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Diary July-December 2010
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|December 30, 2010.
Have written this Day to Maria Duval, with an Offer which we think she would be foolish to refuse. The Letter appears in the Drivel Section.
To the Longevity Racquets Club in the Evening, but a small Number was present. The Game is still enjoyable, despite the increasing Evidence of our Unsuitability for its Rigours. We wonder, idly, at what Point our Situation will become sufficiently pathetic to mandate the move to Lawn Bowls.
|To the matter of our Accounts: we sold all our Niblack in
November in order to crystallize a Loss. The Loss, of course, cannot be
claimed if the Security is repurchased within thirty Days and so, to
protect ourselves against a sudden Rise in the thirty Day waiting
Period, bought Shares in Heatherdale, which has an interest in the
Niblack Property. It is generally considered that Heatherdale sells at a
premium to Niblack, and the Risk was that that Premium might be eroded.
In Fact, Niblack has risen from 34 cents to about 45-- a thirty-two
percent rise. We re-bought half our original Position at 44 cents, and
added another twenty thousand Today at 45 cents. Heatherdale now trades
at 1.29, up approximately thirty percent, much of this Rise taking place
in the last two Days. We think it might be prudent to hold on to
Heatherdale, to see if it rises further, before selling to cover the
Cost of the Niblack. Our sale of 7,000 yesterday at $1.14 was obviously
The Aberdeen warrants we bought yesterday at nineteen cents have traded today at twenty-two cents
|December 29, 2010
Just before the festive Season, the Geezermobile Eight began to shew an alarming Hesitation in Engine Function, as if Spark Plugs had been overcome by an Affliction of Intermittency. Thus we were forced to the exclusive Use of the Serviceable Six, which performed admirably, but with a certain utilitarian Lumpenness not altogether in Keeping with the Decorative Standards of the Joyous Time.
We have only just now found Occasion to intermit our way to the Mechanick to seek Relief.
|We have written a piece in the Drivel Section about the Strange
Case of Ian Hunter, who, in spite of a considerable Intelligence,
professes to be a Christian, not privately, but in the Pages of a
National Newspaper. We begin, secretly, to wonder whether it is He who
is responsible for the execrable Sermons which occasionally appear as
Editorials in the Post. No, we banish the Thought as soon as it flickers
into our Consciousness. To attribute Authorship of such Drivel, even in
Jest, renders us subject to an Action for Libel.
We note with some satisfaction that our Investments in Aberdeen International, Dynacor, and CMC Metals all reflect the Optimism of the approaching New Year. We have this day purchased a further 45,000 Warrants in Aberdeen at nineteen cents, and sold 7,000 Heatherdale at $1.14. Our cost on Heatherdale was about one Dollar, in November.
|December 27, 2010.
We are much turkeyed and stuffed. This is our first Day of relative quiet in Three.
|We have waddled, squawking, to the Computing Device to record our Response to Biogmagnetic Bracelets and Moonlight Blue Sapphires in the Drivel Section. We have also added to the Pet Peeves in the Grammar and Usage Section.|
|December 24, 2010
We have been tidying up our Accounts for the Year End. In a Tax Exempt Account, we decided to sell the remaining San Gold at about $3.90. Our cost was $1.26. This Account has performed very well in the last Few Years, as a Result of our Perspicacity, Determination, and brilliant Timing; these qualities are known as Subsets of one single overwhelming Factor: Luck. We had the good Luck to purchase Sino Forest when it was unloved at between one and two Dollars, and sold it around eighteen. We next bought San Gold, as a major holding, which has tripled.
We continue to hold San Gold in our margin Account, where it is useful as Collateral, but in the Tax Exempt Account, where it lacks that Advantage, we feel there are other Securities which are more likely to double before San Gold does.
Accordingly, we have increased our Ownership in Aberdeen International, which offers the Safety of a Diversity of Holdings, and a very steep Discount to Net Asset Value. Estimates of that Value are currently about $1.50, while the Stock trades at 75 Cents. We have also purchased a few more Warrants, at sixteen and a half cents, feeling there is an excellent Chance the Stock will sell above $1.00 before June of 2012.
|The Tax Exempt Account now no longer focuses on one large
Holding. In order of Value, the Stocks are Dynacor Gold, Aberdeen
International, CMC Metals, Niblack, Pebble Creek Mining, and New Guinea
Gold. We are certain that the Gurus of Investing would note that such an
Account–ignoring every Rule of prudent Investment-- must certainly fail,
and would recommend that its Author be committed to the Shady Hollow
Facility for Assessment, with a view to permanent Commitment on the
Grounds of dangerous suicidal Impulse.
Against such Judgement must be placed the Possibility of huge Reward, and the Delights of Contrarian Thinking.
|December 23, 2010
We have returned from a brief sojourn at Wind-in-the-Pines. The onset of Winter induces a certain Sense of Unease, especially since the Year of the Great Furnace Failure, as a result of which much Piping was split, Toilets and Faucets were ruined, and Houseplants were lost.
It is of no comfort that we have concluded that Hydro One, the esteemed Provincial Organization responsible for delivering Electricity to Wind-in-the-Pines does so exclusively from the Operation of a Gerbil Farm in the immediate Area. The Gerbils, thousands in Number, operate Treadmills directly affixed to Generators which serve the Transmission Lines. The Gerbils often tire, become listless, or work to Rule. This appears to be especially the case in Winter, when a poor Diet, and a Deficiency of Vitamin D lead to Gerbil Failure and frequent Power Disruptions.
Thus, having last been at Wind-in-the-Pines during relatively balmy Times, and hearing Reports of Snowmaggedon, Power Loss, and Bad Roads, we prepared our Mental Constitution for the Worst.
We left in a flurry of Flurries (or Floories, as Tom Brown would say), but were pleased to see them dissipate as we went North. The Roads were clear, and we were pleased to see that Boris, our Neighbour, had employed Fearsome Yellow to plow the Drive –the Drive which we must employ to reach Wind-in-the-Pines--as far as his Abode.
Indeed, although Boris himself was not there, Fearsome Yellow, like some Giant Chinese Dragon, was parked to one side, emanating an Aura of smug Satisfaction at his Handiwork.
|We admit that we do not cause the Road to be plowed from that
Point. We are notoriously frugal, and the Terror of 2008 forbids any
unnecessary Expenditure. In Addition, our own Parking Area is somewhat
sloped, and past Experience has shown that, even if plowed, the Slope–of
no Consideration in the Summer–represents a formidable Obstacle in
Thus we are accustomed to employing a small plastic Sled to move our Belongings over the Snow. We are pleased to imagine that we partake of the Hardships of our Ancestors, when Automobiles, Fearsome Yellows–even Farms of diligent Gerbils–were as yet unknown.
We see we have written overmuch. Wind-in-the-Pines was intact. The Napoleon Woodstove provided admirable Heat. The Houseplants–Ivy, Cactus and Kalanchoe–had survived minimal Temperatures and the three Week Drought. Wind-in-the-Pines nestled, comfortably, in a Landscape of frozen Lake and omnipresent Snow which seemed a World away from the busy South.
Our CD, Light on Dark Waters, has had some Distribution. We hope to reprint–in the Drivel Section–a raving Review from Aunt Myalgia–from her current enforced Residence at the Shady Hollow Facility in Downtown Toronto.
|December 16, 2010.
Much angered by the Account of Mr. Suresh Kapur, who found it prudent to go to Buffalo to get an emergency Operation– for which OHIP refused to pay--in the National Post of Yesterday. We find ourselves increasingly obsessed with the Insufficiencies of our mindless Health Care System which restricts our Freedom of Choice in the Name of an unattainable Equality.
It will not be long, we fear, when our Antagonism will be evident to those Practitioners whom we are destined to encounter. We have written another angry Diatribe in the Drivel Section.
|Yesterday Evening to the Longevity Racquets Club, where we rejoiced in the Fact that we are still able to play something with a Resemblance (admittedly remote) to Squash. We have little Hope that we will live long enough to see the Health Care System in Canada reformed. Thus there is a certain Prudence in rushing around the Squash Court when Common Sense might suggest a Switch to Lawn Bowls, or Crokinole. If we die while running to retrieve a drop Shot, we may hope to evade the Indignities of the Medical System. Perhaps we could steal the Headstone Inscription of Jonathan Swift: ...Ubi saeva Indignatio Cor lacera nequit...([He lies] where fierce indignation can lacerate his heart no more.)|
|December 13, 2010.
Pleased that the new CD, Light on Dark Waters, has finally been completed, and Copies have been delivered to the Post Office for subsequent Distribution. There are, as usual, many Flaws in the Recordings; the skills of Rufus Allthumbs seem continually to lag the conceptual Reach of Dr. Dreimer. At the same Time, a Review of the Recording leads to some Satisfaction as to certain Effects. Indeed, on Occasion it seems unlikely that the Dreimer/Allthumbs Combination–possessed of no Training whatsoever, and distinguished only by a Doctorate in Musicology from the somewhat suspect Nigerian University of Musicology in Mississippi could actually claim responsibility for this new Endeavour.
Over the Weekend, we had thought to make Purchase of some Drinking Glasses–our current Complement a mismatched Collection of Scroungings we thought unsuited to the Dignity of the renovated Lumpenbangen Kitchen.
Our first Thoughts usually run to Liquidation World or XS Cargo, followed closely by Wal-Mart.
For some reason–possibly the arriving Festivities played a Rôle–the Notion of a Dozen unremarkable Glasses mass produced in China for $16.95 seemed unusually dispiriting, and we resolved to try Homesense.
There, sure enough, was a clutch of Glasses in a Colour of Purplish Burgundy, bearing the Sticker "Hand made in Poland." The Shape was not entirely to our Liking, the rather large Glass tapering to a narrow Base and Warning of Tippability. The Base was, however, heavily weighted, and the glass itself of a suitable Heft. Flaws in the Glass did indeed suggest underpaid Polish Artisans toiling away in a Hand Blown Glass Facility. The Cost for a Dozen was about forty Dollars, including Tax.
The immediate logistical Problem that we perceived was that the Glasses were resting individually on the Shelves, and, accordingly, we inquired about a Box.
|"Oh we don’t provide boxes," said the young saleslady. "We wrap
the glasses in tissue and bag them."
For some Reason, our Consumer Outrage Antennae were on full alert. Drawing ourselves to our full Height, we asked, witheringly: "And how are twelve individual Glasses to be Transported to the Cashier for this proposed Wrapping and Bagging?"
The young Saleslady looked at us, barely suppressing the judgemental Flicker. Was it simply our Imagination that she enunciated her Words with an extra Smidgeon of Precision?
"For that you would use a cart."
"Oh" The Antennae drooped visibly.
The Glasses, transported in a Cart, wrapped, and bagged, and loaded into the Serviceable Six, were soon in the Lumpenbangen Kitchen. Removing the Homesense Stickers was easy. The Stickers that said "Hand made in Poland" were another Matter. In the End, we had to leave one Glass with the original Sticker.
We imagine a discerning Lady of impeccable Taste: "Oh, those glasses are rather interesting."
We, brandishing the stickered glass: "Yes, picked up on my Travels. Hand Made in Poland, y’know."
Further Christmas Comments may be found in the Drivel Section.
|December 10, 2010.
Recently to our Accounts and noticed an unusual Activity in PEB–Pebble Creek Mining--which usually trades with a Frequency and Velocity akin to the Appearance and Speed of Horse-drawn Carriages on Main Street.
We blush to admit we bought this Security in one of our periodic (frequent) Bouts of Gullibility: it was suggested that the Firm had untold Potash Resources in India. Something went amiss: the Potash turned out to be Limestone Screenings, or Blue Cheese, or it belonged to Someone Else –we cannot remember the Details. We then engaged in the Folly much employed by amateur Investors–we held on, unwilling to admit our Error. It has often been noted that, for obscure emotional Causes, Investors are wont to sell their winning Securities after attaining a modest Profit, and hold on, with desperate Determination and Denial of Reality, to those which have declined. The larger the Decline, the greater the Determination to hold on. It is, perhaps, akin to a religious Commitment.
And so it was with Us. However, the Company does have a polymetallic deposit in India, which has been compared, in value, to the Niblack (NIB) property in Alaska.
|The Difficulties of Operating in India–Corruption and Bureaucracy
have been noted--are generally recognized; however, the Company has just
obtained final Approval for a License to mine. Further, it is reported
that three Companies have been in Discussion with respect to Joint
Venture Agreements, and the Company announced the signing of a
Confidentiality Agreement with a "major international company" on
The name Tata has been mentioned–which seems of a great Likelihood: we have visions of Horse-drawn Carriages, laden with Limestone Screenings and Blue Cheese, rolling down Main Street. The shares have risen from the long Doldrums of ten cents to about seventeen. We purchased more at about fourteen cents, to bring our Holdings to a round Number. If the Stock should reach fifty cents, we will be able to buy a respectable Horseless Carriage. Should it reach five dollars, we could afford a respectable House–no, no, not in Toronto, of course--but easily in Hamilton.
|December 8, 2010
Much occupied with the new Lumpenbangen Xmas CD. It is our custom to record Bits of Melody on compact Flash Cards, but the Tendency is to forget about them as new Melodies continue to crowd in. Thus, they are never developed, but left as mere Embryonic Fragments destined for, at best, a Churchyard Poem about what might have been.
The Production of a CD, especially one to be distributed at Christmastime–no matter that the Recipients be puzzled, pitying, or profoundly indifferent–is a useful Remedy. It is somewhat akin to Vacuuming and tidying the Kitchen before the Guests arrive–we are grateful for the Impetus to accomplish Good Works.
Thus, we dare not let the Deadline slip by. Yes, the Ending on Lament is not good, and there are mistakes in the fast tricky bit of Moonlight: The Water Garden of Zen Chou Lai. In another week, our personal Version of Perfection might well be achieved. But, "as way leads on to way"-we know we will never re-discover our Track. The Ideal is the Enemy of the Possible.
We will produce a Disc with many Flaws, but the Embryos will, at least, be breathing on their own, and may apply for upgrades--or even Government Handouts.
|We would dearly like to comment on an Article by Iman Sheikh in
the National Post of today’s Date pointing out the Inequities of
Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act. We ourselves for many years claimed
the Occupation of Landlord, but gave up because the Act was easily
employed against us by amoral Tenants.
We observe that the Act is really an Means of manipulating Landlords to accomplish a Government Purpose: to provide Accommodation for All. The Government does not wish to provide Accommodation for difficult–indeed–impossible Tenants–but it requires, as much as it can–that private Landlords do so. Thus the Tenancy Acts always favour Tenants, and restrict Landlords. The Assumption is always made-- as alluded to by Mr. Sheikh-- that Tenants are veritable Angels, who, through no fault of their own, are unhappily situated on this earthly Sphere-- and Landlords are possessed of infinite Riches and darkly Satanic Purpose.
It is simply another Evil of Socialistic Thinking. In the Matter of Tenancies, (as is accepted, say--in the Matter of Food Distribution) the Market should operate. There will always be Those who cannot survive in the Marketplace. It is to Those that Government Aid should be directed. But it is Easier, and gives greater Scope for Self-Congratulation, for the Government to meddle.
We would note that Doctors are similarly manipulated by Government.
|December 4, 2010.
We note with some Surprise that Father Raymond J. de Souza, writing in the National Post (December 2) admits that, in the Debate between Christopher Hitchens and Tony Blair on the Matter of whether Religion is a Force for Good in the World, Mr. Hitchens won.
Father de Souza feels that Barbara Kay, Rex Murphy, or Conrad Black would have argued Mr. Blair’s Position more effectively.
We are forced to admit that, although we think all Religion to be complete Nonsense, that Fact does not preclude it from being a Force for Good. This is the unfortunate Darkness at the Heart of the Human Condition: overwhelmed by Mystery and Terror, we often find Illusion to be more agreeable, perhaps more useful, and are anxious that it displace Truth.
If, indeed, the Illusion of Religion, is, on Balance a Force for Good, then there is an argument for Belief as a Matter of Social Utility.
|This would not, of course, make Religion true, and our own Bias
is that it is not, on Balance, a Force for Good. The Inquisition, the
Roman Catholic Sex Scandals, and the Islamists' determination to destroy
Innocents for heavenly Reward, are alone enough to outweigh, in our
Minds, some charitable Works, and the Solace of the deluded.
We should probably cease to discuss Religion, and would do so were it not for the Fascination afforded by those whose considerable Intellects–Father De Souza, Tony Blair, Barbara Kay, Rex Murphy, or Conrad Black–seem to melt into Mush in the Face of the Inexplicable, and grasp at the Straw of Folly which is Religion.
This is a Mystery almost as great as the Existence of the Universe itself.
|December 1, 2010.
Examining our Accounts, we note that Dynacor (DNG), our best Hope for a State of Obscene Wealth, is trading at $1.03. At the time of Jay Taylor’s Appearance on BNN, it was trading at $1.02. After Mr. Taylor’s Recommendation, The Stock went as high as $1.78, and plummeted as low as .88. In other Words, the Prospects for a State of Obscene Wealth have not materially advanced.
|CMC Metals (CMB), on the other hand, is behaving more agreeably,
making a slow but steady Advance to about thirty-eight Cents. Our Cost
is twenty-five Cents. Our Hopes for this Holding are merely the
Attainment of a comfortable Reserve or Back-Up to the Obscene Wealth we
expect to garner from Dynacor.
