Thursday, September 30, 2004

Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other ...
As Baha'u'llah knows, this MEdia Dragon is nothing more than a blog dedicated to the daily bulldust and to spread it in the name of noteworthy news and trendy links. Just like the example by Antony Loewenstein of Counterspin Fame who timely links today to the Age article about Virtual Dust.
I don't consider myself very left-wing at all,says Christopher Shiel. But if you write anything half normal online, you'll be immediately tagged left-wing. The web's swarming with extreme right-wingers waiting to kick the shit out of you.

Eye on Politics & Leadership: Back to the Future, 1997 AD, ... Nick Greiner: Dry and Warm
A number of role models have inspired me from the wet, cold, right, left and center political spectrum. During the hung NSW Parliament of 1991-1995, John Hatton and Nick Greiner were among the characters who inspired me to look beyond the way political life was, to the way it might be. Even though Nick and John did not always see eye to eye, I know that they respected one other as politicians who were aware of their own weaknesses and strengths. I was fortunate 7 years and 7 months ago to touch basis with both of them.

The following extract is from a conversation with an Antipodean leader whose roots are Slavically Bohemian, Nick Greiner. I asked him about his leadership style and what made him tick:
Well, my leadership style was in many ways what the academics call heroic. It was based on intellectual and personal strength. It was not what is now so fashionable: leading from behind and talking to everyone. It really was leading from the front. In many ways I think that to achieve significant systemic change in the public sector in particular, it is almost the only leadership style that works. This is so if you consider leaders who have produced what you might call radical change. The only way to do that is by heroic leadership. Without not intending the word heroic to sound grandiose, I think that this is what leading from the front means.
JI: Is the opposite of heroic sometimes viewed as suicidal?
NG. No. I do not know about the opposite, but some might say it is the same, or perhaps some might say the other side of the same coin. There are other people, for example Mr Howard at the moment, Mr Carr and Mr Fahey, when he was here, who have more of a consultative style, a team style, a ‘do not run ahead of public opinion style’ than I had.
All of that is politically much more successful. However, it is also much less successful at achieving results.

The constituency for change that is you and me and everybody else who wants a car, it is not on our radar screen. It is not an issue for us. And that is the problem repeated many times [she’ll be right on the night’ Nick Greiner ]
• · Mark Latham Unless We Change Now Launch Digesting Golden Medicare Miracle Boy and the spontaneous: Love you, Babe
• · · Laurie Oakes, father of the Press Gallery There is no question about it. John Howard is going ; [Dorothy Dixers Jon Faine has a simple but effective method for dispatching talkback callers he suspects of being political stooges: he'll pull the plug on a switchboard full of calls and take the next lot]
• · · · Newcomers struggle to close wage gap Imrichation and the fears of an underclass
• · · · · US Electoral Vote Predictor Pulse taken Seriously
• · · · · · The Progress Of Counterrevolution: Alienation, Culture, and Labor; [On the Radical Middle: They're pragmatic. They're idealistic. And they're reshaping the future of American politic]

The lightest, holidayish, news of all has just reached me about a team from the Cowboy (canetoad) Country in search for a question which has baffled science for centuries: Is bovine lesbianism in domesticated cattle a stress reaction caused by environmental pressures? ]
Stretching a little irony and satire into a libel charge Bloggers are Internet version of sad guys with police radios Nick Coleman writes: Do bloggers have the credentials of real journalists? No. Bloggers are hobby hacks, the Internet version of the sad loners who used to listen to police radios in their bachelor apartments and think they were involved in the world. ...Most bloggers are not fit to carry a reporter's notebook Is the blogosphere a beehive of activity or a hornet's nest?

The Blog, The Pajamahadeens, The Press, The Media: Erasing the Dragon tail: Different Noise
The NY Times Magazine article on blogs makes the same old error. Viewing blogs through the media lens, only the left-hand of the side of the power curve is visible. As Matthew Klam, the article's author says:
In a recent national survey, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that more than two million Americans have their own blog. Most of them, nobody reads!
Thus, the tail of the power curve — which is probably at least 5 million blogs long — gets erased. In fact, the tail is where blog are having their most important effects. That's where self and community, public and private, owned and shared are re-drawing their boundaries.

• Remembering the religion in Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. A karass according to the cheerful prophet is the secret team to which one's destiny is tied, which one might not even know exists; [ courtesy of Bill Ives ]
• · The company's most popular blogger is a marketer known as MaryMaryQuiteContrary. Fortune Magazine Advises: It's Hard to Manage if You Don't Blog; [Sir Tim Berners-Lee Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, but he had something bigger than Media Dragon in mind all along ]
• · · Markos Moulitsas of dailykos tells how US liberals have fought back against rightwing domination of the media; [ Blogs are shaping up to become commonwealth assets of historic proportions End the journalism world's monopoly on seats at the debates, and bring in real experts to grill the candidates]
• · · · The wisdom of Apple, as defined by Garry Barker and chief executive Steve Jobs, is that software is the company's core business; the right stuff that makes the real difference for plain folks as well as digital-age jet jockeys: Shake, rattle and roll Cold River; [Supersize the screen, please ]
• · · · · Steven Levy Memo to Bloggers: Heal Thyselves ; [What happened to most of the Antipodean bloggers? Except for Road to Surfdom, most have been lost and never to be found!
• · · · · · Matthew Klam The New York Times Magazine, a cover story on blogging and the electoral campaign ; [How a political speechwriter dumped the pols, fled the office and found honest work ]

OOch, yet another Octoberfest, 171st in fact, in the city of my auntie Ota’s exile, Munich, and Kafka's Amerika celebrates Poetry Day due dva (two) days before the Australian Election of 2004 AD
Plato being Plato creatively wove historical fact into literary myth. As he wrote of his parables: We may liken the false to the true for the purpose of moral instruction. The myth is the message...
There is no hiding from our childhood myths. Whenever I come across soulfully written childhood stories I tend to wonder back to the days of my bare feet days dancing along the muddy banks of Schwarzenbach (black brook in Vrbov). In 1960s even the ghosts of Vrbov were not aware of the biggest secret hidden exactly at the heart of Europe. Who would have known that the coldest brook in the world one day would compete with the hottest underground spring for attention of children of Vrbov. In 1970s our neighbour and Catholic priest Anton Glatz encouraged the neighbour of my first romantic crush, Anka Semankova, to drill deep into the soil owned by my grandfather before communist stole it in 1948. (As we say, big thieves always find a way to hang the little thieves)
My grandfather Pekarcik used to grow crops and grule during WWI and WWII on the very land where the the hottest, and miracle performing, thermal water in the world is today. (If you want to set something afire, you must burn yourself)
It may be just middle-aged induced nostalgia, but there was something perversely wonderful about the way old issue of the Fairfax Sydney Magazine glossily slipped into my hands:
Ah, you remember the Sydney of romance. Back when kids played under hoses spurting thick silver snakes of water up against the garage wall. Dancing in the backyard under great glittering arcs of water like Olympic gymnasts with liquid ribbons. The Sydney where sprinklers made rainbows in the hot afternoon sun and kids screamed and laughed and ran through the rainbows in their undies. Dad hosed the car and then hosed mum when she came out to tell everyone to come in, it is time for tea.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Long Road Home: The Nice Australian
Speaking of nice people and quiet achievers, a really divine wine, perfected by callouses on the hands of the Noyce family, is now available exclusively at my good old Iceberg club of John Singleton and Bondi Beach fame. To boot, you do not have to eat to buy a bottle of the rare vintage of Noyce vino.
Philip Noyce got noticed worldwide with the Aussie terror-thriller Dead Calm, which also helped launch Nicole Kidman's career. In the '90s he directed two Jack Ryan political thrillers Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, plus The Saint and The Bone Collector before returning to independent films with these two pictures in 2002.
Director Philip Noyce should be exhausted. In the last two years he's shot two emotionally- and politically-charged historical dramas on independent film budgets, then spent nine months editing them both..

