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
From Terry Sedgwick. It’s a bit like the armadillo book that gave rise to the original name of this blog.
Joshua Gans speculates that the Medicare levy change, doubling the threshold before the levy kicks in, might just be a test to determine the cost of further health care reforms, and doesn’t think the increase in luxury car tax will have much effect on prices.
Peter Martin takes the deep breath before the plunge into what will no doubt be a week filled with Budget-related work.
Harry Clarke is watching with interest the recent news on gambling contracts in Victoria. Howard government barracker Harry also thinks the Rudd government is “heartless” on refugees and migration, despite noting that their policies are essentially indistinguishable from Howard’s (just as Howard’s were essentially indistinguishable from Hawke/Keating’s, leaving aside the Pacific Solution, despite all the sound and fury – KP).
Ted Bailieu is still leader of the Victorian Opposition, despite the efforts of two supportive bloggers. Andrew Landeryou presents some of their greatest hits.
John Surname wonders if the Liberal Party will ever get anything right.
The Analyst summarises the madness that is the Burmese military dictators refusing foreign aid. Ken Parish searches for mechanisms for foreign intervention in humanitarian disasters like Zimbabwe and Burma in spite of the local tyrants. Saint and Currency Lad believes the West should just intervene anyway and dare the tyrants to do anything. 11. gilmae: The cocks-out school of foreign policy is the technical term, I believe. Although as CL points out, it worked in Berlin in 1948. [↩] Club Troppo and John Quiggin are running an appeal to donate money to appropriate charities.
Clavos highlights some pretty unsavoury links between the Chavez regime in Venezuela and terrorists.
Juan Cole reports on an apparent agreement between the al Maliki government in Iraq and the Mahdi Army which, though promising, seems to have ceded much to the latter.
Marty Lederman reports on the disqualification from a Guantanamo Military Commission trial of a controversial senior prosecutor.
Jason Soon spruiks a book, Three New Deals, that appears to cover similar ground as Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism without trying to paint Liberals as actual Fascists.
An American pastor believes that marriage has already been transformed and rehabilitated by women, made into a contract pre-supposing love rather than hoping love eventuates. Mark Richardson disagrees.
Helen Dale reports on a libertarian lecture by Tyler Cowen at some junket colloquium she’s atteding in the US. Some interesting reflections on liberty and its cultural determinants(?).
Dean The Happy Antipodean considers Craig Sherborne’s Hoi Polloi, a memoir based upon growing up in an exclusive Sydney suburbs and the strain of keeping up appearances:
This paranoia, a fear of being though ‘common’ (only plebs shout things out in the street, have arguments you can hear from three floors down) infuses the relationship between the intelligent boy and his fretful parents.
The Mercedes in NZ becomes a Torana in Sydney, with the result that the boy prefers to catch the bus to school.
Scott Esposito offers an insightful column on the culture of performance that drives Manuel Puig’s The Kiss of the Spiderwoman
Ming-Zhu muses about the VCA’s dramatic arts postgrad program in praising Brigid Jackson/Adena Jacob’s This is For You, which is finishing up at the La Mama at the end of the weekend.
Belgium author Paul Verhaeghen wins the Independent’s prize for foreign fiction for his Pynchon-like multi-perspective tale focused upon the dark events and the aftermath of the Holocaust (he translated the work into English himself and hence also pockets the translator’s prize-money). The shortlisted titles are here.
Cam Riley believes Taliesin West is worth seeing because of – not despite – not being a show room; it is the test bed of a number of innovations.
Richard Watts reviews Catalpa, a one man play about the rescue of six Fenian prisoners from an English prison in Fremantle, WA, in 1876.
Chuck A. Spear really, really, really doesn’t think much of Jesaulenko and his mark. 22. gilmae: Maybe Chuck was one of the kids who always seemed to be at the bottom of a speccie while at school. [↩]
Shaun Cronin farewells Jack Gibson, the first of rugby league’s supercoaches.
Snark, strangeness and charm
Vest remembers his mother.
Darryl Mason catches HRH the Duke of Edinburgh inadvertently making the case for republicanism.