In the Drivel Section, we have finally revealed Brad’s Decision at the trial for Plummet, a new Drug designed to suck the last trace of Cholesterol from the human Body. We would warn that reading this Material may not be suitable for all Viewers. Viewer Discretion is advised.
| November 30, 2010.
Spent an extended Weekend at Wind-in-the-Pines. On Friday, reports of Roadway Closures and Forty Centimetres of Snow made us suitably concerned, and we proceeded with a goodly Supply of Pemmican, a Coleman Stove, some Sleeping Bags, and Rescue Flares.
It is our Conclusion that one of the Chief Delights of Weather Forecasters to strike Fear into the Hearts of the Populace. By failing to specify the Locations of Road Closures and the Target of Storms, they manage to convey a Sense of imminent Doom and Destruction over a wide Area.
In fact, we saw nary a Flake–all the Distance to the Wind-in-the Pines Driveway. There was Snow after that–but no more than a few Inches.
|We made Progress on a new Melody for our Xmas CD, and have
entitled it Water Garden of the Hidden Moon. We suspect that the
title is more wonderful than the Piece; but take Comfort in the Fact
that Disappointment is a great Builder of Character.
In the Matter of our Accounts, We should note that we have finally acquired a Full Position in CMC Metals. By this we mean that we have bought to Excess. Like Dynacor, this Company appears to be able to make Money, even at an early Stage. We are typically optimistic, and anticipate a Cornucopia of Riches.
|November 28, 2010
We recall making a solemn Vow not to watch the Weather Report on the Eleven o’clock CTV News. We did so as a Protest against the introducing of a "Teaser" before the Report as a blatant form of Audience Manipulation which we resented. "The full Report is coming up in Minutes", says the Weather-Caster," implying that the Weather Gnomes are, even as he speaks, frantically polishing up the final Details of the Report. In fact, of course, the forecast–drearily Canadian--has remained unchanged since the six o’clock News; the Teaser is simply a device to hold the Audience in breathless Anticipation–or suppressed Annoyance-- to the end of the local News.
We must reflect that some solemn Vows are more solemn than Others, since we have found ourselves, on Occasion, willy-nilly, still tuned in during the local News. Unsurprisingly, our curmudgenous Constitution has led us to find further Fault.
Is it odd, or is it predictable, that in so simple and straightforward a Matter as the Weather, the Personalities and Idiosyncrasies of the Reporters seem to play such a significant Rôle?
We know not, but for us, that is the case. We find ourselves wishing that someone could be hired to give Tom Brown a shot of Valium before his Performance. Or, assuming that he is merely an ebullient robotic Toy, that he be wound up only half-way by his Handlers. His aggressive, unthinking Cheerfulness leaves us in Teeth-Grinding Mode.
It is no Help that he consistently refers to the unaccountable snow "floories" which can be expected on the Morrow. We have Visions of other Gnomes, fresh hired from Home Depot, Nailers at the ready, flooring the Country in white.
|We were quite dismayed, in fact, when Mr.
Brown assumed the Mantle of the previous but unlamented Dave Devall. We
found Anwar Knight to be the more suitable Candidate by a very large
Since the Human Rights Commissions have not yet decreed Unkindness to be a punishable Offense, we feel we should hurry (It is certainly on the Agenda) and add that we could never understand the Respect accorded Mr. Devall. In the early part of his Career, he was mind-numbingly incomprehensible. In the Latter Part, we found his Attempts at Humour cutesy- condescending, pathetic, and annoying.
As a final note, Dana Levenson is not too bad, except for her peculiar misuse of the word "into."
We are always learning that we have ten Degrees "into" Hamilton, and twelve Degrees "into" Windsor. Perhaps this is for dramatic Effect, and we are meant to see the Degree-Gnomes swooping into the hapless Centres riding Fireballs of Heat, or Icicles of Frigidity.
CTV is no Stranger to Warning Notices. Possibly the Weather Report could be preceded by an appropriate Disclaimer:
Warning: This Report is delivered by Personnel chosen by CTV Management. Some viewers may find their Personalities, Mannerisms and Idiosyncrasies inappropriate and annoying.
|November 25, 2010.
Last evening to the Longevity Racquets, where, despite our Complaints of declining Speed and compromised Mobility, we were secretly pleased to be able to function as well as we do. The Mantle of Oldest Living Singles Player at the Club doth sit lightly upon Us. We are more inclined, at this Moment, to Delight in our good Fortune at being able to play at all, rather than to lament our Deficiencies.
We are pleased to announce a fourth Segment of Dirty Little Secrets published in the Drivel Section today.
A Stock Market note: we will never be exempt from the Capricious Toyings of the Stock Market Gods. A short time ago, (October 25) we sold our 12,000 shares of Panterra Drilling for $4.24, when it announced a takeover offer of $4.60 –in stock--from Western Energy Services.
|We were puzzled that the Market Price was so much lower than the
offered Price, but decided that we wished to deploy the Monies
elsewhere, and were unwilling to wait for the $4.60 Transaction to take
It would appear that, in the interim, the price of Western Energy has advanced–and the Panterra shares now sell for $6.16, to reflect that Improvement.
We plan to hold a small, moonlight Ceremony of Mourning for the nearly Twenty-Four Thousand Dollars our Haste has cost us. We suspect a bottle of Freixenet will play a prominent Rôle. Of course, were the Future advertised with the Plainness we desire, Wealth would be as a given, although not without concomitant Consequences we might regret.
|November 24, 2010
Yesterday occupied with trivial Errands: an oil change for the Serviceable Six; an Appointment for Rust-proofing, so that the Serviceable Six may attain the same Age of the Geezermobile Eight. The Geezermobile has just celebrated its Twenty-Second Birthday. It has the considerable Advantage of not being driven in Winter, but we do not see why the Serviceable Six should be apprised of this Fact. We do not wish to give it any Excuse for inferior Longevity. The Six is only Nine Years of age, and has much of the considerable Enthusiasm and Optimism of Youth.
|The Time allotted to this Website cannot be infinite. Thus, we have discovered that the Time spent on Dirty Little Secrets in the Drivel Section, prevents us from giving a fuller Account of our daily Trivialities. Part Three of Secrets appears today.|
|November 23, 2010.
We must briefly note the most striking Feature of our Visit to the Eye Doctor on Monday. It has simply confirmed what we have long maintained: the Universal Health Care System, so beloved of Canadian Apologists, is slouching towards Collapse. The Waiting Room was packed. The psychological Effect of such Numbers is considerable: how can one intrude one’s own petty Concerns on a Doctor inundated by a Sea of Troubles, each Wavelet of which probably represents a Problem far greater than one’s own? No, we cannot. We will confine ourselves to Words of one Syllable, and the occasional Grunt. Hoping for a Feast of enlightenment, we will be grateful for Crumbs. Our Gratitude is as wide as the Universe.
We have added, briefly, to our segment on Dirty Little Secrets in the Drivel Section. We begin to realize that the Subject is too Vast for our puny Talents–yet we still think it may be worth calling Attention to some little known Elements in the great Medical Juggernaut.
November 22, 2010
Up betimes to prepare for a Visit to the Eye Doctor, about which we plan to comment at a later Time.
Upon arriving Home, we constructed two brief Scenes, through which we hope to enlighten our Readers about some aspects of Modern Medicine.
These appear in the Drivel Section.
|November 21, 2010
We have been shocked and dismayed to discover that our supposed Neologism, "Smugitude" is not new at all. We discovered this by simply googling the Word.
|This is a Matter of huge Embarrassment to the Lumpenbangen Institute. The Moral is that any supposed Neologism should be googled before Assumptions are made. We have considered altering our Word to "Smugnitude," –but it is no use–it is an obviously desperate face-saving Contrivance. We do hope that the Neologistic Gods will allow us some Credit for the various Derivatives: smugitudal, smugitudinous, and smugitudinally, but we are not optimistic.|
|November 19, 2010.
Pleased to see this Day the News that Historian Michael Bliss has written a Report for the C.D. Howe Institute which calls for an End to the increasingly dysfunctional Canadian Health Care System. He notes that no other Country has adopted the Canadian Model, and that the monopolistic system "raises important issues of individual liberty and freedom of choice."
Indeed, we have always been opposed, on Principle, to the System, and now that we are increasingly in Need of the Services which it provides, we are angry at the Limitations which it imposes.
We object to the Fact that we have virtually no choice of Doctors. We object to the Fact that, since the Government pays the Doctor, and the Patient does not, there is a natural Tendency for the Doctor to consider the Government more important than the Patient. The Doctor has become, like the Landlord under Rent Controls, a co-opted Functionary of Government. Scarcity is the Mark of any centrally planned System, and thus it is unsurprising that wait Times for Emergency Ward Treatment, Specialist Appointments, Diagnostic Procedures, and Operations are not those of a system in which the Market is allowed to operate.
In short, the Canadian System is quite wonderful if you are healthy, and have no Need of it. For the Sick, it does not work quite so well.
|Recent Events in the Stock Market have caused us some Excitement.
We watched our Net Worth grow substantially over the past Two Months,
and then decline dramatically in the last few Days.
We are most thankful that we are able to regard Stock Market Money –even though it is, in fact, our only Source of Income–as akin to Board Game Currency. If we should begin to regard it as real, the emotional Consequence would prevent all Function.
We have completed our switch from Niblack to Heatherdale. We wished to crystallize the substantial Paper Loss on Niblack, while maintaining, through Heatherdale, an interest in the Niblack Property. Had we simply sold Niblack, intending to repurchase in thirty Days, we would be vulnerable to a sudden Rise in the Share Price, and resultant suicidal Compulsions.
Our Dynacor, having hit $1.78 after Jay Taylor’s recommendation when it traded at $1.02, decided to fall back, and got as low as 88 cents. We have foolishly purchased more at $1.09, $1.35, and $1.49. Our cost is now about 48 cents. We have long known of our Weakness for optimistic Dreaming. The stock now trades around $1.20. Of note is that the Owners of the neighbouring Haquira Property have received an offer of $460 million from First Quantum.. Should Dynacor receive an equivalent Offer, it would mean about $15.00 per share, and the Lumpenbangen Institute Personnel would dine on Caviar and Champagne for the foreseeable Future. Dynacor’s Drilling Campaign begins next Year.
We have also purchased a Position in CMB (CMC Metals), which seems to have intriguingly profitable Prospects in Silver. Our cost is around 25 cents.
Finally, we have purchased warrants in AAB, for about .125 cents. The Warrants allow the purchase of one AAB Share for $1.00 until June 6, 2012. Currently AAB trades at 60 cents.
The above Purchases were largely funded through the Sale of San Gold Shares.
|November 18, 2010.
On this day we reflect on our peculiar Pre-occupation with Language; and conclude that a Diagnosis of Obsessional Languagitis may not be far amiss. It is evident that Few in our Society–it being so much taken with Messages of 140 Characters, and unseemly Shortcuts–have any Concern for the traditional Niceties, and would scarcely be dismayed were the Language to degenerate into a Series of modulated Grunts.
We noted yesterday Evening an Error by Richard Madan on CTV News, which we have posted in the Grammar and Usage Section. On occasion we have e-mailed CTV News with our Findings, but have never received a Reply. We take this as a Measure of the Importance which they give to Language–that is–none at all.
In another Matter, We were so pleased with our Neologism of yesterday-- smugitude–the smug and superior Certitude displayed by the politically Correct–that we sent Notice of it to Christie Blatchford, along with the Entry in which it appears. She has not deigned to acknowledge this Contribution to the English Lexicon; indeed, we Ourselves do not think it likely to be well accepted.
We feel, at this Point, we must digress on the Subject of writing to Famous Authors. We do confess here that we have had Occasion to write to those with some Eminence, and must make note of our Findings–which will be seen as laughably obvious to Anyone with a Quotient of Intelligence above the average Temperature in November. We will express our Conclusions in the form of Advice:
1. Eminent Authors are busy with important Matters. They daily curse the Existence of E-mails, and the Proliferation of Idiots with Capacity to send them. One should expect a Reply only under special Circumstance.
2. Human Beings –of whatever Eminence–are not fond of having Errors in Expression pointed out, and will generally ignore such Commentary. This is not universally true, and if the Comment is made with some good Humour, an Author will sometimes reply in the spirit of "nice hit!" Most People are aware that Freedom from Error is a blessed State, and not easily attained. We sometimes see Errors in our own Website which we can only attribute to Gremlins.
3. Assuming that a Communication is not of a critical Nature, the Secret to obtaining a Reply from an eminent Author is: Praise. Adulation is a good Ploy, Fawning is never to be dismissed, and Praise which others might regard as fulsome is never apprehended as such by the Recipient. We do confess that when we sent our Note to Christie Blatchford, we were so delighted with our own perceived Cleverness, that we overlooked this important Element.
|Back to Smugitude. In spite of our Doubts about the Viability of
the Word, it has pleased us to compose some Sample Sentences shewing how
the Word–and its Derivatives might be used.
1. Get a load of the smugitude of David Suzuki! He thinks that politicians who don’t see things his way should go to jail!
2. The smugitude of Dan Kellar–who thinks that Christie Blatchford’s book is racist, and that she should be banned from speaking, is a measure of the Mrs. Grundyism of the politically correct.
3. The Human Rights Commissions are infected with an unseemly smugitude–they think they can stop people from saying nasty, or even unkind things.
4. A lot of young people are really smugitudinous about climate change. They think human beings are responsible for it, and consider a return to the stone age to be desirable.
5. Your comments are smugitudinous bullshit!
6. The decision of the Human Rights Commissioner, Mrs. Grundy, was filled with odious, idiotic, smugitudinal claptrap!
7. He paused, then added, smugitudinally: "Of course there are still some who resist the notion of multiculturalism, and the promised land of equality, but we confidently look forward to their complete eradication with this new Human Rights Legislation, which does allow, under certain conditions, for the use of torture."
8. I hope I will not be accused of smugitudinality when I say that the forces of darkness, the retrograde souls who stand in the way of progress, the eradication of poverty, the achievement of equality, and the finding of missing gloves–or socks, will soon be vanquished forever.
We are painfully aware that there only three People who have confessed to visiting this Site, and of them, our Aunt Myalgia is, much of the time, confined to the Shady Hollow Psychiatric Facility in downtown Toronto. Yet–we would urge the remaining Readers to try to promote the Word.
We note an addition to the Drivel Section, concerning Hospital wait Times.
|November 17, 2010
It appears that the Concept of Freedom of Expression, in Canada, is not clear, but shaded, shadowed by the dark Clouds of Smugitude--if we may indulge in a Neologism. We are free to express only Opinions which do not run counter those held by the Chosen Souls who have an absolute Certainty of their own Moral Superiority.
Thus, Christie Blatchford, who has written a Book about the Failure of the Rule of Law in Caledonia–the outrageous Circumstance in which the Police did nothing to hinder native Protesters–was scheduled to speak at the University of Waterloo.
A Group of Protesters was able to prevent her from speaking. The argument of doctoral student Dan Kellar was quoted as: "...when we see writing that ignores history and leads to misrepresentation and misunderstanding, which leads to hatred and racism, it’s our responsibility to stop those things...It’s no longer a free- speech issue....When people are lying about the situation, it’s just not appropriate to have them speak."
|This is, of course, a wonderful example of assuming the truth of a
point which is supposedly being debated. We suppose--we have not read
it--that Ms. Blatchford’s
book is critical of the Police; we assume that Mr. Kellar thinks that
this is being hateful or racist. But surely Mr. Kellar’s View does not
come with a Certification from the Divine – or even the Hosts of Angels.
It may, perhaps, come with the Blessing of the Gods of Political
Correctness, which, apparently, in Canada, is just as good.
|November 16, 2010.
Much puzzled at the news Coverage of the Death of Nicolo Rizzuto, by undisputed Account, the "Boss" of a Mafia Organization. A Visitor from the Planet Mars would be at a Loss to explain how Mr. Rizzuto’s life and Accomplishments differed from those of John Smith, the Founder of Office Towers Window Washers International. Both were successful entrepreneurs, involved in somewhat dangerous Businesses–and led Lives that might not be the Choice of Everyone–but any Judgement –well–it is best deferred.
The Roman Catholic Church, that illuminating Beacon of moral Clarity, did not demur in putting on its conventional Show, and, according to an Account by Graeme Hamilton in the National Post, "Monsignor Igino Incantalupo’s words about the deceased differed little from what would have been said after the death of any other elderly community member."
Mr. Hamilton also quotes one of the mourners: "For me, he wasn’t a criminal....He was normal. We knew each other, we respected each other."
We find the whole Matter appalling.
|We are given to speculate how much of this Attitude towards the
Mafia has been fostered by such Programs as The Sopranos–a
program which we refused–on the Grounds that it gave Criminality the
Patina of Normality--to watch.
