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13 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

3) Sorry but you won't be able to steer clear of the entire topic of right and wrong.  You can't teach slavery by saying that's how things were back then.  Lots of examples.

Well I'm not sure if slavery being wrong is controversial, but I suppose it is still political.  I also think you can teach what happened during slavery, the history, and the civil war etc. without taking sides, like any good history textbook would do:  present the facts.

Students will either agree with Lincoln or General Lee when presented with the facts, and i'm sure virtually all will go with Lincoln on that one.  The point is if they're allowed to make up their own minds.

You make a good point about patriotism.  Though they barely taught me anything about Canadian history in high school.  They taught the geography though.

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You have to teach something.  I guess judgement calls have to be made. American schooling seems to do a lot more patriotic propaganda.  There's value to teaching historical accomplishments but it

I think I'm going to start collecting examples of the lunacy and hysteria of the woke police here. They seem to be growing ever more shrill, ever more fanatical, and seizing on smaller and smaller err

1) I disagree.  I think if he had worried about how it could be interpreted he wouldn't be doing his job.  It's not his job to make excuses for writers.  I think his point about being branded a racist

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14 hours ago, Moonlight Graham said:

1)  I also think you can teach what happened during slavery, the history, and the civil war etc. without taking sides, like any good history textbook would do:  present the facts.

2) You make a good point about patriotism.  Though they barely taught me anything about Canadian history in high school.  They taught the geography though.

3) The point is if they're allowed to make up their own minds.

 

1) 2) I'm of two minds on this: I like the idea of objectivity and analysis being used, and therefore instilled as a value, but that itself is political.  You are establishing a liberal approach there, and yes it bleeds into patriotism.  How are you going to cover Remembrance Day exactly ?

3)  Again, this a liberal approach if not value.  Don't think 'liberal' as 'left' but as classic liberal.

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On 4/1/2021 at 9:36 AM, Michael Hardner said:

1) 2) I'm of two minds on this: I like the idea of objectivity and analysis being used, and therefore instilled as a value, but that itself is political.  You are establishing a liberal approach there, and yes it bleeds into patriotism.  How are you going to cover Remembrance Day exactly ?

3)  Again, this a liberal approach if not value.  Don't think 'liberal' as 'left' but as classic liberal.

Well with Remembrance Day you're not commenting on specific wars being good or bad, but just thanking people who died so you don't have to.  If you don't do that it makes you an entitled ungrateful arse really.

It would be different if a teacher got up and said war X was good but war Y was bad.  Then you're teaching a subjective viewpoint instead of just facts.

If you taught the residential schools even, you can just teach what happened, and then the kids can have a discussion about what they feel about it.  A teacher shouldn't say "Sir John A was bad" or "he was a hero", they should say "Sir John A did X, Y, and Z".  It's odd how we've been raised to see some historical politicians as deities and not as just politicians.  George Washington and Lincoln weren't perfect either.

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20 minutes ago, Moonlight Graham said:

A teacher shouldn't say "Sir John A was bad" or "he was a hero", they should say "Sir John A did X, Y, and Z".  It's odd how we've been raised to see some historical politicians as deities and not as just politicians.  George Washington and Lincoln weren't perfect either.

I don't think that your idea would fly but as I said I'm open to it.

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13 hours ago, Moonlight Graham said:

 

If you taught the residential schools even, you can just teach what happened, and then the kids can have a discussion about what they feel about it.  

I am working through what you are suggesting.  I like the tone of your strategy, and what is implicitly taught but I can find gotchas everywhere.

Parents want to instill values, common community values, even at school. Also you are implicitly communicating values even in what you decide to teach. The material.

 

Someone pointed out recently that American history class teaches about the Boston massacre, in which a handful of people died. Of course it was instrumental to history, but they don't teach about massacres against other people's in the same way.

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Egypt moved a couple of dozen of the mummies of ancient kings to new museum yesterday. They did it in high style, with special vehicles designed to look like ancient river boats travelling on a road which was re-paved specially for the occasion, accompanied by attendants, orchestra, chorus, and thousands of soldiers in an honor guard. It was quite an impressive honoring of Egypt's ancient past and rulers.

