Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tolerate This

We have to put up with a lot and this past week has been one of those many times in my life when I have had to tolerate disruptions and backache, long days and toil that I would rather have avoided. And people. People are a bit of a problem for a hermit.

My son asked me the other day: "What do you say Dad, are you an introvert or an extrovert?" He was very kindly helping me move residence from the top of the mountain to the bottom. From a largish stable to a small cave.  A Tavern Keeper does not have to sleep behind the bar - he can live elsewhere, don't you know. In this infrequent and most welcomed visit he was observing me with other people and wondering if I was really cut out for hermitry.

It was the 'removalist' chaps. Fine Gurkhali stock. They put up with a lot too and moved swiftly and uncomplainingly, carefully manhandling my chattels as I directed them with seemingly obvious (to my son) friendliness. They tolerated my slow, old-man ways and I tolerated their failure to understand most of what I said. We muddled through. We laughed some.

It is a matter of manners and consideration. Civilised people are tolerant and accepting of differences, ideosyncracies and eccentricities in others. It is part of being a 'sound' mature adult. Today of course it is compulsory and written into 'LAW.' We have to tolerate every damned thing -'or else' - that is thrown our way by the uncivilised and immature. The 'Unsound'.

Some unsound people take matters too far and they are quick to run for the Big Stick of the law to get not just their way but our wholehearted acceptance of our subjugation to their whims and ill-wills. But as one Mr Churchill of British Leadeship fame once remarked,
 "Up with this we will not put!"

He is not the only one to draw lines as we shall see later. 

One may ask as a 'first step, just what Tolerance is. Try this.

What is tolerance? Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil and a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. 

This is a fine and upstanding definition but so far from modern usage as to be almost unintelligible. So even I was happy to find out more, and did, as we shall see later. 

I had barely returned to my barkeeping duties, quietly coming in via the cellars when the hubbub from the US Room directed my attention.  Ryan Anderson was giving a round up of stuff that I had missed; me being head down in cardboard boxes all week.
Liberals’ Double Standard on Bathrooms, Boycotts, and Religious Freedom.

If it wasn’t for double standards, some liberals would have none at all. That seems to be the lesson from the past few weeks, where liberals have displayed three distinct forms of hypocrisy.
Liberal governors and mayors signed travel bans to North Carolina and Mississippi, CEOs of major corporations pledged boycotts and relocations, and Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams have canceled scheduled concerts in those states.
At issue are a Mississippi law that narrowly and carefully protects the rights of religious charities, small businesses, and select public servants and a North Carolina law that reasonably protects privacy and safety in public restrooms, while leaving private institutions free to set their own bathroom policies. These laws, apparently, are now unacceptable to some voices on the left.

But are they really? The hypocrisy in their opposition suggests otherwise.

1. Big Money and Big Business in Politics Are Bad, Unless They Support the Left?
Liberals decry the influence of big business and big money in politics. They denounce, as a direct threat to democracy, the ability of corporations to engage in issue advocacy. They argue that politicians must answer to the people, not the highest corporate bidder.
Or at least that’s what they used to say. Liberals are now cheering Apple, PayPal, Salesforce, and countless other giant corporations threatening legislators and governors with boycotts if they pass popular laws that the left disapproves of.

These corporate elites didn’t win an argument about good public policy. Instead, they threatened to boycott and transfer jobs out of states if the politicians didn’t do as they insisted.
This economic coercion is a form of cronyism—cultural cronyism. Big businesses use their outsized market share to pressure government to do their bidding at the expense of the will of the people and the common good. And, hypocritically, the left cheers it on.

2. Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams Get to Follow Their Consciences, but the Baker and Florist Don’t?

Many of us think that what these corporate giants are doing is bad for representative democracy and self-government. But they have a right to do it. And yet, they want to deny the rights of bakers, florists, photographers, adoption agencies, and marriage counselors who only want the same liberty to follow their conscience.

