Thursday, September 29, 2022

Gardening challenges

I have been gardening every year for most of my adult life, in Australia and Canada, and water has always been at the center of action. From filling buckets in Deadman’s Creek on my homestead in North Queensland, Australia, irrigating from rivers for cash crops nearby, and using well and rainwater here in the bush in Central Alberta, Canada.

I have used overhead sprinklers and trickle irrigation, progressing towards less water use without diminishing crop yield.

With drier and hotter weather in my neck of the wood at this time, I am currently moving into the use of wicking grow bags for my garden. That means supplying water to the bottom of plant roots, rather than from the top

The availability of modern, durable and cheap plastics has made this a practical proposition, in my case re-using 25 Kg chicken layer feed bags that soak up water when filled with soil and placed in a shallow bath.

Thus, the amount of water used to grow a tomato, for example, is reduced by an order of magnitude in comparison to trickle irrigation where water is wicked away from the row of vegetables by the adjacent dry soil.

Wherever there is a challenge, there is a solution. That is why we are able to snoop around on the planet Mars without even setting foot on the place.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Conscription in Canada?

As the war in Europe moves into a more serious phase with the announced conscription of 300,000 Russians into the armed forces in that country, one may ask, could that happen here in Canada?

That in light of the fact that the Canadian armed forces are only getting half the number of people required enlisting at this time. And that is without direct engagement in a war.

History shows that Canada implemented conscription in both WWI and WWII, causing major divisions within the country by activating the “War Measures Act”.

Our Prince Justin already used its descendant, the “Emergencies Act”, against his political opponents following the Freedom Convoy this year, freezing the bank accounts of “troublemakers” and could be expected to try the same stunt again.

My guess is that he would have to flee the country if he did. (Just too much ammo out there for comfort.)

Besides, under the present ‘leadership’ and following Covid, Canada would likely break up if a conscription drive was implemented. 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Defending democracy?

The Canadian mainstream, legacy, woke, whatever you want to call them, media are now complaining about the inability of the Canadian armed forces to recruit people to serve as soldiers in the ranks. Reportedly, only half the numbers required are signing up at this time.

Those same reporters seem to forget that they have been instrumental in criticizing and taking down prominent members of the armed forces for misconduct in the sometimes distant past, bringing the culture of the whole enterprise into question.

Add onto that an imperial war in Europe where recruits could easily end up as Putin’s cannon fodder as things escalate out of hand.

As icing on the cake, we have a dysfunctional government in Ottawa busy breaking up Canada, as we know it, while patting themselves on the back as to how good they are.

No wonder people prefer to stay home.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Vulnerable power grid

Our society has many shortcomings, one of which is the power grid where electric power is generated in centralized locations and distributed over vast areas.

For example, I am told that the power station at the Bennett Dam in British Columbia generates some 30+% of power consumed in BC feeding thousands of power nodes and lines to individual consumers.

A large storm like Fiona now hitting eastern Canada brings home the vulnerability of this system as thousands of consumers will be waiting to get power back to run their freezers and charge their vehicles. (Didn’t think of that one, did ya?)

In fact, in our society, “becoming civilized” means getting increasingly vulnerable to external events that you cannot control, be they natural or man made. Time to get back to basics, meaning preserving food like our ancestors did, among other things.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Weather speculation

Here in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, where I live, two hot and dry summers are now behind us. They stand out from anything I have experienced here in the last 31 years.

I recorded 10 millimeters of rain on August 28 and a few sprinkles over the month of July. We had some good rains in June, giving local farmers reasonable crop yields at this time

Last year, July temperatures held pretty steady around 30 degrees Celsius with a similar pattern in August this year.

Hot and dry. That’s what we in the inland of Turtle Island are experiencing right now. Down stateside they are now in a drought that started some 20 years ago, with no end in sight.

Meanwhile, unprecedented deluges are happening elsewhere in the world, alongside droughts, even in the south of my native Norway where hydropower is getting scarce and expensive for consumers.

What’s next? I think we should expect more of the same and adapt to this new world, as we have done many times in the past and learn to live with less.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Quiet revolution

A kitchen table, the table in a community center or in a cafe may be the place where a new revolution begins. A place where you can interact with another person on many levels without the risk of being demonized by some self appointed ‘experts’ online.

Many meetings over time can create new friendships and cement ideas about where to go next in a struggle against a centralized dictatorial power perpetrated by some very self centered individuals, living in their respective fantasy worlds.

That’s essentially what happened in France, leading up to the French Revolution and the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. We the People have demonstrated time and again, that when push comes to shove, nothing can stop us.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Political wheel

Last night Pierre Poilievre was elected as the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada with a solid majority of 68% of the vote. He also managed to attract a lot of new members to the party, based on his pre-election rhetoric and previous performance on the floor of Canada’s parliament.

He appealed to the sentiments of ordinary Canadians that are sick and tired of Prince Justin’s antics on the world stage and his failure to live up to promises made as Prime Minister of Canada. Add to that a number of scandals involving conflict of interest, meaning that the establishment and the general public have had enough of this man’s poor performance in office.

Poilievre told people what they wanted to hear and received their votes in return. He next task is now to distract them from some of his more ‘extreme’ promises, like firing the Governor of the Bank of Canada who has been accused of gross incompetence by printing money and causing excessive inflation.

But wait a minute, is this new? Or is it a standard approach used by party political hacks, like Poilievre, forever?

My guess is that Poilievre has been picked by the establishment to replace Prince Justin and that he has been groomed to carry out their agenda a long time ago.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Royal passing

I’m writing this piece to record the passing of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain and Canada, Australia and many other nations yesterday, September 8, 2022.

This article will be engraved onto a glass plate by myself shortly and placed in my own private time-vault, along with a lot of other material.
So, a record that could arguably be preserved for several thousand years is thereby created, as part of my “deep time project”.

The institution of “Royalty” is as old as humankind itself and it unites people under an umbrella of common beliefs. Its success of failure depends on the person that carries the crown and Elizabeth was a master of that art/craft resulting in great esteem for her across the world, as evidenced by all the attention paid to her passing.

The future of monarchies in Britain and other places in the world is uncertain at this time, with Elizabeth’s son Charles now being King Charles III. He is 73 years old and has seen his share of controversies as Prince Charles, including a failed marriage and the tragic death of his ex, Diana, Princess of Wales who was very popular on the world stage.

Do we need Royals to look up to and unite us? To me, that depends on the qualities of the individuals that want to wear a crown, not their ancestry.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Comparing pandemics

According to reports, the Covid pandemic has claimed somewhere between 5 and 10 million lives world wide in a population of some 7.9 billion. Estimates for the 1918 flu range between 50 and 100 million deaths in a population of 1.8 billion.

