Missing Link (slightly premature) Christmas edition

Christmas isn’t quite the same in the southern hemisphere, is it? (via Darryl Mason)

We’ve been operating short-staffed here at Missing Link over the last 2 or 3 weeks, and it doesn’t look like improving in the short term. Moreover, some of us have committed to putting together the Best Blog Posts ’07 feature to be published at Online Opinion throughout January (entries for which have now closed, although the editors may be amenable to suitably large bribes to accept late nominations). As a result, we’ve decided to emulate the television industry, which traditionally awards itself an early Xmas and takes all its good programs off the air just when people are beginning to have some spare vacation time to put their feet up and veg out. This will be the last Missing Link until mid-January some time, hence we’ve tried to make it a true bumper edition for your reading pleasure, though with bugger-all sport. OTOH there’s more great “mad sad bad and glad” material than you can poke a stick at. Must be because it’s the silly season.

Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year to all our loyal readers.

PS Club Troppo itself isn’t closing down for Xmas, just the Missing Link feature. In fact, I’m hatching a brand new and blatantly tabloid feature which might just be launched over the break (prospective participants willing). Watch this space.

This edition by Darlene Taylor, James Farrell, Gilmae and Ken Parish, with editing by the latter. Special thanks to all those who have been part of the Missing Link team over the last 12 months. Assembling ML takes a very significant investment of time and effort, and we’re very grateful for the assistance.

1. News and Politics Stuff

John Quiggin explains why the new government’s Charter of Rights wasn’t debated during the election campaign, and proposes a ‘statement of principles’ as opposed to a bill of rights. On a more concrete matter, John cheers the demise of the ‘Pacific Solution’. Irrespective of whether it ‘got results’,

The fact remains that this was a cruel and brutal response to community panic; panic the government itself did a great deal to stir up, and even more to exploit politically. Those responsible, most notably Howard himself and Phillip Ruddock, will carry the stain of the Pacific solution to their graves and beyond.

tigtog, however, will postpone her celebrations until she hears what will happen to the ‘long-term detainees at Woomera and Villawood’ before she gets too excited.

Tim Lambert investigates another shocking instance of the IPCC crushing dissent, this time from the impressive sounding International Climate Science Coalition. Meanwhile, the Bali talks and carbon credit schemes are causing Ken Lovell to sing Danny Kaye’s song about the Emperor’s New Clothes.

Tim Dunlop and Guy from Polemica both post approvingly on the Rudd government’s plans to improve ministerial accountability and transparency. But how many ministerial sackings will the Code survive before Rudd emulates Howard and quietly shelves it (assuming not unreasonably that Labor has as many ministerial boneheads as the Coalition)?

Gam has a cunning plan to eliminate the Donkey Vote.. He also liked Judith Brett’s analysis of Howard’s election loss, but disputes her assessment that he was a strong leader.

North Coast Voices has started to worry about the Rudd Government’s approach to cvil liberties.Guy from Polemica reckons Kevin Rudd working from home isn’t a good look. ((It certainly wouldn’t be if he dressed like I do when editing Missing Link from home in the wee small hours ~ KP))

Cam Riley is mighty angry about some d***head advancing puerile and just plain wrong explanations of Australian politics in the Washington Post:

I wish Australians would stop passing themselves off as cultural curiosities. Yes it works as a marketing schtick, ie Mick Dundee and Crocodile Hunter, though both of them traded in on the larrikin (loki) myth, however, Australia is a powerful and complex nation. We are a serious people with a history of achievement. There is no need to put forward a low self-confidence style in the ocker vernacular.

Possum Comitatus reviews Telstra’s latest “kumbaya” highjinks over Labor’s broadband policy (pretty much indistinguishable from Sol’s highjinks over the Coalition’s broadband policy):

The Telstra Problem was always going to happen – its the great told you so issue of national infrastructure over the last decade. Every man and his dog told the Howard government that privatising a public monopoly on an as is basis will simply result in a more aggressive private monopoly that will screw consumers six ways to Sunday and basically hamper not only telecommunications development, but economic growth opportunities for those industry sectors heavily reliant on telecommunications price and speed.

Joshua Gans has a slightly different and more optimistic perspective.

State Politics

John Quiggin finds that the same old bad arguments are being used to justify the NSW Government’s electricity privatisation.

Ken Parish writes extensively on The Intervention in the NT.

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

Anna Winter decries the persecution of dole bludgers by tabloid television. Andrew Bartlett notes the cognitive dissonance in newspaper reporting of rising house prices. Jeremy Sear, for his part, is dissatisfied with the MSM’s reporting of criminal sentences. He will not be jumping to conclusions about the sentences awarded to the Aurukun gang rapists. Kev Gillett, on the other hand, has certainly jumped fearlessly to a conclusion on just that issue:

The driving force in the whole episode? An emotive irrational belief in the Stolen Generations. In their mind, removing a child from the care of dysfunctional indigenous parents, even in a situation like this, is a greater crime than those being inflicted on the child

No alarm bells! Cant remove her from her parents care – The alarm bells are over ridden by the Lefts mantra.Stolen Generations.Stolen GenerationsStolen Generations.Stolen Generations.

