On Formula 1: Profanity-laced Urbanity.

For a long time there was a group called Save Albert Park, arguing against the Melbourne Grand Prix. On the suburb’s street corners, bearded men (and women) sat on folding chairs distributing photocopied pamphlets and yellow ribbons.  But here’s the thing:  Albert Park is not all that.  It’s dreary and windswept.

The group could benefit from rebranding. One option I consider especially sonorous is: F1ck the Grand Prix.

Five reasons we should say ‘F1ck it’: Continue reading On Formula 1: Profanity-laced Urbanity.

Charter Cities – An Idea

Paul Romer has an idea people are calling crazy.  He was a Stanford Economics Professor, but now he’s quit to pursue full time the idea of charter cities.  Eh?

Paul Romer

Charter cities are based on the idea of charter schools.  These are schools in America outside the education system.  They are generally in poor black areas and have a ‘charter’ – a set of radically different rules.  For example they might do ten hour school days, six day weeks, compulsory uniforms.  They are like free private schools, and they have been extremely popular (59 percent have waiting lists for entry) and often successful (one meta-analysis found most studies of charter schools showed improved student outcomes).

Continue reading Charter Cities – An Idea

Let me tell you / how it will be / There’s one for you / nineteen for me …

Ooh-ooh I’m the taxman.

Ken Henry is a dude from Taree.  He likes wombats.  He is also the head of the Treasury.  The Treasurer asked him to do a big old review into what’s what in the tax system, and what we should do next.

Continue reading Let me tell you / how it will be / There’s one for you / nineteen for me …

Haiti and three kinds of development aid

Haiti was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 last week.  The death toll estimate in this morning’s newspaper stands at 200,000.  We can only hope that the estimate cycle is at its peak, and it will be revised down later.

Earthquakes registering on the Richter Scale at 7.0 are rare but not unheard of.  There were 16 Earthquakes of this magnitude or more in 2009.  Six people died in Japan when an earthquake measuring 6.8 hit there recently.  The  disaster is as much the poverty and ill-rule in Haiti.

Continue reading Haiti and three kinds of development aid

Racial Violence

Melbourne is in the midst of an epidemic of racial violence.  Maybe.

In recent times, a number of Indian people have been attacked. Last week Nitin Garg, a 21-year-old Indian man was killed in Yarraville.

I’ll admit it.  Australia is racist.  Let’s go back to Cronulla beach and the southern cross supermen. There’s enough racism in the city and suburbs to provide for a racially motivated attack.

The circumstantial evidence is circling this event like a pack of ravenous sharks.  Are we going to let the narrative of racial hatred consume this latest event? or does logic demand that we see if we can wrest it from its jaws? Continue reading Racial Violence

the left-wing moral shortfall.

“Imagine visiting a town,” Dr. Jonathon Haidt writes, “where people wear no clothes, never bathe, have sex in public, and eat raw meat by biting off pieces directly from the carcass.”


Dr Haidt’s site is yourmorals.org, where i got my fibre tested. I’m the green bars. You can see that I consider Harm and Fairness to be important moral values. I am less convinced on Loyalty, Authority, and Purity, as moral values.

The main point of the graph is not that my low scores reveal me as base, ill-bred and exquisitely suited to a career in politics. Continue reading the left-wing moral shortfall.

A stab in the back for the heart of the nation.

I had three people bag Canberra to me today. First, I watched a video embedded in this link, in which Former Prime Minister Keating described it as ‘a great mistake’. Malcolm Fraser then described Parliament House as ‘not meritorious in itself’. He was trying his hardest to be nice.

FIve minutes later I was instant messaged by a friend who lives there. Unprompted, she concurred, delivering the pithy soundbite they were aiming at: ‘the can sucks… 🙁 ‘

And it’s true. Continue reading A stab in the back for the heart of the nation.

A new Australian flag

Talk about replacing our national standard has ebbed, waned, diminished and frankly, flagged.

So I thought I’d spark debate by throwing this one into the mix. Its design is based on the indigenous flag. It’s a simple, timeless flag that doesn’t try to look sharp and contemporary, because those factors will fade quickly.

It comprises:

Red, representing the land and its first people;
Blue for the sea and the people who’ve come across it, and
As the centre piece, the seven-pointed star of federation, representing our democracy.


On the upside, it looks like a sunrise, and nobody will get confused between us and the Kiwis. On the downside, it doesn’t contain the southern cross, and is faintly reminiscent of Cuba and Puerto Rico.

This flag was made using this website http://www.wearemulticolored.com. Make one yourself and once you click save, link to it in the comments below! Pop in a quick explanation for it too.