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Dr. Dreimer's Diary, 1st Q, 2018
4th Q, 2017
3rd Q, 2017
2nd Q, 2017
1st Q, 2017
4th Q, 2016
3rd Q, 2016
2nd Q, 2016
1st Q, 2016
3rd Q, 2015
2nd Q, 2015
1st Q, 2015
4th Q, 2014
3rd Q, 2014
2nd Q, 2014
1st Q, 2014
4th Q, 2013
3rd Q, 2013
January - June, 2013
January - June, 2012
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. Dreimers 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. Dreimers own life.
The diary is, in fact, a commentary on events in the news.
|Latest additions to the site:
March 19 Drivel -- the PC
revolution that will eat its young.
March 14, 2018
We have long been suspicious of Climate Alarmism: both the dire Predictions of Disaster, and the computer Model Projections of continual Warming linked to rising Gas Emissions have quite simply -- failed.
The inexorable Reality is this: if your Theory does not enable accurate Predictions, it is flawed and insufficient.
In Addition, the Alarmists have acted like slick Evangelists desperate to frighten their Audience of rural Rubes into dramatic Conversion and continuing financial Contribution to the Lords holy Work. They have proclaimed the Certainty of "settled Science" a sure Sign that the Distinction between Science and religious Conviction is one they have failed to make.
Recently, we have seen little Signs of Heresy. Some Scientists have recanted; others have admitted that their Predictions have been "overheated." President Trump has scandalized the World by rejecting the Paris Accord.
The latest bit of Apostasy comes from the Scientific American. An Article by John Horgan, the director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, analyzes Reports by Steven Pinker and Will Boisvert.
Neither disputes the Warming the Amount of which we think is, thus far, unproven but are more sanguine about its Effects than the average Politician who has seen the Sky, knows it to be falling, and, continuously, squawks the Alarm.
Professor Pinker argues that we can solve the Problems brought by Climate Change; he also cites the overwhelming Benefits of Industrialization which Alarmists tend to see as dangerous. (Breitbart News, March 12)
Will Boisvert, described as a "left-wing environmental expert," argues that Climate Change will lead to the mitigating Factor of the Availability of more Food by 2050.
While such Opinions do not strike at the Heart of the Issue what
are the Factors which determine global Temperatures? they do strike a
Blow at Alarmism. If Climageddon is not, in fact, just around the next
Corner, perhaps there will be fewer Calls for immediate Repentance,
diminished Pleas for human Sacrifice, and a Sense that it might be
possible to leave the hectic Arena of evangelical Haste, and return to a
less frantic, more measured Study of Science.
We have every Confidence that the Determination of how the Climate actually works and a considered View of our Options will lead to fewer headless Chickens propounding unproven Hypotheses about the Relationship between Gravity and the Sky.
We suspect that in a few Years we will look back at Climate Alarmism, and see it as simply another in the long List of "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds."*
Our human Tendency to be overcome by such popular Madness is, we suspect a Result of our instinctive Tribalism. Tribalism is the Cause of our human Success it has enabled us to reap the manifold Benefits of Co-operation. But every Benefit has its Cost. Tribalism requires few Leaders and many enthusiastic Followers. We are programmed not to think as Individuals which is isolating and uncomfortable but to roar, satisfyingly, with the Herd. The Herd is undoubtedly vulnerable to many different Types of Narrative but the religious Notion that a great Disaster the Result of our Sin is about to be unleashed seems to have a timeless Appeal.
It is the Narrative of Good and Evil.
For our Sins, we will be punished; but Repentance, Virtue, and Reward are still possible: we must first, believe, and then on Faith we must make our human Sacrifices. The Climate Scientists, appeased, will lead us to Green Pastures, and ensure that Goodness and Mercy will follow us, with gasless Benevolence, to the End of our Days.
*Charles Mackay, 1841
March 10, 2018
O brave new world,
We happened by Chance --to tune in to a Discussion of Political Correctness on Vision TV recently.
We were shocked, indeed: we had thought that any Discussion of the new Religion would be considered Blasphemy. The Government has recently indicated its extreme Displeasure at the Idea that Islam be subject to Criticism. In such an Environment, we assumed that all Religions would be considered Topics forbidden.
But such, apparently, is not the Case. Perhaps because Political Correctness has not yet been officially designated a Religion, the Government, in its extreme Benevolence, will allow some Discussion of the Matter.
We note that Jordan Peterson was on the Panel, and the toxic "Special Pronoun" Issue was discussed. Mr. Peterson is the Professor who has caused great Scandal by stating his Objection to the enforced Usage of special Pronouns requested by those who claim Recognition of their Perceptions of Gender Anomalies.
This Matter has been the Subject of recent Legislation. Last June, the Senate passed Bill C-16, which adds "gender identity or expression" to Grounds for Discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The new Crime is "refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity." (National Post, June 19, 2017)
This Refusal will be considered Discrimination in Matters of Employment, Housing, and Education.
The Magnitude of this Intrusion seems little appreciated. We were intrigued that a Panellist in Favour of such compelled Usage argued not merely that it was reasonable, but that a Refusal to use special Pronouns was tantamount to Approval of Murder. Since transgendered Persons are regularly murdered -- according to the Panellist -- any Disrespect of their Pronoun Wishes may be seen as a contributory Cause.
We did not think that we would live to see such a Descent into Madness.
It is hard to know where to begin. Perhaps, first of all, there is great Difficulty in making a personal Perception a Feeling more important than an objective Fact. When Someone claims to be of a Gender different than is objectively obvious, the Question must arise as to the Legitimacy of the Claim. People claim in all good Faith to be Queen Victoria, or the King of Siam. Their Requests to be addressed as "Your Majesty" are seldom compelled by Law. They are considered to be sincere, but insane.
We are not suggesting that those who feel transgendered are insane or even insincere. But we do not think that Error and Insincerity can always be ruled out. The Principle of accepting a Claim based on personal Perception alone is an awkward one. While it is a popular Idea that typical "Victims" should be believed on the Basis of their Victim Status, we think this to be a dubious Principle. The Requirement of Evidence cannot waived based on the Nature of the Complaint, the Status of the Complainant, or on a personal Perception. We should never discount the Possibility that a Victim may make a Claim with mischievous Intent. That Possibility is increased we would note -- when a Claimant has been granted exceptional Powers of enforcement -- leading to the possibility of harassment.
Giving some Citizens exceptional Powers over others in Matters where there is extreme Bias, and widespread Pre-conception seems unwise. For Example, it is worth noting that, in Pakistan, where there are Laws with severe Penalties for Blasphemy, and a Tendency to believe Accusations rather than Denials, the Claim of Blasphemy is used to settle personal Scores in unrelated Matters.
But let us imagine that the Problem of Evidence is solved. A clever Scientist discovers a Blood Test which gives an objective Basis for a Claim of Gender Difference. We do not need to fear mischievous Claims. We can be assured that when Someone claims a gender Difference, it has been verified as a Fact.
Even so, Problems remain.
While it might be reasonable and kind to accede to the Request by a transgendered Person to use a particular Pronoun, should a Failure to do so result in legal Penalty?
The Answer is "No."
Just as the Government would be oppressive if it were to legislate against Islamophobia to forbid Criticism and curtail Freedom of Speech it is even more oppressive to compel certain Kinds of Speech.
Further, not only is this an egregious Misuse of Government Power against Citizens but it gives a dangerous Weapon to those who have their Wishes and Desires backed by Governmental Power.
