Time to take Keynesian economics behind the coal shed

Posted January 3rd, 2012 in Canada by Adrian MacNair

I figured I’d said enough about Keynesian economics in the last blog entry, but a train of thought has since been weaving through my brain, and so I should probably let it out.

It isn’t just that the idea of spending money to stave off recessions are a contemporary madness, or that politicians manipulate them in order to avoid becoming unpopular during the inevitable ebb and flow of market forces. Nor is it that Keynesian economics always leaves us farther behind than we were before, necessitating larger and larger government assistance programs and funds to bring us back out of our deeper holes. No, it’s much worse than that.

I heard on the radio today that every conceivable cost of living will be going up again this year at a greater rate than inflation. How we’re expected to pay for it is beyond me. Everything from payroll employment insurance and pension plan taxes to the perpetually pointless carbon tax to car insurance premiums, home heating costs and of course health insurance “premiums”. That lie your parents told you about health care being free in this country isn’t true any more than it is when Occupy Wall Street activists tell Americans how great we have it up here.

No, what’s worse than Keynesian economics is the political disease that necessitates it, a contemporaneous concept borne in the early part of the twentieth century in conjunction with, and that’s no coincidence, the mass media. That political disease is the concept that the government is somehow responsible for your perpetual well-being, care, consideration, welfare, concern and overall happiness. And in so pursuing this impossibly utopian mandate, every single politician has failed to manage it.

What requires a city, a province or a country to mindlessly devalue a currency, spend beyond its fiscally allotted means, irresponsibly raise taxes beyond sustainable levels and meddle in the free market? Why, the politician’s promise of course. Why else would we need to waste $300 billion a year on things nobody needed in 1867 when Canada was a fledgling nation of the British empire? To make Canadians happy, of course.

And how does one make Canadians happy? To attend their every possible need. That means going beyond just the basics of health care, education and law and order, but of course the creation of heritage, economic development, government regulatory boards and bodies, each with their own taxes and fees on top of their per-use service costs.

It isn’t, nor should it ever have been, the job of a politician to create a job for a free citizen of Canada. And at one point in the existence of my family’s habitation in Canada, it wasn’t. Lose your job? Well, you better sweep a chimney, dig a ditch, or shovel behind a horse, or else you and your family would, in short order, be occupying a tent outside, and it didn’t come with a safe injection nurse and a library either.

People who complain about the government not keeping its election promises about employment opportunities and an inability to find work in their field are perhaps the finest idiots this side of the historical record of Christopher Columbus. Do they not realize we are the descendants of people who not only left their homes in England, Scotland and France to find work, they spent two weeks on an ocean voyage for the opportunity to inhabit a barren wasteland? People who can’t be bothered to search more than 10 minutes from their home for a job outside their degree in psychology so they can collect 11 months of employment insurance, are the very reason for the problems we experience.

In the natural order of things, and one can agree upon this whether one believes in Darwin’s theory or not, the fittest survive while the weak are cast off from the earth. Unfortunately, humans are far too civilized to adhere to this basic philosophical truth. We embrace the idea of protecting and nourishing the weak, building entire civilizations around limiting ourselves to how much we can achieve with the burden of millions of people who aren’t helping. And not only are they not helping, they’re literally standing there watching us while they’re not helping, and blaming us for being such daft boors for trying to get things accomplished.

In feudal times it used to be a good job if one could win a spot in the sovereign’s household, wiping mouths and cleaning toilets from sunrise to sunset for some bread and water long enough to keep one’s head from being chopped off on a wooden block. Now, not only do we have a lifestyle so luxurious, so comfortable and utterly free of care, that we have to invent reasons to complain about it. I can’t find a job… that pays me enough to buy the flat screen TV I want. I can’t afford groceries… with mint chocolate chip ice cream. Aye, but you do make sure your iPhone is fully charged, eh?

Sometimes the absurdity of it all just gets to me. We’re in another financial crisis of our manufacture, and everyone is once again contemplating how the politicians of the globe should fix it. Well, one possible solution would be for them not to fix it. That fixing it has been the problem for a long time, and that by not fixing it, it might very well fix itself. After all, the government doesn’t create jobs, it just takes the credit for them.

