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December 27, 2006

January 2007: United States Conquered by Canada; Pockets of Resistance Quickly Suppressed
Posted by Patrick at 12:38 PM * 166 comments

December 20, 2006: “Currently there are no active or reserve Army combat units outside of Iraq and Afghanistan that are rated as ‘combat ready.’”

At least we’ll finally get health insurance.

Comments on January 2007: United States Conquered by Canada; Pockets of Resistance Quickly Suppressed:
#1 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 12:48 PM:

I for one welcome our new Canadian overlords.

God save the Queen.

#2 ::: Jon Sobel ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 12:54 PM:

The bloggers in Grand Fenwick are leaping with excitement.

#3 ::: Fiona ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 12:55 PM:

Huzzah! All the advantages of moving to Canada without any of the hassle of actually moving!

#4 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 12:57 PM:

#2 And Leonard Wibberley is solemnly saying "I told you so."

#5 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 12:59 PM:

#1, beat me to it. But then, I already live in the United States of Canada as opposed to Jesusland, so there you have it.

#6 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:01 PM:

While I would caution against giving Stevie-boy any ideas, especially really stupid ones that involve reflected glory, I'm afraid you haven't thought this through.

You'd wind up administered by the diligent people from the Bureau of Indian and Northern Affairs.

Not a good plan.

#7 ::: Francis ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:01 PM:

I knew it would take extreme measures for President Bush to become better socialized.

#8 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:05 PM:

Hey, Canadians - could you please invade Hawaii first? I promise we are used to crazy notions like healthcare, so we will be docile, and you know you need a nice warm place for vacations.

#9 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:05 PM:

that quote, taken literally, says that our troops on the korean dmz are not combat-ready.
that doesn't sound right.

am i missing something?

#10 ::: Lynne ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:10 PM:

Hawaii? Nah, all we have to do is annex Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean (as they have repeatedly asked us to), and that would get us a warm domestic vacation destination without actually having to, you know. Fight. :)

#11 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:21 PM:

kid bitzer --

Nope. That happened during Vietnam, too; units not in the combat zone had just been there, and were a bit of a mess.

The US Army is currently way over their sustaintable deployment rate, so everybody not in Iraq is exhausted or ill-equipped or both.

#12 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:26 PM:

okay, well then it's a good thing the north koreans don't subscribe to our newspapers and all.

damn. scary.

#13 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:30 PM:

As I understand it, the main job with which our troops in South Korea are tasked is to be wiped out in the first couple of hours of a massive assault from the North.

We don't have remotely enough bodies there to actually fight a conventional war with NK. They're a tripwire and nothing more.

#14 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:31 PM:

It won't feel so outrageous when Tampa or LA wins the Stanley Cup.

#15 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:33 PM:

If, indeed, the military presence in Iraq is extended, the US could end up being conquered by Jamaica. I for one, welcome our new Jamaican overlords.

Pass di kutchie pon di lef han side...

#16 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:47 PM:

At least we’ll finally get health insurance.

And Peace on Earth? And a pony?

#17 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:51 PM:

One of the most effective of America's cynical tripwire strategies is the embedding of daycare centers in federal buildings to enhance public outrage when children die in terrorist attacks. And, of course, it's convenient for the building's employees. Win-win.

#18 ::: steve libbey ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:52 PM:

I have been researching a novel on a post peak-oil United States. In it, I get to indulge my and my friends' fond wish that Cascadia will be born.

But maybe now is the time to act! Portland has a wicked army of urban bicyclists who can get downright surly if need be.

#19 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:10 PM:

tripwire? that's ridiculous.
our tactics on the dmz are very straightforward:
we keep the communist hoard at bay by sending over politicians to frown at them, through binoculars.
(the binoculars actually enhance the effectiveness of the frown-rays, by dispersing them over a wider area).

#20 ::: Jon Sobel ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:11 PM:

Maybe we can enlist enough foreign troops before we reach a crisis point (if we're not already there).

#21 ::: Jon Sobel ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:14 PM:

Wow, I just received a Happy Holidays package from my rep at one of my vendors (located in Torrance, CA). It includes a package of Hannukah gelt in the form of chocolate Canadian dollar coins. I do believe Patrick's invasion has already begun.

#22 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:35 PM:

On the other hand - why would anyone want to invade us? They'd have to deal with the neocons, and figure out what to do with Shrub. (If we have a choice, I'll take invasion by Canada for $100.)

#23 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:36 PM:

I too welcome our new Canadian overlords, eh?

To celebrate, I'd like to take a trip to Great Mosquito Island.

#24 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:42 PM:

When Canada takes over, will Quebec's maple syrup be more accessible?

#25 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:43 PM:

Dear New Northern Overlords: I have lived in Michigan and actually miss -40 winters and snow up to my frozen eyeballs. I am in favor of decent healthcare, gay marriage, clean public transportation, and the letter u in words containing o. I would like to offer myself as an informer on my neighbors and other creepy kinds of people who might not see the obvious advantages of this godsend. Where do I queue?

#26 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:43 PM:

#20: Oh dear, I had thought the military might go mercenary route. But the direct recruitment of foreign soldiers in exchange for citizenship hadn't occurred to me. (I was thinking along the lines of Blackwater.)

Are we deliberately recreating the fall of the Roman Empire?

BTW, I would definitely welcome sane health insurance. But I reserve judgment on Stephen Harper.

I haven't made up my mind about the loonie and toonie yet. The US Mint keeps saying that they want a dollar coin but they never force the issue by withdrawing dollar bills from circulation. I have to be a bit sad that what I think is the obvious name for a Canadian 2 dollar coin, doubloonie, never caught on.

Would our Canadian Overlords consider broadcasting This Hour Has 22 Minutes across all of North America? How about the distribution of Coffee Crisp? (Hey, is that a pony I see there?)

#27 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:46 PM:

Kid: you don't need to worry about North Korea, their foreign policy is entirely sane and perfectly rational ... once you understand that the USA isn't the centre of their world, or even particularly important to them.

NK is economically weak and surrounded by enemies that have territorial claims to their land -- SK, China, Russia, Japan (over the water) and so on. Therefore, NK foreign policy is predicated on the need to maintain a strong outside military presence in the peninsula as a stabilizing force. That outside military presence is conveniently provided by the USA, which has no territorial claim on NK and can be led around by the nose if you simply threaten to test a missile or refine some uranium. As long as the USA is present in force, nobody else dares to make a move. So whenever it looks as if the level of tension is dropping too low and the USA might start to think about disengaging, the NK government does something whacky like releasing a video of Kim Jong-Il foaming at the mouth or biting the heads off a live cobra, or lobbing a rocket at the Tsushima Straits.

Basically, the USA is in the peninsula because the North Koreans want the USA there, in order to deter the Chinese/Russians/Japanese/South Koreans from starting something.

Clear?

#28 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:58 PM:

I can see a possible problem here - Shrub could get himself elected PM of Canada, since the two-term rule wouldn't apply.

#29 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:58 PM:

JC --

"doubloonie" didn't catch on because of a joke in poor taste being made about Lucien "Pegleg" Bouchard (who really did lose a leg to flesh eating disease) and promises of "holds full of doubloonies".

I'm not sure it would have caught on anyway; "twonie" is shorter.

#30 ::: Mur ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 03:08 PM:

I would welcome the Canadians as liberators!

#31 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 03:14 PM:

Mur: so would I ... and I'm British!

#32 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 03:16 PM:

A welcome advantage of a Canadian takeover of the US would be the ready availability of poutine in Texas.

#33 ::: alsafi ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 03:22 PM:

Wow... when you put NK that way, it suddenly looks scarily reasonable and correct. I mean, the actual North Korean people might welcome becoming part of a unified Korea, but the leadership has it much better than the average citizens, and so has a vested interest in keeping them separate and therefore acting like they are dangerously unstable... and... wow.

