Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Barely legal

How ludicrous is the state's position on cannabis.

The courts, usually so reluctant to punish law breakers, seem to relish making an exception when it comes to little old ladies caught growing the herb for medicinal use. All of a sudden, the Law’s the Law, notwithstanding how happy these bewigged fools are to indulge a real criminal, say someone who had broken into an old woman’s house and beaten and robbed her - that’s all excusable in the eyes of our judiciary, indeed the ‘justice’ minister Ken Clarke would be issuing on-the-spot fines for rape, if he thought he could get away with it, but I digress.

Doctors are moaning because they can't prescribe Sativex, a pharma product derived from the sacred plant, no doubt developed with tax-payer-funded largesse. It sits idle, due to tight-fisted bureaucrats who doubt its efficacy justifies the cost - £77 per week.

I think I see a solution. It’s called freedom. All the government has to do is get out of the way and bin its destructive prohibition of the plant. That will not happen in the short term, because the government is populated by a bunch of gutless hypocrites, who are happy to smirk over their own use of the drug, but won’t dare do anything radical. The problem, or one at least, is these politicians have no principles in the ordinary sense of the word. A principle to them is something to conjure with only when necessary to mislead the public.

Goldman Sachs: financial serial killer

As I've probably said before, whenever there's smoke, there's Goldman Sachs smirking with a box of matches. What to make of this story, of how GS lost 98% of the $1.3 billion investment from the Libyan Sovereign Wealth Fund?

Libya's foreign investments are being looted by the cash-strapped West, and as usual GS are ahead of the curve.

Oxfam's recipe for hunger

Oxfam has issued a report warning of food crises coming our way. How accurate these predictions will prove is anyone’s guess. Half of the problem is due to the bogey of ‘climate change’, which, as ever, makes things worse everywhere and better nowhere.

Unsurprisingly the solution they propose is massive government intervention, including price controls, which is hardly likely to help. If demand is rising and supply stagnant, then of course prices will rise. This will lead to an increase of production, as producers cash in on the higher prices, which in turn will bring prices down, unless at every point intervention hampers the market from functioning. Price controls will disconnect the market mechanism for boosting production and thus precipitate the very shortages Oxfam is warning of. However, it is not wholly oblivious to the negative effects of interventionism, and is calling for the end of biofuel subsidies.

I don’t doubt the seriousness of the issues covered in the report, nor do I like the way the world food market is dominated by a handful of massive corporations, another thing pointed at in the report, but Oxfam’s solution makes no economic sense.

Increasingly so-called charities are diverting their attention away from actual charitable work towards political lobbying, which as far as I know is forbidden, although I don't see why it should be. Nevertheless, pushing for government intervention is political, although amongst the state-loving denizens of the politico-cultural hegemony, this passes without remark.

Monday, 30 May 2011

"Scholastic arrogance" exposed!

I'm comforted to know that, with my minor knowledge of economics, I have arrived at the same conclusion as big-hitter David Stockman, that the central problem is the monetary system. Here's a short excerpt from his interview with Reason.

Also, here's a lecture he gave to the Mises Institute, the Henry Hazlitt Memorial Lecture, entitled; The Forgotten Cause of Sound Money.


I still feel like I haven't put enough music on recently, so here's some browsing from You Tube...

Nouvelle Vague - Dance with me

Cinematic Orchestra - Burn out

Red Snapper - Sucker punch

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Climate cult carries on regardless

Hat tip: Counting Cats

Generational divide

I'm not gonna say what either of these tracks are. If you don't know, you're either too young or too old or spent the early nineties in a different subculture.

The corrupting influence of welfarism

Cross-posted at Orphans of Liberty

The Mail is covering the publication by the government of some of the lame excuses people have given when caught fiddling benefits, leading with someone claiming that he was only carrying ladders as therapy for his back. Okay, I can see the humour in that one, but certain other ones stand out from the list, namely:

‘We don’t live together, he just comes each morning to fill up his flask.’

‘He lives in a caravan in the drive. We’re not together.’

‘He does come here every night and leaves in the morning and, although he has no other address, I don’t regard him as living here.’

Here we see the pernicious corrupting influence of welfarism at work, how it encourages the things that it is supposed to be alleviating. In each of the cases above, I surmise the 'benefit cheat' has been claiming that they are living alone, when in fact they are not, because you get more money if you're living alone. In other words, the state is saying to women 'we will pay you more if you have no man in your life (as a little reward for being so helpless)'.

