BohemiAntipodean Samizdat

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Welcome the new Bulletin writer of the virtual residence
Hot off the presses
· Best NSW Blog (SYDNEY) [ courtesy of Gianna ]

Soros, a Hungarian emigre to the US, concedes that he is open to such accusations. "I can be seen as a traitor to my class and my adopted country, but I am proud to take that role. I think there are values which transcend class and country. I think my country can be wrong and that's the value of an open society and that is the value which has made America great.

A Sense of Possibility, a Blast of Fresh Air
Within minutes of meeting the Herald at his plush west London abode, he complains about George Bush's "Orwellian truth machine" and its use of "doublespeak".
In the United States today you do have a pluralistic, free media. Neverthe-less, the truth machine is capable of manufacturing truth, so that the majority of people in America continue to believe that Saddam was somehow connected to September 11, when all the evidence points to the opposite...
The less faith we have in authority, the more trust we place in our own judgement.
The Nobel Prize-winning writer Gunter Grass said the German Weimar Republic collapsed and the Nazis took over in 1933 because there were not enough citizens. This was the lesson he had learnt: Citizens cannot leave politics just to politicians.

· Victim-turned-perpetrator [ See Also Life is a struggle for survival ]

Empowering events were almost without exception described as joyous occasions. Participants experienced a deep sense of happiness and even euphoria in being involved in protest events.
The first time she took part in one of these counter-summits, she had a distinct feeling that some sort of political portal was opening up This opening was a sense of possibility, a blast of fresh air. These protests - which are actually week-long marathons of intense education on global politics, late-night strategy sessions, festivals of music and street theatre - are like stepping into a parallel universe. Urgency replaces resignation, strangers talk to each other and the prospect of a radical change in political course seems like the most logical thought in the world."
· Life should get better - healthier, wealthier, happier, more satisfying and interesting. Is this the case?

Sleep, baby, sleep
Now that the night is over
And the sun comes like a god (DEUS)
Into our room
All perfect light and promises.

Like medicine or pornography, Labor Party Machine is a subject in which a person is either deeply versed or utterly ignorant. Labor History, according to a tired saying of many parliamentary historians, is merely the propaganda of the victors.
Everybody Loves to Hate the NSW Labor Right

New Sensation, the rock anthem chosen by some crafty Labor spinmeister to introduce Mark Latham
Public attitudes to politics and politicians, Mackay says, reflect a level of cynicism bordering on contempt and despair bordering on disgust...
Pragmatism, Mark Latham and the Labor machine were the winners, and conscience, the rank and file and John Howard the losers in the closest thing to a real debate. Cherrypicking evidence to support the case of the 53 most wanted Members.
· Real Debate: Tumor-ridden body politic of Conscience? Let's not be wise now [ via I wouldn't have thought anybody's ever had me rattled in politics? ]

Seeing how the other half lives
Parliamentarians' of experiment of living on minimum wage raises questions about intent.
Deputy Petr Bratsky and three other politicians have been living on the minimum wage that single mothers such as Monika Jelinkova struggle with.
It's either a sincere attempt to see how the other half lives or a cheap ploy for self-promotion that insults the poor.
These are typical responses to a radio and newspaper challenge taken up by four parliamentarians who agreed to live on the minimum monthly wage -- 6,700 Kc ($257) -- for one month beginning Jan. 1.
The members of Parliament -- Senator Zdenek Barta (unaffiliated, part of the Christian Democratic caucus), Deputy Petr Bratsky (Civic Democrat), Deputy Stanislav Krecek (Social Democrat) and Deputy Michaela Sojdrova (Christian Democrat) -- normally are paid 46,000-64,000 Kc monthly, not including a stipend of 5,000 Kc for mobile telephone calls. This month they budgeted for only 3,900 Kc, what the average family of four living on a single minimum wage has after paying rent.

· Experiment: Prague
· Poor in line for hard Labor

Southern political personalities, like sweet corn, travel badly. They lose flavor with every hundred yards away from the patch. By the time they reach New York, they are like Golden Bantam that has been trucked up from Texas -- stale and unprofitable. The consumer forgets that the corn tastes different where it grows.
[ See Also Reality: The Louisianans, like Levantines, think it naive. When I was a young man, fresh out of Tulane. I was full of civic consciousness. I joined with a number of like-minded reformers to raise a fund to bribe the Legislature to impeach Huey [Long] ]
· Danger lurks for corporate perks

Philosophy's like medicine: lots of drugs, few remedies, and hardly any complete cures...
If you are happy and balanced, why would you be a writer? Theroux

Looking for Freedom
I find it a bit sad that there is no photo of me hanging on the walls in the Berlin Museum at Check-Point Charlie.
· Hasselhoff claims he had hand in Berlin Wall falling [ via Cold Hands]
· Millionaire's den: first post-1989 business club still plays host to prominent entrepreneurs, politicians

Do the Americans get irony?
UK sitcom The Office caused an upset at the Golden Globes, when it received two top awards. Do we still believe that Americans just don't get irony?
· Just don't do irony
Isn't it ironic?
· Doing Business With The Enemy: Halliburton sells about $40 million a year worth of oil field services to the Iranian Government [See Also As far as I can tell, nobody in the Bush administration has ever paid a price for being wrong. Instead, people are severely punished for telling inconvenient truths ]

It was said of one politician that he'd been created to show how far the human skin can stretch

Tragedies suffer from the moral defect of attaching too great an importance to life and death.
Changes in fashion are the tax levied by the poor on the rich.

Life of Janet Frame: blighted by the deaths by drowning of two of her sisters
I inhabited a territory of loneliness which resembles the place where the dying spend their time before death and from where those who do return living to the world bring inevitably a unique point of view that is a nightmare, a treasure, and a lifelong possession [It is] equal in its rapture and chilling exposure [to] the neighbourhood of the ancient gods and goddesses
· Wrestling with the Angel
·An Angel At My The Carpathians Mountains
[See Also The Least Likely Bestseller ]

Friday, January 30, 2004

Fear of untruths being revealed: Law lord hits wrong target on evidence over Iraq war
Why does it come as no surprise that Lord Hutton took the stick to the BBC and its reporter Andrew Gilligan and in the process exonerated the Blair Government over the dossier justifying the war against Iraq? Because in the view of judges, and most other long-in-the-tooth lawyers, the media invariably is out of line, and if it makes a mistake, as Gilligan did, then the crucifixion is so much easier.
· Hutton report excerpts [link first seen at Something's fishy: One-sided verdict is not the final word]

The US is Now in the Hands of a Group of Extremists
Money is the lifeblood of terrorist operations, he's talking about your money -- and every other American's money?
· The US must examine its global role and adopt a more constructive vision-George Soros MUST READ [ courtesy of Googlish webdiarist alive]

Thursday, January 29, 2004

A full house: Campaign Poker
The metaphors of horse races and sporting to describe the run for the White House are so tired as to make one want to puke. A far more useful analogy of the current campaign is poker. The best campaign cardgame is Texas No Limit Hold-em. It takes 5 minutes to learn and a lifetime to master....
The players are the candidates, the chips are the dollars available. The cards are the voters.
There are two tables. George's and the Democrats. The finest example of this point is the current administration, who bluffed their way into the White House. In Campaign poker the cards are important, but the size of your stack, how well you can bet and bluff is a far more important factor in determining if you can go the distance and win all the chips at the last table. One of the things that you can do is raise the other players past the chips they have causing them to fold and loosing the game. This is the current Bush Strategy. George Bush has the most chips on his table and is waiting for the winner of the Democrat's table.
Right now, the first hand is over. Kerry won this hand, Dean came in third, Gephart had the loosing hand and is out of the game. Among the Democrats Dean has the big stack. He has the most money, but the people behind him do not understand how to use this power. Having the most chips is no guarantee of winning the game. To be able to win one must have good cards and play them well.
Remember I said that the cards were the voters. The Deaniacs carpeted Iowa, but like a lot of other things they missed the the voters. Running around with T-Shirts and telling folks without an internet connection about all the wonderful stuff on the website is as useful as explaining Fucsia to the Blind.

