BohemiAntipodean Samizdat

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Barry O'Farrell and Peter Debnam are locked in a close contest to succeed disgraced former NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden If outside experience, professionalism, and long-term survival matters - Peter Debnam it is! A month ago it was Bob Carr and John Brogden. Now, in the space of the winter parliamentary break, the state has lost a premier, a deputy premier, and the opposition leader Angela Cuming on a proposition

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Shattered Brogden's suicide bid
Democracy allows that we are led by fragile leaders

John Brogden was rushed to hospital last night after an apparent suicide attempt, one day after he resigned in disgrace as the NSW Opposition Leader. He was found at his Pittwater electorate office some time before 11pm with self-inflicted stab wounds. He is believed to have been in a drug-and alcohol-induced stupor, and was taken by ambulance to Royal North Shore Hospital.

Turning 'Unknown' Into 'Unknowable' [Crikey: Political leaders have to go and eat turd sandwiches while smiling ; A suicide attempt by former NSW opposition leader John Brogden has left his family, friends and Liberal party colleagues shocked and distraught Brogden suicide attempt ; Brogden's sordid past revealed ]
• · By Gregory Lyon and Jean du Plessis Names such as Hannes, Rivkin and, more recently, Vizard have thrown the spotlight on insider trading. In light of the prosecutions arising from these high profile cases this book is timely The Law of Insider Trading in Australia; A minority, however vocal, cannot impose its will on the rest of us if we decline to permit it. Not even if the President seems to side with them; he is, after all, merely the first among equals, and he will not own that flag much longer. Reluctant Leaders; Policy Parade
• · · Back in 1999 at a conference on infrastructure in Sydney, Hon Graham Hill made me realise that tax could be a very fascinating area to study. It is with great sadness to learn of his the sudden passing of the, Judge, Federal Court of Australia. Graham was made a Judge of the Federal Court on 1 February 1989 and had a long and highly distinguished involvement in the field of taxation, not only on the Bench but also as an educator, a much sought-after speaker and an author. He had a vast depth and breadth of knowledge of taxation, and was always willing to impart that expertise and knowledge to others Death of the Hon Graham Hill ; Appeal could end tax minimisation
• · · · Greg Maddock 'Whistleblower of the year' named ; Ashley Lavelle: Labor’s problems are symptomatic of a crisis in international social democracy – a crisis of declining electoral support, falling party membership, and of a lack of ideas and purpose The crisis in federal Labor ; Paul Williams analyses Peter Beattie’s two weekend by-election defeats No more Mr Nice Guy?; The first part of this revised brief discusses the 141 by-elections for the House of Representatives since Federation, including the most recent for the New South Wales division of Werriwa Research Brief 1: House of Representatives by-elections 1901 to 2005
• · · · · If we refuse to discuss torture, then we lose the opportunity to publicly explain the reasons why torture is so objectionable, argues Ben Saul. Torture irreparably damages human dignity, devalues human life, and corrupts the institutions of our democracy Torture degrades us all ; Peter Jennings argues that both sides of the anti-terrorism dialogue must give ground Listening, not lecturing, is the answer
• · · · · · Dr David Clune (head of the research area) and Stewart Smith provide an overview of desalination plants and technology from around the world, including case studies, in the context of current NSW government policy Desalination, waste water, and the Sydney Metropolitan Water Plan ; Towards a new Australian suburbanism ; Refugees and regional settlement: balancing priorities

Monday, August 29, 2005

John Brogden's future as state Opposition Leader is under a cloud after he was forced to apologise for an alcohol-fuelled night during which he pinched one journalist's bottom, propositioned another and referred to Bob Carr's wife as a "mail-order bride" My foolish, boozy night: Brogden tells The extraordinary confession My racist disgrace Grand old man of NSW politics" seem hollow and premature Toughest test awaits disorderly Brogden
Brogden steps down Brogden falls on his sword

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: History lessons, passed and failed
August, in eastern Europe, means anniversaries:

The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939 that divided the region into Nazi and Soviet spheres of influence; the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961; the Soviet-led invasion of 1968 that crushed Czechoslovakia's Prague Spring; the birth in 1980 of Solidarity, the Polish trade union which dealt a death-blow to communism; and the Soviet coup of 1991, where hardliners locked up Mikhail Gorbachev to preserve the Soviet Union, but ended up giving Boris Yeltsin the power to destroy it.

Remembering, and rewriting, the past [The Parable of Jesus and the Rubber Chicken: What if Christ spoke at a GOP fund-raiser? ; Martin Peretz on the philosophy of disengagement ; The London bombs expose the failure of Britain’s multicultural model, but also pose a challenge to Europe’s sense of identity Europe’s answer to Londonistan ]
• · The relations between philosophy and anthropology People Power ; Actors always tell us that that they prefer the role of a villain to that of a saint. Preachers, too, relish opportunities to denounce vice more than they do ones to laud virtue Humility: the enemy of philosophy
• · · There can be no sacred cows in philosophy Shaking Shibboleths ; Boynton who always draws attention to others defines The Perfect Husband: MEEEdia Dragon
• · · · Gary Sauer-Thompson Liberal democratic values; Tim Dunlop The wholly inappropriate Koran
• · · · · What do Jimmy Carter, Bill Weld, Saddam Hussein and Winston Churchill have in common? In Lying for a Living at OpinionJournal Daniel Akst has some fun with politicians who have tried their hand at fiction, including the man who apparently wants to have a go at being governor of every one of the United States: Lying for a Living ; Alex Rusli, 34, who goes under the aliases of Irwan Irwan and Edwin Sanjaya Jo, a restaurant owner of Waterloo Man charged over fake ID documents ; Though my “propensity to read High Court transcripts” is seemingly notorious, I’ve been slack recently High Court garage sales
• · · · · · For all the talk of a "progressive" tax system, we all know that the clever rich find ways of avoiding the taxman in ways that the battlers simply can't Real tax reform ; A forum for political discussion for Western Sydney and beyond In the hope of provoking some discussion from across the political spectrum, the aim is simply to provide a forum for people to debate the issues of the day Marginal Rates

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Commmodity companies are now as sexy as dotcoms used to be. Mining giant BHP Billiton may have announced an Australian record profit result, but that didn't stop its share price slipping as resources stocks were sold off BHP Billiton shares drop despite profit Whether the world economy is on the cusp of a super cycle that will eclipse the post-war boom led by Japan and Germany is a subject of keen debate in resources circles World's biggest digger issues growth alert

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Antony Loewenstein
As many of you know, I'm currently writing a book on Israel/Palestine for Melbourne University Publishing, due in May 2006.

