Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Not only is 2009, one of the single most tumultuous years for the Media Dragon, drawing to a close, but so is the first decade of a new century. Heroes rise, heroes fall. The contest goes on ...

It's 200 years since governor Lachlan Macquarie arrived in Sydney, yet the challenges he faced are remarkably similar to those haunting Premier Kristina Keneally in NSW today, argues Michael Duffy. So what lessons could she learn from the state's finest leader? The visionary we need right now
WHEN Nathan Rees was about to be replaced, he famously proclaimed his successor would be a puppet of Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi. But as we were reminded by last week's decision to keep Sydney's dysfunctional ferry service in public hands, there is another potential puppet master who stands above every Labor premier, and that is Unions NSW.

Sydney had its very colourful characters and corrupt police, and corruption up here was a lot worse than Melbourne

Tired of search surfing? Then take a stroll down the aisles of the Internet. Best of The Web

Best of the web 2009 - A winner is served Point of Difference: Winners and losers of the decade
As promised -- trumpet fanfare -- "The Winners and Losers of the Decade." Or, as I like to think of it, "The Winners and Losers of the Oughts," in deference to the zeros in each year of the decade's numbering, the zeros who were in charge and all that we ought to have done that we did not do.

Sex. Scandal. Unexplained deaths. You name it and the decade saw it all. Oh yes, there was sport too, broke barriers and went faster (on the road to stardom), higher (on the social ladder) and became stronger (financially) to create a new world order. There were many trail-blazers but Tiger Woods, despite his appetite off the field too, was easily the sportsman of the decade. As the year draws to a close, Crest presents the decade's winners and losers.

Washington edition ; [ My top 10 productions of the year (give or take a couple) This is where critic J. Kelly Nestruck posts his review after-thoughts ; Well that was probably a year that most of you are quite keen to forget. Except if you are a banker, of course, in which case you’re probably already in Barbados nestling down with your bonus and bottle of chilled Pol Roger while preparing to whoop it up with Michael Winner. 2009, a year to remember ]
• · ; Nominations open today (December 29, 2009) for the Breaking Borders Award, a new prize created by Google and Global Voices to honor outstanding web projects initiated by individuals or groups that demonstrate courage, energy and resourcefulness in using the Internet to promote freedom of expression. The award is also supported by Thomson Reuters. Global Voices partners with Google on freedom of expression award
• · · The Great Christmas Ornament Scandal has taken a remarkable turn. A festive ball on the White House tree that features a decoupage picture of Andy Warhol's silkscreen painting of Mao Zedong turns out not to be the only decoration with hidden political meanings for President Obama. An ornament with grave implications for events in the Middle East has also shown up. A Warhol Christmas at the White House ; The Great Christmas Ornament Scandal
• · · · New data shows that the iPhone may finally have a true competitor in the Android operating system with user profiles appearing very much alike. Android and iPhone users not so different after all; Analyst: Apps the secret to Apple's tablet success ; I didn’t realize until I started compiling this blog, how much I have written in the past year. And it runs the gamut, from blogs about over eating and pop culture, to professional wrestling and other sports related topics
• · · · · Instead, they turned to Tavi Gevinson, a 13-year-old blogger and muse from the suburbs of Chicago, to star in a behind-the-scenes video about the line on the Target website. Blogger Tavi Gevinson, already an industry sensation at 13, is now working her magic for Rodarte's Target line; From Beethoven to "Bored To Death" the Play staff listed their favorite foods, films, music and more from the past year. Best of 09 ; FOR some people, the boundary between the real world and the virtual world of the internet is a slippery, and increasingly porous, one Filtering threatens freedom, but won't stop net nasties

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Wish You - as well as Near and Dear Ones - Happiest Holly Seasons Wishes …

As they say in the good old Czechoslovakia, the object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called "Opportunity" and its first chapter is New Year's Day. Of all sound of all bells, the most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the Old Year.

The French stocking filler that sheds light on tax havens Enquête au Paradis . . . fiscal

A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to the world! What Star Wars can teach us about management
Use the implicit wisdom and shared experiences of those inhabitants of a galaxy far, far away to raise your profile

Available all the time: etiquette for the social networking age, Knowledge@Wharton, 30 September 2009. As Facebook, Twitter and 24-hour Blackberry access blur the lines between business and personal lives, managers and employees are struggling to develop new social norms to guide them through the ongoing evolution of communications technology
Internet, phone and mail fraud grows, ComputerWorld, 10 December 2009. Australian Payments Clearing Association APCA data released this week shows a rise in online, phone and mail fraud. Payments fraud in Australia

• In Pietro Orioli's painting of the Nativity, says Vincent Nichols, we are reminded that neither love nor freedom can flourish without sacrifice and self-restraint for the sake of others Christmas: when the sacred becomes real - and We are all become real leaders; [Experiencing leadership, Megan Reitz, 360º - the Ashridge journal, Winter 2009-2010, 4p. As managers progress through their careers, they will experience occasions that prove to be critical in shaping them as a leader. Critical event simulations can accelerate the learning of a leader-in-waiting. Experiencing leadership; To keep up to date with more on the latest books, articles, websites and news on leadership topics, go to the eLibraryBlog on leadership. To contribute information or leave a comment, please email the eLibraryHelpdesk for access Leadership Blog ]
• • Trends - Google has given users the ability to find out what the world is talking about with the universal launch of real-time search. The search giant announced deals with Facebook and MySpace to include public updates from the social networking sites in their "latest results" feed on the usual Google results pages. Google Ushers in Real-time Search With Facebook, Twitter, Media Dragon; At a loss for words? Google offers search by sight. Words race car spelled backward spells race car... Google unveils real-time and search-with-a-photo features
• • • A group of millionaires in Germany are demanding a redistribution of wealth. Could something similar happen here? Let’s try to imagine, against the odds, that this is a story set in Britain: a group of wealthy heirs, industrialists and entrepreneurs, men and women who are rich enough not to work, who have enough money, property or dividends to allow them to live comfortably for the rest of their lives, decide instead to give their money away The millionaires who want to pay more tax; Taxing civilisation; Martin Sullivan today tracks the declining tax rate on millionaires ; Eat is the only word that if you take the 1st letter and move it to the last, it spells it's past tense, ate. It's the way a wolf goes after the weakest sheep Why Does the IRS Audit the Poor?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

If you love someone, set them free.
If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were.
-Richard Bach (author of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull)

On St Mikulas, St Nicholas, our Moravian maid asked for a pay increase.

My wife was very upset about this and decided to talk to her about the raise.

She asked: 'Now Anka, why do you want a pay increase?'

Anka: 'Well, Madam, there are three reasons why I want an increase. The first is that I iron better than you.'

Wife: 'Who said you iron better than me?'

Anka: 'Your husband said so.'

Wife: 'Oh.'

Anka: 'The second reason is that I am a better cook than you.'

Wife: 'Nonsense, who said you were a better cook than me?'

Anka: 'Your husband did.'

Wife: 'Oh.'

Anka: 'My third reason is that I am a better lover than you.'

Wife: (really furious now) 'Did my husband say that as well?'

Anka: 'No Madam...the gardener did.'

Wife: 'So how much do you want?'

St Mikulas of Moravia

Moravian History - Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread

A bohemian city is more than the sum of its parks, buildings and houses; it is more than the sum of the souls who live there. It is the spirit and imagination that resides in all its grand mansions, shanties and slums, and on the streets and in the hearts and heads of its people. As Russell Brand says, quoting a discussion with a schoolfriend, in his philosophical tome My Booky Wook: "'See all these buildings? All these buildings were once a drawing on a piece of paper and before that they were an idea in someone's head. Any idea that you have, you can make manifest' ... Wow. Man. That, like, totally blew my mind."

