Monday, 14 December 2015

I Am Not Dead Yet

Our farm at Bulyea.
What happened? I have not posted on my blog since last June. That would seem to suggest that I am no longer around. But I am still here. However, I have been negligent in letting my readers know what is happening. I do have some excuses, but they may seem a bit lame.

The Farm
At the farm this summer, I once again had to face the problem of flooding and my inability to win the war with the beavers. We would take the major dam down, and they would just build it up overnight. There were too many beavers around, and the eradication process was unsuccessful. We made some tries.

The beavers have built a huge lodge in the lake which has formed in our back yard. Beaver experts (trappers) who have seen it say it is the largest they have ever seen. You cannot use dynamite any more since the events of September 2001. Then there once was the old tried and true farmer explosives made from ammonia nitrate and diesel fuel. Again, it is not a good idea to use this method for it will likely bring down the forces of law and order on your head.

So we went to the local gun shop and bought the latest explosives for destroying beaver dams and lodges. It is a chemical mix which comes in a relatively small plastic jar. The ingredients are carefully mixed simply by rotating the jar which is then placed on the dam or lodge. At a distance of more than 100 yards you shoot the jar with a 22 rifle. I checked it out on the Internet, and videos show that it is supposed to work. The experts do get impressive results.

Not having a good 22 rifle, I asked a farmer I know who does a lot of hunting to help me out. He obliged. We launched his fishing boat in our back yard and paddled out to the beaver lodge. The new lake at this point is about six feet deep. We set the plastic jar with the explosives, paddled back to shore, and my friend got out his 22 rifle with long rifle shells and a scope. A few shots that he took hit the jar, it jumped up, but did not explode.

So we went back in the boat to see what happened. One shell went right through the jar and out the back, but no explosion. We agreed that it probably did not go off because there was not enough force behind the shell. My friend went home and got his deer rifle and we tried that with a new jar of supposedly explosive materials. However, his scope was off and at that distance he failed to hit the jar after about 10 rounds. So we put off further action until next spring.

In addition
In any case, day to day coping with the flooding, and work finishing off the bathroom in the renovated residence,  took a great deal of my time over the summer and fall. I have also been doing research on my new project, the impact of climate change on agriculture and food. I have done quite a lot research and written drafts, but to date I have not published any of it.

I returned at the end of October to Peterborough, Ontario where I will be spending the winter; I will return to Saskatchewan and the farm in early April 2016. Right now I am reconstructing my web page, and the new program I am using is much more complicated that the one I originally used, and it is taking me a lot longer to learn how to do the work. But I will be done soon, and in early January I will once again be posting on my blog. If you are on Facebook, you will see that I am still commenting on the world of war and political economy.

The big change                                                                                             
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool No. 1, Bulyea

Stephen Harper and his gang of mean spirited conservatives are gone. He told an American right wing group one time that “you will not recognize Canada when I am finished.”  He tried his best to move Canada into the right wing conservative camp. But Canadians are basically middle of the road liberals who are not really interested in making the rich richer and getting tough with the poor. While the large majority of Canadians come from a Christian background, most want to have a generally secular society. The mainstream is not interested in fundamentalist religions and their politics. It seems to me that the majority of Canadians are satisfied to just follow along with the Americans as long as the Democrats are in office.

I am one of the solid majority of Canadians who are quite happy that Stephen Harper and his gang are gone and has been replaced with a modern liberal. Right now I am enjoying the Justin Trudeau honeymoon. I am actually quite pleased with the people he has put in the cabinet, especially the women. They are such a contrast and improvement over what we just experienced. .It is going to be a pleasant Christmas this year. The new Trudeau seems to be ready to lead and has indicated that his government is going to do what it pledged in the election campaign. His government will find the money to provide adequate support for the 25,000 political refugees from Syria. As he has said, “Canada is back!”

This is all bad news for the New Democratic Party which is stuck with Thomas Mulcair as leader. He is too much of a neoliberal. They are now down to 14% in the polls. The only way they are going to recover is to get rid of Mulcair and move back to being a traditional democratic socialist party. It wouldn’t hurt if they shifted to being an anti-war party.

In Saskatchewan there will be a provincial election in April 2016. The NDP has a very weak,  neoliberal leader, who follows the precedent set by Roy Romanow, Lorne Calvert and Dwaine Lingenfelter. All across the advanced capitalist world, electors are turning against the social democrats for moving to the right to embrace the neoliberal agenda, including structural adjustment policies. Until the Saskatchewan NDP faces up to this reality, they will be a weak opposition. They are down to 30% in the polls and are currently looking at another major defeat in April.   

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