Canadian Club

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Via Virginia Postrel comes Grant McCracken's recent discussion of the rise of strident Canadian anti-Americanism:

Anti-Americanism is rampant. Many Canadians now make free with the most derogatory comments about their southern neighbors. They are pleased to call Americans stupid, aggressive, and vulgar. They are quick to say that Bush is a moron. (And here I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying, ?well, he may not be Stephen Hawking but he is almost certainly smarter than you.?) Want an easy laugh at a gathering of Canadians? Say something anti-American. No sooner have you spoken than the room is awash in self congratulation. American bashing is now a Canadian pastime, as passionately pursued as road hockey and Tim Horton do-nuts.

Whole thing here.

With his articulation of "plenitude," McCracken has keyed into one of the central dynamics of our day. He's always worth checking out.

NEXT: MINO Republicans?

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  1. “They are pleased to call Americans stupid, aggressive, and vulgar.”

    Whut? Um gunna kick dere fuckin’ asses!

  2. At least we ain’t French!

  3. Bashing Americans is almost as dumb as bashing boomers.

  4. A country where hockey is almost a religion calls Americans “stupid, aggressive, and vulgar.”? LOL

    Somebody forgot to take their discounted prescription drugs.

  5. The worst thing is that our hatred for all things American is literally killing us. Our contempt for “American-style” health care has led us to our current communist — er, socialized — system, in which it is illegal for doctors to treat patients for more money than the government is willing to pay them. Further, it is illegal to set up an MRI clinic for profit, *even if you charge less than the government does*. The result, of course, is interminable queues for an MRI — months, usually.

    The same is true for other treatments. Of course, not everything is so obvious. If it takes three weeks for cancer surgery instead of three days, of course some patients are going to die who otherwise would have survived, but this tradeoff is invisible, since (a) the victims are dead and unable to complain, and (b) it can’t be said with certainty that they would have survived anyway. The system kills some patients, but nobody knows exactly who, so Canadians can remain in denial.

    And indeed, few people seem to care that patients go untreated and suffer. The moral objections to “American-style” health care, originally a reasonable argument that nobody should be denied care because of inability to pay, has now a crusade against capitalism. That it costs lives of patients who can afford better is literally never mentioned in the press.

    You want to hear self-congratulation and anti-American retoric? Don’t bring up Bush, bring up health care.

  6. Will they feel better about us if we quit buying their products?

  7. Where’s Triumph the Insult Comic Dog when you need him? He’d show them damn Canucks good. Real good. Damn good. Real damn good.

  8. Don’t get too bent out of shape over this. A country whose name literally means “nothing there” is bound to have a bit of an inferiority complex.

  9. They would probably have a better sense of humor about us if we stopped importing all their comedians.

  10. I don’t mind the anti-americanism, its still cheap to shop in Canada, thats all that really matters.

  11. I had no idea that there were actually peopled with the last name “McCracken.”

    Does he have a cousin named Phil? Heh heh, heh heh…

  12. Um…does it matter if they are right?

    Anyway, this has been going on for about an hundred years or so…where have you people been? Guess they’ll be serving “Freedom Bacon” on those egg mcmuffin sandwiches.

    I get the same in Australia…I’m moving there to get away from the Evil Empire (the aussies love calling the US that ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Phil,

    Lots of Americans go untreated and suffer as well (this does not mean that I am an advocate for “socialized healthcare).

    Anti-Candianism is rampant in many circles in the U.S. as well. Why exactly are Americans allowed to hold forth with bigoted views of the world, but not vice versa?

  14. “The worst thing is that our hatred for all things American is literally killing us.”

    Is that why you have a lower infant mortality rate?

  15. Having heard some of O’Reilly’s (when I could stomach him long enough to listen) Canada bashing and having read many anti-Canada forum posts all over American cyberspace, I’m not surprised.

    At least we ain’t French!

    What are they again? “Those cowardly cheese-eating surrender monkeys” or something like that? Let’s get all outraged when they say nasty things about Americans. I mean, how dare they not love us!

  16. Who gives a damn if Canada likes us or not?

  17. Mark Steyn has a great take on just this topic.

  18. raymond_m,

    You do know who first called the French “cheese eating surrender monkeys,” right? If anti-American rhetoric were only coming from the French version of Homer Simpson, I wouldn’t be concerned.

  19. Let’s get beyond this petty bashing and move on to substantive complaints about these backwards ferners.

  20. crimethink,

    27% of Americans view France as an “enemy” (look at the Prez Track website for this statistic). I mean come on, this is hardly an isolated thing. (No I am not excusing anti-Americanism.)

  21. Seven truckers were freed in Iraq today, BTW.

  22. I believe Homer also coined the anti-Canada moniker “America Junior.”

  23. I thought it was “America Lite”.

  24. Eric II:
    “a bit of an inferiority complex”

    Does that explain American anti-French feelings too ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. There was a great Kids in the Hall sketch about a Canadian in Thailand. When asked if he was an American he siad “No, I’m a Canadian. That’s like an American without a gun”.

  26. 27% of Americans view France as an “enemy” (look at the Prez Track website for this statistic).

    What the poll actually says is that 27% of Americans view France as an enemy in the War on Terror. While that’s probably an overstatement, it is no more absurd than the 18% of Americans who consider them an ally in the War on Terror.

