The Book!

Friday, March 31, 2017

I'm Confessin' That I Love You...




There are a few problems with a concept currently being pushed by a professor at the University of Regina. He has set up a “masculinity confession booth” on campus where students can, in effect, confess the sin of being male.

First, of course, it is sacrilege: the plainest possible violation of the second commandment. It is a misappropriation of a sacred thing, the confessional and the sacrament of confession, like saying “Goddamn” or “calice.”

Not that this should make it illegal. We want no blasphemy laws. But it ought to be condemned as such. This is not a thing done in good heart. Or a good model for our college-age children. It is an offense against a tolerant and pluralistic society.



Second, it suggests that being male is sinful. One could not see a more blatant example of sexism. If we are going to have hate speech laws, this is the very sort of thing to which they should apply. But then, better not to have hate speech laws. Largely for the very reason that they are never evenly applied.

Third, it is based on a pseudo-psychological concept that is, at best, highly debatable. If, at least, the National Post coverage is to be believed. It says:

“passing students can absolve their personal guilt for promoting ‘hypermasculinity,’ an exaggerated view of maleness in which emotion is suppressed until it explodes as anger.”

This is Freud’s theory of repression: the idea that emotions simply must be expressed one way or another, and will “explode” if they are not. Freud has been generally disproven. It is, according to most psychologies, entirely possible to learn to control your emotions, and generally admirable. It is a part of growing up. 




Moreover, if boys and men are taught to retrain their emotions, the principal emotion they are taught to restrain, surely, is anger. As in, for example, one must never hit a girl. Does one really want to unwind this work of civilization? Will it really be better for women or for anyone if men learn to let it all hang out? How does encouraging men to express their anger make them less likely to express their anger?

What about other emotions? Actually, other than anger, it is debatable whether men and boys are taught to restrain their emotions and women are not. For anger, it makes sense that they are: men are capable of doing more damage if they express it. Women, accordingly, are probably somewhat socially freer to express anger, and, indeed, to use violence.

But matters differ for other emotions. Yes, men are also taught not to cry; not to express sorrow. But aren’t women as well? Women can cry, but are generally expected to greet everyone with a smile, no matter how they really feel. Men are freer not to smile, if they are not feeling happy. So it looks like a bit of a wash. Nobody really wants to be burdened with another’s sorrow, so both sexes are discouraged from being too open about it. People feel imposed upon by having to deal with another’s “negative” emotions.

And that actually seems fair enough. It is an imposition.

How about affection? Aren’t men and boys, in fact, socially expected to be the first to express their affections openly in a relationship? Aren’t they expected to “make the first move”? And aren’t married men expected to praise their wife and say they love her and find her beautiful? Do we really expect the same from the wife? No; for this emotion, for affection, it seems that women are relatively repressed, and men are more open. Yes, women are very concerned about “love,” but more about hearing it and having it expressed, not about saying it or expressing it.

So how come this emotion, when repressed, does not come out in violence? Dr. Freud?




Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mike Pence Discovered to be Scandalously Moral



Rape culture.

According to Ashley Csanady in the National Post, Mike Pence’s principled refusal to be alone with any woman not his wife is “rape culture.”

Mike Pence, the piece explains and objects, “never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and ... he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.”

So here’s the present state of play: if you go out of your way to avoid rape, that is rape.

It would seem to follow that the only thing that is not rape, is rape.

Csanady’s logic, such as it is, is this:

“The explicit reasons for Pence’s restriction are religion and family, but the implicit reason is that he must avoid alone-time with women lest his stringent religious moral code fall apart in the presence of a little lipstick and d├ęcolletage.”

That is a profoundly sexist conclusion. It assumes that all men want to rape all women. All men are rapists.

Feminists, it may come as a shock to you, but there really is no rapist hiding under your bed. Most men are just not interested in raping anybody.

Who here is promoting a “rape culture” again?

But there are several reasons why Pence’s policy is a good idea.

First, it is good for his marriage, because it removes any grounds for suspicion on the part of his wife. If feminism cared about women, they would want this. Feminism is about sex, not equality.

Second, it removes an “occasion for sin,” a fundamental moral concept familiar to all Christians and Jews. It is not enough not to sin; we are supposed to avoid temptation to sin. Accordingly, Pence is doing what all Christians and Jews, and all moral people, are supposed to do. And the sin is not rape. It is adultery and drunkenness.

If Csanady’s claims are to be allowed to stand, to be a conventionally moral person is to be a rapist. To be a sincere Christian or Jew is to be a rapist. Most especially, despite the current bizarre alliance between feminists and Islam, to be a serious Muslim is to be a rapist. Any good person is a rapist.

Third, it removes an occasion for sin, a temptation to sin, for any woman involved. It may come as a shock, again, to feminists, but men and women are equal. Most women are actually sexually attracted to men, just as men are attracted to women. Odd that this did not occur to the NatPost writer. And it is actually possible for sex to be consensual. And still be wrong.

Fourth, it protects Pence from false accusations of sexual harassment, or indeed rape. This is something any sensible modern man must fear: the mere accusation can destroy you, especially if you are, like Pence, a politician. And any woman who has been known to have been alone with you can plausibly make the charge, and it is then just your word against hers. As a man, you cannot win. Among feminists, especially, it is a given that any accusation of rape or sexual harassment must be accepted on its face to be true.

Because if you don’t believe the “victim,” you are a rapist.

Fifth, it protects Pence from being raped or sexually harassed. Again, sexual equality: not only men can do bad things. He knows his on mind, and knows pretty well in advance whether he is interested in raping or sexually harassing some woman. Obviously, if he takes this measure, he is not. But what he does not and cannot know is her intentions.

And unlike women, men who are raped or harassed cannot count on the protection of the courts.

If feminists were really against rape, they would support Pence here, and urge all men and women to do the same.








The Coming End of Islamist Terror





While terrorist attacks have become increasingly common, I think there is hope they will soon disappear.

It has happened before. In the Sixties to Eighties, we had terror too. But it was from the left: the IRA, the ETA, the FLQ, the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof gang, the Symbionese Liberation Front, the Weather Underground, and so on.

It abated by about the end of the Eighties.

Now why would that be? What happened then?

They lost their funding. The Soviet Union pulled out of the geopolitical game.

For a time, some of them got money from Libya; but then Gaddafi lost interest. And the shooting and bombing mostly stopped; until Islamism took up the slack.

It takes money. And why did Islamism take over? Because just as the funding dried up from the Communist Bloc, the price of oil skyrocketed, and suddenly there was a lot of money washing around in the Middle East.

Some of it, one way or another, has been available to promote the ideology of radical Islam/political Islamism.

Thanks to fracking, those oil-producing countries are now scrambling to meet their budgets. That does not look as though it is going to end any time soon.

And who else has been stirring up trouble for the West?

Venezuela and Russia. Again, their ability to make problems has been based on their oil revenues: Russia in Eastern Europe, Venezuela by propping up Cuba.

They are facing the same problem now.

