Monday, May 28, 2012

A Message for Fanatical Protesters

From my first article on, I've talked about protesters and my dislike of them.  In general terms, I've described why.  I feel they have an entitlement complex so large it doesn’t fit into most stadiums.  I've taken some time to specifically figure out why.  It appears these new breed of protesters feel it is their right to step on my freedom without any responsibility or duty to anyone but themselves.  All responsibility lies on those they don't like or they disagree with.

The only word they know is rights, and these protesters and rioters have forgotten or never learned the rest of the idea.  Canada has a Constitution which codifies our system of government and law.  WITHIN that Constitution is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  It is not a stand alone document.

“Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:

Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms
Rights and freedoms in Canada
1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

This is how the Charter begins.  The problem is, the protesters of which I speak are quick to go beyond reasonable limits but use specific pieces of the Charter in the hopes of protecting themselves.  They cry "Freedom of Speech”, "Freedom of Expression”, or "Freedom of Peaceful Assembly" without understanding the context of what they're demanding.  They don’t seem to care that in an effort to “express” themselves, they are contravening other parts of the Constitution Act at the same time, in other words, breaking the law.  They use the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a gun and hope no one notices.

Why do protesters use Charter of Rights and Freedoms to break law?  As I said previously, it is only one part of the Constitution Act.  Apparently, they only like the “good parts” version and the parts that pertain to what they are doing.  The protesters (gone rioters in some cases) ignore the parts that can prove what they’re doing is wrong such as trespassing or disturbing the peace.  If these laws are used against them, they say it’s “unconstitutional” simply because it stops how they promote their cause.  They’re more than happy to use the Constitution or Charter against those with whom they disagree, whether or not the other side is breaking the law, as long as it works to the protesters’ advantage.

Perhaps these liberal idealistic protesters need to take some real time and figure out what it is they're asking for.  They do so much in the name of democracy while trying to avoid it at all costs.  Democracy takes time, democracy means the will of all people, democracy means due process.  It does not mean the will of a bunch of whiny twenty somethings trying to hold the government hostage and making demands to suit their idea of the perfect country.

Do these entitled people realize that because of the work and sacrifice of others, they have the freedom to protest?  They have the freedom to attend post secondary education and to take any course they wish.  They have the freedom to move throughout our country, to go to school in any province, in any city they wish, or even apply to schools out of country.

Because of those freedoms, they have rights.  These rights and freedoms are intimately intertwined.  It appears to me that they feel their rights and freedoms come to them at no cost.  What these protesters are not understanding is, they cannot demand rights without doing their duty.  Protesting and rioting are not duties.  Protesting is okay to a point.  Protesting lets the government and the people know there's a larger issue at hand, but once the message is lost, it's time to go home.  Protesting should not step on others rights.  Extended rioting is anarchy, there's no excuse for it.  The Vancouver riots, while inexcusable, is one thing, it had a catalyst.  What's happening in Quebec is deliberate and planned, and the planners as well as the rioters should be charged with a crime.

Responsibilities that come with their rights include being a good citizen and to uphold the law, neither of which most protesters do.  Another responsibility or duty would be to vote.  What right does anyone have to make demands of a government if said person or group didn't even have the time of day to vote in the last elections?  If these protesters want to make change in the government, they should talk to their representatives or join a political party, get noticed and get involved.

If the government began bending to the will of these protesters and stopped following due process, said government would be given the power to change law at will.  The country would eventually become a tyranny, and why wouldn't it?  Once a precedent is set, it would be used time and again.  The more power a government is given, the more it will use, and not just on the people the liberal left-wing protesters dislike.  It's happened before.  A previous Canadian government did it, enacting the Firearms Act in fact.  The government in power at the time used "Order in Council" to force the law through instead of due process because it was “for the good of the people.”  The problem is, the long gun registry didn't prevent crime, cost 10 times what it was suppose to, didn't work as stipulated and was finally abolished.  Alberta just recently used the provincial equivalent called “power of closure” to put through three laws for the good of all Albertans.  We were never asked, we were just told any sensible, reasonable Albertan would want these laws.  Ask us first, I’ve been told that I live in a democracy.

People who want instant change and make demands of the government forget that when they're trying to persecute people based on class, religion, ethnicity, or whatever new imaginary evil will themselves get persecuted in the future.  They don’t think very far into the future though.  The liberal types don’t realize there will be no one to defend their rights because they are themselves responsible for having all of our rights and freedoms taken away through their protesting and demanding.

