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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sack up


Almost a month since I’ve posted and the world continues to turn. Who’d have believed it possible? I guess the movers and shakers of the globe have managed to find their way without my sarcastic or pithy advice. Well, here’s some more of the same…
Sack up and take the blame when it’s your fault. I’m talking to you, Government of Canada (or, as you prefer to be called, the Harper Government. All hail our Supreme Overlord, the Big Giant Head.)
Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur for food, visited Canada, studied us, and found us lacking. To paraphrase, it’s unacceptable to have the citizens of a developed nation scrambling just to feed themselves properly. We have “more than 800 000 households who are considered food insecure.” Sure, our streets aren’t filled with starving masses, but we have a lot of people who can’t guarantee their next meal is coming.Two to three million people, he says, who can’t afford the diets they need to live healthy lives.

Speaking as a fellow who gets upset if supper is an hour late, I can’t imagine what that’s like. Kids go to school hungry, so they can’t focus, learn less, end up dropping out to snatch up dead-end jobs, and perpetuate the cycle. Parents buy cheap, poor-quality food that tallies up calories but leaves vital health requirements out. You can’t live on pasta alone, my friends, at least, not with any sense of long-term health. I haven’t read De Schutter’s entire report, but I have no doubt whatsoever that his critiques are valid. Even if his numbers are wrong, can anyone doubt we have poor, underfed people in this country?
And it is unacceptable. Unacceptable and unnecessary. The government was very quick to launch their own counter-attack. How dare they! Come into our house and criticize the way we choose to starve our children? The nerve! What do they have to say?
#1: Canada spends billions of dollars on food aid to developing countries.
So what? To put this into small-scale, I think a parent that let’s his own children go hungry so that he can give his money to charity is criminally negligent. Being nice in one way doesn’t give you “karma points” to be cruel in another.
#2: It’s a waste of the UN’s time to visit developed nations.
Even if they hadn’t found anything wrong, that wouldn’t be true. Developed nations aren’t perfect, and we help define the way the world works. Everyone needs to be accountable. Yes, there are more starving people in India than Canada, but does that mean we should just let ours fade away and die? Isn’t it worse to have the means to feed our people and just not bother?
#3: We give money to the UN, so don’t lecture us.
It’s the UNITED NATIONS, you idiots. In theory, every country should belong. Using your logic, who can they lecture? If you give the UN a buck, does that make you above it’s scrutiny or policies? Contributing to the UN is an effort to make the world a better place, not a freaking bribe or hush-money.
Obviously, our hungry 10% aren’t the fault of Harper and the current regime. De Schutter wasn’t claiming that, anyway. All he was saying was, “Here’s a problem, you have the power to fix it, so fix it.” Pretty simple. Instead, Harper’s cronies went on the aggressive. They could have said “It’s terrible, thank you for your analysis, we’ll look into it” and done nothing. Instead they got their panties in a collective bunch and acted like they were on trial for their lives.
What I want from this government (ANY government) is to just show some backbone. Admit we have problems and try to fix them. Hell, leave the problems alone (they’d probably only screw it up anyway), but at least have the guts to confess the truth.
The sky’s blue, boys and girls. Blue. Quit saying it’s yellow.