I guess these students can really SPARE some time to STRIKE, because that’s what they’re doing in this stereotypical rainy Vancouver afternoon.
Want to know what I’m talking about? CBC has an article here. Really, just search up ‘British Columbia student walkout’ and you’ll find hundreds of articles on it. However, after my five minutes of sleuthing, CBC’s article seems to be the most unbiased.
As a student in the BC public school system that has witnessed th-oh fuck I can’t type formally, here, let’s inject some much-needed CAPITALISM
I am a STUDENT in BC. Many of my fellow students WALKED OUT of school TODAY at 2:00, two hours before THIS POST was posted. Unfortunately, I did not, even though I just sat around and did NOTHING in my final block, and I would’ve been more productive SKIPPING school and WRITING this post at HOME instead. However, I did not SKIP school, and neither did I go to the PROTEST.
Because I’ve done my RESEARCH, and I don’t BELIEVE in this protest.
What is the protest saying?
The ORGANIZERS say it’s to encourage mutual RESPECT between the government and the TEACHERS. Yet, that’s not what the STUDENTS are thinking. They’re thinking that it’s to promote EDUCATION by paying teachers MORE and easing class composition ISSUES. That’s not the point of THIS protest; that’s the point of the TEACHERS’ protest.
We’re already PAST the point of bargaining. Teachers are striking to make a POINT, not because they actually BELIEVE that the government will give them a pay raise this year. No, everybody (except the STUDENTS) know that the strike is going to FADE AWAY, the BCTF’s going to accept NET-ZERO, and not even government’s Bill 22 (which will STRIP teachers of their RIGHT to STRIKE) will pass. In effect, it’ll end in an IMPASSE, with both parties WARILY agreeing to a contract that NOBODY WANTS.
And nothing can change this, anymore. Not even a PROTEST. My English teacher once said that protesting is useless; the important part is creating a SOLUTION. Yet, currently, she’s PROTESTING, and her solution? “Give us more money!”
Towards the actual issue, I’m AMBIVALENT. Both sides have COHERENT arguments and UNDERSTANDABLE reasons for what they’re doing. Yet, neither side is willing to RESPECT the other side. I cannot approve of EITHER. You guys know I’m telling the truth, because I always tell the truth on O-New. Besides, we’re a pretty OPINIONATED blog, and we’re NOT AFRAID to show that we HATE J.C. STAFF, a position that has alienated me from FLARE, that other blogger on O-New who never blogs. So, we have no reason to HIDE our opinions, and when we SAY we’re neutral, we MEAN that I’m neutral. Yes, I’m too lazy to replace all the ‘we’s in those sentences with ‘I’s. Maybe you can help me do that, and be my ears and ‘I’s. Ha ha ha.
At least, the teachers, by striking for three days from Monday to Wednesday, leave me with an effective five-day-weekend, extending my science fair project (which was originally due Monday) that I haven’t started’s deadline by five days. Furthermore, after a final Thursday and Friday of school next week, it’ll be a two-week-long Spring Break… =3=
In summary: I don’t have a better POST to POST today. This alliteration should sum things up pretty CONCISELY:
Currently, crazy Canadian countrymen cannot co-operatively compromise.
[MUSHYHIJACK: Due to a communication breakdancer, abd’s posting this on Remembrance Day over here in Canadia, which is the 12th in England now. BUT THIS IS A CANADIA POST And no, this is not A Numerical List.]
At the end of the Second World War, Canada had the world’s third largest standing volunteer army and the fourth largest air force. Sixty-five years later, the military situation in Canada has clearly changed, but our history has not. This list examines 10 significant battles in the 20th century that featured the Canadian Forces. It is by no means complete – which is sad in so many ways.
1) Battle of Vimy Ridge (April 9 – April 12, 1917)
The Battle of Vimy Ridge occurred during the Battle of Arras, a British offensive in the north of France near the Belgian border. The objective of Vimy Ridge was to capture the German position at the northern most end of Arras to prevent the Germans from pounding the advancing southern forces with artillery. This battle marked the first time in the war that all four Canadian divisions fought together and has been a symbol of nationalistic achievement and sacrifice ever since. It is arguably the most famous battle fought by Canadian forces in the 20th century.
At the end of the three days, close to 3,600 Canadians had been killed, and another 7,000 had been wounded. It is estimated that 4,000 German soldiers were taken prisoner.
