We’ll start with a community service announcement: The Australian Blogging Conference is to be held at the Queensland University of Technology on September 28 this year. Peter Black, one of the Missing Link crew, has put a considerable amount of time into getting it off the ground, and has even been able to keep registration fees to zero by attracting outside sponsorship.
That apart, today’s issue of Missing Link is particularly rich in blogging pickings and some very spiffy graphics, too. Apart from Peter’s Australian Blogging Conference image, I’ve also borrowed a graphic from Club Troppo’s resident cartoonist, Wicking (along with a rather good Edinburgh Fringe joke):
A performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Circus of Horrors, certainly lived up to its name when one of the unlucky performers had to be rushed to the hospital after his penis got stuck in a vacuum cleaner during his on-stage routine. Daniel Blackner, aka “Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf,” had to be hospitalized after his one-man act went terribly awry, resulting in his penis getting stuck inside a Hoover vacuum, much to Blackner’s – and the crowd’s – horror.
Grods Corp’s graphical take on the politics of bad Grease songs is delicious but not easily reproduced, so all we can do is direct readers to the site. Catallaxy’s Heath G put his photographic skills to good use with the lunar eclipse, including the striking image included in this issue.
Today’s issue brought to you by James Farrell, Amanda Rose, Peter Black and gilmae, with Helen ‘skepticlawyer’ Dale battling sundry technical kafups (didn’t want to be edited, I don’t think).
1. News and Politics Stuff
Pavlov’s Cat is stunned by some of the loopily illiberal policies being rolled out in Aboriginal communities in the wake of recent ‘interventions’.
Lord Sedgwick is deeply peeved that Sydney’s hoi polloi will be prevented from watching the APEC fireworks – they’re for VIPs only.
Andrew Landeryou remembers fondly Paul Keating:
I don’t always agree with Big Paul these days and I fear his interests in China might sometimes cloud his view about the role of the US in our region, but he truly was the man and when he unleashes in interviews of this kind you can’t help but remember fondly his flamboyant style of leadership. He even managed to stay on message and not give the ALP a thump.
However, on international affairs – particularly Iraq, Andrew Landeryou feels the left has lost its way:
People who convince themselves they are progressive but want to turn a blind eye to the horrors of the world and do nothing about them need to spend less time denigrating President Bush and a lot more time asking themselves what they really care about. A Left that is more compassionate for trees than people, more forgiving of an Islamist fascist than a democratically elected American leader and determined to craft a new isolationism where every tinpot tyrant is free to terrorise their own people with impunity has truly, truly lost its way.
But it’s the right who are disappearing up the garden path, as John Quiggin sees it. He finds no satisfactory excuse for an article on a neocon website that contained, among other gems, this:
‘The wisest course would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands.’
One commenter attempts a defense, which a little further down is amusingly dispatched by another commenter, snuh. Meanwhile, over at Surfdom, Ken Lovell pours cold water on Dean Barnett’s attempt to portray the Korean War as a blueprint for enlightened US foreign policy. At Blogocracy, Tim Dunlop investigates Barrie Cassidy’s assertion that the surge is working, and finds no definite answer. John Ray is concerned that 2007 may well be best remembered in future as the year Russia completed its transition to Fascism. Not sure if his post on Sunday about paranoia was meant ironically or not.
Roger Migently mocks the proposed Australianosity test and later highlights a particularly eloquent comment to that post. barista is befuddled over why immigrants should care about Australiana. Mark Bahnisch wonders how many dinkum aussies, including his own politics students, would pass on the basis of the political questions in the test.
The whole thing is a farce. I wonder if prospective citizens are let into the mystery of the definition of aspirational nationalism.
Peter Martin on the jam jar theory of macroeconomic management and the benefits of extreme specialisation in a US American hospital. Harry Clarke on our big spending government – but bugger-all tax cuts, of course.
sikamikanico wants *someone* to point out that middle class families overextending their finances have themselves to blame. Jason Soon, meanwhile, sticks up for mass affluence and points out that many of the ‘happiness gurus’ are almost insufferably reactionary.
Area under cultivation is up 17% and area eradicated is up 24% (so the total area producing is down), but yield per hectare is up 15%, so overall output is up 34%. … I wonder how they got the yield up so quickly? Was it improved infrastructure (watering systems), the dedication of better quality land to poppy cultivation, better inputs (fertilizer) or something else? Whatever the answer, that looks to me to be fairly serious evidence of planned investment. These farmers are not just doing this on the side.
Niall Cook has some sympathy for the position of Chris Harris, Greens City Councilor. flute points out it is all kabuki since the agreements have already been agreed, and Sydney-siders are being disrupted for the sake of a silly-shirt photo-op.
