A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, James Farrell, Gilmae, Darlene Taylor and Saint.
From Students for a Free Tibet – also
Andrew Bartlett invites submissions to a Senate committee he co-chairs, which is currently investigating the sexualisation of children.
John Quiggin and Graham Young both analyse Liberal Campbell Newman’s win in the Brisbane Lord Mayoral election and the Queensland local government elections more generally. Neither sees much joy for the Libs.
Mark from Stoushnet muses that an Olympic year might be a good time for Tibetans to rebel, because the Chinese government might be constrained in its response. Meanwhile, Students for a Free Tibet report at least 67 bodies seen in Lhasa in the wake of the bloody crackdown on rioters. They also report on the Chinese government’s blocking of YouTube and a range of other Internet access modes, as well as pointing out that the Bush administration removed China from its human rights blacklist just three days before the crackdown. Agam’s Gecko also has excellent and detailed coverage of the Tibet situation.
Ken Lovell links to a video about journalists enjoying McCain’s hospitality, that sums up what’s eroding press independence in the USA. We will increasingly rely on Ken to point out, among other things, the vastness of McCain’s deludedness.
On the extreme opposite end of the political spectrum, Peter Faris QC argues that Obama’s attendance at a Christian church whose pastor has Black Power tendencies provides evidence that he’s a closet Muslim. 11. KP: Don’t laugh. This man was once the head of Australia’s premier crime-fighting agency. [↩]
Hilzoy takes a rather more sober analytical look at Obama’s choice of church.
Turcopolier highlights the barrier to any Middle East peace process posed by the ubiquitous presence of Israeli settler outposts throughout Palestinian “territory”, while Juan Cole presents a more balanced than usual if pessimistic prognosis for the surge in Iraq in the light of lack of political progress.
Joshua Gans sets out the whys and hows of eliminating the baby bonus.
Andrew Norton queries whether the ‘OECD everage’ is an appropriate benchmark for everything under the sun, and education spending in particular (not sure whether that’s a Freudian slip or deliberate, so I’ll leave it in).
Harry Clarke summarises the views of three pessimistic American economists on the severity of the recession and its global repercussions, while Brad DeLong adds some further analysis to that of Krugman (one of Harry’s three pessimists). Tyler Cowen reckons you’ll know things are really crook in the US when pundits start mentioning the N word.
John Quiggin has no beard left to shave off, but has dyed his hair and is blogging poetry. Watch this space for pictures; in the meantime, please help him surpass the sum he raised in last year’s World’s Greatest Shave.
Larry Ribstein notes the specter of apparently serious prosecutorial misconduct hanging over the Enron prosecutions (including the trial of its CEO Ken Lay) and wonders when the press will pay attention.
Ever wondered why the ocean is blue? Kevin Zelnio tells you in detail.
Robin Hanson looks at efforts to model the human brain comprehensively on computer.
Will Wilkinson exhibits extraordinary patience in rebutting the argument of an idiot who equates prostitution and child-molesting.
Mark “Oz Conservative” Richardson looks at women who misguidedly seek autonomy instead of doing the right thing and settling down and getting married and having kids.
Harry Clarke takes a hard look at water buybacks in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Cam Riley considers the possibility that democracy as a form of political organisation is a luxury of a wealthy post-capitalistic society.
Ophelia asks some awkward questions about “spirituality” on a Women’s Studies discussion board.
Guy Beres looks at the federal funding formula for schools, while Peter Martin wonders why private schools are getting more and more popular (except in Tasmania and the NT) at the same time as they’re getting more and more expensive. 22. KP: Peter hypothesises that the NT and Tasmania are exceptional because they are “low-earning”. In fact NT average incomes are the highest in Australia bar the ACT. I suggest that low private school enrolments in the NT are instead a graphic example of “white flight” – Darwin private schools nearly all eke out their income with federal subsidies for large numbers of indigenous boarders. [↩]
Alison Croggon ponders the possible creative implications of American playwright David Mamet’s belated discovery of his Right Wing Death Beast tendencies.
Richard Watts carries on reviewing Melbourne’s Queer Film Festival, while Paul Martin continues his series on that city’s French Fim Festival. It must be a high pressure week for Melbourne film buffs.
Marty Dodge reviews new US releases of hard rock and heavy metal albums.
Marcellous is just as grumpy about his Sydney Symphony Orchestra subscription as about his Australian Opera one.
Snark, strangeness and charm
Chad Orzel teaches us how to talk like a physicist. “Sub-optimal” and “adiabatic” are such classy put-downs.
Clem Bastow wonders whether our Nicole is starting to resemble a fruit bat from too much Botox. Judge for yourself.
Albert Park resident David Tiley reports with remarkable equanimity from the battle front of the Australian F1 GP.
Slim Pickens ponders the true meaning of politics.
Mark Curban argues that newspapers styling their columnists as “bloggers” is a stupid business decision apart from anything else 44. KP: Mind you, his core hypothesis that newspapers have an inherent credibility to protect that bloggers lack might be regarded by many of the latter as dubious at the very least. [↩]