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Dr. Dreimer's Diary, 3rd Q, 2017

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Preamble

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. (Oscar Wilde, 1854 -- 1900)

The idea for Dr. Dreimer’s diary came from the excerpts from the diary of Samuel Pepys published daily in the National Post. We thought it would be interesting to write a modern diary using the more formal language of an earlier era – in this case we have attempted an approximation of 18th Century expression. What is perhaps most evident is the capitalisation of nouns, which gives an emphasis, and suggests a cadence entirely missing from current written expression. The language is more cumbersome and formal, and tends to favour the use of parallel structure for rhetorical emphasis.

Style is inseparable from attitude and tone. Dr. Dreimer observes mankind as if from a great height, or from another, more sensible century.

 

 

 His judgements are often unflattering, and his scorn and disdain palpable. They may be expressed directly, but are often revealed through an ironic approval of some mindless folly. He may appear to some as a pompous windbag; to others as a curmudgeonly but correct observer.

As it has turned out, the diary is not a conventional diary at all. Apart from the occasional references to the mythical Aunt Myalgia, languishing in the Shady Hollow Psychiatric Facility in downtown Toronto, or to the Lumpenbangen Studios in the inner reaches of Hamilton, or to the Haven of Wind-in-the-Pines at Silver Lake, we gain little insight into the trivia of Dr. Dreimer’s own life.

The diary is, in fact, a commentary on events in the news.

 


 

Latest additions to the site:

November 19, Observations 2018 - 2226
November 12, Diary -- Gender Identity. Observation 2017
November 4  Limerick -- Julie Payette; Observations 2104 - 2016
November 2, Observations 1208 - 1213
October 29, Diary -- Lida Pimienta racism; Observations 1202 - 7
October 23, Observations # 1194 - 1202
October 21 Drivel -- the Niqab; Limerick -- Ms. Wynne. Obs. 1173 - 93
October 15 Diary -- the Boyle Saga
October 13  Diary -- Political Correctness ("Chief;" "Niggardly.")
October 7  Diary -- banning face-coverings; Observations 1165 - 1172
October 5  Observations 1162 - 4
October 3 Diary -- Jagmeet Singh; Observations #1161 - 3
October 1 Diary -- Global Warming
September 28 Observations #1145 - 1160
 

 

November 12, 2017

Male or Female?

We have always had a firm Conviction that – despite any Appearances to the contrary – we are the King of Siam. We have always been partial to Siamese Cats, and have been entranced by the Buddhist Philosophy, royal Regalia, and extensive Harems.

As a Child in elementary School, we were much ridiculed for this Assertion. When the Musical, The King and I appeared in 1951, we knew immediately that it would be necessary to shave our Head – which only incurred more Mockery.

As an Adult, we have had to be more circumspect. It has not been advantageous in Matters of Employment -- or general Credibility -- to reveal our own true Feelings. But the compassionate Reader will understand our Predicament – and perhaps accede to our Request to refer to us in Public as "His Majesty."

This Matter – of course – indicates the Difficulties incurred when personal Perception is at odds with objective Reality. In our Case, we have had little Success in requiring anyone to address us as "Your Majesty."

We suspect that we are merely unfortunate in our Convictions. If we were to be convinced that we were, in fact Female – rather than – as objective Reality declares – Male – we would have a considerable amount of public Support for our Request to be referred to as "she."

We do not claim that all those who feel "misgendered" are not genuine in their Beliefs. The subjective Impression of being "misgendered" may be entirely real. On the other Hand – there is also an objective Standard by which Gender may be judged.

Which Perception should take Precedence?

There is some Danger in placing Feelings ahead of Facts. Feelings are subjective, variable, and potentially limitless in Scope. There may also be some Difficulty in assessing whether the "Feeling" is genuine – or is one assumed to attract Attention, gain Power, or promote a political Agenda.

On a personal Level – we can understand that – if a particular Male should evince a Fondness for female Clothing, and display "typically female" Behaviours -- those close to that Person might identify and refer to "him" as "she."

 

What we are not so sure about is whether government Institutions – such as Schools and Universities – should require Teachers and Classmates to accede to that request. We think that it should be a Matter of individual Choice.

This would seem to be the prudent Course, when it is revealed that there are a not inconsiderable Number of different Gender Identities. A Google Search has revealed that Facebook (surely more important than the medical Profession in this Matter) recognizes Seventy-One different Identities. We cannot imagine what they are – but that very Number suggests that, with a little creative Imagination – it might be considerably enhanced.

But let us be content with the Number of Seventy-One. Will all these require appropriate pronouns? What will the Penalty* be for Error?

It seems that, to follow the Principle of ignoring Facts, and putting Feelings first – Absurdity is the first Goal likely to be reached. My Insistence on being addressed as "Your Majesty" might well become validated in Law.

We would also like to note a Bit of "Cognitive Dissonance" which this Matter suggests. The very "Progressives" who advocate the Use of different Pronouns for those with different Perceptions of their "Gender Identities" are the same People who are upset and disturbed by the Lack of Gender Representation in every Sphere of Endeavour. They lament the Paucity of female Bicycle Mechanics, Truck Drivers, or Chief Executives of large Corporations. By doing so, they imply that Men and Women are exactly alike – only Custom is responsible for perceived Differences.

But when Individuals claim that their "Identity" is "Male" or "Female" – as opposed to their apparent Gender – such Difference is immediately acknowledged – by progressive Minds everywhere. You can’t have it both Ways. If there is a real Difference in the Way Men and Women perceive and act in the World – you should not find them equally represented in every Occupation.

Our Position is that there is often a Difference in Male and Female Perceptions; we would simply be cautious in putting the Power of the State behind the Request to be addressed according to subjective Feelings rather than according to objective Reality. If an Individual goes so far as to have Surgery, that suggests an extraordinary Commitment which should reasonably be recognized. Otherwise, we would allow Freedom of Choice in acceding to "special Requests." The State has no Business in the Misgendered Identities of the Nation.

 

*The Genesis of these Remarks is in an Article in Breitbart News of this Date. A Teacher in the United Kingdom, Joshua Sutcliffe, was suspended for the "avoidance of gendered pronouns" in referring to a female Student who "self-identified" as a Boy. He also said "well done girls" to the Student who was working with a Girl.

 

 

 

October 29, 2017
 

It is intriguing to see the Spread of Political Correctness – the new Religion which attempts to create a marvellous Equality in our ordinarily unequal State.

"Equality" has a wonderful sound to it; it is like the pleasing, seductive Music of Nirvana.

Unfortunately, it shares some Characteristics with the potent melodic Strains attributed to the Sirens of Mythology. Those Sirens, you may remember, were not benign – their irresistible Harmonies were designed to lure Sailors and their Craft to Disaster and Shipwreck.

Thus it is with "Equality" – for it is an ideal State not attainable in the real World. It is not in the Blueprint of natural Things, and will not be found among living Creatures. The Attempt to create it is bound, therefore, to be coercive and oppressive.

No Matter. Some, whose Commitment to the Ideal of Equality is great, think that all Groups of People are equally worthy, and that they should be equally represented in every Field of Endeavour.

Thus, the Fact that Women are not usually found employed as Firefighters, or Company Presidents, is a Matter of great Concern. By the same Logic, it is thought that all cultural Groups and Races should appear in every Workplace exactly as they do in the Population at large.

