Wednesday’s Missing Link

                     

Adrian the Cabbie photoblogs a truly dreadful Christmas decoration at Sydney’s (usually uber-trendy) Double Bay

Most readers won’t be surprised to learn that Rudd, Fiji and the cricket are the most common blogosphere  themes of the last day or two.   I’m only extracting a  tiny selection  of the mountains of  Rudd punditising, to avoid boring repetition.   I mean, what can you actually say about a leader with no personality who hasn’t actually done anything yet?    On the ALP leadership change, William Burroughs’ Baboon has a succinct if uncharitable epitaph to Kim  Beazley:

Kim B was magnificent as usual in defeat. The very reason he had to go. The ALP has done all the good losing we can afford for a while.

We’re growing old here.  

On the cricketing front, Pavlov’s Cat captures the incisive eloquence of media commentary:

I know it’s only the first week in December, but a hot contender for the Mind-Bogglingly Vacuous Statement of the Bloody Obvious division of the Sports Commentary Awards of the Summer has already emerged from the Channel Nine commentary box:

‘And if England had had Shane Warne playing for them, they might have won this match.’

 

Politics stuff

  • Tim Blair is the Anti-Christ to some, but his take on “Krillard” is a classic – Meet the Forkers – with the next ALP election campaign running under the slogan It’s Tine!
  • A Promising Start  – Gummo Trotsky – “Today, I think we need to change focus a little. Right now, Kevin and Julia are probably feeling as little overwhelmed by the helpful advice particularly that coming from Government heavy hitters like the PM, the Treasurer, and the Health Minister on how to be responsible opposition leaders with a shot at winning government. No blogger, however expert her opinion, can expect to cut through those louder, more authoritative voices, right now. Any further advice from bloggers, however sound, will probably be wasted. It’s time for less advice, more encouragement.So let’s take a look at how Rudd and Gillard are travelling, starting with Rudd’s performance in Question Time yesterday. I took a look at the Reps Question Time on the ABC …”
  • JHP pit bulls already after Rudd – “Olney Garkle” – “After all, the John Howard Party is not aligned with the US Republicans for nothing. Like them, the JHP has zillions of dollars donated from business to fund smear campaigns so easily swallowed by a gullible and perpetually distracted populace. It’s in the nature of the conservative/reactionary/right wing to resort to such skulduggery. … Of course, we here at Bilegrip resort to name calling on a routine basis, but that’s different. We’re on the side of all that is just and good. Ergo, those whom we defame are the representatives of all that is evil and rotten.”
  • The view on Fiji from Australia – Mark Bahnisch – “For reasons which are unclear to me (unless they relate to the ubiquity of Krillard stories), the Ozblogosphere has, as far as I can tell, been completely silent on the Fiji coup. This might also be because the issues aren’t clear cut. The stated reasons for the coup are ones that some in Australia may have some sympathy with …”
  • I would never have expected it to happen here – Anonymous Lefty – “After six long, oppressive years of cruelly constitutional government, the army of Fiji has overthrown the country’s tyrannical prime minister and implemented military rule. …”
  • Helping Fiji – Tim Dunlop – “Well, at least John Howard is consistent.   Sort of.   When the prospect of invading Iraq arose there was some debate about why that should happen.    …At the time, John Howard made it quite clear getting rid of Saddam Hussein and fighting for democracy had nothing to do with it as far as he was concerned …

Anyway, with a coup in Fiji under way, it seems Mr Howard is once again of the view that we shouldn’t be involved merely on the grounds of supporting democracy …”

  • Ruddy raises feasibility of front bench firesale clearout – Rex Ringschott – “Even Access Economics boffin Chris Richardson says that the economy has become “fat and lazy”.   Howard has coasted on the resources boom and all the while has depleted our Manufacturing Industry, and talent pool and our coal reserves.   Relaxed and comfortable with it he is,   and he hopes we’re so fat and lazy too we don’t notice. …

Shake up that front bench good and proper Kevin.   Bring in Garret,   Bring in Emerson.     Demote Swan,   Promote Tanner,   Place Carr and Conroy, who do next to nothing but their own factional business on the taxpayer’s coin, on the ejector seat and press the button.   Hard!”

This shocking story of how years of incarceration and brutal interrogation in military prisons can destroy the mind of a man has disturbing echos of what little facts Australians have learned about the life of their fellow citizen, David Hicks, in Guantanamo Bay.”

