Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Barry O'Farrell and Peter Debnam are locked in a close contest to succeed disgraced former NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden If outside experience, professionalism, and long-term survival matters - Peter Debnam it is! A month ago it was Bob Carr and John Brogden. Now, in the space of the winter parliamentary break, the state has lost a premier, a deputy premier, and the opposition leader Angela Cuming on a proposition

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Shattered Brogden's suicide bid
Democracy allows that we are led by fragile leaders

John Brogden was rushed to hospital last night after an apparent suicide attempt, one day after he resigned in disgrace as the NSW Opposition Leader. He was found at his Pittwater electorate office some time before 11pm with self-inflicted stab wounds. He is believed to have been in a drug-and alcohol-induced stupor, and was taken by ambulance to Royal North Shore Hospital.

Turning 'Unknown' Into 'Unknowable' [Crikey: Political leaders have to go and eat turd sandwiches while smiling ; A suicide attempt by former NSW opposition leader John Brogden has left his family, friends and Liberal party colleagues shocked and distraught Brogden suicide attempt ; Brogden's sordid past revealed ]
• · By Gregory Lyon and Jean du Plessis Names such as Hannes, Rivkin and, more recently, Vizard have thrown the spotlight on insider trading. In light of the prosecutions arising from these high profile cases this book is timely The Law of Insider Trading in Australia; A minority, however vocal, cannot impose its will on the rest of us if we decline to permit it. Not even if the President seems to side with them; he is, after all, merely the first among equals, and he will not own that flag much longer. Reluctant Leaders; Policy Parade
• · · Back in 1999 at a conference on infrastructure in Sydney, Hon Graham Hill made me realise that tax could be a very fascinating area to study. It is with great sadness to learn of his the sudden passing of the, Judge, Federal Court of Australia. Graham was made a Judge of the Federal Court on 1 February 1989 and had a long and highly distinguished involvement in the field of taxation, not only on the Bench but also as an educator, a much sought-after speaker and an author. He had a vast depth and breadth of knowledge of taxation, and was always willing to impart that expertise and knowledge to others Death of the Hon Graham Hill ; Appeal could end tax minimisation
• · · · Greg Maddock 'Whistleblower of the year' named ; Ashley Lavelle: Labor’s problems are symptomatic of a crisis in international social democracy – a crisis of declining electoral support, falling party membership, and of a lack of ideas and purpose The crisis in federal Labor ; Paul Williams analyses Peter Beattie’s two weekend by-election defeats No more Mr Nice Guy?; The first part of this revised brief discusses the 141 by-elections for the House of Representatives since Federation, including the most recent for the New South Wales division of Werriwa Research Brief 1: House of Representatives by-elections 1901 to 2005
• · · · · If we refuse to discuss torture, then we lose the opportunity to publicly explain the reasons why torture is so objectionable, argues Ben Saul. Torture irreparably damages human dignity, devalues human life, and corrupts the institutions of our democracy Torture degrades us all ; Peter Jennings argues that both sides of the anti-terrorism dialogue must give ground Listening, not lecturing, is the answer
• · · · · · Dr David Clune (head of the research area) and Stewart Smith provide an overview of desalination plants and technology from around the world, including case studies, in the context of current NSW government policy Desalination, waste water, and the Sydney Metropolitan Water Plan ; Towards a new Australian suburbanism ; Refugees and regional settlement: balancing priorities

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Ladies and gentlemen, I am thrilled and indeed honoured to announce that there is a vital and cataclysmic new trend in the world of blogging. We are the Nonentity Bloggers. Join us today. We don’t want your money. We don’t want your time. We don’t even want your linky-lurve. We just want your sense of acute embarrassment. Jarvis Cocker-esque blogging non-manifesto

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Rivers of Data: Disturbance never stops
Clearly the internet is on the verge of providing one of the three elements through the micro-marketing ability of blogs - a better phrase would be word-of-mouth or the already cliched word-of-blog, but it really is the old 'you tell ten friends and they tell ten friends' and so on, except that on the internet those friends may number in the Hundreds or thousands

The function of the artist is to disturb. His duty is to arouse the sleeper, to shake the complacent pillars of the world. He reminds the world of its dark ancestry, and shows the world its present, and points the way to its new birth. He is at once the product and the preceptor of his time.
– Norman Bethume, 1939

• Apropos Take a Risk on Variety [It is ironic that the growth of one of the most powerful means of publication of human thought had largely remained unhyped untill "Salam Pax" appeared on the scene during the build up to the Iraq war in 2004 Blogging Teams Together (Part 1) ; Though blogs do not offer the enterprise-level integration with e-mail, calendar, file directories, Web conferencing, wireless, voice and fax collaboration channels, they are useful for specific team-collaboration needs Creating Interaction Vortexes (Part 2) ; A series of fictitious entries have tested the integrity of the co-operatively produced online encyclopedia Wikipedia over the past fortnight Wikipedia worries ]
• · The blog originated in January as a catch basin for mental detritus, for the kind of stuff not good enough for print, but too good to waste on casual conversation or, worse, mere thinking. Bloggers And The Commentariat ; via the freshest well in blogosphere Boy-n-ton
• · · This is a series of essays on the future of journalism and some of my ideas on how advances in technology have changed the way that we report and write the news Fixing Journalism ; Crimes along a route Chicago
• · · · Back in April, Gyles J delivered judgment in Seven Network (Operations) Ltd v TCN Channel Nine Pty Ltd [2005] FCA 476 The Full Court's Kokoda trek ; I-don’t-know-what-literature-is-but-making-love-you-all attitude Bad reading
• · · · · Heath Eiden is finishing up a documentary about Howard Dean's campaign, and raising money directly from people who'll get the finished DVD. Interesting approach, and it could work with all kinds of topics Grassroots the movie ; As Dan Gillmore noted this is pathbreaking stuff is joining the Media Evolution: Participatory Culture Foundation
• · · · · · Talk is cheap - unless it's political talk on the radio, and then it's influential Talk Radio ; The ever-reliable Missing Links

Monday, August 29, 2005

John Brogden's future as state Opposition Leader is under a cloud after he was forced to apologise for an alcohol-fuelled night during which he pinched one journalist's bottom, propositioned another and referred to Bob Carr's wife as a "mail-order bride" My foolish, boozy night: Brogden tells The extraordinary confession My racist disgrace Grand old man of NSW politics" seem hollow and premature Toughest test awaits disorderly Brogden
Brogden steps down Brogden falls on his sword

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: History lessons, passed and failed
August, in eastern Europe, means anniversaries:

The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939 that divided the region into Nazi and Soviet spheres of influence; the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961; the Soviet-led invasion of 1968 that crushed Czechoslovakia's Prague Spring; the birth in 1980 of Solidarity, the Polish trade union which dealt a death-blow to communism; and the Soviet coup of 1991, where hardliners locked up Mikhail Gorbachev to preserve the Soviet Union, but ended up giving Boris Yeltsin the power to destroy it.

Remembering, and rewriting, the past [The Parable of Jesus and the Rubber Chicken: What if Christ spoke at a GOP fund-raiser? ; Martin Peretz on the philosophy of disengagement ; The London bombs expose the failure of Britain’s multicultural model, but also pose a challenge to Europe’s sense of identity Europe’s answer to Londonistan ]
• · The relations between philosophy and anthropology People Power ; Actors always tell us that that they prefer the role of a villain to that of a saint. Preachers, too, relish opportunities to denounce vice more than they do ones to laud virtue Humility: the enemy of philosophy
• · · There can be no sacred cows in philosophy Shaking Shibboleths ; Boynton who always draws attention to others defines The Perfect Husband: MEEEdia Dragon
• · · · Gary Sauer-Thompson Liberal democratic values; Tim Dunlop The wholly inappropriate Koran
• · · · · What do Jimmy Carter, Bill Weld, Saddam Hussein and Winston Churchill have in common? In Lying for a Living at OpinionJournal Daniel Akst has some fun with politicians who have tried their hand at fiction, including the man who apparently wants to have a go at being governor of every one of the United States: Lying for a Living ; Alex Rusli, 34, who goes under the aliases of Irwan Irwan and Edwin Sanjaya Jo, a restaurant owner of Waterloo Man charged over fake ID documents ; Though my “propensity to read High Court transcripts” is seemingly notorious, I’ve been slack recently High Court garage sales
• · · · · · For all the talk of a "progressive" tax system, we all know that the clever rich find ways of avoiding the taxman in ways that the battlers simply can't Real tax reform ; A forum for political discussion for Western Sydney and beyond In the hope of provoking some discussion from across the political spectrum, the aim is simply to provide a forum for people to debate the issues of the day Marginal Rates

People don’t really want to think about the luck or lack of it that fetched them up with their particular set of parents. They emotionally need the story of the fetching up to be or at least seem inevitable. They yearn to see what is as somehow the story of what was meant – by God or fate or karma – to be. It appears to me that adoptive families provide reassurance to the biologically familied, and the illusion that they have a more ‘natural’ and necessary story, even though their presence wherever they’re present is just as whacky, improbable and arbitrary as that of the adopters and adoptees.
– Daniel Menaker

How To be a Perfect Author; Win Editors And Impress Marketing Staff You've sold your first book. Now what? Good news: Da Vinci Code ripoffs are growing scarce and women are allowed to write serious books again Looking For The Post-Da Vinci Cold River

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Book-shedding
Ra for Ben Macintyre, who simply can't let go of any books, as he admits in 'I have never been able to get rid of a single book, old or new, read or unread' in The Times:

I write as one who has never been able to bring himself to get rid of a single book, old or new, read or unread. Long ago I gave up trying to order my shelves, and I now leave the books to multiply unhindered, double-stacked, or wedged in horizontally

Books Do Furnish A Room via Saloon [Making up a brand new game for public transportation The overall goal here is to get an entire car at rush hour wearing paper hats ; via the omnipresent Barista Purloined straight from Surfacing is this lovely game ; A new way to borrow audiobooks from the library involves no CDs, no car trips, no fines and no risk of being shushed Libraries Offering Audiobook Downloads]
• · Though some authors seem to know instinctively the best, most expeditious, ways to get rejected, others require a primer Helpful Tips: How To Guarantee Rejection; Some Tried and True Tips for Ensuring Rejection tongue in cheek - Screwtape Takes the Comm ; Book Misjudged by Its Cover Gets (What Else?) New Cover
• · · The tension between fertility and materialism is one of the great unresolved dilemmas of our time, not just for women, but for society In Praise of Female Sexuality ; As I sit at my desk writing this in the comfort of my home, I have done a lot of reading about and a lot of looking at pornography One or two words on the sticky subject of pornography
• · · · The No and the Yes Models Negotiating Sex ; The cultural fascination with corpses, plastic surgery and healthy living suggests we are objectifying ourselves Body politics: why are we obsessed with our flesh?
• · · · · Finding Things to Do In Your Spare Time ; At one Swedish library, you can borrow books—and a lesbian A new perspective on life
• · · · · · Bezos discusses her debut novel and her love for her husband's laugh Amazon Ranking #1 ; Spirit in Exile An Australian poet reviewed. It makes a change

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Commmodity companies are now as sexy as dotcoms used to be. Mining giant BHP Billiton may have announced an Australian record profit result, but that didn't stop its share price slipping as resources stocks were sold off BHP Billiton shares drop despite profit Whether the world economy is on the cusp of a super cycle that will eclipse the post-war boom led by Japan and Germany is a subject of keen debate in resources circles World's biggest digger issues growth alert

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Antony Loewenstein
As many of you know, I'm currently writing a book on Israel/Palestine for Melbourne University Publishing, due in May 2006.

The following letter appears in this week's Australian Jewish News. It's written by Federal Labor MP, Michael Danby. Its agenda is clear. Why is a member of parliament trying to stop the publication of my book? What is he afraid of? History doesn't look kindly on such attitudes. And we all know what other historical individuals favoured this behaviour

