A fabulous memento of a Canadian civilian Officer Cadet J Bowes, who volunteered to serve his country in a time of need, as a member of the Royal Flying Corps during World War I.
Peaked forage caps notwithstanding, wedge caps were still common during World War I, especially among pilots of the RFC, badge below.
The white flash on Cadet Bowes' wedge cap signifies a cadet pilot, either one who was in training, until he reached the age he could legally enlist, or a rating who was seeking to move up to officer status.
Judging from his teenage looks, Bowes had not enlisted previously as anything else and was seeking to start his military career as a trainee pilot in the RFC.
Support for this is that, on the back, his mother Mrs. Bowes is noted as paying to have his picture framed this way.
Hopefully it was not in his memory, as RFC pilots did not last very long.
Canada had no Air Force at the time so Canadians who wanted to fly had to join the British Royal Flying Corps. Below a Canadian RFC recruiting poster.
Prime Minister Lester B Pearson (1897-1972)
One who joined the RFC, during World War I, was later Liberal Canadian Prime Minister Lester B Pearson, who had already volunteered, and served three years in various theatres of war (since the age of 17), when he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.
His flying instructor told him his name, Lester, was too sissy for an airman and insisted on calling him "Mike" instead, probably in homage - and jest - to famous British air ace Mike Mannock. ("Mike" was injured in a crash during his first flight after which he was sensibly relegated to being a flying instructor...)
For the rest of his life his friends called him Mike, but the self-confident future Canadian Prime Minister stuck to using Lester.
Lester Pearson, better than any other Prime Minister, exemplified the best of the Canadian persona during the 20th century.
He was tough enough to sign up for active war service as a teenager, when his country called - unlike the notorious American war service shirkers John Wayne and Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush, and all their daughters...
But later in life Lester was equally resolute in being a sissy to take a principled stand for international peacekeeping - not war mongering - as the central role for Canada in the world during the 20th century, which a predecessor, Liberal Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier had already hailed as "Canada's Century."
Unlike leading pop cult figures Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Bruce Willis, and top Canadian General Hillier, all of whom subscribe to Chairman Mao's dictum that power comes from the end of a gun, Lester believed civilized debate is infinitely more preferable, and more successful most of the time, to solve social and political problems between men of different races, colours, and creeds. Quite the opposite to these men all of whom have careers that are defined by using violence to make social change and wipe out undesirables.
Their legacies are the piles of corpses they leave behind, make-believe for the actors (though they have inspired countless schoolyard and college executioners in the US), but for the General, real bodies of men, women, and children in Afghanistan, and scores of wasted lives of young Canadian Forces personnel.
No Canadian young service personnel died on Mike's watch. Quite the contrary, Mike helped found the United Nations and NATO as stabilizing forces, and brokered the peace that ended the Suez War of 1956.
It's a good thing Mike is dead.
He would have been appalled to see NATO, which he saw as a countervailing force for peace in Europe - white Christian European soldiers standing guard over their home turf - actively exporting violence - for the first time in history - by sending shooting soldiers to conduct war outside Europe, specifically targetting non-white, non-Christian peoples.
(The Suez War, incidentally, was the precursor of things to come, with the white Judaeo-Christian alliance - Britain, France, Israel - attacking the non-white Muslim "hordes" of the Middle East - Egypt that time - because they controlled economic assets (the Suez Canal Zone that time) which the whites wanted. It should be clear to non-white peoples of the world that the so-called civilized and Christian nations don't have the slightest compunction from attacking any of them to get any economic advantages their industrial elites want. Though, in future, these would learn to spin their greed better, loudly bilboarding their war machines, instead, of being in a fight against terrorists, veils, burqas, Muslim religious extremists etc. But mind you, only in countries close to those oil reserves...)
Lester was the finest international statesman Canada ever produced.
Lester Pearson's role in ending the Suez conflict would win him Canada's only Nobel Peace Prize, and the respect of the World, a hallowed honour no present or waiting-in-the-wings Prime Minister of Canada has a hope of achieving.
Hell, OK we admit it, they're not even interested... Pleasing the American military industrial complex offers far too many benefits.
