Libertarian meat eater, right wing in the sense of conservative with a small c.
Sunday, 28 December 2008
Sunny, criticises Israel for killing one fuck of a lot of people but also provides this gem, worthy of any good swearblogger:
"As for those defending Hamas - I don’t see what else they were expecting given the recent upsurge of rocket attacks into Israeli areas. A fucking Blue Peter badge? This really is a crappy state of affairs."
Sunny is correct in saying that both are to blame but the question is how to end it. Unlike Darrell in the comments I doubt that "providing a reasonable framework for a viable state and supporting the Palestinian people" would work. There are many reasons why the I/P situation has gone on for so long, it's the longest running phony war that I'm aware of. However, this is not a Cold War to be settled by the eventual disintegration of one state and the obvious superiority of the other. The I/P is a hot war quenched by repeated international pressure and I cannot see a way out for either people without a total victory for one side or the other.
The problem with searching for a peaceful solution to this conflict is the assumption that one might exist. It is increasingly evident that there never was.
We now have this from Darrell Goodliffe showing rather less sense than Sunny. I was particularly struck by this glaring example of stupidity:
"Israeli’s meanwhile would be forced to face .... that the only way to end the attacks is to make some painful but necessary concessions to win the hearts and minds of Palestinians."
Given that the only concession that would satisfy the Palestinians would be the total destruction of Israel, Darrell is rather reminiscent of an American commenter on Vietnam but gone arse about face:
"The Israelis must all die in order to win."
Saturday, 27 December 2008
This is similar to the way that erosion is the fault of the tides, rain is the fault of the clouds and deserts are the fault of the Sun.
The only difference between the upper example and those lower is that while tides, clouds and the Sun, (not the bloody newspaper, the large ball of fusioning Hydrogen), have both positive and negative results, you would be hard put to claim that for the upper.
In a free market you will trade because it makes you better off, if it does not do so, you have no force compelling you to make the trade, (until the socialist bastards make you of course).
Monday, 22 December 2008
The main problem is that it would require comment moderation for all blogs, many of which flourish on the basis of near instantaneous response. Bloggers should not be liable for comments made unless they meet the following criteria:
- The comments are slanderous.
- The blogger has been given reasonable notice to remove the comments.
-The blogger has refused to do so.
Going beyond this would be an unreasonable restriction on freedom of speech.
There have historically been few ways for people to communicate their ideas and the great advantage of blogging is that it is a universally distributable media, (whether anyone listens is another matter but down to the writer to sink or swim). Any legislation on blogging is likely to reduce free speech and there are few legitimate reasons to do this. All the proposed legislation, (that I am aware of), on this subject deserves to be fought to a bloody standstill.
Met Assistant Commissioner Mr. Quick was unsurprisingly annoyed by a story in the Hate Mail that his wife runs a car business from their home. His next statement was both stupid and counter to his own interests:
"The Tory machinery and their press friends are mobilised against this investigation in a wholly corrupt way, and I feel very disappointed in the country I am living in."
How stupid can you be. You might think that being a policeman he would understand that it would be a good idea to have some evidence before accusing people of criminal activity.
Oh yeah, I forgot our Dear Protectors track record on that for a moment.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Call me a cynical bastard with a conscience but I thought no meant no, asking repeatedly with growing threats until you get the "correct" answer is just not cricket, (I now live on the Isle of Wight and I'm feeling old fashioned).
Richard Corbett MEP, (Labour), is a particular case of scum in point however:
"I'm not sure if people in Ireland were aware what 'no' means - 27 minus Ireland"
Might it by any chance mean NO, you useless bag of scrofula scrapings? Also, given that the Irish have been the only population offered a CHOICE on whether or not to sign the Constitution Mark 2, could it be that you just don't agree with what people want?
I will be fisking this little list later.
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
If the charter of the UN was confined to the preamble it would be an admirably brief document but even in this section we run into difficulties:
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
The first clause is sadly unobtainable at the moment and the last can mean whatever you wish it to. The second and third clauses are possible but only in a specific model of government, Democracy (I am aware that there may be some hypothetical mode of governance where they are achievable without democracy but I have yet to see it).
So it is interesting that McCain (and others) have postulated the idea of a "League of Democracies". I think it would be a worthwhile project, simply to help coordinate the response of democracies to regimes less favourable to the human condition. The UN could remain but be acknowledged as what it is, a convenient place for negotiators to meet rather than an international force.
The League would not always agree and nor should it be binding in matters such as war or sanction (though it should require those who disagree to state their reasons publicly).
Those governments that fail to meet the criteria of democracy have no interest in obtaining the second and third clauses for their or anyone else's countries. It's time we stopped pretending that they did and freely condemn them.
The above said, it would be disastrous if the police were given the right to strike. This right would shift the power too far the other way, allowing the police to hold the country to ransom over pay, conditions and even legal powers. The government must agree to be bound by arbitration as this provides the best balance of power.
However, as the BBC has noted (and very unusual for them do so) this cannot happen until the EU passes a directive that the UK government can then implement. Of course we don't know whether the EU will give us what the government wants, (stupid idea as it is), something better, (long live the ice cream in the blast furnace), or something even worse, (guess where my money is on this one). Nevertheless, it is pleasing to see the EUs role being noticed for once.
It is frustrating for those honestly arguing both sides of the debate when little about how the EU affects our daily lives is mentioned. It is possible, if you hack through the scare nonsense, to find reasonable anti-EU arguments, (though very seldom in the MSM), pro-EU arguments are somewhat more difficult to get hold of.
