Friday, 24 July 2015

Noisy Whiners, I Mean Cyclones
It was reported in the June 10, 2015 edition of Victoria, BC's Times Colonist newspaper that local residents living near the Victoria International Airport seems to think that all the RCAF’s new Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclones should be based at CFB Shearwater in Nova Scotia, or at least until a noise review is done, because they believe the helicopters are too noisy. That one of the complainants is a retired Provincial Court judge, who should know better than to protest those who protect our freedoms, just adds to the foolishness. I was going to comment upon first seeing the article, but decided that anything I could say would probably fall upon deaf ears. The more I watched (and heard) the new helicopters flying around the Halifax area however, the more it irked me that once again, our military was being attacked by someone who clearly is not looking at the broader picture.

But hey, this isn’t the first time that a story like this in a news paper has made me shake my head. Some time ago, arriving at Virginia Beach, one of my favourite vacation spots, I picked up a copy of the local Virginian-Pilot newspaper and the headline was a very similar story, albeit this time, the ‘noisy aircraft’ were the new US Navy F-18 Super Hornet fighters just arriving at NAS Oceana south of Virginia Beach, Virginia. In that case, the whin…er, I mean complainers were people who had, in spite of numerous warnings, built their homes very close to the base.

 Seeing the new Super Hornets flying over Virginia Beach was actually one of the things I had looked forward to on that trip, along with touring some of the ships at nearby Norfolk Navy Base. Little did the noise complainers, or myself and the rest of the world for that matter, realize what lay in store the next morning. Ironically as it turned out, fully armed Super Hornets were the only thing flying over Virginia Beach the next afternoon.

So hopefully the judge, along with the rest of the complainers in Victoria will learn a lesson from those, who after complaining about noise one day, gave thanks for every decibel of it the very next.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Je Suis Charlie? Non.

First, let me say that my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured during the horrific events that took place recently in France.

Second, I have no use for anyone who resorts to terrorism and the killing of innocent civilians to further their cause. These men and women who try to use religion as an excuse or motivation for the violence they commit should endure the harshest penalties available.  

Why do I not stand with Charlie? I blame my parents. They brought me up to respect everyone, regardless of their race or religion, and therefore, I would never find myself drawing (if I could draw) or writing something that would personally attack anyone, let alone their religion. In the media frenzy that followed however, it was often stated that cartoonists should be able to disrespect anyone and anything - it was just a cartoon after all! I would like to think that when the world collectively takes a deep breath, it would not really feel that way. I'm pretty certain that all the men and women who died protecting our freedoms, didn't envision 'freedom' (especially of the press) meaning that we would be free to say or do anything we want to, regardless of who we hurt or offend.

Otherwise, you have to open up that can of worms completely. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, a hotdog vender decided to address that scenario. He tweeted a group of posts, every bit as disturbing as the cartoons printed in Charlie, except that he attacked everyone else. Now that the shoe was on the other foot, it was not long before the police were involved, and leaders of one particular religion he chose to attack were seen on the news calling this man terrible names, and even suggesting that his business be shut down.

Sadly, the irony of that suggestion seemed to be lost on the reporter. I guess the person interviewed had forgotten when businesses owned by his own people were shut down during the 'night of the long knives', because of the beliefs held by the owners. Alas, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

So, what will it be? A totally chaotic free for all with everyone attacking who or whatever they wish without repercussion, all in the name of free speech or freedom of the press? Or, do we try and do what my parents worked so hard to teach me - respect each other, and by doing so, remove at least one weapon from the arsenal of these terrorists.

Copyright © 2015