Meanwhile, in Regina, city council voted to remove the statue of Sir John A. MacDonald from Victoria Park because it "overlooks the negative impacts Macdonald's policies and initiatives have had on Indigenous peoples."

Egypt honors its past, warts and all. Canada buries its past and sobs with shame (literally in the case of Trudeau) that our past leaders weren't sensitive and caring enough towards minorities. And somehow we expect newcomers to come here and become Canadians? Why would they?

 

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On 4/2/2021 at 8:39 PM, Moonlight Graham said:

If you taught the residential schools even, you can just teach what happened, and then the kids can have a discussion about what they feel about it.  A teacher shouldn't say "Sir John A was bad" or "he was a hero", they should say "Sir John A did X, Y, and Z".  It's odd how we've been raised to see some historical politicians as deities and not as just politicians.  George Washington and Lincoln weren't perfect either.

Nobody in the past was. For that matter, neither is anyone in the present.

The airheads judge MacDonald by our times, not his times. That's the issue. They also only emphasize the bad things. For example, how many people know that MacDonald proposed all natives be given the right to vote? And women, as well, by the way. How much do the progressives even know about that? He faced intense opposition and had to pare that down to giving a limited number of natives off reserves or who owned property the right to vote. But that wasn't his choice. it was because society wasn't ready for it. Oh, and Sir Wilfred Laurier took even those limited voting rights away, but faces no harsh judgement for it.

MacDonald spent all his formative years at a boarding school, as did his peers. This isn't taken into consideration, either. And if you think boarding schools for white kids were all peaches and cream, I just coincidentally came across this guy talking about his own time in a boarding school in the UK - in the 1970s.

Bullying was cyclical. One day you were the bully, the next, you were the bullied. The roles were very swiftly transferable: victim one day, victimiser the next. Pretty much everyone was involved. A kind of omertà pertained, generated by a mixture of fear and shame. The Lord of the Flies wasn’t fiction at my school.

Few people who were at boarding school back in the Seventies can have escaped the effects of this brutal and brutalising culture. Free a group of young boys from parental control and leave them largely unsupervised for hours on end… Only those with the most blindly naïve view of human nature could be surprised at what happens next. And when the school is itself run on the basis of gratuitous violence — beatings being the only language of moral instruction I can recall — one has all the elements of a little lesson in the social dynamics of the crucifixion.

https://unherd.com/2021/04/cancel-culture-wont-save-you/

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This is an interesting and almost laughable summary of some of the stupidest nonsense our universities are getting up to. And to those who think that's not really important since, after all, it's just universities - that is precisely what people were saying years ago, only to have this crap spilling out into the greater culture where it now infests entertainment, government and corporate culture. Because guess what? When you get to successfully and repeatedly bully and terrorize people at university, and get praised for it, you go on to do the same in the rest of your life, and are similarly given way to by cowardly government officials and corporate PR and HR flacks.

As an example, I don't think you can find better than a University of Ottawa Law student making a minor joke on his Facebook page. He joked that "he’d have a better chance of getting a job in Canada’s capital if he identified as “a veteran indigenous pansexual woman of ethnic origin with disabilities.”

He's right, by the way.

In response...

And in due course, a fellow law student named Rachel Gordon tweeted out a screenshot of Stanchulov’s joke; tagged the law school; and urged the university to, as the euphemistic phrase goes, “respond accordingly.” There then followed a (34-page!) “petition” to senior administrators, “to ensure that immediate and appropriate disciplinary action is taken with respect to Mr. Stanchulov’s discriminatory, racist, colonial, ableist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic public comments.”

Now you might think the law school would shrug this off, that the wise elders of the school would shake their heads, roll their eyes, and tell the hundreds of signatories to grow up.

NOPE!

By way of response, law school dean Adam Dodek sent out an email blast indicating that he had “referred the matter to the [university’s] Human Rights Office, which has acknowledged receipt and will investigate in accordance with Policy 67a and Procedure 36-1.” He also indicated that students could double up by making their own individual complaints through the Human Rights Office. Dodek further indicated that his academic unit would “cooperate fully with” investigators, as if he were a state attorney general offering assistance to FBI officers leading a multi-state drug bust.