Inner-city Sydney was severely dispirited this week as the buildings between Pitt Street and Castlereagh Street were permanently vacated by tenants. They are to be pushed down to the ground to make room for a concrete tribute to a bank, ANZ, and to commercial lawyers Freehills, funded by Grocon.

I'll miss the cheap Christmas presents I got at the last minute at the Closing Down Store, the self-selected sandwiches at Castlereagh Gourmet where they know your order without asking and, of course, number 77

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It is exactly 27 years since I began working in the Parliamentary Library of NSW on 29th November 1982, but the memories of the Velvet Revolution of 1989 - the seven years difference blends into abyss ...

Schabowski shrugged and the Berlin Wall came tumbling down ... A night never to forget Ritter took his camera along the Death Strip... Daniel Johnson was there, and asked Schabowski a crucial question... Some Ossis would bring back the GDR, if they could: no surprise there... Whom do we credit? CIA? Dissidents? Ronald Reagan? There was no single cause... Some walls remain in the mind... It was Reagan and Gorbachev
... Hour by hour, history was being made... Germans still grope to understand what happened ... The fall of the Wall was years in the making Victor, what are you doing here? It’s midnight and you live in East Berlin
... Berlin today is “poor but sexy... For West Berliners, the world suddenly had no edge... After collapse, jubilation, fear, and uncertainty
... The Wall made for many great escapes... No, it was not about bananas
... At the Bornholmer bridge, a vast tide of people, in tears, stunned... Life will never be the same, say East Germans.. visiting U.S. presidents have left an outsize footprint on Berlin... There have been missed opportunities... The Stasi destroyed the most ordinary trust between people... There was life beyond the gray cement certainties of Stalinism... Not all lands in the East are doing well today... Angela Merkel was excited, but still stayed in the sauna

Saturday, November 28, 2009

First the memories of the Iron Curtain fall and today memories of the good old days in the NSW Parliamentary Library at the soulful reunion ... It’s been exciting times in the land of storytelling. About 40 people were gathered in the Heritage Room of the Bill and Tony for the reunion of former parliamentary library employees--including its most long-tenured employee and its sea-change or mountain professionals, of sorts.

Picture 357

Old Dog, New Trick

Picture 349

Strangers in the House Reunited - best time to refresh the memories of those golden days
Picture 347
The mother of democracies, our Parliament, has been shown to be rather colourful as we spied from the inside what ingredients it took to make a leader and who was actually making the legislative sausages ...
Bits and Pieces of our stories slipping little bits of gossip to strange past
Picture 371

Using all those little secrets they confided in them as ammunition for the real BATTLE OF IDEAS to better the world
• · The Webby’s Ten Most Influential Internet Moments of the Decade.

My first memories of Jeff Bezos go back to his comments circa 1992 on various library forums about his vision for the digital library aka amazon ...

2000 Craigslist expands outside San Francisco
2000 Google AdWords launches
2001 Wikipedia launches
2001 Napster Shut Down
2004 Google IPO
2006 Online video revolution
2006 Facebook opens to non-college students and Twitter takes off
2007 The iPhone debuts
2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign
2009 Iranian election protests A Brief History Of Online Media Dragons ; Velvet Underground's NYC Library Reunion

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vaclav Havel's dramas, meanwhile, offered a road map to follow the fate of free thought in a repressive world. Young is the one that plunges in the future and never looks back When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object
-- Milan Kundera

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
-Donald Rumsfeld - What started poorly has shown no sign of improving

In Poland it took ten years, in Hungary it took ten months, in East Germany it took ten weeks: perhaps in good old Czechoslovakia it will take ten days ; Soros helped finance the Czech Republic's 1989 “Velvet Revolution” that brought Vaclav Havel to power. and the rest is history

Now Swimming at Bondi Then Swimming across the Iron Curtain

Václav Havel: the unlikely leader who became a symbol of liberation Helsinki Treaty Spurred Fall of Berlin Wall, End of Communism
Within a year the 106-kilometer-long Berlin Wall was being dismantled, former jailed dissident Vaclav Havel was president of Czechoslovakia
I had a piece in Crikey on Thursday about the Lisbon treaty, which is all set to come into force, but I wouldn’t want to let the occasion pass without a comment on the actual concession that secured its final ratification.
Czech president Vaclav Klaus only agreed to sign the treaty after he was promised that his country would be allowed to opt out of the treaty’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.

I cherish the words of hope of former Czech President Vaclav Havel, during his days of imprisonment. Those words captivated the imagination of many people ...
Every now and then when the world seems to be falling apart and problems appear to be insurmountable, I recall with gratitude the heroes of the Velvet Revolution who helped to bring down the reign of Communism 20 years ago. I cherish the words of hope of former Czech President Vaclav Havel, during his days of imprisonment.

Those words captivated the imagination of many people as we witnessed the Communist regime finally come to an end: "The more unpropitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper that hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

• But How the moral have fallen[Where did Vaclav Havel's anti-communist dream take us? Vaclav Havel, father of the Velvet Revolution 20 years ago, tells Adrian Bridge why he is still wary of the Russians ; Reservations]
• · Václav Havel, the former president of Czechoslovakia, dissident and one of the key figures of the Velvet Revolution that toppled Communism in the former federation has become an honorary citizen of Bratislava. The Slovak capital granted him honorary citizenship on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the totalitarian regime for his fight for freedom, democracy and assisting in the process of Slovakia's integration into Europe Bratislava grants honorary citizenship to Václav Havel ; For older people, Czechoslovakia inevitably comes in a sentence that includes Hitler, Munich, Chamberlain, Daladier, appeasement, World War II and the falling of dominoes. Well, OK, technically, dominoes comes from just after World War II, but the dominoes threaten to fall in Southeast Asia precisely because of a presumed failure to learn those lessons of Munich. Neville Chamberlain, after all, has given us the final justification for appeasement when he explained to Britain in 1938 how “incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a
far away country between people of whom we know nothing.”
• · · From Prague to Berlin, liberty will always owe youth
Vaclav Havel, the dissident who led Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution, has used the 20th anniversary to warn Russia remains a threat despite the demise of the Soviet Union. The 73-year-old who played a pivotal role in freeing his country from communist rule in 1989, said that the Russian government had mastered the art of manipulating its population while maintaining democratic façade. The era of dictatorships and totalitarian systems has not ended at all
Velvet Revolution Gave Teenager Freedom, Sent Havel to Castle
; There’s one sound I shall never forget about the revolution that bustled the Communists out of power in Czechoslovakia 20 years ago: the jangling of door keys. Every night for a week, crowds gathered in Prague’s Wenceslas Square. At regular intervals, thousands of people in unison waved their keyrings above their heads. The noise echoed throughout the city, signifying to their hated communist masters: Vaclav Havel attacks Russia on anniversary of Velvet Revolution; Go home, here’s your key. It’s time to leave.
• · · · Use the implicit wisdom and shared experiences of those inhabitants of a galaxy far, far away to raise your profile What Star Wars can teach us about career management ; More than half of what happens in the business world often seems to be outside the control of management. Dealing with the unknown
• · · · · Michael Moore is back. The self-styled guerilla documentary maker has declared war on capitalism, branding it “inherently evil” and seeks to discredit everything and everyone within sight who has profited from such a system. Film review: 'Capitalism - A Love Story' directed by Michael Moore ; The exploitative capital accumulation system means that our bosses expropriate the value we workers create and return a small amount to us in the form of wages. Real tax reform: a love letter to Ken Henry; Private equity funds and the pillage of Australia
Private equity funds are the bottom feeders of capital. They buy up what they judge to be under-valued companies, take a chainsaw to jobs and costs to increase the seeming value of the company in the short term and then flog off the entity at a large gain a little later. by John Passant ; "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." Douglas Adams.
Adrian Low with John Passant

Monday, November 09, 2009

Sadly my brother in law, Eva's Franto passed away today and will not be able to celebrate this year the fall of the wall ...

