Monthly Archives: June 2012

RIP David Webb


by Sean Gabb

Note: I am, of course, not referring to our own David Webb in this annoucement. The last time I noticed, he was alive and well. SIG

It is with the deepest regret that I must announce the death at 3pm today (30th June 2012) of David Webb, well-known and much-loved actor on stage, screen and television, and Director of the National Campaign for the Reform of the Obscene Publications Acts (NCROPA).

It is partly thanks to David’s tireless, and often thankless, campaigning over the years that we enjoy our present semi-relaxation of the laws against sexual expression. I helped publicise his campaign against the Customs and Excise in the 1990s, when he challenged their use of the Customs Consolidation Act 1876 to seize a mass of pornographic videos that he had imported from Holland and declared on arrival here as “for personal use!” Though his challenge failed on a technicality in the Court of Appeal, the 1876 Act is nowadays used far less aggressively than in the 1980s and 1990s. I also fondly remember joining him on the platform at the NCROPA fringe meeting at the 1992 Conservative Party conference in Brighton. Otherwise, David was a frequent speaker throughout the United Kingdom on issues of sexual liberation, and he stood for Parliament on more than one occasion.

David was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year. Though his doctors believed he had another year of life, his health began to fail a few weeks ago, and he died today peacefully and in his sleep at Trinity Hospice in Clapham.

He was 82. He was unmarried and without children.

I will make a further announcement when I know details of the funeral. His obituary will be written by Edward Goodman, his friend and associate of many years.

All who were privileged to know him will agree that David was a good and generous friend, with a fine sense of humour and an endless fund of anecdotes about his main career as an actor.

We will remember him.

Libertarian Novels by Nicholas Dykes


by Nicholas Dykes

Hi Sean,

I hope all is well with you and yours.

This is just to let you know that I have recently published two new (non-philosophical) novels on Amazon’s Kindle: a mystery/adventure story called Black Cliff, about three very different people caught up in the consequences of the importation into Britain of alien customs such as arranged marriage and honour killing; and Hopeless: Death of a Fawn, a psychological detective story in which a disabled, poetry-loving police inspector and his highly educated lady partner strive to prevent the murder of a young girl.

My earlier book, Old Nick’s Guide to Happiness: A Philosophical Novel is also now on Kindle. Since the intellectual aspects of the book fall naturally into two halves, theoretical and practical, I republished it in two volumes, Book One: Why, and Book Two: How.

If you don’t have a Kindle, I believe it is possible to download the books for reading on Ipads, PCs, etc.

I would be deeply grateful if you could pass this information along to your wide Libertarian acquaintanceship, though I should perhaps point out that O’ism/Libertarianism underlie the new stories rather than being spelled out as in ONGTH.

Many thanks, all the best, Nick

Elizabeth the Useless Shakes Hands with Blood Beast Fenian Scum!


I don’t think that was in her Coronation Oath either.

Total Recall on Telly


In my view, the best film of the 1980s – a philosophical and technical masterpiece.

Western-Backed “Freedom Fighters” Bring Democracy and Human Rights to Syria


Legal firm bottom feeders and the NHS


by D.J. Webb

Dear all, no time for a long post, but I was amazed, at a time of cuts, to read that clinical negligence payments by the NHS rose by £10bn over the past five years to total £16.6bn! [See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9353443/Comment-The-spiralling-cost-of-no-win-no-fee-lawyers.html%5D This is not a small amount of money. Continue reading

My education manifesto


by D.J. Webb

1. Privatise the whole education system
2. All teachers’ salaries set by the schools
3. A voucher system instituted allowing parents choice, but the vouchers set at a level that does not cover the full cost of education (e.g. requiring a top-up co-payment averaging 10% of the cost of attending an unglamorous school from the parents, and much larger top-ups to attend better schools). Unmarried mothers with five children would still have to find a certain sum for their children’s education. Continue reading

Is This the Quickest Ever Quisling Right Operation?


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-18598223

Michael Gove hints at dropping CSE plans

There was a time when these people used to wait until we’d forgotten their promises before walking away from them.

Kindle Problems Sorted


I have bought an Arnova 9 G8. Its 10″ backlit screen shows pdf files shows pages about as well as if I had the original book in front of me. Battery life is less than wonderful at about 6 hours. But the advantage of viewing pdf versions of the sort of books I read is that the text suffers none of the corruption that is always potential in even the best scanning and OCR conversion. Also, old books generally look better than machine text, and often carry interesting comments from past owners.

