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



Robert Rauschenberg’s Skyway (1964)(he died this time last week, but better late than never)

Jason Soon has a piece on privatisation at the ABC. Tax eater. Jono believes nothing has ever been privatised in Australia anyway.

Andrew Norton reports that Australians are beginning to prefer tax cuts despite possible inflationary effects.

“Who else but the Liberals could turn a Budget reply speech into a leadership crisis?” ask Mark Bahnisch and The Editor.

Andrew Landeryou and Jack Lacton want to know why the ABC is publishing 9/11 nutjobs.

Apathetic Sarah looks at a Courier Mail beat-up on the Veterinary Science school at The University of Queensland.

Mark Bahnisch concludes joyfully after a Rudd interview by Red Kezza that the former really is a serious policy nerd not just a dodgy nerd show pony.


Dave Nalle is unimpressed by Obama’s political judgment in rising to Bush’s bait:

As a politician, when someone lays out a sign-board which says fool and traitor, you don’t want to pick it up and put it on, and that’s what Obama essentially did. He fell into the simplest trap imaginable and basically colluded with Bush to make himself look unqualified to lead the country.

Norman Geras keeps the focus on aid to Burmese cyclone victims and the possibility of some form of forceable intervention.

Michael Totten thinks Lebanon won’t become another Gaza Strip (which still leaves plenty of room for a lower order ongoing shithole disaster).


Legal Eagle argues that saying sorry can stop you getting sued.11. KP: Which might well be worth seriously considering if it weren’t for the clauses in many liability insurance contracts which void the policy if the insured makes any admission of liability. I suppose you could always say something like “I’m not saying it was my fault or anything, but I’m really sorry this complete accident happened to you”, but that isn’t very likely to have the desired effect … []

Peter Spiro begins an examination of the relevance or otherwise of citizenship and national identity in an age of globalization.

Jonathan Adler notes a US Supreme Court decision which has upheld the constitutionality of a federal law prohibiting soliciting the sale or purchase of child pornography by a vote of 7-2.22. KP: I’ll be fascinated to read how the 2 minority Justices concluded (presumably) that kiddie porn was protected free speech. []  

living in the barrier

sale in a sale in a sale

urban patterns

well worn barrier

Issues analysis

Equality in the age of human capital is one of Don Arthur’s greats for those email subscribers who haven’t read it yet.

dr. faustus looks at the numbers cited on software piracy. 33. gilmae: and calls bullshit. []

In response to a Quiggin paper on amateur innovation, Joshua Gans says that it’s nothing new.

Ilya Somin takes a look at “the tragedy of the stupid nerd” and wonders (apparently not tongue in cheek) whether they explain the seemingly endless school massacres in the US.44. KP: As a died in the wool conservative Somin doesn’t even pause to consider that it might not be totally unrelated to US gun laws and the right to bear arms []

Dale thinks the human race is hard-wired for creationist belief and prescribes humility as an antidote.

Ilana Mercer calls bullshit on the po-mo post-colonialist narrative.


(Again via the Stumblng Tumblr) Amy Winehouse, singing Teach Me Tonight before she became a drug casualty.

Chris Boyd cannot help but see the wry side of Melbourne University awarding honorary doctorates to two opera singers, having previously deemed the music school surplus to requirements.

The Happy Antipodean reviews Carmen Calill’s Bad Faith: A Story of Family and Fatherland, which focuses upon the life of the infamous Vichy official Louis Darquier.   

The problem with Callil’s book is the strident deprecation. Again and again – we hardly need reminding – we’re told what a loathesome coward and “mountebank” Darquier was.

It is unnecessary because telling the story shows it. The main issue is not that Darquier facilitated the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people, many just children.

It is the complicity of so many – unnamed – ‘collabos’ including (and this could be further stressed but is probably dealt with in other books) Francois Mitterand, the past president of the republic.

Following David Marr’s piece in the Monthly (now online) Pavlov’s Cat considers the ethics of publishing Patrick White’s unfinished manuscript The Hanging Garden. 