• Rabbit-Proof Films Noyce delights in Double Duty and Dragon [I thought I'd lost my nationality. But I didn't feel like an American either. I was an outsider. And as for the saying that you can never go home, Noyce disagrees ]
• · Your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecule Unlocking riddle of the mind; [Unlocking music The Amazing Apple launches Logic Pro 7]
• · · The High Value of Avoiding Low Spirits: Until the night of the wolves and dragonsWe are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm ; [Christians can't stop the laughter. And we shouldn't want to. For we really ought to be laughing back Blessed are the jokers ]
• · · · Capitalism Magazine: Every rational person, growing up, had his favorite childhood heroes. What characteristics must one possess to qualify as a hero? Juraj Janosik, Vaclav Havel The philosophical foundations of heroism [Henry Cameron is a hero, even though he dies a drunk, a commercial failure and a man whose greatest buildings were never erected]
• · · · · Tolstoy Does Poprad and Oprah From Russia with Love: The People You Will Not Meet in Heaven
• · · · · · And there would be a lot of voices . . . very deep voices One of the advantages of having total chaos in my bookshelves is it will lead to moments of serendipity

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Never in a pink fit would I have thought that Google would play such a huge part in the Australian election. Well the Queensland Premier Peter Beattie urged the audience to search Google for John Howard non core promises, noting there are 33,000 results. [ There is no result if one places the sentence with quotation marks, just imagine if the surname used happened to be John Smith result on my imac is 66,666]
My message today comes straight from the (Google and ) people of Australia. Latham's campaign launch speech :
Fairfax Digital Analysis ;
Fox The Omnipresent Decision Makers So Help Me God

Eye on Local & Global Political Issues: Reality is Back in Political Fashion
A specter is haunting America – the specter of anti-Americanism. All the powers of patriotic America have entered into a corporate alliance to exorcise this specter: draft-deferrers and women-gropers, grammar-challenged and duel-challengers, oil diggers and grave diggers. It is the duty of all upstanding American citizens to fully understand and identify the leading symptoms of anti-Americanism, so that our homes, homeless shelters, reading chambers, torture chambers, chocolate refineries, weapons factories, and places of worship, such as churches, temples, and Wall Street, are completely free from the poison of anti-war sentiment. The patriotic American must save both himself and others from becoming an anti-American American by learning to be an active, honorable, anti-anti-American American. It is with this pressing obligation in mind that the following signs of anti-Americanism have been compiled and exposed.
How to Avoid Becoming an Anti-American ; [Daniel Ellsberg Leaks and truths worth telling; The proliferation of political rights and dilution of corresponding duties United States has a long, sad history of sanctioning murder and torture ; Lawfulness of Interrogation Techniques under the Geneva Conventions ; He Says Jozef, You Say Yusuf, I Say Youssouf ]
• · Matt Liddy's Poll Vault Weblog There are people - quite a few number crunchers, actually, - who want to believe the absolute best and worst about the election night If all stories were written like science fiction stories: How Antony Green votes; Bryan Palmer at Oz Politics is tracking the election odds Scatterplot of Bellwether seats which the apparatchicks do not want you to see
• · · Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts accused President Bush on Monday of making the world a far more dangerous place, calling his handing of the war in Iraq a toxic mix of ignorance, arrogance and stubborn ideology. A mushroom cloud over any American city is the ultimate nightmare, and the risk is all too real
• · · · Leave it to the Washington Post's Dana Milbank to discover that Allawi's rhetoric was not only similar to Bush's, at times it seemed to have been written by the same person. I guess the White House speechwriters are getting a little lazy
• · · · · Robert Goodin: (PDF version) Representing Diversity
• · · · · · Indonesian Susilo Bambang Yudhoyona and the End of Euphoria A number of major tests and taxing times ahead for the next president in his first 100 days of office;
[Tragedy marked the closing of the Paralympics in Athens, when seven Greek schoolchildren were killed in a car accident on their way to the competition.]

Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams.
-Mary Ellen Kelly
Compare Policies, Australia's first ever comprehensive political policy database compiled by Tony Huddy et. al. [Amok Creative, Blue Sheep Design, Cloud Caster]

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: What They Are Saying About MEdia Dragon: Pre-Emptive Election Launches
Harry S Truman once observed, When you have an efficient government, you have a dictatorship...
First, the exclusive interview: Howard and Latham talk to Crikey. Next, a story about A New South Wales punter who wagered a record $200,000 on John Howard to win a fourth term as prime minister after reading the election analysis by Crikey’s Electioneering Pebble. The betting agency Centrebet advised it was the biggest election bet it had taken, easily eclipsing a $90,000 wager on a Coalition win in 2001.

• Margo Kingston Latham to launch campaign: Will Latham attack on the second front at last? ; [Gregory Altreuter, the blog with great attitude Some Votes Are More Equal than Others]
• · Anything to escape another policy launch: Land of Hope, Return to Sender, Coincidences, Gloria and Policies: Liberal Party Policies; Labour Party Policies Policies ; Democrats Policies ; Greens Policies
• · · Yesterday, the Brissie Courier Monopoly gave Mark Latham the full treatment Dr Ivan Molloy: Candidate Jumping at the Gun Shadows
• · · · Andrew Leigh examines what impact factors such as surname i.e. Imrich, sex, age, income and country of birth have on voting patterns (PDF version) For richer, for poorer ; [For better or for worse Alan (Angry) Anderson , Strict Follower of Fox News and much more begins New Right Wing Blog on the SMH site: The Razor
• · · · · Shine Disinfectant Shine: Road to Surdom Leading Us into Political Temptation Again; [Also note Tim Dunlop writing guest column for Counterspin links to article in The Wall Street Journal (Reg. Req.): All in all, this is one Aussie election that the world will be watching
• · · · · · Michael Beschloss Choosing the most revealing books about the American election process; [Is Voting Worth the Trouble?]
(The moral, if there is one, is to vote out of duty, not self-interest. Why duty? For the simple reason that the more people who vote, the greater the chance of a happy result -- provided that each person is more likely to vote for the superior candidate.)