Exactly 20 years ago from today, on 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev crossed a former fortified border on Monday to cheers of "Gorby! Gorby!" as a throng of grateful Germans recalled the night 20 years ago that the Berlin Wall gave way to their desire for freedom and unity. Merkel lauds Gorbachev on Berlin Wall anniversary

The wall's 1989 fall remains a miracle Putin nostalgic for days as spy in East Germany but still not craving for truth
It's 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, which split not only the city, but also the world and the KGB

Russia's Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, says he feels nostalgia for the former East Germany, recalling with fondness his five years as a KGB agent in Dresden. Mr Putin said in an interview with the NTV channel on Sunday that he had good memories of his 1985-90 posting in the city that included learning German, excursions to the mountains and contacts with his East German counterparts.
I still remember this warmth and cordiality. I am very thankful for this. In this respect there is some feeling of nostalgia. feeling of nostalgia.

Putin Putting KGB first [ I saw the fall of the Berlin Wall; The Curtain Of Silence - If there is an element of truth in the saying that blood talks louder than words ... then I swam across the Iron Curtain ; Googling on the Wall ]
• · Remarks by world leaders and dignitaries attending the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall Wall Recalling ; The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 transformed not only Germany, but changed the world and put an end to fears of a nuclear holocaust between the then Soviet Union and the USA. Berlin was not the only city where celebrations were held for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
• · · Remembering 20th anniversary of Velvet Revolution Limerick felt exotic compared to rural Wicklow when I was growing up but then I went to Czechoslovakia ; After the Wall
• · · ·There was a universal demand for independent, reliable news and information. Everyone I met despised state-controlled propaganda. They craved truth. There are lessons in this for the promotion of human rights and democracy today. Berlin Wall's Lessons For Today; The 1989 revolution has its unforgettable images, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, and its famous figures - Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel and Mikhail Gorbachev. The man who opened the Iron Curtain
• · · · · Hammer-wielding souvenir-hunters Berlin's love affair with freedom ; The data from Freedom in the World, the annual report on the state of global freedom published by Freedom House, give vivid evidence of the degree of change. Lessons ;
In Praise of Unsung Heroes As a wet-behind-the-ears movie reviewer I discovered an obscure book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), by then-relatively unknown novelist James Agee. Non-fiction, utterly so, his 428-page magnus opus depicting realism was prefaced by soul-etching photographs of dirt-poor cotton tenant farmers in the Depression era as taken by award-winning Fortune photographer Walker Evans. Some there will be who have no memorial . . . But their righteousness hath not been forgotten

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

‘We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come.
We share a dream and sing with one voice

I am, you are, we are


Somewhere between paining Australian landscapes, writing poetry, improvising in a jazz band, helping charities, and becoming his own publicist, things got a bit out of control. Ruth Richmond makes clear that despite all the tribulations - the uncertainties of youth, the political isolation, and the high propensity to follow self interest of power hungry businessmen and politicians – John Hatton is blessed with an advantage that has seen him through life's vicissitudes inside and outside politics. He is, above all else, a rounded personality with the hinterland that Ruth, rightly identified as essential to the civilised man. That made it a pleasure to work with him and serve under him, whatever the political prospect. The life and of the finest politicians of his generation: To promote his biography JOHN Hatton is touring NSW

The Shaolin monks of central China are not known for their work as property developers. Incredible kung fu feats depicted in dubbed Hollywood movies are their main claim to fame Alarm at the sound of one hand upsizing

Life story of corruption fighter timely for NSW The public and private lives
FORMER NSW MP John Hatton, who in 1994 led the push for the Wood royal commission into police corruption, has called for a similar probe into the links between the state's politicians, public servants and property developers.
Speaking at the launch of his biography yesterday, Mr Hatton - who served as an independent in the NSW parliament for 22 years until his retirement in 1995 - said the state's Independent Commission Against Corruption was "now just a shadow of its former self".

He claimed that allegations of impropriety by those involved in the planning and development process in NSW could not be adequately investigated by ICAC, and a royal commission was the only way corrupt practices within the industry could be exposed and dealt with.
"The scale of developer donations, distorted planning processes, influence-peddling and preferential treatment all attest to a climate conducive to corruption, which cries out for formal investigation," Mr Hatton said. The retired MP bemoaned "the failure of the Independent Commission Against Corruption to do anything about this disgusting situation".
He said the lack of transparency in the state government's handling of planning issues, including property development applications, was "destroying local communities".
Mr Hatton's push for a royal commission was yesterday backed by NSW Greens planning spokeswoman Sylvia Hale. But NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell said any such inquiry should be conducted by ICAC.

