On Shooting Survivors in the Countryside

From the National Review last year;

 “…This is not about “justice”; it’s about crushing the enemy beneath their holy heel. Progressives have chosen an ideology of total warfare. They aren’t satisfied with compromise. They aren’t satisfied with surrender. They aren’t satisfied until they are roaming the conquered countryside shooting survivors. And since progressives’ battle lines are always bounding forward, eventually everyone will end up in the crosshairs.”

Everyone. That includes you, Ellen DeGeneres. No, no, we won’t hear about how you were a progressive pioneer, one of the very first out-of-the-closet lesbians in Hollywood. How dare you post a photo-shopped picture of you riding Usain Bolt? A joke? Check your privilege, woman. Based on the privilege arithmetic you have no business trying to make a joke at the expense of a black man.

Ellen DeGeneres:

White = +1000

Woman = -500

Very rich = +500

Lesbian = -500

Total Privilege Score = +500

Usain Bolt:

Black = -1000

Man = +1000

Able Bodied = +100

Cis Gendered Straight = +250

Total Privilege Score = +350

Uh oh. It looks like you are more privileged than Usain Bolt, Ellen. Walk that tweet back, in a hurry, lest you be called a racist.

Ah, but the Progressives aren’t quite done roaming the conquered countryside, shooting survivors. Who else is out there – wait, what about the Olympics? Yes, let’s attack not just the Olympics but the whole idea of separate athletic competitions for men and women.

Just take a listen to this clip from the wonderful leftist fantasy land called CBC Radio. If you can make it far enough, at about the 18 minute mark the lunatic professor from the University of Western Ontario claims that women could successfully compete against men in lots of sports, like… ski jumping. OK, let’s look at her claim; the world record for men’s ski jump is 252.5m.  For women it is 200m.  That’s a difference of over 50m.  But whatever let’s not let actual facts get in the way.   She being a “scientist” and all.

How about we look at the marquee event of the Olympics, the 100m sprint?  For a man to qualify to compete in the Olympics, he must run a time of 10.16s or less.    Florence Joyner-Griffith’s women’s world record time from 1988 was 10.49s and it is widely accepted that she was using steroids at the time.  With that time, which has remained unbeatable for almost 30 years, she wouldn’t even qualify for the Olympics in the men’s division.

But again, whatever – you win! Let’s get rid of all the hand wringing about Castor Semenya’s hypoandrowhateverism and her let’s get rid of gender classifications in sports. Instead we’ll do it by blood chemistry profiles. Let’s end this bullshit. We test everyone and you compete in a category appropriate to your testosterone levels;

Category 1: 0-400 ng/dl (nanograms/deciliter)

Category 2: 400 – 1200 ng/dl

Category 3: 1200+

I’ve deliberately increased the upper threshold of the lower category, since men are typically 345-1190 ng/dl, so let’s assume there are some women that have naturally higher levels of testosterone and some men with naturally lower, i.e. as you get older men tend to have lower testosterone levels… so why not have a 50 year old man competing against 25 year old woman in wrestling? Same testosterone levels right? Even competition, right? And Category 3 … load yourself up guys and gals! Unlimited ‘roids, GHG, etc. What excitement that would be! It’d be like watching Marvel superheroes battle in real life.

Let’s roam the countryside some more.

Here’s a story about how millennials are, as a generation, having less sex than any generation in the past 60 years. Whoa, how can that be? I thought this was the age of the hook-up culture and free-flowing sexuality. But one guy offers an explanation;

“Third-wave feminists seem to be crazy, saying that all men are participating in this rape culture.” He opts for porn instead. “It’s quicker. It’s more accessible. What you see is what you get.”

It’s a disaster. I am not a historian, but it strikes me as a new Victorianism.  One of the main reasons was the inability for young men to navigate modern social rules for engaging the women, so they’d just as soon sit home and masturbate watching porn.  Sexless lesbian relationships are on the rise because “women” cannot find “men” that they can tolerate.

I always operated with the belief that what most people really really really wanted from life was to be happy, to experience joy.

How stressful is life if you have to tip toe through a minefield with every tweet or comment afraid that you might inadvertently be called a racist, sexist, bigot or homophobe?

Who will sticking men and women against each other in sports competition make happy?  The female athletes?  No, it will make the majority of female athletes who have no desire to take drugs in order to stay level with men pretty miserable, to the point where they’ll drop out.

How happy are young people so afraid of the opposite sex because they don’t know the rules of engagement?

