Hawai’i: That Sinking Feeling

Hawaii-Kilauea-Volcano-Eruption-Photos-2018

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~ I HEAR THAT Hawai’i is a lovely place– my entire extended family (except me & She-Binks, and my departed Mother), and even my kids have been. Yes, it’s part of my family heritage. Not sure what or how many identity points that wins me. Pretty sure it makes me better than most of you, so there.

My Great-Grandparents Rose & Ben moved there at some point, and that’s where they brought up their kids, including my paternal Grandmother Jean. She was always brown as a nut, even after living in Canada for decades, as were her siblings back on the Islands. Currently, I have uncles, aunts, and cousins there.

So you’ll understand my concern watching the present volcanic doings of Kilauea, on the south-south east of The Big island. It’s big doings, and we’re small in comparison.

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The Place To Be!

The Islands are a verdant garden paradise– from the 1900s onwards, they became a large part of American popular culture, music, sports, art.. and military-political manipulation, and an destination as a tropical paradise for tourists & residents.

Yet there’s a big serpent in this paradise. For Hawai’i the Island is still actively growing, building, expanding, and making new land. Kilauea is a very active shield volcano, geologically speaking.  The many blessings of Hawai’i come from its geological origins.

The newest volcano in the chain already exists, only under water on The Big Island’s flank: The Lōihi Seamount, almost due south of Kilauea. It’s growing, and is already only 975 m (3,199 ft) below the surface, and towers 3000 m (10,000 ft) over the ocean bottom.

But the possibilities are worse than eruptions, or underwater volcanoes.

Naamloos

Earlier This May.

So, The Very Bad News?

What possibility? A giant landslide, and mega-tsunami. It’s not a matter of if, but when, at least in geological terms.  No kidding.

An article from Berkeley has been making the rounds, and I learnt about the ‘Hilina Slump’ area near the Kilauea crater. Turns out that in the past, this area has shed giant parings of land down the side of the Hawai’ian seamount. You can even see them on Google Earth.

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Former slumps, just offshore.

Such Volcanic activity is not just dangerous because of lava, volcanic fog, ash-fall,  earthquakes, sulfuric acid fog lava haze, widespread destruction– but also potential catastrophic slumps of land & resulting 1000-foot high tsunamis. All this has probably been going on ever since this hot-spot has been making islands all across the Pacific Ocean.

The other day, after a 6.9 earthquake, The Hilina Slump moved over 2 FEET in a day. Yeah.

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On top of this, Kilauea is a potentially very dangerous volcano itself, capable of very severe eruptions, even though the volcanoes Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea tower high over it much more impressively to the North & North West.

Sadly, despite the many evacuees, it is said by some that Hawai’is governor is in the pocket of BigHotel, and has been downplaying the danger, alerts, and evacuation orders, even though many thousands are in direct danger of being affected in the next few days and weeks. Likewise, government agencies are downplaying the risks. You know, cuz tourism is the most important thing. COFF

Finale, In Contusion

So say a prayer for Hawai’i, it’s residents, and everybody anywhere near it should the worst come to be. As it is, living near active volcanoes can be pretty unpleasant: this current activity is severe, and I hope and pray it doesn’t get worse– or much much worse. ~

Thus Saith

Teh Binks

 

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Poor Kilauea volcano probably just wants a hug.

 

 

 

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Smartphone “Co-Incidences”

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>> Is Your Smartphone Listening to You, or Is It Just Coincidence?

>> Does Facebook Use Your Phone’s Microphone To Eavesdrop On Your Conversations?

>> How should kids use cellphones? And at what age are they emotionally ready to have their own?

>> Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy

>> Is Social Media Destroying Humanity On Purpose?

>> The wireless telephone encouraged us to connect individually but disconnect socially

>> 2017 Social Experiment: Family Gives Up Electronics For 48 Hours 

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~ SO THE OTHER DAY, The She-Binks was out with a friend over tea, and while they were chatting, happened to mention a certain small resort in rural Nova Scotia. She had her smrtphone with her, on the table. She hadn’t googled that place, or anything like: just spoken words.
Two days later, advertising banners for that small resort showed up on her smrtphone. She was underwhelmed. and came to mention the strange occurrence. Somebody had been dropping some eaves.

