Arleeshar thinks new right wing Liberal candidate and David “Godfather” Clarke protege Alex Hawke is a scarey and soulless looking dude. The sheila looking at him seems to have a similar opinion … Andrew Elder and Oz at Decomposing Trees don’t think much of Hawke either.
This edition of Missing Link is also cross-published at Catallaxy courtesy of Jason Soon, in case Club Troppo crashes yet again. Moves are afoot to get Troppo fixed, but it might take a while yet. Apologies for inconvenience. I also don’t know how long it will take before we can reinstate the subscription email bulletin facility for Missing Link. Apologies also for the absence of internal hyperlinks.
The Howard government’s newly announced broadband policy has naturally been the focus of considerable blogosphere comment. Graham Young reckons Howard’s broadband policy is clearly superior to Rudd’s model, and indeed demonstrates the manifest superiority of Liberal policy-making over Labor’s efforts. In an equally dispassionate and thoroughly non-partisan contribution, Tim Dunlop concludes that “far from neutralising the issue, the governments catch-up plan may simply serve to reinforce the very things of which people are growing tired.”
Saint in a Straitjacket summarises the situation succinctly:
You got broadband? I got broadband.
You got carbon trading scheme? I got carbon trading scheme.
You got industrial relations policy? I got even more complex industrial relations policy.
You don’t like petrol gouging? Guess what neither do I.
chicken entrailspolls? I got chicken entrailspolls.
Don’t know about you, but I am still waiting for a fork in the road.
This edition by James Farrell, Amanda Rose, Jason Soon and Ken Parish (with editing by the latter).
News and Politics Stuff
Is this Kevy’s long-awaited fork in the road?
Valorous Rob has a strong piece on the Palestinian state in the wake of their very own Six Day War between Hamas and Fatah.
The Nuclear Australia blog reports on a uranium enrichment feasibility study for Queensland. Gam and Tim are taking the reports seriously. Ken Lovell discusses the role of Lucas Heights scientists who are eager to resume work on the technology after Bob Hawke pulled the plug on it twenty years ago. Robert Merkel says there’s nothing new about these revelations. He explains what enrichment involves, why it wouldn’t be an economnic bonanza, and why it is in fact acceptably safe. The real problem is the political one:
The concern is not so much that Australia is going to turn around and produce nuclear weapons – if we wanted to do that, now or in the future, could have done so on the quiet by simply dusting off the plans our scientists came up with more than 20 years ago (or for that matter building a Silex-style plant). Its more about how, if Australia builds an enrichment plant, how much more difficult it will be to make an argument that other countries shouldnt also be able to if they choose to do so.
Tim Dunlop shows how the same poll data can have two diametrically opposed interpretations. Aussie Bob too is fascinated by the MSM pundit’s imperviousness to the implications of Labor’s lead in the opinion surveys:
They cannot countenance the plain indication, looking dispassionately at the figures, that it is Howard who must do everything right, and it is Howard who has very little time in which to do it.
Simon Jackman also chimes in with some typically erudite analysis, while Dibo at Stoush.net considers the polling at some length, detecting Murdoch bias in the coverage. Bryan Palmer also examines the latest polling results, observing:
All of the polls are now showing both trend-line and moving average returns to the government since March 2007. Nonetheless, the polls are still showing landslide wins for Labor.
Ken Lovell thinks we still can’t rule out an air strike on Iran. His question: what will our government have to say about it?
I suspect that if it happens all well get is a podcast of bellicose Bushista bullshit about having been subjected to intolerable provocation of which we have conclusive proof (Look! This bomb has Made in Iran stamped on it!) with Howard and Downer nodding wisely and murmuring What they said at frequent intervals.
Does union power still frighten voters? Andrew Norton and Mark Bahnisch ponder. ((You’d reckon it must be showing up as such in Coalition focus groups, otherwise they wouldn’t be bashing this angle ~ KP))
Idiocy is the best word for Vaclav Klaus’s analysis of the relationship between growth and environmental protection, according to Robert Merkel.
Andrew Bartlett and Tim Dunlop have almost identical posts starting with the Senate inquiry into Mamdouh Habib’s rendition and ending with a link to a NYT story about the fate of Major General Antonio Teguba, who blew the whistle on abuse and torture at Abu Grahib.
Tim Blair makes hay out of a wildly off-base Tim Flannery prediction.
Someone over at Diogenes Lamp is doing a fine parody of lefty reactions to Albrechtsen and Devine on Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
John Humphreys at the ALS blog kicks off a debate about military foreign aid.
Legal Eagle muses about possibly the worst ongoing effect of yesterday’s dreadful shooting in a Melbourne city street:
My husband was saying this incident makes him think twice about intervening in a violent situation. He says that before he had a wife and daughter, he wouldnt have thought twice and would have helped, but now he would try to think before he acted, and weigh up the likelihood of his being able to make a difference to the situation.
