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, Jen McCulloch and Stephen Hill

Politics

Australian

The new Political Compass per Gummo Trotsky

Kev Gillett believes the only effect increasing excise on pre-mix drinks will be a lot of money for the government.

Mel Gregg is preparing for Labour Day.

Dave Bath finds spam more informative than media releases from politicians.

Norman Geras marks the death of journalist Pamela Bone from cancer, as do Darlene Taylor and Tim Blair.
 

International

Harry Clark holds no punches harshing on the Chinese government. *Kev Gillet indulges in some good old fashion paranoia, speculating about Hu organised the pro-chinese protesters in Canberra. Ken Lovell appreciates the multiple ironies of the event.

At openDemocracy, Andrew Nickson looks at election results in Paraguay and examines the implications of the return of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy.

Dan Miller on American politics (although the logic arguably applies equally to Australia):

In a heterogeneous country the size of the United States, there are many constituencies and the candidate who best pleases the most, wins. The only way to do that is to offer inconsistent solutions and hope that their incoherence is not noticed.


Economics

Nothing seems to make economists happier than arguing over Happiness research. Today, money does make us happier. Tomorrow…who knows?

Joshua Gans is pushing for economic policy to be evidence-based, and is disappointed the Reserve Bank didn’t refer to any studies while formulating recent policy on card payment systems.

Harry Clarke is predicting that oil prices will drop by about 30% in the next 18 months, while Joshua Gans muses about a single-payer petrol price system where the guvmint raises the price of petrol to a fixed, stable $2.50 a litre!

It must be Joshua Gans day.  Joshua muses about whether kids are best taught subtraction before addition, and Andrew Leigh proposes a randomised trial and volunteers his own child as one of the guinea pigs.


Law

Peter Timmins notes the discrepancy between the Rudd government’s professed commitment to open government at the 2020 Summit and its seeming unwillingness to allow the Australian Law Reform Commissiont to review FOI legislation.((The chances of a former Queensland public service mandarin and DFAT bureaucrat like Rudd ever enacting any FOI reform that permits people to get hold of documents that the guvmint doesn’t want us to have are approximately zero. ~ KP))


black rimmed women

wire rimmed men

The family

everyday

Issues analysis

Rotwang is on both sides of the housing price issue.

Kim looks at the stoush between The Australian and Griffith Madrassas University.

Mercurius examines Kevin Rudd’s new strategy of Kulturblitzkrieg.

Ilya Somin ponders why paranoid conspiracy-mongering remains so prevalent in political discussion …


 

Arts

Alison Croggon provides evocative commentary on Daniel Keane’s STC Production of The Serpent’s Teeth, a dipytch of two plays (Citizens, Soldiers), currently showing in the Drama Theatre at the Sydney Opera House.

Artistic beauty emerges from structure: artists make things. Daniel Keene has offered, in Citizens and Soldiers, two objects made out of words. They are sculpted with a stern, even fierce poetic, austere and plain and finely honed as a surgeons scalpel. They are two very different explorations of the formal possibilities of theatre, but each rhymes with the other to make a third thing: a diptych that meditates on different aspects of the price of living with war. 

Lesley Chow reviews Stefan Ruzowitzkys film The Counterfeiters, focused upon a group Jewish prisoners coerced into running a counterfeit currency ring – currently showing as part of the German Film Festival and soon to have a national cinematic release.

Paul Martin reviews Tony Gatlif’s Translyvania, a film that in depicting the gypsy culture, “showcases the bleak yet beautiful countryside and rural decay of forgotten lands, depicting a way of life that is slowly dying.” 

Kirsty has been reading Cormac McCarthy’s chilling tome The Road. Included is a Youtube link of a rare interview the reclusive McCarthy gave Oprah Winfrey.

Bardassa reviews an Opera Australia production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in maschera, currently showing at the State Theatre.


Sport

Tony resents the sense of entitlement Collingwood and Essendon have towards the ANZAC Day match. Bridgit Gread thinks the broadcasters need to get a few things straight between now and next year’s ANZAC Day match.

Shaun Cronin looks at the rugby league Centenary Test squad and NSW City/Country selections.((I wonder how many blatantly criminal cowardly acts Paul Gallen has to commit before he’s regarded as an unacceptable selection ~ KP))


Snark, strangeness and charm

Roger Migently pays homage to Humphrey Lyttleton.

Robyn Williams is not a science journalist – he’s just a very naughty boy.

Andrew Landeryou tries for a simple, dignified ANZAC Day sentiment – and trips over his own tag-line.

Harry Clarke notes one of the “tragic” effects of abolition of compulsory student unionism.

Adrian the Cabbie tells the story of a passenger with no legs, arms or ears and only bits of his nose.

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.
This entry was posted in Missing Link, Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
20 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
gilmae
13 years ago

There is a reason they call it thugby, Ken.

Caroline
13 years ago

As it turns out, money can buy happiness. Next question. Where from?

saint
13 years ago

Hmm I don’t think Kev is all that paranoid.

I did see reports that the Chinese Ambassador Zhang Junsai (who had been quite vocal about torch security *rolls eyes* in the lead up to the local leg) had been actively “encouraging” Chinese students to attend the relay (and it seemed there was a sizeable crowd of predominantly Chinese students of the non-Australian kind who were there, if I go by the news coverage, many of whom didn’t even seem to speak English well. So not your third generation Chinese Aussie uni student.)

The tactics too, amongst these particular group of China supporters, just didn’t go looking like your happy go lucky Olympic supporters proud of their country. Too stage managed.

Wouldn’t be surprises if Junsai had a finger in there somewhere.

