Missing Link Daily

Monday’s edition over the fold.

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



(From Worst of Perth) Can this gallery expect a visit from Hetty’s Art Police?  Or does leaving out the naughty bits make it OK?

Geoff Robinson gives a serve to some rose-tinted memories of One Nation and Pauline Hanson. He also feels that Craig Emerson has unholstered some meaningless babble criticising the romanticising of traditional (Aboriginal) life.

Robert Merkel looks at the building of a new hydro-electric power station in the Victorian high country.

Kim would like to know what Iguanagate is really about.

Dave Bath has found some sobering statistics on detention without trial.

What if they had a grammar war and nobody came? Geoffrey K Pullum at Language Log fills in some of the details missing from The Australian’s coverage of a dispute over howlers in a series of articles on grammar in the English Teacher’s Association of Queensland journal Words’Worth.  ((And here at Missing Link, Gummo Trotsky starts proof-reading his contributions very, very carefully.~GT)) Graham throws his grammar under a bus. ((A certain someone will be all over him.~gilmae))


Jason Soon wonders if the Right are right to be relaxed and comfortable with the idea of President Obama.

Cam Riley feels that the Boumediene vs Bush decision (GITMO detainees can seek habeas corpus) makes the Constitution a restriction of Government action, no matter where in the world the Government acts. Roger Migently agrees, but unleashes some of his…err…traditional venom on reactions from dissenters.

An assessment of the blogging scene in Georgia and Armenia.

At openDemocracy, John Palmer dissects Ireland’s “no” vote to the Lisbon Treaty from a pro-EU perspective.


Marcellous looks at a weird case that totally defeated my (GT) powers of precis.((More to hit and run horror than it seems? ~ KP))

For those wanting detailed analysis of the SCOTUS Boumedienne decision Opinio Juris has scads of academic analysis in an insta-symposium.  This is the sort of area where the blogosphere runs rings around the MSM.

Larry Lessig calls bullshit on the slagging of poor Judge Kozinski who apparently didn’t really post porn after all.((I suppose I should really call bullshit on calling bullshit, but I’m not quite ready yet. ~ KP))


Joshua Gans reads the submissions to the ACCC and believes eBay may well have shot themselves in the foot. Chris Berg wants to know why the ACCC aren’t chasing other companies who only allow a single method of online payment, i.e. Credit Cards ((Possibly because Abebooks, Berg’s example, don’t own Mastercard or Visa.~gilmae))

Temujin (John Humphreys?) points out that Cuba’s new economic policy smells suspiciously like something called the free market.

Peter Martin argues that the world is in the middle of a fundamental shift the result of which is high prices for food and petrol, and no Watches of any variety are going to help much. It could even be much worse, the Australian dollar has shielded us. Also reports on a speech by Reserve Bank Governor Stevens arguing that further economic slowdown may be required.

luxurious vertigo

us at the beach

heaven forbid art youth and beauty

you move too fast man

Issues analysis

Chris Lloyd unleashes a rant about jury service.

Ralph Buttigieg notes that Australia participates in an existing anti-nuclear proliferation program.

Mark Richardson feels that a segment of the community over-reacts to the wording of warnings issued by the police to the community about serial rapists.

Harry Clarke feels that pressure from the US is the reason for China, and eventually India, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Speaking of environmentalism, Tim R suspects there is some ideological component to environmentalism. Ashleigh has a wide-ranging rant over tokenism in the cause of “fighting” global warming. Cam Riley discusses an argument that urban planning should be utilised as part of being Green, citing New York as an (albeit extreme) example.

Apparently four drinks is now a binge. Chris Berg feels it devalues the term. Jason Soon has found the threshold where moral panics have gone too far, when Mr Moral Panicker expresses concern that moral panicking is being devalued.

Jeremy argues that when even libertarians see that work for the dole is a bad idea, it’s time to get rid of it.

John Quiggin Awards himself the last word on Rachel Carson and DDT.((But see below. ~GT))
JQ also wonders why libertarians don’t support (at least some) climate change initiatives.

Rick Hills examines the clustering of like-minded America and tries to apply the principle to blogs.

At Reason, jacob Sullum calls bullshit on recurrent claims that pot is roolly roolly potent these days.