It's one of those bandied-around facts that there no longer any such thing as a 'common law' husband or wife, and yet, when it comes to benefits, there is indeed. Whereas your benefits will not be affected if you take home a different man every night of the week, if it's the same man, you better report it or risk exposure in the Daily Mail.

The implicit incentivisation through welfare of behaviour which is harmful to society has been recognised since the very beginning. Usually in life, you get what you pay for. The Welfare State pays for a dysfunctional, broken-down society. No surprises, then, when this is what we get.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Better late than never

I haven't posted any music for a little while, so here's something that plays on my weaknesses, nostalgia and pretty French girls being two of them: Francoise Hardy - Il se fait tard.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Ron Paul deep behind enemy lines

Ron Paul challenges the bi-partisan destruction of the Republic.

Tory scum

That's the polite title.

A new criminal law; that's what we need. We haven't got enough laws already, have we? The New Labour government created thousands of new offences. The Tories have taken up where the last lot left off, with a new 'crime' of owning an uninsured vehicle, that allows them to gun-point you and steal at least £100.
Road Safety minister Mike Penning said: "Uninsured drivers are a danger on our roads, killing 160 and injuring a further 23,000 people each year, and they cost honest motorists £500m in extra premiums.
Ah, he cares about honest motorists! Nothing to do with finding another way to prey upon the public, nothing to do with being a chisling little shit, Mr Penning?

What offends me is that anyone buying a car will almost always break this law. I doubt that these people will face prosecution in great numbers, but this law criminalises buying a vehicle, because the moment you hand over the cash, you will become a criminal.

Fucking Tories.

I recently bought a car. For a few days it sat on the road without insurance. I did not drive it anywhere prior to sorting out the (extortionate) insurance. I did nothing wrong, and yet under the chisling Tory cunts, in a few weeks I would have been breaking the law.

Unlike these Tories, I'm kind of old-fashioned. A crime is something that harms somebody, robbing them, assaulting them, that kind of thing. Unfortunately, like Labour before them, these Tories want to steal our money and wipe their arse on the Common Law of England.

Hat tip: Longrider

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Amending the Party Constitution; part 1

2.3 The Party aims to further the libertarian cause by:

(a) bringing to greater public awareness libertarian philosophy;

(b) encouraging and supporting libertarian political activity within the legal framework of the

electoral system;

(c) pursuing policies which seek at all times to minimise state intervention in the lives of


(d) legally codifying and protecting the rights of citizens, now and into the future, through

such measures as introducing a formal Constitution and Bill of Rights within the United


(e) not making any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious

observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion; and shall ensure that no

religious test be required as a qualification for any public office within the United Kingdom.

Bloody tourists

Sometimes the MSM is almost unlistenable. Bazza's visit is one such time. Some fourth-rate ham actor reading a teleprompted clicherama, and the journos are swooning in circle-jerk ecstacy. Bollocks to the lot of them. I don't give a flying fuck if the criminal cartel that runs Washington sends over its puppet in chief to spout on about shared history and spreading our values by bombing the shit out of anyone who won't go along.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Schiff on the bubble

From a while back, still very relevant: Peter Schiff talking at the Mises Institute, giving the (March) 2009 Henry Hazlitt Memorial Lecture

Super-injunctions: who are the Greeks, who are the Trojans?

Firstly, the rampant prurience of the Britsh public, at least if we view our press as representative, is not something we should be proud of. Personally, I don't care about the sex lives of the rich and famous.

Secondly, in the case in point, given the above, the woman has a right to sell her story. If the man doesn't like it, tough. You make your bed, you lie in it.

Thirdly, and hence the title, I wonder where this is going. At this moment, you could look at the situation and think that the Greeks are the press and Twitter the Trojan Horse, enabling the press to break through the walls of legal constraint. Certainly, there is much talk of how the rules will have to be re-drawn. My fear is that, rather than a loosening of the control over the press, we will see instead a tightening around internet freedom, and an attempt to impose upon the internet the same strictness. The justification will be the need for our laws to conform with our masters in Europe, which guarantee a 'right' to privacy.

