Category Archives: Quebec

Richard Spencer Threatened Again

In response to the Trumpster mass shooting at the Quebec mosque that killed 6 Muslims and injured 19 more, Spencer tweeted a couple of tweets that were seen as nasty and insensitive. One tweet asked why there was a synagogue in a White Christian place like Quebec in the first place. The other said this is a good reason why Muslims should go back to Muslim lands, because when they come here, nutcases try to kill them! Wow, talk about blaming the victim.

The tweets set off a firestorm of criticism. A flurry of new threats against Spencer appeared on social media.

The other day, Spencer traveled to Philadelphia for some reason. When he was there, antifa made posts on social media telling people that he was in Philadelphia and urging people to assault him.

Word is that antifa are tracking his movements somehow, possibly via intelligence gathering operations. I doubt if he will be able to go much of anywhere without having his whereabouts known. Looks like he’s pretty locked down. I suggest Mr. Spencer invest in some bodyguards. It would not bother me if no one hit him again, but it looks like the antifa have got it in for him. Spencer will surely continue to be threatened and followed and may face even more violent attacks in the future.

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Filed under Canada, Conservatism, Crime, Islam, Left, Political Science, Quebec, Racism, Regional, Religion, White Racism

Wolverine Killed in North Dakota!

Be sure to check out my extensive series on wolverines in the US. It is split into different areas, and it includes sightings and other evidence for the region along with photos of the area. The sightings are listed according to date and location. Many of the photos are of areas where sightings occurred. Separate posts on this blog deal extensively with wolverines in Oregon, Washington, Idaho (here and here), Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, Nevada and New Mexico. There are also five posts on the subject of wolverines in California.

The first wolverine recorded in North Dakota in nearly 150 years was killed in North Dakota this week in stunning news that comes on the heels of other reports in recent decades of rare wild animals being seen where they have not been seen in decades or scores of years or in one case, centuries. In the case of North Dakota, this is the first verified wolverine recorded in the state ever and the first record of a wolverine since 1870, 146 years ago. This should be national news possibly along the lines of the recent stories about the first wolverine in Michigan in ~200 years or the first wolverine in California in nearly 90 years.

A wolverine was shot and killed in Western North Dakota on Sunday, April 24, 2016. The wolverine was killed on the Wisness Ranch south of  Alexander, North Dakota. Alexander, a town of only 223 people, is located in far western North Dakota on the border with Montana. The animal was killed by ranch hand and Alexander resident Jared Hatter when it was harassing calves in the calving pasture. Hatter went out to check on the cows when he saw that cows had surrounded an animal in the calving pasture. A wolverine is absolutely capable of killing a calf, and the full-grown ones can actually take down a adult cow. Hatter reported it on his Facebook page and included photos of the animal.

Ranch workers contacted the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. A biologist from the department examined the animal and determined that it was indeed a wolverine. The department kept the wolverine and took it back to Game and Fish Headquarters, where it remains. This Facebook post is the initial post made by Hatter on his Facebook page.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department verified the wolverine story. Dale Repnow, spokesman for the Wildlife Division of North Dakota Game and Fish (NDGF) confirmed that the story is true. “Yes, that story is correct. I can confirm that. And I believe we have the animal in our possession now. This is all very exciting news for us,” said Repnow. In addition to Repnow, the story was also confirmed Stephanie Tucker, wildlife biologist for the Furbearer Division of NDGF and Rebecca Barrett, head of The Wolverine Foundation.

This report was the first major report of the incident and the photos associated with it published in the mainstream online media. I was ahead of the mainstream media by four days, as I ran this on April 28, and the media did not pick it up until four days later on April 2.

There have been a number of unverified sightings of wolverines in North Dakota in the past two decades. They are listed in my report, Wolverines in the Upper Midwest, available here. This is the most detailed report on wolverines in this region on the Internet. Be sure to check it out if you are interested in the subject. It has lots of great photos of the areas in which wolverines were spotted and the general terrain of the region.

It also links a number of other reports I wrote on other parts of the US. I broke the Western and Central US into several zones of one or more states and then discussed the status and recent sightings of wolverines in that area. I also included a lot of photos of the locales where the sightings took place.

The last wolverine recorded in the state was from 1870 when a wolverine was poisoned by a hunter named Henry Bennett at the mouth of Cherry Creek near the Killdeer Mountains. Curiously, that location very close to where the current specimen was taken. There were 36 known records of wolverines taken in North Dakota, but none of them were verified. 35 of these are from a single locale, a fort at the mouth of the Pembina River in the northeastern part of the state. These records are all from the journal of a single fur trapper from Montreal, Alexander Henry the Younger.

Henry’s journals date from 1801-1806 when he worked as a fur trapper for the Montreal-based North West Company. During this period, Northeastern North Dakota had not yet been settled by Whites, so his records would seem to be a good record of the wildlife presence and density in this region pre-contact. At this time, the land was the territory of Dakotas, but Chippewas and Crees were also in the area.

He lived for most of the time at a fort at the mouth of the Pembina River. In those five years, Henry reported that 35 wolverines were trapped in eastern North Dakota alone.

The USFWS regards these records as possibly spurious since they nearly all came from a single person, and it is uncertain whether these records were of wolverines actually taken in North Dakota or whether these were animals taken elsewhere and transported to the fort. However, a closer look at Henry’s journal shows that he was reporting exact locales where his trappers were taking wolverines. He listed a variety of locales, all in eastern North Dakota. The theory that some or all of these wolverines were trapped outside of North Dakota and brought to the fort seems incorrect.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) says according to the known habitat associations of the wolverine in the US, North Dakota never housed a population of established wolverines during historical times.

However, this conclusion may be erroneous, and wolverine biologists think it is incorrect.

The USFWS also says that the entire area of the US Northeast, Great Lakes and Great Plains never had an established population of wolverines. However, biologists reported that two juvenile wolverines were taken in the Diamond Lakes area of New Hampshire in a single year, 1918. The biologists felt that the taking of two young in a single year meant that a breeding population of wolverines may have been present at that time. The current theory that the Northeast never had an established population of wolverines is probably incorrect.

Dr. Keith Aubry, one of the nation’s top wolverine scientists, said that if those 35 specimens were all taken from eastern North Dakota in a five year period alone, then that implies that there was a resident population of wolverines in Eastern North Dakota at that time.

The question here centers around the question of what one means by established population. To wildlife biologists, established population means breeding population, and the USFWS argues that the Upper Great Plains does not have suitable habitat for breeding wolverines due to the lack of deep snow cover into the late spring.

The FWS also argue that wolverines cannot live in this region because summer temperatures are too high.

However, a wolverine recently lived for 5-10 years around the area of Ubly, Michigan where summer temperatures rise to 82 degrees, close to the 85 degrees found in Alexander. But the Ubly story is complicated by other factors. That animal had been live-trapped by someone in Alaska, brought to Michigan somehow and released near Ubly. A man who had set up the camera-traps that were photographing the animal was also feeding it regularly, so this is not pure case of a naturally dispersing wild animal surviving on its own, and this animal may not have been able to survive there on its own.

Based on this data, the Summer Temperature Theory about wolverines may be wrong. Aubry acknowledged that wolverines can live in areas where the summer temperatures get up to 80-85 degrees, but they do not live well or thrive in these places.

Based on the number of reports coming in of wolverines not only from North Dakota but also from elsewhere in the Upper Midwest and the long historical record of sightings in this area from the 19th Century, the Great Plains was definitely wolverine habitat pre-contact and even for a period of time after contact before they were possibly extirpated by the fur trade or even more likely by a warming climate, which is the theory that Aubry favors. The reason that the prairie may not be habitat now is because of the assumption that lacks the deep snow persisting into late spring required for breeding wolverines.

Although the prairie seems to be an odd place to have wolverines, when you think about the great herds of buffalo that used to roam here, perhaps it is not so strange after all. Aubry agreed that the Great Plains would have been perfect habitat for wolverines due to the huge herds of buffalo that would have provided a ready source of large amounts of carrion that would be perfect for a scavenger like a wolverine.

He also said that it was much colder in the US in 1800 than it is today because that was during the tail end of a several centuries-long Little Ice Age where temperatures dropped all over North America. Since then, the continent has been slowly warming up, a process that has much accelerated in recent days, and what may have been cold enough for wolverines in 1800 is much less suitable habitat now that it is much warmer. Aubry said it may well have been cold enough in North Dakota in 1800 to sustain the snow conditions necessary for wolverine breeding.

He also noted that Canadian scientists say there has been a retraction of the wolverine’s range in Ontario over the past century or so. Whereas once wolverines occurred throughout the province from north to south, they have retreated north and are now found only in the northern half of Ontario. Aubry felt that the retraction of the wolverine’s range from the Northeast, the Great Lakes and the Great Plains was probably more due to warming climate than to overtrapping and poisoning.

“The wolverine may have been one of the first victims of global warming,” Aubry said.

Among nearby states, wolverines were last recorded in Indiana in 1852, in Wisconsin in 1870, and in Minnesota in 1965.

Wolverines are resident in the western mountains of Montana and are also known to be present in the Great Plains part of the state in the west. About two months ago on March 8, a motorist snapped a photo of wolverine one mile north of Hingham, Montana running across a field in north-central Montana.

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Zoomed in shot of a what definitely appears to be a wolverine running in a field one more north of Havre, Montana. The photo was shot two months ago. This may well have been the same wolverine that was killed just over the North Dakota border last week now.

It seemed to be running from the Sweetgrass Hills towards the Bear Paw Mountains. Based on location, it could have come from the Sweetgrass Hills northwest of Havre on the border of Montana and Alberta. The Sweetgrass Hills are known to have a resident population of wolverines. Two of the nation’s top wolverine experts stated that this wolverine may have been the same one that was recorded in Montana earlier because when seen in Montana, it was headed towards North Dakota. There has been only one other sighting in this Hill Country area when a wolverine was spotted near Kremlin in the 1970’s. Kremlin is 23 miles west of Havre along the Milk River.

Photos of the wolverine are below.

wolverine

Side view of the wolverine killed just recently in North Dakota. Note the huge padded paws and the massive claws.

wolverine 2

Another side view with an emphasis on the head and front of the animal. Note the black and white dual colored hair color, the shape of the small ears, the elongated snout, the big fangs, and of course the huge padded paws. The pads and claws on the feet of a badger look something like this, but on the wolverine, these characteristics may be more accentuated.

wolverine1

Yet another photo of the wolverine, this time with an emphasis on the paws and the claws.

index

Jared Hatter of Alexander, North Dakota holds up the wolverine he shot near there on April 24, 2016. Hatter did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this story.

References

Aubry, K. B., K. S. McKelvey, and J. P. Copeland. 2007. Geographic Distribution and Broadscale Habitat Relations of the Wolverine in the Contiguous United States. Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 2147-2158.

Aubry, Keith. April 28, 2016. Research Wildlife Biologist. Ecological Process and Function Division, Research and Development Department, Pacific Northwest Research Station, United States Forest Service. Olympia, Washington. Personal communication.

Bailey, V. 1926. A Biological Survey of North Dakota. North American Fauna 49:1–226.

Copeland, J. P. and Whitman, J. S. 2003. “Wolverine,” pp. 672-682, in Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Economics. G. A. Feldhamer, B. C. Thompson, and J. A. Chapman, eds. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Henry, Alexander. 1988. The Journal of Alexander Henry the Younger 1799-1814. Toronto: The Champlain Society, University of Toronto Press.

Jackson, C. F. August 22, 1922. Notes on New Hampshire Mammals. Journal of Mammalogy 3:1, p. 13.

Whitaker, John O. and Hamilton, William John. 1998. Mammals of the Eastern United States, p. 551. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

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Filed under Animals, Canada, Carnivores, History, Mammals, Michigan, Midwest, Minnesota, Mustelids, North America, North Dakota, Northeast, Quebec, Regional, USA, Wild, Wildlife, Wisconsin, Wolverines

The “Whites” of Quebec

Judith Mirville writes:

The pale-drab-skinned Quebec separatists who riot are not Whites, they are Scottish-Amerind mestizos who were baptized and given a sham identity by the French priests of yore to replace the former French colonists who generally preferred to assimilate into the US. They have then rejected the Catholic religion and adopted into a regional variation of Black American culture indeed. They are hated as such by the true Whites, both true French and English.

So many of the Whites of Quebec may not be quite so White after all!

This is very interesting to me! I wonder just what the percentages are for Amerind and White blood with these people. Similarly, the heavily Scotch-Irish group which massively populated the US South and Appalachia has a fair amount of Amerind blood. It is quite common for Southern Whites to proudly say that they are 1/8 Cherokee or whatever.

Many Americans claim some Amerindian blood. In fact, there is a 50% chance that I have some myself! An interesting question, why do we not consider these folks mestizos like in the rest of the Americas? Because we don’t speak Spanish?

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Filed under Amerindians, Canada, North America, Quebec, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, South, USA, Whites

“Canada At Ground Level: Observations of a US Refugee,” by Odin Crow

Warning: Long, runs to 51 pages. This is a fine piece by US expat Odin Crow. Relax and enjoy it.

Canada At Ground Level: Observations of a US Refugee

By Odin Crow

I am an American citizen living in Canada. I am not a sociologist, anthropologist, economist, linguist or any other ist. What I am is a middle class, late 40s working-guy who wishes to share with you what he’s learned about his adopted country from his own personal experiences and hopefully dispel a few misconceptions at the same time. But first, my take on the differences in basic character of these two countries and how they came about.

