Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing

Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.

John Stuart Mill (1867)

This is quite the opposite from “the best advice I can give is for good men and women to bite their tongues and to carry on”.

We live in the best civilisation the planet has yet been able to construct – more free, more prosperous, more tolerant than any that has ever before existed – yet we are very near to descending into a dark age none of us or our children or our children’s children will then ever live to see end of. Just this, going on right now, should scare you into some clear thinking about what is before us and what we need to do: BA BANK HOLIDAY CHAOS British Airways cancels ALL flights from Heathrow and Gatwick after systems go down across entire world causing havoc for British holidaymakers – but airline denies cyber attack. Nihilism is a genuine force in the world. This lovely life we have constructed has enemies as depraved and determined as any we have ever faced, some outside the wall and some within, who would see our way of life obliterated. And make no mistake, they will do it if they can. And they can and will if we let them. And unless we become determined to fight them at every turn, we will lose.

In the world we are in there is one big issue, so large the others near enough do not count.

Donald Trump is our last line of defense. Tony Abbott was on the same path but without the strength of purpose. The Coalition is now led by its own version of Tanya Pliberseck. An inane incompetent fool without a single feature worthy of respect. He is now being pushed against his will to do what needs to be done by others who see what needs to be done. Peter Dutton is emerging from the pack as our own man of vision and character. Our own domestic political miracle, like Trump’s win in the US, was that the Coalition did not lose the last election. We, too, will have one more try.

And it’s true, it’s not anger we need but a clear-headed resolve. We need this to be just the start: Dutton says ‘best outcome’ for Australians fighting in Syria is to get ‘killed over there’ and he didn’t mean our soldiers. I am happy to welcome Janet onto this side of the fight. This was the pull quote in The Australian:

Trump offered up the kind of moral clarity that drove the West to defeat Nazis and Soviet communists.

Trump has offered moral clarity and much else. He offers a will to resist and the means to fight back. We will not get a second chance.

Posted in Ethics and morality, Philosophy | 4 Comments

Get angry? Why? Angry at whom?

Janet Albrechtsen has an otherwise excellent op-ed in the Australian this morning.

First Islamic terrorists chose to kill Jews in their homeland and beyond. Then they murdered Americans working in New York’s tall buildings. They murdered people travelling on London trains and buses, too, then French journalists and cartoonists.

Islamic terrorists struck Paris again, slaughtering people at a rock concert and in nearby restaurants. Islamic terrorists blew up people at an airport and a train station in Brussels and drove into people strolling along Nice’s promenade, people walking along London’s Westminster Bridge. A Copenhagen street, the Boston Marathon, a Sydney cafe, Berlin’s Christmas markets, a pedestrian mall in Stockholm, Christians, Yazidis and Muslims across the Middle East. Thousands slaughtered by Islamic terrorists with no borders, physical or moral.

On Monday, Islamic terrorists murdered children in Manchester.

That list is incomplete. But what should we do?

Keep calm and carry on? No. Not again. Evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing more than offer up platitudes, light candles, post hashtags and recite poems.

Ordinarily I’d agree with Janet. But after the events of this week, why bother? In addition to Janet being angry, and Brendan O’Neill being angry,  Piers Morgan being angry, our good friend Roger Franklin got angry too.   Roger asked, what I thought, a perfectly good question:

What if that blast had detonated in an Ultimo TV studio? Unlike those young girls in Manchester, their lives snuffed out before they could begin, none of the panel’s likely casualties would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty.

True – an early version, quickly retracted, was a bit more intemperate but the question remains valid. Yet this allowed the ‘moral outrage’ of liars and fools to side step the fact that mere hours before a heinous terrorist attack targeting teenyboppers a government agency – the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – had been mocking people’s legitimate fears of terrorism. For my troubles in defending Roger and re-raising his question I had to put up with a stream of abuse on social media. Without any self awareness or irony one lefty asked me:

…  if an article in Green Left Weekly had said that “If there was any justice, the bomb would have exploded at an Institute of Public Affairs seminar” there would be no disagreement among commenters here about the plain meaning of such a statement.