Power, as Lord Acton has noted, corrupts. Giving one Class of Citizens the Opportunity to wield extraordinary Power over everyone else, is extremely dangerous. It is, alas, in the Nature of human Nature to use Power to Advantage regardless of ethical Considerations. One can imagine a transgendered Person claiming that a Pronoun was used with insufficient Clarity and Frequency. It might be claimed that, by using a Persons Name, the Offender was clearly avoiding Government mandated Speech. Two transgendered Persons could conspire to make false Claim against innocent Citizens whom they wished to control or punish. A "Slip of the Tongue" or Error could be forgiven or not depending upon the Mood of the Offended One.
Additionally, such Weapons of arbitrary Injustice, may prove attractive to Others. Mr. Peterson, in the Discussion, pointed out that Weapons of War do not remain with one Side in a Battle. When the enormous Power of transgendered Persons to compel Speech becomes established other Groups of Citizens would likely seek a similar Advantage.
You see, we understand the Use of special Pronouns for transgendered Persons as a particular Example of a general Principle: passive Measures towards some noble Aim, are never enough. When the noble Aim is Equality the simple removal of Barriers for the Disadvantaged is never enough; active Compensation must be given in order to achieve "Equality." This is the Principle behind "Affirmative Action." "Bad" Discrimination is fought with "good Discrimination a Compensation -- an active Favouring of the Disadvantaged.
Being transgendered represents -- in the real World -- a considerable Awkwardness. One's actual Gender is a Refutation of One's Perceptions. It is an "Affliction" which confers "minority Status," and allows a Claim of Victimhood.
Just as Hiring Quotas and Affirmative Action Policies represent Compensation so transgendered Persons seek special Pronouns and the Power to enforce their Use as Compensation for their Distress and Minority Status.
But the Principle of Compensation for Minority Status has a general Attractiveness: why would not other Minority and Victim Groups seek similar Redress?
It would be entirely reasonable for Muslims, concerned about "Islamophobia" to seek Compensation. Not only would Criticism of the Religion be forbidden, but a special complimentary Form of Address would be required when addressing any Muslim.
The same could be said for Aboriginals seeking Compensation for past Wrongs -- or any "Visible Minority," or Group. Ninety-seven Pound Weaklings, the Elderly, the cosmetically or cognitively challenged would require special compensating Modes of Address to make them feel better.
Soon we predict every Minority Group would clamour for special Recognition and exaggerated Respect. It might even reach the Point that those without special Compensation would become a Minority, and claim an egalitarian Adjustment on that Account.
We will long for the Days when Everyone was just "He," or "She."
The Government proving, once again, that Governments are not noted for their Wisdom -- does not know what Folly and destructive Power it has unleashed.
February 20, 2018
When equality is the aim,
mediocrity is the result; when excellence is the aim, equality will find
its true place. (Observation #168)
The Pursuit of an Ideal must often lead to Absurdity since Ideals, by Definition, are theoretical, abstract Concepts which have a tenuous and uncertain Relationship with the real World.
Ideals, of Course, have one great Advantage over Practicalities: they sound good. Practicalities are always tainted by the Notion of Compromise, by an implied woeful Admission that they fall short of Perfection.
Thus it is that the Idealist always appears to be on a high Ground of moral Superiority: his Devotion is to Perfection; the practical Call to Compromise must always appear to involve some regrettable Degree of moral Failure. It is for this Reason than the Idealist is revered: his Intentions are noble, his Commitment is pure.
But, in the real World, Results count. Reality must eventually have its Revenge. The uncompromising Pursuit of the unattainable Ideal leads to a Loss of Function: in the End, the Dreams founder, and Things collapse. It is seen that imperfect Functioning is better than no Functioning at all.
These Reflections arise from the News Accounts that of Dalhousie University is currently advertising to obtain a Vice-Provost for Student Affairs. They have specified that they intend to consider only "racially visible persons" and "Aboriginal Peoples."
That they have some Perception of their Folly is indicated by their Attempt at Euphemism. All People are "racially visible." What the University means is that some racially visible People will be preferred over Others. We do not think we are leaping to an unjustified Conclusion by suggesting that "racially visible" white People will not be considered.
The University attempts to mask its real Message: White People need not apply.
Such obvious Discrimination based on Race is in Theory an Attempt to combat Discrimination based on Race. But it is still Discrimination based on Race, and is logically indefensible.
The best possible Argument for substituting one Type of Discrimination for another in such a Fashion is the Benefit of a sudden Jolting of old Prejudices. The Removal of Barriers, it could be argued, results in too slow an Alteration of customary Discriminations. A sudden Requirement to promote the Interests of a certain Group will lead more quickly to a Reversal of Prejudice. This, of course, can only be justified as a temporary Strategy. After some Period of Time, a Return must be made to Hiring on the Basis of Merit.
But such Strategies are never temporary. They become ingrained Discriminations as toxic as those which they are meant to replace.
The Reason that such Strategies are never temporary, and are pursued, essentially, forever, is based on an Ideal.
The ideal is that all Groups all Races are, in some magical Fashion, identical. If Green People make up twenty Percent of the Population, then twenty percent of all corporate Directors, Bicycle Mechanics, and Hairdressers should be Green. The Fact that many Green People may live in remote Areas, have inferior educational Accomplishments, or have a cultural Prejudice against Hairdressing is irrelevant.
It is this Notion of Equality where there is none which lies behind so many Programs of "Affirmative Action." There must be a constant Meddling by morally superior Beings to bring about the Outcome of Equality, which, they have no Doubt, is the Holy Grail of social Goodness. "Equality" of course, is an Ideal Concept. "Merit" is a practical one.
The blind Pursuit of the Ideal of Equality sounds good; but it is
Merit and Competence that are needed for superior Function.
It is interesting to see how far the Egalitarians will go to justify their discriminatory Practices.
In the Case of Dalhousie University, Jasmine Walsh, the assistant Vice-President of Human Resources has said:
From my perspective there isnt a merit argument that runs counter to this (race-based restrictions on job applicants.) In fact this actually is the way for us to develop the most meritorious faculty and staff population...it is critically important that students who are coming on to campus are able to see themselves reflected. (National Post February 16, 2018)
This is a fascinating Way of redefining "Merit"
The most meritorious Candidate, according to Ms. Walsh, is not the most competent, nor the most skilled at interpersonal Relations; rather it is the Candidate who can make Students we think she means Students belonging to particular Races "see themselves reflected."
The University, thus, does not seem to focus on Knowledge, but on some Sort of "feel good" Perception of Students. What is important is that those from particular racial Groups are comforted by the Fact the Notion of proportional Representation based on the false Notion of "Equality" is reflected in the Faculty.
The Approach of Dalhousie University does not appear to be an isolated Incident rather it seems to reflect a Trend in current Thought. There is no such thing as Objectivity in human Affairs. Everything must be seen through the Lens of personal Perception.
Thus, Political Correctness emphasizes the Primacy of Feelings: someone who feels offended must be coddled and compensated; no Effort should be wasted to determine whether the Emotion experienced is reasonable, or justified by the Facts.
According to the Laws of cultural Appropriation, no human Being may write about a Culture different from his own. Taken to its logical Absurdity, a black transgendered double Amputee from Louisiana could not legitimately write a story about a white transgendered double Amputee from Georgia.
In terms of legal Proceedings, a Jury is not able to arrive at a just Verdict if the Races or Backgrounds of its Members differ from that of the Accused. The logical Absurdity, once again, is that only a Jury of white lesbian Mothers brought up in Poverty can adequately judge the Guilt of a white lesbian Mother brought up in Poverty.
The Focus on Feelings is a Rabbit-Hole leading to the Mad Hatters Tea Party.
