Housing and blogging, blogging and housing. Since we did some navel gazing in the last issue, I thought we’d better leave the blog v MSM stoush to the news and politics section, and bring housing affordability up to the top of this issue of Missing Link.
This is such a juicy topic for anyone interested in economics. Are green belts a conspiracy by landlords to keep their rents up? How much income should one devote to repaying the mortgage? And do we need to buy a block of dirt at all?
I know it’s self-promotion, but kicking things off is Nick Gruen’s excellent piece on Demographia, land-release and expensive property in Australia. Next up is Gary at Public Opinion, who looks at the Great Australian Dream and the housing market. Then we’ve got Andrew Norton asking just what constitutes stress on households with mortgages.
Gilmae takes issue with the Demographia angle, suggesting that we’ve all got ourselves in so deep… because we can. John at Australian Politics also suspects that regardless of what we do to alleviate the problem, we’ll continue to to do the housing equivalent of ‘spending up to our available income’. Bannerman, by contrast, uncovers some interesting facts backing up the Demographia contentions, and goes on to point out just how many land speculators with an interest in protecting their margins finish up on local councils. Rent seeking, anyone?
Today’s Missing Link brought to you by Amanda Rose, Jason Soon, James Farrell and Legal Eagle, with Helen ‘skepticlawyer’ Dale editing (in fingerless mittens so that I can type, it’s so bloody cold up here right now. And of course I live in a high-blocked wooden Queenslander. It’s currently colder inside the house than it is outside). Today’s graphic comes courtesy of Andrew Bartlett, and features a student at Palm Island’s primary school.
1. News and Politics Stuff
The Australian has been digging itself into a deepening hole with a new attack on its blogging critics, in particular the inoffensive Peter Brent. John Quiggin thinks this is just another in a series of opinion pieces that reveal a newspaper ‘in meltdown’. As we know, Aussie Bob has long considered Denis Shanahan and his colleagues as primarily a source of ghoulish fascination:
Do these guys at News think their reading public has had a collective frontal lobotomy? Do they expect their customers to just swallow their biased, looney manipulations whole, without even chewing? Do they really despise their blog contributors as much as Shanahan makes out? Are they really so afraid of criticism that theyre prepared to go the humble Mumble?
You can guess what Bob’s answer to these questions is. Over at LP, Mark Bahnicsh accuses the writers from the ‘Government Gazette’ of being precious. In the comments on Mark’s post you will find Tim Dunlop’s mysterious missing post from Blogocracy, supplied by Darryl Rosin. The Ostrahyun decides that war between The Australian and the blogosphere has been declared. For readers who can’t get enough of this ‘blog v. MSM stoush’, Mark has the complete kit here, but it’s Gummo Trotsky who really gets to the guts of the issue. There’s also an excellent response on behalf of the psephelogical blogosphere by the Poll Bludger (William Bowe) and Bryan at OzPolitics.
From the other side of the partisan divide, both Tim Blair and JF Beck take cheeky potshots at Blogocracy’s allegedly spiked post. Saint’s round-up captures just how thoroughly Byzantine the whole business has been. Andrew Landeryou gets thoroughly philosophical, and also makes some worthwhile comments.
Time will tell whether this is just a storm in a teacup.
The detention of Dr Haneef continues to excite bloggers. Jeremy Sear explains that decent citizens have nothing to fear from the detention laws as long as you don’t have a beard or a sinister sounding name. Cam at South Sea Republic trips back down memory lane to 1679, and an early piece of legislation enshrining the writ of Habeas Corpus. Paul Norton fears
that the Federal Police and the Federal Government, for fear of embarrassment if Dr. Haneef is released because nothing is found to justify detention of an innocent man for such a sustained period under such Orwellian legal conditions, will now seek to detain him as long as it takes until their fishing expedition can turn up something semi-plausible which a suitably disposed judge will deem worthy of a day in court.
Eric Martin agrees with Jim Henley’s judgement that ‘force protection’ (as a goal in Iraq) is merely another name for inertia.
Bernice Balconey deploys some arid statistics to debunk proposals to relax water restrictions in Sydney.
Gary at Public Opinion also muses on the role of the late Stan Zemanek in realigning the politics of Australia.
Diogenes Lamp thinks Tony Blair successor Gordon Brown is too soft on Islam, while Amir tackles the amusing storm in a teacup that erupted recently when an Institute of Public Affairs piece led to some of the more dogmatic right wing bloggers accusing the IPA of ‘selling out’ to Muslims.
2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
David Bath praises Andrew Norton for engendering polite and informed debate.
tigtog has found a cruel poem designed to put non-native speakers of English back in their place.
Pavlov’s cat continues her coverage of the Festival of Ideas with a summary of Professor Nestle’s talk on
Apathetic Sarah is dismayed by the fall from grace of Senator David Vitter.
Andrew Bartlett unveils his new internet projects, invloving MySpace and Facebook. In an outrageous lie, Andrew denies that having a blog makes him cooler than other politicians.
John Quiggin furnishes a neat precis of the Swindle broadcast.
At the Dead Roo, Rebecca wonders who can beat the CLP’s radio shock candidate in a bi-election for the intriguingly named seat of Greatorex in the NT Assembly.
Counteract Now has a disturbing post about public perceptions of rape victims.
A Roll of the Dice has a thought-provoking post about criminalising certain types of behaviour – does it really reduce crime?
My personal favourite post of the week (LE) is Skepticlawyer’s post on Equity and Hayek. Not only does it raise my favourite area of law, but one of my favourite historical topics is raised in the comments thread.
3. The Yartz
A free public lecture in Sydney by artist Orlan for those interested in “the status of the body in society.”
Avi went to the It Takes Two finale but is … ambivalent.
Everything you wanted to know about Isabelle Huppert.
A review of the mercurial Regina Spektor in Sydney. (although they won’t let you read it if you’re using IE)
Continuing the review of the reviewers commenced in the last issue, Andrew Elder has an excellent piece on well-known critic Peter Craven.
Barista has a beautiful slow-build post on the quirks and eccentricities of the English language. 11. SL: I know the arts is properly Amanda’s domain, but I added the last two posts because they were among my favourites for this week. [↩].
(troppo sports stadium)
Mike Salter looks at the remaining suspects in the Asian Cup.
5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
Ms Fits wonders about those allegations about Peter Garrett and marijuana use.
For the person who has everything, Darryl Mason suggests a luxury submarine – but watch out for those dolphins if you want to get raunchy.