Independent of reason

June 28, 2006

This is the sort of European media coverage that I have to deal with on a regular basis.  Blatantly bias, anti-Israeli and entirely devoid of context.

Anti-Israel Cover


‘The Americans (A Canadian’s Opinion)’

June 21, 2006

Two recent articles help to dismantle the myth of the 'ugly American'.  The first article about US charitable giving can be found here.

American Giving 

The second article, on politeness, can be found at the Readers' Digest website here.

World of Courtesy: Ranking of 35 Cities

Below is a ranking of the most courteous to the least courteous — 35 major cities included in RD's Global Courtesy Test.

New York USA 80%
Toronto Canada 70
São Paulo Brazil 68

European identity is defined -in contrast to popular impressions of the American approach- by their emphasis on building compassionate societies.  Canadian identity, in a small part, is defined by being seen in the eyes of the world as the polite 'anti-American'.  These false stereotypes are rife in Europe and Canada.  America is more racist, their healthcare system is worse, violent crimes is much worse, we are 'peacekeepers' the Americans' are 'warmongers' . . .

Regardless of the facts, many non-Americans sit watching the evening news or reading their local papers and thinking, not how can our societies improve, but rather thank goodness that we're not America because they are so [insert negative adjective here].

Many years ago, the great Gordon Sinclair read an excellent commentary piece called The Americans (A Canadian's Opinion) over the airwaves at CFRB 1010 Radio

It's still important today because it reminds us of America's strengths and the good that it does in the world.  If we continue to define ourselves in contrast to America, it's important that we have a balanced perspective on the true character of the United States of America. 

Here is The Americans (A Canadian's Opinion) in its entirety:

The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany. It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the world.

As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtse. Well, Who rushed in with men and money to help? The Americans did, that's who.

They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Mississippi is under water and no foreign land has sent a dollar to help. 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 those countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When the franc 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. And I was there. I saw that.

When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries into help… Managua Nicaragua is one of the most recent examples. So far this spring, 59 American communities have been flattened by tornadoes. Nobody has helped.

The Marshall Plan… the Truman Policy… all pumped billions upon billions of dollars into discouraged countries. And now, newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent war-mongering Americans.

I'd like to see one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplanes.

Come on… let's hear it! Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar or the Douglas 10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all international lines except Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or a 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 the draft dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are right here on our streets in Toronto, most of them… unless they are breaking Canadian laws… are getting American dollars from Ma and Pa at home to spend here.

When the Americans get out of this bind… as they will… who could blame them if they said 'the hell with the rest of the world'. Let someone else buy the bonds, let someone else build or repair foreign dams or design foreign buildings that won't shake apart in earthquakes.

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 of them are still broke. I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble.

Can you name to 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 neighbours have faced it alone and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their noses at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles.

I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug, self-righteous Canadians. And finally, the American Red Cross was told at its 48th Annual meeting in New Orleans this morning that it was broke.

This year's disasters… with the year less than half-over… has taken it all and nobody… but nobody… has helped. 

Well, technology has progressed and the places struck by disasters are new, but Mr. Sinclair's sentiments still hold true.


I blame the ‘victims’

June 18, 2006

From the opinion section of the Los Angeles Times:

. . . Sex-change operations, vacations to the Dominican Republic and wild nights at strip clubs were all bought on the government’s [taxpayers’] dime by both con artists and legitimate victims of Hurricane Katrina. But try to keep that knee from jerking — although FEMA’s oversight was lacking, wasted money is an inevitable byproduct of providing rapid emergency assistance.

. . . The 16% of improper expenditures is indeed high for a federal aid program . . .

It’s easy, and necessary, to criticize FEMA’s across-the-board incompetence in responding to the largest displacement of Americans since the Civil War. But obsessing about the spending habits of refugees comes perilously close to blaming the victim.

I’m not above blaming any Government for mismanagement.  However, allowing these fraudsters off the hook isn’t the answer.  

I think reports of fraudulent spending should cause a sufficient ‘knee-jerk reaction’ on behalf of the public to give these ‘victims’ a swift kick in the ass.  Shameful.

What BBC bias?

June 15, 2006

Here is an excellent example of BBC’s slanted converage as it reports on the availability of ammunition in Iraq. 

