Don Stevenson II

Looking to long lines, through imaged eyes.

Referenced some Don Stevenson clips, then and now.

More now. Toronto 2015:

More Toronto, with Fergus Hambleton on guitar:

Settled in legacy. Settled in the present.

Can’t be so bad

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Expertise Entertainment


Hon. Edgar J. Benson (1923-2011)
From Tribute to Edgar Benson
Kingston Liberal Association, 2011

Today’s experts are entertainers. That, I suppose, is why entertainers who become politicians are understood by the people to be experts.

In relation to “She thinks she is so smart“, concerning the decline in deference to expertise, Neil Remington Abramson commented as follows:

One problem that gives experts a bad name in our society is who the media chooses to represent as having “expert” opinion. A TV expert is someone who can glibly and without hesitation offer an opinion with no doubts or reservations or situational qualifications. Yet the opinions and thought processes of all the experts I know – learned people – are filled with qualifications and reservations. They know that situations are complex, fluid and constantly shifting. They know that different people have different assessments, and that these assessments conflict when belonging to actors involved in the situation. They know that in an unclear and evolving situation, there are many possibilities and probabilities and so they speak carefully and with reservations. They offer no unequivocal statement portrayed as “the truth.” It takes them awhile even to get to the point of saying that there is no one answer.

Unfortunately, thinking before you speak doesn’t come off well on TV, where one must exert oneself to cancel out dead space with rapid-fire verbiage. TV audiences are not the most learned listeners, so they find reservations and qualifications, and bifurcating situations confusing. True expertise doesn’t sell newspapers (or TV or internet). A proper media-sanctified “expert” must be clear, and say things that excite emotional concern sufficient to draw the audience into an appreciation of the program’s sponsors, as they interrupt or follow the pontifications.

I guess few will still remember Edgar Benson, one of Trudeau The First’s finance ministers. There was a real expert. Asked a difficult question, he pulled out his pipe, tapped out the ashes and cleaned it with a pipe cleaner. He pushed in new tobacco and carefully lit it, perhaps more than once, with a match. In those days, you could smoke on the CBC news, if you were Edgar Benson (or René Lévesque). By then, he was ready to answer. If you tried that today as a talking head commentator (television’s favourite), I don’t think we’d be seeing you again, assuming your footage hadn’t died on the copyroom floor.

Who can respect the experts of today, with their rapid-fire, unequivocally shallow opinions, no different from one’s equals on Facebook? And in a society where everyone is equal, it’s best not to truly stand out, even if you could.

Today’s experts are entertainers. That, I suppose, is why entertainers who become politicians are understood by the people to be experts.

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Now, or

What am I most proud of?
When I hear applause in my ears, when I come off stage.

Eric Burdon retrospective, to the times of his collaboration with Brian Auger (1991-1994):

Moving to caricature, and then

Lawyers are everywhere
They tell soldiers when they can take a shot
And when they can’t

Where Eric Burdon is everywhere, at every time

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Problematic Distance

In relation to “Crime“, a friend commented as follows:

I have not heard the sermon to make a judgement. Even still, publicly presenting such language without having a purpose and without explaining the context is wrong. I prefer to keep a distance from commenting on any current events.

By reading your piece, I have an impression that he is calling people to murder all Jews. I then read the CBC article and thought that there was nothing as extreme as you portrayed. Nonetheless, I would like to add some context to the hadith shared in the CBC article. The hadith, if authentic, speaks of an event at a battlefield at the end of times. It does not speak to all Jews. There is a context that has not been presented in the sermon. In the hadith, the Prophet was not asking people to commit any act, but was prophesying about a future event. For the “Imam” to present the hadith out of context is problematic, but to also ask for criminalizing or denouncing the hadith, without exploring its context. is also problematic.

One might suggest that such prophecies are destructive to peace, hateful and are no longer appropriate in modern times. Let it be. However, if one wants to criminalize such prophesying literature, to be fair, one has to criminalize anything similar in any book or source, from any school of thought, particularly relating to the end of time.

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Error in Type III

Sometimes it comes around, to qualify. In relation to “Crime“, concerning heinous advocacy by Imams in Canada, and whether hate crime prosecutions should be initiated, came across this earlier discussion, extracted:

Error in Type (July 18, 2013):

Lots of Christians killed each other during World War I and II. Essence of the conflict was not Christian against Christian, but something else. Only recent ongoing Christian against Christian conflict, where there is a basis in religion, though also history and cultural clashes, seems to be Ireland. Yet people don’t ask either the Protestants or the Catholics in Ireland to defend Christianity. Still craziness on various levels, with no possible religious defence.

