Sunday, August 31, 2003

How Papers are Trying to Save Sunday

More people read newspapers on Sundays than any other day of the week. That's the good news.
The bad news is that each year an increasing smaller percentage of the population thinks the big Sunday bundle is worth the bother.
Here are some highlights from the E&P story, an overview that doesn't address why readers are giving up on Sunday and what, if anything, is working to retain them.
· Readership editors are shaking up content; the right mix for the modern, time-challenged reader -- eliminating some features, and tweaking or dramatically revising others[Editor & Publisher via TimPorter]

Sunday Watching
I love reading, as I was born and bred to absorb signs and symbols, so my Saturday is consumed by indulging for hours and hours inside pages of great reporting; especially the The Sydney Morning Herald which I suspect had been created to throw light on darkish subjects. The Herald is an amazing maze salted and peppered with easily digesteded first drafts dealing with many truths of our fragile life on earth. Toss in book reviews, impressions of new released movies and all those incomprehensible cutural and political trends and world is my tropical oyster. However, on Sunday within an hour I seem to complete badly composed newspapers; I generally add to the Saturday Herald and Saturday Australian (a.k.a. Sunday Telegraph) another newspaper Sunday Mail (in order to read shortish, but amusing Jim Soorley's column).
Generally, but especially when my family is enjoying a weekend in Sydney, my Sunday read takes place between sipping coffee, admiring the panoramic views of Moroton Island and those ad breaks of the Channel 9 Sunday Program. (See link under Nota Bene left and click on Jana Wendt)

· The Asylum Game [Jana; The Great Sunday]
· Harvey Pekar (Pekar, like my grandfather's surname Pekarcik) means baker in Slavic language) [Sunday Splendor@ Nine]

Q: Who is your favourite author or has influenced your writing?
My Answer: A former Australian Ambassador in Vienna, James William Cumes, has written a book Haverleigh. One day soon this story about WWII and Kokoda Trail will become an epic like ‘A Fortunate Life’ by Facey. I am still amazed that it was an Australian writer, Thomas Kennealy, rather than some European writers who weaved a testing tale about the Czechoslovak, part saint and part sinner, Schindler.

Sunday Rereading
As far back as I can remember I have felt James Cumes' Haverleigh had the soul and guts and truth of a classic of Australian Literature. Haverleigh is a lot of things. It's a love story, a war story, the story of an improbable and impossible era peopled with all too probable, all too possible, all too real human beings. It's fraught with pain and love and irony and affection and disaffection. You will be different for having immersed yourself in it. Czech out this review:
Haverleigh is a great read for a weekend at home. It could easily
be the script for a mini series and who knows, maybe one day it will be just that!
Review by Bronwyn Mitterecker
From Bookworm, in The Australian Connection September 2003
· To Have or Not to Have [James Cumes, born and bred @ Beenleigh ]
· Revisiting Haverleigh [Dual Loyalty]

Informaniac Media Dragon is on the hunt, unmasking and honouring bloggers who are serving, for better or for worse, the virtual Antipodean world. The blogscroll was stolen in the middle of the day from the local Parish.
My bohemian licence really just wanted to create something speculation-provoking and perhaps useful and fun.

Presenting Antipodean Bloggers: The Truth Laid Bear (#4 Aug 2003 AD)

What kinds of personae do we make? What relation do these have to what we have traditionally thought of as the 'whole' person? Are they experienced as an expanded self or as separate from the self? Do our real-life selves learn lessons from our virtual personae? Are these virtual personae fragments of a coherent real-life personality?
-Sherry Turkle

media & the net: Paging Rich Baillie Drivel Warehouse Stable

Keep out of reach of children as this blogger uses the vocabulary out of the Devil's dictionary. Right-wing opinions and sense of humour pepper this blog.
Description: drivel warehoused to retain the freshness and keep out the lawyers.

· Rich Baillie [Drivel Warehouse stable]

Extensive reading tells us that Curtin's sociologist and humourist Rich Baillie, is part of the Perth (Western Australia) Student Bloggers Army. His closest Curtin's mate is journo in making gareth parker. In addition to UWA-ite MATHEW BATES and Notre Dame's Robert Corr, there is Yobbo Sam Ward

Seems to link a lot to Wickstein, Scott. Rich is also close to bitchin' monaro and the supermercado project. Rich also links to After Grog Blogger [Antipodean Bloggers #1 Aug 2003]

Interesting comments by Yobbo

The Essence of this blog:
Musings on alcohol, nightlife, incomprehensible sport, law, politics, society and life in general from a engineer of cross-disciplinary links
The Student Perpective on life:
My nomination for being the next Pope goes through next week, and I expect to be elected, although I'm concerned the Ham Sandwich might beat me with a wet sock filled with rubber bands:
a wet sock filled with rubber bands.
The Funny:
List of five
John Quiggin has classified this blog as being cultural or satirical. The Drivel Warehouse often gets in debates with Jack Robertson, but as anyone who has ever seen Fawlty Towers could have told them, this is not the way to calm him down. Having actually emailed Jack myself, I find him quite decent to talk to, but the Drivel Warehouse guys seem to rub him up the wrong way.(BloggerObserver)
Character Strengths:
Found a new gym. It's pretty good, with a quality weights selection, a pool and it's stupidly cheap. It's also only about a 15 minute drive from here, so that's all good. I'm looking forward to going back to the gym, I like wearing tight shorts.
Bailz is cooler than god!
Finished the new layout for UberSportingPundit. It's nothing fancy, it's simple and readable.
If you could play any instrument, what would it be?
Bongo Drums...
If you could meet any musical icon (past or present), who would it be and why?
Elvis -- I want to leech as much style from the man as possible; and tell him that in the future his daughter will marry both Michael Jackson and Nic Cage, while his wife will continue to be a saucy piece. I think those pieces of information will inspire him to hit the gym more often, and lay off the prescription drugs.
· Wrong Rich [ Google]
Quote & Link:
These are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.
- Groucho.
· Living [DWC]
Curtin University really deals with the big issues on campus, such as the lack of parking for students during the day, the lack of decent lacture (sic) theatres (that can actually accomodate (sic) people above 6' in height), and the various security issues that a campus that large has to deal with. HA!
No, instead of worrying about those things, they've purchased a speed camera
The Da Vinci Code [Amazon]
Partial to Nerve; political swinger on right side of the political pavement
Lots of bitter and sarcastic, yet amusing, ranting from a guy who's barely 21 and yet has never gotten the credit he deserves.
· Alan Anderson [Antipodean Bloggers #2 Aug 2003]
· Australian Libertarian Society (ALS) [Antipodean Bloggers #3 August 2003]

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Sporty Antipodean-Bohemian's French Revolution
· Ja--na--na--na--na [SMH]
Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction in stolen goods.
H.L. Menchken

Can any rational soul blame Supermen like Packer and Murdoch for attempting to sink Fairfax flagship which seems to be peppered with independent journalists?
The practice of socialising losses and privatising gains is hardly an Australian invention. As Alan Ramsey, of Fairfax Fame, once dangerously observed: Almost always, in politics, money is at the root of the greatest grovelling.

