Monday, January 17, 2011

Heartbreaking scenes in Queensland as search for bodies continues The death toll in Queensland’s flood crisis has risen to 18 with the discovery of the body of a middle-aged man in the Helidon/Withcott area. Death toll from floods, landslides rises to 18 ; A particularly strong La Niña currently observed is the underlying reason for the heavy rains causing devastating floods in Australia La Nina

There's worse to come

As Brisbane mops up, Australian flood spreads Story Bridge of Brisbane …
Much of what we think we know about politics or capitalism or even communism is wrong

I was once, too, a lighter of lamps. Street lamps. In the city of Providence. I was once a seller of lemons in High Tatra. I was a greenhorn seeing from the deck of a ship for the first time the lights of Sydney. I was a beggar. I was a deserter. Once upon a time I absconded from the Army of the Soviet Union. Once upon a time, I was a soldier. A draftee. I was a Slav, a Catholic. A brother. A son.

ONE STORY [That's my passion. Hemingway, Fante, Imrich, Bukowski. Their problematic issues with alcohol - oh wow A Hardy passion for drunken MEDIA DRAGONS; Life is not a game. Neither is economy. But sometimes nit makes sense to model the economy as it were a game - by great author - John Authoers ; Nicolas Berggruen, the homeless billionaire, flies from hotel to hotel, his essentials in a paper bag. If you want to fix something, I say, why not start with Germany? If I went to Germany and said, ‘Listen, I’ve got a bag of reforms for you,’ they would throw me out. They would say, ‘We’re Germans, we’re wonderful, we’re perfect,’ he says. But here [in the US] there is a very different attitude. The system is broken, people realise it’s very broken. In California they’re all unhappy ; Lunch with the FT is a weekly interview in the Life & Arts section with leading cultural and business figures ]
• · · · Sir, The power shift away from politics towards the media that John Lloyd so well documents (“Power struggle”, Life & Arts, January 8-9) seems to me less a factor of journalistic skill than of political ineptitude, combined with administrative incompetence across government and profound public impatience with the latter in particular. Power shift is the result of political ineptitude ; First, few journalists make the distinction between what people know and what they think. Finding out what our politicians actually know might provide better guidance about their behaviour than knowing what they “think”. Some years ago, a journalist asked a leading political spokesman on the Middle East to name the countries that bordered Iraq. After attempts to evade the question, several countries were named, none of which bordered Iraq. I found this helpful in judging the reliability of what this person thought would constitute sound policy for the Middle East. Second, journalists tend to report what people say rather than what they do. It is my experience that it is important to know what someone does. For example, in the case of UK business secretary Vince Cable, it would be helpful to know by what means he is conducting his “war" with Rupert Murdoch. Useful distinctions for journalists to make
• · While ''Electric Eric'', a former NSW general secretary for the party, is the machine's pin-up boy it is a bold move to brand the upper house campaign with his controversial profile. REVERSE SPIN ; Carmel Tebbutt's most senior adviser has jumped ship to become chief executive of the consortium in charge of the billion-dollar redevelopment of Royal North Shore Hospital Tebbutt chief aide bales out ; Naked Eye on SPEECHWITERS
• · · There was a time when the official policy of the NSW Labor Party was to abolish the Legislative Council - the upper house - when it was an outdated, undemocratic bastion of privilege. Now it is a rest home for party hacks in which almost everyone wins a prize. ; Classic Alex Mitchell ; Opinions by Alex
• · · · · Former premier Morris Iemma said Mr Tripodi (pictured) - his ports minister at the time the contract was signed in 2007 - should have ''insulated himself'' against allegations of favouritism by revealing his family connection to Baulderstone from the outset Tripodi brother link in $550m port contract ; WHEN Karryn Paluzzano, the former Penrith MP, rolled over to the Independent Commission Against Corruption back in May, admitting she had fiddled parliamentary expenses, Labor was in trouble and it knew it. Cronyism just won't save a desperate Labor
• · · · · · By the way, Heath Aston is a Sydney journalist working in London. Before moving to the UK he worked as a senior reporter on The Daily Telegraph and at AAP. It’s well known there is a direct relationship between the number of beers Heath has consumed and the number of buttons undone on his shirt - the reason for his nick name in media circles: Buttons aka Reverse Spin ; I liked Walter Secord, with his pink tie & an armfull of papers; Premier Bob Carr’s former spinmeister Walt Secord returned to state politics today as chief of staff to the NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal Can Walt Secord help NSW Labor regain direction?

Election Intellectuals Intellectual dishonesty is pure poison… ( observed Edward Lazarus) pollbludger; Tallyroom Pollytics; Tony Green ; Psephos