  • How important is experience going to be? – Guy at Polemica – “One little slip, even of the trivial sort that the much more experienced Beazley managed on a couple of occasions, and it could be curtains for Labor in 2007. It may well be true that voters are just about ready for a fresh face and a fresh team leading the country, but as we saw in 2004, it is indeed possible to be “too” fresh. …”
  • ‘not just an echo’ of old Labor? – Gary Sauer-Thompson – “So what does the Rudd/Gillard ALP stand for in terms of new ideas and values? It looks like an Australian version of Blairite New Labour to me, for all the talk about Whitlamite free education and health care.   …”
  • More evidence of Work Choices wage cuts – Trevor Cormack  at Solidarity – “In a previous post, I highlighted ABS figures that show a decline in average wages since the introduction of WorkChoices. A rightist blogger attempted to explain away the figures, saying that an influx of low-paid workers were dragging the average down, “but not the earnings on average of those who already have jobs”. While that might be partly true, it doesn’t explain everything.Unfortunately, there is evidence that WorkChoices has reduced the real wages of already-employed workers. …”
  • Do As I Say, Not As I Do – Dbloh – “Indonesia has just been dragged into the 21st century of sex scandals, courtesy of one of it’s most powerful politician, Yahya Zaini who has been exposed [sic] as the other person in a widely circulated sex-video involving Maria Eva aka Maria Ireva, a dangdut singer. Unfortunately for Yahya, the head of Golkar’s religious affairs committee which has responsibility for moral issues, Maria is not his wife and to be caught on video with Maria in a compromising position is bound to have the proverbial effect of “sh*t hits the fan …”
  • Over at South Sea Republic, Cameron Riley is blogging up a storm, with two meaty posts on Australian or Austral-Asian federation and harmonisation of laws between Australia and New Zealand.   No really, it’s more interesting than it sounds.   More interesting than Rafe Champion’s 350th post on Karl Popper and Imre Lakatos anyway.

 

Science, technology and environment stuff

  • Walkley Magazine article on Lancet study  – Tim Lambert – “Imagine an alternate Earth. Let’s call it Earth 2. On Earth 2, just like our planet, there was a Boxing Day tsunami that killed about a quarter of a million people. On our planet the tsunami was front page news for days and because of the horrendous death toll people opened their hearts and their wallets. On Earth 2 the reaction to the tsunami’s death toll was different. The story was in the papers for one day and was buried in the inside pages. John Howard said the estimate was not believable. George Bush said that the methodology was discredited. News reporters made it clear that they didn’t believe the number. Opinion pieces were published dismissing the estimate because the Red Cross was “anti-tsunami”. Does Earth 2 sound far-fetched? Well, that’s basically what happened when researchers from Johns Hopkins published an estimate that there had been roughly 650,000 extra Iraqi deaths as a result of the war.   …”
  • Strike up the (broad)band – Andrew Leigh – “Joshua Gans has released a new discussion paper. Unless someone printed out this blog for you, you’ll probably be interested in what he has to say.

    I have come to the conclusion that, given the constraints we face today, that the debate is all wrong. Put simply, the whole idea that we need a national solution to broadband is misplaced. …”

 

Whimsical stuff

           

Car art at Sydney’s Olympic Park – see Meredith’s post from Sarsaparilla extracted at left
  •  Via Saint in a Straitjacketfeeling old?  (I still can’t embed YouTube videos because I can’t work out how to turn off the Rich text Editor, which Nicholas reckons is buggering up the code)
  • At Sarsaparilla, Meredith blogs about a cars and video games expo at Sydney’s Olympic park: “The men’s technologies pushed them outwards into the world, helped them to take up room and control space. The women’s technologies streamlined their bodies and – especially the super-high heels – diminished their ability to move freely. I read somewhere about a study where parents were given babies randomly dressed in pink or blue – not their own babies – to hold. Parents holding blue-clad babes turned them out to face the world while those holding pink-clad babes kept them facing inwards. …”
  • Germaine Greer is angry – wmmbb – “Dr Greer reports in The Guardian that she was awarded a Golden Bull award by the Plain English Campaign for the following sentence:

    The first attribute of the art object is that it creates a discontinuity between itself and the unsynthesised manifold. …”

