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The Physics of Lynch Mobs

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For Every Action There is an Equal and Opposite Reaction

Forces always occur in pairs. For example, when you push a cart, the cart pushes back against you; when gravity pulls you down against the ground, the ground pushes up against your feet. When you fire a rifle, you feel the recoil. When gravity pulls down on a neck in a noose, the rope pulls up. Whether it’s a jet plane, a rowboat or a baseball bat, Newton’s Third Law of Motion shapes just about everything in our lives that can be touched or felt.

This is a basic law of physics; it’s not a philosophical or theological principle. Nonetheless, it can give us some insight for understanding why the world is moving backwards at the same pace it’s advancing. At the same time that spacecraft travel beyond the outer reaches of the solar system and cancer is treated through genetic engineering, the Islamic Caliphate is fighting the same brutal wars as a thousand years ago. At the same time that the United States has its first black President, it experiences the same, or worse race riots as fifty years ago. This time though, it can’t be blamed on the powerlessness of black people. A black President, Mayor, Prosecutor, Congressional Representatives and policemen in Baltimore all attest to force being exerted, pushing the lives of black people. Is racial progress pushing upwards? One can certainly make a strong argument that black people in high positions are in control of black lives in Baltimore. Yet there seems to be an equal force pushing down.

Schrödinger’s cat / drug dealer

Sir Isaac Newton first presented his three laws of motion in 1686. By the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, scientists realized that really, really tiny things didn’t obey Newton’s Laws.  The rules used to understand the motion of a bullet or cart couldn’t be used to explain how an electron or atom works.

A thought experiment (one that was not performed, but took place only in the experimenter’s mind) was devised by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who imagined a quantum experiment with a cat:

cat good bad newsA cat is placed in a steel box along with a Geiger counter, a vial of poison, a hammer, and a radioactive substance…  Until the box is opened, an observer doesn’t know whether the cat is alive or dead—because the cat’s fate is intrinsically tied to whether or not the atom has decayed and the cat would, as Schrödinger put it, be “living and dead … in equal parts” until it is observed.  In other words, until the box was opened, the cat’s state is completely unknown and therefore, the cat is considered to be both alive and dead at the same time until it is observed.

This is counter-intuitive; it defies reason. Cats are either dead or alive. One can say that Schrödinger used the experiment to highlight the limits of Quantum Mechanics when applied to practical situations. The cat is actually either dead or alive, whether or not it has been observed.

Let’s consider a variation on the experiment. The steel box will be the back of a police van. The Geiger counter, the poison, hammer and uranium will be an unused seat belt, drugs, and protruding bolts. Instead of a cat, we’ll place Freddy Gray, a convicted narcotics dealer in the box, possibly busted in the midst of a drug deal. To increase the uncertainty we’ll add a witness who did and did not see Gray deliberately trying to injure himself.

Was Gray both dead and alive in the box? What took his life: was he poisoned by drugs, killed by a protruding bolt. Was it decay from a beating? Did someone hammer him with a police baton? The box has been opened, his death as been observed.  Though we lack crucial information, a verdict has been demanded in the name of justice; in the name of blind justice.

Back To The Future of Lynch Mobs

Lynching is the execution of an offender by a mob without due process of law. In the United States approximately 4,742 individuals were killed this way between 1882 and 1968; of the victims, 3,445 or 73 percent were Black. Some of the lynchings were preceeded by trials, but angry crowds, often stirred up by the press, could tip the hand of justice against the accused. Newspapers provided graphic and grizzly reports, using language that implied that the victim was indeed guilty, and deserving of his fate.

Leo Frank lynch mob

The lynching of Leo Frank

With very few exceptions the practice had pretty much died out by World War II. It was no longer socially acceptable. Although the American justice system is far from perfect, it does offer advantages over mob rule. In theory, evidence is gathered to determine guilt, appropriate charges are laid, and a judge or jury issues a decision based on the evidence.

Have we gone through a time warp, or is it Newton’s inexorable law of motion? Great racial progress has been made in the American justice system. There’s a black Attorney General, black Supreme Court Justice, black prosecutors, black police… Rarely is a black person tried by an all-white jury.

Yet despite this progress, we have lynch mobs in Ferguson, Miami, and Baltimore. Stirred up by the media, motivated by race-baiters such as the President, the mayor and the prosecutor, sympathy riots spread throughout the United States. Justice can only be served, they all said, when the police are convicted. When the people whose job it is to uphold justice have determined the desired outcome before the trial, there is no justice system, there are lynch mobs.

Entropy

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entropy illustrated

Entropy is a function of thermodynamic variables, with cosmological and social implications. It’s a hypothetical tendency for the universe to attain a state of maximum homogeneity in which all matter is at a uniform temperature (heat death). Based on this, in 1854, Hermann von Helmholtz made what is probably the gloomiest prediction in the history of science, that the universe is dying. Physicists of the day presumed that the underlying laws of physics (then assumed to be Newton’s laws of mechanics) are symmetric in time. Such laws, which made no distinction between past and future, gave rise to a directed arrow which we know as time.

There are many explanations, many discussions around this enigma (all beyond the scope of this essay). We should ask though, is humanity working towards a state of maximum homogeneity, in which all people are uniform? Racial equality, the end of discrimination is a worthy ideal, but when it’s all we focus on, we reverse time’s arrow, and re-create the lynch mobs of a century ago. Are we bringing ourselves to a social equivalent of heat death, with government officials promoting lynch mobs?