Indeed, we admit to being infected with a certain Degree of Moral Fascism. We like the Idea of Free Speech, but are leery of artistic Depictions which glorify Evil. On a recent Evening, a Crime/Detective Drama portrayed, in Part, a most Awful form of Torture, in which a bound Victim was force-fed his Own Ear and bits of Credit Cards in a stew before being shot. The victim was then shredded in a mechanical grinding Device. We are sufficiently nervous about Man’s Propensity for Cruelty to think that such a Depiction is inadvisable.
We do not claim to know how best an Adjudication is made between the Common Sense of Good Taste, and the Freedom to Express what we wish. We suspect that Time, Place, and Occasion are of critical Importance.
| November 14, 2010
The Lumpenbangen Studio Kitchen is favoured with a rare and desirable device: a Toasting Machine with long Slots. It is our experience that the long slot Toaster, like the standard Waffle-maker (the Belgian version seems to have won the field) has a Rarity equivalent to that of the 1947 Chrysler Town and Country Convertible.
It has long been our minor Complaint that the Kitchen at Wind-in-the Pines is equipped with merely a standard Toasting Device. We have made it our Custom, therefore, to examine Flyers, and make occasional Forays through the Small Appliance Aisles of certain Retail Establishments in search of the desired Device–but to no avail.
We are at a loss to account for this Dearth of so useful a Machine. We can only assume that the Executives of Companies which manufacture such items, do not, themselves, frequent Supermarkets. They have not noticed, therefore, that the standard rectangular Loaf of Bread, while certainly in Evidence, is not the sole variety available. Many Loaves of superior Quality now come in a tapered oval Configuration–doubtless to suggest a "Home-Baked" Origin. These loaves, when sliced, will simply not fit into a Standard Toaster.
|Doubtless the Executives–who do not visit
Supermarkets–never eat toasted Bread, their tastes running to Cake, with
the occasional Supplementation of Caviar, Lobster, and Truffles. Thus,
completely divorced from the Reality of ordinary Existence, they see no
need to manufacture Toasters which will accommodate the Bread sold daily
from the Supermarket Shelves.
It was with great interest that we noticed, the other day, a Flyer from XS Cargo depicting the much desired Toasting Device. It was, of course, much more expensive that a standard Toaster.
It was, perhaps not unexpectedly, described as a "Four Slice Toaster"–proof, once again that the Manufacturer is located on a parallel, but quite different Universe from our own.
In such Matters, money is no Object. Despite the notably Draconian and Consumer-unfriendly Return Policies of XS Cargo, we closed our Eyes, and handed over our Credit Card. Thirty-four Dollars plus Tax.
But, at least, Wind-in-the-Pines has a suitable Complement of the rare Appliance.
To another matter: we are not surprised to see Mr. Layton and Ms. Chow make multiple Appearances on Limerick Lane. We are grateful for such easy Targets.
|November 12, 2010.
Intrigued to see an Item of News in the National Post of today’s Date, which records that a Pakistani Court has sentenced a Christian woman to Death for Blasphemy. This has led us to reflect on the towering Stupidity of Multiculturalism, which pretends that all Cultures are Equal, and worthy of Respect. This is another Lie which it pleases many Foolish People to believe, in the hope that Harmony will Result.
We sometimes grow weary at the Folly of Mankind, which adopts a willful Blindness to Truths evident to those with the most basic Common Sense. In Canada, we are awash in idealistic Follies--Human Rights Commissions, Multiculturalism, and a Socialist System of Health Care. And this is because of a great Timidity– a great Terror of seeing Things as they are.
We elaborate further in the Drivel Section.
|November 10, 2010
An Article in the National Post (November 5) adds to our Contention that the Universal Health Care System–which pretends to offer an Equality of Treatment–is corrupt in the same way that all centrally planned Systems designed for the Allocation of Resources are corrupt.
Apparently the Medicare Rules allow "third parties" to seek care outside the public System. Such Parties have included "Workers’ compensation clients, RCMP officers, military personnel, and prison inmates."
It now appears that "private auto and health insurers, law firms, sports clubs and individual employers and corporations" are allowed to purchase care for Patients. Thus, while an Individual is prohibited from paying for Rapidity of Care, the Individual who has his own Business, can have his Business pay for that Care.
While we applaud the Exercise of Ingenuity to circumvent the Inefficiencies of a Socialist System, we still deplore the Existence of that System, and the Failures which it exhibits.
We have a Public School System, which has certain Strengths, and certain Weaknesses. It is still possible for those who have the Means, to purchase Education in a Private System which they deem superior. Why should Health Care be any different?
|We were interested to see Lorne Gunter in this Day’s Post,
dealing with the claimed Expenses of Parliamentarians Jack Layton and
Olivia Chow, whose annual Expenses were $629,000 and $530,000
respectively. These Expenses are above the Average of $469,000. Mr.
Gunter’s Complaint is that such Expenses are not itemized. Ms Chow’s
Response, when asked by the Toronto Star about her above-average
expenses was: "It’s within the Law."
We seem to remember, many Years ago, Mr. Layton and Ms. Chow were discovered to be living, without Justification, in subsidized Housing. We pondered then upon the peculiar Socialist Mind-Set. Perhaps it is that their degree of Self-congratulation in fighting for "Ordinary Working Families" – that odious, condescending Phrase, designed to foster whininess and self-pity everywhere – justifies any Bit of extra Gravy they are able to siphon from the Bowl.
Well. Hypocrisy is a word so redolent of Unkindness. We assure the Reader, it is entirely absent from our Vocabulary.
|November 7, 2010.
Upon arriving home with our wonderful new Winter Jacket, we embarked upon the Task of removing the Labels. We were fearful of finding yet another Security Device attached to the wonderful Coat, possibly one that emitted deadly Radiation, a clever Device inserted by the German Nuclear Scientists responsible for the Design, who would naturally be anxious that the Coat be properly paid for.
Instead, we discovered a silver plasticized Card, attached with a flexible Key Chain to the Garment. Just to be sure --with typically Canadian Caution-- we passed our Home Depot Geiger Counter over the Card; it did not register. The card reads:
This product has been created according to an exclusive design and has been made by the best fabric masters using highest quality materials.
The colours of those materials have been selected by trend-specialized personnel.
Below that, the German Nuclear Scientists have repeated the same Sentiments, in German.
We admit to experiencing two conflicting Responses.
On the one hand, we have our Reputation to consider. We have never encountered a Trend that we did not view with suspicious Skepticism. To think that the Colour of our new Jacket has been selected by a "trend-specialized" individual–one who has doubtless been trained in Trends at a prestigious German University–one who has passed, Year after Year, fiendishly designed Examinations in Trend-Sensitivity–well, the Matter causes us much Concern.
We are already Subject to Accusations of Trendiness in our Adoption of the Burka at Public Gatherings. Our Aim, of Course is to avoid being identified, to maintain the Privacy that is precious to us. The additional Accusation of wearing a Winter Jacket, the Colour of which has been selected by Trend-specialized Personnel may, we fear, damage our Image irretrievably.
|On the other hand, we did wonder briefly, whether we could attach
the Winners Label to the Card:
Compare at $399.00
Our Price $169.99
We might leave the sleek silver Card–for a limited Time Period of course–attached to the Garment with an air of innocent Insouciance.
No. We will do nothing. We will keep the Jacket, and store the Card in our Box of Treasured Memorabilia.
To another matter: we are sometimes given to idle Googling, and have been intrigued to discover that "Sandie Rinaldo leather jacket" or "Sandie Rinaldo limerick" both lead directly to the Lumpenbangen Site.
We suspect that Googling, like the use of Computers in general, will soon become seen as an addictive, soul-destroying, and anti-social Habit. In the Future, we may well see Laws passed limiting Computer Use, and a vigorous Government Propaganda Effort promoting Sex, Drugs, Booze, Gambling, and Rock and Roll.
|November 6, 2010
The zipper on our winter Jacket, giving signs of Temperamentality, and we, fearing being inexorably trapped, then extricated using the Jaws of Life, and thrust Jacketless into Winter, we did sally forth this last Friday Evening to Winners, in Ancaster, where the offending, but generally satisfactory Jacket had been purchased some Years before.
We were immediately struck by a Jacket with an attractive Bronzy-Brown Colour, of a considerable Heft, and bearing a Suggestion of Quality above the Norm. Reluctantly, we rejected it on two Grounds: the size was "Extra Large," a Designation to which we cannot yet aspire, and-- it was lacking a Hood.
We must digress, for a Moment, on the Subject of Hoods. On the one Hand, we consider the Hood an indispensable Adjunct. Who would face a Canadian Winter, hoodless and unconcerned? Who would risk the loss of an Ear, or possibly Two, to the Ravages of Frostbite?
On the other Hand, the casually raised Hood is vulnerable to the slightest Breeze, and even the Movement of Ambulation may send it tumbling from the Head. To fasten the Hood securely involves two Deficiencies. Firstly, two elastic Strings are provided, and each String has a moveable plastic Knob. We have never been able to fathom exactly how the Fastening is to be effected. We suspect that the Manufacturers themselves do not know, but are relying on the Fact that no Purchaser would wish to risk Ridicule by admitting to a Deficiency of Imagination in the Matter. We ourselves have considered asking the Question–but the withering Reply: "Well, you’ve got two Strings with Knobs at the Ends of Them" has been a more than adequate Deterrent.
More importantly, it has come to our Attention that our accustomed Image–a sort of suave, insouciant, man-about-townishness–is, with a tightly fastened Hood, shockingly transformed to a prim, elderly Dorkishness which does severe Damage to our Self-Esteem.
|Thus it was, when we came to a Bronzy-Brown Jacket in Medium
Size, which seemed to whisper "I am Yours," we faced a considerable
Dilemma. The Jacket fit. Although made in China, it was "Engineered in
Germany." Visions of precise, careful German nuclear Scientists shouting
"Gebaut in Deutschland durch schonste Techniker" danced in our Head. It
had eight pockets, some in unexpected and mysterious locations. It bore
Compare at $399.99
Our Price $169.99
We should hasten to assure the Reader, that we are not in the Least swayed by such Labels. No Claim is made that the Jacket ever has been, is now being, or ever will be sold at $399.99. The prospective Purchaser is being bamboozled, titillated unfairly in the salivatory barganitis nucleus of the diencephalon.
On the other Hand, the Jacket was protected by a Cable running through the left Sleeve. Three High Technology Security Fasteners were evident. Hmmmm.
We were led to examine, once again, the Collar where a Hood would normally be attached. Lo and Behold! A Marvel of German Engineering! A Zipper was most cunningly secreted; unzipped, a tightly folded Hood was revealed. We slipped on the Jacket, regarded ourselves in the Mirror. The result was entirely satisfactory. We pulled up the Hood. When tightly fastened, the Hood revealed a Face: prim, elderly, and dorkish.
We bought, for $20.00, a faux fur Hat, with Earflaps.
In the unlikely Event any of our Acquaintance should notice the new Jacket, we have our Response in Readiness Mode:
"Compare at $399.99."
|November 4, 2010.
Up betimes, and to a consideration of our Accounts. We note that we have recently sold some of our Holdings in PMI. We admit to being influenced by the dreary Assessment of an Analyst who deemed their chance of success in Drilling at no more than seven percent. Accordingly, in our tax-free Account, we sold our 20,000 share holdings at about 37 cents, for a very small profit. In our margin account, we still have many more Shares purchased at 48 cents, and have a paper Loss.
We have read recently that many of the Cognoscenti are bullish on Silver. Accordingly, we have made a purchase of CMB at about 24 cents. We feel we may have been duped by an overly optimistic Report by Mining MarketWatch. Only Time will tell.
We have hit upon the clever Stratagem of selling our NIB--originally CBR--on which we have a huge Paper Loss--and purchasing HTR, which has a larger stake in the same Niblack Property. This avoids the Risk of selling the NIB and waiting for thirty Days to re-purchase, in order to qualify for the Tax-loss.
|This Day San Gold came out with a benign Report on their third
Quarter Results. However, the Management of this Company has so often
disappointed, that the Stock is held in Disfavour. It moved up about ten
Cents on the News, and then proceeded to decline. Accordingly, in our
tax-free Account, we sold 10,000 at $3.25, and put the proceeds into DNG
at $1.35. We feel that News for DNG will be forthcoming soon, and it has
better Prospects than SGR in the intermediate Term.
We are troubled only by the Fact that we have so many shares in DNG, that, were the Truth be made known, we should have great Difficulty in resisting a Diagnosis of "Insanity by Reason of Cupidity," and a Determination that we should be confined for an indefinite Period in the Shady Hollow Facility in downtown Toronto. If it turns out that we are wrong, and the Peruvian Government is taken over by Expropriating Aliens, or the Mill is destroyed by a Meteorite, or that the entire Matter is a Fraud, the Loss to our Self-Esteem could be incalculable. Only our foolishly optimistic Nature allows us an untroubled Sleep.
|November 3, 2010
It is has been intriguing to encounter –in a recent Edition of the National Post--an Excerpt from Erotic Engine, a new Consideration of Pornography by Patchen Barss. We became acquainted with Mr. Barss some Years ago, when he occupied a Residence in Toronto quite close to our own. We do wish him well in this recent Endeavour, but must express some Doubt about financial Success in this Matter.
The subject of Pornography is, indeed, so recondite, so removed from the Perception of the average Reader, that we fear the Audience for such a Subject is embarrassingly small. We would venture to suggest that had Mr. Barss tackled liturgical development in the Anglican Church in the Seventeenth Century, or written a Tome entitled: The Baffled Beaver: Economic Cross-Currents in Eighteenth-Century Canada, he would likely have been able to gain Readership on a greater Scale.
Be that as it may, we are considering a Purchase of Mr. Barss's Volume, in order to do our small Part in averting the full Effect of his Misadventure-- one based, no doubt, on a genuine but somewhat flawed Perception of Public Taste.
|In today’s Edition of the Post, we must also note the
extraordinary Case of the Corruption of Academic Morals at the
University of Manitoba. The Dean of graduate Studies, John Doering,
decided to award a Ph.D degree to a candidate who had failed a written
Examination twice, and who lacked the required Graduate Courses. The
Reasoning was that the Student suffered from Anxiety Disorder.
This would appear to be a wonderful Example of Political Correctness, which seems to have, at its Root, a peculiar Perception of Equality,-- namely that the same achievement and result should be attainable by all Individuals. It is a determined Rejection of Reality–one which has gained much Popularity of late. Another Professor, Gabor Lukacs, quite rightly, in our View, is taking the Matter to Court.
We confess to much Anxiety on this Matter. We are not sure whether we may, with the help of a sympathetic Doctor, have it classified as a Disorder. In Addition to our Degree in Musicology, obtained from the Nigerian University of Musicology in Mississippi, we have always rather fancied a Doctorate in English–possibly from the University of Manitoba.
|November 2, 2010.
Having sold our 20,000 DNG on Friday at $1.40, we bought the same number back again yesterday at $1.49. Pleased to see it reach $1.78–but now the decline has started, and it currently trades at $1.52. Had we an Ounce of Sense, we would sell into the large Bid at $1.50, but we have now become accustomed to the Pleasantness of the additional Ownership. Greed has overcome us, and the Hope of drill results "shortly" and the financial Report by November 15 lead us down the Path of Folly.
Of course, we do perceive the Folly as being of an intermediate Nature. We would be very surprised if the Stock were not considerably higher in six Months’ Time.
A news item (National Post, Nov. 2, 2010) recording the fact that Selvanayagam Selladurai pleaded guilty to running into his 16-year-old daughter with his Van, reinforces our Notion that Multiculturalism is a dangerous Experiment. The daughter had, three Days earlier, run off with a Boyfriend who had the Misfortune to belong to a lower Sri Lankan Caste.
|It is no doubt extremely difficult to move to a Country where the
Customs seem strange, bizarre, and apostatic. It is human Nature to
cling to the old Ways, the old Verities. It is for this Reason that
Immigrants should be made fully aware of the Nature of our Culture. We
are gravely at Fault to suggest that Immigrants can simply follow their
own Customs in our Land. As the Incident referred to suggests, there are
many ways of thinking in other Countries, which are incompatible with
Particularly revealing–and damning–is the last sentence of the Article:
"Selladurai has already spent the equivalent of 11 months in custody, and has been under strict house arrest for the past three years–prohibited from contacting his family, who came out en masse yesterday to support him."
Wonderful Theories and Ideals must stand the test of Practice. There is much wisdom in the old Saw: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
We report a Sighting of that Afficionado of fabulous Fashion, Sandie Rinaldo, on Limerick Lane. She is reported to be wearing a Leather Jacket, mini-skirt, and high Boots. We cannot confirm the Observation that she is wielding a Dog Whip.
| November 1, 2010.
Spent what we expect will turn out to be the last reasonably benign Weekend at Wind-in-the-Pines. We managed to remove the remaining Railway Ties from the Driveway, pare down the last Pile of Screenings –leaving enough for Additions which may be required in the Spring–and store Tools away in the Old Cabin.
On Sunday, it snowed, briefly.
It is the end of the Season.