It will not surprise me if this issue turns toward introducing controls on internet users. Such plans are on the shelf just waiting for the opportunity to be brought into play. They may well be ineffective in stopping information leaks like the one in the spotlight, but they will serve a purpose.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


I could say more, but Janice says it better.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Strauss-Kahn arrested for sexual assault and attempted rape

What can we make of the news that IMF-head and likely French presidential candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been arrested over the alleged sexual assault of a hotel chambermaid?

It all hinges on whether he's guilty, of course, which he denies. Obviously I can add nothing to the story. I'm just flagging it up, because it's pretty fucking amazing.

Not exactly rare groove

Due to a work colleague, I end up listening to the radio. I'm amazed at the limited number of tunes they play. It's as if there have only ever been about 100 songs. These two, I don't mind hearing again; the Beatlesque "Sowing the Seeds of Love" (above) and Madonna's "Like a Prayer" (below).

News from Lilliput

As an ordinary member of the (UK) Libertarian Party, I have watched the internal car crash of the last month with puzzlement. I cannot pretend to be upset. I suppose this is because I have not really invested in the Party, either financially, emotionally or temporally.

I have attended the meetings of the London/South East section a number of times, and met a lot of good people, and I have seen these as mainly social events, where libertarians can get to know each other, share ideas, make connections etc., and start building something which could be called without exaggeration a movement.

The party debacle will be known (I guess) to most readers here. It involves allegations against the erstwhile leader. It involves the internal investigation of those allegations, and how the party leadership has handled the matter, and it also brings into sharp focus what the party has been doing (or not, as the case may be) since it was formed four years ago.

I do not know the people involved, neither the leader (now ex), the accuser, nor the chairman who has now released a report of his investigation. I am in the position of many ordinary members, in that all I have been able to do since the storm broke is scratch my head and wonder.

Other than an incredibly witty post lampooning the story, I have thrown a few comments the way of the leadership via the party's blog. One in particular called on the National Committee to hold a Special General Meeting. This now, according to the chairman's report is going to be done, but when I raised it a few weeks ago, the response from the chairman was (to paraphrase); 'shut up, peasant'.

Meanwhile across the libertarian bloggersphere, members are announcing they're quitting the party, ex-members (which outnumber the members) are declaring that their decision has been vindicated, and anti-libertarians are enjoying the schadenfreude. With regard to the latter, fair enough. With regard to the members and ex-members, I have to wonder why they joined in the first place. If you have a group of people, and 80% say they're leaving (or have left) because the group isn't doing what they think it should, it doesn't take a mathematician to work out an alternative, that being the 80% stick around and drive the agenda in the direction they favour.

As for the now ex-leader, what little grace he had was blown by his refusal to defend himself, and his inability to separate his private business matters from leading the party. I have no knowledge of the rights and wrongs of his on-going war with BIS, and I don't see why I should have to know. It strikes me as straightforward that he should not have become leader whilst these matters were still in dispute, but he stood unopposed for the leader's position, so the real problem is a lack of alternative leaders. In actual fact, it was his proposed agenda, put forward when he was seeking the position, and my desire to oppose it, which led me to join the party in the first place. Central to this was the idea of changing the party name, and making the adoption of a Swiss-style constitution the central plank of party policy. Happily this was voted down without my assistance - I turned up late to the AGM and missed the vote. Nevertheless I was disappointed that there was nobody contesting the party leadership against a man whose first proposed act was to abolish the Libertarian Party and create something called the Libertarian and Constitutional Party in its place.

Turning to the accuser, blogger Anna Raccoon, I know little of her. I find her blog sometimes interesting, but something about it puts me off. I think it is the commenters, who seem engaged in some kind of group-hug, and all fiercely loyal to the author, perhaps because they associate her with the cuddly image of the raccoon on the masthead or perhaps because they know her on a more personal level. In any case, it's a club I'm not a member of. Maybe she's done a service to the party, or maybe she's helped kill the party dead. Either way, from what she's written, she sees the party as the handful of people, including the ex-leader, with whom she's had dealings, and whatever the misdeads of the ex-leader, I don't consider myself, as a party member, to be guilty. If Andrew Withers didn't wipe the seat after mis-aiming, that doesn't mean the Libertarian Party pissed all over her toilet. As with the fair-weather members noted above, if she disagreed with the direction of the Party, or lack therof, she could have, as a member decided to do something about it. Of course I understand if someone has been involved and come away totally disillusioned, that person could quite rationally decide to wash their hands of the whole business, but most members and ex-members are not in this situation. Rather they've been waiting for something to happen, instead of making something happen.

