Thursday, January 26, 2012

Who Makes you proud? Our population is made up of nationalities from around the world ... Each year Antipodeans celebrate the achievement and contribution of creative Australians through the Australia Day Awards. Australia Day, that holiest of days for Aussies, is one huge celebration of everything Australian. Australia Day, in 2012, is an occasion on which many people might reflect how fortunate they are to live in a country so distant from most of the problems apparent elsewhere in the world.

Mr Bawa Singh Jagdev, OAM, and Mrs Vera Hatton, OAM, can now add the Medal of the Order of Australia to their impressive resumes after being recognised in the Australia Day honours for their services to the Community. They join the total of 439 recipients announced today by Governor-General, Quentin Bryce who noted:

I want to give my strong support to the awards made through the Australian honours system. They elevate the concept of giving to others. The honours announced today recognise community values and celebrate what is important and unifying in Australian life.

Commit to making a difference as a regular human being, because we have that power.

Media Coverage - Six Degree of Separation
I. Global - Sikh Chic - Bawa Jagdev
II. Local - Southern Ccourier - Bawa Jagdev
III. Multicultural SBS - Bawa Jagdev

A migrant who arrived in Australia from Keya, East Africa, with his wife and two children more than 30 years ago for a big adventure has received a today’s Australia Day honours. Mr Jagdev may have been born and bred in Punjab, under the Himalayan Mountains, but since 1975 he calls Sydney his home and uses the Southern Cross as his compass. Mr Jagdev has spent his life in Australia working to improve outcomes for others. It is this selflessness that has been recognised with the Order of Australia. Mr Jagdev is the first turbaned Sikh to receive such high honour. One might describe Mr Jagdev as someone who knows how to make a difference, given his ability to motivate others. The simplicity and beauty of Sikhism left a lasting impact on Mr Jagdev. Sikhism is about compassion, forgiveness and unshorn hair and kirpan are an inalienable part of Sikh culture. For Mr Jagdev the OAM comes as an acknowledgement of his passion for community as there were a lot of barriers for new immigrant cultures that needed to be broken down. He was instrumental in establishing the first religious place of worship for the Sikh Community along with weekend language schools. Other significant work undertaken by Mr Jagdev for his community includes the provision of free meals for the community, the establishment of a free meditation area and the organisation of many cultural and sporting events, not only for members of the Sikh background but also those of Muslim, Hindu and Christian backgrounds. Today, most Australians see a Sikh as an Aussie, not as a foreigner. Today’s award tops off the fairy tale for him ; We come from a very privileged nation. For centuries (around two centuries to be precise) we have been known as the ‘Lucky Country’. I don’t think there is a more apt description for our wonderful land Down Under. Blessed with perfect climates, with open spaces, with paradisiacal topography, with freedom, democracy and free speech – Australia sets the bar for many people the world over. One of the most multi-cultural societies on the face of the planet
The Sikh presence at the parade has been possible due to the efforts of the Sikh Council of Australia (SCA), and in particular its officers Ajmer Singh Gill, Vickram Singh Grewal and Bawa Singh Jagdev. They have lobbied hard to have the contribution of the Sikhs in both World Wars officially recognised ANZAC- Sikh of Sikhs

Australia Day - Celebrate what's great! Top Australians awarded highest accolades Rush …In joyful strains then let us sing, Advance Australia Fair!
The Australian of the Year 2012, Geoffrey Rush, has now celebrated 40 years as an Australian actor, achieving the rare international distinction of the ‘Triple Crown’ - an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy. He also has three Australian Film Institute honours, three British Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, four Screen Actors’ Guild Awards, and last year was inducted into the ranks of Australia’s elite with a Helpmann Award.

GEOFFREY RUSH'S trophy room, one might assume, would be a fairly impressive and comprehensive sight - and now the abundantly talented thespian must make room for one more: Australian of the Year 2012. We are natural at acting the goat, taking the mickey, playing the clown