That Party must eventually founder on Absurdity the Lack of Function. In the End, there must be an objective Reality in which human Particularities can be subsumed.
The University of Dalhousie should stop imagining that the best Faculty is that carefully manipulated to reflect Notions about the Equality of Racial Groups. When Barriers are removed, racial Groups will be reflected according to the Inclinations and Abilities of their Members.
Nor should they believe that making Students feel good because Faculty is "diverse" is more important than enabling Students to acquire Knowledge and function effectively.
In the end, Merit is more important that Equality.
Equality offers ambrosia in a poisoned chalice -- but Merit has never acquired a taste for suicide. (Observation #527)
February 10, 2018
Although Mr. Trudeau is a man of many Deficiencies, we must grant him the Virtue of Reliability. He may be counted on to express Opinions which are politically correct Opinions which are designed to be studiously inoffensive, and universally acceptable.
Politically correct Opinions, of course, are those which take, as their Bedrock, the Assumption of Equality the equal Virtue and Worthiness of all human Beings, and the Cultures which they represent.
It is for this Reason that Mr. Trudeau embraces Multiculturalism. In his Mind such as it is all Cultures are equally worthy and, when examined through a generous, politically correct Lens, may be seen to have a Commonality of Values. These Values are comfortable, familiar; they are, indeed, in Spirit and Detail, "Canadian Values."
Thus Mr. Trudeau found it offensive some Years ago -- that Honour Killings should be described as "barbaric." Such a Term suggests a manifest Inequality a Difference between "civilized" and "primitive." Although Mr. Trudeau never suggested a Replacement for the Term, he would likely approve of "alternatively mandated" or perhaps "uniquely derived"-- or "traditionally sanctioned."
Similarly, Mr. Trudeau sees all Religions as equally benign. He is noted for speaking at Mosques, and for approving the Wearing of the Niqab at Citizenship Ceremonies. It is his Government which approved Motion M-103, which calls for a Banishment of "Islamophobia" as if the Government could dictate to Citizens the Emotions which they might, with Legitimacy, experience.
When it came to forming his Cabinet, Mr. Trudeau made much Show of choosing equal Numbers of Men and Women. He was anxious to overlook Merit in order to signal his Virtue, his Belief that Men and Women should have equal Representation regardless of their different Interests in all Fields of human Endeavour.
The wonderful thing about Political Correctness is its congenital Blindness. It is incapable of detecting Differences, for Differences suggest Inequalities the Possibility the Horror that some Things might be Superior to Others. Political Correctness looking on the Landscape of Reality the Mountain and the Abyss sees only a benign and level Plain extending as far as Perception may persist.
Mr. Trudeau has come to our Attention recently because at a "Town Hall" Meeting in Edmonton, he interrupted a Woman who used the Word "Mankind."
This Word, which represents a traditional Use of the Word "Man" as representing our Species does not meet the Requirements of Political Correctness, since it uses the Word "Man" instead of a Term more "inclusive" a Word which avoids specifying "Man" as opposed to "Woman."
"Humanity" or "Humankind" would be acceptable, but Mr. Trudeau said:
"We like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind, because its
Mr. Trudeau could not resist the Opportunity to signal his Virtue, and correct the Questioner, but in doing so he made a bizarre Choice of Alternative which drew Attention to the Contortions which are required to meet the Demands of Political Correctness. For this, he has accrued much deserved Ridicule.
But what is more interesting that some have suggested he was joking. Even the National Post has approved this Interpretation, and Mr. Trudeau has subsequently claimed:
"You all know that I dont necessarily have the best of track records on jokes. I made a dumb joke a few days ago that seems to have gone a little viral. It played well in the room and in context. Out of context, it doesnt play so well. Its a little reminder to me that I shouldnt be making jokes even when I think theyre funny."
This of Course is a Load of Excrementum Tauri.
Such a Joke would have been made by one who was attempting to ridicule the Notion of changing the Language to reflect "Equality" and "Inclusivity." It would have been made by one who deplores the posturing Contortions of Political Correctness, and who was exaggerating them for comic Effect.
Mr. Trudeau is not that Man. His Thought Processes, such as they are, reflect soothing Mantras and happy Platitudes. He is not a critical Thinker. He is not a Thinker. He is, if Anything, a Reflector of the current Mode of Belief in the level, boring, equal Plain and Plainness of the Ideal Society.
We have had Occasion to address this Matter, in general Terms, with some Observations on Political Correctness and Laughter:
Laughter arises from a triumphant perception of unexpected differences. The politically correct can never acknowledge differences -- which is why they are so grimly humourless. (Observation # 972)
Political correctness is always serious -- determinedly empathetic, and cautiously apprehensive. Laughter is spontaneous, and doesn't give a damn. The politically correct can never be jolly. (Observation # 973)
No, Mr. Trudeau was not making a Joke. He was signalling his egalitarian Virtues. When that backfired, he pretended that he was making a Joke. He is, in Fact, operating in a Sphere beyond his Level of Competence.
February 6, 2018
It is the Fashion, in the current Age, to seek "Equality Success" when real Success and Accomplishment are elusive.
Any Group which feels slighted either in the Past or Present and has not achieved the Success of some other Group, is not limited to the Revenge of Accomplishment it may seek the Revenge of Victimhood.
Because there is much Concern, in the modern Age, that the God of Equality be seen to reign in human Affairs, it is deemed reasonable and natural that those crying "Victim" be given special Treatment and Consideration. They are deserving and must be compensated whether they suffer from the Vagaries of Fate or their own Incompetence -- they may demand and receive special Treatment.
We see the Terms "Victimhood" and "Equality Success" as virtually interchangeable. A successful Claim of Victimhood is the Achievement of "Equality Success."
We write today of what we think is an interesting Example.
A Group of Students at the University of Central Florida thought it would be appropriate to establish a "Try a Hijab" Booth on Campus.
We have, of Course, no Objection to such an Enterprise. However, our innate Political Incorrectness requires us to point out that the Hijab is a Symbol of a Religion with many Flaws. The Sharia Law of Islam is incompatible with Democracy, and the Religion itself opposes Freedom of Speech. Countries dominated by Islam have been relatively unsuccessful in the Creation of free, open, prosperous, and creative Societies.
Indeed, we would point out that the dominant Religion in the United States is Christianity, and while we think all Religions to be woefully lacking in Evidence and to be potentially oppressive, we have no Hesitation in stating the obvious: it is, at the present Time, far less oppressive and troubling than Islam.
Thus, while it is quite acceptable -- though, in our View, foolish -- to promote the Wearing and Purchase of Hijabs, we would not be surprised if the "Try a Hijab" Booth in central Florida, was not overwhelmed by Success.
The Article to which we refer from Breitbart News on February 2*, does not give any Indication of the relative Success of the Booth.
However, there is some Evidence which is suggestive.
A Student, Kathy Zhu, visited the Event, declined to try a Hijab, but took Pictures of the Booth. Her Twitter Comment read:
Theres a "try a hijab on" booth at my college campus." So youre telling me that its now just a fashion accessory and not a religious thing? Or are you just trying to get women used to being oppressed under Islam?
What followed next is instructive. One of the Students at the Booth replied:
Im in the back of the first pic (w/o my consent lol) and I invited you to try one on and you said no thank you. You didnt take the time to even ask questions or try to understand what Hijab is. Thats ignorant of you. You literally sprinted after taking the photos. Pathetic.
Not content with that, the offended Student sent an email to the University of Central Florida Office of Student Conduct, and urged her Supporters to contact the Office and call for Zhus Expulsion.