It is certainly reasonable to remove Barriers which restrict Anyone in the Matter of Self-fulfilment. People should be treated according to their Merits; there should be no Hurdles which impede solely on the Basis of Gender, Race, or Culture. It should be recognized, however, that Women are, by and large not as strong as Men; nor do they always have the same Interests. And those from a different Culture may not have necessary Skills of Language, or may not be likely to make certain Choices. A Lady who has an earnest desire to wear a Burka may be unsuitable as a Fitness Trainer, or may lack Credibility as a purveyor of Cosmetics.

But Political Correctness is not inclined to be satisfied with the Removal of Barriers. It wishes not to allow the Universe to unfold by itself to whatever Degree of "Equality" is appropriate – but to hurry Things along in Accord with the Ideal.

Thus we have "Affirmative Action," "Hiring Quotas" and "Selective Admission Policies" – all designed to create "Equality" where it is thought to be lacking.

 

 

All such Policies, of course, involve the very Sin which they attempt to eradicate: People are not treated as Individuals – but as Members of Groups. What is "Affirmative Action" for one Group is a "Prejudicial Barrier" for another.

We have been intrigued to discover – as recorded in the National Post -- an interesting Ramification of the politically correct Push for "Equality."

It appears that there is a Singer, Lida Pimienta, whose Habit it is to encourage "brown girls" to move to the Front at her Concerts, and to request "white people" to move back.

Recently, at the Halifax Pop Explosion, a white Volunteer Photographer, and some white Members of the Audience were disinclined to obey. Some other Members of the Audience thought that the Photographer should move away, but she refused. Eventually the Photographer was "removed." (National Post, October 27)

The Operators of the Festival have made an Obsequious Apology as a Result of the Incident.

They did not, of course, apologize to the Photographer. So drunk have they become with the Kool-Aid of Political Correctness, they have apologized to Ms. Pimienta.

Further, they have committed "to providing our team with anti-oppression and anti-racism training."

We think Ms. Pimienta should be required to attend.

It is she who made a Distinction solely on the Basis of Race and Gender. She did not consider the Merits of the Photographer or Audience Members – their "Worthiness" as human Beings.

Rather, she judged them as Members of Groups. One Group – "brown girls" – she favoured. Another Group – white People – she rejected.

While it is acceptable to judge Others on the Basis of their Individual Characteristics or Beliefs, to favour or reject them solely on the Basis of unalterable Characteristics – Race and Gender – is not.

Ms. Pimienta’s Actions are a perfect Example of true "Racism."

And that Racism has its Genesis in the politically correct Desire to manufacture "Equality" wherever it is perceived to be absent.

 

 

 

 

October 15, 2017

 

There is much Fascination with a true Tale that involves Kidnapping, Years of Hardship and Cruelty, followed by an unlikely happy Ending.

We refer, of Course, to the Experience of Joshua Boyle and his Wife, Caitlin Coleman, who were captured by the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan in 2012, and released in a dramatic Rescue this Month.

From our Perspective, there is an added Element of Intrigue: we have been given Glimpses of a Tail, and a large Part of an Ear which suggest that there is an Elephant in the Room.

On Television, we have heard from the Father of Ms. Coleman who is critical of Mr. Boyle for traipsing through dangerous Territory with a pregnant Wife.

We have also heard that Mr. Boyle was previously married to Zaynab Khadr, the older Sister of Omar Khadr. Zaynab is notable for Remarks critical of western Lifestyle, and for suggesting the terror Attacks of September eleventh were justified.

Boyle met Zaynab because he was a "crusader" who felt that Omar’s imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay was unfair. (Ottawa Citizen, October 12)

 

He has been described by a friend, Alex Edwards:

Joshua has a loose connection to Afghanistan, a deep respect for Islam -- he may even have been in the process of converting -- and a purely academic interest in terrorism, but none of that even remotely qualifies him to travel safely in Afghanistan. It could have been simple naivetι, but I, and many others, have always known Joshua as an exceptionally cunning and savvy man. (Ottawa Citizen, October 12)

The Article in the Ottawa Citizen also notes the following:

Edwards said, as far as he knows, Boyle was not devoted to any particular political philosophy. He was a pacifist, anti-war and anti-abortion. "He once described himself to me as a hippie, Mennonite love child."

All this leads us to a rather opposite Conclusion: rather than being "cunning and savvy" Mr. Boyle is idealistic and naive. He lacks Judgment.

We are particularly amazed that he could have a "deep respect" for Islam. All Religions – despite their Usefulness -- are complete Nonsense. And Islam -- in Theory and very often in Practice -- is opposed to any humane Continuance of the human Project.

We predict that the Saga of the Boyles is far from over.

Mr. Boyle is unlikely to fade into the Obscurity of the Average.

 

 

 

 

October 13, 2017

 

The Road to Perfection has many Obstacles.

One of those Obstacles is inherent in the Search: every Virtue – every aspect of Perfection -- carried sufficiently far, cannot escape an attendant Vice.

This is why Political Correctness will ultimately destroy itself – it aims for a Perfection which is not attainable, and the Virtues it pursues inevitably become entangled in unforseen Vices.

A Case in Point is the Desire that No One should feel offended.

This is an admirable and Noble Aim – but can never be achieved. Some Portion of those who feel unfairly treated can never have their Feelings assuaged. Their Identity is bound up with Victimhood. If one Demand is satisfied, another Complaint must appear in order for the customary Stance of Being in the World to be upheld.

The Focus of such People is often the Past, which can never be repealed or rectified, and provides a constant Source of Resentment.

The true Revenge for past Wrongs is present Accomplishment. But Accomplishment is more difficult than Complaint. Thus Complaint is the Path of least Resistance.

It is the Fashion of the present Day to attempt to make up for past Injustice with an exaggerated Respect and Sensitivity. It has been decreed that the Landscape is composed of Eggshells which must not be broken. Political Correctness requires that all Citizens must tip-toe through a Terrain full of potential Offenses – social Landmines triggered by the breaking of a single Eggshell.

This Stance is not sustainable. The Garden we inhabit is not one of thornless Roses, or Eggshell Landmines – some Provocation of Insult and Offense must be endured.

How much – we cannot say.

But what does seem obvious is that the Attempt to banish all Insult and Offense leads to monumental Stupidity.

Two Examples come to mind.

The more recent is the Decision of the Toronto and District School Board to banish the Word "Chief." Thus there will be no "Chief Financial Officer," or "Chief Caretaker."

 

 

"Chief" is a perfectly respectable Word – it derives from the Latin "Caput" – meaning "Head." It has had, apparently,  the Misfortune to be applied to Aboriginal Leaders in Canada.

That, in itself, is not the Error. The Error is – apparently – that it has been used casually to refer to any Aboriginal, and has been interpreted as a derogatory Exaggeration.

A Spokesman for the Board, Ryan Bird, said that he had consulted with an elder who told him that probably "every Aboriginal person has been referred to as ‘chief’" in a derogatory Fashion at some Point in his Life. (National Post, October 10, 2017)

On these Grounds – apparently – the School Board – in its infinite Sensitivity – has decided to act.

We wonder how many other Words have been – or will become -- similarly infected with the Virus of Offensiveness – and require banishment from polite Conversation.

One Example we can think of is "Niggardly" meaning "stingy."

Its Offense is to sound too much like the Word "N*gg*r" – which – since its Days of Legitimacy at the Time of Mark Twain – has become so sulphurous that we suspect our ancient Laptop – on which this is being typed – will – at any Minute – be engulfed in Flames.

From Wikipedia:

On January 15, 1999, David Howard, an aide to Anthony A. Williams, the mayor of Washington, D.C., used "niggardly" in reference to a budget. This apparently upset one of his black colleagues (Howard is white), identified by Howard as Marshall Brown, who misinterpreted it as a racial slur and lodged a complaint. As a result, on January 25, Howard tendered his resignation, and Williams accepted it.

