a whole lot of useful links…

It’s only April but we’ve already got the quote of the year:

“I should not have to fight with my children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living!”

Yep, that’s right. Parents in New York City want to ban ice-cream trucks.

And one of the most-asked questions in the world has to be ‘Why is American food so bad?’ To find out read this fascinating summary in last week’s Spectator of Tyler Cowen’s new book An Economist Gets Lunch.

For Freakonomics fans there’s this podcast about it. I’ve told you about Cowen lots of times before – he does the Marginal Revolution blog which last month was rated third best financial blog in the world by Time. Here’s the full list.

Here’s the video you’ve all been asking me about. Mark Steyn on freedom of speech in Sydney last month at the IPA/Spectator Australia event. It’s 35 minutes long – enjoy it while eating an Easter egg.

Yesterday we launched the IPA Freedom of Speech Fighting Fund. Click here to learn more about it or to make a donation.

And there’s been uproar in England this week about UK government plans to monitor the internet. To find out just how terrible it is read this – but apparently now they’re backing down.

Ever wonder how taxpayers feel about the man they pay $180,000 a year to lecture them about climate change? So did we. Here’s our poll results.

Barack Obama has just nominated the next World Bank chief. The Lowy Institute says he has “a luke-warm attitude towards economic growth”. Huh? He’s practically a socialist! – you’ve got to read this from Commentary Magazine.

Speaking of socialism, I bet you can’t guess which developed country has had the highest company tax rate for a decade.

You think you’ve heard every half-baked excuse for protectionism? How about foreign books cause health problems?

And if you’re suffering withdrawal symptoms after Mark Steyn and Dan Hannan’s visit, we have the antidote: James Delingpole is coming to Australia! RSVP here for talks in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. And for some classic Delingpole, check out his blog here.

Chris Berg will stand up for free speech at a debate on the Finkelstein Report next week. Details here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

From John Roskam | Thursday, 5 April 2012

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to kimenvhort@yahoo.com.au
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