BohemiAntipodean Samizdat

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Czech out this web exclusive list of conventional wisdom on Amerikan values and their reality czechs Even Texans hook up in marriage, have children, put them through school, offer car rides to their teen friends and join clubs (especially gun clubs) and other organizations

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: The Downward Spiral of MEdia Abuse and Political Evasion
The dream may be, wrote Mary Riddell in the same paper, of a media respectful to politicians, mindful of their democratic duties and shorn of tatty stuff about Beckham's tattoos and Jemima's marriage. The result would be newspapers of such turgid blandness that nobody would ever buy them... the greatest causes can hang on the tackiest cases... Britain has rarely needed its flawed, contrary, trivia-obsessed free press more than it does now. And Andrew Neil, wrote in the same vein: The media is the lifeblood of democracy... though the specifics of their stories (the BBC Gilligan broadcast on government lying about WMD; the Daily Mirror fake pictures of British soldiers beating Iraqis) were wrong, both drew public attention to vital matters of public concern.
If the media doesn't have power over people's perceptions, then what is it doing? Above all, what is it doing to us? We in journalism haven't asked that question much. It is time we did, for if not us, who?

The most pockmarked ground in journalism is that of political reporting [ 2004 A Democratic Year?]
• · Micklethwait and Wooldridge: The Right Wing's Deep, Dark Secret
• · · See Also Spain, the government is putting the 'social' back in socialism
• · · · How did it come to this? I cannot remember a time when the gulf between Europeans and Americans was so wide: A letter to Europe from Philip Gordon and ; A letter to America from Timothy Garton Ash
• · · · · Web Exclusive Robert Kuttner: John Kerry could win by 2 million votes and still lose the e(l)ection... Three ways to fix the electoral system
• · · · · · · Web Exclusive Steven Hill and Rob Richie Fixing E(l)ections: Instant runoff voting [ How the Uncle Sam of Electoral Collages (sic) is stacking up]

MEdia Dragon find 300-year-old wine cellar

Repeating History Classes: I see more McCarthy than Murrow in Moore's work
NPR's Scott Simon says much of Michael Moore's films and books seems to regard facts as mere nuisances to the story he wants to tell. No matter how hot a blowtorch burns, it doesn't shed much light.
Writ Large [link first seen at I wish I'd taught Moore to have a little more balance(Milw. JS) ]
• · See Also Director of schools threatens to beat the s--- out of editor
• · · Visual History Television and the politics of humiliation
• · · · Wei Jingsheng writes to Anne-Marie: Can America combine power with modesty? ; [ ]
• · · · · If I told you tonight, 'Let's leave the Fleet Center, we're in danger,' and when you get outside, you ask me, 'Reverend Al, What is the danger?' and I say, 'It don't matter. We just needed some fresh air,' Al Sharpton: I have misled you and we were misled
• · · · · · American Nudist Research Library has a fairly simple motto: Dedicated to preserving nudist history with a comprehensive archive of nudist material". Like all specialist libraries, it operates with a limited budget. Thus, the library covers only what it needs to

There's a lot of ghostwriting about and everyone understands that. People know it covers everything from celebrity autobiographies to what might be called more serious literary work, but it's
a fascinating area for people because it's secretive, sometimes a little bit murky. It's a sort of creative life that dare not speak its name.
The publishing trade to some extent colludes in this as well -- there are a lot of in-house editors nowadays who are brushing up the efforts of quite well-known writers.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers:
My mother, Maria Imrichova too, worshipped God as intensely as the saint transfixed. And His companionship was to her as that of an old and very dear friend. Perhaps somewhere else one woman has walked through so many years charming so many people by her warmth and diffidence and humor and faith. If so, I wish I might have known her.
Her love for her children and her husband was absolute.

Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography [The Untold Story: Who is Hot Now? Cold River and its Site Media Dragon (smile) ]
• · The Untold Story of The Importance of Being Famous: The Rise and Rise of Celebrity Journalism
• · · See Also Publisher peeved at political parody
• · · · Is literary culture reflected in how books are pulped? It's a sad chapter for Cold River [Media Dragons live in what is likely the beauty capital of the world and have the enviable fortune to work with some of the most beautiful women in it ]
• · · · · Most literary prizes -- however valuable -- merely give the chance for organisers and judges to drop a polished pebble into the ocean of indifference At least they also prove that money can't buy love - or even attention
• · · · · · Is literary culture reflected in how publishers and fraudsters interact? Khouri coverage [ Faking it has a rich history]

Friday, July 30, 2004

James Meek describes life in a Catch-22 world where a human life is valued at $500, the mercury rarely falls below 40 and the daily carnage in Iraq goes largely unreported

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Appointments to public sector boards in Australia: cronyism or competence?
Drawing on a study several Australian government agencies and their board members Meredith Edwards considers appointments to public sector boards in Australia and identifies opportunities for reform drawing on experiences from abroad. • Mono Culture [ via APO]
• · Johnny Was Good Blogging from the Democratic Convention [What did one America say to the other? Shove it!; Double Damning the Gurlie Men Arnold Uses Comedy ]
• · · Maiden Act Australia’s first Bill of Rights
• · · · Democratic Audit of Australia, Australian National University Democracy in the digital age: enabling electronic voting and counting in the Australian Capital Territory
• · · · · See Also Opinion polls: issues and preferred party, and preferred PM, July 2004 ((Opinion polls: comparison of voting intention, July 2004; Electoral rankings: Census 2001 (2003 boundaries) ))
• · · · · · · See Also Florida officials: Some voting records wiped out

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Bloomberg Time to pay for deceit: James Hardie Industries NV

Tracking Policies & Investigative Stories: Police States
Chris Masters presents new evidence of corruption at a high level of the Victorian police force and asks whether Victoria, in shirking any attempt at serious and uncompromising reform, will be left behind while elsewhere the cycle of change moves on.
Corrupt [link first seen at ]
• · Report Hiding Somewhere on this website THE JAMES HARDIE REPORT Fraud, lies and the asbestos disgrace [Maybe I've got another year or two, I'd be happy with that Company has never stopped lying, inquiry told
  • Company has never stopped lying, inquiry told; What the report says Reports omitted: Executives may have misled to keep Government in dark; Final submissions: Law firm also faces criticism; Risk business: Actuary may face action over liability estimate that grew]
    • · · See Also >Report spreads blame for Oasis fiasco that cost ratepayers $22m ((Knowles denies being involved in Westfield rival's rezoning))
    • · · · See Also

    Commissioner exasperated as Waterfall inquiry reaches end ((Read all about it - the little book that spelled bad news for some; Carr that pulls faces: PM, Carr attacked as judge pulls plug))
    • · · · · See Also Who pays the piper?
    • · · · · · Breaches and brouhahas: Two security breaches, a continent apart. One could be a false alarm, but the other... ((Red Cell Inside story of how a band of reformers tried--and failed--to change America's spy agencies))

