Jargon is the death knell of business planning

Allow me this one small dalliance into negativity. It won’t take long, and it’s about jargon. In this case, it’s specifically about business/financial jargon, but every group has its own set of nonsensical words that may have a specific meaning in their particular setting, but which become ridiculous outside of that setting.

article-new_ehow_images_a06_fd_1i_difference-paperback-mass-market-paperback-800x800Jargon is basically a set of words that nobody understands except the group that uses them, and there is a connotation here that the group that uses them is a smaller group. And when I say ‘nobody understands’, I mean jargon is difficult to understand. There’s a reason groups use jargon. F’rinstance, in the tech world and in medical settings, these words might be incredibly specific. A “JP tube”, f’rinstance, is a very specific piece of equipment that’s used to drain fluid following surgeries. Academia is FULL of jargon that has little or no relevance outside the walls of the “ivory tower”. There’s all KINDS of jargon in the publishing world – you’ll hear things like ‘recto’ and ‘verso’ and ‘folio’ and ‘trim size’ and ‘bleed’ and ‘hash marks’ and ‘braces’ and ‘stet’ and ‘EAN’ and your eyes will glaze over and you’ll just fall over dead.

THUD, your body will say, and publishing will have claimed another hapless victim. Let us all have a moment of silence for that guy.

There are reasons why we have jargon, and usually it’s because in the field to which the jargon pertains, those words have very specific meaning, and the people in those industries have an instant understanding of what you mean when you say “ALOC” or “M&M” (it’s sadly not a delicious candy when you hear it in hospital) or “dynamic tessellation” or “VBR”. The PROBLEM with jargon is that when you bring it outside your particular arena, you get fatalities like that one that just happened with the guy who died from publishing terms.

*shoves body under a stack of galley proofs*

*sticks thumbs in braces and leans back* Now I’ve been through a fair number of planning…okay wait, this bit is only going to make sense if you picture me in one of those hideously starched business suits with a white collar and cuffs and, like, stripes or whatever on the actual shirtwaist, and suspenders (which I call braces because of my granddad) and, like, dress pants and stuff…a fair number of planning sessions in my day, and I’ve run across something that disturbs me. It’s the tendency of companies to use horrible jargon in their planning processes. There is a reason financial/business consultants use jargon, and near as I can figure, it’s so that they don’t actually have to say anything accurate.

It’s like they KNOW they’re on the rung above “psychics and charlatans” and so the language they use has to be purposefully vague and noncommittal so that no matter what happens in the future, you can look back on it and say, well, I guess those consultants were right. I think. Maybe. What the hell does this even mean?

I am a HUGE fan of clear, concise, accurate language when you’re dealing with people’s money. I work for a non-profit, and we are stewards of public investment. So when someone asks me what we’re doing with government money, I want to be as accurate as humanly possible so that they are left with no questions about how their money is being spent. I do not want a consultant to tell me that the purpose of their study (being paid for with public money) is to embiggulate the prescriptive dataset of market-ready intelligence intended to stretch the market and produce commercially viable, trackable products for the international trade sector. I don’t want that. I want them to tell me that the purpose of their study (being paid for with public money) is to learn the best way we can help increase sales.

If you need to use jargon in your business dealings with other business people or other consultants, please do so! Use the word “co-partnerships” all you want. What the HELL does that word mean? Doesn’t “partnership” already contain all the things you need to have a partnership? Seriously. Talk about “avenues of appreciation” (yes, I picture a street lined with people all chanting ‘go you!’. Regina City Council, I demand a street called “Appreciation Avenue”). What in the blazing blue fuck is a “brand presence opportunity”? I think that means shelf space for products in shops, but I actually haven’t got a clue.

If this is a document that someone other than the business community is going to need to look at and a) understand; b) DO something with; and c) report on later, you kind of have to make the language comprehensible. If you say that you want me to “increase appreciation” of something, then you can’t come back to me and tell me that the way I report on that “increased appreciation”, by including the five letters that say ‘thank you’ in my report, is insufficient. A planning document is supposed to do a couple of things: 1) Identify stuff (and make sure stuff is easy to understand); 2) Identify goals (and make sure they’re actually feasible goals, based on the stuff you identified); and 3) Provide suggested actions that your clients can take to achieve the goals you identified based on the stuff you found out.

