Monday’s Missing Link on Tuesday

Mark at Stoushnet reflects on Heavy Kevy’s alleged secret musings about re-introduing some form of AWA

It’s a rude shock returning to editing Missing Link, despite Helen Dale’s more-than-able stewardship.  In fact it was such a shock that I was easily diverted into watching the second half of Bastard Boys on ABC TV last night, in lieu of my editing duties.  I’m glad that I had so little self-discipline because it was superb and not-to-be missed viewing.  I was almost persuaded out of watching by a negative review by Michael Duffy in the SMH.  Duffy claimed a left wing bias in the docu-drama that simply didn’t exist.  He reckoned Combet, Coombs and lawyer Josh Bornstein were cardboard cutout heroes, whereas Corrigan was portrayed as a cold, calculating villain. Nothing could have been further from the truth.  There were certainly stereotypical aspects to the portrayals of Coombs and Combet IMO, but Geoff Morrell’s portrayal of Chris Corrigan was superb.  Here was a proud, warm, humorous if tightly-buttoned and ruthlessly determined man, every bit as courageous and principled in his own way as any of the trade union heroes.  Apart from Christopher Sheil’s review here at Troppo, Melaleuca and David Tiley also review Bastard Boys ( as does Helen Dale in a lengthy analysis).  One of the finest Australian TV docu-dramas I’ve seen, that’s my verdict.  It captured the complexity of the situation, dramatised it convincingly and satisfyingly and avoided bias to the extent any artistic work could ever achieve. 

This edition of Missing Link by James Farrell, Jason Soon, Amanda Rose, Helen Dale and Ken Parish.  I’ll insert some more images later.  No more time right now.

1. News and Politics Stuff

The budget washout continued through last week. John Quiggin was pleased that universities are getting more capital funding, but thinks the Higher Education Endowment Fund itself is a fancy packaging concept that could get out of hand. Andrew Norton provided some much-needed clarification on the full-fee student policy.

Graham Young analyses polling showing Maxine McKew  with a trong lead over John Howard in his own seat of Benelong, and concludes that it certainly isn’t all over for Johnnie yet by a long shot.  Unsurprisingly, the figures also show a strong personal following for Howard in the unredistributed portion of his electorate

David Bath Rebecca at Dead Roo sees higher education as the defining policy issue of the coming election. The government will remove all restrictions on fee-paying places and fees, and universities are beginning to restructure their programs in expectation of a steady convergence to the American model:

Quite simply, if the Melbourne model is allowed to take hold, this may well mean the death of merits-entry higher education in this country.

Rudd’s plans to reverse the trend are causing David Rebecca to suspend his her disillusion with Labor.

Mark Bahnisch contends that the op-ed writers are underestimating Rudd’s ability to appeal to voters with practical, inexpensive proposals, and overestimating the influence of their own ‘clever Howard’ narrative:

The punditariat dont appear to have noticed that as early as Clintons election campaign in 1992, winning politicians have sought to speak over the heads of the political media to the people – through grabs on the news, lifestyle shows, talkback and now the nets.

Duckpond dweller Wmmbb believes that (a) our electoral redistribution process is more rational than the one operating in the US, and (b) that Howard could lose Bennelong; but he/she falls short of attributing (b) to (a).

Phil of Veni Vidi Blogi is impressed by Peter Martin’s column linking the productivity slowdown to WorkChoices.  And here is Peter Martin’s column (which really is worth reading).

Ken Lovell unleashes a glorious polemic against Iraq war apologetics, applying the logic to some other notorious miltary adventures of the last century.

Diogenes Lamp analyses the shortcomings of Rudd’s reply to the Budget while Tim Blair plucks out all the platitudes in Rudd’s budget reply so we don’t have to.

John Ray apologises to the Greenies but it isn’t the sort of apology you’d expect – unless you’re familiar with his writings.

Terje at the ALS Blog provides lot of food for thought for libertarians and everyone else interested in good governance with a post on how the Howard government has been more of a pain in the wallet for taxpayers than the Keating government. Quotable quote:

In gross dollar terms the increase in the total cost of Federal government over the decade almost exactly equals the current total of all personal income taxes. Or to put it another way reducing all personal income tax to zero would leave the budget with the same gross revenue outcome as in Keatings day.

New blogger and recent immigrant to Australia from the UK Pommygranate assesses Tony Blair’s political legacy. Still on matters Pommy, Rob can’t quite get his head around a piece from Christopher Hitchens. Go help him out.

