Tuesday, March 31, 2015

No-name progress I.

Is there a Green Party? and
The famous blue
Three Point Plan.
[Up, Down]

Signe Wilkinson: Useful in the Philippines.
Bob Meyer: Drunkboat, Uncle Mort / John Malkovich.Bob Meyer: Drunkboat, Uncle Mort / John Malkovich.
350 on Queen Street, 10-10-10.The guy on the left was already well on the way down and out when the photograph was taken in 2010. A-and, truth be told, this here 'one-plus-three-point' plan is most likely a foregone conclusion too - a shell game with the pea being a miracle.

His friend gives 'im a telephone, boughten not bespoke, paid-for. It is not a perfect transaction but he is trying to be kind. What he don't didn't, doesn't, can't, won't see is the reason it was ever got rid of - simply that it (almost) never rang. Now it (almost) never rings. Nothing is changed.

As the denominator comes closer and closer to (almost) never it's a cusp and out pop limits and calculus and all the sweet (predictable) music of the revolving spheres. But I am one who looks at the crescent moon to see if she still holds water cupped in her hands.

Beyond limits is Heisenberg's uncertainty around position and momentum which brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to ... the far more satisfying quantum conclusion that either the universe is ... or is not, never was. ... A way a lone a last a loved a long the

Ballard Street: Closing inn on the ragged edge of physics.Einstein sez "God don't play dice," but it seems to me like ... if He was He might.
Green Party:

Round 1: (March 2) Go out to hear Elizabeth May and she sure seems to be telling the truth. Decide to follow it up. (March 7.) Leave a message for the one person I remember from the last time I tried it on with the Greens in this riding. Find a website with an email address and send one. Leave a message on the main Green Party site. Nadinha! Zilch!

Round 2: (March 20.) Remember that Charlie Halpern was once kind. Leave a message on his site; he responds immediately and forwards the question; the person I was thinking of answers and promises to include me in the next riding meeting. (March 23.)
Three Point Plan:

1) TSP / Trinity St. Paul's: (March 22.) Visit TSB for Sunday service and meet Bob Fugere who promises to inform me of their next monthly meeting. (March 26.) He follows up with a gracious email explaining that the meeting hasn't been scheduled yet and he will tell me when it is.

2) Beaches United: I am blocked on this somehow. I keep formulating plans to go over, or telephone, or email - and then just don't do it. An open item then.

3) UofT: The divestment appears to be in the hands of 350 - a project on the go since 2013. Two hundred and eighty seven pages of 'Brief' and growing. (March 24.) Go to their scheduled weekly meeting. It is evident that their focus is raising money. Someone promises to send me the minutes. (March 26.) The lovely young Executive Assistant follows through, not with the minutes but with membership on the list. (March 28.) Go along to the Green Show. A bust. If there is a less gracious way to accomplish anything you'll find it first in Toronto. The 350 guy gives me the brush off. At least I manage to get rid of a big bag of e-waste. (March 30.) Sure enough, there is list email - interesting stuff too it is.


Sharie Farina & Emily Dextraze.
Emily is 12 years old. Sharie is her mother. Emily has been competing in beauty pagents since she was 4 years old.

The photographs come from a recent NYT article based in turn on the latest project of Ilana Panich-Linsman (unfortunately the site does not work very well, for me at least).
Emily Dextraze & Sharie Farina.
Cornered: They're born into captivity. It's all they know.Correctitude: It's not all bad.

To begin meetings with a salute to the 'First Nations' is a good reminder that this is all, always has been, stolen land. As long as one is also mindful of corrupt band councils, and aware of large mammal extinctions before the coming of the 'white man' and so on.

Or ... Laerte, a transsexual (with a double 'ss'), Patrick White, Rimbaud (from an era when sexual activity was determined by anal inspection carried out by licensed professionals).

