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

 

Tim Lambert on the fallacy inherent in yesterday’s umpteenth climate change denialist “global warming stopped 6 years ago” article by Michael Duffy: 

Notice that the eight year trend is sometimes negative. That’s because an eight year trend can be greatly affected by an unusually warm or cold year or two.

In response to calls for buying kidneys rather than wait for donations, pommygranate believes it will only bring out druggies and cash-desperadoes.

Jeremy Sear argues that cutting stamp duty on real estate transactions (in Victoria) won’t do a thing to reduce housing prices (and he’s right – KP).

Things are getting really crook in New South Wales for Kim at LP to condemn nanny state madness.


International

For those wanting to keep up to date on developments re Iraq, Juan Cole has a useful news/links roundup.

Sarah gives the SMH’s Paul Sheehan a well deserved spray for his idiotically odious piece on Obama.

 


Economics

Doing a latter day imitation of Jake the Peg, econobloggers span the gamut of opinion on inflation and interest rates.  Fred Argy thinks the Reserve Bank has them too high, Harry Clarke thinks they’re about right (acknowledging Fred’s point that the RBA is right not to raise rates further if inflation is a result of price increases that are not necessarily the start of an inflationary process) and Stephen Kirchner agrees with Don Harding  that they’re too low:

The seven increases in the nominal cash rate over this period have just kept pace with inflation and do not represent a tightening of policy

The danger is that if I am right and inflation accelerates because the RBAs approach is too soft, then the RBA will need to move aggressively and hike rates several times.


Law

Currency Lad senses double standards in the release and non-release of papers under the FOI act.

Don’t like the radio station your co-workers listen to in the office?  Sue the bastardsblighters.

Ted Frank won’t get much opposition in suggesting that it’s probably not a good idea for a lawyer to make “jerk-off” motions in court or send a death threat to opposing counsel by fax.  Some of the other examples of actual lawyerly conduct are just as weird.

Howard Wasserman meanwhile suggests that using the expression “Most respectfully, this is a concept that even a mentally-challenged monkey could grasp” in the plaintiff’s pleadings in a suit seeking $40 billion dollars in damages for a T-shirt listing the names of US servicemen killed in Iraq may be a little unwise.


 

 

… and I can see

 

 

Thomas Chatterton eat your heart out

 

 

Fresno St San Francisco

 

 

doorways do it

Issues analysis

Orin Kerr and Dale Carpenter both leap in bravely in defence of Burkean conservatism.

Robert Merkel sees signs that the American love affair with trucks is waning, and looks at a better way of producing biofuels. 

Andrew Leigh extracts some well considered observations on the shortcomings of international aid and agriculture policies.


Arts

Chris Boyd provides some more details on the extraordinary life of John Cargher, the long-time host of Radio National’s Singers of Reknown who sadly passed away this week at the age of 89. 

Pavlov’s Cat posts on Tim Winton’s new novel Breathe, while also commenting upon the May issue of the Australian Book Review, which includes James Ley’s review of the same book, a Coetzee essay on Frederic Jameson and a review of the new Helen Garner novel, The Spare Room.

Decomposing Trees considers folk singer Emmy the Great to be one of his “musical discoveries of the year.” 

Ben Peek recalls the ethereal pleasure of listening to Portishead, discovering the presence of a third studio album, aptly named Third

Ben also reviews the new Robert Downey Jnr cartoon superhero-based movie Ironman (and is underwhelmed).

Amanda Rose recalls the heady twelve days she spent as co-editor of the school newspaper, considering whether it was her Iago-like tendencies that scuppered the chance of a career on Grub Street.1

In light of the horrific case out of Austria, The Happy Antipodean explores Nigel Cawthorne’s Killers: The Most Barbaric Murderers of Our Times (which recounts the cases of some of the most famous serial killers, including a few well known local sadists.)      


Snark, strangeness and charm

I’ll (gilmae) add Tiger to the list of airlines I won’t fly with.

