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



Paul Norton looks at the current cult of global cooling and lessons unlearnt from South Australia’s Goyder Line.

Mark Bahnisch wonders if he missed the immigration debate.

Dave Bath suggests medical research on health problems specific to indigenous Australians would be a good idea. 

Kim gives plaudits to Ross Gittins’ latest article on the whingeing wealthy.

Tests, tests, tests – nothing but frigging tests. Ken Lovell writes up the old grey dog whistle test.  The Editor writes up the Cate Blanchett test.

Andrew Landeryou decries another celebrity policy wank((Basically Eddie McGuire and assorted others will be organising a National Collingwood Army of the socially excluded ~GT)).

Jack Lacton doesn’t think the Germans can be trusted with guns – they won’t fire them when they obviously should and they might start firing them when they obviously shouldn’t.

The Hoydens are organising the first ever blogging carnival of Downunder feminists((That’s going to give Mark Richardson enough material to keep him busy for the rest of the year. ~GT)).

Mercurius is bored with all the coverage given to Brendan and the Walking Dead((All together now: Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals Everybody happy as the dead come home! Big Black Nemesis, parthenogenesis No one move a muscle as the dead come home! ~ GT)) while the government is actually doing stuff.

Robert Merkel weighs in on Tim Flannery’s proposal to engineer some global cooling.

Audrey doesn’t like the idea of school league tables.

Tim Blair reports back to his spleenville readers on his first week at the new digs.


Things that are younger than John McCain (via the Hoydens).  Brad Schader chimes in:

And I am not talking numeric age, but rather his mental age. The simple truth is that the events of John McCain’s youth, while tragic and his survival and overcoming of them heroic, have taken its toll on his mind and the man is mentally older than his age.

Josh Patashnik remains underwhelmed by both Obama and Clinton.  Daniel Drezner doesn’t think much of them either but reckons opinion polls show that Obama’s supporters are more likely to vote for Clinton than vice versa (a lame argument for selecting Clinton, I guess – KP).

Perry de Havilland looks at spring silliness among US legislators: they want to sue OPEC.

In the wake of the story of a teenager charged by UK police with (effectively) a religious vilification offence for truthfully calling Scientology a “cult” on a demo placard, NickM examines the origins of the “corrupt, sinister and dangerous” cult (although the embedded video in Nick’s post detailing Scientologists’ beliefs has been removed from YouTube – under pressure from the corrupt, sinister and dangerous cult?):

Science fiction editor and author Sam Moscowitz tells of the occasion when Hubbard spoke before the Eastern Science Fiction Association in Newark, New Jersey in 1947: `Hubbard spoke I dont recall his exact words; but in effect, he told us that writing science fiction for about a penny a word was no way to make a living. If you really want to make a million, he said, the quickest way is to start your own religion.

Eric Martin tries to make sense of the labyrinthine layers of Iraqi political manouevring.


Joshua Gans has a proposal on parental leave aimed at changing the return to work culture, giving incentives to business to successfully get parents back to work.  James Farrell chimes in as well.

Slim Pickens calls “bullshit” on inflation-targetting by central banks, seemingly with the authority of no lesser figure than Joe Stiglitz.


Dale at Faith in Honest Doubt and Rick Hills both call “bullshit” on claims of slippery slope dangers of polygamy and even incest posed by the California Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage and the State Constitution.

Maybe we should just swear off “slippery slope” arguments entirely to avoid sliding into such conceptual incoherence. After all, once you start, you can’t stop: It’s a slippery slope….

Jack Balkin looks at speculation that Hillary Clinton might be appointed to the US Supreme Court!!

light and sound



moving along

Issues analysis

Pommygranate works around to the idea of threatening to invade rather than actually invading is the solution to situations like Burma, and reminisces about the golden age of British freedom circa 1914!!

Slim Pickens examines the inter-generational ethics of climate change.

Samuel McSkimming highlights a bizarre Home Office proposal to construct a central database to store the records of every e-mail and text message sent in Britain


If only Richard Watts would stop being so diffident and tell us all what he really thinks of the current Australian Shakespeare Company production of Richard III – Unhinged.((Richard now seems to have deleted this post.  See comment 12 below for the retrieved text. ~ KP))

dr faustus on the movements in the Doctor Who production staff.

Matthew Cheney  Cory Doctorow’s “didactic” new YA novel, Little Brother .

Terry discusses W.G. Sebald’s debt to Nabokov’s Speak, Memory:

“Sebald, too, enjoyed the harmonies of memory and of history, but more often than not he used them to find the underlying horror. For Nabokov, childhood in Russia was a Garden of Eden. For Sebald, the Garden of Eden was a lie. In many ways, reading Speak, Memory serves as a reminder of what themes are not to be found in Sebalds writing: innocence, romance, sexuality, and familial love, amongst others.”

