Monday, June 13, 2005

We like to get the trial over with quickly, because it's the sentence that's really the fun

Woo! Travis Biehn, veritable apotheosis of vapid and violent Canadian anti-Americanism, is getting put away for a while. Doylestown, Pa. — A Canadian teen with an alleged hatred of America was found guilty Monday of two counts involving a plot to blow up his school. Travis Biehn,17, was led away from court in handcuffs and leg irons after the verdict was read as his Newfoundland-born parents looked on calmly. He will stay in juvenile detention for up to 20 days while he is examined by psychologists. [...] Critics in the community lambasted the family and called for strict punishment for Mr. Biehn after Ms. Gibbons suggested recently that he dislikes Americans and would rather live in Canada as a motive for the alleged bomb plot. She also noted that he wore an "I am Canadian" T-shirt to his first court appearance, something that played widely in local media organizations. Molson Canadian: The choice of today's discerning Canadian terrorist-überpatriot. I'd like to think someone should have seen that coming when the I Am Canadian ad campaign was launched. That kind of shallow, combative tone can go so many places... Sadly, he won't be kept locked up for very long even in the best of circumstances: Monday's proceeding is known as an adversary hearing, essentially a trial in juvenile court before judge alone. Mr. Biehn could now be detained until he's 21. Other options include a sentence involving community service. Four years, maximum? That's better than he deserves. And more than I suspect he'll end up serving, in any event. Still, the point has been made, and hopefully ad-men and politicians alike will think twice before falling back on the tired old trope of anti-Americanism, whether to sell beer or domestic policy. It just might lead to this kind of thing again, after all. Of course, by now, the damage has already been done: TORONTO -- Canadians believe U.S. President George W. Bush is almost as great a threat to our national security as Osama bin Laden, according to a government opinion poll obtained by the National Post. What can you say to this kind of bull-headed chauvinism?

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