Sunday 22 August 2010

southern sudroun Southron.

Kepand na sudroun bot our awin langage, and speikis as I lernit quhen I was page. (a Scottish bishop in 1515 or so)
Up, Down, Appendices, Postscript.

Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers' cat.yes, there were Southrons in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings too - but that's not it, and the OED is just talking about distinguishing Englishmen from Scots (and Geordies) demonstrating that petty parochialism is everywhere alive and active and has been, but I am thinking of the southern United States tonight, the word I learned as a boy for them was Southron,

my grandfather came from Maryland (which my aunt understood as the source of our generosity & graciousness), not quite deep south maybe but beyond the Mason-Dixon line at least, Pennsylvania to the north but with Virginia on the warm southern side,

so, though I was strongly attracted to Pynchon's Mason & Dixon - I imagined that it might have to do with Slothrop's reintegration (it at least several senses), I was not able to read it, the capitalized proper nouns did me in, I tried several times but it stopped me cold, still, there is an echo of the infamous subject/object split that lingers around the phrase Mason-Dixon, before Charles Taylor turned 'authenticity' on its head I used to take some comfort in imagining Southrons as less infected by distances in their internal landscape (yes, plural 'distances' and singular 'landscape' - collective maybe - objective correlative and alla' that) ... gone forever, oh well.

Aida Muluneh went to high school in Calgary she says - you can tell by the way she talks, and as with Fiona Lowry last week, the ideology puts me off, still, there is some quality ... "A kernel of truth in a bushel of vicious nonsense," as Northrop Frye put it in The Double Vision ... much more than a kernel here certainly, and there is even a Cuba connection (yep! gotta learn Spanish!), I had to laugh at 'Flamingo' dancers, and she has some uncertainty about the 'i' before 'e' rule - good to see the Calgary standard is no higher than in the ROC (these snippets of images expand if you click on them):
Aida MulunehAida MulunehAida Muluneh, Woman in doorway.Aida Muluneh, Spirit of sisterhood.Aida Muluneh, untitled.Aida Muluneh, Meeting at the window.Aida Muluneh, Priest standing in the door way of his church.Aida Muluneh, Woman sitting in a room.Aida Muluneh, Praying by the church gate.Aida Muluneh, Guy walking near old Havana.Aida Muluneh, A couple going for a ride after their wedding ceremony.Aida Muluneh, Flamingo dancers at a local bar.
more at Tadias & her film The Unhealing Wound (nowhere available for viewing that I could find, on-line or otherwise) & her collection at Photo Shelter (which site seems now to be defunct?).

it all reminds me of Jesse Winchester singin' Nothing But A Breeze one night in Peterborough long ago but there is nothing to play for you at YouTube, oh well.

Theo ColbornTheo ColbornTheo ColbornTheo Colbornhere's Theo Colborn, some links that I posted a few weeks ago: herself at Wikipedia, & her book Our Stolen Future (which I have now read most of), her project, TEDX - The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, and a video The Male Predicament (35 min.),

it turns out that the generic human is female and that males are custom jobs, imagine!

the book (there are some cheap copies at Abe Books) is properly compared with Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and if it doesn't scare the shit right out of you then I don't know what would ... luckily she has a sense of humour, a lot of the discussion is about penises and vaginas and such and in an effort (I think) not to repeat herself she uses all sorts of entertaining euphemistic synonyms, "plumbing" & "machinery" and so forth,

what I have not found yet is demographic statistics indicating male/female birth ratios which would seem to me to be the bottom line & conclusive argument, you can follow the 'Aamjiwnaang' keyword in the index (in the sidebar to the left of the screen) for the story of what is going on there, a place where the statistics are a macabre reiteration of a line from the Beach Boys' hit Surf City ... "Two Girls For Every Boy!"
in one of Theo's stories she is looking out the window of some hotel or apartment condo in Washington DC, I imagined that she was looking south, hence the Mason-Dixon connection.

Brian McMullanBrian McMullanBrian McMullanthe St. Catharines City Council eventually passed a resolution to support the coal phase-out in Ontario as reported in The Star, they didn't quite go willingly, luckily Angela Bischoff from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance - OCAA, and who also runs Greenspiration, got wind of their recalcitrance and organized an email campaign which seems to have been effective, municipal politics is murky ... in a nutshell - page 38 of the Agenda indicated a cop out: "That the report from Transportation and Environmental Services Department dated June 23, 2010, regarding The Ontario Clean Air Alliance' s Resolution Regarding Coal Phase Out, be received for information purposes. FORTHWITH." but page 40 of the Minutes shows a significantly strengthened resolve: "That the report from Transportation and Environmental Services Department dated June 23, 2010, regarding The Ontario Clean Air Alliance's Resolution Regarding Coal Phase Out, be received for information purposes; AND that the City of St. Catharines request the Government of Ontario to direct Ontario Power Generation to put its coal plants on standby reserve and only operate them if they are absolutely needed to meet our Province's electricity needs. FORTHWITH."

