Monday, February 27, 2006

Power Play

Last summer I fired off an (exceedingly rare) letter to the neditor of the Lunchbucket Lament in which I castigated the Ontario governments past and present for their lamentable lack of foresight on the energy front.

Lately, this has been on my mind again. In all this blather about the shortage of power generation plants, why, oh why, has no one been able to think outside the box even a whit? I seriously lost faith in Bob Rae’s intelligence when, after months of tooling around the Ontario universe talking to the oracles, the best he could come up with was a suggestion that we build more nuclear power plants!

Nuclear! The recent audacity of the nuclear industry – to suggest that nuclear energy is clean – is  breathtaking, to say the least. We’re hard up against a samsaric duality here, I think: it’s so dirty, it’s clean!

Everybody’s so hung up on the giant power plant. Billions of dollars to spend on massive power generation. Grand Coulee dams of power generation! James Bay destructions of power generation! Million-year radiations of power generation!

I’m thinking of E.F. Schumacher, and his book Small Is Beautiful. Instead of thinking on a gigantic scale, we should be planning on a downsized scale. Screw the effin power grid! Rather than spending billions on hyper-steroid power plants, why not spend billions on these two things:
  1. R&D on alternative energy sources like, say, the sun?

  2. Subsidies for every household in Ontariariario to retrofit dwellings with solar panels, wind generators, big big batteries and everything else we can think of to give each of us self-sufficiency (or as close to it as possible) in power supply, and actually remove us from the grid, or allow us to feed back into it.

The problem here is that it requires a monumental shift in our thinking. A paradigm shift, to use an old New Age phrase. Goddammit, what is wrong with these bozos we call our leaders?

Ipperwash Hogwash

I was startled to hear today of the death of Kenneth Deane in a traffic accident on Sunday. Deane was the OPP sergeant who was convicted of criminal negligence causing death in the shooting of Dudley George at Ipperwash in 1995.

His death is rather untimely (or, some might say, fortuitous) since Deane was scheduled to appear at the Ipperwash inquiry in the next few days. Although I’m not convinced anything new would have come out of his testimony, since he’d already undergone a criminal prosecution, still there was a possibility that he might have become tired of being the sole fall guy in what turned out to be a tragic mismanagement of a native land claim. If so, maybe he would have blown the lid off what so far seems to have been tightly capped.

The inquiry (what I know of it) has been frustrating. No one is accepting any responsibility. (Reminds me of a movie I saw as a lad: Guide for the Married Man: in which one of the cardinal rules was, if you get caught cheating Deny Deny Deny.) Even former premier Mike Harass slimed his way through two days of testimony. His former henchman Bob Dunciman pointed a nasty finger at Harass and said that Mikey called them injuns effin injuns! This caused quite a stir in the press. As if the whole world doesn’t know that anybody at any time might call anybody an effin something or other. This was a red herring designed to inflame the passions of the masses without imparting any real information:

Ah-hah! Another case of UNFORMATION!

I’ve heard Peter Edwards, the man who wrote the book One Dead Indian, several times over the last few months discussing the progress of the testimony at the inquiry. Every time he’s spoken he’s said that the versions of the story told by various witnesses are so diametrically opposed that one cannot escape the conclusion that someone is lying. And it all depends on who is determined to be most credible. And the answer to that is another question: Who has the most to lose?

Kenneth Deane had already lost his job. Spent time in jail. Been vilified by the judge. By the press. Kenneth Deane had nothing to lose.

Except his life. Impeccable timing, I’d say.

BTW, I couldn’t confirm this in the miniscule amount of research I did today, but I did hear on the radio that Deane is the third important witness to die before having the opportunity to testify at the Ipperwash inquiry.

We Are Sinking

Here is a maybe not-so-silly sing sent to me by my colleges at Hump Logistics.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And Speaking of Two Dollar Bills...

Some trivia about Canadian money:

Back when the band first started going to Winnipeg every September, two dollar bills were still in existence. But not in Winnipeg. They were as rare as US two dollar bills. None of the stores in Winnipeg used them. And whenever we produced one (from Ontario) we got funny looks. It was only some time later we learned that the bills had a bad rep in Manitoba. And why? Because they represented the price of a prostitute (way back when, obviously...) So the only people who had them were prostitutes or those lookin' for em.

