Category Archives: Musings

Dark thoughts

I have a stepdaughter whose legal work takes her all around the London law courts, and sometimes into the UK Houses of Parliament itself. After todays terror attack there was a concerned flurry of transatlantic telephonic activity to jolly old Londinium from the Sticker household and I am pleased to report that Youngest was not in the area at the time.

As a concerned parent, my first reaction is “Youngest safe. Good.” Although I’m deeply sorry to hear that the attacker took down a Police officer in the process along with another three un-named as well as injuring forty others, some of whom will have to live with the physical consequences for the rest of their lives. However, the attacker is dead, good riddance. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Good riddance also to Martin McGuinness, who died yesterday. We’ll never know how many deaths he ordered or was involved in personally, but it’s well known that his hands were bloody as hell. Which is why the flames will burn a little brighter from now on.

These people who murder for a ’cause’ are key factors in prolonging the suffering of their fellow citizens. Had the civil rights protests in Northern Ireland not been tainted by the terrorists, there would have eventually been peace, work and plenty for all, Catholics and Protestants. Unfortunately many Mk 1 Homo Sapiens masquerading as evolved life forms in Ulster still don’t see it that way. So the killing still goes on, only the initials change. So will it be with Islamic inspired attacks. The killing will go on and on unless those who push the ideology are eliminated from within by the very communities they hide behind. Or have their minds changed. Not that I’m holding my breath you understand. Most people aren’t self aware enough to see the obvious.

An interesting tale

Apropos of nothing. Back in the day when teachers didn’t have to fill in a twenty page risk assessment, we used to be taken out on School Trips. Bundled onto a coach twice a term and taken to somewhere ‘educational’ where a teacher would try and engage our interest. The poor benighted fools.

One day we were taken to Worcester in England to see the then-famous Royal Worcester china works and the cloister of Worcester Cathedral where, at the foot of a staircase, lies a tombstone bearing the simple legend ‘Miserrimus’. Our History Teacher, eyes glittering with the historical romance of her story, enthusiastically regaled us with the Wordsworth inspired tale of a medieval monk who took on the sins of the world and was buried as a reminder to all the other monks that he was the biggest sinner amongst them, and that just to remind them of how naughty they were, they had to walk over his grave for the rest of time. That learned ’em, right?

The truth though, is a little more prosaic. The tomb of ‘Miserrimus’ is that of a Parish Priest defrocked in the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688 for his loyalty to King James II and who spent the rest of his long life as an outcast until his death in 1748. Still, there was enough money to give him quite a fancy funeral and bury him outside the Church where his tombstone could continue to make his embittered point. Where it did for a while until the ex-reverend passed from living memory. Then along came some ‘romantic’ writers and poets who saw the stone and made some stuff up. Which is what they do.

Seriously. The guy spent fifty plus years carrying his political grudge instead of realising nothing was going to change unless he made it do so. Then he decided to be buried under a pseudonym, the reason for which was mostly forgotten. As was anything good or bad that he may have achieved in his life. Which is a shame, because he was not an unpopular man and was described as a caring and good looking chap who could have made a far larger impact on the world than his pseudonymous tombstone ever could.

There’s a life lesson in there somewhere.

More of the same

Things trundle on. More forms to complete, and I had to mess around with my handy dandy Printer / Fax to get necessary details off to the UK last night without getting charged an upper and larger extremity on courier fees. Seriously, these guys charge like a Rhino with a migraine then still don’t get the bloody thing there on time because of a lick of snow that they wouldn’t even notice over in Calgary, so it’s worth lugging the fax into the front room where the phone line connection is and spending ten minutes messing around with RJ11s and the like.

bills-weather-rockOn the subject of weather, I was checking my blogs history for ad hoc local observations on the weather, and noticed that we seem to get a serious dash of ice and snow here every two years, with more snow and ice than usual every three. Summer temperatures can end up in the low to mid thirties Celsius (Centigrade, whatever), which is nothing unusual, given that we’re on the same latitude as mid-France, so when someone blarts out that it’s the “Hottest year, EVAH!” I do have to suppress a chortle. I think these prognostications of media doom are simply cries for more funding. My Weather Rock, however, remains unconvinced, and has taken to lurking indoors on a nice cosy windowsill in the kitchen, hogging the view. It’s probably sniggering at all the other weather rocks forced to shiver outdoors, but it’s very hard to tell with rocks.

