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Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Letter to My Relatives North of the Border

"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses." — George Washington

To My Dear Canadian Relatives

For years you have chided me on the uncivilized behavior of Americans. You have pointed out our racism, our intolerance for you liberal ideology and our greedy destruction of the planet.

I recall on discussion we had several years ago when the Blacks in L.A. rioted over the Rodney King decision and you telling me these people were only expressing their frustration with a racist legal system. Oh how sanctimonious you were.

You criticized our health care system and bragged how much better it was in Canada yet neglected to comment on when a wealthy Canadian or government official get sick hey run of to the United States for treatment.

You praised the film “Canadian Bacon”, staring John Candy and directed by Michael Moore that portrayed Canadians as much more polite and civilized that us unruly and uncouth neighbors to the south.

You constantly said you were better hockey players and your Canadian football was better because the field was long, wider and had something called a “rouge” worth one point when the ball is kicked into the end zone — how thrilling is that.

You also brag about your wonderful social welfare system where no one really has to work and their needs are taken care of by your philanthropic taxpayers — who do work.

Well let me tell you something about your country. You folks are not really much different than or Detroit or Los Angeles basketball fans who burn the city down after a big win in a championship game. The difference is that you guys burn the city up after you lose. How dumb is that? What are you celebrating, second place?

Last night when the Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canunks to win the Stanley Cup, something I know nothing of or much care, your great fans in the beautiful city of Vancouver decided to riot, loot, burn and generally turn the city into South Central L.A.

The Associated Press reported:

“Almost 150 people required hospital treatment and close to 100 were arrested after rioters swept through downtown Vancouver following a Canucks loss to the Boston Bruins in the decisive Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.

Vancouver Coastal Health spokeswoman Anna Marie D'Angelo said Thursday three stabbing victims have been admitted and an unidentified man is in critical condition with head injuries after a fall.

She said most of the rioting victims were treated at St. Paul's Hospital in downtown Vancouver, while about 40, including the stabbing cases and the head injury patient, were being treated at Vancouver General Hospital.

Rioting and looting left cars burned, stores in shambles and windows shattered over a roughly ten block radius of the city's main shopping district

Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu said nine officers were injured, including one who required 14 stitches after being hit with a thrown brick. Chu said some officers suffered bite marks. He said 15 cars were burned, including two police cars.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said "organized hoodlums bent on creating chaos incited the riot" and noted the city proved with the 2010 Winter Olympics that it could hold peaceful gatherings. A local business leader estimated more than 50 businesses have been damaged.

"They were here to make trouble and they succeeded," Robertson said.

Vancouver city councilor Suzanne Anton said the rioting has shaken the city and overshadowed the hockey team's playoff run.

"I would never have believed that Vancouver would be a city where there would be looting," Anton said. "I just feel such a profound sense of disappointment. We like to think we live in paradise here in Vancouver. It's hard to imagine here."

It was similar to the scene that erupted in the city in 1994 following the Canucks' Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers.

Anton said there was no loss of life or police brutality in this latest incident. She said dozens of volunteers patrolled the city's entertainment strip on Thursday, picking up debris and garbage.

One of the volunteers, Al Cyrenne, carried his broom downtown to clean up the damage.

"I'm all choked up," he said, as he surveyed broken windows and debris on a downtown street.

"I can't believe the scene. Just talking about it bring me to tears. I can't believe the people of Vancouver would do this. It's just a few idiots."

While police said it was mostly young thugs responsible for the mayhem overnight, an equally young crew turned up in jeans and rubber gloves, some with Canucks jerseys, all carrying plastic garbage bags.

Dozens of remorseful and dismayed commuters crowded around the smashed and plywood covered display windows at the flagship Bay store, a historical building that was the first focus of rampaging looters Wednesday night.

Someone had tacked a rough, hand-painted sign that read: "On behalf of my team and my city, I am sorry." People waited in line to sign it.

Across the street at London Drugs, the windows were also smashed.

Wynn Powell, the president and CEO of London Drugs, estimated the damage there at $1 million alone.

Powell, sounding angry, said the looting wasn't the random consequence of a mob mentality.

"The rioters attacked us for two hours before they got into the store. They were down attacking the stores of Vancouver to try to steal product."

TV footage showed a man being beaten after he tried to stop looters from smashing windows at the Bay department store.

Looters were seen grabbing T-shirts and anything else they could get their hands on. Young women were seen escaping with MAC cosmetics, with one carrying out part of a mannequin. The landmark building was filling with smoke as people, their faces covered in bandannas, continued the violence.

The looters turned their attention next on a Future Shop store a few blocks away, smashing windows and flooding up the stairs to the second-floor store, only to turn around quickly. One witness said police were at the top of the stairs.

Sears and Chapters stores were also looted, their glass fronts smashed. For many, the ugly chaos made the Cup loss an afterthought.

"What I've seen is a complete disgrace," said Beth Hope, 28, who is originally from England but has lived in Vancouver for two years. "I'm a Canucks fan, but my jersey is in my bag. I'm ashamed to be a fan right now."

Hope said she saw a parking structure on fire and cars ablaze.

"It's insane, it's absolutely insane," she said. "What's the point? Our team lost. Why destroy your own city? I'm afraid."

Canadian relatives, I was surprised to learn that this is not the first time the peaceful people of Vancouver did this. They did the same in 1994 when the Canucks lost to the New York Rangers. I guess you Canadians just don’t like to lose. What kind of social and civilized behavior is that? You like to peach that it is how you play the game, not whether you win or lose. I hate to think what you would have done had the Canucks won – tear up all of the plants in Butchart Gardens.

I saw young and old alike throwing rocks and bottles, burning cars, breaking windows and looting stores. They did not look like underprivileged minorities or homeless people. They were wearing $100 Canuck jerseys, backpacks and shoes approaching $150.

There were men and women rioting. Some were wearing “hoodies” and bandanas over their faces. It resembled one of those riots you see on the West Bank or lately in Athens. The big difference is that your cops lacked the courage and determination to crack a few heads, use a water cannon or effectively use their night sticks.

Oh, I know that’s not very “Canadian”, but how would you feel if your property was destroyed or your store looted of hundreds of thousands of dollars over a hockey game loss?

Now I suppose those arrested will appear in front of one of your left-wing magistrates who will slap them on the wrist and let them go on about their business of enjoying the benefits of your welfare state.

So my dear Canadian relatives, the next time you want to criticize us folks south of the border for our uncivil society please review the two videos I have included with this letter.


Yours truly,

Your American relative.

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