  27. “Further, it is illegal to set up an MRI clinic for profit, *even if you charge less than the government does*. The result, of course, is interminable queues for an MRI — months, usually”

    i got my mri at a for profit center. and there’s one on the corner of lincoln and winnemac here in chicago…

    maybe in your state.

    gary: what anti canadianism are you talking about? canada doesn’t hit the radar screens of most americans i’ve ever met. dont get what you’re saying… and gary – look at how that anti france number has climbed since bushie came up with his (without knowing where it is on the map) “hate the french because their interests in this case are divergent from ours”. (just like all of those overnight islam and iraq “experts” who, gosh darn it, know everything about those two entities and well golly, we’re doing just fine with both.

    (ducking)

    cheers,
    drf

  28. “Does that explain American anti-French feelings too”

    Actually, I think it can help explain the anti-French sentiments of some populist conservatives. It’s probably no coincidence that the same right-wing chest/Bible-thumpers who rail at Hollywood and big-city liberal elites also rail at the French.

    But given the various foreign policy differences we’ve had with the French over the last few decades, and the anti-American sentiment you see at times within the French media and intelligentsia, it wouldn’t be right to attribute it all to a cultural inferiority complex.

  29. “I thought it was “America Lite”.”

    I’ve always referred to Canada as “The Other Europe.”

  30. Increasingly, when we talk about Canada we should say, “Except for Alberta”. Alberta is increasingly becoming an outlier not just in Canadian politics, but in our culture. For instance, before the Iraq war, Albertas’ popular support for the war was around 65% when the rest of Canada was down in the low 30’s or something. The only place you find virulent anti-American sentiment in Alberta is on the U of A campus.

    CATO and the Fraser Institute did a study of economic freedom in North America. All the Canadian provinces ranked dead last when compared to U.S. states – except one. Alberta was ranked 23rd overall – better than 2/3 of U.S. states, which is amazing considering that we have to give $3,500 per person to the rest of Canada in equalization payments.

    So if you Americans are looking for a nice place to visit in Canada where we’ll actually treat you well, come to Alberta. If you’re looking for a place to invest, Alberta has one of the most business-friendly climates in the G8, and Edmonton has the lowest cost of doing business of any major city in all the G8 countries.

    And we don’t have a provincial sales tax, either.

  31. For the most part, America’s view of other nations is much like the classic Roark line:

    “But I don’t think of you.”

    We don’t care what France thinks, or what Canada thinks, or what any other basically irrelevant nation thinks. It’s nice to know that the UK sort-of likes us, but we don’t actually much care about that, either.

    It often seems like the people of other nations spend their days obsessed with what America is up to — American culture, American politics, American foriegn policy, American people. The converse is not true in America, though. Except when there is no choice, we simply don’t think much about the rest of the world.

    And when we do look around to see what other nations think, we see hostility, bile, and deranged fury. All the more reason to go back to ignoring them.

    (And yes, before joe or Gary posts it: it is a cycle; we create these attitudes by our own indifference, and these attitudes fuel our indifference.)

    To me, anti-Americanism has always seemed like a particularly self-delusional form of petty jealousy. Much like reading about a bubble-headed actress with millions of dollars, and thinking, ‘She’s such an idiot; why does she deserve that money? If I had what she has, I’d use it so much better.’ It feels like the same impulse that drives anti-Microsoft sentiment — the irrational jealousy and dislike of someone or something more powerful and more successful than one’s self. Afterwards, of course, we try to rationalize this jealousy and hatred: Oh, he doesn’t deserve it; he was born with a silver spoon; he was a bad person and that’s how he succeeded; he’s actually morally suspect; and so forth.

    But in the end, Bill Gates keeps on making software; the actress keeps on buying overpriced couture; and, more to the point, Americans keep on living their lives, not really giving two shits about what some itinerant bearded pundit in Paris (or Ottawa) thinks about it.

    Perhaps there’s a little of the rejected-child about it, as well: clamoring for the attention of the adults, a child will eventually fall into a sulk and declare ‘I *hate* you’ when he is told to be quiet and let the grownups speak. There’s an implied betrayal: ‘I thought you *cared* about me, and that’s why I wanted you to *notice* me!’

    I can imagine that it’s painful to know that one’s nation is not particularly relevant in a global sense — that whether by the inevitable tide of history, or accident of borders, one’s nation is just another of the squalling little states that struggle to briefly seize the global limelight. And there’s an obvious fallacy at work: the idea that you are as important to your enemy as your enemy is to you.

    But, really, and take this to heart: most Americans, even liberal Americans, really don’t give a damn if Canada hates America, or any other country. And to the degree that international events force Americans to care, Americans will develop more and more contempt and disregard for those opinions.

    This is almost certainly a flaw in the American character, as a whole, but on the level of any individual, it’s simple: our daily lives are mostly to do with American things — American companies, the American government, other American people in American cities. If Canada hates me for being an American, it doesn’t feel like it will impact me in any way, except maybe to make a vacation to Victoria a little uncomfortable.

    Take from that what you will. But don’t make the mistake that Candadian politicians calling Americans ‘bastards’ causes anything other than a contemptuous chuckle from the few Americans who even hear of it.

  32. “But we Americans are England’s children. I know we don’t call as often as we should and we aren’t as well- behaved as our goody two-shoes brother, Canada — who, by the way, has never had a girlfriend — I’m just sayin’!”

  33. The beautiful thing is, I am off to Canada this long vacation weekend to relax, see some friends, and laugh at all this bullshit.

    Globalization, nothing personal, its just business!”

  34. GG: “Lots of Americans go untreated and suffer as well”

    Care to document that?

  35. isildur,

    One of the big complants about Americans is that we don’t know anything about the rest of the world. Well, people tend to know what is important for them to know, and for most Americans the rest of the world just isn’t very important.

  36. Another nitpick on the “Americans go without treatment, too” is that, unlike the Americans in question, Canadians are going without treatment that they have already paid for.

  37. McCracken lost me when he began by basing his argument on Carolyn Parrish. (?A member of the Parliament of Canada? is a label that covers some very small fish indeed, as the equivalent would in any country.)

    Parrish is one of the oh-God-not-you-again figures that can be found in any democracy ? the people who you hope won?t get re-elected, but somehow sort of do. You squint at the small print of the election returns the morning after, wonder what the voters in Wigglesworth Southwest, or wherever it happens to be, were smoking, move on, and remember them six months later when they have some sort of Tourette?s-like outburst, which in turn is fodder for a series of weary editorials. So it goes, on and on for years.

    (The interview itself was the intellectual equivalent of watching a car accident in slow motion. The Globe and Mail reported:

    OTTAWA — The Mississauga Liberal MP who called Americans bastards last year called them idiots yesterday and then pleaded with reporters not to publish her remarks, saying she’s had a “year from hell” and that her mother has Alzheimer’s disease.
    … Last year, Ms. Parrish apologized in the House of Commons and to U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci for saying in the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq: “Damn Americans, I hate those bastards.”
    However, when first asked about her comments, Ms. Parrish said they had not been for publication. “If you use it, don’t bother calling here again,” she told a Globe and Mail reporter.
    Yesterday she tried a similar tactic, first denying she had called Americans idiots and then begging reporters not to air her remarks: “Please, guys, don’t put that on TV,” she said.
    When one reporter reminded her she hadn’t called Americans bastards this time, Ms. Parrish said: “No, no. I already got into trouble once . . . and I’ve had a year from hell.”
    She added that she has “a mom with Alzheimer’s.” She also said that she didn’t mean to say the Americans were idiots.

    The Toronto Star reported the same day:

    “I don’t mean the Americans are idiots. What I’m concerned about is they have a coalition now in Iraq called the coalition of the willing. I think we need to be the coalition of the wise.” ?
    … Parrish then pleaded with reporters not to quote her, saying she had suffered enough bad publicity from last year’s outburst. In February, 2003, after speaking to reporters about Canada’s diplomatic efforts on Iraq and after most television cameras were turned off, Parrish commented, “Damn Americans … I hate those bastards.”)

    It?s not useful to use a personality like this to make any kind of wider point.

  38. Actually for most Americans most of America isn’t important. I mean who gives a f*ck about Iowa really?

  39. And another thing. Say what you will about Canada but any country that can produce David Cronenberg, Guy Maddin and Vice Magazine can’t be all bad.

  40. E. Steven:

    Granted, but unlike Canada, Iowa has electoral college votes and two Senators.

  41. Canada has a boatload of Senators. They just vote on Parliament Hill, not Capitol Hill. They are also not elected, nor apportioned equally, nor effective. [/channelling of Preston Manning]

    I care about Canada. I especially care that our blueliners can’t handle their wingers in the World Cup. Canada 2, USA 1

    http://www.startribune.com/stories/1330/4958548.html

    Kevin

  42. kevrob-

    I think Isildur’s point was that we care abot Iowa because, despite its insignificance, it’s represented in DC, but we don’t care about Canada because it isn’t.

    Actually, we care about Iowa because it’s represented in DC and because its population is kind of fickle and can go either way in Presidential races. If they were committed to one party or another they’d get very little attention.

    Well, that and the fact that their congressional districts aren’t gerrymandered so they actually have competitive House races. (In 2002, the first election after the new round of gerrymandering, um, I mean, redistricting, I seem to recall that Iowa had like 3 competitive House races or something, out of less than 30 competitive House races nationwide.)

    Maybe the rest of the country should learn the virtues of non-partisan redistricting and we in America would get to experience this thing called “competitive elections.”

  43. I rarely hear true Anti-Americanism, mostly just the standard dumb ethnic jokes with Yank or Merican as the nationality. Yes, we have Homers from Springfield in Canada only it is Metros from Edmonton.

    You can find a Canadian who will express extreme opinions on anything you care to name and another Canadian who will try to turn it into a cultural phenomena.

    If Americans come up in conversation the Canadians I speak to are baffled that so many Americans support a leadership that can?t figure out how to win the war in Iraq.

    If you think I just hang out with liberals, you need to learn more about Alberta.

  44. I’m a frog living in New York – When I return to France I am sometimes confronted with antiamericanism – I find it shameful and deeply unjust and make it a point to ALWAYS speak out against it – not so much for the sake of the misguided people who utter these inanities but mostly in defense of all my wonderful American friends – Unfortunately, it seems that antiamericanism has spread rapidly over the past few years – I remember a time when it was never an issue – But French antiamericanism has a type of “bublehead” quality to it – Some people that seem otherwise entirely sane will just come out with the most ridiculous thoughts (“but how can you live in a place where there is no culture?”, “isn’t it true that all they care about is money?”, etc … ) Its stupid and wrongheaded but for the mostpart its not malicious. In fact, if you’re an American visiting France, the French will be quite willing to discuss these views with you and get your opinion. American francophobia on the other hand seems quite crude and mean-spirited. I live here in the U.S. and have no plans to return to France but I’m definitely wary of turning on the TV or opening a newspaper and reading the most outrageous and stereotypical things about the character of the French – I wish that once in a while an American would speak out for me as well.

