Weekend Missing Link


Ken discovered that work kept him from fulfilling his Missing Link duties for this week, which upset him greatly but couldn’t be helped. So that Darlene Taylor – next week’s Missing Link custodian – isn’t completely overwhelmed come Monday, I’ve compiled a weekend version. It’s chunky, too, so there’s lots of bloggy goodies to be going on with until she arrives.

News and Politics

There were several issues that brought Ozblogistan out fighting this week. The most popular topic was the ongoing detention of David Hicks, closely followed by Malcolm Turnbull’s ministerial decision to give Edison’s bright idea the flick.


The Hicks posts ranged from the comical to the deadly serious. I’ve tried to pick out the best of them here – this topic can become fairly pedestrian. Tim Blair reckons five years in Gitmo has turned David Hicks into – Bernard Fanning! Still on the RWDB theme, the Australian Libertarian Society’s Strawman puts the case for bringing Hicks home, and also (as a bonus) shows why conservative RWDBs are slowly losing this particular argument.

Of course, it was only a matter of time before ‘taking the plea’ (as they say in the US) entered the equation, which Howard Out! covers effectively. Similarly, Peter Martin argues that you know you’ve ‘lost the middle ground’ when Ray Martin and Dick Smith start bucketing you over Hicks. Even so, this doesn’t stop James Waterton taking the mick out of the whole thing, or There Ain’t No Sanity Clause coming up with the best. Hicks. Photoshop. EVAH. On a more serious – and thoughtful – note, John Quiggin asks why he isn’t on trial in Australia – for treason. Enquiring minds want to know.

Farewelling the lightbulb

This issue highlighted the contrasts between left and right rather differently from the debate over David Hicks. The libertarians at Catallaxy noted that rent-seekers are out in force. Rent-seekers being industries that stand to gain from the ban, of course. Heath G also argued that persuasion – rather than an outright ban – would be better. Bannerman was equally skeptical. In between was Paul Mitchell’s lovely farewell to Edison’s bright idea, then Link’s clear support for Turnbull’s plan. In a funny take, Larvatus Prodeo’s Robert Merkel asked if Lava lamps and Chrissie decs were going too, while Southerly Buster got into the inevitable lightbulb gags. On a closely related issue, Graeme Bird applied his inimitable gonzo journalism to carbon taxes.

Dick Cheney’s visit produced one particularly good write-up by Blogocracy’s Tim Dunlop.


We’re in an election year, and boy does it show. Lots of number-crunching goodies all over the show, as well as related analysis everywhere else. Bryan at Ozpolitics takes a leaf from Andrew Leigh’s book and goes to the bookies rather than the polls for tips on the 2007 election. Meanwhile, dopey text messages are to the fore at LP as Shane Warne goes into politics. Seriously! Solidarity asks if WorkChoices is the Howard government’s electoral albatross, and speculates that if so, it may be due to women standing to lose more than men on the wages front. Still on matters industrial, Rafe Champion has written a series of posts on Bill Hutt’s historical analysis of the trade union movement in the UK. This particularly beautiful excerpt highlights Arthur Koestler’s recollections of wartime Britain.

More amusingly, Andrew Landeryou’s ongoing admiration (pisstake) of Sophie Mirabella, MP for Indi, continues, while Andrew Norton applies his psephological skills to the water debate. For all those footy tragics who want to combine watching their club ascending the ladder into heaven with politics (the greatest game – yes, no, maybe?) Bryan proposes an election tipping competition. Meanwhile Skeletor at The Spin Starts Here is funny on the utter pointlessness of the NSW election. Modia Minotaur, by contrast, does her best to inject some interest into the NSW election.

Other political and economic stuff

Greer on Irwin

Oops, she did it again. JF Beck and Darlene Taylor are both good on whether Germaine should be up for a national bitterness gong. Yep, apparently she’s been replaced in the National Portrait Gallery by none other than – our Steve!

Sexualising children redux

This issue just won’t go away, especially with the American Psychological Association now sticking its oar in. Contrasting views come from John J Ray at A Western Heart and Cristy Clark at Two Peas, no Pod.

In Africa

Just two posts on the ‘Dark Continent’, but both of them rippers. Andrew Elder is superb on the ongoing trainwreck that is Zimbabwe, while Robert Merkel on another African trainwreck, and its depiction in cinema, is also very good.


Just the one post on this ongoing issue, but a very good one indeed. Jeremy Sear has an excellent round-up on the mounting brouhaha over the F22A Raptor v JSF fighter debate, with lots of lovely graphics from the boys at Air Power Australia.


