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Canadian Government Weary of Patriot Act 1238

Posted by samzenpus
from the stop-reading-my-mail-eh dept.
IllogicalStudent writes "An article on canoe discusses how the Canadian government is moving to counter worries surrounding Canadian citizens' privacy being compromised by the United States' Patriot act. Apparently the FBI currently has the right, through Patriot, to search documents which may contain Canadian information sent to US firms carrying out work under contract. Thankfully, privacy still means something up here."
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Canadian Government Weary of Patriot Act

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  • Just goes to show (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alexwcovington (855979) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:02AM (#11560532) Journal
    When you get paranoid, your friends suffer more than your enemies...
    • by MarkRose (820682)
      I don't see how this applies here. First, the US wasn't being paranoid when they implemented the USA Patriot act -- it was simply a police-state power grab.

      Canada, on the other hand, has every right to be concerned. Perhaps our "paranoia" will bring more attention to the issue in the us, helping our friends to the south out.
      • by alexwcovington (855979) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:11AM (#11560572) Journal
        The Patriot Act was the result of Paranoia... Of people willing to endorse anything if it was security-related. I would still like to count Canada as a US friend, even if half the politicians down here call it "Canuckistan"...
        • by Anonymous Coward
          as opposed to the post election dumbfuckistan?
          http://shotgun.shacknet.nu:81/mapofnewamerica.gif
          • by nounderscores (246517) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @07:17AM (#11560817)
            Here's the thing,
            I didn't vote for you.
            It was cool cause I didn't want to.
            Yeah, yeah. Since u been gone.
            Inaugurated, sat in the oval room.
            Wasn't long before the dot-com boom.
            Yeah, yeah. Since u been gone.
            And all you'd ever hear me say
            Is "Don't globalize our jobs!"
            That's all you'd ever hear me say.

            BUT SINCE U BEEN GONE....
            We've got this insane cowboy.
            I visit MoveOn-Dot-Com
            After you - rednecks get - what they want
            Since u been gone

            How can I put it, I was afraid of you.
            I even was afraid of Janet Reno.
            Yeah, yeah. Since u been gone.
            How come I never hear you say
            "We'll have a smaller government"
            I guess you never felt that way.

            BUT SINCE U BEEN GONE....
            Hi-Cap mags are back in our schools
            Torture isn't wrong. Yeah, yeah.
            After you - the whole world - hates our guts.
            Since u been gone.

            You had your chance, you blew it
            Out of sight out of mind.
            Shut your fly, I just can't take it
            Again and again and again and again

            SINCE U BEEN GONE.... (Since u been gone....)
            Eternal war against terror.
            Little Green Footballs is popular.
            After you (After you)
            Our dollar - took a plunge.
            I'd vote for your wife if I could.
            But not John Kerry, he's a douche bag.
            After you (After you)
            Now you know (you know)
            You should know( you should know) Red China,
            The Chinese own our ass.

            Since u been gone
            Since u been gone
            Since u been gone

            Big apologies to Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" [letssingit.com]
            • Re:Tell me about it. (Score:5, Interesting)

              by operagost (62405) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @10:01AM (#11562056) Homepage Journal
              Wow -- look at your idiocy on display for the entire internet to see. "Hi-cap mags are back in our schools?" Are you serious? Columbine happened while Clinton and his "assault weapon ban" was in effect. They killed quite well with 10-round magazines. What's happened since then? Any full-auto school slaughters? Oh yeah, in Beslan, Russia -- by terrorists.

              Shoot, I'm still afraid of Janet Reno.

              • Columbine happened while Clinton and his "assault weapon ban" was in effect. They killed quite well with 10-round magazines. What's happened since then? Any full-auto school slaughters?

                In the weeks after columbine, a Canadian tried to do copy-cat killing spree. But being Canadian, and apparently an idiot, he didn't have access to firearms, and he tried it with a knife. Result: 6 (IIRC) injured, including the idiot himself, no one killed. Why? Because it's a lot harder to kill someone with a knife than a g
    • Re:Just goes to show (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SenseiLeNoir (699164) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @08:37AM (#11561270)
      Something us brits are learning the hard way. I wish the British government had the same sort of backbone as the Canadian goverment.

