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About SpankyMcFarland

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  1. Ethnic-cultural distinctiveness and political independence frequently do not go together e.g. Basques, Catalans, Kurds, Scots, Welsh and Canada’s First Nations. Any group of people that tends to marry each other becomes distinct. I would regard it as self-evident that Lebanese and Jordanians, for example, are different, let alone Egyptians who are obviously distinct from both in many physical and cultural ways. Even in English, one can hear the difference between the pronunciation of a Lebanese and Egyptian speaker. Lebanon’s history has been as a trading nation and this is reflected in the achievements of its diaspora that includes one of the richest men in the world, Mexican entrepreneur Carlos Slim. This story is repeated many times, particularly in the Americas, the Middle East and West Africa. In this sense, Lebanon and Jordan, carved out of the Ottaman Empire in a hurried and arbitrary fashion, have distinct identities. I would put the Palestinians in an intermediate category, distinct from indigenous Jordanians. Countries are artificial constructs. Their current, temporary form is a product of historical accidents. Without the fortunate events of the Revolutionary and 1812 wars, and possibly the American Civil War, no Canada.
  2. And I would respectfully suggest you meant respectively.
  3. Let nations define themselves. Somebody could just as easily say that Canada is a makey-up country.
  4. So can I buy a piece of Israel tomorrow and make it my country?
  5. The air doesn’t know our borders.
  6. Chiefs of State & Heads of Government

    At the moment the PM takes some advice before making the decision. All I'm suggesting is a wider trawl for opinions. Would a non-binding plebiscite require constitutional change? Perhaps. Other countries have ceremonial Presidents elected by popular vote who hail from various parties. The thing is that if your legitimacy comes from a vote you are less likely to be intimidated by a PM than if they picked you themselves.
  7. A Liberal Cabinet Minister gets Metoo'd

    The pendulum will probably swing too far before it comes back again. I would prefer to focus on seriously inappropriate actions that have been verified to at least some extent rather than casual comments or we'll end up with much smaller political parties. For starters, middle aged politicians should not be socializing with young females, especially anybody working with them, and unwanted advances from such geezers should not happen. That's not an unreasonable expectation for any family whose twenty-something daughter is working on The Hill.
  8. Chiefs of State & Heads of Government

    Effectively, the PM picks the GG after consultations. I would like to see the GG elected by popular vote through some mechanism. The GG should be mainly a ceremonial post. When governments lose budget votes, things can get complicated.
  9. A Liberal Cabinet Minister gets Metoo'd

    In this regard, a politician’s behaviour can no longer be barely legal. We are entitled to expect more than that. His conduct fell below the standard required.
  10. A Liberal Cabinet Minister gets Metoo'd

    The case against Dykstra does look pretty bad.
  11. A Liberal Cabinet Minister gets Metoo'd

    This storm is just beginning. Michelle Rempel is on the warpath: https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/01/30/news/disgusting-disturbing-tories-denounce-own-inaction-sexual-misconduct Glad I’m not in that line of work.
  12. The episode is troubling, though. We can only hope the journalists have done their homework and these claims have a strong basis in fact. In future, clearer criteria will be needed to protect public figures from false accusations.
  13. The first accusation is damning, if true. His press conference was also minimalist and had the air of guilt about it. Lisa Raitt would be a strong candidate.
  14. Doctors and opioids, a troublesome connection.

    Great article in the New Yorker about the secretive family which owns Purdue Pharma and Mundipharma: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/30/the-family-that-built-an-empire-of-pain And one from Esquire: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a12775932/sackler-family-oxycontin From the beginning, Purdue knew that OxyContin was being widely abused by patients but covered this up and misled physicians about the risks. Medical experts and regulators were brought onside and used to convince skeptical practitioners that this time was different, that a safe opioid had actually been found, unlike all the others in over two thousand years of use, which could be given for a much wider range of painful conditions. Not surprisingly, a tsunami of addiction and death has followed, and then the lawsuits. Purdue has fought them vigorously, and has managed to settle these cases, thus avoiding trials which would involve the disclosure of potentially outrageous documents. Now that the jig is up in North America, the Sackler clan’s employees in Mundipharma are looking to pastures new across the world where they are plying the old lines just as shamelessly.
  15. America under President Trump

    Here's the report. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/1/17/16900878/trump-physical-2018-white-house-height-weight-ronny-jackson I'd like to know exactly how well he did on the treadmill e.g. what max speed and incline he managed, what protocol they were using and how long he lasted on it.