Being in the business of blogging means that you sometimes have to make judgements without the full scope of evidence that would be available to a more august body, such as the cops, or a court of law. Judging is at the root of forming an opinion and looking at as much evidence as you can before forming your opinion is part of the intellectual rigour of forming a sound opinion, backed with logical arguments and evidence for your stated position. This is the heart of learned discourse, exchanging opinions and evidence for your thesis, defending your position.
For example, if our stated position was “So and so is a douchebag” the bar of intellectual proof would be: Has so and so engaged in behaviours in keeping with the generally held standards of douchebaggery? (See any reality show featuring the menfolk of the Kardashian Klan, or Jersey Shore as a standard for douchebaggery) If the individual exhibits a majority of the symptoms, then, intellectually, we can call them a douchebag.
We also use what is called the Duck Theorem. The Duck Theorem is this: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, leaves feathers behind like a duck, shits like a duck, smells like a duck, then flies away like a duck, more than likely, it is a duck.
This ties to the construct of Occam’s razor which seeks the principle of parsimony, economy or succinctness in logic. It states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Again, an intellectual process for learned discourse, that we condense as The Simple Answer is Probably the Right Answer.
Which brings us to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. The local cops have recovered rumoured video of the Mayor engaging in certain practices that are not Mayor-like, unless you are Marion Barry.
Our predicament is that using the Duck Theorem and Occam’s razor, it looks like the Mayor was caught on the pipe with a couple of known, um, wholesalers, in the Toronto drug industry. We will add the caveat, we have not seen the video, but enough people have that even the Police Chief has said that the video is substantially as reported in the media.
Where we lack evidence, is the content of said pipe. If it was a pinch of Sail or Borkum Riff pipe tobacco, then we have no substantive issue, aside from the Mayor of the biggest city in Canada chumming around with drug dealers. That alone should be reason enough for Ford to take a sabbatical until these allegations are cleared up in a court of law. If it turns out that Ford was using what looks like a crack pipe, in the presence of known dealers in crack, with evidence that the pipe contained residues of the combustion of Coc-H+Cl− + NH4HCO3 → Coc + NH4Cl + CO2 + H2O, then he should emphatically resign.
Leaving aside the evidence for the time being, is the existence of the video enough for Rob Ford to resign? If the man had any shame at all, he would. Obviously, he has no shame, as he has not resigned, or taken a sabbatical, or even sought to use up some vacation time away from the office and the pressures of the Office.
Therefore, Rob Ford is a Duck.