Oh and, of course, this kicker: “If you are experiencing distress or need support, you can contact Common Law’s Mental Health and Wellness Counsellor.”

https://quillette.com/2021/04/01/weaponizing-social-justice-to-protect-school-administrators-and-discredit-whistle-blowers-a-canadian-case-study/

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5 minutes ago, Argus said:

Oh and, of course, this kicker: “If you are experiencing distress or need support, you can contact Common Law’s Mental Health and Wellness Counsellor.”

 

Do you think that, if you are experiencing distress or need support because you are upset over the treatment of Sir John A. Macdonald , the Common Law’s Mental Health and Wellness Counsellor would be there for you?

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On 4/3/2021 at 9:57 AM, Michael Hardner said:

I am working through what you are suggesting.  I like the tone of your strategy, and what is implicitly taught but I can find gotchas everywhere.

Parents want to instill values, common community values, even at school. Also you are implicitly communicating values even in what you decide to teach. The material.

Someone pointed out recently that American history class teaches about the Boston massacre, in which a handful of people died. Of course it was instrumental to history, but they don't teach about massacres against other people's in the same way.

You have to teach something.  I guess judgement calls have to be made.

American schooling seems to do a lot more patriotic propaganda.  There's value to teaching historical accomplishments but it should be factual.

If people know about their country, good and bad, they're probably going to feel more connected to it anyways.

The point you show is that this is all easier said than done.

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This seems to be the most appropriate place to place this. Even though it's not about woke police so much as woke zealots. People may have heard of Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston wants to give preferential cardiac care to black patients. That is, they want to deliberately institute racist (and illegal) racist health care policies as part of 'reparations'.

According to the article, the new “pilot initiative” uses a “reparations framework” that focuses on “Black and Latinx patients and community members,” who, according to the authors, have been “most impacted by unjust heart failure management and under whose direction appropriate restitution can begin to take shape.” They insist, moreover, that the Boston initiative be a “replicable pilot program” to be launched in hospitals across the country.

The program would offer “preferential care based on race” and “race-explicit interventions,” according to Wispelwey and Morse.

It must be stated from the outset that not only is such a racially-based program medically unethical, it is illegal. According to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity,” including “education, health care, housing, social services.” The bill was passed during an upsurge of the working class in the US in the 1960s, which had as one of its principles the ending of official discrimination along racial lines, including in health care.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/04/07/race-a07.html

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This is a US poll, but our opinions on this sort of thing generally follow theirs fairly closely. In this poll 64% of people viewed cancel culture as a threat to their freedom. The problem, of course, is ordinary people have little say in this. Cancel culture is coming from the elites.

A majority of Americans say they view "cancel culture" as a threat to their freedom, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill on Monday. 

Sixty-four percent of respondents said that there is "a growing cancel culture" that is a threat to their freedom, while 36 percent said they did not view it as a threat to their freedom. 

Additionally, the poll found that 36 percent of Americans said cancel culture is a "big problem," while 32 percent called it a "moderate problem." Another 20 percent said it was a "small problem" and 13 percent said it is "not a problem." 

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/545387-64-percent-say-they-view-cancel-culture-as-a-threat-to-their-freedom-poll?rl=1

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7 hours ago, Argus said:

This is a US poll, but our opinions on this sort of thing generally follow theirs fairly closely. In this poll 64% of people viewed cancel culture as a threat to their freedom. The problem, of course, is ordinary people have little say in this. Cancel culture is coming from the elites.

Remains to be seen as to where it comes from.  Boycotts aren't new.  The last call for boycott I saw was for companies who contributed to BLM.

I agree that it's a threat to freedom.

It's a threat to freedom in the way all speech is.  I call for sanctions against anti maskers, which is a freedom I have to call for less freedom.  

The concern should be framed as "are we adopting a morality that is actually helpful, versus a morality that exists to support its own goals, ie. rhetoric"

I feel like the point of the new morality that you decry us to generate aimless shame.

 

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3 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

The concern should be framed as "are we adopting a morality that is actually helpful, versus a morality that exists to support its own goals, ie. rhetoric"

Problem is, who defines what is helpful? A lot of these things are more subtle than just black and white. Helpful to one, unhelpful to another.