A Tale Of Two Siblings

If Canada and the US were brothers, the US was the one who said “fuck you” to the parents and left home as a teen. Granted, mom and dad were treating him like shit; he was a breadwinner, the loud, risk-taking one with big plans and ambitions and, to be honest, mom and dad were oinking up the fruits of his labors without giving him any say in how the household was run.

Sure, mom and dad got him started, set him up with everything he needed to be successful, but the dynamic didn’t seem fair to Elder Brother, who went indy.

Canada, on the other hand was the brother who just wanted to live his life and be left alone. He didn’t ask for much from mom and dad; they gave him very little to work with and neglected him for the most part. But Younger Brother never complained and did receive the benefit of some guidance and wisdom from time to time as he grew up as well as help when he really needed it.

So Younger Brother kept his nose to the grindstone, worked hard, minded his own business and slowly built a nice sane, stable life for himself.

Meanwhile, after a nasty spat with the folks, who started it out of sheer vindictiveness (and whose side was taken by Younger Brother, since Elder Brother lashed out at him and, to be honest, Younger Brother was still basically an extension of Mom and Dad) Elder Brother built a dizzyingly dramatic, risk-taking, get-the-fuck-outta-my-way life for himself, with stellar highs and deep, abysmal lows, being sometimes unbelievably heroic and idealistic and sometimes bewilderingly selfish, paranoid and self-righteous.

Over time, though, both siblings and parents’ relationship evolved into one of general support and respect, coming to each other’s aid, engaging in great endeavors and providing moral support to one another, even though one or more of them may not always have clearly been on the side of right.

So if the US is the “loud” one, the flashy, big-talking Type A, the stunning over-achiever who makes everyone else in the room feel inadequate (or at least tries to), the one who’s been out in the world reaping fame and glory, constantly striving always to grow his own wealth, power and influence, Canada’s the one that dresses down, doesn’t dominate the conversation at the dinner table, has his mortgage paid off and worries more about just being a good neighbor and minding his own business.

He’s the one who, through patience and consistency, has built himself a very comfortable, stable, relaxed life, and people generally find his company enjoyable. Others generally have mixed feelings towards Older Brother, being sometimes jealous of him, sometimes afraid and very often both. Older Brother wants everyone to be like him and feels the need to justify his choices constantly; Younger Brother’s the one who goes, “No thanks, I’m good, but whatever works for you.”

How I Got Here

I married a Canadian woman, it didn’t work out, and I stayed. I had applied for permanent residence with my wife as my sponsor, which involved paying around $900, submitting a criminal background check and medical examination, filling out a form and waiting seven months. During the interim, I was not allowed to work legally or receive any public services.

Once my application passed, I received my “landing papers”, a SIN (Social Insurance Number or Canadian SSN) and was then eligible to live permanently, work and receive health care. My status lasts 5 years between renewals, during which I must spend a minimum of 2 years on Canadian soil or abroad as an employee for a Canadian company. I cannot vote or serve in the military.

If I had applied for public assistance (welfare, etc) during my first 3 years, my sponsor (ex-wife) would have been responsible for paying it back to the government. I can and have received unemployment insurance.

What It’s Like To Be a Working Guy in Canada

I have no college degree and am actually a high-school dropout, though I’ve always lied about it, and it’s never been questioned (fortunately, they didn’t check on that in my residency application). I live in Alberta now, so I don’t pay provincial income tax.

Regardless, when I was in Nova Scotia, I still took home more of my wages than I did in California, despite paying both federal and provincial income tax. Canadian tax rates are lower for lower incomes, higher for higher incomes. If I were to make 100 grand a year, yes, I’d pay a higher tax rate, but I don’t.

The Canadian and US Dollars hover around parity for the most part, so for all intents and purposes, a buck is a buck. My cost of living is about the same as in the US. Rents are comparable and so are utilities.

Food can be more expensive, and smokes are over 10 bucks a pack for most brands in Alberta and more in some other places; the more liberal, the more expensive – same with booze. Gas is currently about $CN 1.12/liter., ($4.20/gallon.) in Alberta, which has the lowest gas prices in the country, naturally. It’s as much as $CN .50 more a liter in other places.

Canada has a federal sales tax of 5% known as the General Sales Tax (GST). Each province can add to that their own sales tax, the combined sales taxes being called a Harmonised Sales tax (HST). This can vary widely from province to province depending on their social leanings and economy.

Nova Scotia, being a notoriously liberal and socially-conscious province with higher unemployment than the national average, has a HST of 15%; the idea is that when more people are unemployed, social services and support become even more critical to maintaining quality of life.

Alberta, which is shoveling in oil revenues like there’s no tomorrow and has a thriving agricultural industry (grain and cattle) is probably the least socially-conscious of all the provinces, being somewhat the Canadian version of Texas. It has no HST, only the 5% GST.

So, in short, I’ve sort of made a deal with the devil by coming out here for work after having been laid off in Nova Scotia; I enjoy the economic benefits, but am slightly at odds with the social climate which is, to be fair, still more liberal than that of the US as a whole.

Here’s an example of the difference between the IRS and Revenue Canada: I get a check every 3 months for $CN 100 as a GST rebate because I make below a certain income level (I gross between  $CN 38k-45k/year). When was the last time you ever got anything from the IRS aside from something terrifying telling you you’re fucked?

Summary: Being an average, middle-class working person in Canada means you can actually have a good, comfortable life.

Health Care

If you live here, either as a citizen, on a visa or as a permanent resident, like myself, you get health care. Each province administers its own system, and it comes out of the tax base; there is no premium deduction from your pay, no check box on your tax return form. I hear Alberta (surprise, surprise) used to have a mandatory premium deducted from your tax return each year, but not any more.

Your provincial health card will get you care no matter where in the country you are. Emergency room, ambulances – no charge to the insured. Neither dental nor optometry are covered, and seeing a specialist requires a referral. My employers provide me with health insurance for things like optometry, dental, chiro, prescription plan, etc, as does everyone else’s, to my knowledge.

But if you’re a small business, one less burden of responsibility and concern has been removed. Even if you’re a cheap, mean bastard who cuts corners every chance he gets, you and your employees are still covered.

Here’s how my Canadian doctor visits have gone:

Scenario 1

Receptionist: Hello, dear, have you been here before?
Me: No.
Receptionist: Can I see your card, dear? (I hand her the card). Is this your current address?
Me: Yes.
Receptionist: OK, here’s your card back, have a seat and someone will call your name in a couple minutes.
10 minutes later: Mr. **********?

Scenario 2

Receptionist: Hello, dear, have you been here before?
Me: Yes.
Receptionist: Your name?
Me: **********
Receptionist: Is this your current address?
Me: Yes.
Receptionist: OK, have a seat and someone will call your name in a couple minutes.
10 minutes later: Mr. **********?

This is not a fantasy; I am not exaggerating. No co-pay, no multi-page forms to fill out, no pissed off, fat, black bitch in teddy-bear scrubs studiously ignoring me as I wait for her attention, all-but-daring me to interrupt her personal phone call by meekly saying “Excuse me”, no interminable wait, nothing.

Now, I’m sure a clinic in a huge city like Toronto or Vancouver would probably be much busier (though nothing like the Cinco de Mayo fiestas of Southern California, I’m sure) and its staff more unpleasant (my experiences are limited to Halifax and my small Southern Alberta town of 2,000), but seriously, anyone who can compare this with an HMO experience in the US and see no difference is an abject boob.

My ex-wife was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 20. She had surgery, was treated, recovered fully and takes thyroid medication. Aside from the cost of the prescription, which was about 12 bucks a refill, her cost was zero. She had merely to show her Nova Scotia Health Card and her life was saved without any worries that she would face any complications when it came to receiving care or paying for it afterwards.

Summary: It is not a myth – the Canadian health care system works and it works very well. For everyone.

Politics

Quick primer on the parliamentary system:

Political parties elect a leader. General elections are for MP’s (Members of Parliament), the equivalent of House representatives in the US. Whoever gets the most MP’s in Parliament is the Majority – their leader becomes Prime Minister. You do not elect a Prime Minister, you elect a Party with whom you agree. As long as that party is in the majority, their leader is Prime Minister.

There is a Canadian Senate as well, but Senators are appointed by the Prime Minister – not elected – so they are all, inevitably, of the same party as the Majority (I’m sure there are a couple exceptions, but for the most part, who’s going to pick a guy from the Opposition?). I’m not clear what the Senate does, but I know that the lawmaking process is not bicameral.

The Majority party is the Progressive Conservatives (PC), colloquially known by the traditional English term “Tories”.

The Opposition are the Liberal Party (which held power for quite some time but has diminished in recent years due to lack of leadership), the New Democrats (which are the largest minority and surged suddenly in ranks at the last general election), the Green Party (a handful) and I think Bloc Quebecois still has a couple MP’s.

Bloc Quebecois is essentially an ethnocentric provincial party whose only real platform has been the secession of Quebec, and their place in national politics has been the subject of some contention; they have been, however, utterly decimated, many of their seats lost to the burgeoning ND Party in the last election.

There may be some stragglers from all-but-defunct other parties with a seat here or there, but I’m not sure and nor would be your average Canadian.

A Canadian Conservative is a lot closer to a US Democrat than it is to a US Republican. They are not trying to repeal universal health care, abortion rights, gay marriage or any of the other causes celebres of their Bizarro-World US counterparts. They object to things like making trans-gender public restrooms mandatory and legalizing pot and support things like privatizing government entities and easing up on business regulation, etc., for the most part.

Yes, PM Harper and his crew are trying to emulate some US Republican fashion trends, for example a “3-strikes, tough-on-crime” bill and building more prisons, but everybody’s response to that is generally, “Why? The crime rate is actually dropping.” Thanks to the Canadian Parliamentary system though, the MP’s are really not much more than what they should be, which is bureaucrats put in charge of keeping shit running smoothly, sanely and reliably.

Canadian politicians are also by-and-large not millionaires and lawyers as they are in the US. They come from a pretty wide demographic (a recently-elected ND MP from Quebec is actually a female bartender).

At the provincial level, Canada has Premiers instead of Governors (It always reminds me of some Communist Eastern European country when I hear that term – still doesn’t sound right to me). They attain office the same way as national PM’s: Parties field candidates as reps for the various provincial “ridings“, and the Party with the majority’s leader becomes Premier.

In Alberta, the Tories have maintained a hegemony over provincial politics for the last 40 years (PM Stephen Harper is an Albertan).

The current Premier, Allison Redford, was a constitutional attorney, a field of expertise rather uncommon amongst US Republican politicians, but not among Democratic Presidents it would seem.

Provinces sometimes have provincial political parties, limited to provincial politics, though Quebec’s Bloc Quebecois made its way into Parliament, concerned as they are with Quebec’s secession, though their position and influence in federal politics is marginal to say the least.

Alberta‘s further-right party, the Wild Rose Party, went balls-out during the last provincial election, and their gaffes were many and hilarious; one of their candidates mentioned in a mass emailing something about gays being “condemned to a lake of fire,” and another quipped that he would win his riding easily as he was the “only white guy“ on the ballot.

In true neocon fashion, the party responded not by asking either of the doddering farts to step down, but by making the statement that “there are many differing views within the Wild Rose Party, and all are tolerated.” Needless to say, they got their asses handed to them instead of winning a majority.

In Alberta, the Tories have been making noises about privatizing Alberta Health, giving the usual bullshit arguments about how the “private sector can deliver services more efficiently and cost-effectively than the provincial government can,” etc., but it’s not a position that seems to be gaining much traction with the electorate…..

To put it simply, Canadians are generally not stupid; they see what works with their own eyes, thus they are far less susceptible to specious arguments, panic-mongering and outright bullshit than their US counterparts. They know when something is working and aren’t obsessed with change for its own sake, not even Albertans.

Summary: Politics in Canada actually has more to do with working for the people than it does furthering ideological agendas or political careers.

Immigration and Race

Per the most recent census statistics, Canada is comprised of 80% Whites, 16.2% visible minorities and 3.8% Aboriginals.

One of the things I truly love about Canada is that there aren’t Mexicans all over the place. There are no undocumented aliens per se, since not only is Canada not conveniently within walking distance of Mexico, but an illegal alien isn’t able to get work or free medical care here. There are no mobs of day laborers in the Home Depot parking lot, nor have I seen massive, ethnically-homogenous ghettos in which an illegal can live and receive community support with impunity.

This may not be the case in the bigger cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, but the numbers of illegals must be so low as not to have much effect as a socioeconomic issue. Illegals aside, I don’t see Canada suffering the negative social and cultural impact of being overwhelmed by immigrants from one particular culture.

Canada has a policy of basing immigration approval upon needed skills. Since Canada is not suffering from a shortage of gardeners, pool cleaners or sidewalk ice-cream vendors, that would pretty much exclude the bulk of the Mexicans wanting to come in.

Canada has a foreign temporary worker program just like the US used to since there’s more work here than there are people who want to do it. A Newfoundland seafood processing plant that had shut down for awhile opened back up when the catches improved and couldn’t find enough locals for the jobs, so they imported a bunch of Thais along with an interpreter.

However, in most other circumstances, immigrants have to prove a functioning grasp of either English or French depending where they‘re going to be working and living. Children who cannot speak English are sent home by public schools, and the parents are informed that the school will be happy to teach their child once the parents have taught the child English.