Hopping across the Atlantic, Legal Eagle slices, dices and juliennes US shock-jock Rush Limbaugh, without ever belittling the people who listen to his shows. Very cleverly done, too.

Geoff Robinson muses about the Third Way as Tony Blair finally begins his long-mooted political retirement.

2. The Yartz

Mother’s Day MP3s at Oceans Never Listen.

Naturally the blogosphere has embraced Eurovision. Notable contributions at Dogpossum (the only viewer who doesn’t think Terry Wogan is the best reason to watch?), Darwinian Evolution and Theatre Notes. Guido looks below the kitsch and asks if Australia’s love of the event is smug superiority. You say that like it’s a bad thing. Andrew has been looking forward to the event for days, capped off with a finale party at James’s place.

This is a wee bit old, but auslit pays appropriate tribute to jazz legend Don Burrows.

The topic at Ozfilm is the pitfalls and danger signs in working with editors. Barista has a typically insightful post about film funding and the budget.

3. Life and Other Serious Stuff

Diogenes Lamp takes a break from his usual political commentary with an excellent point by point refutation of alleged refutations of atheism.

John Heard argues the contrarian line against barring HIV positive individuals from immigrating to Australia.

John Quiggin goes on the counterattack against Davidson and Robson’s critique of the global warming petition he is organising with Clive Hamilton. And while we’re on global warming, Jason Soon has an amusing and interesting backgrounder on the strange alliances generated around environmental issues.

Andrew Bartlett experiments with: alternative genres, with an essay in praise of the Queensland Lungfish; and alternative media with
a Youtube talk on the budget! Not everyone can be Brad Delong, nor drinks coffee for that matter, but some props might lift the production a little.

In despair over the creeping commodofication of education, Pavlov’s Cat announces a new blog, where you can ask the Bronte sisters for advice on creative writing.

At ‘Ask The Brontë Sisters’ you can put your questions about any aspect of writing — characterisation, grammar, manuscript preparation, how to write your Creative Writing thesis exegesis, whatever — to Emily, Anne and Charlotte.

If that’s all too highbrow for you, you might still like this T-shirt idea..

For aficionados of the personal blog genre, Carolinkus gives an entertaining account of the highs and lows of running some sort of cafe.

Enthusiastic about sport if nothing else, Sarah makes the distinction between liking the Olympics and liking Channel 7’s coverage. Mark at OzConservative, meanwhile, engages thoughtfully with a piece by Phillip Adams.

tigtog links to a scathing essay on John (Mars/Venus) Gray, which in her estimations ‘is, as usual when [Kathleen] Trigiani takes on Grays purulent misogyny, fanfuckingtastic.’

4. T.S.S

(troppo sports stadium)

Scott at Sportsman’s Journal wraps up the government ban on Australia’s Zimbabwe tour. His tone is a minatory one, perhaps rightly so:

But it is a sad day when the Australian government has to actually ban a tour that should never have been remotely possible to take place. The fault of this is with ICC and their idiotic ‘future tours program’. Australia should be free to make its own decisions about when and where it tours, not have it decided by that pompous imbecile in Dubai.


5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

JF Beck, the confirmed bad boy of Ozplogistan, discusses the sex lives of his fellow bloggers in a post that shows there is more (or less?) to blogging than arguments about the Iraq War and tax reform.

Gilmae’s reaction to the fat kid who scored a million dollar payday from the courts for school bullying was pretty much the same as mine:

In my day, we called them dropouts and blamed their parents for being losers. Apparently now we call them disadvantaged and blame the school system for being what it is prison for kids.

Our infantilisation of ourselves continues apace. Next step, some kid sues the school system cause the other kids wouldnt pick him for cricket games, and wins.


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.

34 Responses to Monday’s Missing Link on Tuesday

  1. Darlene says:

    “…the confirmed bad boy of Ozplogistan”. That’s not saying much. Lock up your, errr, computers.

  2. Ummm, Ken, I still did my bit for Missing Link… and seem to have been forgotten :(

    (And I watched Bastard Boys as well as writing a post about it.)

  3. pommygranate says:

    thanks for the link, Ken.

  4. Ken Parish says:

    Oops! Fixed, Helen.

  5. Thanks Ken. If you want a groovy pic, I like Andrew Bartlett’s lungfish!

  6. patrickg says:

    I am surprised that anyone linked to the Beck post. These nasty, inter-blog spats don’t look good for anybody – on either side – and they are nothing but malicious.