On top of this, Iran in particular is facing a demographic collapse. Iranian families have more or less stopped having children.

So the man current challenge to the peace and security of the West looks as though it is about to die of natural causes. No doubt something else will soon show up, but this puppy seems bound for the pound.

The most upsetting thing is that, instead of taking advantage of this, when miscreants really had no choice but to come to the table, the Obama regime did not make any hard bargains, but instead threw Cuba and Iran generous lifelines. They now have the money to foment trouble for a few more years. Not to mention vacating Iraq and leaving the field free for ISIS militants to grab some revenue and some oil. They really could not have done worse in terms of foreign policy.

But even so, when it comes to ending Islamic terrorism the future looks bright.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Senator Beyak and the Residential Schools






Senator Lynn Beyak is in trouble in the press and with her colleagues for rising in the Senate chamber and saying recently:

“I speak partly for the record, but mostly in memory of the kindly and well-intentioned men and women and their descendants — perhaps some of us here in this chamber — whose remarkable works, good deeds and historical tales in the residential schools go unacknowledged for the most part.”

As a result, she has been asked to step down from the Aboriginal Affairs Committee. Her comments, Lillian Dyck, chair of that committee says, were “ill-informed and insensitive.”

“While I respect the right of all senators to express their own opinions, I am concerned that Senator Beyak's comments may have tarnished the good reputation of the [committee] and that her opinions may negatively impact the future work,” Dyck said in a statement.

“Aboriginal people must be able to feel that they can trust the members of the committee and that we respect them.”



This reaction is revolting, and tarnishes Canada’s reputation in a way the residential schools did not.

The majority of those who worked in the residential schools are not just guiltless, but unusually admirable people. They tended to be motivated by compassion and idealism—rather like the folks who volunteer for Habitat for Humanity today. They accepted a life of isolation, often of hardship, in order to help the native people.

And now they are reviled for it, and anyone even speaking in their behalf is reviled for it.

“In the 1960s, when I lived and worked in residential schools,” recalls one former staffer, “it was the evangelistic calling for committed Christians similar to rebuilding houses following disasters in South America. Most residential school employees worked for very little pay, less recognition, and many sleepless nights.”

Consider the hardships the first missionaries encountered to bring knowledge to the various First Nations groups. One might have heard of the slow torture of Jean de Brebeuf or Isaac Jogues? But even more recently,

“There are no more arduous mission fields in the world,” writes William Withrow in 1895, “than those among the native tribes of the great North-West.” 



The devoted servant of the Cross goes forth to a region beyond the pale of civilization. He often suffers privation of the very necessaries of life. He is exposed to the rigour of an almost Arctic winter. He is cut off from human sympathy or congenial companionship. Communication with the great world is often maintained by infrequent and irregular mails, conveyed by long and tortuous canoe routes in summer or on dog-sleds in winter. The unvarnished tales of some of these missionaries lack no feature of heroic daring and apostolic zeal. But recently one, with his newly-wedded wife, a lady of much culture and refinement, travelled hundreds of miles by lake and river, often making toilsome portages, once in danger of their lives by the upsetting of their birch-bark canoe in an arrowy rapid. In midwinter the same intrepid missionary made a journey of several hundred miles in a dog-sled, sleeping in the snow with the thermometer forty, and even fifty, degrees below zero, in order to open a new mission among a pagan tribe.”

“With the conveniences which civilization has placed at the disposal of the modern wayfarer,” writes Adrien Morice in 1910, “it is impossible to form a correct idea of the perils and fatigues such a voyage [to a Northwest mission] involved.”

Barring the dangers due to the wild hordes of Indians, constantly clashing with one another and ever ready for robbery and pillage, the missionary had many a time to ford swollen rivers with the water up to his neck, or swim across streams while clinging to the mane of his horse. And then who will adequately picture to himself the weariness of a six-month ride under the deadly rays of the sun, tempered by no other shelter or shadow than that afforded by one’s horse, with improper food, numberless accidents and unmentionable hardships?

If it was difficult for some Indian children to be separated from their families for most of the year, how difficult was this for their first European teachers?

Once at the mission, things were little better, according to Morice. 



The extent of the poverty common to all the northern posts was truly amazing. Even flour was then, and remained for many years afterwards, a veritable luxury in the north, many missionaries passing several years without tasting bread. If we consider that most of these hailed from France, where the daily diet is based on bread incomparably more than it is in America, we will better realize the intensity of their privations.

As a rule, two sacks of flour were sent yearly to each mission, one of which was for the priests themselves, and the other for their engage and his family. Nor should we forget that the missionaries were generally two, sometimes three, in a place. A few bags of pemmican, tough, stale and rancid from age, were added to this, and the fathers, in spite of their bodily exertions while building up their homes or appurtenances and toiling during their travels over several feet of snow, had to rely on the denizens of the lakes for their staple food.

This was fish, annually caught in large quantities for themselves and their sleigh dogs. After having been cut open, and spread out by means of wooden spits, this was left to dry hanging from poles laid on scaffoldings. As a result of this treatment, it lost all the flavour it might have originally possessed, when, in course of time, the stench it emitted and the “animation” of which it became the theatre did not render it absolutely repulsive to anything but a famishing stomach. Famine was indeed a familiar experience with all the missionaries in the north, who usually made light of it, and replaced a missed meal by tightening their belts, as they would good-humouredly put it.

If therefore we add these privations to the fatigues and discomfort of long voyages on foot, or, worse than all, on snowshoes (the inexpressible agony of which one must experience to properly appreciate it), we will understand why a publicist felt warranted in writing that “it is well known among all the religious Orders that the missions of Athabasca-Mackenzie are the most difficult and painful in the whole world, without excepting those of China, Corea and Japan.”

And would the children have been better off in the care of loving parents? It is not clear this was always an option.



“By 1960,” the Truth and Reconciliation Commission itself reports, “the federal government estimated that 50% of the children in residential schools were there for child-welfare reasons.” “Some children had to stay in the schools year-round because it was thought there was no safe home to which they could return.” Shubenacadie, the one residential school in the Maritimes, was always primarily an orphanage. “In 1977, Aboriginal children accounted for 44% of the children in care in Alberta, 51% of the children in care in Saskatchewan, and 60% of the children in care in Manitoba.” Today, although aboriginals are only 4% of the Canadian population, half the children in foster care are aboriginal.

This was an important reason for the original formation of the residential schools. “In February, 1884,” writes Andrew Brown, 

the Rev. Hugh McKay was designated a missionary to the Indians of the North West... and, after some exploring, found an opening among the Crees in the Qu’Appelle valley at Round Lake. He began in a small way to take a few starving and half-naked Indian children into the little log house that served him for bachelor quarters. He fed them, clothed them and taught them, and from this modest beginning has grown the circle of eight boarding industrial schools under the care of the Presbyterian Church.

A Grey Nun writes from the Northwest in 1867, 

I must give you a few instances to show you what is the depth of the moral misery which we are called on to relieve. What I tell you will shock you to hear, as it sickens me to tell. It was a rather general custom of the savages in these countries to kill, and sometimes to eat, the orphan children, especially the little girls. Religion has made a great change in this respect, but infanticide is still by no means rare.

