Monday’s Missing Link on Tuesday

Terry Sedgwick has the definitive word on the Paris Hilton in prison affair

A return to the Missing Link editing chair for me while Helen D does her judge’s associate thing at the Palm Island/Mulrundji Doomadgee homicide trial in Townsville.

Opinion polls have returned to the limelight over the last few days, with 2 successive Galaxy polls showing the Howard government picking up ground on Rudd Labor (both show changes significantly greater than the error margin). Bryan Palmer focuses on the latest of them, showing Labor’s lead in Queensland shrinking markedly. Of course, there was also a Morgan poll late last week showing Labor as far ahead as ever, but Bryan also argues (as do many others) that Morgan is biased towards Labor to the tune of around 2 percentage points. However Bryan has also prepared a monthly aggregated polling graph (combining all the main pollsters’ results), which still looks very healthy for Labor. Rudd and his Keating-belittled advisers probably won’t start sweating profusely unless the next Newspoll shows a similarly dramatic drop in Labor support.

Tim Dunlop has also embarked on the second of his 1Q series of questions to bloggers. This week’s question (devised by Harry Clark) is:

How relevant are motives in assessing the public policy stance of a politician or commentator?

Responses so far have been posted by Harry himself, Joshua Gans and Robert Merkel. I’ll have a lash at it later this evening, although in general terms I agree with Robert Merkel.

Another issue which has generated several posts concerns two QUT academics who have been suspended without pay for 6 months for writing an op-ed article about a PhD thesis called Laughing At The Disabled. Peter Black, Kim at LP and Andrew Bartlett all have a go at this one. ((Seems to me it largely depends on whether they gained access to the thesis as part of their academic duties, in which case they certainly should have kept their criticism in-house, though even then the penalty appears grossly excessive ~ KP))

By the way, I’m seriously thinking of making a virtue of seeming necessity and aiming deliberately at publication on Tuesdays and Fridays in future rather than Mondays and Thursdays. What do readers think?

This edition by James Farrell, Amanda Rose, Jason Soon and Ken Parish.

1. News and Politics Stuff

John Quiggin gives his reaction to the agreement on greenhouse emissions announced at the G-8 summit. Its main aim was to save face for Bush, but it does commit the US to engage with the multilateral process after the Kyoto agreement expires. But John Howard’s attempt to seize control of the agenda has apparently failed:

As far as I can tell, no-one at G8 noted Australias world-leading initiatives or suggested that it would be a good idea to wait until September when the issue could be discussed at APEC in Sydney.

Brian Bahnisch is more pessimistic, fearing that the big developing countries may use Howard’s APEC as an opportunity to lobby for the abandonment of long term targets in future UN-sponsored agreements.

In the aftermath of the Pell Affair, Andrew Bartlett tries to figure out where ‘democracy at work’ ends and contempt of parliament begins. He considers some interesting cases, and provides some useful links for students of this controversy. Meanwhile Dreadnought makes available an article he published in the MSM on the ethics of stem cell research.

Mark Bahnisch has produced a handy précis of five opinion pieces in the weekend Herald on the theme of Kevin Rudd and the secret of his success. He concludes:

the shorter SMH: Rudds a safe pair of hands, and oppositions dont win elections, governments lose them.

Sarah agrees with Keating, while Graham Young ingeniously argues that PJK’s blather was a plus for Rudd and a blow to Howard!!

Andrew Elder muses about just war doctrine, Cardinal Pell and Catholics denied IVF babies.

Peter Martin focuses on Work Choices (or whatever it’s now called) and productivity.

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

Several bloggers published posts in the last few days on the somewhat obscure question of whether people who identify as left-leaning are more influenced by status than those of a rightist disposition. Jason Soon, Andrew Norton and Don Arthur are the culprits. Apparently it all derives from some recent results in happiness research, which might be enough in itself not to take it too seriously.

And in a vaguely related vein, Andrew Norton ventures back into a hoary old blogsophere debate and asks: are ‘left’ and ‘right’ useful political labels? His heavily qualified answer is in the affirmative.

Rob from “Better part of valour” blogs about an article by African economist James Shikwati and his well-publicised view that much aid to African does more harm than good. It’s timely in view of last week’s G8 meeting, which made another set of pledges to help Africa despite the fact that most of its members failed to make good on the last set of similar pledges.

Harry Clark posts on last night’s Four Corners, which broadcast the second part of a doco on the US “extreme rendition” (aka outsourced torture) program, and in particular some rather strong evidence that the howard government was complicit in it. ((You can’t help wondering why Harry continues supporting the Coalition in view of such evidence of flagrant breaches of the rule of law and the fact that he, seemingly unlike most strong Howard supporters (and almost certainly Howard himself despite recent poll-driven protestations to the contrary), actually takes global warming seriously ~ KP))

Tim Lambert discusses more criticisms of John Tierney’s anti-Rachel Carson piece in the New York Times. However JF Beck as usual, is not so impressed by Lambert’s debunking.

Ken Lovell at Surfdom scoffs at Mark Wooden’s denials that most Australian workers do unpaid overtime. He thinks Wooden lives in a ‘fantasy world of economists and lawyers where everyone obeys the rules, so you only need to know the rules to know what’s going on.

Laura at LP kicks off a good whinge binge about grammar and apostrophe’s.

