Barbara Bush 1925-2018

The late Barbara Bush was the most magnificent person to occupy the White House in the last 40 years, with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan. I recall one Christmas time when a suburban shopping mall in the Washington area had banned Salvation Army bellringers with their plastic spheres for cash donations. I assume it was one of those church-state issues that bedevil the States. Maybe it was just cheap meanness. Barbara Bush got into the presidential limousine, took a drive out to the mall, and arranged for a television crew to film  her dropping in 1980s twenty dollar bill into the lucite sphere of the Salvation Army bell ringers. The shopping centre lifted its ban that night. She had exactly the right touch.

You will find several clips on Barbara Bush on Youtube. Here is a review of her by Brett Hume. She was fierce, intelligent, down to earth, loved her family, and never struck a false note.

There is so an American upper class, and she was a paht of it.

 

Pinker versus Taleb

 

Rebel Yell has said that a communist can live with a national socialist as long as they have the same ideas of cleanliness and tidiness. I incline to agree, and it is in this irenic spirit that I declare my willingness to live with Steven Pinker, but NOT agree with him. We are not as far opposed as two totalitarians, but we have our issues.

I have just read Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now and Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Skin in the Game; they make a fascinating contrast in styles. The issue between them concerns two different and largely incompatible ways of knowing the world.

I had heard that Taleb had written incendiary reviews of Pinkler’s previous work, The Better Angels of Our Nature, wherein Pinker argues that we have entered an era of declining losses by death in war, the Long Peace, following World War 2. Taleb thinks this is nonsense; the post world war 2 peace is just an artifact of not having had a serious war in 70 years, which will most assuredly come, says Taleb, we know not when, but we had better not bet against it.

Pinker is a Montreal-born professor of psychology who teaches at Harvard. He opposes political correctness, disparages the blank slate idea of mind, upholds the reality of group IQ differences, regards Islam with a baleful eye, and rightly considers that we are living in and age of unprecedented, widespread and increasing prosperity. His main axis of attack is against the prevailing catastrophism and cultural negativism at universities and in modern culture more generally. His books demonstrate that the world is getting better for everyone, rapidly. So far so good.

Taleb says in effect, not so fast, dude. On the main contention of The Better Angels of Our Nature, that human propensity for violence is declining, Taleb maintains:

we as humans can not be deemed as less belligerent than usual. For a
conflict generating at least 10 million casualties, an event less
bloody than WW1 or WW2, the waiting time is on average
136 years, with a mean absolute deviation of 267 (or 52 years
and 61 deviations for data rescaled to today’s population). The
seventy years of what is called the “Long Peace” are clearly
not enough to state much about the possibility of WW3 in the
near future.

Pinker’s cheerful reasonableness really grates in Taleb, and I can see why. Taleb comes from the Dark Side: his formative experience was growing up in Lebanon’s never ending civil war in the 1970s, whereas Pinker’s folk came from the Snowdon-NDG side of Westmount Mountain in Montreal, where hard working Jewish immigrants rose the ladder of success after escaping anti-semitic persecution in Tsarist Russia.

So one guy in his youth experienced the world going to shit, and the other experienced the pleasant rise from Yiddish-speaking working class to  professoriate in two or three generations of Anglo-Montreal. And then off to Harvard where, through a stellar intelligence and hard work, he has written a series of highly successful books, most of which attack contemporary nonsense.

Yet Pinker manages to go off the rails in ways that send me and Taleb crazy. He accepts that the world will on average experience a 1.5C rise in temperature by the end of the 21st century, and perhaps by 4C or more. (Many reasonable people think so too, though I think the higher figure of a 4 degree C rise in a century is rubbish.) In any case the projections of increase are beside my point.

It is the proposed solution and his treatment of it that crosses over into well-reasoned insanity. It concerns planetary engineering by cloud seeding to lower the intake of solar energy.

Pinker writes:

For all these reasons, no responsible person could maintain that we can just keep pumping carbon into the air and slather sunscreen onto the stratosphere to compensate. But in a 2013 book the physicist David Keith makes a claim for a form of climate engineering that is moderate, responsive and temporary.“Moderate” means that the amounts of sulfate and calcite would be just enough to reduce the rate of warming, not cancel it altogether…. “Responsive” means that any manipulation would be careful, gradual, closely monitored , constantly adjusted and, if indicated, halted altogether. And “temporary” means that the program would be designed only to give humanity breathing space until it eliminates greenhouse gas emissions and brings the CO2 in the atmosphere back to preindustrial levels.

