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THE EVIL MILITARY INFLUENCE ON CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES-WWW.KNOWWAR.CA

pbi

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Hi, all. Back to work and normal life now here in the 'Peg. While I was in Edmonton I got the following response from "tim" the PA guy for Knowwar. And, I must say, much to my surprise, it is quite a reasonable one (considering their probable outlook on life...)

Hi David,
Thanks for writing. I agree with many of the points you make, including
that our
armed-forces that is well-educated and well-equipped in order to be effective.

The more we have proceeded in our campaign, the more we have begun to rethink
our approach. The idea of the campaign came out of a feeling that corporate
involvement in our campuses has begun to encroach on the public nature of our
institutions of higher learning.

Currently, government's are using the pretense of corporate funding in
order to
justify cuts to research grants across the country, including Quebec,
resulting
in research being focussed more on what corporations believe will be most
profitable (for them - not for the students. it's the corporations that keep
the patents) and not necessarily what is in greatest need of being researched
and/or developed.

As well, the decision-making bodies of our universities have become more and
more corporate dominated, with the large majority of "community
at-large" seats
on our Board of Governors being held by corporate directors and executives.
Beyond leading to a direct conflict of interest in some cases, the decisions
made by corporate executives are based on what is best for a for-profit
business and not a public institution such as a university.

The focus on corporations involved with the military (particularly with the
American invasion of Iraq, although we did not want to focus solely on
that one
event) came about as a way to narrow the scope of the corporations we were
talking about. The reason for this is that Concordia in particular has been
receiving massive amounts of money for research from corporations directly
involved in military research without any form of oversight at the
university -
meaning that students are essentially carrying out cheap-labour research for
corporations without any real consideration being made  as to what it is they
are researching or whether there are more important, more relevant issues they
could be studying. This type of corporate involvement is in no way limited to
the military industry, but again we chose it because it was a relevant,
present
industry we could focus on.

Really, our focus was to be on the corporate influence on our campuses, but
because of our choice of industry to focus on, the debate has begun to revolve
more around the military aspect rather than the education aspect.

Our intention was in no way to attack those Canadian soldiers who have served
our country, but rather in order to draw focus to the influence that
corporations are gaining in what are deemed to be public institutions.

I hope this helps to answer your questions, and thank you for taking
the time to
write.

Regards,
Tim McSorley

Cheers.

 

PPCLI Guy

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That was a very civil and reasonable response - and his argument is realtively sound.  Good on them.

Dave
 

Britney Spears

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The reason for this is that Concordia in particular has been
receiving massive amounts of money for research from corporations directly
involved in military research without any form of oversight at the
university -
meaning that students are essentially carrying out cheap-labour research for
corporations without any real consideration being made  as to what it is they
are researching or whether there are more important, more relevant issues they
could be studying.

???

1) Pretty significant leap of logic there. Just because the university is recieving funding from companies that are also involved in the defence industry(Bombardier), means that your school is being turned into a plasma hover tank factory?


I do like his outlook on students/cheap labour though. While I admire your conviction to leading a noble life of pure contemplation, you don't honestly expect to make six figures while doing it do you? Let me assure you that the rest of the business community does not share your rancor for using students as cheap labour.

The Iranians employed groups of idealistic university students very effectively as economical mine detectors/clearers, clearing Iraqi minefields very quickly along their axis of advance during the Gulf War. Maybe a study abroad program over there will help students apprieciate the brighter side of the defence industry.
 

Brad Sallows

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While the corporations fund research into defence-related matters, the cheap labourers are still at liberty to volunteer their time to instead research more relevant issues.
 

Glorified Ape

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pbi said:
Hi, all. Back to work and normal life now here in the 'Peg. While I was in Edmonton I got the following response from "tim" the PA guy for Knowwar. And, I must say, much to my surprise, it is quite a reasonable one (considering their probable outlook on life...)

Cheers.

lol Small world - Tim has called my apartment 6 times this morning looking for my roommate (they work together at the CFS-Quebec). I met him the other day and he seemed like a pretty nice guy.

I don't think transparency of relations between the board of governors and corporations is a bad idea. I don't think the relations are quite as evil or conspiratorial as Knowwar.ca seemed to imply but it appears, from Tim's response, that they don't either at this point.
 

old medic

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IMHO, they really need to clean that website up.

The frequent references to "the military" may not mention which military in most cases,
but the upper internet domain name of .ca will be taken by most observers as a reference
to the Canadian Military.

 

TCBF

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"turned into a plasma hover tank factory? "

What? What?  When did we get these?  Next thing, the only AFVs I will be qualified to gun will be in the Regimental Museum Troop.

Tom
 

Britney Spears

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What? What?  When did we get these?  Next thing, the only AFVs I will be qualified to gun will be in the Regimental Museum Troop.

and since none of the small arms that you were trained on (C1, C1 SMG,  C2, C5, .50) still exist wthin the CF, the only weapon that we can trust you with would be the 9mm Browning HP.


Yes, I know, I've used it before, I just like saying it ok.....
 

TCBF

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Ha!  Lucky if I get to even fire that here.  Good thing I own two FN C1A1s

Uh-oh, I feel another smiley-pop coming... ;D  there it is!

Tom
 
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