A shepherd needs his drinking cup

August 25, 2011

From John Roskam| Thursday, 25 August 2011

Yesterday the UK Government published its top ten list of Nanny State regulations, including:

  • Banning sack races…because children might fall over. (Running and hopping were OK though.)
  • Wimbledon closing its grassed spectator area after it rained…because it was slippery.
  • Banning kite flying…because they might be a ‘risk’ to beachgoers.

I was wrong! A few weeks ago I told you to look forward to the new Margaret Thatcher movie with Meryl Streep. Apparently it’s a hatchet job – this is from Tuesday’s LA Times. Watch Tory, Tory, Tory instead – a BBC documentary from a few years ago now available on YouTube.

There’s a shortage of shepherds in America. This is a great piece from The Heritage Foundation last week on the government regulation of shepherds. If you think America is a ‘free market’ economy click here and amuse yourself reading the 7,000 word ‘The Labor Certification Process for Employers Engaged in Sheepherding and Goatherding Occupations’ issued a few weeks ago. Regulation II-B.2 requires employers to provide shepherds with individual drinking cups.

Three weeks ago I told you about the weird priorities of the New York Times. Conrad Black had this excellent review last month in the Claremont Review of Books about the NYT. Black’s been on fire. Read his attack on Warren Buffett’s call for higher taxes in the (you-guessed-it) New York Times a fortnight ago.

Here’s what people have been laughing about this week – we need to cut carbon emissions to stop getting invaded by aliens.

The Spectator Australia/IPA debate with Lord Nigel Lawson, Ian Plimer, Mark Latham, John Hewson, and Gary Johns is now online here.

If you’re in Melbourne next Monday and think that judges should enforce the laws, not make them, you might like to come to a meeting about the Victorian Charter of Rights with former NSW Premier Bob Carr, Liberal Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis and many others. RSVP to Julian Leeser at admin@mrcltd.org.au. The meeting is from 1pm to 2pm at Morgans, 401 Collins Street. The IPA’s Ted Lapkin made a submission to the Victorian Government’s inquiry calling for its repeal – read it here, and his opinion piece about it in The Age here.

Here’s more of what the IPA said this week:

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39 hours…

August 18, 2011

From John Roskam| Thursday, 18 August 2011

Apparently it takes a public servant in Canberra’s Department of Climate Change 39 working hours on average to process a freedom of information request from the IPA. That’s more time than it takes to climb Mount Everest.

Instead of forcing the IPA to make FOI requests – the government could just make public the information about its carbon tax – but it won’t.

You wouldn’t know this about the carbon tax – if it wasn’t for the FOI request the IPA made. Here’s the editorial from yesterday’s Australian about it.

If you still read The Economist and wonder why you bother, you’ll like Professor Jim Allan in QuadrantThis is what we thought about The Economist’s Australia special a few weeks ago – not much.

Peter Thiel is the 43 year-old billionaire libertarian who co-founded PayPal (turning his $240,000 investment into US$60m). He was also first big investor in Facebook (yes – he was portrayed in The Social Network). He’s teamed up with Milton Friedman’s grandson to support the  Seasteading Institute. It’s all explained in yesterday’s Washington Post. And the September edition of Details Magazine has a fascinating profile of Thiel.

Michael Lewis has this important (long) piece in the latest edition of Vanity Fair on Germany and the European financial crisis. According to Lewis you can’t understand the Germans’ willingness to bail out Europe if you don’t understand what they did 70 years ago.

The IPA co-sponsored the great carbon tax debate with Spectator Australia including Lord Lawson, Ian Plimer, Gary Johns, and Mark Latham. For everyone who asked for it, the debate will be replayed on the ABC24’s Big Ideas program on Sunday August 28th at 1pm. Janet Albrechtsen had this great piece on the debate.

Also by popular demand – click here to see a highlight video from President Vaclav Klaus recent Australian tour. It’s from the IPA dinner in Melbourne on 28 July and also features Ian Plimer and Andrew Bolt.

Here’s more of what the IPA said this week:

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The ‘spending cuts’ done it

August 11, 2011

Some of my favourite excuses for the UK riots include:

Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked Online, had this great piece on the riots. (By the way he was great on Q&A a few weeks ago defending press freedom against the Gillard Government – watch from 17.10).

Spiked Online is one of our favourite sites – here’s the story of how it used to be Living Marxism! And if there’s one other piece to read on the riots it is Greg Sheridan today.

According to Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist (and Nobel prize winner!) the solution to the debt crisis is more debt! On Monday the Sydney Morning Herald’s economics writer, Jess Irvine, said we should think of more spending and more debt as the necessary ‘hair of the dog’ solution. Here’s Monday’s Wall Street Journal explaining how all of that spending DIDN’T work.

This from the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal about California’s high speed rail shows why we should be careful about spending more than $100 billion on one in Australia.

On Friday last week the IPA launched our second climate change research ad. (If you missed the first one, it’s here.)

You know why we think the National Curriculum is a terrible idea with terrible content. Here’s my letter to Peter Garrett in case you haven’t seen it already. Here’s his response. This week the NSW government said they’d delay its introduction. Good. But they should scrap it alltogether – this is what we said yesterday.

This week everyone’s been talking about this 8,000 word profile of Chris Mitchell, Editor of The Australian, in The Monthly. Last Friday morning I talked about it on ABC radio in Melbourne with Jon Faine. I was nicer about The Monthly than its former editor Sally Warhaft was!

Here’s more of what the IPA said this week:

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‘Tastelessness’ in Baghdad

August 4, 2011

Here’s what they’ve been arguing about in Washington this week:

Meanwhile, The New York Times is worried about:

I hope Rich Lowry, in the National Review on Tuesday, is right when he says the debt deal is ‘The End of Keynes.’

Wonder what happens when an NFL star tweets about Glenn Beck? This is from the Baltimore Sun last week.

Look out for Meryl Streep in the new Thatcher biopic. Here’s a sneak peek.

And I know the ABC is government-funded. But should the PM really be advertising her favourite show on her website? Let’s see how long it takes for her staff to take it down.

It’s been a busy week at the IPA.

You’ve probably seen the full-page climate research ad we had in The Australian this week (if you haven’t, click here). We’ve got another one appearing in the paper tomorrow – so look out for it.

We farewelled President Klaus on Monday after a great tour. Here is an interesting interview he did with Greg Sheridan from The Australian. Miranda Devine also had an important piece on the President’s visit.

Peter Craven, who was a speaker at our recent Genius of Western Civilisation symposium, had this great article in The Age this week about the liberal values we should all share.

The next IPA Review is out soon. The cover article from the last edition by James Paterson on Tim Flannery is now available on our website. You can subscribe to the Review here.

If you’re in Sydney on 16 August you can see Chris Berg in action at the Intelligence Squared debate, do we need a nanny state?

Here’s more of what the IPA said this week:

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