Some sounds of civilisation

Posted in Cultural Issues, Libertarians don't live by argument alone | 22 Comments

Thursday Forum: March 23, 2017

Posted in Open Forum | 253 Comments

Doing the left’s work for them

This is the question Powerline’s John Hinderaker asks: SO, WERE TRUMP’S TWEETS RIGHT AFTER ALL?. This is what he quotes:

Members of the intelligence community collected “incidental” communications of the Trump transition team during legal surveillance operations of foreign targets, a top Republican lawmaker said Wednesday afternoon.

House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said this produced “dozens” of reports which eventually unmasked several individuals’ identities and were “widely disseminated.”

He said none of the reports he had read mentioned Russia or Russians and he was unsure whether the surveillance occurred at Trump Tower — as President Trump has suggested. Nunes also was unsure if then President-elect Trump was captured by the surveillance, which occurred in November, December and January.

That the intelligence agencies of the American government under a Democrat administration should be undertaking surveillance in any respect of the Republican nominee for President is a scandal of the most extraordinary kind. This is the work of a police state, not an open and democratic society. The issue of the moment is to make it clear that IF this happened, then that is an INDICTABLE OFFENCE that should cause individual to END UP IN JAIL. Since we know that as far back as January, before Trump was inaugurated, exactly this kind of surveillance was being reported in the New York Times, there should be no doubting that something absolutely unacceptable was going on. This is from the NYT of January 19:

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.

How did the NYT know? Who authorised such leaks? Why is there no one being prosecuted? What was the role of the previous administration – the administration of the then-president – in any and all of this? That is what we would like to know. Instead, this is what we find at Powerline, and so many others who are on the conservative side of politics:

Closer to the heart of the matter may be Nunes’s observation that the identities of Trump associates subject to such incidental surveillance were “widely disseminated.” This “unmasking” is a federal crime, as House members discussed with Comey and Rogers on Monday. So, while President Trump may have been wrong in believing that the Obama administration directed surveillance at him or his associates–the jury is still out on that question–he was certainly right to be angry about the fact that information reflecting badly on his associates, collected through apparently legal surveillance, was leaked to the press in an effort to damage his campaign or his administration.

Weak, weak, weak! Every conjecture might be wrong, but that is taken for granted. Here the issue is what did happen and who did it and for what reason? Because it certainly looks like something very wrong, very illegal and very ominous really did take place.

Posted in American politics | 57 Comments

Premier Weatherill’s latest energy plan

Make Electricity While You Exercise

Posted in Uncategorized | 28 Comments

Mark Steyn explaining the inexplicable

The main problem I have with watching or reading Mark Steyn is that everything he says is so entirely sensible and obvious I come away thinking no one could possibly be so idiotic that they could miss the point or see it any other way. Alas, the one thing I actually do know is that being on the left means that you are capable of ignoring all evidence from the past, are completely devoid of common sense and are prepared to see your entire way of life descend into oblivion based on no discernible principle at all. The above is his interview with Tucker Carlson from a few days ago. And then below are some from among his cancelled show which really is a major loss to us all.

Not hilarious, not funny but funny and hilarious in its own way. That was the second and here is the first also worth your time.

There were nine that I’ve so far found. If money cannot be made putting Steyn on TV our side is definitely the losing side.

[Via Five Feet of Fury]

Posted in International | 20 Comments

“Nobody cares about 18c”

One of the “arguments” against amending 18c is that “nobody cares about 18c”.

Maybe true – yet I suspect nobody cares about a whole lot of things that the Parliament legislates.

How many people would care about any law until they find themselves being secretly investigated by a government agency  for 14 months?

 

Posted in Freedom of speech, Oppressive government | 45 Comments

A question for politicians

Gary Johns is one of the more sensible people you’ll ever meet. He is also a former ALP federal cabinet minister. These days he writes magnificent books and a must-read column in The Australian. Today (as on many previous days) he is putting the boot into s18c. Then there is this snippet (that I knew but now he has confessed).

I have to confess that I was a member of the federal parliamentary Labor Party caucus that voted for 18C. I opposed it in caucus and supported it in the parliament.

So many politicians (and former politicians too) seem to think that opposing something in the party room but voting for it in the parliament is okay. Or speaking against some or other legislation but then voting for it is okay.

It isn’t.

If a law is bad enough to oppose in the party room or speak against  on the floor of the parliament, don’t vote for it.

Now I understand that Gary was a member of the ALP and they never vote against the party line in the parliament (one reason why I can never support ALP MPs even when I’m assured by people I trust that they are closet libertarians/Hayekians etc.) and was bound by party rules – but there are Liberal MPs that I know who do the same thing.

To reiterate –  Gary has been a vocal and vehement critic of 18c and it may be somewhat unfair to single him out, but it is very frustrating to see sensible people voting for rubbish legislation in the parliament when you know full well they know it is rubbish.

Why do it? How you vote is more important than what you say.

Posted in Oppressive government, Politics | 74 Comments

That’s interesting

Robert Gottliebsen draws our attention to Section 137.1 of the Federal Criminal Code:

137.1   False or misleading information

             (1)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person gives information to another person; and

                     (b)  the person does so knowing that the information:

                              (i)  is false or misleading; or

                             (ii)  omits any matter or thing without which the information is misleading; and

                     (c)  any of the following subparagraphs applies:

                              (i)  the information is given to a Commonwealth entity;

                             (ii)  the information is given to a person who is exercising powers or performing functions under, or in connection with, a law of the Commonwealth;

                            (iii)  the information is given in compliance or purported compliance with a law of the Commonwealth.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 12 months.

          (1A)  Absolute liability applies to each of the subparagraph (1)(c)(i), (ii) and (iii) elements of the offence.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(b)(i) if the information is not false or misleading in a material particular.

I’m thinking that some modelling in the 2010 Budget Papers was false and misleading. Perhaps some statements by ASADA were false and misleading. Climate change modelling produced by Treasury was false and misleading.

I wonder if similar legislation exists at the state government level?

Posted in Federal Politics, Tough on Crime, tough on criminals | 19 Comments

Wednesday Forum: March 22, 2017

Posted in Open Forum | 1,063 Comments

Introduction to Judge Dredd

Longer clip

Posted in 2000AD tragics | 15 Comments