Another day, another blogger… or, in this case, another member of the Missing Link crew. Ken Parish is leaving us temporarily (although he will be back, be assured of that). This means the Centrist Bloggers require a new custodian, and we’d like you to make gilmae welcome. A genuinely idiosyncratic writer, I once made the mistake of categorizing him as a sportsblogger. While he does write about sport from time to time, he writes about a lot of other interesting stuff, too. Go visit him.
This edition of Missing Link doesn’t have a theme – not one I can discern, at any rate – and is being edited long-distance. It’s a pleasant Friday morning in Edinburgh, while I suspect most of our readers are kicking back after finishing the working week. Its compilers were James Farrell, Amanda Rose, Peter Black, Legal Eagle and gilmae, with Helen ‘skepticlawyer’ Dale riding the bucking bronco of differential time zones, Fringe-induced liver failure and, er, whatever.
1. News and Politics Stuff
On the subject of matters fringy, Beyond the Fringe is most irritated with Peter Beattie’s planned local council amalgamations in Qld, and applies poetry, wrath and photoshopping skills to her irritation. The latter are amusing, so I’ve pinched a couple to illustrate this issue of Missing Link.
Alex White at stoush discusses economic fallacies in response to Howard blaming State debt for the rate rise. Andrew Leigh reprises sundry interest rate myths. Flute points out that as with most other economic problems, Chelsea FC is to blame. Peter Martin points out that if voters don’t like interest rate rises, the ALP is promising an indistinguishable fiscal policy.
Chris Berg, meanwhile, had his response to David Marr’s Quarterly Essay on the decline of political debate under Howard rejected, so he provides it on his blog. 11. SL: Very thoughtful, and well worth a read. [↩] On a related theme, Kim at LawFont disses (wittily, too) the latest attempt to impose ISP-level censorship on the internet. At the cost of $189 million smackers to the Aussie taxpayer, too.
John Quiggin’s latest column in the Financial Review (posted on his blog for the benefit of nonsubscribers) concerns the various sources of financial instability in the US — subprime mortgages and so on — and their likely ramifications for Australian share prices.
Super Secret Textor Polling was leaked revealing Howard’s perception problem; bloggers everywhere express shock that the Honest in Honest John is actually ironic; or not. Niall Cook goes down most of the usual list of Howard’s flirtations with outright dishonesty while also providing a community service in revealing the font used in the Kevin07 logo. Roger Migently slips the boot in with a reference to that old chestnut, non-core promises . 22. gilmae: That bitter cackling sound you can hear? That’s Margo Kingston. [↩].
Solidarity has a piece on the farcical nature of the Howard Government’s WorkChoices ads. It just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it?
LP bloggers too have been talking about propaganda ads and videos. Mark Bahnisch points to his critique in The New Matilda of the government’s abuse of the public service in the case of Barbara Bennett and the Workplace Authority ‘information’ campaign. A new contributor named Trevor links to an excerpt from Constructing Fear, the CMFEU’s new film about the sinister Australian Building and Construction Commission. He wonders if the decision to spread the film on Youtube signals a genuine revolution in political activism. And don’t miss this tour de vent, courtesy of Anna Winter.
A Roll of the Dice points to an interesting US case that says vote swapping is legal.
Andrew Bartlett gives a close-up account of the legislation to enable the NT intervention, pleased at least that the government is now being more realistic about the cost. He notes that Pat Anderson and Rex Wild QC, who wrote the report that supposedly inspired the package, haven’t been invited to the brief and hurried Senate hearings.
Perhaps this indicates that the government doesnt see any connection between their report into the issue of abuse of Aborginal children, and the actions the government is taking.
John Quiggin revisits Plateau Oil (a term he belatedly coinvented, it seems), and concludes that the observed path of oil extraction (a) conforms to standard theories, and (b) isn’t a bad thing. At the same time, Ken Lovell’s appraisal of the Iraq occupation suggests the term Plateau Iraq (which is original, as a quick google reveals).
Charles Murray (of Bell Curve fame/infamy) really brings out political divisions, so it’s worth reading Jason Soon’s thoughtful dissection of his political proscriptions, if only to drain the emotion out of debates Murray has started.