The only people these things make happy are the tiny minority of progressives thinking Thank Gaia we’ve struck a blow for social justice.   But even then for how long exactly do they gain a feeling of happiness?  When they stop for a second and realize they’re still not happy, instead of some self-reflection and wondering if they’re wasting their energies, they instead think they’re unhappy because we haven’t gone far enough yet. Let’s go find some more survivors to shoot in the countryside.

Update:

It never ends. Congratulations Justin Trudeau, you’re being shot at also.

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On Warriors and Our Nation of Children

Do you ever wonder what a nation or society of children we’ve become?

I’ve become a big fan of Jocko Willink of late and based on his praise for the book, I’ve begun reading About Face by Col. David Hackworth. Reading the book gives you great perspective on how soft (and fortunate) we’ve become in our modern age; Hackworth joined the army at age 15, and by age 21 was a 1st Lieutenant commanding 200 infantry in the Korean War.  In the book he details the horrors of fighting in Korea and later Vietnam, the trench warfare, trying to sleep and cope with constant artillery shelling and sniping and attacks, rats nibbling on your toes at night, digits cut off due to frostbite, starvation and dehydration, feet rotting due to poor hygiene and constant rain, comrades killed and wounded on a daily basis… Hackworth at one point gets his arm and shoulder shredded by landing on a grenade, and when a doctor tells him he will never straighten his arm again he jumps out of his hospital bed, drain still inserted in his arm after surgery, does a push-up to straighten his arm and tells the doctor to shove off. This is a warrior. Without these types of individuals none of us would enjoy any of the freedoms we take for granted.  Only those who are intellectually dishonest would argue otherwise.

It is to laugh when Donald Trump claims to have made many sacrifices and then you compare his “list” to individuals like Hackworth and others who unfortunately lost their lives. Trump is an idiot; the proper response to the question of what sacrifices he’s made was to admit in all honesty that he has not made any sacrifices comparable to Capt. Khan and his family, but then subtly turn it around and ask what sacrifices can Hillary Clinton claim? Barack Obama? Bernie Sanders? Any Leftie leader in the US? Instead he didn’t do that, he attacked the family of a fallen soldier. That alone is proof that he is unfit to lead a nation and be a Commander-in-Chief.

But then how much different is this; an artist in B.C. paints a fawning picture of Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau performing a yoga pose and then has the temerity of call her a “warrior”, the “Queen” of Canada… grow up woman. You are a child that is impressed by ridiculous things. She and her husband are the hipster products of a silver-spoon fed privilege that haven’t made any sacrifices on a scale with real warriors. Neither have what it takes for a real fight or conflict.

Take for example the latest story that our Defense Minister, an actual warrior, is being humiliated with the assigned task of searching for a peacekeeping mission somewhere in Africa that Canada can attach onto, because for Justin Trudeau the military is a tool for Liberal virtue-signaling of what a wonderful, peaceful nation we are, how much he believes in an unworkable utopian United Nations, instead of understanding that true peace is achieved by our warriors fighting for our side, killing people and breaking things that belong to the other side, not just standing in between two groups of hostile people. How’d that Canadian/UN peace keeping mission go in Rwanda?

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Fear for the Future

When two dogs get into a fight what happens the vast majority of the time is that one dog will lie down and show its belly to the other dog. It submits. You won, you are the leader. Rarely does the superior dog then continue the fight and kill the dog that has submitted unless it has behavioral issues, which tend to be more common in breeds like pit bulls, not because they are hardwired to kill other dogs but because they are chronically mishandled by their human masters which leads to said behavioral problems. But let us not digress.

The “right” has been submitting to the “left” now for the last 50 odd years. Pretty much since the 1960’s the right has been showing its belly to the left and conceding ground on all manner of social and cultural issues. It’s a misconception that true conservatives are against social progress on matters pertaining to women’s equality, gay rights, race relations, cultural diversity. But what conservatives try to petition for is Balance, Stability and Rational Government. Progress is great, but taken too far and too quickly it unbalances society, produces instability and results in governments that want an activist role rather than merely manage the affairs of civilization. Unbalanced, unstable and irrational is not a successful formula for any society and inevitably over the long haul leads to human tragedy, suffering and pain.

The pit bulls in my metaphor are the left, the social justice warriors (SJWs) and progressives who are constantly on the march, unable to acknowledge victories and completely amnesiac to where we were as a society even a few short years ago. There seems to be on the left a pathological impulse to fix the world whereas conservatives would tend to argue the only lasting fixes are internal as individuals. Stop asking for the government to fix every ill in the world; look in the mirror, adjust your behavior accordingly, set an example for others and trust that people will follow.

