Paleo diet can send you to the big house

April 26, 2012

From John Roskam

Who do Nanny State taxes hit the hardest? The poor, of course.

Here is the IPA’s Julie Novak’s latest research on who pays the most Nanny State taxes and the press release.

On the subject of the IPA’s cutting edge research, in my column in the Australian Financial Review in January I said compulsory superannuation should be abolished. I got attacked for it. Funny then how a few weeks ago the person who invented compulsory superannuation came out and basically agreed with me!

This is from today’s Australian Financial Review on how everyone has been saying there should be transparency in superannuation. Ha! The IPA’s Louise Staley wrote a major report about greater transparency in superannuation TWO YEARS ago!

Ever stood in the rain at 2am waiting for a cab? This fascinating long article from next month’s Atlantic magazine explains why you should blame the government.

In North Carolina, your Paleo diet could send you to jail. Reason Magazine explains.

We’ve got two videos about America for you today. You’ll LOVE this serious one. And this is your Thursday afternoon bludge – the best Obama-eats-dogs gags on the internet.

Last Sunday was the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Springthis is from the Washington Times last week on why we shouldn’t be celebrating.

Fitting then, that a few days later, the man who invented the ‘Gaia theory’ should admit that he (and Al Gore…and Tim Flannery) was actually a climate alarmist. And just for a laugh, here is the IPA Review’s cover story on Tim from June 2011.

Even if you’ve missed out on seeing James Delingpole (his events have completely sold out), you can still read about what he thinks of Australia – it’s not pretty.

Talking about not pretty, as Dan Hannan explains in this great blog post, it doesn’t matter who wins the French election. And I bet you didn’t know that 4 out of the 10 candidates were Trotskyists!

And I reckon this is really funny. From the BBC yesterday – the Euro crisis as a soap opera.

It’s not quite a soap opera for the Ex-PM of Iceland who was found guilty this week of not meeting with his cabinet during the GFC (in like, a real court and everything).

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Monkeys high on American stimulus

April 19, 2012

From John Roskam

New Greens leader Christine Milne said the other day she wants to ‘decarbonise’ the Australian economy by 2050.

Before that she’ll have to deal with some of the other big issues the Greens have put on the legislative agenda of the Commonwealth Parliament. Like:

At least the Greens don’t want to feed cocaine to monkeys (well, not to my knowledge). That’s what happened under Obama’s stimulus package. Here’s the story. And here’s the just-released cocaine-eating monkey election campaign ad. Go to the bottom – the ad’s 30 seconds.

These ads on billboards in Melbourne were pretty funny too – scroll to the middle of the story to see them. But you guessed it…they’ve been taken down after people didn’t see the humour in laughing at hungover stockbrokers.

This next item is no laughing matter. It’s an amazing 17 minutes of radio. It’s from the ABC Rural’s Bush Telegraph radio program three weeks ago. It’s about how Fidel Castro…sorry…the WA government has command and control of potato farming in the state. Listen and be shocked this still happens in Australia in 2012. Credit to the ABC for the story. Farm Weekly gives the incredible background.

This cartoon won the Pulitzer Prize on Monday. I don’t know why. Mark Steyn doesn’t either.

And we’ve told you about the 4th volume of Robert Caro’s biography of LBJ out next month. There’s this fascinating 5800 word piece about Caro from The New York Times Magazine last week.

What happened to ManBearPig? is recent IPA visitor to Australia, Dan Hannan’s latest blog post. It’s a classic and he talks about fellow IPA guest James Delingpole. If you’d like to come to James’ IPA events in Australia next week – sorry – they’re all booked out.

The Heretic, a play about a climate sceptic who doesn’t have horns will also probably be booked out even before it opens in Melbourne. Here’s a review in The Telegraph of the London season. Even The Guardian didn’t completely hate it.

And our friends at the ABC’s Q&A have asked us to invite you to their climate change program on April 26 in Sydney – no, seriously. Click here for details.

And the Australian Taxpayer’s Alliance is launching in Sydney on May 1. RSVP here. There’s a $30 discount if you use the top secret code – IPA.

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Well, then why is English food so bad?

April 12, 2012

From John Roskam

Last week’s Hey was one of the most popular ever because of Tyler Cowen’s explanation for why American food is so bad. I guess we’ve all been wondering! Here’s two more reviews of his book, one positive, and one hostile, from the New York Times.

So then why is English food so bad? Paul Krugman famously offered his explanation that free markets and the industrial revolution are to blame! Cowen agrees. But in this fascinating series of posts here, here and here, the food historian Rachel Laudan says they’re both wrong. The IPA’s Chris Berg talked about Laudan’s research in praise of commercial and industrial food in the Sunday Age last year.

Never forget that food is serious business. A Spanish town has banned slurping soup too loudly and speaking with food in your mouth. No, seriously, they have.

But there’s good news in the world. The new Queensland premier, Campbell Newman, has done one of the best things a state government has done in the last few weeks: scrapped a literary prize! It’s unleashed a bizarre torrent of grief, and some truly weird arguments. Like the one between The Australian columnists George Megalogenis and Henry Ergas about whether the GST take will decline as a result. The IPA’s Sinclair Davidson sums it up.

In specially-commissioned IPA research, tax expert Bryan Pape explains why the carbon tax is more than just unpopular and unnecessary, it’s unconstitutional too! Here’s how it was reported in the National Times and Herald Sun. You’ll remember Bryan from his constitutional challenge against the Rudd government’s stimulus package.

Last year, the English writer Christopher Snowdon described Australia as the world’s leader in Nanny State measures. Well now we’re becoming known for our limits on freedom of speech! Here’s Hal G.P. Colebatch in the American Spectator on the Australian government’s war against free press and the internet.

That’s why defending free speech is more important now than ever. Please, sign up to the IPA or donate to the IPA’s new Freedom of Speech Fighting Fund today to help us protect your liberties.

The video of Mark Steyn’s speech on why freedom of speech is so important is now available, as is the panel discussion he did with myself, Janet Albrechtsen and Tom Switzer. Also available are some articles from our upcoming IPA Review, including David Kemp on the enemies of free speech and Peter Gregory on how in Cambodia the free market is the best weapon against poverty, a claim also recently made by the World Bank.

The IPA is bringing Author James Delingpole to Australia! Don’t miss your chance to see him. He will be in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. If you think that’s exciting, The Hon. Tony Abbott MP will be speaking in Melbourne on the 27th of April. For more details on these events or to book visit www.ipa.org.au/events.

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Why is American food so bad?

April 5, 2012

From John Roskam

It’s only April but we’ve already got the quote of the year:

“I should not have to fight with my children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living!”

Yep, that’s right. Parents in New York City want to ban ice-cream trucks.

And one of the most-asked questions in the world has to be ‘Why is American food so bad?’ To find out read this fascinating summary in last week’s Spectator of Tyler Cowen’s new book An Economist Gets Lunch.

For Freakonomics fans there’s this podcast about it. I’ve told you about Cowen lots of times before – he does the Marginal Revolution blog which last month was rated third best financial blog in the world by Time. Here’s the full list.

Here’s the video you’ve all been asking me about. Mark Steyn on freedom of speech in Sydney last month at the IPA/Spectator Australia event. It’s 35 minutes long – enjoy it while eating an Easter egg.

Yesterday we launched the IPA Freedom of Speech Fighting Fund. Click here to learn more about it or to make a donation.

And there’s been uproar in England this week about UK government plans to monitor the internet. To find out just how terrible it is read this – but apparently now they’re backing down.

Ever wonder how taxpayers feel about the man they pay $180,000 a year to lecture them about climate change? So did we. Here’s our poll results.

Barack Obama has just nominated the next World Bank chief. The Lowy Institute says he has “a luke-warm attitude towards economic growth”. Huh? He’s practically a socialist! – you’ve got to read this from Commentary Magazine.

Speaking of socialism, I bet you can’t guess which developed country has had the highest company tax rate for a decade.

You think you’ve heard every half-baked excuse for protectionism? How about foreign books cause health problems?

And if you’re suffering withdrawal symptoms after Mark Steyn and Dan Hannan’s visit, we have the antidote: James Delingpole is coming to Australia! RSVP here for talks in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. And for some classic Delingpole, check out his blog here.

Chris Berg will stand up for free speech at a debate on the Finkelstein Report next week. Details here.

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