It seems to me that is the very point Roger was making –  our lefty friends are very sanguine about the concerns of the little people until they themselves are impacted . In any event over the years I have had many lefties suggest that I engage in act of self-harm and the like  – not to mention the rude and abusive letters sent to my home –   so I am underwhelmed by their sudden discovery of civil discourse.

Back to Janet’s point though. What is the point of being angry when that anger has no outlet or positive consequence? Even Paul Murray is calling for Roger to be sacked. Nick Cater appeared on The Drum to offer a grovelling apology to the ABC. The cause of civilisation and freedom doesn’t need martyrs it needs patriots. It certainly doesn’t need quislings. Yet the best advice I can give is for good men and women to bite their tongues and to carry on.

Posted in Ethics and morality, National Security | 184 Comments

Dredd on the nanny state

A few weeks ago I invested in the entire Judge Dredd Complete Case Files (strictly speaking I bought all the ones I didn’t already own) and have been working my way through them. Long haul flights to Europe have contributed to that effort. Last night I re-discovered this gem from about 1990 – in the countdown to Necropolis story arc.

Readers who don’t know the Judge Dredd character and want to learn more should watch this YouTube clip.

Posted in Take Nanny down | 5 Comments

Surely this is a form of insanity

What’s the technical term for evading reality? Whatever it is, this is the worst example I have seen: Trump talks terrorism while Europe shouts ‘Climate!’:

While terrorism may top President Donald Trump’s agenda, European leaders keep pressing him on climate change and the environment.

French President Emmanuel Macron worked on Trump during lunch Thursday, urging the U.S. president not to ditch the 196-nation Paris Agreement on climate change before getting on a plane to Sicily, Italy.

“My wish is that the United States takes no hurried decision,” Macron said Thursday after meeting with Trump in Brussels. . . .

The Trump campaign pledged to pull out of the deal, which Trump has criticized as being bad for American workers. And he called climate change a “hoax” created by China.

The administration delayed its decision until after its five-country, nine-day foreign trip through the Middle East and Europe. Allies have taken the opportunity to try to take the administration’s temperature on the issue and press him during their time in this beautiful ancient city on the importance of protecting the earth.

Senate Democrats joined the push. In anticipation of the conference, 40 Senate Democrats signed a letter to the president urging him not back out of the international agreement.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters on Air Force One on Wednesday that a decision on the agreement had yet to be made.

He called it a “difficult balancing act” to address climate change while keeping the economy thriving.

“We’re still thinking about that,” Tillerson said. “He hasn’t made a final decision.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will also be at the G7, told supporters Tuesday at a meeting on the environment that she would press the administration.

“I am still trying to convince the doubters,” Merkel said.

Wanting to protect the environment is not in any way the same as being taken in by the global warming swindle.

AND LET ME ADD THIS: From Drudge right now:

WEEKEND: Vegas Boosts Memorial Day Security After ISIS Threat…
Ramadan Warning…
DHS chief: You’d ‘never leave house’ with my terror info…
HOLIDAY RING OF STEEL IN UK…

AND SOME MORE FROM THE OZ: Terror risk in Australia ‘has never been greater’ with the subhead:

Experts say a mass-casualty attack is a matter of where and when, not if

.

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Terrorism | 25 Comments

Open Forum: May 27, 2018

Posted in Open Forum | 555 Comments

I need some urgent advice

I am heading off to California and while I am at Stanford for a couple of days I expect I will see the person who I have known longer than anyone else in the whole of my life. But he is now from California and has all the political blindness that comes not just from being on the left coast, but from being right in the heart of Silicon Valley. He knows my political views, but is too obtuse to leave off. And although we are an ocean apart, he never lets up from sending me political junk mail, with the latest torrents about Donald Trump and the disaster he supposedly is. Here are the latest few:

Economic dynamism falls across the US

Donald Trump’s epic betrayal of America’s middle class

Donald Trump’s unpredictability is destabilising the world

Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

One a day, sometimes two and today three. I don’t think you can open the first three, but he thoughtfully includes the entire article in the body of the emails for me to read. But you can see from their titles what I mean.

