Key phrase: “Free speech enables the power of scrutiny.”
Update: Pat Caddell, a Democrat on the media destruction of democracy.
"It is not worth the while to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar" – Henry David Thoreau
Key phrase: “Free speech enables the power of scrutiny.”
Update: Pat Caddell, a Democrat on the media destruction of democracy.
The bloke is Communications Minister in the Gillard government, heap big poobah in intimidating free citizens.
Stevie isn’t exactly the natural born libertarian type. In fact, he seems pretty desperate to tell us all what to do. Senator Conroy is pretty anxious to bring Rupert Murdoch into line, the Murdoch papers criticise the government you see, while the other lot, Fairfax, pretty much take their lead from the Guardian and Independent and tend to give government ministers tongue baths. He’s also planning on putting in place an Internet censoring system – the good Senator has heard of the Great Firewall of China and wants one of his own to play with. After all, if Iran can copy China why can’t he?
Just another of those control freaks that progressivism seems to attract these days. Although, unlike so many others, he is in a position to do something about these not so hidden lusts.
Anyway, that puts this in context.
Unfettered power? Red underpants? Really? On their head?
It was in about 1981, I was newly arrived in England and was still in sightseeing mode. One Sunday afternoon I went up to the British Museum to have a captains, and called in to the pub opposite, the Museum Tavern, to have lunch before I went on my troll through humanities past.
Well, wasn’t that a mistake. I ordered a steak and kidney pud to fill the void, and I saw a chalked sign advertising scrumpy. Now, I had heard of scrumpy, but I had never had any so I thought this was an opportunity. It was sweet, a bit like dilluted applejuice but with a bit of a bite, and it went down as easily as lemonade. I downed a pint while I was waiting for lunch, so when the pud was delivered I ordered another pint, and downed that while eating. When the food was done and gone I ordered another half pint, not wanting to overdo it, finished that off, and started museumward…..
Then it hit me. I wandered the museum in an alcoholic haze for about 30 minutes, but I really wasn’t getting much out of it. It was a beautiful afternoon, early in the English summer, and taking it easy and relaxing somewhere became my preference, so I left and went to sit under a tree in Bloomsbury Square.
Fell asleep of course.
Great Sunday afternoon that.
The state should not compel or restrict behaviour that does not impact on others via the initiation of force or the seizure or destruction of property. It is quite amazing just how many people give the state a pass to do things, that any other organisation or individual would be sanctioned or jailed for. This is the cultural programming and thus state schools. People simply can’t understand how things would be done without the state.
“But who would pay for the roads, the schools, hospitals?” people cry. This is just a failure of imagination and the inability to think in the abstract and thus why state schools don’t really teach these things. People are taught by the state to accept its authority, legitimacy and force.
So on that note, I found myself pondering the issue of children’s inoculations. Now in the abstract, the human ability to identify a pathology and devise an immunisation from it, is one of our great achievements. And this won’t be one of those “my kid started acting weird after his injections and I can’t differentiate between correlation and causation” type posts either.
I admit, as young master SAoT approached his MMR booster, I did look at various studies and the meta-study and it looks to my untrained eye like there is no link between the jabs and autism etc and thus he had the jabs. But two issues arise that I would appreciate your various opinions on.
First, giving the MMR at the same time as the 4-in-1 pre-school booster (DtaP/IPV) is surely about bureaucratic convenience rather than the fact that sticking seven vaccines to a three-year old is a treatment optimum?
Second, the state school system (in some areas anyway) demands certificates from parents confirming their kids have been jabbed or they won’t admit them. This is in effect making vaccines compulsory for poor people (no such bollocks in the school the boy goes to, they want your money too much and don’t have a gun to stick in your face to get it).
This second issue is baffling to me. Some claim that it is not ‘fair’ in some way, if some of the kids are jabbed and others aren’t, but I just can’t see this one for the life of me. If every other kid in the boy’s pre-reception class ducked MMR it would bother me not at all. Similarly, an outbreak of any of the diseases (assuming the vaccines are effective) would have no consequences for him, except in the extreme to perhaps make the class size a bit smaller.
So surely, this has to be one for parents not state compulsion?
No points for figuring which is which.
