Dr. Dawg

But...history!

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[Dear remaining readers: apologies for neglecting this blog of late—pressing assignments, alas. Stay tuned for more in a while. Until then, join me in abominating this dreadful spectacle of politically-correct historical erasure. Down the memory hole. Right out of Orwell. ~DD]

Lenin history.jpg

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Dr. Dawg

Ethnic triumphalism

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Bedouin village bulldozed.jpg

A grim future scenario: Canada’s new government, headed by someone not entirely unlike Andrew Scheer, establishes our country as a white, Anglo-Saxon, Christian ethnostate. White Christians around the world have an automatic right to immigrate. French loses its official language status, but acquires “special” status.

The right of the white, English-speaking majority to help themselves to indigenous land is now established in law. Reserve housing is bulldozed to build developments for the influx of white immigrants. They need living space, we are told. The displaced “natives” are deported to wasteland near a rubbish dump.

Outcry? I would imagine so. From some quarters, anyway.

But the Western “world” is selective in its outrage. I shall forbear from commenting further, however, because criticizing Israel is, of course, anti-Semitic by definition.

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Dr. Dawg

14 words

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14 words.jpg

“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.” So said neo-Nazi David Lane, and those words have become a mantra for some of the Usual Suspects (Milo Yiannopolous, Faith Goldy) …and various ragtag and bobtail Trump followers, of course.

But we should try to keep up. The slogan has just been updated.

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Jordan Peterson and Lindsay Shepherd, those intrepid champions of free speech, have launched twin lawsuits against Wilfrid Laurier University. As Peterson intimates fairly strongly in the video clip above, his own action is really about backing up Lindsay Shepherd, who has launched a lawsuit of her own. It’s hard to see how either can succeed.

With respect to Peterson’s action, I will admit utter bewilderment. A lawsuit for damages is supposed to be about actual damages, not launched for the purpose of helping out a friend. Further, this is not a libel case (a permanent record of the damaging words, circulated by the offending party, is required for that), but one of slander. In libel, damages are assumed. But a successful defamation action in the case of slander requires that actual damages be proven.

It is difficult to fathom how comments made in a private and supposedly confidential meeting have cost Peterson anything (although, perhaps, the other plaintiff might be faulted). That will be one very steep hill for him to climb; another will be a robust defence of fair comment that Wilfrid Laurier University and the named defendants will be sure to make.

The following criteria for a successful fair comment defence must be met: the matter must be one of public interest, and it is hard to imagine a counter-argument in this case. The impugned commentary must clearly be opinion, rather than a statement of fact. And, while it must be based upon fact, it need not be a reasonable conclusion to draw from those facts—rather, the question is only whether defendants honestly believe that the facts support their commentary.

Readers might wish to have a look at a case in which I was personally involved—where various Speech Warriors™ rallied to the cause of my opponents in the action. “Free Speech,” they cried, and I was painted as a lawfare advocate for objecting to being publicly labelled as a supporter of the Taliban while Canada was at war with them.

In the event, the court found that I had indeed been defamed—but that the defendant honestly believed what he wrote, based upon his bizarre interpretation of my support for justice in the case of Omar Khadr, at the time in the grip of the Guantanamo military tribunal kangaroos. The defence of fair comment prevailed.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on this very matter in an earlier case, WIC Radio Ltd. v. Simpson:

Of course it is true that the comment must have “a basis” in the facts, but a requirement that the comment be “supported by the facts”, read strictly, might be thought to set the bar so high as to create the potential for judicial censorship of public opinion. Even the assessment of “relevance” has in the past misled courts into asking whether the facts “warranted” the comment, or whether the comment “fairly” arose out of the facts (Vander Zalm), or other such judgmental evaluations. Insistence on a court’s view of reasonableness and proportionality was thought to represent too great a curb on free expression, but it was not too much to ask a defamer to profess an honest belief in his or her defamatory comment. If the speaker, however misguided, spoke with integrity, the law would give effect to freedom of expression on matters of public interest.

Even if Peterson is successful in his claim that he was defamed, therefore—and that’s a stretch, for the reasons given—it is difficult to see how he could overcome the solid precedents that the other side will surely bring forward.

As for Lindsay Shepherd’s lawsuit, blaming her treatment in that supposedly private, closed meeting with her superiors at Wilfrid Laurier for her alleged unemployability in the future seems utterly fanciful. It was her own secret taping of that appalling, cringeworthy inquisition, and her subsequent contact with an eager member of the right-wing press, that led to her current notoriety. If she is unemployable in academia in consequence, she would appear to be the author of her own misfortune. And her subsequent behaviour, which has done her no credit, will no doubt be introduced into evidence by the defendants as well.

The two plaintiffs share the same lawyer. Given Shepherd’s role in widely promulgating what Peterson claims is a harmful slander, how can this be? Why isn’t she a co-defendant in Peterson’s action? How does their lawyer avoid what at least looks like a serious conflict of interest?

