Friday, March 04, 2011

Take a breath, cowboy...

If you want to see what cable-TV ranting has done to opinion writing, consider this jeremiad from a rodeo aficionado.
It’s time to man the Ramparts: Our Western Heritage is Under Attack
Guy Weadick and Pat Burns who were instrumental in organizing the first Calgary Stampede in 1912 must be rolling over in their graves with the most recent announcement about how the Rangeland Derby is being changed to placate those most of whom unfortunately, wouldn’t know the front end of an Angus Steer from the back end of a pick up truck. We are now going to have two outriders and not the four that we have had for time eternal in the Chuckwagon Races, and for all the wrong reasons. To those who made the decisions, if you think that this is the end of the battle about what a Rodeo or more specifically what the Rangeland Derby should look like you are sadly mistaken. This is only one small minute battle that a select group has once again won in the real war that is being waged and that ultimate goal is I believe to totally ban all Rodeos from existence.
It’s time to say enough is enough. It’s amazing how history repeats itself. In September of 1938, Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of the England, returned from Germany after signing the Munich Agreement with Hitler. The Munich Agreement gave the Sudetenland (a Czech territorial possession) to Germany on the premise that this would end Germany’s aspirations. This agreement was reached without
Czech input by Britain and France who wanted to avoid war at all cost. Remember how Chamberlain waved the document while debarking the airplane that returned him from Germany, all the while smiling and saying “Peace in our Time?” The ink wasn’t even dry on the document before Hitler invaded Poland, the event that kick started World War Two. The failed strategy caused Chamberlain to leave office in disgrace to make way for the British Bulldog Winston Churchill, but the damage had been done, and millions would die in the succeeding conflict. The reason that the Munich Agreement was a train wreck was that the European Powers failed to realize what Hitler’s true agenda was and what his ultimate objective from the start entailed. In short, Hitler played the other European powers very successfully and they ended up fighting a far more major conflict than would have been the case had they had the backbone to stop Hitler dead in his tracks early on.
Sacrificing one’s principles didn’t work then and it doesn’t work any better now. The well financed groups that incessantly challenge our rights and privileges to a rural way of life are not going away. They will not rest until they have achieved their ultimate goal which is to totally and completely decimate our ability to lead the life that we have all chosen. Do we have a right to protect our heritage? Do we have a right to protect our way of life? Do others have the right to superimpose their value systems on us? I say not now and not ever. If you continue to allow these groups to chip away at those things that we cherish and value then we will wake up some morning and those things will be gone forever, not only for us but for our children and grandchildren. I for one am sick and tired of being castigated for my treatment of animals. [More, and the hysteria only mounts as he takes his arguments to absurd predicted extremes]
Now it could be that I am misreading a pathetically bad attempt at sarcasm. If that the case, this cowboy should stick to their famed poetry.

But obviously he is unaware of Godwin's Law when invoking Hitler.
There are many corollaries to Godwin's law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself)[3] than others.[1] For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress. This principle itself is frequently referred to as Godwin's law. It is considered poor form to raise such a comparison arbitrarily with the motive of ending the thread. There is a widely recognized corollary that any such ulterior-motive invocation of Godwin's law will be unsuccessful. [More]
I don't even know what the "outrider" issue is, but I'm willing to bet it is not the End of Civilization he describes. And it is fair to point out I don't have much in common with this profession.

Still when all you have to get strung out about is rodeo rules,  it is a powerful argument that Canada is pretty good place to be living right now.

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