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Everything posted by udawg

  1. Thanks, August... I think... You'll have to excuse my apparently poor understanding of Canadian history, as apparently our schools are not teaching us the right material. If I recall my grade 12 Canadian History class, British efforts after the Seven Years War switched back and forth between assimilation and accomodation... usually depending on the governor of the time. I seem to recall that in the mid-1800s there was a series of perhaps 3 governors who, following the lead of their predecessors, found it easier to simply accomodate the French... hence the benevolent fed. government...
  2. Explain your statement, "allow all new Canadians to retain their intolerances"
  3. Anybody here read Foundation by Isaac Asimov? He suggests that civilization, as it were, goes through various phases, where different groups are the important/controlling sectors. Early on, it's religion, then later trade, and to continue the civilization, it must adapt. Perhaps we are reaching that point in our own civilization where we no longer need religion as the "vehicle of morality" or "stabilizer of society".
  4. You have to remember, that report is put out by the US State Department... it is subject to American definition... They left out the Iraq attacks, because it's during war... fine, but what other terror attacks got left out because they didn't fit the "US definition" of terrorism? It is in Bush's interest to have a report stating lowest terrorism level in 30 years... seems like those wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were worth it
  5. Going back to the original discussion in this thread... hope no one minds... In answer to the title of the thread, I'd have to say, there is no price. BEING Canadian is a collection of mores and values that we share with other Canadians. Canada itself, on the other hand, is simply a definition of latitude and longitude. You can BE a Canadian living elsewhere, likewise, you don't have to BE Canadian to live here. I think we need to make that distinction before having a discussion on *Being* Canadian. If there were a way to retain our morals and values that we recognize as Canadian, living as citizens of another nation, I think perhaps we should consider selling the LAND we call Canada... but not the ideas. I don't think, however, that being assimilated into whatever country buys the land would allow us much of an opportunity to retain our unique values. Look at Quebec. The French lost the 7 Years War, but over 200 years later, Quebec still exists, very much their own identity. How did they do it? A series of benevolent federal governments, who allowed them to keep their identity for fear of an uprising, which very well could have succeeded, back when they had a population equal or greater to that of the rest of Canada. The provincial government in Quebec controls a lot more than do most other provincial governments, relative to federal control. And, we're a democratic nation, who would, if the time came, let them secede from Confederation. All of the luxuries that Quebec enjoys in the nation of Canada, Canada would not likely enjoy under whatever nation bought our land. We do not have the population (or, really, the guts) to run a successful uprising, if it became necessary. Odds are not good that any controlling government would be particularly benevolent. We would surely lose all control of our land and resouces, and would be lucky to have any form of our own government. We'd be lucky to be bought by a democratic nation. All this leads to my point, which is, there is no price you can put on BEING Canadian. Being Canadian, and having control of our own land, to do with as we see fit, are inseperable. If we lose the landmass that we have sovereign control of, we lose control of our goverment, our decisions as a nation (which doesn't exist anymore), and our affairs. Our collective sense of nationality is weak enough as it is. We couldn't possibly survive as a province of a foreign nation with no power over ourselves. If being Canadian is reliant on Canada existing, which I believe it is, under no circumstances can we sell our country. Wholesale or nickel-and-dime.
  6. willy, I think there should be an abstinence parade. The difference is, abstinent people don't flaunt it in everyone's face, and have no desire to. Perhaps they are afraid of the response, the way people would treat them. Actually, it's really similar to how homosexuality was treated before the equal gay-rights movement... If there were enough people who were willing to ... come out of the closet, so to speak, about their virginity, then an Abstinent Pride Parade might just happen. We didn't see gay pride parades for many years, when it was relatively well known that this element of society existed, same thing with virginity now. Thanks for the really good example, willy.
  7. Ah, you're not. Please provide some links to the parades that are held in celebration of heterosexuality, and some figures for the amount of tax money that is given to providing these. The reason we don't have "Straight Pride Parades" is because heterosexuality is the norm. There is no reason or need to celebrate that which 95% of the population has. Well, maybe we'd all be happier if we did, but... Gay pride parades give homosexuals the chance to celebrate their lifestyle/[insert buzzword here] with others of the same... persuasion, to make up for the type of phobia and discrimination that is so rampant on every other day of the year. Heterosexuals are not discriminated against, not mocked, not shamed; there's no reason we need a parade to celebrate our straightness without being jeered at. If there was a "Straight Pride Parade", would anyone here actually attend? Would it be for any reason other than 1: pissing the gays off, or 2: proving a point? Would you actually be going to celebrate your orientation with other heterosexuals? Because that's why there are Gay Pride Parades.
  8. Unlike the majority of the French population in Canada, there is no single identity or culture to "English Canada". Any identity and culture we may have had upon first immigrating 150-250 years ago was lost a long time ago. Not too many of us still think of ourselves as Scottish, Irish, English, or whatever. English Canada has only that in common, English. We're not at risk of losing our identity, culture, OR language, because we've already lost the first two, and English is not going away, no matter how loudly Quebec cries.