The raison d’etre of today’s government is to find reasons it should exist. As Stephen Taylor once wrote about scrapping the long-form census, if the government doesn’t know how many Urdu-speaking disabled taxi cab drivers there are in Ottawa, it cannot create policies, programs and government departments dedicated to helping Urdu-speaking disabled taxi cab drivers in Ottawa. The absence of such a program is a benefit to every Canadian.

If we all found more reasons why government shouldn’t exist, instead of why it should, we shouldn’t have a need for a $300 billion annual budget in Ottawa, nor the donation of half our earned income toward that purpose. We shouldn’t need 330 politicians in the House of Commons hemming and hawing about jobs and employment insurance and whether, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member for Thornhill is a piece of excrement for blocking taxpayer-funded trips to Durban to speculate about invisible gasses making us all hot and bothered.

And we certainly shouldn’t need to ask those politicians to come up with solutions that have been self-evident to every creature that emerged from egg or womb since time immemorial.

UPDATE

By the by, writing this reminded me of Kate McMillan’s National Post column from 2008, now disappeared by the Posts’ unreliable archives, but saved by Kate herself. Have a read.

We need China more than we disapprove of it

Posted January 3rd, 2012 in International by Adrian MacNair

If China were some irrelevant Middle Eastern country we use solely to jump into Afghanistan we might have a few choice words for the kind of human rights abuses and wanton subversion of democracy and liberty that marks a regular day in the communist country. But it isn’t, and we don’t. For the most part we shut up and thank them for stamping out our plastic trinkets and tell them to keep up the good work.

It’s a sham. Or as Terry Glavin puts it, “It’s a rigged game. Canada is an open society, with an open economy. China is neither.”

Fully half of China’s billion citizens subsist on sub-Saharan incomes of less than $2 a day, and they’re growing increasingly impatient with the corruption, oppression and persecution that has accompanied the stuffing of Beijing’s foreign-reserves treasury.
[...]
Last January, Beijing’s state-controlled China Investment Corporation rewarded Ottawa’s obsequiousness by choosing Toronto for its first overseas office. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was so happy he nearly wet his trousers.
[...]
It’s gotten to the point that not a single politician in Ottawa will muster the impudence to wonder aloud whether, just maybe, this charade has gone on long enough.

The problem is that the global economy is largely dependent on continuing this charade for as long as possible, for while the eurozone remains Ground Zero in the debt crisis, China’s economic slowdown spells certain recession for the world in 2012.

So, we’ll have to hold our indignation just a while longer. Meanwhile, the United States will have to hope China doesn’t call in all that debt it’s been buying up over the past few years.

The Strategy Of Lowered Expectations

Posted March 23rd, 2011 in Canada by Adrian MacNair

The above advertisement is perhaps the most compelling reason to defeat the Conservative government that I can think of among a slew of other good reasons. It’s more of the same watered down, uninspiring, fear-mongering propaganda that one has come to expect from the Conservative war room.

The word isn’t too harsh. Propaganda is defined by communication disguised as information, but is aimed at influencing people toward a cause by providing selective facts, out-of-context quotes, baseless assertions and flat-out lies. The above video manages to hit pretty much every note on that scale.

It isn’t just lies of commission that form the basis of propaganda, but in this case it is lies of omission as well. By grossly misrepresenting the political situation by creating a false impression of the demands of the opposition, the advertisement is a grotesque lie of what’s really at stake.

This is just more of what we’ve come to expect from the Conservative mantra of lowered expectations. We can no longer expect them to advocate for what they believe in, articulate what their principles are, or identify what positive benefits they offer Canadians. All they can do is malign the enemy, create stereotypes and caricatures and build baseless strawman arguments.

The advertisement suggests the enemy in this case supports high taxes, is opposed to economic recovery and jobs creations, and is opposed to helping seniors by trying to force the Liberals to defend positions they’ve never taken. This isn’t a political climate of ideas and debate, but one founded upon untruths.

There’s something about Michael Ignatieff that doesn’t appeal to the majority of Canadians, and the Conservatives have certainly sensed this uneasiness and exploited it to the maximum benefit. I don’t really trust the man either, and his motives don’t appear to be genuinely influenced by public service. But he’s certainly not the individual portrayed in the advertisement.

