Saturday, March 28, 2015

All eyes on NSW E*ections MMXV

All eyes on NSW It's an election that will be closely watched

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? 

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests...

The invitation to Sydney Boys' High School cocktail evening with Scott Morrison.
Old boys from one of Sydney's most prestigious public schools say they are disgusted that federal cabinet minister Scott Morrison will be a special guest at an alumni fund-raising event, warning it would be an embarrassment to their school to celebrate a man who has "so flagrantly disregarded human rights". Almost 300 alumni of Sydney Boys High have signed a fiercely-worded letter to the school's Old Boys Union, which is organising a fund-raising cocktail event next month featuring Mr Morrison as one of its keynote speakers.
Tomorrow Voters at Sydney Boys will be perplexed

The NSW election is on Saturday. Here is a no-nonsense guide to the ins and outs of voting on election day. We can even point you in the right direction for sausage sizzles and cake stalls.

Snagvotes tracks the location of sausage sizzles, cake stalls, and other fundraising activities on election day. The underlying objective is to celebrate our democracy, encourage participation in the democratic process and offer support for community groups and volunteers that run sausage sizzles and stalls on election day, as it is an important means of fundraising for them. #Snagvotes and #DemocracySausage promotes these fundraising initiatives through the election sausage sizzle map, social media, and traditional channels. It has been running since 2010 with the help of a number of contributors.
The message is “Get together with your community and enjoy a sausage on election day – a great Australian tradition”.

Guide to All things electoral (To boot, Free from Anthony Green BullS****) NSW E*ections MMXV

Greens Call For A Ban On Election Day Sausage Sizzle

The Australian Greens have today called for the immediate banning of the traditional election day sausage sizzle, saying that it is highly insensitive to vegetarians and the phallic nature of the sausage is intimidatory towards female voters.
A spokesperson for the Greens explained the call to ban the sausage to The (un)Australian, saying: “For too long voters have been forced to endure children trying to foist a sausage on people as they line up to vote, the smell of burning dead animals is horrific and then you’re confronted with this giant phallic symbol, it’s too much I just want to vote damn it and aggressively push my Green Party how to vote card on other voters.”
When we raised the issue of the election day sausage sizzle being a great way for schools and community groups to raise funds, the spokesperson responded by saying: “They could sell tofu or salad or mung beans, it’s not all about meat you know a lot of my friends love mung beans.”
A spokesperson for Premier Mike Baird refused to be drawn into the debate, while Opposition leader Luke Foley asked us what Baird was doing and said he’d consult Unions NSW and get back to us.
The (un)Australian didn’t dare raise the issue with the Shooters and Fishers Party as they’re armed and crazy.
Mark Williamson

Friday, March 27, 2015

Spyless World

AT&T charging customers not to spy on them

The invention of underwear with pockets, there is no great stagnation

Does thinking of God make people take more risks?

Effective leaders inspire with stories

A CEO’s character can change a company’s culture, the way it operates, and its performance.
A Culture of Personality

Leaders who can tell the story of an enterprise and communicate how employees working together make a difference will succeed in engaging their staff.
However, storytelling in a business context is not without its risks. So says Steve Denning, author of The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling and consultant for clients such as GE, IBM and Netflix. “Stories are powerful tools,” he says. “And like all powerful tools, they are quite dangerous. A story will reveal much more clearly what is going on. So, if a firm has a bad goal – perhaps to make money for the boss and enable him to make his bonus for the year – then the story will unfailingly reveal this and have the opposite effect from what the executive might have hoped
Effective leaders inspire with stories
Our social and political life is awash in unconsciously held Christian ideas broken from the theology that gave them meaning, and it’s hungry for the identification of sinners—the better to prove the virtue of the accusers and, perhaps especially, to demonstrate the sociopolitical power of the accusers.
That is from Joseph Bottum

People and companies charged with tax fraud or tax evasion should be granted the presumption of innocence in court, according to a parliamentary inquiry that pushes the federal government to radically overhaul current rules.
Committee calls for rethink on ATO powers to fight tax evasion A copy of the Report can be found here. The ATO statement responding to the Report can be found here. 

Hundreds of thousands of stressed-out people across France have recently taken to an unlikely means of relaxation. 
Coloring Books for Existential Angst

Keepbo is an anti-loss wireless button that can track valuables in real-time

This is from his Polemics book:
43. In point of truth, the headscarf law expresses only one thing: fear.  Westerners in general, and the French in particular, are no more than a bunch of shivering cowards.  What are they afraid of?  Barbarians, as usual.  Barbarians both at home, the ‘suburban youths’, and abroad the ‘Islamic terrorists’.  Why are they afraid?  Because they are guilty, but claim to be innocent.  Guilty from the 1980s onward of having renounced and tried to dismantle every politics of emancipation, every revolutionary form of reason, every true assertion of something other than what is.  Guilty of clinging to their miserable privileges.  Guilty of being no more than grown-up kids who play with their many purchases.  Yes, indeed, ‘after a long childhood, they have been made to grow up’.  They are thus afraid of whatever is a little less old than they are, such as, for example, a stubborn young lady.
44. But most of all, Westerners in general, and the French in particular, are afraid of death.  They can no longer even imagine that an idea is something worth taking risks for.  ‘Zero deaths’ is their most important desire.  Well, they see millions of people throughout the world who have no reason to be afraid of death.  And among them, many die for an idea nearly every day.  For the ‘civilized’, that is a source of intimate terror.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

All Roads Lead to Sydney in 2015 AD - Infrastructure is Worse now than in 1980

By 2060 Sydney and Melbourne are forecast to have populations greater than the whole of Australia in 1950. Overcrowding and under-resourcing has put huge pressure on our cities.