  • The worms – Susoz fills us in on everything you probably didn’t want to know about worm farms …
  • The appetite for nice things – Tigtog – “The aesthetic of conspicuous consumption, and the fashions of the accoutrements involved in it, underpin the climb up the greasy pole and the corporate ladder to the cabinet rooms and the boardrooms, those rooms above all still dominated by men. So why is it overwhelmingly women (and those men perceived as effeminate) who are accused of being “trivial” simply because they too like to surround themselves with nice things? …”
  • Test cricket never boring – Steve Edney (who must have been watching a different game from me for the first four days anyway) – “Martyn must be dumped. We’ve known he was a choker since this game in 1994. Six runs from 59 balls with McDermott cracking fours down the other end and victory 6 runs away and what does he do? Holes out to cover. Twelve years later little has changed. Fortunately Hussey and Clarke have steadier heads. …”
  • David ‘Barista’ Tiley blogs about the execrable taste of the ABC audience whose choices for the best 10 record  albums of all time were revealed the other night, with Pink Floyd’s mega-pretentious Dark Side of the Moon coming in at number 1.   David suggests an alternative approach that might come up with a set of albums actually worth listening to by people with a modicum of taste and discernment (as opposed to the collective taste of the ABC audience which manifestly  completely lacks these qualities).
  • I want to be a princess, I want to be a princess..hang on, I am one  – Darlene Taylor blogs about the forthcoming not-to-be-missed reality TV series   Australian Princess 2  and also trolls for a bloggy bite: “Of course, the blogosphere is chockers with ladies and that including the beautiful Bek, the lovely Helen  and me, me, me, me, me, me, me.   Caz, Chrisse, Rachy, Zoe  and Yobbo  are also princesses. Feel free to alert  me,  me, me,  me, me  to others who act like princesses.”

 

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 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 the early 1990s.
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Steve Edney
15 years ago

The first four days set up the result. It started with great batting from Collingwood and Pietersen, followed by a batting fightback by Ponting, Clarke, Hussey and Warne steadying things and setting themselves in a position where Warne and the quicks could actually push for an incredible victory on the last day.

Like any great drama its the set up and conflicts early in the game which make the climax all the more thrilling. It wasn’t the fast paced tawdry thriller from the start, instead it built steadily. Warne bowling of Pietersen for 2 was all the more remarkable after the rough handling Warne received from Pietersen on day two.

Laura
15 years ago

Is it too picky to wonder if all those people filed under ‘whimsical stuff’ would be entirely happy with that description?

Steve Edney
15 years ago

Yes. My erudite piece of sports reportage is demeaned by the title “whimsical stuff” :)

Chav
Chav
15 years ago

Marxism’s Continued Relevance To The Modern World – in the parallel universe at LeftWrites, Michael Barrell argues that Marxism really is still relevant, and uses the plight of textile workers in China as his example of the iniquities of capitalism. It seems to have escaped his attention that china is one of the few countries in the world still professing actually to be Marxist.

The Stalinist clique that rules China can profess to be Marxist all they want, but that doesn’t make it so. I mean, if you go around believing that you’ll probably believe George Bush when he says he believes in democracy and wants to bring it to Iraq. Not a wise move if you want to make sense of the world. Unless of course you want to live in a “parallel universe” where you believe everything a politician says…

C.L.
15 years ago

I expected the Fiji/Iraq connection to be made at eccentric leftist blogs like Road To Rupert and Lethargic Cameo. Except for the bits about more than ten years of failed sanctions, an invasion of a country, use of Coconuts Weapons of Mass Destruction against his own people, a tyrant-caused death toll in the hundreds of thousands – except for all that and much more, the comparison is reasonable enough. I thought Winston Peters was right on Lateline last night when asked if Australia was regarded as “pushy” in the region.

Well, let’s put it this way, if by pushy they mean that somehow they can take the efforts of aid and assistance from, for example, New Zealand and Australia and yet disregard the requirements for accountability and transparency – if by that they mean pushy, then they may be right, but then that’s what we are required to do on behalf of the Australian and New Zealand taxpayers. We’ve all got to account. And when some group of people don’t understand that that transparency is in the interests of their own people and the taxpayers of the countries who are aiding – and part of the aid program, if they don’t understand that, then they should be persuaded to understand it, in the nicest, gentlest possible way, but democracy you know is not too difficult to understand, particularly when you’re dealing with somebody else’s money.

Chav
Chav
15 years ago

Ken,
I think you may have missed the point of my post. Nations like China and Vietnam can profess to be communist all they like, but that doesn’t make it so. That’s especially true if they are judged by Marx’s own criteria. Marx wrote about an urban working class taking power and running society according to human need rather than the profit motive. States like Vietnam, China and Cuba saw a largely peasant based movement bringing a Stalinist elite to power. The urban working class was largely not involved. These elites run their societies according to the same principles of capitalism; exploitation, investment and capital accumulation for the benefit of those at the top.