Laura is less than impressed by the essay writing efforts of her undergraduate students.

  1. Wouldn’t Iago make the ideal byline chasing, compliant libertine that would produce the inane columns of snark that delight news executives these days? If Iago was alive today he’s bound to have become a tabloid editor within a couple of years of riding the greasy pole.~SH []

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
60 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

Andrew Leigh extracts some well considered observations on the shortcomings of international aid and agriculture policies

As Andrew puts it, that really was one of the best blog comments of all time.

He also has a great op-ed in today’s fin (and on his site), which might be called ‘HECS in everything’, and another typically interesting and practical suggestion about the much-vexing baby bonus.

I’m not plugging him but his page is excellent reading this morning.

C.L.
13 years ago

Sarah calls conservative blacks “Uncle Toms” and Sheehan is odious?

And this:

Sheehan gets stuck into the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whose politically unsavoury and ‘anti-patriotic’ yet factually fairly sound comments have been used by Hillary Clinton and the Republican Party alike in an attempt to bring Obama down before he gains the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sarah believes the idea that the CIA invented AIDS to kill black people is “fairly sound”?

Is it any wonder Obama is tanking given that so many of his admirers appear to be lunatics?

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
13 years ago

Yes, Sarah’s attempt to paint the thought processes of Paul Sheehan in such a manner is quite disgraceful.

gilmae
13 years ago

Do you still think the Sheehan piece was odious and idiotic though, Ken?

gilmae
13 years ago

I absolutely do think the Sheehan post was idiotically odious. My opinion of the Sheehan post was entirely unaffected by Sarah not condemning Wright’s HIV remark and her use of the u-bomb.

I confess though, in the last half hour I have wavered back and forth between thinking CL is trying to undermine Sarah’s whole point by calling her a hypocrite, or thinking I just think that is the case because I don’t like CL.

Tex
Tex
13 years ago

“Sarah gives the SMHs Paul Sheehan a well deserved spray for his idiotically odious piece on Obama.”

…and she calls black critics of Obama “Uncle Toms”. What a bloody hypocrite.

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

“in the last half hour I have wavered back and forth between thinking CL is trying to undermine Sarahs whole point by calling her a hypocrite, or thinking I just think that is the case because I dont like CL.”

Waver no longer gilmae. It’s his only rhetorical maneuver.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

what exactly is so odious about the Sheehand piece? that he mentioned the fact that Obama and Wright are black?

Good god, that never occured to me

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

the term ‘stupid black men’ is an obvious allusion to Fatty Moore’s major work of literature ‘stupid white men’. Lame joke perhaps but hardly odious.

On the other hand we have Sarah Whoever mocking the ‘intellectual’ claim of Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell when these two have published more serious works in the last few years of their dotage than Sarah ever will in her lifetime (and the fact that Sowell now writes the occasional hack column doesn’t diminish his past genuine intellectual achievements) – because they are black and strayed too far from the leftist plantation.

Tex
Tex
13 years ago

what exactly is so odious about the Sheehand piece?

When you get the answer, pass it on to the rest of us.

gilmae
13 years ago

What I find odious and idiotic is that Sheehan created a hatchet job based on what I feel is a silly notion but didn’t have the fortitude to even do the dirty work himself.

When I read it I initially thought that Sheehan was working with the premise that Obama was capable, viable and worthy candidate whose chances are being damaged by the more-controversial words and beliefs of an out-and-out idiot. But no, Sheehan then turns around and quotes extensively to show that he thinks Obama is an unviable candidate who is only in the race because of “white guilt”, because white people can only support and vote for a black man out of some sense of deep-seated racial guilt. That’s the idiotic part.

The odious bit was that he didn’t have the courage to say it himself but he did the equivalent of a bad blog post – he quote-spammed. He hid behind the skirts of better thinkers than he to make his silly little point. Whatever else I think of Obama and Wright, that op-ed was the work of a coward.

YMMV.