The progression of the 1918 flu was also faster, driven by unrestricted movement of troops on and between continents. The conduct of the Great War was a priority, giving the mutating bugs unrestricted access to the civilian population as well.

Only when things got really bad did authorities react with restrictive measures, by which time the brutal spread and death toll had created a considerable degree of herd immunity.

In contrast, public health measures were taken early on in the Covid pandemic across the world slowing down the progress of the virus and its mutants, giving it more time to change its strategy and become more infective and less lethal, serving its own ends for survival and multiplication, to the point where it is still alive and well in September 2022, but causing little concern in the general population.

In that sense, Covid has been more successful than its 1918 brother by ensuring its place in the human population, as long as hosts are available.

We humans should learn from Covid that destroying our own host, Gaia, our living Earth Mother, does not serve OUR interest. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Early election in Alberta?

United Conservative Party leadership contender Danielle Smith says that she will introduce an “Alberta Sovereignty Act” in the legislature as soon as she takes over as Premier of Alberta, if she becomes the new leader of the party.

Meanwhile the establishment is sounding all manner of alarm bells in response to her assertions, including present Premier Jason Kenney and many others within the UCP.

Add to that the fact that Danielle Smith does not have a seat in the legislature at this time. So, a sitting MLA will have to step down to trigger a by-election which Danielle Smith would have to win to claim her seat.

Smith is also promising a free vote in the legislature on the proposed legislation, which she could easily lose, based on sentiments expressed by many to date.

Where would that leave her government? Would she call an early election, or try to govern with an unruly party behind her? Like present Premier Kenney did, and paid the price?

The next legislative election in Alberta has to happen before May 29, 2023. My guess is that it will come long before that deadline.

Land and water

Looking back on human history, the competition for land is unceasing, just like it is among all predatory animals, in relation to their own kin.

That results in conflict; wars in the case of us humans because we are socially organized into groups, greatly enhancing our ability to inflict destruction on others and grab more land for ourselves.

In order for a group to remain cohesive, individuals need to share common values and beliefs, so cultures arise to meet that need.

Problem is, other cultures arise, and the values of groups clash. Mix in competition for land and you get a war, as is happening in Ukraine at this time.

Each party rationalizes its position and justifies the war based on its own beliefs and values. Ultimately the stronger and more enduring party prevails, or the conflict may end up in mutual exhaustion/destruction.

Control of land is essential for any individual/group that wants to survive, but so is fresh water. And it is now crystal clear (pun intended) that fresh water resources across the world are disappearing at an alarming rate, as they are not being replenished by violent storms that are also on the increase.

The consequences of this are daunting because it lays the groundwork for more human conflict between “haves“ and “have nots”.

Most people here in North America are taking the availability of fresh water for granted and are only now beginning to understand that they have been living a myth.

There is only one long term solution: Drastically changed living habits.
The alternative is Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).

Monday, September 5, 2022

Representative democracy

The problem with this system is that the wrong people tend to percolate to the top and make a lot of bad decisions on behalf of us all.

Would you like the pilot of the Boeing 747 that you are about to board to be selected based on his/her hairstyle or ability to make you laugh or cry?

I don’t think so. Yet we do it all the time in regards to the politicians that are entrusted with the reigns of our nations.

“Der Fuhrer”, Adolf Hitler is a very good case in point. He used to be a bum in Vienna in his young days, but showed great courage as a message runner on the Western Front during WWI.

Due to his oratorical skills and political cunning he ended up in charge of the mighty German armed forces and we all know about the disaster for all of us that followed: A corporal fancying himself to be a general.

The list goes on and on with our own Prince Justin here in Canada who used to be an arts teacher before entering politics, helped by the money and power of his late father, Pierre Trudeau’s supporters.

He has bungled the job ever since and created major divisions in Canadian society, mostly due to an inflated ego.

Real leaders have to emerge and prove themselves as they move up into positions of responsibility, rather than being picked at random based on the work of propaganda machines.

That way we don’t get disc jockeys flying airplanes.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Ukraine, now Taiwan

In the lead up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Western leaders simply ignored all manner of warnings from Russia in regards to Ukraine’s application for membership in NATO. A predictable outcome followed.

A similar play is now underway between the Western Empire (US and its allies, including Canada) and China where China is being provoked to respond with force to what is perceived by them to be an incursion into their territory.

It is being done deliberately by powerbrokers within the Western Empire, using geriatric politicians like Joe Biden/Nancy Pelosi as tools with no regard for the rest of us, or our kids and grandkids, who will become the victims of this megalomaniacal madness.

Next step: Russia and China will form an alliance to deal with Western Empire politics, not unlike the axis formed by Germany, Italy and Japan during WWII.

Also bear in mind that China has a lot of internal problems with its Covid response and a collapsing real estate market. An external war could be very convenient for the leadership of that totalitarian state.

Our system is broken, just as was predicted by George Orwell (Eric Blair) in his novel “1984”.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Re-tribalizing

We live in an unstable and dangerous world. The institutions created to serve our needs are becoming increasingly self serving, not unlike the medieval churches, preying on people and amassing property and wealth.

Our latest predators occupy cyber space and carefully monitor our physical and mental habits with a view to exploiting them for their own benefit.

They also try to create communities centred around themselves in cyberspace so that we may further serve their interests, while leaving us friendless and lonely.

It seems that the universe is geared towards predation, at all levels, from the microbial and up.

We have now arrived at a place where real action is needed to defend ourselves and the answer is as old as our species is: Re-establish tested and true ways of surviving by supporting each other physically and mentally for the good of all. In other words: Tribalizing.

The power of this way of living has been amply demonstrated in Afghanistan by the locals that have beaten back three invasions over the last couple of centuries: By the British, the Soviet and the Western Empires in that order.

The corrupt and self serving nature of these institutions make them vulnerable to counter attacks at strategic times and locations, as has been demonstrated time and time again in Afghanistan. The fight may be long and bloody but those with real life values will ultimately prevail.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

My Facebook timeline

I’m happy to say that readership is increasing steadily and that feedback is generally positive. That was not the case earlier, especially during the ‘official pandemic’.

The idea of the timeline is to share information that I am interested in with you folks that read and watch what I publish. Because of automation, this does not feel like ‘work’ to me at all.

Facebook has its shortcomings, including the Zuckerberg appointed ‘police’, in whose bad books I currently occupy a spot, but it is also a very convenient medium for sharing information and ideas.

Before retiring in 2011, I used to be a Caroline area reporter for Mountaineer Publishing in Rocky Mountain House for 11 years and was responsible for one page in “The Mountaineer” weekly newspaper with a circulation of about 10 000. That included local news and an opinion column I called “Pen Meets Paper”. I am happy to say that this is one family owned paper that has survived the online publishing revolution.

