Saturday, December 31, 2005

Woke up this morning and I
Stared out the window and I
Searched for ugliness and I
Struggled for something to fotograf...
After all, Alexandra and Gabriella are
The Children of Love: Fathers and Daughters

The World Pyro Olympics, an annual competition for fireworks professionals, begins today at The Avenue Rose Bay where the center cannot hold ;-) Gunpowder, Jimi Hendrix and a big heart to usher in the New Year in Sydney. Seeing out the year (Peace and goodwill to all, except Foolish Dave) with Gabbie, Christopher, Lidia, Jacob and Alex feels like a box of chocolates I get to enjoy at just the right pace: one at a time, stretching the box out to last a whole Silvester evening, parcelling out the sweetness bite by bite World Pyro Olympics Elsewhere: No, not again: summer's great terror returns

How to Feel like Imrich: The usual mixed bag of existential klass, but mostly Lessons In Gratitude The secret to happiness is being grateful for everything

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: THE POTENTIAL POWER OF MANY: Most important books for understanding the future
Why books? Why not articles, or speeches, or university courses, or documentaries, or blogs, or iTalks …? The intent of the readings is to be as comprehensive as possible on each of the topics addressed, so book-length treatments seemed like the best approach.

The mission of the RAND Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition is ultimately to improve the human condition in the longer-range future. While there is no sure path to improving the future human condition, there is no shortage of books that address themselves to some aspect of improving that future.

After a particularly brilliant and spectacular speaking engagement in Canberra, Australia, in the summer of 1973, Professor Manning Clark, a distinguished Australian historian wrote to Chinua Achebe and pleaded: “I hope you come back and speak again here, because we need to lose the blinkers of our past. So come and help the young to grow up without the prejudices of their forefathers...”
50 Books for Thinking About the Future Human Condition [Two Christmass gifts for your non-Iranian friends ; Gooooood morning, Weblogistan! ]
• · Holidays are the days we recommit ourselves to our values Amitai Etzioni ; Speaking Personally ; Most in this depraved later Age think a woman learned and wise enough if she can distinguish her husband’s bed from another’s The forgotten literary canon ; Amid talk of "embezzlement" and "rape" they allege a "massive copyright infringement" of the type they say will do the authors of books irreparable harm, Google has done nothing like this to Cold River. Without Google Cold River would have drowned! On line and print make a marriage in heaven ... Google rocks, but only mainstream publishers! Hardly; A new chapter in the death of the book
• · · At a new theme park in El Alberto, Mexico (near Mexico City), wannabe migrants to the United States can test their survival skills at an obstacle course that Replicates the rigors migrants must endure while sneaking across the border ; Doing good at Fairfield Do you value people and appreciate their differences? Do YOU want to make a difference? ; Larger people are more cheerful than their thin peers CLICHES only turn into cliches because they're true
• · · · If 2005 tells us anything about the direction of culture in the Czech Republic, it's that inspiring art and performance have to be rooted in our own experience. Culture comes home in 2005 ; Time management is not the only issue here. There is often something sinister about the motives of those who press books onto others .... The urge to give "Elwood's Blues" to someone who already owns unread biographies of Franz Schubert and Miles Davis smacks of sadism Wish List: No More Books! ; I heard Lauren/ In a haunted doze/ Say: I know a secret dance/ Nobody knows.) Brokeback Mountain (some spoilers possible)
• · · · · The Gnostics were right, the world is made of shi. I made my life a work of art expressing this Judging the book by its BACK-cover ; As any good Jesuit could tell you, the power of myth can sometimes be more important, more materially helpful, than the cold, harsh glare of truth The Success Curse
• · · · · · Amazon Connect A Chance to Meet the Author Online ; A study finds fear of death may be a factor into who we vote for; The people who stand ready to trade their lives for ours are part of a tradition that goes back 400 years Firefighters ; Blogging's Naked Truth

Friday, December 30, 2005

Our teachers come to us in many guises. Mine came in Dr Russell Cope, Patricia Azarias, Dr James Cumes as well as Gabriella and Alexandra, my two amazing angels of the Velvet variety ... There might be many languages, but there is only one truth! These teachers teach us that there is never an ending without another beginning. Even death is a beginning of something new no matter what late Kerry Packer tried to tell us ... indeed, there is hell and there is heaven ;-)

Lets not raise our eyebrows at the challenges that face us.
Lets raise our spirit recognising that we will conquer every single one of them ...

Magic happens with an open heart just like the open love heart which will hover over the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Saturday night during the Silverster fever (New Year Eve Fever)
The greatest magic of all has been and always will be love, agape ...

Why do we write about the most painful experiences in our life? Are we wallowing in the misery? No. Writing helps expunge our grief and lets us heal. Our most powerful weapon is emotional honesty ...

All that mankind, poor or rich, famous or unknown, has done, thought or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books. Antipodean indies, Readings, push boundaries of independent voices: “We hear a lot these days about publishing becoming more and more risk-averse, the bean-counters taking over, and so on .... This is of course a massive generalisation and there are some great things coming out both here and overseas on a regular basis - perhaps the larger problem is our excessively concentrated media world, which narrows our chances of learning about new and exciting work!”
As one of the 80,000 or so readers of ‘My Surreal Vienna’ kindly noted, ‘Jozef Imrich has written the War and Peace of escapes. It lends new meaning to the word 'harrowing' and one sometimes shudders to read it. But deep down, beneath all the layers and the masks, there lives something unconquerable in Jozef's hurt spirit... And the writing, the writing, the writing.’
All in all, Jozef has created fresh, bold and edgy read. The first of its kind, and rather masterful ;-)

CODA: Support Independent Bookstores:
You can buy many of the books mentioned on Double Dragon Publishing from Powell's, the online branch of one of the West Coast's finest indie bookstores. Or you could find a local bookseller through BookSense if you prefer.
Cold River, the only thing that flows faster than the bullets... Powell's Fluid Memoir

For America's number one liberal blogger politics is like sports: It's all about winning. Everybody says I'm an asshole, and they're right, I am Kos Call: Stepping over bodies
Capitalize on fear-mongering A study finds fear of death may be a factor into who we vote for

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Top spy warns on bias
New ASIO director-general Paul O'Sullivan has warned his spy network not to allow politics to colour their intelligence-gathering and to avoid overstepping their new counter-terrorism powers.