A mother, looking with contempt on her newly-born daughter, will say, “Her father has deserted me; I am not going to feed her.” So she will wrap up the little one in the skin of an animal, smother her, and throw her into the rubbish heap. Another mother, as she makes her way through a snow-field, will say, “My child’s father is dead; who will now take care of it? I am hardly able to support myself.” Thereupon she makes a hole in the snow, buries her child there, and passes on. There was a case of an Indian father who, in a time of sickness, lost his wife, and two or three of his children. There remained to him one child still in arms. For two or three days he carried the little fellow, then he left him hanging on the branch of a tree, and went his way. I have said more than enough to grieve you. Now you will quite understand that all these wretched people would rather have given their children to us than have killed them, or let them die. 

Father Duchaussois tells of two of the orphans taken in to the Grey Nuns’ school, Gabriel and Rosalie: 

Gabriel … belonged to a pagan group of the Sekanais tribe, living near the Rocky Mountains, in the neighbourhood of Fort Nelson, in the northeast corner of British Columbia. He was about eight years of age when he saw his mother kill his father, and throw his little brother into the fire. He himself was saved from the same fate by his grandmother, who took him to a Sekanais named Barby, who had no children of his own. A few days later Barby’s wife sickened and died. Barby after some incantations, thought the Spirit told him that the adopted child was the cause of his wife’s death. Accordingly he left the boy alone, on the bank of the Nelson river, near his wife’s grave, and he removed his tent to the opposite bank. He left the little boy without food or fire, and almost naked, and watching him across the river, he took deliberate aim at him with his gun, whenever he saw the boy wandering around the grave, or coming to the water to drink, or pulling up roots to satisfy his hunger. At the end of ten days, a Trader of the Hudson Bay Company at Fort Nelson, Boniface Laferty, who had been one of the first pupils of the Nuns at Fort Providence, was passing northwards to Fort Liard. He heard of the case from the little boy’s grandmother. He told the two Indians whom he had with him to take the boy and hide him in a certain place, whilst he himself distracted the attention of the fierce Sekanais. The child, when found, was little more than a skeleton, on which vermin and mosquitoes had been trying to feast. He was left at Fort Liard, “for the Nuns,” by Mr. Laferty, and he was taken to Providence, 300 miles away, by Father Le Guen, O.M.I.

In the Orphanage there, Gabriel remained for two years, learning how to pray to the Great Spirit and His Divine Son. But Gabriel had brought lung disease from the Nelson river, and in spite of tender care, by day and by night, he died very young.

The story of Rosalie is different. .... Rosalie, when left an orphan at four years of age, went to live with her uncle. The Dog-Ribs are all Christians, so she was not killed. …

For a year Rosalie followed the camp, eating whatever she could find left over by others, and having for her only bed-clothes such odds and ends of peltry as were of no use to others. One night she felt she was getting frost-bitten, and she tried in vain to rekindle the dying embers in the hut. Next day, as she could not walk, she was taken away on a sledge, “for the Nuns.” At Fort Rae, on the North Arm of Great Slave Lake, the Company's officer, with his pocket knife, cut off both her feet, and so saved her life to be the baptized and educated. 

How depraved have we become, that these are now the people and the acts that we condemn as unspeakable?


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Making Masturbation Illegal



Jessica Farrar’s essential premise is spot on, and she does well by drawing attention to it: the current abortion regime, in the US and Canada, is an extreme violation of human rights. But past that point, she goes off the rails.

Even leaving aside the most obvious violation of human rights involved –cough, cough-- it involves profound sex discrimination. The mother can currently unilaterally decide if a child lives or dies. Morally and biologically, the child’s father has an equal interest. Yet he is given no say.

An abortion law that did not discriminate, if it did not ban abortion outright, must at least address this. Either the father too must give consent for an abortion to be performed, or either parent can demand one. Not sure how much support either option would be given by “feminists.”

Farrar wants to add legislation prohibiting masturbation. Perhaps there is a justification for this, but, then, it cannot be limited to only one sex. If the object is to restore a sense of the sacredness of the sex act, female masturbation is equally wrong, and must also be outlawed. If the object is not to “waste” sperm that might become a child, as is indeed claimed, female menstruation is equally culpable. And rather easier to prove.

Still onside, feminists? Does equality of the sexes still look good to you?

Farrar wants to require a rectal exam for any man getting a vasectomy. Sexual equality and simple logic demands that the same procedure be applied to women requesting a tubal ligation. That ought to be fun, then.

There is no available female equivalent to Viagra or Cialis, so there is no chance to make a ban sex-neutral. But given that all the rest of the proposed legislation seems intended to promote procreation, and this one to prevent it, it seems to serve no public purpose. Unless, God forbid, the purpose is simply to discriminate against men. Surely this can’t be so. Perhaps men should be required to prove they are married in order to purchase Viagra. And then women must in order to buy birth control pills. That would be fair.

The Farrar bill would also provide legal protection for any doctors or healthcare professionals who refuse to perform a vasectomy, or to prescribe Viagra, “due to their personal, moral, or religious beliefs.” There is something wrong here. This should go without saying. It need not be enshrined in law. Are doctors really legally obliged to perform voluntary procedures on demand? That is a violation of freedom of conscience. It is unconstitutional. Of course, doctors and nurses are entitled not to do something they consider immoral.

Er, is there some current procedure for which this legal right has currently been placed in doubt? And what voluntary procedure might that be?

Farrar ironically objects to women being subjected to medically unnecessary procedures—like an ultrasound. Again, she seems to hit the nail on the head. Obviously, then, ban abortion. It is probably never medically necessary.

Farrar is to be congratulated  for raising these issues.





Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Federal Tory Platform



Borden.


Kellie Leitch’s proposal for values testing of immigrants is clearly popular with the public—75% want it. I hope that, whoever wins the Tory leadership, they take it on. It’s not just a good idea. It is a vote-getter.

I hope they also take on Maxime Bernier’s plan to end “supply management.” It is a cruelty to the poor. Sure, it is a great deal for a few farmers. But it probably hurts more farmers than it helps. It also complicates any free trade negotiations with other countries. It ought to be a vote winner too: everyone will notice a drop in the price of eggs and milk. At no cost to government.

And I like Erin O’Toole’s support of free trade, free movement, and coordinated security among Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Nobody will likely care one way or the other in Quebec, but in the ROC, it ought to be attractive for lessening our unilateral dependence on the US. It will open up opportunities for Canadians, and attract desirable immigrants to Canada.

I also hope that whomever is chosen takes up Hugh Segal’s Guaranteed Minimum Income concept. Besides being a sensible idea, it would do a lot to counter left-wing claims that the Tories are only for “the rich.” And we must do something to respond to the current crisis of the North American working class. People are dying. Properly done, if we can count on it being properly done, it might not cost more than what we are doing now. Money now going to bureaucrats would simply go directly to the poor.

