Missing Link, Friday 6 July

In an obvious bid for some inter-thread Missing Link stoushing, Amanda has decided to do her arts review as a series of links (or, alternatively – and more likely – I have seriously screwed something up). We are also down on some personnel, with Ken Parish still snowed under at work and Jason Soon missing in action. James Farrell also nearly got rolled over by the flu, but bravely stayed in the saddle and put in his contributions.

Today’s (shorthanded) Missing Link compiled by Amanda Rose, James Farrell and Legal Eagle, with Helen ‘skepticlawyer’ Dale editing (and consuming too much red wine during said editing).

penguins.gifMany thanks to those people who extended Legal Eagle such a warm welcome in the last issue.

Alas, I’ve been unable to cobble together a unifying theme for this edition, although it hasn’t been for want of news. There’s still quite a bit of fall-out over recent events in the UK, with Tim Blair and Austrolabe lining up (yes, really!) on the fact that Glaswegians (a.k.a ‘Weegies’) weren’t copping any from any terrorists.

Via Andrew Bartlett in the comments: some more interesting alignments, also involving Austrolabe and – this time – Catallaxy. Here’s Austrolabe (Catallaxy’s take is more economically oriented):

Two doctors were taken in for questioning: one was held under anti-terrorism powers and has still not been charged; and the other was released without charge. Overseas doctors, particularly doctors from Muslim countries are understandably worried about how all this publicity about the two doctors will affect them and their families. So rather than show some sort of restraint, Greens Senator Bob Brown is in the media arguing that the arrest proves highly-skilled immigrants, such as overseas doctors, are not being vetted appropriately and therefore pose a security risk.

A personal fave is David Tiley’s post about the evolutionary ancestors of today’s penguin, including a variety that weighed in at over 100kg. I’ve pinched David’s graphic to decorate today’s Missing Link. I also liked Cam’s lovely bit of scienceblogging at South Sea Republic – on internet ‘background radiation’, no less.

1. News and Politics Stuff

There were several posts on Apple’s new iPhone. Nick Gruen’s here at Troppo was the pick, and set off a lively comments thread.

Andrew Bartlett agrees with Gordon Brown’s reform proposals, especially the prohibition against going to war without approval by the parliament. Pommygranate keeps tabs on the telly in his former homeland, this time with an excellent piece on the BBC’s ‘Question Time’.

Jason Soon carefully assesses a recent study allegedly showing that politically unfree but economically free countries grow faster than countries that are both economically and politically free. Andrew Norton, meanwhile, digs up some data showing that Australia’s university students are starting their courses older, as they use the buoyant employment market to work for a long enough period in order to qualify for the independent rate of Youth Allowance.

Andrew Leigh has done the economist’s thing and calculated the probabilities for every seat in Australia. Well worth a look. Thoughtful Greeny Steve Munn shows he is one on the left who gets the concept of comparative advantage. Well worth a read.

Heath G has a thought provoking post on the idea of congestion charging on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, while Harry Clarke has a fascinating piece on Pituri, the traditional Aboriginal ‘chewing tobacco’ – nowhere as dangerous as the whitefella smoking variety – and asks some thoughtful questions.

‘Not a good look, John’, is Ken Lovell’s reaction to the minimum wage decision announced yesterday.

Mark Bahnisch speculates on the politics underlying the choice of Barbara Bennett as head of the new Workplace Authority.

Helen solved her school holiday problem with a ’48-52′ arrangement, but knows that such deals are still perceived as indulgent in many quarters:

We need to tell the parallel universe of contractors and bosses and employer organisations that hello, these things called school holidays have been around for a long time now and theyre not likely to go away anytime soon. The real world where employees have to be available 24/7, all year round, is a recent fashion…

The government still won’t release its findings on the effectiveness of its 2005 WorkChoices propaganda, and Sarah is not feeling relaxed about this.

Jeremy Sear admires Greg Sheridan’s loyalty, so strong that he is prepared to ‘throw his dignity in the gutter’ and defend Bush’s pardon for Scooter Libby. Meanwhile, Fairlane at Jones Town has a pithy take on Scooter Libby’s pardon.

Ken Lovell also thinks that there’s a bit of a beat up about the terrorist threat. Nothin’ like the politics of fear to get a few votes.

Legal Eagle has a wonderfully rational take on Germaine Greer’s latest foray into Australian political debate.

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

A Guest Hoyden was shocked to learn from Janet Albrechtsen that feminists hate Nancy Drew.

A Western Heart has the ultimate misused mobile story (and no, it’s nothing to do with terrorism).

Lauredhel’s manifesto on invisible disabilities, like her previous writings on this theme, is indispensable.

Returning to the theme of female circumcision, Kim offers to put her money where your mouth is. Go and make a rational comment.

Robert Merkel draws attention to the secret catastrophe of air pollution in China. Scroll down the comments for some handy links on the topic from Brian Bahnisch.

Solidarity analyses the support expressed by the Federal Government for collective bargaining, and finds that the reality is a little different when you look at the legislation.

Jabberwocky has a beautifully observed post about the suburb of Carlton.

Ashleigh is seriously over dweebs who bring their laptops to meetings and then can’t make them work.