  9. Christianity? Another one of those "single, monolithic entities", I believe someone here said. "Christianity" does not consider anything. Individual Christians may consider homosexuality a deviant behaviour, it may even be a majority of individual Christians believe that. But do not label that under the heading of "Christianity believes..." And anyway, I disagree with your statement at the fundamental level. Homosexuals are different, but so are people with short hair compared to long, women compared to men, and miniskirt-wearers compared to pantsuit-ers. Some people undoubtedly consider it deviant, but many, (most?) accept it as 'just the way it is'. And I suspect you're not too involved in your church (if you have one), or you wouldn't venture to make a statement like that on behalf of the other several million people of your faith.
  10. Not a chemist here, so how does bombing by the US Air Force result in perchlorate in the water? I'll take your word that perchlorate is a bad thing. Anyway, I can see both sides of the argument here... for the left-wing, anti-war types, it's obvious that this is just another evil perpetrated by the big bad US Army. Saving our environment (and our children's lives) is much more important than bomb practice. For the right-wing, pro-military types, it's obvious that the military must be exempt from such confining rules. Defending the nation is much more important that some little creek turning green. Depends which side you're on, I guess, and I don't see an easy solution.
  11. Actually, which leads me to my next point. I'm sure someone has said this before, but Israel doesn't actually want a solution. By continuing to attack Palestinian settlements as retribution for suicide attacks, and settling in internationally recognized Palestinian territory, "to maintain security", the Israelis have won the public relations aspect of the war. They have plausible excuses for their actions, but in doing so, are merely provoking further attacks by the Palestinians, which allows them to take the role of victim too. The Israelis know exactly what they're doing, and it's not "peace negotiations." They aren't going to give up their land, and as long as they can goad the Palestinians into attacking Israeli citizens, nobody expects them to.
  12. The term "state terrorism" is a really great one. Both the Israeli government and Hamas are guilty of terrorism. I don't know enough about the history to say who has a rightful claim to the land, but I do know that certain factions of both parties are guilty of atrocious crimes in the name of this dispute. Hamas needs to stop killing Israeli citizens if they want to gain any credibility, and Israel needs to stop rocketing resedential neighbourhoods if they seriously want to find a solution.
  13. I hardly think that the Stephen Harper Conservatives are going to be a threat to our great leftist values. They're more to the right than the Liberals, but they're supposed to be. And I have to say, a little right-icizing of our nation couldn't hurt. Be nice to have an actual military for the first time in a decade. Or a foreign policy that actually involves foreign nations.
  14. There's nothing wrong with it, but is there no longer a place for higher expectations and even higher culture? The average American has been so removed from class and culture that they can no longer be bothered to use proper English. There's a movie, I forget what it's called, but it's premise is about the "lowest common demoninator". Because all people are NOT created equal, it's the government's job to make them equal. And because dumb people cannot be made smarter, the smart people must be made dumb. Take away the government plot aspect, and that's where we're headed anyway. I think that the more we dumb-down the media and popular culture, the more we lower our expectations of the masses, the lower the masses will stoop. Why pay for 12 years of public education, when we only need 3 years to understand the events around us? Maybe they had it right 150 years ago when you went to school to learn language and math, and maybe a little about the world, then you went right to work after grade 6 or 8. Everybody got along fine back then. And the issue is not just language. Democracy is a great thing, but the fact is that some people are smarter than others, and maybe they should be put in charge a little more. (Anyone wanna vote for me? j/k.... i shouldn't be in charge of anything) That's the reason we have representatives. Anyway, I just think it's a shame the level of education many high school graduates have. (or don't have, which may be more telling)
  15. I also heard something once... it was that the average American newspaper only requires a Grade 3 reading level. Talk about catering to the masses... I prefer to read British newspapers to American ones because the quality of writing is so much better. I've also noticed that literature written even as recently as 50 years ago is of a substantially higher level than most writing today. I'm not sure if this is simply because only the higher-class works survive, or because of "catering to the masses". Seems to me that if newspapers weren't written so an 8-year old could easily understand them, perhaps the average adult wouldn't be virtually illiterate.
  16. Ignoring the problems with security, ignoring the problems of time and participation, I still see one major problem. Hugo and vroom touched on this, but I think it deserves further discussion: The average voter does not know enough about matters of state to make an informed decision on every issue. I do not believe that people, as a group, have enough perspective to make competent decisions affecting the future. Given the task alone, most people will make the right decisions, given that they know all facets of the issue, and they have no other influences affecting their decision, but as a group, people tend to make poor decisions without really thinking about it. It's bad enough that politicians often make decisions based on their desire to be reelected; how much worse would it be if they had to use the money from their own pockets. Every person who voted in this system on every issue would be looking out for number one. The reason we elect representatives is mostly because it has always been, and still is, impossible for every individual to participate at every level, but it is also because we need somebody with a (somewhat) outside perspective on the situation. Why do companies hire outside consultants? To get better perspective. I don't really like using the term "experts" when referring to politicians making our decisions for us, but the fact remains that it is their job to research the issues and make an informed decision. They may not be smarter, or any more knowledgable than the average voter, but they do have an obligation to take the bigger picture into account. This system can not work, because I don't think we can trust the average person to see the bigger picture or to act on it.