Censorship of Note [Tim Dunlop said it all: Michael Danby is entitled to his views. But if he has problem with Antony's book he should excercise his right to free speech and criticise it (preferably once it's, you know, written) and not try and Curtail Antony's. Undue influence ; Peter Botsman: The best way to get ahead in the NSW Labor Party is to become a friend, lover, wife or number-cruncher for the dominant right-wing faction known as the Terriga 'Arrogant, unelected brats' ruling ALP ]
• · David Hornik: Venture Blog ; Melbourne Writers Festival session for the keynote speaker John Ralston Saul, talking about the collapse of globalism, attracted 1800 readers. Craig Rowley of Webdiary fame captured the power of the huge ideas in the post entitled They devour their reason and scarce think: the globalists come to the island nation
The story of the last five years, as John Ralston Saul provocatively argues in the Collapse of Globalism is more its retreat than its advance. Kerry O'Brien of the 7:30 Report wondered last night what kind of democracy there might be in the XXIst century ... He also asked John Ralston Saul whether he believed the global pendulum would now swing back towards protectionism. ‘But as we all know nothing in its extreme is particularly good. Exchanging one brutalism for another is not the answer. ‘Listen, you know, the odds are with those who are conscious and who do not feel there are powers, forces at work that they cannot shape.’ Globalisation's decline 'calls for leadership' ; We all should learn from failure—but it's difficult to do so objectively. In this excerpt from "Failing to Learn and Learning to Fail The Hard Work of Failure Analysis ; tracks lobbying activities, 'revolving door' of politicians and lobbyists Congressional Revolving Doors
• · · The Australian Crime Commission has shrugged off court challenges to its investigation of offshore tax havens and will continue interrogations and the seizure of assets Tax hounds shrug off challenges ; The Prime Minister, John Howard, has flagged a further round of tax relief for high-income earners Top earners can expect more tax relief; The top marginal tax rate of 47 cents in the dollar cut to 35 cents and other rates reduced. Turnbull denies treading on Treasurer's toes
• · · · You can tell a thriving business by the tense of the conversations taking place—companies whose conversations focus on the future will be the more successful Poor Conversations Equal Disengaged, Dissatisfied Workforce ; More than 10 years after the landmark royal commission into NSW police, the same corrupt activity continues Judge to hunt down bad police
• · · · · Both lawmakers opted to rent or lease rather than seek reimbursement for using their personal vehicles Congressional Cars ; Farmland Tax Breaks ; John Howard once told Peter Doherty that if he wanted to influence politics, he needed to take his concerns public. Now, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist has done so - in spades Speak up, says PM: so hear this
• · · · · · Assassination As A Tool Of Foreign Policy: Against Foreign Assassination ; For Foreign Assassination ; After I give my evidence here today there's half a chance I'm going to get knocked I might be killed too, declares murderers' mate

Shel Israel and Robert Scoble point to Media Dragon in their acknowledgement - what an honour to be among the heavyweights: ‘I know your (sic) busy, but would suggest a new book for your reading list (coming out soon). "Naked Conversations : How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers" by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. Excellent read about blogging and its impacts’ Acknowledgement
The brilliantly daring Harry Heidelberg links to Media Dragon

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Shel Israel & Robert Scoble
Blogging Is Becoming Ruder Than Talk Radio, Despite Its Openness and Possibility

"If you've come to "Naked Conversations" expecting to find two middle-aged white guys talking in the nude, you're in the wrong space," is the lead of the soon-to-be-published book on corporate blogging, co-authored by Shel Israel and Microsoft blog evangelist Robert Scoble. Now, says Israel, "I just need to find an ending that's just as good.

Bloggers Secretly Want Love and Respect [Robert MacMillan says one of the more tiresome debates in the blogging community is what defines a blog. Why assign a definition? "It lets bloggers identify themselves as practitioners of a rigid format, which then, ironically, allows the corporate world to figure out how to use this amazing medium for ends that have little in common with the spirit of the first-generation bloggers." Defining blogs seems to accomplish two goals ; One in six Americans visit blogs ]
• · Fairfax appoints new heads ; Australian journalist Margo Kingston has relinquished her role as a webdiarist for the Sydney Morning Herald, online news provider Crikey reports. Margo Kingston gives SMH the flick ; Don Arthur compiles a variety of link. You know you've made it when someone creates a blog just to send you up! Margo Kingston's Webdiary
• · · Google gets in on instant messaging ; Political campaigning is moving with technological times with podcasting becoming the latest way to attract voters Podcasting hits the political trail ; Google sold itself on being anti-corporate but is becoming the opposite Search giant may outgrow its fans ; Perfect 10 claims that "under the guise of being a 'search engine,' Google is displaying, free of charge, thousands of copies of the best images from Perfect 10 Google sued over nude picture rights
• · · · Long viewed as the voice on high that lectures readers, the traditional editorial page typifies the old style of newspaper journalism. But in today's digitally networked, broadband era of media, a more conversational model is gaining ground Modernizing the Editorial Page ; Mark Jurkowitz recalls when media controversies stayed entombed inside the journalism world. Now, they instantly erupt into national scandals that bounce around the media echo chamber and often penetrate the broader public consciousness The Romenesko effect: How a media Web site is changing the face — and pace — of media culture
• · · · · I think they're all worried that they may have to become religious pamphlets in order to survive Berkeley Breathed On His 'Jailed Journo' Comic Strips ; Distribution is not king. Content is not king. Conversation is the kingdom. Who wants to own content? ; A call for an open-source ad tag
• · · · · · Duncan Riley at BlogHerald has already outlined three generations of bloggers spanning just seven years Blog Buzz Can Be Misleading ; Newsweek magazine's web site will work with blog search engine Technorati to provide links and integration of blog content into stories Newsweek Embraces Blogosphere; The Journal of Public Trust

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.
- Elbert Hubbard

Indeed, it is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm, A happy and auspicious bird of calm... especially, on otherwise lonely Saturday night when Lidka and Christopher hold pirozky in their palm ;-)

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival.
- C. S. Lewis

The little child is at first in a world of total mystery. Sights, sounds, sensations from contact come to him and all are unintelligible. As they are carried to his brain, somewhere, somehow, they awaken a desire to know their meaning, and as the tiny fingers are extended toward objects the soul is reaching also.
-Antoinette Abernethy Lamoreaux, 1907

Jeez, that was quick ...Yes, I have been deflowered Who Says You Can Only Be A Virgin Once?

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: How Likely Are you to Encounter A Life of a Different Kind
Books take a long time to write (it may be years or the book can become too hot to handle), require practically unlimited energy, the determination of herds of migrating wildebeest, the thick skin of the Nile crocodile and wild dreams of best-sellerdom, a high spot on the London Review of Books bestseller list – maybe even an Orange prize ;-) Well, who knows? The Cold River might even become like crack. You could keep reading it until you die. The ambitious debut memoir enjoyed a rising sense of purpose on the internet in the last two years, but even on the web life can be nasty, brutish and short... The Cold River has had its share of ebb and flow in terms of reaching readers. I had an agent once who told me that he loved my memoir, but he thought it would be better as fiction. Ach, how surreal, same week my friend had the opposite happen, an agent wrote he loved his fiction book, but wished it was a memoir ;-)

To avoid the clichés
Of the obituary writers,
Die in obscurity.
A fine bed in a light-filled room
Someone who adores you is at your side
And vowed to silence.
-Kenneth Koch, Aesthetics of Obituary
A lot of the stories, and poetry, and literature are consistent with his credo ... that literature should be the voice of the dispossessed. I am a man without a country as Czechoslovakia no longer exists and looks like I am also a man without a family. Writing school? Writing school? I didn’t have the luxury of going to creative writer’s school. I had to come to Sydney and go straight to work. However, In the exile, like in woods, it is magical. One moment we are in almost blinding sunlight, the next pitched under a dark blanket where the temperature is ten degrees cooler. Two bright minutes can be a lifetime and it actually took two minutes for a first professional editor to take on the Cold River. It is really an experience of a life time. It is like putting your skates on and getting out there on the ice and see how you do. Move this paragraph. Change that line. Add a snippet of dialogue. That reads much better. Stellar. A semicolon here, a stronger verb there, and do you really need that dependent clause?