Such exaggerated Sensitivity sacrifices common Sense and Reality to Ignorance and misplaced Indignation.

Political Correctness, as we have elsewhere observed, values Feelings over Facts, and Fiction over Freedom.*

The costs of exaggerated Sensitivity are not inconsiderable. The Stance of Victimhood is foolishly rewarded. Freedom is lost, and the Stupidity of Mankind is, egregiously, enhanced.

 

* Observation # 582

 

 

October 7, 2017
 

We see that Denmark is proposing a Law which would ban Coverings of the Face, including the Niqab and Burka.

In this Restriction, they will be joining Austria, France, and Belgium.

We would note that Canada takes the opposite View: our Government, in its infinite Wisdom, has decided that the Niqab is a Garment entirely suitable for Participants in a Ceremony of Citizenship.

The Argument against such Prohibition rests on the Notion of Freedom. The Question may legitimately be asked: what Right has the Government to dictate to Citizens how they should dress?

We would note that there are a Number of Ways to answer that Question.

First, Dress is already the subject of Legislation. It is entirely common for Governments to prohibit Nudity in public Places. We imagine that the Thinking is that Nudity is a Distraction inappropriate in a Society where Clothing has become traditional and established. We cannot say with Certainty, but it seems possible that there is some Significance to the Fact that Societies which veer towards Nudity tend to be primitive Tribes in warm Climates. The Societies which are more complex, and have achieved scientific and cultural Sophistication have prospered while wearing Clothing in less balmy Locations.

Clothing may not be the Key to societal Advancement, but the Benefits of public Nudity would seem not to have been conclusively proven. Governments, if they have erred, have erred on the Side of Conservatism. And the Clamouring for Nudity on the Subway Trains in metropolitan Areas seems minimally evident. Most People seem to accept this Restriction on Wardrobe Diversity.

Secondly, there is a Tradition – in most Societies -- that the Face should be revealed. Some considerable Part of the human Brain – or so we are told – is devoted to the Recognition of Faces. Human Beings are accustomed to communicating and judging one another based, in Part, on facial Expressions. To interfere with that basic Process seems unwise. It does not seem unreasonable to suggest that large Numbers of People deciding to hide their Faces might have an impact on the mutual Trust among Citizens who are accustomed to reading the Faces of Others.

We would note that when Someone hides a Face, a Position of Superiority is adopted. The One who is masked claims the Right to View the Faces of Others, but refuses to grant that same Right to Others. It runs counter to the Notion of Equality of Opportunity. It introduces a divisive Element into a Society.

The Government might have some legitimate Interest in maintaining a Tradition which seems to have worked, and in opposing an Practice imported from Cultures manifestly less successful in creating satisfactory Lives for Citizens. Western Societies appear to be highly desirable to Immigrants; Islamic Countries – not so much.

Nor should we overlook the Fact that the Mask is a traditional Means of concealing Identity for the Purpose of committing a Crime and evading Justice. Why should the Owner of a Jewellery Store be required to admit Customers wearing Masks? Is not the Weakening of a Defence against Theft an ill-advised Measure? In a Nation of masked Citizens, what Point is there in having security Cameras?

Again, we should not dismiss the Power of Symbolism. Face Coverings such as the Niqab and Burka are Symbols of the Oppression of Women in Societies where the Concept of Gender Equality is unknown. No Doubt some Women choose to wear Masks as a Symbol of their Freedom. But the general symbolic Significance is one of Slavery.

The Government might have some Interest in opposing the public Display of a Philosophy which espouses female Oppression.

Considering these Factors – there is no Doubt -- in our Mind -- that strong Disapproval of Face Coverings should be expressed. In olden Days, that would have been done by individual Citizens, but such personal Expression is not in Accord with modern Sensibilities. The old Notion: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" is considered a Relic of primitive Tribalism. The new Mantra of Tolerance is: "When in Rome, do as you please; the Romans will just have to get used to it."

Thus, it is up to the Government to express Disapproval.

Some might argue that a Ban on Face-Coverings is too strong a Measure. It might simply be sufficient for the Government to require those who wear Masks to reveal their Faces when testifying in Court, becoming a Citizen, or in any Interaction with Representatives of the State.

We think that Circumstances – the Degree of Threat -- should dictate the Strength of the Message.

We happen to believe that, in some Countries, the Antithesis between the Values of Western Societies and those of Islam has become of crucial Importance. Ultimately, there can be no Compromise between the Tradition that Citizens are free to criticize, and the Tradition which holds that a Religion should be, unfailingly, approved. If we fail to uphold the Freedom to criticize -- we concede the Triumph of irrational Belief, and embrace not merely the Slavery of silence, but the Imprisonment of the Mind which it implies. And there is no happy middle Ground between the Idea that Religion should dictate government Policy, and the Notion that Governments should be secular, and free of religious Influence.

While many believe that happy Multiculturalism is an attainable State, we are of the more gloomy View: that, in an epic Clash of antithetical Traditions – only one Tradition can be the Victor in any political Jurisdiction.

In those Countries where there appear to be significant and growing Populations of those who have no Interest in adapting to Freedom of Speech and secular Customs, the Banning of Symbols of an antithetical Culture and Ideology may be justified.

The Idealists may bemoan that Freedom is, inconsistently, being protected by limiting Freedom. But Wars are not won with Tolerance, nor without Sacrifice. In passing, we would point out that "Tolerance" is a much misunderstood Term. "Tolerance" is not a universal good. "Tolerance" of Theft and Assault is not admirable; "Tolerance" of an Ideology which is implacably opposed to one’s own – and which is used to justify Violence and Terror – is simply Stupidity hiding under a treacherous Euphemism.

In Times of War, one neither broadcasts nor approves the Propaganda of the Enemy.

Disapproval of Face-Coverings seems necessary in order to uphold the Value of open Interactions among free Citizens in a secular Society. Banning them, in some Circumstances, seems entirely sensible.

 

 

October 3, 2017

We note with Interest the Election of Jagmeet Singh as Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada.

It has been observed that Mr. Singh is being compared with one of our favourite* Politicians, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Both Men are youngish, charismatic, and of the leftish Persuasion. Mr. Singh has the virtue-signalling Advantage of not being Caucasian, and of habitually wearing the prominent Symbol of a Religion which is not Christianity. It is speculated that Mr. Singh will draw Votes from those who might ordinarily support Mr. Trudeau, but who might wish to express their Leftishness in greater Degree by showing that they are not intolerant of other Races and Cultures.

It is imagined that this might split the leftish Vote and allow the Conservatives to be re-elected.

This is a Consummation devoutly to be wished. We have a very dim View of the Left-o-Sphere, for it seems prone to great Error in its Perception of the human Condition. Mr. Singh seems wonderfully in the Grip of leftish Ideology, and is admirably suited to lead the New Democratic Party.

We just happened to hear Mr. Singh’s Speech of Acceptance on the Radio. He adhered in laudable Fashion to the Requirement that no Speech may be uttered by a committed Leftist without initial Acknowledgment of the Fact that Lands beneath the Feet of the Speaker were once used and enjoyed by certain Indian Tribes.

This is done as a Symbol of Inclusiveness and Reconciliation – to assuage the Feelings of the Descendants of those Tribes who are still obsessed with ancient Wrongs. It is a wonderful Act of Condescension, and entirely in keeping with political Correctness – which holds that Feelings should be inviolable. It is concerned, of course, not so much with Reality, but with Appearance.

The rest of his Speech was admirably political – full of Appreciation and Gratitude for his Backers and Opponents.