Last up, the Canadian Conservatives should embrace Trump’s idea that any new regulation must come with the elimination of two old ones. For one thing, it is a promise that would cost nothing in tax dollars. For another, of course, it would actually lessen the costs of government. For a third, it would encourage business formation, and so boost the economy. What could be better? Sliced bread?

There are lots more things that should be done, but these ideas seem to be out there now, and, together, look to me like a winning platform in the next election. And one that could unite all the strands of the party behind it: libertarians with the end of supply management and cutting regulations, Red Tories with the GAI proposal, traditionalists with CANZUK, Trump-types with the immigrant vetting.




The Pig Proposal







In the wake of the new terrorist incident in London, one is left once again feeling helpless. What can we do to counter this sort of atrocity?

London is not new to bombings. There used to be the IRA. But then, at least, it had a clear purpose, and a clear demand. It was a demand that the UK leave Ireland. In the case of the ISIS and Al Qaeda attacks, there is no actual demand. “Get out of the Middle East”? The US was not there, when 9-11 happened. Other than Afghanistan, Obama pulled out; bombings intensified.

In the end, to radical Islamists, it is an unacceptable offense simply not to be Muslim. That makes you a “kaffir,” and properly to be slaughtered.

Under these circumstances, there is simply no path of appeasement available.

So how to respond?



Simply catching and punishing the criminal will not do it—obviously. These are usually suicide attacks. The perpetrator is expecting death; no penalty for getting caught is meaningful.

Those planning such attacks must somehow be shown that they do the opposite of what is intended.

Someone once suggested that, whenever a Muslim terrorist attack occurs, a mosque should be blown to rubble. Starting with the most prominent. We have the drones and missiles. We can time it for the middle of the night, so that casualties are limited.

I think that has possibilities, but I think it is misdirected, because it does real harm to innocent Muslims. As well as to some of the world’s shared heritage. I have another idea: cheaper, simpler, less destructive.

You remember that fad years back when cities were putting up fiberglass statues everywhere? I think it started with Chicago and cows. Then Toronto did moose, Dubai did camels, and on and on.

Obviously, these statues are not terribly expensive to produce.

I propose that whenever a terrorist attack occurs, for each resulting death, a fiberglass statue of a large pig be erected, with the nameplate “Muhammed” on the pedestal. On or near the site of the attack.

Nobody is harmed. No Muslim is harmed. It is just a pig named Muhammed.

Islamists will go crazy. Fine, if you are inclined to go crazy over it, that pretty much proves you are an Islamist of the sort who opposes our traditions of freedom of religion and freedom of speech. You have just carefully self-selected as an appropriate target for the insult.

Add closed-circuit cameras to catch anyone trying to smash the statues. They have self-identified as potential terrorists. Great. Now we know.

And for any pig that goes down, we put up two in its place.

Will honest, responsible Muslims also be offended? Only if they have not accepted our traditions—Christians put up with this kind of thing all the time. Even insisting on seeing the statues as religious is a matter of interpretation. It’s just a pig named Muhammed. We like pigs.

At the same time, if the intent of the terrorists is to glorify Islam, this makes their efforts counter-productive. The pigs go up in direct response. Moreover, they go up exactly where the terrorists have chosen to leave their own message—usually places of maximum publicity, like Westminster. So from now on, indefinitely, Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament will be decorated, for all the tourists to see, with big brightly painted pigs named Muhammed.

This brings Islam into disrepute, you say? And who exactly, has brought Islam into disrepute? Isn’t this just a reminder of that fact? Isn’t this what they wanted? Doesn’t this just show what they did?

Picture three thousand big bright pigs in lower Manhattan.

It also sends the message: we will not be cowed. We will not adjust our own ideals to please Islam. We accept no blasphemy laws. We demand freedom of speech.

Who’s in? We can start a private fund. Perhaps it is best if governments can just shrug their shoulders when dealing with Muslim countries and say, “What can we do? It’s our tradition of freedom of speech.”

A good lesson in itself.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Painful Blockage of the Memory Hole?






John Ivison writes in the National Post, “If the elites are wrong about their ‘man-made climate change’ fixation, they’ll pay dearly for it.” He figures that have gone so all-in that their credibility will be shot.

I don’t see why. The mistakes of the elite seem generally to disappear quietly and completely down the memory hole. Why should this time be different?

Remember “peak oil”? Remember how we were going to run out of water? Remember how the world would soon dissolve in war over basic resources? Remember how we were going to run out of food? Remember global cooling? Remember the population bomb?

When you’re my age, you’ll remember when it was imperative to get out and get some sun, then it was imperative to stay out of the sun, now it’s imperative to get out and get some sun. You must not eat eggs. You must eat eggs. Cholesterol is bad. Some cholesterol is good. You need cholesterol. Use artificial sweeteners to get thin. Avoid artificial sweeteners: they make you fat.

What usually happens is just silence regarding the previous, disproven error. Nobody says anything.

What sometimes happens is that it is claimed later to all have been a joke. You mean anyone took me literally? This is especially the case, it seems, with feminist inventions, like the one that “rule of thumb” originally meant the right to beat your wife with a stick. It turns out such things were always meant “ironically.”

If all else fails, or even when it does not, the cutest tactic is to run around to the head of the parade and start to denounce those guys who believe such old nonsense. A good thing you have experts like me to enlighten you that the “general opinion” is wrong! Never noting that it was not the general opinion, but the opinion of the experts in the field. Sometimes including the speaker.

Has anything changed to make it no longer so?

Perhaps it has. At least the elites no longer have a lid on the media. And you can Google up old news stories now.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Welcome to the Philippines





One of the things I like about the Philippines is that it is so full of life.

We live in the continuous built-up area of the country’s second-largest city. And in a bit of a ritzy neighbourhood, a new gated community. And yet, on our daily walks, we regularly see, within a couple of blocks of home, a street with dozens of game cocks; a litter of seven puppies we are keeping tabs on; a yard with three cats, always there; a nanny goat and her kid; two budgies living outdoors in a cage; many other dogs and cats running free (but not strays). A few months ago there was a cow and a calf in a little field within a couple of blocks of us; now and again we see a sheep in the block behind us. 



Lots of vegetable life too, of course, including berries and leaves growing wild you can just pick and eat. And not only in summer. If something doesn’t grow here, it is just trying to be difficult. We have some beautiful lush basil of our own out front.

And there are always small bands of kids driving by on their bicycles. Littler kids play outside their homes in the afternoons with their moms watching. There are about two little variety stores in every block, and some of them have street food cooking. So there are always grownups around too. Always guys working on their cars. 



It’s a big contrast from Saudi Arabia, where, thanks to the heat, you almost never saw anybody or anything in the street. Maybe the odd mad dog or Englishman. And if you wanted to go for a walk, there was nothing to see.

All photos are from within two blocks of home, all taken on the same day, during our daily walk.









