Re: Remembrance Day ceremonies in the U.S. and Canada
May the U.S. citizenry and government(s) never betray their Vietnam War veterans and victims, as has Canada to our (mostly) men who contributed to that infamous, anti-communism war cause.
Canada shamefully excludes from government- and citizenry-organized Remembrance Day ceremonies those who contributed to — and even died for — the bloody Vietnam War.
I just watched the Vietnam War movie Hamburger Hill, expecting to be at most left somewhat depressed, but, unlike never before, I actually wept. I was particularly affected by one scene in which a bespectacled field medic, a black man who’d mend his fellow soldiers basically free of racial bias, was mortally wounded in his abdomen during the movie’s theme battle — the U.S. Marines’ bloody, muscle-mulching, (insane) fight to overtake what they dubbed “Hamburger Hill.” He’d originally survived but then slowly passed away while awaiting an airlift, in the arms of two of his devastated, white fellow soldiers. Although other scenes hit my emotional button, that one was unique for me, because these men — though especially the black U.S. soldiers — were often dying horribly and likely mostly for their fellow U.S. citizens, many of whom (e.g., American liberals back in the late ’60s and early ’70s) hated the soldiers for fighting and killing in Vietnam, while the ultra-conservatives, though supporting Americans fighting the war, really did not care much for the black men amongst those fighting and/or dying in Vietnam.
In a nutshell, retrospectively, we can easily claim that there should not have been any foreign military involvement in Vietnam. However, the advantage of hindsight is 20/20; thus, we should keep in mind that the vast majority of those who fought in that war likely did so with honourable intentions.
Frank G. Sterle, Jr.
White Rock, B.C.
There was so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving in BC. No matter how you measure it, we are truly among the luckiest people in the world. As an example: With over-population at crisis levels the world over, population projections just released by BC Stats show that BC’s population in 2036 will still only be 6.1 million, or 6.5 people per square kilometre.
Even with so many people seeking the fantastic opportunities that BC has to offer, 6.1 million people hardly constitutes overcrowding because BC has the land and the resources to absorb this increase. BC also has a nearly-unparalleled desire to meet the needs of this population growth in environmentally sustainable ways and with respect for our natural spaces.
A lot of thought has been going into answering questions like how we can power our homes, our stoves, and our TVs in the future and how we can do so sustainably. Luckily, BC has the potential to generate three times the clean energy BC hydro currently produces, and that’s way more than what is needed to meet increased energy demand when our population reaches the 6.1 million mark.
Truly, BC has many reasons to be thankful, and will for many Thanksgivings to come. We have it pretty good here. And thankfully, as our population and needs increase in the years to come, we can keep it that way.
Re: Obama’s remarks before UN development summit, Sept. 22, 2010
To fulfill Millennium Development Goals, U.S. President Obama has called internationally for more collaboration, more democracy and more oversight to ensure concrete results. In our own country, we utilize institutions of accountability, namely parliaments and legislatures, to ensure good governance and co-operative process. The United Nations could have its own consultative parliamentary body, set up by the General Assembly under existing Charter Article 22, that could gradually accrue co-decision powers as it proved its worth. This is similar to the way the European Parliament developed, a process now being copied in other regional unions. A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would be a symbol of growing global awareness, a moral conscience for the world, and a lever for further UN reform.
After 200 years of ignoring environmental sustainability, industry and technology are increasingly starting to work with Mother Nature rather than in opposition to her. The smog-creating smoke-stacks, harmful environmental practices and greenhouse gas emitting forms of transportation once celebrated as the norm, and evidence of our species’ technological prowess, are thankfully on the road to extinction just like any poorly adapted organism in nature.
In their place we’re seeing a synthesis of nature and technology rather than the domination of nature by technology. And just as ‘survival of the fittest’ in nature ensures that those creatures best adapted to their environment thrive, and those that do not tend to fade away, our past errors are starting to self-correct.
Nowhere is this profound transformation more apparent than in the transportation and energy fields, two of the past’s biggest contributors to harmful greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Clean electric cars are an increasingly hot-topic and obsolete forms of energy are similarly giving way to clean, nature-friendly wind farms, solar panels and run-of-river hydro power.
We should count ourselves lucky that nature, including human nature, always tends toward balance and equilibrium through evolution, and as a result ‘green’ ways are quickly replacing the harmful ways of the past. And as humanity and technology continue to evolve along this green path, we can look forward to even greater integration and symbiosis between clean technology and the natural world.