T.I.T.S

Lately we don’t have time for big posts on this blog.  We have actual jobs and writing takes time.

But you would all be directed to our sister blog, The Turtle Island Truth Squad, where we’ll try and post more regular, shorter posts about the absurdities we seem to be living with in this day and age.

https://turtleislandtruthsquad.wordpress.com/

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On TVO’s The Agenda

The Agenda with Steve Paikin is a taxpayer funded public affairs shown on TVO here in Ontario. It’s good… and it’s not.  The two opposites can be true at the same time.

On the one hand, Paikin is a very professional, calm and informed interviewer. The tenor of the show is generally such that, depending on the topic, putting it in on TV might be a good alternative to Ambien or Lunestra if you’re having trouble falling asleep.  No grenade launching, no shouting; generally a show with polite discourse with a measured likeable moderator.

That’s the good about the show. The bad about the show is its leftist slant.  Paikin is a Liberal, not the small “l” classical liberal we’d all be OK with, no… more the partisan big “L” party apparatchik Liberal.  (His son Zach Paikin actually tried to run for the position of National Policy Chair for the Liberal party and also tried to be nominated to represent the Liberals in the Hamilton West/Ancaster-Dundas riding for the past federal election).

If you were to review the show topics over a cycle of, say a month, you would get a rotation dominated by the following;

  • Climate change! and how it’s an unfathomable existential threat to humanity/the Great Lakes/northern communities;
  • A procession of Ontario Liberal cabinet ministers to brag about how wonderful a job they’re doing and, without any critical line of questioning, who are allowed to promote inane ideas like cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, subsidizing self-driving car studies, HOV lanes on 400 series highways, borrowing $25 billion from children to pay for a reduction of hydro rates…and on and on;
  • Authors of obscure, unread books on Canadian culture, media or social experiences, often decrying the horrors of our racist and sexist country
  • Indigenous leaders and academics… lots and lots of them.  Allowed to moan (again without criticism) about what a racist/colonialist country this is.  (Including a recent episode wherein the academic, a U of Toronto professor no less, was allowed to postulate a conspiracy theory about the Canadian government keeping Indigenous people sick in order to rape their resources that would have made Alex Jones proud)
  • LGBTQ leaders and academics… lots and lots of them.  Allowed to moan (again without criticism) about what a sexist/homophobic country this is.

Again, this is all hosted by a perfectly amiable and intelligent Steve Paikin.  Often he convenes panels to discuss topics on his show but inevitably the ratio of Progressives to Conservatives is usually 4:1, if a Conservative is invited on at all.

But overall a milquetoast, left-leaning news program on a public broadcaster that tries to be a calm forum for the type of babble that only public employed intellectuals would be interested in.  And us.  We listen to the Agenda podcast frankly, not to get any insights but to hear the crap the other side likes to spout.  But honestly 2/3 of the programs are deleted after listening to the first 5 minutes.

So, surely then, the Agenda people and Steve Paikin are horrified to be hearing that a clip of their show, where they had Jordan Peterson on to debate gender pronouns is at the centre of the Lindsay Shepherd controversy at Wilfred Laurier.  That show is central to the whole fiasco that has escalated to international attention.

You’d think then that any “normal” TV news program would then be following up with the main players in this little free speech drama and milk it for a few weeks, use it to become a focal theme for the program in the next month or two.  Maybe a few shows centered around the debate with some of the main players could garner the Agenda a few more than the regular (measly) couple of hundred views an Agenda program seems to get on YouTube currently.

But no, no.  Not this program.  Take for example just the other day… the show decides, let’s instead give an antifa punk time to broadcast his intellectually corrupt ideas of “preemptive defense” and mention white-supremacists fifty times and slur people as racists and fascists – because they might hold an opposing view to him on just about everything.  This, our tax money and our public broadcaster has time for.

