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.



Brendan Nelson asks: “What is the suffering of the people who are evicted by banks, compared to the suffering endured by the bankers who must evict them?“. Tim Dunlop suggests you ask Brendan what planet he’s on at the moment. If you do, you might score a mention in Brendan’s Listening Tour Diary; The Editor reckons it’s a “bloody corker“.

At least Ronda Jambe shares my (KP) reaction to that Four Corners program on families suffering mortgage stress: the banks may be bastards but … 

Petering Time thinks little Brennie has left it too late to wake up and smell the bullshit and that the Young Liberals are dangerous, deluded and (unfortunately for the rest of us) at University.

a roll of the dice notes a disturbing development in NSW, where the numbnut Premier has taken a “tough on illiteracy, tough on the causes of illiteracy” stand on education policy. Paul Norton casts a scornful glance at the consequences of Royal North Shore Hospital’s successful avoidance of “provider capture”. Speaking of Mr Iemma …

Jeremy notes a few deficiencies in Rod Eddington’s grand plan for Melbourne’s Transport system.

Two days after Jennifer Marohasy’s April Fools Day publication of the full text of James Hansen’s open letter to Kevin Rudd, Tim Lambert has posted extracts from the letter. Check out the comments threads, compare, contrast, draw your own conclusions, then find somewhere to discuss them among yourselves.

The Editor gives short shrift to Senator Steve Fielding’s latest on-line video “Steve down on the Yarra talking rubbish“.

Robert Merkel gives carbon capture in the Otways a once-over.

Senator Andrew Bartlett spills the beans on the Senate housing affordability inquiry terms of reference at Possum’s place.


Mark Bahnisch isn’t impressed by the election coverage in the “the partisan American A-list blogosphere” and suggests alternative reading:

Elizabeth Drew, whos long been, in my view at least, one of the best observers and analysts of the Stateside political scene, takes a long hard look at the differences in the Obama and Clinton campaigns…

Kim at LP reports on this year’s Olaf Palme prize winner – Iranian feminist Parvin Ardalan.

Dave Bath finds a US example he approves of which he approves ((That’s my 1960s education in English grammar raising its ugly, nitpicking little head again ~GT)):

Australia should follow the example of the US (I dont often say that!) where the FDA has been given oversight of the tobacco industry.

Audrey drops the c-bomb on the British National Party, then makes up to them with a little talent spotting on their behalf.


American blawgers are swarming all over the public release of the infamous Office of Legal Counsel torture memo, which seemingly led to Abu Ghraib and other proud moments in US human rights.  Dawn Johnsen and Dahlia Lithwick both have quite accessible posts, while Marty Lederman examines the issue at length, and Jack Balkin thinks the lawyers involved with authorising “enhanced interrogation” should be taking seriously the prospect of one day being charged with war crimes:

Its a matter of time, the judge observed. These things take time. As I gathered my papers, he looked up and said, And then something unexpected happens, when one of these lawyers travels to the wrong place.


locked up

herman munster stayed here

bloody flowers

Issues analysis

George Megalogenis reads the riot act to all participants in the National War on Relevance…oh, I’m sorry; I meant – of course – the Culture Wars.

Carlton’s lone liberal Andrew Norton is underwhelmed by Don Arthur’s invitation for classical liberals to desert their Tory mates and ally with the “progressive fusionists”.  Meanwhile, Will Wilkinson looks at “libertarian paternalism“. 

Angelique Van Engelen examines the new Open Skies agreement designed to deregulate air travel betweeen Europe and the US.


Darlene undercover: Wow, youre thirty, I wouldnt have spotted that. You could be a model.
You really look like Angelina Jolie.

Rochester University’s Three Percent blog provides the short-list for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, which includes Australian novelist Gail Jones and former Macquarie University academic Yasmine Gooneraratne. Also amongst the other short-listed candidates are Patrick McGrath, Andrei Makine and Javier Cercas.

Paul Busch meanwhile suggests that even after the departure of guitarist Marc Ford (AGAIN) the Black Crowes are capable of putting on a mighty fine live show. And here I was fearing that the personnel problems and the conflicts of the Robertson brothers (almost making the band the next parodic incarnation of the Gallagher brothers) would see the end of this once mighty band.

