The Fourth Monkey Speaks

monkey_holding1May 31, 2017

From June 1, 2017 onward, it won’t be quite necessary for hell to freeze over and host a New Year’s Day NHL outdoor game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens before this blog contains new commentary on any Canadian trial level or provincial appellate level decision dealing with proof of factual causation. However, the occasion will have to be something equally remarkable.

June 1, 2020 October 31, 2016

This blog will remain mostly dormant  inconsistently active, usually, and consistently mostly harmless, inevitably, for the foreseeable future. However, comments are now open, again, although what’s here is mostly past not prologue. But, that re-opening comes with a caveat. Click on “continue reading”, below, to read the caveat.

November 9. 2020

I wasn’t dead. Just went walkabout. But the pandemic put a crimp in those plans, at least for now.

One of the advantages of having not practising law in Ontario since the end of 2012 was that I didn’t have to explain that I wasn’t related to the person with the same surname whose name too often appeared in the Ontario Reports, in the style of cause, on the wrong side of the  “v.”.

If a wall still exists where the Osgoode Hall class-year pictures are / were hung, I’m in 1975 year’s picture. I’m wearing a brown sweater with gold rectangles tilted so the vertex of one corner points up, over a green shirt hat had white polka dots. The picture is in black and white, though, so you won’t see the colours. There might even be pictures of the 1972-75 hockey OWLS around. I’m the goalie with the longer hair, and the poor attempt at a moustache, in the first two years. The 1975 picture was taken towards the end of 3rd term. Articling was on the horizon.

For the future? Unlike Ozymandias, I look back on my own works and despair. But I’m not quite Outis, yet. If a judge of the (now defunct) House of Lords was prepared to say “never say never”, not that long ago,  who am I to disagree?


There’s no “here be monsters” on the door to this blog, but … it’s not necessarily for the faint of heart, or for those who want their understanding of reality confirmed by their sycophants or other followers.

If you comment, I might eventually answer. I do not undertake to answer all comments; nor do I undertake to allow all comments to appear.

I ask that you use your full name if you comment. I will probably reject obvious aliases or incomplete names absent a good explanation for that name. After  all, on the internet, “nobody knows whether you’re a dog”.  (I changed the aphorism by adding”whether”. You can find the saying in its original form, complete with the related cartoon in many places: Wikipedia for one.) Or a sock-puppet. Or a clone of Adolph. Or a Martian spy. (Martian children, however, are allowed.)

As this is my home, my definition of what constitutes an ad hominem – which is the traditional definition –  governs; not the too common modern view that, in discussion and intercourse, anything that upsets another’s feelings is an ad hominem.

Here, the frank exchange of knowledge and truth in a courteous manner matters. Not “niceness”. Not pablum. However, “courteous” does not mean “nice”. The truth is sometimes embarrassing. But that’s not a reason for not speaking the truth HERE. Stating the truth, plainly, simply, starkly, without sugar-coating the delivery is not “incivility”.

In this forum, there is a difference between lack of knowledge because one did not have the opportunity to learn and ignorance. The former is acceptable. The latter is not.

There are some assertions by ADULTS, those competent enough to be treated as adults, and some others seeking to be treated as adults,  which do not require me, or anyone else, to say anything more that “you are wrong because that is ludicrous”. Everyone has a right to be stupid. Nobody has the right, here, to compel others to accept or listen to that stupidity, whatever might be the rule elsewhere. Everyone also has a right to a good education. That too many people who have an opportunity to become educated chose not to is a tragedy. (Look up the etymology of “tragedy”.)  However,  NO competent adult has  a right NOT to be told he or she is acting stupidly. The maker of the ludicrous assertion has no right to any more explanation than that.

If you want to be treated with “kids’ gloves”, you’ll have to go elsewere. If you act like a child, here, you’ll be regarded as a child and treated appropriately. In Canada, at least according to Parliament, and a past iteration of the Supreme Court of Canada, while it’s not permissible to spank your dog, or to pinch your partner’s butt for a sexual purpose without prior consent (express of implied), it is to spank your child so long as the spanking is done in accordance with currently accepted norms as to (1) the purpose of the spanking and (2) the extent of the pain and injury inflicted by the spanking. That is, using a wet noodle in a reasonable manner for a redeeming social purpose is probably acceptable in the better parts of town, even though it’s technically illegal because one used an implement other than one’s bare hand.

If you come here quacking like a duck, expect to be treated like one. The transitive principle applies. If it seems to be a black swan, it may well be.  You may define a bus as a butterfly, but it still won’t fly except metaphorically. And, it’s even more than Ivory Snow certain that the bus won’t pass through you, without injuring you, if you step in front of it, even if that consequence is a statistical possibility..

Also, goose pâté is tolerated, here, particularly if it’s Canada Goose. (If things haven’t changed in the past 5 years, then a visit to fields on the east side of Dufferin, north of Finch, in Toronto, Canada, will show you why.) Not everyone is vegetarian and some, here, may wield sharp versions of Occam’s Razor.

If you come, here, purporting to be an adult and claim the earth is flat and what’s holding it up in space is the 2nd elephant below the first supporting the turtle (or tortoise), I reserve the right to tell you “you are wrong because that is ludicrous” without having to tell you that everyone knows that the earth is a cone supported on the back of an incontinent pink passenger pigeon.

Or is that a pink plastic pig? (I need to double-check that album cover.)

You have the right to ask for an explanation, provided you do so courteously. However, I do not have an obligation to explain nor does or will anyone else here. That’s at least because, as a competent adult (1) you have the right and ability to obtain the explanation on your own, on your own dime and time, elsewhere and (2) I haven’t undertaken to explain it to you. As Freddy Prinz would have said: “it’s not my job”. That truth may or may not be helpful, it may or may not be “nice”, but it remains true. Get over it.

The rules of logic that govern in classical physics as well as the rules ol logic in quantum physics both govern, here. It should be obvious why.

It also remains true that one everyone has the right to have their reach exceed their grasp, and to learn the accepted (in the West) literary source of that phrase. However, at least in the West, that reach, by an otherwise competent adult with the ability to make or have made it otherwise, ought not and must not be ignorant. It may be uneducated to start but that is a condition that can be corrected. If you’re here, you have the ability to do so.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s