Missing Link Daily

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



We should be thankful for the small mercy that Tim Blair at least doesn’t seem to believe in creationism. (Sistine Chapel detail via the Stumblng Tumblr)

fleeced and Jono both speak out against the $35 million offered to Toyota to build a hybrid car manufacturing plant in Australia.  Guy Beres has distinct reservations about the Rudd government’s decision to subsidise Toyota.

Gary Sauer-Thompson points out that higher oil prices are now the norm not a momentary aberration.


Geoff Robinson questions: can Iraq really be thought to have a sovereign government?

Possum plays pick the Veep.

At Spiked, Brendan O’Neill argues that the bile-filled assault on Irish voters who are thinking of rejecting the Lisbon Treaty shows just how corrupt and undemocratic is the EU.  Henry Farrell also reports from the battlefront (in Ireland on a visit).

Why doesn’t the Guardian want to admit that the British (and Australians) are fighting a noble cause in Afghanistan?

If you thought that story about the Muslim husband in France who got his marriage annulled because his new wife had lied about her virginity, Italian Catholics appear to have even more primitive, heartless beliefs.11. KP: In fact, in one sense I don’t even have a problem with the French situation. Although demanding that the female spouse must have been celibate before marriage is problematic to say the least, a marriage where one of the spouses knowingly lies about a matter she knows is crucial to her partner is certainly doomed. []

Juan Cole covers possibly highly significant reports that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has advised Iraqi President al-Maliki not to sign a new security agreement with the US for 58 semi-permanent US bases and some ceding of sovereignty.


The Stumbling Tumblr looks at a German case in which a German citizen has gone to court in an attempt to force his government to seek the extradition of 13 suspected CIA agents who allegedly kidnapped him, commenting that such a case wouldn’t get to first base in any common law country (the issue would be deemed “non-justiciable”).

Jeremy Sear reckons Victorian A-G Rob Hulls is beating up on barristers like him to distract the public from his government’ s miserable funding of legal aid.

Peter Timmins and Mark Bahnisch both focus on (and links) to a significant report by David Solomon (of fleeting “Elect the Governor-General” fame some years ago) on reforming Freedom of Information laws.

John Quiggin thinks Mark Steyn is a RWDB loony but appears to agree with me (KP) about “hate speech” laws. Tim Dunlop has similar views.  Eugene Volokh focuses on another bizarre decision under the Canadian “hate speech” law (albeit that the speech concerned was pretty obnoxious), and suggests that the thought crime body in question seems to be going beyond the strict limits of the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the “hate speech” provision.

Lawrence Solum on Jack Balkin’s new law review article on The Constitution in the National Surveillance State.


Joshua Gans believes the iPhone 2.0, with its (more or less) global audience, is a lesson in global thinking and business. dr faustus is merely frothing with excitement. 22. gilmae: Two exclamation points in the title? Thats frothing. [] Because every story requires a contrary view,

slide into the cracks

baby boats

you said something?

more oddness feeling at home …. did you see the big fat guy after Gordon Ramsay last night?

Issues analysis

Harry Clarke passes on the good news that there is now little risk of a large scale HIV epidemic amongst heterosexuals. 33. gilmae: Possibly due to negative advertising campaigns directed at general populations increasing awareness of safe sex practices. []

At openDemocracy, Charlie Beckett argues that the greatest significance of citizen journalism and the blogosphere lies in the challenge it presents the MSM to engage genuinely with the public, “network” and become more truly accountable.

Would you have had a beer with your 20 years ago self, muses Will Wilkinson?  And does it matter?

Jeff Lipshaw plays the Wittgenstein card in the ongoing debate about “anti-intellectualism” (oscurantist academic language).


The Audreys’ Taasha Coates

Alison Croggon receives an essay from polymath Dan Spielman about his first play Manna that premieres at the Sydney Theatre Company in late June/early July.Jeremy Sear is battling with the world’s most crap operating system Windows Vista, a fight that has absorbed his blogging time.44. KP: Mental note – buy copy of XP before they stop selling it, so I can load on next computer I buy. []

Paul Martin offers a log of his film experiences over the last few weeks

David Wiley reviews Cynthia Ozick’s new collection of stories Dictation: A Quartet

Bob Williams offers some commentary on French novelist Georges Perec best known work Life: A Users Manual.

European films announces that German director Sonke Wortmann will be at the helm of the adaptation of the best selling novel Pope Joan about a young girl who rises through the ecclesiastical ranks to become the head of the Catholic Church.

Ming-Zhu looks at issues of race in theatre, and the debate on cross-racial casting.

Mark “OzConservative” Richardson looks at the conservative sides of feminist/socialist author Rebecca West.

Kerryn Goldsworthy really really really likes the Audreys.


Shaun Cronin positions himself to live blog tonight’s big State of Origin 2 rugby league game, and condemns the hypocrisy of Australian Story’s focus on public toilet bonking Iron Woman Candice Falzon.55. KP: while failing to notice the hypocrisy of Candice herself complaining of the media focus on her behaviour while ignoring the role of her PR agent Max Markson in creating it and simultaneously assiduously exploiting the whole thing for further self-publicity.  Anyway, as long as she’s enjoying her 5 minutes of fame.  Maybe she could extend it by f***ing Corey Worthington. []

Snark, strangeness and charm

David Tiley puts the Henson affair in historical perspective with a meander through the BBC’s “Green Book” of broadcast standards in the 1940s and 50s.

