Sweatshirts: “A Clear and Present Danger” according to some

What is in the nature of a “threat?” If the context is whether or not the initiation of physical force by one man against another is imminent, which is a proper context, then the judgment must be objective.

So, two individuals among hundreds of “demonstrators” at a reception for Prime Minister Trudeau (only one of whom apparently was wearing a “controversial anti-Trudeau hoodie”) are unlikely to present “a clear and present danger” to anyone, let alone Canada’s Prime Minister.

Were these individuals armed with anything more than a sweatshirt printed with a graphic and slogan some might find tasteless? No. Yet the following headline and related article seem determined to stoke fear among the populace.

Controversial anti-Trudeau hoodies draw attention from demonstrators and RCMP https://a.msn.com/r/2/BBQ255e?m=en-ca&referrerID=InAppShare

The headline suggests that two parties, the hundreds of demonstrators and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were drawn to focus on these “controversial hoodies.” As near as can be determined, the involvement of the other demonstrators extended to taking photos of the single sweatshirt and posting them to social media. This seems like a relatively harmless gesture, and I doubt whether the other demonstrators felt threatened by the single sweatshirt in their presence.

The RCMP are another matter. Global News reports an RCMP officer making the statement that the RCMP was “aware of the matter.” That’s also fairly benign and one would not expect the RCMP in any event to discuss matters of security or public safety in any specific detail.

However, an RCMP statement to Global News included the following:

The RCMP takes all threats seriously and has measures in place to address them. (Emphasis added.)

Now I trust that this quote is not taken out of context by Global News in rendering a story that otherwise is like a Seinfeld episode, i.e., about “nothing.” If true that the RCMP takes this non-story as a “threat” then we are closer to a police state than even I have thought.

How is that? Some more context is in order. There have been many assaults of late, official and otherwise, on the right of free expression, a corollary of the right to one’s own life. In order to live as a man you must be free to exercise your conscious mind to gain the knowledge needed for survival as a man. That exercise is neither infallible nor does it involve a conflict with the rights of others. The only moral imperative is that one does not initiate physical force against another nor threaten it in a way that meets the standard of “a clear and present danger.”

Currently there are laws against “hate speech.” These are laws without an objective definition. In Canada there are “human rights tribunals” in which political appointees may decide without objective evidence that a man’s thoughts are actionable in a punitive manner with fines, apologies required and/or financial ruin through legal and other costs. Although decisions are reviewable by the Federal Court of Canada it should be clear that any allegation by a complainant can easily result in significant costs in time and financial resources to the accused. Perhaps I need not remind you that such costs are levied against what one may think and say rather than what one may do. I leave it to you to consider whether this arrangement casts a pallor over willingness to express one’s views.

It is now the case that some “social engineers” regard the laws against “hate speech” as insufficient and they seek to redefine free expression in terms of “harmful speech.” This would be accompanied, according to at least one academic, by a Moderation Standards Council that would determine “independently” whether an allegation that someone’s speech or other form of non-violent expression is “harmful.”

If this all seems Orwellian, well that’s because it’s exactly that. Political freedom and the right of free expression is the freedom to express what you think. Necessarily this includes the freedom to “offend.” If third parties, including those who may be the targets of your critical comments are “offended” then that is their problem not yours. If the government prescribes what you may or may not say, the message is that you have no rights. Consider that.

Edward’s Post

Ninety percent of Canadians say “no more arms sales to Saudi Arabia”: poll

I think my version of a headline for the following story is more dramatic and more significant than this:

Should Trudeau keep arms deal with Saudis? More than half of Canadians say yes: poll https://a.msn.com/r/2/BBPpALn?m=en-ca&referrerID=InAppShare

Paying particular attention to the findings of the Angus Reid poll of 1500 Canadians, it is technically true that 54 percent of Canadians favor honoring the existing arms sale agreement.

According to the article 44 percent think the existing agreement should be honored but no further arm sales to Saudi Arabia should be made.

Another 10 percent say arms sales, including the current and any future sales should be continued. Thus we have 54 percent, “more than half of Canadians” saying the current arms sale should go ahead.

Notably, the poll also showed 46 percent of those polled would prefer to cancel the arms deal that currently exists and they would not want further armaments from Canada going to this regime.

That is a more significant takeaway in my opinion, and although the article does indicate most Canadians would have arms trading with Saudi Arabia stopped, this point is glossed over in favor of the headline generating fact that “more than half” support keeping the current “deal.” What’s so important about the existing sale agreement?

