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Everybody Knows That’s How It Goes

And so another Christmas has come and gone.

boxing day1People have exchanged gifts and then rushed off to the mall to exchange them for something else; grand Christmas dinners have degenerated into left-over status and preparations are in full gear for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

We are in the Dead Zone; surrounded by the remnants of Christmas and waiting for the celebration of the New Year; a short grey time when we don’t really know what to do with ourselves.

All that rushing about before Christmas is behind us and the parties and family dinners of New Year’s celebrations are still in front of us. Fortunately, preparing for New Year Eve doesn’t take quite as much effort as getting ready for Christmas.

I don’t mind admitting that I was somewhat zoned out leading up to Christmas. I had promised myself that I would only write about Christmas in the days leading up to it and wasn’t paying a great deal of attention to what was happening in the big world – and a lot has been happening.

There was another terrible shooting in the United States, where an ex-convict set houses on fire to lay a trap for first-responders. He killed two and wounded two other firefighters and a police officer. It appears he also killed his sister before taking his own life.

The gun used was the same model as that used in the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School which has only further inflamed the debate on gun control and gun ownership.

The fiscal cliff is looming in the United States as Congress and the White House continue to demonstrate a complete lack of leadership or even responsibility in administrating the fiscal affairs of the nation. It is an unbelievable game of chicken with an incredible amount of cynical political gamesmanship which, no matter how it turns out, will cost the American people ongoing  financial and  political stability.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau, a candidate for the leadership of the federal Liberal Party of Canada, spoke at an Islamic Conference in Toronto. This upset many who felt he was supporting a radical faction of Islam and they were quite vocal about it which got Mr. Trudeau quite upset. He doesn’t take criticism very well when he makes an error in judgment.

Still, I’m not sure why everyone was so upset. As usual, Canada’s Peter Pan delivered nothing but the same shop-worn clichés and platitudes that have been delivered by politicians for generations and it made me wonder once again why anyone thinks this former substitute drama teacher is qualified to lead the country.

First Nations in Canada are also upset. There have been changes made to the Indian Act, a piece of paternalistic legislation that shouldphoto_2243852_resize_article have been scrapped long ago. The fact that it hasn’t has as much to do with the leadership of the First Nations themselves as it does with the government but the aboriginal community and progressives aren’t interested in discussing that. It might actually lead to a resolution of the issue and then where would we all be?

Instead, we have the usual blockades and demonstrations that have never accomplished much in the past being trotted out again with the usual set of vague demands. Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat Band is conducting a hunger strike until her demand for a face-to-face meeting with Canada’s Prime Minister is met.

She’s upset with conditions on her reserve and changes made to the Indian Act. I can understand her concern. Her reserve has seen the most abject levels of poverty even after the federal government has poured $90 million into it and DeBeers, the diamond mining company, signed contracts worth more than $350 million over the past five years. Along with some cash from the provincial government and the Aboriginal Casino Gaming Fund, Chief Spence and her colleagues have blown through almost a half billion in five years and have nothing to show for it except a new hockey arena with an $80,000 Zamboni and some of the most desperate living conditions in the country.

That’s basically $50,000 per year per person in this tiny community. How is it possible for it to have so much poverty when so much money has been injected into a community of less than 1800 people?

Chief Spence rejected a call for an accounting earlier this year and is now on a hunger strike protesting the government’s legislation to force greater transparency on native band councils.

We’ll be talking about this in more detail in the days to come but for now, the progressive left prefers to simply blame the government rather than ask the hard questions like, “Where did all that money go?”

It’s the same the world over.

We continue to repeat the same mistakes, argue about the same issues and basically spin our wheels like a car stuck on ice in a snow drift.

It wasn’t so long ago that we were moving forward, not always in the right direction perhaps, but we were at least mobile. Now, we’re in angry stasis; caught up in a perpetual Ground Hog Day, reliving the same issues, the same challenges and the same stupidities over and over and over again.

In both Canada and the United States, various people including the Liberal Premier of Ontario, have taken ‘decisive’ action to keep our children safe in the wake of the terrible shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The Premier is legislating a ‘locked door’ policy for all schools.

There’s dynamic straight-ahead thinking for you or as it is otherwise known – the illusion of doing something constructive. It obviously escaped the Premier’s notice that Sandy Hill did have a locked door policy in place and it did nothing to keep those children safe.

The NRA called on the government to put armed police officers in every school completely ignoring the fact that there was an armed police officer in place at Columbine. As for the fantasy of turning teachers into Rambo by arming them – well – the discussion continues to plummet into the absurd.

We learn nothing and continue to propose the same useless solutions to challenging issues in order to protect our own vested self-interest.

