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Not all Canadians suck...

by dragonchild (Archbishop)
on Sep 13, 2001 at 17:15 UTC ( #112176=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Update: That this was spoken in 1973 by someone who died in 1984 makes this no less applicable today than it was 28 years ago.

America: The Good Neighbor. Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television Commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional


"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts.

None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10?

If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times - and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broken.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

Don't go borrowing trouble. For programmers, this means Worry only about what you need to implement.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Not all Canadians suck...
by ginseng (Pilgrim) on Sep 13, 2001 at 17:25 UTC
    This went around on a mailing list I'm on, too. What was posted back was this:

    just so you're aware.. it's a nice tribute, but it's not related to yesterday's events. it actually dates from June 5, 1973. Gordon Sinclair in fact died in 1984. it generally makes an appearance any time something bad happens in the US.

      It's also worth looking at those events in the context of the time. World history and politics were fascinating during the times the article mentions.

      I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

Re: Not all Canadians suck...
by pmas (Hermit) on Sep 13, 2001 at 19:39 UTC
    Your post implies that most people may think that all Canadian sucks. Why? I think that most people (at least outside of USA) believe Canada is great country. And I am not canadian...;-)

    I believe you are surprised that Canada values and remembers USA's help in rebuilding Europe. And many people in Europe remember and value it, too. Even if they bith about american turists, they really do.

    Strange part is, that USA itself is not proud of it, and wanted to forget about it and do not repeat this success story. At least that was my impression from debate between presidential candidades (and the outcome). All world understands how powerful and rich (in resources and people's talents) USA is. How much good is possible to do with all this power and goodwill. That is exactly why many people do not understand USA sometimes: why try to bully UN by not paying membership? Why threathen to leave Balkans (only 10% of army there is from USA?) Why to abandon Kyoto Protocol? Climate in Europe really depends on Gulfstream, and if coming inevitable changes in climate will change Gulfstream, Europe might be in iceage in just couple of years - with all consequences for farmers and everubody. And UK, Germany are scared about that - for a good reason.

    Please understand me properly. All world stays with USA in this terrible tragedy. But USA should think what to do after terrorists are punished. I hope people will not celebrate on the streets.

    Somebody said that stupidity is to repeat the same action and expect different results. Americans are not stupid - and canadians do not sucks.

    To make errors is human. But to make million errors per second, you need a computer.

      Why would the US not want to repeat that 'success story'? It could be that most americans feel that Europe is ungrateful for the help the US gave them.

      Kyoto is wrong, it is designed to benifit Europe at the expence of the US.
      The statistics for the base line CO2 emitions per year rigged. They use a year prior to major reductions in CO2 emitions in many European nations to allow those nations to already be well under the reduction limits imposed by Kyoto, had 2000 been used as a base line most European nations would need to cut industry significantly to meet reduction standards as the treaty requires the US to do.
      Kyoto only looks at emitions of CO2 it ignores natural and artiffical reductions of CO2 in a nation. In Europe where countries have high populations deseties that is not a big issue. But in the US the large amount of natual perserves and farm land cause the US to be a net reducer of CO2.
      Kyoto would also have very little noticeable effect, the earths oceans produce 60-80% of the CO2 emmited on earth, add in natural sources like forest fires and volcanos and the CO2 produced by humans becomes a trivial amount.
      The ultamit effect of Kyoto would be to restrict US industry while not placeing the same restrictions on European industry. Europe and the US have used tarifs ineffectively for years to get the upper hand in trade over the years. Kyoto is more of the same but wraped in the false image of environmentalism.
        USA spends about 3 times more gas per capita than Germany or UK. USA produces cca 25% of total world CO2 polution. These numbers are from Newsweek, not from GreenPeace, so I tend to believe it. If USA drivers swith from SUV to station wagons, more gas will be saved that is ever expected to be drilled out from new Alaska fields (ANWR?, I guess). USA taxpayers will pay I believe 10 Billions for big oil companies (like Cheney's Halliburton) for tax incentives to drill there. Billions of gallons of gas will be released into atmosphere. Estimates say that average temperature will increase 5-10 degrees (F) in next 100 years. And all this can be reversed by some pittances, some funny forrests planted? Forrests in Carbon era needed tens of millions of years to put all this CO2 out of atmosphere, to make coal and oil. No natural preserves in USA can repeat this in next 100 years. It ist not ever funny.

