Thursday, December 20, 2018

A Rather Haunted Life

"Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund."
F.J. Raymond

Human beings sometimes find a kind of pleasure in nursing painful emotions, in blaming themselves without reason or even against reason.
~Isaac Asimov

How is it possible to walk on water? Freeze it first

Dying is a very dull, dreary affair.
And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.

By Somerset Maughan

What got Kipling a bad name among Liberals is his intelligence, humor, and affection. These they cannot tolerate in anybody

'Only an Idiot Will Take a Critic's Word'

Paul Romer marries and wins Nobel Prize on the same day - Yup (NYT).  The story is interesting too: “By reintroducing Mr. Romer to Ms. Weber, who was now unattached, Mr. Marron gave him more than just another gift.”

Glencore fires first salvo against ATO over Paradise Papers leak
Volcano WARNING: Naples supervolcano showing ‘signs’ of possible ‘Vesuvian-style eruption’ Express

Vladimir Putin's Stasi identity card discovered in German archives
Vladimir Putin's Stasi identity card discovered in German archives - The Sydney Morning Herald 

Guest of Her Majesty': Mehajer represents himself in court from jail - The Sydney Morning Herald

 Xi Jinping: China to stick to Communist rule and its own path to cope with ‘unimaginable’ perils SCMP. Wait. Perils ahead ...

Occupation and Island Building (map) Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies

-     The greatest Espionage story of the Cold War “The Spy and the Traitor” by Ben Macintyre.  A true story about a KGB double agent.

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre - Goodreads

  But it was the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia that propelled Gordievsky towards the west and, as he put it, determined “the course of my own life”. By this point Oleg Gordievsky was a junior spy abroad, working for the KGB’s first directorate, and living in Copenhagen?
Gordievsky’s double life started after a junior MI6 officer saw his name while leafing through a personnel file. It was 1970. A Czechoslovak spy, Standa Kaplan, had defected to Canada
Oleg Gordievsky was the most significant British agent of the cold war. For 11 years, he spied for MI6. That he managed to deceive his KGB colleagues during this time was remarkable. Even more astounding was that in summer 1985 – after Gordievsky was hastily recalled from London to Moscow by his suspicious bosses – British intelligence officers helped him to escape. It was the only time that the spooks managed to exfiltrate a penetration agent from the USSR, outwitting their Russian adversaries. It went some way towards exorcising the Cambridge spies, who a generation earlier had travelled in the opposite direction. The Spy and the Traitor by Ben Macintrye review – the astonishing story of a cold warsuperspy | Books | The Guardian

Why our minds wander down a negative path before bed

ATO pursues Sydney builder and developer Merhis Group over ...

'I'm not a general': ex-Canterbury councillor denies 'junta' to ICAC

Former Canterbury councillor Pierre Azzi has denied he was part of a powerful 'junta' that controlled the former council.

World’s biggest miner moves to block Australian tax office from using documents it claims were obtained in leak

Politicians happy to blame public servants — but not so keen on praise

Cognitive biases — such as focusing on negative performance data — can undermine the potential benefits of increased transparency. They might also help explain bureaucrats’ notorious risk aversion.