Quote April 29, 2018

How can a man come to know himself? Never by thinking, but by doing. Try to do your duty, and you will know at once what you are worth.

But what is your duty? The claims of the day.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Song: Mein Herz Brennt

Posts:

Porter, on the health-wealth causal relationship.

Steve McIntyre, on the timing of gas attack victim videos in Syria

Terrorists = Morons by Evolutionist X.

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Second Law School Lesson Not Taught

Lawyers deal with conflict. Where there is no conflict, you are not needed. If you cannot handle conflict, you are not useful.

All legal disputes are conflict. It may be between private parties, governments, spouses, children versus their dead parent, or individual versus the state and its delegates. It’s all conflict. There are few legal situations which do not engage the rights or obligations of at least two parties, and so a conflict prima facie exists.

Most people resolve most conflicts on their own. Some do not like conflict, so avoid or ignore it, until they no longer can. Some follow social customs meant to end and control conflict. Some acquiesce, or some simply let their complaint or grievance go. Some people meet conflict head-on to resolve it. The best do so in a manner benefiting both sides, or at least causing minimal harm. Most conflict is resolved directly by the parties involved fairly quickly.

Some people do not resolve conflict, but increase it. Some feed off of the drama of conflict. Some learned that the only way to have relationships is to have and escalate conflict. There are some persons who are traumatized, anxious, or in some other mental state or condition which makes conflict painful. Being dysfunctional in the face of conflict, they often cannot deal with it and make it worse.

In serious conflict, it is often the case that the actual conflict is not the one people are fighting over. Children of a deceased parent battle over the parent’s will and estate as a proxy for their unresolved issues. Worse, some deliberately create new conflicts as a way of avoiding dealing with the actual issue, either to avoid painful consequences, or to fill their pockets.

As a lawyer, you’ll get to deal with all of the above. Your job: resolve the conflict. Not exacerbate it, not dramatize it, not create more of it because you won’t face it or to increase billings. Your job is to resolve it.

Some clients will make it easy. Some, who do not or will not handle conflict well, will make it very difficult. Your greatest headaches will be clients, and lawyers, avoiding conflict and its consequences. They will seek to make you the instrument by which they affect their own dysfunctional manner of handling conflict. They will escalate, argue over non-issues, fight over irrelevancies, dramatize the matter, give you conflicting and unethical instructions, and be inconsistent and hypocritical. All of this is frustrating.

It is, however, just conflict, between you and them. You must learn to handle this conflict, deal with these people and move on to resolve the matter. Be firm and courteous without and calm and controlled within. Practice this by exposing yourself to conflict (not creating it), by reviewing your conduct, and determine how to handle it better next time. This art is ten times more valuable than the skills needed to resolve the actual legal issues. If you deal with such conflict well, resolving the legal conflict is easy. If you do not, you get sucked into their drama, and burn out quickly.

Some clients do not want a resolution. They are angry and obsessed, and seek to attack their enemy in any way possible, in order to cause harm and chaos, long after any potential for a redress for their injuries (often, only perceived) is gone. Fire these clients.

Lawyers deal with conflict. Where there is no conflict, you are not needed. If you cannot handle conflict, you are not useful.

Quote April 22, 2018

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Aleksandr SolzhenitsynThe Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

024.Jacob_Wrestles_with_the_Angel

 

Song: Portrait of a Headless Man

I am a man with strong regrets
I followed great deceivers
Believe in headless leaders
They played their game, true sons of Cain
But I was a hopeless dreamer
With my head deep in the clouds

Posts:

Evolutionist X: Thoughts on the loss of social capital.

Vivian Krause: Hey, Canada Revenue Agency, tell us about Tides?

Why I Fight:

For things we know, recognized by Gnon, and are in danger of forgetting.

 

First Law School Lesson Not Taught

“Only that man that has offered himself up entire to the blood of war, who has been to the floor of the pit, and seen the horror in the round and learned at last that it speaks to his inmost heart, only that man can dance.”

Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian or an Evening Redness in the West.

large outdoor lying bronze lion sculpture

If you cannot or will not advocate for yourself, you cannot advocate for your client. If you cannot advocate for your client, you are not a lawyer. You may be an academic or a clerk, but you are no lawyer.