This was a long way of getting to the current Ghostbusters movie and the controversy over Twitter banning Milo Yiannopoulos. The movie looks like it sucks but that’s almost beside the point.

Hollywood is pretty devoid of new ideas and risk adverse so for the most part all you see lately are endless sequels and remakes. Hence their lack of imagination leads them to the brilliant idea that they should remake Ghostbusters with an all-female cast. Firstly, the original Ghostbusters wasn’t all that funny; could they not find a funnier 80’s comedy to remake? Second, comedy remakes tend to be busts because so much of the success of the original is dependent on cast chemistry and jokes that are relevant to that era… fart jokes were hilarious in the 80’s, now it’s got to be upgraded to ghost slime in vaginal cavities? OK, whatever, har har. And lastly, nothing against an all-female cast, Bridesmaids was hilarious for example, but why not create a new comedy for female comedians? Why scavenge a thirty year old comedy, ironically written by men, and simply try to swap out the cast genders?

So the trailer for the movie becomes the most disliked video ever posted to YouTube. Then after it comes out one of the lead actresses, Leslie Jones, gets into Twitter war with trolls that lasts more than eight hours (does she not realize the best thing to do is ignore idiots? Not feed them? Or was this part of a publicity scheme?) It ends with her threatening to quit Twitter and then pleading to Twitter that they do something and they do – they ban the supposed ring leader, Milo despite the evidence that he never actually called her anything racist.

Now Milo Yiannopolous is definitely an acquired taste. He’s a flamboyantly gay libertarian who likes to go after “third wave” feminists and SJWs. Watching him do it is quite funny and provides a perverse satisfaction; it’s like when your older brother would grab your arms and starting forcing you to hit yourself with your own hands and asks “why are you hitting yourself, what’s wrong with you?”. They can’t combat a gay man attacking them in the most un-PC way; they don’t know how to respond. But his soaring popularity is indicative of the times.

Brendan O’Neil writes a pretty good piece on this story, but now he’s under attack… on Twitter. His column is not completely nonsensical.  The only caveat I’d have is this; the left shows no graciousness and so even if a conservative were to show proper decorum, were to attempt to discuss things rationally, there is no reciprocal behavior.  The left act like the aforementioned pit bulls. So in the end a lot of people on the right give up and say, “Hey, if you think we’re incurable bigots then fine!  Let’s be incurable bigots!” and a large segment then give themselves permission to indulge in their worst instincts. No more submission. It’s what has given rise to Trump, an unapologetic bigot who hilariously has had the past two night’s speech upon speech at the Republican National Convention about what a wonderful husband, father and human being he is, despite being married three times, a serial philanderer, and a crook who stiffs people who’ve worked for him. A guy who is on trial for fraud. One of his character witnesses is Rudy Giuliani, a man who let his wife know about their divorce during a press conference after months of running around in public with his mistress. But you know what? None of his fans (or Milo’s fans) care, if the other side doesn’t care about standards, why should we?

It’s sad. Conservatism at its roots should be about character. It already evaporated long ago on the left (Hillary Clinton 30 years ago would have been indicted), and now it’s all but evaporated on the right. Fear for the future.

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On Diversity, Segregation, Cultural Appropriation and Multi-Culturalism

On the one hand you have the supposed forces of diversity; take for example the female German politician who neglected to report her own rape at the hands of three Arab migrants because she was afraid of the racial backlash against Arabs that reporting her crime might provoke. Only after there were subsequent attacks was her friend able to convince her to come forward to the police with her own story. She certainly signaled her virtues to the world – it was more important for her to avoid potentially negative characterizations of a specific race than protect other women from the same fate. It’s as though had she come forward she would be the bad person, not her attackers. Multi-culturalism practiced as a doctrine for being a good quiet victim. It’s not the victim blaming feminists so decry, but it’s close; it’s simply on the hierarchy of grievances and victim-hood, Muslims rank higher than women.

But then you have the forces of segregation; Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, etc. Ever wonder what it is exactly that these people want? As a Canadian this ridiculousness is particularly insulting; we are not a country with anywhere near the history of racism that the US has, so why is this abomination being imported from that country? Sure, we have done some bad things as a nation to First Nations, interning Japanese and refusing Jewish refugees during WWII and such, no Western nation has a flawless record on that front. No serious person would argue that we are a country free of racism, sexism, homophobia et al, but you cannot convince the majority that racism against blacks or other identifiable groups is either “systemic” or endemic in Canada, or in Toronto particularly.