Jeremy Sear explains his lack of blogging as resulting from wrestling with the world’s most crappy operating system Windows Vista.66. KP: Mental note to self.  Buy copy of XP before they stop selling it, so I can load it on the next computer I buy and not be inflicted with bloody Vista.  Of course there’s always Linux, but I sometimes use speech recognition software and there isn’t one for Linux. []

Kim asks a modest rhetorical question: is Larvatus Prodeo Australia’s most influential political blog?

Roger Migently looks at Bill Moyers’ slapdown of Citizen Murdoch.

Tim Lambert weighs into a comment box blue with his Blairite namesake over disparaging remarks I made in yesterday’s ML about Blair’s lack of grasp (or perhaps disinterest in understanding) of science.

TroppoSphere, in case Missing Link email subscribers haven’t noticed, is now available as a convenient gateway to a world of news and expert opinion and analysis for those with feed reader phobia. It contains feeds to most of the blogs and other sources whose best/selected content we most regularly feature in Missing Link, as well as general news feeds and those from selected online magazines like openDemocracy, Reason, Slate, Spiked, New Matilda, Australian Opinion Online and Online Opinion.

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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12 Responses to Missing Link Daily

  1. gilmae says:

    So you’re that one guy who uses speech recognition.

  2. Dave Bath says:

    Browse and keep an eye on

    BTW: Is the software you currently use better than the “live” (actually a 5-10 second lag) subtitling on TV news/current_affairs?

  3. Ken Parish says:

    Hi Dave

    I have used the industry leading Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking speech recognition program for some years (not so often now because my keyboard skills have improved a lot from when I first started using it. Now I just use it for bulk transcription of hard copy text (e.g. for quotes, extracts for study guides) where it’s a nuisance to scan the text). I get better than 99% accuracy out of it, which you actually need to achieve otherwise it’s more of a nuisance than a help – 95% for example means one error every 20 words, and each one takes time to correct and retrain – it’s quicker to type with two fingers at that accuracy level. Thus Dragon’s performance is certainly better than the TV live captioning, but then again the latter has to transcribe many different voices whereas mine is trained and customised to my voice and vocabulary.

    Your links seem to contradict each other. The second one describes several Linux speech recognition solutions, but they just about all seem to work on the old IBM ViaVoice for Linux SDK. However the first document you linked says “In the late 1990s, a Linux version of ViaVoice (created by IBM) was made available to users for no charge. However, the free SDK was later removed by the developer in 2002.” Thus it appears that the solutions described may no longer be available. Moreover I lack the IT skills to cobble something together; it needs to install simply and work out of the box (as Dragon does).

    I have actually explored the feasibility of shifting to Linux a couple of times including quite recently. I might be tempted by it for a secondary machine, such as an ultra-portable like Nicholas has just bought e.g. the Asus eee PC apparently comes in default configuration with a Linux OS. I’m not yet tempted for my primary machine, not just because of Dragon but also because I think OpenOffice just isn’t quite as good as MS Office. Moreover I frequently produce visual presentations and Word documents for hundreds of students, most of whom don’t have OpenOffice but just about all of whom can cope with MS Word and Powerpoint

  4. Shaun says:


    You are in unjustified presumption territory. I just chose one aspect of the Falzon’s story to comment on that intrigued me.

  5. Chris Lloyd says:

    “Italian Catholics appear to have even more primitive, heartless beliefs.” This is a bit tough on the Catholics KP. Rank and file members are nothing like their leadership.

  6. Vee says:

    On Afghanistan, I say watch Rambo 3 and listen closely to what the Afghani characters say.

  7. I’m curious.

    Has there ever been a time when oil prices weren’t higher than some other time in the past?

    And aren’t they always at any time in the present higher then ever in the past?

  8. Thanks FM. I wonder what a ‘chartist” would predict based on that graph.

    Believe it or not I bought this house in 76 partly influenced by rising fuels prices – so its near to shops and train stations but not inner city.

  9. Ken Parish says:

    In fact, judging by the graph FMark kindly provided, the answers to FX’s questions at #7 are:

    Question 1 – Yes, ever since early 2007 when the price exceeded the 1981 peak and kept rising. They were then and still are higher than at any other time (at least any other time shown on FMark’s graph).

    Question 2 – No. The price between 1982 and 2007 was at all times lower than its 1981 peak, but has been higher than that peak continuously since early 2007.

    Moreover, I reckon you’d be a naive optimist not to expect that it will continue to be higher and increasing most of the time from now on. Hence the post about cycling.

  10. JC says:


    You mean real price in static dollars? Dunno know in aussie terms, but according to the Dallas Fed oil in US dollar terms has been higher. US$105 was the real price level equivalent reached in 70’s dollars. But even that was not the historical high in real terms.

    It’s a terrific article


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