Go to previous post:
Self-inflicted wounds.

Go to Electrolite's front page.

Go to next post:
Things I don’t believe.

Our Admirable Sponsors

April 22, 2004

Winning hearts and minds the world over. Did weepy myrmidon Bill O’Reilly really refer, on the air, to “the far-left Toronto Globe and Mail”? Evidently so. Who says there are no sentences left to be spoken for the first time? Next on Fox News: the far-left Bank of Montreal; the bomb-throwing, radical Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and the communist hell that is Canadian Tire.

A Globe and Mail columnist responds. (Via HogBlog.) [07:41 AM]

Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Winning hearts and minds the world over.:

Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 08:45 AM:

They speak French, don't they? It says so, right on that web site.

Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 08:46 AM:

For some reason, I am getting an error message at the bottom of the preview pane --

MT::App::Comments=HASH(0x810addc) Use of uninitialized value in sprintf at lib/MT/Template/Context.pm line 1187.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 08:59 AM:

It's a widely-known bug in MT 2.661, presumably to be fixed soon, and harmless meanwhile.

jennie ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 11:25 AM:

gasp. wheeze. sputter.

I narrowly missed the keyboard, and instead got coffee all over the stylesheet on my desk.

The far left Globe and Mail?

Right. And the Harris PC government was cheerfully Marxist. And Maggie Thatcher as a bleeding heart liberal.

My day just got a bit more surreal.

Murph ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 11:41 AM:

Well, the Grope and Flail certainly seems left when compared with the National Post-it Note. Me, I'd be just as happy if Fox News didn't become an option up here.


Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 12:02 PM:

Just wait - at some point, O'Railly* will start thinking, "Hmmm.... Manchester Union Leader?!?! Sounds like a rag-sheet for those leftie Hoffa lovers! Better make sure I notify my legion of doom about this situation before those NH communists get out of hand."

*not a typo

Robin ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 12:26 PM:

Don't forget Tim Hortons. Their logo is red, you know!

Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 01:03 PM:

And the red jerseys on the Montreal Canadiens.

Not to mention that the Canadian flag itself is mostly red. Some white, but not a stitch (or pixel) of blue.

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 01:29 PM:

And on this side of the border, Dunkin' Donuts logo has a suspicious amount of pink. Or is that lavender? Even worse!

Jeremy Osner ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 01:34 PM:

"Weepy myrmidon" -- heh

Scott Martens ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 01:41 PM:

I don't think Canadian Tire is Marxist. Subversive maybe, I mean they print up their own money. Keynesian, possibly. I could be wrong though. They own a chian of workmen's clothing stores.

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 02:48 PM:

"Don't forget Tim Hortons. Their logo is red, you know!"

And they serve pastries that are clearly symbolic vaginas . . . an unmistakeable sign that they've been infiltrated by some Goddess-worshipping pagan cult.

When will people wake up, smell the coffee, and stick with good old fashioned American Dunkin Donuts crullers*?


* Set up for someone to bring up recent donut news item.

olexicon ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 03:05 PM:

And john gibson on the daily show last night called canada a small country

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 04:11 PM:

Scott, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to work Canadian Tire Money into that, and only gave up when I realized it was a Detail Too Far. In the immortal words of Terry Carr, "kill your darlings."

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 04:14 PM:

Hey! You can't blog this, I'm in the process of blogging it even as we speak. Darn Right Coasters. Those 3 hours are an unfair advantage.


sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 04:39 PM:

Weepy myrmidon

I wish I'd thought of that phrase. Perhaps we could switch from "crocodile tears" to "myrmidon tears"?

noel ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 06:24 PM:

Well, The Globe, while being aimed at businessmen and therefore largely financially conservative—at least in its columns and editorials—could also generally be described as a socially progressive paper. And, when it comes to their news reportage, they actually do a quite good job with that whole fair and balanced thing that Fox is big on talking about.

One might suppose that if you want to line things up as with us or against us, those pinkos at the Globe really might seem far-left to O'Reilly's eyes.

Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2004, 07:55 PM:

My favorite part of the response was this:

The people who support Fox News must be the most uncivil and foul-mouthed creatures on the planet. This is an informed opinion. They'd give English soccer hooligans a run for their money.

I lost count of the number of times I was called "an a**hole." It was at least 43 times, anyway. I was called "a pussy," "a wussy," "a pr**k," "a jerk," "a hack" and "a creep." A man in Cleveland not only called me "an a**hole" but also wished me a "f***ed-up day." A lady -- and I use the term advisedly -- in Colorado wrote to say that all Canadians are "a**holes" and thenordered me not to visit her state. I was also called a Canadian numerous times, as if that were an automatic and withering insult.
Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2004, 06:44 AM:

PS: Don't tell Fox about the 1935 plan for the conquest of Canada (from PNH's sidebar). Otherwise they'll get us into another war.

James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2004, 11:41 AM:

Heh. I was there the day the Manchester Union Leader referred to the Wall Street Journal as a "left wing rag."

Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2004, 12:36 PM:

Compared to the Manchester Union Leader, the Wall Street Journal is a "left wing rag."

Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2004, 01:06 PM:

And yet, so many independents in NH. A state that elected Jean Shaheen governor. I love the state - I grew up there. But I gotta tell you, it can be a weird old place, even for the natives.

Of course, I'm a left-leaning, politically independent recovering attorney who used to read the WSJ on a daily basis (came with the job - I worked for NASDAQ). I suppose I'm no weirder than anyone else from The Granite State.

Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2004, 08:12 PM:


If I spent too much time reflecting on the fact that O'Reilly and his ilk are one public face of my country, my head would probably explode.

Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2004, 09:45 PM:

Madeleine --

O'Reilly and his ilk are the public face of your country, unless you want to separate your current administration from his ilk. (More the other way around, admittedly, in terms of the depths at which the various individuals are floating in the more visible aspects of the slime.)

This is wildly unfair, but there it goes; the collection of souless husks who really, really do not want the change that we're collectively trembling on the brink of are quite willing to destroy civilization to prevent it, and all the other bits of civilization are more than somewhat worried by this.

mythago ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2004, 10:05 PM:

No, Graydon, O'Reilly is a public face of our country--but then so are Al Franken, or Larry King, or Michael Moore. (Unfortunately the liberals aren't such good fodder for the Canadian national pastime of tut-tutting about those wacky Yanks, eh?)

Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2004, 12:16 AM:

I can't help wanting to say that maybe all us silly hippie types congregating and holding up candles at various "Peace and Love" musical events are another public face of America. A little bit more of that than we've had, recently, (maybe with a fund raising theme for soldiers and war victims, alike) might not be so bad for the public face of America.

[.... Skipping boilerplate speech about how the meme that only market-driven art and culture are real enough to be taken seriously affects our public and private faces.]

Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2004, 08:58 AM:

Mythago --

So far as I am able to tell, the sensible sorts are completely freaking invisible without special effort.

Part of that is the unfortunate fact that O'Reilly's intellectual clade is the one actually blowing things up and killing people, so they get way more news attention.

Another part of that is that the sensible sorts aren't scary, and that the same intellectual clade that's arguing that blowing things up and killing people is a good thing is finding many more ways to be scary than just that.

Most -- for comfortable political majority values of most -- Canadians think Kyoto was a good idea, frex; the current Ontario government is sticking to its 'shut down the coal fired power plants' promise, despite not sticking to many of the others due to fiscal constraint.

Throw in an unusually high level of trade grumpiness, and an unusually high level of not being able to do anything about it, and it's not question of 'those wacky yanks'; it's a lot more like "Are we next?".

Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2004, 12:46 PM:

"And john gibson on the daily show last night called canada a small country"

By population Canada & Australia are both fairly small in world terms, but in land area* we're both quite large. Countries like Russia, China, USA, Brazil & India are big in both (see lists below).

[* Never seen lists including claimed sea area, nor Antarctic territories.]

