Sunday, May 30, 2004

He is a nonideological figure in the most partisan place in the country, a guy who keeps his opinions to himself in a city that demands and rewards polarizing punditry
Mark Jurkowitz on Bob Woodward

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Journo: I'm astounded at how subjective editors can be
Vanessa Pierce says she felt obligated during her job search to tell editors that she's Republican. Why? Subconsciously, I think it was a test. My test would determine the media bias once and for all. It worked. ...My conclusion: The media are biased. WHAT SHE'S LEARNED IN THE NEWSROOM: I'm often astounded at how subjective newspaper editors can be in creating the daily paper. For example, bias in newspapers is represented by selection of editorial columns. Fourteen columnists next to two doesn't seem objective.
· See Also Conservatives need not apply: The search for un-biased media
· See Also I don't think "unbiased journalism" is a particularly noble or desirable thing. The Q and A explains why...
· See Also Non Stop Blogging
· See Also Disney’s In Indecency Mix
· See Also Padraic Pearse McGuinness, AO Editor, Quadrant [ courtesy of Quiggin: Rendering the contributions of people like Paddy largely obsolete]
· See Also From Sarin to the Berg beheading: why do the news media keep silent when rumors sweep the internet?
· See Also Despite his readers’ fears, a self-financed American blogger returns to Iraq
· See Also SF Chronicle war reporter lucky he got shot only in the butt: Anywhere else, and it could have been very serious

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Che Guevara as martyr and T-shirt emblem

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Is there a little bit of Moktada al-Sadr in every Iraqi's breast?
It's a huge gamble to think that the solution to chaos is liberty. But it's fitting that during the gravest crisis of his presidency, President Bush reverted to his most fundamental political belief. He began this war in Iraq repeating the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence, that our creator has endowed all human beings with the right to liberty, and the ability to function as democratic citizens. He said last night with absolute confidence that the Iraqis are democrats at heart
· It's an epic gamble [From Lebanon How the Arab world is living a pre-democratic moment
· See Also Inquiry into Tehran's role in starting conflict: Top Pentagon ally Chalabi accused
· See Also Amnesty International has launched a scathing attack on Australia and its allies, accusing them of sacrificing human rights in a blind pursuit of security [Outside Link Inside outcasts: prisoners and the right to vote in Australia (PDF)]
· See Also The New York Times traces Nicholas Berg's odd path to his gruesome fate
· See Also This can only be read as a signal of the end of Gerry Gleeson's power in Sydney [This Link Poached from SuperDome splash-out not what the Premier ordered ] [Yet Another Link Poached from It's not too often that State Government authorities or anyone associated with them have the nerve to cut Kerry Packer's companies out of a deal]
· See Also Relatives can join MPs on official jaunts: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
· See Also Washingtonienne told the online Washington tabloid Wonkette that she never posted her X-rated messages to gain celebrity [via Wonkette ]
· See Also The Politics of Partisan Neutrality

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Perl and its motto: There's More Than One Way To Do It.

Tracking Policies & Investigative Stories: The Supreme "What If"... Economic benefits of Highway spending
To political analysts, the highway bill is a popular program that has fallen prey to partisan, and intraparty, bickering. Lost in the dispute is the economic question: What are we getting for our money?
· High Bill
· See Also This Web site features multilingual health education information in written, audio, and video formats
· See Also Full text of Human Rights Record of the US in 2003
· See Also The Holocaust: A Learning Site for Students [link first seen at The Warsaw Ghetto Today ]
· See Also Antipodean site generates material that allows users to compare countries based on many different statistics
· See Also Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Society
· See Also Paradox of Choices
· See Also Secrecy: A Russian scientist at a former Soviet biological weapons laboratory in Siberia has died after accidentally sticking herself with a needle laced with Ebola
· See Also Greece: Threat of Terrorism and Security of the Olympics (PDF)
· See Also Australia: Less tax or more social spending: twenty years of opinion polling (PDF)
· See Also Internet users are increasingly turning to e-government sites to carry out their business with government

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Are You a Potential Terrorist? Database Identifies 120,000 "Statistically Likely Terrorists ]

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: The Power of Laughter
Michael Moore, Bush-baiter, Cult Figure and Global Internet Brand, has much to teach Modern Politicians...
here are many ways of making a political point, as MPs unhappily discovered yesterday. One of them is to hurl a balloon full of purple powder into the chamber of the House of Commons, an act that should be universally condemned. But, when traditional means fail, perhaps there are other ways of getting through.