How many heroic assumptions are made in this paragraph?

  • that we know enough to calculate the amounts of particulates to dump into the atmosphere when we cannot even measure an average global temperature when no such thing as an average global temperature exists – and that is just the beginning of the heroic assumptions along this path of reasoning.
  • that there would exist an institutional opposition strong enough to call a halt to the engineering, when all our experience to date shows that opposition to measures to control global warming are treated as a combination of treason and heresy.
  • that we can reduce CO2 to preindustrial levels without engendering the very poverty that burning fossil fuels extracted us from.
  • That we should reduce CO2 to preindustrial levels, when the evidence points to the greening of the planet under the influence of more CO2, which had sunk in the last ice age to levels so low (140 ppm)  that vegetation was starving for the CO2 it craves.

No engineering of the planet can by its nature be moderate, responsive or temporary. Can you imagine the shit storm if someone challenged the idea that global cloud seeding was not merely working, but plunging us back into the next ice age? That sea ice was expanding, glaciers descending and climate season shortening? Is there the slightest chance that the current toxic debates on climate change would be less dangerous when we have a world wide program of “moderate”, “responsive” and “temporary” cloud-seeding?

I kept hearing that Nassim Taleb was contemptuous of Pinker. He referred to him as a “higher level journalist” in his recent book, Skin in the Game. Then I read Pinker’s modest proposal, in the light of Taleb’s analysis of risk, and I understood. The tails of the distribution curves are always longer and fatter in reality than they are in the pure Gaussian bell curve, says Taleb, and gambling the planet on some wanker’s idea of “moderate, responsive and temporary” planetary engineering struck Taleb as the kind of idiocy only a Harvard professor could believe. As David Keith is also a Harvard professor, the two of them are drinking each other’s bath water, and I am sure both are splendid chaps, but they do not understand risk, and I think Taleb does.

Then, in Pinker’s final chapter on religion and humanism, Pinker comes up with this sort of gem:

“If the factual tenets of religion can no longer be taken seriously, and its ethical tenets depend entirely on whether they can be justified by secular morality, what about its claims to widsom on the great questions of existence?”

I keep wondering whether Pinker has connected the dots between religious decline and the raging SJWs he confronts at Harvard. Does he not see a link between empty rage, the confused, deeply unhappy people, and the fact they have been raised on a monoculture of “secular morality”: that the students he opposes and who try to shout him down are the products of a culture in decline from right understanding of man’s place in the universe? In short, the products of secular humanism?

The content of secular morality is a weak reed; it changes with every passing fancy, it denies the objective nature of truth. The difference between Islam and western concepts of political correctness is that Islam has fixed its “political correctness” for all time, ours changes with the week, into ever more insane attempts to explain inequality by every device other than that people, cultures, and religions are unequal, in fact, objectively unequal.

In short, in matters of what is central to happiness, the modern student is a shorn lamb in the wind, and people like Pinker are the sheep shearers, though they do not know it. Pinker wonders why their environment is so ideologically extreme and anti-enlightenment. Here we pass over into Jordan Peterson territory. Peterson has been dealing with the little savages from suburbia and has drawn direct links between secular values, post modernism, and the absence of religion.

Nevertheless, I warmly recommend both Pinker and Taleb. Pinker knows the world by facts and book learning and discussion; the other knows it by taking big risks with money and surviving, and by working out heuristics, which is Greek for rough and ready rules. The man who wrote the Black Swan and made a fortune betting against the real estate boom which crashed in 2007 is not to be trifled with. Taleb’s defence of religion is a remarkable insight into its value. He comments that God put Jesus into fully human form to show He had skin in the game.  Taleb is full of insights into bullshit detection, and his view of Pinker is that the professor is a higher form of BS. This may be true, it is certainly uncharitable, but Pinker can be read to profit regardless.

I know whom I would trust in a bar fight, both to see it coming and to get out in time, and to have enough tough friends to make an attack on us a painful waste of time.

