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web posted February 12, 2007

Re: The green juggernaut by Alan Caruba (February 5, 2007)

Dear Mr. Caruba, I always enjoy your articles in ESR, the one about global warming is very good. I do believe we are being duped by politicians, radicals and the mainstream media, the average person has little exposure to any other facts, so how do we get all the facts on both sides of the fence, some challenges have to be put forth, we need intelligent and reasonable discussion so that all can be informed.

Thank you,

Tom Larson


Re: Canada's identity crisis: Looking back to the mid-1990s by Mark Wegierski (February 5, 2007)

Dear Sir,

Mark Wegierski's otherwise interesting article on "Canada's Identity Crisis" was marred by this section:

Towards the end of that year, another bit of what could be considered cultural attenuation came to public attention, as reported in The Globe and Mail, December 6, 1995, pp. A1-A2: "Reform outraged by secret in Canada's coat of arms: Liberals took 18 months to announce heraldic addition". It came to light that the Liberals had modified the Canadian coat of arms by adding a red garland around the shield, inscribed with the Latin motto meaning, "They desire a better country". This addition might be perceived as expressing a liberal sentiment of dissatisfaction with traditional arrangements, and an "urge to change". It is interestingly enough also the motto of the Order of Canada. This Canadian distinction has been given out prodigiously to a variety of persons, including pedestrian Liberal party fundraisers, and ultraleft activists, and is often seen as nothing more than a badge of allegiance to the prevailing nostrums of current-day Canada.

It could be argued that no truly confident country implicitly announces to the world, in one of its primary visual emblems, that it is in some way imperfect.

This episode was not, shall we say, the Reform party's finest hour. The addition of the motto-circlet of the Order of Canada to the arms of Her Majesty in right of Canada was in no way a result of any secret meddling on the part of the Liberal party in the hopes of attenuating Canadian identity - it was in the finest of British heraldic tradition. All members of the Order of Canada are entitled to surround their shields with the Order's motto-circlet, and since the Queen is Sovereign of the Order of Canada, it is only appropriate that her arms for Canada should also feature the Order's motto-circlet, just as her arms for England feature the motto of the Order of the Garter (Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense), England's premier order of chivalry. Since this change (originally approved by the Queen in 1987, according to a pamphlet from the Canadian Heraldic Authority) specifically recognized the arms of Canada as arms of the Queen of Canada, I'm surprised that the Liberal party went in for it, although I detect a certain lack of enthusiasm about it, which the Reform party may have interpreted as secret meddling.

Now you could say that the mere existence of the Order of Canada (which is awarded for outstanding contributions to national life, hence its motto) or of the Canadian Heraldic Authority are concessions to those who wish to cut us off from our British/Imperial heritage - why aren't Canadians being awarded the Garter, the Order of St. Michael and St. George (as were Macdonald, Laurier, Borden, etc.), the Bath, etc., or petitioning for grants of arms through the College of Arms in London or the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh? Good questions - but perhaps in nationalizing such traditions, Canadians assured their survival.

Of course, it would be great to have "Dominion" back...


Jonathan Good

Mark Wegierski responds:

Thank you for informing me about the heraldic background in regard to the garland on the Canadian coat of arms. I have to admit complaining about the garland might seem like a minor issue.

I think the feeling was that the text of the motto seemed somewhat incipiently "liberal". So I tried to look on it as symptomatic of bigger issues.

When I am writing similar cultural lament type pieces in the future, I won't prominently mention the garland, or maybe not at all.

Actually, when you look at the whole Canadian coat of arms, it certainly still looks very traditional and "conservative".

(I suspect that appearances of the coat of arms are becoming ever-rarer in the federal government. )

I also have to admit my cultural lament type pieces have a very Don Quixotic feeling to them.

Thanking you for your time and attention.

web posted February 5, 2007

Re: The penguin and the bureaucrat by J.J. Jackson (January 29, 2007)

This quote has been bothering me for a while since every article that involves talk about Kansas City, they say the same thing:

I do have one thing to say about the possibility of a move to Kansas City however. Remember the Scouts?

First of all, that was Kansas City 35 YEARS AGO!!! What, nothing has changed here in that time?

Also, what about where the Scouts went? The Colorado Rockies lasted less than ten years before they moved to New Jersey…they got another team. And the Minnesota North Stars lost their team for, among other things, low attendance, and they got a new team a few years ago as well.

You’ll see; the Kansas City Penguins are on their way!

Bart Miller

J.J. Jackson responds:

I'll put in you the category of the vast minority that didn't like that quote.  Based on the response so far I'd say that less than 2% feel the way you do.

web posted January 8, 2007

Re: Praise for Saddam Hussein's execution

While effete European sensitivities recoil from capital punishment Iraqis, with their more direct and compelling stake in the case, have correctly carried out the death sentence on Saddam Hussein.

And, in fact, how many persons in living memory more rightly deserved death? A generation of Iraqi Kurds and Shiites were ready to see their own relatives' deaths avenged upon this heartless agent of terror who, impelled solely by an outsized ego, filled long trenches with the manacled remains of his victims, fed opponents through industrial shredders, feet-first, and subjected female captives to rape and other humiliations to accomplish his own definition of tyranny.

Arguing that his execution might foment more domestic discord assumed that democracy's opponents aren't already doing their worst, and discounts the obvious benefits of removing the figurehead of a murderous insurgency and thereby finalizing Iraq's separation from the past.

Furthermore, whatever utility his execution may provide the political left and their undying enmity toward America and her allies, holding a tried and condemned Saddam Hussein to their breast in the name of humanity could never mask the insult to justice that act inflicts. Perhaps only the left is capable of parading as virtue such cynicism.

The surviving relatives of Saddam's victims were owed whatever closure his forfeited life has provided; more than even this, would-be despots everywhere were owed this fresh reminder of the punishment monstrous crimes still attract.

Ron Goodden



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