Ronda Jambe apparently accepts the science on global warming.((which must make for some lively private exchanges with Graham at Ambit Gambit.  Gee, global warming was a popular topic this weekend, wasn’t it?. ~ KP)) 


Map of heaven (via Saint)

Ellen Moody reports on the Austen wars (via Pavlov’s Cat).

Alison Croggon suggests that David Williamson’s new play Scarlett O’Hara at the Crimson Parrot is “as one of David Williamsons characters might say, a dog.” (SH – Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn)

Williamsons entire dramatic craft is prefab: at no point do we see through cliché to real feeling. This makes it insidiously comfortable to laugh at wogs, or footballers raping stupid blondes, or lonely old women.

Decomposing Trees considers the work of Australian bluesman C.W. Stoneking whose last album King Hokum is reminiscent of the music of the “Depression era American south.”

The Happy Antipodean considers Robert Hughes’s cultural history of the mighty capital of Catalonia capital presented in his 1992 book Barcelona

Amen to Shaun’s muxtape of Jesus-themed music.

Canberra Jazz blog is promoting modern jazz in the city that needs it most.


Matt links to video highlights of Australia’s rugby win over Ireland and reviews the game as well.

Snark, strangeness and charm

Damn! Now I know why that cabbie opened his damn window in the M5 tunnels beneath the airport.

Mercurius corrects the political compass.((The result isn’t a politically correct compass; the PC compass has only two points, East and South. I know these things. ~GT))

Helen laments the passing of another blog.

Lauredhel shares some of the promotional material she gets in her junk mail.

J F Beck thinks there might be some irony in the fact that he’s bored by a magazine article by a woman on how boring men are.((There isn’t. ~GT)) He also produces a predictable response to John Quiggin’s ‘last word’ on Rachel Carson and forgets to put the scare quotes around the phrase ‘Right-wing simpleton’ while toadying up to Tim Blair.

Bernard Slattery is heartened by news (from England’s Daily Mail) that Right-wingers are nicer than liberals – once again, George Orwell is proven correct on a matter of politics((But not politically correct, obviously. As for the research, it’s another of those surveys and it seems none of the right-wing commentators who have hailed it as proof that Right-wingers are much nicer people than their political opponents has considered a less pleasing alternative hypothesis – that Right-wingers tell more lies in surveys. ~GT))

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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58 Responses to Missing Link Daily

  1. tim says:

    Overlooked, for some reason: Missing Link regular Niall Cook defends his racism. And could someone please supply him with definitions for angst and ethos?

  2. Jason Soon says:

    I agree jacques. That’s a piece of wankery thought-provoking piece by Niall that deserves wider dissemination.

  3. JC says:

    I think Tim’s right though, or am i getting it wrong? Naill is both defending his earlier comment while adding a twist. He’s challenging people to a physical fight. i don’t understand why the two go together though.

  4. Jason Soon says:

    Can we nominate Yobbo to represent us? He likes getting into fights :-)

  5. Gummo Trotsky says:

    Seems the most recent post our feed reader got from Niall’s blog was back in October 2007.

    Now that Tim’s linked it, I guess there’s no need to add it to tomorrow’s ML. It’s ironic that a comment from Tim, bitching about the omission of a post by Niall bitching about Tim’s habit of bitching about Niall here at Missing Link, is today’s first comment.

  6. gilmae says:

    No, I saw it, Gummo. I just ignored it.

  7. tim says:


    Niall is actually bitching about a comment left by Yobbo. Gilmae: why protect Niall?

  8. Jason Soon says:

    Where’s Yobs? Hey Yobbo, do you want to give this idea of Niall’s a bash stab?

    JC – what say you put up some prize money and offer to fly Yobbo to where Niall is or vice versa?

  9. gilmae says:

    It wasn’t really protecting, tim. It was a whiny, self-serving post and just the latest entry in a long-running, entirely juvenile and pointless feud between Niall and assorted others. I read it, struggled to imagine how anyone older than twelve could possibly derive any interest in it and Marked As Read.

  10. Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton) says:

    Yeah, gilmae, why’d you ignore Niall not really responding to a comment by Yobbo, failing to anticipate tim calling you out on not condemning Niall not condemning himself?
    I suggest John Greenfield as Niall’s second in this particular duel. Those two were made for each other.

  11. tim says:

    It isn’t about Niall’s whining, or juvenility, or pointlessness.

    It’s about his racism, which apparently isn’t as much of a barrier here as is, say, AGW skepticism.