Dangers that Come with Freedom of Information Naked Leases: Shock Horror! Isolated Private Perks Exposed to Prying Public

Big businesses and some of the world's wealthiest people are renting taxpayer-owned land in NSW for peppercorn rates under a system that is riddled with inconsistencies and loopholes.
Office buildings, factories, marinas, petrol stations, restaurants, prestigious golf courses, five-star resorts and homes have been built on the land.
The total rent collected by the Department of Lands for 37.5 million hectares - nearly half the State - is just $60 million a year. That is less than $2 per hectare in the public purse.

· Identifying the Commonwealth Buck [SMH with a link to related article]
· Their Post Political Honor [SMH]
The ability to use irony and to criticize (without being monitored by media units of the Secret Service) is one of the great strengths of our democracy. In Australia no one monitors my ironic views, what a Lucky Country this is, indeed...(ironic grin intended)

Well, this kind of statement describing Czechoslovak democratic system used to bring me a new and better class of communist stalkers and bullies.

What a Week in Politics Down Under Good morning, I'd like to have an argument, please, please

Prologue: This story just doesn't get any better. And people wonder why I believe blindly following major parties is for the weak-minded.

Equating Hanson, a convicted fraudster, with Nelson Mandela is simplistic claptrap. While the human rights group Amnesty International tirelessly argued for Nelson Mandela's release from prison, we do not anticipate that it will campaign for the release of Hanson.
Webdiarists' Hanson reaction pattern is like the Tampa one - first a flood of emails outraged at the sentence, then defenders; start to trickle in and gradually build in numbers. Gianna under my Nota Bene link refers serious readers to full monty bloghorn!

· Political prisoner status earned, not stolen [SMH ]
· Comedy of slush funds [ABC ]
· Comedy of I know Nossink [SMH ]

Blackout beauty

Blackout beauty

And here was me, a ‘Third Worlder’ in a dark, sweaty, yet swanky New York, revelling on how Thomas Alva Edison, not death, is the world's (or indeed, life's) greatest leveller. And it is really that simple.
Einstein, quizzed on what weapons was World War III likely to be fought with, admitted, I know not with what weapons WW III will be fought. But World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. Before, I never fully grasped what he meant. Now I do.

· I survived the Blackout. August 14, 2003 AD [MidDay ]
Central European Heroism The rescue of Jews in German occupied Western Europe

There is no doubt that stories of sacrifice and heroism should have a prominent place in Holocaust historiography, and in the social histories of the countries concerned.
· Rescues [National Europe Centre, Australian National University/PDF]
Antipodean Heros Nugget Coombs and his place in the postwar order

The publication of Tim Rowse’s biography of H.C. Coombs provides an appropriate context to further explore the life of Coombs. In particular, the relationship between Coombs and his environment is an important consideration, given Coombs’ iconic status in ‘progressive’ circles in Australia. Inquiry into the factors that both facilitated and constrained Coombs’ influence suggests that his influence has been overstated. But Coombs’ experience is relevant for a better understanding of the origins of the current economic policy regime in Australia.
· Coombs [The Drawing Board, University of Sydney]
God chose me to write this book, writes satirist Al Franken in Lies and the Lying Liars. This isn't hubris. I just happened to be the right vessel at the right time.

Many, Many, Rejections are the Right Vessels

Today, it is hard to imagine literature without the work of Primo Levi; but immediately after the war If This Is a Man was an extraordinary challenge to publishers. Nobody wanted to read about the Holocaust, perhaps because of horror mixed with a lingering anti-Semitism, and publishers knew it. One took the risk - a small house called De Silva - and printed 2,500 copies, of which they sold half. De Silva folded shortly afterwards, and only in 1958, after a handful of further rejections, did Einaudi take the book on. The plight of Anne Frank's diary was similar: it was turned down some 11 times before going into print.
· I have been constantly reminded that omnipotent God is a large publisher [Telegraph(UK) ]
I figure no book exists that will ever explain the wonderful, crazy, sexy, charming, powerful, mysterious thing known as a man.

Stiff Resolve The problem With Marriage Today – Is Me

But if I told you that at this moment in time, I long for the day when I enter into holy matrimony, I would be lying.
· I want to spend my money on me [MensNews]

Revolutionary Movements: Not if but when

How a Small Group of Dedicated People Might Actually Do Something

Well, you've heard that wonderful Margaret Mead quote about how you should never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, and that, indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Well, I think it's time we stopped repeating that quotation and came to some agreement about what we happy few might do over the next five years or so. That is the purpose of my remarks today.
· Doubts about the next Revolution [CommonDreams]

The Fitzgerald legacy: 15 years on

August 2003 marks the 15th anniversary of the first reforms of the Fitzgerald era. Paul Williams reviews Queensland's progress towards democracy.
· Taken for granted [Brisbane Institute]

Kids caught in the poverty trap

Hopes fade for children caught in the poverty trap

Australian children born into poor families have little chance of escaping poverty - at least by the time they turn 12, a new study indicates.
· Kids [ SMH]
· just scraping by [SMH ]
Heart of Europe: World's Next small Economic Powerhouse

The Slovak Republic is set to become the world's next Hong Kong or Ireland, that is, a small place that's an economic powerhouse. Foreign investors are already taking note: Foreign direct investment in this country of 5.4 million people has grown from $2 billion (56 billion Kc) to $10 billion since 1999. The ingredients are there for takeoff.
· Soros' Generosity Behind the Paradise [Prague Post ]
· Hearty Country [Blog City]
Quotation Marked:Words to remember

God chose me to write this book," writes satirist Al Franken in "Lies and the Lying Liars." "This isn't hubris. I just happened to be the right vessel at the right time."

From across the Web Fashion Covers the Media Beat

Women who work in media are "stylish and fashionable -- a very trend-setting group.
It’s also known that media jobs don’t pay the most, so these fashions are stylish yet affordable..
· Media chic []
· Why I got into journalism: Because of all the women [Boston ]

Kevin Roderick is not your typical blogger. He is neither an ideologue nor an egomaniac. He's not noticeably partisan or terribly passionate. He doesn't have an agenda on his mind or a chip on his shoulder.
· A dispassionate blogger keeps his eye on L.A. [LATimes ]

It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Woody Allen line

Potty Press: Regaining the respect

Sacramento Bee, writes about a Bee sportswriter who was fired for reporting on a San Francisco Giants game he never attended and using quotes made to other reporters.
Another Bee reporter, unnamed, is being investigated by the paper for "lifting information verbatim from a press release.
· Shocked and dismayed? Czech out the Practices of the NSW (Ministerial) Parliamentary Press Gallery(smile) [Tim Porter]
· Of course I take bribes. I'm a journalist [LATimes ]
· Muse [ viaTimPorter]
Bloggers Train Sites on State Governments

is an article which highlights several blogs that are published via newspapers in Washington state, Texas and California.
· Bloggers [GovTech ]

Thursday, August 28, 2003

August Burden: Wayne Wood

People are made to feel sorry when they should feel uplifted by the efforts of the patient in overcoming adversity.
· A lyrical intuition of the mysteries of the soul [Troppoarmadillo]
· There were some days when we would sit here and cry and work [USAToday]
The customer is NOT always right. Standing up to the bad customer

