Missing Link

Artist’s impression of Brisbane’s proposed Northbank development, on which The Pencil Guy gives his thoughts (see under “life and other serious stuff”)

The wiki is playing up today, so no internal hyperlinks. And I only had time to insert one photo, liberated from The Pencil Guy (who presumably liberated it from some Brisbane newspaper). But we do have the usual rich assortment of blogosphere goodies for readers’ delectation.

This edition by Jason Soon, Amanda Rose, Patrick Garson, James Farrell and Ken Parish. Helen Dale was busy, so the moderate right blogs remain unscanned until Monday.

1. News and Politics Stuff

Peter Martin has a justified bee in his bonnet about the Coalition’s dissing of Treasury head Ken Henry for daring to suggest that their $10 billion Water Plan might be a poorly planned fiasco which they carefully kept from meaningful Treasury and Finance scrutiny. See here and here and here and here and here.

Niall “Bannerman” Cook muses about interest rates in the wake of their temporary failure to rise this week, as does Peter Martin.

Daily Flute has an acerbically realistic view about the state of NSW State politics.

In a nice change from his usual tabloidish character assassination pieces, Andrew Landeryou has written two thoughtful pieces, one on the possible implications of the new tort on privacy that appears to have been created by the Victorian County Court and one on the many ways Kevvy Rudd could lose the next Federal election.

John Ray at A Western Heart thinks there are some hidden and possibly sinister motives behind leftist peacenik-ery. The sinister motivations of the Left are also a concern of Diogenes Lamp who laments Kevvy Rudd’s bullying of the Chinese over their greenhouse gas emissions. The ALS’ Justin Jefferson has a long and thoughtful piece on why he thinks the welfare state doesn’t really help the poor.

Gary Sauer Thompson also is burning with curiosity as to exactly what advice the government has been ignoring from Treasury. But Gary is a man of many has interests. Over at Junk for Code, he has look at a bit of argy-bargy caused by an article about Kath and Kim posted on Spiked in the UK. He ties it back to that old devil called class. Interestingly, his critique of the Brits could easily be applied to a reasonable proportion of Australians, too, I think.

Audrey is fan of Maxine Mc Kew, and highlights the inevitable double standards we’re happy to apply when it comes to a woman’s choice not to have children and focus on her career, as opposed to a man. Over at Stoush.net, Arleeshar argues that Australian Democrats plans to recruit David Hicks as a political candidate is extraordinarily stupid, a proposition with which it’s hard to disagree. Mind you, his reported views about women and the Great Satan would probably make him quite popular in a seat based on Lakemba. Meanwhile, Gilmae has some pithy thoughts on Hicks:

I wouldnât piss on the guy if he was on fire.

He didnât break any laws though.1

[1] KP: I agree. The whole retrospective law issue seems to have completely disappeared from MSM consciousness, despite the fact that the law to which Hicks copped a plea is fairly clearly retrospective, and retrospective laws are proscribed by the US Constitution.

Ken Lovell guffaws at Howard’s logical contortions in trying to represent the Hicks outcome as a simple matter of justice taking its inexhorable course.

At Blogocracy, Tim is scathing about Our Leader’s exhortation to work until the age of 100:

Not only has Mr Howard presided over an IR regime that allows employment conditions conditions like tea-breaks and annual leave and public holidays to be ânegotiated❠away, he now wants everyone to eat into their own retirement, all in the name of his precious economy. Makes you wonder what the next phase of industrial reforms are going to include, doesnât it?

Taking a short break from her nude self-portait project, Gianna visits Surfdom to unravel the causes and consequences of declining union numbers.

If workers felt pushed to move onto an AWA, this will not magically translate to support for the Liberals and IR changes; they may even be more embittered towards John Howard. The question remains, how much of a choice do workers really have in signing AWAs?

Sarah makes a parallel argument about the health system: the growth of the private health sector, which the Opposition offers as a reason to expand its role in their new policy, has occurred precisely because the Government has coerced us into taking out private cover. Seeking a distraction from these depressing developments, she and her partner in apathy announce their nominations for the Thinking Blogger Award. The list just happens to include a certain Patrick, who is back after a short hiatus with some reactions to a New Yorker article on Wolfowitz and the World Bank. This tale of good intentions and havoc:

is a perfect snapshot of US administration in general. Convinced he’s right, Wolfowitz has gone about achieving his aims with little regard to the counsel or feelings of others. Moreover, he’s convinced he’s right, even when he’s wrong. The checks and balances designed to limit bad (and more broadly I guess all) decison-making in large bureaucracies have been steadily removed, with predictable consequences.