Our very own Paul Marks spent a few days with us at RAB&Ness Towers last week, and boy did we luck out with the weather, clear and fine every day. Had he come this week, when he planned to, we would have found some of the villages we travelled through, like Chew Magna, underwater. That is Glastonbury Tor we are standing in front of there by the way. No those are not smiles on our faces, the wind up there was so ferocious it contorted our faces into un-natural positions.
That’s Wells from the top of the Tor. The smallest city in England. 8 miles away. My Lumix 150 zoom isn’t bad is it? We went there next.
But before that we had parked the car in the car-park of the Rifleman’s Arms, a mere 500 yards from the beginning of the path that takes you up Glastonbury Tor. The Rifleman’s is obviously a local local, favoured by folk who like tattoos, piercings and purple hair, but are everlovingly friendly for all that. I ordered some Watkins Scrumpy that I’d seen on the Tariff list, and seemed to win instant respect. Turns out it is a scrumpy produced by a local farm, and er, is the business so to speak. It certainly powered me and Paul up the Tor in sprightly fashion! So here’s the tip. If you are planning to ascend the Tor, bung your car in the Rifleman’s car park at the back, have a pint of Scrumpy and you’re sorted.
We went up the Tor in a sedate fashion as befits our age and stature, the bonkers dog went up and down it about 8 times, only pausing to roll in cowpats (windows open on the journey to Wells).
We drove via Glastonbury’s main street, just to confirm to Paul that it is indeed the Hippie capital of the UK; wall to wall mystic crystals and candle shops, full of folk watching life on a different channel to the rest of us, but no harm to anyone except perhaps themselves.
With Paul preparing to Flash some Choristers …
Paul took to Wells, it’s his kind of place (beats the hell out of Kettering that’s for sure so he says!). It’s prosperous (they have yet to hear the terrible news there alas) full of free spending tourists, high quality shops, yet small and intimate. What’s not to like?
And that is the Bishop’s Palace. Bishop’s, especially those of Bath and Wells, tended to do nicely for themselves. The scoff, drink and accommodation was always first class. So beneficent are they that the Swans that live in the moat have a bell attached to a rope on the outside wall that they have been trained to pull when they want feeding. The original Welfare State.
The scoff, drink and accommodation isn’t too bad round RAB&Ness Towers either mind. Paul reluctantly ploughed his way through the Rosy Pork Casserole (with Butterbeans and carrots) on the Monday, the Tuna Pasta bake on the Tuesday and the chicken curry with trimmings (papadoms , Nan, chapattis onion Baghees etc) on the Wednesday, with accompanying wines wot we had hauled back from France in June,… like an Irish Navvy digging a canal!
We had to do Bath on the bus on Wednesday, my wife having a hospital appointment in the afternoon and needing the car.
What can I tell you all about Bath you don’t already know? Probably Britain’s most handsome city; you feel like a civilised grown up just walking round it. It was England’s Las Vegas of the 18th Century. Ostensibly they all came for the waters and the Spa, but more likely for a leg over and to chance their luck at the Gambling tables, or to find a rich wife/husband.
So Paul and I did the usual things… The Abbey and the Royal Crescent, The Circus and the Pump rooms etc etc. The place was heaving with tourists like ourselves (mainly Japanese), there are Blue Plaques on every other building because everyone and his
What is Global Governance?
Easy, it’s global government, but the words are slimed with weasel in an attempt to make them more palatable.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative Monday “One of the issues I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner, especially from the elites in every country,” Clinton said. “It is a fact that around the world the elites of every country are making money. There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries.”
Problem with global governance, where do you go if you don’t like government policies?
When it is an international treaty, how do you change the law?
Muslim leaders have vowed to discuss the offensive video from their U.N. platforms (at the UN General Assembly this week), sowing concern among free-speech activists of a fresh push toward an international law that would criminalize blasphemy...
Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has reiterated his demand from the United Nations and other international organisations to come up with an effective legislation against all kinds of anti-Islam acts…
”We would go to the UN and OIC and get a law passed to stop anti-Islam activities, including blasphemy, forever,” the News Agencies quoted Ashraf, as saying…
“…we will not just grin and bear it when Islam’s prophet is insulted,” Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told party members at the weekend.
“The protests in the Muslim world must be measured, and the West should show a determined stance against Islamophobia.”