The bottom 20 percent of a company's customers -- the demon customers -- can consume 75 percent of its profitability. It isn't necessarily the customer's problem. In the vast majority of cases, it's the company's problem.
· Facing their demons [Boston]
· Day Raiders [Troppoarmadillo ]
Lord of the city

Pavel Bem was elected lord mayor of Prague in November 2002. He has made sprucing up the city's image a priority and he intends to regulate prostitution, reduce homelessness and prosecute taxi drivers who overcharge their customers. In a recent interview, he addressed some of the challenges the city faces as he focuses on its occasional scruffy reputation.
· Stag parties, prostitution and crooked taxi drivers [Prague Post]
Myths Realities Pollies tell fibs about negative gearing

With negative gearing back on the popular political agenda in Australia, it is important that we remember the history of the issue. It has become part of Australian political folklore that former Australian Treasurer, Paul Keating, tried to abolish negative gearing in 1985 but failed because residential property investment levels fell and rents skyrocketed.
· When the boom has busted, prices have collapsed, vacancy rates are way up and rents have fallen even further. [SMH ]
· Deal? No Dill! [SMH ]



Hewlett Packard researchers continue to develop e-reader prototypes. The BBC covers a new one that has touch sensitive controls, is only one centimeter thick, and can hold a whole library.
· Library of Saving Trees [Microsoft Paging Cold River]
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts...
-- Will Rogers

An entrepreneur's only limit should be his or her own ideas and desire to succeed," states the website of the Small Business Administration, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Nice slogan, but if "empowering America's entrepreneurs" is the SBA's mission, then entrepreneurship includes more than simply the crafting of new ways to offer customers a better mousetrap at a lower price; it includes political entrepreneurship, i.e., milking political connections, gaming the system, or committing outright fraud or bribery in order to procure special favors. This is what has made the SBA notorious for decades of scandals.

Of course, political entrepreneurship is at the core of the SBA, given its reliance on OTM (other taxpayers' money).

Twenty-two years ago Louisiana businessman Kirk Fordice wrote to President Ronald Reagan, complaining that the 8(a) program is snowballing along . . . and leaving legitimate small business contractors bloody, beaten and bankrupt.

The law: A matter of the letter and the spirit

The local Chamber of Commerce was on the march last March – an army of money-makers and money-changers on a mission to make sure voters approved the SPLOST referendum.
Want taxes lowered, streets paved and rain drained? Just vote yes on March 18, chamber members told us time and time again.
The multimedia campaign was devised and delivered with military precision. Call it smart bombardment. TV and radio. Billboards and newspapers. Phone banks and direct mail. No weapon was left undrawn by the business brigade.

· Melting Power [Savannah ]
· Bob, Mate! Screams and howls of the Industry [John Birmingham used be an author]
· Shame of the Cities [INDEPENDENT REVIEW]
People All Over the World, Join In!
There's a wacky e-mail going around universities suggesting that the first carriage of every train ... well, read for yourself:
Thousands of Sydneysiders are now forwarding an anonymous e-mail to each other informing them that from now on, every first subway carriage has been declared the singles car.

Dating's Destiny Let's blog about real sex

Talking has always stimulated human beings. Aristotle said that man is a talking animal and anybody who's ever had to 'hush' a chatty person at a movie can testify to that. More than simply communicating, however, talking stimulates the mind by allowing us to imagine things we'd like to do. When applied to sex, a little hot air might be all you need to steam up your love life.
From Ananova (The Link Has Expired), but too good to not quote in its entirety.
Dietician Bruno Fabbri has been looking into the exercise value of sexual activities.
He found a 26-minute sex session which ends with an orgasm gets rid of half a pizza.
French-kissing for 53 minutes can help you lose the fat found in a burger and chips meal.
News2000 website reports that even undoing a bra can help you lose fat.
He said: "That's not of course if you unclasp the bra with two hands, which will cost you just eight calories, but unclasping it with only one hand statistically takes the count to 18.

· Look Who is Talking! [Life Wise]
· Bohemian Looks [a Czech model named Veronika Zemanova ]
· Look, but [Age & Youth]
Under Influence: A List of Men and (Women?)

Blogorrhoea's Blog Hero Tim Dunlop (en listed left under Nota Bene) once opined that a blogger not prepared to get personal or sexy would be well advised to produce lists if they wanted to be read and have their comments boxes filled. As I can't do personal and sexy at the same time, I've downed half a bottle of Jamesons and opted for a list.
· Model Influences [Blogorrhoea ]

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Newsflash: Virtual Sanctuary is Expecting a real baby

Gianna shares the great news about her pregnancy and next February is the likely time for the water to break...
· Congratulations to a HHuge adventure [Sanctuary ]
The important thing is sincerity

Once you've learnt to fake that, the world is your oyster. Artificial families based on raw power and money rather than ethics and DNA such as political parties, teach their polisons how to fake sincerity from the time they run for positions at the party headquaters. World's nastiest biological weapons are proving to be our whatever it takes political slush funds

Revolution, n. A bursting of the boilers which usually takes place when the safety valve of public discussion is closed.
-- Ambrose Bierce - The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary (1906)

The Protean Enemy

Despite the setbacks al Qaeda has suffered over the last two years, it is far from finished, as its recent bomb attacks testify. How has the group managed to survive an unprecedented American onslaught? By shifting shape and forging new, sometimes improbable, alliances. These tactics have made al Qaeda more dangerous than ever, and Western governments must show similar flexibility in fighting the group.
· Where there was nothing there is something [Foreign Affairs via Parish blog]

Trends behind little derriere Fascination of the fake

From tans to orgasms, the whole world seems happy to fake it.
· Faking Reality [SMH ]
Media The BBC led the launch of radio in 1922 and television in 1936

It seems every generation has a media revolution. For my mother, it was radio; for me it was television; for my children, it is digital.
Each revolution is different, and we are still learning about how digital can make a real difference to people's lives.
Today I want to look at the future of the BBC in the context of what we already know about how the digital revolution is unfolding.

· Unfolding [DigitalSpy]

Capital Imperialist
The BBC has been alarmed by the increasingly close relationship between the Government and Mr Murdoch's British newspapers, at a time when the BBC's relationship with New Labour is strained as never before. The frostiness of the relationship has raised speculation that the Government will consider abolishing the licence fee in its forthcoming review of the BBC's charter.
· Power of One [Independent ]
Modern Day Muckrakers

The very first Independent Media Center (IMC) sprang to life in Seattle, during the fall of 1999. In November, the World Trade Organization and hundreds of international delegates were preparing to come to the city. At the same time, young activists -- galvanized by years of anti-globalization work -- were asking themselves how they could impact the meeting and get the word out about protest marches and rallies.
Balanced stories rarely get the blood boiling. But what good reporting lacks in sizzle is made up for in authenticity. Deep down we all know that reality is muddy. This is why a little alarm goes off in our heads when a piece blazes with drama from beginning to end. We just know it is out of balance.