We should note another interesting Similarity between Mr. Singh and Mr. Trudeau – one which goes a considerable Distance to explaining our Aversion to left-wing – we were going to say "Thinking" – but that Term is perhaps too generous. Let us, instead, use the Word "Perceptions."

Both Mr. Singh and Mr. Trudeau struck the same Note on the Death of Mr. Castro in 2016. Mr. Trudeau said:

Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation...

I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raϊl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.

And Mr. Singh’s Opinion was similar:

                 He saw a country wracked by poverty, illiteracy & disease. So he lead a revolution that uplifted the lives of         millions. RIP #FidelCastro.

 

How very appropriate! Mr. Castro, too, was wonderfully charismatic and committed to "Socialism."

But, you see, the great and central Problem of Leftish Ideology is that it is so committed to Equality and Virtue, so enamoured with high Ideals and noble Principles, and so mindlessly gullible, that it is a walking Advertisement for Bamboozlement. Appearance is all. It never digs beneath the Surface. It is concerned, primarily, with good Intentions; it is not particularly interested in Results.

One of our favourite Observations is this: "Being on the side of the angels allows for many a pact with the devil.**" In the left-wing Mind – perhaps, again, that term is overly generous – in what passes for the left-wing Mind – a Collection of disorganized Feelings -- Murder and Oppression – committed in the Name of Virtue – acquire a Sheen of Respectability.

If the literacy Rate goes up – let us celebrate that Fact! Let us not count the "necessary" Murders.

We have no Hesitation in declaring that all socialist Enterprises end in Dictatorship – because human Beings will simply not fit into egalitarian Schemes. Dictatorship is the inevitable Hell to which the Paving Stones of Equality lead.

We do not anticipate that either Mr. Trudeau or Mr. Singh is likely to become a Dictator in a Country with a long History of Democracy. But we think the essential Flaw in Perception is worth observing. The elder Trudeau admired Castro. Justin admired the "basic dictatorship" of China. Mr. Singh focuses not on the murderous Oppression, economic Fragility, or Loss of Freedom in Cuba: all he sees is an "uplifting" Revolution.

It has been suggested that Mr. Singh’s Religion may cause him Difficulties in Quebec, since the Inhabitants of that Province are generally opposed to the prominent Display of religious Symbols by government officials.

We should note that we have frequently argued against the Wearing of religious Symbols by those representing the legal System.

A Police Officer wears a Uniform to suggest that he does not act on the Basis of his individual Perceptions; he is acting as a Representative of the State. If he wears, in Addition, a Symbol of religious Affiliation, a mixed Message is being sent: the State appears to be approving of a particular Religion. The Citizen is made to feel unsure: What religious Biases – sanctioned by the State -- does the Officer hold?

We are similarly opposed to the Wearing of religious Symbols by a Judge – or, indeed, any civil Servant who has the Power to assist or frustrate the Dealings of a Citizen with his Government.

In the Case of a Member of Parliament, no Uniform is worn. We expect Politicians to represent diverse Viewpoints, and to be burdened with various Degrees of Ineptitude and Stupidity. It is probably better that they announce their particular Biases – rather than attempt to hide them from public View.

To conclude, we think Mr. Singh is an entirely appropriate Leader for a left-wing Party. We earnestly hope that he and his Party receive the Support and Credence they deserve.

None.

 

*Mr. Trudeau offers us Much in the Way of an easy Target.

** Observation # 243

 

 

 

 

October 1, 2017
 

We have long been skeptical of the Theory that Mankind is largely responsible for global Temperatures.

Our Skepticism has been fuelled by two Things.

First – we have been blessed with a superior Bullshit Detector. We make no scientific Claims for the Accuracy of this Original Equipment Device. It is entirely intuitive. It measures, in some complex Fashion, what is being proclaimed against what seems reasonable. It is quick to assess the Likelihood of hidden Motivation, to sniff out the unmistakable Odour of Deviousness.

Thus, when Maurice Strong, an early proponent of the Theory, claims that it is our Duty to destroy industrial Civilization, our Sensor tells us that there is Something amiss.

When prominent Promoters of the Theory, such as Mr. Gore and Dr. Suzuki, show clearly, by their Actions, that they do not believe in the Gospel they preach – we are inclined to disbelieve that very same Gospel.

When Dr. Suzuki is shown, on Australian Television, to have very little Knowledge of the Details of Climate Science, and to admit that he is entirely dependent on the Findings of the International Panel on Climate Change, we realize that he is not even an accredited Theologian: he is merely the Possessor of a Preacher's Robe and a convenient Soapbox.

When Alarmists proclaim "the Science is settled" – a Claim quite contrary to the Spirit of scientific Enquiry – we know that "Science" is the Handmaiden of Something Else.

When Alarmists seem to be primarily interested in discrediting Deniers – rather than welcoming Criticism – it is clear that they have Something to hide.

Indeed, so unconvincing has been the Behaviour of Alarmists, that we can only marvel that anyone has given them a Moment’s Consideration.

But our superior Bullshit Detector merely supports the Facts that justify Skepticism.

In the early l990's, the Club of Rome proclaimed that it intended to use Matters such as Global Warming in Pursuit of its Agenda: the Replacement of Democracy by Expertocracy.

The early Predictions of Climate Refugees, terrible Droughts, and the Flooding of Manhattan never materialized.

Most important of all, of course, is the Fact that Projections were made of continuous Warming, based on the Theory – that Gasses cause Warming. The great Problem has been that the Gasses have gone up – but for the last Period of nearly two Decades, the Temperature has not gone up proportionately.

When the Evidence runs counter to the Hypothesis -- it is the Hypothesis which must be, in some Manner, flawed.

Attacking a Hypothesis which has acquired the Status of Gospel is not easy. It does not help that many "Scientists" have staked their Reputations on the Theory. We suspect, also, that Funding has a natural Affinity with Orthodoxy; Heretics do not get Grants, Positions, or the Respect of fellow Clergy.

 

 

Attacks, there have been. And a desperate Attempt to make the "Pause" go away – by fiddling with the Data – has not met with universal Acclaim.

But, thus far, most Governments and Media are on the Side of orthodox Piety, and religious Devotion.

However, we think that the Skeptical Side is gaining Ground.

A recent Paper published in Nature Geoscience by Myles Allen, a Professor of geo- ystem Science at the University of Oxford, and Michael Grubb, a Professor of international Energy and Climate Change at University College London is entitled: Emission budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5?°C –

The Attempt of this Paper is to suggest that Everything is more peachy than had been feared: limiting Warming over the next Century is possible.

The Awkwardness arises from the Fact that that wonderful Result is possible because – Sound of Trumpets – the Computer Models have been erroneous, mistaken, flawed, and downright deceitful:

Michael Grubb, professor of international energy and climate change at University College London and one of the study’s authors, admitted that his previous prediction had been wrong.

He stated during the climate summit in Paris in December 2015: "All the evidence from the past 15 years leads me to conclude that actually delivering 1.5C is simply incompatible with democracy."

Speaking to The Times, he said: "When the facts change, I change my mind, as Keynes said."

                                                                                                                              Breitbart News, September 19

And from Professor Allen:

We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.

                                                                                                                                   Breitbart News, September 19

 

How terribly inconvenient a Truth!

We doubt, of course, that this is the End of the Theory. The Authors are still pretending that what is important is that we still have an improved Chance to prevent Climageddon in a hundred years’ Time.

What is actually important is their Admission that there is a Discrepancy between Theory and Experience. If they have been wrong in the Past – why should we now believe their Forecasts for the Future?

The Answer to that Question depends, of course, on your Degree of Piety – and the State of your Bullshit Detector.