• You are different and so is the escape across the Iron Curtain. I'm filled with a great sense of pride that, with only a few clicks, I now know that I am part of the erotica landscape. I was born into love, was fed it from my mother’s breasts, cut my first tooth on it, took my first step, stumbled, then got up and walked right into the arms of love The birth of my literary child. My first baby might come out in paper version this Christmas [The cheapest electronic version of, THE COLD RIVER, my escape story, is being available beyond-reasonable $3.77 - How many unread books do you have hanging around your computer ... Why not make THE COLD RIVER another one of them ;-) Make my virtual day and my ‘First Memoir Tour’ might become a reality ; Call it the Econ 101 smackdown A textbook case of competition ]
• · For the comics, life is lived onstage, in the limelight, to the love and applause of anonymous crowds. It involves a great deal of travel, friendships with other gifted, crazed people but just as frequently, bitter rivalries, endless feuds, treachery and betrayal. If you win, you win the power of fame, which after the second day gets you nothing but good tables in restaurants where rubes bother you for autographs as you suck down your linguini, the right to fail with a better class of woman and, of course, the emptiness of being unconnected to anything larger than the self Books on TV; We grow tired of everything but turning others into ridicule, and congratulating ourselves on their defects About Last night
• · · According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of single person households in Australia rose to 28% of all households in 2001, up from 19% in 1971. On top of that there are all the single people that flat share or live with their family. That's well over 6 million single people in Australia alone! What's more, since the early 1980s, the number of people working more than 45 hours per week has increased by 76% and only 7% of people still work 9 to 5. More single people are working longer hours, leaving less time for socialising Speed Dating ; Corruption contrasts with the men's hearts of gold. But this sort of yin-yang balance, this universal dualism, is the type of clichéd, glib sensibility of a twelve-year old, or someone who thinks life is really this simple The Big Fat Bore: A Review of Sin City
• · · · Australian writers who, while not so well-known at home, sell extremely well overseas Paperback heroes ; When Libraries Try to Compete ; Academic libraries empty stacks for online centers
• · · · · Los Angeles Rabbi Yaacov Deyo invented speed dating in 1998 as a way for marriage focused young Jewish singles to meet Fast Impressions is speed dating events service ; Apparently the only thing lower than Sydney's dam levels is the number of eligible men. However, the evidence points to the man shortage being a media-constructed myth Single blokes confused by doublespeak ; Warning to Sydney's evergreen bachelors ; New sex and the city?
• · · · · · Odds & Ends ; The abundance of life in their veins overflows into all kinds of fine and friendly relations with their fellows For me, going to my local bookshop isn't just about buying books

Friday, August 26, 2005

Just because I turned 61 this year, doesn’t mean that I have to slow down on my activities. I will slow down when they scatter my ashes in the Alaskan outback. Some of us will never be satisfied unless we are in the thick of it. I guess I’m a bit different than most folks. My priorities have been born in the mountains, my Soul belongs to my God, my Heart belongs to my Family, and my Spirit belongs to the Wind and the Wilderness.
-George “Bubba” Hunt, walking the Wilderness Trail.

Surrogate to an Orphan Seagull - Blogging the Blues Three Blogospheres Revisited
Who knew that the Internet would turn out to be a new frontier for theater; a stage that lets us choose our exits and entrances while playing any part we please? All They Need Is a Story and a Shoestring

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Reading Left to Right
Chances are that more bloggers read Political Theory than ever link to it

Once upon a time — back in the days of dial-up and of press conferences devoted to the presidential libido — there was a phenomenon known as the “web log.” It was like a blog, only different. A web log consisted almost entirely of links to pages that the ‘logger had recently visited online. There might also be a brief description of the site, or an evaluative remark. But the commentary was quick, not discursive; and it was secondary to the link. The product resembled an itinerary or a scrapbook more than it did a diary or an op-ed page.
Some of the sites to which Perez links are exotic, esoteric, or just downright weird. I’m glad to hear about the debate over liberalism in a Slovakian journal called Kritika & Kontext — but could probably have lived without seeing the United States Christian Flag. It is a relief, though, to learn that the latter Web site’s sponsors “are not trying to overthrow the government or force anyone to be a Christian.” Thank heaven for small favors.

Political Theory [ What Are Your Favorite Web Sites? ; Blogging Through History Six Years of Blogging ]
• · I constantly tell myself: Ignore the blog. Do your work. You are an enormous literary figure and cultural icon, not a mere "blogger." You must produce high-end journalism with grand themes and huge groaning multi-syllabic words like "eschatological," and you can't be dribbling away all your ideas on the blog The Tail That Wags the Blog ; Jeff Jarvis: Washington Post blogger Joel Aschenbach writes a funny (almost as funny as the accompanying illustration) take on blogs...Jan Haugland: Blogs to take over the world (one blogger at the time) WaPo columnist Joel Achenbach, who also blogs, has a hilarious article called the tail that wags the blog James Joyner: The Tail That Wags the Blog — Joel Achenbach has an amusing, and familiar, tale of the progress of his blog; Vanderleun: Washington Post, The Tail That Wags the Blog Jim Romenesko: WPer: "The blog is hungry. " The blog will not be ignored. "Washington Post Joel Achenbach has been blogging for just eight months and he already fantasizes about killing it. Terry Heaton: Joel Achenbach reminded of this wonderful quote this morning in a hilarious blog post about feeding the beast that is the blog.
• · · Rob O'Neill discovers Feefee, a virtual accountant created by University of Wollongong senior lecturer George Mickhail, that could one day automate accounting's basic functions Feefee's fee-free accounts advice ; Six Figure Blogging ; Lovemarks of Bloggers Generate Mystery and Intrigue
• · · · Up against reality: blogging and the cost of content ; Real lawyers have blogs Online newspaper readership increase good for legal blogs
• · · · · Gerard McManus and Michael Harvey Journos face prison over government leak ; Former Belo corporate communications veep Scott Baradell admires and respects journalists, but here's what bothers him about some of them: "Put simply, they think they are better -- that their jobs have a higher moral and ethical purpose than that of the lowly PR practitioner. The Case Against Morally Superior Journalists ; Bridging PR and Blogging
• · · · · · Dan Gillmor writes: 'The remarkable thing is the degree to which Google's public-relations wounds are self-inflicted.' Sadly, at Media Dragon we have also tasted a strange spray of indifference via emails from Google as some of MD's prominent links on Google had dissapeared to the land of never never. Google stood for amazing customer service over last five years since I started using blogs and websites. However, how quickly culture changes. The new culture of money is driving out the culture of altruism and community spirit and some long term staffers with library background are leaving or hoping to escape the lower morale environment. I hope Yahoo might take on the service gap created by Google. Yahoo needs to do consider doing something about aggregating news under a subject or topic areas. For instance, it needs to collect all on BHP stories under one link for 24 hours just as I linked to yesterday. Good luck as here is your amazing chance for Yahoo to be the leading community search engine Google's Unnecessary Arrogance ; I've gotten plenty of praise and scorn for things I've written about in this space, but the name for this daily publication tends to vary depending on who's writing. I have a blog, a column, a daily article, a story... A Blog by Any Other Name...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The state Labor Party's credentials committee was deliberating last night over the eligibility of 267 party members to vote in a preselection ballot on Saturday to decide who will succeed the former premier Bob Carr in the seat of Maroubra Labor's Maroubra rivals allege dirty tricks Whistleblower's poll run