 Schrödinger’s Lynch Mob

In a previous essay, we cited Schrödinger’s association of consciousness with learning; adapting to change, learning from experience, transforming humanity. The racial upheaval that’s taken place in the United States shows a society that hasn’t learned, hasn’t adapted, not even to the changes it has wrought upon itself. A society that has lost consciousness. A society that has yet to realize that the election and elevation of people merely based on race rather than qualification will have an equal and opposite effect, that is the degradation of all races, the degradation of that society. The relentless push towards homogeneity will result in the heat death of burning communities, and of order and organization in society.

 

Note:

Dr. Amanda Peet (the physicist, not the actress) recounts the joke that sociology is applied psychology, psychology applied biology, biology applied chemistry, and chemistry applied physics.  Physics is a fascinating field, which grows more so with each new day. Quantum and cosmological weirdness provide a basis for philosophizing on many grand ideas. But people are not quantum objects (though they are made of them). Societies are not governed by the laws of thermodynamics. Physics concepts are applied in this essay as metaphors, not scientific statements.  They are used to illustrate.

 

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Phase Transition: What Can We Kill?

What is the difference between humans and animals? What right do we have to take the lives of the latter for our own benefit, whether for research or food? It’s a

ethical issue?

ethical issue?

challenge often repeated by PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who compare the slaughter of chickens in abattoirs to the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust.

We are, after all, made of the same stuff: sinews, muscles, blood and bones. If we get technical and look at genetic structure, we’re hardly distinguishable from chimpanzees. And if you look at the occasional viciousness of chimpanzees, you can argue that our behavior is also hardly distinguishable.

According to many Amazon Indians, animals are people, or at least see themselves as persons. The visible form is merely an envelope which conceals an internal human form. A Jaguar sees the blood of its prey as beer, its own fur as decoration; it brings food home to its wife and children. Our species cannot see through the concealment. Jewish mysticism also tells us that skin is a masquerade, redirecting attention from what it obscures.

Jaguar with prey

Jaguar with prey

Some may argue that we are endowed by God with an immortal soul, and that sets us apart from the animals. It’s a good hypothesis, but unprovable. Should an enlightened creature such as man use speculation as the axiom which defines his moral parameters?

Others may say that it’s higher intelligence that gives us the right to exploit and consume our fellow creatures. If that’s the case, I’m morally entitled to be a cannibal, because I’m much smarter than most people; there may be a few people entitled to dine on me. Intelligence alone doesn’t do the trick.

What about consciousness as a criterion? I reviewed this issue in an essay on the creation of the world. Briefly, the cat physicist Erwin Schrödinger addresses this difficult question:

Therefore consciousness is associated with those of its (nervous system) functions that adapted themselves by what we call experience to a changing environment…. I would summarize my general hypothesis this: consciousness is associated with the learning of the living substance; its knowing how is unconscious.

Chimp Phase Transition

sn-chimpsH

Chimps killing chimp

We parted company with chimpanzees about six million years ago. Our species made its first appearance about two hundred thousand years ago, and has been slowly improving ever since. We’ve built grass huts, brick houses, glass skyscrapers. We eat tubers dug from the ground, genetically improved grains, animals we’ve hunted or tamed. Our cousins the chimpanzees are still swinging from trees.

We’re complex creatures; some of that complexity the result of natural selection, some simply through random mutation of no specific benefit.   Where do we draw the line? Where is the demarcation point, the phase transition between ourselves and the animal kingdom?

Bucket of Phase Transition

There’s an old children’s’ riddle:

  • Q: What weighs more- a pound of steel or a pound of feathers?
  • A: They both weigh the same.
  • Q: So which would you rather have dropped on your head?

Let’s modify that riddle:

  • Which would you rather have dropped on yourhead- a bucket of di-hydrogen monoxide, or a bucket of di-hydrogen monoxide?

    di-hydrogen monoxide bucket challenge

    di-hydrogen monoxide bucket challenge

This question is sillier than the original version unless we set up some parameters, such as the temperature of the di-hydrogen monoxide in the bucket. It then becomes a question of having a bucket of water or ice dumped on you; the former getting you soaked, the latter possibly cracking your skull, though essentially they are both the same thing.

So it is with mankind and animals. We are the same amino acids, the same proteins, flesh and blood. We’re practically the same genetic blueprint as our close relatives, the chimps. We know now that genes only tell part of the story. Epigenetics, the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in DNA violates the Mendelian principles we were taught in high school biology. The diet of our parents, intergenerational trauma (such as the holocaust) have effects which are passed on to future generations.

Women as meat

Women as meat

So knowing that we share the flesh, that we share the genes of a violent and brutish ape does not tell us anything significant about ourselves. At some fuzzy point in our millions of years of evolution there was a phase transition: we changed from ice to water to steam (or vice-versa, if you prefer). We evolved from graphite to diamond, both solid phases of carbon. We are, after all, carbon based life forms, whose existence is dependent on rare triple nucleus encounters amplified by quantum effects.

Species Phase Transition

detonate diamond

Phase diagram for carbon

In quantum phase transition there are many competing interactions in the vicinity of the critical point between phases, so that minute changes in the control parameter will favor one type of order over another. For water, the important parameter is temperature: cold di-hydrogen monoxide is a solid. When extremely hot, it’s a gas. For carbon we look at pressure; at high pressure the carbon of a pencil lead becomes a diamond. Many say that it’s population pressure that led to the development of agriculture and civilization, to the development of us. What were the “competing interactions” affecting the phase transition that brought humanity into existence?

What is our order? Are we animals, or something different? Are we pieces of coal, or diamonds? Is our consciousness a God-given soul, or an epigenetic fluke? Are we chickens headed for the abattoir, or creatures with the gift of free will?

