Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Canada: Conrad Black's take on America

The National Post

A naive, sunny speech to a gloomy, withering country
By Conrad Black

The pieces begins with:

"It was a seriously demoralizing experience to read that the majority of Americans thought that Barack Obama gave a good State of the Union speech this week. Their approval may indicate that the process of the country's decline is more advanced even than I had feared."

and ends:

"The United States is a rich country whose people are patriotic and hard-working. It is disoriented and very corrupt, and all its elites have failed. And yet it has no real rivals. Europe is crumbling, even more idle and debt-ridden than the United States, and withering demographically, almost comatose after generations of paying Danegeld to the urban mobs and small farmers. Japan is a geriatric workshop; Russia is an alcohol-sodden, self-depopulating gangster-state; and India, China, Brazil, and Indonesia comprise over three billion people, more than two-thirds of whom live as they did 3,000 years ago. They are putting up good economic-growth numbers, but China's inflation rate is now in double digits, and all of those countries are largely dysfunctional and will require decades to have any chance of seriously rivalling America. This should provide time for the United States to pull out of its nose-dive. President Obama said, "We do big things." The United States has, but after this presentational fiasco, I would not like to think of what he might have in mind for an encore.

"There is a role for Canada and Australia, countries that have most of America's advantages except grandeur of scale, and few of its problems, to start to assume a bigger role in the world. The world wishes it, and we should be ready for it."

read the entire opinion:

note about the author (from Wikipedia):
Conrad Moffat Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, OC, PC (Can.), KCSG (born 25 August 1944) is an expatriate Canadian historian, columnist and publisher who was for a time the third largest newspaper magnate in the world.[1] He was convicted of fraud in a US court in 2007 and sentenced to six and a half years' imprisonment. On July 19, 2010 Black was granted bail.[2] He was released from Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Florida, U.S., two days later pending a decision by the court on whether to retry his 2008 criminal fraud conviction.[3]

Before the regulatory investigation that led to his conviction, Black controlled Hollinger International, Inc. Through affiliates, the company published major newspapers including The Daily Telegraph (UK), Chicago Sun Times (U.S.), Jerusalem Post (Israel), National Post (Canada), and hundreds of community newspapers in North America.

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