Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DURING UNCERTAIN TIMES. The End of Absurd Financial Year - No luncheons at Little Snails ... People tend to look back and wonder, How did it get to this? They feel more keenly their missed opportunities and failures in judgment. Regret -the sense that things could have turned out better if only a different choice had been made –becomes pervasive Regret is ardwired into human biology, underscoring its importance in behavior. If misery loves company, it's because perspective helps. It's good to know you're not the only "idiot" in the neighborhood. On some level, we're all idiots. The most successful people are those who have been resolute in the face of failure. Support from colleagues, mentors, or coaches can boost your resilience. Sometimes, though, regret spirals downward into depression. If your thoughts turn morbid, get professional help so you can go back to striving toward your personal and career goals.
One wondersow foreclosures adversely affect households and their neighborhoods — from children and the elderly to public safety and local property tax revenues. The Impacts of Foreclosures on Families and Communities

Different Strokes
Obsession & Perfection

Democracy needs to know the serious reading of books. Long books. Hard books. Books with which we have to struggle...

Some systems – financial, transport, power grids, taxation – are just too big to carry on with any degree of predictability. They become unstable before we can know...

Struggles with Complexities; [Risk-taking may not be the quality which first comes to mind when the ABC is mentioned. However, controversy has never been far from the ABC's programming. War on 'The Chaser'; Conspiracies have in principle the power to do actual harm in the world. Far more harmful in practice is the power of conspiracy theories... Chasing conspiracy theories... ]
• · The companies who come out the other end of this downturn stronger than when they went in will have sustainability at their core. When I think about a sustainable world, one face always comes to my mind: my granddaughter Stella. Nothing concentrates the mind more powerfully than the future of someone you love… Stella's World: One Stella at a Time ; Recently I was on a panel with Malcolm Gladwell, the high priest of unraveling the mysteries of science and a great storyteller. I've just come across a couple of books by a young (at 27, very young) scientist who might give Malcolm a run for his money, Jonah Lehrer… Jonah Lehrer
• · Everyone likes to talk about how young families are revitalizing big cities. The truth of migration patterns tells another story, as Joel Kotkin explains...Revitalizing big cities ; It’s a standard genre: a book written by a big thinker who wants to capture the spirit of America while armed only with his own brilliance. Spirit of Amerika
• · · Is there a formula for a good life? For 72 years, researchers have followed 268 men through war, career, marriage and divorce, and old age... Is there a formula for a good life? ; Even though more stuff does not lead to more happiness, human beings are driven to acquire, acquire, acquire. Geoffrey Miller can see why...Aquisition
• · · · Richard Wagner viewed himself as an underdog. That’s why, after Mendelssohn’s early death in 1847, he wreaked revenge on the “little Jewish prince”... Wagner; If the Mafia boss thinks you might betray him, he will just kill you or throw you into prison. Saint-Simon’s memoirs do not make us regret the end of the age of great kings. But if only we had today chroniclers as wise, vital, witty, and knowing... Royalty
• · · · · Bill Buckley could turn any event into an adventure, a joke, a showdown. He loved risk. He was just an exciting person to be around... Riding motorbikes without a helmet, flying planes while half asleep—not to mention discussing books he’d never read and using words he didn’t understand—William F. Buckley courted adventure in all that he did. Here, the conservative godfather’s onetime protégé and longtime nemesis fondly recalls their friendship—and argues that Buckley was not the snob many thought him to be Risk Lover; Here are the classic sins that too many leaders don't realise can turn a fabulous employee into a frustrated poor performer. If you manage others, can you honestly go through this list and be 100% sure you've never committed any of these sins?" What are the big leadership sins?
• · · · · · Once limited to hushed exchanges in the break room, employees have more venues to complain than ever. Web 2.0 tools have created a virtual water cooler, and employees' gossip - about everything from how managers handle layoffs to organising company social functions - can instantly reach an opinionated, enabling and often highly reactionary audience A manager's guide to social media ; Research demonstrates that managers are experiencing poor quality and quantity of sleep, and encourages them and their organisations to be aware of the - sometimes disastrous - consequences of 'sleepiness'. The wake-up call for sleepy managers

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

St John's Eve bonfires continued to be lit on every hill in the High Tatra Mountain ...