Humans are a species. We can breed, exchange genetic material with each other, regardless of race or ethnicity. There has been a phase transition, raising our species above animals. It’s up to each one of us whether we choose to remain there, or phase transition back to animal, to ice, to a lump of coal.

Phase regression diagram for humans

Phase regression diagram for humans

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Remember the Future Holocaust

This Wednesday evening, April 15th, 2015 is Holocaust Remembrance Day. On Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 an agreement was reached between Iran and the United States to lay the groundwork for another Holocaust, one much more technologically advanced, one much more capable of carrying out its goals.  On what day will we commemorate the future Holocaust against Israel? Or will there be anyone left to remember it?

Remembering Past Holocausts

After all, the Nazi Holocaust wasn’t the first; it was just more effective, using the most advanced technology of the mid-twentieth century. Weapons and instruments of torture based on seventeenth century technology led to the brutal destruction of three hundred thousand Jews in what was essentially a feud between the Cossacks and Tartars, Poland, Lithuania and the Ukraine, with a mix of rivalry between branches of Christianity.

Atavistic Hatred Original art by Esti Mayer

Atavistic Hatred
Original art by Esti Mayer

The gas chambers of the Nazis, the scythes and pitchforks of the Ukrainian peasants were nothing compared to the killing power of nuclear weapons. In the future Holocaust, Technology developed in large part by Jews may be used to rid the world of the Jewish state.

It’s clear that Israel cannot depend on the United States to protect its interests. The U.S. has abdicated its role as the world’s policeman, allowing gangs of religious fanatics and dictators to run rampant, pursuing their own evil agendas. It’s clear that Jews cannot depend on local police forces to defend their safety in cities and countries throughout the world.

It also seems clear that the Jews cannot depend on God alone to protect their physical well-being.

Many scholars and thinkers have been asking whether the unparalleled event of the Holocaust did not create a most serious existential crisis in which the text by definition was invalidated. After six million Jews, including nearly two million children, lost their lives within five years under the cruelest of circumstances, can we still seriously speak about a viable covenant in which God promised to protect His people?… The Holocaust, they believe, proved that we have only ourselves to rely on, and that even the return to Israel is to be understood as a secular liberation of the galut experience.

To write God out of the picture would be to write Judaism and the Jewish people out of the picture. So that too, is not a viable course of action.

Preventing the Future Holocaust

In fact, there is no correct answer, no proper course of action. There are too many variables, too many characters acting with their own free will; acting from a set of beliefs and values that are totally alien to us. Only hindsight may enable us to know what were the right and wrong choices in dealing with Iran’s promise to annihilate Israel, to destroy the Jews.

My great-grandfather was the senior rabbi in Warsaw during the Nazi holocaust. Prior to the war (following the death or Rabbi Kook), he was offered the position of Chief Rabbi of Palestine (Israel). Knowing difficult times were coming, he refused to leave his community in Poland, although he encouraged others to move there. At the outbreak of the war, Jewish leaders wanted to evacuate him to safety. Again, he refused to leave his people. When faced with a round-up by the Nazis, he made his decision. (A few rabbinic leaders made a different kind of decision)

Tirosh Veyaitzher

Tirosh Veyaitzher

Rabbi Zvi Yecheskiel Michelson, dean of the Warsaw rabbinate, deliberately remained at home while a large roundup was on. He did not go out as the Germans ordered, but put on his prayer shawl and phylacteries and stayed inside. He preferred to be shot on the spot, hoping that this his boy would be thrown into one of the wagons that accompanied the roundup and find a last resting place in the Jewish cemetery. So he willingly opened the door to the search party, but when the Germans saw the tall old man, with his long silver-white beard, they became uneasy. One of them mumbled, according to the Jewish policeman who accompanied the search: “This must be Moses in person.” They slammed the door shut and left the aged rabbi alone. He must have decided then that staying with his people in their last moments was even more important than being buried in a Jewish cemetery. He rose, went down to the courtyard, and joined the marching ranks of Jews towards the Umschlag, from which the people were sent to Treblinka. (p. xiii)

May the blood of my great-grandfather be avenged. May the future holocaust be prevented.

 

Your comments are welcome

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The Face of Evil Today

The Bible Names Its Enemies:

The Bible names its enemies: Egypt, Amalek, the Philistines, and many others.  For each of them the Bible spells out why they are considered the

Joseph Dwells in Egypt, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot

Joseph Dwells in Egypt by James Jacques Joseph Tissot

enemy, and what to do about them.  We are told not to hate the Egyptians because we were strangers in their land. We were also refugees there, and military allies.  Though Pharaoh did evil, Egypt doesn’t embody wickedness.

Amalek is the face of evil in the Bible,  the paradigmatic bad guy.  The nation attacked the Jewish people shortly after the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. The Bible, in response, promised “a war for the Lord against Amalek from generation to generation.” Amalek is linked to Haman, who tried to eradicate the Jews of the Persian Empire. Even Nazi Germany is fancifully tied to them.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is a global religious leader, philosopher and moral voice for our time. A towering intellectual and prolific author, he is respected and revered by Jews and non-Jews alike. He examined the face of evil in a recent essay in which he wrote that the Egyptians hated and enslaved the Israelites, because they feared their strength. When the reason for the hatred would disappear so would the hatred, because of rational self-interest.

