Monday, April 26, 2010

Random Crap

One would think that the dearth of terrorist outrages in Canada (before and after 9-11 in the UNITED STATES) would have calmed down all the precious darlings hiding under their beds sucking their thumbs. But, sadly no. According to Alison at Creekside, the harpercons are still shitting themselves in terror at the thought of Islamic Terrorism:
A redo of the panicky now defunct Anti-terrorism Act of 2001, the new Combating Terrorism Act includes preventive arrest and forcing people to testify at secret hearings about terrorist acts that might happen in the future, and if you don't like it you can go to jail for up to a year with a judge's option to extend.
There are more safeguards included this time round - you can have a lawyer! at any time! - which will only allow the Libs to go along with it so as not to be painted as soft on terrorism. Mark Holland, Liberal critic for Public Safety and National Security, already looking to cave.
The argument in favour of anti-terrorism legislation is that criminal law only deals with crimes already committed. What to do about people who feel that crimes perpetrated by the state against their people require a response like blowing things up?

Gee whiz! I didn't know that the police could only intervene after a crime has been committed. I guess it really isn't like TV or the movies where the police bust the bad guys right before they're about to launch their dastardly plans! In reality I suppose, the judge would look at the evidence of the planning for the crime, the possession of the explosives, and everything else and say, "It's too bad you didn't wait for them to actually blow-up that building, because now I'm forced to let them go."

Given the fact that the "mastermind" of the "Toronto-18" was no more of a threat than the "Brooklyn Bridge Blow-Torcher" or the idiots who thought that they'd conquer a US military-base by posing as pizza-delivery drivers, and that the fertilizer that would have provided the explosives was only made possible by the state informant (who didn't need any Anti-Terror legislation to help him do his job), you'd think that even the harpercons would have stopped shaking in their boots by this point. But n-o-o-o-o. A lil' terror goes a long way with these dip-shits, causing them to shred centuries' worth of hard-won democratic and civil rights to keep them from screaming.

Neil Reynolds (who is this person and why should we care what he thinks?) in the Globe and Mail laments the resilience of third parties in Canada saying it "threatens democracy." (Yes, you read that right. In the age of stephen harper, it's third parties and their preventing harper from getting a majority that threatens democracy!) Reynold's blows the dust off of some book from 1946 to make his case:
He was talking of minority parties that exploit ideological or political grievances, manage to survive for a longer period and then – “like all organizations” – perpetuate themselves simply for the sake of their own self-interest.Mr. Corry cited two examples. The first, he said, might be a splinter party dedicated to socialism. The second, he said, might be a splinter party based on French-language nationalism.

A yes! A splinter party dedicated to such fringe ideas such as public health care, the single-most popular government program in the country's history is a threat to democracy. It's not clear where Reynolds wants to go with this. Should voters toss away their petty grievances in order to joyously go through the motions of voting for Tweedle-Dum or Tweedle-Dee every four or five years? Regardless, Reynolds promises us bounty uncountable should his advice be followed: Canadians will enjoy the same sort of "democracy" as exists in the USA (where a majority opposed the bail-out, a majority opposed the Iraq War for years, a majority want more "socialist" health care, all to no effect):
This is the genius of the American system. J.A. Corry: “To win the presidency, it is necessary to win a clear majority of the votes of the Electoral College in favour of one candidate. This compels each party to aim at winning a majority of the popular vote. The result is that most presidents take office with either the explicit or implied consent of a majority of the people.”
In most instances, though, these presidents won solid majorities in the Electoral College, that eccentric but utilitarian institution that prevents two or three densely populated states from determining the presidency by sheer force of population

I believe that it was here that I gave up reading the print version in disgust. In preparing this post I've read the whole thing. Still fucking pointless.

Lastly, it struck me that proponents of "free trade" or neo-liberalism, used to argue that with their "free market" policies, beneficiaries are diffuse, while targeted groups (unions, protected industries, etc.,) are aware of their precarious status and the dangers to them of "free markets" and so they organize to maintain their protected status and benefits whereas the beneficiaries of "free markets" aren't anywhere near as galvanized and didn't exert enough pressure to force governments to push "free market" policies through.

Thank heaven for disinterested neo-liberal economists and propagandists! If not for them, bought-and-paid-for-politicians, and their corporate pay-masters, we wouldn't be where we are today. Which is a world with a shrinking middle class and a growing under class and a smaller, but far wealthier upper class. A world with rising levels of household indebtedness, which was necessary to sustain increasingly anaemic economic growth levels, and on-and-on.

But we started out bashing the poor, the unions, the public sector, and we find that we have no defences against either corporate predation or the increasingly unsteady economies that neo-liberal buffoons create. Seems that Pastor Niemoller could be re-worked yet again 'eh?


no_blah_blah_blah said...

It's odd how some people support moves that are intended to centralize and increase power of an already-powerful government. Liberals started such centralization, but the Conservatives have taken it to new extremes.

The Combating Terrorism Act sounds a like a mirror of the Patriot Act. It's just an excuse to give the government powers that would otherwise be illegal.

It's the same with people who want the Liberals and NDP to break down into "splinter parties" (ignoring the fact that they already exist). The governing parties over the several decades have had disproportionately high seat totals by splitting the vote. Having even more smaller parties could only mean more power for any governing party due to more vote splitting.

Today, the Speaker is likely to announce whether the government is in contempt of Parliament or not. If the Speaker favours the government, it would set a very bad precedent for our democracy. (Hopefully, he won't.)

In fact, it is seems that it has gotten to the point where the government never does anything wrong... it only sets new "precedents".

It's obvious that those who support such power grabs are just upset that their party hasn't formed a majority government. Such partisanship is worrying since it is indicative of a general lack of understanding (and/or respect) for how democracy is intended to work. Not only are minority rights ignored, majority rights (by proxy, as the the opposition parties hold the majority of seats) are under threat.

Remember how people used to joke about Canada being an "elected dictatorship"? It's not so funny right now.

(sarcasm) I'm glad that the currently-toothless Liberals are the main defense right now... I'm sure they'll do just as well as the levees that prevented New Orleans from being flooded during Hurricane Katrina... oh, wait... (end sarcasm)

thwap said...

You're right. A mob of ignorance, exploited by cynical hacks.