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Daily Archives: August 9, 2017
Posted: August 9, 2017 at 5:41 am
In my very first anti-euthanasia column, published by Newsweek in 1993, I worried that once medicalized killing became accepted, it would soon be joined by organ harvesting as a plum to society.
Alarmist! I was called. Slippery slope arguer! It will never happen, I was assured.
Until it did.
Now in both Netherlands and Belgium, mentally ill and disabled patients are voluntarily euthanized and their organs harvested after being killed. Canada is discussing joining the infamous duo.
I have waited for the organ transplant community to rise up and reject conjoining killing and organ donation.It has been a wait mostly in vain.
Indeed, a letter in the current Journal of the American Medical Association merely warns against haste in widely instituting such a policy due to safety concerns:
I urge caution before this practice is widely accepted. First, only short-term functional outcomes immediately after transplantation and at 6 months are available.Second, warm ischemia, an inevitable consequence of organ donation after cardiac death, results in greater risk for transplanted organs
There is a need to study long-term outcomes of transplanted organs resulting from euthanasia so that truly informed consent can be obtained.
How starkly utilitarian can you get?
If all that matters is consentthe clear implication of this letterwhy would donorshave to be suffering sufficiently to qualify for euthanasia?
Indeed, why not let healthy peoplewho simply wantto die and believeotherswho want to livehave a greater claim on theirlivers and hearts volunteer to be killed and harvested?
The authors of the original article make in an equallybloodless, technocratic reply:
Euthanasia is performed according to local protocol by injection of a drug to induce coma, followed by a muscle relaxant. After circulatory arrest, a waiting time of 5 minutes is respected before the patient is transferred to the operating room for organ removal.
Compared with other donations after cardiac death, the process of dying is short(often less than10-15 minutes), and death is not preceded by medical deterioration in the intensive care unit.
Euthanasia donors are, on average, younger than other cardiac death donors.Better transplant results may therefore occur in organ donation after euthanasia compared with donation after other causes of cardiac death, but additional studies are required.
Where are we as a society that killing and harvesting are respectfully discussed in one of the worlds most respected medical journalsand no one brings up crucial issues of right and wrong?
As just one quick example:What could be more dangerous than lettingdespairing people believe that their deaths could have greater value than their lives? Becoming a donor could be the final factor that induces them to opt for euthanasia or assisted suicide.
For for that matter, how dangerous would it beif society ever cameto accept that the hastened deathsof the despairingcould offer a plum?
Euthanasia corrupts everything it touchesincluding, it would seem, the ethics of organ transplant medicine.
Pope tells Belgian Brothers of Charity no more euthanasia for patients – Crux: Covering all things Catholic
Posted: at 5:41 am
Pope Francis has given a Belgian religious order until the end of August to stop offering euthanasia to psychiatric patients.
Brother Rene Stockman, superior general of the order, told Catholic News Service the pope gave his personal approval to a Vatican demand that the Brothers of Charity, which runs 15 centers for psychiatric patients across Belgium, must reverse its policy by the end of August.
Brothers who serve on the board of the Brothers of Charity Group, the organization that runs the centers, also must each sign a joint letter to their superior general declaring that they fully support the vision of the magisterium of the Catholic Church, which has always confirmed that human life must be respected and protected in absolute terms, from the moment of conception till its natural end.
Brothers who refuse to sign will face sanctions under canon law, while the group can expect to face legal action and even expulsion from the church if it fails to change its policy.
The group, he added, must no longer consider euthanasia as a solution to human suffering under any circumstances.
The order, issued at the beginning of August, follows repeated requests for the group to drop its new policy of permitting doctors to perform euthanasia on non-terminal mentally ill patients on its premises.
It also follows a joint investigation by the Vaticans congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith and for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
Stockman, who had opposed the groups euthanasia policy, told Catholic News Service the ultimatum was devised by the two congregations and has the support of the pope.
