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Monday, July 12, 2010

Randy Hillier: G20 crackdown reeks of tyranny

The man from Lanark:

The G20 has resulted in the largest mass arrest in our history of more than 1,000 Canadian citizens. But according to McGuinty, this startling fact does not justify or merit an inquiry. Over 700 of these people were detained, their freedom removed, and eventually released without charge, but this does not warrant public scrutiny either. The largest ever mobilization of Canadian police in our history does not even deserve an open public review. More than $1 billion spent and we are supposed to be accepting and grateful.

Freedom is secondary only to the very life we breathe, freedom is the most essential ingredient of humanity — to deprive one of his freedom is to suffocate our soul and nature. This must never be done arbitrary and only in times of great crisis.

McGuinty and Harper set the stage, created the environment and controlled the unfolding of these events, and together they have lowered the threshold of protecting our civil liberties. No longer are our freedoms and liberties only in peril during times of war or a direct threat upon our democratic institutions. They are now in peril every day we have political leaders such as this.

We need a public inquiry and we need it now. The Toronto Police Service need to clear their good name. The public need to be reassured that their elected leaders are still their servants. We all need to know that freedom is a living fact in Canada. It is true that worse has happened elsewhere, in other countries and other cities. But they are not Canada and Toronto. We expect more of our police and politicians than a shrug of indifference. 

Posted by Richard Anderson on July 12, 2010 in G20 | Permalink

Comments

Hillier's social conservatism is anathema to me, but he is absolutely right in this one.

You really got to be some kind of idiot to be able to unite the left and right on something.

Oh, Dalton...right.

Posted by: Mike | 2010-07-12 8:04:59 AM


Mike said: "Hillier's social conservatism is anathema to me, but he is absolutely right in this one."

Hillier a social conservative? Sure you're thinking of the right guy? Hillier is a libertarian, not a social conservative!

Posted by: Dave | 2010-07-12 8:12:32 AM


Since the "victims" here are Ontario property owners, I don't see how these events can be called 'tyranny'. They placed their materialism and greed ahead of any other concern. They had insurance on these things - their losses will be compensated. I don't see how they have any reason to complain.

As for those lazy Tronna-area punks who wound up in jail, serves them right. Now let mommy and daddy bail you out.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-07-12 8:18:11 AM


How many Spanish heads did the Toronto police bust while the mobs spilled out on the roads Sunday?

Sound of crickets chirping.

Tyranny? Or political opportunism?

Why is the Black Bloc being given a pass?

Is it something inherent in human nature?

Something that silences the Muslim world, for example, while their extreme co-religionists carry out the murder of innocents?

Posted by: set you free | 2010-07-12 8:28:02 AM


Any politician seeking to comment on this matter will either be attempting to draw attention to himself and increase his profile (like Hillier) or attempting to cover his butt (like McGuinty). Neither has pure motives for demanding (or quashing) an inquiry, which would simply add to the $1 billion price tag.

While there's considerable public appetite for an inquiry, I wonder if that support would survive being presented with an estimate of the cost. There's also little public disapproval of the way the police behaved. So far only the usual suspects are speaking up, and until that changes, there likely won't be an inquiry.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-12 8:39:06 AM


I dont believe, the general public, have any idea how many canadian citizens were arrested and detained without charge.

Posted by: don b | 2010-07-12 9:03:01 AM


Part of any public enquiry will be the release of a lot of police video= either hand held cams or all those security cameras..

and if we have to wade through comparative footage-- the rioters home movies VS the security forces footage - we will need to see names attached to those faces or its just out takes for a Michael Moore movie

..and if that evaluation leads to more arrests.. then so be it..its already at 1000 arrests , shall we make it all 10,000 participants ?
want to spend another billion bucks to come up with a constitutional stalemate? Class actions opportunities will spring up, it will become a new olympic event.

Everybody will want to settle for $ 1,000,000.00 . Make that _2 billion to wrap up a hot blooded G 20 enquiry

Posted by: 419 | 2010-07-12 9:24:53 AM


I dont believe, the general public, have any idea how many canadian citizens were arrested and detained without charge.

It is your contention that the general public does not read the papers or watch the news? The number of arrested is hardly a state secret. Is belief opinion based on anything verifiable, quantifiable, or quotable, or do you simply assume that the Canadian public would rise up if they knew the truth, thus stacking belief upon belief?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-12 9:29:58 AM


Everybody will want to settle for $ 1,000,000.00 . Make that _2 billion to wrap up a hot blooded G 20 enquiry

Unfortunately, this is the problem with state authority, isn't it? If agents of the state, which we are all liable to fund through our taxes, becomes liable to individuals for it's actions, then we are all financially on the hook for it.

