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The Expansionist
Saturday, May 30, 2009
 
[Very long post, over 4,500 words, on very serious, interrelated topics.]

Canadian Blather. I received an email today that ticked me off.

To Whom it May Concern:

I am an American by birth who immigrated to Canada with my family in a time of peace. There were no ulterior reasons. I faced the immigrant experience, learned French in a Francophone university, became a Canadian Citizen, while still retaining my American Citizenship, yes it can be done. I graduated from a notable Canadian University having taken a Master's in regional Canadian History, I returned to the United States gained another university degree in education. I taught in Northern Manitoba in fly-in First Nation communities. I am by law and birth recognized as an Aboriginal person in the United States, and in turn it is ironic that many of my father's family had earlier settled in Canada just after the American Revolution. While his branch of the family remained settled in the United States. It would be a distant cousin Sir William C Van Horne who would build and act as general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railroad that helped bring about both good and bad an identity to British North America, the forerunners of the RCMP, Canadian Identity etc., my links to the American historical aspect is just as strong and entrenched. My father was in the U.S. Navy attached to the Marines and fought fascism in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War seeing action at Iwo Jima, Tinian, and Saipan. My ancestors also fought on both sides of the American Civil War which initially had been a catalyst for the creation of Canada as a sovereign nation in 1867 after the recommendations of the report of Lord Durham in 1840 after the Rebellions of Upper and Lower Canada. I can see Canada from so many different aspects. That this seems integral to take my educated view on your stand on Canada becoming part of the United States as nothing more than the destruction of the Canadian Nation.

These are the same sentiments used as an excuse by the Lawrence the Governor of the Bay Colony to expel the Acadians from their homeland. It diminishes the ideals of Trudeau's new Constitution and everything Canada has been a part of that made it uniquely Canadian. Even in 1911 from the Curling rink in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, by not-so-distant cousin Sir William C. Van Horne slammed his fist down at a local convention of the Progressive Conservative Party and state that the bill joining The United States to Canada in a state of Free Trade was unacceptable and that he would do his best to smash the deal. The man who had gained his railroad experience from his service to the Union during the American Civil War.

By giving you a background on historical factors how can you think such nonsense. What would you do with the Canadian First Nation people, further screw them over like what has occurred to the indigenous population of the United States? The removal of the Branch Plant system prior to the NAFTA gutted Canada's protected country because unlike the United States we too need jobs. Not further push and pull factors to demolish what is left of Canada's unique economy which often had to be protected because of peculiar demographic truths. What will you do with Quebec and their insistence in maintaining their language compared to the many Hispanic Americans?

Canada became a country despite so much American influence and while it was maritime money never really to be re invested in the Maritimes again built Chicago, the stockyards and the infrastructure. Mind you the Bank of Nova Scotia by the year 1910 was being run from Toronto, not Halifax as one might think. And as far as the regional development of the Atlantic provinces goes during the Free Trade debate between the two countries this region which is no doubt an extension of New England was slammed during the 1911 election as forcing the Maritimes to be a little further down the road from Maine. Mind you one of the poorest areas is in the Calais area which borders St. Stephen, New Brunswick. I would be glad to debate you on this issue as I find your opinions faulted. It would have meant that the mere idea of the American Revolution was needles. Canada because of the 1 Canadian to every 10 Americans, what is left of the protected economy and social reforms of Canada which act as a social network could not replace the benefits of joining the United States especially in these times.