Kim has two posts on the culture warriors that inhabit The Australian’s op-ed pages. Here she asks whether the group as a whole have any role after their defeat. And here she takes on Pamela Bone in particular, suggesting she ought to be made to swallow her own medeicine.

But the Culture Wars have been resolved: the dialectic is now in its next phase, namely the Kirpan Wars. Gummo lays out the thesis, here and here. Lauredhel reports the action on the American front, where they’re called the Baby Dreadlock Wars.

Peter Martin clearly had a bad job interview once, one that saw a job he was a natural for go to some half-wit with a nice tie.

Peter Martin also applies the analogy of prisoner’s dilemma research to post-Kyoto global warming negotiations, and Nicholas Gruen here at Troppo extends and partly challenges the analogy (though in the nicest possible way).

Andrew Leigh wraps up his debate with Andrew Norton on public schools with a single post of all the entries.

Rafe Champion quotes the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain on multiculturalism and even manages to antagonise his fellow Catallaxian Jason Soon.

Stephen Warne is a blawger (law blogger) who writes about professional liablity issues for lawyers. Not usually the sort of stuff we’d highlight in Missing Link, but I can’t help observing that if this solicitor is guilty of “unconscionable conduct” then God help us all. By contrast, Stephen also highlights several examples of successful use of the WWW against alleged overcharging shysters:

The blogosphere is part of this whole trend. Consider the opprobrium which Reed Smith, a big international firm, has earned itself rightly or wrongly when it allegedly estimated its fees at US$50,000 in a routine employment discrimination case and then charged its not-for-profit client 20 times that amount.

3. The Yartz

Fiona McGregor staged this protest at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art against its lack of live performance art, and not surprisingly got thrown out bodily by the cops (via The Art Life)

Theatre critic Alison Croggon takes a look back at 2007 before declaring that she is off to write “a new translation of Beowulf” (as you do). Croggon has this to say about this year’s Melbourne Theatre Company productions:

So it wasn’t all champagne and skittles. Which brings me to the Melbourne Theatre Company, currently looking like the ailing limb in an otherwise rather fit theatrical body.

To be fair, it wasn’t all bad. Arthur Miller’s All My Sons was a straight production of a classic that went like a train, although I admit that contrary reports from many reliable sources of the subsequent season made me wonder if the cast had reserved all their vim for opening night. I thought the MTC’s production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? the most moving of the three I saw this year, and Thom Pain was a delightful surprise. I had a long argument with Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, but I felt it was worth doing all the same.

The rest was a mixture of the forgettable, the competent and the plain awful.

For a nice little summary of Ricky Gervais’s career so far, go have a gawk at Fablespot. If you can’t think of what Christmas gift to give to a friend who has the good taste to be a fan of The Office, Extras and The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts et al, please note that Fame is out now on DVD. Fame being Gervais’s hugely successful live show. Funnier and better executed than his previous efforts, Animals and Politics, it contains jokes about all the “chubby funster’s” favourite topics, including race, disability, sexuality, religion and being a tubby guts.

Dean at Happy Antipodean reviews Hitman:

Starring Timothy Olyphant as a suitably robotic ‘killing unit’ (complete with barcode tattoo on the back of his head) and with model-cum-actor Olga Kurilenko who appears always dressed in little more than the idea of a dress, and with a screenplay by Skip Woods based on a video game, this is a real eye-opener.

Formidable literary figure Doris Lessing has had at go at the Interweb. The aforementioned Happy Antipodean author Dean responds to Ms Lessing thus:

Lessing says the Net has “seduced a whole generation into its inanities” and in a way she’s right, but the real issue is not what we see on the Net. It is, rather, that the Net allows us to see what was previously obscure: most people are happily ignorant.

Of course, Homer Simpson, a figure who has had far more cultural impact than Lessing, also decried the “worldwide, publicly accessible series of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP)” (Wikipedia) when he said:

The internet? Is that thing still around?

The Art Life is asking for your vote in relation to The Guide: Couch Potato Awards. After you’ve voted for the Best Arts Show make sure to click the boxes for Summer Heights High and Extras.

Tortoisehell cats really are a work of art with all those colours looking like they have been painted on. Too bad they are also often totally bonkers (“Hi Spotty”). The View from Elsewhere features a cute photograph of a lovely tortie.

4. T.S.S

(troppo sports stadium)

Mike Salter blogs a post-mortem on last Saturday’s Sydney versus Newcastle soccer match, and reviews a range of reactions to Pim Verbeek’s appointment as Australian coach.

