Monday’s Missing Link


I’ve been meaning for a while to draw attention to cartoonist Jon Kudelka’s excellent site 101 uses for a John Howard

Today’s Missing Link is a bit shorter than average (only 13 highlighted posts), partly because there haven’t been as many posters as usual over the weekend and partly because I’ve been a bit more discriminating in selection policies  (as foreshadowed).   For example, there are quite a few Iraq and David Hicks posts, but none of them say anything especially new or interesting, so I haven’t selected any of them.

Incidentally, I’m pondering how to handle Missing Link when uni teaching resumes in February.   I’m unlikely to be able to manage a substantial effort for the Wednesday Missing Link, because I have a fairly heavy teaching load both Tuesdays and Wednesdays.   Ideally, someone will offer to assist with compiling the  Yartz Missing Link and we can publish that on Wednesdays, supplemented by a rather perfunctory political coverage that day.   On the other hand, if I don’t get a volunteer to help with digesting arts blogs, I’ll probably have to reduce Missing Link to twice per week (Mondays and Thursdays).

Because today’s ML is shorter than usual, I’m not bothering with section headings.   The ordering of selections is therefore a bit random.

It must be said that when I got a message from some bloke in Sydney who was looking for “rounder ladies in their thirties for fun times”, I thought MySpace might be a good thing. MySpace is not “citizen journalism”, it’s the triumph of social isolation and the desire for five seconds of fame regardless of talent.

  • Arthur Phillip’s Sydney – Cam Riley posts an interesting  review of Thomas Keneally’s book A Commonwealth of Thieves.   Cam concentrates mainly on Phillip’s dealings with  and attitudes towards the Aboriginal clans of the Sydney region.

  • The audacity of hope – Andrew Leigh reviews a book by unlikely US Presidential hopeful Barak Obama. He sounds like a fascinating, thoughtful, intelligent  individual (and a former constitutional law professor, which I didn’t know), so you’d have to wonder why he’d subject himself to the appalling thuggery of the  American political process in the first place.
  • Is Abbott buying himself a sainthood? – Daily Flute with some vintage passionate polemic against religions in general and Tony Abbott and the Catholics in particular.   It’s every bit as anti-religious as Dawkins but an awful  lot shorter and worth reading on that ground alone.
  • Court decision legitimises cult edicts – Sarah posts about yesterday’s extraordinary Familt Court decision which allowed a father access to his Exclusive Brethren children on condition that he doesn’t allow them to be exposed to TV, radio or non-members of the Exclusive Brethren cult!!   Not for the first time I wonder whether we should simply abolish the Family Court and start again (with current Family Court judges banned from appointment to the new court).
  • Crime fiction review – Kerryn ‘Pavlov’s Cat’  Goldsworthy reviews the latest Hannibal Lecter potboiler and the latest Rebus novel.
  • More guns more crime – Tim Lambert on the latest research on the effect of gun laws/gun ownership.   The research sounds a bit suspect to me, at least judging by recent Australian research which appears to show that the Howard gun laws had little measurable effect (contrary to my own previous prejudices).   The comment thread is worth reading (especially for RWDBs, who gang up on Tim quite effectively!).
  • Here we go again – Helen ‘Cast Iron Balcony’ Smart on the predictable but depressing politics surrounding bushfires.  
  • Road Toll and driving restrictions – Andrew Bartlett makes a lot more sense here than he does on animal liberation.
  • For whom the road tolls – ‘The Hack’ from Spin Starts Here also ventures some well-chosen comments on the road toll:

… We should continue to fight the road toll, but we should also consider how governments seek to enforce road rules for profit, not for improving the road toll. The only motivation for the 3km/h tolerance for speedo error in Victoria 1  placement of speed cameras on wide open freeways is profit.   …

… Williamson showed us people like us. Or our parents (or grandparents) anyway. And the box office went ka-ching! Which is why Williamson gets the credit for bringing Australians on to the colonised stage, when in fact he wrote in a context of fine but largely forgotten dramatists like Peter Kenna, Patrick White or Richard Beynon. Well, I can’t grudge him his royalties: I only grudge him the title of “Australia’s Greatest Playwright”, which is frankly embarrassing. Nothing that a glass of champagne doesn’t allay, of course. It was that kind of night.

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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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Mark Bahnisch
17 years ago

Sorry to be a pedant, Ken, but it’s “Barack Obama” not “Barak Obama”. As Andrew notes in his review, Senator Obama’s name is significant – he has the unfortunate middle name of “Hussein”.

17 years ago

I’m tempted to volunteer to do the arts writeup for you, Ken. My only concern is what will happen when I’m on circuit (nearly always for two week blocs). A couple of the places I go to don’t have internet access at all in the evenings, and if I’m in court all day, I can’t make up for it at work, either.

I do have a court calendar for 2007 if someone else wants to share the job.

Tim Lambert
17 years ago

I should do a post on the Howard gun laws. FWIW, I didn’t expect them to have any effect, but they do seem to have done so.

17 years ago

I’m unlikely to be able to manage a substantial effort for the Wednesday Missing Link, because I have a fairly heavy teaching load both Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Jesus wept. Ken has to put in at least 5.5 hours twice a week and a general alert is issued for assistance. With the blog. (When are, finally, the Libertarians going to do away with these liberties taken by the public purse snatchers?)

17 years ago

Perhaps I could help in some way, not that I am an expert on the y’artz.

Anyway, if I can just be of assistance (and a list of arty blogs could be provided as a starter), well, contact me via my email.

17 years ago

My personal email conneted to my blog, that is. Ta.

17 years ago

Yeah, well I’m still going to keep an eye on his output on the blog. If you do the same for the day-job we can keep an aggregate tally and make sure he isn’t short-changing one or other or even both of us. Thanks Jacques.

Kieran Bennett
17 years ago

The project might prove more managable for you when the teaching period begins if you gave it strict limits in terms of the amount of content.

eg. limit yourself to the best three-to-five posts for each topic area.

Alternately each issue could specialize in a different area. Either way, keep up the good work, I’m really enjoying it.

David Walker
17 years ago

Jesus wept. Ken has to put in at least 5.5 hours twice a week and a general alert is issued for assistance.

In the spirit of generosity that Troppo’s guardians have so diligently fostered, I am trusting that this comment was made tongue-in-cheek.

17 years ago

In the spirit of a craven desire to remain on the mailing list for this fine public service, I’ll allow that it was.