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Remembrance Day

Remember…

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Saturday miscellany…

Hee…. hee… still laughing about Obama’s win... love seeing freakazoids like the Tea Baggers lose!

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Remembrance Day is tomorrow. Give some thought to soldiers old and young and how war has ruined and changed so many lives. They have earned at the very least our respect not only on November 11, but every day.

Too bad the CPC doesn’t agree.

========================================================================================================================================================Hockey lockout continues... and I think some fans will turn away for good. I might be one of them… billionaires arguing with millionaires. And it’s the concession staff, ticket takers, sports bar staff, etc., who suffer the greatest.

And they make neither billions nor millions.

Pathetic.

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World War Z. I might just take this flick in!

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I’ve been battling a bastard of a cold for almost two weeks! Hacking, coughing, not getting enough sleep… I blame Jason Kenney.

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Interesting, this whole Chief-spook thing... the head of the CIA resigns after being caught putting something where it shouldn’t have been put…

At first, I was surprised about the resignation. Men and women cheat on their spouses all the time, but don’t have to give up their jobs. After some thought, I then realised that the affair could be fodder for blackmail by the bad guys and the affair, hence, becomes a security risk. Does that sound reasonable? I also heard that he is an ex-General, and adultery is a fire-able offense for senior officers. And even though he is not active, he may have felt honour-bound to fall upon the sword.

Don’t agree with what he did, but how he handled it what amazingly classy, and, yeah, honourable.

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 Finally, much cyber-ink has been spilled about Harpo sending his private limo across the world to India to ensure his protection while there.

NEW DELHI, INDIA Prime Minister Stephen Harper is travelling in India using at least two armoured vehicles flown in from Canada, an extraordinary measure that suggests the prime minister is facing heightened security threats during his extended visit here.

And as many as 70 Canadian security personnel — a bigger than usual contingent — has traveled to India to ensure the prime minister’s protection, according to a source.

Guess what?

I *gulp* agree with this.

Look. Like it or not, Steve is a foreign leader in an non-secure environment. He needs to be safe. This was the right move. If I were the PM, I would have done likewise.

Man, it gives me cramps when I agree with the Prime Robot.

I need a drink.

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I’m writing this in the stands at my son’s skating practice. Wow, has he ever improved! And he adamantly refuses to do the ” Chicken Dance” as requested by the teachers. Atta boy!!!
At this rate, he doesn’t have far to go before he betters his old man!

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Last, the diet. Dropped 18 lbs. BP consistently around 118/78. Feel good except for that motherf***er of a cold.

And its not really that hard to go lo Na.

I’ll cheat. Not the CIA version, but my birthday is approaching and we are spending next weekend at Chateau Montebello. I’ll not care about the salt content for one night.

I’ve done did good.

Have a great week!

 

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Take a moment to breathe…

…and remember those who breathe no more.

Those who do dare to forget doom us to repeat past mistakes. So take that moment or two today.

To.

Remember.

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I am a pacifist…

… I detest war and its machinery. I hate the glorification of war or the use of the military as a political tool.

I see no need for guns in modern society except for those carried by police. I like the idea of banning them altogether but know that this is not likely to happen in my lifetime.

So, you’d think that I would applaud the recent decision by Notre Dame High School in Ottawa to ban guns and tanks from their traditional Remembrance Day Symposium.

I do not.

For the past 19 years, students at an Ottawa high school have hoisted 10-pound military rifles to feel what it may be like to lug one around in the muddy trenches. They’ve met veterans and heard their stories, learning how their families were affected and what it was like to fight so far from home.

But this year — the year that was supposed to mark the 20th Remembrance Day Symposium at Notre Dame High School — they will get no such chance.

 The traditional school event, scheduled for Nov. 10, has been cancelled because of a school committee decision to ensure there were “no tanks or guns” at the event, its co-ordinator told participants in an email last Friday.

This is, in effect, introducing a revisionist view of history. By touching tanks, carrying rifles and the like, students were able to gain a keener and realistic interpretation of war and the machinery of conflict… and of the people who suffered through war for their nations – agree with the reasons or not.

During the day-long event, students would move from classroom to classroom, hear stories from veterans and historians and get to touch military uniforms and equipment. They often have many questions, he said, questions that can’t possibly be answered during a ceremony — which is still planned for Nov. 11 at Notre Dame High.