The following letter appears in this week's Australian Jewish News. It's written by Federal Labor MP, Michael Danby. Its agenda is clear. Why is a member of parliament trying to stop the publication of my book? What is he afraid of? History doesn't look kindly on such attitudes. And we all know what other historical individuals favoured this behaviour

Censorship of Note [Tim Dunlop said it all: Michael Danby is entitled to his views. But if he has problem with Antony's book he should excercise his right to free speech and criticise it (preferably once it's, you know, written) and not try and Curtail Antony's. Undue influence ; Peter Botsman: The best way to get ahead in the NSW Labor Party is to become a friend, lover, wife or number-cruncher for the dominant right-wing faction known as the Terriga 'Arrogant, unelected brats' ruling ALP ]
• · David Hornik: Venture Blog ; Melbourne Writers Festival session for the keynote speaker John Ralston Saul, talking about the collapse of globalism, attracted 1800 readers. Craig Rowley of Webdiary fame captured the power of the huge ideas in the post entitled They devour their reason and scarce think: the globalists come to the island nation
The story of the last five years, as John Ralston Saul provocatively argues in the Collapse of Globalism is more its retreat than its advance. Kerry O'Brien of the 7:30 Report wondered last night what kind of democracy there might be in the XXIst century ... He also asked John Ralston Saul whether he believed the global pendulum would now swing back towards protectionism. ‘But as we all know nothing in its extreme is particularly good. Exchanging one brutalism for another is not the answer. ‘Listen, you know, the odds are with those who are conscious and who do not feel there are powers, forces at work that they cannot shape.’ Globalisation's decline 'calls for leadership' ; We all should learn from failure—but it's difficult to do so objectively. In this excerpt from "Failing to Learn and Learning to Fail The Hard Work of Failure Analysis ; tracks lobbying activities, 'revolving door' of politicians and lobbyists Congressional Revolving Doors
• · · The Australian Crime Commission has shrugged off court challenges to its investigation of offshore tax havens and will continue interrogations and the seizure of assets Tax hounds shrug off challenges ; The Prime Minister, John Howard, has flagged a further round of tax relief for high-income earners Top earners can expect more tax relief; The top marginal tax rate of 47 cents in the dollar cut to 35 cents and other rates reduced. Turnbull denies treading on Treasurer's toes
• · · · You can tell a thriving business by the tense of the conversations taking place—companies whose conversations focus on the future will be the more successful Poor Conversations Equal Disengaged, Dissatisfied Workforce ; More than 10 years after the landmark royal commission into NSW police, the same corrupt activity continues Judge to hunt down bad police
• · · · · Both lawmakers opted to rent or lease rather than seek reimbursement for using their personal vehicles Congressional Cars ; Farmland Tax Breaks ; John Howard once told Peter Doherty that if he wanted to influence politics, he needed to take his concerns public. Now, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist has done so - in spades Speak up, says PM: so hear this
• · · · · · Assassination As A Tool Of Foreign Policy: Against Foreign Assassination ; For Foreign Assassination ; After I give my evidence here today there's half a chance I'm going to get knocked I might be killed too, declares murderers' mate

Shel Israel and Robert Scoble point to Media Dragon in their acknowledgement - what an honour to be among the heavyweights: ‘I know your busy, but would suggest a new book for your reading list (coming out soon). "Naked Conversations : How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers" by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. Excellent read about blogging and its impacts’ Acknowledgement
The brilliantly daring Harry Heidelberg links to Media Dragon

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Shel Israel & Robert Scoble
Blogging Is Becoming Ruder Than Talk Radio, Despite Its Openness and Possibility

"If you've come to "Naked Conversations" expecting to find two middle-aged white guys talking in the nude, you're in the wrong space," is the lead of the soon-to-be-published book on corporate blogging, co-authored by Shel Israel and Microsoft blog evangelist Robert Scoble. Now, says Israel, "I just need to find an ending that's just as good.

Bloggers Secretly Want Love and Respect [Robert MacMillan says one of the more tiresome debates in the blogging community is what defines a blog. Why assign a definition? "It lets bloggers identify themselves as practitioners of a rigid format, which then, ironically, allows the corporate world to figure out how to use this amazing medium for ends that have little in common with the spirit of the first-generation bloggers." Defining blogs seems to accomplish two goals ; One in six Americans visit blogs ]
• · Fairfax appoints new heads ; Australian journalist Margo Kingston has relinquished her role as a webdiarist for the Sydney Morning Herald, online news provider Crikey reports. Margo Kingston gives SMH the flick ; Don Arthur compiles a variety of link. You know you've made it when someone creates a blog just to send you up! Margo Kingston's Webdiary
• · · Google gets in on instant messaging ; Political campaigning is moving with technological times with podcasting becoming the latest way to attract voters Podcasting hits the political trail ; Google sold itself on being anti-corporate but is becoming the opposite Search giant may outgrow its fans ; Perfect 10 claims that "under the guise of being a 'search engine,' Google is displaying, free of charge, thousands of copies of the best images from Perfect 10 Google sued over nude picture rights
• · · · Long viewed as the voice on high that lectures readers, the traditional editorial page typifies the old style of newspaper journalism. But in today's digitally networked, broadband era of media, a more conversational model is gaining ground Modernizing the Editorial Page ; Mark Jurkowitz recalls when media controversies stayed entombed inside the journalism world. Now, they instantly erupt into national scandals that bounce around the media echo chamber and often penetrate the broader public consciousness The Romenesko effect: How a media Web site is changing the face — and pace — of media culture
• · · · · I think they're all worried that they may have to become religious pamphlets in order to survive Berkeley Breathed On His 'Jailed Journo' Comic Strips ; Distribution is not king. Content is not king. Conversation is the kingdom. Who wants to own content? ; A call for an open-source ad tag
• · · · · · Duncan Riley at BlogHerald has already outlined three generations of bloggers spanning just seven years Blog Buzz Can Be Misleading ; Newsweek magazine's web site will work with blog search engine Technorati to provide links and integration of blog content into stories Newsweek Embraces Blogosphere; The Journal of Public Trust

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The state Labor Party's credentials committee was deliberating last night over the eligibility of 267 party members to vote in a preselection ballot on Saturday to decide who will succeed the former premier Bob Carr in the seat of Maroubra Labor's Maroubra rivals allege dirty tricks Whistleblower's poll run

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Paul Keating
After 20 years mastering the NSW Labor Party – the dirtiest political machine in Australia – Keating flicked the switch to double-breasted Italian suits, historic treaties with Indonesia and the touch of elan he so liked to talk about

Rejected by the voters, forsaken by his party, spurned by his wife, Paul Keating knows the taste of failure all too well. Now he faces perhaps his ultimate challenge - a battle with his personal demons. John Lyons presents a portrait of a leader who lost too much.