Lesson? They Are All Listening. Presume so. To EVERYTHING within earshot. To your confessions, married special-time, private business chats, secrets, dinner conversation, family fights. Anywhere these computerized phones are present, BigEar may be listening in.

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Smartphones are Smart! S-M-R-T!

Our Electronic Mini-Masters?

I don’t have one– my last was a fancy flip-phone. But I presume my iPad is listening, and her smrtphone, and the two boy’s smrtphones.

Solution? Turning it off and putting it in a metal box might do the trick. Or, one of these cool RFID/ signal blocker cases… or, just not having one. The addictive little things can wreck your brain anyway, as study after study confirms. At very least, break your  smartphone addiction now, so you can have your life & brain back. And those of your loved ones.

Smartphone addiction could be changing your brain

Rats In A Maze

When you think about the brain-effects, spying, and biological effects of smartphone & cellphone technology– and the rising number of cancers which might be linked to their use– it strikes me that this is a giant socio-biological experiment with no permission or parameters, introducing many good and bad factors into daily human life, often from toddler on up. Experiment. Like on rats.

For those of us geezers raised in the pre-smartphone/ social media era, all of this is an add-on technology, which can multiply our existing curiousity, wonder, imagination, habits of being & learning & socializing. It’s a power-tool of sorts.

Quick: Example Us, Binks!

SO, for example– I’m currently reading Nigel Tranter’s Margaret The Queen. When I’m reading a book (dead tree or Kindle), I will constantly be looking up places, definitions, pictures of the places, historical summaries, art, related literature, and other interesting detail to flesh out the book. It becomes three-dimensional learning, based on my older trained & ingrained pre-digital habits.

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What of the screen-addicted younger people raised in a time who have never known the old ways of curiousity, imagination, extrapolation, a love of learning and the intellect at play? I’m worried that endless music-playlists, SnapChat, InstaGram, flickering bytes and images which go by like dead leaves in a windstorm make it harder to develop those older qualities, which are not simply a “Different” form of intellectual and mental life, but the kind that is thousands of years old, and which built & sustained Western Civilization for thousands of years. Are our kids and grandkids being mentally flickered to death?

Who Did This? Not the Kids

Even if older generations find smartphones are manageable tools, it is  a false logic to assume that people raised on them will turn out likewise. It’s that same thing with TV addiction in my youth: the idiot box ate your time, gave you a lazy brain, and– it turns out– wound up aggression even as kids were passively drooling before the one-eyed God.

Smartphones & digital technology are super-TV on meth & cocaine, doing untold damage all around us, even as we look on, semi-uncomprehendingly. “Kids today”, we moan, forgetting that every society creates exactly the kids it deserves. Think about it. ~

Thus saith,

Teh Binks

smrtphoneuse

A Nasty Clueless Video

[Warning, video is snarky and snide & ultimately unpleasant]

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~ A REMINDER– Any given era is imperfect in some ways.. but remember: the civil rights movement was actually built in the late 40s and 50s, and expressed itself in the early 60s. The snark in this effort is typical, implying that we (looking back on a different era) are superior in every way and entitled to judge such losers as losers.

C.S. Lewis called our modern attitude to much of the past as ‘Chronological Snobbery‘–

the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited.

Lewis lays out the error in this approach:

You must find out why it went out of date.

Was it ever refuted (and if so by whom, where, and how conclusively) or did it merely die away as fashions do? If the latter, this tells us nothing about its truth or falsehood.

From seeing this, one passes to the realization that our own age is also ‘a period,’ and certainly has, like all periods, its own characteristic illusions. They are likeliest to lurk in those widespread assumptions which are so ingrained in the age that no one dares to attack or feels it necessary to defend them.

And, one day, people will look at our evils and blind spots and assumptions and comformities as be shocked and horrified and puzzled why on earth we couldn’t see or fight what was right in front of us the whole time. And, under God, we too shall be judged, as people, societies, and as a civilization.. or declining form thereof.

