Category Archives: politics

Anti-Duhmericanism

I have often been accused by my friends and family of being anti-American.  That I have a deep-seated hatred of our neighbours to the south.  And I will admit, there have been times that I have said or done things that may give that impression.  At the risk of alienating any readers that hail from the Red White and Blue, I have laughed at “ignorant American” jokes.  I’ve uttered “Bloody Americans” when something that the nation through sport, politics or culture, has offended my sensibilities.  I’ve rolled my eyes at the “USA! USA! Chants.  (not in that I find cheering for your nations team offensive or irritating, but that it’s paraded out from everything from the olympics, to dog shows.) I snort in disgust every time I hear an American politician talking about the US being the greatest nation in the world. (I don’t believe any nation deserves such a title.)

What I really attribute all of that to though, is the rivalry that two nations close in both proximity and culture will have for each other.  We endure the “do y’all live in igloos?” jokes, it’s only fair that they endure our semi-snide assertions that Americans don’t know what goes on outside of their own states.  We put up with being “Americas hat”, they can live down being called a bit arrogant, loud and obnoxious.

Because in all cases, it’s an untrue generalization.  Some Canadians actually do live in igloos.  And we are north of America, kind of hat like and all.  (We prefer toque.)  And much like that is generalized, you can find arrogant, obnoxious Americans who don’t know the first thing about anything outside of America.

This morning though, my “Bloody Americans” sense was tingling.  On reading the news that the Senate voted against gun control, I had but little choice to sigh in disgust.  It seems completely idiotic to me that in the light of all the bloodshed and misery that has befallen America in the form of firearms, that this is even a debate.  When children are dying from flying bullets, society MUST change.  It’s the only civilized direction that can be taken. I can’t tell you how good it feels to walk around in our cities, late at night, and not fear that someone wills shoot me because they think I’m a threat.

Now this is not a rant about gun control per se.  I have no interest in wading in to that argument, because the sides of the argument are so firmly entrenched in their paradigms that you’d sooner move Everest a few miles from where it stands, than change their minds. All of the statistics can be fudged, or made to seem like it supports either side with little effort, and little result.  Nor am I against ownership of Guns, Canadians own a great many firearms.

What raises my ire is that there is a certain segment of the population that does not value life outside of their own.  That feel that their rights trump any responsibilities they have to their fellow man, and that can mean either domestically, or internationally.  This is true of each nation, Canada bears the shame of having boorish, self-centred bigots that couldn’t care less if anyone else suffers or dies.  But it seems to me that it is a very large segment of the American population that feels this way. (estimated at about 49%, given the last election numbers.)

As I started with talking about gun control, I’ll continue on that vein first.  The opponents of gun control want you to believe that it strips them of their rights to regulate weapons available for the public.  That if it happens, they will be unable to defend themselves, their families, their possessions.  They even want you to believe that gun ownership PREVENTS deaths, instead of causes them.  (Which, if I may offer my less than humble opinion, is like saying more rain causes less puddles.)

But the real issue here, is that they are afraid.  Everyone is the bogey man, every one is a criminal looking to come and plunder, and kill and destroy.  Put aside the nonsense false bravado you hear from those advocates of concealed carry.  The average gun owner can NOT stop crime by drawing their weapons.  If anything, it only increases the chance of people being shot, to either horrific injury or death.  So many anecdotal stories get forwarded of  good-hearted gun wielding citizens coming to the rescue with their handgun, but the truth is it’s few and far between, and in almost most cases the one who starts shooting is the citizen, not the criminal.  I was disgusted by the mindless prattle of some of these gun enthusiasts who said that if they were there at Sandy Hook, or in the movie theater, that the only person to die would be the shooter, they would calmly draw, fire, and it would be over.  This is of course obtuse nonsense.  They live in fear of their countrymen, and believe that their life is more valuable than others.  that their possessions are worth the blood of a petty thief.

They point to the second amendment and prattle on about their rights, worshiping the founding fathers as if they are infallible Gods, that it wasn’t a product of their time and culture when it was written.  That it cannot be reviewed for modern times, by sensible people with sensible ideals.  They don’t mind using mindless bigotry and racism to make their points, and even believe their own nonsense.

And things do happen that can cause fear. The bombing of the Boston Marathon is tragic, and horrifying, and I sincerely hope they catch and crucify those who were responsible. The truth is though, gun ownership wouldn’t stop such an event. The record of citizens bearing arms stopping either mass shootings, or bombings, currently stands at zero.

It’s these same like-minded people who have no concern about the level of death and misery that wars have caused in the middle east.  When the Twin Towers were attacked, it marked one of the most heinous crimes against innocent civilians in modern times.  3000 dead, and for what?  Nothing more than Jingoistic hatred.  But for these people, the deaths of many times more Afghani and Iraqi innocents, is as meaningless to them as a foreign language.  I find myself wondering what ratio of value a civilian from the Middle East is, compared to the life of an American citizen.  Since in Iraq alone, it’s been estimated that upwards of 100 thousand innocents have died, you wonder if over 20-1 is an equitable trade-off.  Which doesn’t even include the Afghani men, women and children who had no part in either the terrorism, or the war.   How is a child laying dead in the streets of Kabul from an American bullet, compare to a child of the same age buried beneath the rubble of a collapsed skyscraper?