[THE stench of corruption in New South Wales planning and development is so strong that Premier Nathan Rees cannot avoid a royal commission, former MP John Hatton says.
Mr Hatton has joined forces with the NSW Greens to call for an inquiry to "clean out the state's property and planning mess once and for all".
"I challenge (the Government) to bring it on." They have got time before the next election to do that. I want them to clear the air ... of what I think is a corrupt process in NSW ... the failure of the Independent Commission Against Corruption to do anything about this disgusting situation, that I, as a retired MP, have to come here and walk the cliff of defamation yet again, and I don't enjoy that. "They have got time before the next election to do that. I want them to clear the air ... of what I think is a corrupt process in NSW ... the failure of the Independent Commission Against Corruption to do anything about this disgusting situation, that I, as a retired MP, have to come here and walk the cliff of defamation yet again, and I don't enjoy that; The Stench in This Parliament]
• · The forthcoming publication of Ruth Richmond's biography about me has caused some introspection on what (with many other people) I achieved in 22 years in State Parliament – and to draw a comparison between that period, which ended a decade ago, and the state of NSW today. Last year, I felt depressed when former NSW Planning Minister Frank Sartor and Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell failed to act on a well-researched report linking development approvals by Shoalhaven Council with developers who gave money to local government candidates. ; Epoch Times
• · · State planning minister Kristina Keneally has made of a habit of dismissing allegations that political donations have influenced certain developments by challenging accusers to ‘put up or shut up’. Well, here’s her chance to clear the air of this ‘stench’ by agreeing to a royal commission into property and planning corruption in NSW. Former Independent MP John Hatton has called for the royal commission, saying the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has failed to act appropriately, calling it a ‘dud’. Fifteen years ago, the former MP successfully moved for such an inquiry into police corruption and it found police corruption endemic. Last week, his authorised biography, . The Stench in This Parliament, which raises the urgent need for such an inquiry, was launched Former Independent MP John Hatton is demanding a Royal Commission to clear the issue of property corruption in New South Wales, as he says the Independent Commission Against Corruption is failing to act appropriately. QUENTIN DEMPSTER, PRESENTER: John Hatton, the former Independent MP who successfully moved for a Royal Commission into police corruption in 1994, re-emerged this week to demand a Royal Commission into property and planning corruption in NSW. Mr Hatton, now 76, was a balance-of-power Independent in 1994. His authorised biography, The Stench in this Parliament, was launched by the Speaker of Parliament, Richard Torbay, this week. The Wood Royal Commission found police corruption was systemic and had been protected for decades through a corrupt internal culture's code of silence. That Royal Commission was brought in over the top of the existing Independent Commission Against Corruption, set up in 1989, 20 years ago. The Royal Commission under Justice James Wood recruited investigators from outside NSW because of concern that any inquiry could be compromised or subverted by leaks to NSW Police. John Hatton says the contemporary ICAC, under Commissioner Jerrold Cripps, QC, has failed to do its duty and a Royal Commission to clear the air of a stench around property corruption is now urgently needed
• · · · The former independent Member for South Coast says he was depressed when several parties failed to act on a report about alleged links between Shoalhaven developers and former mayor Greg Watson. John Hatton says he worked with researchers to compile a 48-page report on alleged links between development approvals and the team of councillor Watson. Cripps did not mention names, but the comments come suspiciously close to former South Coast MP and corruption fighter John Hatton's crack at the ICAC as ''a shadow of its former self'' at the launch of his book, The Stench in this Parliament, earlier this month. Cripps did not mention names; FORMER NSW MP John Hatton, who in 1994 led the push for the Wood royal commission into police corruption, has called for a similar probe into the links between the state's politicians, public servants and property developers
• · · · · "There is a climate of corruption in NSW," says John Hatton... Come to a free public forum on how communities can better equip themselves to operate in their own interest. The main speaker at the forum will be John Hatton, retired NSW Independent MP, and the subject of a recent biography by Ruth Richmond, The Stench in this Parliament. "The influence of developers, liquor and gaming interests, shooters and big business lobbyists is so great that unless communities take charge their lifestyles will continue to be eroded. The interests of residents of North Shore communities counts for nothing and can be sacrificed at the blink of an eye by a State government or a local council too focused on development and not enough on community."The Stench in this Parliament - free community forum Book Launch;
• · · · · · The timing could hardly be better: as allegations of corruption continue to swirl around the NSW Parliament following the murder of Michael McGurk, the veteran former state MP and noted corruption fighter John Hatton has announced the imminent launch of his biography. Its title? The Stench in this Parliament. Penned by Ruth Richmond, the book contains a glowing forward from the Sydney Lord Mayor and state MP for Sydney, Clover Moore, who along with Hatton and Peter McDonald shared the balance of power in Parliament while Nick Greiner was premier. Hatton, who sat in Parliament for 22 years and was hated by politicians from both major parties, is credited with instigating the Wood Royal Commission into corruption in the NSW Police. The book is subtitled ''The story of the Independent nobody who brought down a premier referring to Hatton's lead role in forcing Greiner's resignation from Parliament over the Terry Metherell affair; Coverage ; Newsagency; Records of note National Library

CODA: Hatton queries ICAC role

Former MP John Hatton is launching his book at Manly Library on 22 November 2009.

OUTSPOKEN former MP John Hatton, who has called for a Royal Commission into links between developers, lobbyists, politicians and planners in NSW, will launch a book on his life at Manly Library tonight. The one-time independent politician spent 22 years in State Parliament and was renowned for his strong views, while his relentless quest for proper process exposed endemic corruption in the NSW Police Force. He told The Manly Daily there needed to be a proper investigation into the state’s planning system, a call backed by former mayor and one-time Manly MP Peter Macdonald.

Mr Hatton said the Independent Commission Against Corruption was failing to properly investigate allegations and was only going for the “softest targets”.
“The question on my mind ... is: does ICAC have the will or professional investigative staff to use its extensive powers to get to the truth?” he said.Dr Macdonald, a former independent Manly MP, said he “absolutely supported” calls for a Royal Commission into the State Government. “A Royal Commission is the only way to have full disclosure, people can be forced to give evidence as opposed to an inquiry,” he said. The book, The Stench in this House, by Ruth Richmond was launched at Manly Library.

Manly Launch; Foto

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Malchkeoun and Media Dragon experienced a charming country atmosphere and warm Dr Cope's hospitality at Blue Bullaburra Mountain. The mountain is an idyllic location for that getaway - and I got to read more of the great stuff Kevin Roberts writes about songs and stories of life ...

What is a story? Dr Cope tells great stories

We can all recognize a story when we see one - from "Little Red Riding Hood" to Who Moved my Cheese? While exposition is straightforward explanation, a story or "narrative" is a series of linked events that unfold over time. It has characters with their own motivations. Storytelling is an ancient practice that has been adapted to various fields and each new type of media: from books to film to the Internet. As soon as you hear someone say, "Did you hear the one about...?" or "What happened at work today?" you know you're in for a story. We all inherently tell stories. And our learners respond to them.

Writing typically has been viewed as a soft skill that would be nice to improve, but not worth the time or money to invest in training. Most companies are more likely to invest in training for sales, project management, budgeting, or other skills that are easier to link to the bottom line. You, as learning professionals, are responsible for employee performance at your company or your clients company, so it is imperative that you pay attention to the overall writing quality of its employees. Managers at various levels and would-be managers can ruin their opportunities for advancement if they continually write documents that are unclear, riddled with grammatical mistakes, and offensive to their subordinates or clients.

You need to convey to people at all levels of the organization that writing clearly demonstrates that they can

* clearly understand the problem or situation

* see how it affects the big picture of the organization

* recommend logical, easy-to-follow next steps

* explain who should do what going forward

* empathize with subordinates, supervisors, and peers.

Life in a slow lane: I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now

Slow Food
Kris Kristofferson is one of the greatest all-time poets and songwriters and has lived a life full of hope, dreams, principles and values. “From Here to Forever” was written for his kids and I’d recommended it for parents and grandparents everywhere. “Fill your heart for the morning, tomorrow you still got a long way to grow, and the love that you’re dreaming will guide you and live like a song in your soul.” And finally, “Darling, take all the time that you’re given, be all you know you can be, and if you need a reason for living, do it for love and for me a reason for living, do it for love and for me

Ideas are the currency of the future and can come from anywhere, and Google probably know this more than anyone right now! To help celebrate their 10th birthday, Google invited people to submit their ideas to help make the world a better place for everyone with their special Project 10 to the 100th

150,000 ideas were sent in from people living in 172 countries, speaking 25 different languages. There were eight different categories that ideas: community, energy, environment through to health, education, shelter and opportunity, and not to forget the “everything else” basket. The same people who submitted ideas were then invited to vote on the best ones that should receive the $10 million that Google are going to invest and which should be announced soon.

You can see the full range of ideas. Some of the finalist ideas were:
support efforts to increase young Africans' access to quality education by creating "cyber schools";

[TV will never die, YouTube will never kill it. YouTube (or its future manifestations) will never die either, will never die either ; Under common law In Australia all employers have a duty of care for the health and safety of their staff; not only physical but also mental health and safety Being powerful has more to do with who you are as a person and less about having money ]
•• The world of management is being reshaped by dramatic changes in the way the world of work and society is organised. Surviving the global financial crunch was tough enough. As businesses move back from the brink, though, the underlying challenges of generating innovation and growth must be tackled anew25 forces transforming the world; Before you start down the path to self-improvement, you need to set clear goals. This requires determining what you will be like once you have implemented the changes that you are seeking. Ask yourself some questions: How will 1 be able to measure whether or not I really have changed? How will others around me see the change? How will I feel, sound, and act differently from how I am perceived today? The more specific the goals are that you set, the better your chance to accurately measure the changes Leap of faith
••• Each year brings different challenges for us especially of we read Jamais Cascio. For nearly the past fifteen years, I've been working as a futurist. My job has been to provide people with insights into emerging trends and issues, to allow them to do their jobs better. I've done this work for big companies and government agencies (usually under the Very Professional sounding title of strategic foresight), and for TV writers and game companies. It's quite an enjoyable job, as it allows me to indulge my easily-distracted curiosity about the world.You too can forecast the future! ; Web sites and organizations devoted explicitly to thinking about future possibilities can also be of great Value; A recent Stanford University study found that people who are "regularly bombarded" with multiple streams of electronic information and media have more problems with their memory, and have a harder time paying attention and switching from one task to another Multitasking may be hurting your brain
•••• Nosy Norwegians ; When it comes to organised crime, Australian governments have said much and achieved littleSunlight is the best disinfectant …