Recently, the English requirement for citizenship was actually increased. Canada seems to feel, oddly enough, that two of the keys to properly managing immigration are ensuring that an individual not only can speak one of the official languages but that they can somehow contribute to the economy and society as a whole.

Absent giant ethnically-homogenous communities of immigrants, Canadian immigrants seem to assimilate much more quickly and willingly than in the US. Every first-generation-born Canadian I’ve met has no foreign accent; they say “eh”, and they seem to hang out with just about anybody.

I never get the vibe that foreigners and their kids here hate Canadians while enjoying the benefits of being Canadian. The mayor of Calgary, the biggest city in the most conservative province, is a Muslim – Naheed Nenshi – and you’d never know by hearing him speak on the radio. You see “people of color” scattered throughout the media and government, and they all seem to retain ethnic names, despite sounding and acting like Canadians.

Blacks in Canada are not ubiquitous. In Calgary, the Blacks I meet are invariably immigrants; there is no “Black” part of town.

In Halifax, which was, among other things, at the other end of the Underground Railroad, the Black population is mostly descended from former American slaves and is proportionally larger than in many other areas of the country.

This population in Halifax began in earnest following the War of 1812 during which “Black loyalists” (slaves willing to fight their masters in exchange for freedom) were deeded land on the outskirts of Halifax as reward for helping the Crown, which was named Africville.

Africville has a tragic and disappointing history which I’m going to expand upon in a separate piece, but suffice it to say that Blacks in Nova Scotia suffer from many of the same socioeconomic problems as do their counterparts in the US, though certainly not to the same degree.

I understand that there are Black communities in and around Toronto which are primarily Caribbean in origin, that there is public housing inhabited mostly by Blacks and that crime rates are higher in these areas, but I’m not aware of specifics.

I have never heard a Canadian say “nigger”. Oh, I’ve had friends say “What up, my nigga,” plenty of times, but as far as it being used as a pejorative, never. Much of what many Canadians believe about Blacks, since many of them have never spent much time around or lived around them, they get from US TV shows, so many of them are understandably scared shitless.

In Nova Scotia, where there is a Black population descended from American slaves and not immigrants, I often heard the general stereotypes bandied about by Whites: They don’t like to work, but they do like to commit crimes, do drugs, get bitches pregnant and split, etc.

My ex-wife was utterly petrified of them. She saw a Black kid walk down our street once and, since no Black people lived on our street, wanted to call the police, I shit you not. She did not, though, and the ensuing argument lasted about two hours.

Canadians are, however, very quick to characterize Americans as racists, despite the fact that Canada had Jim Crow “Whites only” bylaws in rural areas just like the US did. But, in fairness, the institution of slavery did not exist here, and that counts for rather a bit.

Aboriginals, still commonly referred to as Indians, seem to take the place, in many ways, that Blacks do in US society. They are disproportionately plagued by crime, poverty, alcoholism, drug addiction and prejudice and are distributed across Canada. They receive government assistance and are spoken of by most of the Whites I know as a “problem” and with little compassion. A disproportionate number of their males are in the prison system.

They are, in effect, the Blacks of Canada, and the origins of their problems are as convoluted and difficult to figure out as are those of US Blacks. However, to be real, they were doing OK before Whitey showed up.

The French

As you may or may not know, the English defeated the French in the battle for supremacy in Canada but allowed the French to stay and maintain their own culture. Like any defeated people, despite the magnanimity of the victors, a lot of them are still sore about it.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are elements within Quebecois society who believe that Quebec should exist as its own separate country. Anglo Canadians love to point out that the federal government paid for and built their infrastructure, so if they want to pay back all of that, fine, go ahead; many Anglos are constantly irritated and annoyed by the French.

Despite this, however, Quebec and its French culture are clearly things that make Canada, well, Canadian and add an extremely cool flavor to the whole mix here. In 1980, Quebec held a referendum about whether it should secede from the Canadian federal government or stay.

Literally thousands of people from all over Canada came to Quebec to plead with the citizens to remain part of Canada. I’ve heard the old radio news reports from that time, and people were actually crying, “Please don’t leave.” Many Quebecois were also crying, saying, “How can we consider this? What does it say to the rest of the world?”. Fortunately, the results were 60-40 against.

I can’t help but imagine that if Texas tried to do the same thing, millions of Americans would show up saying, “Please! Do it! Leave and good riddance!” OK I was being a smart-ass with that one, but I think you’ll understand my point. Canadians seem to like other Canadians more than most Americans like other Americans, even when they’re French.

Summary: Canada is very White, its culture is Western European, and the people who emigrate to it seem to acknowledge and appreciate that, as such, it is a much better place to live than wherever they came from. Canada is a clear example of the superiority of Western Culture and the benefits of White Rule.

Religion

Yes, we have it here. I see churches all over the place, especially in Alberta, which I believe boasts more churches per capita than any other province (once again, proof that Alberta secretly wishes it was the 51st State of the US).

However, there is much less “religion” here. It is not part of the political conversation and seems rarely, if ever, to be part of polite conversation. Alberta is the province which boasts the most Evangelicals, and it’s the only one where I’ve seen occasional billboards in rural areas featuring Right-To-Life slogans.

However, when I tried to call the 800 number on one to tell them to suck my dick, the number was disconnected, and the website on the sign no longer existed; that’s the degree of religious fervor out here. In Nova Scotia, I did see an anti-abortion protest outside of a hospital: Two old ladies in camp chairs watching a portable TV on an ice chest, their picket signs leaning against the fence behind them as people walked by in both directions.

Summary: In Canada, religion is essentially no one’s business but their own, so shut the fuck up, and please don’t block the sidewalk.

Guns, Crime and Violence

Guns are not banned in Canada; they are regulated and controlled. Allow me to slack off for a second and quote a Wikipedia article for a brief historical background:

Registration of firearms in Canada has been an issue since the 1930s when the registration of handguns became mandatory. Over the past few decades, legislation had become increasingly restrictive for firearm owners and from 1995 until 2012, all firearms were required to be registered. As of April 6, 2012 the registration of non-restricted firearms is no longer required in any province or territory, except for Quebec, pending litigation.

Systematic auditing and criminalization of firearm owners and sports is implemented and enforced in most of Central Canada, and to a lesser extent, in Western Canada (in most cases firearm ownership regulations vary slightly in different provinces and territories, where some provinces have decided to mandate their own laws, such as the Quebec Law 9 course, which is mandatory for all owners of restricted firearms).

The Criminal Code of Canada provides recognition of self-defense with a firearm; The Firearms Act provides a legal framework wherein an individual may, acquire/possess and carry, a restricted or (a specific class of) prohibited firearm for protection from other individuals when police protection is deemed insufficient.

This situation is extremely rare, as evidenced by the fact that the (publicly available version of the) RCMP Authorization To Carry application refers only to protection of life during employment that involves handling of valuable goods or dangerous wildlife.

In short, you can have a gun if you have a good reason for it. “Personal protection” and just being afraid the government is going to show up and shove you in a FEMA trailer for re-education are not considered valid reasons. It is a matter of record that Canada’s rates of homicides and suicides using guns have further decreased as more and more restrictions have been put into place.

This has not eliminated crime, but it has clearly mitigated it. I’d rather have a guy come at me with a knife than a gun even if I’m similarly armed any day – I don’t know about you. To anyone in the US who maintains that lower violent crime can be achieved through an “armed society”, you need only look to Canada to see how absolutely shit-brained-stupid that is.

Canada has crime though. People get their cars stolen, there are rapes, there is drunk driving – all the usual. Canada even boasts some celebrated serial killers as well. Most Canadians do lock their doors when they leave for work and when they go to bed, despite what Michael Moore might want you to believe.

The difference between Canada and the US in this regard is the crime per capita. In a city as big as Calgary (approximately 1.4 million), which is about 30 minutes from me, the amount of crime compared to a similar-sized US city is ridiculously lower. There isn’t even as much trash on the ground. I’m not kidding – same goes for the rest of what I’ve seen of Canada.

What doesn’t exist are gangs to any great degree. In Vancouver you have some Asian gang stuff, some minor shit with Russians and some others in Toronto and Quebec, but nothing even close to what you have in the US.

Another thing I’ve noticed is the role of the “career criminal”.

In the US, being a criminal is an actual occupation for many, one which they pursue with great professionalism and acumen.

In Canada, most of the criminals I’ve seen and read about are basically stupid assholes. They steal some shit, maybe sell some drugs, and they get caught.

This one idiot drug dealer in Halifax lived in a trailer park, yet bought a bright yellow Hummer and parked it out front. After a few stray bullets zipped through his neighbors‘ homes courtesy of a rival “drug kingpin “ (yes, this is how the local news referred to him), the cops pretty much figured out that if they nabbed the guy in the yellow Hummer at the bridge toll-plaza, they’d get some answers.

Random acts of violence occur. Guys get dumped and kill their ex and her new boyfriend; a middle-aged loser who’s sponging off his grandmother’s pension checks decides he can smother her with a pillow and pretend she’s still alive; some guy hears Satan tell him he can fuck Avril Lavigne if he kills his whole family in their sleep, and so on.

But to be honest, most random, violent crimes I hear about around my neck of the woods, few as they are, involve immigrants. You can take the boy out of Viet Nam, but if you smile at his girlfriend during lunch time at the meat processing plant, he just might shove a fork in your neck.

The cops here are actually nice, at least the ones I’ve met. You’ve got your Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP’s), which function as the equivalent of the FBI and State police in provinces without a provincial police force (unlike Ontario or Newfoundland), the city police forces and the “peace officers” who enforce by-laws and do not carry weapons.

The only times I’ve dealt with cops, whether local or RCMP, they have said, “Hey, how’s it going,” introduced themselves and shook my hand, then calmly figured out what was going on. No twitchy hyper-vigilance, no hand on the gun as they approached. I’m guessing they may be a little different in the metropolii, but still, you don’t get Rodney King situations here.

If called to a bar in response to a complaint of a disturbance, a Canadian cop is more likely to say, “Hey, I think your friend’s a little drunk, why don’t you take him home?” as opposed to calling in six cars for backup and making the entire place lie face down with their hands behind their heads.

There are occasional stories of abuse, and there was a spate of deaths caused by tasering, but generally, since everyone doesn’t automatically hate them and want them dead, I think the cops are a bit more relaxed and less concerned with being intimidating. They are, after all, just guys trying to do their jobs, and I get that most Canadians understand and appreciate that.

Despite the fact that they seem less violent as a culture, do not make the mistake of thinking Canadians are pussies. Canadians drink, and they also fight. Hockey, the world’s most violent sport is, after all, a Canadian invention.

The difference, though, is the absence of ubiquitous and constant belligerence. If I go to a crowded concert or sporting event in the US, it’s a safe bet there will be more than one fight. My ex-roommate’s best friend from Northern California was jumped and had his brains beaten after a Dodgers-Giants game in LA; it put him in a coma, and he’s barely escaped being a vegetable.

It would be impossible to me to conceive of that happening here and actually is impossible to any Canadians I’ve spoken with about it. Can Canadians hold their liquor better, or are they just generally less angry, violent and belligerent? Maybe a little of the former and a lot of the latter.

Summary: Less guns, garbage, crime and violence, nicer cops, fewer incarcerated citizens and far less anxiety as a whole.

Weed

I smoke a lot of weed. I have been doing so for over 35 years. In Canada, medical marijuana is federally legal, but I can’t just go to a podiatrist and tell him I’ve been having trouble sleeping to get a license like in California. It requires multiple signed applications by several doctors and, like the gun licensing, the determining criterion is, “Why do you need it?”. Unfortunately, mild insomnia isn’t considered a valid reason.

Things like rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and serious medical conditions which require pain management are generally what are required. Once licensed, it means you can go anywhere in the country without getting hassled; you can even walk through an airport with a sack in your pocket, provided you have your license on you. You cannot, of course, burn one in public (legally). You can also grow some.

Despite the fact that I must, then, smoke weed illegally, there are a couple of benefits to doing so in Canada. First and foremost is that I can get a half ounce of good smoke for 120 bucks. Second is that the general attitude towards marijuana law enforcement is pretty relaxed. In most metropolitan areas, it is considered of “lowest priority,” officially, when it comes to enforcing pot laws.

In Vancouver, there are Amsterdam-style cafes where everyone’s smoking weed, and the cops leave them alone. In the case of illegal grow-ops, though, or significant trafficking, the cops, understandably, do not look the other way. But as far as normal people getting high and not causing any problems, the worst they usually do is take it away from you, tell you to “watch it”, and maybe smoke it themselves after work.

For the record though, Harper and the Tories have stated unequivocally that marijuana will not become legal as long as they are the majority. Fuck the Tories.

Summary: Canada’s a cool place if you smoke weed; just remember it’s still illegal (technically).

Civil Liberties

Gays can marry here – it’s been legal for quite some time – and, despite that fact, they are not running around having anal sex in the streets. Pre-employment and random drug screenings are forbidden as unconstitutional, yet people aren’t snorting coke at work or showing up baked to the gills.

Women can get abortions, and their health care covers it, yet there is not an epidemic of female promiscuity (much as I wish there were). Prostitution is, by certain definitions in certain areas, basically legal, or at least not criminal. Even the age of consent is much lower in some provinces, yet teenaged girls are not being incessantly fucked to death and discarded by middle-aged men.

The guiding principle behind Canada’s attitude towards civil liberties seems to be, “If they’re not hurting anyone or causing a fuss, leave them the fuck alone, it’s none of your business.” Pierre Trudeau wisely stated that the government has “no place in our bedrooms, period,” and he was agreed with by even the most right-wing politicians at the time, eventually.