The Agenda on TVO is not a very good program.  One has to wonder what the purpose of funding this type of program with public money is in this day and age when – if there truly was a legitimate audience for a program of this nature – it could be migrated to the internet and podcasts and off the backs of taxpayers.

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On Wilfred Laurier and Pronoun Rights

In the whole Lindsay Shepherd and Wilfred Laurier University fiasco it is hard to nail down a root cause for the affair because it sits at the nexus of a lot of issues swirling about in our culture and society today. But the story can be traced as such; Lindsay Shepherd showed a clip of Jordan Peterson in class.  Jordan Peterson is opposed to the concept of the use of gender neutral pronouns being potentially legally enforced under the auspices of bill C-16 and the Ontario Human Rights Code.  Progressives have come to view any opposition to the idea of using gender neutral pronouns is a litmus test for whether a person is “trans-phobic” and thus, whether intentionally or not, an advocate/agent for the Patriarchy.  The Patriarchy is an important idea because life is seen by modern Progressives as a giant series of ongoing power struggles between groups and identities with White Males at the top.  And to get to the top a group must actively be oppressing other groups.  And so, by proxy, Jordan Peterson by opposing the enforced use of gender neutral pronouns has become representative of the Oppressor.  The Oppressor must be resisted.  He must not be provided platforms for disseminating his views.  His views have no validity and any suggestion that they may have some merit is morally wrong because oppression of any type is wrong.  Some common examples of ongoing oppressions in our society;

  • Christianity oppresses free sexual expression
  • Whites oppress blacks and minorities
  • Straights oppress gays and transgendered
  • Capitalism oppresses poor people
  • The West oppresses Islam
  • Jews oppress Palestinians

And thusly Lindsay Shepherd was complicit in perpetuating the ongoing oppression of trans-gender people by providing Jordan Peterson a platform. And this warranted sanction in the eyes of the university… until the recording of the interrogation session became public.

The whole Post-Modernist world view of Oppressors and Victims and eternal power struggles is not something we have the philosophical tools to unpack here. Suffice to say that we should all be scared; university social studies and humanities faculties are filled with professors that believe in the Post-Modernist narrative and are “training” hundreds of thousands of young people who enter life interpreting the world through this prism that discards ideals of merit, rationality, intellectual rigour and cultural stability.

It is interesting though to examine whether being called “xie” or “xer” is a right or if failing to use those artificial words is a violation of transgender rights or an abrogation of one’s responsibilities in the exercise of Free Speech. If it weren’t actually a “right”, or seen to be a violation of accepted limitations on Free Speech, much of this brouhaha would be laughed at as just another peculiarity of politically correct campus life.

Rights should always be discussed in tandem with Responsibilities. There are no rights without the responsibilities that accompany each right.  Libertarians view rights as either “Negative” or “Positive” rights.   For a person to have rights there are responsibilities imposed on their fellow humans.  In the case of Negative Rights our fellow humans need to do nothing and need only abstain from doing anything.  Negative = Abstention.  Positive Rights however ask fellow humans for action in order for that right to be exercised.  Positive = Action.

An example is the Right to Free Speech. It is a Negative Right because in order for me to exercise my right I need you to do nothing, only abstain from any interference.  A Positive Right would be, say, a Right to Education which would by extension mean that someone has to take action to provide you with an education either by actually doing the teaching or funding it.  Libertarians argue that the only natural rights are Negative Rights and that all Positive Rights can only be enforced by contract between individuals; that it is morally wrong for the government to impose Positive Rights on the citizens and the country at large by compelling behaviour as a result of their monopoly on violence.

It’s worth noting that there is some dispute on the validity of Negative vs. Positive rights, the argument being that while say, the Right to Property is a Negative Right, if it’s violated and some thieves steal off with your stuff, it’s everyone’s prerogative to take action and restore your stuff to you as a way of ensuring that your Right to Property is not just some theoretical abstract and actual reality. Taking up the Libertarian idea of a Positive Right requiring contract, arguably by being citizens in a country we have contract with each other to ensure the protection of rights through necessary action.  And this introduces the notion of Reciprocity – a right can only be such a thing if there is reciprocity, an unwritten contract between citizens that if you protect and respect my rights then in turn I will protect and respect your same rights.  It’s a main reason why animals can have no rights like humans have – we can love and respect them and treat them humanely but because they cannot reciprocate our actions they cannot therefore have rights like humans.

