January 20, 2016

The man who was shot for stealing a toothbrush

Tim BallRebel Columnist

I am tired of people in developed countries complaining about anything.

Sure, there are problems, but most of them are created and exploited by doomsayers with political agendas who claim they want to save the planet. As H.L. Mencken said:

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve.

I am tired of eco-bullies who create false problems to impose their will. They fail to serve or contribute anything positive from their urban and academic armchairs while taking the money of those who do.
Humans are the most successful of all species by Darwin’s definition, yet the eco-bullies, who believe in Darwin over God, say we are a failure. 

In every country in the world people are living longer and in better health than ever before. So many complaints are put in perspective when defined as “first world problems.” 

These eco-bullies impose their green agenda on countries that would love to have such problems. Paul Driessen calls the practice Eco-Imperialism.

At the recent Paris climate conference, India put things in perspective. They said, You ask us to stop development to forego what the US and other countries achieved. The basis of your request is false climate science using computer models wrong on every single forecast. Our priority is higher because many of our people starve and live in poverty, which is completely unnecessary.

In Canada, like the developed world everywhere, we suffer from the complacency of superabundance; the surfeit of food, goods, and services that is unparalleled in history. 

North Americans spend less than 15 percent of their disposable income on food, the lowest percentage ever and anywhere, yet people complain about the prices.

Recently a good friend passed away at 92. He is the last of that generation who lived through the Depression and the Second World War (WWII). Like most who were directly and deeply involved he would not talk about his war experience. He talked with me because of my Air Force experience and interest in the tactical and military aspects. He flew fighter aircraft out of Gibraltar and North Africa in the defense of Malta, some of the most dangerous combat conditions of the War.

Likewise, a retired Manitoba judge attended a course I taught, and I learned about his experience at Ypres and Passchendaele in the First World War (WWI). He would not talk about it except when persuaded by an issue I raised in one lecture.

It was about situations impossible to imagine – that unless you experienced it, you could not put yourself in the circumstance. One example was of a soldier in a WWI trench looking out at no-mans land and knowing the death rate of those who went "over the top." I said they would never get me out of the trench. I would bury myself so deep in the mud they would never find me.

The judge brought an essay to the next class that he wrote for his grandchildren.

He described what it was like so they might understand. He told me about a man shot for stealing a toothbrush as the officers tried to maintain the blind obedience necessary to get someone to leave the trench. He explained the life expectancy of officers was as low as three days for some periods of the battles because they were required to get out behind the trench to shoot anyone who would not leave. What he didn’t realize was that he never referred directly to death in the document except by a euphemism in the jargon of the day, such as “Bysey-bye” or “Ta-ta for now.”

People, who lived through those times, only speak about “the good old days” in the context of perspective, values, and morality. As a Commissioner on a hearing in Northern Manitoba, an aboriginal elder made exactly this point. She said they were not “the good old days” except in the level of appreciation for small mercies. The challenge is to make the next generation understand when they can’t imagine and don’t believe depression and war could happen again.

I watched an interview in the 1970s with a university student at a protest rally. He complained about the lack of excitement in his life. When asked to explain, he couldn’t. After some thought, he said older people had excitement in their lives like the Depression and the Second World War. Obviously, he had no knowledge of those events and the impact on people. Partly because those who went through those events rarely talk about them but also because the lessons fade with time. Then they were covered and masked by the complacency of superabundance.

Eric Bogle wrote a very moving song about the fade following Gallipoli, a disastrous battle of WWI. The song, sung so well by Canadian John McDermott, speaks to the futility of war.

However, it also talks about how it fades into history as the people who experienced its futility die, and new generations are unable to relate. Sadly, the new generation can’t believe and, therefore, are unable to see the signs masked by the complacency that will lead to another failure and more conflict.

What they don’t realize is that leadership is harder in good times. You have to prepare for the inevitable bad times, but few want to know. The recent Canadian election was an example. Now the debt passes $1.4 trillion as we try to perpetuate the complacency of superabundance and demonstrate that we don’t and can’t learn from history after defining generations’ die.



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commented 2016-01-21 12:40:22 -0500
There is definitely some perspective needed for the last couple of generations…
My parents were born and raised in the depression – that’ll be The Great Depression – my grandparents in the early part of the 20th century – my great grand parents in the late 1800’s – all of whom I knew and who influenced me – I have perspective – even though I was born and raised in the affluent 50’s.
Given what has been happening and what is happening today – it looks certain there will be a big change in perspective for people coming – and more’s the pity – but I guess that upheavals and suffering is what it takes to give people perspective…I hope we survive it.
commented 2016-01-21 11:29:52 -0500
The 15% spent on food is nonsense for an average north American these days ,,,,,,,,,,it’s more like 25-30 % and it is a fact ,,,,so to clam otherwise is just it’s just incorrect on so
many levels but the rest of the story still stands …….
commented 2016-01-20 22:17:54 -0500
What are they teaching kids in school these days? There should be a heavy dose of Canadian history to include accomplishments in building this country from the beginning to the present day. There are several significant events happened such as the war of 1812 and building a railway from the east to west coast. Just as important would be to include the ugly truth such as our first Prime Minister John A MacDonald was an alcoholic and a slave owner. Dr Tim Ball hit it on the head though when he mentioned the suffering of these courageous soldiers and the ugly reality of world war. The fact that someone would be shot because of stealing a tooth brush has to leave an impression on students. If schools would emphasize our history, good and bad, maybe it would bring us together and make our students more aware of what this country is all about. Remembrance Day would actually mean something to our students instead of a day off.
commented 2016-01-20 14:56:21 -0500
Right on Peter, just look at Flint Michigan with their toxic water problems.
I listen to a radio interview from the US where the expert had mentioned that there is some infrastructure as old as the civil war that brings water into towns. Mind boggling!!!!!!
commented 2016-01-20 12:42:29 -0500
There is an awful lot of pollution in many areas of the world. Real pollution such as waste dumps and toxic chemicals and raw sewage dumped into the rivers, seas and oceans.

CO2, however, is not one of those pollutants but the mega billions that go into solving this damn fake CO2 anthropocentric climate change bullshit is taking away from solving the real issues of pollution.

A couple of billion could go a long ways to building recycling and waste management facilities in some of these hugely polluted areas in third world countries, and that couple billion would only be a proverbial drop in the bucket to how many billions are wasted in this anthropocentric climate change lie.

If we took all the money that goes into the anthropocentric climate change crap and applied it to real issues, that would make a serious dent.

That’s my 2 cents worth.