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About Zeitgeist

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  1. You’re wrong. Words matter. I’m not for banning most speech even when I know some of that speech is irresponsible, but when speech infringes on other freedoms like a child’s ability to walk to school and be in public places without being called racist insults, a line is crossed. Limited free speech is not our problem. CSIS doesn’t even track hate speech. It tracks terrorist groups. We need to look at the public discourse and consider whether ethnic groups or the followers of any religions are being seriously disparaged or dehumanized. This isn’t about Puritanical political correctness and oversensitivity. I realize that there are many critics of Islam. I’ve been one of them and I accept criticism of Christian faiths though I like to consider myself Christian. I think we need take care that such criticism doesn’t lapse into something genuinely sinister. There are far more white supremicist groups now than there were 20 years ago. Their rhetoric impacts public safety because some people express such ideas in violence. Don’t worry, Soros and the Globalists aren’t going to throw the little ranting dress up militias into FEMA camps, but it’s sad to see how much xenophobia is driving the public discourse, and right wing populism has been a contributing factor. The anti-immigration invective has made its point and needs to settle down.
  2. Do you think all forms of hate speech should be permitted? That’s the problem. Some words are so offensive as to constitute true profanity. Telling someone that they deserve to die because they are a lesser being shouldn’t be permitted. Hitler dehumanized Jews by calling them vermin. Once racist remarks become an acceptable form of public discourse, it’s easy to justify the elimination (murder) of such aberrations. It’s fine to be critical of ideologies/religion/viewpoints, as long as such criticism doesn’t degenerate into attacks on an ethnicity or people. “I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll fight to my death for your right to say it.” We are civilized respectful people who can vehemently disagree in politics, religion, or on any range of issues. That’s the beauty of our liberal democratic freedom. The lives of all people are sacrosanct. Debate is healthy. Hate is not.
  3. You mean it makes homosexuality punishable by death.
  4. Question: Are driverless vehicles an attack on our freedom and autonomy?
  5. I would still far rather live in Canada, Western Europe, and yes, the US than anywhere in the Middle East or North Africa because of the greater freedom, prosperity and security we enjoy in liberal democracies. Traditional family values do exist in abundance in Western countries, but so does tolerance of different cultural practices and beliefs, as long as they don’t infringe on our basic human freedoms. The truth is that many of these Islamic countries have stagnated because they have remained homogeneous and suspicious of foreign influence. Liberal democracy faces the risk of succumbing to similar reactionary insular forces, which is why we have to call out hatred and undo fear and intolerance when we see it. It exists on the extreme right and left, as well as in fundamentalist religions, some more than others. Yes family and traditional values are important building blocks and stabilizing forces within a society, but we have to ensure that such institutions don’t unnecessarily constrain human development. There are many variations of family, which is fine as long as they are positive and healthy, and don’t unreasonably infringe on the rights and freedoms of others. I think for most people everywhere, family and friends are what matter most.
  6. Not the same at all. Countries ban the nationals from countries for a variety of reasons. Trump doesn’t get a pass for his deeply irresponsible remarks.
  7. Democratic POTUS never called for a Muslim ban. That was presidential candidate Trump.
  8. https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-35036567/outcry-as-donald-trump-calls-for-us-muslim-ban
  9. Trump’s actions on immigration were dark. Canada did feel the impact through increased irregular crossings. We’ve always had asylum seekers. This volume of irregular border crossings is recent and directly related to Trump’s immigration policies.
  10. Stop. He targeted the 7 countries because that was all he could get away with. He wanted a complete Muslim ban.
  11. Nevertheless, after the Muslim ban we saw a huge surge. Same goes for after Trump canceled protected status: “Refugee claimants who enter Canada at official crossings usually are sent back to the US. However if they cross at locations in between designated ports of entry, they would not be sent back and their claims will be heard. Many immigration experts consider this to be a loophole within the agreement.” Before the Muslim ban this wasn’t a big issue. More on the surge: “Since the beginning of January 2017 and up until the end of March 2018, the RCMP have intercepted 25,645 people crossing the border into Canada irregularly. Public Safety Canada estimates another 2,500 came across in April 2018 for a total at just over 28,000.”[22] “the New Democratic Party called on the government to immediately suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement, citing that "Canada can no longer have confidence that the American refugee system is providing a safe haven for those who face persecution".[14] The Official OppositionConservative Party of Canada stated that they would not oppose a suspension of the agreement,[15] while the Green Party of Canadavoiced support for suspending the agreement.[16]”. Wikipedia
  12. No the crossings increased very substantially after the partial Muslim ban and an expiration on Haitian refugee status in the US.
  13. Those poll results likely came late in the game in the context of the irregular border crossings. They were temporarily safe in Turkey. Many countries were temporary holding areas where immigration interviews took place.
  14. No, Trudeau is a hypocrite like all of us. We are in bed with the US big time. We’re no better. Policy and rhetoric/narratives do matter though because they influence thought and actions. The irregular border crossings are the result of new refugee/immigration policies in the US. Canada does have to manage immigration more carefully, but not for the purpose of preventing immigration or discriminating against a religious group. Safeguarding Canadian values and the economy is the issue.
  15. Taking well over 20000 Syrian refugees was a noble thing to do. These people were suffering, caught in the crossfire of US backed rebels, Russian backed government forces, and of course ISIS, the love child of another failed US-led regime change in Iraq. Trudeau’s mistake was going too heavy on the open immigration rhetoric and failing to back it with the infrastructure and support of the provinces and cities, though he did have much support. You may think that based on comments by the Opposition and posters on this site, Trudeau lacked a public mandate for his policies on refugees and immigration, which isn’t the case. Trump’s attempted Muslim ban was a green light to Islamophobia and right wing extremism. Whatever you might argue about his true motives and the upside of targeting the followers of Islam, it was irresponsible and wrong. It’s fine to criticize religions where beliefs or practices are problematic, but his rhetoric was discriminatory and unconstitutional. He lost a lot of potential followers with that move. His comments about Mexican illegals, gunboat Mercantilism on trade, and ridiculous actions such as declaring a state of emergency on the border wall, have left much of the world and many Americans cold on Trump. It’s not virtue but rather fear, hypocrisy and xenophobia that most people associate with Trump. I also understand that Trump is in part a symptom of frustration with change. We do need better, fairer, and stronger international rules on trade, climate change, and human rights.
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