One idea that gets pounded is the idea that white people, because of their “privilege” cannot understand the condition and lives of black people or any other visible minority in our country. That is intellectually absurd. By extension then how could a black person understand the life of say, a Chinese immigrant? How could the straight Chinese immigrant understand the life of gay Chinese immigrant? How could that gay Chinese immigrant understand the life of that trans-gendered Aboriginal wo/man? How could that trans-gendered Aboriginal wo/man understand the life of a paraplegic lesbian Muslim from Pakistan? How can I understand my neighbor? He has a teenage daughter and lives 25m north of where I live, his perspective on life must be different than mine… and on and on.

At some point if you carry that argument to its logical conclusion you could argue that it is impossible for any of us to understand each other, because we are individuals. We all develop as persons with our own experiences that colour who and what we are and determine our cognitive biases. For a society to function successfully we have to accept that others will be able to, for the most part, understand us and our concerns. So when you say that that is impossible then what these people argue for is segregation; the ability to exist under a separate set of laws and conditions. There doesn’t have to be physical separation of groups to have segregation, all it requires is that there are different rules for different people. And when you provide different rules for one group then every group wants its own rules. Including whites who then turn to a Donald Trump in the US and argue, hey it’s our turn for special treatment.

Perhaps it’s not all that different from the German politician who didn’t want to report her Arab rapists – she believed that they, because of their identity, should be allowed to operate under a set of different expectations for allowable behavior. This is what progressive white guilt has created; a society that every day seems more and more hell-bent on dividing into little identity groups, white, black, straight, gay, woman, single, married, native, migrant, Muslim, Christian, atheist, kids, no kids… nothing approaching a nation or unifying culture.

Unifying culture? What a quaint idea. Here’s Justin Timberlake, a pop star that does “black” dance moves and emulates Michael Jackson wherever and whenever possible. He tweets in support of a blatantly racist speech made by a black actor at the BET awards and gets hit with a request to stop appropriating black culture. What? Should we whites then volley back with blacks should stop appropriating “white” culture in the form pianos, keyboards, guitars, brass horns… recording equipment? Turntables? Records? CDs? Where is this headed?

You’d think the left would applaud cultural appropriation. Isn’t cultural appropriation is just another word for multi-culturalism, which as we’ve discussed, is a key goal of the left… but it also is simultaneously a tool of oppression by the white Patriarchy? What? Is this an example of “intersectionality” or whatever they call this crap when they teach it in universities? I can’t keep up.

Two hundred years from now we can only hope people will look back on this time in history and laugh at what utter morons we all were.

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On Being UnChristian-Like and Others

I may be asking for a bit of trouble with this posting, because I am far from being a Christian scholar, but I would say confidently that I am a Christian and a practicing Catholic. If you are of the “right-wing” persuasion, a classical liberal or a conservative, then these are trying times to be a Catholic when the current Pope and clergy seem to asking you to view the world and behave as a progressive might.

What prompts this post is an experience yesterday whence I had to listen to a homily at church  and my priest speak about not creating “others” to demonize in life; migrants, immigrants, refugees, gays, lesbians, trans-gender… He went on to quote Barack Obama and Pope Francis extensively, the quotes being mostly typical progressive stuff about going out of our way to embrace “others” of differing cultures, races, sexuality and views.  Some stuff about Brexit being unfortunate and a vote against immigrants, ignoring the fact that in polls of Brexit voters last week immigration was a distant third place in terms of concerns behind political sovereignty and economic opportunities.

Matthew 5:39:

But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Now, I repeat, I am not a Christian scholar. But I always have thought of Jesus not as some hippy-dippy flower child but as One who preached love, strength and personal power. This passage in the Bible I believe is an exhortation to resist provocation, not to tolerate or be indifferent to bad actions, not to be pacifist. What He was suggesting is who is stronger, more powerful, more in command than the person who can restrain themselves from lashing out? Perhaps some of our modern-day snowflakes attending universities and are so afraid of people saying controversial things or using words that they find offensive or “triggering” might take something from this passage. The old “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is derivative and still a good adage for everyone to try and live by but seems to be forgotten by the political correctness crowd.

We can infer that what Jesus was concerned about when He said to turn the other cheek was the example His followers would set in how they reacted to future persecutions. He wanted people to come to Him and not be turned off by violence.

But again, He was not one to take things lying down; consider John 2:15:

And when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables.

That doesn’t sound like someone who passively tolerated or was indifferent to bad behavior in His midst.

