Anonymity on the net

I don’t often find myself disagreeing with Mark Steyn about things, but on this one I am completely on the other side. I will let Mark present his case:

Kathy Shaidle and Gavin McInnes have been discussing online anonymity. I agree with them. You’re not in the battle unless you put your name to it – and don’t give me that Scarlet Pimpernel stuff: you’re not riding out after dark on daring missions, you’re just reTweeting some bloke’s hashtag.

Mr McInnes is withering about the cyber-warrior ethos – the butch pseudonym, the graphic-novel avatar. But, cumulatively, it’s making the Internet boring and ineffectual for everyone other than Isis. Speaking of which, notice how few of their followers have reservations about enthusiastically liking and favoriting and reTweeting their Islamic snuff videos, apparently indifferent as to whether Twitter, Facebook or the NSA know their IP numbers.

Let me say that I am sensationally grateful when people take on serious anti-PC issues and use their own names. It is crucial that someone like Mark Steyn is identifiable and that their blogs, columns and media presentations allow those of us in more vulnerable positions to see these views presented in public. It is important for each of us to understand that we are not alone. We are not at the samizdat stage of our cultural development but we’re not that far away either. The police will not come for you in the middle of the night, and you are very unlikely to be shot down in the street by those who disagree with your views. But for all that, there are large risks for which there is no compensation to any of us in being identified as holding unpopular opinions. With the left, they will come after you to deprive you of your job and your income, and for them, there will be no holds barred. They are not debaters, they are haters. They want to shut you up and they have no qualms about it. There is no value to them in free speech and open debate. They are totalitarians who value nothing but their collective power which they ruthlessly use to do harm to others who step outside their predetermined bounds of acceptable opinion. No one on the left is permitted to be heretical on so much as a single issue. You are either all in or you are out.

Think about the testimony offered by Laura Rosen Cohen, who runs a blog I admire, in which she describes the kind of reality most of us are not prepared for. First she writes this:

Having written professionally for a number of years, I also blogged anonymously.

I was scared that I would be harassed at work (or worse) for having “controversial” opinions. So, I published a lot of articles in “mainstream” publications under my own name, and saved my more raucous, obnoxious, super-Jewy stuff for my anonymous blog.

Then, some evil, anonymous and cowardly twerp, sitting at a computer somewhere in the world made a comment on my blog that was mildly threatening. An ‘I know who you are’ kind of thing, kind of threatening to ‘expose’ me. It freaked me out, despite the fact that I was becoming less and less comfortable with anonymity.

Shortly after that, Andrew Breitbart died suddenly of a heart attack. I remember the exact moment when I read about his death and decided right then and there that I was not going to be scared anymore of putting my own name to everything I write. Within a week or so, I had closed the anonymous blog, and started a brand new one with my own name on the masthead, front and centre.

That was also my way of telling that anonymous troll to shove it up his (or her-who knows) ass.

As Gavin, Kathy and Mark say-if you don’t put your name on it, you have no skin in the game.

Excellent. Brave. Forthright. But following all that comes this immediately after:

I have been passed over for many opportunities because my views are not mainstream. I’ve been eased out of jobs, rejected for others, and even asked off-record questions at interviews about my ability to “get along” with ‘people of diverse backgrounds’.

So you see, free speech of unpopular opinions – meaning opinions that are unpopular on the left – is not so free after all, but comes with a huge potential cost. The anonymity of the net allows many of us to say things in public that we are very aware may have us receiving modern versions of being burned at the stake or sent to the gulag. The same people who will sniff at the Catholic Church for arresting Galileo and preventing him from repeating that the sun was at the centre of the solar system are now prepared to jail people who are sceptical about global warming. There are some people who have made a career out of expressing unpopular opinions (of which there are literally none on the left), and I say again how grateful to them I am. But the dangers remain to us folk in the trenches who do not have fame and position to protect us. Anonymity is crucial for many of us and should be protected at all costs by everyone on the net.

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124 Responses to Anonymity on the net

  1. BorisG says:

    Steve I don’t usually agree with you but do agree 100% with this one. Yes anonymity is a form of cowardice but we should have the right to exercise this cowardice for very good reasons. In addition to reasons expressed by Steve, there is a simple fact that I do not want my views, feelings and maybe private facts to be known to my professional contacts. Even if the things I say do not cause damage to my career, I want to be free to express myself freely without always thinking who will see them and who won’t. This can only be done anonymously.

  2. Jannie says:

    When I was still working I felt it necessary to pretend to be vaguely leftist, like I pretended that the internal auditors were not morons. I knew my career and prospects could be ruined by venal but powerful people, usually of the Left, if they outed me as a bogan rightwing libertarian redneck deathbeast. So I wanted to remain anonymous.

    Now that I am permanently unemployed I don’t give a fuck anymore. I would take the battle to the streets if it wasn’t bad for my blood pressure, and I have learnt not to care. Mostly because I am out of reach of the thought police, and what they could do to me. Hey I even have a pic now.

    But I sure understand why some people would want to never be identified.

  3. Zatara says:

    “You’re not in the battle unless you put your name to it – and don’t give me that Scarlet Pimpernel stuff: you’re not riding out after dark on daring missions, you’re just reTweeting some bloke’s hashtag.”

    Mark, as a rule you do good work. But in this case perhaps you could educate us on the finer points of spending millions on defending yourself in court for putting your name on various comments?

    You are asking others to take risks for free that you are paid to take. To add insult to injury you maintain an incessant campaign for donations from those same people to fill your legal war chest

    So you can shove your sanctimonious bravado as your readers are already paying for it.

    “It is crucial that someone like Mark Steyn is identifiable and that their blogs, columns and media presentations allow those of us in more vulnerable positions to see these views presented in public.

    That’s exactly what he gets paid the big bucks to do.

  4. BorisG says:

    When I was still working I felt it necessary to pretend to be vaguely leftist,

    I do not disguise my right of centre views from my colleagues but I do try to avoid discussions on more controversial subjects… I guess my Israeli background gives me some sort of excuse :).

  5. Leigh Lowe says:

    When I was still working I felt it necessary to pretend to be vaguely leftist, like I pretended that the internal auditors were not morons. I knew my career and prospects could be ruined by venal but powerful people, usually of the Left, if they outed me as a bogan rightwing libertarian redneck deathbeast. So I wanted to remain anonymous.

    Absolutely.
    No-one will ever get the arse from their job for expressing the most rabid lefty views on the net, but try saying something positive about boat turnbacks, or blood-sucking tax-eating welfare bludgers if you work for a major listed company.
    You will end up with a nudge from HR about “bringing the team into disrepute” quick-smart.

  6. Jannie says:

    Boris, I look forward to the day some social worker tries to stop me buying a hot chocolate at Max Brenner. I don’t have to be nice anymore.

  7. BorisG says:

    Max Brenner are nice but there are none in WA 🙁

  8. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Sorry, Steve, no.

    Especially over CAGW. The trouble is that if you wish to work in any organisation then you must not have your name associated with climate scepticism – despite the data showing CO2 is effectively harmless.

    The left are vindictive. They will hound you out of a job through confected scandals, lies and character assassination. Then once you are outside you’ll never get back in. Many people have suffered this fate, such as Bob Carter, Murry Salby and Nick Drapela.

    Furthermore there are unpleasant events that can occur if you become known, such as the nutter who turned up at Anthony Watts’ front door. There is also the tactic of ‘swatting’. It would be so easy these days to get someone in terrible strife by mendacious methods.

    I use semi-anonymity myself, whereby I am anonymous on the public level but known to the blog owners. That has worked well. I have had nutters try to work out who I am from my blogging history and so far none have. That may end, whereupon I may need to move elsewhere get out of electronic view.

    It is no coincidence that most of the scientists you see who are vocal and in the open are retired. Even tenure is not sufficient.

    It will change when the CAGW scam fizzles out. That will occur as global cooling becomes too hard to hide anymore and the general public ignore it. The MSM will stop talking about it. Then we will have won and it will be safe to come out.

  9. Senile Old Guy says:

    Sorry, Steve, no.

    Especially over CAGW. The trouble is that if you wish to work in any organisation then you must not have your name associated with climate scepticism – despite the data showing CO2 is effectively harmless.

    It is no coincidence that most of the scientists you see who are vocal and in the open are retired. Even tenure is not sufficient.

    Exactly. I am sad that it is so, but this is the way it is.

  10. Sydney Boy says:

    Sad to say the threats are true. I have been frozen out of a job opportunity for expressing too much of a non-leftist view. As we all know, the left argue for diversity and tolerance – so long as it fits their narrative. They are rabidly intolerant to your opinion if your opinion does not espouse their ideals of SSM, mass immigration, Israel hatred, CAGW, arts, wukka’s rights, etc etc.

  11. Tel says:

    You are asking others to take risks for free that you are paid to take. To add insult to injury you maintain an incessant campaign for donations from those same people to fill your legal war chest

    If Mark was fair dinkum he would demand all those donations were published with real names.

    I might point out that once a logical error is discovered in your argument, the logic remains the same regardless of who said it.

