Thursday, February 25, 2010

The global warming swindle

The city of Victoria newsletter, entitled Connect, arrived in my mail the other day. Decorated with pictures of happy, glowing faces, it is a report on all the wonderful things our civic government is doing for us. It's an important job, running a city, and the people doing that important work should be respected. But, please. Times being what they are, I know it's impossible to do anything without genuflecting to the enviro gods. So Kim Fowler oh so nicely takes as her watchwords, "Be gentle with the earth." Yup. For most of human history we have been doing our best to protect ourselves from all the catastrophes the earth regularly dishes up to us. Like the recent earthquake in Haiti. Like the the tsunami in Indonesia. The earth is not that gentle. In fact it's downright ruthless. And it's just a tiny fragment of rock which is subject to any other chunk of rock that might cross our path. It could happen at any time and we could all be wiped out in an instant. What's truly remarkable is how blessed we are that we have a moon that acts like a space sweeper. We have a remarkably well-behaved sun just the right distance away so that all this water with which our planet has been endowed is mostly liquid. Since our bodies are 90% water that's a pretty good thing.
Not that there's anything wrong with being gentle with the earth. The operative principle should be that we don't foul our nests. This is mainly a matter of diligent housekeeping. We want to be able to feed ourselves and so it makes sense to conserve the soil and the oceans. When new problems crop up, as when millions of motor vehicles came on the road emitting dangerous fumes into the air, we seek solutions. But the air quality in London was vastly worse when coal was the main heating fuel than it is now. In those good old days the famous London fog could and did kill. As recently as the '50's the main heating fuel for Victoria was sawdust which emitted terrible clouds of noxious fumes. In many ways we take better care of 'the environment' than ever.
For the zealots of the ecocult who see human beings as a blight on the earth, that's not good enough. We (not them) must be punished. Self flagellation becomes fashionable in the west periodically but flagellation of demons and evil beings is usually much more popular. That's why when some obscure researcher came up with a computer model showing that an increase in greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere could lead to a global warming trend. If we didn't watch out earth would become a hell hole like Venus. Not only was this conjecture a godsend for the ecocultists, it was a bonanza for climate scientists and an excuse for the internationalized bureaucratic class to go into overdrive inventing new laws and regulations. Then along came a few sharp-eyed financial wizards and spotted an opportunity to make some seriously big money. No longer would it be necessary to go to all the trouble of producing a product to make a buck. In fact, it would be entirely possible to make more money from not producing a product if you could dream up a way of showing how you were reducing carbon dioxide emissions, thus entitling you to a carbon credit. Brilliant. This would be better than cornering the market in silver, gold or oil. In effect, they would have the power of taxation over every working person in the world. All this without the inconvenience of elections.
Personally, I never could understand how anybody could believe in the man made climate change scam. Climate change, yes. Anybody with a third grade education would know about the ice ages. Any boy who likes to read about the Vikings would know that Greenland was once green. But from a small seed to a huge oak the global warming hype grew, in spite of contrary voices calling attention to flaws in the reasoning and gaps in the data.
Until a few months ago when the lid blew off and we have found out that the science was not merely wrong, it was systematically and deliberately falsified. The case is now closed.
But the news doesn't seem to have reached the editors of Connect. "What are you doing for earth hour?" they ask. "On Saturday, March 27, 2010, at 8:30 pm, cities around the world will be turning off their lights for one hour to show their support for action on climate change." Oh, yes. What better way to make yourself feel virtuous than to make some gesture that has no affect on anything whatsoever. The gesture is the thing. It's free, and afterwards you can get in your SUV and run down to the store, your hemp bag in hand, to pick up some enviro approved light bulbs.
Connect asks for citizen feedback, so here goes. Don't worry any longer about global warming, see. It's a complete and total waste of time and money. If it doesn't snow on Mt. Kilamanjaro there's nothing we can do about it. Got programs? Good opportunity to cut back on something nobody will miss. And think about the energy we'll save. The ecocultists should like that but they won't... they'll squawk their heads off, that's what they do. Just pat them on the head and give them buckets and gloves so they can pick off the tent caterpillars that infest our trees and shrubs every spring. That would be something really useful and might keep them busy enough so they don't have to try to think.
The proposition that human activities were causing a rise in global temperatures was originally just a wrong theory. It graduated into being a scam, and very nearly became the most massive swindle in history. It's time to face reality and stop acting like fools.
By the way, I never did figure out who Kim Fowler is.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kathryn Grayson