        USA has resources to create i.e. hybrid car for SUV, to it will have a chance to be sold outside USA (now no european country I guess cannot afford this gas guzzler). And cheap hybrid car making 80 miles per gallon will be a hit in europe (where gas tas is not cca 10% like in USA, but 200% and more). Butt stricter norms were rejected in USA.

        After temperature rise and ocean level will increase (3 feet are expected within 100 years), some countries will struggle, but has resources to prevail (like Netherland), but some islands in Pacific and Indian ocean will be just plain wiped out. What will do these desperate people? What you will do in such a case? Hurry up to see Venice, it is still above sea level for now.

        Increased ocean temperature means increased number and power of hurricanes. So more hurricanes like Mitchell are coming to Latin America.

        Calculating cost of oil from cost of drilling and processing is like calculation cost of mortgage from cab fare on the way to get to the bank.
        Ecologic thinking is hard to plant to politics. It does not pay: for a nation, is chater not protect environment, because cost of cleaning is shared between nations, so share of big polluter is paid off by less polluting nations (in terms of illness, agriculture changes etc.). And yes, I know about Clean Air act, and USA did a lot implementing it, and I applaud.

        Another reason why politics is not interested in ecology: Results will not be visible by next elections, so why bother? And part of population most affected - childern, who will need to clean all this mess - cannot vote at all.

        I love America, and it just breaks my heart when USA is doing things like backing out of Kyoto. In all european countries Greens are much stronger than in USA (where they played a role of spoiler last time) and just cannot believe that.

Re: Not all Canadians suck...
by Rex(Wrecks) (Curate) on Sep 13, 2001 at 20:43 UTC
    This is in response to the UPDATE line.

    Things have changed! Talk to any Canadian today and they will nearly all (there are losers in all countries :) tell you how tragic and horrid this event is.

    Talk to them last Monday and they would have spoken of the injustice of the new timber tariffs, and how the US uses its weight to break and pull out of NAFTA agreements when it suits them. Talk to them 2 years ago and they would have told you about the Alaskan boats trying their hardest to make Salmon an extict species.

    Don't get me wrong, I live and work in the US, and I was almost as stunned as any of the Americans I worked with (I say almost because I don't have the same nationalistic pride being bombarded on top of everything else), and this in NO WAY, SHAPE, or FORM CONDONES OR SUPPORTS THE ACTS OF BRUTAL TERRORISIM!

    I like the US and so do most other Canadians, but we have also been bullied by the US, and it hurts because they don't remember things like being able to divert all air traffic to thier northern neighbour when it comes tarrif time.

    "Nothing is sure but death and taxes" I say combine the two and its death to all taxes!
Re: Not all Canadians suck...
by mitd (Curate) on Sep 14, 2001 at 01:50 UTC
    As the self appointed 'old fart Canadian' I would just like to add a few historical facts to this piece.

    Gordon Sinclair was a Canadian Radio personality on CFRB in Toronto. His show 'Lets Get Personal' was syndicated across English speaking Canada.

    Gordon was a kind of Canadian Andy Rooney. A bit of curmudgeon but his knowlege of history was impeccable and though you might not always agree with him you always listened.

    My mother worked with him in the 1970's and I called her for some perspective on what took place the night it presented this piece.

    She recalled how the piece was picked up by a Buffalo radio station and just snowballed from there. So many requests for copies of piece came in that they had to hire an outside printer. Finally a few weeks latter the piece was brought to the floor of the US Congress and read into the Congressional record.

    Although I think the Subject of this node is unfortunate lacking ... shall we say ... a certain maturity. It is nice to see Mr. Sinclair's thoughts resurface at a time when the US and its citizens need and deserve all the morale boosting they can get.

    mitd-Made in the Dark
    'My favourite colour appears to be grey.'

Not all Americans are Naive
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Sep 13, 2001 at 23:23 UTC
    Well since we have americans quoting Canadians about how wonderful the USA is, I thought i'd turn it around and be a Canadian quoting an American about the other side:

    Death, Downtown

    Dear friends,

    I was supposed to fly today on the 4:30 PM American Airlines flight from LAX to JFK. But tonight I find myself stuck in L.A. with an incredible range of emotions over what has happened on the island where I work and live in New York City.

    My wife and I spent the first hours of the day -- after being awakened by phone calls from our parents at 6:40am PT -- trying to contact our daughter at school in New York and our friend JoAnn who works near the World Trade Center.

    I called JoAnn at her office. As someone picked up, the first tower imploded, and the person answering the phone screamed and ran out, leaving me no clue as to whether or not she or JoAnn would live.

    It was a sick, horrible, frightening day.

