Dr. Dreimer's Diary, July - December, 2012

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December 31, 2012

It has come to our Attention that we are on the Brink of a New Year.

We know this to be true because the National Post has published its annual Horoscopes – pleasant Predictions for each of the Astrological Signs.

As a confirmed Skeptic, we give no Credence to such Speculations, which pretend that there are magical Influences on our Lives which enable the Future – in general Terms – to be revealed.

On the other Hand, we are also forced to admit that Life without Illusions is scarcely possible, and a sunny and hopeful Prediction is a difficult One upon which to exercise the full Weight of one’s scornful Grumpitude.

Thus, we must admit that when the artful Illusionists at the National Post suggest that 2013 is, for us, a Turning Point, at which we "will start to attract attention and garner praise from the world..." we cannot unfurl those scornful Lashings of Disbelief which come so readily when we consider the Matters of Religion, or the apocalyptic Visions of Climate Change Alarmists.


It is the sort of Pleasantness that one tends to harbour in the remote Recess of the Mind, a sort of Lottery Ticket of Potential of which one can be of two Minds. The rational Mind knows that the Chance of Winning a Lottery is infinitesimal; the hopeful Mind buys a Ticket anyway, in a "willing Suspension of Disbelief."*

Perhaps this is how Religion works after all, holding out the Promise of an Afterlife in a Land of Milk and Honey. The Climate Alarmists might do well to promise, for a Renunciation of Industrial Civilization, a Return to a Golden Age, when the Climate was stable, and the Unicorn played with the Chimera.

The Key to dealing with Illusions is to know their Limits, to be able to believe and disbelieve when the Times are appropriate. How much better off the World would be were Promises of the Future to be seen as Lottery Tickets and Horoscopes, rather than Divine Truths. How much better would we be to adopt the Stance of Horatio, hearing of Beliefs both strange and miraculous:

So have I heard and do in part believe... **


*Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834)

**Hamlet, I, i.



December 30, 2011

We have spent the Morning rooting through our Mailbag, and have encountered some further Response to our Audio Readings.


We have published a Sample in the Drivel Section.
December 29, 2012

We were intrigued to see Mr. Levant’s Program last Evening, for he dealt with the very Topick of our entry Yesterday – the Affairs of Aboriginals.

We have often noted that our most confident, forthright, and incisive Comments are made upon Matters of which we know almost Nothing. The less we know, the less we are troubled by Facts, and the more Assurance we have in proclaiming our Theories.


This Topick is no Exception, and we have given our definitive Opinion in the Drivel Section.

As might be expected our sunny Optimism about Human Affairs shines through, and we hope Readers who take the Time to read our Pronouncements will be edified, and made considerably happier by our Conclusions.


December 28, 2012

We have imagined, on Occasion – perhaps after too much Bubbly – our Socialist Paradise.

The Government would provide us with sufficient Funds to conduct our Affairs as we saw fit. We would engage in a life of Leisure in some scenic Corner of our fair Land with no Thought or Care about where the next Dollar could be earned, borrowed, or scrounged.

Our Cup would run over, and surely Goodness and Mercy would follow us all the Days of our Life.

Indeed, we would dwell on a Native Reserve forever.

Alas! That is the Trouble with the bubbly Dreams of Socialist Paradise. The Reality is the Hangover from failed Perceptions, and failed Policies.

We note that Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat Reserve is currently refusing to eat, and threatens to die if the Prime Minister does not hustle over to conduct Discussions of a Length which – she has predetermined – should be of one or two Weeks.

This is the same Teresa Spence who presided over the Wretchedness of Attawapiskat despite the Receipt by that Reserve of millions of Dollars from the Federal Government. It has been estimated that, with Federal Funds, and Income from a Diamond Mine nearby, $250,000 is generated for each Family on the Reserve. That Money attracts no Tax. (Lilley’s Pad, August 7, 2012) Yet many live there in deplorable Conditions, with no School but a wonderful Hockey Arena and a Zamboni costing, including Delivery, $150,000.


It would appear that Ms. Spence is after more of the Spirits of destructive Dependency, more of the Hallucinatory Smoke of Unreality which have led to the inebriated Wobbling, and learned Helplessness of so many Citizens who might otherwise be productive and respected Members of Society.

We are not surprised that Mr. Trudeau, that Vessel of superficial Charm and abysmal Emptiness, has visited Ms. Spence in her Teepee on the Ottawa River. He has said:

It was deeply moving to meet [Theresa Spence] today. She is willing to sacrifice everything for her people. She shouldn’t have to.

More surprisingly, Marc Garneau, jumping on this Bandwagon of Fatuity, has addressed a Letter to the Prime Minister, saying:

You cannot continue to ignore this request.

Every Year Thousands of People come to Canada from other Lands. They do not seek to reproduce the Lifestyle of their Ancestors at public Expense. They get Jobs, and often prosper.

It is clear that providing People with Money for no Effort does not create the Paradise one might expect. It is a Recipe for the Disaster that is often the Plight of aboriginal Citizens. They might well be advised to immigrate to the real World, rather than languish in an unsustainable Fantasy.


December 27, 2012


We are pleased to have survived the Peak of the Holiday Season relatively unscathed. A few extra Pounds can easily be wished away, or dissipated with earnest Prayer, or be transformed into a bearable Lightness of Being with a few Magical Chants.

The psychological Scars are mere Scratches in a Moonscape of rugged Terrain, and will be easy Work for Dr. Ruhig Fluzenpuffer, brother of the famed Dr. Rauschig Fluzenpuffer, of the Fluzenpuffer Children’s Psychological Institute, whose Advice was so crucial to our Understanding of the psychological Complexities of The Nonsense Song. (See Contact/Songs Page, September 1, 2011)

Instead of our usual Custom – that of attending a Painless Buffet on Christmas Day – it was decided that a Meal would be prepared at the Lumpenbangen Institute Kitchen, which, since its Renovation but a few Years Past, has been an officially designated Microwave Only Zone, with limited Usage of Stove-top and Toaster certified on an annual Basis.

Much Thought was given to the Ingredients of the Meal, and a Depth of Research was conducted into Customs of Foreign Lands, before it was concluded that Innovation is the Hallmark of the Entrepreneurial Spirit which has made the Lumpenbangen Institute what it is Today. Casting Caution to the Winds it was decided to forge a bold new Path in the Annals of Christmas Cookery, and try our Hand at a North American Turkey.

We were displeased to discover that the Hamilton Spectator, having obviously gone through our weekly Garbage Offering, and retrieved our Notes on the Matter, had seen fit to appear to beat us to the Punch, and publish an entire Article on the Preparation and Cooking of the Novelty.



Despite our Dismay, our Course had already been set, and the Bird -- unaccountably available at Wal-Mart, which must have divined our Intentions via a wireless Microphone concealed in the innocent-looking Potato Chips we had bought a month earlier -- had been purchased. Wal-Mart is a cruel Competitor, and despite its Power and world-wide Reach could not allow us the little Patch of Glory, that little Badge of Innovative Excellence that might have been our own.

Indeed, so determined was Wal-Mart to minimize the Significance of our entrepreneurial Daring, that it provided three classes of Turkey: Stuffed Butterball at $2.86 per lb., Utility Turkey at .87 Cents per lb., and Young Turkey, or Jeune Dindon, at $1.47.

Three Classes of Turkey were in a Wal-Mart Display, and long we stood, weighing the Better, the Best, and the undeniably Good. That Morning, the Turkeys equally lay, but we chose the Better, as the Safest Way. We could not be criticized for being too grand, nor as the biggest Cheapskate in the Land.

In the Matter of Cooking, Timing is of considerable Importance. Consulting the Article in the Hamilton Spectator, we did a quick Calculation on a Christmas Napkin to Discover that 40 Hours in the Oven would be advisable, but, after suggesting that the Guests might like to return in a Day and a Half, we were pleased – before they had grumbled out the Door – that a dropped Decimal Point, inserted judiciously, would see the Meal brought to a state of Readiness at a Time not inconsistent with the generally accepted Supper Hour.

We will impose no further on the Reader’s valuable Time.

Suffice it to say that the frozen Pizzas which we had kept at the ready, were not, after all, required. The Novelty was cooked, served, and consumed in a felicitous Manner, although without, unfortunately, the Accolades we had expected for our Forefrontal Thinking.

Next Year, if we decide to cook, we will take every Measure to cloak our Choice of Ingredients in the Secrecy which appears, alas, to be necessary in the competitive Landscape of Christmas Cookery.



December 23, 2012

We are intrigued to read an Article in Yesterday’s Post entitled: Religion on the Decline.

It appears, according to a new Forum Research Poll, that "two thirds of Canadians are spiritual, while just half say that they are religious." (National Post, December 22, 2012)

The Trend, from Religiosity to Spirituality seems to be confirmed by a Pew Foundation Report which shows that those claiming no religious Affiliation are the third largest Group in the World, behind Christians and Muslims. Yet 68% of that Group in the United States are not Atheists: they believe in God, or a "higher power."

We can only applaud this apparent Trend. Strict Adherence to a Religion, with all its Potential for Evil in the Name of Goodness, its Claim to Authority based on Suppositions about what cannot possibly be known, has seemed to us fraught with Danger. No better Example could be given than that of the Islamists, who would make Life miserable for all Adherents, in the Quest for a chimerical Purity based on Convictions without rational Foundation.

How much better a vague Spirituality, based on Yearnings for a benign Story behind the rather Unsettling Reality of which we find ourselves a Part. Spirituality – or so it seems to us – is accommodating in its Vagueness. We find it difficult to imagine two vaguely spiritual People coming to Blows when their Beliefs are not codified, inscribed on Tablets of Stone, or committed to Memory in the Exactness of Creed.


We like to think that, in our own modest Way, we are contributing to this Wave of the Future with our own Establishment (in 2011) of the Religion of Abracadabra, devoted to the Great God Murphy, the most reliable Predictor of human Outcomes. (See Drivel, March 20, 2011)

Since Abracadabra has no Commandments or Prohibitions, and is singularly lacking in
Ritual, formal Creed, and Custom of Observance, we think it may lay claim to being vaguely spiritual rather than definitely religious.

Thus far, we have found Murphy to be very much of our own Opinion in every Circumstance; thus his Presence is comforting. And while he has a somewhat irksome Tendency to sit back, smile, and imply "I told you so" he is not overly judgmental, and seldom becomes angry. He makes no Demands, and few Promises. He advises only.

We can hardly imagine ourselves becoming upset with those who would interpret him in some different Light, and ascribe to him some different Character. To them, we would simply suggest some further Study of the World they inhabit.

We would like to wish Readers of this Diary – in the unlikely Event that there be such – a very Merry Christmas, or, failing that, a satisfactory Celebration of the Winter Solstice. Murphy has promised us that the Days will lengthen, and Spring will, in the fullness of time, eventually arrive.


December 22, 2012

We must recommend an Article by David Frum in this Day’s National Post, entitled A supremely ambiguous decision.

The Article refers, of course to the Decision of the Supreme Court of Canada not to make a Decision in the Matter of the Right of a Woman to wear a Niqab when testifying in Court.

In a clear, unequivocal, and forthright Manner, the Judges have firmly decided to let Judges in the lower Courts make the required Decisions based on a number of silly Criteria, including the easily determinable one:

Do the salutary effects of requiring the witness to remove the niqab outweigh
the deleterious effects of doing so?

This of course, is precisely what we had hoped the Supreme Court would, as a general Principle, decide.

We can only imagine that the Court, standing firmly on the Principle of the overriding Importance of Wishy - Washiness, believes that it is being at the Forefront of Progressiveness and Inclusiveness.

This, of course, is Nonsense. Freedom of Religion is the Freedom to worship, not the Right to adhere to cultural Practice of that Religion when it comes in Conflict with established Custom of our Courts, especially when that Custom is intended to ensure a fair Trial.



To hold otherwise is to put Religion – which is based entirely on supposition -- above a legal System Centuries in the Making -- which holds that the Accused may face his Accuser, and that those giving Testimony be subject to Scrutiny by those attempting to determine Credibility.

Surely the deleterious Effects of allowing Someone to testify wearing a Mask – suggesting that those Principles are variable, and unimportant -- are greater than the beneficial Effects of making a masked Woman feel more at Ease.

To hold that Religion may be of superior Importance is to return to the Darkness and Ignorance of primitive Times. In Addition, it opens the Way for all Manner of Absurdity.

We recall the Case of the Church of the Universe, which claimed, in a Lawsuit in 2007 that the Smoking of Marijuana was a religious Sacrament. What would the Court say if a Follower of the Church of Smith and Wesson were to claim the Bringing of a loaded Machine Gun into Court was a religious Requirement? No Doubt they would let the sitting Judge decide, but warn him that his Decision should be based on a Test of the Sincerity of the religious Belief.

One of our favourite Quotations from 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.

The Supreme Court, as David Frum notes, has "failed to do its job and earn its pay."


December 21, 2012

And so they lived, happily ever after.

(The ending of a Fairy Tale)

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
(Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963)

We must take note of the Fact, that despite the Fears of those who find Frissons of Excitement in interpreting the Mayan Calendar, the World is still with us. We believe that the last Time the World had such a narrow Escape was on May 21, 2011, when the Predictions of the End of the World made by Harold Camping were shown to be in Error.

Nor are these two the only Examples of a continuing Fascination with Armageddon. Surely one of the Appeals of the Preaching of the Climate Change Alarmists is that Destruction on an impressive Scale is just around the Corner; only by a Renouncing of our sinful Style of Life and a Return to the Caves can the Apocalypse be avoided.

It appears that there is something in the human Psyche which responds to the Prospect of the End of Things. We are puzzled about this. Let us throw up a few Notions.

Our Minds are attuned to a Chain of Causality. Why Anything should exist at all is beyond human Comprehension, since the Idea of Something arising from Nothing, or the Idea that Something has always existed – neither of these Explanations will fit into our World of Causality. In order to escape the Problem, we invent a First Cause, and call it God. This does not, in Fact, solve the Problem, but makes us feel better, because we think we have established a Beginning.

Once we have a Beginning – even though it is just an imaginary Wizard behind a Black Curtain –what more natural – in a world of Causality – than to look to an End? Since there was a Beginning, there must be an End. It must come at some Time – and we would like to know when. Thus, we look for Clues.


Having invented God for the Beginning, we feel that he must also be involved in the End. The End may come simply because it has been pre-determined, but more likely because we are unworthy, and God is displeased with us.

While the Mayan Calendar Prediction seems like something inevitable but non-judgmental, we suspect that most Apprehension of the End of Things is tied up with the Notions of Sin and Retribution. Civilization, one way or another, has strayed from the path of Correctness; thus we will be destroyed in a Fit of righteous Anger. Let us fear – but also applaud – the terrible Punishment; it is the Catharsis obtained from contemplating the unfolding of the human Tragedy.* Yes, the Earth was destroyed, but that was good, just and fitting. Though we be destroyed, yet we are glad that sinners have perished.

It is a kind of Schadenfreude.

We may, for the sake of Equanimity, for much of the time, keep telling ourselves that we will live happily ever after. But there is a dark, dissenting Voice, that tells us that we are unworthy of that Illusion, and that a terrible Punishment is close at Hand.

The Fear of the Mayan Calendar "Prediction" may, today, have been lulled with the Sunrise. But the Sense of Safety is temporary: the Seed is dormant, but comfortable in its Soil. It will flower again.

*We wonder whether this grand Scenario is not mirrored in smaller Scales. Apart from real Crimes which disrupt the Operation of Society, we seem fond of Sins more imagined than real. Words that are taboo, Words that blaspheme against Religion, or Words that are offensive – surely these require some awful Retribution; we need our Schadenfreude. Thus we have, in some parts of the World, draconian Laws against Blasphemy – in other parts, Human Rights Commissions to exact a terrible Penalty for saying the wrong Thing. When the Sinner is punished, then the Righteous can, guiltlessly, rejoice.

P.S.: We have published some of the Response to our Audio Recordings in the Drivel Section.

December 20, 2012

We confess to taking secret Pleasure that the News so often reveals the Frequency of the Ridiculous in human Affairs. Without constant Reminders of the Absurdity of the Human Condition, we fear that we would become logy, irritable, and depressed, and stare moodily from our Window, bored to Inactivity by the Common Sense Predictability of the World.

Thus we are grateful to Ikponwosa Ero, and her Employer, Peter Ash, who both suffer from Albinism – an unfortunate medical condition characterized by a lack of Pigment, which often results in Problems of Vision, and Susceptibility to Light.

Lacking anything better to do with their Time, they are appealing to one of our beloved Victimhood Advocacy Commissions to stop Earls Restaurants in British Columbia from selling a Beer called Albino Rhino, claiming that it is offensive to name a Product referring to a Disability or medical Condition. (CBC News, December 19)

Alas! This pre-emptive Move puts a Halt on our Plans to introduce Crippled Creek Carrot Squares, Moronic Melon Tarts, and Legless Lobster in Inarticulate Sauce. The Heart Attack Beef Special will be put, for the nonce, on the Shelf, along with the Sniffles Souflé, the Raynaud’s Ice Cream, and the Tropic of Cancer Rum Delight. The Depression Special – Soup served in an old Shoe – will have to be renamed. Our Stiff Whipped Cream Sauce won’t be able navigate to its Destination; Our Terrific Truffles are, we now realize, too suggestive of Fungal Infection.

The new Cocktail, Dead Man Walking, and our Bucket List Chicken both look to be goners.

We are loathe to see our other speculative Dreams squashed, but it might be advisable to hold off on our new line of Silent Venetian Blinds, which would be considered offensive to both the Deaf and the Unsighted, and which would imply evil Intent on the Part of the Residents of Venice. The Bide-a-Wee Old Age Home refers to an irreversible fatal Circumstance. Our Footloose and Fancy free Financial Plan is sure to offend those with no Feet, plain Faces, and imaginative Deficits.


Our Understanding is that each Individual believes, from his or her earliest Days to be the Centre of the Universe. Growing up involves the gradual Recognition that this is a Minority View, and cannot be justified by the Evidence.

This case, like that of the "Acorn Lady" Donna Giustizia (See Diary November 23, 2012) shows that often a tiny Minority think that the Majority should be made to accommodate to their particular Situations and Sensibilities. To some Extent, we cannot lay the Blame entirely on those whose main Aim in Life seems to be to take Offense, and have the Universe re-ordered at their Bequest.

At fault also is our Society, which seems to have decided that the real Jungle of Struggle and Survival can be transformed into a Rose Garden of Equality, Sweetness, and Light.

While Life can often be improved, it must be recognized that there are real Limitations. While Equality of Opportunity may be a desirable Goal, Equality of Result is a Chimera. Life will, alas, always be offensive.

We would prefer that Human Rights Commissions be disbanded entirely. They are wonderful Examples of the Law of Unintended Consequence: they too often impair rather than promote the Justice which they pretend to seek.

Failing that Element of Progress, we would suggest there be a Penalty for failed Applications to the Commissions. In what other area of Life is there no Consequence for Failure? Those unsuccessful should be required to spend three Days in a Publick Space bearing the Sign:

I am a silly, self-absorbed, immature twit, who, until this point, has believed that I am the Centre of the Universe. In the future, I will endeavour to distinguish between the important and the unimportant, and attempt to achieve a more realistic view of life.

This might have the Effect of deterring silly, self-absorbed, immature Twits.



December 19, 2012


We are amused that a Gentleman called Ashu Solo has objected to Signs on Saskatoon Buses which read Merry Christmas. Mr. Solo – who claims to be an Atheist -- argues:

Christmas messages on Saskatoon Transit buses make religious minorities, atheists, and agnostics who do not celebrate Christmas feel excluded and like second class citizens. Many new immigrants use these buses and a large percentage of them are not Christian and do not celebrate Christmas. Christmas messages on Saskatoon Transit buses make them feel like they need to convert to Christianity to be first class citizens. Therefore, the Christmas messages on Saskatoon Transit buses are a forcible attempt at Christian indoctrination. (The Star Phoenix, December 13)

If his demands that Buses cease displaying the Messages are not met, Mr. Solo threatens to lay Complaint at the dreaded Human Rights Commission, more truthfully called the Victimhood Advocacy Commission.

As a fellow Atheist – indeed we are proud to claim Charter Membership in the Atheists Anonymous Association of America (A.A.A.A.) we have given Mr. Solo’s Argument careful Consideration, and conclude that it is a Bunch of Horsefeathers.

If the Message on Saskatoon Buses read: Jesus Saves, or Allah is Great, we think Mr. Solo would have a Point.

We would argue that the Celebration of Christmas, though arising from an earlier Time when Christianity was widely accepted and believed, is now more simply cultural than religious.

The secular Elements in Christmas Celebration have swamped and overcome its Facets of Religiosity.


"Christmas" is a Winter Solstice Celebration onto which Christian Belief was conveniently tacked, and in which it now plays a minor Rôle. Indeed, no one claims to know the Date of the Birth of Jesus: even the Pope has written that it may have been some Years earlier than the accepted Date. (Fontana Herald News, December 13)

What is Christmas today? It is a holiday, and a time for Gift-giving and family Gatherings. It is the careful Calculation of the mid-summer Shopper – or the last-minute Dash on the Eve of the very Day itself. It is Santa Claus with a mythical Workshop employing Elves at the North Pole. It is Christmas Trees, Christmas Lights, and Store Decorations with Candy Canes and Snowflakes. It is reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,’ and pretending that Santa Claus has a Sleigh operated by Reindeer -- including the Newcomer – Rudolph. It is listening to Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales, and watching It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, The Holly and the Ivy – or a Dozen other Films inspired by the Christmas Season.

Yes there are Hymns which are overtly religious, but consider the Cornucopia of secular Christmas Music – from White Christmas to I’ll be Home for Christmas to Jingle Bells– among hundreds of others.

Christmas has both pagan and religious Roots, but the present Flower of Celebration and Good Cheer should not pretend to disdain the Soil in which it was nourished.

To wish to erase the Signs of our cultural Heritage lest those who have moved here – precisely because of the perceived Benefits of our Culture – seems daft, perverse, and egregiously horsefeatherish. Mr. Solo’s Complaint represents the Epitome of Self-doubt, Self-abnegation, and regrettable Timidity in the Fear of giving Offense.

Our Observation # 101:

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


December 17, 2012

We have shipped the last of the Lumpenbangen Christmas CDs. It is hoped that they will arrive at their Destinations before Christmas, but if they do not, we are pleased to announce that we have made yet another Contribution to the Judicious Calm and restrained Festivity of the Season.

It has long been our Apprehension that many Families in the Lumpenbangen Universe derive considerable Comfort and Solace from the wonderful Readings that appear on our Site. These appreciative Families like nothing better than to gather round the family Computer, Christmas Lights aglow, and listen to a bit of favourite Verse, or a magical fairy Tale obtained at the press of a computer Button.

This Year, in Addition to our CD, Moody Melodies, which has been designed to temper the Jollity of the Season with a Dose of realistic Melancholy, we have made Readings of our two Fairy Tales, The Valley of Hythlos, and David Bulklzuki and the Apocalyptic Wizards, available, free of charge on the Website.


It is our sincere Hope and Expectation that these Readings will provide Entertainment for those still open to the Wonders of the World of Imagination, and who are, as yet, untainted by the Skepticism and Cynicism of Adulthood.

A complete List of Readings on the Site is as follows:

How Green is My McGuinty  -- Drivel, March 13, 2012
David Bullzuki and the Apocalyptic Wizards -- Drivel, December 3, 2011
There are Windmills at the Bottom of our Garden -- Drivel, November 21, 2011
Oh, we love to do the Laundry after Midnight -- Drivel, October 30, 2011
The Explanation of ...Everything -- Drivel, July 18, 2011
Prayer to Murphy -- Drivel, March 20, 2011
The Valley of Hythlos -- Drivel, March 9, 2011
Letter to Maria Duval -- Drivel, December 30, 2010

The List also appears on the Map/Index Page.

We hope to publish shortly, in the Drivel Section, some of the Responses we have already received with respect to these Readings.


December 16, 2012

When we were very, very, very young, we had Occasion to speculate whether a World Government might be a fit Means to tame the Chaos of Existence.

Now that we understand a bit more about the World, and we have seen the United Nations in Action, we see the Idea of World Government for the risible Notion that it is.

One of the Problems with World Government is that it will be run by human Beings, those Creatures of Pretension who, despite contrary Claims, have been unable to expunge their Darwinian Roots. It is in the Nature of Homo Sapiens to seek to rise to the Top of the Tree, from which elevated Status he can feel closer to God. As God, he may pass Laws governing those on the lower and middling Branches, while pretending to assist those languishing on the Ground, or claiming that the Earth would best be served by an Abandonment of the Tree – Top-Dwellers excluded, of course – for the Security of a minimalist Existence in the Caves.

The only thing which makes Government somewhat supportable is the System of Democracy, by which the People may routinely chase one set of Rascals from the Top, and replace them with another Set, whose Ambitions may be held in Check by the Prospect of the usual Fate of Rascals.

With World Government, the individual Citizen has no Recourse; Bureaucracy rules; Bureaucratic Domination without Representation is a Recipe for Slavery. (Observation # 217)


We would note two Examples of the Threat posed by the United Nations – which shows every Sign of aspiring to be a World Government. The most obvious is that of Agenda 21 (See Diary, May 22, 2012)

Mr. Maurice Strong, the primum movens or diabolus ex machina of the Agenda has been quoted as saying:

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

The other is the recent Attempt by the International Telecommunications Union, an Agency of the United Nations to regulate the Internet. Fortunately, Canada, the United States, Britain, Norway and Australia have rejected the Plan. (National Post December 15)

The great Danger is, that with U.N. Control, Countries like Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, would exert Pressure to enable Censorship of Expression. It would be of no Surprise to us to see Criticism of Governments, or of Religion, be deemed as Transgressions by those whose Interests are in Control from the Tree-Top, not Freedom for the governed.

The more we learn about the United Nations, the more we are convinced that it is a Proof of the old Adage: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.


December 15, 2012

We are busily engaged in the Shipping of our annual Compact Disc.

Each Year at the Time of the Christmas Festivities, the Lumpenbangen Piano Institute publishes a Compilation of new Melodies. The Tunes are all composed by Dr. Idel Dreimer, and are played by Rufus Allthumbs, to the best of his Ability.

The general Tone of the Work is depressing; it is melancholy in Nature. We at the Lumpenbangen Institute feel that the contrived Jollity and artificial Optimism of the Holiday Season are in need of a significant Counterweight, and have concluded that we are uniquely qualified to provide it.


Dr. Dreimer has been depressed for many Years, and Mr. Allthumbs has only to omit his Medication for a Day or two, and the Abyss of Despair seems within easy Reach.

We have taken the unusual Step, this Year, of publishing the Guarantee which we provide with each Disc. Rather than include it with each Disc shipped, we feel that it deserves a wider Audience. We feel that the general Publication of our famous Guarantee cannot help but enhance our sterling Reputation among those who may never have been accorded the Privilege of owning one of our musical Compilations.

The full ‘Iron Clad’ Guarantee may be found in the Drivel Section.


December 14, 2012

We have spent far too long this Day on a little Essay entitled Of Comics, Comedians, and Humorists.

We confess that we have a personal Interest in the Subject, since we have always been blessed or cursed with unconventional Perspectives, which seem to set us apart from the Crowd.


We would note that we have actually almost Nothing to contribute to the Topick; all our Ideas have been stated by others on previous Occasions.

Our drift into conventional Thinking may be perceived, therefore as a belated Attempt to acquire more crowd-friendly Characteristics.

The results of our shallow Cogitations may be viewed in the Drivel Section.


December 13, 2012

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

We confess to an unseemly Fascination with Tales of Plagiarism among the fancily panted.. We have noted the Case of Dr. Philip Baker Dean of Medicine at the University of Alberta, who stole a speech from Dr. Atul Gawande, a Doctor in the United States.(2011) Then there was Shahram Gilaninia, an Iranian Professor who stole an Article on logos written by a Professor at Ryerson. A Waterloo Professor, Dongquing Li, and a student Yasaman Daghighi, retracted a report on lab-on-a-chip Technology which was "lifted" from a Paper by Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California.(2012)

Fareed Zakaria "lifted" material from the New Yorker for a Column in Time Magazine.(2011) Pal Scmitt, the Hungarian President resigned when his Doctorate was revoked because it was largely copied from two other Sources. Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg resigned as Minister of Defence n Germany because parts of his doctoral Thesis had been copied. (2011)

This is but a short List, but we grow too weary to extend it beyond the most recent Instance, which is that of the Dean of Education at the University of Windsor, Clinton Beckford, who has been suspended without Pay until June 30, 2014. (Toronto Star, December 10.)

We are especially intrigued, because the University is hugger-mugger about the whole Affair, refusing to give Details. What is the Point of a Scandal without Details? It is like a Chocolate Cake made without Sugar, or a spicy Novel from which the important Bits have been untimely ripped.


The closest we can come to Sugar and Spice is the Remark, from the University President, Alan Wildeman, that the Incident concerned "a published item included on Beckford’s Résumé." (CBC News.)

Did Professor Beckford claim to have written Something which he did not? That is surely Dishonesty rather than Plagiarism. The Plagiarist, properly defined, does not simply lay Claim – from a Distance – to a Work, but presents the Work of another as his own. For Plagiarism to be found on a Résumé, some Portion of the Account would have to be written by someone else. Is Clinton Beckford the real Clinton Beckford, or Smiley Johnson, an Imposter who stole Clinton’s Identity, it being more potentially rewarding than his own?*

Alas, the University of Windsor is tight-lipped and uncommunicative.

We find Plagiarism in high Places a fit Matter for a Study of the Pathology of Pretension. Surely the prominent Plagiarist, despite his high Position, must be, in some Sense, hollow at the Core, one who lacks a Pride in being himself. His Authenticity insufficient, it is a Lily needing gilding. Or perhaps he is simply a Cynic for whom the End justifies the Means.



December 12, 2012


Yesterday we wrote a Limerick of Complaint about the inordinate Delay in the obtaining of Permits for the Company in which we have our largest Holding – Dynacor Mines. (See Limerick Lane)

Lo, and behold, this very Morning, did come News that the Permit for Drilling had been received. In typical Fashion, the Stock has moved up a few Cents. So deep is the Curse upon the Shares, that we would not have been surprised to see them decline on the News.

However, we are pleased to see the Efficacy of our Limerick. We would note that it was penned and posted to the Stockhouse Bullboard in the Morning, could be found in a google Search under "Lumpenbangen" by mid-afternoon, and Receipt of the Permit was announced to our E-mail Account at 9:18 this Morning.

We see immense Possibilities in the Power of our Limericks. We have posted the following to the Stockhouse Bullboard.


Very pleased to see that our little limerick has produced such a timely response. We imagine red-faced Peruvian Officials had the Permit hand-delivered to the Dynacor offices by special messenger.

Donations from grateful shareholders will be graciously accepted. Paper currency, gold or silver coins, cheques, bank drafts, and diamonds all equally welcomed. Proceeds will go towards the purchase of more shares in Dynacor, thus accelerating its rise. An obvious win - win situation.

Unlucky in love, problems with your mother-in-law, toxic liver, or living under a voodoo curse? Will custom-craft limericks for your particular situation for a modest fee.

We lamented on December 10th (see below) that Dr. Joel Paris, by questioning the Validity of Multiple Personality Disorder, seems to have written finis to our Scheme for collecting Multiple Pension Benefits for each of our five Personalities. But how true is that uplifting Notion that when one Door closes, another opens!

We look forward to the profitable development of a new Line of Business.


December 11, 2012

Up, betimes, only to discover that we are considerably down in the Dumps.

Given our natural Propensity for Gloominess, we are, of course, not unfamiliar with that Location, but we find that Familiarity with the Dumps does not make them any more agreeable.

Our chief Holding, Dynacor Mines languishes at about a Dollar and Seventeen Cents, despite the fact that it will almost certainly make earnings of over Twenty Cents this Year, and if the Third Quarter be any Indication, will make Thirty-Two Cents next Year, even assuming their proposed new Mill is not built.

We take some small Comfort that Trapeze Asset Management feels a more appropriate Valuation is Two Dollars and Fifty Cents, but that Comfort is still small: the Price remains at One Dollar and Seventeen Cents.