  12. john constantine says:

    The currency of the left is the human right to be proud to ‘pile on’ to the correct target, while being safe yourself, as long as you never deviate from approved life values.

    Listened to one of their abc regional radio announcers declare once that their abc stood for certain abc life values, and that it was disrespectful to abc people to put them in a position of being bullied by broadcasting offensive opinions.

    I still keep in touch with a legacy friend from my lefty days that now runs a substantial human resources department. The business requires their clients to feel a certain way about the organisation [consultants have advised.] so therefore it is organisational policy to monitor social media to help employees preserve the corporate values and public perception of the organisation.

    “paid for facebooking” i joke, but that is why we are ‘friends’ on the social media account of her cat, not her work account.

    The ‘dark net’ time is approaching.

  13. john constantine says:

    The Bendigo mosque thing will be a lesson to us all.

    Already the left is mobilising polite groups to approach small business owners one by one and request them to individually sign petitions in support of the mosque.

    The Bendigo business council has engaged redfilth gillard to come to Bendigo to call out the misogyny of those not supporting the saudis command and control center.

    The proles and bogans at the moment do not care if they are identified as ‘not quite right’ because of their failure to support the good and great, but already there is a slight uneasiness about being a target for life.

    The satrapy of victoriastan state government is drafting legislation to enable them to send councilors that bring councils into disrepute to re-education courses, that would by sheer coincidence make the life of any councilor not supporting saudi arabia a living hell.

    Fourth generation civil disobedience is the unforseen consequence of the stalinist command and control the left are enforcing over every moment of peoples electronic life.

    Imagine being a kid at school having to explain why you aren’t liking and forwarding every thought and meme of sarah hanson-young and squalid ali?.

  14. Snoopy says:

    I have a listed telephone number. On a few occasions I have written letters to the editor and had them published. The letters have always critically mocked the ALP. Without fail, a published letter always prompts at least one late night phone call. Then my wife gets angry. At me.

  15. Alfonso says:

    Your name on the net eliminates most employees from expressing any non conformist opinion. It’s ok for elites like Steyn to pontificate, his livelihood is not at risk…….

  16. MareeS says:

    Anonymity is cowardice. If you state your position, you have to put your name to it and defend it with a good logical argument. Otherwise, you may as well be a twitter person.

    For the record, and for what it’s worth, I am Maree Eggleston.

  17. Mique says:

    Snoopy, your experience mirrors my own precisely. For many years after I retired I regularly wrote letters to the Editors of my selection of newspapers using my own name. One local nutcase responded to letters he disagreed with by calling my home telephone and launching immediately into the most foul-mouthed abuse of whoever it was who answered the phone, almost invariably my wife. Said wife, an avid talk-back radio fan, believed she recognised the person’s voice as that of a regular left-wing serial caller who infested one local talk-back station (invariably during working hours). The worrisome thing was that this bloke seemed to have access to information he could only have gained via detailed research of official sources. This was years before the Internet had become the toxic wasteland it is now courtesy of Twitter and the like.

    While I agree that anonymity tends to debase the currency somewhat, I think it is now essential because the left has made the forum literally far too dangerous a place for normal people to survive. Mark Steyn is a rare courageous exception but sooner or later he will be silenced just like the rest of us.

  18. duncanm says:

    Maybe I’m just chickenshit, and we should all be more stand-up warriors who say what we think, but I tend to agree with Steve.

    I’m split on the issue, because its exactly what the left want – shut down the debate, bury the argument, make it a thought crime.

    I’m in a job full of engineers who tend to be rational and don’t buy all the bullshit, so my livelihood is not threatened, but I wouldn’t stick my neck out far enough to threaten my family.

    The twitterati are generally not debaters or critical leaders of thought, they are sheep.

  19. Rabz says:

    There is no way on this earth I am willing to risk my employment through having my views on various controversial matters known. My workplace is infested with leftists and they are aware of my status as the token conservative. If particular people attempt to discuss politics with me they are very quickly told that my views are none of their business. There are however, some of my coworkers who are trusted exceptions, within limits.

    I used to be on spacechook under my real name and that ended after being on the receiving end of threats and abuse for daring to point out to various morons (who I wasn’t even ‘friends’ with) that I objected to rceiving their stupid memes about Abbott hating women, for example.

    So yes, for wanting to safeguard my sanity, livelihood and personage I’m happy to be considered a coward. Thank goodness for the Cat, where like minds can happily vent.

  20. Marcus Classis says:

    Why is this a binary solution?

    There are those who blog under their own names and often pay a price for that. Anonymity means that those who cannot risk the loss of their job can show their support. There are also anonymous ones who use that for cover(for whatever reason) or simply because it means they can express views they would otherwise remain silent on.

    Anonymity has liberated the silent majority in my view.

  21. Lem says:

    While I agree that anonymity tends to debase the currency somewhat, I think it is now essential because the left has made the forum literally far too dangerous a place for normal people to survive.

    It is not just the far left, it is the far right as well. In fact, anyone who chooses to hold an opinion that challenges the groupthink of either end of the spectrum can face malevolent and anonymous political attacks from those who come to know their identity.

    For those still employed it is a serious issue, and can lead to the silencing of important opinion, and thereafter the population of blogs by ever more extreme voices that debase the value of the forum.

    So anonymity is not what debases the currency of the forum, fear of retribution is what does it.

    It is one thing to be the subject of baseless ad hominum attacks, quite another to receive threats at home or in the workplace simply for naively believing that expression of your reasoned thoughts is a right in a supposed civil society.

    Freedom of speech in this country is a chimera, when one must hold one’s tongue for fear of the consequences.

  22. Myrddin Seren says:

    Batman: If you’re working alone, wear a mask.

    Blake: I’m not afraid to be seen standing up to them.

    Batman: The mask is not for you. It’s to protect the people you care about.

    https://youtu.be/x1IiB2Ckv3s

    I can conceive of a day in the not-too-distant future where The Cat exists only on the Dark Net – if it exists at all.

  23. Having been stalked and defamed, and then pursued even on a television “report”, I’ve seen it cut both ways.

    In the end if anonymity is lost, you have to put out online a final detailed demurrer and denial and then walk away. Name and shame the sexual pervert cyberstalkers and other criminals accusing YOU of everything under the sun, then walk away.

    Police are worse than useless – corrupt, incompetent, lazy or all three – and the legal system is hilariously exploitative and inept.

  24. Crossie says:

    Now that I am permanently unemployed I don’t give a fuck anymore. I would take the battle to the streets if it wasn’t bad for my blood pressure, and I have learnt not to care. Mostly because I am out of reach of the thought police, and what they could do to me. Hey I even have a pic now.

    Even when retired it would not be a good idea to go public. Facebook has given the left a powerful weapon to get to you by going after your kids. The New Soviets have no compunction in using any and all options.

  25. Turtle of WA says:

    My mother has been harassed after writing letters to the editor. Scary stuff. She says she doesn’t care. She is nearly 70, so she doesn’t have to worry about her career.

    I agree completely Steve. Many on this blog have jobs which prevent us making public comment. Without anonymity, we would be silent. I’d rather be a pussy than be silenced.

    How are we to know what will be considered evil by the left in 10 years? If someone said that gay marriage was even a possibility 10 years ago, let alone something you would be attacked for not believing in, I would have laughed. Leaving a record of one’s opinions on the net is getting more and more dangerous.

  26. Lem says:

    Even when retired it would not be a good idea to go public. Facebook has given the left a powerful weapon to get to you by going after your kids. The New Soviets have no compunction in using any and all options.

    It’s even worse. They will send you messages with google images of your house as if to say “We know where you live”.

    Anyone crazy enough to do that may have friends prepared to act on the information.

    That is why if The Cat is to survive, its’ bloggers must know that their choice to remain anonymous is sacrosanct, because we do not live in a country where we can be safe from attacks of the loony left- or right.

  27. If a man hasn’t found something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live – Martin Luther King Jr.

    Anonymous or not, it’s a free world but I have never been comfortable behind my nom de plume. If revealing my real name impacts upon my business, so be it. The timorous tend not to turn to me for help, and are certainly not part of my customer base.

    And one piece of advice to those who wish to visit violence upon me or my family: Don’t. My colleagues make the CFMEU look like the kindergarten kids they are.

    And so the phony war ends…

  28. Myrddin Seren says:

    If you have not seen it before, read about the campaign of terrorism unleashed against US blogger Patterico by crazed acolytes of convicted – I repeat, convicted – terrorist and far Left extremist Brett Kimberlin:

    http://patterico.com/2012/05/25/convicted-bomber-brett-kimberlin-neal-rauhauser-ron-brynaert-and-their-campaign-of-political-terrorism/

  29. Turtle of WA says:

    spacechook

    Good one, Rabz.

  30. . says:

    MareeS
    #1810355, posted on September 27, 2015 at 8:56 am
    Anonymity is cowardice. If you state your position, you have to put your name to it and defend it with a good logical argument. Otherwise, you may as well be a twitter person.

    WTF are you talking about Maree? Plenty of idiots on twitter use their real names.

