Democrats & Liberals Archives

Who is Stephen Harper?

Anyone one? Mr. Harper is the 49 year old Prime Minister of Canada. Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world in terms of landmass. Canada is the largest trading partner of the United States.

Susan Ward wrote a piece in About.com concerning doing business in Canada:

"Why do business in Canada? Why not? Operating a business in Canada is better for your bottom line than operating your business in the United States, and thanks to NAFTA (the North American Trade Agreement), you'll still have access to the entire North American market.

Currently, according to a detailed 10-month study of international business costs in 11 countries in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific by KMPG, Canada's business costs are the lowest recorded in the study, and roughly 9 percent lower than in the USA after taxes depending on the industry.

One reason for this is the lower labour costs in Canada; total labor costs, including wages and salaries, statutory benefits, and other benefits, are lowest in Canada. In the United States, benefit costs are 32 percent of total salary, while in Canada these costs are only 29 percent. And the cost of wages is also lower in Canada than in the USA" (Invest in Canada)

According to the U.S. State Department 200 million Americans cross the border into Canada each and every year and yet you didn't know who Stephen Harper was. Americans simply are not interested in who governs and what is going on in its neighbors, let alone the Republic of Georgia. There is no value in knowing Canada's PM..

That's the American way. Living in the border city of Buffalo, NY I have found that the overwhelming majority of the locals don't know the Canadian Prime Minister. Local media pays scant attention to Canadian politics or daily life in that wonderful country where the concept of Community is more important than the concept of "It's all about me.".

If we don't care to know anything about what is going on in Canada, aren't you a bit fearful regarding your knowledge of rest of the world. All we seem to accept are the erroneous and down right deceitful stories that come out in the media from elected officials in Washington. My favorite is the one spread by the U.S. health care industry. Canada has national health and everyone hates it. So Americans believe it. The fact is Canada is very happy with their system and don't want the American for profit program where the people making the real big money are the insurance company executives and not the actual health care professionals.

Recently the crazy Bush administration, after 160 years of free travel across the U.S. Canadian border has declared American citizens need a passport to travel because of the terrorism threat. Can you imagine the surprise to people like those in Buffalo and Niagara Falls who drive to Canada for dinner, for the beaches, for theater.

Terrorism? What a laugh. The closest I've come to terrorism or threat from a Canadian was getting yelled at by an irate Toronto Maple Leafs hockey fan at a game with the Buffalo Sabres. Yet, there you have it. Sixteen Saudi Arabians and three other Arab nations blow up the World Trade Centers in New York and our government is concerned about terrorists coming into the U.S. from Canada. Now I guess the American in the heartland who have not foreign border within 1000 miles of him feels secure, and needs not know the name of Canada's Prime Minister..

So, learn the name of Canada's PM and Mexico's president. Learn what is going on in those countries. Learn not only for your personal benefit, but,for our national benefit. If we can't learn something constructive and positive from what is going in in other societies we will decline.

There was a time when our world view was enriched by the millions of annual immigrants arriving at the nation's great seaports.. That flow of people has stopped. We need to find a way to restore that enrichment process so we can continue to grow and begin to fit comfortably in the world around us. We need to know that it is good to know Stephen Harper and that there are 52 letters in the Canadian alphabet: A-a, B-a, C-a, D-a... (inside joke. Americans say "Huh", Canadian say "Eh")


Posted by Mike Wrona at August 20, 2008 12:30 AM
Comments
Comment #258978

Read the comment in its’ entirety. He said terrorism from a Canadian. I don’t believe we’ve connected any Canadians to that…

Posted by: janedoe at August 20, 2008 12:50 PM
Comment #258979

That’s correct. What a laugh. Europe has had terrorism for years from the IRA, Basque ETA, and Terrorist train bombers. Do you know what they did?

They didn’t run around crying woe is me I’m afraid and start making border crossings difficult. Their boarders remain open without passport control

The administration has been successful in making you afraid of your neighbor.

Posted by: Mike wrona at August 20, 2008 12:55 PM
Comment #258980

That’s correct. What a laugh. Europe has had terrorism for years from the IRA, Basque ETA, and Terrorist train bombers. Do you know what they did?

They didn’t run around crying woe is me I’m afraid and start making border crossings difficult. Their borders remain open without passport control

The administration has been successful in making you afraid of your neighbor.

Posted by: Mike wrona at August 20, 2008 12:57 PM
Comment #258983

Forgive John, for he knows not what he says.

