(116) F-35s, inequality & Ed Broadbent

Look at this stupid thing!  They call that a fighter plane?  For starters, it looks like a toy carved from a dirty bar of soap with a set of bus wheels stuck underneath.  Naming this glorified laptop after the American P-38 Lightning of the Second World War shows just how desperate the military industrial complex has become.  The cost overruns are not even really the problem, they are apparently quite normal where this type of project is concerned.  The lack of competitive bidding is also secondary to suburban-poverty.com.  There will even be jobs if the purchase goes through, always a good thing, and Canada needs defence gear in a dangerous, resource-hungry world.  What pisses us off, besides how lame looking this thing is when put up against the diversity of flying machines the world has come up with over the last hundred years, is the relationship between this weapon system and poverty and inequality.  How can we have the money for this and precious little else?  If we have Yankee wars, Yankee ghettos and Yankee justice then we might as well have Yankee fighter planes screaming through the skies protecting the glory of it all, yah, is that it?
Linda McQuaig mentioned the F-35s today in her column in the Toronto Star.  She seems dead against them across the board and she mentioned how the $10bn in cost overruns (so far!) have left the Tories blubbering despite their projection of an image of fiscal sensibility.  The latter is a ticket Tories and Reformers and Republicans have been cashing at election time for decades now.  We’ll forever wonder why.
Ms McQuaig, a lefty, also mentioned the Tories’ recent demolition of a modest program of financial support to a partly volunteer-run initiative that maintains internet access in public libraries.  This was done in the name of austerity and financial sensibility.
Not only were the Super Hornet, SAAB and Eurofighter products left out of consideration but their planes are totally hot looking and some of them have two engines!!  The latter is somewhat important when you are flying over the second largest country in the world.  The toy above only has one.  What happens when you are thousands of kilometers from a runway and you lose an engine?  Goodbye zillion dollar killing machine, that’s what.  Certainly, suburban-poverty.com finds itself mostly in agreement with Ms. McQuaig, who established herself as a package of intelligence, wit and truthfulness in our books some time ago.
Reaching even further back in time was an article on the very same page of the same newspaper, Canada’s largest, from Ed Broadbent.  We remember our childhood when Mr. Broadbent was leader of the opposition and our working class Scottish parents would nod approvingly whenever he was on the news and would vote for him.  He never got to be PM, perhaps back then the people felt they were still going somewhere and didn’t really need him.  Either way, Mr. Broadbent came out swinging at economic inequality in Canada.  His take is backed up by public opinion research.  It seems inequality has begun to worry Canadians on a number of levels.  It seems they are sober about realizing they have to remain willing to pay taxes to preserve fairness and the quality of life. Like Ms McQuaig’s piece it makes for interesting reading.  Does it take a genius, or a Toronto Star editor, to place inequality and F-35 Lightnings on the same page?