Tim Lambert
13 years ago

Here’s Sowell, quoted in Magic Water Man’s column: “He has sought out and joined with the radical, anti-Western left, whether Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers of the terrorist Weatherman underground, or the anti-Israeli Rashid Khalidi.”

Obama sought out and joined the Weatherman? I don’t think so. Sowell is not being honest.

Magic Water presents his quotes as if the represent outrage from the African-American community, when they are just the Republican talking points delivered by right-wing commenters.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

Point (a) may be made in an odious fashion in this case, but it seems a serious question to me – after all, he did ‘hang out’ with Wright for a long time, which puts point (b) seriously in play. I certainly would have walked out of his church and stayed out, for example. I know most people on this site are agnostic or atheist, but normally when you go to church you agree with the priest. And then there is his wife who called it ‘the first time I have been really proud of America’ when Obama won a major primary or some such, which strikes someone like me as a really weird thing to say and indicative of a funny way of seeing the world, and one which is perhaps more compatible with the views of his associates than the views of his public professions.

As it is I don’t believe he is guilty of either point, but I do so only partly on the basis of the basis of the facts that I am aware of and partly of my purely subjective assessment. In other words I don’t think the facts preclude raising those questions, even if Sheehan has done so in a cowardly, ‘junior-hack’ and odious manner.

Maybe this is not actually disagreeing with anyone here (although it certainly is disagreeing with Sarah).

Tim Lambert
13 years ago

And more dishonesty from Sowell: “Voting records analysed by the National Journal show him to be the farthest left of anyone in the Senate.”

What the National Journal actually found:

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was the most liberal senator in 2007, according to National Journal’s 27th annual vote ratings. The insurgent presidential candidate shifted further to the left last year in the run-up to the primaries, after ranking as the 16th- and 10th-most-liberal during his first two years in the Senate.

In their yearlong race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama and Clinton have had strikingly similar voting records. Of the 267 measures on which both senators cast votes in 2007, the two differed on only 10. “The policy differences between Clinton and Obama are so slight they are almost nonexistent to the average voter,” said Richard Lau, a Rutgers University political scientist.

Ken Miles
13 years ago

I know most people on this site are agnostic or atheist, but normally when you go to church you agree with the priest.

Yeah, because condoms and the pill aren’t common among practising Catholics. Likewise, sex before marriage and adultery aren’t common between religious people.

Or maybe, most people take what they want from their religion and ignore the stuff which they disagree with.

JC
JC
13 years ago

Tim:
The votes count isn’t necessarily an indication on their basic differences all the time. There are numerous procedural votes in the senate that really don’t matter.

Come back and tell us what is they voted differently on..

Is obama futher left than Hillary? His tax policies certainly indicate he is. He now wants to impose a special tax on the oil companies.

Are you now accusing Sowell of not being an honest man? Are you? Seriously?

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

Err, even if thew differences are miniscule how is Sowell’s claim different from the NJ’s saying

. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was the most liberal senator in 2007

(‘liberal’ is of course in US politics just another word for left’)

I should add that I dislike The Warmonger and Lady Macbeth even more than Obama and would like to see an Obama victory, regardless of his past voting record.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

The NJ article certainly indicates that it equates “more liberal” with “more left”, but there are liberal commentators in the U.S. that would object to that, as no liberal would support an authoritarian socialist state, whereas leftists might. Most U.S. liberals seem roughly equivalent to Australian moderate/centrist social-democrats.

Niall
13 years ago

tit-for-tat, he said, she said……fascinating that the ‘right’ in the sphere pick & choose what’s odious when it suits their preferred stance. Perhaps the innuendo which Ken speaks of simply escapes their intellect.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

Quiet Niall, the adults are talking. Go back to your nude Wiccan rituals.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

NPOV I take your point but we are not in political philosophy class. It is perfectly clear that when Sowell wrote that Obama was the ‘farthest left’ senator based on the National Journal article his readers knew exactly what he meant. He did not misrepresent the findings of the NJ and is no different from how the NJ itself reported in once you realise that in US political discourse left equates to liberal and right to conservative. This is not terminology I’m happy with either but that’s how they talk over there.