Meanwhile, down in his duckpond, Wmmbb argues that, however the Americans choreograph it, their withdrawal from Iraq will be more painful than their withdrawal from Vietnam, in terms of regional stability, internal stability, and their own prestige.

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

Home Cooked Theory examines a regular meme – that “kids aren’t the same nowadays, in our day respect etc. etc.” – with respect to the way teenagers are dating, or not. Mel argues that teenagers are still doing the same things they always did, just in a different way.

Bryan “Ozpolitics” Palmer (back at his usual digs after server problems) highlights some relatively minor electoral law reforms, including abolition of criminal penalties for defamation of election candidates (with which some disgruntled loser tried to zap William “Pollbludger” Bowe not so long ago).

The Pencil Guy has a great post on the proposed Brisbane CBD Northbank development. Looks as if, like Darwin, Brisbane also hosts some nostalgic yearners for the days when Brissie (I refuse to use the idiotic expression “Brisvegas”) was a sleepy country town. But at least they’re not prominent journalists.

Dr Faustus zeroes in on research showing that Powerpoint presentations may often actually inhibit rather than enhance learning:

Whilst making information accessible is a good thing, it shouldn’t be assumed that you can explain rocket science to morons managers by reducing it to dot points.2

[2] KP: I canvassed my own students about the research yesterday, and the consensus was that they found my Powerpoints helpful and wanted me to keep using them.

Faustus also examines the research on the medical and other effects of “ice” (crystal methamphetamine).

In another of his useful science tutorials, Brian Bahnisch highlights a lesser-known consequence of C02 buildup, namely, the increasing acidity of the oceans, which in turn has grim implications for the marine ecosystem.

Modia Minotaur marks the passing of Dr John Billings with a survey of birth control politics.

(Via Andrew Leigh) A quick roundup of economics blog posts:

  • Harry Clarke on why pot should stay illegal.
  • Alex Tabarrok on the stupidity of American legislators giving medals, but not money, for organ donors.
  • Joshua Gans on the economics of music downloading.
  • Greg Mankiw on the Illinois legislators who donât understand tax incidence.
  • Stephen Dubner on a Welsh randomised trial of a parenting program.
  • Andrew Leigh himself highlights the dubious use being made by governments of research about early childhood cognitive development.

    The Yartz

    Richard Watts reviews The Good German and finds it a less than satisfactory movie, Paul Martin in Melbourne continues to find more to llike at the French Film Festival. Film Alert talks funding and distribution issues in Australia and France, after listening to Radio National’s Australia Talks Movies. Catallaxy deconstructs the economic principles in popular songs.

    Danny has acquired a sketch and painting Batman artist Norm Breyfogle did of a real superhero, Bob Dylan.

    Writer Ben Peek has all you need to know about the Ditmars, the longest running Australian literary award.

    Ken here at Troppo picked up the story of the Chocolate Jesus and other bloggers followed suit, from a variety of perspectives: Legal Eagle,Pommygranate, Arts News Blog and Alternative Hymnal, who manages to get in an always-welcome Tom Waits angle. Legal Eagle also deals more generally (and from a partly legal perspective) with “blasphemous” art and cultural works.

    Over at The Orstrahyun, they take a look at Schapelle Corby’s book deal profits, and where they’re ending up. I think I’d rather not be stuck in an Indonesian jail for twenty-odd years, but at least she’s making some decent dosh from it.

    Shock! Horror! In a fleeting reappearance in the blogosphere, Darlene Taylor reveals that the Prince, for whose affections the contestants on the “reality” TV show Australian Princess are competing, is actually a Pommie actor who appeared in ads for ear wax treatment.

    T.S.S

    (troppo sports stadium)

    Phil at Sidelined muses about the Thorpedo’s guilt or innocence of drug cheating. This comment under Phil’s post rather suggests that Thorpie might well be in strife.

    Amanda argues that there’s bugger-all chance of the two rugby codes (league and union) ever merging, because the rules are so different and most of the rugby chappies are a bunch of up themselves GPS old boy wankers. Which is quite true, but it’s still a great game.

    Shaun Cronin reflects on the progress of the NRL season so far, and looks forward to Parramatta’s irresistible rise up the table. I’m please to be able to link to one of Shaun’s RL pieces. His Friday previews are published too late for Missing Link’s Thursday edition, and they’re out of date by the time the Monday one comes around. I wonder if Shaun could be persuaded to publish his weekend previews on Thursday mornings instead??

    Tony the Teacher reviews Melbourne radio coverage of the AFL.

    Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

    Tim Blair ignores the adage to pick on someone your own size and worries about some kid who’s worried about global warming. And Robert Merkel challenges Tim to an electric ordeal.

    Darryl Mason finds an angel in the Vatican. Duh! Where else would they be?