I feel much the same way about the trade center disasters. We allowed our president to convince us that the Patriot act was for our own protection, while he determined that the perpitrator of the disaster was not important enough to pursue…?!?!?!

If catching ben Ladin was so unimportant, why is the Patriot act such a priority?

What do borders you can’t cross say to those on the other side of those borders? Why would we want to say THAT?

Be afraid…be VERY afraid…of ourselves.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 20, 2008 1:09 PM
Comment #258984

John,

What is the very worst thing that would have happened if those explosives had crossed the border? Would it have taken our freedom from us? No…we took that from ourselves without a shot being fired, or a bomb going off.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 20, 2008 1:13 PM
Comment #258986

Mike,

Good post, and you make a lot of sense. I, for one, did not know the current leader of our northern neighbor, and do not know who took Fox’s place in Mexico. I’ll take note of my lapse because of your message.

Thanks…

Posted by: Marysdude at August 20, 2008 1:16 PM
Comment #258990

John,

I was in the Marine Corps for twenty years. Viet Nam and other conflicts occurred during that time period. If a few lives is what it costs to remain free, then a few lives should be gladly given. But, to give up freedom without a fight is contrary to everything we, as Americans, hold dear. It is a damned shame that you and those like you hold it so cheaply.

Life is not life if you must live it in fear…especially fear of your own shadow.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 20, 2008 1:34 PM
Comment #258993

John,

You left out the part that says that war was just as dishonorable as the current one…that it was ‘lost’ was a blessing for both America and Viet Nam, but that is for another day.

Today I stop responding to a troll…

Posted by: Marysdude at August 20, 2008 1:52 PM
Comment #258994

This is an issue that is VERY close to my heart, as I grew up in the border town of Blaine, Washington, the 2nd most travelled border crossing between our two countries (our high school mascot is the ‘Borderites’), and I am married to a Canadian woman (yes… I am a traitor… she’s probably a terrorist!).

It is completely and utterly ridculous that we now need passports or birth certs to travel the same border I used to jump the ditch across to fetch my baseball. I am sure that if Bush and the neo-cons were to have their way, we’d build a needless fence there as well.

Sure, some conservative senator from Kansas and Georgia probably support these new rules, but ask nearly any lawmaker from a border state and they will tell you that these new requirements are ridiculous. Yep… there was that guy caught with those explosives trying to cross the border… but guess what y’all? He was caught! Not only do these new requirements do nothing to actually make us safer, but they will hurt our country’s economy (and the various economies of the small bordertowns such as the one in which I was raised).

But hey… just like that silly fence on the southern border, the new rules will make us FEEL safer… even if they don’t make us ACTUALLY safer… and feelings are all that count.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 20, 2008 1:54 PM
Comment #259002

Canadians are not so different (if at all) than us. We speak the same language, except for those in Quebec who don’t seem to realize they aren’t in France any more…and our currency looks different, though I think is equal in value today. They don’t seem to have a major problem with their medical system unless it’s having to wait for certain Dr.s or procedures quite a while. For the most part, they don’t seem to have the need to flood across the border to work at low paying jobs.
I learned more about the country and people from someone I met through a mutual friend. They have their share of problems including worry about attack from those who have entered there illegally, and just from their close connection to us.
Today, I think we just have to assume that there can be “terrorists” lurking anywhere, and sealing our borders to our neighbors is not necessarily the only answer to preventing attacks.
Maybe that occasional moose that wanders across the line should bear watching… ;)
John, I don’t have any idea what Border S#####!! is supposed to mean, but I do think that you have gone way over the edge and troll is a good assessment.

Posted by: janedoe at August 20, 2008 2:48 PM
Comment #259005

Good for you Doug. My oldest son just married a wonderful young Canadian woman 3 weeks ago.

As for the people who are afraid of the outside world, I have to wonder - If a $439.3 Billion
annual military budget doesn’t make you feel safe, then absolutely nothing will ever make you feel safe.

Your life is already lost, and the terrorist has already won.

Posted by: Mike Wrona at August 20, 2008 3:39 PM
Comment #259011

“Dude I do not think Americans fear anyone but The Liberal Democrats of America.As for the Viet-Nam war that you helped lose.You are in the Fine Class of John Murtha,John Kerry,Wesely Clark and Jim Webb.Nice Loss!!”

