Monthly Archives: January 2010

I broke them, YOU buy them

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is standing by his comments that women should try to remain virgins until they are married. Mr Abbott agreed that his ”minders” may have been concerned by his public airing of his private views on such topics, but he said today’s politicians “inevitably” had to face more such questions than their […]

Food allergies and negligence

Via the Obligations Discussion Group, I have become aware of a recent English High Court case, Bhamra v Dubb (trading as Lucky Caterers) [2010] EWCA Civ 13. As someone who suffers from a severe food allergy myself (anaphylactic reaction to tree nuts) this case is of intense interest to me. The facts of the case […]

Forgiveness is overrated

One of the advantages of being a skeptic is that you don’t have to reject positions articulated by religious figures just because you think they believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden, but also because you think that core chunks of their doctrine — including bits often regarded as wholly good and reasonable […]

Japanese ghosts are the scariest

I was talking to a Japanese friend about how my parents had a book of Japanese myths and legends, and I loved to read it as a kid, but some of those stories were so scary. I am sure that Japanese ghosts are the scariest and the weirdest. Anyway, I thought I would put together […]

Political correctness on campus

Via a friend, I came across this interesting piece on political correctness on US university campuses. The author starts out with a salutary tale: In 2007 a student working his way through college was found guilty of racial harassment for reading a book in public. Some of his co-workers had been offended by the book’s […]

The limits of law

[Update: now cross posted at Online Opinion – 22/1/10] One of the things that I’m thinking about in my PhD is the limits of law. What can law change? And more importantly, what can’t it change? Who enforces the law? Can we change the way in which people behave by regulating them more? Via CoreEconomics, […]

Demolition Man

Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders have criticised the appointment of Sir Fred Goodwin by the architectural firm RMJM in Edinburgh. The consultancy role will be his first job since leaving RBS after the government bailed it out 15 months ago. Roger Lawson, from the RBS Shareholder Action Group, said it was “ironic” Sir Fred got […]

Oh, the squick, it burns…

I have never seen this film, and I’m not sure I want to see it either, as it seems to consist of humour that makes you excruciatingly uncomfortable at the same time as being funny. Of course the premise is unbelievable: it is economically impossible for a state with significant chattel slavery ever to develop […]

Earliest political memories

[Cross posted at Larvatus Prodeo] Today my daughter was playing with her pink superball while my son was asleep (it’s small, so she’s only allowed to get it out while he’s sleeping). I heard her mutter to her toys while brandishing the pink superball, “This is the Prime Minister, and if you do something he […]

Bloggers, journalists and the law

Richard Ackland has an interesting piece in the SMH on the laws protecting journalists versus the laws protecting bloggers, with some thoughts about the blurred line between journalism and blogging as well. He says: Justice William Gummow of the High Court asked the question last year during an appeal in Ray Chesterton’s defamation action against […]