I laugh my ass off every time I hear some Republican or Libertarian troll threaten to “move to Canada” if Obama gets re-elected. Not only would they not be issued a visa for such reasons, if they were, they would be forced to live in a place where fags can teach their kids, sluts can get abortions, niggers can get decent jobs, hippies can smoke weed and people claiming God speaks to them are not only banned from public office but they’re quite often placed under psychiatric observation.

Summary: I think my freedoms are more well-protected here than in the US.

Language

Canadians do not say aboot. Most commonly, the ow diphthong, which is broken down into the phonemes a (like cat) + oo in US English (and every English dictionary), is very often pronounced eh-oo in Canada, similar to how the Irish pronounce it.

In Atlantic Canada, it is common to hear the diphthong pronounced oh (I had a boss who actually spelled couch as coach because that’s how he pronounced it). They also usually pronounce sorry as soar-ee, been as bean, produce (n.) as prah-duce, project as proh-ject, process as proh-cess, schedule as shed-jule, missile as miss-isle and a slew of other British pronunciations.

What drives me nuts though is their insistence on pronouncing virtually any a they see as the short a in cat. It’s difficult for me to represent graphically, but go ahead and say to yourself the following words with that short a and see how lame it sounds: pAsta, tsunAmi, drAma, mAzda. Ugh. Sonically, it makes me fucking cringe.

And I know it’s a matter of taste, but to me, mispronouncing names and proper nouns from other languages in that fashion just seems ignorant. I guess that’s a vestige of the famous British contempt for other cultures giving a last, dying twitch.

I have adopted the Canadian forms of spelling; I think it’s cool. They use the British forms here almost exclusively: colour, centre, defence, and so on. They do not use the spelling aluminium. They do, however, use the silent h in herb.

But while Canadian spelling I may have adopted, most of Canadian pronunciation I have not. The exception is when I play “I’m pretending to be Canadian.” I have at various times when doing this been pegged as a Maritimer (someone from Atlantic Canada), since I have a good grasp of the accent and “isms“ I absorbed while in Nova Scotia.

Though I am functional in French, I rarely have occasion to use it. Canadian French, though, is far more dissimilar to its parent than Canadian English, and volumes could be written about Francophone (French-speaking) culture in Canada, and I haven’t enough experience to do so with any credibility or thoroughness.

Summary: Someone could drop you in the middle of any major Canadian city outside of Quebec in your sleep, and it’d take you a bit to realize, just hearing people speak, that you weren’t in the US.

Civility

This is, to me, the single most important difference between Americans and Canadians, and I believe this trait informs all the positive ones I’ve previously outlined. Canadians are civil. They are brought up holding doors for other people, apologizing if they think they’ve offended or been a nuisance and just in general trying to be kind and decent to everyone else, even if they don’t like them.

The concept that your negative personal feelings towards others should not inform your actions towards them, that it’s right and beneficial to society to be polite to everyone regardless of whether you hate their guts or not is so obvious to them that it doesn’t bear mentioning.

Canadians’ default mode is “nice”. When in doubt, just be nice. Don’t understand something? Be nice and ask what someone meant, don’t just immediately go “Oh, yeah? FUCK YOU!” and start swinging if you aren’t sure whether you’ve been insulted or not.

Canadians don’t automatically assume the worst motive for the actions of others. If a guy’s going off and making a fuss about something, the first thought is usually, “Wow, he must really be having a bad day.” One of the keys to civility is cutting each other some slack, being easy on each other, at least the first couple times.

Canadians seem much better at this “a mile in my neighbor’s moccasins” philosophy than most Americans. They’ve been inculcated with good behavior through example; they don’t even think about it. As a result, even the immigrants get in on it within a generation.

Of course, there are those who recognize this tendency towards civility and understanding and try to subvert it for their own purposes. These types will invariably either adopt a disingenuously oblivious mien (“Oh, did I cut in front of you? Gee, didn’t see the end of the line.”) or will behave blatantly aggressively in the hopes of causing others to back down and avoid any type of confrontation, something that seems bred into most Canadians from birth.

I am at times frustrated by what I sometimes perceive as a pathological need to avoid confrontation of any kind. I see people allow others to take advantage of and inconvenience them without saying anything, and it pisses me off.

Some ass-wipe the other day at a movie theater, in which one joins a single line while waiting for the next available cashier, was standing near a particular window which looked as if it would free-up next, clearly intending to head straight for it while avoiding the line.

I, of course, ever-vigilant to such things and being a self-appointed Guardian of Civilization and Warrior against the Americanization of Canada, moved forward immediately when the register became available, shoving in front of the asshole and saying, “I was here first. The line’s over there.”

He muttered something under his breath as he walked to the line. Coincidentally, he was quite swarthy and spoke with a thick Middle-Eastern accent. Fuckers who style themselves “wolves among sheep” in this country fill me with cold rage. Despite the fact that your average Canadian finds my attitude and actions inappropriate, I will gladly suffer their disapproval, kinda like Batman has to.

Canadians are also far more respectful, in general, of people’s privacy. I hear less gossip and less mean shit behind people’s backs than I did in the States. People don’t pry as much, they aren’t as obsessed with going through your laundry, and are far less likely to share something private they may have learned about you.

For example, I was a porn actor in the US for a time; I got some press, and my stuff shows up on cable every now and then (gotta love Canadian cable; when they show porn, they leave in the penetration), so I am infrequently recognized.

A guy I worked with, when I confessed about my former occupation after having known him a few months, told me he already knew. When I asked why he didn’t tell me he knew his response was that if I’d wanted him to know, I would have told him, and it was none of his business.

In a similar situation in the US, a guy I worked with was so excited to know that he told everybody I worked with, including my bosses, and from then on, every time I spoke with them, though they never let on they knew, there was this weird awkwardness, like they couldn’t look at me without seeing me naked.

On the flipside, an Iranian immigrant kid I was in training with at this call center in Halifax sat down next to me one day, grinning. “Hey, hey, do you have tattoo? Show me”.

I lifted my sleeve and showed him, and he all-but shouted “Ha! I knew it! I see you, I see you on TV!” I convinced him to keep his mouth shut, but I’d catch the weird little fucker staring and grinning at me from across the room fairly often, and he’d give me the thumbs-up if I looked up at him.

Summary: The more civil you are, the better everyone gets along and the better your civilization.

In Closing

A banking system under control, sane gun laws, lower crime, universal health care, a thriving middle class, no illegal immigration problem, cheap weed, way less garbage all over the place, fewer assholes per capita, a strong federal government with excellent social programs…isn’t this sorta what Obama’s America would look like?

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Filed under Alcohol, Americas, Amerindians, Blacks, Canada, Cannabis, Crime, Culture, Dope, Government, Guest Posts, Hallucinogens, History, Homosexuality, Immigration, Intoxicants, Law enforcement, Legal, Linguistics, Modern, North America, Politics, Quebec, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Religion, Sex, The Americas, Whites

Bigfoot News August 23, 2012

Possible hint to the journal where Dr. Melba Ketchum Bigfoot DNA study will be published. One of my sources is a young woman with deep links to the Ketchum study. I had the following conversation with her recently.

RL: Do you know the name of the journal?

Source: (excitedly) Yes! I do! (Laughs).

RL: What!? What the?! Can you tell me the name of it?

Source: (slyly) No, I can’t. I’m sorry. I can’t do that.

RL: Hmmmm. Is it at Nature Magazine?

Source: (insinuating) Well…you’re close…Let’s just put it this way…Hmmm. Let’s see now. Does Nature have other journals associated with it? Say a group of affiliated journals?

RL: Yes, they do, as a matter of fact. There is a whole group associated with them, the Nature group…

Source: (Hinting tone) Well, then, I would suggest that you might want to look there…

RL: An affiliated Nature group journal?

Source: Yes…

Well, there you have it, folks. Put on your thinking caps and get cracking on the mystery.

Ketchum paper may not be released via Newswise list of embargoed journals. Not many folks know this, but there is a secret group on Facebook that has been set up for the Ketchum DNA project. Ketchum and Sally Ramey, her publicist, pretty much hold down the fort there.

The group has about 300 members and is impossible to infiltrate (I know because I tried). The only way to get in is by invite, and you have to have a long track record of interest in Bigfoot with a known identity. All email addresses are checked to try to ferret out imposters. They are unbelievably paranoid, and the group goes completely dark periodically for mysterious and unknown reasons.

Numerous members of the group are now apparently “suspected leakers or spies” and have been shut out of news and updates. Bottom line is it’s basically impossible to infiltrate or get any spies in there. I won’t tell you the name of the group, but it’s something along the lines of The Sasquatch Protection Group. Don’t bother trying to join because you won’t get in.

Yesterday, my August 21 post was the topic of much of the discussion in the group for much of the day. At some point, a person posted the Newswise list of embargoed journals and wondered if the Ketchum paper would be on that list.

Sally Ramey basically flipped out and said she was going to try to prevent the journal from posting to that service in order to keep leakers and embargo breakers out. She also threatened any group members with serious consequences if they were caught with media passwords trying to break into embargoed journal article sites to break the embargo.

Here is the direct quote from Sally:

Because of the interest level in this story, I fully expect the journal not to post it to this service. I will certainly recommend against it when we discuss it with the journal’s PR office. The LAST thing we need is the news to get out before things are in place.

So bottom line is those who are looking in the Newswise list for the embargoed piece may just be out of luck.

Ramey’s statement is important for additional reasons. Skeptics have often stated that the Ketchum team has never stated that the paper is at any journal, much less that it has passed peer review or that it is in line to be published. However, with this latest statement we can clear some of that up.

Is the paper at a journal? Sally Ramey (Ketchum project) says YES.

Has the paper passed peer review? Sally Ramey implies YES (see above).

Is the paper in line to published, possibly soon? Sally Ramey implies YES (see above).

So that ought to clear things up for some of the skeptics.

Elaboration for evidence that Ketchum team may believe that Dogman is a separate entity related to Bigfoot. Yesterday’s piece about the Ketchum team believing that Dogmen exist in the US and are a separate species from Bigfoots caused a lot of derision around the Net. One suggestion was that the Ketchum team had thrown this out there as nonsense to try to ferret out a spy in their ranks. However, that cannot be the case, as I will explain below.

The following is a conversation I had with a young man who is deep with the Ketchum Project.

Source: You know, Dogmen exist!

RL: What the…??? Dogmen?! (Laughs) No way.

Source: Yes! They do! Sally Ramey said so. Sally says they are like Bigfoots, but they are a separate species…

RL: What!? OK, separate species or separate subspecies?

Source: I’m not sure! One or the other. Species? Subspecies?

RL: So it’s like the difference between a Kit Fox and a Swift Fox, then?

Source: Yes! Dogmen are like Bigfoots, but they are somewhat different, a different entity. A different critter.

RL: How do they know this? DNA? Is there genetic evidence for a separate genetic entity?

Source: I don’t know! I know there is a team, associated with the Ketchum people, who are trying to gather Dogman DNA right now…

RL: OK, well, Sally believes this. Maybe Sally believes lots of things. But does Ketchum believe this too, that Dogmen are real, a separate creature related to but separate from a Bigfoot?

Source: She must! She has to! If Sally said, it had to come from Melba! It couldn’t come from anyone else!

RL: Wow…What the heck is a Dogman, anyway? Isn’t it more ape-like?

Source:Well, not really…it has a different nose…a sort of a snout for a nose. And it has longer hair, sort of a mane…

RL: You mean like the Beast of Seven Chutes? Is that a Dogman?

Source: Yes! Exactly! That’s one. That’s exactly what they look like…

OK folks, so there you have it. I have taken a lot of hits for writing this Dogman stuff, but I want to tell you that I have never believed there was anything other than a Bigfoot of one species or subspecies in North America. I thought the existence of other entities was ridiculous if not insane. I still think the existence of a Dogman is ridiculous, and I hardly believe it because it’s so incredible. On the other hand, anything is possible in this wild world.

If Bigfoots exist at all (which in and of itself is completely insane if you ask me) then, what the heck? Why not different types, subspecies or species or whatever, scattered about our benighted land?

Dogman information will not be included in Ketchum paper. Some false ideas are floating around that I am saying that the Ketchum paper will include discussion of the Dogman phenomenon. This is not the case.

While the available evidence suggests that for some reason Ketchum believes in the existence of Dogmen as a separate but related entity to Bigfoots, there will be nothing about Dogmen in the coming paper. Ketchum will write about Dogmen, if at all, possibly in an upcoming paper.

More than one Bigfoot type may exist in the US and the world. There have long been theories that there is more than one Bigfoot type in North America. Some hold that there are up to 20 different distinct types here, either subspecies or species. That sounds insane to me, but who knows? It does appear that the Himalayan Yeti may exist as a separate but related entity to Bigfoots.

There are stories that lack good evidence of other types from the Altai, the Caucasus, Pakistan, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, the Pamirs, Siberia, Russia, Poland and the Basque Country. There is weak evidence for their existence in Central and South America and in Africa.

Of all of these, the Orang Pendek in Sumatra does seem to exist, but it may be on the verge of extinction. It seems to be completely different from a Bigfoot type, instead related possibly to Homo Floresiensis that went extinct on Flores Island not long ago.