John I am an American and I fear those on the far right, like yourself, that considers blaming the troops for losing the war to be an intelligent statement. IMHO it shows a considerable amount of ignorance on your part and others on the far right. To blame those that served this country on the ground in any war for strategy errors committed by politicians is shameful and it is just this type of fascist rhetoric that is tearing the country apart. Your statement is disgusting and you owe all vetrans an apology.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 20, 2008 4:02 PM
Comment #259016

never ever feed trolls,or tease the mentally challenged. — It distracts from adult conversations and encourages them to stick around— Savage

Posted by: A Savage at August 20, 2008 4:40 PM
Comment #259019


Johns epiphany “Has anyone ever noticed that the Loser’s Of the Viet-Nam war are the ones so eager to Surrender in Iraq,And so eager to come to the Defence of Russia????”

John you speak of surrender in Iraq as if someone in this country actually wants to surrender to whoever in Iraq. We call that delusional here and I think most Canadians would agree.
The facts are this “According to the President of the United States George W. Bush and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, the reasons for the invasion were “to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.”

So we have confirmed that there were no WMD’s, Hussein is and has been dead for years and the Iraqi people are free. Those,such as yourself, that refuse to acknowledge that it has been time to come home for years even though we have accomplished what we were told we were sending troops to accomplish need to be reminded that FDR got us a victory in Europe and the Pacific in 4 years. Even somebody using your far right extremist logic has to agree that it is a foolish waste of our grandchildrens tax dollars to continue to stay and have our fighting men and women continue to babysit internal factions within the country. So Im suprised that you cant see this “surrender” rhetoric for what it is- gibberish for the talk radio crowd. Not to mention its off topic for this thread. Why not try insulting the Canadians with you uninformed comments at least it would be on topic.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 20, 2008 4:46 PM
Comment #259022

Would somebody please tell me again why we expect to stop a terrorist by checking his/her passportat a border crossing when they can walk across unchecked virtually anywhere on America’s thousands of miles of unwatched border.

Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 20, 2008 5:07 PM
Comment #259025

Mike

Good post. I for one knew Steven Harper’s name, But I don’t know the name of the man that took Fox’s place. We Americans don’t seem too interested in what goes on outside of our own country. Our bad.

Marysdude

You’re also right. From day one Bush has used 9/11 to make us afraid, so he can go on with his own agenda. Which is all about his corporate buddies making money from Americans. If they really wanted to make America safe, they would secure our infrastructure. From my knowledge all the 9/11 hijackers came in on genuine visas.

John

—-Oh never mind!

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at August 20, 2008 5:26 PM
Comment #259027

Mike W… your son is a traitor!

And… if he is interested… we hold secret underground meetings at undisclosed locations to plot the takeover of America by the Canadians… ;-)

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 20, 2008 5:38 PM
Comment #259032

John

I to served in Viet Nam. I lost nothing. I was a simple troop doing a job in an unpopular conflict. I, like all the rest who served there or in any other war were only doing a job. I stayed until I was told I had to come home. I will tell you with certainty that returning home and finding no appreciation for doing a job is not a comfortable situation for a young man. I came home a different person but unlike many, I came home alive. If you really need someone to blame for the result of that conflict I suggest you look to the politicians and military leaders of that era. You have just dishonored the 63,000 Americans who gave their lives in that conflict.

You are the epitome of the type of person that foolishly and needlessly creates careless and thoughtless hatred and bias amongst people who should be striving to live together instead of pushing apart. I think the term troll is much too kind for you. Like dude I will no longer read or respond to your posts. I know it is not my place and I am probably going over the top, but so far as I am concerned, you are no longer welcome here.

Posted by: RickIL at August 20, 2008 6:32 PM
Comment #259034

Rocky,

I’m not sure that is the agenda at all. I’ve often wondered if the Mexican border fence is to keep aliens out or Americans in. To Wit

I think everyone knows the Canadian border security is a complete joke.

As to Nafta, it’s another deal for rich international corporations. I don’t mind free trade, but an excuse to supplement offshore accounts and slave trade isn’t my idea of free trade. This election is about whether you are for continuing the new robber baron era or ending it.

Posted by: googlumpugus at August 20, 2008 6:59 PM
Comment #259038


Mike Wrona: Invest in cheap labor, invest in Canada. This is exactly why blue collar and low income American workers have been fools for voting to empower this two party elitist government.

Rather than service economy, we should be calling it the investors economy.