Well, I am not a lawyer, as lawyers occasionally remind me, so the courts and the learned legal minds involved will wrestle with these and other conundra while I set the corn a-poppin’. But returning to Peterson just for a moment, some of his comments in the video clip need to be underlined. He contends that the two lawsuits will convince professors and university administrators “blinded by their own ideology” to be “much more circumspect in their actions and their words.” [emphasis added]

Good grief. How quickly Speech Warriors™ turn to the heavy hand of the state when their own oxen are gored. It will be interesting to see how their fellows respond.

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Dr. Dawg

Eugenics

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Apparently conservatives have oversized amygdalae. Can this be detected in utero?

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Balbulican

A Modest Propuesta

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trump wall 4.jpgPresident Trump took a short break this week from strengthening ties with China, Canada, England, Germany, France, Mexico, NATO and the UN to clarify his deterrence policy of frightening potential illegal immigrants by caging their children like stray dogs. Trump is of course to be commended for sticking to his guns and refusing to back down in the face of lily-livered dem-commie Soros-funded Muslo-traitors who pretend to care about these so-called “children”, and who accuse him of inhumanity. As if any kid wouldn’t have fun in a cool pen and with sci-fi tinfoil blankets!

The problem is, it’s not working. Time to step up the game a bit. What about selling off these mini-criminals’ corneas and kidneys on the lucrative transplant market? Just one cornea and one kidney per child, of course: Americans are not monsters.

Proceeds could go to the completion of Trump’s Wall (since it looks like the Mexicans may not be paying for it after all); and in the event of an unfortunate surgical mishap, the remains of the deceased larval-invaders could be hung on the Wall as a further disincentive.

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Photocredit: Lloydminster Little Theatre

It’s Patrick Ross’ birthday today. He is 37.

More than seven and a half years ago, I wrote about what proved to be the initial chapter of a seemingly never-ending legal saga. My friend Robert Day, better known to friends and enemies alike as Canadian Cynic, has been in the courts ever since, trying to recover some semblance of damages awarded for a grotesque libel against him.

Like other fish, mudfish are slippery. Ross proved hard to find, and, when found, he used every means possible, including declaring bankruptcy, to avoid the initial undefended default judgement against him. The story has many twists and turns, all fairly boring, to be honest, but very recently reality appears—finally—to have caught up with him.

First, Ross’ appeal of an unfavourable bankruptcy judgement in 2014, left dormant until very recently, was slapped down by a judge mere weeks ago. A further action by Ross, consisting of a bizarre attempt to have Day found guilty of contempt of court for attempting to suggest a reasonable settlement several dollars short of what he was owed after the 2010 judgement, was ruthlessly crushed by another judge earlier this week, who delivered his brutal smackdown from the bench.

We can all remember birthdays, both good ones and bad ones. There is usually, but not always, a cake, and people offer a few pro forma good wishes. I’m a creature of tradition, so let me offer mine.

Patrick, an aspiring novelist and thespian, is presently unemployed (or so my sources tell me), a university dropout and a bankrupt, who has moved back in with his parents. He has repeatedly failed to whack the judicial piñata, and now sits in a six-figure financial hole that he has been digging for many years. I hope he has finally put down his shovel.

At this point the words of Dante come to mind: “Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, mi ritrovai per una selva oscura ché la diritta via era smarrita.” In the middle of life’s journey, Patrick, too, has found himself in a dark wood, having lost the straight path. May his birthday mark a turning-point, and may the second half of his life be more fruitful—and happier—than the first. I wish him success in making that change.

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Mandos

NAFTA was a mistake

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It’s probably in the medium-term interests of most Canadians to keep as closely to the current NAFTA arrangement as possible, because the Canadian economy is locked-in to the presupposition of expanded free trade with the USA. So it makes sense to support Justin Trudeau’s posture regarding the threatened US tariffs and so on and so forth. But the fact is, Canada has made itself vulnerable by doing the easiest thing and becoming so economically dependent on the USA that it is reduced to picking out lists of drop-in-the-bucket vulnerable industries in the USA in order to “retaliate” and gain an infinitesimal amount of political traction against the Trump juggernaut. And make no mistake: the choice of dairy supply management is no accident by the Trumpians — if you’re looking at the world through “bannonistic eyes”, this is a wedge issue inside Canadian society, and I already hear whines of “We’re letting them hurt our auto industry just to appease Quebec etc etc”, as though capitulating on supply management won’t just be an excuse to further annex the rest of the Canadian economy.

But NAFTA (and its FTA predecessor) was a mistake. It was the easiest thing. It was approved by economists who operate in an airless political vacuum and become the useful idiots for the business class. The correct way to approach such an enormous, powerful neighbour is to approach it cautiously, make deals on limited strategic areas, and keep a close eye on your own policy independence — yes, at the price of nontrivial short-term economic gains. Stay open to people, much less so to goods, capital, and services. Diversify. NAFTA held off a much-needed international diversification of trade, and insofar as Canada retained any amount of economic self-sufficiency, that very self-sufficiency is what is now under a threat that was always inevitable. If it wasn’t Trump, it would eventually have happened under a less flamboyant character. Because that’s what it means to be a neighbour of the USA.

