Power, Politics, and Passion


randy-bachman-screencap-by-pklRandy Bachman ‘Noah‘, The Guess Who ‘Undun‘, BTO ‘Lookin’ Out For Number One



By Christopher Chan (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia CommonsThe Ruth Moody Band ‘Dancing in the Dark‘ (tx, tp)


Tuesday, 2014 September 30

Sand_county_almanacIt used to be that conservation sounded like a political policy, but Aldo Leopold noted a change: ‘Conservation guidelines at the time boiled down to: “obey the law, vote right, join some organizations, and practice what conservation is profitable on your own land; the government will do the rest.” Leopold explained:”The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land…. A land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.” ‘ rileyBeing a citizen recognizes that the Earth as a whole comes first, or ‘Standing for what we stand on,’ as the Kentucky philosopher Wendell Berry puts it (The Once And Future Great Lakes Country). ‘ “Earth first” is also an empirical fact. Darwin understood this when he spoke of “the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low and horribly cruel work of nature.” Humans are part of this but, objectively, Darwin understood that Nature–including climate–is an impartial arbiter, and will ultimately have its way, with or without us.’

the-story-of-science-1_0-from-tvothe story of science is not so dispassionate but fueled by power, politics, and passion. we learned (a) that all life comes from cells, and (b) cells come from cells. although we sourced life in dna, life is not simple, but extraordinarily complex, and we are just beginning, in the twenty-first century, to understand it.

Wednesday, 2014 October 1

vanier-from-jean-vanier.orgJean Vanier writes, ‘Celebrations certainly have a role in helping people to accept the sufferings of everyday life by offering them the chance to relax and let go. But to see them as nothing but a form of escapism is to fail to understand human nature. Our human hearts need something beyond the limitations and frustrations of the daily grind. We thirst for a happiness which seems unattainable on earth. We crave the infinite, the universal, the eternal–something which gives a sense to human life and its irksome daily routines.’

Thursday, 2014 October 2

rileyRiley (The Once And Future Great Lakes Country ) writes that ‘self-interest intersects with ecology when it comes to the place where we live.’

where we live we play scrabble, a game of self-interest, sure (afterall, it’s a zero-sum game), but where’s the ecology in that?

Levi's 603 aHere’s a poem by Steve Kowit that’s makes ‘a connection between the trivial and the deadly serious.’




Friday, 2014 October 3

Joshua Sherurcij [Attribution], via Wikimedia CommonsDavid Suzuki writes, ‘At an estimated $7.9 billion and growing, the proposed Site C Dam on the beautiful Peace River in northeastern B.C. has been criticized for spiralling costs, questions about whether the electricity it would produce is even needed, and concerns about the environmental and social impacts of flooding thousands of hectares of prime farmland, irreplaceable cultural sites and wildlife habitat.’ more

Saturday, 2014 October 4

tcbTakin’ Care Of Business (2000) is the autobiography of Randy Bachman, who in 1970 quit the biggest band in the world at the time–he was a teetotaler; the others were into drinking, etc–The Guess Who, and eventually founded Bachman-Turner Overdrive–BTO. When he quit The Guess Who and was looking for others to join his new venture, his problem ‘wasn’t availability but suitability. How do you find players who won’t smoke, drink, or do drugs.’


usj and us discussed municipal politics and who is vying locally in the upcoming election.

Sunday, 2014 October 5

rileyRiley, in The Once And Future Great Lakes Country, quotes Herman Daly, former senior economist at the World Bank: ‘Progress in the steady-state [as opposed to our current model of material growth] is no longer to get bigger, but to get better.’


Monday, 2014 October 6

vanier-and-gulls-from-larche-caVanier writes, ‘Are there any norms in this question of poverty? One thing is sure – a community which gets richer, has everything it needs and is completely self-reliant, will become isolated, just because it needs no help. It will close up in itself and its wealth. It loses its radiance. It will be able to do things for its neighbors, but they will be able to offer nothing in return. There will be no exchange or sharing. The community will become the rich cousin. To what will it witness then?’

treasures of ancient egypt-screencap-by-pklwe went to the all-candidates meeting, and then scurried home to watch treasures of ancient egypt

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