Most men talk too much. Much of my success has been due to keeping my mouth shut.
-J. Ogden Armour

Human creativity thrived in prehistoric life where our ancestors were crowded into small spaces, mingling and talking ... Party animals

One of two certainties Distant voices, desperate lives
The recent conference on tax reform organised by the Henry tax review and the Melbourne Institute was outstanding, with giants of the field advancing far-reaching proposals. But some crucial perspectives were missing, creating risks for the ultimate outcome.

A strong point of the conference was recognition that a revolution has occurred in the analysis of taxation in recent decades. That revolution is based on the realisation that when governments set taxes, they don't know the productive potential of individual income earners.

• Henry Ergas has produced a tax reform proposal for Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbul Taxing Inspiration; [Fight billion (and counting). This is the sum that has potentially been lost by hundreds of thousands of savers across middle-class Australia who invested in failed schemes arranged by the likes of Westpoint, Fincorp. Storm, Opes Prime, Great Southern and Timbercorp. The collapse of the country s two biggest managed investment scheme providers has shone a light on the potential risks associated with using niche investment strategies solely to reduce tax. ; THE Australian Taxation Office is looking to cut a deal with a high-flying businessman claimed to owe $35 million as part of the nation's largest tax fraud probe ]
• · Without strong upper houses, parliaments cannot rely on watchdogs alone to guard against bad government. ACROSS MODERN DEMOCRACIES, there have been increasing public complaints that executive government is too powerful and too dominant. The concern is not new, but it has become more urgent as executive government increasingly controls and manipulates not only parliament but also the other institutions of state, such as the public service, advisory bodies and, in some cases, the judiciary. In the 1970s, British Conservative politician Lord Hailsham believed such trends meant modern government had become an ‘‘elective dictatorship’’, whereby, although elected, it dominated all aspects of the political process at the expense of democratic practice Perils of government dominance ; As the prime minister said to public service leaders: 'We cannot afford a public service culture where all you do is tell the government what you think the government wants to hear' ; David Flint The ‘Utegate’ affair and the constitution
• · In an upside to the rugby s*x scandal the community has been forced to think about morality. Love, s*x, pride and morality; 'I feel more at home as editor of The Big Issue ... than I did for much of my time working in the mainstream media.' Working on big issues
• · · Fresh claims over Barclays tax - alleged tax avoidance schemes so highly orchestrated HMRC is struggling to comprehend them The alleged Barclays tax avoidance schemes entered into to make a profit involved companies with headquarters in the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg, and are said to be so complex HM Revenue and Customs is having difficulty deciphering them. Earlier this week, a court injunction forced the Guardian to remove internal bank documents from its website, according to guardian.co.uk Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman, said public disclosure of the documents is in the interest of taxpayers. This is a sad day for democracy. British taxpayers are being asked to underwrite Barclays' loans... banks use the finest legal brains money can buy to avoid tax, but HM Revenue & Customs is underpaid and overstretched, so it is far from a level playing field,' he said New whistleblower claims over £1bn Barclays tax deals ; Zipped Documents; Further detailed allegations about tax avoidance schemes set up by Barclays Bank emerged tonight from whistleblowers who said the bank made close to £1bn profit a year from a series of elaborate deals. The schemes are similar to those detailed in documents published by the Guardian this week which have been the centre of a three-day hearing at the high court, and are the subject of a gagging order. The Tax Gap series; Snapshot;
• · · · 2008 ushered in an unprecedented global downturn that originated in 2007. What started as a financial crisis soon expanded into the larger economy, affecting mature and emerging markets alike. World equity markets lost a decade of gains, and volatility reached record levels. Our 2008 findings show HNWIs began to lose trust in the markets, regulators, and, in some cases, their financial advisory firms. They also extended their allocations to safer investments—a trend that had its inception a year earlier. As a result, our research shows, cash and fixed-income instruments now make up 50% of HNWIs’ portfolios overall, and many HNWIs have retreated to familiar domestic markets Australia Endorses Ongoing Global Efforts to Combat Tax Avoidance and Evasion; UK companies are using lax visa rules to bring in cheap offshore IT staff at the expense of local contractors, an investigation by the BBC’s File on 4 programme has found. IT Trends of Global Fame
• · · · · Consumers are neck deep in information and I believe what they are after now is an experience. Some fun, some intrigue, maybe a little romance. If this thought strikes a chord with you, crack open Cristina Nehring's book A Vindication of Love: Reclaiming Romance for the Twenty-First Century… The Wild Side of Love ; This site aspires to be nothing less than the definitive site for human achievement, based on its belief that every person on earth has the potential to be the world's best 'something'. What your 'something' is depends on the limits of your imagination… The Universal Record Database
• · · · · · Can you compare it across countries and regions or across different fields of human activity? If yes, in what way? Can creativity be measured?; The reason for the bonfires? They're a reminder of the birth of St. John the Baptist. Slovakia has a very colourful St John aka Jan Jan Figel

