Forum posts made by principessa

Topic What is Canadian Culture (For MF)?
Posted 21 Jun 2018 17:42

Canadians have been asking themselves this question for more than a century and a half. As a people, Canadians tend to be friendly, pleasant and considerate. They try not to cause offense, and often go overboard on political correctness. We sometimes have lengthy debates in parliament about who owes an apology to whom, which makes them infinitely more entertaining than American political proceedings most of the time. Canadians tend to embrace diversity as a way of enriching our society, rather than insisting that everyone assimilate to a single mono-culture 'melting pot.' That said, Canadians tend to be intensely nationalistic and obsessed with distinguishing themselves from Americans. They fiercely protect and promote the Canadian arts (despite of a lot of movies, TV and literature being of inferior quality to those produced in the US - we make up for it with vibrant and healthy music scenes in our major cities, and tend to cherish bands that are relatively unknown in the US). We are also loyal to our home-grown businesses to the point that they become national symbols. Our biggest fear is that the ubiquity of American culture will erase our own identity. We're fond of protecting the environment, and wild areas, which is probably a good thing because there's quite a lot of it in Canada. Canadians understand the benefits of socialism, and don't mind paying a little extra for the common good which benefits us all (such as through health care, or addressing poverty). We're also not particularly passionate about religion, though we do have our fair share of churches and mosques and temples, and so forth. And it's a point of national pride that when one is vandalized by white supremacists, the community comes together to show the victims how welcome they are. However, most public displays of religiosity are often perceived as a sign of mental instability.

I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of stuff (like I did in the post on American culture), but maybe others can add/correct.

Well done.

I'll add a few things. We adopted the metric system some time ago and survived. We are hard on our artists, actors, writers and feel that you have only achieved success once you are recognized in the US and many of them are. One exception is Margaret Atwood who was revered before "The Handmaid's Tale " was dramatized on US television. Sometimes we follow US tradition, like z instead of s like the UK in dramatize. Sometimes the UK one, like the u in honour. Many of us speak a second language and I believe more of us have passports and travel abroad than Americans do. We think Montreal bagels are better than NY ones, and that smoked meat is better than pastrami. Instead of chili fries we eat poutine (look it up). We are patriotic but do not wrap ourselves in the flag except every four years for Olympic hockey. We are an understated people and go to war on principle, like WW I and II. Our armed forces were in Afghanistan but avoided Viet Nam and Iraq. We are very big geographically, second in the world, but have a population of about 37 million, most of which is in the southern portion of the country. There are vast areas of wilderness still. For a small country, we punch above our weight, recognized for peacekeeping missions and being an honest broker by most nations. Indeed a Canadian PM, Lester Pearson, won the Nobel Peace Prize in the 1950s for diplomatic efforts to send a peacekeeping force to defuse the Suez Crisis in the Middle East. Last, but not least and important on Lush, Canadians know how to make love in a canoe (attributed to Pierre Berton, another Canadian writer.)

That should give MF more to think about.

Topic President Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian Lawmakers
Posted 21 Jun 2018 17:20

LOL! As if anyone on these boards is defending Nazis! More bizzare fantasies!

Remember Charlottesville? Trump said there were "very fine people on both sides". To be clear he was making a moral equivalence between white supremacists and neo-Nazis marching in the streets with torches (just as the Nazis had done in Germany and Austria) chanting "Jews will not replace us" and (if I remember correctly) "blood and soil" which is another Nazi historic chant, and those who marched against these racists. So, in his own words and live television, Trump defended Nazis.

Topic What is American Culture?
Posted 21 Jun 2018 15:47

Don't be so hard on yourselves. Without Canadian bacon, there could be no Egg McMuffin.

Or eggs Benedict.

Topic What is American Culture?
Posted 21 Jun 2018 15:35

It’s ALWAYS Canada’s fault. That’s why we say, Blame Canada. It’s written somewhere Read it


Topic Write Any Word That Begins With "P"and Ends in "Y"
Posted 21 Jun 2018 15:06


Topic What is American Culture?
Posted 21 Jun 2018 14:55

We're America's annoying know-it-all younger brother, and of all our sibling colonies, Mother England loves us best. We constantly make fun of America, but secretly look up to them (at least in some ways), even though we insist that we're totally nothing like them, and do everything better than them.