We’ll be talking about more of that in the days to come as well because, I for one, am tired of the bullshit and there is no other word for it. It is nothing but wasted time and effort that has done nothing to keep our communities safe or to advance any issue we face together as nations.

The Mayan Prophecy turned out not to be a prophecy at all, merely the end of a calendar cycle but we are reaching the end of something far more real. We are reaching a point where we are rushing, like lemmings to a cliff far more serious than the fiscal cliff, a long fall from prosperity, civilized behaviour and personal and collective security – a form of social anarchy built on a foundation of cynical opportunism, entitlement greed and sheer stupidity that will be far worse than anything some thought might have been part of what the Mayans predicted.

We seem oblivious to it. We continue to argue and defend, polarize and divide because in the end, we don’t seem to care about our societies as much as we do about our own opinions and entitlements. In the end, Leonard Cohen was right –

“Everybody knows the boat is leaking, everybody knows the Captain lied.
Everybody’s got this broken feeling, like their father or their dog just died.
Everybody’s talking to their pockets, everybody wants a box of chocolates and a long-stem rose….
everybody knows.”

Everybody knows the captain lied but we still salute him. Everybody knows that’s it’s now or never because everybody knows that the plague is coming and everybody knows it’s moving fast.

Everybody has that familiar feeling – you know – the feeling that something rank is going down and that it’s long past time to get down to business but everybody knows nothing will change. Everybody knows the scene is dead but we’ll do nothing because  – that’s just  how it goes these days

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© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
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  • http://jonathandfriesen.blogspot.ca/ Jon Friesen

    “The NRA called on the government to put armed police officers in every school completely ignoring the fact that there was an armed police officer in place at Columbine.” — And that officer exchanged fire with the shooters, buying time; we have no idea how many he actually saved(I allow it might be zero), and you seem to be arguing that if he had not been there things would have gone better. Not bright. If armed guards are useless then the dozen armed guards at the private school attended by President Obama’s daughters should be let go.

    “As for the fantasy of turning teachers into Rambo by arming them…” — Pure bullshit, and you know it. NO ONE is arguing that arming teachers makes them highly trained killers; NO ONE. So you can drop the sanctimony any time, and if you argue that armed teachers or officers CAN NOT help then you must also argue that it is a GOOD THING that no one other than Adam Lanza was armed in Newtown two weeks ago. You cannot have it both ways. If you feel queasy about armed teachers that is fine but spare us the “other ideas that I am uncertain about are OBVIOUSLY stupid” arrogance. We get enough of that from progressives.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      You seem to be of the opinion that the best solution to violence is more violence. How much more would you like? Now we’re talking abut arming teachers rather than talking about how to stop people from wanting to kill our children. Perhaps we should all just strap no a six shooter and saunter around town confident that we can defend ourselves rather than working to find ways to actually make our communities safer. I don’t know what kind of society you want for your family but I want one where people don’t live in fear and have to wear guns because they do. I have no issue with gun ownership. I used to be a competitive shooter at the national level. My issue is with the increasing level of violence and the simplistic solutions people like you put forward. I’m tired of people trying throw oout weak-minded solutions in order to defend owning a gun.

      Nobody is trying to take away your gun(s). What we’re trying to do is get passed the same tired and mindless debate about gun control which has accomplished nothing for decades and get to discussing the real issues.

      Quit foaming at the mouth and get over yourself.

      • http://jonathandfriesen.blogspot.ca/ Jon Friesen

        “Now we’re talking abut arming teachers rather than talking about how to stop people from wanting to kill our children.” — If you have some way of stopping people from wanting to kill children then let’s implement it. What are you suggesting, an improved mental health approach? Sounds good. Anything else? I’m listening, but you are arguing that if 1 or 3 or 5 of the teachers/janitors/resource officers in Newtown Connecticut had been armed when Adam Lanza showed up the scene would have been WORSE. That is not a clever or sophisticated position.

        “I don’t know what kind of society you want for your family but I want one where people don’t live in fear and have to wear guns because they do.” — You have no problem with gun ownership, only with people actually having their guns with them when they are needed. Again, not so very clever. It seems you are ok with criminals having guns and citizens being unarmed. You will say this is absurd, but the fact is you can not disarm all of the criminals. That is just true, and you can’t wish it away. You can, however, disarm all of the law abiding citizens, and it appears you are content to do so and call that a solution. I don’t share your madness. By the way, in Law Enforcement we carry guns around all day. Are you suggesting that we do so because we are afraid? Give your head a shake.

        “My issue is with the increasing level of violence and the simplistic solutions people like you put forward.” — Ok, so “we need better gun control” is your oh-so-very-nuanced solution, along with “if only we could change the human heart”. Meanwhile, if someone sees a situation where a murderer has a gun and is shooting people and suggests that it couldn’t hurt if some other people on scene had guns too, that is “simplistic”. It evidently does not occur to you that the gun laws you adore are the gun laws that the murderers ignore. Once the murdering stops(invariably because someone else shows up with a gun *shocked face*) people like you start wailing about the need for more laws to somehow make people better. It’s just astonishingly childish wishful thinking.