I doubt that Pinker has seen the inside of the kind of bar where men can be seen wearing reflective outerwear from working on the roads, and where the men drink American domestic beers. But he would make an excellent dinner guest, as long as we could avoid the topic of religion and global warming.

Facebook, free speech and control

 

 

Matt Taibbi

One of the most important take-aways from Tim Wu’s The Master Switch is that censorship is facilitated by control of the market. Speech control follows ownership concentration. He points out how the Catholic Legion of Decency gained control of movies in the 1930s because of the vertical integration between movie theatre chains and production studios. In Wu’s phrase, a Catholic priest was controlling movies produced by Jews for a majority Protestant nation. The Legion of Decency could attach itself successfully to the movie business because the control of it was already secured by the owners of the studios.

“It is industrial structure that determines the limits of free speech.”

“The trick is that a concentrated industry need not be censorial by nature in order for its structure to produce a chilling effect on the freedom of expression….The problem is that a “speech industry” – as we might term any information industry — once centralized, becomes an easy target for external independent actors with strong reasons of their own for limiting speech. And these reasons may have nothing to do with the industry per se.” (The Master Switch at pp 121-123)

This brings us to Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone on Facebook: Can we be saved from the Social Media Giant?

The article needs to be seen as a useful changing of the subject, from Russia and Trump, to Trump and Facebook, to Facebook itself. It also signals a change in the description of the Internet, from an information cornucopia to an “informational landscape… controlled more or less entirely by a pair of advanced spying operations, Google and Facebook – and Facebook especially”.

Taibbi says that, “in many ways the [current] Facebook controversy is a canard”, meaning that the issue is media control, pure and simple, not Trump, and not Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Facbook has 2.1 billion customers today and grows by 50 to 100 million users per quarter, with revenues of $40.7 billion in 2017.

After a great deal of sanctimonious drivel from Taibbi about how everyone is becoming imprisoned in their own information ghettos – when were we not?- he gets to the real point. The “fake news” issue  is only the outer manifestation of the targetting of viewers with information, which is  a wholly legal advertizing technique. Moreover, it is “what the product was designed for.”

“Simply by growing so large that his firm ended up standing between media publishers and media consumers, constantly creating rules about who saw what, Zuckerberg and Facebook have created a thing America has never had before: an entrenched de facto media regulator”.

Obviously this is not fully accurate: see the discussion above about movie censorship, which lasted from the 1930s  until the 1960s. But Taibbi is accurate when he says that Facebook and Google can sell eyeballs to advertizers with exquisite accuracy, with the result that the two of them garner 63.1% of digital advertizing revenues

The complaint of publishers is that 1) they can never learn how the Facebook algorithm works, which determines who sees what, and 2) they receive frequently changing information on how to optimize content to reach maximum attention.

Taibbi indulges in a lot of ‘de haut en bas‘ – condescending –  talk about how the press used to work better in the days of printing presses, and how the soiled masses insist on getting their own reality manifested in their choices of media. He writes from the point of view of a Democrat contemplating the frightfulness of the lower orders insisting on their right to receive the information they want, which is part of the reason why Trump now sits in the White House.

Nevertheless, there is justice in his conclusion that “a functioning free press just can’t co-exist with an unaccountable private regulator”.

His argument ends up resembling the argument about net neutrality, which applies to underlying physical carriers of signals – or not. In net neutrality regimes, such as Canada’s, there exists a regulator that determines whether a behaviour by a carrier amounts to unjust discrimination against a particular use or a group of users. “Neutrality” is not an absolute but a sliding scale of offences and permitted actions. Most important, there is a referee.

In the case of Facebook and Google, we are not dealing with a carrier, but with a software platform, and no law governs their behaviour towards publishers seeking to reach audiences through them. No one has assimilated software platforms to common carriers, yet. No one has to my knowledge proposed common carrier obligations for Facebook and Google. Moreover the US Federal Communications Commission has just removed net neutrality obligations from the carriers. Verizon and Comcast and the like can now squeeze content and viewers as they think best.

It is evident that the forces assembling against Google and Facebook will be coming from the political Left, and not only from conservatives concerned that these companies are running political cults.

My concern remains that, if the technical structure permits it, if there are points of control, these will be used to limit free discussion.

 

 

 

Way to go, Janice!

