This is Nathan Rambukkana: Obey him!

 

Meet your new overlord. This is Nathan Rambukkana.  As an Assistant Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, he came to public attention this weekend by confirming in the most clear manner that Jordan Peterson is right. In an article that Christie Blatchford can do so well, it appears that he was part of a board of three that grilled a teaching assistant under his supervision for daring to show a youtube clip of Jordan Peterson, who was debating Nicholas Matte on whether  Bill C-16 would compel speech, that is, cause people to use the pronouns that a transgendered person requires his/her/zir’s interlocutor to use.

 

“She was told that after she showed the five-minute video clip, “one student/many students” — the group refused to say how many students were unhappy because that information is deemed confidential — complained that she had created “a toxic climate.”

Spunkily, she asked if she was supposed to shelter students from controversial ideas. “Am I supposed to comfort them?” she asked at one point, bewildered, and said it was antithetical to the spirit of a university.

Rambukkana then informed her that since Bill C-16 was passed, even making such “arguments run(s) counter” to the law.

I will leave that provocation aside for a moment in order to let Prof.Rambukkana identify his work:

Specifically, my research addresses topics such as digital intimacies, the relationship of intimacy and privilege, hybridity and mixed-race identities, the social and cultural aspects new media forms, and non/monogamy in the public sphere. It is situated disciplinarily at the nexus of communication and cultural studies; methodologically within discourse analysis; and draws theoretical energy from a wide range of sources such as feminist, queer, postcolonial, and critical race theories; semiotics, affect theory, event theory and psychoanalysis.

I invite the curious to pursue Prof. Rambukkana’s utterances further on his professional website. His personal musings are found at Complexsingularities.net

The issue I dwell upon is not the outrageous nature of the affront to free speech and liberal values that is constituted by the behaviour by Rambukkana and his two colleagues.

The question is: is he right? Have entire lines of thought been criminalized in Canada by C-16?  The answer is no, not yet, but the practical effect of Bill C-16, which deals with gender identity and gender expression is already seen in the assertions of Professor Rambukkana.

________________________________________

Does the effect of Bill C-16 criminalize the use of a pronoun a person does not favour? According to Brenda Cossman, of  the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, it does not. What this argument appears to rest on is an ambiguity in the use of “criminal”. Something may not attract criminal procedures and penalties (think about the Alberta Human Rights  Commission, Ezra Levant and the Islamic speech issue)  and yet involve years of punishing process and compulsion though not be, in strict terms, a “criminal” prosecution.

Says Brenda Cossman:

“Non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression may very well be interpreted by the courts in the future to include the right to be identified by a person’s self identified pronoun. The Ontario Human Rights Commission, for example, in their Policy on Preventing Discrimination Because of Gender Identity and Expression states that gender harassment should include “ Refusing to refer to a person by their self-identified name and proper personal pronoun”. In other words, pronoun misuse may become actionable, though the Human Rights Tribunals and courts. And the remedies? Monetary damages, non-financial remedies (for example, ceasing the discriminatory practice or reinstatement to job) and public interest remedies (for example, changing hiring practices or developing non-discriminatory policies and procedures). Jail time is not one of them.

The second thing that the Bill does is add the words “gender identity or expression” to two sections of the Criminal Code….

It will add the words “gender identity and expression” to section 318(4) of the Code, which defines an identifiable group for the purposes of “advocating genocide” and “the public incitement hatred” It joins colour, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation or mental or physical disability.

Finally, Bill C-16 also adds “gender identity and expression” to section 718.2(a)(i) of the Criminal Code dealing with sentencing for hate crimes. The provision provides that evidence that an offence is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate can be taken into account by courts in sentencing. The list already includes race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or any other similar factor.”

At this point I need to point out that, although Cossman carefully describes the effect of C-16 on freedom of expression, the Act is already taken to mean, by the like of Prof. Rambukkana,  that a point shall not be argued – not just the use of a pronoun, but an entire train of thought on how students need to be exposed to debate about whether transgendered rights might result in compelled speech.

Those who argue in recondite legal articles about the limits of free speech need to carefully consider what happens to laws when they are interpreted in daily life by faculty committees and other sources of authority, especially those who have an interest in suppressing discussion.

