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.

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Face of evil

May 4, 2010

Face of Evil/Orkut.com

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani born, naturalized U.S. citizen is the Times Square would-be bomber. Thank goodness he failed in the attempt. Experts on CNN last evening using the details of the explosives found in the Pathfinder SUV and the location the vehicle in Times Square, estimated that between 300 and 500 innocent persons would likely have been killed if the bomb material had detonated.

The FBI and NYPD did an excellent job of tracking him down and arresting him. The van was discovered and reported by pedestrians in Times Square. An excellent example of awareness by citizens at large.

Execution chamber

Apparently up to five individuals were involved in planning this terrorist act. Islamic extremists like this need to be captured and executed. If there is an Allah, surely he would find this unacceptable.

Faisal and others like him are evil, misguided, and cowardly. The execution chamber is waiting for them.


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.


The U.S Does Not Torture. Right!

October 12, 2007

President Bush recently made a public statement that the United States does not torture captive terrorists. Forgive me for being just a little bit sceptical.

Think about this scenario for a second. The CIA captures a terrorist. They have reliable information that he has just planted a 20 megaton nuclear warhead in downtown Manhattan. Now obviously this person is not going to voluntarily devulge the location of the bomb. Hell he’s planning on going to his “paradise” along with the other 5 or 6 million Americans he will kill.

Do we resort to any means necessary to get the info out of him? I say morals be damned in this case. Millions of innocent lives are at stake. You bet we torture him and with all means possible to extract the location of that bomb. I bet President Bush would not want to answer later that “yes we had the ability to get the info, but gee we were afraid to hurt the poor guy by torturing him, and yes some bleeding-heart liberals might not have approved.”

I leave it to you the reader to think about that scenario. Hopefully we will never have to face it. Never say never. Torture is not something we like to see as a democratic society, but the greater good must come first.


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.


Canadian Passport Woes

August 17, 2007

passport1.jpg 

It was July 23, 2007 and my trip to the United States was looming with travel scheduled for the morning of August 9, 2007.  The airfare was paid for, hotel booked and meetings set up.  One problem, I had not yet received my passport.

 

Now the first thing you are going to ask is:  why didn’t I apply earlier?

 

My application was hand-delivered on April 27, 2007.  When I dropped it off I was interviewed by a passport officer who verified that the application was complete and error-free.  He asked me for the date I was traveling and I answered honestly – August 9, 2007.

 

Unknowingly I had made one big mistake.  I had dropped the application at a “government services office”, not at a passport office which I believed I was doing.  I was told that to mail the application would delay the application significantly, so I looked up offices on the Canadian government website where I could submit the application in person.  All was well, or so I thought.

 

For those that don’t know the United States of America now requires a valid passport of Canadians entering the U.S.A by air. This passport must be produced before boarding the plane or they will not allow you to board.  This rule is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requirements resulting from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  The intent is to increase border security.  It should be noted that contrary to the myth being propagated on the internet and elsewhere, it is a fact that the 9/11 terrorists did NOT enter the United States via Canada.  Ironically Americans do not need a passport to enter Canada, however, they do need one to re-enter their own country!  The line-ups and waiting times for Americans to obtain passports are so bad that they have now relaxed that requirement and will accept the passport application confirmation in lieu of the actual passport.

 

Back to my passport story here in Canada.  On July 23, 2007 with my trip looming and still no passport (almost four months have now elapsed), I decided to telephone the government’s 1-800 number to find out the status of my application.  I was told “no action” had been taken on my application.  Explaining my situation, I was told the application would be rushed and to call back later in the week.  Phoning back a couple of days later on July 26, 2007 I was told the application was “in production”.  Again I was advised to call back.  Finally on August 2, 2007 I was told the passport had been mailed and the agent gave me the tracking number.  They mail them Canada Post Xpresspost which is basically courier mail and normally takes 1-2 business days across Canada.

 

I went to the Canada Post website and using the tracking number found out it had been mailed from Ottawa, Ontario the morning before and was now in Winnipeg, Manitoba where it was “being sorted”.  This was at about 6:00 a.m. local Calgary time (I start work at that ungodly hour).  So a couple of hours later, at around 10:30 a.m. local time, I checked again and found out it was in Calgary.  The status said “out for delivery”.

 

Sure enough around 1:00 p.m my wife called me and told me it had been delivered.  Finally I had a passport.  Elapsed time over four months and well over 60 working days.  The government claims that getting a passport can take around 50 working days.

 

There is a moral to my story.  Make sure if you are submitting the application in person that it is actually a “passport office”.  Second make sure you give them a travel date about a month before you are actually traveling.  Am I telling your to lie?  You bet.  If I had not phoned I believe I would not have received my passport in time to travel.  Next time I will definitely give them an date much earlier than my actual travel time.  Sorry government people, but living with the poor turnaround times is unacceptable.


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