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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I hate to poop on Canada...

... but poop I must.

I know, it would appear that I have doody on the brain this week (what with my Turdistan post on Sunday, and now this), but bear with me.

I seems that Canada is finally trying to shed the squeaky-clean image it has always enjoyed in the world of public opinion, and is doing everything possible to become just as troubled and dysfunctional (not to mention bigoted) as the rest of the world.

Exhibit 'A' is the rash of troubling events that were recently described by Celestial Blue:  Mounties being killed... parents throwing their children from highway overpasses... a request by a man for the police to please kill him... Self immolation... and the list goes on.

Add to all this 'crime-blotter' type stuff the fact that Canada has decided to become a world pariah by increasing the number of baby Harp Seals that can be legally clubbed to death this year from 275,000 to 975,000, and you have the making of a trend.  Even Israel has jumped on the protest bandwagon to defend the baby Harp Seals (hey, it's nice to be on the other side of the protest barricades once in a while).

Now there is a news story out this morning about Canada issuing a recall of any Canadian Passport that was mistakenly issued with the offending words 'Jerusalem Israel' in the spot reserved for 'Place of Birth'.

I sh*t you not.  On top of all the violent criminal stuff going on in the great white north... the least political country on the planet seems to have awakened from its neutral slumber in order to set its sights on what it must consider an easy political target:  Israel.

In this morning's Jerusalem Post there is an article about how Canada has thrown in its lot with the rest of the world (except for Costa Rica and El Salvador) on the issue of whether Jerusalem is part of Israel.  It seems that not even Micronesia recognizes Jerusalem as the Capitol of Israel, so Canada has apparently decided that listing someone who was born in Jerusalem ISRAEL somehow gives credence to the 'myth' of Jerusalem's Capitol status.

I'll admit I skipped nearly a third of the classes for the Introduction to Logic course I took in college, but am I missing something?  The passports don't say 'Capitol and country of birth':  Jerusalem Israel.  No, they say ''Place of Birth', which is commonly understood to mean 'city and country'.

As I wrote in a previous post, West Jerusalem (which contains almost all of the hospitals in which one might be born) has never been disputed territory (unless you count those who say we shouldn't have any of Israel).  So what the heck is the problem with listing Jerusalem as a city that exists in Israel?

These are simple facts that have absolutely no dark political agenda behind them!

Can somebody please explain (Please use little words so I'll be sure to understand) why using 'Jerusalem' and 'Israel' next to one another in a passport somehow gives credence to Israel's claim that Jerusalem is its capitol? 

Seriously, I need small words, and maybe some pictures because I'm just not getting it.

As for Canada, I am hereby giving notice that I will no longer play Ice Hockey, Lacrosse or Curl... I will not drink beers by Molson or Labatt's... I am officially deleting all the Gordon Lightfoot ballads from my iPod... and from this day on, I promise to turn off the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show whenever Dudley Do-Right is on the screen.

So take that!


Posted by David Bogner on March 15, 2005 | Permalink


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It's not just Canada; the US does the same thing. The Jerusalem Post has an article about it here:


Posted by: Andy Levy-Stevenson | Mar 15, 2005 10:07:42 AM

Andy... ah, sweet Andy... you didn't read the post I referenced about our troubles getting Yonah registered at the US Consulate.

Posted by: David | Mar 15, 2005 10:10:28 AM

Duly noted.

Posted by: Andy Levy-Stevenson | Mar 15, 2005 10:15:41 AM


I hate to disillusion you, but yes, even West Jerusalem is disputed, since the UN partition plan of 1947 intended it to be an international city.

As soon as Israel has given in in principal that all the '67 territories have to be given up, the pressure will be on to return to the '47 "borders".

Posted by: ruth | Mar 15, 2005 12:46:32 PM

Seems that Canada doesn't even recognize Israel as a country by reading all this...Jerusalem city of a no-man's land (from teh candian point of view ) ?!!

Posted by: Jany | Mar 15, 2005 1:34:04 PM


Don't confuse them with the facts!