Marr says this manuscript may in future be published but I’m not sure I want to see it; there is something quite violent about being wrenched away from a novel in the middle, especially when you know there is no end. And in these days of fanfic I bet a number of people would have a go at finishing it, which would be more than some of us could bear. If it must be done at all then I propose it be done by a committee made up of all those who have in their time presented a Patrick White parody on Parody Night at the Association for the Study of Australian Literature’s annual conference. We would be each other’s sternest critics.

Nicholas Pickard thinks SMH columnist Michael Duffy needs to get out more if he cannot find anything interesting in the Australian arts scene.

Tim Sterne loyally attends the recording of a TV game show that his wife is thinking of entering as a contestant:

Of course we all had to clap and shout like maniacs; while most people shouted things like “Top Dollar!” or “Go, Denise!”, I amused myself by shouting “Take the saucepans!” and deliberately not smiling so I wouldn’t be shown in any promo shots of the audience.


Moses at Beer and Sport semi-triumphally hails the NSW Waratahs as the second best team in the southern hemisphere, while Spiro Zavos thinks they could even win the Super 14 with a bit of luck.  Mind you he was in a pub at the time.

Todd Balym agrees with perennially whingeing Newcastle coach Brian Smith that the NRL is an unfair competition because teams with absent Origin stars are doomed to lose.55. KP: Mind you, Smith would be more convincing if the Knights had had any more than two players away on Origin duties. []

Snark, strangeness and charm

Jason Soon has the sorrowful duty to announce that he has had to give in and ban GMB from Catallaxy. Shine on, you crazy diamond. 66. gilmae: Is that the only time anyone has ever been banned at The Cat? []

Jeremy thinks Kevin Donnelly is a silly old duffer.

The Hoydens present their Femmostroppo Awards for 2007.

John Quiggin claims a Godwin Quinella from Graham Young.77. KP: Although it isn’t really, because the second leg was calling Robyn Williams a commo, which isn’t quite the same as a Nazi AFAIK []

And, as a public service to readers anxious to know what the Liberals are doing apart from leaking emails about a petrol excise reduction policy that even their own treasury spokesman thinks is idiotic, the answer is: not very much.  Alexander Downer has finally found time to interrupt the golf games to upload a few amiable but inconsequential posts to his “blog” (which invites comments but doesn’t display them), while the Rudd R Less site puts up desultory and strangely humourless posts now and again.  It has a normal comment box facility but seldom generates any.   Maybe Troppo readers could pay them a visit and leave a message of encouragement.  It must be tough being a Liberal in these dark days. At least Costello is sticking with his core strength of silent smirking.

TroppoSphere, in case Missing Link email subscribers haven’t noticed, is now available as a convenient gateway to a world of news and expert opinion and analysis for those with feed reader phobia. It contains feeds to most of the blogs and other sources whose best/selected content we most regularly feature in Missing Link, as well as general news feeds and those from selected online magazines like openDemocracy, Reason, Slate, Spiked, New Matilda, Australian Opinion Online and Online Opinion.

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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34 Responses to Missing Link Daily

  1. Amanda says:

    Mind you, Smith would be more convincing if the Knights had had any more than two players away on Origin duties.

    3 actually, Gidley is injured but would have been in the Origin team. Possibly 4 if Simmo hadn’t been out since the start of the season anyway.

  2. Jason Soon says:

    Tax eater. Jono believes nothing has ever been privatised in Australia anyway

    Where is the EVIDENCE that Jono is a tax eater?

  3. gilmae says:

    No no no, Jason. *You* are the tax eater, and the EVIDENCE is that you gave comfort to THE ENEMY by providing them with material. Commie tax eater.

    Ken, my reading of the dissent in the SCOTUS thing was that the two justices disagreed with the idea that there could be a crime even if no actual kiddie porn existed, which is more or less in line with the decision that struck down the Communications Decency Act. Mind you, I’ll not be hung as the first step in a revolution so caveat emptor.