Now in my 80th year I am essentially doing the same thing online, from a little cabin in my 20 acre wood, except that the whole world is my oyster and I stay tuned to European news every morning by listening to the Norwegian mainstream news for a “heads up” on breaking stories. (Norway is about 8 hours ahead of us here in the western part of Turtle Island)

I don’t pretend to be unbiased. None of us are. But I like to cast my information gathering net as wide as possible in order to get a handle on what is going on.

I have been invited by Facebook to make some money for my efforts, but have not picked up on that idea.

Conflict in Alberta

I happen to live in a place in Canada where conflict is likely to take centre stage in the near future: Alberta, that was the launchpad for the Freedom Convoy that shut down Ottawa for some 3 weeks in February.

Prince Justin and his crew in Ottawa are in the process of launching an environmental armed police force based in Calgary, that is now advertising for applicants for positions.

The leading contender for the Alberta United Conservative Party leadership position, Danielle Smith who will be the next Premier of Alberta if she wins, is on record saying that she will not cooperate with this new agency.

At the same time, the federal government is attempting to greatly expand an environmental protection area in north-west Alberta and likely plans to use its new police force to enforce regulations at the expense of the oil and gas industry.

Many Albertans see this as the thin wedge of a sword to shut down Alberta’s oil and gas industry and generate internal conflict within the province. They see it as a part of a globalist agenda carried out in Canada by Claus Schwab’s mentees; Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland, the latter having connections to the Azov Battalion in Ukraine with its murky past.

Expect a lot more to come.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Hosting a virus

Covid has settled down among us. A stranger on the block some three years ago, it is now a familiar visitor to most. It has also learnt “to behave” for its own long term good. So it no longer kills a bunch of us hosts, like it did in the early stages.

Most people, like myself, experience something like a cold during the period Covid breeds up inside our bodies. Being a host is no longer an extremely traumatic experience for most, so our fear of the virus has subsided.

That’s exactly what Covid needs and wants from us, because that gives it free reign to invade and occupy our bodies. In other words, it has adapted to ensure its own long term survival in the human population. It is a smart virus.

Can that be said of us, in regards to how we treat Gaia, our Earth Mother? Billions of us are crawling all over her, satisfying our own desires at her expense, with little or no regard for the well being of our host.

Are we going to be a smart virus?

Monday, August 22, 2022

Germany vs France

I’m risking my writer’s neck with this piece comparing Germany and France. So be it.

Germany is the economic power house of Europe, no questions asked. Frenchmen tend to be more laid back, enjoy a drink of wine and beat up on their own government when they get pissed off about something (yellow vests come to mind).

The Germans got badly beaten up in wars twice last century, with France on the winning side in both cases. But they pull themselves up by their bootstraps, rebuild industries and commerce, and away they go again.

So what is their problem? They seem to get the thin end of the stick no matter what? Like now when they might be shivering in their homes this winter as Putin threatens to turn off the taps on pipelines to Germany from Russian oil and gas fields.

The German idea was to use Russian gas as an interim measure while they created wind and solar farms and decommissioned their nuclear plants.

The French? They wisely held on to their nuclear power generating plants and even sell electricity to Germany when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind declines to blow in Germany.

So why do these industrious smart people we call “Germans” invariably end up in a puddle, somehow?

I think it is a combination of two things: Tribalism and an attraction to simplistic ideology, like what happened in the 1930ies.

Please don’t shoot the messenger!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Waterloo?

In modern history this word is associated with Napoleon’s final defeat at a village of that name in Walloon Brabant, Belgium in 1815. “Waterloo” means “water” and “sacred forest”.

From my studies online it is becoming obvious that water is the very underpinning of life and that our fresh water is being used at an unprecedented rate as heatwaves are enveloping the globe at this time. Fresh groundwater and surface water levels are constantly sinking both in North America and Europe.

So I decided on a little experiment here in my own back yard: Collecting rainwater from the roofs of my cabins. Thanks to fortuitous timing I collected well in excess of 2000 litres in June during drought breaking rain events and stored the water in numerous drums and other containers. (I also have a good shallow water well but it showed signs of stress during the 2000- 2002 drought with fine sand coming out of the tap).

This year I have also been growing green beans in my garden and tried growing them in containers as well, watering them by hand with collected rainwater.

With future possible water shortages, container gardening is the obvious way to go where I live where each bean plant consumes about one litre of water per day during hot weather while producing delicious green beans.

We all know that fresh water is at the very essence of life, but somehow, here in Alberta, Canada, we have adopted the attitude that oil and gas are more important and use, on average, some 60,000 cubic meters (60 million litres) of fresh water to hydraulically frack ONE oil/gas well. That water is gone forever from the water cycle.

Napoleon, you are in good company!


Saturday, August 20, 2022

Second hot summer

During July in 2021 we had tropical heat on the prairies in Western Canada, where I live. +30 degrees Celsius day in and day out for some 5 weeks. And very little rain resulting in bone dry conditions and low crop yields.

This year farmers had better luck with some good rains in June, before things started to dry out. Then along came August with another tropical heat wave that we are in right now. +31 yesterday and the same expected today.

When I first arrived in Canada I was struck with how cool the summers used to feel, after some 21 years spent in Australia. Not any more.

In 1961 I spent 6 months with my family in Baghdad, Iraq where the temperature during summer fluctuated anywhere between +40 and +45 degrees C, making +35 feel ‘cool’ when it happened from time to time.

The locals in the Middle East are well adapted to these conditions in terms of personal habits and clothes worn, for example. They also take a break from about 10am till 4pm every day to get away from the searing heat. Their day starts around 4am.

I am fortunate to live in a little “green paradise” consisting of 20 acres of bushland cooling down air moving through the vegetation. In contrast to what happens in the parking lot of a shopping mall, for example.

I also have an eight foot by 30 inch swimming pool installed in my garden, in which to cool down in the late afternoon.

Problem is, what happens in the years ahead? That methane gas pouring out of the melting permafrost in the arctic around the globe has got me really worried. Once unleashed, as has happened, this process feeds on itself...

Thursday, August 18, 2022

"Get Trump!"

That has been the catch cry of the New York ‘progressive’ establishment since he became the 45th President of the US in 2017.

One reason for this frenzy “to get him” is that he is the ‘outsider on the inside’, a part of the New York establishment, but not really. Moreover, during a long period of engagement in the entertainment world, he developed connections to Eastern block countries in Europe.

Prior to 2017 the Trump team managed to tap onto a seething anger amongst common Americans against the Obama led ‘progressives’ that had long forgotten them and their troubles. So they voted for Trump as President.