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Calling all NSW Parliamentary Library staff from the good old days when Dr Cope was in charge (1962 - 1991), when going to Stack meant an encounter with the lovely Arthur, to the bindery with Wally and Brian, when we tried to stay awake as Richard enthused about gov. pubs as part of our initiation, when internal memos were as simple as 'Missing Foodstuffs overnight', when Neville Wran told me at one Christmas party that 'The Library was the most efficient service in Parliament', when Franca and Greig conversed in Italian, when David, Greig and Brian Vaughan had their tete a tetes (what were they talking about ?), when we had our own Brazilian cowboy on staff and when Dr Cope donned his white Cocktail jacket we knew it was party time - and that's what it's time to do - to party...well at least to get together and share our memories.... (All in favour? say Aye and ring 02 92302111)

Dr RLC - Cope
[ Image by Don McPhedran taken at the NSW Parliamentary Library circa 14 days and 5 years after MD birthday Title Russell Cope, New South Wales Parliamentary Librarian 1962-, at his desk Date of Work - 02 May 1963 ]

As the friendliest and considerate President in my time in NSW Parliament, Johno Johnson, noted: In 1991 Dr Russell Cope, the Parliamentary Librarian, concluded 40 years of meritorious service Dr Cope is one of those living treasures that few institutions have


The publications of Dr Russell Cope in New South Wales began to shape an ethos of excellence in parliamentary librarianship at the beginning of the decade, and helped alert and unite practitioners Australasian Parliamentary Libraries - History

Everybody's Free to Play in the Bear Pit or a Sandpit Strangers in the House
You did not have to be mad or CW to survive at NSW Parliament House but it helped ;-) Time and again we've seen strange examples of parliamentary bureaucracy. My former boss, Dr R.L. Cope, has worked in the parliamentary environment for 40 years and provides this amazing summary of parliamentary culture. Culture of a Parliamentary Bureaucracy - Can fiction be fact? A Note

Russell Cope might not qualify as The noblest Roman of them all!", but he certainly will rank as one of the outstanding librarians that this country has produced, and undoubtedly the doyen of Parliamentary librarians of this generation . We often hear the throw-away line "You are a Gentleman and a Scholar" offered as a frivolous, but sincere expression of appreciation, to a person who would probably have difficulty in satisfying either criterion . In the case of Dr Cope, both meanings are entirely applicable : those of us who have had the pleasure and privilege to be associated with him, are thankful of the opportunity of sharing a small part of the stage of Parliamentary librarianship which he has graced for nearly thirty years, and can attest to the undeniable fact that Russell Cope is both a scholar, and a gentleman. - Annual Reports
Mr Speaker informed the House of the retirement of Dr Russell Leslie David Cope from the position of Parliamentary Librarian on 21 July 1991, and made the following remarks. "With the indulgence of the House I wish to make a few remarks about Dr Cope in recognition of his service. Russell Cope joined the staff of the Parliamentary Library on 1 March 1949 some 4 months short of his 18th birthday. His 41 years of loyalty to the Library places him in the vanguard of service to this Parliament. Even more remarkable is that the last 29 years of his service has been as only the seventh Parliamentary Librarian since 1856.
During the time he has worked in the Parliamentary Library, Russell has seen the Library staff grow in size from 10 to, currently, 33. This increase in staff reflects the ever increasing demands that Members and others have placed on the Parliamentary Library. Dr Cope has also been at the forefront of evolving new services to meet those ever changing needs. A part of those new services have been dramatically illustrated in relative recent times with the move of the Library to its current modern premises and the introduction of associated modern technology.
1990 provided the crowning glory to Dr Cope's career with the very successful sesquicentenary celebrations of the Parliamentary Library.
I am sure all Honourable Members will join in with my grateful and personal thanks to Dr Cope for his distinguished service to this Parliament and acknowledgment of the help provided by the Library as a whole. I also wish to convey to Dr Cope the best wishes of the House for an equally long and well deserved retirement."
Mr Greiner moved, That Mr Speaker's remarks with reference to Dr Russell Leslie David Cope on his retirement from the position of Parliamentary Librarian be entered in the Votes and Proceedings.Dr Cope

I pay tribute to one of Parliament's most valuable and faithful officers. I am not talking about a Speaker, Premier or some other elected representative, nor am I speaking about a long-serving Chamber officer who has helped guide proceedings for decades. Instead I pay tribute to one whose work rarely attracts the limelight focused on the rest of us; someone who, throughout a 35-year career here, has supported the work of members on behalf of those we represent and—more importantly, in my view—has worked to ensure that our parliamentary system and its history are better understood by the wider community and succeeding generations. David Clune
In 2009 Greig Tillotson has announced his retirement effective at the end of July. Greig has worked within the NSW Parliamentary Library for over 30 years and became
Librarian in 2006. Greig Tillotson


I am grateful for crossing paths with dynamic people like my boss at the parliamentary library Dr Cope

• The New South Wales Parliamentary Library is the oldest of Australia's nine parliamentary libraries, and is also one of the oldest official libraries in the country. Established by the administrative action of the Legislative Council in 1840, it became a Joint Parliamentary Library with the introduction of responsible government in 1856. The Library's functions were further specified by Joint Resolutions in 1862 and 1968. But in 2009 it has no website NSW Parliamentary Library once a rooster now a feather duster; [There is a climate of corruption in NSW Knowledge is the mother of wisdom and virtue; Ghosts roaming NSW Parliament: John Hatton was something of a burr under the saddle of New South Wales politics; Librarian admits he was paid by US bookseller NSW Parliamentary Attendant circa 1980-1981, a bloke who took my BH neighbour Sonia Todd, and his Strictly Ballroom, to Bratislava circa 1986. My spies tell me that Buz as always disobeyed the communist authorities on and off the stage ;-) Mark Anthony Luhrmann; Librarian Mark D'Arney killed himself after blowing the whistle on the discount sale of 3000 historic books from the State Parliament's library Death of a whistleblower; Thou canst not die. Here thou art more than safe. Where every book is thy epitaph In memoriam, Mark D'Arney, Librarian -A library’s approach to online government information ]

CODA: The crowning glory of the former NSW Parliamentary Library, now called the Jubilee Room, is the ornate stained glass lantern, one of the best examples of stained glass in Sydney. It too was restored in the 1980s with the rest of the room and the old sections of the Parliament. The words around the central medallion echo the room's origins as a library: "Knowledge is the mother of wisdom and virtue".

Monday, October 26, 2009

Earlier this month one of the oldest of blog hosting programmes, Blogger, celebrated its 10th anniversary. According to the BBC, Blogger claims to have more than 300 million active readers and enough words to fill about 3.2 million books like Cold River

First Real Blogger, St. Francisof Assisi wrote: Lord make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow Love. Where there is injury, Pardon. Where there is error, Truth. Where there is discord, Harmony. Where there is doubt, Faith. Where there is despair, Hope. Where is darkness, Light. Where there is sorrow, Joy.

