Social Studies 30
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Social Studies 30
Capturing the thoughts and ideas of opinion makers for my Social Studies class.
Curated by Mr. MacCollum
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End Of An Empire

End Of An Empire | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
On December 8, 1991, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus declared that the Soviet Union had "ceased to exist." Twenty-five years later, we look back on some key milestones -- inside and outside the Soviet Union – on the road to its collapse.
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
An interesting montage of events leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some we talked about in class, others didn't get a chance to be mentioned, all are worthwhile knowing about.
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There *are* limits to free expression

There *are* limits to free expression | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Given our multicultural fabric, it's naive to assume that our mythologized consensus over tolerance can't be easily eroded by hate speech
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
Are there limits to free expression? To what extent can we limit what is said?
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Why 100 million Americans won’t vote on Tuesday

Why 100 million Americans won’t vote on Tuesday | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Voter turnout in the US is way lower than almost any other developed country. Political scientists explain.
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
It appears, once again, that a huge percentage of American who could vote, didn't vote. In such a divisive election it's interesting to speculate why.
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Paula Simons: It may be time to thaw Alberta's tuition freeze

Paula Simons: It may be time to thaw Alberta's tuition freeze | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Friday, the Notley government announced it was extending its freeze on post-secondary tuition in Alberta. Good news for some, but not all.
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
A case for raising tuition at post-secondary institutions. There is an argument to be made, should it be followed up?
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Paula Simons: Justice delayed, justice denied, in Alberta's dysfunctional court system

Paula Simons: Justice delayed, justice denied, in Alberta's dysfunctional court system | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Alberta courts, plagued by 'notorious' institutional delays, aren't hesitating to stay charges, even in a case of first-degree murder.
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
One of the things that is important in a democracy is a free and independent judiciary, but that judiciary must also be funded to allow it to do its work. This has resulted in some unfortunate side-effects in Canada's system of trials where it is not always clear when a trial might start.
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How One 19-Year-Old Illinois Man Is Distorting National Polling Averages

How One 19-Year-Old Illinois Man Is Distorting National Polling Averages | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
The U.S.C/Los Angeles Times poll has consistently been an outlier, showing Donald Trump in the lead or near the lead.
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
Probably one of the most interesting pieces on polling I have ever seen. If you are looking to try and understand the polling taking place in advance of the election in the United States, this might be the place to start.
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Worries Mount In Poland As Parliament Moves To Upend Checks And Balances

Worries Mount In Poland As Parliament Moves To Upend Checks And Balances | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
The right-wing Law and Justice party controls Parliament and the presidency. Now it's working to restrict the power of the nation's highest court, alarming women's rights and human rights advocates.
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
Limiting checks and balances is an issue for any 'democracy'. Poland has been having some issues with the way that its various branches of government are interacting, issues that could lead to some serious changes in the what rights people feel they should be allowed.
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Montreal’s pit bull ban: Have we forgotten about facts?

Montreal’s pit bull ban: Have we forgotten about facts? | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
If public safety is the only concern, there are far more dangerous threats to society than pit bulls
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
This is a fascinating story that has all sorts of implications in the way that we are governed. What exactly makes people demand that laws, what causes politicians to jump, in certain cases to that call. This is an interesting question of the 'will of the people' and how it can be applied in ways that may not always be best for society.
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The right to vote should be restricted to those with knowledge

The right to vote should be restricted to those with knowledge | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Who should hold power: the few or the many? Concentrating power in the hands of a few—in monarchy, dictatorship, or oligarchy—tends to result in power for personal benefit at the expense of others. Yet in spreading power among the many—as in a democracy—individual votes no longer matter, and so most voters remain ignorant, biased
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
An epistocracy? A different look at the way that we should be governed. Plato would be proud.
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Electoral Reform: Dual Member Proportional Explained

Dual Member Proportional (DMP) is a voting system designed to meet Canada's unique needs. For details, visit the DMP for Canada website
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
We have discussed reforming the electoral system. Here is one potential approach. Once which is apparently going to be  voted on by the people of PEI in the next month.
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New Airbnb rules: Vancouver continues assault on private property

New Airbnb rules: Vancouver continues assault on private property | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
If private housing is now a social good, with its use essentially controlled by the government through tax and regulation, what’s to stop these next steps?
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
We've talked about certain basic principles that exist in a modern liberal world. Here is an article that is very clear in how some of those principles are being violated. A very interesting read.
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Opinion: Citizens have the right to know what governments know about them

Opinion: Citizens have the right to know what governments know about them | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
When it comes to freedom of information requests, individual Albertans can — and are — exercising their right to find out what personal information government departments and agencies have on file about them, writes Jill Clayton.
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
We talked about the principles of democracy and the need for an element of transparency in government. Here it is explained in more detail. 
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Predatory Lending: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Payday loans put a staggering amount of Americans in debt. They prey on the elderly and military service members. They’re awful, and nearly impossible t
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
Being poor in our society comes with its share of problems. Here is a look at one of those problems, as only John Oliver can share it.
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Colleges Have No Right to Limit Students' Free Speech

Colleges Have No Right to Limit Students' Free Speech | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Colleges legislating free-speech zones and punishing students for how they talk should remember the history and purpose of higher education
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
Another look at limits to free speech, how can restrictions ever be adequately justified?
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Should distracted driving become part of the criminal code like drunk driving?