    I certainly don’t think they qualify as a “best-of” in any sense.

  7. Dunno who linked that one, Patrick, but I suspect that, just like the MSM, the blogosphere has its tabloid elements. No use pretending they don’t exist.

  8. patrickg says:

    True enough, but there’s no reason to celebrate it, or indeed encourage it, as we do by linking to it.

    Frankly I think it’s a form of bullying, and it’s not appropriate.

  9. Jason Soon says:

    I put that in. My brief is to cover a particular segment of blogs and whatever goings on that are in it that may be of interest – end of story. If I wanted to put a slant on it, I’d do it on my own blog.

    I don’t particularly like JF Beck. That’s on the public record. I’ve called him all sorts of names and made my dislike of him clear. He’s a prat, but he’s a shit stirrer and sometimes his participation adds tabliodish human drama. So without fear or favour and purging myself of as much bias as humanely possible I do my selections. I didn’t realise there was a moral purpose behind any of this or that we were acting as Big Brother patting bloggers on the head and handing out sweets. I know this may be difficult for you as a member of the sanctimonous left, patrick but that’s for you to work out.

    Ken’s the editor and he has the ultimate call. If he thinks it’s inappropriate he had full discretion to take it out. If the blog entries were selected on the basis purely of quality, I’d say a lot of stuff wouldn’t get in at all. Some stuff is clearly in there purely because it’s shit stirring, some stuff is in because it has a good discussion thread, some stuff is in there because this is something of interest that happens and is represenrtative of the blogosphere which is like life, the good and the bad, the tawdry and the enlightened.

    If I thought Beck’s post was in violation of the law that would be different but he’s clearly just drawn on what bloggers themselves have chosen to make publicly available.

  10. gilmae says:

    Frankly I think its a form of bullying, and its not appropriate.

    Perhaps I was in error then. Perhaps the next step will be a kid sues the school because the other kids chanted “Jeremy and Whatshername, sitting in a tree…”; and wins.

  11. David Bath says:

    A correction for your article: David Bath (though a common DeadRoo contributor) did NOT write about the battleground of Higher Education. The post was from Rebecca (one of the DeadRoo founders).

    Mind you, I share her concerns about the “Melbourne Model”.

  12. I’m not the ed this time, so you’ll have to wait until Ken notices – sorry about that!

  13. Fleeced says:

    Next step, some kid sues the school system cause the other kids wouldnt pick him for cricket games, and wins.

    I recall a suggestion some time back (it may have been one of the comedy festival debates) that these kids become politicians…

  14. patrickg says:

    Can’t resist taking a personal swipe, can you Jason? I wasn’t aware there was a club called “Sanctimonius Left”, but what the hey, sign me up.

    I didn’t mean to offend you, I was just expressing my opinion. Nor am I handing out sweets and patting people on the head. I do think Beck’s post was juvenile, and I think you could certainly make an argument that it qualifies as harrassment – however I’m quick to acknowledge you could argue against that as well. I’ll leave that kind of debate to people like Legal Eagle.

    I do believe, however, that the vast majority of stuff that ends up in Missing Link is both interesting and high quality, I really do.

    I don’t feel like Beck’s post is either, moreover – and yes, this is a moral judgement, much against the grain of your libertarianism – I think it’s potentially hurtful. I wouldn’t be particularly happy if someone put together a post intimating that I was cheating on my girlfriend. I would get over it, but that’s by the by: it’s just not a very nice thing to do.

    Gilmae: I know you think that sentence was a crock, but I will say in defence of the kid – he was strangled until unconscious, and had a tooth knocked out, in year one and kindy.

    If you think that’s regular school-of-hard-knocks rough-housing, well, I wouldn’t want to have gone to your school! That is hard core trauma for a child of that age.

  15. Jason Soon says:

    Nothing to do with the grain of my libertarianism, patrickg. I’m doing my job as I see it. I’ve frequently linked to a lot of stuff which I strongly disagree with but which I think is of interest. As I see it, we weren’t asked to run a potemkin village here. Meta-blogging stuff is as much a part of the blogosphere which would be of interest to third parties as quality commentary.

