A Letter for Mr. Harper

Here’s a letter I wrote for Stephen Harper about the time he shut down the flag at half mast for returning vets. I don’t think I ever sent it to him. Maybe you could pass it along.

Dear Mr. Harper.

I read the papers, listen to the news and think a little. This sometimes gets me into trouble but generally helps make life interesting.
An observation I made the other day is that we as Canadians will soon quietly become extinct as we transform into Americans. This is not because we are losing our culture but because of our culture. We have been trained to be a fairly meek society and go with the flow. Unfortunately, the flow is taking us to a place where a lot of us don’t want to go! Take our peace keeping forces. Yes I know it wasn’t protocol during the Wars and the Korean conflict but for the past couple of years we lowered our flags when one of our own was killed in action. This was a rarity, something like 16 times during the last 5 or 6 years. We can expect the numbers to change and to ensure that the flags are NOT kept permanently at half mast, the Harper government has decreed that they shall only be lowered on Remembrance day.

Another thing that has been in the news a lot is the idea that there will not be enough money in the Canada Pension Plan for us baby boomers when we retire. Here again it looks like we have listened to lessons from the past and are implementing them now. When the economy goes into a slump the best way out is to create a war. Worked in 1914, again in 1939 and seems to be working fine now. Folks are busy either making bombs or getting killed. At least they’re doing something. On the other hand, the kids coming home in body bags are not adding to the Pension Plan coffers. This may help forty years down the road when they are not there to collect but we need their tax money now! What to do?

Again in the news, “The Grey Parade is marching” Yes the old folks have problems. We have worked for years building this society and now taxes are increasing so that a number of us cannot afford to live in our houses due to rising taxes. We are retiring at record rates. Worked all our lives and suddenly we don’t know what to do. A good share of us have actually looked after ourselves so we aren’t likely to kick off any time soon. This creates more demand for services and support. Some of us drive large motor homes or pull trailers, most of us still drive. Some of us would like to travel but insurance companies have killed that idea. Insurance companies like to make money and if anything bad happens, they don’t make money so they make restrictions tight enough that they stifle any thoughts of seniors traveling. No travel unless the seniors are extremely wealthy, senile or both! Also, we are constantly reminded that our time is short and we should buy our plots, headstones and services now so we don’t burden our children. (I’ll get right on that- kids) Yes being a senior these days certainly has some challenges.

Welfare recipients. Another group that gets more than it’s fair share of coverage. They tend to make a lot of use of the Health Care system. Some have mental difficulties but a lot simply don’t know what to do because they have never had the experience of seeing life lived as it should be. They came from welfare families and will raise welfare families. The circle continues.

Prisons are in the news a lot. They cost a lot to maintain. They take money away from our Canada Pension Plan. The inmates do not like the way they are treated in prison. They have lost the right to smoke. What next? Will they loose their TV’s and movies? Will they also loose the right to conjugate sex? Yes things are tough! Currently when someone gets a ten year sentence they get out after five years and go straight back to society. You’d think there would be some way we could ease them back into the population. (remember this thought)

Now previously I mentioned that I think a little. Well Mr. Harper, I have a plan for you. Let’s rethink this whole war effort!
You need to support the Americans or I mean the Iraqi and Afghan people. You need to help protect the oil supply, oops excuse me, the way of life of the mid east countries. We’ll start with that as a given!
Next, It’s not really good PR or all that good for the economy to have kids arriving home in bags and boxes. There are a few of groups of people that could replace the kids. Yes, I’m talking of the Welfare addicts (we’ll call them Poverts), Parolees and Pensioners. Lets look at the costs and benefits of this for all parties involved.