I mean, that is a basic planning document right there. If your client can’t figure out what the stuff is you’ve identified because your mouth is full of jargon, you’re going to have to spit that jargon out and use regular marbles like everyone else.

This is a huge problem, because governments in particular shell out all KINDS of money for consultants to come in and study things and then provide recommendations to the government for how to do things or achieve things. I’ve been involved in some of these processes. Time and time again, I have asked for people to use plain, concise language in these documents. Time and time again, the consultants produce a report full of drivel and nonsense words that ends up in the bottom of someone’s filing cabinet because nobody really understands what “explore global market readiness” really means. NOT EVEN THE POLITICIANS. Hell. ESPECIALLY the politicians.

And if the politicians don’t grok it, how the hell can they explain to the people to whom they are beholden to be stewards of public monies, what they’re spending public monies ON? They can’t.

I’ve been chastised for being the person who sits in meetings and says “I don’t think that phrase says what you intend it to say”. I’ve been told “we don’t want an editor, ha-ha”. And that’s fine. I’m not asking you to pay me the $80/hour you’d be paying me if I were your editor. Or even the discounted friends-and-families/small press rate of $40/hour. I’m not copyediting your document, and if I were, we would have some SERIOUS discussions about comma use. I’m not proofreading it either (and if I were, we’d have a sit-down about how you really shouldn’t send out a document with someone else’s information in it. Using a boilerplate document is fine but have some self-respect and proofread it before you send it out, please – note: this has happened in probably 4 out of the last 5 times I have worked with a consultant on planning documents for the boards on which I sit, and the work I do for pay). If I’m sitting there saying “what does global marketplace readiness mean?”, what I’m asking you is what does that phrase actually mean. Especially if you’re recommending that the board assess global marketplace readiness.

I THINK it means decide whether you’re able to sell your stuff into the US (neither ‘global’ nor even ‘foreign’, btw). But I don’t know. Maybe you’re asking me to figure out whether our association is ready to do business in China. If that’s the case, I can answer you right now.

Writing business plans and planning documents should not be akin to writing the Great Canadian Novel. Which is to say, business plans and documents should not be boring, dry, and inaccessible to people who don’t have PhDs in literature. (Sorry, Great Canadian Novel; you and I have very different ideas about what makes for good reading.) You have a duty to your clients to provide them with clear, understandable business plans in clear, precise language. Your job is to help the business clients you have do things better and more efficiently. Having to hire consultants every two years because you never really understood the first strategic plan is not efficient.


What Not to Wear

I’m certainly no bastion of fashion. Yet here I provide you with a handy guide for what not to wear at any age, particularly after your parents stop dressing you. This guide will apply to you regardless of your body shape, gender, ethnicity, age, ability level, or education. It’s a pretty foolproof system of mixing and matching and colour-co-ordinating. You may want to take notes. Ready?

What not to wear after age whatever: shame.

As for clothing, wear whatever the fuck you want; you’re magnificent.

Keep it together

Human-RightsI’m going to post this article here. I need you to read it, and I’ll wait.

Many things are going on here, and none of them is particularly good. For anyone who says that feminism isn’t needed anymore; for folks out there who say feminism isn’t relevant anymore, this judge proves why you’re wrong. Feminism is about fighting for EQUAL RIGHTS regardless of someone’s gender.

The fact that the judge in this case doesn’t like our country’s rape shield laws*, and was openly contemptuous of them is bad enough. This isn’t even a case of not believing someone who alleges rape or sexual assault; if the prosecution has proven that a woman was assaulted, which it *has* (why would the judge ask whether penetration could have been avoided if that fact hadn’t been proven?), then there are very clear processes that follow.

Asking a survivor of rape why she ‘couldn’t just keep her knees together’ shows the kind of ignorance that means this judge should not be on the bench. Asking a survivor why she ‘couldn’t just scoot her bottom into the sink so she couldn’t be penetrated’ misses the point altogether. The point of this case is that a young woman was sexually assaulted, the prosecution argued the facts of the case well enough that the judge accepted that they happened (enough to ask why the survivor didn’t stop the assault), and the JUDGE hearing the case dismissed pretty much the entire case with a level of ignorance and coldness that makes me seriously wonder how the hell this rube got to be a judge in the first place. I would even go so far as to say this level of ignorance borders on total stupidity.

