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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, June 11, 2002

Oh my. And another visitor was Googling for "Montreal streetwalkers." Hmmm.
Just use baking soda and a stiff toothbrush. This site just received a hit from someone using the following Google search: "teeth whitening vancouver prices."
The CLC responds. Here is a letter from Kenneth Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, responding to Margaret Wente's column (which I first noted here). The letter starts off in classic non-sequitur debating style: "As president of the Canadian Labour Congress, I am offended by Margaret Wente's insinuations that the CLC is anti-Semitic." Of course, one must read way between the lines of Wente's column to see any such insinuation.

Then Georgetti gets to some reasonable points:

[Ms. Wente] did not mention that delegates will have to decide on 1,496 resolutions submitted from across the country. Only four of them relate to the Middle East. Most deal, indeed, with "organizing the kids at Starbucks," workplace issues, bargaining matters, health and safety concerns, the standard of living and quality of life.

Resolutions to be debated come from members and the leadership of 65 unions, 12 provincial and territorial federations, 137 local labour councils and 2.5 million members. So why does Ms. Wente focus on one single resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? It is incredibly arrogant on her part to declare it the most important item of this five-day convention.

If it is true that all members are able to submit resolutions, then I suppose one can't automatically hold the CLC responsible for taking a vote on stupid resolutions. So we'll have to see how the vote goes.
Free money for everyone! Canada has a larger-than-expected budget surplus again. Guess how it will be used:

The Prime Minister's Office is gearing up to spend a large portion of this year's ballooning surplus on agriculture, cities, children and the environment — initiatives that will be spelled out in detail this fall, possibly in a Throne Speech, Ottawa sources say....

Last winter's budget projected a $2-billion surplus, but now economists say the amount could run as high as $10-billion....

Some of that money will likely be spent in an agriculture initiative to be announced well before next fall to give immediate help to the farming sector struggling to compete with a massive injection of farm subsidies in the United States.

But most of the new spending initiatives, and perhaps another segment of farm aid, will be rolled out in the fall, as Mr. Chrétien tries to deflect criticism about the ethics of his government by launching a strong, action-oriented policy agenda.

Any tax reduction? Don't be silly. Think of the children! Think of the farmers! Think of the farmers' children!

Can someone explain to me where Canada's tax money goes? The rates here are substantially higher than in the U.S., and there is essentially no defense spending. So where does the money go? I'm not complaining, mind you. I'm just curious. It can't just be universal health care. Thanks to Medicaid and especially Medicare, the U.S. government covers a substantial portion of the U.S. population -- and, more importantly, the portion that has the lion's share of the medical bills.

So other than providing a trough from which allies of the Liberal government can sup, where does the money go?
Randall Morck on U.S. protectionism. Here is a very nice article by Randall Morck, one of the pre-eminent economists in Canada. (Hey, why hasn't he moved down to a U.S. university yet?):

George W. Bush just handed American agribusinesses a gigantic subsidy to help it undercut farmers from other countries. A few weeks ago, he slapped a 30-per-cent tax on steel imports. Before that, he erected a punitive trade barrier against Canadian lumber. All of this is actually good news for Canada. Here's why.
Then it's time for him to go. The Globe and Mail has had two editorials in the last two weeks noting that Arafat can not deliver on anything even if he were to suddenly decide he wanted to. The first mention of this is no longer on the Web (as it is more than 7 days old), but it ridiculed the Israelis and the U.S. for holding Arafat responsible for the current terror campaign.

And from a Globe and Mail editorial, titled "The Thoughtful (sic) Plan of Hosni Mubarak."

The reality is that Mr. Arafat is largely a spent force, an object of contempt among large numbers of Palestinians. Even if he wanted to halt all Palestinian violence (a large if), he has neither the moral authority nor the military muscle to do so.

So if it is entirely clear that Arafat has no authority, exactly why does the Globe and Mail (and the Canadian government) continue to express a desire that Israel negotiate with Arafat. A pretty clear Rule #1 of negotiation would appear to be: you don't bother to negotiate with someone who can't deliver on whatever promises he makes during the negotiation. Yet the Globe and Mail continues to ramble on with this incredible logical gap.

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