2) Battle of Hong Kong (December 8 – December 25, 1941)
Less than eight hours after the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbour, 52,000 Japanese soldiers descended on Hong Kong from the neighbouring Guangdong province. In defense of Hong Kong were 14,000 British troops including soldiers from India, and close to 2,000 Canadian soldiers. By December 11, the British forces were forced to evacuate from Kowloon, and by December 13, they had been pushed back to Hong Kong Island. The Japanese quickly achieved air supremacy in the first days of fighting, and the remaining ships of the Royal Navy had been ordered to retreat to Singapore. On December 18, Japanese forces landed on Hong Kong island, and a week later, British forces surrendered.
All 1,975 Canadian personnel were either killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. Hong Kong civilians suffered 7,000 casualties during the battle itself. The Battle of Hong Kong marked the first time a British colony had surrendered to an invading force.
3) Dieppe Raid (August 19, 1942)
The main objective of the Dieppe Raid was to seize and hold the port of Dieppe for a short period of time in order for the allied forces to sabotage German defenses and to gather intelligence from captured German prisoners and from the assessment of the German response. It was, in short, a disaster. The plan called for a traditional frontal assault up the beaches, which was held off by German machine gun positions. Coupled with ineffective Armour and Artillery support, no Air support, and poor intelligence of the German forces in the area, commanders were forced to call a retreat four hours after the start of the battle. No main objectives were achieved.
The Canadian forces suffered just under 3,400 casualties in those four hours compared with the 600 casualties suffered by the Germans. If there is a bright side in all this, the allied forces learned major lessons from Dieppe, which would lead to the success of the Normandy landings almost two years later, including the development of specialized armoured vehicles, the realization of the need for heavier naval artillery bombardments beforehand, and the inclusion of a preliminary aerial bombardment. It has been said that “For every man who died in Dieppe, at least ten more must have been spared in Normandy in 1944.”
4) Battle of Ortona (December 20 – December 28, 1943)
Ortona sits on the eastern coast of Italy, bordering the Adriatic Sea. By 1943, it was one of the few usable deep water ports remaining in Italy, which made it a valuable objective for the Allies. Winston Churchill would later call the Battle of Ortona “Little Stalingard” in reference to the close-quartered fighting that occurred over the eight days. The Canadian forces prevailed using a new tactic they dubbed “mouse-holing” where a hole would be blown through the shared wall of adjacent houses. The Canadians would then throw in grenades and assault through the upper floor.
The Canadians suffered 1,375 fatalities during Ortona, with another 964 men being wounded. After 8 days, the German forces, who had been ordered to “fight for every last house and tree” withdrew, their losses were unknown.
5) Juno Beach (June 6, 1944)
The D-Day landings at Normandy was the successful attempt of the Allied forces to gain a foothold and to begin retaking Europe. On the first day, 170,000 men landed on the beaches of Normandy, 21,400 of these being Canadians tasked with clearing “Juno” Beach. In comparison, Juno Beach was the second most heavily defended beach of the five with pillboxes and fortifications lining the entire beach with the water heavily mined. However, Juno was defended by one of the weakest divisions in Normandy consisting of static German troops with no transport capabilities and no combat experience, augmented with Soviet “volunteer” troops from the east.
By the end of D-Day, the Canadians had advanced close to 10km into France, the furthest out of the Allied forces. Following D-Day, the Canadians linked up with British forces advancing in from neighbouring Sword beach. The Canadians suffered 1,000 casualties on the first day of the Normandy invasion, including 340 deaths.
6) Battle of the Scheldt (October 2 – November 8, 1944)
With the Allied forces stretched for hundreds of kilometers from Normandy to the French/German border, there was an urgent need to secure the ports of Antwerp to ease the logistical burden of supplying the invasion forces. After the failed Operation Marketgarden, the Germans had ample time to prepare their defenses around the Scheldt estuary. The five weeks of fighting were marked with numerous amphibious assaults, obstacle crossing, and assaults over open ground. The Germans defended the Scheldt with artillery and snipers and both the water and land were heavily mined.
At the end of the battle, the Canadians had suffered just under 6,400 casualties, half of all the Allied casualties in the Scheldt. This led to another conscription crisis back at home. The Germans suffered similar casualties to the Allies, in addition to the 41,000 prisoners who surrendered to the Canadians. The loss of Antwerp was a huge strategic blow to German forces, and it was one of the objectives marked out for the Battle of the Bulge in mid-December.