That's how it works and that's what you get.

I always find it funny how conservatives get outraged when people sue the the government for various reasons, because they feel their taxpayer dollars should not have to cover it. Then who does? Nobody? So what you're saying is that the government should have no liability, and therefore, allow it to trample over peoples rights, property, livelihood, etc. with not compensation?

L&O Conservatism's true tyrannical nature comes shining through.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-07-12 9:34:29 AM


... with responsibility comes liability.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-07-12 9:37:18 AM


What is your bag being searched worth, Mike? How do you put a dollar value on that? You haven't been wrongfully convicted or even temporarily detained; the dollar cost to you was zero. Essentially, you have hurt feelings. Since feelings are not worth anything, what does that leave you with?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-12 10:15:04 AM


Thats good news Shane , if the public really knows what went on at the g20 we may get our public enquiry. Billion plus dollars wasted , government abusing there authority , police abusing there authority.

Posted by: don b | 2010-07-12 10:29:18 AM


Peace, order, and good government is hardly a US Constitution. Canada, like most all modern Western nations, has long been on the edge of a police state. From the War Measures Act to gun control to HRCs, Canada is just a political or bureaucratic whim away from selective tyranny. The whole event of the G8/G20 has been a perfect example of statist theatre where the protection of property rights was ignored initially in favour of reinforcement of sentiment for and protection of state power. Majorities now support the police actions because in eventually going after the looters, they were "collaterally only going after" the (insert minority hear - Jews, geeks with pack sacks, long gun owners, capitalists, Jesus freaks, queers, whatever), I'm OK Jack.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2010-07-12 11:28:05 AM


You didn't answer the question, Don. What makes you think the public doesn't know already? Do you have proof? Or do you simply choose to believe they don't know because the alternative is having to face the possibility that Canadians do know, and support the police anyway?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-12 12:17:40 PM


John, the fact that police only target specific groups (that is, criminals) seems to upset you. Would you prefer that police became completely egalitarian and gave up their attempt to separate innocent from guilty, targeting all citizens equally regardless of wrongdoing?

Sorry, but your thinly veiled shot across the bow of Godwin's law misses the mark. To argue that police should not attempt to apprehend criminals because they are an arbitrary subset of the entire population is preposterous.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-12 12:22:28 PM


Shane,

It upsets me when people try and confuse Godwin's law with a form of fallacy.

From Wikipedia: "Godwin's law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the widespread reductio ad Hitlerum form. The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses."

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-07-12 12:30:50 PM


and... "Godwin's law itself can be abused, as a distraction, diversion or even censorship, that fallaciously miscasts an opponent's argument as hyperbole, especially if the comparisons made by the argument are actually appropriate. "

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-07-12 12:32:52 PM


Mike: that is if the rioters win their case they can sue for a million bucks each,, but if they loose, they are on the hook for a million bucks..each. If they can;'t pay minimum ammount per month as stipulated by the court, and they don;t have wealth or property to surrender, i guess its servitude till they do

responsibility is the ability to respond

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Posted by: 419 | 2010-07-12 1:11:55 PM


The good news is Canada will not need to host the G20 for another, oh, 20 years.

The bad news is that paranoia never sleeps.

Posted by: set you free | 2010-07-12 1:42:27 PM


It upsets me when people try and confuse Godwin's law with a form of fallacy.

Breaking Godwin's Law is a form of fallacy, specifically the fallacy of the package deal: the assumption that because certain things (in this case, targeting specific individuals and the Final Solution) are traditionally or culturally grouped together means they must always be grouped that way.

From Wikipedia: "Godwin's law is often cited in online discussions...[but it] does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate..."

Wikipedia also states that: "There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress." While not a bona fide logical fallacy, comparing someone to Hitler, the Nazis, or their policies is widely held to be a cheap cheat and in any case is most definitely a variant of argumentum ad hominem.

Remember what I said about what to do when someone else doesn't adhere to your principles, Mike. Relax, and chant with me.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-12 2:20:14 PM


The good news is Canada will not need to host the G20 for another, oh, 20 years.

By then hopefully they'll have the sense to just use videoconferencing.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-12 2:21:38 PM


Breaking Godwin's Law is a form of fallacy, specifically the fallacy of the package deal.

What are you talking about? All Godwin's Law says is that the longer an argument goes on, the greater the likelihood that someone will bring up Hitler or the Nazis.

It's an observation. Not a rule.

When talking about authoritarianism, for example, there's few greater examples in Western history than that of Nazi Germany. To shut down a discussion when someone makes that comparison is fallacious. Not the act of bringing it up.

