How to live with our elephantine uncle

Pierre Elliott Trudeau once told American journalists: “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

Well, maybe today the elephant seems less of a menace, as the Bush gang becomes more and more mired in the consequences of the big Iraq lie which Jean Chretien had the good sense not to support. This gives us all the opportunity to rethink our across-the-border relations

Here comes Living with Uncle, an anthology of essays by well known public figures who for years have pleaded for Canadians to stand up to Uncle Sam in a dignified, reasonable manner.

Edited by Bruce Campbell and Ed Finn the book has seventeen essays by such well-known Canadian patriots as former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy, former NDP leader Ed Broadbent, perennial pro-Canadian Maude Barlow and activist-broadcaster Avi Lewis.

I was particularly impressed with the final essay by American economist Thea Lee, praising us for our many activists whose successes encourage socially conscious people south of the border.

The choice: more comfort or a better planet
I warn you, the following is going to be offensive to millions who’ll be reluctant to give up some of their creature comforts.

But whatever our self-interests, whatever our economic interests whatever our political interests, we have to face some bold decisions if we’re to help save humanity from the dreadful consequences of global warming.

Don’t tell me the signs aren’t there. Don’t tell me the tsunamis, the new Orleans disaster, mud slides in the Philippines, forest fires and floods all over the world are coincidental occurrences; there are just too many of them.

Let’s face it. We Canadians have a clear choice: to face up to the need to sacrifice gas-eating automobiles, unlimited air travel , the wholesale discharge of weaponry in wars amd self-indulgent consumerism or stay with the herd that like lemmings, seem hell-bent on self-destruction.

We Canadians are going to have to stop looking over our shoulders to see what other countries are doing. We’re going to have to learn to say:

This is about our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

It’s about survival stupid!

Perhaps they’ll listen now
Just over a year ago, I attended a press conference in Toronto which, to say he least, was poorly attended. There, for the first time, I met a softly but firmly spoken gentleman who was planning boldly to host the December environmental summit in Montreal. Even though he knew his political party would probably lose the next federal election, he spoke with sincere conviction about the need for decisive action on the environment

Until that time, I had thought of him as a man of sincerity who seemed above the rough and tumble of rancorous debate that in recent years has characterized the House of Commons Bu at that press conference I saw him as a man of great determination based, not on emotionalism but on scientific evidence.

In December, that man, Stephane Dion became the leader of a party that aims to take on Stephen Harper and hs fuzzy environmental philosophy. Even if he loses, he won’t give up the fight because like a growing number of Canadians he knows where we’ll all be in the lifetimes of our grandchildren — maybe even of our children.

A shadowy group
Project for the New American Century is a so called neo con think tank in the United States. I and millions of internet users know it’s more than that, but conventional news media both sides of the border have failed to engage in any serious investigation

It was founded in the United States in 1997 by the likes of Dick Cheney who became vice president when the republicans won the 2000 election and Lewis Libby who was appointed his chief of staff.

Among the founders were Donald Rumsfeld, who became defence secretary, John Bolton, named ambassador to the United Nations, Jeb Bush Governor of Florida and brother of the man who was to become president. All die-hard Republicans of the extreme right.

Libby was the first casualty, indicted for perjury in 2005
Then, since the Democrats won power in congress and the senate last November, Rumsfeld and Bolton resigned. One wonders who’ll be next to go? Or should I say one hopes there’ll be more in monhs to come.

To find out more about this group which some claim to be the real government of the U.S go to Google and search the hundreds of references to Project for the New American Century.

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