Missing Link Daily

Tuesday’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



The Missing Link team feels that we should complete this apology form and send it to Tim Blair, who is mightily offended because we failed to perceive the vital importance and deep reader interest in maintaining the rage against Niall Cook for a racist remark he made on his blog 4 1/2 years ago, when after some arsehole ran into his car and then pissed off Niall referred to the hit and run driver as an “ignorant, slitty-eyed, slimy little Landcruiser-driving vietnamese prick”. 

Kim would like to see a little less spin about ‘symbolism over substance’ and a lot more substance in the punditariat’s political commentary.((Apart from Brendan Nelson and Rupert, who wouldn’t? ~GT)) Lyn Calcutt predicts Brendan Nelson’s preferred PM rating will be up to 90 per cent next week. Phil Gomez invites reader suggestions for the questions the Canberra media pack should be asking.

Andrew Bartlett’s blog is back on-line and spam-free, wasting no time in belatedly weighing into the Henson affair and siding with Hetty.

Not to mention a long-ish post about Big Brother whose argument I (KP) confess I found a little hard to follow.

Graham Young probes the entrails of the conservative parties merger in Queensland and divines evil omens for Springborg.

Tim Blair thinks there’s something strange about Robert Merkel thinking there’s something strange about “punters” demanding lower petrol prices at the same time as they want action on global warming (which Tim thinks isn’t happening).(KP – And of course Tim, in common with the pollies on both sides and much of the MSM, blithely ignores the fact that, in the absence of a magic pudding, cutting petrol taxes must logically result in either increases in other taxes which the same “punters” pay or cutting services which they don’t want to lose.)


Did Di’s butler do her? Clarrie Rivers can’t make up his mind.

Henry Farrell analyses the arguments on why the Irish should be condemned for voting against the Lisbon treaty and finds them wanting.  Mark Edward Manning more or less agrees.

Turcopolier predicts falling world oil prices as the Saudis apparently decide to boost production.

At openDemocracy, Paul Rogers looks at the US’s Iran-Iraq policy and doesn’t much like what he sees.


Andrew Leigh nominates areas in which he would like to see a little more cost-benefit analysis and a little less moral panic.  ((Surely our new phrase of the moment, to replace ‘calling bullshit’.~gilmae)) He also worries that expanding maternity leave might cause a further drop in teacher quality.

Ken Parish finds that he doesn’t actually agree with the LDPs 30/30 tax policy – indecisive much?

luxurious vertigo

us at the beach

heaven forbid art youth and beauty

you move too fast man

Issues analysis

No sports news to speak of so I’ll be self-indulgent and insert this YouTube of a great try by James Horwill in Saturday’s Australia v Ireland rugby game. If Deans can get them playing like this more often everyone will be happy (except possibly Chris Sheil whose idea of a great rugby match is 80 minutes of scrums …)

Reactions still coming in about the new binge drinking definition. Graham, for one, welcomes back our new Wowser Overlords. Binge drinking chav dr faustus binge drinks with just one bottle. Harry Clarke wants moral panic to subside.  Cam Riley wraps up the common theme by noting that we ignore that which goes against common practice and understanding. Kevin Rudd: A Uniter, not a Divider.

Is there an alternative to the religious content of twelve step programs? Is there even a non-Abrahamic alternative? David J attended rehab and had a problem with having God shoved down his throat, particularly because it was the government mandating the program.

Dave Bath looks past the media hype on long-term cannabis use and provides a few facts the media didn’t bother to find.

Jeff Lipshaw looks at impenetrable management jargon in the wake of the Anti-Intellectualism Wars, while Dale seems to have caught the grammar infection from the Australian blogosphere.

Will Wilkinson examines fertility panics, xenophobia and immigration.

Richard Posner goes in to bat for gambling and debt against the protestant work ethic.

At Slate, Michael Agger examines how we read online.