· Independent Media Center [OJR ]
· Monitorial cyber-citizens? [Ken Parish ]
· Bloggers as public intellectuals [Tim Dunlop ]
· Bloggers as examiners of unexamined private and public life [Tim Dunlop: Analysis]
God himself had lost patience
My little Lenin!” said Stalin, tapping Kruschchev’s skull in mockery: “His head is hollow!” But looking stupid was part of Krushchev’s plan
· Thunder roared, forked lightning crackled and a wall of rain fell from the sky [LBR ]
101 Nights of Grrreat Sex Great Sexpectations
Britney Spears keeps one in her boudoir and movie star Heather Locklear raved about it on The David Letterman Show. 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex may be an American phenomenon, but now it's got to fight its way into the British bedroom.
· GRRRR [ThisLondon ]

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Heart of Europe: What Good is Swimming in such Dangerous Water?

I was born 14 years after my 16 years old auntie Zofka was declared a missing person, and 10 years after my auntie Ota escaped to West Germany and the Communist dictators confiscated all my grandfather's properties. However, as a child I was not only scared of German Nazis and Soviet communists, but also Spis raftsmen.

Number one, they are raftsmen and have learned to fake sincerity from the time they began smuggling illegal goods across the Poprad river.

Raftsman Mato Oberta pushes the wooden raft (plt) filled with tourists away from the bank of the Vah river, jumps in and grabs an oar. Then he turns to the passengers and says: If you fall in the river, nothing's gonna save you. The lower currents will pull you down, no matter what you do. I cannot swim, but what good is swimming [in such dangerous water]?

Symbol of national history Girl of Dowina

Devín Castle is one of the oldest castles in Slovakia, Devín, sits on a huge rock overlooking where the Morava river meets the Danube river . The name Devín probably derives from Dowina, which in Old Slavic meant girl.
No blogging of Slovakia would be complete without posts about castles. The countryside is bursting with them - from the squat block of Bratislava Castle, to the fairytale towers of Bojnice Castle and the sheer scale of Spis Castle.
It is no surprise that Slovakia has such a wealth of castles, considering its position in the centre of Europe. The armies of Rome (Rim), Hungary (Madarsko), Poland (Polsko), Turkey (Turecko), Austria (Rakusko), Napoleon, Germany (Nemecko), and Russia (Rusko) have taken turns invading the country for thousands of years, with varying degrees of success. The fact that Slovakia exists at all is in part testament to its castle-building tradition.

· Kezmarok, Town of my birth to Maria and Jozef described as a miracle (smile) [CityBlog ]
· Roman Empire: Great Moravia [Sloval Spectator]
· Great Human Power [Sloval Spectator]
· Castlelated Country: 300
· Slovakia is riddled with almost 4,500 caves
· Nitra: Mount Zobor The Mount of my Czechoslovak army years
· The fort of pride and beauty
· Cerveny Kamen (Red Rock); Unnot in Schauffhausen, Switzerland
· Tam okolo Strecna, cesta nebezpecna
· Lubovna Castle: Memories of my Grandmother Katarina
· Spis Castle lords over the village of Spisske Podhradie
· Orava Castle
· The City of Fashion, as Trencín
· Liptovsky Hradok
· Lietava Castle
· Ghosts and Spirits at Bojnice Castle
· Orava Castle
· Strazky Chateau: the place of my tertiary studies
· Tatra wanderers: Childhood playground
· High Tatra Activities of my childhood
There are few swimming pools in the High Tatras mountain area, best know is the one in Vysne Ruzbachy. The complex at Vrbov in the Presov district has seven thermal pools and there are plans to add two more pools and another thermal water spring.
· Thermal Pools built on my grandfather's land
If Nagyvazsony was a happy surprise, Kezmarok was a miracle. This town, at the gateway to the High Tatras, a branch of the Carpathian Mountains bridging the Slovakian-Polish border, was settled by Germans from Sexony (sic) in the 13th century, brought there by Hungarian rulers to augment the local rural Slovak population against numerous and diverse invaders. The Hungarian king, Stephen V, gave the town and others in the region, called Spis, unusual privileges of self-government and autonomy. These boons lasted almost 600 years.
· Town of my Birth is a miracle
PS: My folkloric teacher, Marta Chamillova, used to say If you want to set something afire, you must burn yourself. I jumped into Morava river instead, but almost drowned myself...
· Prague's Second Spring [Current Affairs Bulletin March 1990]
Some are either habitually ignorant or they are habitually heartless.

A bad case of superiority Children freed after years behind the wire

The Family Court has freed five young siblings detained for 32 months in immigration centres, saying they had been exposed to violence and other inappropriate behaviour.
· Victory for commonsense [SMH ]
In its default setup, Windows XP on the Internet amounts to a car parked in a bad part of town, with the doors unlocked, the key in the ignition and a Post-It note on the dashboard saying, Please don't steal this.

Nobody with a Mac has had to lose a moment of sleep over these outbreaks ...Reason #77 why bloggers like me use a Mac.

Blogging on

When Natalie Buxton moved to Melbourne from Perth a couple of years ago, she turned to the Internet to meet new people. She started with a Melbourne-specific online chat group, but after going to one of their in-person gatherings, she realised there were a lot of people in Melbourne writing online journals. She found 50 members of a service called LiveJournal in that group alone.
· Virtual Reading [Age ]

Monday, August 25, 2003

Adding Czechloggers Not Much Nazory/Opinions: Sacrifices

Through great sacrifice and hard work, Czechs consumed a whopping 326 pints of beer for every man, woman and child in the country.
· Nazory: Czech/English [Bloguje ]
· Not Much [NicMoc ]
· Czech and Slovak Literature Resources [compiled by Professor James Naughton, of Oxford University]

American Discover Land of Oz Another Aussie drunk driver sues

Francine Parrington lost her arm when she crashed into a tree while driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.118 but says it wasn't her fault and is suing the hotel for serving her too many drinks. ... She crashed into exactly the same tree a year before and claims her drinking habits were caused by her marital difficulties with a straying husband.
· Facing Oz Demons [Overlawyer ]
· Deliver us from guilt [Australian ]
Harold Holt may get his inquest - 36 years on

The news of the prime minister's disappearance shocked the nation. A strong swimmer, he had boasted I know this beach like the back of my hand shortly before entering the water at Cheviot Beach, on the seaward side of Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne.
· A strong swimmer [SMH ]

The secret benefits of swimming

After a long day at the office, exercise just feels like more work. It's far more tempting to stretch across the sofa, draw the shades, and relax. What if you could cool off and calm down as you firm up? An evening swimoffers these conditions, plus some other surprising benefits.
AMERICAN FITNESS magazine reports that swimming is the best sport to help you stop smoking. Dr. Philip Whitten, author of The Complete Book of Swimming, studied the smoking habits of 162 master swimmers, 25% of which were smokers.
· Swimming [Prague Tribune]

NB:Well done, Alex and Gabriella, for your steely freestyle and butterfly results @ Chandler pool on Sunday!
Visiting the Lascaux caves, Pablo Picasso remarked that we have discovered nothing new in art in 17,000 years. Maybe he was right...