Besides the United Nations has become widely reviled, by the same group, as just too full of Black, Brown, and Yellow faces who vote the wrong way all the time - not at all like the good old days of the 1940s and 50s when the white guys ran the world the way they liked... and the non-whites were too cowed to protest...
Thanks to these regressive interests, Canada, in the 21st century, is well on the way to entrenching the same kind of xenophobic foreign policy - targeting non-white, non-Christian Muslim peoples of the world - that has animated US overseas initiatives since the collapse of the Cold War, and the loss of the countervailing influence of the USSR against American military aggression around the world.
Other Canadian Prime Ministers - All are too frightened - or too greedy? - to risk alienating the power of high finance, and the international lobbying influence of the American armament manufacturers, to continue Lester Pearson's peacekeeping foreign policy that gained Canada unrivalled respect from peoples around the world in the 20th century.
Promoting war and armaments expenditure offers so much better payback, as Canadians discovered recently by the disclosure that former Canadian Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in sacks of $1,000 bills (the favoured currency for underground mafia and drug lord transactions) in various hotel rooms from an unsavory international arms dealer. (In fact $1,000 bills have been withdrawn from circulation exactly because only crooks and creeps used them to conduct illicit financial transactions that they did not want to see the light of day or the probing nose of the taxing authorities.)
To a Parliamentary Committee, in December, 2007, Prime Minister Mulroney admitted taking cash was an error... He erred in counting too...
Hardly one error; it was compounded more than once, on many levels, and multiple occasions...
The jump from one mindless mistake, to a clear pattern of cover-up, possible illegality and immorality seems hard to avoid: Prime Minister. Mulroney accepted sacks of cash three different times, in different hotel rooms in Canada and the US, and each time, he admitted, he departed from standard practice, and he did not, for some curious but unknown reason: submit a written invoice, submit a written report for work done under the contract, offer a written receipt, deposit the money in a regular bank account, so it could earn huge amounts of interest - but where also a paper trail would start - did not declare it for taxes, and could not produce, on any level, private records logging its expenditure... And all, he admitted, clear departures from the way he usually did business!!! He would have us believe he treated hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash with no more seriousness than random coins in a child's piggy bank...
The Prime Minister said he kept hundreds of thousands of dollars in various safety deposit boxes. He confessed that there is absolutely no paper trace of any kind that these payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash ever passed through the hands of Prime Minister Mulroney.
The Prime Minister only declared the payments, finally for taxes, many years later, as government investigators were closing in, and threatened to uncover the payments while investigating the activities of the armaments dealer who had handed over the sacks of cash. Even here the Prime Minister refused to make his tax records available to Parliament as a possible check to verify what seems to be the only existing documentation that could support his statements. But no deal...
Instead, the clearly evasive Mulroney asked the Parliamentary Committee, and the Canadian public, to accept at face value, solely the word of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, known, for decades, to most Canadians as "Lyin' Brian."
In 1994 a heavily researched book "On the Take" analyzed his tenure as Prime Minister of Canada. Though he has sued others for libel he has never sued the author of the heavily documented book or its sequels.
Former Prime Minister Mulroney remains the most reviled politician in Canadian history. Though he had won back to back majorities - name any politician who wouldn't go for a third? - he inexplicably resigned early, refusing to fight the next election, as publicity about his dealings became known, and opted to gallantly pass the baton to a woman who would take the fall for him. Kim Campbell was the unelected Prime Minister for only a few months, and remains the only woman ever to hold that office in Canada. Thanks to the old boy's club which runs Canadian politics...
Canada falls woefully short of accepting women for the top office behind several Muslim countries who have already elected women Prime Ministers, years ago... Maybe someone should invade Canada and free our womenfolk like the Canadian Army - that bastion of feminism - is apparently hard at work doing in Afghanistan.
The next election, a few months after Mulroney resigned, destroyed Canada's most venerable political institution, the Conservative Party of Canada, which had created Canada, and produced many of its leading statesmen, reducing it to two seats - TWO SEATS IN ALL OF CANADA. The party disappeared, being absorbed into the Reform Party of Canada, a western Canadian rump of anti-central Canada Conservatives and religious extremists, allied to entrenched American military and oil lobbyists.