The Matter is, of course, absurd. The Campus is a public Place, and Permission is not required to take Photographs. Nor is it mandatory to listen to a Viewpoint which stands already discredited by overwhelming contrary Evidence. The Symbol of a morally troubling Religion cannot be made pleasing by any Amount of Explanation. Though a Hijab may make Claim to be a "fashion accessory," it cannot be divorced from the Religion of Islam, which denies Equality of Opportunity and Treatment for Women.
We admit that our Case is not conclusively proven but our Interpretation runs thus:
Trying to sell Hijabs literally and figuratively is unlikely to meet with Success in central Florida.
The alternative to real Success is "Equality Success." We cannot imagine the Claim for Expulsion being based on Anything but the Perception that it would be favourably perceived. It would be favourably perceived because Ms. Zhu had the Temerity to state the Obvious: the Hijab is associated with the Oppression of Women.
This runs counter to the Notion of "Equality." Islam must not be criticised because, while it is flawed, Flaws must not be pointed out. It is actually unequal, but "officially" equal and thereby is deserving of special Protection and Compensation when its lack of Equality is noted. It deserves the "Equality Success" of established Victimhood. Expulsion, then, becomes a reasonable Punishment for Criticism of Islam. A similar Criticism of Christianity, of course, would not be considered the same Way. It does not have "Victim" Status, and will not qualify for "Equality Success."
Sometimes, in Moments of Idleness, we wonder how long Insanity can hide wrapped in the flimsy Robes of political Correctness, and wearing the worn, poorly contrived Mask of "Equality."
Aristotle: "The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal."
*University of Central Florida Try a Hijab Event Participant Starts Campaign to Expel Peer for Taking Photos
February 2, 2018
When prejudicial barriers to
participation in employment are removed -- liberty is enhanced. But the
requirement that a particular group be represented in any type of
employment is restrictive. "Equality" purchased at the cost of liberty
should be given its true name: oppression. (Observation # 1283)
The Pursuit of impossible Ideals invariably leads to the Abyss but this Wisdom is not easily absorbed. Such is the Nature of human Aspiration, that Facts are seldom allowed to interfere with Dreams of an ideal State.
It is for this Reason, for Example, that Socialism retains its Allure. Socialism promises the Balm of Equality and although it has never been successful always resulting in Coercion and Oppression the Dream persists. As Mr. Einstein has pointed out, doing the same Thing repeatedly and expecting a different Result, is a good Definition of Insanity.
It is sobering to think that Insanity appears to be a well-established Element in the human Psyche.
We have been alerted to Insanity -- the continuing Pursuit of the Impossible -- by a recent Column by Mr. Ivison in yesterdays Edition of the National Post.
The Liberal Government has introduced Bill C-25, which requires Corporations to rank their "Diversity Policy" above the Interests of Shareholders. If they fail to do so, they must explain why.
It is, of course, accepted that Corporations in civilized Societies are restricted in their Pursuit of Profit: the Welfare and Safety of Employees can not be disregarded. On the other Hand, to require Corporations to hire Employees on the Basis of Group Identity, rather than Merit, seems needlessly intrusive. It seeks to make the Organization a Tool of a questionable Pursuit of an Ideal: a Workforce which reflects an "ideal" Representation of government-designated Groups.
Apparently more Intrusion lurks.
Several Senators have complained that the Bill is insufficiently coercive. They wish to add Amendments which would require Policies which would set numerical Goals and Timetables for "female, indigenous, disabled, and visible minority board representation." (National Post, February 1)
The Senators cunningly assure that us that the Amendments would not set Quotas. However deceptively -- they require that Quotas be set.
The Thinking behind the Amendments is highly idealistic. The Assumption is that every Board should have some Number of Females, indigenous Persons, the Disabled, and Representatives of "visible Minorities."
The Notion appears to be that in a perfect World since all Groups of People are equally able any proper Collection of Workers will naturally -- contain Representatives of any designated Group. People should not be hired on the Basis of their Competence, but rather, on their "representational" Value. It is the Principle of "Representationalism."
We would suggest that the ideal World and the real One are at a considerable Distance. The Fact that Females are found less often in corporate Boardrooms may have to do with their Interests: not as many Females may be enamoured of corporate Ladder-Climbing. Similarly, large Numbers of indigenous Persons live on remote Reserves, and do not pursue advanced Education. Disabled People may face Challenges which prevent them from competing in the Race to the corporate Boardroom. Many from visible Minorities may not have had time to adapt to the Culture of corporate Capitalism, or overcome Barriers of Language.
It is one Thing to remove Barriers to Entry to any Occupation, Profession, or Endeavour. It is quite another to expect and mandate that every Occupation, Profession, or Endeavour should contain Representatives of any Group.
The Interference with Corporate Policy is typical of the Coercion that one encounters with Socialism it is the Oppression that is needed to achieve "Equality."
And the Principle undermines the competitive Reality: Merit and Competence are the Keys to Success. When Success is made secondary to idealistic Dreams, the Result will not be beneficial.* First, Success will as desired become elusive. Second the "Equality" sought will not be achieved; that Fact will require increasingly stringent Oppressions, and further Reductions in Success. In the End, there is neither Success, nor Equality.
"When equality is the aim, mediocrity is the result; when excellence is the aim, equality will find its true place." (Observation 168)
We would also note that those "chosen" not because of their Competence but because of their Group Identity will almost certainly find that their "Psychic Income" is significantly impaired. Most People prefer to earn their Rewards the Prize bestowed in the Absence of commensurate Accomplishment is hollow: it reverberates -- afar -- its Emptiness.
Every Society will reflect the complementary Elements of Co-Operation and Competition. There is a delicate Balance. If Competition is the only Concern, then "Society" as we know it disappears it is subsumed in the "Law of the Jungle." It may be comforting to think that we are all "co-operatively" equal but Co-Operation also has its Limits. "Equality" is is a "sound good" Trap: Merit and Competence determined by Competition are the Ingredients for Accomplishment and Success.
We think the socialist Senators would be well-advised to give up their Insanity.
*Some may argue that "Diversity" does, in Fact, lead to Success. In that Case, there is no Need to mandate it it will be driven by its Merits not because it sounds good.
January 30 2018
More Nutty Professors
There can be no innocence where a feeling is determined to be hurt. (Observation 803)
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (Matthew, 7:4)
We are beginning to believe that a new Malady, Professoris Nuttiensis, is overtaking our Institutions of higher Learning. We suspect that it begins with an Infection with the Pathogen Correctus Politicus which passes the Blood/ Brain Barrier and insinuates itself into the farthest Reaches of the Cortex, and, over Time, works to turn the whole Structure into Mush.
The latest Example of the Spread of the Disease is an Article entitled Yoga and the Roots of Cultural Appropriation, by Shreena Ghandi, a Professor of Religious Studies at Michigan State University, and Lillie Wolff, "a self-described anti-racist white Jewish organizer, facilitator, and healer, who has called for decolonizing yoga." (Breitbart News, January 30)
We quote from the Article in Breitbart News:
Yoga contributes to our economic system, but never forget this system is one built upon exploitation and commodification of labor, often the labor of black people and people of the global south.
Hmmm. Is this the Principle of Condemnation by Contribution? If Yoga is to be condemned by its Contribution to a System built upon the Exploitation of Black Labour, then surely every contributing Element must be condemned. Wheat? Medicine? What are these People talking about?
Yoga, like so many other colonized systems of practice and knowledge, did not appear in the American spiritual landscape by coincidence; rather, its popularity was a direct consequence of a larger system of cultural appropriation that capitalism engenders and reifies.
