is unlikely any connection between the truth that affirmative-action programs are racist and the administration’s actions regarding this investigation. A principled approach would have been setting … Continue reading Canadian, Watch Thyself

Google Goal

The primary goal of the Google company ought to be to earn a profit, and the more the better. That is the fundamental source of capital for the business whether based on reinvestment of current profits or the investment of outside capital based on future expectations of profit. It is also a fundamental that the return to shareholders be maximized. The current kerfuffle over the firing of software engineer James Damore following his participation in an internal debate or discussion about “diversity” in the Google workplace has overshadowed concern about the primary reason for Google’s existence. At least that is … Continue reading Google Goal

Contrary to 150 Opinions

As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary of confederation many informal expressions of national pride have been heard. The official gala at Parliament Hill on July first, marred by the actions of demonstrators representing so-called First Nations was less spontaneous. Spontaneous does not necessarily mean thoughtful. Responses to surveys of sources of Canadian pride included tropes about natural landscape, universal healthcare and diversity. These are accepted bromides mouthed by others in the culture and adopted without question. The most common bromide I’ve heard through social media, the press, sports announcers and even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is that Canada is the … Continue reading Contrary to 150 Opinions