7) Battle of Kapyong (April 22 – April 25, 1951)
The Battle of Kapyong, during the Korean War, saw Australian and Canadian forces defending the Kapyong valley, en route to Seoul, against forces from the Chinese Communist People’s Volunteer Army. On April 22, an estimated 10,000 Chinese soldiers flooded into the Kapyong valley in an attempt to dislodge the Australians and Canadians. Despite being outnumbered at least five to one, the Canadians and Australians were better equipped and better trained than the Chinese combatants. After nights of heavy bombardments, on both sides, and waves of attackers, the Chinese were forced to withdraw from the valley in the late afternoon of April 25th.
Throughout the ordeal, the Canadians suffered a total of 33 casualties. In contrast, the Chinese forces retreated leaving behind an estimated 1,000 dead soldiers. The Battle of Kapyong is the most famous action undertaken by the Canadian forces during the Korean War. Total casualties between 1951 and 1953 include 1,558 Canadian soldiers – 516 of those as fatalities.
8) The Vietnam War (November 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975)
Though the Canadians never took part in any battles during the Vietnam War, I have included it in this list due to the unfortunate impression that Canada did nothing during the Vietnam War. It is estimated that Canada sold $2.47 billion worth of war materiel and supplies to the United States between 1965 and 1973. Canadian facilities were used for training and weapons testing by the US forces. Around 30,000 Canadians volunteered to join the US forces to fight in south-east Asia. As well, Canada deployed a small force into Vietnam to enforce the 1973 cease-fire. 110 Canadians were killed in Vietnam.
9) Battle of Medak Pocket (September 9 – September 17, 1993)
The Battle of the Medak Pocket took place during Canada’s peacekeeping mission in Croatia. During 1991, Croatia moved for independence from Yugoslavia, resulting in Croatian Serbian rebels establishing the internationally unrecognized Republic of Serb Krajina. Major human rights violations occurred, perpetuated by both the Serbs and the Croatians before a ceasefire was agreed on. The UN sent in peacekeeping forces to police the area. On September 9th, the Croatians violated this ceasefire and attacked Serbian forces. When the Canadian peacekeepers were sent in, the Croatians attacked them as well, believing that the Canadian forces would instantly withdraw, as previous UN forces had done before due to their restrictive mission mandates. This was not the case, and the Croatian commander quickly negotiated a cease-fire and withdrawal with the Canadian commander.
Four Canadians were wounded by Croatian artillery as the peace-keeping forces took up the abandoned Serbian positions. Depending on the source, the Croatians suffered either 27 casualties (Canadian) or 94 casualties (Croatian). However, there is still continual denial of this incident occurring in Croatia, due to the discovery of war crimes committed by the Croatian forces.
10) Battle of Panjwaii (July 2006, September – October 2006)
The first phase of the Battle of Panjwaii occurred during the summer of 2006, where Canadian forces, supported by Afghan forces, went into the Panjwaii area in Afghanistan to clear Taliban strongholds. Fighting lasted from July 8th to August 19th. After July, following the departure of Canadian and Afghan forces, the Taliban quickly re-established their hold over Panjwaii. The second phase was spearheaded by the Canadians again forcing the Taliban to retreat after weeks of fighting. The Taliban are no longer present in large numbers in Panjwaii.
Throughout the fighting, the Canadian forces sustained 16 fatalities, including Canada’s first female combat arms casualty, and another 50 soldiers wounded. Sadly, the vast majority of these casualties came from a friendly fire incident where an American A-10 strafed Canadian Forces who had called in an air strike on Taliban positions. It is estimated that Taliban forces suffered between 500 – 1,000 casualties in these months.
Some notable omissions: Battle of Somme, Battle of the Atlantic, Liberation of the Netherlands
After recently watching half a season of tl;dw (DenYuuDen/the Legend of the Legendary Heroes), in which Ryner assassinates several dozen soldiers to rescue one kid with an Alpha Stigma, because those soldiers were terrorizing the kid just because he had the Alpha Stigma. This can be considered an act of terrorism (killing so many people to save one), or an act of heroism (saving that one, wrongly accused kid).
In a school assignment parallel to the timeline of my watching tl;dw (my life is an anime~!), the English teacher assigned us to read about Noam Chomsky, in which he degrades American society, counter-terrorism, and propaganda in the media.
Obvious connections were set up – and thus, I present to you, an anime editorial – Noam Chomsky: The Justice of the Powerful Heroes.