The Holy Father was formally informed about it and was also informed about the steps to be taken, he said in an Aug. 8 email.
The ultimatum, he said, meant the groups policies must be underpinned by a belief that respect for human life is absolute.
Stockman told CNS that if the group refused to bow to the ultimatum then we will take juridical steps in order to force them to amend the text (of the new policy) and, if that is not possible, then we have to start the procedure to exclude the hospitals from the Brothers of Charity family and take away their Catholic identity.
He said if any of the brothers refused to sign the letter upholding Catholic teaching against euthanasia, then also we will start the correct procedure foreseen in canon law.
The Belgian bishops and the nuncio to Belgium have been informed about the ultimatum, he added.
Stockman, a psychiatric care specialist, had turned to the Vatican in the spring after the Brothers of Charity group rejected a formal request from him to reverse the new policy.
The group also snubbed the Belgian bishops by formally implementing its euthanasia policy in June, just weeks after the bishops declared they would not accept euthanasia in Catholic institutions.
The group has also ignored a statement of church teaching forbidding euthanasia. The statement, written and signed by Cardinal Gerhard Muller, former head of the doctrinal congregation, was sent to the Brothers of Charity Group members. A copy of the document has been obtained byCatholic News Service.
The Brothers of Charity was founded in 1807 in Ghent, Belgium, by Father Peter Joseph Triest, whose cause for beatification was opened in 2001. Their charism is to serve the elderly and the mentally ill.
Today, the group is considered the most important provider of mental health care services in the Flanders region of Belgium, where they serve 5,000 patients a year.
About 12 psychiatric patients in the care of the Brothers of Charity are believed to have asked for euthanasia over the past year, with two transferred elsewhere to receive the injections to end their lives.
The group first announced its euthanasia policy in March, saying it wished to harmonize the practices of the centers with the Belgian law on euthanasia passed in 2003, the year after the Netherlands became the first country to permit the practice since Nazi Germany.
Technically, euthanasia in Belgium remains an offense, with the law protecting doctors from prosecution only if they abide by specific criteria, but increasingly lethal injections are given to the disabled and mentally ill. Since 2014 emancipated children have also qualified for euthanasia.
The groups change in policy came about a year after a private Catholic rest home in Diest, Belgium, was fined $6,600 for refusing the euthanasia of a 74-year-old woman suffering from lung cancer.
Catholic News Service has approached the Brothers of Charity Group for a comment.
Posted: at 5:41 am
9 Aug 2017, 11 a.m.
Does the legalisation of something once illegal, turn that which was once wrong, now suddenly right?
IN SHARINGour musings on the current euthanasia debate, although we can all try and leave our beliefs out of the debate, this is impossible. To believe or not believe in life after death and/or to believe or not believe in God are beliefs, and may well influence our views on euthanasia.
The majority rule principle as an authority for deciding the rightness or wrongness of any moral issue, including euthanasia, is a dangerous yardstick. Several moral practices considered immoral by most Australians in 1917, are now considered moral by most Australians in 2017. Does what was wrong become right (or vice versa) because the majority say so? If the vote is close, is that what makes the moral issue grey?
Does the legalisation of something once illegal, turn that which was once wrong, now suddenly right? If morality equalled what is legal then slavery was not wrong in the United States for most of 19th Century, and for most of 20th Century slavery was good and right in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and part of West Africa.
So what would a priest know about euthanasia? Well, as a priest I have been called by the family of a loved one dying, or by the dying themselves many times over these past sixteen years to anoint the dying and spend time with them and their families and it is based on these experiences that I can express my strong opposition to legalising euthanasia.
Given the current national debate and the blurring of boundaries, its as important to state what is euthanasia and what is not euthanasia.
Euthanasia is not turning off machines. Euthanasia is not the discontinuing of excessive and unreasonable effort to keep the patient alive. Euthanasia is not increasing the dosage of pain relief for the purpose of pain relief, even though this increase may hasten the death of the patient.
