5 for 5

 

My subject is the astonishing level of incomprehension of and contempt for Trump by the American elites.

A perfect illustration is available from Real Clear Politics’ Monday edition of the state of incomprehension of Trump by the American elite. It is called “the End of Intelligence”, and appeared first in the Sunday New York Times. It is written by Michael Hayden, who was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009 and the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005.

His concern is with ‘post truth’ America, and what follows is Hayden’s line of argument.

He illustrates his case with some whoppers (outright lies), exaggerations and nonsense that Trump told during the election. [No discussion is made of anything from Hillary].

Hayden writes:

We in the intelligence world have dealt with obstinate and argumentative presidents through the years. But we have never served a president for whom ground truth really doesn’t matter.

The case in point is the ill-conceived Presidential directive that has come to be called ‘the Muslim-ban’. Hayden detects a pattern: something starts with a Presidential tweet, then the legions of  experts are called in to dampen, palliate, or moderate the instincts of the President.

“Sometimes, almost magically, he gets it right”, as when Trump agreed with the establishment to keep troops in Afghanistan.

But most of the time, Trump does not agree with the establishment, as on sanctions against Russia. In fact Trump disagrees with large sections of official opinion.

In this post-truth world, intelligence agencies are in the bunker with some unlikely mates: journalism, academia, the courts, law enforcement and science — all of which, like intelligence gathering, are evidence-based. Intelligence shares a broader duty with these other truth-tellers to preserve the commitment and ability of our society to base important decisions on our best judgment of what constitutes objective reality.

On how many issues is the American establishment wrong? They consist of journalists, academia, the courts, law enforcement and science.  And on how many issues are the the general consensus of the establishments in North America and Europe absolutely, completely wrong?

  1. Global warming/climate change: a concatenation of errors in false analysis, false conclusions, and wrong-headed solutions that will impoverish us, all driven by an anti-development ideology masquerading as “science”
  2. Iran deceiving us about their nuclear plans, and we being willing to be deceived
  3. Russia, seen as if it were still the Soviet Union, a confusing the thuggish Putin with the mass-muderer Stalin
  4. Islamic terrorism – you cannot be allowed to see or speak to the link between Islam the religion and Islam the political idea
  5. Korea – seen as insoluble

I would say it is five for five, on the most important issues confronting the West today. And I am not talking about the ideological mess of our universities.

Of course Hayden and his ilk believe that Trump is irrational in opposing Establishment views, because it is impossible that they could be wrong. We have all read their 60-page memoranda; we have all taken our lessons from the professors; we have all bowed our heads to the liberals in robes on the courts; and the police are busy policing thoughts and attitudes, as they ought. How can we all be wrong?

How can the establishments in law, policing, science, foreign intelligence and academia be wrong? The answer is quite simple, really. They have been animated by wrong ideas for fifty or a hundred years, and the results are now being seen.

I was once subjected to spiteful derision from a man who thought my views on global warming were utterly wrong. Without his ever having researched the subject, he found most offensive the fact that I dared to have an opinion that was not the consensus of scientists, as he saw it. How could I be so bold? [As a Protestant I am culturally accustomed to taking on Establishments and declaring them without authority, is the answer.]

The heresy or sin is in having a view that is not an establishment view. And Trump is five for five. And that, my friends, is why the Establishment thinks that Trump is irrational. Because they cannot be wrong.

Professor Pangloss, meet Dr. Doom

Image result for the grim reaper

 

 

The most important thing about prediction is the time scale over which you are measuring. The probability of the extremely rare event rises to certainty with the passage of time. For example, the history of the earth for the last two million years shows that the next ice age cannot be further away than two to five thousand years. If we extend the time scale to several tens of millions of years, it is likely that the earth will pass through epochs considerably warmer than we are in now.

So it is with historical timespans, which are far shorter . The human race has been undergoing a massive population expansion since 1800 because of science, increasing energy resources, and a feedback loop between increasing wealth and increasing resources to deal with disease.

Yet the very forces that have created the population explosion are everywhere reducing human birthrates. Why? Because as women become certain of the survival of their babies, they have fewer of them. Just as the burden of humans on the planet reaches a peak, the human species declines in numbers. These are demographic certainties: the dearth of children since the 1970s has been felt in every part of the world, including especially the Islamic parts. Within three generations human fertility has crashed from 6-8 live births to about 2 live births per woman. Read David Goldman’s It’s not the End of the World, it’s just the End of You: the Great Extinction of Nations.