Perhaps you are timid. You have troubles asserting yourself. Maybe you do not put your will out into the world. You are afraid to ask for what you want, perhaps, to even be afraid to name what you want.

For example, perhaps you did not have the will to tell your parents you did not want to go to law school. You went anyway.

Perhaps you had domineering parents. Maybe some trauma or anxiety makes it difficult to remain present and calm when confronted with resistance. Perhaps, you are simply lazy, and turning your agency over to stronger figures has (you think) been the the best choice. Or, you lack the cognitive capability or the courage to deal with conflict in an objective manner, and surrender your self-control and become embroiled in the drama and emotion of others.

If these apply, and you are not prepared to change, to become your own advocate, you will not be a lawyer worth the title, meaning, no lawyer at all.

As a lawyer, you will be required to advocate for your client’s position, interests, needs, life, liberty and fortune. You will face many people determined to do the same for their clients, who are willing to do anything to win. They will threaten and cajole, or act by attrition, to weaken you so you act against your client’s interest and your own.

There is no safety in clients, either. You will act for people who will try to bully you into doing things unethical, illegal, and perhaps, abhorrent.

You will understand what it means to feel the rapine of your soul.

If you cannot advocate for yourself, to say what it is you expect from the world, and to communicate through your conduct that you expect the world to respect you, then there is no way you will do that to any satisfactory measure for your clients.

This lesson is lost on those who need it most.

If you cannot or will not advocate for yourself, you cannot advocate for your client. If you cannot advocate for your client, you are not a lawyer.

Quote April 15, 2018

Joseph-François Ducq Diana

Diana or Artemis, Joseph-François Ducq

“This secret spoke life herself unto me: behold, said she, I am that which must ever surpass itself.

To be sure, you call it will to procreation, or impulse towards a goal, towards the higher, remoter, more manifold: but all that is one and the same secret.

Rather would I succumb than disown this one thing; and truly, where there is succumbing and leaf-falling, behold, there does Life sacrifice itself – for power!

That I have to be struggle, and becoming, and purpose, and cross-purpose – ah, he who divines my will, divines well also on what crooked paths it has to tread!

Whatever I create, and however much I love it, – soon must I be adverse
to it, and to my love: so wills my will.”

Frederich Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra

Song of the Week: Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Posts the week:

Peter Hitchens: the state is responsible to make the state safe and secure for…the state. Plus: Syria: why?

Malcolm Pollack: Equality simply shifts the inequality around.

 

Climate

My view on climate change: it’s been happening since Earth had a climate, so it’s not just anthropomorphic. Increases in surface, atmospheric and oceanic temperature are likely caused in part by human action (with carbonic gasses being the likeliest cause) and the balance due to solar output and other factors. Our impact on climate is not neutral, but our planet is not the next Venus (need way more volcanoes.) It’s not clear if the net effects will be positive or negative. We should avoid attempts to make our climate static (meaning, no climate variance at all), as this is unachievable and undesirable. Yet, this is exactly what modern climate change ideologues advocate for (but don’t realize it, or don’t care.)

Climate change sophistry is really grinding my gears. The political mantra is that all climate change is caused by humans, and that climate change science is 100% settled and proves this is the case. The ultimate goal: to hold climate static in the same state it was around 1990. Those who do not ‘believe’ this to be true (odd, if the science is settled then they are denying facts, not lacking faith) are scum sucking Nazi alt-right Trump voting basket-of-deplorable science deniers who, by denying science, therefore by default deny gravity exists, and want to see the world consumed in fire. I’m glad they bring up gravity.

Problems

The science behind climate change is not “settled”, because no science is settled. Example: humans have considered gravity since they first fell out of a tree onto the savannah. Aristotle thought gravity was like-elements being attracted towards their natural place, and air and fire to rise to where air and fire go, and earth goes to earth. Galileo had ideas that gravity was related to mass and Newton further developed the idea of attraction between masses in his universal law of gravitation and constant gravitational attraction. Einstein took it up a notch with General Relativity (gravity is not a force over a distance between masses, but curvature in space-time caused by the presence of mass). All of this took thousands of years.