Euthanasia is lethal injections.
Is euthanasia mercy killing? Yes, but mercy for the living, not the dying; its those who live interstate and want to get back home or those who have important projects at work that euthanasia grants mercy to, not their loved one who is dying for the last time ever. For those who claim the one dying didnt want to be a burden, its sad that any family would allow a loved one to believe they ever were a burden; but what were the dying to think in some cases when theyre grieving family were often either on their phone to work or not there?
Some incredible family reconciliations happen while they wait for the inevitable between long-time fighting family members; reconciliations euthanasia would rob our society of. Who can deny the dying wish of a loved one? The dying can bring more reconciliation to a family in days than we living can in years. As for dying with dignity theres not much more dignified in this world than making peace in your family.
Its fitting the euthanasia debate will end with a conscience vote as the greatest casualty in legalising euthanasia may well be societys conscience.
If already so many blame themselves for the death of a loved one, even for no reason, how much more will sensitive and grieving consciences blame themselves, in years to come, that they were responsible for encouraging a difficult decision, at a very traumatic time, that leaves permanent consequences?
Perhaps the unforeseen legacy of euthanasia will not be the killing of the dying, but the massive increase of pain for those who are left living.
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Posted: at 5:40 am
It is often noted that Americans live in a very litigious society. This criticism is typically leveled at frivolous tort cases and ambulance-chasing trial lawyers, but it extends equally to the legislators who write unnecessary laws and the government agents such as district attorneys, judges and police who enforce them.
The U.S. has the largest incarceration rate in the world, aided by the prevalence of victimless crimes (particularly nonviolent drug crimes) and a predilection for incarceration as primary option for punishment. But while there may be a strong drive to do something when someone is harmed by another, locking people up is oftentimes not in the interest of justice. Perhaps this is best illustrated in cases involving accidents, especially when those at fault are family members.
In one high-profile example, just last month an 18-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving after she crashed her car in Merced County, killing her 14-year-old sister, who was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. The case received heightened attention because the accident was captured in a graphic livestreamed video recording on Instagram, which showed her fatally wounded sister lying in a grassy field.
Last year, a 53-year-old Arkansas man was charged with felony manslaughter for the death of his 4-year-old grandson, who was killed in an accident while mowing some brush on the family ranch. A tractor tire hit a hole in the ground and the boy fell off the tractor and was run over by the mower.
Then there are the instances where distracted or forgetful parents have been charged for the death of a child inadvertently left in a hot or even mildly warm vehicle.
I cannot imagine how those at fault in the cases above will be able to deal with what they have done. That torturous guilt is a greater punishment than any that could be inflicted by a judge and prosecutor.
A family is only doubly punished, however, when a second family member is taken from it, this time by the state, to waste away in prison. It is as much a punishment to the other victims the remaining children, who must grow up without a mother or father, or the spouse, who is now rendered a single parent who must support the rest of the family alone as it is to the one at fault. In an added cruel twist, the family is forced to support these efforts to further tear it apart through their taxes.
In such cases, society is not served by turning a private tragedy into a larger public burden. Sometimes a tragic accident is just an accident, and the consequences are punishment enough.
Even in cases that do not involve parties within the same family, victims should have more say on the punishment of perpetrators, and the focus should be more on restitution than incarceration.
Sentencing someone to prison may pad a district attorneys tough on crime bona fides, but it does little to compensate the victims. The criminal will rot in prison, on the taxpayers dime, and perhaps learn even more criminal, anti-social behaviors from his fellow prisoners, which he may then inflict on society if he gets out.
But before government assumed a greater role in crime and punishment, and even still today in places like Japan or informal tribal arrangements, perpetrators and victims were encouraged to negotiate to agree upon an appropriate restitution to compensate the victims, or their families. If the criminal could not afford the restitution all at once, he could pay it off over time through his labor. In a stark contrast to the incarceration model, this also encourages him to develop skills and to once again become a productive member of society.