I think I'll be spending the evening watching Showboat and Kiss Me Kate. Kathryn Grayson last week joined Howard Keel on the other side. I'm sure it will be a happy reunion and that heaven will be a better place for it.
I was very fond of Kathryn Grayson. She was the actress who played Magnolia Hawks in Showboat and Lilli Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate, both times with Howard Keel. Not only was she beautiful, but I liked her. I also liked Howard Keel. Now, if there ever was a movie star I wish I could resemble, it would be the tall and handsome baritone Howard Keel. And if I were he, I would be ecstatic to have had the opportunity to hold Kathryn Grayson in my arms. That's the kind of person she was. There may have been more glamourous stars than Kathryn Grayson, but I could, and have, watched her play the demure Magnolia time and time again without ever tiring of her performance. I especially think of the scene where she tells her father, Joey Brown, that the cad Howard Keel had ran off and left her. Many more times have I watched her play the shrew in Kiss Me Kate even though she wasn't quite convincing as a snarling wild cat when she sang I Hate Men. By the way, if her name hadn't been in the credits I might never have known that both Kate and Magnolia were played by the same actress.
Of course I was never lucky enough to have met this lovely lady but somehow I feel just a little lonelier now that she's gone.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chinese New Year

What a beautiful spring day. No, wait. This is winter, for another four weeks it will be winter. And yet, children were to be seen wading in the tide today at Willows Beach. Willows Beach is one of my favourite places in Victoria. Technically, it's in Oak Bay, which has its own police force, fire department, council, etc. A sign at Foul Bay and Oak Bay tells me so. But if you write Victoria on the envelope it will still arrive at your Oak Bay address.
I have my favourite places in Victoria and Willows Beach is one of them. It even has its own urban village on Estevan Street, and a nice little village it is, too. The Village Deli has the best reuben I've had since I came to Victoria, and I am a big fan of that homely concoction. It also has one of the best hamburger and fish and chip places in town. I don't hold it against them that once in a while they have the 'gone fishin' shingle out when they're not supposed to.
I don't have a dog to take for walks. My little Canon does that, and at the end of a long walk with her, I like to replenish my bodily fluids at Swans, where the best beers in town are brewed. That's downtown but only a short walk from my home. The bus was crowded today. No offence to Spinnakers, their's are good, too. I have a little corner here I feel almost at home already, my back to the wall in good old fashioned prairie cowboy style.
Oh, yes, Chinese New Year. We have a little Chinatown in Victoria, one time den of iniquity where opium and gambling dens proliferated in the tunnels beneath the surface. Now it seems pretty tame, but who knows what goes on down there. Not too many Chinese live in Chinatown any more. It's more a white faux bohemian style of a place now.
But Victoria is kind of an arty place... at least its a place with an arty clique who like to talk the talk and try to copy the latest styles from Paris and New York before anybody else does.
And now it's time to bid my nonexistent readership good morrow. As the bard once said,
The weary sun hath made a golden set and by the bright path of his fiery car gives tokens of a goodly day tomorrow.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Evil in Lotus Land