It was with interest and pleasure that I have been absorbing Kyle Harper’s The Fate of Rome. Harper is the first historian of whom I am aware to have taken seriously the impacts of disease and climate change on the fate of the Roman Empire. He addresses the reader’s attention to the startling scale of death in the three waves of pestilence that not just decimated, but halved, Roman populations in the period 200AD to 550 AD. There were three near-global epidemics that swept through the Empire, each assisted by the ubiquity of trade links and safety of travel that imperial security allowed. One was probably the first exposure of humans to what we later called smallpox. The second was an Ebola-like hemorrhagic fever. 

The third, which swept through the Empire when the Emperor Justinian was trying to restore civil order and prosperity in the mid-500s, was bubonic plague, which broke out in AD 542. The population of the eastern (Byzantine) Roman Empire fell by half in one year, from 30 to 15 million, and kept on falling for several decades after as plague returned. Imagine the stink of corpses when everyone is dying and not enough people are available to bury them.

Coupled with volcanic outbursts that clouded the sun, and variations in the rainfall in central Asia, which sent the Huns westward in search pasturage, causing them to crash into the Goths who crashed into the Roman Empire, these waves of disease, worsening climate, and barbarian invasions had utterly wrecked the western Roman Empire by AD 400. Brian Fagan records in his book, The Long Summer, that the cultivation of the grape and the olive used to take place as far north in Gaul as the current French-Belgian border, but that, after the Roman Climate Optimum suddenly collapsed around 400 AD, the olive tree grows no further north than its current line in France’s Massif Central. Can you imagine what it would do to US agriculture if the climate of Saskatchewan moved south 400 miles? In the space of ten years?

Compared to scientifically literate histories like The Fate of Rome, Edward Gibbon’s attempt to blame the fall of Rome on the rise of Christianity, the personalities of Emperors, and barbarian invasions, seems more like an exercise in oratory and Latinate English than anything accurate.

Which brings me to the genial, clever Professor Steven Pinker and his Enlightenment Now. Pinker presents the best case possible that progress in the past several centuries has been real, and that catastrophists are wrong. I have every reason to believe this story; I am a rational optimist myself. Pinker and his teammate, Matt Ridley, both make the irrebuttable case that the world has been getting massively better for all. I wish there were more people who were aware of how much and how rapidly human life has improved since 1800, since 1900, since 2000. In that sense it is important to point out how much I agree with Pinker.

And yet, the pace of evolution is accelerating as population becomes denser. The pathogens that struck down the Roman Empire in repeated waves are entirely recent mutations.

As Harper explains:

The last few thousand years have been the platform for a new age of roiling evolutionary  ferment among pathogenic microbes. The Roman Empire was caught in the the turbulence of this great acceleration….

The primacy of the natural environment in the fate of this civilization draws us closer to the Romans, huddled together to cheer the ancient spectacles and unsuspecting of the next chapter, in ways we might not have imagined.

We are as grass, and while the arguments for impending catastrophe are much weaker than supposed, it is unwise to think that all will be well. The influenza epidemic of 1918 killed 3 to 5% of the world’s population, 50 to 100 million people, more than the World War that preceded it.

Civilizations and empires can end because of diseases and climate change. They have already done so several times. There is no reason to suppose we are immune, notwithstanding the cheerful and truthful news from the likes of Steve Pinker and Matt Ridley.

Professor Pangloss, meet Doctor Doom.

 

The y-axis indicates deaths per thousand

File:1918 spanish flu waves.gif

University of Alberta defends bad decision on Suzuki

The University of Alberta, and more  particularly its President, David Turpin, is under attack from some of  its professors for choosing to honour that senile gasbag, David Suzuki, who attacks the economics profession and the future prosperity of Canada on the ground of eco-catastrophism. Turpin defended his decision with the usual virtue-signalling twaddle:

“Turpin argued that the promise of an honorary degree to Suzuki cannot be reversed without major negative consequences for the institution’s reputation, which is obviously true. He defended the choice of the award to Suzuki on the grounds that a university cannot avoid controversy. “Instead, we must be its champion. Stifle controversy and you also stifle the pursuit of knowledge, the generation of ideas, and the discovery of new truths.” –Colby Cosh, National Post  

So let us see what stirling defence of freedom and controversy is mounted when Ross McKittrick is honoured with a doctorate for his work in debunking global warming hysteria. There are no honorary doctorates for the likes of McKittrick.