good vs. bad deflation
EXCLUSIVE. Bidders: Rapid population growth in Sydney is putting pressure on housing stock and property prices. The population of NSW will increase by about half a million during the next term of parliament – that's roughly equivalent to adding another Newcastle. But neither major party has a detailed policy on how to respond to the projected increase. The Sad Story; Sydney

The operator of a Chinese-language real estate website says the Foreign Investment Review Board crack down on illegal property buying is "racist" while Ray White Real Estate chairman Brian White urged calm in response to fears Chinese buyers are pushing up prices...  Chinese real estate buyers

The Ausie V Chinese cement comparison

AUSTRALIA'S biggest toll road operator has warned Sydney's congestion will become much worse than gridlocked cities such as Los Angeles unless motorists are charged a user-pays fee based on how far they drive. Tolls and Bells

If someone has more than one mortgage of course they're negatively gearing. You'd be an idiot not to.
Around one in seven Australian taxpayers own rental properties, but among federal politicians it is at least one in three.
Figures compiled by property authors Lindsay David, Paul Egan and Philip Soos show federal politicians own an average 2.4 properties each, including their family homes.
Politicians have skin in the game on negative gearing debate

Hundreds of overseas sourced workers in Australia's booming off-shore oil and gas sector could be plunged into illegal status from Thursday when the Federal Court is due to rule on the application of law governing their employment.
The case could have major implications for the offshore slice of the $200 billion sector which, according to the government, accounts for some $28 billion of economic activity. 
IIlegal Slaves

Self-reporting to authorities of suspected foreign bribery and corruption by Australian companies is failing to occur, with top accounting firm Deloitte revealing it has investigated at least 100 potentially illegal acts involving local firms in the past two years. Bribery 

CODA: Daniel Davies reviews New Zealand

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bohemians on Book Jackets

Jozef  likened reading footnotes to 'having to go downstairs to answer the door while in the midst of making love.' 

The bestselling book in each year

Prague, Czech Republic rounded out the top five. 
One of Britons' favourite places to visit in North Africa has been named the world's top destination by TripAdvisor users.
With its desert landscape and bustling souks, Marrakech came out on top in the website's annual Travellers' Choice Awards for the first time.
It finished ahead of Siem Reap in Cambodia and Istanbul in Turkey, which finished second and third, respectively. London missed out on a spot in the top five, finishing sixth.
Lidka and Eva are Happy About this Survey 

How to succeed as an Bohemians, Slavic  or Indian writer: Write about India, but in English and for the West. “It is a shameful experience; it produces feelings of irrelevance and inauthenticity”... Anglicke Rozpravky

Roots of the Bohemian Characters

Bad Kulture Drives Out Good

Too bad it wasn’t holy water

No second-rate apparatchik, young Stalin could be shy or gregarious, vindictive or solicitous, ideological or pragmatic: Whatever the situation required... Stalin would make a great CEO in 2015 AD ...

Ben Yagoda reviews Culture Crash
  Universities have become businesses, and businesses now generate knowledge and culture. In such a world, what’s the role of change agent and devil's advocate?

When did difficulty become suspect in orhanisation or communities with good culture? The ideal of seriousness was never widely shared, but it used to be seen as worth striving for ...

We live in an injury culture. That’s not cynicism, it’s fact. Pain is a fount of creative inspiration. And self-indulgence.. Insults to injuries

Have you heard the story of the Duchess of Argyll’s sex scandal? Gore Vidal’s salacious, sardonic tales were well rehearsed... Practice Makes Perfect Play

Hoffice gathers remote workers for doubly beneficial social work environment

Working on days off: ATO public servant breaches code of conduct for under-claiming

Chris Rufer on corporate welfare and cronyism

Why trade unions are so opposed to TPP

As conceived by its creator, Matt Weiner, the television show Mad Men is a running catalogue of dissolution: Its various characters lie, cheat, steal, drink, smoke, and fornicate their way up the corporate ladder in a 1960s New York advertising agency. Weiner frames their sins as occupational hazards, the natural result of a Madison Avenue culture that peddles deception and excess. Each episode alternates brainstorming sessions for the agency’s ad campaigns with scenes from profligate lives led away from the office, a narrative parallel that suggests advertising—and, by extension, the marketplace—is a uniformly corrupting affair  The bard of Madison Ave. L.E. Sissman – poet, critic, advertising executive – had an “amiable, attentive intelligence,” according to John Updike. Sissman’s muse: the office... Welcome to the Workplaces Everywhere in 2015 AD


“His whole future seemed suddenly to be unrolled before him; and passing down its endless emptiness he saw the dwindling figure of a man to whom nothing was ever to happen.”
~ Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

Fail until you fail completely. Mow grass that does not need mowing. Dig holes. The free advice and deadpan humor of Samuel Beckett... No one fails as well as Media Dragon ...

For writers, who thrive on isolation, fame is an odd goal. Elusive, too, because the world no longer cares about literature. Our Imrich is Steve Jobs... 15 Minutes of Fame

Frustration and desperation are the lot of most writers. Even the lucky ones endure lean years. But few things are so compromising as success...
Your Best Tweets Can Live On as Art Prints

Onehundredforty does away with mass-produced prints by offering Twitter-produced decor

Traditional divisions between NGOs, charities and businesses are blurring with new collaborative projects on water

Yet another reason to eat beans (the Hispanic Paradox)


Mapmaking mystery. How did a 13th-century cartographer do work so accurate that you could still navigate the Mediterranean with it?…Map thief

A good metaphor allows you to see the world in new ways. But there aren’t many good metaphors. Most annoy and distract rather than illuminate ...