When World War Two was over the democratic nations thought they had defeated evil for good and all. Wrong. Even before it was over, the other lethal secularist ideology was on the march and getting stronger, thanks in part to our own naivete. Many thought it had been banished when the Berlin Wall came down. Wrong again. The old Soviet communists just turned themselves into freelance gangsters, while our own sympathizers had already pretty well set up shop in our universities, unions, and news outlets. I guess evil will always be with us but constantly changing colours to match the surroundings, twisting words so they no longer have any meaning, and injecting malice and hatred wherever a spot of fertile ground picks up a few spores.
For instance, on many Friday afternoons outside of Chapters can be found a local growth of malignancy. It's beyond my understanding why anybody would stand out in public and shamelessly lie with the object of encouraging the annihilation of a people. They deny it, but it logically follow from their propaganda points, which are immune to any confrontation with actual facts.
These people rank right alongside abortionists and child pornographers as the slimiest, filthiest, most disgusting examples of how low human beings can stoop that I hesitated about capturing their images, as if it might somehow contaminate my camera and computer. I refuse to touch their 'literature.' I dislike talking to them, in case my own personal life force causes them to grow.
But here they are. I don't know their names, I don't know what they do when they aren't spreading hate. Maybe they have children or grandchildren they have indoctrinated. I suspect some of them are teachers. Or maybe they inhabit a hole somewhere, say in a landfill or at the bottom of a latrine.
I did force myself to exchange unpleasantries with them, and of course when I accused them of seeking the destruction of the Jews I was answered, "But we love the Jews." I guess in the way Dracula loved his victims. They also seemed to think that Jews have never lived in the area and so have no right to it. I have heard all this before. What is truly frightening is that so many young people stop and listen to them. What does this say about our schools?
Amazing how their stink can spoil a beautiful afternoon.

The Blue Bridge

Just because Victoria is a small city it doesn't mean it has to be an insignificant city. Keep in mind that ancient Athens at its peak was a city of only 100,000, which was nowhere near the size of other political centres of its day, and yet remains arguably the most significant city in history. This is not because of its military conquests- it's attempt to become an empire resulted in catastrophe- but because of the influence of its artists, philosophers, dramatists, and historians among others. Ever since we have been building on the intellectual capital they bequeathed to us. Athens, along with that other insignificant city, Jerusalem, have made us what we are.
Okay, it may be asking too much of Victoria to become a modern day Athens, but why do we have to think so small? If there's one thing I dislike about Victoria is that it thinks small. This is especially hard to understand when it is the capital of the province. So it's an attitude shared by Canadians in general.
This propensity to small-mindedness manifests itself most noisily when something new is to be done. In Victoria they won't do much to stop auto break and enters, but heaven help you if you want to chop down a tree on your own property. So imagine what happens when plans to replace a downtown bridge are announced. A shrieking arises from the ranks of our morose malcontents, like starving vultures who have just smelled a carcass. And so they went forth amongst their fellows and gathered signatures- enough signatures to pass the statutory criterion for forcing a referendum. For this, the city council had to go back into a huddle and have now emerged to tell us that $840,000 will have to be spent for a new study. In the newspaper article, the writer Cleverley (pun intended) tells us "...many people were critical of what they saw as council rushing to replace the bridge without a thorough examination of the refurbishment option." Hmmmm. Just who are these 'many people,' anyway. Thanks for not telling us, Bill.
The bridge is old, narrow, rusty and rickety. True, it is a picturesque old gal in her blue paint, accommodating to pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, an old dayliner and mariners alike. She carries two massive concrete counterweights for when she needs to raise her skirts to let a tall masted yacht, barge or fishing boat enter or exit the Upper Harbour. And the "homeless" camp and enjoy refreshments underneath her.
But who in his right mind would question the need to replace her? The only issue is with what. For instance, do we still need to accommodate that dayliner, itself ready for retirement to a railway museum. It crosses the bridge and stops. That's the end of the line. There's no place else for it to go. The railway retains a roundhouse on the Vic West end where they conduct maintenance on the equipment and the terminus would make a lot more sense there than on its downtown corner not only lacking in parking for cars and taxis but very tricky to access. It's been an absurdity for years. In fact, the whole crossing needs to be analyzed with future needs in mind, not just as drop in replacement for a solution that worked well a century ago.
Generally, I don't make much of an effort to examine issues like this too thoroughly on the principle that there's not much I can do about anything. But for the sake of this blog I'll endeavour to fill out the discussion as the situation unfolds.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