The President of the University of Alberta earned a whopping $824,000 last year. By contrast, the head of the broadcasting and telecommunications regulatory agency for all of Canada might earn about half of that. Salaries that large indicate that university administrators now get economic rents, rather than earn economic value.

The people of Alberta should demand his resignation.

So where is your idolatry of the Supreme Court now, o ye Court Party?

Surely even the idolaters of the Supreme Court of Canada must be having some doubts this morning as to its  inerrancy. It was a classic case of “the way we make decisions is more important than the decisions we make.”

Not merely has the Supreme Court defended interprovincial trade barriers, with all their damaging effects on national wealth generation, and allowed them to be established on the flimsiest of grounds, but it has done so on the basis that the trial judge was a naughty boy for stepping out of judicial precedent to rule in favour of Comeau’s beer buying in the first place.

As the case summary reads:

Common law courts are bound by authoritative precedent. Subject to extraordinary exceptions, a lower court must apply the decisions of higher courts to the facts before it. A legal precedent may be revisited if new legal issues are raised as a consequence of significant developments in the law, or if there is a change in the circumstances or evidence that fundamentally shifts the parameters of the debate. Not only is the exception narrow, it is not a general invitation to reconsider binding authority on the basis of any type of evidence. For a binding precedent from a higher court to be cast aside, the new evidence must fundamentally shift how jurists understand the legal question at issue.

                    This high threshold was not met in this case. The trial judge relied on evidence presented by an historian whom he accepted as an expert. The trial judge accepted the expert’s description of the drafters’ motivations for including s. 121  in the Constitution Act, 1867 , and the expert’s opinion that those motivations drive how s. 121  is to be interpreted. Neither class of evidence constitutes evolving legislative and social facts or a comparable fundamental shift; the evidence is simply a description of historical information and one expert’s assessment of that information. The trial judge’s reliance on the expert’s opinion of the correct interpretation of s. 121  was erroneous. To depart from precedent on the basis of such opinion evidence is to cede the judge’s primary task to an expert. And to rely on such evidence to rebut stare decisis is to substitute one expert’s opinion on domestic law for that expressed by appellate courts in binding judgments. This would introduce the very instability in the law that the principle of stare decisis aims to avoid.

 

Thus for the Supremes the case turns on the use of a historian’s evidence of what the trade provisions of the constitution mean – though at the same time for the past decades the Court seems to bend over backward to listen to the tribal lore of groups of a few hundred Indians to block economic development. “To cede the judge’s primary task to an expert” is the fault which the Supreme Court declares the basis of validating the restrictive trade practices of the provinces that block economic development.

In short, the economic stultification of Canada is defended by a rule that arises internally from the legal profession’s forms of decision making.

So the issue does not turn on an appreciation of the role that provinces play in the blockage of economic development. The Comeau case does not turn on the issue at hand, which is intrerprovincial trade barriers, but on the Court’s concern that nothing be upset by lower court decisions, but hey!, when the Supreme Court invents law out of whole cloth, that is their right and duty.

 

Look at the test the Supreme Court sets out for interprovincial barriers.

….Restriction of cross‑border trade must be the primary purpose of the law, thereby excluding laws enacted for other purposes, such as laws that form rational parts of broader legislative schemes with purposes unrelated to impeding interprovincial trade.

The restriction must only form a rational part of “legislative schemes with purposes unrelated to impeding interprovicnial trade”.

  • This is a bad decision on its merits: it establishes that the flimsiest rationale will suffice to colour a protective scheme that interferes with trade within Canada;
  • It is economically illiterate: it fails to consider the multi-billion dollar question at the core of the issue: the economic  consequences for the Canadian economic union of the law and the courts interfering with economic development.

If ever there was a case of the Court seeing the mote in the other guy’s eye and ignoring the beam in its own, it was the Comeau decision. Let us inhibit economic development for stare decisis. Economic barriers 9- trade freedom 0. How’s that Supreme Court working for ya?

 

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’.