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Protocols Of Protest

June 1st, 2020 No comments

source: https://www.mlive.com/news/flint/2020/05/flint-area-police-join-protesters-marching-to-seek-justice-for-george-floyd.html

Rules and laws only work with two important conditions.  One, you need to have a population willing to follow the rules ( assuming that they’re enforced equally) and two, you need some means of enforcement if these rules are flouted.

In a nominally free country, people generally agree to abide by rules of social conduct because they wish to be part of a harmonious society.  It’s hard to know when the rules are too oppressive, but I would argue that people have been conditioned over the years to be more and more malleable by the governing overlords, so the threshold is now quite high.  A few hundred years ago, people got pretty incensed over an increase in the  taxes imposed on tea.  Next thing you know, they dumped it in the Boston harbor and that eventually led to a war which led to the formation of a new nation.

Today, people pay virtually half of their income to taxes, but they dutifully pay with only minor grumbling. People were obviously a lot less tolerant back in the day.

The recent rioting observed in many US urban cities is portrayed as anger over the death of a defenseless and subdued suspect, George Floyd, at the hands of a police officer. This abhorrent event re-opened the perpetual wound of racism accusations which never ever seems to heal in America.  Egged on by political opportunists, the howls of righteous indignation devolved into the predictable pattern of wanton looting, rioting and property destruction.

It’s a certainty that the vast majority of the rioters will never be held accountable for their criminal actions.  In fact media and civic leaders are all but excusing their behavior as justifiable.  The narrative is that people’s lives, black lives in particular, are at risk by institutionalized racism on the part of the police.  This narrative continues to be pushed even as cold hard statistics prove otherwise.

Contrast this to the behavior of the vast majority of the population when restrictions were imposed by governments upon their movements, their social interactions and their very ability to earn a living.  Shockingly, everyone complied and still do, even as more and more evidence comes forth about the exaggeration and mishandling of the ‘crisis’.  Again, cold hard statistics don’t support the narrative.

You’d think that people would be rightly incensed at having their lives and businesses destroyed, of having the government’s figurative knee on their necks until they succumbed.  And you’d be wrong.  As outrageous and unwise as much of the shutdown has been, people are still not burning and looting even though the devastation many have suffered was and is very real.  There were a few brave souls who pushed back, but their actions resulted in jail time and fines.

Turns out they would have been better off looting and rioting.  Apparently, all of the pent up anger and frustration could have been salved by throwing a few bricks, breaking storefront windows, setting some cop cars ablaze and getting some five finger discounts on flat screen TV’s and running shoes.  All without consequence. It’s hard to know when to follow the rules and when not to.

 

Milk Carton MP’s

May 27th, 2020 No comments

source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-liberals-to-parliament-well-govern-without-you-thanks/

Imagine a football game in which Tom Brady just stood at the 10 yard line tossing floaters to Rob Gronkowski for Td’s.  Every pass is a sure thing and the opposing team is on their sideline drinking Gatorade and having smokes.  Some in the crowd boo, but for the most part, the fans just watch with attentive docility.  The score gets to 72-0 after the first quarter and so they just call the game and carry Brady off the field with exaltations of what a great player he is.  A few people grumble about not getting what they paid for, but mostly, nobody really complains.

That tortured analogy is essentially what we are seeing today in Canada’s government dynamic.

Canadians are subscribers to the parliamentary system of government, a legacy from our roots in British history.  That model provides for an opposition party or parties to hold the governing party in check.  If that were not the case, all kinds of edicts and laws would be enacted upon the populace without proper debate and legal vetting.

The theory is that having to contend with a vigorous opposition, keeps the ruling group to account because otherwise, the government topples and a new election is called.  This is especially inconvenient for the ruling party if they are in a minority position, which means they lack the seats needed to make up laws on a whim.   If there was no opposition at all, well then that’s the ultimate position for a leader because instead of consensus building, the ruler could just unilaterally prescribe edicts for the kingdom. Unencumbered by having to explain himself, he could go about effectively running the place as if he owned it.

Someone could just impose a climate change tax for example, or declare that every month that ends in an ‘r’ to be loud sock celebration month.  Or they could just make everyone stay home and forbid them to work for a couple of months.  Whatever just feels right at the time.

You know something’s amiss when the most liberal ‘national’ newspaper in the nation starts to ask questions. The Globe and Mail is not quite Pravda, but rarely would it push back against any of the Liberal Party’s policies.  They were among the consortium of Canadian publishers given a 600 million dollar life line by the same Liberal government recently to help them transition their story telling to digital media.  The logic of this is questionable.  If people didn’t buy what you were selling in print, it’s a stretch to think they’ll infect their inboxes with the same junk.

But to their credit, even as the governing party is their patron, the Globe still dares to pose the question that should rightly be the responsibility of the opposition parties who are figuratively on the sidelines drinking Gatorade and having smokes.  Money and effort should be expended to locate the missing members of parliament and bring them back, rubber spines and all, to do the job for which they are being paid….which is to oppose!  In case they haven’t noticed, there’s a mop haired guy on the throne throwing money around like it was jelly beans at a bar mitzvah. He’s crippled the major economic engines of the nation to make sure a 16 year old Swedish girl is appeased. He’s signaled his willingness to concede the national sovereignty in favor of a global one.  I can’t recall debate about any of this.

While Canadians cluck their tongues at the apparent dysfunction across the border which is US politics, at the very least there are people willing to fight for principles in vigorous and public ways. We don’t know what’s happened to the loyal opposition in Canada; the last time anyone looked, their pictures were on milk cartons.  If Canadians finally get fed up with the one party autocracy which effectively exists today,  maybe come the next election, the missing members won’t have a job to come back to.