James Bay

There is a truly fortuitous confluence of circumstances that make Victoria such a desirable place to live in, and one of those circumstances is that it is a small city. Not a big town, nor a commuter satellite community, but a small, self contained city. I've lived in big cities and small towns, I've lived in rural areas, and they each have there attractions. But to my way of thinking a small city is the most human of environments, and I don't know of any small city at all comparable to Victoria.
Since it's on an island, a very large island, it will never be a bedroom community co-opted and ultimately submerged by another city, and at the same time it will never be a big city. On the other hand, because of its strategic location guarding access to the two large cities of Seattle and Vancouver, it will always be a city... and an international city at that. And of course it's the capital of a province of 355,000 square miles.
One of the things that set apart a small city from a large town is amenities. A symphony orchestra, an opera company, a university, and it has history. Victoria's history is reflected in our villages. Fernwood Village, Cook Street Village, Oak Bay Village, and James Bay village. Villages in a lot of cities were destroyed by shopping malls, but Victoria's managed to hang on somehow.
James Bay is the one of our oldest as well as most diverse neighbourhoods and its borders are the most clearly defined. Beacon Hill Park is its eastern boundary and the water takes care of the rest. In the north are the hotels and the government buildings, as well as docks for U.S. bound ferries. Cruise liners and other ships too big for the Inner Harbour dock at Ogden Point, so for many visitors James Bay is the first part of Victoria they see. Unfortunately, many never manage get beyond the downtown tourist shops.
The rest of James Bay is like a small town on its own with schools, bars, houses-some of them on the water- and high rises, cafes, and bars. And right at the centre is James Bay Village. For people who live in James Bay it really isn't necessary to go anyplace else for their everyday needs.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Edition

The sun came out today, a perfect day for lovers.
Confession: I don't have a valentine. I don't get it. I'm old, fat, and hardly have a nickel to my name. What's not to like? But then Valentine's Day is not so much about love anymore as sex. Further confession: I don't miss the sex all that much, but I miss the affection, I miss having someone to think about and buy little presents for, and I miss hearing the constant din of a female voice talking about things that matter to women but don't matter to men, and I miss the sight of a woman who means everything to me. I miss her familiar ways, her habits and mannerisms, the way she smiles, the way she lies. I miss her smell.
None of these tender feelings seem of any importance in today's world. Fucking is all that matters. Don't get me wrong, I like sex as much as any guy, and when I see a pretty girl I can't help but try to imagine her without her clothes on. And some women just are sexy. Here I am, sipping my suds in Swans and I'm looking at one of those kind right now. She might be on the wrong side of thirty, has probably had children, is a little bit pudgy and has a wicked gleam in her eye. It doesn't have a lot to do with looks, it's that some girls have an immediate effect on... the hormones, let's say, for those who prefer glandular explanations for these things.
But it's not the glandular reactions that are the soul of eroticism, it's Romance. It's that dizzying gladness of falling in love with someone who you suddenly realize is incredibly beautiful. It's the astonishment you feel when you realize she is falling in love with you. You are under a magic spell. Sex is about mechanics and orifices, love is about the soul.
Of course, we don't believe in the soul any more. We don't believe in things like that. Well, I do, but I'm hopelessly out of date.
There's an old joke about what the Jewish princess said on her wedding night: Beige- I think the ceiling should be beige. It's one version of a very old joke. Every old sailor can quote the bargirl's query: you come? Well I'm here to tell you that guys can get bored with sex, too. I'll bet I'm not the only male who, in the middle of some marathon session of love making, has found himself thinking he'd rather be doing something else. So when you're not doing that, or you are and you're a little bored with it, where does the girl come in? Do you imagine doing something else in her company or are you trying to think of a way to get rid of her?
No, love is not the same as sex. You can have sex without love, but I think without love it gets a little boring.
Not that I've had to worry much about either lately. So I have to content myself on Valentine's Day 2010 with an afternoon at Swans, nurturing a pint of IPA and, with my ear buds in place, listening to a Vivaldi Bassoon concerto. In fact the last time I nearly fell in love was in Swans and her name was Jeannie:

"So I'll drink to Jeannie, that pretty little mizz,
And one immutable, inscrutable, indelible hour.
Oh, there's always something a man could say more,
But that's life," he muttered and watched the beer fizz.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Waves on Dallas Road

