Pirates and Emperors (or, size does matter)

Following in what seems to be this week's theme of videos, have a look at Pirates and Emperors. It reminds me of a School House Rock video, and will have you bopping along!

Brought to my attention by Saskboy, who always has lots of interesting stuff on his blog, Abandoned Stuff.

While we're on the subject of pirates vs. emperors, I've been following the Stephen Harper government's recent decisions about the military; namely, only lowering the Peace Tower flag to half mast on Remembrance Day, and the decision to ban the media from covering the return of fallen soldiers' coffins.

I totally disagree with the flag decision. I've heard people say that oh, the Liberals weren't consistent in lowering the flag anyways, and it wasn't a long-standing tradition, but that's not the issue. It shouldn't be a debate about what the previous governments did or didn't do. To me, suddenly deciding to not lower the flag anymore when Canadian soldiers are killed in the line of duty is a slap in the face to the military, their family and friends.

The Conservative government claims to care so much about the military, so a much better way of showing this would have been to become consistent in lowering the flag. What do they have to lose by continuing to do it? Can't afford to pay someone to lower the flag? It may be a small thing, but it means a lot to Canadians.

I had mixed feelings about the media ban. While I think the government is getting out of control banning things every month, I think they may have had good intentions in this case. I'm not sure that the decision to restrict the media from covering the return of the coffins was made because they wanted to hide the cost of the war. I think that whoever made the decision might have actually thought that it would be easier for the families not to have that moment captured on film.

I live close to CFB Gagetown, and my husband works in the base town, and it seems that many military families are really mad about this decision. I also saw military families interviewed on the news last night. While I'm not sure that I would want those moments on film if my non-military loved ones died, I can understand that if your husband/son/father/wife/daughter/mother/friend died in the line of duty, you would want the country to know their sacrifice and see the cost of war. It seems wrong for the government to make such a decision without long and careful deliberation and conversations with the military and families of military casualties.

While there are certainly problems with the media, I believe that they would respect a family's wishes to not intrude if they were asked to. It frustrates me that this government is constantly telling Canadians what we have the right to see and know. Conversing with the parties involved to come to a consensus is one thing, but deciding what is 'best for us' is quite another.

Technorati tags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. Is Gagetown the base that was poisoned by Agent Purple and Orange? You couldn't pay me enough to work there.

  2. Yes, Agents Orange and Purple were sprayed on the fields at the base in the '60s.

    We live in Fredericton, and my husband doesn't work on the base, he's in Oromocto, the town where the residential portion of the base is. We didn't grow up here, and it's been 40 years since the spraying, so I'm not worried about the Agents affecting us, but there are a lot of people who were affected. It's amazing to read stories of young boys working as flaggers, showing the planes where to spray - they'd be drenched, like they'd just been in a rainstorm. Hard to believe people didn't realize then that pesticides could be dangerous.

  3. I think it's easy to believe, there are still people who spray their front lawns for dandelions :-( Getting rid of a pretty, harmless, wild, edible plant is so much more important than the health of children and other people!
    Pesticides are like cigarettes or Coca Cola, they wouldn't sell them if they could hurt people.