Friday, June 13, 2014

Focusing ... On Reading ICAC: Stories of Exiles & Freedom

When what qualifies as iron will is not checking your email for an hour, there is little hope of finding the focus to read a long and complex book... Rivers of Calmness

''Brace yourselves,'' Watson warned as he opened the coal corruption inquiry. We've been bracing ourselves ever since Geoffrey Watson

EMPLOYERS will gain a new chance to scale back Labor's controversial limits on skilled worker visas when the Abbott government moves today to reignite a political row over the 457 visa program John Azarias 457 Visas 

Sydney businessman John Azarias recently wrote an account, that was published in the Financial Times, of the Greek Alexandrian poet Constantine Cavafy whose '"constant companions of the mind" were the multi-ethnic worlds of the Seleucids, of the Ptolemies, of Byzantium and of the Ottomans'. It was, as Azarias said, 'a quintessentially Alexandrian spirit'. Again, this culture was untidy, overlapping, contradictory and pluralistic—not a culture demanding conformity to a single religion or language—surely rich enough to fit King Abdullah's ideal of 'an overlap of cultures'. As I remember hearing Bill Clinton say once: 'Our differences make us interesting. Our common humanity is more important.' 

Writer - Patricia Azarias is the product of an immigrant family, born in Egypt, of an English father and a Spanish Jewish mother, speaking several languages. She is a passionate advocate of a multi-cultural Australia & is on the board of SBS Radio & Television, an active member of its Community Advisory Committee. She is the Deputy Chair of CRC (NSW). She worked for the United Nations for many years & was the Chief Auditor (2004-2006). She recently finished a year in Papua New Guinea as a UN expert on public finance and established a foundation for sending kids to school. As the Director of the Public Accounts Committee of the NSW Parliament, she wrote numerous publications. - See more at: Migrant Story

Nothing tastes better than freedom—except possibly burrata.
One May night, I sat beneath the blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History, nibbling through a four-course dinner at the gala for an Eminent Literary Organization.

This Organization defends persecuted writers from Qatar to Honduras. Founded in 1921, their history glitters. With them, Susan Sontag slugged whiskey. With them, Arthur Miller refused to denounce his Communist friends. They stood in solidarity with Salman Rushdie when the Ayatollah Khomeini called for his death Dissident freedom
Empires love their dissidents foreign.