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Everything posted by turningrite

  1. In my opinion, the situation you point to illustrates the degree to which many on both sides of the ideological divide fall into the trap of what's called "bias confirmation," whereby they seek examples to justify their own pre-existing perceptions and views. Interestingly, this has become a particular specialty of the left in recent years. I suspect that in the U.S. proportionately more blacks than whites are shot by police. Part of the reason is, no doubt, racial bias. But another aspect, often ignored on one side of the debate, is that blacks are more likely to come into conflict with law e
  2. In general, I agree with you. However, immigration and refugee policy are inextricably linked in this country, not the least of which by a government that seems wedded to a program of extreme social engineering. For most of us, the biggest impacts are practical, including, for instance, the financial (i.e. taxation) costs entailed, higher housing costs and constrained access to vital services like health care. I believe the Fraser Institute has concluded that net social program costs (i.e. public benefits costs minus taxes paid) for the most recent generation of newcomers amount to over 30 bil
  3. What, exactly, would they speak up about? I live in central Toronto. There are a lot of members of the LGBTQ community living in my area. I can't imagine how they are a threat to anybody. They seem to be law abiding middle class folk who face the same problems and have many of the same concerns as most others. Ford's PCs have catered to the SoCons by promising to scrap Wynne's sex-ed curriculum. But surely they'll have to replace it with something to address issues like online bullying, exploitation and luring, one would think. There was no internet in the 1950s, after all. I don't equate the
  4. A big part of the problem is that many Canadians, and particularly those living outside of the Toronto and Vancouver regions, significantly underestimate the extent and impacts of large-scale immigration. Studies have demonstrated this to be the case. When those who underestimate the numbers are made aware of the the actual immigration intake level, support for current immigration policies drops significantly. Equally, I suspect most Canadians are also generally unaware of the social program costs associated with large-scale immigration. My guess is that the federal government doesn't want the
  5. I too thought this was odd. These summits are supposed to offer leaders face time, where presumably they can be frank with one another. Trudeau's approach seems oriented to photo-ops and sound bites, which doesn't seem compatible with such a summit. I found Trump's reaction to be over-the-top. His focus was apparently on this week's summit in Singapore. Maybe he felt Trudeau was trying to upstage him. In today's Star, a writer said it's likely Trump is chest thumping and bullying Trudeau in order to set the stage for the Singapore meeting. I think Trudeau could have been more judicious, even i
  6. There clearly appear to be differing narratives emerging from the American and Canadian administrations. Trump has to keep his base convinced that he's being tough on America's trading partners and Trudeau needs to have Canadians believe that his government is aggressively representing Canadian interests. As often as Trudeau's ministers have tried to reassure us on the progress of the NAFTA negotiations, their American counterparts have made it equally clear that there's a wide gulf between the two sides. Trump's basic premise, which is that the globalized trading regime has been rigged agains
  7. "The culture of the talking-heads, in media, academia and the arts - the people with the megaphones as he says - , is completely different from that of regular people." Argus: I believe the form of "managed" democracy that's emerged in this country will eventually bring its own downfall. As today's Star article 'Three lessons that need to be learned from Ford's victory' notes, Wynne's coterie became obsessed "...with backdrops, and colour and guest diversity over content and meaning." Voters actually want content and meaning in government, particularly where their own concrete interests a
  8. Trudeau likes to present reality according to the things he chooses to see. Trump presents reality according to what he chooses to see. The main difference between the two is that Trump has a lot more power. Trudeau can live within his sunny world of unicorns and rainbows without the rest of the world taking a whole lot of notice. Trump's world view, on the other hand, is more consequential. I mainly ignore Trudeau's (often bizarre) musings. But nobody can ignore Trump's.
  9. Throughout modern history, religion has served as a mechanism of social and political control. Even within mainly Christian societies, religion has served to support the aims of ruling classes and to suppress others. In diverse democratic societies, where there is no official religion even if one is dominant in the population, separation of church and state is crucial. The tendency of the large monotheistic religions is to promote sectarian chauvinism. Whether religion itself is right or wrong in its moral teachings is immaterial. From a practical point of view, religion has no productive role
  10. I'm not sure a complete moratorium is practical or necessary. However, I believe the immigration intake level could comfortably be cut in half, with strong preference given to highly-skilled candidates and their immediate family members (i.e. spouses and children). We need to make sure that immigrants are almost immediately productive. What good does it do us if the best immigrants struggle and in many cases leave the country for greener pastures? There is too great a focus on family class immigrants and recently on refugees and self-selecting border-crossing migrants, many of whom receive, or
  11. I'm not sure what caused Wynne's delay on election night, but didn't she give her concession speech days earlier? Maybe she thought she didn't have to give another one? LOL. Another article in today's Star pointed to the proliferation of young and inexperienced political advisors (hundreds, reportedly) operating within Wynne's regime, including within her communications team. Maybe it's time for some experience and substance at Queen's Park. I'm not sure what style Ford's regime will feature, but the bar hasn't been set very high.
