Dr. Dreimer's Diary, January - June, 2013


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Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. (Oscar Wilde, 1854 -- 1900)

The idea for Dr. Dreimer’s diary came from the excerpts from the diary of Samuel Pepys published daily in the National Post. We thought it would be interesting to write a modern diary using the more formal language of an earlier era – in this case we have attempted an approximation of 18th Century expression. What is perhaps most evident is the capitalisation of nouns, which gives an emphasis, and suggests a cadence entirely missing from current written expression. The language is more cumbersome and formal, and tends to favour the use of parallel structure for rhetorical emphasis.

Style is inseparable from attitude and tone. Dr. Dreimer observes mankind as if from a great height, or from another, more sensible century.



 His judgements are often unflattering, and his scorn and disdain palpable. They may be expressed directly, but are often revealed through an ironic approval of some mindless folly. He may appear to some as a pompous windbag; to others as a curmudgeonly but correct observer.

As it has turned out, the diary is not a conventional diary at all. Apart from the occasional references to the mythical Aunt Myalgia, languishing in the Shady Hollow Psychiatric Facility in downtown Toronto, or to the Lumpenbangen Studios in the inner reaches of Hamilton, or to the Haven of Wind-in-the-Pines at Silver Lake, we gain little insight into the trivia of Dr. Dreimer’s own life.

The diary is, in fact, a commentary on events in the news.




June 30, 2013

Worship of the theoretical.

Who is not enamoured of the Ideal, a Twinkling in the Darkness, like the distant green Light at the End of Daisy’s Dock?

But how much is sacrificed in the Pursuit of the Ideal – what real Goods must be thrown into the insatiable Maw of Perfection – before it is seen as a false Promise, a Trick of Perception, a Will- o’-the-Wisp whose "margin fades ever and ever" as we move?

This Thought – a familiar one in our Cogitations – is prompted by two Elements in the News.

First, we must refer to Mr. Levant’s eloquent Account of the Death of some of the Hate Speech Provisions in Canadian Human Rights Act:

The law was a combination of utopian strategy and fascist tactics, as many attempts to re-engineer human beings are. It regulated human emotions. Section 13 made it illegal to publish anything on the Internet "likely to expose a person … to hatred or contempt."

But hatred and contempt are natural human feelings. You can no more ban hate than you can ban love; if it were possible, we would have passed the Love Each Other Act long ago. It’s not possible. And it’s not desirable. (Sun News, June 30, 2013)

The idealistic Attempt to ban Hate has resulted in much Injustice, as Complainants, subject to no Penalty for frivolous Suits, aided by Government Money, sought to establish the Notion that none should ever be offended. Defendants had to pay for their own Defence, and received no Compensation for false Accusation.

Laws forbidding Hatred are akin to those against Blasphemy. They become convenient Tools for those seeking to advance their own Circumstance; the real Good of Free Speech is sacrificed to Unreason, Cruelty, and Caprice, as it is forced into the Procrustean Bed of a perverse and unachievable Ideal.

Second there is much in Current News about the Troubles in Egypt. The Leader, Mr. Morsi represents the theocratic Approach to Government: in particular that Approach which holds that Society is best governed according to Ideas about God dating back to the Sixth Century, Ideas held by a Man called Mohammad.

Although Mr. Morsi was elected by a slim Majority, many in Egypt are not enamoured of theocratic Rule, and it is claimed twenty-two Millions have signed a Petition calling for him to step down.

On the other Hand, Morsi’s Supporters cry "It is for God, not position or power." (National Post, June 29)

The two Groups may clash Today, on the first Anniversary of Mr. Morsi’s Inauguration.

We see the Ascendancy of Religion in Matters of Governance as the Triumph of Ideals over Common Sense. Religion holds out the Green Light of an Afterlife, twinkling in the Distance.

But it demands the Sacrifice, in considerable Measure, of human Concerns, human Comfort, and earthly human Aspiration.

Those Societies which have sacrificed Humanity to the Whims of God -- it seems to us -- have made little Progress in the Amelioration of Human Existence. Those Societies which have made Religion secondary, have given License to human Freedom, and to Inquiry into the Nature of Reality. From these have come the Tolerance and Scientific Advances which have made human Life more comfortable.

The Worship of the Theoretical is best kept in the Realm of Fantasy; Fantasy is best strictly circumscribed in Time and Place.

The Advancement of human Society will come from an Understanding of what is, and of what is possible, rather than from grand Imaginings, and the mindless Pursuit of a nebulous Ideal.


June 28, 2013

Yesterday, we suggested that we might consider, today, the Role of Mr. McGuinty in the current Schizophrenia of Police Forces in Ontario.

However, on this rather gloomy Day at Wind-in-the-Pines, we find the Topick of Mr. McGuinty unlikely to lighten our Mood. We will keep our Commentary brief.

We would note that Mr. McGuinty is increasingly criticized in the Media for his startling Mismanagement of the Province, and for his unrepentant Testimony into the Matter of the Cancellations of Gas Plants for political Gain. We ourselves find it amusing that Mr. McGuinty, whose partisan Motives caused the scandalous Cancellations, is now accusing the investigating Committee of seeing Matters through a "partisan lens."

We wonder why, at the Time of Mr. McGuinty’s subverting of the legal System in Caledonia – where it is obvious that the Police were instructed to give the Native Protestors free Reign, while applying the Law to other Citizens, that more Outrage and Outcry were not heard.

Ms. Blatchford wrote a Book, but it seemed that more Criticism was levelled at her for refusing to accept Native Illegality, than at Mr. McGuinty for abandoning all Principle. Mr. McGuinty, it appears, was attacked by the frightening, politically threatening Pathogen -- Dudleygoergeism, and, with his typical Stubbornness and steely Resolve in the Face of Adversity, gave in immediately.


The Effects of this insidious Disease, which has been allowed to spread unchecked, are seen today throughout the Province. When confronted with an illegal Protest, the Police see as their first Duty, the Protection of the Protestors.

We feel we need not elaborate on this Matter further. Our comments at the Time of Mr. McGuinty’s Resignation were as follows:

Mr. McGuinty can only be characterized as a pitiful Pit of Pusillanimity, growing deep in a Morass of Moral Vacuity. It is not surprising that his Record is Monument to monstrous Mismanagement, liberally marked by an Aggregation of abject Appeasements. (Diary, October 16, 2012)

We are not sure that we can improve upon this Conclusion.


P.S. Those interested in Speculation as to the Root Cause of the McGuinty Psycho-Spinectomy might be interested in A Tale from the Root Cause Fairy, Drivel, January 11, 2012)

(P.S. Laurel Broten has been seen on Limerick Lane. Her corporate Meddling Bags appear to be packed as she heads for the Boonies.)

June 27, 2013

We are pleased to see that the Police have finally removed the Protestors at Westover, near Hamilton.

The Protestors had illegally occupied Land owned by the Enbridge Company, on which a Pumping Station sits. They were not local Residents, but paid professional Protestors from afar. They are associated with Organizations which are opposed to Oil which comes from Alberta, preferring, instead, the Oil which comes from the Middle East.

It is a widely held Concept that Oil from Alberta, especially from the Oilsands, is produced by the Devil. And it is the Devil himself who is attempting to destroy Mankind with Blasts of his hellish Breath; indeed, he is perceived to very near to his Goal, despite the Fact that there has been no Warming, on a Global Basis, for sixteen Years.

Enbridge is in the Process of reversing a Pipeline so that Alberta Oil can be brought to Ontario, and so, in the View of those who believe in the Devil, is considered to be among his chief Bearers of Pitchforks.

We were amused to see, last Evening, a depiction of Ezra Levant attempting to interview an elderly Token Aboriginal at the Protest. The Token seemed to have little Concept of the Issues involved, and was urged by a female Protestor to say Nothing. He deferred to the young Female, refusing to say more; no doubt he was considering which Side of his Toast was well-buttered, and which dry, and burnt at the Edges.

We expect that such Charades will hardly diminish.

Such is the Climate of our Times – we expect that the Absence of global Warming will lead to a desperately increasing Frequency of Fanfare and Protest among those who see Themselves as on the Side of the Angels. As we have noted before, those who consider Themselves on the Side of the Angels do often give Themselves Permission to trade in Brimstone, light Fires, and twirl the Ends of oversized Moustaches.

In these Matters, of course, they will be aided by the Police, for the Police are undergoing a Crisis of Identity, and there are no Alienists, Phrenologists, or Wizards with the Skill to return them to their former Health.

In this Instance, the Police did not act immediately to end an illegal Occupation of Land. For a Protest is seen to have an inherent and irrefutable Legitimacy, a Quality inseparable from its very Existence: anyone who appears to be upset must be on the side of the Angels.

Thus is set up a Battle between the inherent Legitimacy of Protest, and that of the Law. In this Instance, Enbridge could not simply rely on the Law of the Land – as would a Homeowner seeking to remove a tenting Vagrant from his front Lawn. Indeed, we saw a Depiction of a Police Officer seeking to protect the Protestors, and warn away and intimidate Reporters who might ask Questions which might embarrass or upset those on the Side of the Angels.


Indeed, Enbridge had to obtain an Injunction – an extra legal Stick to motivate the Police in their Dilemma.

Faced with the extra Legal Stick, the immediate Police Response was to rely on the First Strategic Weapon in their considerable Arsenal: the Diplomatic Dither. Immediately, with breath-taking Despatch and startling Resolve, it was decided that it might be appropriate to send in a Negotiator.

And so, a Negotiator was duly sent. We have little Doubt that Negotiations would be continuing even now -- and be entertained for an indefinite Period – but for an untimely, unforseen Element which completely disrupted Police Procedures: a Letter was sent to Hamilton Police by Gary McHale. Mr. Mchale, you may remember was prominent in fighting against Police Dereliction of Duty in Caledonia.

The letter reads thus: 

Starting next week we will, without notice, appear at the illegal occupation in order to video tape criminal behaviour, which includes mischief, and then file private prosecution charges against the protesters. Apparently these protesters believe they can block people from videotaping them – this, of course, is mischief as ruled by the courts.

If your officers attempt to interfere in the gathering of evidence they too could be arrested and prosecuted on a charge of obstructing justice. Police cannot aid in criminal behaviour and they cannot interfere with the justice system.

At the bare minimum it is our goal to expose any police force that allows a two tier justice system to be institutionalized. Your department has forced a company to get an injunction solely because you decided not to enforce the law. (www.VoiceofCanada.ca)

Hours later, those on the Side of the Angels were taken to a Better Place.

We would continue with some Explanation of the Root Cause of some of these Matters – the Ascendancy of Folly, the Abdication of Responsibilities, and the Schizophrenia of the Police -- but that would lead us into a Discussion of the Character of Mr. McGuinty, and some unfavourable Comparisons between the Spina Vermis, and the Spina McGuintiis.

We will leave such Matters for another Day.



June 25, 2013

We feel ourselves most fortunate to live in a World of many special People.

We are reminded of our fortunate Circumstance by the News that Guy Earle, a Comedian, must pay Fifteen Thousand Dollars to a Lady he insulted during a verbal Altercation at a Comedy Club. (National Post, June 24, 2013)

The Lady, Lorna Pardy is a Lesbian, and was able to claim "lasting physical and psychological effect" from Mr. Earle’s Remarks.

We recall the Case of Marise Myrand, who, because of a Condition of Obesity and Ill-Health, was able to claim the Reward of a Parking Space belonging to another Owner at her Condominium Building.

Native Protesters and Occupiers are also special People who are able to block Trains or live in Parks for Months at a Time. Indeed – we were heartened last Evening to see that some Individuals mounting an illegal Protest against a Reversal of an Existing Pipeline, were protected by the Police, who were anxious to deter Reporters from asking Questions and causing a Fuss.

It is well-known, of course, that certain special People are given Preference in Hiring by Governments, because of their Gender, or Race, or Disability.

Recently we have noted that special People may be allowed to wear the Niqab when giving Testimony in Court, or to wear religious Symbols on the Soccer Field.



The Toronto Police Force is reportedly seeking special People as Officers who will wear the Hijab.

Indeed, our only Complaint is that there are too few special People.

Why cannot those ridiculed for big Noses or elephantine Ears, or thick Glasses be able to claim Compensation for lasting psychological Damage?

And what of those of nerdish or similar unprepossessing Demeanour – should they not be given a balancing Reward for their bad Luck in the Lottery of Swashbuckling Airs?

Why should not middle-aged white Males rise up against their Oppression in the Workplace, and demand the special Treatment accorded to Others?

Each of us is a Victim in some Way, and in some Way should receive Compensation in Terms of Money or Privilege. It should be the main Task of every Citizen to find his special Classification of Victimhood, and exploit it to the fullest.

Only when we are all special People will Nirvana have been achieved.


June 23, 2013


When is a politician not a politician?

We have been reluctant to expose our Commentary to the general Publick; we are acutely aware that our Means of Expression, deriving from the Style of the Eighteenth Century, is like to provoke a Puzzlement among those accustomed to constraining their Thoughts into a crabbed Space of One hundred and forty Characters. Indeed, we can scarce be assured the main Gist of our Thought is transmitted, and some of the Subtleties – which do oft creep in without Fanfare –must certainly be missed or misapprehended.

Yet having done so a second Time -- with our Remarks on Mr. Trudeau’s speaking Career (Diary, June 20) attracting little Scorn or Derision – we published Yesterday our Piece Mr. Trudeau’s Hat Tricks (Diary, June 22 ) on an online Comment Page at the National Post.

We were intrigued to find a Writer argue that Mr. Trudeau’s Speech, given while he was Liberal Youth Critic, at a Venue where other political Parties also had Representation, on a Topick related to his Post as Critic, was yet not political. In this Writer’s View, Mr. Trudeau was quite justified to claim his Dual Personality. Mr. Trudeau was speaking, not as a Politician, but as a Professional Speaker. His Speech was not partisan, but composed of humdrum Generalities oft repeated in the Past. He was hired through a speaking Agency, not through his parliamentary Office.*

We have had occasion to reflect on this View, and have asked the Question:

When can a politician cease to speak in a Manner which is designed to enhance his political Stature?

Two answers came to Mind: (a) almost never, and (b) when he is dead.

The best Argument which we can devise for the Schizophrenia which Mr. Trudeau so obviously desires is this:


Mr. Trudeau over the Years, managed to acquired an Expertise in Washing Machine Repair. He derives a modest Income from lecturing aspiring Technicians at the Churn and Flail Appliance Centre every second Monday.

Under this Circumstance, we might allow for a Separation of the Parliamentary and the Professional Speaker Hats.

The next best Circumstance might be a series of Lectures to the general Publick on the Philosophy of Spinoza. But even here, we do not think we can separate the political from the professional. For would Mr. Trudeau not be seen to be impressing his Audience with the Breadth and Scope of his Knowledge, and with the Originality of his Insights into the Philosophy of Spinoza, with the Aim of enhancing his Reputation for Intellect and Perspicacity, and hence the electoral Prospects for himself and his Party?

We think so.

Finally we must consider the Context of the Professional Speaking Engagements. If the Speeches are given to those who might seek to benefit from a Relationship with the Parliamentarian, can the Argument for Schizophrenia be maintained? If the Education Critic speaks to the School Board, can he really claim to be wearing only his Professional Speaker Hat?

And if the Speech on Washing Machine Repair is given at a Union Conference where other Politicians are also speaking, can a non-political Motivation be confidently claimed? Perhaps an inspired Insight into Washing Machine Repair can outdo the conventional Mumblings of political Platitude.

No. We find the Claim of Separation of Parliamentary and Professional Speaker Hats to be conveniently self-serving.


*Actually, we have been given to understand that those who approach his parliamentary Office, seeking Mr. Trudeau as a Speaker, are directed to his Speaking Agency.



June 22, 2013

Mr. Trudeau's Hat Tricks

We admit to an undulation of Emotion in the past Week.

First, we rolled up the steep Slope of nervous Dismay, as we considered that Mr. Trudeau had possibly exhibited a Deficiency in political Judgement in spending Time away from the House, and charging large Fees for Speaking Engagements – all the while drawing a more than comfortable Salary as a Member of Parliament.

Then, we coasted down the gentle Decline of Relief, as all was explained.

Mr. Trudeau, it appears, has two Hats, the Member of Parliament Hat, and the Professional Speaker Hat.

Upon his own Word, Mr. Trudeau never charged a Cent for speaking while a Member of Parliament. It appears that he exercised the most admirable Caution, calculated the nicest of niceties, severed the thinnest Hair of Discrimination, and always removed his Parliamentary Hat before donning his Professional Speaker Hat. Once a Speech had concluded, of course, he reverted to the Parliamentary Hat.

Thus the two Occupations were never in Conflict. There could be no Question of appearing as a grasping Member of Parliament, squeezing Droplets of precious Blood from unsophisticated and already anaemic Charities. There could be no Grounds of Unease over a Member of Parliament collecting Fees from the politically motivated, who might be seeking to ingratiate Themselves for possible future Benefit.


Alas, our Relief has been short-lived.

In this Day’s Post, Mr. Ivison has drawn our Attention to an occasion in 2010, when Mr. Trudeau spoke to a Union Conference, along with Speakers from the Conservative and New Democratic Parties. Mr. Trudeau was described as a Member of Parliament, and was Liberal Critic for Youth. Mr. Trudeau was paid Twenty Thousand Dollars, while the other Speakers received warm Smiles, friendly Eye-contact, and gracious Thanks.

Mr. Trudeau’s Speech did not concern Quantum Mechanics, or the Philosophy of Spinoza,– nor did he enlighten his Audience about the Intricacies of Felt-making and Millinery. No. His Speech, according to Mr. Ivison, concerned " the importance of empowering young people in effecting economic change."

Now we are in a Dither.

Which Hat was Mr. Trudeau wearing at the Time? He was speaking on parliamentary Matters relating to his Post, while collecting a professional Fee.

We are in a Nervousness of anxious Anticipation, which only Mr. Trudeau can relieve. We suspect that, even now he is subjecting is Hat Rack to unprecedented Scrutiny.

Perhaps he will discover a Confused Hat, which will explain a great Deal about the Things which have been bothering us of late.



June 20, 2013


We have observed, with wide Eyes and Mouth Agape, Mr. Trudeau’s rocket-like Ascent. We have been well-advised not to hold our Breath for the Fizzle – of either the Bang or Whimper Variety – which we see as inevitable, but which has been so far avoided.

But now, there is much in the News about Mr. Trudeau’s Speechifying, the Objections thereto, his sudden Repentance, and the Attempts to find a Villain in the Government.

We find the Matter of paid Speaking Engagements by Members of Parliament as somewhat troubling. First, such Speeches would seem most likely to be simply a Part of the Job. The Payment of large Sums for Speeches from a Member of Parliament calls into Question the Motives on both Sides.

Those who pay for Speeches may simply be making a monetary Calculation. Mr. Trudeau may have very little to say, but this may be irrelevant if his Presence attracts a Crowd which enables the Raising of Funds for Charity. They are not paying for the Platitudes, but the Presence, which is deemed to be of a wondrously magical Quality.

If, as in the case of the Grace Foundation, their Gamble is unsuccessful, they have only themselves to blame. It seems churlish for them to ask for their Money back.

Others who pay for Speeches may be making a political Calculation. They may, in fact, be skirting the Rules for a Kind of political Donation; they hope, perhaps, to gain some Measure of Favour at some Time in the Future.

For Mr. Trudeau, the monetary and political Elements both come into play. There are three Matters to be considered.


First, is the general Question. His engaging in "extra-curricular" highly paid Work may be seen as simply a shrewd Capitalising on Opportunities presented. But Politics is at play – for at some Point – a Point undefined – Electors might question his Dedication to their Interests. When it is shown that parliamentary Duties have been neglected in order to make large Sums in Addition to the regular Salary, then both Mr. Trudeau’s Judgement and Dedication to the Interests of Electors must be called into Question.

Then we must consider the specific Decision to speak to Charities, and charge them considerable Fees. Once again, the financial Balance Sheet may register a profitable black, but the political Tachometer display an alarming Red. While we have little Sympathy for Charities whose Gamble goes wrong, it appears unseemly and grasping to take unusually Large Amounts from Organizations whose Motivation is not to profit, but to dispense Funds to those in Need.

It was for political Reasons, of Course, that Mr. Trudeau has, apparently, acceded to the Request of the Grace Foundation for a Refunding of his Fee. That is why he has admitted no Wrong-Doing. In a legal Sense, that is correct. The Error was political, and reflects on Mr. Trudeau’s political Judgement.

Finally, there is the Decision to speak to those who might possibly be seeking political Advantage. Even if the Motives of such Organizations are of a Purity unspotted and undefiled, the Suspicion must arise, and the Decision to speak for a large Fee must be seen as fraught with political Consequence.

We must conclude with the Role of the Media in this political Drama. In general – we except Sun News – it would appear that the Media have decided that Mr. Trudeau is to be protected at all Cost. Mr. Trudeau’s Deficiencies are seen to be made right with his Offer to reimburse disgruntled Charities. Much Opprobrium is levelled at the Government for calling Attention to his lack of Wisdom, and is seen as an Attempt to deflect Attention from Scandals in the Senate.

The ultimate Effect of the Brouhaha is uncertain.

We happen to hold the unpopular View that Leopards, through thick and thin, retain their Spots. Popular Scrubbing and Media Bleach notwithstanding – we still anticipate the Fizzle.



June 19, 2013

Tolerance. Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Speech.

How pleasant it is to find easy Answers -- simple Concepts to guide us through the social Labyrinth and the Mind’s Morass.

Alas, there are few easy Answers: most "easy Answers" invite more difficult Questions.*

Yesterday we threw some Doubt on the Wonders of Tolerance. There comes a Time when Tolerance is inappropriate. Intolerance of Bank Robbers, Queue-Jumpers, and those who misuse the Words "lie" and "lay" – seems-- to us-- to be worthy of Commendation. And, at some Point, Toleration of the Intolerant seems no different from Stupidity.

A bit earlier, (June 15) we found Fault with the Concept of Freedom of Religion – for we made the Distinction between the Freedom to worship the Deity of one’s Choice, and the Freedom to engage in religious Practice. The two Notions become confused – it appears that most People seem to think that they are identical. Indeed, it is common for those who worship a particular Deity to claim that Freedom of Religion requires that they be allowed to do whatever it is that their Deity commands.

If this were true, then one would have only to claim divine Sanction to be a Bank Robber, Queue-Jumper or incompetent Grammarian:

Yes, your Honour, I am bringing a loaded Machine Gun into the Courtroom: it is commanded by my Gods, Smith and Wesson.

Then what are we to make of the Claim, on the grounds of Religion, to wear the Niqab during Court Testimony, or the Turban when representing the Government as a Police Officer?

So too, with Freedom of Speech. We were surprised, the other Day to read this from John Adams (1735 - 1826):

When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.

At first this Remark seemed somewhat pessimistic. We would like to believe that Thinking is free, and Writing largely free. But a little Reflection suggests there will always be Constraints of Time and Place on the Expression of Thought.


In Yesterday’s Foray into online Comment, we recognize that our Support for the Banning of Turbans on Soccer Fields might be seen as a Restriction of Freedom of Speech.

And indeed it is. Our Defence is simply that Expression cannot be unfettered by Time, Place, and Custom.

We recall about a Year ago, a High School Student in Nova Scotia, William Swinimer was suspended for wearing a Shirt bearing the Words:

Life is Wasted without Jesus.

(See Diary, May 4, 5, 2012)

The School later relented, but we thought that this was in Error. While Mr. Swinimer might reasonably expect to wear his Shirt on the public Sidewalk, a High School Classroom is not the place for irrelevant Expressions of Piety. Nor would we approve of  Sentiments such as Life is Hard or Death is Inevitable.

Indeed, the Concept of Freedom can only be understood in Relation to its Contrary. One would not rise to declaim loudly on the Merits of Socialism during a Church Service, nor interrupt a Funeral with a Dissertation on Quantum Mechanics. Similarly, a High School Classroom requires a Speaking in Turn, and a certain Deference to the Demands of established Protocol. So do most Workplaces. The Introduction of Clothing with any sort of Expression, seems, in our View to present an inappropriate Distraction from the Tasks at Hand.

Thus, even as an Issue of Free Speech, we would reject the Idea of the Wearing of Turbans on Soccer Fields. It is acceptable Expression – but in the wrong Place at the Wrong Time. It is a Distraction from the Greater Purpose of the athletic Endeavour.

We would note that the first Words of the Writer who disagreed with our Posting Yesterday (See Diary, June 18) were:

Ah shutup.

This is someone who is in Favour of Freedom of religious Expression on the Soccer Field, but wishes to silence an opposing View.

Neither of us, then, approves of complete Freedom of Speech. What have to be decided are the Issues of appropriate Time, Place, and Custom.


*Observation # 240



June 18, 2013


We are not known for being adventurous; we normally confine our Remarks to these Pages, where only our Aunt Myalgia and some few of her fellow Inmates at the Shady Hollow Psychiatric Facility in downtown Toronto are known to be Readers.

However, this Day we did post an Online Comment at the National Post, relating to an Article on the Reversal of the Quebec Ban on Turbans on the Soccer Field. The Comment was an edited Version of our Diary Entry of June 15.

The Response in the Media to the Reversal of the Ban has been a universal Cheering – an Exultation that a discriminatory Expression of Quebec Secularism has been routed, and that the Benevolence of Sweetness and Light, the Benignity of Universal Tolerance has been – the Lord be praised – upheld. The Mother’s Milk of Multiculturalism is seen to flow, once again, unimpeded from the preposterous Pap of mindless Folly.

Our own View, of course, is that religious Symbolism has no Place on the Fields of athletic Endeavour.

We were intrigued to receive Two Replies to our Dissertation.

The first accused us of Phoniness, closeted Bigotry, and bad Writing. We suspect that the Writer would have accused us also of Pedantry, Omphaloskepsis, Pathetic Fallacy, and Cruelty to Armadillos, had he the Vocabulary needed for the Task.




We thought of a Number of crushing Replies, but decided that to respond might expose us to the Accusation of Cruelty to the Intellectually Vulnerable.

The Second afforded us much Relief since the Writer suggested that a Poll of Residents of Quebec showed that Eighty-One Percent were opposed to the Use of religious Symbolism in Sports. He also suggested that elsewhere in Canada, the "universal Approval" of the Ban Reversal was not as universal as many would have us believe.

Indeed, we suspect that this is the Case. The Impression of "universal Approval" is a Result of a Belief that Tolerance is a Good without Qualification,* and that it is seamlessly interwoven with the Canadian Character. As a Consequence, People are afraid to utter a Peep in Criticism of the Illusion. The Words Bigot, Racist, Prejudiced, or Discriminatory become Accusations against which no Defence can be mounted.

This, alas, is what Canada has become. It is a Nation fed upon impossible Illusions, caught paralyzed in the Strands of a stifling Web of Political Correctness.

*We are pleased to be fearless. We have two Observations concerning Tolerance:

Tolerance extended to intolerance looks very much like stupidity. (Observation #234)

Tolerance is like alcohol: in moderate amounts, it softens hard edges, and lubricates the machinery of social interaction; in excess, it leads to foolishness, incoherence, the annihilation of principle, and the destruction of the essential self. (Observation #101)



June 17, 2013

We have observed a repentant Justin Trudeau on Limerick Lane.


June 16, 2013

In which we construct a Straw Man, and blow gently upon him.

We wrote yesterday of our Opposition to the Wearing of Turbans on the Soccer Field, despite the apparent overwhelming Approval of kindly Canadians brought up on the Milk of tolerant Multiculturalism.

Our Objection is that Religion is entirely a Matter of Supposition, not based on Evidence or subject to any Type of Proof. It is a Matter of personal and private Belief which it is not appropriate to flaunt in the Field of athletic Endeavour. Why introduce the Divisions of religious Belief into a Contest between the Saskatoon Snakes and the Montreal Mongeese?

Our Fear is that Turbans are merely the thin Edge which will wedge into a Multiplicity of Expressions of religious Belief on the Soccer Field, the Basketball Court, or the Baseball Diamond.

Now let us construct our Man of Straw.

We note that, in Quebec, a Course of religious Instruction has been devised at the Level of Secondary School. As we understand it, the Course deals with many Religions, but dispassionately. There is no Attempt to show the Superiority of one Religion over Another. It even pretends to show "absolute respect for every religious position."

This, of course, is Nonsense -- first because religious Positions are not equally worthy of Respect -- and secondly because the Effect of treating all Religions dispassionately must inevitably suggest that none of them is uniquely compelling. Indeed, it must suggest that they are all equally unlikely or absurd – and worthy of little Respect indeed.

It is not surprising that there has been Opposition from Catholic Schools to this Course in Ethics and Religious Culture.

We admit to a certain guilty Glee when we learned of the Course, precisely because Exposure to many Religions is like to suggest that they are all equally invalid. We think the more Atheists or timid, hesitant Believers there are, the better the World will become.

Suppose, then, the Soccer Field becomes rife with religious Expression. Here we have a Turban, there we have a Yarmulke, a Faravahar, an Awen, a Cross, a written Symbol meaning ‘Allah,’ and a Likeness of Ron L. Hubbard.


Will not this Multiplicity of Symbol suggest the great Variety of religious Expression, and lead the Participants to realize that their own particular Commitments might be on less solid Ground than they had supposed?

Now let us exhale gently.

We suspect not – especially among the Young, especially in the Heat of Battle.

Where a sober Classroom Discussion of a Variety of Religions might lead to a certain Hesitancy regarding a personal Belief, we think that it is less likely on the Field of Athletic Struggle.

Instead, we think that religious Symbols would become a Magnet for the unthinking self-righteous Venom of youthful Believers. The lonely Faravahar, or Hubbardite will become the Target for the more numerous Turbans and Crosses The Battle itself, a modern Recalling of Tribal Instinct – with White Jerseys opposed to Red, the East versus the West, the Upper Town against the Lower -- will become muddied with Cross-Currents of religious Loyalty.

Our general Objection still remains: Religion, a Matter of unevidenced Superstition, should be kept out of the Field of athletic Endeavour on the Grounds of Irrelevancy. Our subsidiary Objection is that allowing religious Symbols onto Sports Fields will not lead to a hesitant Tolerance, but to a Targeting of Minority Elements.

P.S.: If Players are to express their religious Commitment on the Field, then how can Referees be denied the same Right? Now there’s a How-de-do! There’s a pretty Mess!

P.P.S.: A note on Secularism

We see Secularism as preferable to the Irrationality of Religion. But Secularism is not immune to idealistic Follies. Consider the current Attempt to protect Students from the Ignominy of Failure, or the Desire of Feminists not to cease the Fight until there are as many Women Chess Grandmasters as there are Men. The Irrationality is similar to that shown in Religion. The great Hope for Secularism is that, in the End, it will be guided by scientific Evidence. Eventually, it will be seen that Students protected from Failure are ill-equipped to deal with the real World; eventually, it will be accepted that there are Differences in the Brains of Men and Women which suggest Limitations on the influential Effects of Nurture over Nature. We can expect no such Modification in Religion, for it pretends to Dogma, to divine Revelation which is beyond the Constraints of Evidence.


June 15, 2013


The Matter of Turbans

Our Nirvana Antennae – which respond to quite small Movements in the Direction of Society towards Perfection – have been a-tingle.

We note that the Quebec Soccer Federation has reversed a Decision to ban the Wearing of Turbans by Soccer Players, much to general Acclaim of the Populace.  (Sun News, June 15)

Indeed, we see this as a significant Step towards the Nirvana which has so long eluded us.

We need only a few minor Modifications to achieve the long sought Goal – indeed, it is merely a Matter of allowing Slogans such as the Following on the Shirts or Headgear of Players:

Mike’s Auto
Manny’s Deli
Love you, Mom
Jihad forever!
I’m Gay!
Bob (Heart) Cathy

When such Messages are seen on Soccer Fields everywhere, we will rest in Peace, for we will know that the Freedom of mindlessly irrelevant Commentary on the Fields of athletic Endeavour has been achieved. The Decorum of Dedication will have been finally erased. The Ascendancy of the quick and injudicious Expression of the Twitterverse will have been achieved.

In Fact, of course, we suspect that such Slogans will not appear; nor, indeed would most sensible Citizens advocate for such Nonsense.

The Question then becomes, why is there almost universal Approval for the wearing of religious Symbols – or this particular religious Symbol -- on Soccer Fields?

We believe that there are two main Reasons.

The First relates to the Youth of the Players concerned. One of the recurring Themes of online Comments appears to be: Let the Kids play.

We must concur that it is unfortunate that the Youths affected are Victims of the Accident of Birth: they are burdened with the religious Circumstance of their Parents – who may also simply reflecting a Happenstance of Belief.



The Second Reason is that Religion is customarily accorded a Place virtually beyond Criticism. It is as if all human Beings wish to retain a wonderful Place of magical Irrationality; they know – perhaps instinctively – that if their sacred Refuge is to be inviolable, then the Refuges of others must be accorded similar Respect*.

We should add that there appears to be a great Confusion between the Idea of Freedom of Religion -- the Freedom to worship a chosen Deity – and the Freedom to adhere to religious Practice – even when that Practice may conflict with other Custom of Society. Such Conflicts occur most commonly, of course, where a Religion is transported from one Culture to another.

We have consistently argued that Religion is simply irrational Superstition, and that it should not be given a Place of Supremacy in the Operation of Society. We are fond of quoting Thomas Jefferson in this Matter:

Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.

Thus, we must conclude that, despite the Unfairness to young Sikhs, the Allowing of religious Symbols on the Soccer Field is a considerable Error, and involves a superseding Matter of Principle. It allows Religion to intrude where it has no Place. It is also the Thinness of an Edge: why should not other religious Symbols be allowed – so that secular athletic Endeavour becomes a Battleground, not for the Triumph of Skill – but for competing religious Philosophies?

In our View, we have already seen too much of this Sort of Incursion. Women wish to wear the Niqab while giving Court Testimony; the Chief of Police in Toronto seeks female Officers who will wear the Hijab. We note that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police already have Officers who wear Turbans, which is an egregious Matter – for why should Citizens be presented with the Face of Government as holding, and representing, a particular religious Viewpoint? How can Citizens expect Treatment from Government which is equal and unbiased, when the Signs of Bias appear, brazenly in the Symbols of religious Belief worn by its Representatives?

Let young Sikhs wear Turbans. But not on Soccer Fields.

Let us maintain Athletic Endeavour separate from the Advertising of religious Commitment. 


*This does not, of course, apply to radical Muslims, for whom only their Religion is sacrosanct.

P.S. There is another reasonable Argument against the Wearing of Turbans on the Soccer Field: the Game of Soccer involves "Heading" – the striking of the Ball with the Head – and some Advantage or Disadvantage might accrue to those with Head Coverings. The Solution here is easy: "Heading" – which could easily lead to Injury of the Brain – should be banned.



June 13, 2013

We have observed Mr. McGuinty on Limerick Lane.


June 12, 2013

It’s never too late to do the right thing – and other Mantras to live by.

We do complain of the uneven Distribution of News which doth attract our Attention. It seems that Days may pass in a Humdrum of Circumstance, and then, of a sudden, we are overwhelmed with Reminders of human Folly.

Today is just such a Day of Overwhelment.

First, we have the News of the Resignation of Mr. McGuinty from his Seat in the Legislature. No Doubt the former Leader of the scandalous Liberals consulted his List of wise Proverbs and apt Adages, and was struck by the Example: It’s never too late to do the right thing.

It is a Marvel of felicitous Happenstance that doing the right Thing appears to coincide with the Revelation that E-Mails concerning the Cancellation of Gas Plants for political Purposes were deleted by Mr. McGuinty’s Staff – doubtless with the laudable Aim of engaging in the best Practice of political Hygiene, and timely Laundering. Mr. McGuinty has claimed no Knowledge of the Washing Protocol, and seems to think it best to distance himself from the Tubs.

Just now, on CBC Radio, we have learned Premier Wynne’s Response to the Resignation, which included referring to Mr. McGuinty as "an unwavering political force."

We must commend Ms. Wynne on her Delphic Pronouncement. It is one with which we can agree: Mr. McGuinty has been an unwavering Force in the Field of unprincipled Incompetence.

Perversity leads to gratuitous adversity.

We note in this Day’s National Post That the Russian Duma has passed, by a Vote of 436 - 0, a Bill that "stigmatizes gay people and bans giving children any information about homosexuality." No doubt Tchaikovsky and Nijinsky would approve.

