Incredible as it may seem, the following email is a response to this column.
You cite marijuana second in your list of causes of mayhem in America? Unbelievably preposterous, and I am not even a smoker.
Where did you get that? You talk about empty noise? I suspect you are a proponent of the 40-plus-year drug war, the futility of which boggles the mind (witness Mexico).
But do keep on defending the status quo, where a person cannot smoke marijuana in the privacy of their own home on pain of prosecution, while a pregnant woman can visit a liquor store and load up on tequila.
Idiotic, but typical of Postmedia editorial policy..
Here's a revealing email exchange. (It was prompted by this column.)
Emailer: "Every time I read some of your leftist hogwash I think to myself... he has finally reached the nexus of assholery ...but then I realize ... you are still evolving"
Me: "The argument I make about excessive centralization is exactly the same argument conservatives, including Stephen Harper, made about the Chretien government. Except now it's "leftist hogwash." Strange, isn't it?"
Emailer: "If what you say is true...where is your article from back then condemning Chretien when he was enacting excessive centralization ...you were around ...odds are you didn't object to the Liberal policies ..prove me wrong...strange isn't it."
Me: "Actually, no. It's not strange. Here's me making exactly the same criticism of Jean Chretien: http://www.dangardner.ca/index.php/articles/item/148-letat-cest-jean
And here's an up-dated reference: http://www.dangardner.ca/index.php/articles/item/151-stephen-harper-condemns-stephen-harper I have been consistent. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have not. Period."
Emailer: "The only thing consistent in your articles is chronic Harper bashing...I am sure Stevie Wicary will be pleased to put you up in Havana after Harper wins his next majority and your boy Mulclair is sent packing."
So this person set a precise test to determine whether I am impartial. When I showed clear evidence that I met the test, he ignored the test and evidence -- a good demonstration of how fierce partisans use reason and evidence only as tools in the service of partisan or ideological conclusions which can be overturned by neither reason nor evidence.
How does the committed partisan handle compelling evidence of, at a minimum, incompetent administration, such as the AG report on the mishandling of the F-35 file? Not by modifying the core belief. That belief is the central organizing principle of his perceptions and thoughts. It must be right. Hence, the evidence is misleading or unpersuasive or ... something. Human ingenuity being as wonderfully dexterous as it is, there are always rationalizations and evasions. The following is an email sent to me, in response to this column, which demonstrates the point nicely: