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. 


U.S. Cities With Travel Warnings: Notice A Pattern?

A few days ago, the Washington Post listed 16 U.S. cities that foreign governments issue travel warnings about due to their high levels of crime.

With policing a responsibility of local government in the United States, I decided to look up the mayors of these cities. 

Do you notice a pattern?

Boston: Thomas Merino (Democrat)

New York: Michael Bloomberg (Independent), Mayor Elect Bil de Blasio (Democrat)

Washington DC: Vincent Gray (Democrat)

Baltimore: Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Democrat)

Richmond: Dwight Clinton Jones (Democrat)

Pittsburgh: Luke Ravenstahl (Democrat) Mayor Elect Bill Peduto (Democrat)

Cleveland: Frank G Jackson (Democrat)

Detroit: Davd Bing (Democrat), Mayor-Elect Mike Duggan (Democrat)

Chicago: Rahm Emmanual (Democrat)

St Louis: Francis S Slay (Democrat)

Houston: Annise Parker (Democrat)

Atlanta: Kasim Reed (Democrat)

New Orleans: Mitch Landrieu (Democrat)

Miami: Tomas Regaldo (Republican)  

Los Angeles: Eric Garcetti (Democrat) 

El Paso : John Cook (Democrat)

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

Best Of The Web Returns!

TimAndrews1In the return of one of our most popular columns, Tim Andrews brings back his roundup of the weird and wacky news from around the world in Best Of The Web: 

A new "reverse microwave" can chill drinks in under 45 seconds! 

Want to prepare for the Zombie Apololypse in style? Then this is the house for you

How Famous 20th Century Headlines would read if they were published today

Leftists at the University of Georgia protest excellence and success. Really. 

You can now buy shares in professional atheletes

Humour: You've all seen clips of TED talks, here's a DED talk – a motivational speech for zombies

A disabled girl in the United Kingdom wants to work – but the government tells her to stay on welfare

Football coach in the US accused of "bullying" because his team is so successful

Heston would be proud: Want to poach some salmon? Or pears? Or make some Bulgoki? Then try using your dishwasher (just don't try shellfish, rice, or eggs!)

And finally, here 218 reasons why even the left should not support President Obama


Download (2)


It is with great pleasure that I announce: ANDY IS BACK! 

With his unique and hard-hitting non-nonsense commentary and analysis, Andy Semple was one of the favourite (and most-controversial!) of our Menzies House Editors, and we are very, very glad that he will be back to posting his commentary and analysis and helping Geoff and the other editors out! 


Tim Andrews

U.N. Headquarters Covers Historic Carving to Avoid Offending Iran

The United Nations European headquarters in Geneva has covered up a historic wall carving of a naked man to avoid offending the Iranian government on the eve of nuclear negotiations, the Tribune de Geneve reported today.

“The Creation of Man”, a marble carving which features a man reclining in the nude, has reportedly been covered with a curtain to accommodate the modest sensibilities of Iranian delegates.

The move has sparked outrage from a human rights watchdog group, which called on the U.N. to “stop this dangerous kowtowing to Iran’s fundamentalist regime, an ominous sign as negotiations begin.”

“Today the U.N. is covering up the artistic heritage of its most famous building, Geneva’s historic Palais des Nations, to appease the intolerance of a fundamentalist regime that subjugates women, executes gays, and persecutes Bahais; what will the U.N. hide tomorrow?” said Hillel Neuer, the director of U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based NGO that monitors human rights at the U.N.

Neuer said the censorship of art at the U.N. sets a dangerous precedent.


Nanny Statists Advocating North Korean Starvation Diet

Thousands are dying of starvation in the criminal North Korean regime. A third of children are so malnourished they have stunted growth.  People are so desperate for food that they are resorting to canibalism.

This is the regime that our insane leftist nanny statists want to emulate.

Gareth Morgan is one of New Zealand’s leading advocates for a so-called “fat tax”.

Fresh from a visit to North Korea, this is what he had to say:

He’s barely off the plane after a 40,000-kilometre ride across Russia and Korea. Controversy trailed after him like his billowing motorcycle exhaust, with critics accusing him of becoming a propaganda pawn on his six-year-in-the-planning tour of North Korea.

But he’s still gushing about the experience, and how he lost 6kg in the absence of the processed food – “crap basically” – that dominates the New Zealand food supply. That and the fact there was less food in general, and the wine was terrible.

There it’s all whole food, that fills you up, takes longer to eat and delivers more nutrients for less energy.

And there, in a nutshell, is the thrust of Morgan’s new book, Appetite for Destruction, co-written with offsider Geoff Simmons. Fake food, he says, is killing us.

 That’s right. Nanny statists are now no longer content with advocating plain packaging for food, or even food-rationing.  They actually want us to emulate North Korea’s starvation diet.
These people truly are mad…