Poverts requirements:
Need a sense of worth
Sense of giving back to the community
Need a living
Exercise is good
Health care
Structure and direction in their lives

Parolee requirements:
Need a sense of worth
Sense of giving back to the community
Need a living
Exercise is good
Health care
Structure and direction in their lives
Moral instruction

Pensioner requirements:
Need a sense of worth
Sense of giving back to the community
Need a living
Exercise is good
Health care
Ability to travel & see the world
Assistance in daily living
Ability to use life skills
Funeral and burial services

Young Adult requirements:
Need to procreate
Need to Create
Need to consume
Need to learn
Need to work
Need to plan
Need to live

As we can see by the above examples, Three of these groups of people have very similar requirements while the other is very different. The current situation takes the unlike group, youth and sends them off to war to get maimed and die while the other groups of which there are clearly a greater number of; sit back in the easy chair, watch the proceedings and worry about where their future help will come from. Most are too old to pro-create without scientific help, so therefore, the only ones left to re-build society are the deviants that are left.

Now, lets look at what the forces provide:
Sense of worth
Opportunity to drive light & heavy equipment
Opportunity to use strategic skills earned in the business world
Health care
Burial and memorial services
Ability to help those less fortunate

Remember all those “match the items in the two columns” exercises we did in grade two. Well you do the math! It looks to me like there are a few perfect fits and almost none involve youth!

In the old days war was fought by kids with spears, bows, guns and swords. In those days, you had to be agile, fast and young to have a chance to survive during the rigours of war. Things are different now. Now we drive tanks, armoured vehicles, jets and ships and need the ability to push a button. Even if you get shot down, you still only need the basic ability to push the eject button and dream. It’s not like you can do much more until you hit the desert. Somehow the generals think that kids are the only ones agile enough to have this ability. Personally I’d welcome the chance to get out there and join the army. I’ve got a few frustrations I’d like to deal with! I used to hunt fish and trap. Most of our delicate Disney society sort of frowns on that now. The army might give me a chance to relive those days and brush off some of the skills I learned back then. It would certainly let me forget that I am retired!
Although my marriage is perfect, I can see where this would be an opportune time for some to get away from the daily drudgery of watching old movies on TV and walking Fifi up and down the same brown stained bit of boulevard. Of hearing the same tired comments from the same tired mind about the same overwhelming minuscule problems. Who knows, going off to war, (er peace keeping) might even stir her up to knit some toques and write some letters or something!

And the economy! The youth would all be working, The Poverts would be doing meaningful work, The pensioners would be living and dying same as now but the living and dying would both probably be much better. The Parolees would be learning how society really works and if they didn’t make it, such is life. The youth would feel much safer knowing that the parolees are occupied with staying alive! Society would have a sense of progress and vitality again.

The forces, how would they handle the shift in demographics? Well lets see. Probably not so many antibiotics and condoms required but probably a few more cases of depends. The generals would probably need to plan a little so that the more youthful did the heavier tasks like setting up camp, changing tires etc. Some of the equipment would need to be retrofitted with piss tubes and porta-potties. Seats would need to be a little more comfortable. Maybe some corrective lenses in the optical displays. Casualties would definitely be higher but probably not if you include the lower death rate at home. Entertainment may have to be re-visited. Training would have to be adjusted.
Rather than a drain on the economy, the forces may actually enhance the economy by providing necessary services to a portion of the society that the government already supports. I can envision a future where the military forces could become a mercenary peace keeping force where they are paid by other countries to police radical areas of the world. This in turn would enhance the home economy to the point where the youth might only have to work a two or three day work week and could spend the rest of their time in activities of recreation and consumption! We have done a lot for our kids in the past but this will be the ultimate support of our kids. And yes, some of us will return home in body bags and yes, unfortunately our children will be burdened with the task of burying us before they cash the estate cheques!

So here Mr. Harper is the rough draft! You have the chance, should you wish, of creating utopia where all members of society are treasured and rewarded for what they do. You can do this without selling out, but by getting our buy in. To get our buy in, you must help create an environment that will support the arts! You must allow free speech and freedom of assembly! You must ensure that all people are allowed to peacefully celebrate their beliefs! You must create an atmosphere where hate is not tolerated! You must enable us to create a culture worth protecting! You must have a celebration of life anytime one of us is killed protecting our way of life!

Kindest regards
Frank Peters


  1. Joe Borkoski says:

    you’re a fucking genius! Tanks a lot!

  2. Lisa P-S says:

    Dear Dad

    F*%king brilliant! Well said!

    Love your Daughter & Son In-law

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