The director Neil Armfield, a long-time collaborator on acclaimed theatre productions such as Exit the King and Diary of a Madman, said the award was well deserved. ''He's put such incredible work into his profession,'' he said. ''He's never sought rewards, he's always gone for the most interesting jobs and it's paid off brilliantly with this incredible career.''
• Starring role for Rush, the clown prince of acting Australia Day 2012 Honours List ; In the nine decades since her birth on the island of Murrungga, Laurie Baymarrwangga has seen the arrival of missionaries, exploitation by Japanese and European fishermen, war and tumultuous change Laurie Baymarrwangga [The Governor-General is pleased to announce the following appointments and awards: Australia Day 2012 Honours List; The Biographical notes for each recipient in the Australia Day 2012 Honours List. PDF - Australia Day is a reflection of our nation's identity]
• · History - The tradition of having Australia Day as a national holiday on 26 January is a recent one. Not until 1935 did all the Australian states and territories use that name to mark that date. Not until 1994 did they begin to celebrate Australia Day consistently as a public holiday on that date Australia Day - Celebrate what's great! ; Google Draws hundreds of Ausie Stories Together
• · · AUSTRALIA Day has become the quintessential day to celebrate being Australian. How we celebrate can take many forms - attending a citizenship ceremony, seeing a concert, watching a regatta, playing cricket in the park, enjoying a barbecue with friends and family or watching the fireworks. What is important is that we do celebrate our successes as a nation and that each of us, in whatever way we want to. Join in that celebration ; We love the fact that we can count bogans, westies, toffs, posh bastards, concrete cowboys and yobos amongst our mates. Bondi Icons
• · · · 2012 Australia Day Address: Professor says racism still rife in Australia Address Taps into mysterious human disease; If a Chinese person were to fall on the wrong side of the law, it would be to the detriment of the entire Chinese community. Dr Charlie Teo ; Dr Charlie Teo says the racism problem is very real.
• · · · · Exploding the myths about our country No bigger occasion for nationAs Australia Day approaches, the great Aussie annual introspection starts. ; Clinton wishes us a happy Australia Day
• · · · · · The ultimate Aussie dish; Maggie's Australia Day pavlova ; Remarkable and truly inspirational runner, Centenarian Sikh runner Fauja Singh is an inspiration for others. While running marathon races in London, New York and Toronto, he raised money for various charities promoting Sikh culture around the world. He has also raised money for a charity dedicated to the care for premature babies. "Turbaned Tornado

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I hope my daughters Sasha and Gabbie read wisely and live even more wise --- When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. Life is a choice. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness…

I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
I wish I didn't work so hard.
I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Twenty top predictions for life 100 years from now Twenty top predictions for life 100 years from now: "Last week we asked readers for their predictions of life in 100 years time. Inspired by ten 100-year predictions made by American civil engineer John Elfreth Watkins in 1900, many of you wrote in with your vision of the world in 2112. Many of the "strange, almost impossible" predictions made by Watkins came true. Here is what futurologists Ian Pearson (IP) and Patrick Tucker (PT) think of your ideas : Twenty top predictions for life 100 years ; Strange, almost impossible

Help Me To Save … You Sweating The Big Stuff
From the obituary of Jonathan Richardson (shoe shine worker, dead at 74): In the context of his reaction to joining civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama:" When someone puts you down, you just smile at them, and that makes them wonder what you're thinking. You just smile at them and walk away".

From the obituary of Aimee Joan Grunberger (mother, teacher and poet, dead at 44 from complications related to breast cancer): "From where she sat in her study, she could see through the town. She saw the pettiness and the politics. She saw the people hurrying around and the squabbles. "These people need cancer," Aimee Grunberger said. "These people need cancer, not enough to kill them, just enough to make them see what's important". It was something she wouldn't wish on anyone. To a degree, it was something she would wish on everyone".

Obituaries - what are they good for? - When someone goes "before their time" there is often reflection on the meaning of live, and what a well-lived life, purpose-inspired might look like. I found some deep meaning in a recent post by Bronnie Ware, who worked for many years in palliative care. She found that every single patient found their peace before they departed. When questioned about any regrets they had, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five she found... Regrets of the Dying/Lessons for the Living [Mounted intellectual property actions will not need much scrutiny in terms of credibility The Wikipedia Blackout: Congress and digital erasure; Sitting as Chair or Director on a board can merely mean maintaining a privileged culture of insider game playing Protest and Occupy: the promise for 2012 ]
• · Social media is revolutionising the way we all communicate. Despite this the financial sector has been slow to embrace the opportunities that social media provides. Within this research report we explore and analyse current perceptions and future perspectives within the financial sector towards social media Made in heaven or marriage from hell? Social media and the financial sector (PDF); Given that today’s world is faster paced and more dynamic than ever before, and the increasingly complex and overwhelming amount of information that is therefore available, the rise of organizations whose primary goals include the generation of research and the provision of information should, perhaps, come as no great surprise. Indeed, think tanks have enjoyed massive growth – both in number and in their role in global policymaking – over the last decade 2011 Global Go To Think Tank Index
• · · The share of adults in the United States who own tablet computers nearly doubled from 10% to 19% between mid-December and early January and the same surge in growth also applied to e-book readers, which also jumped from 10% to 19% over the same time period E-book reader Ownership Nearly Double Over ; Employees who chat over the photo copier or around the coffee machine are not necessarily wasting time. Gallup research shows that socialising is good for employees' wellbeing - and company performance. Office socialising found to be good for wellbeing and company performance
• · · · Making good on part of the House of Representative's commitment to increase congressional transparency, today the House Clerk's office launched, a one stop website where the public can access all House bills, amendments, resolutions for floor consideration, and conference reports in XML, as well as information on floor proceedings and more. Information will ultimately be published online in real time and archived for perpetuity. The Clerk is hosting the site, and the information will primarily come from the leadership, the Committee on House Administration, the Rules Committee, and the Clerk's office Sunlight Foundation: ; A seductive approach to homemaking Bigger and better
• · · · · William Browder is head of Hermitage Capital in London’s Golden Square. He is a naturalized British citizen, the grandson, as it happens, of Earl Browder, the head of the US Communist Party in the 1940s. That link did neither him nor his mathematician father no favours in life. In the last year he has received 11 death threats – a text message quoted the Godfather about history showing that ‘there is no one so powerful they cannot be killed’. The calls were traced back to Russia. They probably did not come from gangsters, but from the senior figures in the Russian police, or more worryingly the FSB secret police. They are the ones who poisoned the late Mr Litvinienko with polonium in the middle of London Biziness and justice, Russian style ; We decided to help raise the level of integrity Italians turn to the Internet against tax evasion
• · · · · ·
When city services can autonomously go online and digest information from the cloud, they can reach a level of performance never before seen. How the "Internet of Things" Is Turning Cities Into Living Organisms ; Social and internet fill the top two slots, echoing what we saw in the 2010 API stats. Telephony has become a larger part of the directory for likely two reasons. First, telco operators are waking up to the API world. And secondly, the Twilio API has shown everyone the utility of infrastructure-as-a-service.
o Twilio (234)
o Google Maps (169)
o Twitter (142)
o Twilio SMS (133)
o Facebook (99) Programmable Web Services Directory of over 100 government [local, state and federal] APIs released in 2011