Were I uncharitable I might be drawn to the conclusion that the reason that the pro side does not wish to put their case forward is because they know they don't have a very good one. This would explain why the obvious goal of a European superstate is obfuscated when there can be no other intention from "ever closer union". However I will suspend judgement, (rather sceptically), if someone can point me in the direction of some decent pro-EU arguments, ("it prevents war in Europe", "we need the EU to trade", etc will not do unless you can show that such arguments are not the total bollocks that they very much seem to be).
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Newcomers will be made to learn English and contribute economically under Citizenship, Immigration and Borders Bill.
What It Means For You: End of whole streets where nobody speaks English.
Translation: We promise not to let any more darkies in.
Councils may be forced to respond to petitions. Community Empowerment Bill also gives residents a greater say in how they want services run.
What It Means For You: End of "town hall knows best".
Translation: Councils may be forced to tell you to fuck off rather than just ignoring you. The Community Empowerment Bill, (the weasel wording of that makes me feel slightly nauseous), will allow you to waste your time and taxpayers money for no effect because the residents will still have sod all power over the council compared to central government.
Walkers will get beefed up right to walk along beaches, cliffs, dunes and rocks with the Marine and Coastal Access Bill creating a national path.
What It Means For You: Stunning new views opened up.
Translation: If you own any coastline we're going to take away your property rights and allow people to sue you if they twist an ankle.
Old buildings protection to stop demolition will be simpler. The Heritage Protection Bill will stop Government having say on statues put up in London.
What It Means For You: Old buildings saved, more statues.
Translation: Waffle, waffle, rhubarb, people like old buildings and statues and this might make them think we're doing something to help but will have sod all effect.
Public bodies must show they treat workers fairly. Equality Bill allows all-women shortlists when parties pick candidates.
What It Means For You: More women MPs, checks on equal pay in town halls.
Translation: Public bodies must comply with existing employment law, (which they have to do already). Equality Bill will result in piss poor female candidates getting ahead in politics, (see Blears, etc.), but will give us something to shout at the Tories about if they don't go along with this stupid, illiberal, counterproductive idea.
POLICE & CRIME
The public will be able to vote on members of local police boards who will have some control over police priorities.
The Policing and Crime Reduction Bill will set national standards of numbers of bobbies on the beat.
It promises reduced police paperwork, more seizing of criminal assets and better protection for witnesses and victims of gun and gang crime.
What It Means For You: It will force police out on patrol and concentrate on crimes which cause the most misery.
Translation: Public will have so little control that it's simply not worth bothering with. National standards will be set, when they fail they will be reset, no overall effect other than wasting money coming up with standards. There will be no reduction in paperwork but they feel they have to say it. If charged with a crime you will have any chance of defending yourself removed as you will have no assets to hire a lawyer and you will be effectively denied legal aid. Witnesses and victims will get a leaflet on how to hide in hole in the ground.
Tougher airport security agreements and Navy powers to tackle piracy would be brought in by the Transport Security Bill.
What It Means For You: Less chance of terrorist attack.
Translation: We will produce various nonsense theatre that will help convince you that WWIII is about to break out. That way you wont object so much as we spend the rest of eternity stamping on your face while wearing jackboots, after all it's for your safety and protection.
The Treasury and Bank of England can intervene when banks face collapse - and Banking Reform Bill will ensure savers get their money back.
What It Means For You: Less chance of a Northern Rock.
Translation: We're not making many changes apart from giving the banks yet more forms to fill in but again, we felt we had to say something.
Savings by the less well-off could be matched pound for pound by the Government under the Savings Gateway Bill.
What It Means For You: Poorer savers could get hundreds out of the Treasury.
Translation: Look aren't we clever, we can bribe you with your own money!
Cash will be withheld from hospitals that get the thumbsdown from patients.
Patients will fill in questionnaires on what they think of the quality of service when they leave hospital.
The Health Service Reform Bill will bring in a constitution for the National Health Service which will guarantee that patients set standards.
The long-term sick will get a greater say on how money allocated to their care is spent.
What It Means For You: Good hospitals could expand and get busier. Bad hospitals will get worse and could close.
Translation: We want more paperwork and to give the illusion of competition so that when it all goes to hell, (next stop), we can blame the concept of competition, (oh and even more paperwork, it makes us feel all fuzzy inside).
The top tier of local government could tax bigger businesses to help local development under the Business Rate Bill.
What It Means For You: Business owners paying more to boost deprived areas.
Translation: Having bled you white we're going to put up taxes even more.
More powers for police to probe what people do online are provided in the Communications Data Bill.
What It Means For You: Will make evading authorities tougher for internet criminals.
Translation: Dangerous thing free speech, we'd like to put a stop to it.
Murder laws changed by Law Reform, Victims and Witnesses Bill with tougher punishments, more security for witnesses.
What It Means For You: Fewer thugs escaping justice due to scared witnesses.
Translation: We recon that if we take away your legal safeguards and stack prisoners like cordwood you will think we're doing something.
EDUCATION & SKILLS
Town halls will get new powers to step in to sort out underperforming or "coasting" schools.
Parents will get the right to have more regular updates on their children's progress.
The Education and Skills Bill will also give all employees the right to take time off work for training.
What It Means For You: Bad schools taken over by private education firms or other schools. Emails to parents, possibly every week, on children's schooling.
Translation: We don't think teachers have enough paperwork to do, we also want yet more government interference in schools and to add to employer costs.
Families will be given new rights to appeal against coroner's verdicts by the Coroners and Death Certification Bill.
What It Means For You: No more complicated court battles to have verdicts overturned.
Translation: Coroners seem to have too much time on their hands or they wouldn't be criticising the government for shoddy equipment in Iraq or Afghanistan, this should keep them busy.
MPs will have the final say over international treaties.
The Constitutional Review Bill also reduces restrictions on protesting outside Parliament.