In cases of extreme violence, where the facts are clear and the criminal exhibits no remorse, incarceration and an eye for an eye approach may be appropriate. But we should recognize that, as in other areas, the politicization of crime and punishment has led those in government to lose sight of individual rights in the pursuit of a nebulous societal good, and to serve the interests of the government agents charged with enforcement, not necessarily the interests of victims. A system of true justice and compassion would recognize that sometimes accidents result in tragedy that no prison cell can remedy, and would focus on addressing the needs and wishes of the victims, not adding another notch on a DAs belt before the next election.
Adam B. Summers is a columnist with the Southern California News Group.
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Posted: at 5:40 am
As long as our lawmakers keep ignoring the importance of laws to deal with match-fixing and its variants, no court in the land can convict any cricketer who might be involved in fixing.
At the turn of the century, when the issue first shocked a nation, skipper Mohammed Azharuddin was among those banned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. But it was quickly realised that there was no specific law to deal with fixing in sport.
There was an outcry then, the inadequacies of trying those who transgressed under the cheating laws were pointed out, and the need for a sports fraud bill was emphasized. Nothing happened. So far no bill has been passed in the 17 years since the subject first came up. In other words, match-fixing and spot-fixing are not illegal in India. It is a lacuna crying to be covered.
In 2012, the Andhra Pradesh High Court ruled that the case against Azharuddin was not proved to its satisfaction. The BCCI did not appeal.
The Prevention of Dishonesty in Sports Bill was ready in 2001; others followed: The National Sports Development Code (2011), the Draft National Sports Development Bill (2013), and the Draft Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill (2013). In 2016, the then President of the BCCI and a ruling party Member of Parliament Anurag Thakur introduced the National Sports Ethics Commission Bill which borrowed from the earlier bills. Yet, nothing.
Now the Kerala High Court has quashed the BCCIs life ban on Shanthakumaran Sreeshanth who had been in the doghouse since the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. That was the starting point for reforms in the BCCI, after first the Justice Mudgal Commission and then the Justice Lodha Commission submitted reports.
For want of an adequate law, Sreeshanth was tried under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). It was nobodys case that the fast bowler was a terrorist or involved in organised crime. It was like using a road roller to trap a fly. There is a not-so-subtle difference between bowling a deliberate no-ball on schedule and blowing up a building, even if the two key words are anagrams.
Any law dealing with fraud in sport must be air-tight and stand up in a court. But when there is no law to begin with, everything is in favour of the suspect. Not surprisingly, both Azharuddin and Sreeshanth have interpreted the rulings of the courts as judgements absolving them of fixing a cricket match.
This is not strictly true even if for the sake of argument one concedes they could be factually correct. The governing body of cricket has only got to believe that the balance of probabilities is against the player to call for a ban. But the player can still take the BCCI to court in the absence of a specific law. And usually the BCCI runs out of steam by then.
Perhaps our lawmakers think that a sports fraud bill is not sexy. After all, fixing can be seen as a victimless crime. No one is murdered, none injured, and the loss is mainly to the credibility of a popular sport. That pales when compared to the statistics for murder, for example. In 2015, the last year for which statistics are available, the National Crime Records Bureau recorded 32,127 murders in the country. Whats that compared to a deliberate no-ball?
Yet, this is a dangerous route to take. Sport is an artificial activity, it is true. In the deepest sense of the term, it is meaningless. Yet it is this very lack of meaning that makes us inject it with purpose, and hold it to the highest moral standards. If sport cannot be pure, then what area of human activity is left for honesty and integrity and all the values we aspire to but struggle to attain?
The courts have their hands tied they have to follow the law. And the definitions of cheating do not go far.