The judge issued an apology – sorry, buddy; too little too late there – and has been ordered to take “gender sensitivity training”. First of all, what in the blue fuck is “gender sensitivity training”, and second, you can’t fix stupid. You just can’t fix stupid. People who believe it is in the power of the survivors of assault – sexual or otherwise – to stop the attack are just wrong. Possibly stupid.

If you and I are sitting down for tea and we start arguing the stupidity of people who don’t believe in Canada’s rape shield laws, and I whip out a baseball bat and bash your knees to smithereens, chances are good that a judge isn’t going to ask you why you didn’t just get up and leave. Chances are good that the police aren’t going to look at you and say, “well why didn’t you call for help?”.

This case, full of wilful ignorance (just because you don’t like a law doesn’t mean you get to ignore it or apply it, JUDGE CAMP) and, frankly, cruelty (the survivor in this case now has to go through ANOTHER ENTIRE TRIAL, and what, if any, consequences does the judge have to face? He’s not being permitted to adjudicate cases involving sexual assault. That’s like saying “since you murdered someone with a rock, we’re not going to let you have rocks anymore. Axes are fine.”) highlights something pretty important. There are still people, some of them powerful people in positions of authority, who think that sexual assault is somehow different from any other kind of assault. That it’s a lesser kind of assault. That smashing someone’s kneecaps at tea is somehow worse than forcing your penis into someone’s vagina in the WC of a bar.

Gender sensitivity training isn’t going to do a goddamned thing for this twit, because this case isn’t actually about women. This case isn’t actually about men. This case is about assault. Rape is a form of assault. If this judge is stupid enough to think that the survivor in this case could have prevented her assault by “keeping her knees together” (and I’m going to point you to the actual muscles that it requires to do that; most people’s hip adductor muscles are not stronger than someone else’s hip abductor muscles…which is to say the muscles that you use to keep your knees together are generally not as strong as the muscles you use to open your knees apart, and the laws of physics being what they are, it’s pretty easy to use the leverage of the rest of your body to force someone’s knees apart, regardless of your gender or theirs), then imagine what he would have said if it had been a man instead of a woman who was assaulted at that bar. Gender, here, is irrelevant. What is relevant is that a 19-year-old young adult was assaulted in a bar. Someone did something to that 19-year-old that they did not consent to. That. Is. Assault. And in this case, the form or title of that assault is rape.

The law is not about changing things that happened in the past. The law is not retroactive (usually). What the law does is look at the actions that you took, and the actions that someone else took, and argues each side against the other to prove (or to disprove) whether harm was caused, and if harm was caused, a decision is made that doesn’t *undo* the harm, but that is supposed to make things whole. And here’s the problem. With assault and other serious crime, the law can’t really ever make you whole again. The nature of assault is that the assailant takes something away from you, and what they take away from you is power. Agency. The law can’t give that back. The only way you can get that back is by rebuilding it yourself, often with the help of physical and mental health professionals. So in the case of major crimes, the purpose of the law is to assign punitive punishment for harmful actions.

Keep in mind, I am not a lawyer, nor am I a judge, and I am not a student of laws. So maybe I have this all wrong. Here’s what I do know: judges who refuse to acknowledge or who are dismissive of the laws they have sworn to uphold and apply ought not to be judges. There are plenty of other jobs out there for smart people who can learn stuff, so if you don’t like the fact that you cannot use the way a woman chooses to dress as a reason for why she can’t possibly have been raped, get a different job. If you think the survivor of sexual assault is at fault for her own rape because she didn’t just ‘keep her knees together’, get the hell off the bench. This case wasn’t about what the survivor could or could not have done to prevent her own assault. It was about what the assailant did to the survivor.

This, and every sexual assault case is about what the alleged rapist is alleged to have done, not about what the survivor could have done to have stopped it.