  16. Ken Parish says:

    I had a look at the Beck post and decided to leave it in. In general my approach to Missing Link is as Jason suggests: a compilation of current posts that readers might find interesting for a variety of reasons and not just a “best of” (which would require a much tighter selection policy). Beck’s post is certainly snarky and not something that I’d personally write. But I also think Beck has a point. If you don’t want your sexual proclivities highlighted by your enemies then don’t write about them on the interwebs in the the first place. It’s a point that applies more to the female blogger highlighted (who I’d never heard of before) than to Jeremy, who was “outed” by Blair and others in the first place for his Internet dating activities and didn’t highlight them himself on his blog. There is certainly an element of bullying in the treatment Jeremy receives from the RWDBs, but he’s perfectly capable of defending himself.

  17. Ken Parish says:

    BTW Having now read the judgment in the Benjamin Cox school bullying case, I no longer agree with Gilmae at all. This was an extremely serious case of bullying extending over many months, which was repeatedly draw to the school’s attention and where the school clearly failed to take any real preventative or remedial action whatsoever. My daughter Bec was subjected to somewhat similar (though less serious) bullying in her early high school years, where the school also did very little. Fortunately she didn’t suffer the drastic psychiatric conseuqences that Cox did. But she wasn’t a tiny 6 year old,

  18. My philosophy is pretty similar to Ken’s and Jason’s – if something is interesting, I’ll generally link to it as part of Missing Link. I define ‘interesting’ pretty broadly, too. If I only linked to stuff I agreed with, that’d be most unfair and I’d be derelict in my selection/editorial duties to boot.

    I’ve included examples of interblog snark before, and have to admit that at times it’s a bit like listening to Scissor Sisters – a guilty pleasure, especially if well done. And Beck, despite his protestations to the contrary, actually writes economically and clearly.

  19. gilmae says:

    It is a shallow opinion based entirely on the SMH article. Just like the proliferation of shallow opinions expressed about the McDonalds Coffee judgement.

    Patrick: I got beat up a couple of times at the same age and took to hiding in the school library. I managed to acquire an actual friend at age eight. So yes, it was a tough school, but kids are wolf packs.

    Still, I don’t know how it works in NSW, but in Queensland the parent would have moved her son to a different school. In a lesser world, the mother would have been held as accountable as the school for not simply removing her son from the situation when the school failed to act the first time. I maintain my callous and shallow judgment of the two as people; dropout and loser.

  20. Link says:

    Thanks to whoever, I guess it was some kind of blogger/lawyer Ken, as he is the only one who calls me by my blog title.

    I’m a bit slow on the uptake, so have only just discovered the link. I take umbrage however at what I feel is a rather patronising description–‘some sort of cafe’. I’m sure you don’t think you intended to be patronsing. But you are.

  21. gilmae says:

    Patrick: Sorry, I had meant to clarify but got distracted, that my earlier comment wasn’t really about the kid, I was just riffing on a theme. It was more that I as able to suppress any outrage on Jeremy’s behalf over the schoolyard-level sniggering of Beck – and Blair amongst others – because Jeremy actively mocked them for it. I think if Sears is able to laugh at them for being so pathetic, so should the rest of us. So bravo, Mr Soon, for bringing such a humorous example of the Sweet-Valley-High-esque Right.

  22. Tim Lambert says:

    Linking to interesting posts is one thing, linking to a malicious troll is another. I suspect that Jason would be less sanguine about Beck’s post if Beck had targeted skepticlawyer rather than ms politics with his insinuation that she had cheated on her partner.

  23. Just read the judgment in the Cox case – thanks for the link, Ken. Pretty appalling stuff, and the senior teacher who told the boy’s mother that ‘bullying builds character’ and that ‘he was glad Ben got bullied’ should never be let anywhere near a classroom again.

  24. patrickg says:

    That’s cool, Gilmae. I agree with you about Jeremy, but still hold my original opinions about the post. I can see where you and Jason are coming from, though.

  25. patrickg says:

    Also Ken, I would argue that writing about your sex life is hardly an invitation to be accused of infidelity. That’s a pretty rough call, man.

  26. James Farrell says:

    Sorry, David; sorry, Rebecca. And I was trying hard to be careful. Part of the problem is that Dead Roo doesn’t show bylines except on the home page. The author’s name appears in the Google Reader, but if I’m skimming a series of posts and it goes David Bath, David Bath, David Bath, David Bath, Rebecca, David Bath, David Bath, etc., it’s easy to slip up.