CODA: Email to 24 Millions Customers on Password Hacking January 15, 2012 - "Subject: Information on the site - please create a new password. First, the bad news: We are writing to let you know that there may have been illegal and unauthorized access to some of your customer account information on, including one or more of the following: your name, e-mail address, billing and shipping addresses, phone number, the last four digits of your credit card number (the standard information you find on receipts), and/or your cryptographically scrambled password (but not your actual password). THE BETTER NEWS: The database that stores your critical credit card and other payment data was NOT affected or accessed. SECURITY PRECAUTIONS: For your protection and to prevent unauthorized access, we have expired and reset your password so you can create a new password. Please follow the instructions below to create a new password. We also recommend that you change your password on any other web site where you use the same or a similar password. As always, please remember that will never ask you for personal or account information in an e-mail. Please exercise caution if you receive any emails or phone calls that ask for personal information or direct you to a web site where you are asked to provide personal information. PLEASE CREATE A NEW PASSWORD: We have expired and reset your password so you can create a new password. Please create a new password by visiting and clicking on the "Create a New Password" link in the upper right corner of the web site and follow the steps from there. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any additional questions about this process, please email us at"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gabbie who is living her acting dream in Melbourne invaded Sydney for a few days to touch basis with her friends and to smell the salty air of Sydney Beaches ... I was never as brave as Gabbie, what a brave young woman, to travel around the world in 8 eight months. Enjoy your 20s, go out, have fun, travel, get some life experience, fall in love, have your heart broken, be disappointed, put out good plays, put out bad plays, but when you get to your 30s, that's when you'll put out important works, that's when you'll act in the best roles of your life ... Inspiring teenagers across the world

The tortured lives and spiritual anguish of three great modern poets. The accursed poets. Name the malady, Baudelaire, Verlaine, or Rimbaud suffered from it: arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, syphilis. Each relished his own martyrdom, even flaunted it... The Cursed Poets and Their Gods

What should be a blessing – more leisure – has become a curse. Or as Slavoj Žižek puts it: Being exploited in a job is now considered a privilege... Capitalism produces unemployment.

Enduring allure Taking a Novel Approach to Life
Attention, novelty junkies: New is not always improved. Ideas that succeed are those that stick around long enough to become old...
Neophiliacs tend to chase the new at all costs. Neophobes—also known as fuddy-duddies—tend to avoid it.

Are we overwhelmed by the new or trapped in the old? The digital age bombards us with technological wonders. And yet, as Simon Reynolds argued in the recent book "Retromania," our attachment to the past leads us to consume pop culture well past its shelf life. The iPod may have revolutionized how we listen to music, but many people are using it to listen to tunes that hit the big time half a century ago—or using their iPads to book tickets for a revived 1950s Broadway musical or for the latest movie based on a comic book from the 1940s.

