“I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air — that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.”
— H.L. Mencken
Ukrainians and Freedom Convoy truckers share this principle. You may disagree with their interpretation. If so: Use your words. And don’t try changing the definition of freedom.
The immediate risk of asserting that they are freemen is higher for Ukrainians than for truckers. The long term consequences of failure to resist tyranny are the same.
Trudeaupia’s false choice is that 1984 is not different from Brave New World. Though Justin did resort to the former when his estimation of the completeness of the latter turned out to be overly optimistic.
The Other Club was first published February 19, 2005 on Google’s Blogspot.I have included a first day post below. It celebrated a display of American valor and courage that had taken place 60 years earlier.
In 2005 “valor and courage” would have been a nearly universal opinion. The memory would have invoked reverence and gratitude. Seventeen years later, I wonder…
As the post went up, Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world. The first ever Tweet was 13 months in the future. Facebook would not open to the general public for almost 18 months. YouTube had come online 4 days earlier. Ask Jeeves was still a thing. Google Maps had just been launched on February 8. Pandora was to be launched on August 25. Tumblr was 2 years in the future.
Surveillance capitalism was just booting up.
If you wanted to be notified of a new post at any given blog, you would subscribe to its RSS feed. If it supported one. To find other sites you might find interesting, you depended on blogrolls and word of mouth.
Content wasn’t targeted at you based on deep learning analysis of every search you conducted, every website you visited, every cell tower you passed, the content of your emails, every person you “followed”, every purchase you made, every app you used, or a comprehensive summary of the computer make and model, browser, OS, graphics processor, IP and MAC addresses… etc., you used while volunteering that information.
It was more likely than not you didn’t “google it” in 2005. Google processed a bit less than 37% of searches then. Ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively; Yahoo, MSN, and AOL handled 54%.
Now Google attracts more than 90% of internet queries. Reading more than Twitter’s 140 280 characters before concretizing your righteous outrage has become passé. Facebook has gobbled up the open discussion space by strategically monetizing polarization.
Add TikTok, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc. etc., and you get a cultural petri dish where narcissistic moral-superiority contests flourish, and “mean girls” of both sexes actually make a living by practicing their sociopathy.
“We show that individuals with Dark Triad traits-Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Psychopathy-more frequently signal virtuous victimhood, controlling for demographic and socioeconomic variables that are commonly associated with victimization in Western societies.”
A popular way to monetize victimhood is complaining about cultural appropriation. Hoop earrings, for example. As if persons of ‘Latinx’ persuasion invented hoop earrings. And, in their cultural purity, refuse to use anything invented by, say, a dead white British male. Like vaccination.
An environmental impact study would find “the better angels of our nature” an endangered species in a shrinking habitat. Gossip, maliciousness, and reputation savaging, you see, scale and can be monetized. And it works just as well if you can appropriate victimhood.
Well, this turned into more of a rant than a ‘happy anniversary to me.’ Enough.
TOC documents some bits of the last 17 years. Of topical interest, there are 109 posts tagged ‘canada’ as I write. The first is from February 25, 2005. I just tagged it. There are certainly more. Blogspot didn’t have tagging for a long time and I have only partially updated them. Now I’ll have to complete ‘Canada.’
I have made TOC’s ~2,900 posts into a ~2,100 page PDF. About 1.1 million words. Electronically signed copies can be made available. ;)
I think I managed to meet the level of Theodore Sturgeon’s adage: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.” ;)
Anyaway, here’s that first day post I mentioned above. Blogspot didn’t provide for images then, so I’m adding what I would have used.
Original inks have rotted and are replaced from web.archive.org.Saturday, February 19, 2005
Flags of our Fathers
John Bradley, Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, Ira Hayes, Rene Gagnon and Mike Strank are the Navy corpsman and Marines who, on 23-February-1945, raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi. It’s a famous picture.
Still, Suribachi’s island wasn’t declared secure until 26-March, and it was 7-April before American fighter planes took off from the refurbished runway so many had died to secure.