Garth Risk Hallberg reviews Roberto Bolano’s Nazi Literature In the Americas.

Benjamin Schwarz reviews Austerity Britain – ‘The authors purview is the characteristic activities and interests of a people, to quote T. S. Eliots all-embracing definition of culture.’-an austerity exhibition of post-war Britain. 

Nicholas Pickard has a go at sport hungry media and points out the ubiquity of art in Australia.

Alison Croggon reports that supporters of Carlton’s La Mama theatre managed to raise $140,000 in a few days and have put down a deposit to buy the place (for $1.7 million, so they’re still looking for more donations!!! One would hope the offer is expressly subject to finance/funding).


Brian Bahnisch gets into state of origin.  Shaun Cronin live-blogged the canetoad-crushing action.

Matt at Green and Gold Rugby previews the Super 14 semi-finals.

Tony the Teacher reports that AFL footballers have been banned from reading blogs “for fear the vicious player appraisals could lead to depression”.

Niall Cook pines for the scrum and genteel, diffident team support. ((Really? You think team supporters were *less* competitive in the eighties? Hmmm.~gilmae))

Snark, strangeness and charm

dr. faustus surveys the landscape of mobile web in Australia, finds two problems and deems neither intractable.

Tim Train tracks the Lost Tribe of Accountants from whom all are descended.

Apathetic Sarah is taken with a statue with dubious artistic merit and a $15 million price tag((Suitable only for viewing by the blind and definitely NSFW ~GT)). 

Jeremy passes on a tale of Connex bastardry.

John Quiggin maintains the rage on the Graham Young Warming War.

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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Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

Here’s the YouTube URL I should have found and included in side note number 3:

16 years ago

Gummo, this has long puzzled me. Do you have any reason other than rhyme and rhythm why ‘parthenogenesis’ gets a guernsey in that lyric?

Dave Bath
16 years ago

KP: my post was not about “health problems specific to indigenous Australians” (nice and touchy feely for all the luvvy lefties), but research into biochemical differences between races and development of race-specific therapies, something many would label “racist research”.

Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago


No I don’t. As far as I’m concerned it’s just a nonsensical song with a catchy chorus and a decadent theme. And I’ve no idea why in a moment of inspiration I decided that it was a good anthem for the Liberal Party, beyond the obvious mention of ‘Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals’.

16 years ago

Also, Richad Watts’ blog doesn’t seem to have that Richard III piece up any more. Bummer, I wanted to know whether to go or not.

16 years ago

Isn’t it justified by the whole frankensteinian, unwholesome, polymorphously perverse, mythologically kinky vibe?

16 years ago

Oh, it fits pretty well I reckon. Actually, the way you’ve intended it there is some sense to it, in that the Libs are buggering themselves. Though perhaps not productively.

Stumblng Tumblr
16 years ago

“the embedded video in Nicks post detailing Scientologists beliefs has been removed from YouTube – under pressure from the corrupt, sinister and dangerous cult?”

Maybe YouTomb would help there.

Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago


That wasn’t Ken, it was me. And the reason I chose that phrasing is that as soon as you moot the idea of researching biochemical differences between races and race specific medical therapies, some numb-nut is going to use it as an excuse to defend or advocate research into behavioural and cognitive differences between races.

To make my own position clear, I think that the research you suggest would be valuable, perfectly proper and ethical, while the numb-nut proposals wouldn’t be. It’s a tricky business – how do you advocate real scientific research into the effects of genetics on biochemistry, physiology, perhaps even neurology, without a lot of pseudo-scientists attaching their parasitic little selves to your coat tails?

16 years ago

Also, what Laura said.

Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

Belatedly thanks Ken for putting that- ahem – missing link in.

16 years ago

Thanks KP!

Uncompromising panning, I must say. I guess that settles the whether to see it question!

16 years ago

Why am I always in “snark, strangeness and charm”? And which of the three is it being said applies?

Gummo Trotsky
16 years ago

Always? I don’t think so – just a lot of the time maybe. Particularly this week. It’s mostly because, much as I’ve liked* the writing in the items I’ve linked, I’ve a hard time getting them into the other sections – too personal and particular in their subject matter.

* – this doesn’t mean we’re going steady or anything, OK? I’m saying that purely as an appraiser of material for Missing Link.

16 years ago

I always assume ‘all of the above’ when I’m listed. It’s easier that way. ;)

16 years ago

I’ve never actually seen anything ‘genteel’ in football fans. Circa 1980’s or otherwise. The comment referring to the `80’s was in relation to the players of that era, not the fans. Fans have always been unnecessarily rabid in my view.