· Read the whole thing: we’re even saddened to learn of the deaths of old enemies
[ Source Press is a political player ]

Tied up in double knots, many reporters are sprawling all over New Hampshire.... Howard Kurtz asks Shapiro what's changed since he starting coming to the state in 1980?
A lot fewer Olivetti typewriters and a lot less drinking in the morning.
The Bear Pit and its Press Gallery have always been a mystery to outsiders like me. So much power, and so little sex appeal. Hollywood for ugly people, as they say. But there's gossip, there just has to be. What BP & PG lack in sexiness, they make up for in pomposity and hypocrisy. There's nothing like losing your political virginity with Man Mountain & Bob Carr at the tender age of 37. In fear we should trust

The people have spoken. They said they want change. They said it's time to clean up Washington. They're tired of politics as usual. They're tired of the pursuit of self-interest that has gripped Washington. They want to see an end to partisan bickering and closed-door decision-making. If I'm elected, I'll make sure that the American people can once again place their trust in the White House.

DAVO: Wisdom
Meanwhile, I submit this wisdom delivered last week in Davos by Jay Rosen:
Beginning in the mid 19th century, and all through the 20th, seeing people as masses could be industrially sustained. There were only so many channels, so many ways or reaching people en masse, and this convinced the message senders that there was an audience out there. But now being a bulk message sender via the media is like the guy in the street trying to get you to take a handbill. He may have motivation for delivering the message, you have none to take it.

· Doc Searl: They are the people formerly known as the audience. And they do not want your message

Apple's core: The Mac turns 20: 1984-2004...
Life grows more equable as one grows older; not less interesting, but I hope a little more impersonal. An old man ought to be sad. I don’t know whether I shall be when the wind is west and the sky clear.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., letter to Frederick Pollock, March 22, 1892

The Importance of Being There
Yiddish word for funeral, levaya, means to accompany.
· Exceeding All Expectations

I rather think it was because a story wasn't a story until it was written down.
Barbara Jefferis, Author 1917-2004: I'm in this for the long haul.
· Baby dragon, in a sealed jar, was discovered with a metal tin containing paperwork in old-fashioned German of the 1890s.
Czechout The Best Dragon Stories of Freedom in the Universe... Comfort may be good but freedom and getting published is more rewarding:

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

2003 Koufax Award Finalists Best Blog: Magnificent
The seven finalists for the 2003 Koufax Award for Best Blog:
Daily Kos;
Talking Points Memo;
Talk Left;
Whiskey Bar!

· Many Antipodian Nominated, but Not Even One Finalist: Wampum Conspiracy (smile)

Most of the above blogs seem to enjoy linking to political stories such as how the press is a political player and how campaign reporters create - and then dash - their own expectations of candidate performance.
[ See Also Politics, "The Press" and Servant Journalism ]
What can the press do differently to help us get the real story

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Reporter says raid of home "felt like slow-motion robbery"
Citizen reporter Juliet O'Neill, whose home was raided on Wednesday, writes: I will remember what happened to me as part of how the post 9/11 world works. Some Canadians of Muslim faith and Middle Eastern origin have told of the early morning knock on the door from the RCMP. Because of my everyday work as a journalist, I've now experienced myself something that I realize would be more difficult to endure without a lawyer, without knowing my rights, and being confident of media attention.
· I woke up and thought I was in some totalitarian state

Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein tried to get New York Post reporter Keith J. Kelly to stop writing about Talk magazine by offering him a book deal to write a history of Irish Americans

Codes of conduct in Australian and some overseas parliaments
The conduct of ministers and members of parliament is often in the news. In Australia some parliaments have adopted codes of conduct for members while others have a code governing ministerial behaviour. Only three parliaments have codes relating to both ministers and members. All Australian parliaments have adopted registers of pecuniary interests.
· Interested Interesting [See AlsoDiscrimination in electoral law: using technology to extend the secret ballot to disabled and illiterate voters (PDFormat)]

WSJ is really good at turning "trends" into great features
And if you believe the Wall Street Journal, a lot of people are getting nude on vacation. It's breathtaking how many trends we consume every day, served up by the trendaholic media. A trend story doesn't have to be new to make a splash. Some are hardy perennials. Not a year goes by when the media don't report that teenagers are having sex earlier, except when the trend is that they're having it later, as one recent spate of trend stories claimed.
· Nude on vacation

Book Ring Master
Full of feints and feuds, the drama of the Booker prize livens up the rarefied literary world. Can new chairman Chris Smith control the annual circus?
The Booker's New Wrangler Member of Parliament Chris Smith is heading up this year's Book Prize jury, and he says he has no preconceptions about what the winner should demonstrate. Cynics might argue that this absence of preconceptions is merely a spin on an absence of knowledge. After all, how much time does your average MP have to keep up with even a fraction of the 10,000 or so novels published each year? What sort of books does he have on his bedside table?

· Bedside Table: The Guardian (UK)

Monday, January 26, 2004

For every mile of beautiful scenery and warm sunshine, there are hundreds of miles of cold, dark nights, no food and no one to care whether I live or die...
I got there about sundown, half-starved, and, before my eyes on the American River, I could see thousands of campfires. I went to the nearest hobo jungle and smelled something cooking.
The last free men: Rudy Phillips is not running away. He is just seeing the world!

Sex-trafficking trade
The sex-trafficking trade may begin in Eastern Europe and wend its way through Mexico, but it lands in the suburbs and cities of America, where perhaps tens of thousands are held captive and pimped out for forced sex-yum yum in the U.S. This Is horrible beyond imagination.
· Certainly not victimless crimes here

When the police publicly identify someone as a suspect in a notorious crime, the injury done to that person’s reputation may be irreparable. Just ask Richard Jewel. James Van de Velde is doing his best to restore his reputation after the New Haven Police Department identified him as one of 5 to 10 suspects in the stabbing murder of one of his students at Yale in 1998. No other suspect was named...
[ See Also The Politics of Crime ]

Young people who grow up in a context of real economic opportunity, basic rule of law and the right to speak and write what they please don't usually want to blow up the world. They want to be part of it!
A simple message: The cure to the problem of the Middle East is jobs...
[link first seen at War of Ideas, Part 6: It's the economy, stupid: Tom Friedman gives us a bonus sixth part to his five-part series (smile)]

Howard Dean: I Lead With My Heart And Not My Head
Look, I’m not a perfect person. I have my warts. I sometimes say things that get me in trouble. I wear suits that are cheap. But I say what I think and I believe what I say, and I’m willing to say things that are not be popular. Saying the politically popular thing is easy, but is that what America really needs now?
· Howard Dean has warts: The Only Chance We Have Against George Bush

The Truth is out....must send dogs to silence those who oppose.
Goldilocks was right, and if she were a working journalist today, she'd agree with me that this week the Boston Globe handled a story with too much heat, the New York Times with too much ice, and that the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call got it just right.
· Globe, Too Hot; River, Too Cold: Roll Call gets the stolen Democrat files scandal just right

The word for monkey in Czech is opice which is also a slang word for hangover. So, year of a monkey in Czech is rok opice which is year of hangover. via Petr

If you can see the future, you have no future. This line from the movie perfectly sums up the twisty, fascinating premise of this very absorbing movie.
I was the only person in the theater. Good thing I wasn't in Communist Russia: they used to wait until every seat was sold before rolling the film. You could wait for hours, and never know when it would begin, or even if it would. Three cheers for the command economy model, R.I.P.

