Something to hate
I had hoped that Helen would set a mediocre standard for the new crop of Missing Link debutants, but was severely disappointed. Hers will be a hard act to follow.
News and politics stuff
Howard haters were on the march this weekend. Hater-in-Chief Tim Dunlop finds the PMâs conversion on climate change to be incomplete and expedient. Tim is particularly disgusted by Howardâs claim that Australians are âfar more interested in having the country drought-proofed and the countryâs water problems fixed than they are in some of the debates about climate changeâ.
Letâs just forget for the moment the sheer hubris of him unilaterally declaring what it is Australians are meant to care about. For now, just consider the sheer hypocrisy of his new line of argument on climate change, that we should only be interested in local issues and not as interested in the global factors that affect Australiaâs environment.
This is the guy who has been telling us for four years that we have to be involved in a disastrous war in Iraq because we couldnât just turn our backs on what is a global struggle; that we cannot isolate ourselves from international factors. [Timâs emphasis].
(John at Australian Politics is equally unimpressed by the water focus, but more because of his conviction that Howardâs guiding motivation is the usurpation of state powers.)
Then thereâs yesterdayâs comments on Barrack Obama, which caused Tim to wonder why Howard hates America. Sarah, the voice of todayâs apathetic youth, whose picture I borrowed above, feels the same. Andrew Leigh prefers good example as a tactic to cure Howard of this bad attitude, and nominates his favourite paragraphs of the Senator Obamaâs candidacy declaration speech. From a more selfish angle, John Quiggin laments that the Howard-Obama affair has stolen the thunder from his next AFR column (on unhealthy personal relationships in world politics).
Gary Sauer-Thompson fears that history will judge Howard harshly for his dogged adherence to the failed strategy in Iraq, and that goes for Tony Blair as well. Bannerman thinks the rodent ought at least to get his slang right. And as if there weren’t already enough knives in Caesar’s back, our very own Sarah notes the PMâs belated realisation that the Exclusive Brethren are not quite as wholesome as he supposed. Et tu, Sarah? Tigtog thinks that this poster by someone called weez sums it all up.
Gertting away from Howard, but at the same time returning to the subject of global warming, Harry Clarke predicts that capital markets will play an important role in minimising the cost of dealing with climate change.
On the same topic, the ingenuous Tim Lambert is astonished to discover uncharacteristic errors in Andrew Boltâs anti-Flannery column. The loyal Baboon, however, is staunchly grateful to his fellow-Melbournian for guarding Truth against the sliver-tongued Flanneryâs onslaughts.
Geoff Robinson thinks that by suggesting a ban on coal exports the Greens are blowing their chances of building a bridge with environmentally conscious elements of the labour movement. Robert Merkel doesnât like the proposal either, and thinks that Bob Brown needs a microeconomics lesson. Robert prefers the Democratsâ approach, as explained here by the blogging Bartlett.
Gummo Trotsky finds he is able to look beyond Howard and hate other members of the Cabinet.
Here he dissects Kevin Andrewsâ dissertation on democratic capitalism, wondering how it can be neither religious nor secular(ist).
Not easily distracted by such trivia, Andrew Landeryou prefers to concentrate on more abstract issues. Andrew is eagerly awaiting Tonight’s Today Tonight’s story on Shapelle Corby, which he thinks will have critics of the Indonesian judicial system eating humble pie. But just in case you think Andrew revels in the humiliations of high profile women, see his gallant defense of Sophie Mirabella.
Turning to politics abroad, we find two pieces at Leftwrites on Israel. Kim explains why Fatah could not turn international support to its advantage and drive a harder bargain with Hamas in the Mecca Accord; while Harry finds it ironic that Israel is invoking the UN to justify expelling Liberian refugees.
Meanwhile, Eric Martin at the Road to Surfdom shows how the Bush Administrationâs attitude to diplomacy is illuminated by the case of the missing fax.
Alex of Searching for Hegetorides, who is in the running for the Most Intriguing Blog Name award, is not tempted to read Mark Steynâs latest book.
Life and other serious stuff
For readers who want a respite from all the hating, hereâs a few other miscellaneous items that caught my interest.
Adele Horinâs essay on how we misjudge whole peoples by the actions of their governments struck a chord with Sacha Blumen.
For those whose tastes run more to anti-Horin posts, hereâs Troppo contributor Cameron Riley defending dual citizenship in the face of an improbable Horin-Akerman alliance against it.
Phil of Veni Vidi Blogi, not normally an ally, is impressed by UK Conservativesâ stand against the Governmentâs rather un-British ID card scheme.
Peter Black reviews This Film is not yet Rated, just released on DVD, and concludes that the documentary is ‘compelling and exposes serious flaws in the ratings processâ.
Chris Boyd at The Morning After was dazzled by Cameron Redfernâs prose in Landscape with Animals, but it doesnât look like a book for people who just love a great story. Actually, that was back in June, but for some reason the Google reader is feeding us posts from this blog’s archives now. I’m going to gamble that (a) the dazzling prose is timeless, and (b) a small handfull of Troppo readers still haven’t caught up with it yet.
Readers who relish a bit of Janet-Frame-like introspection might be interested to learn why Carolinkus at Beelzebub blog is ambivalent at discovering that she is turning into a tough bitch. Or they might find some resonance in an entertaining photo essay from Lucy Tartan, who confronts her past and the meaning of life as revealed in the stuff under the house.
Finally, David Tiley at Barista does a service for Herge fans by drawing our attention to the beauty of the great artistâs depictions of cars – something I’d never stopped to notice before.
One gentle snark
I give qualified endorsement to this this complaint from Pavlovâs Cat. People who post comments without reading other people’s first should be rounded up and bulldozed into the ocean. Especially if the comments they skip are mine. And if exhortations from Pavlov’s Cat and me are not enough, recall that Brian Bahnisch, the quintessential commenter, once included this in his list of rules for blog commenting. The qualification is that some comments threads are too long. You can’t read 500 comments, most of which pertain to tedious personal quarrels and off-topic debates. The solution would be a new rule of etiquette that required commenters to place a heading ‘Personal Quarrel’ or ‘Off Topic’ at the beginning of such posts, allowing all the Serious Commenters (Brian, PC and me) to skip them with a clear conscience.
More on Wednesday if Ken doesn’t fire me.