First I observe the death of two of my heroes: former Minister of Finance, Michael Wilson, and of foreign correspondent Joe Schlesinger, the last CBC reporter actually to have experienced the deadly effects of both Communism and National-Socialism. Michael, I am still sorry for accidentally clobbering you with my racquet in a squash game. You were a good sport and a fair player. And Joe, I am happy to have had the chance to congratulate you for your good work in a chance encounter at the grocery store.
To quote Rex Murphy on the subject of the O-C Green plan: “The enormousness of its prescriptions is overshadowed only by the might of ignorance that powered their composition. The Green New Deal is volcanic eruption of progressive stupidity. You’ve heard of Fake News. This is Fake Thought with bullet points.”
Dr Janet Albrechtsen gives a lucid analysis of the corrupting effects of grievance feminism on human freedoms that are so fundamental to Western values. The modern feminists’ whining about micro-aggressions and other poisonous fictions are the focus of their attention, and not the very real persecution and oppression of women in primitive societies like Islam practicing “honor” killing, slavery and female genital mutilation.
So strange that in a modern Western “university” it is free speech that is under threat by feminists and their soy-boy acolytes, while the very real suppression of women’s rights in Islamic societies goes unmentioned.
She gets another massive vote from…
The gays are waking up to the biological nature of sex. Andrew Sullivan writes in New York magazine this week about how some lesbians have started to object to the invasion of their spaces by penis-less males, such as Caitlyn Jenner and other males similarly transformed by surgery.
“It might be a sign of the end-times, or simply a function of our currently scrambled politics, but earlier this week, four feminist activists — three from a self-described radical feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front — appeared on a panel at the Heritage Foundation. Together they argued that sex was fundamentally biological, and not socially constructed, and that there is a difference between women and trans women that needs to be respected. For this, they were given a rousing round of applause by the Trump supporters, religious-right members, natural law theorists, and conservative intellectuals who comprised much of the crowd. If you think I’ve just discovered an extremely potent strain of weed and am hallucinating, check out the video of the event. “
The panel discussions involving the aforesaid radical lesbians concerned a federal non-discrimination bill, called the Equality Act. The bill
” would add “gender identity” to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, rendering that class protected by anti-discrimination laws, just as sex is. The [lesbian exclusivist] argument is that viewing “gender identity” as interchangeable with sex, and abolishing clear biological distinctions between men and women, is actually a threat to lesbian identity and even existence — because it calls into question who is actually a woman, and includes in that category human beings who have been or are biologically male, and remain attracted to women.
I find this kind of discussion to be healthy. When radical lesbians and Jordan Peterson are on the same page it is a good sign, I reckon. Sex is biological. Everyone knows this except the fanatics.
Sullivan’s article illustrates a much more important point than the argument he presents. If it takes lesbian separatists to argue that sex is primarily and preponderantly biological, then we have reached a dire situation. It shows the relative powerlessness of the 99.999% of normally constituted people in this discussion, gay or straight. I include all those as normal who do not wish to alter their sex by surgery. If Sullivan had covered the discussions at the Heritage Foundation without the lesbians, it would have been a miracle. It took a sexual minority – a minority within a minority – to authorize Sullivan to cover the debate.
“If this [argument of the lesbians] sounds like a massive overreach, consider the fact that the proposed Equality Act — with 201 co-sponsors in the last Congress — isn’t simply a ban on discriminating against trans people in employment, housing, and public accommodations (an idea with a lot of support in the American public). It includes and rests upon a critical redefinition of what is known as “sex.” We usually think of this as simply male or female, on biological grounds (as opposed to a more cultural notion of gender). But the Equality Act would define “sex” as including “gender identity,” and defines “gender identity” thus: “gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or characteristics, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.”
“What the radical feminists are arguing is that the act doesn’t only blur the distinction between men and women (thereby minimizing what they see as the oppression of patriarchy and misogyny), but that its definition of gender identity must rely on stereotypical ideas of what gender expression means. What, after all, is a “gender-related characteristic”? It implies that a tomboy who loves sports is not a girl interested in stereotypically boyish things, but possibly a boy trapped in a female body. And a boy with a penchant for Barbies and Kens is possibly a trans girl — because, according to stereotypes, he’s behaving as a girl would. So instead of enlarging our understanding of gender expression — and allowing maximal freedom and variety within both sexes — the concept of “gender identity” actually narrows it, in more traditional and even regressive ways. What does “gender-related mannerisms” mean, if not stereotypes?”
Indeed, and well argued. Passing into law what amounts to ideological claptrap is common enough in these insane times. The reason that the forces of madness can get away with this dangerous nonsense is that opposition has been crushed in advance, silenced, made impossible, by political pressures on free speech.
Why does it take – why must it take – a bunch of lesbian separatists to be the only people authorized to object to this madness? Said one of them: “We may be lesbians but we are not confused about biology”.
A social contagion is at work. It is the akin to the witchcraft craze of the 16th century. It is assumed that transgender people exist, just as we once thought there were witches. One era penalized them, another lauds them. But the delusion is that there are such people, children even, who must be accommodated on pain of legal penalty.
An interesting article in Manhattan Contrarian today reminds me of the importance of envy as a way to understand the root of leftist politics. Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. Unlike the other six (wrath, sloth, gluttony, pride, lust and greed), envy cannot exist without comparison to others. Envy is always about how one feels about another, be it a person or some abstraction, like a nation or a political system. We shall return to envy shortly. In the meantime, contemplate these facts.
The author of Manhattan Contrarian, Francis Menton, was touring Cambodia and describes the Cambodian genocide.
“When the killings started in 1975, there were fewer than 8 million Khmer in Cambodia (and not too many more outside). Four years later, the population of the country was well under 5 million. Historian Ben Kiernan has estimated the number murdered at 1.7 million. Others place the number at between 2 and 2.5 million. Most died in actual one-on-one executions, although there was also plenty of mass starvation. Literally everyone lost multiple friends and/or family members.
“Recognizing that causation is a very complex subject and that a series of events can have many causes, it is still true that in every version of the Cambodian genocide that I have found the causation story comes back to the same thing: ideology. In this case the ideology was communism, that pernicious European quasi-religious idea that somehow got taken up in the twentieth century by various Asians as the preferred route to utopia. New dictator Pol Pot got it into his head to impose a “pure” form of Maoist communism, which involved getting rid of all vestiges of capitalism and forcing everybody into a collectivized agrarian economy. Before the killings even got going, the entire populations of the cities and most villages were marched out forcibly into the countryside and resettled. From The Culture Trip:
[After Pol Pot assumed power in April 1975] residents were immediately rounded up and sent to the countryside as part of the communist regime’s plans to create an agrarian society. Personal possessions were confiscated, money abolished, family ties severed and the almighty Angkar [political police] set the brutal laws, which saw the population sent to work the land under appalling conditions.
“How did they decide whom to kill? The basic concept was, anybody who did not subscribe perfectly and in every respect to the ideological script, or who was suspected even a little of less than perfect loyalty to the regime. As the genocide got going, the criteria came to include anyone who had achieved any success in life, however minimal: every owner of significant property, every professional, every entrepreneur, every academic, every teacher. From Wikipedia:
The Khmer Rouge regime arrested and eventually executed almost everyone suspected of connections with the former government or with foreign governments, as well as professionals and intellectuals.
“According to information I got from one of our local guides, at the end of the “killing fields” period, there remained in Cambodia only about 40 medical doctors, 52 university-level teachers, 200 high school-level teachers, and 2000 elementary school-level teachers. These people had survived by lying low and not admitting who they were. The country had been substantially set back to the stone age.”
There is a theory that explains this behaviour, and another that justifies it. The justification for class extermination comes from Karl Marx. The explanation for the motives that drive the extermination of the intelligent and the accomplished comes from a man called Helmut Schoeck.
The power of envy is not sufficiently appreciated, either for its pervasive negative effects, or that it takes political forms. The great book on the subject was written by a Austrian-German professor who taught in the United States, Helmut Shoeck, (3 July 1922 – 2 February 1993) and it is called simply, Envy.
Schoeck sees envy as a pervasive force throughout human affairs, stifling and even deadly in its effects if unconstrained, and in constant need of containment. He argues that envy is one of the chief forces causing underdevelopment in many parts of the world. Further, that until the social power of envy was abated, economic development as we have come to experience was blocked at every turn. Avoiding the “evil eye”, he says, is one of the expressions that the power of envy takes in many parts of the world. Entire societies, from Andean peasants to Arabs, are held back by the need to avoid the envy of one’s neighbours by visibly succeeding, which means, in essence, by accumulating, more property than one’s neighbours.
