Category Archives: Colonialism

More "Support the Troops" Brainwashing on CanWest Global

I’m glad I “support our troops” because if I didn’t, maybe I’d be a threat to the free world or something. And since I’m not as talented as the 22 Minutes folks who quite effectively ridicule [see “I support our troops”] all the rhetorical sheep claiming to support the troops, let me just say that disagreeing with government policy in Afghanistan/Haiti/wherever does not mean I hope our soldiers there get slaughtered. Unless you’re intellectually stunted, I mean.

So here is a domestic news story with a military angle. A farmer has a legitimate disagreement with the government regarding his neighbour, a military base.

It has nothing to do with Canadian imperialism in Afghanistan or the creep of Soft Fascism up from w.Caesar land. It has to do with ditches.

And in the end, the reporter, thank god, lets us know that the farmer still supports the troops. I suppose the alternative would be that because of a ditch problem, he hopes the Taliban slaughter all Canadians in Afghanistan, kill all literate female Afghans, blow up more North American corporate and military imperial landmarks, outlaw anything other than radical Islam and invade and occupy Canada because they hate our freedom. Or something.

The effect of the “support our troops” lunacy is to separate us from them: those who support the soldiers from those who wish them all to die. No. Not at all. The job of that phrase being used in the corporate media and government is to make sure that anyone who questions the government policy of the current and previous political party taking part in the Afghan debacle is seen as someone who wishes the troops to all die. The troops are employees of our government, following orders to go here or there and do this or that, not forcing now 3 prime ministers at gun point or anything to send the Canadian Forces somewhere.

The illogic is astounding. But the continued use of this phrase is part of the Soft Fascism creep of the truly evil people in our country.

And the fact that it goes largely unchecked in our country means they are winning. Its smooth inclusion in this issue that is totally unrelated to Canada’s presence in Afghanistan, is part of the brainwashing of corporate media.

It’s time to read 1984 and Brave New World again, eh.

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Farmer takes government to court; [GLOBAL NATIONAL Edition]
KEVIN NEWMAN. Global News Transcripts. Toronto, Ont.: Apr 5, 2007. pg. 1

KEVIN NEWMAN: They’re known as Canada’s elite fighting force – highly trained, deployed in a moment’s notice with stealth and deadly force. Tonight, an update on a story that we first brought you two years ago. A farmer from the Ottawa valley who dared do battle with Canada’s commandos, and won, kind of. Here’s Peter Harris.

RON MAYHEW (Farmer): Starting all over again.

PETER HARRIS (Reporter): Ron Mayhew found out the hard way, how difficult it could be to take on Canada’s elite fighting force, JTF2.

MAYHEW: Everybody around here thought it was the RCMP musical ride moving in here beside us. Thats what we were told.

HARRIS: He’d owned this land since 1984. In the early 1990s, Canada’s secret military unit, Joint Task Force 2 moved in next door.

MAYHEW: I have no idea how it escalated the way it did. I just don’t understand it. It makes no sense to me. You’re being watched there now, too.

HARRIS: Ten years ago, the government came on to his property and dug these two trenches. Hundreds of metres long, because they had water problems on their land. It’s like a creek.

MAYHEW: Well, it’s about four feet deep. Five feet deep along here they dug.

HARRIS: And this digging led to piles of clay on his land where he hoped to grow vegetables.

MAYHEW: This is just grey subsoil, grey clay. And when they dug it out, they took it and spread it over, or at least, oh was it twenty, twenty-five feet.

HARRIS: After years of promises and threats to take his land, and nobody cleaning up these ditches, Ron Mayhew took the government to court.

MAYHEW: Well, they jerk you around, I guess. They keep jerking you around and jerking you around. Finally I said, well, partly because of my age, I said I can’t continue this on much longer. I want to leave something for my kids.

HARRIS: They finally settled, enough to cover his costs, to repair the land and fill in the ditches that have been left for so long.

MAYHEW: There’s the finality about it. That chapter is done and now we can go on and do repairs, do what we have to do, and enough to do what I wanted to do ten years ago.

HARRIS: Despite his fight against the government, he still supports the troops, but is glad this fight is finally over. In Ottawa, this is Global National’s Peter Harris reporting.

NEWMAN: And that’s Global National for Thursday. I’m Kevin Newman. Local news is next on most Global stations.

Your Ignorance and Lack of Empathy

To Mindelle Jacobs:

Your lack of empathy for structural abuse and discrimination against women is only superseded by your ignorance of the realities of the plight of millions of women in Canada.