Dog days [The Centre for Independent Studies Study hints at future tax cuts ; The industrial changes might be a chance to pad the wallet, but at a price Money or a life, the choice was yours ; After 10 years, the people of NSW are overtaxed, over-regulated overburdened and over Labor Brogden's rules: slash jobs, cut tax]
• · The State Government will not say how much taxpayers will pay for a meeting of some of the world's richest business executives at the Opera House Rich list's hefty bill upsets police ; Market economics and globalization are lifting the bulk of humanity out of extreme poverty, but special measures are needed to help the poorest of the poor Can Extreme Poverty Be Eliminated?; The Future of Globalization
• · · Federal law enforcement agents sent invitations to a mock wedding on a yacht off Atlantic City to lure 42 people accused of being part of an Asian smuggling ring that brought counterfeit cash, drugs and cigarettes into the US Married to mob in name only as mock wedding turns into drugs raid ; "Big Peter" Milardovic told the court he was 195 centimetres tall and weighed 130 kilograms. At least he was until he got "pinched" for tax fraud Crime figure pleads ignorance ; NSW's top justice tells Michael Pelly that dealing with a tardy, snoozing or drunken judge is just part of the job The chief, Jim Spigelman, speaks
• · · · The summit with Islamic leaders hosted yesterday by the Prime Minister, John Howard, was a small, positive step Praise be - at the table the ice is finally broken ; Genuine dialogue must include debate's extremes Islamic summit ; Australia was built on mateship, not sir-ship, and Parliament House is where this should be celebrated Show some respect, be informal (Sir vs. Mate)
• · · · · A flat tax would unleash a stupendous economic boom One Simple Rate ; A month inside the house of horrors that is Congress Four Amendments & a Funeral ; The inaugural issue of the Journal of Global Ethics
• · · · · · The bad idea behind Amerika’s failed health-care system The Moral-Hazard Myth ; The victims of the 1945-89 era in global history include those felled by assassination, covert killing, state and judicial execution. Fred Halliday recalls the incidents that marked an era and resonate in the next Political killing in the cold war

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

We must select the illusion
which appeals to our temperament,
and embrace it with passion.
-Cyril Connolly

One of the greediest moves ever by big telephone companies appears — for the moment — to have run amok, if not backfired City-Sponsored Wi-Fi's Wild Ride

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Parting remarks on the Australian Public Service
I would like to focus on the perennial challenge for the Australian Public Service, the balancing of our responsibility to be responsive, with our responsibilities to be apolitical, impartial and professional.

There was bipartisan consensus in the 1970s and 1980s that the Service was too independent and not as responsive to the elected Government as it ought to be. I doubt there are many today, however, who would argue that the Public Service needs to shift the balance further towards responsiveness. The serious questions today concern our professionalism and our impartiality, and whether our obligation to be responsive has caused some of us sometimes to be too concerned to please

PS [Learning from America ; There’s no justification for taxpayer dollars being used to fund party political activity by governments Selling the Australian government ]
• · Inept police, politics, Internet and 'cucumber season' combine CzechTek: Anatomy of a scandal; Former Cold War mole Minarík gets re-charged in Munich terrorism plot State reopens bomb case against RFE spy ; FOIA Lawsuit to Obtain JFK Records Blocked by CIA
• · · The saga of Vivian Alvarez Solon is much more than the string of wrongs so carelessly and callously inflicted upon the seriously ill Australian mother A culture of denial ; Researching Librarian
• · · · The State of Online Legislative Research and What Makes a Good Legislative History, by Susan H. Paschell Legislative research ; Everybody loves a good story. Washington of course, has lots of them: political maneuverings and international intrigue The Document’s Story: Legislative Narration ; The mood in America is shifting against the Iraq war, but it has found inadequate expression in Congress Leaderless on the Left
• · · · · Public access to information under the FOIA; More Than 4 Million FOIA Requests Made in 2004 ; Revising constituency boundaries in the United States and Australia: it couldn’t be more different Democratic Audit of Australia (summary); Report (PFD) - Richard Engstrom provides a comparative analysis
• · · · · · Suing into submission: using litigation to quell dissent ; Underground banking: legitimate remittance network or money laundering system?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them ... Vatican singles out faithless Australia - The leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics will lead a mission to rejuvenate the faith in Australia as part of World Youth Day 2008 And Pope's winner is Syd-er-ney … youth festival on the way

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Crouching Tigers, Hidden Dragons
The balance of power will shift to the East as China and India evolve

It may not top the must-see list of many tourists. But to appreciate Shanghai's ambitious view of its future, there is no better place than the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, a glass-and-metal structure across from People's Square. The highlight is a scale model bigger than a basketball court of the entire metropolis -- every skyscraper, house, lane, factory ...

A New World Economy [Robert Corr Industrial relations legislation ; On line Opinion: Poverty: lazy louts or in need of aid? ; Political parties ignore Generation Y at their own peril; Selling the Australian Government: Politics and propaganda ]
• · The bubble we knew was coming back in 2000 - Home loan affordability remains at "scary" levels in Sydney even though property prices continue to fall across the city, and it will weigh heavily on the economy for years to come Run Away Train - A mortgage belting for Sydneysiders ; The American Dream Vs. the European Dream ; Ghosts from communist era come back to haunt judiciary Judging the past
• · · The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan ; But for the persistence of her ex-husband, Vivian Alvarez may never have been found The cover-up comes unstuck
• · · · Labor fears backlash but Libs holding fire ; Macquarie Fields byelection Riot-torn suburb at centre of poll clash ; Byelection Swings
• · · · · Had the test been real, all the passengers would probably be dead Rail evacuation drill revealed disastrous failings; eDemocracy or eBureaucracy
• · · · · · It is always interesting to see bigotry alive and active within minority communities Gays can be bigots too! ; Tim Dunlop Fear inflation

Saturday, August 20, 2005

It's Queensland by-election day today, for two seats Poll Bludger's been on to it

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Interview: Peter Costello

The government is now considering whether to sell off Telstra’s remaining shareholding in several stages

After Coalition MPs approved a $3.2 billion package to upgrade telecommunications in the bush, Prime Minister Howard formally announced the sale of the rest of Telstra, saying it would probably go ahead next year.