· Fahrenheit 9/11
· See Also Outsourcing Blame: Some things are too important to hire out
· See Also Political leaders in Westminster systems (PDF)
· Change Agents... Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing
· See Also Gen. Zinni: 'They've Screwed Up'
· See Also Broken Engagement " by Gen. Wesley Clark
· See Also E.L. Doctorow booed for anti-Bush remarks
· See Also George Bush Never Looked into Nick's Eyes...
· See Also Detainees Don't Get Lawyers, But Dogs Do

Sunday, May 23, 2004

She contrasts this situation with that of the torcedores, the cigar-rollers, in Cuba's tobacco factories, where they hire readers to read to the workers. The listeners in my Cuban fantasy are not passive ... Their literary taste is as sharp as a razor, they react to every badly used word, to every false note.
Where's the challenge?

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Going to Festivals doesn't make you a writer any more than standing in a garage makes you a car
The greatest shock for an east European writer who turned up in the western literary marketplace was the absence of aesthetic criteria. The easterner, brought up to believe in a distinction between "literature" and "trash", is introduced to a westerner and admits modestly that he is a writer. "What a coincidence!" the reply comes. "Our 10-year-old daughter is just finishing a novel. We even have a publisher!" This is the first insult in a series that makes him understand that the best way to be published is to make sure he has done something else to become famous for first: to be Joan Collins or Ivana Trump; a prostitute, murderer or model. An art-dealer friend reminds the author about Piero Manzoni's artwork, "Artist Shit", sold at the price of gold in 1961. While the price of gold has remained more or less stable in the past 40 years, he tells her, the price of shit has seen astronomical growth.
· No wonder there are walls in many parts of eastern Europe graffiti'd with the words "Come back, communists, all is forgiven!"
· See Also Baby Dragons: A digitized collection of the treasures of children's literature
· See Also Have you scheduled any leisure lately
· See Also Why the language of the marketplace shouldn't rule our moral and political thinking
· See Also I contemplated motherhood well aware that at many points the line between private matters and public affairs was faint and broken
· See Also Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Society
· See Also There have only been three good women: The first walked out of the world, the second drowned in the Rhine, the third they are still looking for

Overheard yesterday @ SWF:
Penis mighty...
People get into journalism to give themselves closer access to the lives they wish they had, but will never get...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Gates backs blogs for businesses
In a speech to an audience of chief executives, Mr Gates said the regularly updated journals, or blogs, could be a good way for firms to tell customers, staff and partners what they are doing.
· Google-Atom vs. Microsoft-RSS war [ courtesy of Bill ]
· See Also We will see less and less truly independent weblogs
· See Also Letterman: His role is that of a luminous fixed star in political space, around whom other bodies must orient themselves
· See Also Sites to try when other engines fail you
· See Also eBookworms
· See Also New web sites that aim to narrow down the online dating minefield to people who share common political views

Friday, May 21, 2004

Think more money will yield greater happiness? Great minds of the past - and present-day psychological experts - proclaim otherwise Look up, laugh loud, talk big, keep the colour in your cheek and the fire in your eye, adorn your person, maintain your health, your beauty and your animal spirits...

Feeding the Soul: I'm here to light your fire... Commencement Address: The class of 2004 of Hobart
I've got good news for all of you this morning: I talk fast.
So as King Henry the VIII of England said to each of his seven wives: I won't keep you long.
I've come here today with five bits of advice on how to get where you want to get, follow your dreams, keep your values and make good on the best hunch you ever had about yourself. William Butler Yeats once said: Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.
I'm here to light your fire.
Rule One: Get yourself in the game.
Ever watch a little kid standing along courtside while the big kids play basketball? When a ball goes out of bounds, he or she runs for it and passes it back in. As time goes on, when an older kid has to get home for dinner, somebody yells: Hey! Wanna play?
That's it, the heart of it really: the first rule of building a life and a career. Whatever your ambitions, whatever the field you want to enter, if you want to play a game go to where it's played. If you want to be a lawyer, go to law school. If you can't get into the best law school, get into the best one you can. Name your dream; there's a place people are pursuing it.