Jared Brown, in another interpretation of C-16, from a point of view more favourable to the principle of free speech, takes a different view.  The text of the federal act on this matter was copied from earlier Ontario legislation to the same effect. Hence what Ontario’s Human Rights Commission says about the wording is relevant.

Thereafter, the [Ontario Human Rights Commission] OHRC clarified its policy by creating a Question and Answer on gender identity and gender expression which seeks to define these terms, and to set out that the refusal of a person to use the chosen/personal/preferred pronoun, or deliberately misgendering, will likely be discrimination.

What this means is that if you encounter a person in a sphere of human activity covered by the Code, and you address that person by a pronoun that is not the chosen/personal/or preferred pronoun of that person, that your action can constitute discrimination.

Further, in the event that your personal or religious beliefs do not recognize genders beyond simply male and female (ie. does not recognize non-binary, gender neutral, or other identities), you must still utilize the non-binary, gender neutral, or other pronouns required by non-binary or gender neutral persons, lest you be found to be discriminatory.

It is the OHRC policy requirement that persons must use the pronouns required by the portion of transgendered individuals making that demand that constitutes compelled speech.

Brown also points out that failure to comply with a finding of the Ontario Human Rights Commission could entail

– requirements to communicate or publish an apology or a publication of the facts of the case and the resulting order;

-non-defamation or gag orders (to refrain from making further offending statements);

-non-defamation publication bans (to refrain from printing further offending statements);

– orders to undertake sensitivity or anti-bias training.

As Brown points out, you can go to jail for contempt of one of these orders, indefinitely.

Rule 60.11(5) of the Rules of Civil Procedure (Ontario) confirms that where the court finds a person in contempt, they can order imprisonment for an indefinite period, in addition to fines and other remedies.  Further a judge can issue a warrant for the arrest of any person against whom a contempt order is sought.

 

Thus while C-16 does not deal with criminal law as its central point, its provisions affect the interpretation of hate crimes, which are criminal in nature. Moreover, if the offence is tried under provincial Human Rights laws, going to jail for refusal to use some person’s desired pronouns for their particular sexual status, and facing years of litigation, a fines, constitutes compulsion.

The Bill also creates the atmosphere of ideas wherein the not too clever can assert that entire avenues of discourse are now illegal. As has Professor Rambukkana.

________________________________________________________

The incipient totalitarian nature of the views being propagated at our universities ought to concern those who endorse a liberal education. You may seek to convey your views to Professor Rambukkana. Be polite.

nrambukkana@wlu.ca

T: 519.884.0710 x4346

The iron mask is coming down. This debate is not, as the left asserts, about respect, dignity and equality. This is about causing masses of people not to speak what is on their minds, and that is the iron mask. It is the hallmark of the totalitarian regime, and it is here now.

Saul Alinsky: Rule for Radicals #4 – “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules”

If you haven’t followed Star Trek actor George Takei on Twitter, then you are to be congratulated because you haven’t wasted time following his idiotic fulminations. If one is a “celebrity” and “gay”, like Takei, it seems one can say anything with impunity. Now it seems the centre-right has learned the lesson as well, as this latest news shows.

A former model and actor is accusing Star Trek icon George Takei of sexual assault in 1981. The accuser, Scott R. Brunton, who was 23 at the time of the alleged incident, claims that Takei took advantage of him when he was most vulnerable.

“This happened a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it,” Brunton tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview. “It is one of those stories you tell with a group of people when people are recounting bizarre instances in their lives, this always comes up. I have been telling it for years, but I am suddenly very nervous telling it.”

Isn’t 1981 before the Statute of Limitations of some kind? Who cares about “due process“?!

This past Wednesday, college presidents and Title IX coordinators met on Capitol Hill to discuss the issue of campus sexual assault and what to do under the new Trump administration.

Under the Obama administration, colleges were required to adjudicate accusations of sexual assault in a way that denied due process and the presumption of innocence. While President Donald Trump hasn’t spoken on the issue, the media has stoked fears that his administration will roll back protections for accusers, who are always labeled as “victims.”

2016 US election and polls

One thing that went totally awry in the 2016 US election was the polling. For a campaign like Clinton’,s which was entirely data oriented, this was a death knell. In this campaign it wasn’t just the earlier polls that were wrong, but exit polls as well. Was it media malpractice or something else?

