Something Rotten in the Dominion

Ever since I moved to Canada permanently, my first response to the question of “How do you like Canada?” has been “I hate it.” This position has been difficult to defend and articulate . . . until now.

I learned something yesterday I didn’t know before: in the latest Western Standard, in an excellent essay about the emasculation of men in today’s “progressive” societies, we read that during the Montreal Massacre of 1989, the gunman entered a classroom containing 10 women and 50 men. He “forced the men to leave at gunpoint” and mowed down the women.

In my humble opinion, any society where among 50 — count ’em: 50 — men there are none who would risk their lives defending women against a lone assailant is sick, sick, sick.

For some reason this incident has been inducted into the feminist hagiography as exemplifying the problem of violence against women in society. But if those non-patriarchal guys in that classroom had been brought up with a bit more chivalry and a bit less “women’s studies,” they would have stopped the violence against their female classmates right there.

This is the triumph of idealism over realism: violence is an evil, so it is better to pretend that good people must never be violent (and thus have no defense against the lone nutcase) than to realize that A: lone nutcases will always be with us, and B: men are good at and prone to violence. But: normal men have an instinctual drive to protect women and children. Like fire or table knives, male violence is both dangerous and useful, and should be acknowledged and controlled rather than suppressed.

The Western Standard writer makes an interesting observation (not backed up with statistics, but reasonable-seeming to me — always dangerous, I know) that the prevalent zero-tolerance attitude towards male violence in schools tends to increase the severity of violence when it does happen. It used to be that a playground scuffle (between equally-matched opponents; bullying is another matter, but ironically the best response to bullying is physical violence, since bullies are usually insecure and cowards) was no big deal.

Boys were taught to “fight fair” — using the instinctual primate techinques of shoving and punching to the chest and head, which don’t usually result in much damage. Biting, scratching and hitting below the belt were out of line — in fact, these were seen as “girly.” And two guys can turn out to be best friends an hour after a fight. (This is something girls never understand. Female conflict tends to be much more long-lasting and intensely felt than male violence.)

But now we live in the age of the drive-by shooting and playground stabbing. Without the possibility of the middle ground of the playground scuffle, conflicts quickly escalate into deadly violence. I’m reminded of the proverbial story of the Chinese peasants living under an Emperor who only had one penalty: death. When they found themselves starving, they asked themselves: “What is the penalty for stealing rice? Death. And what is the penalty for revolting against the Emperor? Death.” So they had nothing to lose by revolting. So in today’s schools, if one will be expelled for taking a swing at someone, might as well shoot them in the head.

The Few, The Proud

The Canadian MSM (mainstream media) is in a tizzy over President Bush’s visit to Canada, trying desperately to maintain the fiction that Canada is important and America (especially the “Jesusland” Bush-electorate) is idiotic and arrogant, while being sycophantic enough to stay attached to the American teat that lets us sip our tea (or Molson Canadian) in luxury without any sort of principles or comittment to anything at all.

Peaktalk has a roundup on the to-do, and an essay by Aidan Maconachy on that rara avis, the Canadian Bush supporter (check out Diplomadic for more on Canada and another US neighbor, Cuba).

The Iraq attack in particular, in the eyes of many liberals was the act of an idiot. To others, it demonstrated tremendous courage and a willingness to defend the United States at any price. The jury is still out, debating the final verdict. As Jacques Chirac recently remarked …”history will judge”. Of course, its easy to play the proctor when you are comfortably ensconced on the sidelines sipping a pernod.

It continues to boggle me that the received wisdom maintains the “idiot cowboy” meme, when Bush, from my observation and study, is a ferociously intelligent yet down-to-earth and principled guy with a knack for seeing the underlying problem, sweeping decades of failed conventional wisdom aside, and resolute perseverance in implementing his radical and often painful solutions.

It is ironic that those who condemn the US for its past foreign policy (while ignoring the Cold War, which necessitated much of it) now condemn Bush for his, which is a radical change, from expediency and realpolitik to principle and real support for democracy.

Encouragingly, however, Friends of America has a survey that shows a large number of Canadians have positive attitudes towards America.

Update: Came across a characteristically illuminating essay by Victor Davis Hanson wondering why self-proclaimed humanists and liberals don’t support the liberation of Iraq (or Afghanistan, for that matter):

Just as the breakdown of a few Communist Eastern European states led to a general collapse of Marxism in the east, or the military humiliation in colonial Africa and the Falklands led to democratic renaissance in Iberia and Argentina, or American military efforts in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Panama City brought consensual government to Central America, a reformed Afghanistan and Iraq may prompt what decades of billions of dollars in wasted aid to Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians, the 1991 Gulf War, and 60 years of appeasement of Gulf petrol-sheiks could not: the end of the old sick calculus of Middle East tyrannies blackmailing the United States through past intrigue with the Soviet Union, then threats of oil embargos and rigged prices, and, most recently, both overt and stealthy support for fundamentalist killers.

. . .

Oddly, our enemies understand the long-term strategic efforts of the United States far better than do our own dissidents. They know that oil is not under U.S. control but priced at all-time highs, and that America is not propping up despotism anymore, but is now the general foe of both theocracies and dictatorships — and the thorn in the side of “moderate” autocracies. An America that is a force for democratic change is a very dangerous foe indeed. Most despots long for the old days of Jimmy Carter’s pious homilies, appeasement of awful dictatorships gussied up as “concern” for “human rights,” and the lure of a Nobel Prize to ensure nights in the Lincoln bedroom or hours waiting on a dictator’s tarmac.

Third World Country

American sociologist Nora Jacobson gives a revealing glimpse of the small-minded, resentful and envious anti-Americanism of Canadians:

In “officially multicultural Canada,” hostility toward Americans is the last socially acceptable expression of bigotry and xenophobia. It would be impossible to say the things about any other nationality that Canadians routinely say — both publicly and privately — about Americans.

Very true, in my experience.

Hat tip: Colby Cosh.

Strong And Free?

The recent booting of Carolyn Parrish from the Liberal caucus notwithstanding, the general atmosphere of anti-Americanism in Ottawa doesn’t seem to be changing. Yet the Department of Defense remains the red-headed stepchild the Liberals seem to wish would spontaneously melt away, like the polar icecap just happens to be doing. What happens when the Northwest Passage is chock-full of leaky oil tankers, Spanish fishing fleets and southeast Asian pirates — while human sumgglees decide that all that empty land looks a lot nicer than the interior of a dank shipping container — and the Americans politely decline to continue the defense of the ungrateful no-longer-white North?

Or worse — I can think of half a dozen routes off the top of my head to smuggle a suitcase nuke from the north to the US without a great deal of trouble. So much for the world’s longest undefended border…