Monday, February 18, 2013

Exceptionalism vs. anti-Americanism

This article in the Guardian shows a couple of tweets from a transplanted Brit, a Charles C.W. Cooke, who responds (links in the update section). It appears to me that they were both expanding each other's positions ad absurdum, but such is currently the relationship between certain groups in the United States, and the rest of the world.

While there was an excessive amount of anti-Americanism in the world, and an excessive amount of American exceptionalism during and after the Cold War, there are people on both sides of 'the pond' who are thin-skinned and do not need to be. The rest of the world may seem overly sensitive to the U.S. throwing her weight around, and 'Tea Partiers' and their sympathizers are increasingly hypersensitive to anyone or anything from outside trying to 'tell us what to do'.

What I would tell both sides is this. The United States of America is not an all-powerful monolith, their invasion of Iraq proved that. They cannot afford to use force like that again, and will not be able to afford it in the near future (not to say the won't if sufficiently provoked). Americans are going to have to learn to work with the rest of the world, not through it. They will have to acknowledge that international law exists and they are subject to it, perhaps to a lesser extent than most countries, but subject to it nonetheless.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


I received a call at home from Paul's mother last Saturday, telling me that he won a gold medal at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea. There is a brief write-up in the local newspaper that Paul beat out an Austrian and an American in the Men's Figure Skating Singles Level 3 category. It is hard to find much information about it online, I guess that this sort of thing does not make it far in the mainstream media, even locally. But in my admittedly biased opinion, it should.

They have just arrived back in Vancouver today, and Paul and Mary Ann should be arriving back here in Halifax tomorrow. I would like to say on behalf of myself, and anyone who would care to join me, heart felt congratulations to both Paul Jocys and Mary Ann Crowley. You have done great, and made us all proud, particularly those of us who know you.