Ah, now we are getting the Drift. Yoga is to be condemned because it is Part of a disgraceful Process of capitalistic Cultural Appropriation. Are we to understand that no Culture is to adopt Practices and Knowledge of another? We would assume then, that India should end the disturbing appropriating Practice of Transportation by Railways.
Next we come to a long Paragraph:
This complex socio-political reality of the U.S. is key to understanding how the cultural void of white society is intimately mixed with white supremacy, capitalism, and globalization; and it is within these oppressive structures that cultural appropriation and the yoga industrial complex flourishes. People are grasping for something to belong and connect to outside of the empty and shallow societal anchors of materialism and consumerism, which do not nourish or empower people in any sort of meaningful or sustainable way. People are searching for these things without even understanding why there is a void in the first place. Few white people make the connection between their attraction to yoga and the cultural loss their ancestors and relatives experienced when they bought into white dominant culture in order to access resources. Many Europeans did not fully grasp what they were giving up and what they were investing in, yet many did, and most who arrived on these shores chose to stay here rather than return to their home country. Few white people make the connection between their love of yoga and their desire and ability to access traditions from historically oppressed communities of color.
|Now we must condemn Yoga in the West because
it is loved by the wrong People. These are People who, unaware of a Void
created by their Ancestors who, shamefully, "bought into white dominant
culture" in the Exploitation of Resources, now seek to fill that
unrecognized void with Yoga. We assume that these Resources, virtuously,
were to be left alone, and not exploited to create Wealth and Freedom
for its exploiting Citizens. Somehow, these foolish People should be
making a Connection between their Love of Yoga and the terrible Crime of
"accessing" Traditions of "historically oppressed communities of color."
Oh, The Horror! The Horror!
In Part, the Article appears to be about the Sin of Cultural Appropriation as shown by the Practice of Yoga in the West. There are some People who have shown some Interest in an ancient Indian Practice, but because they are the wrong Sort of People with the wrong Sort of Culture, the Yoga that they Practice is tainted, vile, and to be condemned. Instead of seeing Imitation as the sincerest Form of Flattery, the Authors are bound and determined to see it as a "cultural Appropriation" an insensitive Insult.
What Remedy, then, would they suggest? That No One in the West should show an Interest in Yoga? That they only Practice Yoga after confessing their Sins and those of their Ancestors? That their Yoga Practice be directed by a certified Indian Yoga Master who will constantly remind them of their inferior Culture?
A Search for Insult, of course, conducted with sufficient Diligence, is assured of a successful Result. The Authors, having searched, have found Evidence of the Insult of cultural Appropriation.
Whether the Discovery of that Insult will enhance or detract from the total Sum of human Happiness is in Question. We think Nutty Professors might spend their Time more productively, being less interested in finding Cause for Insult. Often Complaints of cultural Appropriation are seen as compensatory Mechanisms. Successful Cultures accomplish, and are too busy to be concerned about Insults; the less successful, not too busy with Accomplishments, find Time to be constantly offended.
But, it would appear that the Sin of Cultural Appropriation does not represent the main Thrust of the Article. That Sin is used, rather, as a Means to refer to a larger Condemnation of the offending Culture. Conveniently ignoring the Fact that most other Cultures -- including that of India --are even less egalitarian than the United States, they seek to condemn the appropriating Culture with a Litany of inegalitarian Oppressions. Paradise, disappointingly, has yet to be found. Thus the
modern day trend of cultural appropriation of yoga is a continuation of white supremacy and colonialism, maintaining the pattern of white people consuming the stuff of culture that is convenient and portable, while ignoring the well-being and liberation of Indian people ...We must ask, in what ways are we complicit in a system that harms People of Color, queer and trans people, poor people, people with disabilities, and immigrants?
Are they saying that somehow, the Practice of Yoga is not possible without some implicit Approval of a Host of Harms to those disadvantaged in Life? It seems a bit of a "Stretch." Or are they just taking a further opportunistic Stab -- showing their Determination to find Evil in western Culture?
There is more Elasticity. It is interesting to note that earlier Paragraphs mention "white society," "white supremacy" and "white dominant culture." The above Paragraph refers to the "pattern of white people." These Phrases suggest that more than "Culture" is criticized. The Problem appears to be racial a Problem of "white people." So much for the "anti-racist" Lillie Wolff.
We think Shreena Ghandi and Lillie Wolff have entirely too much Time on their Hands. They are determined to criticize Western Culture by seeing the Practice of Yoga as a symbol of Insensitivity -- an underlying unredeemable moral Rot for which they offer no Path to Redemption. It's so politically correct. They might try accomplishing Something. Perhaps finding the significant Beam in their own Eyes?
January 25, 2018
We wonder whether we may now declare the Day of the male Politician to be over.
Patrick Brown, the Leader of the provincial Conservatives has just resigned because of Allegations of sexual Misconduct about ten Years ago.
Mr. Brown although not a particularly inspiring Leader seemed likely to win the coming Election against Kathleen Wynne whose Popularity is said to be counted in Figures resembling those used to describe Rolls at the Bakery, Roses at the Florist Shop, or the Disciples of Jesus.
Mr. Brown has denied the Allegations, but, in such Matters, Allegations are the practical equivalent of Trials and Convictions.
Those close to Mr Brown, Nick Bergamini, his Press Secretary, his Chief of Staff Alykhan Velshi, his Deputy Chief of Staff, Joshua Workman, his Campaign Manager Andrew Boddington, and his Deputy Campaign Manager Dan Robertson, all resigned almost immediately.
This may be taken, not so much as an Indication of their Belief in his Guilt, but as a Sign of their Practicality: Guilt or Innocence is irrelevant; once the Suspicion has been raised, Resistance is futile.
Mr. Brown himself, after declaring the Falsity of the Allegations on Wednesday, has resigned today.
We cannot help but note the wonderfully fortuitous Timing of the Accusations. After ten Years, two anonymous Women, simultaneously no Doubt by Chance each separately engaged in looking through old Photo Albums reminiscing about her youthful Exploits -- came to exactly the same Realization it was Time to telephone the Media with their Memories* of Patrick Brown.
Their Accusations would have the certain Consequence of scuttling a political Career but we are sure that Fact had Nothing to do with the Immediate Necessity of delineating their ancient personal Angst to CTV News. It is, after all, often thus -- the first Idea that pops into the Heads of those remembering unpleasant Experiences of their Youth is to alert the nearest Television Station.
What seems to have been overlooked thus far, is that this Circumstance has significant Implications for Politics in general. Is not every Male Politician with the possible Exception of Mr. Trump vulnerable to the same Strategy? Could not any political Party find Those with the ancient Memory of a past Indiscretion of a male Opponent? Why argue a political Position when a political Execution is cheap, quick, and simple?
And if so --why would any Male enter Politics, knowing that his Career was subject to summary and immediate Death by Accusation regardless of the Facts of the Matter?
Women Politicians do not at the Time of this Writing face any similar Hurdle. Men are seldom heard complaining of sexual Advances made by Females ten Years in the Past. And it seems unlikely that such a Complaint made against a female Politician would have devastating Results.
We have little Hesitation in proclaiming that the Age of the male Politician is doornail dead.
Henceforth, we will be governed by Females; Men will be occupied with the important Task of improving their Golf Games.
As a side Note, it has been pointed out that The Conservatives may, in fact recover from this Blow. Mr. Brown has not been able to define himself clearly in the Minds of Voters and has expressed his Approval of a Tax on Carbon which places him in the Camp of Leftist Climageddonists. Some have questioned whether, in Fact, he is a Liberal Wolf draped in Conservative Sheepskin.
