Did you know that the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich is made with Kraft Cheez Whiz? Note that the good folks at Kraft spelled Cheez with a zee (not zed or s). And Whiz? Who came up with that? I also discovered tonight that Philadephia Cheese Cake is made with Kraft Philly cheese! More processed cheese! Someone has to look into this. What’s with the processed cheeses? The waiter told me tonight I could replace the whiz with gorgonzola if I preferred. That’s a start. But it’s not Philly.

I’m in Pennsylvania for the first time tonight. And again, I’m amazed by what I see. There’s something about American cities. Downtown streets are alive in the evenings with people walking, shopping, hanging out. There doesn’t seem to be a pall of gloom or any sense of economic panic. Philadelphia is not Detroit, for sure, but even in New Jersey there is a palpable optimism. And behind closed doors I keep meeting people talking about green economy, efficiency and renewables like new flavours of ice cream. The sense of urgency I’ve seen most in the past few days (in fact the past two months of travel in the US), is panic over how to change the world faster than we know how. What I love about America is how resilient it is, and how people just expect that their country will emerge stronger from this. I have no doubt that it will. Confidence is infectious. We need more of it in Canada. We’ve got the cheddar; let’s make a sandwich.

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