Monday, July 15, 2013

"Who will lead and control your reformation in perpetuity?"

I was recently asked to send, to some friends, my essay, "Towards the right kind of globalisation: why it does not happen - and what to do about it" (BTW, this is available for free download at:

On reading it, two friends asked me the question: "Who will lead and control your reformation in perpetuity?".

Well, for a start, it wasn't intended to be "my" revolution, but they clearly meant the "revolution" of which I was writing :)

But, seriously, the answer is briefly, that "the least worst form of government is one where there is a division of powers, with mutual checks and balances but where each division is committed to a substantialist rather than merely formalist understanding of the rule of law" (definition mine - just in case you are interested).

In practice, the voluntary association of nations, such as we have at present, where each commits to global rules and binding arbitration by an independent but mutually-recognised authority, is best.

That is, for example, how the internet functions, that is how global telecoms functions, that is how the world meteorological system functions, and so on.

So, you may ask, if so many things are functioning already, what more do we need?

The more that we need to operate under similar systems and rules is precisely what is laid out in the article.

What does not work well at present is that member-nations are reluctant to throw out of the club those nations (such as China) who sign "binding principles, rules and commitments" and then proceed to flout them comprehensively and thoroughly.

For that challenge, the solution was articulated some centuries ago: "It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance" (in case you are interested, that's from John Philpot Curran in 1790; though Curran was merely paraphrasing the Jewish Bible).

In other words, it is the work of citizens, such as you and I to keep ourselves, concerned, informed, and active in fighting the aberrations that will inevitably occur, given that human beings (including you and I) are often greedy, lustful, self-indulgently given to pelf and power, and so on. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, July 01, 2013

What is appropriate treatment for captured terrorists?

Apparently the following is doing the rounds on email groups, and a friend asks my opinion regarding it.

My only comment is: the challenges raised by the text below could, with suitable adjustment, be raised also of Christian terrorists, Hindu terrorists, (nowadys, sadly, even) Buddhist terrorists, and so on.

A Canadian female libertarian wrote a lot of letters to the Canadian government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. She demanded a response to her letter correspondence.

She received the following reply:

From:- National Defense Headquarters

M Gen George R. Pearkes Bldg.,15 NT

101 Colonel By Drive

Ottawa, ON K1A 0K2


Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern of treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa.

You will be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defense, to be called ‘Libertarians Accept Responsibility for Killers' program, or L.A.R.K.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to divert one terrorist and place him in your personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint.

It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his ‘attitudinal problem’ will help him overcome these character flaws.

Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling. Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We recommend that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group.

Please advise any Jewish friends, neighbors or relatives about your house guest, as he might get agitated or even violent, but we are sure you can reason with him.

He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters (except sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property thereby having no rights, including refusal of his sexual demands. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will "recommend" as more appropriate attire.

I'm sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka over time. Just remember that it is all part of 'respecting his culture and religious beliefs' as described in your letters.

Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job and care for our fellow man.

Do take good care of Ahmed: remember we'll be watching.

Good luck and God bless you,


Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defense Sphere: Related Content