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Michael Hardner

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Everything posted by Michael Hardner

  1. Geoffrey - in the 70s that concept was known as 'universality', I think. The left loved it because it made everyone a recipient of government funds, and nobody had to feel worse than anyone else. I think. *Cough* Thanks, August, for posting this. If these services are needed, then they should be integrated into existing government operations. Piecemeal payouts are fertile ground for corruption, and they cost more to administer. That said, I like the infrastructure fund but it should be administered by an all-party committee.
  2. A few points: My experience in meeting and fraternizing with young Muslim men in France gave me the feeling that they would assimilate in the same way the other groups have. Several posters have pointed at multiculturalism as a culprit (with regards to the failure to assimilate), while simultaneously using France as an example. Since France doesn't practice multiculturalism, this is inconsistent. Considering that assimilation happens over generations, and that Muslim immigration has only recently started to see an impact on our society, it seems to me that many critics are too impatient in looking for change to happen. Three generations is a reasonable amount of time to expect change.
  3. Rather than redefining what 'World War' means, we could probably agree to restate the argument. For example, "be it resolved that the current threat is greater than it is widely perceived to be".
  4. I don't think it matters if CBC produced the doc or not. Their documentary fare seems to lack variety, in my opinion.
  5. If you take nuclear weapons out of the picture, I can't see how you can say catastrophic damage to Canada/The US is a risk from this. WWII cost 50 million lives and laid much of Europe and Japan to waste. Let's not overstate what's happening today.
  6. JS, I went to high school with Arabs from Clichy (not sous-Bois), St. Denis, and Bois Colombes. The second generation (ie born in France) were much more French than their parents, and marginally different than their white French peers. That's not multiculturalism, that's melting pot and that's how France views immigration. As Black Dog is ably pointing out, you seem to think multiculturalism is the cause when that's not policy in France. Multiculturalism doesn't mean the same thing as 'immigration'.
  7. JS - I agree, although it's still all right to make light fun of some peoples, IMO. Scots, for example, seem to be made fun of quite a lot.
  8. It is quite funny. However, that might not always be the case. The TTC riders' board in Toronto came up with a list of initiatives the TTC should under take. Local weekly EYE magazine then took that list to Howard Moscoe and asked him to respond. It was, to me, the first baby steps towards creating an internet 'public' that could provide input to public institutions. Public institutions evolve to the point where they only respond to requests from the top, which invariably makes them into political institutions, responding only when the sleepy masses of voters notice them - typically in a crisis. A board such as MapleLeaf provides an excellent sample of informed, intelligent, cross-partisan individuals who can arguably brainstorm and provide better ideas than the bureaucracy.
  9. Jerry, I have read statements from Canadian moslem organizations and leaders that condemn terrorism, so I would say that is distancing themselves from the militants. 10,000 Arabs were not all waving Hezbollah flags were they ? Or was it a few in a crowd of 10,000. And your last sentence doesn't speak to the point. All of this contributes to a general alarmist sentiment that doesn't help us with a plan to deal with things - it just makes us perpetually nervous.
  10. I know the NDP had a 'party members only' board awhile back... Certainly it's not a bad idea, and I think that lack of anonymity would greatly reduce a lot of problems boards like MLW face...
  11. I concur with the posters above. War against the west isn't possible. Jerry, from the tone of your posts it seems that we're already defeated. Do you not think there are moderate Muslims among us that are every bit a part of our community as we are ?
  12. Jerry S: I couldn't believe this, so I slipped into a comfortable Google search and found it to be incorrect. News Article It wasn't the flag - it was a tiepin worn by prison guards. It was removed because the flag has been associated with the far right in England. The decision was made by a prison official, it seems, and is apparently opposed by the home secretary.
  13. It's just another rumour mill. There's no reason to make too much out of it. I'd rather have a journalist approach a minister and say "Mr. Minister, what do you think of the cross-partisan social services reform package developed and endorsed on MapleLeaf by Kimmy, Hardner, August1991, Argus, Scriblett etc. etc." A salesman has got to dream...
  14. Your argument might have been a little more compelling if you could have submitted it before the ceasefire. Personally, I find it a little too coincidental that the leader of Hamas was making overtures towards peace before this whole thing flared up again. If Hamas and Fatah both acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, then that's one less hot button for a lot of governments in the region to use to fire up their people when they want to distract them from other issues. It's just a theory, though.
  15. Charles: I don't know that anything would be scrapped, exactly, but I suspect that the workers on the ground would suggest a solution that crosses departmental lines.
  16. Cyber - I agree. The problem with a justice 'system' is that it's designed to work correctly a certain percentage of the time. Since it's understood that it will make mistakes, the system is supposed to err on the side of caution. This infuriates many law-and-order types when it goes wrong, even for a single case. If an early parole system can be practically 100% effective, that's not good enough if a single re-offender makes big headlines.
  17. Were you a proponent of 'Boot Camps' ? This is what I was referring to above - a feel-good solution that doesn't work. And, again, this seems to be a priority not because of the actual problem but the perception of a problem.
  18. I haven't seen any inspiring visions of how this should go, but this is a minority government. I like the low-key approach, which when you think of it is more Canadian than the style of the previous administration. PM Harper hasn't done much to distinguish himself as a conservative other than a few well placed comments. I do like the fact that he's more about substance than style, and for that will concur with the previous grade of B-.
  19. Well, you got some kind of concession that the report was structured in a misleading way. Isn't this more than you expected ? I think that we're in a very tenuous situation with regards to information management these days, and it's vital that responsible parties from all sides engage each other positively, in good faith.
  20. That's really a non-fix, and admission that the problem can't be fixed. Government implicitly recognizes that communities must be intact for its programs to work, yet they are unable to fix broken communities. Furthermore, they are chronically unable to recognize whether a community or even a family functions properly or not. Social programs tend to be a blanket solution for every problem, specialized to the individual area - all of it expensive and useless at the same time. I think a more comprehensive approach is needed - one that comprises justice, social benefits and reinforcement of values. What that solution is - no one knows until we ask those who are on the ground fighting these battles. And we can't start to ask until we give up the ghost of the existing system.
  21. How so ? It seems you're just keeping them out of school, and sending the problem back to parents who might not have the resources to deal with it.
  22. So this is happening as a result of parents having less power ? The stories I've read of individual children caught up in the legal system invariably have neglectful parents at the centre of the problem - a cycle that continues down through the generations. Of course, the liberal idea of creating government jobs in bad neighbourhoods is an altogether different sort of denial of reality. These children come from damaged environments that have no quick fix in our justice systems or economic systems. The reactive solutions we've tried in the past only brought closure to the simplistic summary of the problems, not the problems themselves.
  23. Yes - this is what you are seeing, ie. on television. If statistics show that violent crime is decreasing, then maybe things aren't alarming as they appear on 24-hour network news. Emotional reactions are very human, but a country needs to be governed systematically and not reactively.
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