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Paul Keating
After 20 years mastering the NSW Labor Party – the dirtiest political machine in Australia – Keating flicked the switch to double-breasted Italian suits, historic treaties with Indonesia and the touch of elan he so liked to talk about

Rejected by the voters, forsaken by his party, spurned by his wife, Paul Keating knows the taste of failure all too well. Now he faces perhaps his ultimate challenge - a battle with his personal demons. John Lyons presents a portrait of a leader who lost too much.

Dog days [The Centre for Independent Studies Study hints at future tax cuts ; The industrial changes might be a chance to pad the wallet, but at a price Money or a life, the choice was yours ; After 10 years, the people of NSW are overtaxed, over-regulated overburdened and over Labor Brogden's rules: slash jobs, cut tax]
• · The State Government will not say how much taxpayers will pay for a meeting of some of the world's richest business executives at the Opera House Rich list's hefty bill upsets police ; Market economics and globalization are lifting the bulk of humanity out of extreme poverty, but special measures are needed to help the poorest of the poor Can Extreme Poverty Be Eliminated?; The Future of Globalization
• · · Federal law enforcement agents sent invitations to a mock wedding on a yacht off Atlantic City to lure 42 people accused of being part of an Asian smuggling ring that brought counterfeit cash, drugs and cigarettes into the US Married to mob in name only as mock wedding turns into drugs raid ; "Big Peter" Milardovic told the court he was 195 centimetres tall and weighed 130 kilograms. At least he was until he got "pinched" for tax fraud Crime figure pleads ignorance ; NSW's top justice tells Michael Pelly that dealing with a tardy, snoozing or drunken judge is just part of the job The chief, Jim Spigelman, speaks
• · · · The summit with Islamic leaders hosted yesterday by the Prime Minister, John Howard, was a small, positive step Praise be - at the table the ice is finally broken ; Genuine dialogue must include debate's extremes Islamic summit ; Australia was built on mateship, not sir-ship, and Parliament House is where this should be celebrated Show some respect, be informal (Sir vs. Mate)
• · · · · A flat tax would unleash a stupendous economic boom One Simple Rate ; A month inside the house of horrors that is Congress Four Amendments & a Funeral ; The inaugural issue of the Journal of Global Ethics
• · · · · · The bad idea behind Amerika’s failed health-care system The Moral-Hazard Myth ; The victims of the 1945-89 era in global history include those felled by assassination, covert killing, state and judicial execution. Fred Halliday recalls the incidents that marked an era and resonate in the next Political killing in the cold war

Undertow by Warren Adler is an explosive novel which centers around a U.S. senator with presidential aspirations and the trauma he faces when his girlfriend drowns during a weekend tryst. It dramatically details the action taken by the senator and his staff in a desperate attempt to manipulate the media and preserve his political viability ... Asking provocative and profound questions about human motivation and contemporary living and reaching some astonishing conclusions, Undertow will make you see the familiar political world through a completely original lens. Above all, this story unlocks the mystery of today’s political dilemma, the obsession with image - the facade of perfection and innocence!

Politicians are well-known for their love of conspiracy theories, so it comes as no surprise that to learn that The Da Vinci Code is the preferred choice holiday reading for MPs Mao, magic and mystery head MPs' holiday reads
Politics is proving the biggest draw at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival - it is luring literary 'titans' Politics is packing them in at book festival

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Artistic Failure is Good for You
There is as much to enjoy and learn from the not-so-greats as there is from the masters. Only failure is sure to yield surprise after surprise

For the sake of quality assurance, I guess my editors should have insisted on a rewrite. But what if, instead of thinking of the current stature of this newspaper, we put ourselves in the shoes of a historian looking back on it from 2105? Couldn't there be more interesting stuff to say about a screw-up - about how one writer tried, and failed - than about your average success story?
That's how I feel about a lot of art. Sure, the greats are great: Titian pays off; Rembrandt delivers; Manet comes through. But sometimes there's more spice in looking at their lesser followers and peers. We have all been taught what great success looks like. Only failure is sure to yield surprise after surprise. And often, the also-rans can give a better sense of how art really gets made - of the mundane struggles of the merely talented rather than the flight of geniuses

• Titian pays off ... Manet comes through Rembrandt delivers [Robert Drewe was a guest at the first Melbourne Writers' Festival. He arrives for the 20th with a memory full of wonderful and weird experiences Words in deeds; The short story prize writers have longed for; Paperback publishers put premium on size ]
• · 'Incendiary': The Book That Became Too Hot to Handle ; Incendiary: So timely it stings - a fire-and-brimstone satire ; World Trade Centre towers on fire No more covering up images of horror
• · · A Different Kind of On Demand Machine. Lots of news outlets have written recently about the introduction of book vending machines, under the Livre à toute heure banner, in five locations in Paris earlier this summer Filling the need for a late-night read ; Shelf Life ;
Mills & Boon is launching a new line, Next, that will tackle the harder edges of life - cancer, divorce, difficult children, the dissatisfaction that might beset the modern female as she lights some candles, sinks into a bath and, er, does those things that ladies do. Depilates. Divorce and disease: Mills & Boon's new look
• · · · The World Wide Web has influenced writing and publishing in many ways, but seldom if ever has a writer used it to storm into print in quite the way Boston's Libby Koponen has Writer weaves a Web of young fans for her novel ; Anti-sweatshop advocacy group charges that workers make books under oppressive conditionss Disney sweatshops alleged
• · · · · Links to Literary Weblogs ; The Barista Code of Conduct ; Flirtatious women don't get ahead at work Sexy doesn't do it
• · · · · · I am a Hollywood screenwriter. I have written feature films, episodic television, movies for network and cable Page One Feature: The Affiliation That Dare Not Speak Its Name ; 50 coolest song parts ; Women are already on intimate terms with theirs. Now men may be about to get to know their pelvic floor muscles much better Squeeze here to fix erectile problems ; But then Less testosterone and the community's safer

