I was reading an American farm mag one day, there was an article about a Contractor who built log houses in Carolina, I can’t remember whether it was North or South. He had customers who wanted their house built out of long-leafed yellow pine instead of the local hardwoods he normally used.    Said a pine house is warmer in winter, and cooler in summer.  He wondered if this was true, and why it would be so, and he hired the university to look into it for him.  Here is what they found.


It seems yellow pine has a lot of pine tar in it, and it is the tar melting that keeps the house cool, and the tar freezing that keeps it warm. This needs some background science.


When something melts, that is, goes from solid to liquid, it soaks up a lot of heat but it stays at that melting temperature until every last bit is melted, then it can warm up. Think of your cocktail last night, it stayed at freezing temperature until the last bit of ice was melted, then it started to warm up to room temperature.  Same when it freezes, water stays at 32 degrees until every last bit of liquid is gone, then it can go down in temperature.  When you get your head around that one, here is another, it takes a lot more heat to change from solid to liquid, or liquid to gas, than it does just to warm it up.  Think of a tea-kettle, it takes a lot longer to boil it dry (change it all to steam) than it did to get it up to boiling in the first place.  So there is a lot of heat involved in changing from solid to liquid, or liquid to gas.


So, getting back to those log houses. South Carolina is pretty pleasant, that is, it is usually in the 70’s in the daytime, and in the 60’s (Fahrenheit) at night.  The tar in those pine log walls melts at about 70 degrees F.  So when it warms up in the morning, and the sun shines on those pine logs the tar starts to melt and soaks up the extra heat, and keeps the temperature of the log (and the house) at 70 degrees.  When the sun goes down in the evening, and the outside temperature falls, that melted tar in the log walls starts to freeze, which gives off heat and keeps the house at 70 degrees. Of course if there is a prolonged hot spell the tar will all be melted and the house warm up, or if there is a prolonged cold spell the tar could be all frozen and the fireplace will have to be lit.  Melting the tar doesn’t affect the log, you can’t tell by looking at it, it doesn’t go all mushy or sag or slump or anything.


So there you have it, a simple, elegant natural heating and air conditioning system. This is called ‘change of state’ heat storage, and if you google it up you will find commercialized versions of this natural system already exist. A heat storage consisting of a tank full of tar or wax which melts at room temperature is a really green way to save on heating and cooling costs.


Our jack pine has a lot of tar in it, especially in the stumps and root, and it is not used to make paper, in fact it is mostly burned as fuel. Maybe if this technology catches on we will have a whole new product coming from our forest.

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Unless you spend time in the bush, you probably haven’t noticed the return of the Tamarack. You might notice that a lot of the new growth young ‘spruce’ trees along the road seem to have a lighter green colour, sort of an apple green, or that in winter a lot of the young ‘spruce’ trees along the highway seem to be dead, no needles, you might have thought they have been sprayed for the hydro wires. If you were out in the fall, there are a few days when you might have noticed that a lot of the ‘spruce’ trees have turned a beautiful, greeny-yellowy-orange – somebody told me the colour name is ‘saffron’ -1 wouldn’t really know.

That is because a big proportion of the new young growth along the highways and in the bush where jackpine is not absolute master is not spruce but tamarack, otherwise known as eastern Larch. It has needles, but it loses them in fall like a tree with leaves, with a spectacular fall colour to boot. When the settlers came here, there was lots of tamarack. It is a different kind of tree, some say a very old species, its fossilized pollen is found in layers millions of years older than other modern trees, sort of like the jackfish of trees. The wood is heavy, so tough you don’t really want to try to cut it with an ax, and hard to split. It is flexible, it will bend a lot more under load before breaking than other woods. It burns with such a heat that it melts stoves. It doesn’t get slivers, and it doesn’t rot, at least, not quickly. It is not great papermaking raw material, and the mills limit the amount they will accept.

Old-timers will remember the poem, ‘the one-horse shay’, about a carriage, each part of which was made of the best wood for that purpose (“the panels of whitewood, which cuts like cheese, but wears like iron for things such as these”). At the end of its life, the entire carriage disintegrates all at once, sort of like a car when it gets to the end of its warranty period. The point is, in olden days carpenters were very familiar with the properties of different woods, and would use wood where its properties best suited. In pioneer days here, tamarack was much used for foundation logs and barn floors for its rot-proof properties. Wagon parts such as the ‘reach’ – the piece of wood that connected the front and back half of the old wooden wagons, or the ‘tongue’, the piece of wood which went up between the horses to allow them to steer and stop the wagon, were made of tamarack, as these parts could come under a lot of stress in case of some bad driving. It was used for high-stress building parts such as barn floor joists. I replaced the rotted-out oak box on my manure spreader with tamarack.

