September 30, 2005

The Times

A couple bits from The Times, both on New Labours authoritarian tendencies so graphically demonstrated in their (man)handling of Mr Walter Wolfgang recently and rediculous 'nanny state' attitiude first fromJane Shilling
What had this evidently very dangerous octogenarian done to forfeit so dramatically the respect that the Prime Minister is always urging upon us in our dealings with others? Ah, well, he had shouted “Nonsense!” during a speech by the Foreign Secretary. A pity that P. G. Wodehouse was not alive to witness a scene that eerily recalled a gathering of Sir Roderick Spode and his thuggish followers, the Black Shorts.

Still, it is interesting to see how badly rattled new Labour is by genteel political protest. First the WI, then Otis Ferry and his nicely spoken chums — and now a cry of “Nonsense” is enough to get you arrested under the Terrorism Act. What a relief for political extremists everywhere. No need to blow yourself up to make your point. Just muster a few oldies to flute “Piffle” and “Tosh” in quavering voices during ministerial speeches and you’ll be all over the papers in the morning.
Most of the rest of the article is about the nanny state at it's most graphic, Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax banning people from cooing at babies. Apparently they need to be left alone in the quiet and have their privacy respected. Tosh, look at any child under the age of 10 and all they seem to do is constantly try to gain as much attntion as humanly possible. As Jane Shilling says
Actually, I think most of us would be rather gratified if adoring strangers were to come up, peer into our faces and then exclaim on our beauty, intelligence and all-round loveliness. On the other hand, being used as a helpless mouthpiece for an institution’s pompous and peremptorily expressed instructions might strike many people as a rather shocking infringement of their personal liberty.

The fact is, of course, that babies are naturally programmed to love attention, and so are their mothers. The warmth and joy that the sight of a newborn child and its mother elicits even from strangers are the vestigial remains of the ancient and powerful protective instinct of a tribe for its most vulnerable members.

The second peice is from Mick Hume who tells us of how the Tyrant Blair has been hung on his own, politically correct, petard. Apprently he has been reported to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner and the North Wales Constabulary for shouting fucking welsh at the TV during Labour’s disappointing results in the Welsh Assembly elections.
That such an unexceptional outburst can now become a political issue confirms how oversensitive Britain has become under new Labour. North Wales police, for instance, have revealed that senior officers spent almost a hundred hours investigating some weak Welsh-baiting jokes cracked on TV by Anne Robinson. Nor is this problem peculiar to the Welsh. Imagine the reaction if Mr Blair had been overheard shouting “F***ing Muslims!” at his TV over the election of George Galloway. Thin-skinned syndrome is becoming a British disease. Perhaps that old boy who mumbled “nonsense” at Jack Straw was thrown out because organisers thought he was being offensive to the foreign secretary community.

Arab Slavers, British slaves

Melanie Phillips gives a short review of 'White Gold' by Giles Milton a book about the a way that (white) British people where kidnapped into salvery by Muslim Corsairs. Britian had also been a target for Vikings and Irish on similar missions, as I'm sure british people raided others likewise. At that time slavery was very common and practiced in most civilisations, only being exterminated by the actions of the Royal Navy and British Empire in the 1800's. But if you look at the places where slavery is still practiced they tend to be, well, Muslim. This dispite the fact that for the time of it's writing Sharia tended to be rather liberal on slavery (like many other matters) only allowing slaves that where prisoners form Jihad and freeing them the instant they converted. But the world has moved on, shame that Islamism cannot.

September 29, 2005

Miliband sets out vision for 'community power'

Miliband sets out vision for community power:
"'People elected us to sort out the economy', Mr Miliband told conference.

'Gordon did. They wanted us to invest in public services. We have. But our cause goes further. The truth is that Mondeo Man wants more than a Mondeo: he wants more power for himself and his community to shape the future, and our job is to give it to him.'"
But will he deliver? I dought it. It would go against the entire New Labour political project of power of it's own sake. Then when you get a little further into the article you find
"Let's give power to citizens with direct payments that give them a choice over local services, let's give choice to people and neighbourhoods to set new priorities and reshape local service provision. And let's embrace the voluntary sector, which can reach and help people in ways that the public sector cannot match."
So the money stays in Whitehall, but local democracy gets cut out of the loop. This is not increasing local power, it is increasing central government power. If he really wanted to give power back to the people then yes have "a choice over local services", and let us keep our own money to spend on them, or choose not to, as we wish.

heckling = terrorism 2

More on the 82 year old lifelong peace campaigner buddled out of the Labour Party Conference for having the temidity of holding a political view (you cannot have people interested in politics at a political party conference, well not if it's New Labour)
After being escorted through the conference security cordon by party officials into a large media scrum outside the Brighton Centre, Mr Wolfgang declared this morning: "The trouble is that most stewards from the Labour Party are volunteers out of the goodness of their heart; they really are the cream of the Labour Party.

