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Dr. Dreimer's Diary, July-December, 2011
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**NOTE** For technical reasons, our direct diary address is now /diary6.htm rather than /diary 6.htm. Unfortunately, the old address is still published at various places on the Web--but it gives Diary entries only to May 2, 2011.
DR. DREIMER'S DIARY (See Index above)
|Samuel Pepys, who rose to be the administrative head of the British Navy, began his diary in 1659. Over the next ten years, he described his life in 17th century London. The diary was written in a kind of shorthand, the key to which was re-discovered in 1819. Dr. Dreimer has experimented with Samuel Pepys style, applied to modern day situations. This experiment has illustrated how well the style bespeaks the man. Samuel Pepys style is relatively dry, and colourless; his emotions seldom reach beyond the "mightily pleased" stage. He is a "just the facts, m'am" kind of guy--he was, after all, an administrator. Dr. Dreimer, on the other hand is driven by wit and passion.||He is fond of the rhetorical flourish, the zinger phrase, the vibrant adjective. He is an actor, seeking the nearest spotlight under which he can present all the slices of ham he can muster (and when he has mustered them, he is inclined to put them in a sandwich, then eat the sandwich to the applause of the assemblage). It seems likely that Dr. Dreimer's diary style will evolve to a peculiar amalgam: a bit of Pepys, a bit of Swift, a good dose of 18th century rhetorical flourish, all facets woven into the cloth of the Doctor's own idiom.|
|December 31, 2011
We are intrigued to see an Article in this Day’s Post entitled Bad Science by Joseph Brean.
Mr. Brean notes the Circumstance of Diederik Stapel, a Dutch Psychologist of high Regard, who was shown this Year to have said "the thing which is not" in publishing the Results of many Experiments. The question arises, how does Skullduggery thrive in the Realm of Science?
It was Francis Bacon (1561-1626), of course, who advised the Scientific Method–the Drawing of Conclusion gradually from specific Observations–to counteract the Human Tendency to start with a hastily derived Conclusion, and then deduce other axioms following from it.
It would appear that the Battle between Scientific Method and Human Tendency has not been conclusively won. Indeed, as Alexander Pope (1688-1744) remarked somewhat after the time of Francis Bacon:
The ruling passion, be what it will
|There must be always be a
considerable Motive or Passion to come to startling Conclusions, since
those are the ones which lead to Fame and Fortune. The Key, as noted by
S. Stanley Young and Alan Karr, in the Journal Significance is
that an Experiment be capable of Replication; but it is difficult for
Members of the General Publick to know what Results have passed this
We have long been suspicious of Conclusions regarding Climate Change and Cholesterol, since we suspect that the Scientific Method has been overcome by the Passions for Renown and large Amounts of Money. We await with Interest to see the Judgement of Time on these Matters.
In the Meantime, we think it prudent to withhold our Call for a scientific Investigation of the Cause of an extraordinary Phenomenon we have noticed recently: the Shrinkage of Waistbands of all our Trousers over this Holiday Season. Whether the true Cause be a Reaction of the Fibres to cooler Weather, or some sort of Compression Dejection Disorder related to the Fading of Daylight, we know not. Until we have more Confidence in the Science of our Time, we will simply assign the Matter to the Black Box of insoluble Mysteries.
| December 30, 2011
Last November 26, we did present our Position on the Matter of Euthanasia. We have long harboured a Wish to be in Control of the Timing and Means of our Final Departure, and thus it is not surprising that we are in Favour of being able to Request a Doctor for Assistance to that End.
We had thought this to be–as with many other of our Sentiments–a Minority View–but a new Poll reported in the National Post suggests that 67% of Canadians are in Agreement. Since it is our firm Belief that most Canadians are wrong about most things most of the time, we are almost tempted to wonder whether our Position is in need of Revision.
On the other Hand, it is just possible that, on a few select Occasions, the Majority is right.
|We do feel some Sympathy for the
religious in dealing with this stunning News. It is our Perception that
Believers–who think God has a Plan for them–do not wish to compromise
their Chances at heavenly Goodies, and think it prudent not to interfere
with a Process they view as sacred. The Catholic Enclave at the National
Post–those who write and approve those terrible Sermon Editorials at
Christmas and Easter--must be in considerable Disarray to find themselves
at odds with Public Opinion. Our Condolences must also extend to a few
Writers of Letters to the National Post, who have expressed an
Enthusiasm for a "good, painful death," and have shown an exquisite
Appreciation for the Benefits of Suffering. (See
Diary, June 8, 2011)
For ourselves, we are grateful for a rare Expression of Common Sense by the Public.
We wish to announce a new Feature of this Site–an Index to major Topics covered in the Diary and Drivel Sections. Thus far, the Index covers only 2011, but we hope to add 2009 and 2010 in the next few Days. The Index is on the "Map/Index Page." More Details are to be found in today’s Drivel.
|December 29, 2011
This Day’s National Post does present an Article on the Overprotection Movement in Schools, which Institutions, on occasion, have seen fit to ban the use of Sports balls, Substitutes for Peanut Butter, Hugging, and Lunch Bags of disposable Plastic.
The Overprotection Movement is no more than a Reflection of the doomed Desire to create a world of Perfection. This Desire becomes more pronounced with Progress. In earlier Centuries, Perfection seemed much further off, and human Beings were somewhat more accepting of the unfortunate Bits of Existence, pinning their Hopes, we suspect, on a compensatory Afterlife.
Now that we have increased our Control over Events, we are emboldened to think that Perfection might be within our Grasp.
Alas,–and we do enjoy* being the Bearer of Bad Tidings–it is not, nor will it ever be. As the Song goes: "The nearer your destination, the more you’re slip slidin’ away."
|One cannot, of course, deny the Desire for
Improvement; the Question becomes: at what Point does "Improvement" make
things worse? Because this Point is not clearly marked on the Map of
human Progress, we can expect Disagreement and Debate.
In this Matter, we would refer to our own Discovery-- achieved after many Years of Meditation, Cold Showers, and Brain Cudgelling-- of the Ground-Breaking Messiness Principle. This is described in our Observation #38:
The "Messiness Principle" suggests that all grand schemes for the improvement of human affairs, carried far enough, and consistently enough, will eventually reveal the internal contradictions which make them ineffective, unworkable, and absurd.
*There is something ineffably endearing about happy Faces suddenly crumpling, crestfallen with Disappointment.
|December 28, 2011
It is rare that a little Ray of Sunshine does manage to thrust its Way through the pervading Gloom, but we must confess that our Heart, mired in the depressing Contemplation of the Misery and Stupidity of human Existence, did give a little Leap when we read, in this Day’s National Post the following Headline:
MOUNTIE’S PAY CUT FOR ASSAULTING INMATES
The News from the RCMP has, of late, not always been uniformly positive. There have been Accusations of Incompetence in the Matter of the 1976 Air India Bombing, and–before his eventual arrest in 2002-- the Robert Picton Investigation. Fraud in the Use of Pension Funds was discovered in 2004. The Commissioner, Guiliano Zaccardelli, resigned over conflicting Testimony in the Maher Arar Case in 2006. Robert Dziekanski was tasered to death in 2007; there are currently Allegations of sexual Harassment by female Members of the Force.
The Force was described as "horribly broken" by a Government Investigator in 2007.
|We are pleased to see that the Force has now
consulted the unhappy Book of Record, and has turned over a new Leaf. In
the Article referred to above, it is said that Constable Shawn
Kropielniski took a handcuffed inmate and "lifted him up by his lapel
and dragged him into a cell only to then ‘hip toss’ him onto the floor
and press his knees in the inmate’s back."
In November 2009, "Const. Kropielniski elbowed an accused in the head, knocking him off a chair... [and] also hit the accused in the head with a closed fist."
We are overjoyed to learn that the RCMP has absolutely no Tolerance for such Antics. Mr. Kropielniski has been required to give up Five Days of Remuneration for each Assault.* We have every Confidence that this marks a Brave New World of Probity, Integrity, Justice, and Competence for the beleaguered Force. We can now proceed with our little Life with a renewed Sense of Hope, Confidence, and Serenity.
*We are glad that Dismissal was not contemplated; so rash a Decision might well have delivered an unsustainable Blow to Mr. Kropielniski's Self-esteem, and caused an inhibitory Nervousness among other Members of the Force.
|December 27, 2011
The Front Page of the National Post contains an Article entitled "Citizens Take back Justice," which notes that, after the Riots in Vancouver in June, none of the Perpetrators of Crime has been punished by our swift and speedy legal System, but some have suffered by Exposure by Citizens of Video Portrayals on the Internet.
The Article notes also that it is proposed that Power of Citizen Arrest be extended so that it need not be effected at the time of the Crime, but "within a reasonable period of time after."
It is not unexpected that these Moves towards Involvement of Citizens in dissuading Criminals has given rise to much Wringing of Hands on the part of the Legal Profession, lest bold Headlines replace their fine Print, and anguished Yelps of Dismay on the Part of Police Forces, who do not welcome Intrusion upon their rather untidy Patch.
|While we can appreciate the Arguments on both
Sides, we must favour Citizen Involvement. It is a welcome Response to
the Atomization of our Society, in which Bureaucracy, Procedure, and
Specialization thrive while Citizens are expected to be deaf, unthinking
piano keys in the Instrument of Government, which scarcely cares when
cacophony trumps melody.
The sclerotic Response to the Vancouver Riots, and the manifest Injustice of the David Chen case, in which Mr. Chen was charged for Arrest, and the Thief he arrested became the accuser, are powerful Examples of the Manner in which Common Sense has been lost in legal Niceties, and fine Points of Procedure.
We have satirized the Matter of the increasing Bureaucratization of Society in An Imaginary Conversation (Drivel, October 14, 2010)
P.S.: We were most disturbed to hear Ezra Levant last Evening, being unkind to Atheists. We have recorded our Dismay under the Heading Feet of Clay, in the Drivel section. We have found to our further Horror, an Appearance by Mr. Levant on Limerick Lane.
|December 26, 2011
We do hope all three of our Readers did have a satisfactory Christmas Celebration.
We have this Day, managed to publish the Contents of a stone Tablet which we discovered on Christmas Eve. It contains certain Thoughts of the great God Murphy, which we hope may be of assistance to any who may be attempting to puzzle out the true Nature of Man’s Circumstance in this mysterious Universe.
|These Thoughts, transcribed from the carved stone Tablet, appear in the Drivel Section.|
| December 24, 2011.
We anticipated with much Dread the truly awful Christmas Sermon which the National Post is wont to publish on this Day.
We noted that the First Page of the Paper was in the form of a Nativity Scene in a Window of Stained Glass. We suppose that we should be grateful that the Post is brazen, rather than secretive about its religious Bias.
We turned to the Editorial, and were relived to see that the Depiction of Jesus in Porcelain, which in the past we found tellingly artificial and at the Height of Kitschiness was nowhere to be found. We regret to say that, so great was our anticipatory Loathing, that we were only able to skim the Editorial briefly, noting that, while it is replete with Biblical Quotation, it seemed somewhat less offensive than in the past.
Possibly we are suffering from the feeble, all-inclusive Kindliness associated with declining mental Powers.
|We note that a number of Christians have
responded in the National Post to the Death of Christopher Hitchens with
a lack of Charity–indeed --occasionally with an unbearable Smugness and
Superiority which we would term determinedly un-Christian. We are glad
that our Atheism has no proscription of petty and vindictive comment. We
noticed this phrase in the Editorial:
Such are the power of words–
We are irrepressibly gleeful. The subject is "power," which is singular. The verb is "are," which is plural. Either the verb should be "is," or the subject should be "powers."
The Editorial ends: "May our words be illumined by that true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world –John 1:9."
The Illumination at the Christmas Editorial Division of the National Post would appear to be "some watt" deficient.
We have published our own Editorial, A Christmas Eve Fantasy, in the Drivel Section.
| December 23, 2011
We recently (December 21) speculated that the apparent outpouring of Grief for Kim Jong-il was the Marker of a Mechanism for Survival. An Article in the Hamilton Spectator (December 22) quotes Chu Sung -ha, a Defector from North Korea, who recalled an Occasion when he and other Students were filmed to represent Grief at the Death of Kim Il Sung, the Founder of the University he attended:
I just bowed my head so nobody could see I wasn’t crying. There were cameras on campus and I knew I would be caught on television.
Kim Heung-gwang, a former Professor of Computer Science noted:
When a camera points at you, you feel that you are being tested and you have to perform to demonstrate the utmost sadness.
Such are the Joys–and Tears of Totalitarianism; indeed, anyone who has read Orwell’s 1984 would hardly be surprised.
We think that the Impulse to Totalitarianism is indeed powerful; in the Absence of determined Effort, it is the Default Setting for any State.
Last Evening on The Source, Lord Christopher Monckton, who believes, as we do, that Fears of Climate Change have been greatly exaggerated, has noted a concomitant Benefit for a certain Elite--the Tendency for Power to be transferred to those untouched by the possible corrective Purge of Elections. Using the Fear of Climate Change, the United Nations seeks to take Power from individual States, and arrange Matters according to the Dictates of Bureaucrats, who in turn, rely on the largely untested Claims of Apocalyptic Scientists. Lord Monckton notes that already, five out of every six Laws affecting Britons are passed by the European Union–by those not elected by the Citizens affected.
|Recently, the CBC aired the Speculations of
"Scientists" who have grand Schemes for Fiddling with the Earth’s
Atmosphere to alter Climate Change, while yet admitting they have no
Idea of the Extent of unintended Consequences. Doubtless all they would
need is Approval of the United Nations to experiment with their
It is the Belief of Lord Monckton, that it is far cheaper to adapt to Climate Change than to attempt to prevent it. The vast Changes in the Earth’s Climate over the Millennia would seem to suggest that he is correct.
In the modern developed World, the wolfish Impulse to Totalitarianism is hidden in the benign, sheep-like Garb of Benevolence. Yes, we Citizens are controlled and our Freedoms are, little by little, removed–but only, of course for our own Benefit–which we see but dimly, but the saintly, visionary Bureaucrats see in full Light.
A Letter in this Day’s National Post may illustrate this Point. Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions writes to defend our absurd Health Care System:
Choice means fend for yourself and since when has that been our national spirit or even an option for those who want to see public policy based on research and evidence?
There, you see, is Totalitarianism in its Essence. Researchers will discover what is good for you, and then the State will provide you with whatever Amount of that it deems appropriate, and in the Manner of its Choosing. Individual Choice? No, that is not our "national spirit." Ms. Silas, it seems, would not be unduly troubled to find herself a Bureaucrat in North Korea.
|December 22, 2011.
Yesterday we did speculate as to the cause of excessive Showings of Grief by the North Koreans on the Death of their beloved Dictator Kim Jong-il.
We concluded that the paradoxical Stockholm Syndrome, which leads Captives to identify with their Captors, was, at least in part, the Cause.
Last Evening Ezra Levant (on The Source) drew Attention to other Examples of Mindlessness and ostentatious Grieving in our own Society, portraying the Pavlovian Responses of the Toronto Occupiers to the Mantra of "Mic Check," Women talking tearfully to Trees, and the emotional Response of complete Strangers to the Death of Jack Layton, Canada’s first political Saint.
We know nothing of the cultural Fashions in North Korea, but it must be admitted that Public Showing of Emotion, symbolic Gestures of Concern, and a general Soppiness of Character are in high Vogue in the current Era of Enlightenment.
The Desirability of a stiff upper Lip has given Way to a marked Preference for labial Wobbling.
We wonder whether the Feminist Movement, which has required Men to be more tender, caring, and potentially lachrymose, while encouraging Women to pursue--with Assertion--Welding, Fire-fighting and Wrestling, has had some Influence.
|Or possibly the repeated Plumbing of our
Freudian Depths has suggested that Emotions, unlike good Wine, should
not be bottled, stopped, and stored, but be allowed to burble forth in
unchecked and Cornucopian Plenitude.
Whatever the Cause, Expressions of high Emotion, deep Concern, and determined Caring are prominent Markers of the current Culture.
Little Patches of floral Tribute–most likely from strangers--arise at Scenes of unfortunate Accidents. Political Correctness requires the stifling of Criticism. Human Rights Commissions are anxious that those suffering hurt Feelings be adequately compensated.
We received, recently, a Request from our local Hospital, for some of our cold, hard Cash. We were exhorted: our special gift would mean so much. As a previous Donor, we were attributed with inspiration which helps make dreams a reality. We were associated with other caring and compassionate Donors. And finally, we were asked for a caring gift to support an extraordinary Transformation.
Perhaps, instead of the cold hard cash, we could send them a tear-stained poem, expressing our caring concern, and heartfelt good wishes. Oh yes, we could also enclose a single dried Rose from the Garden. They wouldn't have the Cash, but at least they would know our Heart is in the right Place.
|December 21, 2011
The Stockholm Syndrome
The rational Elements in our Nature are often thrown into Discombobulation when confronted by the Activities of the strange Bundle of Reason, Emotion and programmed Response which makes up the human Psyche.
A recent Example of puzzling Behaviour is the Outpouring of Grief by the Citizens of North Korea for Kim Jong-il, the unbenevolent Dictator of a Country starved and incapable–by any reasonable Standard--of Function. The Mystery calls out for a Solution.
We have to confess that we are often grateful for our Ignorance about any Subject that calls out for our Attention. Being unburdened by any Amount of factual Knowledge concerning a Phenomenon allows us a free and unfettering Rein in our attempts at Explanation.
We can only imagine that we are, in fact, descended from a Variety of Hairy Ape in which the Social Structure of a Tribe was dominated by a great Leader Ape of exceptional Strength. As a Matter of Self-preservation, it would have appeared prudent for the lesser Apes to supply the Leader Ape with Choice Bananas, cool Water, and Grunts of Admiration. Quite possibly, in the Passage of Time the Great Leader, in a seamless Transition, became the Dear Leader, much mourned at his unfortunate Demise at a great Age from a Surfeit of Choice Bananas.
In other Words, the Human Being comes equipped with an inherent bit of Programming which sees, quite often, Submission and Respect as a Means to Survival. In this way we may explain, not only the Stockholm Syndrome, but the Persistence of Dictatorial Regimes, and, indeed, Religion itself.
|The Stockholm Syndrome, is the Term
derived from a particular Event in which Employees of a Bank held
Hostage in Stockholm (from August 23-28 in 1973), showed emotional
Attachment to their Captors. The Key to the Attachment would seem to be
an Acceptance of Captivity, which Results in the Survival Response. The
more Absolute appears to be the Power of the Captor, the greater the
Likelihood of Acceptance.
This must surely explain, in great Part, the Ascendancy of Religion. Anyone who can look-- for a Moment--dispassionately upon the human Circumstance must see that we are trapped in a Situation from which there is no Escape. The essential Conditions are not benign: the World turns on a ruthless Cycle of Predator and Prey, in an Uncertainty of Flood, Fire, Earthquake, Volcano, Meteorite, and Disease. If we wish to see this as the intentional Construct of an Absolute Power–as so many do– is it any Surprise that the Captives appease and revere the imagined Captor? The impulse is for Survival.
As the Wikipedia Article on the Stockholm Syndrome suggests, the Threads of this odd Paradox of human Behaviour may also be seen in the Phenomena of "wife-battering, military basic training, fraternity hazing, and ... sadism/masochism."
Thus, the grieving North Koreans are not inexplicable oddities--but merely exemplars of the Operation of the Stockholm Syndrome--the Survival Response.
A Merry Christmas to all!
|December 19, 2011
The Manufacture of the Lumpenbangen Piano Institute Christmas CD has now been successfully completed, and several Copies have been entrusted to our wonderful Postal System.
(Do not be alarmed at our uncharacteristic Note of Praise: we feel that Criticisms of the Postal System are best reserved for Occasions when we do not have Mail in Transit. This Stance may be regarded as Postal Correctness, or simple-- although possibly superstitious--Prudence.)
We note the Passing yesterday of Vaclav Havel a leader of the Revolution which overcame the Communist Regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989. All totalitarian Regimes attempt to mould the Citizenry into some Ideal Form. But because, as Dostoevsky noted "a man is not a piano key," Harmony cannot be produced, and the discordant Notes of Freedom are always a threat to the desired Ideal.
|The article from the Daily Telegraph published
in this Day’s National Post quotes Mr. Havel, speaking of Communist
We have become morally ill because we are used to saying one thing and thinking another.
The situation in Canada is not as malign as that in Communist Czechoslovakia, but does this Statement not have some Resonance here? Is this not, in fact the Description of our own Malady of Political Correctness which requires us to censor our Thoughts, and express only those of which a Human Rights Commission would approve?
(We have considered these Matters at great, boring Length in the Drivel of February 8 & 12, 2011.)
| December 18, 2011
We are currently engaged in the Manufacture* of our 2011 Christmas CD, entitled Granny’s Piano. It is a Reflection, perhaps, of the Perversity of our Nature that we have chosen this Title–it has connotations rather significantly at odds with the Granite Counter-Top, Brushed Nickel Sensibility of the modern Age. However, as we note in the accompanying "Liner Notes" –under the advanced and progressive Notions displayed in the McGuinty-Green/ Ontario-Bankrupt Energy Initiatives, we may soon be entering a Hand-Pump, Candlelight Era in which such an old-fashioned, 1896 Song may not seem so ill-at-ease.
Along the way, we encountered a problem with our Printer, which claimed that it was experiencing a Paper Jam. We could find no evidence of Jam, Marmalade, Honey, or Maple Syrup, yet the Printer remained obdurate. We removed the Paper and Toner Cartridge, then put them back. The Machine maintained its condiment State.
We wished, briefly, that we might engage in a friendly, fact-finding Conversation with the Machine, although this goes much against our Principles. We resent it mightily when we are required to speak to a Voice Recognition Program. We tend to use Language that the Machine is not programmed for, some of it deliberately impolite. We see that the newer Automobiles boast of their Ability to respond to Voice Command, but we would never buy such a Vehicle unless its Machinery could also be controlled with Buttons, Levers, and Dials.
|Buttons, Levers and Dials, are appropriate to
Machines. Although we have some intellectual Suspicion that living
Creatures are, in essence, complex Machines, our emotional Preference is
to believe that there is an Element of Spontaneity, of Unpredictability
in Creatures which is not shared with Machines. Machines have great
capacities for Storage and Calculation, but we would like to believe
there is an inherent Stupidity at their Heart. It is demeaning for Human
Beings to speak to them as if they were sentient.
In the End, of course, we resorted to Magick. We unplugged the Machine at both Cords, then undid (a clever computer command) the action. We removed and immediately replaced the Paper and the Cartridge. This, we suspected, would sufficiently disorient and discombobulate the Machine, so that it would be vulnerable to new Instruction and Programming. We believe this has something to do with certain Pavlovian Reflexes at the inner Core of the Device.
We are pleased to report that the Magick was entirely successful.
* For Notes on the exacting Standards of Manufacture, see Drivel of December 11, 2010.
| December 16, 2011.
We did lament yesterday that a few Examples of common Sense did cause us some unease: our World View holds that Folly is the most abundant Commodity to be found in human Affairs.
We are pleased that we did not give way to undue Despair. We found comfort in the Story of little Virginia-- similarly threatened in her Perception of the eternal Verities-- who had been led into Doubt about the Existence of Santa Claus. The Advice we gave to the little Virginia inside us was:
Hold on, Virginia, hold on. Those steadfast in their Faith will see their Tenacity well rewarded.
We are pleased, this day, to see our Faith rewarded. Last Evening CTV News reported that Peter Mackay, who was rescued from an oppressive Fishing Lodge by an expensive Cormorant Helicopter, which, of a sudden, did discover itself on a Mission of Training, has evinced great Concern for the Spending of the Taxpayer’s Money. No doubt anguishing about the Perception of our Country and its Ranking in the Lists of the Extravagant, he thinks that our Money should be spent as quickly and lavishly as possible.
|To that end, he is reported to have–with much Care and
Consideration-- paid over Fourteen Hundred Dollars a Night for a Room at
a Luxury Hotel.
We are most pleased at this Information; surely the Reputation of our fair Land will be immeasurably enhanced. Indeed, if we have a Reservation–so to speak--it is only that Members of his Staff were ill-housed at the same Establishment for only $276.00 per Night.
We have some Feeling that this may not be the Last News of Mr. Mackay’s Attempts to enhance our Status among the Profligate. A Taste for the Luxury of spending other People’s Money must surely be an Addiction of significant Power.
Mr. Mackay appears, again, on Limerick Lane.
| December 15, 2011
We are becoming uncomfortable and nervous. We had felt secure in our old World, where Folly was ubiquitous, where we could discover it burbling forth from any Direction we might cast our Gaze.
But some recent Events have shaken the Bedrock of our Certainty, cast Doubt upon Verities we had deemed eternal.
First, there was the Bill of Brian Storseth to repeal a Law against Hate Speech; then a move to require that those gaining Citizenship reveal their Faces.
Still reeling and unbalanced from these Events, we can scarcely cope with the News that Randy Hillier, Representative for Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Aldington has conducted a Christmas Protest at the Offices of Tri-Board, the School Bus Organization responsible for prohibiting Christmas Decorations on School Busses. (See Diary, December 10)
|In such trying Times, we have only our Faith to carry us through.
We cling, now, to that Faith with Determination and Resolve. Yes,
Virginia, Stupidity is the chief and most abundant Element in the Human
Situation. Common Sense is as rare as the Unicorn. All that we have seen
and believed in the Past will be upheld, justified, and reinforced, yea,
by Tenfold. These recent Aberrations are merely that–temporary Anomalies
that give no true Indication of the human Circumstance.
Hold on, Virginia, hold on. Those steadfast in their Faith will see their Tenacity well rewarded.
P.S.: We have received a recent E-mail expressing Concern for our Soul. We have published it on the Feedback Page.
|December 14, 2011
We are sunk so deep in our curmudgenous State, finding the Folly of Mankind in every Nook and every Cranny, every Main Street and darkened Alley, every open Height or hidden Valley, that we can scarce believe an example of common Sense when we encounter it in plain View.
Indeed, our Impulse is to uncork a Swigging of Bubbly–but perhaps it would be prudent to finish this Commentary first. The great News is that Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to our fair Land, has seen fit to require that those becoming Citizens should reveal their Faces. (National Post, December 13.)
Indeed, we wonder whether there be a mysterious Wavelength established between this humble Site and the mighty Corridors of Power. Did we not suggest, on December 6, 2011, that, in an Effort to discourage the Habit of Face-covering, the Government might require all Interaction between its Representatives and Citizens be done with open Countenance?