What It Means For You: More rows over EU treaties.
Translation: We don't want to have you horrible little proles having a say on the future of your country even though we promised to do so at the last election. Protesting outside parliament will now be punished with a cattle prod up the arse rather than a bullet in the face.
Aid workers will get the same protection afforded to UN staff under the Geneva Conventions and UN Personnel Bill.
What It Means For You: Reaffirms our commitment to the UN.
Translation: We like the UN, it makes us seem less corrupt by comparison.
The unemployed will be expected to learn new skills to help them back into work.
Medical teams will give incapacity benefit claimants a work "MoT" to try to get them back into jobs.
The Welfare Reform Bill will also toughen powers to make "deadbeat dads" contribute payments to their children's upbringing after a divorce or breakup.
What It Means For You: The unemployed will lose benefits if they do not take up training courses or turn up for Jobcentre interviews.
Translation: We're not going to do anything new with the welfare state but we will now have power to look at, disseminate, loose the details of and steal money directly from your account.
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Alister Darling has a great many worries at the moment, ducking the clunking fist from above, dodging sideswipes from Ed Balls and the ever present danger of the voters from below, (and I'm sure that he sees the voters as being below). However, his job, the one we pay for, is balancing the budget, making sure that the country doesn't go ever deeper into debt and so what does he do?
Borrow an extra £2.7 Billion to bribe his way out of the 10% tax debacle. Clearly he felt that the public finances were not in a deep enough hole with unfunded pension liabilities, various PFI nonsense that has until recently been "off book", (hidden in one of the most pathetic attempts at cooking the books by the OEGK), and all the other costs and debts so he's swapping his spade for a JCB.
Before Darling manages to dig to the earths core, could we just get a magic 8 Ball as our chancellor, at least it wouldn't be wrong all the time.
Friday, 9 May 2008
The result of this is that you are both free to act and responsible for those actions. You are free to get drunk for instance but if you hit someone while inebriated you are just as guilty as if you had done so while sober.
Libertarianism, almost by definition, requires a small government. Large enough to enforce justice and defend against those who would interfere with your rights but not so large as to spend its time interfering itself.
Given that Negative Liberty has usually been associated with the Empiricists, (mostly British philosophers such as Lock, Hume and Hobbes), it is interesting to note that Libertarianism fits well with the Common Law system, (you are free to do anything that is not illegal). Those who based their beliefs on Positive Liberty, (the "freedom" to interfere with others), are more associated with the Roman Law system, (a simplification of which is that actions are legal if specifically permitted), including such luminaries as Hegel, Rousseau and Marx.
This leads us to such basics as:
You own yourself.
You have every right to your property.
Authoritarianism, Paternalism and the banning of things other than acts harmful to a third party will always decrease Liberty.
And people wonder why Libertarians are so opposed to the current government, (sticks head in bucket and screams).
It really is a mutual spiral of fuckwittery lead authoritarianism. The thing is that if you accept the principle behind the no drinking on the tube idea then how can you object to this:
No Muslims on the tube.
Boris today explained that while he accepted that most Muslims were no trouble on the tube at all, those few who were caused such serious trouble, (far more than any drunk), that it would be best to "send a message" to crack down on tube explosions.
No Blacks on the tube:
Boris launched his new policy of a "Darkie free tube" today. He explained to the baying mob that just because most blacks were law abiding did not excuse the increased incidence of theft by this ethnic community. The best way to send a strong message on crime was to ban the lot of them. When asked what would be the situation if you had mixed parentage Boris replied, "We are making the tube a safer, better place. So frankly I wouldn't show up if you've got even a bit of a tan."
Do go and have a word with the bunch of bastards commenting on DK's post on this. They seem to have forgotten that bans cannot increase Liberty.
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
I'm lost for non sweary words. I hope she catches a disease that only cannabis can ease the pain from.
There is no sense behind this move, cannabis is essentially harmless, (when was the last time there was an overdose or insane stoned maniac on the loose?). Just a piss poor, cheap, tawdry and pathetic trick to please the gallery of authoritarian bastards.
There are two possible effects from this; everyone will be so stoned that they wont bother to vote next time or the house of commons will be surrounded by a baying mob that burns so many bales of dope that the legislature is stoned for the next 10 months.
If the latter then there is some hope that they will do less stupid things, (don't hold your breath).
UPDATE: Yet another example of the jobbernowled bescumbers at the Hate Mail.
Current position: WAR ON NOUNS!!!
Does it work? No, not just a bit no but unbloodybelievably no. People keep taking them anyway despite having to break the law to do so. This leads some straight to prison and others committing crime to get their expensive hit. There is also a great focus on punishment and not all that much on helping those addicted break or manage their habit.
Any better ideas? Legalise the lot, licence, tax and use some proportion of that money, (and the money saved from not locking up drug takers), to fund treatment programmes.
Current position: The EU, soon to be totally beyond our control thanks to the self amending Lisbon Treaty.
Does it work? While having free trade within it's borders, is in effect a protectionist block when it comes to world trade. There is rampant corruption, the usual problems with upscaling and trying to control diverse situations with one central rule combined with a total lack of accountability.
So it doesn't really work as intended and is drifting ever closer to a badly run United States of Europe.
Any better ideas? Whether you support the idea of a pan-European government or not, this one's broken. There have been many attempts to fix it but none of them have worked at all. Given that, it's time to break it up and either start again or just devolve things back to sovereign states.
Current position: "Comprehensive" Education with some private schooling available for a, (high), price.
Does it work? The private sector does pretty well, the state system, (with a few honorable exceptions), has not worked for a very long time. The comps are a victim of central planning that takes no account of local variations, devalues the exam system, adds progressively more stupid things to the dumbed down national curriculum and has too little discipline in many areas. (That's a no by the way).
