It’s fair to say that this blog, although newsy, is not a news site. It represents the eclectic contributions of a group of people with disparate interests to whatever happens to take their fancy. Fair and accurate, yes (lawyers tend to be paranoid about this sort of thing), but comprehensive and unbiased, no.
To that end, I’ve gone through our posts for the year and selected those I think were our best, or that garnered the best comments threads. I wanted to group them into categories (perhaps by geography or topic), but that proved too difficult, so, instead, I’ve gone by month, starting in January, 2012. I’ve tried to represent all our writers and our geographic diversity, but inevitably, my selection is just that, mine. Feel free to suggest alternatives in the comments 🙂
Remember the saga of Julia Gillard’s lost shoe and the Australia Day dust up that ensued? Legal Eagle does in this commentary on all things shoey. Meanwhile, in response to those who seek to regulate morals and taste, I point out that law has limits.
Legal Eagle reviews lawyer-philosopher Russell Blackford‘s Freedom of Religion and the Secular State, pointing out that this blog is down with book reviews, if publishers are happy to send us copies 🙂 In related news, DeusExMacintosh reveals how 9 would-be terrorists show that they’ve been getting ideas from Chris Morris films in the rampant stupidity stakes.
Joseph Kony and the Muppet Industrial Complex. Or something. DeusExMacintosh and I address it here. In non-muppet news, Legal Eagle and I review and discuss the Hunger Games phenomenon, via Juvenal, bent Romans, and Steven Pinker.
Kookaburras, Men at Work, and psychotic copyright laws. Legal Eagle has more. On a far more serious note, Lorenzo addresses the appalling complexity arising out of white Australia’s dealings with its Aboriginal population, with an excellent comments thread.
Legal Eagle’s first book is published, guest poster Jacques starts a diet riot, Lorenzo comments on the success of Australian economic policy while I conclude our Hunger Games series started two months previously.
Lorenzo unwittingly starts a Thread of Doom when writing about Buddhism (?!) and engages in a thoughtful dialogue with Bleeding Heart Libertarian blogger Steve Horwitz. In other news, DeusExMacintosh does a splendid job of comedian Jimmy Carr’s tax hyprocrisy.
Yes, we do book reviews, so here’s my review of Kylie Sturgess’s excellent The Scope of Skepticism, while Lorenzo takes on the Gold Bugs out there in Austrian Economics land and DeusExMacintosh points out that the Naked Rambler will get bored of Scotland’s gaols before Scotland’s sheriffs get bored of sending him inside.
I win the Law Society of Scotland’s 2012 Essay Award with ‘A Plea in Law for Equal Marriage‘, Legal Eagle and I address the whole ’50 Shades’ phenomenon, and DeusExMacintosh does the London Olympics funnie to end all London Olympics funnies…
Legal Eagle deals with the comedic legal fallout of art that’s so bad it’s good (or at least profitable) when it comes to Spain’s Ecce Homo ‘restoration’, while Lorenzo asks if we can have an intelligent conversation about Islam after seeing children brandishing posters calling for beheadings on Sydney streets. Of course, DeusExMacintosh does what one ought to do with religious nutters: takes the piss out of them. Then there is the small matter of bank penalty fees, so Legal Eagle provides a case note on the recent High Court ruling.
In the first of a number of posts addressing Alan Jones and the Australian media, Legal Eagle looks at the power of social media in instigating a successful secondary boycott. On a related theme, I discuss how social media is making everything old new again as we–like our village-bound ancestors–have to learn to keep still tongues in our heads lest we get overheard saying something untoward. I also turn (not having done it for a while) to the economics of the GFC, while Lorenzo provides a thoughtful response.
Lorenzo tracks down the fugliest architecture in the world so you don’t have to (tip: it’s in Saudi Arabia), DeusExMacintosh reveals that huge fines for errant passengers on Edinburgh’s monstrously overbudget, overpriced, overtime trams are already on the cards, while Legal Eagle discusses the case of the woman who sued Geelong Grammar for failing to get her into law school.
Legal Eagle reminds us–via a letter from a former slave to his former owner–that the past really is a foreign country. Lorenzo encounters the suburbs and their lack of infrastructure. Legal Eagle, once again, turns to Alan Jones and the ethics of enforced apologies. This leads to two posts that attempt to deal with the conundrum of human pain post Sandy Hook. In the first, I remind people that law has limits, especially in the US, and try to drain the anger and confusion out of much of the commentary by providing accurate statistical information. In the second, I discuss how the NRA’s blaming of video game violence and Hollywood for shooting deaths grossly weakens its case for the 2nd Amendment.
The ending, then, is a downbeat one. Maybe as we all join hands and sing a song of Burns when we see in the new year, we can begin to hope again: after all, hope springs eternal.
And another thing: if you like what we do, feel free to hit the ‘tip jar’ 🙂