What’s in a name?

August 30, 2012

From James Paterson

This has got to be the understatement of the week:

“The officer concerned had misinterpreted the law involved regarding the definition of a vehicle.” That’s how WA police explained why a woman was fined for talking on her mobile whilst…pushing a pram.

I wish I could make up fake Nanny State stories as crazy as that real one. I also wish I could think of more ridiculous examples of political correctness than a school in Nebraska telling a deaf three year old boy to change his name because of their weapons policy, but…I just can’t. (See if you can guess his name before you click the link).

And I really wish I could think of a more creative reason to take personal leave from work than the suggestion in this real submission to a real government inquiry. It’s from the Cat Alliance of Australia.

But here’s some really serious policy suggestions. The cover story for this month’s IPA Review contains 75 radical ideas we want Tony Abbott to take up as prime minister.

A fascinating report into philanthropic giving in the United States was released this month. The list of the most generous cities in America might surprise you. But not once you’ve read this great post from Cato scholar Dan Mitchell, ‘Left-wingers are only generous with other people’s money’.

It turns out American conservatives don’t just give more to charity – they also read more. This amazing infographic from Amazon is depressing viewing for an Obama supporter – if Americans vote the same way they buy books, he’ll only win five states!

The Republican National Convention is underway this week in Tampa, Florida. Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan just delivered his acceptance speech – watch it here.

Some excellent longer reading: Amir Taheri in the latest edition of Standpoint on why we should be optimistic about Iraq, and this piece from the Guardian last week on the scary new generation of Conservative MPs (they actually support free markets!).

Next Monday is Australian National Flag Day. Here’s some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the flag.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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