I urge you watch Professor Janice Fiamengo’s video report of her appearance before the Ontario Human Rights Commission—that abomination, supported by the execrable Liberal Party, that subverts the rights of Canadian citizens.

A series of lies and frivolous complaints were brought forcing her to defend herself before this band of commissars. Eventually, the complaints were dropped, but not after causing her much grief and, of course, money. The complainant was never disciplined in any way or required to back up the absurd claims made before the commission. Such is the travesty of justice that these bastard star chambers are.

It is clear that tyranny does not depend on or require secret police forces, simply intimidating decent people with lies, slander, and violations of their fundamental rights will be sufficient to suppress free speech.  And the Government is doing this to us, the citizens of a supposedly free country.

Human Rights Commissions are a violation of the principles of justice that are the foundations of Western society—they are the modern successor to the witch hunt. No evidence is required, the defendant is assumed guilty, and no penalties are suffered by anyone making false claims, that is, inventing lies to slander good people.

It is precisely what communism looks like, and is. —Courtesy your Liberal government.

Rebel Yell

Science is superior to native traditional knowledge. And no, I am not sorry.

 

 

Science is a procedure of verifiability, or if you prefer, falsifiability. It is not a racial or cultural trait. If you cannot establish a proposition that is capable of being shown to be untrue it is not science, it is belief, it is conjecture, it is myth, it is “traditional knowledge”

On the other hand, science – by the post modern (racialist) definition – is “white” by accident of being derived from Europe. I am not asserting racial superiority here, but I am asserting that neither Hindu, Islamic or Chinese civilizations managed to develop this form of knowing the world, the one that has produced the greatest improvement of the state of most people in the world in the last 400 years.

In the current environment of insanity, it is dangerous to suggest that there might be conflicts between assertions of traditional knowledge and science. It is a ‘racism of intelligence’.

A Quebec civil servant raised a ruckus when he pointed out that a conflict could arise between science and “traditional aboriginal knowledge”. Bad man! Outrage proceeded from the professionally outraged.

Quoting the National Post article in question:

Bill C-69, which received first reading in the House of Commons on Feb. 8, would require that before a project subject to a federal assessment is approved, “traditional knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of Canada provided with respect to the project” be taken into account — though it provides no definition of “traditional knowledge.” The bill further states that when traditional knowledge is provided in confidence, it “is confidential and must not knowingly be, or be permitted to be, disclosed without written consent.”

A federal law of general application to the assessment of projects would establish, or fail to establish:

  • no definition is given of “traditional knowledge”, and
  • if presented in confidential format, no disclosure of it is required in open court.

The civil servant quite reasonably observed that

“to systematically place Indigenous knowledge on equal footing with scientific data “could prove problematic in cases where Indigenous knowledge and science are found to be in contradiction.” He said criteria should be established to evaluate the accuracy of the traditional knowledge.”

If I were an aboriginal, by these provisions I would be  enabled – for example – to submit to the Court confidentially that the Great Spirit has vouchsafed us a knowledge that He would be wrathful if a pipeline went across our “traditional” territories. It would be “traditional knowledge” if we said it was, and hence its contents would be unverifiable; indeed their contents would be unknown to the parties in the proceeding, they would be undiscussable, and the reasons of the court could not be made available if they relied on it, without written permission of the aboriginal group. So we could have a system of legal review that could not review the reasons for a government decision. A court could not rely on the accuracy or completeness of a record of a proceeding.

Anyone familiar with the trial of Galileo knows that he asserted that the earth went around the sun, that some of the moveable stars, as they were then known, like Jupiter, had their own moons, and that the surface of the moon was pockmarked with craters. The Church held that Aristotle was right, and that these three points were contradicted by the Great Philosopher. Yet in the case of Aristotle, the Church asserted a known, public doctrine.

So the position of the future Galileos in Canadian society is even worse in a way than it was for Galileo. Because you will be brought to trial for offending a traditional doctrine without knowing what that doctrine was, unless the Aboriginal band decided to make it public. To the uncertainty of what will arouse the wrath of Social Justice Warriors will be added secret doctrines, known to the initiates of tribal customs, and unknown to all others.

If you doubt for a moment it will soon be a hate crime to contest traditional knowledge, observe the accusation by the Ottawa law professors against the Quebec civil servant, Mr. Beauchesne, of “racism” for favouring science in a ‘hierarchy of knowledges’.