  17. This is quite true, and frankly, it's the only way to run a country. If you have someone else's interests first, you might be a nice guy, but you sure aren't gonna last very long. There's nothing wrong with helping others, promoting democracy around the world, giving foreign aid to starving children, or whatever. But those should come second to, and this is the case for any political system, protecting your own interests, feeding your own people, and ensuring your own survival. After these are dealt with, then one can turn to the outside world and say, okay, who can I help today?
  18. Maybe we can't compete with the US, but let's not just hand them our sovereignty on a silver platter. That's just asking for trouble. This about the only thing I agree with. We have become too closely tied to the US in terms of defence. If we ever needed to defend ourselves, we really would need American help. But, heres the rub. That is why we need a relatively strong military, because if we pull out of NATO, as you suggest, and stop being the US's military gopher, there will be some rather displeased people in Washington. We need a force at least capable of deterring somebody. In the event of a large scale conflict, our military will not have time to train and support a volunteer force. There is nothing wrong with having mostly reservists, with only a small standing force, but they need to be pre-trained, and would need to continue training regularly. Switzerland has only been able to remain neutral through hundreds of years of war, including both world wars, becuase every capable man of age is a reservist in their military. (That, and they're in a real defensible position, high in the mountains). Maybe, but we can only try to be high on standards that other people accept. If the world in general looks at dick size, then damned if we don't need a big dick to illustrate our sovereignty and importance.
  19. Black Dog, March 11 Black Dog, March 10 Which is it? Does the US intervene to cause instability, which is good for American big business? Or does the US intervene to restore stability? You can't do both.
  20. The only number I honestly can't realistically see (not that it wouldn't be nice...) is your 71 CPC seats in Ontario. They might be angry at the Liberals, but they probably don't trust the Conservatives either. And when all else fails, Ontario always votes for the incumbent.
  21. I had in fact intended for this program to be for everyone, but now that someone mentions it, I see no reason why it couldn't apply to only addicts. Oh, but then everyone will find out that you're an addict, when you walk in with your food stamps! So set up a small government grocery store, where people on the program can get their food, with a minimum of intrusion by others. We already have addiction-related programs, and you, Hugo, advocated dealing with it at the individual level, so maybe that's how it should be. Who needs the 12 steps when you are forced to make responsible financial decisions? This would also help addicts to learn responsibility and sound money management. A case-by-case system such as this would prevent most of the "massive bureaucracy" that you fear. Sure it'd be there, but it's already set up, it just needs to . . . expand it's horizons a bit.
  22. Only a fool would think that the media DOESN'T shape US policy, on virtually anything. Especially in an election year. Right now, nobody in Washington cares about anything except getting Bush reelected. After the election, then he'll start going to pick some more fights. Republicans will vote for Bush, no question. But if he doesn't get involved in foreign issues, if he doesn't give the left another set of body bags to parade in front of the cameras, he may just be able to draw enough of the centre vote to win the election. The US does not want to get involved in another bloodbath on foreign soil, does not even want to be mentioned, or even to be associated in any way to the suffering and violence in Haiti. It can only draw further criticism of Bush's foreign policy. The criticism and policy that will probably sway the election one way or the other.
  23. Yeah, I don't realistically see a Tory government. Ontario will, undoubtedly, vote at least two thirds Liberal, maybe more depending on the leader of the CPC. The only question in my mind is, Liberal minority or majority?
  24. This would obviously big a huge undertaking, the likes of which has never been attempted. Maybe it wouldn't work, maybe it would collapse under its own weight. But why not try to hash out something that might work? First of all, there would be no obligatory minimum, high or low. As long as the needs determined by the government are met, they can spend as much or as little of their money as they want. Perhaps a computer database could be set up, showing the number of people who need to be fed, and which would automatically spit out a rough calculation of the amount of food that needs to be bought. All grocery stores would need to be included, because otherwise you'd be putting people out of business. However, stores providing nonessential services and products, would not be included. Candy stores and gift shops wouldn't count. Obviously, some people would try to take advantage of the system, this is true for any system. These people would be dealt with by the law, which would certainly need some new provisions to deal with this massive overhaul. As I mentioned above, the ideal solution, in terms of managing this system, is to have a computer database that grocery stores can tap into and discover who needs what. As for people having others buy their groceries, a system could be worked out where they will be allowed to do this. Monitering would also be necessary for this, to ensure people don't use others' grocery credit. A big bureaucracy, maybe, but surveillance would be mostly automatic, and enforcement would simply rely on the fact that people simply couldn't get access to physical cash, and won't be permitted to use their credit cards or anything, until they've taken care of necessary things. Any criminal activity, such as your drug dealing grocers, would fall under police matters as normal. We already require businesses and individuals to keep records. They're called censuses and tax records and such. The government already knows how many kids you have, what their names are, and can easily discover most things about them. The only new thing is that more people would need access to this, which I suppose means that more safeguards and checks and balances are necessary to prevent abuses of this massive database of information. Maybe it won't work, but I appreciate any input or points about this idea. Ask questions about how it will work, or make suggestions. Either way, we all get a little smarter.
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