Missing Link makes a comeback!

Blogdom’s Lazarus with a triple bypass is back on deck!

mulrunji.gifAs Ken pointed out a few days ago, doing justice to Missing Link was one helluva big deal solo, so he had to let it drop. Rather than have the whole thing wither on the vine, though, he figured a collaborative effort might work. So he’s been assiduously recruiting behind the scenes. I’m one of the mob, as is Darlene Taylor, Paul Mitchell (since resigned but replaced – see the comments) and Club Troppo’s own Nicholas Gruen. This is apart from Ken himself, who’s still running the show. There are some more people in the pipeline, but I don’t want to dob them in just yet until they’re (more) firmly on board.

We’ll take turns compiling Missing Link three times each week, which means you’ll all get your bloggy goodness out there in readerland, and we’ll only have to write off a day doing it once every six weeks or so. Since Monday was a non-starter, I’ve done a chunky Missing Link for today. The Friday edition will – for obvious reasons – be a fair bit leaner. A new person will take over for next week, and so on down the line until it rotates back around to me.

I’ve preserved Ken’s categories, although inevitably I’ll find different stuff interesting, thought-provoking and/or funny. While I’m known around the place as a libertarian righty, Austrian economist and such-like, I’ve never had any difficulty recognizing good writing regardless of any stated (or unstated) authorial political views – as the various blow-ups over my choices for BBP2006 showed.

Anyway, on with the show.

News and politics stuff

One issue that seemed to excite Ozblogistan was David Jones’ pending lawsuit against Clive Hamilton’s The Australia Institute, and it really showed blogging’s strengths. Everyone from sociologists to economists to lawyers weighed in with some genuinely expert commentary. And the comments threads were pretty classy too. Tigtog over at Larvatus Prodeo got the ball rolling with a thoughtful piece that reflected – among other things – on just how parents deal with the advertising juggernaut. I’ve made no secret of the fact that Clive Hamilton isn’t one of my favourite people, so my piece at Catallaxy suggested that he might find the ensuing writ sandwich a bit hard to swallow. However, some remarks made by Jason Soon and Mark Bahnisch in comments got me thinking, as did Andrew Norton’s thoughtful piece, and I’ve modified my view. The threads all make excellent reading.

Researcher DogPossum then provided an interesting perspective on where studies like this can lead, while Andrew Bartlett – as usual – wrote an insightful political view. Dr Harry Clarke weighed up economic and social values in his piece, while Glen, Credible Witness and dbloh also popped in their 2.2 cents worth.

David Hicks also provided plenty of blogger fodder, although Olney Garkle’s effort on the ongoing Hicks legal trainwreck was probably the most apposite. In what is sure to attract RWDBs like flies to a honeypot, he approvingly cites Terry Lane. For something a bit different, both Kev Gillett and Kieran at The Dead Roo engage with the new ‘Free Hicks’ advert. Iain Hall provides the RWDB view, somewhat more informatively than usual. Also on matters (tangentially) Islamic, Tigtog passes on the good news that an Iranian woman who killed her would-be rapist in self-defence has finally been freed after a stint on death row.

Other political and economic stuff

Since we’re in an election year, Andrew Leigh has a good piece on why he prefers markets to polls when it comes to predicting results, while Andrew Elder is excellent on just how bad the Iemma government has been, and why Debnam the dud hasn’t been able to do nearly enough about it. For those more psephelogically inclined, the Poll Bludger has a thorough NSW election guide. Since I’m a lawyer, you’re going to cop a few of my favourite legal bloggers (sorry Ken, I’ve subscribed you to more lawblogging feeds). First up, Legal Eagle provides a great case note on a recent High Court decision that will see shareholders ranked with unsecured creditors in a voluntary administration, while Ken at Road to Surfdom is interesting on the trouble with civil standards of proof in criminal cases. Meanwhile, Graham Young hacks into the IPCC for failing to do what corporations are supposed to do under standard corporate disclosure rules.

Photoblogging Mulrunji

Although he has political interests quite apart from his photography, I’ve been very pleased to discover Brisbane photoblogger David Jackmanson. His wonderful coverage of the various protests over the death of Palm Island man Mulrunji Doomadgee give the deceased and his family real humanity and warmth. The photo I’ve used to illustrate today’s Missing Link is one of David’s, and he’s provided lots more on the Mulrunji protests here, here and here.

Politics and philosophy

In writing at the philosophical margins of contemporary politics, Oakeshottian conservative Mark Richardson asks some hard questions about ethnic diversity, while Graeme Bird walks through St Thomas Aquinas’ doctrine of the just war and wonders if it applies to the War on Terror. In other news, Tim Blair rounds up the signatories to an online petition inviting Venezuelan soon-to-be President-for-life Hugo Chavez to Australia (there are some surprising names on the list), while Richard Watts has a much more worthwhile petition for you to sign. Still on WoT issues, thoughtful Greenie and onetime muscular liberal Steve Munn documents his personal climbdown on the Iraq war.