Re-reading Patrick White: 'Riders in the Chariot' (1961), 'The Solid Mandala' (1966), and 'A Fringe of Leaves' (1976). So many occasions when his words seem to be coming straight through the aether. No mistake that a number of deep friendships develop during the brief weeks reading 'Riders' at MUN so many years ago. (Of course we imagine ourselves a skein of Zaddiks - mensch being beyond our grasp.) And yet, also replete with pettiness - eloquent AND petty.   :-)

Laerte: Reification Machine.
I'll actually exist? You will.                                       I exist? You Exist.
It's not just some kind of illusion?
No. It's not that.
Laerte: Reification Machine.
I'm really going to turn into                                       Wow! I feel much better.    If I'd known I'd have
a woman? You are.                                                 So you say.                     switched years ago.
The machine didn't exist back then.

Alan Rusbridger's Guardian initiative has hit a few wrinkles. Notably financial links from the purveyors of fossil fuel into The Guardian's own coffers. What is evident now is that he really is playing by ear. And likely (also) hoping for a miracle. This is good.
Alan Rusbridger.
On the other hand, he is playing so openly and so transparently that this ... confusion (let's call it) comes off positively. It mirrors almost perfectly the ambiguous complicity around this issue in the heart of everyman.

What he needs now is some small victory: possibly convincing his own colleagues - in the Guardian Media Group (GMG) & Scott Trust - to divest; or a softer target such as the Anglican Church; something - even a huge jump in the petition signers, from 140,000 to millions could conceivably turn the tide.

Pat Oliphant: Trickle down.
Greg Perry: Anti-terror Bill.Dušan Petričić: Head in the sand.
Mike Keefe: Nimby.
Ed Hall: And your point is.
Steve Sack: Starbucks.

Keeping in mind that this is the third-last stanza out of twenty five, four lines out of a hundred. Taken from Le Bateau Ivre, 1883, and an English translation by Oliver Bernard, 1962. Of course it's well worth going to the library and having a look at Samuel Beckett's translation (which is not available anywhere on-line that I can find).
Mais, vrai, j'ai trop pleuré! Les Aubes sont navrantes.
Toute lune est atroce et tout soleil amer:
L'âcre amour m'a gonflé de torpeurs enivrantes.
O que ma quille éclate! O que j'aille à la mer!
But, truly, I have wept too much! The Dawns are heartbreaking.
Every moon is atrocious and every sun bitter:
Sharp love has swollen me up with heady langours.
O let my keel split! O let me sink to the bottom!
Emily Dextraze, audition.She's having a ball.

Who could object?

And yet these images and the story (or the parts of the story that are not told) disturb, upset, sadden; and the wondering about this girl, her mother, and the photographer, just carries on ...

Chris Hedges fulminates about violence to women, pornography, prostitution. What do you call whatever it is that is happening to Emily then?
Wiley Miller: Olpharts Bar & Grill.
Wiley Miller: Why it took longer for editors to evolve.
[Up, Down]

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Shoures soote. A (vernal) toss-up.

[Up, Down]

Joel Pett: Songbird extinction trend.
tOad: John Tory on Toronto City Hall.Who knew that French cartoonist tOad had visited Toronto since John Tory was elected mayor? (Image right.)

Dreading the coming of spring all winter. Then there's some mild weather and the grackles arrive squabbling outside the window one morning in early March (coming in like a lamb). Back to sleep and wake with 'Masters of War' playing on the inside radio.

A short step to "April is the cruellest month," but morning coffee and a smoke comes back, counters with "Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote," and it's a (vernal) toss-up.

'Soote' is still in the OED. Imagine!

I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon.
I'll follow your casket
On that pale afternoon.
I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your death bed
And I'll stand over your grave
Till I'm sure that you're dead.

Sipress: Let's change 'brink of chaos' to 'Everything is wonderful.'
Wiley Miller: death.Then herself sings 'She Moved Through the Fair' and it all shifts into a minor key where it has stuck these several weeks. And no aides memoire to be had from Sinéad O'Connor nor Loreena McKennitt and their fuckin' echo machines.

And it's not even April yet.

tOad: François Hollande with Marion Cotillard & Mélanie Laurent in the Philippines.

The chief boo hoo mucky-muck over at The Guardian is retiring and, concerned about his legacy has begun (what I think he might call) a 'serious series'.