"But there have been people who have been irresponsible enough to hire heavies. You cannot stifle debate by hiring heavies.

"A party has to be open, it has to be open to the world and it also has to discuss international issues rather than ignoring them. If you ignore international issues they will not go away."
And havign had to escape the Nazis Mr Wolfgang should know a thing or two about heavies and the kind of party that uses them in the stiffling of dissent.

for New Labour heckling = terrorism

New Labour have redefined terrorism, it is no longer killing and maiming in order to create political change. Terrorism is now heckling a New Labour minister as he lies. Or at least it is during the Labour Party conference when a heckler Mr Walter Wolfgang, from London, was ejected from the conference hall and then had to wait for a police officer. Mr Wolfgang perhaps found this kind of banning disent strangely familiar, having had to escape Nazi Germany in 1937.

September 28, 2005

Nun Terrorized by Terror Watch

When will governments learn that a false positive is also a failure? Sister Glenn Anne McPhee is a 62-year-old Dominican nun and she oversees Catholic education in the United States. However for months she was unable to fly anywhere without massive inconvenience like Senator Edward Kennedy, and many others unfortunate enough not to have their political connections, her name found it's way onto a terrorist watch list. Sister McPhee was able to get her name removed, unlike most people, because she had the political clout to call up the White House (not really an option for most people). Like Sen. Kennedy she ended up on the watch list because a man suspected of possibly being connected to Islamist Terror had at one point used her name as a pseudonym, and no other reason.

Security is a trade off. Absolute security is an impossibility. There is a reason that we have, or rather had because of New Labour, the concept of 'innocent until proven guilty' as it gave the best tradeoff since most people are innocent, are not going to cause harm and should be free to go about their business without state molestation.

Socks man gets 15-year term

Now as a former drug dealer and convert to the nastier forms of Islam I cannot exactly say that I am distraught over his conviction. Until, that is I got to the evidence against him. A single peice of paper code book, and a pair of socks. That is it, and for that he gets 15 years. What?

The aliby was perfectly plausable for their state, hanging something up to practice aim is used in several martial arts, e.g. fencing, and if he was into an empty hand style then using something soft like socks is a very good idea. If he had been travelling helping Muslim groups then he could well have come into contact with explosives, he could even have come into contact in a legitimate way say helping with mine clearance in Bosnia as he said. All the evidence is circumstancial, and utterly unconvincing. Yet the judge decides to give him a sentence 5 years longer than the maximum sentence normally given. What was he planning with these lethal socks? Nobody knows but according to the judge:
"Whatever your terrorist purpose was, its fulfilment was imminent," the judge told Rowe.
how on earth could he know that if he did not know what was being planned? He was
"a paid operative over a substantial period of time, travelling the world and furthering the cause of Muslim fundamentalism."
a cause which the judge has now done a great service by creating a, living for once, martyr.

Opinion - Magnus Linklater Times Online

Magnus Linklater of The Times Online is also condeming New Labour's fascist tendency writing about The dawning of jackboot justice, a good read bringing to light stories of the little people that New Labours New Justice crushes underfoot, that would never have been heard of without the old tree media, such as
Lofti Raissi, an Algerian pilot who was being watched by the FBI as a possible suspect in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The request to Scotland Yard was to monitor him “discreetly”. Instead, police mounted a dawn raid, put a gun to his head and led him naked to a waiting police car. It turns out he was innocent
or a refugee family
the Vucaj family from Kosovo, who have been living in Glasgow for the past five years and have been fighting deportation, were arrested and removed to a detention centre near Luton. They were not just removed, they were manhandled. Arrested by immigration officers in a dawn raid, the father and his eldest son were handcuffed, the children taken out of the house in their pyjamas, the mother given no opportunity to collect her possessions.

There is no possible justification for this brand of officially approved brutality. The Vucaj family had been model citizens during their time in Glasgow, the children popular and successful at school. The least they might have expected was a dignified departure.
But no, better a made for TV spectacular (litterally in some of the cases it mentions) against soft targets, while anybody that might actually pose a threat is left well alone. Which seems to sum up New Justice quite well, pick on soft targets that are generally law abiding, then arrest them in the most public and spectacular way possible. Maximum PR value for minimum risk, if they turn out innocent then quietly release them to what remains of their shattered lives as quietly as possible. Don't bother with the real trouble makers, they might resist and anyway that would mean you have to go through the hastle of a trial (Blair hasn't yet got rid of that little problem completely).

Tim Worstall on That Blair Speech.

Tim Worstall on That Blair Speech. like for everybody else Blairs authoritarianism shines through the spin, as does the complete lack of any insight by New Labour. Blair says that
We are trying to fight 21st century crime - anti-social behaviour, binge drinking, organised crime - with 19th century methods
When it is pretty obvious that all of the things that he cites where in fact frequent occourances in the 19th century, and as Mr Worstall points out, good solutions where found for them in the 19th century
Bobbies on the streets, a clean up of the Magistrates Courts (making them more local, not central for a start)...effectively exactly the system that the Great and the Good have spent the last 40 years dismantling
. As much of the political approach for the last haft century has been aimed at dismatling the 19th century solutions the 19th century problems they solved have of course come back.

Blair claims in that speach that he wants people living in safety, but this means that people must not be afraid of the Police locking them up, or executing them on the street, when they are in fact innocent. To live in safety you have to be able to live, and that means somehtign more than not being dead but in a prison cell, which is where Blair seems to think everybody should be sent.

Muslim Council of Britain - no fun please, we're Muslim

Why complain about the Tory Tabliban when there is the real thing running around in the form of the Muslim Council of Britain? Music apparently is baaaad and the only instruments allowed are drums. Great if you are into gabba, but could make more melodic tunes a little difficult. Their reasoning is great. Apparently music with anything other than vocals and drums (electric guitars are particually bad) makes you immediately get high on drugs, rip all your clothes off, dance wildly, then make love to the first person that you can find. I don't know what club they go to ... but if anyone does, please give me the address!

Demonstration against the Religious Hatred Bill

Demonstration against the Religious Hatred Bill Parliament Square at 1pm, yes it is legal as they have filled in all the proper forms (but turn up early and you know what will happen). Interestingly this has been organised by Evangelical Christian groups, with the support of the National Secular Society. Guess they have found some common ground in opposition to the abolision of freedom of speach so as Tony can buy some Muslim votes by giving into the Islamofascists that claim to represent them.


According to racist, islamist, anti-semitic, nutter Louis Farrakhan. Guess he must have been clued in by his 'invisible friend' that that whole hurricane thing was just an illusion created in a TV studio in New Mexico to hide the attack against New Orleans. Any non-Muslim whites killed or with their homes destroyed obviously being willing volunteers and part of the conspiracy to make sure that it didn't look to obvious. No natural disasters never actually ever happen. It is all a great big conspiracy by non-Muslim white folks.

The insanity of power

Power, for it's own sake has always been the guiding light of New Labour. But the persuit of raw power unguided by any set of principles leads to some very dark places, places that New Labour is exploring deeper and deeper. On Charles Clarkes latest proposals Non-trivial Solutions notes
Fair enough, but at least we didn't break out the thumbscrews when we [the Conservatives] were in power, Charlie.

Principles are important. They prevent you compromising that one step too far. Torturing people in order to get votes by making people feel that something is being done to prevent the unpreventable is the most unpleasant and pernicious thing I have ever seen a ruling government do in this country.

All this from a man who our Glorious Leader briefed against as being 'too soft'. I suppose a decent Home Secretary wouldn't bother outsourcing our torture to foreign governments that don't worry too much about all this 'civil liberties' and 'democracy' nonsense.
This has also been picked up by Europhobia who says:
For fuck's sake - won't somebody rid me of this troublesome Home Secretary? It would appear that he's now proposing to execute every single teenager in the country - that's the only way I can envisage that he'll be able to "eliminate disrespect and antisocial behaviour". What a twat.

EP rejects initiative on data retention

Via Europhobia, and one of his commenters called John Some good has come out of the EU, finally.
The European Parliament rejected a plan to retain data on the traffic of calls, short message services and e-mails processed by telecommunication providers to investigate and prosecute terrorists. MEPs feel the proposal from the UK, France, Ireland and Sweden to keep data about who is contacting whom and from where, for up to 3 years, is a threat to the privacy of citizens.
Of course the European Parliment as the democratic fig leaf of the EU has no real power and can, and probably will be, overruled by the less democratic Council of Ministers or the totally undemocratic Commission. So these data retention proposals will still get forced on Britian by Blair despite him knowing, probably because of him knowing, that they would never have made it past a proper democratic Parliment which actually had some power rather than being a meaningless fig leaf. However as Nosemonkey says
but will at least hold them up a bit

September 27, 2005

Art withdrawn because it might offend Muslims

Via Labin Tall. The tate has had a peice withdrawn because it might offend Muslims. It is called 'God is Great':
God Is Great consists of a large sheet of glass and copies of the Koran, the Bible and Judaism's Talmud that have been cut apart.

The pieces are mounted on either side of the glass to make it appear that they are embedded in it. It was due to appear in the Tate's current British Art Displays exhibition.
So obviously it should offend Christians and Jews just as much. But it was not, and would never have been, withdrawn for offending them. Just the Muslims are the ones that the Tate doesn't want to offend. Perhaps because it's directors don't want to be hunted down and killed, or forced into hiding, by Islamists.

September 26, 2005

The Chicken Yoghurt: Hell is (happening to) other people

Chicken Yoghurt on New Labour's fascist tendency, read it all. The Chicken Yoghurt: Hell is (happening to) other people

Lost survey lifts covers on sexy post-war Britain

Gagging research appears not just a modern Neo-Con religious right fixation (climate change, what climate change. You could always go around in shorts at the end of September). The British universities where up for it as well. Not about the enviroment but about sex. At the time that Kinsey was carrying out his ground breaking work in the US a similar study was conducted in the UK, which completely backed up his findings. :
"Long before Britain could be thought to encourage a permissive society, one in five men confessed to a homosexual experience and one in four said he had sex with prostitutes."
They where not as brave as Kinsey and so buried the research, but it the results that it uncovered still stand. The world has not got more permissive, just less hypocritical.

Council tax refusenik jailed

Another pensioner stands up to the bullying councils and their extortionate council tax rates. This one a retired social worker Mrs Sylvia Hardy, 73, was sentenced to seven days by Exeter magistrates court today with the Magistrate telling her
"You may think you are a martyr but you are not."
He is completely wrong she is a martyr, and far more than stupid Islamist murderers. I am far more with Mr Albert Venison who shouted
"You are on a completely different planet you people."

Prisoners unpick hi-tech lock system

Ahh 'infalible' biometrics. This is a system that did most of the correct things, it involved something that the Prison Officers knew (a pin number) and something that they were (a biometric fingerprint). Yet biometric locks allowed high-security prisoners unlock it at will, and wander around the goal settling old scores. The solution? Go back ot big old fasioned keys. And somehow 'infalible' biometrics are the perfect solution to all identity problems and will solve everything turning the bloated beamoth of beauracracy into a streamlined and eficient service at the publics beck an call. Right.

September 23, 2005

First aid pod casts from St. John's Ambulance

While New Labour attempts to fight fascism with fascism with ever more insanely authoritarian laws Europhobia points to St. John's Ambulance who have a sensible response to terrorism. First aid pod casts. Stick them in your MP3 player of choice and you will always have sensible instructions on ways in which you can actually help should you be in the presence of an Islamist attack. Much better than New Labour trying to rewrite history in a grand act of censorship.

Mary Ann Sieghart on the lies of David Blunket

Mary Ann Sieghart documents lies told by David Blunkett, these are not big lies nor about particually big things. It is just that Blunkett's instinctive reaction over anything that means that he might to have to give a little apology or admit that he is absolutely perfect is to lie and lie and lie. The perfect New Labour minister in otehr words.

September 22, 2005

EU adopts net and phone data retention proposal

A good round up about all the privacy destroying nonsense currently brewing in the EU.

