Only Children Hunt for Sport

HuntingTrophiesAfter a recent post, I was asked if I were anti-hunting, and my answer was a clear, "NO." I will ensure that my soon-to-be teenager is skilled in marksmanship with both gun and bow and arrow, and knows how to fish with rod and net. I will ensure that hunter safety trainlng is part of his curriculum for the twenty-first century. I will teach him that if he ever needs to take the life of an animal for food, that he will do it quickly, skillfully and respectfully. But under no circumstances do I support trophy hunting. Big boys with big guns and bigger egos. 

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Three Cheers for MINORITY GOVERNMENTS

What a difference a parliamentary democracy makes.

Only one week after the debacle that was the federal budget process, the Ontario government tried the same thing, using the same language. "It's all about balancing the budget, growing the economy, and creating jobs." It certainly isn't about environmental security, social justice, or economic equity.

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Stupid is as Stupid Does

Thank  you, Forrest Gump!

The Prime Minister of Canada, his Foreign Minister and an ignorant and obscure backbencher, reading from the same script this week basically accused the NDP of being Nazi sympathizers: The NDP voted against sending troops to fight in the Second World War. Therefore, given that fact, the NDP are anti-Canadian and are Nazi sympathizers.  God bless Canada, and God bless our men and women in uniform, and may the NDP, who are now equal to us in the national polls, burn in hell.

The problem is – none of that is true. Yes, sadly Canada, our PM, our FM, and some obscure BB have no knowledge whatsoever of world history – failed the class!  Stupid is as stupid does, but I just never expected that level of stupidity to come out of the mouths of Stephen Harper, the Prime Sinister of his Canada,  John Baird, the smug half moon smiling Mike Harris leftover currently the pit bull of the CRAP of Canada, and Scott Armstrong, who from the distant seats of the backbenches must have been overjoyed at picking up the same extreme right-wing Republican consultant’s point sheet and just couldn’t contain himself from speaking out.  Peter MacKay, our Defense Minister, who is still recovering from his accounting error, said nothing on camera. But what if we had put an audio bug in the war room…

Here is a word for word, straight from my imagination, script of how the planning session would have gone.

*****

H: I need a military patriotism angle – you know, all that heart soaring fist pumping stuff about our men and women in uniform – by the way, how much did we reduce the veteran’s benefits by?

Mc: A lot, Master.

H: A lot. You idiot! A lot is what that traitor Kevin found you hid from the public.

Mc: (whimper)

H: No, we need something really inflammatory to distract the public from all this Robocall, OAS, Fisheries Act, muzzled scientists, pipeline, fighter jet stuff – I’m thinking of extending the mission in Afghanistan and I need to get the public off the fighter jet news.

Mc : C’mon, it was only a $10 billion dollar accounting error! At least I didn’t stay at the Savoy!

H: Shut up – between your accounting errors and your helicopter rides, you are a backbencher in waiting. I don’t care if you betrayed your promise to David Orchard to never let the Progressive Conservative Party be contaminated by the Reform Alliance Party – you were paid your pieces of sliver and you are mine now!

B: I know what to do, Master. I will howl at the Opposition and they will tremble in fear and be silent.

H: No! You will maintain that same smug inane smile you have projected ever since we won a majority, and repeat whatever my office tells you to say, no matter how ridiculous.

B: Arrrghhh.

H: Wait, I’ve got it!

B: Arrgrhhhh.

H: We will accuse the NDP of being Nazi sympathizers and voting against sending Canadian troops to war in 1812.

Mc: Wait, Master, the NDP weren’t formed as a party until fifteen years after World War II ended. And only one person voted against sending troops to Europe in that war,  and he was a pacifist minister. And Canada didn’t exist until 1867, so the War of 1812 …

H: Shut up, you Benjamin Arnold … if I say it’s true, it’s true!  I’ll come up with it first in the House.  If I say it, the 40% of Canadians who voted for us will believe it’s true. I haven’t let climate change  science stop us and I certainly won’t let history stop us!  What do you say, John?

B: Arrghhhhh.

H: So, crybaby boy, now that you’ve sold out your old party and betrayed all your ethics for a cushy Minister’s job and pension, what do you think of my divisive plan?

Mc: Well actually, I though we were trying to unite the country….

H: You are such a freaking idiot.  We are trying to separate Alberta and BC from the rest of Canada! Have you not read my speeches over the last fifteen years.

Mc: But you look so sincere and gentle on television lately.

H: It’s all part of the spin. Canadians are stupid. If I project an image of calm leadership, they’ll believe it. Of course, it does takes my media team a long time to edit my digital footage to make me look good.  God I love special effects – we could sell ice to the Inuit – come to think of it, we’ll have to if it keeps warming up like this. Hmmm – not in the budget – OK we can take it out of the Attiwapiskat funds. How do like that idea, John?

B: Arrghhhhh.

H: Good dog!  Now, Peter, just sit down and shut up and look downtrodden when it comes to Question Period today, Remember, just like Tony did when they tried to grill him about the $50 million we slipped into his riding for the G20 – now that was really good work, John.

B: Arrghhhhh.

H: OK boys, off to distract the public once again and give the media something new to chase. Hey, who’s that back there?

Mc: That’s Scott, he’s a back…

H: Shut up, just give him a copy of our cheat sheet and we’re good to go.

Lights fade, music picks up, the drama begins.

*****

Ah, art imitating life…

Skid Crease, Caledon

posted by William Gates-Crease

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Administratium Alert

New Chemical Element Discovered

by William DeBuvitz

The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by investigators at a major U.S. research university. The element, tentatively named administratium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have one neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons, which gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons.
Since it has no electrons, administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it comes in contact with. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of administratium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would have normally occurred in less than a second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years, at which time it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Some studies have shown that the atomic mass actually increases after each reorganization.

Research at other laboratories indicates that administratium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations, and universities. It can usually be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.

Scientists point out that administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.

*****

OK – yes, it's a joke, unless you have worked with management contaminated by administratium. 

It is relatively easy to detect the presence of administratium in the people with whom you work. It produces an anal blockage that incapacitates the ability to think. There is no known cure. If you confront an administrator who is infected, you will suffer the wrath of Zeus. Better to back away, keep your eyes cast to the ground and feign submission. 

Administratium works in strange and unusual ways. often infecting decisions that can damage the host organization beyond repair.  Often the only cure is to move to another organization that has not been contaminated. Remember, the price of freedom is constant vigilance, and an open mind.

Skid Crease, Caledon

p.s. This bit of humor was written in April 1988 and appeared in the January 1989 issue of The Physics Teacher. I first used it at the launch of  my Global Perspectives: the Periwinkle Project Conference, Mono Cliffs, in February 1989. Eighty administrators were in the audience and, to their credit, they laughed and understood and got out of the way of the Project. William DeBuvitz is a physics professor at Middlesex County College in Edison, New Jersey (USA). He retired in June of 2000. 

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