Anyway, it’s good that we have an AWD with decent all-weather tyres because I have to get Mrs S to a conference downtown today. Which means an early start allowing a bit of extra time for the inevitable dickhead faction out on the roads. Then I may amble into the downtown core for an hour to check something out before heading back to the barn and getting a nice hot feed set up for her ladyship when I go to pick her up around four. I hope to perform this task without any additional drama. Although I can hear the local snowplough already trolling up and down roads, so by the time we set off, our hill will be cleared.

On the drama front, we’ve finally stopped watching Canadian Netflix because it’s become so crap. Seriously, as a streaming service it’s really gone downmarket. Not that it was ever brilliant, but it was better than the alternatives. All there seem to be are tenth rate ‘documentaries’ with the odd watchable feature film and a host of what used to be called ‘B’ movies and teen series. Honestly, it’s like the PC Police have decided you can’t watch programmes which don’t comply with certain nauseatingly touchy-feely guidelines, which may ultimately prove their downfall. So we’ve signed up for a CraveTV account which gives us some reasonable HBO and Showtime series for the same price. The other choice, Cable, is terrible, chock full of adverts and not worth the fifty bucks a month our service provider charges for the ‘basic’ package. To which I am moved to retort; if I wanted propaganda, there’s plenty on YouTube for free.

One of the things I have noticed over the past 12 months is a serious decline in the overall quality of TV and Movie entertainment. To which I’m inclined to hypothesise that maybe all the slebs and half way decent writers have been so busy fundraising for the Clintons, protesting and electioneering that they stopped doing their jobs as entertainers. Don’t even get me started on the patronising crap about to be foisted on Netflix viewers like ‘Dear white people’, which is such a dire idea and so poisonous to race relations that it defies rational comment.

Here we snow again

It’s eleven on Monday morning. Two hours ago I looked out of my office window to see a grey sky that looked full of rain. An hour and a half ago it started snowing. Now it is snowing quite heavily, with visibility under a hundred and fifty metres.

This is rather absurd because over the weekend we were promised snow, which did put a dusting on the hills further north, but left our little domicile basking in sunlight. Now we’re getting dumped on. This is Victoria. The Canadian Riviera. It’s not supposed to snow here. Where’s that global warming when you really need it?

Seriously though this is just another part of the usual climate cycle. Some years it’s warm, sometimes it’s not, and despite all the fluffy whiteness currently descending upon us, it’s just weather. Like all the climate Cassandras out there, wandering round like old school bible thumpers constantly prophesying that “The end is nigh.” keep saying when things don’t happen as they predict, and that anyone who’s ever driven to work or taken a transatlantic flight is somehow guilty of causing a warmer or colder than average spring day. Earth’s climate is a chaotic system, and so far the climate models have more in common with the obscurity of Nostradamus’ poetic prognostications or a newspaper astrologer than reality. These are models that idiots like Trudeau want to impose carbon taxes for? The climate models that don’t actually work?

Never mind. Today I have forms to fill in and send to the UK. My offshore bank is closing down because similarly bureaucratic-minded morons think that relatively small time investors like me are all wicked money launderers who need to have Mr and Mrs Spank take a quick trip to bottyland. So the bureaucrats have upped the regulatory burden to the point where there’s no profit in it for my bank any more. Of course the big guys with millions will be fine, they can afford the lawyers and shell companies, but people with only a few hundred thousand are being squeezed out of the market. Which means I have to find a new bank account and jump through even more bloody hoops to transfer my funds around Europe and the UK without getting caned by my Canadian banks extortionate foreign currency transaction fees.

