Friday, September 02, 2005

I get by with a little help from my friends...

Quote of the Day:

"Isn't it funny how someone always says how wise you are...right up until that time that you disagree with something they say?"~~aka_monty

First off, I would like to offer apologies for taking a cheap shot in anger last evening, toward Canada, in a friend's comment area. As a rule, I don't wish to run down other countries because I don't want to sound foolish~I am aware of my sadly uneducated state on these matters. Plus there is the small fact that I count as friends people from many other places~from Hong Kong to New Zealand, from Britain to Wales, from Brazil to Canada.
**Note: Nearly all the people whom I number under the 'friend' category have been unfailingly supportive and generous. This post is directed specifically at those who find it necessary to constantly denigrate the US of A and all that she stands for.

But now it occurs to me that hey, if others can be offensive and run down my country, why should I bite my tongue and not offer a rebuttal? In defense of my great country I should certainly be entitled to at least that much, wouldn't you agree? So I find myself willing to roll up my sleeves and enter the arena. Bear in mind I am not just randomly disrespecting another country, another people, but simply refuting what has already been spewed forth.

Should I try this alone? No, no no. I turned to a higher power. One who is so much more knowledgeable than I, someone who has a brilliant mind, someone who is well versed in policy, politics, government, and just general world knowledge. Someone who is, incidentally, engaged to a very lovely Canadian woman who happens to be a political speech-writer.

I did not ask this higher power to take my side or vindicate me, I simply passed on some remarks that some specific Canadians have made and asked him for his opinion, in the interest of not getting myself embroiled in (another) overly-emotional argument (as I did last night).

I challenge you to visit Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred. Leave some comments if you take exception to something they have to say. They do so enjoy an intelligent, well-thought-out debate.

I shall preserve your anonymity so that you will not receive trollish visitors. You can thank me later.

Canadian #1:
"How very... Regular... That after a few days, Canadian news goes back to bitching about gas prices, with highlights of the important hurricane information, but US news is still going on nonstop, and in fact, interrupting regularly scheduled programs to reiterate points previously made about said disaster.

I feel for the victims in their families, but I have to say (with no offense intended to any Americans reading hehe) that the US (media, with influences the population) really know how to feel bad. When was the last time you heard about a 9/11 benefit or memorial? Last week? Uh-huh. Me too. On tv.

I'm not trying to be insensitive, but (and maybe I'm ignorant) America REALLY doesn't like to let things go. When was the last time you heard a Canadian say "We saved your ass in World War Two!" or "We need another Ice Storm memorial!"? "

Sigmund, Carl, & Alfred have this to say:
US news is reporting on this non-stop because the event is still unfolding. When the ice storm was unfolding, the coverage was wall to wall, too.

It is clear you don't understand the impact 9/11 had on this nation. Don't opine on it and look like an idiot. Conservatives and Liberals might not agree on many things, but no one here can deny the impact of 9/11. You don't have a clue.

Let's be realistic. Canada toots it's own horn, everyday, pretending they are relevant. They failed in Rwanda, under the UN on a supposed 'peacekeeping' mission. They jumped to help Afghanistan and had to beg the US for boots. Canada cannot field more than one field hospital or kitchen and has not lived up to it's NATO obligations for years. All the while, it is Canadians that won't let go of an image no longer real- that Canadian participation on the world stage is relevant.

CANADIAN #2 posted this:
"I'm watching CNN right now...i feel so sorry for everyone struck by this hurricane, and i feel so helpless when watching footage of 2 women breaking into a drug store because one of them is diabetic and needs test strips, and the other woman has a new baby who needs's so devastating. but with this come the unfortunate sight if Bush attempting to speak to the public. has anyone else wondered how you can be president, and have a total lack of public speaking skills? he's pathetic at it!!! but this is one of the things that annoys me about the States...the Tsunami last Christmas was so much worse than this, and Canada, who is a smaller and poorer nation, managed to give more help in the form of money and people, yet now they are doing a "Global Fundraiser" to help rebuild...if they do not give help to other countries when it's needed, and has declared war on so many nations, trying to force their way of life on them, and now they want international help??"

Sigmund, Carl, & Alfred offer this response:
Americans give more money in foreign aid than all countries combined. Canada's contribution has been diminishing for decades, in real terms.

As for Mr Bush's speaking abilities- so what if he isn't an orator. By your measure, Hitler would have been a great man because he was a great public speaker. In Poland, one of the most beloved reformers, Adam Michnik of the Solidarity movement, had a speech impediment. I suppose you laugh at Jean Chretian, too.

Not every President (or Canadian Prime Minister) was a great orator. It is said that Abraham Lincoln delivered his speeches poorly and was often referred to as a 'bore.' I guess that would disqualify him as a great president in your eyes.

In a comment to the above post, Canadian #1 said:
"Smaller? Not really. But I know what you mean.
Their military budget is unreal, yet they can't help their own people? Get off of it. And don't even get me started on Bushy."

Siggie, Carl, & Fred say:
"So you don't like our president? That's OK. It isn't as if your opinions make a difference here. As for helping their own people, well, there is no natural disaster in Vancouver, and yet thousands upon thousands are living in the same situation in Vancouver as they are in New Orleans."

In response to the same post, Canadian #3 says:
"You have a good point about the americans.
The states are rich enough to help themselves, they shouldn't be asking for international intervention."

Once again, my wise friend springs to the fore:
"Americans can't help their own people? Since when? Americans didn't ask for help- it was offered, in many cases by nations grateful for years and decades of American assistance. Maybe if Canada asked for help, the US could help clean up the human disaster in Vancouver."

Thank you for the rebuttal and voice of reason, Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred.

Now, don't some of you feel angry and defensive? Don't you wish to lash out with more disinformation that you suppose is true? Perhaps you can now understand or feel a small part of what I felt as I read some of your ill-chosen words.
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