Just a thought,

MVH
I replied:
Canadian Indians are NO better off than American Indians; quite the contrary, many tribes in the U.S. are profiting handily from rights to run casinos and sell cigarets without state taxes, and the sad state of many of Canada's "First Nations" people is a disgrace. The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act gave Amerinds/Eskimos (yes, we use "Eskimo" in the U.S., which is more correct for Alaskans than "Inuit"; so Alaska Eskimos call themselves "Eskimos") control over 1/9 of the total area of Alaska, a very large state:
ANCSA and related legislation produced changes in ownership of about 148,500,000 acres (601,000 km2) of land in Alaska once controlled by the Federal Government. That is larger by 6,000,000 acres (24,000 km2) than the combined areas of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
So let's cut the crap about "screwing the Indians over". Relations between Indians (including Metis) and whites in CANADA weren't always peaceful, you know; in the period before the creation of the United States there were Indian clashes even with the Dutch, my father's people, in the 1650s (which injured one of my ancestors); and the British cynically USED the Indians to attack Americans not just during the Revolutionary War but also after it in the Mississippi Valley and then again in the War of 1812 in large areas farther east, so a lot of the bad blood between Americans and Indians was the doing of the people you absolve of all guilt in all things relating to the idiotic division of this part of the American continent into two countries that should be one.
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States have wider, and greater, powers to protect and advance their local interests than have Canadian provinces. And the U.S. Federal Government has done a great deal to protect various regions' specific interests that differed from other regions' interests. States don't have to wait for Federal action either. They have the power to create compacts across state boundaries to deal with things like watersheds that affect more than one state.
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Quebec can perfectly well continue to treat French as an official language. Whether Congress would consent to admit Quebec if English is not co-official remains to be seen. But both the U.S. Federal Government and the State government in a State of Quebec would be required to provide services in English throughout Quebec, wherever there is a significant English-speaking population, just as many present States provide services in Spanish. Spanish is, for instance, on the ballot, with English, in large parts of the United States (including both States I have lived in, NJ and NY) . We don't have a problem with minorities speaking their own language, as long as they are also educated well in English. Indeed, Hispanics blazed the trail for Quebec to maintain its own language within the United States. And French is still co-official in Louisiana! after more than 200 years.
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You plainly do not understand that regional development is a huge part of what the United States is all about. Trillions of dollars have been moved from rich States to poor States, much of it from the North to the South. The Maritimes would not be neglected in the United States. Quite the contrary, that region would almost certainly profit hugely from increased investment and tourism. And as a single state, it would have far greater resources and local powers with which to promote its people's interests.
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The American Revolution was, unfortunately, indeed needed. You seem to think that the Revolution was against Canada! No, it was against tyrannical misbehavior of BRITAIN. I will remind you that Canada too had to escape British arrogance and refusal to admit representatives into the Parliament in London. Canadians are proud to speak of Canada's "Loyalist" history — when Canada too 'betrayed' the Empire. So what was needless? The American Revolution to escape the Empire? Or Canadian independence from the U.S. when it too left the Empire?
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Canada is a nice country, but totally needless. The interests of individual people in that part of the world would be much better served by participation in a United States that included Canada than in Canada alone. Canada would be RAVAGED if the United States were to decide it is tired of subsidizing Canadian independence, and so moved to seal the border against Canadian imports and deport Canadians now resident, legally or illegally, in the United States. Canada gets a free ride in NAFTA, and NAFTA underwrites Canadian independence against the United States. The U.S. benefits in NO WAY from NAFTA [as regards Canada] nor Canadian independence.
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We have heavy burdens in the world that Canada helps with in no significant way. Canada pretends to be morally high-and-mighty, but leaves us to do the actual work of trying to keep the peace, defend democratic values, advance human rights, defend women from the Taliban and other regressive forces, etc., etc., etc. Lecturing is no substitute for votes in Congress or for President. To take just one example, Darfur, Canadian posturing is meaningless. Canada can't do anything about Darfur. The United States could, but isn't acting, despite having a black President. If Canadians were genuinely concerned about the atrocities in Darfur and were in CONGRESS, they could force the President to act. Let's take another example, Rwanda. A Canadian general warned about a possible violent intertribal incident in that landlocked country thousands of miles away, but there was only one power on Earth that could have prevented the horrendous genocide he rightly foresaw. And it wasn't Canada. A Canadian general had no influence in the United States Government. On and on we see that Canada pretends to be good, but stands aside doing NOTHING, nothing but telling the United States what IT should be doing and should not be doing. No one on Earth needs that. What the world really needs is REALLY good people who ACT, not lecture. Canadians cannot act in the wide world without the United States. They could, however, have huge influence inside the United States. Would George Bush have been elected if Canada had voted in 2000? Would the U.S. have invaded Iraq if Al Gore had been President? In area after area of world affairs, the presence or absence of Canada, and thus Canadian VOTES, in Congress, for President, could have made an enormous difference. But Canada is too pure for that. No, it would much rather lecture than act.
By the way, the claim about Maritimes money building Chicago, etc., sounds very suspicious, but I was not inclined to research it. Canadians have always invested heavily in the United States, because that's where they were most likely to get a good return on investment.