 

 

 

 

 

September 16, 2017
 

We are pleased to be living in an Era of delicate Sensitivity, where concern for Feelings is being given its proper Place – that is, at the very Top – in the Hierarchy of social Values.

We happened, this Day – when we were engaged in a routine culinary Enterprise – to turn on the Radio – which is regularly set to receive Emanations from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Source of all approved Wisdom and the most reliable Guide to proper Thinking in our fair Land.

As we listened, we could not help but be struck by the kindly Concern shown by the Corporation for our Feelings. On a Program about Suicide, the Presenter gravely warned us that the Material might be upsetting, and that if we had a particular Vulnerability to the Mention of that Unpleasantness, we should exercise the Option of re-directing our Attention elsewhere. We are only disappointed that he did not suggest a helpful alternative Activity, such as Knitting, Splitting Wood, or Counting backwards from a very large Number – perhaps several Million.

Then – not long after – there was a Program which warned of an Intent to refer to the Picture of an unknown Victim of the World Trade Centre Destruction, jumping from a Tower. The Topic, it was suggested, might have a negative Effect on our mental Equilibrium.

After the Angst of hearing about Suicide only a short Time before, and suspecting that we might be teetering at the very Limit of our emotional Resilience, we decided to turn off the Radio and express our warmest Feelings of Gratitude with this current Entry in our Diary.

We understand that the Corporation – sometimes referred to as the "Mothership," is merely following the wise Lead of many Universities in the great and Solomonic Land to the South. There it has been decided that Students – of tender Years and little Experience of the Horrors of Existence – are appropriately protected from worrisome Ideas by Means of "Trigger Warnings," and are provided with "Safe Spaces" where they can retreat when the manifold Cruelties of the World threaten. We have heard that Cookies, Chocolate, Crayons and Puppies were provided at one Institution of advanced Learning when Donald Trump – the Mastermind of all that is Evil in the World – was – through some extraordinary satanic Manipulation – elected as President of the United States.

 

We must, of course, applaud all such Measures. But we sense this is merely the Beginning of a long and difficult Road ahead. If Feelings are going to be properly protected, all our Ingenuity and Determination will be required. It stands to Reason that, as Feelings are sheltered from Upset, they will become more refined, sensitive, and delicate, and hence more vulnerable to a wider range of troubling Ideas, negative Occurrences, and dark Thoughts. The Price of mental Stability will be eternal Vigilance.

Another obvious Problem is the Variability of Sensitivity. What is upsetting to one Individual may be encountered with Equanimity by another. Indeed --from a personal Perspective --while we were able to listen to the Program concerning Suicide with Distress of only a moderate Nature, our Feelings on other Matters are far more fragile.

For Example, the Mention of the Name of our Prime Minister, Mr. T*u*e*u, causes us great Distress and Agitation; an immediate Infusion of alcoholic Beverage is all that stands between us and nervous Collapse. Similarly, we have been known to suffer a severe Conniption Fit upon hearing the Name of our Premier, K*t*l*e W*n*e. Any Reference to the Cost of Hydro, or Multiculturalism, or anthropogenic global Warming, or the Religion of Islam leaves visible Abrasions on our Feelings for Weeks.

Finally, we should not minimize the Effort required to provide Safe Spaces in sufficient Numbers, and with high-quality Puppy and Chocolate Reserves in order to accommodate the psychologically damaged, impaired, or threatened.  A whole new Protocol of urban and rural Planning will be required.

We confess that our limited Intellect is not up to the Challenge of determining how best to give complete and comprehensive Protection of Feelings. We can only suggest that a Committee of very sensitive People – including University Professors from the United States, and Executives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation -- be convened. As a starting Point, they should be given Power to list all potentially threatening Topics which might require "Trigger Warnings" – beginning with Death and Taxes – and go with the Matter wherever it should take them.

(Probably the Madhouse.)

 

 

September 6, 2017

We are most pleased that, after Centuries of Harshness, and Millennia of cruel Neglect, the most progressive among us are beginning to pay Attention to Feelings.

Feelings! So long made subordinate to Facts! Feelings! So often crushed by heartless Reality!

We note that a Student at Edinburgh University has had the Temerity to mock the Sentiments of those whose Faith proclaims that Seventy Two Virgins with "full grown", "swelling" or "pear-shaped" breasts await male Believers in the Afterlife.

Robbie Travers, obviously a Person of hard Heart and unbending Disposition, has written, after a Bombing of an ISIS Stronghold in Afghanistan:

I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.

The Term "Barbarian" is obviously an egregious Insult. It denotes Someone who is primitive, or uncivilized – and it is well-known that ISIS is renowned for its refined Conduct in the erasing of ancient Monuments and tiresome People who have been so indiscreet as to rouse their Ire. The reference to "their 72 Virgins" seems mocking – almost as if Mr. Travers would cast Doubt on the Number of Virgins awaiting the Faithful.*

Indeed, we have heard the Estimate is as high as Seventy-Six. We would not be surprised if it were double that Amount. It would seem outrageous, in Fact, to put a Limit on the Generosity of Allah.

 

In primitive Times, Mr. Travers’ Remark might not have aroused Comment. Fortunately, the "Feelings Antennae" of those fortunate enough to live in this Era of Sweetness and Light are more exquisitely attuned and developed. Several People, in righteous Indignation, have complained that the Remark has made Muslim Students feel "threatened" and "unsafe."

The Logic is irrefutable. Muslim Students are known to have an almost universal Approval of ISIS. Any Slight towards ISIS must, necessarily, be seen as a negative Reflection on Muslim Students as a whole. And, because there are almost certainly one -- or perhaps two -- Students at the University who are opposed – on some trumped-up Grounds – to ISIS, it stands to Reason that the one -- or perhaps the other – might act in a Manner which would threaten Muslim Students.

We are pleased to learn that the University – obviously a Bastion of common Sense – has decided to investigate. Mr. Travers, we regret to say, has hired legal Counsel. It would be far better, in our View, if he were simply to admit his Error and move to Pongo-Pongo.

We think Justice and Right-Thinking would be best served if he were to give up all Aspiration to a higher Education, and pursue, in Penitence, some type of rural Agriculture or animal Husbandry. 

 

* We admit that we have heard even worse Insult. It has been suggested that this is an unfortunate Distortion of the original Text, which refers to a "72-year-old Virgin." Such Mockery is a horrendous Throwback to those primitive Times when it was considered legitimate to point out Absurdities, and to laugh, heartlessly, at Delusions and Fantasies of the intellectually challenged.

 

 

August 28, 2017

A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely. (Wikipedia)

In olden Days, Words had a certain stuck-in-the-mud Quality. If a Word had a certain Meaning on Monday, it was quite likely to have the same Significance on Tuesday. Indeed, it was likely to retain a comforting Sameness for the Rest of the Week.

Words had a certain Reliability and Trustworthiness. They were solid rather than slippery -- more "nailable" – more akin to Wood than to Jello.

But Times have changed.

We learn this very Day that many Syrians who have sought Refuge in Turkey because of the Conflict in their Country since 2011, have decided to return to their Country of Origin to celebrate the Feast of the Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha).

A Cessation of Hostilities has been recently arranged which has created some Stability in Parts of northwest Syria.

Thus, with the Blessing of the Turkish Government, about Forty Thousand Syrians have crossed the Border, with about Four Thousand travelling each Day. They must return by October 15th.

 

 

Obviously, while our Attention was directed – momentarily – elsewhere, the Definition of "Refugee" has changed. If those seeking Refuge from Disaster and Calamity are able to return safely Home, then – according to the original Definition of the Word – they are no longer Refugees.