You forgot to say that we say "sorry" constantly, even if we have done nothing wrong. angel7

Topic Your thoughts on Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy & separating children
Posted 21 Jun 2018 14:32

My basic objection to the argument being put forth by the right is that these people are valueless, unworthy or somehow dangerous. Statistically, none of that is true. These immigrants are the bravest and most motivated of their people. They are the ones who had the courage to leave their home to come to a country that is basically hostile to them. They are the ones who are not afraid to work hard. They are by the vast majority valuable additions to our population and make us stronger with their presence.


They share a certain kind of tribal amnesia that allows them to forget that their roots (unless they are descended from Native Americans or Inuit in the north) are exactly the same. Their ancestors whether it is back one generation, or six generations, or they themselves arrived in the US fleeing war, famine, crime, poverty, discrimination, pogroms, oppression and more. Why should others not have the same opportunity to strive for a better life for themselves and their families? The lack of empathy and compassion is staggering. What are they so afraid of?

Life is not a zero sum game. I hear from some that charity should begin at home. The ills like lack of health care and support for families and all of the other social problems of the US will not be solved by refusing to admit immigrants, and make no mistake, Trump wants to limit legal as well as illegal immigration. There are many jobs such as seasonal farm work, work in hotels and restaurants, and other industries that immigrants do and Americans do not want to do. They contribute to the economy.

Trump said he admired people from places like Norway rather than "shithole countries" in the Third World. Is that a message that only Caucasians are welcome?

Topic Your thoughts on Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy & separating children
Posted 21 Jun 2018 11:46

You're right. There is a lot to think about and this is a very complicated problem for all of the industrialized countries in the world who face waves of immigrants from countries that are war torn, overtaken by crime, poverty, famine and more. I have no magic answer, but I think that we have to try to find humane solutions.

Sometimes an image has more power than all of the words published. Look at this week's cover of Time Magazine.

Topic Your thoughts on Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy & separating children
Posted 21 Jun 2018 10:50

All of what I put in bold above is true. But the Red Cross didn't set any of that up overnight. And whereas we've known that a crisis like this was possible, just look at Europe, nobody prepared adequately for it, not the Bush 43 Administration, not the Obama Administration, and not the Red Cross.

Two quick questions.

1. How many of these migrants has Mexico helped to settle and shelter? Their contribution so far has mainly been to expedite the flow north to the US border and to supply the migrants with guidebooks on how to best answer the questions they're going to be asked by ICE.

2. How many of them has Canada volunteered to take?

Imagine you have 1,500 unaccompanied children dumped in your lap. You've got to put stuff in place to feed them, shelter them, get them medical care, change diapers on the younger ones, and calm their fears. You have to find the people, the resources, and the facilities. But those were all pretty much tapped out weeks ago. To top it off, if you screw any of it up, your face is guaranteed to be on 60 Minutes the next weekend for the armchair quarterbacks to go "Tsk tsk, how could she be so stupid?". Don't take too long figuring any of it out, there's going to be another 1,500 dumped on you tomorrow. And in case you're wondering, intel says the trail of kids coming stretches back half a continent.

What would you do?

I can't answer your questions as I don't know the answers regarding Mexicans and Central Americans.

I do know that Canada took in 25,000 refugees from Syria through the autumn of 2016 having fully vetted them. There was government support combined with that of many community based organizations sponsoring families through their first year here. To my knowledge the US refused to take any at the time citing national security and other reasons, implicit was that refugees from the Middle East were not welcome.

I do know that many Haitians have been fleeing the US as the time limit on their stays after the hurricane and other catastrophes winds up. They are crossing the border from NY to Quebec where French is spoken.

Topic Your thoughts on Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy & separating children
Posted 21 Jun 2018 07:37

Well, they said they would stop separating families. Apparently that does not apply retroactively. There are about 2300 children who are in custody, many thousands of miles away from where they began. There is no plan to reunite them with their parents, indeed there has been no system to track where exactly each one is. They have been dispersed as far away as New York. Mayor Bill DeBlasio has discovered that a number of girls were sent there, including one as young as 9 months old - at least 240 in a facility in East Harlem. The mayor said that he had no prior notification that this would happen.

