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BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US

Naemanson 18 Jan 01 - 06:34 AM
Banjer 18 Jan 01 - 06:39 AM
Greg F. 18 Jan 01 - 07:12 AM
mkebenn 18 Jan 01 - 07:33 AM
Troll 18 Jan 01 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,kendall 18 Jan 01 - 07:46 AM
Wolfgang 18 Jan 01 - 08:22 AM
Troll 18 Jan 01 - 08:32 AM
Wolfgang 18 Jan 01 - 08:46 AM
Greg F. 18 Jan 01 - 08:57 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 18 Jan 01 - 09:02 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jan 01 - 09:34 AM
Troll 18 Jan 01 - 12:31 PM
Clinton Hammond 18 Jan 01 - 12:35 PM
Rick Fielding 18 Jan 01 - 12:53 PM
Grab 18 Jan 01 - 02:26 PM
kendall 18 Jan 01 - 02:41 PM
kendall 18 Jan 01 - 02:48 PM
Peter T. 18 Jan 01 - 03:11 PM
mousethief 18 Jan 01 - 03:19 PM
Naemanson 18 Jan 01 - 03:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jan 01 - 03:37 PM
mousethief 18 Jan 01 - 03:45 PM
GUEST,Barry T (not at home) 18 Jan 01 - 04:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jan 01 - 04:17 PM
Rick Fielding 18 Jan 01 - 06:17 PM
ddw 18 Jan 01 - 06:44 PM
mousethief 18 Jan 01 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Bardford 18 Jan 01 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,colwyn dane 18 Jan 01 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Bardford 18 Jan 01 - 08:37 PM
kendall 18 Jan 01 - 09:36 PM
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Subject: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Naemanson
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 06:34 AM

I work on a military base in the US. As a consequence I hear and see a lot of patriotic things happening around me. Most is sincere, some is pretty jingoistic. (Is that really a word?)

Yesterday the following message arrived in my email and I decided I HAD to put it on the Mudcat and see what our neighbors though of it. I realize I may be opening a can of worms that has been opened before but this could be fun.

I do not present this as my opinion or as my interpretation of any Canadian's opinion. These are just the facts, ma'am.
*****************************************
This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.

America: The Good Neighbor.

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

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When the France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times - and safely home again.

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

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

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

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

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ This is one of the best editorials that I have ever read regarding the United States. It is nice that one man realizes it. I only wish that the rest of the world would realize it. We are always blamed for everything, and never even get a thank you for the things we do.

I would hope that each of you would send this to as many people as you can and emphasize that they should send it to as many of their friends until this letter is sent to every person on the web. I am just a single American that has read this, I SURE HOPE THAT A LOT MORE READ IT SOON.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Banjer
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 06:39 AM

Naemanson, if I am not mistaken, some years ago I heard this set to music....or maybe just a voice over type thing with a patriotic song playing in the background. It aired quite some time on local radio. It may have been around 76, the bicentennial year. Does anyone else remember it and maybe who did it?


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 07:12 AM

This chestnut has been around since Christ wore short pants(or at least since Watergate), and has been posted on the 'Cat at least twice previously, and has been commented on here at some length.
"BS" is indeed the proper prefix for most of it, but it just keeps popping back up like one of those Joe Palooka toys.

Enough, already.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: mkebenn
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 07:33 AM

We in the states know this, so does the rest of the world, and they are sick of hearing it. So we never say it. And so we'll listen to all the shit, and then come with the aid when needed. It's just the way we are. Now about the French...Mike. {I remember the voice over}


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Troll
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 07:35 AM

What's the matter Greg? Are you ashamed to be an American or to hear your country praised?
Come and enlighten us. Just which part of the post was BS.
BTW Try real hard to stick to facts and don't descend to ideological attacks.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 07:46 AM

I too would like to know which part of this is not true.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 08:22 AM

Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

How can you expect us to take serious that elaborate above when it makes so blatant mistakes?

And don't tell me you didn't know that, you just didn't read with care.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Troll
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 08:32 AM

Most, if not all the international airlines fly SOME American planes, I believe. While Airbus has made inroads, I know of no airline that flies them exclusively. I'm sure you will correct me if I am mistaken.
The article may well have been accurate if it is as old as some have said it is.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 08:46 AM

Troll, the article has at no time in history been correct in this respect. Airbus is at the time being the undisputed leader in sales and there are many airlines that fly these planes exclusively.

Gosh, it is so easy to prove many aspects of this article wrong. You could do it yourself easily without leaving your computer if you cared about truth.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 08:57 AM

    Hokay, specifically the article is over twenty-five years old, & most of the references are outdated & no longer true (even granting they were true at the time, which I don't), or at best misleading.
    Generally, the US has indeed done some wonderful, generous things in its 200+ year history, of which we should be justly proud, and for which WE HAVE BEEN THANKED REPEATEDLY.
     It is equally true that in those two centuries plus we have done, and continue to do, some incredibly shitty things as well that anyone in his/her right mind would be ashamed of.
     If we are willing to accept the praise for things done well, we should be equally willing to accept the blame when we f**k up, without whining and crying & complaining, like a petulant toddler, that 'nobody loves us'.