Look, if part of the purpose of the law is to provide some kind of assurance that we live in a relatively safe society, and to punish the people who threaten that relative safety, then at least part of your job as someone who works in the legal field is to ensure that the people whose safety you have sworn to protect have to believe that that’s what you’re going to do. If it were me in front of that judge, I’d have recommended a little trip to the bathroom to demonstrate why I didn’t “just keep my knees together” (and then I’d have been charged with contempt of court, I’m sure, and fined some outrageous amount of money).

This judge should be removed from the bench, disbarred from ever practicing law again, and should have to spend some time with counsellors at a rape crisis centre. He is ignorant. His ignorance is a symptom of a much bigger problem, and that problem is that we do not take sexual assault seriously, regardless of gender. Until we no longer have to warn our kids to “be careful at parties because someone might take advantage of you”, we haven’t done enough. Until we don’t have to have classes about what consent means, we haven’t done enough. Until we don’t have to have arguments about the difference between rough sex and rape, we haven’t done enough. Until we don’t need “zero tolerance policies for bullying”, we haven’t done enough.

The right to be the boss of what happens to your own body may be the only inalienable right that every human being has. It is completely shameful that we so easily overlook this basic human right. We can do better. We can be better.

*Canada’s rape shield law is a piece of legislation that outlines whether (and if so, how and when) a defendant’s previous sexual history can be used against them at trial, what consent means, and what constitutes consent. There have been challenges to Canada’s rape shield laws as recently as the early 2000s claiming that it is unconstitutional, but those challenges have been defeated by the Canadian Supreme Court.

Treat. Seriously. Treat.

IMG_1978 He organised his own Hallowe’en party – invited a few friends over this afternoon, and by the time they’d gone mumming, there were 20 kids and six parents in their group. They came home together, and I plied the parents with coffee and tea and then tried to breathe deeply as the children, ranging in age from about five to twelve got steadily more and more hepped up on Hallowe’en goofballs.

We didn’t get too many kids this year, which is weird. Usually we get 150 kids, even when the weather is shite. But I guess when Hallowe’en falls on a weekend, everyone drives their kids into the city where the rich people have all the good candy.

Nevertheless, at about 8:30, the doorbell rang. It was the obligatory trump of teenagers, doodling around in halfhearted costumes. I don’t mind. I have enough candy to give Willy Wonka diabetes, so as long as the teenagers *try*, I reward them. I force them to say “trick or treat”, though. Because I’m mean.

So the young man, probably 6′ tall and still growing into his feet, says “Happy Birthday”, and holds out his satchel. I dump some treats in there and tell him “it’s not my birthday, but I hope you have a good night.”

He says “am I at least close?”

I drop treats in the bags each of the three young women are carrying. “Nope.”

“So when’s your birthday?” He asks.

“June,” I say.

“ME TOO!” says one of the girls.

“What day in June?” another girl asks.

“The best day,” I say.

They begin to guess. They didn’t make it to the Best Day of the Year, but after a dozen attempts, the young man peers his head around the door frame and says “69, hurr hurr hurr.”

“Really!?” I say. “REALLY? *THAT* is what you come up with? You’ve had, what, five minutes to come up with something witty, and that’s your best?”

The girls ask what he said.

“He was all, sixty-nine, hurr hurr hurr,” I reply, in my best #TheTeen voice. The girls titter. The boy is turning red.

“Like, did you expect me to be EMBARRASSED at 69? Did you think I was going to clutch my pearls and squeal, **heavens to murgatroyd, what the young people are saying these days**? Like, did you expect that I don’t know what that MEANS? I have TWO KIDS, buddy. I was doing that before you were ever born, and baby, I’m GOOD at it.”

The boy is now beet red and laughing so hard he can hardly stand. The girls are squealing.

The boy leans against a post and wheezes. “4:20,” he says.

“You have GOT to be kidding me,” I say. “I was eighteen not very long ago, buster. I have probably 4:20ed more times than you’ve had hand-relations. LOOK AT ME, for God’s sake. These are real dreadlocks.”

Boy is now leaning against the post, his face close to the colour of his hunter-orange jumpsuit (which serves as his costume). “You’re awesome,” he says.

“Of COURSE I’m awesome. And if you think you’re going to one-up me or embarrass me at my OWN HOUSE? You’d better remember that I’m awesome, boyo. Have an awesome night.”