September 21, 2005

The view from up north

It appears that the Church of Scotland has a much better grasp of common sense and the responcibilities of a state that the Church of England
David Lacy, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland offers a different response to Islamist terrorism and its enablers to that offered by Church of England bishops yesterday:

SCOTLAND'S most senior churchman says extremist Muslim clerics should leave the country, and has branded them "hypocrites" who treat their neighbours as "enemies".

Church of Scotland Moderator, Rev David Lacy, also accuses radical Islamists of speaking out "against us from within" while receiving "heart operations and care on our system".

He added that those who believed it was Christian to "turn the other cheek" to such extremism were misunderstanding the Gospel message
They are actually willing to say that people that come to this country should act as immigrants and intergrate rather than as colonists, sponging off the natives while looking forward to the destruction of the host society. I guess there are less Muslims up there so the number of Islamists hinding within them will also be smaller. Meaning he is less likely to end up with a knife sticking out of him for expressing the truth.

Life, Liberty, Property – In That Order

An interesting article by an anarchist about the meaning of liberty and how it should be Life, Liberty, Property – In That Order. He argues against the current system whereby fictional people, such as Corporations, can be treated as if they where human, and how this can endanger liberty.

This is a good point, one of the things that has always driven me away form the anarcho-capitalist viewpoint is that there seems to be a strong 'in the Corporations we trust' element to much of it. Personally this is not something I can stand. In the current system corporate entities have managed to extract human rights without human responcibilities, they are in effect considered better than humans.

If maximising happiness is your goal (and it is mine) then this is clearly not right. Corporations cannot feel happiness, or any other emotion, but by giving them preference over humans that can feel happiess. You end up in a situation of suprssing one persons happiness in favour of a legal fiction, and a net loss in overall happiness.

An unconscionable time a-dying

North sea diaries has a good post on the death of a consitution.

FBI Porn Squad

With Bin Ladin still on the loose and Islamist attacks across the globe daily what do you expect one of the FBI's priorities to be. Yep that's right adults looking at smut featuring other adults.

War crimes chief accuses Vatican of aiding war criminal

the Vatican is helping a war criminal according to the BBC.
Carla del Ponte, chief prosecutor for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, has said she believes Gen Ante Gotovina is hiding in a monastery in Croatia.

Ms del Ponte's spokeswoman told the BBC News website that the Vatican had refused to help in the search for him, despite being in a position to do so.
Not exactly the first time that the Vatican has found itself in bed with mass murderers, having itself inspired many. This seems to make, in the popes view, genocide a lesser crime than homosexuality. Well at least he is following what the Bible teaches I guess.

Europhobia: Blair and co thwarted by the EU?

Europhobia: Blair and co thwarted by the EU? One can only hope. It appears that the EU has decided that on Blairs plan to use it as a democracy bypass system he isn't going to bypass as much democracy as he had hoped, as the EU has decided that on this decision the EU Parliment will actually get a say. That say does not have to be listened to (this is the EU after all), but it is better than nothing. Which is what the great defender of 'democracy' and 'liberty' had been aiming at.

September 20, 2005

Ayaan Hirsi Ali -

Strange isn't it how the European Convention on human rights changes as you move from country to country. In britian we cannot possibly remove muslim hate preachers as it would be a violation of the human rights they don't believe in (deporting gays to certain death is of course OK). But when it is moved across the channel the text mysteriously changes to make it OK
Sarkozy has refused all the attempts made by different humanitarian associations and communities, explaining that “the European Court of Human Rights does not allow people to live wherever they like,”
a statement that would send the British Human Rights Industry into uproar. I may not like like the EU but there is much of the many Continental cultures that I do like, and this is one example. Screw the lawyers, time for a bit of common sense.

September 19, 2005

Village Hampden: The War On Habeas Corpus

Village Hampden continues to track New Labours war on Civil Liberties:
"the Government wants to create a new offence of glorifying terrorism and then has the front to make concerned noises about the restriction of the right of free speech that this involves. If this goes through, we could in theory see students being prosecuted for wearing Che Guevara t-shirts. "
They have already banned slogan t-shirts from within a mile of Westminster so more stupidity of this kind is not unexpected.

September 16, 2005

indieWIRE > Buzz / Rumors (Sep 11 - Sep 17)

A message to the Islamofascists Buscemi, Tucci and Blaban to Remake Van Gogh Trilogy as Homage to Murdered Director.