• · Taking a Novel Approach to Life [ On the Internet, expertise is pooled, intelligence is collective, and discovery is being reinvented. Welcome to the era of open-source science Sunlight; Joan Didion is guilty of a great artistic and personal crime: She got old. Her writing got old, her perspective got old. Her bag of tricks doesn’t work anymore The Autumn of Joan Didion ]
• · · Authors’ ability to endlessly edit their digital work will overturn publishing. Maybe books will improve, but movable type is easily abused...Books That Are Never Done Being Written ; The writer’s work is a triumph—and a disaster; The Internet, says John Brockman, is the infinite oscillation of our collective conscious interacting with itself, adding a fuller, richer dimension to what it means to be human... Undercover
• · · · Saint or crank? By turns a pleasure-seeking aristocrat and a peasant guru of antimaterialism, Tolstoy was both monstrous and moral... Tolstoy: A Russian Life; Enduring allure ... More Persian and Indian than Arab, The Arabian Nights is the stuff of Occidental fantasy. What explains Scheherazade’s enduring allure? Visions of the Arabian Nights
• · · · ·Who is Vladimir Putin? A master of persuasion, not coercion. No ordinary KGB-trained thug, he doesn’t destroy enemies. He manipulates them Putin and the Uses of His Story; William Shirer devoted 1,250 pages and 25 years to understanding the Third Reich. He didn’t pretend to have all the answers. Some things are inexplicable... Revisiting The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
• · · · · ·Sigmund Freud, the boy who was born on the banks of the Moravian river Morava, is out of fashion. The reason? His heroic refusal to flatter humankind Freud: the last great Enlightenment thinker; The human mind, he wrote, is a perfect computer corrupted by ‘incorrect data’ Religion, grrrr

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Welcome the littlest and newest member of the extended family Malachi Grant … 21-1-2012 - 18:00 PM Something like a saint - an insane saint ; Couple ditch nest to show some mercy

CODA: Someone commented that M's family seems to be breeding M & M’s with the advent of Michael Jonah and Malachi Paul!! Michael had been called the Big M in the last few days … at least it wasn’t the old M.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

For three weeks, 21 days, the Sydney Festival makes the city alive and buzzing with a rich array of guru music, arts , manuchao entertainment and outdoor events.

The chief appeal of theatre is its capacity to bring people together – a room or an oval or an opera house – in real space and time. I Am Eora did this for Imrich Media Dragons, Tony and Tina to boot with the the best seats in the house. As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. I Am Eora is crammed with images and contradictions. The theatre at Carriageworks is big, and they used it to full effect, with lots of movement, sound, and lights. SOON after the quiet opening of this show the extraordinary Jack Charles interrupts the cast from the back of the auditorium: "You can't go back to traditions! You have to move on!" And move on is certainly what Wesley Enoch's show does. They all took part in the early struggle between the Eora group of nations, who inhabited what is now called the Sydney basin, and the white settlers. Part concert, part savagely ironic dance spectacular and part story telling The stage was filled with reflections of moving water and stylised fish, as the Stiff Gins (Nardi Simpson and Kaleena Briggs) and a glamorous Wilma Reading - appropriating, in a shimmering purple gown, the traditions of the pop diva - celebrate strong black women. I Am Eora (I am of this place) breaks new ground in contemporary Australian performance, telling the stories of Sydney's Aboriginal continuity in a celebration of its heroes. There is a very funny routine by Elaine Crombie as a bride, and an appearance by politician Linda Burney, reperforming her fine inaugural speech as the first elected black woman to speak in the NSW parliament. Frank Yamma sings the moving She Cried. Towards the end Charles, as Bennelong the conciliator, comes back and speaks in his golden voice, full of rhetorical emotion. There is a projection of a midden behind him - the piles of shells built up over thousands of years that were ground up to make the mortar that built Sydney. How will our children know where they are? he asks, of us all.
In a nutshell, it was a mix of dance, music, theatre, and projection art, with a cast of Aboriginal performers from across the country. It was meant to be a modern manifestation of the spirit of some of the big figures in Sydney’s Aboriginal past. How will our children of Velvet Revolution know where they are?
I don't make it my job tracking trends in odd sounds but big bands are in judging by the mixed audience last night at the Enmore where everyone wanted more and more brass … Wielding flying bohemian fiddles and accordions in formation with cimbalom (hammered dulcimer) and wearing tacky nylon suits and battered trilbies, Romanian Taraf de Haïdouks join forces with Macedonia's Koçani Orkestar to bring us Band of Gypsies. The violins, cimbalums and accordions of Taraf de Haïdouks battle it out with the brass and percussion of Koçani Orkestar. They drew on dragon and vampire type traditional gypsie music, urban Balkan pop, medieval ballads, oriental brass band music, Turkish influences and even a touch of Bollywood for Malchkeon

Six impossible things before or after dinner Big Days of our lives - Like a seed of the mustard tree
Sharing changes the way we work together. Politics has accelerated to light speed over the past year, as 7 billion people connected through 6 billion mobiles, share their frustrations, aspirations and strategies for dissent. Sharing is a two-edged sword: it makes everything more efficient by making people much more potent. It's getting hard for any government to push its people around.

So when you borrow your neighbour's mower this summer, remember it's just the beginning. We live continuously connected lives, and our possessions are beginning to reflect that. In a few years we'll have forgotten that there was a time, before tomorrow, when sharing was hard.

