Best Of The Web

TimAndrews1Tim Andrews brings back his roundup of the weird and wacky news from around the world in Best Of The Web: 

Amazon promises book delivering drones, telemarketers are no long from india, they're now robots – denying they're robots!  But the US Government still uses floppy disks… 

World's top chef's reveal the most overrated and underrated meats

The rich and proud history of 'lowbrow conservatism

 A 10 year old boy suspended from school for violating the "zero tolerance" policy by shooting an imaginary arrow

Another study finds no link between secondhand smoke and cancer

Spies are now "searching for terrorists" by playing online video games

Bohemium Rhapsody: Star Wars Edition

Sign language interpreter at Mandela Funeral a fake – just randomly waving his arms

A german town abolishes traffic lights and almost all traffic rules. Accidents plummet

Join the campaign to scrap the failed alcopops tax!

And finally, 24 types of authoritarians (click to enlarge):


Tim Andrews is the Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance and Publisher of Menzies House. 


‘You Must Be Sodomized’

Now, at first I thought this was a hoax. But it appears it isn’t. Apparently a fellow writing into a Jihadi chat show wants to do “martyrdom operations.” The sheikh he talked to says they’ve got a great new technique to blow up infidels. We hide explosives up your butt. There’s just one hitch. You’ve got to be repeatedly sodomized in order to be able to accommodate the explosive. So, the questioner wants to know if it is permissible for him to be regularly rogered, if doing so makes his posterior more amenable to hiding explosives. The fellow on camera, Shiite cleric Abdallah Al-Khilaf, says that even though sodomy is forbidden if it is necessary for jihad, well, then it is required. Because jihad is the highest obligation.

Now, what I find hilarious here is that it never occurs to anyone that there might be some kind of technological work-around short of repeated sodomy. You know, maybe there’s a device or a technique, something that is a little less unpleasant, inconvenient or forbidden than straight-up buggery? Nope. Gotta go with the sodomy. The Saturday Night Live skit writes itself.


Rights and Wrongs

Print (1)The Hon Dr Peter Phelps MLC discusses the rise of "bullshit rights" and how these lead to the detriment of real rights:

Saturday night in Canberra is a great night for baseball. But imagine my surprise when, upon turning up to the game, an earnest young thing in a blue t-shirt emblazoned with ‘Youth for Human Rights’ thrusts a pamphlet labelled ‘What Are Human Rights?” into my hands?


“Oh dear”, was my first thought. But into the back pocket it went and no further thought was given until the ground announcer who – giving the sound of having had a foreign piece of paper thrust into his hand, a gun held at his head and receiving an injunction to ‘Say This Or The Kid Gets It’ – and declaimed that “All the rights that we have come from the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and “Youth for Human Rights is working to have a Federal Human Rights Act for Australia”.


It was fortunate that I had long since finished my hot dog and Coke, because I am sure that I would have choked on either upon hearing those words.


As I wrote recently in another forum  too often ‘policy outcomes’ are passed off as ‘rights’ to give them an aura of legitimacy which they would not otherwise have.


So out came the book – my team was well behind by this stage – to see exactly what rights were being promoted by the Yoof of Australia.  And, boy, does their agenda reek of Trojan Horse.


There are three categories of rights: real rights, corollary rights and bullshit rights. 


Real rights are the three great natural law right: Life, Liberty and Ownership.


Corollary rights are those rights which flow from, or are needed to give effect to, real rights.


And bullshit rights are as the name would imply. They are policy prescriptions masquerading as rights. How can you spot these? Simple. Ask yourself: “If there was no government, no society, would I be able to claim and enforce these rights?”


For example: the right to own the firewood that you chop down from the forest is a real right. The ‘right to clean water’ from the stream which runs through is, although desirable, unenforceable. How are you going to tell the Earth to stop leaching lead and antimony into the water?


So let us return to the booklet and assess the contents:


  1. “We are all born free and equal” – real right for the first bit, and morally if not practically correct assertion for the second.
  2. “Don’t discriminate” – poorly worded but, yes, rights are universal.
  3. “The right to life” – real right.
  4. “No slavery” – corollary right to Liberty.
  5. “No torture” – corollary right to Liberty.
  6. “You have rights no matter where you go” – a statement on the universality of rights.
  7. “We’re all equal before the law” – a statement that no man has more rights than another by either birth or position.


Not doing too badly, so far.


  1. “Your human rights are protected by law” – a bit floppy. They certainly SHOULD be protected, but too often laws merely strip us of our rights.
  2. “No unfair detainment” – corollary right to Liberty.
  3. “The right to trial” – a corollary right to Liberty, which seeks to prevent arbitrary use of power against individuals by the Executive.
  4. “We’re always innocent until proven guilty” – ditto.
  5. “The right to privacy” – poorly expressed, but probably a corollary to Liberty and Ownership.
  6. “Freedom to move” – corollary right to Liberty.
  7. “The right to seek a safe place to live” – bullshit right. You have the right to move, but there is no right that the people already residing in a place have an obligation to share with or protect you.
  8. “Right to a nationality” – bullshit right. Nationalism is a 19th Century fabrication. In an anarchical society, how would one claim this right?
  9. “Marriage and family” – kind of real and kind of bullshit. If they mean voluntary partnerships between individuals, that is fine as it would be a corollary to Liberty. But if they mean legitimising arranged marriages and concubinage, nope.
  10. “The right to your own things” – real right.
  11. “Freedom of thought” – corollary right to Liberty and probably Ownership, on the basis that you ‘own’ your ideas and opinion.
  12. “Freedom of expression” – corollary right to Liberty.
  13. “The right to public assembly” – corollary right to Liberty.
  14. “The right to democracy” – bullshit right. Democracy is but one form of social governance. A despotism entered into freely is no less valid – think about any religious community, for example. Also, how would you enforce this right in a natural condition, ie. One where there is no government?


Yeah, a bit squishy so far, but not too bad. But wait.


  1. “Social security” – Or to use the full notes: “the right to affordable housing, medicine, education, and childcare, enough money to live on and medical help if we are ill or old”. Bullshit. ‘Nuff said.
  2. “Workers’ rights” – As explained: “the right to a job and to a fair wage and to join a trade union”.  Bullshit right, unenforceable in man’s natural state. The trade union thing is a corollary of Liberty, but the first two are just garbage.
  3. “The right to play” – bullshit right. If you are a subsistence farmer in an agrarian society, enforcing this right would mean your own starvation.
  4. “Food and shelter for all” – bullshit right.
  5. “The right to education” – bullshit right. And if you don’t believe me, try enforcing this right if you are shipwrecked on a deserted island.
  6. “Copyright” – I don’t want to get into a libertarian fight, but I would call this a corollary right of Ownership.
  7. “A free and fair world” – bullshit right. Unenforceable.
  8. “Responsibility” – bullshit right. It is up to people to enforce their own rights, unless other agree to assist them in the enforcement of such rights. That is the nature of a free and voluntary society.
  9. “No one can take away your human rights” – a true statement. They can only purport to do so, and only through the use of the coercive power of the state can they succeed.

So the final score: 18/30.  A bare Pass mark – not even a Credit.

Nor is their argument helped when, in discussing “the most important advances” in human rights, they completely fail to mention the 1689 Bill of Rights. This document, which has led to 323 uninterrupted years of liberal democracy in British-speaking Dominions, served as the basis of large portions of the US Bill of Rights – which they do mention.

But whatevs. Does anyone seriously think that these people are interested in legislating for the real rights and their corollaries?  Are they going to be calling for a legislated right to self-defence, allowing for the personal enforcement of the three great natural law rights by individuals themselves? I’m guessing: no.

Or do they just want the enactment of the bullshit rights, clothing them in the rhetoric of eternal, natural rights that will be ruthlessly enforced – to the detriment of real rights, like Ownership and Liberty – by the coercive power of the state?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

The Hon Dr Peter Phelps MLC is Government Whip in the NSW Legislative Council. He has a PhD in Australian History. 


Incredible – the Guardian writes about the folly of Wind Turbines

Australia beautiful one day

Using 1,100 A.D. tech isn’t a viable solution for our energy needs.

Via the Guardian


…British energy policy is chaotic. It is intellectually incoherent, lurching from fashion to fad with each lurch breeding a pile of taxpayer cash and a carnival of lobbyists out to protect it. Never in the history of public subsidy can so much have been paid by so many to so few.

The chancellor's well-trailed announcement that money for onshore turbines will be cut in favour of offshore is welcome in part, but it makes no sense. While less intrusive on the eye, offshore turbines are even more expensive and inefficient than onshore ones. The bizarre plan to erect 240 down the middle of the Bristol Channel has already been abandoned as uneconomic, despite Osborne's subsidy. The huge East Anglian field may cost billions. It all makes nuclear seem a bargain.

Wind turbines also spoil the landscape.


…It is hard to convey the devastating impact of the turbines to those who have not seen them, especially a political elite that never leaves the south-east except for abroad. Fields of these structures are now rising almost everywhere. They are sited irrespective of the wind, since subsidy is paid irrespective of supply, even if there is none. It makes EU agricultural policy a paragon of sanity.