  45. Um, when exactly was it decided that Americans are *entitled* to the love and respect of everybody on the planet?

    Where was it codified that it’s our birthright?

    I don’t see any point it getting uppity about anti-Americanism. They don’t *have* to like us. And if we act like jerks, they won’t.

  46. It’s probably no coincidence that the same right-wing chest/Bible-thumpers who rail at Hollywood and big-city liberal elites also rail at the French

    How is conservatives’ dislike of Hollywood the result of an inferiority complex?

  47. Phil writes: “The worst thing is that our hatred for all things American is literally killing us. Our contempt for “American-style” health care has led us to our current communist — er, socialized — system, in which it is illegal for doctors to treat patients for more money than the government is willing to pay them.”

    And in the US, our health system is so expensive companies can’t afford to hire new employees, so they don’t. Or they hire people but don’t provide health insurance, in which case the employee is out of luck if they get sick.

    And real earnings are flat in the US, while benefit costs are skyrocketing. So employees become more and more expensive even when they aren’t being paid any more. And workers are faced with pay that isn’t keeping up with inflation.

    Choose your poison. The grass isn’t greener over here.

  48. a series of posts on an obscure libertarian forum proves an obession with anti-Americanism?

    Hey, quit picking on H&R!

    How many Americans do you think visit “The Command Post” blog?

    oh… never mind. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  49. joe,

    Is there a statistically significant difference in infant mortality? I’d think that, given the extremely low rates in both countries, it would be like comparing the chances of being struck by lightning.

  50. It might be more interesting to compare infant mortality in Canadian provinces that border the US or Great Lakes with infant mortality in the adjacent US states or US states on the other side of the corresponding lake. Although there may still be cultural and environmental differences, especially on opposite sides of a lake, I susepct that there will be more similarities than in, say, a comparison of Nevada and Newfoundland.

    I make no predictions for what you’d find. Maybe the difference would be accentuated, or at least made more valid and meaningful via a more meaningful comparison. Maybe the difference would diminish. Either way, it would be interesting.

  51. I’m a born American who’s, on balance, rather happily settled in Canada. But Canadians and Americans holding extreme views of each other is pretty amusing to me. It’s usually just wounded egos on either side in need of a good stroking, fuelled by a kind of mutual righteous indignation at the disrespect they themselves are participating in.

    The rest of us say “hush” and get on with our day. The two countries have a stable and warm relationship, interwoven by economy, geography, culture and community.

    Abstractions of politics and national identity would divide us if they could, but they can’t, so they won’t. So let’s give the ol’ index fingers a rest.

    (Most of these “TIDAL WAVE of ANTI-AMERICANISM!” anecdotes are about ideological differences anyway — differences that exist inside America as much as they do outside, last I checked.)

  52. It would also be worthwhile to correct for the average ages of the mothers, since if I’m not mistaken babies born to teens have more health problems, and the US used to (and may still) have the highest teen pregnancy rate among developed nations.
    What was the topic of this thread again? Oh yeah – Rush rules! And the Tragically Hip! Rock!!!

  53. Jose Ortega y Gasset,

    I presume when “Isuldur” says “we,” he refers to Americans in general. If you wish to “prove” Americans care about Canada or, more precisely, the apparent wave of anti-American sentiment in Canada, perhaps you could provide some data.

    During the Second Gulf War rallies occurred across the US where banners about France, Canada, etc. were openly used. If you visit heavily used blogs like CommandPost.com, Winds of Change, etc., you will copious amounts of material concerning other countries. This is anecdotal evidence for sure, but stating that Americans do not care what the rest of the world thinks is on its face a laughable assertion.

    thoreau,

    Infant morality rates in the US vary based on geographic locale as well.

  54. After the CDC reported a slight rise in the U.S. infant mortality rate, I found these comments:

    “CDC officials said the exact reasons for the increase are not yet clear. But previous CDC research suggests the rise in infant mortality may reflect the long trend among American women toward delaying motherhood.

    Women who put off motherhood until their 30s or 40s are more likely to have babies with birth defects or other potentially deadly complications.

    Also, older women are more likely to use fertility drugs to get pregnant, and such drugs often lead to twins, triplets and other multiple births. And multiple births carry a higher risk of premature labor and low birth weight – conditions that can endanger babies’ lives.

    CDC officials said other factors may also have led to the rise in infant mortality, including more frequent use of induced labor and Caesarian section in troubled pregnancies.”

    The 2004 infant mortality rate in the U.S. was 6.6 deaths per thousand; the rate in Canada was 4.8 deaths per thousand. There are many potential reasons for this difference including differences in the racial and ethnic composition of the two countries. As noted by the CDC, factors related to bringing high risk pregnancies to term may contribute to the infant mortality rate in the U.s.

    Infant mortality is a very crude measurement of the quality of a national health care system. There are other indicators (like doctors per 1000 people) where the U.S. leads Canada.

