Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day / Veterans Day

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month this year, I found myself in the DC Metro system. It wasn't a very memorial occasion, but I paused for two minutes of silence anyway. I tried to appreciate the vast contribution made by boys and men who have fought in the front lines of the wars in the last century.

I was ignored by all those around me. Veterans Day has little emotional meaning for most Americans, and Remembrance Day has almost as little impact for most Canadians.

It's understandable I suppose. It might all seem quite removed. Some people don't even like to honour the contributions of soldiers, as it seems like war-mongering to them. I respectfully disagree.

So long as there are dictators and greed, so long as their is nationalistic fervor, so long as their is religious hatred, there will be people who want to make war and do evil. There need to be good people there to stop them. I thank those who have done it in the past, making our future possible.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

US: Give Obama a break

Senator Obama's victory as President-Elect this week was stirring, dramatic, and as a symbol of change in this country, long overdue. Naturally, he is getting all kinds of advice about what he should do now. I have a little piece of advice too.

Go on a vacation.

Obama has been campaigning almost continuously for two years straight. He's got to be exhausted.

Very soon, this man will have responsibility over the nuclear codes. He will have responsbility for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He will have try to rescue the American economy from an incredible mess. He needs to craft smart policies on climate change, energy independence, health care, and social security. This is a man who needs to be well rested.

I'm not saying he needs to take as much vacation as the current President. But look, JFK took six weeks off after his campaign, and it was far shorter and less demanding than Obama's. A week in the sun wouldn't be too much to ask.

Give the man a break.