    On December 27, 1985 I found myself caught in the middle of a terrorist incident at the Vienna airport -- which left 30 people dead, both there and at the Rome airport. (The machine-gunning of passengers in each city was timed to occur at the same moment.)

    I do not feel like discussing that event tonight because it still brings up too much despair and confusion as to how and why I got to live... a fluke, a mistake, a few feet on the tarmac, and I am still here, there but for the grace of...

    Safe. Secure. I'm an American, living in America. I like my illusions. I walk through a metal detector, I put my carry-ons through an x-ray machine, and I know all will be well.

    Here's a short list of my experiences lately with airport security:

    * At the Newark Airport, the plane is late at boarding everyone. The counter can't find my seat. So I am told to just "go ahead and get on" -- without a ticket!

    * At Detroit Metro Airport, I don't want to put the lunch I just bought at the deli through the x-ray machine so, as I pass through the metal detector, I hand the sack to the guard through the space between the detector and the x-ray machine. I tell him "It's just a sandwich." He believes me and doesn't bother to check. The sack has gone through neither security device.

    * At LaGuardia in New York, I check a piece of luggage, but decide to catch a later plane. The first plane leaves without me, but with my bag -- no one knowing what is in it.

    * Back in Detroit, I take my time getting off the commuter plane. By the time I have come down its stairs, the bus that takes the passengers to the terminal has left -- without me. I am alone on the tarmac, free to wander wherever I want. So I do. Eventually, I flag down a pick-up truck and an airplane mechanic gives me a ride the rest of the way to the terminal.

    * I have brought knives, razors; and once, my traveling companion brought a hammer and chisel. No one stopped us.

    Of course, I have gotten away with all of this because the airlines consider my safety SO important, they pay rent-a-cops $5.75 an hour to make sure the bad guys don't get on my plane. That is what my life is worth -- less than the cost of an oil change.

    Too harsh, you say? Well, chew on this: a first-year pilot on American Eagle (the commuter arm of American Airlines) receives around $15,000 a year in annual pay.

    That's right -- $15,000 for the person who has your life in his hands. Until recently, Continental Express paid a little over $13,000 a year. There was one guy, an American Eagle pilot, who had four kids so he went down to the welfare office and applied for food stamps -- and he was eligible!

    Someone on welfare is flying my plane? Is this for real?
    Yes, it is.

    So spare me the talk about all the precautions the airlines and the FAA is taking. They, like all businesses, are concerned about one thing -- the bottom line and the profit margin.

    Four teams of 3-5 people were all able to penetrate airport security on the same morning at 3 different airports and pull off this heinous act? My only response is -- that's all?

    Well, the pundits are in full diarrhea mode, gushing on about the "terrorist threat" and today's scariest dude on planet earth -- Osama bin Laden. Hey, who knows, maybe he did it. But, something just doesn't add up.

    Am I being asked to believe that this guy who sleeps in a tent in a desert has been training pilots to fly our most modern, sophisticated jumbo jets with such pinpoint accuracy that they are able to hit these three targets without anyone wondering why these planes were so far off path?

    Or am I being asked to believe that there were four religious/political fanatics who JUST HAPPENED to be skilled airline pilots who JUST HAPPENED to want to kill themselves today?

    Maybe you can find one jumbo jet pilot willing to die for the cause -- but FOUR? Ok, maybe you can -- I don't know.

    What I do know is that all day long I have heard everything about this bin Laden guy except this one fact -- WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden!

    Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!

    Don't take my word for it -- I saw a piece on MSNBC last year that laid it all out. When the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the CIA trained him and his buddies in how to commits acts of terrorism against the Soviet forces. It worked! The Soviets turned and ran. Bin Laden was grateful for what we taught him and thought it might be fun to use those same techniques against us.

    We abhor terrorism -- unless we're the ones doing the terrorizing.

    We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me. Thirty thousand murdered civilians and who the hell even remembers!

    We fund a lot of oppressive regimes that have killed a lot of innocent people, and we never let the human suffering THAT causes to interrupt our day one single bit.

    We have orphaned so many children, tens of thousands around the world, with our taxpayer-funded terrorism (in Chile, in Vietnam, in Gaza, in Salvador) that I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised when those orphans grow up and are a little whacked in the head from the horror we have helped cause.

    Yet, our recent domestic terrorism bombings have not been conducted by a guy from the desert but rather by our own citizens: a couple of ex-military guys who hated the federal government.

    From the first minutes of today's events, I never heard that possibility suggested. Why is that?