Can anyone explain the melodramatic hand-wringing presently being employed by the government over the possibility of an election? Should anyone be surprised that the opposition parties are taking an opposition role to policies set forth by this government? And if anybody can explain why they’re surprised about it, I certainly hope they can include the reason why defeating a budget is politically opportunistic.

Politics are inherently based on political opportunism and opposition. If it’s opportunistic to demand concessions from a budget presented by a minority government then it’s equally opportunistic to play that for sympathy in the media by claiming the parties want an election.

I don’t blame the Conservatives for refusing to make further concessions to appease the NDP either. The last time the Conservatives chose power over principle the country adopted $87 billion in new public debt. Ironically, the same party who opposed that stimulus budget in November 2008 is now running attack ads against Ignatieff claiming he doesn’t want to spend stimulus money.

As for the election not being necessary, that, too, is debatable. Since the 2008 general election the Conservatives have broken a campaign promise not to run deficits, has prorogued parliament twice and been found in contempt of that same institution, an unprecedented black mark for the government. It seems prudent to me that the electorate of Canada be properly consulted as to their confidence in this political arrangement in Ottawa.

In response to the criticisms of this government, partisan supporters have taken to calling anybody who opposes flagrant abuse of democracy as “liberal”, House Speaker Peter Milliken being no exception to this rule.

A general election should “recalibrate” the situation in Ottawa, give voters a chance to pass judgment on the past two and a half years of minority rule, and even offer the possibility of a majority government. If the assumption is correct, that most Canadians do not care about the actions of a government that suggests a contempt for the very principles they were elected on in 2006, then the Conservatives have nothing to worry about.

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WikiLeak: “SCENESETTER FOR PRESIDENT BUSH’S VISIT TO CANADA, NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 1, 2004″

Posted December 5th, 2010 in Afghanistan, Canada, International, Technology, united states by MarkOttawa

This November 18 telegram looks like a pretty good diplomatic report to me.  This excerpt is mildly amusing in view of current politics:


Martin’s Minority Government Stable, but Weak
———————————————

4. (C) After governing in majority for ten years, the Liberal
Party called elections June 28 to gain a mandate for PM
Martin, who succeeded Jean Chretien in December 2003. The
Liberals were hurt by a scandal involving the disbursement of
public monies in Quebec, and the Martin government was
reduced to minority status, the first in Canada since 1979.
In the first week of Parliament, Martin was able to loosely
win over the New Democratic Party, putting him neck-and-neck
with the Conservatives and the separatist Bloc Quebecois. Both
the Liberal-NDP and the Conservative-Bloc alignments
[emphasis added] are very tentative, however, and different
issue-driven coalitions are likely to emerge on an ad hoc basis…

Via Denise. As for current politics: “La coalition has already won one victory…”.

Mark
Ottawa

The Legacy Of Two Premiers 5,000km Apart

Posted November 27th, 2010 in Canada by Adrian MacNair


Photo: Jenny McCarthy, The Labradorian.

Maclean’s writer John Geddes mulls over the difference between two premiers who have stepped down this month: Gordon Campbell and Danny Williams. Focusing specifically on wringing concessions from Ottawa, Geddes observes that Williams was able to get 61 per cent more in federal transfer payments per capita than Campbell.

Newfoundland residents will receive $2,268 per person — at least that’s the theoretical value of the transfer payments — compared with the $1,385 for B.C. residents. As Geddes said, it might make sense for Newfoundland to get more because of relative wealth and economic circumstances. But according to Stats Canada the average weekly pay in Newfoundland was $798.82 in 2009, compared with B.C.’s $797.13.

That still doesn’t tell the whole story. Median total income by family type for 2008 was $67,890 in B.C. compared with $59,320 in Newfoundland. And the latest unemployment numbers shows B.C.’s unemployment rate fell to 7.4 per cent in October, compared with 13 per cent in Newfoundland for the same time period. Does this mean it makes sense for Newfoundland to get 61 per cent more than B.C. since it has a 57 per cent higher unemployment rate?

