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Canada

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Beyond the Wall.

“Journalists are greeted with steady skepticism: ‘Is this another story about suicide and polar bears?’ Sometimes the locals call you kabloona, which technically means ‘white person’ but in common parlance can mean asshole; they might wave their hands in front of their noses as you pass…No one but a northerner can possibly understand their North, they think.”

For the Toronto Globe and Mail, author Ian Brown and photojournalist Peter Power take an ethnographic expedition into the changing Canadian North. “You in the south talk about human time and space. We don’t think about it that way. Our space is vast, and time for us stretches over centuries.” As with the Dock Ellis pitching story a few years ago, worth visiting for the presentation alone.

Chained to Work.


“‘The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation days and paid holidays,’ said John Schmitt, senior economist and co-author of the report. ‘Relying on businesses to voluntarily provide paid leave just hasn’t worked.'”

A new CEPR report finds — once againthat Americans are working inordinately hard. “Workers in the European Union are legally guaranteed at least 20 paid vacation days per year, with 25 and even 30 or more days in some countries. Canada and Japan guarantee at least 10 days of paid vacation per year. U.S. workers have no statutory right to paid vacations.”

Bowie’s in Space.


“‘I’m very happy that…7 million are interested. It is very interesting and historic to be in space,’ Reuters quoted Hadfield as saying.” Do you want to borrow my jumper, Bowie? This has been making the rounds for a few weeks now, but still definitely worth a post: Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield covers “SpaceOddity” aboard the ISS. “The five-minute video posted Sunday drew a salute from Bowie’s official Facebook page: ‘It’s possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created.'”

Blame Canada.

“‘He said someone from Clinton’s campaign is telling the Embassy to take it with a grain of salt,’ said one participant in the conversation. The source added, ‘someone called us and told us not to worry.’” As I’m sure y’all know, one of the late-term factors redounding against Obama in Ohio was Goolsbeegate, where it seemed one of Obama’s top economic advisers had suggested to the Canadian government that the Senator’s rhetoric on NAFTA was just political hot air. Senators McCain and Clinton, of course, ran with it. (This has caused a political uproar in Canada, as the leak seemed an attempt by the right-leaning Canadian government to help out McCain.) Well, now it turns out that, not only is there less to the Goolsbee story than first appears (Canadian officials sought him out before Super Tuesday, not the reverse, as reported), but that it was Sen. Clinton’s campaign actually making overtures to the Canadians on the subject of NAFTA.

Charming. Somehow, with Ohio come and gone, I doubt this side of the story will have much in the way of legs. But, if you needed any further indication at this late date that Sen. Clinton can be a tremendous hypocrite at times, just look to our friends to the North.

Kicked Out.

In a 4-0 rout, Brazil knocks the US out of the Women’s World Cup in the semifinals. Arg, that’s too bad. Despite the time zone issues, I caught several of the round 1 games (including US-Sweden and US-Nigeria, as well as a few random match-ups like Canada-Ghana and Denmark-NZ) and thought we looked pretty solid, give or take an occasionally lackluster offense. But it sounds like we ran into a brick wall here. At any rate, Brazil will face Germany, who beat Norway 3-0 on Wednesday in the Finals.

Kirk has some explaining to do.

Be careful at those conventions, folks…According to a grisly recent LA Times story on the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit’s attempts to curb kiddie porn, “All but one of the [over 100] offenders they have arrested in the last four years was a hard-core Trekkie.” (Others have rightfully cast doubt on this rather dubious claim.)

Cajuns of Nova Scotia.

“The point I’m trying to make is that one of the roles I see for a historian in the United States — and here I separate myself from, let’s say, the Ward Churchills, who are only looking to tell stories about victims and villains — is to resuscitate those points at which people faced with the dilemma of a whole new world attempted to do something good, and achieved something that was worth remembering.” Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir interviews Yale historian John Mack Faragher on A Great and Noble Scheme, his new book about the Acadian “relocation” of 1755.

The True North strong and free.

For those of you who’ve considered moving to Canada after recent events, sorry…it looks like Dubya beat y’all to it. As with his recent trip to England, “Bush will not make a customary speech at the House of Commons in Ottawa where the sometimes raucous Parliament has been known to heckle speakers.” Well, you know how the Prez gets all kinds of incoherent in front of unscreened audiences, even with that strange bulge taped to his back.

June 6, 1944.

“People of Western Europe: A landing was made this morning on the coast of France by troops of the Allied Expeditionary Force. This landing is part of the concerted United Nations’ plan for the liberation of Europe, made in conjunction with our great Russian allies …I call upon all who love freedom to stand with us.” – Dwight Eisenhower

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