To Hell With the Washington Post

Not to put too fine a point on it.
The primarily White supporters of the Freedom Convoy argue that pandemic mandates infringe upon their constitutional rights to freedom. The notion of “freedom” was historically and remains intertwined with Whiteness, as historian Tyler Stovall has argued. The belief that one’s entitlement to freedom is a key component of White supremacy. This explains why the Freedom Convoy members see themselves as entitled to freedom, no matter the public health consequences to those around them.

Historian Tyler Stovall can jump in the lake too. How about an alternative perspective, less in favor now than once in Washington and elsewhere:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Emphasis added, because emphasis is needed. 

Enchiridion XL


Women from fourteen years old are flattered by men with the title of mistresses. Therefore, perceiving that they are regarded only as qualified to give men pleasure, they begin to adorn themselves, and in that to place all their hopes. It is worth while, therefore, to try that they may perceive themselves honored only so far as they appear beautiful in their demeanor and modestly virtuous.

It is unusual to hear ancient philosophers speak about women; Aristotle was famously incurious about them, at least in his writing. Socrates apparently said something like, "By all means marry; for if you get a good wife you shall become happy, and if you get a bad one you shall become a philosopher."

Epictetus has said little enough about women, but it is kind and decent: understand why they might seem vain, for society puts little value on anything except their attractiveness, on which everything for them may depend; but honor them rightly, for virtue and character. 

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Don Surber brings up the other Canadian protests that apparently GoFundMe is okay supporting and Trudeau isn't using emergency powers against. From the Vancouver Sun:

Very early Thursday, just after midnight, Coastal GasLink security called RCMP for help, reporting it was under attack by about 20 people, some wielding axes.

RCMP Chief Supt. Warren Brown, commander for the north district, called the attack a “calculated and organized violent attack that left its victims shaken and a multi-million dollar path of destruction.”

Coastal GasLink said in a statement the attackers surrounded some of its workers in a “highly planned” and “unprovoked” assault near the Morice River drill pad site off the forest service road.

“In one of the most concerning acts, an attempt was made to set a vehicle on fire while workers were inside,” said the company in a statement. “The attackers also wielded axes, swinging them at vehicles and through a truck’s window. Flare guns were also fired at workers.”



Nunchuk, a bitcoin outfit, responded politely to the Canadian government's request that it freeze the bitcoin assets of its customers:

Then it added:

EdgeWallet also sent back a polite response, saying its considered response to this important request was "No."

Enchiridion XXXIX


The body is to everyone the proper measure of its possessions, as the foot is of the shoe. If, therefore, you stop at this, you will keep the measure; but if you move beyond it, you must necessarily be carried forward, as down a precipice; as in the case of a shoe, if you go beyond its fitness to the foot, it comes first to be gilded, then purple, and then studded with jewels. For to that which once exceeds the fit measure there is no bound.

Fascism in the North


Illicit Profit

The Department of Justice goes Communist

Inflation is treason, comrade. 

Enchiridion XXXVIII


As in walking you take care not to tread upon a nail, or turn your foot, so likewise take care not to hurt the ruling faculty of your mind. And if we were to guard against this in every action, we should enter upon action more safely. 

Enchiridion XXXVII


If you have assumed any character beyond your strength, you have both demeaned yourself ill in that and quitted one which you might have supported.

What is a character beyond your strength? It is a character that professes that it can determine events in the world outside the mind. This is a great human desire; even Aristotle falls prone to it in the later parts of the Nicomachean Ethics, in which he describes the virtue of courage as the virtue that wins wars. In the earlier parts he is more careful: virtues are to be judged by probability of outcome, and courage is said to be a virtue even though it is sometimes the very thing that destroys you. On average, however, courage works out with reasonable reliability. In the later books, he offers what philosophers sometimes describe as a 'thicker' version: courage wins wars, and thus wars are in a way a competition of virtue. The most virtuous in this particular way will be the winner.  