Amalek, on the other hand, attacked the Israelites simply because they could. It was an irrational hatred that could not disappear when the reason disappeared, because there was no reason. Rabbi Sacks explains it is this irrational face of evil that the Bible demands we remember.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

The Face of Evil Beneath the Heart:

The Rabbi explains:

It is easy at times of peace to forget the evil that lies just beneath the surface of the human heart. Never was this truer than in the past three centuries. The birth of Enlightenment, toleration, emancipation, liberalism and human rights persuaded many, Jews among them, that collective evil was as extinct as the Amalekites. Evil was then, not now. That age eventually begat nationalism, fascism, communism, two World Wars, some of the brutal tyrannies ever known, and the worst crime of man against man.

In the peaceful times that followed World War II, many Americans, Canadians, and Europeans forgot again about the face of evil, the irrational hatred which dwells in many hearts. The troubles in the world were attributed to the evil acts of the strong and powerful, to legacy of colonialism. The violence in South-East Asia, the Middle East, were explained away as rational responses to the legacy of western imperialism.

the face of evil

the face of evil

Refusing to Recognize the Face of Evil:

On September 11, 2001, it became impossible to ignore the face of evil, casting its evil eye. Although many people still searched for explanations or conspiracies, there was nothing to rationalize the brutal terror unleashed upon America. Rabbi Sacks declares:

Today, the great danger is terror (emphasis added)

…That is why are commanded to remember and never forget Amalek, not because the historic people still exists, but because a society of rational actors can sometimes believe that the world is full of rational actors with whom one can negotiate peace. It is not always so.

The Rabbi Is Wrong:

Rabbi Sacks is wrong. The greatest danger is not terror. It’s radical Islam, which is the source of virtually all contemporary terrorism.

One cannot remember, never mind confront the face of evil if you refuse to call it by its name. We are not commanded ‘not to hate’ the chariot riders (Egypt), or to remember what the attackers of the weak (Amalek) did. We don’t identify these enemies by their military techniques. Terror is a technique, used to demoralize and crush. It is being used by the adherents of a specific religion, in the name of their religion. Victims may refuse to identify the purveyors of fear as Muslims, but the terrorists aren’t shy about it. A politician, a journalist, a Rabbi might say that terror isn’t Islamic, but the Muslims terrorists say it is. An Orthodox rabbi is not a higher authority on Islam than the many Muslims who proclaims terror as an integral part of their faith.  The Muslims who oppose them don’t deny the nature of their violence. A Brooklyn Imam, identifying radical Islam as a “cancer,” said:

“These scholars consider any verse that calls to treat people with kindness to have been abrogated. All that remains valid is ‘Kill! Slaughter!’ Is that the only thing that God tells us? …Muslims of the religious sector are time bombs.”

Put a Name to the Face of Evil:

Moses at the battle against Amalek

Moses at the battle against Amalek

If we refuse to name the contemporary Amalek, surely we cannot remember them.   If we’re too afraid to name them, they are winning.

In the first Biblical encounter with Amelek, Moses, the leader of the Israelites held up his arms during the battle, and the people were inspired to victory. The leaders of today such are not raising their hands, and the people hesitate to fight back. Rabbi Sacks says the evil is “terror.” The Dalai Lama says it’s not fair to associate terrorism with Islam.  Gandhi, the icon of nonviolence rationalized “…if Hindus became Muslims to save themselves from death, it was …not forcible conversion.”  The failure to identify, never mind remember the face of evil, the contemporary Amalek, is a violation of an obligation to God, of a responsibility to mankind.

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

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A Different Kind Of War

A Manifesto

Redefining the Battlefield

Our civilized world is in a different kind of war, aimed at dragging it back to the 8th century.  Our values are the enemy’s main weapon against us.  We must adapt if we are to survive.

Forget “religion.” Forget “nation” and “geography.” Don’t even think about “ideology” or “economy.” The enemy in this war includes our citizens, our co-religionists, people on the other side of the world, and our next-door neighbors. The civilized world, regardless of race, religion or region is in an apocalyptic conflict, aimed at dragging the world back to the Dark Ages, and the old categories are keeping us from fighting back.

Forget the meaning of war. Forget the Geneva Convention, the Hague Convention on the rules and regulations of war. Those are for armies, countries, civilized people. This is a irrelevant in a different kind of wardifferent kind of war

Some combat takes place on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria. Other battles are on the streets of Ottawa, Paris, Boston and Montreal. Some involves the execution of soldiers; some, of shoppers. The aggressor in this war wants to browbeat his opponents into acquiescence; this doesn’t always entail killing. Sometimes the threat of violence is enough to cancel a lecture, silence a critic. The police are among the first to advise compliance in order to avoid trouble. They certainly don’t want to appear Islamophobic.

Cops are good for dealing with criminals. They are not equipped for war. Our legal system is not equipped for this different war. And so, we are losing.

 

Islamophobia- a different kind of war

Islamophobia

We lost on 9/11.

We lost in the Madrid, the London bombings.

We lost in the Boston Marathon, at Parliament in Ottawa, in the relentless barbarism in Nigeria.

…and countless more.

Body_Scan_Pic

airport security scan

We lose every time we go to the airport and  give up an hour or so to have our bags and bodies scanned.

We lose every time we use a phone, send an e-mail or look at a web page, because these are no longer private acts. They must be scanned by security, looking for plots by our enemies.

We lose whenever an organization fears to publish its address, when security guards or even soldiers have to protect religious institutions. When we can’t go into certain areas of our cities, because they are under control of the enemy.

We lose when dissenting opinions are shouted down or their speakers beaten up. When those opinions can’t be given voice, for fear of offending vengeful, violent people. Free speech is good and we are all Charlie Hebdo, but we don’t want to end up like Charlie Hebdo.

