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Everything posted by turningrite

  1. I'm not an opponent of the idea of a sunset clause. And I agree that public input into the FTA/NAFTA arrangements was cursory, at best. But five years seems a very short time period. It's taken North America almost ten years to recover from the last major recession, for instance. Although I'm not a huge fan of regional trading pacts in general and believe trade is better regulated under WTO rules and procedures, I think a much longer time frame should be set to examine the effectiveness of deals like the NAFTA.
  2. I laughed when I read your first sentence. Visiting the forums would entail taking the time to read them, which apparently isn't one of his strengths. Reportedly, Trudeau isn't much interested in news and current events either. I get the feeling that both of these guys live in echo chambers where they get feedback that conforms to their respective preferences and confirms their preexisting views. That said, I tend to agree with Trump that globalized trade has been rigged. But Canada, other than for its protected supply management sector, isn't a huge offender. The U.S. too is at fault as
  3. Most of us assume the Libs understand the nature of the problem they're creating, or, perhaps more accurately, worsening, right? It's fascinating that they didn't seem overly interested in the homelessness issue until, well, refugee homelessness started to become a political flashpoint. Among people I talk to here in Toronto, several have asked what the refugee influx is doing to the already existing homeless population, particularly given that we're in the midst of an opioid addiction epidemic, the consequences of which are readily apparent on downtown streets, in downtown parks and, presumab
  4. You're correct. I very clearly recall the free trade debate of the 1980s. There were warnings back then that completely integrating the Canadian economy into the American one could lead us into a very difficult situation were the Americans to change course and adopt an isolationist economic policy, as is now happening under Trump. Of course, the Americans have the right to set their own economic policies and with a much smaller economy we have few choices but to accept the consequences. American politicians aren't elected to worry about Canadian interests, after all. It may be that the Libs ha
  5. It depends on what you mean by the word "hate." There's been an increasing tendency in the West to equate the meaning of hate merely with perceived offense. This is untenable in the Western intellectual context, which is grounded in a philosophy of challenge and objective criticism. In Canada, for instance, criticism of some religious practices and beliefs is often conflated these days with "phobia" or fear and is thus held to be promoting hatred, even where there's no obvious justification for this conclusion. Even defending secularism, which an eminently reasonable concept in a pluralistic s
  6. Undoubtedly, American military and economic power is waning relative to the rest of the world. But we should be wary about celebrating this. As economic power and prestige strengthens in what we now describe as the 'developing world,' we may have to make policy choices that could for many be unpalatable. The international order largely built by American fiat after WWII has been the basis of generally prolonged peace and prosperity for most in the West. Replacing America's often irksome influence might just turn out to be a bigger nightmare than we've bargained for. As my mother used to say, it
  7. Generally speaking, I oppose the concept of censorship. I do, however, believe it necessary to restrict speech that's intended to incite violence against members of any specific group, which historically has been the intent of hate speech laws in democratic countries. In a free and democratic society, there must be no topics that are presumptively deemed to be beyond the realm of public discourse. The role of a responsible citizenry is to ensure that debate is fairly and civilly conducted. The tendency to bully others into silence has seemingly increased, and particularly so in academia, which
  8. I believe Vermont's slavery ban was more symbolic than practically effective as slavery continued to be practiced in the state for several years following the ban, as has been noted in academic analyses. In most other Northeastern states, I believe slavery was gradually but effectively curtailed over time by the courts, as was the case in British North America as well. As for systemic anti-black racism, could you point out a circumstance in Canada where systemic (i.e. institutionalized) civil rights violations existed and were sustained against blacks into the modern era? Unlike in the U.S., C
  9. Italy has a new populist government. It's not surprising that it's going to defend the interests of its workers and farmers. A new paradigm seems to be emerging in much of the West in opposition to the impacts of globalization. Will leaders like Trudeau, who's beholden to what for many is a failed economic model, be able to bridge the gap merely by inserting words like "progressive" into these investor-focused deals? Trump is correct that we need fair trade in the world economy, which is not where globalization has led. I doubt that Trudeau really understands what fair trade means or entails.