A Source of continuing Frustration is the fact that Permits for Drilling, which were applied for in February, in Anticipation of Approval in April, have still not been received. In similar Delay is the Approval of the new Mill to be built at Chala, which promises a doubling of Revenues.


In the Dumps, we have penned this Limerick of Frustration:

There once was a land called Peru –
Fell prey to the "Bureaucrat Flu"--
Patience was tried,
‘Til hope simply died
In the procedural glue of Peru.

We posted this Expression of Frustration, with some Misgivings, on the Dynacor Stockhouse Bullboard. We are not sure it is wise to reveal our eccentric penchant for Limericking to the outside World, especially to that Portion of it occupied with serious Matters of Investment and Finance.

After all, it is one thing to reveal one’s inner Foibles to one’s Aunt Myalgia*, whose Level of Battiness exceeds our own by a considerable Margin. It is quite another to reveal them to an uncomprehending and possibly derisive Audience in the Publick at large.

* In case anyone is ignorant of the Fact -- this Site is entirely devoted to the cheering up of our Aunt Myalgia, who currently resides at the Shady Hollow Psychiatric Facility in downtown Toronto.

December 10, 2012

We are disappointed to learn that Dr. Joel Paris, of McGill University has argued that "dissociative identity disorder’ is a Fraud and Imposter, and should no longer be given Recognition in the revered Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. (Tom Blackwell, National Post, December 10.)

This Condition is more generally known as "Multiple Personality Disorder," and is characterized by the Presence of more than one Personality in the same Individual.

After a fairly slow Start in the first half of the last Century, the Disease gained in Popularity in the 1990's, with Thousands being diagnosed. Then, when Lawsuits were launched by Patients claiming the Implantation of false Memories, Diagnosis became, inexplicably, significantly less attractive.

Now Dr. Paris seems anxious to deliver a Death Blow, although the Post Article notes that Dr. David Spiegel at Stanford University has parried:

He is both wrong and he is intellectually extremely sloppy.

We must confess that, if Dr. Paris is successful, we will be sorry to see the Diagnosis expire.

The unfortunate Truth of the Matter is that we ourselves (it has surely not escaped the Attention of the Reader that our Commentary, even in this personal Diary, maintains a Stance of Plurality) suffer from the very Condition now quite likely to be deemed bogus.


Indeed, we were on the Verge of concocting a wonderful Scheme whereby a Variety of government Benefits and Services could be delivered to each of the Five of us. Unfortunately, at present, we suffer grievously from the sort of Inequality, which, under normal Canadian Conditions would be the subject of multiple Inquiries to the Human Rights Commissions. Failing that wonderful and efficacious Remedy and there is much internal Squabbling, Recrimination, and Name-calling.

Dr. Idel Dreimer is a hopeless Show-off, always seeking the Limelight and insisting his Name appear on all Documents. This leaves Rufus Allthumbs to toil in Obscurity at the E-Z Clean Industrial Cleaners, using his precious Time off Work attempting to bring Dr. Dreimer’s musical Conceptions into Reality, despite having extremely limited Skills at the Piano. Grumpy Dreimer, a former Teacher, stirs to Life when any grammatical Error is observed; thus he must  be kept securely chained during CTV Newscasts. Handy Dreimer, formerly a more active Personality, emerges most often at Wind-in-the-Pines, but complains that Midas Dreimer, who is responsible for Investments and putting Food on the Table, is an incompetent Idiot leading us all to a Room – a Room far too small for five, of course -- with a Hotplate.

It was our hope, that, with a proper Diagnosis, we might each gain the Recognition due to a registered Canadian Citizen, each with his own Social Insurance Number, Health Card, and Driver’s License. With the additional Income from a Variety of Government Benefits, and the psychic Income from recognition by the State, we had hoped to bring our internal Tensions to a comfortable Minimum.

Thanks to that Meddler, Dr. Paris, it seems another of those dreadful and interminable Strategy Sessions will have to be called. We are not looking forward to it.



December 9, 2012

We had Occasion, last Evening to visit the Megalopolis for a Performance in Koerner Hall by La Bottine Souriante.*

The Group comes from Quebec, and has garnered much Acclaim, being described in the Program Notes as a Living Legend.

Our Response may be found in the Drivel Section tomorrow.

We should note that from an outside Balcony at Koerner Hall may be seen the edge of the 2007 Addition to the Royal Ontario Museum, which appears like a sharp-edged spacecraft crashed and lodged into the original Structure.

The original Structure was built as a Museum: we think this Addition to be a fitting Symbol of Disregard for the Sensibilities and Achievements of the Past. We do not claim that those Sensibilities and Achievements may not be superseded, but we question the Wisdom of gratuitous Insult.

The Addition, called the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, was made at a Cost of Two Hundred and Seventy Million Dollars. We note that a Diamond of Value is cut and polished in order to fit comfortably and aesthetically into a Jeweller’s Setting. This Crystal is a bit of Bling lodged heedlessly into the Structure of a fine Cabinet, heedless of the Injury to the Patterns and Significance of the original Veneers.



As such, it reflects the Vanity and Arrogance of the Perpetrators, who would appear to believe that Novelty is auto-justificando, a Condition which generates its own Validity.

The odd Angles, which appear to reject any Harmony with the Level Ground on which the Structure Rests remind us of the perverse Penchant of recent Years for designing Automobiles which appear to be heading into the Ground in front of them, rather than keeping an even and confident Keel.

We have no Doubt that some see the Design as a bold Initiative, a daring Defiance of pedestrian Thought and aesthetic Convention, an Expression of the questing free Spirit of Mankind. We might be more sympathetic to this View had the Building been given its own, thoughtfully crafted Setting.

As it is, we see it as an egregious Error, a Tribute to shallow show-offery, and foolish Flash.

We hope that the Sheen of Notoriety does not have the oft noted Effect of Perversion, in which Aunt Edna’s Lamp, outrageous in its Ugliness, becomes a treasured Family Heirloom. We note that Leaks of Water have been encountered; perhaps this is the Natural World taking its justified Revenge.


*Refers to a worn boot from which the exposed foot smiles through.


December 7, 2012

It would be hard to overestimate the Degree of Shock and Surprise which we experienced this very Morning.

It appears that the Toronto and District School Board has been examined by the esteemed Accounting Firm of Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, and has been found deficient. Absenteeism is abnormally high, some Schools are under-utilized, Planning is poor, and Budgets are seen often to grow unrestrainedly, secure in their favoured Position on the List entitled "Pious Hopes." (National Post, December 7)

How our Ideals are shattered! Here we had thought that –although our Age is wont to see much of the World packed in Wicker, and sliding into the Inferno – the Toronto School Board, run by some of the finest Minds known in our Times, would be shown a brilliant Example of Frugality, Excellence, and good Management.

Alas, it appears they know not their gluteus maximus from their cubitus.

Well, in Truth, we do think it was somewhat unfortunate that the esteemed Accountants went through much tedious Labour and doubtless charged considerable Sums to give their Opinion. Had the Board simply asked us, we could have given them the same Conclusion without Charge.

While we are generally in favour of Mr. Bacon’s Scientific Method, there are some Occasions when a Conclusion is correctly reached with very little Investigation. When, at Night, one gazes skyward and espies a round Sphere, of sufficient Illumination that a silvery Light is cast on all the Darkness, one does not call in the Scientific Investigators, with Telescopes and excessively long Bits of String to make their Determination of the Phenomenon. We simply know that the Object is the Moon.

In similar Fashion, it is not necessary for the Accountant’s eye – or even to know of the Board’s Sensitivity in the Matter of Transgendered Washrooms, or its Policy of Accommodation to Muslim Religious Ceremonies in a secular School System in order to know that it is foolish, wasteful, and irresponsible.

One merely has to know that it is a Bureaucracy run with apparently limitless Money extracted from Taxpayers. The Genetic Code of all Bureaucracies is designed to achieve Expansion, regardless of Need or Efficacy, as Mr. Parkinson has pointed out. Government Bureaucracies are particularly virulent, since their Source of Funds for Expansion is as elastic as a Taxpayer can be stretched. Educational government Bureaucracies have an added accelerant: they can claim the moral High Ground of being devoted to the Prospering of our Youth, the Seeds of a nirvanic future Nation.

We do have two personal Items of Evidence upon which we might draw in order to buttress our Recognition of Lunacy.

We toiled, mercifully briefly, as a Teacher at the High School Level many Years ago. In order to contain voluminous Files, we purchased a used Filing Cabinet, which we transported to the Classroom in which we taught. One Day, a Caretaker, eyeing the Cabinet, asked if it was ours. When we said that indeed it was, he remarked that he thought so – the Cabinet was far too old and scruffy-looking to be the Property of the Board.

Secondly, before we started to do our own Plumbing, we were acquainted with a Gentleman skilled in the Trade, who said that he once was asked to bid on a Contract for Work at a School. For some Reason, he was not especially anxious for the Work, and so he decided to do a reasonable rough Estimate, double the Amount, and submit the Bid.

Much to his Surprise, he got the Contract.

In our View of Utopia, the School Board would consist of a retired Accountant in an Office above a Coin Laundry. He would have two Secretaries, and an old filing Cabinet. The real Business of Education would be taking Place in the Schools, where clever Principals would compete for Students based on the Ability of the School to provide an agreeable but ordered Environment, and Success of Students as measured by some objective Standards.

(We have never claimed to be without a Sense of Humour.)


Observation # 213: The size of a bureaucracy is in inverse proportion to the efficiency and productivity of the organization of which it is a part.


December 6, 2012

We were intrigued to see a Heading in this Day’s Post:

Hopes for a secular Egypt are doomed.

The Article, by Matthew Fisher notes that the Reason is very simple:

...there are more Egyptians who want Koranic scholars to advise the justice system, favour the introduction of sharia law and demand a formal role for Islam in everyday life than there are Egyptians who are repelled by such theocratic thinking.

This might have been predicted by anyone who read, in 2011, the Results of a Poll purporting to show the Opinions of the People in Egypt. (See Drivel, February 6, 2011 – we reproduce some of the Results below.)

Democracy does not promise, of course, sensible Outcomes; the Outcomes may reflect as much Benevolence or Stupidity as has Ascendancy in the Population at the Time of Voting. We would note that the Rate of Literacy in Egypt is about 80% for Males and 63% for Females (Index Mundi). We suspect that, in Time, assuming that Literacy increases, there will be fewer who see Religion as the Answer, rather than the Problem.

Religion is, of course, an enduring and virtually insoluble Problem. One hundred and fifty Years after the Publication of Origin of Species, most People still prefer Magic to Science. Mystery is intolerable: Mankind abhors a Vacuum in the Chain of Causality; he must fill it with Magic and a chief Magician. The chief Magician must be made in our own Image, for only then can he satisfy our human Needs. We have such Complexities, and Capacities that require Understanding, and Dreams that only a human Being – writ large -- can satisfy. No one ever asks where God came from, for that would re-introduce the very Mystery he was designed to banish.


We have written that God is simply a blank Slate, onto which is inscribed a Multiplicity of human Beliefs (Observation #206). ‘Garbage in, Garbage out,’ as the Saying goes. We suspect that "The universe is just God, struggling to create Himself" (Observation, 108) – but that is unsatisfactory for most, who prefer to think he is an omniscient Meddler and the Source of all Wisdom. This is a comforting Notion, but prevents us from thinking for Ourselves.

We suspect that Egypt, like all Countries given over to the Primacy of Religion, will create significant unnecessary Unhappiness. We will not blame "God" for that – only the regrettable but powerful Versions of him which persist in the human Psyche.

2011 Poll of Egyptian Opinion

1. 59% of Egyptians view democracy as "very good."

2. Nearly three quarters want to see "strict imposition of Sharia law."

3. More than half want men and women segregated in the workplace.

4. 82% want adulterers to be stoned.

5. 77% view whippings and cutting off of hands as proper punishment for theft.

6. 84% favour the death penalty for Muslims who leave their faith.

7. 91% want to keep "Western values out of Islamic countries."

8. 67% want "to unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or Caliphate."


December 4, 2012

We have returned from a Sojourn at Wind-in-the-Pines, where Winter reigned for several Days, and then succumbed to an unusual Warmth and Rain.

We awoke this Morning in Reflection upon a recent Conversation between Mr. Ezra Levant and Dr. Charles Krauthammer on The Source. Dr. Krauthammer noted that, just as Social Democracy is being exposed as a Failure in Europe, the United States is embarking on a wonderful Experimentation with that very Concept.


Being in an exceptionally cheerful Frame of Mind, and without any Knowledge of the Matter, we thought to reflect on the Cause of a Decline in Civilizations. Indeed, as we have often noted, the less we know about a Subject, the more confident and assured is our Commentary upon it.

The Result of our Cogitation doth appear in the Drivel Section.


December 1, 2012

In the vehicle of progress, the ideal is the accelerator, the practical is the brake. Finding the judicious application of each in differing terrains is fraught with difficulty: the ride will always be unsettling. (Observation # 152)

We see civilized Existence through a simple Prism: it is a Battle between the Ideal and the Real.

The Notion of the Ideal has generated much, in recent Times, in the Way of "Rights" – for in Utopia all Citizens are equal, and none should suffer Offense, Setback, or Failure. It is the Role of Government to ensure a happy, untroubled equalized Trajectory for all its Citizens from Infancy to old Age.

Alas, Utopia is simply that – a Dream of "nowhere" that can never be.

We wrote recently of the Clash of Rights at the Terminal Barber Shop – Faith McGregor claims the Right to obtain a "men’s" Haircut, while the Barber claims the Practice of His Religion forbids him to provide that Service. Ms. McGregor has applied to the Ontario Human Rights Commission for Redress.

Mr. Levant recently noted that this Clash reveals the Need to establish a Hierarchy of "Rights" – giving Categories of Citizens varying Degrees of Favour and Advantage – indeed, introducing thereby the very Opposite of the "Equality" which was the avowed aim.

In more general Terms, it is inevitable that "Rights" founded in a chimerical Equality must come in conflict with other Rights related to Freedom of Choice. We recall the Case of Marise Myrand, who was granted – by a "Rights" Commission – a Parking Spot near the Door of her Building – despite the Fact that the Location was being used by another Owner. This Ruling appeared to be a Gesture in the Direction of "Equality" since Ms. Myrand suffered from poor Health and Obesity. Yet there was a pre-existing Agreement between the Condominium Board and the other Owner.

As John Carpay, the President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms in Calgary notes that the old Rights – such as Freedom of Worship, or Freedom of Speech -- do not impose upon others; the new "Rights" do. The new Rights require a compelled Benevolence: others must do things for you. (National Post, November 30, 2012)


The Government conceives of an unreal World in which there is no "Discrimination," and then wishes to compel Citizens to act in Accordance with its Ideals. In fact, of course, the Government cannot live up to the Precepts which it espouses, and discriminates in its own Policies in Hiring.

As a favourite Example -- the Government wishes to provide Housing for Everyone; all must be welcomed – rich, poor, unemployed, noisy, alcoholic, drug-addled quiet, single, married, or complete with rambunctious Children. It has been discovered that the best Way of achieving this End is not to Provide Housing on this Basis, but to require Individuals and private Businesses to do so. The Landlord wishing to rent the one Apartment above his own, is required to put the unworkable Ideal into Practice, despite his obvious Self-interest in not doing so.

We would make considerable Distinction between Government and private Citizens. Government should indeed, treat citizens equally. This is why we take a Number when we apply at the Passport Office – so that the overriding Principle is that of "First come, First served."

But requiring private Citizens and Businesses not to discriminate is another Matter. Why should not there be a Club for Men or Women only? Should the Society for the Preservation of the English Language be required to admit those who use Twitter? Can a Restaurant not enforce a Standard of Dress? And what of that Sign at the local Convenience Store: No Shoes, no Shirt, no Service?

Size may Matter. We see no Reason why a small Business may not be considered in the Category of Private Club; indeed, there might be some legal Distinction made to that Effect. While it might not be appropriate for Canadian Tire to refuse Service to female Owners of Automobiles, the Owner of a small Business should be allowed to compete in the Marketplace as he sees fit.

If he wishes to restrict his Service to left-handed, blue-eyed Males from Madagascar – why not?

There may well be socially undesirable Discrimination; the Cure of compelled Benevolence is proving to be worse than the Disease.




Diary, November 30, 2012


Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

( Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 1841. Charles Mackay, 1814 - 1889)

We have to admit, that our Scorn for the Madness of Men is not unmixed with Gratitude; for without the great Storms of Folly and Misapprehension with which Mankind is so frequently afflicted, we would have little Occasion for Outrage, and lacking Targets for Disapprobation, our Life would be overtaken by a debilitating Twiddling of Thumbs.

Thus we cherish a sort of perverse Gratitude for the wonderful Preoccupation with the Notion of anthropogenic climate Change, and the Spectacle of apocalyptic Preachers of Destruction urging Repentance upon the Crowds of those most obligingly and willingly Guilty.

Foolish Opinions are not easily destroyed; once one is committed to an Opinion, Evidence has a Battle that must be fought against Gravity and Inertia. Our Observation #68 reads thus:

The amount of evidence needed to reverse a committed opinion exceeds by tenfold that on which the opinion was originally based.

And it is also worth observing that Opinions based on no Evidence at all –such as religious Beliefs – are virtually impervious to rational Assault.

We are pleased, nevertheless, to note in the News that One hundred and twenty-five Scientists have sent a letter to Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, an Organization renowned for being misguided about virtually Everything to which it turns its Attention, asking him to desist from making unsupportable Statements about Climate Change. (National Post, November 29)


Among such Statements is the following:

Two weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the eastern seaboard of the United States. A nation saw the reality of climate change. The recovery will cost tens of billions of dollars. The cost of inaction will be even higher. We must reduce our dependence on carbon emissions.

(Addressed to General Assembly, November 9, 2012) 

The Scientists note that:

there has been no statistically significant global warming for almost 16 years...Global warming that has not occurred cannot have caused the extreme weather of the past few years. Whether, when and how atmospheric warming will resume is unknown. The science is unclear. Some scientists point out that near-term natural cooling, linked to variations in solar output, is also a distinct possibility.

It remains to be seen whether Mr. Ki-Moon will desist in his Parroting of the Madness of the Moment. Given the Record of the United Nations, it seems unlikely.

As with most Religions, the Belief in Climate Change is merely a Lever or Mechanism by which the Actions of the Herd can be controlled by those with particular Agendas. This Madness may pass, but it will likely be a slow Process, as Men recover their Senses, slowly, One by One.


November 29, 2012

We are pleased to see that Kim Jong-Un, the Dear Leader of North Korea, has been named "Sexiest Man Alive for 2012." (National Post, November 27)

We confess that we had entered our own Name for the Competition, but since we have never won anything of Significance – although we do recall finding a Chocolate Bar in a Scavenger Hunt at Summer Camp – we had only a modest Expectation of Success.

It is our firm Belief that the Character of a Man is best shown in Times of Adversity, and so in the Spirit of Graciousness in Losing, we would like to extend our Congratulations to the Leader of that great and favoured Nation which is universally admired and often praised.

We understand that we are somewhat tardy in our Recognition: The People’s Daily, the official Communist Paper in China has already given Prominence to the News with "an extensive photo spread" on its Website. We are somewhat miffed to have been scooped by The People’s Daily, but Journalism is a competitive Sport, and we must give Credit to the Perspicacity and quick Response of our Communist Brethren.


It is our earnest Hope that Mr. Jong-Un, having achieved this Success, will be emboldened to apply for other significant Honours, such as Most Progressive North Korean Leader for 2013; The People’s Choice Award for Food Supply and Management; and top Ranking in the Convivial World Leaders Competition.

There may well be other Awards available from The People’s Daily which could serve to burnish the considerable Lustre with which Mr. Jong-Un has already been imbued as a Result of his stunning Onion Magazine Nomination.

We eagerly await further Developments.



November 28, 2012

Power is so apt to be insolent and Liberty to be saucy, that they are very seldom on good Terms. (George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1633_1695)

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. (Lord Acton, 1834 - 1902)

We are not entirely surprised at the News in this Day’s Post – that

                   Patients and their families have used cameras concealed in such objects as clocks and        even Teddy bears to...record health-care workers.

As observed by Linda Wright, Director of bioethics at Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN).

                          It really speaks to a breakdown of trust, doesn’t it?

We see this Breakdown of Trust as a natural Outcome of an Imbalance of Power.

These Recordings are being made in Hospitals, where Patients are at a considerable Disadvantage: they are ill and find themselves Cogs in a Machine with which they are significantly unfamiliar. There are many Stories of Hospital Error, so it is not surprising that Patients would look to any Stratagem which might help to protect them.

The Article in the Post deals with the Problem in Canada; it would be interesting to discover whether the Phenomenon is of similar Magnitude in the United States. Certainly, the Imbalance of Power would occur in Hospitals there.

If we were forced to place a Wager, we think that the Problem would be greater in Canada, since the entire Health Care System reflects the same Imbalance of Power seen most acutely in Hospitals.


In our System, as we have noted many times, the Patient does not have the Status of Customer, who is traditionally considered to have Power -- the Power of taking his Business elsewhere -- but rather that of Supplicant, who is expected to be grateful for any Attention he may be vouchsafed.

The Attitude of those in Power is gradually corrupted. This is simply an Aspect of human Nature. If One is constantly in Demand, besieged by the desperate, who have nowhere else to turn, it would seem to require a considerable Strength of Character not to feel a subtle Element of Superiority.

And even if Doctors are able to resist the corrupting Influence, others within the Medical Monolith are more vulnerable. Attending to a Doctor’s Office in Canada is akin to waiting for any other Type of Government Assistance. Not only is one a Number – that Number is of minimal Magnitude. Indeed, the Patient is hardly more than a Cipher, to be treated with Arrogance or Indifference depending on the Mood of the Receptionist at the Moment.

We have no experience of the System in the United States, where we suspect that the Oppression to be fought is not so much that of Power, but of Greed. We suspect that the Best Practice is to have both private and public Systems, so that one is a Check on the Other. The Power of the public System is kept in check by the private Alternative; the Greed of the private System is reigned in by the public Option.

We note that, according to the Article in the Post, Canadian Hospitals are adopting Policies to prohibit the Making of Recordings, and to enable Confiscation of Images discovered.

This, of course is precisely the Approach and Attitude which inspires the Distrust which so many feel. Not only can the State manage or mismanage as it pleases, it can destroy the Evidence which might be used against it. We are reminded of 1984. The Universal Health Care System is a perfect Example of the coercive Dangers unleashed when Liberty and free Enterprise are sacrificed for the often illusory Benefits of State Control.


November 27, 2012

The Revenge of the Left

We have learned that a Judge has ordered that Rob Ford, the Mayor of Toronto, vacate his Post.

Mr. Ford was found guilty of ignoring the Provisions of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. He used official Stationery to solicit Funds for a charitable Purpose, and then voted in the Matter when it was considered by Council. There was no question of Corruption or personal Gain.

The Judge admitted the Act

is a very blunt instrument and has attracted justified criticism and calls for legislative reform

(National Post, November 27)

We must confess we see this as a Revenge of the Left. It is well understood that Mr. Ford was never intended to become Mayor. The Gods of the Left, sipping expensive Coffee with their Followers in the Annex, had decreed that Mr. Smitherman was the only conceivable Choice for a City of such enlightened Advancement and superior Sensibility. Only One with proper Credentials for Kindness, Sensitivity, and an established Desire to spend the Money of others, could possibly be appropriate to the Style, Panache, and Pretension, of Canada’s leading City.

Indeed we remember the slightly desperate Endorsement of Mr. Smitherman by Toronto’s former "tiny perfect mayor," David Crombie. Only with Mr. Smitherman’s Election, we were led to believe, could all that was pure, good, and decent in the World be retained and, indeed, be wonderfully enhanced.

Mr. Ford, rather than being urban, urbane, and properly credentialed, was suburban, unsvelte, and sensible. He promised to stop the "gravy train" of inappropriate spending.

Quelle Horreur!

For it is among the cardinal Principles of the Left that the World is made up of Fairy Dust, great Haystacks of which have been transported to this fortunate Planet in large Carts by blue Unicorns. Because of the wonderful and fantastical Composition of the very Stuff of Existence, Wonders can be wrought by the simple Expedient of Spending Other People’s Money. Indeed, we may see this very Process at work in the United States, with much Expectation of a most agreeable Outcome.

To suggest otherwise, that Expenditure might be subject to Consideration and Oversight -- indeed, that it might actually be controlled – why, that is an Idea from some other Planet – a Planet obviously constructed from some baser Material.

Thus, it happened that when Mr. Ford was actually elected, the Gods of the Left, and their Followers sipping expensive Coffee in the Annex were much displeased.

As the Earl of Chesterfield (1694 - 1773) remarked: Cunning is the dark sanctuary of incapacity.

Unable to win the Election, the Left has employed its subversive Cunning to remove Mr. Ford.

We doubt that they have enhanced their Reputation in doing so.



November 26, 2012

We are in a State of most grievous Alarm. We have learned from the Newspapers that Justin Bieber, 18, was greeted with sounds of Disapprobation at the Football Conflict held yesterday in Toronto.

At the same time, Gordon Lightfoot, 74, was applauded with Enthusiasm.

We know not what this portends, but we are fearful. The Weather, always our first Concern, may become significantly colder, and bring Snow. Or perhaps it will be unseasonably mild. Of even greater Significance, the Climate, which has remained unchanged for Thousands of Years, may succumb to the Warming so long threatened by David Suzuki, or be troubled with the Cooling predicted by those Diviners who study Spots on the Sun.

The political Landscape may be subject to an Upheaval: the Ins may be out, and the Outs may lay their Claim to Power. Wars may be fought, and Kingdoms may fall, or survive. The Price of Gold, responding to the Turmoil of Politicks, may rise; on the other hand, responding to the Weather, it may fall.


Indeed we are in a Flurry of Uncertainty, and wracked with Indecision. We had thought to read the Entrails of a Chicken, but have discovered not only that most Chickens are dead, but that Food Basics has removed all the significant predictive Elements. This merely reinforces our Concern: either they are well aware of the Dangers ahead, and wish to keep us in the Calm of Ignorance, or they, too, are engaged in the Reading of Entrails on a Scale so massive that their Desperation of Uncertainty is made manifest.

We have decided to retreat to Wind-in-the-Pines with a goodly Supply of Kraft Dinner and alcoholic Beverage, until some plain Significance is discovered, and some reliable Direction is given. We may make occasional Foray to the Supermarket; the Re-appearance of Entrails may be a preliminary Sign.

 At the very least we will be enabled to conduct the ancient Ceremony, and have some clear View of what the Future doth hold.


November 25, 2012

Dictatorial Benevolence

We are intrigued to see that Mohammed Morsi, President of Egypt, has given himself the Powers of a Dictator. (National Post, November 24)

It has often been observed that Islam, at its Heart, is incompatible with Democracy, since it assumes that the correct Path is not subject to Determination by competing Interests, but has already been described and established.

We would also note how different the Idea of Democracy is in some areas of the World. See Drivel, February 6, 2011, The Problems in Egypt.

Mr. Morsi claims that he is merely trying to expedite the Process of the Revolution. It is our experience that all Dictators view themselves as benevolent, and are merely acting in the best Interests of the Citizenry.

Indeed, Dictatorial Benevolence proceeds on the Assumption that the End – as conceived by those in Power – justifies the Means by which that End is achieved.


We would not wish to overstate the Comparison, but it would be naive to think that the benevolently dictatorial Mind-set is absent in our own fair Land.

What are Human Rights Commissions but Exceptions to the legal System, with all its established Protections and Safeguards of Principle and Procedure, so that benevolent Purposes may be accomplished?

Similarly, the Universal Healthcare System abrogates the rights of Patients and Doctors. The freedom of Citizens to become Doctors is restricted; Patients are reduced from Customers to unequal Supplicants directed to a monopolistic Supplier; Doctors and Patients have not the Freedom to make independent Contracts. The Purpose is kindly, but the Effects are coercive.

If the Soil for Benevolent Dictatorship is supportive in our Western Democracy, it would seem that Mr. Morsi will hardly be denied a lengthy Reign in Egypt.


November 24, 2012

We do confess that, surprisingly, Mr. Trudeau is becoming our favourite Politician. We do not, of course, refer to his sound Judgement, his Ideas, or his Manner of Expression. Instead, we are grateful to him for his extraordinary Ability to inspire our limerickal Responses.

Last Thursday, a Depiction of Part of an Interview with Mr. Trudeau – conducted by Patrick Lagace in 2010 – was shown. In the Interview, Mr. Trudeau lamented the present Malaise in Canada, and attributed it to the malign Influence of Albertans in the present Government.

Canada isn't doing well right now because it's Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn't work. (Sun News, November 23)

He expressed a longing for the Days of Yore when truly competent and revered Prime Ministers had their happy Origins in the Belle Province.


On Friday, Mr. Trudeau apologized:

I'm sorry I said what I did. I was wrong to relate the area of the country that Mr. Harper is from with the people who live there and with the policies that he has that don't represent the values of most Canadians. (Sun News, November 24)

We see this as a Bit of Fancy Footwork executed in Hip Waders.

Almost as interesting is the Response to the Interview of the leftish Media, who can see nothing but through the Prism of their own comfortable Assumptions. The Interview was a long one, it is said, and Mr. Trudeau was undoubtedly suffering from a inadvertent Moment brought on by Fatigue. Doubtless much Store should be put in the Notion that Mr. Trudeau was a but a young Man at the Time, and could hardly be expected to show the Maturity of his present Age. Two Years of sober Reflection and judicious Omphaloskepsis have a marvellous Power of Transformation; the Age of Alchemy is not – as some would believe – quite dead.

We note yet another Appearance of Mr. Trudeau on Limerick Lane.


November 23, 2012

We are intrigued to learn that Donna Giustizia has rescinded her Request to have Oak Trees removed from the Playground at the School her Daughter attends. (See Diary, November 14)

She is reported to have endured "cyber bullying and hateful letters since she made her request..." (Hamilton Spectator, November 23), and has protested thus:

In a free, civilized society we should be able to voice our opinions and make our requests to elected officials without fear of reprisal, ridicule, or regret.

What Ms. Giustizia seems to over look is the Fact that in a free, civilized Society, we all may express our Opinions of the Opinions of Others; further, we are able to ridicule those Opinions we think ridiculous.

Ms Giustizia represents that Kind of Self-centeredness which seeks to have Government oppress the Majority to dispel an exaggerated Threat to a Minority. Rather than attempt to have Trees removed from the Playground, it would seem that Ms. Giustrizia's Time and Energy might better be spent in assisting her Daughter in protecting herself from the Threat of Acorns generally, the Oak being a well-established Species found in many Areas of this great Land.


To this End, we would suggest she take her Daughter to forested Areas, that she might learn to identify with Alacrity the threatening Oak. The Daughter might also be provided with a marked Calendar indicating the Times of Year when the offending Trees might be expected to unleash a Bombardment of the toxic Nuts.

Rigorous Physical Training would also assist her Daughter to flee with Success from any unexpected Discharge of the Projectiles.

Finally, we would suggest the use of Flash Cards – Cards which would portray an Assortment of Nuts, such as Acorns, Peanuts, Harold Camping, Cashews, David Suzuki, Walnuts, and Al Gore.

Intensive Sessions with the Cards would soon lead to an instant Recognition of the most dangerous of the Depictions. Not only would the Child be enabled to recognize the offending Allergants, but she would be placed on a Path which might result in a Sufficiency of Common Sense.

We do not know Ms. Giustizia well enough to classify her as a Noodlehead, but her Approach to toxic Acorns seems very close to touching the Nadir of Noodleheadedness.

November 21, 2012

Skullduggery: underhanded or unscrupulous behaviour; also : a devious device or trick. (Merriam-Webster online)

Crafty deception or trickery or an instance of it.

[Probably alteration of Scots sculduddery, obscenity, fornication.] (The Free Dictionary)

The News is full of Skullduggery. Two Million Dollars’ worth of Toys has disappeared– gradually, over a Period of two Years -- from the Salvation Army Facility on Railside Avenue in Toronto. (The Star.com, November 21)

According to John Murray, a Salvation Army Executive:

At the root of it, it’s about deception and about deceiving people and organizations and it would appear from everything I’ve seen and know about it, it was very sophisticated, it was intentional, well planned out.  