Kenyan Church after attack

Kenyan Church after attack

A Different Kind of War Strategy

It will get worse unless we prepare to fight back. We need different tactics, for this different war. Here are some suggestions:

  • Ban immigration, ban temporary visas from regions where our defeats are celebrated, where our enemies are admired; places such as Iran, Syria, Pakistan, and North Africa.
    • Canada has a long tradition of favoring immigrants from particular countries. It’s time for Canada and the U.S. to discriminate on the basis of origin.
  • Anyone who goes to fight on behalf of an enemy or terrorist entity shall be considered guilty of treason if he is a citizen or legal resident.
    • If he’s on temporary visa, the visa shall be immediately cancelled and the person deported.
    • The death penalty for treason must be restored, with a process that does not lead to interminable delays.
  • Mosques must report to police the identity of new converts,so they can be monitored.
    • Some people find violence and savagery exciting. Tired of online game warfare, they want to go to the next level, and think that Islam will get them there. The Imam of the mosque of Martin Couture-Rouleau, the convert who ran over two soldiers in St. Jean, Quebec, understood the problem, and cooperated with the RCMP. Such cooperation must be mandatory.
    • This discriminatory practice needn’t apply to other religions; their converts are not killing in the name of their new beliefs.
  • Jailed radical Muslims must be isolated from other prisoners, to prevent jailhouse radicalization or conversion.
  • Prisons must develop and apply effective intervention programs to minimize radicalization of inmates.
A War to Protect Civil Rights and Liberties

“Civil rights” are the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment (and to be free from unfair treatment or “discrimination”) in a number of settings — including education, employment, housing, and more — and based on certain legally-protected characteristics.

  • TheCivil Rights of the majority,and of peaceful minorities must be protected by civil and criminal law.  This includes (within the confines of law)
    • Ability to hold meetings
    • To publish and disseminate information
    • To dress according to their religion without fear of violence
    • To peacefully espouse their religious traditions and attend services.
    • To support the political and social causes of their choice.
      • All without fear of violence.
  •  A person’s right to advocate for a cause shall not interfere with the right of others to work, or to carry on their business.
    Modern taxi service

    Modern taxi service

    • The right to practice a religion shall not oblige an employer to compromise his business in order to accommodate religious beliefs and practices.
    • If a person freely takes on an obligation, he cannot excuse himself from it because of religious issues
      • If a person takes a job as a bartender, he cannot refuse to serve alcohol. If he’s a taxi driver he cannot refuse service dogs because of his religion. If his faith forbids dogs, let him find a different job.
  • Anyone on a visa who interferes with civil rights of others shall immediately have his visa cancelled.
  • Anyone interfering with normal activities (civil rights) of Canadians shall be held financially responsible for the consequences.
  • Anyone causing financial loss though demonstrations or related political activities shall be held financially responsible.
  • Anyone sponsoring or organizing such interference, whether directly or indirectly shall be held financially or criminally responsible.
  • The Tides Foundation of San Francisco funds environmental protests in Canada. Such protests include obstructing the operation or
    "Useful Idiots"

    “Useful Idiots”

    construction of national infrastructure. The anonymous donors who fund such activities through Tides must be held accountable for the damage they cause.

  • Calling for the death of people because of their race, ethnicity or religion shall be deemed a criminal act.
  • It shall be illegal to conceal one’s face when in public place, except as part of organized activity with permit from appropriate authorities.
International Economics and Propaganda in a Different Kind of War

The economic success of Western civilization is premised on capitalism, i.e. the free flow of capital between economic entities.   Any interference with the flow is bad, in principle. However when the entities have another purpose beside economic advancement or are trying to gain a surreptitious advantage, they must be controlled. When a CNOOC, a Chinese company bought a large stake in a Canadian energy company it gave the tyrannical Chinese Communist Party a direct hand in Canadian energy development. It didn’t take long for it to start reneging on the commitments it made to get regulatory approval.

Petronas Towers, Malaysia

Petronas Towers, Malaysia

Petronas, owned by the government of Malaysia also has significant stakes in Canadian energy companies, including infrastructure. Malaysia is sixty-one percent Muslim. This in itself need not be a problem, but the country is quickly sliding towards fundamentalism and violence. A past Prime Minister was a vicious anti-Semite, and the current one has praised the strength of ISIS fighters.

In Saudi Arabia and the gulf Emirates, the governments, the energy producers and the worldwide wealth they control are essentially the same entities. The Saudis are the second largest shareholder in Fox News. They have a growing influence in the American press and entertainment industry, and they are not shy about using it.   When environmentalists oppose North American energy development, when they create obstacles that delay projects and add costs, the Saudis gain a competitive cost advantage. Sometimes the environmentalists know who is funding their work, sometimes they are clueless. Either way, they are serving the regime that has funded the worldwide spread of radical Islam.

By funding North American environmentalists, by engaging in an energy price war, the Saudis are trying to gain a surreptitious advantage. Petronas, the Saudis and CNOOC are not simply foreign capitalist entities. The former two are connected to those who have undertaken the different kind of war against us. The latter two are part of aggressive, anti-democratic regimes with no respect for the values of Western civilization. They must not be allowed to influence us in our battle.

  • Megyn-Kelly-FNC

    Employed by Murdoch and Alwaleed

    All voting control of subsidiaries of state-owned entities must be firmly and clearly separated from the regimes that own them.

