Six In The Morning: I’m Baaaaack!

1 GOING FOR THE COALITION Greek politicians try again.

2 SOMETIME THIS WEEKEND WHEN I WASN’T PAYING ATTENTION, COPS CAUGHT A SUSPECT IN EDMONTON’S MURDERIFFIC ARMED ROBBERY Well, that’s good. Also, the alleged dismemberment killer is on his way back to Canada. Yay.

3 PRESIDENT’S HEADS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON POLES A gory, decapitated replica of former U.S. president George W. Bush’s head was visible in a recent episode of Game Of Thrones. Conservatives are maaad.

4 ALL RIGHT TO DIE Gloria Taylor, the woman who won the right to end her life, will meet the press today. Meanwhile, alleged ethicist Margaret Sommerville had a dumb column on why no one — no matter their suffering of the medical hopelessness of their condition — should be allowed to end their life in Saturday’s Globe And Mail. Whatever. Why would they even publish that?

5 SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FLICKS Regina’s Partners In Motion production studio is wondering whether it should move to Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary or Winnipeg after Brad Wall broke Saskatchewan’s film industry.

6 THIS REALLY IS PROGRESS, KINDA It’s Pride Week in Regina and the Leader-Post has a story and a four-page advertorial section in today’s paper. How times change. In August 1998, on my first day in Regina, I picked up my first issue of the Leader-Post and was flabbergasted by the presence of an anti-gay ad purchased by one Hugh Owens. Owens, by the way, was found to have contravened the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code for a similar ad that ran in the StarPhoenix in 1997 that referenced Leviticus 20:13, a verse that calls for homosexuals to be killed. (The Saskatchewan Court Of Appeals later overturned the decision.)

Then again, Owens ran an anti-gay ad on page C2 of this Saturday’s L-P, which, I suppose, is legally obligated to run it. Hopefully the paper donated the cost of the ad to a good cause. At least in 2012 most people think quoting bible verses to condemn homosexuality is lame and creepy.

6 TRUDEAU REDUX? Everyone loves Justin, apparently.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

8 thoughts on “Six In The Morning: I’m Baaaaack!”

  1. #4: Why would they even publish that? Perhaps because it makes some points well worth considering, and because we still have freedom of the press in this country. And while I’m glad you’re back, I’m still going to call you on your sh%t, Stephen.

  2. It’s lovely to be back, Barb! I hope you are keeping absurdly well.

    Thanks for an opportunity to rant some more about Margaret Sommerville.

    First: assisted suicide needs to be legal. It’s savage and uncivilized to condemn people with brutal, terminal illnesses to prolonged, agonizing suffering.

    However, it’s obviously not a simple issue. There will need to be copious checks on assisted suicide. It can’t be used to murder elderly and disabled people willy-nilly.

    That’s where we need ferocious debate: on the critical details.

    Unfortunately, Sommerville contributes very little to this serious topic. Just look at this characteristically stupid quote from Sommerville’s article:

    “…the assisted suicide/euthanasia debate comes down to a direct conflict between the value of respect for human life, on the one hand, and individuals’ rights to autonomy and self-determination – the value of “choice” – on the other.”

    1.) No it doesn’t. I’m sure most if not all pro-euthanasia advocates have profound respect for life. She’s just setting up a straw-man argument.

    Then there’s this: “People who support legalizing assisted suicide/euthanasia simply assume that individual autonomy is the value that takes priority.”

    2.) That’s probably true, but it misses the point. Euthanasia supporters (like me) despise pointless, hopeless, brutal suffering. I don’t see this as primarily a civil liberties issue–I see it as a matter of compassionate realism. Unlike Sommerville.

    Maggie continues: “Why are we debating assisted suicide/euthanasia now when there is so much more we can do to relieve pain than was possible in the past?”

    3.) We’re debating it because dogmatic, bossy religious doo-doo heads have finally lost enough credibility that saner perspectives can prevail. Grown-ups recognize that we can’t always adequately manage pain, even though we’re getting better at it (thank goodness).