It was the shock of a lifetime for the New York Deep State establishment that see themselves as the controllers of the Western Empire. Trump’s perceived connections to the Russian Empire were viewed with great suspicion as well and an attempt was made to “get ‘im” during the Russia Gate drama.

Another attempt was made after he was accused of trying to blackmail Ukrainian President Zelensky to obtain information against 2020 presidential election candidate Joe Biden.

That didn’t work because of the support Trump enjoyed from his Republican Party colleagues.

The final attempt, which was successful, came in 2020 when Trump was defeated by Joe Biden and officially removed from office on January 6, 2021.

Trump firmly believes that this election was fraudulently stacked against him and nearly managed to bring The Republic to its knees on January 6 by encouraging supporters to march on the Capitol, which they did in droves.

Trump also has a stated admiration for Russian President Putin which is resented by the Western Empire Deep State establishment and goes a long way to explain their ongoing efforts to take him out of circulation.

That includes the recent FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Internet paddocks

“Mooh!” or “Baah!”. Welcome to the internet funny farm where we are the cattle or sheep grazing in Suckerberg’s Meta landscape or on Planet Google.

The big operators have one thing in common: To create fenced grazing paddocks inside our minds and control all the internal and external gates as much as possible.

Big Brother has arrived in all his glory with his carrots and sticks and woe to he or she who tries to defy this self appointed would-be “Master of All”.

Fortunately, the smarter among us are able to dig holes under the fences and generally navigate the system while retaining our independence of it.

It is all about letting the unceasing propaganda stream from main stream and side stream media presstitutes fly over your head and making your own individual system navigation decisions.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Practical survivalism

Some folks are called “preppers” (being prepared). They try to anticipate future calamities and take measures to minimize impacts on themselves, like storing food, water, guns, money, etc. To some it has become a way of life and a form of religion.

On the flip side we have: “The one that’s gonna get’cha will come out of left field with no warning” so why bother?

I think there is reasonable middle ground here: For example, think about just how vulnerable our electricity distribution grid is to any number of problems and how much our modern lifestyle depends on that grid.

So, filling up the freezer with meat and other frozen goodies in anticipation of a ‘rainy day’, or 20, may not make sense. Preserving food in airtight sterile jars is a much preferred option. That’s what we always did before the convenience of freezers won the day.

Growing your own fruit and veggies in a backyard garden has been my hobby and passion for the last 50 years or so, at great advantage to physical/mental well being as well. And seeing them in jars on a shelf gives one a sense of satisfaction.

Living in the country and guns go hand in hand. Guns are simply another useful tool for survival.

I have found chickens to be a valuable part of the picture, providing a steady flow of protein rich eggs for the table and as ingredients in baking.

Our forebears did this for eons of time; we just need to re-establish true and tested habits.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Power of tribalism

Afghanistan should be a lesson for all. The tribal society of that country has successfully withstood the onslaught of several empires: The British, the Soviet and now the Western Empire that pulled out exactly 1 year ago after 20 years of rampant corruption sponsored in return for compliance with ‘Western values’.

How did the Afghans manage to pull it off? I think it had a lot to do with shared traditional values and long deep relationships between individuals and families. How else could they have withstood the onslaught of foreign cultures with virtually unlimited financial and military power?

Many years ago I cottoned on to a remark made by an Afghan patriot when he spoke about his contempt for the attitude of Soviet soldiers occupying his country: “They force their way into our mosques and piss on the floor” he said. I.e. Plenty of motivation to “get rid of the bastards”, which they did to the great detriment of the now extinct Soviet Union.

The Americans and their cohorts, including Canada, went the same way just a year ago, as the Western installed ‘President’ headed for the hills with a pile of dough. Goes to show the power of belief and persistence in the face of state sponsored predation and corruption.

Is it time to turn our backs on a corrupt and manipulative government in Ottawa?

Friday, August 12, 2022

Party political problem

Representative democracy is about people putting their trust in elected representatives when it comes to enacting legislation that affects everybody.

The party-political version of of this system has proven itself to be dysfunctional, to put it mildly, because the people whose interests are represented by the party always turns out to be a small connected minority with financial clout that use politics to further their own interests.

The “inner brass” of an established party is always connected to this group, at the expense of the rest of us. The bulk of our elected representatives, picked over by party insiders to serve the party rather than the people, are generally opportunistic individuals looking for a career for themselves.

So we invariably end up with a disconnect between people and party.
The establishment ‘fix’ to this is to rotate parties in and out of power with new leaders, allowing people to vent against a system stacked against them.

The status-quo continues.

Water shortages

We tend to take the availability of fresh water for granted. Like the air we breathe. Until we have to start looking for it.

That’s increasingly happening across the world at this time. In Europe, the US and soon, here, in Alberta, Canada. Unless we prepare for the predicted outcomes of climate change and local warming.

It seems that atmospheric water vapour is repelled by warm dry air over an arid area and attracted by humid ground conditions like those created by a forest, for example.

Here in Central Alberta, after good rains in June, we are now back into a heat dome predicted to last until the middle to late part of August.
We have had some concentrated hail events with baseball sized hail stones, but they have been fairly isolated, thankfully.

In Europe groundwater levels are falling at an alarming rate, as our water monitoring bureaucrats here in Alberta are sitting on their hands in front of their computers, expecting some undefined others to get their feet wet out in the field doing some actual useful work.

So, we don’t know how much water we have and what underground water trends are. Before, at some point, folks wake up.

It is theorized that a major factor in bringing down the Maya civilization was a lack of water.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

UCP woes

Alberta’s ruling United Conservative Party is in big trouble. It was formed following the election win of the New Democratic Party in 2015 leading to four years of conservative detested government by Rachel Notley.

Conservatives from a broad spectrum of beliefs and opinions managed to hold their noses and form a political party, under the leadership of the present Premier Jason Kenney, for the sole purpose of removing the left slanting Notley from power.

During the pandemic, deep rifts developed within the UCP, based on previous differences in outlook by supporters of the two forming parties, the Wild Rose Party and the Progressive Conservative Party that had been in power for some 40 years prior to 2015.

A former leader of the Wild Rose Party, Danielle Smith, is now the front runner in a UCP leadership contest to replace Kenney as Premier of the province and has promised to bring in an “Alberta Sovereignty Act” as soon as she is proclaimed Premier.

This would empower the Alberta Legislature to say “nay” to federal legislation imposing Ottawa’s will on the province, in the same way that Quebec reacts to federal interventions in its affairs.

An attempt to enact this legislation could easily cause a split within the UCP, along former PC/ Wild Rose party lines and if passed it could be declared “ultra vires”(acting or done beyond one's legal power or authority) by Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor.

That happened to legislation introduced by Alberta’s Social Credit government in the 1930ies when the powers that be didn’t like what they saw.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Alberta mindset

The political landscape in Alberta is changing towards a more independent stance against the edicts of a self serving federal government in Ottawa.