when the smoke cleared (so to speak) I began to see this Mayor and his Councillors (Mayor Brian McMullan, Councillors Jeff Burch, Dawn Dodge, Mark Elliott, Heather Foss, Bill Phillips, Peter Secord, Len Stack, Jennifer Stevens, Greg Washuta, Bruce Williamson; Absent: Councillors Andrew Gill, Joseph Kushner) as adults, did they just read the writing on the wall and knuckle under? or did they really change their minds? that I can't say, but they did stand up and be counted, this is good, we need fewer politicians and more adults.

Comics From The 10s:
Come here Frederick.
You are old enough now to know the joys of adult life.
What's in the box Dad?

In the &^%$# Globe?! No telling where they'll turn up I guess :-)speaking of adults, here's one standing up and showing his face in Friday's Globe (of all places),

the hoi polloi are not particularly mindful, easily swayed, and it would be also be easy to infer a small-minded Canadian mentality from a few reports I have seen of western radio talk-shows calling for these Tamils to be expelled, what on earth do these people think is going to happen when there are not 500 refugees but millions?! if we had leaders with heart it could just as easily go the other way and probably will even without the leaders, and in fact seems to be.

Larga de ser um algoz Stephen Harper!

but ok, what about the Canadian Senate? any adults in there do you think?

their priority is obvious - they delayed their vacations marginally to pass a money bill and then went gaily off without passing C-311, in a choice between The Economy and The Future of the Planet We Live On they picked The Economy, "Can't stand in the way of progress eh?" and then this week their committee endorsed offshore drilling, and this with the connivance of Grant Mitchell the Liberal 'champion' of C-311 in the Senate ... doh?! so I sent him an email calling his vacation undeserved and his organization ridiculous, he didn't like that and we exchanged views, but what else can you call it?

a close look at the Globe article shows you how far out of the loop they are, the picture shows jack-up rigs, which are not used in deep water, and the Beaufort Sea and Baffin Bay and the Davis Strait are deep as deep can be as I understand it, even Lancaster Sound is 500-800 metres, and they placed Mr. Mitchell in Newfoundland instead of Alberta where he comes from ... making it very clear just exactly how important this all is to Gloria Galloway & to the Globe and Mail (k-k-Canada's National Newspaper), that's to say 'not at all.'

I grew up believing the guff I was given, the members of the Senate hold their seats for life, and this is good because it provides for a sober second look at things before they become law ... and so forth, and I still believed it when I was banging in lawn signs for Preston Manning's Reform Party (even though he didn't), but the House of Commons passed C-311 and now it looks as if the Senate's selfish stalling will scuttle it (okokok - C-311 doesn't go far enough anyway, ok? I know that, but it was at least something! ok?) and it is clear they just don't get it on offshore drilling either ... these things are IMPORTANT, so what else can you do? they're not elected, the only suasion you can apply is that you will support the ending of their institution, it would be a fine joke if the one thing that Stephen Harper did with his (ridiculous) ideology that corresponded even vaguely with reality was to chip away at the Senate,

here, you can watch Grant Mitchell for yourself talking about Bill C-311, I have to wonder why he uses the word perhaps? make up your own mind,

he tells me that I have been brainwashed into being overly critical of the government and that this plays into Harper's hand, I don't know ... we have until 2015 to turn around CO2 & equivalent emissions and I just don't see our government (or any government) doing what it takes to accomplish that turn around in time ...

Argyle SweaterI wish I did but I don't. I wish someone would convince me otherwise but they haven't, and I don't really want to think about it anymore - it is just too fucking depressing ...

The last (and possibly only) defence of an idiot is a grin. :-)but then, I just so happen to have a sort-of a built-in defence against depression, OEM equipment so to speak,

my father took from those Maryland ancestors I was talking about before a deep & wide sense of humour, (he also took their racism but that's another story and he did so get over it in the end), he had a great big laugh and he could make my mother laugh too when he let it out, he said my grandfather was the same - first page he looked at in the paper was the comics, and by luck or by genetics or by training & example & imitation or by the hormonal influences of the hottest horseradish I have ever tasted, I got some of it too God bless 'im.

And the IQ is long-gone anyway. :-)have to check it out with Theo Colborn and see if that endocrine disruption thing works on your sense of humour as well as your IQ?

as for the Southrons ... well, they lost the war, didn't they?

Be well.

Frisbee the Cat.Frisbee the Cat.Frisbee the Cat.