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

We must select the illusion
which appeals to our temperament,
and embrace it with passion.
-Cyril Connolly

One of the greediest moves ever by big telephone companies appears — for the moment — to have run amok, if not backfired City-Sponsored Wi-Fi's Wild Ride

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Parting remarks on the Australian Public Service
I would like to focus on the perennial challenge for the Australian Public Service, the balancing of our responsibility to be responsive, with our responsibilities to be apolitical, impartial and professional.

There was bipartisan consensus in the 1970s and 1980s that the Service was too independent and not as responsive to the elected Government as it ought to be. I doubt there are many today, however, who would argue that the Public Service needs to shift the balance further towards responsiveness. The serious questions today concern our professionalism and our impartiality, and whether our obligation to be responsive has caused some of us sometimes to be too concerned to please

PS [Learning from America ; There’s no justification for taxpayer dollars being used to fund party political activity by governments Selling the Australian government ]
• · Inept police, politics, Internet and 'cucumber season' combine CzechTek: Anatomy of a scandal; Former Cold War mole Minarík gets re-charged in Munich terrorism plot State reopens bomb case against RFE spy ; FOIA Lawsuit to Obtain JFK Records Blocked by CIA
• · · The saga of Vivian Alvarez Solon is much more than the string of wrongs so carelessly and callously inflicted upon the seriously ill Australian mother A culture of denial ; Researching Librarian
• · · · The State of Online Legislative Research and What Makes a Good Legislative History, by Susan H. Paschell Legislative research ; Everybody loves a good story. Washington of course, has lots of them: political maneuverings and international intrigue The Document’s Story: Legislative Narration ; The mood in America is shifting against the Iraq war, but it has found inadequate expression in Congress Leaderless on the Left
• · · · · Public access to information under the FOIA; More Than 4 Million FOIA Requests Made in 2004 ; Revising constituency boundaries in the United States and Australia: it couldn’t be more different Democratic Audit of Australia (summary); Report (PFD) - Richard Engstrom provides a comparative analysis
• · · · · · Suing into submission: using litigation to quell dissent ; Underground banking: legitimate remittance network or money laundering system?

Narratives don't get built out of facts. Narratives tell us which facts matter. Within a narrative, it's important that journalistic reports be accurate. But accuracy is not enough to bring about intelligibility or to tear down an existing intelligibility.
-David Weinberger

Come see what all the buzz is about visit Webdiary ; Double diary, as Margo Kingston goes freelance
Even Yahoo Bets On Citizen Journalism

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Online opinion is good news for Labor
Amid all the discussion over the impact of the new forms of media on mainstream outlets, little analysis has been offered of the practical consequences for political opinion making.

These will be significant, at least in Australia. The rise of alternative online media, especially the extraordinary growth of the blogging phenomenon, may finally disturb a structural advantage long enjoyed by the conservative side of Australian politics. Much hullabaloo has been made of independent internet sites and bloggers scooping the mainstream media in breaking stories and battering it to death with fact checking. The new media's limited resources mean these achievements are only ever going to be intermittent, and the independents will never substitute for the substantive news functions of the main outlets, let alone professional investigative reporting.

Media Analysis by Christopher Sheil [September Project ; Wollongong City Council has cut the average processing time of development applications by more than a third with a new electronic system for recording, tracking and determining development applications Delays in approvals slashed ; It stands to reason that budding businesspeople would be attracted to Weblogs, those do-it-yourself publishing sites that embody the very spirit of entrepreneurism Small Business ; New Players Offer Deep Web Access to Facilitate Online Job Search: Simply Hired and Indeed, upstarts less than a year old, are getting attention for their Google-like approach to helping people find jobs. They do for job listings what Google does for general information -- crawl or "scrape" listings from thousands of sites and create a free, searchable index in one spot." Simply Amazing; Glenbrook, run by a father-daughter team, demonstrated its technology by building a search engine that scoops up job listings from the databases of various Web sites, something the company claims most search engines cannot do Duo's search engine scours 'hidden' sites]
• · Cut & paste: Media accused of left-wing bias is too soft on Howard ; Without Struggle/No Freedom
• · · Citizen journalism - in the form of a site that edits stories professionally - has had a huge impact in South Korea. But will it work elsewhere? 'We are changing the nature of news' ; [* If you are not a subscriber to the 'Media Guardian' try Bug Me Not ]; iTalk and Media Dragon
• · · · Alterman, Keller and Moyers respond to Richard Posner's review essay Bad News; TV sports star Costas takes a pass on guest-hosting 'Larry King Live' Good Move: It's rare to see such a stance ; Cyber-fraud Bad guys are winning the war. There’s no question bad guys are winning the war...
• · · · · Razor has been having an interesting debate with ourselves, and some readers, on that post about Robert Scoble's phone number Blogs and corrections ; Wireless is everywhere these days, except in places where you really, really need it – like hotel rooms Travel in Wireless Style ; From Jim Moore's Journal: RSS-oriented search engines are appearing, including MSN search, with RSS output and one-click subscriptions to leading news aggregators MSN Search Makes RSS Easy
• · · · · · Web Search Emphasizes The Present to the Detriment of Access to Data on the Past Multiple Presents: How Search Engines Re-write the Past ; Google Has Your Data: Should You Be Afraid? ; THOMAS Will Launch New Search Engine By Year's End

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

We must select the illusion
which appeals to our temperament,
and embrace it with passion.
-Cyril Connolly

One of the greediest moves ever by big telephone companies appears — for the moment — to have run amok, if not backfired City-Sponsored Wi-Fi's Wild Ride

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Parting remarks on the Australian Public Service
I would like to focus on the perennial challenge for the Australian Public Service, the balancing of our responsibility to be responsive, with our responsibilities to be apolitical, impartial and professional.

