Canada-US Relations: One Canadian`s view.

January 31, 2016
Vanceboro-Me-AerialView

US-Canada border Vanceboro, Maine and St. Croix, New Brunswick. US to left.

God here we go again Americans are worried about Canada allowing so many Syrian refugees into our country right next door to them. My American friends Canada is an independent country capable of managing our own affairs. We are concerned about terrorism and security the same as you are.

Let me make one thing crystal clear to my American friends and neighbours. Contrary to what the fearmongers in your country preach the 9/11 terrorists did NOT enter the United States of American via Canada. They arrived via Boston’s Logan International Airport right under the noses of your security. Read that again okay just so you get it.

Canada has been America’s steadfast ally through World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War and Afghanistan. Our servicemen and women have died fighting alongside your forces. Our Canadian embassy in Iran rescued Americans during the Iranian crisis or the 1970s. Watch the movie Argo we saved your asses.

Sure we have our differences, but we have too many common beliefs and interests. Americans should be thankful they have us as next door neighbours. I haven’t seen pictures of hordes of Canadians trying to sneak across the US-Canadian boundary to seek a better life like along your southern border with Mexico.

I am proud of the fact that my country Canada is a compassionate and caring country toward it own citizens and to others. Refugees and others immigrating legally to Canada are becoming valuable citizens who are contributing to the building of our country. Multi-Culturalism in Canada is one of our key beliefs and Canada is better for it.

As for the current Syrian refugee situation we are bringing a large number to our country subject to extensive vetting and security screening. First we are only allowing families at this time, no single persons. The refugees are vetted via the United Nations agencies initially and then our own security screening overseas before they are approved. Once approved they are screened further upon arrival in Canada before being released within Canada. Once here they are monitored and supported by government and individuals. Canadians have embraced these families. They are already contributing to our society.  Remember these are people who have lived under constant threat of death and torture in their home country. They are not terrorists, they are fleeing terrorism. They are incredibly thankful to be able to live normal lives safe from war.

Canadians are concerned with the apparent rise of fascism and the lack of compassion that seems to be on the rise in your great country. It is unbelievable to me and most Canadians that the United States seems to not care. This is not the America that I know. I have many friends in the US and for my entire life have enjoyed visiting and interacting with them.

Canada and the United States share a continent and the longest common border in the world. Undefended yes, but not unmonitored. I believe and hope our close friendship will continue. I believe the majority of Americans value our friendship. Maybe I’m naive, but we are brothers and sisters. Together we are stronger if we lose this unique relationship both of us will be the poorer for it.


9/11 Never Forget

September 11, 2010

New York Times


Terrorist Cries in Court

December 23, 2008
Khan at work

Khan at work

Terrorist Khan Mohammed, 38 of Nangarhar Province Afghanistan was sentenced to life in prison in a Washington, DC courtroom today. Khan was convicted of drug trafficking and narco-terrorism charges. 

Seems he was plotting rocket attacks on U.S. military forces and Afghan civilians at Jalalabad airfield in Afghanistan. He was arrested, extradited and put on trial in the United States. He was also importing drugs as part of his jihad. Afghan police testified against him and submitted tape recordings of his attempt to buy missiles from an undercover officer. 

He was unable to obtain the missiles he wanted, otherwise many would have been killed. Testimony in court clearly demonstrated he has an extreme hatred of the United States. 

Now here’s the laughable part. He begged the judge before sentencing to give him one or two years so he could return to his family. He was sobbing as he asked the court to be merciful. Thankfully sense prevailed. The judge turned to Khan after sentencing and told him, “I heard your concerns for your family, but no acceptance of responsibility for your action.” 

Khan will die in prison. A proper death for this Taliban terrorist.


Mike Huckabee: Rising Star

December 19, 2007

mike_huckabee.jpgA candidate seems to be emerging as a dark horse contender in the 2008 American Presidential Race. He is Mike Huckabee a former governor of Arkansas. He was elected to that job in 1996 and served until January 2007. Mike is running as a Republican candidate.

Mike was born in 1955 in Hope, Arkansas and is now 52 years of age. He has been married to Janet for over 35 years. They are Christians of the Baptist faith. The Huckabee’s have three grown children. Mike and Janet live in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

He is university educated and the author of several books. In 2003 he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Subsequently he proceeded to lose 110 pounds over the next year. One of his books, “Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork” relates to his battle with the disease. It was published in 2005.