We are also pleased that Mr. Kenney has shown a Fortitude unexpected in one of the Political Class–that Tribe which takes as its Motto: Never displease; pretend and appease.*
Instead of hiding behind the Notion that his Move is to ensure Identification, he states
It is rather a matter of pure principle, which lies at the heart of our identity and our values with respect to openness and equality.
|While we care not a whit what people wear in their
Homes or private Gatherings, we have always maintained that the
Masking of Faces in Public is of great Detriment.
It provides the Opportunity to commit Crime without identification; indeed, under most Circumstances, the Mask is a Symbol of malign Intent. A Mask is also a Barrier to Interaction among Citizens. The Wearer of a Mask makes the symbolic Claim to be an Island, entire of itself-- one not involved with mankind--one who cares not for whom the Bell tolls. Beyond that, those who are masked show a Rejection and Disapproval of the Norms of the Culture whose many other Benefits they apparently seek. Finally, while it is true that some Women may wish to cover their Faces in order to express such Disapproval, many others are coerced. The Requirement is not religious, but cultural, and is a Symbol of Oppression of Women.
Indeed, the Arguments against Masking in Public seem to be so powerful, so unanswerable, that its Persistence gives us Pause to reflect.
The main Reason, we believe is the Foolishness of Political Correctness, the unintended Consequence of trying to create an ideal but impossible World, a World in which the Customs of all Cultures are equally worthy and desirable.
We also think there may be some odd Deficiencies in Vision. Last Evening, on The Agenda we were surprised to hear Tyseer Aboulnasr, a Muslim Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science see the Issue as unimportant–a technical Matter of ensuring that Applicants could be seen repeating the Oath of Citizenship. We found it odd that she should seem to be unaware of the symbolic Implications in the Matter. Fortunately, Mr. Kenney is rather more perceptive.
*We make this our Observation 161.
| December 12, 2011
We were surprised on a recent Evening to hear Lorrie Goldstein (Editor with the Toronto Sun) say (on The Source) that he "accepted the science" of anthropogenic Climate Change. Our Perception is, of course, that the "Science" is far from "settled."
Indeed, we hold that the Climate Change Scientists seem afflicted by a troubling case of Husseinitis.
Husseinitis, of course is that Strategy–or Malady–the term depends upon one’s Perspective--by which one proclaims a certain Proposition to the World–and then acts in such a Manner to suggest that the Proposition is entirely, indubitably, patently false.
The Climate Alarmists claim that Mankind is creating greenhouse gasses which warm the atmosphere, and that this will result in the loss of Low-lying Islands, Coastal Floods, a Dearth of Mountain Skiing, and the Growing of Bananas in the Arctic.
Yet everything that they do suggests the Falsity of their Proposition. Leading Alarmists such as Al Gore do not stint in their Production of the noxious Gasses, and those Environmentalists who, with furrowed Brow and anguished Countenance gather in warm Holiday Locations, eschew Donkey and Sandals in favour of the Jet Plane–the Sasquatch of carbon Footprinters.
The "Scientists" have produced Graphs of Hockey Sticks shown to be erroneous, made Predictions of melting Glaciers and Population Displacement manifestly unfulfilled, attempted to hide the inconvenient Mediaeval Warming Period, refused to provide Data, and conspired to thwart all questioning by underhanded Means, and labelled the skeptical as "Deniers." They have not followed accepted Procedures of Peer Review.
|David Suzuki himself has called for the
jailing of Legislators who do not agree with him, and, stooping to a new
Low in Deceptive Propaganda, has claimed that Santa Claus and his
Workshop–imaginary but cherished in the Minds of Children--are
threatened by Climate Change.
A Contribution to his Foundation, it is suggested, will help Santa Claus retain his Residency and Toy Production at the North Pole.
In short, the anthropogenic Climate Change Movement reeks of Incompetence, Arrogance, Hypocrisy, Dishonesty, Deception, Collusion, Conspiracy, and Stupidity.
The most reasonable Diagnosis is Husseinitis; the Remedy is not surgical Invasion, but Watchful Waiting--waiting to see the Results of real Science untainted by Activism and Alarmism. Those who proclaim a Proposition, and then do everything possible to suggest it is not true, seem more desirous of the label Paranoid Schizophrenic than Scientific Solomon.
We still suspect–although we have no expertise in these Matters--that the Results of CERN Experiments, which find Warming to be caused by the Magnetic Fields of the Sun will prove to be correct.
|December 11, 2011
The World of Let’s Pretend.
We have reflected on Last Day’s Musings on the Nature of Christmas, in which we portrayed it as primarily cultural, rather than religious-- and we have concluded that it is part of the World of Let’s Pretend.
The World of Let’s Pretend is obviously very important in our dealing with Reality. If we could not imagine a State different from that which already exists, there could be no Change, and no Improvement to our Circumstance. For Improvement to take place, of course, the imagined State must have some accord with Reality, with the Possible. But without Imagination, there could be no Organization, no political Structure, and no Science,–in short, no Civilization as we presently understand it.
The World of Let’s Pretend is not, of course, limited to the possible. Creativity seems inherent and basic–an unstoppable unconfinable force. In a moment of unaccustomed Radicalism--lapsing from the Orthodoxies of the Moment-- we would note that Boys often pretend to be Cowboys and First Nations, and Girls pretend Domesticity with Dolls. All Fairy Tales, all Novels, all Plays, all Films, and all Poetry inhabit the World of Let’s Pretend.
|It is this broader Category of Let’s
Pretend that Christmas, by and large, does inhabit. For some, of
course, the Modern Christmas is a Celebration of true Fact, of the
Foundation of a Religion. We have noted–with approval--over our
Lifetime--the gradual Diminishment in the Numbers of those who see it in
those Terms. Even more fortunately, Christians have stopped going on
Crusades, censoring the Ideas of Science (well-mostly), and torturing
And so, for the most part, Christmas is part of the World of Let’s Pretend. It is a World of Santa Claus, Elves, and Reindeer. It is the World of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas, A Christmas Carol, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, It’s a Wonderful Life–or even--The Holly and the Ivy. It is a world of familiar Music, and Tales from a Time so very long ago.
That is why we see Christmas as primarily cultural, and not religious. It is a quaint Custom of Fantasy–it allows us to pretend–just as we did when we rode the Range of Backyard Gulch, or put an Evening Dress on Melissa-Jean in preparation for the Great Masked Ball at 23 Maple Avenue.
Soon the Bell will ring for Supper, and then–Chores and Homework.
But let us have our little Christmas Fantasy.
|December 10, 2011
Tolerance is like alcohol: in moderate amounts, it softens hard edges, and lubricates the machinery of social interaction; in excess, it leads to foolishness, incoherence, the annihilation of principle, and the destruction of the essential self. (Observation #101)
We were surprised this last Evening, as we adjusted the Television Set in order to watch Murder She Wrote: Jessica Fletcher’s Meddlings with Murder had been pre-empted by a the Showing of 2006 Performance of Christmas Music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
While we think all Religion to be Nonsense, we think Christmas–and the Myths upon which it is based-- to remain as significant Elements in our Culture. To deny them and pretend that they have no Significance is as foolish as a naive Belief that there is a Man with a white Beard in the Sky looking after us. They are a part of our Past which annually intrudes upon our Present; indeed, there is a Resonance within us for the Repeated and the Familiar; our Lives are enhanced by Ritual.
In particular the Music inspired by the Ritual of Christmas, can be nostalgic; that inspired by Christian Belief may be both nostalgic and uplifting. They may both be considered as expressions of Man’s Yearnings and Hopes for a World far different from the real one he inhabits. There is a sort of Nobility in the Yearning, even though it may be regarded, ultimately, in cool Reflection, as in vain, or pitiable.
|Thus, we found the unexpected Choral Interlude
both nostalgic and a Measure of human Hope and Aspiration.
But we should note that such familiar Elements of our Culture are under Attack. In a foolish Deference to imagined Criticism by those of other Cultures, we seem anxious to extirpate, wherever, and whenever possible, any Hint of our traditional Holiday Trappings, lest they be perceived as entirely religious and exclusionary.
Christmas trees become Holiday Trees; The Christmas Party becomes a Holiday Happiness Hour; Decorations are politically incorrect.
We see that an individual named Brenda Chalk, a Supervisor of Transportation with Tri-Board, the Agency responsible for providing School Transportation in Kingston, has required two School Bus Drivers to remove Christmas Decorations from their Vehicles. While we admit that we would see Decorations of an extremely religious Nature as undesirable, those primarily cultural are simply that: a reflection of cultural Tradition. We see this Ban as arising from a Perception of Christmas as exclusively religious, not harmlessly cultural, and an Example of "Tolerance" taken to the point of Folly.
|December 9, 2011
We see that a Muslim Woman accusing her Uncle and Cousin of sexual Abuse in Childhood, wishes to wear a Niqab in giving Testimony. (National Post, December 9)
For us, this is the ultimate Test in the Clash of Cultures. The Claim is made that the wearing of the Niquab is a religious Requirement; our Understanding is that it is not, but merely cultural. Even if it were a religious Requirement, we hold that the Fantasy of Religion should not overcome the established Custom of our secular System of Justice.
We are pleased to see Tyler Hodgson, from the Muslim Canadian Congress make the Argument:
The niqab, as an institution, undermines gender equality and full participation in a democratic society...The right to full answer in defence ultimately trumps [the plaintiff’s desire to cover her face].
|We are tired of Instances of our Culture, the
one which has created the Conditions of Living apparently so desirable
to others, constantly seeking to bend and accommodate itself to Customs
of those whose Cultures evidently do not attract an Excess of
Tolerance is, indeed, a Virtue, but carried to absurd Excess, it becomes mere Weakness and Folly. Our Observation 101 reads thus:
Tolerance is like alcohol: in moderate amounts, it softens hard edges, and lubricates the machinery of social interaction; in excess, it leads to foolishness, incoherence, the annihilation of principle, and the destruction of the essential self.
| December 8, 2011
We are pleased to see a reiteration of our Concerns about the Future of Egypt (Diary, December 5) in an Article entitled: Do Islamists make good economists?-- by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times. (National Post, December 8.)
Noting that Fundamentalist Parties are in the ascendant, Mr. Friedman makes the point that Egypt, unlike some other Countries where Religion holds Sway, has not a huge Revenue from Oil. This is, indeed a Fly in the Islamist Ointment, for what other Salve may be applied--after achieving the laudable Goals of "segregating of the sexes, banning alcohol, and ensuring that women are veiled"–in order to create Income?
|They may, alas, have to devise some Means of
producing competitive Goods, and attracting Tourists, in order to have a
We suspect that Devices for de-handing Thieves, Stones for the Execution of Adulterers, and Manuals for the proper Execution of Apostates will have limited Appeal in the World Market.
However, in a spirit of friendly Advice and Suggestion, we have published some Ideas for a Tourist Brochure in the Drivel Section.
|December 7, 2011
We are not surprised to see the Results of an Experiment conducted at Oxford University:
Being told that a work of art is fake alters your response to it...
(National Post, December 7)
The Scanning of the Brains of Participants showed that, although they could not distinguish between Images of "genuine" and "fake" Works of Art–Activity of their Brains was affected when they were told the Art was "genuine."
The conclusion of one of the Conductors of the Experiment:
Our study shows that the way we view art is not rational...
The more general Proposition is that the "Story" of things affects our Perception of them. The Parker 51 Writing Device used by the President to sign a famous Treaty, is more highly prized than the identical Pen used by John Smith, to pay his Telephone Bill. And should, through some Mischief, those Devices be exchanged, the one assumed to be held by the President would, however erroneously, be revered.
|The gold Watch of our Grandfather, Mother’s
Silver Butter Dish, or a simple Shell once held by a former Lover–these
are said to have "Sentimental Value," a value based on Feelings rather
And is not part of the Charm of an Antique Table, the tantalizing thought of the World, long gone, that was once its Home?
We have no doubt that Religion may attain its Value in this Fashion: though it may be but a Story conjured from Circumstance, or created entirely from the Imagination, our Feelings may be engaged. Indeed, perhaps--if we are told that the Story is genuine--the Activity of our Brains–like those in the Oxford Experiment–is significantly altered.
Irrational Feelings, we must conclude, are part of our Nature; it would be helpful if we were to be able to choose among the relatively benign, and the potentially harmful.
| December 6, 2011
Was much intrigued to see last evening on The Source, a Depiction of a Robbery of Jewels by men clad in Burkas.
Mr. Levant makes the point that, in our Society, which has been bullied into certain Idiocies of Correctness, the Owner of a Jewellery Store may be faced with a difficult Decision: Prudence would dictate an immediate Alarm at the Entry of those wearing Masks, but the Terror of Political Correctness, enforced by our beloved Human Rights Commissions, forces him to a State of uncomfortable Inaction, and immediate Vulnerability.
The unworkable Ideal of Multiculturalism, in which the Practices of every Culture are deemed to be equally worthy has a high Price.
While Government Interference in Manner of Dress should be minimal, it would appear that public Nudity and the public Masking of Faces are Matters for reasonable Restriction. Nor, indeed, would draconian Laws be necessary in the Matter of Cultural Masking. Requirement that Faces be shown in all Government Offices and Interactions with Government Personnel–such as Policemen--would be an effective Start.
|We do not see why it should not also be
entirely acceptable for private Businesses to bar Entry to those wearing
Masks. We would see this as "Discrimination" on perfectly reasonable
Grounds of Security.
We wonder whether, had not our Freedom of Speech been so severely curtailed, private Comments and Ridicule would by now have ensured the virtual Disappearance of cultural Masks, and a greater Harmony of Interaction among Citizens would have been obtained. The Message of the Mask is: keep out, and keep away; I am an Island, entire of myself, not a piece of the Continent, or part of the main. (See Weekly Quotation, November 2, 2011)
| December 5, 2011
No one should be surprised to see the Heading in this Day’s Newspaper, referring to Results of Egyptian Elections:
Worried Egyptian liberals call for votes as radicals head for landslide.
We recall an Article by Lawrence Solomon (National Post, February 5, 2011), noting that Egypt has known only Dictatorship for 5000 years. It would not be surprising if the Egyptian Concept of Democracy should show some modest Differences from our own.
We repeat a List from our Diary of February 6, 2011, indicating some Egyptian Opinion:
|1. 59% of Egyptians view democracy as "very
2. Nearly three quarters want to see "strict imposition of Sharia law."
3. More than half want men and women segregated in the workplace.
4. 82% want adulterers to be stoned.
5. 77% view whippings and cutting off of hands as proper punishment for theft.
6. 84% favour the death penalty for Muslims who leave their faith.
7. 91% want to keep "Western values out of Islamic countries."
8. 67% want "to unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or Caliphate."
Egypt bids fair to be a most desirable Destination for a carefree Holiday. Tourists are advised to book early.
| December 4, 2011
We are depressed to read a recent Article in the National Post (November 25) by Yanick Labrie, entitled: Health monopoly shuts out entrepreneurs.
Mr. Labrie laments the Fact that in Quebec, Emergency Room wait times have increased by two Hours to 17.6 Hours in the last Ten Years. Twenty-five percent of the Population have no Doctors. Waiting Times to see a Specialist have increased from Nine to Eighteen Weeks since 1993.
In contrast, Laser Eye Surgery, offered by Private Entrepreneurs, has declined in Cost from Five Thousand Dollars to between One and Two Thousand Dollars in the last Ten Years.
We were about to say "In any Government Enterprise, Sclerosis slows the passage of vital Fluid, hobbles the Joints in Movement, and fixes the Organism to a hardened Reef of unyielding Stasis,"* when we were dumbfounded by the Oxymoron we had thoughtlessly conceived: Government and Enterprise are in complete Opposition.
Mr. Labrie notes that, in 2007, the Ontario Government rejected the Proposal of a Private Clinic to Perform Operations on the Knee for $5800–over a Thousand Dollars less than the Cost in public Hospitals. A private Company, Myca Health, unable to operate in Canada, is now a Leader in its Field of Virtual Consultation in the United States.
|To this we would add the Persecution of Dr.
Karen Dockrill in Ontario for the grave Crime of charging for Services
not provided by the infallible Government System.
We must conclude that there will be an eventual End to this particular Folly. However, as Mr. Labrie points out, "unions and professional organizations, which benefit economically from the current system" tend to oppose any Initiative.
As for Politicians, they continue to reap the Benefit of holding their Hands over their Hearts, gazing skyward, and pledging themselves to a fanciful Ideal, secure in the Knowledge that their Prominence ensures that they will be the Last to suffer from medical Delay.
*We have re-worked the Sentence to create our Observation #158.
| December 3, 2011
We have learned (from Rex Murphy in the National Post of this Date) that the David Suzuki Foundation, besides showing Films of Propaganda at high Schools, has suggested that Climate Change is now threatening Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole. Santa may be saved, it is suggested, by Contributions to Mr. Suzuki’s Foundation. Doubtless Mr. Suzuki will use the Funds to transport ice Cubes from all the old Refrigerators he has been collecting, and will deposit them in the warming Arctic Ocean.
|We have encountered a new relevant Fairy Tale:
David Bullzuki and the Apocalyptic Wizards. It may be
found in the Drivel Section.
| December 2, 2011
In some of our more agreeable Daydreams, we are paid a large annual Stipend by the Government and are enabled to live in a remote Location, think great Thoughts, and commune with Nature.
If nothing else, the News from Attawawapiskat, suggests that we should amend our Daydream; perhaps working in a Carwash for minimum Wage in Florida would be a suitable Substitute.
Our Childhood view of Indians was that they were canny Survivors in a primitive Environment: they hunted and fished for Survival; they were coureurs de bois; they had birchbark Canoes; they scalped, tortured, and mutilated their Enemies, and were not noted for their Restraint when sending Christian Fathers to their heavenly Compensations.
That view, of course, has been erased in recent Times. In a masterful flourish of Myth-Making, Aboriginals are now seen as the exclusively benign Remnants of a Golden Age of Harmony with Nature. Their Ancestors held philosophical Conversations with Brother Rabbit, Brother Beaver, and Brother Moose. In Gratitude, the Brothers would regularly wander into the Encampments and expire painlessly near the Cooking Pot or skinning Depot. There is no mention of Warfare. It is forbidden to mention "Alcohol" and "Aboriginal" in the same Sentence. The word "Indian" itself has been retired. "First Nations" is preferred, possibly because it suggests Primacy–and the Superiority implied: "first come, first served."
|The Writer of a Letter in the National Post
(November 30) suggests the Reality:
There is no future on these reserves. There is no industry, no infrastructure, no jobs, and no hope.
Several have commented that the Failure of Indian Reserves is a result of Political Correctness, or that Kind of "Affirmative Racism" considered desirable by the Equality Industry. The Government dares not interfere, or hold Band Councils to Account–for this would suggest that an "identifiable group" is incompetent, corrupt, or both.
"The horror! The horror!"
Perhaps it is time to retire the Myth. The golden Age of Harmony with Nature never existed, nor can it be recreated-- no matter how fond the Hopes, no matter how earnest the Desires. People of all Varieties need Goals and Challenges. Being paid to do Nothing erodes the Soul. If Injections of Education and Entrepreneurship do not work, the Answer is Relocation and Integration.
| December 1, 2011
On being on the Side of the Angels
Angels do much inspire us. They have Wings which allow them to flit from Cloud to Cloud, and defy the ordinary Rules of Gravity. They wear attractive Halos as Markers of their blessed State. They save Jimmy Stewart from making a terrible Mistake, and doubtless perform other Savings of a miraculous Nature.
It is not difficult to understand how we, mere Mortals, should comfort Ourselves with a secure and favoured Place-- on the Side of the Angels. But with this Proximity to a happy and exalted State comes much Danger. This Danger may be expressed in two fateful Words:
Yes, Beelzebub Dabbling-- having Acquaintance with the Lord of the Flies, associated, say some, with the Sin of Pride. If one is on the Side of the Angels, the heavenly End may seem to justify the corrupted, corrupting and despicable Means.
Thus, those of the Inquisition, because they were on the Side of the Angels, could justify the Depths of their own Inhumanity. Those who destroy symbolic Towers, and many Innocents, or proclaim Fatwa against Writers of Novels, (or, perhaps, murder in the name of "Honour")–they are serene in their Perception of being on the Side of the Angels.
We have sometimes wondered, idly, whether it was not that Sense of being on the Side of the Angels that led the sainted Jack Layton to live in a public Housing Complex, despite having an elevated Income.
And surely that same Danger of Beelzebub Dabbling is shown today in the matter of those devout Believers in Anthropogenic Climate Change. David Suzuki thinks Legislators who disagree with his angelic Vision should be jailed, and Schoolchildren should be influenced to bring their Parents into the ineffable Light.
|In a recent erudite Article in the
National Post (November 29, 30), Peter Foster notes that Al Gore
believes that Climate Change is a moral Issue which places it "beyond
politics"–beyond the ordinary gravitational Force of public Debate.
And is it not the Sense of being on the Side of the Angels that led Climate Change "Scientists" to ignore the Mediaeval Warm Period, plot to avoid releasing Data, and endeavour to thwart those Deniers whom they deemed their Enemies? Is this not a scientific Dabbling with Beelzebub?
As Mr. Foster points out, the Problem arises from our human Nature: our Reason is used to justify, not create our Feelings; he refers to Dr. Jonathan Haidt of the University of Virginia, who suggests the Reality of our Nature with the Image of a "small somewhat conscious rider on a very large subconscious elephant." The Rider explains, but does not control the Direction of the Behemoth. Once again, we must quote Mr. Pope’s perceptive comment from the 18th Century:
The ruling passion, be what it will,
With great Difficulty, we must examine our Alliance with the Angels, attempt to control the Elephant, and avoid the flattering, but dangerous Temptations of Beelzebub.
To that End: a most interesting Commentary on Climate Change by Bob Bell was published in the National Post (November 24) as an Advertisement. It is available, apparently, by E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
| November 29, 2011
We are now ensconced at Wind-in-the-Pines, but even here in the Remoteness of Cottageland, we have become aware of the astounding News: Canada may renounce the Kyoto Accord.
We have suffered greatly on Account of this Revelation: we have spent many Hours staring listlessly out the Window, as if seeking some Ray of Hope from the Cold Grey Waters of Silver Lake, some Comfort from the mute Stands of solitary Pines which crowd the Shore.
Alas, we have been inconsolable.
The CBC, our favourite Broadcaster, has not helped. They have relentlessly interviewed the Inhabitants of low-lying Islands facing Extinction, Skiers contemplating the Loss of Mountain Snows, and Polar Bears protesting the Disappearance of beloved Ice Floes.
These Interviews are conducted with the Sounds of Gnashing of Teeth of CBC Staff clearly audible in the Background, and each Segment is concluded with a Report on the latest Prices for Sackcloth and Ashes.
Well, we do enjoy our fantastical Moments.
|It may well be that our Climate is warming. Quelle Surprise! It
has happened before: the Arctic was once a comfortable Home to redwood
Forests, Alligators, tropical Turtles and large Herbivores.
The important Question is whether current Climate Change is caused by Mankind.
Considering Man’s penchant for Torontonitis--seeing himself as the Centre of the Universe–his Fascination with Armageddon, and his long-established Record of engaging in Deception for Gain in real or "psychic" Income, we have been skeptical of Pronouncements from those who pretend they can predict Climate far into the Future.
When one adds the Evidence of Skullduggery on the Part of Doomsayers and the Goreian Hypocrisy of its most loudmouthed Proponents, the Notion of Man-made Climate Change seems to be on a par with Religion in its Appeal to the rational Intelligence. The Days of Chaucer’s Pardoner are not as remote as one might think.
Finally, the Evidence that the magnetic Field of the Sun is a significant Factor in Climate Change (See Diary, August 30, 2011) suggests that Many prefer a rousing Tale of future Destruction caused by human Sin to the Revelation, once more, than Man is not nearly so close to the Centre of Things as he would like to believe.
| November 27, 2011
We have become accustomed to the Fact that the Village Matchmaker has been rendered obsolete by Businesses such as eHarmony.ca, and LifematesCanada.com–these Enterprises being widely advertised on Television. We gather that Village Matchmakers have been insufficiently entrepreneurial.
But we are pleased to see that a new Competitor called ChristianMingle.com is up to the capitalistic Challenge.
As the Name suggests, this is a Dating Service for Christians, and the Advertisement implies, with some Degree of Brazenness, that potential Mates found at the Site have a Divine Approval.
|"Find God’s Match," trumpets the Advertisement–as if God is
busily working away in the Back Office of Christian Mingle, guiding
lonely Christians to their appropriate Mates with an infallible hand. "Sometimes
we wait for God to make the next move," burbles the Pitch--suggesting
that God is a mere mouse-click away, ready to P-Q4 in the Chess Match of
Romance. How appealing to avoid the tough Choices by sacrificing
one’s own Will to that of the Supreme Being! How wonderful that that
Will may be easily determined at the Christian Mingle Site!
Perhaps this is only the First in a Series of religious Dating Sites. Can we look forward to seeing BuddhistBondingMart.com, DruidicalDesires.ca, Allah's Alliance Bazaar, and Jehovah's Romantic Round-up Jamboree?
We note the Appearance of ChristianMingle.com on Limerick Lane.
| November 26, 2011
I have been half in
love with easeful death,
We note that a Report from the Royal Society of Canada has called for the Availability of "physician assisted suicide," and the matter was Subject of Debate on The Agenda this Thursday last.
We have long been in favour of Suicide, although we have not yet encountered the Occasion which would prompt undertaking it for our self. We think it to be an obvious Matter of individual Freedom. It is our Understanding that there was once a legal Prohibition–no doubt an offshoot of religious Dogma–which would apply to those inefficient in their attempt--but that is no longer in Effect.
The question of assisted Suicide is, perhaps, more difficult, since the Individual wishing to die is without the Means, or has not the Capability–and therefore seeks assistance from a Physician, putting a Burden of Decision on someone Else.
On the Program, three of the panellists were opposed to Euthanasia. One Argument seemed to be that Desire for Death could be removed if only palliative Care could be improved. This may well be partially the Case, but it must surely be the Circumstance that some would wish to die regardless, preferring not to extend an inevitable Process. The Time of such Decision would vary with the Individual.
The Discussion dealt with the Distinction between a Physician prescribing Barbiturates well in Advance, so that the Patient might use them as he saw fit, and actually administering a lethal Injection. We had a sense that some Physicians would not wish to engage even in the first Activity–although this seems to us to be highly desirable.
|There is also the Distinction between removing a Patient from a
Ventilator, in the strong Likelihood of causing Death–as opposed to
actively Causing the Death with an introduced Agent.
