“I read the news today, oh boy!” – The Beatles
Took some time yesterday to do more than just skim the headlines. Gotta admit there are some strange things happening in the world. Figured I should comment on a few.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
The Canadian province of British Columbia has a new weapon to combat money laundering. I don’t see how it can possibly hold up in court as being constitutional, but these days I have doubts about the courts too.
Issuing an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) allows the province to confiscate goods it thinks may have been purchased using the proceeds of crime. Please note the operative word there: thinks.
I’m all for combating crime, but whatever happened to the presumption of innocence? What safeguards are being put into place to ensure the system isn’t abused?
Get ready for the horror stories, because they are sure to be coming. Lord Acton’s dictum remains true: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It seems to me there is too much power being granted here, with little to no safeguards.
Also in British Columbia, there is a family dispute where a father has been ordered not to publicly discuss his 14-year-old child’s transition from one gender to another. This one is so complicated it makes my head spin.
At issue is freedom of speech, transgender “rights,” children’s rights and what I suspect is a nasty custody dispute between divorced parents.
I won’t get into the details of the case, you can read them for yourself. But once again I am left wondering about the role of wisdom in our society. Are we thinking things through?
Maybe gender dysphoria is as big a problem as it seems, though it appears much more prevalent than it was years ago. You can draw your own conclusions as to what that means.
As a society though, we have ideas on what it means to be mature. We won’t allow people to obtain a driver’s licence until they reach a certain age. Sexual activity with minors is prohibited or restricted. The state sets the voting age and the legal age for drinking alcohol. In all those cases, individuals must be older than 14.
Yet in this case, a child of 14 is having their gender changed. To say that may be the biggest decision they ever make is not hyperbole. They are not considered old enough to drive or vote, but they are allowed to change gender.
Can you tell me how this makes sense?
I see there are those in the film industry calling for a boycott of the American state of Georgia because of its new abortion legislation. I gather they want to inflict economic punishment on the state for daring to acknowledge a scientific fact.
Georgia is a popular place to make movies. A skilled and relatively inexpensive local workforce appeals to Hollywood bean counters. But there are those who dislike the new law banning an abortion if the fetal heartbeat can be detected.
Movie-makers are free to work where they please, as filmgoers are free to buy or not buy tickets to Hollywood’s product. If it costs more to make movies elsewhere, studios might be reluctant to boycott the state on a matter of principle.
I think what is causing the outrage is the refusal of Georgia lawmakers to bow to prevailing politically correct winds. Abortion is popular with a large segment of society, a segment that will not use the word “baby” and does not like to admit that if you don’t abort the “fetus” what you get is a child. Legalizing or banning abortion doesn’t change that as scientific fact. Georgian lawmakers, by banning abortions when a heartbeat can be detected, are reminding abortion rights activists that there is life involved here, whether they want to acknowledge that or not.
It will be interesting to see if anyone follows through on the rhetoric.
So there you have it, three news stories that caught my eye. What do they have in common? All involve the state and assaults on what were once considered traditional values. All are polarizing. None are easy issues – except to those who see the world exclusively in black and white.
Funny thing is, black and white used to refer to what is right and wrong. In today’s society, right is what I believe; wrong is what you believe.
Things aren’t going to improve until we can move beyond that mindset. I wonder if that is possible?