Things you can’t say in the office…

February 28, 2013

From James Paterson

This week in America everyone’s talking about the ‘sequester‘ – enforced spending cuts that President Obama says would be a “huge blow to middle class families” and his staff say would be “devastating“. The Cato Institute helpfully puts the cuts in context, and as this excellent chart from the Mercatus Center shows, government spending will still massively increase even after the sequester.

Personally, I’ll believe the US government is serious about reducing spending when they stop funding projects like this. But then again, at least they didn’t drop $100,000 on painting a pedestrian crossing, like Sydney City Council.

And if you think that’s silly, what about this list of things governments are banning?:

Spare a thought for North Koreans. It was bad enough already that it’s illegal to leave, as this powerful essay in the National Geographic in 2009 captured, and that thousands are locked in gulags. But now they can’t even choose their own haircuts.

We’ve already told you how dangerous the Gillard government’s proposed anti-discrimination law could be. But we’re not as creative as the team at Swaab Attorneys. Here’s their helpful list of things you can’t say in the office. We might be violating the new law just by including that link!

This week’s long read is again from the excellent City Journal, on why Washington D.C. is fast becoming America’s second city because of big government.

And finally, make sure you watch this great new video from Topher on the true cost of taxes (you’ll remember Topher from his important video on free speech last year).

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

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Don’t stand at your window when…

February 21, 2013

From John Roskam

Here’s a surprise. Some useful advice about asteroids this week from the United Nations (via its Office for Outer Space Affairs – yes…there is such a thing).

“When you see a white flash and a large trail in the sky it’s probably not a good time to stand at the window and look at it because it may be a blast coming.”

Talking of surprises. Who would have thought Wayne Swan could have miscalculated how much the mining tax will raise?

The Australian on Saturday had this excellent (and sad) story of someone who dared question the Treasurer’s adding up (it’s behind a paywall, but it’s worth it). Here’s Swan’s abusive letter from November 2011. This is a very good paper on the history of the tax from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library. Back in October 2010 in The Australian Financial Review I explained the stench behind the secret negotiations on the tax.

Forbes last week explained why the Left hates Downton Abbey. And last month Standpoint explained why the Left doesn’t like The Hobbit either.

If Tolkien is too high-brow for you, read this funny piece from Nick Gillespie in Reason on Monday on why the Grammys sum up everything that’s wrong with the US economy.

The great economist Armen Alchian died on Tuesday. He should have won the Nobel Prize. The Catallaxy Files has a wonderful summary of his ground-breaking work, including his obituary from The Wall Street Journal.

By now you’ve probably heard that the IPA is bringing Wall Street Journal Editorial Board member Mary Kissel to Australia – she’ll be speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra and in Melbourne. As a preview to what we can expect of Mary, here is a terrific piece she wrote in The Spectator last year about that man again…Wayne Swan.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

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Free market solves Death Star infrastructure crisis

February 14, 2013

From James Paterson

This week President Obama delivered his State of the Union Address for 2013. Marco Rubio responded on behalf of the Republican Party and Rand Paul responded for the Tea Party. But the best speech delivered in the US this week was by Dr Benjamin Carson. It’s 27 minutes long but worth watching in full. If you’re short on time skip to 2:40 to hear what he has to say about free speech and 18:07 to hear what he has to say about excessive government spending and taxes.

But the funniest video this week comes from CNN. It’s about how meteors are caused by global warming. You have to watch it to believe it.

And don’t worry Death Star fans – the free market has come to the rescue where government has failed. Donate now.

Everyone seems to be excited by the upcoming launch of The Guardian Australia, backed by Greens mega-donor and Global Mail-funder Graeme Wood. But what can they offer that Fairfax doesn’t already? I guess even Fairfax wouldn’t sell socialist t-shirts.

Two fascinating long reads this week. The first is from the excellent City Journal on how pension funds are killing California. The second is from Esquire on what life is now like for the Navy Seal who killed Osama bin Laden. Unfortunately they got one major fact wrong.

The IPA is delighted to be hosting Wall Street Journal Editorial Board member Mary Kissel in Australia next month. Mary will be speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra on 5 March and in Melbourne on 6 March.

Isn’t it time you joined the IPA? Sign up with our special offer before 15 March and you’ll receive a bonus free book. Click here and use the code ‘membership’ to become a member today.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

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Let them eat cake

February 7, 2013

From James Paterson

You’ve probably already heard the federal government wants to ban blowing out birthday candles in childcare centres. But you probably haven’t read Health Minister Tanya Plibersek’s truly bizarre press conference defending the decision. Read her answers to journalists’ questions if you want to know why freedom is under assault in Australia.

But here’s a big win for freedom: the Icelandic girl we told you about last week who sued the government to use her name has won her case. And if you thought a student being arrested for drawing in his notebook was mad (as we also told you last week), how about suspending a 7 year old for throwing an “imaginary grenade“.

Meanwhile, this is a great list of the world’s weirdest laws in The Telegraph (the government’s cake law didn’t make the list).

If you want to know why the IPA wants to abolish the Australian Human Rights Commission, here’s exhibit A, B and C:

The best thing about the Super Bowl is the ads. Here’s a great round-up of the funniest ones this year. But do any beat the all-time funniest from 2003? We report. You decide.

Two excellent long reads this week. Mises Daily on why South Park is a great libertarian TV series and Nick Cohen in the December edition of Standpoint on how the media deserted a young female pop star targeted by radical Islam.

On Wednesday 20 February Connor Court Publishing and the LDP will host a discussion with Chris Berg in Melbourne about the IPA’s 100 Great Books of Liberty, now available in paperback. More details here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

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

 

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