An article in Esquire shares some untold behind-the-scenes stories from the campaign including these about the exit polls.

Bret Baier, Fox News chief political anchor: We got the exit polls at 5 p.m. in a big office on the executive floor. Rupert Murdoch and all the staff were there. It looked like we were going to call the race for Hillary Clinton at 10:30 or 11 p.m.

Steve Bannon: The exit polls were horrific. It was brutal. I think we were close in Iowa and Ohio and everything else was just brutal. Losing everywhere. Florida, Pennsylvania. I mean, it looked like a landslide.

Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, Trump’s religious adviser: I called Sean Hannity and said, “I really think he’s going to win tonight.” Sean said, “Well, I’m glad you do, because the exit polls don’t look good.” I found out later that Trump was very pessimistic, too.

Steve Bannon: Jared [Kushner] and I were out on this balcony in Trump Tower. We looked at it on Jared’s iPhone. And the numbers were so bad that we regrouped inside. We look at each other and we go, “This can’t be right. It just can’t.” And Jared goes, “I got an idea, let’s call Drudge.” And Drudge says, “The corporate media—they’ve always been wrong the entire time—these numbers are wrong.” Drudge snapped us out of it, saying, “You guys are a couple of jamokes. Wait until the second exit polls come out, or later.” We called the candidate and told him what the numbers were and what Drudge had said. And then we said, “Hey, ya know, we left it all on the field. Did everything we can do. Let’s just see how it turns out.”

Media malpractice might account for some of the problems, but this survey by CATO Institute highlights how people with center-right political orientation are less willing to share their political opinion and more likely to self-censor. It probably explains why Brexit polling was also wrong.

 

The Confessions of Richard Warnica

Richard Warnica published a confession in the Post this morning, subtitled “We’re still trying to figure out how Donald Trump won.”

These are the confessions of an honest man. I could have published the same about my reaction to Obama beating Romney; I was stupefied that the US public fell for that communoid flake, that sly, anti-white, feckless pseud.  Consequently, I make no claims of moral superiority or political perspicacity. But I do claim that I got Trump right, and bet $100 on Trump winning in December 2015.

On the basis of that slight authority, I analyzed Warnica’s article. It is broken into fivethematic sections:

  1. I was ideologically blind/I missed the importance of Steven Bannon
  2. Facebook allowed the fringe to become the mainstsream
  3. Trump reaped the “unfettered cash” released by the Citizen’s United decision of the Supreme Court.
  4. The timely intervention of James Comey into Hillary Clinton’s emails
  5. I was ideologically blind/ I dismissed the enthusiasm of the enormous crowds

Judging by what Mr. Warnica writes, he is till ideologically blind. He is not alone. So are most of the people I hear on the subject of Trump.

  1. Let us start with his description of Steve Bannon.

“He trafficked, and still does traffic, in views about Islam and race and other issues that would have been disqualifying for a major political figure in an earlier era. His political ideas were drawn from such oddball sources as online gaming and apocalyptic clash-of-civilizations philosophy.”

The primary political division in western civilization at the moment is whether people are aware that Islam is not the friend of liberal civilization. I find that secular humanists (atheists) are particularly blind on this subject. Seeing that all metaphysical beliefs are ipso facto  in error, indeed delusional, apparently it makes no difference to them that some religions are conducive to rational inquiry and others not, that some favour the equality of the sexes, and others do not, and that some believe that all questions have been answered in one exclusive truth and others think the paths to redemption are many.

Ordinary people are crying out for a major politician to link Islamic jihad with Islam. Please could someone make a connection between Karl Marx and Lenin? Between what the Koran says and what believers int he Koran feel justified to do? Thus, if Richard Warnica still thinks that the impeccably liberal Samuel Huntingdon’s “Clash of Civilizations” is beyond the pale, he remains stuck in ignorance and denial. The borders of Islam in every direction are bloody. It is a world conquering faith of enforced submission and slavery. Whether it might be different in six centuries is a problem for the future. At the moment it is the principal enemy of liberal civilization. People want to hear someone in power who is at least cognizant of the problem.

2. “Facebook allowed the fringe to become mainstream”.

This assumes what needs to be demonstrated. Who is the fringe, and who the mainstream? In short, who is defining reality here anyway? The Internet has allowed people to gather, disseminate, and read information outside of the filters of the MSM.

