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

A t-shirt every blogger should have, courtesy Will Wilkinson who argues (compellingly) that procrastination is not laziness it’s “misdirected industriousness

Harry Clarke was largely unimpressed by the Budget and equally so by the Coalition response. Niall Cook was just unimpressed with Wayne Swan. And finally Nicholas Gruen wants to rate the Budget out of ten.

“Finally”? Not likely!  You thought you could avoid budget analysis that easily?  Possum Comitatus dissects the politics of the budget here and here, Mark Bahnisch contributes observations and a useful links roundup, and economist Stephen Kirchner posts a pithy response to a silly observation by Access Economics’ Chris Richardson:

The budget has no relevance for inflation and interest rate outcomes, but even if it did, why would we prefer restraint in demand to come from higher taxes than higher interest rates? On political economy grounds, we should prefer higher interest rates. The interest rate cycle will eventually turn, whereas the expansion of government probably wont. The real agenda of those who oppose tax cuts is to support the secular expansion of the state.

And we can all agree with Possum that, while chair sniffing by a political leader is bad enough, inappropriate behaviour with a quokka is completely beyond the pale.((Actually, judging by the nervous stance of the armadillo in our new banner, Troy Bussell may not be confining his attentions to quokkas ~ KP))

International

Geoff Robinson notes that the re-emergence of Conservative Democrats in the American South, aided by a possible electoral blacklash against the Republicans.

Eugene Volokh speculates on what sort of deal Hillary might be negotiating with Obama as the price of pulling out of the Presidential race, while Robin Hanson imagines the policy speech of an honest American politician.

openDemocracy posts worthwhile articles on Russia’s relations with Europe, China’s political evolution and an excellent analytical (and poetic) one on Egypt:

Egypt’s current state resembles a surrealist painting. It is difficult to decipher its components, challenging to comprehend its meaning. At the centre of the painting there are dark, abrasive lines; most onlookers would see them depicting anger, frustration and occasionally menace. At the peripherals, there are softer lines, perhaps symbols of potential and promise.

The sharp lines are the result of three major social phenomena that shape Egypt’s current experience: inequality, demographics, and culture.

NB The new Missing Link logo is courtesy the great Nabakov.


Law

Jack Balkin and Eric Posner go toe-to-toe in a vicious mud wrestling contest on theories of constitutional interpretation.

Evan Schaeffer (via Legal Eagle via Dave Bath) identifies 17 different types of lawyer.((But LE can’t find herself amongst them and nor can I ~ KP))

Legal Eagle also looks at a bizarre US case involving a woman who cried “rape” and got convicted of manslaughter while her killer hubbie got off!

(via Eugene Volokh) A US Appeals Court decision (with embedded images no less) that explores whether abusive (mock) epitaphs can be “fighting words” which could justify restriction of constitutionally-guaranteed free speech.


swamp mutha

jen doing uni

The Senator Theatre

green on green

Issues analysis

(via Dale) Stephen Pinker writes on human dignity and bioethics, in response to some Bush administration religio-nut.

(via Chris Bertram) Raymond Geuss reminiscences about philosopher Richard Rorty.

Jeremy Seabrook argues that Marx was wrong in seeing the proletariat as agents of revolutionary change, because they sold out to the rich.  Norman Geras disagrees, though in a paradoxical way:

Marx got many things wrong. But some he got right. Such hope as there is today for achieving a world in which there is less systemic injustice, more freedom, less poverty, greater equality, rests in significant part on the kind of populations that developed capitalist economies increasingly put in place (this despite every countervailing tendency encouraging selfishness, greed, and so forth): populations educated, increasingly aware, competent – and not well-shaped for tolerating being dictated to.

Dr Ngo on “those who opposed the war in Vietnam” (an Obama gaffe?).


Arts

From Ben Peek. I’m all in favour of artistic license, so I’m leaving it here for another day

Alison Croggon reviews the Hayloft Project’s adaptation of Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale

The Soldier’s Tale doesn’t give us a satisfyingly dramatic arc of action, as in, say, a play by Chekhov; rather, the story begins, continues in an episodic fashion, and then it finishes. It follows the naive logic of oral narrative (or dream), which has very little to do with psychological continuity or or any sense of realism; folk tales, for example, tend to begin the middle, rehearse a number of recognisable tropes (for example, the magical ban) and then may end abruptly.

In this case, the episodic structure highlights the production’s hallucinatory air: it is almost as if, when the soldier is killed and claimed by the devil at the end, the whole story has been a nightmare dreamt on the brink of his death, as if the Soldier was actually killed in the first moments of the show. This sense of dislocation is intensified by Winters’ remarkable performance of a shell-shocked soldier; he never, for instance, changes out of his bloodstained, ragged uniform, as if the trauma has only just happened to him.

Jana Perkovic is another critic impressed with Neal Harvey’s adaptation of the 19th century novella Venus in Furs currently showing at Theatreworks.

Bardassa reviews Red Stitch’s Melbourne production of The Pain and the Itch.

Nicholas Pickard reviews The Rabble’s Sydney production of Salome.