I shan’t give my Kindle away. Even so, I see little use for it at present, now this wonder of technology has come into my hands.

Here are some pictures;

This last is from a book printed in 1647. Praise be to Google!

Passive Vaping And Third Hand E-Cig Vapour, The New Fantasy Fetish ‘Science’


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/t_55jiOOnbM/passive-vaping-and-third-hand-e-cig.html

Such has been the success of the tobacco control industry in bastardising science by pandering to the fears and prejudices of the most intolerant in society, it’s fascinating to watch health-obsessed fruitcakes of all stripes attempt to copy their methods. Continue reading

Sean Gabb on the Egyptian Revolution


Looks like I got this one right! SIG
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/?q=node/528

Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 204
12th February 2011

Brief Reflections
on the Revolution in Egypt
by Sean Gabb

I have been asked to comment on the revolution in Egypt. Every newspaper is already filled with commentary. Every time I switch on the television, no one seems to be discussing anything else. All this may be very good for sales of Mr Blake’s novel, Blood of Alexandria. But I am already bored with Egypt. For this reason, I will try to be brief. Continue reading

You’re the Victim?


by Brett Stevens

Note: This is an interesting case against the argument that we tend to roll out. I do think the argument we put contains more truth. However, it is also true that we are astonishingly free to rattle our chains, and even to fight back. SIG

http://www.alternativeright.com/main/blogs/untimely-observations/you-re-the-victim/

The little guy never had a chance in this world.

He is hopelessly manipulated by a media owned by criminal elites, pushed around by government with its paramilitary police, and his fortunes wax and wane at the whim of the sociopathic banksters who control Wall Street and the value of our currency. Continue reading

Sorry, but ‘sorry’ isn’t good enough


by Archbishop Cranmer
http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2012/06/sorry-but-sorry-isnt-good-enough.html

Ed Miliband is apologising today for Labour’s open, generous and unlimited immigration policy, which saw millions of foreign nationals flood into the country ostensibly to meet the needs of the economy. Forget how many billions it cost the taxpayer in housing, welfare benefits and translation services. Forget how many schools have been forced to employ dozens of ‘support staff’ in order to deal with half a million children who do not speak English as their first language. Forget how many indigenous Britons were bypassed for council housing in favour of ‘higher priority’ immigrants with greater needs (ie more children). Forget the impact on hospital waiting lists, or to getting an appointment with a GP or dentist. And forget how much irreversible damage all this has had on community cohesion. Continue reading

David Brooks’s Plea for the Belief in Santa Claus


Note: If there must be political power, let it be hereditary. When rulers are selected by accident of birth, rather than by the sort of talents that gave us Tony Blair and all the others, there is some chance of being ruled by normal human beings. SIG

by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/?p=10721

In one of the most bizarre displays of authoritarianism since Filmer’s Patriarcha traced the divine right of the Stuart absolutist monarchs back to Adam, David Brooks (“The Follower Problem,” New York Times, June 12, 2012) recently launched into a wholesale diatribe against the “adversarial culture” and its skepticism toward “just authority” — a phrase which he uses no fewer than six times. Continue reading

I Hate My Kindle!


Mrs Gabb bought me one for Christmas. Within a month, I was whining to my optician about eye strain. The problem is that most of the things I want to read are pdf scans of books from before 1900 – see this, for example: http://books.google.co.uk/books/reader?id=gKwPAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader

So, I’m now looking for an e-reader that will show pdf text readable as full pages. My 28″ monitor does this very well. But is there anything smaller and more portable?

Grateful for any advice.

That’s you told, Allan Massie, Whingeing Scotch Anglophobe!


by Robert Henderson

The gratuitous denigration of things English – the reign of Elizabeth I
Robert Henderson

Allan Massie, a Scot be it noted, decided to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II with a deprecating piece on her great predecessor and namesake, Elizabeth I designed to pour cold water on the idea that hers was a glorious reign. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9307110/Lets-not-overlook-the-gory-details-of-Gloriana.html). He complains of the general treatment of Catholics, the use of torture on Catholic priests and those who harboured them, nudges the reader to consider the likes of Francis Drake to be hovering on or going over edge of piracy and in best liberal bigot fashion invokes the ultimate condemnation of English adventurers of the time by dwelling on Sir John Hawkins’ involvement in the slave trade. In addition, Massie belittles the defeat of the Amada and Elizabethan military exploits on the continent, bemoans English involvement in Ireland and stands aghast as he considers the Earl of Essex’s execution of one in ten of his army after they failed to press hard enough in battle. As for the great intellectual glory of the reign, the sudden flowering of literature symbolised by Shakespeare, this is dismissed of being only a tailpiece to the Elizabethan age. Continue reading

