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Reality bites

A look across the pond shows us how lucky we really are

If you’d like the last little while summarized perfectly, look no further than Dee Snider.

The former frontman and lead singer for ’80s hair metal band Twister Sister recently endorsed the use of his band’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” anthem for the people of Ukraine in their war against Russia. 

He did not provide such an endorsement when asked earlier by anti-maskers.

When asked why, he said, “Well, one use is for a righteous battle against oppression. The other is an infantile foot stomping against oppression.”

Amen, Dee. 

There’s no doubt that, for many of us, the last two years has been the most exhausting period in our lives. We’re tired of COVID-19 but for the vast majority of us—about nine out of every 10 Manitobans—are at our wit’s end with the all-too-vocal minority of science deniers/health experts whose only common trait seems to be their lack of a medical degree.

It took way too long to rid Winnipeg of the “trucker” protests in February. (Note to protesters: Just because you own an F-150 doesn’t make you a trucker.) And did anybody else notice that this group of Confederate and Nazi flag-wavers/ZZ Top and Duck Dynasty wannabes was almost exclusively white and male?

They’ve shown that not only do they not understand science, but they also probably failed history, too.

Do you think that by watching coverage of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine that they’ll realize that tyranny isn’t having to wear a mask when you go to Boston Pizza?

Tyranny is dictators ordering airstrikes on apartment buildings, forcing residents to sleep in underground subway stations.

And freedom fighters are not only the Ukrainian soldiers standing up to the Russian army, but also the newly armed teachers, lawyers and electricians who are lining up to fight alongside them.

And how about Svyatik Artemenko? Born in Ukraine, the former goaltender with Winnipeg’s Valour FC arrived in Khmelnytskyi in late January for a tryout with FC Podylla, a professional soccer team in Ukraine’s second division. He was told he made the team the day before the Russian invasion started.

He immediately put his soccer career on hold and enlisted in the Ukrainian army.

“I came here for soccer but soccer’s cancelled due to the war, so I want to get back on that football pitch here and the only way to do it is to end the war,” Artemenko told the CBC. 

So, we need to give our heads a shake here and appreciate how lucky we are that we live in Canada. If you set up a hot tub as part of a protest in many other countries, it would be blown up before you’d dipped a toe in.

(Note to protesters calling for overthrowing the federal Liberal government: We just had an election in September. Trudeau won a minority. Your chance to vote him out will be in the NEXT election. That’s how it works.)

Our institutions are instrumental in providing our way of life—a way of life that is envied around the world—so we need to uphold our democratic values and principles. 

Because without them, our quality of life would suffer immeasurably. We’ve got it good here—make that great—let’s start acting like it.

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