Tzvetan Todorov's Hope and Memory
Democracy versus totalitarianism, then. But the trouble is that liberal-capitalist democracies, when plunged into dire trouble, sometimes become totalitarian as a way of solving their problems; and if this book was not so strikingly silent about the causes of such absolutist regimes, it might be rather less confident that liberal values are one thing and a knock on the door before dawn quite another. For liberal values include market enterprise, which can easily get out of hand; and the more economic anarchy you breed, the more you will need an authoritarian system to prop it up and suppress the discontents it creates.
· A knock on the door before dawn quite another

Always avoid violence,
If you succumb to the temptation …
unborn generations will be the recipients
of a long and desolate night of bitterness,
and your chief legacy to the future will be an
endless reign of meaningless chaos...
(Use the Internet to expose sins of our masters and commanders...)

I Find Freedom To Be Offensive!
Warning: Cynical tripe and mindless dialogue ahead!
· Monologue [ courtesy of Government Spying (on You) Continues to Grow ]

Atom Blogger: Selling Atomic and Other Wirelessactive Secrets

First Kill All The Blogs...
Every entry needs to include a link. With a very few exceptions, you probably got the idea for what you are writing about from another webpage.
· Yvelle at Radical Rejection has compiled a list of standards she believes bloggers should meet [ via dead half-finished web pages ]

Iron deal
Philips and Unilever are introducing a new product in the Netherlands in April 2004: Perfective.
Still waiting for the ultimate solution though: clothes that need no ironing, and a washing machine that washes and dries. And brings coffee and the newspaper on Saturday morning.

· Perfective in all 3 [ via House-of-innovation]

Where Everybody Knows My Name: Most Musicians are not Rich
John Buckman talks about the music industry at: Why I created Magnatune Records. If you think Magnatune is a worthy goal, please support it. There are powerful forces who want it to fail, so I need your help if this is going to work.
· Actually, he's way more eloquent than Courtney Love

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Despite expressing concern over red ink in the federal budget, every one of the eight hopefuls would worsen the deficit by billions or even trillions of dollars

America as a One-Party State: Flowerless
Liana and Co. at ABCTales discussed recently a quote from a film ... I think someone is being let out from a long spell in mental hosp and they ask their therapist when they will be ready to go to politics and the therapist tells them to get a houseplant and if its still alive after a year to get a pet ... and if the pet is still alive and well after a year then that person can go into a politics ...
America has had periods of single-party dominance before. It happened under FDR's New Deal, in the Republican 1920s and in the early 19th-century "Era of Good Feeling." But if President Bush is re-elected, we will be close to a tipping point of fundamental change in the political system itself. The United States could become a nation in which the dominant party rules for a prolonged period, marginalizes a token opposition and is extremely difficult to dislodge because democracy itself is rigged. This would be unprecedented in U.S. history.

· American hard right seeks total dominion. It's packing the courts and rigging the rules. The target is not the Democrats but democracy itself
Davo Insider
[ via Aussie Masters & Commanders]

Peco's deeper ties to Fumo
If you're a Peco Energy Co. customer, every time you flick on a light, you are routing money to a little-known South Philadelphia nonprofit group controlled by close aides and allies of State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo's. Mario F. Cattabiani of the Philadelphia Inquirer, continuing his investigation of a non-profit connected to state Sen. Vincent Fumo, used state audits and IRS records to find that customers of utility company Peco Energy have been funding the Delaware Valley Regional Economic Development Fund, which is controlled by Fumo allies.
· Fuming Customers

Troubled bankers called to account
They had it all. Money. Gorgeous women. A fabulous playground of a city and all the trading in the world. But the dark side -- over the thin line between trading and roaguing, between swinging self-confidence and brutal arrogance -- took its toll. Their great ride is over, and currency trading will never the same.
· National Australia Bank's currency trading scandal
· Booze, bravado and male honour make for a culture of violence

Saturday, January 24, 2004

The critical ingredient is getting off your czech butt and doing something. It's as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.
Robert Browning on the true entrepreneur

There's a freedom for me a value to the independence
I'll be giving readers a sense of what's happening that they don't get in conventional journalism.
Marshall is bypassing the editorial labyrinth of "conventional journalism," eliminating layers of editors, constrictions of newshole and limitations of deadline, to report directly to a public who values his work enough to pay for it in advance.
Significantly, tradition-bound newspaper editors and reporter who disparage blogging as hormonal therapy for teen-age girls cannot dismiss Marshall for lack of reporting credentials.

· Blogging: hormonal therapy [ courtesy of Tim Porter]

Though it is important to stay focused, an occasional distraction can sometimes be a good thing. There is much value to be found in the unexpected. The people you didn't expect to meet, the places you didn't expect to go, the things you didn't expect to learn can often lead you in new and positive directions.
Ralph Marston on the unexpected

Blogo Slovo by Kaiser
So melancholy, and yet so hopeful.
We must support people like Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian woman who won the Nobel Prize for her work on behalf of human rights and rule of law. We must empower moderate Arabs who just want to have a nice job and some control over their own lives.

· This was the approach we took during the cold war, and now many of our best friends are countries like Poland and Lithuania, who are grateful for our opposition to Soviet tyranny. [link first seen at What to do with the drunken sailor ]
Blogo Slogan in 30 seconds!

Life is a Dome of Surfing
The Sutherland shire of Sydney Fame is blessed with a wide variety of beaches such as The Alley which has consistently great surfers' waves, while the Shark Island provides many experienced surfers with many challenging breaks. North Cronulla, Elouera, Wanda and Greenhills like parade the local folks on their shape too.
Body surfers draw together around Cronulla Pavillion, but keep your arms and legs between the yellow and red flags. Blackwood and Shelley beach are each splashing spots for young families and the young at heart. If you are from Central Europe czech out Gunnamatta as the kiosk has the coldest icecream in Australia. For snorkellers the Cronulla penninsular created Darook Park. Be a royalty for a day and catch a ferry to a fairytalish Bundeena, which is part of the virgin Royal National Park. If rip takes a fancy to you whatever you do never fight it as they say if you cannot beat it join it. Never ever panic! Garie Beach Youth Hostel is according to the local rag the best kept secret. A mix of international and local surfers and bushwalkers tend to book the remote retreat at a cost of $11 per night for YHA members or entire hut for $120 as part of the Rent YHA scheme. Almost as good a deal as the Scarborough Moroton Club provides to its members at the Morton Island. Book virtually at or call 9261 1111

· Elsewhere, Gianna could hear kids screaming and laughing down by the water for weeks. Now it's gone quiet [link first seen at Australia Day Long Weekend]
Sydney derives from Saint Denis, the saint who converted the pagan Gauls to Christianity

Friday, January 23, 2004

The lure of the unknown writer proved absolutely irresistible for many virtual readers. Thank you one and all readers at Amazon for challenging the orthodoxy of the publishing world, so the next generation of writers don't have to! Imagine... Phew, how tough it has been for ordinary storytellers of my calibre running on literary water. Today you put me in the three figure current. Cold River is ranked as 710 as at 9 am Sydney time...
· Now, Ice cold beer, anyone?