  31. . says:

    Snoopy
    #1810327, posted on September 27, 2015 at 7:39 am
    I have a listed telephone number. On a few occasions I have written letters to the editor and had them published. The letters have always critically mocked the ALP. Without fail, a published letter always prompts at least one late night phone call. Then my wife gets angry. At me.

    They are criminals and ought to be investigated, prosecuted and locked up. You should seriously keep a record of this and make a statement to the police. Technically they might be committing a Federal crime as well.

    Don’t take shit off these thugs Snoopy.

  32. Memoryvault says:

    It is not just the far left, it is the far right as well. In fact, anyone who chooses to hold an opinion that challenges the groupthink of either end of the spectrum can face malevolent and anonymous political attacks from those who come to know their identity.

    You’re almost there, Lem, but not quite. It is not the “far left”, or the “far right”. There is the “accepted” point of view, and any deviation in any direction, will be stomped on by the entire establishment. The stomping follows a tried and true path. First you are ignored. If that doesn’t work you are ridiculed. If that fails they try and put you behind bars. If they can’t, then you are attacked and destroyed from the safety of parliamentary privilege, by both sides. Each step of the journey is fully supported by ALL the media.

    In 19887-88 I exposed the involvement of the CIA in spying on Australians via what became known as Project Echelon, with the full cooperation of the Australian government. At that time we had the Hawke-Keating Labor government. However, the false and defamatory attack on me in parliament was initiated by Nationals Senator Ron Boswell.

    It was initially repeated in the HoR by Labor member Keith Wright. However, soon after he was found to have been raping his two step-daughters, so the cudgel was taken up by Wilson Tuckey, of the Liberals. Thereafter it became very much an LNP affair.

    So can we please let go of this childish “left” and “right” nonsense? Upset the apple-cart and you WILL be stomped on, by all sides, with the full cooperation of the media. Understand also that apparent success is simply confirmation of failure. The only reason Mark Steyn is still in business, for instance, is because he hasn’t really upset anybody. If and when he ever does, you will know it because he will no longer be doing it.

    So, stay safe, and stay anonymous. And if you ever, ever come across anything really important, and want to blow the whistle on it, take my advice – DON’T.

    Take up gardening instead. In the long run it will be more satisfying and productive.

  33. Lem says:

    Memoryvault, I pay homage to the whistleblowers. What they endure is the heavy hand of the apparatus of The State.

  34. Viva says:

    I work as a counsellor so in my line of work it is essential to remain largely under the radar to maintain any sort of credibility.

    Having said that, I have come to respect the fact that most people working in human services almost inevitably have a left of centre view because helping disadvantaged people seems more aligned with that type of work than the individualist tough love approach of righties. These people apply their collectivist views often in a positive and constructive way. I have observed that they do genuine good. Nevertheless they will usually still judge you if you vote Tory!

    It remains a mystery to me that I can know someone is a leftie and just accept that and not think any the less of them as people while I know that they would think less of me if they knew which way I vote. It is very much like being in the closet.

  35. Viva says:

    Correction: “more aligned with that type of thinking”

  36. Deadman says:

    Pseudonymously is not the same as anonymously. I post and blog online for the most part pseudonymously (often because some sites’ name fields won’t accept my name or because some other bastard has already registered the name) and occasionally onymously; but my real name is easy to find—I make no effort to hide it—even if some believe it to be a pseudonym.

  37. michaelc58 says:

    @Memoryvault
    Rightly or wrongly, if you decide to take something as large as the government’s policy on national security and strategic alliances into your own hands, then yes, you will take plenty of heat, no matter which government.
    What we are talking about here is the intolerance of the savage leftist and even center-leftist totalitarianism of your mere opinions about everyday things. That is a very different issue and has no parallel, almost by definition, in the libertarian right.

  38. Re Anonimity.
    A soldier digs a foxhole to protect himself from machine gun fire. Is he a coward?
    Another stands in full view of the enemy and returns fire. Is he a hero?
    The first lives to fight another day.
    The second takes up space in a cemetery.

    Anonimity is as valuable a tool to the citizen as a foxhole is to a soldier.

  39. Infidel Tiger says:

    Deadman, do your friends and acquaintances call you by your real name?

  40. Deadman says:

    Of course, Infidel Tiger.

  41. michaelc58 says:

    Other than moaning about the relentless march of the left, what will we do about it?
    How do we fight this asymmetrical cultural warfare.
    The left are a hive.
    They attack on mass, aim to kill or eliminate any opposition, they favourably promote their own, and they defend their own regardless of merit or principles. They are a good club to belong, and all you have to do is repeat a few of their slogans… and you get to look moral and compassionate to boot.
    What’s not to like?
    The center and the center right instead are individualistic and easy to pick off one by one. They will be bound to principles, so they are constantly apologising and condemning instead of defending even fellow libertarians, like Bolt (rightly) condemned Abbott for his various faults, or people here criticise Mark Stein for (correctly) wishing he was not carryng the weight all by himself. My father-in-law, a lifelong LNP supporter said that despite his beliefs, if you want help withsomething personally orin your electorate, best you see the Labor guy.

    This asymmetry guarantees inevitable takeover by the left.
    How do we fight this asymmetry.

    Should we declare our own centrist organisations and viciously expel any lefties?
    The Australian prides itself of having journalists from both sides – well bully for them, but the rest of the ABC /Fairfax media is proudly leftist only, and the lefties within the Australian will soon finish off the few conservatives..

    How do we create an effective effective defence of our tolerant ideas?
    (And don’t tell me’truth will prevail …blah blah’. Under communists in Europe, truth was AWL for 50 years and only liberated by the pressure from the west).

  42. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    MareeS
    #1810355, posted on September 27, 2015 at 8:56 am
    Anonymity is cowardice. If you state your position, you have to put your name to it and defend it with a good logical argument. Otherwise, you may as well be a twitter person.

    I’m retired these days, but I used to run a farm in rural Western Australia.

    I wrote to “Letters to the Editor,” condemning the activities of a certain group of people.

    Try having water points to thirsty sheep turned off – you could see the tracks – gates into crop paddocks deliberately opened, so that stock could get in, at least two bush fires, oh, and the abusive calls “We know where you live. All us mob will come out there, and there’s only one of you……”
    How are you supposed to have a logical argument with that mindset?

    My standard reply was “I’ll have two friends. Mr Lee and Mr Enfield. Bring as many of your mob as you like. Some will have to carry the stretchers.”

  43. Marcus Classis says:

    Michael:

    This asymmetry guarantees inevitable takeover by the left.
    How do we fight this asymmetry.

    I am speaking strategically and historically here.

    The answer to this question is one few want to hear. Because the answer (after the left’s victory) is armed violence on the model of 4th Generation Warfare.

    This is what the left fails to understand, they always think they can play as dirty as they want, and that conservatives will hold themselves to a higher standard and never respond.

    It worked for Lenin, it worked for Hitler, it worked for Castro and Chavez, all of whom disarmed their populations.

    It will not work again, so long as a small proportion of the population can remain armed, and willing to kill their oppressors.

    Moving to the level we are all at – personal tactics – the key to slowing, and perhaps defeating, the left’s progress lies in using their own tactics against them. Do NOT hold yourself to a higher standard when engaging the left, use their own tactics against them (and only against them). This is effective, it works, and they do not know how to deal with it because (in their view) you are not playing fair. Their definition of fair, BTW, is that they can lie and cheat and you cannot.

    Anonymity, therefore, is a weapon against the left. They would not be happier than if we abandoned it so hey could pick us off one at a time.

  44. johanna says:

    While I admire those who use their real names, remember that Mark Steyn is at a free speech confab in Copenhagen at present which is being held at their Parliament House because it is the most secure building in town. It’s the tenth anniversary of a similar meeting, and he has reminded us in his columns that many of the people who were on the platform ten years ago have since been murdered, attacked, or have simply disappeared from public life because of death threats.

    Steyn makes his living out of being a public figure, and has decided the risk is worth it for him. Fine. But I don’t make my living that way. Indeed, in the relatively small town that I reside in, my client list (I am a consultant) would shrink significantly if my views on CAGW were publicised – and that’s just one topic.

    What’s more, as a woman who lives alone and can easily be found via the electoral roll or telephone directory, my personal security is tenuous. No way am I putting that at risk by using my real name. It’s not a hypothetical risk, it’s a very real one – there are all kinds of nutters out there.

    I don’t hide my identity from trusted blog owners – my email address is my real name. But if I couldn’t comment anonymously, I wouldn’t comment at all. And that means silencing one more person. In an ideal world, things would be different, but this is the world we live in.

  45. Wayneof Perth says:

    Its why we have secret ballots. Anonymity is the only way to ensure that the powerless are able to express their views without fear.

  46. Memoryvault says:

    if you decide to take something as large as the government’s policy on national security and strategic alliances into your own hands, then yes, you will take plenty of heat, no matter which government. –
    What we are talking about here is the intolerance of the savage leftist and even center-leftist totalitarianism of your mere opinions about everyday things.

