BohemiAntipodean Samizdat

Monday, October 31, 2005

Sometimes schadenfreude just feels so good...
Unfortunately nobody ever finally knows these things until such time as the court rules: Costello adds to Howard's terror woes

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Read all about it - soon it will be a crime
Bilal Daye and ASIO director-general Paul O'Sullivan have got at least one thing in common - they both went to school at Randwick's Marcellin college

But for that footnote in their CVs, there is little to compare the two men. One is the head of Australia's domestic spy agency, the other was raided twice by federal authorities, suspected of being a terrorist. On Tuesday, Mr Daye will take Mr O'Sullivan and the Commonwealth Government to the District Court, seeking damages of up to $750,000 for a bungled swoop by ASIO agents and heavily armed police on his Mascot home

• It is a story that anyone interested in the subject should read now. Under the proposed anti-terrorism laws It turned out is was real and a nightmare [ Cracks in terror solidarity ; AUSTRALIAN wheat sales to Iraq were used to illegally funnel about $US200 million from the UN humanitarian oil-for-food program to prop up Saddam Hussein's murderous regime UN scandal hits wheat board sales ]
• · Over 50 Great Radical Centrist Political Blogs Great source for other links in the great center uprising ; Conference offers fresh and compelling new views on terrorism as nation's partisans sleep
• · · RTA chief Paul Forward quit today amid deepening controversy over Sydney's Cross City Tunnel as the Roads Minister accused him of neglect RTA chief falls on his sword over tunnel ; The Fight Over Wireless Will we get Internet access from big government or big business?
• · · · Bob Carr has aggressively defended his new role as a consultant with Macquarie Bank, describing journalists who asked if there was a conflict of interest as "silly" and "mistaken" - I would not have allowed a question like that at a press conference in my day Green Carr denies climate of conflict in new role ; The specter of a “Colored Revolution” in Kazakhstan Whither Kazakhstan? ; Whither Kazakhstan ... continues part 2
• · · · · It provokes extreme passions. From a country the size of Wales, conflicts and arguments touch lives and shake economies across the globe. In the pages that follow, distinguished writers analyse the phenomenon that is Israel, its people, its past and its future, while here Mario Vargas Llosa introduces a nation he both admires and fears Democracy and demons ; How the Right Has Won ; Ethical imperialism: A review of books that reveal the political atrophy of foreign policy today
• · · · · · You've heard of money laundering; now welcome to "policy laundering" Big Brother goes global; Why Most Meetings Stink ; An overview of the effectiveness of closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance

Friday, October 28, 2005

A Small Virtual Key Open Big Door

[Blogging] business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side ...
-Hunter S. Thompson Meeting the Whole Wide World

Once upon a time I had a pleasure of reviewing a masterpiece by Dan Gillmor entitled We The Media and this week I ploughed through another global treasure entitled The Naked Conversations. If you know who the honest, naked, guys are who wrote this amazing tome than the future has never looked brighter. However, if you have no idea who wrote the story then the future has never looked more bleak.

This is a story of a modern revolution
Imagine what it would be like to live simply and purely, dedicated to a force larger than yourself. This is exactly what Robert Scoble and Shel Israel have done over the last twelve months or so. You know that both of them spent hours and hours on the story because the first page that you open of the Advanced Uncorrected Proofs - Not For Sale - is dedicated to Maryam Scoble and Paula Israel. The boys could not have given birth to this wonder without them;-) If you happened to have the time over the last twelve months to follow their virtual fingerprints you would realise that Shel and Robert are like those creatures with two legs and eight hands.

Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers taps into something under the surface, which I think is intriguing, and there is a mystery there which drags you through the new virtual world. The struggle to get ahead in the new brave world makes for a memorable read. As Tom Peters, the blogging guru, notes in his forward ‘Biz Blogging ... WORKS. It is of ... MONUMENTAL IMPORTANCE. (Or can Be) Listen. Please (If you don’t you’re a Damn Fool)’

The introduction: of Bloggers and Blacksmiths envokes an image of middle-aged white guys talking in the nude around a camp fire. Terry Catchpole gets to have the first say: ‘It began with conversations. Then we got into broadcast media. Now we are going back to conversations. It’s a full circle.’