After WWII the Red Cross devised a system to reunite families among the people displaced by the war and those liberated from concentration and labour camps. Tha was before we had computers, the internet and social media. Why is this not possible now?

This policy was appalling and inhumane to begin with. It was not thought through on many levels, including most importantly accountability for the children. Of course all that matters to the man in the White House is the political impact on him. He is desperately weaving more and more lies to save the situation and maintain the appearance of toughness which seems terribly important to him.

So, cessation of the separations does not solve anything for children already taken from their parents. And, from now on, we may see families intact but in refugee camps across the US. Is this the humane solution for desperate people?

Topic Your thoughts on Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy & separating children
Posted 20 Jun 2018 17:28

Wow! That's pretty aggressive rhetoric. My pure guess is that you've either been brought up in a very privileged/affluent background or someone's been feeding you a steady diet of Progressive Politics.

I was brought up on a diet of progressive politics by hardworking parents. I am thankful for that. What is your explanation for your world view? Right wing talk radio until it was replaced by Fox News?

Trump is turning himself into a pretzel now trying to justify what he did while ending the separation of families for now. He reacted to condemnation from almost all who saw the images of these children, some for obvious reasons, others in his party because they feared because they would not be reelected. We do not know what will happen to the 2200 children now in custody.

Bannon, Miller, and Nielsen all pushed him to thinking it would play to his base and lied that it was rooted in law. They bet on this being politically advantageous and they lost hugely (!!) This is a defeat for Trump.

Topic President Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian Lawmakers
Posted 19 Jun 2018 17:33


Now let's return to the thread topic.

The Nobel Peace Prize should be earned before it's awarded.

Agreed. So when Kim has dismantled his nukes and agreed to independent inspections, when his ability to manufacture more of them is also dismantled, and when he returns the remains still in NK from the Korean War, perhaps both he and Trump could be considered.

Having a meeting with Kiim in which he adopted Kim's language about military exercises, made no demands of him, fawned over him embarrassingly and got no firm commitments from him does not bear consideration for the award for Trump alone.

As an aside, it seems that Trump has more regard for Kim than for my PM, Justin Trudeau. There is something wrong with that.

Topic RUMPLATIONS: Awesome Honky Tonk and Cyber Bar
Posted 19 Jun 2018 14:00

Hello everyone. Almost 5 PM here and it has been a hellish day. So, I'll have a gin and tonic please.

Interesting conversation about writers, stories, and readers. I know that there was a time when it seemed that there was some great writing being published here, and much of it written by strong personalities. For good or for ill, I think that the strong personalities are now shown in threads in the Think Tank, rather than creative writing. I have not written anything new in a long while. I know that my work whether solo or with co-writers like Milik was well received, but not to the extent of some other writers. I believe that I progressed from writing that really strung together sex scenes to writing real stories with characters that have some depth. Maybe that is not what the majority of people want, rather showing up for some quick stimulation and release. Who knows? The number of members on the site has skyrocketed in the time I have been here, and perhaps a good proportion of them are less invested in quality writing than we would hope for.

I am not sure that the Incest issue is really that pertinent, given that the previous Taboo category was a thinly veiled version of it, just with the addition of step- to relationships.

Things happen so quickly now with pervasive social media and the short attention spans that they have engendered. Maybe we need a category for readers to get off after reading ten tweets. Of course, I am being facetious. But I do think that the spirit of the time is very different than it was five years ago.

I don't have any answers, but this discussion brings up interesting questions for us all to think about.

Cheers everyonoe.

Topic Your thoughts on Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy & separating children
Posted 18 Jun 2018 17:50

My guess is that President Trump will relax the "zero tolerance" policy, which was not one of his campaign promises, in exchange for funding for the Wall, which was.

I thought the same. He is doing this purposely knowing that it is dramatic and holding the children hostage for an immigration plan that includes funding for his stupid wall (a 14th century solution to a 21st century problem).