Peter Martin forensically dissects the silliness of Treasurer Costello’s latest electorally-driven utterance about the Australian economy. Costello likened it to “a supercharged economy, like a Formula One racing car. If a driver in this highly calibrated Formula 1 racing car takes a bend at six inches or six centimetres too wide, he is going to have a crash.”
Life and Other Serious Stuff
Jim Fryar at the ALS blog is not too impressed at the reporting of a recent study on charity and happiness.
The latter day Australian Bentham, Mirko Bargaric has more reflections on the ethics of torture.
Jeremy deliberates on the urgent matter of whether apostrophes should be allowed in forming plurals on acronyms.
In response to Tim Blair’s arguments that at least left wingers aren’t charged for the right wing opinion they can’t bear to read, Jeremy points out that we all pay for the advertising that pays for the right wing opinion.
Helen believes she has found the first recorded instance of ‘Mainstream media discusses bloggers without insulting them or being patronising!’
Andrew Leigh blogs his umpteenth (well, fifth actually) post about merit pay for teachers, and Graham Young weighs in on the same topic. Both think a model being tried in Minnesota (which mostly rewards teams of teachers rather than individuals) might have some promise. Slim Bollocks also has his tuppence worth.
Mark “Oz Conservative” Richardson thumps the blogosphere table about recently demised left-liberal philosopher Richard Rorty, while confessing that he hasn’t actually read much (well, actually, any) of Rorty’s work.
Jason Soon delves into the obscure Georgist origins of the boardgame Monopoly.
Andrew Norton muses about those perennial blogosphere favourites Oz values, civics education and citizenship tests.
Cam Riley has an interesting post about Australian federalism and moves by some to abolish the states.
Legal Eagle posts a meaty analysis of a recent High Court decision that bodes ill for fearless reviewing of restaurants. Mind you, the events predate the current national uniform defamation laws, which will hoepfully make such journalism easier to defend.
Andrew Leigh also has a great post on trust and (ethnic) diversity, and the seemingly inverse relationship between the two. Lucky Pauline Hanson hasn’t discovered this research yet.
Andrew Elder reviews a SMH series about Australian culture and society (apparently not published online) titled “A country that has stopped thinking“.
A few days late but: blog turned telly show The Art Life reflects on first ratings and response. (answers in comments: which other blogs/gers would you like to see turned into a telly show?!)
Revisiting a Great Comic Controversy at 20th Century Danny Boy.
A homage to Radiohead’s OK Computer.
Niall “Bannerman” Cook gives the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie the thumbs-up ((Personally I think it’s suitable only for particularly credulous, uncritical pubescent boy computer gamers ~ KP))
Why does David Tiley headline his analysis of management squabbling at ozlit magazine Meanjin as Fat Duck Squashing?
(troppo sports stadium)
Colin Campbell applauds the knighting of Beefy Botham.
Andrew Leigh laments the demise of race walking as a Commonwealth games sport (confessing that he one won a national championship in the sport). ((Strangely, no-one has yet condemned the simultaneous demise of synchronised swimming from the Commonwealth Games. Personally, I reckon they should eliminate all sports whose results can’t be objectively measured, including diving and gymnastics – neither of which is quite as silly as synchronised swimming, admittedly ~ KP))
Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
If you’re feeling glad, Tim Dunlop encourages you to try the smile test to see if you can tell a real one from a fake.
Tony the Teacher accurately encapsulates my (KP) current attitude to Troppo and most things associated with it:
Saint in a Straitjacket points out that Tim Blair got a gurnsey on last night’s ABC Media Watch, for hosting grossly racist comment box contributions. In fact, the comments highlighted by Saint Monica Sanctimonious were quite mild by the usual standards of Blairsville. Blair “responds” to the Media Watch piece, but makes no attempt to debate the merits or otherwise of his comments editing policies. Instead he contents himself with slagging the Media Watch producer (albeit seemingly deservedly) over some run-in they had a couple of years ago.
For suckers for schmaltz (like me), Daily Gaggle has a wonderful collection of quotes from kidlets about what love is …
Peter Black highlights an English blogging academic apparently threatened by a thuggish record industry executive for daring to suggest the blindingly obvious: that suing 20,000 music fans over illegal downloads might not be a great tactical or PR move.
Adrian the Cabbie provides anecdotal evidence that the child sexual abuse rampant in many indigenous communities may flow as much from entrenched cultural attitudes among some cohorts as from alcohol abuse. ((as with gang rape among some segments of the Lebanese community ~ KP))
Colin Campbell discovers the indescribably silly Conservapedia, focusing on its creationist explanation for how kangaroos reached Australia after disembarking from Noah’s Ark.
Harry Clarke identifies sugar as the big culprit in obesity, arguing that fat has received a bum rap and advocating the Atkins Diet. ((In fact the evidence for Atkins seems to be rather more equivocal than Harry suggests, at least judging from Wikipedia ~ KP))
David Tiley blogs about a ’57 Plymouth Belvedere (apparently the US equivalent of the Leyland P76) contained in a time capsule recently unearthed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. David also has some sage advice for aspiring bloggers.