Another confirmation of a trend Guardian Unlimited has signed up two of the leading political bloggers to each write a weekly column in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit (a Republican) and Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos (a Democrat) will be added to Guardian Unlimited's coverage of the election
Blogger Talent Moves Up the Media Food Chain

The Blog, The Press, The Media: This Wolf (Dragon) is Real, and Nobody's Listening
In the first clear victory for the blogosphere over the legacy media, the New York Times decides to spend ten pages talking about... Daily Kos, Josh Marshall, and Wonkette. It reads like a blog about bloggers blogging on the
Bloggers Now With More Nudity; Scary thought Journos and bloggers can't live without each other; [Tara Calishain Tells it All: Seven Ways to Save Time Searching How to Peel the Imperfect Onions ; Catalogablog]
• · Democratic political strategist Mike Lux has had it up to here with the media's recent campaign coverage Enough Already
• · · We don't yet know who will win the 2004 election, but we know who has lost it. The American news media have been clobbered The Media, Losing Their Way [ Greg Ransom Sometimes I wonder if we can find our way back ;
Joe Gandelman
• · · · Patti Anklam writes that Reading blogs about blogging by people who are reading blogs about blogging can be a very dizzying exercise Phil Wolff's learning curve progression of the average blogger; (via KM: Ives William [Aussie Cab / Taxi Blogger If I get a little bit of media exposure, it will go off the wall [Broken Link Breakthrough]
• · · · · Anni Dugdale reports on E-governance: democracy in transition ; [14 Steps To Your Business Blog]
• · · · · · I appreciate your courageous pursuit of the facts and I think you are doing important work. My question is this: Have you lost your mind? Iraq War and Journalists: Have you lost your mind? ; [ We need to make room on the bench and give the bloggers a place at the dinner table; The question remains: who's for dinner? Bush's Passion for Secrecy ]

Whoever it was who said that to philosophize is an exercise in dying was right in more ways than one, for by writing a book nobody gets younger. Nor does one become any younger by reading it...
In any case, you find yourselves adrift in the ocean, with pages and pages rustling in every direction, clinging to a raft of whose ability to stay afloat you are not so sure.
Joseph Brodsky
Broadly speaking, like general contractors, writers are famously optimistic when it comes to estimating how long a project will take 20 Years and 5 Editors Later . . .

PublicAffairs publisher Peter Osnos writes in an LA Times op-ed column:
When Moore and O'Reilly sell millions of copies, when Kitty Kelley (author of The Family; The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty) gets a multimillion-dollar advance equal to a movie star's, and when 'Unfit for Command' soars, the only logical response is to up the ante further with even more explosive books.... Publishers have no choice but to go where the buyers are. And the buyers are clearly relishing the evisceration of our political leaders.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Literature invents its own Rules and Compasses: What is North for some is the South
Same goes in an even Wilder Degree for East and West ...
I have coined a term called Librarian syndrom which comes from a personal theory of mine. Women that work in jobs that force them to be on good behaviour for the entire day are much more wild in bed because they have to 'let it all out' in the evenings before going back to their job the next morning. When I'm sitting with my buddy JP and a girl walks by in a power business suit, hair tied into a tight bun, and 'girl next door' glasses... all I have to say to him is 'Librarian syndrome' and he knows why I find her especially attractive.
Librarians do it better in the stacks ; [Fortunately, Lee Gutkind publisher of Creative Nonfiction provided a feedback that changed my life (Inside the dotty sister publication in Brissie as archived by the late Warren Horton) Creative nonfiction LitDot journal) In Pittsburgh they Edit Stories better for Writers and Readers]
• · What do “Wanderlust,” “My Old Man” and “Lads” have in common? Nothing, except that their authors — Michael Clinton, Amy Sohn and Dave Itzkoff, respectively — all work in the magazine industry The roman à clef format has been beaten into the ground
• · · Oxford Dictionary of National Biography the publishing event of the year; [Africa's Next-Generation Bookmobile Kids and project Grinning from ear ; Dragon Tales ]
• · · · Stalag Luft III: Their daring breakout from a German prisoner of war camp is one of World War II's legendary acts of heroism, but now love letters reveal the passion that lay behind the Great Escape: Great passion that inspired Great Escape; [ The promise of life after Reunification: Do Not Mention the Wall; The great escape: four walls and a pen ]
• · · · · To dream the unthinkable ... Good nonfiction books can be tough to find Not that they don't exist, but they're literally harder to find in a bookstore or library; [Even though I am more familiar with the big nightmares, I still suggest to Dream a little 'Dream'; Jozef Brodsky on Remembering What We'd Rather Forget We will not be terribly amiss if we surmise that we fondle in our hands, as it were, the actual or potential urns with someone's rustling ashes. In a manner of speaking, libraries and book stores are cemeteries; so are book fairs]
• · · · · · Ebooks ready for take-off as sales accelerate To Celebrities, Writing eBooks Looks Like Child's Play
{Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested, wrote the renaissance author Sir Francis Bacon accelerate Writer Under Influence at]

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

What shall we do with the drunken sailor? Laura Tingle observed in yesterday's Australian Financial Review:
Bucketload after bucketload of money came pouring out of the Prime Minister in Brisbane yesterday. [John Howard] started spending at 12.12 pm, and stopped spending at 12.42pm, setting a new land spending record of about $200 million a minute.

Eye on The Eleven Drunken Nights & Sailors Is Something Fishy in the Global Sea?
Court Rules a Horse, or a Whale, Is Not a Vehicle: The state Supreme Court ruled that Pennsylvania's drunken driving law can not be enforced against people on horseback, a decision that inspired the dissenting justice to wax poetic.
Labor is wrong to say John Howard is spending money like a drunken sailor.
No drunk, sailor or otherwise, has ever spent money in such a targeted and calculated way as John Howard has done since the May Budget. He has gone after value for money, real dollars that make a significant difference to selected recipients, and not modest tax cuts that are so easily spent and forgotten, or derided as a sandwich and milkshake.
Sunday's campaign launch in Brisbane was audacious but not profligate. It's not reckless to spend $12 billion if the money exists. And even less so if you plan to raise $17 billion more than you intend to spend over the next four years, over and above the election giveaways. That's Treasury's estimate based on current economic growth rates continuing into the future.

