Saudi Arabia proposes “show trial” in Khashoggi Killing

This is how Middle Eastern (and most other) dictatorships deal with bad press.

Saudi Arabia to Seek Death Penalty for 5 Accused in Khashoggi Killing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canada Post “workers” to use their coercive monopoly starting Monday morning

“Canada Post union workers to begin rotating nationwide strikes Monday morning

I’m annoyed. I knew it was possible for the government-sponsored monopolies at Canada Post to upset my daily routine. I ignored that possibility when I placed an on-line order for a specialty household product I’ll need by month-end.

So now, the very next day following the placing of my order (the vendor offers free shipping by expedited Canada Post shipment) I read (see link above) that the disgruntled union is ordering “rotating strikes.”

This means my order may be delayed and I won’t receive it in time for next weekend, when I have planned to clean the hard-water deposits from my espresso machine.

Trivial stuff, I know, when counterpoised against the heady issues of ” . . . health and safety, gender equality and good, full-time middle-class jobs . . ..”

I guess where the whole thing comes apart for me is that here are two government-sponsored monopolies opposing each other in the pit of practically unlimited dollars confiscated from taxpayers and sloshing around for the taking.

Canada Post, the crown corporation, enjoys a monopoly. Nobody else is allowed to deliver letters or bulk mail by order of law. On the other side of the dispute is the union of postal workers, who enjoy a peculiar monopoly of their own; no other individuals may perform their work without being members of the union, a status also enforced by order of law.

Then there are the issues, which on their own provide just cause for annoyance at the least. Let’s see, “health and safety” is a kind of “sugar-pie” issue that nobody can argue against. I’m all for the health and safety of workers regardless of their peculiar employment circumstances. Exactly what are the concerns of postal workers, the majority of whom are only stressed by repetitive sorting of letters weighing less than an ounce, or carrying bags of same that cumulatively could weigh more than a bag of groceries? Perhaps this stress is outweighed by the healthy walking letter-carriers do in making their appointed rounds.

What about “gender equality?” This term as used here must be some kind of package deal. On the face of it, genders are only equal before the law and morality. It means equality of opportunity and not of outcome. In absolute terms, gender is a distinction with a difference. So I’ll leave it to union representatives to explain why this is an issue so dire as to withdraw their members from active employment, rotating or otherwise.

Finally, we have “good, full-time middle-class jobs” as a key point of disagreement. Now I know that a government-sponsored monopoly employer, which has never demonstrated much regard for the proverbial “bottom-line” has probably been rather accommodating in regard to “job-creation” when it comes to allocating resources. Who has not wondered how a clerk who is paid more in wages and benefits than the average Canadian unskilled worker can be financially justified at a few dollars per transaction, when they, the taxpayers, wait on-line for service from the same, often surly clerk?

Is that what “good, full-time middle-class jobs” means to the union? By what right does this monopoly provide a superior standard of living to unskilled workers to what they might obtain in free markets without the benefit of a government enforced monopoly?

Edward’s Post

Drunken vandals face 10 years in jail for defacing artifact in Thailand

“Brit, Canadian face 10 years in jail for spraying Thai wall”

Yes, it’s a slow news day in Canada when this is a “top story.”

Perhaps much of the population is still “coming down from a high” after celebrating the “historic day” of cannabis “legalization.”

With some supply problems already apparent the period of tranquility may soon end. Or, since Canadians are accustomed to long line-ups and rationing of medical care they’ll just shrug it off.

The sad tale of the two drunken louts in Thailand won’t garner too much sympathy among domestic “stoners” but the chastened miscreants can take comfort that the embassies are “providing services.”

Edward’s Post