Topic Your thoughts on Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy & separating children
Posted 18 Jun 2018 17:26

what i want to know Liz,is who gave the order to put those kids in those cages,and why the FUCK theyre not facing a crimes against humanity charge

There's a thought. Amnesty International should investigate these detention centres and the procedures that get children placed there to bring charges of crimes against humanity. That would give Trump and the strangely cold Kirstjen Nielsen something to think about other than the minute possibility that he will get the Nobel.

Topic Your thoughts on Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy & separating children
Posted 18 Jun 2018 13:46

I am interested to hear opinions on what is happening at the border with families being separated and taken into custody. This is happening not only to teenage kids, but toddlers and even infants. Trump has said this is because of a law - not true, there is no such law, only a policy that he could change with the stroke of a pen. Sessions has quoted the Bible to bolster this, using the same kind of verses that were used to justify segregation.

I am naively hopeful that even conservatives here will not agree with this.

What does everyone think?

Topic President Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian Lawmakers
Posted 18 Jun 2018 11:38

Simply put, you're wrong.

The winner of the summit, the guy who made sure that it happened in the first place, and the guy who will do everything he can to make sure he gets what he wants out of it, is this guy:

Take a good look at that picture. Get to know that face. He has recently been cleared by his government to have an unlimited number of terms as President of the most populous country in history, and intends to be the leader of the world's only superpower by 2020.

No. I am not wrong. Amazingly, I agree with you. (Pigs must be flying.) Kim is his proxy. Of course China and Russia win if the US withdraws its influence from the region and gives in so easily to Kim's dissembling.

Topic President Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian Lawmakers
Posted 18 Jun 2018 09:23

There is no way that Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Kim was the winner in this negotiation. He made no solid commitments on demuclearization. There was more hyperbole than substance, including this nomination which came from a Norwegian politician who is anti-immigrant and right wing in the European version of the alt right.

Trump adopted hazy North Korean language on denuclearization, ditching more precise US arms control terms, defended Kim over the regime’s appalling human rights, and presented him with a gift in the form of a unilateral concession, the suspension of military exercises, not to mention the fawning adulation he showered on Kim.

Even if Trump did merit consideration, which he does not, what is happening with children being separated from their parents and detained by immigration authorities would nullify it.

Topic So who wants to talk about the Inspector General's report?
Posted 17 Jun 2018 09:04

That's the only play Damon has in his book. You'll notice that people like Damon, Felix, Jeff, Principessa - they never actually attack my arguments. They just spew hate. I actually feel sorry for them.

I have seen you insulting people personally. I have not done that, and not to you in particular. I actually have rarely argued with you as I see no point in doing it. You have shown us who and what you are and I believe you.

So, the only sorry you owe me is an apology for lumping me in with the others who spar with and occasionally attack you. If my expression of an opinion opposing yours offends you, you will have to learn to live with it.

Topic President Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian Lawmakers
Posted 14 Jun 2018 09:45

Exactly the same thing can be said about Trump.

Topic The Trump Tariffs
Posted 12 Jun 2018 09:13

At this point all was can do is hope the rest of the world will let us forget trump and return to normal relations when we get this asswipe leaves office

That is exactly what the G6 (without Trump) will do. The Europeans, Canadians and the other industrialized democracies will carry on without the US. Trump has managed to abdicate any leadership held by the US with his bombast and ignorance. He alienates historic allies while cozying up to dictators. He has made Putin's dreams come true in undoing the western alliance that has lasted since WWII. Americans have always held themselves apart as somehow superior. That was never true, but now they are really set apart, not for good reasons. It will take a very long time to repair the damage done to all of these relationships.

Topic Anthony Bourdain
Posted 11 Jun 2018 12:57

I am rarely carried away with grief for celebrities beyond saying 'that's too bad" but this death really hit me. Anthony Bourdain was articulate and adventurous. He was a splendid writer and creator of documentaries that showed us so much more than food. That was the entryway to the culture of other people, learning about their lives and countries in the most human way. He was never smug or condescending and could relate with anyone anywhere over a meal. He taught us to walk away from the tourist areas of well known places to explore the neighbourhoods where people live and work and eat. That is how you get to know another country and people.