Bullets ‘flooding Baghdad market’

Research carried out by the UK-based charity Oxfam says Baghdad’s black market is awash with new ammunition. Much of it originated from factories in Eastern Europe and Russia, according to the report. It says the ammunition was either smuggled in or leaked from the supplies imported by coalition forces. Statistics in the report show some of the ammunition examined was manufactured over 20 years ago 

. . . Most are said have been manufactured after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Many of the bullets had been made in the Czech Republic, Serbia, Romania and Russia, the report added.

. . . Export data exists for only 17% of the bullets on the market, leaving over 80% of global supplies unaccounted for. 

Well, okay.  So far so good.  From this report most of the new ammunition in Iraq comes from Russia and Eastern European Countries.  I’m quite surprised that China isn’t mentioned, but that’s not what they found, apparently.

Now, here’s the graphic they decide to include with this article:

Global Arms Production, sort of

Wow!  Americans are such war-mongering bastards.  Look at how much death they export! . . .

Wait a minute . . . if you squint and read the small print you’ll realise that this accounts for only 17% of estimated global production.  You may also notice that countries such as China, Russia, North Korea, Pakistan and India . . . are nowhere to be found.  Are these some of the countries that make up the rest of the global production?

This graphic also provides no context.  This is production.  How much of US ammunition is used by the US military, law enforcement, average Americans and ally governments?

So incredibly dishonest of the BBC.

 Hat-tip to CanCon reader Gary.  


Media picks its battles

June 14, 2006

I just listened to President Bush's press conference via FoxNews and one of his comments struck me.  He said that 99.9% of US military personal are good, honest people and that should not be forgotten as people read reports of the ongoing investigation into the action of US Marines in Haditha.

That makes sense.  I'm sure average people don't need this sort of lesson, but the left, the media and some politicians could use the reminder.

Why is it that these groups seem to ignore the inoccent-until-proven-guilty approach when the accused are the US military personel, but they espouse it -ad nauseum- when Islamo-fascist terrorists are accused of killing civilians, blowing stuff up or getting caught plotting mass-murder.

When it's accused jihadis, the media, politicians and the left resort to the following mantra:

a) Islam is a religion of peace;

b) 99.99% of Muslim's don't condone terror;

c) As such, they are innocent until proven guilty;

d) However, even if they are proven guilty the are simpy criminal extremists not Muslims;

It would be nice if they could find the time to apply the same evangelical zeal in protecting the presumed innocence of accused members of the American military. 

When was the last time you heard a report from the MSM with that sort of balance?

Reason to celebrate

June 11, 2006

This Michelle Malkin video over at Hotair pretty much sums it up. 

Iraqis celebrate, the left obfuscates and the media attempts to change the topic.

I agree:

The left can pout all it wants.  We can enjoy a victory.      Thank you Airforce, Army, Navy and Marines.

This is just a warm-up.  Expect the real show to begin when Bin Laden is killed.

That’s quite a To Do list

June 5, 2006

Here's a summary of what the Canadian Islamic Congress had to say about the recent terror arrests in Ontario. 

Following a wave of arrests overnight on June 3 that led to more than a dozen Toronto-area men and teens being held on charges of suspected terrorism, the Canadian Islamic Congress issued a statement saying:

  1. All suspects involved in the current investigation . . . must be treated as innocent until proven guilty;
  2. If and when any individuals are proven guilty under Canadian anti- terrorism legislation, then they are criminals. Canada's 750,000 Muslims should not be made guilty-by-association, either in the Canadian media or through any public pronouncements;
  3. We praise today's statements by CSIS, RCMP and the Mayor of Toronto for putting today's arrests into proper context as criminal activities by suspects;
  4. It is irresponsible for our Prime Minster to paint today's arrests as a battle between "us" and "them". Such statement puts all Canadian Muslims in great danger;
  5. Governments, both federal and provincial, must fund legitimate academic research to diagnose this serious social problem and provide scientific solutions to it.

Okay, now that you're done telling us what we need to do . . . what the hell are you going to do? 

"The Canadian Muslim community is law-abiding and loyal, but we have been up front in recognizing that no group is without problems," the statement continued.

Ah, job well done then.  Thanks for that.