No Clean Feed - Stop Internet Censorship in Australia

Monthly Archives: January 2011

Widders ‘n Orfens

Downing Street has apologised to Gerry Adams after the prime minister said he had accepted a Crown title. David Cameron told the House of Commons Mr Adams had accepted the title in order to resign his Westminster seat. This was disputed by the Sinn Fein President who said he had not applied and had received […]

Godwin!

Godwin’s law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies)[1][2] is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1989 which has become an Internet adage. It states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”[3][2] In other words, Godwin […]

Surrogacy and the law

There have been a few stories in the news lately about surrogate parents. Elton John and his partner became parents via a surrogate mother at the end of last year. Of course, as they are gay men, the child was conceived with the use of a donor egg. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban recently became […]

Manners, pianners, tables and chairs…

…All belong to the people upstairs. Well, that’s the theory, anyway, at least in England. Middle and upper-class people (and all the fine and subtle gradations in between) are known for their politeness. This is not merely anecdata, either — the phenomenon has been extensively documented by anthropologists such as Kate Fox (I do recommend […]

Spycatcher and Wikileaks: history repeats

[To be cross-posted at the Fortnightly Review in the coming week or so] Who enjoys reading spy fiction, or watching spy movies? I do. There’s something interesting about espionage. Perhaps it’s the secrecy which makes it so fascinating. People love to know secrets: it reflects the broader idea that if something is scarce, it must […]

Chinese Mothers

I don’t know if anyone else has seen a deliberately provocatively titled piece by Amy Chua, Yale Law Professor: ‘Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior’. I’ll give you a flavour of the piece: A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many […]

Government Of All But Talents #ombh

From The Torygraph… Mandrake has cheering news for the nation: Martin Amis is to campaign for the laws on assisted suicide to be reformed. The author, who caused an outcry last year when he called for euthanasia booths to be installed on every street corner, says that he now regards euthanasia as nothing less than […]

Objectively Disordered #ombh

In December the UK coalition government announced that as well as reducing the bill for Disability Living Allowance by 20%, they now intended to abolish the benefit meant to help pay for the additional costs of being disabled and replace it with a harsher ESA-style “Personal Independence Payment”. A foreshortened public consultation over Xmas and […]

Vituperatio: When WorkFare Fails

In December the UK coalition government announced that as well as reducing the bill for Disability Living Allowance by 20%, they now intended to abolish the benefit meant to help pay for the additional costs of being disabled and replace it with a harsher ESA-style “Personal Independence Payment”. A foreshortened public consultation over Xmas and […]

Paradise Drowned

Among the startling images emerging from Queensland’s south-east, the sight of the iconic Suncorp Stadium ground covered by murky flood water was just another reason for heads to shake in wonder. Its freshly laid turf, completed after concerts by U2 and Bon Jovi last month, is ruined. Of course, that damage pales into insignificance when […]