Proceeds of privatisations [It took the mother of an American soldier slain in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan, camping outside President Bush's Texas ranch, to ask for an explanation of the noble cause her son died for Daring to Ask Blasphemous Questions ; Who's Really Screwing up America? Here are Seven Candidates ]
• · His mates nicknamed him "Arnie" because lifting weights gave him a tall, muscular frame like Arnold Schwarzenegger Going undercover made me an addict ;
• · · Once the nation's most popular premier, Peter Beattie could be about to get a wake-up call Perfect one day, poison the next ; Byelection results
• · · · Australian soldiers are being blindfolded, stripped naked and menaced by savage dogs for up to three hours in extreme training exercises to prepare them to resist torture SAS naked and bound in training ; Tim Dunlop considers the sheer irony steeped hilarity of this front-page report in The Australian this morning Geneva Conventions ; UN sanctions destroyed Iraq but no one will be tried for the crime This Was the Most Glaring Scandal of All
• · · · · Media Coverage of Gaza: Many Questions, Few Answers ; Antony Loewenstein While Israel and Iraq burns...
• · · · · · Exercise of power ; An Iraqi democracy, whatever its final form and written constitution, will be both controversial and dangerous. Establishing the Next Democracy

Friday, August 19, 2005

No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy.
-Nobel Prize winning Economist Amartya Sen

The Tax Office is combing through the transaction records of more than 3600 people suspected of using offshore credit cards to return money from tax havens, as part of a secret three-year investigation Tax Office to stamp out credit card rorts

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Corporate Corruption
Recently former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski was convicted for stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the company.

It was his second go-round in court--the first one ended in a mistrial. You may remember Mr. Kozlowski from the original trial. A video of his lavish party on an Italian island, allegedly paid for with company funds, was last year's high profile corporate scandal. The retrial was a more low-key affair, but it served to remind us of how much business corruption there has been over the past few years.

• If You Have to Lie, Cheat, and Steal You're Just Not Doing it Right [Center for Democracy and Technology ; Making Sense of Disempowerment ; Parents without custody to be given bigger say ]
• · In Tom Wolfe's book, Bonfire of the Vanities, the wife of the central character tries to explain to her child what Daddy, a Wall Street bond trader, does: Just imagine that a bond is a slice of cake, and you didn't bake the cake, but every time you hand somebody a slice of the cake a tiny little bit comes off, like a little crumb, and you can keep that. If you pass around enough slices of cake, then pretty soon you have enough crumbs to make a gigantic cake Magpies get fat as pollies slice cake ; This is the model for the future Movement politics ; Political donations to candidates in council elections should be banned to ensure the community has confidence in local government Developers call for ban on donations
• · · Tim Bristow: It has all the ingredients of a uniquely Sydney soap opera: the dead underworld figure, his two lovers (one a glamorous tennis champion, the other a respected psychiatrist), a marriage of convenience, a love child who grew up to become an Olympic hopeful and a feud over an estate Trysts and turns of a Sydney identity ; Kerry Whelan Whelan nanny tells of Burrell visit
• · · · The Premier, Morris Iemma, has thrown out interstate parole arrangements, announcing that no convicted pedophiles from other states who are released on parole will be able to live in NSW Iemma's pedophile decree angers west ; Just how far can a good religious joke go?
• · · · · All the drama of housing prices boils down to a financial fantasy story Boom, crash: it's a property opera ; An open economy, a closed society
• · · · · · Grand rhetoric about democracy and freedom only resonates when it is supported by actual policy Why the US should ditch its tyrant friends ; A debt collection agency that caused people to be turned down for home loans because of old telephone bills that were in dispute, or not owed, will be made to reimburse consumers' legal costs and set up a complaint hotline Now debt collector may owe consumers

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The take-up rate has slowed as more people opt for privately operated sites that charge between $35 and $149 for a basic return E-tax gives ATO run for its money

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: The Plot Thickens...
On power, corruption, lies... and his autobiography

Max Clifford's kiss-and-tell stories of politicians, pop stars and footballers are the lifeblood of many a tabloid newspaper. As he launches his own autobiography, the most powerful man in PR tells James Silver why it's not about settling scores

Max Clifford: The dirt-disher comes clean [Blunt political opportunism, not fancy libertarian ideas, is most of what's left of the '94 revolution The Gingrich Legacy ; George Monbiot Let the People Rule the World ; The World Parliament Experiment]
• · Many of the guards who have greater access to the most sensitive offices in Parliament House than the Prime Minister do not have security clearances and many are casual staff Parliament security fear as guards escape check ; The Helios Airlines' plane was due to land at Athens international airport at 12:20 pm for a stopover before flying to Prague or Brno - There were about 80 children - No Sign Of Survivors In Greek Jet Crash Cypriot Helios Airways jet carrying 121 crashes
• · · Sydney property is too expensive and young home buyers would be better served by going somewhere more affordable Flee Sydney, it's too dear: Reserve chief ; Australians are notorious gamblers, so our reputation goes. We'll bet on "two flies crawling up a wall" and down tools for a horse race. But when it comes to property and land speculation, all bets are off Punted on land and lost? Tough
• · · · Do Try This at Home: Assess Your Area's Real Estate Bubble
• · · · · Workplace essentials: sink sludge, pervs and the rings of ding-a-lings What makes a real Australian workplace? ; Scaremongering ; With campaigning for the two Queensland by-elections entering the final week, it's high time they were promoted up the August By-Election Gazette's batting order
• · · · · · When John Howard was elected he sparked fear and loathing in the bureaucracy by dumping a third of the public service chiefs he inherited from the previous Labor governmentPM's war cabinet his tightest ship ; Rum and revolution have been associated together for centuries. Rum is “the global spirit with its warm beating heart in the Caribbean The Revolutionary Spirit

