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.
Saint just doesn’t see the funny side of this unofficially sanctioned Toyota ad:
Andrew Leigh is pessimistic on the chances of most ideas at the 2020 summit after attending the ACT-based mini summit and lists the outcomes.
Andrew Bartlett has a few things to say on carbon sequestration.
Clarrie Rivers wants to see the Federal Government stand up to The Exclusive Brethren.
Gary Sauer-Thompson wonders if democracy will survive the 2020 Summit.
Norman Geras reports a depressingly plausible account of what’s really going on in Zimbabwe, while Brendan O’Neill at Spiked thinks it’s all the fault of the evil West for ganging up on Mugabe for daring to stand up to the arrogant ex-colonialists, and Daniel Davies concludes that not undertaking an Iraq-style liberation invasion of Zimbabwe was the right decision in all the circumstances!
Riffing on John Lee’s book Will China fail?, Sukrit at Thoughts on Freedom thinks China will move to become a procedural democracy, like Singapore.
tigtog sings the praises of the USA’s staunchest defenders of constitutional freedoms – librarians.
John Quiggin revisits in more detail the Maliki government offensive in Iraq and the situation of Moqtada Al Sadr and advocates an extension of Godwin’s Law, while Paul Rogers at openDemocracy also brings broader perspective to the situation.
Dibyesh Anand brings a similarly broader perspective and understanding to the Tibet/China situation, Sebastian Balfour looks at Spain in the wake of March general elections and sees a corroding democracy caught between a rock and a hard place. openDemocracy is a truly marvellous publication if you’re looking for something more than MSM superficiality.
The Currency Lad on Rudd’s international tour: we are all Howardians now ((Wasn’t it Rudd who argued for more involvement in Afghanistan and the need to adddress terrorism’s narco finance when our troop committments to Afghanistan had dwindled to one under the previous government?~ saint))
Kathy Shaidle writes on the Stalinist tactics of Canada’s Human Rights Commission. ((Calling it a “kangaroo court” is an insult to our kangaroos ~saint))((Pity she had to gild the lily on the Scott Brockie case. ~GT)) Sounds like Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner Tom Calma has a rather analogous conception of justice and human rights:
Race Discrimination Commissioner Tom Calma wants the burden of proof in cases of racial discrimination to fall on the alleged offender, instead of the person making the complaint …
Mr Calma said if people were forced to defend themselves, it might make them think twice before offending.
Harry Clarke on the economics of golf.
Stephen Kirchner tells of the teenage interlocutor who put Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens on the spot.
Legal Eagle excerpts an exceptionally geeky examination of the Lord of the Rings from a property law perspective. Next up, Sauron’s chances of a successful trademark violation suit against Celebrimbor. Also, she checked out Fitna.
Charterblog is a welcome new Australian blog started by Jeremy Gans (Joshua’s brother?) and focusing on the features, future and experience of human rights charters (which the ACT and Victoria now have, with WA possibly on the way).
Jack Lacton casts a skeptical eye over James Hansen’s open letter to Kevin Rudd and presents his arguments against taking Hansen seriously:
“James Hansen is one of the most prominent voices of Big Green and has been for over 30 years. Read the rest of his letter. It is the usual litany of unscientific drivel that global warming alarmists spew forth in order to promote their extreme left agenda.((Some might call that ‘fact free slagging’, but others would call it a ‘coherent, interesting post’. We have to cater to all sorts, here at ML. ~ GT))”
Rafe Champion takes issue with Mark Bahnisch on the Young Liberals’ campaign for academic freedom for Young Liberals. In the interests of public intellectual health, he suggests we all take a prophylactic dose of Popper: ((Perhaps Rafe really means emetic rather than prophylactic … ~ KP))
Without wishing to deny freedom of speech and diversity, it can be argued that many of the courses offered by leftwing teachers end up leaving the student worse off than they started out. They may appear to know more, but only in the sense that a person who attends a course on medieval alchemy knows more at the end, without knowing any more about up to date chemistry and physics.
Andrew Norton picks up on one of Andrew Leigh’s comments about income distribution on the ‘progressive fusionism’ and classical liberalism thread to question the value of composite indexes designed to aggregate different liberties or inequalities. Here at Club Troppo, Don Arthur attempts to answer Leigh’s question from a “progressive fusionist” stance, and in doing so, proposes a discussion on principles as a useful first step towards cooperation between classical and left liberals.
Mark ‘Oz Conservative’ Richardson asks what one would commit oneself to if one took feminism seriously. ((I ask what aspects of reality I’d have to forget to take Richardson’s first bullet point seriously.~gilmae)) ((Since Mark’s critique of feminism is all based on women’s modernist/liberal refusal to surrender autonomy to men, I’d like to know who a traditionally conservative man is supposed to surrender his autonomy to. Because if he won’t surrender his autonomy to somebody, that would make him a modernist/liberal. ~GT))
Mill is a dead white male with something to say – Richard Reeves at Spiked on JS Mills desire to inject public debate with truth, energy and freedom and to create a whole society of heroes.
Biologist/artist Jessica Palmer at Bioephemera posts lots of pictures and is currently ‘completely infatuated with the eclectic, macabre vision of young Irish designer Jonathan Anderson.’ A designer who uses human beings to frame his work – ‘barely couture’. And in this post she makes some observations about astrolabes and Easter.
Prima la Musica brings the snark to of Tristan und Isolde.
Tim Train succinctly reviews The Other Boleyn Girl. ((BTW Black Balloons is a superb new Australian movie, if confronting and sometimes truly excruciating to watch ~ KP))
Alison Croggon has established a wiki to comment on the theatre contributions at the 20/20, for which she welcomes contributions. ((More 20/20 nominees should do this, so that they become genuine community delegates taking forward policy ideas to something more closely resembling a genuine consultation ~ KP))
Darlene Taylor reviews Helen Garner’s new novel The Spare Room and gives it a thumbs up ((Although she doesn’t seem to think much of Garner’s doco book style like The Consolation of Joe Cinque, which I OTO thought was excellent. The “author as participant observer” schtick can be overdone, but Garner generally carries it off brilliantly IMO ~ KP))
Snark, strangeness and charm
Tim Blair applauds the Phantom approach to justice of Newfoundland fishermen dealing with Paul Watson’s Sea Shepherd ecothugs: rough justice for roughnecks.
Adrian the Cabbie has survived seven days without cigarettes. Congratulations, may there be many more.
David Tiley recalls for our pleasure some of the “meals” people served when offal was thought edible.
Nicholas Gledhill reports on albino conservation in Tanzania.