Posted by: jlw at August 20, 2008 7:17 PM
Comment #259040

John
I to served in Nam, two trips in fact. Your comments are NOT APPRECIATED. Though we left like the left wing dems want us to do in Iraq, It was a Republican who screwed the pooch about leaving Nam in a turmoil, though the Democrats started the war to begin with. Politicians controled the war in Nam, THAT IS WHY WE LOST and WHY WE LOST SO MANY MEN.

Posted by: KAP at August 20, 2008 7:24 PM
Comment #259045

googlumpugus “This election is about whether you are for continuing the new robber baron era or ending it.”

Who do you think will make an attempt to end this era? Nader? Barr? certainly none of the rest of the presidential candidates.

BTW,interesting article. If Barr wasnt a supposedly reformed conservative I would think he may address issues like this but I have a hard time beleiving Obama would address this violation of the constitution. To think that McCain would do any thing but tighten these restrictions is laughable.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 20, 2008 8:14 PM
Comment #259046

“except for those in Quebec who don’t seem to realize they aren’t in France any more” I would give this a prize for the dumbest comment of the day. The French were there before the English speakers, the first of whom went there from our own country after rejecting independence from the UK.

On passports, it sounds like a conrol issue, but there was some kind of millenium plot to bomb LAX that came out of Vancouver. The real problem with Canada, is that their immigration policy is so lax, that our government doesn’t even consider some of their citizenships legitimate.

Because of increasing global temperatures, their country may prosper, and we might eventually go to war with them over the Northwest Passage, but only the English speaking ones, the French ones being inherently good.

I went to ski near Banff and Vancouver, after listening to their tourists bragging about their ski areas. You can’t believe a Canadian who speaks English, Utah has the greatest snow on earth, and nothing beat Alta, Brighton, and Snowbird.

“foolishly and needlessly creates careless and thoughtless hatred and bias amongst people”. RickIL, IMO, that is the deliberate intention, to do exactly that, but hey, if there weren’t idiotic posts, we wouldn’t know their opinions of people who have an equal right to insert their comments, and we are all free not to respond to them. They just make the Rpblcns look really dumb, so I don’t mind it at all. Remember Dole and “democrat wars” in 76. They haven’t changed at all.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 20, 2008 8:18 PM
Comment #259047

My Father served in Vietnam, my grandfather served in WW2 my greatgrandfather etc.. Although I have not served I also was offended by Johns’ remarks. As if my opinion was needed at all I also think you should stop posting in this thread. Stick to the red column, I understand how difficult it is being that angry all the time. However, that does not give you license to make remaks like you have here, and in other threads as well.

I say The Americanadian States sounds good.

Posted by: napajohn at August 20, 2008 8:22 PM
Comment #259048

j2t2,

You gotta get elected first. An ice cube has a better chance in hell, than Nader or Barr do getting elected. I agree Obama probably won’t eliminate this, but he at least seems to understand that he has to address issues in middle America rather than Beacon Hill and Wall Street.

Posted by: googlumpugus at August 20, 2008 8:25 PM
Comment #259067

>I say The Americanadian States sounds good.

Posted by: napajohn at August 20, 2008 08:22 PM

napajohn,

I’m pretty sure they (Canadians) don’t want us…the Mexicans might, but apparently we don’t want them…we’re stuck with US!

Until we gain the honor it takes to enter into conflict ONLY when it is necessary will be able to hold our heads high and proudly. Nam nor Iraq nor Grenada nor Panama fill that bill.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 20, 2008 10:58 PM
Comment #259068
If Barr wasnt a supposedly reformed conservative I would think he may address issues like this

How many politicians, especially ones who claim to be ‘reformed’ but aren’t, actually work for years to overturn laws that they introduced?

Just one example, Barr is now leading a drug-rights group, the very same group he fought against in order to get a law passed years ago. He’s not just paying lip service here, he is actually leading the fight against his own law.

He also agreed to the Patriot act after demanding time limits (you can think him for that) but realized almost immediately it was a mistake to compromise on it and was the main reason he left the Republican party.

There are a lot of things about Barr that I’m not fond of (especially that ugly mustache) and I don’t think he understands his newfound party’s position as well as I would like. But he is doing a good job representing it, which is what we can only hope for now, and is actually running around 6-9% on polls that include him. When Anderson ran in 1980, his being included in a debate with Reagan bumped him up 10 points in the national polls, from 2 to 10. I wonder if we could get Barr from 6 to 25 just by being in the debates? If so, what would that mean for the election?