Describing the Americans who fought this battle, Admiral Nimitz uttered the words that appear on the Arlington Cemetery monument to that flag raising: “Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue”.
Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal said that “the raising of that flag on Suribachi means there will be a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.”
Thank you Marines. Semper Fi. 440 years to go; though I expect you’ve extended that a bit in the interim.
Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the death-struggle for Iwo Jima, in which over 2,000 Marines died in the first 18 hours of fighting.
In the next 36 days Marines had a casualty every 2 minutes. 6,821 Americans and over 20,000 Japanese died. Of 353 Medals of Honor awarded during WWII, 27 were given for heroism on Iwo Jima; 13 posthumously.
And this was not the end of the Pacific war. In fact, it was just the first battle on Japanese soil.
My appreciation of this battle, and my gratitude to those who fought it, grew immensely when I read a book given to me by a former Marine. That book is Flags of our Fathers, by James Bradley.
Bradley discovered that his father, a Navy corpsman who survived the battle of Iwo Jima, had not only been awarded a Navy Cross for his efforts there, but was one of the men in the famous picture of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. He discovered this only after his father had died, as he sorted through his father’s papers.
Danielle Girdano is another person belatedly aware of her father’s contribution on Iwo Jima.
What she learned from her small gift resulted in the Legend of Heroes Memorial. A monument in glass, metal and wood; it has the faces of 10 Iwo Jima vets engraved on it. Her father is one of them. It is beginning a 49 state tour this weekend.
It is inscribed, “Boys became men, men became heroes, heroes became legends.”
I am cowed by the modesty, even self-effacement, of men like Bradley’s and Girdano’s fathers; though it is typical of those WWII vets who saw soul-wrenching combat. Part of it is certainly the modesty becoming of a different era, but I think most of it arises from the pain their experiences brought. (Note to John Kerry – your eagerness, sustained for 30 years, to capitalize on your experiences of “atrocities” in Viet Nam is one of the reasons you were not credible.)
Herman also invokes contemporary issues via a perspective on the doubt and debate surrounding WWII strategies that most of us now think of as uncontroversial. # posted by Hershblogger @ 2/19/2005 06:46:00 PM
UPDATE: 12:15PM, Feb5
GoFundMe has shut down the Freedom Convoy account and threatened to give the money to charity. They indicated contributors would have to apply for refunds. They’ve backed down and will be issuing refunds automatically.
You may be aware that thousands of truck drivers in Canada formed a convoy 45 miles long and drove 2,000 miles to protest Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s CCP virus pronunciamentos. Overpasses along their trek thronged with cheering supporters.
The convoy arrived in Canada’s capital last weekend, and Ottawans’ lives have since been disrupted by clogged streets (lanes are open for emergency vehicles), liberal use of air horns (stopping at six PM), and protestors marching around the Parliament buildings chanting “Freedom!” And occasionally taking time out to shovel snow in public spaces, or build a mobile soup kitchen to feed Ottawa’s homeless.
The truckers, and a growing majority of Canadians, think Canada’s CCP virus rules should follow the science. That is, the rolling imposition of limited martial law should cease.
They think the Trudeau hegemony has again misinterpreted Canada’s mission statement: “Peace, order, and good government”. The truckers are leading the debate, “Resolved: Canada does not have the good government required for peace and order.”
“Peace, order, and good government” is not so presumptuous a demand as “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” nor as prone to excess as “Liberté, egalité, fraternité.” The Freedom Convoy protest, befitting Canada’s image, is preponderantly polite. In no way comparable to the “stop-the-steal” riot on January 6th/20 in Washington, nor to the gilet jaune street fighting September 12/20 in Paris.
“Police haven’t reported any physical violence at the ongoing Ottawa rally against vaccine mandates and other government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions, but critics warn that conflating the absence of bloodshed with “peaceful” protest downplays the dangers of the weekend demonstrations.”
Among the dangers the Bytown anointed have cited was one guy carrying the Stars and Bars. There’s video of him being shamed and driven away by the truckers. That’s a literal false flag.