Fear of the new century: no email

Loss of email would be more traumatic than a car accident or getting a divorce, according to more than a third of respondents to an international survey.
· Amazing, but True [SMH ]
· Internet was becoming a key communication tool for the elderly [BBC]

Despite Smallness Double Bestsellers

Readers have been quick to applaud the inclusion on the Booker longlist of titles from numerous small publishers. As a Bookseller opinion notes, Small here means very small: Arcadia, Tindal Street and Flambard are each run by two people. But those same publishers are finding it increasingly hard to have their books well represented in the country's major chain stores, and this column says they face the same problem in getting reviewers' attention. The biggest new titles get blanket coverage, as editors scramble to sign up big name reviewers; swathes of less visible titles are lost. So when the same newspapers came to report the longlist, a lack of archive information on the small press books meant they merited barely a mention.
· Look at the top five especially. Go Dragons! [PalmDigital ]

Sunday, August 24, 2003

It’s worth noting that in the many months since Media Dragon first went live, I haven’t felt the need to recommend too many articles to you. Still, colourful insider stories do find their way to my desk from time to time, and "good" isn’t nearly strong enough a word to describe the article penned by Alex Mitchell. Alex does not seem to have as high opinion about Vaclav Havel as I have, but we seem to share the wisdom embedded in the quote by Charles de Gaulle: In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.

Bloodstained Premier Shakespearean City of SIN

The script for the election of the next Lord Mayor of Sydney in March 2004 has a quality that is purely Shakespearean.
History, power and a highly developed sense of public duty course through her veins. She is the great-granddaughter of Thomas Hughes, member of the Legislative Council and mayor of Sydney in 1903, and author of an impressive book called Sydney: Biography Of A City.

· The leading lady, Lucy Turnbull, is daughter of the city's noblest Queen's Counsel [Sun Herald]
· The (derailed) Buck Stops with the (49) Train Driver and His Son [Sunday Telegraph (AU)]

Lovers of Liberty

Insomaniacally Informaniac (sic), Media Dragon, is on the hunt, unmasking and honouring bloggers who are serving, for better or for worse, the virtual Antipodean world. The blogscroll was stolen in the middle of the day from t he local Parish.
My bohemian licence really just wanted to create something speculation-provoking and perhaps useful and fun.

Blogs on either side of the Australian Secret Libertarian Society (ALS) are in hiatus (as at August 2003), however, they are worth the historical visit. In particular, I urge all to invade Don's den as he has left labour of love in the virtual library:
Arthur, Don[hiatus]
bad analysis[hiatus]

Presenting Antipodean Bloggers: The Truth Laid Bear (#3 Aug 2003 AD)

What kinds of personae do we make? What relation do these have to what we have traditionally thought of as the 'whole' person? Are they experienced as an expanded self or as separate from the self? Do our real-life selves learn lessons from our virtual personae? Are these virtual personae fragments of a coherent real-life personality?
-Sherry Turkle

media & the net: Paging The Australian Libertarian Society (ALS) John Humphreys, Founder

I will get into real trouble for saying this, but Soon is my favourite blogger at the moment. Whole much smarter than the average blogger ...I'm more libertarian than you!
After much contemplation and research (smile), I came to the conclusion that there are currently eleven Guest Libertarian Bloggers & five Inside Insiders. That seems to make Darwinian group, Parish's honourable five, the second largest blogging force Down Under. Strong words, some coming from the fearless characters like Strawman, Professor, and Soon frequent posts make for a fascinating blog.

The value of blogs like ALS is that they understand too well how the truth can set you free but first it will piss you off. It's a bit of an irony I think, that many bloggers can use their own names and yet remain so anonymous:
· Australian Libertarians: [Multi-blogger blog White Convict Male Only]
Strawman strawman{at}
Alex Robson alex.robson{at}
24601 24601{at}
Mark Harrison mark.harrison{at}
Stephen Dawson stephen.dawson{at}
ALS Guest Bloggers
Whacking Day: Tex
Catallaxy Files: Jason Soon
Bunyip, Professor
Duncan Spender - duncan.spender{at}
Duncan Macfarlane - duncan.macfarlane{at}
Another Bloody Libertarian - another.bloody.libertarian{at}
Paul Bickford paul.bickford{at}
Steve Clancy steve.clancy{at}
Sid Marriss marriss{at}
Terje Petersen terje.peterson{at}
Rafe Champion rafe.champion{at}

The Australian Libertarian Society (ALS) was founded by John Humphreys in 2000 and is an organisation dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, free markets and small government.
Since 2000 the ALS has been involved in many activities, including media campaigns, discussion papers, producing a newsletter, dinners throughout Australia and counter-protests. In January 2003, on it's three year anniversary, the ALS moved to it's new home at and started a 'blog'. Monthly dinners are now hosted in Canberra and Brisbane and all libertarians are invited to attend.

The Good:
Musing Options
Author: John Humphreys
hey Bert,
What a pity the crazy and angry right of "Bovination" has seized control over the ALS website.
seized control?
no, no, no - though I can see how it would look like that at the moment.
The new ALS site ( includes a blog (like an internet version of the opinion pages from a newspaper) as well as a forum.
We will be having several bloggers and several more guest bloggers - including some of the best libertarian bloggers in Australia.
However, at the moment, only the blogs from Strawman are on the site (strawman is the blogger from bovination). Rest assured Mr Bert that there will be a diversity of libertarians on the blog.
Strawman is a libertarian, though admitedly (sic) he does have an angry streak in him. To be fair though, he does have a humorous streak too... :)
We will have other bloggers too. Alex Robson and Mark Harrison are both good Australian libertarian bloggers, though admitedly (sic) they are also economists and are pro-war.
Eddie Weston is a moral-based libertarian who opposes the war and isn't an economist and 24601 is a utilitarian anarchist (in the mold (sic) of David Friedman) who opposes the war.
Among the guest bloggers we have Tex from Wackingday, Jason Soon from Catallaxy, Duncan Spender - an economist who is anti-war, Professor Bunyip, Stephen Dawson from the IPA and myself, as well as others.
It's a good list and I think it's a good step forward for the ALS. The forum will still be as open as ever to the same debates...
I look forward to your continued involvement,
John Humphreys
The Bad:
The site has not been seized by anyone.
Feel free to put your own squishy leftie views on the site, and shout me down.
You can promote your open border compulsory jihad taxpayer funded rejectee
views as much as you like!
As for there being more to libertarianism than economics - very true, but
the two groups which annoy me the most in society are those who:
a) think it's their right to take my money to spent on those deemed more
b) those who seek to control my life right down to how I was and defecate.
Lefties and Muslims feature highly in those two groups.
But feel free to disagree.
The Funny:
Often annoying, always thought-provoking.
The libertarian political philosophy, also known as classical liberalism, has existed in some form for several centuries. It is not possible to give a good introduction to libertarianism is only a few paragraphs, but plenty of information is available on the Internet. A good starting point is
Libertarians believe in individual liberty, small government and free markets. Often libertarians are described as 'economically right-wing' and 'socially left-wing'. While this isn't a perfect explanation, it's a helpful shortcut and one that has been used by in their 'world's smallest political quiz'.
Libertarian blogger can be considered right-wing of "zero tolerance" ... in one discussion group, but in another parts of the bloggosphere he'd be considered a lefty pinko.
Most bloggers seems to be taking a leaf out of Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, who writes one of the best known and most influential blogs, the archetype of a libertarian blog,
Others lean towards ideas expressed by Andrew Sullivan who is British-born, gay Irish Catholic conservative/libertarian providing political and cultural commentary. There is whole Tex's View - Democracy, Beer, Sport! thing... discussing politics, culture, beer, science, movies, and descriptions of incomprehensible Footbal & Cricket matches.