It’s these same like-minded people who sneer at universal health care, believing that nobody should get a handout, that the deadbeats should just take care of themselves. They preach about the horrors of socialism while so many leave disease untreated because they cannot afford it.

So it’s Anti-Duhmericanism that I can be accused of. The simple-minded bluster and prejudice of dangerously unenlightened people. It is to them that I direct my disdain, and dare I say it hope. Hope that they will join those in their communities, states, nations and neighbours, to find a better way. One where fear does not rule, paranoia is not prevalent, hatred is set aside.

And if you’ll allow me to skip the apology to those who read this and are deeply offended, I have no doubt that they wouldn’t be interested in what I have to say in the first place.


Your Brain is bigger than your heart

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition – they somehow already know what you truly want to become. – Steve Jobs.

your heart, because if you always trust your mind, you’ll always act on logic, and logic doesn’t always lead to happiness. – unknown.

The first quote is from a brilliant man, who unfortunately died early. The other, doesn’t have an author. And as brilliant as Steve Jobs was, Both are ridiculously stupid comments.  Steve Jobs say something stupid? Say it isn’t so! We hear it all the time. Follow your heart. Your heart can lead you. Don’t listen to anything else but your heart. Which of course, leads us as people, to make stupid, stupid STUPID decisions.  Maybe it’s getting the house you can’t afford…  or giving that cheating bastard one more chance because you just love him so much.  Maybe it’s getting that fifth cat.  (ok, that one is mild psychosis. )  Point being, your heart tells you do do some braindead things.

There are a few elections coming up. One domestically, with the Quebec provincial election. A month later, We’ll watch the great sideshow that is the U.S. election. And both elections will have one thing in common. People making uninformed decisions, following their feelings to vote, instead of thinking things through in the slightest.  One of the greatest, and scariest parts of democracy, is that all voices count the same. That guy in the dirty mesh ball cap that says “Pobody’s nerfect” wearing trackpant shorts and a Nascar t-shirt? His vote counts the same as yours, Mr. Harvard professor. Let’s make it more horrifying and realize that Kim Kardashian actually has a say in the leadership of her country… the same say as Maya Angelou.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams pointed out once that a test on intelligence in politics had some probable depressing results. Take the 100 smartest people in the country, and let them be the only to vote. Two results could apply, both which make you shake your head. The first result would be that all the smart people vote for one candidate, assuming that he or she is the best choice. This would indicate that intelligence would find a way to pick the better option… and that we don’t do that now. We let stupid people have the same voice as smart people. The other result would be that the vote would STILL be split, meaning that elections have nothing to do with intelligence at all, and even the smart people vote with something other than their grey matter.  If I were to forward a guess, I think the second result would hold true, because we aren’t ruled by our minds in elections. We’re ruled by our emotions and feelings. Why else do all election adds appeal to emotional response? I don’t watch election ads for other countries, but I do see them for the US and Canada. And one unifying truth between the two: Facts don’t matter. Emotions do. FEEL how we can help you. let your HEART tell you to vote for.

Now if would make a prediction on the US election, I think that Romney is going to win. One of the biggest emotional draws in an election is “change” when you aren’t happy with the way things are going. Obama rode that wave in to office, and it will likely be that same wave that sees him leave the office too. In my not so humble opinion, Romney and his hate mongers in office should give Canada the motivation to start building a wall. But allow me to focus on our country.  We are less than a day away from a probable Parti Quebecois victory in the provincial election. The rest of Canada of course, is not pleased with this concept. Yes, let’s return to the days of whining separatists and threats of secession if we don’t give them cherries to go on top of their parfait. Fun will be had by all. I have known many Francophones, and the picture that gets painted of them, of whiney spoiled children is not accurate. But they repeatedly choose leaders that make hyperactive spoiled kids in need of Ritalin and a spanking look well-behaved.

It seems to me that the province of Quebec has forgotten Jaques Parizeau and Lucien Bouchard, two men who were so far out to lunch that they managed to have four or five courses at a prix fix of self-delusion. Why? Again, emotion. Jean Charest is a sorry pathetic excuse for a politician. The Students whining about their tuitions (lowest in the country) going up, add more fuel to the fire. And we are inches away from another election ruled by hearts, by emotions, and an absence of anything resembling good sense.

There will be no negotiating this time around. Harper has a clear majority Federal government, and a complete lack of desire to hand more power to the treasonous bastards of the Parti Quebecois. And nor should he. Part of the problem with previous dealings with the separatists is pretending that they really had a leg to stand on in the first place. Placating people who will not be placated is a fools endeavour.  Because they won’t get what they want, the Parti Quebecois will undoubtedly try to kick up a grassroots support for another referendum. Another kick at the can to separate from the Dominion, which is not unlike a fetus trying to separate from the mother while still in the womb. It’s a concept so cracked that it’s laughable, but that won’t stop them from doing it anyways. Again, all because they are too busy feeling, to think.

I implore any who may read this, to think before you ink. Stop. Take a deep breath. Shut off your emotions for thirty seconds, and realize what you are actually getting yourselves in to. I don’t believe that in this election, or really in most elections, there are very good choices to choose from. Such is the lousy part of democracy… slimebags, liars and idiots are par for the course.   But don’t let the metaphorical “heart” that is your treacherous, fickle, and all too often deluded emotions, make you make the Worst choice of the bunch.