If protesters didn't come across as whiny self important children, I might have more respect for them.  Here's the thing though, protesting the world’s inequities has become a fad.  There's even a clothing style.  They turn 18 or 20, see something they don’t like and join some fanatical group that start the debate at “no”.  With all this, I feel they don’t do any more research than reading the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and hope that’ll keep their cause running and them out of jail.  Hopefully, one day, the courts will begin to uphold the law.  I, as a law abiding citizen, must follow the Firearms Act to the letter or be left with a criminal offense on my record even if I’ve done nothing else wrong in my life.  I would like to understand this double standard of the damage they cause to property and people and not be charged with anything, even a misdemeanor?  The “good intentions sentiment” shouldn’t be the only thing keeping them from acquiring a criminal record.

Maybe, hopefully, these protesters will grow up and become respectable members of society and contribute something to it.  Who knows, it could be wishful thinking, or one of them could become the next conservative Prime Minister!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Protesting Is Not The Way

I don't understand the idea of mass protests. I do understand disagreeing with something or wanting to change government policies but I don't understand how protesting would do that. It seems if you don't like the colour of your neighbour's house, protest! I don't understand riots either. From what I've been seeing in the news, riots break out when the protester’s idea of democracy doesn't work. The image I currently have of protesters is “Hey wait, the government didn't bend to my will, break stuff!”

Here are the protests that currently stick out in my mind. The Occupy Movement and the Quebec student protests. What do these people expect from their actions? Why is their idea of democracy more important or more valid than anyone else’s? I vote, I participate in government decisions as often as I can. I speak to my representatives as I need to. I don't go out onto the street, march in large groups and light vehicles on fire when things don't go my way.

When Occupy Calgary was active, they showed liberal hypocrisy at it’s finest.  Occupy Calgary decided their movement would camp in a downtown park, which is not legal in this city.  When they were told they could not do this, and were even fined for it, they whipped out the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The occupiers stated it was their Charter right to camp in the downtown park for as long as they wished.  They had “Freedom of Peaceful Assembly” since they were a protest movement (just with no tangible message).  What this section doesn’t mention however, is camping.  It does talk about people coming together collectively to defend a common interest, so why couldn’t the occupiers do this during legitimate park hours?  Next, in the name of democracy, the occupiers said they would stay in the park until the government met their ridiculous list of demands.  I’m sorry what?  What government, democratic or otherwise, bows to force like that?  I also have to question why they think their democratic right is more important than mine?  Ah yes...  They have an entitlement complex so big it doesn’t fit into most stadiums.

What started the Quebec student protests was a tuition increase to post secondary education. Their tuition is to increase by $325/year for 5 years. It was then changed to an increase of $1800 over 7 years which works out to about $260/year. The Quebec student protesters believe the tuition either remain the same or be struck all together.  I question while they rage against the tuition increase, how many of them have smart phones?  How many of them pay the bill, and what would they do if their monthly rate increased?

It has become well known that tuition in Quebec is lower than anywhere else in Canada.  The rest of the tuition cost is paid for by Canadian taxpayers.  If tuition is to stay where it is now, it means the equalization payments they currently receive (which is also the highest in Canada by more than twice as much as the next province) would have to be budgeted to subsidize the schools, yet be taken away from something more important like health care.  Taxes would also have to increase in Quebec by a substantial amount for the working class to subsidize the entitled class.  If these protesting students were ever to become working class, they may no longer feel increasing taxes is an acceptable solution.

Some of the protesting rioting students want free post secondary education.  They truly believe it should be fully subsidized by the government.  I have an even bigger issue with this.  Where do these small minded, highly entitled rioters think the government’s money comes from?  I personally don’t want my taxes to increase to allow them free access to university.  If, by some weird chance they did get their way, I would want course availability be ones that create productive working class citizens to be paid for by the government.  I don’t only mean trades, other examples would be business applications, nursing, and so forth.  “Psychology of the Exceptional Human Experience” or “Learning from Youtube” should not be tax payer subsidized as they would be useless in the real world.  If someone wants to learn “Philosophy of Star Trek” (honest to God) they can do that on their own dime.

As it stands, I truly believe Quebec’s equalization payments should decrease by a substantial amount.  They need to get their house in order, so to speak.  As long as Quebecers are willing to destroy their own cities, they should not be deserving of the rest of Canada’s money except for food, clothing, health care and police.  Why should they get more, they’ll only burn it.  The protesters and rioters are of the age of majority, and as it stands, we in this country believe that those over 18 years old should be responsible members of society.  That also means they need to learn to live with the consequences of their actions and right now, what they are doing is affecting their entire province.  The protesters are getting out-of-province union money, they don’t need anyone else’s.  Perhaps they can use that money to fix the damage that’s been done.