In 17 years, the BCCI has concluded that a number of players, from internationals to local stars have been guilty of match-fixing, spot-fixing, or not reporting knowledge of these crimes to the authorities. Yet, so long as there is a reluctance to pass a law in Parliament, there cannot be a fair trial for those who are hauled up for these activities.
As a Delhi Court said in the Sreeshant case, In view of the huge vacuum of law in this regard in the realm of law, this court is helpless to proceed further under any of the penal statutes.
Azharuddin might be innocent, Sreeshanth might be innocent, but we need to give the courts the power to punish the guilty. Punitive reasons apart, there are exemplary reasons too. Young players cannot be allowed to begin their careers believing that they can get away. And that will happen if we dont appreciate the importance of specific laws to deal with fixing in sport.
Posted: at 5:38 am
Former British Columbia finance minister Kevin Falcon, who ran a close second to Christy Clark for the BC Liberal leadership in 2011, says the party might now be best led by a caucus outsider who could overcome criticisms of the partys record in government.
Mr. Falcon, whose name frequently comes up as a potential successor to Ms. Clark, says hes not interested in running, having retired from politics in 2013.
The BC Liberals are preparing for a leadership contest to replace Ms. Clark, whose resignation took effect last Friday. The campaign will likely focus on what factors reduced the Liberals to a minority in the provincial legislature, setting the stage for the NDP to take power, and what direction the party must go to recover.
Mr. Falcon said it would be difficult for anyone from the previous government to take over the party. Thats going to be the challenge for candidates that are coming from the existing MLA cast, he said in an interview. Its not impossible; it just makes it more challenging to be that change candidate. I think outside candidates probably have that advantage.
However, Mr. Falcon, an executive vice-president with the B.C. investment company Anthem Capital Corp., says he wont be seeking the job.
I am not going to be a candidate for the leadership of the BC Liberal party and while I appreciate all of the calls, e-mails, texts and people stopping me on the street and encouraging me to run, my circumstances are similar to what led me to retire in the first place, Mr. Falcon said.
I have two young daughters and a very satisfying career in the private sector.
Mr. Falcon quipped that his days are being destroyed by having to respond to all the people calling about a leadership campaign that is not going to happen.
Ill never get any work done if I have to return all the calls and e-mails.
Among the calls have been outreach from the leadership prospects, largely members of the BC Liberal caucus, who have said they are considering leadership bids.
Ms. Clark won the BC Liberal leadership with 52-per-cent support, compared with 48 per cent for Mr. Falcon, who had considerable support in caucus over the one MLA who backed Ms. Clark. Mr. Falcon had previously served as ministers of finance, health and transportation, as well as deputy premier. He spent a dozen years as a member of the legislature. Ms. Clark led the Liberals to a surprise win in 2013. Mr. Falcon did not seek re-election.
This past spring, the New Democrats and Greens joined together to oust the Liberals in a confidence vote, prompting the Lieutenant-Governor to ask the NDP to form a new government.
John Horgan is now Premier and the Liberals find themselves in opposition after 16 years in power.
As defeat in the legislature became a near certainty, Ms. Clarks beleaguered Liberals tabled a Throne Speech in June that offered a wholesale remake of the partys election campaign.
Mr. Falcon said that Throne Speech presents a challenge to the party.
That recent Throne Speech was not helpful at all, to say the least, Mr. Falcon said.
By adopting the NDP-Green platform holus-bolus, it went against 16 years of largely principled policy leadership.
Ms. Clark, asked about that issue in a final news conference as leader, said the partys next leader would be free to break with the Throne Speech she presided over a point that others in the party have also made.
Mr. Falcon said integrity and transparency need to be front and centre for all candidates seeking the leadership, making specific reference to campaign finance reform and how government operates.
He also advised boldness in policy to address legitimate issues of affordability, especially in the Lower Mainland.
That means really bold and new ideas in transit, in housing, in daycare all of those issues that are going to be important for urban-suburban voters.
He also said there needs to be a debate about how to raise government funds. People talk often about how we spend governments money, but people need to focus about how we generate it.