Smugger Than Thou!

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It’s like the lazy moral busybodies who make themselves out as lonely heroes– if only they’d been around in Hitler’s Germany. As Jordan Peterson correctly points out, most people tend to thoughtless conformity (even in their non-conforming). Likewise, if you’re not bravely standing against the blind tide to your cost in today’s weird times, why would you be any different in some other era?

This is lame and highly political “comedy”– i.e., not an argument, but a smear and propaganda. Sadly, such modern ‘comedy’ or satire NEVER dares take on the SJWs, campus brown-shirts like AntiFa, or militant anti-democratic trans & gay movements, abortion & euthanasia, Soros-funded Black Lives Matters, Marxism, or supremacist Moslems. It’s why, as Seinfeld said a year or two ago, comedy shows are dying at campuses.

In most 2018 colleges, there’s nothing you’re allowed to even joke about. Except Trump, and right-wingers, and the Right, and right-wing extremists, and the alt-right, and…. you get the idea. Propaganda, all in one direction.

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As Stefan Molyneaux quips:

“With regards to ‘Are the universities dead?’ No no no– that’s an insult to the dead, because the dead aren’t currently strangling the minds of the living.

The university has gone far beyond death. Dead is something– you can dig a hole and bury it, and put it out of your sight. The universities are like radioactive volcanoes, constantly releasing brain-destroying isotopes into the atmosphere.

They are active predators– they would be, I guess, close to What in ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ would be called The Undead. Which is: people who have died, but instead have come back to life and are preying upon the living.

Hence Beating This Dead Horse

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This is so much moral smuggery, and cultural Marxism, mocking suburbia and the ordinary folks for being insufficiently revolutionary & transgressive and clever. You know, the people with lives to live, kids to raise, bills to pay, and taxes to fork over so that pampered profs can install the mental bubble-gum that passes for wisdom which is critical theory Marxism, gender theory, race theory, queer theory, trans theory, and theory theory into their student-victims. Yup, all all the ‘theories’ except asking yourself how and why (or if) you know that such critical theory is true, good, wise-making, and liveable.

So let’s keep on with the stale mockery of the 1950s (which began a mere 68 years ago, literally closer to 1901 than 2018)– and not ourselves. In reality, many of those 50’s fathers were late teens when they suffered to liberate Europe from actual Nazis, and wanted a stable and quick-start and education & family if they survived and came home.

Shut up Boomers and earlier 20th century radicals. Rehashing your old misunderstandings and hatreds does nobody today any real or lasting good. ~

So saith teh

Binks

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Internet Ensilencing 2018: Why Now?

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Look! Actors & models! Happy wow so very! We love the mainstream political narrative!

 

 

The Rise and Fall of Western Culture | Paul Joseph Watson 

>> Obama’s Former Campaign Director Makes Bombshell Claim: Facebook Was “On Our Side”; plus, Facebook Chief Security Officer Leaving After Clashing Over “Spread Of Disinformation

>> Facebook algorithm change hits many conservative sites – CNN, NY Times, etc unaffected

>> CONFIRMED! Fascistbook is punishing conservative sites like Powdered Wig, drastically driving our traffic down while liberal sites enjoy increased traffic

>> YouTube Purge of Social Media threatens Full Disclosure

>> It’s Time To Protect Yourself (And Your Friends) From Facebook

>> Right wing publications see a sharp decrease in engagement since Facebook’s latest News Feed changes

>> BANNED: Twitter and YouTube Team Up Against Crowder!; Conservatives fight back against Steven Crowder Twitter suspension


#YouTubePurge 2018: The Story So Far

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~ YOU KNOW those deliriously happy people in commercials and photos?– we’re supposed to be like that. Just– super-DUPER happy. Happy with the new tech-toys, happy with travelling and gathering random experiences, happy with the semi-anonymous exchange of bodily fluids, happy watching the same movie and listening to the same song, each only slightly varied from the other ones. Such very fun!