PM a Cunning Captain, not a Drunken Sailor; [Counterspin: They are working the system because they think they own the system; Family First set to put Labor last S(i)x Billion Ways - How to Make Love to Voting Cards ]
• · Much as Rather sacrificed journalism to politics, Larry Tribe may have sacrificed scholarship to politics God Save This Honorable Court
• · · Tobacco industry lawyer Robert Northrip I helped tobacco firm destroy documents: lawyer ; [via The best appellate blogger in the world Howard Bashman of How Appealing Fame By the way, How Appealing has a sponsor: LexisNexis (This is the librarian talking ... No one can get better sponsors than Howard; and from now on history will be kind not only to Howard but also the spinoff - Media Dragon - smile)]
• · · · Next week Newsweek Blogged Yesterday They Dress to Express: Political T shirts--on the right and the left--pit teenagers against their school administrators ; [Having caught the scent of a juicy story from the MSM (mainstream media) to bite into, the bloggers were waiting to pounce like a pack of hounds behind the butcher shop The Bloggers: How to knock down a story ]
• · · · · Henry Kisor On one page, nine naked (full frontal naked!) Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court
• · · · · · Justice Is Blind: A Reader's Guide to the Vanity Fair Article Underneath Their Robes: Legitimacy of the 2000 election and the Court's credibility

Google: Revenue Generation Ideas for your Haremish Blog ;
A word of warning, Media exposure is intensifying an existing trend toward a winner take all concentration of audience share. Even before blogs hit the big time, Web stats showed the blogosphere to be a surprisingly unequal place, with a relative handful of blogs — say, the top several hundred — accounting for the lion's share of all page hits.... Bloggers aren't the first, and won't be the last, rebellious critics to try to storm the castle, only to be invited to come inside and make themselves at home. Blogging Sells, and Sells Out

This Eastern European parable about the harem and the brothel is timely for the blogosphere: Making art, writing, painting, making music is like making love. It is something that can be hindered, but not stopped, even less can it be ruled and controlled by somebody, be it kings, popes or party secretaries...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Pajamahadeens: Shifting eyes from left to right
These people have often been jealous of artists as well as of women. They wish to keep beautiful women and gifted artists for themselves, deny them the freedom to make love to whom they will, to write and to paint what they wish. They confine women and artists to harems, restricted areas wherethey are taken care of, where they have nearly everything they could wish for, except freedom. In a harem you must make love to your master and you cannot do so with anybody else. A harem is a restricted area which you cannot leave.
The Communist world was such a harem for most of its inhabitants, and artists were no exception...It reminds one of the way women from the Sultan's harem were able to leave it and go into town, accompanied and guarded by eunuchs.
In the past, we were forbidden to make love to the rich men from the corrupt West. Now we compete for their favour and gifts. We go and sleep with them as soon as we receive a telephone call. We call-girls and call-boys of the Western world are the luckiest of the post-communist prostitutes. Many of our former harem mates envy us. We are busy, we have to make love to many people, life has become much more expensive and insecure. Sometimes, waiting, exhausted at a large airport in the brave new world of freedom, we ask ourselves what freedom in fact is, where freedom isto be found, the freedom we believed in and some of our comrades died for. We ask ourselves, what is the real difference between a harem and a brothel, an odalisque and a call-girl. Is not the world that opened itself to us simply a much much larger harem with many sultans and emirs who want us to make love to them?

• After all, there is one difference: they now have a much greater freedom of choice Like the proverbial proletariat, you stand to lose nothing; what you may gain are new associative chains; [A quiz for journalism ethics eunuchs 90 percent of the paper (not counting the Rotisserie League-friendly Sports section) is a mill for press releases and celebrity hyperbole ]
• · Check out the top campaign journos Campaign Desk Hall of Fam ; [ALL SMILES: When context is misplaced, so is the truth... A writer is a tool of the language and context rather than the other way around]
• · · Turbulence in the blogosphere will continue to affect mainstream journalism for the foreseeable future. Wind and rain, harsh criticism and second-guessing will remain part of the weather system influencing newsrooms throughout the country. News in the Blog Age
• · · · A Blogger's Creed: A member of the blogging class tells why they deserve your thanks Bloggers have no checks and balances. [It's] a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas
• · · · · Web site offers after-death e-mail ; [Australian Digital Thesis Program ; Seaching for Thesis]
• · · · · · Poor Sinead O'Connor wants to stay out of the news -- so much so that she put herself into the news pleading to stay out of the news. She took out a 2,000-word, full-page ad in a national Irish newspaper to say please leave me alone. Oddly enough, it didn't work What have I done to deserve these lashings

As usual, it all comes down to Yeats: Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world...And everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all convictions, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

Invisible Hands & Markets: Jobs for Political Donations
Something like this would be almost impossible to prove in NSW.
Jesse Wren Murphy dropped out of high school long ago and lives in rural Eastern North Carolina, where jobs with good benefits are hard to come by.
But Murphy has won three state jobs since 1983. He says that's because his uncle paid thousands of dollars in political contributions to a state transportation maintenance supervisor who boasted of his connections.

Investigation by Eddie Carroll Thomas, the journalistic brother of Ross Coulthart ; [FBI widens probe of fund-raiser ]
• · Francis Snyder: (PDF version) Economic Globalization and the Law in the 21st Century
• · · Is market demand the lifeblood of capitalism? ; [Oceans of electricity ... Mick Perry, a former electrician and fisherman Aquanator will harness ocean currents to produce electric ones]
• · · · Wealth does not create individual happiness and it doesn't build a strong country
• · · · · Goodbye, Pension. Goodbye, Health Insurance. Goodbye, Vacations Welfare capitalism is dying. We're going to miss it
• · · · · · Everyone knows Parisians are snobs Steve Jobs, Apple, and the limits of innovation
[Truth is, some of the most innovative institutions in the history of American business have been colossal failures.]

Excessive secrecy cripples everyone's ability to act by hiding government mistakes and corruption. Hence public knowledge is not inimical to national security, but integral to it.
-Nick Schwellenbach

Tracking Trends Great & Small: Secrets
Whistleblowers have become a fact of life - a seeming necessity - in our democracy. The most famous of them, Daniel Ellsberg, is touring Oregon this week to speak on behalf of what he feels is a vital part of the democratic conscience.
Ellsberg gained fame, as well as criminal charges that could have placed him in prison for 115 years, for making public in 1971 the Pentagon Papers, which awakened the nation to the illegality of the war in Vietnam.
I've gained insights into the psyche and courage of whistleblowers through correspondence with Ellsberg the past year.

Greatest Whistleblower's Message Still Rings True; [Secrecy is expensive. Over the same period the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on classification increased nearly $2 billion, to $6.5 billion annually Government Secrecy Grows out of Control]
• · The Unforeseen Fruits of Hope Proud to be a Dead Armadillo: There's nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow line and dead armadillos; [Charles Krauthammer: The Art Of Losing Armadillos: Of all our allies in the world, which is the only one to have joined the United States in the foxhole in every war in the past 100 years? Not Britain, not Canada, certainly not France... [ The answer is Australia ]
• · · If the United States can produce the best scientists, the most gold medal winning athletes, the greatest business minds and the hottest rock and roll, there is no reason we shouldn't have the best world class killers, ninjas, wet work specialists and dedicated sociopaths as well This is the essence of cold revenge, terror against terror, but 100% targeted and, when performed professionally, absolutely safe for innocent bystanders; [Hamas Official Killed in Syria ]
• · · · Around eighty papers are available online. Topics range from waterfront developments, public transport and telecommunications to spatial inequality, parklands and sustainability State of Australian cities; [Australian Oral Health Alliance Call for action: oral teething problems ]
• · · · · Vivendi Universal (France), Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux (France), Bouygues-Saur (France), RWE-Thames (Germany) and Bechtel-United Utilities (US) have become the water barons who are taking over public utilities Just as we fought wars over oil, so will we fight wars over water by The Awakened Women
• · · · · · Both Parties See a Big Increase in New Voters ; [Swiss authorities have hailed as a success what they say is the world's first binding internet vote in a national referendum ]