A taste of their own medicine


by His Grace the Devil
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheDevilsKitchen/~3/7Vp6RfWCYfs/taste-of-their-own-medicine.html

After the expenses scandal a couple of years ago, the few actual convictions belied the fact that the entire body of our lords and masters were engaged in widespread fraud, in a scandalous conspiracy against the taxpayers who they are supposed to serve.

Further, all three major parties in this country have proposed spying on our every communication for no good reason at all, something that surely breaks the Data Protection Act’s provision that all data held should not be excessive. Continue reading

About That “Foreign Money”


by Thomas Knapp
http://c4ss.org/?p=10668

Note: For all the braying pride expressed in it, the American federal system is one of the most contemptible political achievements on record. It is a third rate system devised by third rate people. It was soon colonised by fourth rate people just bright enough to realise its potential for corruption.

I don’t know whether the Israelis are as powerful in Washington as we are told. But I wish them the very best. Just think what a ghastly place the world would be if the Americans were left to run their foreign policy without the steadying influence of foreign bribes. SIG

I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has his knickers in a twist over “foreign money” influencing US elections. Okay, okay, not really. Hypocrisy is one of McCain’s most prominent character traits, so it doesn’t surprise me at all.

“Foreign” money from the terrorist “Kosovo Liberation Army” (funneled through US front groups) didn’t bother him when it was flowing into his senatorial and presidential campaign coffers as payback for his support of “foreign” (US) meddling in the former Yugoslavia. Continue reading

Happy Magna Carta Day – Clarification


Jock Coats has pointed out that today is actually the 797th anniversary. A mere slip of the keyboard, I assure you!

Happy Magna Carta Day!


I believe today is the 897th anniversary of the acceptance of Magna Carta by King John.

It was nice while it lasted.

The Truth about Victim Disarmament in Nine Words


UKIP submission on gay marriage ‘consultation’


by Archbishop Cranmer

UKIP today submitted its response to the Government’s ‘consultation’ on plans to legislate for same-sex marriage. Despite the philosophical tensions (see here), UKIP oppose this legislation because ‘they believe that contrary to the hype it is illiberal legislation that threatens rather than enhances civil liberties’. The submission is reproduced below, but in summary UKIP believes: Continue reading

E-Cigs: The New Bad Boy In Town


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/S_3Ufj37spY/e-cigs-new-bad-boy-in-town.html

Courtesy of the unrivalled Kate V, burrowed away in the lesser visited shadows of the internet is this small example of how e-cigs are continuing to evolve and mature.

E-cigarette manufacturer is first to offer a “puff counter”

With data being stored by an electronic chip, the new technology will give users the option of displaying how many “puffs” are left, how many virtual cigarettes are left or a simple color-coded line indicating how much vapor is left in a given product. Logic is the first electronic cigarette company to be issued this kind of “counting” patent.

These canny little devices are fast becoming the jewel in the crown of tobacco harm reduction, while simultaneously right pissing off the tobacco control community in general. Oh yeah, and this guy, of course. Continue reading

At last, a comprehensive report on Fake Charities…


by The Devil
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheDevilsKitchen/~3/r0TjGWkr7q8/at-last-comprehensive-report-on-fake.html

Some years ago, your humble Devil and his Kitchen colleague, the Filthy Smoker, noticed that more and more charities were being cited by news media—and, most especially, the BBC—in connection with government initiatives.

These charities almost always reinforced these policies: and these policies were almost always ones that aimed to reduce freedom and liberty in this country.

Out of curiosity, we started to investigate these charities in a very simplistic way: when a charity was quoted as being in favour of yet more grossly invasive legislation, we went to the Charity Commission website and looked up the public accounts.

In the majority of cases, we found that these quoted “charities” were, in fact, largely funded by the government whose policies they were enthusiastically endorsing. Continue reading

Democracy? Consent of the Governed? Buncombe!


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/?p=10652

Per official democratic ideology — the ideology inculcated by politicians’ speeches, election day rhetoric, and high school civics classes — the people are sovereign. The government — our “public servants” — is agent of the popular will, and the public is the principal.

