Here a Predator..There a Predator

November by

My old Imac is refurbished so I can have it sitting bedside. I’m satisfied enough with a relatively new PC tower and laptop, and that the savings over another Mac was worthwhile. They are freshly complemented by a new mechanical Leopold tenkeyless USB keyboard that does indeed emulate the feel of the  typewriters I employed over the years. It seems to be restoring my typing comfort level and speed and without the number pad I would rarely use, is nicely compact. The full-size keys and the span of them beats by a mile the cramped mini-keyboards I have tried.  Pricey at around $150 with shipping and duty in, but so were the computers the other keyboards discouraged me from optimally employing.

Last year was pretty good one for this blog/web page. A lot of material got entered into it: Songs, stories, commentary, a poem or two….pictures. Traffic to it has been steady over the summer even in the absence of fresh material.

Spring and summer writing got waylaid by responsibilities to my garden. On top of the planting and cultivating, raccoons and a marauding weasel laid siege to my garden and hens in that order. Now in November it is a black bear that, while I was overnight in Vancouver, tore off one side of my potting shed, broke down my bird run, and flushed out the black drake which alone had been able to beat off the weasel. A few hens had not. One gate left open was all it took.

Black Bear Excavation

Potting Shed Sans Siding

This place of mine has been mostly free of this kind of thing for eighteen years, the rarity of weasels in our neck of the woods making them an unlikely problem.

By next spring I will have replaced two-inch stucco mesh that did not keep this one out with one-inch chicken wire that should. Parallel and multiple hot and ground wires from an electric fencer should deal with the bear and help with the raccoons too, as will wrapping the trunks of my fruit trees with aluminum flashing. Then I can bring in a couple more chickens and a duck and get everything back in balance. They more than adequately recycle my kitchen and garden waste.

On top of that I am just now getting back most of the capacity temporarily lost to re-engineering the joint at the base of my right thumb. It had been ever-more-strongly complaining about the cumulative effect of thousands of one-handed axe strikes (the driving of log-dogs into salvaged logs)and perhaps from the playing of even more bass guitar riffs.  It is  coming around now post-operatively, but for a while I have been limited in my typing. No more. This keyboard is really nice. It sounds right and feels just right.

There’s no shortage of things to write about in this chaotic, fault-ridden, cacophonous amoral reality of ours.

I most recently find myself gobsmacked by the temerity of Enbridge’s pastel, coloring-book images of an oil tanker proceeding in fairy-tale fashion through placid west-coast waters, apparently unnecessarily guarded by two good-sized tugboats, on their way to pick up another load of Alberta-enriching toxic crude. Here is a youtube video showing the route shown in Enbridge’s original ad, along with commentary and accurate graphics to depict the actual tanker route exiting the proposed port of Kitimat:

Even after navigating to open ocean, the waters their tankers would traverse are nothing like the calm waters suggested. They are home to an almost ceaseless Pacific-generated ground-swell, to complicated tides, to eighty-knot storm-winds driving massive seas across Queen Charlotte Sound and across the shallows of Hecate Strait. Enbridge’s own technical data refers to “larger waves with heights of 4m or more….twice as likely to occur in the fall-winter period…extremely large waves with significant height values of 8m occurring eighteen percent of the time.” There is nothing comic about an area where it is not unusual to have winds reach 190 kph.

Still, I am happy to see them present us with yet another example of their contempt for us, as with their creation of a separate corporate structure to protect their core interests from liability for failures of the proposed pipeline, by their record of inadequate preparation for spills in their other operations. I’m even happy to see this further evidence of their clear belief that they have Stephen Harper’s government incontrovertibly in their pocket and operating with complete disregard for the ‘precautionary principal’ by which all those charged with the care of others need to operate.

Hell, I’m even happy to see Harper parading his Memorial Day hypocrisy, his pithy praise for the Canadians sent overseas believing themselves to be protecting a democracy Harper and his party casually undermine with lies and dirty election tactics as they are not crudely seeking to undermine discourse that contradicts their narrative.

I admit to reluctance to write so disparagingly about a prime minister, On the other hand what this fair land of ours is getting from Harper is not leadership imbued with long-term affirmative vision, but leadership tainted by the manipulation by which it was gained and for the power and control it confers under this far too undemocratic democracy of ours.

But then surely Canadians can’t continue to maintain a naive belief in the integrity of this government and in this dangerous and deceitfully-presented Enbridge project.

More fundamentally, can we really continue to assume that the natural resources of this land should be squeezed from it as quickly as possible for one or two generations alone, mostly to profit our elites.

Surely we can see that reliance on natural resources as a hedge against our dose of global financial instability represents not strength but failure to adequately educate ourselves so as to limit or remove the dependency.

One friend kind enough to scan my efforts felt this post could be more neatly tied back to the theme of predation with perhaps a reference to our P.M. as a bear or weasel. I think this, even as metaphor, is unfair. They latter, after all, are somewhat lower on the scale of evolution than we and merely being true to the nature of their species.  As the record clearly demonstrates, we humans are no slouches at predation, frequently targeting our own kind, institutionalizing it in many ways. But it is also within our capacity to rise to greater behavioral heights, something you would hope for in a leader.

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