Sunday, January 30, 2005
Please think happy congratulatory thoughts for my dad
who just became a Canadian citizen yesterday, the 29th of January, after 38 years in Canada. Yes, despite his hatred of the British monarchy, he managed to stumble through the loyalty oath, and sang the National Anthem loud and clear:
"I took a deep breath and managed through the HRH bit without biting my
tongue, and I sang the National Anthem as loudly as I dared without
offending anyone not tone deaf."
Yes, my father walked through -36 weather to get to the Citizenship Court (what better a test of Canadianness?), and it's done. My father is now a Canadian.
My mom, who works with an nonprofit agency that helps newcomers settle in, has said that every Canadian ought to attend a citizenship ceremony, to see the pride the newcomers take in their new home. From what my dad says about his ceremony, that makes sense -- he called it oddly affecting, and wondered how much more so it must be for folks from places culturally farther away than Scotland. (although, of course, this being my crazy father, he didn't quite put it that way, but ah well).
Has anyone reading this not seen the documentary "Outfoxed" yet? You should see it; I have a copy & can lend it to anyone near me in the Bronx. Anyway, one of the stories in it involves a news reporter at Fox who thought it might be nice to put together a heartwarming piece on the citizenship ceremonies of new citizens in the United States; to show how much they appreciate coming to America, and all the things that folks born in the US take for granted. Sounds lovely, doesn't it?
It was rejected by the upper echelons at Fox, as they saw it as glorifying the freeloaders, blah di blah di blah..... as if the citizenship of these people, who chose to come the US, is somehow worth less than the citizenship of the people who were merely born here.
Which of course brings me back, as per yesterday, to how much I love the CBC; and, of course, how proud I am of my dad.
In other news, congratulations also to the 8 million Iraqis who managed to vote. The CBC writes,
"Iraq's Electoral Commission said voter turnout has exceeded expectations, with about 60 per cent of eligible voters casting ballots, down from an earlier estimate of 72 per cent."
Here's the story.
Condi was happy: "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the Iraqi elections went ``better than expected'' Sunday, despite conflicting reports about the extent of voter turnout in areas plagued by intimidation and violence." (From the NY Times.
Does anyone mistrust this 'better than expected' result? Can we just be happy for a little bit of good news? Is anyone else kinda wondering what level of accuracy or truth is getting reported here, when the Bush administration has so much to prove and so much at stake in this process going well?
Kerry, of course, pointed out (also in the Times article): "It is hard to say that something is legitimate when whole portions of the country can't vote and doesn't vote."
What the Bush folks have at stake (from the tail end of that Times article)
"Bush had sought to declare victory before the polls even opened by arguing that just the fact that Iraqis are voting means success.
"If the Iraqi elections lead to a stable government and open the way to a phased American troop withdrawal, Bush's image around the world would be buoyed. Republicans on the ballot in 2006 and 2008 also would be relieved. On the other hand, problems with the election could complicate Bush's efforts to pass costly items on his second-term domestic agenda, such as partially privatizing Social Security.
"So far, more than 1,400 U.S. troops and many thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives. The United States is spending more than $1 billion a week in Iraq."
jane 11:45 AM [+]