One can at least applaud the forthright transparency of his faulty far-too-late rationale.

Antony Gormley, 'Exposure': Taking a dump by the riverside.

Intro. Alan Rusbridger March 6;
1. Naomi Klein March 6;
2. Naomi Klein March 8;
3. Bill McKibben March 9;
4. George Monbiot March 10.

Bill McKibben still claims he wrote the "first book," or he cares who wrote the first book or some fuckin' thing. I have yet to read anything by this man in which he does not mention this lie but it is just as untrue (and irrelevant) as it ever was. Oh, and he presents yet another positive spin-cycle, raised in a laundromat perhaps, or reading too much Paul Hawken.

If wishes were horses beggars would ride.

Whatever is driving Alan Rusbridger seems to run its course and lose headway, drift off into an eddy. He shifts gears and promises another series - podcasts this time.
tOad: Sommet de la dernière chance / Last chance saloon. The whole presentation is strangely disorganized, unfocussed; as if he's literally winging it. Very odd. The links in the emails don't seem to work properly.

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt - perhaps he sees what's called for - massive civil disobedience mobilization, call it CD+ - and just hasn't got the balls to say it; perhaps he's retiring because he's ill. Who knows? He's been head Guardian goombah for two decades - most likely he's feeling guilty for having warmed the chair for so long.

And so are we all if we're honest.

He didn't do it when he had anything to lose though. I believe people who behave like that are known as dilettantes by the educated, and fuckin' booge-was wankers by arseholes like me.

George Monbiot talks about "intelligent, educated, well-paid and elegantly-dressed people wasting their lives." I know I will never be forgiven for wondering if this editor and these writers and associated stoop&fetchits are doing the same.

Oh sure, another welfare-case nutbar, another crazed angry old man best ignored.

Years ago (it seems) I chase the United Church on fossil fuel divestment and get nowhere. Their justice focus at the time is all about Sid Ryan and boycotting Israel. It's so ridiculous. I meet Desmond Parsons. Who can bear talking with these people? Their moderator flies to Durban in 2011 and comes away praising Peter Kent (see here). Doh!

Clay Bennett: Tipping Point.Then last summer Trinity St. Paul's (TSP) United Church achieves some kind of divestment success (see here). I go along to the local church and get turned off, turned away, something like that. I email the guy at TSP but he mistakes me for a person of my name who edits the UC Observer and when I clear that up he lets the conversation drop. I mean to find out more, visit the church, but never get around to it.

Now, despite initial skepticism, the Guardian initiative is looking more-and-more real: they (we?) are taking on Bill Gates and the billionaires; Ed Davey looks like he's on board; 100,000 petition signers within just a few days. Wowzers! It comes to me that divestment could be exactly the movement-building tactic that's needed, simply because there are possible, small, intermediate victories. Positive feedback! It could even (could it?) grow so quickly in the few months remaining as to overcome. Holy Shit!

On Paddy's Day evening I go up to the East End Against Line 9 meeting (they've been praised here before) because I want to be sure they know. I get the bum's rush and stumble out and I'm not laughing. I walk most of the way home in a terrible state, awful, and when I wake in the night for a piss it's shin splints and I nearly pitch into the tub headforemost. It might be a near-death experience. This turns to good though. Just what the doctor ordered! Just the ticket! Now I'm laffin'.


I'm gonna leave Alan Rusbridger here for for a bit. He seems to've made a close alliance with Bill McKibben. This may be a mistake. Time will tell.

I think I can survive on food-bank & welfare through April so there's a month to play with. I'll go up to Sunday service at Trinity St. Paul's. Even the new-age wanks (still) shove in the odd Wesley hymn sometimes and they probably (still) offer coffee & cookies afterwards. See where it goes and if they need any help. I'll contact the woman at Beaches United again with a qualified apology, and then see if there can be a renewed conversation. See if the UofT divestment committee holds meetings. A three-point plan.   :-)   (Plus the search for the Green Party already underway.

The only thing I knew how to do was to keep on keepin' on like a bird that flew.