Tim Dunlop considers the case of the defunct abattoir South Burnett Beef, whose workers missed out on redundancies — those that were on AWAs, that is.
Bryan at OzPolitics has pretty good evidence that the trend back to the Coalition has stalled. Ed at Nuclear Australia also has an excellent piece on poll trends, in this case with respect to energy policy.
suz at LP blames the rampant Catholics in Howard’s cabinet for the stalling of legislation to extend eligibility for spousal entitlements to same-sex partners. ‘Surely they cant think’, she writes, ‘ that giving Johan von Vloten a pension on Kirbys death will encourage teenagers to go gay’.
Helen on the Balcony thinks that the Geoff Cousins Affair is a sign that the conservative winter is ending. With such a possibility in mind, Jeremy Sear outlines a bold new strategy for Labor: capitulate on every front. Apathetic Gam and Sarah are similarly disillusioned with the Democrats. (They will probably vote for Mary Kostakidis if they get the chance). But perhaps they’ll change their mind when they hear about Andrew Bartlett’s scheme to harness the power of blogging to keep the bastards honest in their NT endeavours.
Daily Life in Russia from Shades of Grey:
You have to make it up somehow and this turns every Russian into a “businessman”, let us say. By definition, the cash must come in. Must. No one in his right mind uses the state medical services so that’s a cost on top of it all.
2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
Tim Blair is unimpressed with the upcoming Blog Action Day where it is hoped that every blogger will post on the environment:
To hell with that. Well devise our own ways to, er, participate in Blog Action Day, possibly involving powerful cars, apartment-sized barbeques, and grotesque consumption of our precious planets withering resources. Commence planning.
slim has started Blogtariat, an aggregator of feeds from a number of Australian-centric op-ed blogs, with taxonomies and ontologies and categorisation. Jacques plays with the idea of comparisons between computer programs and legal documents and comes up with LEGAL, the second most verbose coding dialect ever. 22. gilmae: VB, or VerBose. [↩]
John Surname laments the new phenomenon of mainstream society preferring unchallenging, middle-of-the-mall music. Take me back to the days when we all expanded our minds with U2, UB40 and The Eagles, eh? At least the economists are fighting over music that matters…still. Nicholas Gruen discusses regulation instead.
Vest on how all prior generations actually are well adjusted, despite being told no on occasion while being raised.
Tim Lambert challenges The Australian’s environment writer Matthew Warren again, this time over water heater calculations.
Lauredhel has been a busy girl, producing among other things this short biography of a nineteenth century feminist called Dagmar Berne, and the beginnings of a compendium on how to support other people’s struggles (she invites help re. class)
Carnival of Australia this month is on at Dipping into the Blogpond.
Barista has an amusing take on the institutional editing of Wikipedia.
3. The Yartz
“Alexander Downer nude.” Is it a good thing, we ask ourselves, for the Downer dynasty to celebrate itself in the public domain with an image that might otherwise be on a watchlist?
~ Art Wranglers
What will it become?
~ Indulging My Inner Knitter
Hoik up your diamante g-string and grab yourself a $2 champers – it’s LADIES’ NIGHT at Idol!
~ Bland Canyon
Is it important (how important is it) to acknowledge (to use) the form (and/or content) of the space in which you present the work? What does it say about the content of the work youre presenting?
Questions I’m frequently asked by small children:
~ Wicking’s weblog
Unlike in the USA, where Hollywood is frequently accused of ‘hating America’ by the Republican right, mainstream Russian cinema is wholly supportive of Putin’s cultural and political agenda.
Roger Migently on an interview with Clive James, and reminiscences about interviewing James in the mid-seventies.
Bloggers out and about
~ Richard Watts at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.
Why listen to celebrities on, ahem, anything? Why not carpenters, receptionists and bakers?
~ Andrew Norton
Egad, a bloke who sings like a bird.
(troppo sports stadium)
The Corridor of Uncertainty launches a campaign for Rotund Cricketers.
Go Blues, errrrr, from Tony the Teacher.
5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
JF Beck has a cheeky question for vegansexuals.
The Baconsphere, ready to clot your arteries – but in an allegedly delicious way – at a moment’s notice. Entirely unrelated – I think – is Ashleigh’s dissertation on the varities of Infant Fecal Output.
saint mentions the new Reincarnation Control Act preventing the wily-nily ad-hoc reincarnation that has bought the Buddhist world to its knees .33. gilmae: Teenaged Tibetan boys have been deliberately coming back in their insect aspect so they can sneak into the girls’ locker room. [↩].