There was much storytelling but it was the ocean that brought out the energy ... today with friends like Gina, John and Rich there always seems to be more joy than sorrow no matter how angry the sea or world is ...

(john wilton TM at the iceberg 26-10-09 AD)

... and so it began back at Darling Point true connections, true emotions, true friends!

Hope Over Fear Materialistic happiness causes emotional misery
Even In Latvia, blogging has become part of the air on the poetic internet. The blogosphere seems to burst with emotions, something rarely witnessed before

As the sun breaks the dawn of a new day, he floats on a white cloud amidst an azure sky. He is draped in an elegant silver robe, his obsidian hair fluttering seductively in the cool breeze of the early morning. His gold flecked brown eyes, glimmering like a pair of gemstones, as the breaking sun crosses their path. His smooth, always tanned flesh contrasted beautifully within the silver robe and against the bright cerulean sky. His arms rise and stretch out to me, his rose-colored lips move to speak, but I always awake before I can hear the words he wants to say. I have dreamt this scene everyday for almost two years. Everyday that is, except today.

I usually awaken with a smile on my face, but sadness in my heart. Smiling, because I have dreamt of him once again, sadness, for never hearing the words he wishes to speak.

But this morning, I awakened with a smile on my face and gladness in my heart. For this morning I heard his words.

“You must live for yourself now, for only through your life will my memory be kept alive. I will be waiting here for you, but you have a long life to live. Honor my memory and live your life to the fullest. I will always love you, but you must accept the love others offer, for my love is contained within theirs”

And with that I awakened this morning. A smile on my face and weight lifted from my soul.

For I now know that he would not want me to be alone any longer. And on this day, I awakened with someone to share breakfast with for the first time in two years. With a smile on my face, and gladness in my heart, I awoke to greet a beautiful day.

A Daily Dream: Everything ended in a mere exclamation mark! [Bridging the ideological divide in the American Catholic Church. Exiting St Patrick's Cathedral into the damp heat of New York in September, I try to see if I can single out Rocco Palmo from among the tourists lounging under the scaffolding, grateful for a shady seat on the cathedral steps We are always missing the other half; For boys, sugar and spice aren't nice Writing
about difficult truths
; Great Indian Wedding (GIW)]

Saturday, October 24, 2009

British banks have just five working days to show they have "got it". On Saturday, they must submit to the regulator – the FSA – their planned bonus awards, widely estimated to total £6bn. Prince Andrew may have said in an interview that he regards this sum as "minute in the scheme of things", but, as the economy still falters and unemployment rises, it was clear last night that the banks will grant themselves their billions in an increasingly hostile atmosphere Stop the fat-cat bonuses! George Soros turns on the bankers

In an economic crisis like this, billionaires like George Soros can't just sit idly by
Chrystia Freeland, US managing editor, interviewed George Soros, the fund manager, about the state of the world economy, relations between the US and China, his investment performance and regulating bankers’ compensation. This is a transcript of that interview.

In an economic crisis like this, billionaires like George Soros can't just sit idly by Those earnings are not the achievement of risk-takers ... These are gifts, hidden gifts, from the government. Soros said there was a need to regulate payments to employees, even if that meant banks found it difficult to retain talented risk-takers...
That would push the risk-takers who are good at taking risks out of Goldman Sachs into hedge funds, where they actually belong, because hedge funds take risks with their own capital, not with deposits and not with government guarantees.
Soros also said he believed the decline of the U.S. dollar would be limited by its tie to the Chinese currency. "As long as the renminbi is tied to the dollar, I don't see how the decline in the dollar can go too far.
There is a general lack of confidence in currencies and a move away from currencies into real assets ... There is a push in gold, there's a strength in oil and that is a flight from currencies.
Soros said the rally in the U.S. stock market would continue for the rest of the year, but warned that the hope of a rapid recovery in the U.S. is misplaced.

Transcript: George Soros interview; [George Soros – one of the riches men in the world, the convicted insider trader, the man who single handedly brought down one of the biggest bank in Hungary, the man who back’s far left groups like MoveOn, the man who bragged that he bought the 2008 presidential and congressional elections – and heart throb of MSNBC, is mouthing off again – and this time about Wall Street Profits in the Financial Times. Soros gifts’ from the state; Google soros; George Soros Shares Latest Insights on Economics and Politics]
• • Former Czechoslovak and Czech president Vaclav Havel will become an honorary citizen of Bratislava Havel & Blava ;Vaclev Havel To President Klaus: Don't Hurt Our Reputation = Vaclav Havel, man of words and unshakable determination, had a question Havel, Still a Man of Morals and Mischief

Monday, October 12, 2009

We tell them it is a bull, they say milk it inside the china-shop.

A BULL was bitten by a Mouse and, angered by the wound, tried to capture him. But the Mouse reached his hole in safety. Though the Bull dug into the walls with his horns, he tired before he could rout out the Mouse, and crouching down, went to sleep outside the hole. The Mouse peeped out, crept furtively up his flank, and again biting him, retreated to his hole. The Bull rising up, and not knowing what to do, was sadly perplexed. At which the Mouse said, "The great do not always prevail. There are times when the small and lowly are the strongest to do mischief."”Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come ...
-Victor Hugo

Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come
-Victor Hugo

Friday, October 09, 2009

JOHN Hatton must be feeling a sense of déjà vu these days.. The murder of lender of last resort Michael McGurk and the revelations the company he kept reached all the way into State Parliament would have had a familiar ring to the anti-corruption campaigner, whose tell-all biography is being prepared for the presses. Having fought for a more transparent system of government for much of his 22 years in politics, this latest episode in what seems to be a never-ending story of undue influence and murky dealings would have come as no surprise Life story of corruption fighter timely for NSW

Life story of corruption fighter timely for NSW Anti-corruption crusader highlights political woes
Using the Wood Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service in 1994 as its major case study, this thesis hypothesises that, although this inquiry had a far reaching impact in both the personal and working lives of police officers in the organisation itself, it proved ineffectual in its attempt to control corruption. It argues that corruption, and the subsequent inquiries into this corruption, can be seen to have a cyclic nature and the failure of such inquiries has a long and international history. It contends that the nature of the public inquiry itself can be seen to contribute to the continuation of the cycle of corruption. Clearly, putting an end to corruption requires more than the investigation, public exposure and punishment of a few corrupt police, followed by a generalised tightening of the chain of command. Instead, this thesis demonstrates that the problem is primarily an organisational one and it is important to look at management reforms.

A nobody who became a national treasure, John Hatton was in Parliament as an independent for 22 years and helped set up a number of anti-corruption inquiries, including the New South Wales Police Royal Commission in 1994. He says that the lack of accountability and responsibility in politics since then has only become worse. There's a huge cross-section of people of all political persuasions who are absolutely disgusted and expressing anger about the secrecy, the lying, the cheating, the abuse of process ... 'we didn't know, we're taking no responsibility.