  10. It seems to me that you've lost the argument here and are now just shouting.
  11. Your argument about anti-black racism in Canada is not in fact entirely correct. I believe Upper Canada (Ontario) was the first jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere and within the British Empire to ban slavery when its colonial legislature enacted legislation to do so in 1793, long before slavery was banned throughout the British Empire in the 1830s. The notion that slavery didn't survive merely because of the small number of blacks living in British North America is somewhat specious. Slavery increased along with the arrival of Loyalists from the American States in the 1780s, some of whom b
  12. I read a Toronto Star article this morning about the reasoning of Ford voters. I believe the principal motivation of these voters was to see the government rein in public sector spending. Other motives were in play as well, including a belief that the minimum wage increase was too fast and opposition to more taxation, including the carbon tax. Somehow, these voters seem to have got it into their minds that costly new programs being promoted by the Libs and NDP would have to be paid for by somebody. Imagine that! And consumption-based taxation like carbon taxes tend to most severely impact thos
  13. Oh my, how should I start to respond? I'll be short here: Under international law nations have a right to self-defense. Afghanistan was attacked because its then-governing regime was permitting its territory to be used as a base by al Qaeda, which perpetrated the 9-11 attacks. The role of Saudi Arabia is often debated as most of the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks were from that country, however Bin Laden's organization and its form of Wahabi extremism have generally been seen as potential threats to the interests of the Saudi regime, which for better or worse was and remains a U.S. and Weste
  14. What academic or legal opinions can you cite to support your contention that the War in Afghanistan was illegal? Anything I've read on the topic has concluded that it was a legally valid action according to the terms of the UN Charter, which permits self-defense. In case you don't remember, the U.S. was attacked in 2001 by an organization, al Qaeda, that was being permitted to operate from Afghanistan. NATO approved military action in response to the 2001 attacks and in my recollection the UN did not condemn the response. And your second point is somewhat ridiculous. Of course, torture is ban
  15. I'm not sure there's much that can be said at this point to justify the residential school system. Its objective was assimilation and in that it failed even if at the time it was pretty commonly held to be a laudable goal. Removing children from their families and communities is not generally seen these days in a positive light. The fact that it was done by state fiat to achieve an objective that had little specifically to do with the welfare of the affected children renders it cruel. We have to acknowledge past mistakes where they have been made, even if in the day it was believed there was a
  16. Trump would have to get the U.S. Congress to commit to subsidy reductions and the dairy lobby is very powerful in some parts of the U.S., as is the case here. I haven't yet heard him specifically admit to the extent of subsidy protection afforded the American dairy industry. He tends to cite stats that favour his own positions and ignore facts that don't. As for consumers getting the products they want, I tend to agree with you. However, trade negotiators often address regulatory differences under the heading of "non-tariff barriers" to trade. I seriously doubt that Canada's stricter regulator
  17. I'm responding not only to your quote above but to other comments you've made on this topic. It seems you're operating under some misconceptions. First of all, unlike Bush II's Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan (2001-2014) was not illegally conducted. I believe it was sanctioned by NATO and as far as I'm aware the U.S.-led invasion was legitimately considered a form of self-defense based on the UN Charter. Further, you seem to have a false impression regarding the treatment of what are categorized as child soldiers. International law does not prohibit state or non-state combatants who are
  18. The problem with the American position on supply management is the enormous subsidies paid to support their dairy industry. In Canada, subsidies are directly paid by consumers in the form of artificially higher prices while in the U.S. taxpayers foot the bill. These practices create problems where the concept of "free trade" is concerned as subsidies are more insidiously oblique than are tariffs. That said, if Canada won't even discuss opening up its dairy market we have no chance to discuss with the Americans the issue of their subsidy regime and arrive at a conclusion that either equalizes o
  19. That's true. But the history of anti-black racism is much different in Canada in comparison to the situation in the U.S., where it is institutionally and culturally ingrained as a result of historical circumstances. This week, for instance, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a restrictive voter registration law in Ohio that many critics believe disproportionately impacts black voters. It's almost inconceivable that such a law would either be enacted or withstand a court challenge in Canada. Racism, of course, is often practiced at the individual level. Canada has its own problematic history of syst
  20. Although some in Canada would like us to believe otherwise, anti-black racism in Canada is different from that in the U.S., as my educated white American mother used to point out. She often noted that she was raised to be terrified of black people and to believe that separation of the races was the only practical means of coexistence. She said that when she was growing up (in the North) in the 1930 and 1940s official segregation was the law in much of the South and unofficial segregation remained a practice in much of the North. I think the American racial consciousness is largely grounded in
  21. I doubt that Quebec's Francophone intelligentsia claim JT as one of their own. He studied, in English I believe, at McGill and almost certainly in English at UBC. Quebec politicians tend to reflect a broad ideological range. I think many English-speaking Canadians have an unrealistic view of Quebec. While it is undoubtedly, due to language, a distinct and often insular place, it's not inhabited by unreasonable people. It's population tends to reflect social views and trends often more similar to its French-speaking counterparts in Western Europe than to those held more commonly throughout Engl
  22. Robert Greene: He's one-quarter French-Canadian. I believe three of his grandparents have mainly British Isles ancestry. So, he's pretty mainstream Canadian, as far as I can ascertain. There's no shame in that, although Trudeau himself seems to shun the concept of being mainstream. My ancestry is a mixture of French, Irish and Portuguese but I see myself as being mainstream Canadian. I believe his predominant ancestry is Scottish, which he has on both his mother's and his father's side and some have noted a facial resemblance to Sir John A. Macdonald. Say it isn't so! His father made sure he l
  23. I'm not sure what you mean by the terms "deep state" and "deep province" in this context? To me, if one wants to summarize their general policy approaches, the Wynne Libs, and in many aspects the Trudeau Libs, seem to have embraced a philosophy of deep incompetence. In Wynne's case, the incompetence was so apparent that by early 2015 she'd blown any chance at being reelected. As for Trudeau, given his government's poor performance on several files, including democratic renewal, indigenous affairs, pipeline politics and, maybe most importantly because it's undermining his government's support e
  24. If success is measured merely by the fact that these two leaders met with each other, I guess that counts for something. But, as many in the U.S. media are reporting, Kim gave up almost nothing, agreed to no new nuclear concessions and wasn't made to respond to human rights concerns. He comes off the big winner and Trump will try to claim victory based on the mere fact that he's established a rapport with the hermit regime in NK. I think Kim played Trump like a fiddle in all of this. NK had the weaker hand to play but its regime has clearly won by enhancing its legitimacy. Time will tell if th
  25. I've changed my mind a bit on this fiasco as it's evolved over the past few days. Trump obviously expects Canada and other allies to be subservient to U.S. interests and the Trudeau government's approach of pursuing Canadian interests at various levels, including with members of Congress, state politicians, in the U.S. media and among American business interests has clearly achieved some level of effectiveness as it's irritated Trump and caused him to react in a fashion that undermines his own legitimacy. That being said, our negotiating positions on three issues undermine the government's str
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