    Socialized medicine results in more people having access to poorer quality medical services. Free market medicine results in the availability of higher quality medicine for those who can afford it. Evaluating which healthcare system is “better” takes far more than one indicator… particularly if I am the man who is told he must wait six months for bypass surgery.

  55. Here are the 2004 infant-mortality stats (estimated).

    Of course, they’re from the CIA, so they’re probably all wrong.

  56. I believe, Mr. Gunnels, that is the long way of saying you have no data to support your assertion. I refuse to believe the comments of a few blogs represent what the majority(or even a significant minority) Americans think. As evidenced by this thread, people who write on blogs can hardly be considered typical.

    I expect polling data would share most Americans are aware that the French do not like the Americans… though I wager the vast majority of U.S. citizens did not ask for a super-sized “freedom fries” at the drive through window of McDonalds. I also suspect the majority of Americans are blissfully unaware that the neighbors to the North are upset. How is it, exactly, that Americans would know? Americans, to my knowledge, do not watch Canadian TV or read Canadian newspapers. I doubt a majority of Americans could name the Canadian head of state.

    When you say Americans care, the best I can presume is some vague sense of annoyance when Americans hear something on the evening (U.S.) news about how the French are outraged. To my knowledge, the outrage from Canada has not made any mainstream U.S. media.

  57. Where does this crap come from. Anti Americanism? Please. McCracken is a rube. Anti-Americanism in my country is about as significant a portion of the population as People who are infatuated with the Ivory Coast are in yours. Next shibboleth please . . .

  58. …the French do not like the Americans…

    Baloney.

    Many French people – perhaps even the vast majority – may not like Bush and his policies, but Americans? Naah.

  59. “Why DO they have a lower infant mortality rate? The cold and flu season alone must be half the year in most places.”

    Joe,

    Why do they have a significantly lower automobile accident rate? You would think it would be higher, given the road conditions, snow, rain, ice, etc.

    Actually, Americans tend to hurt themselves quite a bit more often in a number of ways than Canadians do. And it increases the average cost of health care in the US. And it isn’t the result of our health care system, although it does impact our health care system.

    And, another thing that increases our health care costs is all the Canadians who come over to the US to recieve quick and high quality health care, despite having paid for it in advance at home.

  60. thoreau,

    Several years back there was an interesting web site that compaired Canadian and US firearm homicide rates. Big picture, the US looks worse due to major cities, but comparing similar areas results in very similar rates, with often lower rates on the US side of the fence, although by small margins.

    I think the web site was the reuslt of some thesis, however I didn’t find it the last time I looked . . .

  61. “During the Second Gulf War rallies occurred across the US where banners about France, Canada, etc. were openly used. If you visit heavily used blogs like CommandPost.com, Winds of Change, etc., you will copious amounts of material concerning other countries. This is anecdotal evidence for sure, . . .”

    Not only is is anecdotal, but it essentially amounts to mining the data you want.

  62. how about instead of using various websites as a proxy, what about looking at verious, high-circulation newspapers?

    then if you go by that, the tribune is anti america, too ๐Ÿ™‚

    (i reference a series of articles by a s?ddeutsche zeitung reporter who went through chicago, and pooh-poohed everything chicago and had that indredulous (sic?) style, “in europe if someone did that…”. man, you shoulda seen the letters to the editor that were published that were praising of that stuff.)

    what about baseball? are most fans anti yankee and the yankee fans really don’t care (for the most part) about other fans/ teams? east coasters? does that work?

    cheers,
    drf

  63. “What the poll actually says is that 27% of Americans view France as an enemy in the War on Terror.”

    IMHO, its the same damn thing.

    That’s nice, Gary. But since not everybody thinks “France is an enemy in the War on Terror” equates to “France is an enemy nation, period”, you shouldn’t have misrepresented the poll that way.

    Of course there is no “War on Terror,” however. there is war against particular “terrorists.”

    And the First and Second World Wars weren’t *really* fought in or by the entire world. Thank you for sharing your banality with the rest of us.

    We call this the “War on Terror” because “The War on Anti-American Islamic Terrorism and the People and States Who Sponsor It” would take too long to say. This is obvious to pretty much everyone in the world except, apparently, you.

    Furthermore, the only way you could say that France isn’t an ally is to think that the war on terrorists equals the war in Iraq.

    To name just two examples, they have also sworn to not hand over any terrorists unless we promise not to kill them, and they’ve sold nuclear technology to Iran.

    IMHO, they are not the same thing

    The fact that you think the war in Iraq is not part of the War on Terror is not relevant. Many people do think the Iraq war was part of the WoT, because they understand that the WoT is not just a war on the terrorists themselves. The people polled were not asked “Is France an enemy in the ‘War on Terror’, which by the way Gary Gunnels thinks doesn’t exist, not counting Iraq, which Gary Gunnels doesn’t think is part of the aforementioned non-existant war”. If they had been asked that question, probably only a few percent would have answered “yes”. The other 97% would have answered “WTF?”.

  64. Why DO they have a lower infant mortality rate? The cold and flu season alone must be half the year in most places.

  65. Obviously, Joe missed the memo that the Canadian healthcare system is failing under its own weight. Affluent Canadians come to the U.S. to “jumpt the queue” for high technology services like MRIs or CAT scans. The wait for surgery in Canada is exponentially longer than the wait in the U.S. (resulting in the documented deaths of patients). The U.S. healthcare system has significant flaws, the but Canadian model hardly provides a better example. Yet another collectivist failure.