· See Also Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire
· The widow of the American reporter beheaded in 2002 by Pakistani militants told graduating journalists to never forget their ideals: Danny Pearl never did...
· See Also Frustration of Exile
· See Also This site promotes the positive influence that fathers can have on their daughters' lives
· See Also Down-to-earth perspectives on YA [young adult]: This site is intended to be a comfortable place for teen readers
· A worthy aspiration for most humans: To be like your own dog

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The good are always beautiful and the evil always misshapen and ugly... if success is a sign of heavenly favor, doesn’t big brother suggests that heaven favors citizens in birthday suits?

Invisible Hands & Markets: Why I’m not rich
This is one of those rude questions that is offensive because it contains so many other ugly and hidden questions. Social scientists call those hidden questions a subtext. The name isn’t important, but since I’m an underemployed historian, I’ll use subtext because these words are about all I have to show for my education.
The three most obvious subtexts to if you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?

· Bouncing Czechs & Nicknames [More at One-Third of US Children Live in Poverty; May 04]
· See Also Murdoch's war on truth: it's NOT about oil
· See Also James Hardie's Dutch blues
· See Also How to be your own invisible career coach
· See Also Ground-down members of the underclass who lack the class consciousness for revolt.: Most Humanities PhDs go to school for 7 years and end up on food stamps

The big news from Cannes is that Michael Moore's new anti-Bush flick received the longest standing ovation in the history of the festival.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Dishy, half-naked Kerry's daughter & Moore lit a powder keg at the Cannes Film Festival while Castro undressed the publishing emperors Down Under
Two years ago Brian Castro's novel Shanghai Dancing could not find a publisher.
We hope all those publishers who turned the book down give themselves a pat on the back for yet another job well done. But we expect nothing less -- and certainly never anything more -- from them.

· Shanghai surprise
· See Also Much-rejected book takes top awards [link first seen at NSW Premier's Literary: Brian Castro won the fiction prize ]
· See Also The Children's Book Series by J. K. Rowlingova [link first seen at The bizarre world of bonkers book collecting ]
· See Also The literary life is swamped by its epiphenomena: books’ blurbs and author photos are more important than their content
· See Also Bush, the wastrel son who runs up gambling debts in the belief that his wealthy family, concerned for its prestige, will have no choice but to pay off his creditors
· See Also There is telling stories and telling stories: Ayatollah Khomeini lived his Paris exile, afraid the surrounding culture might prove corrupting
· See Also Tell them to stop lecturing and start telling stories instead
· See Also Conrad's Heart of Darkness is frighteningly relevant today
· See Also As Tocqueville remarked, the French look up in anxiety while the English look down in satisfaction. A hidden rule of Englishness

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

And Julian Baggini on how That's a hypothetical question” has become a favored tool of evasion for politicians the world over

Strong Leaders Encourage Dissent The Buck Stops … Where? - Stop blaming your henchmen
Fred Kaplan in Slate focuses on the aspect of the White House culpability story that is being drowned out by the disgusting spectacles of Abu Ghraib and Nick Berg: the deliberate negligence of Zarqawi :It's a tossup which is more disturbing: a president who passes up the chance to kill a top-level enemy in the war on terrorism for the sake of pursuing a reckless diversion in Iraq?
· Collective Sigh: Reckless or Intentional Disregard? [link first seen at ]
· See Also Double standards with respect to the Geneva Convention; On my name day, March 19, 2004, President Bush asked: Who would prefer that Saddam's torture chambers still be open?
· See Also The Gray Zone... Sy Hersh: (who also uncovered the My Lai massacre)
· See Also The government finds a new way to nail old tax evaders

The deluge of books about Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler apparently knows no end...
· See Also Jean Bethke Elshtain on why Hitler and the Nazis continue to fascinate

Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago, was once a revered symbol of moral resistance to the Soviet state. He probably deserves more credit than any other person for stripping away communism’s moral prestige among Western intellectuals.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: "We're Just Friends": Myth Construction of Freedom
I can see freedom, the red of nature's sunset/ and God on a sharp razor ....
One upside of tyranny is the way it acts as a spur to creativity, Keneally says, only partly tongue-in-cheek. Reams of poetry and verse are being written in the country's detention centres, while outside them, a thriving "refugee art" genre has emerged on the country's stages, concert halls and theatres in the past few years.
He believes that after a slow start, people are being galvanised to take action through the sheer weight of private conscience, and developments in the political domain. It takes time for a head of opposition and dissent to grow. I've been in America recently, and the same thing is happening there

· A lot of Americans are starting to state their opposition to their Government's present policies, to things being done in their name
· See Also The Unbearable Lightness of Being, a novel firmly rooted in its time has, despite so much spilt politics, oddly not dated...
· See Also If France makes movies for the French, and Amerika makes movies for the world, who's left to make movies for Amerika?
· See Also Pravda: how war encourages sexual instincts in people
· See Also Jane Jacobs, the matchless analyst of all things urban, gives birth to a new book, Dark Age Ahead
· See Also Exiles in a small world: Pnin is Vladimir Nabokov as he might have turned out in U.S. exile: an odd, eccentric, sad figure, doomed never to grasp the society in which he finds himself...
· See Also Olympian War of Words: Sydney v Athens
· Writers take a note of the Light Age Ahead for (my) Dragon Tooth Submissions Department[ courtesy of When Dragon meets Descartes]
· See Also Brilliant review of Slavoj Zizek's The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity; sadly in pdf version

Monday, May 17, 2004

The story of Abdurahman Khadr and his journey from Osama bin Laden to the CIA provides insight into Al Qaeda, US intelligence and the hidden world inside Guantanamo Bay. “Al Qaeda Family” @ 8.30 pm Monday 17 May ABC TV

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Marco Polos: Microsoft-Sponsored Trips
Katherine M. Skiba and Jeff Nelson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviewed congressional travel records to find that Microsoft and affiliated firms have lavished $180,429 on members of Congress, their spouses and aides in the 16 months ending in April, the records show. Most trips were to Microsoft headquarters, records show. Some trips involved Microsoft product launches, while seven spouses accompanied lawmakers on trips since January 2003. Rep. H. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, along with his wife and staff, accepted trips worth $72,405.
· Pacific Islanders & Parliamentary Clerks [ via Scoop]
· See Also Havel says the obvious: Europe is lacking politicians capable of implementing their visions -- politicians who can stick to their beliefs despite fickle public opinion
· See Also Bill Clinton is back: The final sentence of his memoirs completed... & this time Clinton is getting personal about Bush
· See Also Berg Case Gets Even More Bizarre
· See Also Devika Hovell: Legal obligation or not, we must do more than express disgust
· See Also The Rule of Law and the Rules of War: Counsel to the President Alberto Gonzales says the United States is bound to observe the rules of war in the Geneva Conventions
· See Also Where is the outcry over these accounts of physical and mental harm in our detention camps?
· See Also Terrorism and International Law: A Catholic Perspective

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Soulful extract digged up by Barista: Lest we feel too grim, the Anglo-American-Australian group blog Crooked Timber resurrects a statement from English television writer in an interview three weeks before his death from cancer:
I can celebrate life. Below my window there∂s an apple tree in blossom. It's white. And looking at it, instead of saying, "Oh, that's a nice blossom', now, looking at it through the window, I see the whitest, frothiest, blossomest blossom that there ever could be. The nowness of everything is absolutely wondrous. If you see the present tense, boy, do you see it. And boy, do you celebrate it.

Feeding the Soul: Polar Labrador Bookends
I like this time of the year
and then having to settle on crisp as a tag for autumn
when spring reigns in the blogosphere
I like our stamp- the seasons as a last stand of regionalism
I like the smell of lemon scented gums
and finding a random gumtree in the googlepile
and seeking the place from where the link was stripped...
I like the way spam can go glam with a bit of imagination
I like thrift shop voices and the possible metaphor of web as thrift store

· What can we do today to provoke a smile, a wink, a hug, a kiss, some sort of heartfelt exchange? [link first seen at Scorecards ]
· See Also More Than Words Can Say: It's not enough for authors to just get up and read; readings have migrated to bars

Saturday, May 15, 2004

As long as there is a lower class, I am in it.
As long as there is a criminal element, I’m of it.
As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
It's too bad Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has stopped reading newspapers because he missed great journalism battle this week. Every day, the New York Times and the Washington Post tried to break the better story. It amounted to the journalistic equivalent of the Olympics...What makes Rummy run?

