Saturday, April 30, 2005

As Solomon Burke sang in his Grammy winning CD, Don't Give Up on Me – None of us are free, if one of us is chained, none of us are free.

Can ordinary people win pre-selections these days? Not likely says Crikey's political correspondent Christian Kerr: Former staffers who are now pollies

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Fire Over Water

Wikinews is reporting that Boeing has just attained $11BN dollars worth of orders.

Within the earth, a mountain [courtesy of Baden Appleyard ; Jude McCulloch and Darren Palmer investigate common law actions in tort in Australia brought by citizens against police and police organisations Civil litigation by citizens against police between 1994 and 2002
• · Michael Wenzel investigated whether tax ethics and social norms constitute true motivations for tax compliance, or whether they are mere rationalisations of self-interested behaviour Motivation or rationalisation? Causal relations between ethics, norms and tax compliance
; Tax cheats steal identities of innocent victims ; The shadow treasurer insisted yesterday that the city's "battling families" were the worst affected by government land tax Tax cracks battlers' nest eggs, say Libs ; A simple way out of the maze for beleaguered landowners
• · · Why taxpayers pay their taxes voluntarily is an important question for tax administrations worldwide. Some believe it is because taxpayers are deterred from tax evasion out of a fear of being caught or penalised. Others, suggest that factors such as the level of ‘tax morale’ (the intrinsic motivation one has to pay their tax) affects compliance behaviour Tax morale in Australia: changing over time? ; Getting on or getting by? Australians in the cash economy ; Allegations that at least three of the Bali nine used false passports are being investigated by the Federal Government amid revelations that one of the group - and two members of his family - worked in the Sydney passport office Downer defends passport office integrity
• · · · The NSW economy stands to grow by $60 billion a year and each citizen will be $703 a year better off by 2022 under the current migration program, according to modelling carried out for the Federal Government Migrants will drive NSW jobs, income ; Chernobyl entombed and cracking ; Tougher dole scheme 'not the solution' ; Michelle Martin’s territory: Dr Jayant Patel: Butcher of Bundaberg Hostpital
• · · · · is offering two young writers aged 16-30 the opportunity to cover the upcoming Federal Budget from the inside Get an inside look at the 2005-6 Federal Budget ; Today is Tax Freedom Day. Every year the Centre for Independent Studies does the arithmetic to find Tax Freedom Day by dividing total per capita tax revenues by GDP per head. Most years, regardless of the political party in government, the tax take as a proportion of the nation’s GDP gets bigger. Total per capita taxation across all levels of government in 2002-03 (the latest available dates) came to $12,018, according to the ABS. GDP per person in 2002-03 was $37,172 (ABS again). This means taxation absorbed 32.33% of GDP, or 118 out of 365 days of the year. The 119th day of 2005 is today, 29 April Tax freedom arrives late; Incentives and disincentives: the potential of property taxes to support public policy objectives ; State of the sector: New South Wales co-operatives 2003
• · · · · · The Independent asks two legal experts if Tony Blair has misled the British public. Maurice Mendelson QC, an expert in international law, says "yes": "Whether the prime minister, the foreign secretary and the AG actually lied, the weasel words and economy with the truth was breathtaking, and sullied an already tarnished political process." Did Blair mislead GB? ; The public's faith in the nobility of lawyers lies somewhere in the same zone as its faith in politicians. The fact that these two tribes lurk, and sometimes breed, together is the reason unpleasant contamination seeps about. Journalists, on the other hand, have a sworn duty to try to catch out these purveyors of trickery at their rotten little games. Uncertain, to be sure, about legality of war

Is there anything more tedious than the editorial page of the New York Times? Yes. There's Paul Krugman's column on the op-ed page of the New York Times. And there's Frank Rich's column every other Saturday on the op-ed page of the New York Times. And there's ... well, it's a long list, and you get the idea. All the News That's Fit to Blog

The Blog, The Press, The Media: The game's up: who is paying the powerful commentators?
As someone contemplating life on the speaker's circuit, it has became very obvious that this is an area where transparency and accountability is sadly lacking. Take powerful Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt as an example. He's recently signed up with a speaking agency called ICM.

When Paul Lyneham was still with the ABC in Canberra for The 7.30 Report he was increasingly distracted by his speaking commitments. At the time it was generally thought that Red Kerry wanted to get rid of Lyneham and the chance came at last when Lyneham flew to Perth early one day.
Just after he left Canberra, Opposition Leader John Hewson's office rang to offer to go on The 7.30 Report with Lyneham to reveal the opposition's position on Mabo. It was a big story at the time but Lyneham couldn't do it and the offer was moved to Nine and Sunday. It supposedly hastened the end of Lyneham's role on The 7.30 Report and Red Kerry, who presumably went completely berserk over Lyneham's unreliability, has been in the chair ever since.

Tracking the journalistic speakers [Call To Action: Secret Formulas To Improve Online Results ; Freedom wanes ]
• · Blogging is having a big impact on American journalism - with bloggers using their posts both to leak to the media and to challenge it directly. Dan Rather, the iconic CBS News anchor who retired last month, is the bloggers' biggest scalp to date. But what impact is blogging having in the Australian media? Jason Di Rosso has our special report. (Title pinched from the good fast company ;-) All the News That's Fit to Blog ; So from Day 1 of the Webdiary, July, 2000, I have written in the first person and I’ve asked all readers who want to contribute to Webdiary to write in the first person too, and the strength I feel I gained from that as a journalist running a space which I want to be a space for conversation among Australians from all different walks of life and from all different political points of view, want that space to be safe, and I feel I can guarantee safety by being very open about what my beliefs are, and publishing genuine criticisms of my beliefs and my opinions and my facts. I think the reader in the end trusts that more than a journalist who’s pretending to be objective. And that has proved to be the case. Since the 2004 election, Webdiary’s been transformed from a basically leftish, small-l liberal site to a much more balanced site, many, many more right-wing Australians are participating, and they feel safe to participate. And they feel that their voices are being fairly expressed. Webdiary
• · · Types of weblogs ; Café Press ; One of the most striking things that hit me in my analysis of the 30 most visited blogs at Truth Laid Bear was the small number of blogs using the Adsense program Why Adsense Is Not Suitable For All Blog Topics
• · · · What if professors could lecture 24-7? Blog culture invades academia ;
• · · · · Catallaxy mention on Radio National ; Radioblogging ; Glen Fuller ; Telstra Turns to Online Television ; Circulation review sparks media spat
• · · · · · Have you ever had to deal with a difficult boss or co-worker? How did you handle it? Were you successful? What did you learn from the experience? ... How to Handle a Screamer? ; PR Agencies Become Blog Amplifiers

Friday, April 29, 2005

The American intelligence community has suffered two blows to its credibility in the past three and a half years. First, intelligence agencies failed to detect al Qaeda's terrorist plans for September 11, 2001. Then, estimates of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs proved to be wildly off the mark. n the wake of embarrassing revelations about faulty intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Congress has been eager to reform America's spy agencies. However, it's a hydra-headed problem that lawmakers aren't anywhere close to solving. Bureaucratic re-organization isn't enough, and neither is increased recruiting of actual spies. We also need to look long and hard at how intelligence is analyzed. A tale of two failures: Spies and Bureaucrats: Getting Intel Right

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Boeing: Flying Into a Mountain
James Cumes sent me an email last night pointing out that ‘the article below by Eamonn Fingleton deserves to be distributed more widely. I have been explaining the gutting of American industry - and its causes - for decades. That gutting has of course also applied to Australia. We have followed the tragically dysfunctional policies of the United States, plus some of the equally dysfunctional policies of Britain - in a Reagan/Thatcher pact of self-destruction - at least since the 1980s. Some of those self-destructive policies we have indeed followed from even earlier - from as far back as 1969, just before I wrote "The Indigent Rich. Fingleton does not give the causes of the degenerative economic disease with the definition that I have done; but his account can readily be accommodated by the analysis I have given. There are of course aspects of security in this degenerative process that must be of deep concern. The political and strategic environment to which we have become accustomed is being fundamentally eroded - but most of our closest friends, as well as ourselves, show no real awareness that any such climactic changes are taking place.
That we should lose our most powerful ally of the last sixty years - because it is no longer powerful in the guts of its being - must be acutely worrying. Alongside that is the evidence that we are suffering from the same degenerative disease and that our capacity to provide for our own security is dissipating. We too are a "hollow shell."

The Boeing company has now become so hollowed out that its next plane, the super-advanced 787, will be more a Japanese product than an American one. This article, by Eamonn Fingleton, was first published in the January 31, 2005 issue of The American Conservative. First of two parts. One evening a generation ago, several up-and-coming aerospace executives gathered to commune with the Boeing aircraft company's chief executive Thornton Wilson. The discussion turned to Boeing's vaunted expertise in making aircraft wings. Wilson evidently came across as boastful--so much so that a young General Electric executive named Harry Stonecipher suggested that Boeing was arrogant. "And rightly so," came Wilson's serene reply.
The exchange, which was recorded in Fortune magazine a few years ago, is worth recalling partly for what has happened to Stonecipher in the meantime--and partly for what has happened to Boeing. In a remarkable twist of fate, Stonecipher now fills Wilson's old job at Boeing. But whereas the Boeing that Wilson led in the 1970s utterly dominated the skies, today's Boeing is another matter. Its once masterful technological leadership is gone and, in an orgy of indiscriminate outsourcing, Stonecipher is presiding over the destruction of what remains of Boeing's erstwhile manufacturing greatness--not least the world-beating wing business that was the apple of Wilson's eye.

There is a joke told among military intelligence officers, often with some bitterness, that when things go wrong it is labeled an "intelligence failure," but when they go right it is called a "military success" (or in this context economic success)
• Note the link is in a PDF format As the American press has latterly come to realize, Boeing is an embattled company. [James Cumes (Thanks to Google) ; Unsustainable: How Economic Dogma Is Destroying American Prosperity Eamonn Fingleton (thanks to Google) ]
• · You can forgive Democrats in Washington for feeling somewhat vindicated by the way the controversy over Terri Schiavo played out. For years, after all, they waited in vain for the moment when Republicans might trip over their own arrogance while crusading for moral values, and finally, if polls are to be believed, it happened Democratic Moral Values? ; All I did wrong was not lock my bag: Schapelle Corby
• · · The Best Places For Doing Business in America 2005 ; I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth City Life
• · · · The Future of the Center: The Core City in the New Economy Joel Kotkin on the survival of great cities; More than 100,000 low-income tenants will face rent increases of up to $30 a week and lifetime leases are to be scrapped under an overhaul of the state's public housing. Carr shuts door on the lifetime lease ; A hard line that doesn't wash with this household
• · · · · We thought we'd heard it all in politics until someone pointed out to us that one of the last acts of NSW Labor treasurer Michael Egan was to appoint former Victorian Liberal treasurer Alan Stockdale to the board of T-Corp, the outfit which manages NSW's $20 billion-plus debt portfolio. What is it that Stockdale has with NSW treasurers? First, he took up with Dominique Collins, the wife of former NSW Liberal treasurer Peter Collins. That was amazing, but for a Labor treasurer to then call in a Victorian treasurer to help manage the state's debt is truly breathtaking. Can anyone else come up with another similar example of both political and parochial rivalries being put aside like this? Cross Pollination ; And Responsible Wealth calls upon the feds to raise their taxes Tax me, please! ; Given the Australian Olympic Committee bankrolled Joanna Stone's $1 million-plus court costs, its breathless response to the High Court denial of tax exemption for sports stars is unsurprising. But the committee complains too loudly, too quickly A deep breath after tax marathon
• · · · · · Mark Latham has been hawking his personal diaries to the highest bidder and is being offered about $100,000 for what publishers describe as an explosive and insult-laden account of his years in politics Dear diary, I'm a fallen leader out for revenge ; Compulsory Voting but Voluntary Solidarity Thousands march to fight student union fee change

One of the most egregious examples of this ideological nonsense, popular among sociologists and dramatized by the press, was the idea that the way for the poor to escape from poverty was to organize to "fight city hall" and "gain power." This seemed plausible at a time when socialist and quasi-socialist ideas were still very much alive, prompting many to believe that the cure for poverty was political activism (relying upon the state) rather than economic activism (encouraging entrepreneurial energy in markets). Both Dan and I had come from poor families, had gone through radical phases in our youth, and were appalled to discover that ideas we thought discredited had acquired a new lease on life. The Public Interest was born on a shoestring budget in borrowed office space in Manhattan. Looking Back: Forty Good Years
[From the final issue of The Public Interest, Irving Kristol on Forty Good Years]

The Blog, The Press, The Media: A Media Tipping Point?
Big journalism is in trouble, and big journalists don't like it

The instant literature on what Jeff Jarvis has been calling the tipping point continues to grow.
So anyway, we're creating new things:
Google is the new library... and network... and ad agency (see the post below).
Blogs are new newspapers, right?
Podcasts are new radio then.
Vlogs will be the new TV, yes?
But then again, no, they're not. They're none of that. They're new, they're different, and they're not done yet.

For Every Action a Reaction [Sharing that juicy email with your friends is not such a smart move Jennifer Aniston: Think again before you press Forward ; Game: Guess-the-google ]
• · Matt Thompson, one of the creators of Googlezon, says what I've been thinking for several days: Why did Mood of the Newsroom cause such a stir? After all, I, and others, have been writing similar things for a couple of years. Snarking the Newspaper ; Finally, a personal note. I was appropriately embarrassed by Jay's "what it took to get here" comment, but, hey, he's passionate and effusive and that's where those characteristics lead. Love ya, Jay. But he was right in benchmarking my own evolution in from a hard-core newsroom editor to a wide-eyed geek entranced by what my colleagues were doing with the early web (prototype Electric Examiner, strike newspaper, Salon) to an ex-journalists working on a start-up to the returning prodigal journalistic son I am today. It is my journey and it is not dissimilar to many journalists of my time. Jay Rosen
• · · American Greek lover of Dragon: Nick or Nicholas or even Nico Legend of the Red Dragon ; The new reason to have a blog?
• · · · Even when newspapers go belly up, their kind of content will live on. Next: The Google Street Journal ; No kidding; A parasol you say?
• · · · · Google is floating a trial balloon of a service that pairs advertisements with blog feeds. Google tests out blog ad service ; NEWS Limited has rejected a claim that it manipulated sales figures for its newspapers Numbers don't lie, say News figures
• · · · · · Lawrence Solum (San Diego): The Future of Copyright; Future of political humour - More evidence of Saudi doubletalk? This is just wrong, but...

The May edition of the Sydney Magazine that work of art insert inside the SMH this week is peppered with fascinating stories: ‘How Do I get One of Those?’ - The wizard, Mark Bouris, streches his answer over 7 pages. The famous poet and painter, John Hatton, and his wife Vera must be pleased with the apolitical Herald story as on page 120 Bonnie Malkin is on the husking at Huskinsson. The best kept secret is described as a place you do not want to leave in the hurry. For two decades in 1980s and 1990s my in-laws provided us with a cosy Batehaven weekender to travel to places like the Husky Pub - from dolphin watching to memorable walks along the white beaches.
In another master images Natalie Boog unveils Cronulla in her eagle eye lenses. Anneli Kinght deserves to be knighted for her suggestion that Cronulla is in the midst of a Velvet ‘(peaceful) Revolution, slowly blending a cosmopolitan cafe culture with its image as a lazy surfside locale ... a lifestyle that was immortalised by the 1981 Australian coming-of-exile (age) film Puberty Blues’ While Cronulla remains permanently soaked in a holiday feel the Grind expresso is in the honeymoon fever ... Richard gets a out of this world write up - ‘Grind, a tiny street-side cafe, wears its cult status on its walls in the form of hundreds of photographs of patrons at tourist spots across the world holding placards scribbled with I’d rather be at Grind.' Creative Spaces

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Reel of Seed Funds
Officials looking over filmmakers' shoulders is unlikely to improve Australian films

The Film Finance Corporation's new requirement for active involvement in the production of films that receive funding has been greeted with concern by the artistic classes. Some see further evidence of the Howard Government's crushing of dissent. Less paranoid filmmakers fear an intrusive corporation will impede their work and compromise artistic integrity.

Less government help may be better for the box office ; [Lord knows I was frustrated enough to kill someone. Joshilyn Jackson's Backstory for gods in Alabama ; Have you seen It's a Whole New Internet; New libraries turn tide of decline Who Knew? Great Libraries Draw Readers ]
• · Did Michael Chabon invent a personal Holocasut history to "fashion his previously banal suburban persona into a more complex Jewish identity? Anatomy of a hoax ; Calling upon writers to do more of their own promotional The Hype Debate ; An Argument for Writers' Taking Charge ; Today's corporate weather-makers hate "book-lovers", as they sneeringly refer to them.Against Good Books
• · · Slavoj Zizek's rock-star status brings out adoring fans. The intellectual giant ; Samuel Taylor Pooter at your service. High as a kite and mad as a goose. Emerson and Coleridge: never meet your heroes
• · · · Yeah, but who makes more money? ; Gimme A Pound Of The Roast Beef, And One Of Those Tom Clancy Things Attention, Shoppers: Sale on Fresh Books in Aisle 3; Even well-established writers with great reviews are having difficulty getting their books sold these days He's a Literary Darling Looking for Dear Readers
• · · · · While in Australia Book Chain Collins Booksellers Goes Bankrupt - in the Us independent bookstore's last chapter Another Indie Bookstore Gives Up The Ghost: Bound To Be Read ; Getting Foreign Lit A Place At The Table Found in Translation ; For the first time, print-on-demand companies are successfully positioning themselves as respectable alternatives to mainstream publishing and erasing the stigma of the old-fashioned vanity press Self-Publishing Finds Its Legs
• · · · · · E-books have yet to crack the publishing industry Books Get Wired (As A Plot Device) ; Word Associations: The wicked allure of lit blogs - Blogging The Written Word ; From coast to coast, budget strains and tax pressures are forcing cities to make hard choices about how to spend limited money, and libraries, much to many residents' dismay, are taking the hit. The Endangered American Libraries

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Bali drug-smuggling sagas Interview: Mick Keelty

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Questions hang over AFP role
What was the game plan of the politicised AFP with respect to the events surrounding the arrest of the nine young Australian heroin traffickers in Bali?

The track record of the AFP in dealing with their Indonesian counterparts has not been good. The Indonesian police, and military, are corrupt. The AFP has not gone down the path of investigating links between Jemaah Islamiah, the police and the military...
It is common knowledge the Indonesian police and army are involved in corrupt activities including extortion rackets, illegal timber felling, drugs, prostitution, employment and people smuggling. Was money fed into the Indonesian network to stop people smuggling? Most recently the problem became an issue over the delivery of foreign aid in Aceh.

Bruce Haigh is a former diplomat who ran the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Indonesian desk from 1984-86. He now grows grapes and olives at his farm in Mudgee, while writing his book about Australia's troops in France and Belgium in World War I.
Bruce Haigh outlined his views is a letter to The Australian , which published on 26 April 2005 [Ross Fitzgerald: Out of respect for the recently departed, we may forgive some of Joh Bjelke-Petersen's excesses, but it behoves us not to forget what he did in his 19 years, three months and 23 days as Queensland premier before he was forced to quit on December 1, 1987. The truth is that Bjelke-Petersen presided over a corrupt and vicious regime that blighted the lives of tens of thousands of people A corrupt and vicious regime; The man who sold Queensland ; Supporters of the reign of Joh Bjelke-Petersen argue he was wonderful for Queensland because he abolished death duties, oversaw the development of extractive industries, trampled on the unions and built dams and powerhouses. Such superficial analysis ignores the suffering he caused, the prostitution of electoral laws, the criminal abuse of the parliament and, most shamefully, his disgraceful treatment of the rights of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders Counting the cost of a mean-spirited opportunist ]
• · The End of Poverty': Brother, Can You Spare $195 Billion? ; A member of the U.S. Congress calls for an assistant professor at a major university to be summarily fired The New McCarthyism
• · · This article maps the background to a bitter controversy over Israel, historical truth and academic freedom Boycotting Israel: the uses of history ; After overthrowing the Taliban and embarking on an impressive worldwide police and intelligence campaign against Al-Qaeda, there are no more obvious steps to take in the War on Terror. Unfortunately ... How to Fight Terrorism
• · · · Public housing tenants in NSW will lose the right to life-long government housing and many will face substantial rent increases this year, the NSW Government has warned Public housing tenants lose tenure; Sadly, I was on a train just this very yesterday morning and an old lady with a walking frame (not a stick) almost ended up not making it onto the platform before the doors shut. How quick can you be as it is impossible to stand by the door since their legs are so weak ... Is anyone counting how many times are lifts out of order at the railway stations? [Designers of trains consider creating a carriage somewhere in the middle dedicated to the guard and parents with children and the aged - colour it in earthy red, yellow and black] A woman who watched in horror as two children in a pram caught in a train's doors were dragged along a platform says Sydney's CityRail must get serious about safety Pram caught in train doors exposes safety flaw
• · · · · Byron Shire Council has lost a bid to stop the property group Becton going directly to the State Government for approval of its planned $100 million resort on 92 hectares of beachfront land. Path clearer for developer ; Our toilets are better than most people's homes
• · · · · · Wonderful Jana Wendt Pope Benedict XVI ; Politics requires scapegoats, whether they bear guilt or not. And the media seem less interested in discovering who is responsible than in providing a megaphone for the accusations. But the questions need to be asked. We cannot begin to fix the policymaking process until we see who broke it--and even then, the damage may be beyond repair. In Defense of Striped Pants

I wasn't prepared to be famous for 24 hours, but now that my weblog traffic has subsided to normal levels, I can relate some of the experience. The rest has to be filtered through therapy first. Fame or Something Like It

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Overload & Memories
It's interesting, for somebody who doesn't even believe in information overload, Steven Cohen's Library Stuff has been providing some excellent coverage on this topic lately.

I definitely agree with the conclusion that one of the answers to information overload is to trust that other people will read things which I won't, and that I'll find things through them or through the people who read them.

Information Anxiety [In any revolution, one hopes for an outcome like the one Vaclav Havel wrought in the Czech Republic, but one is at least as likely to wind up with Robespierre Mood of the Newsroom: Letters from Three Journalists ; ]
• · Is CNN right to predict the end of conspiracies as we now know them? CNN Blog spam Google conspiracy theory (Nancy Grace) ; Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism ... A conversation about the future of journalism "by the people, for the people" -- and occasional other thoughts: Love happens. Impossible to predict where, why, when, or with whom. But I think Susie's right. Somebody at the White House was head over heels (literally) in love with Gannon - Doing Pro Journalists' Work For Them
• · · Some would suggest it's a case of Dracula in charge of the blood bank. Maybe the media isn't too inclined to report on its own dirty secrets. Slowly, slowly, Crikey's investigation into circulation rorts is starting to bite. Ten days ago, the Audit Bureau of Circulation announced it was looking into the issue – hardly an independent inquiry, but a start. Today, the biggest figure in Australia's multibillion-dollar media buying industry, Harold Mitchell, has thrown his substantial heft behind our investigation US case study ; This morning Crikey editor, Misha Ketchell, lodged this formal complaint with the Commonwealth Ombudsman We take Budget lock-up ban to Canberra
• · · · Hugh Brown teaches New Media communication in the School of Journalism Communication at the University of Qld. He now blogs at while conducting research into the distribution and promotion of music via New Media ; He was editor of On Line Opinion from 2000-2004 during my extended tropical holidays in Sunshine state ;-)
• · · · · Singleton sees profits in Lonely Planet ; Living the Literary Life: Writing, Reward and Rejection ... nobody can thrust the idea down the throat of a writer that the only valid publication is American publication Writers uphold literary works free from market demands
• · · · · · Imagine a day when you just have to enter a few words on your computer, such as Iron Curtain push a button, and be able to read an automatic -- and accurate -- summary of what appears in major sources about this specific subject After PageRank, Here Comes LexRank; AerialText of Joseph DePalma

OOoh, Steven Johnson turns the traditional “we must read books” argument upside down in his forthcoming book, All Bad Things Are Good For You. Here’s an excerpt from his blog:
Many children enjoy reading books, of course, and no doubt some of the flights of fancy conveyed by reading have their escapist merits. But for a sizable percentage of the population, books are downright discriminatory. Danger: linear reading

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Tale of woe wins book contest
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now ...

Farah Ahmedi was still getting used to wearing a prosthetic leg after her body was mangled in a land mine accident when her tailor father and two sisters were killed in a rocket attack on the family's home in Kabul, Afghanistan. About a year later, her brothers, Mahmoud and Ghayous, disappeared as they fled to Pakistan to escape joining the Taliban. Ahmedi was barely 10. Now at 17, the Wheaton North junior, who wears leg braces, is partaking in another incredible experience.

The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky [They’re buying a powerful media platform” while providing “paltry” compensation ... Ahmedi says she’s happy just to see the book published, and plans to use the $10,000 to buy her mother a house, so she’ll be comfortable and won’t think about all this terrible stuff that happened to usA cautionary tale of reality-publishing ; Orange prize for first-time writers boosts short stories; Peter Thompson: Film: Three Dollars ]
• · Powerful writing stumps ayatollahs and sets free vibrating broomsticks Salman Rushdie on how literature is a loose cannon. Books vs. Goons ; Even Chris Sheil would approve ;-D recommended by one and only Terry Teachout: Eleven perfectly lovely records
• · · I started a taxing trend! Pushing 'presell tours,' publishers are picking up the check for first dates between authors and booksellers Dine Now, Sign Later ; It's been an incestuous system that worked along the lines of, I'm the jury, the publisher, the writer and the journalist From the Outside, a French Publisher Thrives ; Making literature appealing
• · · · It took on a life of its own. It proved to be way more successful than we could have ever dreamed. Airport-based Paradies Shops report a 20 percent increase in book sales following their initiative to buy books back from customers at half the purchase price within six months. (They sell those books again, also at half price.) Airport stores offer 50 percent return on hardcover books ; Read & Return ; A Look at Fiction Online
• · · · · Actors generally don't know who they really are. They find a center only when they pour themselves into the container of a "character"; they become most fully who they are when they turn themselves into someone else Fonda vs. Vadim ; Give me Saltz's 885 words without theory any day of the week. Saltz's article actually means something to me. I can feel his experience of Hirst's work. I can connect to his opinion. I can sense Saltz's emotional response to the work. Opinion Over Theory Any Day
• · · · · · In the first of a series of interviews introducing this year's inaugural Vienna Writers' Festival Viennese whirl ; For figs to do what figs were meant to do Vienna Writers' Festival

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Very little, argues one book; quite a lot, says another; a huge amount, contends a third. It all depends on the quality of both the donor and the recipient. Does Aid Work?

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Aid to Our Very World
After decades of scepticism about development aid, the west is embracing it again... As James Cumes in his thought-provoking essay points out: The dilemma is not insoluble. The solution is there waiting for us to grasp. What is more, it is as simple as the solution which, after the Second World War, we applied to correct the economic and other miseries that had plagued us during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

As we were coming out of World War Two, a great part of the world was in ruins: almost the whole of Europe as well as much of Asia and the Pacific. Weestablished the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration(UNRRA) to deliver emergency aid. A Commission for the Reconstruction ofDevastated Areas in both Europe and Asia evolved into the United NationsCommissions for Europe (ECE) and for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE). Manydistinguished economists and other professionals worked on these bodies.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were very different bodies from what they are now. Both were expected to help the majorcountries - the G7 of the postwar period, if you like - to avoid themiseries of the Great Depression of the 1930s and achieve full employmentand economic stability. The World Bank would provide funds for relativelyrich countries, such as Britain or Canada or Australia, to embark on majorinfrastructure projects and so enhance their fixed-capital investment,productivity and production. The IMF would enable the same countries - and others, of course - to maintain stable exchange rates, free convertibilityand non-discrimination in financial transactions.

UNRRA largely succeeded in its work of relief and rehabilitation. The chaos and suffering of the postwar period was cleared away more quickly throughthe food, clothing, shelter and medical supplies that it was able to supply to the needy in Europe, Asia and the Pacific.
• 23 April 2005 Aid Part of Life [We can never get rid of risk, because it is an integral part of life. Without risk, there is no opportunity, and without the endless quest for opportunity business - and life itself - would grind to a halt. Too many people in the modern world are trying to make risk disappear. Risk is good - learn to manage it ; If you have have a vision, pursue it. Even if it fails, it will be a valuable lesson Never be afraid to succeed ]
• · New perspective inserts road map back into the big picture ; Do today's politicians really understand that it is the public who elects them? Are the demands of a political career simply too great for outsiders - not party apparatchiks, but real people - to be able to win seats in Parliament? The politics of dullness
• · · Margy Osmond said the formula used to distribute GST was "grossly unfair" to NSW and worked too much to the advantage of states like Queensland Firms asked to join in GST fight ; The former assistant tax commissioner Nick Petroulias was accused yesterday of being both gamekeeper and poacher when, from 1997 to 1999, he issued about 70 private binding tax rulings Fraud trial told of tax officer's double dealing
• · · · Terror in the Past And Future Tense

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The cavernous hallway outside Chicago City Council chambers is echoing with the sound of 150 people chanting, "We're fed up, we won't take it no mo'! Deliver Us from Wal Mart?

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: 'Winning' the BUTTERFLY with the FREESTYLE

In 1991, in Hearts of Darkness, a documentary on the making of Apocalypse Now, Francis Coppola predicted that in the near future a teenage black girl somewhere in America would make a masterpiece using only a home video camera. Something like this has come to pass with Tarnation, a 90-minute autobiographical documentary made by Jonathan Caouette, a 32-year-old gay Texan living in New York.

That's the story of my life [In democracy promotion, nothing fails like success The thankless task of promoting democracy ; The Midwest is a mosaic of cities and small towns linked by spirit as well as geography Quest for vision led to path of fulfillment]
• · Russian President and former head of the KGB Vladimir Putin, seeking to lift a cloud of uncertainty among investors, told tax officials Monday to stop "terrorizing" business and tried to tempt Russians to bring their billions back home Putin Tells Taxman: Don't Terrorize Investors ; There are perhaps few jobs better than being a judge. Yet if you are a judge, there's a decent chance someone hates you Violence Against Judges: Why it Occurs and What We Can Learn from it
• · · That old reporter's dictum is also an excuse to ignore the afflicted. Research bv the Harvard fellow Ethan Zuckerman suggests that the amount of press attention a country gets depends on how rich it is. Follow The Money - Reuters Newswire Media Attention ; Everything that you can imagine about homelessness. Including standing in the rain all night Ex-homeless man is among honorees for mental wellness
• · · · Political Animals: Boris Johnson and Adriana Cronin The Parliament hour; The transition from Communism to democracy, the creation of the independent statehood - Slovak Spectator: No pain, much gained
• · · · · Thomas Macaulay told us copyright law is a tax on readers for the benefit of writers, a tax that shouldn’t last a day longer than necessary. What do we do? James Boyle: Deconstructing stupidity ;
• · · · · · Ordinary people don't agree to work for startups. They go get ordinary jobs. So, as an entrepreneur, you'd better like odd people, because that's who is going to agree to work with you. Startups Attract Sociopaths; Conservative activists made no apologies for mixing religion and politics. Our judiciary must be independent, impartial and fair ... Pulpit, politics mix

EMPEROR: My dear, young man, don’t take it too hard. Your work is ingenious. It’s quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that’s all. Cut a few and it will be perfect.
MOZART: Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?
Oh wow, that's a big blog you've got there! It's a different world out there

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Put a Dragon In Your Think Tank
ExxonMobil has pumped more than $8 million into more than 40 think tanks; media outlets; and consumer, religious, and even civil rights groups that preach skepticism about the oncoming climate catastrophe. Herewith, a representative overview

A godfather of global warming denial, author of The Scientific Case Against the Global Climate Treaty and Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate. Key quote: “There is no convincing evidence that the global climate is actually warming.” Connections to ExxonMobil-funded groups: at least seven.

The Cold Earth Society [Extraordinary libel case Could the editor of 'The Times' really end up going to jail? ; A blog is a blog when it's a blog.... ; Richard A Clarke What Congress can do now to bust the boom in identity theft. You've Been Sold]
• · Many mainstream-media blogs manage to combine the worst of both worlds: Hemmed in by tradition, they lack the candor and point of view that distinguishes good blogs. Bereft of good material, they lack the depth and quality of print journalism. Bill Grueskin, managing editor of ; To read the headlines, or the bloglines, one might get the sense that the bloggers have arrived on the scene to challenge the “gatekeepers” of the big media. This is an essay in six parts to examine this theme The New Gatekeepers
• · · There's a mysterious kind of guarantee when a real name is attached to a weblog. Without it, everything is less real, more inconsequential Is It Cool to Be Anonymous? ; Under dozens of pseudonyms, Kyle Vallone has orchestrated the publication of scores of letters to the Times, San Francisco Chronicle and the Tri-Valley Herald during the last decade Why write letters on behalf of a candidate and send them to a "tree" of supporters who would sign their names and send them to newspapers? It occurred to him that he could skip a step, make up fictitious identities and send the letters via e-mail Grassroots Astroturf
• · · · Bloggers without Borders is a citizen journalism hub, dedicated to raising conscience for, and about, events around the world Bloggers without Borders ; We have started a new feature here at Small Business Trends: i.e. Brewed Fresh Daily is like an online coffee shop. The atmosphere is warm, inviting and interesting, just like your favorite neighborhood place. Like any good coffee shop, it's part office, part living room, part cafe. It feels like a physical place, yet it's all online Brewed Fresh Daily is a weblog to start your day with.
• · · · · More simply, professional life isn't turning out quite the way these journalists thought it would - and it makes them mad Jay Rosen: Tim Porter Lets Out a Roar [In comments: If I wasn't humbled before, I am now. ... Tim]; Last Draft: You have one life, one career, you might as well shoot for the stars The Mood of the Newsroom
• · · · · · I delete my cookies weekly! Helps me to rememeber all the passwords ;-) Boo-hoo, internet users delete our ad-tracking cookies, it’s all the consumer’s fault. More self-absorbed whining from the advertising community, as a survey of 2,337 consumers reveals that 39% of of them delete cookies at least monthly, casting a shadow on website traffic statistics. Here’s the article, from ClickZ News: Study: Consumers Delete Cookies at Surprising Rate ; A decade ago, in the spring of 1989, Communism in europe died-collapsed, as a tent would fall if its main post were removed ... Professor Lessig is using this wiki to open the editing process to all, to draw upon the creativity and knowledge of the community. This is an online, collaborative book update; a first of its kind: Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (Cold River) ; Lessig & Imrich

A Warning To My Readers
Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world. I am
a man crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full
of fits and furies. That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.
-Wendell Berry

I came to Sydney a quater of a century ago from a little town located right at the heart of Europe so I identify even deeper than Terry with his sentiments. Like the cops say, Rule No. 1 is to go home alive at the end of your shift. Every day is a victory over the abyss. Sydney Loves Me - It Really Loves MEdia Dragon ;-) During my exile years I learned the surreal meaning of philosopher Karl Popper's words: Those who believe they can make men happy are very dangerous men. I came to Sydney two months and a day after reaching the Austrian soil in 1980

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Twentieth: If Only Life Was As Predictable
Why are you holding back? Why are you stingy with yourselves? What are you saving for—for another time? There are no other times. There is only now. Right now

I moved to New York twenty years ago this month. It never occurred to me as a young man that I would someday live here, and I'm still capable of being taken aback by the improbable fact that I do. Just the other day I was riding across the Brooklyn Bridge in a cab, and as I glanced out the window at the skyline of lower Manhattan, the city suddenly looked strange to me, as if I'd never seen it before. Perhaps you can never feel completely home in a city to which you move at the age of twenty-nine. Among other things:
-The World Trade Center still existed.
-So did the Berlin Wall.
-I was using the first VCR I'd ever owned.
-I hadn't bought my first CD player or fax machine.
-I had yet to use a personal computer, much less buy one.
-Cell phones didn't exist.

• Marcel Proust, in whose imagined world I am currently immersed, assures us that happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible. Making Happiness Possible [Truckers use that term when they have been on the road Black Dog: Bark and the world barks with you; Interview with Czeslaw Milosz by Professor Malgorzata Anna Packalén in Cracow - It isn’t at all that we write for those who come after us. We write to gain the sanction of our forefathers! ]
• · Czech writers have lost their status Writers without a cause ; The Enemy Within: Iron Curtain vs. Velvet Curtain; Iron Curtain Thriller
• · · Sure, anybody can tell you which authors you need to check out, but someone who spends seven days a week reading and writing is sure to make compelling suggestions Esquire editor Daniel Torday picks five young writers you should be reading ; A British television commercial for Australian food icon/condiment Marmite, inspired by 1950s sci-fi classic The Blob, is banned for “terrifying children.” Here’s the story, from BBC News: Marmite ads 'terrified' children ; A guide to surviving the bad dresses and expensive shoes to be the bride's right hand when she needs you most So you're gonna be a bridesmaid
• · · · Television advertising is blamed – or credited – with killing off small brewers and speeding the trend toward corporate consolidation. Profs uncap secrets of beer trade ; via John Kuraoka - adblog
• · · · · Painting pictures in the minds of your listeners is the key to effective presenting and persuasion Cheers, Not Jeers!” The Secret to a Winning Presentation ; UK High Street chain Marks & Spencer became the latest taker when it announced a tie-up with Amazon in a bid to breathe new life into its online business. Amazon pushes e-tailing expertise ; Self-publishing is in danger of becoming mainstream
• · · · · · Once Upon a Time When I Wrote a Book Authors helping authors ; Perhaps it is a saving grace of Russian politics these days that laws and orders are honored more in the breach than in the observance Honored in the Breach ; A blog can become like a monster that just gets hungrier as it grows, threatening to take over one's life My annual April allergies: taxes or pollen?

Monday, April 25, 2005

On April 25, 1915, the Anzacs landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula and carved a special place in our history. We come here and take photos, they came here and lost their lives. They didn't die for nothing if people can come here and appreciate that... Old enemies have buried differences along with the dead

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Gallipoli 90 Years On
The group stands in Ari Burnu Cemetery before the plaque carrying the words of Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

"You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears," it reads. "Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are at peace. Having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well."There are tears in the eyes of the young people; one of the tour leaders, Rick Landers from Sydney, says he finds it too painful to read.
All the blood in the water, the men coming in on the boats, having to jump out and be brave. "They were so young and full of life. I imagine my brothers here, their camaraderie and mateship. They're typical Australian guys, they would have been saying: 'Come on, we've got to do it.' They would have given their all, regardless."

I can't even comprehend it, I can't even get close to what it must have been like ...
• Gallipoli's power to unite living and the fallen Out of a bloody battlefield [Helen Clark: The Prime Minister, already facing criticism over Australia's role in controversial roadworks at Anzac Cove, has drawn fire from New Zealand over his scheduled absence from a New Zealand commemoration in Gallipoli today Howard in hot water over snub ; When we look back we can see ... our military forebears have set in place a very proud and enviable record of achievement Their legacy to us includes very high benchmarks in idealism ]
• · Even the local priest, Father John, is praying that the perception of the new pope as the Rotweiler may become of the German Shepherd In the beginning: Pope starts his work as a shepherd ; There is the desert of poverty, the desert of hunger and thirst ... there is the desert of God's darkness, the emptiness of souls no longer aware of their dignity Meet the pontiff: he who must be loved, but obeyed ; No one does ceremony and pageantry better than the Catholic Church Pageantry to greet new Pope
• · · They were caught red-handed: Keelty Australia to hand over Bali nine evidence ; In the midst of the Bulldogs rugby league club sex scandal at Coffs Harbour last year police had been using telephone taps in an effort to obtain evidence on allegations of a pack rape by some players How Bulldogs dragnet hauled in police chiefs
• · · · A curse is a formula that becomes a doom. Someone with special powers of performative speech—a god, a wizard, or the framers of your nation’s constitution—describes your life in some dark way, and this description gets fixed as indelible fact. The two-party system is the curse of American political life Shh...Swing Voters Are Listening; When the advocates of republican patriotism encourage citizens to consider common liberty the highest good, they are indicating the safest means to protect individual liberty, not a way to enslave the individual to the state A review of Machiavelli, Hobbes, & the Formation of a Liberal Republicanism in England
• · · · · In Iran, as throughout in the Muslim world, the personal is political, and religion is always both. Aunt Kobra's Islamic democracy; This week, a top insurance company charted the world's most dangerous places to do business. Unsurprisingly, regions like Iraq, India and Russia were shaded brown on the "risk map", marking them as at severe risk from terrorism Wish you were here?
• · · · · · an exceptional high-wire performance by Gordon Hawkins, the Australian criminologist, comparing arguments for the existence of God to arguments for the existence of the Mafia Farewell to 'The Public Interest' ; The revival of states' rights may be the most substantial accomplishment of the Rehnquist Court's conservative majority. Salon magazine reports the emergence of why-go-to-Canada-when-you-have-federalism discussions within lefty circles Reclaiming Federalism ; The Powers of Mourning and Violence and Georgio Agamben’s Critique of Power: By Don Moore War on Mourning: Politics of Disaster; David Humphries: of SuperDome and Olympic Par and SMH fame writes: He was a poor farm boy who used every trick in the book to rule Queensland for 19 years Don't you worry about that

Journalists, George Bernard Shaw once said, are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. How odd, given the profession's un-equaled reputation for narcissism, that Shaw's observation holds true even when the collapsing "civilization" is their own.

In the first three years of the Bush administration, the United States dropped from 4th to 13th place in global rankings of broadband Internet usage," writes Thomas Bleha in Foreign Affairs. Tim pulls the money quotes; of Japan, S. Korea and China America: broadband backwater

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Business is Like so not Interested in Digital Migration
News affect us constantly. They are both the mirror of the present and the building blocks of the future. Every hour, every day, all the time ... Some news such the one coming from Darwin is all about dead past ...

We've had a near-continuous stream of blog-hype in our faces for quite some time. Both online and traditional media just can’t seem to dish up enough of it. But if you, like me, have about had your fill, you'll agree it’s time to do a reality check. In all the cacophony of this breathless blog exhuberance, there remains one largely unspoken truth: Business just isn’t jumping up and down about it.

Enough With the Blogging Already [A good one is It's a blog, blog world ; Blogging About the Job? Proceed at Own Risk Infection or Information ]
• · Blog-Linked Firings Prompt Calls for Better Policies ; Czech out Corporate Blog List
• · · The White House and its supporters, he writes, are taking aggressive action: preventing journalists from doing their job by withholding routine information; deliberately releasing deceptive information on a regular basis; bribing friendly journalists to report the news in a favorable context; producing their own 'news reports' and distributing these free of charge to resource-starved broadcasters; creating and crediting their own political activists as 'journalists' working for partisan operations masquerading as news organizations. WH attack on press involves secrecy, lies and fake news ; Bloggers are like so not interested: Enough of Online Features
• · · · David Weinberger: Blogs don't need mainstream media. Mainstream media needs blogs; I can't begin to imagine how hard MSM'ing about blogs is. It reminds me of the line from Jon Stewart on his show about blogging, "And that's CNN reporting on why blogs are much more interesting than CNN. Joi Ito
• · · · · Randy coppers in New Zealand waste so much time surfing for porn while on the job that fully 20 per cent of police computer system capacity is devoted to storing the images, an official audit has revealed. Computer coppers sheepish on capture; via Barista
• · · · · · Susan Getgood is a results oriented strategic marketer and Marketing Roadmaps looks at every angle of marketing fictional or real: Persona Redux ; Rok Hrastnik Studio Moderna: Character Blogs as a Branding Vehicle; Character Blog Discussion: A Taste Of What's To Come

My writing is outsider's writing - and all of a sudden it becomes a kind of trend or mainstream My characters are always the one who gets kicked in the chair [Until you're 70 you're a young writer ;-) ]

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Stream of consciousness in full spate
Consciousness is very isolating for Virginia Woolf, but her fiction always works towards making connections - between people, and across time. This may be the reason why her novels so often focus upon hostesses, such as Mrs Ramsay or Clarissa Dalloway, for the hostess is a person who specialises in bringing people together. Perhaps they reminded Woolf of the kind of role she herself wanted to play - that of the discreet enabler, who helps establish connections between strangers ...
In May 1929, at the peak of her literary career, and having already published eight novels to critical acclaim, Virginia Woolf made the following note in her diary about a new idea for a novel:

Now about this book, The Moths [later to become The Waves]. How am I to begin it? And what is it to be? I feel no great impulse; no fever; only a great pressure of difficulty. Why write it then? Why write at all?

Virginia Woolf didn’t believe in biography. A bastard, an impure art she called it, in which the truth of the inner life - the only life we have - was always being strangled by the fungoid growth of external facts. The biographer cannot extract the atom, he gives us the husk. And so Woolf remained deeply suspicious of conventional biography, always more interested in what slipped through its net - the unrepresented, the unfixed, the fine-grained, the feminine.
• It is true that biography tends to see everything back-to-front Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life [With online shopping comes a new chapter in the secondhand business, and shops morph to survive Creative destruction: Used-book sellers span digital ; Marina Krakovsky: Making Books Love, lust and literary life ]
• · Who can forget the day Oprah came to Literaryville? She blazed into town like a carpetbagger preaching glory, unpacking her Book Club to the awe and unease of the locals, who whispered about her behind her back. She was sanctified and vilified and, finally, she was hounded right out of town - well, metaphorically speaking Thorn: Author covers prose, cons of Oprah's club ; A novelist is an imaginative historian who is able to get closer to contemporary facts than social scientists possibly can Novelist par excellence: Praise from the best
• · · Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned... I did a bad thing today. No, really. I know it's hard for you to believe. Arrggghhhh...I guess I'll have to fill you in. Super-volcano, robotic rebellion or JI (Jozef Imrich)? Kate Ravilious asks 10 scientists to name the biggest danger to Earth and assesses the chances of it happening What a way to go ; The Fire Sermon: The more criticism attempts to tame this wildness the more it must ultimately have recourse to adjectives like ineffable, unspeakable, unutterable Shelf Life: Literary Essays and Reviews of Waste Land
• · · · It's not always interesting, but it's my life ... My husband and I were sitting in the kitchen, the edited manuscript of my first book in my hands, the galleys in his. I always read aloud, he always proofreads -- that's our system. That was the first time, though, and we didn't really have a system yet. It was just the two of us, trying to figure out how to review galleys The I in Sociology ; Research and Markets: Teenagers Hold Power Over Advertising and Marketing World ; If you walk into the library with an axe and start surfing Internet porn sites, you're bound to cause a stir Library rethinks ‘porn' policy
• · · · · Maurice Yacowar is right that The Sopranos bears the critical analysis routinely accorded good literature, drama, and films When America opened the floodgates and let all us Italians in, what do you think they were doing it for? ; Believing in Yourself" as Classroom Culture (Special Edition - Issue) : It has become part of the conventional wisdom that a decidedly left-wing slant influences what students are taught at elite colleges and universities in America, chiefly at Ivy League institutions. Critics of the academy have lambasted faculty doves. History shows that academia has roosted a flock of hawks The Academic Elite Goes to Washington, and to War
• · · · · · Rural schools often lack a library. This means that there is no place for children to get their hands on a great book to encourage more learning or to gain a new skill like computers Reading Room ; During Auschwitz: Adorno, Hegel, and the "Unhappy Consciousness" of Critique

Sunday, April 24, 2005

At the dark and solemn time of 4.30am tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Australians will be joined as one, casting their minds back 90 years when an army of young Australian men went to war and crystallised the concept of nationhood...

Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen has died aged 94. Former Queensland Premier throughout his political career and beyond was one of Australia's most quotable public figures The sayings of Premier Joh

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Top police sidelined over Bulldogs case
The bombshell inquiry into the state's Deputy Commissioner Dave Madden and four others is linked to the probe into rape allegations against senior Bulldogs footballers

Police Commissioner Ken Moroney referred his trusted deputy Madden, who is also head of police operations, to the Police Integrity Commission after receiving an independent legal brief on the months-long Bulldogs inquiry. The advice, prepared by barrister Glenn Bartley, of Frederick Jordan Chambers, reviewed the police handling of rape allegations made by a 20-year-old woman after an incident at Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour, in February last year.

Under investigation Strike Force McGuigon [Police ranks rocked as top guns sidelined Rooster one day, dusted up the next ; Police leak at heart of inquiry; Carr urged to end police probe speculation ; Top NSW police face closed hearings ; Google on hearings ]
• · Address to the NSW Fabian Society seminar at Gleebooks: Could Chifley win Labor preselection today? Rod Cavalier (no) and Tim Gartrell (yes)
• · · Paul Martin hardly needs another scandal, but the news that Maurice Strong has stepped down from his UN post as special envoy to Korea in the wake of allegations related to the Iraqi oil-for-food debacle is potentially damaging on several fronts. Koreagate: a foot in the capitalist camp - oil-for-food ; White Smoke Which is more important - prayer or power – in deciding on a new pope?
• · · · NSW taxpayers were subsiding cheaper petrol in Queensland because of Treasurer Peter Costello's "unfair" federal funding arrangements NSW pays for others to fill their fuel tanks ; Yesterday a wide-grinning Bob Carr announced the city's latest infrastructure project would officially open on the Queen's Birthday long weekend. Early light at the end of the cross-city tunnel ; Carr 'highest taxing premier'
• · · · · Civil-rights, suffrage activists didn't give up, and neither should environmentalists Quitters Never Win ; I knew little about Marla Ruzicka and her important work before yesterday, but her death -- much like that of Rachel Corrie in 2003 -- touched me deeply Marla Ruzicka, Rachel Corrie, and Revolution of Heart
• · · · · · (Note that the Sunday Terror (sic) links only last a week or so:) Cardinal George Pell Inside the Vatican's biggest decision; Internet elections may get Australia's vote

If enjoying 15 minutes of fame is wrong, I don't want to be right ;-:

As at Sunday 24 April 2005 AD at 7:07 AM, there is something for everyone on the Blogstreet. Want a proof? Look no further than all the content they have managed to squeeze into the top 50 (Fifty) political bloggers, the virtual movers and shakers ;-D Media Dragon is on a list (#40 or #430 in the whole wide world context) and who can blame us for making hay while the sunshine is smiling at us. We realise how fleeting the Warhol’s metaphor of 15 minutes of fame really can be. We also know that Blogger is under ruthless attack from the Microsoft which has created 7 Million blogs (as of Friday) and it is growing by 100,000 every week. The only sad news is that many Microhard (sic) blogs tend to fade and die within a month or so. Anyway I hope you decide to take a walk down the Blogstreet Boulevarde (sic) - I can assure you that you can find something to suit whatever political mood you are in any day. Scared of Dragons? Try Eschaton as Atrios rules in #1 position Like conservative way of betting? Czech out the Soprano, also known as Instapundit, as Glen Reynolds is #2. How about daily political fights or rants on the state of the nation (huge US bias); since there is only MEdia Dragon and another antipodean Angry Bear on the loathed and loved Blogstreet ranking system. Turn to Daily Kos as he is at #5 (whole world wide web has him at #7). If you are a fan of War and Peace, czech out Baghdad Burning at #12 (or overall #35) Do not forget that the smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. The Smallest Minority with cold dead heands is #49 (or #575 on www)

The Blog, The Press, The Media: CEOs & Followers - Tail or Heads
The yogurt-maker's CEO Gary Hirshberg and Chief Blogger Christine Halverson on how the Web journals connect them to customers

Stonyfield Farm, 85%-owned by France's Groupe Danone, is the largest organic yogurt company in the world. Based in Londonderry, N.H., Stonyfield took to blogging in a big way last year -- and even hired its own blogger, Christine Halverson. A former journalist and almanac writer, she landed the job a year ago in March and now authors five blogs for Stonyfield, including Strong Women Daily News and The Bovine Bugle

The Hot Breath of the Web [BusinessWeek Blog: Blogspotting, Where the worlds of business, media and blogs collide ; Adam Groves says he's "sure Bill Hobbs is feeling his age and trying to keep up with all the grassroots political reporting that blogs are accomplishing now statewide for different demographics with different biases." If my dream for the Tennessee blogosphere was realized, there would be a slew of Tennessee bloggers reporting ]
• · Headlines from Australian political blogs Blogdiggers ; Capture: Tim Dunlop on the way to catch the waves The Surfer is Back
• · · You Know the Internet Has Come of Age... When the two highest paid CEOs in business are Barry Diller (IAC) and Terry Semel (Yahoo) Semel, Diller are top dogs; Vertical Engine Lures IT Marketers
• · · · On a worldwide basis, Google employed 3,482 full time employees as of March 31, 2005 GOOGle Earnings are In: Big. Big. Big. ; This is a purely snobby elitist bad-ass-A-list-bloggers exclusive event BEFORE the dinner which is open to all EXCLUSIVE: Defining the A-List at BloggerCon
• · · · · Our media environment is very noisy, abundant, even polluted. Columbia journalism professor Todd Gitlin calls it “media unlimited,” while writer David Shenk calls it “data smog” Too Much Media ; These folks that, that sat in front of me today are the most remarkable, efficient producers we've ever known on the face of the earth. And they produce and produce, and we need to figure out a way to get their product sold A Bumper Crop of Government-Produced News
• · · · · · The future of journalism Yesterday's papers ; You can't afford to miss this wave -- and even more important, you can't afford to do it wrong Six Tips for Corporate Bloggers ; I've just been reading the drafts of the four interviews that Shel Israel posted in the past few days ... Why Every Company Should Blog

When you listen to Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World"), which the Czech composer wrote just before he left New York in 1895, you can hear his awe at the open spaces of this grand new country - awe at our unlimited sky, endless grasslands and the energy of a people with the space to dream, think, plan and act. What if we are suffering from a failure of imagination?

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Virtual Watercooler Effect
The literary blogosphere is fighting back. Just when it looked like what you might call challenging fiction was ready to go on life support—at least, judging by what people like you and I have written regarding its decline at publishing houses and in terms of media coverage—along comes the Litblog Co-op, a cooperative effort among 20 literary blogs that intends to find strength in numbers to build support for their cause.

Are books a byproduct of culture or of entertainment? Both, of course. These two events—the creation of the Litblog Co-op and Judith Regan’s loudly proclaimed move—are two sides of the same coin. The culture buffs are always small in numbers, but on the intensity scale, they’re off the charts.

Bloggers attempt to tap a new group of viewers
Bravo and Brava, I say [This has been my lucky week ... Just two days ago, I was informed by e-mail that I had won a Honda from England. As if that's not exciting enough, yesterday I got another e-mail informing me that I had won the British National Lottery! Megabits and pieces ; via Boyton: The Role of the Author in Topical Blogs]
• · Oprah has decided to launch a series of hardback books spun off from stories from her magazine Oprah hardcover series to extend brand ; Everyone from my literary agent, to the publisher at St. Martin's Press, has been totally astonished by the display of a Keith Thomson's blog's sales power: Author's Blog on Lycos Drives Upcoming Book to Number One on Amazon Advanced Sales List ; Do you own up to your mistakes? To paraphrase an old song, it's not for everybody - just the sexy people Now What: A daily blog on choice issues
• · · The Monthly, a new magazine of ideas, is being started up by Morry Schwartz, the man who brought us the Quarterly Essay. Better yet, you can sign up for a free issue by going to their website before April 27 Last Day: The Monthly ; More variety does not, by itself, always encourage more demand: Tyranny of Choice The Economics of Variety ; I love movies. I love music. I love television shows--the good ones, anyway. I think all of these are very worthy art forms. However, they don't compare to books for me--though they all come close in certain ways Writing and storytelling in general is, I suppose, the oldest art form and it is, as far as I'm concerned, the truest art form
• · · · Vote: Be the Judge of the Amazon web-films ; What They Did For Love Welcome to the world of the novel-in-blogress, BEYOND YOU & ME, by W. S. Cross; It’s not an original idea for a story but, hey, there’s something to be said for sticking to the standards. Boy meets girl. On a train. She disappears into the urban anonymity of . . . oh, make it Tokyo Beauty and the nerd: a net tale ; Tokyo-Japan v. Beijing-China: When Chinese censors axed a novella about steamy sex in the People's Liberation Army, it was the timing of its appearance earlier this year that proved most crucial in effecting the ban. No room for sex in China's army
• · · · · Who's worse: people paying cops to enforce the law, or cops that won't enforce it unless you pay them extra in order to arrest vendors of pirated DVDs Police Payoff Probe ; When Death Comes to Suburbia: Original
• · · · · · NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates reports on the increased influence of Internet Web loggers -- known as "bloggers" in the book publishing world... What happened to Karen? Bloggers Influence the Publishing Industry ; The Elegant Variation Literary Web Log Live From Ucla - Los Angeles Times Book Awards