Any better ideas? The Swedish voucher system seems to work fairly well, that doesn't mean it would be perfect for the UK but it does appear to be a vast improvement.
Current position: Elective, (after jumping through a hoop or two), up to 24 weeks with the vast majority done before 20 weeks. Late term abortions available in cases where the foetus would develop with severe abnormalities or to protect the health of the prospective mother.
Does it work? Fairly well, there is still an ongoing debate as to whether the elective limit should be brought down to 20 weeks but the arguments to support such a move are far from clear cut. Further restrictions would be more likely to cause overall harm than help.
Any better ideas? Not so far as I can tell.
Current position: Prostitution is not illegal but soliciting for it is, (you are free to sell your body as long as you don't go telling people your body is for sale), paying for sex, (with an over 18), is legal.
Does it work? The aim of the law is to reduce the amount of prostitution, to keep it away from those who object to it, to prevent anyone other than the prostitute making money from the prostitute's work and to prevent anyone being controlled / forced / coerced into prostitution.
Given that prostitution is famously the "oldest profession" the only way in which you can reduce prostitution is to improve the economic circumstances of those who would otherwise go into the industry. The sole way in which the law is reasonably effective is that it provides the police a means to arrest or move on prostitutes who are in an area where too many residents are objecting. There are dire health consequences, exacerbated by this trade being illegal, and a conviction for soliciting will make it harder for a prostitute to leave the trade and find better work. All in all, the law makes conditions worse for sex workers, makes leaving the industry very difficult and leaves them open to abuse, (there is no hope of extracting you fee from a non paying client through the courts, giving pimps an in to provide "protection").
Any better ideas? Liberalising and bringing some degree of legitimacy to the sex trade is the only way I can see to improve conditions for sex workers. Licensed, health checked etc. brothels would be a safer environment for both workers and clients. If the trade were not illegal and therefore a conviction less likely, the trade would also be easier to leave.
Let the sad, small roman candle begin. I'll be back with more of these as and when.
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
What fucking planet is he from? If he murdered both his parents and then through himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan he would have displayed no less chutzpah, the twat.
UPDATE: Blears is making the most pathetic fist of an interview with Paxman I have ever seen, even by her low as a tuppenny sheep whore in Wales standards.
It is of course the EU that has demanded both that the sector be opened up to competition and that the Royal Mail can no longer be subsidised to the same extent. Now I approve of competition and dislike subsidy but it should be a matter for the UK to decide rather than being handed down in edict from the lofty heights of corruption that exist in the EU.
Quite apart from antiquated working practices, an over strong and stupid union and a massive pension deficit there is one simple reason why the liberalisation would never work as proposed; you cannot have a system where one player has a universal service obligation and the others don't and expect it to work. Its like setting up a Las Vegas fight night and the stabbing one of the competitors in the eye just before they step in the ring.
The Royal Mail needs to be free to charge more for deliveries in the middle of nowhere to reflect their higher costs. If people want to save their local post office through subsidy then let that subsidy be locally collected and paid.
I do fear that even if the above were permitted, the unions will still bring down the Royal Mail and the union member's jobs will go with it. A hard line union in a company stuck in the breech between the public and private sectors will cause immense damage and there is no subsidy in shining armour that is going to save them this time.
Saturday, 3 May 2008
He will be competent, (at least as much as the previous administration), let's hope he remembers that freedom is the most important thing to preserve.
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
The reason that the act is so ineffective is that there is no individual liability, (see clause 18 of the bill), and as a result no "mens rea", (a controlling, guilty mind), so even if someone is responsible for a death through criminal negligence, the company effectively shelters them.
A better way forward would surely be to remove the tedious, time wasting and economically detrimental reams of forms and replace them with a law that focused on the controlling mind. To that end I suggest that each company have to nominate a safety director who would be criminally responsible in the event of a failure to take reasonable steps to prevent injury to their employees.
It would be for the prosecution to prove that the reasonable steps had not been taken, (yes, more onerous but if you believe in justice then reversing the burden of proof is unconscionable), and there would be an extra defence in full; if the safety director had brought problems to the board and then been overruled, he/she would escape liability but the rest of the board would be liable.
Given that this approach would identify the mens rea, I would expect the sentencing to reflect that of manslaughter by gross negligence, which is to say, a prison term determinate on the severity of the negligence.
All those with bright ideas welcome on this one, there may well be consequences to this that I have not thought through but it seems like an elegantly efficient way of dealing with employer responsibilities.
However, given the bizarre numptiness of the "War on Drugs", perhaps we shouldn't be so astonished. The vast majority of harm from all drugs comes from their illegality. From both Libertarian and Utilitarian viewpoints all drugs should be legalised, licenced and taxed to account for negative externalities.
There is only one party willing to make the changes, so obvious in their beneficial effects, that are required. You will find the Libertarian Party UK here.
The new "Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill" becomes law on the 8th of May. One part of this bill is of particular concern as it criminalises the possession of "Violent and extreme pornography" in a very wide ranging way. In fact the act means that if you partake in some somewhat kinky activities that are entirely legal, you will commit a criminal offence, (and one carrying a nasty stigma), if you should take a photograph of yourself doing so.
This terrible piece of legislation, criminalising those with tastes outside the mainstream but who have done no harm, was inspired by the sad case of Jane Longhurst who was murdered by Graham Coutts. He killed her by strangulation as part of a very fucked up attempt to get off and the fact that he had been looking at "horrific images" the day before the murder convinced Jane's mother to campaign to make the images illegal.
Mrs. Longhurst was helped in this endeavour by her MP, Martin Salter and the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett. I can understand her desperate desire to lower the chance that someone else's daughter will suffer the same fate as Jane but there are fundamental reasons why this is not the way to go about it:
The Bill criminalises the photographing of legal behavior.
