Missing Link Daily

A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, James Farrell, Gilmae, Darlene Taylor and Saint.



Does D.S. stand for “diced and sliced” or … ?

Nicholas Gruen finds time off from zig-a-zig-ahhing to compare and contrast Hawke and Howard.

Wow. I mean, just wow. Dennis Shanahan really needs to learn to pretend Possum Comitatus et al don’t exist. He’ll at least not leave his guard down throwing haymakers.

Mark Bahnisch opposes four-year terms in Queensland.

Robert Merkel finds little basis for Greg Sheridan’s claim that Obama would be more protectionist than other Presidential candidates.

Ken Lovell argues that former Aboriginal Affairs Minister Mal Brough’s Tiwi Islands business venture is just as smelly as Bob Carr’s job with MacBank.

The Currency Lad makes a welcome return to blogging: Last call for the greatness express (although CL unfortunately can’t reliably be reviewed for Missing Link purposes until he implements a RSS feed, an option readily available to Blogger users). 11. KP: Looks like CL’s got the RSS feed going now. Speaking of that Milne article calling on the Smirker to do a graceful backflip and think again about retiring, is it really a forlorn hope as CL suggests? If Milne is close to Costello (as seemed to be the case), maybe he’s just softening us up for a big announcement. After all, it’s hard to imagine an ex-Liberal Treasurer being a hot prospect for a huge corporate paycheck when his party is out of government federally and in every State and Territory, and I doubt he’d relish going back to the grind of the Melbourne Bar []

Andrew Bartlett remembers former Democrat politician Sid Spindler who died the other day.

*Sorry few piccies today (no time).


Graham takes notice of the WWF paper on carbon emissions and posits the Garnaut review everyone was talking about may have already become obsolete.

Brad DeLong talks centrist commonsense on the Presidential candidates’ NAFTA/protectionist posturing.

Dave Nalle argues that Hillary Clinton’s increasingly desperate tactics are playing into the hands of McCain and the Republicans.

Turcopolier asks: why do they keep fiddling with Lebanon?

Now, unfortunately, Washington DOES care about what the Lebanese are doing to themselves. The Lebanese would be far better off if America just left them alone to fester in their mutual animosities. They are so good at it. It is a kind of art form in the salons and coffee houses of Beirut.

Brad DeLong highlights Nir Rosen on the myth of the surge.


Joshua Gans thinks that a challenge to iPhones under the Trade Practices Act would end in an overhaul of the Act itself.

Peter Martin tells of a weird experiment that gives the flavour of Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational:The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.

Harry Clarke examines the statistics for credit growth in Australia, declaring them to be an ugly set of numbers.
Jono looks at how local councils blow money.


Lawrence Solum posts a weighty analysis of the controversy over whether John McCain is constitutionally eligible to run for President as a “natural born Citizen” (he was born in the Panama Canal Zone), while Jack Balkin takes the opportunity to take the piss out of the originalist approach to constitutional interpretation by advancing a superficially plausible argument that almost every US President including George Washington was constitutionally ineligible

Stephen Griffin conducts a rather more sober analysis of the originalist approach.

Issues analysis

Given that Climate Change presents an existential threat to the earth’s climate system, that there’s a consensus of scientific opinion that the consequences will be dire and that the cost of not taking urgent action are significant then should the United Nations take military action against China in order to save the world given the huge increase in CO2 output projected for them?

Terje Petersen advocates abolisihg the present system of taxi licensing without compensation to the owners.

Johnnnz pokes a stick at Natural Rights Libertarians’ natural rights nonsense while Jason Soon and Sukrit Sabhlok battle out the anti-Americanism among the isolationist Libertarians: by arguing about China.

Tyler Cowan and Matthew Yglesias both analyse John Rawls’ approach to morality and rights and find it wanting (Cowan throws in Robert Nozick for even-handed good measure).


Marcellous reviews Opera Australia’s prouction of Carmen and is unpappy that his subscription list always gets the second string cast.

