Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Underbelly of the State or the drama comes to the airport.

I'd like to start by offering my condolences to the family of Anthony Zervas, may you find peace and consolation. Mr Zervaswas murdered in full view of two police officers with guns and numerous security officers with clubs and pepper spray. Later his brother was shot and critically wounded outside his home. The police were waiting for backup, because having a gun against clubs isn't enough for them. Sure there were about 14 thugs, but 4 were fighting the other 10. All they'd have to do would be to scare someone who doesn't have a gun with their own guns, which is not usually difficult. The security officers weren't totally useless of course, they stopped other people from saving Mr Zervas. Now that may not sound useful, but it is. If the general public had stepped in and saved someone when the State, it's agents and those it licenses to protect people it would make the State look stupid. That would be far worse than someone dying. Of course the agents of the State could simply have yelled "Everyone start taking pictures" and the fight would have probably stopped. Not many murderers want their crimes in the holiday snaps of half of Asia. Even if they hadn't stopped at least we would have been able to identify all the attackers. Naturally you can't do this from airport security cameras because, 8 years into the "war on terror" security cameras still aren't good enough to identify anyone.

Of course the small-s state being New South Wales, our old friend Laura has to rear her ugly head. That's Laura Norder, the bitch of Macqurie Street. Every time politicians want to do something bad in Sydney they say it's for "Laura Norder". The murder and later shooting of the victim's brother were part of an ongoing bikie war. The worst kept secret in law enforcement is that this war is over methamphetaimes and hence the fault of the State. Even the mainstream media have said that the violence is the result of drug prohibition with the Sydney Morning Herald editorial openly saying so. The violence of the methamphetamine market was the subject of "Underbelly" the most popular series on australian television. So naturally Premier Rees says nothing about stopping prohibition, instead seeking to make bikie gangs illegal. The proposed law would allow the police to declare an organisation prohibited and not allow it's members to meet. They could also declare people part of these organisations. Of course the police don't have to say why they are making these declarations they just announce that from now on, if you see some of your mates you go to goal for 2 years. They don't have to prove that you and your mates were doing anything illegal, conspiring to do anything illegal or even that you were "consorting" with known criminals. Naturally laws against all these things are already on the books. Only those against whom a case cannot be made for any of these, or indeed anything else, will be caught by this law.

We are supposed to trust that people who let killers drive away in a taxi despite having 22 cops on the premises and cameras all over the place. These are the people who we're supposed to believe will handle their new powers competently and honestly. It's the same everywhere, when they don't have the competence to solve problems they want power to solve them without competence. Of course attempting to solve problems without competence simply creates more problems that the creator isn't competent to solve. Admitting incompetence to solve these new problems would lead to questions about the competence of their previous solutions so of course it doesn't happen. While people are allowed to use power, force in other words, to solve their problems this cycle will continue. While this cycle continues the people will continue to want their leaders to "get tough" because deep down, everyone knows them getting smart is not an option. And when it all goes horribly wrong, when the powers are used in ways that their supporters didn't expect, guys like me will say "I told you so.". When the lastest laws are used to crack down on antiwar protesters, unions, community groups that oppose whatever idiocy the government pushs on us, or bunchs of suspicious looking muslims, I want to be the first to say "No surprise". Because that's all the government ever gives you, the feeling of wisdom that comes with predicting what others wouldn't. Note not couldn't, they could all have predicted it. They just decided not to.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The murderless club basis for objective morality.

It has been claimed by theists that without god it is impossible to have objectively-based morality. Leave aside that doing what someone else says you should do is not an objective morality, how hard is it to make a basis for morality that is objective? Well I thought I'd try and it took it less than 10 minutes.

Imagine a world without rules, no morality, no law, no binding customs (although they might have habits). Obviously you would be better off with some system of rules to limit undesirable behaviour. One of my friends comes up to me and says "I want to be able to trade without fear of being murdered and my cargo stolen. What can I do?". I say well let's form a club with only 1 rule, if you murder someone in the club you are expelled. The only bad thing about being expelled is that members of the club can then murder you without consequence just as they can murder people who never belonged to the club. This club would be very popular. So would a club that had as it's condition that you don't steal from the other members. It is objectively true that if any of these clubs were opened in such a rule-free world I'd join them. I know this objectively because I have sufficent knowledge of my own preferences. These preferences are subjective, but my knowledge of them is objective. So if I base my morality on not doing anything that would get me thrown out of a "rule club" that I join it's objective morality.

Like I said, less than ten minutes.