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11:22 pm EDT        69°F (21°C) in Dexter, MI

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I'm going to have to learn the nuances of saying "eh?" and inserting it at the end of every sentence. Last night, the Canadian House of Commons approved by a vote of 158-133 a bill that extends marriage rights to same-sex Canadian couples. Its survival was in great doubt at several points, most notably when the ruling Liberal party survived a no-confidence vote by the slimmest of margins a little over a month ago, but the Liberals and Prime Minister Paul Martin have finally gotten this done and, in the process, demonstrated that Canada is more committed to the supposedly "American" ideals of freedom and equality than the United States itself is. Never before has the Detroit River been such a wide chasm as it is now; less than a mile of water now separates the land of gay oppression (the U.S.) from the nation of true Christian values (Canada).

Of course, some misplaced "Americans" (in the form of the Conservative party, led by Stephen Harper — I call them Americans because they might just as well be U.S. right-wingers) bitched, moaned, and told outright lies until the very end, but Canadians are smart enough to see through right-wing bullshit — unlike their American counterparts. One of Harper's statements not long before the vote shows just how far away from reality right-wing politicians in any country truly are: Harper blamed the expected passage of the bill on the Bloc Québecois, a party that has, in the past, advocated separatism for the province of Quebec. "Most federalist MPs [Members of Parliament] oppose gay marriage," Harper claimed, as if to suggest that Canada's second-most-populous province and its elected representatives are not legitimately Canadian. This would be roughly analogous to an American politician claiming that the New England states and New York state are not legitimate parts of the United States, even though the broader American economy would immediately collapse if it lost Boston and New York.

(Harper was even more wrong than that; far more MPs from the New Democratic Party (NDP) voted in favor of the bill than MPs from the Bloc Québecois. Of course, given what we know here in the States, it should come as no surprise that conservatives (here, I mean conservatives in general, not Canada's Conservative party specifically) have absolutely no concept of reality.)

The next time I head home, I'll be going up to "Da U.P." again. My friend Eric is going to be getting married exactly a month from today, and I've been asked to be one of the groomsmen. Earlier today, I finally went to get measured for the tux, and faxed that information to da U.P.. Oh yah, dat fax machine is new-fangled technology in da U.P., eh? wink I'm going to see if I can't combine my paid and unpaid accrued time off and stay out of the truck for more than the usual maximum of six days; being the "county collecting" freak that I am, I will certainly look into the possibility of using that time to nail the final 16 Michigan counties that I don't currently have. (All 16 are in the Lower Peninsula; two are as close to Detroit as the "tip" of the Thumb area, just east of Saginaw, but most of them are in either northeastern, west-central, or northwestern Lower Michigan.)

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