If you're in a hurry... Shorter State of the Union Address, Fiscal Policy
A boy leaves home for his first semester at college.
The Matriarch of the family gives him some money for books and incidental expenses. The money is intended to last the entire semester. Within a month, the son calls the mother, informs his Mom that he is broke and asks for additional money.
“What did you do with all the money I gave you last month?” asks Mom?
“Well,” the son replies, “ninety percent of it I spent chasing women and drinking beer. The rest I just wasted.”

· courtesy of Wampum
If you have heaps of time...

Still Stonewalling After All These Years — US Withholds Chemical, Biological Agent Test Info
The U.S. Department of Defense continues to withhold information regarding tests of chemical and biological agents conducted on unsuspecting U.S. service personnel during the Cold War. The tests, conducted under the code names Project 112 and Project SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense), consisted of about 50 separate instances where sailors and soldiers were used to, "determine the effectiveness of biological and chemical agents in combat and methods to protect troops from attacks." The tests were conducted between 1962 and 1973 at a variety of locations. It is estimated that close to 6,000 military members were exposed to a variety of harmless stimulants meant to mimic the effects of a variety of biological or chemical agents.
· Deadly Nerve Agents [ via Ageless Aga]

2004 AD & the Story of Our Teeth: A Poor Cousin of the Middle Class Teeth
Caroline's is the face of the working poor, marked by a poverty-generated handicap more obvious than most deficiencies but no different, really, from the less visible deficits that reflect and reinforce destitution. If she were not poor, she would not have lost her teeth, and if she had not lost her teeth, perhaps she would not have remained poor.
· Not just bureaucrats who cheat the poor but also the poor who cheat themselves
· Citizen impotence, our specifically modern experience of poverty [link first seen at Rebeccablood]
· Electronic Elections: a new electronic voting system based on open-source software created in Australia
· Interactive Voting Map

Well, if you write non-fiction, review non-fiction, or prefer to read non-fiction, break out the champagne. The most compelling ideas tend to be in the non-fiction world. Because we are a newspaper, we should be more skewed toward non-fiction.

The Plot Thickens at The New York Times Book Review
With a new Sunday book editor on the horizon, The New York Times takes a hard look at its literary coverage paper-wide.
· Which way are the winds blowing?

First, the American tradition of free speech and free press gives us a nearly unbounded right to cover the banal, the bizarre, and the shamelessly self-promoting.
· Why Do We Cover Celebrities? [ courtesy of Romenesko ]
· Electronic Elections: a new electronic voting system based on open-source software created in Australia
· Interactive Voting Map [ courtesy of Southerlybuster ]
· Blog Design Innovations

What do you like to listen to before bed?
The rare and precious gifts in life that I know in the deepest part of my soul was made for me.
· Musical Art [link first seen at I Don't Know Art, But I Know What I Hate ]

Witches v Riches

Readers are often surprised to hear that Cold River is a representation of reality. Those in the corridors of power with generous imagination and a gift for milling rumours know too well that I did not drown because I am a witch rather than rich (smile):
Indeed, the witch of Morava River kissed me with her tongue until the leaves on the trees, the soles of my shoes, and even my thoughts, felt like leaden tongues.

Have a Thick Skin: Put something new into the world
Amateurs are writing as they’ve always written. Self-consciousness, self-doubt, awkwardness, and overcompensation are perennial hallmarks of the beginning writer. The reason today’s amateurs seem more profoundly un–profound could be a simple matter of exposure...
Sharing great discoveries is largely why weblogging got so hot and sultry in the first place. Big, heavily funded sites weren’t acknowledging the grace notes and hidden talents of the web, so it was up to webloggers. For some webloggers, it still is. Wired doesn’t need your help as much as undiscovered sites, which may be offering equally good (or better) material.

· When the kidnapper called the blind woman, he told her that she’d never see her son again

Thursday, January 22, 2004

January, 1848: THOREAU delivers a lecture on -- the relation of the individual to the State -- later retitled CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.

Strange Freedoms
Liberty protects the person from unwarranted government intrusions into a dwelling or other private places. In our tradition the State is not omnipresent in the home. And there are other spheres of our lives and existence, outside the home, where the State should not be a dominant presence. Freedom extends beyond spatial bounds. Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct. The instant case involves liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions.
· Dimensions
· Carnival Of The Capitalists: Winds Of Change.NET

Attack on the editor of Respekt
De javu, I remember reading a similar type of attack happening in Brissie last year...
Early in the morning on Saturday 18 January, two men attacked the editor of Respekt, Tomas Nemecek, as he was returning home with the shopping. They sprayed teargas into his face, knocked him to the ground and kicked him. He ended up in hospital with concussion and a suspected ruptured spleen...
Zeman was a cute teddybear, yes, but he was also a dangerous bully and as Respekt hints, he's partially responsible for creating an atmosphere of anti-journalism.

· Zeman liked to call journalists scum and other names. Klaus called them stupid, but that's not quite as bad [link first seen at Not Much]

About Last Night brings to us today the Bogart-Rains scene from my favourite movie Casablanca:
There's a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff, 45 miles an hour.
How fast was I going, Officer?
I'd say around 90.
Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket.
Suppose I let you off with a warning this time.
Suppose it doesn't take.
Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.
Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder.
Suppose you try putting it on my husband's shoulder.

Cash lifeline for crumbling roads
As I drove last year from (Moonlight) Sunshine State to Sinful Sydney we stopped counting the number of potholes after Balinna. We counted over 200. (According to my daughters, one can spy around 100 potholes from Egadine to Sutherland and back) This initiative will no doubt lessen the number of orphaned families...
Lets also hope that Antipodean, or Bohemian, investors and inventors put their cash and ideas where pedestrian dangers exist. Speed might kill, but slowness puts many drivers to sleep in a state of complaicency as it makes many drivers to keep an eye on speedometer rather than what is happening around them. If someone, anyone, can come up with a practical solution to keep the driver and pedestrian at the same eye level, Holden or Tatra will reward them generously for this road safety formula. To be able to see the speedometer as one is travelling around schools and through urban areas unobtrusively on the front window of the car would do the trick. This could be an international hot seller just like Cold River (smile).
The Howard Government will spend an extra $340 million improving local NSW roads and is considering more funding for upgrading of the Pacific Highway as part of a $2 billion regional roads plan.
· Carrs and Roads Run Over by Lack of Creativity
[ More on DangersSocialist Bloc of Australia: Sexing things up and Privatising Profits]
[Values At my school, we teach respect for other people regardless [of] religion, gender of race. We teach compassion and honesty. How can we reconcile these values with Mr Howard's position on children overboard?]

· Judging an Antipodean creative man by his beer

What matters after 50 are hits to the heart
The capability is real. The arts must dare to take their place in Australian society
· The push goes on - towards an artistic top end
[ via Creative Destruction]

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Tim Porter & Religion Are Born Again
There's nothing like a long time in Mexico to make you forget about quality journalism ...
Journalism selects those who cannot but be writers and journalists. It means you get a level of commitment and dedication that is quite unusual in many other professions. But you can only abuse people so much. They have families, children and student loans and lives to lead. We are not monks.

