Monthly Archives: August 2013

liberal (small L)

A Liberal Party candidate proposed a radical new policing system in which criminal suspects would be injected with satellite-trackable microchips shot from a ”high powered sniper rifle”. Ray King, who is contesting the western Sydney electorate of McMahon, was behind the idea, which he claimed would improve productivity of the NSW Police Force. Mr King, […]

I Found My Thrill

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will face-off in the third election debate in western Sydney tonight. The people’s forum hosted by Sky News will be held at the Rooty Hill RSL from 6.30pm. The night will follow a similar format to last week’s debate in Brisbane where the two took questions […]

No Banker Left Behind

A US bank chairman has pleaded guilty to using bailout money given to rescue his firm to buy himself a luxury home. Darryl Woods used $381,000 (£245,000) of the $1m given to his Mainstreet Bank to buy the Florida waterfront property. Following the US housing collapse and financial crash, Mainstreet needed to be propped up […]

The struggle for the means of reproduction

Recently read the sort of work of history I particularly enjoy–one that gets into how past societies and states actually worked. Edited by historians Walter Scheidel and Ian Morris, The Dynamics of Ancient Empires: State Power from Assyria to Byzantium has essays on the Neo-Assyrian, Achaemenid Persian, Athenian, Roman and Eastern Roman (“Byzantine”) empires (the last […]

Slipshod Soviets

Russian police seized a painting of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev in women’s underwear from a gallery in St Petersburg, saying the satirical display had broken unspecified laws. The officers also removed a picture of the head of the Russian Orthodox church, his torso covered in tattoos, and two others poking fun at MPs who […]

The Turd Umpire

Michael Clarke was involved in a physical confrontation with umpire Aleem Dar and England will press the International Cricket Council to change its rules over bad light as the Ashes series ended in boos and recriminations at the Oval. Clarke revealed he told Dar not to touch him after the official appeared to push him […]

The Gigoyle

A gargoyle on an historic 13th century abbey has caused a social media sensation with its resemblance to the monster from the Alien films. Reverend Alan Birss, minister at Paisley Abbey, said most of the gargoyles were replaced during a refurbishment in the early 1990s. He thinks that one of the stonemasons must have been […]

Miranda Rights

No 10 was “kept abreast” of the decision to detain David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, a spokesman has said. Mr Miranda was held at Heathrow for nine hours on Sunday, while in transit from Germany to Brazil. He has launched a legal challenge over the police’s use of anti-terror laws to […]

States as coordination problems

Economist David Friedman’s theory about the size and shape of nations leads him to postulate that the increased importance of labour income–a result of the Industrial Revolution: one of the ironies of history is that greatly increased propensity to produce capital increases both the scale (through increased demand) and then the average income (through increased relative scarcity) […]

Boarder Guards

Spanish fishermen have sailed into disputed waters off Gibraltar to protest about a reef put there by the British territory’s government. The fishermen say the reef restricts their right to fish, but Gibraltar says they should not be fishing there. Gibraltar police said the protest, which lasted an hour and passed off without incident, ended […]