Victor Davis hanson wrote an article that I took great exception. He bomastically carps about how the U.S. really shouldn't bother with Canada because we don't care much about our defense. True but that's frankly besides the point.
You see it's really difficult to be very euthusiastic towards the Americans when they slapped 27% tarriffs on our softwood and practically trashed the industry in Quebec and B.C. Sure the dispute has been sort of resolved because the AQmerican government didn't apply its own laws when it imposed the tarrifs. It violated natural justice principles.
Then came the mad cow outbreak. One cow is diagnosed with the disease and the Americans close the market for nearly 3 month. The ban's been lifted.. sort of and the Japnese won't buy our beef. Both countries are out to protect their own inefficient and unproductive beef industries.
Then come the pi?ce de r?sistence: there's a pending bill in the Congress that jeopardizes Canadian defense contractors. The bill is another buy America first for defense contracts. I opine that the law is illegal vis-?-vis Canada given the extensive crossborder treaties that both countries have signed on defense matters. Furthr, there'd be a serious supply problem because at least one of the American military's vehicles: the Marines LAV series of armoured vehicles are built by GM Defense Canada. I bet the Congressmen have forgotten that both countries defense industries are one of th most integreated in the world- and ppre-date Europe. More worrisome is that the Congressmen wil undo an important reform in military procurement: the purchase of NATO/Allied equipment that's better and cheaper than American made items.
I didn't even know yesterday that a major portion of North America had a power failure until mom turned on the TV news. I guess that's because I live in a different province on a totally different grid.
Nonetheless, it was quite interesting to listen to the news. I really disliked how some of the networks hyped the situation a bit as if it were the apocalypse.
What I thought was the more interesting aspect wasn't so much the speculation, at first, that the blackout might be terrorist related but that ordinary people began to re-order the situation by stepping in and directing traffic or stopping a crime of opportunity in Toronto.
The various acts of spontaneous taking the initiative and not panicking speaks well for both sides of the border. If it had been a terrorist act, I wonder if we would've still been as calm? I would imagine so and there would be a lot of righteous indignation on both sides of the border.
Nice to see Bill Allison back from vacation. 2 days ago, he posted an really interesting article on Japanese pirates. Reading through the article, I asked myself if the Japanese, Chinese and Koreans ever developed a similar nautical policy of the corsair?
I've written briefly on corsairs, this is an invitation to click to on the various archive links, in response to an old post that Bill wrote on medieval shipmanship. Simply to refresh everyone's mind: a corsair in the Mediterranean basin was a sailor who was given a charter by the public authority to act as raider whose goal was to capture as many ships as possible in order to seize the cargo, ransom the crew, disrupt the 'enemy's trade routes.
Of course, in exchange for the legal authorization to plunder, the public authority would get a share of the spoils. The practice was quite natural and recognized by everyone as a somewhat necessary evil. The corsair was never formally codified into legislation- obviously the public lawyers would point out that the authority would be held civilly responsible and thus be order to pay damages, but the practice was strongly bounded by customary law- the American constitution mentions in passim a practice similar to the corsair in one of the enumerated articles establishing the Congress' powers.
In any case, I'd appreciate any clarifications if the Asiatic countries also developed similar nautical practices