Missing Link Wednesday 1 August

Via Gummo Trotsky’s Tugboat Potemkin

This edition of Missing Link is not only a little late but also rather abbreviated. Writing and commenting about the Haneef case has consumed all my blogging time, so there is no coverage in today’s edition of either blogs that we classify as “centrist” (which I generally cover) or of the “moderate right” ones (which Helen Dale usually covers but I’m doing while she’s on her way to Oxford). Legal Eagle has also been swamped with work duties and unable to peruse her assigned quota of left-leaning blogs.

Nevertheless, and despite the fact that we’ve scanned less than half the usual number of blogs, there’s still lots of good stuff here. And it means that Friday should see a bumper edition. This edition compiled by James Farrell, Amanda Rose and Peter Black, with minimal editing by Ken Parish.

1. News and Politics Stuff

Harry Clarke defends the process that ultimately lead to Haneef being cleared of the charges levelled against him:

Innocent people are found innocent and charges are dropped because evidence is found to be flawed. This is a part of the criminal justice system we have. Haneef at this stage looks like he is innocent. The significant damage is not that he was investigated held for a short-period and then released. The problem is the hysterical overreaction to these events. We are becoming a nation of instant know-it-alls, ex post wisdom experts and hysterics.

Similarly, MK suggests that some of the critics should take a long cold shower. See also Diogenes here.

But the critics are declining the shower.

John Quiggin thinks the incarceration was the act of ‘a government that’s been in power too long and used to getting its way.’ Ken Lovell explains how the AFP managed to convince themselves that Haneef was a terrorist. Pavlov’s Cat concentrates on the Downer intervention (What do you expect us do? Grovel? Eat dirt?):

He did not add, but might as well have, ‘I hold the rule of law, the doctrine of the separation of powers, the Australian judiciary, and the whole notion of justice, natural or otherwise, in complete contempt.’

Apathetic Gam takes this week’s ‘Title Says it All’ prize with a post on Workplace Authority Director Barabara Bennett entitled ‘Prostitution Would’ve Been More Dignified’.

Jeremy Sear fires a broadside at ‘shamelessly sleazy sites [such as Greenswatch, that] are aimed at wavering Labor voters who might be considering… jumping ship and voting for the only real alternative to the two conservative major parties.’

Andrew Landeryou looks at Christopher Pearson’s praise of union leader Bill Shorten for having the qualities of another Bob Hawke, concluding that “there’ll be no more Bob Hawkes but equally there’ll be plenty of time for Bill Shorten, whoever wins the federal election.”

Andrew Bartlett castigates the Queensland Government for pushing through changes to local government boundaries with propaganda rather than consultation:

One of the big arguments used by the state government to justify their actions was that many of the local government boundaries in Queensland were drawn up in the 1920s. I find this somewhat ironic, given the boundaries the Queensland government operates under were drawn up in 1859.

He wants to abolish the states. On the subject of the states, Tim Dunlop sees the PM’s strategy of “clashing noisily” with them as part of a pattern of desperate behaviour.

Justin Jefferson conducts a thought experiment on what a different kind of political landscape might be made possible by direct online citizen initiated referendums on every act of law-making, while Robert Merkel is in two minds about a proposal to enfranchise children.

Turning to international matters generally and the war in particular; Tim Lambert provides an update on the debate over the Lancet studies of deaths in Iraq; Wmm(‘Duckpond’)bb explains why the US should do imperialism Caesar’s way or not all, and John Quiggin contends that the Scott Beauchamp affair is confirmation that

…argument-by-talking-point mode… works fine in the context of US political debate, where perception is all that matters. If you can sell George Bush as a hero and John Kerry as a coward, then that is, for electoral purposes, what they are.

Bloggers everywhere are blaming the state of the world on British comedy of ’70s and ’80s: tigtog has noticed that Kevin Andrews’ lines were scripted by John Cleese; Eric thinks US foreign policy was inspired by Blackadder.

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

Colin Campbell wonders where the return is for online newspapers.

Mark Richardson meditates on patriotism.

Andrew Norton asks, What is bullsh*tting in the Harry Frankfurt sense?