Climate change science has only been pursued with any vigour since the 1990s. If it took thousands of years to get a sufficient (not complete) understanding of gravity, then climate change cannot have been perfected in 30 to 40 years. We still do not understand if gravity is reconcilable with quantum mechanics, whether it has a force carrying boson (graviton), if it is a field (like electricity), or what happens if gravitational fields get really intense at very small scales or high densities. The LIGO results showing gravitational waves caused by merging black holes is exciting news, because gravity is not “settled” science. There is no way climate change science is either. Like every other field we will in 100 years laugh at our ignorance (as opposed to climate change zealots, who want to laugh at “ignorant” people right now, without all the discipline and rigour needed to actually learn something.)

Doubts (Dirty, dirty doubts.)

I did not doubt climate change before, and accepted whatever I was told about it. Then politicians acted as if they understood it, and since they know it, the debate is over. Any time you see a professional self-promoter saying there is no need for further inquiries…start making inquiries.

In Canada, politicians don’t understand climate change. Instead, all subscribe to the dogma that “it’s warmer: blame carbon” and promptly justify taxation (i.e. a protection racket) to address it as a ‘problem.’

Climate change advocates at least usually try to learn about atmospheric/oceanic dynamics before deferring to climate change dogma. Politicians and zealots could not wait and went straight to espousing the climate change liturgy to get votes. They now actively discourage people from learning more about climate change. Their MO: “carbon cause climate change, it bad; solution to bad, more government; people question justification for more government, bad.” Either agree with them, or be slandered, insulted and mocked, even if you just ask questions. This is not about encouraging discussion or education, it’s about using shame to control and maintain a narrative. Whenever you see this generally, it’s a play for power.

Most climate change scientists are honest, forthright about the limitations of their work, and avoid the arrogant intractableness of politicians and science popularizers looking to justify their positions and paychecks. No debate? Settled science? Go look at any serious climate change discussion forum – even people who agree that climate change is real are at each other’s throats because the various climate models do not agree.  They argue about degrees, vectors and causes of climate change like cornered badgers. And I’m glad they fight with each other so vociferously: a phenomenon potentially leading to profound climate changes, being abused by governments to justify more power, control, and revenue taking, is worth having a knock-down fight over. Just don’t look for it where it should be happening: in your legislatures.

Indolence? Opportunism?

Legislatures lying down on this issue are a rot in Canada. Ottawa wants mandatory carbon tax implementation across Canada. They say to the provinces: “either implement your own carbon tax, or we’ll tax your populace ourselves.” The only difference: if the province does it, they keep the money; if Ottawa does it, they get the money, and then it just disappears. The taxpayer’s opinion on all this is unheeded. Therefore a provincial carbon tax is necessary as the money will be taken anyway, so best to keep the $$$ close to home (where it can be used to bribe local voters, instead.) This amounts to hostage taking by taxation by Canada, and Stockholm syndrome for the provinces.

I think I see the solution: remove miscreants from Ottawa who propose a tax by legislative gunpoint, and kick out any provincial government that acquiesces. I don’t negotiate with those using taxation in service of an ideology, and I don’t negotiate with those who negotiate with those people, either! Besides, implementing the tax on a provincial level does not oblige Ottawa to not implement a federal carbon tax later.

I expect my provincial government to protect its jurisdiction and its authority, and to tell Ottawa ‘No’ when it tries usurpation by ideology of ignorance. Laying down and acquiescing, burning your economy in effigy, are all unacceptable. If Ottawa does not take the hint, then it’s time to split.

Quote April 8, 2018

“The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part.

Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way.

For existence has its own order and that no man’s mind can compass, that mind itself being but a fact among others.”

Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridan, or the Evening Redness In the West

 

Song:

 

Favourite Post(s) This Week:

Quis custodiet ipsos perita: the Experts Got It Wrong I, II, and III, on evolutionistx.

 

 

Victimization

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We worry a lot in Canada about sorting out victims. First Nations, women, LGBQTA2S+, Muslims, francophones, immigrants and many others are all under the political spotlight because of their status as victims. Victims of immigration policy, economics, religious and racial phobias, residential schooling, colonization, internment, oppression, government policies and decisions, microagressions, misogyny, man-spreading and -splaining, and sometimes just plain bad luck. The ways to be victimized are now justification for Canadian governments to splinter our society into victim classes. I don’t like it. Victim means a perpetrator acted, and so, grievances to be redressed against such a perpetrator. Victim status is not neutral, as Liberals like to pretend.

