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Everything posted by turningrite

  1. Actually, I think Canada should declare itself a militarily neutral state, like Mexico, and set up a civil defense force. We could then invite other countries, including Russia and China, to open bases on our territory in conjunction with non-aggression pacts with any country that wants access to our territory. Historically, and logically, the U.S. is our only natural ally and our only natural enemy. If Trump and the U.S. prefer to view us as an enemy, I'm sure we can find friends of convenience elsewhere. I wonder how all this would go over in Washington? Heads would, no doubt, start popping
  2. It's very possible that NATO has run its course. Many now wonder if Trump is doing Putin's bidding in undermining NATO. Whatever the case, I think the Europeans should simply set up their own security system and tell the Americans to leave. It's probably long overdue. You have to remember that the initial purpose of NATO was to serve as an American-backed arrangement intended to thwart Soviet aggression. In other words, it was an instrument of American policy. Since 1989 its role has been unclear and with U.S. power and influence steadily declining in the world in relative terms it's probable
  3. I think the most salient aspect of my parents' experience is that they were stoic about it. They rationalized that the vandalism was likely caused by immature teens who targeted them as outsiders but they didn't run to politicians or the media or otherwise make a big deal of it. My mother, who was well-educated, wondered back then - almost three decades ago - what the emergence of upscale and essentially permanent single-ethnicity enclaves portended for Canadian society. I guess in today's terms we'd have to ask whether we've encouraged multiculturalism or, rather, entrenched tribalism? In any
  4. Freedom of expression is also guaranteed under the Charter, however, there are instances where this right can be suppressed. American First Amendment free speech rights are no doubt stronger than are our Charter rights to freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. As for religion, the American constitution, which was drafted mainly by Enlightenment thinkers, actually guarantees freedom from religion by forbidding the establishment of a state religion more than it does freedom of religion. It's a historical irony that U.S. has become perhaps the most religious of Western societies. As for
  5. Our system gives the law precedence over conscience. Sorry to loop you in on this, but it's a fact. We live in a system based on the rule of law rather than the rule of conscience. We can disagree with the law but for the most part we're obligated to comply with it. As for politicians, whether in Canada or elsewhere in the West - but particularly in Canada - there's been an increasing emphasis on party discipline, whereby individual politicians, whether elected or prospective candidates, must comply with directives set by their parties and party leaders. It's increasingly become the norm. Even
  6. I found the last sentence in your second link the most fascinating aspect of your post. If no single country matters all that much to the U.S. economy, why is Trump making such a big deal about America's trading relationships? My guess is that a lot of it is smoke and mirrors to distract from his more pressing political problems, including but not limited to the Mueller investigation and controversial immigration policies like removing children from their parents. Not long ago Trump was pressing for a quick deal on the NAFTA negotiations but now it appears he's willing to put the issue on the
  7. In the Western intellectual tradition, we're taught that it's often necessary to separate our religious views from our behaviors and actions. And our politicians often do so as well. Social policy in Canada, including on abortion and gay rights, has progressed largely as a function of legal decisions which politicians have had little choice but to affirm. They have to pass laws consistent with rights courts have determined to be constitutionally valid. Reportedly, many cabinet ministers and MPs balked at changing laws to implement gay rights in Canada following the SCC's affirmation of the exi
  8. It's long been my belief that the most relevant modern application of the phrase "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's," is its importance to the concept of separation of church and state. It provides clarity on the role of religion, in particular as a private right, in relation to the broader secular legitimacy and role of the state.
  9. That's an interesting point that highlights the peculiar irony of the situation. Prior to retiring, my father spent his last working decade living in the GTA before moving to a smaller community and buying a house. While in Toronto, he and my mother rented houses, usually for a year or two, and then moved on. One of the last homes they rented was in a fairly prosperous ethnoburb comprised of mainly large new homes just beyond Toronto proper. Shortly after moving in, they had all their car windows broken while the car was parked overnight in their driveway. They reported the incident to police
  10. You're not actually paying attention to the conversation here, right? A federal government study, the results of which were only obtained by the media via an access to information request, concluded that the most recent generation of immigrants isn't quickly, easily or adequately assimilating. http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-canada-struggling-to-absorb-immigrants-internal-report-says
  11. I think a more accurate term than sectarian would be partisan. That being said, once it was clear the Libs would lose, the Star appeared to half-heartedly endorse the NDP as an acceptable alternative to Ford's party. Personally, I think Wynne handed Ford his majority with her bizarre preemptive concession speech. This apparently bumped her party up by four or five points, most of which was likely at the expense of the NDP. In any case, Ford won not mainly on policy (there was no real platform on offer) or on the strength of his campaign (he's a poor speaker and debater) but on the basis of gen
  12. Toronto and Vancouver provide excellent examples of the trend noted in your post. The 'ethnoburbs' (as they're sometimes called) and extended ethnic areas that characterize vast swathes of suburban Toronto and Vancouver are examples of a new kind of Western urbanism that seems likely to thwart integration. Some analysts compare them to the 'receiving neighborhoods' of old, where continuous waves of immigrants from different places congregated in mainly poorer inner city neighborhoods until they became established and integrated into broader mainstream communities. But this doesn't appear to be
