Missing Link on Tuesday

The Patriot, courtesy of Mark at Seeking Asylum Down Under

If there was a topic of the week it was the Immigration Minister’s decision that Australia will accept fewer African refugees, and the associated furore about Sudanese gangs. Andrew Bartlett reports on a forum of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland, where Teresa Gambaro, the Assistant Immigration Minister copped some flack about the Sudanese affair. Andrew thought she basically deserved it:

There are few things more socially corrosive and politically unacceptable in my view than engaging in deliberate, racially motivated attacks against a vulnerable and visible minority, and there is no doubt in my mind that these racial slurs spread through our media by the Coalition were a conscious effort to try to win votes through inflaming prejudice.

Mirko Bagaric laments Australia’s dispiriting slide to the racist bottom. David Bath sees little evidence that the other Kevin is any better. Legal Eagle (normally an ML contributor, who more than makes up for her absence with this stimulating post) gives a primer on our refugee obligations, and cautions against collective punishment. But the pithiest statement on this topic comes from Apathetic Gam, who poses three salient questions for his local member.

Missing Link is still below full strength, but ML’s loss was probably blogging’s gain, as regular contributor Peter Black has been concentrating his efforts on the blogging conference in Brisbane.((A full wrap should be posted at the conference website by the end of the week. I’ve been busy trying to catch up on everything I delayed doing before the conference.~Pete Black)) We will learn more about that in due course; in the meantime, the flavour of the conference is nicely conveyed by participant Mark Bahnisch, who talked about whether we are there yet, and where ‘there’ is.

Contributors to this edition were the aforementioned Pete, Amanda Rose, gilmae and James Farrell.

1. News and Politics Stuff

Although John Quiggin’s prediction that the election would be called today was not born out, the fact that we’re in a Claytons campaign guarantees disproportionate attention to federal politics. Jeremy Sear wonders if the Government’s profligate spending on advertising and sport are part of a conspiracy to give government in general a bad name and encourage tax cheating. Gianna notes Tony Abbott’s latest audacious feat of hypocrisy and misogyny. James Orzak, on the other hand, thinks that the ALP’s copycat policy is starting to come across as – well – not so much dishonest anymore, as frankly a bit creepy.

The response to Joe Hockey’s dismissal of the Workplace Research Centre’s report has been predictably polarised. Mercurius is not surprised by the vehemence of The Australian’s multi-pronged attack on John Buchanan and his colleagues (even if John Ray thinks the left is over sensitive on this), but wonders how it squares with their eager acceptance of advertsiing money from universities.

On the international stage, it was Burma that has captured the spotlight. Focusing on the options open to the regime, John Quiggin argues the junta will soon learn that you can’t unplug political expression these days without unplugging the economy too. Andrew Bartlett, by contrast, considers the tactics available to governments who support the democracy movement: He thinks that boycotting the Olympics is a real option, and quotes some vintage Christopher Hitchens polemic in support of that plan.

Meanwhile, the Iraq debate flows on as steadily as the Euphrates. Eric Martin dismisses the ‘Anbar Salvation’ as evidence that The Surge is working.

Rather, the larger Sunni-Shiite detente was and is the goal and nothing occurring in Anbar pushes that process along in any measurable way (actually, in many respects, it moves it backwards by arming and supporting Sunni militants hostile to the Shiite government/Iranian influence).

MK , on the other hand, slams the media for the Bush=evil, Iraq=quagmir message.

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

tigtog enjoyed Andrew Denton’s interview with Miriam Margoyles (but omits to mention the hilarious story about the Queen.)

Paul Norton solicits lists of all-time-worst songs. His own nomination for worst-ever ought to be uncontroversial.

John Quiggin is collecting political correctness beatups for a wikipedia entry.

Jeremy shares his justified irritation concerning two Americanisms.

Pavlov’s Cat pays a stylish tribute to a dying friend.

Valuable free biscuit advice from apathetic nutritionist Sarah: thumbs down to Bonne Maman Chocolate Butter Cookies; thumbs up to Jules de Strooper Kaneelkoekjes in Chocolade.

Barista discusses the shades of grey involved in wartime photography, between capturing a moment and outright fakery.

Cam Riley comes up with his own taxation system. I really hope he is joking about the turnips.

Tim Blair takes an amusing look at China’s "clean" humvees.

KG is concerned about freedom of speech for bloggers.

3. The Yartz

I have no doubt that Natalie shares some of Amy’s white girl soul sensibility, but this was a woeful song choice. It’s an utterly amazing song, musically and lyrically, but it’s so idiosyncratic and specific to Amy’s life experience that taking it as an allegory is simply not possible. It’s like saying the Dixie Chicks’ "Not Ready To Make Nice" isn’t just about responding to the media fallout of their anti-Bush comments, but also more broadly a haunting anthem for people uniquely unprepared for holidaying in the south of France. Idol at Scott To Be Certain

AC/DC Lane cannot be marketed as a place of sophistication and culture. Junk for Code

Honestly, though the film comes off as uninspired and cliched, the story of Mariane and Daniel Pearl is definitely one worth watching, and Jolie carries the grace of the main character very well. 20/20 Filmsight

A review of Quantum Leap — all seasons. Nerd in High Heels

Best films ever. LP

4. T.S.S

(troppo sports stadium)

Shaun has thoughts about the rugby final.

Hardline libertarian Ken Lovell mouths off about government subsidies for professional sport.

Tim Blair presents some Bathurst highlights from over the years.

5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

Is there a name for the act of posting a comment on a blog in someone else’s name to make that someone look like a twit? Whatever it’s called, Jeremy Sear thinks he’s a victim of it.

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