  • Western governments shall be entitled to place auditors within the subsidiaries to ensure that decisions they make are for normal business purposes only.
  • Subsidiaries of state-owned entities shall not be allowed to engage in public relations, political lobbying or community affairs, whether directly or through funding of other groups.
  • Subsidiaries of state-owned entities shall not be allowed to invest in the press, entertainment media, or online social networks.
 A Different Kind of War Entails a Different Kind of Sacrifice

In previous world wars, populations related to the enemy were placed in internment camps, to make sure they weren’t working to destroy us from within. Loyal Canadians and Americans were rounded up, and treated horribly. We don’t want to do that again. It’s more than probable that the vast majority of Muslims are loyal citizens of the Western countries they now inhabit (there is no way to properly quantify this). But we can’t ignore the many radicals dedicated to our destruction.   We must make sacrifices, such as suspending some of  our values— the ones that are being used against us.  We must fight back. Pretending that a different kind of war is not really a war is the path of appeasement on the road to surrender.

You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.
                                                                                    – Ayn Rand

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I’m Not Gonna Argue History

hebdoHow did we get here? It’s not what our civilization is about.

On January 7, 2015, Three black-clad gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” stormed the Paris offices of a satirical publication known for lampooning Islam, killing 12, including its editor, three political cartoonists and a police officer whose cold-blooded murder at close range was captured on a disturbing video. This resulted in a wave of  Islamaphobia, and baseless hostility to the Religion of Peace.  Why  did the French government allow the magazine Charlie Hebdo to continue to provoke Muslims, thereby placing the safety of its citizens at risk?

“I think everyone sees history through their own lens, and I don’t begrudge anyone from wanting to see what they want to see. This is what I see. This is what we see. And that should be valid. I’m not gonna argue history; I could, but I won’t.”

 The History of Pearl Harbour

On December 7, 1941, a Japanese air expedition on a humanitarian relief expedition ran into mechanical problems near Hawaii. Contaminated fuel, or something like that, led to

Planes accidentally crash at naval base

Planes accidentally crash at naval base

their rapid descent from the skies, as they hoped to land at Pearl Harbor to repair and refuel. American military commanders mistook the peaceful approach for an attack, and started firing upon the peaceful Japanese aircraft. The pilots, now in even worse trouble, had to unload their ordinance to lighten their planes. The Americans used this as an excuse to declare war on neutral Japan.

“I think everyone sees history through their own lens, and I don’t begrudge anyone from wanting to see what they want to see. This is what I see. This is what we see. And that should be valid. I’m not gonna argue history; I could, but I won’t.”

  The History of the Warsaw Ghetto

Jews like to live in close-knit communities (ghettos), to be near their synagogues, kosher restaurants, gymnasiums and banks. On April 19,

Burning the Warsaw Ghetto

Burning the Warsaw Ghetto

1943, a fire broke out in the heart of the Jewish community in Warsaw, Poland. The fire raged for twenty seven days, before finally being extinguished with the help of visiting German troops.  It was a terrible holocaust. Shocked, disheartened survivors were sent to Treblinka, where they were given food, shelter, and gainful employment.

“I think everyone sees history through their own lens, and I don’t begrudge anyone from wanting to see what they want to see. This is what I see. This is what we see. And that should be valid. I’m not gonna argue history; I could, but I won’t.”

 The History of Fort Hood Workplace Violence

On November 5, 2009, a mass murder took place at Fort Hood, Texas. In a letter to a Florida congressman, a top Army official wrote that the available evidence did not indicate the 2009 attack was an act of international terrorism. The official, at the time the Army’s senior uniformed lawyer, described the attack as “the alleged criminal act of a single individual.” Hasan was charged with mass murder, not terrorism. The government made it clear: Ft Hoodthe Fort Hood shooting was workplace violence.

“I think everyone sees history through their own lens, and I don’t begrudge anyone from wanting to see what they want to see. This is what I see. This is what we see. And that should be valid. I’m not gonna argue history; I could, but I won’t.”

 The History of the Selma Civil Rights March
Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel

Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel

President Lyndon Johnson was opposed to civil rights for black people, and did everything he could to stop Martin Luther King’s famous march in Selma, Alabama. It was Johnson (not the liberal icon Bobby Kennedy, as some fascists claimed) who set the FBI on King.  It was a time when black people stood alone, as Jews and other whites were busy protecting their own interests.

“I think everyone sees history through their own lens, and I don’t begrudge anyone from wanting to see what they want to see. This is what I see. This is what we see. And that should be valid. I’m not gonna argue history; I could, but I won’t.”
–Ava DuVernay, Director of the movie Selma (about Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous march), responding to criticism of her distortions of history.

 How did we get to the point of cartoonists being slaughtered? It’s a consequence of substituting fantasy for history, a consequence of pretending the history that you want to see is reality. When the people who shape how we look at history don’t care about accuracy, we lose the ability to learn from the past.  When the people who shape our view of current events don’t care about accuracy, we lose the ability to cope with the present.

 

MuslimTerroristOnPlaneSigneWilki-1

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Making It Safe to Rape Women

Ravages of War; Safe to Rape

Ravages of War
Original art by Esti Mayer, used with permission.

One of the most astonishing things about the allegations of sexual assault currently being aired against Bill Cosby is that so many went unreported for decades. If a crime is committed, the best time to gather evidence is while it is fresh. In Canada the cool and popular radio host Jian Ghomeshi is alleged to have been violently assaulting women for years. Yet no one spoke publicly about it until October, 2014. It’s safe to rape women if you’re a big enough superstar.

Or  have a star lawyer.