It may be important to crunch a few more numbers than that. Total unemployment is 33,800 in Newfoundland compared with 185,100 for B.C., which if put into this perspective means that B.C.’s need is five and a half times greater. And as much as 20 per cent of B.C.’s employment is sustained by part-time workers compared with 12 per cent for Newfoundland. Both provinces have an equal amount of full-time workers as a portion of their provincial total.

All of this would make sense with everything else being equal in cost of living. But those factors aren’t equal. It’s understood that at least 2.3 million people live in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, which has some of the highest cost of living prices in Canada. The housing market in Vancouver is widely considered to be the most expensive in the world.

But as one reader of the Macleans article points out, the elephant in the room is the Atlantic Accord that Danny Williams went to war with Ottawa over. Newfoundland’s 2010-11 transfer payments consist of $389 million from the 1985 Accord (down 30 per cent from 2008-09). Removing that total would bring payments down to $767 million and make per capita payments $1,500, which would be little more than the $1,385 received by B.C.

Put into this context, it isn’t that Newfoundland receives an inordinate amount of transfer payments from Ottawa. It’s that Newfoundland has fought to protect the Atlantic Accord.

When You Bury The Lede

Posted November 8th, 2010 in Canada by Adrian MacNair

I recently read two rather inconsequential articles that both take a long time getting to the critical information. Both are structured in such a way as to elicit sympathy for the protagonists early in the story, but if you survive the nine or more paragraphs it takes to get to the salient information, your opinion can be significantly altered.

In the first instance we have a story about a court pondering whether a person can agree in advance to unconscious sex. It’s not a particularly edifying piece of news as it discusses an Ottawa court case involving a kinky couple who were involved in sex involving asphyxiation.

Although the article focuses on the court’s upcoming ruling of “sexual autonomy”, a quote from a woman’s legal advocacy group, and the background details of the alleged assault, we only learn in paragraph nine about an extremely important detail:

“The woman took her complaint to Ottawa police two months after the alleged assault, when she was seeking custody of the couple’s toddler.”

Two months after the fact, while embroiled in a custody battle. Sounds like something that could have been delivered a little higher in the story. Indeed, one could rewrite it in such a way that implies this parent is using the legal system in a manipulative way that challenges sexual autonomy just to win her kid.

Story number two involves a sympathetic story about a couple whose plane seats were given away, we’re told fairly early, because they had to attend to a diaper accident.

First we read about the newlyweds who “stood at a boarding gate in the Las Vegas airport”, their seats cruelly given away while their luggage was still on board. Stuck with a baby and no way home. An unexpected hotel. New tickets the next day. A feeling of stranded helplessness.

And then we get to salient information in paragraph 11. The couple arrived through security 20 minutes before takeoff, and then decided to run their baby the bathroom because he soiled his diaper. This diaper changing took so long that apparently the airline gave away their seats to standby. Sorry, so sad. Too bad.

So why give Alaska Airlines the bad press? They weren’t the ones who arrived late for an important flight and then decided the entire plane could wait on the tarmac while they changed little Roberge Jr. And I say that as a parent. Having offspring doesn’t entitle you to hold up the rest of the world.

It would be nice to feel sympathy for the alleged victims in both these articles, but the truth is more likely that one is a story about a woman who just wants to win a custody battle and the other about a couple who missed their flight.

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Free Thinking Film Festival Ottawa: One week to go (with Ezra vs. Elizabeth)

Posted November 4th, 2010 in Canada, Climate Change, International, Technology, united states by MarkOttawa

A fair fight? Ezra Levant vs. Dizzie Lizzie May, moderated by Terry Glavin.  Dukes up!  Some highlights of the festival below, lots more at the website:

Elizabeth May to debate Ezra Levant!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Library and Archives Canada
4:00 PM
Yes, The Showdown in O-Town!  Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, will be debating Ezra Levant, author of “Ethical Oil:  The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands,” on Saturday, November 13th at 4:00 PM.  Seating precedence will be given to Festival Pass Holders.
OUR THREE MAIN GALA EVENTS

Opening Night Gala
“Kalifornistan”
Friday, November 12, 2010
Library and Archives Canada
Main Auditorium
7:00 PM

Kaliforstan

MFRCThe opening night gala is also a fundraiser for the
Military Family Resource Centre which helps
military families in the capital region.