We wrote "The Outrage of Nanny-Care," which appears in the Drivel section. It is extraordinary that Canadians have given up their freedom of Choice and the Ability to have timely medical Care in the name of Equality. As we have observed elsewhere, all that Socialism can provide is an Equality of Insufficiency. And, indeed, because of the Nature of both Human Beings, and the Real World, the Equality which we think we may have achieved is a hollow Sham.
|The Appeal of Universal Health Care is as attractive as the
Promise of Religion, and just as deceptive.
We note once again Sandie Rinaldo has donned her Leather Outfit in order to read the news. We think her Garb is entirely inappropriate and manifestly lacking Taste. We suspect she will soon make a further Appearance on Limerick Lane.
|October 29, 2010.
Up betimes to a consideration of our Dynacor Holdings. After the market close Yesterday, News came forth that the Production of Gold for the Third Quarter was 10, 576 Ounces, considerably in Excess of the target of 9,000 Ounces. We were most pleased to have confirmed our Notion the Management is of that Type which promises Less, but delivers More. Visions of increased Cash Flow to be announced on November 15, and a Reference to an imminent Report on Drilling of the Tumipampa Property left us with warm Feelings of happy Anticipation. Surely, we reasoned, the Price would advance this very Day.
We determined to buy an additional 20,000 Shares, and sell them for a modest Profit based on the anticipated Rise in Price. Since we already own more Shares than is prudent, we wished merely to make a quick, short-term Profit, and acquire more Reason to be considered obnoxiously boastful among our declining Circle of Acquaintance.Alas! The stock market Gods are cruel, capricious and irrational. We would not be surprised to learn that they are jealous of our Success with this Security, and are determined to undermine our Self-esteem.
It is true that a few other optimistic Souls bid the Price to $1.13 in the early Minutes of Trading.
We were indeed able to buy 20,000 at $1.08 and $1.10. But in a few
Hours, the Price has returned to the price at Yesterday’s Close: $1.02.
We can think of many Reasons for such an Outcome. Obviously, our Optimism is shared by those whose Number is insufficient.
We are nothing, if not stubborn. We will not be cowed by the Gods. Let their thunderbolts rain. True Value will not be denied.
Post Script. 3p.m. The Stock Market Gods foiled! Jay Taylor appeared on the Business News Network, and, apparently, made favourable mention of DNG, which made a skyrocket Trajectory to $1.56. The market cap of Dynacor is so infinitesmal, that it has probably never been mentioned before on the Network. We thought it prudent to sell at $1.40. At $1.20 we would re-purchase--since the Stock now has an Audience, and has a greater Likelihood of responding more appropriately to Good News.
|October 28, 2010.
This past Summer–indeed, for the past several Summers, we have been given much Distress by the "Improvements" to the Queen Elizabeth Way between Oakville and Hamilton. On many an Occasion, on returning from Wind-in-the-Pines, we have encountered a stubborn Blockage, and been forced north to Dundas Street. Dundas Street, with many regulating Traffic Signals, provides slow progress, but one is reasonably assured of an eventual Arrival.
We note that Improvements seem to be nearing Completion, but have been alarmed to observe, on the newly created Lanes, the diamond Shape which designates a Multi-Person Lane.
Indeed. This huge Disruption has been made to create a Multi-Person Lane. This is not, on any account, an Elephant labouring to bring forth a Mouse, but a Mouse Brain labouring to conceive a White Elephant.
We are led to conclude that every Government as its Pride and Joy, is the happy Possessor of an S.I.R. –a Silly Ideas Room into which a number of mentally challenged Government Functionaries are locked for a designated Time Period with the Instruction: Generate a Silly Idea.
We suspect that the McGuinty Government, with its Wind Power Aspirations, Smart Meters, Outrageous Subsidies for Rooftop Solar Panels has an especially spacious, well-used S.I.R with a more than adequate Supply of Functionaries with the required Mental Deficit.
But we digress.
|What has happened to the elementary Concept of Elasticity of
Demand? Ah. Of Course. How foolish of us! We did not understand the
This is no less than a Scheme to reduce the Line-up of Homeless Persons outside the Good Shepherd Facility! The solitary Driver, on his way to Employment, wishing to arrive sooner rather than later, and finding his Wife burdened with a Necessity to await the Arrival of the Mailman, his elderly Neighbour preparing for an Excursion to the Supermarket, must, faute de mieux, employ a Homeless Person for a few Dollars to accompany him on his Journey.
How could we ever have doubted the Wisdom of our Betters! The Solitary Driver is enabled to use the Restricted lane, the Homeless Person is beneficially employed, and the Wife is facilitated to enjoy an unencumbered Encounter with the Mailman!
May the Construction and Employment of S.I.R.s be promoted Everywhere! We see the Potential for a significant Export to Lands far less favoured than ours. We thought we would never say it–but, yes--McGuinty for Prime Minister!
On our last Entry for October, we wish to mark the First Anniversary of the Lumpenbangen Website. Please see the Drivel Section.
|October 27, 2010.
Much interested to see an Article in the National Post headed: Silver manipulated, U.S. Regulator Says. We wonder when we will see a similar Headline with respect to Gold. There has been much Discussion to the Effect that Gold Prices are manipulated to maintain the Illusion that fiat Currencies are not declining in Value. There is even Debate about the true extent of Gold Holdings. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican, plans to introduce Legislation to force an audit of U.S. Gold Holdings, an Audit which has not been done for sixty Years.
On our own little Patch of Gold Holdings, we must note that the Price of Dynacor has now exceeded a Dollar. After so rapid a Rise, it would not be surprising to see some take Profits. Our excessive Greed cautions us not to do so. We feel that, if their production expands to the targeted 50,000 ozs. per Year, cash flow should be in the neighbourhood of 30 cents a share. Beyond that, results from Tumipampa Drilling could have a significant influence on the Price.
|We note also, that when we last sold Shares in NCG at fifty
cents, arguing that the Drill Results for the Season had been announced,
and a Decline was inevitable, the Stock promptly went to eighty Cents.
We have concluded that we are temperamentally unsuited to short-term trading.
We note that Rob Ford, the new Mayor of Toronto makes an Appearance on Limerick lane.
|October 26, 2010
We must admit to some Pleasure in the news that Mr. Ford achieved a significant Victory in the Mayoralty Election in Toronto. Much of the Delight is occasioned by the Thought of the Shock and Horror of Toronto’s progressive liberal Elites for whom fine Notions, woolly Thinking, and generous Spending are the comfortable Guiding Stars. Mr. Ford is well known for his minimal Expense Accounts, and there is some Hope he will be able to provide the oxymoronic Frugal Government.
We are not totally convinced this is possible, but we applaud the Gesture of Voters.
Many Years ago, as a Teacher in the Public System, we purchased a Second-Hand Filing Cabinet at a Used Office Supply Depot, which we transported to our Classroom. It was useful for the Storage of various Hand-out materials we had developed over the Years. On one Occasion we were questioned about the Ownership of the Cabinet by one of the caretaking Staff. When we admitted that it was personal Property, he remarked: “I knew it was too old to belong to the School Board.”
His Remark gave us to reflect on the Advantages that Competition in the School System might provide. A Principal, given a certain Budget, would be free to go to the Used Office Supply Depot for Filing Cabinets and Desks, and spend the saved Funds on Film Projectors, or the Music Department. His aim would be to provide the best School he could–in Competition with all Others.
We do not wish to say Style is of no Consequence, but too often it trumps Substance.
In fact, School Boards have admirably proved Parkinsonian Principles, developing great Edifices, Towering Tributes to Bureaucracy, filled with Coordinators, Consultants, and Secretaries, padding over plush Carpet to fine Offices with custom Walnut Desks. We would venture to say that the positive Effect on Teaching is minimal, or non-existent.
|But this is the natural Bent of Organizations run with Money from
We can state with Assurance, that were any Government to create a Department of Frugality, for the Purpose of reducing Expenditure, it would soon expand to fill the same Rooms, boast the same highly paid Staff, and feature the same impressive Amenities, as those in the Department of Wretched Excess.
For–the Argument would be– to spend less on the Department of Frugality would suggest a failure of commitment–yea–devotion–to the Concept of Careful Spending.
Indeed, from this matter we may draw two Observations:
In the Fashioning of any Government Enterprise, Efficacy is but a
Footnote to Empire.
|October 25, 2010.
At Wind-in-the Pines, we were blessed with fine Weather on
Saturday, and tackled one of the large Piles of Screenings to be spread
on the Driveway. We were suitably equipped with Shovel, Wheelbarrow, and
Garden Rake, but as we began to shovel, to trundle, to deposit, and to
rake, we remembered an earlier Conversation with our Neighbour, Boris.
|Our common Sense tells us that this is foolish. People often
pleased to be able to offer Assistance. Boris, I told myself, would
probably like showing off Fearsome Yellow, and he might be pleased to be
able to place the Matter in that Repository–which Everyone keeps, but to
which None will admit -- the Memory Bank IOU file.
Readers will feel justifiably superior when we reveal that a terrible internal Battle ensued. But, in the end, an estimated Comparison of the Time within which Fearsome Yellow would accomplish the Task, and the Time the Dreimer-powered Wheelbarrow would achieve the same goal, tilted us towards Common Sense. The final Argument went thus: Boris is undoubtedly unaware of our peculiar Penchant for Independence. If we spread the Screenings Ourselves, after his kind Offer of Assistance, he may feel we are ungrateful, stand-offish, and superior. Given our innate Tendency to be ungrateful, stand-offish, and superior, it might require considerable Effort to disabuse him of this Perception.
It was thus that Fearsome Yellow was brought into play. The Screenings were quickly spread. Boris was able to add to his Memory Bank. The whole Incident, in our Mind, was of such a trivial Nature, that it has left little Impression, and will undoubtedly be completely erased before many Moons have passed.
|October 22, 2010.
Much intrigued to see further debate on the matter of Islam in today’s National Post. We have made another entry in the Drivel Section.
|We plan to leave for Wind-in-the-Pines today, since this may be
the last weekend during which we will be able to tidy up our various
|October 21. 2010.
To Longevity Racquets last evening. Pleased to report that the Squash Gods were in a generous Mood. Possibly our recent Animal Sacrifices and blue-daubed Midnight Dance–both specifically directed at the Stock Market Gods– were misinterpreted. It is, after all, only God-like to assume that One is the Centre of Attention. We will not draw attention to the Error.
|Respect for Islam appears in our Drivel Section.|
|October 20, 2010.
Significant Market Events have required our Attention.
We are pleased to note that, at last, after Years of Promises, San Gold has been listed on the Stock Exchange of Toronto. This means that the Stock is eligible for Borrowing, and for Purchase by some Institutions. There has been no enthusiastic "Bounce" on this account, and even though we are now able to purchase more Shares, we feel no burning Desire to do so. While we expect that, in the long run, Geology may trump the Missteps of Management, and a rise in the Price of Gold will be suitably reflected in the Stock Price, we are troubled by the Sense that the present Management is a wonderful Example of the "Peter Principle" and is attempting to function beyond its Level of Sophistication.
Strikepoint Gold, which owns an adjacent Property has recently announced the results of Months of Exploration Drilling, which amount to a rather large Amount of very Little at all. We now have considerable Paper Loss in this Stock, but, once again, we will place our hope in Geology. Possibly a few Rounds of Animal Sacrifice, and a Druidical Moonlight Dance will be of some benefit. To sell now would be too devastating to our Sense of Self-esteem.
Our Holdings in Pantera Drilling have benefitted from an Offer to purchase at $4.65, the offer being in Stock of Western Energy Services. The offering Firm has no TSX Listing, nor does it pay a Dividend, and hence, is not an attractive Replacement. Our cost for Pantera was $3.16. We were surprised to see the Stock trading at about $4.20, much less than the Offer Price. We sold all our Holdings, only to see the Stock Price rise immediately to $4.39.
|We have become inured to such Vagaries of the Market. It is our
Observation that Funds committed to the Stock Market can not, and must
not, be viewed as Funds employed in ordinary Life. Otherwise, the
Paralysis of Fear suffuses All. One must learn to make bold
Decisions involving Thousands of Dollars in the Stock Market, while
retaining a miserly Cunning in the Purchase of Beans, or of Broccoli.
We have sold our holdings in Largo Resources, purchased at seven cents, for thirty-four cents. We suspect this is a wrong Move, and that we have merely been caught up in the Excitement of Buying and Selling. Our rationale is that we are buying more Aberdeen International, which holds some Largo in its Portfolio, but which is selling at less than Half its Asset Value.
Finally, we have added substantially to our holdings of Aberdeen, at fifty cents, and have bought some more Royal Coal at 11 cents.
In view of Troubles in the Economy, we would not be surprised to find, one Morning, that Gloom has triumphed, and Stocks will be on Sale.
|October 19, 2010.
We have been much impressed by a recent Advertisement for the Globe and Mail. With much Cunning, the Paper has hit upon the very Technique which we Ourselves have used to convey earnest Messages to many of our Acquaintance. It has been our Custom, lo, these many Years, when we have something of greater than usual Import to impart, to don our Helmet, mount our Bicycle, and having placed our intended Audience on a flatbed Truck which slowly precedes us, to deliver a profound Lecture.
We have been extremely impressed with the Results of this Procedure, and many of our Audience have expressed their undying Gratitude for the Experience.
It is a Mystery how the Globe and Mail should have learned of this, which we believed to be our private Custom.
Our only Criticism of this televised Version is that our Fascination with the Figure moving somewhat unsteadily towards Us, our Concern that she might strike a Pebble or Rock–her eyes being so focussed on Us, and not her Path–has led to a significant Deficiency in the Understanding of her Message.
We have garnered only that it is a positive, uplifting Message about Canada and its Future–a sort of standard Governor-Generalish, and utterly harmless Musing.
|We are pleased to see that, appropriate to the Message, some
cherished Canadian Values are embodied in the Piece. Bicycles suggest
the importance of Fitness in the Context of an increasingly beleaguered
Health Care System, a System in which only the Fit may survive. The
implication of the green-less moral Depravity of those who drive
Automobiles is not lost on us. Doubtless Mr. Suzuki was consulted on
this matter. The use of a female Rider suggests the rising importance of
the Gender–which is now disproportionately represented in our academic
Institutions-- and the Helmet is a deft Reminder of the Canadian
Propensity to buy Life Insurance, and avoid Risk. We are somewhat
puzzled at the absence of a niqab–which might well have been employed to
suggest cultural Diversity.
The Ending of the Commercial always comes as a Surprise. Our only Criticism, indeed, is that we fail to see the Link between the Product touted, and the Pontifications of the uneasy Rider.
|October 18, 2010.
At Wind-in-the Pines this weekend, we heard a News Broadcast which stated that Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, had declared Multiculturalism to be a Failure. We will be forever grateful that, at the Time, we were standing upon a Carpet of exceptional Thickness, so that our Swoon into a state of Unconsciousness, and our subsequent fall to the Floor resulted only in minor Bruises; no Bones were broken.
Upon our Return to Consciousness, we assumed our Understanding to have been faulty; but, lo and behold, upon our Arrival at the Lumpenbangen Studios, an Article on the Front Page of today’s National Post confirmed the News.
It has long been our Contention that Civilization rests upon a Number of agreeable, and agreed-upon Fancies. In the last few Decades one of those imaginative Figments has been that Multiculturalism is a Good Thing. We have never seen how this might be possible, since, without Exception, every Individual prefers his own Culture to the cultures of Others. When the culture of Others is at a Distance, it can easily be tolerated, and regarded with detached Amusement.
|But the territorial Instinct is strong. When a Territory is
invaded by those of an alien Culture, and the Invaders resist
Adaptation–that is–they reject the indigenous Culture–it is not
surprising that Resentment is created.
At the heart of the Idea of Multiculturalism is the Idea of the Equality of Cultures. Thus, the Cultures that are based on Corruption, or Tribal Warfare, or the Oppression of Women, or the Belief that Religion is beyond Criticism-- these Cultures are assumed to be equal to those based on the Rule of Law, free Speech, and Scientific Enquiry.
To pretend that some Cultures are not better than Others in their Ability to enable a flowering of human Talents, Abilities, and Achievements is to sacrifice common Sense to a foolish and unsustainable Idealism.
Angela Merkel is a brave Woman; to voice the naked Truth in a Crowd of Babblers determined to see Finery, is not as easy as one might think.
|October 15, 2010.
We read with interest that the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered "a provincial court judge to reconsider a 2008 decision ordering an alleged sexual assault victim...to remove her niqab." (National Post October 14).
The Court said that "Recognition of apparently conflicting rights requires that no Charter right be treated as absolute and that no right be regarded as inherently superior to another...A judge must...determine if fair trial rights are infringed because a defendant cannot see the face of an accuser."
In the same Edition of the Post, Barbara Kay excoriates the ruling which calls for an attempt to "reconcile competing interests," by noting that: "There are no competing interests. In our culture, we do not veil our faces. We do not hide our identities. We treat women as equal citizens." The competing interest, she notes, "is a custom brought to our country from cultures shockingly backward in their treatment of women."
Ms. Kay, of course, sees the matter, as we do, in cultural terms. We have long objected to the wearing of the Niqab as an unjustifiable Repudiation of our Culture which assumes that Citizens should be identifiable.