The criminal lawyer Edward Greenspan was eulogized extensively in the National Post. Described as a “legal superstar,” six of Greenspan’s most notable cases were summarized in the print edition. Oddly, in five out of six, the superstar’s clients went to jail. The notable who got off was Gerald Regan, the former Premier of Nova Scotia. Portraying the accusations of sexual assault as a politically motivated witch-hunt, Greenspan succeeded by “…reducing some of the accusers to tears.”

We are not going to second guess the courts as to Regan’s culpability. While he was acquitted of rape and attempted rape, many charges were dropped without going to trial. The accusations involved over thirty women, over a span of forty years.  How many of them were ‘reduced to tears,’ only to see their alleged tormentor walk free, declaring he’d been vindicated?

Nicht-Schulding; Not Guilty Original art by Esti Mayer, used with permission.

Nicht-Schulding; Not Guilty
Original art by Esti Mayer, used with permission.

Perhaps it’s not so astonishing that so many women hesitate to speak up about sexual assault. It only invites a second assault, this time in the court room, where the defense attorney may do his or her best to reduce the accuser to tears, or worse. If he’s good at it, maybe he’ll be considered a legal superstar, no matter how many other cases he loses, no matter how much he makes it safe to rape women.

In an upcoming post we’ll discuss the weaponization of rape.

 

 

As always, your comments are welcome.

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Attacking Films, Attacking Freedom

Many Americans, including President Obama, are righteously concerned about North Korea’s seemingly blatant attack on freedom in its hacking of Sony Pictures, and the threats of violence against any theater that dares screen the movie ‘The Interview.’ The film’s depiction of the assassination of Kim Jong-Il goes beyond acceptable standards for the North Korean dictatorship. The threats go beyond acceptable standards for attacking films, attacking freedom.

Americans should be more concerned though about subtle assaults on American freedom. Assaults where the attacker’s identity is not known, where it’s not even known that an assault is underway. And as in some forms of computer hacking, the participants in the attack don’t even know that they’re being used in one.

America Attacking Freedom

From the 1920’s the American film industry guarded itself carefully from government regulation by imposing self-censorship. Religious leaders applied constant pressure to ensure that Hollywood upheld their standards of morality, in the dress of the characters and the values they portrayed. By the 60’s, the counter-pressure of the demand for profits began to overwhelm the moral codes, to the point that contemporary actors are often expect to fully expose themselves, as they participate in simulated on-screen sex. Morality, restraint was framed as attacking freedom. Censorship and sex swapped positions, as the former became a dirty concept, in place of the latter. On “The Simpsons,” when Marge starts a campaign against a violent children’s television show, she ends up having to defend a Michelangelo statue against censorship. The lesson is that any restrictions or limits are wrong. A cartoon cat having its head blown off is equated to renaissance art.

The fact, in short, is that freedom, to be meaningful in an organized society must consist of an amalgam of hierarchy of freedoms and restraints.
~Samuel Hendel

The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives worked intensely to keep Communist influences out of American cinema. Recognizing the tremendous influence of Hollywood on American culture and beliefs, the Committee members understood that films by people who supported socialist ideology could easily sway the public. The heavy-handed blacklists created by the Committee provided fodder for the progressive self-righteousness of the 60’s and 70’s.North Korea

In the 21st century, flesh and sex are ubiquitous in entertainment. If the House Un-American Activities Committee were to be examine contemporary Hollywood politics, it would blacklist virtually all of its actors, producers and directors. Today entertainment media conservatives have to keep their beliefs to themselves. Repression and censorship is a two-way street.

So free expression is attacked by an enemy state, North Korea. Free expression is attacked by religious American moralists, by secular American moralists. Congress suppressed liberal Hollywood. Now liberal Hollywood suppresses conservative Hollywood, to the point of driving it underground.

Emirates Attacking Freedom?

But there’s more. Although American religious leaders have lost any say about what goes into films, this doesn’t apply to the Arabian Gulf States. The United Arab Emirates, especially Abu Dhabi, is working hard to attract entertainment production, offering tremendous cost advantages, but with certain strings attached, such as not offending religious sensibilities. While there is little profit to be had in being sensitive to the concerns of American religions, there are significant incentives to follow the rulings of the Imams of the Emirates.

johannwolfgangvongoethe134023And the Emirates are not just limiting their cinematic influence to Muslim moral standards. Environmental propaganda, funded in part by Middle Eastern oil producers’ campaigns against Western energy independence. Many Arab nations stand to lose a substantial amount of income if fracking opens up an alternative fuel source inside the United States. The actor Matt Damon seemed sincerely surprised that his anti-fracking movie was funded by Mid-East oil interests. Most of the films Abu Dhabi participates in are innocuous, such as The Hundred-Foot Journey, or Men in Black 3. Some are overtly political.

No one will contest that the ruler of North Korea is a lunatic. No one will contest that a nuclear-armed nation led by a lunatic is a serious threat to America and the free world. It’s harder to accept, and more difficult to respond to threats to freedom from friendly nations- ones we do business with. It’s hard to accept that the entertainers we obsess about are collaborating with foreign governments against our interests.  That they are, however inadvertently, attacking freedom.

The entertainment industry— movies, television— play a large role in shaping the beliefs and aspirations of America, indeed of the world. Who is shaping, who is controlling the entertainment industry? Who is shaping America, and to what end?