  4. Jason Wilson says:

    The argument about Origin making the NRL unfair is pretty difficult to sort out. After all, what’s to be done? Getting rid of Origin is clearly not an option, and suspending games during the Origin period would make the season even longer (and would probably count out the option of including more teams further down the track). N

    ote that it’s the team’s like Newcastle – who since the Johns years have relied on a couple of star players in an otherwise ordinary roster – who may in fact be worse affected than teams who have more selected players but greater depth (e.g.the Storm). But if Smith’s weren’t whingeing about this, it would just be something else.

    I’m trying to keep a stiff upper lip about it, and I’m a Cowboys supporter!

  5. Jason Wilson says:

    Okay sorry about the mutliple spelling and formatting cock-ups above.

  6. Amanda says:

    Yeah, cos it worked out so great for the Storm this round too.

  7. Jason Wilson says:

    Heh. Point taken, Amanda. But they seem to be able to bounce back from the Origin period more quickly, and be more consistent over the remainder of the season. I’ll have to look at the stats after work, and I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t mind betting that the Storm have a better record over the Origin in the last four or five years. I think the Cowboys have the same problems with depth, FWIW.

  8. Roger says:

    I think Unleashed is more or less just another, you know, huge group blog, except that it is not self-selected.

    ABC has, after all, restyled itself in the last year or so as a convergent information hub. It’s all Web 2.0 and that, and people can actually comment on the news. I think they have done well in some areas, particularly in making podcasts and even entire tv programs available through the website.

    But looking at Unleashed I can’t find any editorial policy, nor any description of how contributors and articles are selected (apart from the overall “diverse and robust opinion”), nor, particularly, how private citizens might offer their own opinions for consideration at least. This looks to lack transparency and might suggest the building up of an elite of some kind.

    Although I rarely listen to anything else I think ABC is beginning to suck badly as a result of importing values (and personnel) from commercial media and the values taught at the PR factories known as university media & communication courses.

    I have almost entirely stopped listening to 702 Sydney. One of the seemingly endless brood of Daddos has taken over evenings. A caller to his show once mentioned “Halliburton”. Daddo had never heard of it and was nonplussed. I wonder if he is aware at all that there is a small conflict going on in the Middle East and that Australia is marginally involved in it. I mean, not everyone has to be a political science major but that is just ignorant. A vaguely marketable personality, however synthetically pleasing, is not sufficient qualification to be a presenter on the ABC. Or it didn’t used to be.

  9. gilmae says:

    Melbourne could lose Cam Smith, Billy Slater and a prop and still be reasonably competitive. Newcastle apparently can’t since they couldn’t beat the Tigers who were down 1.5 players – Marshall was invisible for half the game. This week it is because of Origin but Newcastle don’t appear at all prepared for the not-inconceivable week when Gidley and Buderus are both injured.

  10. Jason Wilson says:

    gilmae – Marshall wasn’t just invisible for half the game, he was at times a liability. The man can’t/won’t tackle, and the other teams now it.

    And look, the point is that Origin is part of the landscape, and has been for 28 years now. The fans and players love it, and it’s not going anywhere. I s’pose Smith is entitled to vent about it but the only thing he can really change is his own roster.

  11. Jason Wilson says:

    Jeez – “know” not “now” in the first line.

  12. Amanda says:

    They were prepared for it gilmae, they just … didn’t win. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  13. Gummo Trotsky says:

    That Ilana Mercer has a nice line in hyperbole:

    the Marxist-Leninist analysis of underdevelopment is tantamount to the rape of objective reality with political, theoretical, highly artificial constructs

  14. Amanda says:

    Also, the Roar article is just a repeat of an article I think I read first in the Daily Telegraph,

    and if you read the other post match reports its clear this was a side issue and Smith wasn’t blaming it for the loss.

    But Smith would not use refereeing decisions, senior players returning from injury, the absence of Danny Buderus, Ben Cross and Kurt Gidley, or any hangover from last Monday’s draining away loss to Melbourne as excuses.

    “In my opinion, today wasn’t anything about anybody else except us,” he said.

    “If you want to play in big games and you want to be a big club, then you play in big games most weekends.


    Go Knights!! ktxby

  15. Jason Wilson says:

    Amanda LOL. Fair enough.