Tamarack is normally widespread in the boreal forest – the dominant forest in vast tracts just north of where jackpine dominates is what the Siberians named ‘taiga’ – mixed tamarack and birch. In our part of the world, the tamarack was all killed by an epidemic of the ‘larch sawfly’ in the thirties, except for a few really big old specimens. We have forgotten about the remarkable properties and uses of this noble tree. Now that it is coming back with a vengeance, we need to remember it, and market it. Nobody likes pressure-treated wood, as it cannot help but contain toxic chemicals, and it is expensive. There ought to be a big market for tamarack lumber instead of pressure-treated stuff for decks, docks, and walkways, at a profitable price.

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As you might know from previous scribblings, I am fascinated by the notion of ‘Megatrends’, from a book of that name by John Naisbitt.

He describes changes as ‘trends’, things going in a particular direction, and he describes broad societal changes as megatrends. He has many examples over the ages, but the example I like best is prudery.  In the 18th century, necklines down to there, gentlemen’s tights left nothing to the imagination, let it all hang out.  In the 19th century, Queen Victoria’s time, prudery reigned; we became so worried about displays of body parts that not only were we thoroughly covered up, even piano’s had skirts as it was vulgar for the piano to show its legs!

He said trends go in a particular direction, then explode and people forget all about them, sometimes just because they become old hat, sometimes they are derailed by an event or upheaval. Remember yoyos? Or hula hoops? Leisure suits? Or even concern about dioxin?   The prudery thing was fading with the loss of Queen Victoria, but was really exploded by the First World War, and after that we had the flappers, let it all hang out again, prudery gone.

I suggest we have been in the process of a megatrend these past 60 years or so, call it ‘progress’ or ‘political correctness’ or ‘causes of the hippies from the 60’s’. This trend has gone well past it’s best before date; concern about gender and racial equality has gone so far it is causing inequality; concern about ‘the environment’ has gone so far it is causing environmental degradation; concern about financial inequality has gone so far it is making inequality worse; concern about social inequity has resulted in a new serfdom for regular folk.   The pendulum has swung way out there.  We are putting skirts on our pianos, and as a result facing huge issues which threaten peace and stability in the world.

I am amused by the indignant outraged screaming in the press about everything Donald Trump does or says. Donald is not part of the big government/big corporation unholy alliance and they can’t buy him off, (no doubt they will try to blackmail him, and even his life is in danger).  He is anything but ‘politically correct’.  The humorous part is that the politically correct extremist piano-skirters do not even realize they have joined forces with their enemy, the rich, in frantically trying to bring him down.

But I see him as a possible salvation. Perhaps he is the outside force that will explode the megatrend of Political Correctness before it brings us down to war, poverty, destruction.  Admittedly, perhaps it is too late; perhaps this megatrend will explode whoever wins their election, with dire consequences for us all.

Just another way of looking at things.



More about the media sputtering about the evil Donald Trump. They completely miss the point, of course; in the first place, he is playing them like a fish, saying things they see as outrageous and getting all the media play for free.

More importantly, our opinion-makers, who only talk to and listen to each other, are stuck in the obsolete paradigm of a world torn between two poles, communism versus capitalism, ‘progress’ versus conservatism, and so on. That battle has been resolved; the divide now is between the New Nobility, an unholy alliance of big government and big corporations, versus the rest of us.  Personal freedom, especially private property and small business are being extinguished in the battle to make us all serfs to that new nobility.

Those who want to be seen as ‘upwardly mobile’ of course agree with the media position. However, working people pay more attention to what they see happening around them than to the yammering of the ‘chattering classes’, and they understand this new reality; personal freedom is the issue now, government has become the enemy, the ‘political correctness’ trend has run its course.  So they see the Donald as being on their side by positioning himself outside that unholy alliance.

P J O’Rourke is one of my favourite political pundits as he manages to put a bit of humour into his commentary (If meat is murder, are eggs rape?).  He says the Donald has tremendous support outside the big, in-bred cities, and could be the next US president.   You can see more of his commentary on the election on my blog,

O’Rourke makes the point that Donald will need a more specific platform to actually run the country, and offers his suggestions, here they are, copied from “The Stansberry Newsletter”.