But in today’s Western societies we accept that the self is not absolved of any responsibility in the exercise of rights. Going back to my Free Speech as an example, it is a Negative Right that asks you to do nothing, but our society also legally requires me to not use that Free Speech to incite violence, to incite hatred, nor to slander anyone.  Those are my responsibilities.  Unless you are a Free Speech absolutist that rejects government coercion of any behaviour and endorses a position of no restrictions and thusly no legally enforceable personal responsibilities in the matter of Free Speech, it’s generally accepted here in Canada that these are “reasonable” limitations on Free Speech and my responsibilities as a practitioner of that right.

So going back to “xie” and “xir”… if there were any “right” to have your gender pronoun of choice used that would be a Positive Right because it is asking for action by others. Beyond disputing the whole notion of Positive Rights (see the three generations of rights and what an open-ended mess Positive Rights in the 2nd and 3rd generation can become), but what is the reciprocal action from the trans community?  There is none.  And because it is a one-way street it is not a “right” but more appropriately a requested courtesy.  And manners are subjective and cannot be enforced by law.  I can call someone an asshole to their face, and while that may be rude and perhaps I should be socially sanctioned for this behaviour, I should not be thrown in jail or fined for doing so.  The government should never be in the business of compelling manners.

But that’s not the argument the proponents of gender neutral pronouns have taken up because they know it’s an easy loser. Rather they’ve hinged their argument on the idea that my responsibility in the exercise of Free Speech is not to incite violence or hatred as was described and is widely acknowledged.  And by refusing to use gender neutral pronouns I am doing exactly that.  Speech is violence. But that argument cannot stand either.  Better articles have been written by Jonathan Haidt and others about the push to have speech (or silence) interpreted as violence so there is no need to rehash them here.

So, in the end one can conclude that there is no first generation or even second generational “right” to be called by your gender pronoun of choice – at best it’s a Positive 3rd generational (i.e. social aspirational) right that has no evident reciprocity for the vast majority of fellow citizens.  And it’s a dangerous overstretch of the definition of violence to suggest that failure to use these pronouns of choice are in violation of our responsibility not to use Free Speech to incite violence or hatred.  It’s not a right, but virtue signaling and political correctness run amok, a power play and an attempt to create yet another litmus test to measure where you land on the Progressive scale of morality.

We’re still waiting for Justin Trudeau to use “xie” or “xer” in a speech. It’s coming.

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On Apathy for Terrorism

So an immigrant from Uzbekistan, Sayfullo Saipov, drives a truck onto a cyclist path and kills 8 people.  He came to the US in 2010.  Uzbekistan is a loser country, inhabited by losers.  More on this in a second.

Hardly anyone cares about this attack.  The story will be gone by the next news cycle.  The Las Vegas shooting barely stayed alive in the news for more than a week, why would this one warrant even a fraction of the concern?  I’ve noticed no #PrayforNY trends on Facebook or Twitter thus far.  People can’t even be bother to exercise their own narcissism – “look at me and how sad I am” – over this attack.

I want to go against the grain here and argue that this has nothing to do with Islam, like the guy in Edmonton, the driver in Barcelona and elsewhere.  This guy was not “radicalized”.  He was a loser, from a loser country with a backwards loser culture.  And people don’t drop all their cultural and psychological baggage at the border when they enter the West.  They show up hoping that the West and its freedoms and prosperity will turn them into winners, that they’ll be shown how to overwrite their programming to date.  But freedom is a hard thing to manage; if you’ve never been given the proper structure, the proper groundings, the self-discipline to function as a free human being, freedom can be a very challenging thing to manage.  Most can’t cope with it without having been given some instruction.  And here in the decadent West we’re too busy trying to destroy our structures, erase our history and delegitimize self-control that we have nothing to teach immigrants anymore and so these poor souls become pissed at  reality and the crap they’ve been sold.  And how best to take revenge on your suck-ass reality and express your anger?  Wipe out some innocents.