Big business is using its market freedom to deny small businesses and charities their religious freedom. The hypocrisy is astounding.
Take the cases of Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams. They said their consciences require them to deny their artistic gifts and talents to citizens of states that have enacted policy they disagreed with. And, of course, they have that right.
Adams wrote: “I cannot in good conscience perform in a state where certain people are being denied their civil rights.”
They are quite happy to play in China, though, or Saudi Arabia.  
He’s wrong about the laws—they don’t deny anyone civil rights. Instead, they protect civil rights. They protect religious freedom, which, as the liberal American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) once acknowledged, is a civil liberty.

So Springsteen and Adams are exercising their freedom of conscience by boycotting states that sought to protect the consciences of adoption agencies, religious schools, bakers, and florists. 
Do they not see the hypocrisy?
3. North Carolina and Mississippi Are Human Rights Violators, but Singapore and Cuba Are Great?
Finally, if these boycotts are really a matter of principle—and not just grandstanding—then why do so many of these same companies do business in foreign countries with terrible records on human rights in general, and for LGBT people in particular?
Try that in Saudi Arabia, Bruce.
The governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, pointed out this hypocrisy. After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a travel ban for state employees to North Carolina, Gov. McCrory asked how it was consistent with Gov. Cuomo’s trip to Cuba—with state business leaders—to promote trade with that country.

Is Cuba better on human rights than North Carolina? Or is Cuomo being a bit hypocritical?
Others have pointed out the hypocrisy of PayPal. The CEO of PayPal announced that the company wouldn’t expand in North Carolina because of “PayPal’s deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect.”
Then PayPal might want to explain why its international headquarters are in Singapore, where people engaged in private consensual same-sex acts can face two years in jail. It might also want to explain why it announced in 2012 that it would open offices in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While North Carolina placed some commonsense limits on public bathrooms, the UAE reportedly jails gay and transgender people.
What’s Next?
The left knows it can’t win on the merits in the debate about religious freedom and bathroom privacy. These bills enjoy strong public support—that’s why elected representatives are voting to pass them. And it’s why corporate elites have to target governors to veto them.

Missouri is likely the next state to move a religious freedom bill, and we can expect the same cast of characters to come out in opposition. But this time, the left and big business are entering the debate with one big disadvantage—they’ve been beaten. Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi and Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina have stood up to the bullies and shattered their aura of invincibility.
Some may wonder about the Tavern and its keeper. Where do we stand on ths 'bathroom' issue. Well we have a 'Ladies' and a 'Gentlemens'. Quite a few of. I care not if the ones who use it are ladies and gentlemen or not, frankly, but I do insist they are women and men in their respective facilities.  Wenches and farmboys  too need some privacy at their toilet.

"Ahh, but, Sire", try some, "What if you cannot tell one from another?" 

Again, I care not what people wear and that is what the question means. It is a rare thing, almost of unicorn status, to have a chap dressed as a woman and one not be able to tell. And women who have for a very long time insisted upon their 'right' to wear whatever they damned well please, even boots, trousers and a lumberjack's shirt. They do not escape the discerning eye. Aye, e'en the discriminating one ! 

That is a far cry from prancing near naked down the street infront of children.

The modern 'transgender', is one or t'other.  They may well be confused about which they are but you do not have to be.

If you can't tell, take its jeans off ! 

And if a chap at the bar wears silk underpants beneath his trousers, I do not care. He can have privacy in the gents. Not in the ladies. My lady customers can wear y-fronts and argyle socks for all I care. Have you never wondered what a Knight wears? Chain mail underpants can be really scratchy unless lined with something soft and hard wearing, and hermits have hair shirts, but only the shirts are hair.

I am sure there will be enough cries of alarum should transgressions of decency, good manners and consideration occur. The ordinary person can discriminate quite well.

The conversation was not a brief one, despite the focus occasionally on briefs. It extended to consider the 'mental' and the 'spiritual', with some rather odd stances taken. Of course the 'progressive' interventions in the day-to-day doings of people and the interference - indeed, condemnation / intolerance - of the tried and tested, organically developed social norms are not limited to toilets and people with strange sexual habits. Dragons luk everywhere.

