By Jim Fryar.
Patrick has done it again. He has a habit of making comments that I feel deserve substantial answers, or maybe I just talk too much. Anyway, I have been so long winded that I will do it as a post again. Patrick's comment was: -
patrick joubert conlon said...
Wayne is definitely one of us. When he first thought of running as a Republican, I was thrilled but, since he has decided to run as a Libertarian, I have had to cool my enthusiasm. Third party candidates don't stand a chance in the USA and are often spoilers as in "the perfect is the enemy of the good." BTW I loved your ending quip: “Government? We have a government”?
Thank you Patrick.
It is an honour to be quoted on your blog.
It was a thought emanating from a moment of whimsy some time ago, when I thought about a ‘Republic of Libertaria’. Since then I have explored your ‘State of Jefferson’ and the ‘Republic of Cascadia’ both of which are remarkably similar, except Libertaria would have no national boundaries but would be purely “State of Mind’.
It is somewhat flattering to think out something that you believe to be good, and then find that others have visited it too. I found that when I was thinking of policies or arguments, I would look at them from the viewpoint of, “How would we do this in Libertaria”. It’s odd that I have been doing this for 30 years without thinking of the actual properties of the state of mind. I hope I don’t sound too weird.
I can see what you mean about Wayne Root. I have had the thought for some time that it is the worst possible time for the Republicans to find themselves up against a credible and charismatic Libertarian candidate, and I wish for your sakes that this wasn’t happening.
A significant part of your Republican Party has genuine libertarian credentials, and I really think this is the way for your people to go, however there is no party here that offers us this option, all of them being based on statism. When I was in my teens there was what was called ‘The Ginger Group’ within the Liberal party, but it was small and long gone.
About 30 years ago I was the campaign director for a Libertarian (Progress Party) candidate, and decided that it would be a good ‘stir’ to visit an old friend who was a Liberal party member, and ask him for a donation. To my surprise, he gave me a solid cheque, and told me that we represented what he had always believed the Liberal Party should stand for. This thought isn’t widespread though.
The reason for my post is that our libertarians tend to be what Eric Dondero calls “policy wonks” and I really want them to have a good look at the way WAR is doing it. He really knows how to sell the product, which is what we have to learn to do. I think that too many of us over here are stirrers rather than engaging in real politics, and this has to change.
If I was over there I would be quite at home with the libertarian elements of the Republican Party.
We also have preferential voting here, which allows us to choose an order of candidates if the one we vote for is unsuccessful, thus a vote for a minority party still counts on preferences.
May 29, 2007
By Jim Fryar.
May 27, 2007
By Jim Fryar
American libertarians are fortunate in that they live in a nation founded on libertarian values, with many of those values enshrined in the constitution. They have ‘inviolable rights’, because of the healthy distrust with which government was held by the founding fathers. The basic principle of government in America is, that it gains its power from the consent of the governed.
Despite the constant white-anting of the foundations of liberty over the years by statists, and authoritarians, those pillars still stand, the torch still lights the sky, though a little derelict, and obscured by neglect, authoritarian rhetoric and “sacrifices to the greater good”. Americans can still boast of living in freedom, though in this day and age I fear that few of them cry ‘Give me liberty or give me death’, probably more like the cry in the other democracies of the world, ‘Give me social security or give me….’.
When Australian statists argue for more control or against liberalization of existing controls, they use the slogan, “We don’t want to be like America”, perhaps American libertarians should adopt “We don’t want to be like Australia, New Zealand, England, France, etc”.
All of this aside, Americans are fortunate enough to have a solid libertarian philosophical base to the point that they have the option in many cases, of voting for Republican candidates, who in some cases are near enough to the real thing to not matter when no Libertarian candidate is available. For this reason I find that when I visit Libertarian sites over there, I find that some sites back Giuliani, some McCain, others long for Fred Thompson to throw his hat in the ring. Oddly, for someone who claims to have huge support in the polls, none of the sites I visit support Ron Paul.
The reason for this I believe is that my kind of sites are the practical/mainstream/blue collar/real world libertarian sites, the kind of people who not only support fiscal responsibility and social tolerance, but the right to defend liberty. The no shit libertarians.
This brings me to the subject in hand, after digressing somewhat.
After perusing Wayne Allyn Root’s site (see my link on the side, I still can’t get them to work in the text), I am convinced that he is one of us. This guy has a solid philosophical base in the subject, plenty of practicality about him, and supports the military. While he has reservations about aspects of the Iraq war, he offers practical solutions, and has no intention of joining the Democrats in “getting that old white flag up, and fast”. He understands that ‘Old Glory’ and peroxide don’t mix.