The Court undoubtedly sees the wearing of the Niqab in religious, not cultural terms, and sees it as a legitimate expression of a competing "right" of religious Expression.
What better Example to show that to see religious Expression as equal to other charter Rights is absurd. Religion is based on nothing but Supposition, and should be accorded no Weight in legal Matters. To hold otherwise is to invite Folly of the most egregious Nature:
|Judge: Mr. Peabody, am I correct in observing that your client,
Osama bin Osama is carrying a machine gun in the Court?
Peabody: Yes, that is correct, your Honour.
Judge: On what grounds, Mr. Peabody, does your client so appear?
Peabody: It is a requirement of his religion, Your Honour.
Judge: Ah. I see. (Pause). And does your client’s religion require that the gun be loaded, Mr. Peabody?
Peabody: In fact, your Honour, his religion does so require, but the Security Personnel removed the ammunition as he was entering the Chamber.
Judge: Ah, yes, I see. Well that is a clear contravention of your client’s religious rights. Could we have the Security Personnel return the ammunition to its religiously correct location?
(Pause, while a uniformed guard reloads the machine gun.)
Judge: Well, then. Let us proceed.
We have other satiric Points to make. For our Drivel Section, we are planning a Harlequin Offering entitled "Muslim Romance." The Gist of the Story is that Osama bin Osama, while riding through the Market (Horse or motor Scooter–choose your time Period) is suddenly struck by the Appearance of a niqab-wearing Female, and falls desperately in love. The astute Reader will quickly grasp some of the ensuing Difficulties.
|October 13, 2010
On the Thanksgiving Weekend, completed the Steps towards the Lake, and much pleased with the Result. We use the Word "towards" advisedly. At the moment, the Steps, made of Railway Ties and Limestone Screenings, end at the Brow of a small Cliff of Rock. Still to be completed are a lakeside Deck and wooden Steps descending from the Cliff.
Two huge piles of Screenings remain in the Driveway, which need to be spread in an appropriate Manner. In the Sogginess of last Spring, the Serviceable Six became mired in the Mud of the Driveway, and necessitated an ignominious Call to the Automobile Club. Our friendly Neighbour–the same generous donor of the Railway Ties–whose Gift has embroiled us in the tiresome Labour referred to above-- made much of our Parsimony in neglecting to place a Sufficiency of Gravel on the Driveway and Parking Area.
We hope our Neighbour will soon, at last, be silent, and refrain from dispensing both Advice, and burdensome Gifts.
We continue to marvel at Google–which appears to have achieved the Perfection of Snoopiness.
We were made aware on Monday that Someone had used the Google search "Gareth Malone decides to stay at South Oxhey" (Diary, September 22) to reach the Lumpenbangen Site. Intrigued, we decided to conduct the same Search, and were amazed to find our Site on the second Page of the Search.
|We cogitated but for a moment, and reasoned: If Google found our
Diary entry of September 22–would it have found our entry of October 8–a
mere three days earlier concerning David Johnston? We typed in "David
Johnston Investiture," and were amazed to discover our Site on the third
Page of the Search.
Doubtless our Remarks, obviously the Result of Dyspepsia added to our already curmudgeonly Disposition, will place us on the RCMP suspicious Persons List. We plan to keep our Eyes peeled for niqab and burka-wearing Entities loitering near the Lumpenbangen Studios. (We assume such would be the Disguise of Choice for Secret Service Agents wishing not to attract Notice, and blend in with the Populace at Large.)
Finally, we have been much appalled by the David Chen Case–David Chen is the shopkeeper arrested for apprehending a Thief in Toronto. Our imaginative Musings will be found in the Drivel Section.
|October 8, 2010.
We confess we have been unable to transcribe our important Thoughts in this Location as frequently as we might have wished. While the Paucity of important Thoughts is undoubtedly the chief Culprit, we have been occupied with Matters at Wind-in-the-Pines. The obtaining of Winter Firewood, the Securing of an Estimate for roofing which, upon Payment, would leave us with the Number of Arms and Legs we consider to be a minimum–that is, Two of each–have made Claim upon our Time, and may even have been responsible for the Dearth of important Thoughts. This very day, indeed, we anticipate the Delivery of a Truckload of Limestone Screenings which will enable us to complete this Year’s Grand Project: Steps to the Lake.
We had wished to comment upon the Investiture of David Johnston as the Governor General of Canada. We marvel at his practical Intelligence. He is fully aware that it is entirely inappropriate for a Governor General to have, or express, any original Thought, or betray any Acquaintance with an intellectual Past. We heard Part of his Address as we drove to Wind-in-the-Pines, and can remember only two Things: a repeated Mantra of "Smart and Caring Society," and the no doubt deliberate splitting of the Infinitive–namely, "to properly recognize."
We await with eager Anticipation the wonderful Flowering of the Mantra, the imaginative Heights of "intelligent and compassionate," "perceptive and sympathetic," "insightful and empathetic," shrewd and touchy-feely," "cunning and left-wing," and "calculating and green."
|We also look forward to a new iconic Stamp in which the tired old
Beaver is replaced with a new Hybrid: the duck-billed Platitudinous.
We aware that most Readers of these Meanderings, comfortable in the World with Secure Employment or Perpetual Pensions, find our Preoccupation with the Stock market bizarre, boring, and shewing a lamentable Deficiency in Taste and Refinement. In Defense, we must protest, firstly, that it is our only Means of providing the remaindered Bread and thin Gruel which grace the Lumpenbangen Table nightly–and, secondly, that it possesses the Fascination and Emotional impact of the Board Game, Monopoly, with the additional Frisson of Excitement: Real Money is involved.
Hence, we must report a startling Rise in the Price of Dynacor of over twenty Cents in the last two Days–to 78 Cents. Our Purchase Price was about 28 Cents. Can fresh Bread and a Tin of Campbell’s Mushroom be glimpsed at the Horizon?
|October 6, 2010. We note that the Price of Gold is
approaching $1350 per Ounce, but Shares in Gold Companies are little
changed. Awareness of and Investment in Gold companies is small; it has
been speculated that only a small shift in Investment would result in a
large Movement in Price. Some, including Rob McEwen, former Chairman of
Goldcorp, see Gold reaching $5,000 per Ounce.
Mr. McEwen was interviewed on BNN yesterday, and revealed that 95% of his investments are in Gold. We would confess to a similar Weighting, but for the Fact that without the Aura of Mr. McEwen’s obvious Success, we would merely be exposing ourselves to public Ridicule, and the Scorn of the conventionally prudent.
|We do note that we purchased a further 20,000 shares of Aberdeen
International yesterday at .475 cents. The Value of its assets is well
in Excess of a Dollar, and we feel the Holding Company Discount is
Excessive. This Company allows us to invest in a Basket of the kind of
High Risk/High Reward Companies which have an Appeal we have always
Our recent purchase of Exeter Resources at a little over $7.00 has not, thus far, been a Success. We were puzzled as it declined, inexplicably, towards $6.00. All was made clear when the Company announced a Financing at $6.20. The small Investor is at the Mercy of those with advanced Knowledge. The Stock Market is a Game as ruthless and unfair as Life itself.
|October 5, 2010.
It has long been our Observation that human Beings require that the Landscape of their Minds be marked with some few Certainties– some inalienable Truths which may be relied on regardless of Circumstance–so that, beset by Fire, Flood, or Eruption, or a grievous Tsunami of Mental State, there remains a Bedrock Familiarity –a Means by which Clarity and Equanimity may be restored.
It is helpful, of course, if these Certainties are not subject to rational Debate, or the Assault of contrary Evidence; hence, the appeal of Religious Truth, which, based entirely on Hope and Supposition, is entirely unassailable by rational Analysis.
Readers of these Musings will be aware that we have long ago rejected such outright Nonsense; but we will confess here to one of our abiding Certainties. We have an unassailable Belief in the Efficacy of Pomegranate Juice.
We have read, in the past, of some small Studies which showed that Carotid Artery Blockages were reduced by the Ingestion of this somewhat bitter Juice, which was shown to be far superior to one of the most Noxious of the Statin Drugs, Crestor, the Darling of Doctors who, it would appear, have been completely brainwashed by the evil Cunning of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers.
And this very Day, the Life Extension Foundation reported on another small Study which seems to show that, in addition to helping prevent Cancer, and lowering blood Pressure, this marvellous Juice has the power to reduce Fat stored around the Stomach.
Whether these Claims are indeed true, we care not. We are satisfied that no one will expend Funds to deny them. Indeed, the Purveyors of Pomegranate Juice are quite likely to fund further Studies which will enhance the Perception of their Product.
|Once we had elevated Pomegranate Juice to the Status of Eternal
Verity, it became our wont to purchase large Quantities of pure "not
from concentrate" Juice a few times each Year at the Yuan Ming
Supermarket in Mississauga. The Price at the local Health Food Store is
$10.00 per bottle; at Yuan Ming's it is $2.99.
We stopped by en route to Wind-in-the-Pines last Friday to make just such a Purchase and were astounded to find the Pomegranate location entirely occupied by Chinese Sauce. The Staff at Yuan Ming’s are noted for having weekly Contests for the "Most unhelpful Disdaining Chinese talking to White Guy" Prize. The Idea seems to be Low Prices should be accompanied by a certain Degree of Unpleasantness. In spite of this Awareness, we flagged down two White-coated Employees, who showed their considerable Determination to win the Week’s Prize. A thorough Search of the Store revealed not a single Bottle of Pomegranate Juice.
A number of Possibilities come to Mind:
1. The evil cunning of Pharmaceutical Companies has led them to destroy World Pomegranate Plantations.
2. The Staff at Yuan Ming’s, aware of our Visit, replaced the Pomegranate Juice with Chinese Sauce.
3. The World Wide Religious Cabal has Purchased all available supplies of Pomegranate Juice in an attempt to cast doubt on non-religious Eternal Verities.
4. The local Health Food Store has complained to the Competition Bureau, which has required Yuan Ming to stop selling the Juice at reasonable Prices.
In any Event, we think a Judicial Inquiry is called for.
| September 29, 2010.
Interested to read in the National Post of last Friday about the Yobbification of England. According to a new "Police Watchdog" report, 14 million cases of anti-social Behaviour occur each Year, although most are not reported because they are considered normal. The article recounts particular Instances of Individuals tormented, driven to Suicide, or beaten to Death by Groups of mindless Yobs.
While we are not sure how it is possible to estimate the Occurrence of Events not reported, given our generally gloomy view of Civilization, we are not surprised to hear Accounts of its Decline.
We had always associated the British with Reserve, stiff upper Lips, a Devotion to Fair Play, and a certain essential Integrity. Increasingly, we are made aware of Soccer Hooliganism and Social Disorder.
We might note also a recent incident (September 17) in Florida in which James Jones, a Father who believed his daughter, afflicted with Cerebral Palsy, was being tormented by other Students on a School Bus, entered the Bus and launched a Tirade against the Students and the Bus Driver. At the Time, our Thought was that the Driver and School Authorities would never have allowed such Tormenting Behaviour Fifty Years ago.
Elsewhere, we have noted the marvellous Progression in our own Educational System, in which Teachers are blessedly free from Concern with niggling Matters of Trivial Misbehaviour, and can focus their Attention on the Prevention of Shootings and Assaults.
As usual, we have a Solution to these Social Problems.
|One clue lies in an Article in the September 23rd Edition of the
Hamilton Spectator, which begins: "The notion that adults should do all
they possibly can to advance the self-esteem of children is dying a slow
but hopefully unavoidable death."
It has always been our Contention that the Inculcation of Self Esteem in the Young is a perverse and dangerous Enterprise. Self-Esteem can come, legitimately, only from Accomplishment. Otherwise it is nothing but unseemly and inappropriate Arrogance. The Article in Question notes that "...the higher a person’s self-regard, the lower his regard for others. People with high self-esteem want to be paid attention to and served."
Another clue lies in the Validity of the "Broken Window Theory." Schools–or Societies-- which turn a blind Eye to minor social Infractions soon find themselves dealing with Problems of greater Import, and greater Danger.
Underlying all, is the Question of our View of Human Nature. If we believe that it is essentially good, and needs no Restraint, we have embarked on a Path of ruinous Folly. If we believe that Human Nature is capable of both Good and Evil, and attempt to promote the Good, while being on guard for the Evil, a greater Harmony in Society is likely to be the Result.
Invariably there will be a Conflict between the Claims of Society and the Desires of the Individual. Dostoevsky has noted that man’s "most advantageous advantage" is the expression of his unfettered free will, regardless of Sense or Logic, or the apparent Perfection of the System in which he finds himself. Aldous Huxley has cynically noted that the art of Utopia is to make man love his Servitude. Perfection is not attainable; but an untempered Belief in essential Goodness is a Recipe for Ruin.
|September 28, 2010.
We report with some Relief that Ms. Rinaldo appears to have renounced the Leather Look in Favour of more modest Attire. We do, admit, however, to some Trepidation with respect to the Winds of Indiscretion which may still stir in the CTV Studios. The inattention of a Moment, a Laxity in the Guard–who knows–we may see Lloyd Robertson gladiatorially attired in short skirt and Roman Tunic, exploring the intricacies of the long Form Census Debate, or Lisa Laflamme in Grass Skirt and little else, hula-hooping her way through an Account of Disaster Relief in Pakistan.
We resolve to fortify Ourselves with a sufficiently strong Libation before the News for the next few Weeks; our Heart is not overstrong, and, while we have never found Life an untramelled Joy, neither do we wish to renounce it prematurely for the doubtful Benefits of the Beyond.
We are pleased to report that our apparently indiscreet Purchase of large Quantities of DNG–we found it necessary to sell in the open Market some of our less significant (and more compliant) relatives–appears to have been justified.
|While nothing is over until the adipose Lady warbles, DNG is
currently trading at about fifty-seven cents, about thirty cents over
our Purchase Price. The Paper Profit would be sufficient to purchase a
very respectable Automobile. (We have no Intention of so frivolous an
Action; we merely record the Fact here in order to ensure that our
Geezermobile –purchased a few years ago for $2,500–is aware that it is
Most sensible people, would at this point take some Profit. We are confident, however, that DNG will eventually trade for more than a Dollar. Should the company be successful with their Tumipampa Project, we look forward to purchasing a Mansion in Rosedale. (We believe in keeping our present Residence in a responsively agreeable State of Uncertainty.)
|Saturday, September 25, 2010.
At Wind-in-the-Pines we are restricted to two Television Channels whose signals we receive gratis, captured in some incomprehensible Manner from the Air. These two Channels are Global and CTV, and doubtless this Fact is responsible for a considerable Decline in our Intelligence Level on Sojourns at our Holiday Residence. Instead of re-runs of Murder She Wrote, and the thrilling Episodes of House Hunters, we are forced to watch many a dreary Detective Drama, which are sometimes the only Alternatives to Mind-numbing Cartoons which, inconceivably, lay claim to being amusing.
It is our Habit, as usual, to watch the CTV News, partly for the News, and partly on the Off-chance that there will be a juicy grammatical or Usage Infelicity, which we will be able to record under our "Error Watch"--or-- even more rewarding–under our "Hall of Shame." It has not escaped our Attention that CTV News is innocent of both a Dictionary, and an elementary grammatical Textbook, and, as a result, can provide some amusing Moments for the Connoisseur.
We were most surprised, on Saturday, September 25, to see Sandie Rinaldo read the News, not merely in black, but in a black Leather Jacket. While the Jacket might make some Claim to Haute Couture–we think it is difficult for such Attire to shed entirely the Usual Connotations: we had Visions of Ms. Rinaldo, upset at the Promotion of Ms. Laflamme, seeking Solace with an entirely new Lifestyle: a Moll for the Hells Angels–or Dominatrix for the wealthy and sophisticated in an elegantly furnished and discreet downtown Toronto Venue.
|We would reiterate a general Principle which, we feel, is often
not given sufficient Attention. It pleases us to think that a Book may
not be judged by its Cover, and that superficial Appearance is
unimportant in Relation to the real Worth beneath. On the contrary, all
Animals must make immediate Judgement: their Lives depend upon it. We
fool Ourselves to think otherwise. The Communication we make with our
Clothing, and the Style of our Appearance should not be underestimated.
Only a Fool would appear in Court, accused, wearing anything which did
not suggest the Height of Probity and Respectability.
Communication by Appearance is inescapable, since even a Disregard for such Communication sends its own Message.
We note that Ms. Rinaldo makes a double Appearance on Limerick Lane.
| September 23, 2010.
To the Accounts, and a reconsideration of our Resolution to remain nervous and trembling in Anticipation of a market Downturn. We have been surprised that the Market has not yet swooned. The Price of Gold is up significantly, but our Gold Holdings, with the exception of KGN which is currently at $8.40, have showed little response. Our purchase price of KGN is $6.72. There is Nothing like a substantial unrealized Profit to inspire the Reckless and the Foolish.
Accordingly, this day we have succumbed to the pernicious Effects of Boredom and the Availability of borrowed Funds. Despite our Fears, we have purchased a further 20,000 of PMI at thirty and a half cents, a further 12,000 Aberdeen International (AAB)at 45 cents, and 30,000 Royal Coal (RDA) at 18 cents.
|If we have embarked on the Road to Ruin, we will have none to
blame but Ourselves.