But nonetheless, Matthew 5:39 gets used to berate us into thinking that we can only be a good person if we “turn the other cheek” which has been twisted into modern times to be synonymous with the idiom “turn a blind eye.” Case in point, let’s discuss a recent story about “others”; grown men (some with beards even), Syrian refugees, attending high school in New Brunswick and harassing female students, refusing to speak English and giving Jewish students a hard time. One might think the story is being actively repressed, to the point where it’s hard to even find it on a Google news feed. Heaven knows CBC or CTV wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. It has taken a small upstart media outlet to do a FOI request to get their hands on emails between teachers and the school, emails that show the teachers have gone out of their way to accommodate these students and make the best of a bad situation and not gotten any help or seen any improvement.

This is just a very recent Canadian example, but one could add to it literally hundreds of recent stories from Europe. What does a Christian do when the Others are “others” because they are choosing to be “others” and have no interest in peaceful coexistence or conformance with even the most basic ideas we have here in the West about treating women and other religions with respect? Where is the Christian responsibility to protect the weak and those unable to protect themselves? Is it Christian to ignore the plight of teenage girls being harassed in our high schools because we want to be “tolerant” and avoid demonizing people? No, it is not. That is wrong, it has to be. I can’t conceive of a Jesus who would have suggested Christians just roll over or allow evil behavior to proceed unchecked.  Should we ignore the plight of Yazidi and Christians in Iraq being slaughtered, or maybe just try to talk with ISIS and make them see the light?  No, we need to go destroy them because they are evil.  It is justified.

There is a difference between being tolerant and being indifferent. We should strive to be tolerant of other people, their creeds, sexuality and beliefs. We should try to understand them to the extent possible. No question, and as I’ve written in past posts we have come a million miles in the last hundred years on this front. A diverse society is a stronger one provided everyone is on the same page as far as respect for each other and rule of law.

But that doesn’t mean we have to be indifferent to events, actions and persons who either knowingly or unknowingly are having an adverse impact on our way of life.  It’s not wrong to defend who and what we are without being called un-Christian.  I wish my church would stop implying otherwise.

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Why Not? A Brexit Opinion from a Canadian Conservative

Why not? Let’s have another opinion on Brexit from someone who isn’t British or lives in England.

It’s awesome; a fantastic victory for the right over the left. And not the “far-right” as the progressives clambers over each other to proclaim at how shocked and appalled they are by the victory of racists and bigots. No, a victory for the right that rejects ideas of over-arching government bureaucracy and micro-managing of every little aspect of your life, a rejection of the idea that one-size-fits-all policies and pan-continental/world government should take precedence over local and community solutions and desires.

The EU over-reached; had it simply remained a free-trade bloc with the capacity for labour and goods to move freely within its members this would never have happened and the original goal of the EU, post WW-II, of a more integrated Europe to prevent future military conflicts, would have been achieved. But no, it decided to pursue a pan-European government, a one-size fits all pan-European currency, and saddle the continent with a largely unaccountable bureaucracy that nobody really cared for.

The Leave campaign argued that the U.K. is being prevented from negotiating free trade deals with the US, Canada, Asia et. al. by its ties to the continent which has been experiencing near zero growth for the past decade. That’s not anti-trade or isolationist, it’s a valid belief that the economic grass is indeed greener on the other side. The proof is in the pudding; strikes and protests are going on right now in France about such minor reforms to labour laws that we here in Canada have to laugh, but it’s so hard to hire and fire people that the French economy has stagnated. Germany has so few young people that its economy has been stalled for years and so it’s come to Merkel taking a massive gamble that letting in over a million Syrian men will give their economy the boost of young labour and entrepreneurs it desperately needs. Really? Then you have basket-case countries like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and others that can barely pay their bills and need massive floats of funding from other countries who know, deep down, that they will never see that money back again.

The economic arguments are there, the sovereignty-erosion arguments are there. So the left have to dip into making last ditch arguments about racism and xenophobia. Take for example our virtue-signaler in chief, John Oliver, who does these long form TV essays on issues he wants to expound upon from the angle of his choosing, but when he does get caught out because his facts are wrong or he chooses to omit certain key arguments, he just says “I’m a comedian, not a journalist.” He gets to have his cake and eat it too. But on this issue even he can’t float the Remain boat for too long on the basis of legitimate arguments and of course, slips into the Nigel Farage is a racist bigot etc. argument.