At one point last week I was reduced to naked sarcasm with a bank functionary over the levels of disclosure they required to open an account. Not being satisfied with my notarised ID and credit references and previous bank statements, my late parents sources of income were demanded. To which I was forced to respond; “I don’t know. Can you hang on while I go and find a first class spirit medium and ask them?” Seriously. Trying to find another bank that will take my funds is turning out to be a Kafkaesque labour of Hercules. You’d think they didn’t want the money.

And outside the snow is falling. Onward and bloody upward.

New books

A literary interlude is on the cards with probable forthcoming hospital stays. Last time I was so immobilised, I took to reading and trying to memorise the complete works of Rudyard Kipling with a side order of Defoe and Melville. This time I went and raided the bookstore for almost the complete works of Earnest Hemingway.

Mrs S will be travelling to London on her own to see Youngest this year because I have to keep my diary clear for possible surgical interventions. Which is annoying, but as one brought up in the stoic tradition of “What cannot be cured must be endured”, what else am I to do? Keep taking the tablets and chill with the pills.

I haven’t read Hemingway since my English Literature class trudged (mostly – I still like reading) unwilling teenagers halfway through ‘A Farewell to Arms’. As for literature in general, just don’t talk to me about Brontes or Jane Austen. Did Wuthering Heights and Sense and Sensibility for English Literature A level, and I’m still having unpleasant flashbacks. Fortunately we had a teacher who explained how to understand the middle English of Geoffrey Chaucer and some of the better Shakespearean jokes. Which was a compensation for the Wessex novels of Thomas Hardy (Don’t ask). Frankly I found Calculus, Logarithms, and Binomial expansion more fun.

a-few-hemingwaysFirst pick was of course ‘The old man and the sea’, but as it’s a bit on the short side I also bought ‘The Sun also rises’, ‘Death in the Afternoon’ and seven others. See the picture of my latest acquisitions currently hogging the seat of my office reading chair. There is also a used collection of Milton, Conrads classic ‘The Heart of Darkness’ and sundry others to grace the old bookshelves and keep Lady Chatterly’s Lover warm on those draughty upper shelves above my collection of Terry Pratchetts. If time allows I’m going to delve further into D H Lawrence, I’m sure he won’t mind.

As far as ‘macho’ writers like Hemingway are concerned, there are people out there who are keen to tell everyone what they can and cannot read, say or think because it contradicts one of their sacred ‘ists’ or ‘isms’, but right at this moment they can all sod off because my plate’s a little full right now and I truly can’t be arsed.

Happy reading.

A very good question

Was wandering around the local supermarket to top up the groceries yesterday and caught an old half remembered Matt Monro song “We’re gonna change your world” over the PA which contained the line “Died for others to live better…” Which tweaked a cynical nerve.

I found myself asking the question “How does dying improve life for other people?” Well, they might be a complete, irrevocable, anti-social, destructive pain which humanity is better off without. Yeah, that would help. If the person to die were damaging to the rest of humanity, certainly their death might help others live better. Like putting down a monster will save them taking more lives. But what I’m driving at today is the whole notion of martyrdom, be it religious or secular. Who does martyrdom, in light of even the most cursory examination, help? It’s almost exactly like suicide, this willing surrender of precious life. Because no matter what anyone else tells you, you only get one.

Now I’ve seen it written down that there are few good reasons for dying, but an awful lot more for living. Causes to die for? Don’t make me laugh. That kind of cause is as cheap as chips and common as shit, because it’s not the people who want you to cease to exist for their espoused ’cause’ who are in the front line. Besides, dying is easy, any bloody fool can do it. The real challenge is ordinary day to day living and making life better for others one day at a time. Now that’s hard.

In the Western Christian tradition, we are indoctrinated from our first words that a certain Judean Carpenters son ‘died for our sins’ around a couple of thousand years ago. And I reiterate my question, why is dying for other people a good thing? Surely living for them might be a better idea. Living people can build, debate, repair, love and compose. Dead people, no matter their symbolism, can only decompose.

