Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How Did We Become a Land of Cowards?

Bill C-51 speaks to the cowardice that has taken hold of Canadian society at the instance of the fear-mongering federal government.  Conservatives and Liberals and, for that matter, a solid majority of the Canadian public support it.

What, some nutjob shoots somebody and so we need to turn the thumbscrews on the already dwindling rights and freedoms of all Canadians?  We're following in the jackboot steps of the United States.  We're becoming a land of cowards.

American pundit Ted Rall has a column in The Japan Times that should speak to all of us.

For a country that used to pride itself on a certain stoicism, the United States has become a land of whiny little boys and girls.

Oh, how we cried after 9/11. Three thousand dead! Those “Wounded Warrior” TV ads asking for donations to support Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans — excuse me, but why am I spending 54 percent of my federal tax dollars on defense if I also have to donate to a sketchy charity? — use the same melancholy tone and weepy delivery as Sally Struthers’ classic “save the children” messages. Obviously it sucks to lose your arms and legs, but let’s grow a pair. Fewer than 7,000 Americans got killed invading two countries where they had no business being in the first place.

Let’s put those numbers into proper perspective, shall we? The Soviet Union lost 20 million people fighting the Nazis (who invaded them, by the way). France lost 11 percent of its population during World War I — the equivalent for us would be 34 million Americans. But the Russians or French don’t bitch and moan as much as us.

Speaking of which, Americans have a lot of balls calling Frenchman “surrender monkeys” considering that nearly twice as many French soldiers were killed in the 1940 Battle of France over six weeks as the United States lost in Vietnam over the course of a decade. Meanwhile, we’re still whining about the 58,000 we lost in — no, invading — Vietnam.

Here at home, we’re infested with wimp cops.

In recent weeks, we have been treated to grand jury testimony in the shootings of two black men, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.

Both killer cops are bruisers — big, muscular guys. Most of all, they are cops. Cops have partners. They have the backing of the state. They carry tasers. They have nightsticks. They go to the police academy, where they train long hours in the art of subduing human beings. And as we well know, they have access to military-style hardware and defensive gear.

It's said that some 80 percent of Canadians questioned support Bill C-51 although most of them have no real idea of what it does or what the existing laws allow our police and security agencies to do.  Harper says "terrorism" and they predictably clap their flippers like trained seals.  These are people who are now inherently fearful, skilfully groomed to cowardice by a fearmongering government and its allies in Parliament.

It's the equivalent of handing over your lunch money to the schoolyard bully only on a national scale.  To those who would consider attacking us - real terrorists - we've just shown them how enfeebled we've allowed ourselves to become. 

They, potential terrorists and our supposed leaders alike, now see us for what we are - easy meat.



Dana said...

It's an interesting mental exercise to map the journey from "they hate us for our freedoms" to our democratic leadership deciding that the most appropriate way for them to respond is to start restricting and eliminating those hated freedoms.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yeah, there's a certain grotesque irony there.

Anonymous said...

Mound: I think this point needs to be repeated. 82% of the Angus Reid panel members, not Canadians, supported C-51. Big difference, eh?

The Globe & Mail ran an updated disclaimer, after the article had appeared without it, that the poll was not a random poll:

Note the paragraph in italics at the end of linked article. Translation: the results might not have represented, and likely did not, the true public response.

And then there was the gem in the survey that some 50% of the polled panel members admitted that they knew virtually nothing of the bill that they had claimed they supported.

In other words, that AR poll was likely virtually worthless in terms of measuring true public response.

The Mound of Sound said...

thanks for the clarification, anon.

Dana said...

I'm not sure why I should feel comforted that there's that significant a percentage of people willing to express a strong opinion on a subject about which they know next to nothing.

Unless they all have MBA's.

I still wouldn't be comforted but at least that percentage would be understandable.

Blue Grit said...

I may be an optimistic fool; but with all the "consent manufacturing' going on in the political landscape, I highly doubt that this bill is supported by any number exceeding the CPC base.

karen said...