Meanwhile at The View from Elsewhere we have an evocative description of the trials and tribulations of a screenwriter working on a Northern Territorian feature film of love and landscape (yes that’s an awfully trite description, I’m sounding like that pitching screenwriter at the beginning of The Player – “its Ghost meets The Manchurian Candidate.”)

Alison Croggon looks at an oz invasion of this year’s Edinburgh Festival, while Chris Boyd reviews the Graham Murphy-choreographed Australian Ballet production of Swan Lake, an Opera House performance of which is apparently going to be broadcast on ABC 2 next week.


Apathetic sarah anticipates another triumph of ineptitude when Seven covers the Beijing Olympics ((As a fan of inept sports commentary, I’ve always found Seven’s Olympics coverage quite enjoyable ~ GT)).

Shaun’s NRL predictions for Round 4.

 Snark, strangeness and charm

Staid Melburnians let out their inner bogans with some dancing in the street – something that wouldn’t happen in that glitzy city with all the Harbour views.

Apathetic sarah wants you to spare a thought for all the kiddies doing hard time in McMansionland.

Jonathan Pearce hates gyms with loud music, but not as much as Giran Jobe’s neighbour’s hated his home weightlifting activities.

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

Once again, Google doc didn’t like me…so let me add a couple in the comments.

One to add to snark (or, how to win friends and influence people, or blogging ethics 101): Vengeance shall be mine not thine

Gummo Trotsky
Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

From the program, which didn’t mention it explicitly, we can also infer that c) the schools and other educators have not done their job, or there wouldn’t be so many suckers out there.

That’s a gratuitous and unfair swipe at an education system that isn’t allowed to do its job (if the job is seen as protecting kids from becoming suckers in later life – a goal I’d wholeheartedly endorse) because its role is always discussed in terms of its contribution to the economy, skilling of the population etc, etc.

The fourth corner, however, also left unexplored, was d) the role of the borrowers themselves. This is where sensible, prudent people, such as I fancy myself, start to froth and gaggle

Um – they have aspirations fed by the advertising industry that takes advantage of the fact that the education system is turning out suckers, so they buy all that crap about dream homes…

OK, first reactions over, time for the analysis. Off to ABS to see if I can get those stats I wanted.

(Must not cock-fight with other Missing Linkers).

Gummo Trotsky
Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

Hey, I’ve been putting in some righties and centrists too, y’know – where I can find thematic links and such. And yesterday was a crap day for me because the buggers wouldn’t stop writing interesting stuff on a wide range of topics.

I’ve just had more straw with which to make bricks than saint has (there’s that bloody 60s grammar again). Wouldn’t call that “impressive diligence”.

Gummo Trotsky
Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

Oh bugger! Peter Saunders is at it again. No rest for the wicked on the bloody intertubes, is there?

Sinclair Davidson
Sinclair Davidson
16 years ago

right-leaning blogs

Harry Clarke
Currency Lad
Institutional Economics

Other international blogs
Marginal Revolution
Cafe Hayek
Carpe Diem

16 years ago

I dont even think of Harry as right-leaning because his views on scientific issues are so evidence-based

… This is a left-wing characteristic?

I guess you’re thinking of global warming, which is about the only scientific issue (apart from economics, obviously) that HC has blogged about.

The Worst of Perth
16 years ago

Brendan’s diary is hilarious. Someone needs a writer and an adviser badly, or as Brendan would say, “Big time.”

16 years ago

I’ve never quite bought the line that what the average right-winger fears most is “possible nanny state encroachment”. Howard turned Australia into far more of a nanny state than it was 11 years ago. I don’t think Rudd’s any better, but he’s certainly no worse. By far and away the most heated and passionate discussions I’ve seen about unjustified government intrusion into our freedom and autonomy have been among lefties.

Gummo Trotsky
Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

I dunno what NPOV would say Ken, but I think it’s about wrapping your towel around your head so that the Bugblatter Beast of Traal won’t eat you.

16 years ago

Ken, I said “average” right-wingers, not “rational and non-religious right wingers” like Sinclair and Jason.

I really don’t have a good explanation as to why many right-wingers like to go to extraordinary lengths to condemn sound scientific reasons to regulate industrial activity. I used to believe it was all simply shilling for the industries affected, but that was before I realised how wide-spread the phenomenon was.
I still strongly suspect it’s largely initiated by industry shills, but I’m not quite prepared to believe that the vast majority of right-wingers are simply falling hook line and sinker for industry propanganda.