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Six years after he left the Presidential Office, Havel expresses disappointment that the story he described as a "fairy tale" in his autobiography To the Castle and Back from 2006 had no happy ending. Some 150 opponents and supporters of Czech President Vaclav Klaus gathered outside Prague Castle, the seat of Czech presidents, Wednesday to demonstrate against his policy on the one hand, and to express their "tacit support" for the president against his critics, on the other hand. Never Catch a Falling Commercial Knife

Rahm Emmanuel, the current White House Chief of Staff, has famously been quoted as saying that: You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.

There is not such thing as darkness; only a failure to see Havel laments as Consumer palaces occupy nation
Czech are building "palaces of consumerism," politicians cannot see farther than the next opinion poll and "mobsters" have become a new elite in the Czech Republic, former Czech president Vaclav Havel

Havel, 72, playwright, thinker and a leading anti-communist dissident, told Bloomberg that not many of us thought the door would be opened so quickly to all the mafiosi and back-street money-changers" who have now become "millionaires and billionaires.
We are living in the first truly atheistic society, and there's no feeling that there is any kind of moral anchor, said Havel, major protagonist of the Velvet Revolution in November 1989 that toppled the communist regime in then Czechoslovakia and catapulted him from the dissidents' underground to Prague Castle, the presidential seat.

Philosopher King [ Czech stories ; For Václav Havel, the leader of the 1989 "Velvet Revolution" that peacefully overthrew communism in what became the Czech Republic, the optimism of 20 years ago has given way to a troubled present. Havel laments as 'consumer palaces' occupy nation ; PRAGUE is Edinburgh with knobs on. Literally. It has the cobbles, the culture, the castle and is way ahead on trams, but it's the plethora of scantily-clad figures perched on every building and pedestal that really caught my eye. From the Herculean figures holding up buildings with the skimpiest of lion skins wrapped around their nethers to the Charles Atlas hunks fronting many a façade, I've never seen so much gratuitous beefcake buttressed on to buildings. Prague: Velvet evolution ]
• · WHAT is it about Castle Cove that attracts the cream of Sydney's underworld, with their fast cars and faster women? Sydney and Capitalism of the Castles ; A study in a rural town found that young men and women who rejected either alcohol, football or both became socially isolated.Masculinity, sport and alcohol
• · · THE NSW Government will appoint an independent Information Commissioner and overhaul freedom of information laws, under new bills presented to the State ... Putting Flesh on the FOIA Bones; The Night Jack blog in the United Kingdom gave a behind-the-scenes look at frontline policing as an unnamed officer chronicled his working life in an unnamed town. Blogger forced to reveal his identity
• · · · On 16 June 2009 AD the Government published The Digital Britain Report, its strategic vision for ensuring that the UK is at the leading edge of the global digital economy Digital Media Dragons ; Question of Internet International Context - Internet
• · · · · · This study explores the structure and content of the Arabic blogosphere using link analysis, term frequency analysis, and human coding of individual blogs Arabic Media Dragons ; The Iranian president does not represent any religious nor national or other ideas. Unfortunately we are living at a time when a man possessed could easily inflict damage to a lot of people, due to modern technology Havel Says Iran’s Ahmadinejad Is A Man Possessed

Taxpayer could get no satisfaction:

The current network of reciprocal social security agreements will be extended to include the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. These agreements are expected to commence on 1 January 2011 and will improve access to the Age Pension for people who live for a time in both Australia and the nations who are party to the agreements. Australia and these nations will share responsibility for the pension, each paying a proportion of their pension based on relevant eligibility criteria and the period of residence or insurance that recipients have accrued in each country. The employer's compulsory superannuation (or social security) obligation will remain in the employee's home country to avoid 'double coverage'. ( Source: Budget Paper No 2 [p 245]; Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs media release, 12 May 2009.)

