Missing Link Daily

Thursday’s Missing Link 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



Andrew Norton bids farewell to the Australian Democrats, expressing sentiments not unlike my (KP) own:

Politics is less a choice between good and bad than between better and worse, and the Democrats are better than the Greens, Family First, or that no pokies guy from South Australia.

Gary Sauer-Thompson looks at the costs of climate change.

John Surname notes that life expectancy will always be higher under Labor.

Jeremy is having a hard time convincing himself that some t-shirts should be illegal.

Apathetic Sarah is decidedly unapathetic about a Courier Mail story sooling the bogan racists onto asylum seekers. 


Darryl Mason suspects a cover up in Israel.

Robert Merkel notes San Francisco’s plans for a suitable memorial for Dubya’s presidency.

Michael Totten notes that last month’s truce agreement in Lebanon is more illusion than reality.

More on Zimbabwe from Norman Geras, Brian Micklethwait and Mick Hume at Spiked:

There are not one but two Zimbabwe crises, which are becoming confused in the endless heated discussions about what should be done.

One is the local political crisis within Zimbabwe itself, as the dictatorial regime of Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF clings to power and suppresses the opposition. The other is the crisis of authority facing the Western-led international community, which is trying to use Zimbabwe as a cause around which to forge a new post-Iraq consensus. Mixing up these two crises, and internationalising Zimbabwes internal power struggle, can only make matters worse.

At openDemocracy, Gerard Prunier looks at the current mess in Sudan and the intractable Darfur conflict.


Mirko Bagaric, the Deakin Law professor who fancies himself as Australia’s own Alan Dershowitz, applies his talent for fudging facts((“…it is important to note that Pratt has already been punished, in the form of a $36 million dollar fine, for the price fixing which was the subject of his evidence to the ACCC.” In fact it was Pratt’s company Visy, that was fined the $36 million. ~GT)) and torturing logic((“The most disappointing thing to emerge as a result of the charges is that Pratt was charged at all.” ~GT)) to a defence of Richard Pratt.

Peter Martin, Joshua Gans and Tim Dunlop wrestle with issues surrounding whether and how to include petrol in an emissions trading system. 

Robert Murphy (guest posting at Ilana Mercer) makes the libertarian case for free markets in financial derivatives (despite scare stories about speculative activity being a factor in high oil prices).

funny girl


more Corby relatives

drinking sepia

Issues analysis

Peter Martin reports on the bi-partisan refusal in Canberra to discuss whether or not petrol should be part of an emissions trading scheme. Joshua Gans discusses why it may not be appropriate to include petrol in an emissions trading scheme. Hint: It’s the car that emits.

Chemical castration sounds nasty and effective, but dr faustus suggests that it seems effective because of sample bias: people who use it are the ones who are determined not to offend already.

Darryl Mason finds some good news in a new survey Trends in Australian Public Opinion (PDF).

Brian Bahnisch looks at the real world implications of sea level rise.

Axel Bruns summarises proceedings at some conference on citizen journalism and related issues (here, here and here).

William Saletan makes the case for a genetic basis for homosexuality (it’s all their mums’ fault because they like blokes too).


Dianna Simmonds gives a rave review to a new Australian Opera production of My Fair Lady(!).

Shooting Down Pictures offers a video-essay of Francois Traffaut’s Two English Girls

Lucy Tartan considers the recent adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park shown on the ABC last Sunday, which exhibited a rather cavalier attitude to the source text (stay for the comments)

Ben Ellis offers some early reflections on Slavoj Zizek’s latest tome In Defence of Lost Causes:

“As Claire loves pointing out to me, feudalism was looking pretty indestructible as a self-replicating system until the black plague. Zizek’s quotation makes me want to ask questions in a playwriting sense about utopian thought – what if the existence of today’s society, the struggle to keep it as it is with all of its inequalities intact, is the truly unrealistic and hidden utopian project of our personas? Will understanding this help us to break it?”


Niall Cook* on some of the changes the V8 Supercar Championship will have to undergo due to increased awareness and concern for carbon emissions.

Matt previews the weekend’s Australia v France rugby test.

“Captain” Watson give an emphatic thumbs down to new Nine network AFL talk show Footy Classified.

Snark, strangeness and charm

Responding to an earlier Missing Link citation, Jacques Chester discusses alternatives to colonising other planets;artificial habitats.

Audrey reports on an interesting breakthrough in animal husbandry((Kids – don’t try this at home. ~GT))

Oanh has been cooking up comfort food.

Jeremy feels insulted by the simplicity of the new ‘keyboard peripheral’ for guitar hero.((If it bothers him that much, maybe he should take piano lessons. ~GT))

tigtog invites readers to nitpick an anti sex-education rant.