· Catching Up, Getting Religion [ via Tip toeing into these digital rivers: to ignore change is to be consumed by it ]

Jan Masaryk death theory draws fire
His Father: Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia
Investigator claims he's proven murder; critics reject conclusion
Many assumed Jan Masaryk committed suicide, but a detective, Ilja Pravda, says it was murder...

· Dirty Tricks: Pravda means truth ... [ courtesy of Prague Post]

High housing prices not just Antipodean problem
The topic dominates dinner-party conversations: braggarts boast of the killing they've made on their houses, while the timid or the young worry about how they'll ever afford anything bigger than a shoebox to live in.
Now the French, the Spanish, the Irish and soon maybe even the Germans will be able to play the same game.
Europe has long been an oasis of housing sanity. People only bought houses to live in them. They didn't buy them as part of a pension plan, a route to early retirement, a clever way of paying the school fees, or because they were frightened that if they didn't buy one now they could never afford one later.

· Not any more. Europe is fast catching the housing bug

Rising homelessness in the capital challenges shelters; no solution in sight.
· Mean streets: Salvation Army's homeless shelter [ via Prague Post ]
[link first seen at Gentlemen: A staggering array of porcelain plumbing ]

It comes as no surprise that nearly a third of our young people who want to get into a university have missed out ("Degrees of separation: thousands rejected", Herald, January 19) when our Government spends its resources on the military and not education... Letters, SMH 20/1/04 Denis Doherty, Glebe

Broken Earth of Good & Evil
Joan Kroc, the late widow of the McDonald's founder, has left almost $2 billion to the Salvation Army.
The religious charity said today it was "humbled" by the generosity of one of the biggest bequests ever made.
The money will be used to develop community centres across the United States which will be named after Ray and Joan Kroc.

· Salvation Army [ courtesy of Google ]

Die Broke
You are not a corporation - you are a human being. Your money shouldn't outlive you. You should exit life as you came into it: penniless. Your assets are resources to be used, for your own benefit and for the benefit of those you love. Every dollar that's left in your bank account after you die is a dollar you wasted. Use your resources to help people now when you know they need it, when it will do the most good, rather than hoping they'll be helped when you're dead. The last czech you write should be to your undertaker… and it should bounce.

Double Dragons don't just exhale fire, cause maidens distress, and make life tough for silver-clad knights...they also have hearts as big as castles.

Literacy Matters: Cats & Dragons
If you learn anything in your life, you will find yourself roughly where I am now. Lying in a pile of drunk (dragons).
I have fifteen (dragons) in all, named after various notable poets: Hölderlin, Rilke, Celan, Cohen, Layton, Rimbaud, Evans, Shelley, Hughes, Maxwell, Alfau, Eliot, Mandelshtam, Lawrence and Dunthorne. I have trained them by writing and speaking continuously in service of the ultimate, and of mankind. Whenever one of my articles was printed in the Sunday papers, I forced my (dragons) to read and reread it, and whenever I was interviewed on the radio, I turned the volume up, so that all fifteen of them could hear what I was saying. I taught them to smoke - cigarettes at first, but then pipes. Their favourite tobacco is Gambler Full Flavour.

· We order from [ via]
· Puppy Love[link first seen at Tim Dunlop]
· A Politician's Wardrobe [ courtesy of DotLit]

Jacko Irwin: Crocs and Dragons
For a real life photograph of Steve and Jackson
· Cartoons of 2004 newsmaking: What a crock business...worth a grin [link first seen at Barista]
· Other Peoples Stories

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

A Dragon, the World, and the strong urge to hibernate: active articles from across the gamut
One of the operating political assumptions of the Bush administration is that the checks and balances have essentially been checked.
· Beacuse freedom cannot protect itself. [ see also Moral pork-barrelling: sucking up to hog farmers and singing the praises ...]
· Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty by Randy Barnett [link first seen at Interplay between the freedom of speech and election law ]
· Modern regulation of corporate political donations [ via Displacement of Bloggs ]

Evil, Law, and the State
Evil, Law, and the State is part of a larger series of ongoing conferences, run under the general banner 'At the Interface.' This series aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.
Much of the law and behavioral science scholarship focuses on individual behavior without taking into account the larger institutional setting in which the behavior occurs. Political pressures complicate the behavioral analysis of legal institutions.

· Janko Votkinz Creating Stations of Evil [ courtesy of Conference ]

In a nation without aristocracy, Hookes was one of those rarities, a prince among men; honest man who spoke his mind...
· A celebration, then a senseless tragedy: David Hookes

As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was fond of saying, Everyone is entitled to their own opinion – but not their own facts.

Dishonest Socialisation of Loses: Are there parallels to be drawn or not?
Our goal here can’t be to find truth – that’s a job for philosophers and theologians. What we can do here is sort through the factual claims being made between now and election day, using the best techniques of journalism and scholarship.
And I can think of no better job for a journalist than holding politicians accountable for getting the facts right, regardless of their party or political philosophy.
Like the anarchists, Roosevelt diagnosed a growing awareness among Americans of genuine injustice. He believed, as few other politicians did, that the comforts of middle-class life blinded many of his fellow countrymen to the hardships endured by the majority of humankind - hardships whose effects might be lessened by political action.
And so, although Roosevelt opened his first address to Congress by pledging himself to fight the 'evil' of anarchism, he moved immediately into a much longer section of his speech titled 'Regulation of Corporations.' He proposed to address the great 'social problems' and the 'antagonism' of the day - the radicalism that threatened Americans' safety by trimming the excesses of unfettered capitalism.

· Corporate Welfare reaching new heights: (Kosciusko, Australia)
· The most evil corporate entity ever... (US)
[ via Political Fact Czech ]
[ courtesy of Is this a great job, or what?]
· Is Mina Naguib, the hackiest double dragon living in Montreal, or what?

Ten Mistakes Writers Don't See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do)

The Dual Commandments: Act Like Nothing's Wrong
The coldest current to swallow Amazon up in years:
(1) If you like Cold River, give it to your friends.
(2) If you have an allergy to Cold River, send it to the bullies at school, work or parliament...
Just because I write about horrors of absurd communism doesn’t mean I always identify myself with other forms of barbarism such as ruthless capitalism.
· COLD RIVER: The Hunt for the Book That Is Best to Give to Bullies of this World [ My Virtual Middle Earth Digital Exposure: May the Ghost of the Morava River Protect the Powerless]
· Digital Silver Foxes: What is the son of Barbara Bush reading in 2004?

January Stories
The Des Moines tax preparer was accosted at work Thursday night by a knife-wielding man who tried to rob her.
Rankins backed him down with a stapler.

· I felt the power of the Lord
Rising homelessness in the capital challenges shelters; no solution in sight.
· Mean streets: Salvation Army's homeless shelter [ via Prague Post ]

Blogging Idly
Living impressions of the decade that rocked my world
· 1980s Theme
· Don't Know Much About History?
Metrosexuals are better dressed. Homosexuals are so last season. Slowly, eat your heart out Kylie...(smile)
[ courtesy of Googling yourself metrosexually]

The film, The Blair Witch Project, formerly the biggest-grossing indie flick of all time—it has since been surpassed by My Big Fat Greek Wedding—brought in $248.3 million worldwide. The five producing partners of Blair Witch netted $5 million each, the actors $1 million.
· To you, that’s serious money, but in Hollywood, it’s chump change. Is that depressing, or what? [link first seen at About last night]

Monday, January 19, 2004

Farce to tragedy in one act of US folly
In the structure of a classical play, a problem is presented in Act 1, complications arise in Act 2, and all is resolved in Act 3. In Iraq this northern spring, while much of Europe was still enmeshed in Act 2, George Bush plunged directly into Act 3, without acknowledging the complications or fully considering the consequences...
Their choice will be historic, and will go a long way towards determining, once the curtain falls, whether or not Bush's Act 3 ends up as a tragedy.

