Director's Bulletin, 9th November 2009
Libertarian Alliance Director's Bulletin
9th November 2009
I would have written this Bulletin several weeks ago. However, I can supply many excuses for not having lifted a finger. The most convincing – and perhaps the truest – is that I have been installing Windows 7 Professional 64 bit. Mr Gates wrote to me at the beginning of October, offering me a copy of his latest operating software at the hard to refuse price of £30. So I paid him and downloaded the software. Installing it went like a dream. I didn’t have to download a single driver. It then took several weeks to get the whole system working as I wanted. But I have now been able to fit 8Gb of RAM and give myself what may be more computing power than NASA had in 1969. Many of my friends are hostile to the idea of intellectual property rights. So, for that matter, am I. No doubt, though, Mr Gates does make exceedingly good software. On this occasion, he well deserved his £30. So here goes with the Bulletin.
The LA Conference
Our London conference went off very well. As usual, we were solidly booked, and we had to turn away a few last minute arrivals. The speeches were uniformly good. Guido Fawkes gave an interesting and entertaining speech at the dinner. This year, moreover, we seem to have got the video recording right. I bought a Canon HG10 high definition video camera late last year. This gave me something like television quality video footage. As with all cheapish video cameras, however, the sound quality was rather drossy. So, a few weeks back, I bought a Rode external microphone. This perked the sound up no end. I didn’t get round to hiring the builders’ lights that I kept promising myself. Even so, I think the quality of the video footage is remarkably good. Many thanks to Mario Huet for manning the camera.
You can see the video footage for yourselves by going here: http://vimeo.com/channels/65328
Other Video Files
Now that I can process high definition video at better than real time speeds, I’ve decided to start taking full advantage of the Vimeo account I bought earlier this year, and to upload much better versions of stuff I first made available via Google Video. So please keep an eye on my Vimeo account - http://www.vimeo.com/seangabb. I plan to upload 5Gb a week of video. This will include the celebrated Botsford Archive.
The Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize
You may recall that this year’s title was “Can a Libertarian also be a Conservative?” I had a number of interesting submissions. After much thought, I decided to award the prize to Antoine Clarke. I thought his submission was the best. What most impressed me was that he went beyond the reading matter that I suggested, and he used a quotation from Lord Acton in a most relevant way. We shall publish his essay just as soon as our Editorial Director has found the time to set to work.
At the Conference, I met two people who turned out to be neighbours of mine here in Deal. One of them must walk past my front door every time he goes to the chip shop. Well, with the Baby Bear now jabbering away and insisting on endless viewings of Eddie Cantor in Keep Young and Beautiful and Melina Mercouri in τα παιδιά του Πειραιά (both courtesy of YouTube), Mrs Gabb and I aren’t up to much entertaining. But we can certainly offer coffee. So do please get in touch.
In the past month, I have written articles for Gay Times and for VDare. The first was about drug legalisation. Sadly, Gay Times doesn’t put it stuff on-line. So, if you want to read my case, you’ll have to put on dark glasses and brave the giggles of Miss Patel in her school uniform as you shamble round your local newsagent – unless, of course, you already subscribe. The second you can read here: http://www.vdare.com/gabb/index.htm
I’m rather pleased with this and with my other articles for VDare. What I’m trying to do is to make a case against the British National Party that doesn’t rely on smears. I don’t believe the BNP is nowadays a national socialist party. Much of what it says – and almost certainly believes – is attractive to millions of people in this country. I admire Nick Griffin for his courage for standing his ground in our post-modern police state. I doubt if I’d be half so brave were Libertarianism to become as unpopular with the authorities as white nationalism is. This being said, he and the entire leadership of the BNP are tainted by what they used to believe. It would be a shame if they were to become the only alternative to the political cartel that now governs England. And I am able to say this to an audience that has not so far been exposed to honest criticism of the BNP.
Other than this, I’ve done quite a lot of radio. And I do promise, now my computer is so wonderfully powerful, to start recording and uploading all this again.
Libertarian Alliance Meetings
Our friends over at the other Libertarian Alliance continue with their monthly meetings. I can hardly ever get up to London to attend these. But they always look very interesting, and I receive endless reports of how interesting they have been.