Few would object to the former, while some might have Qualms about the Latter.
Another Argument was that of the "Slippery Slope." There is Fear that once Doctors become accustomed to requested Euthanasia, they might start performing it "unjustifiably," without Request. While this is a Possibility, we suspect that, even now Morphine is used, not only to relieve Pain, but in the certain Knowledge that it will hasten Death.
We think, in fact, that the Heffalump in the Hallway in this Discussion was the religious Belief of the Participants. It seems likely to us that those who believe–deep down–that God has a neat little Plan for each Individual–would find Reason to oppose taking Action to cause Death.
While we believe that each Individual has within him the Seeds of Destruction which will eventually cause Death–that there is a "natural" path to Extinction–that Path is not determined by an imagined Deity, and is routinely interfered with. We ourselves were destined to die at the age of Twelve from Appendicitis, but were prevented from doing so by surgical Interference.
Thus, for us, Interference of a similar Nature towards the End of Life involves no sort of "moral" prohibition, if it is the Desire of the Individual to end a Life which he deems to be pointless, and anguishing for himself and Others.
We can understand some Physicians not wishing to assist in Suicide; but we feel that their Perceptions should not prohibit Euthanasia from being legal, and readily obtainable by competent Individuals who request it.
| November 25, 2011
The Terrain of Life is so imperfect, the Ascents and Declines so precipitous and extreme, the Rivers to be crossed so wide and possessed of such contrary Currents, that he who would proceed in a straight and unvarying Direction, adhering to Principle alone, is likely to make little Progress, or, indeed, find himself forced to surrender the Entirety of his Enterprise*
This Conclusion is drawn from an Awareness that we ourselves have, by innate Temperament, or inherited Stubbornness of Character, often felt compelled to act according to Principle, to the Detriment of practical Advantage.
When we were employed as a Teacher, we came convinced, after a Time that those in Charge of our Circumstance were Idiots, holding Values with which we could not agree. In the softening of our Opinion over Time, we might recant our Conclusion of Idiocy, and say that perhaps they were more astute in Shaping their Values according to the expedient, practical Demands of the current Fashion. We would now say that they simply represented a Vacuity of Moral Perception.
We were unable to make such Accommodation, and left the Profession, taking the accumulated Pension Amounts in Cash, and disbursing them in short Order, much to our subsequent Disadvantage.
This same Pattern of Refusal to compromise has been shown in our Experience with most of the Canadian Banks–and has been detailed in the Drivel Section (April 21-25, 2011) under the Title My Financial Career.
It is not surprising, perhaps–indeed we predicted it in the April 25 Drivel referred to above–that we should have encountered Problems with the National Bank, and have felt compelled to begin the Process of closing our Account. In seeking a new Bank, our first Thought was to sacrifice Principle and open an Account with the Royal Bank--a Branch of which is within walking Distance of The Lumpenbangen Studios-- despite the Fact that that Institution has proved itself to be foolish and incompetent on two previous occasions. The Lady Manager we knew to be a certifiable Nervous Nellie–but we reflected that since our encounter with her a few Years before, she might have been retired to Useless Acres, the Sylvan Sward of Silliness reserved for Nattering Nags of Nervous Nellyism.
|Alas! As we approached the Branch Building, we saw that the Sign
had been removed, and a Travel Agency had replaced the Banking Function.
It was clear that the Manager had taken the Royal Ship with her, with
all Hands on Board.
Thus, we have been forced, by Fate, to stand by our Principles. We have opened an Account with the HSBC–an Institution with which we have had no previous Dealings. The Bank is NOT within walking Distance of the Lumpenbangen Studios. It is at the very Core of Downtown Hamilton, where the Availability of Parking, while it cannot be classified as Torontonian, is nonetheless more scant than that to which we have become accustomed at the National Bank.
We have reflected, idly–since every man has his Price–how much Money the National Bank would have to pay us to sign their wretched Internet Banking Agreement, so that we could continue with the Convenience which their Branch offers (it is within walking distance of the Studios, and Parking is usually available within a few Feet of the Door).
After spending a several intense Hours in this idle Calculation, we have concluded that we would hold our Nose and sign for a million Dollars, but not for One Hundred Thousand. The Price of our Principle in this Matter, we must conclude, lies somewhere in between.
Note: we have received an e-mail from a Representative of the President of the National Bank concerning our Complaint. Not unexpectedly, it was airily dismissive of our Concerns. We publish our Reply in the Drivel Section.
|November 23, 2011
We are intrigued to see that "Merck & Co. the second largest U.S. drugmaker, will pay U.S.$950-million and a unit of the company will plead guilty to a criminal charge" regarding the sale of the painkiller Vioxx. (National Post, November 23.)
We hope this News will increase public Skepticism about the Integrity of the large Drug Manufacturers. We ourselves, having examined the Matter of the Cholesterol Theory of Heart Disease, have concluded that, where very large Amounts of Money are involved, the Truth is but a Feather in the Weigh Scale of Values.
When one observes the Numbers of Drugs which have supposedly passed rigorous Testing, yet still turn out to be dangerous, it is difficult to be complacent about the Process of Development. Readers might wish to examine our Drivel November 22--December 1, 2010 (Dirty Little Secrets) for Insight into one small part of this Process.
Former Users of Vioxx had claimed in Court that "Merck didn’t adequately disclose safety data to the FDA, failed to properly warn doctors and patients of the drug’s risks, and misrepresented the potential harm in marketing materials."
|In another matter, we complained yesterday
about the Actions of the National Bank in blocking Access to our
Internet Banking Account, requiring us first to sign, without Warning or
Explanation, an arrogant, contemptuous, bullying, insensitive Agreement
with respect to Internet Banking Matters.
We admit to having been extremely upset at the time, and to having personally spoken with our local Bank Manager. The Suggestion was made that much of the Arrogance in the Document was a result of poor Translation from the original French.
We have now had a full Day to reflect calmly and judiciously on the Matter.
After this calm and sober Reflection, it is our considered Opinion that the National Bank is run by arrogant, presumptuous, contemptuous, disdainful, bullying Blockheads, who, in Addition to possessing those Qualities, are too cheap to hire competent Translators. The Translation may be a part of the Problem, but the essential Arrogance in the Manner of Presenting the Document without Explanation, and the Tone throughout–this shines unmistakably through.
We will be seeking another Bank.
|November 22, 2011
Last Evening we did attempt to conduct our routine Banking over the Internet, but were blocked by a Form consisting of Twelve Pages of Instruction from the National Bank.
We gathered that some momentous Change has taken Place in Internet Banking–it apparently involves the Capacity for transferring Funds from one Institution to another–and this requires a new Agreement with Customers--but the Bank did not deign to give this Explanation. It simply presents a Twelve Page Form, and requires us to accept the Terms and Conditions listed, or renounce Banking via the Internet.
It is as if we were to proceed on Foot to our local Branch, only to be confronted by an armed Guard, who, without a Word of Explanation, thrusts a Twelve Page Document in our Face, demanding that we sign it, or take our Business Elsewhere.
Nor is this the only Arrogance displayed in the Matter. The Wording is contemptuous and peremptory, stating that the Customer "must [italics ours] read and...follow the instructions we provide." These Instructions, the Document states with a kind of airy, sweeping Majesty, may be conveyed in certain specified Ways or "in any other manner we may decide upon from time to time." Just in Case we were in any Doubt about the Security of our Position, the Bank adds: "The instructions may change periodically."
If the Customer is so foolish to believe he has any Shred of Autonomy left, the Bank concludes the Paragraph: "...you must [italics ours] regularly consult our security related instructions in the ABCs of Security section of our Website"
We are grateful that the Bank has not decided to specify the Timing of our Interaction with its Majesty: You are required to do your Banking on Tuesdays between 10:30 and 11 a.m. Nor is there a word about our Diet, or the required Times for Arising or going to Bed. For these Freedoms vouchsafed, we are obsequiously grateful.
|At a later Point in the Twelve Page Document,
cunningly placed, we assume on the Presumption that no one will read the
Decree in its Entirety, we are asked to agree to the Collection of
Personal Information, which may be used and disclosed to those Entities
chosen by the Bank for the Purposes of "telemarketing or other means."
The Bank will also be collecting our "online activity information in our Website, the secure websites of our affiliated companies and their advertisements hosted on third-party sites, through cookies and other tracking technologies."
At what point will the Bank be installing a Surveillance Device in the Living Room? Oh, sorry, how rude of us to enquire! Please come over just any old time.
We are tempted to say: "What on Earth were they thinking?" In Fact, we suspect Complaints will be few. Most people do not read such Documents; they sign immediately in order to save Time. In Addition, it is probably true that Few are sensitive to Language in general and Tone in particular.
We have observed before that Canadian Companies which attempt to do Business in the United States are rarely successful. One Reason for this is, we suspect, that Canadian Businesses take Customers for granted, and treat them, if not with actual Disdain, then certainly with a full Measure of Indifference. Canadians are used to being treated in a Manner which is cavalier, and without Respect. The National Bank may have earned our undying enmity...but it cares not a whit.
|November 21, 2011
We are pleased to see a Headline in the Hamilton Spectator of November 17 (it is really the Toronto Star run through a Steel Mill):
Occupy is the most crucial cause in years, says professor.
We note that Vincent Mosco, is a Professor emeritus of Sociology at Queen’s University, and is reported as saying:
...he believed the movement will survive, even if protestors end up being evicted from their last remaining strongholds.
Well, we are not so sure. We see the Movement as a strange mixture of Passivity and Aggression. The Occupiers aggressively complain about the obvious Inequities in Society, but, having no Ideas for Solutions, passively expect Someone Else to wave the appropriate Wand, and produce them.
|If the Occupiers could suggest how
Manufacturing might be retrieved from China, where the Wages are a
Fraction of those in North America, how Society might be reorganized so
that Employment in Technological Innovation might replace the Loss of
Jobs in Manufacturing, how Governments could be prevented from promoting
the Purchase of Homes to those who cannot afford them, how Purchasers
could be persuaded from taking on too much Debt, how the Educational
System might be used to promote financial Literacy, how Greed could be
extirpated from the human Psyche–we think more Attention might be paid
to those with a penchant for Tenting in Parks.
We suspect that, in the Absence of helpful Suggestions, the Movement will disappoint Professor Mosco.
In another Matter-- we consider the familiar Topick: Lying with Statistics. Please consult the Drivel Section.
| November 20, 2011
After watching a Portion of the Program Scientology: The Ex-Files last evening, we have written a gloomy Prognostication about the Fate of the Human Race and Civilization as we know it. We have published the Gloom in our Drivel Section.
We suspect that our Mood is permanent. Only perhaps, the Dissolving of Human Rights Commissions, a radical Admission of false Prophecy by David Suzuki, or the Introduction of private Medical Insurance by the Harper Government might lighten our Despair.
|Or–upon Reflection-- the donating of his
Summer Home by Michael Moore to the Occupy Movement, a Commitment by
Bill Blair to wear a Hijab for the rest of his Term of Employment, or
the News that Mr. McGuinty was unaccountably blown into the Stratosphere
in a chance Encounter with the Windmill at the Bottom of his Garden–these might also provide
a minor Alleviation by Means of transient, beneficial Levity.
|November 19, 2011
Last Month, the National Post did publish a Defence of Censorship of Hate Speech by David Langtry, the acting Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
We thought his Arguments to be Boloney, redolent and revealing--and not even thinly sliced. He noted with some Approval that the Complaint against Maclean’s Magazine brought in 2007 was dismissed–thereby showing that Human Rights Commissions are not oppressive–but completely ignored the Fact that Maclean’s was not able to recoup its legal Costs–or claim Damages-- as a Result.
In Addition, he attempted to downplay the Issue of Hate Speech by stating that it is "a tiny fraction of the Commission’s caseload." This is an shaky Argument from Number, not Principle:
"The vast majority of scientists believe in man-made global warming."
"Yes, the judge is corrupt, but we don’t care--only a few of his decisions were purchased by the highest bidder."
Mr. Langtry also notes the two legal Instruments for pursuing Hate Speech: the Criminal Code, and the Canadian Human Rights Act, and he laments the Difficulties presented by the Criminal Code: it requires Approval of an Attorney General, and Police are reluctant to investigate Matters which are doubtful of producing a Charge.
|An insight into Mr. Langtry’s Thinking is
shown when, anticipating the possible Repeal of the Hate Speech Clause
of the Canadian Human Rights Act, he suggests:
"...perhaps Parliament should also make it easier for police to lay a charge based on evidence. Perhaps, too, it would be useful to ensure that police have the resources they need to gather that evidence."
It would appear that the Propensity for the Hunting of Witches is a more or less permanent Element in human Psychology.
In Today’s National Post, Joseph Brean reports on the Approval of Justice Minister Rob Nicholson of Brian Storseth’s Private Member's Bill to repeal the offending Clause, because it is an Affront to Free Speech.
We would suggest that this is only a first beneficial Step in a desirable complete Alteration or Dissolving of Human Rights Commissions.
We are pleased to report that Michael Moore has been seen on Limerick Lane.
|November 18, 2011
The Problem of Inequality, and the Means of Addressing It.
We have been much given, of late, to a Consideration of the Problem of Inequality, and how best it might be addressed.
Most Discussion of the Matter seems to concern Wealth, but we think that Wealth does not show the most grievous ill-effects of Inequality. Indeed, we think the primary Focus of our Concern, the most earnest Endeavour of our Research, and the most careful Application of our Science should be directed to the Problem of the Inequality of Stupidity.
Wherever one looks, the Problems of human Society may be traced to the Fact that Stupidity is concentrated in certain select Individuals, and in certain small, Stupidity Elites. In our own restricted Sphere, for example--why should Dalton McGuinty, with his Schemes for prohibitively Expensive Green Energy, or Bill Blair with his plan for Hijab-Wearing Policewomen, or Dr. Chris Spence, with his Defence of Muslim Prayers in secular Public Schools–why should they be so disproportionately laden with Stupidity?
Why, indeed, should those advocating a Return to the Caves in order to halt Climate Change–ignoring the true Cause--the Magnetism of the Sun–why should they be in Possession of Stupidity in such egregious Amounts? And why should those Stupidity Elites–the Human Rights Commissions which ignore legal Tradition and Common Sense in order to promote Victimhood–why should they be allowed to amass Stupidity in such obscene Aggregations? And what can we say of the Defenders of our unsustainable Universal Health Care System? Is there no limit to the Stupidity which they continue to seek and amass–over which they gloat and congratulate themselves as Benefactors to Mankind? And think of the Improvement to our Parks, were the outrageous Concentrations of Stupidity of the Occupiers to be diluted to near-normal Levels!
|Surely it is Time to focus all our Resources
towards a Solution of this Problem. We must determine whether Stupidity
might be extracted through some form of medical Leeching, or some
relatively painless surgical Procedure to the Brains of those showing
the most toxic Concentrations.
If this might be achieved, it would be but a first step; it is our understanding that Stupidity, like Energy and Mass can be neither created or destroyed, but merely spread around, like manure on a Farmer's Field. Possibly one Solution–albeit an expensive one–would be to Rocket the most lethal Varieties-- that possessed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes to mind-- into outer Space. And then, the Sinks presently being developed for excess Carbon might well serve as long Term Sequesters of some other potent and dangerous Types of Folly–possibly those related to extreme religious Beliefs, or the Madness of political Correctness.
In the End, because of the Sheer Quantity of Stupidity, it might be necessary to ask some of the more intelligent among us –the Warren Buffets and Bill Gateses of the World of Intellect–to step up to the Plate, and be willing to accept–as a kind of Tax on the 1%-- a modest Share of Stupidity–for the benefit Mankind as a Whole. (We would be willing to accept a minimal Amount Ourselves in such a good Cause.)
But we fear that Time is of the Essence; the Survival of our Planet is dependent upon the Amelioration of this grave Inequality-- these offensive, outrageous, and dangerous Concentrations of Stupidity.
|November 17, 2011
We note with Approval that the Toronto District School Board has voted to establish an "Africentric" High School. Indeed, we hope that this is the First of many such centric Institutions--and there is little Doubt that, once the manifold Benefits of the School become evident, there will be a Hue and Cry for Graeco-centric, Italo-centric, Saudi-centric, Haiti-centric, Sino-centric, Scandinavian-centric, and many other such Places of Learning.
It is true, there may be some foolish Resistance from the Hidebound and Vision-Challenged Reactionaries in our Progressive Society, but we think this may be easily overcome by the Introduction and Dissemination of some catchy Slogans, some of which might profitably be incorporated into Coats of Arms, or Inscribed on Stone Lintels over Entrance-Ways.
We would humbly suggest the following as useful Mottoes for the New Schools:
|In Diversity, Unity
In Folly are the Seeds of Wisdom
Dispersal leads to Integration
Let Warring Factions Thrive!
The Part is Superior to the Whole
My Homeland is Better than Yours
Our Truths are better than your Lies; Our Lies are Better than your Truths
Foreigners Keep Out!
These, of course, are mere Suggestions which would need to be rendered into Latin to give an added Element of Gravitas and Authoritas.
We do marvel at the Flowering of Progress in our fair Land, and do earnestly Hope we may keep on such new and productive Paths.
In other Matters-- we note the Receipt of a new Missive from Maria Duval, which we discuss in the Drivel Section, and a short new Fairy Tale called The Man who was Equal, to be found in the same Place.
|November 16, 2011
We are intrigued to note the Visit of Gordon Lightfoot to see his Daughter, Meredith, at the Occupy Site in Toronto. (Peter Kuitenbrouwer, National Post, November 16.) Mr. Lightfoot is reported as describing his Daughter as "strong," "stoic," and "brave."
In Addition to possessing such Virtues, we learn that the Occupy protesters "in general reject capitalism in favour of true sharing." Mr. Kuitenbrouwer" quotes Nicole Lebrasseur-- "a Mohawk visiting the camp from Montreal"-- as summing up the Philosophy: "The sharing of the one bowl, one spoon for all humanity."
We are also pleased to learn that Meredith’s Guitar bears Slogans such as "Smile on your brother;" "Balance, simplicity, logic, purpose;" "Peace, love and fair trade;" "Ganja [cannabis] and empathy."
|We confess to an irresistible Flow of warm
teddy-bear Feelings welling up inside of us. They seem to emanate from
the Omphalos, and radiate in pleasurable Pulses towards our left
Ventricle. Surely this wonderful Movement is the Culmination of Years of
Left-Wing Thinking, and now requires only a modest Alteration in the
Nature of Mankind to be crystallized into a Brave New World, a World of
Strength no longer requiring Stoicism.
We are indeed blessed to have lived long enough to see the Dawning of this New Age of Brotherhood and Ganja. Surely Peace and Love, so long denied their rightful Place in our Hearts, may now, at last, assume their Reign. We puzzle only that no one has had these great Insights before; they have struck, like a merciful Bolt of Lightning, to illuminate and clarify, to dispel all our previous Muddle and Despair.
Perhaps Mr. Lightfoot–or his Daughter–will create a powerful Anthem to aid us in the next and final Step to the Utopia of our too-long-thwarted Dreams.
|November 15, 2011
Michael Moore–another Naked Emperor.
We have long held that the human Circumstance would be improved by the Introduction of an Emperor’s Clothes Award. This Award would be made annually to the Writer or Journalist deemed most worthy in the Exposing of a Naked Emperor.
Perhaps, such an Award is unnecessary, since a Parade of naked Emperors is in itself an Incentive to those with a Nose for Pretension, a Passion for Truth, or a Propensity for Ridicule.
We first heard of Michael Moore’s elaborate and expensive ($2 Million) Summer Home in Michigan a few Days ago on The Source, when Ezra Levant interviewed Blogger Andrew Breitbart, who first drew Attention to the Matter. Today, an Image of the Home is on the Front page of the National Post, and Kelly McParland explains why it is important:
Mr. Moore is a leading supporter of the Occupy movement who eviscerates the wealthy while sharing their wealth, and lives in the sort of luxury he despises in others.
|We confess we are often pleased
when the Pretensions of the Prominent are exposed as hypocritical. We
were gleeful at the Reports of the lavish Lifestyle of Al Gore, which is
in stark Contrast to his Preachings of the Man-made Causes of
Climate Change; we could hardly suppress a Frisson of Delight at
the Estimates of the "Carbon Footprint" of Delegates to important
Environmental Conferences–those Delegates apparently preferring Jet
Planes to Sandals.
It is doubtless too much to hope for, but were it to be shown that David Suzuki does not, in fact, live in a Cave in which Power is generated by a hand Crank–but, indeed, lives in a Mansion and owns a Hummer–our Satisfaction would be nearly complete.
We do enjoy a good Snigger.
We have added to our Observations Page. We have some Hope that, one Day, this Page will be hailed as the Work of an Emperor attired in the real Finery of acute Perception, faultless Judgement, and felicitous Expression--yet displaying all with a Demeanour of becoming Modesty.
| November 14, 2011
Signs of the Times
We are intrigued to learn that the Office québécois de la lange françois is requiring Companies to add Words of Description in French to Brand Names of commercial Enterprises in Quebec. Thus "The Brick" must be altered to something like "Brick meubles et electroniques." (National Post, November 14, 2011)
Those Enterprises which do not comply, face Prosecution.
On the other Extreme, we have noticed a Policy in Toronto of providing Street Signs in certain Areas in English, but also in the Language which is presumed to be dominant in the District.
|We see both Policies to be foolish. It could
be argued, reasonably, that Government Signs in Quebec be provided only
in French, in order to signal the primary Language of that Province. But
Interference in the Conduct of private Business seems intrusive, and
costly. If "The Brick" manages to operate its Business profitably under
such a Banner, that should be its Choice. If it should determine that a
Sign in Sanskrit would attract more Custom, then it should be perfectly
free in such a Matter of Business Policy.
At the same time, we see no reason why a Municipality, at cost to the Taxpayer, should alter its Signs based on its Perception of language Ghettoes. Such a Policy would seem to encourage the Persistence of Division, and seems to represent a closed Mind to the Possibility of Change. It is of course, determinedly multicultural–and we have long held that Multiculturalism is a foolish and destructive Policy in itself. Cultures are not equally worthy, and it is a Puzzlement why a Country sought after precisely because of its superior Culture, should be so loathe to express Confidence, and so anxious to wallow in unseemly Self-Abnegation.
|November 12, 2011
Yesterday we did quote approvingly from an Article by Ian Hunter, that same Ian Hunter of whom we have written jeering Limericks on Account of his Religion. (Limerick Lane, July 15, 2011) And recently on The Agenda, we were pleased to see, once again, the bold and articulate Irshad Manji, who despite her Clarity of Thought and Felicity of Expression, remains a Muslim.
While we have concluded that Temperament, not Intelligence is the Chief Element in religious Belief (Observation #151), we are still surprised on encountering those of significant Intelligence who yet claim the Validity of Religion. It is as if they have proceeded with the plodding Steed of Rationality to the Moat of Mystery, and then, in Despair of proceeding further, have tumbled onto the magic Carpet of Nonsense which promises them safe Passage over the Divide and a sure Glimpse into the Heart of the imagined Shangri-la beyond.
We have said that it is Temperament that causes them to relinquish the solid brass Keys to the Kingdom of the Intellect, in Favour of the Hairpin of twisted Logic which cajoles a 'Sesame' to the Door of Fantasy, but this, perhaps is but another Word for susceptibility to Passion used by Alexander Pope (1688-1744):
The ruling passion, be what it will,
|Indeed, as we Survey much of the Common Ways
of Thinking in the present Day, we are led to conclude that while there
is an Impulse in Mankind to Defiance (we are fond–perhaps over-fond--of
quoting Dostoevsky’s Remark than Man is not a Piano Key)–there is also a
powerful Impulse to Submission--both to Authority and to current
Fashion. We would note that even in the "Occupy Toronto"
Movement–supposedly a Symbol of Defiance–Ezra Levant was able to ensure
a hypnotic Repetition of his Remarks by proclaiming the magic Mantra of
We conclude that Man is happiest when bleating with the Herd, and the Herd is happiest when professing the Pursuit of an agreeable Ideal, flattering Illusion, or perceived Safe Haven.*
We think that this Generalization is amply illustrated by Examples of Belief which we are pleased to provide to our many Readers-- free of Charge-- in the Table Below.
|1.Climate change is caused by mankind.|| (Flattering to mankind–as well as
appealing to the "Armageddon" instinct–the flight to safety)
|2. Cholesterol is a causative rather than a
factor in heart disease.
|(Flight to Safety; flattering to doctors; remunerative to drug companies)|
|3. Equality of circumstance is attainable in a world clearly Darwinian and hierarchical in its essence.||(Agreeable ideal; flattering to Human Rights Commissions)|
|4.All religious belief .||(Agreeable ideal; flight to safety; flattering to religious leaders)|
|5. The universal Health Care System is sustainable.||(Agreeable ideal; flattering to bureaucrats)|
|6. Human Rights Commissions are unbiased.||(Agreeable ideal; flattering to government busybodies)|
|7.Governments know better than Markets.||(Agreeable ideal; flattering to politicians)|
|8. Multiculturalism (all cultures are equally worthy).||(Agreeable ideal; flattering to idealists and unpleasant cultures)|
|9. Fiat currencies are resistant to debasement.||(Agreeable ideal; flattering to governments)|
|10. (Fill in the blank.)|
|November 11, 2011
We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.
We have long been intrigued by the Fact that Universities in Canada are riddled with Political Correctness and are seen to restrict the Expression of Opinion which runs counter to the current Fashion. Thus, Christie Blatchford was prevented from speaking about the Failure to enforce the Law against native Protesters at the University of Waterloo, and Ann Coulter, an American Conservative, was prevented from speaking at the University of Ottawa.
This Wednesday last, George Jonas did comment on a Statement of Academic Freedom issued by the Presidents of Canadian Universities. He assumes that this is a Response to the Perception that Universities are, in the words of Ian Hunter "finishing schools in political correctness." (Globe and Mail, March 24, 2010)
The Statement reads in Part:
Academic freedom does not exist for its own sake, but rather for important social purposes.
We are most pleased that the Presidents have made this Matter perfectly clear: Academic Freedom is the Handmaiden of some previously defined Social Purpose. This Social Purpose, will, of course, be determined by the Administrations of the Universities, and will undoubtedly be consistent with the current Fashion. One would hardly wish academic Freedom to rock any Boats; the smooth Sailing of the Administrative Ship must be of primary Concern.
|Mr. Hunter’s Article gives some insight into
the necessary Conditions for smooth Sailing:
...all universities shelter within their grey headquarters petty bureaucrats called "equity officers" whose job it is to ensure that groupthink prevails at all times.
