The eight dumbest things said about free speech this week

September 20, 2012

From James Paterson

This does not make happy┬áreading for Americans – the US has now dropped to 18th in the world for economic freedom. On Tuesday the Cato and Fraser Institutes released their Economic Freedom of the World report. Australia does better overall at 4th freest, but not on one measure – by size of government we rank 53rd (page 33).

In the US this week they’re talking about two things: Mitt Romney’s 47% gaffe (he was sort-of-kinda-right – he might have based his comments on this graph from the Heritage Foundation released earlier this year) and this long sympathetic profile of Barack Obama by Michael Lewis for the October edition of Vanity Fair. If you read it make sure you read this great response by Andrew Ferguson in the Weekly Standard. (Whilst we’re talking about Obama, one lobby group is very unhappy with Republicans highlighting his enthusiasm for golf).

But in his Australian Financial Review column last week John Roskam argued maybe it would be a good thing if Barack Obama was re-elected!

Everyone is also talking about freedom of speech. HotAir lists ‘The eight dumbest things said about free speech this week‘ in response to the anti-Islam movie. It’s an amazing list.

You heard it here first! We teased the Victorian government last month for looking for big cats. Well, you’ll be pleased to know your taxes were well spent – they can’t find any.

You’re probably aware that we are very concerned by a federal government proposal to force internet service providers to store two years’ worth of your data in case the police might want to access it one day. And that was before we learnt the ACCC wants to access it too! Read these excerpts of the IPA’s Simon Breheny and Chris Berg testifying before a parliamentary committee against the plans.

Chris Berg is the keynote speaker at an excellent conference on freedom of speech in Perth next month – RSVP and further information available here.

And finally, this would be pretty cool if true: archaeologists might have found the skeleton of King Richard III, under a car park in England. But probably not as cool as this – ‘warp drive’ (like in Star Trek) might be feasible.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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