  • Have you read Trumpet of the Last Judgment against Hegel, Atheists and Antichrists? If you don't already know, I can tell you that, under the secret seal, the authors are Bauer and Marx. I have truly laughed heartily reading it.
    - G. Jung, letter to Arnold Ruge (December 1841)

    Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Cutting through literary lies
    Another literary hoax to join the grand Australian tradition of the Ern Malley affair, the Demidenko moment, the Thoughtli(n)es...
    Humiliated publishers still want to believe the best of the author Norma Khouri, accused of literary deception with her bestseller, Forbidden Love, despite overwhelming evidence that the book does not truly represent her life and experiences. Its Australian publisher is awaiting rebuttals from Ms Khouri but concedes the book's withdrawal from sale is due to the Herald's allegations which, Random House said, "cast doubt on Ms Khouri's true identity and her story as told in" the purportedly factual book.
    The Herald's allegations, established by old-fashioned but reliable gumshoe techniques of investigation, do more than cast doubt on Ms Khouri's version of her upbringing, and her claim that her nearest friend, the book character Dalia, was stabbed to death in Jordan by Dalia's father because she defied his will and pursued a chaste relationship with a Christian man she met while the two women ran an Amman hairdressing salon. The book highlighted the archaic and brutal practice of honour killings, where the state turns a blind eye to the murder of its own so that family honour can retain paramountcy. It is a moving tale of the excesses of cultural and religious inflexibility. It mustered a wave of Western revulsion against a supposedly widespread Muslim practice at the very time the West was clamouring for justification of anti-Muslim sentiment. But fact it is not.

    Forbidden Bribery Island (sic) ((Author goes to ground)) [The Sound on the Page: Style and Voice in Writing Riverview]
    • · See Also On being able to switch accents
    • · · See Also Books That Will Tell You Why Everything is Crazy [ Dragons ]
    • · · · See Also Revenge may be frowned upon, but the urge is primed in the genes [link first seen at Disgust is an adaptation for survival, but what is the point of it now? ]
    • · · · · I am often accused by people who don’t know me very well of never changing my mind and always wanting to be right Changing our mind These charges are usually hurled at me in the midst of some heated debate, often when the other side is close to be running out of defensible arguments.
    • · · · · · See Also Is that quadriplegic or tetraplegic? The English language feeds from different streams, with the result that one term may acquire two forms

    Wednesday, July 28, 2004

    Bomb note forces jet back to Sydney...A bomb threat forced a United Airlines jumbo jet with 264 people on board to abort its flight to Los Angeles and return to Sydney Airport after 90 minutes in the air Everyone just kept looking around and looking at each other, the expression on the faces of everyone was just unreal

    Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Taking Power
    It's e(l)ection night, and early returns suggest trouble for the incumbent. Then, mysteriously, the vote count stops and observers from the challenger's campaign see employees of a voting-machine company, one wearing a badge that identifies him as a county official, typing instructions at computers with access to the vote-tabulating software. When the count resumes, the incumbent pulls ahead. The challenger demands an investigation. But there are no ballots to recount, and election officials allied with the incumbent refuse to release data that could shed light on whether there was tampering with the electronic records.
    Only the Paranoid Survive [ via Protecting the Democratic franchise ]
    • · All politics is local. But this year, it is getting downright neighborly So where do the Democratic and Republican nominees fit along the left-right spectrum? [Henry Fairlie explains Why the quality of oratory has fallen so low: THE FAULT IS IN THE SPEAKERS, AND IN THE HEARERS, TOO]
    • · · Text of Bill Clinton's speech: Strength and Wisdom are not opposing values
    • · · · What's the Republican lineup look like? Who are their elder statesmen? Link to Hillary's speech Comeback Party
    • · · · · See Also Welcome to This Is Rumor Control, a new blog dedicated to original reporting, commentary, and discussion of security and foreign policy issues [link first seenat Rumour Control]
    • · · · · · · Political Dragons Best Blogs - Politics and Elections (Winston Churchill said that In war, the truth must be accompanied by a bodyguard of lies: Spin, truth and lies )

    Meet the MEdia Dragons, Blogging Beasts and Evil Blaghhs

    The Blog, The Press, The Media: Bloggers Are the Sizzle, Not the Steak
    The Democrats and the Republicans are inviting a limited number of bloggers — those witty, candid, irreverent, passionate, shrewd and outrageous Internet chroniclers — to their 2004 conventions.
    Tracking Our Stories [ courtesy of David Adesnik: KEEPING UP WITH JONES: Joe Gandelman has posted a very thoughtful response to Alex Jones' anti-blog temper tantrum in the LA Times. Daniel Drezner: Good — this is exactly the kind of story that merits further inquiry by "real" journalists — you know, as opposed to...
    Pejman Yousefzadeh
    : THE POWER OF THE BLOGOSPHERE — While Alex Jones moves Heaven and Earth to try to deride blogs as "the sizzle, not the...Rickheller @Centerfield: (Note to Alex S. Jones - I haven't been paid to promote this documentary. All I got was iced tea and a slice of apple pie.) Jay Rosen: Alex S. Jones, of Harvard's Kennedy School, a former reporter for the New York Times, and a biographer of newspaper...James Joyner: Alex Jones' LA Times op-ed "Bloggers Are the Sizzle, Not the Steak" set off a firestorm last evening, with several blogs commenting on it.
    Also: Robert Cox, David Allan Pell, Jeralyn Merritt, Clayton Cramer,
    Jeff Goldstein
    , Patrick Belton, Jeff Jarvis, Jon Henke, Jonah Goldberg, Captain Ed, Joe Gandelman, Matt Welch, Glenn Reynolds, Timothy Wheeler]
    • · Beantown Becomes Blogtown: What is news is that for the virgin time several dozen political bloggers will receive media credentials to report on the event
    Robert Cox: But...if you have a note from a doctor, you are allowed to TIVO THIS tonight... TIVO THIS Judy Woodruff's Inside...Will Collier: Fund On Blogs — Great John Fund OpinionJournal column today on political bloggers, who seem to be getting under the...Glenn Reynolds: CONVENTION BLOG-COVERAGE ROUNDUP: Here's my MSNBC post on convention blogging. Here's a link-rich item by John Fund...
    "Beantown Becomes Blogtown" — John Fund today: "It isn't news that more than 15,000 journalists are descending on this city to cover the Democratic convention. The Big Trunk

    Tuesday, July 27, 2004

    Politicians like the new Czech Prime Minister Stanislav Gross (34) is handling the European Commissioner switch pretty invisibly: I've informed him by SMS about what measures we're heading toward. So that he wouldn't know of it only from the press.
    Economists are looking into a tankard of pitch-black Guinness's Ale instead of a crystal ball: A study of economics usually reveals that the best time to buy anything is last year

    Invisible Hands & Markets: Big government is good for economic freedom
    Over at Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok recently presented a graph showing a positive correlation between UN measures of gender development and the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom Index. Of course, Alex presented the usual caveats about causation and correlation, but he concluded "at a minimum the graph indicates that capitalism and gender development are compatible contrary to many radicals"
    This prompted me to check out how the Economic Freedom index was calculated. The relevant data is all in a spreadsheet, and shows that the index is computed from about 20 components, all rated as scores out of 10, the first of which is general government consumption spending as a percentage of total consumption. Since the Fraser Institute assumes that government consumption is bad for economic freedom, the score out of 10 is negatively correlated with the raw data.

