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Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

MR. PREMIER! YOU JUST DON'T GET IT DO YOU? 

(AND NEITHER DOES YOUR MINISTER OF LEARNING)

HENRY: “Mr. Premier your question ‘WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?’ isn’t a question at all: it’s a blatant attempt to bully us into thinking that we are being petty and mean-minded when we hold you accountable.”

MARTHA: “Minister of Learning, Sir: phoning University Presidents in an attempt to make the Premier’s plagiarism look as if it’s ‘No big deal’ is a clumsy abuse of political power.”

HENRY: “And you, University Presidents: your letters to the press, sound exactly like they were written by politicians who play around with serious issues. Instead of straight answers about how to confront a failure to provide direct references you offer personal praise for the Premier in order to shamelessly avoid dealing with the charge of plagiarism.”

MARTHA: “Every graduate of the University of Alberta, and there are thousands of us all across the world, knows Alberta University’s motto is ‘QUAECUMQUE VERA’ which, translated into English becomes ‘WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE TRUE’”

HENRY: “When we see, even the head spokesmen of our University, playing politics we ask: does that motto no longer represent what the University of Alberta stand for?”

MARTHA: “You see, the ‘deal,’ we’re talking about is that the most powerful politician in this province has taken what another person has researched, studied, thought-through and written about, and tried to use that person’s words to bolster his case against public ownership of resources without giving credit to the original author.”

HENRY: “Yet you politicians; including you University President’s, are pooh-poohing our concern about, what, in any other context, would be stealing or at least dishonestly borrowing without permission.”

MARTHA: “If the Minister of Learning can turn the Presidents of Alberta’s highest institutions of research and Learning into apologists for cheap and shoddy research done by anyone, including the most powerful controller of the Province’s money, then respect for truth and integrity is dying, if not already dead, in this part of Canada.”

HENRY: “Quite frankly, Mr. Premier, Minister of Learning and University Presidents you really don’t get it do you? You still think all you have to do is use the power of the media to sell us your unfounded opinions while denigrating anyone who questions you or has more accurate information than what you are promoting as the truth.

MARTHA: “We Marthas and Henrys really do know the difference between sloppy research used to support a prejudice, on the one hand, and responsible research that, as often as not, forces persons of integrity to change their opinions.”

HENRY: “ Please, Mr. Premier, Minister of Learning and University Presidents stop thinking you can pull rank and demean us every time we challenge pretense and publicity parading the the guise of Democratic responsibility.”

MARTHA: “You see, when we see political interference instead of integrity, especially in research and scholarship, it is A VERY BIG DEAL and we have the right to demand accountability in the Premier but even more especially among those who speak for our highest institutions of learning and research.”

Blair McPherson

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