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Live life to the point of tears.
-Albert Camus

Labor risks losing its strong inner-west seat of Marrickville New South Wales by-elections

Rebel Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce has further fuelled the row within the Coalition by leaving open a threat to block other Government bills unless the Prime Minister meets his conditions for the sale of Telstra Bill-blocking senator puts wind up PM

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Barnaby Joyce all on Do-or-Die Constitutional Strategies
David Humphries: Barnaby Joyce refuses to be drawn into an exchange of insults

Much has been made of the loneliness of Barnaby Joyce, now the National Party senator for Queensland has been elevated to the status of a David doing battle with the Goliath of Howard Government self-interest. Certainly, after just two days of official Senate membership but months after his utterances forged his reputation for dissent, Senator Joyce is finding relations inside Parliament House more chilled than yesterday's light snow outside.

• Numbers and power: tackling a Senate majority Rebel sidesteps enforcer and sticks to principle [A prominent Labor MP has criticised NSW Government plans to reshape large tracts of land on Sydney's fringes, saying he can understand the suspicions of residents who believe favouritism to political mates has determined potentially lucrative zoning changes Changes in zoning are slapdash, says MP ; Obeid sues over article]
• · Personal tax cuts passed by Federal Parliament yesterday will boost the average family's take-home income by as much as $60 a week and coax tens of thousands of new people into the workforce Tax cut jackpot for hard workers ; Families in NSW are much more likely to be racking up debts than the rest of Australia and are much less interested in investing any spare cash in property The state we're in: happily in debt ; Benjamin Barber reviews books on political fear Fear's not just a factor, it's a major player
• · · A team of Chinese maths enthusiasts have thrown NSW's speed cameras system into disarray by cracking the technology used to store data about errant motorists Motorist wins case after maths whizzes break speed camera code ; Truth and Truthmakers ; Workplace relations reforms: a chronology of business, community and Government responses
• · · · Iraq Redux: How Things Looked Then and How They Look Now ; The Cold War ended over 10 years ago, but the world is still enmeshed in a nuclear arms race Men will always fight
• · · · · Michael Lind on how terrorists will change us They Will Change Us ; The world keeps producing more guns and bombs
• · · · · · What is ‘political asylum’? Klaus Neumann explores the history and meaning of the term Political asylum and the case of Chen Yonglin; Chen Yonglin on defection and delay ; China has penetrated Australia and Canada to a stunning degree. Lin Chong and Yang Xiaomei: Li Youyuang (an alias), a former Chinese consulate worker in Eastern Europe talked with The Epoch Times about his views on Chinese defector and former diplomat, Chen Yonglin, and the attitudes of workers inside Chinese consulates. Thousands of “Chen Yonglins” Are Waiting to Escape to Freedom Former Eastern European Chinese Consulate Worker Suggests that Chen Yonglin’s Defection Is Part of a Greater Trend

What Makes a Great Place? We can reach out to each other. We can love ourselves and each other. We can revere all life and the generations to come. And we can make the government our partner in this great effort Let us begin

Art of City Living: Is Everbody happy? Art in the Village
How did an impoverished North Philadelphia community transform abandoned lots into whimsical sculpture gardens? How did six-story murals sprout on the sides of crumbling buildings?

Walking through the streets today, neighbors proudly call to point out to you the once–forsaken lots—more than 120 of them—that today display colorful murals. One of the murals is based on a painting of flowers first done by neighborhood children and then painted three stories high on the side of a building. Nearby a parade of angels representing the world’s faiths—Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and others—guard a park and create a haven for performances.

Cities For All [Links Compliments to Radical Reference Librarians - An Interview with Angela Glover Blackwell Policies that fight sprawl ; Extreme Makeover: Neighborhood Edition ]
• · It can happen in your town: Streetscapes blooming with wildflowers, industrial waterfronts transformed into parks The New City Beautiful ; Two Crises; One Solution
• · · Resource Guide for Just, Green, Beautiful Communities Sustainable design tools ; Seven Great Ideas for Movement Builders
• · · · Eurozine Review ; Sign and Sight
• · · · · To Build a Library ; All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way A review of books on happiness
• · · · · · The good people at Forbes produce an estimate of how much money a family needs to live a "comfortably affluent" lifestyle The Comfortable Life ; New game-like computer software is empowering ordinary citizens to help design better cities. Can the professionals and the public learn to play well together? Sim civics

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Ethicist once aptly stated: Attraction is a feeling. Love is a choice...

To quote Staind: 'It's Been Awhile' since I have been given an opportunity to love a movie. Last night I watched a masterpiece. In About Schmidt we come across Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) who has arrived at several of life's crossroads all at the same time. Everything in his world was both under control and about to go madly wrong and fall apart. About Schmidt is nothing more or less than the opportunity to spend some time with the kind of man that we often meet in real life’s crossroads, in real pubs, in real chaos clubs, but rarely view on screens. If you're not deeply touched by this movie, check your pulse as this story gave me emotional whiplash. Jack uses his specific acting talent not just to entertain us but to open our mind for the possibly deep emptiness of people who call somewhere in their life and recognize that they aren't as rich as they are supposed to be. This strangely simple/complex character, Schmidt, tries to convince the audience that a full life should be the goal instead of just living without being aware of their own role. This can give a very positive motivation for every age.

During this darkly painful odyssey, Warren details his adventures and shares his observations with an unexpected new friend and confessor -- Ndugu Umbo, a six-year-old Tanzanian orphan whom he sponsors for $22 a month through an organization that advertises on TV. From these long letters filled with a lifetime of things unsaid, Warren begins -- perhaps for the first time -- to glimpse himself and the life he has lived. Inside the metaphorical forrest of ‘About Schmidt’ words seem magical and tragic. One moment we are in almost blinding sunlight, the next pitched under a dark blanket where the temperature is ten degrees cooler.

The script has very edgy material...
When I was a kid I used to think that maybe I was special, that somehow destiny had tapped me to be a great man - not like Churchill or Walt Disney or somebody like that. But somebody, you know, at least semi-important.