The difference between tax avoidance and tax. Evasion is the thickness of a prison wall. Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It is not every night that Media Dragoness is part of a group which sips champagne with David Stratton and Margaret Pomerange (sic). Balibo, a film that tells of the events surrounding the slaying of New Zealand journalist Gary Cunningham and four Australian colleagues by Indonesian soldiers in East Timor in 1975, will be showcased at the International Press Institute world congress next month Balibo

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tonight's the night. The award winning Ashfield Youth Theatre has partnered with Strathfield Council to present the Theatre of the Absurd classic “Rhinoceros” by Eugene Ionesco. The play will be performed at Strathfield Town Hall from June 11-13 and involves a cast of thirteen young people who reside in the inner-west of Sydney. Rhinoceros - Gabbie the leading lady - The cast Art Imitates Life; The new age on MySpace; Promotion

Only in the age of Amazon.com age is Story of Cold River possible …

Havel calls for solidarity with those living in non-freedom … The countries that experienced totalitarian regimes must show solidarity with those who live in totalitarian or authoritative states, former Czechoslovak and Czech president Vaclav Havel said at celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in Poland. In a move that surprised many, former Czech President Václav Havel gave his backing to the Czech Green Party led by Martin Bursík. Havel in 2009
Charter 08 was consciously modelled on Charter 77, the Czech call for freedom and human rights drawn up by playwright and dissident Vaclav Havel in 1977 Charter 08

The course of true anything never does run smooth 'High Noon' for Freedom
Communism began to collapse in Europe on the same day democracy was crushed at Tiananmen.

By the end of 1991, the Soviet Union had expired and the Cold War was over. The story of communism's collapse, which began in full the same day Tiananmen's A look back at the world-changing events of June 1989When the celebrations marking the anniversary of the June 4, 1989 Polish parliamentary election are held in Krakow this month, political distractions should not obscure the fact that ending communist control in a European country for the first time since the end of the Second World War was an unprecedented achievement. It opened the door for the rest of the Soviet Bloc. The end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the “reunification of Europe" would all have been unthinkable without the momentous Polish election. Poland has good reason to be proud as it may be the only economy in the region not to shrink this year