As spy agencies around the world reel from accusations of political bias, Mr O'Sullivan has told the intelligence community judgments need to be unbiased and not influenced by political considerations. What the Government needs is balanced assessments that draw on both classified and unclassified information

via Antony: Asking the impossible [ Lance Collins criticises army cover up culture; Deep in a remote, fog-layered hollow near Sugar Grove, W.Va., hidden by fortress-like mountains, sits the country's largest eavesdropping bug. Located in a "radio quiet" zone, the station's large parabolic dishes secretly and silently sweep in millions of private telephone calls and e-mail messages an hour The Agency That Could Be Big Brother]
• · Why are things the way they are, politically speaking? U.S. Spying Is Much Wider, Some Suspect ; Density Is Destiny: On Politics and the Paperboy ; Human spirit in a straitjacket
• · · Hope gives us the capacity to see beyond the mundane and the inconsequential. It motivates us to contemplate preferred realities, by never defining the future on the basis of present circumstances. Hope teaches us to not allow our past to destroy our future. It is audacious and bold. Our present realities should never define our consciousness. But the consciousness of hope should shape and define our ultimate realities. Christmas Story Brings Us Gift Of Hope ; Your daddy wants so much to be at home with you tonight. He's lonesome for you and Mommy, and he hopes you are for him, every night. But more tonight than any other. From a dad in harm's way,
one Christmas long ago

• · · · The great paradox of any civilized democracy, is that the primary organization which protects its interests and promotes its values -- its military -- is fundamentally anti-democratic. American society as a whole recognizes neither rank nor privilege; the American military must do both. American society permits the individual to do as he or she pleases, more or less; the American military cannot. Sam Mendes's new film Jarhead trades on this seeming contradiction, though it cannot understand why it is necessary. That Jarhead is also a brilliant piece of anti-American propaganda compounds the problem. Jarhead ; Can an intelligent person be patriotic? Or is national loyalty a base emotion, fit only for the tabloid-reading masses? The story of Europe is very largely a German story Patriotism is back in intellectual fashion ; Constituting Israel
• · · · · Why the recent riots in Australia should surprise no one On the Cronulla beach ; Cronulla: finger pointing not the answer ; Cronulla Beach riots: making waves for the Asia Pacific region
• · · · · · Benjamin Powell: We need not fear that immigrants will burden our economy, take more jobs than they create, or depress our wages. Quite the contrary, immigration brings economic benefits, so it should not be artificially limited. The Pseudo Economic Problems of Immigration ; Globalization Rocks, but African Leaders Fail to Understand It

Thursday, December 29, 2005

We all try not to think about it. We try as hard as we can not to think about how we could better use those hundreds and hundreds of hours spent traveling to and from work every year, because it just leads to frustration Being without thinking is heavenly
According to Liz, there needs to be a reason to drink Luna Park or Wonderland Coffee ;-)

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Why are Media Dragons not sexy? Why? Why? The questions never end
2005's 10 Sexiest Geeks

Some people say the term "sexy geek" is an oxymoron. Here at Wired News, we say it's redundant. With so many accomplished and delectable nerd types to choose from, picking 10 of the sexiest geeks of 2005 was no easy task. But after much deliberation, here, in alphabetical order (don't even ask us to rank them!), are the musicians, bloggers and otherwise geek-o-licious Wired News sexiest geeks of 2005.

The "mosaic" of wonderful stories [Violet Blue, for writing her scrumptious blog tiny nibbles; for producing one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes I'm Violet Blue -- hardworking sex writer, editor, adult book and video reviewer and machine artist; A tomato is a botanical fruit, but scientifically it’s still a vegetable Jessa Crispin Explains What Your End-of-the-Year List Says About You ; The Winner of the 2005 Best Blog Awards goes to the man with the talent, the man with the vision, the man who writes his Talentism And The Winner Is ... ]
• · Money talks. It writes, too. How embarrassing: opinions for sale, like cheeseburgers Pundit Payola ; Japan is a rich country, but at the moment it's not a country for human beings Is this a Human Country?
• · · Things get worse slowly. People adjust Why the Internet is Broken ; Librarians, lawyers, legislators and thinkers Discuss the rights and wrongs of Google; Celebrities, iPods and natural disasters topped online interest in the year-end summary of requests on search engine Google - What pushed our Dragon buttons Biggest news of the year: Jozef Imrich ;-)
• · · · What makes this medium so special? What keeps us coming back to it each day? Website publishers and editors respond. 'Why do I love online publishing?' ; Free cafeteria food, annual ski trips to the Sierra and free laundry are just some of the fringe benefits of working at Google. Getting hired is the trick How Google woos the best and brightest
• · · · · Mass production and modern communications bring out the collector in all of us - Interest in the rare and exotic survives To have and to hold ; “That’s how you become great, man. You hang your balls out there.” —Kinko's Guy, Jerry Maguire Best of Babelogs
• · · · · · In this hi-tech world of i-Pods and computers, the simple pencil refuses to be erased. Pencil pushers unite! ; Was great. He was an innovator. He was a trailblazer, and the way he showed social commentary in his humor opened up a universe for other comics to follow in his footsteps. Stargazing

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Plains were covered with grass trees and aborigines went there to collect the resin, used in spear-making. There were campsites at Ham's beach because of the good fishing and availability of a fine-grained quarzite for making stone implements. In later years, after the turn of the century, a number of part-aborigines lived between Swansea and Caves Beach along the old rail line. Situated on the picturesque coastline of the Hunter vinyards
Life's a Beach @ Caves Beach: Surfing Godfather Bursting into Soprano ;-) caves beach 3
caves beach

Without risk there is no faith, and the greater the risk the greater the faith.
—Sören Kierkegaard

As a father of two daughters of the Velvet Revolution I object to this finding ;-) Parents of daughters are more likely to be left-wing, whatever the feminists claim Voting and the feminine mystique

It has been four months since Bob Carr departed from public office as Premier of New South Wales. It was tempting in the immediate wake of his farewell to speculate whether Carr’s retirement might only be a temporary break before a draft into the federal Labor leadership. But he has remained in the public eye, participating in debates on the environment, national security, and foreign affairs. Bob Carr: Ethos was more important than ideology

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: No crystal ball: This was the year of the war
This was true of both nonfiction and fiction. For every The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq and Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq -- to name a couple of the titles on our list of the best books of 2005 -- there was a Shalimar the Clown and The March (to name two more).

We can now imagine General Sherman, like an Iraqi villager, just minding his own business, when along comes Doctorow in a gleaming new F-16 and just blows his little house down. How depressed one has to be to resurrect Carthage, Flaubert said after resurrecting Carthage during the Second Empire; but also how hungry, how greedy, how large.

New Revelations of the Americas [Warning - Don't open Pandora's box ... Ten Political Christmas Wishes ; A philosopher who wrote with passionate eloquence about the heart and the human condition. Two centuries on, and Rousseau still provokes and maddens. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: - Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains; How bitterly ironic was it that the U.S. military ultimately acknowledged that it used the very same chemical weapon (white phosphorous) on civilians during the November, 2004 attack on Fallujah The Top 10 Bitterest Ironies of 2005 ]
• · Power to the People: Matthew Cookson uncovers John Lennon's radical past 25 years after his death - John Lennon was murdered in New York 25 years ago. This year has seen a slew of articles about the former Beatle's life. One key aspect that few of the media remembrances touch upon is Lennon's radical politics, but these were integral to his music, particularly in the later Beatles years and after Double Fantasy of Working Class Hero ; Economic liberties can not be separated from civil liberties. If a king or emperor could arrest or detain or search or torture anyone for whatever reason, there was nothing to stop him from taking private property, interfering in private contracts, commandeering private resources Business and the Rule of Law ; The Release of 'Dr Anthrax'
• · · Supreme Court opens door for swingers clubs ; An Insidious Culture of Surveillance = It always starts small, almost logically. Is US Becoming a Police State?
• · · · The incoming tax commissioner, Michael D'Ascenzo, has announced his arrival with a broad crackdown on European tax haven rorts, after his investigations revealed offshore tax evasion is much more widespread than feared Tax chief to target havens; While by no means new, it appears that more states are planning to get back at tax evaders by putting their names on the web Latest tax tool: 'Internet shaming' ; The federal government is once again under pressure to cut taxes Tax comparisons—Australia and selected countries
• · · · · New York City Housing Tax Breaks ; Ziva Branstetter of the Tulsa World used state documents and records to show that “at least 30 children have died from abuse and neglect in Oklahoma in recent years, despite the fact that the state had previous reports they were being abused or neglected or had requests to check on them.”Failed by the System
• · · · · · Bush Fundraiser Benefits ; Man makes war not merely against oppression but also to oppress Why poverty is the greatest threat to democracy ; Although the overwhelming majority of people are honest, fair and trustworthy, the average person simply can't be put into a position in which he has great authority and the power to act in complete secrec When Power Corrupts

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

We were digitally challenged at nanny June on Christmas Day, hopefully Rob will email us jpg files from Perth. However, at 9 pm Nikon captured the Christmas mood at Tamarama where 8 week old Molly Blue Terrier ruled the night ;-)
Blue, Azure, Sea DSCN1097
Black, Irish, Molly holly
Hope gives us the capacity to see beyond the mundane and the inconsequential. It motivates us to contemplate preferred realities, by never defining the future on the basis of present circumstances. Hope teaches us to not allow our past to destroy our future. It is audacious and bold. Our present realities should never define our consciousness. But the consciousness of hope should shape and define our ultimate realities. Christmas Story Brings Us Gift Of Hope

How old is my heart, how old, how old is my heart,
and did I ever go forth with song when the morn was new?
I seem to have trod on many ways: I seem to have left
I know not how many homes; and to leave each
was still to leave a portion of mine own heart,
of my old heart whose life I had spent to make that home
and all I had was regret, and a memory.
So I sit and muse in this wayside habour and wait
till I hear the gathering cry of the ancient winds and again
I must up and out and leave the embers of the hearth
to crumble silently into white ash and dust,
and see the road stretch bare and pale before me: again
my garment and my house shall be the enveloping winds
and my heart be fill'd wholly with their old pitiless cry.
-Christopher Brennan

Bondi Muse waves5
Tamarama Breeze waves4

Internet book sales are a threat, but also an opportunity. "People look up the books on the net and come into our shop and order it. People just love to come in and feel and smell the books: The things that happen to writers are either a stumbling block or a stepping stone. Turning over a new leaf

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Not Wrong Just Different: My Soul just returned unto Sydney
You Know You're From Sydney When...

You make over $100,000 AU and still can't afford a house. You never bother looking at the train timetable because you know the drivers have never seen it. You are genuinely surprised when you meet someone who was actually born in Sydney (but then, they are Swiss/Thai/Brazilian).

Man is the only animal with the unique ability to generate surplus. As Russell put it in The Impulse to Power: Between man and other animals... One of the chief emotional differences is that some human desires, unlike those of animals, are essentially boundless and incapable of complete satisfaction... The activities of animals, with few exceptions, are inspired by the primary needs of survival and reproduction, and do not exceed what these needs make imperative. With men, the matter is different
What a bunch of malarkey [A place where leaves crackle after dark and the faint sound of a banjo draws up your pucker strings Unwonderful People are Strange; When I first met Cold River (I gave him this nickname because he has a bert lahr/ned beatty skittishness) When a movie was discussed, he would holler, "the book was better." Yep, one of those... Cold River was a labeler. To him, everything had a term ; One needs to be higher on the ladder of evolution to develop the ability and the desire to dissemble, be ambitious (sometimes inordinately), over-reach (Icarus may be the archetype but he isn’t the only one), accumulate power and wealth, create Fabergé eggs and heavenly music, write, paint, sculpture, strive for self-recognition to the point of mortal combat (Hegel’s First Man), even seek immortality. The coloniser was the serpent who came and got them banished from Eden ]
• · The Reasons for Us Being HereSex sells, and with the write stuff, wins awards ; The Rogue likes to observe creative space which seems to fall into an area between rational thought and total immersion, a sort of lucid interactive place Kaboom!
• · · Psychologists at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Open University found that professional artists and poets have about twice as many sexual partners as other people... The great objective is to establish an exotic mood :-P Creative people have more sex ; This is what you should try for. An attempt upon a crowned head or on a president is sensational enough in a way, but not so much as it used to be The Secret Agent; Topless sandals - also called "down unders"
• · · · Frank Gardiner was just a common thief. Ben Hall's career changed the nature of bushranging. He was the first to bail up a bank. The first to burn a storekeeper's ledgers (so debts of customers were wiped out). The first to burn a squatter's farm. He was the first to bail up two towns - Bathurst and Canowindra, where he held his famous party which Ned Kelly copied at Glenrowan the day he died. "They were the actions of a man trying to upset a system which had upset him. Ben wasn't a revolutionary. He was a criminal. But he wanted to change the balance of power in the area where he lived Hall lived up to his proud boast to police three years before: You'll never take me alive Getting away with Antipodean murder; The Cold River: Getting away with Californian murder
• · · · · Radio National books in Ramona ; All life is a competition. Hitting the line on the tennis court. Getting promoted in the office. Edging for position at the bus stop. Beating your daughter to the bathroom door!! L’Espresso magazine ; The cage shook: nothing is taboo in advertising
• · · · · · Songfacts is a searchable database of song information compiled by radio professionals, music enthusiasts, and visitors to this web site Songfacts ; Chronic shortage of donors puts IVF clinics in jeopardy

Monday, December 26, 2005

Antipodean media dragon Kerry Packer has died Australia's richest man, Kerry Packer, dies, dead at 68

Eric Beecher of Crikey:
As of today, the era of the bombastic, bullying, bludgeoning Australian media baron is almost over. Although Rupert Murdoch still remains, he's no longer an Australian and is ensconced in the US preoccupied with issues of control of his global empire. Meanwhile, the Fairfax dynasty has drifted apart and all the other remaining media owners, like Kerry Stokes, are essentially businessmen rather than influence brokers ... He knew everything that was going on in his business, he loved television to the point of obsession, he dealt with his businesses on a day to day basis even up to Christmas Eve

Remember me? Not only am I not dead yet, but I’m back in paperback :-) Needless to say, there's plenty more where that came from. See for yourself—buy a copy of Cold River and email me your response at One last thing: Not that I want to spark the green-eyed glance of envy, but sunny blue Tamarama and Bondi are the places to spend these holidays, in my personal, first-hand, and immediate experience ...

Book lovers may not be the most heroic members of the romantic world, but at least, we tell ourselves, we are deep, we are discerning. Well, I have news for you from publishing’s bottom line: we bespectacled creatures of the late-night night light are, frankly, a bit slutty ... Every movie needs buzz even though the world is getting smaller and smaller and much more than ever is left to the imagination ... This Cover Will Save Your Life: Cool Sexual Positions "They" Don't Want You to Know About?

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: You can tell a book by its cover
Apparently they do matter -- a lot. In The Times Helen Rumbelow finds You can tell a book by its cover:

The jacket of a new novel has just seconds to seduce us into a purchase. Ah, says our critic, so that’s why I see Corelli lookalikes all over the shop ... All the research shows that consumers are very, very influenced by the covers, not necessarily to buy a book, but to pick it up - Joanna Prior, publicity and marketing director at Penguin, says

• I know some people out there are thinking, Why is this boy selecting a book with underwater cover? Standing Out [Stephen King and the Continuation of the Indie Power Grab Bestselling authors who are choosing to publish with independent presses ; In from the Cold ; Swept out of the valley night by an inspire oneiric wind, I stood at the edge of a road under a clear pure-gold sky, in an extraordinary mountainous land Without looking ]
• · A work of art has to circulate through a sub-economy of exchange operated by a large and growing class of middlemen: publishers, curators, producers, publicists, philanthropists, foundation officers, critics, professors, and so on ... The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value Literature’s global economy ; The magician Sure, it's simple, writing for kids. Just as simple as bringing them up
• · · The riches of Israeli literature ; You see, the real reason I became a communist was to impress girls. Back then, all the pretty ones were revolutionaries. One of the things that's gone wrong for the Left is that their girls just aren't cute any more. Let's put it this way. When I'm writing, I spend a lot of time thinking, 'My, doesn't the top of the fridge look dirty'. It takes for ever. People think writing is easy, but just ask them to sit down and write a thank you note to their aunt, or something, and they turn purple. I like thinking about writing. I like having written. But actually sitting down and doing it… P.J. O'Rourke tortured
• · · · You don't need to bring me anything this year--2005 has been good to me - thank you for that. This year, I am writing on behalf of some of my friends and students and any other excellent writers out there who are beginning to lose faith. I think many of them don't believe in you any more. Rejection after rejection can be a bitter pill to swallow. I know. I've been there. What I'm asking this year is that you give the gift of hope to those who are so deserving of it. A byline in a literary journal here. A bite from an agent there. An offer from a publisher for those wonderful books that haven't found homes yet. Even a detailed and encouraging rejection letter Three Writers Write to Book Biz Santa ; The Beatles Christmas Recordings ; Academics point to content errors in the ongoing Book program, but the search giant says fixes are coming Google's Great Works in Progress
• · · · · I am in Arizona this week, hanging out with my sister's baby and reading some Joseph Heller. If you're using blogs as an excuse not to talk to your family this week, I'm sorry you won't have more time to kill with Bookslut. Perhaps you could sneak out and go see a movie? The Book Standard reviews the Golden Globe nominees for Book-to-film adaptation ; She revealed: It sounds so pretentious but it's one of my favourite things. I've got this group of friends who are quite Bohemian and we get drunk, get the poetry books out and read Sienna Miller and the drunk poetry thing ; They're so much easier to give than they are to receive. They're so much more gratifying to gift givers than they are to recipients. Pleasing Giver and, at Times, Recipient, Too
• · · · · · Steamy? How Sexy Are You?; The New Single Woman Living single ; When Americans smile, we merely employ the zygomatic major, a facial muscle that stretches the corners of our lips up, showing our upper teeth. But when the English smile, he claims, they use both the zygomatic major and the risorius, a muscle that pulls the lips sideways, showing their lower teeth, too. Galvanic smile ; The Five Best First Sentences

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year

Nothing hurts more than to give Mutually Inclusive PR crystal balls away for free The growing list of blogging predictions for 2006
Ponderings of the ins and outs of blog snobbery has been a focal point over the last few weeks for a number of Aussie bloggers. Mike Steketee or Ross Coulthart or Mark Riley ... vs Dunlop or Quiggin or Gianna Blog snobs vs journalism snobs

**Season's Greetings** Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Ss the size, scope and influence of weblogs continue to proliferate, business managers are faced with an increasingly important question: how to make your voice heard above the crowd?

One method being used to capitalize on the opportunity presented is through employee blogs.

The rise and rise of corporate blogs & News With Attitude [“Mr Harrison, I am going to sleep now and I don’t want you to be here when I wake up.” The evils of blawging ; In the “intellectual property” game, ultimately everyone’s a loser Copyfighting Crikey?; Do bloggers have any power? ; .com is no longer a dreamy stuff now, it is serious. The internet is now part of the 'life'. Earlier in the web 1.0 days internet was like a big library and the interactions were anonymous Rocks!!! ]
• · Do Travel Search Engines Deliver?; Tom Peters blogged about Coach Leach Goes Deep, Very Deep. Peters likens Leach's strategy to the thesis of Blue Ocean Strategy authors Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne: Value innovation is about making the competition irrelevant by creating uncontested market space. We argue that beating the competition within the confines of the existing industry is not the way to create profitable growth. Going Deep ; On Opinion Page, a Lobby's Hand Is Often Unseen A stitch in time...
• · · Blogs ads work because blogs serve as watering holes for niche influencers and opinion-makers whose loyal and impassioned readers are also smart, savvy consumers Like everyone else, blog readers love exclusives ;
• · · · DIY-blog-advertising ; Blog Match ; Internet dating is dangerous If Oedipus Tried Online Dating...
• · · · · Word of mouth is the chief influencer when it comes to purchase decisions, no matter the age group, according to a new study The most influential media ; The Why is Not a River in China
• · · · · · K.Paul Mallasch has decided to drop the old J-Log blog and start a new one: The premise: Journalism is worth saving. I should hope so. New journalism blog; Terry Heaton, over at TV News in a Postmodern World, has a great piece (2006: The Unbundled Awakening) on the promise of good things in 2006 The Unbundled Awakening ; Reasons for the Cronulla Beach riots on the weekend have fuelled pages of editorial in Australian and increasingly international newspapers, the blogosphere too Did the media inflame Aussie race riots

Saturday, December 24, 2005

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.
- Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

To Those Who Appreciate the Art of Giving Cold River does not Mind Sand in the Spine
While much is left to the imagination, I console myself with knowing that everyone’s first book is autobiographical to some extent. The escape story across the Iron Curtain was a bit like constipation, it had to come out in the end ... When I'm crying, as much as when I'm laughing, I feel completely alive. It works for me. As a writer, the test of my best work is whether it does more than simply stimulate thought -- it must also provoke emotion. Memoirs can mine psychology in a way that films can not. Films are all about surface and speed. Books are all about depth and taking one's time swimming in the deep end of emotions. What other art form allows you to live inside another person's mind—a theater of other people's minds—for days or even weeks on end?
The experience of writing serious non-fiction is comparable to a shamanic journey. We must be willing to let go of our attachment to our everyday lives and concerns and make the solitary pilgrimage into the deepest reaches of our psyches to explore a strange and often frightening landscape. We return changed, blessed and burdened with our most profound wisdom and the need to communicate it. The attempt to shoehorn such an emotionally and spiritually engaging venture into a twenty-first century Western schedule can result in frustration, inhibition, and spectacular rejections ... Two zillion books a year are published, of which top one hundred are given the Big Rush, and all the rest tend to drown without a trace ... They say it's OK to charm, to cajole, to manipulate, to sell your soul if need be. But the most important thing is caring enough to get the story right and tell it well! Thank you for reading ...

Most of us don't like risk and uncertainty. That's too bad, because there's no shortage of either ... Next year will be bigger than ever. Take it easy, run a risk, have fun, go for it! 2005’s been a huge year for Cold River! Skipped the Coldest River the first time around? Here comes your second chance! If great escapes are all about redemption, isn't it kind of fitting this book gets a second chance? Here is a book peppered with gripping account of escape just out in paperback. A staggering achievement, especially considering this was a debut memoir. Cold River created a stark and painful record of what happens to families when death moves in. And showing that he's unafraid to tackle big themes and larger questions, Jozef links to links about writing for posterity. Remember: great books don't only get better with age. They get less expensive. So dive right in as every day in the deep end of life is a good day... The Cold River Comes in From the Cold: Dissent Protects Democracy

Cold River: Fluid Memoir

Gut-wrenching memoir never forgets that cold war was fought by human beings

Sink or Swim: If It Were All So Simple

Iron Curtain Brought to Book: This Book Will Save Your Life

Cold River: Telling tales against the tide

I think of you with every breath I take
And every breath becomes a sigh,
Not a sign of despair
But a sign that I care for you.
I hear your name with every breath I take,
On every breeze that wanders by,
And your name is a song
I'll remember the long years through.
Even though I walk alone you guide me.
In the darkness you light my way,
And all the while inside me
Love seems to say, someday, someday.
And when I sleep you keep my heart awake,
But when I wake from dreams divine,
Every breath that I take
Is a prayer that I'll make you mine.
Leo Robin,
I find it odd what a presence you've become in my life; I didn't think it was possible to care so much, to be so saddened by, to fear the loss of a person who caused you so much pain With Every Breath I Take (music by Ralph Rainger)

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Falling Down
Robert Scoble connection and Media Dragon go a long way back and I therefore I must agree with the sentiment that his wife is Indeed - the best blogger in the family

Seems like we fall so many times in our lives. I have fallen plenty of times, but I have always been able to dust myself off and walk away. Most of the time, there was a helping hand reaching out to me offering to help me up. Some believe we are here on earth because we fell from God’s grace; we might fall for the wrong person; we sometimes fall on the floor and hurt ourselves; other times things fall through; sometimes we fall apart and other times we fall in love.
I haven’t heard anything in the news about a suicide attempt near Bellevue, and I hope it was just our morbid imagination. I can’t get the stranded navy blue sweater by the sidewalk and the image of a man falling down to his death out of my mind though. Hope that through the holidays, if you are going to fall, you have some one near you to help pick you up, but if you get to choose, pick falling in love over falling apart.

This Blog Will Save Your Life [Dan Gillmor: Coming Soon: Center for Citizen Media ; Don't want to miss out on the latest buzz in politics? Start each day at wonk central: The Post Politics Hour Is WP staff regrouping after being hammered by bloggers? ]
• · Impeachment Talk at Georgetown Salon ; Blog Construction–What’s Your Function? ; Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media Guardians of Power
• · · McClellan has the right temperament to be a punching bag ; Here's looking forward to a great year in 2006. Happy reading! End of the Year Recap ; New Yorker International Fiction Issue
• · · · John Quiggin matters ; A dark matter of deficits; Cash for comment in the US
• · · · · Surfer Tim Dunlop ; Paddling
• · · · · · There was a void between the daily newspaper stories and the speed of the Internet Blogger in the Newsroom ; What they’re getting to now is a dissection of the most dangerous assumption being made — most surprisingly in the Washington Post newsroom — that if you criticize someone in power on one side, you must be on the other side, if the White House complains about you, then you must be liberal. Or to put it more simply: You’re either for them or against them Dan Froomkin on Attitude in White House Briefing; Washington Post chairman Don Graham: I have come to believe that we will be able to tell you about certain subjects better on the Internet than we will be able to in print Cultural differences between the two newsrooms ; Trust me, if Froomkin just called himself Dan Freakin' Froomkin and put his column right next to George Will's, everything would be okay Dissent Protects Democracy

CODA: Ross Dawson, CEO, Advanced Human Technologies featured in a recent issue of BRW on Blogging Power: People say ‘I haven’t got time to read blogs’, but it is the exact opposite of the truth. Blogs are a very efficient way of filtering information. They are not an additional source of information, they consolidate information.’

Friday, December 23, 2005

The highest wisdom is kindness.
-The Talmud

We all share in a shattering duality—and by this I don't mean that soggy, superficial split that one so often sees: the kind of thing, for example, where the gangster sobs uncontrollably at an old Shirley Temple movie. I mean the fundamental schism that Newman referred to when he spoke of man being forever involved in the consequences of some 'terrible, aboriginal calamity'; every day in every man there is this warfare of the parts. And while all this results in meanness and bitterness and savagery enough, God knows, and while only a fool can look around him and smile serenely in unwatered optimism, nevertheless the wonder of it all is to me the frequency with which kindness, the essential goodness of man does break through, and as one who has received his full measure of that goodness, I can say that for me, at least, it is in the long succession of these small, redemptive instants, just as much as in the magnificence of heroes, that the meaning and the glory of man is revealed....
- Edwin O'Connor, The Edge of Sadness

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Looking for a Cause: Liquid Marketing
The model used to be, you developed a product, froze it and shipped it and then immediately began work on the next product version. Today the model is, build it, ship it, improve it, ship it, Or better yet, build it, ship it and let your customers improve it on their own. The company that can learn to build, listen, learn, integrate the fastest will have a sustaining advantage over their competitors.

Another piece of insight that came out of the Doc Searls meeting last week was that “Nothing is ever finished”. Everything is a work in progress. The rule applies to software code, as described in the open source model. It applies to blogs, the conversation on the Internet never ends and it applies to product development. The model used to be, you developed a product, froze it and shipped it and then immediately began work on the next product version. Today the model is, build it, ship it, improve it, ship it, … Or better yet, build it, ship it and let your customers improve it on their own. The company that can learn to build, listen, learn, integrate the fastest will have a sustaining advantage over their competitors.

Marketers will come to understand that the story now needs to be liquid [Now that luxury has gone mass market, how are the super-rich to flaunt their wealth? Inconspicuous consumption ; An economist finds that going to church is more than its own reward Wealth from worship ]
• · Russian Dolls Sexist, Moi!; Men with the best dance moves have the most sex appeal It's true, dancing does lead to sex
• · · Devastating storms, a new pope, a White House scandal and the 2,000th U.S. death in Iraq. A look back in cartoons and quotes: Quotes Of The Year and lists for 2005 ; Ian Roberts: If you’re not happy with yourself, believe me, someone else can’t make you happy Marketing and creativity finally intersect
• · · · The year's films were exhilarating, distinctive and sometimes unsettling - and cinemas themselves were in the news The good, the bad and the ugly; Teach, Don't Preach, the Bible
• · · · · Many on the Left, including professed Marxists, believe literature and art are irrelevant to class struggle and the emancipation of the working clas Why Marx Matters To Artists ; Interview with Arthur Danto
• · · · · · If we could retire for good one old expression from the Culture Wars, I’d like to nominate “the literary canon.” Aiming the Can(n)on ; Why do humans prefer to have sex in privacy?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Be careful, it's my heart,
It's not my watch you're holding, it's my heart.
It's not the note I sent you that you quickly burned,
It's not the book I lent you that you never returned.
Remember, it's my heart,
The heart with which so willingly I part.
It's yours to take, to keep or break,
But please, before you start,
Be careful, it's my heart.
-Irving Berlin, “Be Careful, It’s My Heart” (music by Berlin, courtesy of Marc Myers)
Maybe we are crazy. Maybe we will change the world: You are different. So is Cold River
Sink or Swim: If It Were All So Simple

Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more

Helen at Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony owes her ‘all consuming hobby’ - blogging - largely to Margo Kingston of Webdiary

Christmas is anti-war. It is anti-slavery and anti-exploitation. Christmas I dare to bubble is at root against domination, against class, against patriarchy and against prejudice. It is an ancient struggle against poverty and disease; against women dying in childbirth and against people losing their loved ones to tragedy. It is, in ritual, a universal cry for the finest features of the human spirit; for our wildest hopes and dreams; the deepest aspirations of life. It is for democracy and liberty, for universal health care and education, for old forests and clean waterways, for romance and music, for beaches, good company and cold beer. Solstice for all: A Conspiracy of Love

The Blog, The Press, The Media: What Are the Blogs Saying About Me?
Thanks to blog search engines like Technorati, IceRocket and Feedster, writers have easy access to bloggers' reactions

Almost every author I know with a new book does it - the embarrassing, nearly irresistible, ritualistic dip into Internet-assisted narcissism. I know I do. Prodded by a combination of curiosity and dread, I'll scour the Web not just to ascertain sales (impossible) or check out the press coverage, but to get a sense of what ordinary readers are saying about my book when they think I'm not listening.

Blogs are like reports from a far-flung world [Through his webcam, a boy joins a sordid online world Fascination with cyberspace ]
• · The ink isn't dry yet on tomorrow's NY Times, but billionaire blogger Mark Cuban has already posted a reponse on his weblog to a piece critical (or, at least, dubious) of him in the business section of the Times Learning from Mark Cuban ; What’s good for General Motors... was a phrase once used to vilify G.M.’s head. Now Google’s founders buy a big jet and it’s “good for the world.” Oh, is it? Breaking Up With Google
• · · Unanchored What does America want from its TV journalists?
• · · · One of the really cool things about blogs is that very smart, knowledgeable people can offer up their opinions on topics of the moment. In this case, it's Orin Kerr and Daniel Solove offering up extended legal analyses of the wiretaps. Beyond His Power
• · · · · Virtual Quixotes: as people spend more time immersed in the worlds of video games, they may lose touch with reality... Worlds without end

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Criminals caused the Cronulla riots, not failed multiculturalism Critics on the wrong track over racism

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Minimize Secrecy, Maximize Knowledge
A few types of corporate information need to be kept confidential. But keep the secrets to a minimum, urges Stever Robbins. Companies need to spread knowledge to achieve greatness.

How open should executives and all managers be when it comes to confidentiality? Some things, like employee pay or impending layoffs must remain confidential. But what about company strategy and finances? Doesn’t it weaken the position of managers to share that information too widely?
People have lots of reasons for hoarding information, mostly bad ones. But sometimes it’s good to keep quiet. After all, you want information to get where it’s needed, in a way that serves everyone involved.
Information was also scarce, and that made it valuable. Power was gained by hoarding information and being shrouded in mystery. That was then, this is now. Hoarding information used to be a show of power, now it’s just annoying. The bottleneck has moved, and with it, the dynamics of who wins and who loses.

Let go of information-as-power, and instead embrace information-as-lifeblood [Even as the fires smoldered in France's working-class suburbs and paramilitary police officers patrolled Paris to guard against attacks by angry minority youths last month, dozens of young men and women dressed in elaborate, old-fashioned parade uniforms marched down the Champs-Élysées to commemorate Armistice Day Elite schools block the poor's path to power ]
• · The Messiah was a Marxist ; An essay on when self-immolation is a rational choice History shows us that the broad electorate can be as bellicose as the most bloodthirsty tyrant
• · · In October 1997, as the political philosopher Isaiah Berlin lay on his deathbed in Oxford, he received a short note from Britain's new prime minister. What intrigued Tony Blair was Berlin's celebrated distinction between two kinds of liberty - between the simple "negative" liberty of the individual to be free from external interference or coercion, and the "positive" liberty to take control of one's life and to play an active role in one's community Negative v positive liberty ; Canada-U.S. relations have taken centre stage this election. Is it a lovers' quarrel or something more serious? The politics of Bush-bashing
• · · · If you're a graduate student of political theory, check out The ABD Club blog
• · · · · Like cherry blossoms that symbolize springtime and renewal in Japan, signs of an end to the nation's 15-year economic slump are beginning to emerge Japan, this time, the recovery seems for real ; The most stupid thing about the Australian tax system is that we can deduct passive investment losses from other income, while small business people have to quarantine start-up losses from new businesses that actually employ people and can't deduct them as they go. Nerve needed to fix tax idiocies
• · · · · · Michael Carmody Leading by example Leadership matters; David Uren: Tax debate hotting up

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A boy washed his hands and face
every day with pleasure and grin
until his ears grew very big
and his skin became very thin.
- Do you believe me?
His mother shouted: "That's enough!"
But, he had extremely strong will;
He washed his face every day
until he suddenly became ill.
- Do you believe me?
An old, strict doctore came
and said:
- It's not a game--
he and water have to sever.
I forbid him to wash his face ever!
- Do you believe me?
Duan Radovi

We brushed hands in the British Library, then again in the London Review Bookshop, reaching for Cold River . . . DO YOU BELIEVE ME

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: You Were My Death
A moment ago sometime in October dusk began to spread its grammar across the Sydney Harbour. It embraces the region of the existential WHY? Why do loyalty and love turn into a diminished bubble? Crowds of people, like a rivers, flowing in Sydney Harbour Bridge ...

If I would fly to New York, I wouldn't do it by my own Learjet, but probably by some chartered flight (payable by six post-dated Zagrebacka banka checks), a ten days round trip. Ten days is enough time for an agile man to find some vantage points in an alien town. The first thing to do is try to sell the return ticket, paint the town red, and after that, make sure that you are left with at least a quarter. Why? To enter a phone booth and call Mile Rupcic in New York. Our man would surely find me a job to start.
In two or three months, I would earn some dough, quit the job, and be ready to start looking for a chick... Man has one mind, not two – well, one for home, and another for the market.

• Our honeymoon is over soon. We still get along reasonably well. I read, but I don't study. In fact, I write a novel about New York... With Changing Key [Region where my auntie Zofka married and gave birth to four Slav French offsprings Champagne: It's the bubbles, baby ; Anthony Powell showed us a social system that was cruel, but could also create elaborate patterns of beauty, charm, and power. His was a poetry of life itself... Anthony Powell's Century ]
• · 'It no longer feels a great injustice that I have to die' ; I have always dreamt of a white wedding ... Plural marriage is waiting in the wings Here Come the Brides ; No Strings Attached I’m here for a shag, of course! Women discover lesbian pleasures but say no to relationships
• · · Selfhood, of course, is the oxygen of autobiography, never more so than in its depictions of childhood Sexual glutton and a slut for selfhood; Lonely-hearts ads in the London Review of Books have a cult following. So when the journal advertised its singles night, the author felt compelled to attend Off the shelf
• · · · It may seem like an innocuous wardrobe staple, but the humble T-shirt has a very dodgy history. Time to get shirty Down to a T ; There are oases of comedy, Woody Allen tells Emma Brockes, but when it's all over, the news is bad Emma Brockes interview with Woody Allen
• · · · · From sperm to zygote to fetus to baby, isn't it time we brought some precision to the language of the reproductive rights debate? The Pro-Life Continuum; Case for storytelling,
• · · · · · Mass culture is dead. Dazed by cable, bled dry by the web, eaten by iPods. Culture, you see, is being boutiqued... Mass media's last blast ; The university was transformed by the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It gave us casual, pleasure-seeking sex, free of family, even free of affection. It’s Charlotte Simmons Love in the Age of Neuroscience

Monday, December 19, 2005

In our swimming pool at dawn / I counted eight dead cockroaches / The man from the village who cleans it / Said he couldn’t come until eleven / And I felt quite sick
– Lady Vittoria de Selby, Rhapsody in Rosé (Faber): has anyone ever captured the fragile condition of the human spirit at the start of our dark new century quite so movingly as this?

Most of us don't like risk and uncertainty. That's too bad, because there's no shortage of either. The most significant thing about The Cold River is the fact that it could be written at all ... So dive right in Paperback Edition ~ 1554043115 ~ Cold River: Fluid Memoir

I will go further to say that individuals ought to enjoy as much freedom as possible and government as little power as possible Cold River: Telling tales against the tide

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Book Review: Who Critiques Whom - and Why?
The internet seem like every drunken conversation come to life ... Readers - and authors - deserve a process that is as fair as possible in both reality and perception. What's fair, however, is particularly challenging in the world of the book section ...

When The New York Times Book Review published its list of "100 Notable Books of the Year" earlier this month, calculations from several readers and bloggers soon turned up in my in-box. Of the 61 nonfiction books on the list, they noted, six were by Times staffers - enough to pique my interest in the overall book-review process at the paper. The Cold War Comes in From the Cold

• Some writers feel they never authored a book if The Times doesn't review the book If The Times doesn't review the book [Blogs are like reports from a far-flung world - You might hear some good things about yourself, but you may also hear something devastating: Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth Jozef Imrich must die ; In appearance he was spruce and distinguished, with hard, light eyes like fissures in a block of ice - achieving more fame by what we refrain from doing than by what he do The fine art of Obituary; For some years now, Nicholas A. Basbanes has been chronicling the consuming passions of bibliophiles. An ardent bibliophile himself, Basbanes knows firsthand the lengths to which book lovers will go to track down a rare edition, a specially bound volume or, in some cases, entire libraries. An avid bibliophile pages his way through history ; I had no memory, no consciousness, no sight, no hearing, no touch, without the pure simplicity and utter intricacy of the fabric woven of my life and the lives of my family. My book is |consubstantial with its authors The Hottest Water in Chicago ; 100 ways to make money in 2006 Want to get really rich? Publish Cold River ;-)]
• · The Underrated Writers ; Harold Bloom, despairing of contemporary America, turns to his bookshelves to understand the trajectory of his country Reflections in the Evening Land ; What happened on Cronulla Beach warns us that our self-inflicted wounds are festering Australia's Dangerous Fantasy
• · · A Fugitive Phenomenon Kerryn Goldsworthy ; When does one really enter the community of scholars and become a “real” professor? When you finish your Ph.D.? Longing for the Chili Pepper
• · · · Why human beings in the 21st century must relearn how to live with water Living on water: welcome to a shedboatshed world ; The Mises Institute, Llewellyn Rockwell I can present my own perspective on this up front: all reform in all areas of politics, economics, and society should be in one direction: toward more freedom for individuals and less power for government Why society needs no managers
• · · · · Throughout the Old Testament, more powerful men are more polygynous men. They have sex with more wives and concubines; they have sex with more slaves; they have more sex with other men's women; and they father many children Politics as Sex: The Old Testament Case ; Do you love the thrill of the chase? ; Peter Sagal has dinner with porn stars--and his wife; Ready to have a baby? You'll earn 10 percent more if you wait a year. The Price of Motherhood
• · · · · · Why We Love Einstein ; EINSTEIN WRONG ABOUT BEING WRONG Biggest blunder not really a mistake at all; I was at this party last night and I was drinkin' sparklin' perry The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Life trumps blogging. At least it does for most sane, balanced people.
- Walt Crawford

Family trumps blogging. Health trumps blogging. Work trumps blogging (unless blogging is your life or work, ...).
As a tool, blogging isn't something "everyone" needs to do, and it isn't something that you need to keep doing even when it no longer meets your needs. Look: I'm not telling you what we should do. I'm not going to supply the answers. I think the most important thing is that we must never be told we're not allowed to ask a question. That's when we get into a very dangerous area ... Does Life Trumps Blogging?

Oh Joy! It's the name of a hip blog and is exactly how I felt when I logged onto it Oh Joy!

Why the world needs Media Dragons Does Your Company Belong in the Blogosphere?
Bloggers have damaged a number of companies, but it's time to think of the blog as your friend. Skillful blogging can boost your company's credibility and help it connect with customers.

When Bob Lutz, the vice chairman of product development at General Motors, wants to get quick feedback from consumers on the company's latest product launch, new strategy, or something as specific as the quality of the sheet-metal fits on the latest Chevrolet, he knows where to go: his corporate blog,

Skillful blogging [Word of mouth ; HarperCollins Will Create a Searchable Digital Library ]
• · I'm snuggled under the covers with Jon Stewart and the remote Fast Company, here's why making things simple is the new competitive advantage ; Getting the most out of knowledge workers: Here are Google's Ten Golden Rules.
• · · TV Turning to Blogs for Advertising ; My Due Diligence on the Liberal Ad Network; RealMoney's Blog Watch
• · · · "[T]he best bloggers will always make more money and have more freedom staying indy than any media outlet could every pay them Daily Kos refutes Blogspotting prediction ; Bloggers unite for aggregation site
• · · · · Internet: Blogging power: BRW 15 December 2005 by Kath Walters - Australian companies have been slow to take advantage of online diaries and their exchanges of ideas and information. (ironically not available to bloggers ;-) Finding a needle in a haystack of data ; Running Scared ain't: We've been dropped by some blogs on their blogrolls because they got mad at what we wrote Ideology Over Reason: Dropping A Blog From A Blogroll
• · · · · · Here's a defense of "lad mags" and of Those Media Dragons who read them ; God on the Internet

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Where there is great love there are always miracles
~Willa Cather

May those who visit your home feel the love residing there
Hope your new place becomes a home.
Congratulations - the move is over!
You made it!
May happiness & love move in with you
May you create countless memories in your new home
Saint Mikulas - Patron of Icebergs DSCN0515
Sunrise warming our day DSCN0521
I am an optimist by nature. An indefatigable, idealist and die-hard believer that good can prevail no matter the ocean size all around cynicism All you need is love: it's one of those days
Thong-Ling in the shadow of Crikey ;-) DSCN0497
Addictive Smiles DSCN0492

Housewarming: On One Summer Day in December Ice-breaker: Welcome to BONDI Neighborhood
Moving into a new home ranks among the more exciting events in life. It's definitely time to break out the bubbly and celebrate.

The tradition of housewarming parties probably began with cavemen bringing embers from their fire to their friends new cave to "warm" the hearth. The traditional gifts of bread and salt probably date back to the Middle Ages when newlyweds were given the basic staples of life to start their new household. Sugar also came to signify best wishes for a sweet and happy life...and in that regard you could never go wrong with a gift of wine. The tradition is still alive. A housewarming brings good wishes and friendship to warm the new house or apartment and thoughtful gifts to fill the rooms

• When we come from a place of looking for the lovely, then we experience miracles and life opens for you. Love attracts love. When you extend love you will always be receiving love Housewarming Potluck [Planets love their star. Star clusters love their galaxies. Bees love their flowers and flowers love their bees ; Love tends to awaken connection rather than separation ]
In the parliamentary past and inside a soulful friendship DSCN0450
Kiama Konnection Rossssiter DSCN0461
Godmother and good karma DSCN0453
Neighbours ... Neighbours DSCN0462
Neighbours ... DSCN0495
• · The bedrock of mutual respect is comfort and admiration for each other's opinions. If that isn't present, contempt is just around the corner You Just Don't Get It ;-); We separate ourselves from others, telling ourselves that we're superior or inferior -- it doesn't matter which because it's just an excuse anyway. It's an excuse for avoiding the whole problem of love, as though love could just go away without taking some of our humanity with Love can't be faked
Sweet McSweeney Inc ;-) DSCN0489
Golden Golemish Moon Rise over Bondi DSCN0512
Godfather after the Mexican moon rise ;-) DSCN0513

Friday, December 16, 2005

Bigotry does not mean believing that people who differ from you are wrong, it means assuming that they are either knaves or fools. To think them so is an immediate convenience, since it saves us the trouble of analyzing either their views or our own. ‘Christians are right, pagans are wrong,’ says the Song of Roland. If we have to answer the other people and find that we can’t, then our bigotry grows more intense. It can turn to hatred: and one can reach the lowest point of all—measuring our loyalty to our own cause by our hatred of theirs.
-Frank Sheed, The Church and I

It is a good habit now and then to question
things that one has taken for granted for years.
-German proverb

Cronulla, Kronulla and Cronulla dominates the newspapers this week Txting hate: Racist messages spread from Sydney International reaction to Cronulla ... Many Europeans are asking whether they can ever emulate the American melting pot The only thing that melted was the pot

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Tragedy of the commons: Attaining one hundred victories in one hundred battles
There is only one thing about which I am certain, and that is
there is very little about which one can be certain.
Somerset Maugham

Machiavelli says: Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration

• Crickey’s verdict - Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac so czech out Kate Ellis The sexiest pollie is – by far – John Faulkner! [ ; High brow French develop a taste for kiss-and-tell celebrity gossip ]
• · Advertiser (Adelaide), 14/12/2005, Page 14 The Australian Taxation Office has won a global gobbledygook award for a particularly confusing section of GST legislation. The tax office collected the Gold Bull award for a section of the Act which said the tax commissioner may treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened and treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened Our tax men talk prize load of Bull ; Did you know? That the productivity commissioner has predicted that at its current rate of growth Australia’s Tax Act will be 3.2 billion pages long and would take 2.3 million years to read by the end of the 21st century Tax Act
• · · You don't have to wade far into the Australian Taxation Office's guide, Part IV A For Dummies, to understand why it took 24 years to produce. The guide is scarcely more comprehensible than Part IVA of the Income Tax Act itself, and serves as yet another admission by the Tax Office that the act is incomprehensible ATO guide reveals the real dummies ; The Australian Financial Review 14-Dec-2005 The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued guidelines on tax avoidance. Released in late 2005, the guidelines document is called "Part IVA for Dummies". This document is even harder to understand than the incomprehensible Income Tax Act itself. Part IVA is the section devoted to anti-avoidance measures. The Tax Act runs to 10,000 pages and is very wordy and complex. The problem is that tax laws are complex when they should be simple, and difficult where they should be easy to understand. They are written in jargon and convoluted sentences. The new law allowing tradespeople to split their incomes with spouses is unfair. It gives an advantage that a normal wage and salary earner could never have. Australia's tax laws are both punitive and complex ATO guide reveals the real dummies
• · · · Gordon Brown on liberty and the role of the state ; Separation of sex and state
• · · · · A Global Exchange Report The 14 Worst Corporate Evildoers; Getting Smart at Being Good ... ... Are Companies Better Off for It?
• · · · · · Youth is wasted on the young Your Guess Is as Good as Mine ; Capitalism as if the World Matters