Missing Link Daily

A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, James Farrell, Gilmae, Darlene Taylor and Saint.



Andrew Bartlett puts the case for a “peoples’ boycott” of the Beijing Olympics. It’s a  brave stance for a politician to adopt, whether you agree or not.

The Super Hornet purchase may be proceeding, but big questions remain, according to Rober Merkel, about how the deal was made in the first pace, and whether the new planes will meet future needs.

Harry Clarke applauds an Oz editorial which characterises the Rudd government’s abolition of Work Choices as imperilling the economy and being cowed … in the face of union muscle.  The will of the people is apparently irrelevant both to Harry and Rupert’s editorial minion.

Tim Blair looks at the current circumstances of Dr Karl and various other failed federal election candidates he doesn’t like.


Some people argue (in French) that Belgium doesn’t really exist any more, but whatever it is Ingrid Robeyns points out it now has a new national coalition government of liberals, social democrats, and Christian democrats, which seems to be producing a strange policy mix.

Norman Geras has a rather conflicted position on the Iraq war five years on.

Brad DeLong highlights just how ignorant so-called international expert John McCain really is about Iraq.

Pommygranate has mixed feelings about a 15 minute anti-Islamc film that the Dutch at least refuse to screen.

DeLong also argues that the National Review’s coverage of Obama’s race speech (which every woman and her dog have blogged about) just carries on a “proud” tradition:

This is what the National Review writers learned from their predecessors, at their fathers’ knees, imbibed in their mothers’ milk–no, those are the wrong metaphors: had inscribed in their brains by chemical-hypno-learning as they grew in their vats in the sinister underground Buckley laboratory. 

Pareen does a roundup of MSM reaction to Obama’s racism speech.  As an Obama agnostic like Will Wilkinson, however, I (KP) have some sympathy for Currency Lad’s predictably jaundiced view.  Nevertheless, probably the best way to decide is to check out the speech for yourself at right.


Andrew Norton believes that the increasing tax burden paid by the rich establishes John Howard’s social democrat credentials.

Harry Clarke has been trying for some time to get a fix on the trajectory of oil prices. Today he links to an article forecasting a continuing slow climb.

Ken Lovell lists three ‘economic conundrums’. The first two are puzzles in a rhetorical sense only, but Number Three is interesting, as is Ken’s hypothesis.

Todd Zywicki abstracts his new article The Law and Economics of Subprime Lending.


Jack Balkin looks at the constitutional position of the US Federal Reserve in the context of the Bear Sterns crisis, and predicts a pro-gun rights outcome from the just-concluded Supreme Court Heller matter but is fairly relaxed and comfortable about it.

Legal Eagle analyses the ethic of confidentiality in relation to student evaluations of university lecturers.

Scientology protest

Hang on, that’s an armadillo you bastard

Bookmarked for appropriation

Tibet tourist perspective

Issues analysis

Cars v. bicycles: Cast-iron Helen detects a double standard in the prosecution of dangerous driving.

Rafe Champion posts a useful analysis of the history of HMAS Sydney and its sinking.

Currency Lad on publication of an academic analysis of falling abortion rates:

There is, then, a ‘have it all’ feel to Dr Shelley’s analysis and this could be used as a smart new abortion apologia: ‘we’re as pro-life as our foremothers but we’re also free.’ Or could the truth be that a revivified respect for nature is emerging against the crass utilitarianism of the past?

Sincerity isn’t enough says Robin Hanson.

Will Wilkinson pays out on conservative blog positions on prostitution in the wake of the Spitzer affair.


What is the value of theatre? ask Matt and numerous others at considerable length.

Perry Middlemiss rounds up litcrit coverage in the mainstream media.

Richard Watts reviews a Griffin Theatre Company (Melbourne) production of Holding the Man (about the early AIDS epidemic years).

Bookninja reflects on the joys of slow reading and wonders what constitutes lying in writing.

Arthur C Clark tributes are thick on the ground in the blogosphere, and Jacques Chester’s effort here at Troppo is as good as any of them, while Ian Hamet addresses and dismisses old allegations of pedophilia against the dead sci-fi icon.  I’m more interested in what goes on his tombstone.  Spike Milligan’s was a classic: “I told you I was ill“.  As an iconic figure of rather more optimistic bent, I hope Clark opted for this quote from HAL 9000:

I know everything hasn’t been quite right with me, but I can assure you now, very confidently, that it’s going to be all right again. I feel much better now. I really do.

Snark, strangeness and charm

You may feel that the wit and wisdom of Prince Philip is a bit oxymoronic (or perhaps just plain moronic).  And you’d probably be right, but this is amusing just the same.

Is there any objective basis for the judgementality and scorn?” asks Kim at LP apropos the example at right.  Well, according to the family law judge the answer seems to be yes, but Kim effortlessly dismisses his 58 page judgment as the rantings of an “elderly male”.

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

KP: Chicken.

16 years ago

Pointlessly winding people up is a tired joke? Half of our source blogs just shut up shop :- )

Kevin Rennie
16 years ago

It’s useful that more commentators are putting McCain under scrutiny. We don’t want another untested global warrior like Bush. George couldn’t name the President of Pakistan before the 2000 election or the Indian Prime Minister. 2001 was a steep learning curve. McCain should have more knowledge and a sense of history but he has no shame. He even has an endorsement video from Henry Kissinger on his website.

Gummo Trotsky
Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

Today’s best snark is actually listed in the international section:

Now, never mind that Steele has on a previous occasion expressed himself to rather different effect – as if the Iraqi elections were used to justify the invasion only ‘after the event’. Some formal compatibility can, doubtless, be accomplished between what he wrote before and what he writes now; and my interest is in something else.

Now that’s top shelf, academic snark.

16 years ago


The ALP scored 43% of the vote at the last election and the Coalition 42%. Over 5 million people voted to return the Howard Government.

How about giving this ‘will of the people’ nonsense a break?

The issue of freeing up Labor markets and giving workers the right to do individual deals with employers who have the same rights is not dead. In fact the main moves in this direction were initiated by the ALP. It is such a pity that Rudd has turned the clock back – particularly when Australia faces the prospects of higher inflation and rising unemployed.

The Rudd Government came to power in a campaign funded by unrepresentative trade unions ans has faithfully implemented their agenda. You won’t silence critics of these inept policy positions by referring to the ‘will of the people’.

Electoral Genius
Electoral Genius
16 years ago

someone please tell Harry Governments are voted in on the 2PP vote not the primary vote.

It has been like that for some time in Australia..

If Harry can remove his ideological glasses he might even enlighten us on the various economic studies which showed the structural break that occurred when workchoices came in.

you know that legislation that imposed more regulation on employers

16 years ago

Still, five million people are five million people who – following the logic of mandates – presumably supported the Work Choices legislation. No matter how the 2PP vote went, 43% of Australia subscribe to arguments Harry Clarke puts forward.
I kind of think though that hc would be better off getting Work Choices-style legislation enacted at the state level; WA would be a good choices since he and other Work Choices supporters were always moaning about the poor miners in WA who just want to have their AWAs.

Electoral Genius
Electoral Genius
16 years ago

in 2004 no-one was told about Work Choices indeed in a question from Milne Howard completely denied he was looking at IR from a Canberra perspective.

in 2007 one had a choice. People at the death either have to vote for one of two parties. The vast majority voted against it.

It seems poor old Harry doesn’t like Parties implementing their actual policies when they get in. I guess he was used to that that with Howard