More and more Albertans feel that their constitutional rights are being trampled on by federally elected politicians, as they watched Quebec refusing to support the Emergencies Act measures when it was proclaimed by the federal government back in the spring.

Those measures froze the bank accounts of some Canadians at the whim of Prince Justin’s Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and caused a bank run as people hurried to move their money into safe places.

The (not so) United Conservative Party of Alberta leadership contender Danielle Smith is tapping into this emerging public sentiment and she is the leading candidate in the race to become Alberta’s next Premier shortly.

As Prince Justin and his crew keep on alienating people in Western Canada by pandering to the preconceived notions of their political base, cracks are widening in the Canadian federation.

While Canada and the US are different in many ways, the change in public mindsets is very similar.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Collectivism vs individualism

“We” vs “I” ideas have shaped many societies and generated much conflict in times past, and in the present.

European settlement of Turtle Island was largely guided by individual enterprise, sometimes sponsored by a state: “Between 1519 and 1521 Hernán Cortés and a small band of men brought down the Aztec empire in Mexico, and between 1532 and 1533 Francisco Pizarro and his followers toppled the Inca empire in Peru.”

One kind of collectivist state emerged from the Russian revolution in 1917 under the iron hand of Vladimir Lenin, and later Joseph Stalin (“man of steel”) where all means of production were directly controlled and run by the state.

Another form of collectivism emerged in Germany in 1933 under the hand of Adolf Hitler who proclaimed himself a dictator. Here the means of production was left in the private hands of regime supporters like Krupp Steel, for example.

Be they individualist or collectivist regimes, one characteristic permeates them all: A small group of colluding self appointed dudes, male, female or shemale/hemale holds the reigns of power using a base of ideologically programmed underlings to do their dirty work in return for some privileges and limited delegated power (‘elected’ politicians).

That is true for China, Russia and the Western Empire with its main power node in New York at this time.

Another thing these entities have in common is an ongoing brainwashing process imposed on their populations.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

War as 'safety' valve

How do the rulers of a society with multiple internal stresses keep themselves in power? Groups of people with opposing views may face each other in the street, resulting in much destruction.

During the nineteen thirties, a broken financial system led to much suffering and conflict right across the world and spawned extremist views both on the right and left side of the political spectrum. Young unemployed ‘bucks’ with no money were hanging out on street corners, looking for trouble.

It was very convenient to have WWII break out in 1939, effectively mopping up all these ‘troublesome elements’, put them in uniform and send them off to war.

Some 1300 years ago there was a surplus of young bucks in what is now my old homeland Norway and a ‘solution’ was designed by the establishment of the day by equipping groups of them with ships, weapons and provisions and send them off to raid distant shores.

The expectation was for them to bring back wealth in many forms, including slaves. They are now known as “the Vikings”.

The crusades about 1000 years ago were used for the same purpose.

In our day, when the Western Empire is rattling sabres against Putin and Xi Jinping, one can ask whether the war option is on the table to save the political butts of the present establishment?

Saturday, July 30, 2022

German saga

The two great wars of the 20th century, known as WWI and WWII, are now part of the fabric of Western history. It can legitimately be argued that it was really one long war, with a pause in the middle.

It was a struggle between empires leading to the demise of some and the rise of others. A shift in the global balance of power.

I have spent a lot of time trying to understand the rise of National Socialism in Germany in the 1920ies and thirties: Following the cessation of hostilities in 1918, Germans literally had their noses rubbed in the dirt by the other side (France, England and the US).

The government of the German Weimar Republic caused hyper inflation prior to 1922/3 allowing the rest of the world’s predators to literally rape Germans who were made destitute by having worthless money.

This is when National Socialism began to grow in Germany, in reaction to what was seen as a government of traitors.

The Great Depression that began in 1929 finished the job and Adolph Hitler was able to get sufficient support to make himself dictator of the nation from 1933 and onwards.

Based on the circumstances of the time, I can fully understand why 98% of the German population supported Hitler at the peak of his popularity, based on what had happened to them before.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Weimar Republic repeat?

The demise of the German Reich in 1918 saw the birth of the Weimar Republic in its place. Disastrous policies enacted by its early government led to hyperinflation in its currency and robbed Germans of their stored monetary wealth.

Widespread poverty in Berlin, and elsewhere, led to the German capital being turned into a brothel where all manner of people sold sexual favours to anybody with some hard currency to spare, in order to avoid starvation.

The reaction by the German people was entirely predictable leading to street fights between groups of people disgusted with what was happening and communists seeing an opportunity to grab power amidst the chaos.

Similar trends are now evident in the West with people taking to the street in reaction to government of the day policies and monetary inflation well under way, fuelling the fire.

History has a tendency to repeat itself.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Political parties and networks

The political party system that has evolved over the years in so called “democracies” makes it possible for anyone to chose how to be involved in the political process where they live.

Theoretically, anyone can throw their name in a hat and become the next Great Leader of their country. We are told that “democracy” is the best political system invented to date to insure inclusiveness for all.

Then there is the practical reality of politics which is based on networks of people working together for common goals and trading favours to achieve individual ones. Good old horse trading in my book.

While the party acts as an umbrella of illusions, things get done in certain ways because individuals, making compromises to get what they want, make it happen.

On the conservative side, here in Alberta, there are two prevailing networks operating within the (not so) United Conservative Party: The old guard Progressive Conservative folks that held on to political power in Alberta for some 40 years by going to bed with oil and gas companies, and then there are the former upstart Wild Rose people that had had enough of the self serving PC dudes.

A leadership race is now underway between the two factions and the winner will become the new Premier of Alberta, taking the place of outgoing Premier Jason Kenney who is firmly rooted in the PC camp of the UCP.

And the race is getting dirtier every day.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Political parties

I have been involved in politics for the better part of my long life. In a fundamentally flawed system based on political parties where real loyalties are few and far between, and where self interest occupies the high seat.

Alliances are made and broken in order to create climbing ladders for the ambitious ones and provide some rewards for their supporters.
So we end up with dysfunctional ‘leaders’ like Justin Trudeau, and coming up on the conservative side, Pierre Poilievre.

As long as we are fooled by these characters into believing that they represent our interests, they will forever put it over us and use us as their ‘sheeple’, all the while privately holding us in contempt.

They are essentially political prostitutes selling themselves to the highest bidder, which is not you, nor I.

There are three ways to vote: For, against or with your feet.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Horse has bolted

There is constant droning in the mainstream media about climate change and what we have to do to stop it from happening. Lots of preaching and moralizing.