But no doubt that’s Satan Bush’s fault in the parallel universe.

Funnily enough, in some ways it is. Castro and co. only declared themselves “communist” and looked to the Soviet Union some years after their “revolution”. They did so mainly because the US threatened them with invasion and were constantly hostile for having the temerity to kick out a brutal US based dictator.

Don’t know what kind of history they teach in your parallel universe, innit?!

Chav
Chav
15 years ago

C.L. said:

I expected the Fiji/Iraq connection to be made at eccentric leftist blogs like Road To Rupert and Lethargic Cameo. Except for the bits about more than ten years of failed sanctions, an invasion of a country, use of Coconuts Weapons of Mass Destruction against his own people, a tyrant-caused death toll in the hundreds of thousands – except for all that and much more, the comparison is reasonable enough. I thought Winston Peters was right on Lateline last night when asked if Australia was regarded as “pushy”

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
15 years ago

“As for Australia’s self-less attitude, how about its AU$ 800 mill contribution to PNG? $734 mill of this used to pay for the Australian Federal Police in PNG.”

You have a link to this assertion?

C.L.
15 years ago

And why do PNG police apologists object to scrutiny? Why did so much money have to be spent on improving law enforcement?

We know why.

David Rubie
David Rubie
15 years ago

Ken Parish said:

The lunar left, however, prefers to ignore this starkly evident reality in favour of blaming the HoWARd government for its evil imperialist attitude towards oppressed post-colonial governments.

Howard isn’t helping himself by continuing to use that clueless halfwit Downer as our foreign minister. He ponces around the pacific as if he’s playing the lead in a Gilbert and Sullivan musical while achieving exactly nothing. If we could swap him to New Zealand for Winston Peters we might be getting somewhere. As it is, which foreign government (corrupt or not) is going to be anything other than recalcitrant when faced with Downer? If Howard had even a slight clue, he would have knifed him as soon as the AWB scandal broke out.

vee
vee
15 years ago

The Visual Rich editor on/off option is a check box under “Personal Options” at the bottom of the “Users” tab.

How long’s a honeymoon period? When its over I’ll start paying attention to the leadership change. Tomorrow’s frontbench change is more exciting.

That aside thus far Rudd does appear to have a pan to enunciate – as all his movements thus far have been carefully measured. That said, it could just be the honeymoon.

Kim
Kim
15 years ago

You’re doing a great job with this, Ken.

Just sayin…

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
15 years ago

“Howard isn’t helping himself by continuing to use that clueless halfwit Downer as our foreign minister. He ponces around the pacific as if he’s playing the lead in a Gilbert and Sullivan musical while achieving exactly nothing. If we could swap him to New Zealand for Winston Peters we might be getting somewhere. As it is, which foreign government (corrupt or not) is going to be anything other than recalcitrant when faced with Downer? If Howard had even a slight clue, he would have knifed him as soon as the AWB scandal broke out.”

Downer is eminently deserving of rigorous critique but his approach to Tonga, the Solomons and Fiji has been in lockstep with NZ. Indeed, so bipartisan has been the approach that you couldn’t see daylight between our two great DFATS.

Winston Peters is a wily old populist pol but he ain’t no Metternich of the South Seas. He’s Foreign Minister simply because he entered negotiations to support Clark’s minority government in confidence motions after the last election and Foreign Affairs was his price. Much of the heavy lifting is carried out by Labour’s Phil Goff, the former Foreign (now Defence) Minister.

Ken Miles
15 years ago

Howard isn’t helping himself by continuing to use that clueless halfwit Downer as our foreign minister. He ponces around the pacific as if he’s playing the lead in a Gilbert and Sullivan musical while achieving exactly nothing. If we could swap him to New Zealand for Winston Peters we might be getting somewhere.

Despite being a left wing Kiwi with a strong dislike of Downer, I’d swap you Peters for Downer any day.

Steve Edney
15 years ago

$734 million for 200 police? They cost $3.6 million each? Where do I sign up?

Chav
Chav
15 years ago

# 10.

“As for Australia’s self-less attitude, how about its AU$ 800 mill contribution to PNG? $734 mill of this used to pay for the Australian Federal Police in PNG.”

David Rubie
David Rubie
15 years ago

Despite being a left wing Kiwi with a strong dislike of Downer, I’d swap you Peters for Downer any day.

and

He’s Foreign Minister simply because he entered negotiations to support Clark’s minority government in confidence motions after the last election and Foreign Affairs was his price.