Life and other serious stuff

There’s some goodies in this section today.

Saint gives new meaning to all those stories about babies swapped at birth, Duckpond gets sacked from his McJob, and Kim has an impressive piece on John Howard’s deafness (and how his detractors have glossed over it in their latest attacks). Next time you light up, spare a thought for the hospital staff who get to cut you open and patch you up when you’re old and crook (graphic images); you also might want to consider Dr Mark Hayes’ advice on bosses from Hell and what to do about them. Jabberwocky also has an interesting (!) experience on the train with the dumb young. And reading. And stuff. And whatever.

Mad Bad Sad and Glad

Xander and Nico are very funny on what happens when you ban something. Said banned thing does not go away quietly. Meanwhile Meredith has discovered the shop where all that stuff you buy at garage sales finishes up. On the humour front, Tim Dunlop gives new meaning to every sheep-shagger joke you’ve ever heard, and ComicStripHero riffs on the non-working-public servant theme. She has her reasons, too! Turning to matters athletic, AFL tragic five needs some sporting advice from other would-be soccer mums, while Born Dancin’ is great on why the 1920s was the Coolest. Decade. EVAH. As a soothing tonic after all the angst it generated, Modia Minotaur offers a heartfelt thanks for BBP2006.

Fun police at the cricket

This deserved a category all its own, partly because I’m an unreconstructed cricket tragic and partly because there’s some good stuff out there. Darryl Mason kicks off on the fun police ruining one particular punter’s day at the cricket, Chris Berg also chimes in, as does Andrew Landeryou (amusingly).

The Yartz

Ben Peek blogs on the creeping credentialism that sees him admitted to a PhD program in English literature, but denied entry to a diploma course to qualify as a high school English teacher (wtf?). Sophie Cunningham provides a thoughtful review of The Last King of Scotland, a film that – despite the title – concerns genocidal despot Idi Amin. She pays particular attention to the intersection of fiction and history, something I’ve also riffed on here. There’s a reason why no language uses the phrase ‘as pretty as an airport’. The people at artlife do a nice piece on why. The Spin Starts Here crew are excellent on stereotypes and other catastrophes, while Adrian the cabbie runs smack bang into one – a stereotype, that is.

Inter-blog snark

There’s been some blood on the floor here, too, for those who like their s-t fights loud and out there. Audrey Apple has started a blogwar with the Spin Starts Here mob. On the plus side, at least it’s funny. J F Beck discovers that even uber-bloggers have been known to resort to sock puppetry, while Kieran at the Dead Roo dug up some goodies off the Liberal Democratic Party website, which LP picked up and ran on, which lead to a thread that is rapidly emerging as a candidate for Ozblogistan’s latest Thread of Doom. As is his wont, Gary Sauer-Thompson provides some much more sensible stuff on where blogging may be headed.

Science and technology
Peter Martin makes some innovative suggestions for economic solutions to Australia’s water shortage. Most of them revolve around letting the price mechanism work. John Quiggin soberly addresses attacks on science from both the left and right, and how scientists with varied politics are uniting to defend their discipline. Meanwhile, Jacques Chester is excellent on why he thinks science is capable of coming up with good solutions to problems created by climate change.

Now that should be enough to be going on with!

(PS: I’m scepticlawyer at Troppo, but skepticlawyer at Catallaxy).

[edit – though WordPress doesn’t allow you to change it to skepticlawyer, yours truly has power over life and death the database. It’s been fixed manually. -Jacques]

(So you have, too. What a clever clogs. – SL)

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28 Responses to Missing Link makes a comeback!

  1. Bannerman says:

    Your subscription doova-lackey isn’t working. Either that, or something’s fugged considerably given that all bannerman gets is a 404 message. He’s not impressed.

  2. I don’t know how to fix that – sorry. Troppo isn’t my home blog, so I think it’s better to wait until Jacques and Ken see the post is up and let them fix it. We’re working on it!

  3. Ken Parish says:

    Jacques is coming round to my place tomorrow afternoon to help me with a few techie problems. I’ll add this one to the list. I suspect that the email subscription/forwarding script got messed up somehow during the Troppo migration to Dreamhost. I have no idea how to fix it, but I’m sure Jacques will be able to do so.

    Incidentally, I think Jacques is looking for some casual but paying programming and tech support work (as opposed to the grossly exploitative never-never basis on which i employ his services), while he contemplates moving interstate to finish his IT degree, having sadly piked out of LLB studies despite great intellectual promise. I can highly recommend Jacques’ IT skills, if not his views on global warming and the way to address it (not to mention Murray Rothbard and assorted other extreme libertarian nutters whom Helen D almost certainly thinks are grouse too)…

  4. Surprised says:

    You linked to Iain Hall’s idiotic piece on AWH? A piece which was just a cut and paste of the Hicks charge sheet followed by “I hope they hang the traitorous bastard”? Jesus. Even Tim Blair’s RWDB efforts were more worth reading.