Someone painted a swastika on a Canadian flag, leading to charges the truckers are Nazi sympathizers. The strikingly more obvious interpretation is that the painter was calling Trudeau a fascist wannabe.
A woman was seen, arms in air, shouting “Freedom!” while standing on the base of the National War Memorial. This action has been described as “desecration.”
So far it has not been targeted for destruction by BLM or Antifa. But the subjects are imperialist white male warriors, so it’s only a matter of time. You do have to wonder whether the men depicted would feel disrespected sharing a plinth with someone shouting “Freedom!’ in the context of CCP virus tyranny.
They were soon to be exposed to the Spanish Flu pandemic. I imagine their reaction to mandates and lockdowns would be less compliant than Justin would prefer.
Someone hung a Maple Leaf flag upside down on the statue of Terry Fox. The left was apoplectic. This statue has been dressed up many times in the past without comment from the petty totalitarianate.
A CBC newsbimbo suggested that Russia was secretly organizing the protests.
Somehow these deplorable truck driving cretins must be driven from polite society, castigated, cancelled, shamed. Canada’s precedents for using nebulous complaints from far-left activists to punish speech are well known. Mark Steyn made some of them famous.
One of CNN’s iconic contributions to Newspeak was displaying the phrase ‘mostly peaceful’ over live images of burning buildings. Having described protests involving murder, looting, arson, and vandalism as ‘mostly peaceful’, what do you do when a you need a condemnatory description of protests that involve no class A felonies? Well, war is peace and freedom is slavery. Just follow your 1984, or the Globe and Mail stylebook.
‘Dangerous non-violence’ is justification for making Thoughtcrime up as you go along. Ideas are too dangerous to trust them to free citizens.
It’s disappointing, really. These truckers went to a lot of trouble to gently stir up some shit. Even with the distinct lack of felonies… couldn’t we at least call it ‘barely raucous?’
No. No agency must be granted to these unacceptables. The Prime Minister is channeling Hillary Clinton:
“The small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa, or who are holding unacceptable views that they’re expressing, do not represent the views of Canadians…”
According to this Angus-Reid poll, Pansy McBlackface is claiming 54% of Canadians hold unacceptable views. Even Hillary only called half of Trump’s supporters deplorable, not more than half the whole population.
Not to be outdone, the leader of Trudeau’s partners, the New Democrats (think Bernie, AOC and Omar), played the race card:
“Conservative MPs have endorsed a convoy led by those that claim the superiority of the white bloodline and equate Islam to a disease.”
Wow. Maybe he gets his world view from Whoopi Goldberg.
Finally, displaying the cluelessness for which he is justly famous, Ontario’s Premier:
“It’s time to let the people in Ottawa get back to their lives,” Premier Doug Ford says on fifth day of convoy demonstrations.”
Doug, you portly pontoon, it’s time to look up the word “irony.” THAT MESSAGE is WHOLLY OWNED by the protestors. YOU CAN”T POLITICALLY APPROPRIATE “Letting people get back to their lives.” The Freedom Convoy hasn’t even had their 2 weeks to flatten the curve.
If that isn’t enough to generate polite dialog (for example, if any of your fellow diners don’t immediately grasp why situational enforcement of mutually exclusive authoritarian diktat is intellectually bankrupt and morally deplorable), just propose a debate with the proposition: Venn diagrams show math is racist.
Still no chit-chat? Point out that while they need not be binary, a majority of Venn diagrams are. So aren’t they also transphobic?
As I think about it there are problems with a Venn diagram displaying however many genders may be momentarily asserted. I’ve never seen a Venn diagram with nearly a hundred circles.
I have no idea what the label in the intersection should be. I can think of nothing charitable.
I notice I used the word “fellow”. Haven’t seen that attacked yet, but it’s obvious why it will be. Or has been, outside my notice.
I also apologize in advance for “peters”, “diktat”, “Master”, “debate” (two sides), And I’m abjectly sorry for using the word “think”.