· The Iraq war has already alienated Europe [ via Dream democracy falls over for Czechs everywhere]

Media of Oz and Wizzards of Brittain
Aussie Letters: Crikey continually rubs elite the wrong way...
· Media 1 [link first seen at Media 2]
· The Guardian website has a Great Brittain list of MPs

Did you hear the rumour? In my adopted country, I Owe Parliamentary Clerks everything... even how to make rumours and sausages (smile)
Whispered words over a coffee, a hint of intrigue, a conspiratorial giggle at a particularly juicy piece of information are all essential parts of workplace gossip, and good for you...
Gossip could be good for worker morale, reduce stress, boost creativity and, therefore, help business.
Gossiping could be seen as trivial but was often therapeutic...
It lubricates relationships at work.

· 'What's going on there? Wink wink, nudge nudge', is all right
· Get Parliamentary Culture Talking: Our Glorious Deaths by Thousand Cuts

How do you say in parliamentary language, "Potential colossal benefit of public money"?
IMHO, World wide travel is fine for our polliticians, in fact it should be a must as travel widens the horizon and the sharing of best practices eventually benefits everyone. Every new MP should be forced to visit each continent early in their careers, not too long after the maiden speech is delivered in the Chambers of Ideas, Hopes and Dreams; not so parliamentary staffers as some are better known around Parliament Houses by their travel bug type nicknames rather than their real names...MP Travel: Making the old new again

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Thanks blogesphere!
Poems of Dreamers Win a mention inside the Olympic newsletters (Greek edition: archived by my Google mates). A newsletter that seems to get delivered on desks of every political leader, bar Saddam Hussein.
However, my book cannot be considered Olympic material even if it has the ability to cultivate the strange truths of human condition...
Never before has Amazon moved so slowly, so ackwardly towards a four figure current. Could it be more slower? (smile) Sales Rank: 5,226 The River Nobody Wanted to Swim in 1980 is now winning more and more eSalers...
Speaking of speed, it appears that 29.04 seconds for 50 meters freestyle is good enough time for certain teenagers to invade the national swimming competition in Perth... (So back to my second home in the urban Bush)

The best of us reach our highest heights when we are making recommendations for what to read next:
Speaking of Pages and Rivers...
I’m seven months’ pregnant and standing on the banks of an angry, flooding river, feeling incapable of anything except awe . . . This is the day I decide to tell you about our river. The Pages, as in the pages of a book. Most of the time it isn’t a mighty torrent but a creek you can wade through.
· Pregnant River [ via PHILLIP ADAMS: I’m even saddened to learn of the deaths of old enemies]

Shalinka, the Wampum Keeper
The author Pat Montague, a former librarian, who comes from my Double Dragon Publishing stable, reveals an in-depth anthropological review of the Native Americans’ world view.
Emphasis is placed on rites of ritual cannibalism designed to appease and support the sun god, which in turn empowered the high chief.
This concept of devouring a victim as a religious act carries over into an evaluation of the Christian communion with an analysis of the Roman Catholic Eucharist presented as a type of "eating" of the divine person by the worshipers.

· Double Dragon Pick Speaks the Language of Booklovers [ I also like a blog Wampum Troublemakers (smile)]

Fear in the tank, hope on the horizon
MIKE MOORE’S recent Oscar-winning documentary, Bowling for Columbine, depicted an America in the thrall of fear, largely of itself. Recently, North American ‘privatopias’ have arrived in Australia. The opening of Australia’s first gated community, the Gold Coast’s Sanctuary Cove in 1985, marked the start of a new residential development form that has become common across the nation. Although the outright gated community remains relatively rare, exclusive (ie. exclusionary) residential communities are now mainstream suburban products.
· Gated Estates [link first seen at Few Australian politicians in living memory possess the Queensland premier's sensitivity to voters’ wants and fears]
· Concept of Evil

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Vertical GST
Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation was originally devised as a principle for distributing federal government grants to the states and territories, but has now become the basis for apportioning GST revenue: There has been considerable agitation, on the part of New South Wales and Victoria, for Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation to be abandoned, and replaced by a per capita approach for distributing GST revenue;
GST revenue forms a significant part of state and territory budgets;
Different states, and territories, levy significantly varying rates of tax within their own boundaries;
States' and Territories' need for GST revenue depends, to a varying degree, on the state of production within their own jurisdictions.

· Paper by John [link first seen at APO ]

Does the way we measure poverty matter?
This paper notes that both poverty estimates at a point in time and poverty trends over time are sensitive to variations in the equivalence scales, in the level of the poverty line, in the selection of the indicator of the level of resources and in the choice of poverty index itself.
· National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, University of Canberra
· Global Democratisation: We the Peoples: Building a World Parliament...


My family is off again to Homebush Aquatic Centre where the NSW age swimming championships are being held covering ages 13-19 years/Over Age; covering the long, long, period from 13-19 January...
Swimming in our family emerged out of summer days splashing at Andrew (Boy) Charton and Bondi Iceberg pools, but the love of swimming came from the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef...
While many swimmers fall into the shooting star category, it is the healthiest sport on earth and almost as tough as ballet where extremely intensive dedication and love are a must. But, unlike ballet, swimming is objective. It is the ego, H2O and the clock...

True Passion Motivates Most Swimmers
The Middle Earth Europeans seem to be everywhere even at Homebush Aquatic Center and some even work for the IOI Scientific Committee (ISC) which in its maiden newsletter for the Athen Olympics poetically noted:
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
Are the ones who do!

The Olympics are still young and full of promises, for those who believe in them. I hope James Cumes might one day blog more about the true Olympic Spirit.
Meanwhile Dr. Tom Verhoeff, ISC Chair, writes that until IOI'99, the preparation and execution process suffered from a scaling problem...
The GA had very limited time to assess the tasks for approval and translation. This gave rise to long, intense, emotional discussions (a few well-informed persons versus a large group with little information), taking place under severe time constraints...
(As a result,) the ISC acts as an intermediary between GA and the HSC in the preparation and execution process. In all of this, it is important to remember that the ISC is intended to represent the GA. In fact, most ISC members have been GA members and they often return to the GA after serving on the ISC.
Now, we turn our attention to IOI 2004 in Athens, Greece. If the contact person has changed for your country from the one used in 2003, please send an email to Mr. Spyros Bakoyiannis, Greece, so he will have an up-to-date list of the country contacts. The contact person is necessary for sending out country invitations to IOI 2004...
· Olympiad Newsletter (PDF format) [ courtesy of Turning Dreams to Realities]
· Thorpedo in Swimming to Athens mode [link first seen at NSW Swimming Championships ]
· Bidders begin 2012 Olympics race