Monday, September 27, 2004

Every saucy rumour spread by a certain teasing governor at the NSW Parliamentary Library would always carry a preamble: I deny I told you this story ... (smile) Blogjams, Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans ... is almost a decade young and is aimed at the youngest at heart. It is a thoughtful work of Malcolm Farnsworth, a secondary school teacher from Loreto Mandeville Hall in Melbourne, Australia Hall of Political Education
On Saturday, 9 October, more than 400 000 newly-enrolled young Australians will exercise their democratic right to vote for the very first time. One enterprising student - voting for the first time in the seat of Melbourne, and wanting to make the most informed choice possible - decided to invite all the local candidates to speak at a student-led forum

Eye on Who Sits In Whose Seat: Litmus, Bellwether, Beltways etc...
Litmus seat. There’s a sense of excitement to those words. Not only do they imply a vote-magnifying pull - an electorate in the balance - but they also suggest the tantalising possibility of foreseeing our political future. A Damoclean sword hangs suspended over the sleepy burgh of Eden-Monaro… but its victim is yet to be decided. Since 1972, the party that has held this seat has also wound up in government.
• Only in Quantum Politics: Spinning While Standing Still The litmus seat of Eden-Monaro [Election at the Margins Pendulum Gallery]
• · Australia's forgotten people: Ever since Bob Hawke’s ‘no child living in poverty’ gaffe, Australian politicians have zealously avoided mentioning or making commitments to reduce poverty Rebuilding the Ladder of Opportunity or Financial Hardship; [We cannot get southern politicians to take us more seriously than a Big Wet Dream Old-fashioned democracy and the Big Wet Dream ]
• · · There, in the basement of her dreams Natasha Cica found the G Spot ; [America's reputation as spot of the free is looking increasingly tarnished]
• · · · Political Lessons Malcolm Mackerras on the Senate, always required reading; [Bloody Obvious Award Every politician cries that their political enemies play dirty ]
• · · · · Life of the party Mark Latham has reshaped Labor and its policies in line with his own image and vision
• · · · · · Counterpunch, Jeffrey St. Clair on Life and Crimes of George W. Bush (series); [Christopher Hill: (PDF version) Superstate or Superpower? The future of the European Union in world politics ; The end of the Russian Federation?; The butcher of Beslan How did the Chechens and Russians come to despise each other? ]

Next 12 Days on the Political Cartoons Trail
Masquerade parties and the trickery of branding political parties
As Paul Keating once remarked, if there's a horse in the race called self-interest, back it because you know it will go flat out...(from the Webdiary commentariat)
Acording to Margo Kingston of Webdiary fame it's the Coalition by almost 12
The new-era heros and battlers defined by the Prime Minister. Now $6 billion for Howard's heroes: Australia should never be a nation defined by class or envy, but rather a nation united by mateship and achievement 12000,000,000 divided by 2 = 6000,000,000 ...

Eye on Shakespeare's 12th Night and the Asterois Toutatis (Watch) Dressing down the Donkey: Kith and kin rather than Kath and Kim
First thing first, the observant Guido of Rank and Vile fame says everything we want to say about politics and donkeys
Don't say who told you, but the bellwether seats will be the real climax of this election...
Although Eden-Monaro is Australia’s best-known bellwether seat, the NSW electorate of Macarthur has acted as a bellwether for much longer – back to 1949, when it was first created. David Burchell visits Macarthur and finds an electorate that seems relaxed and comfortable about another three years of Coalition government...
Election Sound Bites Counter Spinned: Less Than Fortnight To Go [Many of Shakespeare’s plays analyse the chaotic and brutal politics of his times by looking at historical parallels, but he also analyses human relationships, giving people a guide to living with each other during a period of history when many traditional values had been overturned Love Lessons in 12th Night; Astonishing amount of untruths The Conventions of Shakespearean Political Comedy ]
• · Landslide, cliffhanger or oblivion - the polls can't decide [More than 12 out of 12? ; Fearless Robert Corr]
• · · Last but not least Poll Vault Post by Nadia ]
• · · · Judith Brett teaches politics at La Trobe University and is the author of Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class The Liberal Party should not be surprised that at 11th Hour 12th doctors' wives are turning against it; [Australian Prospect Corruption of the polis ]
• · · · · Greens on the Wild Side Creative energies are being ploughed into a plethora of new websites as the anti-Howard campaign gathers steam ahead of the October 9 federal election
• · · · · · The bellwether electorates APO REPORTS AND ARTICLES ON ELECTION ISSUES [Arts Policy Multidimentional Perspective Just Alive or Dead? ]

Our Lust For Wealth Made Us Civilized? A new scientific study says prehistoric hunters loved to be dripping in luxury goods, and the taste for flashy trinkets may have been what turned humans from savages into a civilised society with car number plates entitled IMRICH

Invisible Hands & Markets: Taxing Spiders Spread in All Directions
T am among the first to defend the IRS when it deserves to defended. It is underfunded, it is charged with administering a mess of a tax law, it is treated as though it wrote the foolish provisions in the tax law, and it is a favorite scapegoat of Congress for the latter’s tax legislation incompetence. But when the IRS does goof, it gets the headlines, and leaves the world thinking it’s like this all the time.
Modern culture needs to stop rewarding incompetence, laziness, greed, and crime, it needs to stop pretending something bad is good, and it needs to elevate the values of individual responsibility and accountability to the same level to which their counter-balancing forces, freedom and independence, have been raised.

Confronting the problem head-on rather than pretending that reality is a fantasy [Tax Dodging With Dubya You paid your taxes last year. Your friends and neighbors did. But 82 of the largest corporations in America didnot]
• · Each semester I explain to my students that the worse thing to do when in financial trouble is to avoid paying taxes by hiding income Tax Woes for Philadelphia Restauranteur; [link first seen at Jim Maule ]
• · · Pontiac G-6 midsize 2005 sports sedans Someone made a killing? Tax Consequences of Oprah's Car Giveaway
• · · · Is the Middle Class Shrinking?
• · · · · Extraordinary James Cumes Who is Chaff; Who is Grain ; [Irony: Labor and business]
• · · · · · It's State Vs State For Movies American states are battling one another trying to lure entertainment projects: tax incentives designed to encourage film, television, and commercial production in their states, the battle between bordering states has intensified

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Janka Wendt and the X factor among the Swinging Voters; On a lightish note Inspirational Election Message for the Younger Voters
As always, I am going out on a limb and predicting an extra two independents (including minor parties) in the Senate; House of the People will consist of 6 independents (including minor parties); Coalition 74 and ALP 70.