* *  *  *  *

O’Rourke  says —  But now Trump needs an actual campaign platform. Here are my suggestions…

Declare the U.S. Government Bankrupt U.S.G. has an annual revenue of $3.3 trillion. Its outlay is $3.8 trillion. Our national “business” is losing $500 billion a year. Any experienced chief executive like Donald Trump would raffle this turkey in a New York minute. And Trump knows how – Chapter 11 filings for Trump Taj Mahal in 1991, Trump Plaza Hotel in 1992, Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts in 2004, and Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009. It’s not failure, it’s restructuring. And everybody wins. U.S.G. has underlying assets with gigantic income-producing potential. For example, the federal government owns 640 million acres of land. Doing a little simple math, if we rent each acre for just $65 a month, we’ll break even. Only $65 a month for a whole acre! Surely a real estate deal-making maven like Donald Trump can convince people that that’s a great deal.

Mr. Trump, Tear Down That Wall We don’t need a wall on our border – we need gates with turnstiles and ticket-takers. The right way to limit immigration (and make people in foreign countries pay for it) is to charge admission to the United States. Disneyland costs $100 a day. At least 12 million illegal immigrants are living in America. By my calculation, we’re leaving $438 billion a year on the table. And America has many more attractions than Disneyland. (The S&P 500 rollercoaster is much scarier than Space Mountain.) Plus, think what we could bring in from the food, toy, and souvenir concessions. But what if people don’t leave after we let them in? We’ll ask Disney. Disney doesn’t seem to have trouble clearing the park when it’s closing time.

Don’t Make America the World’s Policeman… Make America the World’s Private Security Guard And bill the world for it. According to this website, an armed security guard typically costs $18-$25 per hour. But the U.S. military has the best training and weapons in the world. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines are certainly worth double the going rate, $50 an hour at minimum. We have 150,000 U.S. troops stationed overseas – $50 x 150,000 x 24 x 366 (this is a leap year) = $65.9 billion. Foreign countries can pay up or go ask ISIS for help with their national defense.

Expand the Brand Trump may bill himself as a real estate mogul, but his real genius is in branding. To date, he has only exercised his genius on one brand: his own. But what a job he has done. There is, however, a brand that’s even bigger than “Trump.” It’s “America.” All around the world, people are imitating America – wearing blue jeans, listening to rap music and rock and roll, tweeting, posting on Facebook, playing violent video games, binge-viewing rubbish, eating junk food, and becoming obese. We should be getting royalties for this. I admit I’m fuzzy on the details. But Trump is the businessman, not me. BMI and ASCAP have made the royalty model work for American popular music. Since it was copyrighted in 1935, the song “Happy Birthday to You” has earned an estimated $50 million in worldwide royalties. Imagine each American getting even a few pennies in licensing fees from 7.4 billion people whenever they wear an ugly t-shirt, say “OK,” or lose the TV remote.

Eliminate Poverty While Saving Taxpayers $252.6 Billion a Year (I’m serious about this platform plank.) According to the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee, “There are at least 92 federal programs designed to help lower-income Americans.” Together, these poverty programs cost $799 billion a year. About 46.7 million Americans are living in poverty. The poverty threshold for an individual is $11,700 a year. If the federal government wrote 46.7 million checks for $11,700, the total would be $546.4 billion – $252.6 billion less than what’s being spent now. And a family of four would get $46,800 a year. Giving money to poor people should eliminate poverty. But the government is spending 46% more money to eliminate poverty than it would take to eliminate poverty by giving poor people money. Bonus: Trump will get to shout his reality TV catchphrase at all the employees of 92 federal programs.

Regards, P.J. O’Rourke

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WILLY BRANTS DIARYThere I was, waiting for a break in traffic so I could pull out of Husky and turn left on the highway.  Coffee group that morning, and the subject had been too many lousy drivers, and road rage.

Quite a bit of traffic, have you noticed that traffic seems to go in waves, especially where there are traffic lights to bunch them up. Then I see a break coming.  I waited for a car quite a ways off which seemed to be going quite fast, better safe than sorry, don’t want him to be mad at me for jumping across in front of him, I am retired after all.  Wouldn’t you know it?  At the last split second he leaps on the brakes and wheels into the driveway beside me.  But now there is a platoon coming the other way, so I am waiting again because he did not signal his turn.  I think I understand what the truckers are talking about when they say road rage, I might be getting some myself.

