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Posts Tagged ‘American’

Benjamin FranklinHere is something for consideration concerning the specific provision in Bill S-7, which is scheduled to be voted on April 24, 2013, as described in this legislative summary, that allows for the detention of someone suspected of having information about terrorist activities, who can be jailed for up to 12 months if he/she refuses to testify before a judge.

Canadian Maher Arar was suspected by U.S. officials of being involved in terrorism, and was deported to Syria, despite also being a Canadian citizen, and entering from Canada, and Syria being a designated sponsor of terrorism by the U.S., and known to employ torture.

After he was tortured, our government settled with him in a multi-million dollar settlement and apologized for what had happened.

The American officials were sincere in their judgment, and Canadian officials could be sincere in their judgment about a Canadian citizen or resident being suspected of having information about terrorist activities, and as a result, we could do a serious injustice to one of our own, which can be avoided by not renewing this additional provision, which has served us adequately from 2007 when it expired, until now.

Shame on the Liberals for supporting this measure in 2013. If former Liberal leader, Stephane Dion, did one good thing during his tenure, it was courageously voting against the extension of these un-Canadian provisions. The fact that the 2013 Liberals support these measures justifies their third-place standing in the polls.

The only silver lining I see in this that the provisions are set to expire in five years, just as they were originally in 2001.

At the end of 2011, it looked as if Canada was making a decisive split with American-style post-9/11 anti-freedom policies, as I documented in my article, Championed Canadian political success stories on Radio Liberty with Dr. Stan Monteith, and the recent Supreme Court decision requiring wiretap warrants for obtaining text messages was yet another hopeful sign.

The pendulum had swung too far for some, and with the recent politically-timed arrest of two suspects in an alleged Via Train derailment plot, it had to be re-calibrated so that Canada’s increasing liberty relative to the post-9/11 United States didn’t become too noticeable.

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From his 1996 speech that charges me up no matter how many times I listen to it (starting at 5:32) (emphasis added):

“Do you really want to take over the government and make it a theocracy, because I’m gonna tell you exactly what’s going to happen if you do that. You’re gonna burn people at the stake who disagree with you. If that happens, I’m going to have to take up arms all over again, and so will many of you because you’re gonna to be persecuted, you see? Because, whichever one controls the government, you’re going to have to conform to that teaching and if you don’t believe in it, you’re a heretic.

Do you understand what I’m talking about?

What is our common bond, truly?

Freedom! Freedom!

Without freedom, you can’t be a Christian no matter what denomination you belong to. You can’t be a Buddhist. You can’t own a donut shop. You can’t drive from here to Oregon.

You can’t be an American, because that’s what it’s all about and it’s the only thing that it’s all about — nothing else. Nothing else.”

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Flags of North America

That is the message the Canadian government has sent with its plans to rely on U.S. law enforcement officials to conduct law enforcement operations in Canada, starting in 2012.

Embattled U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, announced the plan on September 14, 2011.

Given the population disparity of nine times the number of Americans to Canadians, it’s pretty evident which country will be more reliant on the others’ law enforcement in this interoperability scheme.

This isn’t the case of co-operating to defend against a common existential threat of intercontinental ballistic missiles, as is the case with NORAD; It is a fundamental responsibility of every sovereign country to defend its own borders.

Despite the spin of it being necessary to have such a collaborative approach, as Holder describes, the reality is that the governments of both countries are telling their citizens that they aren’t capable of defending their borders.

As a Canadian myself, I ask the question of other Canadians: do you accept the notion that we are incapable of defending our own borders? If we’re incapable of defending our own borders, then what other fundamental responsibilities of our government are we incapable of fulfilling?

And to my American neighbours and friends, I ask: are you also incapable of defending your own borders?

For more on the Canadian and American governments’ lack of confidence in their own citizens’ abilities, see my article¬†North American Unionization: U.S. and Canadian law enforcement interoperability.

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Robert R. Livingston

To me, the American creed is best expressed in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed.

The past 10 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks have served as a great wake up call to me.

Growing up as a Canadian, I was told how Americans were fundamentally different from us Canadians. I was raised to believe that they don’t tolerate their government pushing them around like we Canadians do.

The events since September 11, 2001 have forever shattered that comfortable yet dangerous illusion I had grown up with.

July 4, 1776 was a momentous and unique day in human history. It was probably the closest that Americans came to realizing their true identity as sovereigns with natural rights, instead of citizens with privileges granted by government.

Historically, Canadians have had no problem sacrificing individual freedoms in the interest of protecting public safety, and the overreaching government actions that have taken place in the U.S. since 9/11 would not have been inconceivable had they taken place in a Canadian context.

But in a U.S. context? Such responses are completely alien to America’s founding creed.

The post 9/11 adoption of the so-called Patriot Act, which eviscerated several natural rights recognized by the Bill of Rights, and its repeated renewal under different Congresses and a different President who had promised “change,” showed me that the America of today is a very different one than the one I remember as a child.

The surprising results since 9/11 have been that the United States is now more socialistic than Canada, its federal government has higher taxes than Canada’s, only has a mostly free economy compared to Canada’s free economy, and its federal government is more centralized and expansive than Canada’s.

Since 2010, Canada has been pointing the way forward in forcing an overreaching government to retrench to some degree in the face of an otherwise general trend toward less individual liberty.

Even unintentionally, Canada has become more free in the past few years, with the Conservative minority Harper government pulling combat troops out of Afghanistan by 2011 as a consequence of fearing electoral losses for not pulling out.

They also scrapped the long-form census by 2011, even though it seems evident to me that it was purely for partisan reasons, and not out of a genuine commitment to personal privacy, to the point that it is less intrusive than the American census, despite the U.S. Constitution only calling for an enumeration of its residents for the purposes of determining representation in the House of Representatives.

Now, with the election of a Conservative majority government in May 2011, they are committed to ending the wheat and barley marketing monopoly, and scrapping the long-gun registry, and as a consequence, Canada will be more free.

Canadian Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier once said that the 19th century belonged to the United States, but the 20th century will belong to Canada. Well, he was clearly wrong, but perhaps only with regard to his timeline. If Canadians embrace their successes and move forward in achieving greater liberty, than Canada can stand out from other nations as a beacon as the United States once did.

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Coins

Both Congress’ enumerated power to coin money (from any metal), and the power of the States to only make gold and silver legal tender, were powers that didn’t necessarily have to be exercised.

A power is something you can exercise, or not exercise. This is clearly evidenced by Congress’ other enumerated powers, such as the power to declare war, or to borrow money on the credit of the United States.

There was an insidious nature to the Coinage Act of 1792, in that it forced American taxpayers to pay for the cost of minting the gold and silver brought to be minted (see Section 14 on page 249), which was overwhelmingly owned by wealthy interests.

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