Oh yeah, there’s the problem, and why he won’t be invited. *sigh*

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 20, 2008 11:02 PM
Comment #259069

You can call the comment whatever you want, ohreally, it won’t change what a lot of Canadians think about the language choice those living in that province have made.

Posted by: janedoe at August 20, 2008 11:12 PM
Comment #259070

JLW-

Are you aware that currency exchange rates have an effect on hourly wage comparisons?

Canadian workers get paid less than Americans, but their dollar is worth more.

Posted by: MIke Wrona at August 20, 2008 11:15 PM
Comment #259077

“If Barr wasnt a supposedly reformed conservative I would think he may address issues like this

How many politicians, especially ones who claim to be ‘reformed’ but aren’t, actually work for years to overturn laws that they introduced?”

Rhinehold Im not trying to say he is not a recovering conservative I say “supposedly” because I do not know for sure that he is as I have not seen nor heard about him since he has become the Libertarian cnadidate for president. I suspect he has in fact been cured of the disease from which he has suffered from for so many years based upon his work to correct the patriot act while out of office.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 21, 2008 12:13 AM
Comment #259088

I said in another post regarding John. That I feel he purposefully says the most ridiculous things he can think of to create conflict. IMO he is addicted to the high he gets when he gets attention from us for his inane comments. I suggested we just ignore him and not respond. That is what he wants-thats what gives him a high-and it gives him power-when we begin to take his stuff seriously by responding. When we argue with him we are only giving legitimacy to his comments. If we ignore him-he will go away. Basic principle of behavior management-ignore an offending behavior and it goes away. Just my thoughts of course.

Posted by: Carolina at August 21, 2008 8:43 AM
Comment #259089

Is Barr a reformed conservative? It depends on how you define “conservative”. Somehow we seem to be stuck with the corporate vocabulary that came in with the Reagan revolution. If you showed the Patriot act to someone in Jefferson’s day, they’d say “How’d you let that happen? Where were the conservatives?” From my point of view the Libertarians are conservative, and the Republicans are corporate. But then I think Common Cause is fighting for my freedom, but our boys are on the other side of the world fighting for corporate profit.

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at August 21, 2008 9:20 AM
Comment #259097

>Libertarians are conservative, and the Republicans are corporate. But then I think Common Cause is fighting for my freedom, but our boys are on the other side of the world fighting for corporate profit.

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at August 21, 2008 09:20 AM

Mike,

Hear! Hear! Boy, do you have THAT right. The Republican Party is no longer ‘conservative’, and the new Libertarians are just goofy. Our military are corporate mercenaries…how did we get so far off-track?

Posted by: Marysdude at August 21, 2008 12:04 PM
Comment #259106

But but but Rush says the repub party is conservative and McCain should suck up to the conservatives or he wont win. They keep saying they want small government while increasing the size of the federal government. They say they want fiscal responsibility while indebting future generations with irresponsible policies. They say they are for individual freedom while establishing free speech zones, the patriot act and DHS(not to mention the flag burning and marraige amendments). How much more proof do you need that the repubs are conservative? Oh of course, you need the kool aid first, then you will believe. ;)

Posted by: j2t2 at August 21, 2008 1:41 PM
Comment #259110

>How much more proof do you need that the repubs are conservative? Oh of course, you need the kool aid first, then you will believe. ;)

Posted by: j2t2 at August 21, 2008 01:41 PM

Now, that ain’t funny…it’s sick…and, well, kinda funny…

Posted by: Marysdude at August 21, 2008 2:07 PM
Comment #259111

Sorry, Mike, I kinda fell off the Canada truck again…

Posted by: Marysdude at August 21, 2008 2:09 PM
Comment #259134

“the language choice those living in that province have made.” Congrats for the same reason for the second day in a row. I guess incorrect opinions are getting deleted, but not really dumb comments. We’re for sale, say something smarter.

“I wonder if we could get Barr from 6 to 25 just by being in the debates? If so, what would that mean for the election?” It would very much help BHO to get elected, and punish the Rpblcns just like Viguerie wants to.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 21, 2008 5:39 PM
Comment #259214


How much proof do you need that liberals are not progressives.

Mike Wrona: Are you aware that there are more people in the U.S. without healthcare than there are people in Canada.

Posted by: jlw at August 22, 2008 4:56 PM
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