You know that weird feeling when somebody tilts something you were looking at a few degrees and suddenly it goes *click* and makes everything look a little different for a while until you get it fully incorporated into your worldview? I'm gonna feel like that all day now.

Thank you.

#34 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 03:32 PM:

And suddenly, the futures market in the letter "u" skyrockets.

#35 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 03:51 PM:

Charlie Stross @ 27

The same exercise works when analyzing Saddam's weapons policies. We were, at best, a peripheral issue to him; marginally useful in the two primary percieved threats, Iran and internal ethnic divisions, and a lesser threat, Israel. The two countries fought for most of the 1980's, ending up in a WWI style stalemate, with strategic bombing added for flavor. As external threats go, we just didn't rate -- Saddam wanted nukes to scare off Iran with it's long border and Israel with it's bombers. In the 1990's it was clear that with the UN looking over it's shoulder, and the loss of access to some technologies, a significant WMD program was impractical. But it was still useful keep adversaries off balance, and appear to have a program.

Side note: We (the US) seem to make the same mistake with Iran on a regular basis. We allow all the current rhetoric about us to confuse our understanding of Ahmadinejad and his government. We keep obsessing on whether or not he had a role in the embassy takeover, and seem to overlook that he and most of his cabinet are veterans of the Iran-Iraq war. (It appears that the intellegence community does not think that he was involved, and in fact may have been opposed to the embassy takeover.) I doubt that, despite the public posture, Ahmadinejad spends that much time wondering about what goes on in Washington. However, I am sure that the current morris dance next door manages to keep his attention.

#36 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 03:56 PM:

Earl @ 32 - I suspect that Texans would view poutine as a suspicious health food.

#37 ::: Barry ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 04:36 PM:

#11 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:21 PM:

"kid bitzer --

Nope. That happened during Vietnam, too; units not in the combat zone had just been there, and were a bit of a mess.

The US Army is currently way over their sustaintable deployment rate, so everybody not in Iraq is exhausted or ill-equipped or both."

IIRC, the Army had to buy small-arms ammunition from Israel a year or two ago, due to running down stocks without ramping up production. Among other things, there was a newspaper article on vehicle repairs, which mentioned that a depot (which does the heavy work of rebuilding vehicles, engines, etc.) was closed for a month this year due to budget problems.

There was another article about the 3rd ID(?) preparing to deploy to Iraq, with 0 armored Humvees on hand for training. They were to pick up armored Humvees in Kuwait, left by a returning unit. IIRC, the 3rd ID was drastically short on other armored vehicles, as well.

That suggests that the Army and Marines have probably run down every stockpile and stash of parts and replacement equipment. Please note that this is before a 'surge' which would allegedly increase the number of in-theater troops by 25% or so.

#38 ::: veejane ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 04:38 PM:

Charlie: "a video of Kim Jong-Il foaming at the mouth or biting the heads off a live cobra"

I just had to make sure that posterity sees the above, so that future generations may think of Kim Jong Il and Ozzy Osbourne in the same sentence, and make themselves cry with laughter as hard as I am doing.

(Whether the Fearless Leader always uses two-headed cobras, or will occasionally settle for a single-headed cobra, I leave up to your imagination.)

#39 ::: Barry ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 04:42 PM:

I really wouldn't worry about a NK attack. Remember that Soviet troops had to spend significant amounts of time growing their own food, helping out with the harvest, and such. Soviet mobilization plans also involved using every civilian truck they could grab, because they needed them for large-scale movement. This doesn't help with troop readiness.

North Korea makes the USSR look like paradise, so I'd expect that almost all of what army actually exists is occupied first with staying alive, second with keeping everybody else from leaving or revolting, and only third with actual military training. Almost certainly on a hideously restricted training budget, except for elite units.

Meanwhile, there's a large South Korean army which spends it's time on training, and has some nice defensive terrain to use.

Seoul, of course, would be toast, which is the real NK ace, IMHO - they can screw up the economy of the entire Pacific Rim in one day, with artillery.

#40 ::: Chris S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 04:42 PM:

#28 - It's not likely: I don't think his English is up to par, let alone his French*.


*and yes, Harper's french is not good. But it's beginning to approach competence

#41 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 04:53 PM:

Healthcare + warm weather--the best of both worlds!

Actually, once the Canadians move in, what's to stop Mexico from reclaiming Aztlan? I see a kind of 1939 Poland thing. With maybe the Cubans taking south Fla. And Jamaica. The Man in the High Castle + ganja!

#42 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 05:02 PM:

One possibility is that Canada may decide that the Lousiana Purchase areas should be French speaking, and therefore all children in those areas would be required to attend French-only schools.

Also, would Spanish become a third official language?

#43 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 05:07 PM:

man, if you guys keep on cheering me up about north korea this way, i'm going to get *really* despondent.

#44 ::: meredith ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 05:14 PM:

Ahh, the real reason why our Great Lakes Coast Guard cutters are now running armed is revealed!! The Pentagon is aware of the impending Canadian invasion, and is doing what it can to prepare.

I too welcome our Canadian overlords. I'm a quarter Canadian anyway (my grandfather was a survivor of the Halifax Explosion), and most of my music collection has a MAPL logo on it somewhere. :)

#45 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 05:18 PM:

Jon Sobel #20: This is not new. It's been going on for years.

#46 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 05:21 PM:

#28: Not a chance. Canada is a civilised country. No civilised country has ever elected a nutbar like Dubya. Or even a nutbar like Margaret Thatcher!

#47 ::: Edd Vick ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 05:53 PM:

#39 ("I really wouldn't worry about a NK attack.")

I'm not one whit worried about a NK attack, and I live in Seattle. But then, I wasn't worried about an Iraqi attack, either, and look where that got us.

Speaking of attacks on Seattle, I'm still giggling at what the local newspaper said about the '1000 day siege' mentioned in the movie adaptation of Children of Men.

#48 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 06:11 PM:

I dunno, coming over the St Lawrence would suck as a military tactic. i think the Canadians would have to come down through the midwest, which is full of disgruntled dear hunters right now, who all have a lot of ammo left over. so, maybe it wouldn't be a complete cakewalk. Why do I keep imagining Patrick Swayze eating a deer's heart?

hm.


#49 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 06:12 PM:

Earl #32:

Dang, you beat me to it!

Larry #36:

It's not a health food if it's the Pied de Cochon version I heard about w/ the foie gras. (I really need someone to lay out just where the foie gras comes into this: does it substitute for the cheese curd, or is it an extra ingredient? Either way, I'm for it.)

#50 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 06:16 PM:

Oh, was watching a program about water based terrorist attacks. Basically, it said that terrorists have been using water borne attacks for a while, but 9/11 got us focused on aircraft stuff.

Apparently some group hijacked a big tanker and did nothing with it other than learn how to drive it around, which is freaky. They also showed the effects of a natural gas tanker getting exploded in port. Big friggen boom. massive damage to city.

I can only assume that the idea of arming the coast guard in the great lakes and the st lawrence is an outcome of this stuff.

#51 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 06:18 PM:

PD James is a Brit. Or was (is she still alive?). Sometimes even the most intelligent Brits totally misfire on American geographical facts (probably not as often as Americans misfire on European ones, I must add).

Example: Neil Gaiman (and if he's not in the class of "most intelligent Brits," it's because I'm mistaken and he's not actually British) had a character in Sandman (a Kansan!) say "It's here in Kansas you expect things like hurricanes and tornados, not New York."

Tornados, yes. Hurricanes...a hurricane that made it to Kansas would already have wiped out the complete Eastern Seaboard of the US, because...well, does "The categories only go up to 5!" "Well, this one goes up to 11" mean anything to you?

Still pretty dumbass to put it in a movie made in America though. But—Hollywood (all logic flies out the window at the mere mention of that name).

#52 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 06:47 PM:

Re #48

Coming down over the St. Lawrence would be easy. All along the eastern Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, cross boarder life and culture has been such a big part of ordinary life for so long that a few more Canadians wouldn't even be noteworthy.

