Today we celebrate the spring equinox, the beginning of a new astrological year, a time when hope and creativity soar and our hearts beat to the rhythm of the Earth’s renewal. And we just pray to the Mother Earth Goddess that it doesn’t fucking snow again.
Because it’s been one pisser of a winter.
In Greek mythology, Gaia is the personification of Earth, the mother of all life, who should have been up at 3:28 a.m. this morning to preside over the moment of renewal and the divine harmony of the equinox, when life exists within equal hours of lightness and darkness.
But I suspect the Mother Earth Goddess slept in this year, or possibly she’s lying on the floor, sprawled among empty Ouzo bottles, hung over from a rough winter binge. Because that’s how the rest of us feel.
Snow. Freezing temperatures. More snow. Power outages. Cars in ditches. Shoveling. More snow. Shoveling, again. More cold.
The worst winter in recent history makes one wonder if the Mother Earth Goddess didn’t spend the winter in Mexico and forgot about the Pacific Northwest.
So, naturally, her absence raises the epistemic question posed by evil in the world.
Here’s how the argument goes. If God exists and is omnipotent and morally perfect, then why doesn’t God eliminate all evil? For some, the existence of evil proves God doesn’t exist.
But the counter-argument posits that evil exists so that we can know goodness.
Or, as Anne Bradstreet said, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
In other words, without bad stuff, we can’t appreciate the good stuff. Without Trump, we wouldn’t reflect fondly on Obama … hell, even on George W. Bush.
So as we anticipate smelling the flowers in full bloom, we can recall how dark and dreary our life has been, and be glad we aren’t in that place any more.
Streams will soon be bubbling, trees and grass will be green. Temperatures will rise. Gaia, the Mother Earth Goddess, will sober up and rejuvenate.
As Robin Williams once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”
The Decafnation has left its sickly, lifeless existence behind and transported ourselves to an all-inclusive tropical oasis, where we can eat 15 meals a day and the steel drummers outnumber the the guests. We’ve traded our medical masks for scuba masks, and our serious hats for floppy hats.
So, while we enjoy a complimentary sunset and another free umbrella drink at the tiki bar, we suggest you endure the next two weeks of rain, snow and blustery winter nastiness by rereading every single word on the Decafnation website. We’ll be too busy eating to think of you, but have fun. See you on March 19.
Right now, we have to limber up for the fire-walking limbo contest.
If you hate the same things, you might fall in love
How did Valentine’s Day turn out for you? Not so good? You might want to try the new dating app called Hater. It’s based on the premise that long-term compatibility depends more on the things you hate than what you love.
The scientific basis behind the app comes in part from a 2011 study by psychology professor Jennifer Bosson published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The study argues for the merits of shared negative attitudes, which are more likely to create lasting bonds than mutual likes.
And politics plays a significant role. According to a recent Reuters poll, 13 percent of U.S. couples have called it quits over the presidential election. One 73-year-old California woman divorced her husband after 22 years of marriage because she felt betrayed that he voted for Trump.
Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula pops his cork over the CVRD
Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula exploded into an angry rant recently about wasteful spending at the Comox Valley Regional District. He’s not wrong.
For example, the CVRD plans to overspend on a number of patchwork sewerage system projects. It wants to build a controversial new pump station in Comox, when the CVRD’s own financial analysis shows that upgrading the Courtenay #1 pump station is the better and less expensive option. That alone could save millions of dollars.
CVRD data also shows that in the long-term it would be less expensive to expand the existing Comox pump station at Jane Place than build a second one.
And the CVRD has designed a system to replace the HMCS Quadra sewer outfall at a cost of more than $1.7 million dollars. The province’s most innovative septic system designer says the CVRD’s design is overbuilt, and estimates an alternative solution could cost less than a half-million dollars.
Taxpayers should ask their elected officials why they aren’t pressuring the CVRD to rein in these costs.
It’s immigrant entrepreneurs who make America great
According to the National Foundation for American Policy, immigrants are just as likely to be successful leaders in business as people born in the U.S.A.
The think tank says immigrants have founded close to half of the startup companies estimated to be worth more than $1 billion. That group includes Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, the son of a Syrian immigrant, and Sergey Brin, a refugee from the former Soviet Union, who co-founded Google.
Reason No. 1069 why we should start over on another planet
Princess Diana campaigned to ban land mines and to remove those left behind long after conflicts have ended. Former First Lady Michelle Obama promoted exercise and healthy diets to stem the growth of childhood obesity and early onset diabetes in America.