Shaun
13 years ago

Good question Ken. Gallen claims to be reformed but I wonder how long that will last.

saint
13 years ago

this particular group

gilmae
13 years ago

Paranoia doesn’t preclude being correct, it just means that being correct is entirely coincidental.
Kev based his conclusion entirely on a gut feeling, a gut feeling informed by his dislike for the Chinese government and predicated on the notion that no ex-pat Chinese could possibly overcome what can only be a shared hatred of the Communist Party to stand up for lingering feelings of national pride.

You and he both use terms like “looking” and “seemed” and put together a shadowy conspiracy. Sure, you may well be right but it will be accidental.

The Worst of Perth
13 years ago

F yore info. The flickr gallery often covers up the side comment box. (firefox) So can’t read the FOI comments.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

Can guess them, though ;)

Kev is definitely oversimplifying China and the Chinese, see eg this post and the (record length for that blog but still interesting) comments thread.

Kev is, however, right about the taxes on mixed drinks. I don’t recall girls and adolescents getting suddenly drunker when mixed drinks came on stage – the girls of my adolescence coped just fine on Passion Pop; Spumante and Midori, thank you, not to mention whatever else was going when that ran out!!

Kev
Kev
13 years ago

Gilmae,
Yep, a gut feeling based on 40 plus years of studying, observing and reading about the Chinese. It’s the type of thing they would do and I doubt the bulk of the Chinese at Canberra were expats; more likely they were students. Skepticism, more than paranoia, doesn’t suggest I’m correct, just that I think there is more to the event than spontaneous patriotism.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
13 years ago

Kev’s paranoia – fortuitously coincidental with reality or not – might ramp up when he hears that the Chinese government apparently paid to fly Chinese students studying in Auckland to the Canberra torch rally.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/thepress/4497105a6009.html

It should go into overdrive when he reads this:

http://portia.gnn.tv/blogs/15401/mob_of_chinese_students_protest_student_newspaper_cover

Kev
Kev
13 years ago

Geoff,
Neither ramped nor in overdrive but I do find it interesting that educated young Chinese still believe in the myths of Mao. I particularly like Chairman Mao is like Jesus to us and Hes no more a killer than George Washington or George W Bush.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

Kev’s theory isn’t just based on paranoia, gilmae, it’s based on educated plausible speculation. What do you expect him to do – bug the Chinese embassy? It does seem more plausible than not that some very sophisticated planning was involved in these demonstrations.

And as I’ve related on Kev’s blog and on my own open forum on Catallaxy, in the week preceding these demonstrations I actually received two mysterious phone calls in Mandarin from a total stranger who when I informed I couldn’t understand Mandarin (which I can’t, though I know roughly how it sounds like relative to Cantonese or Hokkien) hung up. Now this may be nothing or it may be consistent with Kev’s theory but I have to admit after those 2 calls I came up with exactly the same theory as Kev, more so given that I am on the ‘telemarketers keep away’ Do Not Call list – of course for all I know it *could* just be a dodgy telemarketer ignoring that and targetting the Asian market.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

Chairman Mao is like Jesus to us … Hes no more a killer than George Washington or George W Bush

Jesus H Christ, these morons should start learning more about their country’s history … Mousy Dung is one of history’s worst serial killers.

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

“Hes no more a killer than George Washington”

Ask any cherry tree.

gilmae
13 years ago

I shouldn’t even be making this comment because I have ceased to care enough about the link in question to hair-split – and one should never meh-and-post – but it’s 16.30, the bug queue is empty, and what else is there to do while the day runs out?

I think there are a number of perfectly plausible and reasonable targets to point speculation about who organised the protests that the Chinese government. It’s not that I don’t think they were organised; nothing happens without organisation. Kev clearly disagrees. I shall stand my ground and continue to call Kev’s decision paranoia.

That Kev believes it is a conspiracy theory – he refers to it as such in his comments – indicates that maybe kinda he almost agrees that it is a bit paranoid. I really do mean it in the most joshing, post-Fox-Mulder way. YMMV.

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

Seriously, is there ANYTHING about what happened in Canberra that doesn’t fit perfectly with the theory that there was ChiComm involvement? Isn’t it EXACTLY the sort of thing they’d do?

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
13 years ago

Mao is still officially venerated in China – his face is on the banknotes – though the government is careful to frame this in an exclusively historical sense – kind of like a Chinese George Washington without the benefit of critical analysis. Study of his “political thought” has been eschewed in favour of his poetry which must be fairly depressing for Chinese literature students.

Others have observed that PRC students in Australia tend to be from well-connected families with strong Party ties and are unlikely to be boat-rockers.

You’d kind of hope so because the alternative explanation is that the broadening effects of a university education not to mention the development of critical faculty is greatly over-estimated. Or else they’re computer studies majors….

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

I recommend the link I posted earlier, Geoff, on that topic. It seems that many Chinese students abroad are indeed very nationalistic and have not thought to apply an overly critical analysis to their own country.

partly, this seems fuelled/facilitated by the disconnect between Western reporting of China in the West and reporting of China in China, which appears to create a sort of victim/tribal mentality. See eg reporting of the paralympian torch-bearer in Paris.

A further ingredient is that great capacity of humans to selectively auto-reinforce. Think any larva rodent writing about Australia under Howard, or any RWDB writing about progress in Iraq or climate change, or for that matter the way in which people can give credibility to Al Gore.

The Chinese are very different from us, just like us :)

Helen
13 years ago

Rotwang is on both sides of the housing price issue.

Unless I’ve missed something and he’s acquired a new nickname (which is quite a good one for a cinephile who writes about urban stuff), that’s Barista.

gilmae
13 years ago

The feed is variously attributing posts to ‘rotwang’ and to ‘barista’.