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Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Con Day of Infamy

It couldn't have been a more welcome sight. The last Canadian soldiers returning from Afghanistan. If I had been watching them coming in to land, I would have been waving my arms in the air, and shouting "Glory Hallelujah, we are free at last." And this couldn't have been a happier sight.

There were tears, smiles and warm embraces as loved ones greeted the final homecoming flight from Kabul – the last soldiers to return from a costly military mission that spanned more than a decade and claimed the lives of 162 Canadians.

But then there was the (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Justin Stark and the Con War On Our Veterans

This is the story of two cheques.This big fat one…

The one Nigel Wright sent to Mike Duffy.

To cover up a sordid scandal.And this one, in the miserable amount of one cent…

That went to Justin Stark who killed himself after serving his country. Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Harper Regime and the Never-ending War on Veterans

It's hard to believe after what the Harper Cons have done to our veterans, that they could treat or betray them even more than they already have.But that's exactly what they are doing. First they closed down those veteran service centres for no good reason.Now they're going after their healthcare plans. Read more »

The Progressive Right: Canada’s Veterans Need Protection from Conservatives, Part 2 ( #cpc #cdnpoli )

On the following motion. That, in the opinion of the House, the men and women who bravely serve Canada in the armed forces should be able to count on the government for support in their time of need, and that the government should demonstrate this support by (a) immediately addressing the mental health crisis facing Canadian soldiers and veterans by hiring appropriate mental health professionals; (b) reversing its decision to close veterans’ offices; and (c) prioritizing and concluding the over 50 outstanding boards of inquiry on military suicides so that grieving families may have answers and closure.

Conservatives voted unanimously (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Disgrace of Julian Fantino and the Shame of Stephen Harper

Well he wasn't available to answer questions in the House of Commons yesterday, no doubt having decided that discretion ducking and covering was the better part of valour. After having revealed his ghastly colours, again, by first bullying a group of elderly veterans in the most disgusting manner. Then "sincerely" apologizing, sort of. Only to claim it wasn't his fault, and that the vets had been duped by the unions. But Julian Fantino did manage to crawl into the Commons later in the day, to join his fellow Cons in crushing this NDP motion. Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Zoe Williams interviews George Lakoff about the need for progressive activists and parties to work on changing minds rather than merely pursuing an elusive (and illusory) middle ground: (T)he left, he argues, is losing the political argument – every year, it cedes more ground to the right, under the mistaken impression that this will bring everything closer to the centre. In fact, there is no centre: the more progressives capitulate, the more boldly the conservatives express their vision, and the further to the right the mainstream moves. The reason is that conservatives speak from (Read more…)

The Progressive Right: A Liberal Government Will Re-Open Veterans Centres ( #lpc #cdnpoli )

Justin Trudeau made the commitment yesterday.

The Progressive Right: Canada’s Veterans Need Protection from Conservatives ( #cdnpoli #cpc )

Long thought of as a core constituency of Conservative parties in Canada, veterans have been the target of Conservative cutbacks and slights over the past couple of years. Conservatives are more than willing to hold veterans up as election props, but for whatever reason, have taken to attacking them.

Conservative MP Rob Anders arrived late to a meeting to discuss homeless veterans and then proceeded to stretch out, and fall asleep. Homeless veterans don’t vote, I guess.

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper is proud of the fact that 67% of applications for the Last Post Fund, a fund that helps (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Many Reasons Julian Fantino Should be Fired

I don't think it's possible for Julian Fantino to sink any lower than he did the other day.By treating elderly veterans like children and giving them the bum's rush.But I see he's trying hard to accomplish the impossible. For there he was today defending the indefensible, blaming the victims, and trying to smear those who dare criticize him. Read more »

cmkl: Ex-soldiers hold sit-in to protest Veterans Affairs office closure

I suppose if you’re used to facing gunfire, police removal isn’t so bad. Though I think it’s an embarassing shame for the federal government that the veterans are having to fight all over again. Ex-soldiers hold sit-in to protest Veterans Affairs office closure.

Montreal Simon: Chris Alexander, Julian Fantino, and the Con Bullies

The other night I wrote about how disgusted I was to see Chris Alexander, the Con Immigration Minister, go after Deb Matthews, the Health Minister of Ontario, like a schoolyard bully.For the "crime" of standing up for the right of refugee claimants to receive health care. And I quoted this paragraph from a column by Carol Goar, that summed up what he has become. He had the talent, the knowledge, the international experience and the diplomatic skill to be an exemplary minister of citizenship and immigration. He chose instead to use his power to crack down on (Read more…)

ParliamANT Hill: VeterAnts say JuliAnt fAntino treated them with disrespect

Inspired by this headline: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/veterans-say-fantino-treated-them-with-disrespect-in-meeting-over-va-office-closures-1.1658981

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Revolt of the Veterans

There couldn't be a more powerful protest. Or a greater slap in the face. For years he posed as a patriot, for years he strutted around boasting he was the best friend the Canadian military ever had. For years he could count on the support of most veterans.But not anymore. Read more »

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Remember Harper Muzzling Scientists? He’s Doing It To Veterans Too

Under the Harper Government, we have been fed enormous amounts of propaganda pablum in the name of “Support the War in Afghanistan Troops”.  The “highway of heroes” when our troops were being returned in pine boxes on a weekly basis; goodness knows how many photo-ops of Harper and Mackay on the tarmac in Afghanistan, and Harper wearing partial uniforms at various times.

