Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Give him a donut and tell him to chill!

Are you as sick of this spectacle of sedition south of the border as I am? The interesting thing is, though I am loathe to admit it, Ted Cruz is a Canadian. He was born in Canada of a Cuban father and a mother who was born in Delaware. Cruz has thus far released only his Canadian birth certificate, which confirms that he was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1970, and additionally states that his mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware. The second part is crucial – Cruz’s only claim to U.S. citizenship is through his mother – but it is also hearsay. The birth certificate is primary evidence of Cruz’s own birth, but the entry about his mother merely records her assertion to the Alberta Division of Vital Statistics. Even though I don’t personally dispute what he says, “My mother said so,” is not what is usually meant by “proof.”

How, then, can Ted Cruz prove his U.S. citizenship? The only sure-fire evidence, would be his mother’s birth certificate, presumably issued when she was born in Delaware. But even that presents a problem. Only one of Ted’s parents was a US citizen when he was born (his father is a Cuban émigré who did not become a U.S. citizen until 2005), and he therefore falls under a special section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that applies to “Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent.” Under that provision, Cruz only qualifies for American citizenship if his mother was “physically present” in the United States for 10 years prior to his birth, five of which had to be after she reached the age of 14. The only definitive way to prove Eleanor Cruz’s 10 years of physical presence would be with documents such as leases, school registration, utility bills or tax records.

So here you go America, your least likely enemy is leading the charge to take you down.  Canucks are not a warlike people, but arm us with a hockey stick and an unlimited supply of latte and donuts from Tim Horton's and Washington DC could easily be in our sights. But you can relax. Cruz and his Foamers-at-the-Mouth party wouldn't last five minutes here. If they tried to enter Canadian politics we'd run the lot of them out of town. Of course there's not much danger of them trying to get into Canadian politics. First thing they'd have to do is turn in their handguns, get a background check, take a safety course and get a license for their long guns, but just look what they'd get in return!

Several of the world's top rated cities to live in are in Canada; Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. They'd have Universal Health Care, face 95% less violence in the streets, be able to marry their gay partner (if that's their thing), be underpinned by a reasonably robust social system and there's always Lake Louise! They'd learn Canadians say "I'm sorry" when we don't actually need to, but it's a phrase that serves as social lubricant and it's far less dangerous than exchanging gunfire. They'd also learn we live in peace and harmony with our neighbours, despite the fact that they may be from almost anywhere in the world and may be a different colour, religion, and speak a different language.

A Hindu family lives in two of the units on our floor. The grandparents live with a granddaughter just around the corner, their daughter, her husband and their teenaged daughter live just down the hall.  Last week another neighbour came to my door, and I had e-mail from several others, all upset that the doorway of the Hindu couple had been defaced with Nazi graffiti overnight. One sent a photo. Some were so upset they wanted me to call the police and report it as a hate crime.

On the top doorjamb was a small statue of the Hindu God Ganesh flanked by a pair of good fortune swastiks and a Hindu blessing, written in red ink.  Knowing that grandmother and grandfather had just celebrated their 60th anniversary days before I suspected it was a part of the celebration.  So I went down and talked to them, and as expected, that was precisely what it was. I explained how their neighbours had misinterpreted the swastiks and they said they would remove them immediately. It was good, people were upset that anyone would do such a thing. And even though there had been a misunderstanding of the sign, they felt good that their neighbours felt protective of them.

I'm not naive enough to believe that all Canadians are free of prejudice, but as a nation we certainly wouldn't tolerate a politician, or a political campaign, built on racism, hatred and fear.  Ted better find his proof of American citizenship because he wouldn't last five minutes in Canadian politics.

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