Demtel ads would now say, “but wait there’s more”, after checking out his site, I find more locked down policy items than all of the others have put together. Most candidates hold back on this while they test the water to see what the voters want, then ‘reinvent’ themselves accordingly, Wayne is putting it on the line now.
The best part, and the reason I am telling everyone on our side to check this guy out is that he makes it attractive, even in my opinion to non- libertarian conservative voters. This guy can sell the product.
Pushing a principled political product, one that doesn’t offer all things to all people, in today’s environment requires the ability to sell dog shit to the RSPCA.
I think this bloke can do it.
I hope so, I want to see a government of an acceptable size.
My ideal is a government that is so small that when the pollsters ask, “What improvements would you like to see in the government”, 50% of the respondents say “Government? We have a government”?
Oh well, a man can dream.
By Jim Fryar
Patrick Joubert Conlon (Born Again Redneck Yogi) has asked a quite relevant question, which is worth a post in it’s own right.
He is up himself... I've never heard that expression before. I'm guessing it means he's full of himself?
Yes Patrick, that's pretty much it. I sometimes wonder when I use some of these expressions, whether my international readers understand them, although I think most of them are pretty self-explanatory.
Some people over here have complained that with the advent of more modern communications, many of our Australian expressions are dying out, while others look down on 'Ockerisms', believing that all culture comes from somewhere else.
The English language will over the years change and adapt with the age, and will naturally become more international as it becomes increasingly common to talk worldwide. Hollywood presents the US version to the world in a dominant manner so it already has a good head start on this. It’s quite possible that in the future, entire languages will fall into disuse, which while making communication easier in the common languages, will be a shame, and we will all lose something from it.
At the same time words and expressions from other places will include themselves into the new version, owing to their unique meaning and value as well as their ability to present a connotation, which doesn’t quite come out in the usages in other places, or looses something in translation. This will enrich us.
I was amused by a story told by (I think) Peter Ustinov who noticing the relaxed pace of the Irish, asked one “Do You have a word similar to manyama”. The reply was “Yes, but it doesn’t quite convey the same sense of urgency”.
Australian expressions like those of other countries developed in a more isolated era, and reflect the uniqueness of the cultural development of the nation. Many of them were never used by all of us, but tended to be more the language of the workplace, and the bush, and I love them.
Steve Irwin used some of them in a sort of ‘over the top’ way as part of his image, irritating some people in the process. “We don’t bloody well talk like that, he’s a bloody wanker”. The guy was unique, a one off, and I miss not having him in the background. He embarrassed some people in the same way as Billy Connolly embarrasses some Scots. There will never be another of either.
Many of our sayings are sinking into obscurity, but in the meantime some people will be ‘as silly as a gum tree full of galas, the person who ‘goes ballistic’ will be ‘as mad as a cut snake’ and the person who doesn’t care about the problems he causes for others will still “think his shit don’t stink”.
May 24, 2007
By Jim Fryar
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.
William Shakespeare, "Othello", Act 3 scene 3
The following is from the LDP site: - www.ldp.org.au/.webloc
“The Liberal Democratic Party rated a mention in Federal Parliament yesterday when the member for Prospect Chris Bowen falsely accused the Party of electoral skullduggery.”
“Under Parliamentary privilege, Mr. Bowen suggested the LDP were placing people at random on our list of members, and encouraging them to tell the Australian Electoral Commission that they were obliging members, should they happen to call.”
On checking the circumstances, I was informed that the party had a membership application form from the person involved, that he was elderly, and a Justice of the Peace.Evidently he has forgotten that he applied. A simple check by the Mr. Bowen would have ascertained this, however he either chose not to do this, or neglected to do so. He then chose to imply that the subject of his false or at least erroneous accusation was a regular practice by the party with the following statement quoted from Hansard: -
“I call on the Liberal Democratic Party to cease this tactic. Putting people on your membership rolls without their permission or their knowledge is not an acceptable method to ensure your continued registration as a political party”.
When a decent person feels the need to say something about reprehensible acts or whatever of another person, they will if they have any sense at all, check their facts, after all it is dishonorable to make unfounded allegations, it is unnecessarily hurtful to the victim in such cases, it makes you look silly when proven wrong, which can of course be mitigated by an admission and apology which an honorable person would do. It also ruins your own reputation.
You may note that I did not mention the word SUED. If a person wishes to slander, libel, lie about, misrepresent, or in any other way damage the reputation of a person or organization without the danger of being sued, there are two ways to go: -
1. Say it about Libertarians.
2. Say it in parliament.
In the case of libertarians, you are up against the ultimate in social tolerance. They believe that liberties such as freedom of speech are an integral part of the foundation of human freedom.Freedom of speech, should not only be taken to mean speech, writing, etc which you agree with, but that which you do not agree with, right down to the most reprehensible levels of deceit, untruth, and derogatory innuendo.