    BTW Try real hard to stick to facts and don't descend to ideological attacks.
Troll,what does this cheap shot add to the discussion, you old conservative non-iealogue, you? ;-)

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 09:02 AM

The Canadian reporter is largely mistaken. The USA never forgave war debts incurred by the UK. Facts or shite? Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 09:34 AM

I don't think saying "look me, aren't I wonderful" - comes across too well for individuals, or for countries. If someone says something nice about you, you might be pleased, but you're a bit embarassed as well.

Maybe if you're little and weak and vulnerable and poor, you might need to brag a little to keep your spirits up. But if you're big and strong and and tough and rich, that kind of thing just invites people to get irritated and picky, and makes people think about the things that aren't so good. It's undignified.

There are many great things about America, and lots of great Americans. And maybe the greatest Americans have been those who focussed their attention on the things that were wrong with America, and spent their lives trying to make them better.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Troll
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 12:31 PM

GregF, Good post.
Kevin, I agree with you but all too often the good is ignored. Sorta like Caesar,I guess.Since the article was written by a Canadian and not an American, your first two paragraphs don't really apply except in a very general way.
Thank you for the last paragraph.We should all try to make our respective countries and the world a better place.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 12:35 PM

It reads better as scarcasim!

LOL!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 12:53 PM

I may be wrong but I think Gordon Sinclair's editorial is closer to 35 years old. It caused quite a stir in Toronto for a couple of days, and when Les Crane's recording came out it tended to polarize things a bit. Sinclair hated draft dodgers, feminists, hippies, etc. and was one of Canada's few Public "far righters". He had a reputation for being a very rude TV interviewer (sort of a Canadian Mike Wallace) but lived long enough to be called a "kindly curmudgeon" in a lot of his obits.

What I find interesting is that so many have discovered it for the first time and are still emotionally moved by it. Says a bit for the guy's skill as a writer (even if you disagree with where he was coming from) and a lot for his ability to make his points concisely.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Grab
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 02:26 PM

I wrote a reply covering various incorrect points earlier on, then decided to let it go and sink. But since others have responded, what the hell.

Rick, we're emotionally moved by it bcos we're annoyed at the sheer inaccuracy of it. Tolkien was skilled as a writer but he wasn't writing about the real world, and nor is this guy.

Taking it from the top of the editorial...

2nd para: The "most generous" country is still hugely in debt to the UN, to the tune of 700 million dollars. It paid off part of the debt last year (900 million of a total 1.6 billion dollars debt), but only when threatened (along with a few Third-World countries) that they would be refused representation at the UN if they didn't clear at least part of the debt. Note that this debt was and is impeding aid work and other global humanitarian efforts. This is the current state of play, not the situation 25 years ago, but anyway.

3rd para: See Dave's note above.

4th para: Cheap xenophobic shot at the French.

5th para: Many other countries (eg. the UK, France, etc) send help to disaster zones in other countries, and did even then. But the other country has to ask first - they don't ask, they don't get. If the US doesn't ask...

6th para: Given that this was written at the time of Vietnam (or shortly afterwards - I don't know exactly when this editorial came out), ain't the "warmongering" a surprise?! The "decadent" I wouldn't know about.

7th para: Even then, British Aerospace and other European aircraft manufacturers were making decent planes, of which Concorde was the best known. Today, there's Airbus which is doing quite nicely.

8th para: How useful. Where other countries have invested in improving ppl's way of life, the US spent billions on a gung-ho pissing contest with the USSR, and learnt bugger all useful from it that they couldn't have got from proper space research. Most of the moon rocks brought back have never been examined.

9th para: I think you'll find their draft dodgers _were_ pursued, hence they had to hide out in another country which sensibly didn't regard fighting in Vietnam as something everyone should try once. I'm not sure why this is anything to be proud of.

10th para: When? And how much did they get paid for it?

11th para: Glib statistic. And see 5th para comment on aid.

Naemanson, I really don't rate this very highly. Where the "Revocation of Independence" was amusing and obviously tongue-in-cheek (and accompanied by the "Rejection of Revocation of Independence" which was also good), this is obviously meant to be taken seriously, and as such is not amusing. I find an extremely standard piece of tabloid editorial, aiming straight for the lowest common denominator of xenophobia.

Grab.

PS. Naemanson, I have great respect for you as a musician, so I'm trying very hard here to phrase this reply so that it's not personally insulting whilst still conveying how bad I feel the article is. I apologise if any of this seems personal - it isn't intended that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: kendall
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 02:41 PM

If you can do it...it aint braggin' Mahammad Ali


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: kendall
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 02:48 PM

The last I knew, Finland was the only country that paid its war debt to the USA. Does anyone have an update? To get some music into this, does anyone remember a period piece from ww 2 which goes .."ther'll always be an England while there's a USA
And 100,000 soldiers to chase her foes away.."
Another thing that was not true in that piece, another country DID come to our aid when needed. It was during the American revolt. The fact that they did it mostly for their own ends hardly matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Peter T.
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 03:11 PM

If you try to convince us to participate in the missile defence shield, I for one will withdraw all the nice things I ever said about the U.S. of A. (And it is a substantial list).
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 03:19 PM

Hey, Peter T, there are lots of us 'Mericans who don't buy into the Missile Shield Shit. Unfortunately our appointed president seems to want to return us to the Cold War, or worse. Isolationism, here we come (back).

