Dissent, a shared idea

“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 Catastrophe of Canada | Rex Murphy and Jordan B Peterson

This is an important conversation.

What is happening in Canada is dreadful, not least because should Justin Trudeau remain in power it will show Canadians are not who they thought they were, do not have the institutions they thought they did, and are uninterested in recovering either their culture or representative democracy.

Is there some flaw in the British parliamentary system that has been exposed by the pandemic and changes wrought by social media? I wonder because, while serious authoritarian overreach can be alleged in most neoliberal democracies, Australia and New Zealand seem more up front about it than most. This most certainly includes the United States.

An hour. If you need an incentive to watch the whole thing, Here is a 5 minute summary. What goes before explores why it’s true.

Keep on Truckin’

It was not enough that GoFundMe, at the direction of Canadian apparatchiks, attempted to redistribute 9 million dollars given to Canada’s Freedom Convoy.

No, somebody had to perpetrate a DDOS attack against GiveSendGo‘s replacement campaign. The new Freedom Convoy donation site GiveSendGo is working this morning. I was able to donate an hour ago.

This degree of cooperation between the state and corporations is a matter of some concern. In this case, it appears GoFundMe volunteered to act as an arm of the State, as evidenced by extra punishment GoFundMe planned to visit on the truckers and anyone supporting them:
1) Requiring application for a refund, counter to GoFundMe’s SOP.
2) Setting a short window in which to apply for the refund.
3) Their differential treatment of the 2020’s Seattle insurrectionists. More below.

Dr. Julie Ponesse* has a worthwhile interview with Jordan Peterson about the political and social aspects of the protest. I’ve queued it up to JBP’s contention that the Canadian State coercion of GoFundMe as an inflection point more dangerous “to our collective health than the pandemic”. I would frame that as “the health of our polity”, but you get the point.

GoFundMe started out with a hypocrisy problem since they had promoted participants in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone occupation of Seattle, as Elon Musk pointed out.

The Seattle “summer of love,” to quote Seattle’s mayor, was, in fact, an insurrection. Police were besieged, government buildings were torched, looting was rampant, and murder was committed while GoFundMe promoted the occupation – in line with mayor Durkan’s gauzy ‘flowers in their hair’ puffery. The Antifa/BLM occupiers claimed sovereign control of part of Durkan’s city. It was an insurrection by any reasonable definition.

The Freedom Convoy has done none of that, but the Ottawa police and some faceless Morlocks in the Liberal government were able to convince GoFundMe to not only spike the Freedom Convoy donations, but also to force those who contributed to file forms to get their money back.

“We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity,” GoFundMe wrote in a statement.

Donors have until Feb. 19 to ask for a refund, and the rest of the money the group raised would be allocated to “credible and established charities” chosen by Freedom Convoy organizers, the site said.

Well, you certainly had the evidence of your own eyes in Seattle.

And, right. Define credible and established for me. Ottawa Police Benevolent Association?

GoFundMe would have ‘allowed’ (?!) the convoy organizers to send the money to support the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (Brian Peckford’s** lawsuit), the Fraser Institute, the Canadian Constitution Foundation, Canada Strong and Free Network? They are established. Will Justin Trudeau find them credible, or do they promote unacceptable ideas?

GoFundMe got shellacked for this attempted larceny, and are now following their standard practice: automatic refunds. But it’s far from over. You have to wonder how soon the name and address data GoFundMe collected will be forwarded to the Ottawa constabulary:

Ottawa Police have also warned that they will be collecting as much digital and financial information as they can from both the truckers and anybody who donates to support them. In a threatening statement, the police implied that supporters of the Freedom Convoy could face prosecution just for donating.

Enhanced intelligence operations and investigations: National, provincial and local intelligence agencies have increased efforts to identify and target protestors who are funding/supporting/enabling unlawful and harmful activity by protestors. /11
— Ottawa Police (@OttawaPolice) February 4, 2022

Investigative evidence-gathering teams are collecting financial, digital, vehicle registration, driver identification, insurance status, and other related evidence that will be used in criminal prosecutions. /12
— Ottawa Police (@OttawaPolice) February 4, 2022

Peterson has a point.

Footnote:
There’s a lot of raw video out there from Ottawa, but a good place to go for news on the Freedom Convoy is Rebel News’: Convoy Reports. The legacy media is doing all it can to vilify the protesters.

*Dr. Julie Ponesse is a professor of ethics who has taught at Ontario’s Huron University College for 20 years. She was placed on leave and banned from accessing her campus due to the vaccine mandate…

**The only surviving drafter and signatory 40 years after the 1982 Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was enacted.

Preponderantly polite. Dangerously non-violent.

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.

Meanwhile:
Verified Information on Where to Safely Donate to the Freedom Truckers Convoy

It’s approaching a million dollars as I write.

A night with the untouchables
Written by a civil servant in Ottawa who lives where the protest is happening. Worth the read.

Back to our regularly scheduled program…

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.

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly says (Jan 31):

No injuries, no deaths, no riots in the last four days in the nation’s capital, even though we have a global cause, national protest.

By February 2nd there had been 3 arrests in an estimated 10,000 protestors.

The contrast with our Jan/6 riot and the Antifa/BLM planned insurrections is inconvenient for the laptop class and the Trudeau government. They need vicious oppressors. So Ottawa’s Globe and Mail, a government subsidized enterprise, finds a way to vilify the truckers:
Calling the Ottawa protests ‘peaceful’ plays down non-violent dangers, critics say

“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.”

It is a beautiful and evocative statue, deserving reverence and protection:
Credit Robert at SDA

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…”

-Justin Trudeau

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.”

-Jagmeet Singh

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 Ford

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.

Further reading on freedom of conscience in Canada:
Lessons from Canada
The Chief Canadian Human Rights Commission investigator testifies in 2008, “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.”
Touquemada™
Until freedom “of thought, belief, opinion and expression” is seen in Canada to actually be a fundamental right it will simply be a matter of how much freedom of speech Parliament thinks is good for you.
The View from Dromore – Free Speech in Canada?
A Canadian citizen comments in 2008.
The first 100 days: Major battle over free speech, internet regulation looms when Parliament returns
Section 13 is coming back.
Canadian Father Jailed For Talking About Court-Ordered Transgendering Of His Teenage Daughter
He must use the ‘correct’ pronouns.

Oceanic problems

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.

So far, we have only this to go on:
Eighteen ‘Offensive’ Words You Can’t Say in Canada This is the list:

“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.

In the interests of fairly presenting the case for removing the phrase from our language, here’s an unintentionally hilarious article at Medium:
Seriously, Stop Saying “First World Problems”

[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.

Further reading:
THE PRINCIPLES OF NEWSPEAK
-George Orwell, Appendix to 1984

Movie review

BUMPED. Update at the end.

The Rise Of Jordan Peterson

I bought this because of my interest in Jordan Peterson and because it received some good reviews as a dispassionate presentation of how a University of Toronto psychology professor suddenly became a world famous, polarizing “public intellectual.”

I was disappointed. I found it superficial and unenlightening. There are a lot of interleaved, ten second soundbites: Pro/con, “He is the ultimate father figure.”/“So, you’re anti-justice. Are you a Batman villain?” There’s a “what” to this documentary, but we are left to wonder why anyone holds such opinions.

This film doesn’t help in understanding the virality of a intellectual cultural phenom whose dozens of 2.5 hour University lectures attract ~5 million views each on YouTube. Or why an assistant professor of sociology will grade any paper mentioning Peterson with an “F;” seeming to confirm one of Peterson’s criticisms of the modern University.

Strictly as a documentary, it very nearly does manage to take no position. As an examination of Peterson’s ‘rise’ it is short on context or background.

Peterson’s objections to Bill C-16 gave him a viral blip when he publicly objected to compelled use of whimsical, invented pronouns: His corpus of prior work made him a phenomenon.

In fact, it’s the hundreds of hours of video he already had published that protected him from the SJW mob (and, until the Bill C-16 blip, was the motivation for the filmmakers to create this movie). There is no sign in this history of the patriarchal, sexist, transphobic, authoritarian, fascist thinking with which he is charged. A point which is not made evident in the film, despite a few truncated clips of his earlier work.

There’s much, much, much more explanation of Peterson’s rise in the video record preceding his tussle with the Canadian nanny-state. Peterson’s rise was propelled by the fact that he is a charismatic speaker and a powerful teacher.