The book consists of three parts and it is peppered with pertinent quotes and observations. In my eyes, the basic points for this book are also found inside Aristotle’s The Rhetoric. Technology changes but human nature and how we converse, think and act remains the same. We all want to practice ‘honest and, naked, conversations with customers that build loyalty and trust.’ “Three Legs of Persuasion” found inside The Rhetoric enable us to share great conversations with people. Miss any of the three legs and it is like trying to sit on a three-legged stool that is missing one leg! What are the three legs? They are: Logos, or Logic. Pathos, or Passion. Ethos, or Ethics. All 15 chapters of this book are based on these three legs. There are no tricks, no superficial concepts and certainly no short cuts. In order to obtain full benefit one needs to read one and all chapters.

When I think of Robert and Shel I think of what Oliver Wendell Holmes had to say about leaders:
‘There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects, and three-story intellects with skylights. All fact collectors with no aim beyond their facts are one-story men. Two-story men compare reason and generalize, using labors of the fact collectors as well as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, and predict. Their best illuminations come from above through the skylight.’

Robert and Shel are three-story men and blogging champions who even make each chapter heading thought-provoking. Where other technical evangelists and business consultants pander, lecture, exaggerate or understate, Robert and Israel are content with an intimate recitation of fact and wisdom. They lay out the core beliefs, the core practices, and the core virtues of blogging. And they work hard to get those things working in your personal and professional life.

In a light-hearted, motivating tone this book explores many nuggets of genuine wisdom. The virtual terms are all explained using real-life examples and interesting tidbits from 200 or so interviews. You will find handy 'must know,' 'should know' as well as 'could know' spread throughout the book. For instance, find out how Google delivered golden needles. This is a book that most of us need on our bookshelves and one that we will likely refer to time and time again. The authors’ extensive business and marketing experiences are evident as every page is filled with useful tips, concrete examples, and thoughtful suggestions for improvement.

To paraphrase an old song, blogging is not for everybody - just the sexy people
Naked Conversations is the ultimate reference for people wishing to develop their blogging and marketing skills. This indispensable guide is packed with professional tips on how to add more zap and clarity to personal and business communications.

This book is a delight to read for many reasons. It encapsulates the skills and techniques for improving people's blogging and writing in one accessible book. And it practises what it preaches, in the sense that it is easy and enjoyable to read.

It is hard to compete for thoughtful reviews with writers like Jeff Clavier who posted the first review of the galley proof, to boot, autographed by both Scoble and Israel, Naked Conversations

Congratulations are in order for creating something out of nothing, and may the word spreads like a good old Australian bushfire ...

Soon, around Christmas, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel of Naked Conversations are going to strike a few sparks at the Les Blogs conference
Defining together these new values:
1. How they challenge the corporate world
2. How they change the media landscape
3. How they bring more democracy in politics
4. How education evolves
5. What are the tools used and how we can all best benefit from them
6. Where we are going in the near and longer term future

CODA - Worthy reads: The PC Doctor » Here to help! I have a galley proof!
Neville Hobson makes an observation about two events that have happened since the two authors delivered the completed manuscript to Wiley and which are not in the text - IBM's global employee blogging initiative and eBay's acquisition of Skype Naked Conversations Is A Cracking Read
Steve Rubel links to Naled Conversations
Alex Barnett Markets *really* are conversations
Jim Minatel writes: I read the first 3 chapters of Scoble and Israel's Naked Conversations in galleys today over lunch. Yes, I'm reading the actual hardcopy, not a Word file or PDF. Why? Because almost everyone buying the book will read a hardcopy version too, it only makes sense to experience the book the same way the customer will. Reading and editing on paper
Church of the Customer Podcast Women's word of mouth; Wanna be a business book author?
I've Been Selected to Review Robert Scoble and Shel Israel's New Book The Mason Technologist
I got another great treat today: My galley copy of Robert Scoble’s and Shel Israel’s Naked Conversations hit my desk A Book Publisher Blog
Business Blog Consulting The Newest Blogging Book to Hit the Market
Michael Martine pointed out: Business blogs are personal in the sense that they are not the product of a marketing department or public relations firm. How Do You Draw the Line Between the Personal and the Private in Your Blog?
Robert Scoble wrote about his recent visit to high end audio/video cable manufacturer Monster Cable: Why Should Businesses Have A Blog?

After the Matter: A note from Robert and Shel - The Media Dragon Loves us

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

James Jupp reviews the Draft Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005. He notes that the draft legislation breaches a number of long-standing legal protections and raises concerns about how it may be implemented Draft Anti-Terror Legislation reviewed and Christian Kerr notes how Peter Beattie has made a committment to anti-terror measures, but he still thinks the proposed counter-terrorism laws may be unconstitutional Sowing the seeds of Terror Australis

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Points and Counterpoints: Are we becoming bad losers?
There is a crisis in mental health in Australia.

Its magnitude, and the level of community concern, is reflected in the 500-plus submissions made earlier this year to the federal government’s Senate Select Committee on Mental Health. Writing in New Matilda, Jennifer Smith and Anne-Marie Boxall draw on several of these submissions to highlight the critical issues facing mental health care in Australia

New Matilda [David Elliott: The NSW Liberal Party should take the leadership in campaigning for sweeping constitutional reforms, including the abolition of the upper house NSW upper house 'has had its day' ; The man who instigated the Wood Royal Commission into the NSW Police force has cast doubt over the ability of future corruption inquiries to attract key witnesses John Hatton ]
• · Multiculturalism is an ally not an enemy, argues Petro Georgiou Multiculturalism and the war on terror ; Race against time to create a 1000km bird flu buffer zone
• · · Washington Post (reg req): Indonesia Neglected Bird Flu Until Too Late, Experts Say Bird Flu: A Government's Criminal Failures ; Falconio told of tax debt on day he disappeared
• · · · Linda Botterill examines the role of Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in the wake of the controversy over ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope’s publication of the draft Anti-Terrorism Bill. COAG and the limits of parliamentary scrutiny ; The agenda lurking in the shadows ; Despite the controversy over the Cross City Tunnel, partnerships can work, writes Gary Sturgess Private funding still a better way forward for public projects
• · · · · Bullies are all the same. They hunt in packs, pick on those weaker than them, then scurry like rats when someone, in a moment of bravado, takes them on. And so it is with the infamous NSW right-wing Labor machine The sissies of the Labor Right ; Raunch culture: Feminism set out to free women from roles imposed on them by males, but a new book accuses women of building a new, self-imposed prison by acting like sex objects and tolerating sexism
• · · · · · The Conservative Party is looking for a leader with the qualities to sweep them to power. But what's the secret to great leadership in the wider world? The best boss is... A leader is a dealer in hope; Anti-terror policies 'failing'

Monday, October 24, 2005

Make-believe democracy: drowning with the authoritarians

My dad came into my dream last night very vividly and, as a child, I recall him saying to me as we watched a wolf trying to attack us how the most dangerous animal in the forest is the one that is hurt. I think his words were: "Injured animal is the most dangerous animal in the forest".
In some strange way this could be said in the context of Thomas Paine: "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
Do we ever ask which minorities are being hurt by our economy and politics or religion? Who is hurting most? I know there is a very fine line between a freedom fighter and a terrorist - it is in the eye of the beholder. Now is the time to be very open about what we see

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Tanya Giles of the Herald Sun used Australia’s Freedom of Information law to find that the Victoria provincial government “has signed closet deals worth more than $55 million with scores of private companies without putting the lucrative jobs up for tender.” Secret deals worth $55m

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: The Human Race is faced with a cruel choice: work or daytime television
Many Republicans came to Congress pledging to fight corruption. How quickly they forget

Unlike many observers who have gleefully exulted in Tom DeLay’s recent indictments, I think his guilt or innocence is almost beside the point, particularly since he’s still in the House wielding his considerable power.