Here’s what the Left do really well – they END arguments. They don’t WIN them, but they are very good at ENDING them. They simply try to discredit the other side as being racist, homophobic, and bigoted, climate-deniers etc. and they unilaterally declare arguments are OVER. The Left has a long track record in recent years of being tremendously successful at doing this.   But they tried that here, and it didn’t work. This is why there’s going to be so much anger and angst in the next few weeks and months. This is a bad precedent for the Left, and we on the right have been given a reason to cheer for a change.

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On Virtue Signaling as City Zoning Policy

Remember Justin Trudeau’s promise for more “evidence-based” policy making? Supposedly evidence-based means an objective analysis of historical evidence and facts to support the creation of policy. What a superb idea. As conservatives we’d embrace this approach, seeing as how conservatism should be at its heart about balance, stability and rational government.

But what we’re more likely to see from your standard leftie is “virtue-based” policy making.   We talked about virtue-signaling in the last post. Now let’s examine a microscopic example of how virtue-signaling doesn’t just infect our social media with misplaced outpourings of grief and support for victims and causes, but also our policy making at something as mundane as a city planning level.

See the picture of these fine young urban planners? Four young professionals about to transform a city of 250,000 into a modern green-topia of cyclists, bus riders and LRT users. The ordinary car powered by a combustion engine? Evil. These four become nauseous at the sight of one in the city core. So here’s what they propose to do with their new city zoning by-laws; make it impossible to find a spot for any cars.

“The proposal would require no parking for the first 100 units and then 0.9 spaces/unit thereafter.”

The practicalities of this are almost insane – would you spend $300k+ on a condo apartment that doesn’t provide you at least ONE parking spot?  No.  So two things will happen; the market for older apartments with one or more parking spots per unit will skyrocket and developers will either abandon the idea of building condos or, what is more likely, find ways to pay off politicians for by-law exemptions.  It actually opens the market for corruption.

As an example you don’t have to stray too far – the Ontario Liberal government’s Green Belt legislation was supposed to curtail development beyond certain boundaries and prevent urban sprawl, a noble goal but what’s been shown is that in practice all it did was put some more friction in the system that could be overcome with a little green, and not the environmental kind. This is evidenced by the fact that the number one financial contributor to the Ontario Liberals is in fact developers.

And I guess we’re all supposed to work at City Hall and live downtown so we can walk to work in -30C temps.  You can only bike in this country for maybe six months of the year.

So what’s this about then? It’s not about the actual ability to get rid of cars; it’s about the virtue-signaling of one community of urban planners to another, so they can go to conferences in the future and compare impractical and failed ideas and pat each other on the back about all the supposed good they’re doing. As time trudges maybe one or two at the most of this daring foursome will attempt to stick their goals with puritanical zeal and be real pains-in-the-ass to your typical downtown developer, but the others will kowtow to political pressure from developers savvy enough to throw fundraising dinners for the mayor and councilors and get their bylaw exemptions via the backdoor. And the additional cost of application delays and fundraising will just be passed on to the consumer, making the market for condos and housing in general all that more expensive and unaffordable .  Cue the stories about how young people are priced out of the housing market.

There are plenty of market-based solutions to curbing urban sprawl and incentivizing people to use mass transit and alternative modes of transportation.  But those kinds or solutions are devoid of any kind of virtue-signaling because using the free market and letting urban development evolve according to market forces doesn’t provide fodder for fawning news articles that get circulated to your peers around the country.

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On Virtue Signaling

Who remembers the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup hockey riot from a couple of years ago? The Canucks lost in game seven of the finals to the Boston Bruins and then fans in Vancouver promptly rioted and, in the end, nearly 300 people were convicted of crimes during the riot but many more escaped any charges because they couldn’t be identified. Four people were stabbed, hundreds wounded, nine police officers hurt and property damage was over $4 million including widespread looting.

There was a lot of hand wringing after the fact about the identities of these rioters; generally young but university educated, employed and seemingly decent persons in their normal day lives. So the explanations evolved to the whole event being a narrative on what a spoiled, entitled, and moral-less generation millennials have become. But that didn’t explain everything; there was quite a bit of discussion about mob mentality, crowd psychology and how people can be swept up in the spirit of a riot and lose their common sense and moral bearings.

From Gustave Le Bon, who was a leader in the analysis of mob psychology:

“Crowd behavior is heavily influenced by the loss of responsibility of the individual and the impression of universality of behavior, both of which increase with the size of the crowd.”