  13. I'm not sure about the validity of your theory. In times of widespread change and/or generalized strife, humans have a remarkable tendency to impose boundaries and erect barriers within which they believe they can exert some degree of stability and control. It's interesting to note that modern nationalism arose alongside the Industrial Revolution as mass communications and modern transportation became more commonplace. It appears that in many parts of the world humans are doubling down on identity-focused tribalism, a situation that poses clear challenges for Western democracies, whose citizen
  14. I think Canadians are starting to realize how mediocre a PM Trudeau actually is. Most don't fault him a lot for his approach to Trump's trade tactics because it's unclear that any Canadian leader could react differently. But on a host of other issues Trudeau has been a disappointment. He kicked electoral reform under the bus. His immigration policies are being sustained mainly by virtue of not disclosing actual facts, including about the extent of the program, to Canadians. His refugee policy is a mess largely of his own making. Canada's economy, which is mainly sustained either by commodities
  15. There are many tribes, as the post to which you respond, notes. And BuzzKillington's statement that the emergence of racial differentiation as an evolutionary survival strategy is quite likely accurate. Scientifically speaking, humans constitute a species rather than a race. There is much debate about the actual basis and meaning of the concept of "race" in terms of its modern usage. Some view it as a biological or genetic construct while others see it as a social construct. The fact that racial distinctions are so pervasive suggests they don't constitute a "perversion" any more than does reli
  16. My sister, who's now lived in the U.S. for three decades, has raised the same point when visiting Toronto. Following a visit to a large suburban outlet mall and later touring some other shopping areas in the city, she asked me why many of our immigrants want to live as though they're still in their homelands while the same groups in the U.S. generally strive to quickly become like Americans. Her first neighbors when she moved to the U.S., she noted, were immigrants from India who enthusiastically embraced the American ethos and lifestyle. I blabbered on about the Canadian version of multicultu
  17. The reference to Hillary Clinton is weak. Prior to the 1980s or perhaps the 1990s the ideological delineation between Republicans and Democrats was not the same as today. The Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and for most of its modern history, until recently, was relatively progressive by the standards of the day. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, was often resistant to civil rights, particularly in the Southern states, where the "Solid South" constituted a significant socially conservative voting bloc for it into the 1960s. When Hillary Clinton was younger, today's "red state
  18. I suspect there's a stark divide between economic conservatism or libertarianism and social liberalism among this group. It's not at all surprising that the "gig employment" generation, which has been told that full time employment with benefits is a thing of the past, is onside with economic libertarianism. On the other hand, I suspect most have no interest in rolling back civil rights, gay rights, gender equality or abortion rights. For younger people, it's likely these issues are for the most part considered closed rather than open for reinterpretation. Trump's rigging of the Supreme Court
  19. I think immigration mainly works well for the U.S., primarily because immigrants have to work and contribute to the economy in order to survive. Unlike Canada, where generous social programs, including publicly funded health care, are available almost immediately to immigrants, this is not the case south of the border. I recently read an article estimating net tax proceeds paid by recent immigrants into tax coffers in the U.S. exceed $60 billion (U.S.) annually. In Canada, on the other hand, it's estimated that recent immigrants constitute a net drain tax drain exceeding $30 billion (CDN) annu
  20. Thanks for proving my point, which in this instance is that you apparently know little about history. Throughout recorded human history, until the 20th century, the philosophy of "might is right" dominated relationships between peoples. Pushing aside, enslaving and assimilating existing populations is a hallmark of human existence in almost every region of the world. Those who've avoided external dominance and enslavement, as for instance did the Japanese following contact with the West prior to the 20th century, weren't in general more humane in their treatment of others under their control w
  21. You can use it if you wish, but hopefully you recognize it's a euphemism when applied to the circumstances of most Canadians, and particularly those born here. I was born in Canada so by literal definition I'm clearly not a settler. To heed the tenets of an identity-based ideology may seem harmless but I tend to subscribe to the view that to do so amounts to mindless deference. You may prefer to defer. I don't.
  22. White people in North America may in some cases describe their ancestors who moved here centuries ago as settlers, particularly if those ancestors farmed upon arriving. The most common designation for descendants who arrived over the past century and even for many who arrived well before that is "immigrant." My mother arrived in Canada in the early 1950s as a landed immigrant and never referred to herself as a settler. Beyond referring to ancestors who arrived long ago, the term is seldom if ever used by contemporary Canadians to describe themselves - except perhaps by left "progressives" who'
  23. I think you're getting carried away on the basis of some rather bizarre assumptions. As for budgets, I don't think they balance themselves as in fact conservatives, "wooly-headed" or otherwise, seldom do. How you ever came up with an analogy that associates the two ideas boggles the mind.
  24. I want to comment separately on this matter because I entirely agree with you. It's absolutely bizarre that in Canada, in particular, some people can apparently self-determine "visible minority" status, which kind of defeats the purpose of the exercise, if you ask me. Under U.S. census classifications, immigrants from mainly Arabic Middle Eastern countries are considered to be "white" or Caucasian rather than vis-min. In Canada, however, people from the same region seem able to pick their identity and to obtain privileges on the basis of what in many cases seem to amount more to difference in
  25. Yes, it's interesting how a topic intended to discuss "White Pride" has morphed into a discussion of gay rights. Perhaps people interpret the topic as broadly pertaining to identity issues, but maybe a separate topic on gay issues would be more appropriate.
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