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Balbulican

Chess

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TheBrokenChessboard.jpg Trumpist mal-pensants are now justifying their leader’s insulting behaviour before, during and after the G7 as a brilliant strategic attempt to send a “message” about “toughness” to North Korea on the eve of the summit with Kim.

I think most folks would agree that America’s fundamental goal at this meeting is less to disarm an eccentric, bankrupt, pissant dictator than to woo North Korea away from the influence of China, NoKo’s protector, sponsor, and the hand inside the sock for half a century. Trump has hinted with all the subtlety of a Florida condo vendor that America will take over as guarantor of North Korea’s security and shower the country with investment if they just agree to give up their nuclear program.

In light of that goal, then, what strategic messages did Trump actually send through his G7 performance? Well, I can decrypt three.

  • That America is an unreliable ally, and will turn publicly and unpredictably on its oldest diplomatic, trade and military allies at the whim of a temperamental President;
  • That Trump, who has unilaterally walked away from the Paris Climate Accord, the TPP, and the Iran Agreement, and has threatened to strangle NAFTA and extricate the US from NATO, can’t be trusted to honour any American treaties or agreements;
  • That Trump will disregard the advice of his allies, his partners, his advisors, his State Department, state governors, and anyone else, in pursuit of some unfathomable and ever-shifting vision of the world, distilled from Fox and Breitbart and excreted in Twitter-sized pellets.

That seems like a strange way to convince Kim to abandon his own nuclear defenses and the military, economic and diplomatic shelter of China. However, we’ve been told before that Trump’s foreign policy is opaque to lesser mortals because the man is actually playing four dimensional chess. That is possible, I suppose.

Friar Occam suggests another possibility.

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Well, 23% or so of them, anyway, so forgive the Dick Tuck reference. Nearly half of Ontario electors didn’t bother to show up at the polls. Of those who did, a mere 40% delivered a thumping majority to Doug Ford and his motley crew of wacko candidates—assorted homophobes, anti-choice activists, conspiracy theorists, racists and ghost-seers.

Democracy is grand. But we need a hell of a lot more of it in Ontario. (Hey, Liberals, how’s that first-past-the-post thing working for ya?)

A free press is a good thing, too, but not when the papers are behaving like unregistered third-party organizations on the PCPO team. The National Post and the Ottawa Citizen, both of which endorsed Ford, covered up for him for weeks, blacking out his alt-reich support (here’s DoFo posing with white supremacists Ronny Cameron and Faith Goldy), and his stated intent to restrict access to abortion in Ontario. As for the Toronto SUN, perhaps the less said the better.

PressProgress did much of the heavy lifting here, and was roundly mocked by national columnist Andrew Coyne for doing so. There was scant mention of the aforementioned PCPO whackjobs running for election, but the legacy media pounced upon every attack by right-wingers on NDP candidates. I half expected the latter to search kindergarten records for instances of gum-chewing and snowball-throwing.

There’s no point reiterating all the negatives about Ford. In a nutshell, he’s a loathsome human being without a single redeeming positive quality, elected by a steaming basket of deplorables.

The Liberals gave Ford a leg up. The last week of Kathleen Wynne’s campaign was a mephitic stew of anti-labour agitprop, misogyny and racism, directed against the NDP.

Racism? You bet. Gurratan Singh was excoriated for having once, in his youth, carried a sign saying “Fuck The Police”—in the GTA, where police have carried out a virtual reign of terror against visible minorities over the years, killing, “carding,” and hassling people for walking while Black. Tone-policing the righteous anger of a person of colour in such a context is nothing short of racist. (Andrea Horwath didn’t cover herself with glory on this one either, forcing Singh to grovel to the media and apologize. No apologies necessary, Mr. Singh, and congratulations on your victory.)

So now, the over-determined Ford victory poses the starkest challenge to human decency in Ontario’s history. A small minority of the people have installed a goofy, mean-minded oaf to rule our province for the next four years, evidently believing he’s Santa Claus. Ford never did provide a fully-costed platform, but he’s going to slash income taxes by 20%, Hydro rates by 12%, he’ll knock ten cents off every litre of gas, and he won’t cut any public service jobs at all. And, hey, beer will only cost you a buck.

Sex-ed and abortion rights, meanwhile, are under the gun. So’s the minimum wage increase the Liberals were going to implement this coming January. Ford doesn’t like schools or libraries much, either. In fact, cite any far-right-wing cliche about What Is To Be Done, and Ford is right there, grinning from ear to ear.

It’s going to be a rough and crazy ride, folks: best buckle up.

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