Friday, February 02, 2007

Oh my oh my oh my – my boys are at each other's throats again, tsk tsk.

Everybody calm down, sweeties, the lovely Annika has entered the room. :)

Will someone explain to me if man is really made in God's image, then why are all of you such pig-headed creatures?

I mean, imagine my surprise when I finally get a chance to log on after several eighteen-hour days at Sojourn House only to find my best friends throwing tirades at each other. At first, I thought: 'Hooray, Terry and Jasper are back!'

But then after I started reading your posts, I realized how each and every one of you is a touch grouchy or what. And who knew my comrades in creative writing could be such gobsmacked policy wonks. Ugh. Such a far cry from the drunken giggles we all enjoyed over stupid YouTube videos and midnight cheeseburgers at Cozy Soup n Burger, last April back in New York. I LOVED YOU GUYS BACK THEN! Now you're all so snarky.

Let us not forget how at one time we were all once content struggling over mere ideas for short stories and novels. Wasn't life was good back then? Now, it all seems like so long ago, back in days of yore.

btw, remember how I told you guys about how Toronto was getting deluged with American refugees? Well, what I didn't know then was that B.C. and Alberta have even bigger problems than we do in Ontario. The western provinces are inundated with Hollywood celebrities trying to get to Alaska. Even Britney Spears and K-Fed have gotten back together and have moved up here. Please, send us your poor and downtrodden, but keep your pop stars from invading our good country.

What I don't understand, daft me, is if the incursion is represented by but only a few hundred men, then why all of a sudden is half the US population fleeing the home of the free and the brave, trying to get to either Canada or Mexico? What's the biggie?

And from what I hear from JASPER, the other half is apparently splintering off into armed factions and militias. Jasper, my love, please don't tell me you've actually got yourself caught up in any of that.

But as if that were not incomprehensible enough, I hear some of my own fellow country men are heading the opposite way back down to the US for no other reason except so they can participate in what I guess they apparently hope will be a battle to end all battles. I mean, WTF?!?!? Scary stuff, right?

It would be great if more yanks followed suit. Us Canucks want to help in any way we can, but all these new people are presenting a huge burden on the system. American refugees are overwhelming the Great North. Canadian officials now say that just under 500,000 Americans from various ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds have arrived into Ontario alone since the Pan Moslem led incursion began four weeks ago.

And now that the U.N. has arranged "temporary protection status" to prevent Harper from deporting U.S. nationals back to the states, those refugees aren't going anywhere. For gawds sake, we're not babysitters!

The Prime Minister has told Bush and I quote: "We cannot continue like this. The situation is terrible, and we are obliged to do something."

On the other side of the table, the Canadian government has actually had to issue denials to the Pan Moslem Coalition that it is intentionally harboring supporters of PURE. Mr. Harper even went so far to point out that the policies of his government, in direct contrast to President Bush's administration, are diametrically opposed to the philosophy that motivates the Neo-Crusader movement. Well, good for him.

Meanwhile, local pundits are claiming that you Yanks are going to pillage our resources the same way you did with the Indians, and people are getting really angry about it. Parliament is even discussing the possibility of putting an end to online sales of drugs to U.S. customers as a way to circumvent potential shortages up here. Sounds reasonable, and I have to admit, not to be mean, or anything, but we made our choice and you made yours.

For gawds sake, one woman I know was complaining about how she couldn't get her son, –a toddler with strepthroat–, into a clinic because it was full of you Americans using the nearest facility as a refugee center. And some other friends who volunteer downtown have even seen the centers they work at defaced with their names spray-painted on walls with a warning not to cooperate with the Americans. Now, the graffiti doesn't faze me, but who knew there was so much hate to go around?

That said, if any of you boys are hoping to get out of the country, you should probably do so now, before Harper figures out a way to keep you all from coming in. Because he will sooner or late. He has to, if he wants to keep his job.

And don't think heading south is an option for long, either. I saw Geraldo Rivera giving a report that the Mexican government is deploying a 'surge' of troops along the 1936-mile northern border it shares with the U.S., as a way of provide security and stem the flow of U.S. nationals from illegally crossing the border into Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez!

Talk about a turn of events.

But by far, the biggest topic of discussion up here is about the Arctic.

I don't know how much any of you boys know about this, but Canada and the United States have been engaged in a dispute over the Northwest Passage, for what seems forever. Our border to the north is made up of an archipelago of some 16,000 islands through which a waterway flows linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The U.S. regards the shipping passage as an international strait but Mr. Harper has vociferously defended it as Canadian territory. As far as most Canadians are concerned –myself included–, American claims to the passage are a little like if Canada started staking a claim to California's Pacific coastline.

As a result of all this brouhaha, just yesterday Harper issued a statement that respect must go both ways. Since the boycott on America, Canada has been providing the lower 48 with heaps of Canadian energy, and sending as much petrol assistance as the country can provide. But Harper is reasonably adamant that if this aid is to continue, the U.S. must immediately recognize Canada’s claims on the Northwest Passage –and do so quickly– otherwise his government cannot in good faith continue to provide energy relief to the United States, nor will it continue to give limitless aid to incoming American refugees.

"The United States defends its sovereignty," Harper has said. "The Canadian government will defend our sovereignty. It's the Canadian people we get our mandate from, not the ambassador of the United States."

Harper has also recently announced that Canada is rolling out new military installations in order to help back up Canada's claim to the waters and natural resources of the Northwest Passage.

–Pretty heady stuff, eh?

Isn't it kind funny –if it weren't also so tragic– how the destruction of the Petronas Towers by Neo-Crusaders has ended up as argument over Arctic claims?

Of course, everyone thinks those Christian Fundamentalist Terrorists that took down the Towers are pure evil. But the consensus here is that the States haven't always acted much better; and if the US government wants to continue to rely on Canadian assistance, then you Yanks had better stop treating the Great White North as a doormat to Alaska and the Arctic.

Not to attack you personally, Siraj. I know you're straddling two loyalties yourself, or so it sounds like to me. We all know you consider yourself an American first and foremost, but I have to agree with Jasper on this, that maybe your Lebanese heritage combined with your presence at the Towers on 7/27, has imbued in you an understandable sympathy for the goals of the Pan Moslem Coalition, and maybe it's making you a little biased, potentially?

Nevertheless, right or wrong, I want you to know that I support you; I value our friendship; I respect your talents; and I totally get what you're going through; and I know what a difficult situation you must think yourself in, wanting what's best for your country, the United States, but also feeling some compassion for those killed in Kuala Lumpur on 7/27 by these evil, evil neo-crusaders.

Anyway, I'm sorry I didn't write before, and I don't know when I will have the energy to write again. It's just crazy busy up here. There is just so much to do at the Sojourn House, that at the end of each day, I'm completely wiped out.

Keep posting though! It's the only we know you are still alive! And I'll write in eventually.