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Everything posted by turningrite

  1. To compare Canada's situation with New Zealand's or Australia's is essentially ludicrous. Those two countries are effectively isolated Western outposts. An increasingly aggressive China clearly poses a security risk to both. The big difference between them and Canada, as in real estate, amounts to 'location, location, location'. As I've stated elsewhere, Canada has only one natural enemy, the U.S., which for the past century or more has also been its natural ally. No other foreign country is in a position to pose a serious challenge to Canadian security interests, other perhaps than Russia on
  2. First of all, Canada has no such thing as a green card system. A foreign student enters the country and attends school on a student visa. If a foreign student chooses to stay here to work following graduation they can apply for an express entry visa, which is essentially a prioritized permanent resident application. One of the reasons, I raised the NAFTA implications, in addition to pointing out that Canadian graduates are often highly regarded by U.S. employers, is to note that, if the deal is cancelled and it becomes more difficult for Canadian citizens to find work or even remain in the U.
  3. LOL. Many of the grads from top Canadian universities get scooped up by big American employers. This could change if NAFTA is cancelled, which could impact access to Canadian grads for U.S. firms. Schools like U of Toronto, McGill and UBC as well as Waterloo (in engineering and tech) are highly ranked globally. And I believe they feature lower tuition fees than do most highly rated private U.S. universities. I've read that it's now estimated there are over a quarter million Canadians living and working in Silicon Valley alone. It's true that employment prospects are limited in Canada, however,
  4. To your first point, really? What about countries like Switzerland and Sweden, which are both neutral and are among the world's wealthiest and most stable nations? And the most successful and stable country in Central America is Costa Rica, which long ago disbanded its military. The U.S. should be so lucky as to have all its Latin American neighbors be as stable as Costa Rica. How many of the migrants flowing across the U.S.-Mexico border are fleeing Costa Rica, after all? To your second point, if we don't need the military hardware, why waste money making or buying it? Germany, which sp
  5. Perhaps you didn't fully read my post. Rich parents, unlike poor ones, aren't incentived to have large families. It may, however, be the one class in society where social and cultural changes have had significant impact because economic concerns don't apply to the rich to nearly same degree. Wealthy parents once had large families in an era when large families were generally commonplace. There is a theory which holds that in the West wealthier parents have transitioned from an "r-selection" model to a "K-selection" model. In the first case, parents have lots of kids but invest little in them i
  6. My question is why, beyond a civil defense force and coastal patrol, we need military alliances at all? In fact, we'd probably be a lot better at coastal defense were we to focus on it rather than on participating in alliances. Further, there's literally no relationship between the extent of military spending and a country's prosperity. Germany, easily Europe's strongest economy, spends among the least on its military as a percentage of GDP (1.2% compared to Canada's 1.3%). And if spending as a percentage of GDP were a hallmark of prosperity, Russia (4.3%) would be a very rich country, wealthi
  7. I'm wary of white nationalism. In general, I'm not a fan of tribalism of any sort, whether it's majority or minority tribalism. To encourage either one is to encourage the other, in my view. But I think I can, at least in part, answer your question. I think that few Canadians outside of the Toronto and Vancouver regions truly understand the extent of the current immigration program. And the federal government reportedly wants to keep it that way. The government is apparently aware of the potential for backlash (see link 1, below) and even academics are now pointing out that the rosy rationale
  8. Wouldn't the Iranians have to go through Iraq to form a land bridge to the Med? Iraq and Iran haven't generally been bosom buddies but the relationship has improved since Saddam Hussein's ouster by the Americans. If the Americans were truly interested in keeping Iran away from the Mediterranean, why on earth wouldn't they have found a way to keep Saddam in power in Iraq?
  9. It's my recollection that you reacted to my statement that Canada should become a militarily neutral country, like Sweden, Switzerland, or, as I've noted in some other posts, Mexico. In a recent column the Toronto Star writer Thomas Walkom discusses the usefulness of NATO in a post-Soviet environment and whether Canada has any legitimate role to play in remaining in the alliance (link 1 below). Otherwise, though, where do Canada's strategic interests rest? No country is likely to invade us due to our proximity to the U.S., whether or not we maintain substantial military capabilities. The U.S.,
  10. You're certain of your certainty, apparently. I prefer my life and views to be governed by facts and I think we'd all be better off were learning about matters like origins of the universe and species left to qualified teachers. Thank goodness my parents, who were observant Catholics, weren't dogmatic. I learned my cynicism about religion mainly from my father, who resented people who lorded their own version of religiosity over others. He grew up in Orange Order Ontario in the pre-WWII era when discrimination against Catholics (and French-Canadians, like his father) was generally prevalent, p
  11. I'm just adding a note here relating to the relative increase in living and particularly housing costs. A recent CNBC article (1st link, below) notes that adjusting for inflation the actual cost of renting in the U.S. adjusted for inflation has risen 46% since 1960 while the cost of home ownership has risen 73% over the same period. And a Pew Research Center (2nd link, below) study from 2014 notes that between 1964 and 2014 hourly wages in the U.S. barely budged at all on an inflation adjusted basis. The study bluntly states that "For most U.S. workers, real wages — that is, after inflation is
  12. Well, I've provided a link (below) to an article that largely sustains my opinion. The article discusses the clear relationship between economic factors, including economic insecurity, and fertility. It also discusses the changes in fertility rates causes by the increasing participation of women in the workplace over the past few decades and the resulting delay in family formation and childbirth. It's axiomatic that women in poorer countries tend to have more children, but in many of these countries traditional gender roles prevail and living costs remain very low. There is little market-base
