Thursday, August 27, 2020

Why George Orwell still has plenty to say

 Australia’s biggest bats fly thousands of kilometers a year—farther than wildebeest and caribou Science

From America to Zimbabwe, the world is taking to the streets FT

Opinion: branch stacking isn’t just about corruption — it’s a symptom of an outdated, withering party system

A PROBLEM OF OUR OWN MAKING: All of the suggested alternatives involve trade-offs, but each would change a current structure that encourages recruitment of professionalised politicians.

Octavia Butler on How (Not) to Choose Our Leaders

“To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.”

Why George Orwell still has plenty to say

One Twitter Account’s Quest to Proofread The New York Times - The Ringer – “In 2017, the Times dissolved its copy desk, possibly permitting more typos to slip through. Meet the anonymous lawyer who’s correcting the paper of record one untactful tweet at a time. …The proud pedant behind @nyttypos is, as his Twitter bio proclaims, an “appellate lawyer and persnickety dude.” 

While working for a government office on appeals for the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court, he has diligently, competently, and caustically grammar-policed the paper of record in his spare time, producing more than 20,000 tweets over the past 11 months. His account is a cross between an ego trip, a crusade, and a compulsion. His quixotic quest to flag the words that weren’t fit to print has attracted roughly 8,000 followers, yielded countless corrections, and made its anonymous owner the object of some fascination within the walls and Slack chats of the Times, while exposing the trade-offs in copy quality that competitive publishing in the age of algorithms demands…”

How Ukraine’s audacious secret service successfully scammed Putin and his mercenariesBusiness Insider

Man says he bought New Hampshire postal sorting machine in auction, but wasn’t allowed to take it WCVB (

Lady Susan Renouf's back in the picture - The Australian

There have been no bids yet for the Nigel Thomson portrait of the late Lady Susan Renouf that has been listed for a Tuesday online auction through Leonard Joel. It's among the 480 items from the collection of the late John Schaeffer.

The 1984 oil painting, expected to fetch between $4000 and $6000, was commissioned by Susan's then racing tycoon husband Robert Sangster, the Pools millionaire. It has the socialite in a pale blue dress with puffed sleeves overlooking sunny Sydney Harbour on the white flower-lined balcony of her then Point Piper trophy home, Toison d'Or.

She's wearing a resplendent four-strand pearl necklace with gold clasp, plus diamond earings. Apparently the well-tanned Renouf was not happy with the painting, and had her butler phone Thomson to advise she didn't want it.

Friends had told her she appeared unhappy, painted with tea set rather than her ubiquitous flute of champagne. Quite understandably, as Sangster had been having an affair in 1984 with Susan Lilley at their other home, the Nunnery on the Isle of Man.

Having not been paid his $7000 fee, Thomson was preparing to sue the Sangsters, when Schaeffer, a friend of Thomson who died in 1999, stepped in and bought the painting. It has sat in storage for 35 years. Susan went on to marry her third husband, the New Zealand financier Sir Frank Renouf, in 1985, with their acrimonious split capturing headlines in 1988. Her first husband was the aspiring prime minister Andrew Peacock.

What about the security companies? Don’t they have corporate ethical responsibility?

We are in stage 4 of the lock-down in Melbourne and that has great implications for personal and social life as well as the economy. As a result of the lock-down, listeners have contacted radio stations, approving of it because it would finally bring about the end of the spreading of Covid-19. Continue reading 


Identity crime and misuse in Australia, 2019

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has released three new statistical reports examining identity crime and misuse in Australia:

  • Identity crime and misuse in Australia, 2019
  • Counting the costs of identity crime and misuse in Australia, 2018-19
  • Identity crime and misuse in Australia: Results of the 2019 online survey

Identity crime and misuse in Australia 2019 examines the nature, extent and impact of identity crime and misuse in Australia for the year 2018–19.

This report presents data from Commonwealth, state and territory agencies as well as from the private sector and other non-government sources.

The Australian Institute of Criminology, within the Home Affairs portfolio, publishes this information as a key initiative of the National Identity Security Strategy.

Data collected from a range of stakeholders from government, law enforcement and private sector industry help policymakers raise awareness of identity crime and reduce its impact throughout Australia.

Counting the costs of identity crime and misuse in Australia, 2018-19 provides detailed information on the methodology and results of the most recent estimate of the cost and impact of identity crime and misuse on the Australian economy for the 2018–19 financial year.

The estimated cost of identity crime in Australia in 2018–19 (including direct and indirect costs) was $3.1b—17 percent more than in 2015–16.

These findings demonstrate a considerable increase in the financial losses experienced by government, law enforcement, industry and individuals through both direct and indirect costs associated with identity crime.

Identity crime and misuse in Australia: Results of the 2019 online survey presents the findings of the latest survey of identity crime and misuse undertaken by the Australian Institute of Criminology as part of the Australian Government’s National Identity Security Strategy.

In 2019, nearly 10,000 people from across Australia were surveyed about their experience of victimisation over their lifetime and during the preceding 12 months.

The survey results for 2019 are compared with those of the 2018 identity crime survey.

The 2019 survey found 25 percent of respondents had experienced misuse of their personal information at some time during their life, with nearly 12 percent experiencing it in the previous 12 months.

Eighty percent of these identity crime victims also reported a financial loss as a result.

The average amount lost in 2019 ($3,916) was noticeably larger than in 2018 ($2,234).

These papers are available for free download on the AIC website:, and