In the shadowy Port of Los Angeles, an insane terrorist stalks a beautiful dancer … while plotting the nuclear apocalypse he hopes will make him a celebrity. KALIFORNISTAN is a darkly comic satire on terrorism made by Canadian actress and filmmaker Govindini Murty and American filmmaker Jason Apuzzo. KALIFORNISTAN follows the deranged leader of a terror cell called ‘Glorious Jihad of Kalifornistan’ as he plots to destroy Los Angeles with a nuclear bomb – while being distracted by a sultry exotic dancer. KALIFORNISTAN fuses film, video, documentary and surveillance footage into a cutting-edge narrative on the violence, narcissism and delusional fantasies that fuel contemporary Islamic terrorism. KALIFORNISTAN takes viewers on a twisted journey of the post-9/11 world from Gitmo to Iran, from the dark corners of LA harbour into the mind of a terrorist too deranged even for Al Qaeda.

Human Events says of KALIFORNISTAN: “The film clicks as strong, effective satire … Kalifornistan … dares to see the average terrorist for what he truly is — a laughably warped soul with a world view shaped by Islamic radicalism — and too many extremist blogs … and once you meet the terrorist at the heart of the film you’ll wonder why more filmmakers haven’t taken this approach before.” LA’s Daily Breeze says that “Kalifornistan may be the South Bay’s 21st century cinematic equivalent of Gone in 60 Seconds, the 1974 cult classic.” Online journal Rational Review says that KALIFORNISTAN “is beautifully shot” and “it’s Fellini meets Kubrick.”

Govindini Murty is an Ottawa native who co-founded the Liberty Film Festival in Los Angeles with her husband Jason Apuzzo in order to provide a greater diversity of viewpoints in Hollywood. Murty and Apuzzo have been frequently featured in the media, are independent filmmakers, and are also the Co-Editors of Libertas Film Magazine.

Speakers after the film:  Govindini Murty and Jason Apuzzo

A Night with Philippe Karsenty
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Library and Archives Canada
Main Auditorium
7:00 PM

Philippe KarsentyPhilippe Karsenty, internationally known media analyst and founder of Media-Ratings, a media watchdog which monitors the media in France and who exposed the false allegations that Israeli soldiers killed a 12-year old Palestinian, Mohammed al-Dura during a gun battle in Gaza in 2000.

Following Mr. Karsenty’s reporting that France 2, a French television network, had broadcast staged footage of the alleged killing, Mr. Karsenty was sued for libel by the network. He succeeded in having a lower court judgment overturned by the Paris Court of Appeal in May 2008.

Karsenty was born in France. When he was 26, he set up a share-trading company on the Paris Bourse and continued to work as a broker until 1997.  In 1996, he set up a business consultancy, and in 2002, ran for Parliament on a center-right ticket, losing to Nicolas Sarkozy. In 2008, he was elected Deputy Mayor of Neuilly.

Please join us for this M. Karsenty’s incredible presentation. Q&A session will follow his presentation, and then please join us for a reception outside the main auditorium.

Closing Night Gala
“The Stoning of Soraya M”
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Library and Archives Canada
Main Auditorium
7:00 PM

Stoning of Soraya M

Academy Award® nominee Shorheh Aghdashloo stars as Zahra, a woman with a burning secret. When a journalist (Jim Caviezel) is stranded in her remote village, Zahra takes a bold chance to reveal what the villagers will stop at nothing to hide. Thus begins the story of Soraya (Mozhan Marnò), a kind woman whose cruel, divorce-seeking husband trumps up false charges of infidelity against her, which carry an unimaginable penalty.

Soraya and Zahra attempt to navigate the villagers’ scheming, lies and deceit to prove her innocence. But when all else fails, Zahra must risk everything to use the only weapon she has left – her voice – to share Soraya’s shocking story with the world.