Ms. Wynne is so deservedly unpopular that perhaps a conservative Robot (Female is safest) with a pleasant speaking Voice could send her to the underground Circle appropriate to the Infernality of her political Career.
"Tis a Consummation devoutly to be wished."
* We note that the Accusations are summarized as follows by Chris Selley in the National Post of this date:
1.The allegations, as reported by CTV: More than 10 years ago, Brown, then an MP in Ottawa, invited two women he met in a bar back to his house in Barrie and served them drinks. One was a high school student, underage, and during a tour of Browns home she alleges he strongly suggested she perform oral sex on him.
"I dont know if he said suck my dick or put this in your mouth, but something along those lines," the woman told CTV. She says she complied for "a short time" before stopping. "It was like a controlling thing like I just remember I wanted to go, but that wasnt happening."
2. Another woman told CTV she met Brown on an Air Canada flight in 2012, when she was 18. He provided her tips on gaining entrance to bars in Barrie despite her age, she alleges, and later hired her to work in his constituency office. After a party the next year, while drunk, she alleges Brown kissed her and "laid me down on the bed and got on top of me." She told him to stop and he drove her home, CTV reports. She says considers the encounter to have constituted "sexual assault."
January 20, 2018
The difference is too nice -- Where ends the virtue or begins the vice. (Alexander Pope, 1688 - 1744)
We are fond of pointing out that every Virtue, if it be pursued with sufficient Vigour, runs the Risk of transforming into Vice. It is a Notion that satisfies our curmudgeonly Perception that Nothing in Life is as easy as it appears.
In our present Society, there is a great Determination to find Virtue especially where it does not exist -- and to proclaim that the very Discovery is, in and of itself, virtuous.
This would appear to be true in the Case of Khawlah Noman, an eleven-year-old Student who claimed that as she walked to School with her younger Brother, a Man appeared and attempted to cut her Hijab with Scissors.
Had Khawlah complained that her Book of Provident Poems had been snatched, or her pet Rabbit, Floppy, had been abducted, the Incident would not have received international Attention.*
But a Hijab is not just a Hijab: it is a Symbol of Islam.
Islam, of course, is a Religion, which, when interpreted literally, is thoroughly barbaric and incompatible with Democracy and Freedom of Speech. It is not always interpreted literally; however, it quite often is and therein lies a great and troubling Problem.
Those who interpret the Religion benignly appear to believe that their Interpretation represents the true and only legitimate Path. They ignore the troubling Nature of some of the Texts, and pretend that those who take them seriously are in Error. This, alas, is a convenient Fiction. Those who believe in Sharia Law, who hold that the Religion must never be criticized, who maintain that Religion should dictate Government, or who see Death as a suitable Punishment for Apostasy, have ample Justification for their Positions in religious Texts.
The Truth is often unpleasant, and many People of good Intentions prefer to ignore it, hoping that it will, wilting in the Absence of the Limelight, conveniently vanish. Thus many who do not subscribe to the Islamic Faith, would prefer to see it as entirely benign. When the Religion is attacked, they will not admit to its Flaws but pretend to its Felicities.
In this Way, they believe they are promoting the Virtue of Harmony. They have a "preferred narrative" which is pleasant and reassuring. It becomes a Belief that must be defended at all Costs.
Contrarily, we have always maintained that "A failure to face reality allows it to stab you in the back."
But back to Khawlah. She should have complained of an abducted Rabbit. Because she complained of an attacked Hijab, all those committed to the "preferred narrative" leaped into Action.
Mr. Trudeau was quick to see the Attack as symbolic, and, although No One had suggested that it was, rejected the Notion that it represented "Canadian Values." The Mayor of Toronto, and the Premier, the esteemed Kathleen Wynne responded in similar Fashion.
Not surprisingly, there were those determined to wipe out "Islamophobia" who saw an Opportunity to advance their Cause:
"Having the police recognize this as a potential hate crime is a much greater act of deterrence, and a signal that Islamophobia will not be tolerated," said Mohammed Hashim, a member of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. (The Toronto Star, Jan 12)
As it has turned out, the Incident did not occur. It was a Hoax. The Family has issued an Apology.
The real Story the true Cause and Motivation the rτles of the Brother and Mother will doubtless never be discovered. The Matter looks suspicious, but may simply be a Result of childish Stupidity. We will withhold Judgment.
While we admit to being Islamophobic we know of no other Religion which is so frightening we do not, of course, advocate any Attack beyond Criticism of the Flaws of the Religion -- it is incompatible, in its Theory, with Democracy,** with Freedom of Speech, and with modern secular Societies.
Those in Government, of course, wish to find Nothing but Virtue in Islam. Their "preferred narrative" is that religious and cultural Differences are minor and unimportant. If there is a Dispute, and they are forced to find Error, they have chosen to find it -- not in the frightening Religion -- but, perversely, in those who find it frightening. They seek to uphold Islam, condemn "Islamophobia," and congratulate themselves on the Virtue of their own uncritical Tolerance.
In this Case, they expected to find Virtue in the Victim of a physical Attack, and their Outrage was not occasioned by the Severity of the apparent Attack, but by its Significance as a Symbol. They wished to signal their own virtuous Approval of the Islamic Faith, and reinforce their Condemnation of "Islamophobia."
As a Result, they have been made to look foolish and injudicious. Perhaps, in the Future they will determine first where Virtue lies, and signal their own moral Superiority later.
We do not, of course, expect Government Leaders to criticize any Religion. On the other Hand, their Attempts to support one Religion -- and silence Criticism of it -- cannot end well. It is an Abandonment of the Principle of Freedom of Speech.
Indeed, it is ironic that their too-rapid Signalling of Virtue suggests the unacknowledged Truth of the Matter: the Flaws of Islam are so great that exceptional Effort must be expended to pretend they do not exist. The chief Desire is Harmony; the cherished Belief is that awkward Facts, robustly denied, will, obligingly, cease to exist.
But the "Virtue" they seek is purchased with a Lie, and their
Attempts to preserve it represent a Curtailment of Liberty.
*We leave the Reader to imagine the Response if an Attempt had been made to steal a Christian Cross.
**The European Court of Human Rights determined on July 31, 2001, that "the institution of Sharia law and a theocratic regime, were incompatible with the requirements of a democratic society." (WikiIslam)
January 10, 2018
We have long been suspicious of the Climate Alarmists. We have, of course, no Expertise in the Matter of Climate. Just like ninety-nine Percent of the Population, we have to rely on our trusty Bullshit Detector and a modest Supply of common Sense in separating Fact from Fiction in Pronouncements about the Climate.
Our Eyes tend to glaze over when we hear Discussions of Polar Bear Habitat, the Decline of Arctic Ice, or the varying Rates of Warming over the last one hundred Years.
Warming is irrelevant; the Cause is important. The Alarmists believe that Mankind is responsible; their Theory is that as Greenhouse Gasses go up so does the Temperature.
The great Difficulty they have encountered is that all their Predictions made on the Basis of the Theory have not been validated by Experience. Common Sense, then, suggests that their Theory is flawed.
Beyond that, we can scarcely imagine a less convincing Bunch. They say stupid Things like "The Science is settled." Their most prominent Spokespersons have no Expertise in Climate, and show by their own Actions that they do not believe a single Word of their Gospel. Their Aim appears to be to ride a convenient Bandwagon to Wealth. Many of the alarmist "Scientists" seem anxious -- not to determine the Truth -- but to protect their Turf and Reputations.
Finally, the Ferocity and absolute Certainty of Alarmists do not suggest Confidence in Facts; rather, they suggest the devious Proselytizing for a new, improved Scientology.
