Missing Link – only 10 excruciating campaign days to go

Courtesy of Terry Sedgwick (where there are more orangutan policy images)

Today’s Missing Link predictably publishes a plethora of political content, but we also have very juicy arts, sports and “serious stuff” sections for our many readers who are heartily sick of the interminable federal election campaign.

This edition compiled by James Farrell, Gilmae, Darlene Taylor, Peter Black, Saint in a Straitjacket and Ken Parish, with editing by the latter.

Incidentally, editing ML again after a break of several months reminds me of just why we started this whole time-consuming exercise in the first place.  The richness and diversity of material published every day in the Australian blogosphere is simply extraordinary (today’s edition being an example par excellence).  Our aim is the essentially selfless one of making it accessible to a much wider audience.  Thus, if you get a chance to plug it on your own blog, or better still if you’re ever interviewed for one of those fairly frequent MSM puff pieces on blogging, please remember to mention Missing Link as an excellent way for newcomers to discover the hidden wealth of the ozplogosphere .

1. News and Politics Stuff

Guido beats Kevin Rudd to the punch and writes his campaign launch speech for him.  Sadly, the real one (about to be delivered as I write this) will probably be very different.

In amongst his sprays against anyone and everything, Andrew Landeryou goes goth on the ladies: wannabe Sophie Mirabella and the “odious” Kerry Nettle. When it comes to sweetheart deals and back-stabbing in politics, anything boys can do, girls can do better.

Peter Martin blogs the Quarterly Statement from the Reserve Bank and notes the inauspicious timing for the Liberal Party’s launch/money shovel-a-thon and also on how Hotelling’s Law explains why “there is no slither of light” between Rudd and Howard.

Bryan Palmer observes:

Yesterday I was asked if the polls had ever previously been as flat and unmoving as they are at the moment. Answer: The Keating v Howard competition of 1995-1996 was the last time federally.

sikamikanico attempts a judo move on the NSW Labor Bad == Federal Labor Bad attacks.

Ben Eltham at Polliegraph has a useful compilation of recent infringements by our increasingly lawless ministries and government agencies, while Andrew Norton ruminates on ministerial responsibility.

John Quiggin, in response to the LIberals’ campaign launch, lists six or seven reasons why ‘me too, only more so’ is a losing strategy.

Shaun at LP struggles valiantly to make sense of the minor parties’ preference deals.

Jeremy accuses the hacks of News Ltd of editorialising in news stories by using pejoratives that aren’t in direct quotes. And, still on the subject of the Murdoch press, we seem to have the makings of a Denis Shanahan parody competion, with this entry from Rex Ringschott, this comment at Pollbludger, and Mike Carleton in the Herald (courtesy of ghandi in another comment at LP). Talking about political reporters in general, Mark Bahnisch remarks on the innocence those who have only just discovered that our politicians are taking lessons from Karl Rove; while Andrew Bartlett despairs of Australia’s hollow and stage-managed election campaigns, and the ‘mainstream medias almost exclusive focus on following and exhaustively (over)analyzing and score-carding the photo-ops and scripted sound-bites of the two major party leaders’. He cites Michael Gawenda, who asserts that there is much more direct engagement with the electors in the US than here. Andrew concludes:

… what I genuinely dont understand is why they put up with it and continue to report it. If a couple of major media outlets simply refused to be spoonfed staged photo opportunities every day, stopped pretending it was something of genuine substance, and went out and covered other candidates or stories about some thing real, then the two leaders would quickly fall into line, or be starved of the vital night-time TV news coverage and the morning paper photos.

Apathetic Sarah is pessimistic as to whether Labor will seize the opportunity to distinguish itself from the Coallition on childcare policy sphere. But her private tells her that Kevin’s ‘got the chick vote all wrapped up’ anyway. Meanwhile, Gianna points out the contradictions in the Liberals’ attitudes to childcare, and finds flaws in the conservative wing’s critique of Labor’s policy. Her tightly reasoned essay concludes:

The problem for conservatives is that they are ideologically against any policies that might improve access to childcare through things like reductions in upfront cost and increased availability of services, because these are the things that help women rejoin the workforce. Yet theyre compromised by the Liberal focus on the economic argument for dual income families.

This personal ‘tangent’ on Gianna’s own blog is worth reading too.

Ken Lovell accuses the posturing and publicity-hungry PM of undermining the role of the Governer General:

Four weeks into an election campaign this worm has the indecency to stand up and pretend to speak for all Australians on the most solemn occasion in our calendar a few minutes before he throws himself back into the partisan fray of lies and deception and divisiveness.