This was, I think, one of the best things that’s ever happened in the history of time.

Dreams of Running

I have dreams where I am running, the air burning hot through my lungs, my feet pounding the ground beneath me. In my dreams of running, I long to reach out with long, open strides, to eat up the pavement beneath me, but something holds me back. My legs won’t propel me. My muscles won’t stretch. I lean forward, straining, but to no avail. The fastest I can go is a dull jog.

IMG_1931I used to run. I ran the 3k at school. Dad would take me to the field house when we went to Saskatoon, and we would run the track for an hour and then at the end he’d challenge me to a race. He always beat me. Then my legs started to hurt. Sometimes it was bad enough I couldn’t walk. I didn’t know what shin splints were; I just knew it felt like someone shoved hot pokers down through my knees to the middle of my tibias. I didn’t know there were shoes that were better for running and shoes that were better for walking. I just knew I loved to run, to feel the wind in my hair and my heart pounding and my muscles alive.

At first, it was just the pain in my shins after I ran on the pavement during the school’s annual 3K run. Then it was when I was on the court with the volleyball team. I remember my parents taking me out to a movie after Dad and I had gone to the field house, and every step was agony. They nearly had to carry me out to the car after the show. When my legs had healed up, I’d grown an impressive chest, and I learned that running hurt everything.

I dream I can run. Now, with a few extra biscuits in my baskets, it’s a hell of a chore to get this bulk up off the ground. I love the elliptical, because there’s no impact. The girls don’t bounce around; my knees don’t buckle every third step. But still I dream.

In the car on the way home from work, my mind wanders to the hills and the long walks I take with the dogs, and I picture myself running with the little droolers behind me, their toenails clacking on the pavement in a rhythm syncopated with my own. I imagine the sweat running down my face, stinging my eyes. I daydream the burning in my lungs until my heart rate settles and then the long, rhythmic drive as I run down the old highway or up the steep hill to the monastery.
I dream of running, of the dust flying from my shoulders and the bullshite dropping from my psyche and the sweat running down between my shoulder blades bleeding the crud out of my body. It’s not even about speed, although I miss the kick at the end of the race, of picking my knees up high and pushing myself past the place I thought I’d break, to come in third in a race I had no idea I was competing in.

Third was first, back then, because my interests weren’t in athletics, and the looks on the career athlete’s faces when I crossed the finish line ahead of some of the senior boys (I was a junior) was seared into my memory. “How did you do that?” they asked me, and all I knew was that when the pistol went off, I ran, and when I saw the finish line, I ran harder. That was back when my dreams were limitless and the number of things I’d been told I couldn’t do were far fewer.

In my dreams, I can run.

Five Star Mixtape

So much left unsaid

“We each of us mourn and grieve the holes our loved ones leave in our lives when they go,” I wrote to my friend yesterday. “When someone dies unexpectedly, that hole doesn’t have soft edges and neatly hemmed openings. It’s a vicious, torn-open wound. The bigger the personality, the bigger the void. Particularly for someone who brought so much joy to so many people. ESPECIALLY someone so young. He’s one of us. It’s unthinkable.”

I got a text yesterday that a friend had passed away. A young friend. A friend who’d just started his artists’ journey. He’s written three novels and a memoir, and he had so many more stories to tell. It’s unthinkable.

wesWes and I first met shortly after he published Dead Rock Stars, a novel about a man who returns to small town Saskatchewan to tie up loose ends and discovers passion and love along the way. It was the first small-arr romance novel I’d enjoyed, and I had the pleasure of interviewing Wes for my radio show. He was a brilliant, engaging, fun guest, who wrote lovely, engaging, fun books.

He’s one of those people who, when you told him you were a writer, would get so excited about your art that you left the meeting feeling like a star. For his own work, he knew he had stories to tell, and, simply, he told them.

I know him as a publisher and a writer, and as a friend. We share many interests – science fiction, comics and superheroes, writing, publishing, broadcasting (Wes hosted a television show in Saskatoon where he talked to writers and book people!), teaching, learning, and justice and equality for LGBT people. It seemed like nothing for him to coax a smile out of anyone. To make everyone he talked to believe in themselves. That’s no easy task.