Beginning Of The End For The GOP [Dahrendorf: The politics of frustration Does extreme poverty breed violence and ultimately revolution? ; Andrew Fraser, apologised to State Parliament last night after an altercation with the Minister for Roads, Joe Tripodi, during which he manhandled the minister Minister and MP scuffle in chamber ; Fists and claws no more, even in bearpit ]
• · George Packer, The New Yorker Can Democrats Seize the Momen; After weeks of public anger the NSW Government has agreed to release Cross City Tunnel papers it said it could never make public because they were commercial-in-confidence Tunnel deal: the whole bloody thing will be made public ; Mayors peddle green message but revhead wants V8 ; The Government would rather tax renters and leave home owners and holiday owners untaxed than act according to principle. Property tax: how to balance the addiction
• · · Stephen Schwartz, TCS How Long Will the Media Get the Iraq Story Wrong? ; Justice Kirby has seen much change in his decade in the High Court From hostile politicians to homosexuality, we've come a long way
• · · · Henry Miller, Wall Street Journal We Are Ill-Prepared for a Flu Pandemic ; Cathy Young, Boston Globe The Problem of Poverty ; We keep getting richer without getting better off. Indeed, in some respects we're getting worse off Humans don't just need leisure time, they need time off work at the same time as their spouse and while their children aren't at school. That's why weekends were invented, particularly Sundays An efficient ride up the garden path ; Bring us in out of the cold, help us become real participants in Australian society and take our part. Don't leave us like lepers of the 21st century - untouchable and untouched NSW in the sin bin on mental health ; Irony of IR PR: Same job but one gets $4987 less than the other
• · · · · The Price of Low Expectations ; Nobody's asking about the ROI for each little initiative. What's at stake in analytical competition is not an application, but a corporate strategy. Assembling the right data, finding and using the right tools, and developing the right relationships between analysts and decision-makers all take time. Therefore, it makes sense to start pulling them together now Success Through Analytics: History seems to be on the side of the numbers
• · · · · · Hollywood history is made daily in Sydney, if you know where to look Sydney's reel estate ; An investigation by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation has failed to determine why a maintenance worker at Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor has recorded an unusually high dose of radiation Radiation leak feared at reactor

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Black dog was a sickness, they told him. The previous year he had been worried enough by symptoms of physical illness to visit his doctor and had come away with a series of warnings and prohibitions concerning diet, alcohol, tobacco—the usual nonsense. But paradoxically his efforts to comply had led him inexorably to ask himself why he was bothering; what was so bloody marvellous about this life he was trying to preserve. Such metaphysical speculations were entirely foreign to his make-up and their formulation now was light years from being precise and intellectual. It was just a feeling of hollowness at the centre, a reluctance to awaken from the safe blackness of sleep, a sense of life like a hair floating on dirty bath water, sinking imperceptibly, moment by moment, till a final, spinning gurgling rush carried it away.
-Reginald Hill, An April Shroud

It's over, man. Let her go Irony of Persistence

Art of Living & Grieving: Thanks for the Memories People need to be needed: Who willed the latest Irony of My Life?
As the Opera House celebrates it birthday, a certain 21st anniversary has moved into the realm of the absurd

As the song says, Summertime, and the living is 'easy... ," but for many, it is not. Some people are unhappy in their marriages - their mates are "not fulfilling their needs. Others are upset with their children, their parents, their bosses or their co-workers. Many are unhappy with themselves because of failure, or problems they can't seem to overcome. Yet we are not a culture of automatons, driven only by logic and reason. We have an emotional side that's every bit as important, and this is why so many institutions are failing. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. That, and our unrelenting curiosity, is what gives us hope for the future ...
Happy are those who know what sorrow means... Happy are those who claim nothing... Happy are those who are hungry and thirsty for true goodness...Happy are those who have suffered persecution for the cause of goodness