20 Years On ; [ANYONE WHO doubts the power of the ballot box has forgotten June 4th, 1989, in Poland. Though the Berlin Wall would stand for another five months, this day 20 years ago was when Poland’s communist leadership experienced its high noon.Poland; More links]
• · Former president and Solidarity founder Lech Wałęsa is to receive the highest distinction granted by the authorities of Berlin Lech over Loch; About 150,000 people gathered in Hong Kong to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, but Beijing was locked down as police and security agents swarmed through the stree Square
• · The U.S. government says it's lost - yes, lost - an entire hard drive full of sensitive data. The external drive, stored at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, held personal data from the Clinton era. Here are [ComputerWorld's] top four government data blunders of recent months, starting with this week's National Archives revelation Lost hard drive and other government data blunders ; Senator the Hon John Faulkner, media release, 6 May 2009. At the launch of a new Ethics Advisory Service, the Minister acknowledged that work in the Public Service is increasingly more complex and demands a high level of ethical awareness. 'The Ethics Advisory Service will provide a new capability that agencies and their employees can draw on to support ethical decision making.". The Minister said that the Ethics Advisory Service does not have a problem-solving or counselling role Faulkner; Launch of the Ethics Advisory Service
• · · Looking at the trends in online recruitment, including social networks. Executive hiring in the virtual world has different strategies and boundaries Virtual hiring ventures ; 5 ways to ruin your next presentation ; Standing in a circle with a horse can teach interesting leadership skills. Equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) is going beyond therapeutic use and growing as a learning and development aid. From the horse's mouth
• · · · One of the most fundamental rules of social networking etiquette: you must carefully consider who you "friend" or "connect" with on services like Facebook and LinkedIn. According to career experts, the people with whom you associate reflect upon you in many ways Social networking etiquette: how to introduce yourself and others politely ; So it is official, a recession here and worse is yet to come… Stressed managers need to realise that being nice can pay big dividends in a downturn.
Avoiding morale hazard
• · · · · Radiating energy, in the way we work and the way we communicate, creates value for ourselves and the organisation. Surprisingly perhaps, it is a skill that can be learned. Glow: the great new work experience ;
• · · · · · Journalism students at the University of Technology have had their right to free speech curtailed again, as attempts to distribute their independent literary supplement at the Herald-partnered Sydney Writers' Festival ended with threats of arrest and litter infringement notices. Despite her slight build, festival director Wendy Were is beginning to look a lot like copy-vetting coup leader Frank Bainimarama. "I have got no issue with the Sydney Writers' Festival, other than the fact they need to support free speech," said Professor Wendy Bacon ; The tale of the writers' festival gagging its critics was intriguing from the start, but presuming my colleagues would be all over it, I stayed away. Only when I was invited to join a "criticism" panel did I peer more closely. Since 2004, UTS journalism students have, for the few days the festival, produced a free daily, Festival News. Last year, the festival confiscated the first issue, declaring itself unhappy with both the students' behaviour and the content of their organ which was, the director, Wendy Were, wrote, "riddled with disparaging content about the festival and its supporters". In particular, the festival rejected a report that the arts minister, Frank Sartor, had been "booed" (the current online wording is "greeted with grudging applause") in presenting the Premier's Literary Award. There was passing mention of Morris Iemma's conspicuous absence and some gently gleeful discussion of Macquarie banker Bob Carr's declaration he didn't read Australian books. Pretty mild stuff. Refreshing, compared with the usual pap, if perhaps a little undergrad. Given that both Arts NSW and Macquarie Bank are major funders, it makes you wonder. Was the festival just another "be nice to sponsors" week? This year, it happened again; students and others had their paper impounded and their persons allegedly threatened with arrest. Excuse me, what? Are we suddenly transported to Burma? The festival's droll manager, Ben Strout, may argue "free voices does not mean freedom to blurt … whatever … wherever". The Walsh Bay precinct manager, Luke Mead, who apparently gave the order, may yell down the phone at any who ask that "it's private property and we'll stop people handing out papers if we want to". But in truth, they're both wrong. Free speech does mean pretty much whatever, wherever, and the festival wharf - unlike much of Walsh Bay - is still public domain. Read all about it: to hell with free speech and long live the sponsors

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What the Dead Know: Some people are born lucky and some make their own luck …

Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so.
Why tribes, not money or factories, will change the world

Sunday, June 07, 2009

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
GOOGLE is refusing to explain the gulf between the revenues filed in its latest accounts and the almost $1 billion paid by Australian companies to the technology giant to buy up search terms on the internet.

THE Sydney Film Festival is here in June to warm the winter nights. As I am sure you will have noticed, gossip is all the rage in every form of media. Hence, always eager to row with the flow, Tara Moss presents the insider links to writing for your delectation and delight - Twelve days, 40 films, one friend ... movie heaven Sydney Film Festival

John W went out to see the light show in Circular Quay last night and here are some preliminary results Coathanger City

Film & Festivals Magical moments and lots of intrigue
THE Sydney Film Festival's competition heated up at the weekend with three very different films - each strikingly inventive in their own way.

Many people enjoyed the opening night's film, Looking for Eric, but it is the whole festival experience, not individual films, which make it special …
An in-the-loop man. That's the only thing Balls is good at. The ultimate back-room boy, a princeling of complicity and spin. The British invented swearing and this movie is the apex of swearing. The movie, about a series of misunderstandings and diplomatic miscues between the American and British governments that accelerates the march to a war in the Middle East, features some of the most creative obscenities we’ve ever heard. Of course, this being a family-oriented blog, here are the best samples of indelicate language that get thrown around the film’s versions of the White House and 10 Downing Street, as safely as we can reproduce them: “________-ity bye”
In the Loop’: Don’t Fill in the Blanks