Laura
13 years ago

My blog got at least a hundred hits more than usual today and it was from ML, naturally. It would appear people really want to read someone losing her rag because her students submitted an unusually large number of unusually horrible essays. I’m sorry that’s not quite what I delivered – just a feeble and generalised whine about bad grammar. But look. I could REALLY tell stories about essays that would make ML readers’ hair curl, if only there was some way of making sure no student would ever, ever, ever find out.

Tim Lambert
13 years ago

The NJ did not find that Obama was the furthest left of anyone in the Senate. They ranked him at 16th, 10th, and 1st in his three years there. I think Sowell is smart enough to know the difference. Hence his article was dishonest.

gilmae
13 years ago

So the more recent ranking put Obama at the top of the ladder – 1st – and it’s dishonest to suggest that he is 1st? Come on. That straw isn’t going to keep the argument afloat.

Hell, there’s even a general Lefting trend. I suppose you could bank on the scoring system being so badly written that the trending sends him so far to the Left that he clocks it and ends up to the Right of Cheney. And then the Senate kernel panics and everything goes blue.

Tim Lambert
13 years ago

It is dishonest to say that the NJ found that he was the most liberal Senator when the NJ found that he wasn’t: 16th, 10th and 1st rankings do not make him the most liberal Senator.

JC
JC
13 years ago

Oh and who was the most Liberal senator? Being honest of course.

JC
JC
13 years ago

Tim:

Can you please provide a link to the Sowell piece for good order sake?

National Journal:

S

en. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was the most liberal senator in 2007, according to National Journal’s 27th annual vote ratings.

Sowell:

Voting records analyzed by the National Journal show him to be the farthest left of anyone in the Senate.

So if Sowell had said 2007 that wouldnt have made him “dishonest”, is that right Tim?

And since when did you begin using the national Journal as a source. Last time you mentioned NJ you were trashing them.

When did you have amazing epiphany or this moment of sudden understanding or revelation about the NJ? LOL.

Should we add Sowell to the list of apologies?

JC
JC
13 years ago

Jeremy Sear argues that cutting stamp duty on real estate transactions (in Victoria) wont do a thing to reduce housing prices (and hes right – KP).

But it will reduce the cost.

C.L.
13 years ago

Gilmae spent 30 minutes today thinking of me.

C.L.
13 years ago

What Ken considers “odious”:

That Obama:

(a) holds similar poisonous anti-American views to his (alleged) close associates like Jeremiah Wright.

His WHOLE CAMPAIGN is named after a Wright sermon. As was his best-selling book.

Hello?

(b) is an ambitious charlatan with no real views beyond his raw ambition, and willing to associate with (and disassociate from) whoever is convenient, and to profess to whatever views and policies are necessary to further those personal ambitions.

Yes, he’s a POLITICIAN and that’s just what politicians do.

Obviously, Sheehan’s article is essentially being called “odious” because it doesn’t proceed from the hagiographical fantasy that Obama is the saintly exemplar of a new, post-racial, post-partisan politics. Turns out he’s just another huckster in Washington. What a surprise.

The only odious thing I see is calling black people who leave the Democrat Party’s plantation “Uncle Toms.” Even though the Democrats’ most senior representative in Congress is a former Kleagle and Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, that’s too lunar a notion even for them. To admit to, that is. For there’s little doubt that American liberals believe they politically “own” the country’s nigras.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

A quick google for “former Kleagle” shows up dozens of obviously anti-Democrat sites with statements along the lines of “The Democrat party is racist – their most senior Senator is a former Kleagle of the KKK”. What none of them point out is this (from wikipedia):

In the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP)[44] Congressional Report Card for the 108th Congress (spanning the 20032004 congressional session), Byrd was awarded with an approval rating of 100% for favoring the NAACP’s position in all 33 bills presented to the United States Senate regarding issues of their concern. Only 16 other Senators of the same session matched this approval rating. In June 2005, Byrd[45] proposed an additional $10 million in federal funding for the Martin Luther King memorial in Washington, D.C., remarking that “With the passage of time, we have come to learn that his Dream was the American Dream, and few ever expressed it more eloquently.

