Fellow Earthians…

March 29, 2012

From John Roskam

It’s Wayne Swan versus the IPA. A few hours ago Swan attacked the IPA’s Tim Wilson for criticising Swan’s rant in the Monthly as dumb and hypocritical based on media reports. Surprise, surprise! Tim was right. (And here’s what Tim actually said.)

Ever wondered what $25 million of taxpayer-funded government advertising buys you? Nothing. That’s how much (at least) the Gillard government spent on advertising for the carbon tax.

According to this exclusive poll taken for the IPA last weekend there’s almost no change in public attitudes on climate change in two years – if anything Australians are slightly more sceptical.

New York City has banned mentions of dinosaurs, birthdays, and dancing in school tests. They might cause ‘unpleasant emotions’.

Bob Brown’s 3rd Annual Green Oration would have given me unpleasant emotions…if it wasn’t so spectacularly hilarious. Chairman Bob kicks off with ‘Fellow Earthians’. (Make yourself laugh on a Thursday afternoon and read it.)

You’ll of course know Australia recently joined the likes of Iran and North Korea on the Reporters Without Borders watchlist because of the government’s plan for internet censorship. Soon we’ll have people going to jail for drunken racist tweets…like in England.

While we’re on North Korea – this could have come from the DPRK government. But – it came from ours. The innovators at Australia Post have come up with a ‘Digital Mailbox‘. You mean like email? And ever wondered who invented email attachments?

There’s no such thing as bad publicity – just ask Etch-A-Sketch. Last week its share price tripled – click here to find out why.

If you like electricity, you’ll want to take part in Tim Blair’s hilarious 2012 Hour of Power this weekend.

Finally – the wait is nearly over…for the next instalment of Robert Caro’s monumental biography of LBJ.

If you’re in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane come to one of the launches of Right Social Justice: better ways to help the poor – a new book edited by Gary Johns. And those in Adelaide should come to the launch of Jeff Bennett’s new book Little Green Lies: Twelve Environmental Myths.

Yesterday the IPA released the fourth instalment of Horizons - Melvyn Bragg on the King James Bible.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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It’s morally wrong to employ homeless people

March 22, 2012

From John Roskam

I thought feeding the homeless and giving them a job would be a good thing. Apparently not if the food is too salty or the job is to walk around at a music festival with Wi-Fi gear strapped to their back. These stories provoked howls of outrage in the US.

This is the other debate in the US at the moment. It’s tough being a 3-year-old in a wheelchair at an American airport these days.

You’ve heard how the Commonwealth government is spending half a billion dollars a year on consultants. It’s not as if there aren’t enough public servants already.

Elle Macpherson might be the body, but she might not have a brain. She loves Obama because “I’m socialist. What do you expect?

The IPA’s recent visitor to Australia Dan Hannan has this great speech on the Anglosphere he made in Canada a few weeks ago. Watch it and then read this fantastic piece in the City Journal from January. It mentions this ridiculous Tom Friedman article in the New York Times from a few years ago.

Talking about China, this is the number you NEED TO KNOW – 660 million people out of poverty thanks to capitalism since the early 1980s.

But that doesn’t mean the Chinese can play soccer.

Mamma Mia! Italian unions represent more retirees than workers. Who said unions were outdated?

And apparently Chimpanzees have police!

And from the Nanny State files – kids banned from having ‘best friends‘.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

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Naomi Wolf backs the IPA

March 15, 2012

From John Roskam

Productivity is important – but it’s not everything – as Professor Sinclair Davidson says in a new IPA research paper released on Monday. It’s better to focus on lower taxes and less regulation to improve profitability.

Booming productivity in Ireland didn’t help the primary school teachers who copped a 20% pay cut in 2009. And you must read this short piece from Theodore Dalrymple in the City Journal on Ireland. 5% of the country’s working age population have emigrated in the last 2 years. Then read Michael Lewis on Ireland in Vanity Fair last year. It is absolutely fascinating.

The IPA has been going hard on the Finkelstein report of media regulation. I called it ‘totalitarian‘ in my Australian Financial Review column. Malcolm Turnbull went on Lateline that night and it was a ‘very dishonest effort‘. I was being soft! Naomi Wolf (yes – that Naomi Wolf – of Occupy Wall Street fame) called the Finkelstein report ‘step one to fascism‘ in Sydney the other day. Here’s a professor in The Age yesterday who thinks I’m getting carried away.

Still…credit where it’s due. Bob Brown had this great media release on freedom of speech…from 2001. How times change. A decade on he’s welcoming media censorship. (Guess how many times freedom of speech is mentioned?)

Remember the most sensible thing The Age has ever said from Hey in February? – it was a huge hit. This is another must-read from the same guy yesterday.

This video about compulsory embalming rooms is hilarious. And this is what I call interesting – The Economist three weeks ago on Linsanity, and why China will never produce a great team player.

If you like The West Wing you’ll like this on the Sorkinization of politics.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Bob Carr writes for the IPA

March 8, 2012

From John Roskam

Let’s hope the Gillard government’s committee to cut red tape announced on Tuesday goes better than last time.

In 2007 the government declared its ‘one in, one out‘ policy on regulation. That worked (not). They’re only 12,777 regulations off the mark. Since 2007 there’s been 12,835 new regulations and just 58 were repealed.

Meanwhile hot off the press is Chris Berg’s just-released count of pages of federal legislation up to the end of 2011.

The report of the Gillard/Greens media inquiry (the Finkelstein report) came out last Friday. Here’s a two word summary: ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE.

We issued this press release hours after it came out. This afternoon I sent this letter and briefing paper to every federal MP telling them to reject Finkelstein. Here’s what Chris Berg said about it in his column in The Sunday Age and in Britain’s Telegraph James Delingpole explains why he thinks Finkelstein’s a ‘total bloody hero‘. (By the way Delingpole will be in Australia later this year – details soon).

And how Blade Runner is this? Japanese inventers have come up with the ‘speechjammer’ – watch the video. (Promise me you won’t tell Finkelstein or Bob Brown).

Everyone’s been talking about Wayne Swan’s diatribe in The Monthly, (here’s the IPA’s James Paterson on it). This is the essay they should be talking about, Is Socialism Finished?, by Bob Carr in the 1986 IPA Review. (Guess his answer.)

From the Nanny State files this week. In Canada a father arrested because his son drew a picture of a gun. In England emergency crews can’t get their feet wet and someone probably died because of it.

And there’s this great Illegal Everything 42 minute video from John Stossel that came out a week ago. You don’t need to watch the whole thing – just go to the 2 minute 35 second mark and watch the Midway police chief.

A joke? No – it’s a headline, ‘Global warming is making the world colder’ from Adelaide Now which has gone viral.

Dan Hannan and Mark Steyn have left the country. In case you missed it last week, here is Hannan in full flight (and this is what he thinks of a weird new EU propaganda video). And here’s Mark Steyn at his best in an interview on the ABC’s Counterpoint last week.

And this week two lucky IPA Facebook fans and Twitter followers won a signed copy of Steyn’s After America. Make sure you can enter the next competition by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.

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

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