  13. 1) I'm just wondering what point you're trying to make and whether you're actually interested in starting a debate? 2) I don't care whether adults believe the earth is 6,000 years old, or flat, or whether men have never actually walked on the moon (which one of my grandfathers believed to be the case). What bothers me is that we permit children to be taught fantasy as a substitute for facts and justify so doing on grounds of religious belief. My parents, who were both practicing Catholics throughout their lives, taught us that the purpose of religious hagiography and storytelling was to c
  14. I'm not sure what the point here is, as you seem to be having a conversation with... yourself? In any case, it scares me that people of any religion are permitted to substitute religious fantasy in place of objective facts and/or science. At least at amusement parks we know that everything on display is completely artificial and children are usually astute enough to pick up on that and as they get older can ascertain differences between fantasy and reality. But religion is much different in that it becomes ingrained as dogma and often becomes a justification for social control and in some case
  15. I think the issue of declining birth rates has a lot to do with economics rather than cultural or social breakdown. My parents raised a large family mainly on my father's income, although my mother worked part-time in some of his business ventures, mainly doing bookkeeping. And, by the way, my father had no post-secondary education or qualifications. My parents bought a house when I was a toddler, the mortgage for which was paid off in ten years, and during my elementary school years they paid cash for a cottage. And we were pretty middle-of-the-road middle class. These days, obtaining such a
  16. I think it reasonable to expect others to rationally outline and explain their objections to posts on this site. I believe "WTF" to constitute an uncivil and intellectually irrelevant critique, and I think it pretty fair to state that's a fact. If you have something coherent to offer, you're free to do so. Otherwise, you've lost this debate.
  17. I think this quote is particularly apt. Public opinion/support is crucial to maintaining the legitimacy of any important public policy, immigration included. I'm not sure why self-styled "progressives" (or liberals, as they're often described in the U.S., where the term often has a different connotation than here in Canada) believe that immigration should be treated any differently. I suspect many of these people simply don't understand history, including the struggles of ordinary people to put in place and maintain public social security programs, like pensions and health care, to enhance and
  18. As a retiree myself, who's not eligible to obtain these benefits when I turn 65 in the very near future and lose my already limited work benefits, I understand this sentiment. I believe that when he limited refugee health coverage, Harper noted that those covered by the program shouldn't have better taxpayer-funded benefits than are available to most seniors in this country. It's a matter of fairness, after all.
  19. Libya is another case that's turned into a complete disaster. The Western allies, with Canada tagging along with our NATO allies as usual, pursued regime change for the sake of regime change. It did nothing to boost international security and in fact has had the opposite impact. The comparison with Hitler is artificial. He led a powerful Western state and his regime, which came to power as a result the ridiculously retributional treaty that ended WWI as well as in the wake of the collapse of democratic capitalism, was a threat to Westernism itself. When forcing regime change in non-Western soc
  20. I smiled when reading this. I grew up in the 50s and 60s and your description is pretty accurate for that period. We were told to be home for dinner and that was about the only restriction on our freedom, other of course than that our homework had to be completed. In the household in which I was raised, my parents were pretty insistent on us maintaining good grades.
  21. And yet, reportedly, Trump was champing at the bit for military action against the Venezuelan regime. The American military budget is reputedly greater than that of the ten next largest military budgets in the world combined. Eisenhower's apparent fear was that a 'use it or lose it' mentality would become prevalent where American military spending was concerned. It is a huge component of the American economy and, unfortunately, psyche. In the eyes of much of the rest of the world, America's military might is not merely a negotiating tool that buys time, as you appear to believe, but is essenti
  22. I tend to agree with much of your post. I recall my Russian/Soviet history prof at university, who had spent time studying in Moscow and who admired Russian culture, lamenting the fact that throughout its history Russia was prone to top-down governance that undermined its potential. And that was well prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union. He believed that the Soviet Union constituted a weak state beyond Russia proper and felt it was likely to dissolve in the face of a major crisis. He got that right. I wonder what he'd think about Putin's regime? My guess is that he'd be dismayed but not s
  23. I suspect you're correct. The bigger question is whether the federal Conservatives will echo the public's discontent in the lead up to and during next's year's election. There has been what amounts to an all-party compact on immigration for the past three decades or so, with only minor policy differences around the edges. To his credit, Harper tried to correct some of the problems with the refugee determination system and reined in some of the benefits refugees were able to able to obtain, although most of this progress has been reversed under Trudeau. I think the federal Libs are starting to
  24. A government, majority or otherwise, without armed might basically guarantees that we're not in a position to pursue military adventurism. That, however, hasn't meant that we haven't tagged along on the coattails of American adventurism. Governments here have tended to do so mainly to keep the Americans happy. Dwight Eisenhower, himself a decorated military leader prior to entering politics, in 1961 noted the problems generated by America's "military-industrial complex," whereby the size and influence of the U.S. military and the industrial system designed to serve it generates a perpetual inc
  25. Reportedly, the Liberals are well aware that Canadians, when fully informed on the matter, aren't actually supportive of Canada's regular immigration intake levels. A Canadian Press report a few months ago indicates that federal bureaucrats and the government are seeking to keep a lid on the statistics in an effort to manage (manipulate?) discussion and minimize opposition. I've copied a link (below) to an article about this matter. Reportedly, Canadians considerably underestimate the extent of the immigration program and become less supportive of it when they're made aware of the actual figur
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