Last year, Queen's University went further, hiring students to surreptitiously eavesdrop on other student conversations lest anything untoward be said. This plan was dropped when some alumni objected, but it gives a good indication of the mindset of university administrators.
In short, the Statement of Academic Freedom is a significant Confirmation of Stasis: Canadian Universities will continue to be the Centres for Worship of received Wisdom, of an accepted Creed-- free from any Taint of inappropriate irreverence, be it an indiscreet cough, or the indelicate raising of an uncorrected eyebrow.
|November 10, 2011
We find our selves much occupied, of late, with the current Fashion for Occupation of public Places by those who are dissatisfied with the World and believe that Improvement may be achieved by gathering in Tents and drawing Attention to their Dissatisfaction.
We must confess that we, too, have found Life to be significantly deficient in a Variety of Aspects, and have observed that it customarily falls short of our Expectations. Being imaginatively challenged, we have never thought that gathering with the like-minded in a Public Park, and living under Conditions of significant Deprivation might be the first Step in an Amelioration of our Situation.
We were intrigued to read an Article by Matt Gurney in the National Post ( November 4) suggesting that the Desire to Occupy might be deflected by a judicious Dose of "financial literacy." He notes that:
Young Canadians are financially illiterate, and have no idea how the real world works. Maybe the Occupiers are simply reacting in shock to the harsh realities of the world outside a classroom insulated from the real world.
We must heartily agree with this Assessment.
|There is too much in our Culture which
suggests a False View of Reality. Canada, we are constantly told, is a
rich Country. We have a "free" Health Care System. People live in Houses
with Counter-tops of Granite, and buy a new Vehicle every two Years. The
Path to Success is obvious and well-worn: One has only to gain a
University Degree, dress appropriately, buy Stock in General Motors, and
one’s financial Ship will glide smoothly to the safe Harbour, the
engraved Watch, and a Serenity of watching Sunsets on golden Ponds.
It is the old Theme upon which we constantly harp: the Capacity for Illusion to obscure Reality.
Mr. Gurney notes that the B.C. Securities Commission wants Financial Literacy Classes as Part of the High School Curriculum. We would go further and suggest such Courses be entitled "Frugality 101," with the Mottoes "Life is more Darwinian than egalitarian," and "Investment is the Avenue to Wealth; Expenditure, the Path to Ruin.*
While we think that such a Move could be of inestimable Benefit, we suspect that it will not entirely deflect the Impulse to Occupation. There will always be a significant Population of those who understand, vaguely, that the World is unsatisfactory, and harbour the Notion–religious, perhaps in its idealistic Divorcement from Fact–that gathering with the like-minded in a Public Park and living under Conditions of significant Deprivation might be a first Step in an Amelioration of their Situation.
*We have made this our Observation # 153.
| November 8, 2011
We are pleased that the Stock Market appears to have ceased–at least for the Moment–its headlong Rush down the Rabbit Hole. We have little Doubt that, like Alice, it will yet encounter strange and irrational Circumstance which will provide Puzzlement and Provocation.
Our chief Holding–Dynacor–having gone from nearly $2.00 in the Spring to an astounding Sixty Cents in the Summer–despite increasing Production, Income, and Prospects–seems to be recovering, and now trades around a Dollar. Possibly their recent Presentations in Hong Kong and Singapore have had some Effect, although the low Volume of Trading does not indicate any Rush of Enthusiasm. The Market seems to care little that they will be more than doubling their Production next Year, that they have significant Potential in their Tumpipampa Property, and their Acari Property is very close to a favourable Prospect held by St. Elias Mines.
|North Country Gold is also recovering from its similar Swoon from
nearly $2 to Seventy-two Cents, and is now trading just over a Dollar.
We await further drilling Results from its Committee Bay Property.
Finally, CMC Metals, having gone from Forty-Seven Cents to Seventeen, is now trading at about Twenty-Five. They are shipping their Bulk Sample, but Price and Details have not been released.
We conclude that while few Things should cause Surprise in the Stock Market, we are constantly surprised. All these Companies seem destined for much higher Prices, and we have placed significant Wagers on the Results. That does not mean that the Great God Murphy will not prove, once again, that he is the most reliable Predictor of the Outcome of all human Enterprise.
|November 7, 2011
We were intrigued to learn (from The Source) that our favourite Guru, David Suzuki, in Collaboration with the National Film Board, did make a Broadcast of Propaganda to wide-eyed Schoolchildren last Week.
His stated Aim is that the impressionable Young should send the correct Message about Climate Change to their Parents, who have proved to be less susceptible to the revealed Word.
We look forward with much Eagerness to the Flowering of this bold Initiative. Perhaps a green Armband might be developed-- featuring the Suzuki Logo-- to be worn by Platoons of young Green Warriors goose-stepping proudly through the Streets of our major Cities. School Boards, in conjunction with the National Film Board, could institute Training Programs aimed at developing Surveillance Networks, Computer Hacking Capabilities, and advanced Propaganda Techniques.
We only wish that Dr. Suzuki, so expertly qualified in the Field of Fruit Fly Genetics, had managed to influence our Legislators to pass Laws which would imprison those Political Leaders who ignore the Science behind Climate Change as guilty of an "Intergenerational Crime."
|Although this clarion Call was unsuccessful in 2008, we have not
yet given up Hope in the Matter. We would suggest that Dr. Suzuki
should first engage the Leaders of Religion, who are well-practised in
maintaining a Belief despite contradictory Evidence. From this Point,
Legal Sanction against Climate Apostates should become a relatively easy
It is our earnest Hope that the Day of Triumph–Battalions of Green-Shirted Youth, dedicated to a green Consensus via Surveillance and advanced Computer Techniques–swearing Allegiance to the Prophet Suzuki–will effectively curb Dissent, and a new Era of Devotion and Self-Denial will be born.
Change in Climate, which is primarily influenced by the magnetic Field of the Sun, will be but little affected, but the Myriad of other profound social Benefits of Suzukiism should not be underestimated..
| November 6, 2011
This November Day being sunny, tolerably warm, and unexpectedly benign–far beyond our Expectations of this Time of Year-- we are pleased that we have been able to complete the Construction of our Winter Sled.
A test Drive of the Sled–which we have christened "Hardy Blue"-- was enabled by a fortuitous Carpet of Leaves. We are pleased to report that Hardy accelerated easily to Power, the Steering proved light and responsive, and Braking was virtually immediate. At a cost of less than $30--the plastic Sleds were $10.95 each, screws $4.00, and the Wood available from our Hoard of Materials left over from other Projects-- it is affordable for those of average Means.
|From this preliminary Assessment, we have no Hesitation in
bestowing our top Rating on this Model. Our one Reservation is that it
may not appeal to every fashion Sense, the underlying Sleds being of a
bright Blue, while the Plywood Box above has been stained in Clove
Brown, that being the Manufacturer’s Standard Colour for Lakeside Decks
and available cheaply in large Quantity.
We will report further when Conditions of Winter apply.
| November 5, 2011
Up betimes and, in the Serviceable Six, to the Town of Mariposa.
How different is Mariposa now from the Time when Stephen Leacock described it in his Sketches of the little Sunshine Town! The days of Prohibition are long gone, and Alcohol is freely available from the Government Monopoly. Nor does it lack the retail Amenities of the City: The Home Depot is there to supply Building Materials, a Canadian Tire Facility provides over-priced Vehicle Repairs, and Food Basics offers a welcome Relief from the fancy, monopolistic Prices of the Foodland in Rapidbrook.
Our Destination this Day was Wal Mart–which provides Groceries in Addition to all the Cornucopian Largesse of China. We were pleased to encounter no Disappointments: we were able to obtain the Makings of our customary thin Gruel–a few carrot Greens discarded by other Customers, a single Potato, a homeopathic Dilution of Chicken–as well as two blue plastic children’s Sleds.
No, we do not grind up the Sleds for our Gruel. We should explain that we do not plough the Driveway to Wind-in-the-Pines in the Winter. Instead, it has been our Custom to imagine Ourselves as a hardy Pioneer from an earlier Era, overcoming the Elements with primitive Tools and native Cunning-- we trundle our Belongings and Supplies over the Snow in a small black plastic Sled.
|We have long been aware of two major Defects of this Practice:
the Sled is small, narrow, and shallow, and at the least Bump or
Depression in the
Surface, it will tilt to one Side, casting the Contents into the Snow,
and causing us Periods of meditative Reflection on the Hardships
of Pioneers, interspersed with a few carefully chosen Pioneer Expletives.
We have, therefore, devised a Plan to construct a wider, more stable Sled by fastening two Sleds together by means of a light wooden Frame, and crowning the Whole with a Plywood Box deep enough to contain our Pioneer Possessions.
We are cautious, but somewhat optimistic. We suspect that there are Difficulties in our Plan, which, at the Moment, are not immediately apparent. The great god Murphy, when consulted on the Prospects for the Matter was somewhat Delphic. His Message-- transmitted as usual via the Ouija Board-- read thus: "This sled, successfully constructed, will give new Perspectives on Pioneer Hardships."
We await the Winter for Clarification.
P.S. We have found it necessary to issue an Apology in our Drivel Section.
| November 4, 2011.
We are not surprised to learn that the Offices of the French satirical Newspaper Charlie Hebdo were bombed last Wednesday. The Paper had featured a Cartoon of the Prophet, and it is typical that Muslim Extremists-- believing that their Religion is infallible, or aware that it is fallible, and must compel Assent, not through logic or self-evident common Sense, but with Threats and Intimidation-- would take violent Action.
What is intriguing is that Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the French Council criticized the Attack, but also “the newspaper’s mocking tone with regards to Islam and its Prophet.” (National Post, November 3.)
We, of course, maintain that, although Time and Place may be limiting Factors, all Things should be subject to ridicule. Indeed, our Observation #47 reads:
While it may not be appropriate in every venue, and on every occasion, mockery is the guardian of reason, the enemy of pretension, and the mirror to folly. No belief, no passion, no commitment should be considered immune from the acerbic test of ridicule.
|We accept that this Principle may result in foolish Criticism and
Matters which may be considered in bad Taste, but if this be so, the
Ridicule will be generally disregarded. However, if the Ridicule is apt,
it has the Power to change Minds, and result in a more true Perception
Believing, as we do that all Religion –no matter how helpful–is mere Speculation–we think it is a most fitting Target for Mockery. Indeed, the more presumptuous and certain the Expression of religious Belief, the more unrelentingly it should be exposed as mere Pretense.
We have no Expectation that religious Belief can be extirpated; however, we feel that constant and unremitting Criticism may at least convey the Message that Certainty in Matters lacking Evidence is inappropriate, and that Doubt and an open Mind are Elements most likely to lead to Improvement in the human Condition.
|November 2, 2011
At the Heart of human Affairs are two Strands of Thinking--the Practical and the Ideal–entwined into a Gordian Knot of Intractable Solution.
We see that St. Paul’s Cathedral, in a Gesture to the Ideal Way of Thinking which laments Inequality and the Flaws of Capitalism, allowed a Group of Protestors to encamp on its Doorstep.
Alas, the Protestors proved unpleasant, the Church was closed to the Publick at some Loss of Revenue (20,000 Pounds per Day), and when requested, the Protestors refused to leave. A Move to legal Eviction has resulted in the Resignations of the Cathedral Dean, the Rt Rev Graeme Knowles, and the Chancellor, Reverend Giles Fraser. They are fearful that a violent Eviction would be a Blot on Church Principles.
|Ideals are a Good Thing–for they suggest a Way
to Improvement. But Ideals are seldom realizable in pure Form. We have
only to look to our Universal Health Care System and Human Rights
Commissions–wonderful in ideal Conception but unworkable and dangerous
In the Vehicle of Progress, the Ideal is the Accelerator, the Practical is the Brake. Finding the judicious Application of Each in differing Terrains is fraught with Difficulty: the Ride will always be unsettling.
P.S.: We have added an audio Reading to the strange Document: Oh, we love to do the Laundry after Midnight.
|November 1, 2011
We note with Approval that two Schools in Calgary are discouraging the Wearing of Halloween Costumes which have a Capacity to frighten. Instead, they are holding "caring assemblies" in order to teach Community Values. (National Post, October 26.) Yet other Schools–notably in Newfoundland and Labrador have a new Policy which "requires teachers to let students caught bluffing [somehow sounds better than cheating] on their tests to get a second try with no academic penalty." (National Post, October 25)
We feel that both these Moves will enable Schoolchildren–our future Citizens–to live and prosper in the caring and brave non-scary World we are presently constructing: where all Cultures are worthy of identical Admiration, where Health Care is free, where no Status is more desired than that of Victim, and the Parks are occupied by those who find Life vaguely unsatisfactory.
|Indeed, we find our present Environment, to be
of such Inspiration, and its Prospects for imminent Improvement so
Uplifting, that we have decided to commit, this very Day, the full
Weight of the Lumpenbangen Piano Institute to our National Debate with a
solemn Declaration of Banishment of the four Ds.
We now do declare that Death, Disease, Disagreement, and Disappointment are hereby banished forever from our fair Land. They are too scary.
We are pleased to be able to make this small Gesture of Hope for a Society of boundless Caring. Perhaps a School in Calgary would allow us to make this Declaration at an upcoming Community Values Assembly.
P.S.: We would draw your Attention to a Report on today's Lumpenbangen Press Conference in the Drivel Section.
|October 31, 2011
We have received Complaint from a Friend about the Burdens of the Halloween Festivities: the need to decorate in the Manner of the Occasion, the Purchase of harmful Sweets for Distribution, and the Necessity of attending frequent Summons of the Doorbell.
As usual, we have a Solution for all Problems save our own: we have advised her to eschew all Decoration, to keep the Front of the House completely dark, and to occupy and illuminate that Portion of the House not visible from the Street.
We have followed this Policy ourselves for many Years, and can recommend it as having an Efficacy Level of 100%.
|We admit that, when we were much younger, we
did partake of the Festivities; but now, as a founding Member of the
Canadian Branch of Curmudgeons International, we feel that to
encourage Halloween Practice is unseemly, and, in addition, a Betrayal
of the First Principle of Curmudgeonness: Avoid Frivolity at all Cost
yourself, and do Everything possible to discourage it in Others.
We do confess that the Strange Paper we discovered Yesterday, entitled Oh, we Love to do the Laundry after Midnight has been tampered with overnight–possibly by a Halloween Elf–and, observing that the Changes seem beneficial, we have published the Emendations in the Drivel Section today.
| October 30, 2011.
We had planned this Day to put away the Garden Furniture, but were puzzled, upon arising, to discover a mysterious Paper on our Desk. Upon the Paper there is a strange Verse, of which we can make no Head nor Tail. It seems to refer to some Country, or some Portion of our native Land quite unknown to us.
We are publishing this Piece in our Drivel Section, in the Hope that some Reader from another Jurisdiction might enlighten us. In the Meantime, we have spent the Day thus far in attempting to compose a Melody to which it might be set.
|The Piece is entitled: Oh we love to do the
Laundry after Midnight –and is the strangest Composition–perhaps apart
from the Nonsense Song (September
1)–which we have ever encountered.
Click here for the Drivel Section.
|October 29, 2011
We are intrigued by the Reports of the Emergency Call made by Mayor Rob Ford when accosted by Mary Walsh in her Guise of Marg Delahunty, just as he was leaving for Work. While we are sometimes amused by Interviews with the Famous conducted in the name of Comedy, we had always assumed that there was a Degree of Consent involved; we think Mr. Ford had every Right to reject a Surprise Interview in his own Driveway.
The CBC–which reportedly flew in Ms. Walsh in from a remote eastern Location in order to conduct the Interview--has now claimed that Mr. Ford’s three calls to the Emergency Number contained a Naughty Word–which we dare not repeat here--and that he referred to Telephone Operators as "Bitches."
Mr. Ford has admitted to using the Naughty Word, but pleaded not guilty to the other Charges. We now have Police Chief Bill Blair essentially confirming the Mayor’s Account, while the CBC maintains its Position.
We do enjoy Theories of Conspiracy, and so it pleases us to think the CBC does not merely suffer from the Effects of marinating overlong in its own Left-Wing Bathwater, but that it would not be above letting the Tub overflow to damage the Apartment of its Right-Wing Neighbours below.
|We confess that we do listen to the CBC, all
the while complaining of its Bias. We remember an Occasion on which
there was an American Guest on a Program. A typical CBC listener
telephoned in with the usual Blather, and was rendered speechless when
the American failed to subscribe to the Notion that Capitalism
represented the Epitome of Evil.
Living in an unreal World of Government Handouts, the CBC Personnel seem to believe they occupy a Finer World, raised far above the Grubbiness of Trade, the Seediness of the Marketplace, and the Selfishness of Commerce. It pretends that the competitive, profit-seeking capitalist System which enables it, is the Enemy.
We are tempted to see the CBC as an institutional Holden Caulfield. Holden--you may remember-- as the famous Protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye-- wished to deny Reality, to preserve an imagined World of Purity–to rub out all the "Fuck You" graffiti scrawled in the World. When he realized his Attempt was futile, he "got pretty run-down" and was put in a Mental Hospital.
Somehow, we are rather pleased that Mayor Ford used that Naughty Word, and refused to speak to Mary Walsh..
| October 28, 2011
We have this Day published a Picture of our recently completed Lakeside Deck. We have placed this Photograph on the "Contact Us" Page–not for Viewing by the General Publick–but only because our dear Aunt Myalgia has Difficulty downloading attached Photographs sent via E-Mail. We know not whether this is because of her Incompetence, or because of some Restriction at the Shady Hollow Psychiatric Facility where she currently-- and under Protest-- resides.
We must remark on an interesting Article By Kevin Libin in Today’s Edition of the National Post, which argues that Mr. Harper is undertaking no less than a Change in our Perception of Government. The typical Liberal Notion is that Governments should meddle wherever possible –to deal with, in the words of political Scientist Faron Ellis, "every problem real or perceived."
The Difficulty with such an Approach, is of Course, that the Population is led to expect Government to solve Problems, and becomes dependent, and, ultimately, disappointed. Ted Byfield, whose Alberta Report articulated the Agenda of the Reform Party, notes that the Conservative Aim is to get rid of "the entitlement mentality that has been bred into us."
|Thus, according to Mr. Libin, we see the
Cancellation of the Gun Registry, the Wheat Board, and a Distancing from
the Kyoto Accord.
We have usually viewed Government as a necessary Evil, rather than a Solution to Problems; our two major Complaints about Canada are the Health Care System which limits our Freedom to pursue superior Health Care, and Human Rights Commissions, which disdain both fair Treatment and legal Procedures and Safeguards.
Both represent the Meddlesome Hand of Government–a Hand which may be well-intentioned, but which is ultimately destructive of Freedom. Our Observation # 150 reads thus: Security by Government Intervention is always paid for in the dear Coin of Freedom.
| October 27, 2011
We do note that one of the most enduring Conflicts in organized Society is that between the Desire for Freedom and the Desire for Control. We usually are in Favour of Control when it is applied to Others to make them behave in a Manner of which we approve; we favour Freedom when Others attempt to coerce us into behaving in a Manner which they desire.
We see, in the National Post (October 25), an article by Terence Corcoran on a new Document of the Catholic Church: Note on Financial Reform from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. As Mr. Corcoran remarks, the Church would like more control of economic Matters–"the establishment of a world political Authority"–"a form of global governance."
This is a wonderful Way of Thinking–not, we suggest, unlike that at the Heart of Religion–which can confidently refer all Matters to an infallible Authority. That Religious Way of Thinking has resulted in such a Harmony in the Conduct of Human Affairs, such a Felicity in our daily Lives, that we can scarcely wait to see its Flowering in the Reform of Economics.
|On the same Page, we note an Article which
exposes the Feet of Clay of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change–that authoritative Body which is responsible for the "Climate Bible."
This excerpt, from a Book by Donna Laframboise, shows how the "Experts" on the Panel have a peculiar Vulnerability in their Scientific Impartiality: scratch a revered "Expert" and behold!–the committed, wriggling Activist is revealed beneath.
An overarching Authority is much to be desired, providing only that it can be infallible. Infallibility is encountered wherever Unicorns are in plentiful supply and pots of Gold characterize the vast Majority of Rainbows. Otherwise, Authority, Control and Governance are best kept in modest Spheres, well-tethered, and on a short Leash. Did we just say that they should be controlled?
In this Frame of Mind, we have written about the Matter of Hate Speech, in the Drivel Section.
|October 26, 2011
We have returned this Day from Wind-in-the-Pines, having pronounced the Lakeside Deck "Good enough for Winter."
We are pleased to see a rise of Five Cents–from Twenty-Two to Twenty-Seven Cents–in CMC Metals, upon the Announcement of a High Grade of Silver (5000 grams per Ton) in a 174 Ton Bulk Sample being shipped to a Customer. About 1500 tons of Lower Grade Material remain to be shipped. We are foolish enough to think that this Stock may, one Day, receive the Valuation it deserves.
|We have published this Day our Responses to
the "FO" Telephone Call from Rogers Communications and the "FO" Letter
from Hydro One, under the heading, "Quien calla, otorga" in the
|October 25, 2011
It is a blustery cold Day at Wind-in-the-Pines; the Sky has become overcast, and Rain has been promised.
Yet we are not entirely displeased. The morning was cold and unpleasantly windy, but sunny, and allowed us to stain the Additions to the Deck, and use up a bit of Mortar to make the flagstone Step more aesthetically pleasing. We are, therefore, able to pronounce the Deck, the Walkway, two Benches and two Sets of Steps–which we started sometime in September–"Good Enough for Winter."
We have removed our Tools and the Power Cord to the old Cabin, and have turned off the Water Supply to the outdoor Faucets. We need only store the remaining Firewood and Deck Furniture, and we will be ready for November and the Assaults of Cold and Snow which lie beyond.
|We note that the Markets have not altered their chosen Path–which
is to prove us wrong and incompetent. Keegan Resources, doubtless having
been informed of our Sale at about $5.50 is comfortably over $6.00. And
Argonaut Gold, which we bought recently at $5.18 and sold at $5.69 for a
quick Profit is now $6.22.
In the meantime, our Favourites–Dynacor, North Country Gold, and CMC Metals are all languishing, in stinging Repudiation of our Judgement.
We note that Dynacor is making Presentations in Hong Kong and Singapore this month; perhaps the Wisdom of Asia will rescue us from the Slough of Despond.
| October 24, 2011.
We are much pleased to have made Progress on our Lakeside Deck at Wind-in-the-Pines.
We prefer such outdoor Activities in the Warmth and Sunshine, which seem to suggest that the great God Murphy is smiling upon our Endeavours; but such is our Fear of the Fading Light and Bitterness of November, and such is our Desire to obtain the various Stages of "Good Enough for Now," that we persisted through the late Afternoon of Friday, and all Day Saturday, despite gloomy Skies and scarcely tolerable Temperatures.
On Sunday did the Sunshine and some Warmth return, and we are now able to contemplate the Completion of our last Step, and two Seating Benches. If October will grant us one more Day of Sunshine, these Additions can be stained, and we may pronounce the Deck "Good Enough for Winter."
From the modestly positive, to the persistently gloomy--we note that we have sold all our Position in Keegan Resources in order to raise Cash. We feel we also made a lucky Escape in selling all our remaining San Gold at $3.14. It now languishes at $2.00.
We feel that the Greek Default, though it may be postponed, will eventually come, and we do not wish to have any Margin Loan at that Time–which will doubtless prove to be "interesting." Although the Junior Resource Stocks have seen an unreasonable Decline, there is no Limit to that Unreasonableness in Time of Panick.
Despite this Resolve, we noted this Morning that Dynacor, having fallen from nearly $2.00 to Eighty Cents, is announcing the Construction of a new Mill in 2012 which will enable them to raise their milling Production from the current 45,000 Ounces to 105,000 Ounces. Of particular note is the Fact that they will be using Working Capital and Debt to fund the Increase in Production, and hence no new Shares will be issued.
We foolishly thought that such good News would cause a Rise in the Price of the Stock, and bought 10,000 at Eighty Cents, hoping to make a quick Profit.
We seem to be alone in our Optimism. The Stock has subsequently sold at Seventy-Six Cents. We see this as Proof that the Mood of the Market is determinedly miserable. Perhaps we will revive our Spirits with a few Minutes of Contemplation by the Lake–where the new Deck reminds us that Progress is still possible.
|October 22, 2011
We have learned (from The Source) that the Daughters of Mohammed Shafia–who is accused of their Murder–had made Appeal to Authorities in order to escape from the Household. The eldest, Zainab, had run away to a Shelter for Women; the youngest, Geeti, had asked to be placed with a Foster Family.
On one Occasion Police responded to an Emergency Call, and were told by the Children that they were in Danger.
We are left to speculate whether it was because of Multicultural Correctness that Nothing was done. Mr. Levant makes the point that this Circumstance shows, at least, the Folly of the Blair Scheme to have female Police Officers wear the Hijab. We can only imagine the Despair of someone caught in the darker Manifestations of Islam, appealing to the Police, and finding that they, too, represent the very Oppression from which they seek Relief.
Indeed, of all Follies which have come recently to our Attention, this Introduction of Religion into the Interaction between Government and its Citizens seems the most egregious, oppressive, and indefensible. May we add stupid, wrong-headed, and destructive? Idiotic, moronic, and hare-brained?
|In other Matters-- we note that we have now received the "FO"
phone call (See Drivel, September 28) from
Rogers Communications–regarding our Complaint that Customers should not
be required to make Reference to their Age before speaking with a Rogers
Representative–and also an "FO" letter from Hydro One, regarding our
Complaint that, after we inadvertently missed a Payment, we were
subjected to a Barrage of inappropriate Threats.
We feel that Canadians, are, in general, overly polite, and inclined to submissive Behaviour. The Canadian is the One who apologizes when Someone steps on his Foot. Retailers traditionally have taken Advantage of this Fact, and treat Customers with–if not Disdain–at least with studied Indifference. It is for this Reason that they so often fail when attempting to operate in the United States, where Customers are more assertive and demanding.
We recognize that, in this Environment, our Complaints are unlikely to produce any desirable Effect. But we feel it is important to maintain the Principle embedded in the Spanish Proverb: Quien calla, otorga. (He who is silent gives consent.)