A shared future will connect society; Love most important ingredient to kitchen memories The aromas of my mum’s kitchen are floating in the Cold River : [ More on Sydney Festival ; The best seats in the house Finders Keepers at Carriage Work ]
• · There will be a political sex scandal in Canberra in 2012. There'll be one in Washington, too. And probably in Sydney. What predictions came true this year for you; Andrew Clennell - Bruce Hawker, the long-time Labor strategist, says the best thing O'Farrell could do over the next three months is a comprehensive reshuffle to bring in some fresh blood Boring Barry on a very slow boat ; Google On OO’FFarrell
• · · The Beatles are not only the greatest pop group in history but may also be able to teach you tons about how to get ahead in business…and what it takes to survive. That post leads off our small business roundup today with plenty of other resources about how to make your small business great. What the Beatles Could Teach Small Business ; What is happening now is the revenge of the market. A high literary culture, utterly divorced from economic realities, was artificially propped up for fifty year. Everything Old Is New Again - Commentary Magazine
• · · · Bohemian Tash is having having two shows in February. One in Sydney with fellow artists Ruby Jackson and Andrew Dixon. ‘Postcards from the Fringe’ is showing at Kaleidoscope Gallery in Dank Street, Sydney. I will post more details closer to the date. Postcards from the Fringe ; Woody Guthrie on New Year's Rulin's ; I Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It’s Headed - The importance of social networking in today’s online experience cannot be overstated. Social networking is the most popular online activity worldwide accounting for nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online in October 2011, and reaches 82 percent of the world’s Internet population, representing 1.2 billion users around the globe t’s a Social World
• · · · · Atlantic - The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods Ari LeVaux: Chinese researchers have found small pieces of ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood and organs of humans who eat rice. The Nanjing University-based team showed that this genetic material will bind to proteins in human liver cells and influence the uptake of cholesterol from the blood. We are eating not just vitamins, protein, and fuel, but information as ; This article details the networked production and dissemination of news on Twitter during snapshots of the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions as seen through information flows—sets of near-duplicate tweets—across activists, bloggers, journalists, mainstream media outlets, and other engaged participants. The Revolutions Were Tweeted
• · · · · · It is often better to travel than to arrive, particularly with a good book in hand. How travel broadens the mind; Don't Mess With Taxes; Meaning discovery engine Be Spacific links for solid research; Vrbov and Wordnik is a new way to discover meaning ; Writer's craft is now a ghost in the machine

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tax refund fraud continues to be a focus for revenue agencies everywhere
Tax fraud is a crime. It places an unfair burden on people who do the right thing and contribute their fair share in accordance with the law Suspected promoters of an Education Tax Refund scam had their personal computers and records seized yesterday with the execution of multiple search warrants by the. Australian Taxation Office and Australian Federal Police

Counting the cost of tax havens

TAX evasion - which costs Australia $41.4 billion a year - is the cause of the Greek debt crisis that is destabilising Europe, according to the author of research into the problem.
Every year tax evasion costs the world's governments $3.1 trillion, or about 5.1 per cent of world gross domestic product (GDP), activist group the Tax Justice Network says in a report.
''Greece's problems stem from 40 years of tax evasion and not collecting enough tax revenue,'' TJN director John Christensen told BusinessDay.

High Cost of blind trusts fraud in tax haven; This country needs extraordinary measures, because the situation is extraordinary Spain to Crack Down on Tax Fraud [ Targeting tax crime: a whole-of-government approach ; Tax crime investigations and results;Although its main focus is on tax crime, the OECD is also concerned with money laundering. Tax and Crime ]
• · If you peel back the layers of Louisiana’s tax structure, you’re likely to find confusion, outrage and, more importantly, room for improvement. The Truth About Taxes ; Who Guards the Guards
• · · Identity criminals claiming millions in tax refund; tax refund fraud was rampant in the state prisons where he served his sentence, and he tried for years to tell the federal government what was going on; Satirists have long joked that America is the land of opportunity—everybody can become a taxpayer. Identity thieves are taking this opportunity literally by assuming taxpayers’ identities for their own financial gain. Identity Thieves ‘Make It Rain’ Cash With Fraudulent Tax Refunds
• · · · IRS steps up efforts to fight fraudulent claims for tax refunds; Lessons to Be learntIRS sees staggering jump in identity theft cases
• · · · · An accountant has been arrested at Sydney Airport after allegedly stealing nearly $50,000 from her clients in the city's west. Philippines - Airport arrest over tax return thefts ; It’s always good to have someone on the inside. At least that’s how Nancy and Laurie Sondrall must have felt. Nancy’s sister and Laurie’s aunt, Pamela Marie Dellis, was providing them with ill-gotten booty from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. ; U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson also ordered Bates to pay $246,064 in restitution to HSBC Taxpayer Financial Services and $30,211 in restitution to the IRS. Evidence at trial proved Bates took the names and Social Security numbers of student loan borrowers from the databases at her former employer and conspired to use the stolen identifying information to steal money from the government and from a bank Millbrook woman gets prison for student ID thefts ; In Multiflex Pty Ltd v. The Commissioner of Taxation (2011) FCA 789 the taxpayer challenged the Commissioner's ability to withhold goods and services tax (GST) refunds pending the completion of verification or audit activity. ; The criminal activities date back to the years 1996-2002 when Bena company imported more than 200,000 tonnes of diesel oil and petrol from Slovakia to the Czech Republic - Czech police accuse three of tax evasion for 2.6 billion crowns
• · · · · · Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation Inland Revenue (IR) has picked a mega tax scam of Faisalabad as a test case to determine the role of tax officers, gangs of fraudsters, banks staff and others for taking appropriate countermeasures in controlling fraudulent income tax refunds payment and similar nature of organised financial crimes in future. ; Prisoners Become Tax Preparers ; Six men were convicted of tax evasion by a German court today following a fraud linked to the sale of carbon-emission certificates to Deutsche Bank AG. ; Big Boys Small Returns; Limit human involvement and you raise efficiency and reduce the risk of fraud. This is the thinking behind the SA Revenue Service’s automated Vat risk engine. Risk engine misfiring ;A survey conducted in the autumn shows the UK economy loses an estimated £2.7 billion per year due to identity fraud which affects 1.8 million people annually . Identity fraud covers a range of widespread criminal activities with many organised groups being known to supply or use false or stolen genuine personal identities. Crimestoppers launches campaign to fight ID fraud in the run up to Christmas ; Identity Theft and Tax Fraud tax fraud identity theft

