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Tuesday, March 04, 2008


This also reminds me of the concern some felt -- Jonathan Ned Katz wrote about this in his book Love Stories, with a straight face (you should excuse the expression) -- that Walt Whitman's poems about kissing young men, holding hands with them, sleeping with them, etc. might be misunderstood. Much as poor Larry Craig was misunderstood a century later.

I don't understand what the point of the meeting was. Canadians need to be told that our Presidential candidates are full of shit? As if people the world over didn't already know this? I know the thought processes work a little slower up north due to the lower temperature, but really...

And what else did Professor Goolsbee have to reassure his Canadian friends about? That Old Yeller was just a movie, and they didn't really shoot the dog in the end?

SteveB: Well, it's news to a lot of Obama supporters as well (or not news, I imagine, since I'd guess they're mainly taking my advice about shutting our ears to these unfortunate misunderstandings). So you can't really blame the Canadian government. After all, the guy's convincing.

I'm Canadian, and was an intern in our country's embassy in DC last summer. From what diplomats there told me, your politicians are ALWAYS telling us these things. Usually it was something to the effect that when they talked about border security, they were really just talking about Mexicans, but didn't want to sound racist, or that whatever plans they had for trade, they had no plans to restrict trade from Canada, because it's not controversial.

Sometimes these conversations are started by Canadian officials, after scary speeches by politicians about shutting down the borders or something. Since most of our trade is with you, we're pretty vulnerable to any disruptions and heading off the potential for trouble is the main role of Canada's diplomats in America. Ditto for border traffic restrictions, because most of our trade with you is dependent on land border crossings.

US protectionism is our number one fear and foreign policy priority, so they're quick to investigate any scary noises.

So, Obama's not alone, though I suppose that's not exactly a comforting revelation, if it was a revelation. Those most prone to this are those from States that border Canada (eg. Illinois and New York), but most will do it, from what I've been told.

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