Despite many reality-challenged “facts” you seem to believe, the fact that you believe Canada to be a nation that has moved beyond racism and colonialism means your qualifications to comment on Canadian society are completely lacking. I am ashamed of your ability to spout such ignorance in Canadian media.

http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Columnists/Jacobs_Mindelle/2006/09/24/1888704.html

Despair over cuts to women’s groups

By Mindelle Jacobs

The way critics are wailing over possible cuts to women’s programs, you’d think the Harper government was preparing to force females into burkas.

One group, the National Association of Women and the Law, closed down earlier this month because it didn’t get federal funding.

The little-known Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thought it was going to have to close last week. But its grant application was approved on Thursday, it announced on its website.

So much for those women-bashing Tories, eh?

Still, the movers and shakers in the women’s movement are waiting with baited breath to see if Status of Women Canada, a federal agency that bankrolls women’s groups and promotes gender equality, is on the chopping block.

If it gets the boot, will the rights of Canadian women be in danger? Will their life choices be curtailed? Hardly. Women in this country are better off than ever before.

This endless quest for gender equality is quite tiresome at a time when virtually all the significant barriers to women’s accomplishment have been smashed.

In my mind, the one major remaining roadblock in the path to women’s equality is the lack of a national day-care program. But, given the Tories’ unwavering opposition to such an initiative, that is a battle for another day.

That issue aside, the left-wing crowd is working itself into fits of despair at the thought of cutbacks to women’s organizations.

“This government clearly has no interest in the status of women,” bleated NDP MP Irene Mathyssen on Wednesday.

That’s right. The Harper government will be banning girls from school, prohibiting birth control and ordering up burkas any day now.

Get a grip. Yes, some women are having a hard time of it. And women’s groups are quick to blame systemic societal barriers. Nonsense. Bad choices lead to miserable lives.

If a woman studies hard and goes to law school, she will have far more financial autonomy than most men. Her decision to challenge herself is the key.

A woman who gets pregnant, drops out of school and hangs out with losers has less opportunity in life. But that’s not society’s fault.

One of Status of Women Canada’s main goals is improving women’s economic autonomy. But do we need a federal agency to tell women to stay in school and make wise career choices?

The agency also puts out mind-numbing reports, like the recent one on gender equality.

The paper harps about the ongoing pay gap between men and women, without pointing out that men tend to choose higher-paying jobs because they’re socialized to be the breadwinners.

It’s disingenuous to complain that women working full time only earn about 70 cents for every dollar men make if you’ve deliberately chosen to work as, say, a low-paid restaurant hostess.

Status of Women Canada also supports the loony idea of placing “gender specialists” in federal departments to measure the impact of proposed policies on the equality of women.

I’d say that’s not the best use of our tax dollars.

Before it lost its funding, the National Association of Women and the Law worked “to end racism and colonialism.” Yeah, there’s a lot of that happening in Canada.

Poverty, violence and discrimination “which still affect all too many women” require specific legislative measures, the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action wrote Bev Oda, the minister responsible for the status of women, recently.

The open letter was signed by 31 women’s groups that supposedly represent Canadian women. But 22 of the organizations are from Quebec.

If we really want to help marginalized women, let’s put money into concrete initiatives like Head Start programs, affordable housing and retraining grants. Enough of the gender-equality navel-gazing.

– mjacobs@edmsun.com

E-mail Mindy Jacobs at mjacobs@edmsun.com.
Letters to the editor should be sent to mailbag@edmsun.com.

Afghanistan, September 11, 2002 and Land Mines

Afghanistan signs the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel mines on September 11, 2002 while Iraq, Israel and the USA (and 46 others) still have not.

With North America (at least) dwelling on commemorative events surrounding the first anniversary of September 11, 2001, odd ironies were at play elsewhere in the world as that day, Afghanistan signed the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel mines.

There are still unanswered questions about who is functionally in charge of Afghanistan (and if the big W is pulling strings, or the big W’s string pullers, whatever) and why that day was chosen. What kind of political value would there be, and for who, to orchestrate that event on that key day? Is it a sign of the White House’s total domination of the enemy that is/was Afghanistan that they signed on that day?

146 countries have signed, ratified, or agreed to be bound by the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, also known as the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel mines. They are listed here.

49 countries haven’t signed the treaty as of this month, including some notables: Iraq, Israel, and the USA.

And while political posturing prevents more countries from signing, Canada’s light shines as an example of how other states COULD operate.

Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham attributes, “much of the remarkable progress achieved to date to an unprecedented level of cooperation and coordination between governments, international organizations and NGOs.”

I wonder who will sign on September 11, 2003.