Mike is recognized as a national leader. He was honored in 2005 by Time Magazine as one of the five best governors in America. Governing Magazine named him on of its “Public Officials of the Year” for 2005. Also in 2005 he received the American Association of Retired Person’s “Impact Award”. The National Association of Music Merchants presented him with the “Music for Life Award” in 2007 for his commitment to music education.

On a personal level he is an avid runner having completed four marathons including the New York Marathon. Huckabee enjoys playing bass guitar in his rock band, Capitol Offense. They have opened for major acts such as Willie Nelson and the Charlie Daniels Band.

Here is what Mike has to say about some key personal issues, as well as issues facing the United States.

Faith:
“My faith is my life – it defines me. My faith doesn’t influence my decisions, it drives them. For example, when it comes to the environment, I believe in being a good steward of the earth. I don’t separate my faith from my personal and professional lives.”

Energy:
“The first thing I will do as President is send Congress my comprehensive plan for energy independence. We will achieve energy independence by the end of my second term.”
 
“Achieving energy independence is vital to achieving success both in the war on terror and in globalization. Energy independence will help guarantee both our safety and our prosperity. We have to explore, we have to conserve, and we have to pursue all avenues of alternative energy: nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel, and biomass.”

Education:
“I believe that every child should have the opportunity for a quality education that teaches the fundamental skills needed to compete in a global economy. As I traveled the country and the world over the last decade bringing jobs to Arkansas, the business leaders I met weren’t worried about creating jobs, they were worried about finding skilled and professional workers to fill those jobs.”

War on Terror:
“I believe that we are currently engaged in a world war. Radical Islamic fascists have declared war on our country and our way of life. They have sworn to annihilate each of us who believe in a free society, all in the name of a perversion of religion and an impersonal god. We go to great extremes to save lives, they go to great extremes to take them. This war is not a conventional war, and these terrorists are not a conventional enemy. I will fight the war on terror with the intensity and single-mindedness that it deserves.”

Marriage:
“I support and have always supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. As President, I will fight for passage of this amendment. My personal belief is that marriage is between one man and one woman, for life.”

“My wife Janet and I celebrated our thirty-third wedding anniversary this past May. For us, every anniversary is a miracle. When we were both twenty and married just over a year, when I was in my last semester of college, Janet was diagnosed with cancer of the spine. I can’t tell you what a stunning blow it was – two kids just starting out, you don’t think something like that can happen when you’re so young. Yet there we were, staring death in the face. At first, they told us that even if she lived, she might be paralyzed from the waist down, so I’d be a young man with an invalid wife. After I learned she wouldn’t be paralyzed, I was told that because of the radiation she had to receive following surgery, we’d probably never have children. I wanted children very much, I couldn’t imagine never being a father. During that time, a lot of things went through my mind. But one thing never did – the thought of leaving her. If Janet were in a wheelchair today, if we’d never had children, I can tell you this – she would still be my wife.”

More information on Mr. Huckabee and his stand on issues can be found on his official website:
www.mikehuckabee.com

Finally I want to state for the record that I am impartial in this election. You see I am Canadian and obviously can’t vote, but as a citizen of Canada, ally, friend, and next-door neighbor of America, I am keenly interested in who will be the next President of the United States.


Kennedy Assassination, November 22, 1963: Reflections

November 22, 2007

jfk_firstshot.jpg

(Frame from Zapruder Film shows Kennedy clutching his throat as the first shot strikes him.)

November 22, 1963 – where were you? I know exactly where I was when I heard the shocking news of the death of the young American President. I was in high school and just finishing classes that Friday afternoon when the announcement came over the public address system that President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas, Texas.

I for one can’t believe it is now 44 years later and still the man and the event fascinates. To my children it is just something they hear about in history books, but to me it is living history. The events of that tragic weekend created a new awareness in my fourteen year old mind. History, politics and world affairs were suddenly thrust into my everyday consiousness. Seeing world leaders from almost all the countries of the world marching in the solemn funeral procession made me realize how deeply we can be affected by world events.

