Real world lessons for students

On Thursday, November 10th in downtown Montreal, thousands of loud students marched the streets blocking rush hour traffic in protest against proposed $325 tuition hikes for the next 5 years, despite the fact that currently, Quebec is home to the lowest tuition fees in North America (by far), and will remain close to the bottom even after the hikes.

The protesters had their say today. Now I get mine.

Dear student protestors: Your hypocrisy disgusts me. You pretend that tuition hikes will “prevent access to education” and then form picket lines at your school to prevent your fellow students from having access to their education.

Worse, if your education means as much to you as you claim, why did you skip school today?

If my employer had not made other plans for me, I had planned on being at the protest carrying a sign that would have simply said : Tuition before iPhones, beer and cigarettes. Student protesters, your misplaced priorities disgust me. If you can afford a smartphone (and its monthly plans); if you go out drinking at least twice a month; if you buy a coffee every day; if you are a smoker (!!!), if you have gone away for Spring Break – anywhere – then you can afford tuition. Tuition first, then luxuries. Smarten up!

If you want a free ride, earn it through hard work and get a scholarship. Do not expect the public to continue paying your way to the detriment of our education system. I didn’t take university as seriously as I might have, but at least I didn’t expect you to pay for my bad habits. If you want to be a hypocrite, have your priorities backwards, or act like an entitled, spoiled brat, do it on your own dime.

Stop the drama and get back to class. It’s time to pay your fair share. This is the real world. You would be wise to start preparing for it.


Turkey: Global hypocrites

I am absolutely blown away by the hypocrisy – world edition.

Let’s recap, quickly, for those who missed it. In 2010, the Mavi Marmara ship was purchased by IHH, a Turkish terrorist organization. In May, it set out to breach Israel’s blockade of the waters around Gaza, designed to prevent weapons smuggling, subsequently and indiscriminately used by Palestinian terrorists against Israeli cities and citizens. (For the record, the recent United Nations Palmer report validates the LEGALITY of this blockade.) Despite numerous warnings to stop their advance toward the blockade, the Mavi Marmara continued on its path, with provocation and aggression. The Israeli Defense Forces navy boarded the vessel and were attacked. They responded with rubber bullets and gunfire. In all, 9 IHH terrorists were killed. Turkey tried to convince the world that this ship was full of “peace activists”. The evidence on board tells a different story – that there were in fact peace activists on board, but that they were secluded in a part of the ship, away from the IHH who were controlling the operations.

Fast forward to a few days ago. The United Nations releases a report confirming that the blockade is legal. Israel announces, once again, that it regrets the loss of life but refuses to apologize for defending its borders, its citizens, and its freedom. Turkey responds by banishing the Israeli ambassador from Turkey, cutting diplomatic ties and severing contracts with Israel.

Now you’re up to date. Ready for the hypocrisy? It’s insane.

Turkey blasts Israel for killing 9 IHH terrorists while enforcing a legal naval blockade to prevent arms smuggling. Meanwhile, Turkey is guilty of a massive Armenian genocide (1,500,000 killed!) for which they refuse to acknowledge, let alone apologize for – because an apology would require compensating families! This same Turkey is responsible for the ethnic cleansing of its Kurdish population. Why? Because both groups were of a different ethnic background.

Armenians and Kurds weren’t lobbing rockets on their towns; they were just living.

Then, Turkey “demands” that Israel stop an “occupation” of Gaza and the West Bank that isn’t an occupation at all. Sure, the borders are tightly controlled, but wouldn’t you control your borders diligently and strictly if, in the past, people who swore to destroy you crossed these borders with bombs strapped to themselves and blew themselves up in crowds of your people just riding the bus, shopping at a mall, or having pizza with their family? Damn right you would do the same thing. To claim otherwise would be a boldfaced lie.

Occupation? What occupation? Israel unilaterally withdrew all forces AND EVEN FORCED ISRAELI FAMILIES from the entire territory known as Gaza – in a show of good faith. What did Gazans do in response? They burned and destroyed multimillion dollar infrastructure that would support their people (greenhouses, roadways and more..), set up new rocket building facilities and arms smuggling tunnels from Egypt, resumed firing onto Israeli towns and people, and elected a terrorist government. The truth is that Gazans are free to live under their own control. Period. Meanwhile, Turkey still *occupies* Northern Cyprus, despite UN condemnation.

Somehow, the world listens to Turkey’s side. This is like someone yelling at you to stop yelling. This is like someone telling you to “stop f**king swearing”. Except it’s worse. Much worse. This kind of hypocrisy leads to war, death, hostility, and global hatred that lasts for generations. And not only do people let it happen, they encourage it: actively by spreading lies, and passively by not countering them with the same passion that is used to spread them.

Are we seriously going to sit around and just let this happen? The war is being fought in the forum of public opinion, and the terrorists, racists, and propagandists are winning because of age-old prejudices. People like to hate on the Jews for countless made-up reasons that all reach back to plain, simple, inexcusable intolerance. We are supposed to be smarter today than we were yesterday. We are supposed to learn from past mistakes, not rationalize them. We are supposed to be working for a world of peace for tomorrow, not holding onto garbage from yesterday.

If you are committed to seeing peace take hold, I ask that you take one specific action today: stop being silent. Stop expecting someone else to take care of the problem. We live in a world that runs on communication. Those who are effective in communicating get their messages out and, because most people believe what they hear without much (if any) critical thought, these false messages propagate, multiply, and take over. If you are committed to seeing peace win the day, spread the truth to counter the lies. Spread the love to counter the hate.

Instead of just moving onto your next task for the day, do something to help the cause. Spread this blog.( On Facebook, on Twitter, spread the word of truth and love better than the other side spreads their lies and hatred. Share comments. Your involvement will encourage others to get involved.

I am committed to a world of truth, peace, and possibility. I am committed to being truthful about the facts and calling my opinions as they are, and most importantly, differentiating clearly between the two. We can make a great team, together. Will you help me?