BC Liberal caucus members Sam Sullivan, a former Vancouver mayor, former advanced education minister Andrew Wilkinson, ex-transportation minister Todd Stone, former education minister Mike Bernier and Jas Johal, a former TV reporter elected to the legislature this spring, have said they are considering runs for the leadership.
Outside the caucus, Iain Black, the former labour minister who is now president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, has said he may run. Tory MP Dianne Watts, formerly mayor of Surrey, says she is being urged to run, but has not made any decision.
Follow Ian Bailey on Twitter: @ianabailey
Posted: at 5:38 am
9 Aug 2017, 6:37 p.m.
Liberal MPs have stood by embattled Opposition Leader Matthew Guy as pressure mounted on him over his lobster dinner.
Senior Liberal MPs declared their support for embattled Opposition Leader Matthew Guy on Wednesday as he came under intense pressure over his lobster dinner with alleged Mafia boss Tony Madafferi.
However, some expressed concern that Mr Guy’s decision to stay at the table after learning Mr Madafferi was there showed a lapse of judgment.
And some believed further damning revelations could prove highly damaging for Mr Guy’s leadership.
Mr Guy has repeatedly denied wrongdoing or discussing donations at the April meeting with Mr Madafferi and Mr Madafferi’s cousin, long-time Liberal supporter Frank Lamattina, at the Lobster Cave restaurant in Beaumaris.
One senior Liberal MP said the party room was united behind their leader and so far there had not been any push for a leadership change.
“I don’t get the sense that anyone genuinely wants change. It’s a cohesive parliamentary party room,” the MP said.
The MP said switching leaders was an “enormous risk”, particularly with an election less than 18 months away.
“The party has to go through devastating convulsions to go there.”
This week Fairfax Media revealed explosive secretly recorded phone calls in which a Liberal Party official discussed plans to offer undisclosed donations from the men who attended the dinner.
The official recorded in the phone calls, Barrie Macmillan, resigned from his party position on Wednesday.
The latest turmoil in Victorian politics is also facing scrutiny from Canberra.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, asked in Federal Parliament whether the Australian Federal Police had been asked to investigate the revelations, said, “Those reports will be carefully examined by federal authorities.”
Despite the revelations, many Liberal MPs who spoke to Fairfax Media insisted Mr Guy retained their confidence.
Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger told ABC Radio none of the dinner guests had made recent disclosable donations to the party or given smaller sums to his knowledge.
Labor ministers made repeated references to Beaumaris and accepting money from mobsters in question time at Parliament on Wednesday.
And Deputy Premier James Merlino released a list of 17 questions for Mr Guy, including asking exactly how many people attended the dinner and whether he would release all correspondence to the corruption watchdog.
Earlier in the week Mr Guy said he was so confident he had done nothing wrong he would refer the matter to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission for investigation.
Opposition spokeswoman for children Georgie Crozier said the parliamentary party was united and strongly behind Mr Guy.
She insisted the revelations did not undermine the Coalition’s strong campaigning on law and order in Victoria. “I think this is just white noise,” she said.
Another opposition frontbencher, Ryan Smith, said Mr Guy could not have been more open about the dinner.
“His team sees that,” he said.
Following the Coalition’s 2014 election loss, shadow treasurer Michael O’Brien contested the leadership.
But on Wednesday Mr O’Brien insisted he supported Mr Guy to stay in the top job.
“Matthew Guy has done a great job in taking the fight up to Daniel Andrews on behalf of Victorians neglected by Labor,” he said. “He will make a great premier and has my full support.
On Wednesday morning Coalition MPs including shadow energy minister David Southwick??? and Kew MP Tim Smith all said Mr Guy had their full backing.
“I’m behind him 1000 per cent,” Tim Smith said. “He has my absolute support and he’s doing a fantastic job.”
Mr Southwick also stood by his leader.