It is a further intrusion of the state into peoples private lives and bedrooms.
There has been no showing of a causal link between Coutt's viewing pornography the previous day and his subsequent actions. Many people must view images that most would tend to view as peculiar to say the least, there is not a corresponding rampage of subsequently depraved.
Porn has been known to act as a substitute rather than a route to physical experience, by banning such porn you have at least as much chance of increasing attacks as you do of preventing them.
The classification of porn is notoriously difficult, I don't think that "whatever gives the Judge an erection" will work as a definition for this stuff.
There will be, just as with the calamity that has been Operation Ore, horrendous miscarriages of justice.
I'll leave you with this from Deborah Hyde of Backlash:
"How many tens or hundreds or thousands of people are going to be dragged into a police station, have their homes turned upside down, their computers stolen and their neighbours suspecting them of all sorts?
Such "victims" won't feel able to fight the case and will take a caution, before there are enough test cases to prove that this law is unnecessary and unworkable"
Thursday, 24 April 2008
Then they came for them as likes shrooms, and was narked because they are silly and fun.
Then they came for the protesters, and my blood boiled with furious indignation at the bastards.
Then they came for the smokers, and as they ripped away our liberty they told us that they were giving us more.
Now they're coming for the drinkers, and they may have made a mistake here.
If there's one thing the British won't tolerate it's people fucking around with their pints.
JUST YOU BLOODY TRY IT!
Monday, 21 April 2008
"We have done more as a Government in the last 50 years for poverty than any other government."
Well yes, it's true that he keeps shifting the tax burden ever more onto the poor but I don't think that's what he was trying to say.
"Alcohol is responsible for 16% of Europe's cases of child abuse and neglect,"
No you shit for brains fuckwits, the people abusing or neglecting are responsible for 100% of it, pissed or sober. Alcohol is a thing, not a thinking being and cannot "be responsible" for people's actions or anything else.
Saturday, 19 April 2008
"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."
(Justice Louis D. Brandeis)
An obviously evil tyrant is easy to oppose, (winning that opposition is something else), those who by genuine belief or deception wish to take away our Liberties "for our own good" are harder to contend with. Throughout history, (in the UK at least), it has been the obvious tyrants we have faced as the greater danger. Now that that route is closed, it is no surprise to see them take the road less traveled but the destination, our lives under their control, is the same.
The problem is "Salami Tactics", (see 1.20 in), each little erosion of Liberty is seen as not worth bothering with but they add up over time and before you know it you have nothing left. Instead of a Nuclear Option, we must resist each time those in power attempt to take away our remaining Liberties and demand back those they have stolen from us.
The above is not in dispute, (although their figures and data collection methods will be when I can find them), but sober people do a great deal of harm as well. There is a convention in English law, (and I assume many other jurisdictions as well), that if you willingly ingest substances that affect your behavior, that is no defence for any criminal actions you undertake while in that state. So if you take a swing at someone and the next morning you don't even remember doing so, that is no defence, (unlike the Lockeian view).
One of the major problems with "Utter Bollocks" is that it blames the drink not the person for their behavior. If someone spikes your drink, (an occurrence much rarer than believed but it does happen), then you have a defence because you did not willingly get yourself into a state. If you choose to drink a bottle of vodka and then throw up on someone you have to face the consequences of your actions.
I find "Utter Bollocks" repugnant on both sides of Libertarianism. You should be free to ingest whatever you desire, equally you must be held responsible for your actions if you willingly enter such a state. I view the promoters of "Utter Bollocks" as nasty little shits, keen to control our lives because of the satisfaction it gives them and keener still to infantilise us to make that job easier. I suggest they go take a running jump into a pit of chili oiled spikes.
Friday, 18 April 2008
"I don't resent paying taxes because I don't view the money as mine in the first place"
Admittedly she works in the public sector but when I pressed that point she insisted that whether in public or private employment, she still feels the same way. Her argument was that employers pay according to what they can afford in order to get someone to do the job and she would be just as happy with her post tax income whether under the current situation or receiving a lower pay packet that was not taxed. It's a fair enough point on one level, if I give you £1 it makes no difference if I hand over one coin or give you a fiver and demand £4 change.
At this point vodka and a vital game of Halo 2 intervened so I let the subject drop. However I believe that her view is based on a fundamental misunderstanding. The situation described above is not what is going on. Instead of being offered £1 and paying change, you are being offered £5 and a third party, (government taxation), comes in and nabs £4. The fact that so much money goes into the pathetically inefficient government coffers, (see diseconomies of scale), makes us all poorer and depresses wages and GDP growth. A cut in, or abolition of, income tax does not allow employers to drop their wages because they would lose their staff to competitors. It would however, make us richer.
The other problem I have with her view is that by not seeing your pre tax wages as your money you have no incentive to hold the government to account for wasting your hard earned dosh. "What they've just wasted £X Billion on idiotic IT projects? Well I don't care it's not like they're wasting my money.", but they are. The money you earn is yours to keep unless there is a very good justification otherwise. Government should be held accountable for every damn penny they extort from us because the best person to spend your money is you.
The other weird view for this post comes from Neil "I fail to understand the basic concepts of Liberty" Harding, who is raging against the rumour that Boris wants to overturn the smoking ban in London, (not that he has the power to do so but it seems that all the candidates enjoy promising things they have no power to deliver, so we'll forgive him that one).