    At Surfdom, Tim Dunlop opens a doorway into a universe of ex-gay blogs, ex-gay sceptic blogs, and blogs dealing with disgraced gay healers. There are some hilarious Videos from the Daly show (intentionally) and CNN (unintentionally).

    Here at Troppo, Legendary Darwin cartoonist Colin Wicking begins posting a twice-weekly series featuring a grumpy old bear named Ned who may well be Wicking’s alter ego (and mine for that matter – KP).

    Tigtog reviews a hairdressing salon in Enmore ‘where there are kitschy tchotchkes all over the place, and the staffâs personal styling aesthetics orbit around some hipster-goth-emo-punk zone.’ Whatever any of that means. With luck this will not be a weekly feature.

  • About Ken Parish

    Ken Parish is a legal academic at Charles Darwin University, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law) and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 12 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in he early 1990s.
    This entry was posted in Missing Link, Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.

    13 Responses to Missing Link

    1. Amanda says:

      would probably make him quite popular in a seat based on Lakemba

      Morris Iemma holds the state seat based on Lakemba, with an increased margin after the last election. Mamdouh Habib got 0.9% of the vote, I believe, I would expect David Hicks would get alot less. At Fed level its very safely held by Tony Burke. I know its just a quip, but really I doubt he would get much support anywhere (has he not given up on the whole Islam thing anyway?) Not that its going to happen.

    2. Shaun says:

      Thursday mornings eh?

      I’ll see what I can do.

    3. Pingback: Deltoid

    4. Jacques Chester says:

      Keep Mary Jane illegal because it causes cancer? Surely that’s gotta be the most unconvincing bit of wowsering in the history of argumentative pissweakery.

      You can get cancer from smoking any old thing. You could smoke tea leaves or carrot shavings for all it matters: burning organic matter at low temperatures with poor oxygen mix means the creation of carcinogens.

      Next argument, please.

    5. Ken Parish says:

      BTW Jacques. You seem to have the breakout boxes working much better now in layout terms. Is it automated to any extent, or still totally dependent on your manual intercession?

      Of course the task was simplified in the current edition by the fact that I only used one image, at the very beginning. Otherwise the clash between images and breakout boxes might well again have caused formatting problems. I’m not sure how that can be resolved. Positioning images on the left (as you suggested) might sometimes be possible. However, I can’t really use that expedient where an image would be adjacent to an indent/blockquote, because a left-positioned image effectively eliminates the indent.

      Hence I’m not sure whether you’ll be able to develop a WordPress “breakout” plugin that works completely reliably for posts like Missing Link. But most blog posts don’t involve that level of formatting complexity, so it’s probably still a worthwhile quest. I certainly hope you succeed, because I think it potentially adds a new level to the multi-layered conversation that is blogging.

    6. Jacques Chester says:

      Ken;

      I’m still doing it manually. If you look at the source code for modified posts, I wrap editorial comments in a particular set of tags:

      <span class=”sidenote”>The body of the sidenote here</span>

      Which becomes:

      The body of the sidenote here

      In the stylesheet I inserted a style class – sidenote – which instructs on how to move the text sideways, call it out etc etc.

      I can think in broad terms of how such a plugin might work, but it’d require the usual amount of head-smacking and confusion before setting to rights.

      Still, it’d save me having to do it myself by hand, as well as earning me everlasting glory as the person who reinvented footnotes, so why not?

    7. Tony.T says:

      Forget the cancer. Keep Mary Jane illegal because it turns people into boring dickheads.

    8. Jacques Chester says:

      Keep Mary Jane illegal because it turns people into boring dickheads.

      It turned a mate of mine into a successful auditing accountant, does that count?

    9. Ken Parish says:

      Is there a difference? Sorry, sorry, couldn’t help myself. I’m sure there are some auditing accountants who are really interesting people.

    10. James Farrell says:

      Setting aside the question of whether auditing acountants are boring, how exactly would dope turn someone into an auditing accountant? Unless you mean he grew and sold it, and used the proceeds to pay his course fees.

    11. Dealers learn to count their pennies.

      And get on with that plug in Jacques – glory awaits. Wish I could code.

    12. Andrew A says:

      Don’t miss the easter frivolities and dig at George Pell at Beyond the Fringe.

    13. Jacques Chester says:

      And get on with that plug in Jacques – glory awaits.

      I’ve been playing with it a bit. Currently I’ve run into a hitch in the way Dreamhost have set up the visual text editor. I’ve submitted a fix request and I expect to progress in a day or two.

      It may be possible to apply the same plugin to a private installation of MediaWiki, which means it could be done while the editions are being put together.

      Wish I could code.

      There are many, many introductions online!

    Comments are closed.