The 'Prof', JJ Ray, who keeps a close eye on all things 'Politically Correct' had been looking at Prejudice. It is oft said that those who 'discriminate' are prejudiced. Which is just plain stupid. But there are none quite as stupid as an expert. 
The psychology of prejudice
At least since 1950, psychologists have been associating prejudice with mental problems.  You are allegedly maladjusted if you are prejudiced about anything.   
Although I sometimes do, I have a strong prejudice against driving through a red light.  Does that make me prejudiced?  I think it is apparent that not all pre-judging is bad and may even be wise on occasions.  So their psychologizing of prejudice has always been uphill for them and mostly now seems to have been abandoned.  For some decades now, many psychologists have accepted it as normal.
Now, someone might ask, what if a man who thought he was a woman and then wanted to be a dragon, came into the Tavern? Would I serve him / her / it a beer? Would I 'prejudge' him? 

Hmmmmm. I just might form a quick impression, yes. How about you? I might even think he/she/it was a nutter. But despite all of the totally unethical plastic surgery and a strong confusion about just what the smart dragon is wearing this year, I would still prefer he used the gentlemen's toilet!! 

Until a gentleman complained, that is, in which case my employee, the Bouncer, would earn his wage.
So I was interested to look at an encyclopedic account of what we now know about prejudice -- one published in a book called The Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology, in 2012.
The article was written by two very experienced researchers in the field --  Cohrs and Duckitt  -- and is generally moderate and cautious, as an encyclopedic article should be.
But because there is clearly "good" prejudice (such as opposition to the KKK) as well as "bad" prejudice, the authors soon hit a rock.   
They recognize that value judgments intrude at that point. 
 Rather heroically, however, they avoid value judgments and define prejudice simply as a "negative attitude".  I hate to do this to two earnest people but my background in analytical philosophy immediately makes me get critical about that.   
Once there were mental institutions but now we have nutters 'in the community'.
The definition overlooks the time element in prejudice.  It is something you do before you do something else.  For instance, I certainly have a negative attitude to ill health but does that mean I am prejudiced against ill health?  We are in deep waters there, I think.

But let me be indulgent and overlook that. I am pleased that they agree with something that has repeatedly emerged in my own research:  "Thus, while tendencies to favor and identify with one’s  own group may be universal, intergroup prejudice is not a universal consequence".   
In other words, you can be patriotic without being a racist.
So is there a prejudiced personality?  Is the prejudiced person rigid, intolerant of ambiguity, lacking in openness and all that old guff?  Cohrs and Duckitt reject all that and say that there are only two real predictors of prejudice:  SDO and RWA.  Which is quite hilarious. 
The SDO scale CONTAINS expressions of group prejudice so it is no wonder that it predicts it!   
In statistician's terms, the correlations are artifactual.  I am disappointed in John Duckitt for not knowing that.  I am pretty sure I have pointed that out to him in the past.   In 2003 I put online  some fuller comments on the SDO scale. It is a mess.
And as for the RWA (Right-wing Authoritarianism) scale, who knows what it measures?  In Russia the people who get the highest scores on it are former Communists, so it certainly is not a measure of anything Right-wing.   
Our present authors describe it as measuring "a combination of traditionalism, support for authorities, and favoring coercive social control".
Hello. To whom do we think that applies in these enlightened times?
That's probably as good a description as any but it makes the RWA scale sound very Leftish.   
Who are they who ignore the obvious facts and rely on appeals to authority to justify their belief in global warming? It sure isn't conservatives.   
And if you want to hear the conservative attitude to authority, just listen to GOP hero Donald Trump.  He rubbishes all the main authorities: The Congress, the political party organizations, the Supreme Court, the President, big business.  He trusts only the people, which is exactly right in a democracy.  
Marxists have often talked about "the people" but have never represented them.  Trump does.  From Marx and Engels on, Marxists have always been low wattage bourgeois intellectuals  -- confirmed ivory tower denizens.
No smoking in the toilets.
And as for coercive social control, who is it who wanted to "fundamentally transform" America?  Hint: His surname begins with an O.   
So it is a type of Leftism  that engenders racism?  It fits.  Aside from the Muslims, all the antisemitism in both Britain and America today is coming from the Left --particularly in Britain.  And Hitler was a socialist.
Cohrs & Duckitt did not draw that inference, however, perhaps due to a general political naivety.  There also seems to be an underlying political naivety in this statement:
"Simply categorizing people as members of one’s own social category or as members of another social category seems to automatically generate identification with one’s group and a motivational tendency to positively differentiate it from other groups"
So you are always positive towards your own group?  Hardly. Many  American Leftists HATE America and lots of Jews are very negative about Israel.  Even Leftist Israelis are very critical of Israel.  
I think Cohrs and Duckitt need to get out into the fresh air a lot more.  There's a different world out there.
So, all in all, not much can be said that puts the 'politically correct' in a good light, no matter how hard one tries. Most leftists are mentally unsound but do not expect the DSM to say so. It is leftist !