A package deal fallacy is when you suggest that given a specific truth a set of other variant factors much necessarily be true.

You're talking silliness, Shane.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-07-12 2:47:51 PM


Hitler made that guy bring goggles to the G 20 riot

Posted by: 419 | 2010-07-12 2:55:12 PM


Why didn't the Spanish fans videoconference their celebration on Toronto streets?

My guess would be that, like most human beings, they crave personal contact.

Videoconferencing is for mom's basement.

Posted by: set you free | 2010-07-12 3:37:52 PM


Shane

It's one thing to be in favour of police going after "criminals" when the crime involves a victim. It's another, when, based on whim or political choreography and current inventory of statutes beyond the state's ability and political whim to enforce, to support the arrest or harassment first and ascribe the crime to it later. An example would be deciding to go after a selected sample of the roughly one million unregistered long gun owners. They certainly are "criminals" but they are certainly not criminals. My assertion was that Canada is another example of a police state. Since you brough it up, any resemblance to the Nazis would be coincidental and embryonic. Raising the issue of Godwin's Law doesn't justify censoring the comparison.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2010-07-12 5:12:39 PM


John,

The police's job is to enforce the law, period. If you break the law, you become fair game for the police. Furthermore, not all crimes involve victims, nor should they. Some laws, such as drink-driving and seatbelt legislation, aim to prevent victims in the first place, which is far better than trying to help the victim after the fact.

Because the law is a blunt instrument—about the bluntest there is, in fact, outside of military action—it is generally thought good to allow those who administer it, from the judge down to the beat cop, a fair amount of discretion. People who have technically broken the law may be let off with a warning. People who have committed a crime in a particularly reprehensible fashion may get a sentence of or near the maximum instead of the median. And so on.

Canada is not a police state. A police state is exemplified by a large and permanent secret police that uses brutality and terror to keep citizens out of the political process, not by uniformed cops searching handbags and checking ID in high security zones and rounding up suspected troublemakers.

As for going after a selected group of gun owners, that is both the right and the duty of law enforcement. I despise the registry and eagerly anticipate its dismantling, but in the meantime I comply with it, nor would I throw a tantrum if I had been caught in noncompliance.

P.S. Criticizing your comparison isn't the same as silencing it; I therefore did not censor anything.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-12 5:31:01 PM


What are you talking about? All Godwin's Law says is that the longer an argument goes on, the greater the likelihood that someone will bring up Hitler or the Nazis.

It is the act of bringing up Hitler and the Nazis—the breaking of Godwin’s law—that constitutes the fallacy, not the Law itself.

When talking about authoritarianism, for example, there's few greater examples in Western history than that of Nazi Germany.

But we weren’t, at least not directly. The beef in question was targeting specific groups of people for investigation (in this case suspected criminals), even as the Nazis targeted Jews, in an attempt to compare the two morally.

To shut down a discussion when someone makes that comparison is fallacious. Not the act of bringing it up.

Does this discussion look shut down to you?

A package deal fallacy is when you suggest that given a specific truth a set of other variant factors much necessarily be true.

Exactly, which brings us to the point of John's argument, which asserted that it was wrong for the police to target only some people and not others, just as the Nazis targeted some and not others, thus inferring that anyone who targets specific groups for anything is morally equivalent to a genocidal dictator, with all that entails, because that is the popular image of all Nazis, even those who commanded submarines or directed armies thousands of kilometres from Auschwitz. A package deal.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-12 5:38:31 PM


Shane,

To break Godwin's Law, you'd have to have an infinitely long argument that doesn't mention Hitler or Nazis. That's my point.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-07-12 6:48:48 PM


Was Godwin ever a Toronto policeman?

Posted by: set you free | 2010-07-12 8:31:54 PM


Okay, Mike, maybe I expressed it wrongly. Perhaps I should have said proved Godwin's Law. In any case, it's a fine point, and moreover, beside the point. The point is that trying to win an argument by suggesting your opponents are Nazis or have Nazi-esque qualities is fallacious, hyperbolic, and just plain bad debating—unless you are maybe one of two or three dozen genocidal maniacs out of a world population of six billion.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-12 10:29:48 PM


"As for those lazy Tronna-area punks who wound up in jail, serves them right. Now let mommy and daddy bail you out."

Tiny bubbles cause international stir

'Officer Bubbles' video goes viral around the world
http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/07/15/14726401.html

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/protester-arrested-for-assaulting-cop-with-a-bubble

More idiotic G20 police behaviour
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/829921--i-will-not-forget-what-they-have-done-to-me

Posted by: granny | 2010-07-16 9:28:29 AM



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