[Film & Festivals has launched a new platform to promote film, film professionals and film festivals. Film & Festivals ; Google ON SFF
• · I have to make an admission. I have been making feature films for 29 years and have never been to the Sydney Film Festival. And I've never watched Citizen Kane, either. At least, not all the way through. Why film critics are more dangerous than Godzilla ; Awarding time; SFF added plenty of links to video recordings of some of the most popular events, thanks to our friends at Slow TV and ABC. You can find them on the SWF Facebook group or at with more to be added over the next few weeks. More images
• · During this Sydney Writers' Festival, spare a thought for all the writers who are prying themselves away from the creative solitude of their laptops, nervously bracing for the unpredictability of public panel debates, interviews with strangers and exchanges with sweaty-palmed fans. When writers' festivals turn into Twilight Zone episodes ; Sydney is playing host to an array of great thinkers, philosophers and authors from Australia and around the world for the nation's largest literary event. Thousands of people have descended on the precinct at Walsh Bay on Sydney Harbour for the Sydney Writers Festival, to hear writers talk about their work. Philosophers ; Feast of words at Writers Festival
• · · Political satire in the US has a history as long as the republic, being a hallmark of the post-independence newspapers. put on satire to capture the spirit of the nation The satirists’ manifesto ; Somehow Gordon Brown found a banana grin to stick over his mouth at 11.58am as he entered the Commons. He was accompanied by his deputy, Harriet Harman, round-shouldered, goofily over-excited. As moony Harriet clopped in, did her own thoughts flitter to the premiership? Why not? Regicide can ignite dreams. One politician's disaster is another's opportunity Gordon Brown
• · · This report covers Australians' attitudes and behaviours to online security and privacy; issues of digital confidence and skills; take-up and use of the internet; and factors which influence people’s decisions to participate or not participate online. Australia in the digital economy: trust and confidence ; This report discusses the roles, functions and procedures of the modern Australian shadow cabinet. It aims to redress the shortage of material on the Shadow Cabinet, and provide the reader with a better understanding of what the Shadow Cabinet does and how it operates. In the shadows: the shadow cabinet in Australia
• · · · · Mascots. They're undervalued. They're unappreciated. But, hey, they love it. We follow three mascot performers as they reach turning points in their careers. Chris travels the country performing as Reggy the Purple Party Dude. Reggy has his own talk show, he's the official spokes-character of the Mascot Hall of Fame and he fights for the rights of mascots everywhere. Mascots ; Consumers have recalibrated the way they spend. The value of every purchase is being reconsidered… Consumption patterns are in the process of being irreversibly reordered, and business must respond Value
• · · · · · Bluest Mountains Have An Out Of Body Experience‏ with Michael

Monday, June 01, 2009

Writer’s Festival in Sydney was very enjoyable. Media Dragons handed Cold River over to Kate Grenville of Secret River fame …

Without knowing the story of Cold River a British rock band of the late 60s and 70s conveyed a nice message about the future of extreme isms
“Yes, there are two paths you can go by but in a long run, there is still time to change the road you’re on”
-Led Zeppelin, Stairway to heaven

If bloggers are all wannabe journalists and journalists are all complacent hacks, why do so few manage to cross over? Rachel Hills talks to four blogger/journalists who’ve excelled in both fields: Erica Bartle, Tim Blair, Margo Kingston and Antony Loewenstein If bloggers are all wannabe journalists

As always Antony summarises the Writers Festival blogging sessions as no one else
The Sydney Writer’s Festival was a blast at the end of May. One of the highlights was speaking and hanging with the author of Stuff White People Like, Christian Lander. Funny man, a very funny and perceptive man.
Extract from Margo: Paul McGeogh kinda pushed me into citizen journalism via what was once the Herald’s Webdiary, and I’m not sure whether to thank or sue him. The interaction with readers was the best thing that happened to me in journalism. Webdiary contributors included concerned expats and rural readers. Journos often put on a persona of detachment because they don’t want their own personal failings exposed whilst quite happy to expose the same failings in others. Many future blog-related jobs will be about moderating comments, and those employed have a high burnout rate. Currently sub-editors do this. To blog or not to blog?; The 2009 Sydney Writers' Festival is on and this year's program included a number of newmatilda.com regulars Newmatilda.com regulars

Coathanger City Write of passage Guest post: With The Punch we will celebrate journalism
In this guest posting, David Penberthy, editor of newly-launched The Punch explains what he and his team are trying to achieve.

