Officers need education
The military will make no headway in resolving the post-traumatic stress disorder issue until it starts reading the riot act to the officers who stifle anyone who tries to get treatment (Reach out for help, PM tells vets, Dec. 4).
As soon as someone asks for help, the captains, majors and lieutenant-colonels mark them as tainted meat and their careers are over. The chief of defence staff needs to start affecting the careers of these officers.
This is a long-standing tradition within the military of such sentiments as "buck up, be a man, there's nothing wrong with you," and, of course, "it's all in your head."
I know of personnel who have sought help outside the military to avoid the stigma that would be inflicted upon them. The other side is the help-providers must themselves be trained professionals.
Maybe we should get the cowards who send our young men to horrid wars to put themselves forward first. And anyone who would put someone else in to fight their own battle is exactly that, a coward.
What exactly did we achieve in the war in Afghanistan? My answer is nothing, except a ton of money spent and young lives screwed up just to appease the megalomaniac in the U.S. It was the Liberals who got us there, but do understand that the Conservatives wanted us to go to Iraq, too.
The wealthy and powerful of the world depend on young men to fight their battles, and they manage to disassociate themselves from any pain they have inflicted.
Bailing out the banks
Your Dec. 4 headline BMO Q4 'well below' analysts' expectations should have read "BMO fires 1,000 workers while making $1.1-billion profit for three months ending Q4."
The irony is that these same workers' taxes contributed to the roughly $17 billion BMO received from Canadian taxpayers and the U.S. Federal Reserve, as part of a $114-billion bailout for BMO, TD, Scotiabank, CIBC and RBC.
Further reported by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives was that the bailout exceeded the value of company shares for BMO, CIBC and Scotiabank.
Give me a chance. Hire me as the next president of a Canadian bank.
I would work a little cheaper than the others and I could raise user fees and lay off staff and look really good on the financial statements.
Then after a couple of years of doing that, I also could retire with a big, fat pension.
What has your bank done for you lately, without costing you an arm and a leg?
Skipping a calculation
Can you imagine if 38,600 minimum-wage earners in Manitoba were to suddenly get a 35 per cent pay raise, from $10.45 to $14.07 an hour? That's what Lynne Hernandez, a labour advocate proposes (Time for a living wage is here, Nov. 30).
Too bad she doesn't calculate how many businesses would raise their prices accordingly or just close their doors. Or maybe not bother to locate here in the first place.
An embarrassing mess
Re: Street blockade backed (Dec. 4). Before plans get too far along in planning for this new Walmart, why doesn't the province finally make the intersection at the Perimeter and Lagimodiere a proper and smooth-flowing interchange?
The absolute mess they have in there now is an embarrassment. To have to stop at two red lights when going west on the Perimeter is ridiculous.
The NDP has been talking about fixing that for years but has never actual done anything. I must hand it to them. They are masters at making funding announcements, but the follow-through leaves little to be desired.
Man of humour and style
Reading your Dec. 1 SundayExtra obituary on Cliff Chadderton (Longtime War Amps CEO dead at age 94) took me back to my teenage years. He was my father's boss, which involved the Army Benevolent Fund, and the first person I had met with a so-called disability. He made it seem insignificant.
Indeed, he treated it with the humour and style that showed him to be the kind of person to face it head-on. He never let it slow him down, and explained it with a raucous humour that showed when Tim, my younger brother by seven years, asked him directly about his missing foot.
My memory is that he described how he had been partly buried and another explosion took it off. He then proceeded to pull off his sock, gave Tim a ballpoint pen and let him draw toes on his white rubberized replacement.
Lie and lay of the land
The photo caption accompanying your Dec. 5 story Manitoba sees record crops reads, "Winter wheat lays under a giant tarp late last month."
Since I hauled the wheat there, I made sure that it lies under the tarp and not lays.
I was taught in school that wheat lies under a tarp, while chickens lay eggs in a nest.