Sunday, January 08, 2012

It's here, it's here, it's here! But you knew that already. You have printed the schedule, checked the map, planned your public transport, practiced the words to Manu Chao , got the kids excited for Holly Throsby and Tangle and shone your dancing shoes for the Trocadero Dance Palace Sydney Festival 2012 is a party that starts off with a bang

Huge crowds flocked to The Domain to watch performances by the French-Spanish singer Manu Chao, the Australian singer-songwriter Megan Washington and Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. as simply the voice of Australia

This is our city in summer by Google

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Dragon years in the 12-year Chinese zodiac are typically popular for births because the icon of China's emperors symbolizes power and wealth …

This is my personal blog. It does not reflect the views of any organisation I work for, have previously worked for, or may work for in the future. In my day job I put crumbs of bread on the table. Here I comment on the bread and the table. Most people understand that difference… This year is the year of the Media Dragon and it is not difficult to argue that blogging has done more to spread scary knowledge and even scarier ideas than any other publishing innovation since the printing press. Printer and photocopier salesmen of the late 20th century frequently peddled their wares with the pitch that a personal printing device could turn anyone—schools, neighborhood associations, churches, individuals with a message to get out—into small time publishers. Yet the revolution they hinted at didn't come about on their watch

A brilliant article in Quarterly Conversation offers a fresh take on Lev Loseff‘s much-discussed Joseph Brodsky: A Literary Life. Marbled with impressive insights, it represents the finest standards of literary journalism, and should establish a new highpoint for the rapidly disappearing genre … let me dissemble no further, dear reader, I myself wrote the review ; Joseph Brodsky

Watch Out: Year after year, these literary gems and websites deliver the goods Feeling rejected? Read these
Take heart, rejected writers everywhere!

This is too delicious to pass up: Flavorwire has 10 nasty rejection letters to eminent writers. (We wrote about famous rejection letters some time ago here.)
Here’s a 1912 rejection for Gertrude Stein by publisher A.C. Fifield:
Dear Madam,
I am only one, only one, only one. Only one being, one at the same time. Not two, not three, only one. Only one life to live, only sixty minutes in one hour. Only one pair of eyes. Only one brain. Only one being. Being only one, having only one pair of eyes, having only one time, having only one life, I cannot read your M.S. three or four times. Not even one time. Only one look, only one look is enough. Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly one.”
Sincerely Yours,
A.C. Fifield
Here’s another for the manuscript that eventually became Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer‘s The Estate and The Manor, rejected by Knopf editor Herb Weinstock in 1959:
It’s Poland and the rich Jews again.
With endless editorial work and endless serpentine dealings with Moshe Spiegel, the willing translator-adapter, this might be turned into an English novel nearly as good and nearly as salable as The Family Moskat. I honestly do not think it worth Knopf’s time and effort … Personally, I’d reject.
"You are scum."
Have to agree with the Guardian Books Blog on this one, which isn’t technically a rejection letter. It’s Hunter S. Thompson‘s letter to his biographer, William McKeen, following the biography’s publication in 1991. It opens: “McKeen, you shit-eating freak.”