The next meetings are:
On Monday, 9 November David McDonagh will talk on “Why Classical Liberalism faded after 1860.”
On Monday 14 December, Kristian Niemietz will talk on “20 Years After: The Fall and Rise of Socialism in East Germany”
On Monday 11 January 2010 Antoine Clarke will talk on “The Wisdom of Crowds”.
Contact David McDonagh for details: email@example.com
With my two women, I went on holiday in September to Crete. This was my own fifth time there, and Mrs Gabb’s second. This was the first time we had a child with us, and that would always have made it a more difficult time. However, the Baby Bear behaved herself remarkably well. Our problem was the Greeks. They joined the Euro on the basis of massive false accounting, and an optimistic rate of exchange, and then allowed an inflation of costs to continue that has now made their price level into a joke. A result of this was that Crete was almost empty of tourists. Most of the coastal resorts were almost empty. The historical and archaeological sites were abandoned. Unfortunately, rather than cut prices in an attempt to attract the remaining business, the response of the taverna proprietors has been to rip off every foreigner who steps through the door. We spent a fortnight paying about three times more for indifferent kebabs than the Turks round the corner charge here in Deal.
Also, I find myself increasingly dismissive of the modern Greeks. When I was first out there in 1987, I found that they could mostly understand me if I spoke slowly in their strange pronunciation. Nowadays, they seem so pleased with the ugly patois they call Greek that they cannot even follow quotations from the New Testament. Indeed, on our second Sunday, I insisted on attending a church service. The church was empty except for some German tourists. The priest responded to my carefully phrased greeting with the sort of stare you get from a caged animal. He and his deacon raced through the service as if they were trying for a record, then ran out of the church. Mrs Gabb and I stayed awhile to look at some decidedly sub-Byzantine icons and much evidence of mind-rotting superstition. Then we went shopping.
No, my dear readers, if you want a holiday in the Mediterranean, my advice is to avoid Greece. The people nowadays are too degenerate and the prices too high. A better place by far is Bodrum in Turkey. The Turks in general are a fine people – proud and clean and brave. Bodrum in particular is a superb holiday resort. Within a five hour radius of the places, you have Ephesus, Miletus, Hierapolis, Laodicea and Aphrodisias, and many other places of note. There are golf courses, shops, watersports, bars, restaurants, and at least two branches of the Migros supermarket. The moderately Islamic government there has decided to squeeze the taxpayers with high duties on drink. But cigarettes are still a pound a packet, and the Turkish police usually leave foreign tourists alone who break the Euro-style public smoking ban.
And the jewel of Bodrum, in my view, is the Hotel Karia Princess. Owned and run by libertarians, this is a five star establishment, boasting a swimming pool, gymnasium, Turkish bath and some of the best cuisine in the Eastern Mediterranean: http://www.kariaprincess.com
The summer season in Bodrum can be rather oppressive, wherever you choose to stay. But, outside the summer season, I can think of no better place to stay than the Hotel Karia Princess. Try it out. If you haven’t been there already – and I have stayed there four times now – you will be astonished and delighted. My friend Mr Blake even tells me that, once his Blood of Alexandria has made him filthy rich, he will become a permanent guest there.
Any Other Business?
I think the Libertarian Alliance is holding a Christmas reception in December. Stand by for announcements on this. I shall be speaking to some undergraduates at Warwick University on the 19th November. My subject will be something like “Libertarianism: Left or Right?” I plan, between now and Christmas, to convert twenty audio tapes of interviews that Chris Tame conducted with Ralph Harris and Arthur Seldon and upload these to the Web. I will give much moral support to Mr Blake while he works on The Sword of Damascus, which is a long novel about weapons of mass destruction during the early wars between Byzantium and the Caliphate. Like everything else he writes, this will all be in the best possible taste.
Oh – and is there anyone out there who has a socket 775 quad core processor he no longer wants? Donate this to me, and Mr Blake will send you an autographed copy of his Terror of Constantinople. You may recall that this received a most flattering review in The Daily Telegraph:
Best wishes to all,