YouTube – for all your freedom and javelin needs

August 25, 2016

From Bella d’Abrera

Labor MP Andrew Leigh has made a great point about the public service in Australia – he just doesn’t know how great it is:

Although there might well be fewer public servants, a report in the Weekend Australian says that their salaries are rising faster than their colleagues in the private sector.

IPA guest Brendan O’Neill joined Andrew Bolt in an impassioned defence of the freedom of speech on Tuesday night.

Brendan set the internet ablaze with this classic Q&A moment about the infamous QUT case on Monday. If you want to learn more about how this case shows 18C is corrupting our legal rights, watch our video.

The IPA’s Aaron Lane told you so. Two years ago, he predicted that Qantas would bounce back without a government bail-out. And guess what? Yesterday Qantas announced that it has made a stunning $1b profit in the last financial year.

Democrats in the US decided that the notoriously draconian drinking laws in Philadelphia were too, well, draconian for them. For just one weekend, lucky attendees at the Democratic Convention were allowed to drink until the sun came up – last orders for the rest of Philadelphia was at 2am.

On Wednesday, Victoria legalised Uber, but to appease the taxi industry, the government has added a $2 per trip tax for taxi and ride-share customers. The IPA’s Aaron Lane slams the new tax. Massachusetts also implemented an Uber tax this week. Robby Soave described this as an unjust redistribution of wealth in Reason on Monday.

In England, Jeremy Corbyn deliberately chose to sit on the floor of a train to make a point about overcrowding and the need for nationalisation, but was caught lying (no pun intended). Turns out there was a plethora of empty seats. Read up on “traingate” here.

Venezuela is falling apart. Desperate Venezuelans broke into the zoo and killed animals for food. Families are hiring caskets for funerals, but burying their dead in cardboard boxes to save money and people have been banned from queuing for bread.

The National Museum of Australia will soon be holding the phenomenally successful A History of the World in 100 Objects exhibition. This was the brainchild of the former Director of the British Museum, Neil McGregor, and traces human history through 100 objects in the museum’s collection. Listen to McGregor talking about the objects, take a look at the book and read this 2011 review of the exhibition from the New York Times.

Here’s your feel-good story from the Rio Olympics. Kenya’s Julius Yego decided that javelin throwing might just be his sport, so he fashioned some javelins out of long sticks and learned the technique from YouTube videos. He ended up winning silver in Rio.

Article of the week

Spiked editor-at–large, Mike Hume, warns that Theresa May’s failure to trigger Article 50 to allow Brexit is a threat to the future of democracy in Britain.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: James Bolt

What happened to political satire? Why is it so toothless these days? These are the questions Malcolm Gladwell asks in this brilliant edition of his podcast series Revisionist History. His takedown of Saturday Night Live’s so-called political satire is one for the ages.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Calling me offended is offensive

August 18, 2016

From James Bolt

Australia’s economy is stagnating. New ABS wage data released on Wednesday has found that wage growth continues to fall, while net government debt continues to climb:

The IPA’s Campus Coordinator at Melbourne University John Hajek wrote this fantastic article on Friday – “The 7 Myths About Capitalism” – for the IPA’s Generation Liberty. My favourite myth to debunk is number two – that capitalism caused the Global Financial Crisis.

Former Hey writer and re-elected Senator James Paterson (Liberal, Victoria) said on Sky News on Monday that parliament is “closer than we ever have been” to reforming section 18C. On Tuesday, our friends at the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance relaunched their campaign to lobby MPs and Senators to support free speech – you can sign it here.

Two weeks ago I told you how 1950’s comedian Lenny Bruce used to perform while police were on hand to arrest him for being obscene. Nothing’s changed. Last month, Canadian comic Mike Ward was fined $42,000 by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal for telling a joke. He spoke about it with Andrew Doyle at Spiked Online on Saturday.

London’s Metropolitan Police will spend £1.7m setting up a creepy new “troll-hunting squad“, where a team of volunteers will search for inappropriate material on social media and dob it in to the police. This is exactly what Christopher Hitchens was talking about in this part of his fantastic oration about freedom of speech at the University of Toronto in 2006. Watch the whole clip here.