But if you look at how people actually view the state’s authority on an emotional level — and how it views us — that doctrine turns out to be 99 and 44/100% buncombe. The attitude that’s actually encouraged among the general public, and that probably prevailed among a majority at least until recently, was described by Paul Goodman in Like a Conquered Province: Continue reading

Could Classical Liberalism Survive an Encounter with an E.T.?


Could Classical Liberalism Survive an Encounter with an E.T.?

By John Goodman

Many libertarians I know are devotees of science fiction. But I can’t recall any of them writing about what would really happen if we were visited by alien beings. My prediction: an encounter with aliens would put classical liberal political philosophy to a severe test. Indeed, anyone who basically believes in capitalism and freedom would find those beliefs challenged in a major way. Continue reading

The Drive to War and the Euro?


by D.J. Webb

The euro is part of a pan-European architecture that is keeping the peace in Europe, they say. I don’t think the European nations have any appetite for war, and such talk is either hysterical or too grounded in the views of people who lived through the Second World War, whose influence on politics today logically needs to start rapidly declining. Continue reading

Question for the Dalai Lama


I have been invited by the BBC to submit a question to the Dalai Lama.

Mine is this: “Is it true that you wash in rancid butter that you scape off afterwards and put back in its jar?”

It strikes me as more interesting than the usual hot air about bringing peace to a troubled world.

A Leftist Critique of Political Correctness


http://attackthesystem.com/?p=18914

A Leftist Critique of Political Correctness

Originally published at Social Memory Complex by Jeremy Weiland

As a longtime libertarian and an avowed egalitarian socialist, I’ve struggled with the concept of “political correctness” for as long as I’ve had a political awareness. I went through a neoliberal democrat phase in the 90′s where what many denounced as PC simply looked like good manners to me. Don’t get me wrong; some of it was just that: the attempts of well-meaning people to navigate a culture permeated with deep-seated privilege and oppressive features. And yet, just as much polite talk is not exceedingly honest, I always had a nagging suspicion that politically correct habits were something more than mere social graces. Continue reading

You Are But A Victim, You Need Saving


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/HCkCb5wD554/you-are-but-victim-you-need-saving.html

There was a time when you used to just ‘like’ something. Whether it be chocolate, a kebab, a glass of scotch or a cigar, you enjoyed it.

Not anymore. You see, you’re merely an ‘addict’ now.

Now that your right to self-declaration of enjoyment of tobacco has been denied by those who know you better than, err, you, it’s interesting to see the same being rolled out for – well – just about anything really. How about food? Continue reading

All around is fire, and yet the buggers won’t leave the burning building


David Davis

These are very interesting times. The Euro is toilet-paper, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus are really absolutely quite fully-bust, Germany’s central bank is saying “sort yourselves out”, and yet….and yet….

This country’s government has already given £14 billion in aid to a currency that we don’t belong to, were nearly bullied into joining, and have no interest in….and furthermore, it says “there is no popular support for a referendum on the European Union”.

The current shift of Chimpanzee-Type-writers in the draughty Lancashire Nissen Hut is really not sure what to make of this. Or perhaps they are: When this government (or any for that matter) says the magic word “The People”, it probably means “the people that it has victoriously elected in the latest round of _people’s elections_ “, which is to say: itself.

I don’t recall any recent polls asking about the EU that said anything other than a clear majority of the British People would like to leave it. Does anybody else have any different information?

As Brutus said…”I pause for a reply”.

Shhh … Alcohol Consumption Is Down Again


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/jeslOdn5Ukw/shhh-alcohol-consumption-is-down-again.html

Did you know that the latest NHS statistics on alcohol consumption were released just before the Jubilee?

You didn’t? Well, I suppose it’s an easy mistake to make because the BBC didn’t seem to notice it either. Perhaps it’s because they were all camped out around the Mall … or that the health section’s skeleton staff would have had to report on this little “key fact”. Continue reading

Who Says There’s a Recession?


Stood behind a rather proley woman today at the self-service queue in Sainsbury. All the vouchers the machine gave her she threw uninspected into the receipt bin. I, of course, had them straight back out. One of them gave £4.20 off. By the time I’d finished going through the bin, I managed to save £7.40 off the shopping, and got an extra 300 Nectar points.

Some people deserve to live in poverty!