It also appears that Senator Patrick Brazeau has been collecting a $20,000 Housing Allowance based on the Location of his Residence in Maniwaki, Quebec. In fact he lives near Ottawa; the Maniwaki House is occupied by his Father. Local Residents confirm that he does not live there. (CTV News, November 20)


Finally, we note that The World Health Organization Meeting in Seoul, at which there was a Discussion of raising Funds through a global Tax on Cigarettes, was closed to the Publick, and to Reporters. (See Diary, November 17)

As the session began, the session’s chairwoman expressed concern that there was a "large presence" of tobacco growers and industry representatives in the public gallery. That would be unsurprising since the discussion has a significant impact on the livelihood of the tens of millions of people employed by tobacco farming and production. The countries then agreed to make the rest of the meeting private.

(Drew Johnson, The Korea Times, November 22)

We suspect Skullduggery in this Instance, because Skullduggers are notorious for attempting to keep their skullduggerous Activities away from publick View.

Alas, we know of no easy Remedy for Skullduggery. It is tempting to suggest that every Organization have a Skullduggery Department, devoted to the Discovery of skullduggerous Deception. The Danger lies in the entrenched Nature of Skullduggery: there is good Possibility that Expertise gained in Departments of Skullduggery be used to further, rather than block its Spread.

The World Health Organization is not well-advised to concoct a Vaccine: Skullduggery is not a marauding Virus to be expelled, but an ensconced Element in the genetic Code.

Mr. Brazeau has been observed, well subsidized, on Limerick Lane.

November 20, 2012 

A Canadian Spring?

It is not often that we are overcome with radical Thought; our Imagination is a weak, sickly Thing, languishing in the oppressive Confines of contemporary Culture.

However, we were struck this Morning by a Sub-Heading on the first Page of the National Post:

Retailers take on language police

In an instant, we conceived of a Canadian Spring. Retailers in Quebec, in a sudden, single-minded Surge, would flout, contravene, and transgress the silly language Laws. The Machinery of Prosecution would grind to a Halt. Those few charged would opt for Jail, filling the Cells to overflowing. Faced with such a Revolt, the Government would back down, and pursue a Program of intense Omphaloskepsis, interspersed with Periods of Yoga and calming Sessions of transcendental Meditation.


Once fired, our Imagination leaped to the Human Rights Commissions. What would happen, if, through the wonderful organizing Capabilities of Social Media, none of the Defendants showed up for his scheduled Hearing, and, when pursued, opted for Jail. Soon the Cells would be filled to overflowing, and the Government would be forced to retreat. Canada would be moved a significant Step towards Justice and Common Sense.

Great Murphy! We do apologize. We know not what overcame us.

It is not Spring; it is time to check the Pick-Up Calendar, and rake the Leaves, if that is in accord with the Schedule. Then, some happy Moments washing and sorting Items for the Blue Box, and our Return to Normality will be complete.


P.S.: We confess we are rather pleased to see that Shirish Chotalia. Chief Pooh-Bah of the Human Rights Commission has resigned four Years early. Ms. Chotalia was criticized in Federal Court for her Handling of an important Case, and five of her Employees made Complaint of her Harassment. (National Post, November 20) Any Difficulties in the Operation of these Victimhood Advocacy Commissions must be considered as a net Benefit to the Publick.


November 19, 2012

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Doublethink: The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

(Concepts from George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984.)

We note the Case of Faith McGregor, who wished to receive a "Men’s Haircut" at the Terminal Barber Shop in Toronto last June. She was refused on the Grounds that it was against the Muslim Religion practised by the Barbers to cut the Hair of a Woman. Ms. McGregor, in typically Canadian Fashion, has applied for Relief from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Barbara Hall, chief Pooh-Bah of the Ontario Human Rights Commission has noted that, as Canada becomes more diverse, rights are coming into conflict:

"No right is absolute," said Hall. "So no right trumps another."
                                                                (CBC News, November 15)

In contradiction, Ezra Levant recently argued that, in fact, the Outcome of Complaints may easily be determined by considering the Victim Status of the competing Parties. He compared the Process to a Game of Poker, in which some Hands are more valuable than others. A white Christian Male, would of course, have a very poor Hand, while a black Lesbian in a Wheelchair would be ranked very highly. In this Matter, he sees the Barbers winning easily, since a Member of minority Religion outranks a Lesbian by a considerable Margin.

We find the Matter of Discrimination of considerable Fascination, replete with the Necessity of Doublethink. Discrimination itself – a fancy Word for Choice -- is admirable in some Areas, abhorred in Others. The Manufacturers of expensive Automobiles are wont to appeal to Buyers of Taste and Discrimination. We discriminate, with Applause, between the rare Chardonnay and the cheap Plonk. We may spend a good Half-Hour discriminating amongst Pearl White, Oyster Shell, and Beige Mist at the Paint Emporium.


Discrimination with respect to People is an entirely different Matter, and is Cause for much Opprobrium. But some types of Discrimination are more equal than Others. Any Discrimination by Government is to be applauded. A Preference for hiring Women or Aboriginals to the clear Disadvantage of Men or Chinese Citizens marks Civilization in its finest Flower.

When Government Practice is mimicked in the Private Sphere, the same magical Transformation takes Place. Thus "Equity Chairing" refers to the practice of conducting a Meeting by accepting Comment from "women, people of colour, and queers" before others. (See Diary, January 21, 2011)

Apart from that, Discrimination is Evil when it applies to minority Elements in the Population, but perfectly acceptable when applied to the Majority. We can imagine the Outcry were an Organization to be called "The White Businessmen’s Association." But change "White" to "Black," and the Normality of Nirvana is achieved.

Mr. Levant has noted (Sun News, October 7, 2011) some peculiar Anomalies in the Matter of Advertising of rental Apartments. While it is illegal to specify "Students" or "Seniors" – since that would be Discrimination on the Basis of Age – the Human Rights Commission has indicated that "Muslim Only" Requests are "out of their hands."

We recall our own personal Experience many Years ago in this Matter, when we had Apartments to rent in Toronto. When the Government introduced Legislation respecting Landlords and Tenants which made the Relationship Confrontational, we refused to rent to Lawyers. We considered that they had an unfair Advantage of cheap Legal Advice in the Matter of any potential Dispute. We are not sure whether this Discrimination is considered prohibited in our presently enlightened Era.

It would appear that the Matter of Discrimination is a Minefield of Doublethink. To determine when it is admirable, when it is acceptable, when it is odious, and when it is illegal, requires the most careful, deliberate, and sensitive Exercise of our Powers of Discrimination.


P.S.: Mr. Justin Trudeau has been seen huffing along Limerick Lane.

November 18, 2012

At some Time during the Fall, we discovered that our Route through the Railway Lands to the Bruce Trail had once again been blocked. For a full Account of our earlier Difficulties, please see our Comment of August 20, which we have reprinted immediately to the right.

Instead of leaving the fastening Chain of sufficient Length to allow for easy Passage, some meddling Busybody had shortened it, so that the offending Door could be opened to allow only Urchins of the smaller Sort to gain Entry to the Tracks and thus potentially meet an unfortunate End in unequal Confrontation with a Train.

Perhaps there was Darwinian Thinking behind the Matter: those young and innocent would be subject to the Test of the Train Track Environment: the more intelligent would avoid a charging Train; the foolish would succumb to it. A Triumph of evolutionary Justice.

But why the old and experienced would be be exempted from the Test, we could not understand. Eager to prove our Ability to avoid a noisy moving Train, bulky and be-whistled, we considered the Option of bringing, under cover of Night, our Vise Grips. This Device would no Doubt make short work of the very light Links of the Chain. However, we have noticed that in any Enterprise of this Sort, we are singularly unsuccessful; where our transgressions are concerned, even an unfed Parking Meter invariably exacts its disproportionate Revenge.

We also considered trying to duck down below the Level of the Chain, and see if we could do a creditable Imitation of the smaller Sort of Urchin.

Finally – we could play the Coward, and wait for someone more enterprising to cut the Chain.

Two weeks passed, and it became apparent that the Entrepreneurial Spirit – not surprising in this Age of Security – was sadly deficient. We regarded, once again, the size of the allowed Opening. Suppose we should become stuck in the Middle, our Clothing inextricably caught in the Wire of the Fence? How often would we have to call, and how loudly, for Assistance? Would the Matter be recorded in The Spectator:


For, after all, it is the Custom in our Land, in the event of Misadventure, Offense, or Embarrassment, to sue the nearest Entity with the Ability to pay.

In the End, we took the Chance. We ducked down, and eased our Way through the Urchin-port.

It was not, perhaps, a manoeuvre replete with Dignity; a bowler Hat would have surely been displaced; the Burka we usually wear to avoid Attention in Publick, might well not have survived without Damage.

Our one fear arises from the Fact that we have been, on a subsequent Occasion, observed by an Employee who seemed to have emerged from a Train, idling in its impassive Might a few scant Yards away.

 If the Chain is made any shorter, we will have to give the Vise Grips a Try.



August 20, 2012

Close by the Lumpenbangen Studios is a Set of Steps by which the Top of the Mountain may be attained. These Steps are used chiefly by those wishing to obtain Exercise, and it is our Custom, in most Weathers, to climb the three Hundred Steps of the First Section as a Part of our daily constitutional Perambulation of the Neighbourhood.

Upon reaching the topmost Step of the Section, we conclude that Death – for that Day at least – is unlikely, and we can, with some Degree of Confidence, make Plans for the Morrow.

Our preferred Route to the Steps takes us to the Foot of St. Plymouth Avenue, and thence across some Railway Tracks, and up a steep Path to the Bruce Trail. A short Distance through a heavily wooded Area – unlikely in the Heart of any City – provides a Pleasantness of Greenery all the Way to the Foot of the Steps.

In earlier Years, there was, as a Barrier to the Railway Tracks an ancient, rusty, chain Link Fence which had been rendered completely ineffective by the Beneficent Provision of a large Hole, designed with a Sufficiency of Size to allow for easy Ingress and Egress to the Railway Lands for all the Citizens of the Neighbourhood.

Alas, this Circumstance was not allowed to remain. We suspect that nervous Railway Executives, trembling in their Towers, fearful of Lawsuits, decided to construct a new Chain Link Fence. The new Fence, duly installed, spanned the whole Area of likely Entry, and was firmly connected to the Supports of the old existing Fence on either Side.

What was peculiar was that the new Fence contained a Chain Link Door, but one that was firmly secured shut with a Padlock of daunting Mien and robust Size.

We cannot imagine the Process of Thought behind this Construction: All entry is forbidden, unless you have a Key. Perhaps they planned to distribute Keys to selected Residents who would sign a Waiver promising not to sue the Railway in Event of Death or Dismemberment. There were no Application Forms attached to the new Fence.

We admit to being considerably disgruntled. Our favourite Route was blocked. We considered attending the Fence late at Night with Wire Cutters, but concluded that we could not countenance the Unseemliness of Detection.

We must report, with some Satisfaction, that others were more forthright. Within a Week or Two, a Portion of the Fence had been peeled away from the support Post, and our Habit was resumed. We regarded the Matter as a Triumph of Citizenry over Bureaucracy.

We must record that this Event occurred about three Years ago. Since that Time, the Railway has repaired, and the Citizens have triumphed several Times.

This Summer, another Repair was effected. Initially, the Padlock was, once again, firmly in Place, and we were forced to take an alternate Route. But, in recent Days we have noticed that, while the Door is "shut," it is fastened with a length of Chain, which allows the Door to be opened sufficiently to allow for Ingress and Egress of all Citizens but those of the most immoderate Circumference.

We know not the Authorship of this Compromise, nor the Means by which it was effected. But we think it provides an admirable Solution. Only Time will tell if the Bureaucracy approves.


November 17, 2012

Yesterday we did record our Excitement at the Possibility that the United Nations might, at last, control the Internet. It is our View that this chaotic Facility is long overdue for some Oversight and Regulation by the United Nations, which has a proven Record of Competency, Probity and good Judgement in all Matters in which it has become involved.

Today we must confess we are in a further Frenzy of Anticipation that the World Health Organization, which in 2010 sought to levy a tax on Activity on the Internet, and the Paying of Bills Online, now seeks to place a Tax on Global Sales of Cigarettes. (The Washington Free Beacon, September 27, 2012.)

The Proposal is to be advanced at a Meeting in Seoul, South Korea this very Month.

We must applaud this new Initiative. The Days in which it was considered inappropriate to have Taxation without Representation are long past, and belong to an earlier, more primitive Era. In today’s Brave New World, it is far more fitting that individual Citizens not be allowed to spend their Money in a wanton, self-serving and dissolute Manner. Far better that as much of their Resources as possible be directed to top Bureaucrats, competent Professionals, who have been especially trained in the Expenditure of the Funds of Others for Beneficent Purposes approved by the United Nations.


Only through such Measures can Nirvana, so long desired, but so long elusive, be achieved.

Indeed, we ourselves have conceived of a Modest Proposal to speed us on our Way: the Creation of a World Renewal Enlightenment Council for Knowledgeable Supervision (WRECKS). The Task would be to visit all the Countries in the Globe to convince them to send Bills, Coins, Gold, Silver, and Bank Drafts to the United Nations to speed the Process of Enlightenment and World Renewal. We have every Hope that, as the first Proponent of the Council, we would be given a senior Position as executive Controller of the Organization. Our plan would be to travel to the Countries most prosperous in warm Climates, along with an appropriate Retinue, in order to engage in the Task of Persuasion during boozy Luncheons and elegant Dinners with High Officials.

We do not see how the United Nations could turn down such a Proposal, it being much in Accord with its current Mode of Operations, and promising a wonderful Continuance of such Practice into the foreseeable Future.


November 16, 2012

Yesterday we did muse upon the Tendency of Government to try to control Things. Indeed, it is an ineradicable Aspect of Human Nature that those placed in a Position of Power can scarce refrain from its Exercise, especially when they see the Opportunity to make the Machinery of the human Enterprise run more smoothly, and the social Hive to buzz more contentedly – to the undeniable Benefit of those tasked with keeping the Trains on Time, and with the collecting of Honey.

We are heartened to learn that the United Nations, which has established its Expertise in almost every Area of Life that it has fiddled with, now wishes to control the Internet.

Indeed, we can think of no better Area of chaotic Lawlessness to be addressed. On the Internet are to be found all Manner of ill-considered Opinion, vain Imaginings, and outright Error. In Addition, there are things which we find mildly worrisome or vaguely distasteful. The sooner such Matters are remedied, the more easily we will be able to sleep during the Hours of Darkness, and the more confidently we will be able to address the Tasks of the Day with an untroubled Countenance.

It is, apparently, the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations Agency, which has Plans to come to our Rescue:



The ITU has suggested a range of reforms that would potentially stifle free speech and make users pay extra to use things like Skype and e-mail as well as place controls on personal social media use like blogging and religious websites.

It would also enable UN member states to lobby the ITU to close down Internet use it didn't approve of.

(Simon Kent, Sun News, November 13)

We can scarce contain our Excitement that this Matter is not merely a pious wish; it is to be discussed at a World Conference in Dubai in early December.

It is true that there is no Guarantee that the Internet will at last be tamed. There are many Idolaters, Blasphemers, and Subversives who wish to see their Speech remain unfettered, much to the Detriment of World Peace, Civility, and Stability.

However, the Fact that China, Saudia Arabia, Russia, and Iran will be voting give us some small Hope that we will see, at last, some much needed Oversight and Reform of the Chaos which is the Internet.

With this great Step, surely the Nirvana we seek will be within a Whisper of our Grasp.


November 15, 2012

We recall reading somewhere that our present Control of the Sale of Liquor arises from an Era in Britain – in the 1700's -- when Mothers would sell their Babies for Gin. Cheap Gin had become such a Hazard to Stability, that the Government sought to control its Use.

It is perhaps, therefore, not unexpected that in the Face of Rising Obesity, Governments are tempted to legislate to encourage Slimness. This must be especially true in Canada, where, because of a socialist Health Care System, individual Decisions about the ingestion of Food may be seen as having an economic Impact on Society as a whole.

Thus we have had recent suggestions from the Ontario Medical Association that warning Labels be placed on certain Types of Food – and that Taxes be raised. In the United States, the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg has proposed Taxes on large Containers of Soda.

We are pleased to read in this Day’s National Post, an Article by David Gratzer which states that the Government of Denmark has recently rescinded a Tax on Foods containing much saturated Fat. It was discovered that the Tax was expensive to collect, and had the Effect of increased Shopping in other Jurisdictions.

Dr. Gratzer lists some of the Difficulties in deciding what sugary Drinks should be taxed, and notes that People denied Calories from one Source will seek them in another.

We also wonder whether the Cause of Obesity is yet fully understood. Certainly, the Danish tax on Saturated Fat would appear to be based on popular Superstition, rather than scientific Evidence.

It is in the Nature of Government to meddle, lest it find itself a-twiddling of its multiplicitous Thumbs. Better that the Thumbs weigh on Something in a Manner supportively restrictive, or restrictively supporting.

The Siren Song of Security would appear to play some Part. More powerful Governments promise more Security. The more Security provided, the more the Population expects it; the more expected, the greater the Sense of Obligation on the Part of Government, which therefore must increase its Power. We appear to be on a great March towards a Society of Bees, secure in the Hive, but each Individual a Wheel fixed in the Machine, a Piano Key whose Response is devoted to the greater Harmony – or the Buzz of the Moment.

P.S.: See also The Savannah and the Hive, Drivel, August 18, 2012; A Reflection on the Hive, Drivel, February 24, 2012.)


November 14, 2012

In which we note a Tyranny of the Minority.

We are intrigued to learn that a Member of our unfortunate Species – a lady called Donna Giustizia – is seeking to have four oak Trees removed from the Grounds of her Daughter’s School in the City of Vaughan. It appears that her Daughter is allergic to Acorns.

When it is pointed out that the Principle of Destruction of the Trees on school Property, carried to its logical Conclusion, might lead to the Destruction of all oak Trees where her Daughter might wish to venture, Ms Giustizia falls back on Technicality: She claims that it is in the Human Rights Code that Children with Disabilities must be accommodated in the Schools:

...there’s an ultimate Duty to accommodate.   (National Post, November 14)


Surely this shows the Difficulty in enacting Legislation to create a Nirvana regardless of Consequence. How oft is the Pursuit of an Ideal found to end in a Quicksand of Folly! How oft is the Road to Stupidity paved with unreasonable Kindness!* Because there may be no Compensation for Disadvantage, the chimerical Equality is seen to be found only in a Reduction of Circumstance for all.

Carrying the Principle of Accommodation to Minority Disadvantage to its logical Absurdity, Vaughan Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco notes that Some are allergic to Bees, and asks whether all Bees should therefore be exterminated.

What should be exterminated is Stupidity; failing the Achievement of that similarly impossible Ideal, there would be much Benefit were it to be significantly reduced.

We are not over-brimming with Optimism.

*Observation # 199


November 13, 2012

We are intrigued by the Attempt by Jill Jacobson, a Professor at Queen’s University, to establish a "Civility Clause" for her third-year Psychology Class. The Clause includes the following:

Discriminatory, rude, threatening, harassing, disruptive, distracting and inappropriate behaviour and language will not be tolerated... The first offense will result in a 10% reduction in your total mark. (National Post, November 13)

The Alma Mater Society at Queen’s sees this as a Threat to academic Freedom, especially since "it threatens a student’s academic standing, would actively discourage the exchange of critical inquiry and free speech..."

While we are generally in Favour of free Speech, we would note that there are certain practical Limitations. Freedom without Restriction results in Chaos. There are always Dictatorships related to Time and Place.

The Television Interviewer is a Dictator: once the Guest has had his allotted Time, his Freedom to speak is curtailed. The Moderator of a Discussion Panel must decide who is to speak and when. And so with the Film Director, who controls the Speech on the Set, the Business Owner who does not take gladly to the Insulting of Customers by his Employees. The Minister giving his Sermon does not welcome a contrary Viewpoint expressed by the Gentleman wearing the Red Tie in the Middle of the Left Aisle Pew of the third Row.

In our fortunately brief Career as a Teacher at the High School Level, we can attest to the Wisdom of the Mantra: If you do not control the Classroom, somebody else will.



This, we would contend, is the Nature of Reality. Freedom and Restriction are in constant Battle in all Matters of Speech and Action in civilized Society.

The Existence of small Dictatorships does invite Misuse of Power; however, that is the Risk which is taken in the Interests of avoiding Chaos. The Student who wishes to dispute Einstein’s Theory of Relativity may have limited Time in the Classroom, but he is free to expound his Views in other Ways. The Student who merely wishes to disrupt in Rebellion or Self-Aggrandisement is impeding the Purpose of the Lecture.

In the End, it does not seem unreasonable that a University Professor would be able to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate Uses of Speech in the Lecture Hall. If there be Professors unable to make that Distinction, and make foolish Decisions, we suspect that their Classes would dwindle, and the Darwinian Law of Competition would make its Judgement.*

We must add that we hardly agree with the Deduction of Marks for Incivility. A Dictator should be able to choose not to dictate to the Disruptive. We are fond of the Approach: "You are obviously unhappy here; it would be better that you take some other Class more suited to your Needs."


*We should note that, in the Instance of Ms. Jacobson’s Civility Clause, she claims it was instituted in order to protect Teaching Assistants who would be conducting her Classes during a Leave of Absence. This Fact would seem to introduce a can vermibus lurking beneath the Issue.


November 12, 2012

I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive. (Thomas Jefferson, 1743 - 1826)

Perhaps it should be required that those in the Business of Governing be administered (in typical governmental Fashion) a generous Dose of Valium daily, in order that their energetic Impulses be subject to significant Impediment.

In an Article in this Day’s Post, Karen Selick notes a possible Exception: the municipal Council of South Stormont in Ontario has amended a sign By-law to state that Businesses will not be compelled to use any particular Language in order to advertise.

It is the Fondness of Government, of course, to make exactly this kind of Requirement. Left to its meddling Ways, Government would tell us when to arise, and when to retire, and specify how many Eggs should be consumed at Breakfast. There is something at the Heart of Bureaucracy that will not rest until all Citizens are Piano Keys, to be depressed and released in order to create the Harmony considered to be most pleasing at the Moment.


Ms. Selick points out that those wishing to enforce bilingual Signs argue that they are of Benefit to the Advertiser, assuming that such Advertisers have so little Wit that they would proceed with Matters against their own Interests. And indeed, if there be those of such little Wit, would not the Marketplace ensure their Failure?

It has been suggested that Evolution proceeds by a Process of Experimenting with Alteration: what is successful is cherished, and used in a new Experiment; what fails is abandoned without Pity or Remorse. In Little, the free Marketplace replicates this creative Practice, and brings the Benefits of Wealth and Choice in a Multiplicity of Goods.

Indeed, it is the same in the Marketplace of Ideas; free Expression leads to the Success of the reasonable, and the Abandonment of the unworkable and oppressive.

While there may be some few Restrictions as to Falsity in Advertising or Libel in Speech, it seems that those who attempt to achieve greater Benefit by Restriction of Expression, are likely to achieve a Degradation rather than an Amelioration of the human Circumstance.


November 11, 2012


It is the Custom of every Age to lament its parlous State, and to anticipate the Sliding into a Quagmire of no Return. Even knowing the Quagmire may be illusory, it seems difficult not to be apprehensive.

The United States, the Bastion of Liberty and Free Enterprise, seems destined to become a bankrupt Sinkhole of Insufficiency and Dependency. The United Nations, the great Hope for Enlightenment and International Co-operation has become bureaucratically dysfunctional, and expresses the Wishes of those Countries most impoverished and tyrannical in Spirit.

Indeed, we have learned that Sudan , a country described as "genocidal, misogynistic and repressive" has been elected to the United Nations’ 54-member Economic and Social Council, "a body that regulates human rights groups, shapes the composition of key U.N. women’s rights bodies, and adopts resolutions on areas from Internet freedom to female genital mutilation" (Canada Free Press, November 8.)

We are now past wondering "What is the United Nations Thinking?" It is, in fact thinking at the very lowest level of foolish Denominators. We reflect on some recent Occurrences:



Robert Mugabe is asked to be an Ambassador for International Tourism. The Food-Bah, Olivier de Schutter finds it appropriate to choose Canada, not North Korea, as a target for his Reprimands concerning Food Policy. North Korea chairs a Conference on Disarmament. Libya is elected to the Human Rights Council. A United Nations Committee on Torture calls for Compensation for Omar Khadr. Quebec is criticized for Laws requiring Notice of Student Protests. The International Panel on Climate Change is ripe for the Asylum, but rots on the Branch. It is the United Nations, through Agenda 21, which seeks to save the Planet, as Maurice Strong asks:

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

Some have called for Canada to leave the United Nations.

This reminds us of old Question in Sir Thomas More’s Utopia (1516): Should a wise Philosopher join the Court of a corrupt Prince? On one side is the Argument of Futility: the Philosopher becomes tainted by the Reputation of his Company, and cannot influence the Prince who seeks War instead of Peace. On the other Side is the Argument of Practicality: if one does not engage the Prince, nothing will change; with Engagement there is some Hope of Amelioration.

We are pleased that Canada appears to be heading towards a middle Ground: retain a nominal Position as third Courtier to the left, but cease to bow and scrape. Scream bloody Murder from the Ramparts as the Occasion arises, and be prepared for continuous Howling.

November 9, 2012

We were pleased today to learn that Dynacor Mines, our largest Holding, achieved a Profit of Eight Cents a Share in the Last Quarter, bringing the Total for the Year to Sixteen Cents. It would appear that, barring Catastrophe, the Profit for this Year should exceed Twenty-two Cents.

A reasonable and judicious Individual might expect the Price of the Stock to be fairly close to Two Dollars, particularly since a Doubling of Production is anticipated with the Construction of a New Mill next Year.

The Market Gods are, of course, renowned for their Cruelty and Capriciousness. This very Day, upon the News, the Price has surged and exploded like a Firecracker dipped in Tomato Juice. Or possibly Mango Juice.



Indeed, it has meandered from $1.20 to $1.25, with many expressing their Willingness to sell at slightly higher Levels.

On Occasion, the Great God Murphy doth allow our Faith in the Rationality of Humankind to be sorely tested.

First, the Americans elect Mr. Obama. Now the Market disdains good Earnings, and calls our Hopes and Judgement into Question.

Perhaps our frequent Prayers and the occasional Mouse Sacrifice to Murphy are insufficient. Possibly an unclothed Midnight Ceremony conducted by the Light of the Full Moon will be efficacious in gaining a more favourable Result.

November 8, 2012

We have learned that The School Board in Edmonton is allowing Students to refuse to attend Ceremonies for Remembrance Day. It has been stated that this Refusal arises from a parental Decision sometimes based on "religious beliefs" in certain "demographic areas." (CTV News, November 6)

We do not see the Remembering of those who fought to preserve our Culture from those who would see the Destruction of Jews, and who would enforce Ascendancies of Germany in Europe, and the Japanese in Asia, to be in Conflict with Religion.

Is this not another Example of minimizing our Culture in Deference to those who wish to enjoy its Benefits without any Responsibilities? We think that Remembrance Day in the Schools is an important Way of teaching both our History, and our traditional cultural Response to that History.


While we generally espouse Freedom, we find that the Subject of Education brings out our inner Fascist. We think that a Knowledge of Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic should be required of Students, regardless of their innate Proclivities. While some cultural Values – which are inevitably transmitted either explicitly or implicitly – may be questioned* – we fail to see how dealing with the Facts of Canada’s History and the Sense that our Lives might well be quite different had not Wars been fought – would fall in that Category.

Considering that it is the Edmonton School Board that is complicit in the Plan to extinguish the Awarding of Zeros in the Assessment of Work not done, we are tempted to lament this Decision as a further Example of the Triumph of Folly in that Organization.

On the other Hand, considering that the Toronto and District School Board seems, in many Instances, to exhibit similar Foolishness, we suspect a deeper Malaise.


*For Example: Americans are evil; Women should not be educated; the World was created in Seven Days; Socialism is preferable to Capitalism.

November 7, 2012

As we had feared, Mr. Obama has been re-elected.

Dire Consequence will undoubtedly follow.

There will be Storms, Floods, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, and Tsunamis. Volcanoes will erupt. Lightning will strike unexpectedly, and Rain will fall on Occasions when we have ventured forth without our Umbrella. Drought will oppress Crops, and the Climate will continue to change. Many will be dismayed. There will be wars in foreign Lands, while Unrest and Dissatisfaction will be common at Home. Accidents will occur. Dreams will not be realized. Socks will be lost in the Laundry.*

Indeed, from this unfortunate Circumstance we can find only three small Crumbs of Comfort.


First, only fifty percent of American voters cast Ballots for Mr. Obama. This shows that they are not quite as foolish as Canadians, Seventy-eighth Percent of whom,  according to a recent Poll, would have voted for him.

Second, the Price of Gold will continue to rise; since our Stock Holdings are disproportionately in Gold, we may possibly be enabled to purchase sufficient alcoholic Beverage to dull the Pain of our Disappointment.

Finally, the Great God Murphy, whose Law predicts that Things usually go wrong, has been justified and vindicated. Our Devotion to him has been significantly reinforced. In a World of disturbing Uncertainty, we are comforted by his extraordinary Reliability.

*Our Levity is a Whistling in the Dark; it is simply a hopeful Substitute for considering the Consequences of unsustainable Debt (Bankruptcy, Replacement of the Dollar with Renminbi), Hostility to Enterprise (economic Decline), Wobbliness on Free Speech (Laws against Blasphemy), and Naiveté in Foreign Policy (unthinkable).  Benghazigate  has considerable disruptive Potential.



November 6, 2012

We are intrigued to learn that a Poll of 1735 Canadians over the Age of Eighteen has revealed that 78% would vote for Mr. Obama.

There seem only two possible Explanations for this extraordinary Result:

(a) The Poll was conducted at a Canadian Rally for Supporters of Barack Obama.
(b) Close to Eighty percent of Canadians are Idiots.

We tend towards the Second of these Conclusions, since we can scarcely conceive that a Rally for Mr. Obama would take Place on Canadian Soil. And indeed, one has only to scratch an average Canadian to discover the pink Blood of Socialism which courses through his Veins.

This blood is transfused, we suspect, at Birth, by secret operatives of the Health Care Cabal, with enthusiastic Assistance from Functionaries from Human Rights Commissions and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

We ourselves find Mr. Obama to be a troubling President for the United States of America.

We look askance at his Penchant for bowing to foreign Leaders, such as the King of Saudi Arabia, and the President of China. Had either of these two Countries achieved Nirvana, there might be some Excuse. Under the actual Circumstances, we think the Symbolism is misplaced.

Mr. Obama has never run Anything. We suspect he is composed of  95% Theory, 5% Practice. This works well in Socialist Utopias, but nowhere else.

Indeed, his remark that Owners of Businesses "didn't build that" suggests that he sees individual Enterprise not as a vital and pre-eminent Force, but as secondary to government Planning.

Mr. Obama does not seem very fond of Israel, the only Democracy in the Middle East, and a Country which seems to prefer Resistance to Appeasement.

We are suspicious of his Commitment to Freedom of Speech; too much Time has been spent excoriating the Film Innocence of Muslims. We suspect that Mr. Obama would not be averse to Laws against Blasphemy, if such Laws were seen to appease Muslim Extremists. We recall his statement:

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

We think he makes too many Appearances on Television Entertainment Shows. We question whether he enjoys Acting the President as opposed to being the President.

Mr. Obama’s view of Islamism seems naive. Like most Left-Wingers, he assumes Good Will exists where no Evidence of it is to be found; he does not realize that Enemies often take Conciliation as a Mark of Weakness. His eventual Slaying of Osama bin Laden was delayed three Times for Fear that the Mission would be unsuccessful. Such an Outcome would not, apparently, bode well for his Television Appearances.

The Matter of Benghazi is troubling. It appears that protecting Americans against Terrorism comes second to preserving a hopeful but inaccurate Narrative. It seems clear that the Administration knew almost immediately the real Nature of the Attack, but chose to explain it as the result of Muslim Outrage against the Film Innocence of Muslims. This Benghazigate has the Potential for serious Consequence.