One good theory is that Dogmen, Skunk Apes, Goatmen, Grassmen and whatnot are all either misidentified Bigfoots or are some genetic geographical variations of Bigfoots as in separate species or subspecies. This has the advantage over other theories of at least passing the plausibility test and avoiding the falling down laughing barrier.

Ray Crowe on Dogmen. The great Ray Crowe is not dead as I had feared. Instead he is still with us, quite alive and kicking and working like crazy! My heart goes out to him, and I hope he sticks around this planet as long as possible. He’s truly one of the greats. Ray stopped by my site and wrote about Dogmen.

Here is his extensive remark:

A recent Lindsay release addresses the issue of a dog-faced creature and some speculation concerning possible DNA differentiation from the typical Bigfoot “species” a la Dr. Melba Ketchum.

Readers might be interested in some speculation along those lines by Ray Crowe, to be released in the upcoming Volume 2 of Bigfoot Behavior to be released possibly this fall.

Dog-Headed Creatures

Bord lists in the Bigfoot Casebook where in 1972 a witness saw a Bigfoot with a wolf-like head. The head had an elongated nose and fangs.

Three teenaged boys were driving near a wildlife area and saw what they thought was a dead dog alongside of the road. It was torn open at the stomach with the intestines exposed. The boys stopped to examine; poking a stick at the carcass. Immediately a huge “Werewolf” looking creature screamed at them and charged towards them (not the dog).

The boys piled into the car and raced off to avoid the creature. But it chased after them running up to 35 mph before they outdistanced it. One boy said that the upright hairy creature had ears visible on the side of its head.

He said that the face was like that of an ape. But it had strange ears, “like large lynx-type in appearance.”

Near Grand Rivers, Kentucky, July 1978, 13 year old “Joe” on his dirt bike screamed as the creature grabbed his leg, leaving scratch marks across his right thigh where it had torn through the denim of his Levi’s. The hairy wolf thing was following him on the path through the woods and grabbed him near the road. It ran on two legs and was taller than a man.

“Linda” said the Farmington creature was the size of a large deer but had a massive wolf-like head and pointy ears. It lumbered on across the road into the woods, uncaring of her car’s presence.

In November 2006 near Holly Town, “Steve,” a Department of Natural Resources employee, hired to pick up road-kill in Wisconsin, had just picked up an 80 pound doe deer carcass and put it in the back of his truck.

The truck shook violently, and he looked back in his rear-view mirror and saw a creature lift the deer and a steel ramp that the carcass was tangled in and run off into the heavily wooded area carrying the deer in its arms.

The creature had a distinct muzzle and prominent ears, the head of a wolf. It was said that other sightings of some sort of creature resembling an ape with the head of a wolf had been seen in the past.

Outside of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, a creature was reported in the 1980’s called the Beast of Bray Road. Reporter Linda Godfrey of the Walworth County Week interviewed the witnesses who talked of a Werewolf. The creature was said to be seven feet tall, weighed 400-700 pounds and had a face like a German Shepherd with pointed ears.

The creature had been seen running on all four legs and sitting in the road eating dead road kill. In vehicle headlights, the eyes glow yellow and the odor of decaying meat is noticed.

Not to be left out, Michigan had a popular song, The Legend of the Michigan Dogman, in 1987. The Dogman was first reported in 1887 in Wexford County, when two lumberjacks said they had seen a creature with a man’s body and a dog’s head.

Later, in Paris, Michigan in 1938, “Robert” was said to have been attacked by five wild dogs, one of which walked upright.

Joedy Cook said in 1996, the Norwood, Ohio, police followed up on a report of a creature described as “a dog running on two legs.”

Ronnie Roseman said he interviewed a Lummi Reservation cop who said that 15-20 years ago as the police cruiser was driving along the road and out of the woods, a creature with a snout like a wolf dashed out and deliberately slammed into the car and dented it after bouncing off, then dashed back into the woods. The big hairy creature was really quick, he said.

There was a violent occurrence in Kentucky involving something called The Beast of LBL (Land Between the Lakes). The tale was related by Jan Thompson in the book Jan’s Tales, in a chapter called Creature of LBL.

The spooky area had a long history of hauntings, Indian curses, and mysterious lights over gravestones, hag witches, and tales of a wolf-like upright creature that would attack livestock.

The seven foot Wolfman left barefoot paw-type tracks, and had long hair and a stench of open graves. The huge wolf head had a long snout, sharp incisors and red eyes with huge hands and long spindly-type fingers. At night there were strange howls of painful agony.

Families told of livestock slaughtered, ripped into pieces. Cattle and horses had their legs pulled from the sockets. A farmer found the creature in one of his horse stalls once; he “wet his overalls.”

Thompson goes on to say where two police officers fresh from a crime scene were shaken and pale, one vomiting. They had gotten a call to help with investigating a crime scene at the popular LBL campground where some early season arrivals had been attacked by something. There were county coroners and ambulances besides other official cars on site.

The victims were all dead at the ghastly scene, yellow ribbons of “CRIME SCENE” tape everywhere. The campfire was almost out, and the doors of the motor home were torn loose. Inside were bloody handprints sliding down the metal walls. Outside there was ripped clothing, bodies and body parts with limbs torn off, a pile of bowels and pieces of loose flesh and muscle tissues scattered everywhere.

All of which belonged to three bodies. The remains of what had been hours earlier…a happy vacationing family.

The father, mother and young son, the coroner said, were pierced by claws and incisors. The father had on his corpse four long claw marks, with a smaller digit like a thumb, that was wider than a man’s hand. The marks looked like the man was trying to flee.

An officer stepped out of the motor home holding a garment; a small dress like a five year old would wear, but no small child was found. Fifty yards away in the woods, an officer had blood on his face, hat, and shirt. It had been dripping from a small hand seen in the tree, along with a leg with a white sock still on the foot that was dangling down. The missing child had been found.

She had apparently been taken into the tree and leisurely eaten on as she lay across a large tree branch.

The LBL is a popular campground bringing a lot of extra money into the area; so, of course, like in the movie Jaws, they tried to keep it quiet so as not to scare any tourists away.

Summary

So, what are these wolf-like creatures? There are enough reports that it would appear to be part of the animal menagerie of our forests. The most I can do is make a really wild guess; tongue-in-cheek. It’ll have to do for me until something better comes along.

Could it be a possible hybrid between a Bigfoot and a baboon? Not necessarily today, but in the geological past (baboon fossils go back eight million years)?

All baboons live in troops of up to 150; have long dog-like muzzles, powerful jaws with long heavy canine teeth, close-set eyes, and thick fur except around the muzzle. They also have short tails and bare butts.

The males are considerably larger than the female, up to 90 pounds. The Hamadryads Baboon has a large white mane. The female initiates mating by presenting her rump to the male and gives birth to a single infant after six months.

The baboons have 91% similarity in DNA with a human and are have A, B, and O blood types. They have no problem hybridizing with similar species or even different genera in the wild; like between the Gelada and the Hamadryads baboons which have been distinct for several million years.

Many today argue that they should be classified with the apes. There are five species, and they are generally considered to be Old World monkeys. There is debate over the evolution processes of the baboon; the fact that they are so closely related to humans often scares people. However in 1977, researcher Michael Bedford discovered that human sperm could not penetrate the eggs of non-hominid primates like the baboon.

The chimpanzee group split from a common ancestor around six to eight million years ago. It is commonly believed that following the split, the two distinct lineages had sex with viable hybrids for 1.2 million years, when another split occurred. I assume the same was true between baboons and the common ancestral stock that gave rise to both Bigfoot and humanity.

Could wolf-like Bigfeet have been hanging around since then? Like in Medieval Europe?

And would a Bigfoot be involved with bestiality? Mary Green writes of a possible cow that was molested! The poor cow had its privates treated very roughly, torn up pretty bad. The farmer had no idea what could have caused the massive physical damage; it was something that could have been caused by being bred by a bull.

As an aside, the Russian Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov experimented unsuccessfully with creating human/chimp crosses called Chumans or Manpanzees by artificial insemination. The chimps share with us 99% of coding DNA.

And again, Birute Goldakas writes:

“Chimpanzees are blood relatives who share almost 99 percent of our genetic material. Once blood groups are matched, humans could receive a transfusion from a chimp but not a gorilla or an orangutan.

Some scientists believe that assigning humans and chimpanzees to different families is artificial. UCLA physiologist Jared Diamond argues that humans are the third chimpanzee species.”

So, perhaps the reader can speculate and come up with a better explanation for the dog-headed creatures?

While in the Wayne National Forest in Adams County, Ohio, Joedy Cook found the skull of a baboon. Joedy was hiking on a ridge called Buzzard’s Roost at the time. He speculated that it might have been somebody’s exotic pet that escaped and died or that it was from a nearby Primate Research Center.

As the skull was damaged, he assumed a predator of some kind had brought it there. Originally he thought it was of a dog or coyote, but an expert that he took it to identified it as a baboon. Division of Wildlife said exotic pets, including primates, are legal in Ohio, so there is a brisk trade in exotic creatures of all kinds.

Beast of Seven Chutes before and after and long distance photos. From the site Have You Seen This Creature? the official Beast of Seven Chutes site.

The following is the original photo in a series that were shot by the man on that day. He took many photos and four videos that day. Later he was looking back over them was shocked to find the creature in Photo 32.

Original photo from a distance. Creature is seen in the lower right.

This photo will point out for you exactly where the creature is in the photo.

Same photo with a graphic.

On a return trip about a month later, the man and his girlfriend went down to where the Dogman was and took some comparison photos. This photo shows the man standing in the location where the Dogman was.

The man who took the photo is in this shot a few weeks later, standing in the same spot as the Dogman for comparison purposes.

Other photos show the girlfriend. No photo exists that shows simply the site with no Dogman or humans in it. Some growth occurred in the month interim period, so the scene is not exactly the same, but it is similar. Obviously the Dogman is not some existing feature like a rock pile or tree stump. It is either a real creature, the best mask ever made by mankind, or a good Photoshop job.

The area where the Dogman was is very steep and overgrown and hardly anyone goes down there. It’s also extremely tangled and full of poison oak. There is also reportedly a fence around the area, but that can obviously be traversed, as the man and his girlfriend were able to make it down there.

It has a small animal in its arms, which is either a white poodle (probable) or a rabbit. The creature may be dead, and the Dogman may be feeding on it. Some think that the Dogman has a blood spot on its forehead, possibly from feeding on the white animal. The area around the falls is rural, but it is not uninhabited by any stretch, so the Dogman could easily have killed a small poodle in the area. Another theory is that the white animal is a baby Dogman, but that seems unlikely.

There are many claims that the photo has been debunked, but that does not appear to be the case. The photo remains a very bizarre mystery to this day, seven years after the 2005 shooting.

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Filed under Americas, Animals, Anthropology, Apes, Bigfoot, Canada, Genetics, Mammals, North America, Physical, Quebec, Regional, Science, Wild

Bigfoot News August 22, 2012

Shocking news! “Dogman” is apparently real! Dr. Melba Ketchum team says Dogman is a separate entity from Bigfoot, apparently another species or subspecies. This is incredible news. A source inside the Ketchum camp have informed me that the Ketchum camp believes that Dogman is a separate entity from Bigfoot, either another species or subspecies. How they came to this conclusion, I have no idea.

The Beast of Seven Chutes, taken in Quebec. The original photo is much larger, a panorama of a waterfall. The Dogman is very had to see in the photo and was only discovered much later as the shooter was looking closely at the photo. The object in his arms is apparently a small dog that he has killed and is going to eat. The photo is not though to be hoaxed.

Dogman looks somewhat different from Bigfoot and has longer hair and more of a snout-like nose as opposed to Patty’s more human nose. Some say that they are shorter, only about six feet tall.

Dogman apparently resides in the Central, Midwestern and Eastern US from the Southwest on up to Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Quebec and over to the Appalachians in Tennessee. In other words, the Bigfoots like Patty of the Northwest are one species or subspecies, and the ones in the Midwest like Dogman are another altogether.

A darkened photo of the Beast of Seven Chutes. The killed poodle shows up much better in this photo.

I asked the source whether Ketchum herself believe that the Dogman was real (I know that members of her team do) and he said, “She must. If [name removed] said it, then it has to come from Melba.”

Zoomed and enhanced photo of the Beast of Seven Chutes.

The question is how the Ketchum team determined that Dogman is actually a separate entity, a separate species or subspecies. The source did not know, but the obvious guess would be via DNA. On the other hand, he told me that there is a team working on gathering Dogman DNA for analysis.

An illustration of the Beast of Seven Chutes, taken from the photo. Very nice illustration by one of the finest new Bigfoot researchers out there, David Claerr, dramatically shows this odd Bigfoot like creature. It would be amazing if this thing actually exists and if there are multiple different Bigfoot-type species or subspecies in the US and the world. Copyright David Claerr.

The source also affirmed that the “Beast of Seven Chutes” is a good example of a Dogman. He also stated that information about the Dogman will not be in the upcoming Ketchum paper but may be in a later paper.

Scott Carpenter says that Dogmen are real in his research area in Tennessee. People blast him a lot for his unconvincing videos, but he does have a successful hair sample in with Ketchum’s study that tested presumptive for Bigfoot. Carpenter’s blog entry about Dogmen in Tennessee is here.

An example of how hoaxers are using the latest Bigfoot movies and photos to improve their hoaxes. Look at the photo below. It’s from a video by a special effects group that was released as a “real Bigfoot video.” It was so good that many were fooled. The huge back effect may have been created by stuffing some sort of bedding or pillowing in the back of the suit.

