Friday’s Missing Link

Peter Martinâs take: ‘Where’s the power, where’s the passion?’

In my fitful hours of semi-sleep, the Google Reader has become the Google Rider, a monstrous amusement park feature that looks like a jolly good challenge, but reduces you to a disoriented and quivering jelly. With eye strain — if a jelly can have eye strain. It’s not surprising that Missing Link was invented in the Northern Territory, where bareback buffalo riding is included in the infant school curriculum.

Domestic News and Politics Stuff

Peter Garrett and Workchoices were the biggest bloggers’ topics in the second half of this week.

After being cautioned on Wednesday for including MSM blogs, I wasnât sure whether to link to Peter Martin again. His blog is independent, but his pieces seem to be mostly recycled Canberra Times work, and thereâs not much interaction with the independent blogosphere. But in the end I couldnât resist either the picture or the formulation.

Tim Dunlop, for one, has no particular answer to Peter’s question, and contents himself with reformulating it: legitimate change of mind or gutless expedience?

On the issue of the proposed US base itself, Daryl Mason thinks it would have been polite to ask the Mayor of Geraldton whether he wanted his town to become a nuclear target. J.F.Beck, for his part, discerns a double standard in this kind of objection.

Bloggers grabbed ringside seats for the IR policy debate on Wednesday’s 7.30 Report. Modia Minataur (who apparently has just been appointed a rodeo larvum) believes Workchoices will be hard for the Government to sell:

In a sense, I wonder if the Howard Government’s reputation for good economic management does not hinder its argument. A generation of people now knows nothing more than good economic times. Why should rights be surrendered to make them slightly better? Or, if the argument is that changes are necessary to maintain this prosperity – why now?

On the other hand, heshe thinks Joe Hockey will be a better salesman than his predecessor

The style of Kevin Andrews was along the lines of `We’re right. They’re wrong. You’ll realise this eventually. We won’t tell you how or why. You just will. Now – stop bothering us about it’.

Minotaur concludes that Hockey managed turn it into an even contest. Chris Sheil, by contrast, thought that Julia Gillard was ably defending an unassailable position. I hope Chris intended some irony in putting it this way:

Hockeyâs difficulties were evident last night. Given hidebound rival ideological positions, the fundamental empirical question is whether individual Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) are good or bad things.

In some other interesting cointributions on domestic politics: Bilegripâs Olney Garkle (is this an acronmym, a literary allusion or what?) thinks that if Howard looses the next election, the Liberals are doomed to several terms of oblivion until his influence is purged; and Andrew Leigh challenges critics â who wonât accept the evidence, assembled by himself and others, that gambling markets predict election results better than opinion polls â to give him one good reason why they shouldnât.

News and Politics Stuff Relating to Global Scale Disaters

First the War and its domestic ramifications:

Gary Sauer Thompson wonders why the MSM isnât more sceptical of Bush Administration claims that the Iranians are supplying bombs to insurgents in Iraq. Jeremy distinguishes between staying in Iraq and staying the course in Iraq, and Eric Martin at Surfdom wonders how nobodyâs preferred plan became the chosen plan in Iraq.

Since I linked to it on Wednesday, Mirko Bagaricâs thesis on the The Rights of Hicks has inspired two detailed critiques. Gummo Trotsky detects a pattern of shoddy logic, while Ken Parish does the hard work Bagaric shirked, nailing down Hickâs rights under established international law.

Now to global warming and its domestic ramifications:

John Humphreys defends Australiaâs greenhouse emissions record, but concedes that it will be hard resist international pressure to do more. In Johnâs view âThis highlights an important issue for libertarians & sceptics to consider: if government action on climate change is inevitable.â Jason Soon takes up the challenge, making a cogent case for a carbon tax in preference to a cap-and-trade scheme, on the grounds that will generate less rent-seeking activity.

Meanwhile, Sacha Blumen finds that federal Industry Minister misrepresented the Greensâ position on the coal industry. Steve Munn, however, doesnât like the Greensâ policy in any version, and makes a strong case for carbon sequestration on the gounds that

coal will undoutedly continue to be a major energy source with or without clean coal technology and accordingly we have no realistic alternative other than to develop such technologies if we wish to make a serious reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.

Robert Merkel challenges the assumption that conventional aviation fuel is essential to air travel, while Senator Bartlett calls for a show of numbers at tomorrowâs rally in Brisbane to protest against the âbizarre cognitive dissonance that characterises the transport policies of the Brisbane City Councilâ

Elsewhere, Senator Bartlett proposes that Australia assist pacific islander nations threatened by rising ocean levels is to offer working visas that are already available to other nationalities.