Melania Trump, on the other hand, sees her First Lady role as a money-making opportunity. She’s suing a British tabloid for $150 million because it reported that she had once worked for a modeling agency that was actually an escort service for wealthy men.
How did she justify the $150 million in damages? She claims the report has damaged her “opportunity … as an extremely famous and well-known person” to make millions of dollars selling jewelry, clothing and makeup while serving as “one of the most photographed women in the world.”
What would the City of Courtenay and the Town of Comox do if they didn’t have a convenient ocean to dump their contaminated sewage into?
Imagine, a homey feel at the Courtenay Air Park Treatment Plant (CAPTP). A place suitable to host wedding receptions and city galas.
All the pipes are in place to have the sewage flow down hill to this site. Thousands of cubic meters of fresh recycled water to water city boulevards, farm land and local lawns ending watering restrictions. Attach a bio-gas plant and bingo thousands of yards of clean soil for local farms and gardens after the natural gas has been captured and piped into Fortis main line to heat our homes and even power the local bus line.
How to pay for this? By using recycled water to irrigate lawns, wash cars and flush toilets, the demand for purified drinking water would drop by 80 percent. The proposed $70 million water purification plant could be dropped to $20 million, giving $50 million to CAPTP. The $90 million for the South Courtenay sewer project could go into CAPTP. The $35 million plus, not spent on trying to fix up the nine kilometers of pipes and pump stations pushing the sewage out to sea.
And then there is the future. Numbers like $200 million to replace the decaying 40-year-old Brent road so- called treatment plant and then there is the issue of replacing the existing pipeline running along the foreshore of Dyke Road. The only option is to go over land making the new high pressure pump station and pipe line through Croteau Beach redundant.
Add it up and it looks like over the next two decades water and water treatment will cost the tax payer something like $350 million. Prices always go up. Doing a proper job now will cost less than in the future and why not get in on some of that federal infrastructure money being offered by the guy with good hair?
I don’t think the people of the valley want to hold their heads in shame by comparing the dark age technology used in Victoria to treat their sewage even if it does look homey. I feel sick when I think of the quagmire of future costs that CVRD senior engineer Mark Rutten is leading the sewer commissioners into … just because we have a convenient ocean near by.
The National Trust for Canada has just released a report that over the last 30 years Canada has “shockingly” lost over 20% of its historical buildings. (At almost 100%, Comox definitely exceeds national standards.)
Shakesides and Baybrook are victims of the same national ignorance that undermines Canadian identity and the legacy of our national and provincial history. The issue of heritage preservation is non-partisan, as every new Canadian citizen is told, “the preservation and protection of Canadian heritage is a Canadian citizenship obligation.”
Thanks to the efforts of the Conservative MP for York-Simcoe, Peter Van Loan, a progressive bill to provide tax credits for heritage is now before parliament. The National Trust for Canada urges all Canadians to tell elected officials to support heritage:
“Bill C-323 – An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Rehabilitation of Historic Property) – proposes to create tax credits for historic places. This Bill presents an historic opportunity to tell elected officials from every political party that Canada’s historic places matter.” This would remove costs from the operation of a museum at Shakesides – as per Mack Laing’s explicit will.
For Canada’s 150th anniversaryeven Premier Christy Clark is now also generously making potential funds available for the restoration of Shakesides:
“Canada 150: Celebrating B.C. Communities and their Contributions to Canada”, Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development said, “Arts, culture and heritage are at the core of British Columbia’s cultural identity. We have a wealth of stories to contribute to Canada 150 and an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our province. Investing in long-term cultural legacies will support our communities in sharing B.C.’s stories for generations to come.”
There is obviously no end of federal and provincial funding available to restore Shakesides, and comply with the terms of the Mack Laing Trust. So, could somebody please explain to the public why Mayor Paul Ives and Comox Council are so hell bent on destroying national heritage a Shakesides in the very year when Canada is supposed to celebrate 150 years by protecting and restoring national heritage?
Who are these people, these Canadians who destroy our heritage? And why the complicit silence of our would-be MLAs: Ronna Rae Leonard, Jim Beninger and Ernie Selletin? Silence is approbation, of national heritage vandalism.
“Tell elected officials”: “Save national heritage at Shakesides.”
(HeritageBC Award 2016)