Tim Lambert
16 years ago

Sinclair Davidson seems to have bought the whole package – embracing RWDB orthodoxy on the Lancet study of deaths in Iraq and on DDT.

16 years ago

I think Harry Clarke is definately a right-winger – economic liberal, social conservative. A lot of his work is evidence based – which makes him a decent right-winger. Accepting global warming as a reality and suggesting decent solutions isn’t a left or right-wing trait.

16 years ago

Harry is a populist. He’s a social conservative and an economic lefty. He’s never seen anything he doesn’t think would be a lot better with more government regulation.

He’s firmly in the Xenophon/Hanson camp, at least his blog is. I’ve met Harry and he’s a lot less into regulation in real life. Let’s not forget it is his job to push the case for regulation of addictive substances.

16 years ago

The dearth of quality right-leaning Australian blogs has been a problem for a while for ML.

Ken, this is really just your own biases talking. There are hundreds of right-wing blogs out there that as every bit as good as “Anonymous Lefty” or “Reasons You Will Hate Me” which you link to every other day. That is to say, they are terrible. But being terrible is ok if you are terrible in a leftist way.

Apart from LP how many good Lefty blogs are there? You refuse to link to Tim Blair then complain there’s no quality right wing blogs. You are only seeing what you want to see.

16 years ago

If you can point out a coherent, interesting post on Anonymous Lefty in let’s say oh, the last 3 years, I will do the same.

16 years ago

I did link to Tim Blair quite a bit when I was ML ed, because I think he’s funny. I did feel a bit awkward about linking to my own blog, though, so Catallaxy was probably underlinked, at least initially.

Harry is a proper conservative, too, and a very careful scholar. He’s economically liberal (in the free market sense), and socially conservative. His views are going to be different from mine or Jason’s, because we’re both economically and socially liberal. The right is just as prone to uneasy alliances as the left, as both Don Arthur and Andrew Norton have pointed out this week.

16 years ago

I like lefty. I think he has the has the best single lefty blog going. His economics is horrendous and he ought to stay away from that. However he is very consistent with his views. Eg. a lot of lefties look the other way with the China and Tibet issue but he hasn’t.

A couple more years of sticking his hose in the free market economic trough could see him turning into a libertarian.

Harry is a typical Liberal supporter. Most of his views outside of economics are based on personal preferences.

There’s one libertarian blog I would strongly suggest people take a good look at:

” barely a blog ” by Ilana Mercer. This gal has serious attitude. She’s writes excellent catty pieces.

Gummo Trotsky
Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

FTR, it’s not a matter of liking or disliking Jeremy’s stuff – it’s a matter of whether the writing is up to a minimal standard of “editorial English” (an interesting dialect I’m currently learning) and whether the post is topical enough to be of interest to a wider readership. The same applies to any other post I link here (or so I like to think). If I want to barrack, that’s best kept to my own blog.

(On the “editorial english” here’s a small hint – if the first sentence of the first paragraph in a post is missing a main verb, I ain’t going to select it for ML. Because, as a general rule, the quality of the writing just goes downhill from that sort of start.)

James Farrell
James Farrell
16 years ago

‘….presumably James Farrell didnt because he seldom linked Jeremys posts.’

On the contrary, I find him entertaining, and linked to him almost every edition last year, when we published twice a week. Bur when we switched to a daily format, and simultaneously introduced the economics section, I was doing far fewer non-economics links on any given day, and got to Jeremy only occasionally. He’s like a Senate candidate who would be elected in a double dissolution but can’t get a look-in in a normal half Senate election.

On the question of right-leaning blogs, there is a fundamental difference between bloggers like Harry and Andrew Norton, who weigh up issues thoughtfully, give credit where it’s due, and debate in good faith; and those like Blair and Beck whose sole interest is in pouring scorn on leftists and exposing leftist hypocrisy. I’m sure that the latter are a tonic for the troops, but the troops know where to find them without any help from ML.

Finally, to back up Gummo’s point about missing verbs and things: there are one or two bloggers out there who, notwithstanding the quality of their ideas, are generally unlinkable due to sloppy grammar and construction.