Egypt’s new Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi said the United States needed to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, showing greater respect for its values …
Egypt’s president and other Muslim leaders should demand the U.N. criminalize contempt of religion after the release of an anti-Islamic film and cartoons which demonstrate growing racism, said the leader of the biggest ultra-orthodox Islamist party.
President Obama will address “the recent unrest in the Muslim world” in his speech Tuesday to the United Nations General Assembly, the White House is saying…
“As he has in recent days, the President will make it clear that we reject the views in this video, while also underscoring that violence is never acceptable,” said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor in a memo on Obama’s upcoming U.N. speech.
I saw one of these de-motivational posters a while back entitled “Fascism ~ it won’t be this obvious” or some such, against a picture of a line of imperial storm troopers.
And so, I got to thinking, what would it look like in the UK? But why think in the abstract when you can look out of the window? No, this isn’t going to be a “definition of fascism” type post; if that interests you, take a look at Johan Goldberg’s excellent “Liberal Fascism”
The question I was pondering is simply this. What aspects of your lives does that state stay out of? This is not as easy as you may think. In the 1930’s it was said, that a reasonably law abiding Englishman could go years without any interaction with the government, but the same is hardly true today. So let’s go through a typical lifestyle and review.
You wake up in the morning; the government wants its pound of flesh in property taxes for the house you live in. If it’s new, it has rules on the degree of insulation you must have, or the access1 a disabled person must enjoy. Of course they have ruled on where it can be built and how much slush money2 they have demanded from the developer to allow permission as well as who your neighbours3 will be. You turn the light on and pay VAT on your electricity. The government has a strong idea on how the power should be generated and where it should be generated, typically the less reliable and more expensive, the better. Make your self some breakfast and thus far you don’t pay VAT on your food (although that’s coming down the tracks) but there are a million rules on food production and again where you are allowed to buy it from and at what time. Similar deal for gas and water supplies. The government does like to give you lots of really authoritarian advice on what and how much to eat and “fat taxes” are coming soon. Put out the rubbish in the morning and you can expect to be hectored about what to put in what bin and how much you are putting out. You might also expect to be taxed on this directly pretty soon and even now the local council wastes loads on idiot recycling projects.
Going to work the fun really starts. Tax on travel is vile especially if you drive a car. You can be expected to pay fuel duty, road tax, tax on mandatory insurance and be subject to any amount of pointless rules and victimless crime fines from speeding to not wearing a seatbelt. If you are a socially approved pleb, you will get public transport because ‘Zils’ are for the inner party only (and they offset!). Said public transport will be crowded, unreliable, expensive and inconvenient. If you go outside peak hours it can be dangerous or even murderous.
In work you will have income tax and national insurance taken off you, plus the hidden tax of employer’s national insurance which you absolutely pay. To say otherwise is a lie and it’s done simply to hide the truth.
Have kids and they will weighed and checked and subject to compulsory4 vaccination and thoroughly indoctrinated in government camps that used to teach literacy and numeracy. The elite don’t use these gulags ~ anyone care to guess why? Ditto for the useless state healthcare. Fundamentally, if the state provides it, you can be sure it will be crappy, expensive, rationed and politicised.
Try going on holiday and you can expect to be treated as a criminal at transport hubs, molested and hectored by buffoons and taxed on your airfares often much more than the actual cost of the ticket. Also expect to pay a fortune for some government paper confirming you are in fact, you. They call ‘em passports.
Don’t think you can own a handgun, even if you are an Olympic shooter much less someone looking to defend themselves. The government do that, er… except when they don’t or it’s them fucking with you in the first place. Remember, an armed populace can be jolly troublesome and so dictators like you disarmed not free.
Well maybe you like to smoke some disapproved of plants? Depending on what it is, expect to pay vast taxes and to be socially shunned, hectored and lied about if its still legal or slung in jail if its not. Remember comrade, your body belongs to them.
How about a drink? Humans have been brewing for thousands of years but the government doesn’t like plebs boozing because they become troublesome. Expect to be taxed and regulated. They will tell you where you can drink and at what time you can buy it and where from.
How about your private religious beliefs? Best not incur the wrath of state disapproval so don’t deny gay people the right to a wedding in your church (it’s about weddings not marriages) despite what your doctrine might say. Don’t say you think Islam is violent nonsense and the prophet a highly dodgy individual lest you upset someone. Certainly don’t express forbidden opinions, otherwise like the unfortunate Emma West, you maybe dragged off to jail.