  12. FDB says:

    Yep, cos it’s wall-to-wall racists commenting here, while AGW skeptics are routinely banned.

  13. JC says:

    JC – what say you put up some prize money and offer to fly Yobbo to where Niall is or vice versa?

    GOOD IDEA. Let’s have a blog sponsored Ultimate Fight “bash” right here in Oz. Crikey could do some ads.

    We’ll have Yobbo v’s Niall as the main event. I’m sure there are many other scores to settle in order to fill the card. Damn, if only Howard Cosell were alive we’d could have had him hosting the shindig (Howard was great, he used to do the Ali fights)

    Im happy treating Yobbo to a Qantas first class to Sydney and return. I’m also more than happy to pay for Niall too. Sorry, Niall only Virgin Blue’s available on the not so well traveled Bris. Sydney run. Lets just book a way trip down leg as we should wait to see if we need the return. After all there’s really no point wasting good money on an unused pre-booked flight.

  14. Niall says:

    Actually, I wrote what I wrote because after four years, I still fail to understand the obsession with an event which only I was privvy to. So I called a guy ‘slitty-eyed’. It’s a fact, as I stated. I could have called him a cunt or worse. Surely deserved it.. Fascinating that Timmy Blair should be the first to jump to his own defence though.

  15. Niall says:

    Oh, and for the record, there’s absolutely no inference in the text that I’m spoiling to knock Sam’s or anyone else block off. The challenge, if indeed anyone wishes to call it that, has been to a couple of serial hairball coughers to discuss their problem with me online or over messenger, in as adult a manner as they can muster. Thus far, I’ve had no takers, in fact, a couple of retreaters.

    Gilmae, et al, may think the issue is whiny, self-serving juvenile and pointless, and maybe it is, but as I’ve said many times, I don’t lie down and fade away. If you don’t like what I write, don’t read it, link to it or comment about it if the subjects are sooo distasteful.

  16. Gummo Trotsky says:

    I think I’d better revise the last sentence of my previous comment, to take account of new information that has come to light since I wrote it:

    It’s ironic that today’s first comment is a juvenile bitch from Tim about the omission of a juvenile post by Niall bitching about the juvenile behaviour of Yobbo and various others – including Tim.

    That should do it.

  17. tim says:

    If J.F. Beck had written Niall’s post, you’d have torn him apart.

    If a conservative politician had written it, you’d be linking to it from newpaper sites for days.

    If Parish had written it, he’d be asked by his university to explain.

    If I’d written it, I’d be out of a job.

    But Niall the stupid racist lefty wrote it, so you dismiss it as merely “juvenile” and otherwise leave him alone.

    Oh, and could whoever takes up the challenge of explaining “angst” and “ethos” to Niall also help him out with the inferences of mano e mano. Thank you.

    (Hey, Niall? It’s nothing to do with you witnessing a car accident. It’s about what you wrote.)

  18. gilmae says:

    /me shrugs

    Okay then.

    Niall Cook unleashes a whiny, self-indulgent post, imagining that he can somehow use offensive racial epiphets and not be marginalised as a dickhead. Still, if he was dragged before an anti-discrimination or human rights court by an angry Asian community, I’d defend his right to say it.

  19. Ken Parish says:

    “But Niall the stupid racist lefty wrote it, so you dismiss it as merely juvenile and otherwise leave him alone.”

    Not guilty. We completely ignore your juvenile posts as well, without fear or favour, unless there’s something special that makes them entertaining. I have to say I think I personally would have regarded Niall’s “mano e mano” challenge as enough to make it well worth featuring in the Snark section. Luckily you pre-empted any need for executive intervention. Thanks cobber.

  20. Nabakov says:

    Oh goodie, a thread descending into juvenile meta-snark. I’ll just go and get my cape and mask from the washing line.

    *dramatic music sting*

    I personally am disgusted that everyone is ignoring Liam’s comment about how some are ignoring how Niall didn’t quite respond to a comment by Yobbo while failing to anticipate tim calling others out on not condemning Niall not condemning himself.

    And I stand ready, and indeed arms akimbo on a lonely promontory at twilight with my cape fluttering in the breeze overlooking a blogosphere full of sinners and sufferers, to condemn anyone who ignores my condemnation of what’s been ignored in this circle jerk of fingerpointing.

