Like so many, I watched the Senate hearing on Brett Kavanaugh, transfixed. A lot of us do things in our teenage years that we later cringe at and regret. It’s how we handle our regrets later that matters, once the stupidities are done. What struck me first was how belligerent and defensive he was, and, how whiney.
What struck me next is how he could if he had wished have adopted a much easier approach, and won the hearts of all Americans, of whatever political stripe. Since he seems unwilling to do that, I am willing to do it for him: Continue reading Brett Kavanaugh’s Better Angels
by Guy Dauncey
Democracy is a very recent social invention. Most people don’t like it when the societies they live in are blatantly unfair, with privileges and glory for the rich and hard labour and exploitation for the poor. In consequence, starting a thousand years ago, people in nations all over the world have gradually prised power out of the hands of their ruling elites and established democracies.
It has been incredible hard work. In 1794, Thomas Hardy, a London shoemaker, was charged with high treason for proposing one person, one vote. His sentence, had he been found guilty, would have been to be hanged by the neck, cut down while still conscious, disemboweled, beheaded, and his body to have been cut up into quarters. Fortunately, a Grand Jury of nine respectable citizens, after debating the matter for nine days, found him ‘Not Guilty’. The London crowd went crazy, dragging him through the streets in triumph.
Continue reading Let Us Advance Up The Ladder of Democracy
Trudeau: ‘No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there’
Trump: “We’ve got underneath us more oil than anybody … and I want to use it.”
I have very little to add to this. Emotionally, culturally, empathetically, educationally and behaviourally, Trump and Trudeau are as different as different can be. Trump is a bully, a braggard and a boor. Trudeau is a refined classical decoration on the carpet of civilization. Trump is a dirty stain.
Yet when it comes to energy and oil, their brains and their political instincts think alike. Trump is a proud climate denier. His “Grab them by the oil-wells” thoughts are at least consistent with his larger outlook, which is nationalist and mercantilist, as if the eighteenth century had never ended.
Continue reading Trump and Trudeau: Spot the Difference
It cools us in the summer, it warms our hearts all year,
It provides a home for owls and flowers, for herons, cedars, fir.
It shapes the landscape, painting peace, away from the urban rush,
It protects our water all year round, surrendering it clear and fresh.
In Japanese, the word shinrin means forest and yoku means bath, so shinrin-yoku means ‘forest bath’: being immersed in the forest with all our senses. Listening to its quietness, seeing the variety of trees, mosses, lichens and rocks, tasting the air as you breathe in deeply, touching the rough Douglas fir and the smooth red arbutus, going barefoot across the earth, dipping your feet in a forest stream, lying down to gaze up at its beauty. Such bathing brings healing to the body, heart, mind and soul. Continue reading Protecting the Coastal Douglas Fir Forest: Seven Practical Solutions