• The Guardian blog noted that McKeen now has the letter, framed, on his wall: That’s one way to deal with rejection [It’s January 6th – the epiphany. According to folklore, La Befana visited all the little children in Italy last night, bringing toys and candy to the good ones, and lumps of coal to the bad ones. (Yeah, I know. We get a kindly fat man dressed in red, and Italian kids literally get an old hag. On the plus side, they get to live in Italy, so don’t feel too sorry for them). While I search my home for some lumps of black carbon (surely she wouldn’t forget Italian Americans, right?), you enjoy these links. According to Italian folklore, ; Good King Wenceslas In Prague, Father Christmas is known as Mikulas and he’s usually flanked by the devilish Cert and an angel. According to Czech folklore]
• · One of the best blogs out there on white-collar crime is the White Collar Crime Prof Blog ; Annual blog extravaganza features 25 fresh picks, from politics and pop culture to travel, tech and beyond The Time ; Some tech blogs are fueled mostly by snark and rumor. AllThingsD, by contrast, is powered by old-fashioned hard work. A Web-based spin-off of the Wall Street Journal's swanky annual conference, it features Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg, ace investigative reporter Kara Swisher and a growing lineup of writers who specialize in meaty, dependable coverage of consumer gear, Web trends, mobile communications, business computing and more The Best Blogs of 2011
• · · This is not good enough Media Dragon Seen As too Bohemian rather than Antipoedian ; Kim's writing is insightful, informed and topical. She also has an acerbic wit and is not afraid to criticise the media in Australia The news with nipples
• · · · The mainstream media isn’t giving us the information we need. It is giving us what they think is good enough for people like us, gathered by people that mainstream media organisations regard as competent; but this is not the same thing at all. George Megalogenis; Kevin Donnelly has written for ABC’s The Drum for the last two years, regularly warning us of the dangers posed by: the Gillard government, poor people, Islam and textspeak. He’s a former teacher as well as serving as senior Liberal Kevin Andrew’s chief of staff. Most of the time he’s inspired derisive snerking from me. Occasionally he’ll draw a ‘yoooou idiot’ (articulate, I know) from a piece. Usually, however, I’m content to leave him alone. That is until today’s piece, in which he advocates that the Bible be included in the National Curriculum. It is so bone-headed, wilfully ignorant and petulant that I just had to say something.; THE competition watchdog has banned imported biscuits which use logos featuring a koala, gum leaves and an Australian flag to disguise their Indian origin Ozdownunder Super Sandwich Cream Cookies ; The land of surfing, barbies... and dope ;
• · · · · Alexa Global Traffic Rank, and U.S. Traffic Rank from both Compete and Quantcast."*#*" ; E leventh Annual Weblog Awards
• · · · · · thebattleoftheblogs ; Sara Shaw and Sam Jewler met while living at Occupy D.C. in McPherson Square. They have been dating for six weeks and even moved in together, sharing a tent on the north side of the park 99% of Love; Collection of PDFs

Friday, January 06, 2012

"The doers cut a path through the jungle, the managers are behind them sharpening the machetes. The leaders find time to think, climb the nearest tree, and shout 'Wrong jungle!' Find time to climb the trees."
-Peter Maxwell, director of the Leadership Trust, writing in the "Guardian", 6 October 1999

Now it's time for real cultural, ethical, governance and management reform at HMRC

A little over a year ago UK Uncut began its protests, and the world looked on, bemused. Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t: I knew they’d hit the zeitgeist, although they and Occupy have done so in ways I could never have imagined. It’s been my pleasure to support both movements in the last year.

Tomorrow is a mass day of action by UK Uncut. Vodafone remains a rightful target. And the pressure is working. As the Mail reports:

Deals struck with the tax authorities to wipe billions of pounds off company bills are to be investigated by a former high court judge.

Sir Andrew Park will scrutinise the tax settlements of ten companies – including Vodafone and Goldman Sachs – following allegations that agreements were made between the firms and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to write off unpaid tax bills.

That’s the good news.
And it’s the right news we need to hear.
But we need do more than that. I’ve been interviewed a number of times this week on this them and my message is always the same. HMRC has been corrupted from the top down.

It’s been corrupted by neoliberal corporate thinking. It’s been corrupted into thinking taxpayers are customers. They’re not.

It’s been corrupted as a result into thinking that tax law is just a contract for services. It’s not.
It’s been corrupted into thinking that a contract can be varied by consent of the parties, so the operation of tax law is optional at its whim. It’s not.

It’s been corrupted by people who do not know about tax but do come, especially in the case of some non-execs, from environments where tax abuse is normal, and even rewarded.

It’s been corrupted by a cult of personality around Hartnett, that he came to believe.
It’s been corrupted by cowardly politicians who do not believe in the state and its right to tax.
And it has to be reclaimed, from the top down for the people of this country so it does its job properly.
So that it collects as much as possible of the missing £95 billions that could pay for the services we need.
So that it creates a level playing field so that all businesses can compete in this country knowing their competition can be expected to pay tax and not undercut them by tax abusing, unlike now where a deliberate competitive advantage is given to the tax cheats.

So that it is seen to offer fair play, and have enough staff to ensure that this is seen to be done in the communities it serves and supports.