Matilda reviews Alberto Manguel’s The City of Words

Laura continues her reading log. This week’s highlights include William Faulkner (can’t go wrong there), Djuma Barnes and some other modernist short novels.


Snark, strangeness and charm

Another cab driver’s life, on Adrian’s blog.

Ashleigh adds ‘Getting a tax file number’ to the list of Activities With Inconsistent Minimum Ages

Norman Geras is unimpressed by the Guardian‘s blog Comment is Free giving commenting space to Hamas: “If that is the shape of liberalism, show me the shape of a public disgrace.”

Two Blue Fish discovers an ignorant theatregoer in a surprising place.

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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JC
JC
13 years ago

Mark B’s link says the following about the budget:

Unlike the previous government, this one actually does have a macro-economic policy.

I never realized he had such a sense of humor.

Francis Xavier Holden
13 years ago

re new logo etc – It looks like Troppo is assuming everyone is viewing on a 20″ screen these days. Spare a thought etc etc ..

Yours etc

Angry Of Mayfair

Francis Xavier Holden
13 years ago

I’m back. But there possibly is a Mayfair in China somewhere.

Angry Of Mayfair, as you and other persons of taste will know, is a small homage to the late great Kenny Everett who along with The Goodies was responsible for keeping my kids quiet, entertained, educated and happy for many years just after school each day.

Francis Xavier Holden
13 years ago

Angry of Mayfair and others including Sid Snot

gilmae
13 years ago

But who uses 800 x 600 resoltuion these days?

Somewhere between 8 and 14%, Ken. 800*600 is a dead issue now a days. The res to worry about now is 320*480.

Tim Lambert
13 years ago

You’ve shrunk the T shirt by specifying the width in the image tag. This means the browser does the shrinking and it doesn’t look very good. You should scale the actual image for better results.

C.L.
13 years ago

Pinker: “The problem is that ‘dignity’ is a squishy, subjective notion, hardly up to the heavyweight moral demands assigned to it. The bioethicist Ruth Macklin, who had been fed up with loose talk about dignity intended to squelch research and therapy, threw down the gauntlet in a 2003 editorial, ‘Dignity Is a Useless Concept’.”

Indistingishable from Joseph Mengele.

Tim Lambert
13 years ago

OK, who is parodying CL?

Own up, whoever it is.

Ken Miles
Ken Miles
13 years ago

OK, who is parodying CL?

Own up, whoever it is.

Parody? Seems like business as usual.

Interesting piece of writing gets the sneering dismissal treatment.

Tim Lambert
13 years ago

I agree that the parodist has CL’s sneering exactly right, but surely equating Pinker to Mengele is over the top, even for CL?

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

It’s a more nuanced piece than CL makes it out to be. If anything Pinker makes too many concessions to the ‘yuck factor’ side.

JC
JC
13 years ago

agree that the parodist has CLs sneering exactly right, but surely equating Pinker to Mengele is over the top, even for CL?

Moderator, doesn’t this trigger the Godwin rule?

Ken Miles
Ken Miles
13 years ago

It’s not like he equated Pinker to someone like Paul Keating or Al Gore – that would have been over the top.

tIm LaMbert (as channelled by The Currency Lad)
tIm LaMbert (as channelled by The Currency Lad)
13 years ago

I love Al Gore. 59 cm is similar to 88. DDT. Lott. Lancet. I love Al Gore.

JC
JC
13 years ago

That’s funny. Who said 59cm is similar to 88cm? That sounds like that bloody stupid architect we once used. He was reducing a room by 1/2 and said it was similar size.

gilmae
13 years ago

Who said 59cm is similar to 88cm?

Many, many husbands.

Tony T.
13 years ago

CL: the Super Novena.

The Curry Rag
The Curry Rag
13 years ago

Clinton! Keating! Gore! Rudd! Fat, fat, fat. Opus Dei studies show Pope doesn’t shit in woods! Was the bear’s fault. Clinton! Keating! Gore! Rudd! Fat, fat, fat.
Bush touched by greatnesss. Not fat.

The Curry Rag
The Curry Rag
13 years ago

And if you disagree with my last comment in any way, then you’re a racist, fascist terrorist enabler.

And fat.

Graham Bell
Graham Bell
13 years ago

Missing Link crew:

Thanks for the link to the Volokh Conspiracy topic on Clinton-Obama.

Volokh is dead wrong about the Vice-Presidency continuing to be so weak.

That might have been correct in the past …. but this is a new Century.

Hillary Clinton is dynamic and intelligent enough to radically change that office from a mere sinecure into the second most powerful office in the United States …. and if the United States survives all the aftershocks of the disasterous Bush abberation, the changes she would bring to the office of Vice-President would influence the course of American history long after she was dead-and-buried.

Andrew Bartlett
13 years ago

I just have to say I love that photo of The Senator – maybe the Senate could adopt “this place matters” as a sort of ‘all that is old is new again’ slogan for the post-July 1 era.

C.L.
13 years ago

Whenever they mention Opus Dei, I know they’re flummoxed. :)