I did my undergrad up in Potsdam, NY, and the area is already quite Canadian, and has been forever. This is a part of the country that mostly ignored the War of 1812. Trade and social contact with Canadians was such an ingrained part of the culture that a minor detail like a war between the two countries was almost irrelevant.

I have a strong suspicion that most of the under-21 soldiers at Ft. Drum in Watertown spend most of their free hours in Canada, since that's where they can drink with ease.

On the other hand, Canadians come here routinely for shopping. The invasion could be half-done before anyone even noticed it happening. Just have the soldiers cross the border in their civilian cars or in tour busses, giving the boarder guards a completely believable story of a shopping trip.

#53 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 07:58 PM:

Just have the soldiers cross the border in their civilian cars

wow. I know canadians are polite. But that would be about the most polite invasion I'd ever heard of. Invaded by an army of hatchbacks or something... Hm, no, it would have to be cars with trunks so they could have a place out of sight to put their weapons and packs.

still, a lot of deer hunters in New "Live Free or Die" Hampshire. And then you've got the Maine-iacs. Not sure what upstate New York would do. They could come in through Michigan too, I suppose, but they'd have to get past Detroit. And Detroit never struck me as putting up with any nonsense like a canadian invasion.

#54 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 08:01 PM:

joann @ 49 - Considering some of the things I've been served in Texas, poutine with foie gras would be on the menu under the heading "On the Lighter Side".

Xopher @ 51 - A hurricane in Kansas would really mean that most of the the gulf states had already been drowned by global warming.

Re "Children of Men", I could see a multi-year siege of Seattle - they'd all get stuck on the floating bridges, which we could block with a single clapped-out early '80s Volvo per span (I'm sure we could find a couple of stoners willing to part with theirs) and we could defend ourselves by hurling boiling hot shots of espresso at the invaders.

#55 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 08:19 PM:

I think the Alaskan Independence Party would use the event of a Canadian invasion to declare Alaska a sovereign nation.

My first first fear regarding a Canadian invasion - I own guns and pornography. The Canadian government has been known to be a little uptight about both.

#56 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 08:24 PM:

Ursula @ 52 - The Canadians could create an effective fifth column by loading those buses up with prescription medications ready for distribution to the elderly. Never underestimate the potential of an insurgent movement composed of genteel grannies.

#57 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 08:25 PM:

wow. I know canadians are polite. But that would be about the most polite invasion I'd ever heard of. Invaded by an army of hatchbacks or something... Hm, no, it would have to be cars with trunks so they could have a place out of sight to put their weapons and packs.

Not necessarily politeness, just really, really good camouflage. Good enough to let thousands of Canadians in on any given day, without anyone in the US minding.

Add in the ample supply of advance bases already in place (in the clever guise of Tim Hortons), which are good enough that those of us on the US side who are familiar with them will fight before letting them be shut down. (Don't get between me and my large double-double.)

Ample propaganda is already in place - all along the border, natives of both sides enjoy the television and radio of the enemy, with not a twinge of patriotic guilt. Again, you'd probably have a fight on your hands if you tried to take our Canadian tv away, particularly for the Olympics, and English/French Sesame Street.

There may be plenty of hunters with guns, all along the boarder, but just because someone has a gun, doesn't mean they're going to want to stop a Canadian invasion. They'd probably be just as happy to stop anyone who interferes.

Canadian invasion? No problem. Keeping the Canadians out? Don't even think of trying it.

#58 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 09:37 PM:

Edd Vick, someone must have slipped William Arnold some new drug, because he's never funny. I skipped reading that article past "Ooo, Clive Owens, ugh, William Arnold."

Seattle is many things, but a defensible location for a seige, not so much. Now, Mercer Island, maybe.

#59 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 09:43 PM:

JESR - Nope, Mercer Island would fall after a day without access to Nordstrom's.

#60 ::: Calton Bolick ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 09:50 PM:

Still pretty dumbass to put it in a movie made in America though.

If you're talking about "Children of Men", it was made in Britain.

#61 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 10:07 PM:

Less dumbass then.

#62 ::: meredith ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 10:20 PM:

Greg #50: All the evidence one needs as to the efficacy of blowing up a tanker in port is photos of Halifax, NS post-6 December, 1917. (Quite frankly, I'm amazed something like that hasn't happened yet, US port security being what it isn't.)

Ursula #52: Did you go to Clarkson? My SO did, and listening to tapes of his WTSC radio shows from back in the day are hilarious. He sounded like he'd fallen straight out of Ontario, not moved north from Binghamton!

#63 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 10:21 PM:

#53 Greg: "Not sure what upstate New York would do."
Judging from my lengthy experience with upstate New York, they'd probably be happy as long as they got to keep valet parking at Wegman's, their beloved grocery store.

#55 Tania, re: pornography. I definitely agree there. A friend of mine made up a new national anthem for Canada once, which played off of "O Canada" but was actually sung to the tune (ish) of "O Tannenbaum."

O Canada, O Canada
You'd be better than the United States if you had freedom of speech

You have to rush a little to get all the syllables in, but it's worth it.

#64 ::: Farrell McGovern ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 10:40 PM:

Well, this is an amusing idea...esp since I hold both Canadian and American citizenship by birth.

Canada wouldn't invade the US, mainly because of the fact that they don't want all the problems the US has with racism, debt, and American "culture". After all, the US has to import Canadians all the time to prop up their entertainment industry...look at some of best know "American" actors, like Michael J. Fox, or musicians like Neil Young, or comedians like Jim Carey. The creator of Saturday Night Live is Canadian!

ttyl
Farrell

#65 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 10:51 PM:

I question Korb's comparison
In 1972 the British had 42,000 troops in Northern Ireland (equivalent to the United States having 750,000 troops in Iraq) to mediate the simmering conflict between Catholics and Protestants. Yet, even with much greater intelligence and situational awareness then the United States has in Iraq (they all spoke English after all), the heavy-handed tactics of the British forces resulted in an escalation of violence.

The U.S. might be stupid enough to shoot relatively peaceful marchers in the back if there were anyone crazy enough to march peacefully amid the car bombs, suicide bombers, AK-47's trading well below par, etc.; but so far it hasn't had the opportunity, and it might not if it did -- contempt for Arabs is not as de rigueur in the U.S. as contempt for the Irish was in Britain (from readings, and what I saw on a 1979 visit). And if the per capita violence rate in Iraq ever dropped as low as its peak in Northern Ireland, even Cheney would declare victory and bring the troops home.

But it is interesting to watch the Reaganites excoriating the PNAC crowd.

Greg/Ursula: there are 4 interstate highways that hit the Canadian border well east of where the St. Lawrence moves to inside Canada. Coming down 95 would be conspicuous, but the other 3 give you straight shots at New York City, and the land on the other side of the border from 2 of them is flat, perfect for mustering. Flank the gunboats, take control of the money center and watch the Rethuglicans fold like wet paper....

#66 ::: spastic ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 10:52 PM:

reverse risk - which country will be the last to joyfully surrender?

if israel has to be taken over, i vote jamaicans for new overlords. i want legalization and reggae music more than i want better health care. we actually have decent health care, but rastaman lifestyle? that's one thing we sadly lack.

but yeah, it's funny that americans are so anxious for the canadian invasion. i bet canadians are equally anxious for the american invasion. it can get boring when your life is so cush and you've never known war in your country. but just remember kids, it's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.

#67 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 11:03 PM:

Meredith @ 62:

The Texas City explosion (1947, IIRC): nitrate cargo blew up.

My father woeked on a study once, involving LNG tankers and nuclear power plants. Think fuel-air explosion.

#68 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 11:22 PM:

spastic --

Canadians wanting an American takeover do exist; they're generally either amoral entrepreneurs (Conrad Black, say) or the kind of twitchy person who hates any idea of government and believes the US to have less.