I will never forget the hilarious episode in Sicily (or perhaps it was Naples) where he arranged to go out fishing. He donned snorkeling gear and when he was in the water dead octopi were being tossed from two boats into the water to make him think that he was fishing for them. His outrage at this stupid scam was well deserved. There were many other episodes that took me to places I had never been and some that I had visited but not seen through his eyes. I recorded his show weekly and watched it with pleasure. I am grateful for sharing his adventures vicariously.

Tony Bourdain conquered heroin and cocaine addiction and various other excesses. He made a life for himself that seemed like a charmed one from the outside. It said he was away over 200 days annually. I wonder if this constant motion was part of being bipolar. Who knows? Clearly there were demons and darkness that he could not overcome, culminating in his suicide. I ache for his daughter and his friend Eric Ripert who found him. I hope his friends and loved ones find peace and that if there is another life somewhere that he too has found peace. He would be at a dinner table having great food, wine and conversation with other interesting people who are gone.

This is so, so sad.

Topic The Trump Tariffs
Posted 11 Jun 2018 09:11

After calling tariffs against Canada a matter of national security, Trump arrived late to the G7 and left early. He really did not want to be there and did nothing to add anything positive to the proceedings. He rated his relationship with PM Trudeau a ten and then called him weak and dishonest in a tweet tirade on the plane. His minions, Kudlow and Navarro, added insult to injury accusing Trudeau of betrayal and a stab in the back (Kudlow) and saying that there is a special place in hell for Trudeau (Navarro).

This was meant to show Trump's strength before the Korea summit, but has splintered the western coalition as they opt to carry on without the US and back Trudeau over Trump. Trudeau's response was measured and understated but he did assert that Canada would not be pushed around. He made no mention of the personal insults hurled at him.

Is Trump's fragile hold on reality disintegrating? Canada is a national security threat? Insults from him and his cabinet that would be the prelude to armed attacks in any other circumstance? He doesn't realize that he is playing into Putin's hands by undermining the NATO alliance, G7 and all of the other alliances of western democracies that have kept world peace since WWII. Exactly what Putin wants to reestablish his power in the world. The Chinese will sit back and watch it all gleefully.

Trudeau and Canada have nothing to apologize for. A comment in the NYTimes this morning summarized it better than I could:

Canadians fought and died beside U.S. forces in the First and Second World Wars; they fought and died beside U.S. forces again in the U.N action in Korea. Again, in Afghanistan. Canadian diplomats bravely sheltered U.S. citizens during the Iranian hostage crises, and played an integral role in their escape from that country, using Canadian passports supplied by our government. Decades later, Canadians opened their hearts and homes to thousands of U.S. citizens whose planes landed, primarily in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, where familial and commercial bonds between the two nations have existed for generations. In short, the U.S. has not had a better ally or friend in its history. Have we benefited? Yes. But I doubt many people remain for long in relationships where there is not some measure of reciprocity. The weekend's comments, and the attitude they reveal towards Canada, are beneath contempt - all of them coming as your president heaps praise on two dictatorial thugs who rule their lands through brutality and a disdain for the rule of law. A special place in hell? Yeh - see you there, Mr. Navarro.

Topic No Collusion...
Posted 09 Jun 2018 09:38

Trump followers are willfully blind to all of this (and what has been outlined in the above post) and cry "fake news" when confronted with facts and truth. Of course they live in a world of delusion where truth is fake news and lies are alternate facts.

What is remarkable is that in all the months of the Mueller investigation there have been no leaks. We don't know anything until indictments are made public. He is proceeding methodically up the food chain to Trump and I have no doubt that some of the accused will flip and give evidence against him. Loyalty is a one-way street with Trump. No one will go to jail to save him. Even if he were to try to do an end run around the process by giving out pardons to all, that would only speak to his consciousness of guilt and bolster the charges of obstruction of justice against him.

No one is above the law. No one. Look at what happened with Watergate and Nixon. A minor politically motivated break-in ended up taking down a president. Eventually all of the threads will come together and Trump's misdeeds, self-dealing, lies and collusion with the Russians will be exposed. Maybe Putin will offer him a dacha on the Black Sea for his retirement as a thank you after he leaves office.