That is not true. The bravest does not always prevail. To assume a character that asserts that it is so courageous as to be undefeatable is to lie to one's self, and to those who believe you. Many a man has promised his wife and children to return from the war victorious, and then never returned at all. It was not because they were not brave men.

Epictetus suggests that lying to yourself is demeaning; and asserting a greater power than you have is a lie. A better man would not lie to himself, but would be honest about his limits as well as his powers. 

If you abandon that honest character in order to assert more boldly than you can really defend, then you are exactly as he describes in this chapter. You quit the honest character you could have defended, and demeaned yourself by lying. This is not virtue, neither courage nor any other.

Thought Crimes Will Be Prosecuted

Pastor Artur Pawlowski, who remains in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day, according to his lawyer, was arrested last Monday after he spoke to members of the trucker blockade along the U.S.-Canada border in Coutts, Alberta, on Feb. 3.

During a 20-minute speech to the truckers, the pastor urged them to "hold the line" against government overreach without resorting to violence. They had reportedly reached an agreement to abandon their blockade of the U.S. border and travel to Edmonton until changing their minds following Pawlowski's address.

So, the crime is having given a speech urging continued defiance of the government.  It's not even "he incited defiance," because they were already engaged in defiance when he got there. He just persuaded them to keep it up a while longer.

Enchiridion XXXVI


As the proposition, “either it is day or it is night,” has much force in a disjunctive argument, but none at all in a conjunctive one, so, at a feast, to choose the largest share is very suitable to the bodily appetite, but utterly inconsistent with the social spirit of the entertainment. Remember, then, when you eat with another, not only the value to the body of those things which are set before you, but also the value of proper courtesy toward your host.

Courtesy towards your host is a praiseworthy thing; overall, this section is another that is similar in tone to the Havamal in several respects. 

A greedy man, if he be not mindful,
eats to his own life's hurt:
oft the belly of the fool will bring him to scorn
when he seeks the circle of the wise.

Herds know the hour of their going home
and turn them again from the grass;
but never is found a foolish man
who knows the measure of his maw.

The translation of the first line is confusing, because it gives 'it is day / it is night' as already in a disjunctive form. That makes it hard to get the point about why it lacks force as a conjunctiver argument. In symbolic logic, the two propositions look like this:

x(Dx∨Nx) [Disjunctive: "For any time x, either x is day or x is night"]
x(Dx∧Nx) [Conjunctive: "For any time x, x is day and x is night."]

The point is just that a proposition about day/night works well as a disjunctive in ordinary language, and not at all well as a conjunctive. Although, notice that the conjunctive is also* a true statement: at any time x on planet Earth, it is both day (on the light side of the planet) and also night (on the dark). One might also make arguments about the disjunctive's truth conditions during periods of twilight or dawning. 

* Strictly speaking a true disjunction is satisfied, i.e. evaluates as true, at least one of the conditions is true. Thus, the disjunctive is true if it is either day or night, or both day and night; and thus the disjunctive is true and the conjunctive is true. There is another logical operator called 'exclusive OR' that is like the disjunctive, but only satisfied if -- in the present case -- D is true and N is false, or alternatively D is false and N is true. It would not be satisfied if D and N are both true at the same time, as is really the case on Earth. 

Enchiridion XXXV


When you do anything from a clear judgment that it ought to be done, never shrink from being seen to do it, even though the world should misunderstand it; for if you are not acting rightly, shun the action itself; if you are, why fear those who wrongly censure you?

Timely advice for the peaceful protesters in Canada today. For us all, perhaps, soon enough.

Canada's Prime Minister to Invoke Emergencies Act

The Prime Minister is too scared to talk to the truckers, whom he regards as such a threat that he is invoking these extraordinary powers for the first time in Canadian history. This act replaced what was previously called the "War Measures Act." 

Whatever one thinks of the position of the truckers on vaccine mandates, their core complaint has been the way in which the democratic legislative branch has been stripped of its lawmaking function in favor of executive assertions of 'emergency powers.' This complaint was fully justified even before this move: last week honking became an arrestable offense, and parking in a proscribed area a felony punishable with a year in prison and a hundred-thousand dollar fine. No legislature considered these updates to the motor vehicle code: they were asserted by bald executive privilege. 