Canada was almost exclusively settled by the losers of wars, and the last thirty-odd years of immigration policy, which has involved lots of refugees, has tended to reinforce the pre-existing "no, don't want to do that" cultural strands. "Peace, order, and good government" wasn't one of Pierre's clever new ideas.

And besides, while we're not getting the kind of visits we used to from the Lady of the Ice (which is not always for the warmer -- ask the BC lower mainland) lack of struggle isn't much of a problem.

Canadians who want to be Americans tend to move there (and vice-versa); it works out pretty well. I'd expect the results of actual invasion to be much messier than last time.

#69 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 12:30 AM:

Y'all had me until you mentioned poutine with foie gras. Then I wanted to (********). Due to various life reasons I had a rather icky but sufficient dinner and that just about made me lose it.

#70 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 12:56 AM:

Greg @ 53: I wouldn't be too sure about that (Detroit not standing for an invasion). Detroit and Windsor have always been closely linked (says a grandniece of Prohibition rum-runners....). Canadian money spends like US money in Wayne County (except in vending machines), and as long as all those white folks weren't going to stay in the city proper, not a problem. They might have some trouble with the Ay-rabs in Dearborn, though. (It was very strange buying a ham at Thanksgiving in an area where 90% of the shop signs were in Arabic -- Dearborn Sausage has been in the same location since the mid 1940s, and let's just say that the neighborhood has changed a bit.)

And they could always go around.... There's two other points of entry, even less well defended than Detroit. Port Huron and Sault Ste Marie both have Interstate highway access points, too. The question would be why would they come in through Michigan in the first place? It's hardly the industrial center that it used to be, and it's a long way to either coast, where the invasion would actually be noticed. Hey, that's why -- they'd be firmly established before anyone noticed.

#71 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 02:08 AM:

I don't think we're going to have armed Canadian soldiers coming over the border. Not when guns are so much cheaper and easier to get on our side.

#72 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 02:20 AM:

Poutine with foie gras? That'd be too much even for this Quebec native, Paula.

#73 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 03:16 AM:

Of course, if you want exploding heads in D.C., you have the New England states seceding from the Union, and UN Peacekeepers moving in along the new border. From countries such as Canada and Sweden and Jamaica.

Maybe include New York and Pennsylvania. And, as a new political entity, there'd be two choices for a President Clinton.

#74 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 03:24 AM:

Ooooh, New York-New England secession...The United States of NYNEX!

#75 ::: Marna ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 04:20 AM:

Look, you're all lovely people and large stretches of your geography are both charming and full of neat people, BUT. There are certain logistical difficulties.

ANYONE bringing home US citizens or landmass from their vacations is required to: (select all that apply) feed, walk, mow, teach French to, remove the unlicensed guns from, explain the lack of Democrats as well as Republicans to, prevent from joining the Conservative Party, explain the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights to, supply postal codes for, sort out the tax situations of, explain GST to, explain how we pay for the health care to, and otherwise accept responsibility for any: captives, pillaged goods, plundered land, kidnapped pets, and other goods services or persons, however acquired.

Also no person who has on more than one occasion since November 2000 greeted any political event by proclaiming that they are "moving to Canada" will be admitted at this time unless they can show evidence of having at least gotten as far on one of these occasions as having procured an application for a visa. All others in this category must get in line behind all current applications for immigration/refugee status, except Conrad Black, who they may jump in front of. Really, you all could have been here on foot by now, and NOW you call and tell us you need a ride?

(n.b. I am no more serious than the rest of you. No less serious, either, mind.)

#76 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 05:56 AM:

CHip @65: the peak death toll in NI during the troubles was approximately 200 people in one year, in a population of half a million. Iraq: 24 million people. Are 10,000 civilians per year dying in Iraq? If so, it's equaled the very worst of the Northern Ireland emergency.

... Oops, even going by the most conservative estimates of the death toll in Iraq, it's currently running ten times higher.

I take it you also missed US army soldiers firing on (and killing) Iraqi demonstrators demanding their wages back in 2003?

#77 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 07:05 AM:

Serge, weren't there some Quebecois who suggested that Quebec could become the 51st US state, as a way of seceding from Canada?  Maybe they could invade the US all by themselves, if the US army is ready to roll over...

#78 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 07:27 AM:

Foie gras poutine is really good, and the foie gras is in addition to the cheese curds, the same as chicken poutine has extra chicken, ground beef poutine has extra ground beef (and onions) and Italian poutine has extra... hang on... tomato sauce.

#79 ::: Zarquon ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 07:42 AM:

Canada is not allowed to take over anywhere until they become a proper member of the Commonwealth and learn to play cricket properly.

#80 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 08:35 AM:

Maybe include New York and Pennsylvania [in the New England Secession].

Yes, please! I wanna be a Canadian!

#81 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 08:42 AM:

Hurricanes...a hurricane that made it to Kansas would already have wiped out the complete Eastern Seaboard of the US

Uh, no. Those Gulf Hurricanes don't stop at the water's edge. Of course, by the time they get to the Midwest, the winds have died down, but you still get a very different storm than you normally get in the Midwest -- lots and lots of rain for a long period of time. Our Hydrography is based around thunderstorms, there often isn't a great deal of cachement, so when something like Rita spins overhead, you can see a great deal of problem. The worst flooding problems we saw since 1993 was from Hurricane Rita dumping 12" of rain in eight hours.

Rita was supposed to stall out over Texas, Houston, in particular, was very worried about both wind and flooding. It didn't, zoomed right into Illinois before the final degeneration into a low, then carried by a front into the Northeast. But Rita was a Tropical system all the way into Missouri and Illinois (and damn near made Indiana,) and brought all the rain and storms that such beast bring.

Here's another one from the same year -- TD Dennis, formerly Hurricane Dennis, over St. Louis and Illinois.


It is a very different rain. Warmer, and softer (as in, not hard water.) You really notice it if you've be caught out in thunderstorms and in hurricane rains.

Indeed, in the last five years, I'm thinking you're more likely to have problems with a hurricane than a tornado in Missouri. There are many more tornadoes, but one hurricane can hit the entire state.

Of course, those big thunderstorm lines do stand out.

#82 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 08:53 AM:

John Stanning @ 77... I think that, back in the glory days of the Independence movement, there were some people who brought up the idea of Quebec seceding by becoming the 51st US state. Even then, I thought it was a silly idea (almost more silly than outright independence) because why would the US want to have a bunch of trouble makers join the Union? I left Quebec 21 years ago and so I don't know much about the politics up there anymore. Heck, I didn't even know about the foie gras poutine.

#83 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 08:59 AM:

(cont'd)

I talked to my mom in Quebec City the day before Xmas and I found that things have changed quite a bit since my youth. She told me that it had just rained and that, as a result, what little snow they had gotten had pretty much all melted. That's about as absurd an idea to me as a white Xmas in SF. But of course there is no global warming going on, or so say the Brains in the White House.

#84 ::: bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 09:31 AM:

The U.S. might be stupid enough to shoot relatively peaceful marchers in the back if there were anyone crazy enough to march peacefully amid the car bombs, suicide bombers, AK-47's trading well below par, etc.; but so far it hasn't had the opportunity, and it might not if it did

CHip - au contraire, that's how Fallujah got started, all those years ago, according to the Fallujans.

#85 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 09:59 AM:

Serge:

Ou sont les neiges d'antan?

It's been insanely mild here in Boston too - no snow to speak of yet. While I appreciate how easy it is to drive to work, I'm definitely in the mon pays, ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver camp and what we've gotten so far just does not qualify.

(yes, I am a Canadian fifth-columnist; how can you tell?)

#86 ::: Dave Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 10:04 AM:

I'd settle for Long Island, NY being a new province of Canada, really. It's not like we can get off the place easily anyway, how much more time would a border crossing add at the Throg's Neck Bridge?

#87 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 10:43 AM:

I'm pretty sure we have lots of pornography in Canada. I've seen it. In stores. And in people's collections. And we have guns. In Medicine Hat, Alberta, there are more gun shops than bookstores, downtown. They're quite prominent. It can't be that difficult to find guns here in Toronto, either, except that I've never gone looking.