We see his melancholy through his exaggerated drunken state:
I can't get over you guys. No drinking, no carousing, no carrying on at all. I thought you college kids - let me tell you something, and I want you to listen very hard. That test tomorrow is meaningless. The senselessness of it all is going to hit you someday like a ton of bricks.

Live life to the point of tears.
-Albert Camus

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Looking back on how his generation covered up the crimes of communism in the 1930s, WH Auden explained that he and his friends weren't true communists but fellow travellers. At home they defended civil liberties and stood up for freedom of speech. Abroad, they tolerated atrocities precisely because they didn't impinge on them. The way the left made excuses for Stalin earlier with the way they now make excuses for islamofascists. I still fight oppression

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Blackmail attempt
Rob Kerin has asked one of his MPs to respond to allegations concerning sexual behaviour in his electorate office

MARK Brindal is the Liberal MP who claims to have been blackmailed over his sexual relationship with a 24-year-old man. Mr Brindal, 57, told his wife Pam and four adult children he was bisexual after his ex-lover's foster carer allegedly demanded money in return for not going public.

Extortion Claim Over Mp's Gay Liaison [Laurence Bernhard Marquet, 58 Parliamentary officer facing 55 charges ; Jawbreaker: a former CIA field commander who was on the ground at Tora Bora is confirming the strange thing, while trying to get the CIA to approve his forthcoming book - Newsweek reports that a CIA field commander says Osama bin Laden was allowed to get away at Tora Bora Exclusive: CIA Commander: We Let bin Laden Slip Away ]
• · Insider trading - some naive thoughts ; Reward your friends. Punish your enemies. Unify the party. Marginalize the opposition Republicans Run the Political Risk of Becoming Too Self-Reliant
• · · Robin Cook is dead; his warnings on Iraq will, if there is justice, haunt Bush, Blair and Howard ; Any hope of Labour returning to the Left died with Robin Cook ; But if one is being oneself, one needn't cultivate an image. If one is not being oneself, I suppose, then that's a different story Clinton Is Cultivating an Image as a Centrist ; Rich Liberals Vow to Fund Think Tanks
• · · · The most powerful backroom political job in NSW, chief of staff to the Premier, is to be split, as Morris Iemma is giving his current chief of staff, Tom Forrest, the job of senior policy and political adviser Premier set to split key advisory role ; Peter Anderson Frontline experience to count for more in police promotions
• · · · · CIA operative Valerie Plame Leak Investigation: An Oversight Issue? ; Who amongst us is unAustralian and why? What ARE are our shared values, Webdiarists?
• · · · · · Two of the Carr government's most significant planning decisions, on water supply and the location of Sydney's new suburbs and green belts, have unravelled as the new regime admits mistakes were made on where to build 160,000 homes Here come the burbs: Carr vision rendered ; Cherie Burton, Eric Roozendaal, Milton Orkopoulos: Three new faces as Iemma hails youth, experience

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The News-Observer's John Robinson has published Standards and Practices for bloggers on his paper's website. These are things all of us should be thinking about and worth repeating: Make fun of no one except yourself ... Play nice with the local bloggers Great rules for newspaper bloggers
Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool?
Dan Gillmor's We the Media shows how blogging, the Short Message System (SMS), and corollary technologies like Really Simple Syndication (RSS) are creating A new and vital kind of journalism

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Mark Steyn — mug?
Mark Steyn argues that multiculturalists have been mugged by reality following the London tube bombing, but has the man who styles himself 'the one-man global content provider' been a mug to believe Johnelle Bryant's amazing tale?

With hindsight the defining encounter of the age was not between Mohammed Atta's jet and the World Trade centre on Sept 11th, 2001, but that between Mohammed Atta and Johnelle Bryant a year earlier ... On June 2, Atta travelled to the Czech Republic by bus from Germany and then flew from Prague to Newark the next day

People to blame [The Tele's exclusive tales ; The Sun Herald's amazing subs ]
• · Public opinion on responses to terrorism is more complex than many people claim Polling reveals the middle ground ; US bias Legislative Research Guides & Sources; Congressional Research Service Reports
• · · Blogging Bond: Our Neighbours ; Finders Keepers Findory
• · · · A week without Scobleizer has been like a months without sunshine Back from blog vacation ; John Quiggin Anonymous comment under threat ; Amnesty International USA staked a claim in the blogosphere last month with three online journals dedicated to topics that do not exactly make for a fun read Blogging About Violence, Torture And Death
• · · · · Joel's editor Sydney Trent threatens to Kill the blog Quarter to midnight at Achenblog ; Thinking Outside the Search Box
• · · · · · Lucas Heights nervous about Google gander ; Marketing and spin: journalism's big challenge

Monday, August 08, 2005

Peter Cosgrove: Coalition forces should leave Iraq by the end of next year to remove one provocation for terrorist attacks in the new democracy Withdraw troops and reduce terrorist risk

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Razor Wire of Villawood
Much of the razor wire is to be removed from Sydney's Villawood detention centre in a move described by the government as an example of its softer approach to immigration detention.

Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone said the razor wire may also be taken down at detention centres in Perth and at Maribyrnong in Melbourne, but security at all of the centres would continue to be a high priority for the government.

Villawood Back in 1980 razorless Villawood was my antipodean Hollywood [Where Is the Hirsch Report? ; Statement by Robert L. Hirsch, contracted by DOE to write the energy reports: Pending Oil Crisis Demands Action Soon;Simon Woodhead, Resource Investor, US: US Govt Sponsored Peak Oil Report Draws Disturbing Conclusions ;
Dave Lankshear: Welcome To The End Of The Oil Age! Coda: Google also has ‘Where is Wally type’ links What happened to the Hirsch Report to the Energy Department? ]
• · Were the bomb attacks on the Sinai holiday resort of Sharm el-Sheik the work of al-Qaida network terrorists? Terrorism expert Issam Darras: A Gesture to Bin Laden ; Thousands of Iraqi civilians have died as a result of violence since the war began in 2003. But it's not known exactly how many died, where and at whose hands Counting the Civilian Dead in Iraq ; How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death War made easy
• · · Word spreads fast, so many of you have probably already heard about the pictures of graffiti artist Banksy's works on Israel's Apartheid Wall Art prankster sprays Israeli wall ; more pictures: Prankster' Decorates Security Barrier
• · · · The Changing Face of Economics: Conversations with Cutting Edge Economists ; Politics and Passion: Toward a More Egalitarian Liberalism ; Richard A. Posner Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy
• · · · · US election None Dare to Call it Stolen ; Alexander F.C. Webster and Darrell Cole Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State
• · · · · · Thousands gather at IR protest ; IR protest picnic

After all, democracy is built on the principle that large groups know how to govern themselves - A review of We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People and other media related books Group Rethink - A new First Amendment Center/AJR survey finds that 69 percent of the public thinks journalists should be allowed to keep a news source confidential A Source of Encouragement

The Blog, The Press, The Media: All hail the Citizen Journalism?
Blogs are indeed a democratic wonder - the first instance in human history where an ordinary individual can communicate her or his thoughts to the entire planet, instantly, and without editing by the elites of journalism or government

Don't fall for the hype behind inflated blog numbers. The cause of blogging is not helped by unwarranted and blind enthusiasm about their success that ignores the threats to their authenticity and independence

Will Blogs Go Bust? [ Media Column: Citizen Journalism- Fad or here to stay?; Yahoo bets on citizen journalism ; Prologue to a Radio Interview about 'Citizen Journalism' ; Pete Clifton, editor of the BBC News website, takes some flak for not paying for citizen journalism Editing Citizen Journalism ; Ethics issue for citizen snappers ; From the editor's desktop ; Citizen journalism: Dealing with dinosaurs ; Jemima Kiss News round-up: Citizen journalism is officially cool ]
• · Matt of CitizenSpin has colourful follow up tread on 5 August and 6 August on Citizen Journalism UK Consumer generated media – will it work? and repectively Should citizen journalists be paid?
• · · At first glance, this looks like yet another search engine Finding the pieces ; The PayPal Wars: Battles With eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth Who Killed PayPal? ; State of the Blogosphere - Think of it as the global thought bubble of a single voluble species Measuring the Blogosphere
• · · · Why Robert Novak Stormed Off the Set ; Cussing, walking off show gets Novak suspended by CNN ; Novak Apologizes for Swearing on CNN Air; You've seen the future and it (a) works, (b) is just a load of spam Getting up to mischief ; Another Radio Station Falls to Fox News ; PR pitch
• · · · · The future of news is digital Journalism is a Verb, Not a Platform ; One reason I like spending time in Mexico is the perspective I gain there - the discussion among journalists is much more basic - how to avoid government censure, how to avoid shutdown and even how to stay alive The News About Noticias ;
• · · · · · As most of the world knows, Steven is dead in Iraq, murdered, it seems likely. Kathryn Jean Lopez on National Review Online Pays tribute to Freedom’s Reporter, Steven Vincent ; The age of surveillance: a new dotcom boom Will the era of digital networks and terrorism produce the worst of both worlds?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bureaucracy is a much-maligned feature of contemporary government. And yet the aftermath of September 11 has opened the door to a reassessment of the role of a skilled civil service in the survival and viability of democratic society Dismantling Democratic States 10 days that dismantled the Labor Party Bloodbath in Macquarie Street There were inklings of Bob Carr's resignation two months before the event, write a journalistic couple, Robert Wainwright and Paola Totaro, (czech out hard copy for an exclusive diary entry) Premier's silence gave game away

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Taxing Australian Federalism
The States, argues former Queensland Treasurer David Hamill, are in danger of becoming just another set of service providers to the Commonwealth as major changes continue to be wrought upon the nation's fiscal powers.

The Howard Government heralded its New Tax System (ANTS) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a major reform of Australia's taxation system that would also enhance the financial capacity of Australia's States and Territories to provide community services. It was claimed that these reforms would arrest the erosion of States' and Territories' fiscal capacity that had occurred with the Commonwealth expanding its role in the social and economic affairs of the nation over the course of the twentieth century. In reality, ANTS and the GST have done exactly the opposite

ANTS [One in 13 of the country's wealthiest individuals will soon be investigated by the Tax Office or locked in disputes with it - many for failing to disclose offshore assets or income Pay your dues, Tax Office tells wealthy; The death of the NSW property tax and end of vendor duty will speed fall in house prices Carr denies delaying vendor tax decision ; Web Porn to be Taxed, Filtered]
• · Health: Policy or Polyfilla? We need political leadership in Australia ; Information, e-government and opportunity: A public housing estate online
• · · Hurting family life and the working poor Pell and Jensen raise IR protest to critical mass; Labor needs some conviction politics Kim Beazley’s Tampa? ; John Quiggin doubts whether further privatisation of Telstra will benefit taxpayers T3 will be another disaster
• · · · Traudl Junge, the central character of the recent controversial movie Downfall, lived in Sydney with her younger sister The secret life of Hitler's secretary; Torture: The slippery slope to surrender to terror ; Bin Laden may not be capable of organising terror attacks directly, but then he does not need to Al-Qaida is now an idea, not an organisation
• · · · · Mushy middle? No way! A twelve-point creative-centrist agenda ; Ten best American political novels, 1945 - 2000 ; It's the perfume of the radical that gives him his edge Why Giorgio Agamben is so popular ; Government Regulation of Irrationality: Moral and Cognitive Hazards
• · · · · · The Real Aipac Spy Ring Story -- It Was All About Iran ; Before the War, CIA Reportedly Trained a Team of Iraqis to Aid U.S Scorpions ; Galloway says Blair and Bush Have blood on their hands

Saturday, August 06, 2005

O Once a truth is universally acknowledged, some economists feel a duty to shoot it down. There are sound reasons for countries to incur debt In praise of debt ... Ach, What are Australia's big retailers up to?

