3rd ALS Friedman Conference Registration Now Open!

It is with great pleasure that I would like to invite you to the 3rd Annual Friedman Conference – the biggest and best pro-liberty event of the Year!

We are offering a special Early Bird Discount of $50 off the regular price for all registrations before March 31!

The 2015 Friedman Conference will be held in Sydney, at the Aerial Function Centre at UTS, on the weekend of May 2-3, culminating in the Annual Dinner and Liberty Awards Presentation. It is organised by the Australian Libertarian Society in conjunction with the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, and with the support of the Institute for Public Affairs, and the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, and I really hope you will be able to join us: This truly will be a weekend to remember.

With over 200 attendees expected, and speakers from not just around Australia, but all over the world, this is one event you don’t want to miss!

Some of our guest speakers include:

*Dr Tom Palmer, from the Atlas Network in Washington DC and one of the world’s most prominent liberty activists (courtesy of the Centre for Independent Studies)
*Viral Video music sensation Remy Munfasi, with a staggering 100 million YouTube views!
*A liberty activist from Iran (really!)
*Louise Staley MLA, Liberal Member for Rippon in the Victorian parliament
*Professor Jim Allan from the University of Queensland
*Dr Keith Kendall from La Trobe University
*Andrew Norton from the Grattan Institute & architect of the Federal Governments’ Higher Education Reforms
*and dozens more! 

Click HERE for more details on currently announced speakers.

The 1st and 2nd Friedman Conferences were – without doubt – the most enjoyable events I attended all year, and I know that this one will be even better!

The Early Bird special is just $200 for concession, or $250 for adults. This is amazing value, and includes 2 full days of conference, and a 3 course dinner with 4 hour wine package at the Gala Dinner.  Click HERE to secure your spot now and avoid paying the full price!

Plus, for our most committed supporters, we are offering a VIP package which includes an exclusive VIP reception, a private luncheon with guest speakers and other dignitaries, preferred seating, and a DVD of all conference sessions & Liberty Awards. For only $700, the VIP package is an excellent opportunity to enhance your experience while helping us ensure the best possible conference. Visit http://www.taxpayers.org.au/event/friedmanconference2015/ for more details on the VIP package, and other options (such as day only or dinner only options)

I can guarantee – without a shred of doubt – that this is an opportunity worth attending.

The conference will be provocative and challenging, stimulating debate, and tackling not just the key policy issues facing Australia – but also discussing how to implement our ideas. I can honestly say this is NOT to be missed.

Click HERE to secure your spot today – and I look forward to seeing you there!

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions, and again – I really, really hope you will be able to make it!

Tim Andrews
Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance & Publisher of Menzies House

Public Forum: Lessons from the Victorian Election

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What are the lessons for the Liberal Party from the Victorian Government’s historic loss in the 2014 state election? 
What message should Tony Abbott and the Federal Liberal Party take away from this stunning defeat?

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is proud to present a panel discussion and q&a on the lessons from the Victorian election with five of Victoria’s most prominent political voices: John Roskam from the Institute of Public Affairs, Christian Kerr from The Australian, former Victorian Senator Helen Kroger, Vice-President of the Victorian Young Liberals Jess Wilson, and Professor Sinclair Davidson from RMIT.

There will be significant opportunities for attendees to share their views with the panel, and for an interactive discussion to take place.

DATE: Friday, 30th of January
TIME:  6:00pm for a 6:30pm start
VENUE: Morgans at 401, 401 Collins St Melbourne
COST: $20 Adults, $10 Concession
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/1053930647966057/
RSVP: http://www.taxpayers.org.au/event/public-forum-lessons-victorian-election/ 

We hope to see you there!

There’s nothing edgy about ‘honour killings’

I can’t believe this needs to be said, but the choices of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas suggests it does.

Uthman Badar, spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia, will be speaking at the Festival on the topic “Honour killings are morally justified”.

How clever.

It has been many years since FODI has shown any desire to live up to its name. Their existences hinge on the flow of government grants, directly or indirectly through the units that make up the art establishment. It’s not here to disrupt the status quo. It is here because, as a Facebook friend snarked, “the whole idea of a Festival of Dangerous Ideas [is to be] some white–person wankery for inner–city latte drinkers to indulge themselves in a trip to the opera house and [provoke] the special feeling of belonging to that special part of society that attends ‘cultural’ events.

So whilst I am openly impressed that FODI has actually gone and proposed a dangerous idea in that context, as far as dangerous ideas go this is quite safe… which is what makes it so dangerous.

It is dangerous in the first instance because the material is justifying murder. Violence is generally accepted as dangerous.

For anyone who, say, might like to think of themselves as culturally enlightened, the barest of philosophical forays will lead you to the subjectivity of morality and/or its experience by the individual.

Armed with this, it is totally conceivable that people who commit what we call “honour killings” have reasons for doing so. It’s a scary rejoinder to the idea of monstrosity as other and seemingly perfect for a crowd seeking “danger”.

This makes it a safe bet. It’s destined to light up blogs like this, and papers and talkback tomorrow, and possibly the 6pm news from earlier this evening. Helen Dale – who has lit up the local media a few times, including this week – called the decision to give Badar a platform “the intellectual equivalent of streaking”, which is so right not just because it’s flashy, insubstantive, and guaranteed to get your eyeballs on the dangly bits, but also because it isn’t novel.