3. Trump reaped the “unfettered cash” released by the Citizen’s United decision of the Supreme Court.

Any mention of  Trump raising unlimited cash relative to the Clinton money machine is ludicrous. We need not discuss this further.

4. The timely intervention of James Comey into Hillary Clinton’s emails

I have not been running US foreign policy out of my home computer either, but it is likely that many people had their views of Hillary solidified by this event.

5. I was ideologically blind/ I dismissed the enthusiasm of the enormous crowds

I am reminded by George Orwell’s comment that it is difficult but necessary to see what is in front of one’s nose.

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle. One thing that helps toward it is to keep a diary, or, at any rate, to keep some kind of record of one’s opinions about important events. Otherwise, when some particularly absurd belief is exploded by events, one may simply forget that one ever held it. Political predictions are usually wrong. But even when one makes a correct one, to discover why one was right can be very illuminating. In general, one is only right when either wish or fear coincides with reality. If one recognizes this, one cannot, of course, get rid of one’s subjective feelings, but one can to some extent insulate them from one’s thinking and make predictions cold-bloodedly, by the book of arithmetic. In private life most people are fairly realistic. When one is making out one’s weekly budget, two and two invariably make four. Politics, on the other hand, is a sort of sub-atomic or non-Euclidean word where it is quite easy for the part to be greater than the whole or for two objects to be in the same place simultaneously. Hence the contradictions and absurdities I have chronicled above, all finally traceable to a secret belief that one’s political opinions, unlike the weekly budget, will not have to be tested against solid reality.”

I suggest a course in humility for Richard Warnica of the kind George Orwell proposed. I have had to take it a few times myself.

 

 

 

The very model of a Governor General

 

I was sitting on the plane this morning when I heard a voice behind me talking to his colleague. It had something of Don Cherry tone to it: assured, a little truculent, a tinge of redneck even, assertive, a little loud. I turned around and saw David Johnston, our former Governor General. Not believing my eyes, I turned around once more and he interrupted his talking to a colleague to say hello to me.

You have to understand my shock. I have known David Johnson peripherally for many years. He is the smoothest man of policy I have ever met. Not merely clever, but wise. Ambitious. The kind of man who, in my belief, learned very early always to say the right thing without once being deceived by his own talk or anyone else’s.  Social smarts coming out the ears. Scholar, law professor, chancellor of the best universities.

When the plane stopped we had a brief chat. He was in fine form. He spoke about his wife getting him out of the house as many a retired man must. He said he had never had a “real job” in his life, and I know what he means, because I have never had one either. The kind that can be measured with a stop watch or a calculator.

The amazing transformation before me was of a man who seemed to have thrown off his smooth persona to  have achieved a kind of thinking man’s Don Cherry-hood. Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I am free at last. That is what he seemed to be saying, through all the practised jokes and badinage.

Good luck to you, brother, live long and prosper.

And when you really succeed, maybe you can take over Don Cherry’s job as the second culmination of your career. After being Her Majesty’s Canadian representative, what higher honour can your country give you? Apotheosis?

Postmodernism Redux

For those of you thirsting for the knowledge that is pouring from the great intellects of our colleges and universities, especially the postmodernist studies of the rapidly immanentizing eschaton, of the nano-aggressive patriarchal concepts of genderism in automatic transmissions etc, I bring you a tiny snippet of contemporary wisdom. Read on….

Forgetting Bataille: Capitalist postcultural theory in the works of
Spelling
C. Linda Reicher

Department of Ontology, Miskatonic University, Arkham, Mass.
Helmut Z. Humphrey

Department of Future Studies, University of Western Topeka

1. Spelling and neodialectic feminism
“Sexual identity is part of the dialectic of culture,” says Foucault.
Drucker[1] implies that we have to choose between
Batailleist `powerful communication’ and the textual paradigm of consensus.
In the works of Gibson, a predominant concept is the concept of neocultural
language. Therefore, Sontag’s model of capitalist desublimation states that art
may be used to reinforce class divisions, but only if neodialectic feminism is
valid; if that is not the case, we can assume that the media is capable of
intent. Derrida promotes the use of Batailleist `powerful communication’ to
attack outmoded, sexist perceptions of society.