You have to register your guns, I think, same as you have to register an automobile. It's paperwork, there's no fee, and the legislation requiring it is pretty toothless (the Harper government won't prosecute gun-owners who don't register their firearms, which kinda makes the whole thing pointless, since people who believe in their inalienable right to own as many guns as they want without anyone knowing or caring, or people who hate paperwork, or people who lose paperwork will not register their firearms, making it difficult to trace guns used in crimes, which was the purported reasoning behind the registry.

As for Freedom of Speech, we have that, except for Hate Speech and in specific cases where a judge issues a publication ban on a specific court case in an attempt to preserve the jury's impartiality.

#88 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 10:47 AM:

yes, I am a Canadian fifth-columnist; how can you tell?

Wellllll, debcha, I don't think there are many people born in the USA who'd be able to quote a Gilles Vigneault song. (And I'm sure that someone will promptly show me the falsity of that assertion.)

#89 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 11:06 AM:

spastic@66: ...rastaman lifestyle? that's one thing we sadly lack.

Thank your lucky stars you lack Rastaman lifestyle! I know you just mean the pot-smoking, but there are many other aspects to Rastafarianism that you might find less palatable, like extreme homophobia.

Rastafarians are taught that gay men and Lesbians are not actually human at all, but are duppie spirits left over from Sodom and Gommorrah, and that we should be killed whenever possible as an act of piety. (Source: article written by a Trinidad native in the Village Voice some years ago.) A friend who grew up in Jamaica tells me that if two women walked down the beach holding hands in the morning, they'd both be dead by nightfall.

No culture on Earth has everything you want and nothing you don't; you just make the best tradeoff you can. For most people there's a strong rebuttable presumption that the culture they're used to is the right one for them.

Your country has its wackos (e.g. Kach), but I don't think you'd be trading up. Fortunately people who smoke pot all the time are much too lazy to mount an invasion force...and they'd probably forget what they're doing halfway through!

Eric@81: I meant at hurricane strength. It was still "Rita" when it got to Illinois, but it certainly wasn't a hurricane any more.

#90 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 11:41 AM:

JC @26: I have to be a bit sad that what I think is the obvious name for a Canadian 2 dollar coin, doubloonie, never caught on.

As the coin has a portrait of the Queen, with a polar bear on the opposite side, "moonie" had also been proposed (the Queen with a bear behind).

How about the distribution of Coffee Crisp?

Apparently, it has arrived.

#91 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 12:02 PM:

Spastic #66: And, of course, Rastas already keep kosher....

#92 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 12:05 PM:

Ethan #74: If you had New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well, you'd have the United States of Verizon.

#93 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 12:39 PM:

Xopher #89 wrote: "Rastafarians are taught that gay men and Lesbians are not actually human at all, but are duppie spirits left over from Sodom and Gommorrah, and that we should be killed whenever possible as an act of piety. (Source: article written by a Trinidad native in the Village Voice some years ago.) A friend who grew up in Jamaica tells me that if two women walked down the beach holding hands in the morning, they'd both be dead by nightfall."

I have not heard any Rastas claiming that gay men and lesbians are any kind of duppy (which is, by the way, not a spirit, but a shade). Most Rastas are certainly homophobic, but all the homophobic Rastas I know base their homophobia on a literal interpretation of the Old Testament not on a belief in the transmigration of souls.

As to whether two women holding hands would be killed in Jamaica. I don't know. I have not heard of any such cases. I do know (from 14 years of life in Jamaica) of attacks on gay men (including friends of mine)ranging from beatings to murder, and threats against those who have protested such attacks (including me). I also know that there was (and is) an active (if hidden) gay and lesbian community that struggles (so far unsuccessfully) for recognition.

BTW, while male homosexual acts (buggery and "gross indecency") are illegal in Jamaica, lesbian acts are not.

#94 ::: Wendy ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 01:23 PM:

By circumstance, I am an American citizen (from the USNYNEX, at that) who said she couldn't bear to live in the States if Bush got re-elected, who is now a legal Canadian resident.

There are things I love about each country. I certainly miss capitalist liquor stores (there's no competition here, at least in Ontario, so few good beers are imported). I love that I had health care before I had a job; I hated that it was so hard to get one because I didn't already have Canadian work experience. I love that everyone here has a little pitcher in their kitchen for the milk that comes in bags. I have lots of friends here, people who've welcomed me into their lives without hesitation, whereas back home I struggled to find people with whom I could feel close - most came from work at various places. I mean, I'd have Joey in either country, we're married in more ways than legally. But there are things I'd miss if I went home. However I could stop missing my mom. And Polar black cherry seltzer.

On a more relevant note, most Canadians I know have no desire to have anything to do with America other than shopping.

#95 ::: Barry ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 01:23 PM:

#81 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 08:42 AM:

Another: "Hurricanes...a hurricane that made it to Kansas would already have wiped out the complete Eastern Seaboard of the US"

Erik: "Uh, no. Those Gulf Hurricanes don't stop at the water's edge. Of course, by the time they get to the Midwest, the winds have died down, but you still get a very different storm than you normally get in the Midwest -- lots and lots of rain for a long period of time. Our Hydrography is based around thunderstorms, there often isn't a great deal of cachement, so when something like Rita spins overhead, you can see a great deal of problem. The worst flooding problems we saw since 1993 was from Hurricane Rita dumping 12" of rain in eight hours. "

A coulpe of years ago, I saw the satellite pictures from a hurricane which had landed in the SE USA about 2-3 days earlier. The spiral pattern of clouds extended to Newfoundland.

#96 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 01:35 PM:

At some point this fall we had a strong rainstorm system that, on radar, looked for all the world like a hurricane except it formed from the jet stream coming from the west. Lots of rain, strong winds, circular motion that was hundreds of miles across. And waves of rain, not just a rainfall.

Great plains weather. We're 52 F outside right now, on the 28th of December...

#97 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 01:41 PM:

Wendy --

You have figured out that the liquor store has a better beer selection than the beer store?

I kinda like the LCBO; this is doubtless in part because I've never lived anywhere else for any length of time, but also in part because the employees do refuse to sell drunk people booze.

#98 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 01:48 PM:

Fragano@93: Still sounds like I should keep my gay ass out of Jamaica (not that I'd go there anyway; the sun would kill me in hours if not minutes...sunscreen won't prevent vitamin D poisoning).

And I'll go on with my guilty and perhaps cowardly avoidance of Rastafarians. Guilty because I hate to discriminate by religion, but a specific teaching that I should be killed is another matter. Mind you, certain CHINO sects teach similar things, and I'm just as scared of them, but they're harder to identify. I avoid people in "God Hates Fags" t-shirts, and Rastafarian garb is a similar indicator of hostility to me and mine.

#99 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 02:00 PM:

Fragano @ 92 - Shouldn't that be the Verizona Republic?

#100 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 02:55 PM:

Xopher #98: The dreadlocked fellow you see wearing a red-green-gold tam and matching shirt might very well be gay himself.

I can understand wanting to avoid Jamaica out of fear of violence. It can be a very scary place.

#101 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 02:56 PM:

Larry Brennan #99: I hadn't thought of that!

#102 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 03:00 PM:

Fragano@100: Identification with the oppressor?

#103 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 03:17 PM:

I have no desire to shop in the U.S. either. It's expensive there!

Go dancing, though, and play music? Well, I'd be really really happy if I didn't have to cross an international border (passport in hand!) to hang with all my dance&music friends.

#104 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 03:27 PM:

I know I've said that Ontario is less foreign to me than Texas, but mostly what I really want that Canada has is decent affordable health insurance, a national anthem people can actually sing, and more Gordon Lightfoot albums. And, oh, yes, LOTS of maple syrup!

(What I don't want from Canada is for them to take our hockey team away. Keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh!)

