Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mr. Perry We Are A Foreign Country

With thanks to a friend who wrote about this on her blog We Move To Canada. "Does Mr. Perry Know Something We Don't Know?"

Presidential candidate Rick Perry, speaking in Iowa on Tuesday, made the following comment.

Every barrel of oil that comes out of those sands in Canada is a barrel of oil that we don’t have to buy from a foreign source,” Mr. Perry said earning a loud round of enthusiastic applause.

Later, the audience reacted again to Mr. Perry's assertion that buying so much energy from foreign countries is "not good policy, it's not good politics, and frankly it's un-American."

Ok, so.... Does Mr. Perry not realize that Canada is a foreign source?

The second comment regarding it being “un-American” to purchase oil from foreign countries confirms that he truly believes that Canada is not a foreign country.

Mr. Perry also said that within 1 year of his election he is going to “seal the border”. Mr. Perry, there are two borders, but since you believe that Canada is not a foreign country, I’m sure you only meant the border with the US and Mexico. Go ahead and seal the border if you like, but there will be no more foreign oil coming from Canada.

Is it just me, or do other people find the Republicans ignorant and frightening?

Mr. Perry, I guess that geography is not your strong point, but a Presidential candidate should be aware of the world outside your own country’s borders.

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Official. My Children Are Anchor Babies.

The first new edition of the American Heritage Dictionary in 10 years contained 10,000 new words. The term “anchor baby” is included. The original definition did not include any indication that the phrase is a slur and offensive, as it does for other words. (The online edition only has just been changed to note that the phrase is offensive, but did not change the definition).

The current definition the dictionary gives for anchor baby is:

“A child born to a non-citizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship."

A more appropriate definition would be:

"Slang, a pejorative description of a child born in the United States to parents who are both without legal status", implying that the parents intend to leverage the child’s citizenship to “anchor” their own presence in the U.S.”

I have 2 issues with the current definition.

1. "Non-citizen mother" includes all non-citizen mothers, whether in the US legally or not, and ignores the citizenship of the father.

2. "in a country" means all countries use the term anchor baby. The phrase anchor baby is not used much outside the U.S.

When my children were born I was not yet eligible for US citizenship, but I was a legal immigrant with a green card. So my children were born to a non-citizen mother. Therefore, according to the definition in the dictionary, my children are anchor babies. Their father is a US citizen, but again no mention is made in this definition of the nationality of the father.

Several bills have been introduced from time to time in Congress which seek to nullify the US citizenship of “anchor babies”. Unsure whether these bills would survive legal challenges, some legislators have proposed a change to the Constitution to deny and/or retroactively strip “anchor babies” of US citizenship. It all comes down to semantics. If a definition in the dictionary uses “non-citizen” mother, instead of “parents without legal status”, it’s likely future legislation will mirror the definition in the dictionary.

As a result, my childrens' US citizenship status is now at risk.

I believe that all children born in the US, or any country, should be granted citizenship as a birthright, regardless of the immigration status of the parents. The immigration system in the US is inhumane and does not work, but this is not an effective way to fix it. Having said that, this post is about my viewpoint as a legal immigrant living in the US.

The problem I had living in the US was that the anti-immigrant hysteria in the States caused “legal immigrants” to be penalized simply because they are not US citizens.

There is no sense of security living in a country where the basic rules are subject to change. Are my children going to be stripped retroactively of their US citizenship? My US driving licence was suspended in Florida,(read more here) and I was left without a licence for 30 days, simply because the clerk didn't understand my green card was proof that I was living in the country legally.

The DMV clerk who revoked my driving licence was like most Americans who do not understand the difference between "legal" immigrant and "illegal" immigrant and believe "non-citizen" means they are in the country illegally.

Vivek Wadhwa of Duke University said that skilled immigrants are leaving the US.

If immigrants feel unsafe living in the US they will return to their home countries, and it will be America’s loss.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

65 tons of snow trucked in to Florida park

In Canada when we get a lot of snow sometimes we truck it out of the neighbourhood.

In this park in Tampa Bay Florida 65 tons of snow is trucked in for their annual "Snowfest".

This is very popular with Floridian kids and there are long lines to try it.

Most Floridian kids have never seen a snowfall, so this "snowfall" gives them a chance to experience it for a few hours until it melts in the heat.

Winter in Florida is just, different!

My Florida born kids love snow.

Unlike kids raised in Ontario, most kids growing up in Florida have never seen a snowfall and are fascinated with it.

We have had a couple of light snow flurries during the last couple of weeks.

Last night we had the first real snowfall that stayed on the ground. It's a wet, heavy snow. The temperature is hovering around freezing, so it's destined to melt before too long.

For now, we're just enjoying it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cleanup At Centre Ice

Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto.

Maple Leaf Gardens is much loved by Torontonians. The art deco building was home to the Toronto Maple Leafs until 1999, when they relocated to the larger Air Canada Centre. Maple Leaf Gardens has often been referred to as a “shrine to hockey”. I’m not even a big hockey fan, but I attended a few games there as a child, as did my father when he was a child, and even I have a fond attachment to the building.

Maple Leaf Gardens has an amazing history. Built in the depression era funded by selling shares to Torontonians, the building was constructed in just 5 months and 2 weeks.

Since 1999 the building was stood vacant with an uncertain future.

Yesterday Loblaws opened a supermarket there. This may sound an unlikely use for such a building, but the supermarket has been tastefully done and Loblaws has done much to preserve the history of Maple Leaf Gardens. Centre ice is now located on aisle 25 and is marked by a large red dot. While the old rink may be gone, Ryerson University is building a new rink on the top floor.

It may seen strange to see such an iconic sports arena turned into a supermarket, but if it saves the building from being demolished then it is worth it.