So, in summary, I am still a member of the Libertarian Party and will be for at least as long as my annual membership lasts, or until I come to the conclusion that there really is no point in remaining. The present crisis has two possible conclusions.

One; complete implosion.

Two; the party members come together, remember what it was that they originally wanted to do, elect new, untarnished, unjaded members to the leadership and put in place a course of action that takes the party forward.

The Special General Meeting will reveal which way the Party wants to go.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The Inflationary Path to Despotism

May the Mises Institute be blessed for the great service they do, by providing such a huge amount of key information. My education continues with another great lecture from Robert P. Murphy.

How Bernanke Is Using the Printing Press to Win Friends and Influence People

The Inflationary Path to Despotism
Saturday, April 10, 2010 by Robert P. Murphy

The Mises Circle in Phoenix, Arizona; 10 April 2010. Sponsored by James M. Rodney. Includes an introduction by Douglas E. French.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Why Libya?

A lot of people will have forgotten by now, but the last I heard NATO was still bombing Libya and trying to topple Gaddafi. With the latest Matrix distraction of OBL's ninth death, attention on has largely been elsewhere.

Other countries in the region continue to gun down protestors. In the case of Syria, the 'international community' is happy to condemn, whereas Bahrain, as a long-standing asset, gets a free pass, and who knows what's going on in Yemen or Saudi Arabia today? The key question right from the start has been; what makes is Libya different? I can't recall a swifter decision to intervene in another country.

I know this is not up-to-the-minute news, but it is indeed curious that one of the first acts of the rebels was to set up a central bank. As noted by 'The Economic Collapse' blog:
The rebels in Libya are in the middle of a life or death civil war and Moammar Gadhafi is still in power and yet somehow the Libyan rebels have had enough time to establish a new Central Bank of Libya and form a new national oil company. Perhaps when this conflict is over those rebels can become time management consultants. They sure do get a lot done. What a skilled bunch of rebels - they can fight a war during the day and draw up a new central bank and a new national oil company at night without any outside help whatsoever. If only the rest of us were so versatile!
Elsewhere Ellen Brown writes:
According to a Russian article titled "Bombing of Lybia - Punishment for Qaddafi for His Attempt to Refuse US Dollar," Qaddafi made a similarly bold move: he initiated a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, the gold dinar. Qaddafi suggested establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency. During the past year, the idea was approved by many Arab countries and most African countries. The only opponents were the Republic of South Africa and the head of the League of Arab States. The initiative was viewed negatively by the USA and the European Union, with French president Nicolas Sarkozy calling Libya a threat to the financial security of mankind; but Qaddafi was not swayed and continued his push for the creation of a united Africa.
Whatever the reasons for this war on Gaddafi, I do not believe it is his human rights record. Such peccadillos can always be overlooked, if the regime is useful to the powers behind the West. If Gaddafi poses any kind of threat to those powers, it is not military in nature. In any case, militarily the West is strong. Where it is weak is its financial system, a smoke and mirror-shrouded house of cards, and perhaps the rebels' new central bank indicates the true motivation behind the intervention.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Every day trade-offs and random thoughts

In the last week I've seen two street bins on fire. Applying Occam's Razor I conclude that they were both set alight by a cigarette from someone who thought he was doing the right thing. In retrospect, it would have been better to toss it in the gutter with all the rest.

My attitude to littering is one of severe intolerance, coupled with an indulgence with regard to cigarette ends, which don't count, mainly because they're burning! You can hardly put them in your pocket, can you?

Some would think me a hypocrit. Could they not be made bio-degradable? Instead they seem to be fashioned from the stuff Alec Guiness discovered in 'The Man in the White Suit'.

Meanwhile, changing the subject I note Alcohol Concern are running a survey on advertising and young people. Is it just me, or are these questions skewed somewhat? E.g.,
Alcohol ads on TV should be:
Banned from television altogether?
Limited to after the watershed?(9pm when young children have gone to bed)
Shown at any time of day or night?
Almost every question asks about banning something, and it is part of a campaign to lobby the government to ban stuff, so it's hardly an objective piece of research. Not that I like to see 14-year-old girls lying catatonic in the streets, but neither do I like to see a man with a beard producing his passport at a supermarket check-out, simply to buy a bottle of wine; frankly ridiculous in my view. Thankfully when I was under-age it wasn't such a big deal. Apparently Turkey's just raised the legal age to 24!