“Sexual identity is unattainable,” says Foucault; however, according to
Tilton[2] , it is not so much sexual identity that is
unattainable, but rather the futility, and subsequent failure, of sexual
identity. But many constructions concerning semantic theory may be found.
Baudrillard suggests the use of capitalist postcultural theory to modify and
analyse society.
The main theme of the works of Gibson is the role of the writer as
participant. However, if Batailleist `powerful communication’ holds, the works
of Gibson are postmodern. Hubbard[3] holds that we have to
choose between capitalist postcultural theory and capitalist dematerialism.
Thus, an abundance of discourses concerning the difference between
narrativity and society exist. Lacan promotes the use of neodialectic feminism
to challenge hierarchy…..

blah, blah, blah…

If you made it this far, congratulations. If you thought this is meaningless drivel, you’re right! The paper is as fake as postmodernism. But this is the kind of writing that is exuded from all kinds of “Weirdo Studies” departments in our faux universities. In fact, it wasn’t written by anyone at all. It is the product of a highly entertaining computer program: The Postmodernism Generator. (The “Miskatonic University” was a dead giveaway, actually, as fans of the late H P Lovecraft’s horror stories will know.)

The program was written in C in 1996 by Andrew Bulhak using the Dada Engine, “…a system for generating random text from recursive grammars.” And it’s readily available to all for entertainment purposes. Perhaps you could generate six or seven papers and submit them for your Master’s degree in Neo-feminist Theory of Genderized Armpit Hair?

Here’s the link for the Postmodernism Generator(here). Each time you open the web page it generates an entirely new paper; in half an hour you’ll have all you need for your shiny new college degree.

Enjoy…

Rebel Yell

Time, climate, and the human past

An entertaining and gently informative ramble through many subjects.

Randall Carlson describes himself as “a teacher, geometrician, geomythologist, geological explorer and renegade scholar. He has 4 decades of study, research and exploration Into the interface between ancient mysteries and modern science, has been an active Freemason for 30 years and is Past Master of one of the oldest and largest Masonic lodges in Georgia.”

I share his time perspective: if you are not talking ten thousand years, you are talking short term.

He explains in the clearest terms what it was like to live in North America during the final phase of the late ice age, 18,000 years ago. Ice two miles thick over Canada (10,000 feet high) and coastlines 75 miles out beyond contemporary sea coasts.

A very interesting cat. Everything he says is consistent with my reading of all the books on climate that I have ever read. He has mastered the art of recalling it all, a prodigious act of memory.

McGill Students, Marxism, Jews and BDS

 

What a perfect trifecta of provocations this morning! I must apologize in advance for this blog because my thoughts are ungenerous. Extremely un-PC. They have been prompted by a report of the expulsion of a Jewish student from a student governing board. The Post article explains:

Students at the bi-annual General Assembly of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) voted to remove a Jewish student, Noah Lew, from the society’s board of directors. Lew later wrote on Facebook that he had been targeted for his Jewish identity. Before the vote, Lew and two other directors were publicly accused of corruption by a student political group for their affiliation with Jewish political organizations such as the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC).

The actions of the students are discriminatory in the worst sense of the word, anti-Jewish, and wrongly motivated, to say the least. Entirely typical of left-wing thought and behaviour. How did we get to this? I offer some observations as an eye witness to events long ago .

When I went to McGill some 45 years ago, almost the entirety of the student Left was Jewish, and for various reasons not clear to me the Faculty of Arts was about 80% Jewish. I attended classes where the three, four or five goyim would sit together among the 25-35 Jews. That was just the way it was then. It did me no harm, and in a large measure being in an ethnic and religious minority constituted an important education in itself.

What blew my mind – if a I may use a term from that time – was that the political coloration of about a quarter of those Jews (maybe as much as a half)  was some flavour of Marxism. Marxist, Marxizing, Marxian, Marxoid thought was esteemed as historically correct. Franz Fanon was then all the rage. RD Laing. Herbert Marcuse. Norman O. Brown. The intellectual atmosphere was soaked in Leftist assumptions, methods, and political fashions. That toxic stew has since evolved into the anti-Israeli movement called Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) which roils the student politics of McGill, York and many other Canadian centres of higher education.

I am making claims that may need to be teased out.