Click to enlarge. A screengrab from a recent Bigfoot hoax video by a special effects studio that had many people fooled.

Now take a look at the Hovey photo.

Click to enlarge. The Melissa Hovey Bigfoot photo, a probable real photo of a Bigfoot.

To me it is clear that the makers of the Pacific Northwest hoax above based their hoax on a careful study of the Hovey photo which they attempted to recreate with their suit. This is what I meant in my previous post about hoaxers getting better. When you have special effects folks competing to see who can make the best Bigfoot hoax, things are getting serious. It must be some sort of a game with these guys.

Back story for Ontario GoPro and Temagami Bigfoot video and photos is terrible. According to a source, the people behind the GoPro video, someone named “Nikk” has told lie after lie upon being investigated and has proved himself to be one slippery fish.

Alarmingly, it was Nikk to told investigators about the Temagami photos. The elderly couple are named the Heiberts and they supposedly reside in Timmons, Ontario. However, extensive searches by investigators have failed to find anyone named Jeanne Heiberts in Timmons, Ontario or anywhere else for that matter. Investigators feel that the “Heiberts” probably do not even exist.

Other things about the story do not add up. There was snow on the ground at the time the Temagami photos were said to have been taken, but there is no snow in the photos. There is the bit about the helicopters circling the lake, apparently lifted from the narrative of the Ben Matine hoax. Although the photos have been Photoshopped, the creature has apparently not been shopped in. That means that it’s either a real Bigfoot or it’s a hoax.

Tim Ervick investigated the story but did not meet the couple in person. Instead, there was 6 weeks of extensive emailing back and forth. Investigators are worried that Ervick may have been taken for a ride on both the Temagami and GoPro photos and video.

So we are left with at best a case like the Harley Hoffman video of what looks like a real Bigfoot video but the back story is insane, or at worst an elaborate hoax. Very disappointing.

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Filed under Americas, Animals, Apes, Bigfoot, Canada, Mammals, North America, Photography, Quebec, Regional, South, USA, Wild

Does Multilingualism Equal Separatism?

Repost from the old site.

Sorry for the long post, readers, but I have been working on this piece off and on for months now. It’s not something I just banged out. For one thing, this is the only list that I know of on the Net that lists all of the countries of the world and shows how many languages are spoken there in an easy to access format. Not even Wikipedia has that (yet).

Whether or not states have the right to secede is an interesting question. The libertarian Volokh Conspiracy takes that on in this nice set of posts. We will not deal with that here; instead, we will take on the idea that linguistic diversity automatically leads to secession.

There is a notion floating around among fetishists of the state that there can be no linguistic diversity within the nation, as it will lead to inevitable separatism. In this post, I shall disprove that with empirical data. First, we will list the states in the world, along with how many languages are spoken in that state.

States with a significant separatist movement are noted with an asterisk. As you can see if you look down the list, there does not seem to be much of a link between multilingualism and separatism. There does seem to be a trend in that direction in Europe, though.

Afterward, I will discuss the nature of the separatist conflicts in many of these states to try to see if there is any language connection. In most cases, there is little or nothing there.

I fully expect the myth of multilingualism = separatism to persist after the publication of this post, unfortunately.

St Helena                        1
British Indian Ocean Territories 1
Pitcairn Island                  1
Estonia                          1
Maldives                         1
North Korea                      1
South Korea                      1
Cayman Islands                   1
Bermuda                          1
Belarus                          1
Martinique                       2
St Lucia                         2
St Vincent & the Grenadines      2
Barbados                         2
Virgin Islands                   2
British Virgin Islands           2
Gibraltar                        2
Antigua and Barbuda              2
Saint Kitts and Nevis            2
Montserrat                       2
Anguilla                         2
Marshall Islands                 2
Cuba                             2
Turks and Caicos                 2
Guam                             2
Tokelau                          2
Samoa                            2
American Samoa                   2
Niue                             2
Jamaica                          2
Cape Verde Islands               2
Icelandic                        2
Maltese                          2
Maltese                          2
Vatican State                    2
Haiti                            2
Kiribati                         2
Tuvalu                           2
Bahamas                          2
Puerto Rico                      2
Kyrgyzstan                       3
Rwanda                           3
Nauru                            3
Turkmenistan                     3
Luxembourg                       3
Monaco                           3
Burundi                          3
Seychelles                       3
Grenada                          3
Bahrain                          3
Tonga                            3
Qatar                            3
Kuwait                           3
Dominica                         3
Liechtenstein                    3
Andorra                          3
Reunion                          3
Dominican Republic               3
Netherlands Antilles             4
Northern Mariana Islands         4
Palestinian West Bank & Gaza     4
Palau                            4
Mayotte                          4
Cyprus*                          4
Bosnia and Herzegovina*          4
Slovenia and Herzegovina*        4
Swaziland                        4
Sao Tome and Principe            4
Guadalupe                        4
Saudi Arabia                     5
Cook Islands                     5
Latvia                           5
Lesotho                          5
Djibouti                         5
Ireland                          5
Moldova                          5
Armenia                          6
Mauritius                        6
Lebanon                          6
Mauritania                       6
Croatia                          6
Kazakhstan                       7
Kazakhstan                       7
Albania                          7
Portugal                         7
Uzbekistan                       7
Sri Lanka*                       7
United Arab Emirates             7
Comoros                          7
Belize                           8
Tunisia                          8
Denmark                          8
Yemen                            8
Morocco*                         9
Austria                          9
Jordan                           9
Macedonia                        9
Tajikistan                       9
French Polynesia                 9
Gambia                           9
Belgium                          9
Libya                            9
Fiji                             10
Slovakia                         10
Ukraine                          10
Egypt                            11
Bulgaria                         11
Norway                           11
Poland                           11
Serbia and Montenegro            11
Eritrea                          12
Georgia*                         12
Finland*                         12
Switzerland*                     12
Hungary*                         12
United Kingdom*                  12
Mongolia                         13
Spain                            13
Somalia*                         13
Oman                             13
Madagascar                       13
Malawi                           14
Equatorial Guinea                14
Mali                             14
Azerbaijan                       14
Japan                            15
Syria*                           15
Romania*                         15
Sweden*                          15
Netherlands*                     15
Greece                           16
Brunei                           17
Algeria                          18
Micronesia                       18
East Timor                       19
Zimbabwe                         19
Niger                            21
Singapore                        21
Cambodia                         21
Iraq*                            21
Guinea-Bissau                    21
Taiwan                           22
Bhutan                           24
Sierra Leone                     24
South Africa                     24
Germany                          28
Namibia                          28
Botswana                         28
France                           29
Liberia                          30
Israel                           33
Italy                            33
Guinea                           34
Turkey*                          34
Senegal                          36
Bangladesh                       39
New Caledonia                    39
Togo                             39
Angola*                          41
Gabon                            41
Zambia                           41
Mozambique                       43
Uganda                           43
Afghanistan                      47
Guatemala                        54
Benin                            54
Kenya                            61
Congo                            62
Burkina Faso                     68
Central African Republic         69
Solomon Islands                  70
Thailand*                        74
Iran*                            77
Cote D'Ivoire                    78
Ghana                            79
Laos                             82
Ethiopia*                        84
Canada*                          85
Russia*                          101
Vietnam                          102
Myanmar*                         108
Vanuatu                          109
Nepal                            126
Tanzania                         128
Chad                             132
Sudan*                           134
Malaysia                         140
United States*                   162
Philippines*                     171
Pakistan*                        171
Democratic Republic of Congo     214
Australia                        227
China*                           235
Cameroon*                        279
Mexico                           291
India*                           415
Nigeria                          510
Indonesia*                       737
Papua New Guinea*                820

*Starred states have a separatist problem, but most are not about language. Most date back to the very formation of an often-illegitimate state.

Canada definitely has a conflict that is rooted in language, but it is also rooted in differential histories as English and French colonies. The Quebec nightmare is always brought up by state fetishists, ethnic nationalists and other racists and nationalists who hate minorities as the inevitable result of any situation whereby a state has more than one language within its borders.

This post is designed to give the lie to this view.

Cyprus’ problem has to do with two nations, Greeks and Turks, who hate each other. The history for this lies in centuries of conflict between Christianity and Islam, culminating in the genocide of 350,000 Greeks in Turkey from 1916-1923.

Morocco’s conflict has nothing to do with language. Spanish Sahara was a Spanish colony in Africa. After the Spanish left in the early 1950’s, Morocco invaded the country and colonized it, claiming in some irredentist way that the land had always been a part of Morocco. The residents beg to differ and say that they are a separate state.

An idiotic conflict ensued in which Morocco the colonizer has been elevated to one of the most sanctioned nations of all by the UN. Yes, Israel is not the only one; there are other international scofflaws out there. In this conflict, as might be expected, US imperialism has supported Moroccan colonialism.

This Moroccan colonialism has now become settler-colonialism, as colonialism often does. You average Moroccan goes livid if you mention their colony. He hates Israel, but Morocco is nothing but an Arab Muslim Israel. If men had a dollar for every drop of hypocrisy, we would be a world of millionaires.

There are numerous separatist conflicts in Somalia. As Somalians have refused to perform their adult responsibilities and form a state, numerous parts of this exercise in anarchism in praxis (Why are the anarchists not cheering this on?) are walking away from the burning house. Who could blame them?

These splits seem to have little to do with language. One, Somaliland, was a former British colony and has a different culture than the rest of Somalia. Somaliland is now de facto independent, as Somalia, being a glorious exercise in anarchism, of course lacks an army to enforce its borders, or to do anything.

Jubaland has also split, but this has nothing to do with language. Instead, this may be rooted in a 36-year period in which it was a British colony. Soon after this period, they had their own postage stamps as an Italian colony.

There is at least one serious separatist conflict in Ethiopia in the Ogaden region, which is mostly populated by ethnic Somalis. Apparently this region used to be part of Somaliland, and Ethiopia probably has little claim to the region. This conflict has little do with language and more to do with conflicts rooted in colonialism and the illegitimate borders of states.

There is also a conflict in the Oromo region of Ethiopia that is not going very far lately. These people have been fighting colonialism since Ethiopia was a colony and since then have been fighting against independent Ethiopia, something they never went along with. Language has a role here, but the colonization of a people by various imperial states plays a larger one.

There was a war in Southern Sudan that has now ended with the possibility that the area may secede.

There is a genocidal conflict in Darfur that the world is ignoring because it involves Arabs killing Blacks as they have always done in this part of the world, and the world only gets upset when Jews kill Muslims, not when Muslims kill Muslims.

This conflict has to do with the Sudanese Arabs treating the Darfurians with utter contempt – they regard them as slaves, as they have always been to these racist Arabs.

The conflict in Southern Sudan involved a region in rebellion in which many languages were spoken. The South Sudanese are also niggers to the racist Arabs, plus they are Christian and animist infidels to be converted by the sword by Sudanese Arab Muslims. Every time a non-Muslim area has tried to split off from or acted uppity with a Muslim state they were part of, the Muslims have responded with a jihad against and genocide of the infidels.

This conflict has nothing to do with language; instead it is a war of Arab Muslim religious fanatics against Christian and animist infidels.

There is a separatist movement in the South Cameroons in the nation of Cameroon in Africa. This conflict is rooted in colonialism. During the colonial era, South Cameroons was a de facto separate state. Many different languages are spoken here, as is the case in Cameroon itself. They may have a separate culture too, but this is just another case of separatism rooted in colonialism. The movement seems to be unarmed.

There is a separatist conflict in Angola in a region called Cabinda, which was always a separate Portuguese colony from Angola.

As this area holds 60% of Angola’s oil, it’s doubtful that Angola will let it go, although almost all of Angola’s oil wealth is being stolen anyway by US transnationals and a tiny elite while 90% of the country starves, has no medicine and lives unemployed amid shacks along former roads now barely passable.

The Cabindans do claim to have a separate culture, but language does not seem to be playing much role here – instead, oil and colonialism are.

Syria does have a Kurdish separatist movement, as does Iran, Iraq, and Turkey – every state that has a significant number of Kurds. This conflict goes back to the post-World War 1 breakup of the Ottoman Empire. The Kurds, with thousands of years of history as a people, nominally independent for much of that time, were denied a state and sold out.

The new fake state called Turkey carved up part of Kurdistan, another part was donated to the British colony in Iraq and another to the French colony in Syria, as the Allies carved up the remains of the Empire like hungry guests at a feast.

This conflict is more about colonialism and extreme discrimination than language, though the Kurds do speak their own tongue. There is also a Kurdish separatist conflict in Iran, but I don’t know much about the history of the Iranian Kurds.

There is also an Assyrian separatist movement in Iraq and possibly in Syria. The movement is unarmed. The Assyrians have been horribly persecuted by Arab nationalist racists in the region, in part because they are Christians. They have been targeted by Islamo-Nazis in Iraq during this Iraq War with a ferocity that can only be described as genocidal.

The Kurds have long persecuted the Assyrians in Iraqi Kurdistan. There have been regular homicides of Assyrians in the north, up around the Mosul region. This is just related to the general way that Muslims treat Christian minorities in many Muslim states – they persecute them and even kill them. There is also a lot of land theft going on.

While the Kurdish struggle is worthwhile, it is becoming infected with the usual nationalist evil that afflicts all ethnic nationalism. This results in everyone who is not a Kurdish Sunni Muslim being subjected to varying degrees of persecution, disenfranchisement and discrimination. It’s a nasty part of the world.