Even more extraordinary is the News that, in its infinite Wisdom, the Duma has passed another Law which "makes offending religious feelings a crime punishable by up to three years in prison." Placing Superstition on a Pedestal does not bode well for Reason. It is unfortunate the Duma did not reflect on the Words of Thomas Jefferson:

Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.

Finally: Expertise, left to feed upon itself, results in terminal Indigestibility.

The slow, determined March towards Stupidity in the educational System continues. We learn that, in Calgary, the Board of Education "is moving to save children from failure." (National Post, June 11)

Instead of being assigned Letter Grade Assessments, Students will be classified as "exemplary," "evident," "emerging," or in a Category "support required."

Both the Aim and Methodology show a profound Stupidity.

Designations can alter Circumstance only in the idealized World of the wilfully blind; the Rose and the Sulphurous Pit retain their Odours; calling one a Cuckoo Clock and the other a Mountain does not affect their State, or their Desirability. "Support required" still means "Failure," and will be seen as such.

Secondly, the Attempt to banish Failure is akin to the Desire to create Equality. How can there be Success without the measuring Stick of Failure? How can there be Triumph without Obstacles overcome?

To reject Challenge, Success, and Failure is to reject the competitive Rungs of the Darwinian Ladder which have brought us to our present State:

If, in the interests of an ideal circumstance, single-celled organisms had chosen equality as the ultimate good, then the present population of the world would consist entirely of single-celled organisms. (Variation of Observation # 8)

An unconsidered Sowing of the Winds of Fad and Fashion is not without Consequence. It will be interesting to see the Whirlwind reaped.



June 11, 2013

Power once possessed, is never relinquished except under delusion or necessity. Observation # 239.

We cannot say whether this Statement is true: we just made it up this Minute. However it has the Ring of Truth – which is nearly as good as a Revelation in an important Religion.

In this Day’s Sun News, Christina Blizzard expresses Anger that Andrea Horwath the Leader of the New Democratic Party has determined to support the Liberal Budget, thus prolonging the Sway of the Scandalous Liberals, rather than sending them into a political Obscurity which they have spared no Effort to earn.

Ms. Horwath, of course, has expressed Dismay over the deleted E-Mails which suggest a deliberate Obfuscation of the Details of the Cancellation of Gas Plants. (See Diary, June 6.)

However, her moral Outrage is limited by a Degree of political Calculation.


The Slide Rule of political Calculus shows that, if the Minority Liberals are sent to their just Reward, the Rejoicing in the Streets will find little Echo in the sombre Meeting Rooms of the New Democratic Party: after an Election, not only may they not form the Government, they may lose their Ability to influence the Government in Power by Threats of Overthrow using the "Balance of Power."

The moral High Ground is obtained by a steep, arduous, and costly Path; the Low Road, though it passes through the Swamp of moral Compromise and the Marsh of elastic Principle, yet retains some Power.

Ms. Blizzard believes that Ms. Horvath will wear the "stain" of her Decision until the next Election, when she will pay a "steep political price."

In an ideal World, this would be the Case. In the real World, we have some Hope – but are too prudent to make Predictions.



June 9, 2013

It is Sunday, and on Sundays, we are sometimes o’ertaken by a quiet, sober and reflective Mood; indeed, our Thoughts do often turn reverently to the Topic of Atheism.

This is a somewhat lonely Turning; Wikipedia informs us that only 2.3% of the Population of the World may be considered atheistic. We take some small Comfort that in France, Atheists are estimated at 32% of the Populace. Perhaps Wine and Cuisine diminish Dogma and Devotion.

We also harbour the Notion – with absolutely no Evidence whatever -- that those with a primarily humorous Nature, who are particularly sensitive to Incongruity, are unlikely to be devout.

In a hostile World, we Atheists are at some significant Disadvantage. We cannot turn from the cruel Opprobrium of our Fellow Creatures to the cosy Comfort of Understanding from a transcendental Being who, regrettably, does not exist.


Indeed, we suspect that our Creation of the Religion of Abracadabra, devoted to the Worship of the Great God Murphy -- the most reliable Predictor of human Outcomes -- is merely an Attempt to modify the great Void of Indifference with the Appearance of a familiar Face. *

We should note as well, the Existence of a Compilation of Atheist Quotes at: http://www.chrisbeach.co.uk/  (Click on atheist quotes.)

 Here one can be comforted by the scathing Skepticism of fellow Atheists. Here one can find some of the Famous – Thomas Jefferson, Woody Allen, Carl Sagan, Steven Weinberg, Voltaire, Einstein, H.L. Mencken, Mark Twain, Bertrand Russell, Thomas Paine...well, the List is considerable. **

We have this Day made a brief Note on Atheism, and published it in the Drivel Section. It is unlikely to be of Interest to even 2.3% of our Readers.


*See Drivel, March 20, 2011

**We ourselves make occasional Contributions -- which are quickly lost in the ever-growing List of Quotations.

June 6, 2013

We are little surprised to learn that Staff in the McGuinty Administration deleted E-mails relating to the Cancellation of Gas Plants in Ontario.

Since the Plants were cancelled at huge Expense for political, rather than policy Purposes, it makes Sense that Obfuscation of the Truth would not be beyond the imaginative Reach of the Perpetrators.

Indeed, almost wherever one lifts a Stone in the rocky Record of the McGuinty Government, one is like to find unsavoury Scuttlings, and furtive Scramblings -- the misshapen Progeny of Folly wedded to Incompetence.

We recall the McGuinty Disregard for the Rule of Law in Caledonia, where Natives were allowed free Reign, and Taxpayer Money was used to hush those with legitimate Complaint.

We recall the precipitous, ill-considered Launch into Green Energy Programs, which seemed designed to burnish the Lustre of the McGuinty Government as a felicitous Crest in the New Wave of Measures to combat Climate Change. As we have noted elsewhere, the Trouble with Bandwagons is that their Engines are fuelled by untested and often deficient Novelties.*

This has turned out to be the Case with the Theory of anthropogenic Climate Change, which is now much in Disrepute among those not in the Climate Change Industry, who have an I.Q. above 85.

Of particular Note is the Falling of the McGuinty Government into great Trap of "progressive" Idealists -- that Sense that being on the Side of the Angels allows any Number of Deals with the Devil. Thus the McGuinty Government forced Wind Turbines on the Populace, with no Possibility of prior Review, or Refusal by Municipalities. Turbines have now been shown to be attached to Bandwagons with flat Tyres and faulty Steering. The Legacy of undemocratic Angelicism is expensive Power unreliably produced which must often be sold at a Loss. The other Effects, only now being revealed, are those on Health, Property Values, and social Cohesion. Those disturbed by the Turbines quite naturally feel betrayed by their Neighbours who have profited by leasing their Land.

Mr. Mcguinty’s Cancellation of the Gas Plants, his Proroguing of Parliament, his Resigning of his Premiership, and the Obfuscation which surrounds all, do little to remind us of the Probity, Courage, and Nobility of which human Beings have, on Occasion, shown themselves to be capable.

When we began these Musings, it was our intent to create a Neologism. It was our thought that the term mcguinty should become embedded in common Parlance.

Alas, the Verb mcguinty, and the Adjective mcguintied are so loaded with varied Import, that a single clear Definition seems impossible. We have decided, therefore, to provide a Number of possible Definitions, and see if any of them take Hold in the Language.


mcguinty, verb, transitive: to arrange or negotiate in such a manner as to run roughshod over law and democratic principle, esp. for political advantage. Examples: (a) He mcguintied a deal with the protestors: he would exempt them from all income and sales taxes if they would go home quietly. (b) He proudly mcguintied an arrangement with World Smelly Hog Farms Unlimited, allowing them to set up farms wherever they wished – but only in Conservative ridings.

mcguinty, verb, transitive: to effect with an egregious pandering for political advantage. Example: (a) He mcguintied a new casino for the marginal riding. (b) He mcguintied the abolition of Christmas in predominantly Muslim communities.

mcguinty, verb, intransitive: to leap onto a shaky bandwagon, esp. to adopt fad or fashion in the hope of being seen as bold and innovative. Example: (a) He mcguintied right on to the notion that energy could be created from moonbeams, and set up a moonbeam catcher next to his windmill. (b) When it was suggested that wearing a necklace of cucumber skins would cure headaches, he mcguintied to the idea immediately, knitting several necklaces for himself, friends, and relatives.

mcguintied, adjective: screwed. Example: We sure were mcguintied when we elected that guy!

mcguintyish, adjective: foolish, gullible. Example: Don’t you feel mcguintyish wearing that cucumber skin necklace?

mcguintily, adverb: evasively, in a cowardly manner. Example: When Danny was caught with crumbs of the forbidden cookies under his fingernails, he offered no explanation, but slunk mcguintily out the door.

Having thrust these Notions into Cyberspace, we will await to see if any are adopted. It is possible, of course, that the Term mcguinty will be seen as too wrapped in negative Connotation to allow for easy Passage through the Lips of ordinary, judicious Citizens.


*Observation #30




June 4, 2013

We must express a certain Sense of Relief.

It appeared, for a Sliver of Time, that the Catholic Church was about to collapse in a Paroxysm of Incertitude, a Conniption Fit of Wishy-washiness.

Apparently the Pope, in an unguarded Moment, suggested an Element of Uncertainty for Atheists. According to Catholic Online:

The Holy Father is full of surprises, born of true and faithful humility. On Wednesday he declared that all people, not just Catholics, are redeemed through Jesus, even atheists.

(National Post, May 29)

Of course, there was a significant Qualification: Atheists must do good Works. It seems to be the Belief of the Pope that, in doing good Works, all must inevitably be led to a "meeting point" with the Church.

You may well imagine our Dismay upon reading these Words. The World of Black and White, Goodness and Evil, Believer and Heretic threatened to dissolve before our very Eyes.


Of all things we seek in this Life, surely Certitude and unwavering Reliability are most cherished.

If Atheism can be seduced and corrupted into a Meeting Point with the Church, surely all our Principles are but Gossamers in the Wind of Papal Ramblings.

We are pleased that our Uncertainty and Dismay were short-lived. Indeed, we have been "saved" by an ever vigilant Vatican, which has hastened to explain:

The Vatican retracted Pope Francis’ statement that everyone, "even the atheists," were saved from sin and redeemed by God and therefore welcome in heaven. People who know about the Catholic Church "cannot be saved" if they "refuse to enter her or remain in her," Vatican spokesman the Rev. Thomas Rosica said in an "explanatory note." (National Post)

We take much Comfort from the Fact that the Integrity of Unutterable Silliness has been maintained. It is only through the Existence of Unutterable Silliness that common Sense can be defined and perceived with a comforting Clarity.

We hope that the Pope will be briefed with precluding "explanatory Notes" before his next Musings. Discretion is all.



June 2, 2013

We have had Occasion this Day to write, once again, on the Matter of Abortion.

The Death of Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who changed the Perception of Abortion in Canada has occasioned much Comment from both Sides of the Debate.


In particular, Mr. Coren has written in The Sun News to criticize Dr. Morgentaler. It is our Perception that most who oppose Abortion do so from a religious Perspective. Since we think Religion is complete Nonsense, we regard the Matter, we believe, in a more realistic Manner.

Our comments appear in the Drivel Section.


June 1, 2013

We are pleased to see that the Man-as-a-Piano-Key Movement surges forward, unchecked and undiminished.

In Calgary, during a Study Period, a Thirteen-year-old Student, Briar Maclean, acted quickly to push away a Student who, engaged in a Scuffle, pulled out a Knife. The Aggressor fell to the Floor, and lost his Grip of the Knife.

Mr. Maclean was reprimanded by the School; his proper Course of Action was to Appeal to the Teacher. It is well known that difficult Situations are best handled by those in Authority; ordinary Students are expected not to interfere in dangerous Circumstances, where Harm might come to Themselves and Others.

Indeed, this is the general Expectation in Society at large. Citizens are not expected to defend Themselves, or exercise any untoward Initiative. For the greater Good, Citizens are expected to be like Bees in the Hive, or Robots with clearly defined Parameters of Response. Men are but Piano Keys to be depressed and released according to the Masters of Government, so that a harmonious Melody, pleasing to the Ears of the Masters, may be produced.


It is true, of course, that on particular Occasion, some Harm may arise. Had Mr. Maclean not acted, a Student might have been stabbed. A Citizen threatened by an Intruder, waiting to use his Telephone in order to alert the Authorities, may suffer grievous Injury or Death.

But we must look beyond such individual Circumstance to the Welfare of the Whole.

And who are those best able to determine that Welfare than those who are in Positions of Authority?

Principals of Schools have been blessed with Insights far beyond those of ordinary Mortals. The York Regional Police are best able to determine who should speak at a Synagogue, and Provincial Police are best able to assess whether they should join a Drum Circle held by Native Protestors. Kathleen Wynne, voted in to her Position by Members of the Ontario Liberal Party, is best equipped to take Action in the City of Toronto Mayoralty Scandal.

The greatest Happiness of the greatest Number is sure to be found in Deference to Authority; individual Perception of Right and Wrong is most like to be flawed and incomplete. Society is best served when Men aspire to be no more than Piano Keys.



May 30, 2013

We are pleased to live in the modern Era, when bold Efforts are being made Everywhere to ensure that the Machinery of Society runs smoothly, and the Heartbeat of our Economy is indistinguishable from the Ticking of a well-regulated Clock.

Much Kudos in this Regard is due to Laurel Broten, the Minister of Women’s Issues in Ontario, who is seeking to "find ways to compel companies to hire more women in senior positions." (Globe & Mail, May 28)

It appears that Women hold only Ten Percent of Seats on the Boards of Public Companies.

This Situation is scandalous indeed, and suggests that Women have little Appetite for being on the Boards of Corporations. Corporations should be compelled, by any devious Means possible, to require Women to occupy more of these demanding Positions, whether they want to or not.

Ms. Broten’s Plan – a stroke of inspired Ingenuity – is to require the Ontario Securities Commission to enforce her Desires. The Technique is described thus:

Regulators set a code of conduct that companies must either comply with or, failing to do so, provide justification on an annual basis about why that is the case.


We think that this Approach is far too wishy-washy. What would prevent a Company from failing to comply, and then, on an annual Basis, claim that appointing People on the Basis of Gender is arbitrary and unfair, and argue that Ms. Broten should keep her invasive egalitarian Fingers away from corporate Pie-making, and her idealistic Fantasies in the Realm of private Omphaloskepsis?

No, indeed; there must be no Room given for such Evasion. Quotas must be set on an annual Basis, and Failure to comply should be punished with a Delisting from the Exchange. Smaller, unlisted Companies, should have any government Licenses revoked.

The Matter of Equality is not one that should be left to Chance, or to the presumed Goodwill and Public-Spiritedness of Corporations, whose Status on the Scale of Moral Purity is revealed by the Fact that the sole Aim of their Connivings is to derive a Profit.

In enforcing these Measures, we hope that Ms. Broten will give due Consideration to other Inequities involved. It is often claimed that Blondes have more fun, while those with other Hair Colours are pasted to the Wall. Quotas for corporate Positions held by Women should ensure that Blondes, Brunettes, Redheads, and Greys be represented according to the Proportions shown in the general Population. The Matters of Left-handedness and Eye Colour should also be given the deliberative Weight that they deserve.

The Chaos of corporate Unaccountability must not be allowed to persist; the World of Business must be tamed to resemble the Operation of a fine Wall Clock, marked by a steady Ticking, with occasional Voicings from a cacophonous Cuckoo embedded in the Mechanism.




May 27, 2013

The Advent of the Limerish

We must report that we have received a Letter of Complaint from Ms. Melanie Paterson, Head of the Limerick Purity Defence League of Canada.

Ms. Paterson has complained that our use of the Term "Limerick" to describe most of the Verses on Limerick Lane, is unjustified, since those Verses are in clear Contravention of the strict Rules for Limericks laid down by the League. Beyond that, she claims our flawed Verses are an Affront and an Abomination to all right-thinking and purity-minded Readers everywhere.

Of course, Readers of Limerick Lane are well aware of the Disclaimer at the top of the Page:

Those seeking limericks in strict classical form will be disappointed. The limericks below are often aberrant in metre and line length...These "limericks" may be viewed by some as significantly flawed, but we will not allow purists to spoil our deviant fun. 

Alas, this Disclaimer is Insufficient for the Limerick Purity Defence League. Ms. Paterson points out that the Strictures of Literary Form cannot be elasticized at the personal Whim of the Writer.

"Who," she asks, "would construct a Verse of Nineteen Syllables, and call it a Haiku?" "Who would compose two Stanzas of nine Lines each, and call the Result a Sonnet?"

Such established Forms are a challenge to the Writer, whose Success is measured by his Ability to express coherent Thought with an Elegance and Grace, which, while conforming, seems unconfined.

It follows that those unable to compose proper Limericks are of inferior Talent. Those who deliberately ignore the Rules, while pretending Orthodoxy, are guilty of Fraud, Deception, and Arrogance.

Alas, we stand condemned! Our Argument has always been that we have expanded the Limerick Form in order to allow for a fuller Expression of our satiric Impulse. How arrogant doth this seem now! Who are we, an unpaid online Scribbler, to engage in Arrogation and Purloinery for our miserable, indefensible, and unworthy Ends?

Henceforth, we will refer to our misbegotten and misshapen Dribblings as Limerishes.

The Definition of the Limerish is as follows: A short Verse of Five Lines bearing a superficial resemblance to the more demanding Limerick. The first two lines rhyme with the last, and the shorter third and the fourth lines also rhyme. However the lengths of the lines are variable, and often give evidence of being metrically challenged. The form usually indicates ignorance on the part of the writer, or is the unhappy refuge of those with inferior talent.


P.S. We would note that this latest Attack by the Limerick Purity Defence League was occasioned by the Publication of our latest Limerish on Pope Francis:

Pope Francis (May 19, 2013)

(In a lather)

There once was a brave and well-meaning Pope__
Walked high on the wire of socialist hope:
Deemed money a manacle
In a system tyrannical –
That mope makes the Pope just a dope on a rope!

Ms. Paterson suggests that a proper Limerick on the Subject would read something like this:

There once was a well-meaning Pope
Who believed in some Socialist hope;
His views of the monied
Were far less than honeyed--
He seemed like a blinkered old dope.

While we admire the Brevity of the conventional Limerick, we still mourn the loss of the wonderful suggestion of the Pope in a Lather – like a soapy Dope on a Rope.

Our inferior Reply:


There once was a purist, Ms. Paterson --
Her mind was a-whirr with great matters on;
But she just couldn’t cope
With our trope on the pope;
(We’ll stifle a yawn as she natters on.)


May 25, 2013

Yesterday we did consider some of the Causes of the Success of Terrorism.

Mr. Jonas has argued that the Success arises because Terrorists manage to convince us that they are Victims, and their Cause is just. We noted that in the West, we have professed Equality, and are susceptible to any Claim of Distress and Victimization. In Addition, we have come to believe that what appears to be Evil, is a Result of the Oppressions of Society, and can be eradicated with generous Dollops of Sympathy and Understanding. It is as if the Body Politic of the West has been carefully fitted with treacherous Receptors which welcome an invading and potentially dangerous Pathogen.

To the List of Evidences of Infection we noted Yesterday, we feel compelled to add the Response of David Cameron, whose Reaction to the "Islamic" Murder of a British Soldier, Lee Rigby, showed a wilful Blindness, or significant Failure in Assessment of the Disease.

Mr. Cameron said, in Part:

This was not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life; it was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country...There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act.

Unfortunately, this is the Nonsense of the politically correct. From the Koran:  

[4.89] They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.



(4:55–56) Those that deny Our revelation We will burn in fire. No sooner will their skins be consumed than We shall give them other skins, so that they may truly taste the scourge. God is mighty and wise.

We do not see how Progress can be made until it is recognized that Islamic Terrorism is the noxious Flower of a flawed Seed. Pretending that there is no Relationship between Islam and Islamism may be wonderfully discrete, politic, and correct, but unacknowledged Elephants continue to poop on the Floor, and gradually make the Room uninhabitable.

If, as Daniel Pipes has argued,  moderate Islam is the only answer to radical Islamism, then the Battle must be between the literalist and a more flexible Approach to the Koran. Michael Coren, writing in this Day’s Sun, notes that, if moderate Islam is to triumph, the Elephant must be recognized:

As moderate Muslims will readily explain, their challenge is to explain and rationalize Qur’anic verses such as, "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off."

It is not helpful when non-Muslims pretend the Challenge does not exist, and continue to defer to Muslim Demands which are antithetical to our Beliefs and Values.

To be realistically impolitic, we are unimpressed with what little we know of Islamic Cultures. Resistant to Change, stubbornly rooted in the Mores and Attitudes of a primitive Era, they seem to have provided Little for the Flowering of human Aspiration, and less in scientific Advancement.

Tolerance extended to Intolerance looks, to us, very much like Stupidity.


May 24, 2013

We note an interesting Article by George Jonas in the May 18th Edition of the National Post, entitled Sympathy for the terrorist.

Mr Jonas argues that Terrorism tends to be efficacious, and ponders the Question of why it does.

His Answer is that the Inducement of Fear in those being terrorized, is not enough, since few People wish to admit that they are afraid, and may even respond with Anger. Rather, Terrorism works because those Terrorized become convinced that the Terrorists have a just Cause, and that giving in is the Right-Thing-to-Do:

Ultimately, terror triumphs when it allows perpetrators to masquerade as victims.

Mr. Jonas applies this Generalization to the modern Wave of anti-Semitism, which is driven by a "Third World, self-righteous, grievance-fuelled" Animus which is given safe Harbour by "universities...trade unions...[and] bookstores."

We wonder whether Western Societies, much concerned with the Will o’ the Wisp of Equality, have created a special Sensitivity to the Appeal of Grievance and Victimization. In Addition, with the Ascendancy of Belief in Rousseau’s Noble Savage, – a Belief in original Goodness – it is held that, with sufficient Sympathy and Understanding, all Discord can be transmuted into Harmony. Evil is understood only in Terms of a justifiable Response to the Root Cause of oppressive Circumstance; thus, there is a Readiness to transform Terrorist into Victim.

We think that the Phenomenon described by Mr. Jonas does not merely apply to the Extremes of Islamic Terrorism; it applies also to the less aggressive, but pressing Demands of Islam in a secular Society.

We would note the recent Case of Pamela Geller, the anti-jihad Activist whose Engagement to speak was cancelled at the Behest of York Regional Police responding to Complaints by offended Communities.

Consider also the Holding of Muslim religious Ceremonies, involving Separation of Genders at Valley Park Middle School. Or the Desire of Toronto’s Chief of Police to seek female Officers who would wear Symbols of their Religion while on Duty.

The Point has been often made that the Shafia Daughters might still be alive, had not those to whom they appealed for Assistance been less politically correct, fearing to treat Muslim Citizens they way they would treat Citizens professing other Religions.

There has been much agonizing at the Level of the Supreme Court as to whether those testifying in Trials should be allowed to conceal their Identities; so cowardly and unsure are they of our Traditions, that they decided not to decide, but quietly passed the Dubious Dollar to Trial Judges.

Finally, we would note the Response of President Obama to the Benghazi Murders; instead of stoutly defending the Right of Ridicule and independent Thought, he weakly proclaimed:

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.

What we see in these Matters is a giving in to Values other than those which we have ostensibly upheld. We are, theoretically, in favour of Freedom of Speech, Equality of the Sexes, equal Treatment of Citizens, the Separation of Church and State, and the Right of an Accused to face his Accuser.

But, evidently, we have started to believe that those who reject these Notions have a just Cause, a valid Reasoning. The Demands for Tolerance, intolerant as they may be, evoke our Sympathy. We have started to give in.

In our View, of course, the Elevation of Religion above all else represents a most egregious Folly. It would appear that irrational Belief is the Achilles Heel of the human Psyche. Common Sense is powerless in the Face of Nonsense, if that Nonsense is held and proclaimed with a sufficient and intimidating Fervour.





May 23, 2013

We have learned that Vince Li has been granted the Right to go on "supervised, full-day trips farther afield to Lockport and Winnipeg and nearby beaches." (National Post, May 18)

Mr. Li, you may remember, is the Schizophrenic who removed the Head of a Bus Passenger in 2008.

Last Year, we expressed our Concern about the Fact that we are being given regular News of Mr. Li’s increasing Privileges. (Diary, May 15, 2012) We see this as a Stratagem to lull us into a benign Complacency: as Mr. Li continues to make Progress without Incident, it will come as no Surprise when we see the following Headline:

Triumph for Psychiatric Profession: Vince Li to take Cross-Country Bus Tour courtesy Greyhound Bus Lines

Indeed, we note the Assessment of Mr. Li’s Psychiatrist:



Mr. Li’s psychiatrist told the review board at a hearing last week that the 45-year-old man hasn’t had hallucinations in more than a year and is a low risk to reoffend. (National Post)

We suspect that those treating Mr. Li see him largely as a tricky Project in Brain Repair; Proof of their Expertise will be shown when Mr. Li is returned as a happy, fulfilled and productive Member of Society, embarking and disembarking from Buses, Streetcars, and Taxis at Will.

We rather tend to the View of Carol DeDelley, the Mother of the beheaded Tim McLean, who has expressed the Wish that Mr. Li remain be kept under Lock and Key for the Rest of his Life.

Even if it could be shown that Mr. Li is harmless when taking Medication, there is no Guarantee he will continue to take it; the schizophrenic Volcano smoulders still in dangerous Unpredictability.

It is not within the Purview of Doctors to make Decisions which may put the Safety of Citizens at Risk.



May 21, 2013

The World is awash with outlandish Ideas, but sometimes the Outlandishness of an Idea is so pronounced that we feel compelled to comment.

In the National Post of May 16, Lawrence Solomon has had the Temerity to suggest Alterations to our Immigration Policy which would sound the Death Knell to all that is good, kind, and decent in our fair Land.

Yes, Mr. Solomon has suggested that we open our Doors to the Deserving, rather than to Those who simply wish to provide our System of Welfare and Benefits with some much needed and beneficial Exercise.*

As one Means of determining those who are worthy, Mr. Solomon posits the outrageous Notion that Immigrants be welcomed if they are sponsored by private Citizens or Organizations. These Sponsors would post a Bond or

otherwise demonstrate near-certainty that those they sponsor will not burden society. No sponsor would assume such a liability if he knew through the grapevine that the immigrant was a ne’er do well, and no bonding company, either, would take on an unjustified risk. Likewise, the sponsored immigrants, knowing their sponsors and being accountable to them, would have every incentive to make good. (National Post, May 16)

We are rendered almost speechless at the Thought of the Consequences of such an ill-considered Approach.


First, by showing a Reluctance to welcome the Unworthy, Canada would lose its hard-won Reputation as a Soft Touch and easy Picking for incompetent Immigrants seeking a relaxed Lifestyle.

Second, the Principle of Equality – by which all Immigrants are considered equally worthy – would be consigned to the Dustbin of broken Dreams. It might even become apparent that some Cultures are more suitable Repositories of potential Citizens than others. The whole notion of Multiculturalism might then be thrown open to Question. Canada might, as a Result, undergo an Identity Crisis and require lengthy and expensive remedial Psychotherapy.

Even worse, by selecting worthy Immigrants rather than the unworthy, there is a fair Chance that Canada’s Culture would become more devoted to Excellence, and its Economy would prosper. Such a Rejection of Mediocrity would make Canada an unhappy Object of Envy and Resentment and represent a further Blow to an already weakened national Ego.

In short, Canada simply cannot afford to reject those Principles of Simple-minded Beneficence, and Devotion to Mediocrity which have earned it that estimable Reputation which it enjoys Today. Mr. Solomon’s Suggestions should be rejected out-of-hand by all reasonable and kind-hearted Citizens.

*What is the Point, after all, of having a System of extensive and generous Benefits unless it is well-used, and kept in top operating Condition?



May 18, 2013

(The World as revealed to us by the Great God Murphy.)

It has been oft observed that, while Capitalism tends to create a Disparity of Wealth, the socialist Alternative offers only a Mask of Equality slipped over the Face of Poverty.

Yet we see that the Pope has seen fit to decry the Tyranny of Capitalism, and the "Cult of Money." (National Post, May 17)

We confess that we are not entirely surprised. We see Humankind as constantly torn between the Real and the Ideal. The Pope is fond of the World of the Ideal. Capitalism is a Product of the World of the Real.

The real World in which human Beings operate is Darwinian. Most Animals survive by eating other Animals. Whole Species develop, and then vanish, as a Result of Events which seem random rather than deliberate. We have not seen, in fact, the Argument that God, tiring of the Dinosaurs, sent a Meteorite crashing into the Earth to wipe them out, in order to allow tiny Mammals to prosper into Humanity.

The World, indeed, is a World of Competition, a World of Striving. Ironically, in the human Species, that Striving is shown, in Part, in the Capacity to imagine those Things which are not – those Things which might improve our Condition, and mitigate the Effects of the cruel, indifferent, and mysterious Circumstance in which we find Ourselves.

The Imagination is enterprising, but not entirely trustworthy. When it operates within the Boundaries of the possible, it leads to scientific Advancement, and a more comfortable Life than was possible for our Ancestors.

When it operates outside the Boundaries of the observable, it leads to Fiction, and all the creative Arts by which we gain Entertainment and Solace.

Yet again, when it operates outside the Boundaries of the possible, it leads to Concepts of Utopia, Notions of an ideal State, Visions of an Afterlife, which are antithetical to the World of Striving from which it arose.



We should observe that such Utopias and Visions are free from Striving, and Competition; they are imagined Ideals of Tranquility, Rest, and Equality.* They are, in a Word, fantastical Nonsense, but yet have the Allure of being a comforting Refuge from Reality.

Every human Being must make his own Peace with Reality. No one, we would argue, can regard it, unblinking, without the Prism of some sort of Illusion. But Prisms come in a Variety of Colours and Configurations.

The Pope, emphasizing a particular Brand of Utopia, must recoil from the Real World which is its Antithesis.

We do not, of course, argue that Capitalism is without Flaw. It is cruel, competitive, and unfair; it is akin to the real World from which it has, Topsy-like, evolved. It can be modified, and tamed within Limits, but its Striving is essential to Improvement. It can never be harnessed into the Service of Equality, for that is a blue-horned Unicorn, a chimerical Creature of the Imagination run wild.

The Pope would be well advised to ponder how Capitalism may best be directed at the Improvement of human Existence, rather than condemning it outright. But we fear that his Prism is over-wrought with Rose, and blown of a Glass too inherently flawed for practical Vision.



*Indeed, if one thinks for a Moment or Two, Equality in particular, that unexamined, almost universal Desire, is inextricable from Stasis, and Stasis is indistinguishable from Death. We are fond of repeating our Observation #8, which points out the Necessity of Inequality in anything that is alive :

If, in the interests of equality, single-celled organisms had adopted the governing philosophy of socialism, the present population of the world would consist entirely of single-celled organisms.

The Pope has been observed on Limerick Lane.


May 16, 2013

We have been much intrigued by the Outbreak of Confused Senatorial Home Syndrome, in which a Number of Senators appear to have been stricken with a Confusion about the Location of their principal Residences. The Malady appears to have been insidious and persistent, yet showing few Symptoms until the Subjects were examined by Senatorial Home Confusion Specialists.

It appears that Senators are supposed to occupy Residences in the Provinces which they represent, but have found it more convenient to live near Ottawa, while retaining a largely unused Residence in their Home Province. This Strategy has allowed them to claim a Housing Allowance based on their Need to maintain a temporary Residence in that City.

But this introduced a great Conundrum: did the Senators actually live in their Home Provinces, in Ottawa, or both at the same time? If they lived in their Home Provinces, why were they never there? If they lived in Ottawa, how could they claim to represent their Provinces? The Result was a Confusion in which Logic battled Convenience: they lived in both Places at the same Time.

The most prominent among the confused Senators seems to be Mr. Duffy, who, we learned recently, in the interests of Probity, Clarity, and a Calming of inflamed mental States, had decided to pay back about Ninety Thousand Dollars in Expenses claimed.

At the Time, we had simply assumed that Mr. Duffy, like most respectable Citizens, had Ninety Thousand Dollars in an ancillary Bank Account, or a few extra unused gold Bars in the Basement, or had simply cashed in on the sort of Asset unremarkable among the Middle Class – a treasured Rembrandt, a rare Stamp Collection, or one or two classic Automobiles.


You may imagine our Shock this very Day, when we discovered that Mr. Duffy actually received the Money from a good Friend, Nigel Wright. (National Post, May 16)

Most of us who claim Membership in the Middle Class, of course, have numerous Friends and Acquaintances who will tide us over for a Week or Two with a Ninety Thousand Dollar Loan while we advertise the Rembrandt on Kijiji.

What is somewhat out of the Ordinary is that Mr. Wright happens to be Chief of Staff for the Prime Minister.

Surely this is a Cautionary Example of the Powers of Contagion! Confused Senatorial Home Syndrome, unchecked, and untreated, becomes subject to Alteration and Mutation – and now we are faced with a further Boggling of the already troubled Mind: a completely unforeseen Outbreak of Silly, Silly, Chief-of-Staffitis.

We know not where this might lead. Can the Malady be contained with a Quarantine of Mr. Wright? Will the Infection spread to a galloping Scandilus Politicus, Duffus Resignus, and Senatus Reformus?

Only Time will tell.



May 15, 2013

Of Equality

We confess that we have never attended Disney World, and no doubt our World View has been significantly compromised as a Result.

We understand that the Edification and Entertainment provided are very popular, and since Popularity is always a good Measure of Worth, it is not difficult to conclude that much Benefit is commonly derived from the Attractions of the Site.

Indeed, it is reported by one Parent that a Line-up of Two and a Half Hours was required by Children to gain Access to It’s a Small World.

That Parent, however, managed to get her Daughter on in a Minute. (National Post, May 15)

The Secret to her Success, it appears, lay in her Ability to hire a disabled "Escort"-- an Escort who is allowed to bring Six others on an expedited Tour, using special Entrances to the Attractions.

The Cost is $130 per Hour.


We have often argued that Equality before the Law, and Equality of Opportunity are Advantages worth fighting for. But the Notion that Equality of Result is attainable or desirable is an entirely different Matter. Thus we have no Objection to the Purchasing of better Houses, Automobiles, Food, or Medical Care by the Wealthy. What is the Point of acquiring Wealth if it can provide no Benefit?

However, we think it would be inappropriate for the Wealthy to Purchase a better Position in the Line-up at the Bus Stop, the Bank, or the Grocery Store. Let them buy special Services by Appointment, or buy their own Bus Company, Bank, or Supermarket. But let the Principle of Equality in the pedestrian Queue remain unchallenged.

While we like our Positions to be tidily unassailable, we are not sure how to classify the Line-Up at Disney World. Disney Tours itself offers special VIP expedited Service for Three hundred and Ten Dollars an Hour. Thus the Principle of better Service for a higher Fee is already established – whereas it is not at the Bus Stop, the Bank, or the Grocery Store.

Our Objection to the Hiring of disabled Escorts, then, must lie in the Subterfuge involved. It is not fair to obtain a better Service for a higher Price when Pretense and Deception are involved.


May 14, 2013

We have learned from this Day’s Post that a Representative of Iran is to chair a United Nations’ Disarmament Conference.

We can think of no better Circumstance to illustrate the Depths of Absurdity to which the United Nations has sunk.

But, of course, other Illustrations abound. The United Nations is fond of scolding Canada for an Insufficiency in Food Policies, while ignoring the Starvation in North Korea. (Diary, May 17, 2012) Ban Ki-Moon continues to believe that Hurricanes are caused by non-existent Global Warming (Diary, November 30, 2012), and Robert Mugabe was appointed as an Ambassador of International Tourism. (Diary, November 11, 2012)

Despite its manifest Deficiencies, the United Nations seems to wish to exercise a bureaucratic Control of the World without the Bother of Accountability to Citizens. (See Agenda 21, Diary, December 16, 2012)

The United Nations is a Body which reveals, with each passing Day, its Unsuitability for almost Anything.



It is a wonderful Example, in fact, of the Failure of Idealism unchecked by Pragmatism. When Thugs are considered the equal of Law-abiding Citizens, it is not difficult to predict a Decline in Sweetness and Light.

We would point to the same sort of hopeful Thinking when Greece was considered as an appropriate Member for the European Union.

Is it not Time to accord Equality and Merit their true Places?*

A Club which accepts Members regardless of their Folly and Criminality is unlikely to be a Haven of Common Sense, or afford convivial Evenings in the Lounge.

