Things we’ll run out of

  • Beaver ponds
  • Glaciers
  • Proper law enforcement
  • Decency

Let’s do these in order, with beaver ponds first. We walk in the bush up north a lot, less now, but have visited and ‘named’ over twenty-five beaver ponds. Many of these have changed over the years, and a few have pretty much dried up.

The creation process is pretty simple: a beaver (pair?) find running water that can be dammed. The sound of running water is known to summon work and repair. If a second outlet becomes possible as the water level rises, the beavers will begin damming there too. But there is a limit. Eventually it becomes impracticable to extend the pond’s borders due to the topography.

At this point the pond begins to fill up while it’s size cannot be increased. Eventually it ends up as a bog, often with a narrow ‘beaver channel’ around its edges.

There used to be a renewal process; I know this from studies on MacLean Lake years ago. At one point another set of ponds and lakes used to overflow, maybe every ten or fifteen years or so; the resulting flood would re-sculpt the downstream watercourses and remove sediment, allowing later ponds and lakes to be deeper.

This renewal process was deliberately (in this case) stopped by building a dam in a strategic place. If a surge of water does occur, it gets redirected elsewhere.

We don’t seem to have storms large enough to re-sculpt beaver ponds that are filling in. So we’re going to run out of them

Glaciers are easy to comment on, with all the global warming research, including Nature articles on Antarctic water flow patterns, Greenland observations, et cetera. The majority (not all) of glaciers are retreating. Sea level will rise. Darker oceans will absorb more heat, in a feedback process I am loath to call ‘positive.’

I’m doing a glacier and Alaska trip this summer while we still have some that are accessible.

Proper law enforcement depends on priorities. The President of Canada’s southern neighbour is shifting those priorities. Instead of focussing on the more dangerous criminals (aliens or not) the focus is on aliens (dangerous (criminals) or not.)

Today’s Toronto Star quotes several immigration enforcement individuals as being delighted with this shift in priorities. Of course they are: if you like bullying relatively defenceless ‘guest workers’ you’ll find it a lot more rewarding than difficult detective work to catch the serious (drug smugglers, for example) criminals.

Decency. When we deny global warming, we’re committing the weak of this generation, and the un-rich of the next, to atrocious living conditions, probably starvation and lack of potable water. When we revoke long-standing practices of tolerance for ‘guest workers’ we betray them and those large agribusinesses (to name one major employer) that need them.

When a POTUS runs on cleaning up the swamp, which many perceive to be gross and increasing inequality, by appointing the swamp owners to key posts, I can be forgiven for thinking we’ve betrayed all those voters who had those foolish, trusting hopes.

The next step is to do what many corporate cultures do already: set worker against worker. The Sicko video showed how rejecting health care insurance claims became a contest with quotas, bonuses, and publicly shown statistics. A recent article on Uber seemed to say that the internal corporate culture there is like this.

Now we select seven countries (with no stated justification, who would ask the Fake News media for their opinion when we have Alternative Facts ‘that somebody told me’?) So we now set the transport security folk against airline passengers. Soon we’ll be setting the local sheriff against long-tolerated contributing ‘non’ citizens. Next we’ll have a hotline (like the infamous Canadian ‘extreme religious practices hotline’ under Harper) for neighbour to inform against neighbour.

Decency used to be a right. Now it’s a privilege of the rich? No, most of them behave indecently, imho.


An antithesis, contradiction, in adjacent words: an oxymoron.

Here’s a test. See which of these you think is an oxymoron:

  • Reality Show
  • Casual Sex
  • Executive Order

If you’re slightly puritanical (as I am) you might think all three were oxymorons, especially since the source of the last one is Donald Trump.

If you’re Donald Trump, or a fan of The Donald, you probably find no contradiction in any of the above phrases.

Reality is a show. When you’re a Star, you can do that. Look what I just did to people waiting for airplanes.


There’s a British ‘Donald Trump.’

Here you can read all about Philip Green.

He is compared to Donald Trump. His associates call him reliable. He pumps money out of companies and then lets them be bankrupted by their pension obligations. His wife runs one of his companies and collects dividends from it, while living in Monaco and paying no taxes.

Unlike Trump, Green does not seem to have political ambitions. Yet. He’s younger than The Donald. Unlike American reporters, the British press seems to have had enough of Green. (See the above hotlink. It’s a fun read.)

I have a chaos-theory explanation for how the Trumps and Greens of the world get where they are. It’s based on a metaphor: a fountain. There used to be a fountain in the Eton Centre in Toronto, Canada – this when Eaton’s was a successful company and the Hudson’s Bay Company was also Canadian-owned. The fountain is no longer there. I used to watch the chaos of upward-thrown water.

There was always a droplet at the top of the pile, with some close friends around it. Two things about this metaphor:

  1. There is not much special about the droplet at the top. It got there as part of a chaotic process, partly by being next its neighbouring droplets earlier.
  2. Being at the top can be unstable.

