Over at RealClearPolitics, Austin Bay is speculating on some extreme consequences of the current Canadienne Scandal du jour, AdScam. (I wonder what the Quebecquois are calling it?)
A political specter haunts North America -- the specter of the world's next failed state.
We can still call it Canada, at least for a couple years. ...Say Quebec does become a separate European-style nation-state -- a "people" with cultural, linguistic, religious and historical identity (never mind the objections of Mohawk and Cree Indians living in Quebec). Quebec has the people and resources to make a go of it, though the economic price for its egotism will be stiff. British Columbia also has "nation-state" assets: Access to the sea, strong industrial base, raw materials and an educated population.
Oil-producing Alberta might join the United States and instantly find common political ground with Alaska, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. Canada's struggling Atlantic provinces might find statehood economically attractive and extend the New England coastline. A rump Canada consisting of "Greater Ontario" -- with remaining provinces as appendages -- might keep the maple-leaf flag aloft. As for poor, isolated Newfoundland: Would Great Britain like to reacquire a North American colony?
I had to freshen up on my Canadian provinces geography, because it seemed to me Mr. Bay was leaving a few provinces out. Sure enough. What about:
North West Territory?
Prince Edward Island?
If we let them into the Union as states, that would up it to 58 states, counting Alberta. It would be fun, to be sure, but could we teach those folks to tip 15%? I think not.
Oh, I forgot the Nunavut Territory. WTF? I never heard of it before, and I'm a guy who owns the yellow (geography) questions at Trivial Pursuits.
I say we bring in Newfoundland, England, Wales, and Scotland too, and be done with it.
Mighty Mo sent me a bunch of these pics. I think I'll post one a day until they're used up. Awesome, and scary. Kinda makes me glad all I have to face is hurricanes... and of course the tornados they spawn.
Ever noticed how no one in the United States--except for Paris Hilton--is rich? People making incomes well into the six figures don't think of themselves as rich; they're just upper middle class. That may be because someone on the Upper West Side making $700K is cramming his family into a seven room apartment that would hardly do for a garage in whatever leafy suburban haven spawned him.
What does it mean to be rich? We have only the vaguest idea, generally, which is why it's so hard to pinpoint in ourselves. My idea of being rich, having grown up on the Upper Westside, has less to do with several thousand square feet to dust and vacuum, and more to do with never having to worry about money.
But, of course, we can always find new things to worry about. By the standards of, say, 1920, every single one of us, even welfare mothers, is rich. Every single one of us has enough food that we never need to go to bed with our stomachs crying out to be filled. Every single one of us has running water--running hot water--and bathtubs and indoor toilets to put the water into. We have stoves that do not need to be carefully tended to keep the fire going. We have central heat. We have cars or public transportation to take us wherever we want to go for a trivial sum. Almost every poor person in America has a color television, offering free entertainment 24 hours a day, and most of them can afford to buy cable to go along with it. We are so wealthy that even a welfare mother can afford to let her children stay in school until they graduate--indeed, so wealthy that a once-unbiquitous dramatic scene, the child vowing to drop out of school in order to help the family out, has entirely dropped out of the literary canon. The average middle class man of 1920 would have regarded all but the most hopelessly drug addled or mentally ill street people as wealthy beyond dreams of avarice.
And yet we have not stopped dreaming, have we? There is always another IPod to buy, a vacation to take, an expensive school that our children must attend in order to make sure that they can afford to send their children to still more expensive schools. As long as human beings can dream, they will never get to be rich.
Well, let me step up and say it: I am rich. Filthy rich. Rolling in it! Happy as a clam. Loving every minute. Join me!
Britain's Association of University Teachers (AUT) rushed through and approved two motions calling for boycotts of two Israeli universities on Friday, in a blitz procedure timed, on the eve of Pessah, to exclude Jewish members from the conference.
The move has been furiously condemned by Israel and Jewish groups. Jewish AUT members have now begun to secede from the union, and calls for mass resignations have been issued.
An executive union meeting heard unanswered orations against Israel by Sue Blackwell and Shereen Benjamin, both lecturers at Birmingham University.
They labeled Israel a "colonial apartheid state, more insidious than South Africa," called for the "removal of this regime" and depicted Israeli universities as "repressing" academic freedom.
The speeches were met with applause before AUT executive president Angela Roger cut short the session and moved to deny a right of reply to opponents of the motions. "Lack of time" was cited as the reason preventing challenges to the motions from being heard.
The executive passed separate motions adopting boycotts against the University of Haifa and Bar-Ilan University by sizable majorities.
If there are any leftish Jews reading this, and you are tempted to imagine that this is just a move of sympathy for Palestinians, answer a couple of questions. Like, "How come these people never have "sympathy" when the Palestinians are oppressed or mistreated by other Arabs? And how come they never notice the plight of any other oppressed groups in the Middle East?
The whole Palestinian question is, for Western leftists, a chance for some Jew-bashing without being, ha ha ha, "anti-semitic." And those poor stupidest of saps, the Jewish lefties, have to just slide along with this, or make weak protests about how everyone should be willing to "just get along, and talk to each other."
Bloody Euros. They never learn. Can American Jews?
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.