      The Canadians have a lot to loose if any tension occurs between them and the US, far more than the British, yet they have been able to stand their ground well, whilst still maintaining the level of co-operation with the US, unlike our "sell out" government of Teflon Tony, who seems to totally ignore the British public.

      And aside point, initially the British public didnt exactly say NO to the invasion of IRAQ, just that we were concerned about HOW it was going to be done. When our voices were not being heard, thats when many people decided to do towards the anti war message, in order to poke our government into action.
  • by Timesprout (579035) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:02AM (#11560536)
    We can expect to see a massive farting extravaganza as Terence and Philip sort out the US?
  • s/Weary/Wary/ (Score:2, Insightful)

    by franl (50139)
    'nuf said.
    • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:15AM (#11560591) Homepage Journal
      I crossed from the US to Canada once, (I'm a Brit) and the toughest question the Canadian authorities (represented by a young female border guard) asked me was "Do you know you have the loveliest accent?"

      Canadians rule.
      • Re:s/Weary/Wary/ (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SenseiLeNoir (699164) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:30AM (#11560641)
        Seconded...

        I am also a brit, and the one thing i really love about Canada is the way it merged the Best of Britain, America and Europe into a country.

        It is certainly intresting how Canada is more socialist than even Britain sometimes, and its a good thing, when you also see how its run, and the kind nature of the people.

        I am not dissing Americans either, American citizens are really nice too. But I see the attitudes of the people not nessasarily reflected in aspects of the administrative procedures, which really can ruin a hoilday by a tourist.
        • by j0e_average (611151) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @07:53AM (#11560994)
          Are you kidding? Canada had the opportunity to get the best of three countries...the technology of the US, the culture of the British, and the cuisine of the French.

          Instead, they ended up with the culture of the US, the cuisine of the British, and the technology of the French!
      • Border guards (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jimhill (7277) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:42AM (#11560684) Homepage
        One time I zipped up into Canada on a day trip. Going in, the Canadian border guards wanted to know if I had any firearms or ammunition. Coming back, the US border guards wanted to know if I had any fruits or vegetables. That says a lot (hey, two words!) about our two countries.
  • Weary or wary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by illtron (722358) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:06AM (#11560549) Homepage Journal
    So are they weary or wary? A little copy editing goes a long way, you know.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:07AM (#11560551)
    Do Canadians get fingerprinted and photographed at the border like all us other foreign criminals?


    I wonder how many terrorists this amazingly intrusive and expensive system has actually caught.

    • Not yet, but foreign nationals and dual citizens living in Canada have to get tagged at the crossing. The way Dubya acts, I'm surprised they haven't broken out the chickenwire yet like they did on the Mexican border.
    • by DarkBlack (5773) <.darkblack. .at. .miscreation.net.> on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:15AM (#11560593) Homepage
      No one will ever know. All that has to be reported is the number of times they have requested and the number of times it was granted.

      At least before they had to have some sort of probable cause, now all they need is one word - terrorism.

      It's interesting because I got a big long winded letter from one of my senators explaining why he voted to erode my rights, and that he didn't think that the act eroded constitutional rights. I guess he missed that part about probable cause in amendment IV of the Bill of Rights. Go figure.

      For your information, this was Senator John Warner from Virginia.
    • by brettlbecker (596407) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:23AM (#11560619) Homepage
      Don't think for a minute that the PATRIOT act is about actually catching criminals. Of course, in order to catch a criminal, an actual law has to be broken first, and this act sorta just steps to the side of that little point...

      But that's not the issue. The PATRIOT act is simply a control-through-fear technique. Keep the masses in fear of 1) an outside power - the terrorists 2) the structure designed to remove 1) - the law ... mix together and you have a cycle of fear-relief-fear-relief ad infinitum. Oh, and it helps to have such a compliant media, and it REALLY helps to have such a heavily sedated public. And as a bonus, the government can basically collect any information it wants about any member of the public. Just for future... consideration. It really is Orwell-worthy... if only he could see it actually come to fruition.