Peter Black speculates that social networking sites like Facebook may spell the end of email.

3. The Yartz

Harry Potty

Mocking Iceland.

Token Ethnic.

Brisbane Punk.

Tory pearlclutching.

Adelaide Ideas.

Prison Farm Blues.

Grassroots documentary.

Heartbreaky Adelaide.

Lock up your daughters! It’s Nancy Drew.

4. T.S.S

(troppo sports stadium)

Brian Bahnish’s preview of the third State of Origin; his review in the comments thread.

Sidelined has Shaun’s round 17 footy tips. Well worth a look – I’ve been making a bit of money following (for the most part) Shaun’s lead in the footy tipping comp at work.

Colin at Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe tells how his team were once dismissed for 13 – by Gordon Brown’s old school!

Ozblogistan’s favourite cycling correspondent, Phil Gomes, now has a dedicated Tour de France page hosted by SBS.

5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

At Your New Reality, Darryl Mason picks up on a story about humans hogging sunlight harvested by plants. Yes, really.

Ms Fits at Reasons You Will Hate Me discovers a knitting pattern book at a second hand shop which features herself, at the tender age of two.

At Polemica, Guy discovers there’s nothing like stating the obvious where nut allergies are involved 11. LE: I have a nut allergy myself, and I’m a bit of a klutz, but I’ve never been so stupid as to not realise that a packet of nuts contained, well, nuts. [].

Iain Hall has a post about proposed new sizing for women’s clothes (of interest to all who have put on a size 12 shirt only to be unable to breathe because it’s so tight or, alternatively, find that they are swimming in spare material).

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19 Responses to Missing Link, Friday 6 July

  1. Legal Eagle says:

    SL, so you were drinking red wine too while doing your bit? Me too. As my daughter would say, “NUM!”

    Yes, thank you all who have welcomed me on board so warmly – it’s lovely to be on board.

    LE

  2. Amanda says:

    Just experimentating.

  3. I thought the lining up between Austrolabe and <a href=”http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=2989″ rel=”nofollow”>Catallaxy</a> was interesting enough, but pulling Tim Blair into the mix is also curious in its own way.

  4. I should probably link those two posts, Andrew. Thanks for reminding me.

  5. Shaun says:

    Ok, who is making money off my tips and where is my cut?

  6. Me, Shaun – and I’ll be really dependent on you for the finals cos I’ll be out of the country when they’re being played.

  7. David Rubie says:

    No mention of Le Tour? What sort of sporting section is that?

  8. We’re waiting for Phil to write something. Hint, Phil!

  9. Ahhh, I see. He’s been poached by SBS.

  10. Proposing that wars should not be fought without the approval of Parliament is a no-brainer for the ALP to adopt – and if they feel shy about it then just propose it for commitments of troops to offshore wars. A bit like tax returns that the ATO would fill out for you. All political gain, no political pain and yet in the latter case the ALP waited round for their opposition to announce it. Well that won’t happen with the other policy for a while yet, so perhaps they’ve got it planned for the election campaign. Still I won’t be holding my breath.

  11. fairlane says:

    Thanks for linking to my post. I’ll try to cut down on the cursing in the
    future.

    Who am I kidding? Without the f-word my posts would only be about 3 sentences.

  12. Shaun says:

    The pressure is on then SL! It the Eels make it (which they should) I’m might need to do a heart v head tip as to not lead the punters astray.

    Now, when you are OS you can always wire my percentage of your winnings back to me. ;-)

  13. Jason Soon says:

    Oh yeah, sorry about being missing in action. We’ve changed days and had a few no-shows that I’ve gotten confused about when it’s now on, thought it was due Saturday.

  14. James Farrell says:

    ‘…one on the left who gets the concept of comparative advantage.’

    Goodness me, I didn’t know Rafe had joined the ML team! Maybe not, but that comment is worthy of the old slanderer.

    I’d reckon that comparative advantage is understood by only about half of economics and commerce graduates (despite the best efforts of their instructors), and by about two percent of the general population. The ability to grasp abstract mathematical concepts has nothing to do with political tendencies.

    And don’t forget that comparative advantage is not the alpha and omega of the debate on industry protection. After learning the basic argument for trade, students learn a standard list of arguments for protectionism (national defense, infant industry, etc.). None of these arguments is supposed to refute comparative advantage, though – that’s just simple logic.

    There’s nothing particularly left wing about arguments for protection either. Obviously trade unions representing workers in protected industries will emphasize them, but then so will the owners of those businesses.

  15. I agree with James. Uppity right types think they ‘get’ economics because they’ve figured out that markets are pretty terrific. That’s not understanding comparative advantage – and most lefties worth anything much have figured out that markets are good too (though some don’t like saying so).

  16. Laura says:

    Come on fellows, you can’t get away with that. At least give us a clue where to start learning about this comparative advantage.

  17. This piece by Paul Krugman is pretty useful, as is this primer.

  18. And I’d also recommend reading Steve’s piece, which is very well thought out. Why I linked it, yer know.

  19. Damien Eldridge says:

    Sarcasm alert: Yeah, those infant industry arguments are great. After many decades of protection, Australian car manufacturers have yet to become toddlers.

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