We will publish next week–in the Drivel Section–our Replies to both these "FO" Communications. We doubt that Anyone is remotely interested. It doesn’t Matter. Quien calla, otorga.
|October 21, 2011
Our Reflection on the Death of Muammar Ghaddafi is to marvel at the apparent Ease with which Dictators seize and maintain Power. There must be Some great Weakness in the Nature of Humankind which they are able to exploit.
Perhaps there is a Clew in the Manner in which the "Occupy Toronto" Protestors are given to repeat the Words of a Leader as if in a hypnotic Trance. Perhaps the Protestors believe, at some Primitive Level, that there is a Magick in the Submission of many Minds to One. We have noted that Ezra Levant, though apparently reviled by the Crowd, was able to achieve Repetition of his Words upon the Incantation of the Mantra: "Mic Check."
One has only to regard the Passivity with which Canadians have regarded the Follies of the Universal Health Care System-- which devotes itself to Universality rather than Health--the Outrage of Humans Rights Commissions--which elevate the Rights of the chosen over the Rights of the presumed unworthy--and the considerable Belief in Suzukiism, despite extreme Unlikelihood, and Lack of Evidence–to see the Madness of Crowds, the Sacrifice of critical Faculties.
|Relevant here is another Story in the the
News–the trial of Mohammed Shafia, his wife and son for the "honour
killing" of Mr. Shafia’s first wife and three Daughters. Mr. Shafia was
recorded as saying:
They committed treason themselves. They betrayed humankind. They betrayed Islam. They betrayed our religion...they betrayed everything.
Surely the Betrayal here is of common Sense. Belief in Religion, for which there is no reasonable Evidence whatsoever, is seen as Justification of Murder. The Trial also draws Attention to another Canadian Folly–the belief in Multiculturalism–which is only possible under the Circumstance that all Cultures have equal Validity.
Perhaps there has been some Darwinian Advantage to the Fact that most People are easily led. Now–as the Follies of Belief unchecked by Evidence have more Potential for Danger–because the Means for Destruction have become so advanced–we suspect that that Advantage has been definitively lost.
| October 20, 2011
It has come to our Attention that a Private Member’s Bill, Bill C-428 has been introduced by Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla which would reduce the residence Requirement for an Old Age Pension to three Years from ten Years. Thus, an Immigrant arriving in Canada at age 62 would be able to claim the Old Age Pension at age 65.
We are pleased to see this tentative Expression of typically Canadian Generosity on the part of Ms. Dhalla. We only wonder why any period of Residence should be required at all. Surely our Taxpayers, living off the Fat of the Land, having achieved the Big Rock Candy Mountain nestled conveniently over the Rainbow, and nearly overcome with the Task of managing their Wealth–surely they would not begrudge some small Pittance to any of the Elderly who might choose to grace our Shores with their Presence.
Indeed, why should Payments–which must redound so positively to our Reputation–be restricted to the Elderly? Why should not every Immigrant be awarded a Salary of Sufficiency to live in any of our larger Cities, without Fear of Want?
In this light, we see Ms. Dhalla as niggardly and stinting, and not fully cognizant of the Burdensome Wealth of Canadians, and their Desire to spread it around to those who might express even a Modicum of Interest in possessing some of it. We would advise her to withdraw her miserly Bill, and re-introduce it with Provisions more appropriate to our Circumstance, and more in keeping with our Reputation for lavish Spending.
|In another matter, and in another Vein, we
note a letter to the Editor in this Day’s National Post entitled "I am
The writer, Candace Maxymowich, complains that "Canadian CEO’s at the largest corporations in this country get paid more in a few days than I make all year." She concludes: "..I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore."
While we do agree that Payments to the Few–the Heads of Corporations, Hospitals, and Public Utilities–the Hockey Players, Actors, and Teenage Warblers-- seem excessive, we would note that they draw Attention to the unfortunate Reality behind some popular Illusions.
There is no inherent Equality embedded in the Code of the Universe. We can modify, but not extinguish the Reality that all Creatures are in a Struggle for Survival. Thus, the unpleasant Reality is that Luck, Temperament and Talent determine what Rewards each Individual can garner from different Types of Organized Society. Those who profess to create Equality of Result must do Battle with the essential Inequality of the Environment of which they are a Part; Communism has been tried at immense Cost of human Life, human Happiness, and human Freedom.
To some Extent, Inequality of Income can be addressed by the System of Income Tax; but the Reduction of Incentive and the Lure of competing Jurisdictions may be Factors of Limitation.
We note the publication of an old (2007) Song, Waves
Ruby Dhalla makes an Appearance on Limerick Lane.
|October 19, 2011
We had not thought to become so occupied with the Toronto Occupation, but last Evening (on The Source) Ezra Levant showed some of his Interactions with the Protestors.
Earlier we noted the peculiar Element of the Protestors’ repetitive Response to the Words of a Speaker–surely a Sign of the Madness of Crowds, and the Frailty of independent Thought. Sure enough, Mr. Levant was able to get a small Group surrounding him to repeat his Words in obedient and unthinking Fashion.
We also note the Impression given that the Protestors had been raised with unrealistic Expectations. They seemed to prefer Unemployment to the Indignity of Labouring at MacDonald’s, or in Employment unsuited to their Aspirations.
|We would be the First to admit that Reality,
being somewhat harsh and depressing, may usually be viewed through the
Prism of Illusion. But the Gap between the Two should not be allowed to
become too great. We suspect that, in a generally prosperous Society,
Expectations have been raised beyond the Reasonable.
Indeed, Illusion, while often necessary, can be a great Danger. One only has to consider the Fantasies of the extreme Islamists, the Ahmadinejads of the World, which combined with nuclear Power, may alter the Lot of Humankind considerably for the worse.
| October 18, 2011
Last Evening did watch Ezra Levant making the Point that the CBC, the Centre for left-wing Causes, has been reporting the "Occupy Toronto" and related Protests as a Tsunami instead of a Trickle.
Thus, this very Morning, as we were escorting the Serviceable Six to our Mechanick, we were intrigued to hear a CBC Announcer report that the Protesters "had managed" to block several Streets in Toronto.
What a curious Use of the Phrase indeed! Consider these Examples:
1. We managed to reduce our monthly payments dramatically by renting out the house and moving into the garden shed.
2. They managed to catch the plane to Bora Bora just before the tsunami struck.
3. Do you he will manage to get a job with Consolidated Behemoth with only a third grade education?
It will be observed that in each Case, the "managing" refers to a positive Accomplishment in the Circumstance described. The Term immediately suggests the Circumstance through the Eyes of the "Manager." Most would prefer to say: Robert Picton killed nearly fifty women before being apprehended." than "Robert Picton managed to kill nearly fifty women before his apprehension"–because the second Sentence suggests Robert Picton’s View of the Matter. The case for Bias by the CBC would seem to be well supported by this Choice of Words.
|With some Puzzlement we note the Exchange of
Gilad Shalit, the Israeli Soldier held Captive by the Palestinians for
more than one thousand Palestinian Prisoners. We had thought Israel to
be more tough-minded. Such an Exchange can only encourage the Kidnapping
of more Israeli Soldiers, and suggests the Triumph of short Term
Concern, over long Term Advantage.
The Appeal to the Court was, correctly, we feel, rejected; the Court did determine that, "The government alone is responsible for the security of the state." Doubtless a Canadian Court would have instructed the Government to genuflect, and do its bidding
| October 17, 2011
We must take note of the Protestors who have decided to occupy the Financial Districts of major Cities, and express our Sympathy. The Group seems to make a Point that it is without Leaders, and has no specific Demands. A Number of those questioned seem realistically vague about how the Improvement of Society might be effected. We are grateful that, in lieu of smashing Windows, it prefers the Comfort of a soothing Repetition of Declarations made by a Reader. It reminds one of that same Element in religious Services, with the Sheep responding in pre-determined Fashion to the Mantras of the Shepherd.
Our Sympathy–we almost said our deepest Sympathy–arises from the Fact that we ourselves have long found Life to be unfair, unsatisfactory, and insufficiently rewarding in monetary Terms. Like the Protestors, we have found no Leader to show us the Escape from the Abyss, nor do we have a clear Notion of how Matters could be improved.
We would note that the Government, rather than Financial Organizations, is perhaps a better Target for their Complaint. Financial Institutions, being primarily concerned with their own financial Health, are not generally given to lending Money to those who cannot repay it. This Precept is known as "Survival 101." When, at the urging of Government–and through quasi-governmental Institutions–such imprudent Loans are made, it is not surprising that Attempts are made to spread the Toxic Risk. Had the Government been more content with the Limitations on Home Ownership, the real Circumstances of Affordability, we suspect that the Current Mess could have been avoided.
|Again and again, we see the general Principle
reinforced: Man’s idealistic Reach exceeds the reasonable Capabilities
of his Grasp, and in this Disparity is much Occasion for Misery. We do
find some Embarrassment in sounding the same Notes over and over–but the
Melody is required--a Jig cannot take the place of a Dirge. For other
Examples look only to our idealistic, inefficient and unsustainable
Health Care System, and the Outrage of Victimhood Advocacy Commissions.
We have added the Observation above to our List:
Man’s idealistic reach often exceeds the reasonable capabilities of his grasp; in the disparity lie the seeds of misery. (147)
|October 16. 2011
The Weather has turned cold; our Climbing of the Steps yesterday required full Winter Accoutrements, including Scarf and Gloves.
In Truth, we cannot complain of October thus far; perhaps it will yet allow us to make our Lakeside Deck "good enough for now."
|We have written this Day on the Topick of Sex and the Scientific Method in the Drivel Section.|
|October 15, 2011
We have been so much taken with the Topick of our Diary Entry of Yesterday, that we have spent the Morning with it troubling our Brain. We have sent a Copy of our Commentary to two other Websites, as well as to the Toronto Police.
We can hardly conceive of a Notion so gratuitously stupid as to introduce religious Symbols into the Uniform of Police. The reason that Police wear a Uniform is that they may present an unvarying Symbol of the Power of the State. Deference is paid, not to the Individual Person wearing the Uniform, but to that Person as a Representative of the State.
As soon as one introduces a personal Element into the Dress of an Officer, the Force of the Uniform as a Symbol of the State is correspondingly reduced. To introduce an Element of Religion is even more inappropriate: it suggests that the State endorses or approves of a particular Religion.
|We have long opposed the wearing of Turbans by
Sikhs in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for that very reason. Every
Citizen, when dealing with a Police Officer, has the right to be
approached by a Representative of the State, not the Representative of a
This Fact seems so elementary, that we cannot understand how it can be disregarded.
We have noted a triple Appearance of Bill Blair, the Chief of Toronto Police, on Limerick Lane.
| October 14, 2011
We are pleased to see a most welcome and helpful Advance suggested for the Operation of the Toronto Police Force: it is said that female police Officers will wear, if they so desire, a Hijab.
In our View, this has not come a Moment too soon; we have long been desirous of seeing religious Symbols affixed to Officers of the Law, so that we may be assured of the particular religious Slant behind the Comments and Actions of those charged with enforcing our Canadian Laws.
We hope that soon this inspired Idea will be expanded, and religious Symbolism will be required to be displayed on the Head, in the form of Headgear, or, failing that, tattooed on the forehead --universally throughout the Police Force. Sikhs, of course, would wear turbans, and Jewish members the yarmulke. We do not know of any standard headgear for Scientologists, but possibly a small conically shaped Hat, adorned with Stars and mathematical Symbols could be devised.
Jehovah’s Witnesses might be required to have a Cyclopean Eye, either affixed to a Cap, or plainly visible and fixed on the Forehead. Zoroastrians, of course could have the Faravahar prominently stitched into the Hat, possibly with the Caveat in small Print underneath: (I am not a Chrysler).
Druids would be required to have a Helmet in the shape of Stonehenge, and those subscribing to the religious Practice of Easter Island could be adorned with a tasteful Ahu or a Selection of Rongorongo Glyphs.
We would have some small Hope that our own Religion, Abracadabra, with its great God Murphy might be represented by a Rabbit in a black silk Hat, nibbling on a Shamrock.
The economic Benefits of such a Policy are immediately evident. Not only would the Hat Industry be given a mighty Boost–but all Citizens would be well advised to undertake a Study of World Religions, with a few relevant and ingratiating Phrases relating to the Religions of various Officers.
Pulled over for Speeding, it would only be prudent to make a Remark, such as "Allah be praised, may it not be long before Shariah replaces the Speeding Ticket"–or–"Has Harold Camping made yet another Prediction?" –or–"By all the Cows sacred to Krishna, I was not exceeding the Limit!"
This Need to be sensitive to the religious Beliefs of Police Officers would surely spawn a huge Industry which would provide religious Education and a Smattering of appropriate Vocabulary to a Knowledge-starved Citizenry.
Further, it would not be long before it became evident that some Religions were more prominently represented than Others. Human Rights Commissions would expand exponentially, providing more Employment for Adjudicators, Lawyers, and clerical Personnel. New Buildings would doubtless be required, providing Opportunities for Architects and those in all Fields of Demolition and Construction.
In short, the Idea of Female Police Officers wearing the hijab, carried to its logical Conclusion, could be the very Spark needed to trigger an economic Revival. But why stop at Police Officers?
Surely every Representative of Government at every Level should be required to proclaim his Religion with appropriate Headgear. The Passport Office–the Liquor Store–the License Bureau–the Parks Department–the Recycling Depot--surely it is the Right of every Citizen to know the Religion of those working for Government! Otherwise we are left in the Dark, wondering, imagining, and supposing, and speculating. This is a grievous Waste of Time, debilitating in Effect, and a Drag on Productivity. No! A new Day we deserve, a new Day we shall have: a new Day will dawn!
Hurrah for the Hijab!
|October 13, 2011
It is a rainy and gloomy Day at Wind-in-the Pines. We have managed to steal an Hour from the Drizzle to finish the Cement-work on the Fieldstone Platform by the Lake.
We did foolishly buy 5000 shares of North Country Gold near the Market Open at 93 Cents, the Company having come out with positive Drill Results on the Committee Bay Property. The Market has told us that we are mistaken, and the Results were not favourable; the Stock us now selling for 91 Cents.
|We are never pleased with Rejection of our Opinion.
We have written a Commentary, in the Drivel Section, on two egregious Canadian Follies.
|October 12, 2011
We have continued our Sojourn at Wind-in-the-Pines, the Weather being a Refutation of all our Expectations. We were able to go swimming on October 10, the Water being colder than in the Summer, but by no Means numbing–as we remember early Summer Experiences of Georgian Bay.
On those Occasions, it was necessary to numb the various body Parts as one proceeded into the increasing Depths. But the Water in Silver Lake these past few Days, while not balmy, might be called merely "bracing."
We have also made great Progress with our Lakeside Deck, it now being stained and requiring only a single wooden Step, and minor work to a small flagstone Landing to be called "Good enough for Now."
|The word "finished," alas, is scarcely in our Lexicon. Every
Project seems to require Additions, and Improvements, and once "Good
enough for Now" is achieved, it is in the Nature of Things that
Deterioration will set about to refute the Notion of "finished" and
require further Attention. In other words, "finished" implies a
Perfection which not attainable in this World.
"Good enough for Now" means that one can now walk unimpeded to a Deck by the Lake, look down to the Distant Shore, and spend a quiet Hour in the still Splendour of an October oddly confused with Summer.
|October 9, 2011
We are most pleased to have invented our own Religion of Abracadabra, and feel especially fortunate in our Choice of the Great God Murphy.
We find that Murphy, with very little Badgering, and a Minimum of Animal Sacrifice while Dancing naked in the Moonlight, doth provide us with many great Insights into the human Condition.
For Example, this very Morning we awoke with the following Observation, almost fully formed and ready for this Website:
The pursuit of the ideal is a blessing when it results in improvement, a curse when it requires the sacrifice of the reasonable.
This Observation has answered a vague Puzzlement we had not before articulated: if Ideals are good and noble Notions; why is it that the Pursuit of them so often ends in Misfortune?
Now, all has been made clear.
Let us take the admirable Ideal of a Universal Health Care System. How noble a Notion it must have seemed to those Pioneers who conceived it, and acted to bring it into Being: All should receive equal and unlimited Care, funded by the general Taxpayer.
It may well be true, that with the Implementation of this System, it was a Boon to many who were extremely poor, and loathe to seek medical Advice which they required. This was doubtless an Improvement.
But now the Flaws have appeared: the Ideal, pursued beyond Reason, has resulted in Coercion, and an imbalance of Power. There is no Freedom to seek a Doctor; Doctors are in such limited Supply one is grateful to be vouchsafed a hurried Consultation. Waiting Times for Specialists and Procedures are often unreasonable. Doctors are part of a Government/Doctor Monolith--they are paid by the Government, not the Patient, and must surely see themselves more as part of a Powerful Government Bureaucracy benevolently dispensing Care from on High to the powerless and needy Masses.
|Patients are not free to buy private Insurance, and avoid the
Monolith. Only the Rich can seek the Care they wish outside the
Further, the System is hypocritical in its Claim of Equality: the Poor and unknown may die neglected in an Emergency Room Corridor; Politicians, the well known, and the well-connected will never suffer such a Fate. As with every professed Egalitarian System–"All Animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."
It would seem that a Universal Healthcare System, like any controlled by Government is inimical to Innovation. The Government Mind-set is towards Order and Control, not Enterprise and Innovation.
Finally, the System attempts to ignore the immutable Laws of Economics. An aging Population and the lack of any inhibiting Fees for Service means Demand must increase; increasing Demand and inelastic Supply results in Scarcity or a Rise in Price. The Attempt by Government to provide all Care to all Patients becomes impossibly costly, and is ultimately not sustainable.
Yet Politicians, and, indeed many Canadians cling tenaciously to the Ideal of a Universal Health Care System; the Ideal, relentlessly pursued, has become an unreasonable Curse.
This is merely but one Example of the general Observation. We would not have to search far to find Others.
|October 8, 2011.
On October 1, we did lament the Deterioration of the Sealing Material on the Door of our Napoleon Woodstove, and the Difficulty encountered in speaking with anyone at the Napoleon Facility in Barrie. We did, eventually, speak to a Receptionist who promised to investigate the Matter, but who reported back the knowledgeable Person–apparently they have One–was not available. She suggested that we bring in the model and serial Numbers so that the Part could be ordered. In the Meantime, we had spoken to a Representative in Hamilton who suggested the same Plan of Attack.
Fortunately, a Reader of these Musings–we were pleased to discover one in Addition to our dear Aunt Myalgia–gave as his Opinion that the gasket Seal was readily available at local Suppliers of Hardware everywhere.
|Sure enough, we have discovered at the Hardware Establishment in
the Town of Rapidbrook, the nearest village to Wind-in-the-Pines,
a Kit of Woven Tape and the necessary Cement for $14.95.
Our Puzzlement remains: why would not every Employee or Representative of a Manufacturer of Woodstoves be aware of this simple Circumstance? Were we not hardened to Follies of every Sort, we might experience a significant Discombobulation of our Faculties; as it is, we will merely add this one it to our already extensive List.
|October 7, 2011
We are dismayed, but not surprised that Mr. McGuinty has been returned to power, albeit without a Majority.
The Dispute in Caledonia showed that Mr. McGuinty is a man of Principle: No subversion of Law and no Expenditure of Taxpayers’ Money is too great in the Pursuit of Appeasement.
His Green-Schemery shows him to be gullible and deluded; he seems to imagine that his unworkable Plans will, at some future Date, gain him Status as a bold Visionary, at the Forefront of a massive and immediate Shift in the way Energy is produced. While massive Shifts do occur, they do so incrementally, guided by economic Realities, not Government Fiat.
Mr. McGuinty, in his Green Schemery, is a firecracker: costly Powder in a Bit of Cardboard, a brief Display of unsustainable Show, doomed to be discovered, eventually, as a curious Remnant, a burnt out Case. That the Truth has not yet been discovered, we put down to the intellectual Vacuum in the general Populace, who have swallowed such other unlikelihoods as a Universal Health Care System, and Victimhood Advocacy Commissions.
Indeed, we are astounded at the debilitating Effects of a constant Diet of idealistic Nonsense.
|At the beginning, it appeared that Mr. Hudak, faced with such an
inconsequential Opponent, would gain an easy Victory. But he showed a
similar Timidity and lack of Stature. Given the opportunity to open the
Door, at least a crack, to an Alternative to our coercive Health Care
System, he declined, giving as his Opinion that Dr. Karen Dockrill
should not be allowed to charge for Services willingly accepted by those
who wished to purchase Benefits not provided by the inadequate
Government Monopoly. This is a blow against Freedom, and in Favour of
Mr. Hudak also refused to condemn the Encroachment of Religion into the public School System as shown by the holding of Muslim Prayers at the Valley Park Middle School.
We did, ourselves, send a Request to discover whether Mr. Hudak held any policy with Respect to Human Rights Commissions, but received no Reply.
In lieu of Substance, Mr. Hudak made Promises of more Jobs, but without–understandably–any Explanation of how this might be accomplished.
In the End, Mr. Hudak did not show himself to be a significantly more thoughtful Candidate than the Premier. Perhaps Voters decided to vote for the Incompetent they know, rather than risk the Incompetencet of someone they knew less.
We expect Ontario to continue to slide into the Swamp of bad Decisions, greater Spending, and higher Costs.
| October 5, 2011
We have sent our Diary Entry of October 3 to the Prime Minister to indicate our support for the Bill of Brian Storseth which has as its aim the Repeal of Section 13 of the federal Human Rights Code which prohibits Hate Speech on the Internet.
We are hopeful that our Opinion, expressed in the calm, reasonable and judicial Language for which we have long been noted will be added to many Others on the same Side. We are not sure how this will actually affect the Vote on the Bill; we suspect it is mere Tilting at Windmills. It might be better to send such Opinion to our Parliamentary Representative.
Our Objection to the Victimhood Advocacy Commissions goes far beyond the matter of Hate Speech; however, we doubt that they will be disbanded in any great Haste. Once a Folly is in place and well-entrenched, and purports to be on the Side of the Angels, No one wishes to be branded as Servant of the Devil. "Nothing is more sacred than an ancient abuse."
With Respect to the Hate Speech Provision itself, an Article by Joe Brean (National Post, September 28, 2011) indicates the following:
In 2008, Professor Richard Moon, law professor at the University of Windsor advised the Canadian Human Rights Commission that the Section should be removed. It was not.
|The next year a Member of a Human Rights Tribunal said the
Section violated the Charter of Rights and freedoms. Since then Cases
have been put on hold; no new ones have been launched.
In 2008 Keith Martin, a liberal MP objected to Section 13 on the Grounds that the proper Venue for Hate Speech Complaints was the Courts.
As Mr. Brean points out, the "legal test is strangely subjective. It bans repeated messages that are ‘likely to expose’ identifiable groups to hatred or contempt...Truth is no defence...Neither is benign intent, which raises the awkward question of whether the tribunal’s own judgments or news reports about them, which quote hate speech verbatim, technically violate the law."
In Spite of such Objections, No one wishes to do Anything. So great is the Desire to appear to be against Hate, and in favour of Love and Motherhood, so great is the Timidity and Fearfulness long inculcated into Politicians and the Public, that a grave Incursion on Freedom is given safe Harbour, and an easy Rest.
|October 4, 2011.
We wrote our Entry of October 3 late in the Evening, and having perused it this Morning, we do confess to some Shame at our Timidity and Excess of diplomatic Reticence. Our Expression, we admit, is "cabined, cribbed, and confined," by the dead Hand of careful Politesse. We do greatly fear that the simpering Superficiality and dread-borne Blandness of the Canadian Psyche has begun to seep its Poison into our formerly honest and forthright Soul.
We hope in the Days to come we will acquire the Courage to state our true Opinion on this matter.
|Despite the hesitant Timidity of our Comment, we have sent it to
the Prime Minister as evidence of our Support for Mr. Storseth’s Bill.
We have sent Copies to Mr. Storseth and Ezra Levant, who dealt with the
Matter on his Sun News Program last Evening.
After many Days of Weather too cold or too rainy, we are pleased to see the Sun–though tardy and enfeebled by the Earth’s Tilting--once again. We have some Hope of making Progress on our Lakeside Deck.
|October 3, 2011
It is rare that some Ray of common Sense does escape from the Black Hole of human Folly.
But it may be that the Private Member’s Bill of Brian Storseth, which seeks a repeal of Section 13 of the federal human Rights Code which bans hate Speech over the Internet may represent just such a Rarity.
We have never been able to understand how Hundreds of Years of Progress towards an Equitable Judicial System can have resulted in the Victimhood Advocacy Commissions which are so repulsive a Mound of odious and odiferous Garbage–which Entities do blot and mar our Judicial Landscape.
These Commissions, which favour Plaintiffs with legal aid and penalize Defendants with legal costs, which do not allow Truth as Defence, which ignore Rules of Evidence, which attach no Penalty to frivolous Complaint nor allow Remedy to the falsely accused, are a Disgrace in a Society which lays Claim to be called civilized.
|Prominent Politicians–including our Prime Minister–have voiced
Criticism–but the Courage to confront Political Correctness gone mad
seems not to be in the genetic Code of the Canadian Hominid.
We are hopeful that Mr. Storseth’s Bill represents a benign Mutation that may, through a Process of natural Selection of commonsensical Notions, lead us to a Land of greater Freedoms, and markedly less Stupidity.
As is usual in such Matters, our Hope is well wrapped in the hard Shell of Cynicism.
| October 2, 2011
We think it only fitting to take a few Moments to remark on the probable Demise of the Climate Change Movement. We say that the Demise is only probable because the Notion of Apocalypse has a great Resonance with Humankind. We suspect this Resonance is in some way connected with the Expression of primitive religious Feeling: we–that is, mankind-- find ourselves in an inexplicable Circumstance: our attempt at Explanation is to imagine a human-like Creator of inscrutable Temperament–capable of kindly Benevolence, but punishing Power.
The best Manner of Proceeding is to worship and make Sacrifice to the inscrutable Entity, but with a constant Awareness that our Actions may never be deemed enough: we are in constant Danger of sinning, and being destroyed for our Failures.
It is into this great primitive Reservoir of Guilt and sense of Unworthiness that the Climate Change taps: if we do not reform our sinful Ways, Armageddon will be upon us; we must worship according to the Dictates of the high Priests–David Suzuki and Al Gore.
Little by little, Doubt has been cast on the Religion. Some of the minor Priests have been caught in Acts of unconscionable Statistical Abuse. A few altar Boys have complained to the Authorities.
A scientific Response–like a recalcitrant Galileo–has linked global Temperatures to the Strength of the magnetic Field of the Sun.