There is clearly some reciprocity at work; persons looking to relieve themselves of responsibility actually look for crowds to become part of, they embrace crowds. Hence why the “good” kids in Vancouver, when they saw a riot brewing, a crowd with ignoble purpose they didn’t run the other way or try to stop it even, they surrendered to it and fell in. Because it gave them the feeling they were absolved of responsibility.

All of which brings us to “virtue signaling”… You know what virtue signaling is; the changing your Facebook profile pic to the colours of the French or Belgian flag when there’s a terrorist attack, the sending of unsolicited emails to 300 people at a time with links to climate-alarmist videos, the changing of the words of your national anthem because “in all thy son’s command” can’t be interpreted in any generic sense and excludes half the nation, the hashtag campaigns to #bringbackourgirls… in the immortal words of Bill Burr (see around 3:52 in this clip);

She’s sitting there holding up those hashtags, “BringBackOurGirls””

Remember that hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

That blew my mind, like why are you asking me that, I am a stand-up comedian. Like what am I going to do to get back the girls?

Why don’t you look across the dinner table, you see that guy? That is the leader of the free world; tell him to pick up a phone, call some NAVY Seals and solve it….What am I going to do?

Virtue signaling are all those symbolic gestures that in the end amount to nothing. They get nothing accomplished except… make it widely known to all your friends, families and peers that YOU CARE. You are a caring, empathic, wonderful human being. You are good and you are announcing it to the world. But there’s the whole crowd aspect of virtue signaling too that would explain in part why there always seems to be stampede like a herd on Facebook and Twitter and all the other social media sites to immediately proclaim your solidarity with the victims of this tragedy or that tragedy, like the most recent Orlando shootings. Proclaiming your sympathies and solidarity with gay people is the very least you can do, but I believe the great majority rush to do this as quickly as they can because then there is the inference that that’s it, they’re done. Their responsibility in the matter has ended. They have washed away or diluted their responsibility in the crowd they have joined by virtue signaling. It’s intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt, but that is the society we are living in today. Take the easy road. As Mark Steyn so aptly puts it in this clip, most of society goes on frolicking in the fields, holding hands and singing about our wonderful lives, and the conservatives are the ones left to look at the world as it truly is and be labelled as the mean or racist or bigoted ones.

Conservatives are not innocent of virtue signaling, we certainly do our share of it. But we need to point it out whenever we see it and call people out on it, because only shaming people and pointing out the uselessness of symbolism over substance will provide at least a modicum of resistance to this increasing herd mentality. When you see the left contorting itself so that they can claim the Orlando shooting is an unfortunate result of the marginalization of two communities, gay and Muslim, you know you are seeing overt virtue signaling that will not accomplish anything other than make the situation worse.  We cannot seek out crowds to join that let us shirk responsibility for dealing with the root causes of problems just because it might make us seem harsh or uncaring.

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Losing the Battle

So I got this email the other day at work.

From: Bag, Douche

Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 12:41 PM

To: Everyone at Work in My Building

Subject: Kids on climate change

Hi everyone.

I know I shouldn’t do this, but I had to share this video developed by the Ontario government and featured on their climate change website.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B2uTVXuv3E

And here’s the website:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/climate-change

Cheers,

Douche Bag

Senior Tree Hugger

(PS – I wear board shorts and flip-flops to work in an office because I’m huge prick.)

What strikes me about receiving this email is the inference on the part of the sender that all those receiving this email would be either grateful for it or accepting of its contents. There is an implied impunity to any blow-back, because if I had replied something to the effect of, “Please, in the future do not send me links to government tax-payer funded propaganda that uses little kids to hector their parents about climate-alarmism,” guess who would have been the f’n bad guy? Me. What kind of Neanderthal, anti-science, troglodyte calls this propaganda? Isn’t it the truth?!? WHO IS AGAINST TRUTH?!? EVIL PEOPLE, THAT’S WHO.

So, I debated for a few minutes responding to Mr. Bag, weighing the costs and benefits of outing myself as a “denier”. Then I came to the conclusion, as I usually do whenever I stop and not let my emotions get a hold of me, that I cannot change this person’s mind nor can I do anything other than put a giant target on my back for the eco-cultists on the 3rd floor to shoot at (with their metaphorical guns, certainly, not real guns), so what would be the point other than to start argument I cannot win.