True Blue Olympic Colours & Spirits: People over 60 in Wales will be given free access to swimming pools in the first move of its kind in Europe. The move follows a scheme which gave schoolchildren free swimming during last year's summer holidays... (Politicians of all colours take note)
Sadly, Gray - who first found fame delivering confessional, humorous stage monologues such as Swimming to Cambodia man is missing

Bush Has Neglected the Balkans For Too Long
OSI Senior Policy Advisor Laura Silber argues in an op-ed that the U.S. should pay closer attention to the southeast Balkans or risk economic and political deterioration in the region.
· A ticking time bomb
· Government by time bomb
· More Conflicts of Chinese Walls on the 9/11 Commission: This is beginning to look like a whitewash
· An abrupt southerly wind change: Choose Freedom or Else

Last Mile: Dreams Come Alive
Computerised lamp posts look like being the basis of the biggest data network ever, as the world's traffic monitors set about controlling cars with wireless. And the result could be an absolute windfall for a startup company which, it seems, owns all the relevant patents.
The excitement about WiFi has, at last, started penetrating through to the consumer mind, with home users connecting their PCs to the Internet without wires and working in their bedrooms, sitting rooms, kitchens, and even in coffee shops, gyms and railway stations. And it turns out that you can even use your PC as a sort of free telephone.

· If Last Mile is right, then the WiFi revolution could happen much, much faster than anybody has dreamed.

City by city, neighborhood to neighborhood, our politics are becoming more concentrated and polarized. America must not only stop making dumb mistakes, like starting trade wars with Europe and China; it must also put in place new policies that enhance our creative economy.
It is a sad irony: America's creative economy sparked a demographic shift and a political polarization that now threaten to choke that economy off. What America desperately needs now is political leadership savvy enough to bridge that gap.
[ Creative Edge Creative Class War: How anti-elitism could ruin America's economy]

Friday, January 16, 2004

Bizarrrre Bush: I-don't-read-newspapers boast...
According to the latest Media Audit, Internet's officially mainstream (as if you hadn't figured that out already).
But regarding newspaper comparisons, this strikes me a bit as apples vs. oranges. Newspapers have specific uses: disseminating news and advertising. The Internet is used for so many things, news being only one small component. It's not a fair comparison. More interesting, in my mind, is Media Audit's finding that there are more heavy Internet users than heavy TV viewers. That's remarkable, and truly significant. The best way to stay on top of deal news and trends all the time as it happens is by checking out and ...

A rainish day and a visit to Lilly's vet meets a slow day ( newswise), but once again there are plenty of substantive new blog entries:

Webloggers Adopting Political Reporters
A proposal to have bloggers adopt individual campaign reporters to track and critique their work is gathering some momentum on the web. It's generated a lot of back and forth between bloggers and journalists over whether this will improve campaign coverage and media accountability or just set off another round of mindless media bashing. New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen has collected the postings on the adopt-a-journalist campaign on his PressThink weblog, and added his take on the idea.
· Press Think [ courtesy of Romenesko]

Are Arabs, in a sense, the Irish of the world?
· Journalistic analogy: Ireland plays the part of the Arab world, perhaps of the larger Muslim world, while Britain plays the part of the West


I eat, drink, live, sleep, dream of less soccer, sweatshops & station disasters ... But, greed almost always trumps ideology.

What could be more global than soccer? The world’s leading professional players and owners pay no mind to national borders, with major teams banking revenues in every currency available on the foreign exchange and billions of fans cheering for their champions in too many languages to count. But in many ways, the beautiful game reveals much more about globalization’s limits than its possibilities.
· Foreign Policy magazines are exploring the absurdity of Football
· Not Sparing the Sweatshop Rod
· Australia: Waterfall disaster

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Neophobia: Fear and Loathing
Despite old-fashioned wisdom about looking before you leap and fools rushing in, new research shows that caution can actually kill you.
· New experiences: being risk-averse may shorten your life.

No greater joy in this world than to watch a young child that you love grow: to contemplate each new step, rudimentary word, each fresh understanding; that unique combination of the faintly comical and the seemingly miraculous.
Opinions differ, but my family has embraced anti-boy products, such as the throw rocks; slogan, pajamas that read Boys are smelly and the latest my daughter wears a T-shirts emblazoned with Boy Basher.
· There's too much boy-bashing going on [link first seen at Normblog]

Linguistic Ecology: Preventing a Great Loss
The acquisition of a second tongue destroys the 'naturalness' of the first. From then on, nothing can be self-evident in any tongue; nothing belongs to you wholly and irrefutably; nothing will ever 'go without saying' again.
Living in two languages, between two languages, or in the overlap of two languages? What is it like to write in a language that is not the language in which you were raised? To create in words other than those of your earliest memories, so far from the sounds of home and childhood and origin?
I laughed at things others considered serious and . . . they spoke at length of matters I would not think of divulging in public.

· I am Reaching out in more than one language [ via On The Trail Of An Elusive Translation: The Voynich manuscript]
· Other women: Gianna's started seeing them as characters in a coming-of-age story [See Also Those three or four words on the cover can make all the difference to a book's chances of success ]

If you have to choose between explaining something as a cock-up or a conspiracy, choose cock-up every time...

Czech out Eurovants blogging about Poles and US Visa Regime.
Tim Dunlop keeps this blogging thing and Desire to control information in perspective.

Human Nature
Dr Fischer is a multi-millionaire, his fortune founded on human hygiene. Fischer has a Most Unusual hobby: to expose human greed.
· Only Human [link first seen at GG]
· Soros Interview: Second Half

Thanks to Barista for his kind mention.
I don't pay heartstarters for the hungry mind for these kind mentions, so the only logical conclusion is that Bog father helps to drive blogging further...(smile)

· Blog Further [ via Barista ]

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Is anger really so bad? Isn't it better to sort of let out anger than bottle it up? This week is the 400 year anniversary of the King James Bible.

Black's wife
Barbara Amiel, whose fourth hubby is Conrad Black, took home a salary and bonus of $276,000 in 2002, all of it coming from the Chicago Sun-Times - even though she reportedly hasn't set foot in the Sun-Times building in over four years.
The dollars involved may be small compared with the millions her husband was pulling out of Hollinger International, but Amiel's behavior fits the same disturbing pattern, according to disgruntled shareholders: treating a publicly held company like a personal bank account.

· If this was a cow, there wouldn't be an udder that wasn't sore [ courtesy of Romenesko]

The pundits are whispering that Bob Carr is likely to run over Amerika

Verbal shrines: Red Flags or Grinding Axes
Veteran journalists are coming to some grim conclusions about their industry. Are they raising red flags or merely grinding axes?
Much recent criticism of the media falls along conventional political fault lines - that the press is either too 'liberal' or too 'conservative.' In the years since Sept. 11 the criticism also has been politically polarized: We're not patriotic enough. We're not skeptical enough. We're anti-American traitors. We're flunkys for the White House and the Pentagon.

· We're not patriotic enough. We're not skeptical enough... [ via Romenesko ]
· It's not our job to be sources. The taxpayers don't pay us to leak! Our job is not to make your job easy... [ via Dismissive nature of some remarks in piece are striking ]

Broad World
Andrew Meier warns that we need to pay closer attention to what is happening in the former Soviet Union. He feels that devoting American energies and assets exclusively to Iraq will increase the likelihood that the long struggle to democratize the former Soviet Union will turn out badly for the good guys.
The question from the audience was, Mr. Brodsky, maybe it's a stupid question, but you survived x-number of years in the gulag, in the prison camps, and you then went into exile. If you hadn't had suffered the brunt of Soviet power, would you still be such a good poet? And Brodsky shot back and said, It's a stupid question. But in following up, he said, You Americans have to understand the creative impulse in our stubbornness and our predilection for going to extremes and our frontier spirit. We are much closer, Russians and Americans, than Europeans and Russians. He basically said, Europe may have its high culture and its Enlightenment and its Renaissance, but Russians and Americans, we have guts.