    Diversity of scale in economic enterprises []
    • · See Also Where 140 ex Howard staffers are now
    • · · Westfield and Bob Carr's preaching: The NSW Government had intervened. It had passed an Act of Parliament to end the proceedings and preclude any appeal. Even louder protests followed, with public debate about the right of the NSW Government to overrule legal process. However, the anger eventually subsided and the Westfield Eastgardens Shoppingtown went up on its section of the site In light of this, why on earth can't the Carr Government follow the lead of the Wran Government and legislate to protect the $40 million Gazal project with its 62 retail tenants and 450 employees
    • · · · The PR scandal that is James Hardie Greg Combet told Lateline last night that Hawker Britten pulled out of the James Hardie deal when they realised it was immoral... two companies were Gavin Anderson and Hawker Briton
    • · · · · New paper by Drezner and Farrell called The Power and Politics of Blogs (PDF) A corrective to the worst excesses of the mainstream's haughtiness about its privileged position as our society's information priests: we tell you what you need to know and when
    • · · · · · The Princess or the Dragon The children are our nano future Swinburne University of Technology's Centre for Micro-Photonics constructed a model of the Sydney Opera House. Its dimensions are 64 x 38 x 41 micrometers, (yes, I know; not nano, but cool, anyway)

    Telling men not to become aroused by signs of beauty, youth and health is, as David Buss has noted, like telling them not to experience sugar as sweet

    Tracking Trends Great & Small: Quiet is the new loud
    When trying to summarize my impressions of this week, I come to think of the title of an album from the Norwegian lo-fi rock group Kings of Convenience. It is called "Quiet is the new loud". Is that not what we have been preaching through out this week? That, in times when everyone screams, the solution is not to scream louder but to whisper. It has become incredibly hard to reach consumers via mass communication. Super Bowl ads and sponsorships of the Olympics, millions of dollars are spent on branding activities with questionable results. But with new technology like blogs we have the opportunity to start small conversations - whispers - with tiny groups of people who actually will listen, which if our predicitions are right, in time will spread and our messages will have the chance to reach larger audiences. Quiet is the new loud
    Kings of Convenience [link first seen at ]
    • · Hippie communes Live on
    • · · Flirting is in our blood, literally All animals are hardwired to attract mates
    • · · · The State of PR - A Tale of Two Profession It was the best of times
    • · · · · See Also Pollies make poor bloggers - UK report
    • · · · · · See Also More alarming this week was the ABC's failure to give a decent explanation for refusing to sell news clips of politicians to a documentary maker

    Monday, July 26, 2004

    Age of Marriage

    Tracking Policies & Investigative Stories: Case Study: Blogging to Spot Trends & Forecast Markets
    Small Business Tends LLC is a company that uses blogs to spot trends and forecast the likely behavior of the small business marketplace.
    With more than 300 pages up at Small Business Trends and the launch of a second TrendTracker website, we have learned that blogs are great for identifying trends and for disseminating insight into developing trends.
    We daily roam the Web, print publications, TV and radio looking for information that tells us something about small business.

    Spotting Trends
    • · UPI: A special series on The War of Ideas [part 2, part 3, and part 4)]
    • · · David Brooks on why the war on terrorism is really an ideological war
    • · · · Terry Eagleton: What any decent politics must be built
    • · · · · Interview: Alexander Downer
    • · · · · · See Also

    Liberals whose major interests were cultural and social often ended up in alliances with anti-capitalists. Some found themselves making excuses for communism while others joined the more economically minded followers of Keynes or the devotees of the Swedish model (the 'third way' of its time). Neither alliance met with much success Russian tanks turned
    up in Eastern European cities whenever political liberty threatened to break out,
    there was that awkward secret speech, and threats to bury the capitalist West followed the slow economic collapse...

    Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Red-Blue Divide
    Of all the forces governing this campaign, the greatest may not be the candidates themselves or the jolt of external events but something far more basic: The split personality of the US electorate. The election is being played out on a political landscape more sharply - and evenly - divided than any other in generations.
    The red-blue divide, as it has come to be known, entered public consciousness in the 2000 election, when the nation split down the middle between George W. Bush and Al Gore. The color-coded electoral map told a blunt geographic tale: Mr. Bush's red swept across the South, the Great Plains, and most of the Rocky Mountain West, while Mr. Gore's blue covered almost all of New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the West Coast. The dramatic results recast the United States as a bipolar, 50-50 nation, in which where one lived translated into differences in culture, values - and partisan allegiance.

    The Christian Science Monitor, a series inside red-and-blue America [part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5]
    • · See Also How to strengthen the 2-party system Have you ever been to a party where it's ok to talk politics?
    • · · See Also What is at stake in Australia’s History Wars (in 10 parts)
    • · · · See Also Carr attacked over planning debacle [Talk about the story becoming the story History]
    • · · · · See Also Advising Singers To Sing (Not Talk Politics)
    • · · · · · · Hypocrisy is an extraordinary spectator sport No Child Left Behind Act [ ]

    The 2004 Vice Regal Blog Comments Award

    The Blog, The Press, The Media: At the speed of blog
    After a Republican congressman resigned unexpectedly, a lefty blogger called for readers to send money to his opponent -- and the cash poured in.
    What happened next was beyond anything that Yellin had expected.

    Stephen Yellin, a 16-year-old politics junkie and frequent contributor to the lefty blog Daily Kos [ E-mail is so 1995 In no time, you'll be spending more time reading what you want and less time sifting through junk ]
    • · The unedited voice of one person Online personals sites that cater to a specific political point of view [Malcolm Farr political leaders and rumours ]
    • · · pass the word We don't need no stinkin login [link first seen at Gianna ]
    • · · See Also ADV: Free articles and lessons about Windows, MS Word, MS Excel and Internet.
    • · · · > Medical Meta-Search Engine Debut: Metasearch engine: operates different way as search engines like Google or Yahoo
    • · · · · See Also CNN announced that Technorati will be providing real-time analysis of the political blogosphere at next week's Democratic National Convention [ Coming Soon: ]
    • · · · · · Circa 1960 Google of Yore

    Friday, July 23, 2004

    Since we know President Bush does not like to read should we expect him to read the entire [9/11 Commission] report? I was thinking about this earlier this morning. Not only Bush, but countless members of Congress have the reputation of asking their aides to do their reading for them. This has driven me nuts for years -- Bush is hardly the first president I've covered who sometimes avoids nuts-and-bolts hard work to absorb complicated material. Some politicians even defend the practice as 'good leadership' -- delegate the details. This drives me nuts tooEmperor of Pen fame, Kaiser, hates it when politicos don't read reports

    Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Intelligence failures exposed
    Australia invaded Iraq on the basis of thin, ambiguous and incomplete intelligence but without Federal Government pressure, an inquiry by former diplomat and spy boss, Philip Flood has found
    Spies underestimated JI threat: Flood [ via Vital reports on Iraq totalled only 51⁄2 pages ]
    • · Congratulations: SMH actually provides a link to Flood Report from its Website; If this trend of providing links to primary material continues in the mainstream media then the MEdia Dragon can consider itslef totally redundant: Report of the Inquiry into Australian Intelligence Agencies
    • · · Snapshot: Key findings
    • · · · Speed of lies equals the ease of acceptance Propaganda, maybe, but Fahrenheit 9/11 encourages vigilance about truth
    • · · · · Blair's off the hook (again). Bush brushes off the United States Senate finding about "the greatest intelligence failing in the history of the nation". And now Howard looks to have avoided incrimination: Artful dodgers, these vain masters of war
    • · · · · · · See Also Companies that helped arrange financing for Gov. Bill Richardson’s $1.6 billion transportation program are the top contributors to a newly formed political committee affiliated with the governor
    • · · · · · See Also Judges who enjoy extensive travel entitlements as part of their salary package are taking a second dip at the public purse by claiming additional trips as work-related expenses

    Correct us if we're wrong. Every once in a while you have to step back and look in the mirror. Unfortunately, all of our mirror manufacturing has been outsourced. So...we turn to our friends across the pond for a fresh look.
    In essence you don't run for President directly, you ask the media to run you for President. Reaching the voters relies almost entirely on how the media choose to perceive you and your campaign.
    The March of Time: Old Battle for the White House (punt intended)

    The Blog, The Press, The Media: Margo On the road again
    Making the media accountable for their errors in the lead up to the Iraq war, and the false claims of some mainstream media that they’re working for you, the reader, rather than for their owner’s corporate agendas. Harry Heidelberg recommends Petition for initiation of complaint against Fox News Network for deceptive practices, where moveon has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to take legal action against Murdoch’s Fox Network for deceptive advertising by promoting itself as the “fair and balanced” network. And see details of the moveon-inspired Outfoxed movie, which “provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public's right to know”. The Not Happy John Website is pulling together a mailing list of readers who we hope will help the site morph into an Australian version of moveon to help defend our democracy.
    Wondering who's to bless and who's to blame in the MEdia [Why network publicists cut off journo Bobbin at six questions People are naturally superstitious in an industry in which no one really understands what separates hits from flops and hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, they will cut off a Q&A session after Bobbin's sixth question ]
    • · See Also Media Matters: making headway in campaign against misinformation
    • · · Journo wonders why media bigs aren't reporting WMD scoop: Why isn't Dan Rather reporting this? Why isn't Peter Jennings reporting this? It has been generally ignored, just as any story that's deemed favorable to the president is ignored by the formerly mainstream press
    • · · · See Also Thomas Norton, a retired college professor, stared at Morning Call reporter Tracy Jordan and called her a 'stupid bitch
    • · · · · See Also SF Chron letters editor on leave over political contributions
    • · · · · · MEdia Dragon, who smacked book critic Dale Peck Crouch says he's being congratulated for hitting critic Peck

    Thursday, July 22, 2004

    A parliamentary inquiry will investigate the State Government's refusal to rezone a controversial shopping centre at Liverpool and whether the minister who made the decision was pressured: Was there a secret handshake? Carr facing the music...

    Invisible Hands & Markets: When the Priests of Capitalism Sin
    I was wondering how Grandma Millie has been doing. You remember her, the hapless California electricity customer, the one the potty-mouthed energy traders on those Enron tapes bragged about bleeping over on her energy bill? I can't even use dots or asterisks to substitute for what Trader Kevin and Trader Bob were saying, or that's all there would be — dots — between snarky references to stealing from poor old ladies and jamming Grandma Millie for 250 bucks a megawatt-hour.
    This was three and four summers ago, when the hotshot megawatt traders were holding us prisoner in the heat and the dark and making jokes about our miseries. Think Abu Ghraib with a beach. When a wildfire took down a power transmission line, they chanted Burn, baby, burn! When blackouts surged through the West like tsunamis, and people got trapped in elevators, and assembly lines slammed to a halt, and milk curdled in coolers, Trader Kevin wished for an earthquake that would let that thing float out to the Pacific.

    Enron road kill — that was Grandma Millie. Just like the rest of us [Alive & Well: Govt spending is back in fashion]
    • · See Also New Tax Cut Scam Excludes Poor Kids...
    • · · See Also Other People's Children...
    • · · · An educated work force is not essential for economic growth. Neither is a high saving rate: What the McKinsey research makes clear is that it's not what you put into the economy that matters, but what you get out of it. Consumption is the goal of production
    • · · · · · See Also NEW PROPHETS OF CAPITALISM [Australian tourism industry: How the goss is dimming the gloss... Love the country, not sure about those policies
    • · · · · Cybermarket: Little did I know that I was about to be plunged into a netherworld of obsession and longing, an online universe where untold thousands of women around the world congregate...
    • · · · · · Sydney CityRail fighting tooth, heart and nail: Panic stations over CityRail driver exodus

    in Bushworld, you don't consult your father, the expert in being president during a war with Iraq, but you do talk to your Higher Father, who can't talk back to warn you to get an exit strategy or chide you for using Him for political purposes.
    Ms. Dowd's Bushworld
    Their civility...

    The Blog, The Press, The Media: Liberalism as Deep Civility
    Political correctness is another name for civility
    The point of being polite or civil to another human being is not to demonstrate superiority, it is to demonstrate respect. The real test of a person's civility is the way they treat those who have less power and status than they do. True civility is not about whether you chew with your mouth open or use four letter words, it is about acknowledging that other people's beliefs, ambitions, and feelings are as important as your own.
    Good manners are sometimes about being respectful and sometimes about maintaining a status hierarchy. Knowing which fork to use at dinner can be a mark of status. Knowing the right name to call something or someone can serve the same purpose. For example, referring to a judge as 'your highness' will earn you a smirk and a snicker from those who pride themselves on knowing better. Elaborate rituals can be used to exclude and humiliate people.
    Civility is not just good manners. It is not civil to publish tracts denying that the holocaust took place or promote research which set out to prove that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. It doesn't matter how well mannered your prose is or what deference you show to academic norms. To have members of your family slaughtered like animals and then be accused of making it up is to be treated with contempt.

