Their Mouth is Writing a Check They Might Not be Able to Cash

According to this news report the US Ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, has given a speech where he warns Canadian politicians against bashing the United States in an effort to gain votes in the coming election.

The issues that concern me the most are self defense and national defense (with the environment coming in a distant 3rd), and I’ve been frustrated with the way the Canadian government has acted on those issues for the past few years. But what’s been even more maddening is the way that the Canadian government and media has insisted that they’re better than the Americans in some way, even though they appear to be failing miserably while we’re actually making progress.

Ambassador Wilkins’s remarks indicate that there may just be some payback for using the US as their favorite whipping boy….

“It may be smart election politics to thump your chest and constantly criticize your friend and your No. 1 trading partner. But it’s a slippery slope and all of us should hope it doesn’t have a long-term impact on our relationship.”

American disgust with what we saw as French duplicity had a profound effect on their economy, even without any action by the US government. It sounds like the current administration in Washington has decided that enough is finally enough. If this is pushed as an issue in the States, and Canadian rhetoric is brought to the attention of US voters/consumers, then Canada could be in for a rather rude awakening.

Another thing that many “world leaders” seem to have forgotten is that George Bush is going to be President for the next three years. It’s in their best interests to try and improve relations with America, instead of destroying any good will in an effort to garner short-term advantage at the polls.

Don’t Argue with a Fool, Unless you Need Practice

In a generally fact-free diatribe, which by now has been widely denounced, Juergen Tritten, German Environment Minister, appears to blame the Bush administration for hurricanes. Focusing on the few places where he makes a factual assertion, the facts fail to support his arguments. Tritten: “No single storm can be traced back to climate change, but three things can be scientifically proven beyond doubt. First, natural catastrophes are drastically increasing in frequency and magnitude.”

Compare the data from the 1850’s to the 1990’s, or see if you can find a trend line in these historical records of hurricanes in the US. Or is Tritten proposing that earthquakes in the Pacific and hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico arise from a common cause?

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Newsweek Duplicity

Most Americans are already aware that Newsweek is a resolutely anti-Republican sensationalist outfit. In keeping with most such publications, the editors consistenly slap together “high brow” (read elitist) fare, at once feeding the readership scraps of tabloid journalism while its opinion pages consistently mocks the same demographic. None of this is news, as anyone who reads the rag on a consistent basis can attest.

What is less clear, perhaps, is just how vicious its overseas editions get. Its Japanese edition, for example, excoriates America (and not just the red states), featuring a picture of American flags in trash cans. And yet, the contemporaneous edition in the US features a picture of President Bush, with only the blurb “America Leads … But Is Anyone Following?” as the only indication of its slant. Again, the cynical give Red Staters their pretty pictures, and Blue Staters their liberal [read Leftist] text, because we all know Red Staters are illiterate anyway ploy to try to shore up its dwindling reader base.

Gaijinbiker at Riding Sun provides more examples.

Even before this, I’d been considering cutting Newsweek out of my reading list. After the Koran-flushing debacle, I decided that I’ll get my readings of George Will from the Washington Post instead.

(Via: Instapundit)

[Cross-posted at Between Worlds]

We’re All In This Together

Surfing the net, I happened upon the “Ward Churchill is a Fraud” site. But what I found was lovely rather than angry. The academy’s narrow partisanship and emphasis upon factionalism chills, but this warms. The specifics were original, the generous sentiment not:

To know the response of Indian country to the 9/11 tragedies is to reflect on the humanitarianism shown by Eastern Native communities: from the Mohawk to the Oneida, the Pequot, Mohegan and many others who immediately put their people – ironworkers, ferry-boat crews and medical personnel – into the rescue and recovery operations, to the California Indian nations that expressed their solidarity with America and donated generously to the rescue efforts, to the Lakota families who brought their Sacred Pipe to pray at the site, leaving their quiet offerings early one dawn.

This is always the preferred way of human beings – to understand the kind of empathy required to belong to the human race is essential in all political and economic discourse.

This sense of the universal and acts of a generous spirit are not created by education, but a wise heart. However, appreciating our relation to others – separated by time and space but bonded by our common humanity – is the purpose of the disciplines that today have most betrayed that tradition. That study (as Newman noted) doesn’t give us a kind heart but does help us understand it. And our art – the art that lasts – celebrates the universal, the human. That is why they are very, very important. But also why they are strong – they will survive the petty betrayals of our time.

This is What I Get for not Reading the Blogs Every Day

Besides working for 10 hours every day, the classes I’m taking this quarter require me to read somewhere between 400 and 600 pages every week and spend about 5 hours a day on campus. It’s not like I’m digging ditches or anything, but I am short on sleep and pressed for time.

So I hope you’ll forgive me if I mention something that’s been discussed to death in the blogosphere. It seems that there are people who think that the US deliberately withheld warnings about the tsunami. They say that we wanted to do this because not only would thousands upon thousands of innocent people (mostly Muslim) die, but we could then gain valuable PR and foreign relation credibility by springing into action and providing aid for the survivors.

And, of course, there are those who think that the US is all powerful and that we somehow tripped the tsunami-causing earthquake off.

What is the “proof” for these allegations? Well, it would seem that our naval base at Diego Garcia escaped major damage from the tsunami. The fact that the tsunami hit Indonesia hours before reaching DG, so the Navy had plenty of time to prepare, is ignored.

I’m wondering why no one points out that the US could easily conquer the world and silence all critics if we had this kind of unstoppable power. (By “no one” I mean none of the conspiracy theorists, since I’ve just pointed it out myself.)

It’s easy to dismiss this as a bunch of slack-jawed fools with too much imagination. But blog goddess Natalie Solent goes one better. She’s discovered that the BBC, a news organization that enjoys a completely undeserved reputation, is considering these allegations of sinister plots to be an open question.

So the US military either has plans in place to take advantage of natural disasters in order to gain advantage, or else we can cause natural disasters at will in order to be seen as the savior after we give aid. And Europeans claim that Americans are unsophisticated and lacking nuance.