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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.


Wednesday, May 29, 2002

TNT, phone home. The recent NYT article provided touching recollections of the final phone conversations between several people trapped in the WTC on September 11 and their loved ones. Today, Yahoo news provides another last phone conversation from a different part of the world:

Just before blowing himself up near an ice cream parlor in a Tel Aviv suburb, 18-year-old Jihad Titi called his mother in this Palestinian refugee camp to say farewell.

"I realized that he is going to carry out a suicide attack," Haleema Titi, 52, told The Associated Press. "I said, `Oh, son, I hope your operation will succeed.'" Her husband, Ibrahim, said he wished his son — who was avenging the killing of a cousin by Israel — had carried a "nuclear bomb."

No comment. No comment necessary.
Must see TV. Anna Nicole Smith will have a new reality-based TV show this summer:

Variety reports E! Networks has greenlit a weekly half-hour reality-based series revolving around the busty model-widow for a late July or early August debut. "The Anna Nicole Smith Show" likely will air in a 10 p.m. slot on a to-be-determined night.

The series will follow Smith, her teenage son, her attorney and her assistant in their not-so-everyday Los Angeles-based life.

May I propose a title? "Who Wants to Marry a Billionaire?"
Another person for Eric Alterman to sneer at. The Globe and Mail has this harrowing account of a Canadian-born Israeli and her children at the settlement where a Palestinian gunman killed three teenagers yesterday:

A Canadian-born woman spent last night cowering in her basement, her children by her side and a rifle on her lap as security forces hunted down and killed a Palestinian gunman who shot dead three Jewish students in the West Bank settlement of Itamar.

In a telephone interview, Ms. Zimmerman said her daughter was pulled to safety, escaping the attention of the gunman, who was believed to have been a militant from Nablus. But she said her next-door neighbour's teenaged son was not so lucky.

"One of the boys shot was our neighbour, a student," Ms. Zimmerman said from her blackened basement. "My daughter saw him get shot down. She's in shock, crying."

In a scene reminiscent of the recent New York Times article recounting phone calls between those trapped in the WTC and their families:

Ms. Zimmerman's mother Reva Lawry, who lives in Toronto, said she spoke to her daughter just minutes after last night's shootings. The threat of terrorism is something her grandchildren live with daily, Ms. Lawry said.

"I phoned her and she said, 'Mommy, I can't talk right now, we're in the basement. There's a terrorist shooting people,' " said Ms. Lawry, 65. Before hanging up, "she said the children feel safe because they see her with the gun on her lap."

Eric Alterman blames settlers such as Ms. Zimmerman for putting themselves and their children at risk. Presumably he feels the same way about Americans who choose to live in cities rather than suburbs or rural areas. After all, if you choose to live in that urban neighborhood near a relatively high crime area when you could have chosen to live in the nice safe suburbs, you must be to blame when your kid is a victim of crime. Right, Eric?
Montreal = "Bangkok West". According to a new report, Montreal has become the sex tourism capital of North America.

Montreal is already known as a tourist destination for its museums, festivals and fine cuisine. According to the Quebec Council on the Status of Women, it's also becoming a top draw for the sex trade.

Officials from the Quebec agency said yesterday in a study on prostitution that the lower Canadian dollar and the city's reputation for permissiveness are turning Montreal into a haven for sex tourism.

Yet there are conflicting reports about the source of the "Johns" in Montreal. One the one hand:

The agency's report noted that strip clubs, some of which are covers for prostitution, often operate close to the U.S. border.

"This indicates that the clientele comes mainly from outside Quebec," the report said.

But on the other hand:

Chief Inspector Gagnon said 90 per cent of streetwalkers' customers are from the Montreal area, based on arrests in the past two years. Police have no details for customers for other kinds of services, such as escort agencies.

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