In short, we question Mr. Obama's Commitment to the America of Enterprise, Freedom and Leadership. We see him rather as a ‘Subversive,’ not working to undermine from Beneath, but brazenly, in full View, from the Pinnacle of political Power.

See also Drivel October 27, 2012: The sub-Optimal President.


November 5, 2012

Rumours and theories.

We are puzzled that there seems so little Comment on the Attack on the Consulate in Benghazi, since it appears that the Explanation – that it was a Result of a spontaneous Uprising against Innocence of Muslims – is entirely false and misleading, and was known to be such by those providing it. It is also claimed that Requests for Security and Aid were denied both before and during the Attack, because such Actions would betray the benign Narrative that Al Qaeda is a spent Force.

These Stories have been emphasized by Fox News, but, as Rex Murphy points out in the National Post (November 3), other Media have noted them "with less clarity and enthusiasm." The suggestion is that the Media generally favour Mr. Obama

We have also heard that the Manner of weighting Poll Results has given a false Advantage to the Democrats.



Someone has said that those answering Poll Questions often favour Obama, for Reasons of Political Correctness, and will actually vote differently.

Ezra Levant sees a Victory for Mr. Romney.

We have read the Opinion that Mr. Obama will win, and, buoyed by a Bonanza of Oil and Gas Finds, will establish a hugely popular Socialist State.

Most see great Prudence in remaining non-commital, and non-predictive.

We suspect that, whoever wins, the Matter of the Benghazi Attack will gain greater Prominence.

But we hesitate to make this a Prediction.



November 4, 2012

Slip-Slidin’ Away

It is a Source of continual Fascination that sensible Ideas, no Matter what their Degree of Reasonableness, no Matter what their Appeal to Logick or sound Judgement, are never a Match for powerful contrary Emotions.

The Scientific Method, that is the Principle of proceeding from particular Evidence to general Conclusions, was proposed by Francis Bacon (1561-1626).

Yet the Climate Alarmists of the present Day do continue to preach their Gospel despite failed Predictions, lack of Global Warming, and Exposure of the Flaws in their Methods. Millions have been swayed by their Pronouncements to an emotional Frenzy, a strange quasi-religious Admixture of Self-Loathing and Self-Righteousness.

Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, providing an Explanation of the Diversity of Life Forms resulting from a long Process of competitive Experimentation, a gradually winnowing in a Marketplace of Success and Failure which leads to Complexity and Diversity. The Evidence is in the Fossil Record.

Yet the preferred World View is still religious: God, the original Central Planner, made up a grand Design, with which he tinkers on a daily Basis, having as his chief Concern the Behaviour of a particularly complex Variety of hairless Ape.

Central Planning and the Brotherhood of Man were the Chief Concerns of Socialism. The Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel in 1848, but where Socialism has been tried, notably Russia and China, it has been shown to be less than successful. Both Countries have reverted, in preference, to Varieties of Dictatorship. George Orwell delineated some of the obvious Contradictions of Socialism in his Novels, Animal Farm (1944), and 1984 (1949).

Yet, despite the obvious Flaws in Central Planning, and the chimerical Nature of Equality, the Canadian Health Care System pretends that it can provide Equal Treatment in a monolithic, centrally planned System from which there is no Escape, short of Flight to other Jurisdictions.


Now that we have mentioned George Orwell, it is hard not to make Reference to the Oppressions to which Humankind is susceptible depicted in the Novel, 1984. Not the least of these is the concept of Doublethink. Doublethink is defined by Merriam Webster (online):

The acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination.

Yet, despite our Awareness of this Concept of insidious Perfidy, we are quite willing to accept "Affirmative Action" and "Equity Chairing" as Practices which are anti-discriminatory. Our wonderful Human Rights Commissions, which erode more Rights than they protect, is merely another Example.

Finally, let us note two famous Remarks about Speech, one attributed to Voltaire, the other from John Stuart Mill:

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (Attr. Voltaire 1694 -1778)

We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.  (John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873. On Liberty)

Yet, many Years later, we still think it is appropriate to restrict Speech. The Government defines and manufactures large black Crosses, which it distributes without Charge. They are available to be pinned on the Backs of the Unsuspecting, and all are invited to practice their Marksmanship.

The latest Case is that of Professor Michael Mason, of Queen’s University, who found himself banned from his own Classroom. In a Discussion of Racism, he used some Words which it is the Fashion to consider unutterable. (National Post, November 3) These Words, taken out of their Context, were used as a Tool of Complaint, and Professor Mason found that his Classes were cancelled.

While it seems reasonable to attach legal Penalty to Words in cases of Libel, or where Utterances involve public Disturbance or dangerous Mischief – the famous Example being that of falsely calling "Fire" in a crowded Theatre – the Attempt to censor is fraught with a Danger which has long been known.

Yet we persist in our Error, find Comfort in the ancient Stigma, the primitive Magic of the Taboo. And the Taboo becomes the Arrow, unleashed at our Enemy, the Tip of Poison dipped into the Draught of our Discourse.


November 3, 2012

We are oft given to reflect how subject we are to the Vagaries of Fortune, how being in the wrong Place at the Wrong Time doth lead to unfortunate Result, while being alternatively placed can leave us unscathed, or the Beneficiary of some Blessing of the Gods.

Consider the Circumstance of Twelve-Year-Old Kendra St. Clair, who found herself at Home and alone, when an Intruder broke in through a Back Door. She telephoned her Mother, who advised her to obtain the Family Firearm and hide in a Closet. When the Intruder approached the Closet, Kendra fired through the Door, wounding the Man in the Shoulder.

The Intruder decided that there were other Places he would prefer to be, and left the Premises. He was later discovered and charged with first-degree Burglary. It would appear that Kendra has been allowed to continue with her regular Activities.

This Incident occurred in Oklahoma. Consider how differently Matters would have unfolded had Kendra had the Fortune to live a few Hundred Kilometres to the North, in Canada.

The mind boggles to consider the Charges she would face. She was most certainly in Possession of a Firearm while under the appropriate Age. Doubtless she would be unable to produce a satisfactory License for the Weapon, and there is a high Possibility that both the Device and the Bullets used were stored inappropriately. She would be charged with interfering with a Burglar, Wounding, and possibly attempted Murder. And, perhaps most importantly of all, she would be charged with failing to allow caring and dedicated Law Enforcement Professionals to rescue her according to the Provisions of their Time Schedule Allotments. Her Mother, of course, would be charged as Accessory to all her Crimes.

The Intruder would be asked to testify against her, thus enabling him to have his Sentence reduced from Five Hours of Community Service to a One Hour Intensive Counselling Session.


We cannot entirely account for the Differences in these Jurisdictions. In the End, it is perhaps our superior Cultural Perceptions that put us so far ahead of our unfortunate Neighbours to the South.

It is, of course, considered extremely Bad Taste to defend oneself against criminal Attack in our Country. Attackers are, after all, simply valued human Beings who have made a temporary Error, encountered a minor Misstep in their Path of Innate Goodness. Those who attempt to defend themselves run the Risk of causing Injury – either to themselves or their Attackers. It is best to let Attackers proceed undeterred.

Occasionally, of course, the Attacked may be wounded or, in very rare cases, killed. In the final Cost/ Benefit Analysis, it is better that the so-called "Victim" be killed than the Attacker. If the Attacker survives, he can be saved by dedicated caring Professionals who devote their Lives to putting those in temporary Error back on their path of innate Goodness. If the "Victim" survives – the dedicated caring Professionals are left at loose Ends, playing Cribbage and ordering Pizza, or looking disconsolately out the Window.

Beyond the Consideration of bad Taste, ours is a Country which prides itself on Organizational and Jurisdictional Integrity. All Disputes are best left to the unionized dedicated Professionals whose Mandate it is to keep the Peace, according to the Time they have available. When "Victims" take matters into their own Hands, Messiness and Lack of Professionalism are bound to be the Result – and that makes Everybody look really bad.

We would like to take this Opportunity to extend our Condolences to Kendra. It is a great Pity that she has not encountered, nor is likely to encounter, the great Advantages of our superior Culture to the North.



November 2, 2010

Halloween Reflections

..moral disapproval is a muscle we are always anxious to flex... (Robert Fulford, National Post, August 24, 2010.)

Mrs. Grundy was a Character in a Play by Thomas Morton, called Speed the Plough, published in 1798. She never appeared onstage, but was referred to as a Neighbour who exemplified Respectability.

It is indeed wonderful to think that she has survived, lo, these many Years and lives on in the Hearts and Minds of careful Citizens everywhere, particularly in Canada, where much Consideration is given to the Niceties of Correctness in Ways of Thinking.

A recent Example of her Longevity is shown by Educators at Saginaw School in Cambridge who decided to place a Ban on the Custom of wearing Halloween Costumes to School.

We confess that such was not the Custom in our Day, and we do not see what the Frivolity of Halloween has to do with Studies of an academic Nature. Indeed, if the Reason for the Ban was that the Wearing of Costumes was a Distraction from Learning the Eight Times Table, or a close Reading and Analysis of Heart of Darkness, we would heartily applaud.

However, the Action appears to be a Masterstroke of Grundyism, pure and simple.

Halloween, now officially designated as Black and Orange Spirit Day, is thought to offend against the God of Multiculturalism, whose Decrees are sacrosanct, and form the Basis of all true Morality. What if some, who know nothing of our Customs, should become offended? Even worse, they might be puzzled, mystified, or curious. Wracked with such unstable Emotions, who knows what Upheavals these unfortunate Victims might set into Motion?

These Concerns are not limited to the Arbiters of the Good and Holy in Cambridge.



Charles Adler, in The Sun, lists the Objections of the Toronto and District School Board to the Day whose Name should not be uttered:

1. Halloween is offensive to Wiccans

2. Halloween peer and social pressure marginalizes some children

3. Halloween imagery is at odds with some religious practices

4. Halloween food products can conflict with family diets

5. Halloween symbols of violence can inflict trauma on children

6. Students new to Canada have no cultural knowledge of trick_or_treating

Can this be anything but a kind of One-Upmanship in the Game of Moral Superiority? Exquisite Sensitivity to the Feelings – real or imagined – of others – must trump all. Our Custom must defer to the Perceptions of those who know them not. We, who are willing to abase ourselves without Limit, may cherish, at least, the elevated Plane of Moral Superiority on which we are ensconced, and from which we may regard with disapproving Sniffs, the Others, those deplorable coarser Souls, and the meaner, more selfish Streets which they do so regrettably inhabit.

Mrs. Grundy is alive, well, and living in Cambridge.


P.S.: 1. Apparently an Outrage of coarse and insensitive Parents managed to get the Ban reversed.

2. Why do people insist on saying "Holloween" instead of "Halloween?" We consider this to be one of the great enduring Mysteries of our Age.



November 1, 2012

Orthodoxy is my doxy; heterodoxy is another man's doxy. (Bishop William Warburton, 1698 - 1779)

We are not surprised to learn that the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has declared that the State of Free Speech at Canadian Universities is "abysmal." The failure is found both in University Administrations and Unions of Students. (National Post, November 1)

Examples of the stifling of Freedom of Speech range from a Refusal to allow Pro-Life Clubs and Posters on the Campus, to cancelling Speaking Engagements on Matters of Controversy.

We confess that we had assumed Universities were Places where Freedom of Inquiry was sacrosanct, but George Jonas, in the same Edition of the National Post, points out that this is not the Case, noting that:

The origin of schools and scholars is ecclesiastical, not liberal, and bookish monks were looking for heresy, rather than the truth. Theologians thought of truth as being in their possession already, very much like climate activists today. Their quest wasn’t to find truth but to eradicate falsehood.

He continues:

Universities are more fashion conscious than Women’s Wear Daily. Academics go sashaying and flouncing like so many models on a catwalk in their ivory towers as they display the latest whim of the great designer, Intellectual Currency.

Indeed, we may reflect more generally that Orthodoxy has a powerful Attraction to Humankind. It is of great Comfort to know that one is part of a Group, and Groupthink is one Means to that End. We would be remiss were we not to remark that there is considerable Delight – not often admitted – in disparaging unconventional Opinions and in persecuting those who hold them.

 The Novel, 1984,  gains its Power not from the Fantasy of a futuristic Oceania, but from the Reality of its Depiction of Human Nature.

Now it is true that Life cannot be lived on a practical Basis without some Core Values or Notions by which Experience is to be measured and assessed. But Fancy, Fad and Fashion are not to be denied their powerful Place.

The current Fashion is to espouse idealistic Notions which cannot be supported by Reality. Thus it is conceived that a harmonious Society, in which none will be offended, can be achieved; Multiculturalism, which assumes that all Cultures are equal, becomes a non-negotiable Matter for Moral Superiority and Self-congratulation; Equality of Result trumps the old-fashioned Notion of Equality of Opportunity; Health Care can be provided equally for all by Means of astute and careful Central Planning; the Earth must be "saved" from the Ravages of an industrial Society so that its pristine and unchanging Golden Age may be reprised.

All these wonderful Ideals, of course, require significant Oppression and sometimes Draconian Measures. Freedom of Thought and Speech must not be allowed to hinder the Attainment of Nirvana.

These Ideals, of course, are typical of what we term "Left-Wing Thinking."

Indeed, in the very the same Issue of the Post, Lorne Gunter notes:

Liberals and leftists are far and away the most intolerant people in public debate... When it comes to free speech, most liberals find it an easy virtue to trumpet – until it is put to the test. Then they most often fold like a cheap shirt.

Or Skirt.

Beware of Doxies too contrived in their Appeal, rosy in Lure of Lipstick, wafting in cheap Perfume. Their Price is often paid in unexpected Withdrawals of Common Sense, and the Golden Coin of unfettered Speech.


October 30, 2012

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion. (Edmund Burke, 1729-1797)

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. (Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790)

All that glisters is not gold:
Let caution reign where freedom’s sold.
                                     (Observation #  196; Shakespeare and Dr. Idel Dreimer)


We note that Dr. Karen Dockrill, a Physician in Whitby, has decided to move to Buffalo. Dr. Dockrill had operated a "Mom and Baby Depot" in which services not provided under the Health Care System were supplied for a monetary Compensation. (National Post, October 29)

In any ordinary free Society, in which willing Buyers and Sellers are able to transact Business without government Interference, this would be of no great Significance. But because Canada is not a free Society, but one which has decreed that all Health Care should be provided only by the Government, Dr. Dockrill’s Actions have led to her Prosecution by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Dockrill was forbidden to practise for a Month, and was required to attend a Course in Ethics.

Her mounting legal Costs, and the Prospect of continued Harassment by the College, has led her to make a Settlement with her Oppressors, and move to a Location where free Enterprise is generally more highly regarded.

The Bargain that the Canadian People have struck is one that is superficially attractive: The Government will provide equal Access to Health Care from funds provided by the Taxpayer.

Like all socialist Schemes, which attempt to improve upon the free Market, the Contrived central Plan can never replicate the Advantages of the Marketplace. The equal Treatment supposedly provided is a Myth. Just as with Communism, "some animals are more equal than others."* Saskatchewan Roughriders, those involved in the Health Care System, those who are widely known, or those who know somebody -- will always receive better or more timely care, on Average, than the rest of us.

Beyond that, the Patient is transformed from Customer to Supplicant, nose pressed and snubbed against the window Pane, hoping to be vouchsafed whatever the System may deign to provide. In this instance indeed, Man is a "piano key,"** to be played to create whatever Harmony or Cacophony the Whim of Government is pleased to require.

Those who would stray from the Plan, like Dr. Dockrill, must be sent to the Gulag of Penance and Re-Education.

We would point out that the Streak of Socialism in Canada is not confined to Healthcare. Landlords are similarly compelled to further Government Policy by means of Restrictions which interfere with ordinary Transactions of the Marketplace.

All such Bargains with the Government come with Costs which are hidden: the Glitter of Security is bought with the dear Coin of Freedom.


*George Orwell, Animal Farm

**Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground



October 27, 2012


We have been alarmed by the News that the Attack on Benghazi was known to be a deliberate Act of Terror, and yet has been passed off, for Reasons of Politicks, as related to a Demonstration of Outrage over the Film, Innocence of Muslims.

Should this become generally known, we suspect it would not bode well for Mr, Obama’s Re-Election. However he may be in no Danger.

We observed a Reporter asking Questions at a Rally of Obama Supporters about the Events in Benghazi. To our Recollection, only one of them was aware of the Attack on the Embassy. This undoubtedly shows the Advantage of gaining political Support through Appearances on Television.

Appearance and Illusion oft have the Power to smooth over sub-optimal Bumps on political Roads.

We have written on The Sub-optimal President in the Drivel Section. (October 27, 2012)


October 26, 2012

The weather being exceptionally fine, and the Geezermobile approaching its 25th Birthday, we thought to obtain its Favour and Gratitude with a final Washing for the Season. That being completed, it seemed appropriate that a coat of Polish be applied to protect its Finish against the Rigours of Winter Weather.

It might be discerned by the astute Reader, that we harbour a considerable Fondness for the aging Geezermobile. It provides a comfortable Ride with many of the Amenities expected in a modern Vehicle. It was purchased about Five Years ago for $2,500 – which is a Sum we feel appropriate for vehicular Transportation. To spend less than that Amount would invite the Danger of inferior Service; to spend more suggests a Reckless Disregard for the Principles of Frugality, a reprehensible Flaunting of Wealth, a pitiful Desire for Attention, a needy bolstering of Self-Esteem, or some Combination of all of these.

But not the least of the Geezermobile’s Attributes is its Stance: unlike the vast Majority of Vehicles of more recent Vintage, its Lines maintain a parallel Relationship with the Ground. It has an even, level-headed Look about it; it fears not; its Eyes are not fixed upon the Ground ahead, as if on a Mission of Suicide; it is not hunched; it scuttleth not. Indeed, it regards the Road ahead with the confident Serenity, the majestic Assurance of undeniable Worth.

We have attempted to determine, with the Services of Google, the approximate Date of the Decline of Automobile Design represented by the "Wedge" or "Dart" Shape with a sloping Line suggesting Instability, a suicidal Angling towards the Ground. Alas, our Searches have revealed Nothing. It is as if we are the only Driver on the Planet who has been appalled by the Perversity of recent Automobile Design.

We suspect, however, that the Decline began around the turn of the Century.

Nothing will convince us that the Perversity of Design is unrelated to the Temper of the Age. Like a disordered Pulse, bad Automobile Design betokens a Disharmony and Weakness in the Society in which it is found.

Consider the twenty-first Century thus far. The Stock Market "Dot-com" Bubble collapsed. Attacks by militant Islamists brought down the Trade Towers in New York. Banks were encouraged to lend Money to those who could not repay it, leading to a Collapse of the Economy. The Purveyors of Fear, the Climate Change Alarmists, captured the perverse Imagination of Millions, all the while seeking to destroy the Industrial Civilization which has brought more comfortable Lives for the Masses.


Political Correctness has triumphed Common Sense. Affirmative Action is the Norm in Government Hiring. Free Speech has been under Attack with the Rise of Human Rights Commissions, and – as an extension of the 1989 Rushdie Fatwa, there have been Riots and Murders by religious Fanatics claiming to be offended by Cartoons. Wars have been fought to help those who do not wished to be helped. The Arab Spring has turned into a theocratic Winter. Mr. Obama, who seems anxious to undercut American Values, was elected with Enthusiasm. Voters in Ontario consistently returned Mr. McGuinty to Office, even as he systematically set about destroying the Province. Telephone Bills and Taxes have risen, and the Tipping Rate has been pushed from 10% to 15%.

Is this Litany of Perversity unconnected to the Inferior Design of Automobiles?

We think not.

However, we are pleased to announce that Hope may be on the Horizon. In today’s National Post, is pictured, as one of the best of the Automobiles of 2013, an Audi A7. The Design Line just under the Windows appears to be quite Straight, possibly even tapering down towards the Rear of the Vehicle. True, there is an angled Line on the Body between the Wheels, but it is insufficient to counter the Impression of Confidence and Stability.

The Commentary by Graeme Fletcher reads thus:

The "couped" sedan has perfect proportions and an eye-catching style that shouts sophistication.

We would argue that it is not a Matter of "proportions" or "eye-catching style" that is so agreeable; it is simply that the Design has returned to the Realm of Common Sense: the Vehicle appears to be in a parallel relationship with the Ground on which it rests.

With this Symbol of a disordered Pulse returning to Regularity, perhaps we may look forward to the Reversal of some other, larger Perversities in our unhappy Planet.

Until that Time -- and until there appears to be a consistent Recovery in Automobile Design -- the Geezermobile will remain in the Driveway -- a comforting Reminder of a saner, more confident Era. (We also have some Concerns about the Efficacy of our preferred Amount of Expenditure -- $2,500 -- in the Purchase of a Replacement.)


October 24, 2012

We should reflect that the Health Care System provides a Slope by which other Liberty may slip from our Grasp. If the Government pays for Care, is it not justified in dictating how our Lives should be lived? Why should not Smokers, or Gluttons, or those who refuse to exercise not suffer some Penalty? (Diary, October 15, 2012)

We seem to have acquired the gift of Prophecy, for we see in today’s National Post the News that the Ontario Medical Association is calling for a Government Intervention to require Warning Labels to be placed on Packaging for those Foods which the Association considers to be unhealthy.

Doug Weir, the association’s president, said it was time to stop ‘tip-toeing’ around the risks associated with certain foods. (National Post, October 24)

The following is a Sample of the Warning which might be placed on a Box containing Pizza:

Excess consumption of this product contributes to obesity and resulting* Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

True, this Recommendation does fall somewhat short of direct Penalty for Consumers, although it does involve Penalty for those who produce the Foods in Question, and increased Costs. It is, of course, yet another Intrusion of Government which sees itself as tasked with the Role of Scolding Nanny.


The Evolutionist in us would suggest that harmful Foods and Drugs should be made freely available, so that those who are unwise suffer an early Demise, and fail to pass on their unhealthy Propensities either genetically or by unfortunate Example to their Offspring. Of course, in such a harsh Dystopia, there would be no publicly funded System of Health Care.

We should note that following such Recommendation puts the Government in the Situation of making official Judgement on certain Foods, and assumes that medical Knowledge is sacrosanct. It is true that Government is responsible for such Judgement in many Matters – such as Education Curriculum, or Use of deleterious Drugs. While accepting the Necessity of Government Decree in some Matters, we have some Trepidation about the Extension of Opinion declared to be Government Policy.

We note the Comments of a Critic, Bret Skinner, of the Canadian Health Policy Institute:

I suspect that obesity affects a very small percentage of people who consume less-healthy kinds of foods. And that the vast majority of people who eat those kinds of foods are not obese.

Indeed, this whole Discussion has made us more than peckish. Fortunately, we have the Number of the Local Pizza Emporium on Speed Dial.


*Note that the Use of the Term resulting instead of potential somewhat overstates the Case.

October 23, 2012

We feel indeed blessed to be living in an Era so advanced as our own. Indeed, we have every Expectation that Nirvana or Shangri-la – whichever Murphy decides – will soon be achieved.

Each Day upon arising, we say a little Prayer for our Health Care System, which doles out its Services according to the inspired Workings of its unhurried interior Clock, and to Mr. McGuinty for his innovative Green Energy Programs and astute Management of the Ontario Economy. Nor do we omit special Mention of the blessed Suzuki, who has drawn our Attention to the urgent Need to return to Living in Caves, a Practice so thoughtlessly and needlessly abandoned by our Ancestors so many Years ago.

But Chief amongst our Expression of Gratitude, is to those Forces which would create a Utopian Circumstance in which none will ever be offended.

In this Matter, we note that the United Nations seeks to encourage Laws against Blasphemy, similar to those which operate to such beneficent Effect in Pakistan. We are pleased that President Obama and his Administration -- somewhat hobbled by a retrograde Tradition of Freedom of Speech in his Country -- have been at great Pains to excoriate the reprehensible Film Innocence of Muslims. We also note the Successes in Britain where, according to The Discourse Institute, Citizens are jailed every Week for offensive Speech. While our own Human Rights Commissions have been possibly less successful in the Jailing of Offenders, we take great Comfort in their Efforts, and are pleased that they understand the Importance of a Society in which none may be offended.

We can see no greater Contribution than we can make to our Progress towards Nirvana -- or possibly Shangri-la -- than to bring to the Attention of Authorities egregious Examples of offensive Speech which we encounter in our own small Sphere of social Interaction.

To this End, we have purchased a small Voice Recorder, which is activated by every Conversation. Not only does this Device enable us to provide Evidence of Infractions, but it serves as a wonderful Protection should any false Claims be made against us. It would seem prudent that every Citizen in the New Age of Inoffensiveness be similarly equipped.

To our Delight, the Device has already shown its Effectiveness.

Just Yesterday, the Weather being unseasonably warm, we commented to our Neighbour, who was raking Leaves, that the Weather Gods seemed to be smiling upon us.

"Yes," she replied, It’s I-d- an Summer."

Gentle Reader – you may imagine the Shock that permeated our System! It began to the right of the Omphala, and proceeded in Waves of increasing Intensity towards the Aorta just above the left Ventricle. It was stopped, we suspect, only because of our beneficial Regimen of therapeutic Vitamins and daily Ingestions of Pomegranate Juice.

I-d-an Summer! Was it not just last Year that Kevin O’Leary was publicly and rightly denounced for using a similar Term!

"The CBC’s Ombudsman has blasted businessman and commentator Kevin O’Leary for using the term ‘Indian giver’ on his CBC News Network show, denouncing the term as ‘unambiguously offensive.’" (National Post, March 8, 2011.)

For consider – what is the summer-like Weather which appears in October but a false and misleading Promise, which, from Times immemorial, has been followed by the sombre Chill of November, and the wintry Blasts of December?

To call a Period of such deceptive Guile, of such treacherous Aspect, "Indian" is an egregious Insult to all the First Nations Citizens throughout our great Land!

We hope that our Actions will meet with general Approbation. We have, in our Concern for the Hastening of the new Age of Inoffensiveness, the Brave New World of Freedom from Insult, sent our Complaint – along with Copies of the Recording – to the Political Correctness Enforcement Agency, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Homo Sapiens, and the Chief Pooh-Bah of the Human Rights Commissions.

We have every Hope that Prosecution will occur shortly.

We do have some minor regrets.

Mrs. Watkins was a pleasant Neighbour, and we will miss our occasional Conversations.

We should also note a rather unfortunate Circumstance -- it would seem undeniably prudent to place Shieldings of protective Plywood over the Windows facing our Neighbour’s Property. Mrs. Watkins has a number of hurlable Rocks in her Garden, and is reputed, in her Youth, to have excelled at the Throwing of the Javelin.

But Nirvana -- or Shangri-la -- whichever Murphy decides -- must be paramount in our Concerns; no one ever said the Path to the Utopia of Inoffensiveness would be without Sacrifice.


(See also The Valley of Hythlos Another Cautionary Tale, Drivel, March 9, 2011)


October 22, 2012

Just as things were going so well, and we had confident Expectation of discovering Shangri-la around the next Bend in the Road, we have encountered a significant Setback.

From this Day’s National Post we have learned that Jack Hallam, described as an "84-year-old retired Zoologist" and "gay atheist," is leaving $700 for Omar Khadr in his Will.

We have noted in the Past the Necessity of Illusion, with an unspoken Assumption that we ourselves were able to view the World with an unusual Clarity. But we confess that we had always thought that Atheists, being able to see through the false Claims of Religion, had a certain healthy Skepticism in all other Matters as well.


This is obviously not the Case

While our World has not been shattered, it has suffered a serious Dint. The Fact that a fellow Atheist has fallen for the Omar Khadr-as-Child-Soldier Myth reveals  the Susceptibility to Illusion among Atheists, and hence, because of our former Belief in the general Skepticism of Atheists, horrifyingly, in Ourselves. 

We can only hope that our recently published Table: Everything worth Thinking About (See the Drivel Section) will go some little Distance to restore the esteemed Position of Atheists in the Consciousness of the thinking Publick.

The Re-burnishing of our own Self-Image may not be so easily accomplished. We hope we will be able to avoid turning to Drink.


October 21, 2012

This morning, we encountered a Mote in the Eye, which led to a sudden Vision. As the Eye responded to expel the Mote we grasped immediately the central Dichotomy of Thought which affects Mankind, and assures that those planning to board the Flight to Utopia should not pack their Toothbrushes just yet.

We have elaborated this Matter with a handy Table which shows Everything Worth Thinking About. The Table may be downloaded, printed, folded, and carried in Purse or Wallet for immediate Reference. It may also be glued to the Door of a Refrigerator.

This wonderful Depiction may be found in the Drivel Section

Donations in Gratitude for our profound Insights will be graciously received. Bills, Cheques, and Gold and Silver Coins may be mailed -- promptly if possible -- to the Lumpenbangen Studios in Hamilton.


October 20, 2012

We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.   (John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873. On Liberty)

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (Attr. Voltaire 1694 -1778)

We are pleased to see that Mr. Stephen Boissoin has won his Case at the Alberta Court of Appeal. (National Post, October 20.) Mr. Boissoin had written a letter in 2002 to the Red Deer Advocate excoriating the Wickedness of Homosexuality. A complaint was made to the Human Rights Commission which ordered a Payment of $5000 to the Complainant, Darren Lund, and Mr. Boissoin was ordered to cease all Commentary on his chosen Issue.

Subsequently, Mr. Boissoin won an Appeal in the Alberta Court System, but the Ruling was appealed by Mr Lund to the Alberta Court of Appeal. Mr. Justice Clinton O’Brien, of that Court stated:

                       Freedom of speech does not just protect polite speech.

This is a hopeful Sign in an Era where the Concept of Freedom of Speech is under unprecedented Attack. The List of Examples is long – of which a Number come instantly to Mind.

Universities in Canada seem routinely to ban Speakers because their Messages are unwelcome. Christy Blatchford was prevented from speaking at the University of Waterloo about her book Helpless, which deals with the disgraceful Government Failure to uphold the Law in Caledonia.

Terry Jones was recently prevented from entering Canada – under Circumstance that look politically contrived, to debate the Resolution: Islam is not compatible with Western Society.

In Britain, it is now apparently a common Occurrence for Citizens to be jailed for offensive Speech.(discourseinstitute.org)

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have taken great Pains to excoriate Innocence of Muslims, with Mr. Obama stating:



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

Should not, perhaps -- but must not suggests that Freedom of Speech is a Tradition that the Government is stuck with, but would repeal if it could.

Indeed it is our Understanding that the United Nations, at the Instigation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, is considering an "anti-Blasphemy" Resolution – which has been given support by the Fact that the United States – on December 19, 2011 – voted for a resolution against "religious intolerance." (Newsbusters)

One may argue that the Motives for the Suppression of Free Speech are admirable. We seek only a World of Harmony where none be offended, where none may endure the Pain and Hurt of Insult.

But those Idealists forget one of the most powerful of Natural Laws: The Law of Unintended Consequences.

Laws against Blasphemy and Offensiveness not only inhibit the Freedom to express Opinion, they become Tools for Revenge and Oppression, and the Advancement of personal Agendas. Hence they create a Climate of Fear inimical to the Operation of a Free Society.

We recall the Claim – not yet proven – that Rimsha Masih, a fourteen-year-old Pakistani Girl was charged with Blasphemy in August for a Crime – that of burning Pages of a Koran --manufactured by a Cleric.

So often, Motives which appear admirable fail to take Account of the Reality of Human Nature, and Laws representing noble Aims result in greater Distress than they alleviate. Such is the Case in Canada with Human Rights Commissions and Legislation against Hate Speech.

While we think Mr. Boissoin is a foolish Man who has surrendered his Reason to Religion, yet he should be allowed to spout his Nonsense.

Our Observation# 194:  The pursuit of an impossible perfection can provide only a cure worse than the disease; the noble end is seen to justify all those reprehensible means needed to achieve it, but the final result is a degradation, not an improvement in circumstance.  


October 19, 2012

Ostrich Feathers

We have learned that there is a Petition presented to Parliament asking that Omar Khadr be charged with Treason. The unarmed Medical Officer whom he killed was from a Compound which Mr. Khadr must have clearly seen was marked with both American and Canadian Flags. Indeed, it is our understanding that a Charge of Treason would be justified on the Grounds that a Citizen has taken up arms against a Nation allied to Canada in a Conflict.