His interpretation of Protestantism connects to the struggle against envy and the takeoff of modern economic development in some parts of the world since the Reformation. Schoeck writes that the idea of God in Calvinism was crucial to the liberation of those personal and social forces and self-authorizations that underlie capitalist development. This idea was of a God who envies us nothing. If God does not envy, why should we?
Marxism, in this view, is but the resurrection of the power of envy into a supposedly scientific theory. “It is only in Marxism, the abstract and glorified concept of the proletariat, the disinherited and exploited, that a position of implacable envy is fully legitimized.”
Schoeck was the first man, to my knowledge, to understand explicitly the force of envy as a destructive and pervasive social pressure, which needs all the power of religion to repress and to contain. I have managed to describe Shoeck’s thinking in bare outline here; I recommend the book. It is one of the most important I have ever read.
I end with a quote from Schoeck on the real nature of envy:
“But Chaucer also sees envy as the worst of sins because nearly all the rest oppose only one virtue, whereas envy turns against all the virtues and against everything that is good. It denies, as we would now say, every value in the scale or table of values. Because the envious man takes exception to his neighbour’s every virtue and advantage, the sin of envy is distinct from all others. Every other kind of sin is in itself pleasurable, to some degree productive of satisfaction, but envy only produces envy and sorrow. Chaucer holds envy to be a sin against nature because it consists in the first place of distress over other people’s goodness and prosperity, and prosperity is naturally a matter of joy. In the second place envy consists of joy in the ills and suffering that befall others. This envy is like the devil, who always rejoices in human suffering.”
Doctrines that unleash the power of envy end in massacre, as Cambodia’s attempted social purification attests, along with the massacre of Ukrainian farmers and Europe’s Jews under the Nazis, to name only the modern examples. I wonder how much of the abhorrence on the Covington kids by the outraged political left is essentially envy of their bright normalness, their happiness, their whiteness, which they disguise from themselves by calling it white privilege.
“I’m Done with Feminism”(vid here) is the title of an extremely perceptive and rigorous analysis of the corruption of the justice system by pandering to feminism. The Lighthouse Project [here] is an organization that helps people falsely accused to work through the legal system and to reconstruct their lives after.
She pays particular attention to false rape charges and to the shameful trial by media of Jon Ghomeshi, and to the truly poisonous effects of false rape allegations, not only on the accused, but on society in general and the fundamental right to be held innocent until proven guilty.
I highly recommend her videos; we need more people like her.
The recent media kerfuffle about some boys from Covington high school and their supposedly awful attacks on some poor old Indian have turned around into a media catastrophe. The leftist press got everything wrong – no surprise – but was apprehended in the act, and had to back off. The entire incident will be forgotten in a week. I present this as an important reason why I try not to participate in the blogging of outrage.
In the time the entire event arose, spread, was refuted, and collapsed, I had to go to hospital for a cardiac procedure. (I am well thank you). The slight risk of actual death has a wonderfully concentrating effect on the mind. I turned to youtube videos about saw mills and cabin building. They are my way of engaging in escapist literature.
More than this, they concentrate me into practical efforts that bring exercise, accomplishment, and deep satisfaction in their wake.
The net tendency of Internet participation is to be constantly aggravated. If you are like me, it will be offended by the leftist assault on reason, history, religion, males, the white race, Christianity and morality. If you are anti-Trump, then everything happening these days will be offensive to you sensibilities. The best way to regain your poise and equanimity is to stop paying attention to the shadow play of politics.
I realize this is not what a political blog ought to say. Yet I am more concerned with my own health and sanity than I am with Trump, Trudeau or any of the dozens of points of concern, such as Brexit, Venezuala, or building pipelines in Canada. We have to remember that the reasons why we are conservatives is that most of life lies beyond and outside of politics, and it is to those wells that we go to draw our spiritual water.
Remember a while back American diplomats in Cuba were complaining of a “sonic attack”, implying that the nefarious Russians were behind it. Twenty-four staff at the US embassy claimed all manner of symptoms including headaches, dizziness, nausea, vision problems etc.
Much fatuous posturing followed from the State Department, complete with diplomats being recalled and travel advisories being issued, blah, blah.