Harry Clarke disagrees with Ken’s view of the event.

The rather datedly pseudonymous “Free Dr Haneef” highlights Family First’s preferencing of Pauline Hanson. ((From memory, Andrew Landeryou claims that the greenie party associated with Philip Adams’ missus has also preferenced Pauline ~ KP))

There’s been a bit of stuff published recently extolling the virtues of the US electoral system by comparison with Australia.  Dave Nason at the Oz is a good example, blithely ignoring Florida 2000 and numerous other examples of dysfunctionality (not least the “unitary executive” doctrine exploited to the hilt by George Bush).  Simon Jackman provide a useful antidote, citing as his authority a venerable octogenarian Oxford psephologist

“Roger Migently” zeroes in on Janette Howard’s revealed support for the death penalty, suggesting that perhaps this explains her hubby’s often-conflicted approach to the issue.

Guido posts an evocative photo essay on the strangely selective nature of John Howard’s sorrow.

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

Andrew Leigh highlights and links 3 pieces of interesting academic research, succinctly summarised as: “studying is good, drugs are bad, and the Surge isnt working

Nicholas Gruen shares some artwork he found particularly striking.

Ross Gittins’ reposted speech on the problems of self-control (and economists’ failure to take account of our inability to postpone gratification or even assess whether it’s in our interest to do so) is a “must read” for anyone who hasn’t already spotted it here at Club Troppo..

MK considers the cost of the ongoing ban on growing genetically modified canola to Australia, and awaits the first green group to claim credit for this “triumph of economic terrorism.”

Steve Edney blogs on risk models.

Vest blogs on Remembrance Day. On the other hand, Barista recalls the experiences of conscripted Hutterites in 1917. ((I was a little surprised the Australian RWDB contingent were silent on the Google logo/Remembrance Day issue.~gilmae))

Cam discusses the technological level of pre-colonisation Australian Aboriginals.

Ashleigh went sailing on Port Jackson.

Ingolf is critical (at length) of Noel Pearson.

Heath G looks at hate crimes and asks, should motivation for violent crimes matter?

Spurred by an uninformed blog comment, tigtog explains how western triumphalists misapply of evolutionary theory when they describe traditional societies as ‘ossified and doomed’.

Mark Richardson considers the worst of feminism, reaching an interesting conclusion:

The liberal starting point ends badly: in feelings of loss of humanity; in assumptions of oppression and inequality; and, for some, in a rejection of love and relationships. What we need is a less ideological beginning, so that we don’t become alienated from important goods in life.

Gummo Trotsky found Elizabeth Farrelly’s Blubberland shodily researched, badly argued, alarmist, and malapropist to boot.

Tim Lambert hasn’t tired of Rachel Carson and DDT issue: here he links to a post exposing brazen distortions by Steve Milloy.

Robert Merkel gets to watch a rocket take off from Kennedy Space Centre.

Harry Clarke identifies a defective teaching ethos in university economics, which is calls educational sadism.

Jim Belshaw conducts an in-depth examination of the history and current problems of the NSW Department of Community Services.  Something of a dry argument but certainly an important issue.  Jim also focuses on the just-revealed Tony Tran case, which appears to be an even more disgraceful and frightening example of unaccountable power in the Department of Immigration than the much better known Rau and Solon cases.

3. The Yartz

The folks at Off the Record have a wonderfully succinct review of Alison Statton by Pants Yell! on their site (with that “!” one must assume that those duds must yell very loudly), which partly states:

It cries out young love turning cold but nevertheless introduces the band to a new uplifting and confident craft work of trumpets and saxophones along with their established luxuriant melancholy appeal.

If your new and/or youthful love is a bit arctic, you might like to try getting it off your mind by checking out a post on Matilda about Publishers Weekly’s early attempt at identifying the best books of 2007. It’ll be too bad for poor old Dan Brown if he brings out his latest work of genius on the 31st of December. Anyway, Matilda lets us know which Aussie (“oi, oi, oi”) books made the list.

Is Mink Tails’s Ming-Zhu “being a pessimistic, killjoy fuck” about the state of theatre today? I’d go for a tad over-the-top, but anyone who’s involved in the theatre is allowed to be more dramatic than non-theatre folk. The last play I saw was Bell Shakespeare’s The Government Inspector, and it was a most enjoyable romp.