Further, he does make some admission of being racist in the past:

“The death of my grandson caused me to stop and think,” said Byrd, adding he came to realize that black people love their children as much as he does his.

Byrd also said, in 2005, “I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times … and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.”

(FWIW, reading the rest of the article, I wouldn’t vote for him in a pink fit, and it’s not particularly obvious why he’d want to be in the Democrat party at all).

John Greenfield
John Greenfield
13 years ago

Laura

My locks could do with a good curling. PLEASE regale us with said stories: we all PROMISE not to tell any of your students!

Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton)
Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton)
13 years ago

I don’t know, JG. Tell us your cut ‘n’ paste story again, that one certainly did it for me.

Fyodor
13 years ago

Ouch, Haiku. I call excessive pwnage. Yo sound the bell, et cetera.

The Preacher
The Preacher
13 years ago

Concerning Mr Obama,

His ex-friend the minister is quite liberal in theological standards. Indeed I would say he is not Christian. He also operates a very successful welfare arm.

My observations of the US primary campaign is that Mr Obama’s campaign is almost the complete opposite of what the Minister has said.

This being the case then it follows the Minister’s philosphy has had little if any impact on Mr Obama.

What then is the big deal?

Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton)
Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton)
13 years ago

In yr threads r3m3mb3r1ng yr f00ls

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

Is there anyone here, left or right, who likes Greenfield? Raise your hand? …

….

Hey ‘Preacher’ Paxton – when are you coming back under your own name?

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

“Is there anyone here, left or right, who likes Greenfield? Raise your hand?”

I was saying Boo-urns.

John Greenfield
John Greenfield
13 years ago

Liam

Sure. What would you like to know? Though to be honest I think I’ve told you all there is to it. I was mortified and learned an invaluable lesson about researching and writing.

Fyodor
13 years ago

“…you cant in fact IMO form any meaningful view about personality from the fragment of it thats revealed online.”

Totally disagree, Ken, and I don’t believe you really believe it either. You might have a point regarding individual comments, but consistent and prolific commenters like Mr G here you get to know too well, unfortunately.

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

The question is clearly to be read with the unspoken qualifier “from what we know of him” – if JG in the real world is a witty, pleasant, thoughtful person then he won’t be offended, and if not then Fyodor’s right – we know him all too well.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

I’ll freely admit that Gummo has correctly devined that I am pertinacious and pedantic :)

But I think Ken is right that even if you can ascertain characteristics, they don’t give you enough of a picture to tell you if you would ‘like’ the person, except in extreme cases. If nothing else, they might be quite different in ‘real’ life. Also, I certainly don’t base my friendships on any more than the broadest ideological compatibility (ie, if you believe in communism or satanism, I probably won’t even pretend to be polite to you), and I wouldn’t think this was very common outside of the extremes.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

Patrick, I can understand objecting to people that think communism should be forced on to everyone, but what’s wrong with with people that just believe that they’d personally like to work and live in a communist organisation?

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

Chill out Ken, it was a playful snark engaging with Fyodor’s and Liam’s ganging up on him and his complaint to me that i like to ‘gang up’ on him here.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

Nothing, NPOV, if you mean just a kibbutzim or similar. But I don’t think I have heard anyone speak of communism in that way. In practice, and in the manner I have heard it used (even amongst my further-left friends from school/uni) it refers to a rather one-in all-in system.

Even more specifically, the point generally seems to be the involvement (co-option, voir slavery) of the most successful people in society.

Maybe your experience is different.

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

…if you believe in communism or satanism, I probably wont even pretend to be polite to you…

I guess the less I say about last night’s sacrifice of a virgin goat to the Dark Lord Josef, the better. Otherwise we’re never going to get along.