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



Annie Leibowitz photo of 15 year old Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus (see items under “international”)

Graham Young finds Archbishop Pell’s position on Charters/Bills of Rights weak. Gary Sauer-Thomspon covers the same territory, both provoked by a speech given by the priest at the Brisbane Institute.

And speaking of rights,

Robert Merkel  looks at the Haneef blame cage match.





In what must certainly be the biggest news story of the week, 15 year old Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus (spawn of execrable C & W singer Billy Ray) has been forced to apologise for appearing in a kiddie-soft-porn photo shoot:

The Disney Channel, who broadcast Hannah Montana, have also criticised the magazine, saying: “Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines.”

Meanwhile, a Slate journo on assignment in China discovers that Disney might be exhibiting just a touch of hypocrisy (see Disney billboard at right).

Jack Lacton has a theory on why Obama is abandoning Jeremiah Wright.

Ken Lovell finds that Dubya has been reading his briefing notes on the Oil crisis.

The most-talked about by Cuban bloggers: arrests of women protesting the detention of thier husbands.

Ophelia Benson takes a horrified look at traditional courting rituals in Chechnya.

Norman Geras wonders about the status in international law of calls for military intervention by southern African nations in Zimbabwe.


Fred Argy is looking for ways that an increasingly possibly recession could be staved off.

Publius on the Clinton/McCain “abolish petrol tax but tax the oil companies” idiocy about which Joshua Gans posted yesterday:

First, it shows that Clinton is more likely to use arguments that explicitly rely on voter ignorance. She knows that this policy stinks, but she is assuming that low-information voters wont know the difference. Those silly latte drinkers with their fancy-pants inelasticies dont understand the working man. But snark aside, the lack of respect for her audience shows far more elitism than Obamas earlier comments ever did.

 At Online Opinion, Andrew Leigh makes the case for more widespread use of randomised trials to test public policy proposals (not just economic ones).((Andrew notes inter alia that the schools anti-drug program DARE was substantially reformed following randomised trials showing it wasn’t working well.  I’m not surprised.  My daughter and her friends used to gleefully refer to it as “Drugs Are Really Excellent”, which at least suggests that the acronym was sub-optimal ~ KP))  

Break out the champagne! Australia is up 8 places to No. 6 in The Economist Business Environment Rankings, behind Denmark, Finland, Singapore, Canada and Switzerland and way ahead of the US at No. 10 and UK at No. 12.((But will it stay that way under the Rudd government?  And how valid are the rankings anyway? ~ KP)).


Geoffrey Rapp looks at a law professor who is suing some of his students for defamation for calling him a racist!

contrived rustic

contrived edge schlumucky

digital emergency

at a pinch

Issues analysis

Daniel Davies makes a persuasive case that the skill of “management” actually exists, contra “off-piste” philosopher Simon Blackburn making a determined early run for international wanker of the year.

You wouldn’t really be surprised that the IPA’s Des Moore thinks the Rudd government’s education policies are more a confused mish-mash than a “revolution”, but he makes some interesting points just the same.

Harry Brighouse and Will Wilkinson both look at issues surrounding removal of children from their parents’ care in the wake of the recent official raid on a US breakaway Mormon polygamist/child-molesting sect.

John Bowen reviews Islam and the Secular State by Abdullahi an-Na`im at The Immanent Frame.


Lynden Barber reviews Along Came the Tourists, a film focused on lives and relations of the tour-guides of former Nazi death camps, which probes “what it means to be German in a post-Holocaust world.”

Robin Hemley offers a post upon the history of the fake memoir.

One of the problems is that the memoir as a term is insufficient. We expect memoirs to be court transcripts. Forty years ago, when the memoir as a genre was reserved for retired generals and doddering actors, memoirs were called . . . novels. Everyone expected a first novel to be a thinly veiled autobiography. They were often throw-aways, the thing you got out of your system before you went on to do your great work. Everyone understood that the warning at the front of the book that all characters were purely fictional was the biggest fiction of all. Graham Greene made fun of this in one novel when he asserted in the authors note that London does not exist. When Thomas Wolfe wrote “Look Homeward Angel,” he really couldn’t go home again to his native Asheville because he had scandalized so many of the town folk. Five years later when he was world famous the only people angry at him were the ones he had neglected to include.

 Dai Vaughan reviews Don Delillo’s September 11 novel Falling Man.

“Lucy Tartan” slags a typically cretinous article on jazz by moronic Age write Jim Schembri.((What with the dreadful standards of the Oz and both Fairfax publications, there must surely be a market niche in Australia for a genuine “quality broadsheet”.  Or are the economics of print newspapers so hopelesly debased by Internet competition that the only way to survive is to print half-witted tabloid crap? ~ KP))

Various authors take up John Scalzi’s challenge to post their one-star Amazon reviews.

Jason Soon previews several upcoming movies based on assorted cartoon superheroes, but doubts that the adaptation of Wanted is likely to be true to the original:

Theyve already changed the main characters from super-villains to assassins presumably to make the characters more sympathetic but the original features characters with names like Johnny Two-Dick, Shithead and F***wit (spoofs of DC villains) and is a real amoral hoot of a work.


Shaun Cronin posts an early edition of his weekend NRL round predictions, and wonders why tomorrow’s City-Country game is being played in Wollongong.

