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
Apathetic Sarah imagines John Macarthur as a supporter of Camden’s charming Kate McCulloch
2020 conference is the get together that just keeps giving. Andrew Norton finds so much that amuses. In particular the bit about work/life balance which – in light of Rudd’s fightin’ words about the public service last week – is also occupying Kev Gillett.
Possum and Mark Bahnisch both conclude that today’s Newspoll shows that Nelson’s petrol taxes populism didn’t work. Both suggest that MSM pundits stuffed it again and that “a majority of voters dont think that either party can do anything to lower fuel prices, or are uncommitted on the question.”
Jeremy Sear is particularly peeved by the federal Coalition’s delaying tactics on gay law reform, and thinks that having to give swags to the homeless is a telling comment on Australian social policy (but a good idea just the same).
Peter Martin launches a last-ditch defence of ACCC boss Graeme Samuel whose contract is up for renewal.
Harry Clarke takes a deep breath, crosses his fingers and backs Obama for President.
Michael J Totten provides detailed on-the-spot insights (and photo essay) on troubled Serbia.(Highly recommended)
Dan Miller enthusiastically launches a new front in Republican smearing of Obama with a claim that he’s an adherent of Black Liberation Theology. It’s going to be a truly repulsive few months in US politics.((BTW Does anyone know of any non-aligned US political bloggers who produce decent material that isn’t blatantly partisan spin for their favoured candidate? ~ KP))
At openDemocracy, Li Datong sees signs of hope for freedom in Chinese media coverage of the earthquake and its aftermath, while Faten Aggad and Elizabeth Sidiropoulos track the reasons for recent outbreaks of violence against immigrant workers and refugees in South Africa.
The Stumblng Tumblr has a salutary tale of what happens when a lawyer assumes that Singapore has any respect whatever for liberal democracy or rule of law.((Actually Singapore even more so than China provides a depressingly convincing refutation of the theory that liberal democracy is essential to advanced capitalism. Rather, advanced capitalism seems entirely compatible with authoritarian and even somewhat corrupt rule as long as the government ensures that the interests of the thrusting middle class are kept tightly aligned with those of the regime. ~ KP))
Joshua Gans considers the reasons and possible deployment of unit pricing in supermarkets.
Chris Berg refutes a pro-2AM lockout editorial in The Age.
Rick Hills provides persuasive arguments in favour of anti-intellectualism.
Norman Geras calls bullshit on self-promoting philosopher Alain de Botton and his latest publicity gimmick: the need for secular religion.
Mercurius catalogues interchangeable political abuse.
Robert Merkel takes issue with economist Warwick McKibben’s line on emissions trading schemes, while Kodjo at Catallaxy links admiringly to an opinion piece that quotes the usual denialist suspects and concludes unsurprisingly that the best thing to do is nothing much while hoping someone invents carbon-eating trees! At least Harry Clarke is a beacon of sane evidence-based analysis on global warming in the sea of Tory wilful ignorance:
The science on climate change is overwhelmingly accepted. Why are the right so vehemently opposed to this science? One reason seems to be simple anti-intellectualism and to desire to appear to be against ‘mainstream thinking’. Another reason is the implication that global action needs to be taken to deal with global warming this hardly advances the cause of laissez faire.
But this latter reason is illogical. Belief in laissez faire needs to be based on the facts not on blind religious faith and public good/externality reasons for intervening in market economies have been accepted for over 200 years. The climate change issue is an extension of these arguments.
Moreover, accepting these arguments and moving to adopt carbon taxes or transferable carbon quotas does not make you anti-market accounting for climate change costs can be understood as attempting to get markets to work more effectively.
Nicholas Pickard reviews Debbie Tucker Green’s Stoning Mary currently showing at the Stables Theatre
Tucker Green has taken everyday media stories reported from one of the most ignored corners of the world and forcefully asks the question, what if this was happening to people like you. It could be contrived, but Stoning Mary is one of the most confronting nights to be had in the theatre this year.
Words Without Borders offers its readers Susan Bernofski’s afterwood for the New Directions re-issue of Robert Walser’s The Assistant, while Professor Peter Utz offers some commentary on this work of a neglected Swiss writer.
Gerry Mack ponders a technological question: “why spend all the energy to hack into a Wii guitar to play a song thats relatively easy to play on a real guitar?” (Included is a Wii guitar rendition of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, which someone with a couple of weeks of guitar experience should be able to rattle out with few errors)
Perry Middlemiss suggests that within Peter McConnell’s A History of a Great War: A Novel “there is a very good novel lurking within these pages, struggling to get out”
Stanley Fish considers the nine million dollar affirmative action plan for conservative academics currently being considered by the administration of the University of Colorado.
Lars of Spurious after reading William Golding’s The Spire: –
But I must have more Golding – immediately. I need to read everything if only to have done with it. I need to know of what this book is part – what movement. Madness – but not a private madness. Not the malaise of one character. A kind of existence-madness, being gone mad, the boiling earth … and this as the law of writing to which the book corresponds. A madness that has come from some strange law of writing, where language takes a weird detour into itself, becomes thick, clots up the veins of sense.
Feeling a bit snaky today? …
Mark “Oz Conservative” Richardson’s reading of a biography of Rebecca West delivers a convincing if unintentional proof of post-modern crit lit theory on meaning(s).
Harry Brighouse launches gleefully into reviewing one of the first of 101 movies to avoid watching before you die (but which he didn’t … avoid that is).
Coryluscontorta positively reviews a book whose title should make it easy to promote: Bonk – The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science.
Tony the Teacher mounts a defence of paying Aussie cricketers biggish pots of money to play hit and giggle cricket in India.
Matt at Green and Gold Rugby looks at the 30 man Wallabies train-on squad announced yesterday
Snark, strangeness and charm
Cam Riley links to some images of Sydney’s Tank Stream, once the lifeblood of the colony, now an enclosed trickle.
Adrian explains why cabbies should be exempt from seat belt laws.
Geoff Robinson discusses the idea’s contained in Skocpol’s Social Revolutions in the Modern World, particularly those related to the Iranian revolution.
Audaciously embracing pot and black kettle tactics, Kim at LP accuses Fairfax of “bottom feeder search optimisation strategy” for publishing stories on Corey Worthington and that crap “reality” TV show starting with a B.
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