I can't imagine why anyone could support this. The whole idea (and its marketing) is bizarre. The incidents that may be ostensibly the impetus for this were actually illegal acts. The police killer in New Brunswick, the driver who killed the soldier in Quebec and the parliament hill shooter broke existing laws, or snuck under our spies radar. We don't need new laws, or more laws. Maybe we need better trained law enforcement officers and more competent spies. I don't see Bill C-51 doing either of those things.

Dana said...

The real danger C-51 sets out to attack is a conversation exactly like this.

the salamander said...

.. in case folks don't get how screwed up things are ..
National Defense wants armed Ottawa cops to defend unarmed ceremonial sentries.. at the Cenotaph ..

Can't wait for the rationale... and the name of anyone who dreamed this up. Arm the sentries fer cryin out loud. They're reservists.. and if you aren't going to arm them..then why issue them rifles?

Anonymous said...

@Dana: You asked why you should be comforted that a significant number of people were willing to express an opinion on something they apparently know little about?

Let me try to clarify .... because they belong to the Angus Reid panel and are not the true public response. :)

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Anon. Do we know anything about this Angus Reid panel? If they're skewed, by how many points?

@ Dana - yes I fear conversations like this will be targeted by C-51. Harper will deny it but he's never been willing to play by the rules and he'll game everything to the maximum extent possible to suit his purposes.

@ Sal. When did the war memorial get the honour guard anyway? All my years in Ottawa we only saw military personnel during events such as Remembrance Day, etc. In any case it's a good thing that our war dead can't talk, good for Harper that is.

@ Karen. I agree totally. We're doing exactly what the Americans did with the Patriot Act. No scrutiny of how what they use to justify their new laws happened, why, or what could easily have been done within the existing laws to prevent it. If they can't properly enforce the existing laws why should we entrust them with new powers?

Hugh said...

"Excuse me, your boot is kind of on my face. Sorry."

Anonymous said...

Mound: You may or may not know this in Lotusland but in the last Ontario election (last year), Angus Reid, using the similar online panel polling methodology had wrongly predicted that Hudak and the PC party were statistically tied with the Liberals.

Turned out the Liberals won by a quite strong majority. There were two polling outfits (EKOS and Forum) that had correctly predicted the Liberal majority. Both EKOS and Forum had used a random polling model (IVR, telephone calling) and not an online panel methodology.

Thus while it is unknown how skewed the AR panel was towards Cons, it was very clear that it was as it had predicted a significantly higher Cons support than was the case.

BTW, Angus Reid was not the only outfit that had got the Ontario election wrong. Using the similar non randomized online panel methodology, both Abacus and Ipsos Reid had also got it wrong. Abacus had also predicted a statistical tie between the Liberals and Cons. Ipsos took the cake: their likely voter model actually predicted a strong Cons majority.

In summary, when reading about a poll, always check the methodology used. These non randomized online panel methodology are very dubious polls of the true public response. My impression is that if they do get it correct, it is perhaps because a stopped clock could also tell the correct time twice a day. Lol

Purple library guy said...

Mind you, I have a certain sympathy for certain kinds of cowardice.

I mean, I'd prefer not to be at war. And I'd certainly prefer not to be aggressively attacking people who are either leaving us alone or would be if we weren't fucking with them. If I don't want to die violently, one good way is not to go around killing people.

But if I were at war, I'd definitely prefer for the other side to be dying and me and my side not to be. That's true whether it's a matter of bombing people who can't shoot my bombers or using IEDs instead of having a line of people shooting at the enemy's armoured vehicles so they can wipe us out nice and easy. At what point does "good tactics" turn into cowardice?

The problem is less cowardice as such and more simultaneously being an asshole and cowardly. For instance, if someone says to me "I'm going to dodge the draft because I don't want to die in the war, and by the way I don't want anyone to die in the war whether our guys or theirs" I can sympathize with that. Who wants to die? On the other hand, if someone says to me "The war is a necessary and great thing and I support my people dying in it but I'm still going to dodge the draft myself or keep my personal kids out of it" then they're just vile hypocrites.