It might seem tedious to keep harping on this year after year, but frankly I think giving up smoking after 35 years of slavery to the habit was the smartest and bravest thing I ever did. And I know for a dead certainty that I would not be here writing this today if I had continued smoking the way I did. So I’ll keep celebrating my freedom, year after year!
And this year is even more special as I have joined a very select few having the chance to clean up their COPD with an experimental treatment that involves scrubbing the lungs, under general anaesthetic, with liquid nitrogen. I had the first of three treatments 10 days ago and already feel my breathing is somewhat easier. By the beginning of November I will have had all three procedures and then we will see. I have high hopes. And it makes those 21 years of denial all the more worthwhile.
On 9/11 in 1973, the US financed and helped plan the military overthrow of the legally elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile.
During the military assault, the President died (assassinated or committed suicide to avoid capture) and over the next few years of the vicious and inhuman dictatorship of US-supported Pinochet, several thousand Chileans were imprisoned, tortured, and killed.
What happened in New York on this day 28 years later was also vicious and inhuman. However, it is about time for some reconciliation and regret for the war crimes the US has committed. If any US network or major media even mentions the Chilean anniversary during what will almost certainly be today’s spasm of Trump-like breast-beating, that would be a tiny start.
Millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars have and will continue to be spent celebrating the 150th birthday of Canada. While I love this country and am proud to be a Canadian, it is simply nonsense to suggest — as this “birthday” suggests — that the ten thousand plus years of history of occupation of the land we call Canada somehow doesn’t exist or, perhaps even worse, is less important than the 150 years of white Canada that followed.
Most of the last 150 years have been filled with paternalistic and often violent colonialism directed at the people who lived here and created successful societies for more than ten thousand years. Even today, as we spend half a billion dollars patting ourselves on the back, hundreds and hundreds of First Nations’ communities are forced to survive without clean water.
We are resourceful Canadians: we can have ourselves a great time without the government expending all this treasure. We would truly have shown ourselves to be a great country if we had devoted that money (and much more) to cleaning up the mess we have created for the original peoples of this territory.