The world is still getting stranger... [No matter how great and destructive your problems may seem now, remember, you've probably only seen the tip of them Keeping It Simple On Health, Wealth and Happiness ; It hurts to admit when you make mistakes - but when they're big enough, the pain only lasts a second Doctor, cancer survivor pens book on 'living with happiness' ]
• · It is difficult to overestimate the influence of the paperback upon the twentieth century - A Revolution in Reading: 1935–1960 I dutifully read The Catcher in the Rye as a teenager, with no sense whatsoever of the irony involved in dutifully reading a novel about the dangers of being thoughtlessly dutiful The Paperback Revolution ; For every winner, there are dozens of losers. Odds are you're one of them Reader says: I'm halfway through your book. It's gut-wrenching ...; In the battle between you and the world, bet on the world. Are we happy yet?
• · · If you're not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem: Because our brain evolved during a time of ice, flood, and famine...the way the brain works is looking for what's wrong Are we born to be blue? ; Hunting for happiness? Go with the flow
• · · · When birds fly in the right formation, they need only exert half the effort. Even in nature, teamwork results in collective laziness Self-denial is a key to finding happiness ; No single raindrop believes it is to blame for the flood. Thanks for the memories
• · · · · When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other Reflective Happiness ; The only consistent feature in all of your dissatisfying relationships is you: The key to happiness is to be found not in wealth, sex or sunshine but in concentration. The human brain is stimulated in the most fulfilling way when it is focused on something specific, although often the feeling of happiness is experienced after, rather than during, an intense period of concentration Therapy, equality, eye candy
• · · · · · There is no greater joy than soaring high on the wings of your dreams, except maybe the joy of watching a dreamer who has nowhere to land but in the ocean of reality Don't deny children the right to happiness ; Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea. Understanding the art of happiness

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Most of us don't like risk and uncertainty. That's too bad, because there's no shortage of either.

The free world has a responsibility to help Cubans mastermind a "velvet revolution" of their own Castro vs. Cuba

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Young man Luther
In the first of two articles on The Latham Diaries David Burchell discusses the relationship between politics and the media

I ut off buying The Latham Diaries when they were first released in mid-September. There are some journalists and novelists for whom writing appears to be a kind of therapy. Their plan, it seems, is to ‘work through’ their anger, traumas and personal disturbances on the page, the better to fight through the fog of their own complicated personalities to the glimpsed rays of sunshine beyond. I’ve got no particular problem with this approach to self-help, except one. If you insist upon using art as your therapy, hang the results on your own wall; don’t ask me to hang it on mine.

The Latham Diaries [I've been trying to get Tony Harris, friend, some time colleague, Auditor General and Fin Review columnists to post on Troppo for some time. He sent me the fantastic piece you see below the fold - which he published in the Fin on Saturday. Bob Carr, Marcus Aurelius and PPPs ; A Former Police Chief Calls for Drug Sanity ; Elections Around the World ]
• · John von Doussa - Democratic Audit of Australia, Australian National University Human rights and national security ; John Quiggin We will find ways of getting by without cheap oil and coal Price matters
• · · How can a country that victimises its greatest living writer also join the EU? Turkey: Salman Rushdie ; Beattie moots tax on interstate migrants
• · · · Only 9 per cent of Australians attend church The future of Australian secularism ; Overtly Christian parties might be polling modestly, but their influence is broader God and the New Zealand 2005 election
• · · · · A review of private rental support programs: final report ; Giving Australia: research on philanthropy in Australia
• · · · · · Immigrant satisfaction: what is it? does it matter? ; Michael Gordon introduces Ali Mullaie, one of the refugees he interviewed on Nauru for his new book, Freeing Ali: The Human Face of the Pacific Solution Freeing Ali

Monday, October 17, 2005

Wags are saying it's all the Parliamentary Library's fault. On Tuesday they published a paper in PDF version called Crossing the floor in the Federal Parliament 1950-August 2004 – and that evening he walked.

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: ICAN - Independent Candidate Advisory Network launched
The independent MPs in the House of Representatives today launched ICAN - the Independent Candidates Advisory Network to provide advice, support, and a focal point for people interested in standing as true representatives of the people at future elections.

Peter Andren, Member for Calare, Tony Windsor, Member for New England and Bob Katter, Member for Kennedy launched ICAN at Parliament House this morning and introduced former Telstra Country Wide Manager Mr Gavin Priestley, as the co-ordinator of ICAN.