    Insofar as anti-American sentiments, why should Canada be any different than any other part of the world?

  66. drf,

    canada doesn’t hit the radar screens of most americans i’ve ever met.

    Ever visit blogs like the Command Post?

    Dan,

    What the poll actually says is that 27% of Americans view France as an enemy in the War on Terror.

    IMHO, its the same damn thing. Of course there is no “War on Terror,” however, there is war against particular “terrorists.”

    While that’s probably an overstatement, it is no more absurd than the 18% of Americans who consider them an ally in the War on Terror.

    Again, there is no war on “terror.” Furthermore, the only way you could say that France isn’t an ally is to think that the war on terrorists equals the war in Iraq. IMHO, they are not the same thing.

  67. isuldur,

    We don’t care what France thinks, or what Canada thinks, or what any other basically irrelevant nation thinks. It’s nice to know that the UK sort-of likes us, but we don’t actually much care about that, either.

    If that’s the case then why is their this obsession with anti-Americanism? Hell, this series of posts is proof enough against your assertion.

  68. I’ve read that not all countries tabulate certain statistics such as infant mortality rates the same way which accounts for a bit of the disparity. The US also borders a Third World nation whose citizens have an incentive to swarm here and have children. This no doubt has an effect.

  69. You want to see anti-Americanism in action?

    Here?>

    ? Betraying the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

    ? Trying to find legal loopholes in order to justify the use of torture.

    ? Using the state to kill defenseless human beings.

    ? Attempting to adulterate the Constitution in order to gain votes.

  70. Mr. Gunnels… a series of posts on an obscure libertarian forum proves an obession with anti-Americanism? How many Americans do you think visit “The Command Post” blog?

    I presume when “Isuldur” says “we,” he refers to Americans in general. If you wish to “prove” Americans care about Canada or, more precisely, the apparent wave of anti-American sentiment in Canada, perhaps you could provide some data. How many Americans suscribe to Canadian newspapers or magazines? How many Americans routinely watch Canadian new shows? How many American can identify more than three current Canadian political leaders? Frankly, I would be surprised if many Americans had any awareness of the public policies issues currently under discussion in Canada… though I am open to something other than anecdotal evidence.

  71. J,

    A higher number of very young mothers could be a reason, but that just displaces the question; if there is such a large difference, why? I suspect such a difference exists, and reiterate my “more desperately poor people living in unhealthy (mentally and spiritually, as well as physically) hellholes” thesis.

    Which needs to be combined with the higher levels of urbanization in the US – there are still a lot of really miserable urban areas in the US, and many of our cities are in much worse condition than Canadas.

    But the major point here is, whatever the reasons, the alleged superiority of our health care system has failed utterly to solve the problem, which should call the free market triumphalism that haunts this blog into question.

  72. Jose,

    Then why DO they have a lower infant mortality rate than we do? I doubt it has anything to do with rich women getting surgery in Detroit.

    (Not that having a lower infant mortality rate than the US is a big deal. Freaking Slovenia has a lower infant mortality rate than we do.)

  73. My guess: it has less to do with the health care system, and more to do with the fact that they have a lot fewer desperately poor people living in unhealthy hellholes.

  74. Yankees Suck!

  75. But in the end, Bill Gates keeps on making software…

    Buggy, security-holed, overblown crappy software.

    OMG. I just realized! It’s GATES who’s behind the Bush administration!!!

    Steve Jobs for President!

    Mac: the computer for libertarians

  76. Roy-

    I apologize, but I just hate to see people mix up word forms; in singular the word is “phenomenon”,not “phenomena” ๐Ÿ™‚

    And NYFrog, I wouldn’t say that no one defends the French. I do (when they’re deserving…). The fact is, most Americans don’t know any! And if they do meet some, many times they live up to the stereotypes (not to say that all do, I’ve met some really great Frogs over the years)
    However, one bad experience with one can taint someone’s view for a long time…

  77. thoreau, I live in Wisconsin. I don’t need to worry about political races to care about Iowa and Iowans. I’ve got friends and neighbors who grew up there or went to college there. When the Mississipi floods Dubuque, E Dubuque IL and Grant County WI don’t go unscathed. Of course, I grew up 1,000 miles East, where few cared much about Big 10 football, “the progressive tradition,” the Wisconsin Synod or the Amana Colonies. But we knew the paintings of Grant Wood, about the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and that Ronald Reagan started in radio there. Phil Stong, Will Rogers, and Rogers & Hammerstein told us that the Hawkeyes had a great “State Fair.” Each of our 50 states have similar cultural pulls on different parts of the country.

    Then there are those damned caucuses! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I mentioned Canada’s Senate to point out that some of us below the 49th pay attention to our Neighbor To The North, either because we are wonks, or because, however weak or strong Canadian nationalism, there is a greater North American culture, at least among the English-speaking. Although, considering the Spanish-speaking population of the U.S., and the Cajun revival, the continent’s culture may well stretch from the Isthmus of Panama to the Arctic in a real sense, soon.

    Kevin

  78. “But the major point here is, whatever the reasons, the alleged superiority of our health care system has failed utterly to solve the problem, which should call the free market triumphalism that haunts this blog into question.”

    Question the validity of the free market system, because something not wholly representative of the free market isn’t perfect? Well for that matter, the free market must not work because there are children that haven’t learned to read by the 8th grade.

