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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mr Floatie And The Power Of Shame

Victoria British Columbia is a beautiful city by any standards. Well kept and landscaped, the second largest city in the province has a hidden advantage that has saved the municipality billions of dollars over the decades and a leg up on her neighbor cities of Vancouver and Seattle. Plainly put they have never had sewage treatment facilities. Commonplace through WWII, this coastal city retains the old fashioned system of sewage outfall pipes that send untreated waste directly into the Straits of San Juan, leading directly into the Puget Sound. The receivers of this bounty of prime Canadian poop are ungrateful and somewhat irate, which lead the "Mr Floatie" campaign to shame the municipal government of Victoria into treating their waste. The amazing thing is that it WORKED. The only disadvantage is that the residents of Island County won't be able to tell when the Victorians had corn on the cob for dinner the night before.

Public morality gets a bad name because it is most notoriously used as a blunt instrument to allow a group of prigs to control the personal habits of other people. Moral outrage has also stopped torture in our names and lead to the reform of a long list of gridlocked policies imposed on private folks because politicians are afraid to move off the dime. I am optimistic.