#105 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 03:33 PM:

Xopher #102: Not exactly. Acceptance of certain values but not others is more like it.

#106 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 03:56 PM:

My cubie suggests 'Maple Leaf Dawn' as a title for the movie version of this. Canadian paratroopers dropping from the sky...

#107 ::: Chryss ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 04:31 PM:

I, for one, will be one of the holdouts that refuse to call Canadian bacon "bacon." For the love of all, IT'S HAM.

So, how does a vegetarian Jew get to decide whether something's bacon or ham? Well it's really quite simple OMG LOOK OVER THERE!

--runs away--

#108 ::: Wendy ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 05:05 PM:

Graydon - oh definitely, and I love going to Summerhill for wine. But if you're ever in Boston, try Marty's Liquors (oft pronounced Maaaahty's). You won't believe it.

#109 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 05:30 PM:

Er. State Liquor Stores. I'm almost considering a road trip to California just to stock up at Beverages and More because the WSLCB has such a poor selection. They'll order for you, though. By the case. There are a lot of things I like about Washington, but the way the state government operates is not one of them.

Idaho and Oregon have similar arrangements. BC is Provincial, but the selection tends to be MUCH better and the prices more reasonable, even with the weak US Peso. Unfortunately, there's the small matter of customs duties that add to the cost of all but the first bottle or two.

As far as I can tell, the nearest competitive markets for booze are in Montana and California. I miss being able to browse the liquor aisle in the supermarket.

#110 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 05:34 PM:

To go with the earlier mentions of North Korea, A Corpse in the Koryo is supposed to be not only a good mystery, but an excellent portrait of North Korea.

#111 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 06:12 PM:

Chryss --

It is not ham. Ham comes from the hams, and back bacon is made from pork loin. Aside from the boneless/bone in distinction, they're different parts of the animal and rather different cuts of meat even without differences in curing. (Smoking/hideous and contemptible travesty of nitride injection vs sweet brine pickling; smoked pork lion is better, but not usually called bacon of any sort.)

Wendy --

Thanks! (Me getting to Boston is approximately as likely as fallen angels buying ice skates, but hey. "Even the very wise do not see all ends." :)

#112 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 06:18 PM:

smoked pork lion is better

The typo produces an interesting mental image... (and I prefer 'Canadian' bacon also, understanding that it isn't really bacon)

#113 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 07:24 PM:

PJ, It is (or will be) the Year of the Boar, after all.

I get a picture of Babe with a mane.

#114 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 07:29 PM:

Just remember that he is not a tame pig.

#115 ::: Evil-Doing-Evil-Doer-Doing-Evil-and-ERS!!! ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 07:48 PM:

And HOW DARE YOU reveal to ThoseWhoWouldDoUsEVil!!! (Like TGK EVER!!!) That USoA is HelpLess and DefenceLess Before Superior Technology!!!

InKludingKommunistKanadians!!!

Like MEEEEEE!!!!

BwaaaaHaaaHAAA!!!

#116 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 08:10 PM:

we must have courage in these troubled times
beard our islamist enemy in his noisome den
make him account for all his loathsome crimes
ensure he's got no chance to spread his slimes
threaten to make all of his cities glow
and celebrate his fall with jingling rhymes
i'm all for battle as long as i don't go

i know that victory can be as sour as limes
but that won't mean that we can't win again
just as the pump a little water primes
we have to take the lumps of life sometimes
that's just the nature of the vicious flow
none of our actions will qualify as crimes
i'm all for battle as long as i don't go

we make no errors we'll face no hard times
we'll bear adversity like stubborn men
we soon will hear the victory bell's chimes
as our success higher and higher climbs
and we overcome the evil so-and-so
the cost will be some other fellow's dimes
i'm all for battle as long as i don't go

prince george you may not remember when
you had a change to grapple with the foe
you vanished like a very fearful hen
i'm all for battle as long as i don't go

#117 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 08:22 PM:

Two of my favourite liquor stores come up in one thread - I really love both the Summerhill LCBO and the Marty's in Boston (former Torontonian, now Cantabrigian).

In general, I do like the LCBO. A couple of years ago, I saw a price comparison and the LCBO was comparable/favourable to buying alcohol in either New York or Boston, I forget which, and that was when the C$ was worth twenty cents less than it is now. Despite the taxes and monopoly, they are buying booze for 10 million people, making them the largest purchaser of beverage alcohol in the world. They can negotiate some good discounts. :)

And forget the duties on alcohol - at least you can bring a couple of bottles across the border. I currently have half a case of Napa Valley wine languishing with a friend in California. You can't carry it onto a plane and you are not legally allowed to ship alcohol to Massachusetts from out-of-state. Thanks a lot, Puritans.

#118 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 08:42 PM:

Fragano, are you sure your given name is correctly spelt, and isn't Francois-with-a-sedilla after all?

#119 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 09:02 PM:

Dave Luckett: I'm no Villon (some of my students, I believe, consider me a villain but that's another matter). That's a good thing, since I'm not too interested in hanging. The rhyme scheme was intended to be conventional. It accidentally became quite unconventional.

#120 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 12:01 AM:

BwaaaaHaaaHAAA!!!

It sounds like #115 has been hanging around Kaja Foglio's blog quite a bit.

#121 ::: Marna ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 02:25 AM:

107: Chryss, that is not apt to be a problem. It's not like WE call it that.

We call smoked side bacon 'bacon', smoked back bacon 'back bacon', and pickled cornmeal rolled pork back 'peameal bacon.'

And none of it is ham, which we, in our simple, rustic way, call 'ham'.:)

#122 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 06:20 AM:

Serge #120: I see #115 and I think there's a Drieux hiding behind the mad propz. (Hi, Drieux!)

#123 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 08:16 AM:

Charlie Stross #122: I'd say you were right.

#124 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 08:25 AM:

OK, you two... Who is this Drieux? Clicking on #115's name takes me nowhere and the first google hit for 'Drieux' brings up some French architect's site.

#125 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 09:03 AM:

Serge #124: Drieux is one of the finest satirists on the Internet. I remember him being active on Usenet back in the late 80s. You might also want to look at his lj page drieuxster.

#126 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 09:06 AM:

Fragano Ledgister@100: Xopher #98: The dreadlocked fellow you see wearing a red-green-gold tam and matching shirt might very well be gay himself.

Possible, sure. Likely enough to risk your life on it?

Coincidentally, I just read a paper from a young Jamaican of my acquaintance whose description of her grandmother's reaction to Christopher Street in the Village made me feel ill. What gives me hope for the future is that this young person (who is self-described as "straight as a ruler" and who does not know my orientation or views on homosexuality) was just as horrified, and felt she could say so publicly.

#127 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 09:06 AM:

Mmmm... peameal bacon...

Back to the original idea of US troops being over stressed, I think I've noticed the exit strategy, as far as being one that makes the current administration think they've won.

Saddam's sons are dead, he's scheduled to be hanged. (Were his croneys who were on trial with him also going to be hanged?) At any point after he's dead, we can leave claiming success in the original goal of ousting Saddam and making sure he's not a threat in the future.

As long as you define "winning" as destroying the old, and ignore the establishment of a better new, we can win. You just have to give up your sense of duty and humanity that would normally not let you do harm to your fellow humans, and to make right wrongs you do to others.

#128 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 09:07 AM:

Ahah... Thanks, Fragano. Meanwhile, do your students really think of you as a villain, especially after you've graded them? How old are they anyway?

#129 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 09:41 AM:

Aconite #126: That would depend on the context. Jamaican society is virulently homophobic (it's not just a Rasta thing), yet it's an open secret that certain very prominent persons are gay and nothing happens to them. On the other hand, equally prominent gay men have ended up dead -- with the police doing exactly nothing to find the murderers. This is why one of my oldest and dearest friends finds it a lot healthier to live on the other side of the Atlantic. Paradoxically, lesbians are generally deeper in the closet there than gay men (Jamaicans would be horrified if they knew the sexual orientation of some very prominent women).