    Uncle Joe, you are really something else.

  79. Killing defenseless human beings is a crime all over Europe. Countries which execute – Iran, China, the US – are held in low esteem by many in Europe. Lots of people feel disdain for barbarity. Sorry. That?s just how it is.

    I hate to break this to you, raymond, but in many European countries — including the UK, Italy, and (most importantly) France — polls show that the majority of the people support the death penalty. The death penalty isn’t banned in Europe because of “disdain for barbarity”, it’s banned because of disdain for democracy. The reason that European elites hold us in contempt isn’t that our people favor executing murderers; their people favor that too. We are held in contempt because we have the gall to actually listen to the desires of “the masses”.

  80. Joe,

    I know that a lot of the differences between Canada and the US are probably due to ethnicity. Blacks and hispanics are much more likely to be injured or die in a varity of ways, and I believe that this difference does not disappear when you adjust for levels of wealth.

    One cultural example I know of: in Mexico it is leagal to drink and drive (but not to drive drunk). I’ve met a number of Mexicans (Mexican-Americans?) who were driving along with an open beer in their car’s cup holder or in their hand, but I never saw an anglo do that.

    So, in part due to ethnicity (and other cultural factors that might be more general in the US), the US has a significantly higher auto acident injury rate. Infant mortality rates probably vary for similar reasons.

  81. Jose,

    The mere fact that 27% of Americans view France as an “enemy” demonstrates my point nicely I think; hell, they had to think about France long enough to form an opinion at the very least.

    Don,

    Not only is is anecdotal, but it essentially amounts to mining the data you want.

    If you have some evidence contrary to my assertion please do present it. And, in the future, I shall expect you to live up to your “ideal.”

    Dan,

    That’s nice, Gary. But since not everybody thinks “France is an enemy in the War on Terror” equates to “France is an enemy nation, period”, you shouldn’t have misrepresented the poll that way.

    That’s a nice assertion and all, but please do demonstrate it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And the First and Second World Wars weren’t *really* fought in or by the entire world. Thank you for sharing your banality with the rest of us.

    Its not banality; it demonstrates your lack of understanding of the nature of the events at hand. When properly stated, one does not declare war against types of military techniques (indeed, your statement is similar to stating that one is at war with say “incindinary weapons”), one declares war against human actors.

    To name just two examples, they have also sworn to not hand over any terrorists unless we promise not to kill them, and they’ve sold nuclear technology to Iran.

    Regarding the issue of the death penalty Spain and several other European nations have similar policies; does that also make them America’s enemy? And France has not released said individuals, nor does it plan to; indeed, if you knew anything about the law you would realize that France would be more than willing to try said individuals in its courts – and to be blunt, France would much more readily convict and confine such individuals than US because France’s anti-terrorism laws are far less lenient – especially from a evidentiary standpoint.

    As far as France helping Iran with nuclear technology, the last contract that I know of between the two nations was signed in 1976 or 1977. Both French plants ordered by the Shah’s government at that time were cancelled shortly after the revolution commenced. Russia and North Korea are now Iran’s main supplier of nuclear technology and materials. Now France does have a robust car market in Iran and is building some car manufacturing plants there to sell as I recall Peugeots.

    The fact that you think the war in Iraq is not part of the War on Terror is not relevant.

    Sure it is. ๐Ÿ™‚ Its as relevant as anything you happen to state.

  82. Of course there is also the mere fact that millions of Americans visit foreign locales every year; something like 3 million Americans visited France last year alone (and that was during the height of the tiff between both countries) – that was down from an average of 4 million.

  83. The Company You Keep

    News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

    AI Index: POL 30/033/2004
    3 September 2004

    World: International medical experts urge an end to child executions

    Amnesty International and medical experts from seven countries have sent an open letter to the heads of government in China, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Philippines, Iran, Sudan and the USA urging them to stop using the death penalty against children.

    ———————————-?

    in many European countries — including the UK, Italy, and (most importantly) France — polls show that the majority of the people support the death penalty.

    Please cite these polls. Were they taken shortly after a particularly heinous crime?

    Here?s how things stood in the US in 2000. I don?t know the margin of error. It?s usually around 3% in these things.

    While the Gallup Organization reported in 1994 that 80 percent of all Americans favored the death penalty, that number has been dropping and was 62 percent in an NBC News poll in May.

    When the death penalty is put against life imprisonment, support for the death penalty falls to 52 percent, and life imprisonment is 37 percent, as was the case in a Gallup poll in February.

    (2000 The New York Times Company)

    We are held in contempt because we have the gall to actually listen to the desires of “the masses”.

    Here?s another poll taken in the US in 2000. I don?t know the margin of error. Seems there was a problem with chads.

    Presidential Election, 2000

    Total Percentage of Popular Vote:

    Gore: 48.38%

    Bush: 47.87%

    A majority certainly didn?t express a desire for Bush to be president. That much is clear.

    ———————————-?

    Perhaps I hang around with particularly gentle people. But whenever the subject of capital punishment comes up, the people I know shake their heads in disbelief that a country with that “Declaration of Independence” thing could be so barbaric as to kill defenseless human beings. (My acquaintances also disapprove of torture, btw.)