What is needed is a League of Better Nations, and a League of Aspirants, who will be allowed to join the Club when they qualify for Membership.  


*Observation #168: When equality is the aim, mediocrity is the result; when excellence is the aim, equality finds its true place.


May 12, 2013

We do often feel compelled to give Thanks that we live in modern and progressive Times. Through a Myriad of small Changes for the better, Nirvana, which so often has seemed unattainable, is brought, little by little, to within our eager Grasp.

The latest Improvement doth come from Alberta, where the estimable Alison Redford has concluded that provincial achievement Tests in the Schools are "too stressful" for some of the younger Students, and will be replaced by "computer-based assessments" at the Beginning of the School Year. (Sun News, May 9)

The move has full Support of Teachers. According to Carol Henderson, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association:

The current testing program provided little value for learning and did not fit with the vision of Inspiring Education.

It is well-known that Stress is an unmitigated Evil, and has, fortunately, been largely banished in the Lives of Adults. It only makes sense to reduce, by all means possible, any Element of Stress in the Lives of tender and vulnerable Children. Just as we greet each day with Joy and Hopefulness, secure in the Knowledge of Success and Accomplishment, it is cruel and heartless to subject tiny Children to Uncertainty, potentially to crush their yearning Spirits with the Possibility of Failure.


We would note also that Marks and Grades, especially when made known, and widely published, introduce an Element of Competition in the Learning Process. Instead of following an individual Path in the Expression of the universal Quest for Knowledge, a Student might become embroiled in the Matter of Invidious Comparisons – nay, even begin to doubt the Equality of all Individuals -- that Edict which has been made by the Gods, and endorsed by the most revered of Governments.

We can well understand why Teachers would applaud this Move. Why should their Time be taken up with the Dreariness of preparing Students for Assessments, especially when Student Failures might be taken as an unfair Reflection on their own superb and illuminating Efforts?

Ms. Henderson is correct. The Drilling, Repetition, and narrow Focus of the Dark Ages of Learning, have no Place in the modern World of Sweetness and Light. Teachers should, instead, focus on the Inspiration which will light up the Lives of Students and propel them, almost effortlessly, into the Higher Spheres of glowing Accomplishment and untroubled Satisfaction.

We have little doubt that Alberta, with such enlightened Measures as this, will become a Beacon of Benevolence, a Haven of Hope, and a Paragon of Prosperity for all to admire and emulate.


May 11, 2013

We are heartened to see that in the current Times of Lackadaisicality, Listlessness, and Paralysis, there remains a single bright Beacon of Hope, glowing in the Gloom.

Indeed, the indefatigable Enterprise of Maria Duval, who despite all Obstacle and Discouragement continues to send forth her Messages of Salvation, gives us a Sign that our present Slough of Despond may be replaced by a drier Path of easy Rolling.

For Ms. Duval, despite our Failure to respond to her previous Generosity (See Drivel, December 30, 2010), has persisted in her Attempts to rescue us with a new Offer of a Sum of up to $28,778.00 on May 29th.

Further to that good Fortune, Ms. Duval holds out the Prospect of another large Sum of Money on July26th. Additionally, Someone well known to us will provide us with a happy Solution to a long-troubling Problem on August 9th.

Finally, we may look forward to as many as Seventeen positive life-affirming Events in the near Future.

We confess that we are overwhelmed.

Ms. Duval has taken the Trouble to write us a Nine-Page Letter on ‘hopeful green’ Stationery while on Vacation in Niagara Falls. It appears to have been typed, in Haste, by her own predictive Fingers, with spelling Errors crossed out and corrected, and one missing word inserted with a small Arrow of Correction.

Time, of course, is of the Essence.



We must reply to Ms. Duval in time for her Return from her Contemplations at the Falls so that she may send us her "Grand Special Reading for Wealth and Happiness in Your Future."

Our Gratitude is Boundless: the regular Charge for this Reading is $75, but – we assume it must be because our particular Alignment with the Stars of Beneficence – we have merely to send Eight Stamps worth Sixty-Three Cents each, along with the Responses to our confidential Questionnaire.

Ever thoughtful of varying Household Circumstance, Ms. Duval will allow for the Payment of Five Dollars in the Event we have an insufficient Quantity of Stamps.

The Cost seems modest enough; we can only conclude that even Ms. Duval is facing the Headwinds of a sluggish Economy. In 2010, her Request was for Twenty-Nine Dollars for her Predictions – although, in fairness, that Amount included the cost of a biomagnetic Bracelet and some Moonlight Blue Sapphire Jewelry.

Ms. Duval is in the Business of selling Hope and Illusion. We have no Doubt that Respondents, lured by the modest Cost of future Wealth, find themselves embroiled in further, more significant Demands for an always elusive Bonanza.

We are of two Minds on this Matter. One Mind says that the Government should protect the gullible. The other Mind says that Government sells Lottery Tickets. Perhaps Ms. Duval could achieve Respectability by providing one lucky Winner with $28,778.00.




May 9, 2013

Regrettable Failures of Perception in Those with an Opinion Contrary to our Own

It is one of the great Puzzles of our Existence that there are those of such Weakness of Intellect or Perversity of Understanding that they hold Opinions directly contrary to our own.

There are too many Examples to deal with in this short Space, but a Few come immediately to Mind.

While most of the World seems to think that there is a beneficent Creator whose chief Delight is to meddle in the Affairs of Humankind, and to provide Reward or Punishment in a Life after Death, we see the Universe as indifferent, with no Evidence of Beneficence or Meddling, or, if there be Meddling, it can hardly aspire to the Quality of Beneficence. As to a Life after Death, it is so obviously an imaginative Concept arising from a Refusal to Face Reality, it hardly seems worth a Moment of serious Consideration. As we have noted before, now that we understand that all sentient Creatures are built from the same Blocks, it would be difficult to deny an Afterlife to a Cockroach, if one is afforded to a human Being.

A second Matter that is puzzling is the great Divide which separates those who believe that Mankind is responsible for Global Warming, and those who think that Mankind’s Contribution is, at best, minimal. The Globe and Mail, and the CBC seem to be of the Opinion that the Call for a Return to the Caves is entirely justified. The National Post, and Sun News seem to be of the Opinion that Climate Alarmists are self-serving Charlatans, and that Industrial Civilization is worthy of Preservation.

For us, there is too much Evidence of Skullduggery and Hypocrisy on the Part of the Alarmists for them to be taken Seriously. We have written at Length on this Matter, and are weary of our own Arguments, but we would note that James Lovelock, the Alarmist who started the whole Gaia Movement, has now admitted that we know very little about Climate Change.

Finally – and this is the Matter which has led us to the Reflections above – there seems to be a great Difference between those who think that Islamic Beliefs should be accommodated on the Grounds of multicultural political Correctness, and those who fear that our Values and Way of Life are under grave Threat.

We wrote on May 2nd of the Actions taken by the York Regional Police to prevent Pamela Geller from Speaking in Thornhill, Ontario, on the Grounds that her Opinions are contrary to those held by the York Regional Police. Ms. Geller is the Activist who sees Islamic Jihad as a Threat to Israel specifically, and our Way of Life generally. The Fact that the York Regional Police were responding to Pressures from unnamed Communities (we assume Muslims) seems to prove Ms. Geller’s Point. Muslims believe that no Criticism of their Religion can ever be justified; on the other hand,  it is a Principle of Western Democracies that Freedom of Speech is an important Component of a free Society.


It is our View that the Essence of Theoretical Islam, which requires Death for Apostates and Unbelievers, and the Supremacy of Theology in Government is incompatible with Western Society.

We were shocked, therefore to see in this Day’s Post, Chris Selley refer to Ms. Geller as an "Islamaphobic lunatic conspiracy theorist." He also refers to the Rabbi who had planned to provide a Venue for Ms. Geller as "self-evidently unfit for a chaplaincy position at a Canadian police force."

We can only assume that Mr. Selley is in favour of Islamic Jihad, and rather opposed to the Principle of Freedom of Speech.

Mr. Selley is not alone, of course, in seeing Islamic Thinking as benign. Mr. Trudeau is concerned to find the Flaws of Exclusion in our own Society which might have led to the Boston Bombings, rather than find the "Root Cause" in a malignant Ideology.

Indeed, the Obama Administration, as we noted yesterday, (Drivel, The Matter of Benghazi, May 8) seems determined to paint Islamic Terrorism with the Brush of Workplace Violence or legitimate Response to religious Insult. Mr. Obama himself seems to favour Suppression of free Speech when it is in Conflict with the outrageous Claim that Islam must be above Criticism:

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.

While "slander" is false and malicious Defamation, Criticism and Ridicule based on Fact, are equally seen as Justification for Muslim Violence.* But both are legitimate in Societies which hold the Principle of Freedom of Expression dear.

In short, while we think casual Islam – like casual Christianity – poses no Threat – Islam taken seriously does. Time will tell whether Islamic Jihad was worth speaking out against in 2013.

We note that in all the Divisions noted above, there is an Element of religious Fervour in conflict with Evidence and Fact. The Religious cherish a happy Ending; the climate Alarmists cherish a Return to a simpler Era; Mr. Trudeau cherishes the Notion of individual Perfection and societal Corruption; Mr. Obama cherishes a wonderful Rapprochement with the Muslim World.

We think they all cherish the wrong Things. 


* Observation #47: While it may not be appropriate in every venue, and on every occasion, mockery is the guardian of reason, the enemy of pretension, and the mirror to folly. No belief, no passion, no commitment should be considered immune from the acerbic test of ridicule.

May 8, 2013

We have returned to the Lumpenbangen Studios to discover that the warm Weather has caused the Grass, long oppressed by the miserable cold Spring, to luxuriate, together with an Untidiness of Violets which refuse to be contained, and have wantonly spread .


We have therefore mowed all down to a Respectability of mixed Greens.

We have had further Mention of the Matter of Benghazi in Today’s National Post, and have commented in the Drivel Section.



May 7, 2013

We confess that we have been in a Titillation of Anticipation for the last several Days.

For Today, Mr. McGuinty, the wretched former Premier of Ontario, is testifying before a Justice Committee of the Legislature about the Gas Plants cancelled during the last Election.

The Move was designed to save political Seats. When the Winds of Outrage reached an uncomfortable Velocity, Mr. McGuinty resigned and prorogued Parliament.

Thus far, we have learned that Mr. McGuinty has testified that the Plants were too close to Schools and Homes, and that the Residents were correct to oppose them. He has admitted that the Five Hundred and Eighty-Five Million Dollar Cost was not anticipated, but, with a wonderful Piety, has expressed Relief that at least the Children have been saved from a dangerous Proximity to the potentially dangerous Plants. (National Post, May 7)

We are tempted to ask why these Threats were not foreseen – but, of Course, Foresight and sound Judgement were hardly characteristics of the McGuinty Liberals.

Indeed, Mr. McGuinty reminds us of Lord Roland, the Leacock Character who

flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions*


Mr. McGuinty is notable for throwing the Province into the Briar Patch of Green Schemery, oblivious to the Thorns of costly Inadequacy. We suspect that His Desire to be at the Forefront in the Matter of Virtuous Power was based on fashionable Self-aggrandisement rather than careful Analysis and Prudent Calculation.

Wind and Solar Power have theoretical Attractions, but practical Disadvantages.

This is the old, old, Story of Show versus Substance.

Mr. McGuinty’s Testimony, which pretends a Concern for School Children, is perfectly consistent with his Character as revealed during the Tenure of his Mismanagement.

The Scars of the Briar Patch, from the thorny Plants and other Gougings, will be with us for Years to come.  


*Gertrude the Governess, Nonsense Novels.

P.S. We note a number of Appearances by Mr. McGuinty on Limerick Lane. (See index.)


May 5, 2013

How the other half believes

A guest to Wind-in-the-Pines brought a copy of The Globe and Mail, a Toronto Newspaper which we seldom peruse.

We were most surprised to see therein, an Interview with Al Gore.

Yes, that is not the Plumber Al Gore, or your next door Neighbour Al Gore, or that pleasant Al Gore on your Lawn Bowling Team.

No, it is the Al Gore whom we had assumed to be hiding in a remote Cave on a distant unsinking Island wearing a Bag over his Head.

On the Contrary, apparently Mr. Gore has written a Book, and is giving Interviews.

Our first Thought, on beginning to read the Article was that we would see the Question:

In view of the fact that the theory anthropogenic climate change has been so thoroughly discredited – since there has been an absence of warming for the last sixteen years, since the computer models and statistical manipulations have been exposed as flawed or deceptive, and since the integrity and sincerity of climate alarmists – such as you yourself -- have been shown as highly questionable – why are you not living in a remote cave on a distant unsinking island wearing a bag over your head?


We encountered no such question in The Globe and Mail Interview.

We did not even see the less aggressive query:

How do you view the rumours that anthropogenic climate change is a less urgent matter than previously believed?

No. In Fact the Question was:

You’ve spent the past dozen years fighting climate change. How do you feel about Canada’s role?

The Question gave Mr. Gore the Opportunity to lament Canada’s Lack of full Engagement in shutting down its Economy, finding remote Islands for the Population thereby displaced, and developing Caves for its Citizenry to occupy.

We must confess that The Globe and Mail’s Stance, Tail Feathers in Air, and Head comfortably in Sand, is not unique. On Occasion, we have listened to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and concluded that, from their Perspective, no Insights have been gained into the Climate Change Scam over the last Decade.

We always make Allowances for the CBC; being wrong on most Issues is a Circumstance not achieved without hard Work and gritty Determination. But we were surprised to see The Globe and Mail so apparently oblivious.

It is fascinating, every so often, to peep over the Edge of our Bunker of Common Sense, and see how the other Half believes.


May 4, 2013

We are pleased at the sudden Onset of spring Weather so long denied. We are now convinced that Snow may never fall again; our Woodstove may now be relieved of Ashes, and be garlanded with Pine Cones and sundry flammable Materials for the foreseeable Future.

In a spirit of cheerful Optimism, we did visit, last Thursday, the Town of Mariposa for Supplies. We did first attend the Liquor Emporium, giving Thanks that the Prohibition of an earlier Era –when Mr. Leacock had to obtain his Spirits elsewhere – no longer applies.

We had hopes that, with the fine Weather, we might find some Plants for some of the many Pots and Containers at Wind-in-the-Pines; we think the Tradition of waiting for the Twenty-Fourth of May to be based on an unseemly Pessimism, and consider those who follow it to be lacking in Gumption.


Few Garden Centres were open, but Wal-Mart – as is so often the Case – did not disappoint, and we were able to obtain a Quantity of Flowers.

We awoke this Morning with our Brains in a Knot over Mr. Pipes’ comment that Islamism is "yet another twentieth century radical utopian scheme." We hastened to convey our Thoughts to the Computer Screen, only to find, at the End, we had relatively little to say.

Such is often the fate of our ambitious Desires. We do resist crumpling up the Computer Screen, and tossing it in the Trash Bin; hence we have posted our Ramblings in the Drivel Section.


May 2, 2013

Every now and then, ‘mid the encircling Gloom, a Ray of Sunlight and Hope doth fall upon our troubled State.

We are pleased to read that the York Regional Police are firm in their Determination to protect us from Opinions which they do not wish us to hear.

It appears that Rabbi Mendel Kaplan, of the Chabad Flamingo Synagogue in Thornhill, had Plans to provide a Venue for Pamela Geller to speak. Ms. Geller has been active in denouncing Islamic Jihad. It was she who posted this Sign in New York Subway Stations:







Support Israel

Defeat Jihad


The Notion that Islamic Jihad might be criticized within Earshot of the Citizens of Thornhill has led to a galvanizing of the York Regional Police. A Fire was lit under the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Bureau, and an Inspector Ricky Veerappen was launched into Orbit, where he met with the Rabbi to threaten him with Removal as one of the Chaplains associated with the Force.

Inspector Veerappen is quoted as saying:

If he did (host Geller), then we'd have to reassess our relationship with (Kaplan). We serve the needs of the entire community. Some of the stuff that Ms. Geller speaks about runs contrary to the values of York Regional Police and the work we do in engaging our communities.

(Sun News, May 2, 2013)

We must express our undying Gratitude that the York Regional Police have Values, and that they are prepared to resort to significant Threats in order to preserve them from possible Criticism.

In this Day and Age of weak Wishy-Washiness, and the Absence of clear and well-considered Principle it is a great Comfort that the Police have the Gumption and Courage to take a firm Stand.

We look forward the to beneficent Results from the Engagement of the Police with those wonderful Communities, which, we must assume, are in Favour of Islamic Jihad. Perhaps we may look forward to Sharia as the de facto Framework for Law Enforcement and Justice in Thornhill. We have long felt that our System of British Justice is long outmoded, and the Benefits of Freedom of Speech significantly exaggerated.



April 30, 2013

We are ensconced at Wind-in-the-Pines, where we welcome the first Signs of proper Spring Weather. The Ice has gone from the Lake, and the first Boats throb their Paean to an imagined Summer Idleness to come.

Yesterday, in need of a large plastic Container of Drinking Water, but little else, we eschewed the Trip to the Metropolis of Mariposa, with its Bustle of Commerce, in order to make the much shorter Trip to Running Brook, the sleepy Town which serves as a Gateway to an Area of certain Lakes and Rivers less elevated in the recreational Hierarchy, where, indeed, Wind-in-the-Pines is located.

We confess that as an habitue of Food Basics and Wal-Mart in Steeltown, we regularly ingest an anti-Palpitation Remedy before entering the Foodland Establishment in Running Brook. While the Cost of large Plastic Containers of Water is not exceptional, the Amounts charged for Foodstuffs, brazenly posted in plain View, are the Stuff of Palpitations and Conniption Fits.



The Minute Maid Orange Juice which sells for Two Dollars and Ninety-Nine Cents at Wal-Mart is Three Dollars and Ninety-Nine Cents at Foodland.

This is a wonderful Illustration of the Effect of Monopoly; Running Brook boasts only Eleven Hundred Residents, and would doubtless not support a competing Establishment.

In the Absence of Competition, Monopoly grows fat at the Expense of the Publick.

We have no doubt that the Monopoly Effect explains the high Cost of Government; whatever the Government provides, it does so in a wonderful Absence of Competition.

The Matter of Health Care comes to Mind. What Improvements might be achieved if the Private Sector were allowed to compete?* 


*The Problem of Provision of Care in sparsely populated Areas might still not be solved. We note that Rita MacNeil died after contracting an Infection in a Cape Breton Hospital which has, apparently, the worst Post-Surgery Mortality Rate in Canada. Possibly Cape Breton could not support a competing private Hospital.



April 29, 2913

Freedom of Religion

There are certain Words and Phrases which elicit an automatic Response. Who can possibly react in negative Fashion to Motherhood, Apple Pie, Workers’ Rights, Equality, or Freedom of Religion?

We have all been taught that one of the great Advantages of the American Experiment is that it allowed for Freedom of Religion. And from that, it seems to be assumed that anything that claims to impinge upon Freedom of Religion must be inherently evil.

We would have thought that the Term referred to the Freedom to worship the God of one’s Choice – whether it be Glooscap, Horus, Jupiter or Yu Di. One imagines Believers attending their chosen Places of Worship, and indulging in all Manner of sacred and arcane Rituals, then emerging into the public Square appearing more or less normal.

Of course, this is not quite the Case; those who believe in Deities, often have some quite fixed Ideas about what the Deity thinks, and usually He thinks that Everyone should be of His own Opinion, and behave in a certain Way.

And thus the Tenets of one’s Religion can easily come into Conflict with social Norms and secular Institutions.

Freedom of Religion, of course, cannot always triumph. If one’s Religion demands that one must enter a Court of Law with a loaded Machine Gun, or conduct human Sacrifices on the last Thursday of every Month, or drown Witches on Nights of the full Moon, some Voice of Hesitation must be raised.

The most striking Examples currently appear to involve Muslims wishing to practise their Religion in Defiance of the Law.


Anthony Furey (Sun News, April 25) cites remarks made by Syed Mumtaz Ali who as a President of the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice, tried to introduce Shariah in Ontario in 2005.

In short, not being able to live by Muslim law means one cannot exercise freedom of religion guaranteed under the Charter. This is so because in effect Canadian courts are forcing Muslims to act in a way contrary to their beliefs or their conscious [sic].

This is the same Argument suggested by Chihen Esseghaier, the suspected Via Rail Bomber – The Criminal Code is to be ignored because it is not a "holy book."

The Catholic Church also finds itself in Opposition to social Norms, but in less striking Fashion.

Individual Catholics may refrain from obtaining Abortions, and come into Conflict only when their Objections lead them to interfere with the Operation of Abortion Clinics, or to the killing of Abortion Doctors.

Now that Gay Marriage is in the ascendant, and Homosexuality considered a natural Variant, the Church finds itself in Difficulty in trying to run publicly funded Schools while preaching what Many consider to be an oppressive and discriminatory Doctrine.

The Matter is shown most clearly in the Application of Trinity Western University to operate a School of Law while barring Faculty and Students from Gay Marriage. How can a School of Law operate in a Manner which defies the Law of the Land?

We are well aware that Governments are not always right. But in a modern secular Society, we think that the Claim of Freedom of Religion must give way to a System of Laws that has evolved slowly over many Centuries. The Freedoms thereby created are not based on Suppositions about what God thinks, but on what creates, in a practical Sense, the most Freedoms for All.



April 27, 2013

We confess that we have been drawn to the Conclusion that Islam, in its theoretical Concept,* is inimical to the Western Way of Life.

That does not mean, of course, that there is not a vast preponderance of Muslims who, in greater or lesser Degree, ignore the theoretical Heart of the Religion, and – as do many Christians of their Religion – make a reasonable Accommodation with the real World.

Our Understanding of theoretical Islam, is that it requires Death for Apostates, and is virulently inimical to those espousing other Religions, or those Skeptical of all Religions. In this Manner is explained the murderous Reaction of many Muslims in backward Areas to any form of Ridicule, such as shown by the Danish Cartoons, or Criticism, as suggested by The Satanic Verses.

Theoretical Islam holds that Sharia Law is the ultimate Answer to the Operation of Society, and that the best form of Governance is a Theocracy. Thus is explained the Objection of Chiheb Esseghaier to the Criminal Code of Canada as flawed because it does not have the Status of a Holy Book. (See Diary, April 25)

Finally, even among "moderate Muslims," in advanced Countries, there is much to suggest that the Equality of the Sexes is a Concept entirely foreign to them. Thus we have the Separation of the Sexes, and menstruating Females, in Muslim Ceremonies outrageously held in the public and supposedly secular Valley Park Middle School in Toronto.

Because of our own hardened View on these Matters, we must applaud an Article by Daniel Pipes in this Day’s Post.


Mr. Pipes argues that the Boston Bombings will not result in increased Measures of Security, or end the Dispute over Motives for Islamic Terror. Nor will they help to resolve Debates over Immigration of Guns.

What it will do is very important: The attacks will prompt some Westerners to conclude that Islamism is a threat to their way of life. Indeed, every act of aggression, be it violent or cultural, recruits more activists to the anti-jihad cause.

This Perception is more advanced in Europe than in North America.

Mr. Pipes notes the Emergence of Political Parties in Europe focussed on Islamic Threats. In 2009, the Swiss rejected Minarets by a 58 - 42 Margin. In France, Sixty-Seven Percent of Poll Respondents said that Islamic Values are not compatible with those of French Society. A Poll of Germans indicates that Sixty-Four Percent associate Islam with Violence, and Seventy Percent with "Fanaticism and radicalism."

We think that such Perceptions must become more widespread, in order to force a complete Re-Thinking and Re-Defining of Islam by those Adherents who wish to live in Harmony in – or with --Western Societies.

The Growth of the Realization of the Dangers of Islamism, Mr. Pipes characterizes as "Education by Murder." 


*Daniel Pipes refers to this as Islamism, or Fundamental Islam.  He sees Islamism as "yet another twentieth-century radical utopian scheme." We recommend googling Islam Islamism to read Mr. Pipes Article on this Matter entitled Distinguishing between Islam and Islamism. We are not sure that the Distinction is so easily made; Islamism to us seems simply a strict Interpretation of Islam; it is a noxious Flower that is true to a flawed Seed.



April 25, 2013

We note that Chiheb Esseghaier, arrested in the Matter of a Plot to blow up a Train, has revealed his Credulity Quotient.

In Court in Toronto, he has revealed that he does not recognize Canada’s Laws, because they are the Products of mere Mortals; they do not come from a "holy book."

Because all of those conclusions was taken out based on Criminal Code and all of us we know that this Criminal Code is not holy book, it's just written by set of creations and the creations they're not perfect because only the Creator is perfect, so if we are basing our judgment...we cannot rely on the conclusions taken out from these judgments.

(Sun News, April 24)

Behold the naive Belief that there is a "holy book" – not the product of human Beings – but a direct Communication from the Mind of God,* whose Message must hold its perfect Sway.

At the same time, we note the Appeal of the Wearer of a Niquab – known only as N.S. -- who, once again has been ordered to reveal her Face in Court, and once again is preparing to appeal the Decision, citing the Principle of religious Freedom. (National Post, April 25)

In both these Cases, we see precisely what we might expect from the Religion of Islam – which claims the Supremacy of Religion in Matters of Governance.

Much is made of the Notion of Freedom of Religion, but, with Islam, these are the awkward Questions raised:

Is Islam primarily a Religion?
Is Islam primarily a political Ideology?
Is Islam a Religion so intertwined with Politics that it is both?

The awkward Answer may be, of course – that it depends on the particular Believer.



In promoting the Notion of "Freedom of Religion" – it would seem to be wise to determine whether the Claim of Freedom is for a Religion, or for a Political Ideology, or a Religion so contaminated by Political Ideology that it cannot be viewed as a Religion.

In both Cases above, we would argue that the Believers feel that their "Religion" should triumph – that a legal System developed over the Centuries should submit to the imperious Demands of a Fantasy of Suppositions, the Tapestry of whole Cloth which enwraps and informs every Religion.

We would note the role of our Society in this extraordinary State of Affairs. When we fail to make clear our Values, and constantly make Accommodation on the Grounds of Political Correctness and Multiculturalism, we should not be surprised when those holding a malignant political Ideology perceive Weakness, and take murderous Steps to advance their joyless, grim, repressive Agenda.


*Observation # 225. Beware those who claim to know the "mind of God;" they are deluded or evil, fools or liars.


Some Koranic Thoughts to ponder:

Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57; Narrated Ikrima: Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to Ali {the fourth Caliph} and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn 'Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, "Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire)." I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle, "Whoever changes his Islamic religion, then kill him."


9:5. Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun {unbelievers} wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat {the Islamic ritual prayers}), and give Zakat {alms}, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.


April 24, 2013

On credulity   (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. Albert Einstein, 1879 - 1955)

We have learned from this Day’s National Post that the Terrorist, Dzokhar Tsarnaev has admitted to a religious Motivation in the Marathon Attacks.

We noted yesterday that a Reading of the Koran might well lead to such Bombings; there is much there to support the Killing of Unbelievers. But we are led to speculate on the Nature of Credulity: why do People believe Things which seem contrary to Common Sense?

Our first Thought is that unlikely Propositions often have a powerful, overriding Appeal to Emotions such as Hope and Fear.

We confess, for instance, when we received our first Communication from the scamiferous Maria Duval,* who promised an Alleviation of our Troubles based on her Insights into –we know not what – the Influence of the Stars – the Divining of magical Patterns in the Threads of Time – a small Part of our Brain was intrigued, and wished to believe.

Similarly, the Purveyors of the Theory of Apocalyptic Climate Change have no small Success, no doubt because of their Appeal to Fear. The Visions of the Abandonment of low-lying Islands, the Flooding of New York City, and the Destruction of Agriculture as we know it, are compelling. The Effect is heightened when the Warnings come from those who claim to be the High Priests of Science, clothed in White Coats and feeding incomprehensible Data into labyrinthine Computer Programs.

We observe also, that, in paradoxical Fashion, the more extreme and outrageous the Claim, if it is presented without apparent Guile, the more likely it is to be believed. Consider, for Example the Christian Claim that Jesus was born of a Virgin, and rose from the dead.

These Claims are so beyond the Sphere of common Knowledge, that Disbelief itself is given Pause. The Thought becomes this: no one is foolish enough to make such Claim, for it is beyond Belief; for that Reason, in spite of our misgivings, perhaps the Account is true.

We would note that, in addition to Hope and Fear there is a strong Desire for Clarity. We exist in a Cause and Effect World which is often less than kind to our Hopes, Desires, and Dreams. At the same Time, we are enveloped in some great Mysteries: Why should Matter exist at all? How can Matter become animate? What is Consciousness?

And this is the great Appeal of Religion: it pretends bridge the Gap between the Humdrum and the Mysterious; it offers Clarity. Simply believe, it says, in these simple Precepts, and you can stop troubling your tiny Brain with vexatious Thoughts forever.

To these Notions, we would add one other: the Herd Instinct. Human Beings are essentially tribal, and hierarchical. There is Something in us which wishes to give the Chief Monkey his due. The more outrageous his Claims, the Stronger he appears. If he wishes to attack the more numerous Blue Monkey Tribe on the other Side of the Clearing –well, Everyone else seems pretty excited – so let’s attack at Dawn.

Thus, it appears to us that Islamic Terrorists have high Credulity Quotients. Their Religion supplies them with a desirable Clarity: the Answers to Life’s Problems are found in a Belief in Allah, and Adherence to the Minutiae of Sharia Law. The Religion is certain, strong and demanding, making outrageous Claims which compel Assent. When surrounded by those with an apparently untroubled Belief, it is relatively easy for an Individual to act in Defiance of Reason.

*See Drivel, December 30, 2010.

See also What the World Needs Now, Drivel, May 7, 2011


April 23, 2013

The Truth that dares not breathe its Name.

We have learned that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder of the Tsarnaev Bombers, had become increasingly religious in the last three Years. He is reported to have become angry in a Discussion over the Suitability of Martin Luther King as a Model for Muslims, saying:

You cannot mention this guy because he is not a Muslim!

(National Post, April 22)

His YouTube Account apparently included Portrayals of extremist Sermons.

To this Fact we would add that One of our grown-at-home London Terrorists, Ali Medlej, who thought it appropriate practice his Craft in Algeria, found it difficult to follow a spiritual Path without giving up earthly Pleasures. He is quoted as saying:

So why don’t I just be a shaheed [martyr] and go straight to heaven instead of all the effort that I can’t seem to do.

And in this Day’s Post we learn that Chiheb Esseghaier, arrested yesterday in the Matter of a Plot to bomb a VIA Rail Passenger Train had intense religious Beliefs. He was described by a Colleague as "religiously strict." He complained about the Lack of a Prayer Room at his Place of Employment, and tore down Posters depicting Women.

Now, we are aware of the Dangers of leaping to Conclusions from a Paucity of Evidence, and we have no Intention of causing a national –or even international – Scandal -- but we wonder whether some Investigation might be launched into a possible Link between the Religion of Islam and Terrorism. We know that this is a novel Idea, and we bring it forth tentatively, with considerable Hesitation and Timidity.



We confess, that while we have heard much of Terrorism, we have heard of remarkably little of it – indeed, none at all -- connected with Christians, Druids, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Cheondoists or Jainists.

No indeed. But it seems that if one but scratches a Terrorist, a Muslim is revealed beneath.

Certainly, Islam in Theory is a very strict and unforgiving Religion. Those Muslims who decide that Islam is not for them, and whose Sensibilities might lead them to consider, for Example Buddhism or – God forbid! – Atheism -- are to be put to Death.

Similarly, the Religion is unbendingly inimical to those with different Beliefs; the Assumption is that there is only one Religion, Islam. That extraordinary Certainty is revealed in the murderous Reaction to any Criticism or Mockery of the Religion, such as shown in the Danish Cartoons.

The Religion is considered to be inseparable from Politics; Sharia Law, which includes such Punishments as the Stoning of Adulterers, is meant to govern every Aspect of Life. Government under Islam is a Theocracy, not a Democracy.

Now, we know that there are millions of peaceful Muslims who are not engaged in the theoretical Requirements of their Religion. But for those of a fanatical Turn of Mind, who become "very religious" it is not difficult to see how they might conclude that blowing up Unbelievers and attempting to destroy a Way of Life inconsistent with their narrow, crabbed, and oppressive Religion is an admirable Thing, and will gain them Reward in the Afterlife.

We think that all Religions are foolish, since they are based on Supposition and wishful Thinking. While there are many Mysteries, there are no comforting Answers based on Evidence.

But of all Religions, we think Islam is the most dangerous, and most worthy of our Suspicion and Criticism.

We think a Failure to speak the Truth will, in the long Run, cause more Harm than Good.




April 20, 2013

Alas, we know not whether to be pleased or annoyed.

We heard this very Day Michael Coren on "The Rumble" (Sun News Network) make a Joke which we ourselves conceived in January of 2011, and repeated in our Diary last April 6.

In 2011, in a Discussion of the serious Matter of the Number of Virgins a deceased Islamic Terrorist might reasonably expect to encounter in the Afterlife, it crossed our Mind that perhaps – as so often happens with ancient Texts and religious Dogma passed down through the Centuries – there had been a Mistranslation or Error in Transcription from the original Pronouncement.

Suppose, we imagined, the original Text had specified, not Seventy-Two Virgins, but a single Seventy-Two-Year-Old Virgin.

What cruel Disappointments might have already been suffered! How the Course of History might be changed were a true and proper Translation now to be provided!

As we have said, we know not whether to be pleased that our little Joke has spread or – rather more likely – to be annoyed that Someone Else has been struck with the same Idea.

There is of course, a third Possibility which we can scarcely bring ourselves to contemplate: that the Joke we thought to have been original, in Fact, simply bubbled up from an unremembered Deposit to our Memory Bank.

For no particular Reason, we include our original Discussion below. The square Brackets contain an additional Comment of this Date.


72 Virgins -- A Plea      (Drivel, January 23, 2011)

"May God give you 74 to marry. We want the virgins of paradise, not the ones here." Thus reads an e-mail to Sayfildin Tahir Sharif, a 38-year-old Iraqi Canadian from a prospective suicide bomber in Tunisia. Sharif, who lives in Edmonton, (and who has now been arrested and is fighting extradition to the U.S.) responds: "You come short, brother. God is more generous than that. It’s supposed to be 76 instead."* (Hamilton Spectator, January 21, 2011)

We do think that this discussion between two Islamic plotters is worrying. When one of the chief motivations for suicide bombers is a specific number of after-life virgins, we think it a matter of urgency that the number be definitively established. To allow this sort of fuzziness about the matter calls into question the validity of the whole concept.

We have also been puzzled that the promise of 72 male virgins for female bombers has not been widely publicized. Why not?

We recall with some trepidation that the translation of ancient texts has, on rare occasions, involved significant distortions of meaning.

In the event that a successful suicide bomber were to be greeted by a single 72, 74, or 76-year-old virgin, we imagine that his disappointment would be considerable.

It behooves the Islamic suicide bomber community to investigate this matter at once, and arrive at some definitive conclusions.

[* The number 76 sounds vaguely familiar. Could it be that a successful suicide bomber would be rewarded with trombones, rather than virgins?]


April 19, 2013

The Root Cause of Root Cause Seeking

We are intrigued that the Comments by Mr. Trudeau about the "Root Causes" of the Boston Bombings have received so much Attention. Even the Prime Minister, has seen fit to deplore the Socialist Pavlovian Response to Acts of Terror: the Idealists wring their tiny and misfiring Synapses in an Agony of Finding Fault with Society, and thus by Implication, find a Reason for and justify horrific Acts by Individuals.

We ourselves made a brief Commentary on April 17th. Had we known of the near-universal Condemnation to follow, we might have cudgelled our insufficient Brain to make a more detailed and Scathing Denunciation

It is too late for that. All we can add to the Discussion is a Consideration of the Root Cause of Root Cause Seeking.

It has been noted in this Day’s National Post by Chris Selley, that the Popularity of Seeking Root Causes has declined somewhat in the last dozen Years. After the Destruction of the World Trade Towers, the Leader of the New Democratic Party, Alex McDonough said:

We need to reflect on the kind of international community we have created...[lest] we...continue to create the monsters that come back to haunt us.

(National Post, April 19)

Similarly, Jean Chretien, the Prime Minister, proclaimed:

You cannot exercise your powers to the point of humiliation for the others. That is what the Western world-- not only the Americans, the Western world -- has to realize. Because they are human beings too. There are long-term consequences.

But today, Mr. Harper has responded to the Boston Bombings by saying that the right way to react to Terror is to:

condemn it categorically, and to the extent you can deal with the perpetrators you deal with them as harshly as possible. And that's what this government would do if ever faced with such actions.

We should note that the Scope of Root Cause Seekers is limited. Root Causes are not to be found in the Perversity of human Beings, in the Exigencies and Limitations of human Existence, or in the Principles of a malign Ideology.

Root Cause Seekers do not have the Insight that the Lord of the Flies, the Beast that breaks the fragile Principles of Civilization may be in the Nature of human Nature.

Nor would they ever conclude that the Folly of religious Conviction can erupt in Evil.

Indeed, the Root Cause is always in Society itself.

Why should this be?

We believe that the Root Cause is in a Shift of Perception – a Decline in the religious Belief in Original Sin, and a Rise in the Rousseauian Belief in Man as a "Noble Savage"– indeed, a Belief in Original Goodness.

Thus, if the flattering Belief that Man is born good is accepted, all Difficulties and Disruptions must be blamed on Society.*

Those on the Left are much given to Ideals and pleasant Illusions. They are thus most likely to believe in Essential Goodness, and to seek for Root Causes, not in Individuals, Ideologies, or the human Condition, but in Society. Oddly, the Society responsible is always our own. We are not quite sure why the Culpa is always ours – perhaps this is a lingering Remnant of the Notion of Original Sin insufficiently dispersed. The Development of the human Psyche seems almost inevitably to result in large Reservoirs of non-specific Guilt, which may be tapped into by those with disparate Agendas. The Finding of Culpa in other Societies is also forbidden on the Grounds of Political Correctness; thus, since Something must be blamed for Things that go wrong, our Society is a conveniently passive and politically safe Target.

The Rise of Terrorism, particularly that with a religious Motivation, and Acts of murderous Insanity, we would argue, have put a considerable Dint in the Notion that Men are naturally good, and that our Society is the Root Cause of whatever ails us.

But the Reversal is far from complete. It would appear that Mr. Trudeau, rather than being a great contemporary Hope, is rather Yesterday’s Man.


*It is not our task to explain how an Aggregation of perfectly good Individuals can become a corrupting Force; we attempt merely to describe, not justify, a popular Way of Thinking.

Mr. Trudeau has been observed, once again, on Limerick Lane.


April 18, 2013

Multiple Universes

Scientists have speculated that ours is not the only Universe; there may be Others of different Character.

We wish Scientists would stop complicating our already puzzling Existence.

Do we not have sufficient Universes of Perception to deal with on our own tiny Speck of hurtling Matter?

For instance, our occasional Tunings to the CBC suggest that the News that catastrophic anthropogenic Climate Change is under a considerable Cloud of Suspicion has not penetrated the vast Spaces between the Left Looniverse and common Sense.

And what of the political Universe of Kathleen Wynne who admits the Cancellation of Gas Plants during the last Ontario Election to have been a politically motivated Decision, but claims that, although she was co-chair of the Liberal Campaign, she was not involved. She was, apparently, in a different Room, or Universe, when the Deed was done.


Farther afield, we have learned that three Men from the United Arab Emirates have been ejected from a cultural Festival in Riyadh, and deported for being too handsome.

The Fear of the Saudi Arabians was that female Visitors might be set romantically aflame by the Excess of Handsomeness flaunted by the Men. The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice took swift Action to prevent any unseemly worldly Collisions.

In the Saudi Universe, of course, Women are kept light Years away from driving Automobiles, doubtless because of the potential for a Spark of sympathetic Response to the Internal Combustion Engine.

We think it unfortunate that the Saudi Arabians should be forced to act on an ad hoc Basis in protecting Virtuousness. Would it not be advisable to require the Passports of Visitors from other Universes to be stamped with a P.Q., or Plainness Quotient? Those with a high level of Plainness would be admitted, but those at the lowest Level would, in the Interests of Virtue, be routinely turned away.

This would seem to obviate the Necessity of costly and disruptive Deportations.




April 17, 2013

We were intrigued to view a Portion of an Interview with our favourite Politician, Justin Trudeau, conducted by Peter Mansbridge, and then a Response by Ezra Levant on the Sun News Network.

From their Statements, we would characterize Mr. Trudeau as a not atypical lefty Idealist, and Mr. Levant as a Realist.

Mr. Trudeau was asked how he, as Canadian Prime Minister, would respond to the recent Bombings during the Boston Marathon.

After suggesting the quite reasonable step of offering Condolence and Support, Mr. Trudeau noted that it was important to look for the "Root Cause" of such Acts, suggesting that the Problem arose from Feelings of being at War with Society, of being "marginalized."

People with such Feelings should be "monitored" and "encouraged" not to act in such destructive Fashion.

Implicit in this kind of Statement is the idealistic Notion of social Perfectibility: with enough social Programs, loving Kindness, and affordable Housing, Unpleasantness will disappear, soon followed by the Scourges of Unhappiness, Awkwardness, and Inconvenience.

Those who advocate for the Finding of "Root Causes" never seem to imagine that the Roots may extend beyond the Reach of a sympathetic Garden Trowel and into the Depths of human Perversity, or the Convictions of a malignant Ideology.

We do not know, of course, the Motivation behind the Bombings, but it would be foolish not to recognize the Possibility that they were motivated by a malignant Ideology.

Mr. Levant, at least, is realistic enough to argue that destructive Acts are often committed, not because of a Sense of Deprivation, or Marginalization, but because of a hatred of the Western Way of Life. Islamic Terrorists will not be pacified by improved Health Care, lower Taxes, or a better School Lunch Program; their desire is an Islamic Theocracy.

One of our constant Themes is the Danger of pleasant Illusions, and the Folly of a Pursuit of an impractical Ideal. It would appear that Mr. Trudeau is vulnerable to both the Danger, and the Folly.



April 16, 2013

We read this past Weekend of the Travails of Conrad Black, who was stricken with a Blockage behind the Eye, and was successfully treated with a dissolving Element introduced via a Device threaded through an Artery in the Groin to the affected Location. (National Post, April 13)

The Operation is uncommon, and has rarely been performed successfully in Canada. We can quite understand Mr. Black’s willingness to gamble; the Alternative would have been to risk a burst blood Vessel and the permanent Death of the optic Nerve.

While we are pleased to learn of a remarkable Success of our Health Care System, and of Mr. Black’s Avoidance of the Loss of Sight, we confess our first Response to the Account was that it proved what everybody knows, but is reluctant to admit: our wonderful System, which lays Claim to a benign Egalitarianism, is in fact, multi-tiered, subject to all the Inequalities of Position, Happenstance, and Privilege.

Indeed, it exhibits all those Flaws of idealistic Central Planning, in which Hypocrisy is embedded in the very Fibres of which the whole Cloth is woven. As Mr. Orwell has pointed out, wherever there is a proclaimed Egalitarianism - all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Consider Mr. Black’s own Account. On the Morning of his Difficulty, he was able to obtain an Appointment with his Ophthalmologist by Eleven. We doubt that such Success is typical. Our own Ophthalmologist is only in Town on Mondays. Appointments are booked Weeks in Advance. Even then, an Eleven o’clock Appointment means a Consultation at about Twelve-thirty.

No, the Eleven o’clock Appointment with an Ophthalmologist would not be obtainable by the average Supplicant; he would go, instead, to the Hospital Emergency Room.

Subsequent to the first felicitous Appointment, Mr. Black’s general Practitioner, then arranged an Consultation with the Head of Ophthalmology at Toronto Western Hospital at Twelve-Thirty.



That same Afternoon, Mr. Black was at the Johnson Eye Centre.

By Five-Fifteen, Mr. Black was on the operating Table, attended by the Head of the Unit specializing in the Type of Procedure which he was about to undergo.

We have no Proof of our Skepticism, of course, but frankly, we think that the Likelihood of the average Supplicant in our System obtaining such rapid Treatment by such qualified Doctors is about as great as our own Encountering of a blue-horned Unicorn in our Living Room next Tuesday.

Indeed, we note a Letter in this Day’s National Post from a Doctor, who claimed to be "proud of our socialized medical system." At the same time, he writes:

However this was clearly a story of a two-tiered system where the rich and famous receive better health care than those who are not.

We are not proud of our socialized System. Socialism and central Planning don’t work and cannot work efficiently. No one should be naive enough to believe in a single-tier System. What angers us most is the hypocritical Pretense that we have such a System, where all around us is the Evidence that it is multi-tiered, coercive, and unfair.

We think Citizens should have Access to a public System, and also the Care that a privately insured System might provide. Yes, the many Tiers will remain; that is Life. But let us not delude ourselves that our present System is, in the least Measure, egalitarian.


April 15, 2013

We must applaud the most wonderful Insight of the New Democratic Party, which, this last Weekend decided to remove the term Socialist from the Preamble to its Constitution.

We confess that we have had much Success ourselves in expunging Words from our Vocabulary.

Ever since we have decided to stop using the Words skeptical and suspicious, and the Phrase You’ve got to be kidding, we have found ourselves more happy, easygoing, and inclined to buy Lottery Tickets.

Similarly, the words gloomy, morose, and miserable have been relegated to our unhappy Past, and we have found ourselves grown more cheerful, optimistic, and addle-headed as a Result.

True, Mr. Mulcair has claimed that the Removal of the Term Socialist will have no Effect, saying, "We will continue to be about removing the inequalities in our society."

But we think he is mistaken.

A Dandelion by any other Name may well smell like a Rose.


Now that the Party is no longer Socialist, it will begin to see that Central Planning does not work, and it will hasten to advocate for the Reduction of the Interference of Government in our Lives. It will become increasingly aware that, while Equality of Opportunity is something for which to strive, Equality of Result cannot be neither mandated nor achieved by Government Policy, and Government Fiddling.

It will realize that the Money for social Programs does not grow on Trees, but must be scrounged from the Grubbiness of making and selling Things for a Profit. It will also realize that compliant and generous Taxpayers, like Money, are not convenient, low-hanging Fruit to be plucked and devoured at Whim by voracious Governments.

It will realize that Government is essentially an organizational sort of Thing, and is hugely inept in making economic Decisions.

It will come to realize that free Enterprise and the Free Market System, as cruelly inegalitarian as they are, are the only reasonable and proven Means of attaining Prosperity.

Indeed, we have great Hopes that Common Sense, so long absent from those on the Left – longingly sighing at the silver Moon of Impossibilities, loonily languishing under the Spell of otherworldly Orbs – may quietly, but decisively assert itself.

(On the other hand, some Dandelions are more hardy, more resistant than others. Time will tell.)


April 14, 2013

Scarcely a Month goes by but that we hear of a Case of Plagiarism in high Places.* We know not whether Plagiarism has become more popular amongst those of High Office, or whether there are increasing Numbers of Readers with good Memories, who are willing to draw Attention to Misdemeanours among the Mighty.

We do confess, however, to some Surprise that the Grand Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, has resigned as a Result of the Discovery of Plagiarism.

While we have come to regard Religion itself as scamiferous – we have described it as superstition wearing a better suit of clothes (Observation 178) -- we have been willing to accept that, in the Case of the most popular Religions, Leaders are deluded rather than dodgy.

Now even that Illusion has been shattered.

Mr. Bernheim has argued that he relied on the Work of a Student who assisted him in the Writing and Research of his Books, and this accounts for Examples of failed Attribution.

We admit that we are skeptical of such Claims -- they suggest an extraordinary Insensitivity to Language at the very least -- and they seem inconsistent with Mr. Bernheim’s own Reference to his Borrowing as a "moral flaw." (Ottawa Citizen, April 11)

If there were any Doubt, it seems to be dispelled by the Fact that Mr. Bernheim had claimed to have earned an "Aggregation" in Philosophy, when he had not.

Indeed, we have come to view one Example of Plagiarism in the same Light as a single Cockroach: it is more like to indicate a moral Infestation than a momentary Lapse. As Juvenal (60 -130 A.D.) remarked: Nemo repente fuit turpissimus. (No one ever suddenly became depraved..)



Dr. Philip Baker, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta. (Drivel, June 16, 2011)

Professor Gilaninia, and the Canadian Centre of Science and Education. (Diary, March 5, 2012)

Steve Jeffrey, humourist with Anchor Weekly. (Diary, March 28, 2012)

Fareed, Zakaria, writer for Time Magazine. (Diary, August 11, 2012)

Clinton Beckford, Dean of Education, University of Windsor. Pal Scmitt, Hungarian President. Karl Theodar zu Guttenberg, German Minister of Defence. (Diary, December 13, 2012)

Dr. Chris Spence, Director of Toronto and District School Board. (Diary, January 10,11, 2013)



April 10, 2013


On the likelihood of unicorn sightings.

We are intrigued to see a Column in this Day’s National Post by Andrew Coyne, entitled The Liberals’ best hope, after all.

Mr. Coyne is referring, of course, to our favourite Politician, Justin Trudeau.

He notes that none of the other Candidates seems more compelling than the King-in-waiting:

Whatever his deficits in message or experience, moreover, in terms of popular appeal, it would be hard to argue Trudeau was not the best candidate.

Mr. Coyne argues that Mr. Trudeau is a much improved speaker, is less inclined to give way to theatrical flourish, and has shown a capacity to "learn and grow."


Mr. Coyne ends on a comfortingly optimistic note – if Mr. Trudeau can continue on his wonderful Trajectory, even at a reduced Pace:

...he may yet give Liberals reason to hope for better days.

We admit that our habitual Stance is skeptical, and our Conviction has always been that Mr. Trudeau is unlikely to be successful as a political Leader. However, we are well aware of the Dangers of Dogmatism and have no wish to appear as a hopeless Curmudgeon, mired in a muckish Morass of pre-conceived Negativity.

It may come as a surprise to the Reader that for many Years we have harboured the Hope that we may one day encounter a Unicorn. Indeed, we have kept by our Bedside, in case of Emergency, a small Notebook entitled : Unicorn Sightings and other Chimerical Encounters, for the express Purpose of recording such Phenomena.

Thus far, the Pages are blank. In the Light of Mr. Coyne’s Column, we have decided to alter the Title to read: Trudeau political Triumphs. We will keep a sharpened Pencil at all Times at the ready.




April 7, 2013

To what Absurdities may our cherished Illusions lead us? What Follies may we commit in the Pursuit of a noble-sounding but inaccurate Idea?

The Answer may be seen in the reflexive Responses of Justin Trudeau, the King-in-Waiting of the federal Liberal Party, and Jinny Sims, the Immigration Critic for the New Democratic Party.

Mr. Trudeau, you may remember, thought that the Term "barbaric" should not be used in referring to Honour Killings in a Guide for new Citizens in 2011. He thought the Government should aim for "responsible neutrality" in its Language.

Now, Ms. Jinny Sims has expressed concern that such harsh Language might "stigmatize" some Cultures.

Quelle Horreur!

It is evident that both of these Luminaries have accepted, evidently without a Smidgen of critical Thought, the Practice of Multiculturalism which is based on the Principle of Equality of Cultures.

If all Cultures are equal, then, of course, it would be a terrible Injustice to hurl a stigmatizing Dart at any of them.



The Title of Salim Mansur’s Book, The Delectable Lie is a wonderfully concise and accurate description of Multiculturalism. The Idea that all Cultures are equally admirable and that all should be accorded equal Respect is a wonderful Fantasy, but has nothing to do with Reality.

Either you think Honour Killings are barbaric, or you do not. But you cannot hold that each View is equally worthy of Respect.

You may hold that those expressing a Fondness for Broccoli are as admirable as those who prefer Brussels Sprouts, but there is a Level of Seriousness at which one cannot adopt a Stance of "responsible neutrality."

The Germans, the French, and the British have all concluded that Multiculturalism does not work. They are not the sharpest Knives in the Drawer, but we suppose that they should be given Credit for that Keenness of Perception which often comes from a Testing of Illusions against intractable Realities.

We have little Hope for Canada in this regard. After all, we embrace a coercive Universal Health Care System, restrict free Speech, and think that Human Rights Commissions are a good Idea.

Our Illusions seem particularly well-entrenched, and resistant to common Sense.


Ms. Sims may soon be observed on Limerick Lane.



April 6, 2013

Having a favourite Theory is like having a commodious and ever-expanding Suitcase. Much Satisfaction may be gained by seeing how many disparate Items may be conveniently fitted into it, without having sharp pointy Ends and lumpy Excrescences looking uncomfortably unaccommodated, preventing the Lid from being closed, and contradicting the general Air of Tidiness one expects from one’s Suitcases.

Our favourite Theory is that much Misery results from the blind Adherence to unsuitable Illusions. We say "unsuitable" because while we suspect all Illusions are unsuitable, it may be –since Illusions seem necessary to Mankind – that some may be deemed – at some future date – if not suitable, at least tolerable.

In the first Instance, we are intrigued by the Story of Youths from London, Ontario who decided that becoming Terrorists was a good Idea.

We note that one of them, Ali Medlej, saw Martyrdom as a convenient Exit from a Dilemma: how to follow a spiritual Path without giving up "girls or drinking." (National Post, April 5)

He is quoted:

So why don’t I just be a shaheed [martyr] and go straight to heaven instead of all the effort that I can’t seem to do.

It is apparent that Mr. Medlej was completely caught up in the Illusion of Religion. He followed it Hook, Line, and Sinker, and ended up dead. We would say that his Experience supports our View that unsuitable Illusions lead to Misery.*


In the second Instance, we are intrigued by the Rattling of nuclear Sabres by dear Leader Kim Jong Un. He has threatened a nuclear Attack on the United States. Has he thought this Matter through? Has he anticipated the Loss of Face when he fails to complete the Attack? Or does he plan to give the Enterprise his best Shot, and score an unlikely Victory and World Domination?

Last Evening, on The Agenda, Eric Margolis argued that this is a Ploy for Concessions – and that President Obama would do well to make a conciliatory Journey to Pyongyang.

On the Contrary, B.R. Myers has argued, in The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why it Matters (2010), that North Korea has a paranoid Culture based on a Sense of Racial Superiority and Xenophobia. According to a Review by Christopher Hitchens (Slate, Feb. 1, 2010), Children are taught not to fear War, but to embrace the "wonderful possibility of death by immolation."

There appears to be a Delusion of Racial Superiority which has the Status of a religious Cult.

Thus, according to Mr. Myers, "peace and disarmament negotiations are a waste of time." Indeed, any Conciliation is seen as Weakness.

The great Danger would be appear to be that Kim Jong Un believes in a long cherished and long promoted Illusion – that he believes his own Propaganda.

If so, Misery seems a likely Result.


*Of course, you may conclude that Mr. Medlej is, even now, enjoying the Favours of seventy six Virgins, or as, we have darkly suspected -- because the notorious Difficulty in translating old Documents -- the Favours of one seventy-six year old Virgin. In either Case, we think your Illusions will lead, if not to Misery, then to serious Disappointment.


April 4, 2013


We are intrigued to learn that a "free speech wall" established at Queen’s University on Tuesday was removed on the same Day.

Apparently the Wall contained "hate speech" and "racial slurs."

The Provost of the University has claimed (on The Source) that he does not know what Expressions were deemed unacceptable; he is trusting those who decided that the Wall should be removed.

We find ourselves of two Minds on this Matter.*

On one Hand, we approve of the Freedom to express Opinion. On the other Hand, we can understand that a free Speech Wall on which anonymous Comments may be posted invite a certain mischievous Scurrility and may encourage a Propensity for mindlessly repetitive Provocation.

We sense a Battle between free Speech and good Taste.


In other Words we find ourselves quite able to countenance a reasoned Article arguing that the Australovenians are a miserable, culturally deprived Lot whose Tendency to hold loud Parties into the early Morning Hours justifies their Deportation back to their miserable, culturally odious Homeland. We would object that the Condemnation is perhaps too sweeping, but would defend the Right to advance such Argument. At the same Time, we can understand the Desire to remove a scrawled Message: "F-----g Australovenians go home!"

In an ideal World, we might say: Anything goes. Hate Speech and racial Slurs will provoke Discussion which will put such Things in Context, so that they are seen for what they are.

In the real World, we accept the Fact that Maturity is unevenly distributed among the Young.


*Of course, in this Circumstance we are being asked to make a Judgement in the Absence of Knowledge. No one wishes to reveal what Remarks were considered to be "hate speech" and "racial slurs."


April 3, 2013


The Strange Case of Thomas Homer-Dixon*

We have learned that Mr. Homer-Dixon has recently written in the New York Times that President Obama should reject the Keystone XL Pipeline, and that this would be in the best Interest of our Fair Land.

We happened to hear, this very Morning, a Portion of an Interview with Mr. Homer-Dixon on this very Topick.

We admit that we are not an unbiased Observer; anyone tinged with Leftism, having that sinister Slant of the Glance, that Tendency to circle endlessly downward, the left Wing Flapping, the Right Wing motionless, as if glued to the Breast, is not like to meet with our Approbation.

Thus, it should not come as a Surprise that we found nothing in Mr. Homer-Dixon’s Remarks to erase our prejudicially Low Opinion of his Stance.

Indeed, he seemed like a reverse Alchemist – a Man determined to turn Gold into Lead.

Should Canada develop the Oil Sands, it risks becoming a "Petro-State," intoned Mr. Homer-Dixon. A Petro-State would be a terrible Thing, since Energy and Ingenuity would be sucked from other Enterprise.

Is this not like arguing that a Professionally-paid Hockey Player should not spend so much Time in the Improvement of his Skating Skills, lest he neglect Progress in the Weaving of Straw Baskets?

There are also great Dangers to a Reliance on Resources, in the Homer-Dixon Universe – for when Prices are high, the Economy will prosper, but when they are low, it will suffer. It is apparently better to have a permanently shrunken Economy, rather than one which suffers from Variability.

We might point out that an agricultural Economy blooms with the Sun and Rain, and shrivels in Cloud and Drought. We suspect that other Types of Economies are not immune to Variability. When a Manufacturing Economy is faced with Competition from Regions with lower Costs, the Speed of the Ship of State may be significantly affected.

Mr. Dixon also noted that Petro-States – we assume he is thinking of the Middle-East Variety – coddled with easy Revenue, fall into a Swamp of lazy Ineptitude and breed Hordes of gormless Layabouts.

We suspect that the Mr. Homer-Dixon is overlooking significant cultural and educational Differences between Canada and, for Example, Saudi Arabia.

Indeed we found Mr. Homer-Dixon remarkably unconvincing. In this Day’s Post, Peter Foster also refutes Mr. Homer-Dixon’s Assertion that the Development of the Oil Sands destroys vast Areas of Forest, and sucks up huge Quantities of Water in order to turn it into toxic Waste.

Mr. Foster claims that in Forty Years .02% of the Forest will be disturbed, and that the Land must be returned to its natural State. Only 2% of the Flow of the Athabasca River is diverted.

We suspect that Mr. Homer-Dixon is of that Group -- which includes Maurice Strong –which will not rest until Industrial Civilization is destroyed, and Human Beings return to the Caves from which they emerged Thousands of Years ago.

*Mr. Homer-Dixon’s Area of Expertise is in International Governance and Global Systems at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo. Both International Governance and Global Systems are Notions that no reasonable Person would contemplate for more than a nanosecond.


April 2, 2013

It is a Matter of great Difficulty to remain calm and judicious in the Face of a juicy Scandal.

Indeed, we will make no Attempt to do so: we must express our unseemly rejoicing that the Forces claiming catastrophic Climate Change have been caught, once again with their statistical Trousers down and their naughty Bits of deceptive Manipulation exposed.

On March 8, an Article was published in the journal Science purporting to show Reconstructions of Temperature over the last 11,300 Years. Lo, and behold, the discredited Hockey Stick of Michael Mann was conjured from the Bag of Hokiness, and appeared poised to shoot the Puck of Armageddon into the Net of Media Acclaim.

(National Post, April 2)

The Rise in Temperature in the Twentieth Century was alarming. "We’re screwed," announced The Atlantic, and, with varying Degrees of fascinated Horror, the News was repeated in the public Press.

Now, it appears, the Rumour of our Demise has been somewhat exaggerated. We claim to have little Understanding of the Technicalities, but it appears that modern instrumental Records for the Twentieth Century were "grafted on" to earlier Figures obtained through entirely different Methods.


The earlier Data "is heavily smoothed and does not pick up fluctuations below a time scale of several centuries. So the relative smoothness in earlier portions of their graph is not proof that variability never occurred before." (Ross McKitrick, National Post.)

It would appear that the Blade of the Hockey Stick is insufficiently robust to do any serious Shooting. It appears to resemble little more than an Aggregation of Matchsticks.

Indeed, even the lead Author of the Paper, Shaun Marcott, has now stated:

Our global paleotemperature reconstruction includes a so-called "uptick" in temperatures during the 20th century. However, in the paper we make the point that this particular feature is of shorter duration than the inherent smoothing in our statistical averaging procedure, and that it is based on only a few available paleo-reconstructions of the type we used. Thus, the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.

We have often maintained that the Belief in anthropogenic Climate Change Armageddon will one Day be seen as yet another Example of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.*

We may not have to wait as long as we thought.

*Charles Mackay, 1841

April 1, 2013

We continue to be fascinated by Trudeauphilia.

Perhaps it is only in our imaginary World that Candidates for political Office have a certain Gravitas, a certain Air of Competence, an aura of solid Reliability.

Indeed, now that we think of it, no socialist Candidate could possibly have any of these Qualities, since Socialists, by Definition, are all Dreamers who think that a Crystal Palace can be constructed on a Foundation of Unicorn Horns, and that the Edifice may be made to hum smoothly by a Committee of those dedicated to the Principles of Central Planning.

And yet socialist Candidates are often considered to be entirely respectable, and are sometimes accorded a peculiar Deference, extending – as in the Case of Mr. Layton – to unseemly Adulation.

Thus, it is obvious that our Conception of a proper political Candidate is based on an entirely false View of the World.

Further Evidence of our own eccentric Misconceptions has been provided by a Segment of The Source, which showed Passers-by responding to the Question Why would you vote for Justin Trudeau?



Among the Responses were: oh my gosh; he looks good in photos; he’s got the name; he looks better with his hair cut; his last name; Trudeau [Pierre] was a cool president; his age?

We must admit that there is a Possibility of hostile Editing in this Segment, but there is also a Chance that these Responses are representative.

Charisma, we suspect, trumps Character and Competence. Charisma may well be something which appeals to the Diencephalon, the primitive reptilian Brain, and scuttles conveniently by the more advanced cortical Structures.

Thus, we suspect that Mr. Trudeau’s Statement that the Leadership Race is not an appropriate Occasion for the Presentation of a Platform --

A leadership campaign is not a time where you put forward platform that you try to sell for the next two years. It’s about actually generating a platform that will allow us to develop the kind of strong policy platform that will answer all of your questions in 2015 in time for the election --

will pose no Difficulties for the Diencephalon-dominated and cortically-challenged Portion of the Electorate.



March 29, 2013

Optimism kills

We confess to having been profoundly influenced by Heart of Darkness, a Novel written by Joseph Conrad in 1899. In that Work it is suggested that, when faced with a Choice between an unpleasant Truth, and a more comfortable Illusion, we feel compelled to choose the Illusion. It is the perceived Necessity of this Choice that constitutes the Darkness at the Heart of Human Experience.

We find the Validity of Mr. Conrad’s Observation shown all around us.

In seeking Improvement, we often aim for absurd Ideals; the Irony is that "the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip-slidin’ away."

Thus the Universal Health Care System – like all centrally planned Schemes pretends to provide what it cannot – Equality of Care and the Primacy of the Patient in a government-controlled System. Instead it provides limited care inefficiently and unequally, and coerces Patients by denying them a Free Market Alternative.

The Indian Act is a Marvel of Socialistic Paternalism, which functions even more poorly than the Health Care System.

Human Rights Commissions attempt to provide instant Nirvana; instead they restrict Speech lest some might feel offended; they become bogged down in the Minutiae of designating Parking Spaces based on a Hierarchy of artificial Claims. By their very Structure, they support Complainants and oppress the Rights of Defendants.

Religion promises a compensatory Afterlife; but the Price is Conformity to arbitrary Dogma, Oppression, Inquisition or bloody Jihad.

Multiculturalism is a wonderful Ideal, but it can exist only in that World where all Cultures are equally admirable. In the real World, People tend to judge a Culture which tolerates Honour Killings, as inferior to one that does not. The Adoption of Multiculturalism as an official Policy is fraught with Danger.

We will admit that the Impulse to the Ideal is a Force for Improvement; but too often the Pursuit of the Ideal ignores limiting Truths, and the long-sought Cure is worse than the Disease.

Few People seem to see the World in these Terms, so we were pleased to see an Article by Roger Scruton in last Tuesday’s Post (reprinted from The New York Times) entitled Optimism Kills.

Mr. Scruton notes the idealistic Optimism in Europe and the United States in embracing the Arab Spring has led to "Islamist governments in Tunisia and Egypt, to the heightened persecution of Christians across the region, to the total destruction of Syria, to the murder of the American Ambassador in Benghazi, to the destabilization of Mali and to a constant tally of death and destruction with no end in sight."

Further, he traces the mortgage Crisis in the United States to Government Intervention in 1977 which required Lenders to ignore prudent Lending Practice in order to achieve an Ideal Level of Home Ownership.

Finally he notes the disastrous Effect of "optimistic doctrines" such as those of Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Indeed, one could argue that Hitler was driven by the Ideal of a perfect Aryan Race.

Mr. Scruton suggests that our reflexive Optimism may have been developed in earlier Times when it was of Advantage to small Tribes to "persecute the doubter, to go cheerfully forward against the foe." However, that Optimism may be of less Value in more complex Societies.

He concludes: "when truth threatens hope, it is truth we usually sacrifice, often along with those who search for it."

It is our View that idealistic Optimism is often our Defence against Reality; we constantly seek a World better than the one which we sense, no matter how dimly or acutely, is less than in benign Alignment with our interests. The Trick is to seek that Level of Improvement which is within the Realm of Possibility – which observes certain Limitations of Reasonableness.

That is a Trick which, we suspect, will not be easily mastered.

Observation #147: Man’s idealistic reach often exceeds the reasonable capabilities of his grasp; in this disparity lie the seeds of misery.

Observation #91: The ideal is the enemy of the possible.


March 27, 2013

It is seldom that we stray to make Commentary on truly important Matters. Our Wit is so enfeebled, and our Judgment so faulty, that it seems prudent to contain our Remarks to the Trivial and Inconsequential Oddities which do occasionally surface in the News of the Day.

It is thus with much Trepidation that we take as our Topick today, a Subject of transnational Significance.

We refer, of course to Justin Bieber, that radiating Light at the very Centre of Bieberdom, that tiny atomic Particle which expanded instantaneously in a cosmic Bang to form what we now know as the Bieber Universe.

To anyone possessed of a modest backyard Telescope, the continuing Expansion of a Universe is a Source of continuing Fascination.

Doth the Universe expand at a steady, slowing, or accelerating Rate? Is the Expansion clear and uniform, or doth there appear some Raggedness at the Edges, some unexpected thinning at the Centre?



Our own Telescope, constructed of the cheapest Materials, and apparently assembled by an elderly, disaffected, or inebriated Elf, has yet a Clarity sufficient to record some Raggedness.

Mr. Bieber has arrived two Hours late for a Concert, and has been seen emerging in Paparazzi Attack Mode from his Limousine. He has collapsed at a Concert, and has seen fit to parade, shirtless and panteccentric through a Polish Airport. He has reported having a bad Birthday. A Neighbour has charged him with Battery, arising from a Dispute over Mr. Bieber’s manically driven and disruptively noisy Ferrari.

We confess that a certain gloomy Pessimism is our natural Habit and Inclination of Mind. Eeyore was our favourite Character at Pooh Corner. Thus, we suspect that the Universe is in a slowing Mode, although we see no immediate Reversal to a tiny atomic Particle.

We attribute the Raggedness and the Slowing to the Difficulties inherent in the rapid Expansion from Particle to Universe. Suddenly, Perspective is lost; Mirrors, Telescopes, shatter in the Heat; all Space is consumed in the Blaze of a self-generated Glory.

It may take some Time to become aware of other Particles, other Universes, and all those Elements that lie in between.




March 26, 2013

We have no Knowledge of financial Matters – as may be seen from our empty Cupboards and worn Shoes.

We only wish that we had the Wit and Perspicacity of Cyprus, which, similarly afflicted, has found a Way out of the Thicket of Insolvency.

It has managed to secure a Bailout of Ten Billion Euros from the European Central Bank. This in itself is a considerable Accomplishment. We have applied for significantly more modest Amounts from similar Sources, but with no Success.

We understand that this Funding is dependent upon Cyprus acquiring other Monies. In a Stroke of sheer inventive Brilliance, the Government of Cyprus has decided to steal the necessary Funds from those with large Bank Accounts. It is reported that, in Consideration of the Principles of advanced Mercy, such Confiscations will not exceed Forty Percent.


We are significantly humbled by this Matter. Our Failures in Initiative and Imagination are made clearly apparent: we had never considered Theft to be a Solution to our Difficulties.

In our Defence, we would only say that we lack the Advantage of governmental Authority: our only means of removing Funds from a Bank would be to proceed to our local Branch with a Disguise, and a threatening Note.

Now that Cyprus has shown the Way, it would appear that the Threat to the Financial Stability of Nations has been significantly reduced: any needed Funds can be arranged through a simple Transfer from private Holdings

We admit to much Sense of Relief, and a growing Confidence in the imminent Attainment of World financial Stability.


 March 24, 2013

Affirmative Action Policing

We are sometimes surprised at the Rapidity with which bad Ideas can spread.

The Principle of Affirmative Action – a Euphemism for Discrimination – has a superficial Appeal for the Compassionate. When the Compassionate discover that Groups are treated prejudicially, they seek Remedy by requiring them to be treated preferentially.

This Reverse Discrimination might be countenanced as a kind of Shock Therapy to be administered for a limited Time Period, but, of course, the Compassionate see it as a persistent, continuing Remedy, a Nostrum to be prescribed permanently, even though the Patient suffers more from the Cure than the Disease.

Thus, one Kind of unofficial Discrimination is supplanted with a more Toxic, official One. Hiring Quotas are set: Women must become Stevedores, and the Disabled must fight Fires, based on some ideal Notion of an unattainable Equality.

Once the Principle is established – that some Groups should be treated differently from others – the natural Tendency to Prejudice can be given free, officially sanctioned Reign.

This appears to be what has happened in the case of Policing.

Native Protesters are not subject to the same laws as other Citizens. Roads and Rail Lines may be blocked with Impunity. Ordinary Citizens may be terrorized by the officially advantaged Group.


The Occupy Movement, because it claims to represent the Poor and Downtrodden, is allowed to occupy Public Parks for Months. The ordinary Citizen, setting up a Tent to protest against the Occupy Movement, would soon be asked to move on.

The latest Example of Affirmative Action Policing appears to have been the Arrest of Eric Brazau, who was caught, in Public, illustrating the Principle of Wife-Beating described in a recent Publication explaining Islam.

Mr. Brazau was dressed as an Imam, pretending to hit a Female wearing a Niqab with a Stick. This was a Mockery of the Book which for which Minister of Labour Yasir Naqvi rather foolishly wrote a Letter of Commendation. (Mr. Naqvi claims he did not read the Book.)

When the Police arrived, they initially did nothing, but when Mr. Brazau became engaged in a Shouting Match with a Woman across the Street, Mr. Brazau was arrested. It is our understanding that the Woman made Complaint to the Police.

Mr. Ron Banerjee, who was filming the Incident, was asked to relinquish his Videotape.

We do not recall reading of the Arrest of those who protested a Remembrance Day Service last Year.

Arrests are obviously made on the Basis of the wonderful Principle of Affirmative Action Policing.




March 23, 2013

The New Religion

We note that Today is the Occasion of Earth Hour – a Period when People are urged to turn off their Lights as a Token of their Support for the Battle against Climate Change.

Last Evening, as a Skeptic, we did watch the skeptical Sun News Network, where it was proposed that Human Achievement Hour be celebrated instead.

Earth Hour, of course is an Outgrowth of the Notion, proposed by Maurice Strong, that Industrial Civilization needs to be dismantled:

Isn’t the only hope for this planet that the industrial civilization collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?

In the New Religion, Mankind is destroying the Planet, and only by turning out the Lights and retreating to the Caves can Doomsday be averted and Salvation be attained. Earth Hour creates a symbolic Moment of Darkness, an unhappy Presage of our Return to the pre-industrial Era.

