After much prodding by other bloggers, I set this up for my own writings. The name is in honour of the two women that mentored me throughout my life on politics and intelligence issues, as well as being wonderful family members, now alas deceased. I hope to live up to their standards at this site.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A new year and hopefully a return to blogging here and why I stopped

I've been debating about writing this post for some time now to explain why I stopped blogging here last year. This has been a hard decision for me, since it means I have to be a bit more personal than I tend to prefer, but I feel I owe it to the people that still check by here from time to time to see whether I have started back up or not. As I have stated before here and elsewhere I am not the most comfortable blogging at my own site to begin with, I tend to prefer to join in already active conversations at other blogs, but while that is a contributing factor it is not what actually is the primary driver for this decision. No, that was how the Harper government dealt with the mistreatment and possible Geneva Convention violations by the Canadian Armed Forces in the transferal of prisoners to local authority.

To understand why this is something that triggered such a strong reaction from me it necessitates pointing to family and personal history, something I try to avoid because it makes working out identity that much easier (mind you, if I were still single I would still be blogging under my own name as I once did, but given my wife's concern about possible political zealots making it personal she asked me to stop, and because she has been someone with a seriously traumatic history from early childhood including but not limited to multiple rapes by multiple parties I can appreciate why, not to mention what I might do to someone that tried to hurt me through her, I am normally a very easygoing peaceful sort but underneath it I have a truly nasty temper, indeed it was all I could do to keep from committing some serious violence towards her last sexual assaulter since that happened while she and I were engaged) but to understand why my feelings were so strong makes it necessary this time. You see, my father wore the uniform as a reservist, both my grandfathers were military doctors in WWII, my great grandfathers fought in WWI as did many great uncles, several of whom ended up career military. So there is a strong military tradition /history within my family.

When I was in my teens I was in sea cadets and was planning on going into the reserves at the very minimum (it was questionable whether I could get into the reg forces, at the time they were having sharp cutbacks, Mulroney's doing/era in recruiting). I remember standing in cold rain more than once for Remembrance Day in parade and formation to show my appreciation for those that died in uniform to fight one of the greatest evils of modern human history, the Nazis. I recall being very proud of our history of honouring international conventions and not losing sight of the humanity of those we fought against and in how well we treated our prisoners even/especially when that was not being extended both ways. It spokes volumes about what kind of a society we were and are and it was something I took great pride in. I also had another relative who worked at the top levels of the intelligence community from the mid 30s through mid 60s, indeed that relative was the most important and formative one in my life, so I understood that the world is not black or white despite our preference for such absolutes (good/evil anyone?) while appreciating our moral authority/credibility in these areas.

When I came of age though I tore apart the ligaments in one of my legs, making any further chance of military service reserve or reg force something I had to give up on, but that did not cause me to lose any of my feelings about such service. No, anything but in fact, which I might add is one of the reasons why I occasionally get a bit snarky with those that claim anyone not a Conservative disrespects/loathes/hates all things military by claiming it specifically of me or even by claiming that liberals/lefties are anti-military by nature. I looked at that though as the usual partisan rhetoric of the zealot follower, something not unheard of in politics, especially in political parties with a strong ideological foundation/nature and treated it accordingly. To see it though from the top levels of a party/government though is something else again.

I was furious when it became impossible to accept that there was not at least the clear appearance (let alone reality) of violation of Geneva Convention protocols by our soldiers as a direct result of government policy and this government instead of dealing with it squarely did all it could to not only run away from it but slimed any and all those raising this issue as somehow Taliban supporting anti-Canadian military traitors (yes this is being blunt about it, but boiled down that is what was being said no matter how one might want to dress it up as) wanting to hurt the war effort and the soldiers. This infuriated me beyond my ability to articulate (no small feat) because it is wanting to protect our soldiers that motivated so many of these questions and concerns, because if policy places the average soldier in a position where they have to either obey orders with the risk of potential/possible Geneva charges down the road or refuse orders in a combat zone with the inevitable courts martial process (which btw for those that do not understand this does NOT have the innocent until proven guilty standard underlying it, far from it) and the fear of being seen by fellow soldiers as a barracks lawyer more concerned with covering his own tail than his brothers in arms the odds are good the soldier will stay quiet and obey orders unless they when they refuse the order can be highly confident they can prove it was an unlawful order at a courts martial, not a minor consideration and a very difficult threshold to reach.

This was a tipping point for me in terms of my anger and shame regarding the current government. Never in my life have I felt ashamed to be a Canadian nor ashamed of a Canadian government regardless of party until this Harper CPC government came to power. The level of anger it has created in me as well as the level of absolute disgust and fear because of the underhanded way they are perverting how our government actually is designed/intended to work became more than I could restrain. Now, I could have allowed this blog to become filled with anger filled rants (which despite the opinion of some of my critics I would argue is not the hallmark of my writings here), but that is not my style. I also get tired of repeating myself after a while and lets face it this government's main problems almost require such because they keep pulling the same kind of crap over and over again. So I decided to take a break for a while and just stick to commenting at other blogs, especially since I had Red Tory's blog to enjoy really good and substantive conversations at. That blog though is gone, driven out in no small amount by the angry hateful bile produced by the Harper defenders/supporters that started to swarm his comment threads to derail any possible serious conversation. They treated RT with incredible disrespect and contempt and spewed nonstop insults at him. In the end it became more than he could deal with to the point it was negatively affecting his health so he stopped, and one of the best voices in the Canadian political blogosphere was silenced.

It is because of that silencing that I am going to try and resume blogging here again, even though I have my own health issues to be concerned with. That also impacts my ability to blog, as did my father breaking his leg early November and the need for my aid for the first six weeks or so. I am going to try to post at least every other day, even if it is a short comment, but since I have tried to promise that in the past I do not expect anyone to take that too seriously given my history here. I will say this much though, if/when an election is called I will be much more prolific then, but that is a relatively short period of time as opposed to maintaining month after month year after year. My views on Harper and his style of politics and the dangers they represent to this country have not changed/weakened, but even the most stalwart fighter gets tired from time to time and last yer just got to be too much for me, especially after the detainee issue.

Well, with any luck this will work out better this year than last, and I apologize to all those that were saddened that I went dark for so long. I wish I could given you more than I have, but I really have limits in how much I can manage, otherwise I wouldn't be on long term disability. *sigh* Well, we all do what we can as best we can with the resources available to us, hopefully this year is better for me in that regard than last year was. Keep in mind dealing with propaganda and right wingnut nonsense is a draining experience to begin with, so only having limited reserves/resources energywise really impacts on ability to sustain an effort no matter how smart/clever a person is.

Well, we shall see how this year goes here at Saundrie, hopefully much better than last year.


Blogger Gayle said...


Welcome back. I for one will stop by here regularly to read your insightful comments.

I am not sure people will know you are back - perhaps you can visit places like Steve's and KNB's and let them know?

Wed Jan 09, 01:41:00 AM 2008  
Blogger jj said...


Thu Jan 10, 01:07:00 AM 2008  

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