Neil, of course supports the smoking ban on the basis that he likes to go to places that are not filled with smoke. Fair enough but what takes the biscuit is that Neil has previously argued that the smoking ban increases Liberty and this time has come up with another gem:
"If you think this is a civil liberties issue (it isn't)"
Yes it is. It is obvious that it is because it's a restriction on peoples behavior on privately owned property whether or not the owner wishes such behavior to be allowed. I have argued with Neil about positive and negative liberty before and he seems unable or unwilling to grasp the point that a ban on things that do not cause harm to others, (even if you believe that passive smoking is the very scourge of the devil then you are not forced to go into smoky environments), cannot enhance but only diminish Liberty. By all means, support the smoking ban because you don't like your local to be smoky, or because you just hate smokers, or because you a nasty, sanctimonious little cunt but don't deny that it is a civil Liberties issue nor that it reduces Liberty.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
Nick kicks off with this: "The BNP, for all its rhetoric, is really just another faction of the far left" and links to a Samizdata article comparing the Green's manifesto to what you would expect of the BNP.
Sunny responds with this: "The BNP is right-wing not left-wing because its principle policies are social values, not economic values. Its pernicious because of its ultra-conservative and racist social attitudes. Frankly its economic policies, socialist in nature they may be, are irrelevant."
The above shows two views that are not simply irreconcilable but don't even connect in any fashion that could be a basis for argument.
Question That sums thing up rather neatly further down the page:
"Samizdata and other libertarians are up for lumping the BNP in with left, on the grounds that their economic policies are somewhat socialistic and their attitudes are more collectivistic than individualistic. In other words, not without some justification.Others use conflate being ‘right-wing’ with being racist and having other BNP-type attitudes, rather than believing in maximal individual liberty (or, as Nick puts it, minimising state interference)."
For the record I think that Nick's point of view is far more reasoned that Sunny's. Not only is it impossible to completely separate economic and social policies but the idiocy of conflating "Right Wing" with "Racist" makes my blood boil. There are racist and non racists on either side of the political fence and it is a separate belief that has little to do with any other political affiliation.
The flawed logic of Sunny's position, (skip if you don't like logic), is:
Some As are Bs, therefore only As are Bs. I and others of my affiliation are not As therefore we cannot be Bs. The twat, (not part of the formal logic).
I think the basic problem is that Sunny and many other lefties simply take a basket, put anything they like in it and declare anything else to be right wing. If there's another expanation for their behavior I'd like to hear it
"Credit is getting harder to obtain and as a result many people's largest asset will decline in value"
This obviously leads to various follow on problems from struggling to pay the mortgage to negative equity. These problems may be tragic but they are inevitable, when a bubble bursts people lose money. It's not as if there has been no warning, everyone who bothered to look at the odd newspaper couldn't help but be aware that the housing boom would eventually become unsustainable. If you mortgage to the hilt when there is cheap credit then only a small increase in price, (and at the moment credit is still fairly cheap historically), will fuck your finances quicker than handing them over to the badger that supposedly runs our economy.
We have known for some time that house prices were so far ahead of earnings, (especially after the One Eyed Goblin King got his hands on your pay packet), that those entering the market were doing so on the wing and prayer of cheap credit. It was worth their while doing so because they knew that the market, despite having shot beyond any rational valuation, was still rising. At such a time it becomes a rational policy to buy overvalued goods because they're going to become more overvalued and therefore you can win out. However, because such overvaluing is subject to serious downgrading from minor shocks, (the US sub prime debacle wasn't in and of itself such a disaster, it was the loss of confidence in the system as a result that has caused the credit crunch), these gamblers are now set to lose their shirts.
That's the way things work in every bubble from the South Seas onwards, (and I'm sure before then as well), and predictably, like Cnut our Lords and Masters are trying to hold back the tide.
Their plan has so many flaws it has similar qualities to Tracy Emin's "art", (got I hate the puerile shit she produces). If the government offer too little for the securities the banks wont be interested, if they offer too much then the taxpayer takes the hit, (not that they're averse to that situation), and if they get the price right on the button then we all lose money anyway because of the costs of administering it. It's another, "Things are fucked up lets do something, anything!!!" situation which will only make matters worse by wasting our money.
Still it's not all bad news, there will come a time when house prices come back down to sane levels, my generation, (loosely speaking), will have some hope of affording one and we wont have to hear any more bollocks about affordable housing quotas.
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
One of the attempts to square this unquadrilatable circle is to argue that while no individual may make a claim on another that is not freely entered into it is ethically possible for governments to make such demands. This position is abhorrent to libertarianism as shown by this quote from Daniel Klein, (Via EconLog):
"In the eyes of the libertarian, everything the government does that would be deemed coercive and criminal if done by any other party in society is still coercive. For example, imagine that a neighbor decided to impose a minimum-wage law on you. Since most government action, including taxation, is of that nature, libertarians see government as a unique kind of organization engaged in wholesale coercion, and coercion is the treading on liberty."
I view any demands backed by force that interfere with the liberty of the individual to be unethical unless they are made in order to protect the liberty of others, (Note to idiots - positive liberty is no such thing).
We have to accept that any society as large as ours requires some form of government but that it should interfere with our lives to the minimum degree, (hence minarchism). There is a constant creep of greater power going to those in government that must be either continually resisted or occasionally wound back which is both more difficult and more disruptive. Sadly, our successive governments have failed to uphold liberty and therefore we must reverse the slide or live as slaves of the state.
Friday, 4 April 2008
Jackie begins with the condescension from a number of people regarding Harriet "Fuckwit" Harman doing PMQs. Yes she is the deputy leader of the Labour Party. No she has shown nothing but incompetence after imbecility. Is it any surprise that she is derided when she organised a donation to her campaign from her husband, (in the form of a mortgage extension on a jointly owned property), and failed to declare it despite the fact that her husband was the Labour Party Treasurer.