Marxists aren't going to get much support on this Libertarian blog, as the Sydney Morning Herald readers don't expect a lot of political similarity with those who read The Telegraph.
There is no reader in Australia, however, who is advocating that some particular group of our children should not be educated, and instead should be maintained as a class of servants. It is universally accepted that all of our children should be educated; the disagreement is over the means to be used to achieve that goal. If one favours the public sector, the public school system, as the proper means for education, then one belongs on the left end of the spectrum, favouring that individuals not have choice and determination over the education of their children. Conversely, if one feels the best method for educating children is private sector ownership of the means of education, one belongs on the right end of the political spectrum, believing that individuals should exercise sovereignty over this issue rather than government. The content of that education may be a subject of debate, but the relevant issue is who has the power to determine that content, parents choosing providers in a free market or government bureaucrats making those decisions according to a politically determined agenda. In the ALS camp there seems to be pendulum swinging in right direction twisted to the right to home based schooling.

Character Strengths:
Some people are confused by what appear to be contradictory positions in libertarianism. Free trade is considered to be right-wing, but drug legalisation is left-wing. Cutting tax is right-wing, but defending civil liberties and gay rights is left-wing. However, all of these libertarian positions share the common principle of decreasing the role of government. In contrast, "left-wing" people often want to have the government control the economy, but not to control our social lives, and "right-wing" people often want to have the government control our social lives, but not the economy.
(Stephen Dawson:) The latest Motor magazine features a column complaining about the NSW Parliament's Staysafe committee. Excerpt:
In short, Staysafe wants the NSW government to introduce speed limiters on every motorised vehicle sold there. And if that happens, it will try, by political and emotional means, to convince other states (or the federal government) to follow. If it doesn't, nobody will buy a car in NSW and all the car dealers them will go broke lickety-split.
It gets worse. Never mind that a car travelling at 10Okm/h will take 1.5km (!) of straight, clear road to overtake a 25m semi-trailer doing 95 ...

The nanny state isn't just coming. In Staysafe's mind, it should have been here years ago.
Speed of Light

Now that could only have been written by a libertarian. Watching out for control freaks like Staysafe committee director, Ian Faulks.
Jason Soon noted that Tim Dunlop is the only leftish blogger to be included in the links for the new Australian libertarian group blog.
It's more freedom, not less, that generates more security. Ideas that haven't even been thought of yet may be the best ideas of all.
Using the traditional left/right continuum, what defines the political spectrum is not the position one holds on whether one feels that government should help the workingman or corporate Australia. The locus of political power, whether vested in the state or the individual is the criteria the separates the totalitarian left from the anarchistic right. If one advocates using government power to achieve democracy, i.e. "forcing people to be free," such as Bush is doing in Iraq, then whatever political name or title one adopts, one is nevertheless a statist and ultimately a totalitarian. If instead one advocates using market forces to achieve social change or moral improvement, one is a respecter of liberty and the rights of individuals and is only then more correctly placed on the right end of the political spectrum.
If our representation proves to be less than satisfactory, we must use our political clout to restore honour to the hallowed halls of Parliament. Our votes are our weapons and should be wielded as a great collective sword to battle and even slay the beast Bureaucracy.
We must remember that not only governments, but corporate structures as well, derive their strengths and fortunes from we the people. If either fail to serve our needs and no longer fulfil their purpose or become oppressive, it is up to us and us alone to hold them accountable. Using votes and dollars the people can control both big business and government.
· Guess Who? [Suggestion came via email]
Quote & Link:
When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered.
- American newspaper columnist Dorothy Thompson
· Liberty for All [ ]
· Sydney Libertarianism and Intercourse Without Orgasm [Aussie Push ]
· Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself [Screening now]
It's straight up with libertarian neoconservative views, straight discussions
of anarchist thought.
Most Lovers of Liberty appear to have friendlish temper streak in them.
However, love and hate, like success and failure, are part of the same coin.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Unexamined Life

Heard of the Unexamined Life being like Totally Not Worth Living?

As we examine our past, we realise how much it is likely for the future to repeat itsef upon us. Waves of the certainty, often classified as change, continue to break on the shores of our creative lives. In the midst of this onslaught, the way forward can seem confusing and chaotic. Yet, as we enter a new era, beyond the information revolution, the opportunities, as Frank so rightly points out, are endless...

Rich Streams of the "new" Creative Leadership Up Close and Personal: Eternal Spring of Creativity

MD's Note: The following is the text of screenwriter/director Frank Pierson's commencement address to the 2003 USC film school graduating class:

We have to remind ourselves that this viewer is only another aspect of ourselves, that we have also in us-as he does-a better part, that needs to be cultivated and to express itself. There is no single audience with a single personality. There is the larger audience-currently under-served-that has vast variety of appetites that we can, we must, satisfy.
You are now our future, and this is the challenge you face. It is a bigger challenge than it seems because you cannot recapture something you never knew. It is your gargantuan task to create this spirit out of thin air, in the face of resistance and lack of interest, in your own style and out of your own imagination. Something new and as yet unknown.

· Creative Capital: To Reach and Touch the Angel in the Beast [Alternet: Am I Crazy Enough? ]
Clever man deceives by telling the truth

We simply become like the thousands of other low-wage working parents with few options and little hope. We are being set up to fail. Then we are punished for "failing." We "welfare queens" ask you to consider the social costs of current welfare policies as they relate to the future of our society. This is one thing that all of our children share.
· Truth [CommonDreams ]

Freedom And What?

Anger and alienation have infected a system that treats vocal citizens as troublemakers.
Thursday, Aug. 28 is the 40th anniversary of the famous March on Washington, the venue for one of the world's best remembered speeches: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream."

· 40 Years After The Dream [TomPaine ]

Now Is Our Time! Amateur Hour

For democracy to truly work, regular people need to get involved.
· Involvement [TomPaine ]
· Americans have not turned toward Bush; they've turned away from the whole system [TomPaine ]

Modern day Evita & Ka!!sers

Absolute New Oz Modern day Evita & Ka!!sers

Corrupting the democratic process, a Queensland practice as common as palm trees. Actually when you consider branch-stacking, a heinous distortion of democratic principles, it's a national rot.
· Now we feel sorry for her! [ Webdiary]
· It's Porridge for Pauline [BBC]
· Branch Stacking [IchUbersportingpundit ]
· Do not Mention the Kaiser: ALP soft on rorters [ABC ]
Robot attends Czech state dinner

Robot comes from the Czech word robota, which means drudgery.
· If you are not rich like mmmwwaaa your future as a robot in my Castle looks bright [BBC:; Positions Vacant;]
Exclusive Embargo (eGrin) Knight Ridder article (Unabled to Link)
Book Will Say LBJ Killed JFK
Barr McClellan will publish his BLOOD, MONEY & POWER: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K. on September 30 through Truman Press's Hannover House. The book is said by Knight Ridder to "offer photographs, copies of letters, insider interviews and details of fingerprints as proof that Edward A. Clark, the powerful head of [Lyndon] Johnson's private and business legal team and a former ambassador to Australia, led the plan and cover-up for the 1963 assassination in Dallas.