Despite the Logic of this Request, we doubt that it will have Success.

We have sipped too long at the Cup of the Ideal: our Understandings have been distorted, our Perceptions altered by the dark Vapours of the inebriating Brew whose Potency overcomes our own.

Under that malign Influence, Evil is a Chimera, an illusionary misty Wafting, an inconsequential Apparition lingering from our unenlightened Past. The New Philosophy maintains that People are born noble, and that all Cultures are equal. Thus Mr. Khadr’s Actions may be viewed as an aberrational youthful Indiscretion bearing no Relation to a committed Rejection of the cultural Values we pretend to uphold. Many Canadians – especially many in the Media --see Mr. Khadr as a slightly errant Sheep to be welcomed to the Fold, and compensated for the unfortunate Consequence of his Adventures.

It is the Myth that Ostriches deal with Danger by burying their Heads in the Sand. From this Myth is derived much Commentary on modern Thinking.

Let us note, for Example, that Mr. Obama offered a "new beginning" and "mutual respect" to Muslims in his Speech in Cairo in 2009 followed by conciliatory Gestures. More recently he has attempted to classify the recent murderous Attack on the Libyan Embassy in Benghazi as a By-product of Protest against The Innocence of Muslims -- not as a Battle in an ongoing Clash of Cultures. Further, in his Speech at the United Nations, he qualified his defence of Free Speech with what seemed a Contradiction: the Future should not belong to those who slander the Prophet. Why not? What special Dispensation for Islam should be made so that Mockery – the Guardian of Reason* – should be so restrained?

The Trouble with "Mutual Respect" is that it cannot be achieved by one Element of the Mutuality.

In refreshing Contrast, we might note some of the Comments by Salim Mansur, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario, in describing the Attack in Benghazi:

The Arab-Muslim world deserves to be isolated and contained, as was the former Soviet Union. An Iron Curtain, in Winston Churchill’s memorable words, should descend separating the West and its allies from the Arab-Muslim world until the latter has exhausted itself of its own demons.

The situation America, and by its default the West, finds itself in relation to the Arab-Muslim world is to a large extent, ironically, the result of its own guilt-ridden attitude and political correctness. This state of mind, or multiculturalism, gravely inhibits a realistic assessment of 9/11 and what has followed.

The explanation on offer that this new wave of Muslim rage was ignited by a crudely amateurish docu-drama about Islam’s prophet, and the individual responsible must be severely punished, is pathetic in describing a guilt-ridden West seeking to placate the Arab-Muslim world.

Islamists are at war, and the West needs to respond accordingly.

(Sun News, September 14, 2012
Islamist jihad against West rages.)

Is not Mr. Khadr a symbol of the Demons to which Mr. Masur refers -- Demons which intoxicated Idealists see only as shadows either unsubstantial, or unreal?

It is our View that Mr. Khadr, although undoubtedly the Victim of his jihadist Upbringing, cannot be excused on that Account. There has been no Sign of Repentance, or Rejection of the Antipathy of Islamist Culture towards our own. A Dog, rabid through no Fault of its own, yet cannot be welcomed to its former Place by the Hearth.

Unfortunately, the Fashion of the Age is such that all Hats are multicultural, and Ostrich Feathers the Adornment most prominent, and most prized.

*Observation #47


October 18, 2012

We confess to being in a State of pleasantly anxious Mystification.

Our largest Stockholding, Dynacor Mines, has risen from Eighty-five Cents on Monday to a Dollar and Thirteen Cents yesterday. In Addition to the Rise in Price, the Volume of Trading has increased significantly. There are few Shares outstanding, and it is not unusual to see only a few Thousand exchanged each Day. But in each of the past few Days, the Volume has exceeded a Hundred Thousand.

Yet no News has been announced, and we are left with the usual Complaint: Somebody – or a select Group of People – knows Something that we do not. In spite of the gratifying Increase in our Wealth, we still feel the Sting of Ostracism – we have been left out – we are not Part of the Cognoscenti – our nose is pressed, cold and snubbed, against a Windowpane frosted over and frustratingly obscured.

There is always the Sense that the Shareholders in a Company are the last to be informed of Matters affecting its Operation.

We confess that we have sold some Shares in recent Weeks, as our Holdings in Dynacor are excessive, and have come to represent too large a Portion of our tiny Store of Wealth. Some of the Funds have been deployed into Balmoral Resources, which is encountering high grade Gold in the Land adjacent to that held by Detour Gold Corporation.


Unlike Dynacor, Balmoral Resources has no Income and is entirely a Speculation on Exploration Results. Our Trepidation is considerable, but we have had Occasion to consult the Great God Murphy with respect to our Expenditure. We are relieved that He has given His Approval -- only with His usual Caveat: more often than not, Things will go wrong.

The remaining Funds we have deployed to the Improvement of our Diet. We have been able, on some Days to replace the wilted Vegetables, bruised Fruit and remaindered Bread from the Desperation Tray at the Supermarket, with Foodstuff from the regular Shelves.

While we expect Dynacor to reach $3.00 in our Lifetime, we nurture the somewhat crazed Notion that Balmoral will attain that Price somewhat sooner, and with the Proceeds we may be able to treat the Serviceable Six to an unaccustomed Spa Experience at the local Car Wash.

We admit that our Dreams are bold, and are possibly best left unexpressed. Murphy has been known, on occasion, to be unreliable, and even vindictive. We are considering a small Animal Sacrifice – possibly a Mouse – to keep Him in a Mood benign, if not unreservedly jolly.



October 17, 2012

We are pleased to see, after our tentative and hesitant Description of Mr. Mcguinty yesterday as a "pitiful pit of Pusillanimity deep in a morass of moral Vacuity" that some in the main Press have begun to voice their Criticism.

Michael den Tandt, writing in the National Post refers to the Suggestion that Mr. McGuinty run for the Federal Liberal Party:

They have got to be on some kind of drug; legalization of the weed, gone a step too far. Dalton McGuinty? Really? They may as well drive bamboo shoots under their fingernails and poke sharpened sticks in their eyes.

And Jonathan Kay, in the same Newspaper, sees the Cancellation of Gas Plants for political Ends and the failure to uphold the Law in Caledonia as "Disgraces" rather than mere "Scandals."

Referring to the Events in Caledonia, he says:


 I have never seen a Canadian politician, or indeed any leader in any OECD nation, so utterly impotent in the face of a clear and ongoing threat to the state’s monopoly on the use of force.

We have long considered Mr. McGuinty to be the most incompetent Premier imaginable. He has been re-elected, we suspect, only because of the extraordinary Failures of those opposing him.

In his Campaign of 2007, Mr. Tory made the insane Suggestion that the Province fund more religious schools, opening up the cheerful Prospect of a Druidical High or School of Scientology. In the most recent Campaign, Mr. Hudak, with an unaccountable display of Gormlessness, failed to make Powerful Criticisms of Mr. McGuinty’s obvious Failures.

We would be intrigued to see Mr. McGuinty run for the Federal Liberal Party, particularly against Mr. Trudeau. It would be a delightful Contest between Moral Vacuity and Platitudinous Plenitude. The Victory of either would be a Tribute to the Folly of the Desperate and Forsaken.


October 16, 2012

Even in a Desert most parched, some Rain must one day fall, and in the Aridity of Gloomy News, an occasional happy Droplet, borne on a Ray of Sunlight, may be espied.

Such is the Case with the News that Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario, has resigned.

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.

Instead of upholding the Law in Caledonia, Mr. McGuinty threw Principle to the Winds. When challenged by the Victims of the Natives, he bought them off with Taxpayer Money.

Indeed, other Peoples’ Money is a Resource both helpful and soothing – a Path to Aggrandisement, and a Facade for Machinery beset by Failure of Function. How useful to fund grand but impractical Schemes for Green Power, and to lubricate, for a Time the grinding, misshapen Gears of Health Records and Ambulance Services.


In the End, it would appear, the Scandals became too oppressive. The Cancellation of Gas Plants, finally admitted to be driven by Politics, not Policy, appeared to be the Occasion of the often fatal Process of "Covering-up."

In a Situation in which the Taxpayers’ Money provided no Solution, Mr. McGuinty simply gathered his Vacuity into an Emptiness, and ran.


P.S.: We must apologize for what many may consider an excessive Politeness, a delicate Hesitancy, and an unseemly Timidity of Expression in the Commentary above; it is our Nature to be less forthright in the Delineation of our Opinion than the Occasion doth often require. We hope to think further on this Matter in the Anticipation that we may be emboldened -- perhaps in a Day or so -- to give our plain, unvarnished Opinion of Mr. McGuinty and his Politics.

In the Meantime, we should note that Mr. McGuinty has made yet another Appearance on Limerick Lane.


October 15, 2012

We happened, the other Day, upon a Quotation from Benjamin Franklin:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

We were given to reflect that the Direction of modern Western Society is most definitely to give up Liberty in order to obtain Security. Of course, the Security is not considered temporary, but permanent, and above all, unambiguously beneficial.

The most perfect Example of this is our Canadian Universal Health care System. The Government offers us the Security of Care at no apparent Cost, but requires us to give up the Liberty of choosing to go elsewhere – unless we are wealthy enough to leave the Country, and buy in the Marketplace of the World. It restricts the Supply of Doctors, and Services, and puts the Patient as Supplicant, rather than Customer.

We would be interested to see the Effect if the Government decided to monopolize the Manufacture of Automobiles, and control the Supply of Mechanics, with the Promise that Costs of Transportation would be dramatically reduced.

Edmund Burke once said:

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

We should reflect that the Health Care System provides a Slope by which other Liberty may slip from our Grasp. If the Government pays for Care, is it not justified in dictating how our Lives should be lived? Why should not Smokers, or Gluttons, or those who refuse to exercise not suffer some Penalty?

In general, it may be said that as the Role of Government increases, so Liberty declines.*



Government is not entirely bad, but we speculate about the Point at which Initiative withers and dies, and the whole Enterprise is, ironically, placed at Risk.

We have studied no History, so we are not sure how Civilizations decline. It is probably either from an External Shock – like being run over by a Bus – or Decay from within – like the Frailty of Age – or some Mixture of the Two. With sufficient Frailty, the Nudge of a Bus becomes fatal.

The Success of the United States, we like to think, arose from the Energy and Sense of Liberty of Youth. Benjamin Franklin’s Statement seems to suggest as much. In contrast, Mr. Obama favours big Government, a sense of Collectivism, and conveys the Impression that he would not be unhappy with Legislation against Blasphemy.**

A recent Program called The Secret Life of Chaos suggests that Evolution works by trying things out – Experimentation to find out what works and what does not. It is a competitive Sort of Free Enterprise.

Competition is unpleasant, because there Those who win, and Those who lose. Most of us prefer Security to the Risk of Loss.

But that very Fact may leave us vulnerable to the Nudge of a Bus.

*Observation # 192

**Cf. Thomas Jefferson: It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. (See also Diary, September 26, 2012.)

(See also The Savannah and the Hive, Drivel, August 18, 2012.)


October 14, 2012

Doubtless this Day there are many weighty Topicks calling out for our definitive and irrefutable Opinion.

However, we suspect that the World – which has shown absolutely no Interest in our Opinions so far – will manage to do without our sober and judicious Commentary on  weighty Topicks on this Occasion.


Instead, we have turned our Attention to the Production of a hypothetical Limerick – that is to say – a Limerick based on the Possibility that Mr. Obama will not be re-elected in November.

Please consult Limerick Lane for the Result.


October 13, 2012

The ideal is the enemy of the possible. (Observation #91)

It is best that idealism be firmly yoked with impotence, for there are few men more dangerous than the idealist with power. What oppressions have been levied, what destructions have been wrought, what profound evils have been committed by those who would force mankind into the Procrustean bed of an imagined, ideal state! (Observation # 148)

It is the fate of Mankind to dream of silk Purses while having available for their Manufacture nothing but a goodly Supply of Sows’ Ears.

Last Evening we did watch The Source, which presented an Interview with Layne Morris, a retired Special Forces Sergeant who was a Witness to the Events which led to the Murder of an American Soldier by Omar Khadr.

His Account would be instructive to those who view Mr. Khadr as a Victim, a Child Soldier caught up in Events beyond his Control – but that is not the Subject of our Musings Today.

Rather, we were struck by the Notion that Mr. Khadr has memorized the Koran. In so doing, we would contend, he reveals himself as an Idealist.

We have noted, on too many Occasions to specify,* the Pitfalls of Idealism. Too often our Response to the Difficulties of Existence is a Simple Answer which will solve all Problems.

If there is an unequal Distribution of Wealth, let us have Socialism; we will compel all to be Brothers. Millions may be killed in the Process, but let us ignore the Details and pursue the Grand Plan at whatever Cost.

If there is Disharmony amongst the Peoples, let us exterminate the inferior Elements. Or, with an opposite Philosophy but similar Danger, let us pretend that all Cultures are equal, and forbid any Denial of that Fact.

If Competition reveals that some are faster, or more gifted than others, let us abandon Competition and the Idea of Merit, and aim for Equality of Result.


If the Climate is changing, admit to your Sin: renounce the industrial World, move back to the Caves, and restore the Golden Age.

If the World is in a Mess, then follow the Word of God. Rid the World of Disbelievers, follow the Dictates of the ancient Text, and claim the heavenly Reward.

The unfortunate Fact is that the real World is not susceptible to idealistic Fantasies. Our Observation #8 reads thus:

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.

Phrased differently, the Sow’s Ear of Inequality, the Taint of Imperfection, are at the very Heart of Existence; the Silk Purse, the Crystal Palace of the Ideal, are forever beyond our Reach.

At the same Time, the Notion of the Ideal is a Spur to Improvement. Illusion is a necessary Foil to a Reality which, like Medusa, has the Power to turn the Beholder to Stone.

We are not entirely gloomy, but those who offer simple Answers to the making of Silk Purses should be derided as Fools. Let us see what can be done, instead, with the available Sows’ Ears.


*Well, try Diary September 24, August 24, July 18, 2012; Drivel August 18 2012, June 2, 2012.



October 12. 2012

We were surprised to learn that Pastor Terry Jones was denied Entry into Canada yesterday.

It would appear that he was turned away on the Grounds that he had been fined by the German Government about Ten Years ago, for using the Designation "Doctor." He apparently appealed the Fine and was successful because he has an honorary Doctorate. (National Post, October 12)

Mr. Jones is widely known for his Threat to burn the Koran two Years ago on the Anniversary of the Destruction of the Trade Towers in New York.

In this Age, when the greatest Crime is to offend the Feelings of Others, it would appear that the Canadian Border Services Agency had received Instruction to use any Pretext to prevent Mr. Jones from entering Canada to debate the Topick: Islam is not compatible with Western Society.

No kindly, well-intentioned Person of Good Will wishes to hear this Side of the Argument, since any hint of Criticism of Islam is likely to make many People very angry, stamp their Feet, throw Things, and murder People. Through this Mechanism Barbarism triumphs, and kindly, well-intentioned People of Good Will find their true Place.

In fact, we find the Topick fascinating. The Answer to the Question probably depends on Definition. Theoretical Islam – just like theoretical Christianity – is almost certainly incompatible with Western Society as it is today. Sharia Law, and the Primacy of Religion in Government are no more compatible with Western Society than Bans on Condoms and Abortion.


Last Evening we happened to watch a Program on the Discovery and Taming of Electricity, without which our Lives would be significantly impoverished. The Point was made that in the Seventeenth Century, there was a Tentativeness in experimenting with Elements in the Real World – since it was Thought best to leave difficult Questions to God.

Leaving difficult Questions to God is a guaranteed Method for perpetuating Ignorance and Misery.* Inasmuch as Western Society is truly devoted to discovering how Things actually work, Religion must be relegated to private Spheres of comforting Fantasy.

We should note that the Scientific Method, despite the Accomplishments to which it may lay claim, is always fighting a challenging Battle with the human Tendency to Leap to Conclusions. What better Evidence do we have than the quasi-religious Fervour of the Climate Change Alarmists – the Inappropriateness of whose Emotions is gradually being revealed as the Facts come to Light?

Indeed, "God" represents a Leaping to Conclusions in the Absence of Facts.** That Leaping may be emotionally satisfying, but it is resoundingly unproductive in practical Terms.

The more Debates which may help to show the Limitations of religious Thinking, the more likely our Lot will improve.

*Observation #190

**Observation #191



October 11, 2012.



We have returned from Wind-in-the-Pines. We have not closed the Cottage, for Wind-in-the-Pines has the Capacity to provide comfortable Occupancy throughout the Winter, with the Assistance of a heated Water Line, a McGuinty-oppressed electric Furnace, and a wood-burning Stove.

However, we have completed certain summer Tasks. A Ramp into the Water, anticipating a Dock in the indefinite Future, and a second Set of Steps to the Shore have been completed.


A retaining Wall has been built to support a collapsing Lawn. The huge Mound of Topsoil in the Driveway has been distributed to provide a levelling of the Grounds. Great Quantities of Debris have been removed. The Woodshed Roof has been repaired, and Wood sufficient for the Season has been stored therein. The old Outhouse, long a cherished but dilapidating Memento of more primitive Times, has been dismantled and cut up for Firewood. The Stove Chimney has been removed, cleaned, and replaced. The 1912 Gerhard Heintzman has been dusted and tuned in Preparation for a Winter of Composing.

Indeed, it has been a Summer much troubled with Idleness and Bouts of Staring vacantly out of the Windows. Next Year we hope to be more active.

In the Meantime, we see that there are many Items of News worthy of Comment. However, we have found it necessary to recount an extraordinary Experience during our return Trip Yesterday. It concerns the troubling Matter of Cereal Killers. It may be found in the Drivel Section.



October 6, 2012

We had thought to have said our final word on Mr. Trudeau and his Bid for the Leadership of the Liberal Party.

However, we note a Deluge of Commentary in the Papers, much of it noting a certain Element of Discrepancy between the Accomplishments of the Man, his Dearth of all but platitudinous Remarks, and the high Office to which he aspires.


The Titanic of old having foundered, The Liberals, understandably, seek a Lifeboat; but when that Vessel is constructed of fine Planks of Charisma interlaced with admirable Sentiments and good Intentions – the whole buoyed up by 150,000 Facebook Followers, one wonders what Safety there may be when cold Winds rise, and the Seas begin to roil.

At any Rate, all the Commentary has drawn forth one more Limerick from our surprisingly well-stocked Store. It is to be found on Limerick Lane.


October 5, 2012


Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always To be Blest. (Alexander Pope, 1688 -1744)

All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure. (Mark Twain, 1835 -1910)

Where have all the flowers gone? (Pete Seeger, 1919 - )


We note that Justin Trudeau is making a great Splash with his Bid to become Leader of the moribund but still hopeful Liberal Party of Canada. Adoring Crowds are gathering to drink in his Charisma, and sip from the Cup of Possibility.


We have stated, perhaps too often, that we think him to be unfit either to be Leader of a credible political Party, or – heaven forefend –Prime Minister of Canada. But there is little accounting for the Follies of Humankind, which often finds itself too challenged with Adversity, or too bored with transitory Bouts of Contentment not to be seduced by the Hope of a Big Rock Candy Mountain offered by a fresh and engaging Countenance.

Was not President Obama elected on these very Grounds?

Fresh Hope is the Soma of Society, the necessary Drug to counter the Drab of Reality from which it seeks a thrilling Escape.

Personally, we regard it all with an Eye well past Jaundice.

Oh when will they ever learn?


October 4, 2012

We confess that we did not watch the Presidential Debate last Evening. This was a Matter of Policy. In the first Instance, we attempt to avoid Portrayals which cause us to shout, fulminate, and throw soft Objects – such as Socks and Gloves – at the Screen. We knew that Mr. Obama had a polling Advantage; we know him to be a Smooth-Talker; we did not wish to be enraged by Evidence of his unimpeded Ascent to a second Term as President.

In the second Instance, we have never known Ignorance of a Topick to be an Impediment to our Ability to discourse upon it; nay, indeed, we oftentimes find that the less we know of a Subject, the more profound, convincing, and pleasing our Commentary.

We did, in switching Channels on two Occasions, check to see whether the Debate had ended, and caught a Glimpse of Mr. Obama speaking. We thought that he looked uncomfortable.

In reading today’s Accounts of the Matter, we have learned that Mr. Romney, although not having struck any mortal Blows, is generally considered to have been victorious.

No doubt many, who sat through the entire Debate, came to the same Conclusion that we did from our brief Glimpses: Mr. Obama looked uncomfortable.

We have little doubt that on such emotional Response, Decisions are made.

But beyond that, we do have a principled Objection to Mr. Obama’s View of the World. Mr. Obama is, like all those ungainly Birds who employ only the Left Wing in their Flight, one who chooses the Ideal over the Real.


The Ideal, of course is far more attractive than the Real. It floats amongst the Clouds, wispy, evanescent, chiming the siren Song of "a thousand twangling instruments."* The Real cannot shake the old Smell of Earth, nor can it disavow Inequality, the bitter Reign of Merit arising from the Mix of Adversity, Triumph, and Failure.

Mr. Obama emphasizes the Primacy of Government, which is wedded to the fond Notion that wonderful Schemes for Utopia complete with Instructions and an Allen Key, lie hidden, merely one Government Program away from Discovery.

It was Mr. Obama, we remember, who said:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.

Some may quibble that Mr. Obama meant to say "You didn’t build the roads and bridges" – but the Meaning conveyed is clear: Individual Initiative is less important than the broad societal Fabric in which it thrives. But from what Strands is that broad Fabric woven? The Government plucks only fibres of Compliance and weaves them into a Cloak of Dependency. The living Organism is free, unequal, and independent. There is a Place for Government, but it is limited. Government works best when it knows its Place.

Mr. Obama may yet win, but that would be a pity.


*This island is full of noises, strange sounds and sweet melodies that make you feel good and don’t hurt anyone. (Caliban in The Tempest)


See also Diary, July 18, 2012.


October 3, 2012

We were suddenly made bereft on Monday; this very Site was subjected to an unwonted yanking from Cyberspace.

We are now recovering, with the Aid of suitable Quantities of alcoholic Beverage.

We can only imagine the world-wide Repercussions. Dozens of People – well – a few People, would have been deprived of a significant Resource. It is our Apprehension that our Site is used chiefly by those who, through time, become complacent, perhaps even cheerful, and begin to regard the World with some small Element of Satisfaction.


Such Feelings are, of course, baseless, unfounded, and potentially dangerous. A quick Recourse to our Site will return the afflicted to the Conditions of morose Gloom, bleak Pessimism or even abject Despair which are the true and natural States of Mankind.

For an Account of this important Event, please consult the Drivel Section.



September 30, 2012

(In which we make bold Predictions from the Inexpensive Seats of Irrelevancy.)

We are intrigued to learn that Omar Khadr, the Canadian convicted by a Court of the United States for Murder and for Supporting Terrorism, has now returned to our Shores.

As we have noted before (April 23, 2012, July 21, 2012) there are two opposing Views of Mr. Khadr, which reflect, we believe, two main Ways of looking at the World. In our Simplicity, we like to divide Humankind into two main Categories: Idealists and Realists.

The Idealists look at Mr. Khadr as an unfortunate child Soldier, caught up in Matters beyond his Comprehension, who will, in his new Life in Canada, renounce his Background and become a Plumber living a middle-class Life in Ajax.

The Realists, having seen few Leopards unspotted by wishful Thinking, believe he will continue in the family Pattern of his Father, Mother, and Sister, and work towards the goals of Al-Quaeda.

One Psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Xenakis, sees him as only little less than a Saint, with every likelihood of Beatification in the near Future. Another, Dr. Michael Welner, sees him as "street-smart," angry, and devout, and likely to become a Leader of Al-Quaeda in Canada.


The Minister of Public Safety in the Conservative Government, Vic Toews, has expressed concerns, since Mr. Khadr is a convicted Terrorist with an unhelpful Family Background. Bob Rae, interim Leader of the Liberal Party, has termed Mr. Khadr a "Child Soldier," and other Members of Parliament of Left-Wing Persuasion have welcomed Mr. Khadr’s Return and criticize the Government for inordinate Delay.

Since our Opinion is of absolutely of no Consequence, we have no Hesitation in revealing it to Anyone who may care to hear. We think the Chances of Mr. Khadr becoming a Plumber and living a Middle Class life in Ajax are on a Par with our Encountering a blue Unicorn with Red Stripes on our next Trip on the Subway in Toronto.

We predict that he will continue in the Family Business, although Scrutiny of his Activities may be such that he will be forced conduct his Operations in some other Country.

While we are putting our Penny Reputation for predictive Sagacity to such a Test, we may as well go in for a Pound. We think that Justin Trudeau is significantly unfit to be Leader of any political Party not devoted to Platitude, Fad, and Fashion. While we would not be surprised to see him as Leader of the Liberals, – or, as we prefer to call them – the Desperation Party --we would expect to see a subsequent significant Implosion of the Group into a black Hole of bottomless Incompetence and Irrelevancy.

If we are correct in these Predictions, you may expect to hear Reference to them with repetitive Smugness, not untinged with Arrogance. If we should be wrong, we will not be entirely dismayed: one or two token Victories will give the Idealists Hope and Encouragement –and lead them to provide more risible Grist for the Stones of our ruthless, expectant, satiric Mill.



September 29, 2012

We have News that Mona Eltahawy, an American Journalist originally from Egypt, decided to deface the Sign in a New York Subway Station which reads:


Support Israel
Defeat Jihad

Another Woman attempted to stop her, and Ms. Eltahawy responded in a Manner sufficiently unrestrained that she was charged and held overnight by the Police. She is charged with criminal Mischief.

Ms. Eltahawy’s Action was not the Result of an inexplicable Moment of Indiscretion, or mindless Flight of Fancy. She has subsequently categorized the Advertisement as a "racist piece of shit." (Jerusalem Post, September 26)

We see the Poster as calling Jihadists Savages. While it may be true that the Term "Jihad’ has a benign Interpretation – that Meaning is not common, and in the Context of the Message, Jihad most certainly refers to a War of Terror.

Wikipedia states:

According to the authoritative Dictionary of Islam jihad is defined as: "A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad ... enjoined especially for the purpose of advancing Islam and repelling evil from Muslims. The prominent British-American orientalist Bernard Lewis argues that in the hadiths and the classical manuals of Islamic law jihad has a military meaning in the large majority of cases

By terming the Poster "racist" Ms. Eltahawy apparently equates being a Jihadist with being a Muslim. This in itself is not logical, since Islam is a Religion, and its Adherents may be of any Race. But even if we take her intended Meaning – it suggests that she sees all Muslims as indistinguishable from Terrorists.

That of course, is not what the Sign means; it means that those who pursue Jihad in the ordinary Sense of that Word, are Savages.

This may, indeed, be a Truth, but, of course, this is the Age of political Correctness, and it is considered unpleasant to articulate Truths which some may consider offensive. Indeed, we think someone should start an Equality Movement for Truths, so that Pleasant Truths are not given an unfair Advantage.

The Sentiment against offensive Truths is based on the Notion that the World is a pleasant Place, full of Warmth and Goodness just waiting to be given a reasonable Chance to claim their Rightful Hegemony. Regrettably, this is not the Case.

Indeed, we note the Irony that Ms. Eltahawy’s Action suggests the Truth about the Muslim Way of Thinking: it is – by and large – incapable of incorporating the Concept of Freedom of Speech.


September 26, 2012

In the Religion of Islam, there seems to be much Agreement that Criticism – especially Criticism of the Prophet --is not to be allowed. Indeed, there is a well established Tradition in Islam that Apostasy is punishable by Death. Some claim that that Penalty is not in the Koran, but others point to this Passage:

Qur'an (4:89) - "They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them"

Apostasy, usually considered a Rejection of Faith is defined in Islam by Wikipedia thus:

According to Islamic law apostasy is identified by a list of actions such as conversion to another religion, denying the existence of God, rejecting the prophets, mocking God or the prophets, idol worship, rejecting the sharia, or permitting behavior that is forbidden by the sharia, such as adultery or the eating of forbidden foods or drinking of alcoholic beverages.

If there be some Debate about the Position of the Koran on Apostasy, it is generally agreed that the Penalty of Death is justified by the Hadith – a Collection of Commentaries about Mohammad – and by Islamic Law.

This is, of course, all complete Nonsense. Only a Religion of great Insecurity could sanction such Violence in its Response to Criticism and Rejection. If Islam really held some ultimate Truth about Existence, it would fear no Challenge.

Our Thoughts about the real World cannot be held to be sacred and inviolable. When Newtonian Notions of Physicks were challenged by the Quantum Discrepancies, and Chaos Theory showed that future Results cannot be predicted, as Newtonian Physicks would suggest, from initial Conditions, the Newtonians did not gather in angry Mobs, smashing Windows and setting Fires, calling for a Return to the Certainties of old.

No, it is only when "Certainties" are unverifiable and lie in the fevered Realm of the Imagination, that Human Beings reveal their essential Irrationality, their essential Stupidity.

Last Evening, on the Sun News Network, we saw a Portrayal of a Gathering of Muslims in Toronto, protesting the Film Innocence of Muslims, and holding to the Position that any Criticism of Islam is an Insult to all Muslims. One sign read:


Another Protester, Syed Ali, is quoted as saying:

"We’re very angry. We want to kill this guy, hang him in front of everybody." (Sun News)

President Obama’s Speech to the United Nations yesterday, did uphold the Notion of Freedom of Speech. We regret that he also said:

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

Why not? If the Future belongs to those who are afraid to slander the Prophet, we can predict, without Reference to Newtonian Physics, or the Theory of Chaos, the World will be a much darker, bleaker, Place, a Place where Ignorance is Sceptre and Throne, and Fear has the Run of the Palace.



September 25, 2012


Flexibility can be an advantage, but not when it arises from an absence of backbone. (Observation #134)


We are intrigued to note that a Poster has been displayed in ten New York Subway Stations:

                                                   IN ANY WAR
                                                 BETWEEN THE
                                                CIVILIZED MAN
                                              AND THE SAVAGE,
                                                 SUPPORT THE
                                                CIVILIZED MAN

                                                  Support Israel
                                                   Defeat Jihad

The Metropolitan Transit Authority had initially refused to allow the Poster, on the Grounds that it contained demeaning Language. (National Post, September 25) We assume that this Position rests on the Conclusion that the Poster suggests that Jihadists are Savages. We are reminded of Justin Trudeau, who expressed his Opinion that the use of the Term "barbaric" was unsuitable in describing Honour Killings. (See Limerick Lane, March 16, 2011, Diary, March 16, 2011)

In the modern Era, we do have to be careful of our Language. Honour Killings are not barbaric, but merely Exterminations based on alternative cultural Precepts. Jihadists are not Savages, but those committed to the Extermination of Bystanders in order to influence popular Opinion.

Once we learn to use the correct Language, most of the Problems which beset the Modern World will crumble, and dissipate, much as Puffs of Smoke are disturbed, diluted and wafted away in the Gentleness of a passing Breeze.


In a related Matter, we also note the Report of an Interview with Salman Rushdie by Bill Keller of the New York Times, republished this Day in the National Post.

Mr. Rushdie, who has had rather more Knowledge of Wacky Islam than most, was, at one Point in his Life under Fatwa, convinced to "‘lower the temperature’ by issuing a statement that could be taken for an apology."

Surprise, surprise! It will come to no one with a Schoolyard Knowledge of Human Nature, that the Apology made no Difference. Mr. Rushdie says that he "had taken the weak position and was therefore treated as a weakling."

It is for this Reason that we are most pleased to see the strong Position taken by the Government of the United States in the recent Troubles. Mrs. Clinton, in particular has been stalwart in her Defence of Free Speech – in her upholding of her Right to be resoundingly critical of the Film Innocence of Muslims, and to be shocked and disgusted at its Content. Any Day now, we expect her to mention her Position on the Violent Response to it in many Corners of the World.

We are also pleased that the Government showed no Hesitation in exercising its Freedom to request that Google consider removing the offending Video.

Our Sleep is that of a coddled Babe, knowing, as we do, that the Government of the United States is firmly and irrevocably committed to the Preservation of the Values we have so long held dear.