How outrageous do the lies have to get, wonders wmmbb in his Duckpond, before we demand more accountability from our leaders.

tigtog has a thing about ‘illegal fly posters‘. She wants her council to take a leaf out of Glasgow’s book, and ‘pay council workers to slap Cancelled stickers on the illegal posters instead!’

In the post the whole world has been waiting for, Sarah defends Nestle’s use of bug extract to make strawberry Quick pink. Toddler milk, on the other hand, should be made prescription only.

David Bath has been delving into European treaties for guidance on ‘western values’, and fears that the Howard government wouldn’t measure up.

Lauredhel has an update on her earlier exposé on Prolactina and its claims to philanthropy.

Gam accuses half-hearted protesters, who marched against Telstra’s plans for a new tower in Brisbane, of hypocrisy.

Helen rediscovers that men can be pigs.

JF Beck is concerned that children are getting too concerned about global warming while the ALS blog starts a new poll asking readers for their predictions about global temperature changes over the next 10 years. Diogenes Lamp tells readers what he did on World Environment Day.

Travelling through Vietnam naturally leads James Waterton to some thoughts on the Vietnam war.

Rafe Champion posts a farewell to philosopher Richard Rorty, who died a couple of days ago.

Peter Black post an excellent analysis of the law (copyright and otherwise) surrounding the question of whether you can legally photograph iconic tourist spots like the Sydney Opera House and Uluru (at least for commercial purposes).

3. The Yartz

Kinda slim pickens this week, the arty types take their long weekends seriously.

More classic LP covers at Vanessa is …

Fresh from one of those classic mailing lists, Alison Croggon at Sarsaparilla cleanses with some modern German theatre.

When all others doze, Peter Martin can be relied upon to keep the film talk coming.

From the MP3 blogs: We All Have Hooks for Hands: “How it would sound if you threw grand pianos at an orchestra pit filled with fiddlers.”

We linked to Bland Canyon’s Australia’s Next Top Model recaps before, but now it’s all over it’s time to revisit and mourn what the cable-less among us we missed.

4. T.S.S

(troppo sports stadium)

Scott Wickstein examines the purchase of the leading independent cricket website Cricinfo by huge American sports media group ESPN. Scott suspects that it will be difficult for its journos to maintain their fearless, passionate independence under conglomerate ownership.

NIall “Bannerman” Cook blogs the weekend’s V8 Supercars broom-broom round at Sydney’s Eastern Creek. Next round at Darwin’s Hidden Valley ((I only ever go if someone gives me a freebie ticket) ~ KP))

And Tim T waxes poetic about the French Open women’s singles tennis. The poetry is indescribable, not sure about the tennis.

5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

Legal Eagle focuses on the strange case of two christian fundie religious groups suing each other for misleading and deceptive conduct. Some atheists might unkindly suggest that such conduct is a central, disinguishing feature rather than a bug.

David Tiley’s post updating the saga of Iraq’s ravaged antiquities is a “must read”.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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16 years ago

Just a correction – that’s “Prolacta”, not “Prolactin”. Prolactin is the hormone that stimulates milk synthesis in the early days after birth, Prolacta is the for-profit breastmilk sales & pharmaceutical company.

James Farrell
James Farrell
16 years ago

A good summary of the torture story, Harry, if you’re reading this. Like Ken, I wonder why you don’t condemn Downer, Ruddock and Howard just a bit more emphatically. I would have commented chez toi, but didn’t really feel like creating an account.

16 years ago


Obviously my link whoring meant nothing to you.

And it was a good post, too…

Charles Murton
16 years ago

Please note that the pro-Howard fascists who ran Diogenes’ Lamp have been overthrown by the will of the people. The web site tells what I, Tony Trotloon, chairman of the Revolutionary Committee, did on World Environment Day.

16 years ago

Cheers, Ken. Glad you’re enjoying my stash….

Paul Martin
16 years ago

Thanks again for the link, but it’s Paul (not Peter)

16 years ago

Apologies Paul, that’s me again. I have a real block about it for some reason, and after my last gaffe I distinctly remmeber checking I got it right. I am teh dumb.

James Farrell
James Farrell
16 years ago

What this tells us is that your interest in economics is less than passionate, Amanda. Otherwise you wouldn’t be in doubt about who Peter Martin was, and you would get Paul’s name right by elimination.

16 years ago

You might be surprised where my passions lie. ;-)

Dave Bath
16 years ago

You’ve included a few of my posts from the DeadRoo before, so I thought I should let you know I’m publishing more often at
David Bath

Paul Martin
16 years ago

I always find it odd to see the name Peter Martin, which is the name of my high school chemistry teacher. Nice enough guy, but strange. And where do your passions lie, Amanda? Seriously.

James Farrell
James Farrell
16 years ago

Ken, if no one objects I’ll add Dave’s blog to my folder.

Paul, doesn’t ‘Country Music Death Beast and Worker in the Dylan-Industrial Complex’ give you at least a preliminary orientation?

James Farrell
James Farrell
16 years ago

Yes, Ken, that was my understanding. The operative term was ‘my’.

16 years ago

> Jason Soon currently reviews all the uncategorised blogs along with the RWDBs

On that, how come there’s no Left Wing Moon Bat category? gd&r


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