Missing Link

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What is this object and who does Barista think should be using it? Just one of the things you’ll find out from this edition of Missing Link.

Well I can tell you that this Missing Link exercise is no pushover. It has probably grown a bit even since Ken started it, but itâs taken me about four or five hours to get through all the blogs on Kenâs Google Reader â and Iâve skimmed lots, and just not got to a few others.

But hereâs my best effort.

Fairly obviously the biggest news this week is hot off the press from one of the founders of the Oz blogosphere John Quiggin.

Iâve decided itâs time to put some skin in the game of appealing for charity. So, for the first time in 30 years, Iâm going to shave my beard off.

Read all about it and pledge some cash.

The other big news is that we have a new left leaning blog Counteract Now. Looks like it will have some useful things to say judging by whatâs up there and by the obvious good taste of its author in asking us for a plug.

News and politics stuff

For the first time in a while I got interested in the daily spin of politics this week and the blogosphere is predictably full of opinion on the strange reappearance of the principle of ministerial solidarity remarkably enough invoked by the minister resigning in these weighty terms.

The reason I have resigned is I do not want there to be any distraction away from the public’s focus on Mr Rudd’s concealment of what he has done.

The blogosphere was alive with opinion, counter-opinion, accusation and counter accusation about
what John Laws called âthe whole non-eventâ.

Harry Clarke wonders if Kevin Rudd is getting caught up in lies here and here.

And in typical, but even more elegant effort than usual Andrew Landeryou launches a new cause and designs a logo to go Justice4Burke. j4b.gif

A joke â perhaps somewhat â but even more reliable types like Ken Parish have wondered the same thing on this blog. As Andrew puts it, “What is it that Burke is supposed to have done â other than try to turn public decisions to the private advantage of his clients”.

Landeryou also outlines at length his opposition to the âwitch huntâ against Burkie. Andrewâs also dug up an old column of Tony Abbott â when Abbott was a journo â praising Brian Burke to the heavens.

Minotaur is one of the less impassioned analyses.  Meanwhile Left leaning blogs are aghast at the triviality of all this attack and counterattack. Ken L observes that

The latest party-political bickering is infinitely depressing. . . . I donât much like the Howard vision for Australia but at least I understand it. I confess, however, that I couldnât express the Rudd/Labor vision for Australia with any confidence at all. So as long as I keep reading this fucking bullshit about who met whom and whether you want a nuclear power station in your backyard and whether an ex-premierâs daughter is on the national executive ⦠well if thatâs all the mainstream parties can find to yap about then excuse me if I donât bother paying attention. Iâll just keep supporting the Greens.

Or this âHow cretinous can our party-political discourse become? To what levels of childish superstition and kindergarten morality can the Liberal Party descend, closely followed by the ALP?❠Pointing to the bizarre business of sacking a minister for reasons of political tactics here and here.

In a nice âcompare and contrastâ Peter Martin compares a good interview (by Mike Carlton of Costello) â which asked the hard questions â with and a bad interview (by John Laws of Kevin Rudd). Since both interviews were sympathetic to Ruddâs side, itâs an instructive comparison.

Tim Dunlop has a good left-leaning summary of the issues.

Pavolvâs Cat links to the transcript of Paul Keating on Howard v Rudd. Those were the days thinks PC. I was less than enamoured myself. Keating is now rolled out for a bit of entertainment by the media.

Ken L also has a good checklist of things that Howard is ticking off before the next election.

Other Political stuff

Robert Bollard at Left Writes tells us about the S11 protests in Melbourne and his experiences of the aidex demo in Canberra.

Robert Merkel does some hand wringing on carbon offsets â whether theyâre efficacious and whether theyâre an ethical means of reducing oneâs (net) carbon emissions. (Hint – they are and it’s not a problem – but that’s just me editorialising and planning to take it up with Robert at the next Melbourne outing.)

David Bath at The Dead Roo tells us that weâre screwed economically as a result of a Chinese conspiracy to trash the US. China might take our economy out as a dry run for what it plans with the US. Even if, like me, you’re highly sceptical both at the outset and on inspection of the details there’s still plenty to think about.

An interesting piece by Andrew Bartlett on the progress made â and progress yet to be made in gay law reform.

Helen, the Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony has a long post on abortion and attacks on the pro-choice position which âCâ at Two Peas in a pod describes as âbrilliantâ.

Harry Clarke fills us in on some unintended consequences of feral cat control on Maquarie Island.

