Author Archive

Hume of the Week

OK, so this isn’t from Hume, and it is long. But it is from his best bud, Adam Smith, another Scot of practical and insightful temperament. From The Theory of Sentiments, a book which actually was more famous in his lifetime than his later Wealth of Nations. I have broken this single paragraph into several. […]

Anzac Day Needs A Dose of Reality

The festival of cliché that is Anzac Day lets down people like my Dad and my uncle. Make it all real. It's the least we can do.

The Coming Season of Teflon Fools

James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis, has begun a backtrack on anthropogenic global warming alarmism. See here and here. There is too much to say about intellectual and political failures on climate over the past 25 years, so I’ll have to confine myself to a single point: The next five years are going to […]

French See Sand, Insert Head

Faced with an unappetising choice between the unprincipled energy-spray of Sarkozy, and the fiscal, economic and social lunacy of Socialist François Hollande, the French chose, well, lunacy. With a side order of their own brand of Fortress France, Marine Le Pen. As The Economist points out, It says something about the  state of denial  in […]

Hockey Kicks Over The Too-Hard Basket

Set aside the question of short term political impact. Joe Hockey’s speech  to the Institute for Economic Affairs is welcome and long overdue on the issues alone. And when I say overdue, I mean decades overdue for anyone with an historical eye and economic understanding. It is only now, after European and American financial failures […]

AFP Plays Pre-emptive Victim Card

Whatever the facts of last night’s shootings in Kings Cross involving two indigenous teens, AFP’s early take – as published in the West Australian  [since updated] with no additional byline – seems to lose a little news focus as it ends: […] Adding that last paragraph serves exactly no valid journalistic purpose. Even if for […]

How To Set Fire To A Dinner Party

Engage a tableful of thirty-something single women friends in banter. Ask why a man should pay for a date when the only difference between a date and non-date dinner with a man is the possibility of sex at the end of the night. Make the link between sex and money more explicit than you should. […]

What Not To Say If You Want A Future In Politics 3

I think I’d like to pick Tiffanie The GST is exactly what a minor party should support Hugh, your glasses are sitting in my Doc Martins Mark, I wish you’d stalk that bastard who shafted me in Caucus Driver, Anzac Parade Kensington please Let’s meet at The Table to discuss DAs and whatever else pops […]

What Not To Say If You Want a Future In Politics 2

More quotes real and imagined from those who haven’t done so well subsequently: I’ll just need 17 minutes to make my position clear We’ll change it all once we get in power Two trips to China and a suit do not constitute payment for espionage I’ll have more flexibility after the election A vast right […]

More Layers Of Accountability: Less Accountability

The kneejerk bureaucratic or authoritarian response to public failure is to add layers of supervision, direct control and oversight. Catallaxy raises this question about forensic experts in the US, but it speaks to all public sector activity. Indeed, dig a little deeper in conversation about service delivery, and with a very large percentage of people […]

Stupidest Euro-Organisation Ever

Just when concerns are increasing about the effects of widespread government funding and control of scientific research, up pops the idea of ScienceEurope. And just at the time that the Euro-cratisation of national agencies is coming most into question. And just when the decline of productivity-enhancing innovation is hitting the developed world. Check out the […]

What Not To Say If You Want A Future In Politics 1

Fellow Earthians… I’ve got cash…no wait, I’ll use my HSU card Gareth, your beard looks quite fetching from across the chamber Programmatic specificity I’ll be staying in the city tonight, Belinda I don’t care what Robbo says, I’m going to sell the poles and wires It depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is Vladimir, […]

Hume of the Week

One of the lines that first dragged me to Hume’s work. Given my recurring discussion about the Smart Class, and comments on those who see themselves as more informed, it seems apt. Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, and have there given reins to passion, without that […]

Greens To Hit The Wall?

Terry Flew has an interesting post  on just where the Greens are going to get voters if they want to grow at all. He also has some interesting observations on the Green vote in inner cities and its relation to under 25s,  and degreed atheists. Given they’ve already taken the Left from the ALP, and […]

Family Models: History and Future

This is a short extract from a long post by Reihan Salam. Whether you agree or not, it is a fascinating look at family structure, its history and the pressures driving its future. A mix of economics, history and sociology. He finishes on how family choices could drive regional political orientations. Interesting to consider how […]