September 24, 2012

Belief in God is but a whistling in the dark; harmless, enough, perhaps -- until it is wedded to the notion that all should carry the same tune. (Observation # 174)

If the world of the realist is depressing, that of the idealist is dangerous. Happy is that state where the balloon of hope can lift us from the Slough of Despond, without taking us above those heights where breath must perish. (Observation # 187)

In an Article in this Day’s Post, Charles Krauthammer notes the Failure of the Cairo Doctrine.

This Doctrine was expressed by President Obama in 2009, and offered to Muslims "a new beginning," and "mutual respect," and was followed by many conciliatory moves.

The Result – as we all know – is that the World is full of harmonious tinklings, and awash with Feelings of Bonhomie and warm mutual Respect.

The great Folly of those on the Left is their Idealism: there is no Evil that  cannot be conquered by rational Discussion among those of high Principles and Good Will. High Principles and Good Will, are of course, assumed – which is all part of the Idealist’s View of the World, in which, of course, there is no Evil that cannot be conquered by rational Discussion.

Shall we go round again? Or is the Price of Liberty a wary, skeptical Vigilance?



Upon Reflection on our opening comment Yesterday, we suspect that some of a calm, measured, and benignly judicious Disposition – the typical multicultural Canadian – felt some Dismay at our contention that :

Every day, Adherents of the Religion of Islam show why that Religion should be held in Abhorrence by reasonable human Beings everywhere.

The Calm and the Judicious would point out that one cannot generalize from Particulars: the Actions of one Minister in the Government of Pakistan in calling for the Murder of a Filmmaker cannot be taken as a Reflection of a wider Sentiment. Perhaps not. But where are the other Ministers in the Government of Pakistan rising to denounce their Colleague? Where is the "Outrage" of the "Moderate" Muslim Community? Where are the Muslims in the Streets of Toronto supporting the Right of Free Speech, and condemning the Violence of Fanatics?

We hear nothing.

We suspect the great Truth of the Spanish Proverb: Quien calla, otorga: He who is silent, gives consent.



September 23, 2012

The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.

(John Philpot Curran, 1750 - 1817)

Every day, Adherents of the Religion of Islam show why that Religion should be held in Abhorrence by reasonable human Beings everywhere.

Ghulan Amad Balor, the Minister of Railways in Pakistan, has offered a Reward of $100,000 to a Murderer of the Person responsible for the Film, Innocence of Muslims.

Of lesser note is a Group of Muslims protesting peacefully in Toronto. Those making Statements before the Cameras show that they have not the least Conception of the Notion of Freedom of Speech. They seem to think that because they believe in Nonsense, those who do not must yet respect their Belief. This is self-centred Arrogance on a grand, indeed, a breath-taking Scale.

Let us make no Mistake: the Battle here is between a Rational Approach to Life based on Evidence, and a Path of repressive Terror based on Superstition. In the rational World, People may be foolish, uninformed, or offensive – but these Sins do not warrant a Penalty of Death. In the World of Terror based on Superstition, Death is the Penalty for Apostasy, the Writing of Novels deemed blasphemous, or the making of bad Films expressing negative Views of the Prophet Mohammed.


Religious Belief is not based on Evidence. The Fact that Someone claimed to be the Son of God Two Thousand Years ago, or that Someone claimed to have Revelations from God Fourteen Hundred Years ago, is not Evidence of anything – except in the Minds of those determined to classify it as such. Those people who wish to see such things as representing Reality, are believing in a Manner quite different from those who believe that a certain Volume of Gold is heavier than the same Volume of Feathers – for this Belief can be tested, while religious Belief cannot.

It is extraordinary, that, so far into an Era in which verifiable Beliefs have improved the Lot of Mankind to so considerable a Degree, there are still vast Numbers unable to make the simple Distinction between what is verifiable, and worthy of Respect, and what is mere Supposition, and susceptible to Skepticism.

The Events of the past few Days have been instructive; we only hope that the Woolly-Eyed Dreamers who believe in the Equality of Cultures see the Need to replace the comfy soporific Strands with sharp, focussed Prisms of Clarity: the Price of Liberty, it has been said, is eternal Vigilance.


September 22, 2012

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 are pleased to see a Column in this Day’s National Post by Robert Fulford, entitled In Praise of Blasphemy. Mr. Fulford notes:

Blasphemy, the challenge of official doctrine, helped create freedom over the centuries – and still needs to create it in many countries such as Pakistan and Indonesia. Blasphemy is a corollary to freedom of religion. It expresses the right to have no religion, in fact the right to disdain all religions.

In spite of the Importance of the Right to blaspheme, and the long held Principle of Freedom of Speech in Western Countries, it is troubling to see Signs of Weakness in the Face of the irrational and murderous Onslaught by those who hold that certain religious Beliefs should be exempt from Criticism. This is the Thinking of the Inquisition in the fifteenth Century, still growing, like a destructive and noxious Weed, in the more cultivated and benign Landscape of the Twenty-First.


On CTV News last Evening, we saw Hilary Clinton, the Secretary of State for the United States choose to label the Video Innocence of Muslims as "offensive and disgusting," without any Gesture to the Principle that those Things which may offend or disgust are not illegal. Hina Rabbin Khan, the Foreign Minister for Pakistan by her Side, concluded that this was an unreserved Condemnation of blasphemous Videos.

One might argue that Mrs. Clinton was being diplomatic, but one wonders how often one speaks soothing Words to the Arsonist spilling Gasoline on the front Porch, or the Kidnapper pulling one’s eldest Child into a black Van with opaque Windows.

Mr. Fulford calls for a Repeal of our own disused Law with respect to Blasphemy, "as an appropriate symbolic act by the federal government."

We could not agree more.


September 21, 2012

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)

Ho Hum. It appears that the Love the Prophet Day in Pakistan has resulted in clashes between Rioters and Police in Peshwar. (Sun News, September 21) One Person has been killed, and seven others have been injured. It would appear, as we suggested yesterday, that peaceful Muslim Protests occur with the same Frequency as Sightings of blue Unicorns with red stripes.

It is interesting that, when reporting on the Muslim Protests, most Media give the Impression of a Hippopotamus attempting to traverse a Field of Eggs That Are Not To Be Broken. Perhaps they are taking their Cue from various Speakers in the United States, who, with startling Perversity, seem more inclined to blame the Maker of the Film, Innocence of Muslims for the Riots, rather than those actually doing the Rioting.

This is a Matter of Malice in Wonderland: Appease those who show unreasonable Outrage, with the inexplicable Expectation that their Feelings will be soothed. We understand that there are Calls – even in the United States – for Blasphemy Laws to protect Religion.

In the real World, where Rabbit Holes are Places occupied by Rabbits, Appeasement emboldens. If you give me your Wallet when I demand it, that is a clear Signal you will give me the Identification Number for your Credit Card, and when that is attained, there should be no Difficulty in obtaining the Title to your House. All that is required is sufficient Outrage.


And as to Blasphemy Laws – they seem to have had an entirely beneficial Effect on the miserable State of Pakistan, where they give unanswerable Teeth to Wolves in search of Sheep.

One great Exception to Media Timidity is, of course Charlie Hebdo, the French Paper which has exercised its Right of Freedom to ridicule. The principled French Government has wisely not attempted to suppress its Cartoons.

The other Exception that we are aware of is the Sun News Network.

There we have articulated – by various of its Commentators – the proper Sense of Horror at what appears to be happening to the Principle of Freedom of Expression in Western Society.

Monte Solberg, in an Interview with Charles Adler (September 18) notes that Cultures are not equal, and that those which hold that expressing an Opinion may result in Death are not on the same moral Plane as those which tolerate differing Opinions.

Last Evening, Anthony Furey, under the Heading Liberty vs Theocratic Rule, noted the Absurdity of a Religion so absolutely intolerant that it holds that those who do not believe in its Tenets should be treated as if they do – and be subject to the same Penalties as Adherents. Only such an Attitude could result in the Photograph of a small Boy holding the sign: Behead all those who insult the Prophet.

To acquiesce to this sort of Nonsense, to make Mumbles of Appeasement, and Gestures of Conciliation is to prepare for a Signing Away of the Title to the House. We must continue to exercise our Liberty until Theocracy recognizes its Limits.


September 20, 2012

Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for a religious deity or the irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things. (Wikipedia)

We note that Pakistan has declared a "Love the Prophet Day" this Friday, urging Citizens to make peaceful Protest against the blasphemous Innocence of Muslims. People are urged "not to damage their own property." (Sun News, September 20)

It will be interesting to see a peaceful Protest by Muslims. We think "peaceful Muslim Protest" is a prime Candidate for hierarchical Supremacy in the Oxymoronic Lexicon.

In a related Story from The National Post of this Date, Pakistani Demonstrators demanded that Haji Nasrullah Khan close his 120 Shops in Sympathy with their Protest. He refused, and was accused of Blasphemy. The Penalty for Blasphemy may be Imprisonment for Life, or Death. Indeed, a religious Leader has called for Mr. Khan’s Death.

In Pakistan, Blasphemy Laws – and the Accusations of Blasphemy are a convenient Tool for Oppressing one’s Enemies, and Vigilantes have killed 52 People in such Cases since 1990. Attempts to change the Law have failed; Politicians speaking out against them have been assassinated.

Recently a fourteen-year-old Christian Pakistani girl, Rimsha Masih, of limited mental Capacity, was accused of Blasphemy for burning a religious Textbook. She has been in Prison since mid-August and has recently been released on Bail.


Lest we be tempted to feel superior, Canada also has a Blasphemy Law which has not been enforced in Decades. In Theory, a Prosecution could be sought by a private Citizen.

In France, the Paper, Charlie Hebdo, has published "lewd cartoons" (National Post, September 20) of the Prophet Mohammad. The French Government, to its Credit, while closing Embassies and Schools in 20 Countries in Anticipation of the Response, has upheld the Right to blaspheme.

The Editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stéphane Charbonnier is quoted as saying:

...we are not allowed to make fun of Muslim hardliners. It’s the new rule ...but we will not obey it. It shows the climate. Everyone is driven by fear...

Since all Religions have, at their Core, Nothing but Suppositions or wishful Thinking, it seems extraordinary to try to protect them from Irreverence, Mockery, and Ridicule. Indeed, it is because of the very Vulnerability of their Beliefs to common Sense and rational Criticism, that some Believers feel they must threaten and bully their Critics. They have no reasonable, reasoned Means of Rebuttal.

We do not see how Accommodation can be made between those who think Blasphemy should be punished, and those who see it as acceptable Criticism. To refrain from Blasphemy, in the present Context, is to give Precedence to the Forces of Ignorance, Superstition, and Stupidity. We must continue to blaspheme until militant Believers exhaust their Capacity for childish Tantrums – as deadly as those irrational Rages may be.


September 19, 2012

We must note, in passing, another Example of the Urge to alter the Past to make it fit more conveniently into present Notions.

In 2011, there was an Edition of Huckleberry Finn published in which the word "Nigger" was replaced. This Day we have learned that ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas has been published by Grafton and Scratch which omits all Reference to the Pipe which Mr. Claus had clenched in his teeth, and the Wreath of Smoke which encircled his Head. (National Post September 19)

Ms. Pamela McColl, an independent Publisher, has admitted Responsibility for this Modernization, which is based on her Fears that the Poem will encourage those with impressionable and unformed minds to imitate Mr. Claus and acquire a vile and potentially deadly Habit. Ms. McColl has also expressed Concern that those Children, who are already aware of the Dangers of Smoking, will be fearful of Mr. Claus’s untimely Demise.

The Poem was first published in New York in 1823, and is generally attributed to Clement Clarke Moore,* who is said to have composed the Verses while on a shopping Trip by Sleigh. (Wikipedia). The poem was first published anonymously, but was included in an Anthology of Mr. Moore’s Work in 1844. It has been described as "the best known verses ever written by an American," and is thought to have significantly influenced our Perceptions of Christmas.


The Poem was written in a Time before Television, Radio, the Electric Light, and the Automobile. We know not whether the Poem is as popular Today, but it is inseparable from our own Memories of Christmas from the 1940's and subsequent Decades.

We have long noted the human Preference for Illusion, as an alternative to a Perceiving of the World as it is. Perhaps Ms. McColl’s Modernization is merely another Manifestation of that Desire. Or perhaps it is the Spring Cleaning Instinct, which cannot abide little neglected Corners, and must bring them ruthlessly to order. Or perhaps it is simply the Powerful Influence of Fad and Fashion: Can one really be modern and own a Refrigerator with a Freezer above, or a Sink that does not resemble a glass Bowl mounted defiantly above the counter Top?

We rather prefer Works of Literature to stay as they are, with the Quirks and Oddities that betray their Origins. Let Ms. McColl write her own Works of enthusiastic Proselytization, and leave Mr. Moore’s iconic Achievement alone.

* Some have suggested Henry Livingston as the Author, based on stylistic Evidence and Moore’s Opposition to Smoking. (Wikipedia)

We note Ms. McColl's appearance on Limerick Lane.


September 18, 2012

A Glimpse into the Realm of Bonkerdom.

The Response to Innocence of Muslims is so bizarre that if such Depiction were made in a Novel purporting to deal with Societies of the human Species, that Novel would be considered the Work of such an untalented Amateur, the Result of an Imagination so peculiarly twisted, the Outpouring of a Mind with so little Knowledge of the World, that no one would read to its Conclusion.

Yet here we are, with protesting Muslims in the Streets in – of all Places – Australia.

The First Vice-President of Iran, Mohammad Reza Rahimi, has vowed to pursue the "guilty person" who has made the film which has "insulted 1.5 billion Muslims in the world."

Just to join in the Festivities, an Iranian religious Foundation has announced it is increasing its Reward for the Killing of Salman Rushdie, who, many years ago, incurred a Fatwa for his "blasphemous" Satanic Verses. The Reward is now 3.3 Million Dollars.

And Lebanon's Leader of Hezbollah, who usually avoids Appearance in public, appears jolly and smiling in a Photograph in this Day's Post. He made an Appearance yesterday in Beirut to urge on the Protestors. 

We must reluctantly conclude that very large Numbers of Muslims are completely Bonkers. Even those of more sophisticated Intellect, who may think they are simply manipulating the Bonkered for political Ends, must be Bonkers not to realize how stupid they look.


In contrast to a proposed Screening of the Offensive Film by the Canadian Hindu Advocacy, we note that both CTV and the CBC Networks have announced that they will not show Portions of the Film (Chris Selley, National Post, September 15). This Reticence was no doubt suggested by the Aesthetics, Taste, and Technical Film Quality Committees at those Organizations. It is certainly not because of any Acquaintance with Bonkerdom.

Mr. Selley makes the Point that there is a great Need to see the Film "in order to understand just how easily violence can be incited in the Middle East."

Surely there is no better Argument against Religion in General, and Islam in Particular than Marches, Riots, and Deaths over a Film. One Commentator on Mr. Selley’s Article notes that the "true Kryptonite of Islam is critical thinking," and urges people to read the Quran to expose the Foolishness upon which the Uproar is based.

Having heard, this summer, a reading on the Radio of the Book of Matthew, we ourselves concluded that the best Antidote to Christianity is a Reading of the Bible. Perhaps a close critical Study of the initiating Texts of all major Religions would be a great Step forward for Mankind.

In the Meantime, Bonkerdom rules.



September 15, 2012

Yesterday, we did uphold the Principle of Freedom of Speech in the Matter of the Showing of the Film Innocence of Muslims, despite the Fact that it has provoked Riots and Death in the Middle East.

We happened last Evening to see an Interview on The Agenda with Patrick Martin, who writes on Middle East Affairs with The Globe and Mail. He characterized the Film as "Garbage."

It is unfortunate to be in the Position of defending Free Speech if the Speech in question is Garbage. However, it is also probably true that the Film is being used as an Excuse in a larger Battle. Barry Rubin, Director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Israel, is quoted:

Make no mistake, this is a war, not a misunderstanding. It is a battle of ideologies and a struggle for control of state power, not hurt feelings over some obscure video. ( Globe and Mail, September 13)

Those Islamists seeking Power do not believe in Parliaments, since the Laws of God – as recorded by Mohammedare all that is required. The Images of angry Muslims in the Streets testify to vast Numbers of the easily led.



Mr. Martin also made an interesting Comment to the Effect that many in the Middle East, who think communally, have difficulty in understanding that Innocence of Muslims is the Work and Opinion of a single Individual, rather than the General Expression of a whole Society.

We see little Hope for Civilization in those Areas where there is a significant Belief in the Primacy of Religion in Government, and an Inability to comprehend the Notion of individual Freedom of Expression. While it would be naive to think that Religion plays no part in Governments of western Countries – it would be difficult to imagine an Atheist running for President in the United States – there is a generally observed Separation between Church and State.

Ancient Superstition – the Belief that an imagined God has the Recipe for human Conduct -- and primitive Tribalism – the Triumph of Groupthink – seem completely incompatible with any sort of reasonable Civilization. If the World had not become so small a Place, we would recommend closing the great Door of Disdain on superstitious Backwaters, locking it with a giant Padlock of Disapproval, and waiting a Century or two to for the primitive Thinkers to grow up.

Unfortunately, the Walls are down, the Doors unhinged. But there is no middle Ground of Accommodation, no Honey Pot of Multiculturalism that can sweeten the Clash of Tastes. Rationality and Science must trump the ancient, intrusive Gods, and their cruel, blind, and passionate Followers.






September 14, 2012

We note with interest that the Film Innocence of Muslims, which has elicited the usual Rioting and Murder by radical Islamists, is to be shown by the Canadian Hindu Advocacy.

Mr. Ron Banerjee, Director of the Organization is quoted as follows:

It shows the value of tolerance to Muslims and the Islamic community and teaches them, in Canada, we do have tolerance and diversity and they are simply going to have to tolerate diverse viewpoints and opinions without rioting and without going berserk. (National Post, September 14)

In an opposing View, Maryam Dadabhoy, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Council on American_Islamic Relations, said

Everyone has a right to freedom of speech and can show whatever film they want but, at the same time, you should show respect to those around you...This just doesn’t make any sense. If they know it is only going to hurt people and incite more hatred, I don’t see how that fits in a multicultural community like Canada. By doing this it is only going to make things worse. The screening will bring needless hurt to Muslims and unnecessarily bring the controversy here.

It appears that the View of Ms Dadabhov is typically Canadian. Free Speech is a wonderful Notion as long as it is exercised in Accordance with the Edicts of Human Rights Commissions, the Principles of Multiculturalism, and The Art of Conversation for Debutantes, by Mrs. Edna Smythe-Jones. It is a Notion robust and complete in Concept, but severely restricted in Practice. In other Words, Free Speech gives one Carte Blanche to say what is allowed.


To be clear, we have not seen the Film in Question. It may be quite reprehensible. Mrs. Clinton claims to have been offended by it. But we doubt that it is equal, in the Scale of human Folly, to Rioting and Murder.

Not to show the Film seems to us to be the Equivalent of Voting for Riot and Murder. Either it is correct to riot and murder because of Insult to Religion, or it is not. There is an old Spanish Proverb: Quien calla, otorga (He who is silent gives Cconsent). If rioting and murder are not suitable Responses to religious Insult, then Something must be said.

To say: Freedom of Speech is more important than Rioting and Murder, but on Reflection, we will restrict our Speech so that you will not riot and murder suggests a View of Human Nature which is significantly flawed. Please, Johnny, stop throwing Bricks through the Windows because it troubles us deeply. Oh, all right, we won’t have Windows, after all.

Is this a World of Discovery, or of Stasis? If we wish to live in a World of Discovery, then no Belief is sacrosanct, or immune to criticism, ridicule, or insult. Those who would bully the World into unquestioning Acceptance must be resisted. Mr. Banerjee is right; while Words may be hurtful, Sticks and Stones break real Bones. Showing the Film is simply proclaiming the Right to express an Opinion – insulting or hurtful though it may be.



September 12, 2012

We note the Deaths of the United States’ Ambassador to Libya, and three other Members of the Embassy Staff. (National Post, September 12)

It appears that “militants” stormed the Embassy in Protest against an anti-Islamic Film produced in the United States.

The Beast is in all of us, of course, but it is of Interest that Religion seems to have a special Power to license and unleash it. Matters of Belief – of unknown Validity and not subject to any kind of Verification – have a greater Power to arouse Anger than Matters which might be settled peaceably through Investigation.

Before the actual Landing – we suppose there may have been a Debate in the Matter of whether the Moon is made of Green Cheese, or Camembert. However, Passions were not likely to be so inflamed, because such Debate is not related to human Conduct.

But if one Faction believes that the Moon is made of Green Cheese because the God of Green Cheese has thus decreed it, and another Faction believes that it is made of Camembert because the God of Camembert has decreed it, then we have a different Story.

That is because “God” is always bound up with the central Question: How should we live our lives.
In Fact, of course, “God” is merely a convenient and arbitrary Endpoint for Infinity. No one asks where God came from. Upon this arbitrary Notion, it is the Custom of Humankind to thrust all Manner of Suppositions as to how we are to live: what Customs, we ask, are most pleasing to God?

Thus, the Door is opened to all sorts of Irrationality. God must not be portrayed, or mocked. God wishes his priests to be Men, and not Women. God cares about the Fall of a Sparrow (though he presides with Equanimity over a World built on Predation, which harbours the Rise and Fall of whole Species.)

We admit that the Question of how we should live our lives is not an easy one. The Notion of the greatest Happiness of the greatest Number is an attractive one, although not so easy to apply in particular Instances. The old Notion – that God has made known his Wishes through Intermediaries of greater or lesser Credibility – does not, on the Whole, seem to have worked very well. Indeed, Certainty about God and his Wishes – determined Assurance in the Face of complete Lack of Knowledge – would seem to be the Bane of Mankind.

We half suspect that it is Certainty that is the God behind our Gods; the Devil that we eschew, that we cannot bear at any cost, is Mystery, the Unknown, and the terrible Responsibility of working Things out for Ourselves.

September 11, 2012


We note further News in the Case of Lynden Dorval, the Teacher in Edmonton who has been suspended for contravening a Policy at Ross Sheppard High School which forbids the awarding of Zeros for work not done.

The Policy, a wonderful Concoction brewed and administered by the Principal, Ross Bradley, seems to be based on the Notion that Marks should reflect only the Quality of a Student’s Work, not his Work Ethic, Determination, or Sense of Responsibility.

We have no Doubt that at the Root of this fine Distinction, is the Worship of the Good which knows no Peer, the Flowering of Self-Esteem. The Argument runs, we imagine, that low Marks suggest a Failure of Intellect, a Blow to Self-Esteem, and hence should be avoided at all Cost. To award no Marks simply for Dereliction of Duty is unnecessarily damaging to a Sense of Self-Worth.

The School evidently regards Dereliction of Duty as a separate, disciplinary Matter; yet we have not heard that it is the Custom to require the Detainment of Students for an Hour each Day so that they may complete Assignments which are missing.



Failing that important Measure, which would be a practical Approach consistent with the Theory, we cannot see that the School Policy can be anything but an educational Failure.

The theoretical World, in which Self-Esteem is divorced from Accomplishment is not helpful in preparing Students for the real One. In the real World, Rewards do not accrue on a consistent Basis to those who do Nothing. Capability and Talent do not exist in the Abstract. Handsome is as Handsome does.

We understand that Mr. Dorval is being interviewed by Public Schools Superintendent Edgar Schmidt to determine his Fate. (Sun News, September 11) Mr. Schmidt is in the unhappy Circumstance of weighing the Freedom of Principals to do stupid Things against the Right of Teachers to reject the stupid things Principals may require. He is no doubt aware that Limiting the Freedom of Principals to do stupid Things may also limit their Freedom to do clever Ones. On the other Hand, it seems reasonable to suggest that Voodoo Psychology not be mandated for Unbelievers.

If he is let go, Mr. Dorval plans to launch a legal Appeal. There is also a potential Lawsuit against the Principal or the School Board. We hope he is the ultimate Victor in this Matter.



September 7, 2012

We were intrigued to see a Prediction by John Ivison in this Day’s Post: "Justin Trudeau will enter the [Liberal Leadership] race and he will win."

Mr. Trudeau’s Victory will arise, in Part, from the Fact that Voting will not be limited to Members of the Liberal Party: a prospective Voter may sign up online, simply providing an e-mail Address and declaring himself not to be a Member of another Party.

Since Mr. Trudeau has, according to Mr. Ivison, 147,456 Twitterbugs, and 46,000 Face-o-philes -- significantly outpacing his Rivals -- his Election is assured.

Indeed, with such easy Determinations of Popularity, we would not be surprised to see that the costly and time-consuming Machinery of official Elections be relegated to the Dustbins of ancient Practice, along with Milk Delivery, Moustache Waxing, and Saturday Night on the Kitchen Floor in the Washtub.


We admit to a certain unholy Glee at the Prospect of Mr. Trudeau’s Leadership. We have always seen him as familiar Wine in a recycled plastic Bottle, a Sound whose Sonority reflects not a Complexity of Intellect, but a small Reverberation writ large in a Drum of Hollowness.

We may, of course, be proved wrong in our Expectation of Disaster; in that case, we will take Solace in the Notion that the Surprise of an unpredictable Universe is preferable to the I told you so of Business as usual.

Our relative Indifference results, of course, from the Notion that Mr. Trudeau will never be Prime Minister. Now that would be a Hurricane from the Wing-Flap of a Butterfly.


September 6, 2012

We have discovered, with some Alarm, that the Government has cancelled a Tender which requests the Services of a Wiccan Chaplain for incarcerated Residents in British Columbia. It was anticipated that the successful Applicant would provide about Seventeen Hours of Service each Month. Such Service would include "Guidance with casting spells, invocation of the gods and goddesses and rituals involving the four elements..." (National Post, September 6)

The Compensation offered was between $25,000 and $50,000.

It is our View, of course, that establishing a Hierarchy among Superstitions presents some Difficulty of convincing Justification, and that Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Scientology, Cheondoism, Jainism should be considered equally unrelated to Reality, although of some Significance in the Eyes of Believers.

We had thus expected an Expansion of Services to incarcerated Residents. How can we provide spiritual Guidance and Mumbo Jumbo to one Group, and not to another? What happens to the supremely sacred Principle – the Principle of Equality?


Indeed this abrupt Cancellation puts a bit of a Damper on the Prospects for our own recently founded Religion, Abracadabra, which recognizes and worships the Great God Murphy, the most reliable Predictor of the Outcomes of all human Endeavour. (See Drivel, March 20, 2011)

We confess to having harboured the secret Hope that we might convert a few vulnerable and needy Detainees, whether in British Columbia or elsewhere, who might then require the special spiritual Guidance and a Degree of caring Assistance with important Rituals – both necessary to maintain good Standing in Abracadabra. In fact, we ourselves, we suspect, would be uniquely qualified to bring Novitiates to a deeper Understanding of Murphy in his Universality, his all-encompassing Accuracy, and his sweeping and magnificent Perversity.

Seventeen Hours a Month would not be unduly taxing, and the $25,000 to $50,000 would go a comfortable Distance in the furthering of our important Ministry.

We think the Government should reconsider the cancelled Tender.


September 5, 2012

It is our Observation that People may be divided into two main Classes: those who speak and understand Computerese, and those who do not.

We ourselves, of course, are in the latter Category. As a Member of the Ignorati, we find ourselves – on the Occasions of our Exposure – resentful, peevish, and whiny. We rail at the Arrogance of those who eschew English, and natter on in their own secret Language, oblivious and indifferent to those who are excluded, who are tantalized by the Notion that Information is being exchanged or presented, but that the deciphering Code is being rudely and cruelly withheld.

True, among one’s Acquaintance there may be a fine Gem, a Rosetta Stone with the Capacity to read Hieroglyphs, and translate them into a Realm close to Comprehensibility. But one still risks the pitying Stare, the scarcely repressed Scorn, the muted Incredulousness which One’s boundless Ignorance is like to inspire.

Our most recent encounter with Computerese arose from an Attempt to convey an E-Mail Message to Margaret Wente, of The Globe and Mail.

To explain – our Musings are often prompted by Items in the Newspaper, and it is our Custom to send Copies to those whose Work was our Inspiration. As an aside -- we note that the Quality of the Writers who inspire us is very high: most of them see our Rubbish for what it is, and, very wisely, do not reply. Occasionally, we do get a Response, and are pleased to conclude that, within the Rubbish, there has been some Element of Worth, some Nugget of Perception, some Angle of Insight which has distinguished our Communication from -- doubtless – Hundreds of Others.

Sending E-mails to Writers in the National Post is usually a simple Affair. The Address is at the Foot of the Column, or is determined by a Visit to the National Post Website.


But The Globe and Mail is different. The Site itself has a certain initial Sphinx-like Response in the Matter of E-Mail Addresses. One must first Google Margaret Wente E-Mail, which leads to the Authors section of The Globe Website. Then one clicks on the Words: Send an email.

Behold, up pops a Form called Outlook 2003 Startup. It appears that our Computer is not properly configured for the use of Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft Outlook is the required Tool for sending an E-Mail. Ever helpful, the Startup provides us with a Wizard, and the Wizard presents us with a Number of Options for proceeding. Alas, the Wizard – doubtless wearing a pointed Hat and a long flowing Robes decorated with Symbols arcane and astrological, speaks only Computerese.

Do we wish to proceed with a Microsoft Exchange Server, a POP3, an IMAP, an HTTP, or an additional Server Type? We have no Idea. An incipient Queasiness, a faint Apprehension of Dread stirs within.

Being minimally adventurous, we select "Microsoft Exchange Server," only to discover that we are expected to know the Name of that Server. This, apparently may be discovered from our System Administrator.

Now, we have no doubt that we have a System Administrator. We are sure he is a very efficient Gentleman who, Day in and Day out, Rain or Shine, administrates our System. For this we are indeed grateful. We have, alas, no Idea where to find him. Additionally, we suspect he wears a pointed Hat and long flowing Robes decorated with Symbols arcane and astrological. Speaking to him would be futile. We do not understand Computerese.

Why cannot The Globe and Mail simply provide us with the E-Mail Address? Or, at the least, provide free Lessons in Computerese?



September 4, 2012

On the Weekend, we happened upon a Column in by Margaret Wente concerning a new Book by Paul Tough: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character. (Globe and Mail, September 1)

Mr. Tough argues that "Grit" or Persistence is important in Success, that it can be taught, and that it may be derived from a proper Approach to Failure. That proper Approach involves the Attempt to avoid being beaten down by Failure, but from Failure, attempting to learn the Path to Success.

Through Adversity and Failure, Character and Persistence may find Success. From such Success is derived Confidence and Self-Esteem.

We scarce know what to make of this sort of Talk. It has been truly observed by all those of the modern Way of Thinking, that Children are born with inherent Perfection. If they are to learn anything at all it must be only of their own intrinsic and unalterable Worth. This Learning – if it be deemed such – is achieved by repeated Praise and reinforcing of Self-Esteem. All Children need to know is that they are wonderful, and Good Things will inevitably and invariably happen to them. If those Good Things are, for some Reason, absent, or insufficient, then Feet should be stamped, Banners should be raised, and Protests, violent, if necessary, should be launched.


We cannot understand why Mr. Tough should wish to cast Doubt on the Wisdom we have achieved after many Years of careful, concerted, wishful Thinking. We find it extraordinary that Ms. Wente should see fit to draw our Attention Mr. Tough’s Perversity. Certainly, no good can come of it. Failure and Adversity have no Place in the Modern World of true Enlightenment. The sooner we banish them from our Lives, the sooner true Happiness will be achieved.

We need simply to intensify our wishful Thinking.


August 31, 2012

We note with some Interest that Lynden Dorval, the High School Teacher in Edmonton who insisted on giving a mark of Zero for work not submitted, has been fired at the Request of his Principal, Ross Bradley. Mr. Dorval was fired for Insubordination. (National Post, August 31)

Apparently, the School sees a Failure to hand in Assignments as an Issue of Discipline, not one of Academic Achievement. We are most grateful for advanced Thinkers like Ross Bradley for making this important Distinction. Why, after all, should a Student who is perfectly capable of completing an Assignment, be penalized simply because Constraints on his Time have made it difficult or impossible actually to complete the Task?

