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



The hero. The leader. The god by Alexandre Kosolapov (via the Stumblng Tumblr)

Gary Sauer-Thompson notes that the government seems to be backpedaling on coping with climate change, and argues that private medical insurance just allows the rich to jump the queue.

Dave Bath takes the pith out of the Victorian Auditor-General’s report to Parliament.

Guy Beres disputes Greg Sheridan’s hyperbolic comparison of Rudd with Mahathir, while Tim Dunlop thinks the attitude of Sheridan and a couple of other MSM commentators evinces an undesirably apologetic cultural cringe.

Andrew Elder reflects on the thuggish antics of Della Bosca and Neal and swimmer D’Arcy as well as the prospects and organisation of the Libs on the NSW central coast.

Kim at LP rather likes Stephen Mayne’s idea of nationalising childcare but doubts it will ever happen with that closet Tory Rudd in charge.


Beju looks over the recent Human Rights Watch report on Guantanamo Bay.

If you thought the antics of Della Bosca and Neal were a tad gross, Hilzoy focuses on a US judge and a state governor who make them look like the essence of Victorian propriety by comparison.

Tim Dunlop and Roger Migently both call bullshit on GW Bush’s claim to be a misunderstood man of peace.

Turcopolier on Obama’s chances:

If you think that smoldering resentment towards the trashing of the United States by the Bush Administration will necessarily elect Barack Obama to be president, then I think you are wrong. His appeal is more limited than his urban, liberal, coastal, and black admirers are willing to admit to themselves. The country remains very nearly evenly divided in basic sentiment no matter how much the Bush Administration and things like the “K Street Project” have angered many citizens.

Dave Nalle plays Pick the Veep for John McCain.


A jury was discharged and a trial aborted because some of the jurors were playing sudoku. dr faustus queries, is the jury system even meaningful? Andrew Leigh thinks an incentive/penalty system for jurors is appealing. Ken Parish finds a rank double standard in another trial, with appeals judges protecting a dozy trial judge.

Kim Weatherall casts a skeptical weather eye over the forthcoming Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and finds a few worrisome aspects.

David Starkoff deconstructs a whimsical/self-deprecating Federal Court judge’s headnote.

Legal Eagle joins Jeremy Sear in condemning Victorian A-G Rob Hulls’ slagging of barristers’ fees and asks: what about overcharging solicitors?


Chris Dillow wonders whether Malthus was right about capitalism.

Chris Berg wonders about the usefulness for Australia or anyone else of building a hybrid car here rather than where it could be done cheapest and most efficiently.

slide into the cracks

baby boats

you said something?

more oddness feeling at home …. did you see the big fat guy after Gordon Ramsay last night?

Issues analysis

Do the traditionally married have anything to learn from same-sex couples? Yes, says Kim.

Harry Clarke continues to blog his learning and thinking about acid mud.

Andrew Norton is disappointed with the higher education review discussion paper produced by the Education Ministry.

Apathetic Sarah adopts a Donnelly-esque approach to the teaching of literacy and English more generally, but more elegantly and persuasively than Kevin usually manages, so she must have learnt something at school.

Will Wilkinson plays the Milton Friedman card in arguing for a more open US immigration policy (sans social welfare entitlements – he must have been taking notes from John Howard’s wildly successful refugee visa policies).  Natalie Rothschild at Spiked is keen on an open door policy for Britain as well.((Australia actually just about has an open door policy these days, what with 457 visas and a large permanent migration program, yet it is generating surprisingly little public or pundit attention. ~ KP))

Dani Rodrik, Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen go head to head on globalisation and public attitudes towards it.

Dale wonders whether the Internet causes brain rot or degrades writing style.

Jack Balkin examines venerable legal academic Larry Lessig’s noble if quixotic war on corruption and the influence of big money in the US political system


The Audreys – for PC via Stumbling Tumblr

Nabakov reviews film noir parody film, Beat the Devil.

FX Holden argues that Mark Steyn might be a crap RWDB political pundit but he’s still a pretty damn good writer on showbiz and pop culture.

Perry Middlemiss highlights Bryan Appleyard’s suggestion that Shirley Hazzard is “the greatest novelist of the 20th century”.

Tim Train successfully adopts a Homer Simpson approach to poetry.


And a good time was held by all in Shaun’s live blogging of Origin II. Well, I (gilmae) had a good time; I suspect the ‘roaches had a frustrating night.

Norm Geras links to some very clever Sky TV golf/cricket promo clips (that manage to make both sports seem more interesting than they really are).

Tony Tannous belatedly reviews Australia’s weekend soccer loss to Iraq.

