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The folly of Harper’s fences

And the sign said anybody caught trespassing would be shot on sight
So I jumped on the fence and yelled at the house, Hey! what gives you the right
To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in
Signs – 5 Man Electrical Band

Almost complete are the conversions of two different Ontario communities into armed fortresses that would make even Kim Il Jong blush.

Huntsville and Toronto are very, very different types of communities – aside from the fact that many from the latter like to spend their summers in and around the former – the two are as different as night and day. Small town Ontario versus the Big Smoke. Urban versus rural. Natural environment versus built environment.

But over the next little while, these two communities have something very much in common. Something that up until recently, would have been unthinkable in the country.

They are full-fledged, razor wired, jack-booted police states.

I mean, what else can you call them?

Both are ringed with a 3 metre high fence that will be defended by fully armed and outfitted police officers recruited from the RCMP, OPP and the Metre Toronto boyz and girlz in blue. They have been specially trained in the use of anti-riot weapons like water cannons, sonic cannons, tasers, whips, batons, big guns, small guns, tear gas and effective noogy giving.

At first, the chattering was all about the threat of terrorism and hence the need for massive security.  Since terrorism is no longer a “threat”, we should not be too surprised that Day and the other Harperites are now characterizing all protesters as “anarchists and thugs”.  Thus the reason for this incredible and unprecedented armed presence on the streets of T.O. and in the bush around Huntsville. The ReformCons have to say something to warrant the ONE BEEL-LEE-ON dollars being spent on the establishment of the police state.

Sure, there will be some protesters in Toronto (there may be some in Huntsville too, but the main throng will be where they can garner the most media coverage) who are not there to exercise their democratic rights of free expression and assembly in a peaceful and meaningful way. There will be those who are there simply to cause trouble, mayhem and madness and to damage property.

But surely they can be identified fairly quickly and dealt with in an appropriate way? There are, like, thousands of cops and other security personnel, after all! They don’t do advance reconnaissance to identify individuals who may pose a threat? There isn’t a list somewhere?

I find that hard to believe.

Nope – the powers-that-be WANT disruption so they can point to it and say:

“We told you so! All of that money spent on fences, cops, cannons and razor wire was so WORTH it!”

The folks that I do feel sorry for are those in Huntsville and T.O. for whom this whole thing is a nightmare of epic proportions. I even feel sorry for the Bay Street lawyers!

Naw. That’s going too far.

I’ve been keeping an eye on the Torontoist – which is keeping a running tab on what the Gee-Score is ruining or making a mess of.

I’m sure everyone is thanking you, Stevo! From the tourism operators in Muskoka to the LCBO employees in downtown Toronto. Thanks a BILLION!

And all for a photo op…

Well, how is this for a photo op?

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End of the week miscellany

I wonder if public sector job creation is part of this. Doubtful.

  • Why, upon boarding a bus, do many people fumble around in the pockets, bags or purses for cash fare, tickets or their pass – thereby delaying everyone else on the bus? Did they think that they wouldn’t need to pay or show their pass? Can’t they plan well enough in advance and have their fare ready to plop into the box? Are they surprised to suddenly be on a bus?
  • Staying with the transit theme… OC Transpo riders have maybe noticed the green, red and while pamphlets declaring that Transit security is everyone’s business!
  • Trust your eyes! While waiting at your bus stop or riding the bus, be alert. Watch for unusual situations, behaviour or packages, and report anything suspicious!

    If you see something, say something!

    If you see something… say something…

Have I missed something? Have there been some terrorist incidents on the City’s buses? Should I tackle the next guy I see carrying a red briefcase. Yeah, I know some of you are all for increased vigilance… but doesn’t this strike you as a bit paranoid?

  • Glad Gordon Lightfoot is not dead. Funny how that rumour spread like wildfire over Twitter before being picked up by the mainstream media.  Reports indicate that Mr. Lightfoot was quite happy about this as his tunes saw a level of airplay that they hadn’t seen in years. CHEZ 106 reported this morning that they had received an email from Anne Murray saying that she had indeed passed away as well.
  • Coyotes (silent “e”) or coyoteees – which is it?
  • The pointed hatted folks in Vatican City have declared that brother André from Montréal will become a saint. Well, good for him, darn it! But I gotta say that he looks a little fragile. I mean, even as the placekicker, I think he’ll have some problems. One hit and this dude is in a mess of pain! Has anyone told Drew Brees?

  • Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to wish my eldest subunit a happy 17th birthday this Sunday! Love ya honey!

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Security – how far is too far?

There is a lot of hubbub about the new security measures that have been put into place in the wake of the attempted bombing of the Detroit-bound flight on Christmas day. Passengers bound for American destinations are being subjected to a lot more scrutiny at the point of departure – especially if you are unlucky to be travelling on a passport from one of 14 countries that the U.S. deems to be a threat.

Though I don’t really understand why poor old Cuba is on the list – and I thought Obama would have a different approach to Canada’s fave sun-spot!

But I digress.

Here’s the thing – the Americans have every right to set the rules with regard to flights that are over their airspace or that land in one of their ports of entry. It’s called “sov-er-eign-ty”. Yes, the full body searches are invasive and in 99.999999% of cases, completely unfounded and unnecessary. Yes, they are engaging in racial profiling, which most Canadians find objectionable. Yes, they are delaying the travel plans of millions – some with kids, with mobility problems, etc. And yes, I do think they are being overly paranoid.

So, here’s a thought for those who are offended by the American actions.

DON’T TRAVEL TO THE U.S.!

It’s a crazy notion but it just might work!

I mean, I know that some Canadians need to travel there for work purposes. I know that there are hundreds of thousands of folks on this side of the border who have family in the States who they would like to see now and then. Yeah, yeah – I get all that and you know what? You’ll have to put up with the new measures no matter how much you bitch, holler and scream.

But most Canucks CHOOSE to go to the U.S. for purely recreational purposes. They want the sun of Florida, the craziness of NYC or the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon. So you either choose to forgo all of this OR you resign to being subjected to the new security crap. Very simple.

I rarely go to the States. The last time I was over the border was about 7 years ago when my wife and I went camping in upstate NY. And I don’t have a driving need to go there anytime soon. On one hand, I can count the number of places in America that I would like to visit (Grand Canyon, New Orleans, San Francisco, NYC and Boston) but I wouldn’t feel deprived if on my death bed, I hadn’t gotten around to any of those places. I would much rather see the Pyramids, cruise the Greek islands, go to the Arctic, visit Peru… and the list goes on.

So, the bottom line, kids – you don’t have to like what they are doing down in da South der. But they have every right to do as they wish. And if you can’t accept that, then stay in Canada or travel to somewhere else.

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