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Ronald Coase RIP

I have just read that Ronald Coase has died aged 102.

Certainly one of the greatest figures in modern economics. His “dumb” question “What is a firm?” was one of those “dumb” questions that transformed microeconomics. A firm as an island in an ocean of markets. On the island market forces didn’t operate – managerial […]

Vale Paul Mees 1961-2013

I was out of the country when it happened but belatedly now want to express my sadness of the passing of Paul Mees. Paul and I did not see eye-to-eye on some transport issues (e.g. congestion pricing) but I strongly supported his endorsement of the key role of public transport. He had a far more […]

Why Keynes angers conservatives

Conservatives have long linked Keynes’ economic theories to his claimed homosexuality. But Keynes was was one these reasonable people who didn’t like to see people suffer unnecessarily.

Keynes endorsed love. Quote:

“John Maynard Keynes was the sexiest economist who ever lived. This might seem like half-hearted praise since in our mind’s eye the typical economist […]

Margaret Thatcher RIP

Mrs. Thatcher changed Britain and changed the world. She put an end to unbounded faith in ever-expanding government and to the unwarranted role of trade unionism. She had an unflinching commitment to freedom and to free markets. She was a trained chemist who accepted the need for strong environmental policies and for the need for […]

Labor values

Michael Alexander Williamson was National President of The ALP from 2009-2010. His past history of other important positions suggests he is a model citizen in the Australian labour movement. Indeed an aristocrat.

He has some explaining to do. So too does the ALP and the trade union movement. This is not just an incident which […]

Margaret Whitlam RIP 1919 – 2012

An iconic Australia now departed. She had a fascinating life. A most likeable and interesting, down-to-earth person.

Christopher Hitchens age 62

A formidable interview with Tony Jones days before Hitchens’ death. A tribute from his brother. A brief tribute from Christian debating opponent Tony Blair.

Andrew Bolt & Peter Roebuck’s suicide

A disgusting piece of scandal-mongering by the disgusting Andrew Bolt. Bolt is asserting that in the wake of Peter Roebuck’s suicide that he is being assessed unfairly by the media because he is not being treated comparably to a suspect pedophile priest. Bolt admits there is almost no evidence on the issue but that Roebuck […]

Shane gets the sheila

I always liked Shane Warne and thought he would have made a great captain of the Australian cricket team – he had a strong understanding of cricket strategy and had considerable skill at handling the media – at least in interviews. I liked his intensity in relation to cricket and his joy-seeking attitude to life. […]

Bob Gould RIP

I’ve known Bob since around 1966 or 1967. A great character of the left and a shrewd entrepreneur. Bob held strong Marxist views and sometimes said and did strange things. I remember him up in a tree outside the Soviet Embassy around 1968 when we were protesting the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia. His bookstore itself […]

Joe Stiglitz on Strauss Kahn

The ferocity of the mass media’s trial and conviction of Dominique Strauss Kahn on sexual assault charges makes me wonder whether the “presumption of innocence” principle is finally dead. Anything related to sexual crime these days seems to provoke an orgy of self-righteous indignation.

Strauss Kahn seems to have been a worthwhile IMF leader. Here […]

No room for girlfriend at girl’s school

Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School is a very good girl’s school in the north of Melbourne. Both my daughters went to the school and I have a great deal of affection for it and its excellent teachers and Head. This interested me.

David Campbell

The treatment of David Cambell by the media and his own party is repugnant. Our society is becoming more American by the day with sexual images and innuendo thrown at us constantly but with, at the same time, a strengthening moral puritanism. It is an understatement to note that David Campbell does not seem to […]

Jessica Watson

Inspirational stuff – youngest person (short of 17 years old) to sail solo, unassisted around the world. We have heroes! Jessica has her own blogsite, is releasing a book and will sell her story to Newscorp for a packet. I hope she makes a fortune. The deadheads who say her behaviour is masochistic and reckless […]


I have been listening to Leo Kottke for decades – the first time in Chicago around 1983 – he has been performing for 40 years. He is an astonishing guitarist and has a warped personality that really appeals – “When Shrimps Learn to Whistle” (no I can’t steal a copy) is a favourite as is […]


Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in his address to the Australian Parliament said of the relations between Indonesia and Australia:

‘The most persistent problem in our relations is the persistence of age-old stereotypes, misleading simplistic mental caricatures which depict the other side in a bad light.’


Compartmentalized thinking – god & universities

I didn’t get far yesterday with my claim to a postgraduate student that climate change delusionism is analogous to irrational belief in biblical creationism – both involved a rejection of mainstream science and reliance on emotional instincts. The student responded that he believed in the latter – that Adam’s dalliance with Eve created the human […]



One of the posts lost in the recent hack attack concerned Lord Monkton’s visit to Australia. Conservatives around Australia (Albrechtsen and even Barnaby Joyce)* are seeking to distance themselves from this silly toff. I liked the following summary of the great Lord Monkton from DeSmogBlog. The mad Lord Monkton repeats the usual […]

Tiger Woods & Enron

I have admiration for Tiger Woods the sportsman and really couldn’t care less if his sexual drives lead him to have partners other than his wife. But something is lost in my admiration for the guy because of a stench of hypocrisy. Woods’ configured public image as the ‘perfect family guy’ turns out to be […]