A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, James Farrell, Gilmae, Darlene Taylor and Saint.
John Quiggin has a guest post by Bree Blakeman and Nanni Concu with a field assessment of the NT intervention, with particular reference to ‘the contradictory effects of quarantining indigenous welfare payments’.
Andrew Bartlett accuses the coalition parties of hypocrisy for their rush to establish select committees now that they are in opposition, having had no use for them for the past three years.
Ken Lovell has had a gutful of people who claim they know all about the Stolen Generations issue because they’ve worked/lived in indigenous communities.
Audrey Apple focuses on a South Australian politician with neanderthal views about fashion and rape.
In a post that certainly wouldn’t impress Will Wilkinson (see over fold), Apathetic Sarah urges the Ruddard government to abolish John Howard’s voluntary student unionism law.
Niall Cook sees international power politics in US plans to shoot down a falling satellite.
And on the US presidential primaries contest, Tyler Cowen says it’s an election not a revolution, and candidates’ positions on foreign policy is what really counts (hasn’t he heard of “it’s the economy, stupid”?). Krutic at Blogcritics has some advice for Hillary Clinton on how she can can still win the Democrat nomination. Moreover, Hillary may just be getting desperate enough to draft Krutic onto the campaign team.
On the other side of the ledger, Dale at Faith in Honest Doubt argues it’s dishonest of his opponents to accuse Barack Obama of being a policy-free zone, while Sebastian from Obsidian Wings asks: is the Clinton campaign crazy?
Alessandro Nicolo looks at the distinctly unlibertarian approach of the language police in Quebec.
Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber re-establishes Glenn Reynolds’ credentials as a goose as well as an online bully.
John Quiggin thinks that the US recession will prove a much more fundamental blow to the finance sector than to the real economy. In particular, ‘the capacity to turn risky debt into AAA-rated assets through insurance is unlikely to return any time soon’. As for the ratings agencies themselves:
Given this massive demonstration of incompetence, the idea that US rating agencies should sit in judgement on Australian governments, none of which has ever defaulted on obligations to foreign creditors, is simply laughable.
Andrew Leigh is organising the ANU Conference on Economics and Democracy, and calling for papers.
Joshua Gans was skeptical about the latest book on the pop-economics bandwagon, Tim Harfords The Logic of Life. But he was pleasantly surprised: ‘If you read one economics book this year among the stack recently produced, this would be it.’
From Reason Online:
Writing in The Spectator, Leo McKinstry argues that the defendant in 12 Angry Men was clearly guilty and that “The self-righteous [Henry] Fonda character twists every piece of evidence, and stretches the term ‘reasonable doubt’ beyond any logical breaking-point.” Blogger Matt Sinclair replies with a passionate defense of Fonda, the film, and trial by jury. The Volokh Conspirators weigh in as well, with Orin Kerr pointing out that the author of the original play was “deliberately…unclear” about the guilt or innocence of the accused [but the other two arguing he was guilty as hell – KP]. (No one brings up the feminist angle: Why were there no women on the jury?)
Should a sensitive New Age criminal offender be sentenced to a longer term of imprisonment than an insensitive yob in the interest of parity? Should Paris Hilton receive a longer sentence for drink driving because she had other options? These vital questions and more are addressed by Adam Kolber at Volokh Conspiracy.
Legal academics David Luban and Marty Lederman analyse the legal and political implications of congressional evidence by CIA operatives about its “enhanced interrogation” techniques on terrorism suspects in The Clean Team and the Stain of Torture and Lowering the Bar: Well, At Least We’re Not as Barbaric as the Spanish Inquisition.
Jeremy stands up for lovers of tranquility who move next door to concert venues.
Armed with a particularly dramatic example, Lauredhel deplores the disability sceptics of the world.
One thing I wish decent liberals would get a handle on is this: the idea of the state as a benevolent scientific administrator of all aspects of the lives of its citizens is not a liberal idea. There is nothing about this conception of state power that tends, in principle, to promote liberal values. The values it will promote will be the values of the people who control it.
Dale at Faith in Honest Doubt analyses the shortcomings of public intellectual scientists.
Ophelia at Butterflies and Wheels reaches the unsurprising conclusion that you can’t trust anything Holocaust-denying historian David Irving says!
Tyler Cowen reports on a 1 1/2 hour American blogosphere vodcast special that isn’t likely to be picked up by MSM TV any time soon:
“It is a cook off: on one side was Megan McArdle and Will Wilkinson, on the other side was Ezra Klein and Spencer Ackerman. The five-person panel of judges includes Natasha and yours truly. I deliver the final verdict at the end, citing Benthamite, Perfectionist, and Rawlsian standards for the food. If there is one lesson, it is taken from the cooking of Megan: for most of you frozen cherries will, for cooking, be tastier than non-frozen cherries which in fact are not so fresh at all.”
A mercifully brief extract is at left.
Blogging theatre critic Alison Croggon insists that she is a Shavian crusader not a Himalayan critic.
Meanwhile, two bloggers debate the vital question of whether American theatre is a vital powerful art form or a dying, irrelevant medium (most likely wounded by its own hand).
Should Vladimir Nabokov’s son burn his dad’s final unpublished manuscript? Two literary luminaries disagree.
In a rare non-soccer post, Mike “Football Tragic” Salter argues that the AFL has Buckley’s Chance (no, not Nathan) of getting a second Sydney team going in the western suburbs. It’s just not AFL territory. But it might be if they had Wayne Carey as captain-coach.
Mike Salter also continues his detailed post mortem of the A League soccer season (earlier parts are here and here) while Shaun sadistically reviews Manly’s flogging by Melbourne Storm in a “grand final replay” pre-season NRL trial
Snark, strangeness and charm
Meanwhile, Boing Boing draws our attention to Ellen Forney who has just published a book called Lust: Kinky Online Personal Ads from Seattle’s The Stranger. The one at left is a sample.
Legal academic Dan Markel muses about the desirability of a sex licence for minors contemplating bonking!
Tim Blair posts a commonsense (and reality-based) guide on to How to Avoid Being Fired for Blogging.