The lawyers really got going on the case of Hew Griffiths, Australian internet pirate extradited to the US – after three years in the slam – for, ahem, copying stuff. First cab off the rank was LP’s Shaun Cronin, (with some help from Sir Henry Casingbroke). I got into the act as well, focussing on the legal issues, while Legal Eagle – like all good lawyers – picked up on an angle I’d missed.


There were some terrific economics posts this week – something I always enjoy, mainly because I come away feeling I’ve actually learned something new. First up is a great piece on the concept of ‘moral hazard’ from Professor Harry Clarke, followed by Andrew Norton on the economic success of GetUp! (For the best capitalist reasons, too). Best of all is an interesting intellectual conversation on economic responses to global warming between Tom O’Lincoln of Leftwrites and Jason Soon of Catallaxy. Really!

Life and other serious stuff

David Tiley – as is his want – visits strange places and returns with tales to tell. Tigtog – who is challenging LP’s Kim as my favourite (non-Catallaxy) blogger – catches out progressive men bucketing the appearance and race of right-wing women with whom they disagree, and she does not like it one bit. In a burst of nostalgia blogging, Mark at Oz Conservative is very good on remembering your own traditions, while Andrew Bartlett also takes a wander down memory lane, recalling his university days. In a bittersweet piece, Balz at Bilegrip also recalls the SBS that once was, and – inadvertently – shows why it can be very difficult to convince people of the benefits of market solutions to the provision of ‘merit goods’. That said, nostalgia can be taken too far. Rebecca at the Dead Roo is so over the Queen Mary.

Mad Bad Sad and Glad

Rob Corr catches the Australian telling porkies about the destruction of Aboriginal art on the Burrup peninsula – whoops – while James Farrell starts asking some hard questions about ‘happiness research’. This piece is not only excellent in itself, but also notable for some great input in the comments, especially from Nicholas Gruen, Ken Parish and Jason Soon.

On matters sporting, the bloody Kiwis won. Again. And the World Cup is just around the corner, on similar postage-stamp sized grounds. Shaun at Sidelined has more. On a lighter note, Darryl Mason suggests that any rev-heads attempting to outrun THIS cease and desist. Now. Likewise, the best write-up on the Ralph Fiennes/Lisa Robinson Qantas loo bonk-fest is at TSSH.

Having the Currency Lad around Catallaxy has opened my eyes to the beauty of Catholic theology and ritual, especially when it is discussed with compassion and knowledge. Since CL refuses to start his blog up again, Catholic lawyer John Heard is doing his best to step into some very big shoes. Go here for a beautiful meditation on Ash Wednesday and Lent.

Much as I disagree with his politics, the more I read of Leftwrites’ Harry Feldman, the more I like his blogging voice. This piece – on the recent discovery that Anne Frank’s family sought asylum in the US before their capture by the Nazis – made me angry in ways I can’t explain. Especially the little factoid that some polly now wants to give her US citizenship. Posthumously.

The Yartz – Elizabeth Jolley RIP

Aussie writer (and eccentric original) Elizabeth Jolley died last week. People who knew her remember her online. First up is Meredith, followed by Kerryn (aka Pavlov’s Cat). Both posts are well worth a read, especially if you’ve ever wondered about Elizabeth Jolley’s ‘little old lady’ act. She was as sharp as they come, right up to the very end.

Glen, meanwhile, is very funny on why a particular movie. Absolutely. Sucks. Talented artist Chris Berg is now doing occasional pieces for Catallaxy, and one of his pieces decorates this edition of Missing Link.

Well folks, enjoy what’s left of your weekend, and hope that Australia’s cricketing fortunes somehow right themselves before the World Cup.

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10 Responses to Weekend Missing Link

  1. cristy says:

    Great job, once again, SL. I had been wondering where the Missing Link was all week and now my cravings have been satisfied. The only problem is that I now have about 15 posts that I want to read and I don’t usually do the blogging thing on the weekend… (small price really).

  2. glen says:

    yeah, totally

    for a r/w’r, sl, you f’ckin rock.


  3. Thanks Cristy. There is just so much great material out there. I know I sound like a broken record on this score but it’s true. Some of the lightbulb and Hicks posts could have been from The New Yorker, they were written in such a lively style. And James Farrell’s ‘Happiness Research’ piece is my personal pick for blogpost of the week, partly because of the excellent commentary it provoked.

  4. Sorry Glen, I just let your comment out of moderation – and it’s been there since first thing this morning! Note to self – must get used to Club Troppo moderation filter, must get used to Club Troppo moderation filter…

  5. tigtog says:

    I was glad to see this arrive on the feedreader too, SL! And many thanks for the compliment.

  6. Thanks Tigtog. I’m sure Darlene’s as busy as a bricklayer in Baghdad as we speak… so there’ll be more soon.

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  9. Thanks Tim. The lightbulb posts were especially good, I have to say.

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