Perhaps if Joshua Ben Joseph had got out of town while the getting was good there would have been a whole lot less religious persecution and a lot better carpentry. The Jews would have had it better too. No two thousand years of Christian or Muslim inspired pogroms and massacres because Christianity might have become a different faith, and Islam might never have arisen. Which from a casualties point of view, might not have been such a bad thing. Pagans too would have been better off with fewer of them burned alive, not so many drowned on ducking stools or any other form of religion inspired execution.

Unfortunately, what I have learned about humanity during my life is that, at least emotionally, so many bog standard humans resemble Minions for their spiteful zealotry and mindless tribal tendency to bicker in what appears to many, complete gibberish. Unlike the cartoon Minions, the real life version is neither comical nor harmless.

So in all probability these zealots would have only found another excuse to violently attack and even kill others in remarkably inventive ways down the centuries. Often over little more than a difference of opinion. And will continue to do so on the least pretence. Not only will they let their untrained Dogma crap all over your philosophical lawn, they’re more than willing to murder you and yours if you object. Then tell everyone else they did it because you were ‘a ‘bad’ person. For whatever they say is ‘bad’. Even though you are no real physical threat to them, your contrasting opinion cannot be heard, because they say it’s wrong. As we have seen with the anti-Trump protests. The unhinged zealotry of the protesters, and their willingness to do harm to others holding an alternative point of view are a classic example. They view all opinions outside of their own tight little sphere as heresy, and in earlier times would most likely have been enthusiastic witch burners or ardent National Socialists. The same mindset applies. Even if these zealots are guilty of the same ‘sins’ as those they accuse. It is their violence that separates them from those who have a justifiable grievance.

Me, I’m content for people to hold other opinions, but am of the strong view that martyrdom or death in any cause save immediate preservation of your family or defence is utterly barking.

Anyway. Hospital this evening for scans and fluids. Lots of bloody fluids and lying still holding my breath wishing I could see what the scans were telling me. Not sure what’s up. Perhaps some of those people who screamed “I hope you fucking well get CANCER!” in my face back in the day are getting their wish. Perhaps it’s something more benign. Whatever the quacks find, I’ll deal with it. Although I happen to be rather fond of living, and will use any available means to keep indulging my favourite breathing habit, no matter how irritating it is to some. Because my dying will not improve anybody else’s life. Also because, in the words of Robert Frost;

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

And the promises I have solemnly given must and will be kept.

There’s news, and then there’s news

Now this post isn’t about ‘fake’ news, or op-eds decrying whichever side in the ongoing media wars that swamp all the mainstream outlets, but more the result of my nasty suspicious little mind. I’ve lived too long on this Earth to be anything less than cynical and as an investor, cynicism is a very useful tool. So it is with me.

There are lots of stories in the news about Iran preparing to give the USA a ‘slap in the face‘. Which looks like an act of monstrous ingratitude considering the bundle of cash Obama sent them special delivery over the much vaunted Iran Nuclear Deal. Why would this be? Weren’t the USA trying to be nice to the Iranians? Maybe it’s time to turn that sand into glass.

But hang on. Considering recent attempts to improve relations between Iran and the USA there’s more to this situation than meets the eye. Especially when I did a little googling of my own and found that the Iranians are having severe internal troubles. In one instance recently they deployed large numbers of elite units to Ahvaz in the agricultural region of Khuzestan where massive riots have broken out over a collapse in public services. And Iran being the type of state it is, is looking to do the old “Look! Over there!” trick by blaming the eternal enemy, the USA, which is the whipping boy for all Iran’s troubles. Nothing to do with Iran’s rulers cocking it up at all. Some sources are talking about another internal ‘Green Revolution’ against the hard line Islamic state. The one in 2009 failed, but what about this time round? Oil revenues are way down, so how are the Iranians going to fund this war-talk?