Matt looks at the Wallabies lineup for Saturday’s rugby test against Ireland.

“Captain” Watson posts a blueprint for shifting Melbourne Demons AFL team to the Gold Coast.

Snark, strangeness and charm

Marcellous muses about mortality, contract law and Morrisset Mental Hospital in a superbly personal/political post that enters my (KP) short list for Best Blog Posts ’08. 

Petering Time overhears a man who has seen the future. Audrey would like to go living in the past.

dr faustus reports on interesting results coming out of a long term experiment in bacterial evolution.

Athenian girls who study at the University of the Aegean are Lesbians until Graduation.

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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Jason Wilson
16 years ago

I had a good time over on sidelined too, gilmae ;)

16 years ago

Interesting opinion from Gary quoting the Monash academic.

Charles Livingstone, senior lecturer in the Department of Health Science at Monash University, says that what private health insurance does is help people jump the queue, as Howard government advertising highlighted. It does this by paying practitioners more in the private system, and exploiting the differential created between public sector rates of remuneration and those on offer in the private sector

So in order to stop queue jumping we should:

1. Prevent people from seeking treatment outside medicare etc. through laws? And if we impose laws should the patient along with the doctor receive a fine, a jail sentence or just one of the potential lawbreakers?

2. Should we impose a restrictions on doctors not seeing patients outside the system and if they do should we impose harsh sanctions? Jail, fine , both?

3. Should we impose a law on Australian seeking medical treatment outside the country as that should also be considered line jumping and if so how would it be policed? Should all overseas travelers maintain a travel diary that clearly shows where they were at any particular time. Would the diary run the risk of audit?

These are fair questions to ask if we’re to prevent “line jumpers” getting unfair advantage by paying for their treatment. So has Gary considered any of these questions?

16 years ago

I didn’t actually see anything in that article that suggest that it was somehow immoral to pay more to “jump the queue”.

If some people care enough about getting treatment faster, then they will pay extra money for that service, just as they will pay extra for having their own rooms etc. What I would object to is paying higher (private) health insurance to obtain access to more expensive procedures and drugs. Those are not things you choose simply because they seem like a good thing to have: they’re something you need when you have rare and difficult medical conditions: i.e., not a matter of personal volition.

Did anyone watch the quite good doco on SBS the other night comparing various healthcare systems around the world?

16 years ago

NPOV – Yeah, interesting stuff. I switched over ’cause the ABC was giving me the shits, and caught most of it quite by accident. I’m interested in the Taiwanese smart-card solution. I wonder if anyone in the Commonwealth health dept has had the wit to look at it. The bloke narrating kept talking about health premiums being around $US700 per month, though, which worried me. I don’t pay much more than that per year for private cover, and feel that’s excessive. (I only have it because I’m getting to the age where I may need hip and knee replacements. I actually have an ideological objection to it, and wrestle with my conscience regularly.)

16 years ago

Thanks for the kind words, KP. I thought I should let you know that in the title of my post (now corrected) which you have followed, I misspelt “Morriset.” Notwithstanding numerous instances to the contrary, more authoritative usages have only one s.

No need to keep this comment for posterity unless you think the spelling is of inherent interest.

16 years ago

1. Yes that’s all Private Health Cover is, gets you in when needed instead of waiting, it also never saves you any money no matter how old you are or what you earn, even with the rebate. The one qualification of that is it may save you money if you’re chronically ill or your ill health is a persistent long term problem.

2. As a Blues supporter in Origin, yes the referee did give the opposition a lot of unnecessary help and perpetrated a double standard in his decisions. That is the worst adjudication of rugby league I have seen since the International Judiciary didn’t suspend Nigel Vagana for his dirty high tackle in a match a few years ago.

16 years ago

/points and laughs at Vee unleashing the traditional excuse for a beaten side

16 years ago

The 457 Visa is an interesting creature. It allows British citizen fathers to sponsor sons into the country to take over directorship of major companies, which ASIC smiles upon, but doesn’t allow lenders to treat said sons as permanent residents, so they can buy their own home. Under a 457 visa, no-one qualifies. There other visa flavours which permit the same ASIC sanctioned happenings as well as permanent residency, which makes me wonder if all the right questions are being asked at the time of application.

Interestingly, said son was quite able to buy his home with some help from Dad (company as well?), just so long as the loan didn’t have to be mortgage insured. The lender involved – one of the Big Four – simply turned a blind eye to the Visa restriction and applied a little commercial commonsense. Technically, the lender broke a federal law which requires non-permanent residents to obtain Foreign Investment Review Board approval for the purchase. FIRB were never consulted.

It’s a perverse bureaucratic system we operate under.