…Britain's landscape has never before been subject to such visual transformation. Human hands have always refashioned the country, urban and rural alike, but they have not industrialised its appearance on remotely this scale. Roads, railway lines, quarries, even towns and cities, are inconspicuous compared to wind turbines. Few of Britain's greatest views will be free of the sight of them.

Wind turbines are completely inefficient to produce reliable energy.


Turbines seldom produce their declared capacity. The one that towers over the M4 at Reading generates just 16% of its capacity. What they really generate is money, up to £30,000 a year each in subsidy. The billions poured into wind would have been far better spent – as energy professor Dieter Helm, the consultants KPMG and others have long argued – in pursuing lower emissions through energy efficiency and cleaner carbon.

Yet the myth that wind is "free" has driven politicians mad. They have chased the length and breadth of the land showering quantities of public money on a tiny handful of the rich. Britain's modern landscape is their memorial.

Christopher Booker from the UK’s Telegraph explains the wear and tear on offshore wind farms means that within a decade the UK will have to pay tens of billions of pounds to replace them.


…Using official data from the UK and Denmark, Prof Hughes showed that we have now been building turbines long enough to see that, due to wear and tear on their mechanisms and blades, the amount of electricity they generate very dramatically falls over the years; so that a turbine that initially produces on average at 25 per cent of its “capacity” can degrade over 15 years to produce less than 5 per cent. With offshore turbines, the effects of weather and salt corrosion are so damaging that output falls from 45 per cent to barely 12 per cent.

This means, as Prof Hughes observes, that either we will have to build many more turbines than the Government is allowing for, to comply with our EU requirement to generate 32 per cent of our electricity from renewables by 2020; or, within a decade, we will have to pay tens of billions of pounds more for most of those turbines to be replaced.

If we’re fair dinkum about lowering our CO2 emissions and still being able to provide cheap reliable power, we should be switching over to gas just as the Americans have been doing.

Australian’s and Australian Businesses paid $6bn in Carbon Taxes to reduce our CO2 emissions by a measly 0.1% (at a cost of $21,000 per tonne – Abbott’s direct action is looking better and better) whereas the USA cut its energy-related CO2 pollution by 3.8% and they did it without an economy destabilising Carbon Tax. In fact, American CO2 emission reduction was due to warm winter weather, more efficient cars because of new mileage requirements and an ongoing shift from coal power to natural gas to produce electricity.  

So whenever you hear Labor and the Greens call for more renewables, know that their solution will do nothing but cost our economy hundreds of billions of dollars.



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On December 6, 1865, Slavery was abolished by the Republican Party

Via Weasel Zippers


On December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment — abolishing slavery — became part of the Constitution — when ratified by three-quarters of the states.

Despite protests from the Democrats, the Republican Party made banning slavery part of its national platform in 1864. Senator Lyman Trumbull (R-IL) wrote the final version of the text, combining the proposed wordings of several other Republican congressmen.

All Republicans in Congress voted for the 13th Amendment, while nearly all Democrats voted against it. So strongly did President Abraham Lincoln (Republican-IL) support the 13th Amendment, he signed the document, though presidential approval is not part of the amendment process.

Yes, outlawing slavery was a Republican achievement.

And in typical Progressive left form, a plaque at the Jacob Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies of Northeastern Illinois University says…

Abraham lincoln democrat

Never under estimate the left’s desire to re-write conservative history.



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Prince Harry’s South Pole race cancelled. Why? Because it’s too darn cold!

Via the Daily Telegraph


A RACE to the South Pole involving Britain's Prince Harry and teams of injured troops has been cancelled due to safety concerns, but the veterans will trek on together to the globe's most southerly point.

Why was it cancelled?


The veterans are enduring temperatures as low as minus 35 degrees Celsius and wind speeds of about 80km/h.

Look Prince H & Co get an A for their sentiment, but trying to successfully race across the South Pole even during the summer months was always going to be a tough gig. 

Obviously, Gillard’s Carbon Tax didn’t have the effect on temperatures as her merry band of ecotards thought:


LABOR'S $6 billion carbon tax reduced Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by less than 0.1 per cent.

While the carbon tax is now $24 a tonne, the effective cost of the emissions reduction on the basis of revenue raised is $21,000 per tonne.

All pain for ZERO gain. Well Done Labor…idiots.


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Bishop stands firm for Australia

Contrary to the dreams of a multi-name troll on the previous post, Julie Bishop is maintaining Australia's determination to govern itself and stop kowtowing to double standard bullies.


Julie Bishop stands firm in diplomatic spat with China

Beijing: Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has held firm in the face of an unconventionally strong protest from Beijing over the federal government’s position on China’s newly-declared air defence zone in the East China Sea, insisting Australia ‘‘should never be afraid to stand by our values and our views’’.

Read more: SMH