A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, gilmae, Gummo Trotsky, Amanda Rose, Tim Sterne, Jen McCulloch and Stephen Hill
Annie Leibowitz photo of 15 year old Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus (see items under “international”)
Graham Young finds Archbishop Pell’s position on Charters/Bills of Rights weak. Gary Sauer-Thomspon covers the same territory, both provoked by a speech given by the priest at the Brisbane Institute.
And speaking of rights,
Robert Merkel looks at the Haneef blame cage match.
In what must certainly be the biggest news story of the week, 15 year old Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus (spawn of execrable C & W singer Billy Ray) has been forced to apologise for appearing in a kiddie-soft-porn photo shoot:
The Disney Channel, who broadcast Hannah Montana, have also criticised the magazine, saying: “Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines.”
Meanwhile, a Slate journo on assignment in China discovers that Disney might be exhibiting just a touch of hypocrisy (see Disney billboard at right).
Jack Lacton has a theory on why Obama is abandoning Jeremiah Wright.
Ken Lovell finds that Dubya has been reading his briefing notes on the Oil crisis.
The most-talked about by Cuban bloggers: arrests of women protesting the detention of thier husbands.
Ophelia Benson takes a horrified look at traditional courting rituals in Chechnya.
Norman Geras wonders about the status in international law of calls for military intervention by southern African nations in Zimbabwe.
Fred Argy is looking for ways that an increasingly possibly recession could be staved off.
Publius on the Clinton/McCain “abolish petrol tax but tax the oil companies” idiocy about which Joshua Gans posted yesterday:
First, it shows that Clinton is more likely to use arguments that explicitly rely on voter ignorance. She knows that this policy stinks, but she is assuming that low-information voters wont know the difference. Those silly latte drinkers with their fancy-pants inelasticies dont understand the working man. But snark aside, the lack of respect for her audience shows far more elitism than Obamas earlier comments ever did.
At Online Opinion, Andrew Leigh makes the case for more widespread use of randomised trials to test public policy proposals (not just economic ones).11. KP: Andrew notes inter alia that the schools anti-drug program DARE was substantially reformed following randomised trials showing it wasn’t working well. I’m not surprised. My daughter and her friends used to gleefully refer to it as “Drugs Are Really Excellent”, which at least suggests that the acronym was sub-optimal [↩]
Break out the champagne! Australia is up 8 places to No. 6 in The Economist Business Environment Rankings, behind Denmark, Finland, Singapore, Canada and Switzerland and way ahead of the US at No. 10 and UK at No. 12.22. KP: But will it stay that way under the Rudd government? And how valid are the rankings anyway? [↩].
Geoffrey Rapp looks at a law professor who is suing some of his students for defamation for calling him a racist!
Daniel Davies makes a persuasive case that the skill of “management” actually exists, contra “off-piste” philosopher Simon Blackburn making a determined early run for international wanker of the year.
You wouldn’t really be surprised that the IPA’s Des Moore thinks the Rudd government’s education policies are more a confused mish-mash than a “revolution”, but he makes some interesting points just the same.
Harry Brighouse and Will Wilkinson both look at issues surrounding removal of children from their parents’ care in the wake of the recent official raid on a US breakaway Mormon polygamist/child-molesting sect.
John Bowen reviews Islam and the Secular State by Abdullahi an-Na`im at The Immanent Frame.
Lynden Barber reviews Along Came the Tourists, a film focused on lives and relations of the tour-guides of former Nazi death camps, which probes “what it means to be German in a post-Holocaust world.”
Robin Hemley offers a post upon the history of the fake memoir.
One of the problems is that the memoir as a term is insufficient. We expect memoirs to be court transcripts. Forty years ago, when the memoir as a genre was reserved for retired generals and doddering actors, memoirs were called . . . novels. Everyone expected a first novel to be a thinly veiled autobiography. They were often throw-aways, the thing you got out of your system before you went on to do your great work. Everyone understood that the warning at the front of the book that all characters were purely fictional was the biggest fiction of all. Graham Greene made fun of this in one novel when he asserted in the authors note that London does not exist. When Thomas Wolfe wrote “Look Homeward Angel,” he really couldn’t go home again to his native Asheville because he had scandalized so many of the town folk. Five years later when he was world famous the only people angry at him were the ones he had neglected to include.
Dai Vaughan reviews Don Delillo’s September 11 novel Falling Man.
“Lucy Tartan” slags a typically cretinous article on jazz by moronic Age write Jim Schembri.33. KP: What with the dreadful standards of the Oz and both Fairfax publications, there must surely be a market niche in Australia for a genuine “quality broadsheet”. Or are the economics of print newspapers so hopelesly debased by Internet competition that the only way to survive is to print half-witted tabloid crap? [↩]
Various authors take up John Scalzi’s challenge to post their one-star Amazon reviews.
Jason Soon previews several upcoming movies based on assorted cartoon superheroes, but doubts that the adaptation of Wanted is likely to be true to the original:
Theyve already changed the main characters from super-villains to assassins presumably to make the characters more sympathetic but the original features characters with names like Johnny Two-Dick, Shithead and F***wit (spoofs of DC villains) and is a real amoral hoot of a work.
Shaun Cronin posts an early edition of his weekend NRL round predictions, and wonders why tomorrow’s City-Country game is being played in Wollongong.
Snark, strangeness and charm
Well, we can finally reveal that the reason Legal Eagle stood down from Missing Link duties not so long ago was that she’s pregnant again. Clearly she wasn’t spending enough time combing the feed reader for ML links or it couldn’t have happened. Congratulations and best wishes to LE and the family
Ashleigh has the magic of salary sacrifice vs employee share plans pointed out.
Tim Lambert doesn’t necessarily think it’s a fantastic idea to accept proffered policy advice from a group of sci-fi authors:
Among the group’s approximately 24 members is Larry Niven, the bestselling and award-winning author of such books as “Ringworld” and “Lucifer’s Hammer,” which he co-wrote with SIGMA member Jerry Pournelle.
Niven said a good way to help hospitals stem financial losses is to spread rumors in Spanish within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs for transplants.
Lauredhel is bemused by a US public health campaign.
Tim Blair scores his weekly gotcha.