Speaker:  Writer:Director Cyrus Nowrasteh

From the Wall Street Journal:

“The Stoning of Soraya M.” is as blunt as the rocks hurled in the execution of its title. The independent film, set in an Iranian village in the late 1980s, tells the story of a woman falsely accused of adultery, then put to death according to religious laws enacted after the country’s Islamic revolution. A grisly climax helped doom the film’s chances for traditional distribution in the U.S., but the filmmakers say it was essential to call attention to the horror of stoning, which still occurs in Iran and some other Muslim countries, according to human-rights groups.

“A movie like this needs to be absolutely uncompromising in its approach. The subject demands it,” says director Cyrus Nowrasteh, who was born in Colorado to Iranian parents. He has tackled sensitive topics in his previous work, such as the ABC miniseries “The Path to 9/11,” which he wrote and produced.

TICKETS
FULL FESTIVAL PASSES $68 (incl. HST)
purchase
(includes access to all Galas and all films)

GALA TICKETS $22.60 (incl. HST)
(Galas include private reception)

FILM TICKETS $17 (incl. HST)

All tickets are available from TicketWeb

Toll-Free: 888-222-6608

Tickets also available at :

Compact Music
(785 1/2 Bank Street and 190 Bank St.)

Ottawa Folklore Center
(1111 Bank Street)

SCREENING VENUE
All events and films take place at Library and Archives Canada located at

Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4
Canada:

VIEW LOCATION MAP

Mark
Ottawa

Timmy’s party: Ford and the world Fords with you…

Posted October 25th, 2010 in Canada by MarkOttawa

…Rolls and you Rolls alone.  Smitherperson not in T.O.:

http://images.ctv.ca/archives/CTVNews/img2/20100928/416_cp24_ford_youtube.jpg

Could the people just be revolting? Meanwhile in Ottawa, back to the mainstream. Elementary, my dear Watson. Pity.

Mark
Ottawa

UPDATE

What the latest reaction from the left reminds Adrian of:

Hot stuff: Ezra Levant vs. Elizabeth May, Ottawa, Nov. 13

Posted September 20th, 2010 in Canada, Climate Change by MarkOttawa

Further to this post of Adrian’s on Mr Levant,

A Good Argument On The Oil Sands

this, received by e-mail, should be more fun than a barrel of…(the festival’s organizer is good friend Fred, do check out the whole festival):

Elizabeth May to debate Ezra Levant!

We have been working on this for over six months and the First Annual Free Thinking Film Festival is going to be an amazing event!

Please visit our official website for the complete schedule of films, presentations and events.

On November 13th, 2010, Elizabeth May will debate Ezra Levant on the oil sands of Alberta – as part of the First Annual Free Thinking Film Festival 2010.

Elizabeth May is the leader of the Green Party of Canada, and Ezra Levant is an author who has a new book out called “Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands.”

The debate will take place at the Library & Archives Canada right after the showing of the film, “Mine Your Own Business,” which starts at 2:30 PM on Saturday, November 13th.  The debate should start at approximately 4:00 PM.

“I am delighted to welcome both Ezra Levant and Elizabeth May to our festival,” said Fred Litwin, Managing Director for the Free Thinking Film Society of Ottawa.  “I want to present a fair and honest debate – something of substance for attendees.”

Since seating will be limited, precedence will be given to Festival Pass holders.

The First Annual Free Thinking Film Festival will run between November 12-14th and will feature three Gala Events:

  • Kalifornistan
  • An evening with Philippe Karsenty
  • The Stoning of Soraya M


In between the 3 Gala events, the May-Levant debate, the Festival will also show 19 films like “The Cartel,” a film about the power of unions in public schools; “Mugabe and the White African,” a film about the injustice of the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe; “Generation Zero,” a film about the cultural roots of the global financial meltdown; “Atomic Jihad,” a film about Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s coming war for Islamic revival; “Mr. Conservative,” a surprising look at the life of Barry Goldwater; “Do As I Say,” a film about liberal hypocrisy;  “For Neda,” a look at the brave woman Neda Agha-Soltan who was murdered by Iranian militia during protests against Iran’s fraudulent election; “Conflict: The Power of Propaganda,” a Canadian film which looks at media bias against Israel; and “Outside the Great Wall,” a look at 12 prominent Chinese intellectuals and artist fighting for democracy in China.

