Henry sez, "Jacobin editor and In These Times correspondent Bhaskar Sunkara got a going over from Canadian border cops who accused him of being 'political' for knowing about health insurance, and of being a 'bigtime journalist embedded in the student movement,' then demanded his phone and details of his contacts."
The other agent, now done examining my roll of dental floss, flipped through the copy of In These Times, and saw my name on the masthead. So you’re a big time journalist? You must be embedded in the student movement, right?
This was the surprise and, to be honest, it was kind of refreshing. For the first few years of my adult life, I’ve dealt with extra screenings at airports and crossings, mostly outside the United States, particularly in the European countries I’ve visited. It was due to my race. My first hour in Canada was like that. Now I was being harassed because I was a leftist going to possibly talk to people in a country terrified of a militant left-wing movement. And I was a “known journalist.” I couldn’t wait to brag to my friends.
They asked me if I had two identities. No, of course not. How come you have all these medical cards that say “Swamy Sunkara” on them? I tried to explain the United States’ employer-based health care system and how young people under a certain age were under their parent’s coverage. You know a lot about this, are you political?
The irony was striking. The system I was explaining was a stark reminder of America’s weak social safety net. It was foreign to the Canadian border officials, who were admittedly not too bright, but it was one of the reasons why so many were marching in the streets of Montreal – to halt the neoliberal offensive. The border officials didn’t want me to join the protesters, but they also didn’t want my health care.
Reading Lolita in Montreal: Canada Doesn’t Want More Journalists
After sending the sex-video to his entire contact list, Republican Indiana Rep Jud McMillin sent out a mass-text saying that his phone was stolen in Canada and had only just been returned; he asked recipients to “please disregard any messages you received recently. I am truly sorry for anything offensive you may have received.”
It takes a top-notch MBA and years of training to be able to improvise and enunciate statements like this 2010 gem: “I’m going to really frame our mobile architectural distinction. We’ve taken two fundamentally different approaches in their causalness. It’s a causal difference, not just nuance.”
The Leap Manifesto calls for a Canada remade as “a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the opportunities of this transition are designed to eliminate racial and gender inequality.”
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