When I heard Jordan Peterson say that the social constructionist attack on knowledge will soon attack biology for contradicting what the Left says about race, sex, and other biological facts, I thought he might have been extrapolating reasonably. It has become my clear conviction that the days when “white science” will be attacked as racist, sexist, homophobic etc. is already underway.

First they call you a ‘settler’. Then they call you a ‘scientist’.

 

 

 

 

Women and black students less likely to defend free speech

If you think the headline is provocative, that is because the facts are provoking.

Inclusivity is more important than speech, a majority of students say.

When forced to choose, a small majority of college students say inclusivity is more important than free speech, though they widely believe in the importance of both to democracy.

Diverse and inclusive society                       Protecting free speech

All                                                          53                         46
Men                                                       39                         61
Women                                                 64                         35
Whites                                                   47                         52
Blacks                                                    68                         31
At historically black institutions      53                         46
Democrats                                            66                         34
Independents                                       49                         50
Republicans                                          30                         60

The full report is given here.

Michael Barone comments:

So the difference between male and female students may reflect different power positions, with those most at risk of proscription more favorably disposed toward free speech. It may also reflect differences between male and female temperaments on average. Psychological studies over many years conclude that women tend to prize agreeableness and consensus, while men tend to seek out conflict and competition. One can easily imagine evolutionary explanations for this group difference, which of course would not be apparent in every individual.

Female students’ willingness to subordinate free speech to political values is disturbing, in a time when habits of mind and behavior developed on campus tend to leach out to the larger society.

Technical details:
Results for the college student sample are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 3,072 U.S. college students, aged 18 to 24, who are currently enrolled as full-time students at four-year colleges. Gallup selected a random sample of 240 U.S. four-year colleges, drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), that were stratified by college enrollment size, public or private affiliation, and region of the country.

 

Badly behaved children grow up to be left wing

Study shows….. was the favourite expression of a long dead friend of mine. Say it with appropriate tones of cynicism.

Check the questions that were asked of the people in the study. This is a study a conservative might like to believe but, like anthropogenic global warming, deserves a wary eye.

 

Badly behaved children are more likely to grow up to be left-wing, a study has shown.

A study of 16,000 British people in their 30s found those with troubled childhoods were more likely to favour radical socialist policies.

The study was a follow-up to research conducted when they were children at the ages of five and seven.

Those whose parents reported they had ‘conduct problems’ at in primary school were more likely to favour radical socialist polices and to smash the status quo.

Badly behaved children are more likely to grow up to be left-wing, a study has shown

….The parents of the children in the study completed an assessment of their chilld’s behaviour at the ages of either five or seven.

They were asked to say whether their children had problems relating to anxiety, conduct or hyperactivity.

When adults – at the ages of 30 or 33 – the participants filled in questionaires that assessed a variety of traits.

These included economic conservatism, political cynicism, racism, authoritarianism, and attitudes about gender inequality.

The participants were asked how much they agreed with statements such as: ‘Government should redistribute income”, ‘People like me have no say in what Government does”, “Would not want a person from another race to be boss”, “law breakers should be given stiffer sentences” and “Men and women should have [the] chance to do [the] same kind of work.’ The researchers combined the scores into two broad factors: economic and political discontent and social conservatism.

(My own answers to those questions would be:

  1. It already does enough of that, thank you.
  2. no, and neither do you.
  3. It would depened on whether they were affirmative action candidates. I have seen enough over-promoted women French Canadian civil service managers to be skeptical of all forms of affirmative action in management, which always comes down to the idea that there are too many white males in positions of authority. Out goes Reginald Skippon from Yorkshire and in comes Claudette Blanchard from Rimouski to manage ship’s engine repair in the Coast Guard. You know the drill.
  4. Penalties are hard enough already. Someone should read the penal code if they disagree.
  5. Yes, they should. But see answer 3 above.)

 

Dr Lewis found that childhood conduct problems led to economic and political discontent in adulthood – and this was true across social classes and regardless of the individual’s intelligence.

He added that conduct problems in childhood may reflect difficulty with self-control and long-term planning or early rejection of authority – either of which could lead to economic or political discontent.

