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Naci Sey

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About Naci Sey

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    http://challengingthecommonplace.blogspot.com/
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    Cowichan Valley
  1. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that every person living in poverty in Canada (however you want to define poverty) is a lazy, no-good, so-and-so whose circumstances are indeed due to their "poor life choices." Whether we like it or not, if the present state of affairs is not addressed, then shelters will continue to proliferate and be used to temporarily house an increasing number of homeless people. These shelters will be funded by our tax dollars, either directly from government or indirectly through subsidies to and exemptions for charitable organizations - even in Dickens' time, there were the poor houses. In a recent report (PDF, 2.6 MB), the author Gordon Laird cites government numbers showing a cost of up to $6 billion a year to service a core homeless population of 150,000. That cost includes health care, criminal justice, social services and emergency shelter costs. Laird also cites studies demonstrating that providing low-cost housing for this core group would reduce the cost to taxpayers considerably. Isn't that one of the bottom lines for so-cons? That less tax dollars be spent? NB: I don't accept the report in its entirety. For example, it's customary for researchers, mortgage lenders and landlords to use 30% for the maximum amount of household income that should be applied to housing. While 30% makes sense to me for the lowest decile of household income, it seems too low for higher incomes. This is one case, where I think a relative measure should be used.
  2. As much as it pains me to agree with MM, the "I" is self-evident. Thinking presupposes a reified object of origin. That reified object must be the "I." It cannot be anything else, and yet it has to be. Then we three (and countless other philosophers on my side) must agree to disagree. Descartes was a rationalist and he set out in his earlier argument to prove, by reason alone, his own existence, an 'I'. Even his premise 'I think' has problems from a logical perspective. It presupposes the 'I' and actually includes two premises: 1. There is an 'I'. 2. Some I's think. Self-evidence, an empiricist's tool, wasn't available to him. Reason and logic alone can't prove the existence of an 'I' that thinks. Descartes had to assume the 'I' just to get started.
  3. Greg or Charles, is there a way for the original poster of a thread to change the thread title? I supposed in another thread that there was - some other discussion forums make such changes possible -, but as far as I can see, from having begun a topic myself, there isn't. If there isn't, are there plans to enable this feature in the future?
  4. I hide, therefore I am hidden? Don't understand what you're saying here (gone right over my head), but Descartes' actual written words were: Cogito [i think]. Ergo [therefore], sum [i am]. It's true that Descartes set himself the task of proving the existence of a supreme being or 'God'. In that ultimate effort, he failed. Even theologians now admit (thanks to Descartes) that reason cannot be applied to the subject. Descartes saw that an argument to prove his own existence was necessary toward achieving his ultimate goal. That earlier argument, which he summed up as 'Cogito, ergo sum', was thought by many philosophers of his time to have been a slam dunk. It wasn't. What Descartes wound up proving was: Thinking. Therefore, thinking exists. Of course it's tempting from that start to suppose an 'I' that is thinking. But his argument doesn't prove this. In fact, it becomes a leap of faith.
  5. So use the MBM instead. For the purposes of this topic, it doesn't matter which measure one uses. As I wrote previously, the MBM, which measures actual costs and is an absolute measure, compares similarly to the after-tax LICO tables. Here's a paper, done for StatsCan, about the different measures: Low Income Measurement in Canada (PDF). As to the LICOs being "useless" because they are a relative measure, there is a place for such measures, as borne out by the quote from StatsCan you used; researchers have consistently turned to the LICOs in their work. Have they all been wrong to do so? One case in which using the LICOs makes sense is when measuring how people in this country are doing relative to one another.
  6. The problem with Descartes' argument is that it presupposes an 'I' - I think - which makes his argument circular.
  7. In the Quebec gets lion's share of Canada Day, the discussion looked to be getting derailed when I introduced suggestions on how else the $6.75 million might be spent; so I've started this thread. The most recent comments in that thread were these: I don't know where your stats are coming from, but I'd suggest that if one were to parse them out, one would find a couple of inconvenient facts: 1 You're using one of the more far-fetched "poverty lines" available out there. There are dozens of alternative formulations for where the "poverty line" is; the silliest one was the NDP's notion in 1993 that anything below $35,000 per annum was below the line. By now this same formulation probably has $50,000 as the poverty line. I'm using Statistics Canada's after-tax Low Income Cut Offs, the most common measure used by researchers and government. The Market Basket Measure results in similar numbers, while the Low Income Measure - typically used for international comparisons - I find too generous. Where do you get this from? And studies supporting this view are? I ask because decades of research suggests that in capitalist market-driven societies, corrections must be made to avoid a growing prosperity gap.
  8. It's immoral for Canada's government to address a "poverty gap" by redistribution, so the money would be better burned than handed out to undeserving lumpenproletariat. I can't think of anything that would perpetuate the enculturation of poverty faster than making it more comfortable. Such safety net as our society should have ought to be confined to those who cannot help themselves, not to those who don't feel like helping themselves. 'Undeserving'? Forty percent of those living below the poverty line - including people who are homeless - work, most at two and three jobs, at minimum and sub-minimum wages. And the percentage of low-income workers has been climbing.
  9. I agree. Just imagine what $6,735,000 could do. Among the items: * $13,470 could be used to house 500 homeless for one year. * 2,694 low income workers could receive an average of $2,500 in rental supplements. It's immoral for Canada's government to spend ANY dollars on pumping up nationalist fervour while homelessness and the poverty gap continue to go unaddressed.
  10. You need to change the subject heading. It's not 'cognito' but 'cogito'. Descartes wrote: Cogito. Ergo, sum.
  11. This has been a great discussion, which I've enjoyed thoroughly. Thank you all, particularly MM and AL. I acknowledge that the following wasn't on the original topic, but can't resist raising an objection to it: Devout religious beliefs shape behaviour, both in the public and private domain. Therefore, what people privately hold to be true can affect your world. This will be so except in the rare case of a religious community shutting off all ties to the outside.
  12. It should be pointed out that this is a BC provincial party, not a federal one, although the name of the party 'Nation Alliance Party' would have one thinking so. The $1.75 per vote for Canadian political parties doesn't apply. It's as easy as obtaining five signatures to form a provincial party in BC, so this addition really doesn't mean much. Here's the list of all currently registered parties in BC.
  13. HAHAHA!! Seriously guys, if Rolling Stone said so, it must be true. I mean this is ROLLING S TONE!!! Oh I get it. Forget the FACTS of the case. Just shoot the messenger. I'm outta here.
  14. Your response surprises me, Newbie. Electoral fraud is ALWAYS a story. The outcome of the 2004 election isn't the issue - makes no difference whether Kerry conceded. It's how voters were denied and defrauded of their constitutional rights. The election was fixed, as has also been suggested by investigations into goings-on in Florida in 2000. This issue is/should be in the news currently and not die until a full investigation is undergone, the laws corrected and loopholes plugged. Until then, US voters will continue to be denied absolute assurance that the outcomes of future elections do in fact reflect the people's choice.
  15. This is one of the most thorough accounts of the issue I've seen. Originally published in Rolling Stone Magazine. Full article from commondreams.org - it's a long one, but must reading for any USian. (And one has to wonder if it could happen here.)
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