Eye on the Lucky Country and Its 13 Days Ahead: Taking a Shot at Both Parties
Lend me your political ear: The publishing industry is in high gear this election season, with piles of political books for sale
Readers of MauledAgain know that I don't hesitate to criticize politicians, no matter their party, and that I consider the traits of the politician to be far more important in evaluating a vote than the politician's party affiliation. For me, We must elect more [Democrats/Republicans/whatever] is a distraction from the questions that need to be asked.
Complex Simplicity and Simple Complexity ; [Prof Maul ]
• · All that gloom and doom may explain why the political satire is suddenly hot again in the literary world, and several new offerings from well-known authors are testing the limits of dark comedy concerning world events Laughing To Keep From Crying: The Banality of the Spinners
• · · The Road to the Police State An overhaul of traffic infringements - more than tripling some fines and increasing demerit points - Roads Minister, Carl Scully, introducing a fairer system
• · · · The Rocky Love Love boat allegations ripple among MPs ; Penny Wise: Frank Lowy
• · · · · The Cost of Big Greek Wedding Soviet Style Sussex Street Affair
• · · · · · The Price of Political Divorce Michael Coutts-Trotter's new commercial gig

Many Antipodian bloggers are drowning in the Virtual Spinoff caused by Antony Loewenstein of Counterspin Geting a Guernsey on the Omnipotent Guardian (pick of the day, 23/9/04); Not So long ago Robert Fisk of Counterpunch was also sending heavy traffic Down Under

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Inside the ivory tower
Blogging is allowing academics to develop and share their ideas with an audience beyond the universities. But as Jim McClellan reports, not everyone is convinced
Academic blogging and reality bending drugs [ Crooked Timber looks at a piece by Jim McClellan about academic blogging ]
• · Literary Blogs Balancing Acts Among The Literary Recluse
• · · The Best Barista in the Blogosphere Blogs about how Google's automated search results display a conservative bias Balancing Act: How News Portals Serve Up Political Stories; [Google and the Top Secret; Putting search results on your site]
• · · · Based on the half-dozen hires in recent weeks, Google appears to be planning to launch its own Web browser and other software products to challenge Microsoft
• · · · · Online campaign to push out Howard
• · · · · · Hollywood Screenwriters Weigh a Real-Life Revolution at the Ballot Box Writing Their Own Election Script

Our songs may not smell of sweat and the earth, but our rhymes, not just 'time' and 'mine,' not just 'wrong' and 'alone' or 'home,' are pure. Sure, when a line is great, you can skip the rhyme. But how many lines are that great?
Johnny Mercer (quoted in Gene Lees, Portrait of Johnny)

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Movies Rediscover Sense of Purpose
Hollywood may be giving conservatives fits these days, but the new energy amongst filmmakers is downright inspiring to critics, who haven't seen such a sense of commitment to the importance of the medium since the Vietnam era. With rare exceptions, movies in the post-Vietnam and post-Watergate era have been dominated by the 'me' ethic, concerned more about individual struggles than global ones. When filmmakers have dared to tackle broader social concerns, outside of straight documentaries, they more often than not have done so through the use of symbols or allegory or other distancing devices. God forbid you should actually say what you mean, or wave a fist in somebody's face
Polarization Makes For Gutsy Films
• · How to explain the human obsession with the end of the world? The Doomsday Obsession: there is no shortage of prophets, filmmakers, and assorted crackpots ready to help you prepare for the End Days of Sky is Falling
• · · Blogging for Cold River and Beyond
• · · · Book-banning controversy tears at souls of librarians Librarians consider themselves defenders of the First Amendment. On philosophical grounds, they are loath to restrict access to material
• · · · · Bittersweet Anne Rice, Sugar and Spice creating waves
• · · · · · More Media Dragons Keeping Online Journals Are you Good in Bed?: Do you wish that you’d found the time to make love with writers?; Another Timeless link for Google archives (smile) The Australian Age: Selling Sex

Friday, September 24, 2004

The remarkable thing about television is that it permits several million people to laugh at the same joke and still feel lonely.
- T.S. Elliot.

Some writers so capture the soul and spirit of a people that they are identified with them forever after. In England, it was Charles Dickens, in the United States, it was Mark Twain. In Australia it was Patrick White. For the Slavic nations, and to some extent for all Central Europeans, it is the Czech writer, Jaroslav Hasek.

Hasek - a drunk, a roustabout, a wanderer, and at times a full and eager accomplice of Gypsy con artistries - set his comedic odyssey in the midst of the First World War. His odyssey functions as a satire of the war, the leaders, and the army. Hasek delivers a knock-out blow against the System, the Powers-That-Be, hypocrisy and military service written as serials so that Hasek could milk more money from them. Hasek died 81 years ago, at the early age of 39, so every imagination can dictate the end!

His novel was christened as the Bad Bohemian Beer Lover, but now is better known as the Good Soldier Jozef Svejk (Not many languages create Sh sound with S and a simple the hook S?. As a result, there are many versions of the title: Josef Schweik, Schwejk, Shveik, or Shveyk)

Svejk is pronounced like Shvake and rhymes with shake; (Shake with the inserted v for Vrbov) and they say, So, now you're ready to Svejk and shake!
My childhood outdoor dunny, behind the Catholic church in Vrbov, was plastered with images of the Good Soldier Jozef Svejk. However, most observant tourists are bombarded with Jozef’s omnipresent face on beermats in almost every pub in Prague.
Svejkovat, to svejk has since become a common Czech word. Svejking is the method for surviving svejkarna, which is a situation or institution of systemic absurdity requiring the employment of svejking for one to survive and remain untouched by it.

The good soldier Svejk is anything but; a genial ne'er-do-well, Svejk does any and all he can to avoid actually arriving at the front, missing trains, deliberately misunderstanding orders, dodging blockhead officers, anything at all to keep himself safe and undermine as much as possible the equally blockheaded war efforts. At the time, the Czech peoples were under the rule of the Habsburg Empire, had little to no urge to fight for their gilded masters in Vienna, and Svejkism became a kind of term for the Czech's passive-aggressive resistance. Svejk is a common footsoldier - an everyman - who frankly would rather have a beer than fight.
Like the Good Soldier Jozef Svejk, Homer Simpson is a simple little man, ill-equipped to be thrown into the front line of large historical, commercial and political events.

Like the Amerikan Homer, Jozef was a man who never lived, yet who went further in defining the Czechs in the 20th century than perhaps anyone else. So dip into Svejk at and soak the story for a long time by placing the book conveniently somewhere in the bathroom. Reread and laugh out loud ... Study closely the way the most famous of Czech literary character effectively talks himself into being arrested by a secret policeman, and is later sent to the war front.

In the world dominated by power, Svejk is an underdog, the object of manipulation and coercion by inimical social forces that constantly threaten his very existence. Yet, despite the tremendous odds against him, he passes through all the dangers unharmed. Svejk's mythical invincibiliity makes him a modern "epic hero" with whom his compatriots identify and of whose exploits they talk because they see in him "a modem Saint George, the hero of a saga of a single mind's triumph over the hydra of Authority, Regime, and System-of the mind disguised as feeblemindedness in the war with Absurdity in the guise of Wisdom and Dignity-the sense of Nonsense against the nonsense of Sense. And though, to an outsider, next to the spectacular stunts of ancient heroes Svejk's feat-his survival achieved through his own doing, without any embarrassing compromises with those in power-might seem rather trifling, the historical experience of a small nation sandwiched between Germany and Russia suggests to a Czech reader that it also might be an absolute miracle.