I thought briefly about forwarding the email to Human Resources and inquiring as to whether it was appropriate to be circulating political emails at work, but then after thinking about that for several minutes also, I came to the conclusion that the interpretation at HR would likely have been “what’s political about that?” and doubtless my complaint would have gone nowhere, or equally likely they would have lazily just forwarded my email on to Douche with some kind of limp-wristed instruction to please take care in the future, and I would have been outed anyway.  We are talking after all about a company that has a “Sustainability” group that does bullshit false-economy work commissioning buildings so they achieve some kind of minimum threshold of environmental compliance and can hang a cheap looking diploma in their lobby stating that they’re LEED certified, or something like that.  Meaningless work unless you have a culture that upholds meaningless work as way of corporate virtue-signaling…. “Look how awesome and environmentally conscious a company we are!” and then they get a nice profile in some year end magazine listing the “greenest” companies to work for.

So in the end, despite my dismay at receiving an email promoting a Nazi-youth, North Korea style, climate propaganda video that speciously uses children, I lacked the courage to do anything but meekly read his email, click on the link, watch in disgust, wait a few minutes for my fuming to subside and then delete the email. I have kids to feed, a mortgage to pay, I cannot afford to make any great moral stand on something ultimately I have zero ability to influence. But oh wait – after some monkeying around with Outlook I did find a way to block the asshole so I will never see another email from him again.   That will teach him.  Next time he invites us all to one of his lunch seminars about filling out our mileage forms to comply with our commute-reduction goals, I won’t get the invite.  Straight to trash.  We have to take triumphs, no matter how small, wherever we can get them.

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On French Racists and Push-Back

The French national soccer team manager, Didier Deschamps decided that he didn’t want Karim Benzema on the final roster for the upcoming European Cup because he was involved in a scheme to blackmail a teammate, Mathieu Valbuena over a supposed sex tape. Benzema is a pretty decent striker, and probably the best French striker available to pick for the national team, but Deschamps elected instead not to select him because his presence in the locker room probably wouldn’t be great for team chemistry. Chemistry between players, team spirit, trumps individual talents in a team sport like soccer.

Then there’s Samir Nasri. A complete asshole and by most accounts a corrosive personality in the French locker room. He’s talented too, but didn’t play much this past year for Manchester City and will probably get turfed when new manager Pep Guardiola comes in later this summer mostly because he’s lazy and a bit of a prima donna. He was left off the team as well by Deschamps.

Oh, and wait. Here’s Atem Ben Arfa. He was a Newcastle United reject and went back to the French league two years ago where he just had a barnstormer of a season. But lo and behold, he’s a jackass too and nobody on the national team likes him, he’s seen as a selfish player, so one more player left off the team by Deschamps.

What do they have in common? All players of Algerian descent… so naturally Deschamps is being accused of racism by, amongst others, loser Globe and Fail columnists who know nothing about soccer and who is not even a sports columnist. Deschamps is accused of being a racist despite the fact that there are 11 out of 23 players who are black or of African descent, all of whom deny that Deschamps is discriminatory in any way.

But is it any surprise? Progressives are always on the search for things to be outraged about, even if it needs to be imagined and manufactured or conveniently ignores facts that are as plain as day. And this is just a small example of a very big problem with progressivism – it never stops. It never relents. If you ask a conservative, what 10 to 15 things would make you happy, a conservative would list them (lower taxes, reduce the size of government, reduce entitlements and balance the budget, strengthen the military, etc.) and say, if you give us this, we will go away. We’ll go live our lives and get on with things. Ask a progressive this question and they will look at you as though you are from another planet… There is no limit to what they want, because as soon as they achieve something they ignore it, fail to acknowledge any progress and just go on the hunt for more, and more, and more. They are insatiable.

So is the French team racist? No! Because you need to look at it in the context of what the French team might have looked like 50 years ago… there wouldn’t have been a single black player on the roster! That’s progress, no matter how you define it. That should be appreciated, not dissected for the fact that players representing one single minority aren’t represented on the team (for valid reasons).

And this unrelenting assault on everything, this inability to take a breather and appreciate how far we’ve come as a society and a species it eventually produces a resistance. There comes a push back and it gets ugly, the metaphorical pendulum that swings the other way. You get a Donald Trump who, when he calls Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” because she bullshitted about her First Nations ancestry to get a plumb university job, a reporter or someone in the audience shouts, “That’s offensive!” and what does Trump do? He repeats it 4 or 5 more times, this time with a smile, a shark who’s just tasted blood in the water. He’s an asshole who has no business running for President, but this is what a large segment of the population want to see – resistance. Mocking of progressive sensibilities and orthodoxies. Push back. What a shame the current leader for this resistance is total boob and not a conservative at all.  The progressive left are creating a monster, a nationalist alt-right movement that is picking up steam across the world, and when it gets rolling who will stop it?

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