Various Resignations have taken place.
|In 2005, Dr. Chris Landsea, a hurricane Expert, resigned from the
International Panel on Climate Change saying: "It is beyond me why my
colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that
recent hurricane activity has been due to global warming."
Hal Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics resigned from the American Physical Society in October of 2010, referring to Climate Change Theory: "It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist."
Indeed, there have been calls for the Resignation of the Chief Pooh-Bah of the IPPC, Dr Rajendra Pachauri himself.
Because of these Circumstance, it has been interesting to read an Account by Rex Murphy in the National Post (August 20, 2011) on the recent Splutterings of Al Gore, in a recent Address. Mr. Gore is quoted as follows:
They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message: "This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanoes." Bullshit! "It may be sunspots." Bullshit! "It’s not getting warmer." Bullshit!
The Bullshit lies, we regret, on the other Side of the Fence. Mr. Gore and the other high Priests are firmly stuck in a Meadow of it, and it continues to exude from their every Pore.
We are pleased to see Mr. Gore make an appearance on Limerick Lane.
|October 1, 2011
We are ensconced, not altogether happily, at Wind-in-the-Pines. Yesterday was rainy, windy, and miserable. Today it is sunny, windy, and chilly.
We depend, in those Seasons which are not Summer--that is, the majority of them–on a Napoleon Woodstove for heat. This has been an admirable Device for twenty Years, but has now experienced a Deterioration of the Door Seal–a woven strip of heat-resistant Material which creates a largely air-tight Seal when the Door is closed, thereby enabling the Damper to perform its Function. We need a new Seal, but we do not know if it is a custom-made Item, or simply cut from a Roll of Sealing Material and glued in.
On our last Visit to Wind-in-the-Pines, we called the Napoleon Representative in Orillia, but received a Message that he was unavailable until the End of September.
Thereupon, we telephoned the Facility in Barrie, which, in typical modern Fashion, imagines itself to be a world-wide Conglomerate. World-wide Conglomerates do not, of course, have anyone who answers the Telephone. They have an automatic Messaging System which gives five Options. The Option called "Parts and Service" suggested that, were we to leave a Message, we would receive a return Call within Twenty-Four Hours. The Option called "Receptionist" suggested that she was away from her Desk, but would return our Call when she came back.
In the Yellow Pages Advertisement we noted a "Twenty-Four Hour Service Number." That Option–another recorded Message--suggested we call, in the Event of an Emergency, an Emergency Number.
In other Words, there was no Human Response to our Call. Nor did the Receptionist call us back.
Yesterday, we left a Message with the Parts Department–the one which promised a return Call within Twenty-Four Hours. This Morning, having waited by the Telephone, ready to pounce, for only Half the allotted Time, we called the Receptionist. Lo, and behold–she was at her Station. She has promised to wander the Labyrinth of the World-wide Conglomerate to see if she can find someone who can answer our Question.
We have decided not to let Optimism counter our usual Gloom. Minimal Expectations have served us well in the Past; we see no Reason to modify our Customary Stance.
|September 30, 2011
Many Months ago, we purchased a Laptop Computer for the express Purpose of operating our Website from Wind-in-the-Pines.
While the Computer has served admirably to allow us to consult our E-Mail, the Internet, and our Brokerage Account–it has never been able to transmit the Website Data. The Problem appears to lie with the Capability of the Rogers Rocket Stick.
We have now discovered that the VIF internet Providers at the Lumpenbangen Facilities in Hamilton have a FREE additional "Dial-Up" Service–an admittedly slow Procedure–but one which will transfer the necessary Data.
If this Entry becomes readable on the Internet, then we will be able to pronounce the successful Completion of our Aim.
We had thought to have a Celebration of some Magnitude for this Event, complete with Champagne and Caviar.
|Alas! Market Conditions do not allow such lavish
Expenditure. We have been selling our Keegan Resources at a Loss. Our
Cost was $6.80, and we had Expectations that it would be sold to another
Company in the $12-14 range.
The recent pre-feasibility Study, while not disastrous, has been seen as such by the Market. The Stock has traded below $5.00. Our Expectations have been revised. We are fearful that the Market may well go lower. We think it prudent to reduce, and possibly eliminate our Position, eliminate our Margin Borrowing, and hope that, by Spring, Dynacor, CMC Metals, and North Country Gold will show a favourable Rise.
We are publishing some Musings about Saudi Arabia, our favourite despotic State, in the Drivel Section.
|September 29, 2011
We must here report a most extraordinary Circumstance. Last Evening we were walking along Damascus Avenue in our fair City, when we were blinded by the Headlights of a strange Vehicle which did approach us at great Velocity. We fell immediately to the Ground, momentarily confused and disoriented. The Vehicle, fortunately, passed, and as we recovered we began to reflect on our Diary Entry of that very Day–dealing with the Teachable Moments employed by Schools in Saskatchewan when Cheating or Plagiarism are encountered.
We have suddenly realized how great a Boon to Society would be the Extension of the Concept of Teachable Moments.
Imagine the Circumstance of a Bank Robber, caught by Police while he is rushing away from the Scene of his Crime. Rather than Arrest, and the long Process of the Judicial System–how much better in terms of Cost and Education were this to be regarded as a Teachable Moment!
The Police could discuss with the Culprit the History of Banking, and require him to read –over subsequent Months--The Wealth of Nations–with a Test administered at the local Police Division.
|More importantly, the Police would escort the
Robber into the Bank, explain how deposits are made, and help him with
the requisite Forms. Very special Emphasis would be placed on the
correct use of the Forms for WITHDRAWALS.
We do think this great Insight into Human Nature in the Schools of Saskatchewan should be discussed in Parliament, and brought with all Haste into our dreary Criminal Code.
We have every Confidence that Teachable Moments have the Power to transform our Society, greatly reduce our Costs, and serve as a shining Beacon to the rest of Humankind.
In another Matter, We do note some Puzzlement on the Part of a few Readers as to the meaning of "the FO letter." A query from Aunt Myalgia and our Reply appear in the Drivel Section.
|September 28, 2011
We know not where to begin. Some Days, the World seems almost sensible, and the Twiddling of Thumbs seems preferable to writing our Diary. On other Days, such as this, we feel overwhelmed.
First, we are pleased to see a Confirmation of one of our favourite Notions–that the general View of Human Nature has gone from a Belief in original Sin, to original Perfection. How else can we account for the Circumstance reported in an article in the National Post (September 28) which begins:
In recent years, some cheating and plagiarizing high school students in Saskatchewan have simply been told to do the assignment all over again, with no impact on their grade.
Apparently such Activity has been regarded as a benign "teachable moment" rather than–as in the Past–a grave moral Lapse. There is now a tentative, hesitant, exploratory Movement in Response. The Minister of Education thinks that it might be a good Idea for Schools to "review their academic integrity policies and create clear guidelines for teachers to follow when a student plagiarizes."
My, my. We do hope no one will do anything rash. No, we are sure they will not. The Article continues:
|These guidelines are SUGGESTING that late
assignments and plagiarism should be taken into account, but there will
be circumstances where they may be overlooked.
The Capital Letters are ours.
We think that the "teachable moments" are unlikely to be put on the endangered Species List. Ah well. The Concepts of Integrity and Trust, have no doubt outlived their Usefulness.
We would like also to mention here the election Debate, the Fact that Police have decided not to charge a Homeowner who killed an Intruder, and a proposal by a Tory MP, Brian Storseth, to repeal a Section of the Human Rights Code banning hate Speech over the Internet. Then there is Lorne Gunter's Column on the Follies of Mcguinty's green-Schemery, and the threatened Flogging of a Saudi Woman Driver. But our Time is limited.
| September 27, 2011
Surely the great Surprise of the Week is that Vladimir Putin will be returning as President of Russia in 2012. We are, as the British would say "gobsmacked."
From our close Observation and detailed Knowledge of the Politicks of Russsia, and our further intense Study of the Character of Mr. Putin, we would have placed a substantial Wager that Mr. Putin was on the very Verge of retiring to the Countryside, to grow Roses, and work on his Stamp Collection.
|We are further astounded at the Remark of
Boris Nemstov, a former Deputy Prime Minister, now in Opposition: "He is
afraid to lose everything and go to jail for everything he has done...He
will hang on until he dies." (National Post, September 26, 2011)
We note Mr. Putin appears, suitably unstoppable, on Limerick Lane.
|September 26, 2011
We do note that the wise and infinitely kind King Abdullah, of Saudi Arabia, has seen fit to allow Women in his Kingdom to vote. Possibly he has grown tired of threatening Canadian Broadcasters with Lawsuits should they broadcast an Advertisement pointing out some of the Deficiencies of his despotic State. We might even imagine that he thinks to burnish, with this Bit of Polish, the Reputation so tarnished by Blackmail.
|What, indeed, will be next in this Effort to
gloss the Imperfections of Reality, to brighten the Allure of an Arabic
Feudalism? Will Women be vouchsafed the right to drive?
We have composed two Limericks on the Matter. They appear on Limerick Lane.
|September 25, 2011
Of late we have drawn some Comfort from our Knowledge of the eternal Verities of the Universe: Stocks usually go down after we purchase them, and go up after we have sold; single Socks and right-handed Gloves are consumed in a regular Manner by the Sock-and-Glove Gremlins; no Trip can be made to Wind-in-the-Pines without Delays in Traffic; Folly is an intrinsic Element of the human Condition; Murphy’s Law provides the most consistently reliable Prediction of human Enterprise; Nothing can disappear more quickly than Contentment, or go faster than the Speed of Light.
These Certitudes may not all be pleasant, but Predictability gives its own Comfort.
And now, our World View is under threat. Our nights have become sleepless, and our days filled with a looming Sense of Dread. For this, now, is the News from Geneva:
Subatomic particles apparently travelling faster than light could force a major rethink of theories about how the cosmos works and even allow dreams of time travel and extra dimensions, scientists said Friday.
(National Post, September 24, 2011)
|Could these probing and presumptuous
Scientists not have left such Matters alone? Must we now adapt to new
Verities? Will the new Dimensions provide more Avenues of Escape for
single Socks, and Right-handed Gloves? Will Murphy’s Law become
outmoded, a matter for Jest? Will Delays in Traffic render
We are in a Dither, a Fit, a State of grievous Apprehension. We can, perhaps, take some small Crumbs of Comfort from the Caution of Stephen Hawking:
It is premature to comment on this...Further Experiments and Clarifications are needed.
For our own Part, we hope the Speed of Light will be restored to its former Unassailability, and we can count on a predictable, Steady-State Universe of Stock Loss, risible Follies, and Disappearance of right-handed Gloves.
We have published this Day, an old Song, Take me Again to the Fair, which appears to have been channelled directly from about 1911. Click here for Songs.
|September 24, 2011
We confess not to be enamoured of Flying in Air Machines; we do harbour an instinctive Feeling that had Murphy intended us to fly, he would have provided us with the Apparatus to do so. No, we do not engage in unseemly Clapping when our Flight to Mexico for the All-inclusive One-Week Sojourn has safely landed. But we cannot entirely disassociate Ourselves from the Sentiment thereby expressed.
It is interesting, therefore, to see the Proof of the Adage: It takes all Kinds to make a World–recently shown in the Tendency to take Flight at the Notice of a Moment, and at the Expense of the Taxpayer by Walter Natynczyk and Peter MacKay.
Possibly, if we could fly from our favourite Fishing Lodge or to a Caribbean Vacation and avoid rubbing Shoulders with (the) Hoi Polloi, with the additional Benefit of the Cost being borne by that same Polloi, we might become a more enthusiastic Participant in Travel by Air.
At any rate, we are pleased to see both Mr. Natyncyzk and Mr. MacKay on Limerick Lane.
|In another matter–we are grateful for the
Saudi Government’s bold Step in threatening CTV News with a Lawsuit if
an Advertisement by Ethical Oil-- which is critical of the Treatment of
Women in their State--should be broadcast. CTV News has tremblingly
We have long fulminated against CTV News for its callous Disregard for the English Language. We have, on occasion sent E-mails pointing out some of their more annoying Transgressions, but there has been neither Response nor appreciable Improvement. Indeed, last Thursday, Jill Macyshon reported that William George Barker has laid in a Toronto Crypt for eighty Years–which–unless he were an egg-laying Chicken–would be impossible for him to do.
The Saudi Government has made us realize that we have only to hire the Firm of Norton Rose to threaten them with a Lawsuit, and CTV Compliance will be immediately forthcoming.
|September 23, 2011
We have this day returned from a Week’s Sojourn at Wind-in-the-Pines. We were able to complete the main Deck by the Lakeshore, but without Seating--which we plan to affix to the deck.
Many Years ago, we constructed a Picnic Table on a high Rock overlooking the Lake, and returned one Day to discover it had vanished. We thought it unlikely that a Bear had become so enamoured of our Handiwork, that it had carted it off for its well-known Teddy-Bear Picnic-in-the-Woods; we suspected that some enterprising Yahoos had scaled the rocky Terrain, and carried it down to a Boat for a Yahoo Picknickus Burglaris.
This Experience has led to considerable Mistrust of the local Yahoo Population, and we think that the Seating for our Deck will survive longer if it is firmly affixed, and integral to the Construction.
|The basic Framework for a Walkway is in Place,
and we have some Hope of completing it and a set of connecting Steps
before the Onset of inhibitory Weather.
Once again the Markets have taken a Swoon, and we are much dismayed that Keegan Resources has gone from over $9.00 recently to just over $5.00 today. The unfortunate Truth is that, while Gold itself has risen greatly in Price, the Gold Stocks have been left to languish. Soon we hope that the high Price of Gold will be reflected in Earnings, and a Re-evaluation will take Place.
If, indeed, this does not happen, our Gruel will become even thinner. As it is, our Gruel consists of little more than Water, some bits of mouldy Potato, discarded carrot Greens (courtesy Food Basics), all held briefly in the same Room where a Chicken was once observed, then simmered to a manifest Insufficiency.
|September 16, 2011
We are given to speculate whether the Grooves of Irrationality are irretrievably moulded into the Plastick of the human Psyche.
We strive to be rational, but this is a forced Effort, and at the least wavering of Intent, our Responses lapse into some fixed irrational Groove of a familiar and accustomed Note.
Thus the Response to the ultimate Mystery of the Universe, despite all contradicting Evidence, is to imagine a benign human-like Creator. And who can deny the Appeal of such related anthropocentric Notions as the End of the World in great Turmoil by an offended Deity, and the Hunting of Witches to proclaim one’s own Righteousness, and favoured Position on the side of the Angels?
It is in this Context, we see the sad Case of Sarah Grunfeld, who misunderstood the Remarks of her Professor, Cameron Johnston who used, as an Example of an unacceptable Opinion, the Statement:
All Jews should be sterilized.
According to the Account of Kelly McParland, in yesterday’s National Post, Ms. Grunfeld thought Professor Johnston was stating his own Opinion, rushed from the Class, and informed a Jewish Organization on the York Campus. The Incident went "online and Prof. Johnston was in the process of being denounced." (National Post, September 15)
|B’Nai Brith became involved and concluded that
Ms. Grunfeld "felt marginalized and targeted by the way the subject
matter relating to the odious opinions was presented."
The argument, was, apparently, that the Fact that Ms. Grunfeld was mistaken, was irrelevant: her Feelings trumped all, and more "sensitivity training" was required.
For her part, the zealous Ms. Grunfeld, rather than admit to Error, has claimed that "The words ‘Jews should be sterilized’ still came out of his mouth, so regardless of the context I still think that’s serious."
She conveniently ignores the Fact that those Words have now come from her Mouth. Should we conclude that her culpability is equal to that of Professor Johnston?
The Witch Hunt, in our supposedly rational Age, has lost none of its Appeal. We would not be surprised should an offended Deity cause the End of Days, with the Earth consumed by Fire, and left to linger as a Crystal of Ice.
This Day we plan to leave for Wind-in-the-Pines to spend several Days on our Project: the Lakeside Deck.
We have this Day published The Nonsense Song, complete with an interview with Dr. Rauchig Fluzenpuffer.
|September 14, 2011
Yesterday we did think to contact Rogers Communications, our Laptop Rocket Stick Provider, to ascertain whether they had any Plans to enable the Rocket Stick to transfer the Data to operate our Website. We had earlier been informed by one of their Representatives that it would not, and that has been our experience thus far--with one exception. Failing to receive the required Boxes on our Screen, we did an inordinate Amount of Fiddling, and were–on one Occasion-- able to effect the Transfer of Data. We have never been able to replicate this happy Event. We are contemplating the Move to another Type of Service at Wind-in-the-Pines.
We considered, as our first Line of Enquiry, the Sending of an E-mail, but were astonished to discover that one of the Requirements for sending it was the Provision of our Date of Birth. It struck us that this Information was completely irrelevant to the Matter at Hand, but the Form was insistent that our Age was of vital Import.
Accordingly, we telephoned to enquire why this Information was necessary. It was, apparently, a matter of Security. The Representative did, in fact, refrain from asking for the vital Information, but was unable to answer our Question–and so transferred our call to a technical Representative. After ascertaining our Account Number, the Representative asked for our Date of Birth.
Now, while we can understand that–at certain Point–for example–the divulging of Information about the Account–the Company might wish to ensure that we were indeed who we claimed to be–but that Point had not yet been reached. We see no compelling Argument that any Conversation with an employee of our Service Provider should begin with a Reference to the Age of the Customer.
|Secondly, we would suggest that Race,
religious Affiliation, Height and Weight, Colour of Eyes, and sexual
Orientation might also be used to identify the Customer–but they are
not. They are Matters too personal. We would put Age in the same
Indeed, we have observed that it is considered, in normal social Interactions, impolite to ask a Stranger or recent Acquaintance his or her Age. We see no Reason that Rogers Communications should exempt itself from this unwritten Rule.
A favourite Novel, the Make of one’s first Automobile, a Mother’s Maiden Name–these are all easily recalled Items which might be used in Place of intrusive Personal Information.
In the Matter of the Telephone Call–we regret to say, that a certain Level of Anger, we become incapable of coherent Speech. We sputtered Something about closing our Account, and hung up.
We will now send a Letter to the Company, with a Copy to the President, Nadir Mohamed.
|September 13, 2011
We have been reviewing the Newspapers which have piled up, unread, during our Sojourn at Wind-in-the-Pines.
Of note is an Article by Karen Selick on the Case of Dr. Susan Dockrill, who faces a Trial by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for Conduct that is "disgraceful, dishonourable, or unprofessional." (National Post, September 2)
Dr. Dockrill’s Crime was to charge an annual $1500 Fee for the Provision of Child Care Services not included in the wondrous Dispensations approved and provided by the Government Monolith. The Government Monolith is a jealous God, and will allow the worship of no other. It provides Services which are insufficient, but allows no Remedy.
As Ms. Selick quite accurately notes:
"Coercion is the very essence of socialized medicine...Forcing people to pay for services and then not providing them is tantamount to theft or fraud. It is the state system of coercive public health care that is unethical."
Yet such are the Wonders of Propaganda, and the Willingness of Humankind to believe in the Big Rock Candy Mountain which lies just over the Socialist Rainbow, that many Citizens–usually those who have no Need of the System– view Socialized Medicine as a foundation Stone of the Canadian Edifice, an unerasable genetic marker of the Canadian Identity.
|We had some Hopes that Mr. Hudak, the
Conservative Challenger to the truly awful Premier McGuinty might
express some Mike Harris common Sense on this Issue. Alas, in an
Interview on Sun News, (September 9) Mr. Hudak, confronted with the
Dockrill Case, quickly retreated into platitudinous Pieties about
universal Access and the supposed Egalitarianism of a Ban on user Fees.
In General, it may be said that the more Government assumes Responsibility for the Welfare of its Citizens, the more it is required to curtail their Freedom, and the more it erodes their Initiative and Competence. We would prefer Government to direct its Largesse to those Citizens demonstrably needy, and allow those capable of making their own Way in the World, to do so with minimal Restraint. If this be termed a "two-tier" System--so be it.
The Nanny State must see all its Citizens as interchangeable widgets of equal length, breadth, and width, but this is not the Reality. A man is not a Piano Key,* and no pleasing Melody may be created with a single, unvarying Note.
|September 12, 2011
We should note that our Letter of Complaint to Hydro One –see our Diary of August 26, 2011--has received an initial Reply. Laura Formusa, the President of this vile Organization has acknowledged our Letter, saying: "We will respond as soon as possible."
We tingle with Anticipation. No doubt our Complaint has been sent to the Hydro One "FO" Department. (See Drivel for April 16, 2010 for discussion of these Letters.) This Department will send us a Letter thanking us for expressing our Concerns, but explaining why our Complaint is foolish, impertinent, and ill-founded. It will also confirm that the present Operation of the Organization is entirely Satisfactory, and convey a Sense of bemused Wonderment–since no Customer has ever complained about DISCONNECTION notices–or any other Matter--before.
Indeed, we may draft such a Letter beforehand, in order that we may compare it with the FO Missive we receive.
(We have now composed this letter; it is in the Drivel Section, September 12, 2011.)
|We must also remark on an Item of News in
Today’s Post which gives the Results of a recent Survey:
Most Canadians believe conflict between Western nations and the Muslim world is "irreconcilable."
Apparently 56% held this negative View. We are surprised that the Figure is not higher. Those who believe that Religion is paramount, and must govern the Conduct of human Affairs can never be reconciled to the Notion that it is not, and must not. The only Hope we can see is that religious Belief becomes less fervent, and the Adherents to the Religion of Islam become reconciled to religious Tokenism. Over our Lifetime, we have been much pleased to see this happen to Christianity. A Belief in Things which cannot be true may be of great Comfort, as long as there is Recognition that such Beliefs cannot–and must not--be forced upon Others.
| September 11, 2011.
Yesterday we did return from an extended Sojourn at Wind-in-the-Pines. The Weather was fair, and felicitous for our great Endeavour: the building of a Lakeside Deck.
We should note that the Terrain at Wind-in-the-Pines is essentially rocky and uneven, and ever since the Dismantling of the Great Sinking Boathouse, we have had a Surplus of old Pressure-Treated Lumber, and a Paucity of flat Surfaces and Docking near the Shore. While we are not ready to deal with the Problem of Docking, it seemed that the Surplus of Lumber might be used to reduce the Paucity of Flat Surface in the Construction of a Deck.
We are pleased that, over the last Week, we have made considerable Progress in the Matter, and are only somewhat dismayed to realize that, with each Step, new and more elaborate Plans do present Themselves. We can see the Development of the Shoreline extending many Seasons into the Future.
We did note on August 25, the Passing of our Submersible Pump, and its Replacement by the local Plumbing Firm, Reamer and Gouge. At the Time we expressed our Concern over the Cost of the Pump, Control Panel, Tripod, and two Men in a Boat, and bethought ourselves to make a small Animal Sacrifice to Murphy, in order to alleviate the Bill.
|It would appear that our Animal was
insufficiently large–or perhaps, the Prayers and the accompanying naked
Dance by the Light of the full Moon were not to Murphy’s Satisfaction.
We stopped by the Reamer and Gouge Facility to ascertain the
Amount of the Bill. It was $1,695.82.
We must record here our great Gratitude that Reamer and Gouge, possibly not unfamiliar with such Circumstance, had on Hand a Defibrillating Device, together with a Paramedic trained in its use. With such excellent immediate Care, and the happy Circumstance of an Ambulance kept running in the Reamer and Gouge Parking Lot at all times, we were able to effect a considerable Recovery.
While it is true that we still have recurrent Nightmares, a residual Trembling in our left Hand, and a Weakness in our right Leg, we are optimistic for a full Restoration of our Health.
| September 1, 2011
The Follies of Mankind–especially the Canadian Brand of it– do impinge upon us daily. We long to occupy ourselves with more pleasant matters–such as undergoing a much needed hip replacement –or the even more necessary Brain Transplant–but these must be continually be postponed in favour of dealing with the latest Outrage to our sense of Reason and Propriety.
This Day, we have written on the Decision of the University of Manitoba to award a Ph.D. Degree to a Candidate who has twice failed the Examinations, and is deficient in the Number of Courses--because of his Claim of Exam Anxiety.
|We do confess we suffer much from this same
terrible Affliction of Anxiety, which doth prevent us from Filing of
Income Taxes and the Paying of our Hydro One Bill. We only wish we had
the University of Manitoba to intervene for us in these Matters. We are
certain that our harried Existence would be made significantly more
See the Drivel Section for our Commentary.
| August 31, 2011
Did happen upon the Sun News Network last Evening, and was much pleased to see, at last, some Mention of those Topicks which Other Media dare not discuss, except to repeat those Opinions which are believed to be proper, correct, and good for us.
There was an Interview with Professor Salim Mansur, whose new Book on Multiculturalism, Delectable Lie is to be published this Day. We are pleased to see this Repudiation of Multiculturalism, which has always seemed to us to be a foolish Idea, since it is based on an untenable Premise–that all Cultures are equal, and equally worthy of Respect. Professor Mansur neatly underlines, in his Title, the Theme which is one of our constant Concerns–the Use of pleasant Fictions to conceal uncomfortable Realities. Our observation # 42 is:
Knowing the truth, holding it in high regard–yet, nonetheless, feeling the need to conceal it in favour of an agreeable lie–that is the darkness at the heart of the human condition which is the subject of Conrad’s famous novel, Heart of Darkness.
|There was also a Discussion of Immigration
which brought up the Point that Canada has so little Self-Interest, that
it welcomes a vast Preponderance of Immigrants who do not possess the
Skills which might improve our Circumstance. Indeed, this touches on the
same Theme: the Triumph of Ideals over Reality.
In Addition, there was an Interview with Dr. Karen Dockrill, who has been forced to close her Mom and Baby Depot, which charged a $1,000 membership Fee for many extra Services not provided by our Health Care System. The same Theme is evident: the Ideal of Universal Health Care trumps the Reality that it does not meet the Needs of Patients.
We are greatly heartened by the Existence of Sun News, since it has the Capacity, by dealing openly with Taboo Subjects, to expose the many idealistic Follies which plague our Society. It may take a very long Time, but we hope that the Sun News Network may effect greater positive Change for Canada than all the pious Piffle, the sanctimonious Silliness, and ruinous Romanticism of the idiotic Left.
|August 30, 2011
This Day, we must put Levity aside, and deal with a most serious Matter.
We have long been suspicious of the prevailing Philosophy of Climate Change, and pass up no Opportunity to deride Dr. Suzuki, the Expert in Fruit Fly Genetics, whose Views on Climate Change have had great Influence amongst the Fruit Fly Population.