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Kurt Vonnegut: Cold (River) Turkey
Many years ago, I was so innocent I still considered it possible that we could become the humane and reasonable America so many members of my generation used to dream of. We dreamed of such an America during the Great Depression, when there were no jobs. And then we fought and often died for that dream during the Second World War, when there was no peace.
But I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America’s becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces.

· They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas [ Follow the link here It's not exactly every day that the Pentagon warns military personnel to stay away from Fox News]
· See Also We need a bigger Army. We got a bigger budget - but the money is going to CEOs, not to G.I. Joe [Link Poached from I'm probably the last person on earth to link this ]
· See Also Berg Beheading: Busy lulling themselves to sleep in their elitist coccoon of arrogance [Czech Out INDC Journal Interviews the Instapundit
· See Also Gandhi triumphs in India election
· See Also 1st Internet President Roh Returned to Power by the Constitutional Court in South Koreas

The risk of disliking a speaker is one many will take. Writers are popular speakers. Some challenge. Some reinforce. Some inspire. Some deflate. Some tap into dreams. Some sketch nightmares. Some illuminate paths, or warn of ways best not taken. Some explain feelings held, but not yet examined. Some examine feelings not widely held. All have something to say to someone, somewhere. This coming week is a chance for Sydney to hear them say it aloud.
William Faulkner nailed the self-absorption often shown by writers when he wrote: If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the Ode on a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: I'm Not Making this Up
David Sedaris writes stories of personal disclosure as funny as they are strange. Competitive storytelling was a skill David Sedaris learned in a household of six children. Just as in the Imrich Familia, everyone wanted mother's attention...
When you write at home it doesn't really qualify as work. It doesn't engage you with the world. The days are much better if you do something you don't want to do.

· Sedaris will read from his work at the Sydney Writers' Festival, at 8.30pm on May 21 [link digged up after reading Editorial II Sydney Writers' Festival: A Week of Words]
· See Also Tough world, tiny market for NZ books
· See Also Are Big Publishers Bribing Bookstores For Better Shelf Placement? Sweetener trips for the retail chains
· See Also How to write your doctoral thesis: Loved ones will forgive you, since they will be deluded into believing that after the process is complete, you will have a sense of achievement, and more earning potential. They are wrong...
· See Also Getting behind my flesh and blood meme: I have a coat that has six arms. I Inherited this coat from Gregor Samsa

Friday, May 14, 2004

To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.
-George Orwell

Invisible Hands & Markets: The Meritocracy Myth
But we're not failures. In a lot of ways, we're the ones who keep things humming by doing the jobs that have to be done but nobody else wants to do. We keep your office clean and cook and serve your food, we stock the shelves so you'll have things to buy when you go to the store (think a manager's going to lower himself to do that every day?), we plow your streets and rake your leaves and take care of you when you're sick, we teach your kids and watch them when you're at work and empty your septic tank and pick your vegetables and staple your recliner so you won't fall through it when you sit down.
· We're a lot more important than you think. [link first seen at FromTheTrenches ]
· See Also The Neoconomists of Revolution: elbowing each other
· For Hollywood, news biz is turning into showbiz: Doubts whether viewers would buy the idea of journalists as noble knights tilting at the windmills of corruption and social inequality... one reason the emphasis now is on journalism as comedy
· See Also Frogtown Crime
· See Also How the slot machine was remade, and how it's remaking America
· See Also Visible Officials Hold Fake Degrees

It really gets me when the critics say I haven't done enough for the economy. Look what I've done for the book publishing industry.
-President George Bush at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner (courtesy of Mrs Barbara Bush )

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: 'Best Book' TV Quest Boosts Library Lending Figures
The Scotsman Reports A TV search to find Britain’s best book was today credited with sparking an upsurge in library lending. New figures for The Big Read show that library lending of the top 21 titles increased by 123%.
While BBC News Says the nation's favourite book has been credited with bringing about a five-fold increase in sales of its top 21 books.