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
~Thomas Paine

 

 

Your comments, as always, are welcome.
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All Your Deeds Are Recorded In The Book

Eighteen hundred years ago Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi taught:

What is the proper path a person should choose for himself…  Know what is above you: an eye that sees and an ear that hears, and all your deeds are recorded in the Book.
(Ethics of the Fathers 2:1)

While this is stating the obvious for believing Jews and Christians, for non-believers it’s an absurdity.  At least it was an absurdity till one or two decades ago.  Now it’s no longer a declaration of piety, but rather a statement of fact.  With the proliferation of security cameras, there are eyes all over the streets, inside buildings, elevators, buses…  All watched, all recorded in the book.

We think our private electronic communications are hidden from prying eyes, but anybody who has anything to do with Sony Pictures has discovered otherwise.  Supposedly hidden personal emails, cel phone numbers, hackedsalaries, social insurance numbers have been placed out in the open, where an irresponsible press has gone on a feeding frenzy, publishing any private embarrassing material they come across.

Anybody who uses Facebook should know the perils.  Many companies demand that potential employees hand over their Facebook passwords, so they can scrutinize their personal behavior and beliefs.  Many have lost their jobs over Facebook comments.

Search engines record everything you look for, so they can target you better with ads.  Google reads all emails on its servers, including every single Gmail document.  The company considers that users have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Reading your private book

Reading your private book

Although such snooping was part of the mandate of the American National Security Administration, people were still stunned as to how much personal information the NSA gathered.  But with simple, off-the-shelf technology and a six thousand dollar drone, any interested eavesdropper can listen to your phone calls, break into your Wi-Fi network, and peruse anything there.  Everything is recorded in the book, and the book is open.

In his nineteen forty-eight dystopian novel 1984, George Orwell described a world where the government watched everything a

Big Brother Is Watching- Everything Is Recorded in The Book

Everything Is Recorded in The Book

person said or did.  “Big Brother is Watching You” was written as a warning, but has ended up as a model.  What is perhaps most disturbing is that people have become complacent about it.  We traded our privacy, our personal space, for the ability to instantly disseminate videos of cats.

We’re not likely to get rid of Big brother in the near future; cute videos are a big part of our lives.  Instant business and personal correspondence have become too important.  Our friendships with people we’ll never meet take up a big part of our lives.

Digitial technology has the ability to instantly record and store everything its eyes and ears pick up.  And they’re picking up more and more every day.  Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s concept of everything being recorded in the book is no longer scientifically absurd; humans have the technology to do it.  If there’s an omniscient God, It dwarfs humanity’s abilities in this field.

Another Rabbinic teaching offers a potential solution:

A fence for wisdom is silence.
(Ethics of the Fathers 3:17)

When you choose to speak, when you choose your path of action, do so in a way that you won’t be embarrassed if it turns out you are being recorded in the book— whether by the NSA, Google, or God.

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Bad Lessons: Learning With Closed Eyes

Ecole Polytechnique

École Polytechnique

Twenty five years ago a lone gunman walked into the École Polytechnique engineering school in Montreal, ordered the men to leave, and shot fourteen women.  It was a traumatic experience, not just for the victims and their families, but for all of Canadian society.

Two and a half decades later, we still look back in astonishment, trying to understand how such a thing happened.  We try to make it into a teaching experience, so that at least we’ve gained the ability to avoid repeating the tragedy.  Intellectuals, editorialists point to our society’s misogyny, and the lack of gun control as the prime lessons.

We’ve made progress in combating misogyny.  Our society expresses revulsion at allegations of hatred and violence towards photo trak #156131women.  Even a disproof of such allegations is greeted with hostility.  A lie, if it advances the cause, is more important than the truth.

The other Canadian battlefront declared by intellectuals and editorialists has not done as well.  The Conservative government cancelled the long-gun registry created in the aftermath of the Polytechnique massacre.  Many of the essays marking the Polytechnique anniversary bemoan this failure.

In New Guinea, in a remote native school taught by a local teacher, I watched a class carefully copy an arithmetic lesson from the blackboard. The teacher had written:

4+1=7

3-5=6

2+5=9

The students copied both his beautifully formed numerals & his errors. They were graded on their success in exact reproduction. The difficulty, of course, wasn’t merely that the memorized lessons lacked coherency & use, but that one couldn’t go beyond them & improvise. When I speak of my 5-times table, I don’t mean mine to do with as I like, but mine as long as I am obedient to it.”

Bad Lessons

The lessons of the Polytechnique massacre are also copied and memorized, from editorial to journalist, from advocate to gunsacademic.  Those fourteen women were killed, the bad lessons say, as a result of our misogynist, woman-hating society, as a consequence of the easy availability of guns.  No mention is made of the real name of the murderer, of his influences, of his ancestry.  That would be disobedient.

Marc Lepine was born Gamil Gharbi, son of an Algerian father, and a Quebecois mother.  He was thirteen when he abandoned his birth name.  Although his parents separated when he was eight years old, he experienced first-hand the violence and contempt towards women borne of North African Muslim culture.  He experienced first-hand the violence towards children borne of that culture.  Gharbi abandoned his father’s name, but could not abandon his lessons.

culture conflictCanadian intellectual society has learned that it must cleanse itself of misogyny, get rid of guns if it wants to avoid tragedies like the Polytechnique massacre.  Those are bad lessons, like teaching 4+1=7.   If we want to avoid such violence in the future, Canada must ensure that all those who want to make Canada their home are willing to abandon the cultural or religious values that promote or excuse violence against women, or against people who believe differently from them.  We must concede that Marc Lepine was Gamil Gharbi.  Not all cultures are equal.  Not all religions are worthy of respect.  As long as we keep our eyes closed, as long as we continue to memorize the politically correct bad lessons, the violence will continue.

 

 

Your comments are welcome