Svejk is found to be perfectly fit to serve - revealing the representatives of the system to be even more hare-brained than Svejk pretends to be. Thus, the irony and paradox. It is precisely that sort of scene that generations of Czechs have come to adore: subversive humour and a quiet thumbing of one's nose at authority behind its back. Many would say that it is a typical Czech characteristic, retained after suffering centuries of imposed rule under the Austrians.

And so they've killed our Ferdinand, says Svejk's charwoman, in the famous line that opens the novel, describing the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo, 1914. Svejk, busy massaging his knees for rheumatism responds: Which Ferdinand, Mrs Muller? I know two. One is a messenger at Prusa's, the chemist's, who once drank a bottle of hair oil there by mistake. And the other is Ferdinand Kokoska who collects dog manure. Neither of them is any loss.

That, in a nutshell, is Svejk: good-humouredly going about his business, oblivious to the gravity of matters at hand. Instead he tells us absurd stories about characters in ridiculous situations, forcing us right away to question his intelligence ...

Last year, in 2003 AD, at Prague's NATO summit a man dressed as the Good Soldier and using Svejk's typical crutches to support himself, appeared at an anti-alliance protest, shouting at the top of his voice: To Baghdad, Mrs Muller, to Baghdad..., showing just how deep the character is etched on the common psyche in Prague.

Svejk is a Czechoslovakian Miracle...a masterpiece about a hero who has not the reputation of Alexander the Great or Napoleon...but somehow surpasses all the famous historical personalities ... In doing the bare minimum to be considered competent, we see the nature of Czech resistance to Austro-Hungarian (and later, Soviet) authority - as Havel put it some fifty years later, it is the power of the powerless - subverting authority from within while seemingly going along with the grandious designs of the ruling elite.

Svejk represents one of the most unique and successful survival strategies ever conceived by man. He helped me to survive the Czechoslovak Kommunist Army, the Iron Curtain crossing, and the Bear Pit of the NSW Parliament and irony is part of my taxing time as the Media Dragon.

Joseph Heller, confessed on his deathbed that if it weren’t for his having read The Good Soldier Svejk he would never had written his American novel Catch 22...
Today in Amerika Homer Simpson is one of the most credible portraits in any art form of an ordinary man, your average Joe Sixpack, not undeserving of comparison with Hasek's Good Soldier Schweik.

Homer is gross - obese, obtuse, lazy, thick-headed, beer loving and close to illiterate. He has a voracious craving for junk food (mostly doughnuts, pork rinds and cheeseburgers) and even junkier television. (I wanna shake of the dust of this one-horse town. I wanna explore the world. I wanna watch TV in a different time zone.) he is a bad neighbour, a sore loser and an atrocious parent. (Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else - and it hasn't - it's that girls should stick to girls' sports like hot-oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such.)

He is not just a controversial moral logician (Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen) but a creature deficient in anything remotely resembling a social conscience. (When Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Indian-born and illegally resident operator of the Kwik-E-Mart convenience store, risks being deported in the wake of a new anti-immigration law, Homer attempts to console him: Oh my God. I got so swept up in the scapegoating and fun of Proposition 24, I never stopped to think it might affect someone I cared about. You know what, Apu, I am really, really gonna miss you.) it has even been hinted that he is afflicted with appalling BO.

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Simpsons Generation: The third generation of the Good Soldier Schweik
They know that you cannot trust any one source. They know that you cannot trust a particular interview. Rather what they want to know is what’s the story behind the story. So they’re looking for truth and they’re looking for it in irreverent means.
The beauty of The Simpsons, and it’s unique, The Simpsons, because it’s been the most popular show for the last ten years or so, is that it reveals the truth behind society. It tells things as they are, and these people are clever enough to be able to work with those layers of sophistication.

Alternative path to political media; [ The Chaser Decides ]
• · Mr Latham must start to see personal questions for what they are, not hand grenades but pieces of trivia. He needs to rise above it all, because the media never will. Latham in danger of developing persecution complex
• · · Poll Vault Pollies cashed up as costings row erupts
• · · · Ariadne Vromen & Nick Turnbull Where do the Greens fit in Election 2004?
• · · · · Nature: A personality trait has been identified that seems to predict whether people will vote or engage in politics
• · · · · · Getting out the vote: One professor insists upon it [ What kind of **** would fire an employee for driving to work in a car with a John Kerry bumper sticker?]

Thursday, September 23, 2004

According to Roy and HG, the electoral hopes of the Liberal party have been revived this week, after the perennially unreliable analyst forecasted a victory for the Labour party. In 2001 certain forcasts of the Howard Government's death were a little premature ...
A Tale of two Election Pebbles: the public servant with the ABC, Antony Green, predicts Labour to Win , while the academic with the Defence Academy, Professor Malcolm Mackerras, crystal-balls Coalition victory. Ach, I came across a rather mischievious, yet colourful election, observation by Malcolm Mackerras, who suspects that on a national scale the pink vote has absolutely no significance at all ...
[As with everything election-related, the Mackerras pendulum page draws everyone to the roots of all the good old meanings and evil definitions: psepho-, pseph- (Greek > Latin: pebble/pebbles, stone/stones; election; magical vote)]

Eye on the Date with Destiny 9 October: Commentariat: Psephologist, Media Tragons and Election Night Munchkins (Magicians)
Political analysts and commentators come out of the woodwork during elections so Crikey is going to list every single one of them that pops up on a semi-regular basis over the coming six weeks. You have journalists, pollsters, academics, former staffers, former pollies and the like all clamouring to give their point of view.
Tracking the Commentariat as they finish with their pants up
• · Ross Gittins It is impossible to predict how any opposition would govern the country
• · · David Starkoff’s blog Poor Man's Antony Green: No sign of landslides
• · · · Explosive found in Sydney jet: report; [American blogger of Simply Apalling fame posts long story A Tale of Two Hostages: Act I, II, and III ]
• · · · · NSW Premier Bob Carr escapes by skin of his teeth but commission has done its job ; Bob Carr takes aim at Hardie's ; The man is a political genius: That's a matter for the Party Secretariat
• · · · · · I lived only a pebble throw away from the Wilston railway station for couple of years Queensland - corrupt one day, not much better the next. Or 20 years later. The old nexus between politicians, coppers and the meeja in the Sunshine State may have changed since Tony Fitzgerald shone his torch into some of its darker corners, but it still works in much the same way

Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be read once.
- Cyril Connoly (1903 - 1974)

