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Mass Psychosis now and forever

A friend came to use the swimming pool and on her way back to her house she commented on the fact – as she believes- that the world is burning up. There has been smoke in the air from distant forest fires. At church on Sunday in the prayers for the people, the speaker prayed for those not accepting vaccinations and for a respite from forest fires which were caused by out of control climate change. These are intelligent people, and the frame through which they perceive reality is that we are in an ongoing man-made  catastrophe. The alternative that I propose is that we are in a state of mass psychosis. It is equally man made, but one side is plugged into reality and the other is delusional. But who, you might ask?

 

If you can endure the reciter’s annoying voice and cadence, I recommend you work through this interesting video on mass psychosis, linked below.  Fear leads to menticide, menticide to totalitarian rule. The terror comes in waves. It is being generated and manipulated by elites. Does this sound to you like what you are experiencing? We live in an age which is at once technocratic, puritanical, and unforgiving. The obsession with power by today’s radicals is  the characteristic of the pagan world before Christianity. You will miss it when it its effects on people are gone. In truth you are experiencing a world which is increasingly de-Christianized. False gods abound.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09maaUaRT4M&ab_channel=AfterSkool

The video is based on the work of Joost Merloo’ s The Rape of the Mind, which is expensive, but worth considering buying.

 

 

 

 

Automated censorship, COVID, and Bill C-10

 

The idea that COVID was a bioweapon, and that it was unleashed accidentally, has gone from heresy to orthodoxy in the course of the last 18 months.  The chain of events is documented in Ron Unz’s American Pravda here. 

The transformation has taken slightly less than a month. On May 2 Nicholas Wade, the science writer, published a careful essay on the subject in a low impact website and which was then augmented in subsequent places and by significant endorsements.  Unz describes the amplification which the theory has received in various articles since then, which it is not my purpose to recapitulate.

As Unz writes about Wade’s work:

“Although nearly all the facts and evidence that Wade discussed had already been publicly available for most of the past year, his careful analysis and considerable journalistic credibility quickly transformed the intellectual landscape. He began his long article by explaining that from February 2020 onward a huge ideological bubble had been inflated by political propaganda masquerading as science, a bubble that was afterwards maintained through a combination of journalistic cowardice and incompetence. President Donald Trump had proclaimed that the virus was artificial, so our media therefore insisted that it must be natural, even if all the evidence seemed to suggest otherwise.”

If Trump had said that gravity worked, a host of science reporters would have denied it and called it “problematical”. The Office of the Holy Inquisition – AKA Facebook – changed its policy on COVID’s origins on May 28th, a mere five days ago.

Unz again:

“By May 28th, the Wall Street Journal carried the headline “Facebook Ends Ban on Posts Asserting Covid-19 Was Man-Made,” so that in less than one month a self-published article had already changed what nearly three billion individuals around the world were allowed to read and write. This illustrates the totalitarian control of information on the Internet held by American’s huge Tech monopolies, which determine the limits of permitted discussion worldwide at the flip of a switch. Can there be any better example of the ridiculous, Stalinesque climate of intellectual censorship currently enforced by those corporate giants?”.

Indeed.

And this brings me around to Canada’s Bill C10, an Act to Amend the Broadcasting Act. It is currently stalled in the House of Commons Committee on Heritage. This is a relief. What C10 seeks to do is to bring the large platforms, and everyone else communicating across the Internet, into the legal regime of “broadcasting”. There are two regimes of communication, essentially: printing and broadcasting. Printing requires no licence and makes you liable for what you have said after you have said it. Broadcasting requires a licence and imposes heavy consequences for “broadcasting” without a licence or contrary to the terms of the regulations under which you are privileged to communicate.

Publishing is a right, broadcasting is a legal privilege, like a driver’s licence. If Zoom calls are broadcasting, then you are subject to complex and expansive regulations, just as radio and TV are. C10 could well make zoom calls “broadcasting”, at the discretion of the regulator.