    What's the Point of Being Polite? I; Where's the civility? II [ courtesy of Ken Parish]
    • · See Also John Quiggin
    • · · Daniel Drezner had a nice roundup on civility in the blogosphere: An Incentive to Behave badly
    • · · · Kalblog: That said, it does make a lot of civility complaints look rather silly, especially since the blogosphere is in many ways an outgrowth of academia
    • · · · · See Also Rewarding-random-acts-of-civility
    • · · · · · See Also Never underestimate the role of envy in any walk of life

    Wednesday, July 21, 2004

    One sunny day in 2005 an old man approached the White House from across
    Pennsylvania Ave, where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to
    the US Marine standing guard and said:
    - I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.
    The Marine looked at the man and said:
    - Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here...
    Kommunist about Joe Stalin Jokes Revised by Bohemian Amerikan Editors...

    Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Gore Vidal, 'Contrarian-in-Chief' Where is terror's Homeland?
    At 79, his writing is more outrageous than ever, especially about the ruling 'junta' in the White House. Ever since the events of Sept. 11. The patrician man of letters has become a rock star among dissidents -- and a contemptible fool in the eyes of his critics.
    I am told the Cheney-Bush team dislikes their junta being compared to the Nazis. If they ceased behaving like Nazis, no comparison would come to mind.

    Orgy of destruction: That was so Clintonesque...
    [Littwin: On the road to the 2004 e(l)ection: Why you don't need a map to find America's political divide ]
    • · See Also What a surprise! Terrorists at Iranian military bases! Who ever would have imagined such a thing?
    • · · See Also Some legislators are angry with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the serial w***en fondler, after he referred to them as Gurlie Men
    • · · · THE CHOSEN FEW: exclusive clubs carry on traditions of fellowship, culture -- and discrimination The Bohemian Grove: Continuing the Long Legacy of Racist Elitism
    • · · · · See Also 10 Stories the world needs to know more about
    • · · · · · · What exists beyond those iron gates has yet to be written: What is Left?: Nihilism vs. Socialism [Spoon Benders Loading the language: This paper has explored the techniques used by i.e. (SusSex Street) to maintain high levels of conformity, activism and intolerance on the part of their members]

    Tuesday, July 20, 2004

    You'd have to think hard to come up with practically any journalist, east of Iraq, who has a juicier beat nowadays. ...Toobin's beat is suspenseful enough to make a Reality TV poobah drool Toobin is a journalist in the right place at the right time

    The Blog, The Press, The Media: American journalists thought they were safe in Russia
    Former Time magazine Moscow correspondent Andrew Meier says there's little doubt that Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov was the victim of a contract killing. Although during Putin's presidency 14 reporters have been killed, with one exception they were all Russians, so Americans thought they were safe. Business, imagined Western reporters covering the rise of Russian capitalism, had matured. The bosses of the underworld and the lords of the oligarchy had learned. Disputes were settled in courts, not bloody sidewalks. How wrong we were.
    Svoboda Slova; Freedom of Speech [ courtesy of Why Jones is wrong about blogs NYU's Rosen has three reasons]
    • · See Also Shooting the Messenger: The Challenge Facing Real Journalists... [ courtesy of Call this the season of the documentary... Fahrenheit 9/11, Control Room, Hunting of the President and now, Outfoxed]
    • · · How does today’s Republican Party fit Wall Street bankers under the same tent as blue-collar America? How does a party unify those who seek to bathe corporations in taxpayer cash with those who want to curtail government spending? When Left is Right
    • · · · DRAGON: Underground MEdia Diet FOX: The 'Official' Government News Network... a steady diet of official information [ courtesy of The E(l)ection: Bring It On!... ]
    • · · · · See Also Why the Press Failed... [ courtesy of A Giant Leap for Academia? Google Ventures into DSpace
    • · · · · · Darren Baker on My Czech Republic: A native of California, Darren has been living in Moravia since 1992. Not far, in fact, from the house where Freud was born (which, incidentally, is a massage parlor today)

    All told, there have been no more than seventy empires in history. If the Times Atlas of World History is to be believed, the American is, by my count, the sixty-eighth...
    Unilever NV, the Dutch conglomerate that just dropped Whoopi: Goldberg Brings Hypocrites from Under Their Rocks...

    Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Worst of the Worst?
    Sally Neighbour pieces together the Mamdouh Habib story from his migration to Australia 20 years ago, his growing devotion to Islam and his radicalisation by the US murder trial of an Islamic extremist.
    Habib campaigned for the men convicted of the first World Trade centre bombing and came to ASIO's notice. He began attending lectures by a firebrand Islamic preacher in Sydney. But he was under growing personal pressure. A government contract fell through. His business collapsed. He felt cheated because he was muslim and Egyptian, according to an old friend.

    Habib [ via ] **Tony Blair was warned before the Iraq war by the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, that a UN court could rule Britain's invasion unlawful**
    • · · · Westfield: Link to Ngo grounds for zoning ban. The battle over Nabil Gazal's Liverpool retail centre has turned personal [Assassination:
    A Norfolk Island politician instrumental in the hunt for Sydneysider Janelle Patton's killer was shot dead in his parliamentary office yesterday

    • · · · · Big funds boost for spy office
    • · · · · · MP Peter Breen says he is victim of a payback
    • · See Also This article from TIME states that the 9/11 Commission's upcoming final report will provide information linking Iran with Al Qaeda [via National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission) ]
    • · · Brendan Gleeson, Toni Darbas, Laurel Johnson and Suzanne Lawson: (Warning PDF Format) What is metropolitan planning? [Brendan Gleeson outlines the major strategic challenges facing Queensland Transport (PDF) The chrysalis breaks open: the emergence of a post neo-liberal mode of urban change ]
    • · · · Who Cares? Australian Council of Social Service: New tax statistics show capital gains tax cuts unfair
    • · · · · Peter Mares: WHAT a surprise: ‘queue jumpers’ and ‘illegals’ who once made ‘an assault on our borders’ now make ‘a significant contribution to the Australian community’ and may be allowed to stay permanently
    • · · · · · · Rudyard Griffiths...My Five Minutes on Fox:
    Defending Canada Against the Broadsides of the U.S. Right is a Learning Experience

    Too bad for Bill Clinton that he wasn't on trial in the Czech Republic. The Senate would probably have voted him a pay raise before dismissing the case. True, he lost a lot of good will by bombing Iraq just before the impeachment vote. But for being a rogue on another count – I did not have sexual relations with that woman; people here would just as soon laugh and buy the man a beer. As many see it, there's something distinctly untrustworthy about a man who doesn’t lie about an affair and cover it up...
    Hillary Clinton with Czech President Vaclav Havel at Cafe Slavia, famous for serving Hill's Absinth