Talked this over with my neighbour and buddy Joe, the well-educated hermit down the road. Joe said “you see that a lot, guys turn on their signal light a split second before they start their turn or lane change.  So, what useful purpose does that serve?  Well, let me see, none!  The purpose of signalling is to alert the drivers around you that you are about to do something.  If you do it right, you create a good feeling, no signal or too-late signal and its road rage.”

I observed that signalling would only do any good if the other drivers are actually paying attention to what is going on around them, between fiddling with the radio, talking on the cellphone, playing with the Onstar or GPS, eating lunch from the drivethrough, all through a haze of cigarette smoke.

Joe agreed, saying “Remember when the government used to talk incessantly about Defensive Driving, with the usual government over-the-top hype which would turn any sensible person off. But still a useful concept, the notion that drivers ought to be aware of all the traffic around them all the time, and be on guard for whatever stupid thing other drivers might actually do.”

I chipped in “The flip side of defensive driving would be to do all you can so other drivers are not surprised by whatever you do, so they don’t crash into you. Signalling in advance sure is part of that.”

Joe added, “You know, I think we were better at this 10 or 20 years ago than we are now, maybe that silly government Defensive Driving hype had something to do with it. Or maybe we think the guy in the sports car is really cool when he cuts across three lanes of traffic on the freeway without a signal.  So we will be cool too if we are just as casual about signalling as he is. Anyway, we could make a contribution to reducing road rage and make our own ride safer just by signalling before we actually start our turn”.

I finished with “it also wouldn’t hurt you to help the guy waiting for a break in traffic by signalling your turn well in advance, just a kind and Christian thing to do.” “Amen”, from Joe.

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Colourful Characters — E G ‘Duke’ McDonald



Before world war two, university-educated people were generally from well-off families, often with university-educated parents. A degree generally meant a more classical education than now, even scientists and engineers could not graduate without some training in Latin, English grammar and literature, a second language, philosophy, music and art.

A frontier place like Dryden would attract people of an independent spirit, and we did in fact have some real characters. One who comes to mind is E. G. “Duke” MacDonald, engineer, musician, and ‘renaissance man’.

The story is told that Duke first came to this district to run one of the highway construction camps set up to provide a living for young men during the Great Depression. It is fashionable now to characterize these as ‘slave labour’ camps, although in the context of the day, that is unfair – it gave men unable to find work and support themselves an opportunity to earn a living, just as the program to subsidize farmers hiring help created an opportunity for people to earn a living.

Duke’s camp was reputedly between Dryden and Ignace, and he approached the matter in the proper spirit, first life, then work. It is said that the first order of business after constructing the camp itself was construction of a ball playing field, then a 3 – hole golf course, upon which Duke was reputed to spend considerable time pursuing his passion for that game. If that is true, I expect it endeared him to his crew, shows he understands what is important.  After the important stuff looking after the crew, we can proceed with the order in hand, constructing a highway.

He spent most of his career as an engineer at the Dryden mill, rising to Chief, and was one of Dryden’s most dedicated golfers and musicians.

When I got to know him, he was near retirement, working as “Special Projects Engineer”, investigating all kinds of new development and bright ideas as to what the company might do next. We young engineers thought he got to do all the really interesting work, and would engage him in conversation when we could.  Duke was notoriously laconic, never using two words when one would do, and did not tolerate fools – he would stonewall silly young engineers and even top bosses if he considered them unfit.

Much of his work was confidential, but some not. Perennially among these was a lumber mill, the price of lumber goes up, Duke does a whole lot of planning for a sawmill, then the price goes down, and the plans are shelved.  The price goes up, and the cycle repeats, management apparently could not comprehend the notion of a commodity cycle.

I was assigned to work in a peripheral way on one of Duke’s most interesting and comprehensive projects. The company had acquired the big new limits north of Lac Seul, and begun to develop them in a limited way, trucking the wood across Lac Seul on ice roads.  Duke’s job was to investigate how to most economically get this wood to the mill on a high volume, sustainable year-round basis.  One obvious solution would be a rail line from Amesdale to Dryden, so wood could come by rail down the line then under construction from Ear Falls to Amesdale, and carry on down to the Dryden mill.  The problem with this seemed to be reluctance on the part of the railways to pursue it – we surmised that as this would connect the CN at Amesdale to the CP at Dryden, both disliked the opportunity this would give users to make them compete.  Woodlands management did not seem to like this idea either, perhaps it chipped away too much of their empire.