I’m not siding with Leftists on this, but this has less to do with Allah and promises of martyrdom than with young men, bereft of mission and structure lashing out at the world.

At the very very core of conservatism is the idea that humans are fallen creatures.  We are imperfect and can never be perfected.  Our worst selves are very capable of murder, rape, theft, destruction, corruption and naked self-interest.  And what keeps us from our worst selves are the institutions such as family, church, community organizations, manners and civic duty.  We’ve done a pretty good job these past 50 years of destroying our institutions, and without these to keep men in check you will only see more Saipovs, Paddocks and even Weinsteins.  They’re all rooted in the same cultural problem we have in the West; we no longer believe in ourselves and the things that made us.

On Renaming Schools

The Ontario Elementary School Teachers union has recently come out calling for the removal of the name Sir John A. MacDonald from all schools because of his waged “genocide” against Indigenous peoples in Canada.   The argument is that we wouldn’t expect Jewish kids to happily attend Adolph Hitler Elementary School in Germany, so why would we expect Mohawk children to attend Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School in Waterloo, Ontario?

In response some on the Right (and centre) object that the Leftists pushing this agenda of tearing down statues and insisting on renaming buildings and institutions are “revising history” and practicing Presentism – judging people of the past by current moral standards. Truthfully, everyone born 100 years ago was a racist, sexist and homophobe by today’s standards.  We need to consider that had you been born in 1920’s Germany then very likely you would have been a Nazi.  Had you been born in 1920’s Russia then very likely you would have gladly marched dissidents off to the gulags.  This is not to say that you would have been a “bad” person if you had, only that humans are fallible and our behaviours and attitudes are influenced by the cultures we are raised in and those cultures spawned a lot of deeds we would judge as evil today.  But just because we are born in this age and in this part of the world does not somehow make us uniquely and morally superior to those flawed peoples of the past.  We are flawed as well and should humbly appreciate this fact.  No doubt in just a few short decades our own children will look back at our attitudes and be dismayed and disgusted – does that make us “bad” people?

However, the Left view commemorative statues and naming things in honour of past leaders as an endorsement of those individuals and thus their worst beliefs that cannot be abided. I cite their “worst” beliefs because the Left never seem to want to judge people on the best things that they did but only on the worst things.  Forget that Sir John A. MacDonald was a founder of a great Western country that has since founding provided freedom and prosperity for millions of people and participated valiantly in wars against evil regimes.  No, let’s judge him by his starving of Indigenous people and establishment of residential schools.  Of course the counter argument is that whitewashing someone’s record could warrant even Pol Pot could have a school named after him if we restricted ourselves to judging people solely on the best they had to offer during their lives.

What if we approached this problem with a libertarian solution – the practice of Localism; provide local autonomy over cultural matters. If the people of Waterloo want Sir John A MacDonald taken off the name of their high school let them vote and say so – it’s their school, not the federal or provincial governments.  If the people of Charlottesville want a statue of Robert E Lee taken down let them vote locally and decide – it’s their history, not the history of Californians.  Conversely if the people in Quebec want the name of Wilfred Laurier retained on their buildings despite his advocacy for a Chinese head tax and calling Indigenous people “savages” then that’s their decision and if the people in British Columbia asked that his name be pulled off buildings there because of the high Chinese populations that’s OK too – the two solitudes can coexist.