Meanwhile, the deep freezer genie bottle in our Earth’s arctic regions called “permafrost” has been uncapped and methane is pouring into the Earth’s atmosphere at an unprecedented rate: The arctic is currently warming at three times the rate of the rest of the planet.

It is as if a gigantic landslide has been triggered, feeding on itself as more methane in the atmosphere causes warming that melts ever more permafrost layers.

So when politicians and media talk about what we should do to halt global heating, all they do is to contribute more hot air to the process.

All we can do is to try and adapt to what is coming at us and forget about the media/politician chorus.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Pontiff parade

The pope is coming to Alberta to apologize for past misdeeds by the church in regards to the residential school program for indigenous people that destroyed so many innocent lives.

Millions of dollars are being spent to bring the pontiff here to do his thing on behalf of the Church of Old Men.

A publicity stunt, if there ever was one, to reinforce the illusions that a bunch of worn out old timers have a special dispensation from God to keep the rest of us in line.

As far as the show goes, indigenous people are being pushed aside (as usual) in favour of ‘his holiness’.

Arctic warming

I have just cottoned on to the significance of methane release from thawing arctic permafrost to our weather and climate. The sheer scale of what is happening and its effects are already evident: The arctic regions of the world are warming at three times the rate of the rest of the planet.

And I believe there is a causal link between methane release and warming as previously frozen life is converted into basic organic molecules by bacteria brought to life by permafrost thawing.

This is a process which is accelerating as it feeds on itself. It is like a landslide that has been released and there is little we can do to stop it.

My suggestion is to do whatever we can to prepare for a very different world from the one we are used to. Repressive laws trying to restrict our behaviours with the idea of putting the brakes on climate change will only serve to rip society apart and do nothing to mitigate violent weather and extreme heat waves.

So, as individuals we have to become as self sufficient as possible and not just rely on long vulnerable supply chains to keep us alive:

Look at what is happening with war in Europe right now and energy for heating homes in potentially short supply for the winter or cooling them in summer.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Megalith mysteries

A lot has been said and written about stone structures that have survived from the distant past into our own time. The larger they are, the more impressive they seem to us, leading to speculation about the tools used to create and erect them:

How could a perfectly rectangular stone block weighing 100+ tons have been created and moved into place, fitting perfectly in with similar blocks, without the use of modern types of machinery?

This has led to speculation about these monuments being silent reminders of ancient advanced societies that expired a long time ago.
Perhaps not unlike our present day one.

That is a tempting conclusion, but to me there is a missing piece of evidence for this: If our society was to have an apocalyptic breakdown of some kind, the remnants of our transportation system earthworks would survive into the distant future.

Apart from the Roman road system and aqueducts, I don’t think anything like that has been discovered to date.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Warchild

Facebook is supposed to be about “showing your face” to online friends, I believe, so here is a piece of me:

I was conceived at the height of WWII in German occupied Norway in 1942/43 and literally absorbed the war into my blood in my mother’s womb as she dealt with the stresses and strains of that time.

In art classes in elementary school the teacher had to put up with images of Stuka bombers and machine guns generated by myself, independently of what the art assignment was supposed to be about.

Not that there was a lot of fighting in Norway as it quickly succumbed to a well organized overwhelmingly superior force. No, it was more about the heavy oppressive fog of occupation that permeated the mind of the Norwegian people for some 5 years (1940-1945).

I am a product of that time, whether I like it or not, and renewed war in Europe makes it all bubble up again.

It has turned me into a survivalist at heart, someone who believes in the power of the individual to transcend collective oppression.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Cosmic speculation

The newly released images from the recently deployed James Webb telescope gives one pause to think about the nature of the cosmos.

Notice that I didn’t state ”The Universe” because that is a loaded concept implying “one of”, as opposed to possibly “many of”.

The preconception possibly has its origins in a previous mistaken belief that the earth that we live on was the centre of all things.

As our instruments give us the ability to test predictive theories as to how matter and energy (human concepts) are supposed to behave, we are continually forced to revise our theories to account for observed phenomena.

Most common folk like us generally throw up our hands when muons, hadrons and peons : ) make it to the stage, as scientists desperately try to fit what they observe into an acceptable conceptual framework.

“Dark matter”, because it cannot be directly observed, only inferred from measurements, makes it easy to theorize that our so-called “universe” is but an expanding bubble of some kind in a much larger scheme of things.

So, if we talk about something out of our present reach, I prefer the term “cosmos”.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Berry picking time

After a wet June here on my acreage in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, in Central Alberta, Canada, berries are getting ready for picking. Beginning with honeyberries (Siberian Haskaps) and strawberries, everything is looking good as the sun begins to dominate the skies overhead.

Not sure what the saskatoons are up to yet, as they vary a lot from season to season. Raspberries in their early stages of development are looking ok.

So are the mosquitoes that are emerging in droves from the wet grasses. They have recovered from last summers prolonged drought when they were virtually non-existant.

Potato plants, along with carrot and beetroot seedlings are doing ok as are my young bean plants at this time. Beans like warm feet in the spring so I sprouted a bunch of seeds and planted them in 20 litre drums placed above ground to accommodate their wishes. They have responded well.

Have lots of rainwater in drums to keep everybody happy for the next month or so.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Democracy?

Rule by the People. Really? Here is a comment on ancient Greece:

“Something extraordinary in the history of humanity occurred 2500 years ago in Athens—much of our cultural heritage, for better and worse, descends from a very small population of landowners, farmers and sailors during a surprisingly short space of time. They organized themselves into a radically democratic government. They held as a high ideal the dignity and freedom of an individual free man. They produced sculpture and architecture which set the standards by which these arts are still measured, and they laid the foundations of our philosophy, mathematics and sciences.”

What the commentator did not say was that the wealth of that Greek state was based on slaves, most of whom were captured in wars at one time or another.

That’s where we effectively are today, with an aristocracy based on debt slavery by the vast majority of people. And the presstitutes and paid-for politicians calling it “democracy”.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Probing and learning

That’s what happened today when the Large Hadron Collider at Cern in Switzerland was restarted after a period of refurbishment. I watched the event live and the excitement amongst scientists was akin to that seen when NASA landed its latest rover on Mars.

A new telescope was also launched by NASA recently, enabling a greatly enhanced view of the cosmos, and the restart of the Hadron collider similarly gives us a better view on what happens on the microscopic level in high energy areas of the cosmos.

And as we probe deeper and deeper into the nature of matter, as we perceive it, the complexity of what we see is ever increasing and should leave us with a sense of awe and reverence for what we observe.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Abortion debate

Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in today’s society. There are polar opposite opinions for and against: The rights of the unborn child vs those of the mother.

One side exclusively talks about the rights of the child to a life, the other exclusively brings up the issue of the right of the mother to choose what happens to her body, without any state intervention.

