Pit bulls and plastic bags – and lots of good videos

November 4, 2010

What’s the worst one of these:

a)         selling vodka to a 12 year-old
b)         training a pit bull terrier to attack someone
c)         secretly bugging someone’s telephone
d)         giving away a plastic bag.

Yep – you guessed it. It’s a trick question. They’re all as bad as each other according to the ACT government. They all have the same penalty. The government wants to ban plastic bags and fine shops up to $27,500 if they break the law.

(There’s that great line from the American judge, Louis Brandeis: ‘if we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable’.)

Talking about the Nanny State – San Francisco banned Happy Meals this week.

If you’ve got five minutes and haven’t seen these election ads from America take a look:

In the new IPA Review you can read Tom Switzer on what the Tea Party means for American politics.

But this ad by Nike with LeBron James is what everyone’s watching – a celebration of individualism.  And here’s what it means.

A week ago the Wall Street Journal had this really good article by Matt Ridley on the five mistakes of government regulators. (I talked about something similar a few years back in my Financial Review column.) Ridley is the author of the new book The Rationalist Optimist – you can read the IPA’s review of it here.

In The Drum yesterday and The Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday, Tom Switzer discussed the resurgence of the Republicans. In The Drum on Wednesday Chris Berg warned of the growing Nanny State, and in The Sunday Age he said there was no reason to fear foreign investment. And in The Australian Financial Review on Friday I said both sides of politics were hooked on government.

PS – if you’re in Sydney this weekend don’t forget the Rule of Law Association Conference.

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