Some handy, if slightly out of date, figures from worldatlas.com, which quotes the CIA Fackbook [sic] as a source. Might be useful.

AREA (sq km)
1 Russia    17,075,400
2 Canada     9,330,970 *
3 China      9,326,410
4 USA        9,166,600 *
5 Brazil     8,456,510
6 Australia  7,617,930
7 India      2,973,190

 1 China     1,256,167,701
 2 India     1,017,645,163
 3 USA        274,943,496 *
 4 Indonesia  219,266,557
 5 Brazil     173,790,810
 6 Russia     145,904,542
35 Canada      31,330,255 *
53 Australia   18,950,108 *

[Tried to line up the numbers, but it doesn't show & doubt this form will accept tables. Strangely, copied from display & pasted into Notepad, they do. <shrugs>]

mythago ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2004, 01:55 PM:

Graydon, the liberal sorts get attention the same way the conservatives have; insults and yelling. Hence the sudden shocked, shocked chattering from the Right about the death of civility and political discourse.

Of course it's understandable that Canadians are worried about Fox-style discourse coming to Canada, but c'mon--if Americans didn't have wackaloons you guys would have to invent them.

Hlvictoria ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2004, 10:42 PM:

I just love it that some guy asked the columnist whether he'd served in Vietnam -- that, of course, being the mark of a true citizen...of ahem...Canada? LOLOLOL

I even ended up blogging about it too :)

Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2004, 12:23 AM:

At the time I was a still a little too young to pick up some details & have not studied the history deeply since. I remember there being Australian and American troops in Vietnam. We are commemorating our war dead from there & other conflicts today, ANZAC Day. Some others from South-East Asia - apart from the South Vietnamese army - were involved at different times.

Do any historically-minded types know if other 'western' nations sent any armed forces? I do remember Canada being a place of refuge for US citizens who didn't want to be drafted, which would imply they weren't involved.

Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2004, 01:49 PM:

The refuge in Canda was because Canada wouldn't extradite for things which were non-crimes in Canada. Since Canada didn't have a draft, dodging it wasn't a crime.

I don't know if the draft dodgers were able to stay because they were wanted for things non-criminal in Canada (a sort of fear of punishment for acts of civil disobedience, a sort of lesser grade refugee status).

If the same rules are in effect the 82nd trooper who was denied CO status and so ran to Canada is not going to get to stay, becuase I'll wager that AWOL/Desertion are crimes in Canada.


Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2004, 10:53 AM:

Besides the U.S. and Australia, troops from New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand fought on the South Vietnamese side.

Dan MacQueen ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2004, 06:00 PM:

Wikipedia has an article on Canada and the Vietnam war. Briefly, it states that Canada stayed out of the war not just for reasons parallel to the reasons we stayed out of the current war in Iraq, but because we were bound to be neutral as part of the UN Truce Commission at the beginning of the war.

The article also states that while Canada accepted US draft-dodgers and even deserters, we also sold equipment to the American forces such as boots, whisky, and Agent Orange. It also says a lot of Canadians went south to join the US military, and one Toronto-born soldier named Peter C. Lemon even won the Medal of Honor.

Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2004, 08:43 PM:

That's my understanding of the general "rules" as they apply to extradition -- many countries will not extradite someone unless they have comitted an act that is in some way criminal in both countries. In addition, some countries limit extraditon based on possible penalties. Some EU countries will not extradite to the US unless they are assured that the person is not subject to the death penalty.

One good example of this used to be income taxes and Switzerland. It's banking secrecy laws were not unique (Belgium, to cite one exanple, had laws as protective, or more, of secrecy) but it did not have an income tax, so the authorities there would not extradite or generally assist income tax prosecutions. Add political neutrality and pretty mountains along with a well respected currency of its own, and you have the perfect home for flight capital.

Some years back, though, the US Treasury folks were able to convince the Swiss authorities that while income tax evasion was not illegal, it was equvalent in certain ways to financial fraud, which quite definitely is against Swiss law. So much for that tax haven.

Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2004, 11:17 PM:

Dan: Kudos for the proper use of MoH.