Attack the System: Electing a New People


Attack the System: Electing a New People

Note: As always, there is much in Keith’s analysis. However, the pro-state left is winning largely because of the lack of any alternative. In the recent English elections, for instance, Labour’s “triumph” was gained with 12 per cent support of the electorate. 88 per cent of English electors didn’t vote Labour. Tony Blair won his elections despite not getting the votes of more than three quarters of the British people. The non-white vote is important in those areas where it is absolutely dominant. But it is geographically concentrated, and most non-whites do not seem to vote.

Undoubtedly, the PSL controls politics, the media, education, and the bureaucracy, and has largely merged with corporate big business. This prevents the emergence of any alternative within the mainstream. It probably cannot be dislodged by ordinary political means. But the PSL is a brittle establishment. It continually needs to show its power by acts of petty oppression – eg, Emma West. Increasingly, it lacks self-belief, and rules because it is the Establishment. I don’t know how easily it would hold out even against a sustained campaign of mockery. SIG Continue reading

Expanding the welfare state


by D.J. Webb

 don’t have time for a long post, but I was surprised to read today that the welfare state is expanding, not being scaled back, and that people who care for elderly and disabled relatives will gain the legal right to “time off”, with councils required by law to provide stand-ins for them. See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9320910/Carers-to-be-given-respite-holidays.html for a news report. Continue reading

Volk – A Telihold hírnöke » Blog Archive » Richard Blake: Róma – Az összeesküvés


 

Hungarian not being a language with which I have the faintest acquaintance, I fed this into Google Translate. Google doesn’t seem to know much more Hungarian than I do. I get the idea, however, that this is a very appreciative review of one of Mr Blake’s novels.SIG

A könyv kinézete:

Nézd meg jól itt bal oldalt a képet. XD Egyébként nálam sokat számít a borító és meg kell mondjam, ez nagyon tetszett. Én könyvtárból kölcsönöztem és így sajna egy picit kopott volt (meg pár lap már kiszakadt belőle). Egyébként 550 oldal körül van… Ja és egy dolgon nevettem egy jót! A lapok oldalszámozásánál egy  kis denevér embléma van, pedig totál nem ilyesmiről szól a könyv… :DSzerencsére nem miniatürizált betűvel nyomtatták, így amikor a tűző nap az arcomba sütött, akkor is tudtam olvasni.

Continue reading

The Ghosts of Athens – Richard Blake – Google Books


A huge preview of Mr Blake’s new novel

The Ghosts of Athens – Richard Blake – Google Books

Inequality as a Revolt Against Nature


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/?p=10602

The core of my philosophy, as a market anarchist, is the belief that equal exchange is mutually beneficial. Economic exploitation can only result from unequal exchange, which requires coercive interference in the normal process of market exchange. Many people find this dubious. So let’s take the argument for why this is so, and break it down into simple steps. Continue reading

More on Whether the State Should Control What Clothes Children Wear


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http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2012-06-07-clothes-sig.mp3

Sean Gabb on BBC Radio Three Counties, on Wednesday the 6th June 2012, to discuss whether it would be a good idea for the authorities to tell people what clothes their children can wear.

This is an unedited recording of an interview for later editing and broadcast. Therefore, it allows for a reasonably full discussion of the issues.

Sean says no for these reasons:

  1. It is reasonable to assume that anyone who uses the “protecting the kiddies” argument is really interested in controlling adults;
  2. Ratings will have no effect, as many of these things are now downloaded from the Internet;
  3. Conservative authoritarians deceive themselves when they think the authorities are fundamentally on their side. The moment you ask for a control to be imposed, you put your trust in people you have never seen, who are not accountable to you, who probably do not share your own values, and who will, sooner or later, use the control you have demanded in ways that you find surprising or shocking.

Nice one in Private Eye


Should the State Decide What Clothes Children Can Wear? (2012), by Sean Gabb


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http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2012-06-06-clothes-sig.mp3

Sean Gabb on BBC Radio Ulster, on Wednesday the 6th June 2012, to discuss whether it would be a good idea for the authorities to tell people what clothes their children can wear.

Sean says no for these reasons:

  1. It is reasonable to assume that anyone who uses the “protecting the kiddies” argument is really interested in controlling adults;
  2. Ratings will have no effect, as many of these things are now downloaded from the Internet;
  3. Conservative authoritarians deceive themselves when they think the authorities are fundamentally on their side. The moment you ask for a control to be imposed, you put your trust in people you have never seen, who are not accountable to you, who probably do not share your own values, and who will, sooner or later, use the control you have demanded in ways that you find surprising or shocking.