Libertarians do not agree with the use of these tactics, but are realistic enough to accept that the type of person who acts in this manner will do so, and has a right to do so. It is a basic freedom.It is also the right of the aggrieved party to seek redress by using the truth to discredit that person.
An example of this is X, a guy I worked with, and X has certain characteristics: -
He is up himself,
He looks over his shoulder when he has something to say,
Enters a group, looking for who’s not there,
Hasn’t a good word about anyone not present,
Watches for those who are, to go for a piss and be out of earshot.
A guy I was training said to me, “X has had a bit to say about you, and it’s not good”.
I replied, “I’m glad to hear that as I was starting to think I didn’t fit in with the rest of you”.
The point of this is, that a person is judged by his actions, and this guy is universally despised because of his. This is the way freedom of speech works in a free society.
Politicians have what is called Parliamentary Privilege, which is in essence among other things, the right to total freedom of speech, uninhibited by any requirement for truthfulness or accuracy. This is outlined in the following from the “Parliament of Australia, Senate” website.
“The principal parliamentary immunity is the immunity from civil or criminal action, and examination in legal proceedings, of members of the houses and of witnesses and others taking part in proceedings in Parliament. This immunity is known as the right of freedom of speech in Parliament, because it has the effect of ensuring that members, witnesses and others cannot be sued or prosecuted for anything they say or do in the course of parliamentary proceedings. This freedom of speech has always been regarded as essential to allow the houses to debate and inquire into matters without fear of interference.”
This is explained the best way I can find in the following, taken from:
NSW PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY RESEARCH SERVICE
Parliamentary Privilege: Major Developments and Current Issues by Gareth Griffith
Background Paper No 1/07 3.4.2 Defamation Act 2005 (NSW)
The privilege granted by parliamentary privilege is absolute. That is, it protects acts done and things said in parliamentary proceedings from legal action, be it in defamation or other proceedings. Lord Chief Justice Cockburn in the case of Ex parte Watson put it in these terms:
It is clear that statements made by Members of either House of Parliament in their places in the House, though they might be untrue to their knowledge, could not be made the foundation of civil or criminal proceedings, however injurious they might be to the interest of a third party.39
(39) (1869) QB 573 at 576.
Obviously, such legislative rights would not be claimed unless a pressing need was seen for them. Such legislation would not be passed if the majority of members did not feel they needed it to act in the manner consistent with their ethical standards. Such legislation therefore reflects the type of persons we have in our parliaments today.
Albert J. Nock best sums up the reason for this state of affairs:
“The State is not a social institution administered in an anti-social way. It is an anti-social institution administered in the only way an anti-social institution can be administered, and by the kind of person who, in the nature of things, is best adapted to such service.”
May 18, 2007
By Jim Fryar
So, Prince Harry will not go to Iraq as planned, and as it appears that he hoped to do.
The reason given is the danger to him and his fellow soldiers. Critics have pointed out that this represents a, ‘one rule for the royal family, another for every one else’ situation. A short time ago critics were saying that, he shouldn’t go as this would lead to increased attacks on British forces.
Critics are very professional, it seems that no matter what is done, or for what reason, they will find something to criticise it for. I am not a fan of the royal family but in this case the guy deserves credit, for accepting responsibility, and a willingness to endure the risks and hardship with his fellow countrymen.
If his presence were to lead to more attacks, wouldn’t this give the British forces more chances to kill more insurgents? His presence could be very positive from this point of view, but I suppose the left would criticise it as ‘bait laying’.
May 12, 2007
By Jim Fryar
This post is best read to the strains of the Tears for Fears song, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”.
An acquaintance asked me the other day, ”Do you think the US government destroyed the World Trade Centre so they could have an excuse to attack Afghanistan? I have a group of friends who say they did”.
As I felt that ridicule was in order I replied, “About as likely as the Port Arthur Massacre being carried out by the Australian Government to get gun control passed”.
“They say they can prove that too”.
“And the moon landing”?
“They say that they have evidence that it was definitely faked, what would you say to convince them they are wrong”.
“Nothing, I wouldn’t waste my time”.
I have heard this type of stuff all my life, and while the people promoting it seem genuine though deluded, I have long considered trying to convince them otherwise is like flogging a dead horse. The problem with conspiracy theories is that belief in them automatically confers a superior intelligence on the believer.