Gridlock, deadlock, period. It is like people are looking for something they can fight about and have come up with a perfect issue.

The well being of both the mother and child seems to have been forgotten in the debate where each side seems set upon demonizing the other.

One thing can be said: If conditions are created which allow expectant mothers with financial and life issues to care for their babies with a feeling of financial security and comfort, the number of abortions would likely drop significantly.

That said, there will always be mothers that choose to have their pregnancies terminated, irrespective of any laws to the contrary.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Highway to hell

Old habits die hard. Especially if they give us freedom and pleasure. And the world’s hydrocarbon based economy has given us just that, but it has come at the cost of permanent major changes to the world we live in.

The thawing of the permafrost in the arctic regions around the world and the resultant release of huge volumes of methane into the earth’s atmosphere should be a wakeup call, but it is not.

Instead we have just started another war in Europe and continue our opulent lifestyles in the wake of the Covid pandemic. What we want is even more and cheaper energy from hydrocarbons.

Welcome to the Titanic, 21st century version. Our stupidity knows no bounds and those of us that survive will do so with radically changed habits.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

More war?


Putin’s war in Ukraine has shown up the weaknesses in the Western alliance: Russia provides a significant share of the world’s energy and food supply and has now redirected those supplies to friendly powers who can chose to consume or re-sell them at a big profit.

The resulting inflation in prices of goods and services across the world are causing internal stresses within nations weakening the integrity of the Western alliance.

Putin knew this would happen right from the get-go in Ukraine, as did his opportunistic colleague, Xi Jinping in China. They are dealing with a geriatric President in the US, a divided ruling party in Britain, a German state that is scrambling to avoid energy rationing, etc.

And least of all a prancing song and dance man called Prince Justin of Canada, half of which population hates his guts.

So, the Western Empire is not really an empire at all, even if the folks in New York kid themselves into that belief. Rather, it is a wobbly conglomeration of states whose loyalties depends entirely on their perception of the power of the US.

Thinks Xi Jinping: “Is this a good time to grab Taiwan?” Can’t blame him for doing so.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Food security

In spite of the war in Ukraine, the people in that country have fewer concerns over food shortages than many folks elsewhere in the world.

Closed supermarkets and empty shelves in war torn regions do not force them to flee their homes because of their food preserving habits with ample supplies of all kinds of fruits and vegetables and protein foods stored in glass jars in their basements.

As well as root cellars for volume produce such as potatoes, carrots and beets.

During the last 30 years here in my 20 acre wood, I have been following the same practices with a large root cellar containing home grown potatoes, beets and carrots year round and lately preserving batches of same for convenient access when whipping up a meal.

In addition, I have always had backyard chickens that provide an ample supply of very healthy eggs during the warmer months of the year.

Just for fun, this summer I have been catching rain water from the roofs of my cabins and storing it in 50 gallon drums as backup for my water well supply. About 2000 litres in storage at this time.

Here in the ‘affluent’ (for some) West, we have fallen into the trap of relying on “somebody else” to provide for our basic needs. That habit may come home to bite us down the road with galloping inflation in prices and availability issues as well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Telling stories

Our media, be it mainstream or sidestream, like to present their stories as “The News”, when covering events that take place.

That should immediately alert us to look for bias because the headline itself is a distortion of reality. This was brought home to me as I was growing up and being exposed to the allied side of WWII event coverage.

And then seeing the German version of the same events posted on the internet in later years. The coverage presented the ‘news’ from two entirely different wars, or so it seemed.

Today is no different as two empires clash in Ukraine, pouring weapons and bodies into the fray, both sides making out that it is a conflict between good and evil.

It is really about power and territory for the ‘elites’, using humanity as pawns on their chessboard. Nothing has changed. History is repeating itself.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Interesting incident


At about 1:30am last night I woke up by what sounded like gunshots to the west of my rural yard. (I live in an area with several acreages in that locale)

Didn't initially react but more apparent shots followed at various multi minute intervals, so I got up and went out to investigate, and heard several more shots, some louder than others. My dogs were getting excited as well.

So I set up shop in a dark spot with a good view of my yard and my dogs ready to alert me of a possible intruder, the idea being of having the advantage in case of an intrusion. Thankfully, nothing happened.

Some of the folks that come out to the acreages are fond of letting fireworks go at night, so that is a possibility, but there was no crackling usually associated with these.

These days, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Gun control

Or lack thereof, as is the case here in Canada. This place is bristling with guns, especially in rural areas where I live because police are far away when most needed.
We have a government under the ‘leadership’ of our anointed Prince Justin who prances around the world and at home making grand pronouncements about his latest move to ban handguns in all of Canada, so as to score political points with his base.
By doing so he created a run on hand gun sales with retailers being unable to keep up with demand. He has also banned the ownership of so-called military fire arms by citizens, ensuring a thriving underground market for those as well.
All the while pouring lethal military weapons into Ukraine to ensure the ongoing carnage in that failed state, to the point of Canada being totally reliant on the Americans in case some big dogs start to sniff at us.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Power of chemicals

Why do we like chocolate? I found out the hard way some months ago. For health reasons, having made the decision to forego the pleasures of alcohol and caffeine on a regular basis, I turned to a harmless substitute for my coffee habit in the form of a cocoa drink.

I decided on pure cocoa powder used in baking and readily available in grocery stores. The rationale used was to avoid the sugar laden chocolate drinks where the sugar can be quite addictive.

And it worked. I used a teaspoon of cocoa powder in my hot drinks on a regular basis during the day and had no craving for coffee.

Over a period of months, this seemed to be a good way of getting around caffeine, but something happened: I began to wake up in the early morning hours with vague feelings of undefined anxieties

It got worse over time and I finally began to ask myself why people, including me, are so fond of chocolate?.

Some quick online research provided the answer: “Theobromine” (food of the gods) is the primary alkaloid in the cocoa bean and present at ten times the concentration of that in a typical chocolate product.

So, I had simply substituted one alkaloid (Theobromine) for another (Caffeine) with a slow buildup in my tissues. And it literally created a threatening world around me.

The symptoms disappeared two days after I quit the cocoa drink routine and used hot water instead.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Democracy illusion

There are still those that get excited about which politician to support when a bunch of people throw their names in a hat, vying for votes.

It gives people a feeling of having some kind of influence on policies that affect their lives. That’s the theory behind democracy: Rule by the people by way of elected representatives.

In practice those elected are merely front stage actors for vested interests in the background. They soon find out that they have to “tow the line” in order to pursue a career in politics.

The practice of ‘democracy’ works extremely well for the establishment. Elected officials are roped in, used and retired or discarded, all the while serving the interests of the few, pretending to serve the many.

Politics, as practiced in ‘democracies’, is essentially a form of entertainment for the people and a form of sport with financial rewards for the participants.