5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

Graveyard Barista (not to be confused with David Tiley, because this one is a real barista) expounds his philosophy on tipping, but beats a hasty retreat after being slagged by a single commenter. As Chopper would say, he’ll need to harden the f*** up to survive in the blogosphere.

Tim Blair claims (with some justification) that Henry Ford was a dedicated follower of his own automotive fashion rather than a rapacious capitalist exploiter of planned obsolescence.

Mark “Oz Conservative” Richardson fulminates against extreme greenies who want to impose a baby tax (and even worse) to reduce global warming.

Sikamikanico wants his Maccas fast rather than fresh, and reckons kids are f***ing less and taking fewer drugs nowadays because they’re too busy playing on Facebook. On a not entirely dissimilar theme, Andrew Leigh highlights research purporting to show ((not very convincingly IMO ~ KP)) that watching porn and violent movies actually reduces rape and violent crime!!

Apathetic Gam approves of Kevin Rudd’s approach to state and territory gay marriage law proposals, even though Kevy seems to have ratted on a secret deal with the fundies (probably a non-core promise):

Bit different from the previous government’s links with the Excluded Brethren and their incestuous back alley deals with various scummy groups. He never promised to turn Australia into a theocracy and he never promised to govern for repressed, homosexual Xtians with nothing better to do than obsess about gay sex. Seriously, if a couple of poofs getting hitched is affecting your marriage maybe it’s time to examine your repressed feelings.

Vest rants about the Christian Church – that thoroughly homogenous group – and things it doesn’t want you to know.

FDH (I refuse to keep calling him “Free Dr Haneef”) reveals that a Torquay local councillor’s “Save the Surf Coast” election slogan wasn’t quite what it may have seemed.

Glen Fuller courageously vows never to pay his library fines, even though his university refuses to award him his PhD until he does!

David “Barista” Tiley reminds us how Americans needed baroque measures to protect us from unplanned oblivion, the United Kingdom just needed resolute Britishness.

A Western Heart quotes approvingly: “Leftists would rather see a woman lying in the mud, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, than see her with a handgun in her purse.”

On the glad side, Gordon Smith’s photo blog is just finishing his visit to the Dorrigo show. Gordon’s photos are great. To see the series, start here and work back.

Cam Riley learns the hard way that taking cats and toothpaste as hand luggage on a US domestic air flight can be very very dangerous.

Carrying on the IT ranting focus from last edition, Joshua Gans trials the new Apple iPhone and declares it a points victor over the Blackberry, while Harry Clarke argues that Apple Macs and WordPress are both complete crap.

Marcellous obituarises an old school teacher whose funeral he’s just attended:

He was a charismatic teacher, though not in any glamorous way. His teaching style was a rigorously sustained piece of performance art mixed with loads of irony and a degree of teasing. Later, when I knew him as an adult, I formed the view that some of the qualities which made him such an attractive and effective teacher were otherwise not necessarily so admirable in adult social intercourse.

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

Presumably the narky Barista who cries about not getting tipped would be happy with the $2 an hour service staff in the US who rely on tips get.

16 years ago

Dammit!! What the hell use is a handgun inside a purse!! The stupid bint ought to have been waving the thing around with safety off and she wouldn’t have been raped and strangled.

And on a slightly more serious note…..I dare say when one is being physically attacked and in fear of one’s life, one is hardly likely to scrabble in one’s handbag for a handgun which may be in one of up to three different pockets (depending on fashion designer)while one’s attacker is attempting to have his way. Still, any opportunity to attack that mythical ‘left’ I suppose :)

16 years ago

Tipping is un-Australian. I never do it. If people aren’t happy with the wages they’re receiving as coffee makers etc they should take it up with their union.

And I’m certainly not going to tip for the crap service I recently received at one cafe in the Fitzroy region where one of the staff spent the time parading up and down like she was at a fashion parade (Tin Pot indeed). As far as I’m concerned, I should get decent service and the product for the amount that’s on the board.

End of rant.

PS – The unmentioned cafe has better service during the day on weekends.

Petering Time
16 years ago

From everyone at North Coast Voices – thanks for noticing us amongst the many Aussie political blogs.
Merry Christmas to one and all at Club Troppo.

The Doctor
The Doctor
16 years ago

On the ministerial code of conduct, I suspect that their will be far fewer sackings as a result of it than happened with Howard.
The reason is simply that Rudd has shown himself to be a stickler for proper process whereas Howard by his squat in Kirribilli showed what he thought of proper process.
The new ministers will play follow the leader!

16 years ago

Niall why defend the “mythical left”?

If there was a “left” (which there obviously isn’t because its apparently mythical, like a Unicorn), then they threw you out years ago when you ranted about Slitty eyed Vietnamese cunts denting your Camry (which was made by even slittier eyed cunts).


16 years ago

Hi guys…

Thanks for the link, but I can tell you Sikamikanico is female…being her myself :)

16 years ago


16 years ago

When all you have is a hammer, Jake, everyone looks like a Naill.