The logic is that the government, world leaders, business leaders, mafia, CIA, secret Zionist organizations, etc. are all out to get us, yet despite their incredible devilish cunning and deviousness, as well as the complicity of the press, not to forget “The Establishment”, they have been unmasked by people of higher intellect. No prizes for guessing who that might be.
This in turn creates the illusion that anyone disagreeing with them is a poor deluded fool, who has been taken in by the above and worthy at best, of only their sympathy and condescension. It must be great to be a higher form of life; I just have to get into that stuff.
Most of these theories are proposed by people who are analysing information from well outside their areas of expertise (if any), and so are vulnerable to suggestions that things aren’t as they seem. Take for example the WTC collapse. Two “facts” keep cropping up: - That the windows were blowing out ahead of the collapse, indicating that a controlled explosion was used, and that the buildings fell at terminal velocity, confirming this.
The buildings were weakened, first by very large aircraft crashing into them, then by the heat of the ensuing fires causing them to lose their structural integrity. In such circumstances the first parts to fail would be the horizontal structure (floors), unless the collision caused the walls to go first. It didn’t.
The floor that the aircraft ended up on would be carrying vastly more weight than it was ever intended to do, the heat weakening it and those above it, causing one to collapse into the other in a chain reaction, the resultant air blast appearing to the observer a series of explosions.
When an object falls it accelerates at 32 feet per second per second until it reaches terminal velosity, so it simply could not fall at terminal velocity all the way.
This also fails to take account of Osama and his mates slapping each other on the backs and congratulating each other on a job well done in a video, unless of course the CIA got Kubric to produce this like some claim he did for the moon landings, or if they did, why Bin Laden would be dumb enough to go along with it.
I am not sure why, if the government did it, that they did not get me to arrange it for them, I could have done it much better. Take for example the absence of the President. If you fake being attacked, intending to start a war, it is terribly important to have the leader on the spot, well, at least close by, so he can be seen calmly directing rescue efforts, and instilling confidence in the people.
I would have had George Bush coming out of the smoke and flames, covered in dust and supporting an injured fire fighter with each arm, then give an impromptu speech. (I hope this doesn’t start one that Rudy Giuliani set it up).
And as for the Pentagon, I wouldn't have fired a cruise missile into it and then do the impossible task of moving all that aircraft wreckage in, before anybody who was not in on it got there. Fair go! why not just get the co-operative terrorists to just crash a bloody plane into it.
The only good thing coming out of it, the way it is claimed it was done, is that the conspiracy theorists havent realised yet that this means that an aircraft and all of it's passengers have simply disappeared off the face of the earth. Oh I get it, the Pentagon attack was used by the CIA to cover up the fact that the plane went missing some where else.
The fact that governments get caught trying to cover up things, is seen by the theorists as clear proof that they do it, I see it as clear proof that they are not very good at it.
I mentioned this to Richard Nixon on the grassy knoll in 63, and he said “Don’t worry Jim, if anyone finds out they’ll blame LBJ”.
This is what Douglas Adams had to say, in The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.
“You know”, said Arthur thoughtfully, “all of this explains a lot of things. All through my life I have had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, something sinister, and no one would tell me what it was”.
“No,” said the old man, “that’s just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the universe has that.”
May 6, 2007
By Jim Fryar.
I am and will always remain an enemy of islamofascism.
I will always resist any attempts of these bigots to impose their bizarre values on me and on other people. I do not accept that they are representative of any legitimate religion or faith; rather, they are representative of a hideous cult bent on world domination.
If their claims that the Koran condones, justifies or orders their actions then the Koran is not in fact a holy book, but a mish mash of ramblings of a medieval warlord liberally plagiarised from the holy books of others, and twisted towards supporting his own actions and fetishes.
The reason I say if is that among us there is a core of decent, honest, peaceful people of the same faith, who read the same book without wishing to kill us or impose their lifestyle, faith, or customs on us. I have nothing but goodwill towards them. It concerns me that if the first group are correct, then in the context of the group, the zealots have the “moral high ground” and ultimately the moderates must submit to them.
Another serious concern to me is I see with increasing frequency, signs that people are advocating changes to our way of life, because “the Muslims will be offended". On following these up, I find some of them are caused by complaints of intolerant Muslims, but in many of these cases they are not backed by the mainstream and are even opposed by moderate clerics.
In many of these cases however the moves are nothing to do with the Islamic community as such but have been started by some idiot liberal appeasement artist who has assumed that the more intolerant elements “may” be offended and moves to pre-emt this.
Where the Muslim community are not behind such complaints, and certainly in the cases where they have nothing to do with them, it is totally unjustified to criticise them for this.