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Winning Ways of a Loser
Czechs choose an eccentric genius with little luck as their greatest countryman of all time. The problem is, he never existe

He's a hapless genius, a self-taught gynecologist, an explorer, a mathematician, inventor of the "notorious triple hammer. He seems maddeningly real, but he is imagined, flitting like an elusive moth through stories and plays that have made him the people's choice for the greatest Czech of all time

August of Being Maddeningly real [Mikhail Gorbachev Perestroika 20 Years Later; A Leader Who Fostered Progress Even as He Held to Insular Traditions King Fahd, a man of maddening contradictions ]
• · Slovakian journal Kritika & Kontext A debate on the contemporary uses of liberalism ; Gerald Posner on the dramatic shakeup on the horizon in Saudi Arabia The Kingdom and the Power ; The Atlantic Monthly, Richard Clarke, imagines the future history of the war on terror War on terror 2011
• · · How conservatism leaves us vulnerable to nuclear terrorism. ; Experts differ over whether recent terror is driven by 'who we are' or 'what we do' Why jihadists target the West
• · · · Banality Of the Bombers ; An international democratic movement against terrorism emerged from the Madrid attacks of 2004 – it is time for world leaders to catch up Democracy’s early warning ; Constitutional law serves as a decisive battleground in the struggle over freedom’s moral and political meaning The Court, the Constitution, and the Culture of Freedom
• · · · · The NSW Opposition Leader, John Brogden, could not have asked for a more level playing field if he had been driving the grader himself The challenge for John Brogden ; We're in the red - Costa's bombshell ; More than half a million taxpayers will be told personally that the Tax Office is concerned about their work deductions, rental deductions or declared income, as the Tax Commissioner, Michael Carmody, broadens his focus from the big end of town to individual taxpayers Now tax chief takes aim at job expenses ; The Tax Commissioner, Michael Carmody has declared "it's no more mister nice guy" for those not paying their share of tax It's big brother time as the taxman gets tough on cheats
• · · · · · Why do Americans stand for Southerners idolizing the Confederacy, despite the evils of slavery and treason at its heart? What terrorists and Confederate heroes might have in common The Sin of Confederate Hero Worship ; Why Iranians don't think sex is sinful, the hypocrisy of American saber-rattling over Iran, and why George Bush and the mullahs are the same Sexual revolutionaries ; Police inquiry into Shaw out of order

This constant tension, between the desire to know and strive for the truth and the internal certainty that is not dependent on anything concrete; between the words and categories and the physical and mental experience in which the words disappear Small wonder that Kabalah sits along the fence of the New Age of mysticism

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Life of Brian and Bobbie Houston
While Hillsong revels in chart-topping CDs and the beaming approval of some prominent politicians, it does divide observers.

Some admire the church's material and spiritual success. Others suspect a political agenda and worry about Hillsong's financial arrangements. Through it all the Houstons have avoided personal media scrutiny, but tonight, for the first time, they've allowed cameras into both their church and their private life so people can judge for themselves. This is their story

The worst thing you could say to me is that I look like a minister [Researching social policy: Trends, tragedies and triumphs ; Kadare does not consider himself to have been a dissident, has never claimed to be one, and cannot be accused of having perpetuated a myth of his own dissidence I'd like to thank my oppressor... ]
• · There've been stories about books for your mobile/cell-phone before, but here's a major publisher embracing the new technology and format Publishing on your phone; Thanks to Patricia and Caterina for this great review What Kevin Trudeau doesn't want you to know about
• · · Whose vision of an information society? World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) ; Can Culture be considered Cultural Goods and Services?
• · · · Why do people laugh at all? Poking fun What is the point of it? ; How schools are destroying the joy of reading
• · · · · Kafka of Kokroaches: Imagine a future in which terrorists seize an embassy and police can send in a remote-controlled insect outfitted with a microscopic video camera that reveals where the gunmen are hiding and what kind of weapons they hold Futurists look beyond, and it's not mere sci-fi ; And a warning to Europe from across the Atlantic: are you sure you want a privatized healthcare system like in the US? Doctor! Doctor! My private health insurance policy is driving me crazy!
• · · · · · Happiness is Overrated is a straightforward book about the value of happiness that develops a plausible conclusion A state or process of flourishing ; The prosperous Poles risk becoming too jaded—and apolitical—for their own good Too content by half

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

This monsoon only proved that there is absolutely no drainage system in the city Monster Monsoon at Maharashtra

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Make mistakes, a departing leader offers a tip
Bob Carr spent his last afternoon as Premier teaching teenagers the art of speechwriting, the importance of joining a political party and the downbeat truth that life is never perfect

What is it about sunny weekends in Sydney? A week ago Bob Carr told us that a combination of Sydney sun and a good bottle of Chardy prompted him to quit politics. This morning his deputy Andrew Refshauge surprised everyone by following suit, even observing that it had been "a very sunny weekend" when he realised it was the right time to move. But, asks Christian Kerr of Crikey fame, was it really the sun that made him quit or storm clouds massing on the political horizon? Slash, burn and cast off Carr

Head for the bear pit, kids [Resignations expose ALP's fault lines ; High profile minister Michael Costa has been given the finance portfolio and responsibility for delivering infrastructure in Premier Morris Iemma's new cabinet Iemma names new cabinet line-up for NSW]
• · When Philip Egglishaw last visited Sydney and Melbourne, he left behind a who's who and how-to guide to tax avoidance. John Garnaut has insider’s insider story Jet lag snares a tax haven tout ; Twenty-two judges face prosecution for not lodging tax returns for 2003-04 after they failed to heed final warnings by the Tax Office. Bob Debus, also offered the Tax Office more assistance if disclosure rules could be relaxed Tax Office clampdown ; NSW has scrapped its vendor duty and is now entitled to its fair share of GST revenue Fair Share
• · · I was lucky enough to see the première of David Bradbury’s latest film, Blowin’ in the Wind Blowin’ in the wind ; Two-thirds of Australians, including half of Coalition voters, believe Australia is more at risk of terrorist attack because of the Iraq war, and are willing to sacrifice privacy and civil liberties for protection from it Safety before liberty
• · · · The extra layer might only have been insulation against the light wind and cool of the hour, but an overcoat almost made him look like a spy I spy with my little eye something beginning with deputy commissioner ; Raimond Gaita Detention laws that erode rights are more a threat to our society than terrorists ; Keelty backs agent: extremists are here
• · · · · He's got the Order of Australia, but Harry Seidler is not an Aussie ; The Federal Government moved quickly to undo a hidden decision which stripped Harry Seidler of his citizenship 20 years ago Seidler a citizen again, as bureaucrats pass the buck ; Father of Paola, Paolo Totaro, Foundation chairman, NSW Ethnic Affairs Commission writes. Is there no end to the stupidity, no limit to the indecency of the Department of so-called Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs? Seidler shows lunatics are still running the asylum
• · · · · · Sydney's new radio station Vega 95.3 got off to a flying start with Bob Carr calling mornings host Wendy Harmer a "smart arse" Harmer the charmer ; John Singleton is worth $285 million Coffee on queue