It is unthinkable that he has left so many stories untold. He will be dearly missed. If you didn’t know him, read him.

Dead Rock Stars – the only book I’ve ever read that was its own soundtrack. Also the book that made me realize I kind of really dig gay romance stories.

Baggage – about a handful of people who work in downtown Saskatoon, their intimacies and betrayals, and truth and lies.

Cherry Blossoms – a novel about starting over, reinventing, and taking chances.

Wes Side Story – A memoir Wes wrote about his own experience, told with all the laughter you would expect from Wes, and despite shyness, trepidation, and soul-searching, confidence (well-deserved) in his own art form.

I was hoping to see Wes a few weeks from now. We didn’t have enough time, Wes. There was never enough time.

SEP Field

Let’s all think back to the first time we read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and learned about the ubiquitous SEP Field. That’s what…pardon? You don’t remember what that means? Oh. Okay, well, for those of you who “don’t remember” [stern glare] either the Hitchhiker’s Guide or the SEP Field, here’s a refresher from the Hitchhiker’s Guide wiki:

Somebody Else’s Problem field, or SEP, is a cheap, easy, and staggeringly useful way of safely protecting something from unwanted eyes. It can run almost indefinitely on a torch (flashlight)/9 volt battery, and is able to do so because it utilises a person’s natural tendency to ignore things they don’t easily accept, like, for example, aliens at a cricket match. Any object around which an S.E.P. is applied will cease to be noticed, because any problems one may have understanding it (and therefore accepting its existence) become Somebody Else’s. An object becomes not so much invisible as unnoticed.

A perfect example of this would be a ship covered in an SEP field at a cricket match. A starship taking the appearance of a large pink elephant is ideal, because you can see it, but because it is so inconceivable, your mind can’t accept it. Therefore it can’t exist, thus ignoring it comes naturally.

A S.E.P. can work in much the same way in dangerous or uninhabitable environments. Any problem which may present itself to a person inside an S.E.P. (such as not being able to breathe, due to a lack of atmosphere) will become Somebody Else’s.

An S.E.P. can be seen if caught by surprise, or out of the corner of one’s eye.

Image from https://thegatewayonline.ca
Image from https://thegatewayonline.ca

Okay, now that we’re all on the same page [stern glare], in the recent Munk leaders’ debate, Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper went toe-to-toe over the Conservative government’s Bill C-24, which would change the Citizenship Act to empower the government to revoke the Canadian citizenship of a dual citizen if s/he is convicted of treason, espionage, or the nebulous “terrorism”. It provides the federal government the right to strip Canadian citizenship from anyone who is *eligible* for citizenship from another country. This is huge.

This doesn’t make any changes to the government’s ability to deny or revoke citizenship from someone who has obtained Canadian citizenship fraudulently. What it DOES do is put anyone eligible for dual citizenship (even if they were born in Canada) at risk. My parents and aunts and uncles would be at risk because one of their grandparents were born in the US, which makes them eligible for US citizenship. You can lose your Canadian citizenship if you commit a criminal offence in another country, whether or not that country has a corrupt political regime. (So, f’rinstance, if you are convicted of a crime in Saudi Arabia, you can lose your Canadian citizenship if you are a dual citizen or if you are eligible for dual citizenship.)

I’m not an expert, by any means, on citizenship rules or legislation.

Here’s the thing though. There’s outrage going around about how Trudeau said he would not revoke the Canadian citizenship of a terrorist. OUTRAGE. People are clutching their pearls and are pointing their shaky fingers and saying, “see!? SEE? That kid is going to roont the country! He’s soft! HE LOVES TERRORISTS!”

Leaving the logical fallacies and syllogisms aside, and pretending that we’re all thinking, reasonable people, let’s look at this. Trudeau is saying that once someone has legitimately received Canadian citizenship, they will always be a Canadian. ACCEPTING that if someone obtained their citizenship fraudulently (ie. if they lied on their application and only wanted to become a Canadian citizen to blow up, I dunno, Canada Post), their citizenship will be revoked. That means this: if you lie or are duplicitous or fraudulent in any way on your citizenship application, your citizenship is void. That counts for the vast numbers of people who emigrate to Canada for the sole purpose of having Canadian babies and raising them up to blow up Canada Post.