I haven't seen much evidence of attitudes changing there over the past few decades. Your student is a hopeful sign.

#130 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 09:48 AM:

Serge #128: Judging by the email I got from a young lady who didn't understand how she ended up with a C when she got Bs for her essays (unannounced quizzes constituted 20% of the grade, and she ended up with an average grade of 40% on those), and who 'can't afford a C'. I'd say that some do. Most of my students are around 20-22.

(There's also the graduate student who had the gall to ask me for a letter of recommendation after being flunked for plagiarism...)

#131 ::: Wendy ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 09:55 AM:

debcha, I thought that the rules were changing on shipping alcohol to MA? Right before I moved (oddly, to Toronto from technically Watertown but I worked in Cambridge), I think I remember hearing that.

#132 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 10:10 AM:

Fragano Legister, supervillain...

#133 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 10:24 AM:

JennR: It was very strange buying a ham at Thanksgiving in an area where 90% of the shop signs were in Arabic.

As strange as seeing everyone on the street in ~Arabic dress amid the old stone houses of ~Germantown (north of Philadelphia)? That was a jar because the architecture is \so/ Colonial (or maybe Federal) -- knee britches and bulky muted-color homespun would both seem less strange than straight ankle-length white tunics.

Charlie@76: you invert my point, which is that NI was in fact \massively/ less violent than Iraq is now. How much of the peak violence (after decades at a low simmer) was caused by British stupidity, and how much was later muted by British pressure on "Loyalists", are both debatable, but the comparison to Iraq isn't; it's unusable. This doesn't wipe out his basic point, which is that raising troop levels from ~25% of what was needed from the beginning to assure some level of civil order to ~30% is not going to help.

Rob@90: That's even better than calling the UKP1 coin a Maggie ("because it's thick and brassy and acts like a sovereign").

Eric et al re weather: the most impressive I've heard about was Gloria, 21 years ago; it was a coherent low almost 4000 miles from where it made landfall, enough to bring unseasonable warm weather to Switzerland (although the moisture didn't carry that far). And then there's Agnes, which I remember leaving railroad tracks suspended cartoon-style outside DC; when we visited the Corning Glass Museum (near the NY/PA border, ~equidistant from Buffalo and Albany), there were little red lines everywhere, several feet above current ground level, showing how high the Agnes flood had been. It's not as far from the coast as in some of the Plains cases cited, but there were a lot of respectable hills that were expected to wring out the storm system before it got that far.

#134 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 10:45 AM:

#131:I thought that the rules were changing on shipping alcohol to MA?

I wondered about that. I finally found Chapter 138 Section 19F of the MA General Law. IANAL, but if I read it right, it basically says that the MA ABCC may issue licenses to wineries to ship into MA. (Obviously, there's more to it than that.) I have no idea if the MA ABCC actually does this.

I remember reading somewhere what the limits are on the personal importation of alcohol without a license, but I can't find the web page now.

#135 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 10:49 AM:

United States of Verizon...well, at least we'd have King James Earl Jones. Couldn't be worse...

Just kidding. I think it could be worse.

#136 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 11:03 AM:

ethan @ 135: well, at least we'd have King James Earl Jones. Couldn't be worse...

How about Her Imperial Majesty Oprah, and Provincial Governor (and known Upstater) Rachel Ray? Yum-O! Not.

#137 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 11:06 AM:

Didn't I read that in Brian Aldiss' Evil Earths collection?

#138 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 11:54 AM:

CHip @ 133:

And then there's Agnes, which I remember leaving railroad tracks suspended cartoon-style outside DC; when we visited the Corning Glass Museum (near the NY/PA border, ~equidistant from Buffalo and Albany), there were little red lines everywhere, several feet above current ground level, showing how high the Agnes flood had been.

When they reopened the museum in... '73? ... the markers were blue, diamond-shaped. They were at eye-level on the second floor.

And ah yes, curly railroad tracks along the road between Elmira and Williamsport... interesting times, those were.

#139 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 12:38 PM:

On shipping alcohol to MA: I looked at the FedEx website after they told us they couldn't ship the bottles. My understanding is that license-holders can ship to license-holders (this is, of course, why you can buy California wine - or actually, any wine - in MA at all) but no one can ship directly to a consumer, no way, no how, not even if the consumer in question is shipping to herself.

One of my friends suggested that I wrap each bottle really, really well and label the box 'souvenirs.'

#140 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 09:01 PM:

Another Canadian downside - the Pit Bull ban and it's unfortunate impact.

#141 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 01:09 AM:

I think it's a very good facsimile of TheDrieux™, but there are bits of it that don't ring true to me.

e.g.: "InKludingKommunistKanadians!!! Like MEEEEEE!!!!"

If TheDrieux has started self-identifying (even in jest) as a 'KommunistKanadian' I will eat the hat of his choosing.

Truth to tell, I'm suspicious that it might be his brother, Pyotr.

p.s. When we worked together at Enron, my unofficial job title was "Translator For TheDrieux."

#142 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 03:00 AM:

For those who said Canada has no pornography: the province of Quebec, and lowly little Winnipeg both are significant *Makers* of pornographic movies.

We're hella uptight on child pornography, but then, unlike things featuring stupid but consienting adults, we should be.

But, as others have said, we're not altogether sure we want to invade the US.

Welll, maybe the Northern part. I'm sure North Dakota and Minnesota would make great provinces, with only a little bit of persuasion. They're half Canuck already.

#143 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 08:43 AM:

Quebec AND Winnipeg, Lenora?

#144 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 08:57 AM:

PEDANTRY WARNING!!! READ NO FURTHER IF YOU OBJECT TO PEDANTRY!!!

OK, I keep seeing this here: people keep using it's (contraction of it is) when they mean its (possessive of it). Some of the best writers here have done it. It's driving me crazy, or I wouldn't mention it.

In English, possessive pronouns (unlike nouns) never have apostrophes. (There is one exception, one, and that is a word that one must say one should not use, lest it make one sound as if one had a stick (and not the kind one might like to have if one were into that sort of thing) up one's ass. In the third person indefinite-gender, use they. Trust me, it's really OK.)

If you're going to use the possessive of it, first think she. The possessive is her (no apostrophe), not she's (apostrophe). Therefore it should be its and not it's. (She also has a predicate possessive, hers, but it is hardly ever used in the predicate possessive. It would still be its in that circumstance, however.)

I assume that I've made a grammatical, spelling, or punctuation error somewhere in this post, but I can't find one. That's because I can still correct it; the curse of the pedant is to find it when it's too late. I bow my head to the Lords of Karma!

#145 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 08:59 AM:

Sigh. "...third person singular indefinite gender."

#146 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 10:32 AM:

Xopher, another blog that I read allows editing of one's posts for 30 minutes after posting (I have a feeling that the old WELL did too, but it's years ago).  Ideal for the pedant, but requires signing on with user-id and password, so I guess isn't a feature of Movable Type.

#147 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 10:38 AM:

Xopher (#144): I'm fussily pedantic enough to be bugged by the same thing. (I also caught myself saying "different than" the other day and was duly ashamed, but that one is probably a lost cause. Language does evolve, after all...)

The other thing that bugs me is some of the way-off-track scansion in otherwise excellent poems that have shown up on various threads. Is it just me, or does anyone else want the meter a bit closer to what a person could sing as well as speak?

New Year's Resolution: Less fussing next year. (Yeah, right.)

#148 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 01:07 PM:

Xopher @ 144 - usually I check for those. And "you're" vs. "your". (I don't worry about "yore" since I seldom use it.) And their/they're/there. And yes, I know "it's" is a contraction of "it is", and "its" is the possessive.

Risking disemvowelment - Have you ever considered that such mistakes might be the result of fast typing and lack of proofreading rather than ignorance? Please do before you start ranting.