      Oh, and about the numbers of criminals that have been caught under this law? I dunno, but the number of convictions as far as terrorism goes is exactly ZERO. Nice job there, Ashcroft!

      B
      • by sgant (178166) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:51AM (#11560717) Homepage Journal
        Exactly. It's a world of fear....not just a nation.

        We were better off when we had the Soviets and Communism to fear. Back then, the media was pretty much under control and not the fear-spewing idiots they are now. But after the fall of the Soviet Union, there was nothing really to fear for a short while....the politicians didn't have anyone to rally against, the media didn't have fear-laden headlines to sell commercials and papers.

        It's a fiasco now...with terrorists behind every tree, global warming melting the entire Earth, liberal media vs. conservative media....dogs & cats living together: MASS HYSTERIA!
        • by TGK (262438) <Killfile@NoSpaM.Nephandus.Com> on Thursday February 03, 2005 @07:52AM (#11560988) Homepage Journal
          Nice with the Ghostbusters ref, though I doubt many people got it.

          You're 100% right, for a number of reasons. First off, our security was threatened a great deal more by the Soviet Union than by international terrorism.

          There are reports (which I've cited on /. before, but I'm too lazy to find right now, go find them yourself if you care) that the Soviets had gone so far as to install a small low yeild warhead in the basement of their embasy in DC so as to pull off a decpitation strike if things ever got really bad. I belive this was during the Nixon Administration.

          The World Trade Center sucked, and so does the so called war on terror, but the casualties of the cold war are staggering by comparison.

          Vietnam: 58,000 Dead
          Korea: 33,000 Dead
          WOMD Pointed At Us: 55,000

          Compare to the War on Terror where casualties have been measued in the thousands and there remain no WMD pointed at us.

          The Bush appologists will tell you this is because of the superior quality of the US military in this war, and the continued dominance of the US as a the last remaining superpower.

          They might be right on that second point. Just as the school bully generaly fairs better picking on a 1st grader than a HS Senior, so also will the US fair better picking on Iraq or Afghanistan than China or Russia.

          We're blowing this out of proportion. Terrorism is a threat, yes, but a threat to be compared to other fiarly innocuous problems throughout American History. Terrorism is like the 21st century's version of the 19th Century's Mexican War.

          Weapons of Mass destruction are still terrifying, but as long as a superweapon can be smuggled into our cities in the bloodstream of a legaly documented traveler... what can we possibly do? It's time calm down, get our wits about us, and face the world.

          Unfortunately, we've just elected a witless redneck to another four years of marioneting by Dick Cheney, Dark Lord of the Sith.

          Is there any room up in Canukistan?

          • by strider44 (650833) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @08:00AM (#11561035)
            Compare to the War on Terror where casualties have been measued in the thousands

            That is misleading and/or incorrect. The correct statement is: Compare to the War on Terror where American casualties have been measued in the thousands
      • by Skater (41976) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @07:38AM (#11560908) Homepage Journal
        Ashcroft? Remember, both Democrats and Republicans voted for this act.
      • Not 100% bad (Score:3, Informative)

        by ari_j (90255)
        Do you know what the Patriot Act covers? It has provisions that are clearly unconstitutional, and some of which have been ruled as such by the Courts of Appeals already.

        But it also has provisions which are designed to catch money launderers, and do a reasonably good job of it. I know you haven't considered actually reading the law to find out what it actually does, because that would interfere with your fantasy of America being the most intrusive government in the world, but you really should take a lo
    • Other than what is granted by the host country. What is wrong with a country wanting to track foreign nationals inside their border? When does your personal rights exceed that of a country you do not even hold citizenship in?

      In other words, does your selfishness override the rights of the country in question to do what it can to protect its citizens and police its borders?