Elites are openly speaking against democracy following Brexit. Brendan O’Neill at The Spectator on Monday called this theocratic movement “a nasty, elitist political strain, driven by an urge to silence the ignorant people“, while the fantastic Dan Hannan in the Washington Examiner on Monday wondered whether democracy is going out of fashion, and explains why it shouldn’t.

Brendan O’Neill is currently touring Australia with the IPA. He spoke in Sydney on Tuesday and Brisbane yesterday. He’ll be in the Gold Coast tonight and Canberra on Wednesday. Book now!

This week’s long read is this 4,800 word piece by US columnist George Will in the latest edition ofNational Affairs, in which he explains how when a democratically elected government becomes larger and more “promiscuously intrusive“, it becomes decreasingly responsive to the will of the majority.

Millennial journalists were outraged about millennials being portrayed as easily outraged by a new television programme premiering at a Television Critics Association panel in the US last week. If there’s a better example of life imitating art, I’d like to see it.

In November last year, we featured the hilarious video series LoveGov, which portrays the US federal government as an overbearing boyfriend. Watch the latest installment of the great series here.

The IPA’s Jennifer Marohasy has today dissected the argument between celebrity scientist Professor Brian Cox and Senator-elect Malcolm Roberts on Q&A on Monday, and explained how NASA uses data homogenisation, in this article for On Line Opinion today.

Article of the week

Peggy Noonan wrote in The Wall Street Journal last Friday how global elites are turning their backson the wishes of those who voted for them and pursuing their own agendas.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Bella D’Abrera

I have just watched Clinton Cash, a documentary film released in July, based on the New York Timesbestselling book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich by Peter Schweizer.

It’s an astounding exposé of how the Clintons have managed to amass an immense personal fortune since Bill left the White House in 2001. The pair have effectively been a ‘tag team’, using their political status to attract a panoply of foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for political favours.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Freedom wins Olympic gold

August 11, 2016

From Matthew Lesh

Economic freedom doesn’t just enable human flourishing, it also skyrockets Olympic medal tallies. Here are the results so far from Rio:

Tuesday night’s Census, after 5 years of planning and $470 million taxpayer dollars, was a catastrophe – the ABS has blamed a “denial of service attack”, a claim which lacks evidence and was preventable with proper planning.

There are also serious privacy problems – the ABS is keeping our names and addresses for four years, as the IPA’s Chris Berg explained back in May and the IPA’s Simon Breheny said on Sky News on Monday. Additionally the ABS is using a so-called “statistical linkage key” to track you, indefinitely – which is absurdly easy for other people to figure out. Mine is ES2AT020919931, generate yours here.

Flemming Rose – publisher of the controversial Muhammad cartoons in 2005 – referred to Chris Berg’s 2012 book In Defence of Freedom of Speech: From Ancient Greece to Andrew Bolt in his speech after winning the Cato Institute’s prestigious Milton Friedman Award. Read his speech in the latest Cato Policy Report.

Rose agreed with Chris that the “marketplace of ideas” metaphor allows for too many exceptions – I concurred on FreedomWatch just last month when Waleed Aly used the marketplace metaphor to argue in favour of 18C.

Thomas Piketty got a lot of attention for his book about inequality in 2013, despite being wrong. An IMF paper released this month has found that there’s “no empirical evidence” for Piketty’s theory – in fact, inequality fell in three-quarters of the countries an IMF economist studied.

Former New Zealand MP Jamie Whyte in CapX on Tuesday argued against the movement to make climate change scepticism a criminal offence, saying that it threatens the success of science and human progress. Meanwhile, Bjørn Lomborg features in a PragerU video discussing how alarmists ignore that most climate data is actually more encouraging than expected.

We couldn’t make this up – PETA is seriously lobbying for Tasmania’s Eggs and Bacon Bay to be renamed to a “compassionate and healthy name“. Roger Kimball explored in the Wall Street Journalon Monday the left’s weird obsession with renaming things – from the French Revolution to college campuses today.

ReasonTV have released a fantastic documentary last Wednesday on how an underground team ofBrazilian libertarian filmmakers were instrumental in impeaching their failed left-wing populist president.