The appeasement artists however should be strongly censured as they are not only giving aid and comfort to a dangerous enemy, but also encouraging him to try to force us to abandon our way of life and submit to his will. Every move that we make backwards to avoid conflict will result, in a step forward by the radicals.
The sheer craven cowardice of the liberal political correctness and appeasement brigade is unbelievable, given that they don’t just want to step back from defending our values, they want us out of the way so that the other side don’t even have to confront us.
May 4, 2007
More Real World Libertarian
While looking around the other night I was fortunate to find this. http://www.vitalpowers.com/caucus.html
It’s close to a namesake –The Real World Libertarian Caucus from which I quote in part: -
"Real World Libertarians are pragmatists. We believe that it is more important to get candidates elected to reduce the size of government than it is to maintain ideological purity. We believe that the LP will gain support from mainstream voters when we stop making our most radical proposals the centerpiece of our campaigns. Libertarianism combines the fiscal responsibility that the GOP pays lip service to with the personal choice and freedom that the Democrats claim to support. What other party will support tax cuts and oppose the Federal Marriage amendment?
Why are we here?
The Libertarian Party has been in existence for over 30 years. In that time we have managed to get ZERO federal level candidates elected, ZERO statewide candidates elected, and a negligible number of local candidates. Free market economics would dictate that if you’ve had a product for 30 years and no one has bought it, then you are facing one of three problems: 1) No one wants your product, 2) you face anti-competitive practices by your competitors, or 3) you have no clue how to sell your product. If you accept that the problem is the product, then you probably are not a member of the Libertarian Party. If you accept that the problem is the two major parties then the LP can never succeed and your only options are armed resistance or exile. However if you think that the problem with the LP has been the sales strategy it’s been pursuing over the past 30 years then you might be a Real World Libertarian."
I don’t agree with the idea of not maintaining ideological purity, I feel comfortable with, and support the statement as a whole. I think that while the purists are a nuisance, especially with demands for obscure and in the overall scheme of things, unimportant policies be placed in front of an uncomprehending public, they are a necessary evil.
Libertarianism is a valid political philosophy and as such will attract idealists; there is no getting away from this. While they tend to hamstring the pragmatists among us, who actually wish to get people elected to government, I feel that having a solid philosophical base behind us is on balance, advantageous.
However if they insist on arguing irrelevancies on obscure aspects of monetary policy etc. and slanging those out there, who are pushing real world politics, then we would be better off without them.
We have to get started, by getting representatives elected, and for that we need the Libertarian purists to settle for: -
1. Fiscal conservatism,
2. Social tolerance,
3. For Gods sake, no bloody pacifists,
4. Support for candidates from other parties who will push the above values.
Another article I ran across in the same vein was, clubtroppo.com.au/2007/04/19/libertarians-easier-to-wedge-than-lefties/, from which I quote: -
"I have in the past argued that Australian libertarians, including and in particular the Liberal Democratic Party, should focus on “low hanging fruit”. These are policies which are simple, effective and which would have wide and immediate impact in the life of most Australians. I consider the LDP’s 30/30 income tax plan to be an outstanding example of such an effort, and I think it’s exactly the sort of policy they should focus on come election time.
The other reason that I argue for the low hanging fruit approach is that I have lost my taste for grand sweeping changes. I have gone through Mises and Rothbard, Hayek and Friedman and others of their like and been presented with various encompassing visions of greater and lesser detail. Several of them are very compelling, and for each there are acolytes eager to push the line that they should be transitioned too as fast as possible, lest special interests seen them slain. For a time I agreed."
Worthwhile advice indeed, and while I could not agree with the ideas then pronounced, namely that Australian Libertarians should not oppose gun control, the above is worthy.
May 1, 2007
I remembered a joke the other day from the Vietnam era.
It was about a wounded Australian soldier being interviewed, as follows: -
And how did this happen to you.
Well when I came over here, I was told that the best way to work out if someone in hiding is hostile is to insult the enemy leader; if he reacts angrily, he is Viet Cong.
Well I was out on patrol, and I realised someone was hiding in the bushes ahead. I took cover and called out “Ho Che Min is a bastard”, and a voice replied, “Harold Holt (our Prime Minister then) is a bastard”.
I walked out to shake his hand and got run over by a Yank Jeep.
I was reminded of this a few years ago when I was in Sydney on a ferry, and an American couple were taking photos of Kirribilli House. The Guy was telling his partner “It’s the home of their Prime Minister.” It was said with a reverence I hadn’t encountered before.
It gave me something to think about. I like to think it’s great that we don’t over respect our leaders though. We are an irreverent lot.
John Howard is, however probably the only Prime Minister I have had much respect for. I dislike his centralist and statist tendencies, but I do respect him.