Last Evening at the Longevity Racquets Club, our initial Performance led us to a serious Consideration of the Lawn Bowls Option. Fortunately, a close Win dispensed by the Squash Gods, whose Ways are mysterious to the Perceptions of Man, has encouraged us to try one more Season.
|September 22, 2010.
We feel moved to make further Comment on the Subject of our last Entry on the Television Program, "The Choir."
At the end of the Program, it was shown that the Choir at South Oxhey, having benefitted so greatly from its Creation by the remarkable Mr. Malone, had requested him to remain as their Choirmaster, and a final Note was made at the end of the Film to the Effect that he had indeed, decided to remain.
Upon Reflection, we feel that this was a foolish Decision by Mr. Malone. Magic is momentary, and not sustainable. In the long Run, human Expectations can never be met. Since Disappointment in human Affairs is inevitable, it is far better to disappoint by leaving early, rather than disappoint by not leaving soon enough.
We have sometimes imagined the Result of what so many religious People might welcome: "God" finally deciding that enough was enough, he’d come down and set everything straight: a Chicken in every Pot, Equality for all, and two Cadillac Escalades in the Driveway.
|After all the Hosannas and Huzzahs, how long do you think it
would be before Dissatisfactions and Resentments would set in? "That God
fellah–who does He think He is, anyway–struttin’ around all High and
Mighty, lookin’ for Thanks and Praises at every Turn? The Chicken ain’t
as good as it was last Week–and I know I’m better than Fred Jones any
day. Them Cadillacs don’t suit me as well as the BMW."
We recall Dostoevsky's Comment about the most "advantageous advantage" man seeks--the Expression of his own Will--regardless of Sense or Logic.
No, it is better not to put Sainthood to the Tests of Time, the Ordinary, and the Humdrum.
Mr.Malone would be best advised to move on, with Regret, and to the Dismay of his Choir–to find new Worlds to conquer.
|September 19, 2010
On a Number of Occasions in the Past, we have watched a Televison Program called "The Choir." The Choirmaster, Gareth Malone, is featured as one who is able to create Choirs of great Success from unlikely Sources.
There seems to be Something extraordinarily compelling about these Programs, which invariably leave us in Fits of Sobbing and Weeping, interspersed with Bouts of Crying and Blubbering– indeed--in a Sate of complete emotional Disarray.
We should hasten to clarify that we are not habitually given to unseemly displays of Emotion. Indeed, we would say that we are impervious to much pitiable circumstance-- regarding the distressing effects of fire, flood, earthquake, avalanche, and tsunami, as if they were the make-believe suppositions of film-makers. (We might add that those circumstances which we know will enrage, sicken, or disgust–such as Matters of Cruelty to Animals, the Oppressions of Society in Earlier Times, or the Tortures of the Inquisition, we simply refuse to observe.)
We have concluded that which most affects us is that which may be termed "noble"– and what Mr. Malone accomplishes invariably strikes us as noble. It is a Matter, in a way, of human Alchemy–in the transforming of what we might think of as the base Metal of ordinary Life into the precious Coin of Achievement, and, in the Process, uniting those who might appear to have little in common.
|It is Mr. Malone’s genius to be able to break through the
Carapace of Guardedness, the Image of Apathy, and the Shell of
Cynicism–those Ways we develop to deal with the World–and get Schoolboys
or Citizens of uninspiring Communities–to commit themselves and unite
with others in the Creation of Music. The initial Price of such Success,
it seems, is Vulnerability–but always the Vulnerability is as
Nothing–and the Gains in terms of Cohesion, Unity, and Accomplishment
In this evening’s Program, the Choir in South Oxhey (a Community originally lacking in Sense of Pride and Identity) was shown attracting a huge Crowd of Residents to a Successful Concert.
We are not foolishly romantic. Humdrum Existence proceeds, Earth-bound and troubled as always. But Moments of Inspiration, Harmony, and Magic are the noble Sparks that help light the Path.
|September 16, 2010.
Much intrigued to see Dalton McGuinty, our esteemed Provincial Leader comment that School Boards should consider allowing the Use of Cellphones in Classrooms. He appeared on Television, with a little nervous Smile which suggested the Thought: "Did I just say something stupid again? Oh well. No matter. Everybody’s used to it by now."
He attempted to suggest the Scenario in which a Teacher might wish the entire Class of Students to use their Cellphones for some educational Purpose. Leaving aside the Fact that this would imply that a Cellphone is a needed School Supply, to be provided at the Expense of the Taxpayers, we can imagine few Occasions on which a Cellphone would be the best means of obtaining Information.
|We cannot regard Cellphones in the Classroom as anything but a
Distraction and a Deterrence to the Acquisition of Knowledge.
We note that Mr. McGuinty makes further appearances on Limerick Lane.
|September 15, 2010.
In a consideration of our Accounts, we admit to significant Disappointment with our Holdings in San Gold. Although we suspect that the Geology of their claims will be triumphant in the long Run, we have grown weary of failure of Management to communicate, and continued negative Surprises. A new 43-101 Report has been produced which shows fewer Ounces of Reserve than the one produced in the Spring. There is Speculation–but Management is not telling Us–that the new Report was necessary for the TSX Listing, which was applied for in April. It seems a reasonable explanation for the otherwise extraordinary Delay.
We suspect that new Drilling Results will be favourable, and a Listing will eventually occur, but we think Market Response will be muted. We need to see Evidence of Profit, and the re-establishment of the Credibility of the Company.
Accordingly, we have sold 10,000 shares in a tax-exempt Account at $3.60–a level at which, under other Circumstance, we might consider Buying. We are shifting the Funds into more DNG, and PMI. Our Enthusiasm for DNG is Boundless, and undoubtedly presages future Misery. We have noted a significant Principle of the Stock Market--the Expectation Perversity Principle: the greater our Enthusiasm, the greater the likelihood of Disappointment.
|We recently purchased a very modest position (10,000 shares) in
CXT at 75 cents, and it has now reached $1.00. We suspect that it will
go much higher. Had we purchased a large Amount, the Principle referred
to above would almost certainly have ensured a Loss.
Recently, the Serviceable Six suffered a minor "stone chip" Assault to its Windshield. Before we had travelled many Miles, a Crack had spread, rendering the Windshield uncertifiable.
We were most pleased to discover that the cost of Replacement at Star Auto Glass was an unbelievable $185, and yesterday were able to have the Repair effected. This Circumstance engenders in us feelings of Warmth and Goodwill towards Mankind; it does not cast aside our residual Hatred of Canadian Tire (see February 19 entry)–but tempers it–if but a little.
|September 14, 2010.
Much interested to read a Column in the National Post on Saturday by Robert Fulford, who notes that western Fear of the Charge of Islamaphobia inhibits discussion of Islam. Thus, when Islamists rioted because of the Publication of Cartoons of the Prophet, many Editors who would otherwise have published them did not, lest more Riots and Deaths ensue.
Mr. Fulford notes that, "Of all the great Religions, Islam is unique in believing it should not be analyzed or criticized...Islamist violence subverts free speech and threatens to eliminate it altogether."
|We have long derided those Idealists (usually of the Leftward Persuasion) who seem to think that all Disputes can be settled in an Afternoon over a convivial Libation. The matter of Islam is surely a Refutation of such Dreams. We do not see how compromise can be reached between diametrically opposed Ways of looking at the World. Those whose starting Point is that Islam is correct, and can never be criticized, can never be reconciled with those who think it is not correct, and should be criticized. In Matters of Religion, in which there is a remarkable Absence of any Proof or Evidence, it is best that People be allowed to indulge in the Foolishness of their Choice, but without trying to convince others. If a Religion claims, by Definition, to be above rational Criticism, then it can only impede the Search for Truth, and the most reasonable Way of living in the World.|
| September 10, 2010.
Yesterday, with much Trepidation, we purchased 2,000 shares of Exeter Resources, which has a very large low-grade Deposit in Chile. The Price was approximately $7.08. We are gambling on a new Resource Report to be issued this Month.
|We make further musings on Portrayals of the Territorial instinct on Television in The Different Light in America in the Drivel Section.|
|September 9, 2010.
Yesterday to a
Consideration of our Accounts, and noted again a significant Shift in
our Confidence. We are fearful that the slow economic Recovery, or the
traditional Fall Decline in Mid-Term Election Years–or Both–will lead to
depressed Sentiment and a Market Decline in September and October. We
have gone from a normal Brashness and Confidence to an unusual Degree of
Nervous Nellyism. We sold our remaining 5000 GTE at $6.91. Had we
retained our original 30,000, we would have made Money–well over Thirty
Thousand-- but we sold 25,000 earlier at a significant Loss. We estimate
the total Loss to be about seven Thousand Dollars–entirely the result of
our Failure to hold on in a temporary Decline in the Stock.
|We have been accustomed to modest propitiatory Sacrifice to the
Stock Market Gods: a variety of small Insects, the odd mouse captured by
His Majesty. But perhaps it is time to consider more significant Animal
Sacrifice. We have heard that Naked Ritual Dance at the Time of the Full
Moon is also widely recommended.
( We note that Fidel Castro makes an appearance on Limerick Lane.)
|September 8, 2010
A recent (Sept 1) column by Barbara Kay in the National Post deals with a Book called What’s Wrong with our Schools and How we can Fix Them (Zwaagstra, Clifford and Long). The Book argues that traditional teaching Methods are best, and the modern “romantic progressivism” which emphasizes Student Self-esteem and social Inclusion rather than the Acquisition of Knowledge, is significantly flawed.
We have long argued that we would prefer to have our Appendix removed by a Surgeon who was aware of its Location and Appearance, and have expressed a considerable Indifference to his Degree of Self Esteem or Possession of Social Skills. Doubtless this is a minority View, and speaks Volumes about our own Failure as a Social Being.
Sometimes Changes in Education are driven by a Sense that whatever is old, must necessarily be inefficient. Possibly it is the Age of the Machine that has led to this view: a modern Automobile is superior to a Model T; therefore, an established system of Teaching, must surely be susceptible to the same Type of Improvement. The fact that Human Beings change rather more slowly than Automobiles, and that Methods of Teaching are related to the Natures of those being taught, seems not to have been taken into Account
In the particular instance of Reading and Spelling, under the traditional system, we learned first to sound out Words, Syllable by Syllable. The added Skill of recognizing the “look” of a word came much later. It was of Interest to discover, many Years later, that Elementary School Teachers were emphasizing Word Recognition, and seemed a perfect Example of misguided Modernism, and likely to lead to Failure.
|More broadly, we see “romantic progressivism” as an Offshoot of a
General Shift in our View of Human Nature. Our older view of Human
Nature was much influenced by the Christian Notion of Original Sin:
Children were viewed with a certain Wariness, lest their original
Natures be given free Reign. Civilizing was something that did not occur
The modern Belief is in Original Goodness. Children do not require civilizing so much as the Freedom to fulfill their Essential Selves. This, of course, has led to many Advantages: as we have noted elsewhere, traditional Educators were much concerned with petty Rules and niggling Matters of Behaviour. The Modern Educator need not trouble Himself with such trivial Matters, and can, instead concentrate on the more Serious Issues of Weapons and Assaults.
We think the “Broken Window Theory" has much relevance to this Issue.
“Romantic Progressivism” is perfectly suited to a World of Original Goodness. We are not so sure it is suited to the real One.
(We note that the Country of Iran makes an appearance on
|September 7, 2010.
Returned this day from an extended stay at Wind-in-the Pines. We had eagerly anticipated a Continuation of sunny, summer-like Weather over the long Weekend. Such Optimism is seldom justified, and, indeed, the Weather, after the first two days was a Series of Showers and Winds.
On Saturday at about Three in the Afternoon, the Electric Power ceased, and towards Evening, we resorted to Candles for Illumination, and a hand-cranked Radio for Entertainment. We reflected on the Lives of Those so unfortunate as to live in Ontario before the Advent of Electric Power. What a life Stephen Leacock must have had growing up in a remote Farmhouse in the 1880's!
|We frequently arrive at Wind-in-the-Pines to discover Clocks on
Stove and Microwave blinking mindlessly, and we have constructed a
Theory that Power in the Area is generated at a large Gerbil Farm
equipped with a Multiplicity of Treadmills. Hydro One, knowing little of
Animal Husbandry, experiences significant Weariness and Failure of the
Gerbil Population, and hence frequent Disruptions of Power.
| August 31, 2010.
Much pleased to see a rise in DNG from 30-32 cents at our last Purchase to 40 cents as of this Morning. We consulted the Stockhouse Bullboard yesterday to gather some Clew as to the Reason for so rapid a Rise–but could find no Comment. We suspect Something is afoot, and detect tiny Waves of Smugness surging at the Periphery of our Consciousness. We suspect that the Stock Market Gods, to whom Smugness is Anathema will soon send the Price back down.
|We still believe that a Company making 03 cents per Quarter
should command a Valuation closer to one Dollar. The Prospects of
Drilling Tumipampa and a Rise in the Price of Gold would seem to be
favourable, and provide further Appreciation.
We plan to spend the next week at Wind-in-the-Pines to enjoy the unexpectedly warm Weather.
|August 28, 2010.
Viewed Mr. Don Vailoux on the Business News Network, who had a chart showing a fairly large average Decline in Stock Markets in September and October in years of Mid-Term Elections in the United States.. It is far from our Custom to pay Attention to such Matters, but the Tsunami of 2008 has considerably shaken our Confidence in the underlying Sensibleness of Things. We think it might be prudent therefore, to reduce our Holdings in the coming Week, in Anticipation of a Repurchase at lower Prices. Doubtless many others will do so, thus illustrating a Prophecy of Self-fulfillment.
However, we would not discount the Notion that this coming Year will be a Miraculous Exception to the general Rule, and we will be seen to have, once again, been out-maneuvered by the Stock Marked Gods.
In the National Post, Marni Soupcoff (Freedom to Fail, August 28) refers to the astounding shift in the Policy of the Ontario Ministry of Education which will “allow teachers to give students a ‘zero’ grade on assignments they don’t hand in on time.”
|Surely the End of the Western World is nigh! We should
immediately sell our Homes, pack our Luggage, and take the first
Conveyance to Shangri-La. From this Point on there will be Gnashing of
Teeth, the Wearing of Sackcloth, and Rolling in Ashes. When Students are
to be judged, not on their Brilliance, Creativity, and Degree of
Self-Esteem, but rather on their Ability to fulfill Commitments
according to the Procrustean Strictures of artificially decreed
Deadlines, the Battle for the Brave New World is officially dead.
We have enclosed a letter written to Ms. Soupcoff, containing some details of personal Experience, in the Drivel section.
|August 26, 2010.
We have now completed our Purchase of DNG, and would be surprised if it were not to go down. The Stock Market Gods never let slip an Opportunity to make us look foolish. However, we feel that, even if the Tumipampa Property consist entirely of Dross, the Stock is presently undervalued on the Basis of Income from Gold Processing.
North Country Gold has come out with further good results from its Nunavut drilling; however, the good News must eventually cease, and the Stock Price decline. We are now content to hold on the Basis of long-term Prospects.
We must remark the case of Mary Bale, the British human Entity who put a Cat in a garbage Receptacle and then remarked that she could not understand “what the fuss is about” and said her action was “a joke,” and referred to the cat: “it’s just a cat.” This is not, of course a new Low in human Stupidity and Arrogance, but it is a significant Reminder to those who would prefer to focus on the admirable Qualities of Homo Sapiens. We have had a brief Discussion with His Majesty, our resident Feline, in which we argued strongly for the Banishment of Ms. Bales to Baffin Island or Confinement to an African Game Reserve equipped only with a Pup Tent and a moderately sized stick. His Majesty revealed his far keener Sense of appropriate Justice by suggesting merely that Ms. Bales be reincarnated as a particularly juicy Mouse.
Ms. Bale makes an Appearance on Limerick Lane, and is joined by Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran.
|We note with Satisfaction that Danielle Smith, Leader of the
Alberta Wildrose Alliance, has come to the Defense of a private Health
Clinic in Calgary in a dispute with Alberta Health Services. We hold not
simply that the present Universal system is unsustainable, but that,
like all Socialist Systems, it is run on the Basis of Convenience for
the System-Makers, not for the Patients.
The writer of a recent Letter to the Editor of the National Post complained that his son, a Muslim student, was afraid to reveal his Religion because of taunting by a classmate, and noted: “I can only speculate as to what his classmate is learning or hearing in his own home.” Today, two Respondents objected. One said: “When the Iranian government murders a seven-year-old child for being a spy or stones to death a young girl for the crime of eloping, I’m sure the parents of that classmate would react as any normal Canadian would–in horror and disgust.” The second Respondent noted the widely held belief that Muslim Homes are unlikely to be Nests of Sweetness and Light when it comes to the Subject of other Religions.
We think all religions are foolish, but we are especially wary of Islam, with its propensity to Violence, its Narrowness, and its Intolerance. We have not been impressed by the Outpouring of Condemnation by “moderate” Muslims of the more outrageous Expressions of their Religion. Indeed, we haven’t noticed any. Mankind is not as advanced as Many would like to think, and Tolerance is often regarded as Weakness by those of rigid religious Conviction.
| August 25, 2010.