Andrew Norton is ever so slightly over the continued (mis)appropriation of Sir Robert Menzies by various political causes.
2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
Sacha continues his lonely quest to bring math blogging into the mainstream and also directs us to Wilmott, and honestly, who couldn’t love a site with a discussion paper on Relativity Theory’s Implications for Mathematical Finance? (free subscription required)
Jason Soon riffs off a “heated debate” in the Catallaxy threads to discuss the infrastructure policies of New Zealand libertarians – private ownership, don’t act like you were surprised – and Jacques Chester follows up with a call to libertarians to reach for the low-hanging fruit first. Earlier, Jacques had discussed the antecedents of blogs and speculates on what next, fleetingly attracting the notice of one of the more experienced community-herders.
Greenswatch continues to generate blog noise. 33. gilmae: perhaps indicating that what the world needs is Greenswatchwatch.com. [↩] Robert Merkel does the numbers on chicken farming to debunk Greenswatch. Meanwhile, others demonstrate that there was plenty of Greens watching going on already, thanks all the same. Cam Riley posts excerpts from two well-tempered speeches delivered by Kerry Nettle on citizenship tests and new police search powers. Melaleuca chimes in with a pair of posts on the realities of species conservation; ill-directed protests and forestry impact.
Gandhi at Howard Out wonders why there is such a fuss about a bridge collapse in the US, but no fuss about 13 trapped Chinese miners…could there be lurking racism there? On the subject of racism, is this (dredged up by Pommygranate) a case of affirmative action off the rails?
Harry Clarke discovers that China is well on the way to becoming a new home for Christianity.
What is it to be Australian? Guy at Polemica has a thoughtful post about the requirement that new migrants to Australia must speak English. Meanwhile the Orstrahyun tells how the family of the victim of a terrorist attack in Turkey were told they could not get Australian assistance to get their daughter’s body back. To add insult to injury, the family received a pro forma letter clearly drafted for Bali bombing victims… On a more positive note, the Orstrahyun also has a lovely post about the indigenous Romeo and Juliet.
Stephen Warne has a salutary (and expensive) tale about conflicts of interest. Lawyers take note! tigtog catches SBS indulging in a bit of palaeontological illiteracy. She categorises it under ‘Pedantry’, but a fair point nonetheless.
Lauredhel continues her series on invisible illnesses with some tips on what not say to a sufferer.
Could you last 24 hours without using some electronic communications gadget? Peter Black wants to know.
3. The Yartz
For the first time, the Marcia God appears to be sporting REAL HAIR!
~ scott2bc on the return of Australian Idol.
Liz Wong, painter and a freelance illustrator, is making a graphic novel of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
These pocket comics also featured artwork by a new generation of British and international artists, some of whom came from book illustration and commercial art backgrounds, and whose grittier, more sophisticated styles lent themselves perfectly to the tough as nails stories they were illustrating.
~ Comics Down Under reviews Commando: Anzacs At War
Who better than to demonstrate this than the people whos day job it is to take drugs and sing about themselves?
~ Twelve Major Chords on “innovations” with some Penguin book covers.
~ David Tiley links to and discusses visual narrative.
~ Richard Watts spruiks an unusual art project for a mate.
Special Opera Australia supplement:
Marcellous notes a homophobic response to a sub-plot in SBS’s The Circuit.
(troppo sports stadium)
Guido at Rank and Vile muses on who is behind efforts to stop flare rippers at Australian soccer matches.
As is his wont, Phil Gomes is terrific on drugs in sport, with a thoughtful examination of Akermanis’ contribution.
Colin at Adelaide’s Green Porridge Cafe rounds up the 50 most famous sledges in sport. Surprisingly, not all are provided by cricket, although a goodly percentage are.
5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
Darryl Mason has found a study that says walking to the shop might be less environmentally sound than driving to the shop. Seriously. Darryl also alerts us that there’s chunky bacon flavoured ice-cream out there. Ugh.
Prophet at Random Brainwave is reviving an old post out of laziness, ranting with suitable frothiness on the demonstrable unfunniness of Fred Basset.
Legal Eagle thinks those toys designed to make your kids smarter when played with are overrated.