    Giving People Better Stories: Daring, If Human, Leader & Mascular Icon: William Jefferson Clinton
    I loved being president. I loved it. Even in the hardest period, I thought, Gosh. It was an exciting job. There was always something new, and always some opportunity, every day, to make somebody's life better, to make... As I said in my book, the way I judged my own life and politics was whether I was giving people better stories - were they going to have a better story? And I think every day there was some chance to do that. So there was some loneliness there, but basically, it was a joy for me. I liked it.
    You were raised to be an optimistic man by your mother. Do you have as much faith in humanity now as when you took office?
    More. Oh, more. How could I not? You know, the know, power structure of the Republican Party, the Congress, the Special Counsel, came down on me, the press was hounding me and baying like dogs at the moon and saying I was dead as could be, and the American people stayed with me. And then, after that passed, we had two of the best years of my presidency, in '99 and 2000, from the point of view of the American people. And the way I've been treated by people since I left can I not? I believe I'm more optimistic today, and more idealistic today, than I was the day I took the oath of office as president in 1993.
    Mandela told me he forgave his oppressors because if he didn't they would have destroyed him, He said: 'You know, they already took everything. They took the best years of my life; I didn't get to see my children grow up. They destroyed my marriage. They abused me physically and mentally. They could take everything except my mind and heart. Those things I would have to give away and I decided not to give them away.' And then he said 'Neither should you'.
    Mandela said when he was finally set free he felt all that anger welling up again and he said: 'They've already had me for 27 years ... I had to let it go'.
    Speaking of his own attempts to forgive the former independent counsel Kenneth Starr and the rest of his legal tormentors, Mr Clinton adds: You do this not for other people but for yourself. If you don't let go it continues to eat at you.

    Nelson Mandella praising Clinton for being the person we'd all like to be -- on
    our best day. Bill Being Far From The Male Eunuch
    [ANDREW DENTON: Enough Rope]
    • · Tony Jones: Mark Latham, do you see any similarities between Bill Clinton's rise to the US presidency and your own tilt at power here in Australia? Liverpool Mayor: Latham

    Monday, July 19, 2004

    America is a 50-50-50 electorate: 50 per cent Democrat, 50 per cent Republican and 50 per cent who don't vote
    Where politics shouldn’t go
    One of the most untouchable issues in American politics is the damaging proposition, deliberately fostered by government leaders that religious devotion and patriotism are inseparable

    Eye on Politics & Law Lords: A look at the history of Mein Kampf
    One person who did read it, and take it seriously, was the British ambassador in Berlin in 1933, Sir Horace Rumbold. He sent his explicit report on it to the Foreign Office in London, and the report, pointing out the dangers of Hitler on the basis of reading the book, was read by all members of the Cabinet, including the prime minister. Why, despite this, the threat was not acted upon is, of course, another story.
    Germans, even Nazis, did not quote from it very often, whereas Soviet Communists were quoting from Lenin and Stalin at every opportunity.

    It was hardly ever treated as a sacred text or used as an authority for action [Levy’s goal is simple: to wake us up to human suffering and injustice ]
    • · Philip Flood: Revealed: where our spies got it wrong [ via Philip Flood, former ambassador to Jakarta, former high commissioner in London, and former head of ONA] [ via ]
    • · · The summers of 1944 and 2004: Pre-invasion intelligence — despite ULTRA and a variety of brilliant analysts who had done so well to facilitate our amphibious landings — had no idea of what war in the hedgerows would be like
    • · · · See Also We are closer to primitive man than we thought
    • · · · · Tina Brown: Looking for an angel to outfox Murdoch's flawless malice
    • · · · · · · See Also Conspiracy Theorists, Unite: A secret conference thought to rule the world [Every presidential ticket is a snapshot of a party, a particular political moment, a particular political need: Money, politics, and four Imrich men ]

    Subsidising speculative investments
    The top 5 per cent of income earners have received half the benefit of the Government's capital gains tax cuts,
    which also helped push house prices beyond the reach of first-time buyers
    How the right to destroy property has implications for a broad range of legal issues: Rational people discard old clothes, furniture, albums and unsent letters every day

    Invisible Hands & Markets: Harry Potter, Market Wiz: Is Pulling Rank A Social Injustice?
    When a power-hungry boss, an overzealous coach, or a powerful politician uses his perceived authority to slap down an underling, most people would label the guy a jerk, a bully, or worse.
    But Robert Fuller is taking it one step further, accusing such types of rankism, a serious social injustice which points up the need for society to begin tearing down traditional structures of rank, or at least to demand better treatment from those in authority. Fuller, a prominent physicist and past president of Oberlin College, is proposing some controversial societal changes to combat rankism, including the abolition of university tenure.

    The Order of Rankism: you shouldn't trust any rankism [With Hermonione, Ron and the usual suspects, the young wizard fights passionately against the politicians' ambition to control his school: Too bad that young students, in the real world, aren't fighting the same battle ]
    • · Why the Invisible Business Cycle Happens Groping for an explanation for the cycle [Only a country that could produce the Invisible BlackSmith Hand and Yes Minister Could Produce a Report on the Worst Intelligence stuff up in history and say Nobody is to blame...]
    • · · Terror in the Skies, Again? What does it have to do with finances? Nothing, and everything ((TERROR IN THE SKIES (CONTINUED)
    At least the basic story is true
    • · · · 40 Richest Australians, Ach, Rupert Murdoch: Australia's 40 most influential people of 2004
    • · · · · Prince of tax avoidance is making trouble again. Michael Badnarik, a dark horse on the third ballot
    • · · · · · Thomas Frank: on the FMA and how success comes by losing ((All magic aside, a striking aspect of the Harry Potter books is just how completely normal and bourgeois are all the settings and experiences of the characters ))
    Drawn into a magical universe of flying cars, spells that make its victims spew slugs, trees that give blows, books that bite, elf servants, portraits that argue and dragons with pointed tails...

    Sunday, July 18, 2004

    John Howard doesn't need an authorised dirt unit when he has young Liberals running amok using aliases and masquerading as members of the Maroubra ALP.
    A young blueblood last week duped Sauce by claiming he was a Laborite who was cranky with Bob Carr as he stirred up trouble over a photo that the Premier had in one of his recent Maroubra newsletters.
    He also misrepresented himself as a reporter from this organ to Carr's media adviser, Michael Salmon, who picked him for a dirt trickster.
    It turns out that Salmon's suspicions were right.
    The chap was Steve Josephs, who ran unsuccessfully for president of the UNSW Students Guild last year on a [dry] Liberal ticket called Y.O.U. (Your Own University).
    Young Bipartisan rascal

    Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Play with science, and face unthinkable consequences
    One of the leading themes of current philosophy is that the notion of objectivity is utterly illusory.
    According to Wittgenstein, the purpose of philosophy is to show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle. For those reluctant to regard themselves as flies, still less ones trapped in bottles, Wittgenstein's aphorism gives all the excuse needed for lobbing philosophy into a mental box marked Not Needed on Voyage.
    Having long regarded Wittgenstein an intellectual fraud, it has taken me a long time to recognise the potency of his definition. It began with a growing suspicion that those keen to boss us about are indeed like flies buzzing around in bottles, in the shape of academic departments or the Westminster Village. Only very recently has it occurred to me that philosophers might have something useful to say on the matter dealing with political risk.