And you know the bastards want to give you an ID card as well as any amount of surveillance. In the future this could easily morph into a ration card (for your own good of course) and GPS tracker to know exactly where you are at all times.
Well you get the point. So here’s my challenge, can you think of three substantive areas of your life that the government doesn’t try to hector, or bully or compel, or ban, or tax or regulate? I bet you can’t and thus totalitarianism. Evil in pure form.
But never fear, they are going bust soon enough. It will all come crashing down, at least, that’s the only way out I can see. Mainstream politics isn’t going to do it and I really hope things don’t get violent.
Tim Blair is setting up a challenge, although, no prizes of course. Unless you think getting some murderous theo-fascist nutjob pissed off is prize enough.
Anyway, these guys who drink the Mo-Aid seem to be permanently pissed anyway, so what are they drinking, or, for those of us who need to know, what is the name of the pbuh they frequent?
Suggestions so far:
The Blinded Infidel, the Flag and Lighter, the Burning Citroen, the Click n Boom, The Horny Goat, the Moan and Frown, the Crane and Noose,the Vested Interest, the Satanic Verse, the Stoned Alive – you can just see it, live entertainment with new girls and fresh faces every night.
And my favourite – the Allahuakh Bar
Would you drink (fruit juice of course) at the Deflowered Child, the Sword at the Throat, or the Subdued Kufr? How about two pbuhs in healthy competition, right across from one another, the Christians Head, and the Headless Christian?
Raise the meme fellas, they can’t turn all of us into red mist before some western politician, somewhere, eventually, gets annoyed.
Pickering was one of the worlds great political cartoonists in his heyday during the 70’s. Pickerings Jungle was a weekly read in the The Australian newspaper on Saturday mornings and his annual calendars, featuring full fronted, naked, and highly detailed caricatures of celebrities and politicians were a must buy on all sides of politics. Pity his gallery seems to be down as I write.
Anyway, in the last year his anger at the state of Australian politics has induced Pickering out of a thirty year retirement and back into cartooning, news analysis and blogging.
His greatest accolade since re-emerging was from Prime Minister Julia Gillard when, expressed in ill concealed fury, she described his site as ”vile and sexist”, and was clearly aiming at him in her reference to ”misogynist nut jobs on the internet” , in front of a Canberra press conference.
All because he posted, and is continuing to post under the oh so subtle title “Is the Prime Minister a Crook”, questions to her about past activities. You see, Ms Gillard lost her job as partner at a major law firm in the 90’s following her having helped her then bed partner, a married man and a senior union official, set up a “slush fund” (her words at the time) into which, allegedly, hundreds of thousands of union members dollars disappeared.
Prime Minister Gillards excuse is that, at age 33 and an established partner at a law firm which specialised in work for unions, she was “young and naive”.
Doesn’t help her peace of mind that Pickering has gone back to drawing politicians naked.
Anyway, this is his latest:
I’m pleased to see him back. Maybe he’ll restart his calendars as well. That’ll piss Julia off.
I am left speechelss.
I must admit, I come and go these days, and I am not posting lengthy items, more short commentary, but I could not imagine deleting CCinZ, or even taking it down, ever.
You join a sadly growing list, but you helped define the new world.
Obama will win narrowly.
(a) Romney is useless. The rest were usually worse (apart from Gary Johnson) but Romney essentially proves the truth that in Land of the Blind the bloke with the Labrador is King.
(b) Obama has the media.
(c) Romney is gaffe-prone and is seen as a plutocrat who can’t be doing with the little-folk. Like Obama cares. See (b). But he is seen to care.
(d) The biggest thing Obama did domestically was create a health scheme that is a mirror-image of Romney’s. Romney can’t take him on that one.
(e) Romney looks like a standard Republican big-wig. Obama is oddly folksie. His “mongrel” comment went down a storm.
(f) Romney didn’t even win the Republican ticket last time and America don’t like losers.
(g) One of Obama’s key assets is Michelle. Who is Mrs Romney? Shouldn’t matter but it does.
(h) Romney is a Mormon so can’t play the religion card.
So Obama by a short-nose. He won’t win this. Romney will lose it.