Tony the Teacher discovers (vicariously) the perils of sitting down in a Hawthorn bar.

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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21 Responses to Missing Link Daily

  1. NPOV says:

    Anyone see the article about Muslim leaders proposing that polygamy should be legalised in Australia?


    I wonder what our resident libertarians have to say on the matter. FWIW, I can’t really find myself supporting it with the knowledge that it will inevitably lead to a large number of men with multiple wives, and very little chance of the reverse occurring. Otherwise, in principle, I don’t have a problem with any number of adults deciding they wish to consider themselves “married”, though the problems it would cause regarding taxation and government benefits would be considerable.

  2. NPOV says:

    Your “why it may not be appropriate to include petrol” link appears to be wrong…it goes to Peter Martin’s blog. I’m guessing it shoudl be to this:

  3. John Grenfield says:


    What does it matter if the outcome is not gender-parity? Surely the only concern should be freedom of choice?

  4. John Grenfield says:

    Remember, most of the differences in gender outcomes in our society are freely chosen.

  5. NPOV says:

    Because of a historical tradition of strongly male-dominated societies. The degree of male domination is likely to naturally break down over time anyway (as it has among Christianity-based cultures), but allowing polygamy is only likely to encourage a step backwards. And I would argue that this would significantly reduce freedom of choice for many women.

    What happened to your second ‘e’, BTW?

  6. NPOV says:

    Um…”Newspolls also show the Coalition 10 points in front in Victoria and Queensland”…unless I’m missing something, the Newspolls show the reverse of this.

  7. gilmae says:

    NPOV: You are correct about the link, yes. ^C, why did you forsake me?

  8. Jeremy says:

    “If it bothers him that much, maybe he should take piano lessons.”

    No need, Gummo, the post actually linked to YouTube of me bashing away.

  9. Ken Parish says:

    oops you’re right NPOV. I’ve deleted the item on the Newspolls. Read the feed reader too fast.

  10. Have our legal posts dropped off the Troppo radar? LE did a beauty on Janet Albrechtsen’s attemts to wade in on the law of restitution: http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2008/06/poor-old-keith-mason/

  11. gilmae says:

    Legal Eagle gives a slap to the notion that judges making precedent is unprecedented. Or necessarily wrong. (With apologies to Ms Eagle for the lack of link. And ashamed glances in the direction of mum; won’t happen again.)

    The law is a a moving, unknown beast. I know that sends terror into the heart of all and sundry, but the fact of the matter is that the law changes and shifts with time (generally slowly, but it does). Otherwise we could still apply decisions from 200 years ago and not bother with any new decisions. The law has to shift or else it becomes unjust, calcified in precedent, and unable to adapt to changing circumstance.

  12. JM says:

    “and the Democrats are better than the Greens, Family First, or that no pokies guy from South Australia.”

    Which is an interesting viewpoint, to which I can only retort “GST. Meg Lees”

  13. Patrick says:

    I wonder what our resident libertarians have to say on the matter.

    In principle, I acknowledge that there is an argument for gay, polygamous or whatever marriage and doubt than any of them is inherently worse for ‘the kids’ than an other – presumably all are on average better than single motherhood.

    In practice, I prefer the traditional monogamous union, however badly it seems to be practiced. But I don’t think my preference is strong enough to legislate it.

    But I don’t know if I qualify as a libertarian except by contrast with NPOV :)

  14. NPOV says:

    Patrick, I’m perfectly OK with allowing adults to form whatever groupings they like and conceive and rear children in such groups – the problem comes once a government is seen to sanction a practise that has traditonally been arguably somewhat degrading to women. Certainly no government would want to be seen to be legalising polygamy because of the demands of Muslim males.
    If women and men were equally forthcoming in demanding the right to marry polygamously I’d be with them all the way.

  15. NPOV says:

    (BTW the second Joshua Gans link is still wrong.)

  16. Gummo Trotsky says:


    My error. I blame Monday’s encounter with … (double bass pedal note) … public dentistry.

  17. Kevin says:

    Why do you have so many anti-American and anti-Israel posts in your line up? Why are you guys always boosting the enemy?

  18. NPOV says:

    BTW, I assume it’s not just me that can’t access JQ’s site?

  19. Nope, I can’t get to JQ either. He was fine a couple of days ago – in fact, was loading extra quickly. Sometimes that presages disaster…

  20. Bill Posters says:

    If Mirko’s client Tony Mokbel is getting argument of that quality in his defence he’d best prepare for a long stint in the big house.

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