Wednesdayâs Missing Link

How John Quiggin sees the climate debate

Soon this process will be automated. Someone will program the Google Reader to choose the best posts of the week and string them together with hilarious banter. But in the meantime I’ll persevere with the manual method.

News and politics stuff with an international dimension

Andrew Bolt is already thumping the table with a new anti-AGW book entitled The Chilling Stars by Nidel Calder (author of the durable primer Einstein’s Universe). I haven’t seen any debate amongst Australian bloggers about the scientific nitty gritty in it the book, but if John Quiggin is right, thatâs because itâs old hat. However, Ken L at Surfdom ventures a critique of Calder’s philiosophy of science. For an overview of the broader scientific issues, by and for non-scientists, Brian Bahnischâs brief review of the Fourth ICCC Report is just the ticket.

But the biggest circus in town is still the Howard-Obama fracas. Bannerman thinks the member for Bennelong has covered himself with inglory. John Quigginâs diagnosis is that Howard finally realises he has hitched a ride on the Titanic, but that, limited in his response by personal stubbornness and loyalty, he is reduced to lashing out in anger. Tim Dunlop finds the tactic more calculated: itâs plain old sledging. Tim recalls Shane Warne telling Michael Parkinson that Border

…taught him that if he was feeling a bit unfocussed and the game was getting away from him, what he often used to do was just pick out a member of the opposing team and go and abuse him. The logic, according to Warne, was that it revved you up, got you concerntrating again and sharpened up your reactions.

But not everyone is ganging up on the old wolf. Values Australia gives recognition to the sterling support backbencher Cameron Thompson is giving his leader, but warns that Rwanda comparisons can be a two-edged sword. The PM can also count on support from ordinary citizen bloggers like James Ozark, who presents this definitive case for the defense:

The fact is, John Howard is absolutely right. And we all know it.

Mark Bahnisch seizes the opportunity to do some sociological fieldwork, to find out what Americans really think about us. Such as:

That does it — I’m not buying another product from Australia until this koala-brain is tossed out of office. If the right-wingers can boycott France, we can boycott Australia.

But at least theyâve heard of us, which should give courage to Ingolf Eide at Club Troppo, who wonders if Australia could use its tiny leverage to dissuade the Administration from bombing Iran. Drawing on a report from The Economist, Harry Clarke explains why such an attack is still on the cards, and what the Americans should do instead.

Purely Domestic Political Stuff

Raving Stalinist John Quiggin has released a new paper on water policy, proposing more scope for the price mechanism in allocating water between farmers and city-dwellers. Given that Labor governments at state level havenât shown any creativity along these lines, Andrew Norton tries to figure out why voters have more confidence in the Federal Opposition than in the government when it comes to managing water.

Psephological blogger Peter Brent maintains that this week’s events vindicate his previous unorthodox suggestion that Peter Garret would have performed better in a different portfolio.

Surveying some sobering statitistics supplied by Crikeyâs Christian Kerr, Mark Bahnisch warns against premature victory celebrations in the light of Mondayâs AC Nielsen poll that found Labor 16 points in front.

And while we’re at the Larva Rodeo: Tedious Piffle, is Kimâs verdict at the on Jeff McMullanâs Difference of Opinion, and the commenters agree unanimously. They didnât even appreciate the cartoons, but there might be someone out there who does, so hereâs one.

Difference of opinion: the light side

Peter Martin found the honesty refreshing and the message depressing in a speech last week at ADFA by the Treasury Secretary, about what Ken Henry terms the âasymmetry between penalty and rewardâ:

‘If you do something that saves the taxpayer a bucket of money, donât expect any external praise. But if you do something that costs the taxpayer any amount of money, expect criticism, and expect that you are going to have to devote a lot of valuable time and effort in responding to that criticism.’

In another of his pieces (which doouble as columns in the Canberra Times ) Martin anticipates that the Reserve Bankâs statement that the rental market is merely finding its equilibrium will ease the consciences of landlords.

