“Il faut cultiver notre jardin”

At the end of a curious, arduous and odd series of adventures Candide and the people who have become his friends by sharing his life he shares theirs conclude that for all their speculation about the meaning of life, the satires on politics and the experience of evil, the best option is to tend the garden. It is an acceptance of how things are, while ignoring how things should be. They raise a white flag of surrender in the struggle against the complexities of life. Continue reading

Michael Savage – is banning him good for our democracy?

The United Kingdom has published a list of people that they will not allow to enter the country. It is entirely reasonable to exclude people from entering your country. There are all sorts of undesirable types, such as terrorists, murderers, those who incite violence and criminals that any reasonable person would wish to exclude from their country. I have no problem with that. Where I have a problem is when people are excluded on the grounds of their ideas and views and where their ideas may offend some and may be wrong headed, but the ideas themselves do not incite or provide a basis for a criminal prosecution. Continue reading

Titles and honours for the great and the good

On Sunday 15th June the Queen’s official birthday was, as is customary, accompanied by an honours list. Some people were elevated to the ranks of the great and the good of our society and others, already part of the great and the good, became more great and more good, as their honours went up a notch or two in the grand scheme. Continue reading

Why wood burning is not carbon neutral

When politicians and advertisers and propagandists want to do something to persuade us that a policy or product or idea is something new, because the old policy, product or idea has failed, they re-invent vocabulary and assign new meanings to words in the hope of fooling us into thinking that the policies, products and ideas are new, whereas it is only the words that are new or used in a different context.

So instead of a settlement negotiation we have a “road map”. A “problem” becomes “an issue”. It has always been thus: Voltaire pointed out that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire.

In environmental matters words are abused as much as energy is, to hide their real meanings and persuade us that there are easy options. Continue reading