We Can [After a record-breaking 10 years in office, Mr Carr has taken a consultant's job with the state's biggest infrastructure investor, Macquarie Bank, known as the Millionaires' Factory, for an undisclosed fee. Carr should be banished from Tower, Debnam says ; It's impossible not to join the howls of outrage about former NSW Premier Bob Carr’s decision to sign on as a $500,000-a-year, part-time “consultant” to Macquarie Bank, the very financial institution that, over the past ten years, has pocketed more than $1 billion from NSW government “public-private partnerships” More corporate Labor sleaze – outrageous but hardly surprising; Group Lists 13 'Most Corrupt' in Congress ]
• · The Federal Government has failed to provide adequate public consultation on proposed new anti-terrorism laws Lack of debate an 'abuse of power' ; From nuclear weapons to climate change, the Vietnam war to urban segregation, the prize-winning economist Thomas Schelling’s leaps of lateral thinking are weapons of enlightenment Games of enlightenment ; Barnett & Isabel Hilton’s definition of the threats to democracy fails to convince Roger Scruton Democracy or theocracy?
• · · Carmody unveils major tax compliance reforms ; For decades so secret it did not even officially exist Web of intrigue: MI6 reveals (not quite) all online
• · · · GAO Examines Program to Create Governmentwide E-Rulemaking System ; As Australia heads into a long hot summer, the threat of terrorism weighs heavily on the nation’s consciousness Make laws, not war
• · · · · Large Business and International homepage Commissioner's speech - 13 October 2005 Commissioner's speech on large business and compliance ; In September 2004 the Commissioner announced he had appointed Kevin Burges to conduct one-on-one interviews with representatives of large corporates to get a picture of their experiences and concerns about Tax Office audits Burges report ; We regard some current Australian Tax Office practices more as an attempt to harass and intimidate corporates than a genuine effort to obtain relevant information Carmody unveils tax compliance reforms
• · · · · · Antony Loewenstein - In praise of... Harold Pinter We bring torture and misery : We have brought torture and misery in the name of freedom Harold Pinter winning the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bob Carr is a bright fella. So is former federal health minister Michael Wooldridge. So, arguably, is a bevy of other former federal and state cabinet ministers like Peter Reith, Larry Anthony, Richard Alston, Graham Richardson, Alan Stockdale and Terry McEnroth. But "bright" is definitely not the best description of their sense of judgment, timing and probity in catapulting themselves from influential positions in government to influential positions in the business world.
Carr's announcement yesterday that he was joining the Millionaire Factory, Macquarie Bank, as a consultant less than three months after retiring as NSW Premier is, as Stephen Mayne puts it in today's edition (for subscribers only), a disgrace. "Just look at the $1 billion plus Macquarie and its investors have made from the Eastern Distributor toll road between the city and Sydney Airport which the incompetent Carr Government presided over. The Millionaire Factory may as well have said, 'Thanks for the billion Bob, now here's an undisclosed amount of money for you, to help us try and suck in the next bloke'."
We called Bob Carr's office this morning to ask him to explain/justify/spruik his new role. He's overseas and therefore unable to apply his considerable verbal dexterity to the task – no doubt it would include words like "trust," "responsibility" and "reputation." To which we would add these words: shonky, conflicted, inappropriate, the wrong look, money-grabbing, undiplomatic, grasping ... you get the idea. via email Crikey

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Should politicians say what they really think?

David Cameron wants to restore the British public's trust in politicians by making them more independent. Cameron, the Conservative Party's youngest
leadership contender, argues that MPs ought to have more opportunity to stand up for what they believe in instead of being forced to toe the party line.

Political Drive [ Where there is no vision, the people perish ; The rise of the Aussie intellectual? ]
• · Politicians fiddle over ports, roads, rail, power and gas ; Andrew Bartlett Sausage Factory gears up
• · · Sellers beware - taxman wants a share ; Students from poor families face huge, often insurmountable, financial hurdles to get a university education Talent and drive, but no money? Forget uni
• · · · So what qualities does a would-be mogul require? Stressed for success ; Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Pierre Omidyar, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, Sivio Berlusconi, George Soros and Carlos Slim Helu. The FT Top 25 Billionaires: 1-9
• · · · · Vern Hughes Mental health - it’s time for a new paradigm; Orange Grove defence bill passed $1 million
• · · · · · As America becomes more polarised, its political writing is getting worse Fools' gold ; Under the existing rules and conventions, what private citizen Bob Carr chooses to engage himself in now that he has departed the political realm is matter of his own choice and judgment entirely Changing camps raises hackles

Friday, October 07, 2005

On the road it is more important to be wise than to be right. That truism holds for politics.