    When Philosophy Met Science [Since 9/11, the mainstream media can't get enough of the question: 'Why do the terrorists hate us?' Well, We, e.i. Labour Party, Gave Them The Idea ]
    • · See Also Wal Murray dies in his sleep [ via Boisterous of voice - mixing a big man's gentleness with a bucolic earthiness ] [via Wal Murray called a spade a spade] [ via New South Wales has lost one of its greatest champions of country causes] [ via ONE of the true gentlemen of NSW politics]
    • · · Left, Right & Center - The PBS Political Slant: Is PBS slanting right because it gave conservative Tucker Carlson his own show?
    • · · · See Also It was clear long before anyone had seen a frame of either "Passion" or "Fahrenheit" that what audiences would witness was the uncompromised, unfiltered vision of a strong-willed, stubborn and bloody-minded director ((Censured on the House floor ))
    • · · · · Surreal farce of corrupt police: Irish police planted bogus IRA arms, bullets and bombs: a litany of lies
    • · · · · · · Law is a very gentle profession compared to politics (Senator Helen Coonan) This the most realistic thing I have read all week ((Without Priscilla, we wouldn’t be talking: The Perfect Mistress Priscilla Morgan))

    The kids need more than rock in their art diet:
    One of my beginnings was about a young university guy who, when you meet him. is drinking coffee at a Toronto diner. He's reading Kafka in the hopes that it'll offer a clue as to why he's able to turn into a housefly, but really he just wants to get up enough nerve to talk to the waitress.

    Feeding the Soul: If you can make Underground Love to Zamizdatzine, you can make a Book
    The first thing I learned about self-publishing is that the literary world considers it roughly equivalent to defecating in the middle of a formal dinner party...
    The rise of indie music offers a potential model. Ten years ago, if someone put out their own album people would say, Oh, I guess they couldn't get a record deal. Nowadays -- after years of undeniably great independent releases, consciousness of media ownership, and a self-sustaining community -- public perception of indie rock has shifted. Now, people would be just as likely to say, Oh, cool. Major labels suck.
    The same shift could happen in publishing. Similar conditions are there: increasing media consolidation on one end, and a pool of artists who are used to doing it themselves on the other. This time, it's zinesters and their photocopiers instead of guitarists with their four-tracks.

    • The Thing by Which You Will Be Judged: Indie music in the '90s, indie publishing in the '00s [Link Poached from Don’t Let a Little Thing Like Failure Stop You! ]
    • · the very stuff of your being is unworthy, your soul too thin and your brain too thick: Fighting the Voices In Your Head
    • · · The absence of new stories makes for a monotonous and confining culture: Writing a book is a political act, and because it's entertainment, it's a subversive one

    For I am like a passenger waiting for his ship at a war-time port. I do not know on which day it will sail, but I am ready to embark at a moment’s notice. I leave the sights of the city unvisited. I do not want to see the fine new speedway along which I shall never drive, nor the grand new theatre, with all its modern appliances, in which I shall never sit. I read the papers and flip the pages of a magazine, but when someone offers to lend me a book I refuse because I may not have time to finish it, and in any case with this journey before me I am not of a mind to interest myself in it. I strike up acquaintances at the bar or the card-table, but I do not try to make friends with people from whom I shall so soon be parted. I am on the wing.
    W. Somerset Maugham, A Writer’s Notebook

    Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Small print, big picture

    Getting a book on the big screen is a hard enough task, so what chance of starting from scratch with the latter in mind?
    In September 1994, Derek Hansen was an author in search of a movie deal. Setting out to write his third novel, Sole Survivor, he decided to do everything he could to make the book attractive to filmmakers.
    His motivation was simple. A movie deal is an imprimatur. If you get a film made, it says it's a good book because there's a blind faith in movies. So I kept the cast small, set it in one location and made the props fairly minimal.

    [The challenge was to ourselves not the Morava River iRiver drowned in the sea of ideas ]
    • · Just as Hitchcock, Dreyer and Eisenstein in their bravest, most driven projects reached for cinema's unique selling point so, in Ten, did Kiarostami The whole point about cinema, surely, is the close-up of the human face
    • · · See Also But though the book has been optioned for a movie and he is on top of the world, Jones lives a minimalist lifestyle
    • · · · Any book publicist will tell you that it's easier to get press or broadcast coverage for non-fiction books because they come with pictures and flesh-and-blood characters: Making Room For Fiction ((Making Better BBC: The corporation’s programmes were not good enough and launched a major inquiry into how to improve them))
    • · · · · Never a dull day, never a good night's sleep: Blaenavon, the small coal and iron town in South Wales, launched an audacious experiment - to build a new prosperity based on second-hand books in a post-industrial graveyard of dead jobs.... Town Of Books, Town Of Dreams
    • · · · · · A Cold Serial With Your Hot Cereal: Minority Opinion: NYT To Serialize Fiction

    Saturday, July 17, 2004

    Back in June 2004 AD I made a punt along the lines that Federal E(l)ection would not take place sometime after 20 October (The Day of the Dracorian 20th wedding anniversary). My gut feeling is that the Liberals will scrape in despite byelections making Blair look like a loser. Winner takes all mentality was practiced by the communists and now major parties are also tempted to take the easy way out. In my humble opinion Iron Wall to Iron Wall Labour version of the political machine might be even more dangerous than John Howard. While NSW is in the hands of the Sussex Street the Kanberreans of Liberal devotion have nothing to fear until 2007.
    The year of the webdiary/blog: It's one thing to hear people in the internet industry swapping jargon like Blogosphere. It's quite another to hear it emerge from the lips of a government minister

    The Blog, The Press, The Media: The Next Power to the People will be Blogged
    Margo is without any doubt, just like John Hatton and Brian Harradine and Ted Mack, the national living treasure. As ordinary Havels and Mandelas of this fragile world, Margo might not have a silver bullet to solve the entrenched problems of democracy but she honestly cares about people. Margo is also one of the few journalists who keeps every dishonest leader, be it a power hungry politician, media personality, or businessman, awake at night.
    Margo Kingston would like to make one thing clear: she is not Australia's answer to Michael Moore. Yes, her new book Not Happy, John! is a broadside against our Prime Minister, just as Moore's books and films have been slaps in the face for George Bush.
    Yes, like Moore, she argues with a colloquial passion that her publishers hope might - just might - tap into a similar seam of popular discontent. But that's where it ends. Although we both dress badly, and we have continual bad hair days, there's one crucial difference. Which is that I do not have a sense of humour.