      As someone else mentioned, your not forced to come here.

      Along your line of reasoning why should I have to declare anything to foreig
      • by statistically dead (799464) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:51AM (#11560715)
        The problem with the PATRIOT act is that the US is using it to force other countries to supply data on individuals that don't even travel to the US - The EU has been pressured into granting Paseenger Flight Data be given to the US for flights in EU airspace (that don't even go to the US). The US government is demanding biometric passports from other countries because US officials are too lazy or don't want to spend money on granting visas. The fact is that the US is forcing the effects of the PATRIOT act indiscriminately onto non-US citizens that don't even visit the US
      • Then close the border, or do you want the tourist dollar? And yes my prsonal rights do (or should) exceed those of a 'country', not a citizen of that coutry, but the country itself. This is xenophobia, pure and simple, it's the assumption that a foreign national is a more of a threat than a citizen, go tell Timothy McVey.
      • by nbert (785663) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @07:22AM (#11560832) Homepage Journal
        Fair enough, a sovereign country can do almost anything within its borders. However, I believe that it's nevertheless valid to complain about unreasonable treatment of visitors.

        For example back in the mid 90's I had to declare that I'm not planning any attacks on the White House when I visited the US (coming from Europe). There surely was no harm done to me, but seriously, how childish can it get?
    • by bug (8519) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:46AM (#11560697)
      Let's get some perspective on this. Other countries are not exactly the bastion of privacy that they are made out to be on Slashdot. It is common in Europe that you need to present identification when checking into a hotel. For foreigners, they usually make a copy of your passport. This information is then kept for later use or forwarded to the police so that they can then (you guessed it) track you.
    • I read just the other day that there is a pilot program to "tag and release" Canadians at a couple ports of entry using RFID.

      http://news.com/States+to+test+ID+chips+on+forei gn +visitors/2100-1039_3-5552120.html

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:08AM (#11560556)
    US companies with data on citizens of European Union countries have to follow the European Privacy laws. So, the situation is more complex than just the US extending its law internationally, othe countries do so as well.
    • The problem is if the US government demands the US company hand over data via the Patriot act, they have to.
      So this could result in a messy case of a US company having to decide to follow the US law, or the EU law. In this case the company is screwed, unfortunately the fear is a US company would rather break a foreign law then the US law.
    • by nbert (785663) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:57AM (#11560741) Homepage Journal
      There is a flaw in this argument, because those European privacy laws have different intentions than the Patriot Act (I guess I don't really have to explain the differences).

      And as for your second point:
      If I'm for example buying a book at amazon.de (having created an account there) they have to obey German/EU privacy laws, because they are doing business in Germany. Since I can log into amazon.com with my account I don't really believe that they are following the official safe harbor policy, but in principle they have to respect the laws of the countries they do business in, which has nothing to do with the EU extending laws beyond their borders.
  • by mikeb39 (670045) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:18AM (#11560604) Homepage
    Telling Bush he can shove his missile defense system up his idea hole. We really would rather work towards a more peaceful world through understanding and compromise, not a peace built on fear and threats.
  • by jarich (733129) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:24AM (#11560623) Homepage Journal
    I for one welcome our new Slashdot, politicized story spinning overlords!

    Okay, so it's not new, but it seems to be more obvious recently...

  • by animus9 (765786) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:27AM (#11560636) Homepage
    Fortunately George W. Still can't find Canada on the map (sssh! let's keep it that way), so any information acquired that violates our privacy will probably be useless to them. They might as well get a SETI client and mine through some of that data. I can see it right now:

