- 1. News and Politics Stuff
- 2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
- 3. The Yartz
- 4. T.S.S
- 5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
Two events captured Ozblogistan’s collective attention: the ALP National Conference, and the World Cup Cricket Finals Fiasco. There were some excellent posts about both, which we’ve covered under their respective headings – News and Politics for the ALP Conference, and Troppo Sports Stadium for the cricket.
Those apart, there were some generally excellent pieces on other things,
including an early candidate – to paraphrase Ken – for my post of the year (SL). Pommygranate reaches real heights of eloquence and passion in his piece on the rise of the racist BNP in British politics. Instead of being merely shocked, he calmly dissects various reasons for the increased popularity, providing a mass of discomforting detail.
Before getting into Missing Link proper, I should apologise for the delay, which came about as a result of technical kafups on the editors’ part, and was nothing to do with Club Troppo’s ongoing technical kafups, which Ken and Jacques detail here.
For graphics in this edition, I’ve included a selection of paintings by John Pasquarelli, the noted political svengali and general controversialist. He’s become a successful artist in his retirement; the images probably explain why.
This edition of Missing Link compiled by James Farrell, Patrick Garson, Jason Soon, Amanda Rose and Helen Dale, the latter once again standing in as general editor in the absence of Ken Parish.
1. News and Politics Stuff
Kicking off the ALP Conference goodies is the Poll Bludger, with some thoughtful psephology (as always). John Quiggin has also been reporting from Labor’s National Conference. He observes that Labor and the Coalition have essentially swapped sides on states’ rights; endorses the decision to jettison the three mines policy; and notes the general acceptance of a proposal for a very mild form of civil union. This last reflects the conservative mood of the conference, where few have an appetite for taking risks in an election where they have a very strong chance to regain power. On the civil union question, Sara, in a convincing imitation of a person who cares about such things, argues that the compromise is a victory for the bigots.
As expected, Harry Clarke focusses on the industrial relations policies unveiled at the conference, as does Rafe Campion at Catallaxy.((Worth reading for a very lively comments thread.~SL)) Here at Troppo, Chris Sheil links sport to politics and speculates on a possible trifecta. Over at Larvatus Prodeo, Kim decided a short post calling for observations was the way to go, resulting once again in an excellent thread.
Turning to international news, Eric Martin submits his most cogent case yet for withdrawal from Iraq, on the basis that none of the armed factions (including the government) share the occupying forces’ objective of establishing a liberal democracy. It may be possible to suppresss the violence, but that won’t in itself bring political settlement any closer:
The various Iraqi factions recognize that in the end we will leave one way or the other, and they will remain. They can wait us out, or play the game within the parameters set, as necessary. And so they do.
Still on the WoT, David Tiley has a superb post on the chronic poor governance afflicting Iraq, much of it to do with sheer incompetance, and not by the Americans in this case. And, sadly, very little of it to do with terrorists, either.
Over at Austrolabe, the team have provided a superb guest post by Dr Ameer Ali. He argues that living in the West – and being confronted for the first time with genuine freedom and secularism – has been excellent for the development of Muslim thought.1
Andrew Landeryou exposes some dodgy company which senior federal Liberals have found themselves in.
Adrienswords has some insightful reflections on the fate of David Hicks.
As for nuclear issues, Tim Dunlop reckons the Government’s sudden conversion has more to do with election strategy than greenhouse anxiety. Tim’s post inspired Robert Merkel to start a debate at LP. In particular he wants to know if there’s a market for the Coalition’s new policy product. Meanwhile, Diogenes Lamp thinks there is money to be made from nuclear waste.
Andrew Bartlett credits the balance of power that reigned in the Senate prior to 2005 with the balance of interests that prevailed in the industrial relations rules.
Ken Lovett is not expecting much fanfare in honour of soldiers returned from Afghanistan and Iraq with mental illnesses, including a couple who have committed suicide. Kev Gillett – himself a Vietnam Vet – speculates on the differential rates of PTSD among different groups of returned servicemen, and asks if some really are spurious.
Gary Sauer-Thompson didn’t think much of Alexander Downer on Australian Story.2
The aftermath of the Second World War is frequently overshadowed by what preceded it. Darryl Mason takes a look at a book that seeks to highlight the slaughter of millions of Germans. Still on continuing post World War II ructions, Robert Merkel and Saint in a Straitjacket discuss the recent Estonian government decision to remove a memorial to the Red Army ‘liberators’. Said removal led to deadly rioting between the Estonian majority and the Russian minority, the latter a hangover from the Soviet Union’s colonial policies.3
2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
Marking the inexplicably delayed demise of Boris Yeltsin, Paul Norton has written a stimulating essay on the circumstances that brought this remarkable kleptocrat and butcher to power. Paul finds some parallels between the murky aftermath of the USSR and that of the Romanov monarchy, with autocratic opportunists prevailing over genuinely democratic movements in both cases.