    There's enormous energy just bubbling along under the surface in this country [ courtesy of The Antipodian Political Bible]
    • · See Also Anti-Howard website linked to controversial consultant Tim Grau, the Bunyip of the Labour Party; like the weblog it sends up, it lacks any real depth or insight
    • · · Google et al Search firms hunt the next dotcom boom
    • · · · MEdia Dragon, Inforworld meets print:
    Dialogues started online shape the content of this magazine InfoWorld Test Center Lead Analyst Jon Udell has worn his fair share of hats during a 25-year career

    • · · · · Believe or not this sewerage case scared a bit this MEdia Dragon based in Sunshine Coast in Y2K: Fear factor: Largely the stuff of Hollywood films, cyber terrorism - politically motivated attacks intended to shock and terrify

    • · · · · · Czech Out The Community Amplify: Blogs on steroids

    The taxpayer-funded Government Members’ Secretariat is doing party political work, according to former government adviser Greg Barns: Inside the propaganda machine

    Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Paul McGeough: World Exclusive The dark background of Iraq's new Prime Minister
    His enemies say he was an assassin for Saddam Hussein. Now Iyad Allawi is accused of personally executing prisoners.
    Hold the doctor up to the light and there are flaws in the glass. We are not quite sure how Iyad Allawi became Iraq's interim Prime Minister and no one knows just how and why he fell out with Saddam Hussein. It is unclear whether his preoccupation with security outweighs a professed love for democracy or what that might mean for Iraq's 25 million people.

    Allawi shot prisoners in cold blood: witnesses: Hard man for a tough country [ via Allawi's Rocky road to the top ]
    • · See Also The Federal Government denied allegations yesterday that the Israeli spy agency Mossad had obtained at least 25 false Australian passports
    • · · See Also Terror war a fight to the death: PM [link to Advancing the National Interest is the Government's - and Australia's - second foreign and trade policy White Paper Foreign Minister Alexander Downer yesterday released the white paper outlining the nature of the terrorist threat facing Australia and the root causes ] [Dollars and sense: trends in intelligence resourcing Punishment and praise won’t bring the best intelligence advice]
    • · · · Beyond the wire Canberra's softened attitude on asylum seekers can be put down in part to how a family's suffering touched a Government MP
    • · · · · See Also Democratic breakdown: Winner take all system would be a step backward for Czech democracy
    • · · · · · · By-elections: British reaction [ via Every hotel room in Leicester was fully booked last night - unscientific but telling proof of the importance the byelection held for Tony Blair, Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy]

    Invisible Hands & Markets: Nation of landlords lines up for $15bn tax deduction
    Negative gearing tax deductions on rental properties have soared to almost $15 billion, after 220,000 new landlords lodged claims for the first time.
    You cannot form a government by buying people [link first seen at ]
    • · NSW politics is rarely dramatic or exciting. Most political dramas have a habit of dying down after a few days and then fizzling out altogether ...It's not the first time Westfield has clashed with rival retail developer Nabil Gazal, but this time the Premier's name has added fuel to the fire
    • · · See Also Even the hint of corruption can lead to the fall of a government, but in the case of the Czech Republic, such allegations seem to be inseparable from nearly any political undertaking
    • · · · See Also Don Boudreaux writes about the incremental improvements of the market that build up and make life better
    • · · · · See Also Sydney migrants sell up and go west
    • · · · · · See Also Is your family worse off than it was in the 1970's? Are many of the families that you know worse off?

    Friday, July 16, 2004

    Peter Singer, philosopher, questions John Howard's ethics

    Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Letter According to Paul and his Lasting Speech
    On June 28, Paul Bremer gave a farewell speech as he stepped down as U.S. administrator in Iraq. Some Iraqis, at least, found the talk moving. Ali Fadhil, 34, a resident in pediatrics at a Baghdad hospital, watched it on television with a group in the cafeteria. He said Bremer's words choked up even a onetime supporter of April's Shiite uprising. We have this information about the Bremer speech because Fadhil and his brothers are bloggers who file their own reports on the Internet (
    Word that Bremer actually gave the speech is something of a collector's item among American reporters.
    The Washington Post said Bremer left without giving a talk [> Freedom takes strong stomachs Freedom takes strong stomachs, but many of us have indigestion ] [Strong Stomach Berlin Wall]
    • · See Also Professor Tom McPhail calls bloggers pretend journalists and complains that (bloggers) are not committed to being objective
    • · · Lord Chauvinist Pig And some people want to get rid of the House of Lords in the UK. Then we'd miss out on gems like this debate on the subject of Amazon club memberships
    • · · · See Also Yellow-cake scandal: CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS has more on the collapse of the Joe Wilson Bush lied story
    • · · · · General Accounting Office Report (( Questions Value of Color-Coded Warnings ((To you, it's sushi. To me, it's bait ... to some it's just raw fish cake: Absolute predictors of political leanings Red or Blue: Which Are You? (PURE PURPLE!)))
    • · · · · · See Also Donald Luskin: Mrs. Kerry Is Filthy Rich. Why Is Her Taxable Income So Small

    In the immortal words of Monty Python, Amongst [the Spanish Inquisition's] weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms. Truthfully, not a bad formula for startup success...Fanaticism is the secret weapon... that, and the comfy chair

    The Blog, The Press, The Media: New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald et al...
    We've discussed many times how newspapers simply don't get the internet, and Adam Penenberg is suggesting that there may be no greater example than the NY Times. The Times, of course, was one of the first online newspapers to require online registration and set up a paid archive for articles after a short period of free time online. However, because of that, the New York Times results barely appear at all in Google. If they're striving to be "the paper of record" then they need to be where people are looking -- and these days, people are looking in Google. Penenberg notes that despite the fact that the Times makes very little money off of those archives, they won't open them, because it might endanger their $20 million per year deal with Lexis-Nexis. Talk about getting hung up by legacy systems. Either way, it's a good point that the folks at the NY Times (and other newspapers) need to realize. Being online means being accessible. If you're not, then today's surfers aren't going to care. You may believe you can hang onto a small group and sell their demographic data to advertisers, but the data is dirty and the times are changing. People don't want to jump through hoops when there's a lot of other content out there, and if the command line of the internet is a search engine, these sites that block themselves off are simply making themselves obsolete.
    Being online means being accessible [ courtesy of Bad for business popups generating more negative feelings for the brand than positive responses]
    • · See Also Silicon Valley and Hollywood Are Not That Different
    • · · Webdiary: If Tony Fitzgerald QC was correct about the importance of truth to democracy, it's not just politicians who owe us the truth. Journalists do too
    Only for MEdia Dragons who fail to appreciate the fact that curiousity about intelligence can kill even in the so called civilised world...Czech this Out:
    • · · · Full Report of Contradiction in ChairName and Content: Lord Butler delivers Iraq verdict [The spectre of Good Intentions & Weapons of Mass Destruction ... will hang over Media, MI6 and MPs]
    • · · · · US Senate report on the intelligence that helped bring about the war in Iraq: Warning Amerikan PDF spy within [Tasman courtesy of ASIO, Mossad, KIWI agents]
    • · · · · · Last, But Not Least: Barista singlehandedly pumps MEdia Dragon;=) [ Ken Parish: Pump, Baby, Pump New Blog: From a LAN Downunder Moore New Blogs Down Under:It's 4.45am and I'm crying like a baby...]