· A country both damaged and vital

New Year, New You, New Australian DIARY OF CIRCLES is here
Wendy James gets a response from Susan Hill in relation to the art and practice of diary keeping.
Speaking of diaries, I received a short note from Darren about his latest initiative called Blogger Idol.
So showcase your digital diary over the next month by posting 1 entry per week on a common theme.

· Darren Rowse [link first seen at Livingroom ]
· True Diary of Tim Dunlop: Rich and Succint [ via Surfdom ]

After the Velvet Revolution, I Count Myself Lucky to be Living in the Age of Digital Revolution.
If at first you don't succeed and if you feel on the Net like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people make Blog Father the First Blog of the Rest of Your Life:
· My So-Called Blog Father [ via Searching God Father]

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


The Cardinal Sins of Blogging

Online addicts abandon the real world
Gabriele Farke celebrated her 40th birthday in a chat room. Her real-life friends had long since given up on her.
· The blonde in Bus Stop: Caught in the Net
· Blogging of Happiness

What is Happiness?
To laugh often and much,
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of childen,
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends,
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition,
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,
This is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
· Politics of Happiness
[ via Mathematics of Happiness = P + 5E + 3H
· Bullies in the China Shop of Humanity


The playwright Tom Stoppard once wrote that, when people asked about the deep existential themes in his play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, he felt like a smuggler's dupe standing before a Customs officer: He had to admit those things were in there, but had no idea how they got there. Something similar happens every year at the Sydney Festival. The Sydney Festival began in earnest 4 months after I arrived in Australia. The Family Friendly Festival's ability to blend high-brow art and popular culture is the reason why so many vodka and barkadi (sic) loving locals are so passionate about exploring Sydney during Mid Summer Musical Evenings. What would the internationally recognised summer party scene be without mango dakeries (sic) at the Barracks or my very own Antipodean Club 77 (Klub, Charter, 77 is now closed)?
Without any doubt Leo Schofield, the son of a country publican with passion for telling stories, is the most artistic character the Emerald City ever created. Leo even painted the city of exiles in deep milticultural colours and now new talents continue the graceful tradition of lifting our hearts and making us think differently. Sydney somehow becomes kinder just like my childhood Vrbov used to manage to metamorphose during St Servac celebrations.

The Days of the Digital Cities are Numbered: Stopczecher
We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.
THE cream of Australia's theatrical crowd gathered at Walsh Bay for the opening of the $42-million Sydney Theatre.
Ussual suspects included Jackie Weaver, Barry Otto, Gough Whitlam and Bob Carr. However, playwrights David Williamson and Sir Tom Stoppard also attended the marathon nine-hour performance and party.

· Tom Stoppard: Who's that? ...Nobody, sir. He's the author [Website about Tom Stoppard was born "Tom Straussler" in Zlin, Czechoslovakia on July 3, 1937]

Geraldine O'Brien, at her brilliant best, describes heartily the city of my exile...
They have been called Sydney's incidental magic but they are not the million-dollar harbour vistas from the plate-glass of Point Piper. Rather, they are glimpses and views that, piece by lovely piece, are disappearing from our city.
Yet these, even more than the postcard vistas, have been what anchor us - geographically and psychologically - that give us our sense and spirit of place; that are, if you like, our dreaming.
Sydney has always had an immediate, sensuous, physical impact: for two centuries, from the first recorded European responses, visitors and locals alike, painters, writers and Everyman have celebrated its moods and ever-changing moments.
Its physical presence is most obvious in the interaction of harbour and city, harbour and suburb, in the sandstone outcrops at Castlecrag, the river glimpsed through jacaranda blossom at Hunters Hill, the massive presence of the Harbour Bridge seen from Pitt Street Mall, the salt smack of a southerly blustering into the city streets.
But, away from the harbour, there are other, equally characteristic, Sydney experiences: in the sequence of landmarks along Johnston Street in Annandale, from the lace-draped corner buildings at the Parramatta Road end, through the beautiful spire of the Hunter Baillie Church, to the instantly-recognisable "witches' houses"; or elsewhere, the dramatic run of ridge-top roads lined with low-rise buildings which leave a big and open sky; or the vista through Hyde Park's great figs down Macquarie Street.
Then there are the megalithic structures of power stations, shipyard cranes, wharves and viaducts, the fast-disappearing remnants of industrial Sydney which, while they survive, remain some of our most powerful markers.
But too much of this rich "incidental magic" is being lost. Public views are blocked by private development, city high-rise dominates more modest landmarks, denying their place in the urban palimpsest.
For years, from the Pyrmont Bridge, the copper domes of the Queen Victoria Building were etched against the skyline. That view is now lost. The roofline and turrets of St Mary's Cathedral crowned the vista from Elizabeth Street across Hyde Park - until they were upstaged by the "up-yours" gesture of the Horizon apartments in Darlinghurst.
More pervasively, Sydney's massive "MacMansions", built boundary to boundary, have effectively privatised once-public views through housing lots and gardens to the harbour or ridges and valleys beyond.
The old, former industrial suburbs such as Balmain and Pyrmont, once characterised by powerful industrial structures that were surrounded by modest workers' cottages tumbling down narrow, winding streets, have now succumbed to apartments and mansion mania, which obliterate the landforms which made them so distinctive.
Meredith Walker, a heritage consultant who in 1997 was involved in the first study of views in Australia, in Parramatta, believes that one of the reasons people are not worried about views is because they don't see them as threatened.
She might also have said that often they simply don't consciously see them when they're there, or see the potential for them when they are not.
Sydney lived quite happily for over a generation with an unbroken row of medium-rise buildings at East Circular Quay. It was only when they were demolished and the cliff face and Government House and its grounds lay revealed that the outcry about "the Toaster" began.
From Moore Street in Leichhardt, Walker says, "there was once a wonderful view to the Sydney University clock tower, a most fantastic view of the university that is now almost all gone, blocked by the redevelopment of the old Children's Hospital into flats".
In Parramatta, Mrs Macquarie had urged that towers be built onto St John's Church, thus adding a powerful focal point to the picturesque view from Old Government House. That view survived until the 1980s when the Taxation Office, without any thought at all, developed a new office which Walker says is "completely in your face".
Yet while many are lost, new landmarks are being created: the Anzac Bridge; the City West link affords a spectacular view of the CBD; Glebe residents can see the landmark globes restored on the renovated Grace Bros building.
In the city, heading north along Elizabeth Street, the dramatic intersecting blades of the Governor Phillip Tower glitter against the sky, while at Parramatta, careful editing of the vegetation along James Ruse Drive has provided a view to the restored Female Orphan School.
The American critic Kevin Lynch wrote in The Image of the City of the powerful role urban landscapes play, providing the raw material for the symbols and collective memories of group communication . . . A good environmental image gives its possessor an important sense of emotional security . . .
This is the obverse of the fear that comes with disorientation: it means that the sweet sense of home is strongest when home is not only familiar, but distinctive as well.
· Everyday magic of a beloved city
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