Posted by: Gil Ben Mori | Mar 15, 2005 1:56:16 PM

So are you going to foresake the country of your birth and stop playing baseball because the US is taking the same stance on the passport thing? It's easy to crap on Canada, but turn about is fair play, you best start crapping on your own country too. You can't point fingers at one country and not the other.

And while I don't agree with seal hunts (I honestly don't know how someone can do that to a baby) I think what most people seem to be missing in this debate is that these laws and rules are usually passed for the Natives of Canada, who are trying desperately to retain their heritage and culture in a country that was invaded by white men and "westernized". As a "gee we're so sorry we took your land" gift we give the natives large tracts of land in which they can maintain and preserve their heritage, which includes hunting of all sorts. Like I said, I don't like the idea of baby seals getting clubbed, but folks need to understand that it's done by a people who have been doing it for a thousand years. Long before white man told them it was wrong.

Dave, you chose quite the battle to take up with me (get me riled enough and I'll haul out the 'settler' debate!).... and while I'm sure it seemed perfectly logical in your mind to single out Canada for the passport issues (because it IS all over the press, afterall), your logic is a bit flawed. While I am none too proud that Canada has taken this stance, it's important to note we're not the only ones. Go poo poo on the US too (or do you not do that as an expat?)

Posted by: celestial blue | Mar 15, 2005 2:09:01 PM

Ruth... Wonderful news. I'll just leave the key to my house under the mat. That way, when they finally remove all legitimacy to Israel's right to anything the next occupant will be able to let himself in.

Jany... I'm not singling out Canada (OK, maybe I am just this once)... they are just the latest to jump on the bandwagon.

Gil... Sage advice. thanks.

Celestial... Whoa there cowgirl! My goodness... I swear off curling and drinking Molsons's and the Canadian girl goes postal on me!!! :-)

Seriously, you need to read my post more carefully. As I pointed out to Andy, I took the US to task for this issue in a previous post (and I even provided a big ol' link in today's post!). The point here was not that Canada is bad, but that Canada was just the latest to begin acting as badly as everyone else.

As to the whole seal hunting thing. I firmly believe that native Canadians (or whatever PC name is in vogue these days) should be allowed to hunt whales and seals and walrus and sea lions and whatever else they want in order to maintain their traditions and preserve their traditional diet. But somehow I doubt those 975,000 baby harp seals are killed for food or to preserve anyone's hunting skills/traditions. Something tells me that those seals are being killed for their fur, which is then being sold quite happily to non Native Canadians.

IMHO, as soon as non-indigenous people enter the equation that's when I call Bullsh*t. You want to preserve your hunting skills? Fine. You want to make sure your kids know what walrus steak or whale blubber tastes like? By all means. But when you say that your 'traditions' demand you slaughter almost a million baby seals whose fur will end up on non-native women around the world... I say we've crossed over into non-traditional activities.

Celestial, I love you dearly but you can't convince me that this hunt is about preserving the rights of native Canadians..

Posted by: David | Mar 15, 2005 2:36:22 PM

Well, surely you know enough about Natives to know that they use every part of the seal, not just the fur. And may I point out that the number of seals killed, once upon a time, was in perfect balance with the environment. Natives only take what they need... it wasn't until white man came along that more were killed for their fur. And it wasn't until people demanded fur that this became an issue.

So why are more people not taking issue with those who want the fur? It's the demand that leads to OVERhunting. Obviously the hunting is there because there is a demand for it.... so who's buying this fur?

Again, don't misunderstand me here... I am not in any way supportive of killing adorable little seals.... but I am not going to sit here and let you bash Canada arbitrarily.

Posted by: celestial blue | Mar 15, 2005 4:49:24 PM

btw... I'm both troubled and perplexed by your second and third paragraph in which you allude that Canada is trying to shed it's squeaky clean image (par. 2) and then give examples (par. 3), including Mounties being killed and children being thrown over bridges.... How exctly is that an attempt by Canada to shed it's squeaky clean image?? I'm not seeing the connection unless you are implying something more sinister.....

Also, for more disturbing info about seal hunting in Canada go here (if you can stomach it): http://www.harpseals.org/hunt/

No, there's no accounting for the stupidity of some governments.... now is there, Dave?