I'll leave what was already into this post where it is - for perspective - and, report back after a while, at the end of March.
Just listen (even if it chokes you) to Chris Hedges talking with Abby Martin and then show me how to realistically walk around what they're saying.

Gus Speth in the last chapter of 'The Bridge at the Edge of the World writes in 2007:
        It is easy to push these challenges out of one's mind. Life for many of us is comfortable, and dwelling on such disturbing material is painful. Indeed, one still hears with regularity that it is a mistake to stress these gloomy and doomy realities if one wants to motivate people. In The Death of Environmentalism Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus remind us, for example, that Martin Luther King, Jr., did not proclaim, "I have a nightmare." My reply to them was that he did not need to say it - his people were living a nightmare. They needed a dream. But we, I fear, are living a dream. We need to be reminded of the nightmare ahead. Here is the truth as I see it: we will never do the things that are needed unless we know the full extent of our predicament.
He is a lawyer and yet, as this last sentence is brief and unequivocal it merits repeated savouring:
Here is the truth as I see it: we will never do the things that are needed unless we know the full extent of our predicament.
Or, as the Christians like to say, "The truth shall set you free."

But he evidently thinks we have more time than we do; and he, like McKibben, thinks the 'transformative process' is slow and gradual - never having considered (apparently) how long it took the Cuban Special Period to kick off, or never having played crack-the-whip as a kid.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

Two articles by Gwynne Dyer: How far will oil prices collapse—and for how long?, October 2014; and, How long will the oil stay cheap?, March 2015. He thinks (or wishes he thought) the drop-dead date is twenty-five years away and I think it's this year.

I've put this here because we agree that our eminently venal governments will do what it takes to keep the frackers fracking (and the pipe lines piping and the train bombs bombing).

Two books, both from the 70s really though one is published only in 1985: Ecotage! Sam Love and David Obst, 1972; and, Ecodefense - A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching, Dave Foreman & Bill Haywood (editors), 1985. No copies of Ecotage anywhere that I can see. Ecodefense you can still find on-line as of this posting. But really, you don't need 'em anyway. There's been enough articles and enough books and well more than enough.

I was there at the time but on the other side - setting chokers for MacMillan-Bloedel & the IWA. I was there and missed my chance (like Lord Jim on the Patna though out of concupiscence not fear). In the 70s, 80s, even the 90s, we might have turned it around that way. Now gentle reader I sincerely don't believe there are any more realistic chances. Now the Tragedy of the Commons becomes the tragedy of everything. The end.

Oh sure, I could be wrong.
Apaga la tele / Turn off the screen [and find something else to do, alone if necessary].
Ké-Huelga Radio.
Guardian podcast.
Fukushima four years later.
Araquém Alcântara: Onça Pintada.

Noght o word spak he more than was nede,
And that was seyd in forme and reverence,
And short and quik, and ful of hy sentence.
Souninge in moral vertu was his speche,
And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche. 
The Tyger

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire in thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art?
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand, and what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb, make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

[Up, Down]

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Keystone Kops. The Government Reflects the Nation.

You get the government that you deserve.
[Up, Down]

Train bombs, pipelines, refineries - wrecked & exploding:
Saturday July 6 2013: Lac Mégantic, Québec.Saturday October 19 2013: Gainford, Alberta.Friday November 8 2013: Aliceville, Alabama.Monday December 30 2013: Casselton, North Dakota.Tuesday January 7 2014: Wapske (near Plaster Rock) New Brunswick.Wednesday April 30 2014: Lynchburg, Virginia.Friday May 9 2014: LaSalle, Colorado.Tuesday October 7 2014: Clair, Saskatchewan.January 17 2015: Yellowstone River.Saturday February 14 2015: Gogama Ontario.Monday February 16 2015: Boomer, West Virginia.February 18 2015: Torrance, California.Thursday March 5 2015: Galena, Illinois.Thursday March 5 2015: Hornepayne, Ontario.Saturday March 7 2015 - still burning Monday: Gogama Ontario.
These are NOT ALL of the incidents by any means, just the ones severe enough to be reported. There have been many many more smaller leaks and derailments. Lac Megantic is the most dramatic because the bombs went off in the middle of town and killed a lot of people - there have been lots of close-but-no-cigar 'accidents' far too near the centres of towns. The most recent explosion in Gogama f'rinstance missed the centre by more than a mile. That's a comfort eh?