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Naemanson
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 03:24 PM

Grab, no offense taken. I posted this because it is typical of what we see at a military base and I wondered about the accuracy both of the opinion and, to a lesser extent, the facts.

I was overjoyed to hear that it was 35 years old and out of date because the young officers, some younger than the article, are all wandering around pumped up and happy that all of Canada now appreciates them. I am getting a great deal of pleasure deflating them.

(Just so you all know, I don't work here because I am a gung ho patriot though I am very proud of my country. It is my job, not my life. I am the round peg in a very square hole. The fact that I have achieved a level of authority irks the strictly conservative military types when they see me in my T-shirts, jeans, long hair, and beard. In recent years the hair has been shorter but not because of anything they said.)


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 03:37 PM

The US involvement in the last war was a matter of self-defence, not disinterested altruism. In a life and death struggle, noone owes a debt to their partners, and noone should expect to claim on any debts either. That's blood money.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 03:45 PM

What about reconstruction money, McG? Marshall Plan and all that? Y'all might pay a little of that back, that's not blood money.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: GUEST,Barry T (not at home)
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 04:05 PM

I think you should all revisit Rick Fielding's comment.

Old Gordon used to speak his mind every night at 6:00 on CFRB Radio in Toronto. He loved to stir things up and was very good at it.

If you don't believe me, re-read this thread! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 04:17 PM

The Marshall Plan was self defence too. There was a real prospect that a starving Europe would turn its back on capitalism.

They looked back at what had happened after the First World war, and decided to try to avoid it all happening again. It was an investment, and it paid off.

That's not meant as a criticism, and it shouldn't be felt as one.

If we're going to look into historical debts that haven't been paid, there are more important ones than that, like those associated with the slave trade and imperialism, the foundation of the prosperous position in which Western Europe and America find themselves today.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 06:17 PM

Yah know, I disagree with pretty much everything Gordon Sinclair ever stood for (because it was based on a complete inability to understand why anyone would protest the status quo) so perhaps I could have just said "he was an asshole"....but I'm truly getting sick of the constant demonizing of others who disagree with you. It simply gets ya nowhere. I'd rather just try and avoid people who are really rigid. Probably just a sign of ageing, 'cause I used to fight tooth and nail at the drop of an adverb.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: ddw
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 06:44 PM

When I came to Canada in 1970 this was already an old piece — my recollection is that it was written/recorded in 1965, tho' I could be off a year or two — and it was directed at Canadians, who were going through one of their cyclical anti-American binges, damning any and every thing about the U.S. Whenever it was, the Vietnam War was well and truly in progress and that was sorta the springboard for that wave of ill feelings.

My recollection is that, while an inveterate shit-stirrer, Sinclair also produced some highly accurate, pithy commentary about any number of things. From our vantage point 35 years hence, yeah — we can pick it apart, argue with parts of it that were simplifications at the time and patently untrue now. But it was a set piece, skillfully — as noted by Rick F. — designed to get people's attention and make them think how petty and, in many instances, wrong some of the sniping of the time was.

Being at least as much against nationalism as I am against sectarian religion, I find this piece more than vaguely offensive if taken out of context. When you know where it came from and what it was designed to do, it's not too bad.

BTW, Mousethief — the Brits never got a dime out of the Marshall Plan; all that money went to mainland Europe and Japan, a point my English wife, who suffered through both the war and the post-war privations (they didn't lift rationing until 1950 or '51), still points out with some disgust.

cheers all,

david


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 06:47 PM

I stand corrected.

I must also point out that Canadian munitions firms profited greatly from the Vietnam War. Hence, Canadian self-righteousness about said war (cf. "American Woman" by the Guess Who) is rather impure.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 08:01 PM

FYI, I ran a search "Gordon Sinclair The Americans" on google and ended up with 2000 hits,one of which is this link:


Broadcast in 1973, says there. Also has a link to a RealAudio version.
Peace, Bardford


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: GUEST,colwyn dane
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 08:09 PM

Hi,

Out of the 13 billion dollars of post-war economic aid received by Europe from the USA,

UK got 3.1 billion dollars;
France 2.7 billion;
Italy 1.5 billion;
West Germany just under 1.5 billion;
Ireland was allocated 46 million dollars.

The aid-money had to be spent in the US.

Regards,
Colwyn.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 08:37 PM

Sorry, here's the link location to the radio script I mis-linked to in a previous post:

http://www.rcc.ryerson.ca/ccf/news/unique/american.html

Bardford


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Subject: RE: BS: A Canadian Tribute to the US
From: kendall
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 09:36 PM

Even the name..Marshall Plan is in error. That was the brain child of Harry Truman. He was in such disfavor at the time, he knew it wouldn't pass congress with his name on it, so, he called it The Marshall Plan.


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