Alex Ross discovers that they knew about reality TV even in the eighteenth century: 

“Chuse a day on which to represent the most sublime and affecting tragedy we have; appoint the most favourite actors; spare no cost upon the scenes and decorations; unite the greatest efforts of poetry, painting and music; and when you have collected your audience, just at the moment when their minds are erect with expectation, let it be reported that a state criminal of high rank is on the point of being executed in the adjoining square; in a moment the emptiness of the theatre would demonstrate the comparative weakness of the imitative arts, and proclaim the triumph of the real sympathy.”

Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful

 It seems that Manly in Henry Lawson’s day wasn’t so very different from the Manly where I grew up.

Alison Croggon reviews the new Tom Stoppard play Rock’n Roll and finds it doesn’t live up to the hype.


TonyT on the Battification of St Matthew.

Snark, strangeness and charm

Adrian the Cabbie writes about the gay country publican who won local acceptance the dangerous way.

Apathetic Sarah is being monstered by an anti-Semitic perennial litigant.

Dale hates those breathless linking sans commentary posts that were once said to be the essence of blogging (idealising vacuity).

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic at Charles Darwin University, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law) and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 12 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in he early 1990s.
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38 Responses to Missing Link Daily

  1. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Ken et al, I’m sure I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again — thanks so much for maintaining this admirable feature. There are always at least three links to things that I’m really glad I read and would otherwise have missed.

  2. Ken Parish says:

    Thanks PC. That sort of feedback makes it all feel worthwhile.

  3. saint says:

    That Possum post is just the bomb. LOL.

  4. Kevin Rennie says:

    An addition to the Arts and Politics: Kangaroo in Austin, Texas. It is also topical given the US primaries/caucuses today. Will Jack Nicholson save the day for Hillary? Also find out why some Democrats get two votes at an earlier post.

  5. Terje (say tay-a) says:

    With regards to taxi license reform I did not advocate zero compensation for existing license owners although that option has been discussed in the subsequent comments (including by me). Discussing and idea is not quite the same as advocating that idea. I advocate a stepped reduction in the license fee over ten years. Although there are several ways to get to the same end point and I’m not rigid about which is best. The key thing is that the status quo stinks.

  6. gilmae says:

    CL appears to have that rss feed thing done now.

  7. Ken Parish says:

    Aah. If only everyone was that responsive. Law students … staff … children …

  8. saint says:

    Yes, but will it work?

    Or is it like hiding dirty dishes in the oven (don’t ask)

  9. CL's blog is back says:

    My campaign works and I get nothing in return!!!

  10. Ken Parish says:


    Isn’t the eternal silent gratitude of the blogging multitudes enough for you?

  11. wilful says:

    Re that nice picture and its caption, we had an acquaintance with the initials D.S. in our circle, his nickname was ‘…ickles…’. Fill in the initials at beginning and end.

  12. cs says:

    Tks for that steer to Possum Comitatus Ken. As a rare visitor to the ‘sphere these days, this time I was glad I did.

  13. saint says:

    Voice from the past. Is that book finished yet cs?

  14. CL's blog is back says:

    No Ken,

    CL was too poped out after my campaign and relented to write again. Who can hold a candle to him?

    Afterall the only santa CL believes in is santamaria

  15. gilmae says:

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the House,
    Not a creature was stirring, except for those Reds. Under your beds. Watch out!!!

  16. Nico says:

    I think you should have linked Dale’s post without any preamble, just to annoy him. (No, not really).

  17. saint says:

    Re: your comment on CL’s post Ken. I have always thought Costello would make a good state premier. Lord knows we need some decent opposition somewhere in this country.

  18. gilmae says:

    Saint: What do you mean? India won last night.

  19. Jason Soon says:

    James Farrel, etc – it would actually be quite interesting for you Keynesians to join the conversation on this as well.


  20. I have always thought Costello would make a good state premier.

    oh thanks saint. Just as long as that state is somewhere between Perth and Melbourne and underneath NT.

  21. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Just as long as that state is somewhere between Perth and Melbourne and underneath NT.

    Wash your mouth out!