Except.. life. The world. Politics. Our longing hearts, seeking a kingdom of true peace, and inner peace. And in our world, restless Progressivism must “progress”, which means interfering with everything & everyone in sight.

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“People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think. Don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.”

River Tam, movie Serenity (2005)

Most of all, the meddlers don’t like a taste of their own medicine. The Euro & American establishments both got a huge dose of meddlesome & uppity peasants with the U.S. Fall election of one Donald John Trump in 2016, and the Brexit vote earlier that same Summer.

Big Meddle got a royally bloody nose. And then their planet-sized snit ensued.

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Elites: “This is going to hurt you peasants a lot more than you hurt us.”

The Snit Ensues: Details

Looking back at 2016, Team Meddle knows one thing: internets helped bad thing happen: must part-muzzle peasants! In 2015-2016, YouTube, Twitter, Google Search, Drudge, FaceBook were all used by the peasants as levers of public awareness, circumventing the lapdog media, and the political establishments feeding the elite narrative.

Must fix! So now it’s a Big Backlash, with shadow-banning, leftwards algorithms, demonetized videos and YouTube Channels, Twitter deletions and bans, FaceBook Jail & nanny-messaging.. all to one end: to stop the anti-Meddle meddling by the revolting peasants. Social Media weaponized against non-compliant political-cultural-religious users.

It gets worse for the meddlers in 2018– the peasants not only spoke up several years ago, they keep speaking up, and even when some get banned, shadow-banned, de-monetized, and slapped down, they and their peasant allies keep fighting back and speaking out! What’s an authoritarian to do?

The Other Happier 2018

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You see, just now President Hillary the globalist mafiosa is entering her second year, with her Canada-style gun rules coming into force and her FBI covering her tracks, and the bodies piling up; and a nearly de-blooded Islamicized United Kingdom is laying prone before the unelected autocrats in Brussels, surrendering every freedom, distinctive, and historical authority over itself to Big Meddle, and imported trouble. Same as it ever was, before 2016. Nigel Farage is merely a bad memory.

Troika-Unelected1The progressive Pope is working closely with globalist schemer George Soros, President Hillary and the EUcrats towards a one-world government, more social control, more disruptive weaponized “immigration”, and a gentler Chinese-style control of the internet and all social media.

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Our digital self is a big thing for many Western people: imagine being all but banned, being digitally unpersonned, silenced, unable to get alternative news quickly, and not being able to discuss it with others? A genuine debility, in some respects.

In the 2018 that should have been, the internet is still an issue, but as long as a few grumblers don’t actually write letters, protest, speak to their elected representatives and get organized, they are pesky, but harmless: one mosquito at a time. SLAP! People vanish from Twitter and YouTube and FaceBook, and nobody wonders why.

New peasant YouTube channels with ‘unacceptable’ politically incorrect content all have a terrible time trying to get started, and make no advertising money. Troublesome news-sources are all but invisible online, or very hard to find on Google, banned on Twitter, or in links on other pages. With advertising revenues dropping, many outlets are forced to cut back reporting, or shut down entirely.

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What Next?

The fight must continue. Alternative social media platforms are only part of an answer, since we must stay in the public square, not surrender it to the bullies. And the bullies are not totally above the law, or invulnerable, either.

Actually protesting, writing letters, speaking out, exposing the Big Agenda and educating others about it, getting involved at the local level, reading books, praying for God’s Kingdom to come, and aligning ourselves with his almighty will makes any protest or expressed concern more than just our team versus theirs, screech versus scream.

It will cost us something– perhaps everything– but the West is not founded on trusting in the strength of men, but on a trust in the Risen power of Jesus Christ– the only-begotten Son of God– to truly make all things new, in the great re-creation.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King.

This is our fight, in our day. God knows the outcome, but I know that if we sit back and self-indulgently despair, we have already lost our contribution to the battle for freedom, faith, and our own civilization in our time.

Thus saith,

Teh Binks

 

What If It’s The Ending Of Your World?