This Day we have written a Commentary on the new Bell Phone Advertisements, which attempt to portray significant intimate Moments of personal Interconnectedness. The incidents are cutesy, coy, or emotional, and are meant to appeal to the shameless Eavesdropper Element in the Viewer.
|Our Plea is for the Portrayal of a more complete Range of human Interaction, and may be found in the Drivel Section.|
|August 24, 2010.
A rainy weekend at Wind-in-the- Pines led to an idle Moment in
which we considered the Advantages of the Bath Fitter Model of Home
Improvement applied to Aging Visages afflicted with unsightly Chips,
Loss of Gloss, and significant Discolouration. We drew from the Result a
Confirmation of our long-held Belief: Our Essential Selves change very
little over Time. In this Instance, we are disheartened to observe that
our Sense of Humour and Level of Maturity have persisted unchanged since
the Days of our occasional Columns written for The Varsity at the age of
|We have also purchased more Shares of Dynacor Gold Mines–a Task
more difficult than one might imagine since, with only 30 million Shares
outstanding, and by Report, 70% in Institutional Hands, the Stock
“trades by Appointment.” If one attempts to purchase 20,000 shares at 30
Cents–it turns out to be One- half of the trading Volume for the Day.
Elaboration of both of these Matters may be found in the Drivel Section.
|August 20, 2010.
Having sold 47,000 NCG at about .35, and bought back 22,000 at 29.5 we had expected a further Decline, and hoped to buy the remaining 25,000 at a lower price. We were much surprised at favourable new drilling Results–much earlier than expected-- and as the price returned to our selling level, we decided to repurchase. We managed a small gain of about $1,200 in the Maneuvering.. We purchased the original Company, CBR, from which NCG was spun out, in 2007 at much higher Prices. Having held this long, we are would be upset to see a significant Rise in Price without our full Complement of Shares.
|Much intrigued by a recent Account in the Hamilton Spectator
about Ken Murdock, a hired Killer who murdered three Mobsters, and who
will be eligible for Parole in December of 2011.
He will have served ten Years of a “Life Sentence.” We find it exceedingly Odd that a “Life Sentence” might actually turn out to be “Ten Years.” We would also have thought that Those that hire themselves out as Murderers should be rather far down on the List of those eligible for Parole. This undoubtedly reflects the Degree to which we are out of Touch with modern Thinking.
| August 19, 2010
We note with Interest that Dr. Laura Schlessinger will end her radio Broadcast because of Criticism that she used the word “nigger.”
The National Post notes, quite correctly, that while she has the right to her Freedom of Speech, her Critics have the Freedom to denounce what she says. But The Post seems quite incensed that Dr. Schlessinger used the word “nigger” eleven times during the Broadcast. The Post also refers to “nigger” as the “n-word.”
While we are far from advocating that all Words are appropriate for all Occasions, in this Matter, we agree with Dr. Schlessinger. She noted that Context is all: “Black guys talking to each other seem to think it’s O.K....I don’t get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it’s a horrible thing. But when black people say it, it’s affectionate.”
|Indeed, we think it very foolish to designate certain Words as so
insulting they cannot be uttered. This only gives Power to the
License to the insulted. A similar Case is the Sensitivity of Muslims to
any Criticism or Ridicule of their Religion–which leads them to the
farcical Situation of murdering others, and contravening their Religion.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt
me.” While this may not quite be true, it is a desirable
Circumstance, and those who proclaim certain Words to be Unutterable,
seem to be wishing for Trouble in a World with an already adequate
|August 17, 2010.
We have added two sleepy Melodies to our list of downloadable Compositions. Under no circumstances should they be played while driving an Automobile or operating heavy Machinery. The Lumpenbangen Institute will accept no Liability for Misuse of these potentially dangerous musical Configurations.
Much interested to see that the Ontario Government has decided to allow Mixed Martial Arts Events to be held in the Province. An article in the National Post expresses concern about the Potential for Head Injuries, noting that the National Football League has launched a Program for Concussion Education.
On occasion–very briefly--we find ourselves longing for the narrower Morality of the Past. In the Olden Days, Governments expressed a certain streak of Finger-Wagging Puritanism which reminded the Citizenry that not all Desires were of equal Merit. Gambling, for instance, was vaguely sinful, and to be discouraged. Sunday Shopping was an affront to religious Principles. The natural State of Youth was considered to be Imperfect, prompting Wariness, Rules, and Guidance in the Educational System.
Now, in the new Age of Enlightenment, it is agreed that Men are born good, and are subsequently corrupted by Society; hence, Educators are no longer concerned with minor Issues such as Tardiness, being more preoccupied with the larger Matters of Assaults and Weaponry. Gambling is not sinful, but a producer of Revenue; it is confidently expected that the Revenue will be sufficient to remedy the Costs of Gambling Addiction.
In an earlier Time, we wonder whether the Government would have welcomed Mixed Martial Arts. In our View, such Sport will, indeed, lead to Head Injuries–and were Boxing not already established, but merely proposed, we would object to it on the same Grounds.
Our view of Human Nature is that it has not changed since the days of Gladiatorial Combat; we have no doubt that the Demand for the Spectacle of Inflicting Injury is undiminished.
And Revenue is all. It would be a strong Politician indeed who could invoke moral Principle over Need for ever greater Government Largesse. It has long been a Matter of Political Speculation as to whether our Premier, Mr. McGuinty, suffers from, spina collapsis, spina eroda, or spina in absentia congenitalis. It probably matters little. The Effect is the same.
|August 16, 2010
Returned from Wind-in-the-Pines, where the Danger of accepting free building Materials was made evident. Our neighbour, having removed some railway Ties as a border to his Driveway, and we, having long been aware that a better Means of Access to the Lake would improve our Property, came to an Agreement of mutual Benefit: he would save the cost of disposing of the Ties, and we would gain Materials to construct Steps.
The considerable number of Ties seemed to require a Construction of unexpected Magnificence: Steps wide and deep, each tread extending many feet. The treads would be demarked by Ties, but would have to be composed of Gravel, which would necessitate the Purchase of a Truckload. To achieve a proper job with the Treads, a Surface of limestone Screenings would seem advisable. To order a small Truckload of Gravel would appear to be shortsighted –for what would be the Point of ordering a small Amount, when the Cottage Driveway had, earlier in the Summer, proven to be a Trap of Mud? The truckload of Gravel, would, of course, have to be spread in different areas, using a Wheelbarrow, Shovel, and Rake.
|The Gravel could not be delivered until the Ties were removed
from our own Driveway, where we had deposited them. The Ties would not be removed from the driveway until
the basic Structure of the Steps was completed. In the path of the
proposed Steps was a pile of salvaged Material which was to be used to
construct a Deck near the Shore. Thus the first Step, as it were, in the
Project, should be the Construction of a Deck by the Shore.
We retired to the Library to read Leacock’s The Retroactive Existence of Mr. Juggins, and resolved to avoid future Conversation with our generous Neighbour.
|August 12, 2010.
We have become weary and dispirited from the constant Flow of News which suggests the true and miserable State of the Human Condition. The United States is bankrupt; a twelve-year-old Boy with a lengthy record is arrested in Attempt at Robbery; a young Woman is arrested for falsely raising money for Cancer Treatment; a writer in the Hamilton Spectator believes the “hockey stick” climate change Graph to be vindicated; Canada prepares to spend Millions of Dollars in the futile Task of assessing Tamil Refugee Claims; Pakistan floods; China’s growth is slowing; Superbugs threaten; the RCMP implodes.
It has long been our Contention that, for human Beings, Illusion is a necessary counterweight to the Realities of Existence.
|It is with pleasure, and a generous Spirit of Helpfulness, that
we announce the Creation of our new News Service: Forward News.
This service will break new ground in the Field of News Coverage: it
will ignore actual Events, real People, and disturbing Facts. It will be
devoted entirely to the News as we wish to see it.
The first Reports may be found in today’s Drivel section.
|August 11, 2010.
Up betimes and to a Consideration of our Accounts, which are afflicted with the Anemia of Summer Doldrums and the Tremors of economic Anxieties. We suspect that the End of the World is nigh, with Commentators affirming the Bankruptcy of the United States, with the pending Decline in our own Housing Market, and with Financial Deficiencies in Europe.
Gold will undoubtedly benefit in the Long Run; the Difficulty with the Long Run is that it is only accessible through the Short Run. Thus, while we foresee a glittering Future for our Holdings in Gold–in the Long Run--we fear that we may be wiped out in the unpredictable Gyrations of the Short.
We are pleased to announce that our Strategy with NCG–based on the Fact that it would decline in the absence of News–is so far correct. We sold 47,000 at .34-.35 and have now repurchased 22,000 at .295. We anticipate further declines.
|At the same time, we have become significantly enamoured–always a
dangerous sign–with DNG. This Company is unusual in its Group–since it
actually makes Money by processing Gold found by small Miners in Peru.
The chief Attraction is a very large Property containing Copper and
Gold, which will be explored this year. We have never been able to
resist the Siren Call of great potential Wealth. We have recently added
30,000 shares at .25, after a Swoon from .38.
Today, in a Market of Despair, we have added 20,000 at .335, down from .36 yesterday.
Today San Gold announced the discovery of yet another Zone of high grade Gold, and, as is usual, promptly declined several Cents. It is our earnest Hope that the many different Zones may be connected, and we will be enabled to pave the Lumpenbangen front Walkway with an appropriately heavy and glittering Material.
|August 10, 2010.
Our Summer Virus being more persistent than expected, we neglected our usual Attendance at the Longevity Racquets Club last Evening.
|However, we have completed a Dissertation on House Hunters and similar programs, which appears in the Drivel Section.|
|August 9, 2010.
Read with much Interest that various Billionaires plan to give much of their Wealth to Charity. We are tempted to assume that the very Wealthy have Intelligence far greater than our own. Yet our first Reaction is one of Alarm. We hope that much Deliberation accompanies these Gifts, that they may indeed accomplish Desirable Ends. Money that is found without difficulty is seldom valued appropriately, and unwisely spent. Money that is fed into a corrupt System of Governance will not alter the System, but be corrupted by it. Money given to gain the appearance of Benefaction, without ensuring proper Use, is no more than the unholy marriage of Folly and Vanity.
|We recall reading that much Money has been given to Haiti, with
no effect. Someone has suggested that a Centre be established in that
Country which follows those Procedures and establishes that Circumstance
which have been shown to produce Wealth, and all that live there be
required to accept a Culture different from that in the Country at
This seems to us a worthwhile Attempt.
|August 8, 2010
Returned from Wind-in-the-Pines yesterday, after an entire Week away from the busy Lumpenbangen Facility. The cause of this unexpected Absence is dealt with in the Drivel Section.
We also undertook
an extensive and lengthy Discussion of the Origin of the Name:
Wind-in-the-Pines. We are well aware that any such lengthy
Discussion is unlikely to be read--such arduous Endeavours being largely
fallen from Style and Fashion in this Modern Age.
|We expect that in a few Short Years, under the malign Influence of Twitter, Devices of instant Communication, and Cacophonous Musick, the Brains of our Citizenry will be much diminished, and significantly altered in Structure. We would hazard a guess that Autopsies performed by visiting Space Travellers will show that the Human Brain devolved into such a thin Film of Hyperactivity, that the Race, unable to concentrate for more than a few Nanoseconds, was rendered incapable of coherent Thought, and became Prey to those of the animal Species which were able to formulate and carry through a significant Intention.|
|July 29, 2010
We must confess that, for an inordinate Period, we have viewed Life with Suspicion and more than a little Apprehension. Our Disposition has been peevish, dyspeptic, and irritable; we have been gloomy, crotchety, and out of sorts. Not only has the Glass been half empty–we have viewed the remaining Contents as likely to be bitter, burning, and quite possibly poisonously lethal, lethally poisonous, or both.
|We are pleased to report that a Ruling by Mr. Justice Martin
Bédard, of a Quebec Superior Court, has, with a wise and bold Decision,
altered our Perception, lightened our Gloom, and set us on the Path to a
Serene Old Age.
For Detail on the Cause of this unexpected Transformation, please consult the Drivel Section. Judge Martin Bédard makes an appearance on Limerick Lane.
|July 27, 2010.
Much concerned that His Majesty is declining his food, deigning only to ingest a few of the most delectable Treats. This is indeed unexpected in a heretofore gluttonous Feline. We consider the offering of an appropriate Prayer for his Recovery.
|We have completed a piece on Mercy Killing, and put it in the Drivel Section. It deals with Frogs and People, not Cats.|
| July 26, 2010.
Returned from Wind-in-the-Pines. Delays on the 400 Extension and the QEW gave us time to reflect on one of our favourite Themes: the Ugliness of the modern Automobile. We have not given much thought to the underlying Causes of this Phenomenon, assuming it was merely another example of the Vagaries of Human Perversity–like the Enthusiasm for reducing Levels of Cholesterol, the Conviction that Climate Change is man-made, or the Acceptance of Human Rights Commissions.
But we think this is probably an Explanation too facile. Consider, once again, the Facts: the popularity of the SUV, an ode to rugged Utilitarianism which disdains the least nod to aesthetic Principle. It eats with its Fingers, wipes its Mouth on its Sleeve. Yet more important-- consider the general Characteristics of the average Passenger Vehicle: it is small; it evinces a narrow Determination to plow into the Pavement immediately ahead of it; it is hunched over, raising its unattractive tail as it scuttles, like a many-legged insect, through the streets. The rear view often presents oversized, bulbous, bug-eyed tail lights, and a crazy mish-mash of arbitrary, confusing lines and angles–a veritable schizophrenia of design.
These Vehicles are not serene, elegant, confident, or assured. They are, essentially, worried, nervous, and insecure. They are not vehicles of a new dawning; they are Vehicles furtive in the shadow of collapse.
|No, the Design of the modern Automobile is not the result of an
arbitrary Perversity; it is the Expression of Fin de Succès. In
the modern Automobile may be read the end of an Era. It is the end of
cheap Oil, and cheap Travel. It is the end of Security, as Forces of
Backwardness and Stupidity assault our Symbols of Capitalism and
Individual Freedom. Difficult Wars challenge our Belief that the western
Way of Life has an irresistible Appeal to something innate and intrinsic
in Human Nature. Authoritarian China rises as the democratic United
States becomes mired in the Consequence of a misplaced Idealism. It is
the end of the confident Capitalism of the Free Market, as Banks fail,
and Countries wobble on the Brink of Insolvency. It is the end of our
Assumptions about the Stability of Climate, Sea Levels, Weather, and
Crops. It is, we think, the ending of a comfortable Belief in
Christianity and the rise of a disconcerting Atheism, a threatening
No, the modern Automobile does not merely represent a perverse and temporary Twist in aesthetic Values. It is the unhappy Symbol of a Loss of Confidence.
|July 25, 2010.
||The nearby Bay Street Café, which owes much of its Custom to its
Location within Walking Distance of the Concert Hall, would seem to
deserve a Seated Slump. The “special” was the Pickerel Dinner,
which consisted of a breaded Filet with baked Potato, some unexceptional
green Beans laced with one or two strips of tired green Pepper. The
Condiments –butter and sour cream --were artfully presented in tiny
plastic Containers-- doubtless in the current, ultra fashionable Parry
Sound haute cuisine mode: Buerre et crême à MacDonald’s. No
rolls. No salad. We venture to opine that the Meal represented a Level
of Culinary Indifference seldom achieved without unrelenting and
determined Effort, and the Perpetrators are deserving of National
Recognition. At $22.95, the Offering appeared to be overpriced by Ten
Dollars. Most of the desserts were priced at $6.95. With Visions of
Carrot Cake boldly obtained from No Frills for $3.99, and divided into
six Morsels at $6.95 each, we declined these potential Treats in favour
of an Ice Cream Cone from the Modest Facility across the street, for
considerably less than $6.95.
|July 23, 2010.
Surely the end of the World is nigh! The National Post reports the following;
The Conservative Government has ordered a review of federal affirmative action policies, saying the public service should hire based on merit, not race or gender.
We confidently predict increased sightings of Supernovae, moon orbit Wobblings, and marvellous Flarings and gaseous Eruptions on the surface of the Sun. Floods, Tsunamis, Hurricanes, Volcanoes, and destructive meteorite Bombardments will follow close behind.
The idea that Employees of the Federal Government should be hired on the basis of Merit is an affront to accepted Practice, and radical beyond Belief. What has happened to the Wisdom of the Ancients that has decreed that federal Scientists be left-handed in proportion to the Population, that Engineers be bald, blond, dark, or grey-headed according to the appropriate Bell Curve? What of the Truths that we have imbibed with our Mothers’ Milk–that federal Secretaries represent blue, brown, green and grey Eyes in those precise proportions which the Census records of the general Population?
|Merit indeed! Why, next there will be a Hue and a Cry for the
supplanting of Folly with Wisdom, and Ignorance with Perception! Mark
this: this apostatic and unconscionable Measure will call down the Wrath
of the Ancients. Their Spirits will be disturbed and roused from their Elysian slumbers;
they will rain Terror, Fire, and Destruction on the land; there will be
no Peace, no Respite, and no Hope. The Destruction of the Conservative
party, and indeed, the Nation itself, are assured.
