Asatru, Current events, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Just a Citizen

 

Protest

I will admit to a great deal of embarrassment.  I am about to attend a protest march for the first time, and I admit to a real sense of ambivalence towards the idea.  I am not Antifa, I honestly have always been much more comfortable standing with the Canadian Forces providing security against civil disorder than with anything resembling political activism of any stripe.  I am not a radical political person by any means; I don’t like the far left, their simplistic idealism places ideas above people, and deny the harsh realities that adults have to consider because real leadership, like real parenting requires you to deal with the world as it is, not as it ought to be.  I don’t like the far right because while I would love to be conservative, I find the absolute willingness of the hard right to narrow the question of rights so that only their own rights seem to matter, usually to the point that the rights of others, especially those not as rich, white, straight, or male as their ideal, seem to disappear completely.  Again, the far right, like the far left seems to place ideology above people.  I kind of put people first. I never had an ideology stop to help my family when we needed it, never had an ideology join me in bailing out someone in trouble, never saw an ideology reach across the table and try not to remain strangers; pretty much anything worth doing has been done by people, and the worst things done to people have been in the name of ideologies.

 

In Charlottesville Virginia we saw the “alt-right” march, with the nazi banners flying proudly alongside the Confederate battle flag, and various white power flags incorporating corrupted versions of their national flag, some even with our holy runes on them, polluting our faith symbols as badly as the national flags whose ideals they piss on with their hatred.  It ended with deliberate murder, because that is where hatred usually ends, and violence is the tool by which the minority attempt to coerce the majority into tolerating the will of extremists.  That is the thinking that gave us the Taliban, and Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia; extremist ideology, where human rights and dignity mattered nothing at all, and where the price of remaining silent was illustrated so very well for all who cared to look.

 

I joined the Canadian Armed Forces back in 1988, a young man following in the footsteps of my father and grandfather, who had served in their times and their wars.  I was raised valuing the freedoms of a Canadian citizen, and steeped in the duties of citizenship.

I listen to the anti-immigrant rhetoric of our own alt-right organizers, and I hear the echoes of Gobels.  I see the use of our freedoms to allow the rise and spread of ideologies that seek to attack those freedoms from within, that seek to restrict those freedoms to the right sort (read straight white male sort) of people.  I hear the ideologies that produced the sort of war torn shitholes that the Canadian Forces sent those like me who strove to keep the peace in failed states across this globe, and I know exactly where those pretty sounding ugly words lead, where the tolerance of that kind of intolerance leads.

 

I looked in the mirror and could not believe that I was looking at someone who was going to be a protester.  I have to admit, I have made more jokes than I can count about the people who run around protesting every public decision they disagree with.  I have defended the rights of people to do just that, but always with the understanding that I found it a little silly as a means of deciding public policy.

Then the violence escalated.

Ah.  Well, that changes things.

When Islamic terrorists detonated a bomb in the London Underground system, North Americans were surprised that when it reopened the system was slowed because of record ridership.  The simple fact is, the response of the British people to a terror attack was to simply and quietly show they could not be moved by fear.  In response to an attack on their transit system, people who usually drove chose to use the transit system simply to show they could not be driven by the fear of extremists.  That is the action of a citizenry that deserves the freedoms they inherit.

 

I look at the “alt-right” and their increasing claims to having silent support among average Canadians (that would be me), and I look at the escalation of violence they have chosen to embrace, the descent into street thuggery that was the tactic of the Fascist movements of the thirties, and I remember the point.  The alt right wishes to steal the voice of conservative citizens, and wishes to silence the voice of moderate citizens, wishes to use fear to suppress all dissent.  They wish to tell us who may be and may not be a citizen in this great nation, based on their opinions of race and religion.  This generation they have chosen to demonize the Muslim, as it was the Jew in the 1930’s, because they think that they can get support for their hate filled agenda if they build up an enemy in our minds we will give up our freedoms for protection from.

Not happening.

I was a soldier, so honestly fear doesn’t work on me.  When I was young and had no experience with wounds I was not moved by fear.  At this point I have survived things that generally kill people often enough to have ceased to be all that impressed by them, and have grown to love my country and its culture not like a newlywed with a bride he sees through rose coloured glasses, but like an old man who simply cannot imagine anyone else ever being right for him.  Canada isn’t perfect, but it isn’t shaped by hate or fear, and it won’t be.

 

I will be marching in the counter protest.  I come bearing my first aid kits, working with others who have similar first aid training to make sure that anyone who is injured receives prompt and effective care. I will be there to stand up for the Canada that I believe in, I will be there to show that fear will never rule here, and I will be wearing my Mjolnir, my Hammer of Thor, because while the street gang “Soldiers of Odin” may like to pretend to be heathen, the actual Heathen community has always been about inclusion, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence.