My garden.My garden.oops, almost forgot the garden,

the yam is still going ape-shit Jack In The Beanstalk, even the puniest of the original sprouts is climbing and climbing, and here's something - there must be some kinn'a endocrine disruption goin' on in here because one of the leading yam tips has split in two, probably that damned Lake Ontario water (see Waterlife)

the ginger grows like a swan, or like someone doing the breast-stroke, or two tandem side-strokes ... in that aerial internal camera ... and indeed, another ginger sprout has poked up striving, makes me think of Wyatt's sonnet ... "With naked foot, stalking in my chamber," (also here)

and ahh, the aloevera/babosa always reminds me of sweet Brasil,

in the south-facing window (which was too hot for the aloevera in the winter direct sun last year) are desert herbs, sage & rosemary so far, thyme to come, trite as trite can be eh?

FRADES have re-established the orphanage in a new location, there are numerous photographs here (if you can survive the diabolical Kodak software), there is a story, and then there are layers upon layers of understory in these photographs, you could pull a Chomsky and test for 'It's all about ME!' by counting the protagonists, you could study hand gestures & facial expression & body language carefully, there is even an architectural understory (how close is the well to the outhouse?)

Gerald BattiyeGerald BattiyePatricia BackPatricia BackRachelle ElienRachelle Elien
(but I only saw a few real laughs)

Christ! I can't believe it! I went down to the Green Party's national convention on Friday, bad enough they brought in a foul-mouthed and stupid (either quality by itself would be ok y'unnerstan') and approximately female comic from The Royal Canadian Air Farce to entertain after dinner, Jessica Holmes, she was followed by Don Drummond, ex economic mucky-muck & Pooh Bah of the TD bank, to tell the assembled multitudes about the inevitability of growth (!) ... I just left ... for good I think, more next week.

1. King coal’s Ontario decline, Peter Gorrie, August 13 2010.
2. Rob Ford and the ding of truth, Rick Salutin, August 20 2010.
3. Senate gives thumbs up to offshore drilling, Gloria Galloway, August 18 2010.

King coal’s Ontario decline, Peter Gorrie, August 13 2010.

St. Catharines’ city council recently voted in favour of shutting Ontario’s remaining coal-fired generating stations earlier than the promised Dec. 31, 2014.

Hamilton, Guelph, Kitchener and Toronto’s Board of Health have also called on the province to advance coal-freedom day by at least a couple of years.

Two advocacy groups — the Ontario Clean Air Alliance and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment — encouraged the votes as part of their campaign to reduce the health impacts of the four power plants.

The common impression is that the coal-fuelled stations, which a few years ago produced one-quarter of Ontario’s electricity, will continue at that rate until, all of a sudden four years from now, they’re mothballed.

In fact, the plants — the two small northern stations near Thunder Bay and Atikokan, the larger Lambton facility at Sarnia and North America’s biggest, Nanticoke, on Lake Erie’s north shore — already account for less than 10 per cent of Ontario’s electricity generation. Last year’s figure was 7 per cent. It will likely higher this summer, since temperatures and demand are up, and low water levels have cut the output from hydroelectric stations by about 20 per cent.

At their current production, based on a 2005 study, the coal plants are responsible for 123,000 cases per year of asthma and minor lung ailments, as well as 246 deaths across Ontario, says the clean air alliance’s Jack Gibbons.

An apparently simple change could cut the death toll by more than 200, the groups say.

Today hydropower and nuclear are called on first to meet electricity demands, usually followed by coal, then natural gas. Coal is favoured over gas for cost reasons. If the order were reversed, the coal plants would generate, on average over a year, less than 1 per cent of the province’s power — a virtual shutdown.

Compared with coal, gas plants spew 98 per cent less of the chemicals that cause lung ailments and 60 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The change could save 1,000 lives over the next four years, says Gideon Forman, who heads the doctors’ association.

Our air would still be polluted, especially on hot, muggy days when we’re sweltering in air that has passed over the American Midwest and its dozens of coal-burning power plants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced plans to clean up those plants, but lawsuits and political backlash are bound to delay that effort, probably by years.

But it is significant that despite this summer’s heat, we’ve had fewer smog alerts. The gradual reduction of coal generation, particularly from Nanticoke, is clearly making a difference.

Those in charge insist they’re weaning us off coal as quickly as possible. There are barriers:

* The gas plants can’t yet ramp up into full production as quickly as coal to meet peaks in demand. Improvements are a year away, says Terry Young of the Independent Electricity System Operation, which manages the system.

* There are no alternatives to the two northern plants.

* Nanticoke will still be needed occasionally when construction of new transmission lines reduces the flow of power from the nuclear plants and wind farms near Lake Huron.

* Coal plants must keep burning a bit of fuel when they’re on standby; otherwise, they can’t power up quickly.