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19 minutes ago, OftenWrong said:

Problem is, who defines what is helpful? A lot of these things are more subtle than just black and white. Helpful to one, unhelpful to another.

First of all: I acknowledge the difficulty here 100%, and I am also one to counter simple explanations, such as mine, with the difficulties involved.  Most recently, I did it with my friend Graham who wanted to take politics out of education.

But in drilling down, we engage trust and identify reasonable people as well as defining a process to strengthen our institutions and ourselves.  I identify as 'conservative' because I defend the values of the past, including rationalism, and accept post-modernism only as far as it is helpful.

"Helpful" is a word that doesn't need definition IMO.  However - people need to explain why they think they are helping, and we can debate whether we agree.  One thing that people are getting mixed up about is that our new social media mixes in academic and rhetorical discussion in with common discussion and the system doesn't support that.  ie. A post-modern examination of "what is facts ?" is beyond the ability of the average person to take apart in its academic form.  It's not because people are stupid, but because they don't accept or won't take the time to invest in philosophical arguments.

So why have them in a way that will not be productive ?  You can have them, but design them for the audience and theatre that they are made for I think.  I feel you and I, or Graham and I can have a discussion about whether patriotism belongs in History class but I don't think somebody breaking into to the room to say "Slaveowners should not be glorified or discussed" or "Tell the kids about JESUS" is going to help our discussion at all.



 

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I was going to start my own thread, because I have am impression that many of the complaints in this thread are hysterical.  However, in the spirit of political unity and my own conservative belief in political and educational institutions and traditions I will add to it, instead.

What IS NOT concerning to me is people boycotting, or calling for boycott based on moral stances.  "Cancel Culture" is an overused trope, deployed by ratings-seeking hysteria mongers like the utterly useless TV dinner heir and former CNN host Tucker Carlson.  

What IS concerning to me is cancelling/disinviting good faith discussions, constricting publication of or removal of professors and their ideas, and public institutions falling prey to unprincipled behaviour.  It's arguable how much this is happening, but it really shouldn't happen at all.

I disagree with those on the left who say it's NOT happening and the letter from Chomsky et al. (last year I think) backs me up.

Here's a worrying example.  Advocacy group GLAAD was apparently condemning a writer Jesse Singal for this interview: https://barpodcast.fireside.fm/bonus8

Gay columnist Dan Savage went to Singal's defence and was also shouted down.  I would not describe the conversation or the individuals as transphobic but it seems like there's a reluctance to back down.  

Advocacy organizations (like B'nai Brith) have positions that are not exactly democratic, but they should have principles and be accountable for their positions.  It seems like GLAAD doesn't want to allow people to discuss the idea of 'Desistance', which is the phenomenon whereby children who previously identified as 'trans' change their minds.  

In the interview Dr. Erica Anderson (a trans woman) supports that this, of course, happens.  Somehow that interview seems to have resulted in this blacklisting by GLAAD.

 

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Ever heard of Michael Foucault?

Some consider him the father of Woke.

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Foucault is the most cited scholar in the world, often associated with the rise of identity politics in America, where MC Hammer, the rapper, is one of his fans. "It is almost invariably Foucault to whom contemporary activist studies departments trace their intellectual foundations," wrote Daniel Miller in The Critic magazine. "At the most basic level, Foucault the famous French professor supplies a signature of seriousness for disciplines without clear academic standards or traditions."

In 1980s America, the "Foucauldians", as the philosopher's academic admirers are known, "enshrined Foucault as a kind of patron saint... whose authority they routinely invoked in order to legitimate in properly academic terms, their own brand of progressive politics," Miller wrote in his biography

Turns out he was a pedo.

https://www.sott.net/article/450746-Michel-Foucault-most-cited-academic-ever-and-father-of-woke-ideology-outed-as-pedophile

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10 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

I feel like the point of the new morality that you decry us to generate aimless shame.

I think it's to gain power. There are various kinds of power. But you can't say that this cancel/woke culture and 'anti-racism' hasn't been very good for its advocates. The idiotic woman who wrote (badly) that book on White Privilege is making out like a bandit. BLM is raking in millions from sponsors eager to indemnify themselves from accusations of racism. Those who go to corporations and companies to give anti-racism courses and lectures charge high fees and are in high demand, despite no evidence forcing employees into these sessions does the slightest good. That's because the real point is, once again, to indemnify the company against accusations.