We ourselves are eminently capable of writing the Great Canadian Novel, as well as composing some Melodies deserving of World-wide Fame and Recognition. Our unwritten Poetry we consider to be worthy of many literary Awards, and we suspect that, were it published, we ourselves would become the Recipient of significant Adulation among the more discerning of our Citizens.


We would indeed be outraged if we were deemed to be a Failure in any of these Endeavours. We sincerely trust that our Reputation in these Matters will remain unsullied by Failure for the Rest of our Days. Indeed, we expect to be remembered with Fondness as One whose great Works, although uncompleted, suffered no Hint of Criticism, no niggardly Mark of Inadequacy.

We eagerly anticipate a more universal Recognition of the Bradley Principle. There is no Point in discouraging the eager and ambitious by looking Askance at their Failure to produce anything. Instead, the Focus should be on the real Problems of Discipline and Motivation.

In our Drivel Section (August 31, 2012), we imagine how this enormous Shift in Focus might play out in the greater World beyond the narrow Confines of a progressive High School in Edmonton.


August 30, 2012

We note with Interest that a Mr. Rene Chouinard, of Grimsby, is objecting that his School Board distributes free Gideon Bibles, but not free Atheist Literature. In 2010, Mr. Chouinard offered to provide: Just Pretend: A Free thought Book for Children and Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist, as Alternatives to the Bible.

Not surprisingly, the School Board refused the Offer, thereby revealing its Bias.

While we doubt that Mr. Chouinard’s Substitutes have a literary and cultural Value similar to that of the Bible, we are in Agreement with the Point he is attempting to make. It seems inappropriate that a Public School Board appear to be endorsing a particular Religion. We have no objection to cultural Elements which have arisen from our Christian Past – the Attempt to ban Christmas Decorations on a School Bus seems rather extreme. But the Distribution of religious Texts does seem to imply Endorsement.


It is for the same reason that we object to the wearing of Turbans by Members of the RCMP, or Hijabs by the Toronto Police. We expect the State to be religiously neutral. When Representatives of the Government are clearly seen to have specific religious Beliefs, it makes one suspicious of their Neutrality and Impartiality. For Example, the dispatching of an obviously Muslim Officer to deal with a Shafia Daughter-- who seeks Nothing so much as Relief from the Oppressions of a Muslim Culture – sends entirely the wrong Message.

Mr. Chouinard is making his Complaint to a Human Rights Commission. While we agree with his Position, we think it unfortunate that Mr. Chouinard can find no better Avenue of Recourse. We think these "Courts" should be reserved for the use of Kangaroos only.



August 26, 2012

We have decided to comment on the Anniversary of Mr. Layton’s Death. Please consult the Drivel Section.


August 25, 2012

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

A few Days ago (August 21) we recounted the tale of Allan Einstoss, who was detained by Police after walking his Dog near the anti-Israel Protesters last Saturday. He had been in a Scuffle with Protestors who believe Dogs to be unclean. Apparently the Dog had been kicked, but the Police, in their new and enthusiastic Role as Defenders of the Muslim Faith, threatened to arrest Mr. Einstoss if he did not leave.

We must now report that a Protest is being arranged for September 14, when Owners of Dogs are invited to walk their Dogs outside the Salahuddin Mosque in Scarborough, during a Time of Islamic Prayer. The Dog Walk has been designated the CANADIAN VALUES Dog Walk.

Undoubtedly there will be many in our fair Land – those who have drunk deep from the woozy Cup of Multiculturalism – who will see this as a childish and inappropriate Gesture. Far better, they will say, to hold a High Tea Discussion of the Matter, complete with compliant Crumpets and those delicious Petits Fours of Accommodation which will conclude with a vaporous Misting of Banalities.

We happen to believe that an Excess of Tolerance can become simple Stupidity. Moderate Tolerance is a two - way Street. When all the Rigidity is in one Direction, and all the Tolerance is in the other, the Street is called: Anything you say, Boss, or How high would you like us to jump?

Whatever happened to the ancient Dictum: When in Rome, do as the Romans do?

The Notion that one should accommodate to the Customs of the foreign Country in which one finds oneself, cannot, we believe, be dismissed with another deep Draught from the woozy Cup.

Human Beings, rightly or wrongly, are still territorial enough to resent Those who would come into their Territory, and demand that foreign Customs displace those of existing residents.

We resent our Values being protested against; it is high Time that we register a Protest of our own. In our Custom, it is legitimate to walk Dogs in the Park, or on the Sidewalk in front of a Mosque. The Police should protect our Right to do so. If they do not, they invite Contempt and Disrespect even greater than that which they have already – with great and perverse Foolishness -- managed to achieve. While the ultimate Solution may be political– Politicians do not hear Wheels silenced in the Grease of spineless Submission.


August 24, 2012

We confess to being burdened with a great Simplicity of Intellect. We prefer to live in a World where Explanations are straightforward and comprehensible, not hedged in with "What-ifs" or "On the other Hands." We leave to others the Puzzle of whether Light is a Wave or a Stream of Particles, or Both.

While we are not immune to fond Imaginings, we try to look for reasonable Evidence in our Conclusions.

It is for this Reason, we suppose, that we have concluded that all Religion is Nonsense: in the unlikely Event there is a "conscious" Intelligence behind this extraordinary and puzzling Mess, he is more deserving of sharp Interrogation than unquestioning Adoration.

In Society, we see, boiled down, a Conflict between the Ideals of Man’s Imagination and the obdurate Realities of Existence. Much of our Criticism in social Matters is based on our Perception that there is too much Emphasis on the aspirational Ideal, and too little on the unfortunately Real. Our Observation # 147 is:

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

In the present Time of economic Uncertainty, we have latched onto another simple Theory: the most likely Way out of the Miasma involves the Printing of more Money, thus devaluing it.


For this Reason, we have, since 2007, decided to invest in the unprintable Currency of Gold. Gold itself has done quite well since 2007, but has been in a Slump the last few Months. Our chosen Form of Investment, Junior Mining Companies, has had varying Success. Our favourite Company, Dynacor, while making a profit of Ten Cents last Year, and likely to make Seventeen Cents this Year, has traded as low as Thirty-six Cents this Summer. We suspect this is a Result of the Workings of Minds more complex and subtle than our own.

In Addition to its admirable Profit, Dynacor has plans for a new Mill which will more than double Production, a number of Gold Veins to be explored, and the Possibility of finding that their Skarn Property, Tumipampa, is like others in the Area. Such a Finding could be worth Ten Dollars a Share.

We are pleased that the Price of Shares has been rising, albeit slowly. Today they have traded as high as Seventy-Nine Cents – still significantly undervalued – but a Relief from Thirty-Six.

We have no Idea whether our Simple Ideas will prove to be correct: that Gold will rise in Price, and that a Company making Seventeen Cents a Share should trade for more than Seventy-Nine Cents. But perhaps the subtle Minds of the Market are coming around to our Point of View.



August 22, 2012

We are pleased to read a Column by George Jonas in this Day’s National Post, under the Title:

There’s nothing liberal about compelling liberalism.

The compelling of Liberalism is precisely the Difficulty which our kind, caring, and tolerant Society has, with no inconsiderable Effort, managed to achieve. Virtues supposedly attained are tainted by Repression, Coercion, and Authoritarianism.

Mr. Jonas’s Column deals chiefly with Freedom of Speech. In Canada, Speech is free only as long as it is inoffensive, and some Groups are more closely scrutinized for offensiveness than others. It is well observed that the Victimhood Advocacy Commissions have no Interest in examining the Speech of anti-Israelis, or that of radical Islamists, Sikhs, or Tamils. Ezra Levant notes that in their History of thirty Years, the Commissions have considered no such Cases. (Sun News, August 21)

The desire to protect People from Ridicule and offensive Remarks, to legislate against Hurt Feelings may seem noble, but is merely stupid, since it creates unnecessary Classes of Criminals and Victims, a new Tool for Revenge, and an Oppression of the Expression of Opinion.

In his Article, Mr. Jonas quotes some Remarks he made a few Years ago:


What is hate speech? It’s the speech the authorities hate. It may be speech that every right-thinking person ought to hate, but it is also, by definition, speech that falls short of [being] unlawful.

If one takes as a liberal Idea the Notion that all should have Access to Health Care, the same sort of Coercion is present. In providing that wonderful Access, the Government insists that you use its Facilities, no matter how unsatisfactory they may be. The Purchase of private Health Care Insurance is forbidden.

Further, the wonderful liberal Idea that People should not be discriminated against on any Number of Grounds has led to Government Hiring Practices based entirely on the very Discrimination it pretends to abhor.

As a cynical side Note, we have observed that "Discrimination" is the Essence of all Choice. We all discriminate all of the Time. Do you prefer Cauliflower to Broccoli, Tudor Brown to Beijing Beige? We hope you feel an appropriate Sense of Shame. One might have some Sympathy for Legislation to shock People from irrational Prejudices in Hiring, but the Term should be limited. Instead, such anti-discriminatory Practices become entrenched, and form the new Discrimination.

The general Theme is, for us, a constant one:

The Pursuit of impossible Ideals results in the Destruction of achievable Goods; a coerced Harmony leads only to the Discord of Discontent. (Observation # 185)


August 21, 2012

The Advancement of our Civilization doth sometimes proceed at a dizzying Pace. We note the wonderful Sensitivity of Police at the Al-Quds Rally at Queen’s Park last Saturday, which took place to support Iran and oppose Israel. The Flag of Hezbollah went unremarked by Police, but a Citizen with an Israeli Flag was told to move on or be arrested for Incitement to riot. (Sun News, August 21)

Further, a Gentleman named Allan Einstoss committed the grave Indiscretion of walking his Dog on a Leash near the Protestors, where he was told by a Protestor that Dogs were unclean. A Scuffle ensued.

The Police with that fine Sensitivity to the Direction of the Wind for which they are becoming noted, became angry with Mr. Einstoss, handcuffed him, and gave him the Option of spending a Weekend in Jail or leaving. Mr. Einstoss decided to leave.

We take great Comfort that our local Police are gaining a true Sense of the Reality of our World.


They are no doubt following in the enlightened Footsteps of the universally admired Mounted Police, who, we understand, are guided by a Manual entitled Words make Worlds which warns against inflaming the Feelings of Muslims. (Diary July 16, 2012) Indeed, we would like to express our earnest Hope that this Volume is a required Item to be carried in the newly mandated RCMP Sensitivity Knapsack, nestled alongside the Koran and Emergency Burka.*

Credit must also be given, we think, to Chief Bill Blair, who has expressed a fervent Desire to hire Policewomen who, in their wearing of the Hijab, will leave no doubt in the Minds of the Citizenry about the religious Affiliations of the Force.

A new Day is Dawning.

Hark! We hear an unaccustomed Sound!

Of course! Even now, the Muezzin calls us to Prayer from the Tower at 51 Division.


*One never knows when an Officer might be required to reduce Inflammation of Feelings with a few apt Quotations or a quick Change of Costume.



August 20, 2012

Close by the Lumpenbangen Studios is a Set of Steps by which the Top of the Mountain may be attained. These Steps are used chiefly by those wishing to obtain Exercise, and it is our Custom, in most Weathers, to climb the three Hundred Steps of the First Section as a Part of our daily constitutional Perambulation of the Neighbourhood.

Upon reaching the topmost Step of the Section, we conclude that Death – for that Day at least – is unlikely, and we can, with some Degree of Confidence, make Plans for the Morrow.

Our preferred Route to the Steps takes us to the Foot of St. Plymouth Avenue, and thence across some Railway Tracks, and up a steep Path to the Bruce Trail. A short Distance through a heavily wooded Area – unlikely in the Heart of any City – provides a Pleasantness of Greenery all the Way to the Foot of the Steps.

In earlier Years, there was, as a Barrier to the Railway Tracks an ancient, rusty, chain Link Fence which had been rendered completely ineffective by the Beneficent Provision of a large Hole, designed with a Sufficiency of Size to allow for easy Ingress and Egress to the Railway Lands for all the Citizens of the Neighbourhood.

Alas, this Circumstance was not allowed to remain. We suspect that nervous Railway Executives, trembling in their Towers, fearful of Lawsuits, decided to construct a new Chain Link Fence. The new Fence, duly installed, spanned the whole Area of likely Entry, and was firmly connected to the Supports of the old existing Fence on either Side.

What was peculiar was that the new Fence contained a Chain Link Door, but one that was firmly secured shut with a Padlock of daunting Mien and robust Size.


We cannot imagine the Process of Thought behind this Construction: All entry is forbidden, unless you have a Key. Perhaps they planned to distribute Keys to selected Residents who would sign a Waiver promising not to sue the Railway in Event of Death or Dismemberment. There were no Application Forms attached to the new Fence.

We admit to being considerably disgruntled. Our favourite Route was blocked. We considered attending the Fence late at Night with Wire Cutters, but concluded that we could not countenance the Unseemliness of Detection.

We must report, with some Satisfaction, that others were more forthright. Within a Week or Two, a Portion of the Fence had been peeled away from the support Post, and our Habit was resumed. We regarded the Matter as a Triumph of Citizenry over Bureaucracy.

We must record that this Event occurred about three Years ago. Since that Time, the Railway has repaired, and the Citizens have triumphed several Times.

This Summer, another Repair was effected. Initially, the Padlock was, once again, firmly in Place, and we were forced to take an alternate Route. But, in recent Days we have noticed that, while the Door is "shut," it is fastened with a length of Chain, which allows the Door to be opened sufficiently to allow for Ingress and Egress of all Citizens but those of the most immoderate Circumference.

We know not the Authorship of this Compromise, nor the Means by which it was effected. But we think it provides an admirable Solution. Only Time will tell if the Bureaucracy approves.


August 19, 2012

We had Occasion to visit the Megalopolis of Toronto this past Week, and did so engaging the Services of the Geezermobile Eight. We should note that the Geezermobile is on the Cusp of turning Twenty-five, and, as a Result finds Few of its Fellows on the Streets of so wealthy and prosperous Community as Toronto.

Those with ample Means can hardly be expected not to advertise that Fact, and indeed it is the Fashion in that great City, not to retain old Cars, but to buy new and expensive smaller Vehicles with the bizarre Nose-into-the-Pavement Look which has successfully managed to erase all natural Murphy-given* Notions of Balance and Harmony in Design.

The Geezermobile is the Antithesis of such affluent Modernity, and stylistic Perversity. Not only is it elderly, it was purchased a few Years ago for $2,500 -- probably about the Cost of a Smidgen of electronic Gadgetry in a New Vehicle. It also represents the Fashion of a much earlier Time, when Automobiles were often large, luxurious Vessels – not burdened with the hunched, scuttling Appearance of a frightened Insect -- but bearing the majestic Mien of an Ocean Liner conquering the Seas. It does not slant a submissive Regard into the Pavement in front of it, but looks unabashedly ahead with a level, assured, and supremely confident Gaze.

We were pleased, therefore, on our Visit, to discover that the Geezermobile has now acquired --in Toronto, at least – the official Status of Head Turner. For indeed, as we cruised along a quiet West-End residential Street, two Gentlemen in Conversation near a parked Vehicle were seen to turn their Heads as the Geezermobile glided past.


We have considered, briefly, adding a Decal, Head Turner to an inconspicuous Location on the Windshield, but, on Reflection, have decided that this might not be wise.

It is our Philosophy that Automobiles perform best when kept slightly anxious, with occasional References to Trade-Ins, Trade-Ups, and Retirement. We are not above dropping the W-Bomb -- Wrecking Yard – from Time to Time.

Thus, while we may occasionally brag about the newly acquired Head Turner Status, we will refrain from doing so in the Geezermobile’s Presence. In this Way, we hope to help assure reliable, efficient, and Head-Turning Service for many Years to come.

*The natural Law of Harmonious Design, as revealed by the Great God Murphy, reads thus:

All Edifices, Constructions, and Means of Transport are most pleasing in Aspect and Soothing to the Soul when their Lines have a sympathetic Parallelism with the Ground. Constructions which are angled, aslant, wedge-shaped, or appear to be darting directly into the Ground betoken Instability, Deviancy, Deviousness, Insecurity, Unreliability, and an inner Angst of suicidal Proportions. Such Edifices and Constructions are a Curse and an Abomination, being a Visual Refutation of  all that is confident, good, and wholesome in the Universe.

August 18, 2012

In our Musings of Yesterday, we reflected on the Great Notion of Central Planning, which is based on the View that those of great Wisdom can devise wonderful Schemes for the Benefit of the Masses. It is usually the case, of course, that those in Charge of such Schemes are not subject to their inevitable Deficiencies, and have convenient Exits and Ameliorations for their own Benefit.

A Friend recently recounted the Story of a retired Judge, who was able to obtain an Appointment for an MRI Procedure for his Wife within a Fortnight, not through his own Doctor, but by telephoning Someone of Influence in the Medical Community. The Judge’s Doctor was surprised by the Rapidity of the Matter; his first Comment was: "Who do you know?"


It is possible, of course that the Doctor said, "Whom do you know?" – thereby showing a superior knowledge of Grammar. But the Point is that, centrally planned "egalitarian" Systems are not immune to primitive and tribal Influences.

In contrast to Central Planning, are the free Markets, which are more efficient, but which have the Disadvantage of giving greater Reward to the Wealthy than to the Poor.

We have considered the Matter more fully in The Savannah and the Hive, in the Drivel Section.


August 17, 2012

The Central Planning Mind-Set

(Why Patients can never be at the Centre of a Monopoly Health Care System)

Yesterday, we engaged the Services of the Geezermobile Eight to transport us to the Megalopolis of Toronto. Despite its advanced Age, the Geezermobile is equipped with a working Telecommunication Device which is capable of providing us with some minimally distracting Entertainment on such Journeys.

We happened to hear a Segment on the CBC dealing with the significant News of updated Provincial Guidelines for the Pap Smear Test for Cervical Cancer. The Testing is now recommended every three Years, rather than annually, as in the Past. It is also recommended for Women over 21 rather than over 18, as suggested by a Health Canada Report.

One Listener phoned in to report that she had, in fact, developed Cancer within a one Year period, which was discovered by the annual Test. She speculated on her Fate, had the new Guidelines been in Place.

In Response, Someone speaking for the Canadian Cancer Society assured us of the Scientific Basis for the new Guidelines. News of this Matter is also reported by the Windsor Star: (August 14, 2012)

A review of the evidence shows screening every three years is enough to reduce the incidence of and mortality from cervical cancer, said Lynda MacNiven, the senior co-ordinator of prevention at the Canadian Cancer Society’s Ontario division.*

Another spokesman, Adam Segal is quoted:

Screening more often than every three years provides little additional benefit because there is a minimal increase in the number of cervical cancers diagnosed.


It is indeed comforting to note that our Universal Health Care System is being run based on sound Principles of Scientific Evidence, and we are obsequiously grateful for the wonderful Science of Statistics, which is not concerned with the Individual, but with Averages. The new three year Time Frame represents, of course, the "view from 30,000 feet" by which all such centrally planned Enterprises must be run. From a great Distance, the Individual, like Piggy in The Lord of the Flies is a mere Blob or Speck; should a Rock land on the unfortunate Speck – we send our Regrets, but the Statistical Pattern remains, comforting and inviolate.

Since our Health Care System has been such an unqualified Success, we think the underlying Principles should be extended to many other Areas of Society. We have already suggested that the Government should control the Supply and Distribution of Food. (Diary, February 8, 2012) But Benefits might equally be gained from Control of Transportation – particularly with Respect to Shoes and Automobiles.

Scientific Studies might be conducted which reveal that the Average Person has no real Need of more than one Pair of Shoes every two Years, and that it is best – from a statistical, 30,000 Foot Perspective– that Automobiles should be replaced no sooner than every Five Years.

We can scarcely imagine the Benefits which might accrue from adopting "Guidelines" based on thorough and compelling Scientific Research. It is inspiring that Health Care may be at the very Forefront of a new Age, a brave New World based on the Power of Statistics.


*Ms. MacNiven is also quoted as saying:

If a woman with negative pap smears feels she should be screened more frequently than every three years, it’s a discussion she should have with her doctor.

Hmm. We wonder what the Outcome of such a Discussion would be? How will individual Nervousness fare against Statistical Evidence for the Population at large, and against the budgetary Restraints of the Government Monopoly? Patients can never be at the "Centre" of the System until they graduate from Blobs to Consumers – and become like the Purchasers of Shoes and the Buyers of Automobiles.

August 16, 2012

We were intrigued to see the Results of a Poll by Insightrix Research, showing the Views of Canadians on the Matter of Climate Change. (National Post, August 16.)

It is not surprising to see that the Majority of Canadians believe that Change in Climate is taking place. Indeed, we wonder how Anyone could have avoided entirely stumbling over some of the most elementary Facts of the History of the Earth – which show that vast Changes in Climate have taken place over the Millennia. In the Light of such a History, it would be a bold Man indeed to suggest that, just for Us, the Climate, now in a perfect State, has found Religion, taken Anger Management Classes, and has given up its Moods and Swings for sweet Predictability.

The real Issue is, of course, whether Climate Change is Anthropogenic. The David Suzukis, Maurice Strongs, and Al Gores of this World have made a very good Living by telling us that we are responsible for Global Warming, that we must renounce our industrial Civilization and high Standard of Living and that we must return to the Caves from which we emerged Thousands of Years ago.


A few Years ago, we suspect a Majority of Citizens would have agreed with them. As the Facts have begun to emerge, the Flaws in the Alarmists Theories have been exposed, their Skulduggeries have been revealed and their Predictions have failed.

We are somewhat heartened, therefore to note that only 32% of Canadians believe that human Activity causes Climate Change, while 54% believe that the Causes are partly natural, and partly human.

One Day, we suspect, the Flap about Climate Change, its quasi-religious fervour, and the Purveyors of Herpetological Oil who so hypnotized a gullible Publick, will be seen as simply one more Item in the List of "Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds."*

*Title of Book published by Charles Mackay in 1841.

August 14, 2012

Many years ago, we resigned from our Employment as a Teacher, having come to the Conclusion we had a lamentable Lack of the Stupidity which would be required to continue in a Circumstance in which the Wisdom of Students was perceived to be sufficiently advanced that neither Addition or Amelioration from any outside Source was necessary.

Having a Distaste for further regular Employment, we eked out an Existence as a "Small Landlord" – a Term which refers not, actually, to the Size of the Landlord, but to the Size of his Holdings. Our Holdings consisted of three Houses, two of which were rented as Duplexes, and a Third which was our Place of Residence and had Five rentable Rooms.

We watched with some Dismay as the Politicians, apparently noting that there were more voting Tenants than voting Landlords, passed increasingly draconian Legislation designed to favour Tenants and drive Landlords with small Holdings out of Business.

Indeed, having encountered the "Tenant from Hell," who seemed to be fully enabled by the Legislation of the Time, we decided, once again, that our level of stubborn Foolishness was insufficient to the Demands of the Business, and sold two Houses.

We offer this Information as an Explanation of our present Satisfaction on Reading an Article in this day’s National Post, captioned:

Tenants abusing legal system: judge


The Case referred to is that of a "small Landlord," Melissa D’Amico, who rented an Apartment to Ronny Hitti and his Company, Toronto Bespoke Inc. Rent was not paid, and although Ms. D’Amico started Eviction Proceedings, after ten months, Nothing has happened.

The Reason for this is that, apparently, if a Tenant gives a Cheque for past Rent which is of bouncily fraudulent Rubber, the mere Act of Presenting the Cheque, with an Affidavit to the Effect that the Rent has been paid, is Cause for Wiping the Slate clean. Confirmation by the Landlord is not sought. The Eviction Proceedings must start all over again.

We quote with some Delight the Ruling of Ontario Superior Court Justice Ted Matlow:

My experience sitting as a single judge of this court to hear motions has convinced me that there is a growing practice by unscrupulous residential tenants to manipulate the law improperly, and often dishonestly, to enable them to remain in their rented premises for long periods of time without having to pay rent to their landlords.

We would almost have some Hope, but for the unfortunate Fact that there are still more voting Tenants than voting Landlords. Justice is a weak Reed in the Gale Force of "democratic" Elections, and the Lust for Power.


August 12, 2012.

After the recent Drought, Nature has seen fit to give us several Days of Rain, thereby slowing Progress on our Outdoor Projects. We do not complain about the Rain, since it is needed; but we wish Nature would distribute it more evenly so that we do not have extended Periods of Construction Idleness.

Yesterday, in an Interlude, we were able to pour two concrete Supports for our Current Project: an alternative Set of Steps from the Main Cottage to the Waterfront. We arose this Morning with Enthusiasm to build upon our new Supports, but the Clouds rolled in and a few Spatterings of Rain have been sufficient to dampen our Zeal. The Spatterings ceased almost immediately after we had gathered up our Tools; it is our Conviction that were we to bring them out again, a heavy Downpour would ensue. Optimism has never been our Habit.


Instead, we have posted a new Observation of adequate Gloominess. We think there is entirely too much Levity in the World, interspersed with excessive Frivolity and unseemly Dollops of Lightness of Heart; thus we feel the Necessity to provide an adequate Counterweight by pointing out, from Time to Time, the Reality of our peculiar Circumstance.
August 11, 2012.

We confess to a continuing Fascination with Stories of Plagiarism in high Places.

The latest Example is that of Fareed Zakaria, who has been suspended by Time Magazine for a Month, and by CNN for an unspecified Period.

It appears that Mr. Zakaria wrote an Article this Week for Time Magazine about Gun Control which "lifted" Bits from an Article on the very same Topick by Jill Lepore in the April 23 Issue of The New Yorker.

The Matter of Plagiarism has always been a great Puzzlement to Us. We ourselves do naturally recoil at the Thought of Conventionality, and have always striven for some Element of Originality in Expression. While it is true that there is oft much to be admired in the Expression of others, we could hardly contemplate pretending that it was a Part and Parcel of our own.*

We are particularly puzzled in this Matter. While we can understand, perhaps, the Purloining of Phrases in some long forgotten and undistinguished Novel in the Construction of one’s own, it would seem imprudent to choose from Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, or Gone with the Wind.


In writing about Gun Control in August, it seems foolhardy to select Words from an Article in the April Edition of the New Yorker, the Obscurity of which has not yet been well established.

The Case reminds us of that of Dr. Philip Baker who, in 2011, drew heavily -- in a Speech to a Graduating Class – on one published in the New Yorker by Dr. Atul Gawande. The Speech included the wonderful Phrase "velluvial matrix" – an imaginative concoction of Dr. Gawande –which was the Clue to the illicit Source of Dr. Baker’s Address.

Perhaps the Ubiquitousness of Google has altered Perceptions. Material gathered freely, as from the Air, seems to have no Authorship; there are no proprietary Strings attached. For those for whom Originality of Expression is not of major or paramount Importance, Plagiarism has lost almost all Status in the Hierarchy of Sins.

We are pleased that Time and CNN are not of that Number.


* We recall that we ourselves are fond of repeating the Line – without quotation Marks – "It is a truth universally acknowledged...." This is done on the Premise that some Lines are so famous that Attribution looks like Pedantry of the most foolish Sort.


August 7, 2012

We confess to have been down in the Dumps of late. The Sun arises in the Morning, and then, some Hours later it doth retire for the Night. On some few Occasions the same Sun is blocked by Clouds, and on other Occasions, Rain doth fall. Then, the Rain stops; the Clouds do disappear – or not – according to their Disposition.

As is his Custom, His Majesty doth awaken us at some ungodly Hour in the Morning asking to be fed, and then, at a later Hour of only slightly diminished Ungodliness, he awakens us again to be let out. Later still, he will present himself at the Door, wishing to come in again.

Further afield, War continues in the Middle East, Shootings occur nightly in Toronto, and deadly Rampages are reported in the United States. And at the Foodland in Running Brook, local Citizens continue to buy overpriced Merchandise with no Hint of Awareness, as if unoppressed by the Stultifying Sameness of Existence.

In these Dumps, these Dregs of Depression, we were heartened to see last Evening an Advertisement on Television for a new Drug called Cymbalta, which holds some Promise for our Misery.


We were especially heartened by the Honesty of the Manufacturers of this Concoction. We have oft been led astray by Promises of Fast Fast Relief, Nirvana (from a Nutbar) in a Nutshell, or Windmills at the Bottom of our Garden.

Cymbalta, we are reassured, can cause Problems of the Liver, and of the Kidney, and is not advised for those with Glaucoma. Headaches, Weakness, Dizziness, and Problems with Urine Flow may be encountered. It may cause Fever, Confusion, stiff Muscles, Skin Blisters, Memory Problems and Sores in the Mouth. It may increase Pressure of the Blood, and there is increased Risk of Bleeding for those taking Aspirin or Blood Thinners. It may conflict in a severe, Life-threatening Manner with other Medications. In those over 65, it appears to increase the Risk of Falls; serious Injuries from these Falls have been reported. Severe Problems of the Liver, sometimes fatal, have occurred.

Finally, it may cause Thoughts of Suicide.

It sounds as this may be the very Remedy we have been seeking. We plan to consult with our Physician at the earliest Opportunity.




August 3, 2012

Secret Guilty Pleasures

It is not our Custom to boast of our Secret Guilty Pleasures, being of the View that, once made public, such Enjoyments become Public Guilty Pleasures, which do not have quite the same Cachet. Indeed, the revealed Guilty Pleasure carries with it, in some odd Fashion, the Diminishment of both Guilt and, regrettably, Pleasure.

However, in the Instance we are about to recount, the Desire for Publicity overcomes all.

We have been disturbed, of late, by our Inability to purchase Paints based in Oil. We understand that the Government, which is always acting in our best Interests, has decided that the Volatile Organic Compounds associated with such Products constitute a Threat to our Health and Well-being. In a lucky Coincidence, Manufacturers of Paint claim that their new Products, besides lacking Toxicity, are far superior to the older, primitive Concoctions.

A few Owners of Wooden Boats, and a few Curmudgeons clinging to outmoded Ways and dangerous Habits are skeptical. Indeed, we ourselves have, upon Occasion, gobbled up the last few remaining Containers of our favourite Colours, so that our Decorative Traditions may be maintained, in Defiance of Government Mandate.

We confess that we are sometimes suspicious of those who would change our Ways. We note the rise of Margarine based on faulty Information about saturated Fat. We marvel at the looming Ban on Incandescent Bulbs, despite Evidence that the fluorescent Replacements are potentially as hazardous as the oiliest Coatings known to Mankind.



By Happenstance, just the other Day, we encountered, at Wind-in-the-Pines, an old, rusty-topped Container of Paint. The Label, ripped and partly detached, bore the Mark, Benjamin Moore, and the Designations: House Paint Tudor Brown.

 We had no need of modern Techniques of Carbon-Dating or Crime Lab Analysis to know that the Can was over thirty Years Old. Indeed, Benjamin Moore’s Tudor Brown was the very Paint used on the original Cabin, and the now-deceased Boathouse. The Heft of the Container suggested, not Dregs, but a full Complement of Coating. No doubt it would be Nothing but a congealed Mess.

To our Surprise, the Contents proclaimed their Original Condition. Stirred, they were a darkly impenetrable Pool of deepest Brown. There was an Aroma of Volatile, tinged with bitumen, and the merest Hint of Organic Compound.

We briefly considered the Paintophile and Black Market Possibilities of such a Find. Could it be listed on E-Bay, or would the Government shut down the Site?

No, far better -- at Dusk or in the early Morning Light -- surreptitiously to repaint the Trim of the Lower Level Windows of the Cottage, and then, after sending anonymous E-Mails to the Government Volatile Organic Compound Department suggesting that a Transgression may be about to take place in Vancouver, to revitalize the old Toolshed – originally painted in Benjamin Moore Tudor Brown.

The Paint is glossy, goes on smooth as silk. A Connoisseur’s Delight.


August 1, 2012

Behind the Cottage at Wind-in-the-Pines is a Stretch of the pre-Cambrian Shield –an Undulation of Rock which is gradually being reclaimed by Vegetation.

In some places the Rock is bare; in others, a thin Layer of Lichen keeps a tenacious grip. Elsewhere, there are various types of Moss, and tufts of Grass.

In Depressions in the Rock, enough Soil has formed to support Bushes of Juniper, Sumac, and even Trees of Oak. In this last Drought, many of these Trees may have perished. Their Leaves are withered, mere Crisps of tree-tethered brown.