“Those who stand at the top determine what’s wrong and what’s right! This very place is neutral ground! Justice will prevail, you say? But of course it will! Whoever wins this war becomes Justice!!!”
-Donquixote Doflamingo, One Piece
Though One Piece may be, Doflamingo’s statement is not at all quixotic, reflecting much of history’s and present-day political situations.
Without straying from the unrealities of One Piece, let us think about two differing viewpoints.
Imagine that you are a pirate. The corrupt World Government, composed of narcissists such as Axe Hand Morgan has been completely overthrown during the Battle of Marineford. People are free to wander the seas, to do what they please; to just enjoy life. Gone are the slave-trading programmes of old, gone are the elitist Nobels, gone are the presence of Noble prizes, gone are my stupid spelling mistakes. The world is free to do whatever they want, the characters are happy, etc.
If you can’t imagine a world like that, then try harder because I suck at adjectifying.
Alright. Now imagine again, that you are a commoner. Those evil pirates, sea-thieves who steal all our precious gold and money have all died away, and finally, an organized government is in control of the world. Public health care and education are provided, and more jobs are being created than ever. The economy is booming after an era of collapse.
In both ways, you can see that the end result (as long as you are on the right side) is ‘favourable’ and ‘justified’.
In this essay/editorial, I’d like to convince everyone about one, simple opinion (fact).
Justice is relative.
“High ideas were besmirched by cruelty and greed, enterprise and endurance by a blind and narrow self righeousness, and the Holy War itself was nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God, which is a sin against the Holy Ghost.”
Sir Steven Runciman, The History of the Crusades
Now, let us journey back to the past (or is it the future?) from such fanciful surroundings and become acquainted with some of the more… realistic examples of this “duality of justice” – the Crusades.
– Anything controversial is controversial.
This point seems quite obvious, just as 1 + 2 = 1 + 2, or even 1 = 1. Regardless, what I mean is that anything that can be debated, anything that has sides, anything that you can have an opinion on (everything) – is relative to the opinion of the individual.
Here’s an allusion to my second idea about individualized opinions.
Anywho, there are two obvious opinions here – that the Crusades was a ‘justified’ thing to do, and that it was ‘unjustified’. Both have sides. However, as a Christian residing in the circumstances of the Crusades, one can be fairly certain of what you will support; as will it be with a Muslim of the same settings.
Because there are two separate opinions, and both of them are ‘justified’, how will you actually determine which one actually is ‘justice’?
In direct (and perhaps, a bit too anticipated) opposition to Runciman’s speech about ‘intolerance’, Pope Gregory VII has argued (over ten centuries ago) that it was ‘justified violence’.
But just how was it justified?
“I speak in the name of the entire German people when I assure the world that we all share the honest wish to eliminate the enmity that brings far more costs than any possible benefits… It would be a wonderful thing for all of humanity if both peoples would renounce force against each other forever. The German people are ready to make such a pledge.”
Adolf Hitler, October 1933
Since this essay is more about the present than the past, shall we begin the long walk forward? A definite controversial topic currently are the actions of Nazi Germany during World War II.
– The winning side determines the winning argument.
As Doflamingo has put (rather bluntly, if I may say so myself) out, whoever wins automatically becomes justice. Right now, by most (if not already all) of the populace, World War II was a terrible thing, forced by evil, racist, dictators who wanted nothing but to kill and corrupt.
However, was that all just ‘justified violence’?
Approximately 5.5 million German soldiers were killed – just about equal to the people who died in the Holocaust. More than 3.2 million German civilians were killed – and not part of the Holocaust, which means that most of them were killed by Allied soldiers.
That’s still 3,200,000 innocent people killed. Is that still alright?
Taking World War II is a rather extreme example, as more than 25 million other civilians were killed as well, so yes, I suppose it was justified.
However, what if you were in Germany during the war?
You’d be bombed almost daily by foreign soldiers without hope of escape. Wouldn’t you feel hate towards them? If Germany won the war, wouldn’t you think the Allies would get disgraced for their cruel mistreating of right and honest citizens?
“Waging war to eliminate war? You’re contradicting yourself!”
Kiefer Knolles (in reply to Refal Edia), the Legend of the Legendary Heroes
Let’s take another example from this war – the nuclear bombs. If they didn’t drop it, hundreds of thousands of civilians would have survived. If they didn’t drop it, possibly millions of military and civilians would perish in the forthcoming land-based assault as well. But we won’t know. For all we know, Japan might have surrendered before the first US troop set foot on the land.
