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"Five axiomatic propositions of Canadian Nationalism vis-a-vis the Americans:

1. Boy, we hate Americans.

2. We really do.

3. Really.

4. I'm not kidding. We really hate them.

5. So how come they never pay us any attention?"

--Will Ferguson, Why I Hate Canadians, Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1997, p.105.


Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Maybe they can crash at Chris Patten's pad? According to the NY Times, "Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have agreed on a deal to settle the siege at the Church of the Nativity here, but it was stalled because they had not found a country willing to take 13 gunmen holed up in the church who have agreed to be sent abroad."

Here are a few suggestions:

Norway, to hang out with Hanna Kvanma (they can brainstom about future nominations for the Peace Prize).

England, to pal around with Tom Paulin (they can regale him with stories of shooting Jews in Israel, many of whom might possibly have been born in Brooklyn).

France, to shack up chez Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, the Vatican envoy to Israel and personal friend of Arafat (perhaps they can explain to him exactly how they shot their way into the church in the first place).
But will they agree to condemn Israel? As part of the U.N.'s special session on children this week, a U.N.-sponsored "Youth Forum" involving teenagers from around the world is meeting today to draft a series of resolutions to present to the session. So far, they haven't figured out how to overcome various differences of opinion regarding issues such as education, birth control, and health care. But if they're true to U.N. form, I predict there's one thing they'll be able to agree on...
The sweet smell of graft? Canadian opposition parties are still trying to generate outrage about apparent irregularities in the awarding of government contracts to Liberal cronies. The most recent allegations relate to expenditures aimed at increasing pro-Canada sentiment in Quebec. My favorite line so far, sparked by a questionable $150,000 sponsorship awarded to the Tulip Festival in Ottawa in 1999.

"The sweet scent of the tulips won't cover up the stench of the corruption that's in this government now," [Alliance MP John] Reynolds said.
Those self-absorbed Americans. Gnash those teeth! Tear that hair! Rend those garments! A new poll is out showing that "Americans care little about Canada":

Almost a third of Americans consider Canada just another state, many mistakenly think Japan and China are their biggest trading partners and most say Britain is their country's best ally, a new poll shows.

But like hopelessly infatuated teenagers, Canadians remain stubbornly loyal to the Americans who ignore them: 60 per cent of the Canadians surveyed described the United States as Canada's closest friend and ally, while only 18 per cent of U.S. respondents said the same.
Sweden in the news again.The Chronicle for Higher Education has an article today about a surprising hiring decision in that poverty-stricken Scandinavian nation, "Recommendation Against Scholar's Hiring Stirs Debate in Sweden" (not linkable):

Swedes in and out of academe are debating the action of a committee at Lund University that recommended against hiring the top candidate for a post as a history professor because it thought the candidate had failed to show sensitivity to the "special needs" of female graduate students.

Kristian Gerner, a history professor at Uppsala University, is well known in Sweden as a specialist on Russia and the former Soviet republics. He is one of four candidates picked by an academic search committee for a post that opened at Lund University, Sweden's largest institution. The three-member search committee unanimously designated Mr. Gerner as the best qualified of the four, adding that he was a "brilliant historian."

Last week, a second committee at the university, charged with checking candidates' teaching and "academic leadership" qualities, surprised observers by recommending that the university not hire Mr. Gerner. In its report, the majority of the six members of the university committee said the historian had behaved in "an arrogant way." Most damning, it said he "showed no signs of the awareness that one could expect from university research leaders today, concerning female graduate students: their stress and stress-related problems and their special needs for support."

Each of the four candidates had to give a sample lecture and then answer questions from the university committee. According to university officials, when committee members asked Mr. Gerner about the special problems that female graduate students encounter, his answer concentrated on the biological differences between men and women. Committee members apparently found this answer lacking, since there is a fairly widespread consensus in Sweden that female scholars often face discrimination in male-dominated academe.

However, a number of faculty members at Lund have spoken out or signed petitions in support of Mr. Gerner. Kim Salomon, chairman of Lund's history department, says the university committee's conclusions do not hold much water. "Their main argument was based on impressions from a half-hour interview. You can't compare that to the hours and days spent by the academic search committee to evaluate the academic work" of the candidates....

Lund's rector, Boel Flodgren, one of the county's few female university leaders, is expected to make the final choice on whom to hire later this month.

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