I will end with a law’s list quote, which I may have given before. It’s Spider-man’s law:

With great power comes great responsibility.

and Bennett’s corollary:

Do not give power to irresponsible, or to idiotic, individuals. Power includes money, influence, and political office.

Have a nice day.

Definitions for Visitors to England

Here are some common words that mean very different things on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Since the British had the language first, we should be aware of their usages and at least tolerate their archaic spellings. Here goes:

  • bin lorry       = garbage truck
  • lift                = elevator
  • boot            = car trunk
  • roundabout = traffic circle
  • row             = dispute
  • delay          = traffic jam
  • flyover        = cloverleaf ramp

I feel sorry for the UK citizens who voted, oh so just barely, for Brexit. I note that the politicians who were gung-ho, lets’-go, all backed away from managing the real work and difficulty caused by their triumph. They pretty much all quit. Leaving Theresa May as the one holding the bag and trying to make things work out, somehow.

A simple referendum took a flyover with a roundabout row that should have stayed in the boot like a bald spare tyre. No delay; Brexit will lift our economy. Or put it out to wait for the bin lorry.

This is posted under Just for Laughs, but it’s not really funny. Sorry.

Daffynitions (Daffy Definitions)

None of this should be taken seriously. Here are some tongue-in-cheek definitions.

  • apPOTUS: Apprentice of the United States. It’s reality, not just a reality show now.
  • Voter’s Fraud: see above. He said the election was rigged. Repeatedly.
  • 4th Grade Recess: a time and place where verbal bullying wasn’t done by the leader of the country, only by the leader of a gang.
  • Hamerican. Someone proudly American, except one’s own image comes first.
  • Holding the Bully’s Coat. This is a book title. Look it up. Linda McQuaig.
  • Denying existence of a bath robe. Look this one up too.
  • Snap Judgement: One that bites the heads off sources of disagreement.
  • Executive Disorder: Figure this one out for yourself.
  • Safe Third Country. After condom imports from Asia and Europe are banned, Americans will need to buy them from Mexico and Canada. Nothing to do with refugees.

Never mind any the above. They are only suggestions, not even alternative facts.

Lenin’s Law, and advice Hitler took

This is really about Donald Trump, person of interest. Person of special interests.

Lenin’s law is about understanding any unusual event, generally political. The construction or destruction of a law, or a government, or a country.

To understand what caused a surprise result, Lenin said, see who benefited from it.

Trump and his family clearly will benefit from his electoral victory in the United States of America. So will Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions, as Dodd-Frank is attacked. So will Big Oil as environmental protections are gutted. We may even see Big Coal come back to life.

I could make a case that Russia, and Vladimir Putin, will benefit. Saudi Arabia will benefit from the executive order attack on seven Muslim countries.

Apparently is was not Hitler, but one of his advisors, who came up with this strategy for misinforming the public:

Tell a lie. Tell a Big lie. Tell it over and over and over. The bigger the lie, the more the public will think it must be true, or you wouldn’t have said it.

I’ll settle for pointing out the silly argument about the size of the inauguration crowd. I doubt anyone reading this blog is unaware of the unceasing Twitter-shouts from the Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful weapons collection in the world.

Much of what he tweets is outrageous; the Toronto Star has counted the fibs in a few newspaper articles (that would be funny if it weren’t for the office held by the tweeter.)

I have the sad feeling that far too many people will believe far too much of what Trump tweets as fact.

Meanwhile Lenin must be smiling in his grave.

Blind Trust

To quote Richard Nixon, “When the President does it, it’s not illegal.”

Here you will find one (of many) reports questioning The Donald’s ‘blind trust’ and its legality. I should note that the vast majority of the Trump financial holdings empire has yet to come under such scrutiny. I’m confident that the American public’s trust in their President’s ‘divesting of control’ will be similarly reassured. Cynical enough?

That’s blind trust.

Will the majority of American citizens go along with this? And, if not, will the President somehow make it legal?

Those are the dumb questions.


A Picture worth a Thousand Words

I’d like a picture of Donald Trump displaying a freshly signed Executive Order. The one banning immigrants from seven mostly-Muslim countries would be nice.

I’d like to put my own caption on that image.

The Apprentice.

Other Executive Orders that come to mind include:

  • The one banning refugees
  • The one trying to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act
  • The one building a wall, without congressionally allocated funds

Any other suggestions? Please remember, he’s a star, and can do that.


I  do not, imho, believe in the God of your religion.

My god invented nuclear fusion, powering the stars; DNA, powering life and evolution; and the human mind, powering belief and creativity.

I do not, imho, believe in the Devil of any religion. I do not believe in original sin.

I think we invented evil at the same time as we conceived of basic tenets of fair play, honesty, and generosity. If one sees a psychopath doing better than oneself, the temptation comes from our basic drives: for more (of everything.) Evil is discovered anew by each new culture, religion, or tribal organization system. Evil is discovered anew by each child growing toward adult choices.

I’ve learned not to discuss this too much. It bothers truly religious people that they cannot lead me into their promised garden of everlasting afterlife.

So I claim to be an atheist. It’s a cop-out, but it shortens the argument.