Newsflash If you can keep from laughing hysterically

Welcome To The Darkish Ages Fox As Hound

· Judge Rejects Fox Request on Franken Book [Yahoo]
Conservatives once were the media underdogs. But Fox's suit against Al Franken shows that's no longer true. They're just bullies.
· Bullies Playing Victims!!! [Tom Paine]

Advantages of a great sorrow is that nothing else seems painful.
The Complete Memoires of Jacques Casanova (The Bohemian Librarian) [JC#31][]2981

Only The Lonely Know The Way I Feel Tonight A dyslexic Alpha Male walks into a bra

How To Become An Alpha Male in 18 Easy Lessons series.
I figure no book exists that will ever explain the wonderful, crazy, sexy, charming, powerful, mysterious thing known as a man.

· What SNAGS Want!!! (Scary Stuff...Read @ Your Own Risk) [HalleysComment ]
· Imrich and Fantastic in bed!!! (As Seen on Ka!! Video Spynetwork) [HalleysComment]

Friday, August 22, 2003

How Not to Judge Voters & Judge

Tip of the Proverbial Iceberg::Voting Machine

The voting machine wars are heating up and the implications of vote fraud in America are even more ominous.
Computer scientist Avi Rubin, whose Johns Hopkins University team found serious flaws in Diebold Election Systems software abruptly resigned from VoteHere, another election software company.

· VoteHere [ScoopNZ ]
· Suddenly, salivating politicians' hearts go out to Hanson [SMH ]
· Justices order removal of Ten Commandments monument [CNN ]
Blogging for Research

Liz Donovan, writing about news researchers and blogging in News Library News: "This is something that librarians are born to do." With some other, less pithy quotes from yours truly and a cast of lib-blog worthies like Gary Price
· Lib Blogs [Dual Loyalty]
McGreevey's Man in Little India

Jeff Pillets and Clint Riley of the Bergen Record investigate one of New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey's top fundraisers in the state's South Asian community, an ex-cabby named Rajesh "Roger" Chugh, finding that Chugh leveraged his friendship with Jim McGreevey to intimidate the immigrant community and become the virtual lord of Little India.
· Chugh offered appointments to state posts [ New]Jersey
· MONEY, POLITICS & POWER Invesatigative Series [North JerseyviaScoop]
Financial detectives

Quest Research began life three years ago with two members of staff who had recently left the Hong Kong police force. Three years on and the company has grown to 125 people based in offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Dubai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Perth and Tokyo.
· Politically exposed persons [Finance Asia]
The Earth Moved for Comedians Billy's Willy

Were We hit by an earthquake last night? Apparently! Billy's Terrorist is to blame for an aftershock which had a 6.2 magnitude. Even housing market in Sydney built solidly on sand felt the tremors
· Billy Connolly was left bleeding at 30,000 feet: Stuck in zip on plane [Entertainment ]
· Chemical Ali [CNN]

Hollywood standards

They tell us how to talk, dress and even what to eat.
· corporate fraud [Telegraph(AUS) ]

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Czech Republic: Thirty-Five Years Ago, Prague Spring Reforms Brought To Bitter End
Thirty-five years ago this week, soldiers from five Warsaw Pact countries invaded Czechoslovakia, ending one of the most ambitious attempts at political reform to emerge in communist Europe. Around 200,000 troops, led by the Soviet Union, crossed the border late in the evening on 20 August 1968. By morning, Czechoslovak communist leader Alexander Dubcek's "Prague Spring" was effectively finished, the victim of a nervous Soviet leadership that saw the early seeds of its own undoing. RFE/RL takes a look back at that fateful day that both presaged the revolutions to come two decades later and may have hastened them along.
· 35th Spring [ TruthNews]
· Interviews of Note [Nazory (Antipodean/Bohemian)]
Australian electoral law: a stocktake

T his article addresses a number of key issues confronting contemporary electoral law in Australia. It demonstrates that Australian
electoral law is facing many of the same questions and problems that concern other nations, such as how best to regulate campaign financing, regulating ballot access, and what role the law ought to play in shaping the “internal” affairs of political parties.

· regulating ballot access [PDF::Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, University of New South Wales ]
· Prison sentence for electoral fraud seen by One Nation as a political milestone [SMH ]
· And please, let Pauline Hanson walk free. She's more innocent than our major parties by miles. [Webdiary ]
Reconciliation through a struggle for recognition?

In societies divided by the memory of political violence, political reconciliation depends on transforming a relation of enmity into one of civic friendship.
· Civic [Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne (PDF file)]
Deflation 2004 (AD) Bank tackles risk of housing crash

As Soros once observed expect the unexpected on a housing market front...
Americans expect house prices will more than double in the next decade, despite already doubling in many US centres since the mid-1990s.
· Irrational exuberance [SMH ]
· Poisoned Chalice - Wherever it is Prescribed, a Dose of IMF Medicine Only Compounds Economic Crisis [ CommonDreams]
I believe in America. America has made my fortune

The place where Americans do have something to teach us is on immigration and asylum. They aren't perfect, but I would happily exchange our miserable and mean-spirited attitude to migrants for their energetic pursuit of talents and energy from everywhere in the world. Instead of being dazzled by the few bright sparks in America's racial nightmare, Europe should be working out how we can copy the real success at the heart of the American dream.
· More Than Skin Deep - Don't be Fooled by the Success of a Few Minority Americans - Racism is Still Rife [ CommonDreams]

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

The námêsti,
the square that bears your name,
bore the names of soldiers
of the young Red Army—until nineteen
eighty-nine, the year no one had to die,
not God nor Kafka, for whom the fire

to warm the icy world was words.

Soviet invasion of Prague Be Not Afraid: As the Universal Solidarity of Freedom Always Prevails

Tomorrow will mark the 35th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Prague, a vile act which put an iron blanket over freedom in Central Europe for the next 21 years.

The solidarity of the Czechoslovak underground was deeper than the fear of secret police my countrymen shared. Freedom transcends geography, culture and generations. It especially the solidarity of young (naive) romantics, like Jan Palach, who at the age of 22 dreamt of and sacrificed for liberty.
As my folkloric teacher, Marta Chamillova, used to sayIf you want to set something afire, you must burn yourself.
In history there are times when action has to be taken, Jan Palach said from his deathbed.
As B Webb of the Guardian observes: 'Exchanging brutalism for another is not what Havel and his kind have in mind nor do such prescriptions fit the democratic habit of the Czechoslovak temperament, formed long before communism's arrival to power.
· Prague's Second Spring [Current Affairs Bulletin March 1990]
· The Tyranny of Fraternal Normalisation [MediaDragon]
· An Invasion Remembered [NCA]
· Tanks Rolling into Prague [BBC ]
· Communism and freedom cannot coexist [Boston ]
Politicians who refuse to tell other than the whole truth...are quickly seen to be... either the whores or the eunuchs of the oldest profession. They may elicit our pity or inspire our contempt, but they can never command our respect.