As those who read my posts will know, I am an easy going person, highly tolerant of different opinions, and especially welcome the views of leftist ideologues and economic ignoramuses. Nevertheless, I worry that I might inadvertently say something on this last time we may meet, along the lines of you are the stupidest, dumbest nit-f’n-wit I have ever met in my life, which might mean we sever this lifelong friendship. We managed to make it through eight years of George Bush Jr, eight years of Obama, including the 2008 election where his wife asked, but surely you don’t support Sarah Palin (addressed to my wife, of all things, who is the hardliner in the family). But this time it’s different, specially having written a book and all (Melbourne launch at 12:00 noon on June 6) which I have naturally never mentioned to him. Nor does he even know I blog.

Other than major trancs and a crash course in Zen, is there any advice on what I should do to get through these days?

Posted in Ethics and morality | 143 Comments

Friday Forum: May 26, 2017

Posted in Open Forum | 757 Comments

Guest Post: Bruce of Newcastle An Oh Shit Moment

One of my favourite memes is the Oh Shit! moment.  It’s that feeling you get when you realise that something is about to happen which you really really aren’t going to like.  The inevitability of it has a terrible momentum.  Sort of like déjà vu all over again.

The very best ones are when the actual outcome isn’t fatal.  You can look back in relief, and lie to yourself by saying “that wasn’t too bad”.

I’ve never met Keith Windschuttle but I suspect he had a robust oh shit moment yesterday.  Forgive me sir if I am wrong.  The realization that a giant pissed-off bulldozer called the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is bearing down upon you I think qualifies.  Oh. Shit!

I don’t blame Quadrant for backpedalling one bit.  However that is another story.

My favourite Oh Shit moment of all time occurred a while ago.  On the 4th of September 401 BC to be exact.  At dawn.

Cyrus the brother of the Persian Emperor wanted to knock him off and take the throne.  He had plenty of local soldiers, but to add some oomph he hired about 13,000 Greek mercenaries.  Many of these were Athenians down on their luck after their city lost the Peloponnesian Wars.  The Greek hoplites were the Abrams tanks of the day.  Unstoppable.

The Battle of Cunaxa saw Cyrus and his brother face off.  It was going reasonably well for Cyrus’s guys – the Greeks routed their Persian opponents.  But then Cyrus spotted the Emperor and his guard.  According to Xenophon he then took his bodyguard of 600 heavy cavalry off and attacked the Emperor’s 6,000.  Cyrus went all in – he personally attacked his brother and wounded him.  But in doing so he received a javelin just under one eye and expired.

Which brings us to dawn next morning.  The Greeks had no idea that their paymaster had suffered a quite unsuccessful death or glory moment, until the news arrived just then.

The Persians, having sorted out their differences, were now united into a huge army under Artaxerxes the Emperor.  Which left the small matter of the Greek mercenary force deep inside the Persian Empire and surrounded by a vast horde of very unhappy Persians.

Oh shit.

The story of their escape back to Greece is awe inspiring and amazing.  Well worth reading. Xenophon’s Anabasis is available free from Project Gutenberg at the link.

My hope is that Quadrant, like Clearchus’s guys, can live to fight another day too.

Which brings me to my final Oh Shit moment, which is from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  I include this video in honour of physicist Lawrence Krauss.

Posted in Guest Post | 29 Comments

Trump does well media go silent

Why Trump has been out of the news today: Trump’s Middle East Trip Was a Big, Surprising Success—and the Iranian Regime is Nervous. A few excerpts for the record:

So how is Trump’s first foreign trip as president playing out? Suddenly, the scandal-mired President seems like a plausible world leader. He is certainly a more welcome guest in the capitols of America’s traditional allies than his predecessor, President Barack Obama. In addition to enjoying the show, viewers at home—the ones who voted for Trump last fall—likely appreciate the $110 billion arms deal Trump struck with Saudi Arabia. With another $350 billion to come over the next decade, those contracts will certainly help put assembly-line Americans back to work. . . .

