Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obamamania Comes To Canada

This article has been composing itself in my head for a while, but it's finally prompted by a CNN Breaking News E-mail Alert I just got, quoted here in its entirety:

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama vows "we will recover" from economic crisis.
Really, now, CNN. We've been over this before: for something to qualify as Breaking News, there should be somebody, somewhere, who didn't see it coming.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there's a contingent who really expected him to come out and announce, "It's been fun, gang, but the American economy is over. Grab the canned goods and run for the hills!"

His Royal Awesomeness recently visited Canada. Observant Canadians may have noticed it mentioned in the paper, or when it was THE ONLY FREAKING THING ON ANY CANADIAN TV CHANNEL FOR THREE DAYS.

I'm glad he made it safely back home. Unlike my leftist friends, I have no wish to see harm befall the President because I disagree with his politics. I hope Obama fails in his goal of turning America into a politically correct commune with abortions and bailouts for all, but I hope he lives a long, healthy, happy (except for the incidental frustration of having his aforementioned goals thwarted) life. It would have been all kinds of bad if something had gone wrong during his visit here. It's bad enough our geese are taking down airliners over New York City; we don't need any more international incidents.

I'm normally a pretty security-conscious guy, and cooperative with people who are trying to keep us safe. This article, however, describes a security precaution that went way over the line for my inner libertarian (who usually isn't far from the surface):
Behind barricades, thousands of adoring fans will strain to get a glimpse of Barack Obama. Homeowners and the few businesses along the Colonel By Dr. route, which runs parallel to the Rideau Canal, will be told they can't open their doors or windows when the motorcade goes by.
Within those bold letters lies a major problem. If I were one of those homeowners along the route, I wouldn't be interested in sticking my head out the window to watch President Rockstar's limo go by anyway. I'm not one of those who believe that a mere glimpse of his glory could cure my dandruff.

Furthermore, if the security people suggested that keeping the doors and windows closed would be wise, or even if they politely asked me to do so, I would almost certainly comply happily. However, the moment that I'm told that I can't look out the window of my own house because of a celebrity driving by, we have a serious problem. I live in a free country, and my right to look out the window of my own house is sovereign and absolute.

I realize how ridiculous it may sound to draw a line at this sort of thing, but it matters, and most people don't even understand that it does. It's really very simple: if you don't want to risk my seeing you when I look out my living room window, then don't use the public street that goes by my house. I will not pretend to be a prisoner for anyone.

The Bible repeatedly scorns the idea of treating some people differently than other because of their social status. It's called "respect of persons" - perhaps counterinuitively, a phrase that means "having more respect for some people than others without a valid reason". Romans 2:11 (like a bunch of other passages) says that God shows no respect of persons, and neither should His followers. If I won't hide in my house with the curtains drawn to avoid upsetting any random passerby, I won't do it for President Godiva.

My other problem is with the President's choices of people with whom to meet. The Prime Minister, sure. The Governor General, OK (although maybe her agenda should have been about Canada, not Haiti...).

But waitwaitwait.

The guy's in town for one day, and is booking half-hour meetings... and he has time for Iggy?!?

If Iggy got half an hour, then I hope Don Cherry and Brent Butt each got a slot. For that matter, if Obama had time for Iggy, then he should have had time to stop by and see me.

Enough rambling. Here's a picture of Cinderella's Castle as seen at night from a moving train through the lens of a digital camera with a very slow shutter speed. If you look closely on the right, you can see the Mothership landing.


RebelAngel said...

Perhaps the "advice" to stay inside is all in your best interest. Last September when all the hullaballoo was here for the debate our pastor was almost run over by the obama motorcade as it sped down our little downtown street going from point A to point B.

As for looking out the windows...maybe all these secret service agents failed that test where cardboard people pop out for them to shoot at.

Zirbert said...

Well, sure - there are plenty of good reasons not to poke your head outside when the President is rolling by. As noted, that would probably be my first inclination.

My point was that I would bristle severely at being ordered not to look out the windows of my own home, by anyone, for any reason.

The concept of private property ownership, with a great degree of sovreignty as to what the owner does with / on it, is fundamental to a free society. "Don't look directly out of your home at the President, lest your retinas be scorched by the glory of his image" - or for any other justification - should be recognized as an unacceptable attempt to control the citizenry.

Like I said, most people will think this is silly, and I freely admit it's a minor issue in and of itself. However, it's a symptom of a greater problem, creeping nannystateism.


Anonymous said...

I heard recently that Obama's popularity rate was 62% in US, and a whopping 85% in Canada!
Good stuff, R