February 19, 2010
On the 18th of February 2010, Master Corporal John H. F. Babcock, the last surviving Canadian veteran of the First World War, passed away at his home in Spokane, Washington. He was 109 years old.
With the passing of Mr. Babcock, there are now only 3 remaining WWI veterans in the world, two British and one American. In November 2006, Parliament voted unanimously to accord a state funeral for him as the last Canadian veteran of the war, but Babcock declined.
As a nation, we honour his service and mourn his passing. The passing of Mr. Babcock marks the end of an era.
His family mourns the passing of a great man. Canada mourns the passing of the generation that asserted our independence on the world stage and established our international reputation as an unwavering champion of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
-Prime Minister Stephen Harper
May he rest in peace.
November 12, 2009
November 13, 2008
Presented as is without comment because I’m too pissed off to say anything else right now…
November 11, 2008
April 3, 2008
Once again proving that they wouldn’t understand a damned thing about the military if it jumped up and bit them of their sorry backsides, the Grits, Dippers and Blocheads managed to shove a dumbass motion through the House today, which demands “a moment of silence” (which is okay) and the lowering of the flag above the Peace Tower on any day a Canadian soldier is killed overseas (which most definitely is not). Some people might, with all respect and good intentions, think that this is a good idea. It isn’t. What it is, is yet another sorry example of the Leftist obsession with taking any real tradition and watering it down to meaninglessness. Peter Worthington hit the nail on the head in his column today:
Rather than supporting our troops, I’d argue it was a cynical political ploy aimed solely at embarrassing the government of Stephen Harper, which has ruled that the flag be flown at half-mast only on Remembrance Day, Nov. 11, or on specific commemorative occasions, like the death of the Sovereign. […]
“Respect” for our military from Layton? Poppycock.
With all due respect to Mr. Worthington, I’d have used a word a little more bluntly honest than “poppycock” but hey, it’s his column, right? It’ll have to do. This idiocy reminds me of when, a while back, the HypoGrits were squawking out their fartholes over the Tories’ supposed “abandoning” of the “tradition” of lowering the flag for a day for every Canadian soldier killed. One little problem with that: there was never any such tradition. The Chretien Grits started it in 2002 after we lost 4 men at Tarnak Farm. Veterans’ groups were disgusted by it. There was never a “tradition” of lowering the flag for each and every soldier. If there were, most of us would have never even seen the flag at full staff.
Think about it. We lost about 67,000 in the Great War, another 45,000 in the one after that, and hundreds more in Korea. This doesn’t include soldiers killed in those lovely, so-called “peacekeeping” operations that Leftists get so hot and bothered about (until they turn into real work). A little bit of simple arithmetic shows that, by the Grits’ logic, we should have lowered the flag in 1914 and wouldn’t be due to raise it to full staff again until sometime in the early 23rd century. Not exactly the mindset we want when thinking of the men and women who provide us with our freedom.
Don’t be fooled by the Leftist hype on this one. This has nothing to do with our soldiers. Not a damned thing. What it does have to do with, is the Grits and their fellow travelers constructing the illusion that they actually give a shit about our military after inflicting years of abuse and neglect on the very people that they’re suddenly pretending to care so much about. The Tories know better…
OTTAWA — The federal government is standing by its decision not to lower the Peace Tower flag following each casualty in Afghanistan, despite a vote by opposition MPs yesterday calling for a reversal of the policy.
The Conservatives see their position as a matter of respecting history and point out that the Canadian flag on Parliament Hill’s Peace Tower has never been routinely lowered for individual military deaths during past wars. The government is also taking a hard line on the issues, say Tory sources, because it believes some opposition MPs who supported yesterday’s bill are trying to draw attention to the Canadian deaths in Afghanistan for political gain.
Soldiers don’t want this. The National Council of Veteran Associations doesn’t want this. The Canadian Legion doesn’t want this. Right now the flag gets lowered every November 11th, in honour of all soldiers who gave their lives for this nation, and that’s enough. They don’t want any more than that.
When you lower the flag often enough, it becomes meaningless. Soldiers understand that. And God bless them for it. (more…)
January 15, 2008
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…and learn some self-discipline while you’re at it.
For those of you that managed to snooze through it (I know I almost did, so don’t feel bad), the uberbullshit machine over at the New York Times recently puked up a load of crap that suggests, in not so subtle terms, that American veterans have a murderous bent to them:
Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles
Town by town across the country, headlines have been telling similar stories. Lakewood, Wash.: “Family Blames Iraq After Son Kills Wife.” Pierre, S.D.: “Soldier Charged With Murder Testifies About Postwar Stress.” Colorado Springs: “Iraq War Vets Suspected in Two Slayings, Crime Ring.” Individually, these are stories of local crimes, gut-wrenching postscripts to the war for the military men, their victims and their communities. Taken together, they paint the patchwork picture of a quiet phenomenon, tracing a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak.
The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment – along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems – appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction.
Gimme a God damned break. Pure and utter bullshit but hey, the Leftbots that NYT never were ones to let the truth get in the way of a good cheap shot, were they?
I’m not the only one that got his/her back up over this vile slur. The right-wing blogoshpere and media (that would be Fox News) has, quite rightly (no pun intended, really), gone somewhat apeshit. No criticism of that here. The responses have ranged from eloquent to apoplectic, so I’m going to try to limit myself to citing the better angels of our collective nature. Without doubt, the best one I’ve found so far is from Winds Of Change; a big ol’ tip o’ the toque for some damned find number crunching on this one, lads…
The only reference I could find for the number of troops who have served in combat areas was at GlobalSecurity.com, citing a Salon article:
Three and a half years have passed since U.S. bombs started falling in Afghanistan, and ever since then, the U.S. military has been engaged in combat overseas. What most Americans are probably unaware of, however, is just how many American soldiers have been deployed. Well over 1 million U.S. troops have fought in the wars since Sept. 11, 2001, according to Pentagon data released to Salon. As of Jan. 31, 2005, the exact figure was 1,048,884, approximately one-third the number of troops ever stationed in or around Vietnam during 15 years of that conflict.
From the October 1, 2001 start of the Afghanistan war, that’s about 26,000 troops/month. To date (Jan 2008) that would give about 1.99 million.
That means that the NY Times 121 murders represent about a 7.08/100,000 rate.
Now the numbers on deployed troops are probably high – fewer troops from 2001 – 2003; I’d love a better number if someone has it.
But for initial purposes, let’s call the rate 10/100,000, about 40% higher than the calculated one.
Now, how does that compare with the population as a whole?
Turning to the DoJ statistics, we see that the US offender rate for homicide in the 18 – 24 yo range is 26.5/100,000.For 25 – 34, it’s 13.5/100,000.
The moral of the story? Simple:
If you’ve got a kid under the age of 25 and want to reduce the chance of him becoming a murderer by a whopping 62 to 73%… get his ass in the army.