Forman has been rebuffed by Conservative Leader Tim Hudak, greeted cautiously by the NDP’s Andrea Horvath and is to meet next month with Energy and Infrastructure Minister Brad Duguid.

It’s great that we’re using so much less coal. A policy of gas first whenever technically possible would be even better. It might not lower the dirty fuel’s contribution all the way to 1 per cent, but anything to hasten its demise would be a positive step.

Rob Ford and the ding of truth, Rick Salutin, August 20 2010.

Champlain faced similar immigration conundrums in his time

Americans gripped by immigration and ethnicity issues should glance for perspective at the large print on the base of the Statue of Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor … Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me … Canadians with similar anxieties about immigrants and refugees – categories that were often historically identical – should think about Samuel de Champlain, who founded our country in the early 1600s.

Champlain’s immigration policy was unusual, since he and the settlers he brought from France were the immigrants. In a way, it was the native peoples already here who had the first immigration policy; they welcomed newcomers, in the absence of reasons not to, as if good things were likely to arise from new arrivals. Champlain seemed to admire that.

So his immigration policy was also a policy of conquest, in an era of conquest. Yet, approaches differed. In the Spanish West Indies, he’d seen an empire enslave native peoples and work them to death, literally and collectively, then import new slaves from Africa. He also rejected the British route in Virginia or New England, of keeping apart from native peoples while pushing them off their land. His way was to treat prior inhabitants with individual and national respect: Learn from them, trade and live with them, intermarry. “Henceforth we shall be one people,” he said.

It’s a more creative and humane approach than trying to assimilate the “others” to your own values, which are always a mixed bag. It opens future possibilities. The young men Champlain sent to learn native languages often intermarried, as did French families of high rank into similar native families. Eventually, this process led to the Métis nation, “the only ethnic group created indigenous to this continent,” says Champlain biographer David Hackett Fischer.

I’ve been reading his book this summer up in the region Champlain knew as Huronia, between Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario, where he spent a year and got to know a complex agricultural society with many towns, a political structure and enough surplus corn to export to other native peoples. Mr. Fischer says Champlain’s enlightened openness came from having fought during 40 bloody years of religious war in Europe and feeling there had to be a better way. He calls it a “generational phenomenon,” comparable to the Lester Pearson generation of “wise men.” They lived through two world wars and a global depression; they responded with the UN and the welfare state. They make the Stephen Harper generation look callow, but that may just show that hard experience is a better teacher than stiff ideology.

The alternative mindset, now widely on offer, involves escalating exclusion and delegitimization, as if saying: First they came for the refugees, but I wasn’t a refugee. Then they came for the immigrants. Then they came for citizens but ones who weren’t like “us,” such as Muslims in the U.S., who are told to be “more sensitive” when building mosques. But sensitive to whom – “real” Americans? Or you get Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford, who said this week that, in a perfect world, there’d be no immigration here.

Yet, his words have not the ring but a certain ding of truth. He says, “We can’t even take care of our 2.5 million people,” and it’s true – though he doesn’t name the reasons. Policies such as free trade and globalization sent away vast numbers of jobs in small manufacturing and their spinoffs that generations of new immigrants did, whose taxes, in turn, supported decent services. Many of those tut-tutting Rob Ford backed those economic policies and still do, lending them a whiff of hypocrisy discernible to stressed-out voters. He’s hit the mood, though not the essence, of our situation. I imagine Champlain faced similar conundrums in his time.

Senate gives thumbs up to offshore drilling, Gloria Galloway, August 18 2010.

Drilling Rigs in Halifax harbour.A Senate committee says there’s no need to prevent companies from drilling for oil in Canadian coastal waters.

With oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico and Chevron drilling deep off the Atlantic coast, the Senate committee on energy, the environment and natural resources launched a study in May to determine the potential for a similar calamity in Canada.

In particular, the committee looked at whether calls for a moratorium on drilling in Canadian waters were well founded. After hearing from 26 witnesses, the committee concluded in its report released Wednesday that they are not.

"No evidence was adduced to justify any such ban or suspension and the committee is recommending that the said Chevron operation continue as planned, under close scrutiny and supervision by the regulators," the report says.

The bipartisan committee did, however, say there is a need to examine the structure of regulatory boards to determine if there is a "material conflict" between their roles as promoters of development and environmental stewards.

The committee also recommended that the regulators and industry take a hard look at the condition under which relief wells should be drilled. A relief well to take pressure off the BP well that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico has taken many months to drill.

But David Angus, the Conservative who chairs the committee, told a news conference Wednesday the senators were satisfied that the safety precautions currently in place are sufficient to prevent a similar disaster in Canada.

Senator Grant Mitchell, a Liberal from Alberta, said the report aimed to balance economic and environmental concerns and pointed out the huge financial benefit to Canadians that flows from allowing companies to drill offshore.

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