In Syria, the Assyrians live up near the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Arab nationalist racists have been stealing their land for decades now and relocating the Assyrians to model villages, where they languish in poverty. Assad’s regime is not so secular and progressive as one might suspect.

There is a separatist conflict in Bougainville in New Guinea. I am sure that many different tongues are spoken on that island, as there are 800 different tongues spoken in Papua New Guinea. The conflict is rooted in the fact that Bougainville is rich in copper, but almost all of this wealth is stolen by Papua New Guinea and US multinationals, so the Bougainville people see little of it. Language has little or nothing to do with it.

There are separatist movements in the Ahwaz and Balochistan regions of Iran, along with the aforementioned Kurdish movement. It is true that different languages are spoken in these regions, but that has little to do with the conflict.

Arabic is spoken in Khuzestan, the land of the Iranian Arabs. This land has been part of Persia for around 2,000 years as the former land of Elam. The Arabs complain that they are treated poorly by the Persians, and that they get little revenue to their region even though they are sitting on a vast puddle of oil and natural gas.

Iran should not be expected to part with this land, as it is the source of much of their oil and gas wealth. Many or most Iranians speak Arabic anyway, so there is not much of a language issue. Further, Arab culture is promoted by the Islamist regime even at the expense of Iranian culture, much to the chagrin of Iranian nationalists.

The Ahwaz have been and are being exploited by viciously racist Arab nationalists in Iraq, and also by US imperialism, and most particularly lately, British imperialism, as the British never seem to have given up the colonial habit. This conflict is not about language at all. Most Ahwaz don’t even want to separate anyway; they just want to be treated like humans by the Iranians.

Many of Iran’s 8% Sunni population lives in Balochistan. The region has maybe 2% of Iran’s population and is utterly neglected by Iran. Sunnis are treated with extreme racist contempt by the Shia Supremacists who run Iran. This conflict has to do with the fight between the Shia and Sunni wings of Islam and little or nothing to do with language.

There is a separatist movement in Iran to split off Iranian Azerbaijan and merge it with Azerbaijan proper. This movement probably has little to do with language and more to do with just irredentism. The movement is not going to go very far because most Iranian Azeris do not support it.

Iranian Azeris actually form a ruling class in Iran and occupy most of the positions of power in the government. They also control a lot of the business sector and seem to have a higher income than other Iranians. This movement has been co-opted by pan-Turkish fascists for opportunistic reasons, but it’s not really going anywhere. The CIA is now cynically trying to stir it up with little success. The movement is peaceful.

There is a Baloch insurgency in Pakistan, but language has little to do with it. These fiercely independent people sit on top of a very rich land which is ruthlessly exploited by Punjabis from the north. They get little or no return from this natural gas wealth. Further, this region never really consented to being included in the Pakistani state that was carved willy-nilly out of India in 1947.

It is true that there are regions in the Caucasus that are rebelling against Russia. Given the brutal and bloody history of Russian imperial colonization of this region and the near-continuous rebellious state of the Muslims resident there, one wants to say they are rebelling against Imperial Russia.

Chechnya is the worst case, but Ingushetia is not much better, and things are bad in Dagestan too. There is also fighting in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. These non-Chechen regions are getting increasingly radicalized as consequence of the Chechen War. There has also been a deliberate strategy on the part of the Chechens to expand the conflict over to the other parts of the Caucasus.

Past rebellions were often pan-Caucasian also. Although very different languages are spoken in these areas, different languages are still spoken all across Russia. Language has little to do with these conflicts, as they have more to do with Russian imperialism and colonization of these lands and the near 200-year violent resistance of these fierce Muslim mountain tribes to being colonized by Slavic infidels.

There is not much separatism in the rest of Russia.

Tuva reserves the right to split away, but this is rooted in their prior history as an independent state within the USSR (Tell me how that works?) for two decades until 1944, when Stalin reconquered it as a result of the conflict with the Nazis. The Tuvans accepted peacefully.

Yes, the Tuvans speak a different tongue, but so do all of the Siberian nations, and most of those are still with Russia. Language has little to do with the Tuvan matter.

There is also separatism in the Bashkir Republic and Adygea in Russia. These have not really gone anywhere. Only 21% of the residents of
Adygea speak Circassian, and they see themselves as overrun by Russian-speaking immigrants. This conflict may have something to do with language. The Adygean conflict is also peripherally related the pan-Caucasian struggle above.

In the Bashkir Republic, the problem is more one of a different religion – Islam, as most Bashkirs are Muslim. It is not known to what degree language has played in the struggle, but it may be a factor. The Bashkirs also see themselves as overrun by Russian-speaking immigrants. It is dubious that the Bashkirs will be able to split off, as the result will be a separate nation surrounded on all sides by Russia.

The Adygean, Tuvan and Bashkir struggles are all peaceful.

The conflict in Georgia is complex. A province called Abkhazia has split off and formed their own de facto state, which has been supported with extreme cynicism by up and coming imperialist Russia, the same clown state that just threatened to go to war to defend the territorial integrity of their genocidal Serbian buddies. South Ossetia has also split off and wants to join Russia.

Both of these reasonable acts prompted horrible and insane wars as Georgia sought to preserve its territorial integrity, though it has scarcely been a state since 1990, and neither territory ever consented to being part of Georgia.

The Ossetians and Abkhazians do speak separate languages, and I am not certain why they want to break away, but I do not think that language has much to do with it. All parties to these conflicts are majority Orthodox Christians.

Myanmar is a hotbed of nations in rebellion against the state. Burma was carved out of British East India in 1947. Part of Burma had actually been part of British India itself, while the rest was a separate colony called Burma. No sooner was the ink dry on the declaration of independence than most of these nations in rebellion announced that they were not part of the deal.

Bloody rebellions have gone on ever since, and language has little or nothing to do with any of them. They are situated instead on the illegitimacy of not only the borders of the Burmese state, but of the state itself.

Thailand does have a separatist movement, but it is Islamic. They had a separate state down there until the early 1800’s when they were apparently conquered by Thais. I believe they do speak a different language down there, but it is not much different from Thai, and I don’t think language has anything to do with this conflict.

There is a conflict in the Philippines that is much like the one in Thailand. Muslims in Mindanao have never accepted Christian rule from Manila and are in open arms against the state. Yes, they speak different languages down in Mindanao, but they also speak Tagalog, the language of the land.

This just a war of Muslims seceding because they refuse to be ruled by infidels. Besides, this region has a long history of independence, de facto and otherwise, from the state. The Moro insurgency has little to nothing to do with language.

There are separatist conflicts in Indonesia. The one in Aceh seems to have petered out. Aceh never agreed to join the fake state of Indonesia that was carved out of the Dutch East Indies when the Dutch left in 1949.

West Papua is a colony of Indonesia. It was invaded by Indonesia with the full support of US imperialism in 1965. The Indonesians then commenced to murder 100,000 Papuans over the next 40 years. There are many languages spoken in West Papua, but that has nothing to do with the conflict. West Papuans are a racially distinct people divided into vast numbers of tribes, each with a separate culture.

They have no connection racially or culturally with the rest of Indonesia and do not wish to be part of the state. They were not a part of the state when it was declared in 1949 and were only incorporated after an Indonesian invasion of their land in 1965. Subsequently, Indonesia has planted lots of settler-colonists in West Papua.

There is also a conflict in the South Moluccas , but it has more to do with religion than anything else, since there is a large number of Christians in this area. The South Moluccans were always reluctant to become a part of the new fake Indonesian state that emerged after independence anyway, and I believe there was some fighting for a while there. The South Moluccan struggle has generally been peaceful ever since.

Indonesia is the Israel of Southeast Asia, a settler-colonial state. The only difference is that the Indonesians are vastly more murderous and cruel than the Israelis.

There are conflicts in Tibet and East Turkestan in China. In the case of Tibet, this is a colony of China that China has no jurisdiction over. The East Turkestan fight is another case of Muslims rebelling against infidel rule. Yes, different languages are spoken here, but this is the case all over China.

Language is involved in the East Turkestan conflict in that Chinese have seriously repressed the Uighur language, but I don’t think it plays much role in Tibet.

There is also a separatist movement in Inner Mongolia in China. I do not think that language has much to do with this, and I believe that China’s claim to Inner Mongolia may be somewhat dubious. This movement is unarmed and not very organized.

There are conflicts all over India, but they don’t have much to do with language.

The Kashmir conflict is not about language but instead is rooted in the nature of the partition of India after the British left in 1947. 90% of Kashmiris wanted to go to Pakistan, but the ruler of Kashmir was a Hindu, and he demanded to stay in India.

The UN quickly ruled that Kashmir had to be granted a vote in its future, but this vote was never allowed by India. As such, India is another world-leading rogue and scofflaw state on a par with Israel and Indonesia. Now the Kashmir mess has been complicated by the larger conflict between India and Pakistan, and until that is all sorted out, there will be no resolution to this mess.

Obviously India has no right whatsoever to rule this area, and the Kashmir cause ought to be taken up by all progressives the same way that the Palestinian one is.

There are many conflicts in the northeast, where most of the people are Asians who are racially, often religiously and certainly culturally distinct from the rest of Indians.

None of these regions agreed to join India when India, the biggest fake state that has ever existed, was carved out of 5,000 separate princely states in 1947. Each of these states had the right to decide its own future to be a part of India or not. As it turned out, India just annexed the vast majority of them and quickly invaded the few that said no.

“Bharat India”, as Indian nationalist fools call it, as a state, is one of the silliest concepts around. India has no jurisdiction over any of those parts of India in separatist rebellion, if you ask me. Language has little to do with these conflicts.

Over 800 languages are spoken in India anyway, each state has its own language, and most regions are not in rebellion over this. Multilingualism with English and Hindi to cement it together has worked just fine in most of India.

Sri Lanka’s conflict does involve language, but more importantly it involves centuries of extreme discrimination by ruling Buddhist Sinhalese against minority Hindu Tamils. Don’t treat your minorities like crap, and maybe they will not take up arms against you.

The rebellion in the Basque country of Spain and France is about language, as is Catalonian nationalism.

IRA Irish nationalism and the Scottish and Welsh independence movements have nothing to do with language, as most of these languages are not in good shape anyway.

The Corsicans are in rebellion against France, and language may play a role. There is an independence movement in Brittany in France also, and language seems to play a role here, or at least the desire to revive the language, which seems to be dying.

There is a possibility that Belgium may split into Flanders and Wallonia, and language does play a huge role in this conflict. One group speaks French and the other Dutch.

There is a movement in Scania, a part of Sweden, to split away from Sweden. Language seems to have nothing to do with it.

There is a Hungarian separatist movement, or actually, a national reunification or pan-Hungarian movement, in Romania. It isn’t going anywhere, and it unlikely to succeed. Hungarians in Romania have not been treated well and are a large segment of the population. This fact probably drives the separatism more than language.

There are many other small conflicts in Europe that I chose not to go into due to limitations on time and the fact that I am getting tired of writing this post! Perhaps I can deal with them at a later time. Language definitely plays a role in almost all of these conflicts. None of them are violent though.

To say that there are separatists in French Polynesia is not correct. This is an anti-colonial movement that deserves the support of anti-colonial activists the world over. The entire world, evidenced by the UN itself, has rejected colonialism. Only France, the UK and the US retain colonies. That right there is notable, as all three are clearly imperialist countries. In this modern age, the value of retaining colonies is dubious.

These days, colonizers pour more money into colonies than they get out of them. France probably keeps Polynesia due to colonial pride and also as a place to test nuclear weapons and maintain military bases. As the era of French imperialism on a grand scale has clearly passed, France needs to renounce its fantasies of being a glorious imperial power along with its anachronistic colonies.

Yes, there is a Mapuche separatist movement in Chile, but it is not going anywhere soon, or ever.

It has little to do with language. The Mapudungan language is not even in very good shape, and the leaders of this movement are a bunch of morons. Microsoft recently unveiled a Mapudungan language version of Microsoft Windows. You would think that the Mapuche would be ecstatic. Not so! They were furious. Why? Oh, I forget. Some Identity Politics madness.

This movement has everything to do with the history of Chile. Like Argentina and Uruguay, Chile was one of the Spanish colonies that was settled en masse late. For centuries, a small colonial bastion battled the brave Mapuche warriors, but were held at bay by this skilled and militaristic tribe.

Finally, in the late 1800’s, a fanatical and genocidal war was waged on the Mapuche in one of those wonderful “national reunification” missions so popular in the 1800’s (recall Italy’s wars of national reunification around this same time). By the 1870’s, the Mapuche were defeated and suffered a devastating loss of life.

Yet all those centuries of only a few Spanish colonists and lots of Indians had made their mark, and at least 70% of Chileans are mestizos, though they are mostly White (about 80% White on average). The Mapuche subsequently made a comeback and today number about 9% of the population.

Because they held out so long and so many of them survived, they are one of the most militant Amerindian groups in the Americas. They are an interesting people, light-skinned and attractive, though a left-wing Chilean I knew used to chortle about how hideously ugly they were.

Hawaiian separatism is another movement that has a lot to do with colonialism and imperialism and little to do with language. The Hawaiian language, despite some notable recent successes, is not in very good shape. The Hawaiian independence movement offers nothing to non-Hawaiians (I guess only native Hawaiians get to be citizens!) and is doomed to fail.

Hawaiians are about 22% of the population, and they are the only ones that support the independence movement. No one else supports it. It’s not going anywhere. The movers and shakers on the island (Non-Hawaiians for the most part!) all think it’s ridiculous.

