Monthly Archives: July 2013

The French Revolution as Chinese dynastic crisis

This is an essay on the interaction between states and social orders, using China as a prism to examine European patterns, rather than the other way around. According to Japanese historian Naito “Konan” Torajiro, the history of modern China began in the Song dynasty (960-1279), making China the first modern society; an analysis known as the Naito Hypothesis. […]

Learning all the wrong lessons

[I’ve brought this post over from Thoughts on Liberty, in part because I don’t know whether David Cameron’s desire to channel Stephen Conroy has yet reached Australian shores. Australia is a small country – one should expect its experiences to be either ignored or misunderstood in larger countries – however, I think that this level […]

Diet Mince

Authorities in New Zealand have told a South African chef he is too fat to be allowed to live in the country. Immigration officials said Albert Buitenhuis, who weighs 130kg (286 pounds), did not have “an acceptable standard of health”. He now faces expulsion despite shedding 30kg since he moved to the city of Christchurch […]

Funny summaries

Came across this comment which made me laugh lots: Actually there is a cogent neo-Austrian case for fiscal stimulus, not that any self-described Austrian actually espouses it. As a result of the central bank keeping interest rates artificially low, the private sector, being made up of idiots, indulges in massive malinvestment in useless capital of excessive […]

The misogyny of Sharia on display

The story of the Norwegian Qatar resident Marte Dalelv who brought a charge of rape against a co-worker, was convicted by a Dubai court of perjury, drinking alcohol and extra-marital sex and sentenced to 16 months imprisonment has had a “happy” ending; she has been pardoned by the Emir of Dubai. Dubai is part of […]

Starships were meant to fly

There are some wonderful fanvids (fan videos) out there. Such as this inspired (and inspiring) compilation to the tune of the Nicki Minaj song Starships Were Meant To Fly. [vimeo 46927209 w=400 h=300] (Warning, some strangled profanity in lyrics, available here.)  The fan version is much better than the official music video. This is also […]

Ben Bernanke, the Fed and the Tea Party

Ben Bernanke is not a Tea Party sort of person. An academic appointed as Chair of the US Federal Reserve (“the Fed”) by a Republican President (Bush II) and re-appointed by a Democrat President (Obama) who helped organise the bailout of Wall St in response to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), he is the epitome of […]


The Egyptian war chariot was a brilliantly constructed archer’s platform–light, manouevrable, sturdy. Egyptian official art regularly celebrated the prowess of Pharoah on his war chariot. Pharaoh triumphing over the vile Kush. (The Kush were apparently, by definition, vile.) Crushing his enemies under his wheels, setting his dogs on to them, having them flee his power; it […]

So not getting it

I was very disappointed in the 2011 Conan movie. (From its IMDB ratings–5.2–and box office failure, I was not the only one.) I was looking forward to see Jason Momoa strut his stuff as Conan the Barbarian. Being a Stargate Atlantis fan, the thought of Ronan Dex on the big screen worked for me. (Game of […]

No PETA, No Kill

NORFOLK, Va. — Even some supporters do not know what to make of it. PETA, considered by many to be the highest-profile animal rights group in the country, kills an average of about 2,000 dogs and cats each year at its animal shelter here. And the shelter does few adoptions — 19 cats and dogs […]