(BTW, Larry actually has a US two dollar bill...He keeps it in a safe place...Vol. 1 of Karl Marx's Das Kapital.)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Buddhist Retreat

Buddhist retreat this weekend with Lama Phuntsok. Someone asked him a question about the difference between westerners and easterners. (I don't mean cowboys & Newfies.)

The question really had to do with mental approach, but Lama Phuntsok told this story. He grew up in India, in a Tibetan refugee camp. Says they were, you know, poor. After coming to Canada, he had a conversation with one of our Buddhabuddies about milk. This man mentioned that he (and family) go through about 7 litres of milk per week. For a Tibetan out of India, this is unimaginable. Lama Phuntsok says, "I don't have any special attachment to milk, but for us this is unbelievable."

The first time he went to Hong Kong he got a huge eye-opener. So different from India. Hong Kong...I've never been there, but I know it's a teeming, utterly modern city. Lama Phuntsok said he opened a refrigerator there. Milk! Lots of it! He looked at the label and it came from Australia or New Zealand. This too was amazing, that a product like milk should come from so far away.

That was the first thing. The second thing was dust. In India, he says, everything is dusty. Dust everywhere. India is an ancient, dusty country. In Hong Kong, he says, the second thing he noticed was no dust. "You wear the same shoes for months," he says, "And never have to clean off the dust!"

Digg! diigo it

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Psychotics v. Neurotics

Hans Morgenthau said the difference between psychotics and neurotics is this:

A psychotic thinks 2+2=5.
A neurotic knows 2+2=4 but he's unhappy about it.

Larry wonders whether 2+2 is the question.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Larry Keiler Proposes New Government Dept.

The Ministry of Unformation

Today in a startling facsimile of a press conference, Altered Ego Larry Keiler proposed the establishment of a new government department to be known as the Ministry of Unformation. When asked why he thought this was necessary, Mr. Keiler replied, "I really don't want to elaborate too much on that since the matter is before the tennis courts. However, if Vice President Cheney would like to take a shot..."

Several reporters were curious to know who Mr. Keiler thought might make a good Minister of Unformation. In response, Mr. Keiler held up this picture:
Asked why he thought Mr. Gretzky should be appointed immediately to the Sinate, Mr. Keiler provided several pertinent quotes from Mr. Gretzky's Feb. 13/06 confabrication with the media:

"That's not for me to talk about."
"There's no story about me. That's what I keep trying to tell you. I'm not involved."
"Not much really to add to what I said two days ago. Nothing for me to talk about. I'm not involved."
"It's been a hard week."

Mr. Keiler commented that Mr. Gretzky proved beyond a shadow of a doubt how much he could not accomplish in 4 and 1/2 minutes.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ashes and Snow

Click on the title. Very cool website.

I mean very cool.

You must go there.

Sorry, wt, you will have to install Macromedia Flash8. Don't worry, it's painless.

And worth it.

You also need sound.

(Sent to me by my buddhabuddy Dave Gould.)

First Picture With New Digital Camera...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Tweedle-dum & Tweedle-dummer

If we ever needed further proof that Canada's "vote for change" was nothing more than a phony choice, that our political system has entered the Looking Glass, and that we've been scammed again, just look at today's cabinet appointments.

David Emerson -- two weeks ago he won election in Vancouver as a Liberal. (The Conservative Party ran third in his riding.) He was a Liberal cabinet minister! Today, he's a Conservative cabinet minister! Clearly no political principles are involved here.

Meanwhile, the two (apparently) leading candidates for the Liberal leadership, now that the prime contenders have bailed out, are Scott Brison and Belinda Stronach. Both former members of the Conservative Party!

How can anyone say that Canadians were offered a real choice? At least as far as the two main parties are concerned, the players are demonstrably interchangeable. As for Canadians' concept of what constitutes's quite limited too, isn't it?

Mental Blog Repair 1

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