        “What we’re trying to do is get passed the same tired and mindless debate about gun control which has accomplished nothing for decades and get to discussing the real issues.” — Yes, if only we could get passed all the mindless debate and just get with your program. Are you sure you are not a progressive? It is not the debate about gun control that has accomplished nothing, it is gun control that has accomplished nothing. Take a look at Chicago, where there are no guns allowed and no one ever gets shot…oh, wait.

        Try logic in your next response.

        • http://abearsrant.com thebear

          Are you really this simplistic?

          The solution to getting the guns out of the hands of criminals isn’t going to be found in arming more people. You seem intent on making this a personal attack and that’s a major issue I have with guys like you. You’re so threatened over the possibility of some form of gun control, you can’t discuss the broader issues of crime and violence without flipping out and attacking those with whom you disagree.

          Where do you think all the illegal guns come from? Do you think they drop out of the sky? It is the proliferation of guns that makes them readily available to criminals. Want to know what happens when people who are afraid have guns? They shoot people out of fear like the guy in Florida who grabbed a gun and shot a Japanese university student who knocked on his door thinking he was at the address of a party to which he had been invited. Or perhaps the 12 year old in Toronto who took a gun to school and shot 3 of his classmates because they were bullies. How about George Zimmerman. Trayvon Martin would still be alive if there had been no gun that night.

          You want your kids living in fear or would you rather try to find ways to build a society where people don’t have to be afraid of everyone else. Is it possible? Absolutely. It happens in countries all over the world where guns aren’t the primary first line of defense in creating safer communities.

          As for logic, you concept of it is betrayed by your paranoia about guns. I’m not interested in arguing about guns with you or anyone else. I could care less if you own a gun. I’m concerned about the fact that society is spinning out of control with far too much anger….just likke yours.

          • http://jonathandfriesen.blogspot.ca/ Jon Friesen

            You are hilarious. You write “The NRA called on the government to put armed police officers in every school completely ignoring the fact that there was an armed police officer in place at Columbine. As for the fantasy of turning teachers into Rambo by arming them – well – the discussion continues to plummet into the absurd.” So people who suggest armed guards or armed teachers are, in your view, ignoring facts or might just be absurd. And you even have the handy little Rambo strawman argument which you so artfully destroy. Once you get some pushback you write “Quit foaming at the mouth and get over yourself.” You accuse me of living in fear, feeling threatened, and of paranoia about guns, which is very funny since it is you who actually seems to think the guns are the enemy. I am illogical and paranoid and obviously stupid and wrong, according to you, and then you write “You seem intent on making this a personal attack and that’s a major issue I have with guys like you. You’re so threatened over the possibility of some form of gun control, you can’t discuss the broader issues of crime and violence without flipping out and attacking those with whom you disagree.” What a thigh slapper.

            You have yet to explain how it helped to have no one armed in Newtown except the murderer. And you have yet to explain how we have school shootings here in Canada or in Europe with all of our/their gun laws. You ignore the fact that cities with tighter gun laws in the States have more gun crime than cities with concealed carry legislation. And you ignore the young man in Oregon who used his pistol to interupt a mass shooting this month, and the off duty cop with a concealed weapon who did the same in San Antonio a week ago. We could trade statistics for days but I don’t think we would get anywhere because while you accuse me of arrogance you are the one who said that those who want armed guards or teachers in schools were “absurd”.

            You claim that I am paranoid about having my guns taken away but I don’t own any. It’s too much hassle and here in Canada we are not allowed to actually use a gun to defend ourselves, so what would be the point? Then you claim you don’t want to take guns away or argue about guns, but you were the one who needed to slag the NRA for proposing a possible solution and who dismissed other ideas without considering them. Finally, you accuse me of being angry, and add that anger like mine is responsible for sending society spinning out of control. But I am personally attacking you, apparently. I am beginning to think you belong with the Blogging New Democrats rather than the Tories, so I will make this my last effort with you. This will give you the last word. Make it a good one. Hint: you could try to explain how armed teachers or guards would make any mass school shooting worse, and why you think it’s good that only Adam Lanza was armed at Newtown. Follow that up with your magical solution for ending violence amongst humans. I’ll wait.

            • http://abearsrant.com thebear

              I really don’t have time to argue with fools. Guys like you aren’t part of the solution. You’re part of the problem. Take your bullshit somewhere else because we’re done.

  • Nicola T.

    And it’s the Year of the Snake coming up which should be fun!

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      We lived through the Year of the Rat…we can live through anything. :-)

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