We then move on to Wendy "I'm not corrupt, really I'm not, look, despite admitting that I broke the law I've been cleared" Alexander.
Next up we have the delightful Jacqui "Lets lock up people for 42 days without charge. What do you mean that would require some justification?" Sith.
Jackie's last example is the terrible Hilary "Yes, I was nearly shot by snipers" Clinton.
All the women above have come under fire from the media but given how pathetically shit they are how is this surprising? Jackie's comparison, the frequently unclad Carla Bruni, differs not because she is a rather attractive lady but because she is not a politician and has not demonstrated a level of incompetence on par with being unable to tie shoelaces.
Having made a pigs ear of her argument on prominent women in politics Jackie then goes on to chastise blogging as "dominated by rightwing male individualists and libertarians." and on this she does seem to be correct. There are relatively few women bloggers of note although the excellent Trixy and the ever so sweary Emerald Bile are outstanding exceptions. The high traffic blogs do however tend to be rightwing, individualist, libertarian and male.
The argument needs to be broken down into two parts though; Why rightwing / individualist / libertarian? and why male?
The answer to first is fairly obvious at least as far as Libertarians and individualists go. There is no other outlet to be found. The papers and commercial TV show little interest being more intent on scare and scandal. The Beeb identifies much more with socialist paternalism than any other philosophy and so is hardly likely to lend it's support. People will speak where they can and if Libertarians had access to the newspapers and were confined to them, you would get the same sort of representation that you see now in blogging.
Why male, both in blogging and politics, is a far more tricky question that positively encourages one to race to pseudoscience 101 for answers. What we can say is that men are far more likely to be interested, to have their own blog or to stand for a political party. I don't know why women are less interested as a whole and I fervently wish that it was not the case. It would be far better for our parliament to be represented by an approximation of society than a highly skewed version. There have been various, (thoroughly illiberal), attempts to address this imbalance, (most recently the Tories vile, corrupt and stupid EMP selection process), and they all have a terrible side effect, we get morons like Jackie's examples rising to positions well beyond their competence.
To see why take this example: We have a situation where only 1 in 100,000 left handers are entering politics whereas 1 in every 10,000 right handers enter. We know nothing about these people other than their handedness but we have decided that we need more lefthanders to be representative. Due to us gifting more position for the lefthanders 10 people compete for each position, the righthanders to get a similar position must compete against 5,000. The obvious problem is that less competition will tend to produce less able winners.
Of course women make up slightly over 50% of the population, (men have an annoying tendency to die early), but since so few go into politics there is a limited field of candidates. This is not to say that the men will be superb, (see all too damn many of them), but the last woman in the Commons that I had any significant respect for was Betty Boothroyd as speaker, (she was genuinely brilliant, not just better than that Fulmar's eruption we have now).
So what is the solution? The under representation of women is not desirable and the fixes have been disastrous, (as so many top down solutions are). I think that the only possible solution is for those interested in politics, (mostly men), to make an effort to encourage those women they know to get involved as well. Will it be a quick fix? Decidedly not. Might it actually work? In time it may help redress the balance.
Anyone with bright ideas on this please leave them in the comments.
Thursday, 3 April 2008
Friday, 28 March 2008
One of the peculiar facets of this case is that Mikko has been prosecuted in part for using official government statistics that show ethnic minorities commit a far greater share of total crime in Finland then would be expected given their share of population. There are probably a number of reasons for this; recent immigrants, (outside of the city of London), tend to be poor and for obvious reasons those in poverty have a greater motivation to be involved in crime, cultural factors both imported and due to alienation may explain part of it and in some jurisdictions, (I have no idea for Finland), there is some bias against ethnic minorities in the justice system, (it is entirely understandable to be biased when one group is responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime but that is still no excuse for poor administration of justice), so that may be another factor.
Mikko also brings up the idiots favourite of citing a lower IQ for africans, (BIG CLUE, there is a point or so difference on average but this is due to malnutrition as people who's parents were from these areas but grew up in the first world have no such disadvantage).
So in summary Mikko has brought to light some government statistics, argued well in some bits and badly in others and has helped to shed more light on an important argument, (whichever side of the immigration debate you take, there is never any excuse for shying away from the truth). For this he has been tried, convicted, fined and had his work pulled from his site. Not because he was inciting violence, nor due to him making slanderous allegations but because Mikko Puumalainen, Finlands
'...government “should intervene especially strongly” in the activities of those citizens who seek to maintain the current anti-immigrationist political climate in Finland by “using publicity”:'
Yes how dare they use publicity the bastards. God help us all if people are able to get their greasy mitts on the facts, civilisation would shake to it's very foundations. I think the only sensible solution is gag Mr Puumalainen and then slowly torture him to death while telling him how we would be delighted stop any time he asks, perhaps that might teach him the virtues of free speech.
Thursday, 27 March 2008
"He moved out of the political mainstream and into the Neo-Con, libertarian hinterlands."
So far, so easy to dismiss him as a fool or perhaps less generously as a knave given that DK took time to provide him with the correct information and received poorly thought out insults in return, (if you wish to be insulting for fucks sake put a bit of effort in).
There does exist however, despite the obvious differences, a general perception by the hard of thinking that Libertarianism is an extreme right wing position. Part of this is that those schooled in the classical Left V Right model of political differentiation find it hard to pigeonhole Libertarianism. Left, Right and Centre will all come up with various fixes for the problems of the day and they all believe that more government in some form is the answer. Give us more power they cry, give us more of your money, let us take your rights away so that we can fight evil better and all will be well they tell us, the bastards.