Reflecting on EU Day

Yeah right. Long live England! Long live the nation states of Europe! Down with the crooks, maoists and child-molesting traitors of Brussels!

UPDATE: Tim Worstall captures the mood well.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

To my American cousins

Just looking at my readership stats. I see that since they started counting there have been 9,999 American views. Anyone over there want to claim the prize for being the 10,000th?

Fuzzy concepts

Via Lib Con I come to this article in the Independent about a tax lawyers debating event. Sounds like a cure for insomnia, right?

The motion – "Clear and unambiguous tax law is an invitation to raid the public purse" – will be proposed by a leading QC, Kevin Prosser of Pump Court Tax Chambers, while Paul Lasok QC of Monckton Chambers will oppose. Already, 250 tax experts have applied to attend.

Mr Field [head of tax at Farrer & Co] said: "I don't think there has ever been a tax event like it. Everybody wants to come. Most people accept that we need change if taxing companies is to be made fairer. There is clearly a problem with corporate tax avoidance and one which we have seen has taken on a moral dilemma with lobbying groups like UK Uuncut taking a stand.

"That's why we are asking whether the moment has come to look at whether the hallowed principle of legal certainty – the basis of all tax law – should give way to a more fuzzy concept of fairness."

Legal certainty is a constitutional principle underlying all law-making, but it has become open to challenge when it comes to tax, he said. Working out how much money is lost by tax avoidance is impossible, although many billions more could be raised if Revenue & Customs were to change its approach.

"The boundary between acceptable tax mitigation and unacceptable tax avoidance should be defined in a much vaguer way, so that professional advisers are unable to advise on a strict interpretation. The best advice would be for the advisers to say 'Stay away'. But, if they give boundaries, then the avoidance industry will find ways around it."

As I've commented previously, the problem with UK tax law is that it is 12,000 pages long, the longest and thus the worst in the world. However, this new idea of introducing a 'fuzzy concept' would finally nail the coffin lid shut on any hope of a reasonable, understandable tax code.

Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps it would reduce it down to one line: "the tax you owe is whatever we say it is that you owe and if you don't get down and lick my boots, you're going to jail". Under such circumstances, what businessman who had any choice would base his business here?

But where are you going to run? Increasingly the EU is unifying its tax laws and using its power to bully those countries which set lower tax rates. See what happened to Ireland, once a proudly independent nation, now reduced to an economic protectorate.

File under: "those whom the gods wish to destroy..."

Melanie Philips in the Spectator writes:
Another bad blow against freedom in the west. Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society and The International Free Press Society, was yesterday found guilty of hate speech under the Danish penal code.
Yet again we see the vile poison of 'hate speech' laws being used to bludgeon freedom, and yet again it is to protect that wilting and delicate flower Islam.

The case has dragged on for a long time. Apparently he was acquitted by one court, so they needed to take him to a higher court in order to punish him. Here is a statement he made back in 2009, which clearly indicates the monstrousness and perversity of the Danish authorities, and remember readers, under our treasonous government and its implementation of the European Arrest Warrant, anyone in this country can have their door kicked in at 3 in the morning and be dragged off to Denmark, without even being told the charge BECAUSE THAT'S "JUSTICE" AND "FREEDOM" IN THE FUCKING EU.

UPDATE: Lars Hegegaard has issued a statement:
"It is with great sadness I have to report that Denmark’s reputation as a haven of free speech and a bastion of resistance to sharia encroachment is irreparably tarnished. Denmark is my country and I used to be proud of it.

On May 3 the Eastern Superior Court in Copenhagen convicted me of hate speech under Denmark’s infamous Article 266 b of the penal code – a rubber provision that may be stretched to serve any political purpose dear to the hearts of the ruling elites.

My crime is to have called attention to the horrific conditions of Muslim women and for my audacity the court has now enabled my detractors to label me a racist."

Read the whole statement here.

Also here is an interview from January 2011.

Plus, here's Pat Condel giving his view on the matter in hand:

Cameron vogues Eurosceptic

Fellow countrymen concerned by the hand-over of political power to the Evil Union can breathe a sigh of relief, because the PM isn't going to fly the EU rag over 10 Downing Street tomorrow, this being "Europe Day".

Oh yeah, forget the reality, forget how much this government has already done to further the destruction of our sovereignty, and cling to the symbolic slight Cameron is delivering.