We are pleased to report that the Tide appears to be turning. According to an Article in Breitbart News, a Review by Kenneth Richards of Climate Change Literature for 2017, reveals that at least 485 Skeptical Papers were published.
According to Richards analysis, the 485 new papers underscore the "significant limitations and uncertainties inherent in our understanding of climate and climate changes," which in turn suggests that climate science is not nearly as settled as media reports and some policymakers would have people believe. (Breitbart News, January 9)
There are four main Categories of Skepticism.
First, over 100 Papers examine the influence of the Sun on Climate suggesting that the Concentrations of CO2 may not be of supreme Importance.
Second, the Idea of "unprecedented" Warming, Sea Levels, Se Ice Retreat, Hurricanes is questioned. Thirteen Papers suggested that these fall with the normal Range. Thirty eight found no significant human Causality in rising Sea Levels.
Third, Doubt was cast on the Reliability of Computer Models, suggesting that Computer Predictions "are little more than speculation."
Twenty-eight of the articles in question examined climate model unreliability, including factual errors and the influence of biases, while an additional 12 found no net global warming during the 20th/21st century.
Finally, the Effectiveness of Government Policies with Respect to Emissions and renewable Energy was questioned.
In this category, 12 of the papers documented the failures of policies targeting renewable energy and climate, 8 contended that wind power is harming the environment and biosphere, 13 argued that elevated CO2 levels make for a greener planet with higher crop yields, and 5 proposed that warming is beneficial to both humans and wildlife.
We are pleased that the period of religious Ecstasy seems to be passing. The Parishioners, having drunk the heady Brew of Mindless Devotion, and danced their Souls before the Altar of Climageddon, have begun to awake from the Trance. The Brew is now being analysed; the Microscope has replaced the Magic Feather of Divination; a List of Potencies and spurious Ingredients is being drawn up.
Perhaps we may see, in not distant Times, the interesting and instructive Results of scientific Sobriety.
January 8, 2018
"The cultural grievance industry -- like any other -- will fold when it ceases to be profitable."
"The number of cultural grievance tantrums will rise in direct proportion to the kind and solicitous attention paid to them." (Henceforth this will be known as Dr. Dreimer's First Law of Cultural Sensitivity.)
"The number of cultural grievance tantrums will decline in direct proportion to the amount of ridicule they elicit." (Henceforth this will be known as Dr. Dreimer's Second Law of Cultural Sensitivity.)
"Every culture seeks success; some do it through economic progress, enhanced social stability, and creative endeavours; others by constantly emphasizing their lack of it -- their righteous claim to victimhood."
(Observations 1265 - 1268)
We take it as self evident that People and the Tribes to which they belong will generally seek to improve their Circumstances.
It is, alas, a Law of Nature that Equality is to be found only in the human Imagination. Thus, both People and the Tribes to which they belong have not had as the historical Record shows -- equal Success in their Endeavours.
Some Peoples have prospered; others have had less Success. As we are fond of pointing out, those Cultures dominated by Religion have been less successful in creating pleasant Societies than those who have managed to make Religion less important than the State.
As well, some Cultures have made great Progress in Science and Technology, while others have not.
Currently, one of the great Divides in this fair Land is between those descended from those who originally occupied it the Aboriginals and those descended from those who conquered it and made unfortunate and counter-productive Attempts to assimilate the Aboriginals.
The Facts which are cruel and unforgiving are that the original Settlers did not invent the Wheel, the Steam Engine, or the Telegraph. Nor did they have written Languages. In all these Matters, they were not as advanced as the conquering Europeans.
Of course, in the present Utopia, cruel and unforgiving Facts Facts which suggest Inequality must not be mentioned. Instead, there is a desperate Attempt to find a Set of compensating Circumstances. If the aboriginal Inhabitants did not have the Wheel, or written Language they were it is supposed morally superior. They lived in a Golden Age of Mankind, in Peace with one another, and in Harmony with the great Mother Earth. The Rabbit it is said sensing the Hunger of native Peoples would hop obligingly into the steaming Pot; the Beaver would remove his Pelt on the sharp Rocks, and present it -- in the Spirit of natural Harmony to those in Need of Clothing.
This, of course, is complete Nonsense. Indian Tribes were constantly at War, and they were not pleasant to their Enemies. They were in Harmony with Nature only in the Sense that they had found Means to survive in it.
But it is happy Nonsense. It is Nonsense that evens Things out: the technologically superior Tribes are made to feel guilty and ashamed; the technologically inferior Tribes are given a convenient Stick with which to beat the Descendants of their Ancestors Oppressors
Their moral Superiority is enhanced by the Fact that they were
defeated and by the Standards of the present Day -- badly treated by
the conquering, more advanced Tribes.
Now, it may well be claimed that all this Nonsense is, in Fact, a necessary Wisdom. Only through illusory Nonsense can aboriginal People be made to feel confident and successful and the Interlopers be made to feel sufficiently miserable so that everyone will live happily ever after.
We do not think so. Our Opinion is we believe more realistic. Those who are obsessed with ancient Grievance, rather than present Opportunity, can not succeed except in the peculiar Sense of achieving Respect based on Pity and Politeness. Unfortunately as with many other Matters that Respect is less than robust, and is subject to the Law of Rapidly Diminishing Returns.
We think a recent Example proves our Point.
According to the National Post:
A First Nation in Saskatchewan is considering legal action against a California video game company over the forthcoming release of Civilization VI, a game in which people can play at colonialism and imperial expansion, but as an Indian character. (National Post, January 7)
Milton Headman of the Poundmaker Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, has complained that no Consent was obtained for the use of the historical Figure of Chief Poundmaker.
But why should such Consent be obtained and who would be in a Position to give it? We are not familiar with the Video Game (or any other) but we understand that it uses many other historical Figures. Should consent be obtained from Britain for the Use of Queen Victoria, or from the United States for the use of Lincoln?
No, we suspect that those Countries dont mind. They have more important Matters with which to engage.
It is only small, relatively unsuccessful Cultures that seek some Advantage by being hurt and taking Offense. That is the only Way or so it appears that they can advance by complaining of a Lack of Respect.
It may often be appropriate to demand Respect but the Plea is more effective when the Respect is based on Accomplishment rather than Victimhood.
Indeed, this particular Plea for Respect is suspicious:
The video game makers "should have approached the community directly," Tootoosis said. "They should have inquired about our local cultural protocols. They should have done the honourable thing and at least offered tobacco, and approached the community through the leadership and the elders, and then have a dialogue. (National Post)
Something, Mr. Tootoosis said, should have been offered. "At least, tobacco." We suspect that "tobacco" is symbolic. It sounds as though the Band would be quite interested in "making a Deal:" Cultural Appropriation is a Sin but Sins may be forgiven with sufficient compensatory Penance.
We think Mr. Tootoosis and his Band are making themselves look ridiculous. If Chief Poundmaker is an important historical Figure of great Interest why should not the Tribe write a Book, make a Film, or create a Video Game?
The best counter to Victimhood is not Complaint but Accomplishment. It is through Accomplishment that Respect may be earned; it is through continuing Complaint based on past Injustice that Ridicule is, ultimately, invited.
Ridicule is the correct Response in this Matter; when Grievance Tantrums become unprofitable, they will be abandoned.
January 3, 2018
We are most pleased when our Predictions are borne out by Events; such Occurrences reflect well upon our Judgment, suggest a superior Perspicacity, and bring about a general Sense of Satisfaction and Well-Being.