1) Forty years ago, student Leftism was very largely a Jewish phenomenon. That is provocative but accurate description of the SDS and its allied organizations. Jews so preponderated in left-wing politics that when non-Jews wanted their own party (quite contrary to scientific materialist doctrines) they formed a “Maoist” group. The Maoists were composed principally of rich kids from Third-World countries: India, Argentina, and the like, plus a few police infiltrators from Saskatchewan. Thus, the Marxist orthodox and the Maoists splitters could shout slogans at each other, decry the others’ heresies, apparently oblivious to the fact that a group composed entirely of Jews and another group entirely non-Jewish (atheists from Sikh, Roman Catholic and other backgrounds), had formed different political clubs. Their political religion had split on lines of religion and ethnicity, forces whose reality and legitimacy were inadmissable to them.

2) Forty years ago, the Marxists were siding with the working class of Quebec, so that its targets were the WASP administration and the English minority in Quebec, and its supposed allies were the French-Canadian working class. The BDS movement of its time dealt with South Africa, not Israel.

3) Today, Jews are victims of that same leftism. After the fall of the Soviet Union, leftism did not die, on the contrary it went from strength to strength. Once Leftism dissociated itself from any sort of intellectual discipline – and Marxism was an intellectual discipline even though its doctrines were murderous in consequence and fatuous in content – Leftism was free to become  what it now is: anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian, anti-civilization, anti-economic progress, antinomian. And especially anti-Jewish. When in doubt, blame the Jews. When not in doubt, blame the Jews.

I have had very cautious conversations with people who were at McGill back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The politically correct denied absolutely that the Left at McGill was, at the time, a largely Jewish phenomenon, the Maoists excepted. With those honest enough to recall what was then evident to their eyes, the conversations have been more productive, in the sense that much of what made McGill such a drag in those days was the joyless tone favoured by the spoiled-kid Marxist rabble from middle class Jewish homes, where clearly the apples had not fallen far from parental trees. Dinner tables where a civil conversation had never occurred, where ideas were not for play or exploration, but for bludgeoning, where absolutism was the prevailing mental style: these  Marxists had come from parents who had taught them how to feel and think; they had not sprung like Athena from the brow of Zeus.

Did they get their Marxism from their grandparents in eastern Europe? Were we getting the blow-back from Tsarist repression three or four generations later? Because, for a certainty, the Jewish Marxists I encountered seemed still to be living in a shtetl of their own mind, expecting any day the Cossacks to come and suppress them with whips, and they seemed oblivious to the liberal political culture of Anglo-Montreal and North America in which they then lived. When you cannot tell a liberal state from a fascist one, you are ideologically blind. And they could not discern the difference between freedom and repression. Too much Marcuse, with his ideas of “repressive tolerance”.

There is an ignoble part of me that says to the Marxist Jews of that time: you brought this on yourselves. You spent years and years creating and fostering a culture of leftist opposition to the true, the beautiful and the good, to British constitutional thought and civilized political discourse, to a reasonable, sane and balanced appreciation of politics, to a non-hysterical approach to political division, to an adaptive accommodation to social change, to a spirit of inquiry and compromise, to the possibility of reasoned political discourse that admits the legitimacy of other points of view.  The Marxist Jews of my time were the instigators of Marxist phenomena like political correctness – the notion that politic thought is capable of being right or wrong like an arithmetical sum. They instigated thought crime trials, repressions, schisms,  self-repressions, and mounting hysteria about political divisions. Now that the Left has abandoned Marxism, but retained its oppositional spirit, the Jews find themselves the targets of forces that their Leftist co-religionists abetted and exemplified back in the Soviet era.

You have sowed the wind, and are reaping the whirlwind. I am bold enough to think that some of the Marxists still alive might grudgingly admit the truth of this.

How does it feel to be on your own, with no direction from home, like a rolling stone?

As I said, my thoughts this morning are neither noble nor forgiving. I hold those Jewish Marxists in that time responsible for much evil that has come, is here now, and is yet to come. That the evil is happening now to Jews, however undeserving, provides the unseemly frisson of schadenfreude.

The Reformation

Amidst all the turmoil of the age, it is important to recall the astonishing effect of the Reformation. For better or worse, we live in a world forged by it. In my simple opinion, the issue turns on the role of the Roman priesthood: do we need one? Protestants have always answered ‘no, we do not’, and it was Luther who ended the monopoly of the Roman priesthood over the interpretation of the Gospels and the administration of the sacraments. The priesthood of all believers calls upon every one equally to bring about Christian life, and that there are no legally or religiously  sanctioned people who take on a special status in the eyes of God.