    "Your excellence, it appears that an evil race of aliens are planning to attack us -- also, they have a whole bunch of oil. Good thing we already have PATRIOT ACT VIII drafted up."
  • Privacy Details (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:37AM (#11560668)
    If anyone is interested, the Canadian Privacy Commissioner's website can be found here: http://www.privcom.gc.ca/index_e.asp [privcom.gc.ca] The privacy laws here generally fall under PIPEDA - Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. Passed just a few years ago, it has made it very easy for the individual to take the upper hand in privacy disputes with corporations as the act greatly favours the little guy.
    • Re:Privacy Details (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Fr05t (69968) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @07:57AM (#11561021)
      The company I work for follows PIPEDA to the letter when dealing with customer and potential customer information and data. This is extended to American and European customers as a matter of respect. Most of PIPEDA is simple common sense respect for others privacy. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy :)
  • by MoThugz (560556) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:54AM (#11560728) Homepage
    Apparently the FBI currently has the right, through Patriot, to search documents which may contain Canadian information sent to US firms carrying out work under contract.


    Then just don't do business with those firms.

    Let your money do the talking... apparently politicians listen more to corporations than individuals (especially the average /. geek).
  • by will_die (586523) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @06:57AM (#11560740) Homepage
    The main thing they are complaining about is that an American company could be ordered by a US court to supply info that they owned and was stored in Canada and that a US company that was storing infomation for a Canadian company could also be ordered by a court to provide infomation on a person.
    This is no different then was going on before the patriot act, so no big change, it just looks better to the mass idiots if include the words US Patriot act in the headlines.
  • Everyone (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @07:00AM (#11560754) Journal
    I think this applies to everyone and we should all be worried. With the US Mentality of "your with us or against us!" you HAVE to support them. even if you want them all to fuck off and die, you can't say it out loud and sleep soundly at night. after starting two wars (I'm from the UK, so yes we helped...) and having a guy with more self confidence then sense in charge I'd rather keep my anti-yank opinions away from him in the political forum.

    Maybe someone should teach Bush that there isn't only "us" and "them". Because mentality like that slowly chips away at "us" untill everyone is "them" and you're in a padded room going "THE VOICES TELL ME THEY ARE GOING TO BOMB US! THEY WILL BOMB US AND WE MUST GET THEM FIRST! IF WE DONT WE'LL ALL DIE! QUICK NUKE THEM ALL!"
  • by Obstin8 (827030) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @07:44AM (#11560937)
    Here's a disturbing example. Rogers Cable - Canada's largest cable ISP - recently outsourced all their customer-related provisioning to Yahoo; mail, web hosting, etc. By virtue of Yahoo being a US corporation, that means all Rogers Cable's customer's email automatically comes under the purview of the Patriot Act.

    I have asked for clarification of this situation from Rogers but have not received a reply. As a Canadian I find it odious that my personal communications can be inspected by a foreign government without cause or warrant, and with no recourse to the law.

    Both countries officially espouse 'due process of law'. For those of us looking in from the outside, it sometimes seems the US is working hard to change this to 'due process of erosion of privacy rights' (with a big side order of 'due process of corporate-profit enforcement' but that's another story).

    If the tables were turned, and the Canadian government was trolling through American's e-mail accounts, the hue and cry from the south would be deafening. Right now, the only thing deafening is the silence as the American people allow their own government to trample the rights and freedoms that were bought and paid for in one Revolution, 2 World Wars, and countless other military and civil actions.

    Don't get me wrong - I am not an Anti-American, as your media would have you believe all Canadians are. Hell, we all grew up watching the same TV shows and news programs, reading the same magazines, driving the same cars and eating at the same restaurants. We all swallowed the same propaganda.

    That's why it's especially chilling to watch our neighbours sheepishly acquiesce to - or worse, actively endorse - these 'terror-busting' measures.

    If American themselves can't identify and stop the erosion or elimination of their own rights, what hope does that leave for the rest of us?

    Chilling, very chilling.

  • by torstenvl (769732) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @07:52AM (#11560991)
    ...to share Ann Coulter's views and stupidity with regard to Canada...

    http://homepage.mac.com/onegoodmove/movies/anncoul terCBC.html [mac.com]
  • Overacting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Corbets (169101) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @08:05AM (#11561065) Homepage
    Just some advice for people further down the line...

