June 19th, 2024

It’s clear who will man the checkpoints when a demagogue arrives

By Lethbridge Herald on February 4, 2022.


During the siege of Sarajevo back in the 1990s, a city bright with music and art and a cosmopolitan melding of cultures – the Paris of the Balkans as it was known – one of many penetrating images stuck in my memory: It was of an ethnic Serb mortar emplacement on a hill high above the city from which a steady fusillade of mortar shells was being rained down indiscriminately on the streets below.

One of the men so determinedly delivering death and chaos onto innocent people was dressed in jeans and a smart-looking sweater. He’d got up that morning and put on his normal casual wear and went out to kill his fellow citizens. 

Similar scenes showed roadblocks manned also by armed men in civilian attire and some in militia garb. They were stopping people and checking I.D. – for murderous reasons, of course, as became apparent.

And so I had to wonder, and have been curious ever since, just which guys in my own society would be the ones to man the checkpoints were the social order ever to come apart?

 You don’t really have to look all that far to see them around. They’re typically about half-smart and have some ready grievance just off the boil under their skin and have some sort of belief that they’re owed something or other and that some or other group is responsible for whatever they reckon to be ‘the problem’. They are also quick to nationalistic fervour and ever ready to drape themselves in ‘the flag’. OK, flash forward – big boys in dump trucks and pick-ups draped in flags demonstrating their passion for ‘freedom’ by blocking the free movement of their fellow citizens and brazenly flouting the very laws which underlie the living matrix of a free and open society. Yeah, think about it – when the actual demagogue arrives, who is he going to send out to man the checkpoints? 

Yes, the half-smart bully-boys who only recognize the value of the law as it pertains to their wants. Certain of your neighbours can turn against you. If you were to want to drive to Coutts today, you would be stopped by boys in flag-draped trucks. 

Think about that.

Phil Burpee

Pincher Creek

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old school

You know Phil , you are actually making yourself a liar . I don’t like using that term.So I don’t use it thoughtlessly. I used to tell my kids that. What you just wrote though ,is so completely untrue that the word describes you. You may and can have an opinion but to express it as fact isn’t right. I challenge you to go to the border. You will be stopped by the RCMP!


Truth hurts. One thing you conservatives consistently do is completely IGNORE the context of everything.


And one thing you Left-Wing-Nuts don’t get is how quickly we can lose our freedom when we don’t stand-up for it!


j57, they further seem to not understand just how much freedom we had already lost prior to the shamdemic. simple formula: get the masses all scared up and made so insecure such that they willingly go into their safe-place cages, not backing in but face first, so eager to give up liberty in their failed and desperate quest for security.


This protest is where the line is drawn in the sand!


And the majority of us without our heads up our rear ends DO NOT feel that way. At all. Because it’s irrational. I mean look around at all the F* Trudeau signs and the fact that these “protesters” have illegally but casually set up camp right in front of the seat of our government, and ARE STILL THERE 10 days later. Where else would you have the freedom to do that? And why should you? This is a democracy, hard-won, and the majority rules. THAT is what we stand to lose. Compared to that, your petty, individual so-called “freedoms” are nothing. How stupid is it to die on that hill, the right to NOT get a protective vaccine in a pandemic. And no one is holding you down like they may well be doing in China. YOU DON”T LIVE THERE. And again, it was the majority of people in the place you DO live that preferred mandates, and for a reason. Because they are tired of this pandemic, and tired of the unvaccinated taking up hospital beds disproportionately so that thousands have been deprived of needed treatments. It’s like you’re all a bunch of 8 year olds stamping your feet. The majority if Canadians do not respect your stance at all. Being so nice and reasonable, some tried, but you have now officially worn out your welcome on all fronts.
Not only have you guys ruined the word “freedom,” you’ve also ruined the formerly bright, cheerful Canadian flag, making it bigger than usual, more like a cross actually, AND more like it is in America. I don’t think any of you understand just how much Canadians value NOT being American.


And then there’s the trifling fact that the vaccine mandates aren’t even the real issue, are just an excuse to try to force government out. That’s the treason, your cohort are the traitors, this “protest” is simply an occupation, and is sedition, although overly polite, careful Canadians are still skirting that.
It’s also directly copying the American Jan. 6th insurrection, except in weaponizing trucks, you HAVE given the insane Republicans a new tool. Good job.


Occupation??? You really need to stop watching the main irrelevant news media, for as we all know except for you apparently they are controlled by your authoritarian leader and government!


Trish/Tony you are absolutely uninfomed, ideologically blind and batsh#t crazy. Harsh note to follow but hate to think you are not worth it.


And how about your authoritarian-leader that you all voted for? MIA! Why is he hiding instead of leading? Why has he not personally extended a olive-branch to the Constitutional LEGAL protesters? I think Tony you need to head back East to Toronto where your pathetic ideology fits-in the best! In the meantime us true freedom-loving Albertans and Canadians alike will keep on fighting the fight!


The ‘banality if evil’ as Arendt posed it.

Wise letter.

The author might add ‘senile’ to ‘half-smart’ to capture old school’s sophistry.


one does not comprehend “wise.”


Thank you Phil Burpee.


I hope he will be your prison guard when you both get your wishes.


Brilliant letter with a real perspective on this unnerving revenge of the “half smart bully boys,” ever (mis)guided by the heroic male myth. It’s really something to watch this kind of little boy who has grown into a smaller man fall stiffly into lock-step, all glassy-eyed because he’s on the verge of tears (or something), waving a flag. And not just a little paper thing, the bigger the better actually, and maybe one in each hand and two more sticking out of his ears. Just so we all KNOW where he “stands.”
Remember how Canadians used to scorn flying our flag every few feet like the Americans always have? Remember when we took pride in NOT being like them generally with their “revolution,” us with our “evolution?”
“Certain of your neighbours can turn against you” allright, and every single one of them will be a conservative. That we now know.


This must be tish not tony now right? I doubt tony hates men that blindly.


“Oh Canada We Stand On Guard For Thee!” Much more than a so called “Fringe Movement” Like p…y-face states from Ottawa!

old school

I can tell nobody wanted to go to Coutts, only to be stopped by the cops by Milk River . Then you would realize how it is.


Been there been stopped by nice cops at Milk River but not so nice at the turnaround. No way I could get past them. They are definitely leftwing political tools in it for their high wages, and not public servants.