Duke spent a lot of time on a second possibility, which was rafting the wood across Lac Seul in summer, and trucking it on the ice in winter, to a barking and chipping plant on the south shore of Lac Seul somewhere near Vaughan bay.  A chip pipeline, where the chips are carried in water in a pipe, would run from there to the Dryden mill.  On paper this was an economical choice, however, there were problems.  Hydro was not happy with the idea of rafting wood on Lac Seul, as stray logs would eventually end up at their Ear Falls plant.  The decentralizing effect of putting a major part of the mill, the chipping plant, some 30 miles away carried all kinds of problems.  The clincher was that nobody was actually pipelining chips that far, in a cold climate like ours.  The nightmare scenario was the line shutting down for any reason long enough for large parts of the pipeline to freeze – the plant would be down till spring!

Another promising idea was to load the wood tree-length on trucks in the woods, and strap the entire load into a big bundle with steel straps. In summer, these would be dumped into Lac Seul, being strapped there should be no stray logs drifting around the lake.  The bundles would be tied together end to end, like a string of sausages, and pulled across the lake to the neighbourhood of Vaughan bay by tug.  Here a giant crane would pick up each bundle and place it on a truck to be hauled to Dryden.  The bundle would be cut to pulpwood length by a giant chainsaw at the mill.

While all this study was going on, wood was being trucked down the highways. All these ideas were in the end rejected, and the non-decision by default was merely to truck the wood on public highways from its point of origin all the way to the mill.  It is interesting to speculate on how our area might have developed had another choice been made.


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Have you ever been stuck in a hospital waiting room, where the reading material is very restricted? Say a 1972 issue of National Geographic, with pictures of naked jungle dwellers whose privates must be jiggling really fast as they are all blurry.  And an article about another discovery of a half-dozen fossilized bones, and one of them is hollow, from which our imaginative anthropologists conclude that our remote ancestors must have spent a lot of time swooping around in the trees, supported by big flappy folds of skin.  And an article noting it has been the coldest decade in a while, which indicates that the planet is cooling down, and we can expect an ice age in oh, about 50 years, and it is all our fault because all our human activity is putting too much dust in the air, which reflects the suns heat away, and the solution is we must all adopt a greatly reduced lifestyle.  And maybe a copy of a HotRod magazine explaining in really cool language how to hop up your 1969 Pontiac.  And of course a collection of what we chauvinists call ‘women’s magazines’.

As a result of such a situation, I learned way too much about what makes us attractive to one another. It seems we are genetically programmed to be attracted to those giving signs of being a good gene pool for our offspring.  I was traumatized to learn that women are genetically programmed to be attracted to wealth and power; here I thought all those gold-diggers were just doing it for the money!  And it seems it is programmed into males ever since we grunted instead of speaking, and dragged our hairy knuckles through the jungle looking for grubs to eat, to be fixated on the ratio of waste to hip dimensions.  Apparently, a ratio of 70% is maximum hot, anything lower means too skinny and poor health, and anything higher means that space is taken, the lady is pregnant.  And it doesn’t matter if it is 70% of a hammer-handle or an axe-handle, it is the ratio, not the dimension that is important.

Apparently culture also intervenes, for example, they say our fixation on breasts is cultural, not genetically programmed. They say 200 years ago a pot belly on a man was maximum attractive, it meant he was not a manual labourer, and prosperous enough to feed himself well.  Born 200 years too late!

Physical appearance, that is, whether folks of either gender would consider you good-looking is more complicated than you might think. Of course, features have something to do with it, especially the eyes, but it seems the main factor is symmetry – if the left half of your face is identical to the right half, you will be judged attractive.  It seems that few of us have perfectly symmetrical faces.  As glasses-wearers can attest, our ears are each independently attached, and if a carpenter did such sloppy work he would be fired!

Think about it, you can recall somebody about whom you might say ‘she has such beautiful eyes, too bad she is so homely”, or “sure he has a nose like a twisted banana, but he is a very attractive man”. Think about the homeliest person you know, and his features might not stand out, but according to the magazine, the two halves of his face do not match.

All societies discriminate in favour of the good-looking, and it is saddening to think how many lives are diminished because the individual got misaligned with the exit passage as he made his journey from the womb to the outside world. O well, nobody said life had to be fair.



