But for all of the iconic nature of Veterans Day, Americans appear to have stepped back from previous wearing of poppies. In the Washington area, there is nary one to be seen. Last year, I got mine at the Canadian Embassy—a red one.
One is always amazed, as an observer from the southland, at what will start Canadian dovecots squawking.
While Canadian restrictions on free speech continue to be noted and national and provincial human rights commissions powers are identified, there is no comment on the chilling effect that ‘hate speech’ charges can entail.
And for the professional pontificators, they are a godsend.
There are fewer and fewer for whom Pearl Harbor is the relevant benchmark of their lives. Their ‘who-I-am-is-where-I-was-when’ touchstones are the Kennedy assassination, the Space Shuttle explosion, and—of course—9/11.
It was an unprecedented agreement as for the first time, it eliminated completely an entire class of weapons.
We joined an ‘Adopt a Highway’ cleanup effort on the main highway into Vail. Illustrative of De Tochville’s American volunteer spirit, we dressed in protective clothing, gloved, with bright orange vests and ‘grippers’ for picking up.
We all suffer from hypocrisy. Nations are no less culpable than individuals. It is hard to find a nation where the existing government regards itself as acting from other than principled virtue.
Although we no longer ‘grade’ human rights action, Canada qualifies for the equivalent of an ‘A.’
The current U.S. political deadlock is existential; it is not a question of making quick fixes with marginal manoeuvres.
What to do about Tehran and how or when to do it? This is definitely a conundrum for which the answers are even more illusive than attempting to lever Syria’s Bashar out of power.
Harper plays his ‘China card.’ This was a useful reminder to Washington that Ottawa has other market options.
And to be sure Bashar is no choirboy. Syria is a nasty dictatorship with a decades-long record of vicious human rights violations. But neither are his opponents choirboys.
So as Canadians absorb and review the first public information on their 2011 census, some may want to stop and think of the microcosmic elements of reality behind the 5.9 per cent growth.
It is a travesty of a decision; one that fails both the sniff and giggle test.
Although Canadians doubtless are the epitome of virtue in their own minds, the ICC thinks otherwise.
Regardless of the electoral outcome, Remembrance/Veterans day next year will have a different resonance in the United States.
‘Our’ Soviet Union was epitomized by Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984. All gone. In its place is something new—and to a casual, albeit attentive observer, considerably better.
It eliminated Soviet intermediate range ground launched missiles.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela visited Ottawa in May 1992. The honorary Canadian who helped end apartheid in his country died on Dec. 5 at 95 years old. Governor General David Johnston said, "When history speaks of the very best examples of humanity, we will speak of Nelson Mandela." He's pictured here with former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney.