Friday, October 31, 2003

For some reason many of the eReaders of Cold River come from Scandinavian countries and cold parts of north Amerika. Strangely, my first page of my first chapter of my first book refers to snow and Christmas...

The "amazing wine" of the Finnish language
The snow arrived early in Helsinki this year, draping the city last weekend in the sort of shining blanket that turns every vista of neo-classical streets and wooded shorelines into a Christmas-card cliché.
...Tucked away in the folds of the ancient mountains that embrace the Kezmarok and Poprad valleys lay a royal town called Vrbov (a place with dual meanings: ‘willow’ and ‘boiling water’).
A weeping at times. But mostly happy little village of a few hundred souls with a robust sense of humour.
It gets dark early in December. The Vrbov definition of winter: streets are snowbound, the road is quiet, the mountain air is very, very cold. That day in 1957, Vrbov was gripped by mid winter night frostiness. It was two evenings before Christmas Eve.
· Readers of Cold River [Independent]
School Cooks Claim to Win $95M Powerball. Absolute proof that there is justice in the world and that hope dies last. Each of the 15 cooks/lunch ladies and 1 janitor put a QUARTER ($.25) of each of their paychecks in for the powerball. They now, with the cash option, get $2,100,000 each AFTER TAXES.

Antipodean Machiavellis
The Packer family today denied having any knowledge that former federal politician Graham Richardson and Qantas director Trevor Kennedy had a role in the purchase of their former Offset Alpine Printing Pty Ltd business.
Machiavelli Restaurant:
R e g u l a r d i n e r s i n c l u d e : John Howard, Jeff Kennett, James Packer, Gough Whitlam, Graham Richardson, Mark Taylor, Bob Carr, Peter Collins, Bob Muscat, Trevor Kennedy, Ita Buttrose, Liz Hayes, Stephen Loosley, Carla Zampatti, Mike Munro, Nick Whitlam, Barry Humphries, John Singleton, Bruce Gyngell and Anne Fulwood.
· The fire that warmed investors' hearts [SMH]
· Packers deny knowledge of scandal [Age ]
· Ribbing [ SMH]
· Sending-ups [ CNNNN::23/10/2003]
Back Page Column
I am still not in position to welcome talented Chris Sheil online.

My life is rated NC-17.
What is your life rated?

· So Sadly here is Chorrible (ch as in long loch) Mark Steyn [National Review]
Happy Halloween
· Billionaire Halloween Masks: Ooooooooh, scary! [Forbes]

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
-Herm Albright

The new politics: criticise and perish
The almost unfettered progression of ‘third way’ styled governance by both left and right worldwide creates a minefield for those who criticise policy or advocate against government in the pursuit of social justice. Traditional forms of social critique, says author and social researcher, Dr Clive Begg, find no home in the ‘third way’ as political parties gallop further to the right to gain power at the expense of traditional social democratic principles.
· Only Way: only power on the block [Brisbane Institute]
Readers Of E-Books Are Avid Online Users

According to a new Nielsen//NetRatings study (commissioned by Newsstand), users of so-called e-editions of print publications are shown to be more affluent, better educated and heavier users of the Internet than the average online user.
· -- And They Still Use Print [MediaPost ]
· Journalism sold short? [JSchool]
· How Much Information? 2003 [SIM ]
Masters v Peasants: Information is Power
Each year the Congressional Research Search (CRS) publishes approximately 1,000 reports of which the public may have access to several hundred. In an interesting change of policy, Secrecy News reports that access to selected reports previously provided via the websites of two members of Congress, Rep. Mark Green (R-WI) and Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), has been terminated.
· Public Access to CRS Reports Temporarily Curtailed? [Congressional Research Search ]
· Computing at the Speed of Light [Reuters ]
Joseph DiMento offers a good profile of Wood-at-Harvard in yesterday's issue of the Harvard Crimson, The Critical View:
Ironically, Wood thinks that less reading should be done in American universities. "I feel that you’re reading too much. I’m generally in favor of reading a bit less and knowing it deeply.

Literary Land
The British Library is asking bibliophiles to adopt a book and save it for the nation.
· Adoption [Telegraph (UK)]
· Books without deaths and taxes [TownOnline ]

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Antipodean Stocktakes
The Australian Financial Review newspaper reports that Swiss authorities have identified Rivkin, former Labor cabinet minister Graham Richardson and Qantas director Trevor Kennedy as the owners of a 38 per cent controlling stake in printing group Offset Alpine.
· Unwittingly caught up in a Swiss investigation into $300 million in missing funds [SMH]
· Democracy Stocktakes [Webdiary]
· It's official: we don't trust bosses [SMH ]
PS: Trust me, if I happen to have a carr accident, my butler has a copy of an email explaining who done it?! (
Strange Bedfellows
One reason the Bush Administration gave for going to war in Iraq was Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to terrorists. So it is ironic that one of the partners in a big Iraqi firm being used by US contractors in Iraq is also a founding partner in an organization that's been identified as helping fund Al Qaeda. So far, however, neither the government nor the contractors have shown much concern.
· CzechPoint Sadoon Al-Bunnia: Contract with Amerika [The Nation]
· The White House whine: 'It's all the media's fault', (read Truth's Fault) [CSMonitor ]
Even if once upon a time I was not described as the Mitteleuropean Instapundit, Savant, or reached amazing clicking wonder for 96 seconds as top 100 blogger at the Street of Blogging Power (, I would still consider blogging an extraordinary joy. All my friends know that I was born to break information and ideas. Is blogging better than sex? Definite maybe not! (smile)
· Joy of Unedited Sex and Blogging [Slate]

Blog Bog
A recent study by Perseus Development, a research firm and maker of software for surveys, finds that fully 66 percent of the 4.12 million blogs, or online journals, created on eight leading blog-hosting services have been "abandoned'' - that is, not updated for at least two months. And 1.09 million of those were one-day wonders.
· 'It's all the Dragon's fault' [ NYTimes]
· Love thy blogger [SMH Webdiary]

Blatant Selfcongratulations to the Richest Media Dragon: No Longer Nameless Dragon on the Blog Street How Appealing...
Subject: [BlogStreet] Ownership granted
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 05: 44:26 -0800
Dear Jozef Imrich,
You have been granted the ownership of your blog in BlogStreet:
You can now authoritatively categorize your blog,
also you will receive notification when your blog is reviewed.
Hope you find your experience with BlogStreet useful.
Your feedback will be highly appreciated.
BlogStreet Team.
Media Dragon
Blogger : Jozef Imrich [Contact]
Rank : 1178 / 144733
BIQ : 612
Rating : 3 based on 1 votes and 0 review(s)
Category : Politics

· Ownership [Blogstreet ]
Many thanks to characters like Howard J. Bashman, Webdiary of Margo Kingston, Sanctuary of Gianna Surfdom of Tim Dunlop, and one and all serving the spirit of the Slavish Spiders on Blog Street.
Tell me I am not dreaming that Helen Thomas and I have been this week partners in electronic crime.
· Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President and Cold River [Palm Digital]
Books are back in fashion, thanks to Rowling's magic
I certainly didn't set out to teach, or to preach, to children.
I wanted to depict the ambiguities of a society where bigotry, cruelty, hypocrisy and corruption are rife, the better to show how truly heroic it is, whatever your age, to fight a battle that can never be won.

· Partial Dragons - and pots of gold: Teenage master of monsters [SMH: Paolini]
Publishing Virgin, The
Whether you are a forty four year old considering this predicament ... well, age does not matter when it comes to the Virtual Bookcase!

An adventure is only a click away
Double Dragon Publishing (DDP) is a small Canadian press that specializes in bringing to print exceptional authors that would otherwise not be read. With this in mind we have just announced The Draco Awards for unpublished or self-published titles in the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror genres. You can read additional information about The Dracos Awards at:
· Exceptional Authors that would otherwise not be read [Mind Like Water]

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Revelation 1/2003: One and Only Column8
So Daylight Saving is the poor man's jet lag ... Huh, Imrich Cydneyrellas get up now literally at 3:20 am every morning in order to lap alongside princes Thorpies ...
Dissing Dissent
I am grateful to have become an American and to now belong to a country that has had an inspiring and enduring and true commitment to letting "a hundred flowers bloom," as Mao, hypocritically, once said. What has made the U.S. such a beacon to people like me is that it has always been principled, confident and strong enough to let its people debate and criticize government policies without suggesting that the critics are somehow less than patriotic.
When our government loses its tolerance for a full range of views on national and world affairs, it is veering toward the authoritarian world that speaks in one voice, the very political model it has so often stood against; even fought against. I hope I will never again have to live in such a world.

· In White House Actions, A Troubling Echo of Life in Communist China [LATimes ]

Politics Without Romance
Bureaucracies grow with no limit and no regard to promised functions. Pork-barrel dominates legislatures, tax systems are loophole systems. Public choice does little more than incorporate a rediscovery of this wisdom and its implications into economic analyses of modern politics.
· Wisdom [CIS ]
FRANZ KAFKA: I am literature! Bloody hell.
Kafka makes novelists nervous.
Why is that? Where are Kafka's descendants? Only a handful--Borges, W.G. Sebald, Thomas Bernhard--have successfully "channeled" the Kafkaesque in any meaningful way. The result has been queer. His influence seems to cause a mutation in the recipient, metamorphosing the novel into something closer to a meditation, a fantastical historiography, an essay, a parable. What is it about Kafka's lessons for the novel that cannot be contained within the novel in the form as we have come to know it? How does Kafka lead novelists away from the novel?

· Is it possible to be alive? [New Republic]

It's something we don't want to take with us to our graves
I want to start from some imagined, highly improbable, highly fantastic but not impossible fact and move from mental reality into social reality. That is, I think, the way of true art: not from the bottom up but from the top down.
· Schnacksi: Kafka's "Metamorphosis" [Philly ]
Bestselling author of FIRST, BREAK ALL THE RULES and NOW, DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTHS Marcus Buckingham's next two books, again to Fred Hills at Free Press, for publication in 2005 and fall 2006 respectively, by Joni Evans at William Morris (world).

AmeriKa As Author Magnet: International authors find refuge in the U.S.
Attracted by freedom to write and a large literary marketplace.
That Argentine, or Australian, or Czech, or Slovak author you have bought a ticket to hear is probably flying in from his or her home in the United States — the world's most powerful author magnet. Not only does the place offer freedom to write, but it also offers an abundance of publishers, lots of creative writing programs where authors can find a day job, and a large literary marketplace.

· A day job [Toronto Star 10/26/03 ]

Adding Up The Futility Of Writing
The economics of being a writer in Canada just don't add up. Out of that $32 book price, the author gets $3.20. "In Canada, a country of more than 30 million people, a novel is considered to have sold respectably if three thousand copies leave the shelf. You do the math: 3,000 x $3.20, minus 15 per cent, minus hundreds of dollars in expenses, minus your advance on these royalties, divided by four or five (depending on how many years the book took to write), equals, on a bad day, a fairly deep sense of futility.
· Why You Want To Be A Loser [The Globe & Mail (Canada) 10/25/03 ]
Have Sivilized Blog, Will Travel to Nippon Club
Josh Marshall, who's been perhaps the blogosphere's biggest innovator when it comes to including actual reporting on his blog, took up a collection to raise money for a trip to New Hampshire. Marshall says he'll spend the last week and a half or so before the Democratic primary reporting on the Granite State campaign exclusively for his TalkingPointsMemo blog.
The fund drive was a huge success, raising nearly $5,000 in less than 24 hours. In fact, Marshall says he's raised far more than he needs for the trip and is offering to give some back.
Like all good ideas, this one is subject to refinement, and it strikes us that there's one shortcoming to Marshall's plan: There are already hundreds of reporters in New Hampshire; what difference does one more make? Why not raise money to report on an undercovered political event at the NSW Bear Pit?
So how about it, who wants to pony up to send me to cover the events taking place at the Nippon Club?
About Last night is my favourite time to blog about. Last night I discovered that our old neighbour from Birriga Road James Houston of Raw Fame is doing shoots for Thorpe new range of underwear, IT.

I also learned that another Eastern Surburb character, Ernie Page, a former MP who was liked by everyone at the Parliament House even cleaners, is attached to Richard Talbot Motorist Action Group, and likely to get most of the votes as his group is smart enough to suggest that NRMA members should appoint Ernie as their proxy for 2003 AGM. To boot, they have a website
Speaking of sivilized institutions of Sydney, last night current MP Joe Tripodi of Fairfield Fame had actually made a powerful, hard core promise, in front of another MP, George Torbay, to buy a copy of my book Cold River. Was it Ronald Reagan who said during his presidency that there had been times when he wondered how you could do the job if you hadn't been an actor? (grin)
Garry David McIlwaine exRyde MP, who was desperately searching for someone at the Nippon Club around 7 pm, was out to shock me again by his Christmas promise to borrow my book 100 times from a library ... (smile)

· I never thought I’d say this, but: No More Contributions! [TalkingPointsMemo ]
· Beyond Expectations [RitternHouse ]
In Huck Finn’s term, big bad survivors like Jozef Imrich need to be... sivilized

Eager Crutch Words
Like many editorial consultants, I've been concerned about the amount of time I've been spending on easy fixes that the author shouldn't have to pay for.
Sometimes the question of where to put a comma, how to use a verb or why not to repeat a word can be important, even strategic. But most of the time the author either missed that day's grammar lesson in elementary school or is too close to the manuscript to make corrections before I see it.

· 10 MISTAKES WRITERS DON'T SEE [Holtuncensored ]
· Lethal Weapon - Book Review As Blunt Object [NYTimes ]
Trendsetters Sex and the City: The power of 1
About one-fourth of Americans now live alone. As their numbers grow, these singles are becoming a significant cultural and economic force. Even though single people are not organized politically, the sheer numbers, the weight of those numbers is eventually going to force change, slowly.
· Demographic revolution [CSMonitor ]

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I have already suffered greatly at the hands of Craig and his capability to deliver with his tongue. And his quite amazing ability to turn simple into exaggerated and extravagant tales.
Folbigg Tragedy
During the decade that she killed her four children, Kathleen Folbigg filled her diaries with her deepest thoughts. Lee Glendinning has read them all.
· The diary of a mother incapable of love, and compelled to kill [SMHerald ]
· The diary of my old Communist mother County incapable of giving freedom, and compelled to kill [Corpse]
Rachel Greenwald, author of the new Find a Husband After 35 Using What I learned at Harvard Business School, explained why her book is licensed in 12 countries, but not France, she says: The French publishing representative said no one in France would buy this book, because everyone there wants to get rid of their husband, not find one.

Co? Conclusive Evidence
Society can no longer shun or discourage adulterers ...(smile)
· Shining Study: License to play up? [NY Times]
· How Gay? way pays... [SMH ]
Black & White
Gary Jackson, of Mosman, wants us to employ our German experts to translate Schwarzenegger. As best as we can do it from dictionaries, Schwarzen means black, dirty, or deeply tanned, and egger is to harrow or plough. So black ploughman?
As a child I ran barefoot chasing geese along the Schwarz Creek.

· Even the Creek in Vrbov was tragically Black [SMH ]
Some readers who spent 96 seconds on my blog yesterday did not know who Australian political advertising guru, John Singleton, was!
· John Singleton

Monday, October 27, 2003

Why did God create 25,000 different kinds of beetles? He kept getting a better idea. Genius is a River of Ideas...
Say "G'day" To Open Innovation
John (Extreme Blue Janko) Wolpert has been in Australia, busily spreading the Open Innovation gospel. While in Australia, John addressed the Australian Parliament and the Innovation Exchange about Open Innovation.
· Innovation Exchange [Our ABC]
· Idea Factories [FuturePundit ]
Land of the Free? After South Korea ...
Press freedom in Australia has taken a battering in the past 12 months, according to the latest world rankings published by the international media monitoring organisation, Reporters Without Borders.
Australia plummeted from 12th place in the 2002 index of press freedom, Czechs and Slovaks moved to 12th place this year, to 50th this year, behind New Zealand in 17th, Britain (27th), the United States (31st) and South Korea (49th).

· Media restrictions given a black mark [SMH ]
Political Diamond Quiz
You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left or a right. There is only an up or down.
· Separation of Powers and a system of Checks and Balances [Friesian ]
· Advance produces some mixture of gains and losses, benefits and harms. [TechCentral ]

George of Steel.
· Naming of agent 'was aimed at discrediting clandestine CIA [Financial Times]
Before that Fact: Comrade in Arms
When Vladimir Putin was elected Russia's president in 2000 his previous career in the KGB lent him a sinister air.
· Book spooks Putin's spy image [SMH ]
Kafka knew a lot about cockroaches and memory morphing. In Australia my mate Maria Moses, who has a habit of rewarding herself with working for some of the greatest bosses including John Singleton, was more than anyone else aware not only how John can charm consumers but also share his spoils with homeless children via Bill Crews.
· Great Larrikins: Onya John [Independent]

PS: This link was added on Tuesday morning for the benefit of Czech, Scandinavian and American readers who have never heard of John Singleton and sadly were not successful getting links to him on the net. (Tip search under countries categories in Google.) John is almost as well connected with librarians working at the Australian databases of Google as Media Dragon is. However, unlike global Media Dragon, John is still rather parochial. For a good illustration what Larrikin means just Czech out Aussie Tim Dunlop
Not a joke this is a Fair Dinkum biography! John is royalty in Australia; Antipodean/Hollywoodish Elizabeth Taylor!
· Orgy, Orgy, Orgy: Oi, Oi, Oi; John Singleton
I received this message today; has anyone else?
I checked your website and I would like to link to it. My website is and it represents a network of keywords and concepts as they logically relate to each other, on various topics. Under each keyword I list relevant websites and resources.
I am considering listing your website under keywords such as "jozef" and "dragon media". Also, whenever visitors come from your site to, a chart containg the top 20 relevant keywords to your website will be added, personalizing the display. You can see this feature right now, as I already have analyzed your website:
If you want to add to, please use link. If you add your site, you will be supplied with an account, so you can log in and edit and delete your links.
The personalization system works by interpreting the http-referrer field so any plain html link to my website will trigger your specific keyword chart. If you consider to be useful, please reciprocate my link. This is my html link code, provided for your convenience...

Thank you.
Walter Robert

I am not sure how useful KwMap will prove to be, but Google and Amazon are just amazing. Onya information brokers. My only problem is that some surfers assume that I have misspelled both of my names.

What have I done or is this just a matter of luck to be listed on the front page after a search for Jozef? Out of 1,480,000! WOW...
· Thanks Google! [Google ]
· Thanks Bozzo a.k.a. Amazon!! [Amazon ]

Sunday, October 26, 2003

You know as well as I do Lauren's Tajny Recept for Rizoto is tasty on any taste buds
· Ever Made Risotto, Mate? [NY Times (I would like to know how in the world or when and under what circumstances my, supposedly faithful, wife obtained signed copy of a cookbook by that nymphomaniac Naked Chef (grin)]

Treating a Troubled World With a Dose of Star Power
A picture of such voluminous silliness and shrill naïveté that crosses a border into insensitivity almost makes you ask why Mr. Campbell bothered to make a movie that dances around real-life horrors. That is, until you realize that it would have been obscene if actual suffering had been so debased and trivialized. A crucial speech has a character talk about stepping on a land mine and hearing a deadly click. In the audience, you'll hear a similar noise and realize all hope is lost for those trapped in theaters with this picture.
· Beyond Borders [NYTimes ]
One of the longest structures that humans have ever built, the 5400 kilometre dog fence
· Antipodean Berlin Wall: Run Doggie ... Run Run Run [SMHerald ]

No Dogs, Cane Toads & Wogs Allowed? There is more to borders especially if you want to experience the surreal world of reality exile. All it takes is a short walk to the Downstairs Theatre, Belvoir St, part of the dark Sydney Underground, where for the black market price of Penfold Bin 28 you can feel lucky you are not any of the characters in that Cool Room. Unfortunately, this offer will expire by next Sunday! Just Do a spirit of the moment thing ...Consider suprising your enemies: Burn money and Morphose into Kafkaroach !
Breaking the law
Glenn Reynolds, as Professor of Law, who had completely lost the plot during the debate on Iraq war is regaining his senses and has digged up this masterpiece in the comfort of his American study room:
There are too many laws — many of them contradictory or obscure — for any person to actually avoid breaking the law completely. (My Criminal Law professor, when I was a law student, announced to us that we were all felons on the first day of class. There were too many felonies on the books for us not to be: Oral sex in Georgia? Oops!) And given that many laws are dumb, actually following all of them would probably bring society to a standstill, just as Air Traffic Controllers and pilots can make air travel grind to a halt by meticulously following every safety rule without exception.
The other problem is that law is like anything else: when the supply outstrips the demand, its value falls. If law were restricted to things like rape, robbery, and murder, its prestige would be higher. When we make felonies out of trivial crimes, though, the law loses prestige. As the old bumper stickers about the 55 mile-per-hour speed limit used to say: It’s not a good idea. It’s just the law.

· Instawisdom [ MSNBC via Samizdata]
Whatever you do; fail to recall that dangerous report by Dr Allan Buckingham whose finding that fixed Big Brother Speed Cameras fail to slow the rate of deaths on Antipodean roads is making waves in Staysafe committee rooms. How come pollies have helped to create a culture of speedometer watchers and revenue raisers? Hu has been doing all the advising all those years, well late John Newman good tell you great yarns about the character who bewitched some parliamentarians, but not all!
· Are you sitting comfortably, driver? You're nicked [SMH 2004AD]

Preachers v Practicers Nifty on Terror: Whatever you do; do not mention the past
Lawyers have a duty to speak up against the growing threat to civil liberties in Australia, former premier Neville Wran has told the NSW Law Society rent a AAA crowd dinner.
Past articles in SMH do not seem to look kindly at current and past state Premiers...

· We should not remain silent while freedoms are, however gradually, taken away [SMH ]
While Erik the Red skipper 'Iceman' kills shark with bare hands, Sydney urban women will do whatever it takes to survive and thrive!

Urban Tribes
They're all around us, those unmarried 20- or 30-somethings who seem to run in packs, living and working and enjoying life with friends rather than devoting all of their energies to the pursuit of marriage. Who are these people, these -- as the U.S. Census Bureau calls them -- never-marrieds? And what exactly are they doing in the years between student-hood and spouse-dom?
· Exploring Friendship Among Post-College Unmarrieds [BookWeb ]
There's the dream, where you work hard, scale the corporate ladder, and make your bundle. Then there's that other, sexier fantasy of ditching it all for a labor of love!
· The Opt-Out Revolution [NY Times (Thanks Lauren for the Pointers (See also Rissotto entry above)]

Speaking of blood donations, I am at the crossroads, so please email me with suggestions where the best, most social, points to give blood in central Sydney are. Somehow the Red Cross nurses appear to display great sense of humour, and some even acquired bohemian reading taste! Did you say legs, Neville? (I deny I corrupted Neville. However, Neville was a victim I created during the Red Cross drive two years ago for more blood. Somehow most lively friends and clayish enemies (out of 46 to be exact, I even asked Spanish Felix Monero, Dutch Pieter Keuning, Pommish Ernie Hall and convictish Robert Abel (no I did not ask Bruce Boland:*) I put on a spot in Brissie were not willing and more to the point were really not able to give blood.)
By the way, is any PHD student doing any research into how many politicians give blood regularly? I understand that Australia has more politicians per population than average, but the ratio of those pollies who give blood, especially after they get elected, is rather low. Are most pollies sick; scared of the needle; or just not prepared to be exposed to really rique sense of humour?
Patients given artificial blood
Doctors have for the first time successfully used artificial blood to treat patients.
The product is a powder which can be stored for years, say scientists at Stockholm's Karolinska Hospital.
It is made from donated supplies of real blood, which normally has a shelf-life of just 42 days.

· Blood supplies are stretched [Theirs BBC]
It is not our stars, dear Horatio, but ourselves...

Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Yeah, I was alive during the 1980s, but Tears for Fears reminded me of something important in our own time.
Look at the Blogstreet list of "top blogs." Notice something about them? Most are on the same topic, politics.
· The problem isn't with the lying liars. The problem is with the millions who enjoy being lied to, who prefer being lied to, who see balance as imbalance, and imbalance as balance [Corante: MOORE'S LORE: new technology: Dana Blankenhorn ]

Speaking of tears of laughter and misleading headlines, yesterday some readers of Technorati abstracts assumed that I was richer than Madona or even the Queen...Not So. Just ask the Dragon! (smile)
6. And richer, even, than Jozef Imrich, NovoRiche Blow-in (6) (Cosmos)
dangerousmeta! 135 inbound blogs, 150 inbound links Created 18 hours 34 minutes ago (Cosmos)
To stars, writing books looks like child’s play. You know it’s coming. The pithy comment. Get ready. “So when’s Michael Jackson going to throw his hat in the ring?” [Boing-ng-ng-ng]
Media Dragon 62 inbound blogs, 66 inbound links Created 20 hours 5 minutes ago (Cosmos)
ts of money and publicity to be made in kid lit. It was a time, after all, when a young British woman — who didn't have a famous name when she started — wrote a series of books about a boy named Harry and, legend has it, became richer than Madonna. · And richer, even, than Jozef Imrich, NovoRiche Blow-in [The New York Times 10/23/03 ] ·
The AppleSurf Reader 5 inbound blogs, 5 inbound links Created 20 hours 30 minutes ago (Cosmos)
The restaurants exist, and in some cases thrive, for no apparent reason. To Stars, Writing Books Looks Like Child's Play

Australian Diaspora
Australia likes to think of itself as a place where people want to live but, increasingly, it is a place people like to leave. But not my Lauren, even the carrot of living in the center of Prague does not seem to make her to change her mind about being close to my sisters Eva and Lidka.
I know Czech language is not easy especially as Prague dialects include verbs and adjectives peppered by more surfixes and prefixes than bullets shot through Sydney Streets on any given day. However, it is my turn to retaliate as I had to live for almost four years close to sister of the one who must be obeyed in steamy Brissie (smile). Still, Brissie gave me an opportunity to study the Hanson phenomenon first hand. To boot Graham Young, who is invading Sydney on Tuesday to taste the variety of sinful kofis, shared with me a number of the Ipswitch preselection stories which hopefully Graham lets me to share them in my last book of my Cold War Rivers and Rednecks Trilogy...(grin)

On a sober note, is anyone out there aware of any great Australian swimming coaches contemplating a move to Prague? If you are please alert me via jozefimrich(at) ...My dream is that my girls might one day pick up some of the finer points of the Bohemian slangs.
· Expatriates have a world full of reasons for leaving [SMH ]

In case you missed the lighter Europeanews....
· Yes. Yes. Yes. Australians falling for Germans karaoke [Herald Sun]

Saturday, October 25, 2003

What was Leo Strauss up to?
By nature everyone seeks his own good and nothing but his own good. Justice, however, tells us to seek other men’s good...
To be clear, Strauss was not as hostile to democracy as he was to liberalism. This is because he recognises that the vulgar masses have numbers on their side, and the sheer power of numbers cannot be completely ignored. Whatever can be done to bring the masses along is legitimate. If you can use democracy to turn the masses against their own liberty, this is a great triumph. It is the sort of tactic that neo-conservatives use consistently, and in some cases very successfully.
· [ The Public Interest, No. 153 (Fall 2003), pp. 19-39 © 2003 by National Affairs, Inc]
· Witch Hunts [Ken Macleod]
· NOBLE LIES [Open Democracy]
Joe Stalin said who votes doesn't count, it's who gets to count the votes...

Upper house downers
When Canberra opted for self-government in 1989, the territory had no need of an upper house to do business. So if our newest parliament could do without one, why do other state parliaments cling to the old-fashioned notion of upper houses, which many view as an irrelevant appendix to the body politic?
· Bicameral [Sunday ]
· Bushicameral [SoutherlyBuster ]

Not wishing to alarm you, but I know too well as the former Crown employee that dirty tricks played by characters on pages inside the special edition of BRW frighten Parliamentarians more than gang warfares taking place on Sydney streets or even superhot gases which seem to be speeding towards Earth.
Time for a glass of red ... let us all enjoy the last moments on earth eyeing super solar storms!

Andrew Refshauge
I won't be subject to bullying and intimidation. We are being threatened by members of a powerful group who think they have an entitlement to tell others what to do. This opposition is orchestrated...
I'll tell you how serious this is. Bob Carr won't come to the dinner. He'll flick the responsibility to [his deputy, Andrew] Refshauge at the last minute. And you won't get the Town Hall. It is more than Lucy's life is worth. They will desert us as well.

· Public life is too much characterised by cowardice ... [SMH: Ramsey]

Holy See
Born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Kracow, (less than 80 km from Vrbov) Poland, in 1920, he worked in quarries and a chemical factory in his pre-papal life, developing a life-long hatred of communism in the process.
He was ordained a priest in 1946, becoming Bishop of Kracow in 1964 and a cardinal in 1967. From there on it was a rocket ride to the top.
William F. Buckley Jnr, dubs the Pope: The most tireless moral voice of a secular age - he reminded humankind of the worth of individuals in the modern world.

· Pope Pell (Slavic for Ashes) [SMH Icon]

Holy war
At the heart of the conflict are the vast property holdings seized from the church by the Communists in 1948 and never returned, despite the restitution of property to most private landholders in the early 1990s.
· Clash over property [Prague Post]

My family is still waiting to get the land back taken from my grandfather in 1948. That precious piece of soil where Vrbov vriace (hot) spring baths are today.
Journalists overpaid? Nonsense!
Journalists are woefully underpaid. Financially, the profession cannot attract or retain the brightest university graduates. The average starting salary for a new J-school grad is $26,000, according to the annual survey done by the University of Georgia's Grady Collegr. Even the true believers, those motivated by the higher principles of journalism, are too often forced out by paychecks that can't be stretched to meet costs of living in our nation's pricier cities.
· But you can only abuse people so much [Tim Porter]

Manhattan buzzocracy
The trouble with approaching "real writers," as Hollywood likes to call them (meaning, I suppose, writers who write books, not "pages"), to host these promotional events is that the more seriously talented they are, the weirder they tend to be. Real writers also are prone to having real opinions. And they become "difficult" when required to suppress them.
· The writers you see at parties are not usually the "real" ones [WashingtonPost ]
It was hard to miss it, unless you were trying
Search Inside the Book is also having a contest to see how their "Search Inside the Book" feature has changed your life.
Amazon's scheme would never work if users really wanted their books in digital form. The magic of the archive lies in the assumption that physical books are irreplaceable. The electronic text is simply an enhancement of the physical object.
mazon's Search Inside the Book is not an ebook project. It is merely a catalog. But a decade of Internet history proves that

· The catalog is exactly what you want to Own! [Amazon ]

Czech Out: Trendy Work and lifestyle
Radar, the Sydney Morning Herald's spanking new survival guide. Searching for a great new job, or a cool place to rent? Want some advice on office affairs?
· Radar [Radar SMH]

Friday, October 24, 2003

Cold River is not hotter than Angela Ashes, but one reader at Palm Digital Media who plunged into Cold River told his American high school students that he found more truth under the surface of the Cold River than his other favourite story 'Tis.
Thanks for the feedback on my Cold River project guys and gals, Palm readers seem to give survivors like me more than just a crust...(grin)
Gabriel García Márquez said Life is not what one has lived, but what one remembers and how one chooses to tell it.

I'm not Gabriel García Márquez or even Agatha Christie. But I had a sister Aga once who hooked me on folklore stories, even folk dancing, as well as stories written by characters like Gabriel and Christie.
Aga like no one else I have ever known understood that life on this earth was a hard bastard. At 22 Aga (you must be over 12 years old to read this story) had even trouble drawing breath. Breathing is painful when you are diagnosed with leukemia. The paradigm is the girl whose throat is filled with toxic elements and she is not even able to cry for help.
What story does one tell after you happen to say final goodbye to your 22 years old sister when you are barely 17? After such an experience escaping across the Iron Curtain is not such an impossible dream.
My ordinary story entitled Cold River takes many leaves from Agatha Christie’s novels. Deep inside me I seem to understand so well Burkean conservatism which was meaningfully expressed by Agatha: justice rarely comes from the state, but from civil society – a private detective, a clever old spinster. I admit I do not have the skills to reach as deep as Agatha. My writing does not do justice to my hows and whys feelings in those mysterious regions of my heart. What words and notions should be used to describe how it took ordinary boys to demolish one of the last great communist taboos: crossing the forbidden Iron Curtain.
Many readers know that in Christie and Burke’s worlds wisdom resides in the very old and the very ordinary. Thirst for truth and freedom is a dynamic force, and a dynamic force is a very dangerous thing.
In ‘Destination Unknown’, (subtitle of my second book taking place in exile; which is still in roughish draft version) a communistic scientific community turns out to be a veil for a crazed megalomaniac.
Her protagonists stand, novel after novel, against those who seek to disrupt the natural order and interpret the world with a misleading ‘rationalism’. As one of her heroes explains, We’re humble-minded men. We don’t expect to save the world, only pick up one or two broken pieces and remove a spanner or two when it’s jamming up the works. Or, as another heroine asks, Isn’t muddle a better breeding ground for kindliness and individuality than a world order that’s imposed? There is a clear natural order it is only disrupted by greed, wickedness or misguided political ambition.
Unlike Agatha I am not a Mistress of Words. At a soft whisper they gave up to her their hidden properties, their magic powers! However, like Agatha, I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life -- an encouraging email from a reader who almost deleted my story half way through the book, but now has read it three times...
Around one hundred publishers rejected my story, but I stood my ground. There are conspiracies that this blog is just a devious plan to double traffic on Double Dragon Publishing (as if dragons needed it :*). I thought I was simply linking soulful stories: at times, my email feels more like I dropped a hand grenade into a political hornet's nest.
· Work-in-Progress: Muddling through revisions [Saloon: Mr Michael Orthofer, Managing Editor, at The Complete Review ]
The Case for Unraveling: Win - Lose horizon
Descendent of the royal charter monopoly companies of the 17th and 18th centuries and emergent in its present legal form on the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, the modern multinational corporation pulses with this ancestral DNA which guides the thoughts, words and actions of its CEO and Board of Directors.
· All, Early, American Presidents [ CommonDreams]
A very secret service
The Freedom of Information Act has helped Australian journalists uncover the truth behind the some of the most critical political issues of our times.
· Jennifer Sexton [Australian ]
· Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World [NewsDay ]
· Too Many Rubber-Stampers in Congress [CommonDreams ]
Is Australia Really Moving Toward Dictatorship?

Sheriff of Steel
Man of Steel, one of the most extraordinary praises I’ve ever heard!
If Bush would like an idea of what it was like to live under Man of Steel, especially in Ukraine, where Stalin deliberately starved 30 million people to death to make these very independent people conform to collectivism in agriculture, reading first chapter of my book would be enlightening. Stalin did it to his own people...not just some aliens from foreign countries!
Jozef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, Man of Steel, a.k.a. 'Koba', a.k.a. 'Uncle Joe' rose to power in 1922 as secretary general of the Communist Party. Using administrative skills and ruthless maneuvering, Stalin rid himself of all potential rivals in the party, first by having many of them condemned as "deviationists," and later by ordering them executed.
· How To Be a Good Dictator: One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is statistic [Age, The]

Orwellian... (In A Good Way?)
Political reporters constantly employ the word 'Orwellian.' Though it stands for the kind of oppressive totalitarian regime he created in Nineteen Eighty-Four, it is now used chiefly to mean political manipulation of language to deceive the public. But we need to reclaim the term’s positive meaning, to suggest the bravery and idealism, the stubborn effort to be honest, in Orwell’s life and art.
· Saving Idealism [New Criterion 10/03 via About Last Night]
· The metrosexual revolution, at a media outlet near you [Sun Times]
Madonna, whose last published work, Sex, involved explicit photographs, stream of consciousness pornography and rape fantasies, has followed it up with Moravian Memoirs

Glam Kid Lit - More About The Author
You need a lot of manure to get a decent crop of turnips theory.
Why are all these celebrities writing children's books? Everyone agreed there was lots of money and publicity to be made in kid lit. It was a time, after all, when a young British woman — who didn't have a famous name when she started — wrote a series of books about a boy named Harry and, legend has it, became richer than Madonna.
· And richer, even, than Jozef Imrich, NovoRiche Blow-in [The New York Times 10/23/03 ]
· River of Change: Perhaps we are in a kind of literary Sargasso sea [Observer (UK) 10/19/03 ]

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Better Than Sex
The director, Jonathan Teplitsky, teamed up with barrister come novelist and debut screenwriter Chris Nyst for his second film after Better Than Sex. Gettin' Square doesn't actually mean getting even, in criminal parlance it means going straight
Comparisons are best avoided but Gettin' Square does have similarities to Reservoir Dogs. It uses the world of violent crime to explore the eternal predicament of the individual and society but whereas Quentin Tarantino's characters are drawn deliberately from other movies, Gettin' Square is based on real life.
· It is beyond my powers of self-suppression not to somehow link Jonathan Teplitsky [Sunday]
· THE HUMAN STAIN [Absolute Write]
Hooked on self-esteem
There are no heroes in this drama. Every culture has a story about the human subject - the values it expects people to aspire to. Our culture's story is of a weak, feeble person, who is continually at risk, and for whom the chances of things going wrong are very great.
· The ascendancy of therapy culture [Spiked ]
Suddenly the computer screen is awash with what it means to be an unAngloSaxan.

The nation whose passport I carry doesn't even really have a name, except the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is the bureaucratic result of a seventeenth-century compromise. English identity” may in fact exist – but to be English is in truth to find the whole idea of identity rather awkward
· In very Exalted moments: Albion. [ Atlantic]
· Dear corragated grammar avengers [Guardian ]
Poll triumph for Swiss right wing
Early results from Switzerland's parliamentary elections show that the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) has the biggest share of the vote.
The party, once the smallest of the four governing parties in the coalition, is now the largest.

· Swiss Expressed Enormous trust in the SVP [BBC ]
Are you a neoconservative? Take this quiz to find out
[CSMonitor ]
· All the President's votes? [ Independent]
This myth is unlikely to die Family Friendly Bloggers
Naughty, but Nice, and according to some photographic evidence, a rather sexy blogger, Tim Dunlop, provides pointers on daily bases to stories that really matter. Today we read that it is not fear or size that matters, but the length of time!
· Quickies: How long is yours? [Living Room]

New research confirms that Media Dragon readers live longer, suffer less senile dementia than other web surfers.
· Unfiltered: Mental Ability Linked To Survival Age [Telegraph (UK)]
· Blogs are like a cigarette they come filtered or unfiltered [SMH]
· Google: Ah ... You Guys and Gals too are sexy with or without the Ads [Google: Making MD Adless]
I like the democracy of it and it might work for one or two books.

Books off the shelf
Czech Out
Fledgling authors face a seemingly insurmountable hurdle trying to get published. Developments on the internet mean that this needn't be the case.

· Virtual Independence!!! [Independent ]

Le Goncourt Goes To
Jacques-Pierre Amette has won France's leading literary award the Prix Goncourt for his book BRECHT'S MISTRESS, La Maitresse de Brecht

Speaking of France, John Mulcair writes that 344 nuclear fuel rods are ready to be shipped out from Lucas heights to the French port of Cherbourg.
German Bar Opens First Kindergarten for Men
Women in Hamburg who want to shop without dragging along grumbling male partners can leave them at the nation's first kindergarten for men. This adult daycare center has plenty of amenities to keep the big boys occupied.
· Free Speeding Tickets Ahead [World.De ]

Speaking of Hamburg, do I hear that Harry Miller, the multiculturalist, is considering promoting the First Virtual Fist Fight, 2004 AD, entitled The End, of Left and Right, Histories?
Like you and me, the Children of Villawood were Born to Try Freedom!
· IMPROBABLE FIGHT: blogging man's thriller [Troppoarmadillo ]

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I like to think I do not represent anything but literature, a certain idea of literature, and conscience, a certain idea of conscience or duty.
· Frankfurt book fair, Susan Sontag: Speech [Guardian (UK)]

Krugman states a truth from which many still shrink: today's conservatives are radical revolutionaries who do not accept the legitimacy of America's current political system and aim to subvert it. Their goals are the establishment of an American military imperium abroad, under American rather than international law, and to minimize the responsibilities of the rich and corporate America to the common weal at home. This is so breathtaking, says Krugman, that to say it risks being condemned as alarmist.
· About Alertness [Webdiary Recent Addition 22/10/2003]
Having kofis all week with underground librarians and even bloggers so consider this entry dedicated to one and all who serve inside great brothels of life...

Libraries are brothels for the mind
Libraries are battles for ideas. Which means that librarians are the madams, greeting punters, understanding their strange tastes and needs, and pimping their books. That's rubbish, of course, but it does wonders for the image of librarians.
Libraries were the original internet. All knowledge was available even in a local branch library. You could order a book and, if they didn't have it, they'd get it from a library in Yorkshire that did. This would give you the double pleasure of having the book you wanted and the knowledge that a Yorkshireman would be searching in vain for it. Of course, many libraries now have free internet access, which is useful for looking up things online, such as the library opening times.

· I used to be a Pimp [Guardian (UK)]
· Celebrity librarian [NY Times]

Year of Writing Dangerously
Wait, there's more: One editor remarked to me that the show builds on the myth that women can transform their gruesome boyfriends and husbands into stylish, thoughtful guys who can cook. On the other side, where proximity to gay men was once seen as the ultimate curse for straight guys, it now turns out to be a blessing. A recurring motif of the show is that the gay friends help the straight guy "score chicks. (Look, she is so into him!) I knew my bosom buddies of Warren, Greig, Anthony stature would come in to good use some day (grin)
· Queer Eye for the Straight Guy [Poynter ]
· Andrew Sullivan [No More Mister Nice]
Sentence Imposed for 1968 Sabotage
Communist-era leader gets six-year term for blocking broadcasts. Former Communist functionary Karel Hoffman was sentenced to six years in prison Oct. 13, making him the first person ever convicted for his actions during the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of the country.
· Lucky 13? [Prague Post]
· Red Rights? [Prague Post]
The big baby-boom generation is starting to retire. Its oldest members are about 57 and will be 65 in 2011. There simply aren’t enough workers behind them in the labor supply pipeline to fill their jobs. Employers will have to try to retain older workers in some capacity or lure retired workers back into the work force. Companies that have treated their workers badly or engaged in even the subtlest forms of age discrimination will regret it. So will companies that just ignore the problem.
Who the hell do all these smug and self-satisfied baby boomers think is going to buy their already overpriced houses?

· Not If [NYTimes ]
· Housing affordability [OLO - Russ Grayson]
· Australia's affordable housingcrisis [OLO - Peter Verwer]
An Eight-Year-Old's Dream for Peace
The Moscow Ballet announced the winner of "My Dream for Peace," its national literary contest for children in grades K-6. Alexander Ivan Hess, 8, of Ebro, Florida -- who was adopted from a Ukrainian orphanage -- wrote about the opportunities peace can bring to children in his essay entitled, "My Dream".
I am Alexander Ivan Hess. When Moma and Papa were growing up there was a Cold War. American and Russian people were not friends. That war is over. I was born in Ukraine. I lived in Detsky Dom. I waited and waited for a family to come and get me. I cried and cried because I was afraid that my friends would leave with families then I would be there alone.
Finally my family came from America to get me and my little brother. If there was still a war, this would never happen. I even have a special dog named Shurik. He is from Moscow. If we were at war, I would not know Shurik.
My dream is that children around the world can be friends and have families who love them. I hope all wars will end so my dream can come true.

Alexander will be flown with a parent to Orlando, Florida, receiving hotel accommodations, dinner for two and other prizes. He will appear in a walk-on role in a Moscow Ballet production of Swan Lake along with the professional cast of top Russian artists. The contest's theme of Peace and Harmony is the subject of the 2003 tour of the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker.
Inspiration Point: Wars arise from a failure to understand one another's humanness. Instead of summit meetings, why not have families meet for a picnic and get to know each other while the children play together?"
-His Holiness the Dalai Lama (via Gianna)
Sweet Reward: Tax Notes of Known World
He had never considered writing fiction full time before. Mr. Jones was the author of an acclaimed collection of short stories and the winner of a $50,000 literary prize, but he was also the son of an illiterate and impoverished mother. As a young man he lived briefly in a homeless shelter and learned to view a steady paycheck the same way that a drowning man might view a lifeline.
To think about being a writer was to think that I had the whole world, and I really didn't, and I knew I didn't," said Mr. Jones, 53, who spent nearly two decades proofreading and summarizing news items for Tax Notes, a trade magazine, before he was laid off in January 2002.
But he decided to dive into his first novel without much of a safety net. To his astonishment, his tale of a black slave owner, an aching and lyrical exploration of moral complexities, has become a literary sensation since its publication in August. Janet Maslin in The New York Times called that novel, "The Known World" (Amistad/HarperCollins), stunning. Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post hailed it as the best new American fiction to cross his desk in years.

· As a drowning man might view a lifeline [NY Times]
Professors Facing Troppo Classes
Professors aren't known for fussing about their looks, but the results of a new study suggest they may have to if they want better teaching evaluations.
· Beauty v Beast [Chronicle ]

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Media Silence
Australia treats asylum seekers abominably - we imprison them indefinitely, we torment them, we are willing to return them to torture or death. Our treatment of them constitutes a grave crime against our own laws: but the mainstream press is too frightened, too weak, too indolent or too stupid to bother reporting the fact. If the tragedy of our present regime is told dispassionately decades from now
· Silence of the press will be seen as part of our national disgrace [Webdiary:Julian Burnside QC]
Show Me A Real Man...
Philip Marchand thinks that the world of Canadian literature could do with a good, healthy shot of testosterone. I don't know if there is any wider significance to this year's rash of novels populated by feminized or ineffectual men. There has always been this tendency in Canadian literature, particularly French Canadian literature, but it has never seemed so blatant as now. Regardless of the cause, Marchand finds himself pining for the strong male characters of Mordecai Richler, or at least the suave calm of Robertson Davies' men.
· Show v Tell [Toronto Star 10/18/03]
· Show Me Real Journalists
Intellectuals Who Distrust Freedom
Vladimir Nabokov called attention to the West's ingrained distrust of emigres in a reproachful letter he sent to Edmund Wilson, the essayist who had extravagantly praised Lenin's regime, which may have had a hand in the assassination of Nabokov's father in Berlin in 1922:
Commentators (Kaisers and Thackerays) saw us merely as villainous generals, oil magnates, and gaunt ladies with lorgnettes who had only selfish and base motives for opposing Lenin. That stereotyping made their testimony unwelcome and unweighed, the great Russian novelist regretfully wrote to his future ex-friend.
Martin Amis argues that the emigres were very broadly the intelligentsia. They were the civil society, which was crushed and forced into exile by the professional revolutionaries of Bolshevism, who were perversely lionized by many in the chattering classes in the West.
Merciless toward the failings of the democracies but ready to tolerate the worst crimes as long as they are committed in the name of the proper doctrines.

· They have survived even the end of the Cold War [WashingtonPost ]
· Proust's Madeleine: waves of memory of Soviet times past [LRB ]
Bush's crackdown on leakers is quickly leaked to reporters
President Bush told his top officials to stop the leaks to the media -- or else. News of Bush's order leaked almost immediately. There's a whole history of stupid escapades of trying to find out who leaked.
· Guarantees the story is going to just get bigger [Philly: Courtesy Romenesko]
Blogging About Bessie
The quality of any weblog in journalism depends greatly on its fidelity to age old newsroom commandments (virtues) like check facts, check links, spell things correctly, be accurate, be timely, quote fairly. And as Roy Peter Clark says, if you’re telling a story and there’s a dog, get the name of the dog. Bessie!
· Uncertainty in uncertain times is an acceptable option. (Inaction, though, is not) [Tim Porter/First Draft]
Mmmmm ICAC barred from MP's computer
The NSW corruption watchdog has been stopped from examining computer records seized from the office of NSW upper house MP Peter Breen.
· Mossish Affair [News ]

Speaking of Soviet Union and secret electronic files...
· X files are keeping odds stacked in favour of MPs [SMH ]
· Report: Electoral Data [UTAS: PDFformat]
· Abstract of ED [UTAS]

Labor's Charles Atlas: unbaptised lapsed Presbyterian
Carr gravitated to the right-wing NSW machine because it controlled access to preferment. The authors include him along with Paul Keating and Laurie Brereton in "the first modern generation of Labor apparatchiki to believe they were owed seats in parliament merely because they craved it and plotted it.
Cultivation of the media (a journalistic training and contacts paid off handsomely) and a careful strategic seats strategy enabled Carr to scrape across the line in 1995.

· Hobnobbing with Literary Celebrities such as Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal [OLO ]
There are a lot of bloggers doing their finger-walking on these three stories

Repetition: Our Stories
Rebekah Amaya faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Grace Headlee, 4, and Gabriel Amaya, 5 months.
The coroner said both children drowned and determined the deaths were homicides.
Amaya, a registered nurse, was being returned to Lamar from a Colorado Springs hospital, where she was treated after she cut her wrists in the suicide attempt.

· Drowning 1 [Fox ]
· Drowning 2 [SMH ]
· Suicide [NYPost ]
Has this piece of writing come directly from one of the Czechoslovak Samizdat magazines circa 1977?! Is Australia ready for Democratic Republic?
Ordinary Person
I'm a pretty ordinary sort of person. I love my kids, work hard, like to spend time with friends with a bottle of wine and good music and hate being cold. I also hate injustice, cruelty and hypocrisy. And I certainly don't like being misled, misrepresented and manipulated.
It has become increasingly obvious to anyone that this is what has been happening over the past year, to me and to every other Australian in this wonderful sunny country. We have been implicated in one of the biggest scams of all time.

· Extraordinary Times [Webdiary: Sue Roffey]
Driving Dangerously
I am an occasional HOV violator, a rampant speeder and a firm believer in civil disobedience in the face of unreasonable laws. If pre-war Germany was inhabited by like-minded souls, World War II would have never happened.
· Faulksy Fascism? [AdventuresinBureaucracy ]

Monday, October 20, 2003

When I was a kid, there was a smart-ass remark we used to make to people who were blocking our view: You make a better door than a window. I kept thinking of that phrase as I read Alfred Kazin's America. Far too many literary critics make a better door than a window. Not Alfred Kazin. Not SMH literary critics!
I am adding cool Terry and co. to Nota Bene links (grin)
About Last Night
Matchless in its Sydney Shell Sail Splendor, the Opera House is unrivalled as a Symbol: it is a threshold that presides over the old and the new world. The House of Sails is symbol of human ingenuity, technological genius, and touches the sailing dreams of every migrant in different ways.
That shell is more than a shell: it’s alive, it speaks to people. Some people come here to find themselves. Before the luminous shell icon wildness within Greiners, Lowys and Imrichs is one, a fragile one.
Happy Birthday to you! Creative & Unique SOH

Ah...Congratulations are in Order ABC!
Young Creative Australians Making Crazy Noise
Crazy Noise is a festival without tickets, venues or performances. Instead, it happens across the media – in print, on television, on the radio and here online. Tune in and check out stories throughout October on the ABC.

· Our ABC: Absolutely Priceless [ABC.Net (Australia)]
Deflation 2004AD Reserve Mon(k)ey
Prime Minister John Howard has warned people against taking out big mortgages amid fears that the housing bubble will burst soon and predictions of higher interest rates within months.
Investors can write off rental losses against tax and since 1999 pay tax on only half the capital gain when they sell. That, along with historically low interest rates and relaxed lending practices have encouraged the investment surge.

· Come Winter 2004 [Age, The]
· Cooling Market Madness? I Doubt It...More to Come Courtesy of Greed [ SMH]
Short Term Political Point Scoring
Rumours have been circulating all week that the former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson is about to reveal in the Bulletin that a decade ago, the current Liberal aspirant Malcolm Turnbull was sent by the prime minister, Paul Keating, to canvass with the Senator For Kneecaps some future options...Taking self interest loaded leaf out of Wran's biographical books?

Labor, Liberal ... Politics Without Any Lines or Shames Top end of town turns out for the Turnbulls
For Sale Sign
Nobody here ever opens their own home for these functions other than for their own self-interest, no matter how altruistic they might appear to be. There was certainly the expectation there, that they could be called up to support Malcolm in some way or another.
· Rent a AAA-list crowd: Me, Myself and Michael in High Society Boys Do not Cry [SMH ]

Apathy in the Middle Players, Pollies, Pokies, Porkies: Powerless Always Suffer Most
Regretably, Poker Machines are the widely spread cancer across all ages in our modern Australia. What is wrong introducing card games such as bridge or canastas into club cultures rather than addictive armless bandits?
We could make a big difference in a tight election.
· Poker Players [SMH ]
· Rogue Robbers [4Corners ABC]

Carr's, (train driver's son), ship out message does not shape up. If John Howard had said what Bob Carr said last week about a series of shootings between people of Lebanese descent, he would have been crucified. He would have been accused of racism, Nazism, dog whistling, dividing the nation, channelling Pauline Hanson, exposing his black xenophophic heart, you name it.
[Sun Herald 19 October 2003]
· Shots that Shook Sydney [SMH ]
I Used to Work with Browns in Queen's Africa (and the Greenish Bear Pit)

Tim makes Antipodean bloggers laugh...Exclusive sense of humour.
As we walked to the Rock n' Roll museum in Cleveland last week we were joined by 50,000 or so others heading to the football stadium next door to watch the local team play. When my wife and I realised that the local team is known as "The Browns" we both looked at each other and said words to the effect of, "Imagine what Roy and HG would do to a football team called the 'The Browns'."
Same thing with a national transport company, UPS, who advertise heavily here. I presume because their vans and trucks are painted in a distinctive brown colour, they refer to themselves in their ads as simply "Brown": Brown does this, Brown does that, you can count on Brown for the other. One of their slogans I've heard in recent ads is, Brown Knows.

· See what happens when you don't have Roy and HG to keep you in line? [RoadtoSurfdom ]

Sunday, October 19, 2003

For 19 years I've been so lucky to be with a ballerina who first kissed me under the lamp post at Circular Quay opposite the Opera House.
It seems symbolic, but we also got married on 20 October 1984, the year (of Orwell) Opera House celebrated its 11th birthday. 19 years is a long time to spend in any relationship, let alone a dangerously intimate one with Bohemian and Antipoedian mix. Every marriage, no matter how obscure and no matter how dynamic, has its own mesmerising raw energy. How many times have we found our selves in deep water over small and not so small issues? One of the symptoms of an approaching marriage breakdown is the belief that ones ego is terribly important. It is fatal to fall for the ego game. Ours is a great friendship because we are both survivors of numerous personal tragedies. Lauren has had the dysfunctional yet priviledged teenagehood and Granville rail disaster nightmares to cope with and my life was invaded by totalitarian tragedy before even I could swear: Kommunist ****. As painful as our journey have been, our ability to see tragedy and suffering as a constant source of redemption is what makes our friendship to thrive.
Having our first daughter born exactly 9 months after the Velvet Revolutiont is, perhaps, one of the most remarkable illustrations of how hope can spring from the most appalling of tragedies.

Sydney Opera House celebrates 30th birthday
Boats crammed the harbour and people crowded the foreshores as the Queen opened the Sydney Opera House on October 20, 1973. Those who worked on and in that magical building share their memories of its first 30 years.
· Under Full Sail [ ABC]
· Women & Men v Bambinos: The Heartland of Discontent [ SMH]
Sentence after sentence that I agree with and couldn't have said better myself...

Don't let them get away with murder
The Penrith Panthers (Sydney Footbal team living in fibro houses had beaten cafe Latte Eastern Surburbs silvertails) didn't think winning was an impossible dream, despite the odds! I don't have much hope at the moment for a top-down commitment to values of honesty and humanity. Even Simon Crean seems prepared to give Bush a standing ovation. How can he? What sort of leadership is that?
If the politicians won't behave properly, the people must challenge them - again and again. They are not ethereal beings but fallible, the same as the rest of us.
Can we please be a democracy rather than just pretend we live in one? Can we please start talking together rather than behaving as if discussing politics or human values is the equivalent of parading dirty underwear? Our politicians are answerable to us. Put your head above the parapet. Write to them, demand answers, ask them how they justify their decisions, organise your own forum. Don't let them get away with murder.

· Don't let them get away with murder [Margo Kingston: SMH]

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Shires & Kingdoms
October 2003 AD, Dubya upgrades Australia from 'deputy' to 'Sheriff'.
The word sheriff descends from the old Anglo-Saxon term -shire reeve: 'shire- from OE (scir) - an administrative subdivision of the kingdom, a county...
One and only Mike (Ritzish) Carlton writes My old sixth-class teacher, John Beaky Morris, has sent me what he says is an old Ethiopian proverb that may be helpful when President Bush addresses Parliament in Canberra next week. When the aristocrat comes, the peasant bows low and farts silently, it goes.
· A local administrative agent of an Anglo Saxon king [Webdiary ]

Fox has long demonstrated a clearer commitment to changing public policy than to reporting it. People are proceeding from radically different sets of facts
· Some so different that they're altogether fiction [Washington Post]
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir ranted about how a few million Jews "rule the world". Will anybody listen this time?
Or will it all go unnoticed as it did 60 years ago? [SMH Letters (18 October 2003)]

Shames of Spiritual Battles
Malaysian PM Mahathir proclaimed that Jews ran the world Mahathir's speech is an absolute invitation for more hate crimes and terrorism against Jews. Politicians everywhere seem to be making and encouraqging racist remarks. The role of politicians is to make peace loving bambinos not war spinners! Let us dream...
· Final Defeat? [USToday ]
· French Victory? [Haaretzdaily ]
· The bottom has fallen out of Arab and Muslim support for the United States. [CS Monitor]
Enlightened Ministry
Church, like NSW Bear Pit, is like a swimming pool. Most of the noise comes from the shallow end.
· Interactive rather than Shadow Ministry [Tim Bednar]
· NY Times Reporter Has Seen It All Before, and He's Still Pessimestic [Online JournalismviaScoop]
Canada: Of not From, a site maintained by Syracuse professor Alasdair Roberts. It tracks statistics and developments in Canadian freedom of information issues, and has a database of requests filed under Canada's Access to Information Act since 1999
Ding to a New Study
Tall people earn considerably more money throughout their lives than their shorter co-workers, with each inch adding about $789 a year in pay, according to a new study. If this is true, I should make a killing! Hmmmm..... At 6'3, I disagree, while Bill Gates is smiling all the way to his huge Library Room
· Height does matters for career success [Yahoo ]
Nightingale & Reid: Modern Flirting
Good lord, women and girls are more aggressive than they used to be. Reactionary Nostalgia alive...
After she resigned from her job as adviser on (flirting) women to Gough Whitlam, Liz Reid told a conference in Texas: If you don't **** the press, you won't get good press, and if you don't **** the cabinet ministers, you won't get your programs. If I turned up as a potential you-know-what, they at least listened.
· Girls Find Old Ways Did Have Their Charms [WashingtonPost ]

Friday, October 17, 2003

Our lives begin to end when we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King

The Two-Income Trap: Going broke over Lattes
Today's two-income family has 75 percent more earnings, inflation adjusted, than their parents had a generation ago. The reason, of course, is because today's average family has two people in the workforce, instead of one. But this year, more children will live through their parents' bankruptcy than their parents' divorce.
What they discovered shocked even themselves: the effort to keep the kids in a good school district when one parent is laid-off is the main factor driving Americans into bankruptcy court, not all those trips to the Niketown store.

· Foreclosures: Silent Shame [Salon ]
· Wealthy bosses have good reason to worry [SMH ]
The Soviet Republic of Texas
You might think America's rigged system of congressional elections couldn't get much worse...
What is clear, however, is that it will aggravate the triumph of extremes in Washington while further sovietizing America's already-fixed electoral game.

· Electoral Games []
· Don't Look Down (Under) [NYTimes Krugman]