A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, James Farrell, Gilmae, Darlene Taylor and Saint.
Mary, Frederik and family as Bald Archy winners
Peter Martin is contemptuous of media and Coalition scare-mongering over carer benefits.
Terry Sedgwick is unimpressed with Victorian Premier John Brumby refusing to meet with teachers over pay claims while happily sucking up to Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. Mind you, Terry’s post looks a tad hyperbolic. According to this story it isn’t even clear whether the oleaginous Ecclestone is coming to Australia for the GP, and if he does he’s looking to meet with Ron Walker not Brumby. Everything I (KP) have heard from Brumby suggests the Victorian government isn’t brimming with enthusiasm to subsidise F1 to stay in Melbourne after 2010.
A Herald Headline has Sarah incredulous: it was the Governor’s wife who was shamed? Jeremy Sear wonders why political wives always seem to allow themselves to be persuaded to front up at such occasions. Dale asks why prostitution is a crime anyway? (in every US state bar a few Nevada counties), while Matt Bodie takes a slightly more sympathetic look at disgraced NY Governor Spitzer.
William R Polk posts a major analytical piece at Juan Cole’s place summarising the state of play in Iraq and the implications for future US policy and the presidential race.
John Quiggin joins the voices advocating restraint on the RBA’s part.
Andrew Leigh discusses some evidence that publishing data on hospitals’ performance raises their quality (also appearing in the AFR).
Shaun Cronin was encouraged by some improvements in police strategy reported in the Four Corners Program about alienated Muslims in Australia.
tigtog urges bloggers to post something along these lines:
Apropos the ‘white flight from schools’ debate, Andrew Norton examines the assumption that mixing social classes and ethnic groups in school is good for social cohesion.
On the male-female pay gap, Mark Richardson argues that it’s because women choose the easy job options.
Apathetic Sarah turns the laser onto tooth whitening.
Will Wilkinson highlights an essay on patriotism by political theorist George Kateb:
The brute fact of patriotism is made brute by the inveterate inclination in men to associate virility with the exertion involved in killing and risking death. No theory can ever defeat or discredit this inclination, which helps to engender the fantasy that the competition of political units is the highest kind of team sports.
Tony reviews (the DVD of?) 3.10 to Yuma and slags Unforgiven along the way.
Meg Rosof on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:
My one complaint in relation to the book, is that it does not belong on secondary school reading lists. It is a book that should be read in middle age for maximum pleasure, when the importance of a good marriage, and an interest in money and class have had time to stew. In the meantime, it can always be read for the love story.
Publius argues that No Country for Old Men was a beautifully made movie but fundamentally thematically incoherent.
Richard at Gawker takes a potentially plot-spoiling look at the final episode of The Wire just screened in the US, while clander argues that liking The Wire is just a middle class white conceit (but then Dale reckons that he/she seems to think that just about everything is a white conceit ).
Chris Boyd interviews the great international dancer and choreographer Akram Khan (here for the Adelaide Festival).
David at Sarsaparilla gives a mixed review to (Hunters and Collectors) Mark Seymour’s autobiography:
… another example of a man who takes his undeniable talent far too seriously and seems eternally (is this an Australian condition? Maybe, though its not unique) condemned to vacillate been self-deprecation and a self-obsession which apparently always confirms his own opinion that hes really rather terrific.
Snark, strangeness and charm
In a little bit of home-grown snark, I (KP) observe that Marieke Hardy has just proved yet again that a complete lack of talent and coherence is no bar to winning blogosphere awards if one of your associates knows how to game the system. The gaming hypothesis is confirmed by the fact that none of the Australian nominees besides Hardy were blogs that anyone actually reads (or has even heard of in most cases), while two of them were blogs whose explicit raison d’etre is making a buck from gaming Google and other “optimisation” strategies.
David Tiley brings us the real life story of a love affair between an American photojournalist and a right wing Colombian assassin.
Marginalised and poor? Nonsense, Tim Blair points out.
Ophelia really hates both the Vatican and its new list of mortal sins.
Economist Max Sawicky wonders why you seem to have to pay to get into public toilets in socialist countries while the ones in more capitalist nations are free.