Thursday, January 06, 2011

The past beats inside me like a second heart
— J.B. in his Booker Prize winning novel, The Sea, 2005

Recall parliament, say John Hatton, NSW Libs and Greens

KRISTINA KENEALLY has bowed to criticism of her repeated claim that an inquiry into the controversial $5.3 billion power sale is illegal and will try to expedite the legal advice her department is seeking from the Crown Solicitor. Ian Knight

Barristers of the utmost fame are beetling back from Whale Beach to pore over constitutional texts and judicial reasoning. The power of the NSW Legislative Council to cause a bit of merry hell for the legless Keneally regime is in contention. What the Premier is clinging to, like a log in the ocean, is advice from the Crown Solicitor, Ian Knight, penned in 1994. Knight, who is a servant of the government, considered that standing committees could not function while Parliament was prorogued, unless some act of parliament specially said so. The committee is a creature of the house of parliament that created it, and if Parliament is out of action, so too are its offspring - Odgers said the death of committees on the prorogation of parliament was an outmoded convention. Standing orders are now designed to allow committees to sit during a recess. The offspring of Odgers, Lynn Lovelock, rather than Mark Swinson, the clerk of the NSW Legislative Council, has said in an authoritative tome, which should have been in every MLC's Christmas stocking, that the crown solicitor's 1994 advice ''was based on an extremely restrictive view of the powers of the council''. Two years after the crown solicitor's advice the NSW Court of Appeal found in favour of the Legislative Council's power to call for documents from the executive. That was Egan v Willis. The then treasurer, Michael Egan, objected to the release of information about the closure of veterinary laboratories and the Biological and Chemical Research Institute at Rydalmere. Knight did not think that this was relevant to NSW

Bottom of the harbour: Packer wasn't meant to be the Goanna Criminal underbelly right under our noses
THERE were so many bodies being found and stories about drugs and corruption in circulation that royal commissions galore started up as Australia turned into an early real life draft of Underbelly.

The tone was set early in the year when the report of Justice Philip Woodward's NSW royal commission into drug trafficking - looking in part at the murder of the Griffith businessman Donald Mackay - was criticised by the colourful former Whitlam minister Al Grassby as ''ethnic slander''.
Meanwhile, the tide came in when Justice Edward Williams's royal commission into drugs identified Sydney as the centre of a $59 million heroin trade.

• The Nugan Hand bank was linked with money laundering and drugs We catch and kill our own; The goanna ran up trees, just like a squirrel, and the goanna was purely Australian Costigan code-named Packer the Squirrel [HE senior barrister who assisted the Costigan royal commission has revealed that a brief for prosecution was prepared against Kerry Packer for tax evasion Kerry Packer 'wasn't cleared' on taxes ; ]
• · John Hatton Persons and Performances seared into the memory; Former NSW Independent MP, corruption fighter, John Hatton
• · · · Fraud and corruption : lessons from the NSW experience ; Former Independent MP John Hatton is demanding a Royal Commission to clear the issue of property corruption in New South Wales
• · · Perhaps the most consistent irony about our mass media is that it’s curated, edited, customized, or otherwise filtered to such a degree that it is not mass at all. We hear only the news that is meant for us, and we scarcely stop to think about the news we’re not hearing. The recent mid-term elections seemed to me to be basically about different news being created for the benefit of different communities. It’s tempting to think of this as a thoroughly modern phenomenon, a by-product of the speed with which news circulates these days. But my recent foray into old travelogues and historical fiction has really shown me that the way we receive and interpret the news hasn’t changed very much. Take Beloved, for instance. (I’ll be using this book in one of my classes next quarter, which is why it came to mind.) Late in the novel, Toni Morrison writes about how two different racial communities in nineteenth-century Cincinnati perceive and interpret a very specific piece of news. The scene takes place about two-thirds of the way into the novel, when Paul D., a former slave, finds out a secret about Sethe, the woman he loves. Stamp Paid is the man who brings the press clipping (with this secret) to Paul: ; Dungeons & Dragons is not a game. The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss notes that “Games… appear to have a disjunctive effect: they end in the establishment of a difference between individual players or teams where originally there was no indication of inequality. And at the end of the game they are distinguished into winners and losers.” Which is, as noted above, not true of D&D: “there is neither an end to the game nor any winner.” But if D&D isn’t a game, then what is it, exactly? One theorist of fantasy role-playing games proposes, following Lévi-Strauss, that D&D is, in the strict sense of the term, a ritual. “Ritual, on the other hand,” this is Lévi-Strauss again, is the exact inverse: it conjoins, for it brings about a union... or in any case an organic relation between two initially separate groups….
• · · · · Why? I wanted to ask the filmmakers. Why? You have a terrific cast and the wit to start out well. Why surrender and sell out? Isn’t it a better bet, and even better for your careers, to make a whole movie that’s smart and funny, instead of showing off for 15 minutes and then descending into cynicism and stupidity? Why not make a movie you can show to the friends you admire, instead of to a test audience scraped from the bottom of the IQ barrel? Roger Ebert Speaks Truth to Stupidity ; Last year, we told you How Timothy Ferriss Hit the Amazon Bestseller List in a practical interview about book publicity. Now we have a new title to add to the post. The timing couldn’t be better
• · · · · · I am embarrassed to say that I have forgotten your name. You came into my life one torrid night while talking to the abrupt, but helpful customer service rep from Blue Host. I remember it clearly. I hope this letter reaches you. Is it too forward to say how I love the way you look after my name? Please write back. I am sending this out in a bottle, posting it in the classified ads. We would could be so happy together, crashing the shores of our meaning against each other, forever. I know nothing about you, I don’t know what you do? Why do you exist? I just want to know you - Personal ads offer really an opportunity for more reflection and more thought Love in the personals; Political memoirs have been hot property this year Whom does the critic serve?; No book worth its salt is meant to put you to sleep - People twitter away like magpies and don’t really care. Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age