“Matthew Guy has made his comments very clear here in terms of what has gone on. The situation really is that we need to get on with the real issues that matter in Victoria,” he said.
The story Senior Liberals stand by Guy first appeared on The Age.
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Posted: at 5:38 am
They basically run the Internet. Their parent company dwarfs every other corporation on Earth. But they are more terrified of offending the Left than breaking the law.
On Monday, Google decided to trample free expression and possibly flout federal labor regulations. Afraid of viral outrage from the Left, the international corporation fired a software engineer named James Damore for writing and disseminating an unpopular opinion.
In a ten-page internal memo, Damore dared to question the company line on diversity. He asked instead whether biological differences explain why so many more men than women work in Silicon Valley. He argued that by “shaming into silence” different opinions, Google “has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed. And Google proved he was right by firing him.
Google purports to value “honest discussion.” And reasonable people should be able to disagree about these things. Google just didn’t want the bad publicity of having someone with such ideas on their payroll. But never mind the incongruity or hypocrisy. The more important problem is that litigation is around the corner.
“I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does,” Damore told the New York Times.
According to Dan Eaton, an attorney and ethics professor at San Diego University, the engineer certainly has grounds for a case on two fronts. “First, federal labor law bars even non-union employers like Google from punishing an employee for communicating with fellow employees about improving working conditions,” Eaton writes.
And second, because the memo was a statement of political views, Eaton says Google may have violated California law which “prohibits employers from threatening to fire employees to get them to adopt or refrain from adopting a particular political course of action.”
An international corporation with armies of both lawyers, Google knew all this. They decided to take their chances with state and federal law anyway rather than stick up for one of their employees and risk public backlash. That’s an incredibly telling decision from a company that has mastered everything from artificial intelligence to self-driving cars.
In short, the tech titan is scared. Not of losing talent. Not of legal fees from the pending litigation. And not of a potential settlement. No, Google just doesn’t want to stir up outrage from the left and so they squashed speech.
Since their founding they prided themselves on their corporate motto: “Don’t Be Evil.” Maybe this would be a better motto: “Don’t Be Craven.”
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.
Posted: at 5:38 am
Male graduate wearing cap and gown standing in campus archway at University of Pennsylvania.H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images
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I love the title of the new book by veteran journalist George Anders, You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a Useless Liberal Arts Education, which goes on sale today.
I would say that, as a history and political science graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the renowned computer-science school. Anders, for many years a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, also is a member of the humanities club: He studied economics at Stanford.
My bias notwithstanding, this book arrives at a critical time. For a couple decades now the stars of Silicon Valley have been engineers and coders, nerds whose skills have been highly prized. Yet more and more the technology industry is suffering from an empathy deficit. Enter Anders, who argues that “creativity, curiosity, and empathy are the job skills of the future.”
You Can Do Anything is part how-to for humanities types. It offers practical advice, like the relative uselessness of sending out blind resumes and the huge value of networking among alumni and acceptingand then crushingpart-time and other entry-level positions.
Anders also tells stories about liberal arts students made good. These include Josh Sucher, an anthropology graduate whom Etsy ( etsy ) put to work interviewing customers to learn what crafts might sell well. He explains how IBM ( ibm ) turned to Oliver Meeker, a sociology major, to explain to non-technical corporate clients the dastardly difficult-to-understand concept of the blockchain. “You dont want an engineer on this,” says Anders. He revels in the story of Andy Anderegg, an English major who wrote snappy copy for Groupon ( grpn ) on her way to becoming a highly paid digital audience development consultant.
Anders isn’t so much arguing that a humanities background is better than more practical educational pursuits as he’s making the case that the liberal-arts-inclined needn’t panic about their lack of hirable skills. More, he wants to persuade fellow parents of college-age children not to hem in their future job seekers by pushing them to study subjects that don’t interest them.
These are important words of wisdom by a skilled storyteller and a sharp observer of the human condition.
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