    And tim, there is a slight problem with your comment at #18. Niall is not a politician, academic or columnist. Or indeed a figure of influence of any kind. Fortunately.

    C’mon everyone, group hug! (That’s how to get your knee real close to a disarmed crotch)

  21. Niall says:

    “Hey, Niall? Its nothing to do with you witnessing a car accident. Its about what you wrote”

    See? I rest my case…..I didn’t so much witness it, Timmy…..I was IN it. You can’t even get the context right. Why not come right out and admit your angst (there’s that word again!) has nothing to do with what I write, but all about my ideology and complete disdain for your kind. You’re validating that disdain everytime you whinge because you can’t win the ‘good guys’ over to your side. As Gilmae wrote, he may not agree with my expression of opinion, but he defends my right to it. I feel identically to your opinion. I don’t agree with you at all on any issue, but what you choose to believe and say is your issue, not mine. However, if you choose to get personal, then on your own head be it. Don’t go crying about it in the comment boxes of a blog you clearly don’t have a great regard for. Go away sonny.

  22. Jason Soon says:

    As Gilmae wrote, he may not agree with my expression of opinion, but he defends my right to it.

    Gee Niall, Tim doesn’t want to take away your right to be a dickhead. He just wants to continue to refer to your incident in order to illustrate your fundamental quality of dickheadedness. He also wants to ensure the wider dissemination of your wisdom among the masses. You should be thanking him.

  23. Nabakov says:

    Time someone did a Venn diagram of all this.

    Looking at you here Gummo.

  24. J F Beck says:

    Niall,are you typing naked? Just curious.

  25. tim says:

    gilmae: If he was dragged before an anti-discrimination or human rights court by an angry Asian community, Id defend his right to say it.

    Well, thats just dandy. Nothing at all to do with his racism being ignored by a blog-monitoring website, but dandy.

    Ken Parish: I personally would have regarded Nialls mano e mano challenge as enough to make it well worth featuring in the Snark section.

    Keep dodging the racism, wimp.

    Nabakov: Niall is not a politician, academic or columnist. Or indeed a figure of influence of any kind. Fortunately.

    But he is often linked here approvingly, which is why omission of this particular post is so … intriguing.

    Niall: I didnt so much witness it, Timmy..I was IN it. You cant even get the context right.

    It is easily possible to both be in a car crash and witness the same, at least if you dont close your eyes in fright. (Add context to the list of words Niall struggles with.)

    Niall: However, if you choose to get personal, then on your own head be it.

    Personal? For example, like rejoicing in someones cancer in various comments sections and at your own site? Hmmm?

  26. Nabakov says:

    “Niall,are you typing naked? Just curious.”

    Going by your fevered obsession with a few blogosphere identities Becky, “just curious” strikes me as meiotic understatement when it comes to the visions I’d imagine are now galloping through your mind.

  27. Jason Soon says:

    Niall is not a politician, academic or columnist. Or indeed a figure of influence of any kind. Fortunately.

    I thought he was the Grand Dragon of the Brisbane chapter of the Bald Bearded Wiccans (BBW)?

  28. Nabakov says:

    “Wow. Just wow.”

    Quality meta-meta stoush darling. More popcorn? Freshen your drink?

  29. J F Beck says:

    I am curious whether Niall usually parades around the house, does his chores and maybe some blogging naked or if his webcam performances were, you know, special events.

  30. Nabakov says:

    And in the interests of gleefully stirring the possum a bit more…

    “But he is often linked here approvingly, which is why omission of this particular post is so intriguing.

    Has anyone got stats on how often CT has linked to Niallerman either approvingly or disapprovingly?

    And how do you calculate the exact level of approval or disapproval in a link? Perhaps whatever algorithm is used by Rotten Tomatoes to rate reviews as positive or negative could be applied here?

  31. Nabakov says:

    “..his webcam performances were, you know, special events.”

    Are you saying Naill’s appeared unclothed on the web?

    No, no, please no, no need to provide links. I’ve just drank.

  32. Jason Soon says:

    Are you saying Naills appeared unclothed on the web?

    Yep, years ago on his old blog which was called Adrighs or something like that.

  33. Tim Lambert says:

    Tim B, you are to blame for the post being not-linked. If only you had put CT on your blogroll, none of this would have happened.

  34. Ken Parish says:

    “Keep dodging the racism, wimp.”

