Kevin Rudd should try Romania

February 23, 2012

From John Roskam

Kevin Rudd joins the Ugandan Minister for Gender as someone who’s lately quit as a minister (at least KR is not facing criminal charges). And Romania has just got a new PM. Guess what one of his previous jobs was?

If Kevin Rudd spends his 20 hour flight back from Washington on the phone getting numbers it will cost him $5,700 at the going rate that Qantas charges for in-flight calls.

Maybe UNESCO could be Kevin Rudd’s next job. He’d be in charge of things like last week’s ‘UNESCO World Radio Day‘. Here are 15 suggestions from the United Nations on how to celebrate it. My favourite is ‘diffuse our collection of soundbites on famous UNESCO moments.’

Confused by speed limits in Australia? Try Michigan.

Van Halen and the brown M&M’s is a famous business management story. And it’s true. Read about it in Fast Company and then watch David Lee Roth on Café Hayek last week explain it all. (And here’s a gratuitous Van Halen video to watch if you’re bored.)

If Warren Buffett annoys you as much as he annoys me – read this great exposé in the March edition of Reason. I said what I think of Buffett in my Australian Financial Review column last year. If Buffett doesn’t like America’s political system he can try China’s – according to this op-ed in last week’s New York Times democracy is overrated.

Not even the Chinese would attempt this sort of propaganda on children. It’s from our ABC. And this is how the CSIRO is frightening little children.

Dan Hannan has landed! Watch him on Q&A last Monday and listen to him on Alan Jones.

And we’re 24 hours away from Mark Steyn landing. Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide are now all sold out. Sydney has a dozen tickets left. Book here. And if you’re in Perth you can see the IPA’s James Paterson at the Perth Writers Festival mix it with Germaine Greer and Phillip Adams.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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What do 13 year olds think about the IPA?

February 16, 2012

From John Roskam

The Obama Administration wants to introduce a ‘global minimum tax‘ to reduce investment competition between countries. I would’ve thought a ‘global maximum expenditure ceiling’ was more in order.

Australia could do with a maximum tax on businesses. Here is the IPA’s Julie Novak’s research on the taxes state governments levy on business. All her research is here.

“Un pequeno paso para el hombre” is “one small step for man” in Spanish (according to Google Translate) which you might want to remember given Hugo Chavez reckons he’s putting a Venezuelan on Mars. I’m not convinced…socialists have a history of choking in space races.

Speaking of totalitarian, this is just scary. London is trialling electronic bracelets for ‘alcohol offenders’.

Hard to believe…but this week the IPA upset a few people. Here’s some of the reaction to Tim Wilson’s appearance on the ABC’s Q&A on Monday (after you click the link, scroll down to the third entry on February 13). Were these dozen tweets about the IPA from a 13 year old or a senior ABC journalist? What will the 13 year old tweet about when they see Dan Hannan, who the IPA is bringing to Australia, on Q&A on Monday???

Meanwhile The Australian Financial Review has been deluged with letters bagging my piece last Friday about how Australia should not bail out Greece. Funny how everyone’s now agreeing with me.

You should read this great piece by Brendan O’Neill on what is wrong with foreign aid and this…well…interesting letter to British PM Miliband in 2024.

And we don’t normally do this, but apparently Chris Berg was wrong! He said in the Sunday Age last month that life in North Korea is pretty unpleasant. But an Australian academic says it is actually a paradise – everyone even has a mobile phone! And the night life rivals “New York, Tokyo and Beijing.”

We warned you! Mark Steyn’s Melbourne and Brisbane events are BOOKED OUT! Sydney has just a few seats left.

Dan Hannan’s events in Melbourne and Sydney still have a small number of seats available. To get you in the mood, watch his powerful (and hilarious) speech at CPAC in America earlier this week.