It is bad enough that the platforms have the power to automate the censorship of unpopular or unfashionable opinions, and I would be first to argue that something ought to be done about that power. However, the case for regulating the platforms, and user-generated content, is not to control the power of the platforms. No no no. It is to use the power of the platforms in conjunction with state policy to “harness” the Internet – to use a favourite terms of the CRTC – to public purposes. In truth the Liberal government intends not to curb the power of the platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, but to enage their power to shape public discourse in the way that government desires. The censorship is outsourced to the agencies with the power to effect it. Putting it more crudely, the government intends to deputize the platforms to perform the censorship that government has not the tools to do for itself.

Anyone who thinks that the power of the platforms will be curbed under C10, if it passes into law, is gravely mistaken. The platforms will become a new form of CBC adapted to the Internet age. The platforms will consult the government and be consulted by the government. The directives that will issue from the CRTC will be generated after public hearings, at which the platforms will be the dominant voices. The censorship will be smooth and oh so Canadian. Anyone who thinks the CRTC does not control content has not seen the system at work.

 

 

 

People who live in glass houses: Bill C10 continued

I was talking to my old colleague Blair Atholl the other day. He had an acute observation about the backers of C10, the federal bill which seeks to make the Internet conform to Canadian broadcasting rules and ideas.

It is apparent that the only backers of this bill, apart from the Canadian ministry of Heritage, are the official lobby groups of those who are set to draw more income from the eneactment of this legisaltion, or so they believe.

Blair Atholl said of the kind of people who back this legislation that “they are used to speaking in a cancel-culture political environment. Their speech is constrained in many ways. They don’t realize that most people exchange opinions in a much freer way than they can. Normal people exchange views that would put their hair in fire. So they don’t understand what all the fuss is about. If my speech is self-censored, why shouldn’t your speech be censored too?”.

And while we are on the subject, Dr. Jordan Peterson reminded us that he has a million more subscribers to his YouTube channel than does the CBC. This makes him a bigger “broadcaster” than the CBC, it would seem.

 

Bill C10 – Internet censorship coming to a site you read

For some time now I have been tweeting and organizing resistance to Bill C-10. This has kept me busy in my personal capacity, as it were, and Dalwhinnie has had to take back seat to my public-facing self.

I have learned or been reminded of several truths in the course of the past few weeks, but first let me tell you about the bill.

There are two modes of communications, legally speaking. On the one hand, there are speech and writing, film production, and others which occur without prior permission from the state. You write what you want and assume responsibility after publication for slander, criminal conspiracy, obscenity, and other legal liabilities. Then there is that creature of the twentieth century, called broadcasting, which requires a licence from the state. You broadcast under conditions established for a particular class of speaker, one who is assumed to be few in number talking to hundreds of thousands who are limited in their choice of “stations”. This was the original rationale for broadcasting regulation,  few-to-many, one way and which used airwaves that interfered with one another unless carefully assigned by central authority.

It will be readily understood that every advance of electronic communications has served to increase the number of stations, from three to seven to thirty to fifty, to the Internet. The internet has exploded the number of speakers into the millions, or tens of millions. With new forms of addressing, such as IPv6, the number of “stations” will be in the trillions.

Despite this, Canadian law still treats the Internet as a form of “broadcasting”, a licensable activity that for thirty years the government had the wisdom not to touch. Previous CRTC decisions had said that regulating the Internet as broadcasting was superfluous and unneeded. These decisions of the CRTC claimed jurisdiction over the Internet but did not exercise it.

Now that restraint has been overthrown. In a search for revenue from web giants, and egged on by the Canadian cultural organizations – the ones who feed on television productions subsidies – the government, led by the Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbault, has plunged recklessly into a gigantic extension of federal authority over communications.

Bill C10, which is a series of amendments to the Broadcasting Act, would treat

  • all websites
  • all user-generated uploads to social media sites

as “broadcasting”, that is, occasions where you could be regulated by the CRTC. The difference is that, in the case of user generated content uploaded to platforms, you would not be the broadcaster, the platform would be the broadcaster. This would outsource government control and censorship to the large platforms, who would act under CRTC or other government regulations.

This website, and all others, commercial, artistic, political, would be treated as broadcasting if they were “predominantly” -word undefined – audio-visual rather than printed in nature. It is not difficult to imagine that by bit count alone, and by inclusion of a few video inserts, a newspaper would become a “broadcaster”, in the same way that a podcaster is now, according to this Bill, a radio station.

