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

Gummo’s New-New Political Compass

Apathetic Sarah anticipates an interesting judgement in the Mercedes Corby defamation action and delights in Red Kezza’s roasting of Rob McLelland.

Irfan Yusuf finds that The Oz has a bit of a pot-kettle-black problem with its beat-up on the Griffith University Islamic Research Unit.

Via Shakesville via Mark Steyn via Tim Blair via Currency Lad, tigtog finds that Bob Ellis is sexist scum.

The Editor has devised a drinking game which will help political tragics endure Brendan Nelson’s next doorstop.

comicstriphero  has abrogated his personal responsibility in response to the excise hike on alcopops.

The Analyst believes Morris Iemma has dug himself a hole over electricity privatisation and that the state party has just handed him a bigger shovel. Niall Cook believes that the Queensland experience of electricity privatisation should worry the NSW public.  Harry Clarke admires Iemma for standing up to union bullies, while Andrew Landeryou argues why Labor supporters should be able to embrace privatisation.

George Megalogenis has an edited extract from the revised edition of The Longest Decade, detailing how Howard failed to see the wind change and Kevin Rudd coming. Struggling bravely to make psephology interesting in the early part of the Rudd government’s term, Possum Comitatus analyses the state of the polls between the parties and on Rudd’s and Nelson’s respective leadership.

International

Boris Johnson has ousted “Red Ken” Livingston as Lord Mayor of London. Tim Blair, Jennifer Marohasy’s co-blogger Paul, Bernard Slattery and Andrew Bolt are all delighted with this victory for the Conservative International and celebrate with the usual combination of gloat & snark. Suz, JLo at Grodscorp, and Troppo’s Seamus C are less enthusiastic.  Meanwhile, Tim Train composes the Blue City Blues.

What does the case of Joseph Fritzl tell us about the Austrian psyche?  Gary Sauer Thompson says sod all. Kim also takes a skeptical view of the insta-sociology that’s being peddled on the case, but most of her commenters are happy to ignore that and provide their own insta-sociological takes on the Austrians.

Apparently talentless but attractive girl singer upsets Islamists in Bahrain.


Economics

John Quiggin thinks the US is taking a holiday from sanity.

Andrew Russel explores the idea of Punishment Capitalism.


Law

Legal Eagle explains in detail a recent Federal Court judgment regarding attempts by investors in the collapsed Opes Prime to reclaim “their” shares.

For those (like me – KP) who once marvelled at the occasionally bizarre logic of (now retired) arch-conservative High Court Justice Ian Callinan, this note from Hilzoy may give you cause to see him as a veritable beacon of Enlightenment Rationalism by comparison with US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.


… and I can see

Thomas Chatterton eat your heart out

Fresno St San Francisco

doorways do it

Issues analysis

tigtog has some distressing news for chemophobes.

Jim Fryar is pro-anti-government-intervention. Harry Clarke, on the other hand, is sometimes anti-pro-anti-government-intervention and sees benefits to a bit of intervention. Smoking, for example. On the third hand, Pommygranate feels that the media and opportunist interest groups push for intervention – for example, when teenagers get killed in boating accidents – and is irritated by it. Peter Martin uses some basic economic realties to demonstrate how intervention short of prohibition – in the case of the alcopops tax – can work – when prices go up, demand goes down.

barista has a lengthy reaction to an article on the repatriation of the body of a US solider killed in Iraq and finds hints of an unhealthy focus on death.

Mark Richardson contends that human happiness requires marriage, children and church, has some happiness research to back him up.1

Derek Barry finds that journalists couldn’t care less about the future of journalism.

Jonathan Rauch convicts Republican Presidential candidate John McCain of Burkean conservatism (or more accurately awards him the mantle), while Ilya Somin analyses its deficiencies as a political philosophy: “its excessive deference to tradition and its failure to recognize that rapid change is often preferable to a more gradualistic approach”. 


Arts

Alison Croggon argues that The Age newspaper’s theatre critics are waging an unfair Culture War against Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, and muses learnedly about naturalism in theatre before reviewing Ollie and the Minotaur (on at fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne).

Derek Barry previews Balibo, a new film about the Balibo Five. 

Marcellous goes to another SSO concert.

Darlene photoblogs Melbourne graffiti art.

Cast Iron Helen hits the road to the Apollo Bay Music Festival and finds herself at Twin Peaks. (Alt by GT)


Sport

Niall Cook on goings-on in the car racing world, including a picture of the poster every rev-head kid wants as his bedroom wallpaper.

At the 2020 conference, Nicholas Gruen learned that Mick Malthouse doesn’t know what to do with an otherwise excellant forward line. See, the conference wasn’t just waffle.


Snark, strangeness and charm

In an eerie real world echo of Roald Dahl’s short story The Sound Machine, Eugene Volokh discovers the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology’s report, The Dignity of Living Beings with Regard to Plants.  A sample:

The Committee members unanimously consider an arbitrary harm caused to plants to be morally impermissible. This kind of treatment would include, e.g. decapitation of wild flowers at the roadside without rational reason.

Ken Lovell finds one of those piss-takes that isn’t and a new rival for J F Beck((Who hasn’t written anything worth linking for today ~GT)).

John Surname shares a little too much information about his strange affection for Christopher Pyne.

Pavlov’s Cat posts a clinical note on the diagnosis of chronic overblogging syndrome.

skepticlawyer files a report from Oxford on (failed) moral lessons disguised as sporting events.

Roger Migently defines “money” and “economy” for those who do not know.

Lord Sedgwick finds pictorial evidence that the media are not to be trusted.

Possum Comitatus photoblogs his honeymoon in Tassie (well, the G-rated bits anyway).

  1. I wonder how Mark would react if Soma was a fourth requirement, or a second alternative.~gilmae []

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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gilmae
13 years ago

I wonder what a prudish, patriarchal homosexualist would be like. Oh wait; Andrew Sullivan!

TimT
13 years ago

Thanks for the link. Comicstriphero, btw, is a she. (I have foolishly made the same mistake!)

Niall
13 years ago

I’m constantly amazed at the run ML gives Blair. If he was writing something of substance, I could understand the attention, but he only ever feeds off other’s opinions and writings.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

Hilzoy’s not stupid, and writes a lot of interesting stuff (even for someone with, er, a different world-view) but you guys only ever link when s/he’s wrong!!

Last time was an absurd comment on McCain’s tax policy that contradicted itself let alone economics, this time, well, check out Hilzoy’s own mea culpa:

I gather, from comments, that Scalia’s view that nothing done before conviction counts as “punishment”, as that term is used in the Eighth Amendment, is true. If so, I regret having assumed the opposite.

Ooops. Scalia 1, Hilzoy 0, ML -1.

gilmae
13 years ago

We should call it a nil-all draw. Hilzoy misintepreted Scalia and Scalia was technically correct in his strict constructionist way. But it was still pretty atavist of him and it is hard to believe that the writers of the 8th Amendement were sitting around thinking torture was a-ok as long as it wasn’t “punishment”.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

I don’t think so. Hilzoy misinterpreted no-one, just the Constitution. S/he understood Scalia, but wrongly thought Scalia was wrong (when, in fairness, Scalia has some claim to authority in that area).

Further, Scalia didn’t say anything to the effect of your comment, he just noted the effect of the Constitution. To wit:

“To the contrary,” Scalia says. “Has anybody ever referred to torture as punishment? I don’t think so.”

And when he’s hurting you in order to get information from youyou dont say he’s punishing you. Whats he punishing you for? He’s trying to extract,” Scalia says.

Who knows what the drafters were thinking? But it isn’t a stretch to think that when they banned ‘cruel and unusual punishment’, they weren’t thinking of torture, as an information-gathering exercise, at all. Maybe well they simply assumed it to be ‘beyond the pale’, like blacks and stuff, maybe they just weren’t thinking about it full stop. But they certainly didn’t draft for it.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
13 years ago

“I wonder what a prudish, patriarchal homosexualist would be like. Oh wait; Andrew Sullivan!”

Trust me on this gilmae: His move into Big ‘Ole Daddy Bear territory is relatively recent, but “prudish” is decidedly 1990’s Sullivan.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

Jonathan Rauch convicts Republican Presidential candidate John McCain of Burkean conservatism

Jonathan Rauch, who is usually a sensible writer, must have lost his mind. We’re talking about the all war, all the time candidate here.

Mark
Mark
13 years ago

I did a google on the alleged by Ellis old Arkansas phrase “keep the dog on the porch” ….. there are no links except to Ellis himself???

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

Try “keep the big dog on the porch”.

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

It’s Hillzoy 1, Scalia nil even with the correction. Scalia’s strict constructionism does lead to a paradoxical result – that it’s OK to waterboard someone as a means of evidence gathering (hardly what you’d call due process of law) but not as a punishment.

But you can resolve that paradox by going an extra step or two in strict construction once you have the necessary legislation in place.

First get waterboarding mandated as a punishment in a majority of states. Now you can declare that while it’s cruel it’s not “unusual” and therefore allowable under the US constitution since it’s not “cruel and unusual”.

If the framers of the constitution had meant to bar cruel punishments they should have barred “cruel or unusual” punishment. And been very clear that they meant that or to be read in the inclusive, rather than the exclusive sense.

That makes it pertinacious Patrick nil, ML team 2 by my count.

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

Niall,

Next time you bitch about Tim Blair getting a mention in Missing Link, I’ll be asking Jacques to apply his magic mouse click.

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

I think I wrote up some of the happiness research that Mark cites back in 2004 when it was first published.

I’m intrigued by Mark’s omission of this section of The Economist’s report of Albert Brooks’s research from his selection of quotations:

So much for right versus left. Mr Brooks also finds that extremists of both sides are happier than moderates. Some 35% of those who call themselves extremely liberal say they are very happy, against only 22% of ordinary liberals. For conservatives, the gap is smaller: 48% to 43%. Extremists are happy, Mr Brooks reckons, because they are certain they are right. Alas, this often leads them to conclude that the other side is not merely wrong, but evil. Some two-thirds of America’s far left and half of the far right say they dislike not only the other side’s ideas, but also the people who hold them.

