Sunday, March 30, 2008

That’s quite the leap of logic.

Shorter Mike “Beware the Islamification of Feminism” Brock: I think Brenda Martin likes prison because now that Big Daddy and Canada’s New Government™ are finally paying attention to her, she’s being completely ungrateful. She just wants to have her cake and eat it too — and how bad could prison be if they have cake?

And furthermore. If I use Mike’s logic, then I could say that, based on his writing, I think he has no soul. After all, he appears to be just fine with Big Daddy and his merry band of Kompassionate Konservatives leaking a report to the press that refutes many of Martin’s claims because they’re taking some bad publicity on this whole mess (remember kids, accountability for thee but never for me). But that would be a stupid thing for me to say, wouldn't it?


Ti-Guy said...

Brock got his ass handed to him over at Dawg's and he has not returned.

I don't understand why these types of know-it-alls can't realise they don't have enough expertise or knowledge to argue the principle they are so quick to jump in and defend.

Mike Brock said...

Well, of course, I'm not asking her to be grateful. I'm wondering out loud, why she suddenly decided to spend all her time bitching about how "politically motivated" it was for Stephen Harper to step up.

I mean, it seems to lack any strategy from a self-preservation perspective.

If you're falling off a cliff, and a person you hate is standing there. You start begging the person to come grab you and pull you up. They do. And when they do, as soon as they grab you, you start questioning their motives for doing so, out loud.

Would a reasonable person not think there is a risk that the other person might just let go?

I don't think Harper should let go. That would be most reprehensible. He has every obligation, in my mind, to represent a Canadian citizen.

My question is of her sanity. I don't think sane people do things like that. Or at least, not sane people who actually want help from the person who hey are criticizing you.

Balbulican said...

It's because they start with a conclusion based on a really, REALLY simple minded worldview, uncontaminated by reality. It's like one of those guys without antibodies in the movie of the week who lurch around in the isolation suit. Brock's "ideas" can't actually survive exposure to reality.

Listen to his last radio show for fun. And it really is fun, in a perverse sort of way. It really illustrates the gap between "journalism" and "Frat Boys With Sound Cards and a Blog".

Zombie Jesus said...

Actually Mike it is more like you are begging them to give you a hand and they are sitting there with their fingers in their ears singing LA-LA-LA-LA-I-CAN'T-HEAR-YOU-LA-LA-LA-YOU-AREN'T-HERE with a dozen other people nearby that can't help screaming to at them to help you. And when they finally do get around to helping they do it with the maximum amount of sniveling and whining with the least amount of effort possible. And given the obvious reluctance on their part you question why they are now finally helping.

Basically she has earned the right to question the motives of the government in this case. And to consider her ungrateful is ignoring the obvious reluctance of the government to get involved in this case.

Anonymous said...

If you leave aside all partisan politics, this is a Canadian Citizen, caught in a maelstrom of politics, who has been exonerated by her so called co-conspirator, who expected her government to step up and defend her. Whether or not she is guilty of anything, her government did NOTHING, until the press heated up. Interfering in Mexican justice system? Give me a break, they have intervened in other cases, yet they ignored this until it became too hot to handle. Then, when the PR was bad, they stepped up and did the minimum. Why would I ever want to travel outside of Canada with that kind of response, and frankly, why would anyone want to come to Canada when the government indicates that it is interested only in PR. I used to think that Canada stood for something better. Not anymore, and I'm not the only one. Watch as our tourism takes a hit, watch as our snowbirds think twice about going somewhere warm in the winter. This has far-reaching implications, much more than our short sighted pols in the PMO can understand. With the ridiculous border requirements, and this situation, more people will be traveling to the EU countries, as will I. I doubt that I will ever visit the U.S. or Mexico again, and most of the folks I know are in agreement.

Mike Brock said...

I agree. But to be fair, I don't think this is a problem we can blame exclusively on Stephen Harper and the Tories. Let us not forget the William Sampson affair.

Canada's reputation as having an ineffectual foreign service has existed for quite some time and predates this government.

That in itself doesn't abdicate the Harper government of responsibility. They form the government. That means, by extension, it is their responsibility.

But we must also realize that Brenda Martin was imprisoned right during the transition of governments. Our foreign service at the time was in fact in the state that the Liberal's left it. At the time, the evidence that our consular services around the world did dick-all to help Canadians was aplenty.

This may be Harpers responsibility. But it's not a problem he created, or intentionally festered, or intentionally let fester. To suggest Harper is that malicious is just ridiculous. I don't believe there is a sitting MP in that entire parliament that is that malicious.

Let's collectively demand that Harper step up to the plate, as I've done on TV and elsewhere. Even here. But let's not lose track of the fact that our foreign service is in disrepair, and not as a result of current government policy.

Our legacy of "soft power" is mired with examples of inefficacy. This is one of them.