Everybody is happy, or unhappy, as the case may be, living in the illusion of having an influence on what their government of the day does.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Cannon fodder

The glory of war? There is no such thing. As the Russians and Ukrainians on the front lines in the east of Ukraine are finding out right now. Instead, it is just a steady slaughter house where you are lucky to have your head blown off rather than arms or legs or worse.

This was brought home to me by a colleague of mine that I worked with in Sydney, Australia back in 1966. At the time he was receiving psychiatric treatment for PTSD symptoms after having served in the Australian Army in New Guinea during WWII fighting against the Japanese.

His problem was that some 20 years after the war finished, the Japanese were, once again, being portrayed as human beings, rather than animals to be exterminated at all costs, and his wartime experiences had come back to haunt him at night.

During front line combat, he told me, Japanese officers could be easily identified by special markings on their helmets and every man in the platoon had orders to “take ‘em out first”. After that, it was just a chicken shoot, he said, as Japanese foot soldiers seemed incapable of acting on their own without officer guidance and command.

My friend also told me about an experience of his combat group being locked down in a beach area in Papua – New Guinea, taking regular mortar fire from a Japanese unit dug in on a beach on the other side of a headland.

“Hell started every morning at 6am sharp”, he said, and before breakfast a certain number of us would be dead or maimed every day.
So, just before 6am my friend started to shake uncontrollably, in anticipation of what was to come shortly.

He survived, but it took 20 years for his healing to begin.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Canada, fur trade vs settler culture

Canada is a mixed bag, if there ever was one. As far as events are concerned, they have all happened here: The good, the bad and the ugly.

Let’s start with the good. For some two hundred years, from the sixteen hundreds and on, Europeans encountered the people of Turtle Island and engaged in a trading relationship, exchanging goods valued by both sides. In Canada that meant furs and pemmican (bush food) provided by the natives, in exchange for guns, powder, etc.

It was a relationship not unlike what individual clans and tribes used to have between themselves. A relationship between equals with mutual respect. As traders and native people intermingled, not surprisingly, a new type of person came in to being, the Metis, (a person of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry).

The men were very strong and resilient and the women were both attractive and smart. A whole culture of these people developed before disaster struck.

When Canada became a federation in 1867, railway lines started to snake their way across the continent from east to west, fuelled by European capital and bringing thousands upon thousands of settlers into the tribal lands of the west.

And so it came to be that the Indigenous person and the Metis person were marginalized and trivialized as control of lands was removed from them by force. That was bad. Here comes the ugly part:

Backed by the federal government, policies were put in place to rob the Indigenous people of their culture by stealing their children and breaking them into the European mindset by force in residential schools. To the point were they turned their backs on their own parents.

Sadly, to date the ‘settler attitude’ of mainstream Canadians has not changed in regards to Indigenous people. They are considered ‘persons of no interest’.

Plant logic

Plants are smart, make no mistake about it. As a gardener I have discovered that you have to ’lay down the rules to make ‘em behave’.

Just like people, they have their own priorities that may not always agree with yours, as a gardener. Propagation is the name of the game for them, in contrast to your priority, which is generally yield.

For example, strawberries and raspberries have two main means of propagation: Runners (on top of the ground for strawberries and under the ground for raspberries) or by way of seeds contained within the fruit.

The preferred way of propagation for both is using runners if there is vacant friendly grow-space next to the plant.

So the way to get a crop from these plants is to thwart any attempt at spread with your hoe, making the plant realize that it trying to move into enemy territory.

Gardeners cannot afford to have a ‘liberal’ mindset : )

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Nature's intelligence

Living in the bush here in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Central Alberta, Canada, Nature is my ever present partner, 24/7.

And the drought in the North American west is reaching all the way up to where I live at its northern reach. It is not that we are getting no rain at all. It is raining very lightly today, and there is a forecast of more to come.
It is the frequency and amount of rain that is the problem. Even here in the bush, dry grass patches were beginning to develop for lack of ground moisture, before this rain began. And so far we have had no seasonal thunderstorms at all. The air is just generally too dry for that to happen.

I have observed another interesting phenomenon. The amount of spruce pollen released in my yard is more than I can remember from living here for 31 years.

I’m wondering whether Nature is warning us about long term drought, which for spruce translates into the production of a lot of seeds that can sprout and create new seedlings way down the road?

It is pure speculation but, from experience, Nature is a lot smarter than us.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Imperium

“Imperium Romanum” is what the Romans called their empire. And theirs was one that lasted for a very long time, among dozens and dozens of others that have come and gone over time.

What is the glue that creates an empire anyway, and keeps it together? That is a very important question today, in light of what is happening in Ukraine right now.

Military might and financial clout are characteristic of a successful empire, as is productive capacity. Put the three together and challenges to the empire tend to be short lived unless another empire of similar stature is the contender.

But there is more to it than that. A set of common beliefs are essential to the internal well being of the empire as well. Pride in the empire and its mission being one component: “Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves!” and “The sun never sets on the British Empire!”.

Members of empire, be it British, American or Russian see themselves as somehow superior to their cousins elsewhere, and are taught to believe that from the cradle and on.

Unfortunately, that involves glorifying one's own beliefs and demonizing those of the other. That is where we are now at in the Ukraine conflict where two contradictory world views have clashed, where the Russian Empire under Putin and his backroom boys has chosen to take on the Western Empire whose stated aim it is to topple Putin.

The two empires are like continental plates grinding against each other in a physical location called “Ukraine”. For that reason expect an escalating conflict with no end in sight.

Monday, May 30, 2022

The Greenland saga

“In 982 the Norwegian Erik the Red, who had been banished from Iceland for manslaughter, settled on the island today known as Greenland. Returning to Iceland about 985, he described the merits of the newly discovered land, which he called Greenland, and in 986 he organized an expedition to the island that resulted in the development of two main settlements: the East Settlement, near present-day Qaqortoq (Julianehåb), and the West Settlement, near present-day Nuuk (Godthåb).

These settlements may have reached a population of 3,000–6,000 on about 280 farms, suggesting that temperatures at that time may have been as warm or warmer than they are today. 

But in the 14th century the Norse settlements declined, perhaps as a result of a cooling in Greenland’s climate. In the 15th century they ceased to be inhabited. “ (Britannica.com)

Meanwhile Inuit clans had lived in the arctic for thousands of years and interacted with the newcomers in less than a friendly manner, but could do little to disrupt the farm based settlements of the Norsemen.

The result was some 500 years of continuous settlements until the climate changed and farming was no longer possible. The Black Death also ravaged Europe and would have likely been imported into Greenland by travellers.

There is a lesson here: Nature is the Grand Master and all we can do is to adapt or die.