You would think that the troops are some kind of privileged class under Harper.  Not so much, it seems.  In fact, if you manage to get yourself injured in the line of duty, the big old roll of (Read more…)

A Different Point of View....: Conservatives exploit Afghan deaths, but treat vets like 2nd class citizens

A travelling tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan will arrive in your province or territory during the next year or two. The memorial, featuring plaques of the 161 Canadians killed, will be welcomed by their families and friends, but some of us will react much differently.

Former National Defense Minister Peter MacKay unveiled the temporary display in Ottawa on July 9th. It will be open to the public and remain on Parliament Hill through Remembrance Day, before heading off on a two-year journey across the country to visit provincial legislatures and then on to (Read more…)

Walking Turcot Yards: Arlington West Memorial Santa Monica

“Each Sunday from sunrise to sunset, a temporary memorial appears next to the world-famous pier at Santa Monica, California. This memorial, known as Arlington West, a project of Veterans For Peace, offers visitors a graceful, visually and emotionally powerful, place for reflection.” From the web site.

In Canada we currently have a government that supports the troops, despises the veterans. Perhaps this can be inspirational.

photos par/by/von Emilie Oléron Evans http://ibringmyownsun.wordpress.com/

ARLINGTON WEST SANTA MONICA

The Ranting Canadian: “Power & The Glory” by Cockney…

“Power & The Glory” by Cockney Rejects ———————————————————————————— Those years ago our ships set sail to restore England’s pride. Thousands of blokes like me and you, were on their way to d… . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: “Power & The Glory” by Cockney…

The Ranting Canadian: Buffy Sainte-Marie performs for Veterans for Peace and Iraq…

Buffy Sainte-Marie performs for Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War in 2008. . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Buffy Sainte-Marie performs for Veterans for Peace and Iraq…

The Ranting Canadian: Remembrance Day 2012 at Queen’s Park,…

Remembrance Day 2012 at Queen’s Park, Toronto This year, since November 11 fell on a Sunday, I managed to attend two Remembrance Day ceremonies at Queen’s Park in Toronto. First I obse… . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Remembrance Day 2012 at Queen’s Park,…

The Ranting Canadian: The Harper Conservatives must really hate Canadian military…

The Harper Conservatives must really hate Canadian military veterans. The HarperCons seem to prefer that our armed forces members either die in action or commit suicide due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder than live to require healthcare and other b… . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: The Harper Conservatives must really hate Canadian military…

The Ranting Canadian: "The misuse of November 11: How the Harper government exploits Remembrance Day" – by Peter Goffin, November 9, 2012

“The misuse of November 11: How the Harper government exploits Remembrance Day” – by Peter Goffin, November 9, 2012: Excerpts: The greatest trouble with Harper’s Conservatives using Remembrance Day to construct an image of Canada as one of history’… . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: "The misuse of November 11: How the Harper government exploits Remembrance Day" – by Peter Goffin, November 9, 2012

Politics and its Discontents: After Cutting Through The Sanctimonious Rhetoric

…it is apparent that, like most governments, the Harper regime has been quite content to recruit, exploit and ultimately abandon those who, in good faith, joined the armed forces to support a ‘muscular adventurism’ that has both tarnished and dimi… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: After Cutting Through The Sanctimonious Rhetoric

The Ranting Canadian: This Youtube link is “War in the East”, a dub…

This Youtube link is “War in the East”, a dub reggae-influenced song by Canadian punk band D.O.A. ——————————————————————————————————- I wear a poppy and commemorate Remembrance Day… . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: This Youtube link is “War in the East”, a dub…

The Ranting Canadian: “Wasted Life” by Stiff Little Fingers This song was…

“Wasted Life” by Stiff Little Fingers This song was specifically written about the Troubles in Northern Ireland, but many of the lyrics apply to almost every military conflict in the entire history of the world, including those still happening. War… . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: “Wasted Life” by Stiff Little Fingers
This song was…

The Ranting Canadian: No more war but class war. Honour the fallen on Remembrance Day,…

No more war but class war. Honour the fallen on Remembrance Day, but also curse the politicians, businessmen and monarchs who sent them to kill and die in conflicts that, for the most part, have been pointless and unnecessary. War is hell, and those wh… . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: No more war but class war.
Honour the fallen on Remembrance Day,…