Its Function is entirely symbolic. It does nothing to affect – if indeed Man does affect – Climate Change. It is a relatively painless token – an expression of well-wishing – an inexpensive Purchase of a fleeting Sense of Virtue. It is like saying "Have a Good Day," or "May He rest in Peace," before turning to other Matters.

In other Words, it is a great Deal of Nonsense.

The Celebration of Human Achievement Hour is similarly symbolic, but is posited on a more optimistic View of Humankind. Industrial Civilization, where it has been attained, has achieved longer, more comfortable, and more interesting Lives for Human Beings. There may indeed be Limits to human Expansion, but the Predictions of Robert Thomas Malthus (1766 - 1834) that Population Growth would outstrip the Supply of Food and result in Famine and Disease, have been avoided through human Ingenuity.


If Human Achievement Hour -- which suggests we use as much Electricity as possible to counteract the Effects of Earth Hour – is somewhat silly – it may be argued that the only reasonable Way to battle Nonsense is with an equivalent Dose of Silliness.

We should note that, after seeing our Opinions reinforced on the Sun News Network, we turned, as is our wont, to watch the News on CTV.

Ah! Give us that old Tyme New Religion. There, Earth Hour was discussed as a most reasonable customary Observance quite likely to gain Dispensation, Blessing, and Indulgence from the Climate Gods.

In particular, a ten-year-old female Climate Change Enthusiast was featured. There is Nothing quite like the clear-eyed Confidence of the very Young when assured that they are acting on the Side of the Angels.

It is not, of course, without Reason that Dr. Suzuki claims that Santa Claus, his Workshop, and all the Elves are being forced from the North Pole by global Warming. Perhaps even now a Youth Wing of the New Religion is being recruited -- and trained. Like the young in Oceania, they will be confident and pitiless, ready to turn in their Grandmothers for a Mis-filing in the Blue Box.

We are increasingly of the View that the Young should not be exposed to Religion at all. They should, instead, commit to Memory the Rules of English Grammar, the location and Capitols of Countries, and the chief Features of the Eras, Eons, and Periods in the History of the Earth. They might, perhaps acquire a foreign Language, and memorize important Passages in Languages no longer in Use. When they are old enough, they can be introduced to Global Warming, and some of the lesser World Religions.



March 22, 2013

We confess to a certain Amount of Distress, Dismay and Discombobulation.

We have been eagerly anticipating the Coronation of Justin Trudeau as Liberal Leader, which promises a great Spectacle of Flower-Strewn Streets and cheering Crowds, not to mention a rare Glimpse of the 1957 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Convertible.

But now we are apprised of some sobering News which might dampen the Parade.

Apparently the much ballyhooed Three Hundred Thousand Liberal Supporters have been cut from a Cloth not tested for Resistance to Shrinkage. The hard Rain of Reality appears to have reduced the Number of Supporters to One Hundred and Twenty-Seven Thousand. (Sun News, March 22)

The other One Hundred and Seventy-Three Thousand appear to have omitted the crucial Step of becoming eligible to vote; they have been lost in the Wash.


It has been murmured, darkly, that some of the original Supporters were shown to share an E-Mail Address with other Supporters, thus suggesting Liberals are more prone to multiple Personality Disorder than the Population at large.

Under the Category of Invidious Comparisons -- we discover that the New Democrats had One Hundred and Thirty Thousand paid-up Members when Thomas Mulcair was elected Leader in 2012.

There has been some fear expressed that a reduced Number of eligible Voters might prove embarrassing to Mr. Trudeau, reducing the Shine of his Parade, and clouding his Prospects with a Pall of Uncertainty and a Shadow of Doubtfulness.

We are told that the official Figures will be announced next Week.

Alas, we can see no way in which Embarrassment can be avoided. If the Figures are low, Mr. Trudeau may be embarrassed; If they are high, significant Doubt will be cast on the common Sense of Canadians.


March 21, 2013

We note with Interest that some Native Leaders have vowed to oppose the Building of new Pipelines.

Chief Martin Louie in British Columbia has been quoted:

If we have to keep going to court, we’ll keep doing that.

(National Post, March 21)

Phil Lane Jr. of the American Yankton Sioux has said:

We’re going to stop these pipelines one way or another.

This resolute Determination appears to be rooted in the fertile Muck of Environmentalism. Mr. Louie appears to see Natives as having a special Responsibility for saving the Earth:


We’re the ones that’s going to save whatever we have left of this earth.

This Saving, it appears, will be effected by stopping Development of Resources.

No Doubt the Native Leaders have an alternative Plan, which will be revealed at an appropriate Time.

Possibly it involves a Return to the Trapping of Beaver, and the Implementation of a major Campaign of Advertising to encourage a Revival of the Habit of wearing Furs. Canadians may well be given Incentives to leave their filthy Cities, and populate the areas of Northern Lakes and Rivers which hold an Abundance of Fish, and where the surrounding Lands are replete with Rabbit, Deer, and Moose.

These Measures, together with a little environmental Pixie Dust, a few solar Panels, and some ancient Shamanic Potions may well see us weaned from our toxic Dependence on Fossil Fuels, and the Earth will be returned to the Golden Age.


March 20, 2013

We are pleased to learn, from this Day’s Post, that Mr. Flaherty, the Minister of Finance

has succeeded in pressuring Manulife Bank to cancel its plans to offer consumers a lower interest rate on its five-year- fixed mortgage.

In a bold Move, typical of the best Practice in advanced democratic Regimes, Mr. Flaherty apparently simply instructed a Member of his Staff to telephone the Bank and indicate that the lowered Rates "would not be tolerated."

Manulife Bank, in a brilliant Exercise of its complete Freedom to determine corporate Policy, has decided to comply.



Apparently Mr. Flaherty was similarly displeased with the Bank of Montreal this Month when it proposed a similar lowered Rate. On that Occasion, he called the Bank himself.

There is a great comfort to living in Canada, where our Masters have our own best Interests at Heart.

 The Supreme Court protects us from the terrible Effects of Detestation and Vilification, The Human Rights Commissions ensure that we always have appropriate Parking Spaces, the Health Care System ensures that we are equally coerced, and the Minister of Finance protects us from the deleterious Effects of borrowing Money too cheaply.

We confess that, on Occasion we have sometimes voiced Complaint about Flaws we believe we have discovered in our wonderful Country. We now realize that we have been mistaken; our present State is beyond Perfection itself. From our Lips the only Sound henceforth will be in a paean of untempered Praise.


March 18, 2013

White Privilege

We take great Comfort that we live in an Era of many advanced Ideas, some of which bid fair to produce the Nirvana of our Dreams within a surprisingly short Period of Time.

We note with much Approbation that the Delavan-Darien High School in Wisconsin has a Course in "American Diversity" which exposes the vexed Matter of White Privilege. Students are taught that White People have many Advantages based on the Colour of their Skin, and those of different Skin Colours are thereby oppressed.

White Students are asked to wear White Wristbands as a Symbol of their unintended Oppressive State.

Our only Criticism of this View of Society is that it is too generalized; the real Roots of Inequality and Oppression cannot be extirpated until these Matters of Privilege are broken down into many relevant constituent Parts.

For Example, is it not a Truth universally acknowledged that those Members of our Society who are considered "handsome," "comely" and "attractive," have an Advantage over those considered "average," "plain," or "cosmetically challenged? Who is more likely to be hired as a Secretary to the President: Barbara, the blonde Bombshell, or Mousy Jane?

Surely a Purple Wristband should be worn by those of superior Attractiveness, to remind them of their unfair Advantage?

It has also been observed that those with athletic Ability are most like to be selected first in the Schoolyard when Baseball Teams are being chosen. The unfortunate and oppressed Klutzes are always chosen last, with much sense of Resignation and Regret.


May we recommend that an Orange Wristband be required of those who demonstrate superior athletic Ability?

We should also note that those of high Intelligence, of quick and ready Wit, or of superior Capacity for Learning seem to gain a Prominence and Position in Society that is seldom matched by those who seem formed of more ordinary Clay.

Should not those of greater mental Capacity be required to wear a green Wristband to remind them of their Privilege?

It will hardly have escaped the Attention of those with even an average mental Capacity, that those with a Background of Wealth have significant Advantages over those brought up in Poverty. The Background of Wealth seems to bring an expanded Horizon, to open up more Doors of Opportunity and Possibility than does one of confining Poverty.

Should not those with a Background of Wealth be required to wear Wristbands of Brown, Blue, Red, and Yellow, according to their Position on the Scale of Wealth?

It may have dawned on the observant Reader, that Qualities of Determination, Ambition, Aimiability, Common Sense, and Courage might also be of unequal Distribution, and worthy of Reflection in the Wearing of a designating Wristband.

Once this Matter of Wristband Designation is properly determined – admittedly no easy Task -- the Path to Nirvana will be clear. Those with many Wristbands would be marked as undeniable Oppressors, and might be banished to a suitably remote Arctic Island. Those with no Wristbands at all could be put in Charge of Government, Education, and the Running of essential Services.

Those with a moderate Number of Wristbands could devote their Days to the Refinement of the Science of Wristbanding; the Aim would be a Perfecting of the Techniques of Assessment and Designation of various human Inequalities.



March 17, 2013

We see that the Pretense of a Contest for Leadership of the Liberal party has been abandoned.

Bowing to the Weight of what he perceived as the mathematical Inevitability of Mr. Trudeau’s Victory, Marc Garneau stepped aside from the Campaign last Wednesday.

Contrary to the Rumour that Mr. Garneau simply looked up the Number of Mr. Trudeau’s Facebook followers, put that Number into an advanced logarithmic Equation, and divided the Result by the Speed of Light, it appears that an internal Poll of 6000 Supporters was conducted.

The Conclusion was that Mr. Trudeau had a support Level of 72% .

There appears to be a minor Kerfluffle before the Coronation: only about One-Third of 294,000 Liberal Supporters have actually registered, and extra Time is being allocated to allow them to make their Commitment to Mr. Trudeau.

If the Universe were a rational Place, we would conclude that the Liberals, after a Number of failed Suicide Attempts, have finally drunk the Cup of Hemlock, and will at last slip, unmindful and unminded, into the Embrace of Lethe.


Of course, if the Universe were a rational Place, there would be no Religion, no climate Alarmists, no Human Rights Commissions, and no coerced universal Healthcare.

Thus any Obituary for the Liberal Party would be presumptuously premature.

When one observes the various Follies of the World, and has got past the Question of why People are so determinedly stupid, much Interest arises from observing how far a Roadrunner may proceed over the Edge of a Cliff before the illusory Support of Air gives way, and the Absence of solid Ground contrives a necessary Plummet.

The Time may be extraordinarily long; Religion has survived Darwin by over a Hundred and Fifty Years, and gives every Appearance of Immortality. On the other Hand, we are confident that the coercive Healthcare System is wheezing on Life Support, and will not last a Generation.

We look Skyward to trace the Liberal Trajectory; we cannot rule out the Possibility of Surprise.



March 16, 2013

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
...           (Romeo and Juliet)

We have observed that Reality is always the dowdy Sister to Fancy: every Landscape is improved in the Prism which reduces the Glare of Truth and softens Edges in a Kindliness of fanciful Rose.

The Rose, as Mr. Shakespeare has observed, would smell as sweet by any other Name, and rotten Eggs would smell as sulphurous; but it is human Nature to succumb to serial Euphemisms.

It may come as a Shock to those with Today’s Sensibilities, that, Seventy Years ago, the Term "crippled" was in ordinary Use. Because the Designation suggests an irremediable Deficiency, it became viewed as too harsh, and worthy of Softening. Subsequently, Terms such as "disabled," "handicapped," "physically challenged," "alternatively abled," have been gently inserted into the descriptive Lexicon in an Attempt to cast an optimistic Light on an intractable Reality – as if new Words could make up for no Legs. (Observation #3)


We are not surprised, therefore, to discover that there is a Suggestion that the term Schizophrenia – which has acquired some Degree of Ill-repute because those affected have sometimes committed violent Crimes – be replaced. (CTV News, March 15)

In the Netherlands, as an Alternative, "dysfunctional perception syndrome," has acquired some Currency. "Integration Disorder," and "Salience Syndrome" have also been suggested. Our own Preference would be for "Alternatively gifted Perception," or "Angelic Voices Syndrome."

Alas, no Matter what the Name, if Victims of the Disorder are seen to cut off People’s Heads and push Strangers in front of approaching Subway Trains, the Outlook is scarcely benign.

Indeed, the persistent Euphemisms will acquire a certain Whack-a-mole Quality of Desperation.


March 15, 2013

What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. (Francis Bacon, 1561 -1626) 

In his famous Essay On Truth, Bacon acknowledges that Lies are often preferred to Truth; he notes that:

A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure.

Little has changed in Humankind since the Sixteenth Century. We have recently seen the Supreme Court of Canada, in the Whatcott Decision, declare that Truth may be restricted if it is deemed to support Detestation or Vilification.

The same idea is expressed in the Reaction of the City of San Francisco, which has reluctantly published Advertisements placed by Pamela Geller on Transit Vehicles. These bear the true Statements of Islamists such as:

Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah.

The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.

The City has condemned the Advertisements, terming them Islamophobic Bigotry. A Mixture of a Lie doth ever add Pleasure. It is preferable to imagine that such Statements have nothing to do with Islam.

The "Truths" that Men seek are comfortable ones, that do not interfere with a convenient Narrative, or seem inconsistent with the Views of the Tribe.

Thus the Obama Administration preferred to blame the Killings at Benghazi on the Reaction to the Film Innocence of Muslims, rather than administrative Failure resulting from a Devotion to the Myth that Al Qaeda was a spent Force.

Even when the Truth may be hidden in Controversy, Men do not seek it out by examining contrary Opinion; rather they prevent Debate in Fear that their current "Truths" may suffer some Tarnish.

Indeed this is the established Custom at Canadian Universities. In this Day’s National Post we learn that Stephen Woodworth, a Conservative Member of Parliament, was blocked from Speaking about Abortion at the University of Waterloo by Protesters. This is the Same University which allowed the Halting of Christie Blatchford’s Speech about aboriginal Protests in Caledonia.

Similarly, Anne Coulter, an American Conservative was prevented from speaking at The University of Ottawa in 2010, and last Week a Lecture by Janice Fiamengo at the University of Toronto entitled "What’s Wrong with Women’s Studies?" was interrupted by a Fire Alarm and the Evacuation of the Building.

Truth is not highly prized. Illusion or a comfortable unchallenged Belief are what Men seek.

As Mr. Bacon has said:

... this same truth, is a naked, and open day_light, that doth not show the masks, and mummeries, and triumphs, of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle_lights. Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond, or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights.


March 13, 2013

We have learned that Ms. Wynne is not alone in her Obsession with starting Speeches by the referring to the Inhabitants of indigenous Lands. (See March 11 below.)


We have found it necessary to examine this Peculiarity in the Drivel Section. (March 13)

Meegwetch, and may Glooscap guide your every Thought.


March 12, 2013

Much has been made of Pastagate in our wonderful Province of Quebec. Quebec, under the firm Apprehension that the French Language is in Need of Protection, has adopted all Manner of coercive Legislation to ensure that People will be forced to do what they would otherwise not.

The aim is to give Preference to the French Language in public Display, and to give all other Languages inferior Status.

In a Moment of admirable Zeal, the Quebec Language Police recently required that the Menu in an Italian Restaurant be altered so that words such as "Pasta" be changed to a more suitable French equivalent. We have heard that Objection has been made to Restaurant Machines bearing Switches with the contaminating Designations "On," and "Off."

Such Nit-Pickery has exposed the Province to Ridicule in the World at large, and Louise Marchand, the Head of the Watchdog Police, has resigned..

We note that the P.Q. Government, while appearing to step back in this Instance, has plans to require that French be the mandatory Language of the Workplace where there are from 25 to 49 Employees.

We would observe that Desire for Protection of the French Language in Quebec shows a slight Variation of a General Principle, in which Society is viewed, not as a single Group of Citizens, but as a Conglomeration of Groups, some of which are in Need of Protection and Assistance, and others are not.


The usual Argument is Equality: Flatheads are under-represented in the Towers of Academe; hence, our hiring Policies will give them Preference; Flatfoots have been discriminated against in the Past; hence any Expressions of Detestation or Vilification against them are deemed illegal. Longfaces have, in the Past, been oppressed; let us right the wrong by letting them ignore the Law.

It is a Truth which should be universally acknowledged, that whenever a Group is given official "Protection" or "Preference" – the result will be Oppression of other Groups, and the Legislation will be used as a Tool to advance the Cause of the officially oppressed Group.

This is because no Human Being wishes for Equality; every Human Being wishes for Improvement and Superiority, and will use whatever Tools there are available to advance his Cause.

The Case of Quebec differs only slightly from this customary Circumstance: the Aim has never been for Equality; the real Aim of Superiority has always been acknowledged.

We wonder how long it will take for the Truth to be admitted: every Attempt to protect a particular Group results in the Oppression of Others; special Status means special Restrictions. Wisdom will come when it is realized that no Benefit should be assigned to one Group unless it can be assigned to all.

(We have written in the same Vein in Underdoggitis, Drivel, January 25, 2013.)


March 11, 2013


We are intrigued to learn that the new Wynne Government is suggesting preferred Phrases and Language to be used by Bureaucrats in an Attempt to create an appropriate Image for itself. (National Post, March 11)

The Goals are to suggest a "can-do attitude" and strike a Note of "rousing enthusiasm." The Brand is "a forward thinking, collaborative, inclusive, respectful government." Speeches are to be 10% French, employ personal Anecdotes, and use "active language, bold and direct."

We are in an Enthusiasm to see whether Tricks of Language can distract the Eye –and Nose -- from the McGuinty Legacy, and certain odd Wynne-ful Preoccupations.

We are reminded of an old New Yorker Cartoon depicting an exhausted and dishevelled Woman riding a Camel across a blazing, unending Desert. She is repeating, as a Mantra:

I’m having a wonderful time... I’m having a wonderful time...I’m having a wonderful time...

We note that Ms. Wynne was Minister of Aboriginal Affairs in 2011 and 2012. This Experience seems to have had its own branding Effect on Ms. Wynne. One of the new, preferred Buzzwords is Meegwetch – or thank you in Algonquin. Thus the new Government "likes to wrap speeches with ‘thank you and meegwetch.’"


It is also now de rigeur to begin a Speech by referring to the Fact that both Speaker and Audience are on traditional Indian Territory. It is as if a Homeowner, welcoming a Visitor, would say:

Do come in; you are on the traditional Territory of the Browns (1906 - 1912), the Arbuthnots (1912-1932), the McArthurs (1932- 1958), the Hinchleys (1958 -1972) and Miss Smibert (1972-1999).

Such Mention is not customary, or relevant. To make such habitual Reference suggests a hidden Importance, and reveals that the current Owner feels like a Trespasser – illegitimate and temporary -- and is of lesser Importance than the previous Owners.

Not only was Ms. Wynne a leading Light in the truly awful McGuinty Government; we have some considerable Trepidation about the unabashed Exercise of some of her Eccentricities, of which, we suspect, Reverence for Aboriginals is only one. We have heard that the wonderfully advanced Sex Education Program for Schools, (Sex Toys for Toddlers, or some such beneficent Enlightenment), withdrawn by Mr. McGuinty under considerable Fire, is like have a new Impetus under Ms. Wynne.

We can scarcely wait for a resoundingly confirmed No-Wynne Situation.


See also Drivel, March 13, 2013: The peculiar Need to refer to Indigenous Lands


March 10, 2013

One does not normally associate those on the Left with entrepreneurial Thinking. The Socialist does not want to show a starving Man how to cut a Rod, fashion a Hook, create a Fishing Line from old Cloth, and explain how Worms may be discovered and used as Bait.

The immediate Socialist Response is to tax the fishing Industry, and use the Funds to provide Packages of frozen, processed and breaded Fish on a continuing indefinite Basis.

We are pleased, therefore, to discover an unexpected Streak of Enterprise in Bob Rae, currently the interim Leader of the Federal Liberal Party, and renowned for his Role as former New Democratic Party Premier in Ontario.

It appears that Mr. Rae, not totally satisfied with his current Employment, has expressed a Desire to sell his Services on the Side to the Indian Chiefs of Ontario, and negotiate on their Behalf, with the Ontario Government and Ontario Mining Companies to secure beneficial Royalties. (Ezra Levant, Sun News, March 10)

Mr. Levant notes that, under existing Treaties, Indian Bands are not entitled to such Royalties; doubtless this Fact is an energizing Challenge to Mr. Rae’s Spirit of Initiative.



Perhaps this is merely the Beginning of a long Series of bold new creative Ideas which we may see from our Members of Parliament.

Mr. Mulcair might be interested in becoming a Lobbyist for the Canadian Auto Workers. Mr. Trudeau, known for his extensive Speaking Engagements, might well garner extra Cash from the David Suzuki Foundation, in return for favourable Mention of Climate Alarmism.

Indeed, the Possibilities for enterprising Politicians would seem to be endless. Would not the Manufacturers of Soap, Toothpaste, and Beer find Advantage in hiring Politicians who would display and endorse their Products?

We believe that Mr. Rae has opened up a whole new Era of Entrepreneurial Reality. Why should a Politician be cabined, cribbed and confined in the Straitjacket of Service to Electors and Citizens? Why should he not have the same Freedom as the Golfer, Tennis Star or Hoopster Player to sell his Services and Endorsements for the highest Dollar?

We feel that a brave new World is close upon us.


March 9, 2013

The Election of a new Pope is much in the News, and a mini-Tsunami of Excitement is launched with historical Reference, Review of arcane Ritual, and Speculation on Influences on the Decisions of the Cardinals.

Even in the World of the Spirit, Everyone loves a good Horse Race.

To the confirmed Atheist, of course, the Pomp and Circumstance and spiritual Pretensions are mere Trappings which only partially disguise the practical Workings of Transfer of Power in a Corporation with a high Degree of Brand Awareness.

The very Fact of the Resignation of the Pope is somewhat de-mystifying. The Myth that his Choosing is an other-worldly Matter not to be meddled with – suggesting that the Pope must die in Office-- is undercut by the Reality of a Pope who feels that he is insufficient to the Tasks at Hand.

The vexing Matter of an apparent Preference for protecting the Reputation of the Church and its Clergy rather than Victims of Sex Abuse suggests more Brimstone than Holy Water. The fact that Irish Cardinal Keith O’Brien has been forced to resign after Allegations of Misconduct by four Priests does little to burnish the Brand Image.

The Pope’s Butler, Paolo Gabriele, last year stole and leaked Documents which dealt with Allegations of Corruption and a Struggle for Power at the Vatican. His declared Motive was to shock a corrupt Church.

In this Day’s Post, there is an Article suggesting that the Vatican Bank poses a significant Challenge for a new Pontiff. In 1982, Roberto Calvi, the Chairman of a Bank linked to the Vatican was found dead in a Manner which suggested Involvement with the Mafia. More recently, a European Committee declared that the Vatican Bank was deficient in its Ability to deal with money laundering, tax evasion, and other financial crimes."


The Catholic Church is also placed in the awkward Position of maintaining Consistency in the light of changed Circumstance. While it appears to have accepted the fact that the Earth circles the Sun, it has Positions on Celibacy of Priests, Birth Control, Women Priests, Homosexuality, and Abortion which seem quaint historical Anomalies in a World which has generally become more practical, and less wedded to Theories of what God wants. (As if anyone could know!)

Despite these Mundanities, of course, the Desire for comforting Certainty, and the Reassurance of a pleasant After-life will assure continued Sales of the Product. For many, Religion is a comforting Hand-Rail to be grasped in the uncertain Terrain of Life. The Fact that the Hand-Rail is not fixed to anything real, does not make it less desirable.

The Realities of Existence are not pleasant. We live in a World of great Uncertainty with potential for dramatic Change. Human Beings are simply the most capable and intelligent Variations derived from the Universal Building Blocks of DNA. The World, at its Essence, is Darwinian. At some Point, the Sun will explode up and put an End to the whole Experiment – at least in this Corner of the Universe.

None of this provides for the Meaning we seek, or the Equality and Justice we can imagine.

Irrational Belief is probably here to stay. The best that can be hoped for is that any particular Religion may offer an illusory Comfort, but not be taken so seriously as to oppress those with other Systems of Belief.



March 7, 2013

On the Death of Mr. Chavez

It was our Understanding that Mr. Chavez was a socialist Dictator whose Schemes were funded by serendipitous Reserves of Oil.

According to William Dobson, writing in this Day’s National Post, he leaves behind a Country with high Inflation, elevated Debt, and crumbling Infrastructure. There are Shortages of Flour, Milk, and Sugar. Mr. Dobson states that:

On an average weekend, more people are killed in Caracas than in Baghdad and Kabul combined.

Although Mr. Chavez won many Elections, he did so through Dominance and Control of Media, and prohibiting Others from running for Office.

What we find interesting is that – among those on the Left – Mr. Chavez is hardly reviled.

Mr. Jimmy Carter is quoted:

[Mr. Chavez] will be remembered for his bold assertion of autonomy and independence for Latin American governments.


Mr. Jean Chretien:

Always Chavez tried to have normal elections. Some people would say it was not completely normal but it was much better than other countries that were officially communist..." (B.C.Blue, March 6)

We always had very good private discussions. An anecdote, he was a great baseball fan and player and he always told me that when if I were to visit him in Venezuela we would go to a baseball field and he would throw balls to me for me to hit them, you know. And we never had the occasion to do that.

He was very colourful and very unusual and he did his best even if we did not agree at all times on many issues. Yahoo News, March 5.

Ms. Judy Rebick: recounting a visit:

It was the first time I visited a country where the poor people told me their life had gotten better since the President was elected. He was a great leader dedicated to the welfare of his people. I am sad that he has died. (National Post, March 7)

How powerful is the Force of Illusion! It appears to matter not what Havoc is wrought on the Field of Reality, as long as it is done under the Banner of Socialism, Some will see only a flower-strewn Meadow stretching forever under Skies of cloudless Blue.



March 6, 2013


(Three slogans from the Ministry of Truth, 1984)

After the infinite Wisdom displayed by our Supreme Court in the Whatcott Decision, in which Freedom of Speech was deemed to be subservient to the Right of some Groups to have their Feelings protected, and in which it was declared that Truth could not be called upon to mitigate the Crime of Hate Speech, it is clear that the Reality of 2013 bears some Resemblance to Mr. Orwell’s imaginative Depiction of the World of Oceania in the Novel, 1984.

In Oceania, History and Language were made changeable and arbitrary as a means of confusing and destabilizing the Citizenry. Such Pavlovian Brainwashing then enabled the successful Propagation of absurd and illogical Beliefs, "Truths" which allow the Perpetuation of Control by Big Brother.

We doubt that the Supreme Court of Canada is as consciously malevolent; indeed, the addled Jurists probably believe that their Oppression is for the greater Good – the ultimate Triumph of Sweetness and Light.

They are, of course, mistaken. The Equating of Opinion – no matter how detestable or vilifying – with Criminality simply provides a Tool for Entrapment and Revenge, and a Lever for the State to promulgate whatever Version of Reality seems of Advantage at the Moment.



We are pleased to see, in this Day’s National Post, an Editorial which calls for the Abandonment of Human Rights Commissions, the legal but unethical Mechanism by which the Rights of Citizens are trampled upon.

As we have noted in the Past, even Mr. Orwell could hardly have imagined a more ironic Designation – " Human Rights Commissions." For these Courts, noted for a Kangaroo leaping over established Safeguards and legal Principles, betray more Rights that they uphold. Complainants may launch their Suits without Cost, and receive Government funded legal Support. There is no Penalty for frivolous or vexatious Proceedings. The Reward may be a Chunk of Cash.

It is like a Declaration of "Open Season" on those deemed insufficiently schooled in the Nuances of the Correctness of the Moment.

The Defendant, on the other hand, must expend Time and dispense Cash for his Defence. Nor is there any Compensation for False Accusation.

A Folly, once established, grows Tentacles, and Roots, fastens itself with Inertia, and grows the deceptive Camouflage of Normality. It is not washed away in the Wavelets of occasional Comment. What is needed, is a great Tide of Public Opinion. But such Tides take a long Time to gather Strength for the Unleashing of a purging Fury.



March 5, 2013

We have been reflecting on the Source and Origin of the perverse Decision of the Supreme Court to hold that Freedom of Speech should be curtailed if it interferes with the Notion of Self Fulfilment, or if it offends with Detestation and Vilification. (See Diary, February 28)

We have concluded the Decision must have its Root in the dedicated Desire of Nannies to create Nirvana. In the very Nadir of Nanny-Think, Society is perceived, not as an Aggregation of Citizens, but as a Clumping of different Groups, with some Groups being more advantaged than others.

In the Philosophy of Nanny-Think, Nirvana is to be achieved by raising up Disadvantaged Groups and oppressing those which are Advantaged, so that a wonderful Equality will be achieved.

Thus we have affirmative Action in Hiring, Failure to enforce the Law against native Protestors, equity Chairing, the Prohibition of private medical Insurance, the Allowing of Muslim Prayers in Secular Schools, the Promotion of the Wearing of non-Christian religious Symbols by government Employees (the Turban, the Hijab), the Suppression of Christmas, Legislation favouring Tenants over Landlords, the Awarding of convenient parking Spaces to the Obese, and –as the recent Supreme Court Ruling suggests -- the Protection of the Feelings of those deemed in Need of having their Feelings protected.


It is all very selective; Nanny-Think depends on a wonderful Sense of Discrimination.

It is unlikely, for instance, that Ridicule of the Catholic Religion will result in a Human Rights Commission Enquiry; it is almost certain that Ridicule of Islam–consider Mr. Levant’s Publication of the Danish Cartoons-- will be considered worthy of the full Frenzy of fanatical Prosecution.

In a recent Sun News Article (March 3), John Robson notes that while there has been an Outcry against the Supreme Court Decision on the part of Journalists, there has been an "eerie silence" from Politicians. We have had no Statements from Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair, or Justin Trudeau.

Alas, now that the Supreme Court has trumpeted its Folly and Misapprehension to the Public Square, only through Legislation may we hope for a Return to Sanity.

We are not optimistic. It would appear that Nanny-Think, like a seeping corrosive Acid, has weakened the Foundation of Liberty upon which the State was built, and upon which a reasoned and reasonable Justice still depends. As the Foundation shifts, and crumbles, Comparisons with the Oceania of 1984 may seem less far-fetched than instructive.

See also: The Valley of Hythlos, Drivel, March 9, 2011; The Impulse to Facism Drivel, February 8, 12, 2011.




March 3, 2013


We have become vaguely aware that the Toronto and District School Board has achieved a remarkable Goal: it is an Exemplar of peculiar Perversity.

The former Director, Chris Spence, was discovered to have been a serial Plagiarist, which cast some slight Shadow on his Qualification to lead an Organization with nominal Commitment to Integrity.

Despite the Danger of espousing a religious Viewpoint in a secular School System, the Board seems to have no Difficulty in the Blessing of Muslim Prayers held during School Hours at Valley Park Middle School. Despite the Principle of the Equality of Men and Women, it is untroubled by the Separation of the Sexes and menstruating Females in those Ceremonies.

An independent audit of the Board criticized Managers for lack of Accountability in Spending. It has been noted that the Installation of a Pencil Sharpener cost $143, and the cutting of a Key $147.

Most recently we have learned of a Document entitled Challenging Class Bias-- a Teaching Guide at  the Board which suggests that Communism has unfairly been identified with Totalitarianism. It refers to the need to

address the failures of our present economic system to distribute wealth and public goods equitably.

It notes the following:

Myth: We cannot afford the social programs needed to eliminate poverty.

Fact: High interest rates and tax breaks to corporations and wealthy individuals are the prime culprits for Canada’s deficits, not social spending.


It is our Understanding that Communism has been tried in Russia, Europe, and China, and found to be significantly flawed. Millions of Citizens have been killed in order to implement an illusory Ideal.

We would have thought that the Evidence from actual Experiment, added to some slight theoretical Understanding of the Nature of the Reality in which we find ourselves would have put to rest forever the Dreams of Socialism.

We are obviously wrong. This Teacher’s Guide, in the 21st Century, implies that Wealth and Goods can be distributed equitably, and that Poverty can be eradicated with social Programs.

Equality, as we have often noted, is a seductive Concept, both admirable and dangerous. It is an Ideal to be pursued in the Provision of Opportunity, or in Treatment before the Law. But Equality of Outcome must be viewed as a Chimera. Inequality of Outcome may be moderated, but it can never eradicated. Inequality is in the Warp and Woof of Existence; Struggle, Success, and Failure are the Lot of all sentient Beings. At the Bedrock, is Hierarchy, whether of Strength, Merit, or Luck.

The Attempt to enforce Equality of Outcome is both doomed and deadly, since it runs counter to the Nature of the Reality of which we are a Part.

This is the Catch –22 of the Human Condition: It is natural to seek Improvement, driven by the notion of an ideal World of Equality; but the most robust Attempts to achieve that World ensure complete and utter Failure.

The Solution is a moderated Aspiration, which gives Recognition to the Limitations of Existence; the Persistence of Folly at the Toronto and District School Board suggests that that Moderation may be foreign to the human Psyche.



March 2, 2013

The strange Case of Dr. Suzuki

Our first Puzzlement about Dr. Suzuki arose when, in 2008, he expressed the View that Politicians who disagreed with him should be jailed. Such extreme Modesty of Opinion is rare, and stands in Contrast to the more usual Demand that Politicians be beheaded, or consigned to eternal Hellfire.

Since then, what a Litany of unflattering Information has been amassed!

Dr. Suzuki’s Foundation has been shown to possess a charitable Tax Status, despite obvious political Activity of the Foundation, and Dr. Suzuki’s public Endorsement of the wretchedly green Politician, Dalton McGuinty, now thankfully consigned to the historical Dustbin.

Dr. Suzuki has recently endorsed Joyce Murray in her bid for the Liberal Leadership, despite clear Policies of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation forbidding such involvement in Politics.

Dr. Suzuki has suggested to the youthfully gullible that Climate Change has threatened the Operations of Santa Claus and his Elves at the North Pole. The Remedy lies, according to Suzuki, in the Sending of Donations to his Foundation.

Indeed, it has been remarked that for one whose chief Concern is that we follow a modest, planet-saving Regimen, Dr. Suzuki’s Wealth and Lifestyle are somewhat reminiscent of those earnest Evangelists whose Eyes gaze Heavenward while their Ministries rake in the Cash which enables a more than comfortable earthly Flamboyance.

Dr. Suzuki’s speaking Fees of Forty-Thousand Dollars and Insistence on a comely Female Entourage on the campus of John Abbott College, suggest that his Devotion to Saving the Planet and Returning to the Caves is not immune to certain inconsistent Distractions.


Most recently, we have been amused by the Story that Dr. Suzuki refused to appear for a speaking Engagement at an Ottawa Church last Tuesday -- until a Sun News Reporter had been banished from the Premises. The Sun News Network, has, of course, been in the Lead in Questioning the Saintliness of Suzuki.

It appears that Dr. Suzuki’s House, founded on the Rock of Climate Change, and on the Inviolability of saintly Intentions, bears more Resemblance to an artful Construction of Playing Cards, vulnerable to the Breath of an impertinent Question, than has been heretofore suggested.

We know not whether the Saintly Suzuki was cowering in a Church Anteroom, or boldly issuing Directives to the Pastor of the Church from Central Command Headquarters. But the Appearance is that of Cowardice.

Few are bold enough to criticize a Saint, but once the Feet have been given some little Exposure – and the look of Putty has been discerned – it may be predicted that Apostasy may gain some little Courage.

Thus, we have since heard of the Account of a Librarian, who wished to ask Dr. Suzuki a Question at a Book-signing Event. She waited until all had left, but because she did not have a Book to be signed, Dr. Suzuki refused to speak to her.

And again, a former Mayor of Ottawa, Larry O’Brien acceded to a request by Dr. Suzuki for a Meeting concerning a Scheme for converting Waste to Energy. In typically modest Fashion, Dr. Suzuki requested that there be no Bottled Water, and only Fresh Salmon. (Sun News, February 28)

Dr. Suzuki was against the Idea, but was interested in Pronouncement rather than Discussion.

Dr. Suzuki’s Evidence was not scientific, but drawn from left-wing Environmental Articles. When Mr. O’Brien proved insufficiently deferential, Dr. Suzuki "stormed out."

All the Evidence suggests that Dr. Suzuki exemplifies the Paradox of the Drum: Loud Sounds may emanate from a Vessel filled with Nothingness.