Finally, renewing your IPA membership (and joining in the first place) is easier than ever by visiting our website.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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The most sensible thing The Age has ever said

February 9, 2012

From John Roskam

It’s been another big week for the Nanny State. Let’s ban cheeseburgers in colourful packaging, solariums (are we still the sunburnt country?), and going down a river in a rubber tube in Laos. Read this from The Age yesterday on South-East Asia versus Australia – ‘We love talking about our freedom over here – heck, we go to war in its name – but when real freedom presents itself, it’s suddenly way too scary.’

(Is that the most sensible thing you’ve ever seen written in The Age?)

And look what happens when governments take away street signs.

Here’s something that’s slipped under the radar. Soon you won’t have the freedom to use the internet without paying a tax. The Gillard government’s ‘media convergence’ review wants to levy a tax on you and internet companies to give local art and culture more money (page 10). So that we get more taxpayer-funded art like this.

Remember when your parents told you not to do something and it made you want to do it even more? Enjoy the 6 most counterproductive public service announcements of all time.

Two news websites were launched this week. Americans got The Washington Free Beacon. Australians got The Global Mail, which gave us…wait for it…three articles on the Occupy Movement. Read this interesting piece from the Beacon about how Watergate, Vietnam, and Woodstock gave us today’s media. It explains a lot. And this is Andrew’s Bolt’s take on The Global Mail.

Make sure that before you talk about the future of the manufacturing industry in Australia or the US you’ve read this in last weekend’s The New York Times by Christina Romer (who used to be President Obama’s chief economics adviser).

Don’t watch the Super Bowl – just watch the ads. This was the best ad this year and this is rated the best ever.

Only a few more sleeps until Mark Steyn gets to Australia. Register here to see him in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane. But Dan Hannan gets here first. Sign up here to see him in Melbourne or Sydney after you’ve read his great piece in the December edition of Standpoint on why the European Union is less democratic than the German Democratic Republic.

Connor Court have a new book out on Social Justice and all that’s wrong with it  Right Social Justice: better ways to help the poor – with IPA people like Asher Judah, Sinclair Davidson and Julie Novak in it.

And next Monday at 9.30pm on ABC, our very own Tim Wilson will be appearing on Q&A, so tune in if you can.

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The French Connection

February 2, 2012

From John Roskam

Hey’s back!

Here’s the three things you’ve missed over the holidays and you must read:

2012 will also be a big year for freedom of speech.

Last year the government media regulator banned people from calling public servants “scumbags that run around preying on productive people” and they’re still investigating Alan Jones for having too many climate sceptics on his show.

Now, I’m not one to say ‘I told you so’… but…I told you so. They’re investigating whether Clarke and Dawe on ABC can make jokes about Christians. How will the left react now the joke’s on the other foot? (We think the regulator should be abolished). Here’s some funny Clarke and Dawe.

If you’re reading Hey in the bath, STOP! Who’d have thought using a laptop in the bath is ‘potentially unsafe behaviour’? So this ad had to be banned.

Is it any surprise Australia has plummeted down the international press freedom rankings, below those bastions of individual freedom Mali and Niger?

This is why we’re bringing free speech warrior Mark Steyn to Australia this year. There’s still time to RSVP to hear Mark defend freedom of speech in Melbourne on Monday 27 February, Sydney on Wednesday 29 February and Brisbane on Friday 2 March.

If anyone can explain the purpose of this regulation, I’ll be very impressed.

These are my three favourite Republican presidential ads so far – Rick Perry with a sense of humour, Herman Cain’s chief of staff smokes a cigarette (yes, really!), and Jon Huntsman’s daughters respond to Cain’s ad. (And this classic – where else but America does speaking French disqualify you from public office? It should I reckon! That’s what worries me most about Mitt Romney.)

And here’s a quiz – what has a greater impact on global temperatures? Carbon dioxide emissions…or global debt?

Don’t forget to RSVP for Daniel Hannan’s tour, the British member of European Parliament and the guy Fox News says will be Prime Minister. He’s speaking about the future of democracy in the West in Sydney on Tuesday 21 February, and liberty in America and Europe in Melbourne on Friday 24 February.

And just because Hey has taken a break doesn’t mean we have been slacking off. Here’s everything we’ve been doing to fight for freedom since you last heard from us:

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Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

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