Thursday, July 1, 2010

Canada Day in Cleveland


Happy Canada Day from a proud Canadian. Today is our country's 143rd birthday and for the first time in my life I am spending it outside our borders. I am here in Cleveland enjoying myself, but my heart is and always will be in the Land of the Maple Leaf.

In 1775, Samuel Johnson famously described patriotism the last refuge of a scoundrel. Johnson never put those words into context, but I would like to do so. I would amend Johnson's statement. I would say that unbridled or excessive patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. By that, I mean the "my country right or wrong" brand of patriotism. That type of patriotism leads to warmongering and jingoism. As far as I am concerned, true patriotism is not jingoism. That is the mentality of the Archie Bunkers of this world.

As much as I love Canada, I do not think it is perfect. I do not think it is above criticism and that it has no blemishes on its record. No country can live up to that standard. That is why I firmly believe it is the act of a patriot to speak up when one is of the conviction that one's courtry or government is wrong.

In an imperfect world, Canada is a beacon of hope. My wish on this Canada Day is for Canada to live up to its promise and its potential.


It's a beautiful sunny day here on the shores of Lake Erie. We went to the baseball game at Progressive Field and the Jays lost by a score of 6-1. They were swept by Cleveland and they did not even hit one home run in the series. What a tale of woe! They have now lost five games in a row and their record is a mediocre 40-40 - that's .500 baseball and it's not good enough.

There is a big movement here to keep Ohio-born LeBron James in Cleveland. People are standing on street corners carrying signs and wearing black t-shirts reading "home" and "family" etc. They really want King James to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers. At the ballpark today. fans were chanting, "Stay LeBron." Alas, I do not think they will succeed in keeping him anymore than the Raptors will succeed in keeping Chris Bosh.

There were more Jays fans at the ballpark today. The attendance today was the highest in the 4-game series - about 16,800.

- Joanne