By being a loud and strident advocate you mark yourself out as speaking 'on behalf of' this or that group, which again buys you power from those wary of you denouncing them.  Marvel comic books invites Ta-Nahisi Coates, a guy with zero experience, to write an issue of Captain America - again to show how woke they are. And he uses it to make Jordan Peterson(!) the enemy. Organizations want to appeal to him, to buy his favour. 

And of course, in private life or public life the mere accusation can be deadly, for there's no real defense against it. The accusation doesn't have to be fair or even have any evidence to enormously damage someone's reputation. And if a white person gets into a public disagreement with a black person at some point or other that accusation will come out.

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5 hours ago, Infidel Dog said:

Ever heard of Michael Foucault?

Some consider him the father of Woke.

Turns out he was a pedo.

 

Yes.  Not a 'woke' guy from what I recall, and if he's a pedo you should tear his statue down like you would all the slave owners.

Wait...

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3 hours ago, Argus said:

1.  I think it's to gain power.

2. And he uses it to make Jordan Peterson(!) the enemy.  

3. And of course, in private life or public life the mere accusation can be deadly, for there's no real defense against it. The accusation doesn't have to be fair or even have any evidence to enormously damage someone's reputation 

1. "Gain" meaning to actually get institutional power ?  To what end ?  I think it's to impose a morality, the same as all moralists.  But, regardless, we can only guess at the motivations here.  I retract my suggestion as to its motives, that was a weak point.  The effect is what I was getting at.  I don't think people are faithlessly engaging in this to make money.

2. I thought that was hilarious actually.

3. That's the example I came to the thread with: Jesse Singal.  But liberals (small l) are starting to say things about the most ridiculous examples, and this could help the trend subside.

 

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A point we don't spend much time thinking about is how all these angry attacks on each other, on our history, culture and values, on Capitalism and democracy are seen by our enemies. I'm sure the likes of China and Russia watched the riots throughout the US and UK the past year with smug smiles - and are doing their best to encourage more.

A country that allows dissent, including the derogation of the state itself, looks strong — and in this respect the control freaks of the CCP, frightened of their own people, look weak. But a country that adopts self-excoriation as its national pastime also looks weak. The Chinese are keeping attentive watch as the West denigrates its heroes, debunks its previous sources of pride, vandalises its icons, denounces its cultural heritage, slanders its popular majorities as indelibly stained with original sin and rewrites its history to make its past appear as wicked as possible. The spectacle inspires contempt. The Chinese see the self--flagellating throes of the West as the certain bell-wether of terminal decline. We’re making ourselves look pathetic. In countries and individuals both, a penchant for self--criticism is only healthy when balanced by some measure of self-belief.

I’ve no taste for the texture of Chinese nationalism — the militaristic displays, the synchronised marching, the numbing pomp, the hundreds of vacuously pretty young women dressed in red, singing bouncy songs in mincing voices. The Chinese are drilled from birth on their great country, their great people, their great leaders and their great destiny. All that patriotic indoctrination may be nauseating, but it gives the CCP an enormous popular solidarity to draw on.

The rancid rhetoric of today’s left may be playing to the peanut gallery; aside from fetishising Palestinians, identitarians are provincial. Progressives display little interest in Myanmar, Xinjiang or Alexei Navalny’s fate in Russia. But trendy denunciation of our awful people, awful history and awful cultures doesn’t stay all in the family. It’s music to the ears of our adversaries, whose illiberal ambitions are primarily constrained by fear. Why fear a society that’s tearing itself apart for you? Alert to what looks from afar like decadence, decay and implosion, China is further emboldened to quash Hong Kong, annex the entire South China Sea and bully Australia for daring to desire more research into the origins of Covid-19.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-fear-a-society-that-s-tearing-itself-apart-

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58 minutes ago, Argus said:

1. A point we don't spend much time thinking about is how all these angry attacks on each other, on our history, culture and values, on Capitalism and democracy are seen by our enemies. I'm sure the likes of China and Russia watched the riots throughout the US and UK the past year with smug smiles - and are doing their best to encourage more.