Posted by: celestial blue | Mar 15, 2005 4:58:25 PM

Canada has a rich tradition of posing as European rather than North American in it's relationship with Israel, the US, and various and sundry Arab mass murderers. A quick search of Little Green Footballs (can I mention LGF in a warm fuzzy apolitical site such as this?) reveals this treasure trove of Canadian terror enabling and anti-Zionism. (And, yes, LGF criticizes Americans when we're terror enablers and anti-Zionist.)

Most recently, they've been competing with the French for the "Country With the Most Anti-American Views in Inverse Proportion to Its Economic, Military, or Geopolitical Importance" prize. A few weeks ago they unilaterally withdrew from our missle defense agreement. I'd say, at this point, the only threat that they can defend themselves from is baby seals.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Mar 15, 2005 5:04:51 PM

Here are the simple words you asked for.....people. hate. jews.

Posted by: Ball-and-chain | Mar 15, 2005 5:28:47 PM


It's all connected to the hockey strike. Belive me, I know. I work for a canadian firm. They nebech have nothing to do now and they're very depressed. A lethal combination for Jews.

Posted by: MO Chassid | Mar 15, 2005 5:31:58 PM

Oh, and I'll bet you five bucks (or sheckels) that when Condoleeza Rice and Karen Hughes (wish I knew how to make links. Dr. Bean keeps showing me, but the informaiton slips out of my head)are done at State, things will be different. Then, you can retract "What most voters don't stop to consider is that the outcome of the U.S. presidential election in November will probably have only the most superficial affect on the policies of the U.S. Department of State." From your previous post.

Posted by: Ball-and-chain | Mar 15, 2005 5:33:15 PM

MO, You have blown my mind. Of course. HOCKEY! Even the women get worked up about hockey up there. Can you believe that!? I bet they're killing those seals with hockey sticks.

Posted by: Alice | Mar 15, 2005 5:48:52 PM

Celestial... I should begin by saying what should have been pointed out in my first reply to you; Most of today's post was written with my tongue firmly in my cheek. Yes, I'm bothered by the passport recall, but how many people are actually impacted by this action? Your first clue that I was poking fun should have been the 'sanctions' I listed in order to punish Canada. Do you really think Canada gives a crap whether David Bogner plays their sports, drinks their beer or listens to 'The wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald'? And in case that wasn't enough of a 'joke indicator', do you really think that ANYBODY would be hurt by my turning off Dudley Do-Right???

Canada has always enjoyed a squeaky-clean image abroad, but clearly the acts of private citizens cannot seriously be construed as an entire nation's attempt to change its external image. If it wasn't clear before, please take my word that I was trying (unsuccessfully) to make a funny.

Now back to the cute little seals.

You were the one who brought up the native Canadians and their right to practice their traditional skills. I agree with you to that point. But telling me that the hunt is all the white mans fault for driving the demand for furs is a non sequitur. Either the native Canadians are subsistence hunters or they are part of the global economy... but they can't be both. As a subsistence hunter they should have every right to hunt as many seals (and other wildlife) as they need, with no limitation. But once you tell me that they will be killing more seals than every native Canadian alive today could possibly eat in 5 years (if they ate nothing else during that time), then I have to once again point out that they are no longer engaging in subsistence hunting. They are commercial hunters and have no more right to slaughter a particular species than, say, someone with a lighter complexion.

The limits on hunting were put in place to counteract the incredible abuses perpetrated by Europeans over the last 150 -200 years. I can't believe that the intention of the exemptions the natives enjoy are designed to allow them to pick up where the Europeans left off.

This isn't about the seals... this is about a way of life. You can't simultaneously claim that the native Canadians need special rights to preserve their traditional way of life and then say it is OK for them to use their special status to corner the global market on harp seal fur. That's insider trading, not to mention a cynical use of their 'status'.

The one thing I wasn't joking about is my fondness for you. I wish you could see my face and understand that I am not attacking you or your beloved Canada. The reason for today's post was simply to point out that Canada is not so different in its internal and external dealings than any other nation.... not better, and not worse.

