So what’s in the news? It seems like it’s non-stop Trump zaniness, but this week on Open Sources Guelph, we ask a more important question: is this the end of civilization? One major magazine seems to think so, and we’ll break that down and figure out if we’ll remember one week in July as beginning of the end of society. After that we’ll talk about swimwear, cars, and power! But while that sounds like we’re doing some kind of manly man show, these are actually serious political issues that need to be discussed.
This Thursday, August 18, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:
1) The End of the World As We Know It? A Slate article this week posed an interesting thought: What if, in the future, the week of July 11, 2016 is remembered as the week democracy died? A rare confluence of major events – the ascension of Teresa May to PM of the U.K., the attempted coup in Turkey, the terrorist attack in Nice, and the appointment of Mike Pence as Donald Trump’s running mate – all point to one inescapable conclusion: liberal democracy, as we know it, is on life support. Have things really gotten that bad though? Is there no way out but through as people more and more give in to the whims of demagogues who only know how to do two things: tell you what’s wrong with a country, and who’s to blame for it?
2) Burkini No Paradise. It may not be something you’re familiar with, and it may not be something you see at the beach in a million summer visits, but France is doing something about it, and that something is a full-blown ban. The “burkini”, a swimming garment for Muslim women that allows them to enjoy the water and keep their modesty, has gotten a lot of attention as several seaside French towns have banned it, and now with the support of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. One can’t help but be reminded of the burka debate from last year’s election here in Canada, but France is still smarting from two major terrorist attacks in the space of six months, attacks perpetrated by Islamic extremists. So is this a stand for human rights, or is this a reaction to other concerns?
3) Tax it to the Wind! How can you put a tax on the wind? Interesting question, and not the slightest bit philosophical because Wyoming made it happen, and some are wondering, understandably, if the state government is trying to price out those that want to pursue alternative energy in the state. Wyoming’s biggest industry is mining, and mineral extraction, and that includes oil and gas obviously, so one can’t help but wonder if the Cowboy State (yes, that’s what it’s called, the “Cowboy State”) is stacking the deck, especially as most places are trying desperately to attract companies exploring alternative energy in order to create the “jobs of the future.” Can a government really tax the wind, and what’s the point?
4) Armoured and Dangerous. Earlier this year, the Federal Liberals got into some hot water for the sale of Canadian-made armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. That’s sticky enough, but what if a Canadian company sold armoured vehicles to countries like Libya and South Sudan? Well Streit, which has a plant in Innisfil, has been selling to those countries, and it’s reignited the contentious debate between the moral responsibility of not selling armaments to foreign countries that use them against their own citizens, breaking international law in some cases, and the need for well-paying Canadian jobs. What’s the responsible thing to do in this situation, and how are the Liberals going to paint themselves out of this corner?
Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.