Sunday, March 19, 2017

On Jobs Becoming Obsolete





This article claims that, despite all the fuss and worry we are hearing these days, automation has actually killed only one occupation in the last sixty years.

And as soon as you read that line, I bet that you, like me I, could immediately name it.

Wasn’t that long ago. Remember the Bill Dana show on TV?




At first I thought I could immediately think of another: typesetter. I painstakingly taught myself to typeset electronically, back in the day. Totally useless skill now.





But the article is right not to include it. The job has not disappeared. It is now part of graphic design. And really, it always was. Once, the mighty typesetter was given the task of laying out the page as part of his job. Now, the guy who designs the page, as part of that job, chooses the type.

Another one for which I happen to be personally trained is switchboard operator. I used to be a demon switchboard operator. And enjoyed it. It required skill, you met people, sort of, and you could get good at it. I would have said it was gone now: I have seen switchboards like the ones I used in museums. But many of the same functions have melded into the job of receptionist. If we no longer need someone to connect the wires and ring in, we do still sometimes want a human to field our call and direct it for us.





Telegraph operator also occurred to me. Not a job I’ve ever done, but a skilled job that probably as very satisfying. Thomas Edison started out as a telegraph operator. I did get to learn to use a teletype machine, and loved it. But I discover that in Canada, as a matter of fact, you still can send a telegram.




This is all good news. It means we may be wrong to worry about inevitably growing unemployment, our jobs taken over by machines. What really happens, or has happened so far, is that automation makes it cheaper to do things, lowering costs to the consumer, and so boosting demand. So we make, buy, and get more stuff. Employment remains buoyant. At the same time, it tends to take away the more boring aspects of a job, leaving the more interesting parts.

Not that I don’t still get nostalgic over the satisfying clicks of an adding machine, or the whirr of a big cash register, or the thrill of a call smoothly connected, the phone rung, and answered. They were therapeutic sounds, and they are gone. There is satisfaction in rolling your own.

Mine was more modern than this, but it still had a hand crank in case the power went out.

There are other jobs that have gone, and some have gone through technology, but not directly. The iceman, for example, no longer cometh. Not that ice is obsolete; you can still sell ice, and could probably arrange to deliver it too. So you can’t quite say the job is obsolete. It’s a particular use of ice that has gone.


Some jobs are probably coming back. For a while, as we all became urbanized, the old catalog store business seemed to have died.



But isn’t that what Amazon is?


In the Annals of Really Lame Headlines

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Globe Reports the Dutch Election


The dear old mainstream media is incorrigible. They’ll never change.

The headlines after the Dutch election read:

BBC: European relief as mainstream triumphs  
PBS: Dutch reject far-right Geert Wilders in national election for prime minister 
Guardian: GreenLeft proves to be big winner in Dutch election 
Independent: Green Party big winner of Dutch elections. 
Globe and Mail: Centre-left shift in Dutch elections deals blow to populism

These headlines range from spin to fake news.

This is mostly not malicious. But then, neither is most “fake news.” The problem is the need to come up with a striking headline, that will tempt the reader to keep reading the story. “Click-bait” is no new thing—the print equivalent has always been at the core of the news business. Nor is this, in itself, wrong. There is nothing bad about making things sound interesting. The problem is that, too often, the story seems to be falsified for the sake of a good lede.

Here, specifically, the problem is that the election results were indecisive. And they closely reflected the final polls. So what can you say to make them sound important and surprising?

And, then again, some of it is just partisan hackery. The last three headlines, the Guardian., the Independent, and the Globe and Mail, really cannot be explained on other grounds.

Would you know from this glance at the days headlines that the government coalition collapsed? And the “Greens” came in tied for fifth place, with less than 10% of the seats? That’s as though the Liberals or the NDP pulled 30 seats. Big win?

Mark Rutte’s centre-right VVD hung on to the title of largest party, losing eight seat and ending with 33 in the 150-seat house. Seems less than a ringing endorsement. But that is why the headline cannot be “Dutch government falls.” The ruling coalition did indeed fall; but as the head of the largest party, Rutte has first chance to form a new one.

The biggest story is probably that his coalition partner, until now the second-largest party, Labour, sister to Labour in the UK, was crushed. They lost 29 of their 38 seats.

Okay, “second-largest party crushed” does not draw well. But then, how is the collapse of the largest party on the left a move to the left?

The new second-largest party is Wilders’ Trumpesque PVV. They picked up five seats, for 20. If Rutte cannot cobble together a working coalition, he'll get a crack at it. But his chances look to be slim to none.

The second-biggest shift was the Green Party picking up ten seats. But this is no ideological shift to the left of the electorate: the votes that Labour lost had to go somewhere. It turns out that only a third of them stayed on the left, then, with the Greens. Who are clearly also-rans here.

The Christian Democrats, on the right, picked up six seats. And they have five more seats than the Greens. The leftist Socialist Party dropped one seat. D66, whose main issue is direct democracy, picked up seven. Does that count as left or right?

Given the results, at least four parties will be needed to form a government. And they won’t all be on the same side ideologically. So it looks as though any new government may not last. The

Since he heads the largest party, Rutte get first crack. Looking at the seat totals, and who can likely agree on policy, the best bet seems to be a coalition of Rutte (conservative), the Christian Democrats (conservative), D66 (not clear), the Christian Union (conservative), 50Plus (conservative), and maybe the Party for the Animals (you decide). This would be a significant move to the right; remembering that Rutte’s own party is conservative. There are no available coalitions that would move the government to the left. There are available coalitions that would move it further than this to the right—but Rutte has vowed not to allow Wilders into government.

There you go: “Centre-left shift in Dutch elections deals blow to populism.”

You read it in the Globe first.


Happy St. Pat's







Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rep. Steve King and White Supremacy


Golly. I am beginning to suspect I might be a white supremacist.

It comes as a bit of a shock to me. After all, I have spent my life in non-Western cultures, and studying them has been my great interest. I have been married twice, first to a Pakistani woman, now to a Filipina, and my two children are half-Filipino. Politically, I have always been a liberal, condisering it self-evident that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain rights. In religion, as a Catholic, I believe that all men are brothers, of equal worth in the eyes of God.

But no—somehow the word “white supremacist” has changed definition. It apparently no longer requires believing, as I do not, that there is any such thing as a “white race.” And it no longer requires believing that people with pale skin should be given some special rights—i.e., supremacy.

I suppose this should not surprise me. I had, in earlier days, supposed that being a liberal put me on the left of the political spectrum. But that ground got shifted decades ago.

I am jolted into this realization by the current controversy over US representative Steve King.

The Washington Post writes:

King told CNN that he is merely “a champion for Western civilization,” which he called “a superior civilization.” Which means, of course, that he considers other civilizations inferior. But we knew that.

… We should pay attention to his lexicon, however, because today’s white supremacism tends to shy away from overtly racial terminology. Listen instead for words such as “culture” and “civilization.”

The idea is that the United States is the land of the free and the home of the brave because its “civilization” is “European” or “Western” — euphemisms, basically, for “white.”

