Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Helen Kelly & Begging Inhumane (Probably Quite Insane) Politicians for Pain Relief & Dying with Dignity.

CTU boss Helen Kelly is rightly angry at having to ask for permission to gain access to cannabis oil for relief from her cancer:

Terminally ill Council of Trade Unions (CTU) president Helen Kelly plans to ask the government for permission to legally access cannabis oil for cancer pain relief.

"I'm actually going to write to Peter Dunne, who's got permission to give me cannabis oil, and I'm going to ask him to do that," Kelly told TV3's The Nation on Saturday.

Having exhausted legal pain relief medicines, she was "brassed off" about having to go onto the black market for cannabis oil because "you don't know what you're getting".

I agree. And in this kindy of a country there’s another issue here:

Indeed, reading NBR on Sunday I see Helen has made the connection to euthanasia herself:

Ms Kelly says cannabis oil relieved pain, and while she was not sure about its curative qualities, she was interested in research into them.

Ms Kelly says the new immunotherapy drug was not working "so yeah, that's my lot really".

She has access to morphine but called it a horrible drug.

Ms Kelly, a non-smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer in February.

She says she believes in voluntary euthanasia “in the right circumstances” and doesn’t think that vulnerable people could be at risk.

“You’re not more vulnerable than when you’re dying of a terrible illness and you’re in pain, are you? And so ‘vulnerable people need protection’ could mean that you support them to make choices about whether they want to keep on living," she says.

Then moving to the press on Monday, Helen with more on the pain relieving benefits of cannabis oil over morphine:

"I've tried (cannabis oil). I'm not promoting it as a curative but as a pain relief it's incredibly effective for me and it doesn't make me feel sick, which morphine does."

After exhausting all legal pain reliefs Kelly resorted to the black market for cannabis oil but says she didn't like putting people in that position to help her.

"It just seems absolutely insane that I've got no idea what I'm taking, how much I should take or how it's manufactured - it's crazy."

And this:

Prime Minister John Key has previously said he wouldn't support a parliamentary debate on broadening access to medicinal cannabis because there are alternatives available.

You arrogant arse, Prime Minister.

Helen Kelly and I are implacable ideological opponents, but we also have a shared bond: we're human. I can’t say that for these tyrants in the Fortress of Legislation who think democracy voted them dominion over our bodies even in our deaths, and have the power of inflicting Helen's pain on her. Who the hell do they think they are?

All the best Helen. And 100 points for this line:

I think sometimes the law is an we are going around imprisoning and convicting and carrying on about this drug while the codgerati drink their chardonnay."

You can be sure ‘codgerati’ will be seen in future posts.

To every politician who has done - and continues to do - nothing on progressing New Zealand’s most important human rights issue of the moment; euthanasia, (and related, medicinal cannabis) - go to hell. Because fobbing off euthanasia to a select committee hearing in the Never Never and chaired by the only parliamentarian who trained for the seminary, thus can never change his mind against the sin of euthanasia, is not giving us a debate, it’s giving us the finger. As is an unwillingness to even debate medicinal cannabis. And frankly, I find it offensive I have to waste my precious time this summer writing a submission to this waste-of-time select committee for a basic right and for simple humanity: noting this may well be too late for Helen.

Signed: Disgusted.

And signing off with (excuse the typo, it's Twitter):

No, while I’m at it, people are becoming seriously ill on this new strain of synthetic poison in the country: for pity’s sake, just legalise safe cannabis for recreational use.

This Arrogance of Altruists who demand to run our lives are nothing but cruel bastards.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Copyright & Originality | And Why Not Use Simple Damages.

I’m breaking brand Rand on copyright, as my ideas morph. IP in the arts is not the same as property rights in tangible property because IP raises the nebulous issue of what originality (even) is, or if it is possible artistically - (please be warned my argument is around originality, not scarcity: I realise property rights are not defined by scarcity - pirating a book off the internet without payment is theft from that author). Noting I support the recently signed TPP because I support free markets and global trade knowing both are what have given me the best quality of life of any generation before me, I am yet dismayed at that provision of the IP Chapter of the TPP containing an extension of copyright terms from life of the author plus 50 years, to 70 years. My preference – I’m starting to think - which I see as consistent with property rights and artistic use, while allaying the state monopoly on force, would be to leave matters of copyright to the common law tort of damages. Outside that, I think copyright should vest in the author, and die with them, otherwise artistic use has to be negotiated with beneficiaries and their lawyers, and that is to close down use almost completely to the detriment of the author - for example, Janet Frame's work can barely - if at all - be anthologised since her death.
I don’t have time to write on this in detail, or even coherently, so I will instead post (for now) my two comments to this previous post, against the claim I’ve gone all interventionist. Some of my examples aren't the best, because not that long thought out, but you get the point, and I'm not building any straw men here. My Pachelbel example is lifted from a piece by economist Eric Crampton, which I have lost the link for, however, is included in the body of this post. These are the questions I would raise – feel free to debate (or correct me) in comments:

My ideas are changing on copyright.

I will always recognise copyright as a right, but there are problems around artistic use.

An example and some questions for you:

Pachelbel's Canon in D has a 4 chord sequence - just four chords - that is subsequently used in countless pieces of music.

My opinion is that every sale of Canon in D [the entire work] should go to Pachelbel's estate for eternity, for all I care
(1). However, over his life other artists should have been able to negotiate - at the least - use of that combination. After his death that combination should have been freely available (including as homage to Pachelbel). What's your opinion on that?