3. The Yartz

Last night’s brilliant eviction of Nostril Demon Billy and the execrable moron Travis have paved the way for one of the most interesting and close finale battles in BB history.

~ Scott, To Be Certain. Big Brother is dead, long live Australian Idol.
Varia from the Melbourne International Film Festival:

John Peel’s Record Box at Born ‘ Dancing. Primo Levi’s Journey at Spark Online. All of Paul Martin’s Melbourne Film Blog is given over to MIFF at the mo, and it’s all worth reading.

It seems like Shakespeare-lite, a chocolate box production for the tourists. I sat through one of the most traumatising plays in the canon with barely a flicker of feeling, wondering if I was witnessing the decadence of the contemporary British stage.

Theatre Notes grapples with the McKellen/Nunn King Lear which apparently sucks, and The Seagull which is apparently good.

It was an amazing impromptu performance and it was perfectly tailored to Kerri-Anne’s audience: conversational, interesting, charming, clearly expressed, and a brilliant bit of incorporation.

~ Sir Ian redeems himself on morning telly, as seen by Pavlov’s Cat.


(troppo sports stadium)

Robert Merkel speculates the motives for Kevin Sheedy’s sacking.

Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

No entries. Maybe it’s just been a mild week.

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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14 years ago

Interesting about Greenswatch or whatever it’s called. I left a message on the Guestbook suggesting that they’d have more credibility (cough cough) if they actually said who they are. I went on to suggest that the reason they haven’t said who they are is probably because they are hacks from some party or another (not the Greens, of course). There’s something inherently dodgy about such a well put together site in which people don’t have the guts to say who they are.

Anyway, since it’s a little Blog wrap-up, I’d like to nominate (link whore) my post about the movie about the trials and tribulations of the lovely Dixie Chicks, Shut Up & Sing:


Pavlov's Cat
14 years ago

Snaps to Gummo for that fantastic elephant, and to Troppo for having the good taste to feature it.

14 years ago

Starting to see Harry Clarke’s point about the motives fallacy; who cares who they are, any argument put forward should stand or fall on its own merits.

14 years ago

What is bullsh*tting in the Harry Frankfurt sense?

What’s the coyness for Ken? It’s a word used every day by millions of Australians without asterisks.

14 years ago

We are becoming a nation of instant know-it-alls, ex post wisdom experts and hysterics.

Yes, anyone who disagrees with government is obviously irrational. It is an improvement from a few years ago when those that disagreed were being accused of treason, having their patriotism questioned and being called traitors.

If only we accepted the fluffy pink bunny authority of government unquestioningly then we would live in some civil utopia. Because benevolent government would never suffer from vices such as corruption, contempt or the use of government power and the public treasury for selfish political reasons.

Still doesn’t change the problem of the Migration Act which was written specifically to enable political executive decisions to be made under the cover of apparent legislative legitimacy. Also doesn’t change the fact that civil libertarians are often judged on their commitment to individual rights by their willingness to defend the repugnant.

We also need to remember the assumption of risk we accept as a free people. Of the great government scare over terror, outside of Iraq, there has only been a couple of instances of genuinely effective terror attacks, 911 and Bali/Jakarta being the ones I can recall off the top of my head. Terrorism is a remarkably physically ineffectual venture. It is dominated by luck more than anything.

The biggest reaction terror has got, and which is why the anarchists in the 19thC were successful on mainland Europe and not in Britain, is because governments have reacted by removing freedoms and acting irrationally.

14 years ago

The mere fact that, until a decade ago the cartoon ‘anarchist’ was a black cloaked figure with a round bouormb & fizzing fuze shoiws the power of imagery over rationality. Maybe there as something in the old prohibition (for the/any State) of theatre/players.
Most people are not rational and what is really disturbing is that they are least rational in those areas most critical to their interactions with ‘reality’.
THink of the Hansonite ‘truths’ about immigrants getting a 4 b/room house and a car +$10,000 cash – these myths ecxist in France & Germany and now the old east bloc – which latter is extra ironic (did the Greeks have a word for THAT concept?) in that they are the ones being so traduced.