    Last time we went through the screening area at Darwin airport on the way to Melbourne I got pulled aside after passing all the scanners without incident. “What’s going on?” Jen asked, coming up behind me after retrieving her belongings from the x-ray machine. “Random explosives test,” I explained. “It’s the fourth time in a row they’ve picked me out for one of these. They must suspect I’m an albino Muslim terrorist.”

    “You’re a racist!” exclaimed the security woman passing a wand over my body with increasingly frantic motions. “I’ll have you know one of our security guards is an Indian”

    “But Islam is a religion not a race,” I said. She wasn’t impressed. I take Tim’s objection every bit as seriously.

  35. JC says:

    Are you saying Naills appeared unclothed on the web?

    Niall, is that true or are they bullshitin’ us? Dude…

  36. J F Beck says:

    Hey science guy, you ever going to address the remaining 21 points?

  37. tim says:

    Nearly 40 responses to this Missing Link post, and all of them about a link Missing Link missed. The feature is well-named, I’ll give it that.

  38. Nabakov says:


    To be fair tim, it wouldn’t have this got far without you initially pointing out that a non-issue should be an issue.

    Now I point the finger fairly and squarely at myself for (hopefully) inciting a meta-debate about how an issue, or the lack of one, becomes an issue.

  39. Gummo Trotsky says:

    Time someone did a Venn diagram of all this.

    Think I’ll leave that to someone with a better grasp of non-Euclidean geometries – this pointless little squabble really needs to be charted on the hyperbolic plane.

    I blame Kevin Donnelly and The Australian – if they’d done a better job of getting the grammar wars started, this pointless dispute would be happening elsewhere. There’s no hope of any of the commenters here taking themselves off to enlist in the Austen wars – that’s girly stuff, ill-befitting guys with the cojones to go mano a mano.

  40. Pingback: Apples and Oranges; Pre-Trial Detention and Charges? : Tree of Knowledge

  41. Gummo Trotsky says:

    ‘just curious’ strikes me as meiotic understatement

    ‘Meiotic understatement’ strikes me as a tautological redundancy.

  42. tim says:

    Niall: I’ve offered these vacant people the opportunity to address me mano-a-mano, as it were, over their apparent angst, but it seems that none of them are mano enough to take me up on the offer.

    Niall when hes addressed here, mano e mano: Go away.

    No m

  43. gilmae says:

    I’d like to say I’d pay good money to see Tim and Niall go at it, mono y mono, but why would I when they provide it free of charge.

  44. Gummo Trotsky says:

    Ah, but lacking the incentive of a monetary prize, it’s more monotono y monotono.

  45. FDB says:

    Do keep it up everyone.

    Any minute now we’ll know who truly is the best blogger in the interworld.

  46. gilmae says:

    duh, John Gruber.

  47. Liam says:

    mono y mono

    FYI gilmae in Spanish “mono” = monkey. I don’t know if it was inadvertent or not but it’s apt.
    Pretty soon it’s going to be bananas at five paces across the cage.

  48. gilmae says:

    Explained jokes are like dissected frogs, Liam.

  49. Liam says:

    Right. Gotcha.
    [leg twitches]

  50. Niall says:

    Timmy, you know how to reach me if you’ve enough juice.

  51. Nabakov says:

    For latecomers to this thread, it may help to visualise Niall Cook as a large trophy turkey, Tim Blair as Ahab the great white hunter in a plastic pith helmet and everyone else up on the safari lodge viewing platform, passing bottles around and flicking cigar butts into the rustling bushes below.

  52. JC says:

    flicking cigar butts into the rustling bushes below.

    Being above the bushes….. I hope its the rainy season or the platform could quickly turn into an inferno.

    And I presume Niall is forced to run naked in the chase.

  53. Niall says:

    What makes you think it’s a chase?

  54. Mr Creighton says:

    Thank God you didn’t describe Niall as a PLASTIC turkey; Tim already has a very important job differentiating “display” turkeys from “plastic” turkeys.

  55. Pavlov's Cat says:

    So I called a guy slitty-eyed. Its a fact, as I stated. I could have called him a cunt or worse.

    And everyone knows there’s nothing worse than a cunt.

    … Oh, wait.

  56. Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton) says:

    What makes you think its a chase?

    Yakety Sax generally indicates a comic chase scene, and I can hear the horn section loud and clear.

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