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Painting The Gulag From The Inside Out
The name Nikolai Getman probably doesn't ring a lot of bells in the Western art world, and in fact, when the octogenarian survivor of Stalin's infamous Siberian Gulag died quietly in Russia last month, his passing didn't make the obituary page of a single American newspaper. But Getman's body of work represents the most complete and vivid visual record of life in the Gulag that the world has ever seen, and the horrors he recorded on canvas are a reminder of one of the great man-made tragedies of the last century.
• To the memory of those who survived the Gulag, the Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall, and to those who did not Light a candle in memory. The living are in need of it more than the dead. Bow your heads; [Eye to eye with Hitler: Eichinger fails Because Germans didn't do more to fight him and because his actions were so atrocious, he still haunts us]
• · Robert Greenwald's Visionary Approach to Documentary Making ; [Next Big Thing: but for most fledgling directors, there's no pot of gold waiting at the end of all the schmoozing and politicking Little Indie pictures seeking big deal]
• · · Reaching climax with a desperately euphoric sing-a-long to A-ha's "Take on Me," which sounded like an agonized howl, a pistols-at-dawn challenge to Father Time 80s Nostalgia and the Vicious Circle ; [Vogel Prize Kid from the bush finds her voice ]
• · · · New Hampshire correspondent Robert Birnbaum catches up with veteran writer Renata Adler to survey today’s journalism when it seems like a PR agency for the government and learn exactly why you don’t diss the Times book review chief
• · · · · the film and drama production unit of Channel 4 Television in Britain Art, money and Film Four
• · · · · · Bohemian Genes expose secrets of sex on the side Men have been tomcatting around since time immemorial, and some traveled far from home to perform sexual dalliances

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Bush Urges World to Unite
The desire for freedom resides in every human heart. And that desire cannot be contained forever by prison walls or martial laws or secret police; over time and across the Earth, freedom will find a way
We know that dictators are quick to choose aggression ; [ The commitments we make must have meaning ]

During Federal elections, Olivers education takes centre stage

Eye on Politics & Elections: Only time will tell where the pendulum will finally rest
Once upon a time, Election Day was the most significant communal occasion in American life.
According to Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, the data are "unequivocal" in showing that easy absentee voting doesn't boost turnout. It isn't lack of time that keeps so many Americans from voting. It's lack of interest. Citizens who care about elections will always find a way to vote. Citizens who don't care aren't likely to vote no matter how much they are coaxed and begged to do so. It's time to stop the coaxing and begging, and to restore the significance that Election Day used to have.

• Jeff Jacoby: Declining importance of Election Day [Burning Bushes A reader's juicy guide to Kitty Kelley's The Family; Putin Car Tied To Bomb Plot Linked To Chechen: Suspect Beaten to Death]
• · Election 2004: To Catch a Thief Everybody hit the streets!; [ John Kerry Must (Again) Make Love, Not War]
• · · Bush Team Knows How To Play the Media in Spy Crime Cover-Up
• · · · Alyosha from The Brothers Karamozov. Problem is, he wears a dress. A monk’s robe, really, but it’s still a little over the top in a president. And he is very emotional Of all the fictional characters you know, which one is made of solid, presidential stock?
• · · · · The ideology and politics of the Australian Greens
• · · · · · Great Britain Look who's on a real roll now Liberal Democrats are doing better than at any time in 20 years

Journalism largely consists of saying Baron Jozef is Dead to people who never knew that Baron Jozef was alive.
—G.K. Chesterton (

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Who Let the Blogs Out
One thing that distinguishes the online world from the real one is that it is very easy to find things. To find a copy of Cold River a Surviror’s Story in print, one has to go to a bookshop, which may or may not carry it. Finding it online, though, is a different proposition. Just go to Google, type in Cold River a Surviror’s Story and you will be instantly directed to those websites distributing the tale. Though it is difficult to remember now, this was not always the case. Indeed, until Google, now the world's most popular search engine, came on to the scene in September 1998, it was not the case at all.
As in the physical world, searching online was a hit-or-miss affair ; [ How PageRank works; Websites and kiosks, bring both risks and rewards ]
• · After Blogs Got Hits, CBS Got a Black Eye; [Blog Belle calls it a day London 'call girl' gives up blog ]
• · · How the guys sitting at their computers in pajamas humiliated the suits at CBS News What Blogs Have Wrought ; [Now comes the Blog backlash The graybeards of the blogosphere are warning their fellow "citizen journalists" ...]
• · · · Bill Moyers on Love, Journalism & Blogging: In one sense we are discovering all over again the feisty spirit of our earliest days as a nation when the republic and a free press were growing up together ; [Wikipedia Reaches One Million Articles ]
• · · · · Sunrise on Sunday starting to attract the spanish publishing horses Michael Pascoe pointed out that Spanish publisher Javier Moll is on the record as wanting to start papers in both Adelaide and Brisbane, two of Rupert's most profitable markets
• · · · · · FTC Reviews Program to Reward Spam Whistleblowers

NSW Premier Bob Carr yesterday urged John Howard and Mark Latham to ensure the nation's corporate watchdog used its powers to prosecute executives of James Hardie Industries for conduct found to be misleading by commissioner David Jackson.; Czech out Crikey why James Hardie takes a pounding - again

Invisible Hands & Markets: Let's make a bet about public choice
In the first of these senses, one could certainly argue that public choice was deviant, in that it rejected the accepted Pigovian line of taking government as given and assuming that it could smoothly and efficiently correct all manner of supposed market failures. What public choice analysis showed, in a nutshell, was that market failure had its complement in government failure, and that the cure for market failure could well be worse than the disease.
Faustian bargain [ Don't Trust The Theories of Famous Intellectuals! ]
• · See Also Employees should be the first priority of a company entering bankruptcy -- not creditors
• · · Mystery buyer lifts lid on Crown land ; [Mystery of Colourful, Orange, Lobbying ]
• · · · Deriving long-run inequality series from tax data
• · · · · To find out which jobs in your community have been exported or lost due to trade: Enter your ZIP code or Enter the industry and ZIP code or Select a company Job Tracker - Working America ; [Sydney has done a much more comprehensive job in deporting its poor to the outer suburbs.]
• · · · · · Even shoes are named after him in Czech Republic Boty Tomas Bata Turns 90 (The first shoes I ever wore were made by Bata)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Eye on Kerry & Dialogue Day: Speech at New York University: John Kerry for President Press Room
Ach, I am honored to be here at New York University — one of the great urban universities, not just in New York, but in the world. You have set a high standard for global dialogue and I hope to live up to that tradition today. This election is about choices.
Jeralyn Merritt; Czech out the snippets of dialogue: Jim Henley: On the Radar - The Kerry speech on Iraq; Jerome Armstrong: Bush's 23 reasons for Invading Iraq — From Kerry's speech on Monday: "By one count, the President offered 23 different rationales for this war; Josh Marshall: To read Brooks' column, Kerry came out foursquare for a rapid withdrawal from Iraq ...; Joe Gandelman: For Kerry, much of the nuance is being deep-sixed and his message sharpened, as this transcript of his speech yesterday at New York University illustrates; Tim Blair: More from Kerry, this time on conditions in Iraq: "Raw sewage fills the streets, rising above the hubcaps of our Humvees; Talking Dog; Steve M.; Mathew Gross; Chris Bowers; Orrin Judd; Chris Gruber; Edward_; Andrew Sullivan; Bird Dog; Oliver @LiquidList; Matthew Yglesias; Noam Scheiber; Lambert @Corrente; Kevin Drum; Susan Madrak; Todd Pearson; David Allan Pell; Kos; Oliver Willis; Atrios; Tom Maguire; Gene @HarrysPlace; Taegan Goddard