“...eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government." - Andrew Jackson, 1837.
A guy rang me recently looking for employment as a security guard. When I offered him a spot at the annual Nimbin Mardi Grass he promptly declined and told me he was “disgusted by homosexuality”. I laughed and told him it wasn't the Gay Mardi Gras but Mardi Grass as in cannabis, pot, weed etc. There was a long pause followed by a “No way”. He hung up the phone and never forwarded his resume - I guess having decided I was doing the work of the devil and trying to lead him astray.
You might go to Nimbin Mardi Grass expecting a libertarian paradise of free love, hash cookies and laughter but no – you will instead find a Police Open Day with the many faces of law enforcement on display – riot police, licensing police, mounted police, drug detection dogs, random breath tests, drug tests and many more flavours of cop all intent on making life as miserable as possible for festival goers. And it works – the event has been in steady decline since the police crashed the party about seven years ago . And cannabis is still illegal.
On my return to the normal world I find there is a new sheriff in the tourist resort town of Byron Bay promising to “clean up Byron” which is cop for for “shut down the night-life in Byron Bay”. Short of stature and chewing gum constantly - he was last seen photographing the cheery crowd of young people outside the Great Northern Hotel on a Saturday night while commenting darkly that “this was no good”. God help us.
Meanwhile in light of recent homicidal attacks on innocent people by various flavours of dick-headed loser in Australia and around the world – politicians and pundits are talking censorship again. Frustrated by their inability to to combat the message of evil they turn their attention to the medium - inferring that some of that evil has rubbed off on it.
Perhaps the time has come to censor the Internet, they gravely intone, and al-Jazeera while we are at it.
While the Prime Minister claims to not understand how a terrorist can be given parole when he knows well the answer - the terrorist in question wasn't one, as he had never actually carried out an act of terror. Turnbull knows this – he was once a lawyer.
As the law-mongers talk minimum sentences and Federal control over State parole boards, the State of NSW hands out M4 assault rifles to riot police and gives all police a licence to kill criminals before they are a threat to others. Both will come in handy next year in Nimbin, or at schoolies in November.
And in Western Australia, a man faces the Supreme Court for the heinous crime of growing too many potatoes.
With no bill of rights to constrain them, Australian politicians will make whatever laws they can get away with to be tough on crime - as being tough on crime, or at least appearing to be, is crucial to winning the next election and keeping their jobs.
With every new law, regardless of its merits, the police and other bureaucrats become more powerful and can intrude further into our lives. We constantly hear of Police being given new powers – we never hear of old ones being taken away.
Instead we hear the sound of our rights being chipped away. For the only right we have in this country is to do that which is not prohibited by laws.
So be suspicious of all new laws, I say. Be suspicious as you would of a lawyer who cannot comprehend the law, a riot cop with an M4, or a man in black from the Potato Marketing Corporation.
And the disgusted security guard I mentioned earlier? Be not suspicious of him. He understands liberty and exercises his freedom to choose where he works and who he works for. His right to be disgusted and express such disgust for anyone, anything and anytime.
He remembers he is free – help keep him that way.