Oceania, of course, was Winston Smith’s home country in George Orwell’s 1984. Problems in Oceania aren’t expressible in Newspeak.
Newspeak isn’t just a set of buzzwords, but the deliberate replacement of one set of words in the language with another. Or their removal entirely. The transition is still in progress in Orwell’s novel, but is expected to be completed “by about the year 2050.”
The Canadian Broadcarping Castration is advancing the schedule. Think NPR/PBS, but more to the left. CBC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canada’s far left government. They are proposing a new political philosophy. It’s early days in the development of this theory, and it is as yet unnamed. I have a suggestion later.
“Ghetto; sell someone down the river; blackmail; brainstorm; savage; gypped; pow wow; tribe; spooky; black sheep; blind spot; blindsided; first world problem; spirit animal; tone deaf; lame; grandfathered in; crippled.”
You might wonder why they would bother with such a feeble effort. There are surely many more worthy words which the crippled minds of the lame SJW tribes might brainstorm, in their virtual pow pows, to create offenses with which to blackmail the rest of us: Black sheep (our spirit animal) all.
You can see where some of their angst comes from, but “first world problem?”
The term ‘first world problem’ began as meaning a trivial problem experienced by people in affluent societies. CBC’s list is an example of a first world problem. Progressives have come not to like ‘first world problem’ because it mocks stupid ideas like subjecting a list of 18 words to Newspeak.
A first world problem is running out of characters on Twitter. Or somebody else using all the hot water. But, these get uncomfortably close to having your pussy hat laughed at. Then, who knows? You go bonkers over a sign supporting the police on somebody’s lawn. From there, we might have people who hear the wrong pronoun, or get punished for committing a hate crime hoax. Jussie Smollett would not have been lionized by Vladimir Putin, but he was by Joe Biden.
Just around the first-world-problem corner from that, is some ‘Nazi’ claiming you shouldn’t live your life as if speech is violence.
Of course, CBC’s innuendo is that speech is violence. Or ought to be if you say the wrong word.
[B]eing poor doesn’t mean you don’t experience similar inconveniences…
Right. Someone has ALWAYS used all the hot water. Because there never is any. Then it isn’t an inconvenience. It’s just life.
The term first world problem entered public consciousness back around 2005 as a way to shame trivial complaints. Shortly after catching on as a meme, it morphed into a way to justify those grievances by at least acknowledging some people, somewhere might see it as silly. I acknowledged it, now please sympathize with me with a like or a retweet…
We are so clueless to the real world that we imagine one where there [sic] only troubles in another country must be exhaustive in scale. Beyond the reach of our imagination to picture a day in the life…
It is past time to retire first world problems. Now is an age when we need to be highlighting our connections, our humanity. Let’s leave behind our instinct to create fake divisions.
Not getting likes and retweets, of course, is a first world problem. It doesn’t mean nobody in non-first world countries ever has that problem. When you say it without irony, as demonstrated by the last two paragraphs in that quote, it means you’re a narcissistic, virtue beaconing idiot. Or a TV network full of them.
It means you have no perspective about the problems you DO NOT have. That you are a fatuous ingrate. That what is beyond your imagination is the idea that saying ‘first world problem,’ for most if us, is simple embarrassment that we have adults who need coloring books in their safe spaces.
The idea that ‘first world problems’ is yet another example of colonialist racism is merely another way to condemn your own nation and culture. The author can’t see that running out of characters on Twitter for someone without access to clean water is STILL a first world problem. His plea to stop using the term is just a way of one-upmanship in the piety sweepstakes. Which is a first world problem.
On the more serious side, we are overflowing with hate crime hoaxes. That is also a first world problem. Doesn’t happen in Iran or China. Oh, there are hate crimes – committed by the governments – but they aren’t hoaxes.
We argue about whether 7 year old children should be encouraged, by our educators, without parental consultation, to be treated with potent hormones and undergo sterilizing surgery in order to advance the cause of a handful of anti-science activists. That’s a first world problem which would appall the Taliban.
We agonize about psychological damage to young girls from Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. In North Korea watching K-Pop on TikTok gets you a public execution.
