Thursday, July 13, 2017

Worth Reading - July 13, 2017

Tabitha Southey's column argues that the far-right's bravado is a way to deny responsibility

Steve Paikin contends that the Mayor of Brampton has the hardest job of her peers in the GTHA. 

Briefly during the G20 meeting Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter, filled in for him during a conversation about Africa. Perhaps the reaction was strong, but it's hard to understand why a family member of the president rather than a State Department official didn't take his spot.

Chuck Marohn at Strong Towns writes that the concept of 'negativa' might be the solution to our bizarre housing markets

On a related topic, the Toronto Star is reporting that the region is undergoing a 'housing correction.' 

Toronto City Councillor Pam McConnell recently passed away. She had a tremendous impact on the city of Toronto and her voice will be missed by many.

From a great Councillor to... well, John Sprovieri of Brampton is under fire for insensitive e-mails he sent suggesting that newcomers to the city needed to learn white values

Finally, I end with a video. This film critique looks at the trend of young, naive women out of their element as a plot in science fiction and fantasy movies. He calls it 'Born Sexy Yesterday.'

 Worth checking out. 

2 comments:

Capt Beefheart said...

This article by Tabatha Southeby is depressing on a number of levels, but indicative of the descending state of public discourse in this country. Let me sum up all the forgoing with a rhetorical question, do you think that Trump the wrong candidate or the wrong politics?

Firstly, it is indicative of the growing chasm between left and right over identity issues – ‘the culture wars’. This article barely skims the surface of some heavy duty issues but heads straight to the hatchet job on the legitimacy of these idiots. That these so-called ‘Proud Boys’ are a symptom - not a cause of the problem - went over her head completely.
I remember comment at the time of Jorg Haider’s victory in the Austrian elections (late 90s) - that when mainstream parties don’t tackle difficult issues, non-mainstream parties fill the void.

Secondly, as I commented last week, this incident actually shows the strength of our street-level political discourse. A peaceful protest was met with another peaceful protest – no killed, wounded or injured. The lifeblood of democracy, is it not?

Thirdly, we had better burn our history books because all nuance, intelligent analysis, contextualisation and balance must give way to the designated grievance group de jour. I knew nothing about Cornwallis’s actions in NS until this story but having researched it online, there is a lot more to the story than the one-dimensional, cartoon villain portrayed by aboriginal activists. But I presume that Canadian history as we know it has to be changed to suit the current political climate? The looming problem is the de-contextualisation of Canadian identity: good and bad men and women together have made this country the way it is and we have to engage with the past, not destroy it. Casting early 21st century morality and values onto 18th century politicians is a political act, not historical.

Fourthly, ‘Proud Boys’ seem a bunch of dimwits who are more akin to Frat Boys. Tabatha Southbey does a text book job of left-wing journalism take down of this group: white supremacist, racist, anti-Semitic, sexual deviants – all the boxes have been ticked! Attack the messenger; disregard the message, ‘I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death my right to gag you” is the new motto. All I saw of this incident myself was a shaky, barely discernible video, Tabatha’s powers of perception of are indeed very strong.

The irony of all this is that the actions of the Canadian left is becoming more and more eerily reminiscent of the plot of George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel….truly scary.

So, the exam question of our current political age, how do we discuss difficult issues? I don’t know, but Tabatha Southbey’s article makes a mockery of intelligent, nuanced political commentary.

Capt Beefheart said...

Tabatha Southbey’s article was too busy taking down the ‘far right’ and missed completely the issue at hand , what policy towards the aboriginal peoples? It is a very difficult one. But tearing down statues is not the answer, and politicians dodging the question are putting off difficult decisions.

I do not have the answer but found the comments made in the early 1980s by the then British High Commission an interesting take from someone with no experience of Canada.

NATIVE PEOPLES

I have been interested to see for myself something of the devoted care being given to the 25,000 Eskimos or Inuit in the far north, though inevitably these attractive, former nomadic people, who used to live by hunting, trapping and fishing, have been turned into mere pensioners of the state. The problem of the three quarters of a million Indians and of the mixed race Metis (whose numbers are anyone's guess) seems to me infinitely more difficult and will be a headache for years to come. Canadians are filled with feelings of guilt about the Indian peoples, Canadian policy, in my view unwisely, has been to give them a special privileged status and pay them vast subsidies, which often cause them to give up working, but to rule out integration into Canadian society. Alcohol is a major problem and many of the Indians, particularly in the west, live a degraded and pathetic existence. I think it would be better to spend money to help the Indians adapt to the modern world and be assimilated into the general population, for there can be no going back to their previous way of life.

- - That last sentence is an interesting place to start the discussion.

Here is the complete diplomatic telegram (released by FoI in 2009)
http://www.thephora.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-90996.html

"O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!" Robert Burns (1759-96) (English translation: Oh would some power the gift give us, To see ourselves as others see us.)