Similarly with North Korea and their threats to drop a nuclear bomb on the USA. If their missiles worked reliably and could carry such a warhead without the Yanks shooting it down. Now flip the news and consider the following. The Chinese, long North Korea’s biggest coal customer are pissed off over the Koreans bumping off Kim Jong Un’s older half brother, who was under Chinese protection and have been stopping shipments of coal at the border. No coal sales (for the rest of the year) mean no money, no wages and no food for all the soldiers that the North Koreans need to keep their top down militaristic state staggering along. Which in turn means economic collapse and somebody, no names, no pack drill, might just end up getting stomped to death by an angry mob while his bodyguards are having a suspiciously long tea break (or even his own bodyguards). So the North Korean state has to divert attention from the privations of their population. Nowadays I look at these repeated threats of a missile attack as being just North Korea’s funny little way of putting out the begging bowl for foreign aid. Essentially saying “We’ve got a missile and a bomb, honestly. Send money, we’re broke.”

Thinking about it, perhaps President Trump should be talking to the Chinese about letting the current North Korean regime collapse and maybe negotiate the withdrawal of US troops from the DMZ and South Korea with some form of ‘hands off’ agreement from both sides while a reunited Korea rebuilds and gets the North Koreans used to a better standard of living. The smart move would be to let the Chinese gain ‘face’ (Which is more important to them than money) and lose a troublesome neighbour. Then apart from the row over the Spratly’s, perhaps there could be a cooling down of tensions in the region. At least as far as the Chinese and Americans are concerned. The recent dispatch of an aircraft carrier to the region could then be turned into a ‘goodwill visit’ and allow the Chinese to have a field day trying to steal some of the USA’s less valuable military secrets. It’s a thought.

Mrs S and I often discuss these matters over our weekend breakfasts, and find it useful to look at the news as a ‘join the dots’ puzzle, because while a lot of people get ‘offended’ by superficial stuff then run around like headless chickens with their knickers rammed up their arses, the smarter folk take a breath, step back and try and get a feel for the broader picture, which is often very different from the one many news outlets would have you see.

The X-files were right about one thing, the truth is out there, but it’s not about aliens or strange phenomena. No, it’s far more interesting and profitable than that.

Update: The North Korean regime are now openly mocking China, as well as pissing off the relatively friendly Malaysians. This may be a great miscalculation on their part. China will not like losing face to these upstarts, and I can already hear the squeaking of economic screws tightening from all the way across the Pacific. This may be peppered with gunshots as the NK’s lash out (A very bad move) leading to a Chinese invasion. The NK’s may even have a go at the South (an even worse move), but burning their bridges with their only real protector is about as dumb as it gets.

So; what to do? That’s one for the military and political tacticians with a nod to the UN security council. Let the Chinese invade to the 38th Parallel? By negotiated arrangement of course. Then let the Chinese do their thing and install their own new puppet of a civilian administration. Add a little Chinese style capitalism, some inbound western investment and leave to brew for a decade.

Outcomes? Short term; very bad for the North Korean populace, so no change there. Medium term; very bad for the current North Korean regime. Which I don’t think anyone will shed any tears over. Long term; better for North Korea as it opens up to the greater world and finally discovers, like China, the delights capitalism can offer.

From the comments; just loved Elenamitchells nickname for NK dictator Kim Jong Un as ‘Spoonbanger’. Very apt.

Forgiving Milo

Milo Yiannopoulos; who is he? An Ex-Editor at Breitbart.com (He just resigned). A provocateur against the radical fascisti of the political left. A free speech activist. An anti-radical feminist. A screaming queen and an absolute hoot. He’s a gay who has a predilection for males of an African heritage and doesn’t give a shit who knows it. Having watched quite a few of his YouTube videos I actually quite like the man, he’s funny. Anyone who annoys the pantywaisters of the radical far left (or right) is okay with me. He’s a welcome antidote to the fascist on campus PC culture currently poisoning academia and spilling out into the greater online world.

Who he isn’t; he’s not an advocate of paedophilia. Which is what a lot of people are using to throw him under the bus at the moment. What we have here is one of those accidents of imprecise language. His use of the word ‘boys’ is being taken out of context and inflated past the point of explosion. He’s even said so himself. His use of the word ‘boys’ I took to mean young men over the age of consent but still finding their adulthood. Like an eighteen or nineteen year old ‘girl’ who marries a man in his forties or even fifties. He was referring to what are known as “May to December” relationships which span a wider age range than is usual. The ‘girl’ benefits from her spouses life experience, and the man benefits from her untrammelled soul. Love, both hetero and homosexual is a funny beast, and what trips our triggers sexually speaking, is as diverse and intensely personal as it gets. Sexual preference is a bell curve, not a series of absolute positions. Not even if you’re working your way through the illustrated edition of ‘The Joy of sex‘.

Now as a boring old heterosexual I’m fairly ambivalent about gays. Not totally comfortable being in close proximity with them, but they are what they are and that is an end of it. However, if they leave me alone sexually I’m okay with them. I am not they, and they are not I. Quite frankly I find overt camp homosexuals like Milo modestly entertaining. A performer on a stage without whom life would be a lot less varied and colourful. My reaction to him is usually an amused “Oh what’s the little tinker up to now?” Because he does no harm, indeed he brings joy with his antics, unlike those from both the political left and right who would shut him up and enforce their vile, narrow minded little groupthinks upon the rest of us.

To me, Milo is a bright spot in a sea of earnest mental and political constipation. A dose of cayenne pepper in a bland tofu fricassee. An electric pink umbrella on a rainy day. Without that sparkle, that highlight, all else would be grey depressing dullness.

So yes, on this occasion I’m inclined to forgive Milo for his imprecise speech. Anyone with two working brain cells to bang together understands that Gay and Paedophile are not synonymous. Besides, he annoys the narrow minded net curtain twitchers of the Interweb, and that is a good thing, or else what would they have to give their worthless lives meaning?

Whiteout

Well this is fun. Our maximum visibility outside yesterday varied between 250 and 80 metres. That’s right, the snow has been blowing in so hard that actual visibility dropped below a hundred paces at times. I haven’t seen conditions like this since the Winter of 1987 / 8 when I was working outdoors on a farm. At times we haven’t been able to see across the street. Not quite an Arctic whiteout, but until the thaw set in during the early hours of this morning, it was as bad as I’ve ever seen.

The saga of Mrs S’s company instituting WorkSafeBC’s Lone Worker protocols is escalating and I never knew there were so many rebels out there ready to storm the barricades in BC. Lawyers and Politicians are already starting to get an earwigging if the heated remarks in some of the emails I’ve seen are any indication. Some previously very dedicated professionals are also not happy that the company selected to do the monitoring have as one of their business activities the selling of lists and information to third parties. Lead balloons could not have dropped quicker. Such is the depth of loathing this announcement has stirred up. Never mind the discovery that GPS tracking is going to be part of the monitoring. As they say over here; “This ain’t going away in a hurry.”

It’s not quite pitchfork and torches time, but unless someone in upper management comes up with a compromise PDQ, my wife’s company isn’t going to exist in six months. The peasants are most definitely revolting. And these are people who vote with their feet. So I think their business, which was chugging along so nicely, may be about to hit the buffers big time. They already lost a number of highly qualified and experienced workers before Christmas, and this may just be the last straw.

Not that the Provincial Government, whose responsibility WorkSafeBC’s intrusion is, will care. Another day, another dollar. They won’t give a shit if one of their largest sector service providers goes tits up. They can’t be bothered if people who depend on the expertise and experience of my wife’s colleagues lose all their services virtually overnight. Maybe that was the intent. The BC Liberals currently in power don’t care who they hurt so long as the state gets more power. And they and the NDP hate the self employed, even if it’s the only way some people can make a decent living. Never mind the cost savings, or the people not commuting to work and reducing their ‘carbon footprint’ that professional home workers bring. Or the extra taxes, oh no. The BC Government hate independent workers and no matter what they say, the two faced arseholes of the Liberal and NDP parties will use any backdoor method to ‘crack down’ on those who aren’t wage slaves.