However, the imposition from on high of politically correct directives on these matters should be avoided.  The argument on both sides has merit but polls show consistently that most people are opposed to the Left’s historical revanchism so why let a minority impose its will on the majority regardless of the minority’s claim to moral correctness.  Make the decisions on these matters local and democratic.  The great fear of course here in Canada is that the Panda Bear Justin Trudeau and his leftist sycophants at the provincial levels will start to make this an overarching policy and once again the imposition of cultural values of Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa being imposed on everyone else.

On Social Justice Warrior Modus Operandi and the Google Memo

So some young doofus who worked at Google thought it was wise (it wasn’t) to post a 10-page manifesto (who writes long manifestos other than Ted Kaczyinski?) to the company website complaining about the company’s diversity hiring practices. He’s fired now.

He’d do well to read the following. The Left are obsessed with three things; Security, the Great Virtues (Agape, Egalitarianism, Justice) and Agency.   Under the heading of Egalitarianism falls the ideas of Equality and Fairness and a subheading under Equality is Equality of Outcomes.  Not Equality of Opportunity… Equality of Outcomes.

So the typical Social Justice Warrior modus operandi is as follows;

1) Search for an issue where the outcomes for one group are not the same as for another group (or groups);

2) Label the group enjoying a favorable outcome the Oppressors;

3) Label the groups not enjoying a favorable outcome the Victims;

4) Declare that the Oppressors are enjoying favorable outcomes because of discriminatory practices or societal biases against the Victims. These identified discriminatory practices can be merely alleged and unproven because, in true post-Modernism thinking so long as something is perceived or felt it has truth attached to it.

5) Demand that reverse discriminatory practices be employed to correct the imbalance in outcomes;

6) Never, ever entertain any suggestion that the disparity in outcomes might be the result of Victim behavior or character. Ostracize anyone who suggests as such and label them homophobes, transphobes, racists, sexists, bigots, etc.

7) Never, ever look back over your shoulder and review to see if the reversal of discriminatory practices has worked to actually improve outcomes for the Victims;

8)  Return to 1).

So, let’s take the issue of there not being a lot of female computer programmers.

There are way more male programmers than female programmers in Silicon Valley. An unequal outcome.

The males in charge of tech companies in Silicon Valley = the Oppressors

Females (in general) = the Victims

Females don’t get hired as computer programmers because Men (the Patriarchy) are systematically refusing to hire them.

Demand that this practice is reversed and that Men go out of their way to hire more female programmers to right the imbalance.

Scream “Sexist!” at anyone who suggests the problem may in fact be that a) not a lot of women actually go into computer programming or b) it’s not an occupation that women have shown to be particularly great at (with exceptions, of course)… for whatever reason.

Demand that affirmative action and hiring quotas be put in place, but never go back and see if these practices have actually improved the outcomes for female programmers, knowing instead that what it will more likely do is prevent male programmers from getting hired or promoted, which is OK because it’s harming the Oppressors (justice).

And so on. I could do this on any social issue of the day.  The formula for faux outrage, labeling, demands or justice and ignorance of results can apply to just about anything.

So young Google guy, James Damore, please learn your lesson.  You can’t fight the machine.

Here’s an exercise; Justin Trudeau says there is not enough female representation in federal cabinet.  Go through steps 2-8.  Enjoy.

 

Update – here’s the memo.

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf

It’s actually a very reasonable and well thought out article.  However, that doesn’t change the fact that writing it and posting it on your company board, when you know you work for a left-leaning company, is not a wise thing to do if you hope to keep your job.  Brave.  But bravery’s cousin is very often stupidity.

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On Never Ending Indigenous Grievance

If you ask a conservative, “What do you want?” a conservative would probably respond with a fairly short list of maybe 10 or 11 things.  Likely if you could give these to him or her, they’d be happy to go home and get on with the rest of their lives.  If I were leader of a conservative party in Canada I would offer to disband the party outright if the other parties agreed to… say, cut personal income taxes in half and make it constitutionally illegal to raise taxes or introduce new taxes without a referendum.  Just as an example of one thing on my list of nine or ten things.  That would certainly successfully shrink the size of government and force government to focus on its primary purpose, securing of the rights of its citizens.