Accountability needed

There was no impropriety whatsoever in my acquaintanceship with Miss Keeler...
BRUCE Hawker's fine appeal for public honesty and ministerial accountability thrusts straight to the heart of what truly underpins the hegemony of secular liberal democracy (a gravely threatened mode of public affairs which we in the West are defending against religious extremists and nihilists).

· Profumo [Australian:Bruce Hawker]
· Families of Influence:Tucker [SMH ]

Opponents of progress often want decisions to be made in political arenas

Candle makers, after all, cannot be expected to hail the invention of the electric light bulb, nor hostlers the advent of automobiles, nor canal-boat owners the building of railways, nor TV broadcasters the laying down of cable systems.
· Can this advance be sustained? [Reason]
Serious social problems Hollywood Needs to Look to Social Workers for Heroes

The show was called East Side, West Side. It premiered Sept. 23, 1963, and made its last broadcast on Sept. 14, 1964. Thus did one of the most brilliant, well-written and superbly acted television series come to an end after one glorious, albeit Nielsen-ratings-starved, year. In 1963, as in 2003, television executives didn't want shows that were good.
· They wanted shows that got ratings [Common Dreams]

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Antipodean Australian Age of Murdoch

Many see him as a power-mad, rapacious right-wing vulgarian. Rupert Murdoch has indeed been relentless in building a one-of-a kind media network that spans the world. What really drives him, though, is not ideology but a cool concern for the bottom line-and the belief that the media should be treated like any other business, not as a semi-sacred public trust. The Bush Administration agrees. Rupert Murdoch has seen the future, and it is him.
· Fox wakes up morning news [Atlantic ]
Reed Elsevier, the unsung star of the internet revolution

Elsevier is the internet star you never see feted as a leading light of the internet revolution. It is not mentioned alongside the like of Amazon, eBay and AOL. Yet last year, Reed's internet revenues topped £1bn, out of total revenues of £2.6bn.
· Media rivals [Independent]

We may not be able to judge a book by its cover says Nicholson McBride's Stephanie Wyman, but a quick glance will tell you all you need to know about the reader. For instance, a girl reading Bridget Jones's Diary has "I'm single" written all over her.

Once Upon a Blog

A long time ago, in the hazy middle years of the decade nineteen-hundred-and-ninety, between the darkest reaches of dial-up and the Ethernet, a creature was born. It was not of this earth but, rather, the first-born child of the Internet. Its name was ... blog.
· Time [ PBS]
· We're all geeks now [Boston ]
· Blogging, to the horror of some, is trying to go commercial [Economist ]
The character in the Quiet American said, Sooner or later, one has to take sides. If one is to remain human.

Ooooole ole ole ole. Ole. Ole Ole too human

What do we do in these crazy times?
I became so disillusioned with politicians and what was going on around me that I decided to write an autobiographical album and reaffirm my own sense of identity. And reaffirm some fundamentals such as the value of humanity over politicised definitions of what people are supposed to be.
If everyone was to think of themselves first of all as just simply human beings and think of other people then, as human beings, we'd have a very different world.

· feed more lies [SMH ]
Kafka Sacred, absolute, incorruptible

Within a few months, having avoided Hitler's and Stalin's jails, she found herself interned on the Isle of Man.
· Lovers [Telegraph(UK) ]
Who needs Freud, Today???

With the advent of e-mail and use of the Web, it got to the point where it makes sense for us to analyse our virtual messages very seriously (smile):
Mary Fountain Achieve more powerful thrusting ability.... Sat 08/16/03 06:17 AM 4 KB
Emilie Hornacek Secure Your Future jozefimrich Sat 08/16/03 04:37 AM 3 KB
Legal Careers Earn Your Degree in Criminal Justice - O... Sat 08/16/03 01:20 AM 1 KB
"Ethan S. Lyons" Make Your Woman Happy Thu 08/07/03 12:27 PM 5 KB
While I can't reply to everyone, rest assured that your
suggestions will receive the proper attention they deserve. (grin)

· Mmmmm.... There is just one little problem with some messages that refer to my bad breasts [Bad Bombers]

Monday, August 18, 2003

As the late, great A.J. Liebling pointed out, Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one. Blogging and online journalism has given new meaning to this.

1/2 a century young Assie Parish seems to have a knack for sinning against great Trot/stans (smile)

Just because you swallowed a fucking dictionary when you were about 15 doesn't give you the right to pour a bucket of shit over the rest of us...
The answer is that the sense of humour comes from a libertarian understanding of the world. Statists see a world of oppression and pain, and get depressed because of global warming and evil multinationals. Libertarians see the world in a different way, seeing the bad in the world, but also seeing the great advances that humankind has experienced over the past few hundred years. They have greater confidence in humanity, progress and the future. So they can afford to not take life completely seriously. The sense of humour is profoundly libertarian.

· Fletcher & Oprysa [Webcity: PaulKeating]
investigative journalism

The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
-- P.J. O'Rourke

Deep Financial Problemos

Here's one big reason California is in deep financial doo doo. Gray Davis is in trouble because he is the symbol of massive mismanagement of state finances. The legislature is as ignorant of economics as he is. They all focus primarily on keeping their wonderful perks and power.
· Their motto is: Give it all away and the people will love us [SACBEE ]
· Onto the candlelight's back: Powerless in the City [VOW]
· Sydney Shelterless [SMH]

Businesses operating without a license

Michael Mansur and Lynn Horsley of the Kansas City Star used city licensing records to find many Kansas City businesses operating without a license. City officials acknowledge that the amount of lost revenue could be sizable.
· Making license administration more costly and enforcement more cumbersome [ viaScoop]

Florida Voters

Beth Reinhard, Tim Henderson and Erika Bolstad of the Miami Herald surveyed the voter rolls in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, finding "nearly half a million people who have never cast a ballot," some 25 percent of the electorate in two of Florida's largest counties.
· Vote Less [Miami ]
· Donor: Corporate donations can influence associations, study says [Miami ]
George Reid - Australia's only true liberal leader

As Premier of New South Wales (1894-1899) and Prime Minister of Australia (1904-1905), George Reid lay the foundation for Australia's secular public education system, eliminated patronage and corruption from the public service, introduced a public health act, reformed land laws, and championed a strong and prosperous economy through his passionate belief in free trade.
The Reid Group seeks to promote a national renovation of Australian political life and renew Australia's place as an open society based on liberal values.

· The Reid Group - Born To Party? ...@ Jubilee Room (Old Parliamentary Library) [Webdiary ]

Sunday, August 17, 2003

The falling digital drops at last will wear the stone along the ancient Cold River.
--Lucretius misquoted

Paging Double Dragons Hello Kind Reader,

Somewhere in the near future, you will read a book that hasn't been produced in the way books are normally produced - i.e. printed on paper and bound. Digital books or ebooks exist in cyberspace as bits and bytes, but they're no less "books" for being represented by small electric currents. Many literary masterpieces can be read online and are accessible from myriad sources, some free and some for a fee.
Sexed up, extensive Australian site, Project Gutenberg of Australia, offers 250 free ebooks, including works by Australian authors and titles which are associated with Australia (although not necessarily written by an Australian).

· Godfather of the book: Guten (Betterberg) read [SMH]
· Welcome ArmadilloCon and Double Dragon Publishing Visitors! [eWise]
· Three men with courage to escape make a majority [eEscape]