Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I naively bought into the notion that the wholesale use of journalists and media executives by the CIA, for example, written about by Carl Bernstein in Rolling Stone, was an impediment to a free press. I uncritically accepted the notion that administering chemicals, electric shocks, and prolonged isolation illegally to unwitting victims to test theories of behavior modification suggested that an agency that purportedly existed to "gather intelligence" was coloring a little outside the lines. I Was a Victim of the KGB
Ach, I was a victim of the Bondi train breakdown . But, after the strange detour, I was rewarded by exchanging a few ideas with a former MP, who is now in his 70s, and out of all places over at the blood bank of the Red Cross fame ;-D (I blew his anonymity as he prefers to stay incognito.) It was a day filled with another former MPs who is subject of 50,000 word thesis. I also noticed an interesting development at the State Library which now issues a magnetic card to anyone who wants to use the internet (minus - email). Users are required to fill in their address and provide contact details as well as a proof of ID under the less known Aussie Patriots Act ?!...

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Policies and participation
Evidence of the disengagement of civil society is everywhere. Members are fleeing the political parties, leaving control in the hands of careerist insiders. Parliaments are losing respect and politicians are cynically regarded. Corporations are run by unrepresentative boards.

Democracy is the compelling ideology of our time. We all have an innate urge for community. As one institution breaks down, resourceful Australians have shown in the past that we can renovate some and build others. I know that many parliamentarians, journalists and ordinary citizens share these concerns.

• John Menadue Helping voice the personal and public disquiet: Stop complaining and do something about it [Yesterday's effort, in which he claimed the Carr Government had blood on its hands over the deaths at the Waterfall and Glenbrook rail disasters and deaths caused by hospital waiting lists, signals the fight is going to get dirty. Brogden rolls up his sleeves for state putsch ; South Australian Liberal director Graham Jaeschke, the former head of the Queensland party, has been be parachuted into the top job in NSW A great career move ; Turnbull calls on Carr to recycle Sydney sewage ]
• · Army allegedly failed to investigate kickback scandal ; Australians implicated in Iraq kick-back scandal Axis of Oil ; If a small proportion of the energy and capital that has been devoted to the dangers following September 11, 2001 had been lavished on the problem of AIDS, I feel sure that the world would be a better and probably a safer, certainly a kinder, place Threat of terrorism overblown, says Kirby ; Activist Legislators: The boundless overreaching behind Congress' new Schiavo bill
• · · Zalman Shoval How the Saudis got to be 'special'; This is either an act of provocation by America, or an act so insensitive as to look like provocation ... Wolfowitz is US deputy defence secretary and widely regarded as the chief intellectual architect of the Iraq war. An arch "neoconservative", he is probably Bush's most hawkish advisor and, in some diplomatic circles, an incendiary figure. The Intelligence Made Me Do It: 'The World Bank will be hated'
• · · · Frank Luntz, Los Angeles Times The Lexicon of Political Clout ; History of floods caused by servants, first the BBC, and now COSTA: The Minister for Economic Reform has triggered alarm for the Carr Government by stating up to 20 per cent of the state's 340,000 public servants might be surplus to requirements. Too many workers in Costa's empire
• · · · · The man who once flaunted the biggest muscles in baseball, Mark McGwire, is now the smallest coward in Washington Home-run heroes come off as zeros before Congress ; Owen Harries, Prospect Magazine Power and Morals ; Paternity shock: Health Minister Tony Abbott today said he was numb after learning he had not fathered the baby boy he gave away 27 years ago Surreal and Bizarre twist in love-child tale
• · · · · · Ignoring the truth about American Communists: Since the end of the Cold War, documents released from American and Soviet archives have convinced most Americans that long-disputed spy charges against Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, Lauchlin Currie, and Harry Dexter White, among others, were accurate, and that hundreds of Americans worked for Soviet intelligence services during the 1930s and 1940s Professors of Denial ; Cab ride cost $312, but return trip was just fine ; Business supports the NSW Government in its attempt to end the significant unnecessary cross-subsidisation of other states with taxation collected from NSW businesses and residents, the business group said. The State Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Margy Osmond, called on the Federal Government to take a lead in reforming the GST carve-up Business firmly behind Carr in tax onslaught against Costello