Seeing from human Vantage Point, we are like to mourn their Passing: in difficult Conditions, they took Root, and thrived in Defiance of their Circumstance. In the End, their Lack of Soil and Root made them vulnerable to extreme Conditions.


In the Perspective of the great March of Life, that blind and opportunistic Force which explores all Avenues and drives any Bargain with its Surrounding, we must say that frankly, my Dear, Nature does not give a Damn. The noble Tree, in Death and Decay will provide a slight Advantage to the next. And though that too, may perish, it will make, with its Destruction, a more fortunate Soil for its Successor, until – who knows – some hundreds of Years hence, the Rock has yielded to Forest.

This is the Reality of our own Circumstance. We think in Terms of unique Individuals, their Talents, Strengths and Foibles, their unrepeatable snowflake Patterns. In Fact, we are all but expendable Links in a Chain which moves with apparent Purpose, but towards a Goal unseen, unknown and undefined.


P.S. : We have commented, once again on those silly Health Care ads currently appearing on Television. See the Drivel Section.


July 31, 2012

Last Saturday we had Occasion to make our annual Visit to the Festival of the Sound at Parry Sound on the Shores of Georgian Bay.

Our only faithful Reader, our Aunt Myalgia, who is confined against her Wishes at the Shady Hollow Psychiatric Facility in downtown Toronto, will be surprised to learn that our pre-concert Meal was obtained at the infamous Bay Street Café, a mere Hop and Skip from the Concert Hall.

Doubtless only she will remember that, two Years ago we ordered, at that very Location, a Dinner of Pickerel, touted as a wonderful Specialty, for $23.99. (Diary, July 25, 2010) Normally, Meals priced at over $20 do not register on our Restaurant Radar Screen, they being automatically filtered out by our patented Pocketbook Protection Program. Because of a temporary Glitch in the Software -- possibly caused by a Suds Overload Condition -- we ordered the Meal. To our Surprise, the Pickerel, far from being obtained by the Chef that very Morning, fresh from the nearby Bay, gave every Appearance and gustatory Evidence of having been purchased in Bulk at Food Basics at about the Time of the Dinosaur Extinction, maintained at very low Temperatures in the Interim, and then heated for the Occasion of our Visit in a Microwave Oven.

As a further Insult to the Norms of Culinary Sophistication, not even a Crust of Bread or desultory Roll was provided in Accompaniment.



How strange and capricious are the Decisions made by mortals in the Vicinity of that Concert Hall! Approaching the as-yet-untried Kutesy Kudos Kuisine, we noted that no Menu was Provided outside to allow for a preliminary Assessment of the Wares to be found within.

The Bay Street Café, possibly stung by our Rebuke from two Years past, or starting to feel the Pressure of Competition form the recently opened Kutesy Kuisine, has taken to providing a Menu visible to Passers-by.

Yes, indeed, the offending Pickerel is still available at $23.99. We resisted the Temptation to mark the Dish with an Asterisk, and a Warning AVOID at the Bottom of the Menu. We did note the Possibility of a Salad with Scallops for a more reasonable $10.99. We ventured in, and were somewhat mollified by the Result. However, The Bay Street Café still seems not to have heard of Bread.

The Concert itself was quite wonderful, consisting of famous Songs from various Operas without the boring Bits in between -- and quite free of the dreadful, Cacophonous Sound of Creakily unbelievable Plots lumbering across the Stage. The Performers seemed to be enjoying themselves, as if freed from the Tension of performing at the Met, and letting their Locks loose for the Folks at Home.

We pity the overwhelming Majority of the World’s Population which missed the Concert. The Festival, held in the unlikely and apparently completely breadless Backwater of Parry Sound, reminds us of the pure, serene Gems to be found in the dark unfathomed Ocean Caves of Mr. Gray’s Elegy.



July 28, 2012

It has come to our attention that the Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark, has hit upon the wonderful Scheme of holding up Alberta for Ransom in the matter of a proposed Pipeline which will pass from Alberta through her Province.

We think this is an admirable Manner for the raising of Revenues, which might well be adopted by any Province wishing to haul itself from the Miasma of a weak Condition of the Economy.

If every Province were to require a Payment for Goods shipped through its Territory, much beneficial Revenue would accrue to each.


In Addition to the Employment created for a Myriad of Clerks, Accountants, and Lawyers, there would also be much Benefit derived from the Construction of Facilities needed to process the Trans-shipment of Goods at all points of Ingress and Egress in each of the Provinces.

We think that, if she does not already possess the coveted Honour, Ms. Clark should be awarded the Order of Canada, the usual Medal embellished with a bejewelled (Diamonds would be our Preference) Artifact in the shape of small silver Pipeline, or Shaft, struck directly through a Representation (in Platinum) of the Province of Alberta.

We are pleased to see Ms. Clark make an Appearance on Limerick Lane.



July 26, 2012

And the God of the Left said: "We hold this Truth to be self-evident: that all Men should have a pleasant, cosy Place to live, free from Worry and Stress, regardless of their Circumstance."

And the Devil in the Details said: "That may be easier said than done."

And the God of the Left said: "Shut up."

And the Angels of the Left cheered, and passed Laws which made it very difficult for Landlords to refuse any Tenant, and made it exceedingly difficult to remove unsatisfactory Tenants.

And when the Landlords complained, the God of the Left said: "You’ve got to be kidding. There are more Tenants than Landlords. Shut up."

And the Angels of the Left cheered again, and made Social Housing for those few Tenants who could not find privately offered Accommodation. And the God of the Left was pleased, and he beamed mightily with Satisfaction.

But the Devil in the Details noticed that in the social Housing Facilities, all was not well. There were Shootings, and Drug Deals, and Prostitution. And some of the Tenants, yea, they complained.


And finally, there was a significant Shooting, and the Populace was distressed, and the Angels of the Left were discombobulated.

And one Angel called for the immediate Removal of Drug Dealers and Prostitutes, but discovered that the Rules for Social Housing did not allow for such an extreme Eventuality. And another Angel noted that Public Housing could not refuse to house Criminals, asking plaintively, "Where do we expect people to live?"

And the Landlords said: "Now you are beginning to understand the Problem."

And the Devil in the Details said: "What about Judicially Assisted Inhibited Living Sanctuaries?

And the God of the Left was mightily displeased, and his Angels flapped their Wings in an angry Paroxysm of Frustration and Dismay, for they had discovered the Obduracy of Reality.

Tiny white Feathers began to float, disconsolately, through the Air.



July 25, 2012

We were amused to see an Exposé involving the Liquor Control Board of Ontario depicted last Evening on the Sun News Network.

The Liquor Board is not supposed to sell its wonderful Products to those under the Age of Nineteen, they being considered insufficiently mature to manage the mind-altering Effects of Alcohol. Clerks are supposed to make Determination that Sales are not made in Contravention of this Rule.

David Menzies, clever Fellow, sent in a Fourteen-year-old Boy dressed in a Burka, with Gloves and Dark Glasses, to purchase Alcohol. The Boy was able to make Purchases at three different LCBO Stores.

The Exposé is of dual Nature.

First, Employees at the Board are not following their own Guidelines. In pursuit of this Issue, Mr. Menzies was unable to speak to Managers. We wonder why.

Thus, second, we must conclude that Employees are not following the Guidelines – and Managers refuse to talk about it – because of political Correctness. No one wishes to cause a Fuss, or ruffle Feathers where the Dogma of Multiculturalism is involved. The Dogma of Multiculturalism is that all Cultures are equal; asking a veiled Woman to reveal her Face is an implied Criticism of her Culture. Whether she wears the Veil under Duress, or whether it is freely chosen, it is still an Expression of Culture.


We have often made the Point that, in our Pursuit of Multiculturalism, we seem to think it more fitting to make our own Culture subservient to others, rather than requiring other Cultures to conform to our own. From this we derive much Sense of Satisfaction in the smug Contemplation of our own wonderful Tolerance.

The Employees at the Liquor Stores merely reflect the prevailing Deference, the giving Way when another Culture demands that we do so.

In small Matters, this may be viewed as a Courtesy. We regard the Circumstance of Veiling as more significant. It is our Custom to see Faces to determine Intent and Emotion, so that we may engage more closely with others. Those who hide their Faces keep themselves apart, and signal their Disapproval of the Culture in which they find themselves. We also require People to be identifiable to help avoid Fraud and Deception.

While we might not go so far as to ban such Veiling – as has been done in other Countries– we would make it a Requirement that Veils be lifted in all Interactions with Government, or with Merchants – such as Jewellers – who have legitimate Concerns about Masked People entering their Premises.

We might note that had the Employees of the Liquor Stores reflected on the Islamic Prohibition on Alcohol, they would have had added Impetus towards Adherence to the Rules.


July 24, 2012

We much prefer – like most other People – a World of Certainty in which our Opinions can be clear, direct, and unequivocal. Thus, our Health Care System is a disgraceful Exercise in coercive central Planning, Climate Alarmists are irredeemably evil, and the United Nations is hopelessly corrupt.

We are not as fond of Worlds of subtlety and Nuance, where a firm and categorical Opinion is elusive, and one is afflicted by a dreadful "on-the-other-handishness.."

Yet this is the World we confront when considering the Matter of Firearms.

To some Extent, Opinions may be classified as Right or Left. Those on the left feel that, deep down, every human Being has a golden, angelic Core which, with sufficient kindness and enough social Programs, can be brought to the fore. In view of such attainable Goodness, it only makes sense to banish – along with unkind Words, Selfishness, and Unhappiness – Firearms of any kind.

Those on the Right, who examine the human Core, and catch a significant Whiff of Brimstone, are not so optimistic about the successful Prohibition of Firearms.


It is our View that in the United States, where there is an historical Distrust of Government, the "Right to Bear Arms" has gone too far. The recent Shooting in Colorado leads us to question why an ordinary Citizen should have Access to Weapons of such deadly Force. We recall some Years ago, the Case of someone in Halloween Dress who rang a Doorbell in Error, turned to flee, and was shot by the Homeowner when he did not respond to the word " stop."

In Canada, where Socialism is the prevailing Philosophy, and it is the Custom to expect Government to control everything, we see Demands for a complete Ban on some Firearms, and impossible Restrictions on the Rest. This ignores the fact that Dwellers in rural Areas may have need of Guns, and there may be some who can claim legitimate Reason for a Means of Protection.

In general, we approve of the cultural Notion in Canada that Citizens need not be armed, even though that makes the Task of the armed Criminal much easier. We think Citizens should have the right to own Guns, but that the Penalty for using them in the Commission of a Crime should be exceptionally high, so that their Popularity might be significantly diminished among those with a less than angelic Core.


P.S. We have suggested some other Uses for the Term "Squirm and Ho-hum" used in yesterday's Diary. Please consult the Drivel Section.


July 23, 2012

Yesterday to Stratford to see a Performance of Shakespeare’s Henry V.

The Weather was fine and warm, and the Geezermobile adequate to the Journey – with the Exception of the Fact that the Air-Conditioning seemed less robust than we expected; possibly, after several Years of Neglect, some additional operative Gas is required to return the Unit to its former Efficiency.

We confess that Parsimony is woven into the very Fibre of our Being; thus we were pleased to find a Space for the Geezermobile on a Street very near to the Theatre. The Signage indicated that Parking was illegal, except for Sundays from 9:30 to 12:30, doubtless to allow those of a religious Turn of Mind to attend a nearby Church with Impunity. When we parked, it was well past the allotted Hours of Dispensation, but we noticed other Transgressors, and, after a brief Prayer to the Great God Murphy, and the Gaining of his whole-hearted Approval, we took a Chance. Indeed, the Geezermobile remained, magnificent and unticketed, until our Return.

In the Lobby of the Theatre, we were less fortunate. Our Skinflint Nature forbids us to Purchase at Patron Traps, but under the Exigencies of Starvation and an Allotment of Time insufficient to allow a Trip to MacDonald’s, a small plastic Tray of Cheese -- prettily decorated with four Grapes – was purchased and consumed. The cost was Twelve Dollars.

With Time, some intensive hypnotic Therapy, and a rigorous Regimen of thinking happy, frugal Thoughts, we expect to regain our mental Balance within the next Three to Six Months.

Now, as to the Play, we make no Pretense to be a Critick. We think it best, before seeing a Play of Shakespeare, to have read the Work with some Intensity beforehand, in order to better* understand the Language, which is oft more old-fashioned and inscrutable than our own. This we had not done, and thus were at some Disadvantage.

However, the main Plot was clear enough. The play deals with the Plan of Henry V to make claim against France, and his eventual Success at Agincourt in 1415, a major Battle in the Hundred Years War between Britain and France.


For the most Part, we are drawn into the Usual Emotions: the Good Guys, after some Difficulty, triumph over the Bad Guys. It should be noted that the Matter is not entirely unambiguous. Henry’s Motivations are shown as unconvincing, and the Man himself is a mixture of sympathetic Reasonableness and hard-nosed Cruelty. The "low Characters" of the Play suggest that the Reality of Life and War is in Contrast to the great Purposes and noble Language of the main Characters.

We think the Play should have ended at the Battle. Unfortunately, Shakespeare serves us with an anticlimactic and too-rapid Wooing of Catherine, daughter of the French King. We dither between Squirm and Ho-hum.

Old Plays are often the Matter of much clever and elaborate Staging by modern Minds, and this Play is no Exception. Some of our Delight is garnered by inventive Devices.

We saw the Play as a Depiction of an ancient Way of Thinking and Living – the strange Precursor to what the World has now become. It is a World of Kings who make Wars, and change History, largely because that was the Fact and Fashion of the Time. Without the Notion that God’s in his Heaven, and Monarchs draw Power with his Approval, none of it would have been possible. For the average Man, Life was "nasty, poor, brutish, and short."* *(Henry himself reigned only from the Age of 26, before dying of Dysentery at Age 35.)



*Yes – after due Deliberation we have concluded that Splitting the Infinitive is justified. We suspect that Murphy himself, if asked, would approve.

** We believe the Essence of Hobbes’ Remark still to be true; but, today, things are fuzzier, and a bit softer around the Edges.



July 21, 2012

On April 23, we did outline the two differing Views of Omar Khadr. The one most frequently encountered in the Media is that he is an unfortunate Child Soldier, unwillingly caught up in Forces beyond his Control, and now languishing in a foreign Prison. His Crime – the Killing of an American Soldier – is seen as a regrettable youthful Indiscretion. Upon his Return to Canada he will most likely become a Plumber, marry, buy a House in Ajax, and send his Children for Lessons in Piano and Ballet. He will distinguish himself as a Coach of Girls’ Field Hockey before retiring to a serene old Age at the Bide-a-Bit Retirement Facility in Elliot Lake.

The opposing View, that espoused by Ezra Levant, is that Mr. Khadr is one steeped from his early Years in the Philosophy of Terrorism still espoused by his Family in Canada. He was a Maker of Bombs and enthusiastic Jihadist. He has never rejected this Philosophy, and his return to Canada poses a threat to its Citizens.

His original sentence of Forty Years was reduced to Eight, and the Government of the United States engineered an Agreement whereby Mr. Khadr would return to Canada. In making the Arrangement, the Americans conveniently withheld the Assessment of Psychiatrists, Dr. Alan Hopewell and Dr. Michael Welner, as well as videotaped Interviews with Mr. Khadr.


Dr. Welner sees Mr. Khadr as a Jihadist "who has become even more radical in his ideology while serving time at Guantanamo Bay prison." (Toronto Sun, July 20.) He has concluded:

If the government does not actively deradicalize with the message that Islam must seek equality rather than theocracy, tomorrow’s prisoners – be they in Gitmo or in any other prison in America — will continue to amiably soak in hate and find comrades_in_arms who buy into that now_dominant message of Islamist supremacy and entitlement to violence.

Mr. Vic Toews, as Minister of Public Safety, is required to consider the Effect on Public Safety in the matter of the Transfer of Offenders. He has now written to Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defence in the United States, and the Lawyers for Mr. Khadr, indicating that the Information thus far withheld must be released.

This Move would appear to be prudent. Beyond what these Documents and Tapes may reveal about Mr. Khadr, they may also shed Light on what we suspect to be a consistent Bias of Bleeding Heartism in the Mainstream of Canadian Journalism. We shall see.




July 19, 2012


We came close to a Conniption Fit last Evening as we watched the Sun News Network.

For there was portrayed an attempted Robbery at the Palm Internet Café in Ocala, Florida.

Two Men, Nineteen Years of Age, were shown with a Gun and Baseball Bat demanding that Patrons surrender their Valuables.

A Mr. Samuel Williams, 71, was shown drawing his own Pistol, firing at the Robbers, and driving them from the Premises. Both Robbers were wounded. It appears that Mr. Williams is to be allowed to go free without Penalty, while the entrepreneurial young Men are charged with attempted Robbery and criminal Mischief.

How different from our own secure and beloved Canada! We thank the great God Murphy we live in a Land of so much greater Civility and Security of Person.

In Canada, we can scarcely count the Charges Mr. Williams would now currently be facing. We imagine the following, at least:

1. Being within Twenty-five Feet of a Firearm.

2. Unsafe Possession and Storage of Ammunition.

3. Attempted Murder.

4. Wounding.

5. Reckless Endangerment of the Public.


6. Failure to comply with the reasonable Demands of the Robbers.

7. Failure to call 911 to secure the eventual Services of dedicated, caring, public Law Enforcement Professionals.

8. Jurisdictional Transgression, and usurping of role of dedicated, caring, public Law Enforcement Professionals.

9. Trying to bring Public Law Enforcement into disrepute.

10. Having a bad Attitude.


Yes, indeed. In Canada, Mr. Williams would be facing a Lifetime in Prison, or a Lifetime of Litigation trying to avoid it. And should the Robbers turn out to be Members of a protected identifiable Group, he could expect Prosecution by a Human Rights Commission for hate Crimes.

While we can hardly condone the Indiscretions of the Nineteen-year-olds, we would point out that they are very young, and can hardly be considered responsible for their Actions. It is quite possible that they are Members of an officially protected cultural Group, and hence not liable to be held to general Standards of Behaviour. They show much Promise in their entrepreneurial Attitude. In Canada, they would, of course, have any Sentence for Wrongdoing mitigated in Return for their Testimony against the reprehensible Mr. Williams.

In our fortunate Land, therefore, we would expect to see Mr. Williams languish in Prison. However, it would not surprise us to see a memorial Statue erected in Honour of these wayward but salvageable young Men for their Attempts to overcome the Effects of unfortunate Childhoods and unhappy cultural Influences. Possibly a Spot for such a Work would be found in Mr. Clement’s Riding in Gravenhurst.


July 18, 2012

We observed the other day (July 14) that Reality is Darwinian, but that the Aspirations of Man are egalitarian. From this obdurate Dichotomy, arises much Disappointment, Dissatisfaction, and Despair. (Observation #183)

We admit to a Fondness for Sweeping Generalizations; while it is true that a broad Brush may be criticized on Matters of Detail, it is useful in painting the Forests in which we might otherwise become lost by attempting to travel from Tree to Tree.

Thus, we would go further, and say Conservatives tend to view the World with a Darwinian Lens, while Socialists much prefer Glasses tinted in aspirational, egalitarian Rose.

We were intrigued, the other Day, to view an Impromptu Portion of a Speech by Barack Obama shown on The Source. Mr. Obama was at Pains to refute the Darwinian (and old-fashioned American) Notion that Success is achieved through superior Intelligence and Industry. He noted that there are Many who are intelligent, and Many who are diligent, suggesting (because not all of the Many achieve the same Success) that these are not the Factors that lead to Success.

We would not dismiss the Fact that Luck or Chance play a Role in Success; they do.

However, Mr. Obama seems to suggest the socialist View: Success is "unfair" -- People are essentially equal, and should receive equal Rewards.


Indeed, he referred to the fact that successful People do not arrive at their Positions on their own. They may have been helped by a Teacher, or been assisted by government Infrastructure such as Roads and Bridges. Thus, we are all part of a Collective – the individual Success should be seen as a mere Reflection of the general amorphous Effort. Mr. Obama noted that many wealthy Americans agreed with him that they should "give back" to the Society which allowed them to flourish. The Society, of course is represented by Government, which knows best where to build Bridges, and Roads, and how best to help the unsuccessful.

This is a wonderful Example of a World that we might prefer. But that World does not work. What does seem to work is the real World, which is, at its Essence, competitive and unfair – and yet results – as shown by the Free Enterprise Experience – in Achievement and Prosperity.

All would agree that the Darwinian Reality should be tempered with some egalitarian Aspiration. The animal World is "red in tooth and claw." But when People believe that all are equal, and all should be equally rewarded, they throw a mud-pie of Naivete into the wonderful Engine of self-interest and free Enterprise which underlies all Progress. The Wheels slow down; bureaucratic Sand clogs the Cylinders; Wealth is wasted on elaborate Schemes arising from impossible Dreams. Citizens, no longer resourceful, wait, dependent and diapered, for the Nanny State to clean up the Pooh.

But the Task has become Augean, and Hercules is on a government-mandated Vacation.


July 16, 2012

When doth Tact become tacky, and Diplomacy become Dereliction?

We note the gradual Spinectomy of our Culture, it apparently being of so little Worth that Replacement of any of its constituent Bones is of a Benefit which all must aver.

We note that according to Suns News (July 13) the RCMP is much influenced by a wonderful Booklet entitled Words make Worlds which is at Pains to be diplomatic by means of large Dollops of Whitewash. It urges that Muslim Feelings not be "inflamed:"

"Distorted and inflammatory linkages between Islam and terrorism can serve to convince Muslims -- both in the West and in the larger Islamic world -- that the West is, in fact, their enemy."

Thus, Organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, are not to be feared, and "jihad" is merely an internal struggle "striving in the path to God."

This News has not, apparently been conveyed to Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, recently elected President of Egypt who has said:

Jihad is our path and death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty aspiration.



We note that it is now, apparently, the Custom of the RCMP not to mention Religion when Suspects of Terrorism are arrested. It might be inflammatory when those who claim Religion as their Cause for Destruction, have it noted which Religion it is that motivates them.

The RCMP performs an unmusical Ride on Limerick Lane.

In a related Matter, we note that Tony Clement arrived in a Rickshaw to publicize the opening of a Shrine to Dr. Norman Bethune in his Home Riding of Gravenhurst. Dr. Bethune was a Communist and ardent Supporter of Mao Zedong, who killed approximately Sixty Million People in his socialistic Enthusiasm. The Chinese National Anthem was played at the Ceremony. (Ezra Levant on Lilley’s Pad, July 13)

The Cost of the Museum is $2.5 Million. Mr. Levant notes that the Government has yet to provide any Funds for a proposed Memorial in Ottawa to the Victims of Communism.

The Effects of Spinectomy are not difficult to detect: though mounted on a Rooftop, the amenable Canadian Rooster, lacking any inherent Conviction or Certainty of Purpose, points Direction, and proceeds at the Whim of the Wind.


July 14, 2012

We note that Andrew Coyne has tackled, in this Day’s National Post, the Topick of Healthcare. This is a result of the Challenge in Alberta to which we referred on July 11.

We have long advocated the Ability to purchase Private Insurance as a Counterweight to the existing coercive System, which decrees that Patients must be Supplicants, prostrating themselves before the almighty Government System, currying Favour with Doctors and Staff, and resigning themselves to Waiting at the Entrance to the mysterious and unpredictable Castle of Care Delivery, like the unfortunate K in the Novel by Kafka.

Mr. Coyne points out the Disadvantages of Private Insurance: it is in the Interest of Insurers to deny Service to those most likely to require Care; it is for this Reason that Obamacare requires all Citizens and all Insurers to participate.

We admit the Difficulties of both Government and Private Systems; it is our Hope that some Combination of the Two will lead to the greatest Happiness of the greatest Number.

Indeed, we see this Matter as but a particular Instance or a more general Dichotomy in the Situation of Mankind:



Reality is Darwinian; Man’s Aspirations, egalitarian. From this obdurate Dichotomy flows much Disappointment, Dissatisfaction, and Despair. (Observation # 183)

It is the Aspiration to provide all Care for all People equally; in Reality:

In most Things, Money matters. (Observation # 182)

To give another Example: Governments desire that Housing be provided for all. No one is too unreliable, impecunious, noisy, drug-addled, or disruptive to be denied a Place to live. This is the egalitarian Aspiration. The Reality is, that no one in the Business of Renting wishes to rent to unsatisfactory Tenants. As a Result, Governments attempt much draconian Legislation to force Landlords to do what they would not do in their own Self-Interest.

It is our Contention that the free Market – which is Darwinian -- should be allowed to operate for those capable of surviving, in some Fashion, within it. There will always be some, who through Misfortune, Misadventure, or Maladaptation,  must be helped by the Government.

The Difficulty in determining the Balance between Reality and Aspiration suggests that we will always live in interesting Times.



July 12, 2012

We note with interest the News that

Britain and the European Union are preparing to lift sanctions on Robert Mugabe...to persuade the Zimbabwean President to hold free and fair elections. (National Post, July 12)

These sanctions included measures in 2002 that banned Mr. Mugabe and his officials from travelling to Europe, and the freezing of some bank accounts.

This strikes us as odd, since it always appeared to us that Mr. Mugabe’s – how shall we describe them? – Infelicities in Behaviour -- were directed ruthlessly and relentlessly at remaining in Power, whatever the Cost.


We can only suppose that it has been discovered that Mr. Mugabe is, in fact, a New Age, genetically modified Leopard, whose spots can be coloured, modified, enlarged, or shrunk at the lifting of a Sanction, or, perhaps, with the earnest Expression of a heartfelt Wish.

We are pleased that Britain and the European Union have made this important scientific Breakthrough, and look forward to many other Advances of a similar Nature in dealing with the perplexing Menagerie of powerful and disruptive international Beasts.



July 11, 2012

The Noodle Nanny Nation.

Is the Nanniness of our Nation simply a Result of the Fact that, when America had the wild West, Canada had the Royal Canadian Mounted Police? We know not. What is clear is that the Citizens of Canada prefer the Order of the strict Governess at Home to the Uncertainty of living freely in Residences of their own Responsibility.

We note that John Carpay, founder of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is challenging the Law in Alberta which forbids the Purchase of Private Insurance for Healthcare. Two Citizens went to the United States for Surgery, but were denied Compensation on the Grounds that the Procedures were available in the Province, although after much Delay. (National Post, July 10, 2012)

This is the great Coercion of our medical System: the Government promises to look after its Citizens, but entirely at its Leisure: it forbids the purchase of Private Insurance to speed Delivery of Care. This Circumstance was declared unconstitutional in Quebec in 2005, although little has changed as a Result.

But Many seem unconcerned. Dr. Tom Noseworthy a Professor at the University of Calgary, completely misses the Point by claiming that "Expanding private insurance does not reduce public waiting times, that’s been made clear in the U.K. and in Australia." (Mr. Carpay claims that there are no waiting times in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.)

The Point is the Matter of Coercion. And, in logic, in a free Market System, increased Demand will increase Supply, albeit possibly at a higher Price.


David Eggen, an NDP Legislator, classifies Mr. Carpay’s Actions as trying to get the best of both worlds, which is not "legal, nor is it morally acceptable."

What is not morally acceptable is a System which forces Citizens to apply to a Monopoly for Care. In any Monopoly there is an inherent underlying Disdain for those who seek its Products; without Competition, Matters of Price -- or Inconvenience – have a low Priority. Patients are not Customers, free to choose from a Variety of Providers, but Supplicants required to jump through the Hoops of the only System available to them. It is a Disgrace.

The same Nanniness has been observed by Ezra Levant in his Battle with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, which is attempting to censor him for "bias" and "tirades." He has indulged in "language excesses."

He notes that some of the censorship Requirements reflect the Language of Human Rights Hate Speech Provisions (currently in the Process of Repeal), which try to prevent Groups or Individuals from being exposed to Hatred or Contempt.

Such Nanny Notions are based on a wonderful Pie-in-the-Skyism. Will there not always be Groups or Individuals deserving of Hatred, Ridicule, or Contempt? Must we respect Suicide Bombers, Honour Killers, Climate Alarmists, Members of Human Rights Commissions, and Participants in Kangaroo Courts operated by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council?


Oops! We hear a ringing of the Bell. It must be Time for Lunch. We dare not be late.


July 10, 2012

We consider ourselves indeed fortunate -- it is a Matter of great and continuing Satisfaction -- that we live in Times so undeniably advanced as our own.

In more primitive Days, the Absurd was of limited Sphere: the Caveman watching his Fellow in vain Pursuit of a Squirrel; the earnest Belief that a Dance would bring the rain; the devoted Alchemist expending all his Energy in the Transmutation of Lead into Gold.

How much more fortunate are we today in the Entertainment provided by Examples of Vanity and Illusion, the excessive human Reach and limited predictable Grasp which is at the Core of the Absurd.

Today, we have the United Nations.

We have learned that Iran has been elected to a "top regional post" (Toronto Sun, July 9) at the United Nations Trade Treaty Conference. Further, we understand that Syria has applied to be a Member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, and is likely to be elected in 2013.


When we consider the recent Appointment of the elegantly accomplished and diplomatically adept Robert Mugabe as a United Nations Ambassador for Tourism, we feel there is little more to be said about the Pre-eminence of the United Nations in its chosen Sphere.

Well, perhaps we could mention recent Condemnations of Canada for its Food Policies, Protest Regulations in Quebec, and Treatment of Omar Khadr.

The United Nations is a vastly entertaining Theatre of the Absurd. But the Performances are broadcast far and wide, for all to see. Why is there the Need to purchase Tickets, or mime* a Participation in the Blackness of the infernal Comedy?


*Canada did not vote against the selection of Iran.


July 9, 2012

We would be much remiss if we were not to take note of the Discovery of the Higgs Boson.

It has been sought since 1964, when Peter Higgs proposed that a sub-atomic Particle should exist to help explain why things have Mass.

It was predicted to be elusive, quickly breaking down into other Particles without the least Provocation. There would be no Point in extending an Invitation to Dinner, with the Hope that it would give a leisurely Account of Matter, Mass, and the reclusively paranoid Tendencies of Bosons.

Indeed, the Higgs Boson has been discovered, only after much Effort, lurking in a Hadron Collider. Stephen Hawking, who had placed a One hundred Dollar Bet with Gordon Kane of the University of Michigan, in the Belief that the Boson would never be discovered, has said that his Cheque is in the Mail.


Because the Boson can never be seen directly, but only from residual Particles, a few Skeptics remain. They suggest that other Elements might have been responsible for the observed Evidence.

We confess that, understanding nothing of Physicks, our Repose has remained unchallenged, our Level of Serenity has remained undiminished throughout this whole Affair. Our Faith in the Great God Murphy remains undimmed; it is the Rock that sustains us through the great Turbulences of the scientific Times.

If the Scientists could discover the Answer to the Disappearance of Socks in the Laundry, our Interest would be rather more considerably kindled.

We do note the Appearance of the Higgs Boson – strolling in plain view, with unaverted Gaze --on Limerick Lane.


July 8, 2012.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all. (Anglican Hymn, 1848)

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry...

Did he who made the lamb make thee? (From William Blake’s The Tyger, 1794)

Yesterday we did return from Wind-in-the-Pines and happened to hear on the Radio of the Serviceable Six, a Repeat Broadcast of Quirks and Quarks. One of the Segments dealt with a middle east Beetle, Epomis, the Larva of which lures Frogs and other Amphibians with Motions which lead them to believe it represents a tasty Morsel.

On the Contrary, when the Frog strikes, the Larva moves more adeptly, and fastens itself to the Frog. At first it sucks Fluid, but then begins to chew on the Amphibian until only Bones remain.

The Success Rate of the Larva in such Encounters appears to be 100%.

We draw Attention to this Matter only to discomfit those who have a Fondness for pre-Darwinian Anglican Hymns and similar optimistic Foolishness. At least William Blake, in his Poems about the Lamb and the Tyger, shows an appropriate Puzzlement about the World, which is a far more cruel and dangerous Place than many – who construct Theories based on selected Evidence --would wish to believe.


(For more Details on the Epomis Beetle, google Wizen & Gasith: An unprecedented role reversal...)