Doing Christianity without benefit  of a sanctified monopoly clergy: that is Protestantism.

Outsiders to the Roman Church can have little conception of how central the priest is to the core of its belief and structure. I have heard a devout Roman Catholic inform me that 80% of Roman canon law deals with the status and authority of the priest. 20% deals with everyone else.

Luther utterly destroyed the sense that we gain our salvation through adherence to an institution, rather than belief in the power and mercy  of Jesus Christ. He did the Christian religion the great compliment of taking it seriously. By going back to its source material, the gospels themselves, he sought to re-establish what Christianity was intended to be.  Yet the challenge Luther posed for the Roman Catholic Church was to its Romanity, not to its catholicity (world-embracing nature).

The Roman Catholic church is the last vestige of the ancient world’s most successful political structure, the Roman Empire. It ran from Emperor on down on the claims of absolute authority. When the Roman Empire adopted Christianity as its state religion, much good ensued. Yet the message of Christianity, of Jesus Himself, was presented through the lens of an imperial structure sustained by state officiants, who were the priests. In the wreckage of the Western Roman Empire after 400AD, there can be no doubt that the Church sustained civilization and culture against barbarism. To my way of thinking, which has been influenced no doubt by Luther, the priestly Roman Catholic Church is something of a contradiction in terms, like an anarcho-imperialist party, an authoritarian liberationist church, a aryan supremacist racially egalitarian movement. The vessel contradicts the message.

Today a Roman priest, Father de Souza, wrote in the National Post:

The division of the Church remains contrary to God’s will, and therefore it is an obligation of Christian discipleship to work to repair the divisions. It is fair to say that 500 years after the Reformation that obligation is better understood now than over most of the past half millennium. That work of reparation is not only for the sake of the Church, but for the world too, also suffering the lacerations of division.

The Reformation and its aftermath, including the Catholic Reformation or Counter-Reformation, accomplished needed reform. Those reforms achieved, what remains to justify the division?

I wish I could believe in this irenic vision. What remains to justify the division of the Christian Church is the role, authority, and status of the Roman priest, and I do not see them giving up their monopoly any time soon. How the authority and monopoly of the Roman Church to establish Christian doctrine can survive the authority of the believer to interpret the Gospels has never been resolved, nor ever yet will be.

The sanctification of ordinary life – and therefore of ordinary people – is the end result of this disestablishment of the priesthood.

 

 

Karl Popper and AGW

Karl Popper wrote: “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”

If there is no link between false predictions and the felt need to amend one’s theories, one is dealing with religions, or the equivalent of astrology, Freudian psychoanalysis, or anthropogenic global warming.

Such is the import of a good article on the subject by Milan Bhardawaj. 

He writes:

“it seems like any and all atmospheric occurrences are attributed to climate change — in part because its definition has become so broad. There is no combination of weather patterns that would cause climate change devotees to doubt their gospel. By contrast, even theories that are deeply ingrained in the fabric of our society, such as gravitation or evolution, are still capable of being disproven with counterexamples. It is for this reason that they are regarded as theories and not axioms. Climate change, on the other hand, has no counterexamples since every weather pattern is seen as a byproduct, therefore making it essentially pseudoscience”.

What is the refutation of AGW? It would be that something other than human agency is causing observed climate changes, or that climate is not changing relative to past patterns. The null hypothesis is that nothing unusual is occurring in global climate. “Unusual” in the climate science game would only be established by reference to climate change over tens of thousands of years, over many periods of glaciation and inter-glacial periods.

The merest glance at the history of the earth shows that, yes, the earth is warming slightly since 1850, and it is still colder today than it was in 1250AD. And so forth, through many cycles over tens of thousands and millions of years.

At the beginning of the Obama regime I heard a scientist dispute with John Holdren, Obama’s official science advisor, about the AGW hypothesis. The scientist said that AGW had become an axiom, not a testable hypothesis. The reception of this idea by Holdren was decidedly frosty. Of course it was, since in the politest possible terms Holdren was told he was not supporting science, but the equivalent of alchemy.