The nominal importance is entirely political in nature. That’s why Trudeau and his government are wavering. There are undoubtedly many political considerations: loss of revenue for the government and favored businesses, jobs for Canadians, foreign policy considerations, the fact that it was the Harper government that negotiated this agreement in the first place, and of course the recent round of testy diplomatic exchanges with the Saudi government.

All of these concrete issues merely confuse the matter. If there’s an optimistic ethical takeaway from the aforementioned poll it’s that 90 percent of Canadians make the moral judgment that selling arms to an overtly rights-violating government is wrong. It is not acting in the self-interest of those who live in Canadian culture.

Ideologically, Saudi Arabia is an enemy. Ninety percent of Canadians appear to recognize that. Modern intellectuals, particularly in government and in the establishment media appear to fail at that principled recognition.

Edward’s Post

Defiance of economic reality on the agenda for new president of Sask. Federation of Labour

The madness just never ends. The minimum wage argument of recent years seems to center on fifteen dollars per hour as the minimum wage rate that will ensure all workers a “fair” standard of living.

In yet another expression of defiance in the face of economic facts of reality, Lori Johb, new president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, vows to fight for, among other cultural bromides, a minimum wage of fifteen dollars per hour, enforced by the coercive force of government.

The following linked article describes the event in which Lori Johb takes over as new president of the labour union.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/new-saskatchewan-federation-of-labour-president-1.4881474

A quick recollection of minimum wage legislation in any jurisdiction you might select will reveal that the so-called minimum wage rate has continued to escalate over the years and that the complaints about the “minimum wage” worker remain essentially the same, with nevertheless some more recent embellishments.

Today, the idea seems to be that the minimum wage should guarantee the employee a level of income by which he can afford some sort of utopian lifestyle: the ability to raise a family in a home subject to a mortgage with an automobile (preferably a hybrid vehicle) to provide transportation, and sufficient disposable income to provide for an annual vacation to places he’d rather live anyway, and allowing for savings sufficient to ensure a retirement that will be adorned with all his dreams come to fruition.

But that is not reality, economic or otherwise. Free markets are moral and they work. If you stop to think for one solid minute (or more, if required) you may observe that any employee voluntarily accepts the conditions offered by his employer. He remains free to seek alternative employment, when and if he has gained the experience and level of skill necessary to demand higher compensation, in whatever form that may take.

To pretend that government, labour organizations or other collectives can institute otherwise in the face of reality is bordering on psychological depravity.

Edward’s Post

 

One Man’s Flag, Another Man’s Poison

The following excerpt and link to article is a follow-up to the story I commented on here.

Removal of straight flag discrimination: creator https://a.msn.com/r/2/BBOMNvB?m=en-ca&referrerID=InAppShare

There’s an old lesson to be remembered here. It’s not the one about not being able to please (or to “fool”) everyone. The lesson is that the use of coercive force necessarily leads to continuous conflict.

What does all that mean? Don’t use coercive force to get your own way is the answer and moral imperative. Even the appeal to a small village council to fly a “rainbow flag” is force because there is an element of political power required to accomplish the effect desired by a specially interested collective.

One of the consequences of resorting to coercive force is that other individuals resent it. Small wonder: it’s evil. So it’s no surprise that Mr. Bishop and his conjured “straight-pride” flag have come to the fight with yet another version of “tit for tat.”

So now there are two (at least) parties in conflict over a couple of stupid flags! Flags represent collectives of some description, be it a nation, an army, a pirate ship or some primitive tribe (which might use totems, piles of stones, runes, animal hides or other mystical symbols rather than flags.)

If our governments, regardless of hierarchy, were to orient themselves to defending the rights of the individual rather than any collective there would be no political conflict. There are no conflicts of men’s interests if they are left to the individuals involved to agree or disagree, provided our governments protect our rights to self-express in the market of ideas.

When two parties agree to a trade of values, material or spiritual, both gain. When they disagree to an exchange of values, each simply goes his own way. Neither has the coercive force of government to enforce his particular vision of right or wrong.

Edward’s Post

Graffiti and other Smears at Yale Law School

“Christine Blasey Ford Quote Painted at Yale Law School https://a.msn.com/r/2/BBOJLPL?m=en-ca&referrerID=InAppShare

You’d think most of the alumni, students and faculty of Yale Law School would understand the difference between fact and opinion as well as the difference between a Senate hearing and a trial in a court of law.