The equinoctial winds are starting to arrive in Victoria. A lot of us get a bit of a thrill when it happens and we head down to Dallas Road to see the action. A good place to take in the sights of waves pounding on a beach while safe and warm is at the Dive Shop Cafe at Ogden Point. This is easily the best view from any cafe in Victoria. The dainties are not up to Murchies' standard, but they are better than Starbucks. Leading out to the navigation light, a breakwater protects the cruise ships that will soon be arriving for another season. The danger warning is serious. Almost every year someone ignores it and is swept away. Today the winds were still fairly tame, but being a confirmed coward I didn't venture far along the walkway.
Victoria is bounded on three sides by water and besides that a tidal river runs through it. What is the name of this tidal river? Well, just like our streets, its name depends on what part of it you mean. The Inner Harbour is where it discharges. Before that it's the Upper Harbour, Selkirk Water, the Gorge Water, and various other designations. Victoria's original European settlers were English and Scotch, you see.
Similarly, if you want to get to Dallas Road from downtown while following the shore the yellow brick road starts on Belleville and in the course of moving clockwise around the perimeter of James Bay (a neighbourhood, not an actual body of water) you will jog left on Pendray, squiggle to the right along Quebec, then to the left on Montreal, right again on to Kingston, left on St. Lawrence, and right again on Erie before you finally get to Dallas Road. This all takes place within about three or four blocks- and short blocks at that. Perhaps they did it this way to confuse any dastardly American invaders. Now, of course, we love American invaders. We have hotels where they can stay, restaurants where they can eat, shops where they can shop, and lots of buses, taxis, horse buggies and pedicabs to take them there.
Dallas Road itself continues around the James Bay neighbourhood, passes Ogden Point, Beacon Hill Park, Clover Point, Ross Bay, ending when it turns into Hollywood Crescent, at which point the road picks up several more names as it circumscribes the east shoreline of Victoria, Oak Bay, and Saanich. Sometimes I wish they would rename the whole thing- I like The Corniche. Sounds quite chic and continental, doesn't it? And why shouldn't it? As you drive, or better, walk or cycle along the route, the prospect continually changes, from the busy downtown harbour, to a view of the Olympic Mountains across the way, to the San Juan Islands, marinas, Cattle Point, skirting the ritzy Uplands neighbourhood... it would be the envy of any Continental city.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter Olympics

Sonnet 25

Let those who are in favour with their stars

Of public honour and proud titles boast,

Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars

Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.

Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread

But as the marigold at the sun's eye,

And in themselves their pride lies buried,

For at a frown they in their glory die.

The painful warrior famoused for fight,

After a thousand victories once foil'd,

Is from the book of honour razed quite,

And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd:

Then happy I, that love and am belov'd,

Where I may not remove nor be remov'd.