The launch today of thepunch.com.au adds a new dimension to the Australian journalistic landscape and fills what we believe is a gap in the market for readers.
There are many excellent opinion sites in Australia but there is no mainstream opinion site aimed at general readers with a love of broad discussion and debate.
Our political contributors include Mike Rann, Maxine McKew, Anthony Albanese, Joe Hockey, Mark Arbib, Nick Xenophon, Barnaby Joyce, Bronwyn Bishop and Peter Dutton, as well as Mark Textor, Peter Lewis and Tim Gartrell. Our sportswriters include Kate Ellis, Ben Buckley, Anthony Sharwood and Luke Foley, on business and economics we have Clive Mathieson, Steve Keen, Frank Zumbo and Cameron England, and a broad suite of writers including Catharine Lumby, Tracey Spicer, Fergus Linehan, Ed Charles, Matt Kirkegaard and Nedahl Stelio covering entertainment, technology, food, fashion and trends.

• You won't take your eyes off this blog Punch; [(Actually, it was courtesy of Tim Blair, according to Andrew Bolt: “It's made [Clare Werbeloff] instantly famous, thanks largely to Tim Blair Akerman begins his latest article by pondering the chk-chk BOOM ...; The Australian book industry is fighting for its life, writes Richard Flanagan. I am reminded standing here of my cousin, Arthur "Mad Dog" Kemp, a professional boxer of falling note in the late 1960s, who featured occasionally on the Golden Gloves TV show, and who was once described by the old Melbourne Sun as having taken the once noble art to a new all-time low Losing our voice - Picture that's worth a thousand motivations]
• · Remember when Tim Blair's commenters combined to take on a
Six year old boy? And lost.; Tim Blair; Blogotariat
• · Much has been written about the evils that will be visited on Australia by "unelected judges" under a national charter of human rights. Not only is this wrong, it misses the point. Wisdom of politicians is frail shield for our rights; MORE judicial review is the last thing Australia needs. So nobody should be distressed that the push for an Australian Charter of Rights is now exhausted. A charter, according to its supporters, is a list of rights and allows the High Court to make findings of "incompatibility" between these and Commonwealth legislation. So, whose rights reign supreme? Causes of political ripples ; BOB Carr's criticism of a proposal for an Australian Human Rights Act ("So, whose rights reign supreme?" Comment, 5/6) is completely misconceived on two grounds Commentariat ; Or does Bob Carr think Big-W will stock the complete Gore Vidal just for him … Losing our voice
• · · Tony Stewart goes to the Court of Appeal later this month. His fall from grace comes down to claim and counterclaim, write Damien Murphy and Linton Besser A question who to believe ; Making Graeme Wedderburn the power behind the NSW throne was old hat. Guaranteeing him a place in the Senate could prove more of a problem. At the Pool Caffe, overlooking Mahon Pool, Maroubra, the deal the Labor party machine believes saved Nathan Rees's bacon was sealed. Over egg-white omelettes in late January, the powerbrokers - Senator Mark Arbib and NSW Labor general secretary Matt Thistlethwaite - met the former premier Bob Carr and his former chief of staff Graeme Wedderburn. Rebuilding the Carr legacy
• · · · The NSW Labor Government is in such dire straits that no single individual can save it. But its latest recruit, Graeme Wedderburn, can and will make a difference. Can Graeme Wedderburn save NSW Labor?Alex Mitchell writes; Australian guy publishes and comments on leaked documents alleging government and corporate misconduct.Wikileaks
• · · · · WE'LL talk in the library," Clive James says, as if that would make our destination obvious. I look around the hallway and all I can see are books - walls and walls of books, in half a dozen languages, themed in alphabeticised rows along hand-made wooden cases lining every room. It is like standing in a bookshop. As far as I can tell, the room we settle in can only have been designated the "library" on account of being the biggest, thereby containing even more books than anywhere else Old dog's new tricks; Chain of Passages
• · · · · · GIVE that woman her own series. The most watched piece of television so far this summer has been Jelena Dokic's last match during the Australian Open, which attracted 2.3 million viewers in the mainland capitals. The men's final, which has been the most watched program of several previous years, drew only 2.2 million this year Two heroes actually worth talking about; I was under the impression that auditors counted the wounded after the battle and it was the receivers who shot them … Good radio backgrounder on tax havens …