There are separatists in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, but I doubt that language has much to do with it. Like the myriad other separatist struggles in the NE of India, these people are ethnically Asians and as such are not the same ethnicity as the Caucasians who make up the vast majority of the population of this wreck of a state.

This is another conflict that is rooted in a newly independent fake state. The Chittagong Hill Tracts were incorporated into Bangladesh after its independence from Pakistan in 1971. As a fake new state, the peoples of Bangladesh had a right to be consulted on whether or not they wished to be a part of it. The CHT peoples immediately said that they wanted no part of this new state.

At partition, the population was 98.5% Asian. They were Buddhists, Hindus and animists. Since then, the fascist Bangladesh state has sent Bengali Muslim settler-colonists to the region. The conflict is shot through with racism and religious bigotry, as Muslim Bengalis have rampaged through the region, killing people randomly and destroying stuff as they see fit. Language does not seem to have much to do with this conflict.

I don’t know much about the separatist struggle of the Moi in Vietnam, but I think it is more a movement for autonomy than anything else. The Moi are Montagnards and have probably suffered discrimination at the hands of the state along with the rest of the Montagnards.

Zanzibar separatism in Tanzania seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with language, but has a lot more to do with geography. Zanzibar is a nice island off the coast of Tanzania which probably wants nothing to do with the mess of a Tanzanian state.

The conflict also has a lot to do with race. Most residents of Zanzibar are either Arabs or descendants of unions between Arabs and Africans. In particular, they deny that they are Black Africans. I bet that is the root of the conflict right there.

There were some Talysh separatists in Azerbaijan a while back, but the movement seems to be over. I am not sure what was driving them, but language doesn’t seem to have been a big part of it. Just another case of new members of a fake new state refusing to go along for the ride.

There were some Gagauz separatists in Moldova a while back, but the movement appears to have died down. Language does seem to have played a role here, as the Gagauz speak a Turkic tongue totally unrelated to the Romance-speaking Moldovans.

Realistically, it’s just another case of a fake new state emerging and some members of the new state saying they don’t want to be a part of it, and the leaders of the fake new state suddenly invoking inviolability of borders in a state with no history!

In summary, as we saw above, once we get into Europe, language does play a greater role in separatist conflict, but most of these European conflicts are not violent. In the rest of the world, language plays little to no role in the vast majority of separatist conflicts.

The paranoid and frankly fascist notion voiced by rightwing nationalists the world over that any linguistic diversity in the world within states must be crushed as it will inevitably lead to separatism at best or armed separatism at worst is not supported by the facts.

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Great Article on the NDP in Canada

From Ian Welsh.

The NDP or New Democratic Party, is a Left political party in Canada. They have traditionally been a 3rd party behind the Conservatives and the Liberals.

The Conservatives are increasingly like the Republican Party in the US, and that is really frightening. They have a large base in the prairies, especially in Alberta. What is more frightening is that bonehead Christian fundamentalism is increasing in Canada, especially in the rural areas such as the prairies. The Liberal Party, which used to be a good party under Chretien and Trudeau, is increasingly lousy.

In recent years, the Left has won 60% of the vote, but since they split it 3 ways, Canada ended up with Conservative governments. The rightwing Premier, Harper, is a frightening man who seeks to turn his party into the Canadian version of the Republican Party. His vision of Canada is to make it more like America – rightwing, stupid, dysfunctional, backwards and barbaric. Lately, the emboldened Conservatives have gone after the labor movement full-bore.

The Liberals ran a big campaign saying that the Conservatives wanted to get rid of socialized medicine (very popular in Canada) but the public’s reaction seemed to be that the Liberals can’t be trusted with it either.

Quebec votes Left, but lately they have abandoned the Bloc Quebecois and favor of the NDP. The economy of Ontario is tied in with the US auto industry, so it is in ruins. The Conservatives make hay over this, while promising to do absolutely nothing about it, similar to the Republican Party runs attacking a bad economy and promoting measures that will make the economy even worse. The idiots in the Ontario suburbs, out of work and broke, vote rightwing. Sound like out and work and broke White Americans? Sure it does.

Alberta votes Conservative due the tar sands industry. Extraction of oil from these sands is an incredibly destructive matter, but Albertans are just rednecks and they don’t care. They just want the loot.

Many Canadians seem to looking towards the NDP, which is great. It’s possible that the next election could see the NDP and the Liberals governing in a coalition.

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Official Language Lunacy

Repost from the old site.

As a linguist who has actually worked in the field as a professional linguist (and anthropologist) I happen to know quite a bit about official language laws around the world.

Most countries of the world have at least one official language. In Latin America, it is generally Spanish. In Africa, it is often a colonial language along with one or more large national languages. India has about 13 official languages, often one for each state, with English and Hindi given some prominence. In Israel, believe it or not, Arabic and Hebrew are official languages.

The official languages of the Philippines are Tagalog and English. In Europe, the official language tends to be the main language of the country – German in Germany, Portuguese in Portugal, Dutch in Holland, etc. Sometimes, a smaller regional language is also designated an official (regional) language, but these are mostly just used in a certain area.

Some European countries have many official languages, without apparent problems. The Netherlands has 13 official languages, if you can believe that. Finland has 2, Swedish and Finnish. The UK has three – French (Channel Islands), Welsh and English. Switzerland has three – French, German, Italian and Romansch. Belgium has French, German and Dutch. Ireland has Irish and English.

Having more than one official language in most or all cases has not caused any problems with separatism. Where separatism exists, it was present or even worse while the regional language was being suppressed. Separatism will exist in some cases whether you repress it by force or if you allow autonomy to flower.

The French are pretty terrible about this – as French is the only official language in France and the French are bigots towards other languages. In Canada, French is an official language in Quebec, but they have been speaking French in Quebec before there was a Canada. French is an indigenous language there. The Turks and some Arab states are bigoted about Turkish and Arabic.

In general, though, official languages are not much of a source of problem in most of the world, only where they are used as instruments of the ultranationalist chauvinism described above. And why should not everyone in Turkey, France and some Arab states just speak Turkish, French and Arabic only?

Well, maybe they should, but they also have a right to speak their regional language, because the Bretons and Basques were speaking Breton and Basque long before there was a France. The Kurds have been speaking Kurdish in Turkey for thousands of years before there was a Turkish state. The Kurds and Assyrians in Iraq and Syria spoke their languages for thousands of years before there was an Iraq or Syria.

Many countries have quite a few official languages. As noted, India has 13. South Africa has 11 official languages. Adopting quite a few languages as official has not been much of a problem for most countries, though Americans probably think it is stupid or crazy.

Which brings us to the United States. Official language policy has sadly fallen to the same lunatic forces that have taken over our immigration debate. Do we have an official language in the US? No, we do not, but many states do. About 30 states have designated English as the official language, New Mexico has designated Spanish an official language and Hawaii has designated Hawaiian as an official language.

Is it rational for Hawaiian to be an official language of Hawaii? Sure, it’s been spoken there for hundreds of years before we stole the place. Spanish in New Mexico? Sure. When New Mexico was admitted to the Union, a large percentage of the population were Spanish speakers of Spanish, not Mexican, heritage.

There are many Indian languages in the US, but most of them are dying, and many are already dead. They have few speakers and in no case do they make up a large percentage of a state’s speakers.

Nor do we have a situation similar to New Mexico anywhere else in the US. When California was admitted to the US, there were some Spanish-speaking Californios (only .1% of the population of Mexico lived in California when it was a part of Mexico), but they were quite outnumbered by then by English-speakers flooding in with the Gold Rush.

The vast majority of Spanish speakers in California are relatively recent immigrants from Mexico and Central America, legal and illegal, with some second language speakers like me. I am not aware of any case anywhere on Earth where the language of a recent wave of immigrants has been granted official status. If you know of one, let me know.

The vast majority of the people in the US speak English. According to global norms, English should be the official language of the United States. In most of the sane world, that would be a noncontroversial view, and speaking as a linguist, it would be linguistically justified. Yet for some reason, people who advocate English as the official language of the US are derided as bigots!

This is completely bizarre. In the vast majority of the world, making the language of the vast majority of citizens the, or an, official language is a boring and mundane decision. Rarely is the specter of racism raised.

If we can make English an official language of the US without appealing to the language bigots or nativists, let’s do it. English as an, or the, official language need not be the same as English-only. I don’t see why governments at all levels and any businesses could not continue to provide notices and services in other languages for recent immigrants if English was an official language – it’s a rational and humanitarian thing to do.

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Linguistic Map of Latin America

Map of the major languages of Latin America

This is an interesting map, though on first thought it seems unnecessary.

First of all, it makes quite clear how Brazil stands out as the Portuguese speaking state in Latin America. One could argue that this makes them odd man out, but if we look in terms of population, Latin America has a population of 570 million. 192 million of those are Brazilians. So 34%, or fully 1/3, of Latin Americans speak Portuguese. So what at first looks like Brazil’s linguistic isolation may not be so isolating as it appears.

All the Spanish-speaking countries can communicate well with each other, and there is a “neutral Spanish” that any educated person can use when conversing with any other educated person from Hispanophone Latin America. As long as you are doing this, you will both be understood.

Getting down to regional dialects, things do get complicated. I understand that Chilean soap operas, spoken in the rich dialect of the Chilean street, are dubbed in the rest of South America because other South Americans can’t understand Chilean street Spanish. But they are  probably well understood in Argentina. There does seem to be a “Southern Cone Street Spanish” that is harder to pick up as the latitudes move northward.

Bolivian Spanish sounds strange, but it’s probably intelligible in South America. It heavily inflected with Indian languages.

There is a general Caribbean Spanish that can be hard to understand.

The language of the Colombian Caribbean coast can be hard for even other Colombians to understand.

Dominican Spanish is notorious for being hard to understand. First of all, it seems to be based on Canarian Spanish of the Canary Islands, which is a very strange form of Spanish. Into this base went a ton of African words, much more than in the rest of Latin America. Further, it is spoken very fast. Dominican Spanish is pretty baffling to other Spanish speakers, at least for a while. Nevertheless, there is a more neutral form of Dominican Spanish that is widely intelligible to other Hispanophones.

On the streets of Mexico City, a very hardcore slang has emerged, sort of a Mexico City Street Spanish, that is pretty hard to figure out outside of Mexico.

Latin America is interesting in that the rest of the world seems to be learning “English as the universal language,” while Latin America is lagging behind.

I know quite a few educated Latin Americans who barely speak a lick of English. Latin Americans live not so much  in the society of the Western Hemisphere, but more particularly in the society of Latin America. And Latin America is extremely Hispanophone. Everywhere you go, most everyone speaks Spanish. Spanish is a very highly developed modern language with words for everything. Why bother to learn English? What for? To talk to gringos?

However, at advanced university levels, such as Master’s Degree and particularly doctorate level, increasingly there are requirements to learn English.

One would think that Mexicans at least would be required to take some English in school, right? Forget it. First of all, Mexican schools are crap, and they are broke. The elite and upper middle class steal all the money in the country, and the Libertarian/Republican dream minimal state/free market economy hosts horribly defunded and decrepit schools. It’s not uncommon to meet 20 year old Mexicans who dropped out in the 2nd grade.

English is typically not offered in Mexican public schools. It’s only offered in private schools, which is of course where the moneyed class above sends their kids, which is why they won’t pay for public schools (They don’t use ’em), which is why the public schools are crap. I’m sure many more non-Hispanic Americans in the US are taking Spanish than Latin Americans are studying English.

Hispanophones also often do not bother to learn Portuguese. Some of the educated ones claim they can understand it without studying it, but I doubt it.

A lot of Brazilians say they can understand Spanish pretty well (I think they study Spanish more than Hispanophone Latins study Portuguese), but when you start talking to them in Spanish (which I do on a regular basis) it doesn’t seem to work very well. Want to talk to a Brazilian? Learn Portuguese!

As we can see on the map, both French Guyana and Haiti speak French.

I was talking about Haiti with my liberal Democrat Mom once. The general conversation was along the lines that Haiti was all screwed up. She said, “Well, they’re all Black, they’re dirt poor, and worst of all, they’re in the Western Hemisphere, but they all speak French!” Indeed. What do these funny Frencophones think they’re doing in our Anglophone, Hispanophone and Lusophone Hemisphere anyway?

Further, the language of Haiti is not really intelligible to French speakers. It makes about as much sense as hardcore Jamaican English does to us. However, the Haitian elite often speaks good French. They also say they understand Spanish, but I’ve tried to talk to them in Spanish, and it didn’t go anywhere. Often they don’t understand much English either. Want to talk a member of the Haitian upper class? Learn French!

So the Haitians are rather isolated in this Hemisphere, but I’m not sure if your average dirt poor Haitian cares. I suppose they could always talk to the Quebecois, but no one understands Quebecois either.

French Guyana is also a French speaking country. It’s still a colony, and it has a very nice standard of living. Nowadays, colonies don’t even want to go free anymore, as it means a standard of living crash.

As you can see, British Honduras speaks English. There are some other English speaking islands in the Caribbean and some French speaking islands too, but none are marked on the map.

Dutch has pretty much died out in the Western Hemisphere, but it used to be spoken widely in Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean.

The main language of Guyana is probably some English creole, but it’s not shown on the map.

Indian languages are still very widely spoken in Peru (Quechua), Bolivia (Aymara) and Paraguay (Guarani).

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