During the present Conservative Government's administration, Canada's armaments budgets have ballooned astronomically as it acquired billions of dollars of military hardware from international armaments manufacturers - mostly Americans.
In their wake the Canadian Auditor-General has earmarked hundreds of millions of cost overruns in military service contracts - catching companies routinely doubling, or more, the original cost estimates. No one gets fired for this; no contractor is taken to court or asked to fulfill the original contract; no civil servant is shot or hauled on to the carpet for being asleep on the job, over and over again. OK, OK we agree you can't shoot them all... The military industrial complex just sends in its bills - hey any amount will get by - and the Conservative Government orders them to be paid, no questions asked, no accountability or contract compliance demanded. And the military lobbyists take their millions in success fees, the practice widely followed today in Canada, according to the one man who should know, military arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber, who paid off both a Premier and a Prime Minister of Canada.
He told the Parliamentary Committee bluntly, on national television, that the same bribery that he conducted was taking place "as we speak" and involved, in 2008, the same people he had paid millions to earlier, to shepherd lucrative armaments contracts to the Federal Government.
Hey the Liberals made off with millions before. Now it's our turn after a long drought. Besides it's only Canadian taxpayers who get fleeced and they're a bottomless pit...
Those military lobbyists sure know how to earn their "success fees" with their former pals in government and the Civil Service, raking off millions to make it all happen.
A Great Canadian economic model; rape and pillage the public purse, with impunity. Not for education; not for health care; not for social services; not for for environmental projects. Oh, c'mon, how naive can you be?
Just for guns and bullets and bombs to kill people with. But, thank God, not white people or Jews or Christians... We'll grant you that; those military lobbyists do have standards...
They just target non-white, Muslims in the Third World in Afghanistan, and ultimately Iran.
The "pretend" threat to world peace, which Canadians are now fighting and dying for, is the pajama-clad Taliban, and their insistence that Afghan Muslim women cover their faces...
In fact, as everyone knows, the real deal is to set up Afghanistan as a launch pad for the coming American invasion of Iran, allowing US Forces to invade in the classic encircling "pincer" movement, simultaneously through the front and back doors, with their armies from Iraq and Afghanistan, and so forcing the Iranians to fight a two-front war in order to protect their homeland from the inevitable American attack... (So don't look for US troops ever to leave Iraq... It ain' t gonna happen; the US has built the world's largest embassy complex in Baghdad; it's like Vatican City in Rome. It's a certainty: the US army will sit on the Iraqi oil fields during the lifetime of anyone alive today.)
And another message is coming in loud and clear, as Canada piles up a horrific arsenal of military weapons and delivery systems.
All the US, British, and Canadian military planners already have coordinated invasion plans for Iran ready to put into practice at a moment's notice...
When the Iran invasion comes, Canadians will be in the front lines shooting their way into another Muslim country... That's why we need for the Canadian Forces to stay till 2011 and beyond, as General Hillier unabashedly projects. Ignore the canard about training the Afghan army; they need to be there when Bush or his successor orders the inevitable invasion...
It will take a century before Canada will ever recover from this damage to Canada's reputation, and loss of face and credibility among the vast concourse of non-Christian, Brown, Black and Yellow peoples of the world, whom God placed in the greatest abundance on the Earth.
It's a good thing Lester is dead.
His legacy for the Nation has been debased by lesser men, with meaner motives...
He would be pleased about one thing though...
Canada is only being debased by the politicians and their Schreiber-subservient armaments lobbyists, with their bags of $1000 bills...
The people of Canada are firmly on Lester's side... but powerless...
Ah, they say, if only Canada were a Democracy, instead of a Banana Republic run by a General and his military lobbyists...
All will end their days, deservingly, raking it in, in Directorship Heaven, on the boards of the military industrial complex to whom they provided such loyal service...
Thanks to them, Canada has dropped to her lowest level, ever, during the entire 20th and 21st century, in the esteem of the world - the vast concourse of non-white, non-Christian Black, Brown, and South Asian Peoples, whom God placed in the greatest abundance on the planet.