I’d still swap. In fact I’m convinced he’s working for the wrong country. At least he shows a bit of nouse and presents well on the telly (Lateline the other night).

Ken Miles
15 years ago

Winston does present well on tv, and he is also an excellent public speaker. But he’s also New Zealand’s answer to One Nation. He’s all yours.

Chav
Chav
15 years ago

12. Ken Parish

is that government in these places is notoriously corrupt.

Hehehe…, unlike the ‘children-overboard’, ‘WMD’s’ and ‘AWB’ Australian government?

C.L.
15 years ago

Children were endangered at sea, every government in the world believed Saddam Hussein had WMD (Kevin Rudd even said this was an “empirical fact”) and the AWB was a corporate scandal in which no minister or official of the Crown has been implicated. (This settles the latter issue unless, of course, you subscribe to John Quiggin’s conspiracy theory).

Chav, have you any response to the concerns of Human Rights Watch regarding policing and justice in PNG or do you think black children up there don’t deserve rigorous accountability measures that ensure their safety and progress?

Steve Edney
15 years ago

Based on Chav’s link we are paying salaries of 149 police for five years. The total salary and acommodation cost alone is $339.6 million (K860 million). However it says Seargants get K12000 per fortnight and constables K7000, if you take an conservative average salary cost of K10000, work out that for 149 for five years we get less than K200 million, I presuming housing costs aren’t all that high, maybe another K100 million, so that leaves us K500 million short of those figures.

Chav
Chav
15 years ago

Children were endangered at sea, every government in the world believed Saddam Hussein had WMD (Kevin Rudd even said this was an “empirical fact”

Chav
Chav
15 years ago

or do you think black children up there don’t deserve rigorous accountability measures that ensure their safety and progress?

Sure I do. As long as it isn’t the same “safety and accontability” Aboriginal children enjoy at the hands of Australian police in this country!

Bannerman
15 years ago

Actually, if you’re after a mega-pretentious album by Pink Floyd, look no further than ‘The Wall’. Biggest flop a band could have. DSotM remains a classic because it isn’t pretentious. It’s imagination run riot to the sound of strings and bells. Pity there weren’t more of it around today.

C.L.
15 years ago

No, they were endangered at sea first by the Labor government’s unwillingness to shut down the people smuggling industry (which Howard has now done, thus saving many lives) and, second, by the actions of a not inconsiderable number of “asylum-seekers” who deliberately sabotaged vessels and did indeed threaten children.

I’ll also take that as a no, you don’t care much about children being abused by PNG police (nor do you believe aid should be contingent upon an improvement in accountability) and yes, you do subscribe to the Quiggin conspiracy theory about the Cole Royal Commission.

I think you do have some gullibility issues.

Kim
Kim
15 years ago

The commenters at Leftwrites have some gullibility issues:

The Collective will as espoused by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, is really the only way forward. What is happening in China now isn’t socialism at all, it’s revisionism. They’ll be open capitalists within a few years. The rot set in 30 yrs ago, after the death of the Chairman.

I don’t believe there’s a satiric intent there.

skepticlawyer
15 years ago

These are the people who accused you of being drunk when you had the temerity to disagree with them (over what, I can’t recall), IIRC.

It really is bizarro world over there, as Jason says.

Chav
Chav
15 years ago

Letting the 352 people aboard the SIEV X drown seems a strange way of going about saving lives C.L…

As for the AWB scandal…wow…actually, I’m not going to even go there…

C.L.
15 years ago

You’d be better advised to blame the Indonesian police who forced people to board the vessel – unless, of course, you also subscribe to Tony Kevin’s conspiracy theories. And forgive me for not taking seriously the grievance mongering of somebody who opposes all attempts to discourage human rights abuses in PNG and elsewhere in the Pacific.

Chav
Chav
15 years ago

And forgive me for not taking seriously the grievance mongering of somebody who opposes all attempts to discourage human rights abuses in PNG and elsewhere in the Pacific.

You’re forgiven…once the recommendations into the Royal inquiry into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody all those years ago are implemented. Charity begins at home…

C.L.
15 years ago

Don’t tell me, you believe that Royal Commission has been sidelined because of a conspiracy involving John Howard, Keith Windschuttle and Dick Cheney?

Bannerman
15 years ago

C.L. reads as if he’s a Howardian apologist, all tied up by the strategies of the Blame Game. Heaps of gullibility issues there, methinks.

crystal
14 years ago

thank your god or any god that FIJI held together until Our Nic could get her honeymoon over