Everything else

In some other worthwhile posts on miscellaneous topics:

Andrew Landeryou can forgive a Victorian magistrate for mistaking a campaign donation for a gift, but thinks the Age should know better.

John Quiggin is not surprised that two highly heavily touted profit-oriented educational institutions have failed to out-perform their public and non-profit counterparts.

Tigtog sympathises with Valentines Day protests by date rape activists, but sees a constructive solution to gender role dilemmas in better parental leave entitlements.

Wmmbb considers the case of holocaust denier Ernst Z¼ndel, extradited from Canada and sentenced yesterday to five yearsâ gaol by the Germans, and wonders if resistance to fascism would not be better directed against countries who adopt âfascist methodsâ in the here and now.

Happy Dean notes that the Japanese government is trying to obstruct publication of the Japanese translation of Ben Hillsâ book on the tragic predicament of Princess Masako.

The Dead Roo blames Margaret Thatcher for Britainâs dismal ranking on the OECD league table for child well-being. Since that’s bound to have annoyed the pants off any RWDBs reading this, I’ll counterbalance it with this insight from John Ray into the biased ways of the liberal press , which I’m fairly confident is not meant to be a parody.

Harry’s Night Parrott

Legal Eagle has a pursuasive essay cautioning us not to go too far in praising our children.

In this week’s token sport link, Shaun endorses the inclusion of Shaun Tait in the one day squad:

He is from the Jeff Thompson school of bowling. If Tait has no idea in what direction he will fling the ball then the batsmen have no hope either.

Well, Thommo was God, so Shaun need so no more as far as I’m concerned.

And amongst all the miserable news, itâs nice to learn from Harry Clarke (whose interests include bird watching, along with cricket and Nietzsche) that the night parrot, âthe only Australian parrot species that is active and feeds at nightâ, is not extinct.

With that I shall click ‘Mark all as read’, and pass the baton to BuffaloKarabau Ken.

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Ken Parish
17 years ago

It’s come up again so soon. Ah well. At least it gets this turn over with before the teaching semester starts (which is why I rostered myself on so early in the rotation)

17 years ago

Another link, this has to be one of the funniest titles I have seen in a long time: US forces get the nod. Setback for Garrett’s ALP. I sang it as I read the title.

Mark Bahnisch
17 years ago

On the other hand, he thinks

Modia Minotaur is a she, James.

17 years ago

Thanks James once again – and don’t fret Ken, it’s only a week, not a never ending exercise!

Christopher Sheil
17 years ago

I’m afraid I’m a bit slow, James. I take it you are suggesting that saying “the fundamental empirical question is whether individual Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) are good or bad things” in itself (ironically) reflects a “hidebound ideological position”; whereas I would have thought this a question subject to evidence (as distinct from the rival systems of values, beliefs and meanings that generally determines the stance of the two parties on this issue). But I must be missing your link.

Joshua Gans
17 years ago

Ken: I was happy to be second off the rank for the same reason.

Cam: Yes, that’s wonderful indeed. Are you volunteering to go on the roster?

Mark: What about a new blog called Farrell Error Watch?

Helen: Yes, I think Nicholas’s scheme works well.

Chris: It was an obscure and pointless comment. It’s just that an empirical issue is not normally defined as one about whether something is good or bad. But we all knew what you meant.

17 years ago

After yesterday’s debacle in Wellington, Tait can’t do any worse than the current mob. The World Cup is looking shakey.

17 years ago

Can you please include the “missing-link” label on missing link posts so they can be accessed via Thanks

Joshua Gans
17 years ago

Thanks, Lisa. I think this will be attended to.

17 years ago

Modia Minotaur is a she, James.

I am indeed in possession of two X chromosomes.

I agree that Julia Gillard’s position, policy-wise, is pretty unassailable. What worries me is that Hockey may appeal to the sort of person whose opposition to WorkChoices – and whose consequent support for the ALP – goes against their political conscience. Conceding that the policy is a crock, I’m hoping the government now won’t be shaming people into not casting a protest vote.

17 years ago

So who’s on duty this week? Missing the Monday link!

Ken Parish
17 years ago

I am and I just haven’t had time. I should get a Wednesday one done, but probably not until late afternoon (I’m in meetings until then).

Meanwhile, Sacha Blumen finds that federal Industry Minister represented the Greens

Kieran Bennett
17 years ago

On an aside, I just figured out what I was doing wrong with Open ID. The above is me (Kieran from DeadRoo).

On a further aside, if further help is required, I’d be more than willing to contribute to the Missing Link in some capacity.

Joshua Gans
17 years ago

Thanks for the correction, Kieran. Glad someone was paying attention.

I’ll leave it to Ken to respond re. the roster. He might invite you to deal with his backlog for this week.