Earlier from Kate McMillan on Mr Levant and a previous debate:

Ethical Oil

Predate: Fred was interviewed on CFRA Ottawa about an earlier film showing:


Tuesday, September 14, 2010
“Crossing”
Madely in the Morning – 8:40am — Steve Madely is joined by Fred Litwin of the Free Thinking Film Society, and Kyung Lee, the founding President of the Council for Human Rights in North Korea based in Toronto. They’ll discuss tonight’s showing at the Library and Archives Canada of “Crossing”, the first major film to capture the dire situation of North Korean refugees & North Korea’s denial of human rights.
mp3 (click here to download)

Mark
Ottawa

Ottawa: “70th Anniversary Battle of Britain Ceremony Sunday, September 19, 2010″

Posted September 18th, 2010 in Canada, International by MarkOttawa

From the Canadian Air Force:


10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Aviation and Rockliffe Parkways
Ottawa, Ontario

http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/vital/or-re/bb-ba/images/BoB/79-poster-affiche-180w.jpg

70th Anniversary Battle of Britain Ceremony

» Poster (JPG 170KB)


Canada’s Air Force in association with the Air Force Association of Canada, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Vintage Wings Canada and Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, invites the people of Ottawa to show their appreciation to veterans and especially the Canadians who participated in the Battle of Britain, by attending this stirring and highly visual event.

Features

This year’s Battle of Britain Ceremony will feature:

* Fly-pasts are dependant on weather and aircraft availability. This is not an air show.

Weather Conditions

  • Weather permitting; the ceremony will proceed as planned with fly-pasts. Should it rain, the ceremony will be held inside the Museum without fly-pasts. If weather conditions are in question, recorded updates will be provided at 613-945-7701.

Admission and Seating

  • Admission to the ceremony is free.
  • Please note that lawn chairs are not permitted and seating is limited and will be available on a first come first serve basis. Spectators should be seated by 10:15 a.m.

Parking info and directions follow at link.

History of the battle here, lot’s more on the ceremony including, photo and video galleries, at left on main link.

RAF Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary site here.

More on Canadians in the battle here, and here featuring the “Canadian” RAF 242 Squadron, which flew Hawker Hurricanes and was commanded by Douglas Bader (a particular hero of mine).  Stan Turner, much more here, was one of the squadron’s leading Canadian pilots; I knew him when he was Canadian Air Attaché in Moscow in the mid-50s and I was eight and nine–he kindly gave me copies of some Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft and Jane’s Fighting Ships from the 40s and 50s, which I still have:


Stan Turner in the cockpit of his Hurricane
RAF & RCAF  G/C   -   DSO, DFC & Bar,
War Cross (Cz) & Medal for Bravery (Cz)

The squadron:

No.242

Battle-hardened pilots of No.242 (Canadian) Fighter Squadron pose in front of the Commanding Officer’s Hawker Hurricane Mk.I at RAF Station Duxford. (L- R) D.W. Crowley-Milling (RAF), P/O Hugh Norman Tamblyn from Yorkton, Saskatchewan-killed in action 3 April 1941, F/L Stan Turner from Toronto, Ontario, P/O Norman Neil Campbell from St.Thomas, Ontario-killed in action 17 October 1940. P/O William ‘Willie’ Lidstone McKnight from Edmonton, Alberta-killed in action 12 January 1941, S/L D.R.S ‘Douglas’ Bader-Commanding Officer of No. 242 (Canadian) Fighter Squadron, F/L G.E. Ball (RAF)-killed in action after Battle of Britain, P/O M.G. Homer (RAF)-killed in action 27 September 1940, P/O M.K. Brown of Kincardine, Ontario – killed in flying accident on 21 February, 1941.

Earlier on the Blitz that continued, with a Noel Coward music video, “London Pride” (do listen), from Publius.

Update thought: Note the fatalities amongst those in the photo immediately above. This is Duxford today: a truly great aviation museum which I’ve visited with our son, thanks to my English brother-in-law:

IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM DUXFORD
WAR SHAPES LIVES

From its Battle of Britain webpage:


http://duxford.iwm.org.uk/upload/img_200/few_1.jpg

“Never was so much owed by so many to so few” The Prime Minister

Mark
Ottawa