  84. To name just two examples, they have also sworn to not hand over any terrorists unless we promise not to kill them, and they’ve sold nuclear technology to Iran.

    from Wikipedia

    Starting in 1982 with Iranian success on the battle field, the United States changed its less announced policy of backing Iraq to a clear direct support, supplying it with weapons and economic aid, and normalizing relations with the government (broken during the 1967 Six-Day War). In particular the United States, along with its allies (among them Britain, France and Italy), provided Iraq with biological and chemical weapons, and the precursors to nuclear capabilities. The United States also engaged in a series of naval battles with Iranian forces in 1987 and 1988. The U.S. cruiser USS Vincennes (July 3, 1988) shot down Iran Air Flight 655 with the loss of all 290 passengers and crew. The American Government said that the airliner had been mistaken for an Iranian F-14 Tomcat which had been in the same general area as the civilian plane shortly beforehand. Perhaps the most important support for Iraq was allowing the neutral oil tankers heading to Iraqi ports to fly the American flag, and thus be safe from Iranian attack, guaranteeing Iraq’s revenue stream for the duration of the war. The American Government had, at the same time, also been secretly selling weapons to Iran; first indirectly (possibly through Israel) and then directly (for details see the Iran-Contra Affair).

    France also sold stuff to the Iraqis.

    The bastards.

  85. Gee, joe sure had to do a lot of trolling before he got a bite. I’ve been waiting for his pounce.

    The people who make up the market don’t promise that any specific baby will live to adolescence. That vow is the sort of impossible promise the state makes to justify its nannying.

    The market includes people who don’t care if babies die. And people who love babies up to some cost. Thus, unless some force coerces them to support the children, the action of a market might result in higher infant mortality compared to a regime in which liberty was not so highly valued.

  86. “in many European countries — including the UK, Italy, and (most importantly) France — polls show that the majority of the people support the death penalty.”

    Please cite these polls.

    Now, now. Let’s do this in order, shall we? First you can cite the polls showing that most Europeans think the death penalty is “barbaric”, and then I’ll teach you how to run the simple Google queries necessary to find the polls *I* referred to.

    Perhaps I hang around with particularly gentle people. But whenever the subject of capital punishment comes up, the people I know shake their heads in disbelief that a country with that “Declaration of Independence” thing could be so barbaric as to kill defenseless human beings

    I have no idea if you’re “gentle” or not, but you’ve certainly got a strange view of both morality and the Declaration of Independence.

    For starters, you seem to think that the morality of a killing depends on whether or not the person being killed can fight back. Most people judge the morality of a killing by examining the innocence and/or harmlessness of the person being killed. An imprisoned murderer is not harmless or innocent; if he was harmless or innocent, we wouldn’t even need to keep him in prison at all. Killing an imprisoned mass murderer is like killing a “disgruntled postal worker” while he has stopped to reload — both men may be “defenseless”, but neither is innocent or harmless.

    Secondly, you seem to think that there’s something in the Declaration that is opposed to the death penalty. Of course there is no such thing. Now, you could misread the “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” line and assume that it means that nobody should ever be killed. But then you’re stuck with that pesky word “liberty”, which would forbid ever jailing anyone either. Or do your “friends” also “shake their heads in disbelief” that the United States has prisons?

  87. they have also sworn to not hand over any terrorists unless we promise not to kill them

    No European country – not even Britain, who is with you in Iraq – will extradite someone who risks capital punishment.

    Killing defenseless human beings is a crime all over Europe. Countries which execute – Iran, China, the US – are held in low esteem by many in Europe. Lots of people feel disdain for barbarity. Sorry. That?s just how it is.

  88. you can cite the polls showing that most Europeans think the death penalty is “barbaric”

    I’ll cite this, from the Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms:

    The member States of the Council of Europe signatory hereto,

    Convinced that everyone’s right to life is a basic value in a democratic society and that the abolition of the death penalty is essential for the protection of this right and for the full recognition of the inherent dignity of all human beings…

    and then I’ll teach you how to run the simple Google queries necessary to find the polls *I* referred to.

    In other words, either:

    what you say is Scripture or

    you want me to prove your arguments for you.

    You might find this article, from the CSM, of interest, by the way. I found it while trying to prove your argument for you.

    I’ll quote this bit here:

    At the other end of the spectrum, in Western Europe, nobody has been executed since 1977 and no political parties other than a few fringe groups on the extreme right are suggesting that the death penalty should be reinstated.

    you seem to think that the morality of a killing depends on whether or not the person being killed can fight back.

    If I used the phrase “killing little children in Ossetia”, would you conclude from that that I think that “the morality of a killing depends on whether or not the child being killed is fat”?

    you seem to think that there’s something in the Declaration that is opposed to the death penalty.

    The right to Life is unalienable.

    The government’s job is to secure our rights.

    you’re stuck with that pesky word “liberty”, which would forbid ever jailing anyone either.

    You can go here and read my ideas on that. I don’t feel like typing up the whole thing here.

    Or do your “friends” also “shake their heads in disbelief” that the United States has prisons?

    1. Where did I use the word “friends”?

    2. Do you mean at the use of rape as a means of control in US prisons? Do you mean at the other forms of degradation in US prisons? Do you mean “three strikes”? White man’s coke v. black man’s coke? Minimum sentencing? Disproportionate number of black people in prison? The fact that the US has one of the highest rates of imprisonment in the world, and that it’s rising?

    Yup. They shake their heads at that, too.

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