Evils in our midst

Some miscellaneous items on our troubling times.

Jeff Sparrow at Leftwrites rejects Greg Sheridan’s criticisms of a Guardian writer who compares islamophobia to anti-semitism, but without, it seems to me, doing justice to Sherdidan’s facts and figures.

Mirko Bagaric produces a steep and winding argument that David Hicksâ military tribunal is fair enough.

Daryl Mason is disturbed to discover that police, apparently legally, have been using mobile phone records to uncover journalistsâ contacts.

At Catallaxy, Peter Cravenâs article on the decline of Australian classics prompts Rafe to lauch a new hunt for intellectual vandals. (âWho done it, who helped, who looked the other way, who can explain how and why it happened, has anyone done a systematic study?â) Tally-ho, Rafe. Find these people and unmask them! Meanwhile, Kodjo baulks at the suggestion that greenhouse activists are necessarily genocidal maniacs.

Life and other serious stuff

In the literary blogs, two posts caught my eye: Dean the happy antipodean speculates that the writing of Elfriede Jelinek provides clues about why a mother might grossly abuse her own children; and Sandra on Bookworld agonises over her reading shortlist, drawing some enlightening advice from her commenters.

The last Missing Link was condemned for neglecting sport, so here are the missing Monday Missing Links: Shaun identifies the cracks in the Australian cricket team’s armour in the light of the astonishing one day final defeat. If you had to watch the final alone, you can still enjoy a vicarious jokeathon with Tim T. Tony T. and his mates in the Shane Watson Fan Club. Or if you prefer more cerebral sports, watch as Ben H. of Sarsaparilla gets grudgingly drawn into a word game where everyone is a loser.

We oughtn’t to neglect food either. Perticularly not, Meredith from Marrickvilia, who explains in words and pictures how to convert the purple grapes ripening on your pergola into red grape jelly in a mere thirty-four easy steps. She says it tastes as good as it looks: it looks like red jelly from a packet, so you be the judge.

Andrew Loves Sophie

Happy Valentineâs day from Missing Links. Donât miss this link to Peter Black, who observes the occasion with a few well chosen clips; or Andrew Landeryou’s touching public reaffirmation of his love for Sophie .

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Mark Bahnisch
14 years ago

Just on the Bolt link, James, can I suggest that Missing Link only link to non-MSM blogs? I thought that was what Ken had in mind when he was talking about highlighting the best of the “independent blogosphere”. I don’t think Bolt (or Sam and the City or Jack Marx for that matter) really count as part of the blogosphere. It’s more standard op/ed hyperbole with a comments box.

Just suggestin..

Mark Bahnisch
14 years ago

But nice job again!

James Farrell
James Farrell
14 years ago

Mark

I only linked to Bolt to provide context (and of course because he’s obviously my kind of guy). Do you mean I should refrain from mentioning MSM blogs at all, or just from actually linking to them? I guess you can’t mean the latter, since there are other references to MSM media in the post. As it happens, I didn’t link to The Economist, The Guardian (or Crikey! for that matter) but more from laziness than any conscious policy.

In the meantime, and until Parish CJ clarifies things, I’ll remove the link.

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
14 years ago

James

I tend to concentrate on te independent blogosphere and ignore the MSM “blogs” for the sorts of reasons Mark mentions. Most of them are not really blogs anyway, and they don’t need promotion. However I’ve never been doctrinaire about it. First, I freely link to Tim Dunlop, because he’s an independent blogger now working for Murdoch and because he continues to function as a blogger properly so called (i.e. interacting with the rest of the blogging community). I have also linked to Andrew Bolt a couple of times, when his posts have been integral to broader discussions taking place in the blogosphere. As far as I’m concerned there’s no prohibition on linking to newspaper “blogs”, but it should be done sparingly (not least because most of them are crap anyway).

Mark Bahnisch
14 years ago

James, I guess my thinking was that the idea was to draw attention to the quality of blogging. “Blogs” on News or Fairfax sites don’t really need (or as Ken says, in most cases deserve) the publicity. I also see Tim as an exception to the rule because he’s actively participating in the debates internal to the independent blogosphere – ie through commentary, linking, etc.