I’ll Take “The Deck is Stacked” for $400, Alex


by Thomas Knapp

Note: A 98 per cent conviction rate? Bearing mind the nature of many “crimes” nowadays, and the quality of the evidence gathered by the pigs, that sounds far worse than over here, where the rate is about two thirds – less in ethnic areas, where juries often acquit in the face of the “evidence.” However, it may be that more cases over there aren’t pushed into court. SIG Continue reading

Newcastle in the Olden Days


The white and the black of it


by Robert Henderson

http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/prison-for-merely-speakingnon-custodial-sentences-for-sustained-physical-attacks/

Jacqueline Woodhouse has been jailed for 21 weeks (. She summed up her case succinctly with “I used to live in England. Now I live in the United Nations”. Continue reading

Should We Celebrate the Jubilee? by Sean Gabb


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http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2012-06-01-monarchy-sig.mp3

Sean Gabb, speaking on BBC Radio 5 on the 2nd June 2012.

This clip is a short extract from a debate that was a shouting match between braindead republicans and sycophantic royalists.

Sean Gabb says:

  • That he approves of hereditary monarchy;
  • That, if you expect an hereditary monarch to be more than the equivalent of a shop window dummy, we have the right to feel short-changed by Elizabeth II;
  • That she has presided over the descent of England from a great an powerful nation to a sinister laughing stock;
  • That it was her constitution duty to step in at various times since 1952 and stabilise the system, and that she did nothing.

Longer article: Thoughts on the Diamond Jubilee, 29th May 2012, by Sean Gabb


Dr Sean Gabb:

Good interview here with our greatest living Austro-libertarian. SIG

Originally posted on The God That Failed:

I recently posted my own very loose translation of an interview in German conducted with Professor Hoppe, by the German web site, MisesInfo. Fortunately, on behalf of the Professor, Robert Groezinger has produced a much more polished and accurate version of the same interview, which is hot off the press, below, from his word processor. Share and enjoy:

First of all, Mr. Hoppe, thank you for taking the time to give us this interview. You have written in your new book, Der Wettbewerb der Gauner (“The Competition of Crooks”), that “We don’t need a European super state, which the European Union is seeking to establish … but rather a Europe and world consisting of hundreds or even thousands of tiny Liechtensteins and Singapores.” Such a trend is not apparent at the moment, rather the opposite. Do things first have to get even worse – politically…

View original 2,423 more words

Happy Jubilee


With my women this afternoon to a Jubilee barbie in Finglesham. An enjoyable event, despite the rain. Much feasting and drinking. Many flags. No visible enthusiasm for Elizabeth the Useless. No singing of the National Anthem. Most unlike the previous Jubilees I’ve seen.

David Gordon on Freedom of Speech


by David Gordon

[The  Harm in Hate Speech • By Jeremy Waldron • Harvard
University Press, 2012 • vi + 292 pages]

In many countries, though not in the United States, laws prohibit “hate speech.” Those who, in Jeremy Waldron’s opinion, uncritically elevate the benefits of free speech over competing values oppose hate-speech laws; but Waldron thinks that a strong case can be made in their favor. (Waldron thinks that there are “very few First Amendment Absolutists” [p. 144] who oppose all regulation of speech; but he thinks that many other First Amendment scholars are unduly critical of hate speech regulations.) Waldron is a distinguished legal and political philosopher, but the arguments that he advances in defense of hate-speech laws, taken on their own terms, do not seem to me very substantial.[1] Continue reading

The jubilee: nothing at all to celebrate


Richard North, 2 June 2012
http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=82738

One of my favourite aphorisms is: there is only one worse than a government – and that is having no government. We thus tolerate government not as a benign force but as a necessary evil.

Queen Elizabeth II is part of that government, nominally occupying the position of head of state. To conform with my dictum, we tolerate a head of state on the basis that the role is deemed essential to the functioning of the government.

In so doing, we are capable of separating the person from the position. Whatever one might think or feel about the persona of Elizabeth Windsor, the official role is one that matters.

And there, as Sean Gabb points out, the role has been reduced to one of a rubber stamp. Furthermore, he has it that if, during the six decades of her reign, England has been transformed from a great and powerful nation and the classic home of civil liberty into a sinister laughing stock, the ultimate responsibility for all that has gone wrong lies with Elizabeth II. Continue reading