(The only Glimmer we can foresee–before the final Dark–is a temporary rise in the shares of P.E.I. Potatosack Cloth Incorporated, and The Great Gatsby Ashpit Ltd., both listed on the Venture Exchange.)
(See also Limerick Lane.)
|July 22, 2010.
After expounding our new Stock Market Philosophy yesterday-- that it is prudent to sell after a large rise in price-- we are somewhat alarmed to see NCG recovering Today to near our sale Price. Perhaps one can conclude, with some Assurance, that the Future is never predictable.
|We have entered our musings on the Universal Health Care System into the Drivel Section.|
|July 21, 2010
On Tuesday, we considered the miserable State of our Accounts, and became aware of a sudden rise in NCG (North Country Gold)–from 26 to approximately 37 cents. We should here confess that our Approach to the Stock Market has always been singularly unimaginative. We fancy that a vast Fortune can be made by buying Shares in Companies with great Potential, and holding them through Thick and through Thin, through Euphoria and Despair, though Sickness and in Health–until the vast Fortune is realized, or, as is the usual Circumstance, the Stock goes to Zero.
For example, although we have been forced to sell Holdings in San Gold on a Number of Occasions, we have seldom done so of our own Volition.
We may be foolish, but we are not stupid. We have always been aware that, on the Publication of Good News, the Stock rises, and then falls back, unless the Good News has been much anticipated, in which case the Stock falls immediately. In either Circumstance, the Stock always FALLS, as short Term Traders, morally deficient petty Money-Grabbers as they are, sell and move on to greener Pastures.
Astute long term Holders may profit by joining the Money-Grabbers in Selling, and then re-purchasing at lower Levels, thereby reducing their moral Stature, but increasing their Profits. We have never deigned to play this little Game, too fearful that we should miscalculate, too enamoured of the overriding Narrative: this Stock will make us rich.
|A perfect recent example is DNG, which, on recent good news, rose
to 38 cents. We did not sell. It is now 29 cents.
In the case of NCG–a spin-off from Committee Bay Resources purchased at lofty Elevations many years ago, we have decided alter our Philosophy. A 40% rise in one Day is an exceptional Circumstance. Even though we envision the huge Potential of their largely unexplored Greenstone Belt in Nunavut, we sold approximately one half of our 100,000 shares at about 35 cents.
Thus far, our decision appears to be correct: The Stock has now declined to 32 cents.
With the proceeds, we purchased 5000 San Gold, down in the Doldrums at $3.76. The TSX Listing was applied for near the End of April. Surely the Listing is nigh. With the Listing comes marginability, and the Opportunity, perhaps, to re-purchase NCG at much lower Levels. We also have an Eye on DNG.
|July 20, 2010.
Intrigued by the neologism “refudiate” from the Lips of Sarah Palin-- and we are pleased to see her make her first Appearance on Limerick Lane.
Last Evening to Longevity Racquets Club where a match between Craft and Speed ended in a 3-1 Victory for Speed. Craft is not unduly disheartened; although he admits that Speed has, in the Main surpassed him, no matter the Reality of his Circumstance, it is the Propensity of Man to cling to a comforting Illusion–the Possibility, however unlikely–of a future Victory.
Another intriguing Snippet of News concerns the Papers of Franz Kafka, which have finally been opened in a Swiss Bank after a decision by Israel’s supreme Court.
|The papers were originally entrusted to Kafka’s biographer, Max
Brod, with instructions to destroy them. Brod did not, and published
The Trial and The Castle, two of Kafka’s best known Works.
The remaining Papers were left to Brod’s Secretary, Esther Hoffe, who
sold some of them, and then, when she died two years ago, left the rest
to her Daughters.
The Will was disputed by the Israeli National Library on the Grounds that the Papers represented Jewish Heritage, while the Daughters rejected what they saw as State Invasion of private Property Rights.
While we confess to having much Curiosity about the Papers of one who is so important as to have caused the term “Kafkaesque” to become part of the English Language, and must see the Decision of the Court as a Good Thing, we do also wonder what Principles might be established for a State to control Private Property.
|July 18, 2010
Up betimes and to a Consideration of the National Post Editorial of last Saturday: God and the Charter. We have observed that National Post Editorials, on occasion, lapse into bad, thinly disguised Christian Sermons. These pieces are significantly at Variance with the general skeptical Thrust of the Paper. They are particularly annoying to Atheists, among whose Number we count Ourselves.
|We have placed our Comments in the Drivel Section; we regret to observe, that when it comes to the Matter of Religion, we tend to be repetitive, whiney, and boring. Our life would be considerably enhanced were the National Post to dismiss its resident Clergyman, and send him off to the distant Backwater from which he undoubtedly emerged, having a small Stipend of significant Insufficiency, that he must spend his Days in Penury, and may come to a more true Understanding of the Nature of Existence.|
|July 17, 2010
Much intrigued on Friday to see Jonathan Kay, in the National Post, support the Promoters of Man-made Climate Change. He refers to a new Article published in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences which concludes that those Men of Science skeptical of the Theory represent only 2% of the leading Fifty as ranked by Expertise–the Expertise being determined by Number of Publications.
Mr. Kay’s lengthy article concludes by describing Skeptics as “cranks and conspiracists.”
It is a commonly observed Aspect of Human Nature, that once we have, with Deliberation, arrived at an Opinion with Respect to a Matter of Controversy, we are not entirely pleased with the Presentation of contrary Evidence. Indeed, the Amount of Evidence needed to reverse a committed Opinion exceeds by tenfold that on which the Opinion was originally based.
Our first Response, therefore, was to remain skeptical. We have noted ad Nauseam that the Popularity of an Opinion is entirely divorced from its Validity. (See Observations 55 and 30.) At one time a vast Majority of People believed that the Sun moved around the Earth, and a Majority of Doctors believed that Ulcers were caused by Stress. It is a failing of Human Nature to prefer the Comfort of a popular Error to an awkward Singularity based upon contrary Facts.
|It was with great Interest, therefore, that we read an Article by
Terence Corcoran in today’s Paper. Mr. Corcoran shows that the
“researchers and scholars” responsible for the Article in Question, are
in fact three “Activists” and one Scholar. The Scholar, Stephen
Schneider, is quoted as saying:
We’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make very little mention of any doubts we might have.
We will leave the Reader to make his own Assessment of the Credibility of Professor Schneider–and the column by Mr. Kay based on an Article in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.
We appear to be in the Realm of Drama, not Science.
|July 15, 2010.
A Canadian Proposal
We are so seldom struck with novel Ideas, that we hope we may be excused, when, reeling from the unexpected Impact, we record them in this Location.
We have lately been considering the Rôle of Human Rights Commissions in their noble Efforts to effect Equality, soothe the Unhappy, and eradicate Tensions in Canadian Society. We have concluded that there is at least one serious Omission in their Schemes to bring about Sweetness and Light; namely, that they view such Emotions as Anger, Hatred, and Contempt as eradicable, rather than intrinsic threads in the emotional Constitution of Human Beings.
There are few who would publicly admit it, but privately an honest Man–if such could be found–would confess that there are few Emotions more satisfying than unbridled, unmitigated, unconsidered, hatred and contempt. To view such powerful Emotions as unnecessary would seem to be naive; to reduce the acceptable Targets would seem laudable; to provide acceptable targets which are minimally destructive would seem advisable.
Insufficient credit, we think, is given to George Orwell’s Insight into this Matter. In his portrayal of the oppressive Regime in Oceania in 1984, Orwell describes the “Two Minute Hate” in which the Populace is encouraged to vent its Rage at the Traitor, Goldstein. During this intense Exercise, the Citizens are able to Direct their Anger, Hatred, and Contempt–largely fueled by their miserable Lives under the Regime–at an Image on a Television Screen.
|While it is true that we have already the Cockroach, the Blackfly,
and the Mosquito, these targets lack an essential Human Element which,
we think, is necessary for a satisfying Expression of Hatred.
We suggest it would be prudent for the Human Rights Commissions to establish certain Images and Identities as legitimate Targets for Hatred. Mr. Moneybags Landlord, Mr. Anti-Multiculturalist Bigot, and Mr. Elitist would all seem to have potential for such rôles. Our own preference–the niquab-wearer and the masked vandal–would, we suspect, be considered inappropriate, and insufficiently reflective of Canadian inclusionary Values. Public Broadcasts of the Targets could be made over the CBC television Network--similar to those described by Orwell. We would only suggest that the two Minutes be extended to at least Ten, because of the considerable accumulated Bulk of fractious Emotions to be dissipated.
In order to manage more effectively these powerful Human Emotions, we
would expect increasing Pressure to be placed on those whose Thoughts
and Values are deemed at variance with those of the Ideal Society. We
would recommend that the Human Rights Commissions be placed under a new
Department of Brotherly Love, and that suitable re-education Centres be
established throughout our fair Land.
|July 14, 2010
Pleased to see the Headline: France votes to ban burka in public, and conclude that the French, for all their reputed aire de snootie cannot be condemned as irredeemable. We note that the National Assembly vote was 335-1, with Socialists and Communists abstaining. While we do not need further Evidence of the Stupidité of Socialists and Communists, it is always gratifying to have one’s Opinion confirmed.
The article in the National Post contrasts the support for the ban in European Countries– Germany at 71%, Britain, 62%, Spain, 59%–with an approval rating of only 28% in the United States. Indeed, we have noted in Socialist Canada, that a number of Writers of Letters to the Editor on the Subject–and, indeed, Maclean’s Magazine–would oppose such a ban.
Our position has always been that the Masking of the Face, with some Exceptions for minor recreational Purpose, is to be deplored in a Society in which it is expected that People be accountable for their Actions. The recent Summit Protests in Toronto serve as an admirable Illustration of the Point: If it were illegal to hide one’s Identity during Protest Marches, the Masked Bandits could have been arrested before they destroyed Property, or, maskless, could have been photographed and revealed as they committed criminal Acts.
|We note also that those who support the wearing of Masks do so
only in the case of Females. They are remarkably silent on the Matter of
masked Males. Do we detect a Whiff of Gender Discrimination? Is this not
punishable by Human Rights Commissions? Égad! Scandale!
It may be objected that there is, in our Society, a minor Tradition of masked Benefactors: Superman, Batman, and the Lone Ranger. We have heard that the Medicine Man or Shaman dons a Mask for his Ministrations. But examined more closely, this Masking is less than complete: we know it is Clark Kent who repairs to the ubiquitous Telephone Booth, and Bruce Wayne who emerges from the Batcave. The identity of the Lone Ranger–John Reid–is less well known; but we must assume that the Shaman, apart from working Hours, is well-known in his Community.
We have yet to see the Headline: Niquab Nellie Foils Bank Robbery at Sherman and Main.
|July 11, 2010.
Returned from Wind-in-the Pines. The new laptop Computer is indeed able to function admirably using a “Rocket Stick” in that rural Location. However, Technology is not always easy. The new Machine is equipped with Windows 7; the Lumpenbangen Website is created using Microsoft Front Page 2003. Although we have copied the necessary Files from our old computer to the new one, there is a stubborn refusal to make changes to the Website.
|We are woefully ignorant of the Demands of the Computer Gods; we know not what sacrifices they require in terms of Expertise, arcane Knowledge, Blood, Sweat, and Tears. In the end, we think we may simply install Windows XP on the new Computer, and pray for Compatibility.|
| July 8, 2010.
In today’s National Post, Scott Brison defends the apparent Liberal “soft” Position with respect to the Human Rights Issue in China. (See Limerick Lane for background.)
He says: “There is no doubt that Liberals and all Canadians want to see further advances in democracy, rule of law and human rights in China. We also want to build relations with the Chinese that serve our economic interests.....However, when politicians–and even editorialists–posture about China’s record, the lectures do nothing but harm Canadian interests, while at the same time doing nothing to advance human rights in China.”
The argument reminds us about the debate in Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, ((1516) in which Raphael Hythloday (“peddler of nonsense”) argues that a Philosopher should never become an advisor to a King and be part of his court, since any attempt to divert Folly with Wisdom would never be accepted. Further, the wise man would almost certainly be corrupted by the Practices which he sought to amend. More argues the opposite: that while a corrupt System cannot be suddenly overturned, with Time and Compromise, it can be altered for the better.
|We would not presume to make a judgement on these opposing views.
Our temperament leads us to advocate a Maintaining of Principles; our
common Sense leads us to accept that Compromise is sometimes the
We have no doubt that a comfortable Life may be lived in a repressive and dictatorial Regime, whether it be that of Hitler, Saddam Hussein, or China. It is simply a Matter of agreeing with the “Us” in Power, rather than the “Them” who are oppressed. The Amelioration of Democracy is that the “Us” is occasionally subject to Rejection by the Electorate, and some Diminution of Folly may be achieved.
Our Fear is that the “soft” Position advocated by Mr. Brison–in order to achieve economic Advantage–is seen as tacit Approval–a Connivance of the Unprincipled–and the “further advances” remain forever postponed. Inertia is a powerful Force which is undeterred by pious Hopes.
We note that Sir Thomas More, at one time an advisor to the King, was beheaded in 1535–on a matter of principle. He refused to accept King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England.
|July 6, 2010.
Most pleased to see Michael Ignatieff make a return (double) Appearance on Limerick Lane. We rather wish that the Liberals would chose a new Leader with a name for which Rhymes were more readily available. We have already, on an earlier occasion, struggled with “Michael” –and must now resort to omitting the Name entirely from our Verse.
|Allan Rock also made a double appearance on July 4; he is to be commended for his significant advantage in rhymability.|
| July 5, 2010
Up betimes and to the Toronto megalopolis to view the last day of an Exhibition of Art by the pastelist, Dave Beckett.
Over the past several years it has been out Interest to purchase original Paintings to relieve the Monotony of white Walls at Wind-in-the-Pines. The decision to purchase of Originals rather than Prints lies in a Conceit that, in addition to their decorative Value, the Paintings might appreciate in Time.
It has been our observation that the Price of an Antique, a Collectible, or a Work of Art is influenced not merely by intrinsic Qualities of Design, Appearance, or Workmanship, but the “Story” which may legitimately be ascribed to the Item. Thus the Chair belonging to an historical Personage, the Sweater Worn by a Hockey Legend, or the Pen used by the President to sign a Treaty – all derive their Price from the story attached to the Object, rather than the Object itself.
It is instructive to realize that Price itself may become part of the Story: If a Work of Art should sell for a great Price, a Price astoundingly high, then that fact becomes part of the Story and helps to ensure even greater Prices in the future.
|In the End, it is almost impossible to distinguish between great
Art and a great Story. Should an Artist produce only one Work –though it
be of astounding Quality-- it will likely never be recognized, divorced
as it is from Context, from the continuing story of his other Work. For
Artists, Reputation is more important than Skill. We suspect that had
Van Gogh not cut off his Ear, his Paintings would sell for a lesser
Price. Death adds to the story–and the Price--in a predictable Manner;
if the death be scandalous, or bizarre, it adds to the frisson of the
Work; at any event it introduces the element of Scarcity.
It is for these Reasons that the most common Advice is to buy only what one likes. To buy Art for Appreciation is to wager on Intangibles, the vagaries of Opinion, and the likelihood of a Mortality which precedes one’s own.
|July 3, 2010.
Heavy is the Burden of one who learned and taught English Grammar. The Brain is forever altered, and with the addition of a certain Inflexibility, and a Propensity for curmudgeonly Rantings, the Possibility of a calm and tranquil Existence is remote.
|On this day, In the National Post, page A21, we discovered no fewer than three Errors. Two of them were in the Editorial. The other was perpetrated by the esteemed Rex Murphy. This distressing Circumstance necessitated extensive Additions to the Grammar and Usage Page, brought us very close to a complete Breakdown of the nervous System, and resulted in the Imbibing of two Glasses of Wine with Dinner.|
| July 2, 2010
An Item of News in today’s National Post refers to a Government Report which states: “Islamist extremists are radicalizing and recruiting Somali-Canadian youths within Canada to travel to Somalia for jihad training.” An internet Video shows one of the Recruits saying “Come join us and defend the religion of Allah.” Omar Hammami, a commander in the Al-Shabab, the militant recruiting Group linked to Al-Quaeda, is quoted as singing:
Gonna knock America down to her knees
You want to promote your religion: democracy.
Along with your cross, temples, and priests.
Our response is martyrdom or victory.
|Can there be any more clear indication of the virulent Danger of
Religion, which can manufacture unassailable Certainty out of the thin
Air? It is well known that Youth, being unpracticed in the World is
easily led, and open to all manner of idealistic Notion. We well
remember encounters with young Jehovah’s Witnesses who would presume to
tell us–many years their senior–the Truth–but that Truth based only on
what they had been taught by Those drawing only from their own Wells of
Ignorance and Superstition.
Religion should be banned for the Young, and allowed only for those of mature years who need a comforting Illusion–a Walking Stick for the arthritic and failing Mind.
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