Tigtog’s new co-blogger Lauredhel explains that, when it comes to reporting abuse of women, it makes a difference when writers and speakers use the active voice, as opposed to when the passive voice is used. When the subject is invisible, readers and listeners tend to associate the action with the object, and for some it’s a short step to blaming the victim.
Andrew Bartlett has a very useful detailed report on the situation of the new crop of refugees that the government has dispatched to NAURU (musn’t use the passive voice, now!). It covers their backgrounds, their living conditions, and the legal process they face. The good news is that they are not locked up, and are generally well treated. The bad news is that they do not have the protection of Australian law. This state of affairs would be roughly reversed under Labor’s policy to put refugees up in a gaol on Christmas Island.
Tim Lambert explains how to us a kill file to remove comments from proscribed commenters. Meanwhile Lambert’s perpetual antagonist, JF Beck thinks that Chris Mooney (author of The War on Science) isn’t qualified to talk about science.
Yesterday was Helen’s birthday, and she wants us to celebrate by living dangerously. Happy Birthday!
Cristy has a culinary dilemma, and is asking for help. Non-allergy diets are hard enough when you’re not vegan.
Over at Home-Cooked Theory, there’s talk about how hard it is to find jobs in New Media through traditional avenues. I can’t help wondering if this will flow on into other industries, or if it will remain sector-confined, like getting work for free-lancing of almost any variety.
Anzac Day and how to memorialise our veterans is stilll rumbling around; Legal Eagle provides a thoughtful but nonetheless comprehensive takedown of the Age‘s Tracee Hutchison, while Catallaxy – like Club Troppo in the last edition of Missing Link – decided to quote Slim over at the Dog’s Bollocks and let the stoush begin!
3. The Yartz
Ken Lovett shares his sorrow at the passing of Mstislav Rostropovich, and wonders
Who will be the heroes of today’s maturing generation? Mel Gibson? Bono? Well maybe I’m just getting old.
Book World casts an eye over a writing self-help tome which makes some big claims:
Julia Cameron coils herself seductively into the long grass and tells me in sibilant phrases that we are all creative and that all I need is “the simple process of engaging the Great Creator in discovering and recovering [my] creative powers.” Sorted.
Kirsty at Galaxy has a recent reading list and experiences at a couple of book clubs. She also experiences the familiar (to some of us anyway) anxiety about half-forgotten library fines coming back to haunt. Paul Martin has still more from the German Film Festival. (And still more. ) Off the Record offers “a few great tracks” in MP3 form. Vacant Mind has a take on the Port Nepean Music Festival, which appears to recycle a lot of acts from Byron Bay.6
Random Brainwave on the loneliness of the cutting room floor:
Sundance nominee and new Australian film ‘Noise’ is out in Cinemas in just under a week and I cannot wait, as I’m in the first 10min of the film as a dead body on a train…. I paused through the whole thing and guess what? NOTHING! Every single other dead actor is there except for me which blows …
(troppo sports stadium)
Well, the final moments of the World Cup Final topped – if it were possible – the fiasco that was much of the rest of the tournement. For those who’ve been living under a rock, both umpires and match referee forgot the rules of the game, which – among other things – led to the final three overs of the game being played in darkness (not dusk, either, genuine darkness). The sporting blogosphere responded with some very interesting commentary, none of it particularly complimentary about Mr Speed and his cahoots at the ICC.
First up is Robert Merkel at LP, who askes if the game can be saved from itself.7. Next up is Tony the Teacher, who is both funny and passionate about the game he loves. Russell Degnan thinks the time has come to consider the format of the one day game itself, and writes excellently about his suggestions. Scott Wickstein provides some useful discussion of the laugh riot cricinfo commentary on the the concluding moments of the fiasco and Malcolm Speed’s incredible tin ear. The Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe tries to ‘accentuate the positives‘, as does Scott Wickstein when farewelling Glenn McGrath.
There is no doubt, however, that the World Cup has left a bad taste in the cricket world’s collective mouth, a point Ian makes well over at the Corridor of Uncertainty.
5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
In a worrying development, Rob at the Better Part of Valour notes the recent departure from the blogosphere of two leading Egyptian bloggers, one of whom is being actively intimidated by the secret police.
Andrew Norton provides some excellent cliometrics on the recent allegation that Fair Trade Coffee isn’t as fair as it’s cracked up to be, while the award for outstanding cat story of the week goes to The Editor of GrodsCorp.
Adrian the Cabbie meets a remarkable Palestinian in his cab – and thinks about joining the Army Reserve.((The two ideas are linked, trust me.~SL))
Chris Fryer has some advice on what not to Google.
- Highly recommended.~SL
- Mind you, after Curtin, and the upcoming Bastard Boys, I guess the ABC feels they have to give the righties something to work with.~PG
- These involved settlement of large numbers of ethnic Russians in non-Russian regions.~SL
- Don’t take the bait, Jeremy: life is too short.~JF
- I kid you not!~JS
- All well and good … but not liking the sublime Taj Mahal???!? Does not compute! ~AR
- Excellent suggestions in the comments.~SL