Missing Link Daily

A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, gilmae, Gummo Trotsky, Amanda Rose, Tim Sterne, Stephen Hill and Saint.



To keep his hand in while he waits for the next election to bring on another season of bungled op-ed coverage of opinion poll results, Possum has been taking a look at “housing affordability crisis”, starting with a question for Kevin Rudd. If you haven’t become completely cynical about the prospects of the debate actually getting to the real issues, you might find the data highlighted in Possum’s latest post on housing affordability helpful.

Following on from Robert Merkel’s annotated list of the sustainability panel participants at the 2020 summit, Larvatus Prodeo guest-poster Ben Eltham annotates the Creative Australia summiteers. How long will it be before the shaming starts?

Another LP guest-poster, Tim Norton comments on the COAG agreement on the Murray-Darling Basin. And Kim thinks it’s about time we haz serious education debate. We getz LOLPolitix mor likly. Is blogosfer.

Currency Lad is cynical about Julia Gillard’s response to the MUA’s attempts to get hold of confidential documents about the 1998 waterfront dispute.

dr. faustus has an alternative proposal for truancy punishment to that offered by some numbnut. ((I approve this message.~gilmae)) wmmbb has found a similar numbnut scheme in the Catalonian town of El Prat.

The feature photo depicts Wayne Carey’s fashion adviser, a man with figuratively large cojones.


In a post that will have classical liberals (and probably most economists) shaking their heads, Robert Merkel asks why stop at the car industry? Why not industry policy generally to save manufacturing?  Bugger Ricardo and man the subsidy buckets.

Andrew Leigh fears everyone may be out to get him, but fortunately is well able to defend himself, especially from halfwitted op-ed journos on the behavioural effects of the baby bonus.


Jeremy argues that the courts can’t bring back the dead and nor should they try to do so.

Said Arjomand writes on Shariah law and the rule of law, while Ophelia looks at the Cairo Declaration of hunman rights in Islam.

Marcellous reviews a paper by High Court Justice Susan Crennan which apparently riffs elegantly on pomo but ends on a predictable note:

1hat Crennan wants to go back to is the role of law as a check on arbitrary power, starting with the Leveller debates in 1647 and following the usual whig path of history after that.  Most of that (if you last to her perorative section Judicial Method) seems just to boil down to motherhood statements and thinly-veiled conservatism of the sort you would expect from a Howard appointee, even one who is prepared to play with Foucault.

Clark? Is that you?



delicious saturation

Issues analysis

Gary Sauer-Thompson isn’t convinced by “she’ll be right” economics.

Harry Clarke points out that a bit of poison and filth may be good for you((My opinion of hormesis, after reading a few too many papers on this fascinating phenomenon, is that it’s crying out for a Fleischmann and Pons to put paid to it once and for all. ~GT)).

Picking up (along with Ken Parish ) on uni students’ textbooks and HECS loans, Andrew Norton suggests a different approach from Young Labor.

Harry Clarke rather surprisingly thinks that paying Aboriginals not to smoke might be a good idea.

Mark Richardson demonstrates High Tory credentials on immigration to add to his impeccable record on the family.


From Worst of Perth – not sure if the modesty nappy is a permanent feature, it was after all April Fool’s Day

Beth Driscoll at Sarsaparilla reports on the naming of the judges for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. How long will it be before the shaming starts? (SH – Is Kevin Rudd decision to maintain a veto power on this national award an attempt to save him from a backlash by wowsers offended when a “controversial” book wins the prize. I’m imagining Kevin might be a little nervous if the prize is awarded to a book that displays “subversive” themes, particularly having worked so hard to showcase his Christian credentials.)

Dean at the Happy Antipodean chronicles Nobel Leaureate and pacifist Kenzaburo Oe struggle to have his nation confront its violent history after winning a court action that attempted to find him liable of defaming members of the Japanese Army in an essay that described military involvement in the coercion of mass civilian suicide during the final days of the Second World War. (Anyone who has read Kenzaburo Oe would be aware of the extent to which past Japanese atrocities play an important part in driving some of his major works. This has led some critics to notice similarities with the internationally much more popular Haruki Murakami who has explored similar themes.)

Paul Martin at Melbourne Filmblog finds Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park “a profoundly intimate, moving and insightful meditation on the inner world of a youth in crisis.”

Chopper Read isn’t alone in his reservations about Underbelly:

I don’t mind them telling the truth about me, but telling lies and painting me out like some kind of dickhead who is brain dead – well that’s just bullshit.

Darryl photoblogs folk art from Fremantle prison.

Jono at Double-Think reckons Lions for Lambs is lambs’ fry.

In a rare appearance in the arts section, Tim Blair argues that falling attendances at the Melbourne Comedy Festival  should be blamed on global warming (in several senses)

Snark, strangeness and charm

The Editor abominates an empty corporate speak-style word.

Here’s the flying penguin link we had to have – because everyone else is getting one.

Tyler Cowan looks at the late Bobby Fischer’s chess hints and rather unique general correspondence with other chess champions.

Adrian the Cabbie discovers that foreign backpackers aren’t safe let out alone in the wilds of Oz, while the Stumbling Tumblr muses amiably about rare baseball cards and Weird Al Yankovic.

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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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David Rubie
David Rubie
16 years ago

I demand my HunMan rights!

– Lederhosen
– a BMW check engine light reset tool
– cabbage, lots of cabbage.

16 years ago

I read Robert Merkel’s peice differently. I thought he was saying that we don’t cry bitter tears over the fact that we don’t manufacture TVs or computers, so why should the car industry get a special run? His post is basically against industry assistance.


[…] until this morning that I actually came across its terms of reference via Tug Boat Potemkin via Club Troppos daily missing […]

Robert Merkel
Robert Merkel
16 years ago

I suppose the point I was trying to make with my piece is that the car industry does get a special run from governments, and nobody seems to be making a serious intellectual case about why the car industry deserves such special support.

Robert Merkel
Robert Merkel
16 years ago

whoops, should have added “when other industries have been left to contract and die”.

16 years ago

Rob Merkel


I read somewhere that imported cars, especially the European types are far more efficient (emissions wise) compared to an Australian produced car. Is that right?

If it is wouldn’t we simply better off removing subsidies, tariffs/ taxes on imported cars thereby reducing emissions etc. I would assume that SUV purchases would be transferred over to more efficient sedans etc as a lot of SUV purchases are really tax arbitrage.

In other words if the BMW 5 or Mercedes 2 litre became the standard middle class car here (they could be within that price range if taxes were removed) would it improve our emissions output all that much?

Robert Merkel
Robert Merkel
16 years ago

JC: the Europeans and Japanese buy smaller (and in the European case often diesel powered) vehicles than we do, and yes they are substantially more fuel-efficient.

But we’re talking maybe 10-15% efficiency improvements on maybe 20% of the market, of some sub-fraction of the 14% of emissions from the total transport sector. We’re talking small fractions here.

16 years ago

Heh…I reckon BMW and Mercedes drivers would be horrified if they became “the standard middle class car here”.

But yes, any environmentalist worth their salt should absolutely support removing all subsidies and tariffs for the car industry. And taxes should be purely based on size of the vehicle and the consequent extra wear and tear they cause to roads, and danger they pose to other drivers.

16 years ago

Lions for Lambs? Geezus! That’s been out for months & months. Somebody doesn’t get to the flicks all that often, eh?