    Maybe it's because the A-rabs are much better foils. A key ingredient in getting Americans whipped into a frenzy against a new enemy is the all-important race card. It's much easier to get us to hate when the object of our hatred doesn't look like us.

    Congressmen and Senators spent the day calling for more money for the military; one Senator on CNN even said he didn't want to hear any more talk about more money for education or health care -- we should have only one priority: our self-defense.

    Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure when the rest of the world isn't living in poverty so we can have nice running shoes?

    In just 8 months, Bush gets the whole world back to hating us again. He withdraws from the Kyoto agreement, walks us out of the Durban conference on racism, insists on restarting the arms race -- you name it, and Baby Bush has blown it all.

    The Senators and Congressmen tonight broke out in a spontaneous version of "God Bless America." They're not a bad group of singers!

    Yes, God, please do bless us.

    Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!

    Why kill them? Why kill anyone? Such insanity...

    Let's mourn, let's grieve, and when it's appropriate let's examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.

    It doesn't have to be like this...


    Michael Moore

      I don't want to downplay any of the things Michael Moore has said here, but it has a slight taste of propaganda. It may be just me; I don't know. It has a flavor to it that suggests it'd ripe to be sent all over the Internet in forwarded emails. Some of the facts quoted strike me funny, though I can neither prove nor disprove them. The have an uncomfortable versimultude - perhaps I'm merely demonstrating that I feel like the author does, uncomfortable with the entire situation.

      I'd feel more comfortable if someone could vouch for the truthfulness of this letter. You see, I'm afraid I may agree with the author of this letter, and this makes me uncomfortable.

      Before I'm horrendously downvoted for beating this post up (which I'm not), let me point out that not only did I not vote for Bush, I've been concerned since the start of his administration that we would be embroiled in a war within the first year. It appears to be coming true. I'm deeply, deeply concerned about the loss of American liberties, in trade for an false sense of security. I've spent a good portion of this week chastising my friends who say things like "I'd give up {such-and-such} if I knew this wouldn't happen again." I believe the current administration is prone to relieving us of privacy and personal liberty. I spent several hours just last night researching quotes on liberty and freedom from the founding fathers, and visionaries since. I've read with growing discomfort the articles this week from Wired and The Washington Post on America's willingness to trade liberty and freedom for security. In short, I'm scared for my country, and for our way of life.

      We need to protect not just American lives, but the American way of life.

      Having done the work, let me close with this:

      "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government purposes are beneficent...The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning, but without understanding." -- Justice Louis Brandeis

      "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." -- William Pitt (the younger)

      and the oft-quoted Ben Franklin, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

      Michael Moore wrote:
      In just 8 months, Bush gets the whole world back to hating us again. He withdraws from the Kyoto agreement, walks us out of the Durban conference on racism, insists on restarting the arms race -- you name it, and Baby Bush has blown it all...

      Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!

      Michael, it appears that you and I disagree politically. However, I think I am on safe ground when I say that the planning for this dastardly attack took longer than 8 months.

      America only has one president at a time. In time of war, Americans unite behind their president. That certainly seems to be the example that Congress is setting for the nation.

      If Gore were president today, he would have my full support. And, by the way, his support for Kyoto would not diminish America's stature as a target in the minds of the terrorist groups throughout the world.

      Dave Aiello
      Chatham Township Data Corporation

Re: Not all Canadians suck...
by xphase_work (Pilgrim) on Sep 14, 2001 at 18:18 UTC
    I would just like to comment that I don't think this is an American tragedy. I think this is a tragedy for the whole world. People from many different countries were injured or killed on Tuesday. The whole world mourns the loss.

    I think we need to stop focusing on nationalities, and realize that this is a tragedy for everyone, not just America. We need to think of those people and families involved with this as people, not as just members of a country.

    I fear that thinking only in terms of nations will lead only to more hate, fear, and violence. Regardless of if/how the US retaliates, we must not let ourselves hate others who are different.

    I take no offence to this posting, or most of the others in this thread. In direct response to this node, realize that the rest of the world is no longer kicking us around now, for they realize that we are all in this together.

    Thank you,

by Kevman (Pilgrim) on Sep 14, 2001 at 17:48 UTC
    Not sure I fully agree with you there dragonchild.
    Sure America has done its bit for the world, but please bear in mind the outcome if America hadn't helped in WWI / 2

    All countries try to do their bit whereever possible.

    Unfortunately we dont all have the size / wealth that America does

    For the record I am British.
Re: Not all Canadians suck...
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 13, 2001 at 20:01 UTC

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