We know that attention will be paid because we have had these debates before. We have had these debates before because there are millions of people who believe murder is a prurient respond to the exercise of certain kinds of autonomy – but they’re other, safely ‘over there’, and the unbridled, uncritical acceptance of the other is how the worst sort of unthinking leftist gets their counter-cultural jollies.

It will be controversial. Why millions of people would hold values so far removed from our own always will be.

And thus we have Badar at FODI, surrounded by the latte elite, who have already started falling over themselves to demonstrate their open-mindedness by paying to listen to a man who fronts the national arm of an organisation that opposes the close-mindedness of a Western liberalism that would go back to stoning women if the culture wasn’t so close-minded.

If an open-mind is worth keeping on this issue this is still not a justification for FODI’s decision. The point of keeping an open mind is to think, judge, and close it eventually. If it never closes it is no great feat of mind, but the simple abrogation of critical thought. FODI is, by choosing to give this violent idea a platform, abrogating that responsibility in the name of whoring themselves out for attention. This is not an act without consequences; what we say in public sends a powerful message about (are you ready for this?) what is is acceptable to say and do in public.

They’re not concerned about that, nor are they actually concerned about whether we should kill slutty sluts for slutting. They’re concerned about how they can leverage Uthman Badar and the Hizb ut-Tahrir brand and the white guilt that creates the cultural relativism that baby leftists are injected with when they submit their first protest poster for assessment, in service of painting the Festival and it’s supporters as open-minded, critically engaged and edgy, and getting the attention that gets them paid. With taxpayer dollars.

If open engagement is what we desire there’s an endless supply of literature on the subject that could be privately consumed. Somehow I don’t think that’s what Hizb ut-Tahrir wants.

That is what I find the most dangerous – it’s lovely to have organisations like FODI that self-consciously hike their skirts and whore their stages in the pretence of glorying in liberalism while trying to undermine it. These ideas don’t deserve to be paraded on a platform as flimsy as amusement. There is no honour in giving a microphone to a man who doesn’t want to give the microphone back, when he will use it to promote a ban on microphones.

FODI sets its own agenda. They made a considered choice to offer the stage to a lobbyist for Islamototalitarianism to promote the murder of (mostly) women.

If FODI wants to truly be provocative, there are orthodoxies far better challenged than the secular, liberal, individualist democracy that permits people – including women – to pursue the free thought that allows them to consider and reject the killing women who exercise autonomy could be totally sweet.

FODI has the right to offer the PR flak for totalitarian organisation a space on its platform, and its secular “cultural establishment” type audience is mature enough to consider the idea without accepting it (the way the Murdoch-media-swilling general publicans apparently cannot, no doubt). Minds aren’t likely to slip out from under the warm, prosperous blanket of liberalism for the rock hard reality of whatever backwards logic makes it okay to kill for a contorted derivative of honour. 

Invitation: Perth Launch of the ATA!

It is with great pleasure that I FINALLY can announce the first event ATA event in Perth! 

That’s right, at long last, we are finally launching our Perth Chapter – and if you are from the area, I hope you will be able to join us! 

Blogger Jo Nova, Analyst Dr. David Evans, and scientist David Archibald will all be present and making brief comments on how big government is taking our way our freedoms, our choices, and our money. 

This will be an opportunity to meet like-minded people, learn the latest that is occuring in the world of politics, and have an enjoyable evening! 

Food will be provided, good company will be plenty, and, as a long-standing supporter of the Austalian Taxpayers' Alliance, you are also entitled to $10 off the entry price! 

Here are the details:

Time: 7:00pm
Date: Saturday 24th of November
Venue: Floreat Athena Football Club
Address: 41 Britannia Road, Mount Hawthorn

Cost: $30 for members of the public, $20 for ATA supporters, their family, and friends (just remember to use ths discount code!)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/381131005294438/?fref=ts 
RSVP: http://bit.ly/TXq6Bc 
Food will be provided, cash bar for drinks. 

Numbers are strictly limited, so make sure you click here to secure your spot! 

If you with to pay by phone, cheque, money order, or direct debit, please email events@taxpayers.org.au or phone (02) 8964 8651 for further details.

This will be a night to remember, and I sincerely hope you, your family, and your friends shall be able to join be for our first ever Perth event! 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions, and I look forward to seeing you there! 

Tim Andrews

Pacific Rim Policy Exchange

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On September 28-30, Americans for Tax Reform, in conjunction with the Institute for Public Affairs, the Heartland Institute, and the Property Rights Alliance, is hosting the 2010 Pacific Rim Policy Exchange – in Sydney!

The Pacific Rim Policy Exchange is two days of talks, workshops and brainstorming with free market advocates from the Pacific Rim. The goal of this networking conference is to provide a unique, centralized, high quality forum for the open exchange of the best practices and strategies on property rights, tax policy and other pressing issues facing this region.

There is a great line up of speakers planned, both from Australia and the Pacific Rim at large,  and I think that this is something that readers of this blog would be rather interested in attending!

For further information on the conference, visit http://www.pacrimpolicyexchange.com or click here for the agenda.

Please let me know if you require any further information, or would be interested in attending (my gmail account name is timintheus). A limited number of sponsored (ie complimentary) tickets may be available.

(Posted by TVA)