(And often, where harms were suffered, the perpetrator turns out to have the same ideological background as those now parsing the victims, perpetuating the harm, not addressing it: I digress.)

When I encounter, work, or hang out with people, I am not interested in their victim status. Tell me your plans, loves, families, hardships, accomplishments, relationships, hobbies, trials and tribulations: a sense of your experience in life. Treating with someone based on their victim status dehumanizes and diminishes them, removes their agency (in your mind, but an insult to boot when acted upon), and reduces the ‘victim’ in stature so the sympathizing party feels superior. It’s awful stereotyping of a conscious and deliberate kind, whether against an individual or a group.

Canadian progressive political parties (all political parties in Canada, only varying in degree) have lately campaigned on this kind of disrespect. If they looked at it, they’d see they are doing nothing different than what’s already been done for the last 50 years of progressive politics (just the jargon changes) which at best might be neutral, but likely has caused more conflict. It’s a failing in our democracy and our constitution.

Canada got near universal suffrage in 1960. I’d tell you about the various groups granted suffrage at various stages…but that’s just creating victim classes for others to use. People under 18 don’t vote in Canada, and that’s the way it should be. Most brains don’t completely develop until they age 20+ years, and so one should not vote any earlier.

Universal suffrage encourages politicians to buy classes of votes through class bribery. It’s not a willful or malicious purchase, but rather, just how a system running on victimization tends to push decision making by perverse incentives. “Hmmm,” I think to myself. “As a politician, I can’t campaign on complex issues that impact people’s lives, because most people are not well informed, and they want sound bites, not sound policy.” After all, it’s Canada, and you don’t need a majority of the vote. Just appeal to enough voters in densely populated areas to get first past the post and get a majority of seats in Parliament (or a provincial legislature). If you convince a class of voters that you’ll give them more government benefits (bribes in any other context), you increase the odds they’ll vote for you. Such class bribery was identified in 1896 by William Lecky, although I suspect that if I read back further, Maine, de Tocqueville and Burke saw this coming too.

Except in Canada, governments cannot bribe classes of people, because they may not discriminate against people in favour of others. So sayeth the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (part of our constitution, and so the supreme law of the land). Note section 15:

  1. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

The Charter applies to governments and government actors, meaning even the decisions of university and hospital boards are subject to it.  So far, you cannot bribe particular classes because that would be discrimination, challengeable in court and vulnerable to be struck down. Provide to all, or provide to none, it seems. But wait, let’s read a little further…

(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

The Supreme Court of Canada (the supreme arbiter of the supreme law of the land) has ruled that subsection (2) also includes “other analogous grounds.” If the group to bribe has a personal characteristic that is “immutable, difficult to change, or changeable only at unacceptable personal cost”, then you may bribe them as well. Citizenship was the first ground identified by such judicial fiat.

So, to bribe: identify the target class as “disadvantaged” because of distinguishing characteristics or analogous grounds. What classes can I bribe this way? Almost any, as long as I identify them as disadvantaged (victimized) and my bribes as amelioration for those disadvantages.

Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms was effective as of April 17, 1982. It has run 36 years. Perhaps it would not be abused if our politicians were not professional self-promoters, but had some other backgrounds, such as business, education, academics, health care, or dare I say…the clergy! But they do not.

Politicians are professionals making a living not for doing a good job of, but mostly for attaining, their offices. If the easy path to attain office is to bribe to classes of voters, then some will try it, and section 15 gives the rules: bribe only those classes who are victims.

If I’m a smart politician I play to groups already identified as victims, saying I’ll give them benefits in order to garner their votes. If I’m smarter, I identify new classes of “victims” with no voice in government (meaning, no politician pretends to represent their interests) and campaign on bringing them ‘justice’ for their victimization.

And here’s the nasty part: I’ll argue the only way to deal with any grievances, real or perceived, is through electing me and my use of the machinations of state, not by encouraging individuals to make their own lives better – hence, the diminishment and theft of agency of the individuals within a group.

