Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today's little fact

If the national anthem is banned in schools for not being "inclusive" there's something deeply wrong with the country. The French version, with the sword and the cross stuff, is a part of the national heritage. The English version, re-written in by the Trudeau government to include God, could hardly offend anyone.
National anthems tend to have stupid words. "God Save the Queen" from what? And have you ever seen the now-dropped last verse of that anthem, with the nasty stuff about crushing the Scots? The US national anthem is a question that is not answered until the third verse (see below). You have to sing several versus until the writer's query is finally resolved.
But there's not a lot to bind the country together. I go to Montreal most days of the week and look with disgust at buildings flying only the Quebec flag. Outside Montreal, in the rest of Quebec, the Canadian flag is as scarce as the Star Spangled Banner.

UPDATE


Here's the text of the website of the principal who banned the anthem. The guy is a walking ad for private schools. Too bad for the good people of Hampton that this extremist is running their public school and playing with their kids' minds:


Erik Millett was born in Truro, Nova Scotia, raised in Saint John, New Brunswick and now resides in the Town of Hampton in the federal riding of Fundy Royal.

He is a graduate from Carleton University (B.A. Degree in International Human Rights), St. Thomas University (Bachelor’s Degree of Education) and the University of New Brunswick (Master’s Degree in Critical Studies in Education). He currently is employed as a teacher and school administrator for School District 6 at Belleisle Elementary School.

He has lived, studied and worked in the Ottawa area for about 15 years (1986-2000) and knows the national capital well. While in Ottawa, he worked as a community-based economic and social development consultant, a project officer with the United Nations Association in Canada and as a staff member of the national youth programme Katimavik. Also during this time Erik was a lobbyist and social activist on a number of important national and international issues, including: the anti-apartheid movement, the environment, homelessness, human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, the liberation of East Timor, nuclear disarmament, as well as being actively involved in the peace movement. Erik had the privilege of working with the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and current President of East Timor Jose Ramos-Horta. He knows that he can utilize these experiences, knowledge and skills to be an effective Member of Parliament for the people of Fundy Royal.

Erik has also lived and worked abroad and these experiences in Indonesia and in the Republic of the Maldives have shaped his worldview to that of a “green internationalist.” No other political party in Canada compares to the Green Party, which exists in over one hundred countries, on every continent and Greens are in positions in government in a number of countries. We need political vision which can transcend traditional nationalistic boundaries; only the Green Party is positioned to offer this type of long term political leadership in a complex and interdependent world.

He has had an interest in the Green Party since 1984 and has been involved with the Ontario Provincial Green Party in the past. He ran as a Green Candidate in the previous two federal elections in the riding of New Brunswick South-West. He recently served two terms on the Green Party of Canada’s National Governing Council with former leader Jim Harris and current leader Elizabeth May, as the New Brunswick Representative. He feels that the policies, principles and values that make up the Green Party’s national platform are ones needed for a forward thinking, innovative, progressive and visionary government for Canadians in the 21st century.

In addition to being a teacher and administrator, he has recently been involved in the Basement Players Theatre Group, is on the provincial board of directors for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, is an Executive Member of the Fundy Royal Green Party Riding Association and recently trained in Montreal with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Al Gore as a presenter and facilitator of “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Erik can be reached at (506) 832-2465 (h) or by e-mail at millett@canoemail.com. If you are interested in finding out more about the Green Party and their policies, are interested in helping out with the campaign, would like to become a member of the Green Party, or make a donation, Erik would like to hear from you.


The Attack on Fort McHenry
(The Star Spangled Banner)

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


God Save the Queen

God Save the Queen (standard version)

God save our gracious Queen,1
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.

O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen.

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