    Yeah, the Patriot act gives some legitimate cause for concern to people (although I personally don't feel threatened by it). However, Slashdot comments (and some of the editors) are famous for seeing the worst case only and getting so worked up that no one will take them seriously. For example: No offense to Timothy, but I stopped reading his articles a long time ago, since I know exactly what his opinion will be on any given topic (oh, no, government is horrible!).

    Many of the posts I've seen above made it sound like the PATRIOT act is the end of the world. One claimed that we now live in an Orwellian 1984-style society. We don't. Sure, mistakes will be made along the way, but it happens all the time. Even with the judicial process, innocent people get tossed in jail from time to time. It happens.

    But increasing the government's power (while not something I'm in favor of) is not really a cause of that. The people that work for the government are still just regular joes like you and me who will try their best to be good and do their jobs well. Even if you're one of those left-wing wackos who believes that President Bush is the antichrist, remember that the hundreds of thousands of people who work for him will make their own decisions about right and wrong.

    Too many people on Slash see the government (or corporations, for that matter) as big, faceless entities whose sole goal is power and the opression of the little people's rights. Believe it or not, that's not really the goal. So just take it easy with your comments here. Try to reason things out before you post so that we can have intelligent debates instead of spreading FUD about American laws.

    And just for my 2 cents on topic, tough luck Canada. :) If you do business that crosses into our country, you need to be held accountable by our laws, whatever they may be. The same holds true in reverse - if we're doing business with your country, then once we, our product, or our communication crosses the border, it's susceptible to whatever laws you have up there.
    • Re:Overacting (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nos. (179609)
      Nice comment. I'm Canadian, and yes, I think the PATRIOT Act goes too far, but I agree, its not quite at the level Orwell described in 1984.

      And just for my 2 cents on topic, tough luck Canada. :) If you do business that crosses into our country, you need to be held accountable by our laws, whatever they may be. The same holds true in reverse - if we're doing business with your country, then once we, our product, or our communication crosses the border, it's susceptible to whatever laws you have up there

    • Re:Overacting (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zx75 (304335)
      No, see the point is that I (being a Canadian) do NOT want my personal records, credit card reports, etc. to be available for the perusal of a Foreign Government because I do business with a Canadian company.

      Thats the crux. I know I take my chances whenever I deal with an american company, and thats fine. I accept what happens then, but the problem is that we DO NOT KNOW when our information could be compromised because Canadian corporations have not divulged the use of american contractors.

      In the past th
  • by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hogger@NoSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday February 03, 2005 @08:25AM (#11561196) Journal
    This is far from being surprising, given that canadian was sent to Syria by US authorities and tortured there for a year [google.ca], thanks to the "Patriot" "act".
  • by IInventedTheInternet (818590) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @08:39AM (#11561285)
    You push us Canadians any more we'll write you a very nasty letter, and mail it too!

    ...we might even use the word damn... I'm sorry, that was rude.
  • Ruled by fear (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Thursday February 03, 2005 @09:05AM (#11561481) Homepage
    The Patriot Act is rooted in fear. We had indications there were persons of interest in this country taking flying lessons before 9-11, we just didn't act on them. And don't blame the agents on the ground, they raised the warning. It was mid-management at the bureau who didn't take the reports seriously.

    Before that it was almost 10 years between the first attempt on the WTC and the second.

    So out of anger and fear we craft the badly misnamed US Patriot Act. An act that stomps on friend and foe alike, but hardest on our own people. We create yet another new massive federal bureaucracy to protect us. What do you suppose all those people at that massive new federal agency are going to do for the next 10 years to justify their existence? They're going to put their own people and friendly visitors through endless procedure and invasive, pointless snooping. All to try and find a handful of people patient enough to wait another decade or longer.

    In some ways the terrorists have already won. How easily we're spooked into throwing over constitutional protections that used to be the envy of the world. Thousands died on the battlefield to protect those freedoms but what's that sacrifice to a generation that grew up under the coddled over-protection of those ridiculous Baby On Board signs?

    I hope our friends to the north don't take it personally because it's not.

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