What doe s the man of the cloth say? Well it just so happened that  Fr Richard Heilman was sinking some wine but rather than give his own view he quoted a more senior cleric. 
From and address by the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen
America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance. 
It is not. 
It is suffering from tolerance: tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so much overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broad-minded. 
The man who can make up his mind in an orderly way, as a man might make up his bed, is called a bigot; but a man who cannot make up his mind, any more than he can make up for lost time, is called tolerant and broad-minded.
A bigoted man is one who refuses to accept a reason for anything; a broad-minded man is one who will accept anything for a reason—providing it is not a good reason. 
It is true that there is a demand for precision, exactness, and definiteness, but it is only for precision in scientific measurement, not in logic. 
The breakdown that has produced this natural broad-mindedness is mental, not moral.
Although one might raise an eyebrow or a slab of scales for a fresh pint here. 
The evidence for this statement is threefold: the tendency to settle issues not by arguments but by words, the unqualified willingness to accept the authority of anyone on the subject of religion, and lastly the love of novelty.
The science of religion has a right to be heard scientifically through its qualified spokesmen, just as the science of physics or astronomy has a right to be heard through its qualified spokesmen. 
Religion is a science despite the fact the some would make it only a sentiment. Religion has its principles, natural and revealed, which are more exacting in their logic than mathematics. 
But the false notion of tolerance has obscured this fact from the eyes of many who are as intolerant about the smallest details of life as they are tolerant about their relations to God.
Another evidence of the breakdown of reason that has produced this weird fungus of broad-mindedness is the passion of novelty, as opposed to the love of truth. Truth is sacrificed for an epigram, the Divinity of Christ for a headline in the Monday morning newspaper. Many a modern preacher is far less concerned with preaching Christ and Him crucified than he is with his popularity with his congregation.
A want of intellectual backbone makes him straddle the ox of truth and the ass of nonsense, paying compliments to Catholics because of “their great organization” and to sexologists because of “their honest challenge to the youth of this generation.” 
Bending the knee to the mob rather than God would probably make them scruple at ever playing the role of John the Baptist before a modern Herod. No accusing finger would be leveled at a divorce or one living in adultery; no voice would be thundered in the ears of the rich, saying with something of the intolerance of Divinity: “It is not lawful for thee to live with thy brother’s wife.” 
Rather would we hear: “Friends, times are changing!” 
The acids of modernity are eating away the fossils of orthodoxy.
Belief in the existence of God, in the Divinity of Christ, in the moral law, is considered passing fashions. 
The latest thing in this new tolerance is considered the true thing, as if truth were a fashion, like a hat, instead of an institution like a head.
The final argument for modern broad-mindedness is that truth is novelty and hence “truth” changes with the passing fancies of the moment. Like the chameleon that changes his colors to suit the vesture on which he is placed, so truth is supposed to change to fit the foibles and obliquities of the age. 
The nature of certain things is fixed, and none more so than the nature of truth. 
Truth may be contradicted a thousand times, but that only proves that it is strong enough to survive a thousand assaults. But for any one to say, “Some say this, some say that, therefore, there is no truth,” is about as logical as it would have been for Columbus who heard some say, “The earth is round”, and others say “The earth is flat” to conclude: “Therefore, there is no earth.” 
Like a carpenter who might throw away his rule and use each beam as a measuring rod, so, too, those who have thrown away the standard of objective truth have nothing left with which to measure but the mental fashion of the moment.