That the old Definition is no longer valid is suggested by the Fact that there are currently many Haitians crossing into Canada from the United States. They are fleeing because they fear Deportation after the Ending of their "Temporary Protected Status" in that Country granted after the Earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

We do not claim that we would act differently in their Circumstance. Mr. Trudeau has suggested that Canada is committed to a Policy of indiscriminate Welcoming.

But we are troubled by Terminology. Those seeking "Refuge" or "Asylum" are often under Threats which are less than life-threatening.

The Word "Refugee" has obviously become a Word too wobbly and imprecise.

We would like to suggest a new Term which might more accurately apply to those seeking Advantage rather than necessary Asylum.

Surely they are "Prefugees" – not "Refugees."

 

 

 

 

August 25, 2017
 

Concerning the wonderful Advancements in human Sensitivity.

Some Readers may have become aware of recent Events in Charlottesville, in which there was a Clash of Marchers and Protestors – an Encounter which has opened old Wounds in the American Psyche. The Confederate South fought to preserve the Institution of Slavery, and the current Sentiment is that far too much Respect is paid to Symbols of the Confederate Cause.

Thus, there is much ado about removing Statues which still stand as Tokens of Veneration for an unworthy Cause.

In olden Days, we suspect that many would allow such Statues to stand as Testament to past Follies, not removing them entirely, but by placing them in some Context which indicates current Sentiment. This is the Argument usually used in the Teaching of such Works as Huckleberry Finn – which uses a Word no longer considered acceptable, or The Merchant of Venice, which embodies a stereotypical View of a Jewish Character, and by Implication, the Jewish Race.

Such Equanimity in the Face of past Perceptions doubtless depends on an Assurance of a generally agreed public Opinion. Where Doubts and Divisions remain, there is Fear of the Power of Symbols.

We admit that we pay Attention to the Power of Symbols.

For Example, we are opposed to the Wearing of the Niqab by those claiming new Citizenship in Canada. That is because we are fearful of Anything which suggests Government Approval of Islam, which is the Source of Ideas incompatible with modern western Democracy.

Thus, we are on the Edge of a Knife in the Matter of Statues of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate Leader eventually forced to surrender at the Courthouse of Appomattox in 1865.

In our Mind, the Confederate Cause was obviously wrong; we see such Statues as Relics of a time both so distant and irrelevant that they have no further Power to disturb.

But there are still racial Tensions in the United States, and we can understand how others would see a Statue of Robert E. Lee as we see the Wearing of the Niqab.

But there is a Question of how far Sensitivity to possible Offense should go. In the Age of Political Correctness, Sensitivity can be carried to extreme Lengths.

 

 

The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, noting that a Gentleman named Robert Lee was scheduled to broadcast a Football Game in Charlottesville, thought that the Name itself might be offensive. They re-arranged the Schedule so that he would broadcast elsewhere.

To gain Insight into the Depths of their Folly, we need only to examine the explanatory Remarks of John Skipper, the President of the Network. Mr. Skipper maintained, at first:

There was never any concern — by anyone, at any level — that Robert Lee’s name would offend anyone watching the Charlottesville game. (N.Y. Times, August 23)

Then, in the next Breath he said:

Among our Charlotte production staff there was a question as to whether – in these divisive times – Robert’s assignment might create a distraction, or even worse, expose him to social hectoring and trolling. (Breitbart News, August 24)

This is all perfectly clear. Something is "offensive" is in an entirely different Fish Kettle than the one which contains a "Distraction" and "social Hectoring." "Social Hectoring," in particular, is known to be the usual Response of those expressing Approval and warm good Wishes. We often send Cards of Social Hectoring on Birthdays and at Christmastime.

Surely this lamentable Circumstance reinforces the Need for an inexpensive and reliable Irony Detector. Walmart could make a Killing.

Beyond that, it shows the Need for some Amount of Backbone in dealing with those whose Mission in Life is to take Offense.

We are reminded of an Incident some Years ago – we forget the Context and Details – concerning the Word "Denigrate." It was used perfectly correctly – but because some Person of Ignorance thought it cast an Aspersion on the Black Race, Apologies were demanded and -- absurdly -- tendered. It was a sad day for Common Sense.

It is our Observation that People who are determined and devoted to parsing the World for Insult, are guaranteed some considerable Success. But the Sum Total of Stupidity is, thereby, considerably augmented.

 

 

August 15, 2017

 

We are pleased that our academic Institutions – as is only fitting – are at the very Forefront of Progress and Enlightenment.

Yesterday, we noted the wonderful Effort to think soberly about the Problem of Whiteness and the terrible Inequalities it entails – at Stanford University in California. The proposed Course in "White Identity Politics" was to consider the Task of "abolishing Whiteness."

Today we must record the Attempt at Georgia University to rid the academic System itself of invidious Distinctions and Comparisons – in a word, Inequalities -- which have plagued it since its Beginnings.

A forward-looking Professor, Richard Watson, compassionately tuned to the Realities of Modern Life, had announced that Students suffering from the undue Stress of an unwelcome Grade would be permitted to choose a Grade more to their liking.

A further Evidence of Mr. Watson’s concern for his Students’ Advancement was shown in the Stipulation that Examinations would allow for Access to reference Material, and that their Purpose was to reveal a "low-level mastery" of the Course Material.

We think Professor Watson has made a giant Leap forward in thinking about the human Condition.

He has realized what should have been evident all along – the chief Aim of Existence is to be free of Doubt, Worry, and Distress. Those who aim for Success, Happiness, and Good Fortune, should be able to arrive at their Goals without unseemly Striving, inconvenient Effort, or troublesome Disruption to their Lifestyle.

It is clear that Self-Assessment and generous Self-Praise are the most likely Factors to maintain Self-Esteem and avoid the Dreariness of actual Accomplishment.

We recognize that there are a few Stick-in-the-Muds, mired in silly and irrelevant Traditions, who will object to the Professor’s Breakthrough Thinking.

They will doubtless point to certain Professions, like Medicine, Law, or Accounting – where Inequality has traditionally reigned. In those Areas of Expertise, Sheep and Goats have been separated – some have been deemed worthy, but Others have been turned away on the Grounds of Insufficiency of Knowledge or Intellect.

 

The Questions we would put to such Dinosaurs are simply these: Do you wish to live in a World of Equality, or a World of invidious Distinctions? Do you wish Citizens to be filled to the Brim with Self-Esteem, or do you wish them to languish with Feelings of Failure and Inadequacy? Do you wish Joy and Happiness to all Mankind, or do you wish to reserve it for a chosen Few?

The Answers should be clear to any right-thinking progressive Person with even Half a Heart.

Of course we -- we do admit it -- would prefer that a Lawyer handling our Purchase of a Home be competent in obtaining the Title in our Name. But we would not wish him to be anxious about the Matter. If he has a minimal Mastery of Real Estate Law, he will likely come pretty close. Any Errors – for Example – a Failure to transfer – or a Transfer to the wrong Person -- can be fixed with little Fuss in the Future.

And yes --we will aver -- that when our Accountant prepares our Tax Return, we would prefer that his Knowledge of the Tax Code will be such that we will not send the Government unnecessary Funds, and that he will not leave us vulnerable to some future Penalties. But we are aware that, at Tax Time, all Accountants experience a Surge in Business. It is important that they be relaxed and unhurried. A pretty good Stab at the Numbers will usually suffice. Indeed, a basic Understanding of the Tax Code – that the Government must get its Pound of Flesh – is probably all that is needed in 99% of Returns.