Mark Richardsonâs muses (adversely) on multiculturalism. I often disagree with it, but I like his site and like seeing genuine small c conservative arguments being articulated given the general dominance of classical liberalism and left liberalism as the two dominant intellectual schools of debate at the moment

JR at Western Heart draws attention to a new study of Latino immigrants to the US and crime which he says highlights that the crime is committed not by the immigrants but by their kids.

Andrew Landeryou warns that âThe Australian National Union of Students [ANUS!] is on the verge of electing an infamous anti-semite pro-terrorist rabble-rouser as its Ethno-Cultural Officer.â

A couple of more important posts of John Quigginâs published recently havenât figured in Missing Link â so Iâll link to them now. A link to a mea culpa from someone formerly pro the Iraq War and a reflective piece on the state of ozplogistan:

At the Oz Politics Blog Bryan laments the new Liberal Party website

Ignoring the content, the site deserves to fail for design reasons. My longstanding gripe with the Liberal website remains: it does not provide an RSS feed. There is only an email news service. It is an election year â a year where communication will be important â and the Liberal Party cannot provide an RSS feed for its media releases. Go figure!

Kitty at Catallaxy has an interesting bit of dirt on Al Gore â his cuddling up to tobacco growers (and growing it himself) whilst tub-thumping about his epiphany when his sister died of lung cancer.

One thing I discovered on my researches is that Simone Warne has her own column â about buying and renovating houses, and âoutdoor livingâ that kind of thing. And why not?

Life and other serious stuff

Peter Martinâs has a good post on performance pay for teachers.

Tom OLincoln has an interesting post on developments in Japanese acceptance of responsibility for the sexual slavery to which they subjected women in World War II.

Rafe Champion points us to Michael Warbyâs review of The Treason of the Intellectuals by Julian
Benda. Written in the 1920s Bendaâs book is about how â in Bendaâs words âOur age is indeed the age of the intellectual organisation of political hatreds. It will be one of its chief claims to notice in the moral history of mankind.â

At Thoughts on Freedom Terje tells us a little about two technologies which may help us out of the greenhouse fix that the more emotional right wingers assure us is a left wing conspiracy. The technologies are indeed interesting

1. the solar tower which may be able to produce baseload power at costs comparable with coal fired powerstations (though the technology doesnât look to complex and a prototype operated for eight years and confirmed feasibility â so why hasnât a proper one been built yet? and;

2. a new super battery which is supposed to be going into production â which if it isnât a hoax will revolutionise transport and lots else.

Mad Bad Sad and Glad

Barista digs up an old remedy and recommends it for our PM. âIn these strange times, when our Prime Minister is stirring the pot about atomic power stations, I canât help but think he really needs a cure for his particular afflictions. I respectfully offer these – radium suppositories.â

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7 Responses to Missing Link

  1. Terje Petersen says:

    though the technology doesn

  2. Amanda says:

    I don’t think La Minotaur offers a right leaning perspective, unless she’s had an overnight conversion. In which case, we need to have words at the next Fabian do.

    Also, I don’t know what the problem is with Laws’s interview, I heard it live. Not everything in the world has to be cookie cutter faux balance current affairs.

  3. Oops – sorry Amanda. ML is so big that one makes notes and then gets them wrong. Corrected now. Also on Laws, that wasn’t my comparison, it was the author’s – Peter Martin. I do agree with him that the Carleton interview was better though I don’t mind interviewers just letting people get on and tell their story.

  4. Amanda says:

    Yep, I followed the links to Martin’s blog. But I choose to do my random musings at Club Troppo exclusively ;-)

    Laws can do forensic dissection of a guest too but mostly he just can’t be bothered these days. Comparing him to the ABC rather misses about fifty different points.

    Thanks for all the ML work, Nick.

  5. James Farrell says:

    “…this Missing Link exercise is no pushover”.

    Indeed not. They took me about eight hours each – roughly what Ken estimated. You have nearly forty links here, which suggests you read about 200 or so if, like me, you included about one in five of those.

    Well done. I hope you survive the week.

    I just caught up with Helen’s and Darlene’s, which were also fun.

    Peter Martin’s piece was good as far as it went. But he left out the whole question of collegiality and morale.

  6. What James said. I’ve edited and compiled stuff for a living (so I’m bloody quick) and they still take me about three hours a pop.

    Keep your chin up Nicholas, you’re going great guns.

  7. David Bath says:

    My “China v US economy” article at deadroo.com was not asserting the actual existence of an official “Chinese conspiracy” but merely a wargame scenario. As an update: did you notice that China announced it will drop GDP to 8%pa from 10.4% (Q4), just as Oz mineral export capacity is increasing (Lateline Business 2007-03-06) – a sure way of dropping prices about 20%. This announcement came a LOT faster than I suspected.

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