I face an obvious problem here. It is conceivable, I suppose, that some people use “European civilization” as a euphemism for “white race.” Maybe King is doing this, although I think we owe it to people generally to take their words at face value, and not put new words in their mouth.

But what about people like me who are simply using “European civilization” to mean “European civilization,” and are making the point that it is the most advanced civilization in the world?

For we would naturally say exactly the same thing. How does the Washington Post, or anyone, tell the difference?

It seems the answer is that racism no longer requires believing in race. It is this very opinion, that Western civilization is superior, that is intolerable. The WaPo apparently has a problem with the mere statement that “other civilizations are inferior.” “But we knew that.”

To be fair, King also said something more controversial. He tweeted, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

If American culture is not race-based, and it obviously is not, then yes, of course, they can. But King has explained that this is not what he meant: he was referring not to the children’s genetic makeup, but to the values instilled by their parents. Which seems a perfectly fair point. If race does not matter, in a country like the US or Canada, values matter that much more.

It ought also to be pointed out that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with a country being race-based. Some countries are: Japan, Korea, other Asian countries. If we really suddenly have a problem with this, we are going to have to re-think a lot of things. Is Japan Japanese-supremacist because they do not take in immigrants? Are they morally obliged to do so? Are the Falklands morally obliged to take in Argentine immigrants?

Rep. John Lewis tweeted,

“Rep. King’s statement is bigoted and racist. It suggests there is one cultural tradition and one appearance that all of humanity should conform to. These ideas have given rise to some of the worst atrocities in human history, and they must be condemned.”

Actually, King did not say this. He was speaking of America, not the world. He was saying there is one cultural tradition all Americans should adhere to. Nigerians are presumably free to conform to theirs, and Koreans to theirs. But now simply claiming that there is a distinct American culture, and it is worth preserving, is “bigoted and racist.” Why would this be so? What about claiming there is a distinct Korean culture, or a distinct Jamaican one?

But I would go father than King here. I actually think there is indeed one cultural tradition all of humanity should conform to. You could call it the emerging world culture. I have been in Korea, the Philippines, China, and the Middle East for most of the past twenty-five years. And I tell you, it is artificial any longer to speak of different cultures. Everybody now listens to the same music, eats the same fast food, plays the same games on the Internet.

And I believe this is a good thing. As I have said before in this space, there is no such thing as “Western civilization.” There is only civilization and lack of it. The great task of human existence is to take the best wherever we find it, and build human civilization.

As it happens, that is more or less what America already is.

Anyone who is against that, and who insists instead on preserving their little cultural ghetto, is doing the devil’s work.

King is not doing that. King wants more melting pot. Lewis and the Washington Post and cultural relativism are doing that.



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jumping Through Hoops




Ancient Minoan fresco

It is, I am informed, no longer okay for “white” people to wear hoop earrings. This is cultural appropriation.

Students recently spray-painted “White Girl, Take OFF Your Hoops!!!” on a campus wall at Pitzer College dedicated to free speech. Alegria Martinez writes, in The Claremont Independent, “Why should white girls be able to take part in this culture?”

Another Minoan fresco.


Problem: the first hoop earrings of which we have record were in Sumeria and Minoan Crete. Both, for what it is worth, “white” cultures. By this logic, it is black girls who must now take off their hoops. Along with their jeans, blouses, shoes, glasses, and any plastic or metal. And stop using English, for heavens sake!

Is this what Martin Luther King was about? Segregation did not work well last time. And, frankly, cultural appropriation has tended, historically, to work mostly one way.

Sumerian jewellery.





Friday, March 10, 2017

Stop Me, Before I Kill Again...






In reaction to the allegations by Trump that his campaign headquarters were bugged, Mark Levin and Stefan Molyneux have joined Sarah Hoyt in pressing the panic button. Molyneux warns of likely violence to come, and compares the situation to that before the French Revolution. Levin seemed to be literally trembling with rage as he made his case with news reports. He said this was “orders of magnitude” more serious than Watergate

We do not yet know whether there is any thing substantial behind Trump’s charges. If there is, it would seem that we have a constitutional crisis. Bob Woodward was interviewed, and said there is no good mechanism to deal with this.

I wonder. Democratic government—any stable society—depends on a series of gentleman’s agreements. Bad guys will always break them, but everyone counts on most people not doing so. Everyone must trust that most people in authority will do the decent thing when it comes down to it. That level of trust seems to be gone in the US now. There is already fighting in the streets. We have just seen a particularly nasty incident at Middlebury College in Vermont. We are suddenly seeing masked protesters everywhere--eerily like the Fascists in their day.

You have to wonder. What happens if there is a civil war or revolution in America?

A civil war like the first one would require some states to vote to secede from the union. For that to be possible, I think you have to assume a Democratic majority in both state houses, given that the federal government is solidly Republican. Not many states currently qualify: California, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Illinois, New Mexico.

Note that these do not form one geographical block. There is a clump of three on the West Coast, a clump of four on the East Coast, another clump of three on the East Coast, and two odd states in the interior, far apart. So in the case of civil war, or forming a separate country, it could not be a unified opposition. A separatist movement might hope that the rest of the US would do nothing, but if the rest of the US chose to deny them the right to independence, as happened last time this was tried, it would probably not be a terribly even fight. The interior states, if they separated on their own, would be quickly overrun. They probably would not try. It would be unlikely to get more than one of the three-state clumps to pull out in tandem. Independently, even if they did, they would probably easily be overrun. At best, it would be 40 states against 10 in three separate groups which could be picked off separately. 



Some talk of the rebel states joining Canada. That would not help, militarily. Canada does not have the military strength to defend its own land mass, much less help defend someone else’s. And there is no chance of defense in depth. Unlike Russia, everything strategic is in a narrow band just north of the border. A quick tank thrust into Winnipeg, and Canada is cut in two. It would be suicide for Canada to get involved, if it came to fighting.

So how about a revolution? Here, the left’s chances look better. They control the press, the bureaucracy, the schools and universities, the professions. In day to day terms, their hands are already on the levels of power. And they control the inner cities.

But if it came to actual shooting, again, they look as if they are at a disadvantage. In past revolutions, like the French or the Russian, controlling the capital or the big city was vitally important. But it may not be so any more, thanks to our vastly improved communications. The hinterland gets immediate news, and can make their own voice heard. So it is hard for one mob in one place to carry the day.

On the other hand, the crucial issue in any of the classic revolutions in the past has been the attitude of the army. The turning point always comes when the army refuses to fight the crowd.

Here, it seems that the Trump forces have the advantage. Both the military and the police forces are probably on the Republican side. The more so since Black Lives Matter has been demonizing the cops. The more so since Trump has appointed prominent and well-respected military men to top administration posts. And promised more money for the military. Any civilians with guns are also likely to be Trump supporters, given the left’s fight for gun control.

So, if it comes to fighting in the streets, most of the weaponry and military discipline will be on one side. If it comes to a quick attempted coup, they had better be ready to face tank turrets below their office windows within days.