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The Barbarians Are Here.. In Canada

 

>> Psychologist stares down left-wing ‘Lock em in and burn it down!’ Queen’s U. protest

>> Local media reports say more than 150 people took part in the rally against University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson;also, ‘Absolutely surreal’: Student mob smashes window in protest against Jordan Peterson>

>> Jordan Peterson Speech Met With Broken Widows, Calls to ‘Burn it Down’; and Protesters break window at Grant Hall, barricade exits

> An Official Open Letter from Queen’s Faculty, March 2, 2018

>> Professor Rick Mehta news– University Investigates Canadian Professor Because Students Feel ‘Disturbed’; and also Acadia University investigation of professor intensifies campus free-speech debate

>> College librarians argue Christians who say ‘God bless you’ are Islamophobic

>> BARELY SATIRE: “Look at the calendar. Do you know what year it is? It’s 2018! Say it with me: two thousand eighteen. That means it’s long past time for us to get a few important things straight, once and for all.”


~ JUST THE OTHER DAY, some ‘marchers for peace’ from Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario, Canada, protested a speech by lighting-rod author, professor and gadfly, Jordan Peterson. Inevitably, they wanted him silenced for, you know.. Reasons™. Some windows at the university were broken; virtue was signalled, the young Marxist social justice warriors felt superior, and succeeded in not learning or unlearning a single thing.

There was even a little incitement to murder & arson. ‘Lock em in and burn it down!’ yelled some of these “tolerant peace-loving” students. Yeah, that’s how I deal with discussions. Incitement & threats. Fire & kill.

The title of the terrible, horrible, very bad speech? “The Rising Tide of Compelled Speech in Canada.” Lifesite reports:

“Peterson posted several clips of the protest on Twitter, telling a follower that the speaking engagement was “absolutely surreal.”

“The mob neglected to bring torches and pitchforks, but the sentiment was there: ‘Lock them in and burn it down,’” he wrote.”

The End Is Past Nigh

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Coming over for tea.. and staying for dinner.

In Mel Gibson’s excellent movie Apocalypto (2006), neither the protagonists– captured slaves– or the bad guys– the forest-wrecking temple-building heart-ripper-outers know that it’s the end of their world. They go about their business.. then, in the penultimate scene, we see the European sailing ships coming closer to the shore.

Whatever was before is not gonna be that way very much longer. The future isn’t what it used to be. “Burn all down! Fresh start!” is the new cry for revolution, devolution, and The Big Satanic Lie that we can make a new world by sincerity, effort, and all built of our own fallen selves. “Ye shall be as gods”.

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Read, Learn, Weep

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Miss H. White.

That’s the wisdom I draw from Hilary White’s latest essay cri de cœurBECOMING AS GODS: The Murder of Desdemona by Othello, Abortion and Communion in the Hand“.

Just go read the whole thing, and as yourself the question from Mel’s movie: If our world was ending, would we know it?

The thing I like about Hilary’s essay is the big picture– taking little signs and symptoms and showing how the whole structure of the West is in danger, from within and without. Nihilism is nopt a passive force: it’s rather like a poison gas leaking into everything, dissolving the core, and leaving only fragile appearances of what was, ready to fall.

Sadly, the same radicalism has captured most Western Churches: disruption, discontinuity, ugly new utopian content. Hilary nails this perfectly.

What If It’s Here?

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Acadia U. Nice view.  shame about the silencing.

What if your own kids & grandkids– poisoned by socially & politically radical teachers, cultural influences, and college– were the new barbarians inside the gates? How could you tell?

Right now at Acadia University, in elm-shaded picturesque Wolfville Nova Scotia, is the fresh front in the war on civilization by “outraged” students and their enabling professoriate. Professor Rick Mehta is under fire for– teaching things. Things contrary to the progressive/ Marxist meta-narrative of victimhoods, oppressors, and the politics of personal destruction for any who don’t toe the party line.

Some Kids Are Crazy & Bad


War on Acadia U prof’s academic independence takes serious turn

Honestly, I’d rather just binge on NetFlix and hide while the walls come tumbling down on this city that I love: but dear people and good and true and beautiful things are at risk, and even the current enemies of those things might be saved from their madness and hate and self-righteousness.