Here are some quotes from an article by Charles Gillis, titled “Pretty and Mean”, published in Macleans magazine, March 21, 2016 issue.

(We) “persuade ourselves of their greatness, projecting virtues onto the beautiful without the slightest knowledge of whether they possess them. — assume them to be smarter, kinder, more generous and more trustworthy than their less comely counterparts – even when we have nothing more to go on than pictures of their faces. —– “what’s beautiful is good” stereotype affects men and women; adults and children; people of every race, religion and ethnicity.  It applies whether the target of our gaze is a potential mate or a prospective head of government”

“good-looking politicians of both sexes enjoy a distinct advantage when wooing uninformed voters —-unscrupulous campaign —-  favouring attractive candidates over good ones, or limiting the amount of useful information available to voters.”

“Not all of this comes as a shock — disturbing to think our unconscious minds blind us to the truth, influencing decisions that shape everything from our marriages to our governments”

OK, enough from Charles. As discussed last week, being judged physically beautiful depends mostly on the symmetry of our face, rather than any specific feature, except possibly the eyes, and has nothing to do with personality, honesty, intelligence, leadership qualities.  As we get to know people well, we judge them on their selfishness or generosity, compassion or lack of caring for others, empathy, ability to judge situations and personalities, and all the other qualities which go to make up a person, and not just whether their face is attractive.

So this ‘beauty’ prejudice is less of an issue where we actually know the person.  However, it becomes a problem when we are dealing with public figures whom we will never know as people and we will only be able to judge based on their appearance.  Modern politics has elevated this to a science, so that we are shown pictures selected to make their guy look good, and the other guy look bad, and it works.  We are seeing this in action in the American election campaign now in progress, which promises to set a record on ‘ugly pictures’.  And who knows how much our own recent election was influenced by photo’s selected to show the ‘in’ candidate looking beautiful, and the others at their worst.

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There are very small businesses, otherwise known as hobbies. There are larger ones such as owning a rental property or properties, or a retail shop or a farm, and there are large businesses with multiple employees.  There are different rules on financial reporting for different sizes of businesses.

The rule for farms is anything below $7 000 gross income is a hobby, not a business, and I think this pretty much applies to all hobbies. If you account your hobby/business according to the rules larger businesses use, expensing and depreciating everything in sight, it is very unlikely to have a net income, and they do not want you making little claims for business losses on what is really a hobby.

The next milestone is that businesses grossing less than $30 000 do not need a ‘business licence number’, or to report for GST purposes, saving another whole layer of hassle and red tape.

As a business grows in size and complexity beyond hobby scale, government red tape becomes an issue, blocking growth in many ways, not least in financial reporting and even quite small businesses need an accountant.  An example, one year I got an imperiously worded (you might say snotty) letter from Revenue Canada.  I didn’t really understand it and don’t remember exactly, it was along the lines of “the ratzerfratser is reported as a gimcrack in error according to section 24, subsection 18, and you owe us $2500, pay us immediately”.  I took it to my accountant, and he wrote a letter saying ‘the ratzerfratser is indeed a gimcrack, according to subsection xyz, and we don’t owe anything’; the government responded ‘OK, have a nice day’.  So having an accountant saved me $2500.

I asked the accountant what it all meant, and here is his answer translated into my language.  “The government claim was that rabbits are not taxable, but guinea pigs are, and as my rabbit had short ears and no tail they interpret that he is in fact a guinea pig and I have to pay.  My accountant replied that it is a lop-eared rabbit, and was sitting on its tail as it was cold out, so he is indeed a rabbit and not a guinea pig and we do not have to pay.”  He said this kind of stupid stuff is kicked out by a computer, and the governments generally do not follow up if they get a reasonably intelligent reply as the amount of money is not worthwhile.

The economy grows by entrepreneurs trying new ideas and starting new businesses, not by big businesses eating up patronage government grants, and certainly not by bureaucrats tinkering with interest rates and ‘stimulus’. If we want to grow the economy, a good place to start would be to raise the bar on having to report as a business, that $7000 limit to being treated as a hobby could be raised to say $15 000, and that $30 000 could be raised to $50 000 or more.  In fact, adjusted for inflation, these limits would still be less than when these rules first came into force.

What a simple and easy way to “help the middle class”, instead of treating small business as ‘a tax dodge’, encourage them to grow into bigger businesses. Grow the economy by encouraging the future Bill Gates’ and Mark Zuckerberg’s to get out there and start businesses.


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