The filmmakers’ attempt at even-handedness may be sincere, but the overall impression is more that Peterson promoted a free speech controversy as a way to enrich himself, not that he was risking his career. For an American audience, without a sense that freedom of speech in Canada is clinging to a cliff by one hand, the film is simply puzzling.

Supposed allies are shown expressing trepidation about Peterson’s outspokenness. This objection is to be expected from most Canadians, whose government has an uneasy relationship with freedom of speech and who are congenitally uncomfortable with controversy. See Mark Steyn, Lindsay Shepherd, etc..

And there are unanswered, factually incorrect slurs. A former supporter turned critic finds evidence of authoritarian impulses in Peterson’s collection of Soviet-era art (prominent in the movie). The reasons for this art are precisely the opposite of what is implied. If Peterson was asked for a response, it’s on the cutting room floor. Here is that response from an interview of Peterson:

[Tyler] COWEN: Let me start with a very lateral question. Why do you collect old Communist memorabilia and propaganda?

PETERSON: Well, part of it is dark comedy. Really, I spent quite a bit of time on eBay for a number of years. And I had read this article by a psychologist named James Pennebaker. He said that the past turned into history at 15 years. That’s when you start to see people commemorate events in the past. At that point, it was 2004, and I thought, “Oh, that’s interesting. It’s 15 years since the Soviet Union collapsed. Maybe I can go online and see what historical memorabilia is left over.”

So I went on eBay, looking up Soviet artifacts, and I thought that was so comical because there isn’t anything more capitalistic than eBay, right? Seriously, that was completely unrestrained capitalism. And then all this Soviet-era stuff was for sale. I thought it was absolutely comical that I could buy paintings of Karl Marx discounted on the world’s most intense capitalist platform…

Some of it is intensely propagandistic, and I’m interested in that because I’m interested in propaganda… So it was interesting to surround myself with these works that were battlegrounds between art and propaganda.

Here’s a vastly better look at Jordan Peterson from the Claremont Review of Books: The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon and it takes less time to read than it takes to watch the movie.

I was quite disappointed, and it caused me to wonder if those cancel culturists pressing theaters to scrub scheduled showings (that link also has a positive review, for contrast) had any idea what was in it. They couldn’t have watched it. Maybe that was just a marketing ploy by the producers.

2 stars anyway, because I learned more about his parents and his family via of the access Peterson granted.

**************

Update: March 10th, 2020
I’ve watched a Q&A with the filmmakers arranged by Columbia University (the filmmakers have established a presence on thinkspot, Peterson’s Patreon replacement), wherein they explained how they approached the filming. And where they answered some of my objections. I was impressed with their commitment to truth. I withdraw my suspicion of ‘marketing ploy.’

I can be persuaded by speech to change my speech.

So. I re-read the favorable review at Quillette. I watched the film again. I’m changing my rating.

If your expectations are informed by some knowledge of Peterson: That the pronoun controversy only triggered ‘The Rise,’ and that that ‘Rise’ would have been a two-day wonder, and only in Canada, and flaming out in a dog-pile of SJW hatred except for the preexisting, deep background of his lectures – then the movie is well worth watching for the peek into his life and family.

I’ll give it 4 stars on that basis.

Jordan Peterson was always the guy who would calmly expose Cathy Newman. We just would never have known it but for Bill C-16.

Rainbows everywhen

87983-poppyIf Ye Break Faith With Us…
-Mark Steyn on 11/11/2001

[T]hough we can scarce grasp what they symbolize, this year the poppies are hard to find. Three Canadian provinces had sold out by last Monday, and by the time you read this the rest of the Royal Canadian Legion’s entire stock of 14.8 million will likely be gone.

Canada today…
Former Conservative party candidate apologizes for viral rainbow poppy tweet

The apology was mistaken:

Rather than having been suspended for rejecting the poppy during choir practice as Bird’s initial tweet read, Natalie outlined that she had been suspended for “rejecting the idea” of the rainbow poppy…

It’s worse that Natalie was suspended for “rejecting the idea.” The idea is the problem.

I do know why Cyara Bird apologized: Unless you enthusiastically support the appropriation of Remembrance Day at SJW whim, and embrace compelled speech, YOU are a bigot.

The LGBT+ folks already have a plethora of their own days, weeks, and months – with parades and celebrations.

Every other occasion for reflection or pride does not require fealty to a group of aggrieved, narcissistic activists who occupy the space at the very edges of the Bell curve of human sexuality.