Dr Lewis said: ‘We all wonder from time to time why it is that those on the other side of the fence came to be that way,’ Lewis notes. ‘These findings take us a little further down the road to answering that question.’

There will always be turbulent and clamorous people. Nowadays they are called “left wing”.

Transgenderism as a metaphysical belief

From Commentary, and article by Sohrab Ahmari

The trans movement is asking Americans to accept and indeed to make their lives and their perceptions of reality conform to a set of extraordinary ideas based on very little debate. These claims are often put forth in the language of psychiatry and psychology, and they implicate the lives of real people, many of whom suffer genuine, sometimes unbearable anguish. Which good American can say no to the cries of a suffering minority, especially when they are amplified by scientific authority?

The science isn’t there yet, in point of fact. The case for accepting and advancing the cause of transgenderism is, at root, a radical philosophical argument—one that goes to the heart of what it means to be human. Accepting the trans movement’s argument requires us to lend credence to an extreme form of mind-matter dualism, and involves severing the links between bodily sex, gender identity, and erotic desire.

But first: What do the activists claim? If there is one unshakeable tenet, it is that gender identity and expression—a person’s self-concept as a gendered being and how that person outwardly manifests it—are different from the sex organs that have distinguished male from female since the emergence of the species. They argue that while a physician might “assign” a sex to a newborn, that label may well be at odds with the baby’s true gender. As the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) puts it in a guide for journalists, a transgender person is one “whose sex assigned at birth is different from who they know they are on the inside.”…

At the same time, the activists hold—and this is their second major tenet—that gender itself is largely a social construct, since it is society that labels various traits or characteristics “masculine” or “feminine.”…

The third tenet is that gender identity and sexual desire have nothing to do with each other. According to a model school-district transgender policy drawn up by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, sexual orientation is “a person’s romantic and/or physical attraction to people of the same or opposite gender or other genders. Transgender and gender nonconforming people may have any sexual orientation.” PFLAG likewise bifurcates gender identity and sexual preference: “It is important to note that gender identity neither relates to, nor determines, sexual orientation…. People who are transgender can also identify as gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, or queer….

Now we have the necessary elements to put together the vision of the human person offered by the trans movement. Each person has a strong innate sense of gender that, according to the activists, may or may not align with his or her physical sex. When the two don’t align, we are dealing, in essence, with brains or minds that are trapped in bodies with the wrong sex organs.2 It is incumbent on the rest of us, then, to recognize the “true” self that is so trapped and help it break free from the prison of the body.

This is a profoundly metaphysical, even spiritual, vision.

See the rest of the article. As usual, a few minutes of clear thought is enough to skewer the pretensions of folly.

Why are the equinoxes not statutory holidays?

As we come from a country where seasons forcibly affect our beings, where we suffer from winter, rejoice in spring, relax in summer and get to work in the fall, why do we not have appropriate holidays to mark the seasons?

Yes I acknowledge that Christmas (25th December) is laid over the winter solstice (December 21st) in the northern hemisphere, by religious and social fiat. That is one out of four.

Easter varies by 28 days (a lunar month) + 7 days. It is celebrated  on first Sunday after the first new moon after the spring equinox. As a movable feast, it is useless as an equinoctial celebration. As the observance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, Easter is too explicitly Christian. It has never taken off the way Christmas has, largely because the pagan origins of Yule coincide with the solstice, whereas Easter was made a movable feast by a decision of the Church in the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. The summer solstice is overlaid with  St Jean Baptiste Day in Quebec and a week later English Canadians get July 1st, but neither is explicitly about the summer solstice.

We are too busy working on September 21st to pay much attention to the autumnal equinox, but we ought to mark the passing of the year more formally.

My plea is for a set of holidays that acknowledge we are on a planet that revolves around a sun, and which tilts and wobbles. We do not mark sufficiently our place in the universe.  Having holidays like this would allow parents and educators to instruct the ignorant. If you think I exaggerate, I can relate my experience of a nice 50-year old taxi driver I had in Washington, D.C. last year, for whom the relationship among the solstices, the tilt of the earth, and  the relationship of the seasons to these facts, was a revelation. I am not kidding, and he was not kidding me.

So yes, folks, for this and many other reasons, I favour statutory holidays on the summer solstice, and the spring and autumn equinoxes. Christmas is well covered, thank you.