The giggling giddiness of novelty, the sentimental restlessness of a mind unhinged, and the unnatural fear of a good dose of hard thinking, all conjoin to produce a group of sophomoric latitudinarians who think there is no difference between God as Cause and God as a “mental projection”; who equate Christ and Buddha, and then enlarge their broad-mindedness into a sweeping synthesis that says not only that one Christian sect is as good as another, but even that one world-religion is just as good as another. 
The great god “Progress” is then enthroned on the altars of fashion, and as the hectic worshippers are asked, “Progress toward what?” the tolerant comes back with “More progress.” 
All the while sane men are wondering how there can be progress without direction and how there can be direction without a fixed point. 
And because they speak of a “fixed point”, they are said to be behind the times, when really they are beyond the times mentally and spiritually.
In the face of this false broadmindedness, what the world needs is intolerance. 
The world seems to have lost entirely the faculty of distinguishing between good and bad, the right and the wrong. 
There are some minds that believe that intolerance is always wrong, because they make “intolerance” mean hate, narrow-mindedness, and bigotry. 
These same minds believe that tolerance is always right because, for them, it means charity, broadmindedness, and American good nature.
What is tolerance? Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil and a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. 
This is where we came in, remember. 
But what is more important than the definition is the field of its application. The important point here is this: Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth. 
Intolerance applies only to truth, but never to persons. 
Tolerance applies to the erring; 
intolerance to the error.
America is suffering not so much from intolerance, which is bigotry, as it is from tolerance, which is indifference to truth and error, and a philosophical nonchalance that has been interpreted as broad-mindedness. 
Greater tolerance, of course, is desirable, for there can never be too much charity shown to persons who differ with us. Our Blessed Lord Himself asked that we “love those who calumniate us, for they are always persons,” but He never told us to love the calumny.
In keeping with the Spirit of Christ, the Church encourages prayers for all those who are outside the pale of the Church and asks that the greatest charity be shown towards them. Charity, then, must be shown to persons and particularly those outside the fold, who by charity must be led back, that there may be one fold and one Shepherd. Shall God, Who refuses to look with an equally tolerant eye on all religions, be denied the name of “Wisdom” and be called an “Intolerant” God?
The Church is identified with Christ in both time and principle; She began thinking on His first principles and the harder She thought, the more dogmas She developed. She never forgot those dogmas; She remembered them and Her memory is Tradition. The dogmas of the Church are like bricks, solid things with which a man can build, not like straw, which is “religious experience” fit only for burning. The Church has been and will always be intolerant so far as the rights of God are concerned, for heresy, error, and untruth affect not personal matters on which She may yield, but a Divine Right in which there is no yielding. The truth is divine; the heretic is human. Due reparation made, the Church will admit the heretic back into the treasury of Her souls, but never the heresy into the treasure of Her Wisdom. Right is right even if nobody is right; and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong.
The attitude of the Church in relation to the modern world on this important question may be brought home by the story of the two women in the courtroom of Solomon. Both of them claimed a child. The lawful mother insisted on having the whole child or nothing, for a child is like truth—it cannot be divided without ruin. The unlawful mother, on the contrary, agreed to compromise. She was willing to divide the babe, and the babe would have died of broad-mindedness.
So, instead of castigating the transexual nutter (to whom we ought to show compassion) and passing laws which force ladies and little girls to have their privacy invaded - or indeed gentlemen watering their horses being interrupted by stampeding womenfolk - perhaps a toilet for the mentally and sartorially, confused could be assigned.  Dragons can use the hedgerow.

And perhaps a law of two that say bakers and florists may serve or not serve as they friggin' well deem fit.

Now, I must go and do a stock-take.


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Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..