So let's begin with Keystone Kop-ette Lisa Riatt, Transport Minister: (July 15 2013 to present)
Lisa Raitt.Lisa Raitt.Lisa Raitt.
Can we say she's put on some weight since she got to the House of Commons? She's doing what she's told to do, saying what she's told to say, being what she's told to be - maybe it's a psychological compensation of some kind for the cognitive dissonance where the rubber of her self meets the road of Stephen Harper.

She pretends to think the problem is with rail car standards, or rail inspection frequency, or operating procedures. It's not. The problem is that this stuff should not be being transported at all.

            1. Lac Mégantic, Québec - Saturday July 6 2013.
            2. Gainford, Alberta - Saturday October 19 2013.
            3. Aliceville, Alabama - Friday November 8 2013.
            4. Casselton, North Dakota - Monday December 30 2013.
            5. Wapske/Plaster Rock, New Brunswick - Tuesday January 7 2014.
            6. Lynchburg, Virginia - Wednesday April 30 2014.
            7. LaSalle, Colorado - Friday May 9 2014 (dud).
            8. Clair, Saskatchewan - Tuesday October 7 2014.
            9. Yellowstone River, Montana - Saturday January 17 2015.
            10. Gogama, Ontario - Saturday February 14 2015.
            11. Boomer, West Virginia - Monday February 16 2015.
            12. Torrance, California - Wednesday February 18 2015.
            13. Hornepayne, Ontario - Thursday March 5 2015.
            14. Galena, Illinois - Thursday March 5 2015.
            15. Gogama, Ontario - Saturday March 7 2015.

Details can be found in two previous posts: Bakken Kraaken Lac Mégantic et cetera. (Sunday, August 17, 2014), and Extra! Extra! Read all about it! (Wednesday, February 25, 2015, updated 15-03-14).

There is just ONE proper solution to the problem:

Wiley Miller: Ark for the 1%.
Abbott & Costello meet the Keystone Cops.Keystone Cops: Justice Minister Peter MacKay & Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney.
Keystone Cops: Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney & Justice Minister Peter MacKay.Keystone Cops: Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney & Justice Minister Peter MacKay & unidentified blonde onlooker.
David Parkins: Another Tory Crime Bill.Exactly who do you think is escaping from the jail tower in the cartoon at the right?

Answer: Stephen Harper and his cabinet. All of this poppycock around terrorism, national security, law and order, the economy, and all the rest of it EXCEPT action on CO2 emissions is ... gas, red herrings.

There is ONE issue - it's EXISTENTIAL - and ONE positive outcome - to force the fuckin' maggots to DO something to turn things around before Paris in December. For the record, the actual UN meetings in Paris don't matter much - they're just a line in the sand that happens to be towards the end of 2015 (being the planetary best-before date).
Michael de Adder: Vote Conservative or the terrorists will get you.
David Parkins: Stephen Harper scare tactics.
Peter Jenkins: Stephen Harper the squid.



These are (of course) among the tools in any politician's standard tactical kit.

I wonder if there is a trick in there, some proroguery shenanigans, that will let him delay the election to the spring of 2016?
Dandy: Canada's Economy Surges.David Parkins: Lots of jobs.
Lee Judge: Minimum Wage Job Market.
Brian Gable: Stephen Harper as Macbeth.
Tom Toles: k-k-k-Canadian dinosaurs.Brian Gable: Oil-Based Economic Strategy.
Mike Peters: Dictionary work.
House of Cards Upside Down.Hunger Games Mockingjay.Aislin: Keystone Kops.
Horsey: ISIS viewed as flies.
Joe Heller: The Dogs of War.
Daniel Pudles: Keyhole Thuggery.
Keyhole thuggery & breadcrumb sins.

No boobage for a long while now. This image is ... irresistable.   ;-)
Wiley Miller: Déjà vu.
[Up, Down]