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.



Saint just doesn’t see the funny side of this unofficially sanctioned Toyota ad:

In as much as these so called “fake ads” are meant to convey the idea that the only bad thing about a “green car” is the driver, they do so by minimizing the seriousness of sin against God and fellow humans – well minimizing all sin except that which sins against the Earth Mother.  So ultimately such ads represent the sacrifice of humans to the earth goddess Gaia.  Whatever else you do, doesn’t matter: she who must be obeyed, after all, consumed her own children.

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).

Are you sure everyone is here?

set up


migraine causation discovered

Issues analysis

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))

Andrew Bartlett and Kim reflect on the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King.

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))  

A look at two Australian fillums recently released on DVD: Romulus, My Father and Lucky Miles.

FXH continues his series of advice on home stereo systems.

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

Some bloggers are delighted, others infuriated, by news that Mark Bahnisch has taken Rupert’s shilling.

Cato at Catallaxy wonders about the provenance of one Beijing Olympics mascot, but Fleeced has uncovered the source of the main logo.

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.

Maria at Orange Juice Snobbery recounts her first driving lesson from her mother, while Tim Train reports at length on the driving experiences of crash test dummies.

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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14 years ago

While I’m at it, a new quote for the troppo header (well I like it), Arthur C Clarke on UFOs:

They tell us absolutely nothing about intelligence elsewhere in the universe, but they do prove how rare it is on Earth.

(via the Economist’s obituary).

14 years ago

Is it just me, or is Missing Link getting longer again?

14 years ago

SL (and I checked to confirm it was you this time): I don’t know about the others but for the first edition of the week I usually look at anything from Friday through Sunday and will add more links than I would for the rest of the week.

14 years ago

The far greater sin in that Prius ads is the sin against Photoshop – the light source is on the right for some of it, but on the left for the rest.

14 years ago

Wasnt it Rudd who argued for more involvement in Afghanistan and the need to adddress terrorisms narco finance when our troop committments to Afghanistan had dwindled to one under the previous government?

The special forces were rotated out for a break. They’re not actually machines. Labor took advantage of this in a rather crass attempt to boost their security credentials on Afghanistan – the left’s Good War. Rudd’s drug finance big-noting in Europe failed. His continuation of the previous government’s policy of pressing European contingents to patrol something other than their canteens was welcome but only moderately successful.

14 years ago

OMG! Bahnisch criticises News Limited writers in Blog Post!


Btw, if anyone’s interested in the substantive discussion rather than the stuff about how righties Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair and lefties Megan and Gandhi all take pot shots at me for being a lefty writing on a News Ltd site, I’ve replied to some of the points made at the HES thread.

I do realise snark is more popular in some quarters than substance!


Mark Richardson
14 years ago

GT, in response to the question you ask in note 7, it’s not just women who choose to give up a measure of autonomy. When men commit to marriage they accept considerable constraints on their choice of life: most men will find themselves with little time or money for themselves; they will have agreed to limit their choice of sexual partner; and many will limit their choice of work to well-paid but uncreative jobs in order to maximise their chance to marry well.

So when you ask who men give up their autonomy to, the answer in a practical sense is to their employers, to their wives and to the state.

The more interesting question, though, is what they give up their autonomy for. Why do most men continue to marry if it involves an impediment to their autonomy? The answer, I think, is that autonomy is not always the overriding good as modernism claims it to be. A pure autonomy is likely to be a sterile and alienating condition; ultimately, the sense that we fulfil ourselves in an important way in becoming husbands and fathers will lead most men to make a commitment to family life.

14 years ago

A pure autonomy is likely to be a sterile and alienating condition; ultimately, the sense that we fulfil ourselves in an important way in becoming husbands and fathers will lead most men to make a commitment to family life.

I think I disagree with the first proposition but agree with the second.

Alison Croggon
14 years ago

Just a short correction – the wiki I’ve put up is for discussion/contributions on the whole arts agenda, as part of the Creative Australia, and to clarify what ideas I might bring with me to 2020. It’s most certainly not confined to theatre… so all thought on this area are welcome.

14 years ago

Mark Richardson puts on his tinfoil hat and burbles about the Ejaculation Control Conspiracy :- )

But really, what an empty life Mark offers us; unfulfilling employment so we can attract a mate, with a twist of subordination to the state. Presumably with a lot of Ikea shopping as well.

If that’s the vision of existence Conservatism offers us, I can find no stronger encouragement for the pursuit of pure autonomy and for the twin triumphs of feminism and Fight Club…err…I mean masculinity.

14 years ago

Reading Mark R’s stuff is interesting and useful because he’s a genuine conservative (in the double sense of both true and faithful). It’s good to be reminded of the very large gulf between libertarians and conservatives, and the extent to which the ideas – when distilled – differ from each other.

This is why I find the Don Arthur/Andrew Norton conversation so interesting, and why I plan to join in when doing so won’t get me rusticated from Oxford.

14 years ago

Who could honestly begrudge someone earning money writing a few opinion pieces on a blog? The arguments being made against it are a load of baloney in my view. Some people are jealous and some are just off the planet. All the best to you Mark. And good to see that you’re still happy to criticise News Limited where you feel it deserves it.

Mark Richardson
14 years ago

Gilmae wrote: “What an empty life Mark offers us”.

Gilmae, you’ve chosen the wrong adjective. It might be a hard-working life, or even a difficult life at times, but it’s anything but empty. It fulfils a part of a man’s nature to work to support a family and to be a father to his children. In a marriage there are people who depend on you and your efforts in life both emotionally and materially; there is a masculine instinct to want to take on this responsibility and to succeed at it, whatever the difficulties.

Gilmae, most days I come home from work to be greeted by my beautiful and affectionate wife and by my very cute, robust, happy 3-year-old son. It’s not an empty moment, but a “settling” one that makes you think that you’re fulfilling the purpose in life that you were meant to.

14 years ago

That was me Alison, apologies for the misrepresentation.

14 years ago

Mark is certainly interesting reading, SL. He’s a good writer and he’s honest. Even if everything he writes jars with reality as I experience it. Honestly, “fulfilling a purpose”? Makes life sound like high fantasy.