Snark, strangeness and charm

Well, we can finally reveal that the reason Legal Eagle stood down from Missing Link duties not so long ago was that she’s pregnant again.  Clearly she wasn’t spending enough time combing the feed reader for ML links or it couldn’t have happened.  Congratulations and best wishes to LE and the family

Ashleigh has the magic of salary sacrifice vs employee share plans pointed out.

Tim Lambert doesn’t necessarily think it’s a fantastic idea to accept proffered policy advice from a group of sci-fi authors:

Among the group’s approximately 24 members is Larry Niven, the bestselling and award-winning author of such books as “Ringworld” and “Lucifer’s Hammer,” which he co-wrote with SIGMA member Jerry Pournelle.

Niven said a good way to help hospitals stem financial losses is to spread rumors in Spanish within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs for transplants.

Lauredhel is bemused by a US public health campaign.

Tim Blair scores his weekly gotcha.

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

I don’t know why people continue to take Billy Ray Cyrus so personally. It was a novelty song from 16 years ago. 16 years! A strong dosing of getting the hell over it is required on all fronts.

16 years ago

The Slate article actually pointed out that the Disney Corporation struggles to hold its licensees accountable for product advertising, acknowledged that the Chinese ad was from a licensee – rather than from someone pirating the brand – and promised to go kick some arse. I kind of think reaction to the VF pictures is marginally over the top, but what do we expect from a culture that positively aches to be outraged on a regular basis. But Disney are being nothing if not consistent. That Chinese licensee has probably already had a personal visit by the Disney Corp guy referenced in the article and been given the smack down.

Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

Now that I’ve seen the Schembri article, I say we all go and Jarrett bomb the bastard.

John Greenfield
John Greenfield
16 years ago

There is unlikely to be any opposition to this from the Libs. Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull raised $110,000 for the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation at a very swish do at their home two weeks ago.

Sinclair Davidson
Sinclair Davidson
16 years ago

There are a whole range of issues relating to a military intervention in Zimbabwe. At the most practical level, I am not sure that South Africa (for example) has the capacity to actually launch an invasion – even if they had the political will. I’m also not convinced that the South African taxpayer should pick up the cost of riding the world of Mugabe. Mugabe is a tyrant but as best I can work out he is no threat to the international community. Unlike others, he has never aspired to own WMD. I get the impression (perhaps unfairly) that people who condemned the invasion of Iraq are calling for the invasion of Zimbabwe. Yet it seems to me that if international law does not support the invasion of Iraq, the case for Zimbabwe would be even weaker.

16 years ago

Thanks (again) for the link, Troppo.

Can I also encourage readers to take a look at my longer post on the illegality of the Iraq invasion and the need for a Royal Commission into apparent War Crimes, a subject which Prof Q picked up on his blog and cross-poasted at Crooked Timber, where some excellent links were also provided.

Apologies for the blog-whoring, but obviously I think it is an important and much-overlooked issue. I would encourage Aussie bloggers to discuss the issue, given that neither our politicians nor complicit media seem much interested.

16 years ago

Sinclair, can you give an example of someone who condemned the invasion of Iraq outright but now supports the invasion of Zimbabwe?
Plenty of people, including myself, were reasonably comfortable with the idea of Saddam being toppled via international intervention – it was the manner in which the U.S. undertook the invasion without UN authorisation, for questionable motives, and with virtually no plan of what to do after it overthrew the regime that has drawn condemnation.
I can certainly see a case for a small international force being utilised to topple Mugabe, but only if it had proper UN support, and all likely contingencies planned for.

16 years ago

Richardson quoting Deveny:

To be honest, had I known about the environment what I know now, I never would have had three children

I’m as curious as hell wondering about her kids’ reaction when their mother publicly implies she wished they were never born. Must be quiet around the dinner table in the Deveny household.

Graham Bell
Graham Bell
16 years ago


Jeremiah Wright for President of the United States.

He’s got balls and he will wop the terrorists because he knows how they think.

Go Reverend go!

16 years ago

Apologies for the blog-whoring, but obviously I think it is an important and much-overlooked issue. I would encourage Aussie bloggers to discuss the issue, given that neither our politicians nor complicit media seem much interested.

Funny that. Just like Area 51?

16 years ago

Just like Area 51?

Well, that’s a start at least Patrick. Thanks. Actually there is a lot more tangible evidence of War Crimes available, which you will notice if you visit the links.

My question for those who still support the invasion is to explain how it can still be considered NOT a War Crime, given that Howard’s rationale (UN Resolution 1441) is completely untenable, and neither Nelson or Rudd has ever proposed an alternative argument for legality.

Britain’s PM Gordon Brown has been forced to promise a full enquiry into Iraq when “the work is done”, but here we do not even pressure our leaders in Canberra for explanations. Apathetic mob, aren’t we?

Sinclair Davidson
Sinclair Davidson
16 years ago

NPOV – the person who immediately comes to mind is Brad deLong. I recall seeing lots of ‘Mbeki should do something’ type comments around the place but haven’t kept track of it all (hence my qualifier “perhaps unfairly” above.)

16 years ago

There is nothing wrong in any way shape or form about the Miley Cyrus photo shoot. It is just something for people to whinge about because they have nothing to whinge about.

And now I am finally up-to-date with my Troppo reads.