A Sign of Hope?

Despair and doom-binging can be self-indulgent and blind to the possibilities even within apparent overwhelming darkness. After all, St. Paul & Christ’s Apostles faced and entire Empire founded on naked power, Emperor-worship, and pagan confusions. “Redeeming the time, for the days are evil“, says the Apostle to the Gentiles [Eph. 5:16].

One tiny point of brightness: I recently read on a YouTube video a comment by a college-aged kid who said that countless numbers of his friends & fellow students were binge-watching Jordan Peterson and other such content, because they were tired of the one-note lock-step radicalism of their professors. Truth finds a way.

YouTube app on digital devices

That is, behind the deceptive ivy-facade, and behind the radicalism within, social media was in fact enabling young people to learn to see all sides of various questions, to hear actually diverse points of view, and to — horror of horrors- learn to think, reason, argue & debate. That they have to have a hidden remedial education within a $5-$10K institutional mis-education– while parroting their professors– is a picture of the horror-circus we have let develop in our society.

We will need such young people and all such folks to rebuild things on the ruins of what was. The end IS past nigh.

Do Your Duty

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Look BEHIND the facades….

Investigate your local schools and colleges. Do due diligence before sending your kid off to school, imagining it still is like it was 30 or 50 years ago. Withhold donations and gifts and let them know what you think. And of your kindness, say a prayer and send a word to Acadia on behalf of Professor Rick Mehta. And don’t forget the petition.

Queens grad? Let them know what you think about the recent semi-riot. Because some students used their free speech to oppose free speech.

Thus Saith,

The Binks

 

An Educator Writes….

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Anonymous Letter From A Teacher
[identity known & certified by me]

Only author’s name redacted, date & letter’s recipient. The rest is the letter exactly as it was sent to me.

Remember to write your own letter (help here, scroll down), and to please sign the Petition.
Thus saith,

Teh Binks

mehtanarr



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Heather Hemming, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, Canada
“This is for Heather Hemming, “VP of academic”, as described in the linked article by Margaret Wente:
 
 
March 3, 2018

Dear Dr. Hemming:

 
Navigating the Acadia website was like wandering through a picturesque maze, with not a single human being to be seen. In five minutes, I didn’t see the actual name of anyone, let alone Heather Hemming’s. I phoned the switchboard, hoping to speak to someone who could give me Ms Hemming’s email address: the hours are 8:30-4:30, Monday to Friday, so no luck. So, here I am at the general email address.
 
I also thought of contacting Acadia’s Office of Safety and Security as I believe that Professor Mehta’s safety and security are under siege—the topic of this message.
 
I have been an educator for 45 years. In that time, I have noticed a serious deterioration in both the maturity and behaviour of a critical mass of students. At the same time, I have noticed a standing down of the administrators, whose first line of defense now seems to be to appease the miscreant. This solves the problem of having to deal with an even more angry, entitled student and, often, that student’s belligerent parent(s). It’s nice for the three parties just mentioned—and hell for teachers, not to mention society at large.
 
I have twice been physically assaulted as well as suspended, minus due process, on the say-so of well known, student bullies. In all cases, the students were coddled and catered to: there were no negative consequences for them, but plenty for me. Who do you think felt really unsafe? As a colleague says, “Our schools are safe, all right—for the bullies.”
 
I attended excellent public schools in Toronto in the 50s and 60s: the adults were in charge. There were clear boundaries and not only were we safe, we felt safe! Academics were rigorous—a far cry from the curricula today—and we were held to account. We were not taught to be offended : the very idea of micro-aggressions and triggers didn’t enter our minds.
 
We were treated respectfully, which meant that we were held to high academic and behavioural standards. We could actually fail a grade. We could actually be suspended. Teaching our children that they have a right not to be offended is, in my opinion, a form of child abuse. This fiction renders young people very vulnerable to their own capricious and often tempestuous emotions. How is allowing vindictive and often misguided emotion to be the standard by which a university makes crucial decisions helpful to anyone?
 