– Other paths are unknown.
We don’t know that we’ve actually ‘saved’ lives. Maybe, if the Axis won, world peace would’ve been reached and there wouldn’t have been any more war, ever. Maybe, if the Holocaust hadn’t happened, some guy (who had been killed) might release a worldwide epidemic comparable or greater than that of the Black Death.
Thing is, we don’t know.
Thusly, we can’t /say/ that this was the lesser of two evils. We can generalize and say that this is /probably/ the lesser of two evils, but we will never know.
Which means, whether or not something really is ‘justified’ is impossible to determine – we can’t see whether it’s better or worse, because we only have one path to take.
I could steer this in the topic of fate being predetermined, but that’d be straying way off my intended path; let’s continue with…
“We can’t quite decide if the world is growing worse, or if the reporters are just working harder.”
the Houghton Line, November 1965
…media. Ever since the beginnings of logical thought and information processing, people needed some way to relay information outwards; generally towards the general (no pun intended) audience.
– The media distorts the winning argument.
Distorts sounds like a much more negative word than creates, doesn’t it?
Anywho, whilst the powerful rulers may create an argument, the media distorts it to as to make it more presentable for the populace. While the information may be “people accidentally eat poisonous Russian mushrooms and five people die shortly thereafter”, the media may choose to present it as “Russian mushroom kills five people”, causing subconscious sublimal messages evaluating that the mushrooms were poisoned by Russians, intentionally to kill people.
Everything can be opinionated. This essay is strongly opinionated, though I try my best to keep it neutral (that’s impossible though, unless it’s a report). Can you tell it’s opinionated? If you can, you’re smart. If you can’t; don’t worry, more than 5 billion other people can’t either (can’t say the same for the other billion).
After the winning argument is presented in a much more biased format, the populace can be coerced to agree with its terms as being righteous. After anything goes through the media, an intended result is almost always produced.
Anyways, let’s review: Everything has an argument. However, other paths are unknown, so the argument is always biased. The winning side creates the argument for the winning side, and the media further distorts it for the people.
By Sixten (Adrian Ferrer)
“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
Lord Henry, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Now, what’s actual morality? Let’s take this into a completely different analogy – manners. Aren’t they defined by humanity?
– Morality is defined by humanity.
Manners are something that all people are expected to have. Being polite, etc. However, even in contemporary society, it varies from country to country. Whereas a burp in Western society would have negative connotations, in China, it can be considered a sign of a good meal.
Are not manners and morality almost synonyms? Moral consequences of one society and another are completely different; showcasing that in all terms, morality is not strictly defined by anyone.
Because it does vary, it means that the morality is determined by the individual, the group, the collective society – by humanity.
Humanity determines morality; something immoral today might as well become common practice in the world of tomorrow.
“…of the people, by the people, for the people…”
Abraham Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address
Now, do you see? The information is now highly opinionated and densely riddled with bias. It’s impossible for the population to resist its justifiable urges. Morality is already being determined by humanity, so if all of humanity devours this bias…
– People determine justice.
After people have been fed a highly biased entry from the general media (Russian mushroom murderers!), they can be led to determine what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. From the entry, they can say that the Russian mushrooms are ‘wrong’, and with further distortion, that the Russians are ‘wrong’ and ‘immoral’.
Here’s where Noam Chomsky comes in. Read his books; he’s a self-defined militant Anti-Zionist strongly opposed to the United States and ‘counter-terrorism’ in Israel against the Palestinians.
Now, from his point of view, the United States are really the terrorists; killing thousands of innocent people just to kill one target, with no media consequences, whereas if that happened in the United States (9/11), even the repercussions would incite fear.
From our point of view, the Palestinians are the terrorists, with us (the US, even though I’m Canadian) being the innocent civilians caught in the cross-fire.
This obviously shows that the people determine what is right or wrong.
I conclude this essay here. Hopefully, all of my points have been fully, or at least extensively elaborated upon to deliver an accurate conclusion on the subject.
Needless to say, this has not been extensively researched, as time constraints would limit upon me. However, if public opinion desires, I will expand on this topic in many different directions in the future.
As a final summary: Everything has a side. The winning side will seem more ‘justified’, as the winning side will distort their won to be more biased, and seem more ‘right’. However, at the end, ‘justice’ is merely something determined by humanity, so if the winning side has more people convinced that their side is ‘right’, their side, as Doflamingo conjectured, becomes, justice.
– Justice is relative.