Against the machines; [In local government a confidential meeting is a conflict in terms. The smart money will always find out In the face of improper pressure inaction is corruption; John Hatton on Wiki; It took up 451 hearing days, heard from 902 public witnesses and cost an estimated $64 million. Malcolm Brown reports on the Wood royal commission, 10 years on Holding judgement]
• · There was no holding back for former independent State Member for the South Coast John Hatton when he agreed to have a biography written about him HATTON TELLS ALL - Biography of former MP John Hatton will shake some skeletons out of the closet; Blog about newsagents
• · · NSW's tortuous road to reform; New rules allowing multi-storey development on Jervis Bay have pushed the retired anti-police corruption MP John Hatton back into crusading mode Old crusader fights tide of high-rise; Juanita Nielsen was a stylish Potts Point/Kings Cross heiress and local publisher murdered in July 1975. It is generally assumed it was criminal elements doing the bidding of high density urban developer interests reacting to her crusading for the bohemian heritage character of her suburb Juanita Nielsen, suburban news publisher foul murder 30 years ago
• · · · The fictional tale probably sounds pretty familiar, if a little exaggerated. Politics takes comedic spin in 'In the Loop'; US president Barack Obama says he feels 'humbled' after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Nobel President: Obama's 'unclenched fist' won the prize; Google on Obama and Nobel prize
• · · · · I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me Morality, What? Where?; The orthodoxy that often does the rounds is that religions are the well springs of our moral compass and that that the diminution of religious adherence leads to a moral vacuum. This leads ineluctably to the sense that religions have a moral monopoly and that we are lost without faith. But the argument that I wish to promote in this blog is that there reverse is true O Glorious Prejudice; Arianna Huffington seems very well connected in every sense of the phrase, be it in high society or in her online offspring, the Huffington Post. But can she hold on to her maverick approach and her instinct to 'bring people together'? The queen of the digital water cooler

Post Script Coda:
October 21, 2009

Stench revisited rivals the latest
October 21, 2009
The timing could hardly be better: as allegations of corruption continue to swirl around the NSW Parliament following the murder of Michael McGurk, the veteran former state MP and noted corruption fighter John Hatton has announced the imminent launch of his biography. Its title? The Stench in this Parliament. Penned by Ruth Richmond, the book contains a glowing forward from the Sydney Lord Mayor and state MP for Sydney, Clover Moore, who along with Hatton and Peter McDonald shared the balance of power in Parliament while Nick Greiner was premier. Hatton, who sat in Parliament for 22 years and was hated by politicians from both major parties, is credited with instigating the Wood Royal Commission into corruption in the NSW Police. The book is subtitled ''The story of the Independent nobody who brought down a premier'', referring to Hatton's lead role in forcing Greiner's resignation from Parliament over the Terry Metherell affair. Richmond notes: ''In the minds of many, Greiner's sacking created a deep scar in Hatton's credibility.'' Despite the passage of time, it seems old wounds are yet to fully heal: Metherell, Greiner and his successor as premier, John Fahey, all declined to be interviewed for the book, Richmond writes. It will be launched by one of Parliament's current independents, the Speaker, Richard Torbay, on November 4. It will be launched by one of Parliament's current independents, the Speaker, Richard Torbay, on November 4. - The day after the Melbourne Cup

PS: What kind of people would meet furtively on a Saturday morning hundreds of kilometres from home, charter a houseboat, and motor to a secluded cove where, under cover of darkness, they make plans to change the course of public administration in Australia? The Cold War may be over, James Bond may have hung up his Walther PPK, but espionage of a different sort is alive if unwell - the business of spying on the bureaucracy from within, and revealing its secrets. And the nine people who set sail on the good ship Luxury Sirius on Lake Macquarie the other weekend were well aware of the extreme prejudice that can result. But whistle-blowing comes at a price ...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

To the uninitiated, it's a mystery why one cafe is constantly throbbing with groovy, animated people while the next has the atmosphere of a morgue, but those in the know say it's not so hard to fathom what makes a coffee shop attract a cult following -- or even just become the first choice of the street. Places like Sweet Spot at randwick, Brubar at North Bondi and Single Origin anywhere will show you how to get a caffeine hit

baristas worth every bean The greatest things in life are shared: Where's the best coffee in Sydney?
It may be a long way from anywhere but Australia boasts one of the world’s most vibrant coffee cultures. The specialty coffee industry has grown in the last 50 years not from coffee chains but through top quality independent cafés born out of the early Greek and Italian immigrants, write Matthew Gee and David Gee

No one gets close to Single Origin in Surry Hills. Yoshi is the best barista in Sydney. Fantastic latte art, super fast and he knows every regulars name and the coffee's they drink. Brilliant. All the staff are warm and friendly, which is more than I can say for lots of the other cafe's that reputably serve good coffee.

Joshi aka Yoshi aka ...; [One of the most memorable comments about software ever said is whether this or that piece of code can make coffee Brown Gold ; Coffee Snobs; Coffee-Business Plan for the NSW Coffee Growing Industry Northern NSW Coffee Industry; RIRDC is a statutory authority established by the Primary Industries and Energy Research and Development Act Sydney Coffee growing]
• · Raise a mug for World's Biggest Coffee Morning; Sopear is a good word to know if you're buying conchas from Pancho's Bakery. It's Spanish for "to sop," as in to dunk your Mexican pastries in milk, coffee or hot chocolateSopping
• · · Your afternoon coffee may be weighing you down - Your afternoon coffee may be weighing you down It's meant to pick you up and get you through the rest of the day but added calories in afternoon coffees can weigh people down Afternoon cup o' joe could be making you fat; Chemically Imbalanced 10 Popular Coffee Blogs
• · · ·
Oz Coffee Exchange
; Silver linings do exist in the heavens and a negative happening can often be seen as just the necessary action to spark a greater good, but it's usually the sad or negative that catches our eyes. The greatest things in life are shared
• · · · · Starbucks failed to impress New Yorkers with their new instant coffee during its launch this week. Sage; Politics of Coffee and sharing

Friday, September 25, 2009

Media Dragon is celebrating more than Sikh Bohemian wedding anniversary or our arrival in antipodean Sydney all those years ago (circa 1980), this September Media Dragon has had over 60,000 visits, between 2006 and 2009 AD, from mischievous readers clicking their mouse in more than 100 countries. We are proud of our global readership and thank you for your continued support. Six degree of separation - 60,000 Visitors from More than 100 Countries!

PS - Media Dragon sends a welcome home to Steve, TL and Travis

Light is the best antidote Internet has never been more dangerous Who bravely dares must sometimes risk a fall: 10 harsh truths about corporate blogging
Internet has never been more dangerous ... The proliferation of malware online keeps setting new records and security experts are worried. Between January and June this year, the number of fake antivirus programs detected grew by 585%, according to a report released by the Anti-Phishing Working Group...

Is it possible that you've ever made a customer angry enough to blog about your "friendly" service? When working with business and government institutions, I always set up a Google Alert, which searches the internet 24/7 looking specifically for these sorts of comments ...
Most organizations have a blog simply because they feel they should. to "get" blogging and have poorly visited blogs with few comments. Because their blog fails to perform, they conclude that blogging is an ineffective...However, it does not need to be this way. Corporate blogs can be a powerful communication tool that builds brand awareness and nurtures a sense of engagement.