This being so, it seems like suicide for the left to be taking to the barriers now, refusing to work within the system as it stands, in which they are favoured, and fighting against open discussion, free speech and democratic mechanisms. It is a spectacular case of historical blindness and arrogance.

And if anyone tries to warn them, they are the enemy.

I wonder if it is a case of their own guilty consciences demanding they be found out and punished. It is said to be so, for example, for serial murderers, that they secretly want to be caught, and will keep taking risks and leaving clues until they are.

The Erinyes are out, and are taking no prisoners.



Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Coming: Cheap College Online





Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, believes college, now almost prohibitively expensive, will soon be free online.

I do not think he is entirely right. His vision calls, for example, for a suspension of all copyright for online education materials. This is a non-starter. It expects everyone to work for free. Not right, and not going to happen. Some may choose, as they can now, to offer their work for free under Creative Commons License.

He also writes “you need some form of accreditation.” I think he overlooks the obvious path. In the future, I suspect, name institutions like Harvard will be limited to creating evaluation procedures. Where you acquire the knowledge is wide open. The university simply certifies that you have it.

But his basic point is correct. It is true right now, at this moment, that online teaching platforms are more flexible, allow better experiences, than classrooms do. At a small fraction of the cost, when you calculate in the need for students to move and cover living expenses.





Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Leitch's Values Test



Canadian values: Fernie Swastikas, 1922.

Kellie Leitch would not be my pick for Canadian Conservative leader. I find her efforts to mimic Trump in the US amateurish and embarrassing. However, it is strange to me that her proposal for “values testing” immigrants is controversial. It is something we ought to be doing.

Canada is obviously not an ethnically-based state. We speak two official languages; if predominantly Christian, we are half Protestant and half Catholic; we come from everywhere. The whole idea of immigration belies that notion of an ethnically-based state, even if most other states are.

So what is left that makes Canada Canada? Is it no more than a geographical designation? If so, who cares? Why take up arms, for example, to defend it? Can any conceivable enemy sink this geography beneath the waves?

No, if Canada exists at all, it is on the basis of shared values.

Since this is so, it is vital to ensure that immigrants share those values. If they do not, they constitute a threat to Canada’s existence. Because that, shared values, is what Canada is.

What values?

Not a tough question. They would, of course, be those found in the Canadian Constitution.

The values test could, of course, be skewed towards things that are not really shared Canadian values, but a partisan political agenda. That does not seem to be what Leitch has in mind. Here are her sample questions:
Are men and woman equal, and entitled to equal protection under the law? 
Is it ever OK to coerce or use violence against an individual or a group who disagrees with your views? 
Do you recognize that to have a good life in Canada you will need to work hard to provide for yourself and your family, and that you can't expect to have things you want given to you?
Hard to see a problem with any of that. Okay, I don’t like the first one, because without context, the assertion that men and women are equal is incomprehensible. Of course they are not: men cannot have babies, for example. The issue is equality before the law. 
“Are men and women entitled to equal protection under the law?”
Surely question two is of vital importance to our way of life, to peace, order, and good government. It is, moreover, obviously not accepted everywhere. In the Arab world, for example, a word is considered as morally significant as an act. Therefore, you can kill someone for something they say. This cannot be accepted, or democracy is not possible, because open public debate is not possible: there is good reason why democracy has never been managed in the Middle East.

Question three is merely a matter of government acting as responsible stewards of the public purse.

It is not hard to think of other questions that should be asked.
Do you believe that everyone has the right to freely practice their chosen religion?
This, of course, is not generally accepted in the Muslim world, and that is impossible to reconcile with basic human liberties. China presents the same problem.

Better yet to add:
Do you agree that everyone has the right to their own religious views, and to freely express them?
Close to a restatement, but it eliminates the possible fudge that, as in China, one might be permitted to practice a religion in private, but not speak about it. That is not religious freedom.
Do you think everyone deserves equal protection under the law, regardless of race, sex, or place of origin?
It is wrong to restrict the question to sex alone.

Perhaps it should be clarified by being restated in these terms:
Do you think the same laws should apply to everyone, regardless of race, sex, or place of origin?
This clarifies what “equal protection under the law” means.

Here’s one that might seem controversial:
Do you accept Canada’s constitutional monarchy and parliamentary form of government?
Some may feel immigrants ought to be free to disagree with monarchy. But they are actually not now. Allegiance to the throne is in the oath of citizenship, and the monarchy is not going anywhere, given its constitutional status. If nothing else, it is only fair to make this clear to new immigrants. And it seems wrong and seditious in principle to immigrate to a new country with the notion of changing its form of government.
Do you agree that everyone has a duty to support themselves and their families?
More or less what Leitch wants to ask. But it removes the element of dishonesty. The fact is that, by world standards, most immigrants can indeed expect to have a good life in Canada without working. Sorry to say, but living abroad, I see immigration to Canada often sold in ads on the basis of “come and get your freebies!” Nothing we can really do about it, except point out the immorality of it. We ought at least to do that.
Do you agree that everyone has the right to their opinion, and to freely express it?
Of course, the modern left, within Canada, does not accept this. But this is a huge problem and it ought not to be controversial. It is, after all, in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Without this, again, democracy is not possible. Nor is peace, order, and good government.
Do you agree that disagreements should not be solved by individuals with violence?
Absolutely fundamental to peace and order. Why on earth would we not ask it?

Any others? What am I forgetting?



Monday, March 06, 2017

Domestic Zoos



A part of Canadian heritage.

I read recently that some of the traditional dog breeds of England are in danger of extinction. It is a problem whenever a breed falls below 300 registrations a year—below that level, the gene pool is becoming dangerously small, and genetic defects are likely to develop. Times change; dogs that had an important role on a farm are not practical in the city. Among the breeds in this situation currently are the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, the Bloodhound, the Irish Wolfhound, the Kerry Blue Terrier, and the Skye Terrier.

But some of these breeds, it seems to me, are a part of British national heritage. As would be the Husky, the Newfoundland, the Border Collie, or the Labrador Retriever in Canada. This is the sort of thing it is the business of a government to preserve. As much as historic old buildings.

Ugly tomatoes taste best.

And it would not be an expensive thing to do, when one considers all the benefits. What we need are “zoos” for endangered domestic animals. With, of course, breeding programmes. This is the sort of thing zoos are supposed to be for, after all, they say. But it would be one heck of a lot cheaper and more practical to do this for domesticated than for wild animals. And more useful, as such animals are domesticated in the first place because they are more useful to man. Such zoos should also, automatically, provide much entertainment and educational value for kids and the general public. What could be a more valuable break from the hustle and the troubles of daily city life than to be able to step back into an old-fashioned farm scape? If the animals are not as exotic as at a zoo, that is surely compensated for by the opportunity to get right up close and pet them.


The Canadian horse.

In fact, many cities already have this sort of thing. But we should use them systematically, to preserve and promote breeds of local historical significance. Dogs, cats, horses, poultry, cattle. And not just animals: why not also preserve heritage crops. And some revenue could be made by selling the pups or seeds or cuttings or produce to the public. Promoting, in turn, local history, culture, and heritage.