We are fortunate that any Predictions which unaccountably -- fail, make little Impression; indeed such "Predictions" become little more than vague Elements of possible Bias, enveloped in a remote Fog of amorphous Uncertainty. If something should happen which contradicts such hesitant, ill-defined Half-Thoughts, they pass, unnoticed, by. Indeed, we cannot think at this Moment of a single Occasion when we were wrong.
We were right, of course, about the failed McGuinty, the weak and incompetent Obama, and the self-absorbed and feckless Trudeau. They have all met or exceeded our negative Expectations.
In a Matter of somewhat less Importance -- we seem to have been right about Joshua Boyle, who has just been arrested on "charges of sexual assault, forcible confinement and lying to police." (National Post, January 2)
Mr. Boyle, you may remember, was held -- with his Wife and their Children in Captivity by the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan, and was released last October.
The Story occasioned much Attention in the Press, and generated significant Sympathy.
In our Account (Diary, October 15, 2017), we were puzzled by a Number of Elements. We said:
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.
Mr. Boyle, you see, had been briefly married to the elder Sister of Omar Khadr, and had expressed deep Respect for the Religion of Islam. He had decided to travel with his pregnant Wife through what most would consider dangerous and inhospitable Territory. The Decision to have Children while in Captivity was, apparently, a conscious one one that many would not take for Fear of an unhappy Outcome for them.
All these Things suggested that Mr. Boyle was naive, idealistic, and lacked Judgment. We concluded:
We predict that the Saga of the Boyles is far from over.
Mr. Boyle is unlikely to fade into the Obscurity of the Average.
In Case anyone is interested, we have a few other Predictions at the ready. For a modest Fee, and a suitable Measure of (preferably inordinate) Flattery we might be persuaded to reveal them.
January 1, 2018
We are pleased to have survived for another Year.
The past Example has been notable among many other Things, of Course -- for its increasing Numbers of nutty Professors and nutty Universities. It appears that the Universities have been loosed from the real World, and hover in their own Spheres of Insanity, untethered to planet Earth, and unchecked by any Sense of the reasonable or reasonably attainable.
If we were asked for a Diagnosis no one has bothered so far we would be inclined to say that the Roots of the Insanity lie in a socialist/progressive Habit of Mind which has evolved into a new Religion called Political Correctness.
That socialist/ progressive Habit of Mind, in Turn, arises from an idealistic Belief in "Equality."
Political Correctness, as we have pointed out elsewhere, makes Feelings sacrosanct. All other Values or Notions must be sacrificed to Feelings. Freedom of Speech Truth a Sense of Humour all must fall on their Swords before the Great Warrior God of Feelings.
You see all human Creatures in the progressive Mind-Set are "equal" and have an inalienable Right to "equally" high Senses of Self-Esteem. Self-Esteem is not acquired as in primitive Times through Accomplishment; rather it is granted, bestowed, and vouchsafed as a Condition of being alive.
To hurt a Feeling is to Damage Self-Esteem, and break the inviolable Rule of "Equality."
We are not stating the Case exactly, of Course. It turns out that as in every Case of "Equality" some Animals are more equal than others. Thus, there are certain Classes and Groups whose Self-Esteem matters and other Classes and Groups who may go conveniently to Hell without perceptible Sigh or Expression of Regret.
We need not bother here to delineate the Differences among Groups; any University will be happy to explain. In general, it is the Feelings of the unhappy, undervalued, and fragile which must be preserved; it is the Feelings of the Rest which may be dispassionately consigned to eternal Hellfire.
Here are some Examples of University Nuttiness culled from a List from Tom Ciccotta on Breitbart News, December 31.
1. University of Pennsylvania teaching assistant Stephanie McKellop explained in October how her pedagogical tactic of "progressive stacking" works in practice: "I will always call on my Black women students first. Other POC get second tier priority. WW [white women] come next. And, if I have to, white men." Ms. McKellop believes that some Feelings are more important than Others. (Breitbart News, December 31)
2. Brandeis University cancelled the Performance of a Play criticizing Black Lives Matter. The Play featured a Brandeis Student who planned a Comedy Routine on political Issues, but who was threatened by Administrators with academic Probation. In the Play, the Student goes ahead. Real Life is obviously not so accommodating. The University believes that certain Feelings should not be criticized.
3. The Lindsay Shepherd Case. Three nutty Professors browbeat a teaching Assistant for daring to show a Video Clip referring to Jordan Peterson, who objects to the enforced use of special Pronouns for those with unusual Gender Perceptions. The Professors claimed, falsely, that there had been a Complaint; they also suggested, absurdly, that her Action was the Equivalent of showing a Speech by Hitler, and implied, falsely, that it was contrary to Canadian Law. The Professors are desperate to protect the Feelings of the Alternatively Gendered by approving the Use of special, compensatory Pronouns.
4. Former professor charged with assault for allegedly beating Trump supporter with bike lock.
Eric Clanton, formerly a professor at Diablo Valley College, was charged in August with assault over an April incident in which he allegedly bashed a Trump supporter over the head with a bike lock. The victims head was left bloodied and wrapped in bandages.
Although Clanton disputed the charges, he did not specifically deny that he was the masked individual behind the assault. In May, police searched Clantons home, which lead to his arrest. He was charged with four counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon. (Breitbart, December 31) Mr. Clanton's Feelings have obviously been unfairly upset.
From our own Files, we have the following Examples of Nuttiness:
5. 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) (Diary, July 18, 2017)
6.The most recent [injustice] 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) (Diary, July 5, 2017)
7. As the old Curricula of traditional Subjects have been found insufficient in the modern Age, new University Courses have been devised in order to deal with trendy Issues, social Progress, and current Lunacies. Whole new Fields have been opened up, innovative incomprehensible Terminologies have been invented, and Nuttiness has been given novel and unprecedented Scope.
We refer to two Cases currently in the News.
The first is that of Katherine Dettwyler, an adjunct Professor at the University of Delaware, who had asked, on a Facebook Post:
Is it wrong of me to think that Otto Warmbier got exactly what he deserved?
Well, since Mr. Warmbier was sentenced to fifteen Years of hard Labour in North Korea for stealing a Propaganda Poster, subsequently became ill, and died at the Age of Twenty-Two, we feel little Constraint in saying that Ms. Dettwyler seems to have a peculiar Perception of Justice, and that her thinking is, indeed, wrong. (Diary, June 26, 2017)
8. The second Example of nutty Professor is Florentin Fιlix Morin, who is listed on the University of Arizonas website as a visiting Scholar.
Mr. Morin appears to "identify" as a Hippopotamus. He finds, apparently, that this Persona "has allowed him to navigate the world free from the constraints that govern human bodies." (Bretibart News, June 26)
We feel compelled to quote from the Breitbart News Article concerning Mr. Morins Contribution to the Journal of Theoretical Humanities:
This article explores the formation of a tranimal, hippopotamus alter-ego. Confronting transgender with transpecies, the author claims that his hippopotamus "identity" allowed him to (verbally) escape, all at once, several sets of categorization that govern human bodies ("gender," "sexuality," age). He starts with an account of how his metaphorical hippo-self is collectively produced and performed, distinguishing the subjective, the intersubjective and the social. The article then investigates the politics of equating transgender and transpecies, critically examining the question of the inclusion of "xenogenders" in the trans political movement. (Diary, June 26)
9. Finally, the University of Arkansas has instituted a "free speech zone" Policy. Free Speech is permitted on about one Percent of the Campus. The Zones are available to be booked between Eight in the Morning and Nine in the Evening, but only with the express Permission of the Director of Student Development and Leadership. One wonders whether the University has also, thoughtfully, provided a List of acceptable Remarks which may be used at other Times and in other Locations.
"It would be madness to predict when the madness will end." (Observation #1244)