    Link, if I had actually visted your establishment and afterwards referred to it as ‘some kind of cafe’, it would been patronising. But I used those words because it isn’t clear from that particular post exactly what kind of establishment it is; and, having overlooked them at the time, I wasn’t conscientious enough to hunt through your archive for earlier posts in which these basic facts were no doubt laid out. Can you suggest an alternative formulation? ‘A cafe or something similar’? ‘What I take to be a cafe’?

  27. J F Beck says:

    To set the record straight, I didnt insinuate Kasidis cheated on her significant other. How could I insinuate she was cheating when I didnt so much as hint that anything untoward had occurred during her meet-up with Sear? They had coffee and went to a movie. Big deal. I assumed Kasidis and her partner had split up she did say in one of her fawning comments to Sear that she was spewing she had a partner. Anyway, I didnt mean to give the idea she was cheating. Just so there’s no doubt about that, I hereby unreservedly apologize for any inference that there was cheating going on.

    As for me being the bad boy of Ozplogistan, what exactly have I done to merit that honour? Lets see, I gave an accurate accounting of BBP06 and was called a liar by SL (Jason went all pouty and started calling me names). I made light of Mark Bahnischs workload (Jason reacted with a tantrum and name calling). Ive pointed out that probably 90% of Antony Loewensteins writing is complete crap. Oh yeah, Ive also revealed probably hundreds of errors intentional and inadvertent in scientist Lamberts posts on a range of topics. (Okay, I do think he has an unnaturally large head and might have Aspergers but theres nothing wrong with that because some very intelligent people can probably attribute their intelligence to an Aspergers endowed single-mindedness.)

    Some of you guys take yourselves way too seriously and deserve to be deflated. If that makes me the bad boy of Ozblogastan, cool. At least Im not the most boring boy in Ozplogastan I bestow that honour on Jason.

  28. Jc says:

    Asperger syndrome (also referred to as Asperger’s syndrome, Asperger’s disorder, Asperger’s, or AS) is a pervasive developmental disorder on the autistic spectrum. It manifests in various ways and can have both positive and negative effects on a person. It is recognized by the medical community as one of five neurobiological pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) considered to be part of the autistic spectrum. It is typically characterized by issues with social and communication skills. Due to the mixed nature of its effects, it remains controversial among researchers, physicians, and people who are diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

    Beck come on,

    all of ozweb collectively suffers from this syndrome. I suffer/enjoy the positive aspects of course.


    Jase is one of the nicest guys on the web and does a good job of finding great subjects that even Homer can comment on and not feel intellectually inferior with his obssessive need to always insert Keating and Clinton in any comment on any subject. That’s the negative side of the syndrome of course.

  29. Tim Lambert says:

    Beck, the reason why you are generally despised is that you are a troll — you write things that you know are untrue in order to annoy people and disrupt discussion. We both know this, but I thought I’d spell it out for anyone who is unfamiliar with your conduct.

    Your insinuation was intentional — it wasn’t done accidentally because you wrote unclearly. skepticlawyer already observed (comment 18) that you write clearly. Your claim that you didn’t mean it is a lie, just like everything else in your comment.

  30. Thanks for correcting the Dead Roo attribution, Ken.

  31. Beck,
    I resent you ascribing the “most boring” title to Jason. I am sure my blog on bank regulation, accounting standards and other allied topics must be a lot less interesting than Catallaxy. If you doubt me I will put up a long post on the valuation of bank guarantees and the impact of the differing methodologies under US standard FAS 133 and the international accounting standard IAS 39. Combined with the discussion of DIG E19 up there at the moment, that is about as strong a threat as I can make.

  32. Hmmm. I disagree with Beck on many things but he’s not a troll, Tim. He’s never trolled at Catallaxy (and if any blog lets you go a bit further on that score, it’s Catallaxy). He’s not quite Ozblogistan’s tabloid king – that honour belongs to Andrew Landeryou – but he does do the tabloid thing rather well.

    I may dislike it. You may dislike it. But it’s a legitimate part of the medium and, as I pointed out above, generally well written.

    And, as JC pointed out, it’s quite possible we’ve all got Aspergers. That may not be a bad thing; aspies are pretty smart.

    That is all.

  33. Jason Soon says:

    Hah, Beck accuses me of taking myself too seriously and pees in his panties by being described as a ‘bad boy’ when that was a half-jokey thing. And ironic that I get it from Beck as well as from his detractors because of my inclusion of his fluff in Missing Link.

  34. Ken Parish says:

    I trust that a pleasurably spleen-venting time was had by all participants. I think I’ll close off this discussion thread now before it goes into seriously negative return.

Comments are closed.