This is simply 4 lousy chords: inevitably in the centuries since his death other composers would have come up with the combination without any reference or knowledge of Pachelbel – so why are they to be denied a product of their own minds?

I've just written a novel in which I thought I was being 'genre-istically' original: but I find on finishing the manuscript it fits pretty much exactly in some important techniques of an avant-garde movement called readymade - which I've never read the authors of, or knew - calling into question the whole notion of whether originality is even possible. I fell on these techniques because they fitted what I was doing. Despite I had no knowledge of their existence previously, am I to be excluded from using them? (Noting using those techniques is not a breach of copyright, but I include in order to query the notion of originality, again, which copyright requires.)

IP is a legitimate property right, but is not black and white like rights over tangible assets. There has to be a case for artistic use.

Include in your answer your definition of artistic originality. Include in that answer why the artist, say, who painted the first nude, could not then copyright (and exclude) the painting of every nude thereafter.

Regarding common law damages over a state enforced system of copyright open to cronyism:

I would be comfortable with a common law tort of damages being used in instances of 'supposed' copyright infringement.

For example, say I want to use one of Orwell's characters in a novel - which the literary agency of his estate refuses permission for on a blanket basis. So long as my use of that character is obvious (or credited) surely that raises interest in the earlier work, and thus renewed sales interest. Indeed, I don't see how it could possibly lead to a fall in sales of the original work.

Why doesn't the literary agent for Orwell’s estate have to therefore prove damages and sue me only on that basis? (If there is no loss of a sales trend, or it goes up, what the hell are they suing over, other than, ironically, to profit from my original use of that character in a very different context, with original significations?)

The respondent on that earlier (linked) thread claimed the damages were the rights holder not getting a royalty from my use; but I don’t think so. My secondary work would not exist without me creating it, so there would have been no royalty but for that; the originator work has lost nothing, indeed, gained by referencing of it with, one could assume, a renewed interest in sales. There cannot be damages from losing an income stream that never existed without the second creator.



Being beyond copyright certainly hasn’t stopped Jane Austen selling books with these great looking new editions published:

The coming title of Sense and Sensibility with a forward from Elena Ferrante.

[Note I've not asked for use of above photo, so I'm no doubt breaching someones copyright, albeit I'm pushing their work for them.]

Questions for the Objectivists reading this:

Do you seriously hold in the property right that would say Austen’s relatives should be controlling this publishing 200 years after her death, and then into perpetuity?

Should every secondary dramatization of her novels, including every TV period mini-series and every movie, be artistically directed by those same relatives (and their lawyers)?

That would seem absurd, so justify it please. And do you think if put under such strictures Austen's work would be so prevalent in our culture today? Of course it wouldn't. Now what do you think Jane Austen would have wanted? Was she writing to give a distant relative she will never know - and probably couldn't care less about - a living, or was she writing to get her art 'out there'? I think the latter, and therefore the modern draconian casting of copyright would be - if within her 70 year period - used against what her wishes would have been (and that goes for Orwell who is still covered by the 70 year copyright period).

Friday, October 9, 2015

New Zealand’s Forestry ETS – Making It Up As They Go.

When New Zealand’s forestry ETS was implemented, there wasn’t a single farmer on my books who understood how it worked, and that it involved them and they had to be active on planning so as not to be either penalised or miss an opportunity (albeit a farcical one). I managed to get those with woodlots to the meetings that were held at the time, and (I hope) most who needed to applied for their under 50ha exemptions, because the system is almost incomprehensible. I was up with it at the time, but have to say, given my tax compliance load, am hell of a vague on it now, and my clients report of farmer friends who are affected yet have no idea they are because this largely fell through the professional adviser cracks – too hard to handle. It’s complex nonsense setting up a carbon trading scheme which in terms of treating any supposed global warming will have 0% effectiveness – even those who push for this ludicrous carbon trading don’t believe this means has a hope of its ends.

But I notice from the latest issue of Sustainable Forestry this hasn’t stopped the government embarking on prosecutions for not filling in enough forms, or for those which were filled, wrongly:

Recent ETS Prosecutions

MPI has recently undertaken prosecutions of post-1989 forestry participants in the emissions trading Scheme for breaches of the Climate Change Response Act 2002 [FFS]. Two prosecutions were recently concluded. The participants had failed to collect the prescribed data or other prescribed information, failed to calculate emissions and keep records; and failed to file a Mandatory Emission Return.

Yes, lets prosecute people for not complying with laws that achieve no useful purpose; are admitted as pointless even by those who promote them; and are impossible to comply with from the get-go anyway. If you want to see what nonsense this paper shuffling is, wrap your eye-ware around this from the same issue:

KYOTO Protocol Units in The NZEUR

Changes to the validity of Kyoto Protocol emission units in the New Zealand emission unit register (NZEUR) will come into effect after 18 November 2015.

The units affected are CERs, ERUs, RMUs and AAUs:

» If you have any of these Kyoto Protocol units from the first commitment period, you will no longer be able to trade these units internationally after 18 november 2015; and

» New Zealand will be required to cancel these units once it has completed all of its obligations from the first commitment period. this is expected to occur in mid-2016. However, the deadline for this process has not yet been set.

For holders of NZ AAUs: the Government will ensure that holders of NZ AAUs retain access to valid units. Options for the ongoing use of these units are currently being worked through, and the EPA will provide updates to holders once the process has been confirmed

Oh bugger off, and stop pinning honest lives under the weight of horseshit like this. Even scant reading is enough to see they're making it up as they go.