Orthodox beliefs, across religions, are generally hostile to the education of women, it seems. Have taught many Muslim women, with niqab, hijab, or no hijab. Or going from no hijab to hijab. Student identification card at exam shows hair, but things have later changed. So if family support, not hostility…

Conflict in Egypt doesn’t seem Muslim against Muslim, challenging the religion, but more secular people, who happen to be Muslim, among other religions, opposing those who would impose Islam as the basis of civil law. Same conflict in Turkey, it seems.

Error in Type II (July 21, 2013)

In fact, those who are the strongest advocates of the religion, and they exist today and have existed through history, are mostly poor people, who take no worldly benefits from these acts. They strive to spread the world of Allah, only for the sake of Allah. If you notice, this is how all Prophets were.

Obviously, those who spread the word of Islam today are not by any means like how the Prophets were, but hopefully they have the same view. As I see them, they are full of mercy for humanity, and want to spread that mercy to others.

A good advocate of Islam is trying to take that message of mercy that the Prophets brought from Allah, and then spread it. In my eyes, especially in today’s materialistic life, people who do that are doing one of the best acts a person can do to help humanity. I see it as something great, whereas some people might see it, unfortunately, as merely “many Muslims hope to convince themselves and the rest of the world that Islam is in essence a religion of peace”.

Misalliance of the mobs:

Posted in Christianity, Islam, Prejudice, Propaganda | Leave a comment

She thinks she’s so smart

Attack on expertise, on intelligence. Genna Buck interviews Tom Nichols: No one listens to experts anymore, Ottawa Metro, March 23, 2017.

What he says, what he says

People don’t want to talk about it [anti-intellectualism], but it’s because of the growth of narcissism in our society. We really have become so acclimated to thinking that our views on everything are as important and as worthwhile as everyone else’s.

College is no longer a good discriminator for who knows what they’re [sic] talking about.

We believe in the common sense of the common person. So there’s always been fertile ground for questioning experts. What’s different is the phenomenon of everyone turning into insufferable know-it-alls.

The death of expertise is a disease of affluence.

Ignorant populism sooner or later will either decay into authoritarianism or–the bigger danger–experts will simply disengage and start running things without arguing with the public.

And then what evidence; how much of his heavily-promoted book, The Death of Expertise (2017), is limited fact-based or fact-absent opinion? The “children of the 1960s” could be regarded as fairly narcissistic, where many had university degrees that were no discriminator (if ever a discriminator) for who knows what he or she is talking about.

Influential opinion, but not necessarily expertise, in its own right. Compare Allan Bloom and The Closing of The American Mind.

Minds so indiscriminately open that there’s nothing in them.

What he said, what he said, when introducing The Closing

There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. If this belief is put to the test, one can count on the students’ reaction: they will be uncomprehending. That anyone should regard the
proposition as not self-evident astonishes them, as though he were calling into question 2 + 2 = 4 . These are things you don’t think about. The students’ backgrounds are as various as America can provide. Some are religious, some atheists; some are to the Left, some to the Right; some intend to be scientists, some humanists or professionals or businessmen; some are poor, some rich. They are unified only in their relativism and in their allegiance to equality. And the two are related in a moral intention. The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so they see it…

The recent education of openness…pays no attention to natural rights or the historical origins of our regime, which are now thought to have been essentially flawed and regressive. It is progressive and forward-looking. It does not demand fundamental agreement or the abandonment of old or new beliefs in favor of the natural ones. It is open to all kinds of men, all kinds of life-styles, all ideologies.
There is no enemy other than the man who is not open to everything. But when there are no shared goals or vision of the public good, is the social contract any longer possible?

Posted in Education - Post-Secondary, Various life philosophies | Leave a comment


So a Jordanian Imam shows up as “invited guest” at Montreal mosque and urges the killing of all Jews.

Not the first time this has happened in Montreal.

Where the Imam says he has Qur’anic interpretive support for what he says, in relation to the end of time:

The end of time … the stone and the tree will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me – come and kill him!’.

So much of this, said with Islamic religious authority.

And more authority, via specific references to hadiths.

There is no religious defence to that which is secularly recognized as a crime. Advocating the annihilation of those following another religion is a hate crime, punishable as such. If the “guest” has returned to Jordan, he may still be charged for what he did in Canada, and hopefully extradited and, upon conviction, jailed. The call for him to make an “apology”…well, matters are far more serious than “sorry, I misspoke”.

Would seem to be as important, if not more important, than debating the nature of “Islamophobia”. Does one know of any Jewish or Christian religious leader who has advocated the liquidation of Muslims?

Not the first time

Not the second time


Posted in Anti-Semitism, Islam | 5 Comments