Archives for October 20, 2019
A mari ad mare ad mare
The official motto of Canada is “a mari usque ad mare” – officially translated as “from sea to sea” although that is not a literal translation. In 2007, the premiers of Canada’s three territories called for amending the motto to “a mari ad mare ad mare” – meaning “from sea to sea to sea”. A poll found public support at three to one.
Having looked at the Arctic sovereignty issue in some detail I conclude that there is an undeniable threat to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and to Canadian sovereignty from Russia, China, and the USA, and that this threat could include military posturing, and that NATO cannot act, and that NORAD will not act, and that we are therefore alone in the de facto defence of our sovereignty, and that none of the Parties have the balls to solve this problem – and that is the question that I asked four weeks ago. The reason appears to be the expense of defending Canada. In other words, we would defend our country if we could afford to do so.
Don’t change the motto. Soon enough, Canada will only have two seas. Unless …
My name is Putin and I have just driven a spear into the butt of NATO – that part that hangs in the wind at the east end of the Mediterranean – and I am now the King Maker of the Middle East. What will I do next … Will I go over the top to Canada? Not while Trump is facing trial. Will I press further into the Ukraine or Syria or environs? Maybe, but not until I can get Turkey out of NATO. Besides, if all I have to do is give Erdogan a few missiles – eventually a few planes – and a little encouragement to keep my south flank in turmoil and have the USA take their nukes home, that’s as good as it can get right now.
I am going into Belarus.
As a founding member of the Soviet Union, a founding member of the UN, a member of CIS (ten former members of the Soviet Union), a supranational partner in a Union State with Russia already, having a falling GDP with unchecked inflation, a state-controlled industrial base, and an army that was formed from my Soviet troops who were stationed there at the time of independence, Belarus is low-hanging fruit. The fact that the four most important relationships that Belarus has are Russia, the Ukraine, Syria, and China, and the fact that Belarus lost land to Poland and to Lithuania in the recent past, help immensely. My going into Belarus is like going to my cousin’s dacha for an extended stay.
But, best of all, it would force NATO to deal with two threats – one north, one south – simultaneously, and both at the extremities, while I get to remain on interior lines. Since Belarus is not a NATO member, how committed would NATO be to actually resist me? I can open the Arctic front later, forcing NATO to spread even thinner, and still remain on interior lines. I’ll leave Finland alone – they are their own worst enemy. From this new position, I can chew on Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia at my leisure. “The Kaliningrad Question” is finally settled and the potential missile threat evaporates.
Is there any unfinished business? Odds and ends: Overtures of industrial investment and Arctic cooperation to the new Canadian minority government, an improved relationship with China, support to Trump’s survival and re-election, and – in time – see that the US withdraws from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Soviet Union returns, the West weakens, the East comes closer, and the Arctic ripens.
All is good.
We have discussed the topic of needing people to step up and be a volunteer in the community. I noticed commercials on the TV network MSNBC promoting the concept. It is almost as basic as reintroducing people to cloths lines in the backyard.
Yes the society has changed and people are described as me first, but there are things we can do to promote the importance of being part of a community. That is what being a volunteer is, being part of the community. We can extol the virtues but if we don’t address the pitfalls we will just spin our wheels.
First we should understand, not every slight or mishap needs to be an insurance claim or lawsuit. We as part of the community must understand, there are a few negative people that can find a problem for every solution. Listen to the downers – then carry on. A fear of being sued or accused of something is playing a roll in decreased participation a sad comment on society
In the realm of sports there are good people who want to coach or referee or even sit on the main decision board of the association. Why don’t they? All too often they have to put up with the slings and arrows of parents and adults who think the games revolve around them and not the children playing the game. When adults undermine the referee and the coaches they are really undermining their own parenting skills. These actions teach the kids being ignorant is a virtue. Then as adults we question in public why some kids are rude and disrespectful.
Volunteers are needed in communities whether it is caring for home bound seniors, or helping with troubled youth or being a big brother or sister. There are all kinds of needs in communities everywhere. When adults become involved with community programs such as Boy Scouts, sports or other activities you are also introducing the concept of respect and teamwork.
The schools have for the last several years taught community service in the later grades as part of the education process. I do believe we could start much earlier and instill a sense of community pride in the elementary grades. Find projects that are age suitable to introduce the concept. It would teach the understanding the world was here before their arrival.
Oliver and surrounding area is a community that can already be proud of its achievements. Daily I read the pages of the Oliver Daily News and I am reminded of the level of community activity from theater productions to service clubs. What I am pointing out is how much more could be done with more hands to share the load. Autumn is the best season to become involved with anything from the Poppy Campaign to Christmas Hampers, or to serve a longer term need.