Meanwhile, the Cubans investigated and cooperated (colluded!?) with the FBI and recordings were made of the alleged “sonic attacks”. These were shared and indeed, the Associated Press issued a video with the recorded sounds. The Cubans said that the recorded sounds were typical of a type of cricket or cicada that lives in that part of Cuba.
Fast forward to September 2018, and the “usual suspects”, the Russophobic NBC, and particularly the totally bonkers MSNBC, were fingering Russia as the culprit again. As reported on the Moon of Alabama [here]:
The NBC story came with a red flag. One of its authors was the CIA’s mop-up man Ken Dilanian who lets the CIA rewrite his stories before they get published. Whenever one sees that author’s name one must presume to read disinformation.
Other MSM lugenpresse outlets, like the Grauniad in the UK and the Daily Beast website, chimed in with “Russia main suspect behind illnesses of US staff in Cuba,” blah, blah.
But, reality began to poke its ugly nose into the whole sordid affair. In a rare moment of honesty, the New York Times reports[here] that US scientists found, just as the Cubans had, that the sounds were…
The song of the Indies short-tailed cricket …[which] “matches, in nuanced detail, the A.P. recording in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse,” the scientists wrote in their analysis.
And, there’s more…
Alexander Stubbs of the University of California, Berkeley, and Fernando Montealegre-Z of the University of Lincoln in England studied a recording of the sounds made by diplomats and published by The Associated Press. “There’s plenty of debate in the medical community over what, if any, physical damage there is to these individuals,” said Mr. Stubbs in a phone interview. “All I can say fairly definitively is that the A.P.-released recording is of a cricket, and we think we know what species it is.”[h/t Moon of Alabama].
Canadian expert on insect communication Gerald Pollack of McGill University concurred.
So what have we here? Another hysterical Russophobic story, unsupported by any evidence whatsoever, being spread around the credulous and ignorant “news Media”, the only intention of which would be to stir up more hatred of Russia and further poison international relations.
One wonders when, if ever, the fact-free lie-mongering masquerading as journalism will be held to account?
If you have not seen the fascinating youtubes of Shawn James, you should. Shawn has been building a cabin and related outbuildings in the woods near Georgian Bay for the past three years. His filming technique has been improving steadily, and he now has a drone to get aerial shots of his territory. He has 670,000 youtube followers, and is in constant receipt of fan mail from all quarters of the world. Many people are having vicarious pleasure in following our pioneer as he labours to build his projects.
The fascination of Shawn James is his utter absorption in the task. In many films he works in complete silence for hours and then concludes his weekly upload with reflections on whatever he wants to talk about.
He is an introvert. He prefers the company of himself and his cute golden retriever. In three seasons I do not think he has cracked a smile twice, and then only fleetingly. You will wait in vain for any levity, any wit. He is as serious as Jordan Peterson.
What I like about James is his ordinary canadian-ness. He speaks in what for foreigners will seem as a thick Canadian accent. He lives in the woods, and James makes you realize that what for Canadians is quite ordinary Ontario bush looks to an Australian or to an Arab as exotic landscape. No vast prairies, no deserts, but a land bounded by trees and swamps and rivers. It is our home, but to the universe on youtube it looks as strange as anything on earth.
I used to live the cabin fantasy too. I inherited a square-log cabin built in the 1850s. It was very well built, had been vandalized, and we restored it to health. Gradually, as my family expanded, and our twenties turned into our thirties, the notion of using an outhouse, or washing in the kitchen sink, lost their charms. First came insulation and a wooden stove, then a well and cold running water. Then a propane stove for cooking. Then, in order, hot water, a shower, and finally an indoor toilet with septic tank. Eventually it was a well-insulated rustic cabin, with wood shed and tool shed attached.
My ideas changed too, from the 1970s. Back then I was an eco-catastrophist. I followed the Club of Rome sky-is-falling , resources-are-running out mantras. On his occasional forays into matters beyond construction, Shawn James will venture thoughts on man and nature, but mostly he sticks to the issues that make him so much himself: careful steady work, measuring twice, walks with his dog, explaining to the camera what he plans to do, and showing how he gets things done.
There are three seasons of his films available, and he provides many an urbanite, desert dweller, and inept non-builders a vary Canadian fantasy.