    The bottom line: Sommerville’s black-and-white position is cruel because it cavalierly poo-poos real suffering. Yes, she does make good points — for instance, neglect of the elderly can lead to suicidal depression — but the over-reaching dogma of her vacuous argument overshadows them.

    If Sommerville really gave a shit about the elderly, she’d be out there fighting like a demon for stronger public funding of first-rate, publicly-run care homes and robust anti-poverty measures. And if she really cared about “our great-great-grandchildren”, she’d be screaming at our government for raising the old-age security age.

    Instead, she’s another armchair moralist taking the easy, lazy, pseudo-ethical position.

    (Then again, this isn’t really a surprise: she’s full of shit on same-sex marriage, too — another issue where lame-ass hang-ups/religious dogma/moral laziness masquerades as discourse.)

    This topic is important. The Globe And Mail needs to find better writers to do it justice.


    Gosh, it’s good to be back!

    (Edited for clarity and “doo-doo heads”)

  3. “MURDERIFFIC”? Not cool, people were murdered, no need to write that title comedically.

    Also, it would be nice if in the LP story there was some information on the number of full-time employees within Partners in Motion to give some idea of the actual amount of people directly impacted by this. Not extras or temp employees, but permanent FTEs. Might be interesting, and would certainly add some needed scope.

  4. #1

    The #X is used for the commentors , not for the the specic paragraphs.
    That should be .4 or 4. as you choose.

    Why did Sue Rodriguez fight so hard? Because she might have known that she was , other than speaking her opinion, could be right?

    Am I / Are we obligated to be here living on Earth, for as long as we could / can be, no matter what our personal situations are?

  5. #6: They can turn down advertising revenue if the content is deemed hate-related. Which it clears is. How terribly disappointing that the Leader-Post is still living in the dark ages. If someone took out a full page ad claiming people of a specific ethnic group are condemned to hell and should be killed, it would never be printed.
    There needs to be a change in the way our society deals with bigots, be it racist or homophobic. Free speech doesn’t mean you can be a total dick. Even if it does, I don’t have to like it or support it.

  6. @ Stephen: this requires a thoughtful answer, which today I finally have time to put together.
    Because you disagree with an opinion, that does not make that opinion wrong, and spelling an opponent’s name incorrectly is either careless or petty. Ms. Somerville is right to be concerned about the recent court ruling; sharing her concerns are advocates for the disabled and the elderly, not all of whom do so for religious reasons. She has long made the case that proper pain management and dignified end-of-life treatment are behind the times in this country; I know from family experience that you sometimes have to confront a doctor and a hospital administration to make sure that a terminally ill person is made as comfortable as possible. There aren’t enough hostels for end-of-life treatment, and of all people, the baby boomers ought to be pressing for them, because we’re hitting the beaches in ever-increasing waves, and we’re costing a lot of money. Assisted suicide has the potential, despite your belief in “copious checks”, to be used as a quick fix and an economic tool, and the pressure to bend the rules or outright break them will only accelerate.
    The point about individual choice vs. respect for human life is, I think, well taken: we are so wound up in having as broad a range of freedoms as possible that we may lose the ability to see how our choices affect others, and that we may need to think more carefully about how we exercise those freedoms. This is not to oppose freedoms; it’s to caution that they always have a price, and if we don’t pay the price ourselves, others will have to.

    Parliament has a year in which to put together legislation to replace that which has been struck down, and no doubt there will be the debate that the situation calls for. I am just hoping that it will rise above the “you’re totally full of shit” level that you consistently play at.

    I suspect that your animus against Ms. Somerville has more to do with her opinion on same-sex marriage than on the topic currently under discussion. That would be at least your second logical fallacy.

  7. #3 – From the side pic of that head in the Game of Thrones…I can’t tell it looks like George W Bush.

    #4 – Glad to see the court came to sense about this. At least Gloria Taylor gets the exemption this time where Sue Rodriguez didn’t have that opportunity.

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