  12. 1) I'm not sure what point you're trying to make? I oppose ideological bullying of any sort. I believe productive debate must be based on substance and evidence. 2) Perhaps freedom of movement should be the ideal but for practical purposes it simply doesn't exist. While the EU has achieved a measure of it, the NAFTA arrangement has largely precluded it except for some educated professionals. We have to live within the world as it is. 3) I agree that globalization has been very poorly implemented. Governments initially promised that displaced workers wouldn't be abandoned but then pro
  13. I suspect the public will continue to support funds spent on policing and firefighting, including coverage for generous pensions and benefits. But these groups make up a tiny fraction of the broader public sector in this province. On the other hand, an acquaintance of mine, a former neighbour and a nice guy, is poised to retire at 55 from an administrative provincial public service role in the very near future with an unreduced pension well in excess of the earnings of most ordinary workers and will also have gold-plated benefits for life. He was fortunate to get into the provincial public ser
  14. It will be interesting to see if Ford's "common man" appeal will hold up. The minimum wage was increased too quickly. It should have gone up in stages to $15/hr over, say, a 5 or 6 year period. Wynne was simply trying to score political points with her rash policy. But there is a much bigger issue at stake here, which is that Ontario is broke. Government programs will have to be trimmed and public service entitlements will have to be shaved. I don't see much choice on this. Ordinary working Ontarians are suffering and our own political Nero, Wynne, seemed too often to fiddle while things burne
  15. In my view, you've won the award for most reflexively reactionary comment of the day. And it's pretty uninformed as well. We know of course that slinging the "R" word has become a common form of ideological bullying, but my bigger concern here is your apparent lack of awareness of the progressive argument against uncontrolled migration. In particular, it undermines the legitimacy of the legal immigration system. A backlash will no doubt negatively impact prospective immigrants who've complied with the legal process and in many cases have waited in line for years. Secondly, uncontrolled "irregu
  16. In the news today is a report indicating that during the first three months of 2018 there were only 135 removals of failed refugee claimants, presumably many of them from among the thousands who've entered the country "irregularly" since Trump came to power south of the border. According the one news report, a government spokesman (spokesperson?) said that most of the irregulars aren't "removal ready," whatever that means. The fiasco is seriously undermining the legitimacy of Canadian immigration policy and testing the public's patience with the Trudeau government, which has to start to demons
  17. As I've said previously, don't rely on the polls alone to predict the outcome here. About one-fifth of voters haven't yet decided and yesterday's news of the lawsuit Ford now faces could have an impact. This election will be decided on vote splits in a couple dozen ridings. I haven't put any money on the outcome although prior to yesterday I believed the trends favoured Ford's PCs. Now, I'm not so sure. I think that if the PCs had selected Elliot or Mulroney as their leader, this election would long ago have been decided.
  18. "So, being a rational person I lack 'pride' in any system of government that utilizes 'pride' as a foundational principle." I tend to agree with this assertion. "Pride", whether in the form of mindless nationalism or expressed as some form of tribal superiority or entitlement, is inherently centrifugal. Rather, society and government must operate on broadly shared interests and values. We live in a country where our current PM has dangerously declared that there is no mainstream, which is both sociologically and practically ludicrous. To be fair, he probably had no idea what he was talkin
  19. Young people in their late teens and early 20s often act in such a fashion as to appear to reject the values and priorities of their parents. If that's the case here, it presents Horwath as a pretty conventional parent. When I was a teen and young adult, my parents allowed me have long straggly hair (hey, it was the 70s!) and run around in T-shirts sporting rude slogans. And I still somehow finished university and worked for decades in the real world. Funny how that turned out, eh?
  20. Justin Trudeau will be posing for the cameras to appease his base and appeal to domestic audiences. There will no doubt be cute photo-ops and virtue-signalling sound bites intended to light up smiles among Liberal-friendly "progressives" (presumably minus some environmentalists, who've ditched him) but cause a lot of other Canadians to cringe. He is a marginal figure in world affairs and has rendered Canada's role more meaningless as time passes. Trump, if he's forced to be within reasonable proximity of Trudeau, will put on his best quizzical grin and promptly move on to more important leader
  21. I'm not convinced by all the anxiety over the probable demise of the NAFTA arrangement. As has been pointed out by many observers, including economists, much of the impact of regional trading pacts has been diminished by the emergence of a stronger WTO regime. Not that the WTO model is perfect, but it is much less likely to be subject to American dictates as it includes countries that comprise most of the world's large economies. In the NAFTA context, Canada and Mexico are mere minnows in an American economic sea. If the NAFTA dies (or withers away), the already hollowed out Canadian economy w
  22. These days, polling has become a precariously inexact science. It's main role may be to predict trends rather than results. The actual election will probably come down to about two dozen ridings where vote splits will determine the ultimate winner. As polling indicates a slight improvement in Liberal fortunes, Wynne's decent debate performance (she is the best speaker among the three leaders and was less irritating than either Ford or Horwath) and her early concession speech seem to have strengthened Ford's hand in the swing ridings. So, the strategy backfired and now the Liberals seem to be b
  23. 5) "Distracts from objective analysis" ? I don't see how. It is a starting point to acknowledging a problem, which is a predecessor to analysis. We need to agree on language, or agree to disagree. Michael Hardner: Well, it distracts from objective analysis because it's based on a subjective premise. Actually, asserting the concept of "white privilege" does something worse as it sets an emotional and/or ethical presumption in place to oppose any challenge of its legitimacy, i.e. 'of course there's racism and inequality so the idea "white privilege" MUST be accepted as being legitimate'
  24. I believe racism exists, as it does and pretty much always has in most of the world throughout modern (I.e. recorded) history because by nature human beings are tribal. I believe that "white privilege" on the other hand is an academic construct that attempts to draw (often erroneous) conclusions on the basis of conflating current circumstances, which are presented in isolation as outcomes, with a system that's somehow (and even conspiratorially!) designed to allocate benefits on grounds that are related to race. My point is that unequal class structure, entrenched privilege and negative outcom
  25. I think a big assumption held by many is that Trump was actually interested in renegotiating the NAFTA. I suspect he's been biding his time until killing the deal would provide him maximum political currency. With the U.S. midterm elections approaching, that time is probably quickly approaching. Only about one-quarter of Americans believe NAFTA benefits their country and support here isn't much more than paper-thin. More Canadians are afraid of the disruption that will be caused if the pact is terminated than are positive about its actual benefits. Our politicians simply haven't been honest wi
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