Monday, December 17, 2018

a news service

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Immigration Policy

A cynical view of recent Canadian immigration policy would describe it as a mechanism originally designed to get the dishes washed in fast food chains that devolved into a system willing to let anyone wealthy enough buy their way into the country. It’s much more complicated than that. Since the 1950s Canada has had no coherent or stable immigration policy, but rather a series of bureaucratic capitulations to circumstance mixed with political collapses in the face of expedience which together have resulted in one unfortunate ruling after another. What the solutions to the mess of immigration are isn’t very clear to anyone, but some of the unadmitted effects are: 1.A patchwork set of entrance regulations based primarily on the worst sort of nepotism or on the principle of receiverless bribes; 2.the presence of several xenophobic and openly racist immigrant minorities in various parts of the country, some of them organized and militant, others simply wealthy enough to buy whatever tolerance or fear suits them. 3.A serious split between the major urban centres, which are multicultural and in several locations dominantly non-European; and the hinterlands, which are white and getting hostile about it. 4.) Neither the will nor effective mechanisms to introduce incoming immigrants to the indigenous culture of Canada-immigrants are invited to bring their habituations with them, lock, stock and barrel, even when they are refugees coming from dysfunctional cultures that have degenerated into barbarism. Presumbly they’ve come here for something than they had, but no one has the confidence to offer anything to them except television and the mall.

Imports

Imports are forbidden by theoretical economists as fruit of the devil–unless it is investment capital or is being brought in for direct use by the theoretical economists, funding agencies and other affiliated corporate officials, together with their friends and families.

Independence Day

July 4: National holiday of the United States, one of the more nationalistic countries in North America (see Canada Day). The occasion is marked by a long weekend of fireworks, hotdogs, and lugubrious rhetoric.

George Scott in "Patton."

George Scott in “Patton.”

Since the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the annual American celebration has been marked by ups and downs. It looks like 2013 is going to be one of the down years. After a half-decade of the Great Recession, the U.S. economy has semi-recovered, but large numbers of people remain out of work or under-employed, and the nation’s crumbling infrastructure continues to crumble, as does the American environment, because of Congressional deadlock caused by the ultra- conservative Republican Party. Debates about the reform of health care, the status of gays. and the student debt crisis caused by post-secondary education tuition rates stagger on, although modest (and often unappreciated) progress has, ok, arguably, been made.

The empire’s foreign policy seems as much adrift as any time since the terrorist attack on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. The U.S. is awkwardly disengaging from decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and appears thoroughly baffled by political developments in the Middle East (but then, so do the people who live in the Middle East). Both the vastness and intrusiveness of U.S. international spying programs, and its drone war program to combat terrorism, especially in Pakistan, are internationally unpopular.

The election of the first African-American president, Barack Obama, in 2008, was a high point for hope and change in recent decades. But the actual policies of the moderate liberal president have been contested by both left and right. The American right-wing is in one of its looniest phases, and regards Obama as a foreign-born socialist intent on expanding an already too large, liberty-crushing central government. The left-wing opposition to Obama sees his administration as more-of-the-same American imperialism, while far too timid at home. Oh, well, happy unhappy birthday to our neighbours to the south.

Independent Weeklies

Mostly a carryover of what used to be called underground newspapers such as Toronto’s Now Magazine, and Vancouver’s Georgia Straight, they are 70 percent entertainment industry non-news and 20 percent ideological cliches that we’ll all be embarrassed about within five years. But the other 10 percent will be about the only non-corporate political and cultural analysis available to casual readers in Canada’s big cities, and that makes them pretty damned important. Too bad they’re learning to behave like the papers they set out to provide alternatives to. See Weeklies

Indigo Books and Music

Former chain-bookstore responsible for the destruction of Canada’s independent bookstores, now busily transforming itself into the WalMart of Canada’s cultural sector, where “culture” is increasingly defined as merchandise suitable for people who like look at picture books and listen to classical music in the bathtub while surrounded by scented candles.

Industrial Resources

Once significant in volume and sited mainly in Ontario and parts of Quebec. Now on their way to Mexican Maquilidoros on American-owned transport trucks.

Innis, Harold

1950s University of Toronto academic who wrote several interesting essays on the fur trade to which he appended some tentative speculations about the need for efficient lines of communication north of the 49th parallel if Canada was to thrive economically and culturally. Innis’ untimely death in 1953 has resulted in generations of unsupervised academic intellectual embroidery, blather, self-serving enthusiasms and other genial miscommunication. Innis himself is still a regular invitee to Liberal Party culture wanks, where he is able to interact without difficulty despite his condition.

Intellectuals

Canada has about 800 of these fragile devices, ninety percent of whom know one another but never talk freely except at conferences. Not to be confused with university professors or members of the media, who are not intellectuals and never talk freely about anything, least of all at conferences.

Internet

A few years ago it was the digital version of open mouth radio, but it is now fast becoming the digital equivalent of those advertising flyers that clog your mailbox. If this is how the Information Highway is going to transport people and ideas, let’s blow the bridges and ramps while we still can.

Inuit

One-time Eskimos in the Eastern Arctic attempting to gain restitution for ecological and cultural trauma of incoming nature photographers through self-government, cultural self-deification and six-month annual government-paid vacations for Native population in global fun spots. See DAVIS INLET

Investor Confidence

A new and mysterious need of wealthy people and lending agencies to have their confidence constantly and egregiously bolstered by government tax breaks, policy wonks, and cruel treatment of persons with low incomes. This need is not uniquely Canadian, but it may put an end to Canada.