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As regards the overall thrust of that writer's message, the pretense that Canada's existence somehow is a moral good, and that the preservation of Canadian independence is somehow important, is outrageous. Exactly the opposite is true. Canada could do no greater good, for its own people and the planet, than by merging into the United States and changing the political balance and thus behavior of the United States from that point onward for the rest of history.
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I cannot STAND moral posturing by Canadian nationalists, who are perhaps the most selfish and irresponsible people on Earth.
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This is the time for the United States to act on geographic expansion. Annexing Puerto Rico (and the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of a State of Puerto Rico) would at once remove the moral stain of colonialism from the United states and almost certainly give Democrats that veto-proof majority it so desperately needs in the Senate. That would also empower Dems to ABOLISH THE FILIBUSTER, as most desperately needs doing.
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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow said, after Obama's enthusiastic reception in Ottawa on his first 'foreign' trip, that if the U.S. were ever to want to annex Canada, this would be the time to act. Indeed.
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The current Era of Good Feeling toward the United States in much of the world is the time to act to welcome as many areas of the planet into our Union as we can amass, as states or parts of existing states.
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Mexico is overwhelmed by problems produced not only by its dire internal failings but also by its geographic location next to the United States, as has, for instance, produced massive lawlessness connected to the insatiable appetite for drugs of stupid, spoiled Americans who have far more dollars than sense. It's time to remedy the mistake of taking only half of Mexico after the Mexican War, and make Mexico up to 10 states of the Great American Union: total free trade, total free movement of people in both directions over the unenforceable border. Massive development in Mexico to give people the things, at home, the absence of which drives them to move thousands of miles, when most would RATHER stay home.
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The Caribbean Basin Initiative has not lifted the Caribbean to prosperity, and Central America continues to send large numbers of illegal migrants into the U.S. in search of a better life. In the 1840s, the United States had the chance to bring most or all of Central America into the Union, but passed, in part because the British Empire, our longest and worst enemy, co-opted us into leaving those nonviable ministates independent — so British economic interests could profit from trade that a U.S. external tariff barrier might end.
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The Panama Canal is too small for the world's largest ships, and should ideally be replaced by a sea-level canal thru Central America. That region is too risky for an investment of that scale, as long as it remains independent. We need to annex Central America, for the benefit of its poorest and world trade. The rich may not need annexation, but the poor do.
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Small, island territories might not have the population to be accepted as states to themselves, but they could join existing states, or merge to form a single state large enuf to warrant equality in the U.S. Senate with older states. The Bahamas, for instance, at only 309,000 people scattered over 30 islands, could plainly become part of Florida. Or it could join a new State of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico could indeed serve as core of a wider, Antillean state, to incorporate the present Dominican Republic, Haiti — without whose slave rebellion against the French, Napoleon might not have sold Lousiana to the United States — the Cayman Islands (that thorn in our side, as offshore tax haven), and that entire string of English-speaking microstates down to Trinidad and Tobago, including Nevis, birthplace of one of the Nation's greatest men, Alexander Hamilton. In due course, Cuba might join that bilingual state, tho the capital should remain in San Juan, with its well-established democratic tradition, rather than shift to Havana, with its unfortunate totalitarian history.
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Farther afield, the Amazon rainforest, a world heritage of immense importance that is now in grave distress and even mortal danger, could best be preserved by annexation of the countries among which it is divided and by which it is inadequately protected.
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The Philippines, a former U.S. colony, has not profited from its unhappy experiment in independence. The former tie should be restored, this time in statehood rather than colonialism, with three states (the natural divisions of Luzon, Mindanao, and the Visayas) to be created from that archipelago of 98 million people. Not only would that very large population provide welcome markets for U.S. goods and services, but it could also, for decades, provide us a low-cost center of manufacturing under U.S. control and inspection. We wouldn't have to send trillions of dollars to Communist China, nor risk our health to uninspected imports from that backward and untrustworthy country.
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There are many parts of the world that would benefit from annexation to the United States, and from whose annexation we would benefit as well, in win-win fashion. The website of the Expansionist Party of the United States discusses a large number of them, including another Asian island nation, Taiwan, with a well-developed manufacturing base.
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To people who say that such annexation is both impossible and undesirable, for both potential annexees and the Nation, I offer two examples: the British Empire and the European Union.
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The British Empire stitched together a host of trading posts into a huge and economically dynamic entity. It fathered the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand from old-line settlement colonies, and imparted the English language, some democratic values, and education in free-market economics to areas that took less of the British example than did the settlement colonies, in a wide range of present-day countries, from the Indian subcontinent to much of Africa, to physical and cultural islands on the American continent. The U.S. should have fallen heir to that "Commonwealth" and drawn it together into a superdynamic single federal Union by means of that brilliant combination of self-government and shared national sovereignty that started with 13 states on the East Coast of central North America, then extended organically to the West Coast of North America, the northwest corner or North America, and 2,400 miles out into the Pacific Ocean. The "Mother Country" of the original 13 colonies (Britain and, early on, Ireland) should as well have joined the Union, in that many of the major ideas of the Revolution were British in origin.