Topic Do you agree with Trump
Posted 08 Jun 2018 16:01

No. Trump is treating allies like enemies and enemies like allies. I wonder what is at the bottom of his sycophantic relationship to Putin. People have speculated that Trump owes Russian oligarchs hundreds of millions of dollars since more conventional banks would no longer lend him money. There are those who think that the Russians have other dirt on him or that he hero-worships Putin because Putin has unlimited power and has flattered him. Massaging Trump's ego is a way to get him on side. I guess history will reveal it all in some decades.

Allowing the Russians back into the group would undo any sanction their ouster accomplished. They have done nothing do redeem themselves and indeed have been interfering in elections in Europe, the UK and the US. A pass would indicate that they can do as they please without compunction or consequences.

Topic The Supreme Court Rulled in Favor of an Anti Gay Marriage Baker
Posted 07 Jun 2018 15:06

nearly every business has a right to turn down custom, now if a baker doesnt want to bake a cake for whatever reason, go to another baker that will.

to me, its that simple.

Simply wrong that is. Do you have any idea what civil rights legislation and human rights legislation are about? Just about every western democracy has some form of this.
You may not discriminate against individuals based on many different parameters and you may not discriminate against an entire group on similar criteria, such as ethnic group, colour, religion, and many others. What you suggest would bring back Jim Crow segregation in the US and similar odious situations in other countries.

Topic The Supreme Court Rulled in Favor of an Anti Gay Marriage Baker
Posted 06 Jun 2018 13:23

Isn't that the same kind of argument people made opposing same sex marriage: "gay people have exactly the same right to marry anyone from the opposite sex as straight people have"?

No. There is a difference in not providing a product to any customer - like pork in a halal or kosher butcher or an anti-gay cake from a baker - and not providing it to a particular customer, like the baker who would not provide the cake to the same sex couple because they purportedly offended his principles.

Topic The Supreme Court Rulled in Favor of an Anti Gay Marriage Baker
Posted 06 Jun 2018 09:33

This is what two justices (normally more liberal) said:

"Mr. Phillips made wedding cakes for opposite-sex couples but refused to do so for same-sex couples, denying same-sex couples full equality under state law; but bakers who refused to bake a cake “denigrating gay people and same-sex marriage” would not have baked such a cake for any customer — and therefore engaged in no denial of equal treatment."

Equal treatment is a core value of civil rights.

Topic Who is most likely to be subverting justice? The GOP or the Dems?
Posted 06 Jun 2018 08:34

1) Make up all kinds of crazy conspiracy theories about how corrupt the other side is.

2) Repeat the lies until the most ignorant part of the country doesn't even question them any more.

3) Get your party elected by playing to the side that believes your lies.

4) Abuse your power by citing your own lies about how the other side abused their power as precedent to excuse your own corruption.


It has been reported this morning that Trump is preparing to pardon dozens of people convicted of crimes. The pardons that he gave or announced in the past week sent political messages in that they all seemed to be related to the allegations building against him or those close to him and had connections to those he perceives as his enemies. Some had been prosecuted by James Comey or Preet Bharara, both of whom he fired. Bharara was at the Southern District of NY, where Michael Cohen is being investigated now. Some were related to political crimes, like Scooter Libby, an advisor to Bush and Cheney, who leaked information about Valerie Plame, a CIA operative, outing her. He was convicted of four counts (one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury, and one count of making false statements). He hinted he would pardon Martha Stewart who was jailed for insider trading and lying to the FBI, and was prosecuted by Comey.

He is letting people in his orbit being investigated and indicted know that he will pardon them if they don't flip and incriminate him. I wonder if this flood of dozens of pardons will be construed as obstruction of justice and/or misuse of his executive power giving grounds for impeachment.

There was one pardon that corrected an injustice, a posthumous one for Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion, who had been convicted of taking his white girlfriend across state lines in 1913. The law was meant to prevent human trafficking but was used to condemn interracial relationships and punish African-Americans.

We will have to wait and see the list of potential recipients of pardons to understand what message Trump is sending.

Topic The person above you is a high school teacher. What do they teach?
Posted 04 Jun 2018 16:18

Art - with occasional modelling for life drawing classes