There are hateful people of every race and religion, there are really worthy citizens in every race and religion too; and the latter outnumber the former by a large degree. Muslim extremists no more represent the average Muslim Canadian than those neo-Nazi racists represent the average white Canadian.  Its not enough to say that though, you kind of have to show it.  Its not enough to sit back and shake your head at the marching racists, you kind of have to stand up and take to the streets to show they don’t speak for you, don’t represent you, and most of all, do not intimidate you.

 

The press and the alt right will try to label all of us who march as Antifa activists.  Sorry.  Not true.  We are just ordinary citizens who are tired of the wilful promotion of hatred.  We are tired of fear being used to stir up strife in our communities, tired of the endless attempts to replace peaceful debate with mindless screaming of slogans.

 

When you see the pictures of the event, you will see protesters.  That is funny, I would have as well.  Hard to admit after all these years that I may have been wrong so often, but I have to.  We will be keeping the peace, we will be looking after each other, and even after the racists, should one of them become injured, because that is what good people do.

When you look at the pictures and laugh as you see just another group of protesters you will be just as wrong as I was.  We are not; not really.  We are just citizens.  We are just citizens, and we are taking back our country.

Oppose the Racists in Vancouver

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Current events, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Labels and lasers

targeting-laser

Funny title hey?  What is the relation.  You almost have to share my background to see it, but for those of us that wore green in some form (CADPAT, MARPAT whatever your pattern) its hard not to see.  Labels act a lot like lasers from the point of view of those they are used to Target Designate.  You see the one lasing the target is not attacking, they are simply illuminating the target, providing the target point and tracking data the engaging unit will use to guide itself to the target which it will then kill.

We have a Quebec Mosque, a handful of dead, which may or may not grow into a second handful depending on their responses in hospital to their injuries, and we have an angry young college white boy.  Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, of Quebec City, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder following a shooting at a mosque in Sainte-Foy Sunday night.

(http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/more-questions-than-answers-was-mosque-shooting-an-act-of-terror-1.3264415?autoPlay=true).

This young man fits the profile of an angry poorly socialized loner who drifted from a left wing (NDP) affiliation to a right wing follower of Donald Trump and French politician Marine Le Pen, leader of the far right National Front.  Both leaders have essentially made acceptable to the public the views of the right wing extremists that had previously been condemned and even banned outright as hate speech.  This young man embraced the anti-feminist, anti-immigrant, dogma of the newly re-branded far right wing and chosen to act.

His choice of action was to walk into a Mosque and only his extreme lack of skill is credited for the low death toll of his prolonged shooting spree.  No one is saying Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen told him to do so.  No order was given.  No command spoken.  Only the targeting laser placed on immigrants, especially Muslim immigrants illuminating them as targets, designating them as threats.  The words are used to demonize, to declare as a clear and present danger the individuals in our society that this young man knew could be found in the Mosque, and painted the Mosque itself as a threat.  With the targeting laser shining brightly on the target, the disturbed young man did what disturbed angry young men do when poisoned by such charged rhetoric, and performed like the good little bomb he was and walked into the Mosque, following his targeting laser onto his target to kill.  Now in the Middle East he would have used a bomb vest, but here in the west it is more typical for such disturbed individuals to use a firearm as did Marc Lepin in the Polytecnic massacre targeting women, rather than immigrants (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_L%C3%A9pine).

I am Heathen, or Asatru.  My closest and deepest relationship among the holy gods is with Odin, called the Battle-Glad and Victory Father among his many by-names.  Odin is primarily the god not of skill at arms, nor strength of arm.  Odin is defined by the rune Anzus, which means inspiration.  Odin is the god of poetry, wisdom, inspiration, the words that move people.  Odin is the god of rousing passions, and for this he is the primary god of both hospitality and war.  It is the rousing of passions that either brings people together in community building (hospitality) or sets them against each other (war).  Perhaps it takes an Odin’s man to see our situation right now as it is.  We are seeing just what passions are being whipped up, and just what deeds are being inspired.

We look at the failed Muslim states and see what extremism brings.  The threat of Islamic terrorism is real, worse than the terrorism is the Islamic Extremism, its dehumanizing effect on individuals whereby those who embrace it really do not see women as free and equal beings, and really cannot see those who believe differently than them as being human beings with an intrinsic right to live as they choose either.  These beliefs are incompatable with the Rights and Freedoms guaranteed by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/const/page-15.html).  This is not rhetoric, this is fact.

These failed states are filled with victims, they are as you would expect Muslim victims whose crime was to be born in the wrong state. Many of these people seek a better future and a better life for themselves and their children.  Those who come to Canada to become Canadian, to embrace the Rights and Freedoms of our nation, who learn to value them as those raised with them from birth cannot ever understand, as they understand how truly precious they are.  There are also predators who are seeking richer territories to continue the tactics that rendered their states failed in the first place.  Not simply those ideological terrorists, but the common criminals who do not see others as real people, but prey they can use and abuse because they are stronger.  These have no place in Canada, there is no right for those who are born elsewhere to be Canadian if they do not feel bound by our laws.  We are not obligated to take them.  For this reason we screen potential immigrants, for this reason those we have let in who prove to be not potential citizens but imminent threats forfeit any chance of becoming citizens.

These failed states show the cost of letting the language of hate be accepted.  Now we see people who have escaped these failed states being murdered in the land of freedom itself by our own failure.  We see the cost of the language of hate being condoned by the leaders of western nations that should know better.  The US and France are embracing the language of hate as we have not seen in generations.  We are seeing a war on women, we are seeing the demonizing of other races by all sides.

Let me be utterly clear about this; racism is being openly preached to cheering crowds by ALL of our lovely ethnic extremists.  We see hate crimes by each group against the other, used then to justify more hate that will lead to more crimes.  You need to leave our country I think and travel the world to see exactly how precious what we have here is.  If you had done so, you would feel the real and compelling need to put a bullet into the head of the next person standing on a podium and preaching hate.  Being civilized and respecting the rule of law, we will not do so, but on a deep and fundamental level I must acknowledge that the best use of a bullet is shooting the person holding the targeting laser, the person designating the targets, turning our fellow citizens into nothing more than targets for hatred and violence.

King Henry of England had issues with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church acting against the Royal interests in political and economic affairs.  The King spoke before his knights and barrons, frequently quoted as saying “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”  Four knights, owing loyalty to the cause of the King rode to Canterbury and cut down Thomas Becket in his church.  They were not ordered to, and indeed the King was free to condemn the extreme action, while pointing out that really the clergy for their disloyalty had brought this upon themselves.  The hypocrisy is pretty much standard practice.

We see in the wake of the shooting of Muslims kneeling in prayer by a white Canadian college student the White Hose press secretary use the killing of unarmed Muslims in a Mosque as justification for Trumps ban against immigrants from Muslim nations.

(http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/white-house-spicer-que-mosque-comments-1.3959338)

Those who use labels for target designators do not care about the facts, nor do they care about their own Constitution, their own laws, the words of their own Founding Fathers. They care only about their political agenda, their own narrow vision of who they want to be part of their own “right thinking” nation.  The language of fascism, the one true faith, one permitted belief, single definition of what is a “Real American” or “Real Canadian”.

Understand when you share the memes slapping those labels on those you don’t like.  When you make free in mockery of them, painting them as either threats or undeserving of respect (and therefore protection), you are creating the soil in which these disturbed young men grow into mass killers.  You are creating the problem.  Your hands will be clean, you are only painting the target, you will be free to express your sympathies to the victims, knowing full well you will rush home to share your smirking little memes about “lets see how they like it” or “they brought it on themselves”.  Pro-life supporters are particularly good at this one.  The assassination of a doctor in the middle of his Sunday church service was absolutely acceptable to them (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_George_Tiller).

This is how you either show you deserve the rights and freedoms your ancestors fought for, your service folk risk their lives, and too often die for.  This is where you prove you are either a pillar supporting your state, or a parasite leaching off of it.

You will either take a stand against the hatred and stop treating people as labels, or you will continue to indulge in venting whatever emotional reaction makes you feel good, never once connecting your words to the increasing acceptance of hatred, and the deeds that inevitably follow.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a wonderful document.  It enshrines those rights which when shared by us all make us all free. What it also makes clear is that none of our rights give us the right to strip those rights from others.  That is what the language of hate is all about.  At its base the language of hate is about dehumanizing.  Only by making the enemy sub-human can we accept that those rights we hold to be self evident are obviously not intended for THOSE PEOPLE.

Islamic extremists, White Power extremists, clearly they will have a different definition of THOSE PEOPLE who don’t’ deserve human rights, who aren’t real people.  In all other respects they pretty much march in lockstep.  They are not opposite sides of the same coin, they are the same face of the same coin. The opposite face of any extremist is tolerance, not the opposing extreme.

Tear off the labels.  Treat individuals as just that.  Do not excuse the misdeeds of someone because of their label, nor apply the misdeeds of others to someone because they share a label.  Your label does not give you the right to rape or murder.  Your label does not give others the right to target you for abuse either.

Wake up, NOW, while our state is still strong and whole.  Continue to think that the extremist acts have nothing to do with the language you use in your every day life and your social media and you will remain part of the problem, not part of the solution.  There is no right side for extremism.  There is no just cause for extremism.  Extremism or Freedom, you get to have only one of these, I choose Freedom, and that means I must pay for it by every single day working hard to make sure I do not give in to my emotional desire to lash out at someone and contribute to the growth of acceptance of extremist views.  I ask all of you to decide for yourself if you will do the same.

mosque-vigil

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