Paul Boag - The One Degree with 360 Degrees of Opportunities ; Phishing ; [Web 2.0: the new tools for democratic conversations - a snapshot of initiatives in government, Information Victoria, Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, September 2009. This paper provides an overview of developments in the use of interactive online communications described as Web 2.0 and when applied in government, better known as Government 2.0. Web 2.0 ; IT modernisation: an exercise in alignment - This report, based on interviews and a global survey of 170 senior executives, concludes that while firms recognise the importance of modernising IT systems, they do not always implement such projects effectively...with respect both to drivers of IT modernisation projects and benefits of such projects. It also investigates the impacts of the current economic upheaval on organisations' modernisation efforts PDF IT ]
• · MURDOCH's announcement that the free ride is over has certainly generated some debate. What this signals is a substantial shift in thinking about the price of content on the internet. What was missing from Murdoch's announcement – and others like Fairfax Media chief Brian McCarthy's statement that monetisation will have to happen – is just how newspapers will make the transition online ; The world in 2025 ... Thus, began the fierce endeavour of the State to squeeze the population to the last drop. Since, economic resources fell short of what was needed, the strong fought to secure the chief share for themselves with a violence and unscrupulousness well in keeping with the origin of those in power and with a soldiery accustomed to plunder. The full rigour of the law was let loose on the population. Soldiers acted as bailiffs or wandered as secret police through the land. Those who suffered most were, of course, the propertied class. It was relatively easy to lay hands on their property, and in an emergency, they were the class from whom something could be extorted most frequently and quickly ... Is this too fanciful, do you think, too apocalyptic? Well, this is not a dark prediction, proceeding from the recesses of some futurologist's "heat oppressed brain" but a direct quotation taken from The Cambridge Ancient History , pp. 263-264, in the section that deals with the decline of the Roman Empire. [In 2008, the IRS project team established a presence in the Second Life virtual world with the goal of exploring the potential use of this environment for recruitment and training purposes] Decline of the Roman Empire
• · · Heredity is what sets the parents of a teenager wondering about each other. -Laurence J. Peter
Chuck Collins, heir to the Oscar Mayer fortune, is looking for 1,000 rich people to sign his online petition seeking to raise immediately reverse the Bush tax cuts and increase the top tax marginal income tax rate to 39.6% from 35% on household incomes of more than $235,000. In a prior effort, Mr. Collins worked with William H. Gates Sr. and George Soros in getting 4,702 signatures on a petition opposing repeal of the estate tax. Soros ; Banker bonuses minute, says duke
• · · · Crimes ; Fourteen years after Peter Savage, 16, was bashed and stabbed in a street at Lidcombe, police have charged a man with murder and expect more people to be ... Savage Story
• · · · · RU OK? Day, Launched on 10 September, World Suicide Prevention Day, the new RU OK? Initiative that aims to lower Australia's suicide rates. The main message is to communicate and connect with people by simply asking "Are you OK?" It also aims to promote awareness of information and support by raising the profile of existing organisations that provide these services. The inaugural RU OK? Day will be held on November 29 RU OK? Day, - Whatever Works as in Woody Allen; Have you noticed that we are being bombarded by a flood of work by neuroscientists and behavioral economists, aided by such things as clever research design, the use of improved technologies for measuring brain activity, and the admission by Alan Greenspan that markets acted in ways he had not anticipated? The work shares several common counter-intuitive conclusions that: (1) human behavior is much less rational than has been assumed, (2) this renders much of conventional teaching in fields such as economics and management obsolete, and (3) it makes suspect much of what we do as managers Are you ready to manage in an irrational world?; Every politician knows that ideas have consequences, so whether it is Beijing, Bangkok, Brussels, Beirut, or Buenos Aires, policy makers seek the advice and counsel of scholars from think tanks who understand this reality and are able to shape policies and Politics with their ideas
• · · · · · Michael D'Ascenzo - Leaders that make a difference ; The Merit Protection Commissioner and Ethical Decision Making. A publication on how to use the APS Values and Code to make ethical decisions in the APS Leadership Forum in 2009; Authority versus persuasion, Eric J Van den Steen, Harvard Business School Working Paper, 5 August 2009, 22p. In directing employees, managers often face a choice between invoking authority and persuasion. In choosing between persuasion and authority the manager makes a cost-benefit trade-off. This paper studies that trade-off, focusing in particular on conflicts that originate in open disagreement focusing in particular on conflicts that originate in open disagreement


[T]he truly dismaying shrinkage of the book review issue published at the University of Michigan—which is ostensibly, almost ostentatiously, committed to the importance of the book-review enterprise—is symptomatic of a truly national disease. In the remainder of this brief and informal Essay, I will first offer some data substantiating my concern and then offer some of my observations as to the baleful consequences of what the data reveals Book Reviews

UK-HRD began as a moderated e-mail-based discussion forum for training and human resource development specialists. It now provides a virtual meeting place for around 1,000 people who have already subscribed. When you subscribe a digest of the questions asked, and answers provided is compiled and e-mailed directly to you every working day. Some of the subscribers are very experienced - even experts in their fields - so visitors are tapping into a valuable and indispensable resource. The discussion forum is growing constantly.This web site complements the discussion forum

This site might be an interesting starting point for new internet users in the domain of HR. Included are a database of HR products, the research center, an agenda of seminars, HR articles Workforce online

This is a tremendous site offering the visitor a chance to sample and trial HR software 360-degree feedback

HRM Guide is a series of linked web sites containing hundreds of free human resource management-related articles and features. Stimulating stuff

Job satisfaction:
* European heaven. It's where the English are the police, the French are the cooks, the Swiss are the bankers, the Italians are the lovers and the Germans are the engineers.

* European hell. It's where the English are the cooks, the French are the engineers, the Swiss are the lovers, the Italians are the bankers and the Germans are the police.
Job satisfaction:
and More Green or Emerald is on the other side ...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sydneysiders have woken to a red haze unlike anything seen before by residents or weather experts, as the sun struggles to pierce a thick blanket of dust cloaking the city this morning. Callers flooded talkback radio, others hit social networking sites and scores of emails were received from readers as Sydney residents expressed their amazement at this morning's conditions The dust that dare not speak its name

Sydney dust storm worst in 70 years, says weather bureau. Birds had been blown out of their nests ... Sydney dust storm leads to tactical advertising bonanza

It did feel like Armageddon because when I was in the kitchen looking out the skylight, there was this red, red glow coming through Armageddon

Armageddon Global Warning Eeerie red haze - Havoc in the Political World
We've been living through a leadership failure seldom experienced in our nation's history---matched only by failure to head off the Civil War and failure to anticipate and initially react to the Great Depression. Government, business, religious, financial and social leaders have all let us down.

What's the answer? It lies in recognizing the truth about past sins and dealing the new realities honestly---and where need be---with courage. A lot courage.

Courage; [ We are actually much more than ways to launder money, receive the proceeds of ransoms, or evade lawful taxes in your home country, as Hollywood knows it is much more than that…Don’t cry at political scandal. It could be verse; The names, all linked in some way or other to the biggest political scandal France has seen in years, come from the notebooks of Denis Robert]
• · Safire himself, no stranger to the Nixon White House, popularized the use of "gate" as a suffix for any political scandal. Political Lexicographer; In an uncanny defiance of the usual fallout from a Facebook scandal, it didn't seem to really dent the young politician's rise to stardom. ...Facebook
• · · What was surprising about the show was the fact that it was less about the political scandal and more about the wife who was left to pick up the pieces. 'The Good Wife' review: Well-timed and well-done;
• · · · Besides his dirty campaign tricks, Rove has also been implicated, though never indicted, for various political scandals. When it was leaked to the press Becoming responsibly engaged in the world; Fresh allegations about government misconduct involving a controversial nuclear waste storage facility at Gorleben have rekindled political debate about atomic energy in Germany, just weeks before the country goes to the polls. Media commentators speculate that the issue could affect the national election. German Nuclear Scandal is 'Hair-Raising and Unforgivable'
• · · · · Sure, it's the stuff of holy wars, political scandals, romantic devastation, economic ruin and almost always a guaranteed catalyst of despair. The words “lie,” “truth,” and “honesty” are never uttered in The Invention of Lying, save for the “L”-word’s invocation ; A survey that could be deemed a bit frivolous is nevertheless interesting: CQ asked its readers to rank 10 recent political scandals, from most to ...least scandalous.