Progressives on the other hand… they could not give you a list or an answer.  What they want never ends, it is constantly evolving.  The Left believe in agency;  there is always people that must be championed, an agenda to be pushed,  causes to be fought for and hence they industriously create victims on an almost daily basis, whether they be victims of racism, sexism, capitalism, climate change denialism, etc…. and colonialism.  Ah yes, we all need to answer for the sins of “our” colonialist past.

So I’ve lost all hope that if you were to ask an Indigenous person here in Canada, “what do you want?” they would not answer.  It’s not that they don’t know or won’t answer, it’s that there is simply no answer.  This can never end for them.  They don’t want an end game, they want this parade of Indigenous grievances to continue through my lifetime, my children’s lifetimes and their children’s children’s.

What’s inspired this post is a recent episode of TVO’s the Agenda, where Steve Paikin asks a panel of Indigenous persons about what Canada’s 150th birthday means to them.  The Agenda seems to be the go-to place on TV for Canadian Indigenous spokespersons to go and air their grievances to sympathetic ears.  None, I should add, are indistinguishable physically from you or me.  The one dude is blonde.  But regardless, they all wear their Indigenous status proudly, one even claiming he won’t call himself Canadian, and almost predictably they cannot get past a lens of “genocide” and discrimination.   Paikin asks them to name an accomplishment of Canada in the past 150 years and has to ask the question twice, offering up the second time his example of Medicare (which is fairly lame, God help us if that’s the best we’ve done in 150 years).  True to form they can’t even accept that.  Then the one person offers up that were it not for Indigenous peoples teaching white men about socialism and community, there would be no Medicare.  This is utter bullshit.  It’s all bullshit.  It needs to be called out as bullshit.

Because you believe something doesn’t make it true. A friend at work says we live in a “post-truth” era.  The truth doesn’t matter anymore… what seems to matter these days is narratives and how those stories make people feel.

I could go on for pages about the state of Indigenous peoples when the Europeans came ashore in North America. If the myth of the Noble Native, living in peace and harmony with the land and each other as spiritually enlightened beings makes you feel better then go ahead and believe it.  But it doesn’t make it true.

So you watch this and ask, instinctively, “What do you want?” Do you want us to apologize?  We’ve done it.  Do you want money as compensation to settle land claims and what not?  We’ve spent billions and today the federal government spends approximately $9,000 per person for Indigenous people versus approximately $7,300 per non-native person.  Offers to settle land claims with cash have been rejected.  Do you want sovereignty or special status for Indigenous people and rights… forever?  Do you want to punish white people and get revenge?  Those white people who did this are all long dead and you will get nowhere, ever, asking Canadians to support Indigenous people ad infinitum, everyone who is pounding out a living day to day, fighting traffic and paying taxes will never support a system that says to one group of people you are never expected to pull your own weight.

The sad answer is that they have no answer. They have exactly what they want right now – victim status, nearly unlimited money thrown at them by politicians who hope the problems and noise will disappear, and sympathetic liberals at TVO, CBC, Macleans and other media outlets that give their “leaders” minor celebrity status by letting them spread lies and falsehoods that only make the condition of their people worse, not better.

On Politically Correct Wasting of Our Money

Have you see the latest Ontario Government commercial?

It’s supposed to be about Ontario’s 150th anniversary.  Where is the credit for those who made it a great place for the past 150 years and made it a society capable of welcoming and accommodating all of these recent waves of immigration?

Where are the old people?  Where’s the farmer from Owen Sound or Eastern Ontario?

You want to show immigrants?  What about the immigrants from Italy, Poland, Yugoslavia, Scotland, Ireland, Greece, and Ukraine that came after World War II and built this province?  Where’s the old Italian bricklayer or the Greek store owner?  Where’s the autoworker in Windsor, the guy operating a snow plow in Timmins?  I don’t see one Indian – half our doctors in this province.  Not a single Jew, heaven forbid we show Jewish people in a government video.  Evil Zionists, that wouldn’t go over too well with our leftist crowd.