Doctor Bean... You're a big boy... don't blame me if Celestial Blue comes over there and kicks you in the shins! I've met her and she's pretty buff. :-)

Ball & Chain... True, but Canada (like the US) has been very good to its Jews. This is why it is so jarring when they do something anti-Israel or support anti-Semites. Oh, and I'll take that bet. The proof will be in whether or not the Embassy moves from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem under her stewardship. Deal?

MO... That's a good theory. Without hockey they don't have much to keep them occupied. You remember the old saying about idle hands...

Alice...No, that wouldn't be in keeping with their 'traditional lifestyle'. :-)

Posted by: David | Mar 15, 2005 6:03:15 PM

I'll jump on the bash Canada bandwagon.

"let's embarrass the hell out of the Americans in front of other countries."

Nice Canadian official. There is a lack of logic and reasoning there. Not that there isn't many other places, but they are racking up the brain points awfully quickly.

Posted by: Jack | Mar 15, 2005 6:08:22 PM

Now Jack... I have to take Celestial's side on this one. If you were Canada and the US consistantly treated you like a retarded younger brother in front of the whole world... you'd occasionally try to tape a 'kick me!' sign on the US's back too!

Posted by: David | Mar 15, 2005 6:12:46 PM

FIrstly, I disagree with: "Either the native Canadians are subsistence hunters or they are part of the global economy... but they can't be both." Sadly, when white man came to town one of the biggest trades became fur. Natives hunted for themselves and then Natives hunted as a form of commerce. Now more than ever the Native people of Canada are in great economic gloom and are fighting for their very survival. As a Canadian I am embarrassed we've given these people hunks of land, called them reserves, and think that's a fair deal.

That being said, I wasn't actually implying it was the Natives overhunting... it is often "white men" who are doing the over hunting (as can be seen in that link I tried to offer). Many times it is a sport, and for that reason it turns my stomach that the legal number has been raised (in terms of hunting limits). Although I don't like it I can see hunting for survival or heritage for the Natives. I cannot, and will not, condone it for anyone who does it for great profit and sport. It's barbaric and I have to hope that we have left that age behind.

And I'm about done here... I'm not sure how this turned into a Canada bashing thing, but I am so not up for it. Between the overuse of the hockey jokes (*ho hum* can't you guys find something else to use as the butt of your jokes? that's so old) and the quoting of a few pissed off politicians (like our politicians are the only ones that say dumb things? have ya HEARD Bush?? lol) I can't be bothered to spend the time or energy on here. As you said Dave, if nothing else, Canada has had about enough of being treated like an inferior neighbour. Pardon us if we won't take it anymore.

see ya later

Posted by: celestial blue | Mar 15, 2005 6:29:58 PM

"I'll jump on the bash Canada bandwagon." - Jack

oh.. one last thing...
ya can't go around bashing countries just because they don't want to do what you'd like them to do. This isn't the first time two countries can't agree on a policy.... and with Canada and the US I'm quite sure it won't be the last.

now.. as you were! back to your Canada bashing! lol

Posted by: celestial blue | Mar 15, 2005 6:37:22 PM

Celestial Blue,

I can most certainly jump on. I have a pocketful of looneys and tooneys, a handful of Newfie jokes and 15 reasons why Tim Hortons donuts are inferior to Krispy Kreme. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Mar 15, 2005 6:41:25 PM

Alright you two... don't make me pull this blog over! [glaring in the rear-view mirror]

Posted by: David | Mar 15, 2005 6:43:55 PM

Alright you two... don't make me pull this blog over! [glaring in the rear-view mirror]

You know I didn't want to say anything, but there is a definite smell emanating from somewhere here, rather doglike I might add. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Mar 15, 2005 8:43:16 PM

Jack... Oh that? That's just Canada. (KIDDING!)

Posted by: David | Mar 15, 2005 9:11:20 PM

Speaking of Canada...

Posted by: Gail | Mar 17, 2005 2:22:23 PM

Sad day when Canada having an identical policy as the US on passport issuance leads Americans to bash Canada. Check it out: http://www.jlaw.com/Briefs/zivotofsky-v-secretary.html

Posted by: JS | Apr 5, 2005 4:00:59 AM

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