But mostly, I’m bemused that he’s used the recent death of Pamela Bone as the hook into this latest exercise in “man of straw, woman of flax” traditionalist apologetics.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

Gummow, #12: certainly cheaper than getting him a therapist.

#11: Seriously? The point is that this has nothing to do with Scalia, which is why you and Hilzoy have made the mistake you have.

1 Maybe the Constitution forbids torture full stop – arguably, it would be a reasonable implication in the concept of a democratic polity. But since most of its was drafted by slaveowners, I don’t necessarily think there is any reason to imply rules against torture.

2 ‘Strict constructionism’ is a fundamental part of our legal tradition. It didn’t start with Scalia, by any stretch. Which is why the interpretation you and Hilzoy got so worked up with is settled law in the US.

As it happens, if there is such a rule, it isn’t in the eighth amendment. What Scalia was saying was just settled law, no more. You are all getting confusing the message with the medium!

Finally, if it matters, I doubt your hypothetical applies. I would guess, first, without having looked it up, that ‘cruel and unusual’, if not ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ entirely, is a hendiadys. It would have been used because it had existing currency. Hey, according to Wikipedia, it did! (albeit may not be a hendiadys, judging by that commentary) Secondly, the eighth amendment applies, I believe, to the States, by force of the fourteenth.

Gummo, this isn’t about ideology. Scalia is not some monster nor is ‘strict constructionism’ some freaky weird doctrine that he invented. Hilzoy and you have both reacted ideologically, Hilzoy had the sense to admit the error and move on, you want to claim a moral victory based on your personal dislike of the messenger and his style as well as yet further misapprehensions of US law??

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

Pertinacious, pedantic and patronising.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

I’m not trying to be patronising! Sorry if I come across that way.

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

Ah-hah! Old age and rat cunning triumphs over youth and beauty yet again.

Don’t pay it too much attention Patrick. First thing in the morning when I sit down in front of the PC to put together my bits of ML, having forgotten to take me SSRIs beforehand, I’m apt to be a bit tetchy. You’re obviously learning Law, and enthusiastic about it, and the new ways of thinking you’re learning so we’ll chalk your comments on Scalia up to youthful enthusiasm and move on, shall we?

As to Scalia’s remarks on torture, plenty of commenters at Hillzoy’s noted that he could have gone on to discuss the various other constitutional amendments that might imply a right to “humane interrogation” but instead chose to make a meal of the fact that the ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” didn’t cover torture. You’d expect a judge of the US Supreme Court to do the former, rather than the latter in an interview with the Meeja wouldn’t you? Well, I would, on the assumption that the judge wanted to portray himself, in public, as a learned and thoughtful jurist rather than a nitpicking arse.

Oh hang on – maybe Scalia thought he was coming across as a learned and thoughtful jurist and got it wildly wrong.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

Youre obviously learning Law, and enthusiastic about it, and the new ways of thinking youre learning so well chalk your comments on Scalia up to youthful enthusiasm and move on, shall we?

I know that I am still learning (and hope to forever), and I am pretty sure that I am still enthusiastic about it, and I would like to think that I am still learning new ways of thinking, so I guess I’ll take that at face value.

I’ll resist the temptation to point out that, whilst your point about Scalia sounds reasonable to me – I think he does often try and come across as what is, from the perspective of someone who disagrees with him, a nitpicking arse – it gives weight my point about media and messages. On second thoughts, since you’ve called me pertinacious at least twice in a few hours, not pointing that would surely be a disappointment to you!

John Greenfield
John Greenfield
13 years ago

Andrew Sullivan is a steroid injecting bare-backing toiler trader. Hardly a “prude.”

John Greenfield
John Greenfield
13 years ago

And the antithesis of a “homosexualist.” She thinks the “most egregious discrimination in America today” is that Adam and Steve can’t get married!

Helen
13 years ago

I’m bemused by Richo’s choice of Pamela Bone as an exemplar of the emptiness of godless liberalism. She had plenty of family and friends, and if the recent articles about her are correct, lived a full, happy, busy, love- and friendship-filled life to the end. So any attempt to hold her up as a warning to teh others is, frankly, incomprehensible.

I also clicked on another post called “The silent apartment”. This is another dreadful warning to teh Feminists. Because you are so awful, the silent apartment of singlehood is waiting for you. This ignores the simple demographic fact that women (still) slightly outlive women and (still) tend to settle down with older men, so that silent apartment is waiting for you if you choose the conservative or “traditional” route, equally. People who fail to develop their own inner life and generate their own household noise (music and meows?! or woofs, whinnies or squeaks?)had better watch out, whatever their proclivities.

Tony T
13 years ago

Helen, I’m struggling with this concept:

women (still) slightly outlive women

Is there some hidden esoterica? Or do I have to read the article?

Helen
13 years ago

No, Tony, just insufficient coffee.

Erratum

“still slightly outlive men.”

Therefore the Bridget Jones eaten-by-alsatians scenario holds as true for your trad housewife married for 50 years as it does for your hairy, boiler suited, baby eating feminist™ .