    What a quaint compartmentalisation of issues, Michael. Now explain it in terms of, say, mass Muslim migration. Most people here would view it as a matter of national security, it apparently involves issues of strategic alliances, and expressing a contrary view about it will get you stomped on from every which way but loose, left, right and centre.

    So, where exactly is this line between “national security and strategic alliances”, and “mere opinions about everyday things”?

  47. michaelc58 says:

    Imagine a world dominated by libertarian thought.
    You call someone racist at work, you get called up and if you can’t defend your aaction you get to apologise and get counselled on not shutting down conversations.
    Leigh Sales gets called up to Mark Scott and warned that she is interviewing in demonstrably unprofessional and biased way. ‘If this keeps up, you will have to go back to journalism school for a refresher’.
    Someone at work says in the tea room that we should let in more Islamic immigrants for diversity, and the room sneers at him – what a leftie infantile idiot, and he gets uninvited from Facebook and future parties for being an arseh*le and marked for never being promoted.
    CEOs get fired for donating to corrupt unions or Getup.
    Rich people with solar panels asking for subsidies from electricity bills to pensioners, get lambasted by twitter for being selfish.
    Wind farm operators coming cap in hand to Canberra get laughed out of town – show us the evidence, they cry after them, splitting their sides with laughter.

    Hard to imagine, eh?

  48. Memoryvault says:

    Its why we have secret ballots. Anonymity is the only way to ensure that the powerless are able to express their views without fear.

    You mean like a plebiscite on SSM?

  49. Lem says:

    Its why we have secret ballots. Anonymity is the only way to ensure that the powerless are able to express their views without fear.

    Beautifully put, Wayne. So let The Cat be somewhere people can come to put their earnestly held views anonymously, as is their democratic right at the ballot box, and let us all here defend their right to anonymity and free speech.

    .

  50. Memoryvault says:

    Imagine a world dominated by libertarian thought.

    That seems to be what you’re doing, Michael. And not very well.
    Might I suggest you read something like Bastiat’s ‘The Law”.
    That way your imagined libertarian world might bear some resemblance to a real one.

  51. michaelc58 says:

    @Memoryvault.
    I am merely saying that big actions, as yours was (and I have no opinion on its merits, other than its obvious bravery) have big consequences, as opposed to voicing mere opinions.
    I don’t believe every citizen has the right to subvert government policy according at his whim, that would be anarchy and I am sure you would agree with this. You must have had expert knowledge and understanding of consequences, perhaps consulted with others to be sure you are doing the right thing.

    Merely stating a personal opinion that, say, I find not much to be liked about Islam around the world and so I don’t want to import it into Australia, is not in the same league as your actions were, to state the obvious, I should not expect to be villified and marked for non-promotion, or if at a university, be fired.

  52. Marcus Classis says:

    Hard to imagine, eh?

    A nice fantasy. But still a fantasy.

    mao famously said that political power grows from the barrel of a gun. In the end – the very end – that is why leftists always try to disarm their society. Now they bully and lie and cheat and hector, and stack courts and pick off targets one by one.

    They restrict themselves to this and not to cattle cars and death camps because – in the very, very end – 15% of our society is armed.

    Speaking strictly as one who has closely studied the Northrn Irish Troubles, this is the final guarantee of liberty. The communities which ‘fell’ to the IRA (marxists) were those which were not armed – so dissent was not possible.

    Applying that conceptually to Australia is not difficult and it casts a very interesting light on the left’s import of wahabists and salafists into this country. Now, I am not a libertarian and certainly not ideological enough to conduct 4th generation warfare myself, but let us run a thought experiment.

    let us say that politically and socially Australia morphs into something akin to Argentina. Let us then imagine that the ‘weaponised idea’ of 4GW breaks out among those of the populace still desiring our current liberties – somehting like ‘The Troubles’.

    What better way to conduct fully decentralised 4GW than to hide it behind the wahabists and Salafists? Mr 4GW, off his own bat, kills a prominent left wing journalist/pollie/whatever and leaves a koranic verse behind. Assuming he’s got any smarts at all he’s acting ENTIRELY ALONE, if he keeps his trap shut he’s damned near impossible to catch. Do this a few times – all individual actions – and we have a left-wahabist war behind which the 4GW types can easily hide and gut both sides.

    This is a recipe for communal war – this is also Europe’s immediate future.

  53. Memoryvault says:

    I don’t believe every citizen has the right to subvert government policy according at his whim, that would be anarchy and I am sure you would agree with this.

    So, if the parliament decides it is acceptable policy to lie to the citizens, that makes it alright, and opposing it would be anarchy? At the time Australians had had three years of being assured that government records would never be cross-matched to profile and track citizens as a result of introducing an ID card. Not only was it actually being done when those assurances were being given, the information was being shared with foreign powers.

    You must have had expert knowledge and understanding of consequences, perhaps consulted with others to be sure you are doing the right thing.

    The planning had commenced under Whitlam. The infrastructure was built under Fraser. The system was implemented under Hawke/Keating. Australians were being lied to by successive governments. I pointed that out. Give me some idea of who these “others” are that I should have consulted with, to assure me that governments lying to citizens was “the right thing”?

  54. michaelc58 says:

    @Memory vault.
    I admit I used ‘libertarian’ extremely loosely and I may not know what it really would be like – thanks for reference.
    But I don’t know what to call the no-leftist side I am on.
    ‘Conservative’ is such a poor name and we should find an alternative in this age. It suggests 1950, positin of privilege (why else preserve the status quo), denial of inevitability of change. It is Tony Abbott personified – actually good, but esily villified.

    Rightist, conjures the extreme right, it is almost a pejorative, associated, wrongly I believe, with corporation, profiteering, exploitation, hearlessness at best and with with facism and skinheads at worst.

    Perhaps we should reclaim the word ‘Centrist’ for ourself, to distinguish from the leftist. After all, I thing we do believe in social security for the truly needy, in affordable education and free but fair, i.e. competitive markets.

  55. A Lurker says:

    Perhaps we should reclaim the word ‘Centrist’ for ourself, to distinguish from the leftist. After all, I thing we do believe in social security for the truly needy, in affordable education and free but fair, i.e. competitive markets.

    You want a term? How about ‘Realist’

  56. Lem says:

    Memoryvault, if I can step in here, I don’t think Michael was saying that the particulars of your whistleblowing were unjustified, in fact he admitted he couldn’t proffer an opinion as he wasn’t in possession of the specific facts. What he said is:

    I don’t believe every citizen has the right to subvert government policy according at his whim, that would be anarchy and I am sure you would agree with this.

    Which seems a reasonable view, to me.

  57. Lem says:

    You want a term? How about ‘Realist’

    Pragmatic realist?

    Except pragmatism has such a bad name these days. That could change with the deteriorating global economic situation, of course.

  58. Driftforge says:

    For those not aware, someone has been chronicling losses to the left such as Steve mentioned above.

    See The New Blacklist.

  59. Memoryvault says:

    But I don’t know what to call the no-leftist side I am on.

    I agree about the name. I think Lurker’s “realist” is close.
    Perhaps “skeptical realist”?

    Bastiat’s writings are available online here.
    Keep in mind that libertarianism is a philosophy of government, not a form of government.

    I’ll make a cup of tea then go through your “libertarian world” and try to illustrate the difference, since I sense you are keen to know, and that is good.

  60. Lem says:

    And in other ominous news for Freedom of Expression, in Strasbourg, at a football meeting some people had the hide to unfurl a banner that said “Immigrants Out”. The response of the powers that be was to denounce this expression, and to put to work the police to track down and deal with the offenders.

    «Les auteurs qui ont commis cet acte sont activement recherchés par les services de police. Une fois les auteurs interpellés, des mesures administratives seront mises en oeuvre à leur encontre», a indiqué M. Fratacci dans un communiqué, en précisant que «la police n’a, pour le moment, procédé à aucune interpellation».

    Which translates as:

    The authors who have committed the act are being sought by the police. Once they are arrested, administrative measures will be opened…”

    The decline of the West is coming from within, more than without.

  61. Lem #1810603, posted on September 27, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    The decline of the West is coming from within, more than without.

    True but not without a fight

  62. michaelc58 says:

    How about Realist

    A Lurker, you my be accurate, but I can’t see myself storming the barricades under a banner Realists, or even Pragmatic Realists.?

    A new derivative of Liberty might work.
    But since almost no one today has any sense of what it means to be deprived of liberty, we might do better standing for Internet Liberty, and let it mean what it will to everyone.

  63. Winston Smith #1810485, posted on September 27, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Re Anonimity.
    A soldier digs a foxhole to protect himself from machine gun fire. Is he a coward?
    Another stands in full view of the enemy and returns fire. Is he a hero?
    The first lives to fight another day.
    The second takes up space in a cemetery.

    Anonimity is as valuable a tool to the citizen as a foxhole is to a soldier.

    True but eventually an Army must advance from the safety of its defensive positions to seek out and close with the enemy, to kill or capture him, to seize and hold ground, and to repel attack by day or night, regardless of season, weather or terrain.