These protesters, all of them, not just the Quebec students or the occupiers, have not considered what they’re asking for when they demand a fully socialist government.  These people say hate the rich, take from the rich, tax the rich.  What happens if the socialist protesters win?  There will be no more rich in their perfect world as capitalism will no longer exist and everyone will be on equal footing.  The currently rich will only exist for so long then the money is all gone.  The evil capitalist corporations they hate so much, that support the system they decry but pay the taxes they love will be nationalized in said perfect world and their money is gone.  People who were rich or working to become rich no longer have anything to work towards.  There would be no point.  They would only lose it all to entitled socialist brats who have never had to work for anything more than a passing grade.  And even that is slowly disappearing from our educational system in the name of “self-esteem.”

Even through all of this, what troubles me most about these protesters/rioters is their hypocrisy and the fact that they can’t see it.  In a lot of cases, when their own hypocrisy is pointed out to them, they simply ignore it.  If you even try to tell one of these protesters that what they are doing is not democratic, they tell you that you are wrong.  They don’t debate, they dictate.  Giving a government an ultimatum in any other country is called a coup or terrorist act.  Here, they call it freedom of speech, only with burning cars and injured officers.  

I hope one of these days these useless and damaging protests and riots end.  Maybe these people who are so eager to yell at the world will realize that protesting every little inequity doesn’t change anything.  I also hope that the entitled class realizes that just because they don’t get their way, they can’t throw a temper tantrum and break their neighbour’s toys in retaliation.  The rest of us stop listening to them and will never take them seriously.  Attacking or injuring a police officer may seem cool today but tomorrow we’ll all see it on TV and guess what, we’re the ones that might see your resume on our desks.

We could go out and protest about the evils of the world...  Wait, no we can’t.  We’re too busy working for a living.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Recent Riots and the Entitlement Complex

Lately as I read the news, I get more and more depressed about the future of the world. I wonder how children are raised as I see and infer the values of teens and 20 somethings. Are they raised so poorly, or are they in fact less intelligent? Where did this massive entitlement complex that I've been witnessing come from? I did a lot of reading on various protests during the height of the occupy movement, and it’s forefront on my mind again with the protests and riots in Quebec.

There have always been and will always be protests and riots. In 2003, I was part of an aquaculture rally. Environmentalists showed up to protest fish farming with their little signs and we were prepared with our own. What I noticed though is ours didn't have derogatory words and vile comments on them. Because of this, we were using our signs to cover theirs up - not because we felt our message was more important, but because there were children in the crowd. The so called pro-environmental anti-fish farming protesters got quite upset by this. We got physically threatened by the environmentalists, so I just stood close to my professional accountant husband who just happens to be 6'2” with 52” shoulders. Why did the environmentalists/protesters believe they had a right to threaten us in any manner or for any reason? I would never think to physically threaten anyone.

With the occupy movement last year, the protesters took over parks in all kinds of cities maintaining it was their right. The one overriding message I received from the movement was money should be given to everyone who has never earned it as long it's taken forcibly from all those who did.  I saw millions of dollars of damage caused by the occupiers in these cities, including my own, justified by them as a consequence of the occupation.  I saw people hurt, assaulted and killed in various places due to the occupation.  The occupiers wanted rules changed to suit their wants and desires, and they wanted anyone who worked for a living to be harmed economically. I question where this attitude of money for nothing comes from. When did this attitude of physically harming each other consequence-free spring forth?  I also ask why due process is good for occupiers, but should be thrown out the window for anyone with more than two cents to rub together?  I wished for the occupiers to be removed from my city park using lawful means.  The occupiers on the other hand felt it was their right to break the law as long as they were protesting some non-issue.

In England last year and Greece this year, there were anti-Austerity protests turned riots. In both cases, during the riots cars and buildings were damaged and vandalized, and looting was rampant. Arson attacks were also common in both cases. There were many injuries and arrests.  The damage was so excessive that the countries are in economic crisis. I'm having a problem understanding the mentality that says “the government is doing something I don’t like, quick, destroy something!”  In the videos that I watched, most of the people throwing things, screaming, marching down the street appeared to be in their twenties.

From what I read, the countries are in trouble and are in a situation where they MUST borrow money. The creditor countries gave them terms and conditions, as I would expect. In an effort to save their economies, the troubled countries agreed to the terms and conditions, but the citizens said no, they want status quo. It was status quo that was killing their countries in the first place. So, to make their respective governments do exactly what they wished, the citizens trashed their own backyards.  Apparently money can be invented from nothing, but what do I know - I've only gone to school, on my own dime, for business and finance related topics.

