Thursday, September 13, 2001

Wanted to share this, an older editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. This is the full text of his remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

“This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

“Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

“When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

“When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

“The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, war-mongering Americans.

“I’d like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don’t they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American planes?

“Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon — not once, but several times — and safely home again.

“You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

“When the railways of France, Germany, and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

“I can name you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don’t think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

“Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I’m one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those.”

“Stand proud, America!”

I also stumbled across the following offhand comment on a New Yorker’s webpage. Can you imagine anyone saying this a week ago?

“We heard a few subways are running now.” — Joel Spolsky

Meanwhile, on to more personal things.

Brennen just gave me a revelation. After I admitted that I would like to be writing fiction regularly, he said, “Well, why not take the time you spend updating your diary and write fiction instead, one day a week? If you wanted to do it purely for practice, you could post your developing work in lieu of a diary entry, for that matter.”

He’s absolutely right. I’ll still update this diary, obviously, but from now on, I’m going to try to spend more time writing fiction and less time crafting the prose of my diary.

And in completely unrelated news, I bought an upgrade for Lady today. I’ll be replacing her 233 Mhz Pentium 2 processor with a 950 Mhz Duron, and moving from 32 MB of RAM to 512 MB. Thanks to Brennen, again, this time for recommending the Duron. Should arrive in a couple of weeks, based on shipping estimates plus the backlog of shipping things here to the D.C. area.

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