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"F*ck your nationalism. F*ck your country," she said.
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I hate to be impolite but it looks like your new president is a bit of a clown and your government is in disarray. Something's got to give and, with July 4th just around the corner, I've got a modest proposal that you might want to consider. Hear me out. Love, Canada.
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While we may not have the same incarceration numbers, private prisons or overt existence of a prison pipeline, Canada has seen an increase in incarceration over the last decade, and this population continues to be over-represented by black, brown and Latino youth. This highlights a need for open discussion.
More and more I hear Canadians making mean and disparaging comments about those who disagree or have different points of view. I also hear racist remarks, which is terribly distressing. It's not who we are as a nation. Some of the things said after the shooting at the Mosque in Quebec made me feel like I was at a Trump rally. And I'm not ashamed, or afraid, to say I don't like it.
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At the time they were phased out, pennies cost the Canadian Mint 1.6 cents to produce. Doesn't make much cents, does it? Getting rid of them ended up saving taxpayers up to $11 million a year, which is advantageous.
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I am not surprised in the slightest that Trump wasted no time in taking the preliminary steps to get rid of Obamacare, to build the wall along the Mexico - U.S. Border and to ban Muslims. It's exactly what he said he'd do throughout his entire campaign. In fact, I would have been shocked if he'd backed away from any of it, or even waited for the Obama's plane to take off for Palm Springs before getting started.
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The first time I heard "Uh huh" as the reply to my gratitude-filled "Thank you," I repeated my "Thank you" again, thinking the barista did not hear me. Even a second time, the reply was "Uh-huh." So, I just assumed that the barista was rude. How wrong I was.
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Americans, and in fact the rest of the world, can no longer remain passive participants in how our cities and countries are run. Everyone has to speak up. And not just once, at an award show either. Every day, in every way. In emails, letters and voice mails to elected officials, by signing petitions, by marching locally and in our nations' capitals (peacefully) and on our own social media.
It seems that a dangerous brew has been boiling. A national origin-story based on "making it", mixed with a constructed and prideful sense of Us, as a separate and often superior entity from Them. It's everywhere. A lifetime of God Bless America and American Exceptionalism and Leader of the Free World. A media and culture forever sprinkled with waving flags and geocentric self-regard. A hell-yeah awesomeness that you just can't find anywhere else but in the good ol' US of A.
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For a country that's historically been known as a wallflower, the attention is long overdue. But we shouldn't become "braggadocious" and let our national ego inflate. In short: We shouldn't become American. Canada has become so popular internationally precisely because of its humility.
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Donald Trump. The narcissist with tissue paper thin skin who cannot abide any criticism whatsoever, from anyone, ever. The addict for whom there is never enough praise and adulation, who needs it so badly he cannot stop asking for compliments or, if they're slow in coming, telling the world, himself, how great he is.
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America may be moving from a fact-based era to a faith-based era. Such a transition is nothing new; it has happened at least a couple of times already in the history of Western civilization. After the logic and science of the ancient Greeks and the technology of the ancient Romans, Europe moved into the faith-based Dark Ages.
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Lately, we've heard a lot about Americans who've been left behind. I got the first hint of what this might be last fall when, as part of a project on democratic capitalism, we set out to understand more about the American experience. We spoke at length to two dozen working, middle-class Americans about their lives.
It used to be that the United States had a national purpose and a sense of community. For years, America had a commitment to common social goals as evidenced by Roosevelt's New Deal, Kennedy's New Frontier and Johnson's Great Society. That now seems a distant memory. After the Reagan-Bush years came Bill Clinton and another decade of selfishness and corporate greed. Although the books were eventually balanced, it was at the expense of the neediest as the gap between the haves and the have-nots widened into a chasm.