Mr. Mac Culloch (the teacher that organised the event) doesn’t think that’s good enough.

“Monuments are wonderful, remembrance ceremonies are helpful, but if that was all that we needed for an education, then a teacher could stand up at the front and describe how arithmetic works and leave it at that,” he said.

“If it’s not good enough for arithmetic, why is it good enough for remembrance?”

I detest war and its machinery. And that is why it is vital that our young must be exposed to its veterans and its machinery. It becomes more “real”. If we just leave remembrance to wreath laying ceremonies, the young will soon forget and we again run the risk of sending our children off to far away lands to suffer as those in the past suffered.

We must not forget…. so that someday war and its machinery become as extinct as the dodo. We simply must not…

 

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When did Canada become so militaristic?

So tomorrow is Remembrance Day, right smack in the middle of Veterans Week.  In the past few weeks, there have been interviews with ex-soldiers on CBC and elsewhere. Rick Hillier’s book is doing well. Afghanada is a radio serial on the MotherCorp and by all accounts is listened to by, if not legions of CBCers, at least a battalion or two. I’ve caught a couple of episodes… good stuff.

Don Cherry cries on the air every Saturday night when a soldier falls.

Red ribbons are everywhere. Many wear red on Fridays. There are public debates on whether the Feds should make Remembrance Day observance mandatory by businesses and schools instead of voluntary, as they are now.

When did this augmented sense of militarism happen. Did I miss the memo? Veterans Week? How long has that been around?

Any reader of this blog will know that I am very much a peacenik. I do not believe in war. At all – with VERY few exceptions.

I do not believe in the military, but know that at this stage of human evolution, military forces will continue to exist for a long time to come.

I do not diss soldiers and certainly wish them well but do not believe in what they do. I admire that they believe that their job is important and that they willingly put their lives on the line in this belief… I simply don’t share their beliefs.

And the fact that my point of view and those of others like me is becoming increasingly marginalized really disturbs me. Canada as a quiet peacekeeping nation was tolerable for a peacenik like me. Canada as a boastful, über-patriotic, militaristic, American-like nation is not.

But how and when did this happen?

It is generally agreed that there has been a marked move to the social right of the political spectrum in this country. The current government in particular, with it’s roots in western social conservatism, has been actively supporting a guns and god agenda. The more that a citizenry feels allegiance to the “flag”, the more likely it will be to turn a blind eye to policies that they may otherwise find distasteful. I’m not saying that Harpy is completely behind all of the renewed rah-rah, but he is a keen strategist who is seizing upon the rightward shift and the tangential increase in support for things traditionally supported by the right – e.g., the military.

There is also the lingering 9-11 effect. I think Canucks, like our southern neighbours, felt more than a bit threatened by the events of that day. We retreated into a comfortable cocoon where we called on the comforts of bygone years to assuage our fears. We, even a bit, looked to the folks holding the guns to protect us from the perceived threat. And when we were not hit by a terrorist plot (at least not yet), we gave an appreciative nod to the cops and the military for a job well-done.

I find that as I age, I am becoming more set in my ways when it comes to my basic belief systems.  For example, I feel much more strongly now than in my 30’s that opposition to war in almost any case is a morally just stance and that there is almost NO moral justification to take up arms. Too much suffering – both by those actively participating in a conflict and by those caught in the cross-fire (civilians) – and, IMHO, to little morally justifiable end.

I do not think we should be engaged in foreign conflicts and believe that it is a completely unnecessary waste of young and talented lives. I mourn these men and women while simultaneously condemning the governments that sent them into harm’s way.

Again, I do not demean these brave folks. But what about those men and women who also put their lives at risk for their country or community? What about the cops? Firefighters and other emergency professionals? Do they not at least merit equal treatment? Many die in the line of duty in acts that are moral and just by any measure. There is seldom ambiguity – especially in the case of firefighters.

I know I’m going to catch some flak for this post. Yet the main reason I have a “blog” is to express my unsolicited opinions and ideas openly and freely and I should not be held back by the prospect of being flamed.

And yes, I will wear a poppy. But only on November 11. And while I am silent for that minute or two, I will think about John Lennon’s words in the hope that no more young Canadian lives are lost in a place where we really shouldn’t be:

“Give peace a chance.”

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