We gathered around the television that entire weekend like moths to a lamp, hungering for news and trying to come to grips with the reality of the fact that Kennedy was dead. For me, as a young person, it was disbelief that this young and vital world leader had been cut down in his prime and replaced with a much older leader.  All this in just six seconds of gunfire in Dallas.

In 1963 the Cold War was at its height and to have the leader of the so-called Free World assassinated was chilling. At the time no one had any inkling of what would happen next. His successor, President Lyndon Johnson, did an admirable job of reassuring the American people and the world that an orderly transfer of power had taken place. He made sure his taking of the oath of office was photographed and witnessed by the media and others. He did this almost immediately after Kennedy was pronounced dead. It was imperative that the world know that government in the United States was still functioning and able to respond to any threat.

dealeyplaza.jpg

(Dealey Plaza, the scene of the assassination. Where the people are standing on the sidewalk in the middle of the photo is the location of  Kennedy’s limousine when he was fatally struck. The red building in the middle, top is the Texas School Book Depository location of the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.)

To understand the fear and panic of the moment let’s put this tragic story in the perspective of todays high-tech news world. This event occurred before camcorders, the internet, and cable news like CNN. On that fateful day television cameras were not even covering the president’s motorcade through downtown Dallas. Besides the cameras of that era were so bulky and unwieldy that their mobility was severely limited. Remote broadcasts with the portable video cameras of today were non-existent. People in the crowd along the route certainly did not have video camcorders. Pictures that do exist of the event are primarily from photographic stills. Fortunately Abraham Zapruder had his 8 mm home movie camera running from a relatively good vantage point in Dealey Plaza. He managed to capture the moment for posterity. This is the famous “Zapruder Film” now held by the National Archives. It is the only film record that captured the entire event. This inability to see live news feeds only added to the uncertainty of what was transpiring.zaprudercamera.jpg (Abraham Zapruder’s home movie camera, state of the art in 1963)

In our time this same event would be instaneously covered by the media. Many of the spectators lining the motorcade would be actively recording the scene with either a camcorder or a high quality digital camera. Images and reports from the scene would be transmitted live as they happened to the world via television and the internet. The unknown would clearly not be a factor. A significant amount of photographic evidence would exist that would show more clearly what happened that day. The assassination would certainly have been recorded as it happened from a myriad of angles and viewpoints throughout Dealey Plaza. Contrast the Kennedy Assassination with coverage of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks in 2001 and you can see the point I am making. Historical events in the 21st century come into our lives in more detail because of today’s technology. Always remember though that we still need to draw our own conclusions based on the evidence presented from various viewpoints. This is sometimes difficult when we are being bombarded with so much information so rapidly.

If only CNN et al had been there on that fateful Dallas day in 1963.


Sept. 11, 2001 – Never Forget

September 10, 2007

This day will never be forgotten just like other pivotal days in our time.  It should always be remembered that terrorists trained and based in Afghanistan made a coordinated and well-planned attack on Western civilization.  Why? To further their radical cause by killing as many innocent people as possible.  Those terrorists still pose a real threat.  Next time it might just involve the use of a nuclear weapon.  Think it can’t happen?  Think again.  No one, not even novelists like Tom Clancy, thought such a thing would happen. 

As a result of the breakup of the former Soviet Union (USSR) many nuclear warheads are unaccounted for.  Desperate former Soviet military personnel and scientists without jobs are being targeted by terrorist groups to sell these warheads. 

Bin Laden and others like him want one thing – the death of as many of us as possible. Rest assured that if they can get such a weapon they will have no qualms in using it. 

For those who believe it will not happen, let me tell you that you need to watch a movie called “The Sum of All Fears”.  In this film terrorists load a nuclear weapon disguised as a soda pop machine into a van and drive it into the parkade of a high-rise building.  They then detonate it causing catastrophic damage to the heart of a major city.  Modern nuclear warheads are not large in a physical sense, but certainly large in the explosive punch they pack.  A truly chilling scenario that is entirely possible.

So on September 11, six years after this evil attack, let us pray that it doesn’t happen again.  However, praying is not going to stop these evil men, vigilance and counter-attacks will.

For the sake of the memories of the innocent that died that day, never forget.


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