Given that CBC’s control over the population is not what we could call absolute, erasing each of these words would end up requiring some word or phrase to take their place. Some euphemism will be cycled in. Then, the screams from those acting as though they’ve been flayed and then forced to wear hair shirts will repeat. Because someone says whatever has come to mean ‘tone deaf.’
How long will it be before ‘inspiration’ is verboten because it’s a synonym for brainstorm? Is ‘problem solving’ long for this world after that? It might be fun to go through CBC’s list and see what the replacements could be, but it probably wouldn’t turn out to be humorous enough to justify the time, though Middle School Trauma Syndrome occurred to me as a first world problems replacement.
Since CBC’s political theorizing appears to be a fusion of kakistocrism and authoritarianism, we should name it malapropism.
A state practicing kakistocrism is a kakistocracy. A state practicing authoritarianism is an autocracy. A state practicing malapropism is a malarky.
I remain mystified. How has NCAA women’s basketball avoided a tsunami of Males Pretending to be Females? That’s MPtbF, for short.
NCAA is an organization that moves tournaments and championship games out of states daring to impede the destruction of women’s sports by trans ‘women’. They are fully committed to this phantasmic policy. They have abandoned any defense against MPtbF who want to play basketball against females in NCAA sanctioned contests.
When will MPtbF start seeking some of the billion dollars in NCAA women’s basketball scholarships?
My puzzlement was not reduced by discovering that the first MPtbF to play women’s basketball in the NCAA won’t be the first, by a longshot, to play at a college. Mission College, Santa Clara, CA had a male playing for their women’s basketball team nearly a decade ago. Under the aegis of the California Community College Athletic Association.
He was 50, so his implied lack of speed and/or stamina could have accounted for his less than stellar first season.
In that 2012-2013 season he wasn’t very good. In 18 games Gabrielle Ludwig never started and averaged 5.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and just under 11 minutes playing time. He got a lot better in his second season: In 26 games Ludwig started in 23 and averaged 18 points, 20 rebounds, and 28.5 minutes playing time. And “In the 2013-2014 season Gabrielle was voted First Team All-Conference player…”
In the 2013-2014 season not only did some female fail to make the team, another sat on the bench. To indulge Gabrielle Ludwig.
Here’s Ludwig compared to ‘her’ ‘peers’:
That physical difference above is not distorted by the perspective:
Central Valley Conference, Commissioner Logan McKechnie said, while Luwdig is tall, his state certification as a female is all that matters. “I don’t think, frankly, fairness enters into it,” he said.
Another commissioner, Dale Murray of the Coast Conference, believes Ludwig is evenly matched with his competitors and “just happens to be a bit taller than everyone else.”
Others question whether a player with Ludwig’s attributes belong in an all-female sport.
One of the people Ludwig faced off against in a recent game described his style as “real physical.”
Ya think? He’d be pretty physical just standing there if you were 5’5″ and 115 pounds.
He was 6’8″ and 220 pounds. A foot taller, and twice the weight of most of his opponents. If it was a typical 18 year old of any sex against a typical 12 year old of any sex, they’d call an administrators meeting to decry bullying and hire another diversity officer.
Fairness, indeed, isn’t a word you could employ. Nor ’embarrassment.’ Nor ‘shame.’ Narcissism? Sure.
There’s a sympathetic USA Todaystory that indicates Ludwig wanted to play because he loved competitive basketball. I don’t know about you but my definition of competitive includes a large dose of ‘fair’.
Playing against women, in front of spectators, was at least as important to him as a love of the game. He could have played in a pickup league.
I don’t care about Ludwig’s perception of his body, it’s his business. I do care that he, and the state of California, felt he had a right to play basketball against shorter, smaller, weaker opponents – by taking the place of another. He is not a woman physiologically, so his mental state was what was made to matter for his opponents, teammates, and CA taxpayers.
Check out Save Women’s Sports for the physiology point. No amount of testosterone deprivation or surgery could make Ludwig a woman.