Did Keynesian economist Paul Krugman actually create Donald Trump? Karol Markowicz explains inThe Daily Beast why the left’s vicious attacks on all Republicans has made criticism of Trump less effective.

Tickets are selling fast for the IPA’s upcoming events with Brendan O’Neill in Sydney (16 August),Brisbane (17 August), Gold Coast (18 August) and Canberra (24 August) – RSVP today.

Op-ed of the week

The great Matt Ridley writes in The Times on Monday that people are too anti-new, shying away from innovation and emerging technologies that are the source of virtually all prosperity.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Morgan Begg

Incompetence isn’t the biggest problem with the ABS – it’s very existence is a threat to liberty. Murray Rothbard’s essay, Statistics: Achilles’ Heel of Government, first published in 1961, describes how statistics are the eyes and ears of interventionists, politicians and bureaucrats. As Rothbard says, remove these organs and “the whole threat of government intervention is almost completely eliminated.”

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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The census should have a section on the Nanny State

August 4, 2016

From James Bolt

What will Obama’s legacy be? Here’s one answer from Zero Hedge – he’s the only President in American history to never have a year of 3% GDP growth:

Depressingly, Trump has promised to spend more than half a trillion dollars on infrastructure and Clinton promised in her DNC speech that she would oversee the “biggest investment in new, good paying jobs since World War II“.

New IPA report Have Australia’s Red Tape Reduction Programs Worked? by Dr Mikayla Novak has found that 10 years of red tape reduction policies have done nothing to ease Australia’s red tape burden. IPA research has found that red tape costs the Australian economy $176b per year. The Australian covered the report this morning.

The ABS has been hacked 14 times since 2013, and IBM says a hack of our census is “inevitable“, but still the ABS tells us not to worry! In March, the IPA’s Chris Berg wrote in The Drum that “there is no such thing as 100 per cent safely secured information”.

Some things never change. In 1986, Ian Spry QC wrote in the IPA Review that Bob Hawke’s Australia Card would give complete dossiers on all Australians to the government.

IPA members Senator Bob Day (Family First, SA) and Senator David Leyonhjelm (LDP, NSW) have been re-elected to the Senate. Both Senator Day and Senator Leyonhjelm are two of the over a dozen senators committed to repealing section 18C. The IPA will be well represented in the Senate – watch returning Senator James Paterson explain on Sky News on Wednesday why we shouldn’t have a Treaty.

Bathurst Sportsground in NSW have been told by the council to stop selling sausages at junior footy events due to public health concerns. This is exactly what happened to 11-year-old Chelsea-lee Downes who tried to start a lemonade stand in Western Australia but was shut down by the council before she even got a chance to sell anything. John Roskam wrote about this in 2015.

We’ve also told you how comedians in the United States now won’t perform on college campuses because of political correctness. This week Reason released their feature-length documentary filmCan We Take A Joke?, which is now available to download here.

Stand-up comedy has always fought back against political correctness. Read this great article from Doug Linder of the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 2003 on how 1950s comedian Lenny Bruce used to perform while police were on hand to arrest him for being obscene.

This week’s long read is from the latest edition of Standpoint. It’s a 5,700 word essay from a speech delivered by its founding editor Daniel Johnson in Jerusalem on why the West and its ideas will prevail.

Our friends at The Spectator Australia have opened submissions for the prestigious Thawley Prize. The winning essay on the topic of ‘Australia in 10 years time’ receives a prize of $5,000.

The 2016 Annual Conference of the Samuel Griffith Society is in Adelaide next weekend – 12-14 August. The brilliant line up of speakers includes the Chief Justice of the High Court Robert French AC, the Hon. Ian Callinan AC, Brendan O’Neill, Margaret Cunneen SC, Professor James Allan, and the IPA’s John Roskam. Tony Abbott is the special guest speaker at the Friday night dinner on the topic – ‘Our present discontents’. Book for the dinner or the whole conference here.

Article of the week

The great Matt Ridley explains in The Times on Sunday on why anyone can predict the future with more success than those who call themselves experts on it.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: John Roskam

In July, the fantastic PragerU released this must-see video – already with nearly 600,000 views – explaining why the old argument “97% of climate scientists agree that me” is completely wrong.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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