  64. Lem says:

    A Lurker, you my be accurate, but I can’t see myself storming the barricades under a banner Realists, or even Pragmatic Realists.?

    Michael, pragmatic realists would never by definition storm the barricades.

  65. DionysusOz says:

    Yep – understand completely.
    I have to blog anonymously.
    If I was financially independent, I would blog under my name with delight.
    Without a shadow of a doubt,in the sector in which I work, the (mostly mainstream but unfashionable) views I hold on a number of topics would impact significantly on my employment prospects.
    And these views?
    I’m not convinced we are heading towards a climate Armageddon and there isn’t a consensus of relevant scientific experts that current emissions will lead to a catastrophe so severe, we need to shunt billions of dollars into renewables and shut down coal stations.
    I’ll print a public apology, if anyone can show me one.
    I think destroying traditional marriage is a mistake and I don’t hate/fear/despise homosexuals.
    I think life begins at conception, so taking the life of an unborn child because of the inconvenience to his/her mother, is morally wrong.
    I think we have a spending problem – a BIG spending problem and should confront it rationally before we start raising taxes.
    I support migration – both skilled and humanitarian but find nothing ethically questionable about demanding it be a controlled program. Similarly, I believe we need to be unapologetic in insisting that all migrants clearly understand that THEY are expected to make the necessary accommodations politically, socially and culturally, to live peacefully and happily in Australia.
    I don’t believe Julia Gillard was a victim of sexism.
    I find it repugnant that we have legislation which criminalises the free and peaceful expression of opinion on the basis of how someone else feels about it.
    I’ve met so few genuine “right wing extremists” in Australia during my lifetime, I could count them on one hand. I’ve met hundreds of left wing extremists, but oddly never read about the threat they pose to our way of life in the establishment media.
    I think in matters of race, we should be ruthlessly colour blind.
    Can’t put any of that in a resume!

  66. Lem says:

    Anonimity is as valuable a tool to the citizen as a foxhole is to a soldier.

    True but eventually an Army must advance from the safety of its defensive positions to seek out and close with the enemy, to kill or capture him, to seize and hold ground, and to repel attack by day or night, regardless of season, weather or terrain.

    Apres vous 🙂

  67. Memoryvault says:

    Imagine a world dominated by libertarian thought.

    You (wrongly) call someone racist at work, he sues you for defamation and sends you bankrupt because the laws are simple and don’t require professional lawyers.

    Leigh Sales gets called up to Mark Scott because she is interviewing in a demonstrably unprofessional and biased way. She is either fired or promoted depending on the views of the owners of the TV station. There is no publicly funded broadcaster.

    Someone at work says in the tea room that we should let in more Islamic immigrants for diversity, and the room looks at him, puzzled. What on earth are “Islamic immigrants”? One of the (few) legitimate roles of government is the protection of the sovereignty, laws and customs of the nation. Islam is a belief system that specifically requires the destruction of all three. There are no “Islamic immigrants”.

    CEOs get fired for donating to corrupt unions or Getup, or they get rewarded for it, depending on the expressed requirements of the Board of Directors, who represent the shareholders.

    Rich people with solar panels don’t ask for subsidies because government has little to do with electricity generation or sale. Besides, governments do not provide subsidies. They can’t.

    Wind farm operators don’t go cap in hand to Canberra because government has no power, authority, or funds to support any form of private enterprise, no matter how laudable.

    .
    Hope that helps in your understanding of libertarian philosophy.

  68. michaelc58 says:

    @MemoryVault.
    Your issue i would consider under protection of whistle blowers, which is a very serious but, with respect, different matter.

    As for governments lying,, I agree with you, but about half the population apparently does not depending on the ‘side’, since they keep favouring Labor, and climate Catastrophists..

  69. Lem says:

    Exactly, Memoryvault. The key to fighting for an ideal of libertarianism is not to take up arms.

    It is to reduce the power of government and it’s apparatus to a bear minimum required to protect the nation and individual liberties.

    The difficulty is in convincing a populace narcotised by charming politicians that such a course, effected at the ballot box, is in it’s best interest.

  70. A Lurker says:

    A Lurker, you my be accurate, but I can’t see myself storming the barricades under a banner Realists, or even Pragmatic Realists.?

    How about the ‘Rational Realist’.

    We see the world as it is with clear and open eyes, and not through a deranged, irrational, unrealistic, illogical mind.

    We apply our Realism to the present with a memory of what happened in the past.
    We plan for the future using rationality, realism and logic.

  71. Driftforge says:

    As for governments lying,, I agree with you, but about half the population apparently does not depending on the ‘side’, since they keep favouring Labor, and climate Catastrophists..

    So, when you correct for bias, you are saying that near on the whole population does not care about one side of politics lying.

    Inevitable result of democracy, but not a healthy one.

  72. Driftforge says:

    Exactly, Memoryvault. The key to fighting for an ideal of libertarianism is not to take up arms.

    It is to reduce the power of government and it’s apparatus to a bear minimum required to protect the nation and individual liberties.

    Worth reading ‘On Power’ by de Joevenel. It’s not as simple as that.

  73. They attack on mass, aim to kill or eliminate any opposition, they favourably promote their own, and they defend their own regardless of merit or principles. They are a good club to belong, and all you have to do is repeat a few of their slogans… and you get to look moral and compassionate to boot.
    What’s not to like?

    Michael c58, something the Left supporters never take into account is the first thing that happens after they win the war: The Purge.
    It is as inevitable as the sunrise, and it entails the following process:
    Identify the factions who have helped the war. Do they have a history of violent action to overthrow the previous government? If so, purge/gaol/kill them.
    Who were their supporters? Kill some of them and gaol the rest.
    Intimidate the Proles and the faceless men get into power.
    That’s why it’s called Factional Warfare, and it’s for real.

  74. Memoryvault says:

    The difficulty is in convincing a populace narcotised by charming politicians
    that such a course, effected at the ballot box, is in it’s best interest.

    True, Lem, but here in OZ I doubt we will have to do much convincing. To paraphrase Maggie Thatcher, socialism’s great until it runs out of other people’s money. I think that time is fast approaching. I’m actually hoping they manage to put the GST up to 15%. Already half the productive work in this country is being done “cash in hand”. A 50% increase will see even more people opting out of the “official” economy.

  75. Lem says:

    Already half the productive work in this country is being done “cash in hand”. A 50% increase will see even more people opting out of the “official” economy.

    Well, you know Memoryvault, at heart, and like many Australians (I wager), I am an anarchocapitalist.

    🙂

  76. johnonomous says:

    I became anonymous when I found out about the Carbon Capture Report.

    The Carbon Capture Report (http://www.carboncapturereport.org/) is a free and open service of the University of Illinois devoted to being the preeminent global resource for tracking worldwide perception and developments in Climate Change, Carbon Capture, Carbon Credits, Alternative Energy, Renewable Energy, Green Energy, Biofuels, Geothermal, Hydroelectric, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Solar, Wind, Coal, and Oil. With subscribers in more than 100 countries the Report has become the go-to resource for daily insight into the global media discourse.

    I wonder who funds this mob.

  77. rich says:

    A few things. Firstly, I’m happy to make political statements on spacechook, there are a few rules I live by:
    1- If you debate someone, make sure you’ve met them in person and you’re both convinced that the other is a fundamentally decent person (politics aside, you get on well together). Anyway, you need a rapport with them to start with if you ever want to convince them to change sides
    2- don’t start arguments on other people’s walls, have an argument on your own wall. You are a guest on other people’s walls, just as we are all guests on the Cat
    3- If you’re going to start a debate make sure you’re on solid ground and you finish it
    4- debate the idea, but never call their character into question

    As for Mark Steyn’s point, that you must have skin in the game.

    It’s true that privacy and anonymity is important for those who cannot afford to give. But remember for each of us who stands silently, the burden falls to those who stand publicly. The rabid left can single the tall poppies out because there are too few of them with the courage to put their name to their work. Martyring oneself is a pointless exercise, but enough of us have to throw off our masks and put our hands up to form a group and show solidarity.

    The fact that we don’t may imply that we are ashamed of our libertarian/conservative politics. We should instead choose the right people (leftists whom we have a rapport with) to debate in a friendly manner (I debate with a progressive jewish man in the office who, despite our different politics, we respect each other’s professionalism at work). If they cannot stomach it, find another sparring partner; if they shun you, they hurt themselves.

    I haven’t had any scary encounters to date, but have had one or two complement me and say, “I wish I had the courage to say what you say publicly and convincingly.” Skin in the game.

  78. Yohan says:

    There is light at the end of the tunnel. About a year ago I thought the PC left was completely ascendant in online opinion and social media. They had dominated the sphere, they were doxing people left, right and centre. There seemed no end to it.

    The push back came of all places, in the video game industry, with Gamergate, which was in response to progressive leftist PC politics trying to take over, of all things, video games. This is where the online counter-attack started, lead by Vox Day, Adam Baldwin, Milo Yiannopoulos e.t.c

    These were the only people on the right willing to engage and go on the offensive. The leftist PC line has been broken.

    You only have to look at Breitbart.com today, it has comment numbers on articles that are getting up to The Guardian. 2 years ago major right wing websites would be lucky to get 50 comments on average. This just shows there was a silent majority out there, just waiting for some figure heads to put their name to an opinion, and go public. It has encouraged others to speak up, the momentum is growing.

  79. rich says:

    This just shows there was a silent majority out there, just waiting for some figure heads to put their name to an opinion, and go public. It has encouraged others to speak up, the momentum is growing.

    Standing up is so important, if they are the ideals you believe in. If you want to keep your head down in the trench and keep your job, at the very least donate some of the money you save by keeping that job to the courageous lemming leading the charge. Our society is worth it… add to that momentum.

  80. Lem says:

    This just shows there was a silent majority out there

    Oh yes, the silent majority are certainly out there. They may wax and wane in their political activity, but certainly when personal economics are involved, their interest is piqued.

    That is why economics is the Queen of the social sciences. Her beautiful name is Self Interest.

  81. Chris says:

    Apres vous

    Avec moi, mes amis

    EYES FRONT

  82. Chris says:

    I write under my own name, and just had a commenter at The Conversation play ‘I know who you are’.

    I don’t feel very safe – on behalf of my family. This topic makes me realise that my political issue makes them vulnerable to false complaints and swatting more likely to bring hair-trigger types.

  83. Lem says:

    I don’t feel very safe – on behalf of my family. This topic makes me realise that my political issue makes them vulnerable to false complaints and swatting more likely to bring hair-trigger types.

    Screenshot the comment. Save any correspondence you receive (if you do). Then contact the police.

    You have rights.

  84. Snoopy says:

    I write under my own name, and just had a commenter at The Conversation play ‘I know who you are’.

    Ah, I see your problem right there. The name, ‘The Conversation’ is a misnomer as you’d expect from an institution funded by the Left wing governments and failing universities. It should be named ‘The Lecture’ and you’d do better to shut up.

  85. Memoryvault says:

    I don’t feel very safe – on behalf of my family.

    True, Chris, but it’s not just the crazies you have to worry about. The “establishment” can be just as ruthless. When I was active I was supported by, amongst others, two millionaire successful businessmen. One in Adelaide, one in Sydney. Both were bankrupted by their banks calling in their overdrafts on 72 hours notice. Two of the “Big Four” banks.

  86. Lem says:

    When I was active I was supported by, amongst others, two millionaire successful businessmen. One in Adelaide, one in Sydney. Both were bankrupted by their banks calling in their overdrafts on 72 hours notice. Two of the “Big Four” banks.

    Memoryvault, if they claimed to be millionaires, and then were bankrupted overnight by their overdrafts being called in at short notice, then maybe they weren’t really millionaires. But maybe I have a naive way of calculating assets in this world that sees credit liabilities as an asset.

    Chris, if you feel you have been threatened on line on The Conversation, you could take the complaint up to them, in the first instance. Keep copies of all correspondence.

  87. Derp says:

    A citizen needs anonymity for society to be free.
    Their thoughts are theirs.
    This is why the secret ballot and private printing presses were so vital.

  88. Mat says:

    I write under my own name, and just had a commenter at The Conversation play ‘I know who you are’.

    Don’t sweat it Chris – it’s a keyboard warrior. The correct response is “Who gives a shit?” Like all bullies, they rely on you backing off – it emboldens them. Don’t forget the leftard mantra – seeming, not doing. People that hide behind an online presence are no threat in the real world. I recently had a few death threats aimed my way on social media. In this instance they really do know where I live – my address & car rego had helpfully been shown on the news by one of the commercial broadcasters. Nothing has come of it. And that was the result of a situation an order of magnitude worse than voicing an ‘incorrect’ opinion online. I won’t say more until the coroner releases his findings …

  89. DrBeauGan says:

    Mark Classis is correct and the only serious realist here. Your innocent faith in the power of reason makes most of you part of the problem, not contributors to a solution.

  90. Philippa Martyr says:

    There are people out there who think I write under an assumed name, simply because my own is rather exotic.

    But it is in fact the one on my driver’s licence.

  91. Lem says:

    Mark Classis is correct and the only serious realist here. Your innocent faith in the power of reason makes most of you part of the problem, not contributors to a solution.

    I just can’t agree with that. See, Marcus lost me right here:

    let us say that politically and socially Australia morphs into something akin to Argentina. Let us then imagine that the ‘weaponised idea’ of 4GW breaks out among those of the populace still desiring our current liberties – somehting like ‘The Troubles’.

    I admit it is a remote possibility that civil war and complete anarchy will break out in Australia, but I still strongly believe that reason yet has much to offer.

  92. john constantine says:

    The gratitude that their left show those that help them execute their plans is well illustrated by the long term close friendships the hero aardvark of beaconsfield has built over time.

    #note the way that no power base that the shortfilth has controlled on his way up has been left in any condition to raise up anyone else that cold be a rival. Burn your bridges, prefererably with your used up allies still trapped on them is a signiture move of the lefty handbook.

  93. Memoryvault says:

    Memoryvault, if they claimed to be millionaires, and then were bankrupted overnight by their overdrafts being called in at short notice, then maybe they weren’t really millionaires.

    It worked like this, Lem. Both had very successful businesses, with good cash flows and profits. Both had serious expansion plans that required capital. Both were assessed by their banks and advanced the working capital for their expansions, after signing away everything including the shirts on their backs as security. Both were making good progress with their plans.

    For one, the money was tied up as stock for a major launch in the UK ($4 million worth packed in seatainers at his babywear factory). For the other, the money ($6 million) was tied up as surrounding additional land and buildings to expand his car franchise (one of the largest in Sydney). For both, the money was not easily converted back to liquid funds at short notice.

    When they got involved “politically”, their respective banks warned them off, politely. When they refused, they got foreclosed on. Simples. They lost everything, businesses, homes, and eventually, families. Don’t kid yourself that it doesn’t happen here.

  94. Both were bankrupted by their banks calling in their overdrafts on 72 hours notice. Two of the “Big Four” banks.

    There should be more “restorative justice” dished out to bank officers.

    Lem may not have been near either small business, big business, or the banking system.
    To think there is such a thing as a business that does not owe money, or an entrepreneur who does not owe money, is naïve in the extreme.

    Very few, if any, businesses, or business operators would be able to clear their bank debt at such short notice.
    Yes it does happen. In Australia. People are wiped out by a bank selling their life’s work for a song.

    You don’t need to be behind in payments, or trading unprofitably.
    Banks are arseholes, a fact that has never been in dispute.

  95. Yohan says:

    Memoryvault, Nexus magazine was the only media publication willing to publish anything about Project Echelon back in the 90’s. In the pre internet days the mainstream media could achieve total blackout on issues like that.

    I realise that 95% of what Nexus published was nonsense, but there was some gold nuggets there. Where there is smoke, there is fire. Have you ever revealed your full story?

  96. DrBeauGan says:

    Lem, reason works well on reasonable men. And the occasional reasonable woman. These are not the enemy. Lefties bear all the stigmata of religious nuts, and a thoroughly disgusting religion it is.

    I have argued at length with Dover Beach, and enjoyed it. I disagree with his fundamental premisses, but I am in agreement with most of his conclusions. I would never waste time arguing with srr however. Nor M0nty. They have different religions but their commitment to them is beyond reason.

    Lefties see being reasonable and a concern for facts and logic as a weakness. In a sense they are right. They can steamroller it by emotion and dogma. Most people are too lazy to question and think, too weak to stand against the group. Given these facts, the future looks bleak. The enemy has made his objectives very plain, and is in the ascendant. Look at our current and last three prime ministers. Look at the US president. Look at the Pope. Their capacity for reason is derisory in all six cases. Now consider their power to destroy.

  97. DrBeauGan says:

    As I have said before, we lost the cold war and the soviet union won. We are now in the mopping up stage.

  98. Lem #1810623, posted on September 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Apres vous 🙂

    Already on my way Lem. Conducting preliminary operations preceding Phase 1.

  99. Memoryvault says:

    Nexus magazine was the only media publication willing to
    publish anything about Project Echelon back in the 90?s.

    Yohan, once upon a time, a long time ago, Mrs MV and I moved to Montville. At that time people sent us stuff on almost everything and anything. I considered most of it crap, but Mrs MV dutifully filed it all away. We had twelve three-drawer filing cabinets of it.

    One day a subscriber phoned up. Turned out he lived in Montville too. Could he come and visit? He seemed nice enough, so we said yes. That’s how we met Duncan Roads. To cut a long story short, he had just taken over a New Age magazine that had gone broke – previously he had just been selling advertising in it. He was fascinated by the stuff in filing cabinets, and copied a lot of it. That was the material for the first three or four copies of the relaunched “Nexus Magazine”.

    The earliest expose of what eventually became known “Echelon” was published by me in 1987 and 1988. But we never had a name for it. Both Duncan Campbell and James Bamford plagiarised me shamelessly, but never credited the source. Duncan Roads published about it after the name”Echelon” surfaced, with my blessing, since I was out of it by then. The girl who actually wrote the articles for Nexus, had, in fact, been my research assistant – Susan B.

    Have you ever revealed your full story?

    Not really much to tell that would be of any interest to anybody, Yohan. Those few snippets that I felt might be of interest, have been published in different places, including here.

  100. Jannie says:

    Crossie, Facebook is OK to keep in touch with old contacts, but it sure is not Private. I rarely use it, seems to be mostly for people with no sense of privacy, who think others should be interested in them. I am private and uninteresting.

  101. Lem says:

    I am private and uninteresting.

    No. You are interesting, and all you have to say, and especially if you remain anonymous.

  102. Rabz says:

    If it’s any consolation, in order to continue the fight against the creeping insanity of leftism, I’ve been posting comments under the most annoying pieces at the Oz in my name.

  103. Yohan says:

    Yohan, once upon a time, a long time ago, Mrs MV and I moved to Montville. At that time people sent us stuff on almost everything and anything. I considered most of it crap, but Mrs MV dutifully filed it all away. We had twelve three-drawer filing cabinets of it.

    One day a subscriber phoned up. Turned out he lived in Montville too. Could he come and visit? He seemed nice enough, so we said yes. That’s how we met Duncan Roads. To cut a long story short, he had just taken over a New Age magazine that had gone broke – previously he had just been selling advertising in it. He was fascinated by the stuff in filing cabinets, and copied a lot of it. That was the material for the first three or four copies of the relaunched “Nexus Magazine”.

    The earliest expose of what eventually became known “Echelon” was published by me in 1987 and 1988. But we never had a name for it. Both Duncan Campbell and James Bamford plagiarised me shamelessly, but never credited the source. Duncan Roads published about it after the name”Echelon” surfaced, with my blessing, since I was out of it by then. The girl who actually wrote the articles for Nexus, had, in fact, been my research assistant – Susan B.

    That’s a fascinating part of history you were involved with there MV. I hope you did not get too hurt by it all. I had a good friend who knew Duncan personally back in those days. And from some of the things I heard, I believe you about the banks calling in loans.

    Recently, I was involved with a company that in the mid 90’s had a technology to break down particles in fluid, for example for more efficient fuel burning. Today they now use it on water irrigation, but back then the company founder wanted to use it on fuel. He started getting 2am phone calls with messages to stop or get ruined, then death threats.

    Some reading this may find it hard to comprehend why you would get anonymous death threats for such an inane thing (a small increase in fuel efficiency) but that’s how the world was back then, through the 80’s and even 90’s. I think by the late 90’s it seemed to stop, because of the rise of the internet made it too hard to contain information.

  104. Marcus Classis says:

    Lem:

    I admit it is a remote possibility that civil war and complete anarchy will break out in Australia, but I still strongly believe that reason yet has much to offer.

    I am quite specifically NOT saying that “civil war and complete anarchy will break out in Australia”.

    That is (again quite specifically) not what 4GW is. Study Northern Ireland – there was no civil war, no ‘complete anarchy’.

    There were never more than 200 ‘active shooters and bombers’ in several warring factions, and they were after a political accommodation. To obtain this they used semi-centralised 3GW means which made them quite vulnerable, yet they still tied up 35,000-55,000 security, paramilitary and military personnel for a generation.

    What 4GW does is fully decentralise this. Ihave been studying this as best I can given the extraordinary events in teh USA where all of this is being set up quite literally as we speak – did you know that the largest civil disobedienace campaign in human history has been underway in the USA for 4 years, with literally millions of well-armed American citizens absolutely refusing to obey state leftist diktat? And the left there has absolutely no clue what to do about it – so hopefully the 4GW guys will win without any bloodshed at all.

    The leading scholar of 4GW is Willian Lind. he’s worth reading:

    “Fourth Generation war is also marked by a return to a world of cultures, not merely states, in conflict. We now find ourselves facing the Christian West’s oldest and most steadfast opponent, Islam. After about three centuries on the strategic defensive, following the failure of the second Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683, Islam has resumed the strategic offensive, expanding outward in every direction. In Third Generation war, invasion by immigration can be at least as dangerous as invasion by a state army.

    Nor is Fourth Generation warfare merely something we import, as we did on 9/11. At its core lies a universal crisis of legitimacy of the state, and that crisis means many countries will evolve Fourth Generation war on their soil. America, with a closed political system (regardless of which party wins, the Establishment remains in power and nothing really changes) and a poisonous ideology of “multiculturalism,” is a prime candidate for the home-grown variety of Fourth Generation war – which is by far the most dangerous kind.”

    Applied domestically in a modern post-industrial society this is sometimes referred to as ‘single shot warfare’ or ‘the 300-yard war’. As a ‘weaponised concept’ it has no leaders and no organisation. it depends on a number of people who have reached a considered view that the trampling of their lives warrants a lethal response against those who did the trampling.

    Let us say that Fred Nerk and his mates in Butthole, New York State has reached this view. Fred decides to adopt a 4GW solution after the State Troopers swatted his second cousin Rory Starkweather and killed him, his wife, 2 kids and family chihuahua in the raid (this has happened several times already, BTW and I am serious about the US State Trooper SWAT teams shooting the chihuahua). Let us say that Fred wishes to kill 8 people who in his view deserve it for reasons A thru to Z. Let us also assume that Fred is intelligent, and knows what both ‘maskirovka’ and ‘operational security’ mean.

    So Fred scouts his targets – he’s in no hurry, he has all the time in the world, and starts to service them, meanwhile using maskirovka to divert blame on to (say for example) radical islamists. or calathumpians for that matter.

    So long as Fred Nerk tells absolutely no-one what he’s doing, he can only be caught by sheer bad luck.

    meanwhile, the state knows it’s being targeted, and ‘spasms’. It lashes out against the ones it thinks are doing the killing. And that makes it worse, sparking more 4GW.

    Now, your lefty pollie/judge/whatever will cheerfully fight to the last US State Trooper – but as we know after the Connecticut List affair, they most certainly will NOT fight to even the first dead left-wing pollie/judge/whatever. They are bullies, and therefore cowards, which makes them quite dangerous so long as they are obeyed, for they will ‘spasm’ the agencies of the state.

    There is no reason this form of 4GW cannot apply here, which is why I study it, because that scares the tripe out of me. But to avoid it, we MUST understand it.

  105. Mr Rusty says:

    ‘Conservative’ is such a poor name and we should find an alternative in this age. It suggests 1950, positin of privilege (why else preserve the status quo), denial of inevitability of change.
    Rightist, conjures the extreme right, it is almost a pejorative, associated, wrongly I believe, with corporation, profiteering, exploitation, hearlessness at best and with with facism and skinheads at worst.

    How about not capitulating and fighting back? You can pick any name you want, the left will eventually destroy that too. The best form of defence is attack, so attack socialism and all offshoots, we are not short of ammo. Most people think the left are wonderful and the right evil because they are ignorant, so educate them or denigrate them. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, the Soviet Union, every failed leftist state all the way to Venezuela today, demagogues, tyrants, corruption, mass murder, hate, eugenics, abortion, welfarism…fire, reload, repeat. Talk up prominent conservatives and libertarians and how they have been at the forefront of every major change and victory – the American Revolution, the Republicans who abolished slavery whilst the Democrats opposed it (and then set up the KKK), Churchill, Thatcher and Reagan, Emeline Pankhurst, capitalism and the advances of Western society. Shove their “Progressive” shit back down their gobs by pointing out their energy policy dates back to the 14th century (windmills), their economic policy to 1848 (Marx) and free speech policy from Germany 1933 (along with their Jewish solution).
    If you back down, they win and will attack harder. As I like to tell the ignorati; we are not the right because you are the left, we are right because you are wrong.

  106. Mr Rusty says:

    Trying this again as it went into moderation, I think because of the J word.

    ‘Conservative’ is such a poor name and we should find an alternative in this age. It suggests 1950, positin of privilege (why else preserve the status quo), denial of inevitability of change.
    Rightist, conjures the extreme right, it is almost a pejorative, associated, wrongly I believe, with corporation, profiteering, exploitation, hearlessness at best and with with facism and skinheads at worst

    .

    How about not capitulating and fighting back? You can pick any name you want, the left will eventually destroy that too. The best form of defence is attack, so attack socialism and all offshoots, we are not short of ammo. Most people think the left are wonderful and the right evil because they are ignorant, so educate them or denigrate them. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, the Soviet Union, every failed leftist state all the way to Venezuela today, demagogues, tyrants, corruption, mass murder, hate, eugenics, abortion, welfarism…fire, reload, repeat. Talk up prominent conservatives and libertarians and how they have been at the forefront of every major change and victory – the American Revolution, the Republicans who abolished slavery whilst the Democrats opposed it (and then set up the KKK), Churchill, Thatcher and Reagan, Emeline Pankhurst, capitalism and the advances of Western society. Shove their “Progressive” shit back down their gobs by pointing out their energy policy dates back to the 14th century (windmills), their economic policy to 1848 (Marx) and free speech policy from Germany 1933 (along with their J solution).
    If you back down, they win and will attack harder. As I like to tell the ignorati; we are not the right because you are the left, we are right because you are wrong.

  107. Crossie says:

    Crossie, Facebook is OK to keep in touch with old contacts, but it sure is not Private. I rarely use it, seems to be mostly for people with no sense of privacy, who think others should be interested in them. I am private and uninteresting.

    I’m not on Facebook at all, I communicate mostly via email though my children are and they tell me how people become overexposed.

  108. kae says:

    It will change when the CAGW scam fizzles out. That will occur as global cooling becomes too hard to hide anymore and the general public ignore it. The MSM will stop talking about it. Then we will have won and it will be safe to come out.

    Nah, they’ll find something else to demonise us for.

  109. kae says:

    So, Deadman. Your real name is Joe Bloggs?

    LOL

    I don’t believe you.

  110. Token says:

    Steve, you’ve been linked in the header by Powerline.

    Noice.

  111. Austin Mangosteen says:

    In regard to fear of reprisal for expressing one’s views and how timorous people become because of political correctness, two academics, wanting to be brave, had to bury the truth in the hope that people might find it. They did a statistical analysis of Presidential contenders for the coming US elections in 2016. They concluded that in all probability the next President looks like being Trump. Their results were published in the Washington Post but they buried their comments about Trump winning at the end of their 20 paragraph article.

    Neil Munro, reporting on what the academics wrote, explains why he believes they did not entitle their article conspicuously with something along the lines of Donald Trump has a clear path to the White House, according to a shocking new poll from SurveyUSA:

    But let’s not be mean to the assistant professors. They work in an intellectually bleached environment, where thought crimes and perceived insults against the diversity totem poles can be rapidly detected and ruthlessly punished in their academic version of Room 101, the tenure hearing. So the two academics may resist Crime Stop, and are bravely trying to communicate with normal Americans by skillfully hiding their message behind distracting graphs and curves. If so, good luck to them.

    “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave,” said Ronald Reagan. Indeed in a battle there are many who are brave, and then there are those who turn into Bugs Bunny and go looking for Easter eggs.

    From the film BRAVEHEART
    William Wallace: I am William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men… and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?
    Veteran: Fight? Against that? No! We will run. And we will live.
    William Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!

    We only die once. However, how can be free if we have freewill while at the same time live in fear?– a bleeding Aussie battler ….give me my guns back! or I will resort to shanghai’s/catapults….and I’ll huff and I will puff and I will blow your house–of cards–down, or maybe go out as Guy Fawkes on a Chinese skyrocket….. But still anonymous (or maybe delusional) even though the fiends at ASIO/CIA/FBI/MI6/FSB/CSP know my IP address and I am a marked man. (If I live, I will always have memories kept safe in the vault….Enjoyed reading the thread.)

  112. dover_beach says:

    It is not just the far left, it is the far right as well. In fact, anyone who chooses to hold an opinion that challenges the groupthink of either end of the spectrum can face malevolent and anonymous political attacks from those who come to know their identity.

    If the problem is a rigid conformity then you are part of the problem if you are challenging the ‘extremities’. Groupthink is always a problem of the centre; always, by definition.

  113. Chris says:

    Screenshot the comment. Save any correspondence you receive (if you do). Then contact the police.

    Thanks Lem, in that instance I assessed the individual and decided it was not an actual threat. Its what happens when the next one shows up that bothers me.

    Another instance I did that, a nutbag thought I was likeminded and shared how he was stalking a moderator that he had it in for, on a gun forum. Forwarded everything to the chief mods and they contacted the cops and that person vanished from the forum. Never heard of charges though.

  114. Brian of Moorabbin says:

    *munches quietly on popcorn as he reads this thread and its comments, musing on the several phonecalls and letters that have been sent to his bosses due to comments made by him…. at this very blog…*

  115. Cy says:

    @Yohan

    I think you may be confusing Sad Puppies with GamerGate. Vox Day is associated with the Hugo awards movement known as Sad Puppies and Milo didn’t lead GamerGate but was involved way afterwards as one of the few journalists to properly represent it. Adam Baldwin actually coined the phrase GamerGate but to my knowledge has had little to do with it after that.

    But your point is a good one.

  116. Lance Corporal Bernard Sidney Gordon VC MM

    During the operations of the 26/27th August 1918 East of Bray this Australian NCO showed most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the face of the enemy.

    He led his Section through heavy enemy shelling to the objective which he consolidated. Then single handed he attacked an enemy machine gun which was enfilading the Company on his right, killing the man on the gun and captured the post which contained one Officer (a Captain) and 10 men. After handing these over at Company Headquarters he returned alone to the old system of trenches, in which were many machine guns, entered a C.T. and proceeded to mop it up, returning with 15 prisoners in one squad and 14 in an other, together with two machine guns.

    Again he returned to the system, this time with a T.M. gun and crew, and proceeded to mop up a further portion of the trench, bringing in 22 prisoners including one Officer and 3 Machine guns. This last capture enabled the British troops on our left to advance, which they had not been able to do owing to Machine Gun fire from these posts.

    His total captures were thus 2 Officers and 61 other ranks, together with 6 machine guns, and with the exception of the Trench Mortar assistance it was absolutely an individual effort and done entirely on his own initiative.

    Brigadier General J.H. Cannan, 11th Brigade AIF

  117. Aussiepundit says:

    I think you may be confusing Sad Puppies with GamerGate. Vox Day is associated with the Hugo awards movement known as Sad Puppies

    No, Vox Day is “Rabid Puppies.”
    Sad Puppies is run by Brad Torgensen and Larry Correia.

  118. Aussiepundit says:

    Well, it’s this simple.
    If anonymity were not allowed, I wouldn’t be participating in this or many other online discussions. Some of you might think that’s a good thing! But the reality is it just wouldn’t happen.

    In many situations and for many people, the choice is not between “anonymity” versus “real names,” the choice is between anonymity and silence. Anonymity expands the options for participation.

  119. Ellen of Tasmania says:

    I am private and uninteresting.

    Me, too. I’d be anonymous in real life if I could.

  120. Yohan says:

    I think you may be confusing Sad Puppies with GamerGate. Vox Day is associated with the Hugo awards movement known as Sad Puppies and Milo didn’t lead GamerGate but was involved way afterwards as one of the few journalists to properly represent it. Adam Baldwin actually coined the phrase GamerGate but to my knowledge has had little to do with it after that.

    But your point is a good one.

    I know what you mean, but I’m not talking origins, my point is these were the people who actually had a public profile, and chose to fight back and stick their neck out. If it had just remained anonymous trolls on 4/8chan, the fightback would not have been as successful. It took real people getting involved to then encourage other real people.

    I don’t differentiate between Gamergate and the Puppies, to me its one big war against PC. As a sci-fi fan I am glad to see a push back there, because for years the entire sci-fi blog/review field has been dominated by these leftist progressives, to the detriment of good writing.

  121. Oh come on says:

    Agree with Steve Kates. I too used to blog under my real name – before I had a career to worry about, and before the gatekeepers of my career would consider checking if I’d written anything disagreeable on the internet as part of their due diligence.

    Times have changed, and I am not at a point in my career where I won’t ever need to worry about my not-always-PC views being discovered by an interview panel. I envy those that are.

    As far as I’m concerned, Steyn is being a bit of a twat when he says

    -if you don’t put your name on it, you have no skin in the game

    Hang on. Steyn has a conflict of interest here. He makes his living out of putting his name on it, out of publishing the views of Mark Steyn. I don’t make a living out of publishing my views under my real name. And if I did publish my views under my real name, that could well be detrimental to my ability to make a living, so I publish my views anonymously. Does that make my views less valid than Steyn’s? He seems to think so. Well he would, wouldn’t he.

    This seems a form of appealing to authority – my view should be discounted relative to his, before the substance of our views have even been considered, because I’m anonymous and he’s Mark Steyn. In the battle of ideas, such an uneven playing field benefits Steyn, so it’s not surprising to see him arguing its merits. A bit disappointing, perhaps, but not surprising.

  122. Oh come on says:

    *munches quietly on popcorn as he reads this thread and its comments, musing on the several phonecalls and letters that have been sent to his bosses due to comments made by him…. at this very blog…*

    I don’t know exactly what happened to you, or know for sure who was responsible, but I know enough to consider the episode shameful, and the person(s) who committed it utterly contemptible.

  123. classical_hero says:

    BorisG, there are now a few stores in WA for Max Brenner. I know there is one in Joondalup.

  124. Late to the party, as usual, but after what recently happened at work, there is no fucking way I would sacrifice the livelihood of me and my young children. For this I do not consider it cowardice, to avoid fighting a losing a pointless battle against overwhelming odds. The person I sit next to was given a agenda by her best friend who works in a position of power for a third party vendor, to dig dirt on me and a coworker, to which she went over her boss’s head to his boss to present a case to get her sacked. Her own boss was forced to sack my coworker. The entire point was to make room for yet another friend so she could control the narrative and spread her power base. They took extra glee in sacking someone who stood her ground and refused to be bullied. These people don’t fight fair, and only a fool would fight such people on their terms.

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