September 13, 2005

Thanks to corporations, instead of democracy we get Baywatch

"Thanks to corporations, instead of democracy we get Baywatch" is the title of Moonbats latest article, but it's content can be summarised as
"Nasty capitalists won't give george his TV time ... Wahhh!! "

September 06, 2005

Europe plans laser-fusion facility

Europe plans laser-fusion facility (September 2005) - News - PhysicsWeb

The problem with Inertial confinement is the Richtmyer-Meshkov effect and the problems with instabilities inheirent in a very energetic fluid systems, like the plasmas produced by lazer reactors. The reactor that they are proposing might be able to get close to breakeven, but no reactor (of any type) has ever been able to get past that let alone harness the energy produced to power itself yet.

There is also a good slashdot comment on a different IC system being built in America that could also provide another step towards a workable fusion reactor, sometime in the next few decades.

The EU, the New Labour and ID cards

Nosemonkey of europhobia has found some good information on the Tyrant Blairs latest weeze to get his ID cards and database. Knowing that it probably won't get by Parliment without scrutiny, where the massive gapping holes would hopefully be spotted and the bill thrown out, he has decided to use the EU as a democracy bypass mechanism.

The horrible thing is that it will work. Most EU countries have some kind of ID Card and will therefore see nothing to object to, even if some might find the extra 'government get to eavesdrop on everything' clause Blair has decided to add as well a little unpalitable. The commision will love it, ID Cards being anitdemocratic and transfering power to the state. The EU Parliment, well the parliment is irrelivant as it has no power to do anything anyway. And once blair gets his shiny EU directive or regulation he can come home and implement it and the British Parliment will have absolutely no say in the matter what so ever.

Studying, Not Reading

It appears that the downhill slide in education rather than simple learning what is needed for exams is not exclusive to Britian, the it is cropping up in India as well where there appears to be a worrying lack of reading for pleasure amoung the young. According to a wind-up bird chronicle the young are studying, not reading.

Why I am Liberal

Liberalism is by it's very nature a broad church. The spectrum of ideas that it encompasses covers everything from the not very liberal Liberal Democrats all the way to Anarcho-capitalism (on the right of the economic spectrum) and 60's style communalism (on the left of the economic spectrum). Because of this diversity this is not, and cannot be, an explanation of why all liberals choose this path, just what brought me here.

Liberalism is a political system. Like all political systems it is there to create a society with particular moral attributes. So liberalism relies on a moral framework, and like all moral frameworks it is a human creation, and so has no privileged position to be considered better than any other moral system. So why chose a moral framework that leads to liberalism over all the competing ones? Since there is no absolute moral laws, for every action considered taboo in one framework will be accepted in another, the only way to choose between them to ask what society you want to create. Simply claiming that one moral framework, and so political system, is better than all the rest because some dead guy's invisible friend said so simply does not cut it.

Finding a framework

So what society did I want to create? I could not say a 'good' one or a 'moral' one as both of these require judgments based around some preexisting moral framework. But at this point I didn't have a moral framework, I was trying to choose one. The problem is to choose something that is good in itself, without reference to any moral framework or other external markers. I need something that the question "Why is x wanted?" becomes meaningless.

Luckily this ground is well trod, and by some giants such as Aristotle. He came to the conclusion that happiness is one of the few things that is good in itself. Other virtues you do because there results make you happy, but happiness is something want in itself.

So happiness is the goal, but for just those worthy few or for everyone? If just for the worthy then who is worthy? This is a value judgement and at the moment I had no moral framework to base it on. As I could not decide which individuals happiness should be targeted at the only option is to try to achieve the maximum happiness (summed across time) for the maximum number of people.

This too is not virgin territory as the previous expression is already contained in the existing framework of Utilitarianism. Some people reject utilitarianism as it requires that the happiness of everyone, even people they consider morally inferior to be taken into account. I had not problems in this way as at this point I was still searching for a moral framework and so could not find anyone morally inferior as I had no moral framework to judge their supposed inferiority against.

How to be happy

Just as there is no universal moral path there is no universal path to happiness. Some people find happiness in trees and flowers. Some find happiness with puppy dogs and kittens. But others find happiness in wrapping themselves in PVC and doing unusual things with vegetables. Some people even find happiness trainspotting. So how can you possibly make the maximum number of people happy when you cannot even know what it is that will make them happy?