Just the other Day, we interviewed a Group of Fruit Flies which had gathered around a decaying Peach. Every single Fly did have, as its Opinion, that Mankind was the Cause of Climate Change, and that Human Beings would be well advised to return to a simpler Life in the Caves, where they could occupy themselves with the harmless Occupation of drawing Wild Animals on the Walls.
Now we must report on an Article by Lawrence Solomon published in the National Post (August 27) entitled Science Now Settled. Apparently CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has published in the Journal Nature, the Results of Research which shows that the stronger the Sun’s magnetic Field, the warmer Earth becomes.
This is because:
cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds [making it] cloudier and thus cooler... Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach the Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on earth.
|We would recommend consulting Mr.
Solomon’s Article for the Account of the difficult History of this
Theory, which runs counter to the Notions so enthusiastically held by
the vast Majority of the Fruit Fly Population. Even now, Mr. Solomon
feels that it will be many Years before there is proper
Recognition–"because CERN remains too afraid of offending its government
masters to admit its success." The Results have been published, but the
Interpretation has been muzzled.
Mr. Solomon concludes:
CERN, and the Danes, have in all likelihood found the Holy Grail of climate science. But the religion of climate science won’t yet permit a celebration of the find.
We find it interesting that Mr. Solomon plays on the Words "Science" and "Religion." We flatter ourselves that we live in an Age of Science; in fact, the Words of Alexander Pope are as true today as they were in the 18th Century:
The ruling passion, be what it will,
(Epistle iii To Lord Bathurst, 1733)
|August 29, 2011
We have returned from the Dreimer Family Reunion, and are much pleased at the Benefits: our Hair has started to grow in the previously deficient Areas, our Arthritis is cured, and our left Leg, congenitally an Inch shorter than its dextrous Neighbour, now lays claim to Status of equal Length.
More importantly, we have been able to draw great Inspiration from the Dock at the Cottage of the Host, which combines the Functions of Deck, Dock, shaded Area, and Steps into the Water. Since we are about to build a Lakefront Deck at Wind-in-the-Pines, we are now in a Position to improve our Design.
We would take note of a quite wonderful Commentary by Robert Fulford in the National Post (August 27) on Mr. Layton and the NDP, entitled The Alternative to Reality which is consistent with much of our own Opinion, and makes us feel less singular in our skeptical Stance. Here are some of Mr. Fulford comments:
...the central function of the NDP is to help members and supporters pretend that they are not living in a society built on capitalism. Democratic Socialism is a fairy tale that they tell themselves as a consolation for having to exist in a distressingly grubby, money-driven world.
|..For its followers, the NDP delivers the
politics of reassurance...[they] can consider themselves
compassionate human beings without doing anything much that involves
...In their dreams they can inhabit the country they believe they deserve, a place run by nice people, as nice as themselves, from which unfairness is banished.
...Above all, they can depend on the NDP to keep alive the most influential delusion of the 19th century, the belief that societies can be planned by idealists without the messy chaos of buying and selling.
We have written this Day an exhaustive Explanation of the Outpouring of Grief at the Death of Mr. Layton. We would like to think that now, at last, we have made our final Comments on the matter of Mr. Layton’s Demise.
The Explanation appears in the Drivel Section.
| August 28, 2011.
This weekend we did attend a Dreimer Family Reunion. This was held at a Cottage Location at the very Edge of Civilization as it is currently perceived. We do here confess that such Edges do make us nervous, and we had some Trepidation of falling off into the Hinterland below.
We were somewhat relieved to discover that there was an absence of dangerous Precipice, and our precautionary Measures of Ropes and Rescue Equipment proved unnecessary.
We called upon the Serviceable Six for the four-hour Journey, on the grounds that it could provide us with overnight Accommodation superior to a Tent, and significantly less in Cost than at the Nearby Hinterland Hotel. The Geezermobile Eight, although willing and disappointed, was pacified on the grounds that it would be more comfortable at rest in the Lumpenbangen Institute Driveway, rather than undertaking a lengthy Journey which might prove a Challenge to a Machine of its advanced Age.
|And, indeed, the Serviceable Six performed
admirably in in the effecting of our Arrival and in the capacity of
temporary Shelter, providing an air mattress and sleeping bag. We do confess only to having suffered a condition of inflatus minimus of the matrus, a circumstance which we might have
remedied with an exhaustive bout of pumpus inflatus–but weariness prevailed.
We did mention our recent difficulties with Hydro One (See Dairy August 26), and did learn that another Member of the Group recently received a DISCONNECTION notice similar to that of which we complained in our August 26 Entry. It would appear that we have not been especially selected as a Recipient of the arrogant Disdain of Hydro One–their Battering Ram Approach to Customers being a general Policy.
We will be intrigued to see if Laura Formusa deigns even to respond to our Complaint, and, if she does so, what Degree of the Battering Ram is thereby revealed.
| August 26, 2011
On July 13, we did complain to this Diary of our exorbitant Bill from Hydro One. After writing our Complaint, we did mistakenly file the Bill in a Folder for Bills paid.
The due Date on the Bill was July 26, but, much to our Surprise, we have received, less than a Month later, a DISCONNECTION NOTICE threatening the Cessation of Power to Wind-in-the-Pines as early as September 7, but possibly not until September 17.
Our first Reaction has been one of Outrage, and we have sent Letters to Laura Formusa, the President of Hydro One, with a Copy to our esteemed Premier. The prevailing Philosophy would appear to be: "Don’t knock on the Door, when there is a battering Ram at your Disposal," or "Shoot First, ask Questions later."
Besides the bold Headline, DISCONNECTION NOTICE, the Communication also contains a list of Fire Safety Precautions to be observed when the Electric Power is unavailable, and Alternatives are being employed. This suggests that the proposed DISCONNECTION is a virtual certainty.
As a further Insult, a separate Page is employed to detail the costs of DISCONNECTION and Re-connection–in the unlikely Event we are able to sell a Kidney, or an expendable Relative in order to pay the outstanding outrageous Bill. The Cost of DISCONNECTION varies between $65 and $185...but could be as high as $415. The Costs of Re-connection are described as "similar." Not content with those threats, the Notice proceeds to indicate that "a minimum charge of $30 will be applied to your account for any trip to your property as a result of collections activity."
|We are not entirely at a Loss to explain this
inappropriate Notice. Doubtless many are having trouble paying Bills for
Electricity, and a "Crackdown" has been ordered. Beyond that, are the
signs of monopolistic Arrogance–after all–Customers are essentially
without Alternatives. Much of the Information contained in the Notice
could have been conveyed in a tactful, and less confrontational
Manner–but, of course–why knock on the Door, when a battering Ram is at
hand? Power need not resort to Civility; thus it is seen much in the
company of Arrogance, Provocation, and Insult. (See
Observation # 142.)
Our Letter to Dalton McGuinty is based on the Premise that, without his Expansive Green-Schemery, Rates for Power would be lower, Hydro One would not be acting so idiotically, and we would not be so angered by their Stupidity and Arrogance.
|August 25, 2011.
We have expanded our comments on the Death of Mr. Layton (Diary, August 22) into one of our usual Diatribes against the Flaws in socialist Thinking. We note that we are almost alone in our Reservations about Mr. Layton.
Christie Blatchford, did, indeed refer to Mr. Layton’s final Epistle as revealing "what a canny, relentless, thoroughly ambitious fellow Mr. Layton was." She also remarked that the public Emotion currently being displayed is "the norm in the modern world, and it has been thus since Princess Diana died....what once would have been condemned as mawkish is now considered perfectly appropriate."
We must also remark a letter in Today’s National Post from Herbert Grubel, emeritus Professor of Economics at Simon Fraser University, which reads, in part:
"...Mr. Layton’s highly praised compassion for others inevitably leads to the much-less praiseworthy policy of confiscating from others the fruits of their labour. Not one person in the media noted that the compassionate policies he stood for have been put into effect in many countries of Europe, where they are the root causes of catastrophic debts, public riots , and other social pathologies..."
Professor Grubel seems like an eminently sensible Fellow.
|We record here a small Disaster
successfully overcome at Wind-in-the-Pines. The submersible Pump became
weary of its Function, and decided not to provide the Water necessary
for the Operation of the Residence. Fortunately, the local Plumbing Firm
was able to arrive the next Day, using a small Boat launched at the
Government Dock. Two young Men–appearing far too young to inspire
Confidence–were able to retrieve the weary Pump, change the control
Panel, and install a new Pump on a splendid Tripod. resting on the
Bottom of the Lake. The Flow of Water was restored about Lunch Time.
We are greatly relieved that the Failure took place in Summer, rather than Winter. We are sending special Prayers of Thanks to the great God Murphy on this Account. We have only one remaining Concern: what will be the Cost of two Men and a Boat for four or five Hours, along with a new Tripod, Pump, and Control Panel? We await the Bill for this admirable Rescue with considerable Trepidation. Perhaps a small Animal Sacrifice would be in Order.
| August 22, 2011
Written on the death of Mr. Layton
We have learned this Day of the Death of Mr. Layton, and, from the perspective of the uncertain Lot of Humankind, we do think it unfortunate that, having achieved such recent great political Success, he should so soon, and at so early an Age, have been so abruptly taken from the Concerns and Battlefield of his Choice. Very little in the Human Condition is fair, and much is arbitrary and cruel.
We note an exceptional Expression of public Grief. Some of that, has, undoubtedly, to do with the tragic Circumstance of Success so soon betrayed by Fate. Some may also have to do with the Perception of Mr. Layton as Symbol of the optimistic Idealist, and the Hunger for Evidence of Sainthood amid the Grubbiness of Existence.
It is hard not to sympathize with the Desire to improve, as much as possible, that Lot of Humankind which Mr. Layton’s untimely Death doth illustrate.
But we have long held that Socialism is unworkable, and vulnerable to unintended Consequences. There are Traps into which Socialists and Social Engineers do fall. Understandably, of course, their Concern is with the most unfortunate–the Poor–the Homeless–and the Incompetent. Their Desire–surely shared by all–is to ameliorate the Conditions of these Groups.
Among the Traps is that of an inconsidered and untempered idealism which must inevitably founder on the irreducible Shoals of Reality. While Equality of Opportunity is an admirable Goal, Equality of Circumstance–so often the stated goal of Socialists--as we have often pointed out-- is neither attainable–nor–in view of the Realities of Existence–desirable. Our Observation #8 is:
If, in the interests of equality, single-celled organisms had adopted the governing philosophy of socialism, the present population of the world would consist entirely of single-celled organisms.
As we have noted elsewhere, the professed desire for Equality is a Canard; People seek not Equality, but Improvement. No man seeks Equality by a Reduction in his Circumstance, but only by Improvement. If by some Magick, Equality in anything be realized, Contentment would still elude, and the Desire for Improvement remain.
In the Interests of Equality, Socialists fall into the Trap of embracing its very opposite: Hiring is based, not on Merit, but on Membership in certain Groups. Complainants to Human Rights Commissions are favoured with legal Aid; Defendants must pay their own Costs. Equity Chairing in the conduct of a Meeting is a Favouring of one Group over another.
|A second Trap is that an
inappropriate (that is single-minded) Concern for Victims does result in
a perceived Desirability of Victimhood: Canada sometimes seems to us a
Nation in which there is Competition to achieve the Status of Victim,
and Government Largesse as a Result. There is also an undue Oppression
of those not so readily identified as Victims. Thus, the Quebec Human
Rights Commission which attempted to further an obese lady’s "Equality"
cared little that the Principle of prior Agreement was rendered void,
and that another Lady had to be oppressed in order to achieve the
supposedly desirable Result. Indeed, it is often the Case– that the
Concern is not for the Whole of Humankind–but for that Portion of it to
which the Socialist can feel comfortably superior.
And this may be considered another Trap–that of an Element of Condescension. The social Engineers huddle in their Offices, and determine that all should have equal Access to Health Care without individual Cost. This is a wonderful Notion, except that it runs counter to the Principles upon which the Real World operates. Equal Access to "free" Care may be engineered in the Short Term–but only at the Cost of Freedom of Choice, timely Service, and Innovation.
The Politicians and Social Engineers may be well satisfied; they have provided indifferent Care for the Multitudes, while their own Prominence assures them they will not suffer the Consequences of their flawed Creation. (See Of Prominence and Privilege, Diary, June 10, 2011) Such is the Achievement of a self-protecting Condescension.
Another Trap–which is related–is that sense of Entitlement which comes from being on the Side of the Angels. There is often Danger when one starts to believe one’s own Press Releases. Surely those Fighters for the Poor, those Heroes of the Homeless, those Stalwarts for the Incompetent–surely they are deserving of a few Perks–a few drips of Gravy from the ever-flowing Bowl which they themselves have waved into Existence. We regret that we cannot be more forgiving–but we have always considered Mr. Layton’s Stint in Public Housing as a prime Example.
We have no objection to Improvement, but Socialist Schemes for Improvement seem inseparable from ideological Overshoot. Not only must the Poor be raised, but the Successful must be Oppressed–so that the Sterile Nirvana of Equality be achieved. Hence is called into Play the intrusively regulatory Hand-- the Dead Hand of Government Suppressing Enterprise, Freedom, and the Creation of Wealth for the Majority.
We are sorry for Mr. Layton’s untimely Death. He was a successful Politician, whom many admire for his Idealism. But we see those who profess Socialism to be dangerously mistaken. Grown Men who advocate Socialism are either Fools–or Knaves.
| August 18, 2011.
We experience much of our Life in Snippets.
Last evening, watching a Snippet of Ezra Levant’s The Source, we were astounded to see the Communication of a Viewer which stated that Sun News was biased, but that the CBC was not. It is a very good Thing that we were not holding a sharp Object at the Time-- nor were we eating. Our convulsive Movements of Derision might well have spelled an End, which while not untimely, would have been greatly underappreciated.
Then, this Morning, we happened to catch a Snippet from the CBC, in which a Listener dragged out that tired old Argument that Crime is best prevented by getting at the Root of the Problem.
This is so typically an "unbiased" CBC-Left Wing Response.
We would agree with whole Heart that the Root should be addressed. The Difficulty is that the Idealists among us–who believe that Mankind is essentially and originally unblemished–always see the Root as being Poverty, low Self-Esteem, and a cruel and uncaring Society. While such Factors may, indeed, have some Play, what is always ignored is the true Nature of Human Nature.
Dostoevsky observed, correctly we believe, that no matter how perfect the Society–no matter what Needs and Desires are met–no matter what Edifice of Crystal is erected–there are some who will wish to smash it into Smithereens
|Our view–which is undoubtedly the correct
One–is that human Beings come with assorted Types of internal Wiring.
The Wiring of Some is such that, following the best Precepts and
Examples–almost by an inherent Plenitude of benign Propensities–they
will rise to become Paragons of Success, Probity, and Goodness. On the
other Hand, there are some whose Wiring is so Faulty, so botched a Job
of perverse Connections and deficient Soldering–that they can never live
untroubled in civil Society.
In between are those whose Wiring is, to a greater or lesser Degree, susceptible of Modification towards allowing a reasonable Accommodation with Society. But Modification is the Key. To expect, as the Idealists do, that allowing free Reign, giving in to every Demand, and working ceaselessly to prop up a sense of self-Esteem and Entitlement will result in a better Society is to fall into the most egregious and outrageous Error. Rights cannot be divorced from Responsibilities.
The recent Riots in Vancouver and England suggest the Failure of the attractive, but flawed modern Sensibility–in which the Notion of original Purity has displaced the Notion of original Sin.
In dealing with Human Nature, the wisest expect and hope for the best; but are not unprepared for--or are at a loss-- when they encounter the less-than-ideal–or--the worst.
|August 17, 2011
We are pleased to see San Gold trading down to $3.06, after our Sale at $3.14.
Now that we have sold, we have every Expectation that it will rise to a great Height.
We have never been able to hold a prudent Store of buying Power. There is doubtless an Area of the human Brain which lights up, and sends agreeable Chemicals flooding through the Body whenever a Purchase is effected. We fear that the Euphoria so induced is malignantly addictive.
Had we any Wit, we would hie us to the Dollar Store to buy a supply of Sponges and Detergent, in order to activate this Response. Instead, we have purchased more Stocks, ignoring the Fact that we may well be on the Cusp of Armageddon.
|We have added this day to our Holdings of CMC
Metals, although we found it necessary to pay .285 cents, rather than
the .25 cents paid yesterday. We will wait for a day of Gloom to
purchase more. We also purchased more Niblack at .225; it seems to have
been consigned to the Bin Of Despair. We have no expectation of an early
rise, but it seems likely that, at some Point, their Partner,
Heatherdale, will make the Property into a Mine.
We have conceived some new Observations, and added them to our List. In doing so, we had Occasion to read some of our earlier Entries, and are pleasantly puzzled at the Wisdom and Elegance of Expression displayed therein. Indeed, we suspect that they are not our own Work at all, but channelled in some mysterious Fashion from the Great God Murphy himself.
|August 16, 2011.
We have sold this day all our remaining Position in San Gold. We do not pretend that this was a calm, judicious, rational Decision. We have owned Shares since 2007–and our average initial Price was about $1.20. The stock reached $5.00 at one point, but recently was as low as $2.50.
We were fortunate to sell all our Shares in a tax-exempt Account at about $3.90. After much Buying and Selling, the cost of the Shares sold in our margin Account today was approximately the same as our sale Price-- $3.14.
We had recently sold Shares in Argonaut Gold in order to increase our Holdings in San Gold, anticipating good News from Drill Results promised in Mid-June. Some Results were, indeed released, but there was no significant Appreciation in the Stock Price. The Company continues to lose Money, although it is likely to be profitable soon. Argonaut Gold, of course, has continued to rise–as a Reminder of our Deficiencies in Judgement.
We admit to suffering from a plain and simple Case of Fedupitis Maximus –that Condition which doth arise from too many Disappointments.
|We have no doubt that now we have sold,
wonderful News will be released, and the share Price will move
significantly higher. It is a corollary symptom of Fedupitis Maximus
that we really don’t give a damn.
On the rational Side, we note that, in spite of a dramatic Rise in the Price of Gold, many Junior Companies have been tossed into the Bin of Hopelessness. It seems wiser to increase our Holdings in those Stocks which we perceive to be at irrational Lows.
For this reason we have also reduced our Holdings in Aberdeen International–which has declined, but not as dramatically as many others. We have increased our Holdings in Dynacor and North Country Gold.
|August 15, 2011.
Up betimes to the Eye Doctor, where, by Dint of superior Speed and Agility we were able to obtain a Seat. We feel some Compassion for elderly Ladies, especially those dependent upon Canes and Walkers, whose physical Abilities are insufficient to the Skills required for Success in such Matters. We take some comfort from the Fact that the Darwinian Laws of Survival are being observed. We suspect the Great God Murphy doth approve.
Upon our Return, we wrote a piece of insubstantial Drivel concerning the Ontario Government Health Care Advertisements which attempt to convince us that we are nearly overwhelmed with Options in seeking medical Attention.
|We also note the News that the actress Faye
Dunaway has been evicted from her rent-controlled New York
Apartment–quite rightly--on the Grounds that she does not live there.
A recent Drivel piece and yesterday's Diary have noted the prominent Position held by Larceny in the human Heart. It would appear that Rioters, Doctors who fraudulently claim Authorship of Medical Reports, and absentee Actresses with rent-controlled Apartments may be used to illustrate a general Principle.
We do note the Appearance of Ms. Dunnaway on Limerick Lane.
|August 14, 2011
LLDD and the Demi-Paradise
We do confess here that our birth and first five years of existence were experienced in England. We note that, since our Departure, the Circumstance of that Country has encountered a significant Decline. Such matters are, of course, difficult of determination, but we would not rule out the Possibility that the two Events are related. Even if this be the Case, the Decline is now so great, we doubt that our immediate Return would have much Impact.
There is indeed much Anguish, and wringing of Hands over the recent Riots. Rex Murphy has an eloquent Piece in Saturday’s National Post, lamenting the Disappearance of the England of old– the England of "pageant, chivalry, order, reserve and stoicism."
An Expert from the United States, William Bratton, has been called in to give Advice, and we have no doubt that he has much useful Expertise in the Matters of Gangs and Riots.
We cheerfully admit that we have no Expertise at all, but we have found that the less we know about a Subject, the more firm and assured is our Opinion. Nor is the Topick of these deplorable Circumstances in England an Exception.
As we have noted many times before, the Heart and Essence of the Problem is a wondrous Shift in the Perception of Human Nature. During our own brief Lifetime, the general View has gone from wary Pessimism–the Belief in original Sin–to cock-eyed Optimism–the Belief in original Purity. In this extraordinary Shift may be found the Cause of much Malaise.
|We hold little truck with Religion, it being a
monumental Scam employed against the Needy and the Gullible. However, we
do admit that there is an Element of Truth in the Christian Concept of
original Sin, and that the use of God as Bogeyman may be effective in
the Teaching of Morality.
The modern View is that Human Beings are born good. It is for this Reason that many point to Poverty and Deprivation as the Cause of Riots. If one begins with the Assumption that the Cause cannot be in the Nature of Human Nature, then some external Cause must be found. If there is an external Cause –and we would agree that external factors influence behaviour–it is in the Failure of Society to remember what it has always known: human Nature is not perfect; it cannot be left to develop along all its natural Paths.
It seems clear that Larceny is the motivation of the Looters–just as it the Motivation of Doctors who claim Authorship of Papers they have not written. (See Drivel, August 5, 2011) Nor should we discount the sheer Joy of Destructiveness–such as that shown in the Vancouver Riots earlier this Year. (See Diary June 22, 23, 2011).
Casting about for two other prominent natural Elements in Human Nature, of which we would do well to take into Account–we will choose Deceptiveness and Laziness...both of which are related to Larceny. Add them up, and we have a neat formula "LLDD:" Larceny, Laziness, Deceptiveness and Destructiveness. In the awareness of LLDD lies the Promise of more civilized Times.
Indeed, we suspect that the Difference between the noble England of "chivalry, order, reserve, and stoicism"–the Passing of which Rex Murphy laments–and the new England of Yobs, Riots, and Looting is that there used to be a Conscious Effort to combat Larceny, Laziness, Deception, and Destruction. But in today’s Brave New World, Nobody seems to realize that a Conscious Effort is required.
|August 10, 2011.
Up betimes, and in a fit of Pique we did write a Post to the San Gold Bullboard at Stockhouse.
Recently another Poster has been drawing Attention to the Failures of the Company, and we confess that, having been a Shareholder of San Gold since 2007, we have experienced much Frustration with the Management, which has been guilty of that cardinal Sin: Over-promising und Under-delivering. We have retained a small Fraction of our original Position, thinking that, eventually, good Geology will trump indifferent Management.
We had hoped for a Change with the appointment of a new President, George Pirie, but in an Interview with Jay Taylor in mid-June, he suggested the Release of multiple Drill Results within two Weeks. Nearly eight Weeks later we have neither Results nor Explanation of the Delay. Bah! Humbug!
We are pleased to announce that Wind-in-the-Pines has now
acquired a magical Path to a Satellite Television Signal.
On a previous Occasion, the Installer had discovered that the great Pines surrounding the Residence, had the Effect of blocking the Signal from the beneficent Satellite. We have needed to erect a Post near an open, rocky Area, in order to receive the magical Beams.
We did, indeed, construct a Crib from Materials at hand, and purchased a sturdy Post from the Lumber Yard for $25. This very day, the Installer did arrive, connect an enchanted Dish, and provide a necessary Wizard’s Box and a Harry Potter Wand.
Gone are the Days of Two-Station Television! Gone are the Days of Paucity of Choice! We now have access to BNN, for immediate news of Financial Disaster; we may continue our vicarious Pleasures of buying a Florida Mansion or a Vacation Home in Nicaragua on HGTV; we even harbour the Notion that our beloved Murder, She Wrote will return in the Fall–and we will, once again, imagine ourselves back in the 1980's.
| August 7, 2011
Oh, for the Sight of the Canada Goose, wending its way Northward in full Victory Flight! How it doth stir the Heart, and capture the Imagination! How it doth claim the Skies--and the Land beneath--as its own! Indeed, of late, this noble Bird seems to have conquered new and unsuspecting Territories.
Even at Wind-in-the-Pines, we do note, in Addition to the Call of the Loon in the Evenings, the Squawking of Canada Geese in the Day. In recent Times, the Geese have discovered our Lake, and, as soon as a Patch of open Water presents itself in the Spring, the Branta Canadiensis there doth gather.
The Shoreline near Wind-in-the-Pines is rocky, and does not invite these Creatures to meander ashore–but other Cottages are alternatively favoured, and present a grassy sward of easy Access. But we wonder whether the Joy created is entirely untramelled.
Indeed, it is our Perception the Canada Goose has been transformed from Noble Bird to Damned Nuisance.
A Googling of the Matter reveals that the Canada Goose is described as "the most loathsome bird in Britain." A Claim is made that New York City has allocated $4.5 million over the next three Years for Goose Control. The Birds consume Four Pounds of Grass per day, excrete from Two to Four Pounds per day, and would be banned from any respectable Library for their Noise.
|Suggestions for their Dispersal
range from plastic Dogs to dead rubber Geese, Firecrackers, and
reflective Devices which mimic the Presence of Predators.
In short, the Canada Goose is largely and widely reviled.
We feel that this is a matter of National Concern. Why would we wish to have the perfect Nation of Canada associated with a noisy and excremental Nuisance? How many sober and judicious Citizens of other Nations do gain a prejudicial Notion of our fair Land through the Antics of these unintended Ambassadors?
Fellow Citizens! It is time to Unite! The name of the Goose must be changed! A Royal Commission must be appointed! Once the name has been changed–we would make Suggestion of "Big Pooper Goose," or "Branta Excrementis Maximus,"-- a Parliamentary Committee should be struck to embark on the painstaking Removal of all existing defamatory Reference. This will involve significant use of whiteout Fluid and other means of Erasure, but we are confident our Parliamentarians will be up to the Task. No less than the Reputation of our Fair Land is at Stake.
We do note the Appearance of the Goose on Limerick Lane.
| August 5, 2010
Once again the World is coming to an End. The Markets do predict Fire, Ice, and many bad Hair Days. Undoubtedly the Price of Gold will Rise as a Result–and our Stocks along with it--we fear only that our meagre Holdings will be wiped out with Margin Calls before we see the Promised Land.
One item of Amelioration–we feel indeed fortunate that we have on hand a great Quantity of Sackcloth, purchased at much lower Prices–and we have saved a goodly Quantity of Ashes from the Woodstove at Wind-in-the-Pines.