Blog comments aren't formal writing, so I'm usually willing to hit post without checking for stupid mistakes. I usually see them just after I hit post, and in the absence of a comment editing system, I can't fix them. I believe I've joked about this in the past.

#149 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 01:14 PM:

It isn't "it's", it's "its", unless you mean "it is", in which case it's "it's".

Offered in the hope that someone else finds this the typographic equivalent of an earworm; saw it years ago, and it's been stuck to my brain ever since.

#150 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 01:35 PM:

Graydon: That's very close to my test: say 'it is'; if that fits the sentence use the apostrophe and if not, not.

That sentence has way too much embedded punctuation.

--Mary Aileen

#151 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 05:19 PM:

Larry - quite right. My apologies. My pedantry just welled up in me until I had to express it or explode.

I'm sure most of those cases, on here, are typos (or typo's as some of my young friends elsewhere drive me crazy by writing).

And I see nothing in your most recent post worthy of disemvowelling. (I'm not Teresa, so I'm speculating here.) It seemed like a perfectly polite objection to me.

My "its" post seems a good deal less courteous now than it did when I wrote it. My apologies to anyone who was offended by it, or felt attacked by it.

#152 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 08:15 PM:

Xopher, your post looked fine to me. It came with a warning, but I found nothing exceptionable or offensive in it. Except the timing, perhaps, but who can say when a man will reach the end of his tether? But really, it's a losing battle. When I was correcting student essays, that was the most common error. I'd comment on it, explain how to fix it, and--they'd go and sin again. Every damn last one of them.

#153 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 08:59 PM:

mary aileen,

Graydon: That's very close to my test: say 'it is'; if that fits the sentence use the apostrophe and if not, not.

That sentence has way too much embedded punctuation.

ditto. i think the easiest way is to know that anytime you say it's, you should be able to substitute "it is."

& i also have many internet friends, one of whom is a professional writer (ok, a professional writer for porn magazines), who can't type "its" & i have to sit on myself not to correct them.

#154 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 09:00 PM:

I checked. TheDrieux denies posting any comments here last night. I believe him. It's somebody appropriating his patented style. "Too weird," he says.

#155 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 09:07 PM:

& to relate that to a slightly-less tangential thread in this discussion: yes, a canadian professional porn magazine writer (& cartoonist). i don't really think either canada or the us is worse about porn, i think it's just the borders which are the worst. apparently, stuff gets stopped & sent back going either direction.

(i'm no porn expert though. no, really, i'm not.)

#156 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2006, 12:37 AM:

Regarding pornography--text, pictorial, or moving pictures--what a given country is willing to allow and what they're willing to allow through customs are often very different things. Canada is an excellent example of this; every so often, their customs officials raise a fuss over material that would barely bother your aunt, while at the same time their hotel-room "adult" TV channels are as gamey as anything anywhere in the world.

#157 ::: Gag Halfrunt ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 11:32 AM:
Maybe we can enlist enough foreign troops before we reach a crisis point (if we're not already there).
As they say in Starship Troopers, "Service guarantees citizenship!"

In fact, that film works pretty well as a satire of the War on Terror. It's got mindless "patriotism", a semi-fascist, militaristic political culture, embedded reporters (including one right at the beginning of the film), jingoistic news/propaganda whipping up the people to demand vengeance ("I'm from Buenos Aires and I say kill 'em all!"), a massive body count and a "Brain Bug" hiding in a cave (think Osama and/or Saddam) whose death will supposedly bring victory.

#158 ::: Wim L ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 01:27 AM:

IMHO the Starship Troopers movie makes a much better comment on the shallowness of (American) politics than it does an adaptation of the book. From what I hear, that's how Verhoeven intended it, too.

#159 ::: colin roald ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 02:42 PM:

Meredith @ 50: All the evidence one needs as to the efficacy of blowing up a tanker in port is photos of Halifax, NS post-6 December, 1917.

The Mont Blanc, the ship that blew up in the Halifax Explosion, was not a tanker. It was a munitions ship, bound for Europe, literally loaded to the gunwales with high explosives. TNT, benzol, picric acid, guncotton, 2.5 kT altogether.

But if you can get your hands on a couple thousand tons of TNT and an old freighter, who needs nuclears?

#160 ::: drieux ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 02:51 PM:

p0: This is my first comment here.

p1: I did not do the previous rant, and assume it is one of my friends who followed the link.

p2: Thanks to those who consider my writing satire, since, I fear that IF we stop talking the Alternatives Suck Bilge.... I so do not want to find myself Obliged to teach my Freak Friends how to set up counter sniper fire so they can secure Potable Water.

p3: The Tragedy That the American Pro-War Camp has remained as committed to being Pro-War, as far from the Edge Of Battle as they can get, remains THE Horror of the shallowness of American Politics, the likes of which Makes StarShipTroopers: The Movie seem like a well reasoned polemic on the unpleastry of losing a planet to Militarists with the Mental Accuman of Miss Vacuous Herself...

p4: Who knows, some day americans may remember that as Republicans we were against Frivilous Expenses..... Both in National Treasure and In Blood....

#161 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 02:55 PM:

I heard one guy claim that the Port Chicago explosion (part of the Concord Naval Weapons Depot) was a nuke. Everyone else, and all the records, says it was a shipload of bombs and munitions.

Then there was the Roseville freight yard, in the 70s, where a trainload of munitions came in with an undetected hot box; the car caught fire (they were wood cars back then) and lit off, well, a lot of other stuff. Fortunately it was in part of the train that had been uncoupled because it was too long to fit that section of track. It threw debris for a mile or so; I remember an airborne reporter refusing to go below 10,000 feet.

#162 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 05:01 PM:

Patrick wrote: Regarding pornography--text, pictorial, or moving pictures--what a given country is willing to allow and what they're willing to allow through customs are often very different things.

Er, this is true. I do distinctly remember having the creators of Omaha the Cat Dancer as guests at Keycon at a time when their work wasn't allowed to be imported and sold in the country. (Of course, we're close enough to the border here to shop there, so there wasn't a lack of fan presence.)

However, the consolation, for those who want to move, or those who get conquered over by us in the near future, is that if your current collection is wiped out, you can start stocking up again....

#163 ::: madmerle ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 01:19 AM:

drieux #160: I know who posted in your style, drieux. There is only one of our mutual friends who uses the expression TGK Ever!!! and after I reminded you of that fact when we spoke tonight, you now know who he is.

I say we flense the guilty party about the head and shoulders with giant feather dusters dipped in holy water to remove the Evil Satanic Nancy Pelosi Voodoo Zombie Dust Bunnies of Despair [dm] from his vicinity, as they obviously COERCED him to post in your style without proper attribution. Tsk.

#164 ::: Andrea ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 08:33 AM:

Oh, this made me laugh.

It's too bad we don't have an army worth speaking of. Though I hear we're buying a helicopter this year. And the Canadian Pony Troops are supposed to be pretty terrifying.

#165 ::: spastic ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 01:17 PM:

Dear #89 Xopher and #93 Fragano, actually Israel is pretty homophobic for the same reason - the Torah - the original version of what some call the Old Testabment - states clearly that male homosexuality is forbidden. Also, Israel is in the Middle East - Arab culture is homophobic and we're influenced by them - also, many Israelis migrated here from Arab countries. However, lesbianism is permissable - at least, there's nothing written against it. AND, our gay pride events here are KICK ASS! But my point is, if the Rastafarian culture got homophobia from us, then they'd hardly be adding more of that than we sadly already possess.

And I don't think Rastas are necessarily too stoned to get anything done. Here in Israel people are so angry, so stressed out. Both Israelis and Palestinians. If someone dropped airplanes of free grass on this country they might bring peace to the region faster than any other means. BRING US FREE GRASS, kay?

p.s. I'm a stoner and I get stuff done. Check it out! http://zope.ale-yarok.org.il/english/

#166 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 02:22 PM:

So the answer to the Arab-Israeli conflict is to get both parties to smoke the peace pipe?

Worth a try, IMHO.

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