  22. homer i hope CL allows comments. Nothing better than to see you getting chastised by a papist. Blogging patriots can’t wait to see the numerary whip off his cilice and wrap it around your proddy logic.

  23. Tony T says:

    One word for you, Holden: haitch.

  24. christian brothers would have sorted you out Teach. Might have even made a sportsman out of you rather than a spectator. Or more likely made you a litigant.

  25. James Farrell says:

    In reply to Jason at #20:

    Thanks for the invitation to join in. I’m just not sure where. The BrookesNews website you linked to doesn’t seem to have a comments threads, and I don’t feel like commenting at Catallaxy as long as naked insults and ridicule are acceptable there.

    In any case, I don’t see where ‘Keynesianism’ comes into it, as far as the carbon tax is concerned. There are really ony two issues. The first is whether there is an externality that needs to be limited by government measures. If Jackson belongs to the shrinking rump of AGW denialists, it’s the science he ought be debating with John, not the second, and second-order, issue of what form regulation should take. As far as taxes versus cap-and-and trade is concerned, I’m not much of expert, but the basic micro argument — that they should have much the same effect — makes sense to me. I’m assuming that, under cap-and-trade, rights to pollute would be auctioned rather given away to incumbent firms. In that case either scheme would raise a lot of revenue, which would obviously finance a reduction in some other tax. Replacing consumption taxes would be less regressive than replacing income tax, I would have thought, but you probably don’t care about that.

    Making fossil fuels more expensive will obviously reduce GDP and living standards. But the avenues by which this will happen are captured pretty well in the multi-sector models used by researchers in the area, and the magnitudes of the effects depend on elasticities that are best left to the econometricians. I doubt that Jackson, through his reading of Classical Economics, has stumbled on some avenue that these modellers have overlooked. I didn’t try very hard to get to the bottom of what he was saying in that article, but I was struck by the conceit — propogated also by Sincliar in another context — that mainstream economists are all labouring under basic logical fallacies that can only be corrected by reading Mill and Say.

  26. Amanda says:

    Of all the blog feuds I’ve seen – Bahnisch or Lambert vs J F Beck, Iain Hall vs. Jeremy Sear, Tim Blair vs. the world – the mild and civil TonyT vs. FXH stoush is certainly the most entertaining and witty, by a long shot.

  27. TimT says:

    Whoops. That should have been by me…

  28. Kp said

    I doubt hed relish going back to the grind of the Melbourne Bar ..

    While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal
    But I doubt hed suit the office, Clancy, of The Overflow.

    Let me (or Nabs) know if you want to know more about the relish of the grind at a melbourne bar.

  29. C.L. says:

    Thanks, Ken. I only saw this today (Wednesday, 5/3) – so, no, I wasn’t being responsive and must still be considered amongst the disobedient.

    #23 Francis, I’ll thank you to stop referring to me as a member of Opus Dei (not for the first time) if you don’t mind. It conveys nothing but your own prejudice towards non-kumbaya Catholics. Moreover, I dare say you know more people keen on S&M gear than I do.

  30. Sinclair Davidson says:

    I dont feel like commenting at Catallaxy as long as naked insults and ridicule are acceptable there.

    propogated also by Sincliar in another context

    Maybe there were other spelling mistakes in James’ post at #26, but I didn’t see them. :)

    James, you left out Smith, and Schumpeter, and von Mises, and Hayek. At the very least… Alchian, Demsetz, Buchanan, Coase…

  31. James Farrell says:

    That was inadvertent, I swear.

  32. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Pretty funny though.

    Sir Arnold Plant is very under-appreciated.

  33. Ken Parish says:

    I perpetrated a typo in today’s ML where I spelled “blog” as “bog”. I’m prepared to concede that that may have its Freudian overtones, but I’m sure that isn’t true of Sinclair’s name.

  34. James Farrell says:

    Indeed, it’s the very sincerity of Sinclair’s statements that makes them remarkable.

  35. Sinclair Davidson says:

    LOL. I’ve typed ‘Sincliar’ myself a few times, so I know it happens.

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