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The British Empire fell apart because Britain refused to convert it into a federal union, and refused to admit representatives from the colonies into the central Parliament to govern the whole of the empire, including the home islands. That is a mistake the United States did not make. Rather, we converted our internal empire into a Union by accepting representatives from all areas once they were organized into states on a basis of equality, new states with old. It is that pattern that is infinitely expandable.
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The other example I offer, the European Union, started as a few timid steps to build inter-country economic ties to smooth over past animosities, as had resulted not so long before the European Coal & Steel Community was founded as the first such move, in the worst war in history. The aim was to prevent there ever being a general European war again, by making the different countries dependent upon each other's wellbeing for their own. That six-nation group metamorphosed into the present 27-nation European Union (which many people suspect its key leaders wish to make into a "United States of Europe").
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The EU has a present population of almost exactly 500 million. The present U.S., 307 million. With Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (4M) ,Mexico (111M), Canada (33M), and the Philippines (98M), the U.S. would have 553 million people, only 53 million more than the EU at its present size. But the EU keeps expanding. Among present candidates for membership, wholly within Europe, there are another 24.5 million people. And if Turkey, only a small part of which is in Europe, is admitted, that would add another 76.8M, for a total of over 600 million. (There are still parts of Europe that are not (yet) part of the EU, such as the Ukraine and Belarus on the east, and Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway, that have, together, another 68 million people.) So we are not talking about unprecedented numbers in speaking of an enlarged United States with 553 million people.
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Consider, that the first census showed the U.S. population to be 3.9 million, so we have, over our history, increased in population by 7,781%. 553M would be an increase of only 80%. I think we can handle that.
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Altho the U.S. is, at its current size, the third most populous country on Earth, India has 1.2 BILLION people, and China, 1.3 BILLION. India's population is growing at a rate of 1.548%; China's by 0.655%; the United States', by 0.975%. Were it not for immigration, the U.S. would actually be losing population.
Immigration is now what keeps America growing. According to the UN the typical American woman today bears 1.93 children. That is below the 2.1 "replacement" rate required to keep a population stable over time, absent immigration. The Census Bureau estimates the US population will grow from 281 million in 2000 to 397 mil in 2050 with expected immigration, but only to 328 mil with zero immigration. "If we have zero immigration with today's low birthrates the American population would eventually begin to shrink."
By contrast, Mexico's population is increasing at a rate of 1.13%, without immigration, indeed, despite EMigration. The Philippines', at 1.957% . (All these figures other than proportion of U.S. increase from immigration are from the CIA World Factbook.)
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Even without geographic enlargement, the United States is projected to grow hugely by 2050:
New figures released by the Pew Research Center, a US-based, non-partisan think thank, show that the population of the United States will rise to 438 million by 2050 from the current 296 million estimated in 2005. 82 percent of the increase will be due to immigrants arriving from 2005 to 2050 and their US-born descendants.
That projection differs from the 397M in the Wikipedia passage above, but the very next paragraph in that same Wikipedia article speaks to the Pew projection:
A new report from the Pew Research Center projects that by 2050, non-Hispanic whites will account for 47% of the population, down from the 2005 figure of 67%. Non-Hispanic whites made up 85% of the population in 1960. It foresees the Hispanic population rising from 14% in 2005 to 29% by 2050. The Asian population is expected to more than triple by 2050. Overall, the population of the United States is due to rise from 296 million in 2005 to 438 million, with 82% of the increase coming from immigrants.
The Census Bureau's own website shows a projection of about 420M by 2050.
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China's population in 2050 is projected by one source to be 1.484 billion. India's is expected to be even greater:
India would have surpassed China's population by 2050, the two countries accounting for about 50 per cent of the world's population, the United Nations has projected in its 2004 Revision of the World Population Prospects released [February 25th, 2005]. India's population will swell to 1.592 billion in 2050, while China's will be contained at 1.392 billion.
The United States is expected to increase in population by 131 million, to perhaps 438 million in 2050; China's is expected to grow by at least 92 million and India's by 392 million. If China's population becomes 1.484 billion, it will have 3.4 TIMES as many people as the U.S. If China grows to 'only' 1.392 billion, it will still have over three times as many people as we. If India grows to 1.592 billion, it will have over 3.6 times as many people as we. And these figures are based on the higher estimate of U.S. population, 438M, not the lower, 420M, nor the lowest, 397M. If the U.S. population grows to only 397M, China would have 3.5 times as many people as we, and India, over 4 times. China today has 4.35 times as many people as the United States, but the great preponderance are still very poor. 40 years of economic growth should change that, and make China much more of a challenge.
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China and India are not the only countries whose projected populations should cause us concern. A story in Britain's Guardian newspaper from August 18, 2004 says:
Africa and Asia will inevitably be transformed. Western Asian nations are expected to gain about 186 million people by 2050 and sub-Saharan African countries more than one billion people....