  16. gilmae says:

    Bah, the scoreboard flattered both teams. Neither is really prepared to lose a couple of star players and stay credible, and neither ever really looked like winning that game. Instead, they both seemed to not really mind if they lost. Anyway, Go Wests!! kthxby.

  17. Jason Wilson says:

    Oops – I omitted to say – Go Cowboys!!! kthxby. (and go Maroons on Wednesday!)

  18. Ken Parish says:

    Whatever. Smith is still a whinger. In fact if Roget’s Thesuarus was up to date it would have “Brian Smith” as a simile for “whinger”.

  19. gilmae says:

    I think the other thing we can agree on is that Ken Parish doesn’t much like anything that bears the stink of Parramatta.

    I’ve always wondered what it was Gary Larson drank to do that to his voice.

  20. Jason Wilson says:

    Amanda – you bet. I love Vautin’s breezy summary – “Yeah, it was good”.

  21. Jason Wilson says:

    gilmae – whatever Gary Larson was drinking, Darren Lockyer’s been into it as well.

    Slightly OT but related to the Roar video – in the last week of the election campaign the ALP ran full coiour ads in the Courier Mail sports pages of K. Rudd standing in a field with the Glasshouse Mountains in the background with “Queenslander!” in huge print at the top of the page.

    And people wonder why the swing was so big up here!

  22. Jason Wilson says:

    amanda – LMAO – alternative: “oh noes! i sed Queenslander!”

  23. John Quiggin says:

    If you want, Ken, you can score the quinella for Graham on the strength of calling Tim Lambert a Nazi as well, but I thought the slight stretch of metaphor made for a more amusing post.

  24. Tim Lambert says:

    According to Graham Young, by posting this comment I am acting like a member of a Nazi paramilitary.

  25. David says:

    And a tick, [email protected] In its little brown shirt and 4 pairs of jackboots.

  26. Helen says:

    Amanda, what are your thoughts on the proposal to mingle Rugby with Brazilian ju-jitsu? Will it still be Rugby and if not, what would we call it? (Mongrel Shih-tzu?)

    (Heard about it on the car radio this morning so if I’m wrong, blame my concentration)

  27. Mungo Amanda says:

    If you are talking about the practice of rugby league (not “rugby” arrrgh) teams employing martial arts and wrestling coaches to develop and perfect borderline legal and potentially fatal tackling techniques, I do have a thought. I approve when We do it to Them, and disapprove vice versa.

  28. Jason Wilson says:

    If I could add my thoughts, I believe that I speak for many when I say that all dubiously-legal, spinal column-endangering violence is simply “part of the game”. Policing it would just make players “soft”. I have several dozen Courier Mail phone-in polls to back up this opinion. Go Maroons.

  29. C.L. says:

    the Marxist-Leninist analysis of underdevelopment is tantamount to the rape of objective reality with political, theoretical, highly artificial constructs

    Indistinguishable from Gummo Trotsky.

    John, what we now need is a Godwinian statute to prevent you from promoting your dotty conspiracy theory about how Big Tobacco is driving climate change scepticism… or anti-DDT agitprop – I forget which. Rothman’s Law, say. I don’t know about renowned greenie Hitler himself but Tim Flannery’s suggestion about changing the colour of the sky is worthy of Leni Riefenstahl on LSD.

    Gilmae: did you ever actually play football? Respectfully wondering because I’ve noticed in life that NRL minutiae tragics are often blokes who were sidelined mites with a ventolin puffer in one hand and a pack of club cards in the other in their younger days.

  30. JC says:

    but Tim Flannerys suggestion about changing the colour of the sky is worthy of Leni Riefenstahl on LSD.

    Nothing said about the entire world smelling like a fart.

  31. JC says:

    John, what we now need is a Godwinian statute to prevent you from promoting your dotty conspiracy theory about how Big Tobacco is driving climate change scepticism or anti-DDT agitprop – I forget which. Rothmans Law, say?

    John as the Malboro man takes on an entirely new meaning.

  32. John Quiggin says:

    CL, thanks to the gift that is the tobacco archive there’s no need for conspiracy theories. Every document you could possibly wish for is there, showing how comprehensively you and the rest of the political Right have been suckered by these guys.

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