A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, James Farrell, Gilmae, Darlene Taylor and Saint.
Gam and Currency Lad both posted fitting tributes on the finding of the wreck of HMAS Sydney after 67 years. CL, however, along with fellow Right Wing Death Beast Andrew Bolt, couldn’t resist taking a shot at PM Rudd for daring to announce the find. Bolt opined that “an announcement this minor is a job for the Defence Minister“. Does anyone recall him ever voicing so much as a single word of criticism of John Howard’s usurpation of the Governor-General’s traditional role of farewelling the troops in order to wrap himself in patriotic robes? Inexplicably, neither Bolt nor CL mentioned the fact that Liberal leader Brendan Nelson leapt into the headlines equally quickly to demand a public memorial service. Others mostly eschewed tawdry political games and quietly whispered “Rest in Peace”.
Grodscorp Brigit’s reaction to Rudd’s expressions of ‘sadness’ is the only reasonable one:
A historic day, sure, but a sad day? Wouldnt it only be sad if there was a possibility that the Sydney hadnt sunk and that its crew members werent dead? Where might they have been hiding these past 66 years Gilligans Island?
‘China, who the hell do you think you’re kidding?’ asks Jeremy.
Barack Obama blogs at Huffington Post to explain his 20 year attendance at a church with an anti-American Black Power preacher. He attracts 5,000 comments. Heloise reviews this and other developments in the US presidential campaign and the American blogosphere. Jeff Weintraub analyses the manoeuvrings and legality of moves to seat Democrat delegates from Florida and Michigan (Hillary’s last desperate hope).
Juan Cole discusses the situation in Pakistan on the day Parliament reconvenes with anti-Musharraf forces holding a 2/3 majority and talking about reinstating the Supreme Court judges he sacked some months ago. ((It’s hard to know what to make of a blogger who simultaneously headlines his post after a missile attack in an Al Qaeda stronghold in northern Pakistan alleged to have killed 20 people. He seems to be suggesting that this is an appalling act by the US, but doesn’t explain why apart from the obvious tragedy of any violent death. Cole is keeping the focus on a region the MSM seems to have tacitly agreed to gloss over at present, but his extreme anti-Bush political bias makes his reporting deeply suspect ~ KP))
The demand for private education is rising steeply with incomes, and — given that infrastructure takes time to install — driving up fees. Peter Martin explains this ‘paradox’, but doesn’t explain why it’s a paradox.
Harry Clarke has a very useful compliation of facts, figures and opinions for anyone who wants to get up to speed on the Murray-Darling water buyback plan.
John Quiggin predicts that the failure of Bear Stearns is the last nail in the coffin for Standard and Poors, but takes comfort that the bank’s top executives won’t be punished too harshly.
Joshua Gans joins Troppo’s Nicholas Gruen in slagging Ross Gittins’ silly column on electricity privatisation. ((Who could ever trust a columnist who promotes air-headed happiness research? ~ KP))
Dr Faustus takes an inside look at the security of private information held by hospitals and health departments. Whether any corrective action will happen is another question. It’s a bit like the entrenched scandalous situation at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, where I (KP) understand nursing staff were asked to report bullying by the very senior staff who were most guilty of it! Not surprisingly, no reports were made.
Legal Eagle ponders the human rights of monkeys.
Eric E. Johnson heretically wonders whether the high intelligence of law students mightn’t be better employed elsewhere.
Lauredhel links to a blogger who has unearthed a particularly sexist Batman episode, even by the standards of 1959 superhero comics. (To obtain full value from this post, you may need to look up ‘slashifically’.)
Criminologist Dr Faustus has more than a couple of problems with a proposal by British police to take DNA samples of children whose “profiles” indicate they’re at risk of becoming criminals. But surely no-one could object if they’ve got nothing to hide, could they? Faustus also reassures us that we have nothing to worry about from the fact that Wikileaks (revived in the wake of a dismissed injunction) has just posted the plans for building an atom bomb !!!
In a move that’s bound to anger Mark Richardson, Andrew Leigh questions the wisdom of continuing to pay the Dependent Spouse Rebate.
Norman Geras has almost as low an opinion of fellow philosopher John Gray as I (KP) do.
Andrew “Art Life” Frost finally gets around to reviewing the Archibald Prize:
The dismissive description of Bartons painting as decorative is more of a puzzler. For most people in the art world the decorative is regarded as a less serious visual vocabulary than the canonical gestures of, for example, abstraction or, the big trend in Archibald finalists this year, the school of impasto paint application. This is to profoundly misunderstand what being decorative actually means. To engage with it is as much a considered and active choice for an artist as any other approach to making paintings. All of Bartons choices are conscious and aware of the social agency of those gestures. You dont have to like em, but you do have to respect them.
Alison Croggon reviews Nightshift , a series of edgy short works by Phil Motherwell with music by Joe “Shutupa Your Face” Dolce.
Richard Watts continues his reviews of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, whose program seems remarkably similar to the Sydney equivalent reviewed by Marcellous only last week. Still, how many gay movies can there be?
Snark, strangeness and charm
Lee Malatesta discusses philosopher kings who may or may not be getting a lot more sex, come the revolution.
Academic contempt doesn’t come much stronger than this piece by Daniel Davies about poor Satoshi Kanazawa.
Clem Bastow gives New Idea a well deserved serve for paying Wayne Carey big bucks to “apologise” for glassing his girlfriend and assaulting cops on two continents:
In case you thought Wayne Carey couldn’t get any shitter, and if you figured New Idea wouldn’t stoop any lower than, you know, opening the third-in-line for the throne up for a grenade to the head, think again!
Last but not least is Tim Blair’s unmasking of failed Crikey/Webdiary lefty journalist Wayne Sanderson as frequent Catallaxy commenter “MichaelF”. The subsequent Catallaxy comment thread on the whole affair is worth reading for its sustained snarkery.