How some countries will cope with the changes is debatable. Bangladesh, one of the poorest, most crowded and disaster-prone countries, may have doubled numbers to more than 280 million.

Overall, ... world population is growing by about 70 million people a year, and will likely reach 9.3 billion by mid-century from 6.3 billion today.
If these numbers have not themselves brought home this realization, let me stress that the United States is falling behind other areas of the world both as to population and potential power. We are already too small for our burdens abroad, and some people claim that we cannot, today, adequately respond to any further international crisis because our military is stretched too thin with the Iraq and Afghan wars. The world isn't getting any safer, more democratic, or more prosperous overall. Misery produces desperate measures, including violent measures. Some of those measures are undertaken by individuals or small groups, such as Somali pirates or the warlords that have taken much of Somalia out of the control of the central government and laid the groundwork for massive piracy.
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Communist China has aspirations to force the United States out of Asia, even to replace it as the world's dominant power — and U.S. trade deficits are providing it with the money for that rise to superpowerdom. I have mentioned, most comprehensively on September 21st, 2005 and most recently on February 28th of this year that China is constantly probing weaknesses in U.S. computer systems. Finally, yesterday, a U.S. President spoke out formally, albeit without naming China specifically, about the need to work on cybersecurity. News coverage of the issue yesterday was extremely cowardly in naming China, and interviewers had to drag the word "China" out of experts, as the main menace in this whole area. Even then, they had to mention "Russia" in the same utterance, even tho Russia's cyberattacks were, last I knew, not remotely of the scale of China's.
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In any case, for the United States to have even a chance of keeping ahead of its challenges, it will have to be bigger and have more resources, both human and natural. Staying at our current size is a virtual guarantee that we will be carried along, buffeted, and seriously adversely affected by horrible events, not ride above them nor prevent them from happening in the first place.
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The United States at its current size is like a bonsai tree. It needs to be a sequoia.
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(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,304 — for Israel.)



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