Professor Mehta sounds like a man after my own heart. If the fairy tales being propagated at places like Acadia weren’t so outlandish, Professor Mehta’s ideas would seem to be just what they are: fairly mainstream. Why are his rights the only ones being disregarded? Why is his integrity considered expendable? Why is it OK to offend him?
 
Ms Hemmings, in attempting to censor, shame and bully Professor Mehta, Acadia seems willing to put itself in the same position as Wilfrid Laurier, which, deservedly, became a laughing stock. It seems that you’re unable to discern the gigantic double standard under which you appear to be operating. Acadia seems to have everything backwards: in order to enforce tolerance, you are intolerant. In order to appease the immature appetites of a group of coddled adult toddler students, it seems that Acadia is willing to sacrifice not only the integrity of a hard working, accountable academic, but his very livelihood. Shame on you.
 
How about if Acadia were to come to its senses and follow the example of the University of Chicago, re its expectations of its students? How about if Acadia were to actually treat its students not like spoiled brats, but like adults?
 
“Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own,” the letter said.
 
 
How about if universities stopped being Potemkin Villages of Tolerance and became, in fact, safe spaces for all of their faculty and students? Now, wouldn’t that be a novelty?
 
Very Sincerely,
 
NNN NNN”

A Mehta Follow-On

SIGN THE PETITION!

IainTBensonLoudas2008

~ SO, ARISING from the Professor Rick Mehta persecution at Acadia U. in Wofville, Nova Scotia, Canadian trained academic Professor Iain Benson weighs in.

Well done, Dr. Benson (FB Profile here), and thank you!

So saith,

Teh Binks



Iain T. Benson writes:

Office of the Vice-President, Academic
Acadia University,
Wolfville,
Nova Scotia,
Canada

Dear Heather Hemming:

Re: The Role of a University and University Leaders in a Time of increasing Polarization and Fear: Why the Clear Protection of Free Speech and Diversity of Opinions is Essential on a University Campus.

As a Canadian living and employed as a full Professor of Law in two countries outside of Canada and a former visiting Professor and Research Fellow at two Canadian Universities and a Fellow of Institutes relating to Law in a number of other countries, I would like to raise something with you.

At Conferences and lectures recently in the UK, Australia and in South Africa questions have been raised about why the Canadian academic environment has become so apparently closed to free speech and diversity of moral viewpoints and why university leaders seem to lack courage and leadership to say anything public about it.

In short the question seems to be this: where is Canadian academic leadership and why is it so seemingly cowed by contemporary political movements that attack freedom on campuses?

Do you have a response that can comfort those of us who have studied liberty and law and see both in trouble in Canadian universities and wider Canadian society?

Whether the widespread threatening of the status or activities of certain student groups, the threats to academic teachers or to accreditation itself, Canada is a worrying scene.

The pending decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Trinity Western University case (argued December 2017) while dealing with the wider issue of accreditation, raises the entailed question as to why the Canadian academic establishment is so weak in clearly, firmly and publicly defending genuine diversity and civil liberties against current attackers?

Canadian Law Deans, amongst other elite groups, exhibited, unanimously and embarrassingly, a shockingly pusillanimous esprit des corps in relation to Trinity Western University. One hopes the highest court will follow the British Columbia and Nova Scotia courts in supporting diversity of opinion there but the fact that so many at the highest levels of the legal and academic establishments failed to see the dangers to genuine diversity is a most worrying sign of the times.

Many will watch Acadia closely to see if it, and you, will do the correct thing here in relation to Professor Mehta and others like him as the juggernaut of identity politics increases speed.

The howling of mobs and the politics of fear and decontextualised arguments about “equality” have no place on a University campus worthy of the title of “higher learning”. Make no mistake: free speech is in trouble in Canada and many around the world know this and are watching to see if responsible leadership emerges from other than the judiciary to stop the well entrenched ideologues.