Now the Prime Minister is going for what amounts to wartime powers to crush a peaceful, if robust, domestic protest movement. 

Options for resistance to this abuse of authority are significant, however:

These options are nonviolent, but it is not clear that the Canadian government can defeat them. Even if they take to shooting blockaders, they still may not be able to move the trucks. 

UPDATE: Emergencies Act invoked. Anyone supporting the truckers, or being a trucker, is to have their bank accounts seized without warrant or court order; banks immunized against any damages they cause. The legal excuse for this is "counterterror laws," i.e., perfectly peaceful (though effective) protests are now terrorism in Canada. 

ATF: Happy Snitch on Your Beloved Day!

Ex-boyfriend, or girlfriend, or ex-husband, anyone really.

Sean Davis and Jesse Kelly have candidates for them.

Enchiridion XXXIV


If you are dazzled by the semblance of any promised pleasure, guard yourself against being bewildered by it; but let the affair wait your leisure, and procure yourself some delay. Then bring to your mind both points of time—that in which you shall enjoy the pleasure, and that in which you will repent and reproach yourself, after you have enjoyed it—and set before you, in opposition to these, how you will rejoice and applaud yourself if you abstain. And even though it should appear to you a seasonable gratification, take heed that its enticements and allurements and seductions may not subdue you, but set in opposition to this how much better it is to be conscious of having gained so great a victory.

This is especially excellent advice for those considering an extramarital affair, I think. 

There's a problem here with some pleasures, though, which are not obviously semblances in the sense that he has been using the term. A good drunk gets in where you live; it's as real as any other internal experience, an elation of the mind whose activity and experience is our proper business. A woman (or man, for some of you) might seduce by outward semblance, and bewilder the mind with her beauty; her attention might be thrilling and exciting in the way he is discussing here. A drink isn't like that. There's no excitement to be had in looking at a bottle or a glass; a good Scotch tastes good, but some of it doesn't even do that. The whole experience is in the mind.

You can still easily do what he's talking about: delay, and then think through two potential tomorrows. Wouldn't you rather wake up early, feeling good physically and also good about your virtue in having done the right thing? Wouldn't you rather avoid a day of hangovers and reminding yourself that you only feel bad because you didn't stop yourself from feeling bad? The advice is still worthy; I just question to what degree it counts as a semblance. That may be why drug and alcohol issues are so difficult for people to overcome; it's a thing that lives in one's own proper seat of power. 

Canada Clears Ambassador Bridge

The bridge had been closed for a week of business days. It sounds like almost everyone had gone home of their own accord by this morning.
"A 27 yr old male was arrested at Huron Church Rd at Millen St. for a criminal offence in relation to the demonstration. Officers will intervene when necessary to ensure the safety of the public & maintain peace & order," the Windsor Police tweeted late Saturday. 

The arrests come after a Canadian judge ordered the protesters to vacate the area on Friday. Windsor Police said Sunday morning they are taking a "zero tolerance" policy toward "illegal activity." 

Only two pickup trucks and less than a dozen protesters blocked the road to the bridge before police moved in.

That means they can put the blockade back, using trucks that aren't easy to tow, whenever they want. Round one is over at the bridge, but not elsewhere. 

UPDATE: The American Mind has a piece by a central organizer on the future of the work, and their intent to remain outside Parliament until they win or are removed by force.

A Small Story of No Particular Importance

Durham’s court filing claims that Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid a tech company to hack into Donald Trump’s servers in his residence and in Trump Tower during the presidential campaign. The surveillance continued on into the White House when he became president.

It can't be important because it's not mentioned at all on the front page of the Washington Post today, nor the New York Times. ABC mentions someone being stoned to death in Pakistan, but not anything about this. Even FOX has nothing about it on the front page. 

Well, it's just a court filing. 

UPDATE: Not on the front page, but FOX did at least have a story about it.