The simple answer is you cannot, but what you can rely on that most people want to be happy. Given the choice between something that they know will make them happy and one that they know will make them miserable most people will choose happiness. And here I land at liberalism.

Give people the liberty to choose and they will make the choices for themselves that make them most happy, and from these collective choices emerges a society where the maximum number of people have the maximum amount of happiness the maximum amount of time.

September 05, 2005

Liberalism and Sharia

Andrew in a comment at Blimpish provides an interesting question that I have been mulling over while internetless.
"the hostility among right libertarians to Sharia law in civil cases is totally ideologically unjustified - if two private parties choose to have an issue mediated using sharia law, that's their choice..."
Well part of it I guess would be the simple moral repugnance of statutes and structures of Sharia law. However there is a deeper reason beyond the simple yuck factor at work.

Liberalism, or Libertarianism, is a universal system in so much that it values freedom above all else, and considers that freedom is intrinsic to a person as a thinking being. It can be constrained by the combined action of others, but once old enough to fend for ourselves there is nothing on earth that we cannot do (constrained only by physics) if allowed to get on with it.

One of the things that someone can do is set aside their ultimate freedom to live by the wishes of others, but this is in itself by the individuals free choice. This is what happens when people form societies, a social contract forms to make certain actions taboo to avoid the lives of the people in the society being 'nasty brutish and short'.

In a truly liberal society, none of which really exist, you could opt back out of the social contract returning to a state of total liberty. You can then choose to join a different society, forgoing a different set of freedoms to operate within this new societies taboo. You could even choose not to join another society but continue to live in total liberty. But were you to use said liberty to damage people and their freedoms (by raiding them for food for example) then any society they are part of would probably defend it's members.

The social contract is at all times opt in. It is always a choice between equals. You can choose to be treated in a second class way, but you can also choose to leave that society if you decide that it is not in your interests to be treated this way. And here is the problem with Sharia, it is a one way door. There is no way to opt back out. If you try they will kill you, simply for exercising the freedom that you are born with to realise that you have made a mistake and try to correct it.

The impossibility of undoing a poor choice of choosing Sharia is compounded by the fact that in the situations that I think Andrew was talking about, the Islamic colonies in Britain governing themselves with Sharia, in that the should this happen it almost certainly will not be through a choice between equals. The choice will be made by the 'community leaders', universally the people that Sharia considers first class citizens who have most to gain. Sharia will be imposed on the people that Sharia classes as second class citizens, such as women, without any choice from them. They will simply be dumped into life in the middle ages without any choice on their part. Or a way out.

September 02, 2005

Tim Worstall: Gutting the Law.

Tim Worstall: Gutting the Law. read it. Also read Voiceless victims — the way it should be. There are reasons that common law evolved this way.

Double taxation |

It appears that the complexity of the tax code has doubled under New Labour. The standard professional reference on UK direct taxation took 200 years to get to about 4500 pages and in just the period suffering under New Labour it has doubled to over 9000 pages.

Libertarian and lefty agree

Eric Raymond, well known hacker and fairly extreme Libertarian and david t of left wing Harry's Place seem to both seem to agree on the dangers of Islamism. Give them an ecomomic idea and I expect that the results would be as much polar opposites as you can get but both are believers in liberty so the fascism inheirent in Islamism repells them both.

However on the other side of the coin you have people from both the left with George 'I love dictators' Galloway and Al Guardian, and the right where some Conservative MP's have been calling for us to give in to the Islamofascists and turn our society into one more authoritarian and so less objectionable to fascists.

Perhaps one of the ways in which the rise of Islamic terrorism has changed the political landscape is to shift the main area of disagreement from the left/right economic split to the other axis of Hayek's diagram, the Libertarian/Authoritarian split.

September 01, 2005

More snoopers charters from New Labour

The Gray Monk and Stumbling and Mumbling are both talking about New Labour's latest foray's into the world of pornography, and despite the differences in political starting point both come out against for very similar reasons. This is snoopers charter, and gives yet more power to the government to monitor peoples private lives. It will do nothing about anybody abused to create porn, which is already a crime in most countries, and ignores that most porn stars, in whatever genre, are neither abused nor exploited but choose to do it as a career option.

EU Referendum

EU Referendum has a good round up of what the papers say about the EU clothing quota fiasco