P.S. See David Bullzuki and the Apocalyptic Wizards, Drivel, December 3, 2011


February 28, 2013

We must reluctantly report that the Nanny State, instead of receding in appropriate Modesty down the Back Stairs, seems emboldened to flounce into the Parlour, take over the most comfortable Chair, and open a Bottle of the best Scotch.

The Supreme Court of Canada has issued its Ruling in the Case of Bill Whatcott. Mr Whatcott has been in a long Battle with the Nanny State over his anti-gay proselytizing, which in turn is based on his Christian religious Convictions.

Lest there be any Misapprehension about our Motives in Argument, let us state that we think all Religions to be based on Nonsense – either the Nonsense of what some primitive People believed in the distant Past, or the Nonsense of what some more modern Charlatan has managed to promulgate. Religion is a Testament to the Vulnerability and Credulity of the human Animal.

Thus, it is our View that Mr. Whatcott’s Beliefs are foolish and hurtful. It is our Contention, however, that the Attempt to muzzle the Expression of stupid Beliefs poses a Danger far greater than that posed by the Expression of those Beliefs.

There is one positive Element in the Ruling of the Supreme Court: it rightly strikes down the Provisions of Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Legislation which holds that it is an Offence to say that which

... ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of any person or class of persons.

This is such extraordinary Nonsense that even the Supreme Court Version of Nanny’s Noodleheadedness could not regard it with Equanimity.

On the other Hand, The Supreme Court has, very foolishly, upheld the Notion that “hateful” Expression is illegal. While Speech that is merely offensive or ridiculing is acceptable, hate Speech is not. (National Post, February 28)

Real Hate, it appears, involves Detestation and Vilification. (Sun News, February 28) It would appear that those expressing their Opinions should carefully measure and parse their Statements and buffer any Element of Detestation with a goodly Amount of mere Offensiveness, so that the overall Result is not illegal. Possibly the Supreme Court will be issuing Emoto-Metres which will plug into any Wall Socket, and deliver an immediate Judgement on the Illegality of a proposed Statement.

Certainly, the Supreme Court has a wonderful Assessment of its own Abilities. In the Matter of Hatred, the Court is able to determine the potential Effects of Speech beyond the acceptable Limit. It does not point to clear and established Examples of Cause and Effect, but merely assumes that Outcomes may be harmful. It is as if the Court has long observed the deleterious Effects of minor Failures: the use of a Swearword suggests a Type of Carelessness which may lead to Staying out late, Smoking, Drinking, Use of Drugs, Theft, and eventually Murder. One can never be too careful. Hate Speech has a great Likelihood to lead to Genocide.

We must also note that the Court, in its infinite Wisdom, has decided that Truth in a Statement has no bearing on its Acceptability. (Sun News, February 28) Doubtless the Court has read with Approval the Precepts of Government in the Oceania of 1984. (See Drivel, January-June 2011; February 8 & 12) The Freedom to state that Two plus Two equals Four must take a Backseat to the Principle that, if that Proposition be deemed hateful, it must not be uttered.

In the End, it is clear that the Court does not trust Citizens to deal with offensive Speech. The Nanny, sprawling in the best Chair and opening our most expensive Scotch, has no Intention of scuttling away in a constrained Modesty, in a hushed Awareness or her manifest Limitations. She must remain in the Parlour, protecting some, and restraining others.

Surely the best Counterweight to offensive Speech is Refutation and Argument. The most bizarrely hateful Speech would seem scarcely to require even that; surely, like the gross Regurgitations of Mr. Whatcott, it must fall of its own Weight into universal Disregard.

There is also Danger that what is required to be hidden, may fester into a Power which might otherwise have been shrunk with the Acid Test of Ridicule. Also, the Deeming of certain Speech to be illegal leads to unintended Consequence: the Rules are used as a Means of Entrapment and Revenge. This is shown in Countries like Pakistan, which has Laws against Blasphemy.

We end with a Quotation from an Article in this Day’s Post by John Carpay, of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms:

In a free society, citizens make up their own minds about what is true or false, right or wrong, loving or hateful. Free citizens don’t let politicians, bureaucrats, and judges make these decisions on their behalf.

Mr. Carpay sees the Remedy in influencing Legislators to Repeal the Offensive Legislation of which the Supreme Court seems so enamoured. Those interested may read and sign a Petition found at:


P.S. The Supreme Court may be found, looking lost and self-absorbed, on Limerick Lane.

February 27, 2013


We confess that we thought it odd that Michelle Obama appeared, albeit remotely, during the Oscar Ceremonies.

We had thought that she was not primarily in the Business of Entertainment, but was the Wife of the current President. Subsequently we have learned that she has been observed dancing with Jimmy Fallon, and has appeared on Sesame Street.

We suppose she is simply a further Expression of the new Philosophy of the Presidency: All Politics is a Stage, and Success is measured by the Applause for Performance.

In earlier Times, it was thought best to preserve a Mystique of Office, so that the personal Life of the Leader was subsumed in the public Role. Familiarity, it was feared, would breed Contempt; no Man is a Hero to his Valet. The King could appear on a level above that of his Subjects.

Modern Psychology, perhaps, has done much to destroy the Gap between the exceptional and the common Man. It suggests that Heroes are always false: every Being is flawed and vulnerable; every Idol rests upon Feet of Plasticine, Putty, or Play - Dough.


It would appear that the Obama Presidency is the new Phase of an old Idea. If it is not possible to be a Monarch with Fancy Robes and obsequious Courtiers, it is possible to join the World of the Stars, engage in the Sphere of the last remaining Royalty – the World of Entertainment.

Consider our Fascination with the World of Beautiful People, who have Talent, Money, and interesting Relationships. Does this not represent a Desire to escape from the Hum-Drum of real Life to a World of Fantasy?

We suspect that Mr. Obama, apart from feeling that Socialism is a Good Thing, has little Talent for or interest in the Workings of Government. He is, at Heart, an Actor. Playing the President on Late Night Television is more fun than actually being the President. He draws his Support from Hollywood Socialists, who have no Responsibility beyond cushioning the Seats of their expensive Armchairs -- and he is most comfortable joining them in the Spotlight of public Acclaim and Adoration.

Thus, on Reflection, it is perfectly understandable that Michelle Obama would announce the Best Film of 2012. The Presidency is merely a Role; its Success will be measured, not by reducing the Deficit or dealing with Foreign Affairs, but by a fabulous Glittering in all the right Places.


February 26, 2013


We are amused that Theresa Spence has an Obsession with the Grandstand, no matter that it betrays a Deficiency of Construction – the Planks being mere Soapbox Panels most like to give way under her considerable Bulk.

Her grand Hunger Strike, conducted in a Teepee on the Ottawa River --threatening Death for a Principle -- was less than it appeared, and after a goodly Period of souped-up Abstinence, Ms. Spence called a Halt, apparently as robustly rotund as at the Start of her Fast.

Her next Move appeared to be as a Supporter of the Blockade of the Ice Road to the DeBeers Mine near her Reserve of Attawapiskat. It now appears that, at the Prospect of actual Police Presence, the Protestors have disbanded. and allowed the Passage of Supplies.



Cunning is the dark Sanctuary of Incapacity, remarked the Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773). Unable to fix the leaky roofs on her Reserve, or account for the Expenditures of Funds, Ms. Spence has now cunningly sought another Grandstand: A Left-Wing Group in San Francisco has written a Letter to the United Nations calling for a Rebuke of Canada.

The Claim is that Canada has passed laws without Debate which has made Changes to other Federal Laws. (Sun News, February 26)

In Fact, these terrible Laws are actually Budget Legislation.

We would not be surprised that Ms. Spence’s Grandstand receive favourable Reviews at the United Nations. That Body has a penchant for Perversity.

But Ms. Spence teeters on a flimsy Soapbox of Superficiality. In the End, the Roofs must be repaired, the Money must be accounted for, and the Swamp of Mismanagement beneath the various Grandstands must be exposed.



February 25, 2013

We see that Mr. Ashu Solo is in the News once again.

It was Mr. Solo, an Atheist, who objected to the Signs "Merry Christmas" on Saskatoon Buses last December.

On that occasion (See Diary, December 19, 2012), we argued that "Christmas" is primarily a cultural Celebration with religious Roots, and that Mr. Solo’s Objections were in Error.

More recently, Mr. Solo attended a Banquet in Recognition of Saskatoon Volunteers, where a City Councillor, Randy Donauer, began the Meal with a short Prayer which included the words "Jesus" and "Amen." Arguing that Church and State should be separated, Mr. Solo has laid Complaint with the Human Rights Commission..

The Editorial in this Day’s Post argues that Human Rights Commissions provide a "handy instrument for the pursuit of such vendettas" – and we certainly agree. The Commissions are a perfect Example of the Manner in which those who believe themselves on the Side of the Angels justify a Disregard for legal Procedure and a holier-than-thou Oppression of those they believe to be allied with the Devil.


The Post sees Mr. Solo’s use of the Commission as an Example of Failing to respect the Rights of Others...many at the Dinner were quite happy to hear and participate in the Saying of Grace. Indeed, we think it is unfortunate that Mr. Solo would turn to such an inherently flawed and discredited Arbiter.

But we think the Post Editorial, in arguing that Mr. Solo’s use of the Commission reflects Intolerance and a Desire to enforce his own Biases on others, ignores the main Point.

The main Point is: why should an Arm of Government appear to reflect a particular religious Viewpoint? We think it should not. It is for this Reason that we are opposed to the wearing of Turbans by Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the proposed Wearing of the Hijab by Toronto Police Officers.

We would like to feel that the Government is religiously neutral, and displays of personal religious Belief should be avoided in Government-Citizen Interactions, and during Government Functions.

We might make an Exception for Ceremonies of long standing, like Remembrance Day, where a religious Element is primarily cultural and traditional, and reflects the Reality of our History.

P.S. Ontario Police Commissioner Chris Lewis has been observed on Limerick Lane.

February 24, 2013

We are pleased whenever we encounter Evidence of a Busyness directed at the Creation of Nirvana.

The latest Example that has come to our Attention is a Movement to erase the competitive Element from Sports at the Junior Level: the Soccer Tournament is replaced with a Soccer Festival; Winners and Losers are blended into a Happiness of Competitors; Triumph and Defeat are overcome in the Jollity of Good Times, smoothed over in a Pleasantness of Equality.

(National Post, September 22, 2012)

The Genesis of this admirable Aspiration appears to be in Guidelines put forth in 2005 by Canadian Sport for Life, which seeks "vast cultural and organizational change" in Canada’s Approach to Sport.


We have often noted the Preference for Illusion over Reality: who would not wish to replace the grubby World of struggle and Competition, with its triumphant Winners and chagrined Losers with a finer one, in which Everybody plays the Harp – not competitively of course -- and sips mint Juleps.

Alas. One of our favourite Observations is that if, in the Development of Life on Earth single-celled Organisms had adopted the Philosophy of non-competitiveness, and remained devoted to Equality, the world would now be populated entirely by single-celled organisms.

Though it may offend those who seek a finer World, the Truth is that Competition, Triumph, and Loss are in the Fabric of Existence. "Competitions" in which Nobody is keeping Score are boring; only in the Outcome of Struggle do we derive a Sense of Meaning.


February 23, 2013

Short Term Thinking

We see that those blockading the Ice Road at Attawapiskat have not been deterred by Orders from a Judge. We happen to have seen two of them recorded -- vowing their Intentions to squeeze as much Money from the Owners of the Diamond Mine as possible. They show the foolish Arrogance of those who, given a temporary Advantage by Circumstance, believe it to be to be permanent Position of unchallengeable Power.

They appeared to be dim-witted Thugs, confident in contemplating the Opportunity to slaughter a Goose in order to obtain the Source of Golden Eggs. Their Imaginations are limited to a Simplicity of Cause and Effect: if the Goose produces Eggs of Gold, then surely the Mother Lode of Riches must be found within.

Of course, the Slaughter which they so earnestly Promise, will produce no Benefit. If the Mine cannot obtain Supplies, it may be forced to cease Production, and thus reduce Revenue and Employment for the Band.

Further still, a successful Extortion makes other Development which might be vulnerable to aboriginal Treachery considerably less attractive.

We note that the Police, although specifically instructed by the Judge, have not ended the blockade.

We assume that this Use of "Discretionary Powers" is related to the Claim by Chris Lewis, the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, that the Police have been blessed with infinite Wisdom. Doing Nothing is often the best Expression of that Wisdom:



These concepts and strategies developed from experience, hard work, and common sense are difficult to explain to the general public.

                                                                                            (CBC News, January 15, 2013)

Mr. Lewis reminds us that he is ever aware of Consequence:

First Nations have the ability to paralyze this country by shutting down travel and trade routes.

This is exactly akin to the Argument that the Danish Cartoons should not be published, since a lot of angry Muslims will riot. Thus, Principle must be sacrificed for the perceived, anticipated, "greater good."

It will doubtless come as a great Surprise to many that giving in to Bullies does not decrease their Desire to wield Power. We have Trouble explaining exactly why this should be – but we claim no Expertise in the arcane Study of the Nature of Human Beings.

Thus Mr. Lewis does not seem to recognize that failing to enforce the Law brings the Law into disrepute; the Basis of Civilized Conduct is tossed Aside as an unnecessary Bauble.

There is very little Difference between Mr. Lewis and the thuggish native Protestors: they are both seduced by the easy Promises of Short Term Thinking.



February 20, 2013 


We are puzzled by the current Fashion to make irrelevant Reference to Indian Tribes who once inhabited the Lands now made prosperous by Europeans. The latest Example which has come to our Attention is in the Speech from the Throne from the Ontario Liberal Government, read by Lieutenant-Governor David Onley:

I would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit.

                                                                                          (Sun News, February 20)

What on Earth is the Significance of this Reference?

Is it simply a Bow to the great Sweep of History, a Recognition of Times which preceded our own? Will we soon see, in the Throne Speech, References to the great Sheets of Ice which covered the rocky Shield, or the discovery of Tropical Turtles in Canada’s North?

I would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of Neanderthal Uglisimuss, where Bears have had pride of place, and where many Mosquitoes have come to an untimely end.


No, it must go beyond that; there is too much History, and too little Throne Speech to put it in.

Is it a Tipping of the White Guilt Hat intended to make Aboriginals feel important because their Ancestors formed a primitive Civilization built on Subsistence in a hostile Climate many years ago?  Is it a Condescension, a self-congratulatory Expression of charitable Feelings towards the Superseded? Is this the Appearance of Virtue – an Apology for the Inequality which is the Handmaiden of Triumph and Success?

Or does it go farther -- is it indeed meant to suggest that the Members of the Legislature are somehow Interlopers, trespassing on aboriginal Land? Is this a Presage to giving the Land back? Should we, in a Frenzy of Shame and Guilt, be booking Passage to Europe, returning to those Lands from which our Ancestors originally came, and so let the Mississaugas of the New Credit return to the Trapping of Beaver in the Halls of the Legislature?


Or is it simply an Example of mindless Stupidity?

See also Drivel, March 13, 2013: The Peculiar Need to refer to Indigenous Lands


February 18, 2013

We admit to being in a State of high Anticipation, while continuing to breathe normally.

The full Weight and Might of Canada’s Legal System has been hurled at the Blockaders at Attawapiskat.

Last Friday, the mighty De Beers Corporation obtained an Injunction against the Blockade.

We have learned this Day from Sun News that a Sheriff has delivered the Injunction to the Site of the Blockade. A Stick, of adequate Heft and Circumference was placed, with full legal Authority, into the Ground. The Injunction, no doubt containing impressive Seals and Signatures, was then affixed to the Stick. The Sheriff, moving with deliberate and measured stride, then left the Scene.


The Stick, with the Injunction attached, has now been removed from its Place, and has been thrown away.

It is seldom that we are privileged to see the full and majestic Authority of our proud  Government in Action. We hope that Recordings have been made of this wonderful Event, so that future Generations may behold, and take note.

It is possible, of course, that the Members of the Ontario Provincial Police force, after some due Deliberation, may arrive on the Scene. The Aboriginals will chant, and beat their Drums. The Police, arriving with standard-issue Drumsticks, will join in.

It is a Thrill beyond Estimation to see Wisdom, Conviction, and Justice combined into a marvellous Perfection of Prudence and Principle.



February 17, 2013

We note that Stephen Harper will open the Office of Religious Freedom, and announce the Choice of a "religious freedom ambassador" on Tuesday.

                                                                    (National Post, February 16)

The idea behind this Office is apparently based on the Notion that religious Freedom and Democratic Rights are linked, and that Canada should attempt to safeguard religious Minorities abroad. It is apparently unclear exactly how the Office will function.

While we are in Favour of allowing Citizens to pursue their Illusions about the Nature of Reality privately, we feel a distinct Unease when Government decides to meddle in Matters best left as private Pursuits.

Foreign Government Oppression of Religion may be reprehensible, but a Canadian Government Plan to leap to the Defence of some particular Faith seems fraught with Difficulty.


Will the Government take a firm Stand on the Rights of Scientologists to raise Funds for Thetan Awareness Programs, or Islamic Jihadists to bomb offensive Towers? What will its Position be on the Church of Euthanasia’s Promotion of Suicide, Abortion, Cannibalism, and Sodomy? Will the Canadian Government look with benevolent Eye upon a new Heaven’s Gate, recruiting Acolytes to hop aboard a Comet borne Spaceship?

Perhaps, with a little finagling, we can get some governmental Recognition of our own modest Religion, Abracadabra, devoted to the worship of the Great God Murphy. It would be comforting to know that our Adherents on Easter Island or Uzbekistan could appeal to the Canadian Government in the Event of Hostility on the Part of local Populations or Governments.

We know not how bad or foolish an Idea is the Creation of an Office of Religious Freedom is, but we suspect it has considerable Potential for a high Ranking in the Hierarchy of Follies.


February 16, 2013

We confess that we see Justin Trudeau as doubly delicious for his Reliability.

Not only is he reliably popular – showing the Fallibility of popular Opinion – but we can always count on him to show his Inappropriateness – apart from his Popularity -- for the Position of Liberal Leader which he seems destined to obtain.

The latest Revelations are that Mr. Trudeau is unable to resist the Siren Call of Public Speaking Engagements. We suspect that his Motivation is a pleasing Combination of Monetary and Psychic Income.

According to Sun News, Mr. Trudeau has been paid $277,000 for Seventeen Speeches since becoming a Member of Parliament in 2008. Of the Seventeen, nine Events were held on Days when Members of Parliament should have been about their dreary Business in the House.

(Sun News, February 15)


We see no Objection to Politicians holding forth to Audiences willing to hear them. But as Mr. Levant has pointed out (on The Source), it seems somewhat inappropriate for the Liberal Critic for Youth and Secondary Education to charge between Ten and Twenty Thousand Dollars for giving Speeches at Schools and Universities.

Because Mr. Trudeau is not in a Position of Power, he might be considered at least one Step removed from a potential Conflict of Interest; yet the Circumstances are not seemly.

Indeed, once a Politician charges for Speeches, it is not surprising that many Organizations might wish to buy his Time in the Hope that a favourable Impression or Link might be obtained with One who might be of great Benefit.

It is instructive that one Organization which applied to Mr. Trudeau’s Parliamentary Office seeking a Speech, was re-directed to Mr. Trudeau’s Business Agent.

It is our Contention that Mr. Trudeau has no serious Purpose. Rather, he is an Actor playing those pleasing Roles which are presented to him by the Occasion, and from which he may gain the Applause of the Crowd.



February 15, 2013

Behold the Cunning of the Aboriginal!

Drawing on a long History of successful Competition in an unfriendly Environment, skilled in the Hunting and Trapping of Animals for Food and Clothing, he is well able to assess the Strengths and Weaknesses of his Enemy, and has the Resolve to strike for the best Advantage when Opportunity is presented.

Consider the Blockades at the Victor Mine near Attawapiskat. A weak, flabby and generous new Denizen of the Woods is easy Prey to the Skills of Aboriginals doing the Shakedown Dance.

Currently, the Edwards Family, realizing that Chief Teresa Spence, fresh from her triumphal Diet in Ottawa is unassailable, has turned to a new Blockade, asking for Compensation from the Mine for Infringement of their Traplines.


No Matter that the Money has been paid to Ms. Spence’s Council, and it is there that they should turn for Recompense – the Mine is a fat, easy Target exposing its vulnerable Belly of Reliance on earnest Discussions and the legal System.

The Mine seeks Remedy from the Judges, who issue Papers and Statements, and Proclamations, which have no Resonance in the Woods.

The Papers and Injunctions are directed to Police Forces which have their own Agenda, of which the first Principle is: Our Agenda triumphs over all other Agendas.

The second Principle of the Police is: Natives rock! Do not interfere in native Protests.

The third Principle is: Native Drum Circles rock! Do not pass a Native Drum Circle without joining in to show Solidarity.

Behold the Cunning of the Aboriginal!*

*The Care and Feeding of Geese laying golden Eggs are not part of native Lore.  


February 14, 2013

We are intrigued to learn that a Student, Megan Thode, is suing her University for 1.3 Million Dollars. Ms. Thode received a C+ in a Course in which she needed a B in order for her to qualify as a "licensed professional counsellor."                 
                                         (National Post, February 14)

Ms Thode attended Lehigh University without Charge, since her Father was a Professor of Finance at that Institution. She has tried numerous internal Appeals at the University without Success, and has alleged a Department-wide Conspiracy against her. She has claimed Discrimination because of her Position in supporting Gay and Lesbian Rights.

The University has responded by saying that Ms. Thode was given a Zero for Class Participation because she  "showed unprofessional behavior that included swearing in class and, on one occasion, having an outburst in which she began crying."

To be clear, we are uncertain about the Advisability of awarding Marks for Classroom Participation. Such a Mark would necessarily seem to be subjective, and the Existence of such a Requirement seem to encourage a busy Obsequiousness on the Part of Students.


On the other Hand, the Degree which Ms. Thode seeks is not in Accounting, or Plumbing in which clear objective Standards may be set. Rather, it is in a wishy-washy subjective Area of interpersonal Communications, and it may be that Swearing and succumbing to lachrymose Outbursts are not considered positive Indicators for Success as a licensed professional Counsellor.

We can, of course, have no certain Knowledge of the Merits of this Case from the Facts published in a Newspaper. In View of the Stubbornness of the University in this Matter – after all – how difficult would it be to raise a Mark by half a Grade? – we suspect that Ms. Thode has a well-established Reputation for being "Impossible," and the University has determined that she would make a poor Counsellor.

The Fact of her Lawsuit suggests that her most frequent Advice to Clients would be "full Speed ahead" and "damn the Torpedoes."




February 12, 2013


We must confess to Shock upon learning that the Pope has resigned.

We had thought that it was the Custom of Popes to cling to their Office, like Limpets to a Rock, until a final giant Wave of Mortality should sweep them hence. Indeed, we have learned that the last such willing Resignation occurred in 1415

Father Raymond J. De Souza, in this Day’s Post, reflects upon this Incomprehensibility: since the Pope is the "Holy Father" – he can scarcely renounce his Fatherhood. Father de Souza also suggests that this Precedent is also likely to weaken future Popes in Times of Crisis, since the Idea of Resignation will no longer be unthinkable.

As a devout and committed Atheist, our chief Interest in this Matter has been in listening to the Pronouncements of various Catholics, for whom this Circumstance is a Matter of utmost Gravity and Significance.

The Christian Religion used to operate in the real World of Politics, crusading for Supremacy, or embedded in the political Realities of Government.



Now, it operates as a Source of Influence, its Pronouncements based not on Evidence, but on Suppositions about the unknowable and the incomprehensible.

To mask the Vacancy at the Core, are the Robes, Rituals, and Ceremonies, the puffs of Smoke, and the Rules of Hierarchy. It’s a wonderful Club for older Boys who -- when younger --used to build Forts in the Woods, or create Secret Societies with arcane Rituals and special Passwords.

We leave you with the Words of Cardinal Thomas Collins on this Matter. Whether you see them as Remarks profound and comforting or specious Bafflegab will depend on your Position on the great Scale of Credulity.

It is a time for us to give thanks to God for the tremendous leadership of Pope Benedict, who [speaks] with clarity and charity, who speaks with profound insight into the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the heart of our Christian life.


February 11, 2013

It is seldom that we read the Morning Paper and breathe a Sigh of Relief.

But today, we feel that we have had a most lucky Escape. We have learned the Bank of Canada had considered displaying the following on new plastic Bank Notes:

a Chinese dragon parade
the swearing in of a new citizen
Toronto’s Caribbean festival
children of different ethnic backgrounds playing together
a person in a wheelchair playing basketball

Among early rejections were:

gay marriage
an RCMP officer wearing a turban
hockey with a black player
.                        (National Post, February 11)

We must express our Surprise that no Consideration was given to showing a Doctor’s Waiting Room in our wonderful Health Care System, a Human Rights Commission Hearing oppressing an accused, or a Depiction of David Suzuki.


We understand the Impulse to be stupidly self-congratulatory, and depict Canada as some sort of Big Rock Candy Mountain of jolly Multiculturalism and Forwardness of Thinking.

We are glad that, in the End, this Impulse was resisted.

We would point out that the Concept of Multiculturalism is considerably flawed, since it rests upon the Notion that all Cultures are equal. Too often Canada denigrates its own Culture in Deference to those which have not been shown to provide a superior Quality of Life. There should be less Emphasis on Multiculturalism and more on Integration. What should be stressed are the Advantages of Science, Equality of Citizens before the Law, Equality of Women in Society, Freedom of Speech, Democracy, and the Separation of Church and State.

Forwardness of Thinking is also a Minefield. As an Example – we have long objected to the Wearing of religious Symbols by those representing our Government, since they suggest that the Government endorses or supports a particular religious Viewpoint. Thus we are especially pleased that the Turban-Wearing Officer was rejected at an early Stage.

We are pleased that – a rare Occurrence in Canada – common Sense prevailed. The Images selected show robotic space Arms, a Train, the Vimy Ridge Memorial, and an Icebreaker.

The Bank has no Role in beating the Drums of Political Correctness.



February 10, 2013


We must conclude that the Concept of Freedom of Speech is but little understood. Most people favour the unfettered and unrestricted Expression of Ideas with which they agree; they are less enthusiastic about the Delineation of Ideas which they find distasteful, troubling, or abhorrent.

This Selectivity is especially pronounced among those who consider themselves to be at the Forefront of an unstoppably progressive Sensibility, whose Aim is Sweetness and Light, Sustainable Development, and Equality for All.

Thus we have seen recently the Case of Arun Smith (See Diary, January 24, 2013) who tore down a "Free Speech" Wall at the University of Carleton. Mr. Smith is in favour of free Speech except for "Bigots." Since Mr. Smith has been vouchsafed the wonderful Gift of determining who is and who is not a Bigot, it appears that he is justified in preventing the Speech of Anyone with whom he disagrees.

One is led to wonder what passes for Thought at a modern University.

A second Example of this Selectivity has been shown at Trent University, where the Students’ Union has refused to register a "Pro-Life" Club. The Explanation reads thus:



Campaigning for pro life or pro choice is not allowed on campus...since there is so many opinions to this it can lead to a very exclusive group, while all the clubs at Trent University must be inclusive. On campus we are not allow[ed] to have groups that take away rights or opinions of other people.

                                                                          (John Carpay, National Post, February 8, 2013)

This Explanation, of course, suggest the Difficulty of communicating Thought when one possesses only a rudimentary Grasp of the Language which one is attempting to employ.

Beyond that, the Logic, as Mr. Carpay points out, is flawed. The Writer, repeating a feel-good Buzzword, claims that all Clubs must be "inclusive." But it is hard to imagine that the Trent Muslim Students’ Association, the Trent University Chinese Student Association, and the Trent Women's Varsity Volleyball organization could not be accused of some Degree of Exclusivity.

It would appear that Freedom of Speech on University Campuses is a scarcely understood Concept. Speech is not free, but the bound and gagged Handmaiden of Political Correctness.

We understand that Mr. Carpay, of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms plans to take the Trent University Student Union to Court.



February 9, 2013

We are astounded to learn the Results of a Poll commissioned by the National Post. The Poll reveals that:

If a federal election were held in Canada today and Justin Trudeau were at the helm of the Liberal Party, they’d win a strong majority in the House of Commons...

                                                                                       (National Post, February 8.)

We can conceive of only three Explanations for this Result.

The First is that Respondents were pre-selected. Possibly the Respondents were chosen exclusively at Liberal fund-raising Gatherings. Or perhaps the Pollsters limited their Field of Enquiry to Students in Grade Three, or accredited Provincial Mental Hospitals. It may well be that a preliminary skill-testing question was asked:

What is the Sum of Twenty plus Five?
How many Fingers are there on your right hand?
Who is buried in Grant’s Tomb?

If a correct Answer was received, then the Pollsters simply moved on to more Trudeau-friendly ground.

The second Explanation is that the Question was framed in a prejudicial Manner. For example, when questioning Students in Grade Three, it may have seemed appropriate to show Pictures of the three Leaders, with Stephen Harper dressed as the Devil, and Mr. Mulcair labelled as the Grinch who stole Christmas, and Mr. Trudeau on a particularly good hair Day.


Or the question may have been framed thus:

Science shows that those with the most attractive hair make the best political leaders. On that basis, for whom would you vote if an election were held today?


Surveys reveal that political leaders with neither relevant experience nor competence in any field of endeavour represent a tabula rasa from which beneficial emanations of baloney and productive exhalations of charismatic claptrap may arise. Since Mr. Trudeau is the best example of a tabula rasa among all three leaders, for whom would you vote if an election were held today?

The third Explanation -- which we shudder to propose -- is that Canadians of sound Mind and average Intelligence would actually vote for the Liberals if Trudeau were "at the helm."

In that Eventuality, we think Canadians deserve Everything that might descend upon them as the Result of such a Decision.

Good Judgement, we are told, is only achieved through the Exercise of its Opposite – bad Judgement. Canadians, who put up with Human Rights Commissions and the Coercion of socialist Health Care, may not yet have explored the Realm of bad Judgement with a Sufficiency needed for an Amelioration of their Circumstance.

For ourselves - a remote tropical Island with a Parliament of wild Boar seems increasingly attractive.



February 8, 2013

We are intrigued to see that Senator Brazeau, noted for his Absence from Duties in the Senate, and suspected of a Fudging of the Truth about his Residence* has been arrested for domestic Violence, and has been removed from the Conservative Caucus.

It would appear that his Appointment to the Senate at the Age of Thirty-four in Two Thousand and Eight was somewhat premature.

Senator Mike Duffy has not been arrested, but we understand that, like Mr. Brazeau, he has claimed Compensation for the Upkeep of a Residence in Ottawa because his primary Residence is in Prince Edward Island. It appears that Mr. Duffy has been attempting to obtain the expediting of a Health Card Application in order to bolster his claim of Island Residence.



We wonder whether these Incidents have some Similarity to Plagiarism. In that Failing, it seems that there is seldom but one Example, and a single Incidence betrays a Pattern of Thought.



In another Matter entirely, we had a strange dream last Evening. Our Account of Two Cardiologists may be viewed in the Drivel Section.

* See Limerick Lane, November 21, 2012



February 7, 2013

Of Power and Vulnerability

We have read in this Day’s Spectator of a Report of "bad care and inhumane treatment" at the Stafford Hospital in Staffordshire, England. (Hamilton Spectator, February 7)

We will not repeat the Details – any Reader may see the Descriptions in any Newspaper.

What we see as most significant is the Comment by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, that the Failings were "deeply rooted" and that there could be no Assurance that they were limited to one Hospital.

It is also interesting that the Report made Recommendations "to change the culture at the health service to put patients’ needs first."

We have heard the same Mantra of "putting Patients’ Needs first" in Canada.

Alas! The Repetition of Mantras is soothing, but unlikely to change Reality. The unfortunate Truth – the Truth which dares not speak its Name – is found in the old Adage:

He who pays the piper, calls the tune.

Patients will never come first until they have the Power to allocate to or withhold Funds from those who are providing a Good or Service.



When Patients are made into Supplicants, begging at the Door of a vast government-run System, they will never have the Power of Customers who gain Primacy of Consideration because of their Ability to take their Business elsewhere.

Monopolies are beneficial to Monopolists, but less than advantageous to those who need whatever the Monopoly provides. In the Words of Lord Acton, (1834 -1902 )

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

In Democracy, a Government may be changed by the Voters; but Government Bureaucracies develop, expand and exert Power with little Impediment.

It is for this Reason that we favour a privately-run Alternative to a Government System of Health Care. With the Element of Competition brought into Play it seems likely that a private System would be a Check on Inefficiency and Failure in the Public, and the Public System might provide a Check on Costs in the Private Sphere.

We recognize that in the Matter of Hospitals, where Patients are rendered additionally vulnerable by Reason of Infirmity, there are complicating Factors. There can be no Guarantee, in any System that Vulnerability will not succumb to Power. But every Effort should be made to "put Patients first" – by giving Patients the Ability to buy private Insurance, and regain the Role of Customer.

We have no Expectation of this Happening in the near Future. Reality is always the dowdy sister to Fancy. (Observation # 5)


February 6, 2013


What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. (Francis Bacon, 1561 - 1626)

Behold the Puzzlement of Cathy Orlando, of the Canada’s Citizens Climate Lobby, who has written in to the National Post (February 2) with an air of Frustration. She asks, in referring to an Article by Lawrence Solomon on Climate Change:

Why does your paper continue to perpetuate opinions of the 3% of climate denying scientists? If 97 out of 100 doctors told you that you had a terminal illness that could be cured if you gradually phased out a bad habit, would you not heed their advice?

Alas, we wish that Truth could be determined by popular Opinion. All we would need to make Men equal, banish Disease with a Sugar Pill, and prevent Snow from falling in Winter would be to have Ninety-Seven percent of Citizens affirm their favourable Opinion in these Matters.

The Fallacy expressed by Ms. Orlando is called the argumentum ad populum * – that Notion which holds that, because many People believe in a Proposition, it is true. A Reader in this Day’s Post points out that, in olden Days, most People – we suspect One Hundred Percent – relying on the Evidence of their Senses -- believed that the Sun moved around the Earth. This Opinion is held by few People today.

Our own favourite Example is more recent: Thirty Years ago Doctors –we suspect the Number would have been in Excess of Ninety-Seven Percent – believed that Ulcers were caused by Stress. Today, they believe Ulcers are caused by Helicobacter Pylori.



We would be the first to admit that many of our Opinions are based on what is claimed by Others: we have not personally conducted Experiments which show that the Earth moves around the Sun. Nor have we personally examined the Fossil record to bolster our Belief in Evolution.

In the Absence of personal Examination of Evidence, we must rely on the Opinion of Others – what is generally thought. However, we have all been blessed – in varying Degrees – with Bullshit Detectors.

When one considers that radical Climate Change has been occurring since the Earliest Days of the Earth, and the Climate Alarmists have been preaching Climageddon based on Human Causes for mere Decades, one is given Pause. When one considers that the Predictions made by Computer Models have not been valid, that Warming on Mars has taken place in the Absence of Cadillac Escalades, and that the Climate on Earth has not warmed over the past Sixteen Years, some further Hesitation would seem to be in order.

When one considers the Skullduggery uncovered in the Alarmist Community, and the Hypocrisy of some of its Leading Advocates, Suspicion does not seem out of Place. Finally, when we consider the Tendency of Mankind to leap on Bandwagons which are constructed of dubious Materials, display a Wobbliness of Operation, and which soon collapse in a Heap of Pretentious Folly, the Fact (is it indeed a Fact?) that Ninety Seven Per Cent of Scientists believe – or find it convenient to believe -- in Anthropogenic Climate Change– is a Matter for significant Skepticism.

*Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)


Observation # 224.The truth is not determined by popular vote; the fact that an overwhelming majority of scientists, doctors, Baptist ministers, or organ grinders believe in a proposition is irrelevant to its validity.


February 4, 2013

We are always amused when we encounter Hypocrisy among the Prominent.

Much has been made of the Stance of Climate Change Alarmists such as Al Gore and David Suzuki, who publicly proclaim Restraint and a Return to the Caves, while privately living in a Style of Luxury which leaves Carbon Footprints of Sasquatchian Proportions.

Yesterday we noted that many of those ardent Proponents of our wretched Health Care System are those in Positions of Prominence which will ensure they will always be able to manoeuvre their way to the Head of the Line of Supplicants.