Jeremy
Jeremy
14 years ago

Hmm. I think I liked “Missing Link” more when it linked to me. ;-)

Bannerman
14 years ago

Bannerman would simply like to add that James is performing a sterling service, Bolt or no Bolt. Preferably no Bolt.

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
14 years ago

Ooh ah! I just discovered why that is, Jeremy. I inadvertently left you off the subscription list when I converted over to the more automated Google Reader system. Hence your blog hasn’t come up as one that has been updated. Sorry about that. Anyway, the oversight has now been remedied.

Any other bloggers who haven’t receive d amention recently and reckon the quality of their output suggests they should have been can feel free to put a gentle prompt here in the comment box. Converting to Google Reader was such a mammoth task that it’s quite possible I missed others out as well.

Joshua Gans
Joshua Gans(@joshua-gans)
14 years ago

Yes, a gentle prompt and a bit of flattery will do the job. I’m less au fait with the terrain than Ken, so relied heavily on his subscription list.

Nabakov
Nabakov
14 years ago

I think Missing Link is going rather well now with the rotating curators. My only suggestions are perhaps spreading the net even wider to ferret out some of the quirkier local blogs and perhaps a few more links to sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and informed analysis about just what the hell Beattie was thinking at the Battle of Jutland when he made the Run to the North instead of luring Hipper onto Jellicoe’s guns.

(I’m just warming up for the Military History Carnival here. Should be a few good local blogger posts to come out of that one.)

Tony.T
14 years ago

Will type for grog.

I’m wondering if I should feel insulted, John.

Joshua Gans
Joshua Gans(@joshua-gans)
14 years ago

Not sure who you mean by John, Tony, unless it’s Nabakov’s real name.

But if you mean me, the answer is no, and I don’t know what you’re getting at. The Shane Watson thing was ironic, since all the commenters on your thread were putting the boot into the poor bugger.

Tony.T
14 years ago

What I mean by John, James, is your case of mistake identity. Tim T. is not me, Tony.T is me. Tim blogs at Will Type For Food.

(Nabakov’s real name is Demidenko.)

Joshua Gans
Joshua Gans(@joshua-gans)
14 years ago

Right. Penny’s dropped. But there was a Tim T., wasn’t there? Some ex-army bloke who was all for war and Windschuttle and things like that.

Tony.T
14 years ago

Tim’s certainly commented on AGB, but I don’t know about the rest.

Wicking
14 years ago

Gentle prompt for Ken:

I’ve moved to wickingcartoons.blogspot.com

I think I’m funny. Others may not.

Joshua Gans
Joshua Gans(@joshua-gans)
14 years ago

Colin, I’m guessing you’ll post your cartoons at CT at your own discretion. On the other hand, stuff you write is potential Missing Links material.

Tony, I was thinking of Mark T. Tim T. is, as you mentioned, an actual blogger: I see now he’s on Ken’s blog roll. Sorry about that.

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
14 years ago

I had in fact accidentally omitted Wicking from the Google Reader subscription list as well. As you can see, it was an imperfect process. Anyway, I’ve now added his excellent blog to the list.

BTW if you read this Colin, is it OK if I occasionally steal one of your cartoons from your blog for cross-posting here at Troppo? I saw your recent note that you wouldn’t have much time for blogging for a while because you’re doing a new book. I’d be happy to save you some time by engaging in blatant appropriation of your excellent cartooning intellectual property, to save you from having to remember to cross-post!

Wicking
14 years ago

Ken, I’d be delighted if you stole my stuff. I’ve been meaning to keep up the occasioanl cross-post on Troppo but am easily distracted. And often lazy.

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[…] in Australia. Other linkage: Club Troppo’s continuing roundup of the Australian blogosphere, Missing Links. Each week has a different editor, and there are usually two but maybe three editions weekly. […]