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Defamation Laws and the Mythical “Right to Freedom of Speech”

November 11, 2017 by · Comments Off on Defamation Laws and the Mythical “Right to Freedom of Speech” 

2017-11-11-word-gunDespite loose talk to the contrary, there is no moral “right of free speech”. It is only when one sets up a “right” of “free speech” that one then has to somehow explain how defamation laws – which involve making a liar pay damages to a person about whom he has told a lie – are not a violation of the “right of free speech”. Typically, the explanation ends up involving another made-up “right” that must be “balanced” against the “right” of “free speech”, or that somehow constitutes a exception to the “right of free speech”. The result of such explanations, inevitably, is that someone asserts that the “right” of “free speech” is “not absolute”. This devolves further into a greater, and more harmful generalization: that “rights are not absolute”. The end game is something akin to s. 1 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states that “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society“. In other words, one ends up with constitutional laws that say you have rights, but that they’re not absolute. More succinctly: that you have no rights at all.

It therefore comes to me as a disappointment that none other than the Director of Legal Studies at the Ayn Rand Institute, Steve Simpson (who is usually a great advocate of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism) has defended defamation laws by asserting that one has a “right” to the value of one’s own reputation: Read more

Ignore the youtube critics: discover “Star Trek: Discovery” for yourself

October 8, 2017 by · Comments Off on Ignore the youtube critics: discover “Star Trek: Discovery” for yourself 

star-trek-discoveryAt least two of my friends are contemplating writing-off the new Star Trek: Discovery series. Their negative assessment of the show is apparently founded upon one or two critiques by youtube vloggers: one by a fellow named Jeff Holiday (who, I gather, usually vlogs about video games), and another by one Dave Cullen. Both vloggers appear to be dyed-in-the-wool Trekkies: they apparently know quite a bit about what has been done in the franchise in the past. This may account for the trust my friends have placed in their respective critiques of the new show. And what trust they must have! Without having watched the new show at all, one of my friends has declared:

“Looks like I won’t even be trying to watch the new Star Treks. They look unwatchable, just on the face of it. The Left has destroyed the value of the franchise with this one.”

Now, of course, Trekkies arguably are the most opinionated lot on Earth when it comes to assessments of one’s favourite franchise. I fully understand that most of them differ little from Sheldon of “The Big Bang Theory” fame, when it comes to their opinions about all things Star Trek. But – to my friends and to everyone else who is ready to abandon this show before watching it – I extend this humble plea: WATCH THE SHOW!

Before proceeding further, I am forced by convention to issue here a “SPOILER ALERT”. Some of what is written below may tell you more than you wanted to know. However, I’ll just add that if you’re already thinking about not watching the show at all: how it could possibly hurt to read further? Moreover, having seen the first two episodes, I’d gladly watch both again (and probably will). The spoilers aren’t going to spoil anything. Read more

McKeever’s Minimal Maxims and Bon Arrows, Volume 2, Issue 6

July 3, 2017 by · Comments Off on McKeever’s Minimal Maxims and Bon Arrows, Volume 2, Issue 6 

20081029paulCauses, patterns and the determined depend not, for their existences, upon your perception or prediction of them. Ignorance is not evidence.

The will will will what it will.

There is a time for education but, more often, it is a time of war. Murderers do not value truth.

Rhythm sans melody’s a crime. Rhyme is no replacement. Give ’em 6 strings in the basement. Every beat should chime.

Government, freedom, and a “progressive” politician’s anti-freedom religious outreach

June 12, 2017 by · Comments Off on Government, freedom, and a “progressive” politician’s anti-freedom religious outreach 

2017-06-11-patrick-brown-ramadanThose who value their individual freedom must be wary about politicians who do what Ontario MPP Patrick Brown is doing.

On June 10, 2017, Brown, who is the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in the Ontario Legislature – “tweeted” on the website Twitter.com, the following:

“Proud to host my annual Ramadan Ifthar with friends & family in Mississauga. We set a new record for turnout with 1100 in attendance! #onpoli”

Wikipedia explains the nature of an Ifthar thusly:

“Ifthar (or Fatoor) (Arabic: إفطار‎‎ ʾifṭār ‘breakfast’) is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset.

Muslims break their fast at the time of the call to prayer for the evening prayer.”

Brown is not a Muslim, so you might wonder what a Christian fellow such a Brown is doing hosting an Ifthar. The answer is simple: he is clearly attempting to win supporters for his political party, with a view to the next provincial election.

On Twitter.com, I re-tweeted Brown’s tweet, with the following commentary: Read more

Canada is repealing its anti-blasphemy law

June 7, 2017 by · Comments Off on Canada is repealing its anti-blasphemy law 

mickey-moCanada’s federal and provincial legislatures have passed motions condemning “Islamophobia” and calling for studies and recommendations to oppose speech that does not revere religious beliefs or practices, but Canada’s Justice Minister yesterday introduced a bill that will – if passed into law – repeal Canada’s law against “blasphemous libel”. Read more

Top Ayn Rand ad hominems: a guide for the misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and otherwise ignorant

April 17, 2017 by · Comments Off on Top Ayn Rand ad hominems: a guide for the misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and otherwise ignorant 

ayn-rand-colour-290You may never have heard of Ayn Rand before. She was (and remains) an incredibly successful novelist. She authored numerous books that regularly appear in must-read lists in North American high school curricula including “Anthem”, “The Fountainhead”, and “Atlas Shrugged”. The latter was once ranked as the second-most influential book in existence, next to the bible. Read more

Why you’re a target of “soul destroyers” at work

April 4, 2017 by · Comments Off on Why you’re a target of “soul destroyers” at work 

envy2

A friend of mine asked “At your workplace, do the happy people become targets for the soul destroyers? Why is that?” I replied as follows.

Okay, you caught my attention with that one.

In a nutshell, it’s the hatred of the good for being the good. Read more

What Sam Harris was missing re: Jordan Peterson and “What is true?”

January 30, 2017 by · Comments Off on What Sam Harris was missing re: Jordan Peterson and “What is true?” 

harris-peterson“One thing that will be interesting for me is if anyone can point out to me what I am missing about your argument thus far, ’cause you are reacting to me like there is something you are saying that makes sense, that I’m not seeing, that does actually nullify the import of the kinds of ‘toy examples’ I have been putting forward, and I don’t see it.”  Such was the way in which neuroscientist and author Sam Harris summed-up his January 21, 2017 conversation with University of Toronto clinical psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson.  The following sets out what I believe Harris was missing (and what Peterson was not making explicit), in the hope that Harris and Peterson can, with a better understanding of each other’s assumptions, continue what promised to be an interesting conversation. Read more

Hitler and Nazism: “Left Wing” or “Right Wing”?

November 15, 2016 by · Comments Off on Hitler and Nazism: “Left Wing” or “Right Wing”? 

hitler-moustacheYour “right wing” acquaintances assert that Hitler and his Nazis were left-wingers, but your “left wing” acquaintances assert that Hitler and his Nazis were right-wingers. If you have spent a significant amount of time debating such things, you have probably observed that both sides believe themselves to be correct. Well, why do they each believe themselves to be correct? And which of them is correct? Read more

When you’ve got them by the short and…

June 18, 2016 by · Comments Off on When you’ve got them by the short and… 

When you’ve got them by the
short and pearlies,
their hearts and hairs
will follow.
Read more

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