This is important. What Trudeau is saying is that Canadian citizenship is VALUABLE. That it means something. That it’s not just something that can be taken away like a driver’s permit. Hell, under Bill C-24, it’s easier to revoke someone’s citizenship than it is to revoke someone’s driver’s permit, even if they’re a repeat drunk driving offender. There is something *very* wrong with that. Trudeau is saying that IF Canadians engage in “terrorism” (and I have HUGE problems with the way “terrorism” is defined in this bill, and by the current political leader) or treason or espionage (this clause is ludicrous because Canadians engage in espionage all the time. Every first-world country does. It is, if you believe their government’s treatises, how they ensure the ‘safety’ of their citizens – by gathering ‘intelligence’ on the lies other first-world countries’ governments tell. That’s not even a conspiracy theory. I wish it were, but it isn’t), they ought to be tried AS CANADIANS and imprisoned, if found guilty, AS CANADIANS.

Trudeau is saying we oughtn’t allow Canadians to become Somebody Else’s Problem. Think about it. Dude X has dual Canadian-American citizenship. Dude X is convicted of terrorism because he’s part of a plot to blow up Canada Post. So we revoke his Canadian citizenship and send him home to the US. What does this solve? He may or may not be tried and/or imprisoned in his country of dual citizenship. He may or may not be punished. He may or may not make his way BACK to Canada because he really, really hates Canada Post.

In what way does it make sense to say “you are no longer a Canadian citizen, so we’re not going to keep tabs on you anymore. Buh-bye”?

I get that this whole thing is probably precipitated by the Omar Khadir debacle. Bill C-24 was the WRONG response to that whole ridiculous mess. Harper attempting to make Trudeau look like an ass over saying as much is sad at best. Trudeau only looks like an ass if you think that what he’s saying is that we should  let go free the people who are convicted of treason or “terrorism”. That’s not what he’s saying. That’s never been what he’s saying; quite the opposite. He’s simply saying that Canadian citizens have rights, and that there oughtn’t be fewer rights for Canadian citizens who also hold citizenship elsewhere. He’s saying that people who fraudulently obtain Canadian citizenship were ALWAYS in the position of having their citizenship revoked. He’s saying that ANYBODY can become a “terrorist”, regardless of their citizenship, and that in the event a Canadian is convicted of “terrorism”, we shouldn’t just throw them out into the Great Big World and let them become Somebody Else’s Problem.

We have such an irrational fear of “radicalization”. Going back to straw man arguments, name me one person – ONE PERSON – you know *personally* who has become “radicalized”. Just one. Include the KKK, the neo-Nazis, skinheads, the Canadian Heritage Front, ISIS, Jihadists, and the frigging Moonies or Scientologists if you’d like. Name ONE. Not your neighbour’s sister’s dog’s second litter’s puppy’s fourth owner’s best friends’ brother-in-law’s fourth cousin twice removed. Someone you know personally. Or – hell – name me one person IN YOUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS who has become “radicalized”.

I can name *one*. Out of HUNDREDS of people. And they ‘got better’. Their dalliance in pseudo-militia hate organizations has had a lasting effect on their family (they have had to change their names and live unlisted from all directories because the hate group this person was involved with still tries to get them involved). This person got involved with a hate group because of rhetoric like “[this group of people] is threatening our lives and our families’ security”.

This is why Harper’s insistence that dual citizens or people eligible for dual citizenship should have their citizenship revoked at the whim of the Minister (not a Judge – there doesn’t even need to be a hearing!) is wrong. It didn’t sit well when the bill was enacted in June, and I’m relieved to know the bill will be challenged in court. It’s why I think the finger-pointing and “clearly he’s an idiot”ing of Trudeau is laughable. Clearly the people saying this don’t have a fulsome understanding of the Bill nor of what Trudeau has been saying.

I didn’t even get in to how the amendments to the Citizenship Act contained in Bill C-24 basically remove due process and grant the Minister and his/her delegates to make these decisions without a hearing. Here is an excellent response from the Canadian Bar Association on Bill C-24. Trudeau isn’t “soft on terrorists”. He’s hard on the idea that it’s okay for some Canadians to have different *rights* than other Canadians.