The Vancouver Winter Olympics begin today. I haven't got anything against them really, except that I dislike the idea of government of spending our money on lavish programs while the core duties of government are largely ignored. For instance, I had the experience a few months ago of having my car broken into. An ipod and the stereo were missing. Replacement value to me of about 500 bucks. That was annoying. What was even more annoying was the sheer indifference of the police. I guess because it's a daily occurrence, that means it's trivial, as in not worth the time and expense of an actual policeman trudging to my doorstep. No, that would be too old fashioned. What the lady on the phone did do was have me answer a list of questions to be entered into a data base, presumably to pressure the government into putting more money into the police budget.
But I don't blame the police so much as the judicial system. In my lifetime the upper echelons of decision making have progressively made it more and more difficult for the police to do their jobs. Police now are expected to be social workers and fillers in of paperwork instead of law enforcers. Not too long afterward the break in I read about a habitual break and enter crook being rearrested with loads of goodies while being out on parole or something. If I remember right the judge didn't bother putting him back in jail. He was just let go. Enforcing the law is one of the core duties of government. It used to be called keeping the peace, but now that it has become an article of faith that there are no criminals, only victims of society, the actual laws of the land are regarded by judges and social workers as relics of a barbaric past.
Diverting the public's attention from deficiencies in government by providing entertainment has a long history. Ancient Roman emperors at their peril deprived the people of bread and circuses. Next to neglecting to pay the Roman Army, that was the quickest way for an emperor to lose his job... and usually his head, too.
The Olympics go back to Greek times, and they were so important to the Greeks that they measured time in terms of the Olympics. Such and such an event was dated as happening during such and such Olympiad. They had other games as well, and they all had religious significance. Greece was not so much a country as a collection of constantly quarrelling petty states bound together by a common language and mythology. During the games all wars were supposed to be in abeyance and Greeks from all over competed as individuals. Winning athletes became famous and wealthy. Combined with athletics, the games also included contests of poetry and drama. It was one of the unusual things about the Greeks that they revered the philosopher and the poet as much as the man of action, culture as much as wealth.
Not so today. This is the era of the action movie. I think Arnold S. (I won't try to spell his name) has found out that running a state is a lot tougher than living out a fantasy already scripted for him, where no matter how many bullets are flying, the ones aimed at him always go astray, while his never miss. The Greek drama was as bloody and gory as our own but they were also imbued with profound thought about our human condition. What was the nature of justice? What was honour? What duties do we owe our fellow humans? How do we cope with misfortunes? They asked hard, brutally honest questions. But for us, it's all about winning. It's a glorification of physical prowess, ironically at a time when Michelle Obama declares obesity as a national emergency.
I will spend a lot of couch time watching the Olympics, I suppose, and I wish our Canadian athletes the best. I will certainly be checking out which female figure skater has the best butt. As far as I'm concerned, Elizabeth Manley still holds the Gold Medal for best butt of all time. (I think she should have got it for her skating, too.)
Still, I can't help but wish we placed at least an equal value on other sorts of prowess- musical, dramatic, poetic, artistic, intellectual, and that the Olympics could be an occasion for celebrating the beauty of the human mind as well as of the body. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if science discovers someday that the national epidemic of obesity deplored by Michelle Obama is due more to a lassitude of the mind and spirit than of the body.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gathering of the Moonbats


Stephen Harper, Canada's Prime Minister, is in town to address the provincial legislature on the occasion of the opening of the Olympics. All the local activist groups are almost wetting their drawers in eager anticipation. These are the people who are pretty much against anything. Like the Raging Grannies, a collection of daft looking females who like to dress up in daft looking outfits. For some reason they seem to think that looking like idiots is a way of gaining respect and credibility. This strategy, if you can call it that, confers the added advantage of not having to try to explain what they think, if they do think, which is doubtful. Then there is Vicky Husband, representing an organization calling itself The Jordan River Steering Committee. Is there anything they aren't against? I think I recall that she has been associated with the famous corporate shakedown operation known as Greenpeace. I'm not sure why anyone would want to steer the Jordan River. To where? Maybe it's something the girls do when they get together while stirring their lattes at the nearest fair trade java joint. Not to be outdone, Lisa Shaver, chieftess of the Penelakut First Nation, who probably has even less Indian in her than I do, (my great great great grandmother was Cherokee) wants the PM to undertake an investigation into the disappearance and murder of women in Canada. Strange how she seems to think just like in the Westerns. Great White Chief make the grass green and the sun to shine, so certainly if a psychopathic pig farmer in Port Coquitlam lures 'sex trade workers' to their death with offers of free drugs and lotsa partying and then kills them and feeds them to the pigs, then it's because the Great White Chief from Ottawa has failed to speak to his Manitou. Or something.
Personally, I think pretty highly of Mr. Harper, especially in comparison to the little crook from Shawinigan who previously occupied the post, but it has never occurred to me that he was endowed with magical powers.
You know, if I was a woman I would be very embarrassed by all these shenanigans. They make me think of a certain poem by ee cummings about little Effie whose brains were made of gingerbread. That's not to say they aren't accompanied by a lot of little Ralphie's whose brains are made of melba toast.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spring is a little early this year