Once in power, I must work even harder to maintain the victim status of my preferred groups, or else, all those bribes could be challenged and struck down. Thus, a perverse incentive to continue to keep groups victimized (if they are no longer ‘victims’, no benefits, no votes), and to establish that only I, through government action, can redress those grievances. Governments spend a lot of money affirming victim status these days: what else could an Office for the Status of Women, or a Motion M103, for example, be about.

After almost four decades of this kind of perverse incentive, it’s no wonder so much of politics divides society by victim class. Perhaps the better question is why it took so long, or why it surprises us. We placed victim status in our highest law, and so victimization became high status. Hence, the obsession with victim sorting.

Peterson

J.-Peterson-Photo-June-2017-760x427

Dr. Jordan Peterson has been in the news a lot. I have read both of his books – Maps of Meaning and 12 Rules for Life. I think they are important works, and I’d recommend reading 12 Rules. Maps of Meaning is quite involved and somewhat academic. It too is worth reading, but might be a difficult hill to climb. It will challenge you to accept that there is value in myths and religion. Value in communication of meaning. By myths and religion such meanings have survived a culling, an evolutionary process by which only that information which universally appealed to all men, because it spoke to something innate within them, survived.

Peterson also has a YouTube series of videos on this subject. If you want a good introduction to Peterson, see his podcasts with Sam Harris (#2), Joe Rogan, and Jocko Willink. (Check these podcasts out, and subscribe for a while. It’s worth your time.)

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Dr. Peterson’s Maps of Meaning has been fundamental in my development. I was, about 18 months ago, faced with irrefutable proof of the existence of God. The next day, proof that God was not an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent being, but was explained purely in terms of natural processes: complexity arising from localized systems obeying localized rules. Being raised an atheist, I had no way of understanding this revelation.  But it burned inside me. I had to resolve these contradictions.

I had a profound connection, supported only by faith (which, when you have rejected “faith” all your life is difficult to deal with.) I had to acknowledge that I was but a speck in the universe, an insignificant outcome of the fantastic processes of life. I was, however, indelibly part of something so much grander than me that I could not comprehend it, but nonetheless, required I be responsible to it. Accepting that required an understanding and acceptance of my self, of my function, purpose and meaning. And of the choices I may make, and the indelible truths that I cannot avoid. Hence, Maps of Meaning.

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Peterson’s work can help you find the courage and strength to wrestle with such issues. And by that understanding, to have the courage and strength to deal with anything. It’s not about telling you how to be, what the truth is, and what to believe. To live, you must advance in confidence and faith towards the terrifying unknown. How that plays out is unique for each individual.

For anyone with something they don’t want to face up to, such a call can be troubling. If he shows a way to seeing the things you are afraid of, then that means people with such courage will see what you cannot face up to or admit. In Canada, we have a lot we won’t face up to, and Peterson seems to refuse to live with this any longer.

Thus, Peterson is vilified. He had the audacity to say that the State SHOULD NOT be telling people what words they must say, and to subject those who do not obey to regulatory and criminal sanctions. This makes him a fascist mystic, who joins a distinguished line of conspirators, such as Wagner and Carl Jung, now slandered by accusations that their philosophical and artistic work was all aimed to put the Third Reich in power (never mind that the Reich was nothing more than a pack of thugs.) He is alleged to be an exploiter of First Nations peoples (a cultural expropriator, no doubt, except that particular slur is now over a year old, and so the Left has more fashionable accusations to make.) “How awful is Jordan Peterson, anyway?” The answer, for all of these kinds of critics, is awful enough so you don’t have to see how awful you are, and how awful your progressive cult is. And judging by the amount of pure projection in these articles, whatever they’re hiding is pretty God damned awful.

Quote April 1, 2018

“As far as responsibility goes, no one really wants it — but all of us are responsible to the community we live in & its laws. When the time comes to assume responsibility of a home and children or business, this is the seeding of the boys from the Men — for surely you can realize what a mess the world would be if everyone in it said, “I want to be an individual, without responsibilities, & be able to speak my mind freely & do as I alone will.” We are all free to speak & do as we individually will — providing this “freedom” of Speech & Deed are not injurious to our fellow-man.”

Letter from Barbara to her brother, Perry Smith, April 28, 1958. See In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote.