Apr 192018
 

Mark ZuckerbergIn attempting to live up to the ideals of free speech and free trade, the complexity of achieving each soon becomes apparent. That’s because in practice, neither of these ideals literally exists – even in the Western nations that rightly hold them as high virtues.

Given the best of intentions, it is highly doubtful that Mark Zuckerberg’s recent grilling before a US Senate hearing committee will actually pave the way towards any guarantee of ‘free speech’ on Facebook. His hauntingly welcome acceptance of government regulation on ‘privacy’ issues that would affect how he runs his Facebook business model may well open the barn door to the entrenchment of regulated speech – by government.

Said Zuckerberg: “Our position is not that regulation is bad. I think the Internet is so important in people’s lives and it’s getting more important, the expectations on Internet companies and technology companies overall are growing. And I think the real question is ‘What is the right framework for this?’ not ‘Should there be one?’” Continue reading »

Apr 122018
 

affirmative consentWhat do ‘affirmative consent,’ ‘indigenous knowledge,’ and the trial of Bill Cosby have in common? In addition to being our discussion topics of the day, each controversy revolves around an epistemological war of words.

It’s a battle of definitions, as efforts to change or affect the social and political environment stretch beyond the political sphere. From the world of TV fantasy, monsters, and superheroes, to the real world that sometimes seems more unreal than the fantasies, the promotion of anti-concepts like ‘affirmative consent’ has already produced a host of real world injustices, not the least of which have been those directed at Bill Cosby.

Just as ‘social justice’ is not justice, so too, ‘affirmative consent’ is not consent.

And so too ‘indigenous knowledge’ is not ‘knowledge,’ particularly in the context of being used as an argument that ‘scientific knowledge is offensive.’ Nor are ‘indigenous’ rights true rights accorded to the individual. Yet these are the very things being asserted by Quebec’s indigenous leaders, at least two Quebec cabinet ministers, and several university law professors. Continue reading »

Apr 052018
 

Andrew LawtonOn the heels of an unexpected departure from CFPL AM 980 radio in London Ontario, radio broadcaster Andrew Lawton joins us in a compelling discussion that unpacks many of the political controversies of our day.

As everyone knows, political ideas and philosophies come with labels that can be ascribed to either the ideas themselves or to the people who hold those ideas.

However, when everyone defines these terms in different ways, we often find ourselves in a political Tower of Babel that prevents the issues, the ideas, and the players from being objectively, or even just consistently, identified.

It is in this political climate and context that Andrew Lawton joins us to unpack the ideas and to illustrate how these ideas manifest themselves in our daily lives or in the news.

As Andrew notes, to add to all of the already-confused political labels, the Left continues to introduce anti-concepts like ‘normalization,’ ‘micro-aggression,’ ‘censorables,’ and even uses the term ‘unpacking the ideas’ as a means of stopping debate and stifling free speech – not as a means of encouraging it.

Even when it comes to freedom itself, the Left and Right have opposing views. By unpacking the ideas behind everything from the inequity of Canada’s Summer Jobs Program to the myth of Margaret Mead’s sexually liberated cultures in the south seas islands, our conversation about freedom leads us, as always, in the direction that is Just Right.

Mar 292018
 

social media

The term ‘social metaphysics’ was coined by philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand to describe the philosophy of those who regard the consciousness of others as superior to their own – and to the facts of reality. Fascinatingly, the term ‘social media’ appears to describe much the same phenomenon.

Having passed away long before the evolution of on-line social media, Rand could never have guessed just how literal and visibly explicit her description of a social metaphysician would become. “It is only a social metaphysician who could conceive of such absurdity as hoping to win an intellectual argument by hinting: ‘But people won’t LIKE you!’”

Our experience with posters to Just Right’s Facebook page regarding our past two shows offered us a glaring illustration of just how impossible it is to have any meaningful dialogue with social metaphysicians – in this case, with Progressive Conservative and Doug Ford (‘Ford nation’) supporters. Their blatant (and proud!) dismissal of unequivocally accurate facts, of history, and of ideas goes a long way in explaining many other negative observations increasingly being made about social media.

The recent controversy involving Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook’s database to spread false news to millions of people during election periods is merely one of many scams made possible thanks to social metaphysicians. Continue reading »

Mar 222018
 

Doug Ford

Driven a Ford lately? Most Fords are capable of being driven in any direction, but the Ford being driven by the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party (PC) is only capable of steering Left.

Doug Ford is a likable character to many on the right, but the party driving him has a clear and consistent history of making Left turns only. The very crisis that conservatives blame on Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne’s ruling Liberal Party was in fact created and continues to be fueled by Ontario’s PC party. Under the PC banner, Doug Ford can now be counted upon to continue this Progressive tradition.

For example, within the span of but a single day following his election as PC leader, on the issue of the upcoming legalization of cannabis in Ontario, Ford switched from saying ‘Let markets dictate’ to ‘Let’s dictate the market.’

Making it clear that he himself does not support the legalization of cannabis, Ford later attempted to reconcile all of his contradictory statements with his pledge to “Start off in our controlled market, eventually I believe in the free market.” Continue reading »

Mar 152018
 

Doug Ford

As the new leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative (PC) Party, Doug Ford is symbolic of conservatism’s progressive disintegration.

It’s one thing to woo the vote of differing and competing groups during an election, but it’s quite another to invite them into your own party in a manner which allows others to determine your party’s direction. Such has been the ‘big tent’ strategy of the PCs in the past, and it is the primary cause of all of the internal corruption and conflict that has become a public spectacle over recent months.

For decades, the PC Party has been a conflicted association of ‘fiscal conservatives,’ ‘social conservatives,’ ‘libertarians,’ ‘red Tories,’ ‘blue Tories,’ ‘Christian conservatives,’ plus the usual association of ‘hammer-head’ voters and those who simply seek power for its own sake.

To this Doug Ford has already announced intentions to expand his ‘big tent’ party to include even more disparate groups, including the NDP, Liberals, and Greens, in whose interests he has promised to speak. Progressive, yes. Conservative, no. Continue reading »

Mar 082018
 

Pouring Steel

No good deed goes unpunished, especially if that good deed results in a win-win situation. That’s the lesson being enforced by the City of London’s crackdown on one driver who offered inexpensive rides to cancer patients.

It all began when a story broke that the city had carried out a ‘sting’ operation and fined a volunteer driver for offering a personalized two-way transportation service to these patients – because she charged a nominal fee ($12) to cover her own expenses.

Though strongly supportive of the driver, the community’s collective outrage unfortunately became misdirected against bylaw enforcement officers who were merely acting in accordance with bylaws established by an elected municipal council. That rage should have been directed at the city’s controlled and regulated taxi industry, which is the source of the trade prohibition being forced upon each side – both the driver and the driver’s passengers.

Called a ‘good Samaritan’ by many, the anonymous driver (referred to as ‘Nancy’ in some media coverage) was praised for her selfless service to others. It was widely expressed that without people like ‘Nancy’ available for those in need, the needy would have no other affordable transportation options. The outpouring of support from Londoners was expressed through open-line calls, letters to the editor, complaints to city hall, and thousands of dollars raised through public funding drives. Continue reading »

Mar 012018
 

War is Peace

The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leaders debate once again demonstrates how so many who call themselves ‘conservative’ will support a party that is ‘conservative’ in name only and which has no history or evidence of ever having been in favor of freedom or capitalism. This phenomenon is not unique to Ontario, but has become equally applicable to conservatism everywhere in North America.

This attests to the power of words and language, and to the Left’s successful manipulation of concepts – usually to mean their opposite.

Therefore, far from being offered a true electoral choice – an alternative to the current political movement Leftward – voters are faced with what George Orwell might have called a “double plus good one party system.”

Conservatism’s ‘obituary’ was already written – by Ayn Rand – over a half century ago, based on the general assumption that conservatives were representatives of the Right (freedom and capitalism). But if this has ever been the case, there is no evidence for it, as our listeners will discover upon hearing her scathing analysis of conservatism as it existed in her time. Continue reading »