In this Vein, we should note that a prominent Proponent of Gun Control, Nanny Bloomberg, was accosted recently in Washington by a Journalist, Jason Mattera, who asked of the Mayor:

In the spirit of gun control, will you disarm your entire security team?



The Mayor replied that he would get back to Mr. Mattera.

In fact, it appeared that Mr. Bloomberg’s Security Team wished to get back at Mr. Matera, for one of them followed him for some Distance and asked for Mr. Mattera’s Identification. Later, continuing to follow Mr. Mattera, the New York Officer, who does not have Jurisdiction in Washington, attempted to ascertain Mr. Mattera’s Date of Birth.

Mr. Bloomberg obviously does not like having his Hypocrisy exposed.

Lives of Restraint, Acceptance of Health Care Inadequacy, and Denial of the Right to Self- Defence are wonderful theoretical Concepts. But the Proponents of such Notions are not foolish enough to take them seriously.

Not surprisingly, they prefer Hypocrisy to Stupidity every Time.


February 3, 2013

We confess to being, this Day, in a State of significant Bliss.

Ordinarily, we are filled with Gloom, Foreboding, and Apprehension: One can never tell what unexpected Stroke of Fate may cut across our Path, what Evil may lurk behind apparent Innocence, what Rabbit Hole of unstable Worlds may open, and draw us, helpless, into their Mind-Numbing Depths.

The Occasion of our happy Confidence should not be too difficult to determine – for who has not heard and approved of a new Bill introduced by the inestimable Libby Davies, to legislate the amount of Salt in our Foods?

We are not merely relieved that the Government is taking such a supervisory Approach to our Cuisine – we have long suspected that our Choice in Foods would be unlikely to be approved by the United Nations, the Olivier de Schutter Food Registration Authority, or the Global Nanny Governance Administration.



No, we are especially pleased that it is the New Democratic Party -- which we have so oft reviled -- which has seen fit to let Bygones be Bygones, in its Over-Arching Concern for our good Health.

And what better Individual to be at the Forefront of this beneficial Movement, but Libby Davies, the very Picture of glowing, zestful Health and admirable caloric Restraint?

Indeed, we feel a new and hopeful Corner is being turned towards the long-elusive Nirvana of our gustatory Aspirations.


P.S. We have spied Judy Rebick, bearing a Bowl of Fish Broth on Limerick Lane.

February 2, 2013.

Those who attempt to build Palaces of Crystal always do so at a Cost they are unwilling to recognize.

They are so enamoured of the perceived Perfection of the Result, that the Evils committed in the Process are ignored, and when the Palace is completed, the Pretense is made that the desired Ideal has indeed been achieved: the Smudges and Blots on the shimmering Surface, the Leaks in the sharded Roof, and the unseemly Cracks in the Foundation, are Flaws unworthy of note.

Thus it is with our Health Care System, which has generated the Kind of Hypocrisy one has come to expect of Climate Alarmist Millionaires, or Religions proclaiming the Celibacy of Priests.

The Crystal Palace Notion is that one can create a "One Tier" System in which adequate Health Care can be provided equally for all.

As Experiments with Communism have shown, Equality, though proclaimed, is never achieved: the natural Tendency of Human Beings to gain Advantage and seek Improvement always obtains a Hierarchical Result: "Some animals are more equal than others."*

We would not need Evidence to claim that a "One Tier" System is not achievable: the Conclusion can be made simply from an elementary Knowledge of how the World works.

However we have noted specific Instances of the Failure of our System in the Past. Readers will note a Multiplicity of Comment on the Failings of our Healthcare System by consulting the Index Page.

Further Evidence is shown in The Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry in Alberta, where it has been shown that:

patients at a private clinic – some of them apparently major donors to the University of Calgary – were given expedited access to a public colonoscopy service.

                                                                         (National Post, February 2)

Thus a Colonoscopy which might ordinarily entail a Wait of three Years is performed within a few Weeks.

It is no surprise that Alberta is not the only Place in which Queues are jumped. In Montreal, Dr. Jeff Brock, who runs a company that "helps patients better navigate the system" has said:




Physicians everywhere are routinely asked to expedite care for relatives of colleagues, politicians, sports stars and other prominent citizens.

                                                                                                 (National Post, February 2)

From a much earlier Article in the Post, (December 3, 2007) we learn that Dr. Brian Day, at that time President of the Canadian Medical Association, was unwilling to wait for a Week for a CT Scan for his Daughter, and arranged that it be done that Day:

                                  I made the phone call...I made them do it that day.

We do not blame those who attempt to gain Advantage in a cumbersome and inefficient System, which has all the Hallmarks of that failed Notion of Central Planning which is at its Heart. It is the System that is the Problem.

We do not object to a publicly funded System. But we do object to a System which restricts Freedom – the Freedom to purchase Medical Care, just as we obtain Food, or Shoes or Automobiles --or Medical Care Insurance, just as we acquire Insurance for Lives, Homes, or Possessions.

We especially object to the Hypocrisy of those who claim that the System is a "One Tier" System when it never has been, is not now, and never can be anything but a "Multi-tiered" Enterprise.

We reserve our greatest Scorn, Contempt, and Outrage for those Apologists for the present System. Among those are Tracey Bailey, former head of the University of Alberta’s Health Law Institute:

                      So far , we’ve heard a couple of really limited examples where perhaps people have                 been put in the lineup where they shouldn’t have been.

In that List of Central Planners is Dr. Danielle Martin, who heads the Group Canadian Doctors for Medicare. Her response to Queue-Jumping revealed at the Inquiry was:

                                              I don’t think it’s a major issue.

We would note that both of these Individuals are from exactly that Class of Citizens who will never find themselves waiting three Years for a Colonoscopy.


*George Orwell, Animal Farm

Observation #224: Freedom is the freedom to find a doctor, and having found him, to choose another, just as one would engage and dismiss a veterinarian, a barber, or an auto mechanic.


February 1, 2013

A No-Wynne Situation

The Editorial in this Day’s National Post makes the Point that Ontario Taxpayers deserve an Inquiry into the Cancellation of Gas Plants made by the Liberal Government under Dalton McGuinty.

It is widely believed that the Cancellations, costing between Two Hundred million and One Billion Dollars were effected entirely in order to save Liberal Seats in the last Election. When Opposition Parties subsequently asked for Information, the Liberals initially refused before providing a Deluge of 56,000 Pages. Then, when Mr. McGuinty stepped down, he conveniently shut down the Legislature, ending the Debate.

Ms. Wynne, the new Leader has not expressed Enthusiasm for any type Investigation. It is almost certain that such Probing would be unflattering to her Party. Yet her Refusal seems an Admission of Guilt.

Ms. Wynne is in a No-Wynne Situation; to us this seems entirely appropriate.


After the terrible Mismanagement by Dalton McGuinty – the Abandonment of Principle in Caledonia, and the mindless Embrace of Green Energy Schemes which are both indefensibly costly and in Contravention of World Trade Organization Restrictions – the Liberals deserve an extended Period of Obscurity during which Teeth will be gnashed, and the Height of Fashion will be torn Sackcloth covered with the Ashes of Bitterness.

We are fond of Drawing general Conclusions from particular Circumstance. We wonder whether those who consider themselves "progressive" are not subject to the Delusion that being on the Side of the Angels excuses them from normal Morality, and reasonable Accountability: the End justifies the Means.

Much Oppression to Freedom and Common Sense arises from those who live in that wonderful World of the Ideal, where little Thought is given to the Limitations of human Nature and human Circumstance, and all is to be sacrificed to the Nirvana that enough enlightened Government can produce.


January 31, 2013

Words, words, words...

We are intrigued to learn that Alvin Starblanket has been given a one-day Leave from Prison in order to visit a Relative who is dying but on ‘life support’ in Hospital. (National Post, January 30)

Mr. Starblanket, 31, beat a Priest to Death Eleven Years ago, and shortly thereafter killed another Prison Inmate by stabbing him One Hundred and Eighty-Seven Times. Mr. Starblanket was on Parole when he killed the Priest, John Kratko, and "has wracked up numerous disciplinary charges in prison." (National Post)

It will be necessary for Mr. Starblanket to be restrained and be accompanied by at least two armed Escorts.

What we find most interesting is the Rationale for Mr. Starblanket’s Journey. The Parole Board has indicated that it is to help repair Mr. Starblanket’s fragmented "level of connectivity" with his family. We quote:

Your involvement in the compassionate [leave] may positively impact this dimension of your life and contribute to future pro-social behaviour.

We confess a certain Suspicion when we encounter, in ordinary Life, Words that sound as though they emanate from a Textbook of Psychosociology. The Function of Jargon is to make sound learned, complex, and admirable, that which is mundane, obvious, and thought to need a deflective Prettifying.*



We can only Hope that Mr. Starblanket’s Expedition will not allow for any unauthorized ambulatory Initiatives, and that he will not have Occasion to engage in any untoward Expressions of unwanted Connectivity with the general Public. It would seem to be particularly felicitous were he to be denied Opportunity for digital Interaction with potentially injurious Artifacts.

We assume that the Parole Board has estimated the Cost of Mr. Starblanket’s Transportation with two armed Guards, and put that in the Balance with the Perceived potential Benefits of a possibly improved familial inter-connectivity and subsequent pro-social Behaviour.

It is our Opinion that the Dimension of Mr. Starblanket’s Life which the Board hopes to affect is measured in Units quite small; indeed, we wonder whether it could be observed except within the nanometrical scale of a Sociological or Psychological Study.

Mr. Starblanket is apparently eligible for Parole in 2021. We can hardly wait to see the Display of enhanced pro-social Behaviour when that great Day arrives.


* For some reason, we are reminded of this wonderful Image: His smile is like the silver plate on a coffin. (John Philpot Curran, 1750 - 1817). Perhaps Jargon is silver Plate for an orange Crate.


P.S. We have seen Chris Wyatt, the Chief Firearms Officer for Ontario, well-armed and in hunting Mode on Limerick Lane.




January 29, 2013

The other day (January 26) we noted the Opinion of H.L. Mencken, who remarked on the wonderful Propensity of Mankind to be deceived, to seek out the False, and to ignore the Truth. The longer we observe the Parade of Human Affairs, the more Evidence do we see of this unfortunate Characteristic.

It has long been our Contention that our Land might be well served by a Prize to be given annually: The Emperor’s Clothes Award.* Such an Award would draw our Attention to the Variety of Deceptions practised in any single Year, and stir a Debate among the Citizenry as to which might be the most egregious. As the Awards of Oscars draw Attention to the Enterprise of Film Making, The Emperor’s Clothes Award could not help but draw Attention to the Industry of Deception.

We do confess to an unseemly Delight in any Information which confirms our Opinion of the Nakedness of an Emperor. Thus, Mr. McGuinty’s Resignation confirmed our View of his Incompetence: once the Money ran out, and he was unable to spend his Way out of his self-created Difficulties, he ran. Theresa Spence’s grand Pretense of a Hunger Strike, which duped so many Liberals, was exposed by her robust Appearance when she abandoned it after forty-four Days.

Last Evening, Mr. Levant added a soupcon of Evidence in the Matter of David Suzuki, the Guru of Fruit Flies pretending to a Finality of Knowledge on Climate Change, and one much revered by the Gullible.

Some of the Gullible appear to operate John Abbott College in Montreal, which paid $30,000 plus expenses – for a Total of $41, 640 – to hear Mr. Suzuki speak for an hour last October.

The Words sound expensive, but what is remarkable about the Affair is the Constellation of Terms and Conditions of Dr. Suzuki’s Visit. Apparently, Dr. Suzuki, while not demanding bodyguards,

does not mind having a couple of ladies (females) that would act as bodyguards in order that he may travel from one venue to another without being accosted too many times along the way.

                                                                (Sun News, January 29, 2013)


This Information is from a Communication from Mary Milburn, of John Abbott College.

These Bodyguards, it appears, were not to be selected on a "first come, first served" Basis – but were to be "nicely dressed" and be seen by Ms. Milburn before the great Event.

Finally, the selected females were to be rewarded for their Escort Duties. According an email from Erich Schmedt to Ms. Milburn:

In terms of acknowledging their contribution after the tours are completed, we will need to gather them together at the end to either give them some brief time with Suzuki (which I will try to make happen, either by having him step out of the penthouse or enabling them to join the group in the sanctified air).

Would that be the sanctified Air of the Penthouse in which Dr. Suzuki was staying?

Are these the Arrangements of a sensible Institution of Learning? Are Dr. Suzuki’s Requests those of a serious Scientist – or those of an Emperor wearing Clothes visible only to the Gullible?

See also David Bullzuki and the Apocalyptic WizardsDrivel, December 3, 2011


*The Award might have a dual Nature; the deceptive Emperor might be given a Lump of Coal covered in an obviously insufficient Spray of gold Paint, a sculptural Representation of a Noble head resting on Feet of Clay, a Porcelain Hand with raised Middle Finger, or, most obviously, a Statuette in the form of a naked Emperor. The Journalist considered most efficacious in revealing the Truth should receive a substantial Bucket of Cash.

January 28, 2013


We awoke this Morning with a vague Sense that there was something Missing – an Awareness of an undefined, unidentified Absence, an Apprehension of a soupcon of Nothingness where Something had been before.

It was not until we observed David Menzies in a Video on our Computer, that the Source of our Bereftness was made clear: Theresa Spence has stopped pretending to be on a hunger Strike.

Mr. Menzies, we should add, has had the brilliant Idea of comparing this Event with the Finding last Week that Mr. Ford may continue as Mayor of Toronto. (See Diary, January 26)

It is, of course, the Tale of Two Mayors, and the Manner in which they have been presented in the usual Media.

We can only recommend the Viewing of Mr. Menzies’ Comments on the Sun News Website. It gives telling Evidence of Bias.


Mr. Ford, who in his Zeal to respect the Taxpayers who elected him, has reined in Spending and balanced the Budget. And yet, he has been pursued in Court for his misuse of Stationery, criticized and mocked for his Weight, and has been derided for his privately donated Cadillac Escalade.

Ms. Spence, who in her Zeal for Mismanagement, has spent undocumented Millions, and has identified with illegal Blockades costing Taxpayers millions more. She has pretended to go on a Hunger Strike (how cheeky – and still chubby!), and drives a Cadillac Escalade amid the Shacks of her Reserve. And yet she is embraced by the Media and lauded as "an inspiration"* to all Canadians.

It is not what you do, but who you are that matters.

Surely it is little Wonder that we are often tempted to Despair of Mankind.

*Gaffastronomical Remark of former Prime Minister Paul Martin.

January 27, 2013

We note that Kathleen Wynne has won the Leadership of the Lollipop* Liberals in Ontario.

In her Victory Speech, she said:

We are going to build on the legacy of Dalton. We are going to build on the work that
Dalton McGuinty has done over the last nine years

Murphy help us!

To build on the Legacy of Mr. McGuinty is to build on the Quicksand of Folly, and the Miasma of Incompetence. Either Ms. Wynne is deluded, or she is being polite. If she is deluded, we can expect more Folly and Incompetence. If she is being polite, she is being unwise. The Name Dalton McGuinty is one that should rank with that of Beelzebub himself. Who would call on the Devil at the Commencement of any Enterprise?

We assume that the Liberals will not get re-elected – although that may be mere wishful Thinking.

We would not be surprised if the Voters turn to Andrea Horvath of the New Democratic Party. We say this because Mr. Hudak seems bereft of any conservative Ideas. We think this is because of Timidity, a Characteristic seldom elevated in the List of the Attributes of Leadership.

It is our general Observation that those on the Left have a considerable Advantage in Politics. The Fact is that People, by and large, prefer Illusion to Reality, and are eager to suppress the Truths they know in their Hearts. Politicians on the Left promise a Big Rock Candy Mountain of comfortable Equality, with a Unicorn in every Driveway, and a Chimera in every Cupboard. When one considers the vast Appeal of Religion, which promises a Paradise in the Clouds, an Eternity of angelic Harp Lessons, or a Multiplicity of amenable Virgins, one gains some Insight into the Attraction of the Left.


                 Reality is always the dowdy sister to Fancy. (Observation # 5)

Mr. Hudak should be promising equal Treatment of Native Protestors by the Police, a Cessation of Muslim religious Ceremonies in the Schools, a Decline into Obscurity for Human Rights Commissions, and the Provision of Private Medical Insurance, so that Citizens have the Freedom to choose between the wretched, coercive public system, and one that operates on competitive Marketplace Principles.  The Education System would also benefit greatly from a competitive Element. The Toronto District School Board is a most wonderful Illustration of Bureaucratic Dysfunction. Green Energy Schemes should be reviewed.

We hear only the Sounds of Silence.

All Government Enterprise – if we may allow that Oxymoron – suffers from an Excess of apparently limitless Funds from the Taxpayers, and an Absence of competitive Accountability in its Operation. It is in the Nature of Bureaucracy to expand like a virulent, unopposed Pathogen, bringing the mutative Corruption of Aggrandisement inevitably in its Wake. Those on the Left see Government as the Answer; those on the Right see it as the Problem.**

We shall regard with Interest the Choices to be made by Voters in Ontario.


*We refer, of course to the Seductive Promises made by Parties on the Left to bribe the Child-like Citizenry for its Votes.

** In the fashioning of any government enterprise, efficacy is but a footnote to empire.
(Observation #84)

** Expense accounts tend to corrupt; Government expense accounts corrupt absolutely.
(Observation # 10)


January 26, 2013

We must note Events concerning two Politicians: Rob Ford, the Mayor of Toronto and Dalton McGuinty, Leader of the Ontario Liberals, whose slow Passage to a well-deserved Obscurity seems to be taking an unconscionable Length of Time.

Mr. Ford, we are pleased to discover, has been victorious in defeating those who have attempted to unseat him, to gain by legal Cunning what they were unable to obtain at the Ballot Box in the last Election.

We have written at greater length on Limerick Lane, where we have had Occasion to see Clayton Ruby in a Mode of Awkwardness, attempting to hide from the Cameras.

We were surprised to learn that the Ontario Liberals, currently deciding on a Captain who will be given the Wheel of a listing and leaky Scow -- the Wretched Ship Liberal Lollipop -- have seen fit to give Tribute to their departing Leader, the truly awful Dalton McGuinty. We suppose that it is important to keep up Appearances, but it is difficult to see any Merit in Mr. McGuinty except that he has managed, through some malign Influence of the Stars, to win Elections.

Mr. McGuinty, we must admit, is a Man of Principle: his Principle is that all should be sacrificed to his Interests.

In Caledonia, he sacrificed the Principle of Upholding the Law to avoid Confrontation with lawless Indian Protesters. He used Taxpayer Money to appease the Protestors, and to buy off the Lawsuits of those whom he had wronged.



With his unprofitable Green Energy Schemes, he sacrificed Prudence and Common Sense in the Pursuit of Self-Aggrandisement; he attempted to buy a Legacy of being seen at the Forefront of a Wave of Change.

With his Cancellation of Gas Plants, he showed once again that Policy would be subjected to Political Expediency.

When the Money ran out, and he was no longer able to spend his way out of the Quicksands of his own Making, he resigned.

It seems almost impossible to explain how Mr. McGuinty managed to stay in Power.

Perhaps we may look to H. L Mencken for the Answer. In Today’s Post, Ian Hunter marks the Anniversary of Mr. Mencken’s Death in 1956, and gives us a Quotation which almost exactly expresses our own View of Mankind:

Man is the yokel per excellence, the booby unmatchable, the king dupe of the Cosmos. He is chronically and inescapably deceived, not only by the other animals and by the delusive factor of nature herself, but also and more particularly by himself – by his incontrovertible talent for searching out and embracing what is false, and for overlooking and denying what is true.


January 25, 2013

The lady doth protest too much, methinks. (Hamlet)

The best defense is a good offense. (Various attributions)

We have been much affected by Hilary Clinton’s Performance during a Hearing into the Attack on the Consulate in Benghazi, during which the Ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three others were killed.

It has been claimed that before the Attack, the Government refused Requests for additional Security, and that after the Event, the Administration continued to blame the Film Innocence of Muslims even though they were well aware that Ansar al-Sharia was responsible. (See Drivel, The Sub-Optimal President, October 27, 2012)

When pressed on the Matter, Mrs Clinton responded with some Emotion:

Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference does it make?       (National Post January 24)

We note that Mrs. Clinton made no reference to the Film. The Cause of the Attack does make a Difference. If the Attack was a planned Operation by Al Qaeda, and the Administration knew it almost immediately, it suggests that the Administration’s Actions and Statements were entirely political – an Attempt to maintain the comfortable Narrative that, with the Death of Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda was a spent and dying Force. It suggests Incompetence. It suggests deliberate Prevarication.


We recall the Story of the famous Preacher, who was renowned for his Spell-Binding Oratory. One day, a Page of his Notes slipped, apparently unnoticed onto the Stage. A curious Member of the Audience subsequently retrieved it, and observed the Page of Text with the hand-written Annotation:

Argument weak here – yell like hell.

Mrs. Clinton yelled a bit, but used an additional Ploy. She said:

I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters, and the wives left alone to raise their children.
                                                                                              (National Post., January 24)

In Fact, Charles Woods, the Father of one of those killed called the official Explanations "a pack of lies." (Breitbart.com, October 26, 2012; Drivel October 27, 2012)

We find Mrs. Clinton not credible, and would be surprised that anyone else does.

On the other Hand, there are still those who believe Theresa Spence was on a hunger Strike.

P.S. We note a Discussion of the Malady Underdoggitis in the Drivel Section.

January 24, 2013

The Passion for Power and the Mumbo-Jumbo of Megalomania

We have now learned the Identity of the Policewoman who attempted to move Mr. Levant away from the Idle No More Protestors outside the Sun News Building last Saturday. Her Name is Nancy McLean.

Ms. McLean seems to believe that the Asking of "agitating" Questions represents Illegality. Indeed, it appears that she has that Infinity of Wisdom which allows her to determine Illegality quite independently of musty, dusty and irrelevant Statutes and Precedents.

She has also been seen in a Video Recording engaged in the Search of the Backpack of a Citizen wishing to enter a public Park during the G20 Summit in July of 2010. The Citizen protested the Illegality of the Search in the Absence of Detainment or Arrest. When he proceeded into the Park, he was handcuffed, and his Backpack was searched. A Pair of Goggles found there was not returned to him.

Entering a Public Park wearing a Backpack appears to be just as illegal as asking "agitating" Questions. We are grateful that we have Ms. McLean to construct Law from thin Air, according to her superior Insights.

We should also note the strange Case of Arun Smith, a Student at Carleton University, who tore down a Wall of Free Speech erected by the Carleton Students for Liberty in the Unicentre Atrium.


Despite having run for a Student Office on the Basis that "every student’s voice is heard," Mr. Smith revealed, in an Interview with Ezra Levant, that "bigots" should be restricted in the voicing of their Opinions.

Upon the precise and difficult Point of determining which Voices are bigoted, and which are not, Mr. Smith retreated into a Mumbo-Jumbo of Unintelligibility. We had the Impression that such Determination would arise spontaneously from a Collective of the Sort of Right Thinking People of whom Mr. Smith would approve.

In Fairness, we do not blame Mr. Smith him for valuing his own Opinion above that of others. Indeed, we are equally convinced of our own indisputable Infallibility – an Infallibility confirmed on many Occasions by the Great God Murphy, the unassailable Deity of our own wonderful Religion, Abracadabra.

The great Difference is that Mr. Smith believes that Opinions not in accord with his own should be silenced. We, on the other Hand, have no Objection to the Expression of Opinion contrary to our own – for what can such Expression reveal but the clear and patent Inadequacy of that Opinion?

Both Ms. McLean and Mr. Smith are to be seen on Limerick Lane.


January 23, 2013

When Mr. Levant was interviewing the Idle No More Protestors last Saturday, the Police arrived to escort him away. (See Diary, January 22 below.)

The Claim made by a Policewoman was that he was "agitating" and "aggravating"* the Protestors.

The Police were acting not on the Basis of any Law, but on the Basis of their Convenience. The Policewoman was not concerned with the Right of Mr. Levant to be on the Sidewalk outside his Office, asking Questions of the Protestors, but the Possibility that the Protestors might become inflamed.

In the Light of that Possibility – not Fact, but Possibility – it was easier to interfere with the Rights of one Person, than to interfere with the Rights of a Group of Protestors, or simply wait for some Breach of the Law to take Place.

Mr. Levant asked whether he would be arrested, should he fail to move away, but the Policewoman, while sounding righteously authoritarian, did not press the Issue.

As Mr. Levant has pointed out, he is a Lawyer with some Facility in articulating his Ideas; he was also being filmed by Cameras at the Time of the Incident. We are left to consider how the Police might deal with Others in a similar Situation, but with those Others having less Knowledge of the Law, and having no recording Witnesses.

Indeed, the Attitude of the Police shown here is not inconsistent with current policing Philosophy, which involves the following Precepts:


1. Give Protestors of certain racial Groups a free Reign, while enforcing laws against those Citizens of different racial Background with Rigidity. (Caledonia, 2006)

2. Let large Groups of the Dissatisfied occupy Parks for Months; ticket and tow a Truck put in an occupied Park by an ordinary Citizen immediately. (Occupy Calgary, November 2011)

3. Ignore Court Orders to remove Protestors from Road or Rail Lines, if the Protestors are aboriginal. Join in Protestor Drum Circle. Cite the Possibility of Mayhem and Country-Wide Retaliation as an Excuse. (Current Idle No More Protests.)

In general, the overriding Principle may be stated thus: Appeasement and Convenience trump Principle and Enforcement.

Perhaps it is not surprising that Political Correctness – so rampant in our Society generally – has subverted our legal System with Human Rights Commissions, and has seeped into the more generally visible Area of Enforcement of Laws.

We wonder about the Role of Underdoggitis in this Matter; we plan to speculate thereon in the Drivel Section.

*The word aggravate used to mean worsen. We are disappointed to see that Dictionaries have now accepted annoy or provoke as second Meanings. Sic transit gloria linguae.



January 22, 2013

We have long maintained that Inequality is the most serious Problem facing our Society.

The Truth of our Contention was revealed most vividly last Evening on The Source which showed a Gathering of about One Hundred Idle No More Protestors outside the Sun News Building in Toronto last Saturday. Their Protest seemed to be focussed on the perceived Racism in the Coverage of Native Protests by the Sun News Network and, in particular, by Ezra Levant, Host of The Source.

Mr. Levant came down with Cameramen and attempted to interview some of the Protestors, few of whom, it appeared, were actually Natives. Some of them appeared to be habitual Grievance-Mongers – those who appear at the Grievance-of-the-Moment, either because of a perpetual Smouldering of Dissatisfaction, or of a Willingness to be recruited for some hidden and undeterminable Reward.

It was at this Point that the searing Problem, the wretched Curse of Inequality became evident.

Mr. Levant attempted to ascertain Details about the alleged Racism, and Opinions on the Indian Act, but was met with Evasion, Ignorance, and Repetition of the general Charge. One protester claimed Sun News to be guilty of killing Children and provoking Genocide through Racism. The Closest a Protester came to a specific Accusation was in the Charge that Mr. Levant had criticized Teresa Spence for her Let’s Pretend Hunger Strike, and the Mismanagement of her Reserve. This, apparently, constitutes Racism in the Minds of those with small Brains.


Occasionally, a Protester speaking to Mr. Levant would be hustled away by a Minder -- we assume in Fear of the terrible Truth of his or her Vacuousness being made evident to the recording Cameras.

From watching the Proceedings, we concluded that the Protesters were scarcely more than robotic Toys, wound up to their Task, injected with a Grease-Drop of superficial Grievance, provided with Signs, and set in Motion. At the End, we have no doubt that they and their Signs were folded, packed up, and returned to the Rent-a-Stoop Facility where they are stored, and kept in Waiting for the next Protest.

The Inequality displayed in this Matter is indeed disheartening. Why should Stupidity be so unevenly distributed? Why should it aggregate in such unfair Amounts? Why should some People be able to call on such vast Reservoirs of Ignorance, Inarticulateness, and Irrationality – while others are significantly deprived?

We see little hope for our Society until effective Measures are taken to redress this terrible Imbalance, this destructive and debilitating Element of Inequality.


We would note that the Police appeared on the Scene and encouraged Mr. Levant to move away. We hope to discuss this Matter tomorrow, here, or in the Drivel Section.


January 21, 2013


So I have heard, and do in part believe... (Horatio in Hamlet)

We are intrigued by the strange Tale of Manti Te’o, whose girlfriend, Lennay Kekua was reported to have died of Leukemia, after a Car Accident had failed to accomplish that Result. As all the World now knows, Lennay Kekua did not exist, and was a Character created as a Hoax.

What is not clear, is the extent to which Mr. Te’o was taken in by the Hoax, and to what Extent he supported it after discovering the Truth.

We often see the World in Terms of a Battle between Illusion and Reality; what we have not considered is the role of Half-Belief. To what Extent are Illusions given Support long after a Weight of Evidence would seem be a fatal Undermining of Belief?

Do Socialists still believe, or only half-believe that a Brotherhood of Equality can be established, despite manifest Failures in Attempt, and the observed universally hierarchical Nature of the Animal World of which we are a Part?

Does the Government believe, or only half-believe that a Universally compelled Health Care System can be operated in Defiance of economic Reality, and with Freedom from the Corruption that always arises when Schemes claim to be egalitarian?


Do Climate Change Alarmists still believe, or only half-believe that Climageddon approaches, despite Failures of Integrity, Flaws in Methodology, and the Lack of Warming for the last Fifteen Years?

Do human Rights Advocates still believe, or only half-believe in the Validity and Justice of Human Rights Commissions, which take Short Cuts from established legal Principles, and prejudicially oppress the accused, while promoting the Cause those claiming Victim Status?

Do Canada’s Aboriginals believe, or only half-believe that they form Nations like France or Italy; do they really think that the Queen will scold the Canadian Government and grant them whatever Bauble of Fancy that gleams, hopeful, in their Eyes?

Do religious Believers believe, or only half-believe in an Afterlife, despite the common Observance that the Dead fall to Muteness and Decay, never to seen or heard from again, and despite the Fact that our Commonality with all sentient Creatures would suggest – if it did exist-- a similarly populated Hereafter?

We struggle with these Questions. We plan to consult for more Clarity with our Aunt Myalgia, who still has her lucid Moments; nor will we overlook our Pianist, Rufus Allthumbs, who despite his lack of formal Education doth oft show great Insights into arcane and abstruse Matters. Finally, of course, we will consult with the Great God Murphy, who has oft been known to shed Light on the obscure Workings of the human Heart.


January 20, 2013

We had planned, this Morning, to discuss the word Racism, particularly as a Term used to stop all Criticism. We recall the Term being used by a Ms. Eltahawy, who objected to a Sign posted in the New York Subway System which suggested that Jihadists were Savages. She claimed that the sign was "racist" – which is Nonsense, since there is no Reference to Race in the Sign.

There is, of course, a Reference to some who claim a religious Affiliation, but the Sign does not even criticize that Religion. But Logic is not the strong Point of those who bully others with emotional Epithets.

We understand that this Technique – crying "Racism" has been used to deter Criticism of aboriginal Protests.

This is a more difficult Matter, since Race is at the Core of all aboriginal Argument, and the Claim is that Races should be treated differently -- a perfect Example of Racism. If an Argument is based on Race, then any Criticism of that Argument might be considered Racism. On that Basis, a Member of one Race can never criticize the Actions of a Member of another Race.

The term Racism becomes essentially meaningless, yet remains as an unanswerable Accusation designed to stop all Debate.



We had intended to discuss this Matter at Length, noting the Significance of Concepts such as Race, Culture, and Prejudice, and pointing out some of the Difficulties in our Attempts to live in a World which does not exist.

However, we happened to hear a Discussion on Sunday Morning (CBC) with three former Ministers of Aboriginal Affairs. We became convinced that the Topick is so riddled with Impossibilities and Illusions that in discussing it, our Sanity – always in a fragile and vulnerable State – would be placed inadvisedly at Risk.

Instead, we turned to an Area of relative Logic, a Place of soothing Calm – the comforting World of Grammar and Usage. Hearing an egregious Example of an invalid Comparison on the very same Program, we have added that Topick as #18 to our list of Pet Peeves.

We are grateful for small Parts of our World where a Line can be drawn between the Sensible and the Foolish.


January 19, 2013

We admit to Feelings of Outrage over the Manner in which Police respond to Protests by the Natives.

In Caledonia, in 2006, it appeared that Natives were given a Carte Blanche by Police, while non-Native Citizens were oppressed. This appears to have been a Result of a Policy of Appeasement by the wretched Dalton McGuinty, who makes the Earthworm appear to be a Model of spinal Development.

More recently, Police have failed to enforce Court Orders against Native Blockades of Roads and Rail Lines in timely Fashion, and have been seen in drum-beating Good Fellowship with Native Protestors.

It was well-observed by Mr. Orwell that "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."

Judge David Brown of the Ontario Superior Court, has criticized Police for Failing to enforce his Orders.

In this Matter, we must note an Article in the National Post on January 18 by two Professors of Law, Kent Roach and David Schneiderman who argue that Matters are not as clear-cut as we would like to believe, and that Judge Brown has ignored Rulings by the Ontario Court of Appeal with Respect to Native Protests.* This Court of Appeal has stressed:



the need to consider not simply the need to enforce the law, but also aboriginal and treaty rights, the right to lawful protest, private property, concerns about public safety and, importantly ‘the government’s obligation to bring about the reconciliation of aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples through negotiations.’ (National Post, January 18)

In other Words, the Ontario Court of Appeal makes the Earthworm appear to be a Model of spinal Development.

At what Point would the exalted Court take into Consideration the Damage done to the Reputation of the Police, and the general Disrepute into which the Legal System is thrown by treating Citizens differently based on their Race?

Over our Lifetime, our View of the Police has changed quite radically. We used to see them as Enforcers of Law. We now see them as political Flunkies directed by aspiring Earthworms. We know not how many others feel the same Way -- but should our Attitude become widespread, the Outlook for civil Society is not enhanced.

The Solution to this Matter is to elect those who see the Need to enforce Laws in an equitable Manner.


*Judge Brown did so because those Rulings related to Protests involving Land Claims. He considered the Idle No More Protests not to be about Land. The two Law Professors claim that, while it is hard to know "what Idle No More protests really are about...rights over land...seem to be a part of Idle No More Grievances." Thus the correct Interpretation of the Law would seem to hinge upon the Capacity to read Minds. Surely this shows the Depths of the Miasma into which the legal System has sunk.

(The Police appear on Limerick Lane)

January 18, 2013

Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie...(George Orwell, 1903 - 1950)

This life is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel. (Horace Walpole, 1717 - 1797)

While it may not be appropriate in every venue, and on every occasion, mockery is the guardian of reason, the enemy of pretension, and the mirror to folly. No belief, no passion, no commitment should be considered immune from the acerbic test of ridicule. (Observation # 47)

We note that a Canadian, Tahawwur Rana, has been sentenced to Fourteen Years in Prison in the United States. (National Post, January 18, 2013)

It appears that Mr. Rana had engaged in a Conspiracy to wreak Vengeance for the Publication of the "Danish Cartoons," one of which showed the Prophet Muhammad wearing a Turban containing a Bomb. The Conspirators had planned to behead Employees of the Newspaper in which the Cartoons appeared, and then throw the Heads into the Street. If this Intention were not serious, it would be viewed as so extreme as to be laughable and absurd.

If we thought that a Sense of Humour might be taught, we would urge that it become a Mandatory Course in Schools all over the World. We suspect that it cannot, and that it will always be in dangerous Conflict with emotional Certainties. This Failure of intellectual Perspective occurs, unfortunately, not only in Circumstance of dire Distress, which is perhaps understandable, but in the foolish Attachments to Religion.


Observe the News of Mr. Rana’s Fate, if you will, from the Vantage Point of Comedy: the Cartoons -- accurately and humorously -- point out one of the Defects of Islam:  in spite of its Pretension to being a Religion of Peace,* there is a remarkable Propensity of many of its Adherents to commit Violence in its Name. Indeed such Violence was not unknown its Founder, Mohammad, who himself was a Conqueror and Murderer.

The Gap displayed between Pretension and Reality is one of the most obvious and frequent Targets of Ridicule.

Yet, driven by blind and (necessarily) humourless Emotion, some Muslims seek a bloody Revenge for this Comment – thereby proving exactly the Truth of the Criticism of the Cartoons. Since they lack any sort of intellectual Perspective, the Absurdity of their Actions is completely lost upon them.

