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Total number of comments: 5 (since 2013-11-28 16:44:08)

Craig McKie

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  • Isaac Asimov Predicts Interactive Internet 25 Years Ago
    • This is wonderful. I always hoped for this outcome and indeed it has happened. Bravo Isaac.

  • 58 Murders a year by Firearms in Britain, 8,775 in US
    • For Canada in 2010: 170 firearm homicides. This in spite of the fact that ownership rates for long guns are comparable to those in the US. What is different is legal handgun ownership and carrying in public by civilians. Both are quite unusual. Having said that, there are lots of handguns in circulation from illegal importation. It is not hard to locate a weapon for black market purchase if you are so inclined and clearly many young males in depressed urban areas are, if only for use as status symbols. But all things considered, the huge number of firearms residing in Canadian households does not result in a huge number of firearm homicides. I don't think anyone really understands why this should be. There are clearly other factors at play.

  • Cheney afraid to speak in "Dangerous" Canada
    • Well, Toronto was a dangerous place for American troops who came to town during the War of 1812 to loot and burn. The powder cache at Ft. York blew up because of a slow fuse lit by retreating British regulars. Numerous foreign invaders were rendered hors de combat and those still able to walk left for home a short while later.

  • Sound and Fury: Americans Actually Lightly Taxed
    • All of the top band of countries offer superior social benefit programmes than the US. You would be hard pressed to find a Western country that doesn't.

  • On How War with Iran might Destroy the United States
    • I was much struck by your comment: "I don’t understand the American fascination with war. We’ve been at war one way or another all my life. Is that normal?"

      My response: normal for you all, not at all normal for us north of the 49th parallel.

      Living in Canada, next door as it were, this warwaging has always been a source of wonderment and not a little fear. I do suppose we could go back much farther in history than out short lifetimes, perhaps to the War of 1812-14 in which Toronto was put to the torch by US invaders, through interventions all over Latin America and the Spanish Pacific. And of course one should not forget the US civil war. Through this period, Canadians have been remarkably tranquil. A short adventure to the Boer War, then the cataclysmic events of WW I and WW II, the whole sorry drama from 1939 onward I might add, then the restrained Korean conflict, and latterly a bit of action in Afghanistan, shortly to be brought to a conclusion by abandonment.

      It's not as if no preparations were made, they were. The mobilization for WW II in Canada far exceeded the US experience in scope. It's just that the political climate here is intolerant of ill-considered imperial adventures. Vietnam, Iraq II, and the entire range of Latin interventions come easily to mind. I tend to view this difference in political culture as fundamentally rooted in the absence of what has come to be known as American exceptionalism. With overwhelming public support, Canada typically signs up for international conventions such as the war crimes tribunal, the land mines treaty and so on and largely follows them, having no territorial ambitions save in the Arctic Ocean shelf, and no quasi-religious impetus to the enforced imposition of governance schemes on other peoples. Relations with countries like Cuba have always been good, even at the worst of times.

      I have lived most of my life in long peacetime stretches in contrast to my counterpart cohorts down south. There has been no mandatory military service since 1945 and even that brief instance did not result in fatalities for any enlisted person to my limited knowledge. I would not have it any other way. The alternatives are all horrifying.

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