Sunday, March 05, 2017

Haters Gonna Hate





More on the clear and present danger of "Islamophobia":

The stats available online are not that current—2013--but they show the number of hate crimes in Canada declining overall, and specifically the hate crimes based on religion—down 22% year over year. So why promote the impression that they are spiralling out of control?

Among hate crimes inspired by religion, far and away the most were against Jews—two to three times more than those aimed at Muslims. Per capita, the imbalance is even greater: Jews experienced 54.9 hate crimes per 100,000 (Jewish) population; Muslims experienced 6.2 hate crimes per 100,000. I think that qualifies as an order of magnitude.

So why are we singling out hate crimes against Muslims for special condemnation, and refusing to mention hate crimes against Jews? Given the facts on the ground, that looks more like a green light for hate crimes against Jews than something inspired by hate crimes against Muslims.


Saturday, March 04, 2017

The Madness in their Method



It’s getting nasty out there.

I am now reliably informed that if I oppose M-103, the motion currently before the Canadian Parliament condemning “Islamophobia,” I am an Islamophobe, a Fascist, and a white supremacist.

The empire is striking back. They seem to have taken down Milo Yiannopoulis and Pew-di-pie. They are working on Jeff Sessions. The elites smell blood. And ultimately, it is their own. Who could expect them to go down without a fight? Things are starting to get to the streets.

But it is more than just the elites. There are a lot of people who are with the old regime in this as well. People who are not themselves getting fat off the system. Why? Are they just naive?

Seems not possible. They include some pretty intelligent people, and the charges they are supporting are little short of delusional. How many Fascists, for example, do you really think are living in Metropolitan Toronto?

I guess I had better weigh in on M-103. First, it makes no sense to single out Islam among the religions for special concern. In Canada, there are currently and historically more crimes of prejudice against Jews. And they seem to be growing. Worldwide, there are more hate crimes against Christians than anyone. Moreover, the largest proportion of both currently are actually done in the name of Islam. So it seems perverse to single out Islam here as under threat. It looks like deliberate misdirection. Or like giving Islam special status, and tacitly endorsing hate towards Christians and Jews.

Second, enshrining the term “Islamophobia” in the motion is a problem. First, a phobia is a mental illness (sic); it is something over which people have little control. It is not something willed, and it is something nobody would wish upon themselves. For the government to condemn something as a “phobia,” is to say that phobia is culpable. This is well calculated to promote prejudice against the mentally ill, who already have enough to suffer; and who are already a group that is discriminated against. No government should be giving any kind of sanction to such an expression.

On the flip side, the term seeks to prevent legitimate debate: a particular viewpoint is not to be questioned. If you do, you are simply mentally ill, and your concerns need not be addressed. This is an old Soviet tactic.

Then there is the term Islam. The word is “Islamophobia,” not “Muslim phobia.” It is a very different matter to condemn Islam than to condemn Muslims. One can certainly argue that condemning Muslims is illegitimate discrimination. But condemning Islam is anyone’s right. Obviously, if you are not yourself Muslim, it is because you disagree with one or more of the teachings of Islam. This concept of “Islamophobia” implies that simply disagreeing with Islam is not legitimate. Allow that, and you have ended freedom of religion, free speech, and freedom of thought.

It is vital that we preserve this distinction. Which is, indeed, currently in danger of being lost. For example, the idea that homosexual sex is a human right has recently extended to the idea that it is not permitted to say that homosexual sex is morally wrong.

Hard to see how you can parse that with the fact that Islam condemns homosexual sex as morally wrong; but logical inconsistency is the least of our problems here.

When the Liberal government were offered the opportunity to back a bill that took out these troublesome elements, while preserving the claimed intent, to protect religious liberty against discrimination, they refused. Why would they, unless this proves an ulterior motive?

The intent is not to protect Islam. But it is not really to end free speech and freedom of thought either, at least in the many people who are not part of the elite, but are going along enthusiastically with this agenda.

It is, I think, the opportunity to target a specific portion of the population as deplorable, morally intolerable. As “Fascists,” “white supremacists,” and “Islamophobes.”

It would be simpler, granted, to simply so target Muslims. And the left has done that in the past. But if you are so obvious about it that people realize what is happening, it does not work.

Because the whole point of scapegoating is to sublimate some guilt you yourself feel over something you have done. If you can blame the scapegoat for supposedly scapegoating, that gives you license to scapegoat them guilt-free.

A large body of people with guilty consciences, then, are eager to blame everything on some “basket of deplorables,” or “Nazis” or “white supremacists” or “the alt-right.” Just as they at other times would have blamed the Jews, or the bourgeois, or Catholics. And they do it, by unjustly accusing others of the same sin, of hating immigrants, or Mexicans, or Muslims, or blacks. Great bit of misdirection. It is not so much that these others are poisoning the wells; but that they are utterly bad, and so, by opposing them, I must be essentially good.

I do think, for the great mass of people who support this leftist pogrom, that it all comes down to abortion and free sex. So many people have bought into this, and their consciences have been after them about it. So, along with crazy, almost psychotic leftist politics, we have things like the self-esteem movement. A lot of people are going on these days about the need to “forgive yourself,” to love yourself, and so forth.

Forgive yourself for what? It all presupposes a troubled conscience.

Forgive yourself, sure, but the first step is to acknowledge the sin. That’s the hard part.

Rather than do that, those with said guilty consciences are demanding popular acceptance of crazier and crazier propositions: unisex bathrooms, free choice in gender, resolution M-103, and so forth. You have to sign on, or they no longer feel "safe." 

"Safe," ultimately, from the truth.

But the truth shall set you free.




Thursday, March 02, 2017

Trump Steaks





In the latest news, Melania Trump has worn an unacceptable black dress to Trump’s speech to congress. Ivanka Trump wore an unacceptable red dress. Democratic congresswomen all wore acceptable white dresses, but it was unacceptable when Melania Trump wore a white jumpsuit at the Republican convention.

More importantly, Donald Trump is reported to have ordered a steak well-done, then put ketchup on it.

This is truly unacceptable.

Kind of sums it up. Most of the resistance to Trump is about class. The people who oppose him oppose him because they think he is nouveau riche. The people who support him support him because they think he is nouveau riche. He is not nouveau riche, but he endearingly acts just as most working guys feel they would if they were. Marry a babe much younger, live in a Manhattan penthouse, tell everyone to go hang, put your name on everything.

And order steak, lots of steak, just the way you damned well like it.

Trump’s critics, on the other hand, hate him not just because he lacks class, but because he does not defer to class. Because he does not defer to expertise, to his betters. One ought to listen to the chefs on how to eat a steak; they are the experts. Or, more generally, one ought to defer, whatever the people think, to those who see this sort of thing and object—the elite, those who went to the right schools and the right cocktail parties, and know how one is supposed to eat steak.

They have every right, after all, to tell you what to eat.

You can eat cake.