Of course, it is precisely for this Reason that we rail so often against Religion of all Types: too eager a Belief without reasonable Evidence is akin to throwing out one’s Reason, and allowing Emotion free, unfettered, and potentially dangerous Reign.


*The Arabic word salaam (ÓáÇă) ("peace") has the same root as the word Islam. One Islamic interpretation is that individual personal peace is attained by utterly submitting to Allah. The greeting "As-Salaamu alaykum", favoured by Muslims, has the literal meaning "Peace be upon you." (Wikipedia)


P.S. We note the appearance of Lance Armstrong on Limerick Lane.

January 17, 2013

It is a Theme most constant with us that Illusion is oft preferred to Reality.

Behold President Obama, standing boldly to challenge the Evil of Firearms, flanked by small Children, who had written Letters to him, asking that Violence be stopped.

This seems to be a most wonderful Stratagem indeed, and we have earnest Hopes that the President will now turn to the vast Contingent of Students in Elementary Schools for Advice about the Debt Ceiling, the Problem of Iran, and Unemployment.

While we do not disagree with some of Mr. Obama’s Notions – Checks on the Backgrounds of those who would purchase Guns seems sensible – we see His Actions as theatrical, and catering to Illusion. Everyone wishes to stop the Use of Guns by Criminals. The practical Question is how is this best accomplished?

While it is emotionally comforting to ban "Assault Weapons" – the Fact is that Handguns are used in nearly Ninety Percent of  violent Crimes. Yet the President remains silent on the Issue of Handguns.

It has been noted that Massacres of the Type which have led Mr. Obama to his Theatrics usually take place in "Gun-free Zones." The criminally Insane are not so stupid – or so it appears – to choose Locations where their Aims might be prematurely thwarted.

A Society in which Guns are not available is ideal. A Society in which there are severe Restrictions on Ownership of Guns might be considered the next best Thing. The unfortunate Difficulty is that ordinary Citizens observe restrictive Measures; Criminals do not.


The National Rifle Association has pointed out that Mr. Obama’s Children are protected by armed Guards, yet he is "skeptical" about putting Guards in all Schools.

The great Divide between the illusory Ideal and practical Realities is shown by a recent Investigation by Project Veritas. Journalists who favoured Control of Guns were asked whether they would be willing to place a Sign on their Lawn reading:

Citizens Against Senseless Violence. THIS HOME IS PROUDLY GUN FREE!

These are the results:

Four times doors were closed in the faces of the Project Veritas investigators, three times the signs were rejected, twice law enforcement was called to remove them from the property and three times they found armed guards already on site.

(Post Politics, January 15, 2013)

Presidents, Citizens, and Schoolchildren – all rightly wish to reduce the Use of Guns by Criminals. Political Theatre is best used for political Purposes, not to advance practical Solutions.


January 16

We are pleased to announce that we have exciting Plans to purchase a Castle in Spain.

A complete Account may be found in the Drivel section.


January 15, 2013

We have returned this Day from Wind-in-the-Pines, having enjoyed the unusual Thaw of the past Week. A good Deal of the Snow in that Location has vanished, and the Ice on Silver Lake does not look robust. However, this Circumstance does not deter the local Fishermen, who tempt Fate to obtain Fish which might be purchased with less Time and Effort -- and probably at less Cost --at the local Supermarket.

We have been amused to see that Harper’s Magazine has reported the following:

a Canadian student sued her university for failing to accommodate her allergies to cactuses, escalators, tall people, and mauve.

The Source of this News is the satirical Program This is That which is broadcast on CBC Radio. (National Post, January 14)

It is a Measure of the nonsensical Depths to which our Society has sunk that Satire and Reality are indistinguishable. Ordinary Life has become so interwoven with Strands of Absurdity, that the Absurd does not activate many Original Equipment Bull-Poop Detectors.


In this Matter, of course, the Suggestion is that the state of Victimhood has become so highly desirable that it is often claimed on the flimsiest Pretext. Indeed, one might almost conclude that Anyone who does not feel victimized can hardly be considered a fit and sufficiently valued Member of our Society.

And it is only natural that a Lawsuit – or Appeal to a Human Rights Commission – is seen as a Means to profit, or at the very least to discomfit a perceived Oppressor.

Harper’s has now complained – in Jest – about the Nefarious Prevarication of the CBC.

(We see the CBC as a Hotbed of nefarious Left-Wingism; in spite of that, it does have some Programs which display a Sense of Humour.)


P.S. We have added two new Melodies to our Music Page: Light on Dark Waters and Moonlight: The Water Garden of Zen Chou Lai.

January 14, 2013

We must document another Case of Schadenfreude.

We happened to see Dr. Carolyn Bennett being interviewed near the Teepee of Theresa Spence, Chief of the wretched and mismanaged Attawapiskat Reserve. Dr. Bennett was questioned about the Release of the Audit of the Finances of the Reserve which showed that about Eighty Percent of Transactions reviewed had insufficient  Documentation.


Not unexpectedly, Dr. Bennett, one of a considerable Contingent of itinerant Liberal Fawners-at-the-Teepee, seemed less than thrilled. She maintained, however, that "There’s no Mismanagement," and that "There’s no Money missing."

Well, we suppose that, speaking in a technical Manner, the Money is not "missing" if no one misses it and no one really minds. On the other hand, no one seems to know where the Money went – and that does rather suggest Mismanagement.

Dr. Bennett has been observed, not caring much about where the Money went, on Limerick Lane.



January 13, 2013

The Gordian Knot of aboriginal Affairs and the odd Propensity for Plagiarism among those who should know better have occupied us too much of late.

How much more pleasant to reflect on the Progress of our favourite Company, Dynacor Gold Mines.

We were down in the Dumps indeed this past Summer, when a Hedge Fund was forced to sell its Holdings, and drove the Price of Dynacor Stock down to Thirty-Six Cents. We found ourselves assessing the Potential of Bridges with significant Elevations, and speculating on the Difficulties of gaining the Rooftops of tall Buildings.

The Decline, of course, was no Reflection on the Business of the Company, but such a terrible Drop gives Cause for Suspicion, and a certain Degree of Unease.

We are significantly pleased that, at this Date, the Machinery of the Peruvian Government, thought to be halted in a Glue of Bureaucratic Bumbling, has finally produced Permits for Drilling, and for the new Mill at Chala. Revenue from the existing Mill at Acari is strong, and the Company may report Earnings approaching Twenty-four Cents per share for 2012.


Eventually, with the new Mill, these earnings should more than double. It also seems unlikely that the two Areas of Drilling – on the Tumipampa Skarn and in the known Gold Veins will produce no more than a few Pieces of petrified tree Branch, and the Remains of a Caveman’s Shoe.

The Possibility that the Skarn will prove to be like others in the Area is enticing – for the Value of the Company would be increased by more than Ten Dollars a Share. The Gold Veins may allow Dynacor to profit from its own Gold, in Addition to that gained by Processing the Gold of others.

The present Price is $1.62. We would not be surprised to see it decline a Bit after a significant Rise from $1.29 the previous Week.

However, on the Basis of the current Rate of Earnings of Eight Cents per Quarter, the Stock is still hugely undervalued. And the Potential of Drilling Results and the increased Revenue from the new Mill are currently being given a Valuation of Zero.

Murphy’s Law has not been suspended; however, we are hopeful that our recent Tributes to the Great God Murphy will result in a pleasant and beneficial Outcome.

 We are anxious to improve our Diet, and stop being forced to buy remaindered Bread and bruised Vegetables from the Discount Cart at Wal-Mart.


Diary, January 12, 2013


We told you so.

The wise, judicious, and magnanimous Individual, having been proved superior in Judgement or Argument, never deigns to call Attention to his Prescience or exult in his Victory. Secure in his Status, he is as modest in Triumph as he is gracious in Defeat.

Fortunately, we have never laid claim to being wise or judicious, and Magnanimity is a concept entirely foreign to our Constitution.

Frankly, the Joys of saying We told you so are far sweeter than those provided by modest Silence.

Hence, we wish to draw Attention to the Fact that on January 10 we said that we suspected the Ph.D. Thesis of Dr. Chris Spence would likely exhibit the same plagiaristic Contamination evident in much of his other Writings.

Lo, and behold: we read in this Day’s Post that :

The University of Toronto has launched an investigation into allegations that Chris Spence, the beleaguered former director of the Toronto District School Board, quoted from other sources without proper attribution in his 1996 doctoral thesis.

Multiple passages in Mr. Spence’s 1996 thesis, The Effects of Sport Participation on the Academic and Career Aspirations of Black Male Student Athletes in Toronto High Schools, appear similar to previously published work. In some cases, Mr. Spence cites the other work in his extensive list of references, but does not provide a direct attribution within the body of his work. (National Post, January 11)

Do not pity us for our schadenfreude, or our petty self-aggrandisement. We enjoy them.


In other Matters, as tired as we are of the Complaints and Posturings of Aboriginals, we suspect that they will cause much Turmoil, and we feel compelled to comment.

Our general Thesis has always been that powerful Illusions are the Cause of much Mischief in Human Affairs. Thus we have seen the false Promise of Equality in the Health Care System lead to sclerotic Delays and Restrictions on Freedom, and the false Promise of Freedom from being offended lead to the manifest Injustices of Human Rights Commissions. (Or, as we prefer to call them Victimhood Advocacy Commissions)

In the same Way, Aboriginals have convinced themselves that they are Members of separate Nations, and on equal Footing with the Canadian Nation. It is doubtless from this Misapprehension that they are so insistent on having the Governor General a Participant in their Discussions: he will convince the Queen to scold Canada, and advance the Cause of aboriginal Nations.

As John Robson pointed out last Evening on Byline (Sun News Network), no one has taken much Trouble to oppose this Notion. This Failure to state the Obvious may be the Result of Condescension, or Reluctance to appear uncivil, which would attract the Cry of Racism. (We note in Passing how one Illusion feeds into another: the Fear of giving Offense is Soil for the Growth of a threatening Grandiosity.)

We should also note another aboriginal Illusion. The aboriginal Industry has done a wonderful Job in suggesting that Indians are a Remnant of some Golden aboriginal Age, in which Mankind was wont to commune in spiritual Symbiosis with Brother Rabbit, Brother Beaver, and Brother Bear; Glooskap was in his Heaven, and All was right with the World.

The Effectiveness of this Nonsense was revealed in a few Interviews conducted during an Idle No More Protest held in Toronto. We were amazed at the Number of Onlookers who expressed the View that aboriginal Peoples were Stewards of the Land, Guardians of the Sacred Waters, and mystical Nurturers of the towering Trees.

We have little Doubt than many Aboriginals have come to believe their own manufactured Fantasies. It is these Fantasies that are behind illegal Blockades and Threats of Violence.

It is clear that the present System does not work: Indian Treaties make Reserves into Socialist Dictatorships in which Members of the Ruling Party prosper, while ordinary Citizens subsist. This is, as Professor Ian Lee has pointed out, The Tragedy of the Commons.* Property held in Common is like to be abused and be unproductive. Prosperity arises from the Magic of Incentive for Profit which flows from private Ownership and Rights of Property.

Reality is often less pleasant than we desire; one may argue that Illusions are an inevitable Result.

But Illusions are not benign; their Flaws can be fatal, and create a Reality far worse than that which is hoped to be avoided.

What is now most dangerous to the Advancement of Aboriginal Peoples is their unsupportable and unsustainable Illusions.

*The Tragedy of the Commons, Garrett Hardin, 1968



January 11, 2013

True wit is nature to advantage dress'd,
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd.  
Alexander Pope (1688-1744) 

We note with some Satisfaction that Dr. Chris Spence has resigned as Director of the Toronto and District School Board. (See Diary, January 10, below.)

When we read the Comment of the Chairman, Chris Bolton, who prattled about the plagiaristic Transgressions of Dr. Spence as a being a "learning experience" and expressing Support for Dr. Spence in his bid to "make it right," we feared that the Board had sunk so low into the Miasma of Incompetence and Banality, that it was lost forever to the rational World.

Indeed, it may well be – but we are pleased to see a minor Halt in that ignominious Slide.

We noted yesterday our immoderate Glee when we hear of Plagiarism in high Places, but we are also given to wonder why those who are outwardly successful would succumb to what is –evidently for them – a Temptation.

We have come up with the following Speculations:

Does the Plagiarist see Language only as a Tool to Self-advancement, a utilitarian Device which, like a No. 2 Phillips Screwdriver, does not reflect upon the Skills or Process of Thought which conceived it? Perhaps, with this Outlook, it is possible to "borrow" one’s Neighbour’s Screwdriver to get the Job done with so a minor Twinge of Conscience that it fades to Irrelevance.

But "borrowing" the Screwdriver still involves the Pretense that it is one’s own, and the Need to avoid any direct Confrontation with one’s Neighbour, to hope that he is happily oblivious of the unregistered Transaction.


Perhaps this Matter of Borrowing is related to the Obama-esque Concept: "You didn’t build that." According to that Notion, our Existence is primarily communal. Achievement is not based on individual Initiative or Originality, but rather, arises spontaneously from a Soup of indistinguishable and equal Elements. None can claim Propriety: my Screwdriver is your Screwdriver; we’re all screwing Things up together.

Indeed, we heard this Morning on the Radio someone claiming that Dr. Spence should not have resigned. We have attempted to track down the Author of this Comment without Success.

We would be very surprised if he should not turn out to be a feathered Friend whose single left Wing leads him to spiral crazily into the Abyss overlooked by common Sense.

Or is it that the Plagiarist is afflicted with that most terrible of modern Maladies: a Lack of Self-Esteem. Without Confidence in his Skills, and Pride in his own Ideas, the Plagiarist is driven to achieve his Goals through Deception. His Achievements are bogus; he is hollow at the Core. Each achieved Rung of the Ladder is wrought of Illusion, hence each in Subsequence needs the same Deception. That is why serial Plagiarism is to be expected, for it is an established Pattern of dealing with the World. How apt is Juvenal’s Remark from over two Centuries ago: No one ever became suddenly depraved.

And thus, the Discovery of a single Deceptive Rung is like to lead to a multiple Collapse, and the eager Climber falls into Dust of his own Ploys and Pretensions.

Finally, perhaps Plagiarists are just lazy Charlatans, superficial Salesmen of their own promising Nostrums.



January 10, 2013

We confess that our Glee is sanctiferously challenged when we encounter Plagiarism in high Places.

We suppose there is a certain Amount of Rejoicing – covert or otherwise -- whenever Pretension is undercut by Reality. The Man wearing a Top Hat and formal Attire who slips on a the Peel of a Banana is like to incite more Mirth than if he were in Clothes of a shabby or nondescript Character.

But we may also be especially vulnerable to unholy Glee since the Sin involved is one that has never had the remotest Appeal for us. Our Opprobrium is not leavened by the sobering Sense encapsulated in the Phrase "There but for the Grace of God, go I."

No. We can enjoy our amazed Delight at the Discovery of Plagiarism among the outwardly successful with complete Detachment, and an unreserved Sense of Superiority.

Yet a third Factor in our cruel Joy must be considered in the case of Dr. Chris Spence: he is the Director of a School Board which seems to teeter on the very Edge of Sanity, and has been known to plummet over that Edge – for Example, with the Decision to allow Muslim religious Services in the Classrooms of a Secular School System.

Indeed, Dr. Spence’s support of that Idiocy led us to compose a Limerick on the Matter in 2011. (July 26)

A Fourth Factor in our remorseless Snickering is provided by the fact that, as Zany as the Toronto School Board often appears, it has – on the Surface at least – stringent Policies regarding Plagiarism.



And now, we have learned from this Day’s Post, that Dr. Spence did not simply steal from an Article published in the Toronto Star concerning Extracurricular Activities: he is a serial Plagiarist, one accustomed to "heavy lifting" whenever the Need arises.

We are not surprised: Nemo repente fuit turpissimus. (No one ever suddenly became depraved.) (Juvenal, A.D. c. 60 -- c. 130) We suspect that Dr. Spence’s Ph.D. Thesis is unlikely to be found free of Contamination.

We are intrigued that Dr. Spence has vowed to take a Course in "Media Ethics" at Ryerson University. We think this is a thoroughly modern Solution: a timely Application of Wallpaper to Cracks in the Foundation. We have always thought that overweight People should read Books on Dieting, and Serial Killers be required to take Courses in Anger Management.

We would be remiss were we not to note the Remark of the Chairman of the Board, Chris Bolton concerning this Matter:

I think Chris has been quite candid about the mistake and is very concerned that everyone understand that he sees this as an honest mistake, but something that needs to be corrected. As in all learning situations, we see this as a learning experience and we support him totally in his bid to make it right. 

What our Country needs now, it seems to us, is an Annual Fatuity Award. Mr. Bolton’s Remark would certainly receive our Vote. Indeed, if the Rules allowed, we would be prepared to fill out multiple Ballots.


Dr. Spence has made another Appearance on Limerick Lane.




January 9, 2013. 

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. (Abraham Lincoln, 1858)

The Tentacles of aboriginal Dysfunction are multiple, pernicious, and far--reaching.

We note that David Brown, a Judge of the Ontario superior Court is upset that a Court Order to stop two native Blockades were not enforced by the Police. (CBC News, January 7)

In one Blockade, near Belleville, fifteen Protestors delayed Freight and Passenger Trains. Police deemed the Order "too dangerous" too enforce. A spokesman for the Ontario Provincial Police, Pierre Chamberland said:

Our role is to keep the peace. (Sun News, January 9)

The other Blockade was near Sarnia. Discussing that Blockade, Joe Warmington, ( Sun News, January 9) argues that the Judge is naive, and quotes the Defence made by OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis:

The OPP are not going to solve hundreds of years of legal issues by marching down the road and fighting with a group of First Nations people -- some of which are often women, children and elderly people. A peaceful several hour blockade, as wrong as it is, pales in comparison to a full shutdown of all major highways, railways and therefore trade routes across Canada for days or weeks. Hundreds of First Nations territories, with thousands of First Nations people residing therein and in other municipalities from coast to coast do have the ability to carry that out. That doesn't make it right by any means, but it is reality.

It is encouraging to realize that the Ontario Provincial Police are so impervious to Intimidation.

Fifteen Protestors are a redoubtable Force indeed.

We are surprised that Mr. Lewis did not add that enforcing the Law might also bring a Criticism from the United Nations, and much Hand-Wringing on the Planet Krypton. His Argument suggests that it is the Job of Police to consider not merely the Exigencies of the Moment – the Court Order – but the broad Sweep of Political Ramifications throughout the Country. In other words, Mr. Lewis admits that Decisions made by the Police, are not Police Decisions at all: they are political Decisions.

With these new Insights, in the unlikely Event we are stopped for speeding, it might be worth trying a Bit of Strategic Manoeuvring. We will claim Membership in Al Qaeda, the Hells Angels, or the Mafia, and brandish some Country-wide Threat:


Yes, indeed, I was exceeding the Limit – but have you considered the Ramifications of the Fact that I am a cleverly disguised Alien from the Planet Krypton? There could be severe Repercussions, not only to your beloved Ontario Provincial Police Headquarters -- which could easily be zapped by a Gamma Ray Gun -- but Canada as a Country, and indeed, and your whole silly little Planet?

Mr. Warmington, with just a Touch of Smugness, concludes:

In the end , the OPP and Sarnia police's tactics worked. The blockade is over and, sorry to those who wanted bashed brains, but no one was hurt.

All’s well that ends well. Everyone will live happily ever after.

Well, we shall see.

In a related Matter, it has been noted that Ms. Theresa Spence, our favourite native Chief, is camped out illegally in a Public Park. According to Kathryn Keyel, a Spokesperson for the National Capital Commission, that is just fine with the Commission:

The aboriginal community uses that space often to express their interests, and they often have activities on that site as well. (National Post, January 8.)

We are tempted to say that the Trouble with Bullies is that Appeasement does not work. The more one gives, the more they demand. When one resists, they tend to back down. We note that Teresa Spence has now decided not to attend the very Meeting which she has claimed to be starving for.

Could it be possible that the Audit of her Reserve, showing it to be grievously mismanaged, has led het to reconsider her Options?

The present Situation, in which the Nation is composed of the Bullies and the Bullied, and the Bullied always make Accommodation, cannot persist. Things must go one way or the other.

We look forward to the Day when aboriginal Culture is triumphant, and Ms. Spence – or her Simulacrum -- is Prime Minister, and a Clayton Kennedy the Mayor of Toronto. What a wonderful Day of Freedom that will be.


January 8, 2013

Yesterday we noted that Paul Martin had concluded Theresa Spence was an "Inspiration" to Canadians.

The ‘leaking’ of an Auditors’ Report showing that Ms. Spence’s Attawapiskat Reserve is a Sinkhole for Public Funds which are dispersed with no Regard for Integrity and with no Sense of Responsibility is an interesting Commentary on the Validity of Mr. Martin’s Ability to detect the Poop of Brother Bull.

It is this Bull-Poop which Ms. Spence is presenting as Starvation-Worthy Complaint.

Mr. Martin, as we noted yesterday, is not alone in his Deficiency. There is a considerable Contingent of Canadians who prefer a Narrative in which brave and oppressed Noble Savages are pitted against a ruthless Conservative Government of evil White Men. Facts are a mere ‘Distraction’ when they do not fit  the chosen romantic Illusion.

We would note that last Evening Lisa LaFlamme on CTV News referred to the Timing of the Leak as "suspect" in view of the Meeting between Native Leaders and the Government this Friday. According to Ms. LaFlamme, the Situation is "delicate" and the Government -- of course -- does not wish to appear "heavy-handed."

What a World of Bias is revealed here!

Imagine you are about to purchase a House, when you receive a Note slipped through the Door, claiming, with Documentation attached, that the Houses sits on an Aggregation of toxic Waste.

Would you consider this Information "suspect" or "timely?" Would it be thought to upset the "delicate" Negotiations upon which you were about embark? Would you have a sense of being "heavy-handed" if you were to make Reference to this Information when speaking to the Owner?

No, of course, you would not – and the Fact that CTV News uses such Language reveals that it sees the Release of Damning Information as an unfortunate Impediment to the Cause of Ms. Spence.

In Fact, of course, this Analogy lacks Exactness: in the case of Attawapiskat, the Mismanagement has been known for some Time, but has been put aside as a Truth inconvenient to the Maintenance of a popular Delusion.

For Example in the National Post, (January 7) Jonathan Kay draws attention to an eight minute Segment produced by Adrienne Arsenault for the CBC about a year ago. He calls it a "searing indictment of Attawapiskat’s leadership."

And Mr. Ezra Levant, who has a remarkable Capacity for discovering beloved Biases and favoured Follies in the Fabric of conventional Canadian Thought, has been commenting on the Truth since December 1, 2011.

We were pleased to see in this Day’s Post an Article by John Ivison, who provides a Perspective quite different from that of the Deluded. He quotes from Remarks by Chris Burke, a Scot who is married to a Cree, and who has lived in the area of Hudson Bay for Forty-five Years: 

When it comes to negotiations, this is what is going on. You are being hunted with all the skills of the accomplished hunter, who has been at it for countless generations. The hunter knows his prey intimately. He has learned its habits and limitations and is an excellent tracker. With an incredible gift for observation, he knows the right and most efficient way to make the kill for his particular quarry …. telling a sad story to create sympathy is the bait or the decoy … or if that doesn’t work, getting angry and threatening to scare your prey into the trap. Imitating the call or the habit of the quarry is replaced with imitating the language and practices of your adversary.

Mr. Burke concludes that whatever the Canadian Government cedes, "it will never be enough."

Were we given to Gambling,  in this Race, we would place our Bets on Mr. Burke, rather than on Mr. Martin.


January 7, 2013

We are astounded to learn that Paul Martin, a Liberal and former Prime Minister of Canada, has jumped on the Bandwagon being propelled by Teresa Spence, the Indian Chief who is pretending to starve herself so that she might meet with the current Conservative Prime Minister.

He has emerged from a Meeting with Ms. Spence and announced that she is "an inspiration."

We suppose this might be seen as an Assist in the Scoring of cheap political Points: Mr. Trudeau, not unexpectedly, was the first Politician to engage in a public Fawning, and Marc Garneau, the Possessor of a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering, pronounced himself a Spencerian shortly thereafter. Both Men are seeking Leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.

But the former Conservative Prime Minister, Joe Clark has also met with Ms. Spence, and there is much Comment in the Papers and on Television which suggests Sympathy with her Project.


As we have previously noted, we see Ms. Spence as a Symbol of All that is wrong with aboriginal Culture, for she is a wealthy Chief who has mismanaged her Reserve. Even now, Donations are being solicited on the Internet and collected at her Teepee of Operations on the Ottawa River. We doubt that the Funds will be used to repair Leaks in  Roofs at Attawapiskat.

It is a continuing Source of Fascination that one Man’s Charlatan is another Man’s Inspiration.

We lament one of the great Inequalities of our Age: the dramatically uneven Distribution of reliable Bullshit Detectors.

Mr. Martin has been seen chugging along, misfiring on a few Cylinders, on Limerick Lane.


January 6, 2013

We admit to a certain Amount of Discombobulation.

We have encountered a period of Dizziness, followed by a feeling of Disembodiment – the very Symptoms that do often presage a Conniption Fit.

We have just learned that Ian Thomson, the Gentleman in Port Colborne who resisted those who set fire to his Property in 2010  -- by firing his Gun into the Lawn and the Trees, has been acquitted of two Charges. (National Post, January 5, 2012)

Crown Prosecutors, living in the Land of legal Niceties which exists over the Rainbow where the Whereas doth frolic with the Aforementioned and the Hereinafter cavorts with Ceteris Paribus --no doubt aided and abetted a fortiori by the de facto cui bono of the dolus specialis -- had charged Mr. Thomson with keeping a Gun in a bedside Table, rather than locked in a secure Container, and also with the unsafe Storage of Ammunition.

These Charges were made only by making certain Assumptions about the Events of the Attack.

A Judge has now acquitted Mr. Thomson of both these Charges.

When Common Sense is in a Battle with Legal Niceties – especially when Self-Defence is at Issue-- we do not expect, in Canada, to see Common Sense to emerge victorious: hence our Discombobulation and threatened Conniption Fit.

It is our Perception that there is a general Preference on the Part of those responsible for enforcing Laws, that Anyone attacked should submit quietly. The Calling of 911 is permitted, but apart from that, Malefactors are under the exclusive Jurisdiction of the Police, and should be allowed free Reign until the properly constituted Authorities have finished their Coffee, and arrive on the Scene. If Someone dies, that is unfortunate, but Rose Gardens are a Luxury not promised by Canadian Custom.



Only by strict Adherence to these Protocols can there be proper Division of Labour, orderly Procedures, and the accurate Filing and Storage of relevant Documents  be made by dedicated and caring Professionals.

We have no particular Fondness for the Bearing of Arms, but the Right of Self-Defence would seem worth protecting. We note that John Lott has written a Book entitled More Guns, Less Crime which shows that Laws in the United States (1977 -2005) against concealed Guns tend to make Criminals more at Ease, and facilitate Crime. It has been noted that supposedly irrational Killers often chose "Gun Free" Locations for their murderous Rampages.

What would have happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School had the Principal had a Gun?

Mr. Lott’s Thesis has been supported by Some, contested by Others, but it does not seem illogical.

In our ideal World, concealed Guns would not be carried by private Citizens, and the Police would be Paragons of Competence. But once the Genie has been released from his Bottle, he has a legendary Resistance to being re-imprisoned. We are not sure we welcome the Thought that the Lady in the Seat across from us on the Bus might have a Gun.

On the other Hand, Automobiles are also lethal Weapons subject to irrational – and accidental-- Misuse. But the perceived Benefit is seen to outweighs the Risk that they pose. The Thought that a Security Guard, Business Owner, Bus Driver, or School Principal might possess a Weapon we find not hugely alarming; such Possession, although not without Risk, might provide a justifiable Deterrence.



January 5, 2013

We are indeed weary of Aboriginal Affairs, but we are given no Relief: Mr. Harper has now agreed to a Meeting with Native Leaders on January 11.

We know not how well this may be justified as being politically astute; but to us it looks like a Hopping to the Tune being played by Teresa Spence, who would seem to be a wonderful Symbol of Everything that is wrong in aboriginal Culture. She and her Partner are said to garner $280,000 tax free Dollars each Year, and the Attawapiskat Band has a Fund of Stock Holdings valued at nearly Nine Million Dollars. Yet many of the Band Members live in Poverty.

We predict that the Native Leaders will not have any reasonable Solutions to aboriginal Difficulties, since the Status Quo, but with more Money, is to their Advantage.

Reasonable Solutions would make Band Leaders more accountable, and reduce their Power to intimidate Citizens on Reserves. One way of doing this would be to give Citizens economic Freedom.

We see aboriginal Problems in a more general Framework: while it may be argued that Illusions are a Necessity for Mankind, too often their stark Divergence from Reality is destructive.

The Aboriginal Industry has done a wonderful Job of presenting Indians as Remnants of a Golden Age, when Mankind was mystically in Harmony with Nature, and was wont to carry on productive Conversations with Brother Rabbit, Brother Moose, and Brother Bear. These noble Remnants, we are told, are threatened by the crass Commercialism of modern Life, and deserve to be supported in a Manner which will allow them to maintain their spiritual Superiority, divorced from economic Realities.


This, of course is the Poop of Brother Bull on a grand Scale.

The Reality is that Cultures are neither equal nor equally viable. Those skilled in the Making of Tallow Candles cannot expect to thrive and prosper in an era of incandescent Bulbs fed by electric Power. Nor can Dictatorships in Democratic Clothing, be expected to have, as their first Priority, the Generation of Wealth for those not Part of the ruling Elite.

Mr. Harper is said to wish to move in incremental Steps, and there is much Advantage to Change which is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. However, the ultimate Aim must be to deflate the aboriginal Illusions, and bring Indians into the World of Economic Reality.

That World is the World of marketable Skills and useful Production. Dressing up in Feathered Headgear and chanting in an ancient Rain Dance may have a quaint cultural Resonance. But a Degree in Engineering, or Certification as an Electrician or Plumber would seem to be significantly higher on any reasonable List of Priorities.


January 4, 2013

Of Dictatorships

We see that Ms. Teresa Spence, mayor of Attawapiskat (population 1,549) is in the News again, having issued an Ultimatum to Mr. Harper to schedule a Meeting with her within Seventy-Two Hours.

It is difficult to imagine the Mayor of Orillia (population 30, 259) making the same Threat, but perhaps this merely shows that Ms. Spence, as Mayor of an Indian Reserve, is used to getting her own Way.

Indeed perhaps the great Benefit which might be attained from her Call for Attention, is that the System through which Band Leaders thrive while ordinary Indians live in deplorable Conditions, is that the System of Governance be changed, and that Ms. Spence be held accountable for Mismanagement of her Reserve.

Democracy on Reserves is a Charade when Band Leaders have excessive Power.

In another Item of News, we see that Actor Gérard Depardieu, objecting to a Tax Rate for the Wealthy in France of 75%, has decided to move to Russia, where there is a Flat Tax of 13%.(National Post, January 4)

The French Government is displeased, but M. Depardieu, living in a Democracy, has the Option of Picking up his Marbles, and going to a different Playground. We are not sure that we would choose the Putinocracy of Russia, but no doubt M. Depardieu, having an elevated Profile, will be quite safe.

Indeed, we suspect that Living in a Dictatorship can be very comfortable, as long as one is on friendly Terms with those immovably in Charge.


We might also argue that Dictatorships have Roots in the Jungle, and the hierarchical Nature of animal Existence leads to the Rising of strong, ruthless Leaders.

In the Modern World, however, we see a limited Future for Dictatorships. Myths of divine Approval, and Reverence for Men claiming God-like Powers have suffered by an Increase in contrary Knowledge. And above all, the Truth that Man is not a Piano Key is always a Stumbling Block to Dictatorship.

While Men have the Capacity to look and act like Piano Keys, and many can be manipulated to play the Tune most harmonious to the Ear of the Ruler, being a Piano Key is not the true Nature of Man. The discordant note of Freedom is one increasingly sounded, and that can only flourish in the Flux and Change of a System which allows the Governed to change their Rulers, as the Occasion seems to demand.

Mr. Churchill has noted the Deficiencies of Democracy:

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

But his other famous Comment still seems to have Validity:

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

(Sir Winston Churchill, 1874 - 1965)


January 3, 2013

The world is made up for the most part of fools and knaves. (George Villiers, Second Duke of            Buckingham 1628-1687.)

The emperor is naked.

(Small boy in The Emperor’s New Clothes, Hans Christian Anderson, 1805 -1875)

We had occasion to comment on December 28 (Diary, 2012) on the bizarre Declaration of Theresa Spence, Mayor of Attawapiskat -- a Town of 300 Homes -- that she would stop eating until she achieves a Meeting with Stephen Harper and the Governor General.

She has already met with Justin Trudeau, Joe Clark, and, apparently, a Herdlet of other harmoniously bleating Politicians -- but has refused to meet the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, John Duncan.

This reveals, of course, the true Nature of her Protest. She does not seek to encounter Reality, but to proclaim a Dream. The Protest is a Gesture on the Grandstand of her own self-Importance, and significant Misapprehension.

Few, of course, are willing to say as much. When presented with a naked Empress, it is the Custom in our Country to admire her Finery. The Custom is an Outgrowth of Years of Correctness abetted by the Left Wing Media.

Small Boys are remarkable for their Paucity, but last Evening, on The Source, Mr. Levant noted that, considering that Ms. Spence has been fasting for 23 Days, she appears remarkably undiminished. Rubenesque was the Term he used. It is said that she is existing on Water and Fish Broth, but we suspect that an actual Demise is not in her Plans, and that the Recipe for the Broth is subject to certain life-saving Variabilities.


Ms. Spence also makes much of the Dream of Nation-within-a-Nation, which we discussed in our Drivel of December 29, 2012. She has urged Unity among Protestors and the Law-Breaking Idle No More Movement. She has been quoted as saying:

First Nations leadership need to take charge and control of the situation on behalf of the grassroots movement. We need to re-ignite that nation-to-nation relationship based on our inherent and constitutionally protected rights as a sovereign nation. We are demanding our rightful place back, here in our homelands, that we all call Canada.(the star.com, December 30, 2012)

Once again, Mr. Levant has piped up with an inconvenient Truth: The James Bay Treaty of 1930 shows that the Attawapiskat Indians have given up "all rights, titles and privileges to the lands" and have agreed to an "extinguishment of all past claims."

The Passing Parade of modern Life doth afford us much Entertainment, and it is easy to assent to George Villiers’s Remark about the Prevalence of Knaves and Fools.

But perhaps Mr. Anderson’s Analysis is more precise: if the Emperor is a Fool taken in by Knaves, there are many Enablers of the Charade. From Fear of Opprobrium, a timid Reluctance to stray from what is expected, or a Devotion to conventional Thought, or a Dedication to the Correctness of the Moment -- a large Group of Observers falls silent, and the Parade of Knavery and Folly marches murmurless by.


January 1, 2013

We begin the new Year in a State of Melancholy.

It appears that, despite our best Efforts, the Visits to our Website are increasing at a Rate that can only be described as alarming.

We will be holding a Press Conference later this Day, when the complete Statistics for December have become available, but even at this early Hour, we know that Visits for that Month far exceed those for any other.

When we could convince ourselves that only our Dear Aunt Myalgia* and a few of her similarly cognitively - challenged Associates were frittering away their Time on the Site, we could regard the World with a certain Degree of Equanimity: after all, with what other more beneficial Pursuits could they reasonably occupy their Time? How much Damage could the Site inflict on those already deemed to be in a tenuous Relationship with Reality?


But it has become increasingly clear that, even considering the Efficacy of Aunt Myalgia’s most powerful Weapon – the redoubtable Grape Jelly – Access to the Site is being made by those beyond the Reach of that seductive Bribe.

The Thought that those in full Command of their Faculties might be wasting precious Minutes of their Time, and might even be risking the temporary, or even -- Murphy forbid!– permanent Impairment of those Faculties by being drawn into the bizarre Alternate Universe of the Lumpenbangen Piano Institute is a Cause for great Concern.

We hope to have some Suggestions for the general Publick on this Matter for the Press Conference, an Account of which will be published in the Drivel Section today or tomorrow. We will be making earnest Prayer to the Great God Murphy in this regard.


*Frequent Readers will know that Aunt Myalgia is currently a Resident of the Shady Hollow Psychiatric Facility in downtown Toronto.