Of course post facto, Christy Clark and similar will mouth some platitudes about the job and service losses, but she won’t acknowledge that it’s the power hungry, top down, we-will-make-wage-slaves-of-you mentality of her wing of politics that is putting ordinary Canadians jobs at risk. The NDP have royally fucked up Alberta, and Trudeau’s popularity is dropping fast too, especially since he was so unprofessional as to publicly give some protesters the finger. Hell, you can up taxes, screw up the economy but don’t ever treat Canadians who have a genuine beef with overt contempt. Which is what left wing politicians always end up doing.

Excuse my metaphor, but discontent with politicians often builds up like snow in a blizzard. A fall here, a drift there, blown by the winds of incompetence. Until of course it ends with an avalanche at the ballot box. Or at least a big dump of snow off the metaphorical roof just as you’re leaving the house. And there’s Provincial elections in May 2017.

Popcorn time.

Violence

Now I’ve been in a few scraps. Hand to hand stuff for which I’ve taken lumps and bruises, split lips, black eyes and even got my nose broken on one occasion. The younger Bill Sticker, despite his (usually) peaceful nature, developed a bit of a reputation for being able to handle himself in a fight. He also quickly learned that some things are not worth fighting over and when to walk away. How showing a contemptuous back to a would-be aggressor can stop them in their tracks but also how to spot the semi-psychotics who actually enjoy fighting.

Violence has a value, that much is true. When it comes to stopping someone hitting you, a good disabling Karate or Judo strike or throw, I’ve found, is invaluable. But only in self defence or other dire need.

What violence as a means of communication cannot do is change hearts and minds. It can only repress the expression of those ideas. Because ideas are something you can’t get rid of by any form of physical intervention. Even if you eliminate an entire population holding a given idea, tear down all their buildings, burn their books, wipe every trace of them from this earth, you can be sure that some bright spark will try to repeat it. Did the Inquisition stop Judaism or Islam? Nope, still here. Doing remarkably well, too. Did the Nazi Holocaust or Shoah get rid of all the Jews, Gays and political opposition? Hmm, I’d be inclined to say not. Will the violent ‘Antifa’ protests unseat President Trump or rescind his actions? No. Violence and its threat did stop large scale aggression on the parts of Napoleon and Hitler, but did the military necessity truly change any minds? Take a good careful look around before answering.

So when I posted that you can’t change someone’s mind by punching their lights out on one of Stefan Molyneux’s video’s, he simply replied “False though”. To which I wanted to respond with:

No. If someone physically hits me, it doesn’t ‘change my mind’ or alter my opinion on a given topic. What it does is make me want to hit them back harder and distracts from the original cause of the disagreement.

I would argue that violence as a negotiating tool only works so long as the oppressing party can maintain the state of fear the threat of assault is meant to engender.

But two attempts to post my answer to his reply led to ‘comment failed to post’. Fine, his gaff, his rules. He can only answer so many replies and I think he’s instituted a 48 hour shut out on commenting. However, I have this blog, so this is where I will post my thoughts on the matter. If Stefan or one of his friends cares to drop by and reply within the next 21 days (See comments policy), they’re welcome.

As for the violent ‘Antifa’ anti-Trump riots. The only thing those do is persuade me that these so-called black masked ‘anti-fascists’ are the very embodiment of fascism. Because they try to repress other opinions by physical intimidation, but their actions only serve to cement an opposition to their goals, at least in my mind. If asked, I’d say that these riots have all the sophistication and persuasiveness of a thwarted toddler pitching a fit at Mummy because she won’t let them have just one more sweetie.

Indeed, I am of the school of thought that violent action too often serves to prolong disputes. See Northern Ireland, where those on the shallow end of the IQ curve are still fighting the 1690 Battle of the Boyne.

Anyway, it’s snowing and I must get shovelling if Mrs S and I are to make our usual Friday lunch date.