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Ranticles: “Three Rants for the Price of One”

By Canticle

CanticleWhen you purchase things with funds you have earned through gainful employment, this is something to be proud of.

Showing off the car your father bought you because you have no job, and acting as if this is some kind of status symbol as a result, is nothing more than empty posturing. In anthropological circles, the male tendency to show off the end results of labour is generally considered a method of demonstrating to potential mates the ability to provide. If your father is buying you your expensive car, you have no means to provide, and are thus not showing off your prowess at being an exemplary male, you are instead amplifying the announcement that you are in fact impotent. You are shouting to the world, "I am a male with no means to give you pretty things, in fact I cannot even buy them for myself, but rely instead on the labour of others to give me validation in the form of things I want but cannot labour to provide for myself! Are you not attracted?"

It's one thing if your dad buys you a car so you can get around, that's totally understandable, especially if you're a full time student with a part time job and living on your own. But being proud of this? Showing off this method of transportation provided out of a sense of parental duty as if it were a status symbol? Come on, if you're going to brag about how much the car cost, how tricked out the stereo system is, you could at least come out and say your dad bought it for you, because it's your dad with the cobbles the size of regulation bowling balls, while yours have yet still to drop.

In political news, CSIS announced today in a completely unsurprising development that the War on Iraq (tm) has made Canada far less safe. Canadian Muslims with no previous ties to radical extremists have been radicalized and some have gone off to fight in Iraq, and assuming they aren't blown to kingdom come in their disgusting little hobby, will come back with an arsenal of tricks up their sleeves and a major hatred of all things unrelated to their particularly twisted version of Islam. This is no surprise I'm sure to anyone in the intelligence community, most Canadians I know kind of took it for granted that this would be the case, but it's kind of new for CSIS to come right out and say it. You need look no further than the treatment meted out to Maher Arar to see how parts of a community not previously radicalized could become so. Of course, the problem now is how to deal with that segment of the extremist community. The Khadrs were a noxious example of how the situation in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 could breed terrorists on the home front, now we've got Afghanistan II: The Sequel doing the same thing all over again on a wider scale. The Canadian response to the Khadr issue wasn't exactly a stellar piece of work, but Iraq is going to produce more individuals (and families) like the Khadr's than ever, and something is going to need to be done about it. Canada is more at risk than ever from terrorist attack as a result of the War on Iraq, and pretending this isn't the case won't solve anything.

First suggestion? As I said when the Khadr issue broke out years ago, Canada shouldn't be shy about asking for some simple things in exchange for citizenship, and one of those things is loyalty. As an immigrant, if you publicly and loudly proclaim that you have no loyalty to the country in which you reside, the government should politely hand you a one way ticket to the nation of your choice. No internment, no interrogations, no secret camps where you'll be tortured away from prying eyes, just a ticket and a 'good luck'. And if you've committed any crimes as an immigrant or refugee applicant against citizens of the country you're residing in, it's back you go.

I'm not a big fan of the cracking down on immigrants stance taken by the Conservative Party, which seems to ignore the fact that immigrants and refugees, by and large, provide an incredible benefit to the community. I also think immigration policy needs to revisit a lot of their requirements. We should be attracting talent regardless of whether it's in immediate demand or not. By the same token, I think Canadian immigration policy has failed in many cases to distinguish between genuine humanitarian cases and system manipulation. It's a fine line to walk, but one that needs to be tread.

Speaking of the Conservative Party...

For the love of whatever god you feel like addressing, can we get some effective opposition in Government, please? The Liberal Party hasn't pissed me off, but they haven't genuinely impressed me either, and I'd like to think that the Conservative Party could get back to the Joe Clark days (only with charisma), but instead we're stuck with Republican Party Lite in a nation that firmly believes the US Republican Party chair is Mammon.

Make no mistake, I'm not a Conservative, but I believe in a Parliamentary system such as ours, effective opposition is a requirement. The NDP serve well enough as a balancing factor in the current minority government situation, but the NDP are just out to lunch on enough policy issues that I really want to see the Conservatives mount a little more realistic effort on things like Employment Insurance. People, our Employment Insurance system could provide a year of wages to a nation in the throes of 50% unemployment for a year, I think it's time to revisit the EI deductions on our paycheques.

Canticle on November 1, 2005.