In our local newspaper, The Colonist, a story warning us that ocean waves are getting bigger. According to the report, monitoring buoys in the Pacific Ocean have been measuring wave heights since the '70's, and wonder of wonders, they have being getting bigger and bigger. Quick. Time to sell off your oceanside property before it's too late. Gee. How long have we had oceans on this planet? I don't have much of a memory for numbers, but five or six billion years sounds about right, give or take a few hundred mill. So, leaving aside the natural skepticism that comes of learning how the Global Warming crowd has fudged, distorted and skewed the temperature measurements in order to promote the cap and trade swindle, how do these researchers from Oregon expect us to take them seriously when the sample is of a period of thirty years out of billions of years. Has it never occurred to these people that they are putting the name of science in disrepute? But of course, science, like everything else has become politicized in the last few decades. For proof, pick up a 1950's copy of Scientific American and compare it to a current copy. Back then actual scientists wrote the articles, describing in detail the work they were doing. Difficult going for the non-scientist, but definitely worth the trouble. Today's articles are written by hacks who are well versed in the practice of preconceptual science. That's a type of science where the conclusions come first and the evidence, when there is any, is kneaded and folded until it produces the desired result.
Ironically (and in keeping with my theory that God is a bit of a joker) our winter in Lotus Land has been exceptionally mild. We had a cold snap in November and at the same time our mountain areas had record snowfalls for the date. But since then it's been warm. Most of December was warm and wet. We call that the pineapple express in these parts. Since the middle of January it's been cloudy and mild. So far no snow in Victoria. And no snow in Cypress Bowl, one of the venues for the Winter Olympics. During one of those warm, rainy days it all washed away. Meanwhile, the eastern seaboard is all snowed in.
Robin Red Breast is the folkloric harbinger of spring in the rest of Canada, but here in Victoria it's the herring run. Selkirk trestle is lined with anglers dangling their herring jigs in the channel. Other signs: our cherry trees are blossoming, the street musicians are beginning to appear on street corners and the population of panhandlers and street vendors begin to proliferate. Sadly, the number and quality of street musicians has declined over the last several years while the number of panhandlers, 'homeless', and sidewalk drug dealers has increased. Could there be a causation to go with the correlation? God is in his heaven looking down with amusement at all our antics. I don't think he even minds that much that some of us blame him for the trouble we get ourselves into.

Monday, February 8, 2010

First edition

I live in Victoria, right in the heart of Lotus Land, as Southwestern BC is known by the denizens of the rest of Canada, should they think of us while they shovel their sidewalks. For the benefit of these poor souls I should like to mention that the cherry trees are in blossom in the sunshine this afternoon of early February. I am so sorry- well, not really.
It's not just because of the weather that this is called Lotus Land. We are also known for our left leaning politics. Greenpeace, that masterly practitioner of the shakedown racket, was born and nurtured here. Vancouver is known variously as Hollywood North, because of its thriving movie industry, and San Francisco North because of its large population of non breeders.
The corner of Lotus land called Victoria will be the main subject of this blog because I love the place. No, it's stronger than that- I'm in love with it. This in spite of the fact that I am a deeply conservative man in a town which is rightly known for its luxuriant growth of radical leftist ideologues. We had a pot activist running for mayor a few elections back, and if you take a random stroll by parliament on a weekend you will have a good chance of finding some demonstrators demonstrating something. They are thick on the ground. However, I'm not convinced that Victorians are really as left wing as we are reputed. What is emphatically true is that our media outlets are decidedly biased in favour of leftist causes, just like everywhere else. But when you get down to nuts and bolts I think most of us are fairly conservative, and sometimes the categories don't really fit who we are;
But either way, whether on the left or the right, Victorians have one thing in common: we love our city. Victoria is a special place, as different from Vancouver as Vancouver is from Seattle. I will be trying to cover matters of interest to Victorians and to anyone interested in Victoria.
My conservatism is more cultural and social than political. In fact I have a certain dislike for politics. I am far more interested in the subject when it is safely part of history and I know what the answer was. Otherwise I am more interested in the ideas behind the politics and in the culture the ideas come from. My point will be that Victoria is what it is largely because of the cultural values we inherited from our predecessors, and furthermore that those values were arrived at for good reason. I'm afraid we are in danger of losing much of what we value through the influence of a class of sorcerers apprentices- social tinkerers who have done enormous damage to our society as they have assumed control of most of the avenues of public communication.
You see, I know some of these people and I like them. I just think they haven't thought things through. But I'm here to help.