Tuesday, January 11, 2005

You know Bernard, I sometimes think our Minister doesn't believe that he exists unless he is reading about himself in the paper.
- Sir Humphrey, A Question of Loyalty

Arthur Chrenkoff: The outpouring of international solidarity and assistance to the victims of tsunami continues. So does outpouring of words. Strange words. Disturbing words

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: The road to nowhere fast: Logical Blind Spot
Love has as few problems as a motor car. The only problems are the driver, the passengers, and the road.
- Franz Kafka
Was Lincoln Bisexual?
In a Web-only exclusive, the author examines C. A. Tripp's long-awaited, hotly contested book, The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln—and ponders American sexuality a century before Kinsey. The father of us all, Gore Vidal graces Vanity Fair online with a Nero Wolfe investigation of the vexing mystery. The young Lincoln had a love affair with a handsome youth and store owner, Joshua Speed, in Springfield, Illinois. They shared a bed for four years, not necessarily, in those frontier days, the sign of a smoking gun’s only messy male housekeeping. A maiden trapped inside a male body

In an endless embarrassment for the Carr Government, Sydney's rail network has lurched from crisis to standstill over the past year. Trains rarely run on time and complaints have trebled in recent years. The network has struggled to find extra passengers, adding only about 5 million a year to the 268 million carried in 1996-97.

Soaring car sales and ever more unreliable public transport create a vicious circle ; [Power stance by state irks business Repeat: The current economic orthodoxy, that debt has no place in the development of a strong vibrant economy, is holding back NSW and should be discarded ]
• · The files reveal a meticulous attention to detail, a sly sense of humour and a fear of the press within the British civil service. Britain's Home Office had not one official cat, but a whole dynasty of mouse catchers, one of which nearly insulted the Queen
• · · I blogged about the communist glorification craziness a few days ago and now even the brilliant Louis Nowra adds oil on the moral fire: Turning communist tyrants into chic motifs of popular culture mocks their victims The moral blind spot that has allowed killers to become kitsch (Thanks Louis) The Greek Orthodox epiphany celebrations have always held special spiritual meaning, but none more so than yesterday. A reminder to respect our earth ]
• · · · A hunt for a scalp rather than a search for truth ...Sacked director wins job battle ; [Canberra Times on December 22, 2004 How the House of Lords has exposed Howard's ASIO Act; Not since the early days of the Cold War have proliferation experts and the general public been so attuned to the threat of nuclear weapons--and with good reason. There are more than 28,000 nuclear devices in existence today The Next Nuclear Wave ; North Korea has launched an intensive media assault on its latest arch enemy The long hair, the wrong scalp of haircut ]
• · · · · No one exposes the UN better than Diplomad. Enough here to inspire a new series of MASH and YES, COLD RIVER. UNICEF proudly boasts it has sent the one item desperate people most want, UNICEF Director Carol Bellamy! Yes, she arrived, took a tour, and gave a press conference. Just think how many people were saved by UNICEF flying Bellamy and her entourage out here first class, putting them up in a five-star hotel, and flying them up and back to Aceh, and then back to New York. Makes you want to rush out and buy those UNICEF cards and go out collecting money for UNICEF doesn't it? Carol Bellamy ; Audits Criticize U.N. Handling of Oil-for-Food Only 400 pages released out of 58 audits ; More UN slicksters involved in bribe taking ]
• · · · · · Muriel Gray believes that life under Tony Blair, where the Prime Minister and his Cabinet can simply ignore the land’s law lords and where indefinite imprisonment without trial is acceptable, is like a horror story of irrational anarchy We were taught at school that Franz Kafka’s The Trial was a dark satire on bureaucracy ; London Calling ... Boilmaker Bill Busting on Boris’s website ; [Crikey! ]