For that other 1% – there’s a good Chance No One in the Tax Department – with a low level Mastery of the Tax Code – will be any the wiser.

And finally, of course -- we would prefer that a Surgeon about to remove our Appendix have a Knowledge of its exact Location. But as long as he has a low-level Mastery of Anatomy, he will likely to be able to find it – sooner or later. Above all, he should not be stressed about finding it. If he is unable to locate it in our particular Case, he may well have more luck with the next Patient. We will be pleased -- though possibly dead – to have helped him on his Path.

We regret to report that subsequent to the wonderful Breakthroughs of Mr. Watson, the Forces of Darkness have apparently surfaced at the University of Georgia, and caused the good Professor to withdraw some of his advanced Procedures. There were silly Rumblings about "academic rigor," "integrity," and "honesty."

But it is a Truth universally acknowledged that significant Departures from Tradition – no matter how sensible – face an uphill Battle against small Minds and entrenched Interests. We have little Doubt that the Compassionate Enlightenment represented by Mr. Watson’s brilliant Innovations will eventually carry the Day.

 

 

 

August 14, 2017

Once again, we are pleased to note the admirable – dare we say ineffable – Progress in the Advancement of human Thought. Once again – not surprisingly – we see that Advancement occurring in the rich, well-fertilized Ground of our academic Institutions.

This Fall, Stanford University will introduce a Course which will consider the Task of "abolishing whiteness," and attempt an Understanding of "the future of whiteness." The Title of the Course will be "White Identity Politics." (Breitbart News, August 11)

Apparently some Definition is in Order. "Whiteness" does not refer to Skin Tone. If that were the case, the Solution could be found at any Shoe Emporium or Dollar Store. No. "Whiteness" refers to "a socially and politically constructed learned behavior built upon the systematic privileges afforded to whites in Western society."

A further explanation – from Stanford Professor Tomαs Jimιnez -- is that "whiteness" refers to "the set of behaviors and outlooks associated with the racial category, white."

We have no Doubt that there is, in Fact, a Relationship between Race and Culture. Since Races tend to live in Groups, and Groups develop specific Cultures, it is not surprising to find that Race and Culture are intertwined.

It is obvious that a Stop should be put to this Sort of Thing. The Chinese must be convinced to stop thinking and behaving like Chinese; the Mongols should renounce the Thought Patterns of Mongolians; black People should attempt to view the World in an Manner entirely independent of whatever Group they find themselves in.

These Matters are surely susceptible of an easy Remedy. Courses like the one at Stanford should proliferate around the Globe. It will be only a few short Years before the Influence of elite Thinkers filters down to the Mass of Followers below. All Races will, thankfully, think and behave in exactly the same Manner, and a new Era of Harmony will have been achieved.

Indeed, we think that the Remedy is a foregone Conclusion – and it is an appropriate Time to look even further ahead – to lay Plans for the Eradication of another Scourge of our Planet – the learned Behaviour and systematic Privileges afforded to good-looking People the World over.

 

Terrible Inequalities abound. The Good-Looking have Advantages – in every Sphere – except perhaps in Plainest Person Contests. You say there are no such Contests? Surely this proves our Point. There are Beauty Contests, but no similar Opportunities for those of unprepossessing Appearance. It is the Tragedy of Ordinariness, and the Marker of Inequality.

It is well observed that good-looking People tend to cluster and mate. Suitors are accepted – or rejected -- to a very large Degree on the Basis of superficial Appearance.

Good-looking People also have a huge Advantage in Employment.

Let us imagine there are two People applying for the Job of Receptionist. One is an attractive blonde Maiden in her Twenties, a former Cheerleader and Fitness Trainer; the other – a lady of advanced Years with her Hair in a Bun, the registered Owner of a Broomstick – which, do you suppose – will get the Job?

Good-looking People dominate the Advertisements for Beer, Automobiles, and Toothpaste. They are surrounded by Aura of Good Times, Happiness, and Success.

See any Advertisement for male Clothing! Are the Models for Suits and Underwear scrawny, with narrow Shoulders, bad Haircuts and Tortoise-Shell Glasses? We think not.

And consider, for a Moment, those hired to read the News on Television. Do they have big Ears, crooked Teeth, or drooping Eyelids? We defy you to find an Example.

And again – what of those hired to play the Lead Rτles in Crime and Detective Dramas? If they are Women, are they prim and unprepossessing – or boldly seductive? If they are men – do they have receding Chins -- or square Jaws? Are their Features mushily modest or impressively aquiline?

Surely, we need go no further in our Catalogue of Injustice!

It is time that Stanford University devise a Course entitled: "Abolishing the Privilege of Attractiveness." The World will be a far better Place for their Efforts.

 

 


 

August 9, 2017
 

We are intrigued to see that the Scourge of Inequality is being addressed by a new Restaurant in Australia. The Co-Owner of the Handsome Her in Melbourne, Alex O’Brien, is upset with the Gap between the Wages for Men, and the Remuneration for Women.*

Instead of writing angry Letters of Complaint to Employers, or urging the Government to reduce the Number of Women in the Workforce (Scarcity should result in a higher Wage), or calling for an immediate Reduction in Wages for all Men, Ms. O’Brien has decided to proceed on a smaller Scale.

Apparently acting on the Premise that one perceived Injustice is best countered by another of unequivocal Nature, she has instituted an Eighteen percent "Man Tax" for male Customers. As a further Symbol of her Devotion to Equality, she gives female Customers "seating priority."

We are not sure what "seating priority" involves. Perhaps it is the placing of female Patrons by the Window, while giving male Patrons Seats near the Washrooms, Kitchen Access Corridor, or where cold Blasts from the Air Conditioner may be most likely experienced. Or possibly it means that in any Line–Up for Seats, all Women must be seated before any Men.

In this latter Case, we suspect that Couples consisting of one Example of each Gender, might be significantly dissatisfied. Or perhaps it would simply lead to the Subterfuge of "Mr. Dressup."

It is reported that "numerous men" have paid the Tax, and some have thrown in a few Dollars more as a Token of Approval.

We would walk out.

We are in Favour of equal Pay for equal Work. We do not even mind assenting to the Proposition that there should be equal Pay for Work of equal Value – observing that "equal Value" may be the subject of Dispute.

 

It is our Suspicion, however that some Portion of the "Gender Gap" in Wages arises from the Fact that more Women seek – and are content with -- Jobs which require lower Levels of Skill and Enterprise than do Men. We understand that this is a heretical Position. It is not Something we would express in Public; nor would we wish to broadcast our Address and Telephone Number at the Conclusion of this entirely fanciful, light-hearted, and purely speculative Commentary. Nevertheless, we suspect that Women may often be less a*b*t*o*s than Men.

Should this be the Case -- in spite of all approved and respectable Thought to the contrary -- then it would seem that Ms. O’Brien’s Man Tax might logically be reduced from the rather exorbitant Eighteen per cent. Indeed, her seating Policy might be somewhat modified, so that Women were given special Treatment on Tuesdays and Thursdays only.

What remains to be discussed is the universality Principle. Ms. O’Brien feels justified in discriminating in order to draw Attention to a perceived Inequity. Should a large, but non-public Homebuilder with similar Sentiments sell to Women at a Discount? Should Walmart or the Bank of Nova Scotia adopt similar Policies in order to express the Feelings of their Shareholders?

We waver, unsteadily, about the Homebuilder. In the case of Walmart and the Bank of Nova Scotia -- we think not. At the same Time, we are sympathetic to the Notion that People should be able to run a small Business in a discriminatory Fashion. If someone wishes to cater to Males, Females, Left-Handers, or People with blue Eyes – it seems bureaucratic Overkill to stop them. Let them prosper or die as the Market dictates.