You should also be aware by now of some stunning exceptions to understanding of these differences which have dominated recent headlines in the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process.

First, consider the alumni, which would include members of the American Bar Association and visitors attending Alumni weekend at Yale Law School. According to the article linked above, on Monday morning following the conclusion of Alumni weekend a graffiti painting quoted the words of Christine Blasey Ford outside the school’s door.

Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter.

According to the article, this quote, extracted from Ford’s testimony at a Senate Committee hearing during the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh as Justice of the Supreme Court, was given in testimony against Kavanaugh. Omitted is the fact that this “testimony” was given at a Senate hearing which is not a court of law. Also omitted is the relevance of testimony that applied to a near forty-year old event that was certainly not criminal and would never be admissible in any rational court of law.

I agree that there is some evidence that the events described in Ford’s testimony may well have occurred, though I doubt they would have been exactly as described. But the evidence is weak to begin with and as both Ford and Kavanaugh were teenagers at the time, four decades prior to reaching the heights of their subsequent professional careers, it should never have been subjected to the corrupt process of a “trial” by media and political opinion. There was no reason such sensitive matters could not be considered in private conference with committee members.

The media would of course never consider the sensitivity of the protagonists and so it is not surprising that although Kavanaugh has been confirmed on the basis of his professional record, which is the only relevant evidence here, the media and other political activists choose to keep the “trial” running until it yields some result acceptable to them.

Consider this statement from the article.

Despite protests, calls to senators and pushes to deem him unfit for a lifetime on the court Kavanaugh was confirmed.

If there’s a mention of Kavanaugh’s ability and sterling performance as a judge anywhere, express or implied, I must have missed it. “Protests, calls to senators and pushes” to the contrary, his judicial record thankfully prevailed. His career unfortunately is forever smeared by the corruption of the confirmation process. The perpetrators, primarily the media and Senate Committee members who dragged the vague recollections of middle-aged adults as teenagers through the process as an indictment, will never be accountable except in their own moral ineptness.

The article reports on other protests from Yale Law School, by students as well as faculty and even the Dean, which were raised prior to Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

The Dean of Yale’s law school called for an investigation into the allegations from Ford. “I join the American Bar Association in calling for an additional investigation into allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh. Proceeding with the confirmation process without further investigation is not in the best interest of the Court or our profession,” said the statement from Dean Heather Gerken.

Observe that even the American Bar Association had thrown its hat into the ring to call for “additional investigations,” according to Dean Gerken’s quoted statement. That nonsense is even less relevant now that Kavanaugh has been confirmed.

Let’s fervently hope the anarchist inspired efforts of this process fade away into merely a smear on the record of the confirmation process for Justices of the Supreme Court.

Edward’s Post

New Brunswick village council backs down after “inclusiveness” effort

“N.B. village raises ‘straight flag’ and promptly takes it down following a public backlash https://a.msn.com/r/2/BBOJ7ek?m=en-ca&referrerID=InAppShare

The mayor and council of Chipman, New Brunswick apparently thought they were on to a good thing when they raised a “straight flag” on Sunday, with the intention of letting it fly for a week, as they had earlier voted to do and did with regards to a “rainbow flag.”

The linked article quotes the mayor from a speech given on Sunday:

Whatever your personal persuasions, political or religious views, or country of origin, we welcome you in our community and ask for your volunteer efforts to help make Chipman a more open, dynamic and attractive community for all citizens.

This kind of “virtue-signalling” is unacceptable to the “politically correct” establishment, particularly when it’s punctuated by the raising of a “black and white” flag. According to the article:

Comments have poured in on the village’s Facebook page from residents and neighbours criticizing the decision as harmful towards the LGBTQ community and urging the town to take down the flag — three black stripes over a white background. [emphasis added]

In what way is this nonsense harmful to the “LGBTQ community?” Answer: in the same way it’s harmful to the “straight community” to fly a “rainbow flag.” Which is to say not harmful at all, except to the extent that all of us should be annoyed about all such wasteful gestures.

Within less than twenty-four hours the black and white flag was taken down in response to a community backlash via social media, according to the linked article. There is zero tolerance apparently, for anything but rainbows and the exalted “LGBTQ community” in Chipman and its neighborhood.

Democracy has prevailed you might say, by expressing the feelings of the people through social media. Would that more people were willing to express their individuality rather than counterblast with their passive acceptance of socially identified collectivist “communities.”

Edward’s Post