There was bipartisan consensus in the 1970s and 1980s that the Service was too independent and not as responsive to the elected Government as it ought to be. I doubt there are many today, however, who would argue that the Public Service needs to shift the balance further towards responsiveness. The serious questions today concern our professionalism and our impartiality, and whether our obligation to be responsive has caused some of us sometimes to be too concerned to please

[Learning from America ; There’s no justification for taxpayer dollars being used to fund party political activity by governments Selling the Australian government ]
• · Inept police, politics, Internet and 'cucumber season' combine CzechTek: Anatomy of a scandal; Former Cold War mole Minarík gets re-charged in Munich terrorism plot State reopens bomb case against RFE spy ; FOIA Lawsuit to Obtain JFK Records Blocked by CIA
• · · The saga of Vivian Alvarez Solon is much more than the string of wrongs so carelessly and callously inflicted upon the seriously ill Australian mother A culture of denial ; Researching Librarian
• · · · The State of Online Legislative Research and What Makes a Good Legislative History, by Susan H. Paschell Legislative research ; Everybody loves a good story. Washington of course, has lots of them: political maneuverings and international intrigue The Document’s Story: Legislative Narration ; The mood in America is shifting against the Iraq war, but it has found inadequate expression in Congress Leaderless on the Left
• · · · · Public access to information under the FOIA; More Than 4 Million FOIA Requests Made in 2004 ; Revising constituency boundaries in the United States and Australia: it couldn’t be more different
Democratic Audit of Australia (summary); Report (PFD) - Richard Engstrom provides a comparative analysis
• · · · · · Suing into submission: using litigation to quell dissent ; Underground banking: legitimate remittance network or money laundering system?

I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them ... Vatican singles out faithless Australia - The leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics will lead a mission to rejuvenate the faith in Australia as part of World Youth Day 2008 And Pope's winner is Syd-er-ney … youth festival on the way

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Crouching Tigers, Hidden Dragons
The balance of power will shift to the East as China and India evolve

It may not top the must-see list of many tourists. But to appreciate Shanghai's ambitious view of its future, there is no better place than the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, a glass-and-metal structure across from People's Square. The highlight is a scale model bigger than a basketball court of the entire metropolis -- every skyscraper, house, lane, factory ...

A New World Economy [Robert Corr Industrial relations legislation ; On line Opinion: Poverty: lazy louts or in need of aid? ; Political parties ignore Generation Y at their own peril; Selling the Australian Government: Politics and propaganda ]
• · The bubble we knew was coming back in 2000 - Home loan affordability remains at "scary" levels in Sydney even though property prices continue to fall across the city, and it will weigh heavily on the economy for years to come Run Away Train - A mortgage belting for Sydneysiders ; The American Dream Vs. the European Dream ; Ghosts from communist era come back to haunt judiciary Judging the past
• · · The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan ; But for the persistence of her ex-husband, Vivian Alvarez may never have been found The cover-up comes unstuck
• · · · Labor fears backlash but Libs holding fire ; Macquarie Fields byelection Riot-torn suburb at centre of poll clash ; Byelection Swings
• · · · · Had the test been real, all the passengers would probably be dead Rail evacuation drill revealed disastrous failings; eDemocracy or eBureaucracy
• · · · · · It is always interesting to see bigotry alive and active within minority communities Gays can be bigots too! ; Tim Dunlop Fear inflation

Music is an art that touches the depth of human existence, an art that crosses all borders Dedicated to my Alex ;-)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: In search of lost authors ...
It has been estimated that 99 percent of all the books ever published are out of print.

Certainly, enough people want to read out-of-print books to make for a thriving second-hand book business.
A couple of Sundays ago I wrote about a book that's out of print: John O'Hara's Sermons and Soda-Water. I was surprised at how many people sent me emails about O'Hara and what I had to say about him.
It had occurred to me, while I was reading O'Hara during my vacation, that it would be interesting to read just the Gibbsville stories, to see how they relate to one another -- and whether they form a cohesive whole. Well, Matthew Bruccoli has put together a collection of the Gibbsville stories called Gibbsville, Pa. I just got a copy from Amazon, along with a copy of BUtterfield 8. I plan on reading them and maybe a couple of the novels and writing about O'Hara again.

Dead Yet Alive [ Penguin Group is the only big Australian publisher to actively use the internet in book marketing campaigns; On books as enemies: Books as friends? Impossible. Booze, maybe. And dogs. But not books If you treated a human like a book, they'd take you to court ]
• · Australia is in love with risk, contests, adrenalin and winning. Young Australians gravitate to the most dangerous rite in Europe, in disproportionate numbers, and with disproportionate bravado A nation addicted to adventure ; Sale of books in Australia is remarkably choppy: among the revealing statistics: non-fiction dominance (59 per cent of titles, v. just 25 for fiction and 16 for children's) People . . . will buy what is popular Australian publishing statistics
• · · Promoting students' social and emotional skills plays a critical role in improving their academic performance No Emotion Left Behind ; My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student On the Trail of an Undercover Professor ; We (obsessive, and swimming -- drowning ! -- in books) still can't help but feel that if you really go at it there's little that can improve and enrich the life-experience as much as reading. And those that don't see and reap the rewards just aren't going at it right (and no matter how hard she tries, Posh's leafing through fashion magazine won't ever give her anything approaching that satisfaction) Reading v. not reading
• · · · 100 Things About Other People; A look at the most popular loneliest person on the planet Hello, Loneliness
• · · · · In the hallowed halls of academia, Sexism no longer swaggers about in a wife beater with a Camel no-filter hanging from its defiant lip The Quotidian Miasma of Discrimination ; Salman Rushdie has emerged from the dark Satanic years, happier and more buoyant than he has been in decades. Here, he talks to Ginny Dougary about the war on terror, wonderful women – and why he thinks Joanna Trollope is cool
The incredible lightness of Salman
• · · · · · What's wrong with kids today? It all starts with their 'parents'; Can aimless summer fun still sell in the age of hyperscheduled kids and achievement-oriented parents? Toy story

Monday, August 22, 2005

Margo Kingston today closed her Webdiary at Fairfax and hang her shingle up at a new site Personal opening statement to Webdiarists
In June 2005 Reportage Medialog noted that Margo Kingston’s webdiary can really be considered as an example of citizen journalism. ‘Webdiary is in fact a pioneer of this kind of journalism and Margo has an incredible commitment to working directly with her readers - many not at all of her own political persuasion - to engender real participatory discussion.’ Citizen Journalism Alert
Stay as you were, Maintain Your Identity

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Media Studies. Discuss
Every year the A-level examiners do the press a great favour. They provide a guaranteed story in the slowest news week of the year: the "decline in standards".

A-level results are out with record passes, prompting much sneering about "soft" options such as Media Studies. An expert of the genre, Professor John Ellis, of Royal Holloway, University of London, deconstructs the media's coverage of Media Studies.