 2. I’ve no taste for the texture of Chinese nationalism — the militaristic displays, the synchronised marching, the numbing pomp, the hundreds of vacuously pretty young women dressed in red, singing bouncy songs in mincing voices. The Chinese are drilled from birth on their great country, their great people, their great leaders and their great destiny. All that patriotic indoctrination may be nauseating, but it gives the CCP an enormous popular solidarity to draw on.

1. Bill Mahr said something like that.  I don't agree.  I think that disagreement and even strife are not something to be ashamed at.  Lots of autocratic regimes did well for decades or longer but "the west" as it is still seems stronger to me than a country that firewalls out all dangerous opinions.

2. Although he denies it, he clearly sees state propaganda as advantageous  Ok then.

I would say dissent is a more important tradition to our culture than any single ex-PM.  He wants to make a wall of shame of people who don't like our past, and GLAAD wants to make a wall of shame of people who don't like some scientific realities.  

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4 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. Bill Mahr said something like that.  I don't agree.  I think that disagreement and even strife are not something to be ashamed at.  Lots of autocratic regimes did well for decades or longer but "the west" as it is still seems stronger to me than a country that firewalls out all dangerous opinions.

We've always had disagreement and strife. What is new, as he put is, is this cultural attitude where demonizing the country and it's past have become the defacto 'culture' of the academic, cultural and political elites - a kind of dismissal of even the legitimacy of the state or its nationhood. Even Trudeau calls us a 'post nation' state, to dismiss the idea we're a nation - a people.

Quote

2. Although he denies it, he clearly sees state propaganda as advantageous  Ok then.

Can you think of no parallels in Canada's recent history? How many hundreds of millions did the government, mostly Liberal governments, put into 'celebrating' Canada Day and our past before we learned to be ashamed of it? The federal government used Canada Day as a propaganda tool to convince Quebecers - and by default Canadians - of the value of unbridled rah-rah patriotism and love of Canada. They did this feeling it would give Quebecers more reason to want to remain in Canada and to take pride in Canada and not just Quebec.

When I was  younger Dominion Day was a sleepy little holiday like Labour Day which we barely celebrated. The fireworks came on Victoria Day. And all that rah-rah flag waving, facepainting stuff was American. We sneered in our smug way at them and thought our quiet patriotism better. Well, the Liberals felt otherwise.

Quote

I would say dissent is a more important tradition to our culture than any single ex-PM.  He wants to make a wall of shame of people who don't like our past, and GLAAD wants to make a wall of shame of people who don't like some scientific realities.  

People today lack a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves. They lack a sense of community, of being a part of a group, like they used to have with religion, among other things. Giving them pride in their country at least gives them something. Constantly tearing at their country does the opposite. Schools now are indoctrinating children in racial anger and social division, splitting the oppressor whites away from the 'you owe me' visible minorities. How is that good for anyone?

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So the latest attempt to cancel is against an Ottawa cop. A video has emerged, apparently two or three years old, of three cops discussing race and the way minorities are going to soon become the majority. No racial epithets were thrown. But their attitude was that white men were being made minorities and disappearing under a sea of visible minorities. The cop defends himself by saying it was simply a conversation about a recent article stating that whites would be a minority in the US by 2045. Nothing is said in the article but I'm sure Canada has the same situation. Many of our big cities are already close to or over 50% visible minorities. A quick check with stats canada suggests Toronto and Vancouver's white populations will be reduced to about 30% in another fifteen years.

And the apparent rule is that no one is supposed to object to that and all which comes with it. We're endlessly told that being a minority is a horrific thing but when looking down the line and seeing ourselves as becoming a racial minority even the slightest hint of uncertainty about our approval of that is called racism. Most of the visible minorities in Canada - two thirds, are foreign born and raised. So this isn't simply a matter of skin colour but of cultures, values and traditions. But then again, we're not supposed to value our own culture, values or traditions so...

Now they're under investigation from the police service, whose chief was hired specifically because he's black, and who has, as far as I can remember, never made a public utterance unrelated to race since his arrival in this city.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/ottawa-police-officer-defends-himself-against-allegations-of-racism

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