The difference with Libertarianism is the desire to take back powers from government. Big government was an interesting experiment that has clearly failed. In the same way that multi-nationals will break themselves up to become more economic because disseconomies of scale have reached epic proportions, it is time to give our state a severe pollarding. Taxation should be reduced not only because this would let us keep more of our own money but because limiting a government's resources limits the government. This is not a classically right or left position, (though it sits more easily with the right), because it says nothing about where the remaining burden of taxation should fall.
We could for instance remove low earners from income tax altogether, rather than facing a 90% marginal tax rate as they do now, (the tax credit system makes me want to put out the Goblin King's remaining eye it's so wasteful and counterproductive). Or we could go with this idea:
"Dr Eamonn Butler wrote that, 'If the government sector had grown only in line with inflation, rather than far above it, taxpayers would be £200 billion better off – enough to abolish income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax.'"
Any ideas as to which is the only party to think that getting rid of income tax is a good idea rather than shoving yet more cash into the endless maw of big government? Yes, that would be the Libertarian Party, (we're meeting on Saturday at 3, upstairs in this pub, do come along).
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
However, when he was on form he wrote some seriously important works including "The Birth of Tragedy", a seminal work in aesthetics and the towering "On the Genealogy of Morality". The Genealogy, written in a polemic style, traces a hypothetical history of how and why 'the good', 'the bad' and 'evil' have changed or been created over time.
According to the Genealogy, in the beginning, 'the good' was to be powerful, to have a positive effect on your environment, (solely from the perspective of the one doing the changing) and 'the bad' were simply those who lacked this power. This left 'the bad' in a terrible position—not only did they suffer but there was no reason for that suffering other than their own failings. It was to escape the pain of this situation that Neitzche saw the balance shifting, allowing 'the bad' to transform themselves into 'the good'.
No longer was 'good' to be defined by the exercise of power by individuals but by passiveness, meekness and forgiveness by the masses, an easier set of virtues for those who could take no action in any case. The previous good became the new evil—it was no longer good to act as one wished and the lack of such ability just a sad situation; evil as now constructed had become an active force.
This forging of new terminology allowed the weak to harness and control the strong, power shifting from the instigator to the victim. Further, the victim could now take comfort in the belief that it was not their own failings that led to their situation. Fault lay with the evil ranged against them and the good would eventually be rewarded and evil punished, in this life or the next.
This is a poor summary of Neitzsche's description of the development of Judeo-Christian thought but will give you the gist. I thoroughly recommend reading the book—it's short, easily accessible and a joy to read.
However, Neitzsche's depiction of the cult of victimhood did not provide the whole picture. People were and still are lauded for great achievements, as explorers, scientists, leaders and particularly as 'shields of the weak'. I believe that it has been a very positive development that we have progressed from the time of the 'good' being nothing but the exercise of power, but this change has come with an ever increasing price.
In modern Western society, being the victim has become almost an end in itself and has grown its own industry . People are considered virtuous simply because they have suffered, downgrading other qualities in the process. It is no longer necessary to even suffer yourself. Claim part of a group identity that is now or several hundreds of years ago was suffering and even if you haven't so much as had a stubbed toe, you too can be a victim. This is a peculiar but understandable development. If you give higher status to those who have been victimised then true victim or no, everyone will want a piece of the action.
Some of the problems that self-seeking victimhood throw up are obvious; if you can blame someone else you are less likely to want to fix things yourself—you will seek to identify with situations that should make you depressed and the rest of us have to listen to the incessant whining. Others are less immediate but the most life-strangling factor must be the desperate desire not to offend. This is shown in the way we self-censor and the cancerous growth that is the HR industry and the Grauniad jobs section. For even if we resist the ghastly lure of being a pseudo victim, we still have to contend with those who would decry us as evil for simply behaving normally. Whether you like it or not and even if you have the very best of intentions, an unguarded moment can see you categorised not as a bit of a wally but as evil, an oppressor, as one who must pay tribute to the victims.
So where do we go from here? No one I would wish to associate with would like to go back to the days of Neitzsche's thuggish 'Nobles' but neither is the current situation able to continue without choking the life out of living. Personally, I believe hope lies with the Libertarian viewpoint. Behave as you like, unless you bring material harm on others rather than just hurt their feelings. If you behave as a boor, you will be treated as such but I would rather be free to criticise the boor, the racist, the sexist and the total twat and deal with them being annoying, than live in a society so restricted that it is always the total twats that rise to the top.
Monday, 17 March 2008
Still things are looking up, I should be off to sunnier climes for a few months soon and I have finally found a party that I can support without smashing my head into a wall every day from self hatred. I have joined the new Libertarian Party, (a certain PDF's reaction was "You crazy fool" but I believe that he just wants to be Mr. T), and as just about the only party arguing for a vast decrease in governmental power I am happy to be counted among them.
There is less positive news in that our government(s) are still desperate to treat us all as criminals out on probation, in the case of two parties we are being sold down the river in direct contravention to their manifesto pledges, (by the by, if anyone holds a sincere belief that the Constitution and the Treaty are substantially different in substance then they deserve to be pitied for their idiocy, those who are obviously lying deserve to be beaten to a bloody mess with first one then the other document to see if they can tell the difference), and the accusation that we are now living under the highest tax burden in the history of the UK gets the response that they couldn't give a toss.
Our esteemed leaders are a bunch of totalitarian, evil, venal cunts of the first water and I hope they all die of the bad aids.
- ▼ December (9)
- ► May (12)
- Corporate Manslaughter
- A rare event...
- And behold a pale horse...
- First they came for....
- Not quite what he mean't to say
- Quickie on "Utter Bollocks"
- Quotable quotes part 1
- Personal responsibility and utter, utter cunts
- Through the looking glass
- Premises and Prejudices
- That's another fine mess you've got me into
- Libertarian Philosophy 101
- Carnival of the Libertarians