The Iranian regime isn’t very happy. Trump’s photo ops stole the entire foreign policy news cycle from an Iranian regime that wanted a few days of good press after its rigged presidential elections last Friday. The message that Tehran received from the presidential pomp and circumstance in Riyadh is that things are different now.

The Obama administration moved quietly behind the scenes to reorient American policy toward Iran, while it pulled the rug out from under traditional American allies. Among other things, the Obama White House leaked Israeli strikes against Hezbollah convoys, it coordinated operations with Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, and it stood aside as Bashar al-Assad waged a genocidal campaign in Syria so as not to affect the prospects of the nuclear deal with Iran.

The Iranians know how much they owe the Obama administration—whether it was air support for Qassem Soleimani in Tikrit, legitimization of Iranian interests in Yemen, deterring Israel from striking their nuclear facilities, turning a blind eye as they built a highway from Tehran to Baghdad to Damascus to Beirut.

Now the Americans are dancing with the Arabs and praying with the Jews, and Iran is on its own again.

Sounds good to me. Why not to everyone? Meanwhile a few extras from Drudge to remind ourselves there is more going on than the sacking of the FBI Director:

Whistleblower: Obama knowingly let in MS-13 gang…
Trump moves to deport…

US warship challenges Beijing’s claims in South China Sea…

UPDATE: HAWAII UPDATING NUKE PLAN OVER NK FEARS…

Manchester Bomber Fought in Libya, ‘Wanted Revenge’…
Father, brother arrested…
Al Qaeda-link…
PAPER: Bomb maker at large and could strike again…

Posted in American politics, International | 30 Comments

Where is the Sex Discrimination Commissioner and the HRC?

I picked this up from Mark Latham’s latest show.  (PS – general recommendation for the show which is at marklathamsoutsiders.com)

Latham pointed to a job advertisement for a Campaign Assistant for Unions NSW – the ACTU of NSW Unions.  The job ad is here (until it is taken down).  But what Latham rightly highlights is this:

  • Salary: Unions NSW Trainee Grade 1 – $57, 869.48.
  • Personal Leave: 10 days per annum (accumulative).
  • Annual Leave: 5 week’s annual leave with 17.5% leave loading.
  • Long Service Leave: 2 months after 10 years’ service.
  • Superannuation: 9.5% employer contributions and 11.5% for female employees.
  • Paid Parental Leave: 52 weeks leave including 22 weeks paid parental leave or 3 weeks paid parental leave non-primary carer.

Yes.  You read it correctly.  The superannuation for a male employees is different to that of a female employee.  Putting aside the discrimination of gender bifurcation – where are the gender fluidity police – how is this allowed?  And how is this allowed from a tax exempt body.

Where are the social justice warriors?  Where is the Human Rights Commission?  Can this be discussed around the dining table?

According to Section 5 of the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act, 1984:

(1)  For the purposes of this Act, a person (in this subsection referred to as the discriminator ) discriminates against another person (in this subsection referred to as the aggrieved person ) on the ground of the sex of the aggrieved person if, by reason of:

                     (a)  the sex of the aggrieved person;

                     (b)  a characteristic that appertains generally to persons of the sex of the aggrieved person; or

                     (c)  a characteristic that is generally imputed to persons of the sex of the aggrieved person;

the discriminator treats the aggrieved person less favourably than, in circumstances that are the same or are not materially different, the discriminator treats or would treat a person of a different sex.

             (2)  For the purposes of this Act, a person (the discriminator ) discriminates against another person (the aggrieved person ) on the ground of the sex of the aggrieved person if the discriminator imposes, or proposes to impose, a condition, requirement or practice that has, or is likely to have, the effect of disadvantaging persons of the same sex as the aggrieved person.

This is prima facie a breach of the Act.  Where are the complaints?  Where is the Commission?

Come on Commissioner Tim.  Drum up some business.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments