I used to argue that however unattractive their other attributes, and some of these other attributes are exceedingly unattractive, the conservative libertarian right has an important sentry watchdog role to play in our society that benefits the rest of us - their eyes constantly scanning the distant horizon for any sign of the slightest infringement on what it pleases them to call their rights.
Lately I've come to realize that to many of them, those precious rights are just gun rights. They really really like their guns. Guns in a good way, guns in a bad way - doesn't much matter - they get really excited about guns either way.
Liberty minus the guns - not so much. Guns instead of liberty is pretty much ok with them as long as the people taking it away have even bigger guns and don't touch their guns. It's a fetish.
One afternoon on my deck in the sunshine, some neighbours were having a beer and the conversation turned to security vs freedom because we were about to get our first police detachment on the island.
"We don't need police," said one young guy, "if something goes wrong we handle it ourselves. Whoever is best suited to deal with it at the time deals with it."
"Okay," responded another to my nod. "Supposing a really big guy with a really big gun walks into your house and says 'I live here now' - what are you going to do about it?"
"I'll run out into the street and yell a really big guy has taken over my house," I said.
This is where we are now. Harper walked into our House in the winter of 2005/6 and, with the added twist of assistance from our national police in the middle of an election, he has taken it over. He lives there now and we don't. Somehow we don't run out into the street much over it.
This is also the position the Mideast found itself in after WWI when western powers divided up the Arab world into nation states and installed tyrants beholden to their interests to run them. When people ran out into the streets three decades later to protest it, we crushed them. We're still doing it and now we're dealing with the blowback..
On Monday, a fucked up Canadian with mental health issues waited around for two hours for his chance to run over two Canadian soldiers with a car, killing Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.
On Tuesday Canada sent six C-18 Hornets to bomb Iraq.
Yesterday another fucked up Canadian with mental health issues and a long gun shot and killed a Canadian soldier, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, at the war memorial in Ottawa before somehow breaching House security and being shot in turn himself by the sergeant-at-arms. One guy with a gun shot another guy with a gun.
Are these three events in any way related? We don't know yet but ...
Minus the CBC, whose coverage was mostly admirable, a lot of the media predictably played along with ramping up the terror meme to laughable extremes. [h/t CC for following media shots]
They're happy now because they will be in charge of managing a magical news cycle combining their love of gun stories with assuring Canadians of the absolute necessity of the further clawing back of our civil liberties. Now is never the time ...
Steve is already talking about cracking down on terror threats and a new act with increased police surveillance powers - powers that will undoubtedly be used on Canadians with :
“grievances – real or perceived – revolving around the promotion of various causes such as animal rights, white supremacy, environmentalism and anti-capitalism.”Or as the RCMP put it in 2010 when they included First Nations in that grouping :
"grievances based upon notions/expectations regarding the environment, animal rights, First nations' resource-based grievances, gender/racial equality, and distribution of wealth etc."Harper says Canada will not be intimidated by the actions of this week. Neither should we stand for being intimidated by the actions of the guy who took over our House.
Trapped in a Whirlpool : Now is not the time ...
Disaffected Lib : It's what fascists do.
Politics and its Discontents : Something we should all keep in mind.
Linda McQuaig : Is it too early to ask for a sane conversation about terrorism?