On the subject of "Europe Day", I was recently searching around to see if any kind of celebration was planned for this country, or what's left of it. All I could find is some kind of Flemish beer and fry fest, which is a smart move, because any overtly pro-EU event would garner no support, whereas drinking beer in a tent has an appeal.

If there was more time, or if I had a legion of activists waiting on my every word, I'd suggest turning 9th May into a Day of Mourning for our Lost Sovereignty and proceed up to the London headquarters of the Evil Commission with a coffin, and burn some EU flags to boot.

Any other prospective pall-bearers out there?

Too early

I've got a new alarm clock, or to be more specific two bloody pigeons are attempting to colonise my balcony, and create a love nest amongst the plant pots. They beat a hasty retreat when my naked, blurry-eyed figure hoved into view, and I will have to ensure they get the message and find themselves another place to perch and coo.

Personally, I'm more pro-pigeon than a lot of people, who denigrate them as 'rats with wings', but I have limits. Still, thanks to my feathered-friends, I did see a rainbow this morning.

Free market choice

I'm getting into Robert P. Murphy, so here's another lecture from the guy, so you have a choice.

Blurb thus:
Robert P. Murphy at "Recovery or Stagnation?," the Mises Circle in San Francisco; sponsored by Mark L. Hart, III, and hosted by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Includes an introduction by Douglas E. French. Recorded Saturday, 29 August 2009.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Austrians versus Neo-Classicals: Tu ne cede malis!

Robert P. Murphy speaking at the 2009 Mises University. Recorded 28 July 2009 at the Ludwig von Mises Institute; Auburn, Alabama.

I know which side I'm on.

Tom Woods on war and conservatism

Tom Woods calls on American conservatives to examine their attitudes towards their country's foreign policy, and how it contrasts with their attitude to the government's home agenda, namely on the one hand often unquestioning support, on the other unflinching scepticism.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Catchy tune

I like this dude.


An off-hand comment from Dick Puddlecote provoked me to YouTube 'tumbleweed' and first up I came across this, which is quite bizarre. I make no apologies for the soundtrack of children laughing, which I personally find quite infectious.

Err... sorry, who are the extremists?

From the Indhimmipendant:
Hundreds of Osama bin Laden supporters clashed with English Defence League extremists today as a "funeral service" for the assassinated terror leader sparked fury outside London's US Embassy.

Greece to leave the Euro?

It seems the government in Athens are readers of this blog. From Der Spiegel:

The debt crisis in Greece has taken on a dramatic new twist. Sources with information about the government's actions have informed SPIEGEL ONLINE that Athens is considering withdrawing from the euro zone. The common currency area's finance ministers and representatives of the European Commission are holding a secret crisis meeting in Luxembourg on Friday night.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


Willy Nelson and Norah Jones sing a soppy song, but I'm a sucker for a beautiful voice.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Obama captures unicorn

Uncontrovertible proof from Obama's mobile phone

The world is reeling with joy and wonder at the news President Obama managed to capture a unicorn, a creature hitherto believed to be mythical.
"I was just strolling out back of the Whitehouse, and there it was, nibbling at the roses. Well, I immediately leaped into action, and wrestled the creature to the ground. I let it go afterwards, because it seemed a bit sorry for itself, but it was definitely a unicorn."
A spokesman revealed there is plenty of evidence backing up the discovery, but due to the immense credibility of the President, none of the world's media is expected to press for its release, although the usual tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy loons will no doubt unremain unconvinced.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Mystery man steps forward to claim Lord Lucan capture reward

A mysterious and as yet unnamed man is claiming to have finally solved the years' old riddle of Lord Lucan's disappearance with Scotland Yard snapping at his heels and a bloody murder in his wake.

Mr X described the moment he came face to face with the lunatic Lord.
"I had taken my boat out into the Solent for a spot of fishing, and there, halfway out to the Isle of Wight he emerged from underneath a tarpaulin on the deck. I recognised him immediately. I demanded his surrender and, as he lunged at me, with a look of pure evil in his eyes, I knocked him over the side with an oar. The authorities haven't found the body yet, but I can guarantee you it's out there somewhere, if the fish don't eat it or the currents carry it off."
No official comment from the police has been forthcoming, but unofficial sources expressed scepticism. "This guy's known as a bit of a bullshitter," said one.

Barry, could you pass the salt please?

