On the night of August 24, as I was about to go to sleep at 2 am, I decided to check out the Ottawa Citizen's news feed to occupy me for a couple more minutes before going to sleep.
I didn't get to sleep until 8:30 am on Saturday.
It was this article that did it. Police Chief Vernon White has installed 180 yellow "support-our-troops" ribbons onto the back of municipal police cars.
It was not just that that pissed me off, but Mayor Larry O'Brien's ignorant stance expressed in the CBC article on the topic (this is the second night in a row that his ignorance lost me sleep, as I felt compelled to write an anti-O'Brien letter to the editor on Thursday morning at 2 am, which went into Friday's paper).
It seemed inherent to me that the "Support Our Troops" slogan implies support for the mission in Afghanistan, despite O'Brien's claim that they were semantically distinct. I wrote out a whole essay-length blog post about it, until I realized at 6am that I didn't have to prove that the two were the same to argue logically that the "Support Our Troops" slogan stifles dissent.
Support for Cullen is very weak, especially among councillors. Council narrowly avoided discussing it at last Council meeting, not getting the required number of votes to put it on the day's agenda without notice. The media have since reported that it will be up for discussion at the September 12 meeting of Council.
In today's Ottawa Citizen, Janice Kennedy has an editorial titled Why I don't wear red, which goes over some of the reasons why the ribbons are political. That will serve as some food for thought until I prepare and post my essay.
In the meantime, please check out this clever and poignant video video.
Until I get the second draft of the essay up, please consider this "1000-word" version: