I am a libertarian. Not a
civil libertarian. I am an internet libertarian as described by
the Nolan Chart
and my web
There are three "entertainers" who dominate Sydney morning radio.
The early spot is totally dominated by Allan Jones on 2GB between 6-9
AM. The 9-noon spot is a bloody battlefield between the
resurrected majesty of John Laws on 2SM, and gadfly newcomer David
Oldfield on 2UE.
Successful radio commenters in the USA (Rush et al) and Australia all seem to be
call "right wing". On the Nolan Chart they are strongly
pro-Economic libertarianism, but moderately anti civil (personal)
About 30 years ago Marshal McLuhan
offered a theory from which one can perhaps derive an
McLuhan was a media scientist, and wrote a seminal work "The
Medium is the Message". He observed that a message
delivered by multiple sensory inputs (aka
"holistic") seemed not to be subjected to the same sequential
assessment as is performed on a message delivered via a single
He called a multi sense message a "cool" message, while a single sense
message was "hot".
TV and movies are "cool" media, because sight and hearing are
intrinsic part of the message. Reading (newspapers, books,
surfing the net
etc) and listening (to radio) are
"hot" because only one sense is involved. With a "hot"
medium, the most persuasive message is logically constructed points
presented in a sequential fashion. With a "cool" medium, the most
persuasive message is that which shocks the senses with
an interplay of emotional images and crescendos of sound.
In Australia TV was introduced circa 1956. The internet arrived
about 1998. Most people born between 1950 and 1985 were probably
saturated by cool media (TV), and probably are more accustomed to
absorbing information from cool media than people born outside of that
era. People born
period were less likely to be saturated during their formative years by
cool media, and are less
likely to respond to a cause presented on the basis of an emotional
message (such as global warming,
save the whales).
John Laws on 2UE
is the original morning radio host star, and for some decades had the
share of morning radio airtime. After a brief retirement he has
moved to 2SM. Allan
Jones joined 2UE and gradually gained the largest share of the
early morning market. He moved over to mate John Singleton's 2GB
network, rumor has it because 2UE was paying Laws a higher wage.
Oldfield is a much younger presenter who has recently joined 2UE
after a checkered public life that involved Tony Abbott, Pauline Hanson
and the NSW upper house.
All of those "hot" media presenters are right of center. They see
as "opportunistic queue jumpers" rather than as objects of
sympathy. They are against the "greenies" and global warming
alarmists. This is not because they are unsympathetic or against
wildlife or are deniers who will not admit that climate change might be
mostly anthropogenic. It is
because they do not accept the logic that we can reasonably stop boat
people by rewarding them with citizenship instead of TPV's, or that
dams that would save the need for billion dollar desalination plants
are more important than concerns for a minor genetic variation of
wombat, or that we can solve global warming with carbon taxes.
As a libertarian I mostly agree when they are against big government or
global warming or offer boat people a TPV until it was safe for them to
go home. On the other hand I am against their message that women
should not be permitted to serve in the military. Sex should
never be a determinant of a person's rights.
Marriage between same sex partners is a current issue. The Church
allows annulment of a marriage on the grounds that no children were
produced. So marriage is a contract wherein producing children is
not just a term, it is a condition. So a marriage between people
who are unable to produce children can never be a marriage by
The union bosses are feeling their
In 2007 they invested a fortune in an advertising campaign that
destroyed John Howard and "Work Choices" and installed a Federal labour
government. That was because they correctly assessed that "Work
Choices" was possibly the greatest threat to the union bosses since
"pig iron bob".
There were many other rewards offered to
the labour movement following their defeat of work choices.
rewards are the enormous expenditures of public money spent on
overpriced schemes such as the
BER & the Batts. The various building companies came to the
party by kicking in political donations to the Labour party, and paying
their workers pretty much whatever they asked. The grateful
workers paid whatever union dues were levied.
collapse in popularity of the Rudd-Gillard government, they
now see the writing on the wall, and are grabbing whatever they can in
anticipation of the long drought that will follow the next federal
election. Wage rises on the NW shelf of up to $430,000 pa to
washing machine operators are among those benefits which the coming
Abbot government will have difficulty repealing, (although repeal of
the closed union shop and the judicious granting of 457's might do the
Last night (12th April) I attended a
"round table" conference in the law school foyer at Sydney
University. It was chaired by the editor of the Sydney Morning
The best value speaker was Helen McCabe
who edits the Womens Weekly. Among seven issues she raised were
that, if things continue as they are, the "old media" is well and truly
f****d. Mostly because of the www, because our culture is
changing, and people are reluctant to pay for any content
whatsoever. She mentioned that shortly after she publishes, her
content is free on sites such as Mia
Freeman's which (according to Ms McCabe) runs the Weekly's ideas
and grabs much of
the Weekly's audience. Other bon
mots were her anecdotes on
the influence that advertisers have over content, & her admission
that some stories are exaggerated to attract audience.
revealing was her comment that she came to the Weekly from Murdoch, who
(she made a point of reporting) does not (as many liberal media
personalities allege) exercise
The female from ABC news (Kate Tourney) was in comparison colourless,
reflecting no doubt a career spent in the public service promotion
system where bright sparks get doused. Like another speaker
Angelos Frangopolous who edits Sky News, she seemed to be oblivious to
the economic pressures which have not yet had a major impact on TV
news. Angelos contradicted Helen by declaring that advertisers
had no influence over HIS editorial policy. I am not a
subscriber to cable. However I
Neither of the news editors has met the (so far undiscovered) Matt
Drudge of the Australian news cycle. And so long as the ABC is a
department of government, she does not need to concern herself with
crass matters like selling space to commercial enterprises. Cable
TV of course does not rely on advertising so much as subscription.
The Sun Herald editor was obviously quite junior to the Chairman,
probably got volunteered. The chairman did not say much about
anything. The SMH is no longer a "river of gold" and has had a
catastrophic circulation collapse. (you can pick up free copies
all over the place, at the Museum in College St, even at Toyota while
your car is serviced.) Of course that is not Angelos' fault, he
has only been in the job for a few months.
I found it interesting that the speakers mostly seemed to be from
liberal oriented media.
This is another Lindy Chamberlain
event. An ambitious prosecutor, a shopped for psychiatrist, and
ambitious police team. And an inadequate defense, probably kept
from favourable evidence.
Consider the facts.
Her story actually makes more sense than
- The crown case is entirely
- There is no corpse.
- Keli has had three children.
The one before Tegan was adopted out.
- So Keli knew how to adopt the child
- The Crown's Psychiatrist supports
the crown case.
I can accept that the nineteen
year old Keli was
living life rather selfishly and did not want to give up
the freewheeling lifestyle of an elite athlete for penurious
motherhood. So perhaps she did not appeal to a particular
composition of jury. However those facts do not support a
finding of guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt. To my mind they do not even support a finding
of guilty on the balance of probability. I
is reversed on appeal.
- If she didn't know how to adopt the
child out, then the case against her would be stronger.
- If she was callously uncaring about
the act of murder as the psychiatrist claims, then why go to the
trouble of keeping the third?
- Keli claims that she gave Tegan
to a person who may have been the father. The fact that no person
has been found or come forward is claimed by the crown to be evidence
- It is not evidence against Keli that
the father has
not brought Tegan to the police. I can think of dozens of reasons
ranging from a quite innocent desire for privacy to several dark
reasons as to why the person who accepted Tegan might not now come
Whatever the outcome, Keli's life has been destroyed. The guilty
party is the ambitions generated by our public service promotions
system. Unfortunately I do not have a remedy. The problem
is we need a robust justice system to control our legislative and
executive arms of government, but our prosecutors must be steered away
from the "easy option targets" that do not have the expensive
protection afforded to the powerful.
BURNING MAN &
Over Easter I attended Confest.
It is an outdoors camping
co-op along the lines popularised by Jim Cairns and Juni Morosi in the
For an $80 entry fee the DTE (Down To Earth) organization provided
space for around 4,000 people from Easter Thursday through to
Tuesday. Amenities provided were potable water, several camp
with gas cooking and an ample number of adequate toilets.
two hours of their time to the
operation of the enterprise (during which time they would be given
tasks such as collecting at the gate, distributing
toilet paper etc). There was a first aid post with volunteer
trained staff and satellite phones.
Activity centred around the "market" The market was an
elliptical area about 70 meters by 50 meters with a few gums surrounded
by about 15 fast food concessions. Perimeter gaps were
lined with stalls selling bling and the like
accoutrements. Entertainers would occasionally attract transient
throughout the day and into the early hours.
various named "theme camp" regions centred on
facilities. Examples were "Gypsy" which was tolerant of
carnivores, cars, noise, nudity, you name it. "Bliss" and
"Tranquility"excluded cars and both seemed very quiet, "Art" was quite
lively, & seemed
to specialize in whole body painting and offered various methods of
that paint such as saunas and outdoor showers. The kitchens were
organized as smaller models of
the enterprise. Members of a theme camp would often contribute
kitchen duties and share the cooking within the camp.
Activities stream information was provided by the information centre,
could offer a meeting on whatever hobby or whatever else they
chose by filling in a space on a whiteboard.
The information centre provided the news hub for organising
meetings for various interest groups, and was the booking centre for
DTE is a co-operative with 49
members. Whatever else, DTE appears to be a commercial
success. It reportedly owns the two farming properties near
Deniliquin where it holds it's festivals. I
some of the members in Gypsy. They
discussing some of the problems at the Confest, one of
that most attendees appeared not to be contributing their contracted
two hours of
service. I suggested that they should charge an extra $10 entry
and refund it to those that attended, perhaps at the exit or perhaps as
a discount to the next confest. That suggestion was rejected on
the grounds that they did not want to introduce "incentives".
seemed to be politically aware. They
ideas for expansion of the services they
offered, or assistance for any political or social end that might be
consistent with DTE's goals, with the implication that they might
provide the funding for suitable
I floated the meme I have been recently developing. It's purpose
would be to
modify our current low feedback representative system of government
into a higher feedback model closer to direct democracy.
The classic putdown of direct democracy is the film called "The
Michael Rimmer" where a system of direct
democracy was voted out because it demanded too much of the individual.
The innovation that I advocate is intended to advise of and
encourage our representatives to follow the wishes of their
This end could be initiated by having just one representative set up a
voluntary polling website for his or her constituents, and requesting
their directions on how to vote on any particular piece of
legislation. If there was a "thin" response on any question, then
the representative should feel free to vote as conscience
dictated. However if a significant proportion of constituents
suggested a particular vote, then the representative should feel bound
to follow their suggestion.
The polling function of the website should be both
private. Currently I envision software similar to banking
software. A voter would own an "account" which could be logged
into using a
password. The voter would initiate the process by making an
online application for an account. The representative would
snailmail an account name & password to the voter's registered
address. The online "account" would retain a record
of the voter's voting record for private perusal. Anybody would
be able to
anonymously view the votes cast on any issue, perhaps with some form of
encrypted identifier unique to each voter.
A vote cast in parliament by a federal senator after such a process
would have great moral
persuasive power. That Senator would be able to say to fellow
state senators "I
cast my vote the way I did on this issue with the majority support
of the people of our state."
Or, look at it another way, from the point of view of a voter.
Wouldn't you prefer to vote for a representative who would decide what
position to take on any issue only after seeking a consensus in your
Of course this meme is unlikely to meet with approval by our major
political parties. Those parties rely on "leverage" so that they
can "sell" legislation. In fact it would not sit well with most
people who currently buy and sell legislation. In that group I
include trade union bosses and their (supposed) bitter opponents, the
shadowy "capitalists" who manage the mega corporations that employ
trade unionists. Without their protective legislation I suspect
that our industrial corporations and their employee unionists would
cost us far less.
A co-op member offered the suggestion that the DTE web site might
be available for the purpose of political polling along the lines that
I suggested. Or that
DTE might help me find and consult with others who might have similar
ideas. I would of course be happy to hear from others who
have similar ideas. If only to further develop the meme.
Unfortunately, however, just setting up a polling website is not the
way this meme would function. Intrinsic is the
resonating contract that must be formed between the members of an
electorate and their representative. The vitality of the
connection is the knowledge of the voter that "their" representative
will be dialectically advancing their wishes. The representative
will benefit by being the positive energy focus of people who recognize
that they are being honestly represented.
THE BURNING MAN
Man is a new model of Confest that DTE is introducing in
Australia. The "Burning Man" was also the time traveling Alter Ego and inspiration of the
"jaunting" hero of
Bester story "The Stars
my Destination" published 1956. Bester died in 1987, the year
following that in which Larry Harvey and others burned a wooden man
in San Francisco. Since then "burning man" has
achieved cult status, moved to Nevada and developed a philosophy of
modular self activating community.