As professional armchair critics, we take immense pleasure in highlighting the flaws of other countries, while basking in our own supposed superiority. Some of it is in jest, or in sport. Some use a comparative analysis case, such as the delivery of health care services in Canada versus that of the United States. And then there is the sobering contemplation of the differences in the world respecting rights and freedoms.
All in all, we in Canada and the United States are pretty darn lucky to have been born under a flag that was secured by the blood, sweat, and tears of those who came before us. Probably our greatest flaw in securing these precious rights and freedoms has been how we have treated our aboriginals (a shameful course of events that still cries for a resolution). And while we are far from perfect, we are generally regarded throughout the world as shining beacons of freedom.
Good for us.
As we learn of deplorable human rights violations and suppression of freedoms in foreign countries, it is perhaps one of the few times when we concretely revere just how fortunate we have become, and, at the same time, convince ourselves that surely such repression can never happen here. Certainly, we would not tolerate similar abuses. Absolutely, it would incite a revolution.
Surely, certainly, and absolutely it already has happened here. This year. And you either were unaware your rights were violated, or you were aware and you did nothing. Perhaps you were too afraid to speak out? You might have had a wee taste of the conditions under which a great many of the world's population live.
A clear and very recent example of your rights being trampled occurred during Toronto and area's hosting of the G8 and G20 Summits, that spendthrift hosted by Canada that proved once and for all that, yes, you can spend more than a billion dollars on goose-stepping security to pamper a few hundred diplomats for a few days of solitude at a luxury resort - smack dab in the middle of the country's largest city. For math's sake, security costs alone were approximately 200 million dollars a day at a time with high unemployment and increasing numbers of personal and business bankruptcies.