  5. I’m not a Rothbardian, Ken – too much apriorism for me. I’m more of a rule-utilitarian libertarian, with a touch of the Austrians (from Hayek). Rothbard is good on intellectual history – like his take on Marx that we’ve featured over at Catallaxy – but otherwise I’m not a fan.

  6. Ken Parish says:

    “Just a personal preference of Ken

  7. Doesn’t worry me, Ken. Means the same thing – I assumed you preferred the ‘c’ so left it that way :)

  8. Open ID has done something weird to your sig, Kieran, but I’m assuming you’re Kieran from the Dead Roo…

  9. Ken Parish says:

    We canvassed the possibility of more complex teaming/sharing to create Missing Link, but the majority view was that we preferred to be saddled up every 6 weeks or so for an intensive burst rather than to be involved continuously if less intensively. In those circumstances a Wiki is of limited use IMO.

    Sharing access to my Google Reader subscription and shared editing access to draft Missing Link posts at Troppo achieves just about all the collaborative advantages we need for the present, I think. Nevertheless, I’m contemplating exploring the possibility of fortnightly editorial group online meetings, possibly using a Yahoo Chat voice room (if everyone has a headset mike). There could be real benefits from being able to “brainstorm” with each other verbally in real time.

  10. Ken Parish says:

    I should also mention that Paul Mitchell has dropped out of the editing team due to the imminent birth of Cristy’s baby. The team currently consists of myself, Helen D, Nicholas Gruen, James Farrell, Darlene Taylor and Patrick Garson.

    On the present draft roster, James is up next week, followed by myself then Darlene etc.

    We would still welcome additional volunteers. Probably the ideal would be a strong team of 8.

  11. Dang. I thought Paul was in. I’ll edit the post if you like. And yes, some more people would be good. Jason and Mark, are you listening?

  12. Jason Soon says:

    What the heck. It’s fun writing these things. OK, I’ll do it and I promise to be as fair minded as possible:-)

  13. Jason, you have to promise to link to all Rafe’s posts on the twenty eight blogs he posts to. :)

    Nice work, SL.

    I’m really glad this is continuing. I quite understood Ken’s workload demands but it’s a fantastic feature and collaboration is certainly the way to go. Kudos to all.

    Btw – Ken/Jacques – I got Ken’s email about the cessation on Monday (which is after the Troppo upgrade) but not this one. I came here via bloglines.

  14. Btw, thanks for thinking of me, SL, but two friends of mine have the semester off teaching (one for a happy reason, one for a sad one) and I’m taking on a fair bit of the burden for them so I’m most reluctant to commit to anything over and above what I’m already doing at this stage. Happy to reconsider when June comes around. Thanks again for the kind thought.

  15. Ken Parish says:


    Niall’s problem is that he can’t sign up/subscribe to the service in the first place. I checked and you do indeed get a 4040 error when you try to do so. Presumably the database still works OK for existing subscribers, although the fact that you apparently didn’t receive this evening’s post (?) suggests otherwise.

  16. Thanks, Ken.

    It might have been delayed again for existing subscribers. I think that’s happened in the past. If it turns up in my inbox, I’ll let you know in the hope that might help identify the problem.

  17. Onya Jason. Ken’s google reader is a nifty bit of gear, I have to say. I’m still stunned at how quickly I was able to put that together.

  18. Ken Parish says:

    I’ll send Jason the blurb in the morning and look at devising a revised roster after further consultation. It would also be good to have another female editor to complete a panel of 8. Volunteer?

  19. I’d volunteer Kim at LP if she’s up for it, but she might find out where I live and want to, ahem, pour sump oil on my garden shrubs or something. She’s pretty busy.

  20. I just received the email.

  21. Thanks Jacques and Mark. Does this mean Bannerman will get his email now? You’re like c8to at our place – an absolute champion, Jacques.

  22. paul says:

    Sorry for ditching out all.

    I hope you’ll understand that my life is going to be very 3rd Pea centric in the very near future.

    I’ll definitely be a regular reader, and possibly feature on the odd occasion when I can get it together enough to write something coherent and interesting.

    Best of luck with the coordination. You all have my admiration and respect.

  23. cristy says:

    Great job SL. I am very glad to see this back up and running.

  24. Thanks Cristy. Ken is right about how much good stuff is out there, though. It’s certainly made me realise the extent to which the MSM has operated (to a large degree) as a closed shop – there are some terrific writers and thinkers out there. And at least we get to find out about them now :)

  25. Nico says:

    I’m very flattered to be included…though somewhat bemused to see myself described as a centrist!

  26. Those categories are mainly there for convenience, Nico – and they sure make Ken’s google blog reader easier to use. Anyways, I’d better flock off, as I’m part way thru another Missing Link & want to get it out to everyone around about when the cricket starts (memo to Ricky Ponting – win the bloody toss!)

  27. Pingback: Club Troppo » Friday’s Missing Link

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