So that never again is it captured by big business in its interests.
So that never again does it try to avoid its duty to parliament.
So that never again does it serve the interests of its board.
This can be done.
The question is – will it be done?
The answer is key to our economic, social and cultural future in this country.
It’s a choice between prosperity, ethics and fairness and living in a criminogenic state

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Here's to a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year, to all media dragons! I thought it would be difficult to decide what to write for my first blog entry. I thought it would need to be original, witty, unique, and somehow perfect. Yet, I don't have a perfect track record when it comes to new years resolutions, so this year MMXII I am not even planning to change the world for the better. The reality is that in 2012 Media Dragon is 10 years old and how the decade just flew. My daughters will be both in their twenties and how I managed to get grey hair is beyond me ... I might be older, yet the mind and idiosyncrasies of women and computers are still a foreign language to me. I must have done something strange in my previous lives to be blessed with four sisters, two daughters etc ... ;-) New Year's Resolutions I've Already Broken.

There's been a dramatic end to New Year's Eve celebrations in Melbourne, with the iconic Arts Centre spire catching fire - (hat tip to MT iphone).

Tens of thousands of revelers filled Melbourne Streets, while we watched George Cluney in the Descandants, to ring in the new year Saturday night. Counting backwards from 10, the crowd cheered as the clock struck midnight and fireworks even peppered Catholics at St Kilda

Wishing one another a happy new year, many people shared a kiss with a significant other, while others traded high fives and hugs. May this new vintage be a bit more than peppered with good intentions ;-) Happy New Year to media types everywhere

If your conscience is clear, you've nothing to worry about. Your innocence will be proved, but you have to fight for it! I believe that if one doesn't give way, truth must always come out in the end. Maria in Václav Havel, Vyrozumení (The Memorandum) (1966)

-In certain countries, theatres do not merely hire half-starved performers to act out the writings of half-starved writers. They also launch (escapes and)revolutions! Absurdity and truth: the passing of Václav Havel

The Joy of Quiet: Happy New Year to Quiet Douliae types everywhere Gabbie Melbourne Gal: Out with the Old, and iN with the New
When telegraphs and trains brought in the idea that convenience was more important than content — and speedier means could make up for unimproved ends — Henry David Thoreau reminded us that “the man whose horse trots a mile in a minute does not carry the most important messages.” Even half a century ago, Marshall McLuhan, who came closer than most to seeing what was coming, warned, “When things come at you very fast, naturally you lose touch with yourself.” Thomas Merton struck a chord with millions, by not just noting that “Man was made for the highest activity, which is, in fact, his rest,” but by also acting on it, and stepping out of the rat race and into a Cistercian cloister.

I never ... watch TV ... Nor do I go to cocktail parties, dinners or anything like that.” He lived outside conventional ideas, he implied, because “I live alone mostly, in the middle of nowhere.”

Around the same time, I noticed that those who part with $2,285 a night to stay in a cliff-top room at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur pay partly for the privilege of not having a TV in their rooms; the future of travel, I’m reliably told, lies in “black-hole resorts,” which charge high prices precisely because you can’t get online in their rooms.
Has it really come to this?
In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away from them — often in order to make more time. The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug. Like teenagers, we appear to have gone from knowing nothing about the world to knowing too much all but overnight.

• · Hat tip - Gina F The man whose horse trots a mile in a minute does not carry the most important messages [A Variety of New Year's Resolutions
‎ - 666 Pure Vodka run a workshop in NY where Sam Ross (former Melbourne bartender, now manager of Milk & Honey in New York and recently awarded American Bartender of the Year at the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards) described his bartending philosophy and shared various cocktail techniques to a mostly industry-only crowd. It was a really interesting session (I took lots of notes, nerd that I am) Melbourne Gal in love with her city - Milk & Honey ; Chichi Bella and her recommended readings Divine Simplicity of Life in Melbourne; Gabbie and her How to do stuff sites Crafts]
• · · Melbourne erupted in a blaze of colour and light at midnight as Australia ushered in the new year in style Melbourne Arts Centre set ablaze during fireworks ; Sydney turned on a dazzling display of fireworks on the harbour that cost $6.5 million and lasted 12 minutes Cities of light deliver hope in darker times
• · · · Happy 2012 for all crossworders ... ... but may it be a bad year for the crossword gremlins; Metropolis
• · · · · Sydney and Hong Kong set the standard with glittering extravaganzas, while London geared up for a firework display over the River Thames to usher in a year in which it will host the Olympic Games World rings in New Year in blaze of fireworks ; The NSW Minister for Planning has asked two lawyers and ex-State Government ministers - Tim Moore and Ron Dyer; one Liberal, the other Labor - to review the NSW Planning System. Into the swamps of the current system, or a clear view of where to go?
• · · · · ·In announcing the end of the Iraq War, President Obama ignored its horrors, so as not to further upset its still-powerful supporters. But his silence removed the context for Pvt. Bradley Manning's moral decision to expose these crimes of war. Bradley Manning: traitor or hero?; Apocalypse now: caught in the Web of Revelations - In Hell there is nowhere to hide. It's official: we've all gone to hell