Big news, huh? Third-rate hack actor and US President Barry Obama has announced the death of super-villain Osama Bin Laden, and he's been buried at sea! I mean, that's what you do, isn't it, when you capture the most sought-after man on the planet; dump his body over the side of a boat before anyone's got a look at it.

As far as I was aware Bin Laden was dead back in 2001, and I don't trust a word Barry says. Stranger things have happened, no doubt, so there's an outside possibility that this may be true, but there's also the chance it's a stinking lie. Time will tell.

UPDATE: US forces may live to regret 'burying' Bin Laden at sea, if reports coming in from Somalia are to be believed. Apparently Bin Laden is alive, having emerged from the waves, claiming he had only been stunned when a bullet grazed his skull, and that the cold water had revived him, before a passing clam swallowed him up and deposited him on the shore of Africa. Vatican sources have dismissed suggestions that Bin Laden's escape could be a miracle attributable to the late Pope John Paul II.

Oi, Bin Laden - don't you know shellfish are haram!

LinkUPDATE: An interesting take over at Veterans Today

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Another Richie

Richie Havens singing Dylan's "Licence to Kill".

Jock Coates; against intellectual property rights

Via his own blog, I am directed to Mr Coates' piece at the Adam Smith Institute blog. Here's the first paragraph:
Intellectual property rights – better thought of as intellectual monopoly rights – are an unnecessary evil. They are unnecessary because all their stated, utilitarian aims can be achieved by other means. They are an evil because granting artificial rights to non-property restricts everyone else’s property rights. They are more likely to be used to stifle the creativity, innovation, and emulation that underpins technological and cultural advance; and they concentrate wealth and power in the hands of privileged non-creators more interested in milking selected others’ efforts.
Does he succeed in his case? Can he justify these opening assertions? Read on to discover...

How to win arguments

Something in the comment thread at Murphy's place (see post below) reminded me of Alan Partridge's "victory" over an irate farmer.

Browsing on I come to this scene: Alan's attempt to present the Dante's Fires corporate awards, after having punctured his foot on a fence.

Richard Murphy: the Midas of Merde

It's the smug, self-satisfied pout that gets me going. Then it's the unreconstructed busted-flush Keynesianism which intensifies my ire. Now we have this. Murphy on Libertarianism, but as it's Murphy, that word must be turned upside-down, back-to-front and, with his Midas-like curse, turned to shit.

The imposition of the individual over the collective - and the denial that the collective exists - as Thatcher suggested – is what is threatening our society, destroying trust, undermining democracy, increasing fear and seeking to destroy the well being of the majority in the interests of a minority.

That’s what Polly is saying we need to rebel against. And she’s right.

And let’s not forget – it’s a libertarian act to rebel for our collective rights. Positively libertarian. In itself a word the left need to reclaim – with precisely the connotation I put on it.

So, what's going on here?

Firstly, we must consider that Murphy is playing to his audience, made up of two main groups; cringing sycophants on one side and people who think he's a dick on the other. This latter group is usually dismissed by Murphy as 'neo-liberals'. Murphy, no doubt aware how much his site's popularity is due to those who read it for 'the wrong reasons', will know how this will stir up his anti-fan club.

Secondly, Murphy may be picking up something of the Zeitgeist, later than most, around the term 'libertarian'. He has no interest in the word's meaning, but like a good marxoid, with a quick redefinition it will serve his purpose, which may be:

to help trash the ideas represented by the word, by associating them with his own brand of hyper-statist Keynesturbation.

to help destroy rational discourse, by employing Humpty-Dumptyist 'words mean whatever I want them to mean' tactics.

Also we find, unsurprisingly, the favourite canard of the liberty-hating left: the 'positive' versus 'negative' liberty bollocks. I have always found this concept grating, especially as the nomenclature is so misleading. What those like Murphy try to pass off under the cloak of 'positive liberty' is usually socialistic welfarism and a centrally-planned economy, wheras what is dismissed as 'negative liberty' actually is the correct definition of liberty. So, translated into English (from his sinisterist dialect), when Murphy says; "I am a positive libertarian", it means; "I am a socialistic welfare pimp with deep-seated hostility to individual liberty and a hard-on for state interventionism".

I hope that helps clarify matters.

Hat tip: Tim Worstall

UPDATE: Credit where credit's due: Mr Murphy has actually allowed some comments from me through the gauntlet of moderation. Hmm. Maybe he's loosening up.