Borderline Crazy

Nice to know that the Canadian Border Services Agency is keeping us safe from dangerous political extremists like “Democracy Now” anchor Amy Goodman.

And while we’re on the subject of the CBSA, last week the agency was once again up to their odious tricks, demanding they first “review” material considered potentially obscene before allowing it to be imported; in this case some perfectly harmless films destined for Inside Out, Ottawa’s queer film festival.

Reform of the CBSA with respect to such illegitimate actions at the border is long overdue. Unfortunately, it’s not, as some opposition critics contend, a sign of the “creeping level of intolerance that one feels around this government,” but an inherent problem within the agency that’s existed for as long as I can recall.

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25 Comments

Filed under STEPHEN HARPER Govrnment of Canada

25 responses to “Borderline Crazy

  1. EM

    CBSA is more powerful than native, municipal and even federal governments at the Cornwall border crossing that passes through the Mohawk Terrotory of Akwasasne. And they have guns. No resolution can be worked towards because they don’t negotiate, nor does Minister Van Loan.

  2. Ti-Guy

    And don’t you dare complain about it, or your name will get on little “list” somewhere and you’ll be in for thorough colonoscopy the next time you cross the border.

  3. Not sure if I can agree entirely with that assertion about the relative power of the CBSA, but that interminable deadlock at Cornwall is now beyond ridiculous.

    p.s. The decision to arm border guards was made several years ago and now applies at all points of entry, not just Cornwall. The Customs union representing officers still has issues with that policy and it’s proven difficult to implement effectively.

  4. Ti-Guy — I’ve said this many times before, but in terms of post 9-11 security measures, the terrorists won… Gone are the days when we could come and go across the border with casual ease.

    Now we’ve got biometric ID with radio-frequency chips, passports with stealth technology incorporated into them, mysterious “no-fly lists” and unaccountable border guards armed with guns that can seize your computer on a whim based the presumption it might contain child porn and/or plans to take wreak terroristic havoc.

  5. Ti-Guy

    I’ve said this many times before, but in terms of post 9-11 security measures, the terrorists won…

    Seems like on most issues, the multinationals have won as well. You’ll note this story, which touches on the Olympics and political speech.

    Now, I’m not saying I’m going full-metal troofer here; in all likelihood, it’s just the regular opportunism by which business operates. It’s interesting, however, how often security and commerce are intertwined these days.

  6. It’s almost hard no to go all Alex Jones and start speculating about the impending NWO or some emerging fascistic police state when reading this kind of stuff. As tempting as that is, I suspect however that’s it’s more just a case of authoritarian minions and small-minded bureaucracy run amok than any grand conspiracy at work… (if for no other reason than I don’t think they’re actually intelligent or sufficiently coordinated enough to pull off such a thing).

  7. Ti-Guy

    You don’t have to be conspiratorial to understand that most of this is just the way complex systems like corporations and the economy end up working. Then again, although conspiracies tend to attract the paranoid and the delusional, we should remember that conspiracies do, in fact, exist.

    I completely don’t bother with people Alex Jones ever since I realised conspiracy is just his shtick. If more of our so-called “liberal” journalistic class had that muck-raking quality that in the past, exposed important conspiracies, he’d have no career at all. Unfortunately, the only muck-racking there is is among cretinous and immoral right wingers, who delight is exposing conspiracies of the most trivial kind if they are indeed conspiracies at all.

  8. My problem with troofers is that they’re asking me to believe that someone, usually the White House, had a finger in the September eleventh, 2001, terror attacks.

    Cheah, right. These were the guys who couldn’t cover up a blowjob.

  9. benalbanach

    I’ve said this many times before, but in terms of post 9-11 security measures, the terrorists won…

    I think what we had over here was an enthusiastic surrender.

  10. CWTF

    but that interminable deadlock at Cornwall is now beyond ridiculous.
    It’s native land, ridiculous yes. I applaud them for standing up for their rights.