Please act decisively and courageously at Acadia University to lay out the principles of academic freedom, diversity of viewpoint and the importance of open discussion, disagreement and adult debate to a university and the wider society in which it has or should have a most important leadership role.

You may find the July 2012 statement of principle from the University of Chicago a good starting point for principled articulation at Acadia:

https://freeexpression.uchicago.edu/page/statement-principles-free-expression

Please feel free to circulate this electronic letter to your University Executive and to those concerned about this issue at your University.

Yours Sincerely,

Iain T. Benson
PhD, JD, MA, BA (Hons)
Professor of Law
University of Notre Dame Australia
Sydney

 

 


 

Ahem! GET TO WORK!

Feeling called to write a letter? Via

lettersX4

 

Letter Writing Campaign In Support of Professor Rick Mehta:

Please be CIVIL.

****KEY POINTS TO ADDRESS****

> Why, specifically, were Professor Mehta’s teaching allocations altered and reduced? (Rationale not clarified)

> Are the following teaching complaints and suggested remedies justified?

{Complaint} “the students have not expressed in writing the precise details of the racist and transphobic comments, but it is clear from their interactions with me that they are extremely disturbed by your comments, some to the point of not going to class.” (para. 4, p.2 in letter from Rob Raeside)

{Suggested Remedy} “stick to the content provided in the course text(s), and avoid pulling in data that might be seen by students as advancing a fringe point of view.” (para. 5, p.2 in letter from Rob Raeside)

{Suggested Remedy} “be very diligent about avoiding any comments that might be perceived as racist or transphobic.” (para. 5, p.2 in letter from Rob Raeside)

{Suggested Remedy} “…some of these perspectives may be challenging to students. However, in a first-year class it is imperative that the approach be well-balanced and must be in line with the published resources, i.e., the text book.” (para. 6, p.2 in letter from Rob Raeside)

> What is the evidence for Professor Mehta’s violation of Acadia University’s Policy Against Harassment & Discrimination?

– How, specifically, has Professor Mehta sexually harassed
students with his commentary?
(see letter from Heather Hemming; see policy document)
– How many complaints?
(see letter from Heather Hemming; see policy document)

****PLEASE REVIEW KEY DOCUMENTS****

> Acadia University’s Policy Against Harassment & Discrimination, 20 January 2007
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/irte2um6pui74kg/AACC1qmecdEP3IN17y6-dsFDa?dl=0&preview=Harassment+%26+Discrimination.pdf

> Letter advising of formal investigation, Heather Hemming, VP Academic to Prof. Rick Mehta, February 13, 2018
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/irte2um6pui74kg/AACC1qmecdEP3IN17y6-dsFDa?dl=0&preview=Letter+of+Investigation+-+Mehta.pdf

> Letter appealing teaching allocations, Prof. Rick Mehta to Dean Jeff Hooper, January 29, 2018
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/irte2um6pui74kg/AACC1qmecdEP3IN17y6-dsFDa?dl=0&preview=Mehta+-+Appeal+of+Teaching+Allocations+-+Jan+2018.pdf

> Letter denying appeal of teaching allocations, Dean Jeff Hooper to Prof. Rick Mehta, February 20, 2018
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/irte2um6pui74kg/AACC1qmecdEP3IN17y6-dsFDa?dl=0&preview=Response-RickMehtaTeachingAllocAppeal-Feb2018.pdf

> Letter setting out concerns, Prof. Rob Raeside, Head of Department, to Prof. Rick Mehta, February 26, 2018
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/irte2um6pui74kg/AACC1qmecdEP3IN17y6-dsFDa?dl=0&preview=rmehta_article15.pdf

****PLEASE ADDRESS LETTERS TO****

> Heather Hemming, VP Academic, heather.hemming@acadiau.ca

> Darlene Brodeur, Head of the Dept. of Psychology, darlene.brodeur@acadiau.ca

> Jeff Hooper, Dean, Faculty of Pure and Applied Science, jeff.hooper@acadiau.ca

> Rob Raeside, Designated Head for Rick Mehta, rob.raeside@acadiau.ca

Please be CIVIL.

– END –