Lies, damn lies and statistics [Creative folks coming together to talk about being creative Writers conferences ; When an avant garde attains success it is institutionalized, routinized, and trivialized Literary Theory and Media Study ]
• · The other Joe’s first acquaintance with imaginary numbers in real life came in high school when he learned all about I. The continuing debate between Yahoo and Google about who indexes more of the web misses the point: both miss most of it. The stuff search engines find is the tip of the iceberg. Most of what's out there is known and available only to those who know where to go in the first place The size of the web — and other imaginary numbers ; It was a friend who alerted me to this post by Chris Sheil rather than a search engine - My stalker: the case of Tim Blair ; How does one work in a team and ‘help the other fellow’ when so in blogosphere much is fueled by envy, jealousy, and greed? Hello, Muddah ; What I Really Want To Do Is Blog
• · · A.L. Kennedy blogs her road trip They Have Authors Guest Blogging? Why, I Oughta... ; Google, The Internet Powerhouse, has an immodest stock price and an equally immodest goal: to organize all the world's information The book on Google ; The humanities are ruined, the universities full of crooks. Art is neglected, coddled, and buried under chatter Camille Paglia
• · · · Electronic games and the internet are not dumbing down a generation of users Today's virtual jugglers will be tomorrow's high achievers ; A new book looks at the clueless ways big entertainment companies try to control content or subvert emerging technologies, and how people work around those efforts Picking the Media's Digital Lock
• · · · · When democracies abridge the rights of individuals in order to crack down on terrorism, recent experience shows how quickly things can go wrong One lesson terrorism has taught ; A conversation with J.D. Lasica at the Well's Inkwell
• · · · · · It’s easy to tell when someone is working, but how can you tell when they’re making progress? Simple work, like mowing a lawn or washing a car has transparent progress: as each small unit of work is completed it’s visible to everyone. But with complex work, building software, running a business, writing a novel, it is harder to identify true progress. Work vs. Progress; Only in Amerika - Map in Progress;Playing Flickr!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
-Tom Stoppard

You are a modern day slave. There is no scope for personal fulfilment. You work for your pay-check at the end of the month, full stop It's pointless to try to change the system. Opposing it simply makes it stronger

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Corinne Maier's manifesto
Bored by meaningless work, management jargon, memos and meetings, a new type of professional slacker has emerged - the actively disengaged.

Rather than quitting and moving to the coast, this species avoids work where possible and puts up with corporate drudgery just to bank their pay. In the biggest companies seek out the most useless positions: those in consultancy, appraisal, research and study. The more useless your position, the less possible it will be to assess your 'contribution to the firm's assets

Three cheers for the office bludger - the zero who became a hero [If you've ever dreamt of writing a feature film, you might have been seized by the idea of capturing the delicious essence of ordinary, everyday life Film: Look Both Ways ; Balgo is literally a dot on the map of the vast empty central desert of Australia Balgo: Art of Darkness]
• · More than 400 years after his death, Tsar Ivan IV, also known as Ivan the Terrible, continues to fascinate historians. Infamous for his cruelty, sexual misconduct and, possibly, madness, he has remained a mystery due to the lack of credible source materials about his personal life The Terrible Tsar ; As the fall season approaches, the book world is still searching for this year's great American novel Pickings Thin for 2005 Literary Fiction ; Future perfect: how to be a 'real' man again
• · · Control alt divorce - how internet affairs can ruin your marriage ; Virtual adultery; We rarely talk about sexual attraction between professors and students Talking About It
• · · · What is the greatest sin? One common response is that all sins are equally bad in God's eyes. But this makes little sense Why God hates terrorists more than gamblers ; There is an architectural danger of a withdrawal to gated communities - an irrational and useless response. When faced with this kind of terrorism a bunker mentality emerges. After 9/11 almost every building in the US became like a fortress The Fall of Public Man
• · · · · If you love reading, which I happen to, life without books is unthinkable; that's very true Victoria Beckham: The tyranny of reading ; When you're buried in books ; Have you heard the one about. . . Political satire is making a big comeback
• · · · · · New Yorkers are great at leaving something extra. Tourists suck. A cocktail waitress spills the beans. The Tipping Point ; The cumulative genius of Overheard in New York The Word on the Street ; Overheard in New York

Saturday, August 20, 2005

It's Queensland by-election day today, for two seats Poll Bludger's been on to it

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Interview: Peter Costello

The government is now considering whether to sell off Telstra’s remaining shareholding in several stages

After Coalition MPs approved a $3.2 billion package to upgrade telecommunications in the bush, Prime Minister Howard formally announced the sale of the rest of Telstra, saying it would probably go ahead next year.

Proceeds of privatisations [It took the mother of an American soldier slain in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan, camping outside President Bush's Texas ranch, to ask for an explanation of the noble cause her son died for Daring to Ask Blasphemous Questions ; Who's Really Screwing up America? Here are Seven Candidates ]
• · His mates nicknamed him "Arnie" because lifting weights gave him a tall, muscular frame like Arnold Schwarzenegger Going undercover made me an addict ;
• · · Once the nation's most popular premier, Peter Beattie could be about to get a wake-up call Perfect one day, poison the next ; Byelection results
• · · · Australian soldiers are being blindfolded, stripped naked and menaced by savage dogs for up to three hours in extreme training exercises to prepare them to resist torture SAS naked and bound in training ; Tim Dunlop considers the sheer irony steeped hilarity of this front-page report in The Australian this morning Geneva Conventions ; UN sanctions destroyed Iraq but no one will be tried for the crime This Was the Most Glaring Scandal of All
• · · · · Media Coverage of Gaza: Many Questions, Few Answers ; Antony Loewenstein While Israel and Iraq burns...
• · · · · · Exercise of power ; An Iraqi democracy, whatever its final form and written constitution, will be both controversial and dangerous. Establishing the Next Democracy

The Dummy

In that forgotten part of town
Where wasted hopes and dreams abound,
A wrinkled man with life near end,
In hopes to have at least one friend,
Fashioned bits of wood and things
And made a dummy run by strings.
He sat alone for hours on end,
Conversing with his only friend
And found delight within the fact
That he controlled it's every act.
He told it how he never had
A chance, since all his luck was bad
Although he'd tried so to succeed -
The dummy nodded and agreed.
And how his journeys in romance
Had never given him a chance,
And wasn't it a crying shame
That he was always held to blame
When everyone knew, oh so well,
That life is but a living Hell,
Controlled by lust and power and greed?
The dummy nodded and agreed ...
- Michael Mack
[Indeed, everyone needs to discover the Garden of Friendship. Someone who will accept them, listen to them and let them know they are not alone]