  11. Ti-Guy

    I’ve said this many times before, but in terms of post 9-11 security measures, the terrorists won…

    In terms of imperial overreach, I’m sure Bin Laden pinches himself every so often to make sure he’s not dreaming about how successful it was in moving a nation of 300 million people and the world’s only superpower to and over the brink to hasten its demise.

  12. CWTF

    I’ve maintained that Bin Laden wanted an overreaction to serve as a rallying cry for all muslims.
    In that respect, he was only partly successful but in the demise of the U.S., I’m sure he has a little stiffy every time he thinks of that…

  13. Ti-Guy

    I’ve maintained that Bin Laden wanted an overreaction to serve as a rallying cry for all muslims.

    I’m not sure. The Bin Laden family, the Saudi elite and principled Muslim intellectuals are in general a lot more perceptive about America’s weaknesses than they’re given credit for.

    The mobilising force of fear has certainly been been evident in American culture for quite some time, not just in response to real or existential threats, but one that’s harnessed for the most mundane of activities, as with how news is reported or products are marketed.

  14. jkg

    As an expert on terrorism pointed out to me, the moment Bush declared a war on “terror,” it elevated Bin Laden’s status that was on par with a hostile nation state as opposed to treating it like an enforcement issue. Never mind the fact that it is hard from a policy standpoint to declare war on a tactic.

  15. I’ve maintained that Bin Laden wanted an overreaction to serve as a rallying cry for all muslims.

    Well, he certainly got that, didn’t he? At least amongst a certain group of Muslim fanatics. The ridiculous over-reaction on the part of the Americans and creation of the phony GWOT as opposed to simply treating Bin Laden, al Zawahiri etc., as criminal outlaws (albeit ones frequently funded by the CIA and/or ISI for their own nefarious or self-serving purposes) was a huge mistake.

  16. JKG — Great minds think alike. 😉

  17. Ti-Guy — There was a very good reason that American founders cautioned against their newly formed nation becoming embroiled in “foreign entanglements”…

  18. Ti-Guy

    A bit off-topic, but…

    I’ve been flogging this post today only because I overdosed on the detail of acts of moral perfidy great and small last week, what with the twin issues of the CRU hack and the detainee abuse scandal.

    It gets at a lot of the unease I have with respect to technological complexity, branded as “innovation.”

  19. Sorry, but the link doesn’t work.

  20. Ti-Guy

    There was a very good reason that American founders cautioned against their newly formed nation becoming embroiled in “foreign entanglements”…

    Some history is bunk. 😉

  21. Ti-Guy

    Sorry, but the link doesn’t work.

    Ewps. I have this habit of writing all the html code first (to get the syntax right) and then pasting in the values later, which I sometimes forget to do.

    Here it is.

  22. thanks for that link ti-guy. methinks i’ll be putting ’empire of illusions’ on my christmas wish list.

  23. Ah, Hedges… always brilliant stuff. I’ll second Canuckistanian’s thanks (and Christmas wishes).

  24. jkg

    I like how Hedges’ passage essentially debunks the myth that universities are these bastions of bias “liberalism” as the half-educated critics would exclaim. But Hedges touches on an important point: With the Hannities and the BTs of the world projecting onto honest researchers and thinkers whose work is challenging the status quo, the overused accusation of bias rings hollow because this contrarianism (it is not skepticism no matter how much they spew their verbal diarrhea) is really a desperate defense of the status quo that they see fit . What is funny is the relativism that they employ when confronted with ideas and research that would rattle their own quaint world view. That is the paradox of this new class of individuals because normally, triumphs of civilization would be defended vigorously. However, certain aspects are conserved only self-servingly, which means it is nothing more that veiled neo-liberalism that now pervades the status quo.

  25. JKG — It is kind of amusing to see so-called “conservatives” attempt to reconcile their sometimes illogical, irrational and deeply emotional views in a highly relativistic way while at the same time claiming to decry such ambivalent feelings and purporting to be absolutely certain about their grasp of what they vigorously believe to the be truth even when any number of facts or vast bodies of evidence might happen to contradict it.

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