We think that "Private Club" Status is the Answer. The Barbershop which refuses to cut Women’s Hair should be allowed to do so by obtaining "Private Club" Designation. Such Designation would be refused to Walmart, the Bank of Nova Scotia, or a Chain of Barbershops. The only grocery Store in a small Town would also be ineligible.

People should be allowed certain Eccentricities in the Conduct of a small Business – as long as those Eccentricities have minimal Impact on the general Public.

 

*National Post, August 9

 

 

 

 

July 18, 2017
 

The World doth oft seem full of Folly and Injustice; the Headlines are seldom reassuring.

However, every now and then we are reminded of the great Advances of Science, and of a wonderful Progress being made towards the inevitable Harmony which is the due and proper Reward for the human Species.

Indeed, Today is one of those very Occasions when a bountiful Ray of Sunshine has pierced our accustomed Gloom. Our Frowns have turned to eager Smiles; our turbulent Thoughts have been overcome by a great, hopeful Calm.

We have learned, this Day, of the great Insights of Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett, who has concluded that Words can have detrimental physical Effects on our delicate Constitutions -- and thus a verbal Assault may be considered an Act of Violence. (Breitbart News, July 18)

We have no Doubt that this is true – and it may well be discovered that some People are more susceptible than Others. While one Person, who has been called "a complete idiot" may take to her Bed and be unable to lecture for several Days with an advanced Case of Wordhurt, another Person, less sensitive and vulnerable, may encounter only a Minute or so of elevated Blood Pressure.

Indeed, Professor Barrett has hinted as much:

Words can have a powerful effect on your nervous system. Certain types of adversity, even those involving no physical contact, can make you sick, alter your brain — even kill neurons — and shorten your life. 

Since the main Purpose of Life is to reduce Stress, and extend Duration, it would seem imperative that some Method be found to protect Individuals from Violent Speech.

As we ponder the Matter, we become more aware of the potential Difficulties. For not only are some People more generally vulnerable than Others, there must be many particular Vulnerabilities for many Individuals. Thus, if an Individual suffers from Arachnophobia, any Reference to Spiders might cause significant Stress. A verbal Threat such as: "I have just put a Tarantula in your Lunch Bag," might well result in Hospitalization. To one Suffering from a severe Case of Trudeauphobia, the Mention of the Prime Minister’s Name might well lead to a Conniption Fit, with accompanying uncontrolled Coughing and Lung Collapse.

 

We have cudgelled our Brains for a Solution to this Matter. Now that they have been cudgelled, an Answer has been proffered.

It would seem prudent that all Citizens carry a List of "Trigger Words," or "Trigger Topics," which would delineate their Vulnerabilities. Strangers should not engage in any meaningful Conversation without the Exchange of these important Lists.

Thus a common Form of Greeting – rather than "Hi," or "Good Evening" -- would be: "I’ll show you mine if you show me yours."

We recognize that this Solution may not be capable of overnight Adoption – but when Longevity is at Stake, the Effort required pales in Comparison.

Our Solution, of course, deals only with private Conversation.

Just as important is the Matter of open Discussion and Debate. In this Matter, Professor Barrett recognizes that some Exposure to Stress-causing Ideas that People may find repugnant – she uses Eugenics as an Example -- may be a "healthy growing experience." On the other Hand, some Stress-inducing Ideas are legitimate Targets for Censorship:

...a culture of constant, casual brutality is toxic to the body, and we suffer for it. That’s why it’s reasonable, scientifically speaking, not to allow a provocateur and hatemonger like Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at your school.

This Problem of publically available stressful Ideas – of varying Degrees of Toxicity – seems an even more difficult one to solve. Our Brains have already been cudgelled; we begin to fear for our own Longevity.

Perhaps it would be best if Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett – who is obviously at the Forefront of Scientific Enquiry in these Matters – simply make these important Decisions for us. She could be appointed Pooh-Bah of Wordhurt. Her Decisions would be final and binding. If she should favour the profoundly wise Ideas of Barack Obama – then so be it. If she should find Milo Yiannopolous to be an unacceptable Provocateur and Hatemonger – he should be prevented from engaging in his nefarious, life-threatening Activities.

Some might complain of Censorship -- we know. But for any sensitive, progressive Soul, it is clear that upsetting Ideas and the Shortening of Life are far more important than Freedom – which is highly overrated – and usually favoured by hateful Provocateurs anyway.

 

 

 

July 5, 2017        ( Nutty Professor Alert!) 

 

We are pleased to live in an Age where so much Effort is being devoted to achieving Justice and Equality.

It is well known that Equality and Justice are the bedrock Reality of all Creation. Anyone who has observed the natural World is aware that the vast Bulk of living Creatures live in an exquisite Harmony of brotherly Love and engage in an uplifting mutual Self-Sacrifice for the Other. The Gazelle, sensing that the Lion is hungry, willingly impales itself on a protruding Tree Branch; the Minnow, long educated in Schools of Fairness and social Harmony, swims obligingly into the Maw of a Shark.

It is only in the human World, that grave Inequities still -- troublingly -- exist.

But we are not pessimistic. We are fortunate to have some of the top Minds at our Universities dedicated to the Discovery of new and subtle Injustices which cry out for immediate Redress.

The most recent to come to our Attention is revealed by a Summer Course at the University of California, Los Angeles. taught by Professors Todd Presner and Dana Cuff. The Course will reveal how "car culture" contributes to "spatial injustice." (Breitbart News, July 4)

We are so pleased. Many a sleepless Night have we spent, agonizing over the Matter of "spatial injustice."

Why is it -- we have wondered – that some human Beings take up so much more space than others? Why should small Infants, beginning with a roughly equal Size, develop into Adults of widely differing Displacements? Surely an Equality of Height, Weight, and Girth is an Outcome devoutly to be wished.

And why do some – regardless of personal Size – occupy larger Dwellings and more spacious Automobiles than Others? Surely some detailed Study of the Causes and Remedies for "spatial injustice" is long overdue! Indeed, perhaps – in the not too distant Future – we may see some effective Legislation concerning this difficult Matter.

 

Of course, our Apprehension of the Problem has been too simple, too basic – too uniformed by academic Subtleties. We understand that "spatial injustice" is defined as the "production of unjust geographies and spatial structures of privilege" within cities, which. is often exacerbated "by racism, patriarchy, heterosexual bias."

The Mind boggles at the Complexity of it all! We had never imagined an unjust Geography – but it is certainly true – on Reflection – that Islands, Lakes, and Rivers are of different Sizes. And some locations are at a great Height – while others occupy lower Ground!

Nor had we the Wit to conceive of a "spatial structure of privilege" influenced by "racism, patriarchy, heterosexual bias." We had always thought that big Houses were generally occupied by people with more Money, rather than inferior Morality.

We obviously have much to learn. Apparently the Course will deal with three "thematic" Technologies which have affected Los Angeles: Cars and Highways, the Internet, and Film and Broadcast Media. We are not quite sure how "spatial injustice" is created by these Technologies.

Possibly it has something to do with Patriarchy and Racism, with a pinch of heterosexual Bias thrown in.

We look forward to Conclusions of the Course – which will no Doubt suggest those benign Modifications of Cars and Highways, the Internet, and Film and Broadcast Media which will banish "spatial injustice" and put us in tune with the Sweetness and Light found in the larger Sphere of the natural World.

We should note that of perhaps lesser – but by no Means inconsequential -- Benefit is that Fact that those taking the Course will be able to meet their "Diversity Credit" Requirement.