Reverse graffiti” (created by cleaning)

Pavlov’s Cat offers some sound advice for aspiring book editors (and writers):

If you want to be a book editor then one of your jobs will be fact-checking. This includes making sure the writer has not misspelled any proper names, including place names…

1 should not [make it past a first read-through by the author, much less all the way through successive MS drafts and proofs re-read by the author and two different editors into a finished book and a Penguin book at that.

Marcellous reviews Children of the Silk Road at the Sydney Film Festival.

Snark, strangeness and charm

Lauredhel unpacks the last box.

Apathetic Sarah wonders if the typical Gippsland voter is really an angry bogan.

Poor Tim’s out of work again.  On the bright side though, he won’t need to take sickies any more (or blog about them).

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.
  1. Factual errors[]

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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16 years ago

You may have found Andrew’s Big Brother post difficult to follow because you’re lacking context – the post was written in 2006.

Andrew Bartlett
16 years ago

Andrew Bartletts blog is back on-line and spam-free, wasting no time in belatedly weighing into the Henson affair and siding with Hetty.

Sheesh – way to reduce complex debate to one side or t’ other.

By the way, my Big Brother post you linked to is about two years old. Because of the spam attack on my blog, I’m having to ‘scrub clean’ all my old posts and republish them – which I’ll be doing for a while yet. While they all still have their original date, it might mean a big flurry of old posts appearing on your blog reader, so best to check to make sure they’re current (although they are of course all still maginificent reading)

Pappinbarra Fox
Pappinbarra Fox
16 years ago

Where can I get a clean copy of the apology – it looks like something I could use in all sincereity every other day? I am serious, a link would be good.

Sinclair Davidson
Sinclair Davidson
16 years ago

in the absence of a magic pudding, cutting petrol taxes must logically result in either increases in other taxes which the same punters pay or cutting services which they dont want to lose

I would have thought that ‘magic pudding’ is called the budget surplus and the enronesque slush funds the government is acumulating to subsidise future spending.
But a minor quibble.

From the WSJ

My findings firmly reject the widely held view that lower taxes inevitably result in cuts in public services, slower growth and widening income inequalities. Today’s policy makers should take note of how tax cuts and the pruning of inefficient government programs can stimulate sluggish economies.

16 years ago

I actually noticed that as well! Couldn’t lower tax receipts just reduce the budget surplus and not actual expenditure?

Also, if the government really wanted to spend something, it could just borrow it, at very little cost.

Sinclair Davidson
Sinclair Davidson
16 years ago

Fair enough. Using the surplus to fund petrol excise cuts is a worthwhile debate – I’d prefer to see the surplus being used to fund far more radical tax reform. But both sides of politics have no stomach for radical tax reform right now (or even radical spending reform for that matter).

16 years ago

Sinclair, interesting that you quote the WSJ’s “tax cuts and the pruning of inefficient government programs can stimulate sluggish economies”, when I was just reading yesterday of how Margaret Thatcher “stimulated” the economy out of recession in 1981, apparently while introducing a quite significant tax *hike*!
Economists at the time, including Mr Nicholas Stern, appeared to be nearly universally appalled at the idea.

16 years ago

Happily, we are not faced with a disaster of the proportions Thatcher faced. So I don’t think we need to send in the army either.

I don’t think there is any real reason to cut fuel taxes, btw, I just didn’t think it entailed cutting expenditure.

And the government conducts capital expenditure all the time – who cares really what they say they are borrowing for, as long the amount is not obscene the interest rate is the same. In this case they would be borrowing essentially to finance hopefully growth-facilitating tax cuts, not to finance any actual expenditure as such.

Sinclair Davidson
Sinclair Davidson
16 years ago

The 1981 tax hike was designed to reduce government borrowing – which it did. So it’s not clear that the tax hike itself lead to greater economic prosperity over time. The previous government restored fiscal responsibility and the current government has promised to maintain that responsibility so Australia does not face the same situation as the 1981 UK government did. Some nice coverage here.

16 years ago

Sinclair, that’s exactly the paper I was reading.