The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Howard’s tech colleges Flagship in the doldrums

Late last year I posted an analysis of Howard’s ‘vision’ for Technical Colleges. “Both the Tafe and the ATC will be delivering essentially the same programs to the same client base. There will be expensive duplication of facilities and capital works (the TAFE is in the middle of an extensive building and renovation program) and no doubt, many of the staff for the ATC will be poached from the TAFE.” From The Age today: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, Education, Politics

The Canberra Commentariat’s Stockholm Syndrome

It seems that after 11 years of being held hostage by Howard’s spin machine the Canberra Commentariat is suffering some kind of Stockholm Syndrome. Even Michelle Grattan today seemed relieved that the Budget had revived the fortunes of the Howard government, and that at last, Rudd was having a shaky week. Whew! The ball is back in Howard’s court! Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, Education, Media, Politics

Howard’s tertiary education plan big on style, but short on substance

Howard claims his university endowment fund trumps Rudd’s Education Revolution. The MSM are spinning the Government’s line on this today with suitable murmurings of appreciative oohs and aahs. It doesn’t stand much scrutiny (like much of the piecemeal smattering of budget goodies over the full spectrum of potential voter dissatisfaction and interest groups). It is risible, rather than revolutionary. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, Education, Politics

Property rights norms and coercive Kindergarten teachers

There has been discussion on the blogs today about Don Arthur’s post discussing how children at an American preschool naturally gravitated towards property rights norms and how their teachers stepped in to ‘correct’ this. The idea being that this demonstrates the ‘naturalness’ of property-based libertarian free-market economic ideology.

Yet the Lego Town game equally illustrates that, by its nature, it will consequentially create and exclude of a minority of the children. Whether the teachers’ intervention to mirror “the rules of our capitalist meritocracy” was misguided or clumbsy is to miss the point that a property rights norm will naturally disadvantage those without property.

Assuming that those without property will be disadvantaged if they wish to play in Lego Town, how does a ‘natural’ property rights normative social system reasonably deal with the dispossessed, disenfranchised, poor or underprivileged?

Filed under: Big Picture, Blogging, Economics

Teachers are to blame!

You gotta love reactionary rightwing blog commentators. I generally ignore them for the endless drivel about how everything that’s wrong in the world is due to leftists. But I couldn’t resist the latest diatribe from a Western Heart (obviously not a compassionate one) about dozens injured in Christchurch when a car ploughed into a crowd of gate-crashing teenagers outside a party. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australian values, Education, Nonsense

Is Malcolm Fraser a leftist luvvie?

Malcolm FraserIn his recent Commonwealth Lecture, Malcolm Fraser argued that “Our strongest weapons against terrorism are our own principles and belief in liberty. We do not need to overthrow our principles. To the extent that we do, we give a weapon to the terrorist.”

The belief in liberty is a tenet of Libertarianism, yet many Australian Libertarians are ardent supporters of war as an agent of peace and the War on Terror generally. If Fraser is correct, does this constitute a conflict of philosophical interest? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australian values, Big Picture, Politics

It’s IR and climate change, stupid!

The next federal election looks like being decided on the issues of Work Choices, climate change and the economy. Underpinning each issue is the question of balance and effective policy. Howard seems to have to little to offer in any of these areas, other than more of the same. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Politics

The Dog’s Bollocks

What they say

The Dog's Bollocks: "Bollocks" is one of my favourite words, and this is now one of my favourite blogs and I've only been reading it for five minutes. – John Surname

This is the person who tried to analyse Hayek. This is actually a person who needs a shrink. – JC

Shut up slim. You’re an idiot.
Just you stay honest and keep that thinking cap on. – GMB

Insightful perspectives on politics and discussion of matters epistemological? I’m sold! - Bruce

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