Lindsay Stewart said...

sampson went out of his way to antagonize his captors, even his family, the canadian government and anyone else he came into contact with. he placed himself in jeopardy. he actually did play fast and loose with some very questionable folk, including trying to help felons escape the jurisdiction. still, while there are obvious flaws in the system, he did receive help, he did get out and there was a great deal more evidence of actual jurisdictional crime against him than against martin. and he was facing actual charges while imprisoned. the wheels of saudi justice, for what they are worth, were turning.

regardless, that is pretty much the same as pointing vaguely into the middle distance and stammering but, but... clinton. this conservative government seems to be very selective about who their are willing to intervene on behalf of and with which jurisdictions they are willing to intercede. sampson or no sampson, flaws or no flaws in the system or its history, i think we should all expect to see canadian citizens receive appropriate advocacy from the government. we certainly should not have to witness the insincere bullshit display of mps declaring that their constituents and fellow canadians deserve to be locked up when they have not been charged.

LuLu said...

Mike, I would love to address the logic of your argument - really - but there just doesn't seem to be any. It started out with such promise and then it just turned into a complete fucking trainwreck with this comment:

Would a reasonable person not think there is a risk that the other person might just let go?

I have no idea where you're going with this. Are you saying that just because someone under extreme duress behaves questionably or even irrationally, you should just left them drop? Seriously?

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Mike said...

Nothing to do with Sampson (whom the Liberals where rightly raked over the coals for mishandling at the time BTW). Harper has been the PM and the Conservatives the government for the entire time if Brenda Martin's incarceration - without charge or trial - in a Mexican prison and the Government has not done anything. Why her own Conservative MP even assumed her guilt, despite her not having had a trial. It appears he did not even look into it.

They did nothing until her case gained wide coverage, thanks to her family and friends. Only then did they make some efforts, amounting to Jason Kenney and the MP who had already assumed she was guilty, flying down for a photo op. And now their answer is to smear her as a liar by leaking private information.

How about this Mike? Why hasn't the government vigorously demanded that a Canadian Citizen who has been imprisoned without charge or trial in a foreign prison for 3 years, who has been exonerated by the other imprisoned conspirator, be released immediately? Why haven't they called in the Mexican ambassador? Why haven't they done anything at all?

Could it be because Brenda Martin said bad things about the government that has been ignoring her? Could it be because Liberal MP and former PM Paul Martin was the first to try to help her?

How about they stop making excuses and ACT to help this woman? Seems they have done more to smear the victim and explain how she is guilty rather than just help her, like they are supposed to do.

Mike Brock said...

while there are obvious flaws in the system, he did receive help, he did get out

Not from the Canadian government. The UK government made a prisoner trade for christ's sake. This is why Sampson has taken up British citizenship and renounced his Canadian citizenship, because they helped him. Not Canada.

Mike Brock said...

And in terms of Brenda Martin, while I believe she has been the victim of gross injustice -- two years behind bars without charge is beyond acceptable -- she is culpable in at least one way: she appears to have been working in Mexico illegally.

For that, at the very least, she should have been promptly deported back to Canada. Not held in prison.

She's been in prison 2 years and 1 month, not 3 years... that's an 11 month exaggeration. Not that it downplays the severity of the situation.

Understand a few things about the diplomatic situation.

The Canadian government can publicly demand her release all they want. But Mexico is in a precarious situation. If they simply cave into the demands, it plays into the perception that the Mexican justice system is screwed (which it is).

They're between a rock and a hard place. Their credibility with Canada is strained. Their tourism industry services a large Canadian contingent.

Obviously their failure on this file hurts them. But their admitting they have screwed Brenda Martin screws them too.

These are the diplomatic issues at play. I don't think the government can just "step up" and do something. In international diplomacy, it is generally a "faux paux" to have leaders of different countries sniping at each other in the international press. Generally the only time this happens is between enemy states, or in times of a real or perceived threat of military conflict.

For Harper to stand up at a microphone and demand her release could result in unintended consequences. While Mexico has far more to lose. Remember, pride is a powerful thing. It could cause a strain in diplomatic relations, and even reduce the chances of Brenda Martin being released.

I think Harper needs to do something. But what can he really do, other than focus on working through appropriate diplomatic channels?

It's not cut and dry.

Cameron Campbell said...

At the risk of stating the obvious: The Liberals are not in government. The CPC are.

Any mention of any other government in connection to this mess in Mexico is an obvious example of an attempt at slight of hand. Unless of course the mention is to point out how the "New Government" that was meant to be the New Sheriffs and were going to fix everything up and remove the taint of the dirty Liberals etc etc, haven't done so.

Martin doesn't have to be nice, she doesn't have to be sane, she doesn't have to be someone you'd want in your house or even cooking you a meal..

She's Canadian. She's in a jail for something that it's virtually impossible she had anything to do with. She hasn't had her day in court. It looks, from where I sit, that she's being held hostage by the Mexicans in an attempt to get her old boss to come back or pay up or something.

That's all that matters. Get her out, have the RCMP look into it. If she did something wrong, jail her. But this situation where she's sitting there in jail and no one but our most horribly embarrassing Ex-PM can be bothered to visit... It's not at all reasonable.