German sociologist Max Weber described the work of politics as a strong and slow boring of hard boards Why do it? It's the politics, stupid

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Espionage Case Breaches the White House
Undetected for 3 years?

Both the FBI and CIA are calling it the first case of espionage in the White House in modern history. Officials tell ABC News the alleged spy worked undetected at the White House for almost three years

Who leaked CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity [SPY in the House of Bush ; US officials brace for decisions in CIA leak case ]
• · Interview: Prime Minister John Howard; Putting Charity Through the 'What's in It for Me?' Test
• · · Chief Justice John Roberts, meet party girl Anna Nicole Smith Roberts will face a diet of legal hot potatoes ; O'Reilly's Sneak Attack on Bloggers! ; O'Reilly calls Media Matters "assassins" and "the worst" among "most vicious" political websites O'Reilly bashes Media Matters
• · · · The Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear a case to determine whether states can use tax incentives to attract businesses in a major test of economic development policies Justices to mull business tax lures ; In effect, the court said the tax break for Chrysler unconstitutionally interfered with interstate commerce. The war between the states ; Bottom-Up Versus Top-Down Lawmaking
• · · · · Court to rule on tax breaks; States use incentives to lure businesses ; THE ULTIMATE TROJAN HORSE?: She's polite. Shy. Smart. Modest
• · · · · · In just a generation, the lower and middle ranks of the American working class have suffered a precipitous decline in their living standards and job security The misdirected rage of middle America ; The anti-war left has not explained how tyrants should be stopped Calling for peace is the easy option

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Imagine a Nazi masterpiece, if you can. At the bottom of that pit lies some truth, about art and life. But it is an elusive truth."
-Tom Stoppard, Czech-born

The success of a new democracy depends on the openness of a country’s economic system at the time of political transition Democracy Comes Second

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Battle to be the daddy of them all
Some American political commentary sorts political parties into two basic personality types - Mummy parties and Daddy parties.

A Mummy party is most interested in caring for people. It is empathetic, inclusive and concerned with fairness. In short, it wants to give you a cuddle. A Mummy party is seen to be best at providing services - especially health, education and welfare. A Daddy party, on the other hand, is strict. It is big on self-discipline and self-reliance. It is frugal and interested in obedience. In sum, it will stand you on your feet but keep you on your toes. A Daddy party is trusted to look after the fundamentals of keeping the family secure - with good economic management and competent national security.

The red-and-blue map of Australian political incumbency [Switzerland's Justice Department is likely to pass on the records of more than 500 Australians implicated in the country's largest tax evasion probe Swiss agree to assist in ATO tax probe ; If Harold Wilson was on the money about a week being a long time in politics, what vast change might a decade bring? Scrutiny, like nostalgia, has become a thing of the past ]
• · Family and Community Services Minister Kay Patterson says local and state governments are to blame for spiralling child-care costs We're doing enough on child care: minister ; Jonathan Power prospects out the inevitable issues of death and taxes: After a rocky patch in the early 1990s, the Swedish model of high taxes and high spending is now stronger—and more popular—than ever. Sweden's prime minister explains why Sweden hasn’t always been a success ; There's no country in the world as we stand at the moment which is ready for the next influenza pandemic Bird flu — the coming pandemic
• · · Welcome... and pick a fight with The Contrarian ; Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus
by Donald Alexander Downs The Cost of Free Speech
• · · · In 1992, a scruffy old Russian in shabby clothes arrived at a British embassy pulling a battered case on wheels. The former KGB archivist Indira's India and the KGB ; More random tests for drug-using police
• · · · · The people wield the big stick when it comes to law and order We have the power ; Altered states ; Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS
• · · · · · Justice Peter Hely. Another Federal Court judge dies ; Should judges serve for life or should they be more accountable to the public? Judges on trial; Police to investigate Brogden suicide note leak

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Bombs exploded in three packed tourist restaurants on the Indonesian island of Bali today, killing at least 32 people, including an Australian, and injuring more than 100 just days before the third anniversary of the nightclub attacks there Deadly blasts rip through Bali: Terror & Carnage; Over 1000 links on Google just before 8 am Sydney time as Hell returns to Bali Bloodshed in Bali as blasts leave 32 dead, dozens injured