In Montreal, students began protesting over a tuition increase proposal of $325 every year for 5 years. Considering Quebec resident students have the lowest tuition of any Canadian, that isn't bad. Our tax dollars pay the rest of their school costs. Quebec students on the other hand think this is a total slap in the face, and have actually stopped going to school to protest this increase. At first the protests were peaceful. The striking students went from peaceful protesters to violent rioters in no time flat. Rocks have been thrown, bank windows have been broken, cars have been attacked and lit on fire, journalists have been pepper sprayed, and officers have been injured. The damage they’ve caused so far is probably far more than the proposed increase.  That, to me, would mean all taxes in Quebec should increase to cover the cost of the riot.  I've read of about 85 arrests so far, but who knows what else is happening. Now, here's the best part: in at least one of the schools, the striking students are contemplating a class action lawsuit against the school to prevent the school from penalizing them for boycotting classes or missing exams!  I beg your pardon? Did I actually read that correctly?

In each of these examples, the protesters seem to be demanding something for nothing or want life to be easy. When it's not, the peaceful protest becomes a violent riot. That is one severe entitlement complex and it's not contained by one city or even one country, it seems to be everywhere. I have my own theories on why the younger generations are affected by this “little emperor” complex. (I do realize I'm making sweeping generalizations.)

I'm 35 years old so I'm not really that much older than those of whom I'm speaking, but I seem to have a very different attitude. The twenty-somethings today and those younger seem to have grown up completely differently than I have, with a different value set. I've been told that comparing to myself isn't fair as I did part of my growing up in Inuvik, NWT, but I disagree.

I believe that the generations just younger than mine have not been given any rituals. I'm not only talking religious rituals, I'm talking any. Families don't generally sit down together for supper, kids don't have chores, there is no game night. If a family tries to do any of this, a lot of times, the children try to rebel against it because it's not viewed as “cool”.  They’d rather be texting, facebooking, gaming, what-have-you.

The only consistent ritual that younger generations were raised with today is political correctness. Very few other rituals were introduced to them or if they were, it was not consistent They were not taught religion, or given chores, or even taught they had to work for their toys. If they played team sports, everyone was given a participation certificate and no one won, because everyone was a winner. In school, no one could fail. Children are even taught how to speak correctly so as not to accidentally offend anyone. This is their ritual. Any other morals and ethics are left out because it might be some kind of secular teaching and that's not good for them.

The problem with this type of teaching is, it does not prepare children for the real world. It gives an entire generation an entitlement complex so big, deflating it becomes near impossible. With this, they learn that if the whine, cry, and paint a banner, they too can change the world.  If they were given any other ritual - be it family or religious - I believe they’d have another moral and ethical basis to work from. But because family is an inconvenience and religion is not politically correct, they were not taught there are in fact real world consequences to their actions, and not everything is easy. There is actual work involved in world-changing situations, so when things don't go their way, they have an emotional melt down.  

The only things they have ever been taught is “power of positive students” and they can't fail no matter what. Being truly denied is not something they are equipped to deal with. When all out denial or opposition happens, and they're in large groups, they go off the deep end and feel a violent rampage is well within their right, as their lives have never before had anything except for positive consequences.

Instead of protesting or rioting, these people need to realize that they need to work at change. Things don't happen all at once and all actions - positive or negative - have consequences. I'm hoping that something is learned from these riots before something more severe happens. People have already been hurt and killed; personally, I don't want those numbers to increase.

I just had the advantage to sit and talk with my husband’s grandmother.  She’s 92 and said something very interesting to me about these protests and riots by entitled twits who want something for nothing.  “This is what I gave 5 years of my life for?” is all she had, and all she needed to say.  She served during World War II and she’s disgusted with protesters and rioters today, and I don’t blame her one bit.  She can’t believe why people start massive protests and what causes riots.  She served so we could have freedom and she sees it being squandered.  The entitlement complex is working us towards severe socialism and dictatorships when we should be working towards more freedoms.

My dad escaped East Germany for freedoms and the entitlement complex of these people is causing government to create laws that control us more and more.  I have a big problem with this.  He came here because it’s a free and democratic country.  What these highly self-entitled protesters and rioters don’t realize is, with their wanting something for nothing, we’re slowly losing our rights and freedoms.

Due process doesn't always work in my favour, but it is there for a reason. I don't wish to live in a world of anarchy, nor do I wish to live in a socialist dictatorship. I work within the laws, and use them. I try to change them if I don't think they're right, but try I'll never burn down the buildings the laws are written in.