Thus we will be able to mourn and lament at minimal Cost.
|In another Matter–we were intrigued to
discover–from CTV News--a new Element of Chicanery in the Medical
Establishment–the fraudulent Publishing of Articles written in Favour of
new Drugs in prestigious Medical Journals.
The Fraud occurs because the articles are purportedly written by reputable Scientists, but are actually written by the Drug Companies themselves.
We have written on this matter more extensively in our Drivel Section.
|July 31, 2011
On Saturday we did travel from Wind-in-the-Pines to Parry Sound for our annual Visit to the Festival of the Sound. The timing of the Evening Concert is such that, unless one fasts, or brings a brown Bag with Sandwiches, the Purchase of a Meal in Parry Sound is indicated.
Last Year, we paid $22.95 for a Serving of Pickerel at the Bay Street Café which represented a considerable peak in the Alps of Mediocrity; in addition, we were disappointed that there was no Amelioration provided by the Appearance of Bread, Roll, or Salad. Thus, this year, we decided to remove our Patronage from the Café, and venture elsewhere.
We discovered that a new Restaurant has opened nearby, the Kudos Kuisine. Restaurants with Aspirations to Kutesiness, Kontrivedness, or semi-Komedic Kraftiness,– achieved by a Kharacter of Kontortional Komplexity in Spelling, raise our Suspicions. As it turned out, the Prices displayed were noticeably lacking in Enticement, and so we moved on–past the Bay Street Café to Christina’s.
Here we were able to obtain a modestly priced Salad, but when we asked for a Roll or a Slice of Bread the Report was that neither was available; we concluded that these items are of an exotic Nature quite foreign to the homespun Tastes of Parry Sound. Intriguingly, Garlic Bread, made from a Substance quite different (we assume) from the Bread that was unavailable, was obtainable for $4.99 for four Slices.
|In spite of the Paucity of ordinary Bread, and
the ready availability of $4.99 Garlic Bread, we would still choose
Christina’s over the Bay Street Café. The View is not of the
Water, but of a Street; surprisingly, the Ambience gains much from the
Rumble of Trains over an adjacent Track elevated far above. We are used
to seeing Trains at Ground Level; it is a Novelty to hear one nearby,
and at a magnificent and thrilling Height.
We must note a Question asked by a Waitress on at least two Occasions: "How is everything so far?" The addition of so far to the otherwise innocent Inquiry prompted us (we admit to a peculiar Sense of Humour) to see the Question as somewhat ominous–implying that a Disaster was almost certain to strike at some time during the Meal. The Waitress, evidently, was merely attempting to determine if the awful Event had yet occurred. We speculated further that, if it had not, then the Efforts of the Cook and Staff would be redoubled, so that the unblemished Record of Dining Misfortune would be honourably maintained.
Thus, in an excellent Frame of Mind, we prepared to attend the Concert.
We might add that the Festival of the Sound is an interesting and unique Achievement-- few would expect to encounter a Concert Hall on the very Shores of Georgian Bay–looking out over an Expanse of Water--or the Marvels of Music in the Hinterland of Cottage Country.
|July 28, 2011.
We are much disturbed at the Irrationality of the Stock Market. The Price of Gold is up, yet our Stocks are oppressively down. In the eternal Conflict between Greed and Fear, Fear has the upper Hand. Undoubtedly the Apathy of Summer is also playing its Part.
When Producers of Gold finally shew the profitable Effects of the higher Prices, we expect that a Re-evaluation–to our Advantage–will occur.
|In the Meantime, our Diet is severely reduced;
our thin Gruel is derived from increasingly over-boiled Bones, and our
Bread is obtained from the Rack marked: Mould Anticipated Tomorrow.
As a result of a recent Program on The Agenda dealing with Neuroscience and the Law, we have mused about the Nature of Free Will in our Drivel Section. We consider it our Challenge to the Shallow Age of Twittering Mindlessness. We care not whether the Windmill clatters to a Halt; we have tilted, and that is enough.
|July 26, 2011.
We note that last Evening CTV News reported on a Gathering protesting the Practice of Valley Park Middle School which allows the Conduct of Muslim religious Services at the School. We are much in Accord with this Protest, since we believe all Religion to be Nonsense, and the Public School System should not be seen to be promoting it. It is especially egregious that the particular Religion it has chosen to promote appears to be the most dangerous and one of the most inconsistent with the Values of Freedom of Speech and Gender Equality which have great Importance in our Society.
We were intrigued to see comments by Dr. Chris Spence, Director of the Toronto School Board which indicated no Appreciation of the Principle at stake. It would appear that his View is that the Accommodation of the Desires of the predominantly Muslim Population at the School is more important than the Defence of the Concept of Separation of Church and State.
|It will be interesting to see how this Matter
ends. If Dr. Spence wins, our views of the Folly of Mankind will be
comfortably confirmed. If he loses, as we think he should, the
Opportunity remains open for some Measure of Common Sense to gain
Ascendancy in our Society.
We note the Appearance of Dr. Spence on Limerick Lane.
|July 25, 2011.
We take note here Today of an Excerpt published recently in the National Post ( July 15) from The Secret Knowledge by David Mamet.
In the Excerpt, Mamet describes giving a Seminar on dramatic Structure in which it was suggested that, in a proposed Play, the Heroine be kidnapped by Arab Terrorists. A student objected that Arabs had already been picked on enough. At the suggestion that the Terrorists be Pakistani, another Student said "That’s just not funny."
In this Piece, Mamet observes that, in today’s Era of Political Correctness it appears to be the view of Many that:
"All speech should be susceptible to ...review on the basis of a series of precepts, which while they could not be cogently enumerated, might be inferred from the generalized precept that all people are equal, and anyone from whose actions a dedication to this principle could not be constantly inferred was a sub-human swine."
Mamet notes that Students are those who have,
"in the main never worked, learned to obey, command, construct, amend or complete... They have learned to be shrill, and that their indictment on the economy, on sex, on race, on the environment, though based on no experience other than hearsay, must trump any discourse, let alone opposition."
|Since we have been railing against the
Presumptions of the Politically Correct for some considerable time–we
are rather pleased to see David Mamet’s Articulation of the Matter. We
are not surprised to discover an Outcome of the Seminar– Mr. Mamet
learned that the Students had filed a Complaint against him for making
"racially derogatory comments."
The general Problem–apart from the innate Stupidity of Human Beings-- is that the Accommodation of our Ideals to Reality is always fraught with Difficulty. At the Moment, there is too much Ideal, and too little Reality.
We have no doubt that, were Earth to be invaded by man-eating Octopuses from Jupiter, there would be a considerable Portion of the Population reluctant to raise any voice in Condemnation, and a variety of U.N. Committees and Octopus Rights Commissions would be established to find them suitable Habitats, and a steady Supply of their favourite Dishes.
We have dealt with the Matter of Equality Fascism in Canada in our February 8 and 12th, 2011 Drivel Entries.
|July 24, 2011
In Response to overwhelming Demand, both locally and from many Far-flung Places of the Planet, we have initiated a Policy of creating audio Links to a small Selection of Lumpenbangen written Masterpieces.
We are well aware that, in the age of E-mail, Twitter, and the concomitant Plague of Advanced Cortical Atrophy, some of our Readers have difficulty with big Words. We have had Reports of dedicated Followers of this Site, completely flummoxed by the appearance of a large, intimidating, polysyllabic Word. Never taught the Phonetic Approach to Reading, they remain, transfixed by the screen, unable to move, speak, or take a Washroom Break.
Others are afflicted with Attention Deficit Disorder, and having mastered the first beautifully written Sentence of a Lumpenbangenpiano written Masterpiece, find their attention wandering to the Window, to the Wall behind the Computer, or to other Items in the Room. In a few severe Cases, they have succumbed entirely to Omphaloskepsis, and Hospitalisation has been required.
|In addition, there have been innumerable
Requests from those who feel that the Cadences and Intonations of the
Spoken Voice can add significant Dimensions of Meaning to the
notoriously Flat Appearance of the written Word on the Screen.
Thus far, we have created Audio Versions of The Explanation of ..Everything (Drivel, July 18, 2011); the Prayer to the Great God Murphy (Drivel, March 20, 2011; and Letter to Maria Duval (Drivel, December 30, 2010).
The Audio Link is provided at the beginning of each Item.
|July 23, 2011
We have been most intrigued to read of the strange Case of Judge Howard Chisvin, who, last Thursday, dismissed all the Cases before him, apparently because of the Tardiness of the Crown Prosecutor who arrived–according to Christie Blatchford’s Account in this Day’s National Post–Three point Nine Three Minutes late.
We do confess to having felt Frustration similar to that of Judge Chisvin. Many is the Time we have been in a Line- up at the Liquor Store, and unable to countenance the Delay a Moment longer, have let our Bottles of Frexeinet fall to the Floor, and exited the Premises in high Dudgeon.
Similarly we have waited for a Bus afflicted with inordinate Tardiness, and in an Instance of radical Impatience, have thrown Ourselves under the Wheels when it arrived.
|Thinking too precisely on the Event was what
led to Hamlet’s well-documented Problems, and it is comforting to see
others adopt extreme, but emotionally satisfying Remedies in Coping with
the laggardly Vicissitudes of Existence.
We have been led to speculate on the Fate of another Judge, Judge Howard Chisling, scheduled for a Brain Transplant at the Hamilton Neurological Institute for the Judgementally impaired. This News Account may be read in the Drivel Section.
|July 18, 2011
Of Laptop Intractability, and an eventual unhappy Result.
We are pleased to announce that our Laptop Computer, purchased more than Twelve Months past–for the express Purpose of operating our Website--has finally been cajoled into that very Function.
A Year ago, we attempted to get the Computer to Store the accumulated Material, and engage in an agreeable Conversation with the Webserver. It adamantly refused. A Googling of the Problem suggested a fatal Incompatibility between Windows 7 and Microsoft Front Page 2003. But we were not able to confirm it.
An Appeal to the Computer Gods–and a Survey of passers-by at the Corner of King and James Streets–provided neither Explanation nor Relief.
With this Failure, we fell into a Decline, and then into a Slump. From the Slump we descended into a Fog, and from the Fog into a Miasma, and from the Miasma into a Snakepit, and from the Snakepit into a Black Emptiness of Despair.
We were just on the Point of seeking Professional Help–the modern Solution for Despair–when we resolved to make one last Attempt.
Lo, and behold–with the Laptop using the Lumpenbangen Telephone Line Internet Access, and the Application of generous amounts of Pure Genius–obtained at Food Basics for $6.95 per Bottle–the Computer sputtered into its assigned Rôle.
|With eager Anticipation, we took the Laptop to Wind-in-the-Pines,
where, using a Rogers Wireless Rocket Stick, it refused to function.
Using the last remaining Drops of Pure Genius, we finally managed to
coax from the Device a publishing Moment.
Yesterday, we were able to add to our Ian Hunter Limerick.
A different form of Internet Connection will be required.
In another Matter, we note that this day, during the daily Prayers required by our private Religion of Abracadabra, we were most surprised to receive, from the Great God Murphy, a miraculous Explanation of Everything. We hastened to transcribe Murphy’s Insights into our own simple and, perhaps inadequate Language.
This Explanation will be published in our Drivel section.
|July 14, 2011
And so, Professor Hunter, why did you buy the Buick?
We note with some interest the publishing of an Excerpt from That Time of Year –by Ian Hunter--entitled My Path to Rome in this day’s National Post.
We have often pretended Puzzlement at the Circumstance that those with Intelligence Levels arguably above the Average Temperature in Ontario in June can believe in Religion. In Fact, we know that Intelligence has little to do with such Matters. The Function of Rational Discourse is often to explain and justify an emotional Response. Perhaps Alexander Pope said it best–he had the Advantage of those wonderful rhyming Couplets:
The ruling passion, be what it will,
Christopher Hitchens and Ian Hunter are both intelligent; but their Temperaments are radically different, and lead to different Views of Religion.
We do wish to apply our own rational Discourse to this Matter. Professor Hunter’s article purports to explain his move from the Horrors of Anglicanism to the Warm Comfort of Catholicism. The Reasons are four in Number:
1. He was influenced by Pope John Paul II: "He appeared always cheerful; he listened attentively, he exuded warmth and compassion." Beyond that, the Pope was uncompromising on matters of Faith: human life, marriage, priestly vows are "forever." The Ordination of Women and Abortion were firmly rejected.
2. He was influenced by his Father, who, despite being anti-Catholic:.."took religion seriously. In fact his faith was the most important thing in his life."
3. He was influenced by C.S. Lewis, who, although he never became a Catholic, would have done so were it not for his "virulently anti-Catholic Belfast upbringing."
4. He was influenced by Malcolm Muggeridge, the subject of a Biography by Professor Hunter. Muggeridge had initially mocked Catholicism but converted at the age of 80.
|And so, Professor Hunter, why did
you buy the Buick?
1.Were you significantly influenced by the Cheerfulness and Resolution of Ima Porthole, Head of the General Motors Buick Division?
2. Did your Father show a marked Preference for General Motors Products? Did he take Buicks especially seriously?
3. Did you conclude, from considerable study of the Matter, that your Aunt Irma’s auto Mechanic, Trusty Ford, would have bought a Buick were it not for the terrible Brainwashing of his Youth?
4. Were you impressed by the Decision of your Neighbour–a respected Accountant with the Firm of Adam, Fudgem, and Prevaricate–whose recent Purchase of a Buick represented a radical Shift from his Devotion to Chrysler?
You did not, we presume, drive the Buick, admire its style and Handling, and check the Safety and Repair record.
Of course–this Comparison is Nonsense. Religion is not like a Buick at all. They are different sorts of Transportation entirely.
Indeed. Religion cannot be examined, tested, and judged–like the Buick. No. It's not like a Buick at all. It's more like a Unicorn. When dealing with Unicorns--all we have to go on are the Opinions of others.
We note the appearance of Professor Hunter on Limerick Lane.
|July 13, 2011.
We did this Day receive the Hydro One Bill for Wind-in-the-Pines, which did cause us much distress. For three Months, the total Bill was $309.65, or 344.05 before the generous Ten Per cent Rebate. Of this, the non-usage Charges were for Delivery (192.67), regulatory Charges (10.03), Debt Retirement Charges (8.90), and H.S.T.(39.59)–totalling 251.19. The Usage Charge was less than $100.
It is clearly evident that our Usage of Electricity was not excessive. We use Candles almost exclusively, and fry our Eggs only on the Deck Boards on very hot Days. We wonder whether some Arrangement might be made for us to pick up our own modest portions of Electricity, load them into the Serviceable Six, and avoid the Delivery Charge, and about $25 H.S.T.
Our other Complaint is that Wind-in-the-Pines is classified as Residential - Seasonal.
This is a little-known Code for the fact that we pay more for Electricity than does our Neighbour, who lives at his Residence Year Round. This Kind of Discrimination would appear to be without any Justification. There might be some Argument if a Seasonal Residence were shown to be using less Power than a neighbouring One, while requiring the same fixed Costs. But Wind-in-the-Pines uses a voracious Electric Furnace in order to keep it from internal Distress throughout the Winter.
Our third Complaint is that the Mailing came complete with six–yes SIX Paper Blurbs-- most adorned with happy smiling Faces.
|There is the happy, smiling Face of the lady
about to load her fancy Washing Machine with Towels. She is smiling, no
doubt, because she is undertaking the Task at Three a.m. and doing her
little bit to avoid Bankruptcy.
There are the happy smiling Faces of the Family planting a Tree so that, no matter how inconvenient for them, it will never impinge upon the Hydro Lines. There is also, the happy smiling Face of a Hydro Worker–who is a Professional who can help the smiling happy Family plant its Trees in the right Place.
There is a happy smiling face of a Child eating a Watermelon. He is probably happy because the Meal involves no Cooking, and hence Waste of Electricity.
Then there is a Brochure with rather more happy smiling Faces than we are comfortable seeing, all at one Time. We prefer an Admixture of Scowls, Looks of Puzzlement, and Frowns of Anger, which, we suspect, are more characteristic of the Average User of Hydro.
Too many smiling Faces are a Warning of Unreality. We cannot avoid the Sense that a huge Enterprise of Deception is in full Throttle, bearing down upon a Public which is ignorant, and defenceless.
July 12, 2011
We do confess–as if that were at all necessary–to be possessed of a naturally gloomy and unhappy Disposition. We sometimes jest that we are an original and founding Member of The Company of Crabbiferous* Curmudgeons of Canada, Hamilton Branch.
For this Reason, we are most grateful that the Follies of Mankind are on daily Display in our favourite Newspaper, the National Post. Each Folly therein displayed or recounted gives us Reassurance that our Disposition and habitual Grumpitude** is fully justified by the Facts, and by the true Circumstance of the human Condition.
We were delighted, this very Morning, to encounter further Reference to two egregious Examples of Folly which we have noted in the past.
The first is in Christie Blatchford’s Account of the Twenty Million Dollar Settlement of a Lawsuit against the Ontario Government by those affected in the recent Caledonia Troubles of Native Occupation. This Settlement, is of course, clear Proof of the Incompetence and Timidity of the McGuinty Government, which refused to protect the Citizens of Caledonia.
The particular Detail revealed by Ms. Blatchford in Today’s Account concerns an earlier Settlement made with Caledonia Residents Dave Brown and Dana Chatwell, who sued both the Government and the Police. A Government Lawyer, one David Feliciant-- whose Name, we hope, may ever be associated with (perversely) an unhappy Misunderstanding of Justice-- criticized Mr. Brown for agitating a group of masked occupiers–they having surrounded his back Deck–by refusing to put down his Video Camera.
Surely this doth shew the Depths to which the Ontario Government has sunk: beyond the Reach of the most powerful Ray of Light, or the strongest submersible Vehicle of common Sense.
|We have dealt with this Matter on
January 3, February 4, and November 19, 2010.
We also noted Ms. Blatchford’s Silencing by the Pusillanimous University of Waterloo in our Diary Entry of November 17, 2010.
The Second Matter concerns the Brave New World of accommodative Education in our public School System. It has been reported that Valley Park Middle School, has, in its infinite Wisdom, allowed its predominantly Muslim Student Body to attend Muslim religious Services at the School.
As the Editorial in the National Post points out, these Services enshrine Attitudes not consistent with Canadian Notions of the Equality of the Sexes: Boys pray at the Front; Girls in the middle; menstruating Girls are relegated to the back, "denied the right to pray at all."
Even without this Example of Misogyny, as Tasha Kheiriddin points out in a Column on the same page, the Practice is inconsistent with the Ontario Education Act which states:
...a board shall not permit any person to conduct religious exercises or to provide religious indoctrination in a particular religion of religious belief in a school.
We can only assume that those in Charge of the Valley Park School have been smoking the Noxious Weed of RAPIS --Religious Accommodation to the Point of incapacitating Stupidity.
* Crabbiferous: exhibiting dissatisfaction with steely determination; manifesting crabbiness with iron resolve.
**Grumpitude: state of crabbiferous dissatisfaction; the usual mental condition of a curmudgeon.
|July 8, 2011.
We are always pleased to note the great Advances in Human Understanding which are currently taking place, and soon do expect to see Nirvana come to be achieved in the farthest Reaches of our favoured Planet.
In Indian Philosophy, Nirvana is achieved when Greed, Hatred, and Delusion come to an end.
A number of far-sighted and compassionate People, have decided that Israel, the only successful and democratic Country in the Middle East, should be brought to the same Level of Incompetence as its Neighbours. To this end, they propose, once again, to challenge Israel’s Protective Blockade.
This same Sentiment–that Israel is worthy of Opprobrium--appears to be gaining Ground in our Universities, according to the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism, which released its Report yesterday. (National Post July 8, 2011)
Finally, we do note that Richard Faulk, The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Expert on Israel recently posted a Cartoon on his Website described, by Gabriel Latner (National Post July 8) thusly:
It depicts Lady Justice, with robes and scales, holding a dog by a leash. The dog is eating a dead body and urinating on Justice. On closer examination, the dog is wearing a coat that says "U.S.A.," as well as a skullcap decorated with the Star of David, the emblem of the Jewish people.
|Indeed, we see in these Events, Nirvana on our
We have written on the matter of University Israeli Apartheid Weeks at length (Drivel March 26, 2011), and we still think there is Merit to our Contention–that anti-Israel Sentiment has its Root in left-wing Delusions about Equality.
Should there be, in the same City, some men who are rich, and others who are poor, there is only one Explanation: the Poor owe their wretched Estate to Oppression and Exploitation by the Rich. The same Thinking, we believe is easily transferred to the Middle East. On the one hand is the poor and wretched Gaza, with a foolish and incompetent Government; on the other is Israel, competent and successful, but finding it necessary to protect itself from the frustrated Hatred and Envy of its Neighbours.
In what passes for the Minds of the delusional Left, the Analysis is clear and compelling: the Underdog-- like the poor man– is always right. The Topdog–like the rich man–is always wrong.
Equality is a wonderful Dream. In the real World, there is Success, and Failure, neither of which give a Fig for Equality. And the relationship between Justice and Equality is not what many would wish. Were the Organizers of Flotillas, idealistic University Students, and United Nations Human Rights Experts to devote their Energies to improving the Mind-set and Competence in Gaza, there might be more Equality, and more Justice as well. But that would be a Betrayal of Principle, a Sacrifice of Illusion to Truth.
|July 5, 2011
We did spend the extended Weekend at Wind-in-the-Pines, or the Place-of-Many-Decks.
We had thought that our extensive Holdings in Dynacor would have soared comfortably over Two Dollars by now, and we would be in a Position to hire an Aggregation of Nubian Slaves to accomplish the Staining of the multitudinous Decks.
Alas! Dynacor languishes around the One Dollar Mark. It has not released the Tumipampa Drilling Results, and a Socialist has been elected in Peru.
Every Man has his own Folly, or some Collection of Them. Our particular Favourite is Unreasonable Stubbornness, which is sometimes indistinguishable from mere Stupidity. Thus, we have purchased an additional 30,000 Shares. This is not Greed. It is a Refusal to be contradicted by Facts. Let others believe in the Folly of Religion. We believe in the Folly of our own Correctness, and in the Unlikelihood of selective Disaster.
As a Result, the Prospect of an Aggregation of Nubian Slaves has become increasingly remote; we stained Three of the Multitude of Decks with our very own $1.95 Brush.
An Element of Adventure was a Trip to Port Carling, where, many Years ago we owned some Property on Silver Lake. Port Carling has the Aura of a select Slice of Society–that Slice which partakes of a Life-Style, which, we think must be unique to Canada–the Life-Style of the Boat-owning Cottager where Real Estate Prices are beyond the Speculations of Avarice.
|We had thought, foolishly, to replace our
White Tennis Cap, artistically adorned with Smears and Dollops of
Clove-Brown–surprisingly–that very Shade of Deck Stain applied at the
Decks at Wind-in-the-Pines. We thought that, in a Place so redolent with
upscale Life-Style, our Cap would immediately mark us as an indigent
Outsider. We were already acutely conscious of the Embarrassment of the
Serviceable Six, an elderly Cargo Van required to park next to an
expensive Convertible in the Parking Lot near Turtle Jacks.
We discovered that Replacement Caps were readily available. The prices seemed to Range from a high of Forty-Two Dollars to a Low of Twenty-Two Dollars. We imagine this to be the hourly Wage of a Nubian Slave. We considered Dynacor, and the $1.95 Brush. We had lunch instead.
The next Day, in Orillia, at the Dollarama, we purchased two perfectly satisfactory Caps, for a Total of $3.11, including Tax.
Our Wisdom acquired on Canada Day–and our Advice-- lunch in Port Carling; buy your Caps at the Dollarama.
We note the Appearance of the Gay Pride Parade on Limerick Lane. We were somewhat surprised, since Limerick lane is quiet, shaded, modest and unpretentious.
July 2, 2011.
Concerning the questionable State of Gay Pride – Having One’s Cake and eating it at least twice.
It is a natural human Tendency to squeeze as much as possible out of a single piece of Cake; having it and Eating it is the Sleight-of-Mind by which one Attempts to make opposing or inconsistent Claims from a single Circumstance.
Consider, for example, some Elements of Controversy concerning Toronto’s Gay Pride Parade.
We hope that none will dispute our Contention that this Parade revels chiefly in the Powdered Visage and sequined Garb of the Costume Party–a Mardi Gras Relief from the Business Dress of ordinary Life–it is like the Pack of Salacious Playing Cards slipped into the Box of sober Chessmen. Indeed, is it not the False Eyelash and Phony Fluorescent Fingernail of sexual Politics, the Mickey-Mouse Watch of the gay Enterprise?
In other words, it is characterized by cheap and tacky hoopla.
There is a place, of course, for cheap and tacky hoopla. Undoubtedly it resonates with some Element well-entrenched in the human Psyche. As many are quick to point out, the Gay Pride Parade attracts Thousands of People from near and far, and results in the spending of several Gazillion Dollars. Hoopla, cheap, and tacky all sell, and will likely continue to do so as long as human Beings thrive and contrive.
But let us not have our Cake of Hoopla and pretend that it is something else.
|We have noted two Elements of Pretense. The
first is that the Parade is used by some to score Political Points, with
much Whining about Mayor Rob Ford’s refusal to attend.
Although we realize the Dangers, we are fond of generalizing. The most apparent gay Sensibility is stridently left-wing. Left-Wingers are idealistic Dreamers who prefer the fine Talk and Gravy Trains of Utopia to dealing with the "leaky steampipes" and "snags" of Reality. Rob Ford got elected, we believe, because he represented a Rejection of the Utopian Spending of the David Miller Leftocracy. As a Councillor, Mr. Ford was noted for his modest Spending, and he vowed to stop the "Gravy Train" at City Hall.
Indeed we see Mr. Ford as on a Mission of Prudence and careful Spending which is, in its Essence, a serious, nay, even puritan Enterprise.
It seems rather inappropriate to us therefore, that those involved in cheap and tacky Hoopla should complain that someone with a serious and deliberate Purpose refuses to join their Antics.
The Second Pretense–and it is related to the first–is that the Parade is primarily for social Justice–and that its Engine is driven by Homophobia and the Oppression of Gays and Lesbians. We do not doubt that Homophobia and Elements of Oppression still lurk in our Society. But if Justice were indeed, the serious Purpose of the Parade, we question the Efficacy and Advisability of trying to make the Point through extensive Nudity, political Whining, and the Exuberance of hirsute Men in Wedding Dresses shooting Water Pistols.
By all means, let us have our Parade Cake. But we should not to expect to eat it twice as well.