The only white people in the video is a gay dude and his boyfriend and a teacher who has only one arm!

It’s such a blatant homage to politically correct multi-cultural feel-goodisms.  I feel sick watching it knowing our tax money is paying for not only its creation but for it to get air on national networks in prime time.   This from a government that is massively in debt, lagging in REAL infrastructure spending (sorry, day care spaces don’t count despite what the government says) and providing <1% economic growth per annum.

Where are the priorities?  Is this what it has come to that our governments feel it’s their primary role to make us feel good about ourselves?  Moral preening never put food on anyone’s table, built a single bridge or provided a bright future for our children.

I can’t wait to see the Ontario Liberals turfed.  Trouble is I have no faith that Mr. I Had a Speech Impediment Oh Boo Hoo will do much differently as Premier.  He’ll fall into the same trap a lot of Conservatives do – they’ll think they’re going to be the government for a nice long spell if they just play it cool when instead they should be in a hurry to burn 70% of the government machinery to the ground so when the Liberals or NDP do get back into power it’s just a charred ruin incapable of wasting our money.

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On Student Narcissism and Lack of Empathy

Mr. Sandor Dosman was having trouble attracting people to apply to be wait staff at his café which is located on the Wilfred Laurier University campus and, ironically it turns out as we go through the story, right next door to the Graduate Students Association (GSA). So Mr. Dosman posts this ad to Facebook in the hopes that being a little off-the-wall and making an attempt at some humour will attract more applicants.

sandor

Now, sadly, while the ad seems to have worked and he got interested students applying for the position, he soon found that he was no longer welcome on the WLU campus because he’d used the word “slave” in his ad.  The GSA noticed the ad and decided to give Mr. Sandor and the Veritas café the boot based on some obscure clause in their leasing agreement over the university’s “principles”. So, Mr. Sandor was given almost zero time to get off the premises, take all of his equipment and inform the eleven students who worked for him that they were out of a job and now he is left scrambling to figure out how to recover from this mistake that he has apologized for.

Forget the idea that using the word “slave” is triggering or offensive or inappropriate is in itself ridiculous. Of course it’s absurd. But when most authoritarian-wanna bes first show up in history a lot of people regard them as absurd initially too.

What’s most striking in this story is the instantaneous expulsion and unwillingness for not only some due process, but also the inability to provide even a small measure of mercy for a man who employs fellow students and on whose livelihood depends on this business. He’s apologized. He’s acknowledged his “sin”. And yet that’s not enough.

There are two things going on her that tell a lot about what is grabbing hold at universities today across the world; narcissism and complete lack of empathy.

It’s a demonstration of narcissism, in that the GSA know it was a joke, they know he’s apologized, they know that their actions are putting fellow students out of work. They know this. And still they go ahead and prosecute their flimsy grievance. But they are so pathologically intent on flexing their muscles, showing everyone what they can do to whomever they judge unworthy, demonstrating their power, they can’t even resist for a moment to show some mercy.

And it’s a complete lack of empathy. It reminds me of the Louis CK bit on Conan O’Brien from a few years ago where he talks about kids texting and emailing each other nasty stuff because “they’re trying it out”, and whereas fifty years ago if a kid called another kid a name to their face, they’d see and hear the reaction and decide that wasn’t what they’d wanted, that didn’t make me feel as good as I thought it would. They built empathy by being actively engaged with other people, face to face. But now we’re faced with a generation of protected snowflakes, narcissists who even when confronted with the evidence of what their harsh reaction to an obvious minor infraction is going to do to real, actual, living people, they are able to dismiss it. They’ve not built the ability to empathize with “others”. And it’s something you see in the crybaby fits about Trump, and the protests against Jordan Peterson and other acts of what looks like immaturity, but it’s worse than that.

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On Explaining Right-Wing Populists

Not everyone is thrilled with Donald Trump being elected. No kidding. And it seems there are some people, young people especially, who are in pain and need to be comforted and made to feel safe. And don’t you dare diminish their pain and anguish by telling them to “suck it up, pussies”, because that’s a hate crime. And it’s rude to point out that half of them didn’t even vote. It’s horrifying according to Stephen Colbert and John Oliver… two millionaire comedians.  These two grown men had a cry and a hug on stage in front of an audience (maybe off-stage… I’m guessing); they were so traumatized by the results of the election – still!

Lena Dunham (our favourite), in a quest to come to terms with what happened, went on a retreat to Sedona, Arizona where she communed with nature and sought guidance from the canyon and listened to the rocks. No, this is not satire. Instead of traveling to the rural Michigan or suburban Pennsylvania and talking with actual real life Trump voters and speak with the “racists”, “sexists” and “bigots” that voted for Trump, she runs to an isolated posh resort where Mother Gaia will provide all the answers to soothe her troubled soul.

The Left is having a crybaby fit. The comparisons to fascism and Hitler are rampant. So, in keeping with that spirit, let’s use Hitler to discuss an aspect about the Left’s inability to take a deep breath and do some self-examination.

It’s been almost twenty years since I read it, but Ron Rosenbaum wrote a book called “Explaining Hitler” wherein he examined the various theories as to why Hitler was who he was and why he may have been motivated to do the things he’d done. But in the book he recounts going to visit an old Jewish Nazi hunter who asked him not to try and explain Hitler. His reasoning was that once you can identify the roots of someone’s evil acts, you are then obligated to forgive them for those actions because inevitably the roots will lie in that person’s humanity – they were abused as a child, suffered from mental illness, were scarred by past experiences, made gross misjudgments etc. And the old Nazi hunter was of the opinion that Hitler was evil. Full stop. We should never diminish this fact. Understanding Hitler was not only unnecessary, it was morally wrong, because we can never forgive what was done.

This is where the Left is today; they are the old Jewish Nazi hunter looking at the Trump election, Brexit, Rob Ford and other swings towards right-wing populism in the West and saying, “We will not try to understand why you voted that way, because we cannot forgive you.”

A long standing problem is that the Right tends to want to discuss government in terms of Effective vs. Ineffective. The Left knows it cannot win those arguments because historical evidence leans in favour of most traditional right-wing positions; free market solutions over government bureaucracies, traditional family stability over libertine lifestyles etc. So the Left want to make everything into a right vs. wrong moral argument. They are on the side of the angels – the Left stand for the Brotherhood of Man ™, Social Peace through Social Equality™ and Harmony with Nature™… these are “good” causes. Who cares if the policies we’re using to pursue these goals are ineffective or actually causing damage, it’s the intent that counts! Good intentions trump (no pun intended) bad policies! It’s the reason we see so much doubling down on bad ideas even when there is evidence they don’t work. Witness the Trudeau government’s recent announcement that they’re going to go further into deficit to fund a raft of “infrastructure” spending in order to stimulate the economy and “invest” in our economy… it doesn’t work. It didn’t last time, and throwing more money at a bad program won’t make it any better. But again, it’s the intentions that count, not the actual outcome.  Double down, double down.

But I digress… since the Left reduces everything to a moral argument, the only way to win arguments is to portray the other side as not just wrong on policy but morally wrong. Evil. So this, in combination with a strong narcissistic trend in youth today, may in large part explain the unwillingness to see Trump’s election as legitimate and anything other than a vote affirming racism and sexism. We know it’s more nuanced than that – you can vote for a racist without voting for racism. But they will never acknowledge that because then they’d have to forgive 65 million Americans, 20 million Brits and 500,000 Torontonians. No way are they going to do that.  They are a long long way from considering forgiveness.  They are pissed.  And so they have no intentions trying to explain to each other right-wing populism.

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