It reaches the absurdity of a zoom call among church attendees being considered broadcasting, and subject to federal regulation. Will “balance” in religious programming be imposed on church services? Will the imam share time in the pulpit? If you think this is absurd, you don’t know the CRTC.

 

The authors of C10 are seeking to jam the internet into the form of broadcasting, rather than make  broadcasting conform to the Internet.

It is readily evident that a large number of issues will remain undecided by the bill itself and that years of hearings and lawsuits will ensue, including challenges to the constitutionality of the bill, on several grounds.

But back to the tweetstorm.

The public debate on this bill took a while to get started, for several reasons. The first is that members of Parliament are not clever lawyers on the whole, and it took them a while to scope out the extent of the government’s ambitions. Both the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP favour large public subsidies to their unionized buddies in the TV production industry. The Liberals favour their own guy and they are not averse to totalitarian controls on the Internet, it seems. That left the Conservatives to slowly appreciate that the Liberals had handed them a major electoral campaign issue if they wanted it. They finally realized what the bill meant to ordinary Canadians. And ordinary Canadians are waking up.

This state of affairs was changed only by professors of communications, like Michael Geist, members of the Internet Society of canada, and former CRTC commissioners such as Peter Menzies, Konrad von Finckensten and Timothy Denton to write op-eds in papers until the latter woke up to the notion that they would become “broadcasters” if this bill passed. Open Media got involed and that meant that the political left started to agitate against it. As one wit said of the left-right alliance on C10: “we want to be able to shout at each other without the state refereeing.”

The ignorance of the press on this issue has been astounding, if you were not already cynical about their capacity to understand issues. They had to be told in black and white what the Act said, and even then they still hesitated to get it.

The opinion battle among the elites has taken place principally on Twitter. Throughout, the motives of those opposed to the Bill have been questioned. Vast conspiracies have been imagined by the proponents of the bill, sponsored by the likes of Google and Facebook. It has not occured to them that people could actually freely spend time opposing the bill because of principled concerns for freedom of speech. If you speak only for money, it comes as a shock that people will speak and write for no money at all.

Not once have the arguments of the opponents of the bill ever been frontally addressed. Not once. The Minister has been reduced to blithering incoherence on several occasions by being asked factual questions about what the Bill plainly says. It is as if he had not read his own bill, or did not understand it. A reasoned defence of the Bill has been missing. It might have been attempted, but was not, largely because to address the issues would be to deal with some real concerns that the bill’s proponents would rather not discuss.

The TV production and other recipients of cultural largesse in Canada have only tweeted their unanimous support for C10. (Canada spens about as much money on cultural subsidies overall as we spend on the Candain navy). The French Canadians, it would appear, have no concerns for freedom of speech, and seem not to understand what English Canadians are going on about. Their confidence in a federal institution, the CRTC, to decide matters of cultural concern to them, appears to be unbounded. We are confidently told by those who feel they understand Quebec that even to raise these concerns with them is a provocation.

Normally a story has a two or three day run. The C10 issue has occupied weeks of media attention, and won’t go away because it constitutes an immense assault upon historic rights of free speech won by revolutions and bloodshed in the 17th and 18th centuries, revolutions that passed French Canada by. It remains to be seen whether the Liberals have handed the Conservatives a winning election issue or not. But if enough people say they will die on this hill, not even the federal Liberals can overcome the resolve of the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only government can create a dope shortage

From the Financial Post yesterday.

“By all accounts, the previously existing free market in cannabis still delivers the best outcome: low prices, high quality, and ease of purchase. As reported recently in the Financial Post, unregulated market sellers are set up all over the country ready to serve consumers.

The logical conclusion: In an ideal world, Canada should have simply declared cannabis legal. End of plan. Let the current players get legal. Instead, state planners aimed to subvert the free market and install a modern regulated corporatist model that drove up prices, failed on quality and stumbled setting up retail systems.

And now — hilariously — the cannabis establishment wants to clamp down on the free market, which it conveniently brands as the black market.

Could we start again? Send in Potbusters to take down the lawyers, bureaucrats, corporate dealers, securities regulators and tax collectors. Let the old free market run the cannabis industry.”