Should distracted driving become part of the criminal code like drunk driving? | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard believes more people would put down their phone if distracted driving became a separate offence under Canada’s criminal code.
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
For those of you taking 30-2, this is exactly the kind of question that could be on a diploma exam. For those of you taking 30-1 this is the kind of law that gets at the heart of the challenge between individual liberties and collective safety.
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Michael Den Tandt: Are Canada's new senators too awesome for the Red Chamber's own good?

Michael Den Tandt: Are Canada's new senators too awesome for the Red Chamber's own good? | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it

In the aftermath of 21 Senate appointments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – filling nine vacancies for British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and six each from Ontario and Quebec — there’s been considerable grousing about the toffee-nosed flavour of the roster.

Mr. MacCollum's insight:
We haven't discussed Senate reform much this year, but it is a topic, that, from time to time, appears on a diploma question. Here is an excellent article that is both an opinion about the changes being currently undertaken and a good summary of those changes, not to mention a discussion of the implications for Canadian democracy. You should read this...
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Edmonton Catholic school trustees want broadcasters to stop offering pornographic content

Edmonton Catholic school trustees want broadcasters to stop offering pornographic content | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Trustee Larry Kowalczyk, who called pornography a moral issue, brought forward a motion Tuesday that led trustees to denounce the industry
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
A classic confrontation between individualist and collectivist principles. The cable companies want to make money and exercise their freedoms and the board of trustees wants there to be some adherence to collective norms.
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Andrew Coyne: Liberals' carbon price hardly a drastic measure

Andrew Coyne: Liberals' carbon price hardly a drastic measure | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
I suspect that many in Brad Wall's Saskatchewan would accept a carbon tax if it meant they never had to pay provincial income tax again
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
A look at the process of putting a price on carbon and the challenges of getting people to willingly accept what they see as a new tax.
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Colombia’s Proof That Democracy Doesn’t Work

Colombia’s Proof That Democracy Doesn’t Work | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
The Colombians who didn’t vote on the deal to end five decades of war are the ones who decided the future.
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
Well worth the read!
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How many First Nations kids died in residential schools? Justice Murray Sinclair says Canada needs answers | Toronto Star

How many First Nations kids died in residential schools? Justice Murray Sinclair says Canada needs answers | Toronto Star | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Ottawa stopped recording deaths around 1920, after a medical officer drew attention to the alarming statistics — and was fired.
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
Imagine if, every year of your school experience 4% of your classmates died. That's approximately the number of children that may have been lost as a result of residential school policies. Even a number one tenth that size would be a matter of grave concern outside of the residential school system.
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Why Young Americans Are Giving Up on Capitalism

Why Young Americans Are Giving Up on Capitalism | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Why Young Americans Are Giving Up on Capitalism « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
As we move into the second unit of the course, this look at the views of young people in the United States is very well done. Well worth a read.
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Mr. MacCollum's curator insight, October 4, 12:59 PM
Excellent background read on what it is that younger people are feeling in the United States. How does society deal with the needs and wants of individuals and provide for a 'good life.' Young Americans definitely have had different influences then their elders.
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Facing up to income inequality - The Boston Globe

Facing up to income inequality - The Boston Globe | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Income inequality in developed nations like the Unites States is not an inevitability of modern global economics, but a political choice.
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
A lot of facts and figures in this article, but it summarizes one point of view when it comes to the rising inequality that has become prevalent in the United States and beyond over the last 30 years or so.
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Is a hockey glove a glove or a mere ‘article of plastic’? It takes two courts and a tribunal to settle the issue

Is a hockey glove a glove or a mere ‘article of plastic’? It takes two courts and a tribunal to settle the issue | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Eight of the nine judges on the Supreme Court of Canada agreed: Hockey gloves are gloves. End of story,
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
Sometimes democracy is messy, sometimes it is exasperating. Sometimes, when combined with capitalist self- interest, it induces a wry smile or two. This is one of those cases!
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Opinion: Alberta can't afford massive cuts to its public services; so how do we raise more revenue?

Opinion: Alberta can't afford massive cuts to its public services; so how do we raise more revenue? | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Alberta’s severe shortage of government revenues is arguably the most important public policy issue our province faces today. There are two sides to the revenue-shortage coin.

Via Watsons World
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
Worth the read to try and understand what is happening in Alberta currently.
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Congress, Senate vote to override Obama’s veto of Sept. 11 bill

Congress, Senate vote to override Obama’s veto of Sept. 11 bill | Social Studies 30 | Scoop.it
Senators voted 97-1 to override Obama’s veto of a bill permitting families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia
Mr. MacCollum's insight:
Here is an example of an override of a Presidential Veto. It doesn't happen very often, but it happened in this case.
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