Given The Morning After: Performing Arts in Australia is usually a blog about matters artistic, I feel perfectly comfortable making mention of its post about feral cats. Mr. Chris Boyd, who runs the site, says “all suggestions and advice (editorial note: about caring for the cute critters) will be gratefully received.” This reminds me of a recent notice in a coffee shop in inner-city Melbourne that requested that people keep an eye out for a particular black female cat. Of course, Ms. Puss hadn’t been fixed. Thanks for adding to the substantial population of stray cats whoever put that notice up.

Over at LP in Exile, Gummo Trotsky takes a look at Blubberland by Elizabeth Farrelly (already has been linked, but what the heck). According to Gummo:

Somewhere in Elizabeth Farrelly’s Blubberland, there’s a good essay on architecture and urban design struggling to get out.

As all the lady bears know, Ned the Bear is one, err, sexy beast. Ned’s to be found making an election pitch on Wicking that’s as classy as those commercials featuring Julia Gillard in scary black and white (she must be evil).

David Tiley posts an erudite obituary for the oft-controversial US literary giant Norman Mailer.

4. T.S.S

(troppo sports stadium)

Sam gives a piece of advice to Muttiah Muralitharan: trigonometry is fun.

Scott wraps up and draws conclusions from the First Test.

Meanwhile, if any prospective citizen should walk into their test wearing one of these? Instant pass.

John Quiggin credits Tim Colebatch with solving the election betting paradox.

Tony the Teacher highlights a pending ICC innovation that will test the actions of suspect bowlers in match play situations:

However it is still very much in the development stage and will not be unveiled for at least two years, by which time Muralidaran, 35, may have retired.

Meanwhile, Tony also uncovers a shocking news item which confirms everything we’ve always suspected about English cricket.

Mike Salter tells a familiar story about media exaggeration of crowd violence at last weekend’s Melbourne vs Sydney football game.  It seems it will take a long time for soccer to live down its appalling reputation from the days of ethnically divided clubs.  Mike also argues that the recent success of A-League clubs who’ve sacked their coaches (e.g. Sydney, Perth) has as much to do with their selecting effective strikers as with the new coach’s efforts per se.

Finally, in a rare merging of sport and academia, Kim Weatherall analyses the IP law aspects of Cricket Australia’s claim to control all images of its matches (which resulted in news Limited and other journos being excluded from the First Test between Australia and Sri Lanka).

5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

Tim Blair continues his award-winning crusade against global warming, donning his awareness-raising T-shirt to protect children against the external combustions of Momo-mobiles.  ((Pop quiz! Does Tim wear his undies over his daks or on his head?~saint))

Colin Campbell posts some lawyer jokes sent from an unexpected source.

Have you ever wondered what veteran leftie blogger Gummo Trotsky looks like?  Wonder no more.

Again proving herself a master of multi-tasking, new mum Cristy blogs a delicious-sounding (and looking) recipe for spring rolls.  ((I might just give it a try on the weekend ~ KP))

Apathetic Sarah is anything but in her reaction to the arrests of Lucy the Sheep and the bloke who wouldn’t shake hands with John Howard.

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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Gummo Trotsky
Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

I don’t look like that all the time – only when I’m glowering at my reflection in the mirror, trying to pick out the contours I need to draw with the 2H pencil before I start in on the tone work with the 2B & 4B.

16 years ago

HC’s linked post was great – thanks!

And, KP, your recollection re Patricia Newell and Pauline Hanson is correct – Tim Blair covered Heavy Philly Adam’s sudden affection for Pauline here.

16 years ago

Also Gianna’s ‘tangent’ was great reading, and pretty true – happy slaves, what a great phrase for parenting!

And, re Ross Gittin’s essay, someone has already figured that there might be a buck in it – looks like some parts of conventional economics are alive and well :)

Gummo Trotsky
Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

And three posts in the one missing link? Bonanza!

Ta guys.

Joshua Gans
16 years ago

Sedgewick’s cartoon is brilliant even as a stand-alone, but in the context of the whole series it’s even better.

16 years ago

Terry Sedgwick’s any which way but loose, and tired, is priceless. Go Sedgers.

Chris Boyd
16 years ago

I can’t tell you how much appreciate the caveat that mogblogging at TMA is an aberration! LOL


16 years ago

You’re right, Ken – this is a particularly good edition. It is nice to see stuff non-pseph, too. Well done to all, welcome to Saint and welcome (back) to Darlene.

16 years ago

[…] Club Troppo has its bi-weekly eclectic Missing LInk roundup here. […]

16 years ago

Cheers SL