· Sparking an upsurge in library lending. [link first seen at BBC News]
· See Also The Golden Page Awards for Excellence in Publishing now in their seventh year
· See Also An urgent truth in Goya gone digital: There are number of reasons why the evil in those images from Iraq is touching nerves

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Australian government official urges couples to have more children Yahoo For the country

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Polish relations with Amerika
Adam Michnik, a leading force in the Solidarity trade union movement, and the founder and editor of the largest Polish daily newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, was an outspoken supporter of the war in Iraq. In this interview, which occurred in Warsaw on January 15, 2004, Michnik clarifies his position on the war and discusses the responses of other European intellectuals.
· Dissent Magazine - Anti-totalitarianism as a Vocation An Interview with Adam Michnik [ via Dissent ]
· See Also No evidence found of complicity in leadership--just incompetence
· The government is pushing hard for secrecy. We must push back equally hard for openness. I think it's time to consider establishment of a focused lobbying effort in Washington [ via Tim Porter]
· See Also Mohammad Atta’s Decisive Meeting: Prague Revisited
· See Also Burned Alive: A Victim of the Law of Men

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Student recalls her ethics lesson from ex-USATer Kelley
Ironically, the man who fabricated quotes, made up stories and paid people to lie for him warned me to never trust anyone I interview. And, after being just one of thousands of people duped by Kelley, his warning was the only thing he told me that later proved to be true
· A Lesson from Jack
· See Also Name-calling knows no bounds in the vendetta between two former friends, Laws and Jones: time to rattle all those powerful teacups
· See Also Rudi Bakhtiar: The funny thing is that every time you do something bad you get more famous
· See Also Search-Engine Writing: written for Google [ courtesy of Google ]
· See Also So many people spend so much time trying to boost their PageRank with all sorts of goofy and annoying tactics.... [ via "Bloglines Toolkit for Mozilla" ]
· See Also Just Trust Us: Listen to the language. It is always a leading indicator of moral confusion
· See Also MEdia Dragons: "Songs about weblogs"

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Trends Great & Small: Is Non-Fiction Getting Sexy?
Non-fiction is finally triumphing over its traditionally sexier cousin, fiction, evident yesterday when non-fiction books swept the Trillium Book Awards, Ontario's pre-eminent literary honours. In the English-language category, Thomas King's series of Massey Lectures, The Truth About Stories, beat fiction favourites such as M. G. Vassanji's Giller Prize-winner The In-Between World of Vikram Lall and Barbara Gowdy's The Romantic, which made the long-list for last year's Man Booker Prize.
· The Truth About Stories [link first seen at The Globe & Mail (Canada)]
· See Also Intelliseek Launches to Track Trends, Issues, ... [link first seen at ]
· See Also Cautionary tale for writers: 'literary agent from hell' Ten Percent of Nothing
· See Also Mega-bucks mean mega-misery to many workers trapped in jobs they hate
· Cold War emergency bunker to house original music and films will be stored in the vault
· See Also Perfect for the nuclear family: Lucas Heights may be next tourist hotspot
· See Also Ukranian uranium: two containers seized of cesium-137, radioactive material, seen as a likely ingredient for a "dirty bomb" [Link Poached from Tim Dunlop]

Monday, May 10, 2004

We've now reached the point where nothing happened unless it is linked by digital images on the web...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: How the Media Dragon Word Gets Around
The blogosphere has a strange ability to push a seemingly obscure idea into the forefront of people's minds in a heartbeat. How this happens is a bit of a mystery. Sam Arbesman wanted to know how it works, so he created a meme and set it loose.
· MeFi readers were more likely to infect others with the meme than were those of
· See Also Editors should praise — not punish — dissenters: As I've always said, when you're too busy to write, use someone else's words

To be able to send out a book to a future publisher is so much more impressive than a web link, but to be able to send a book and an online audience of thousands to a publisher is even better...
· See Also Ben Hammersley reports on the writers and artists who are earning money through the internet with micropayments [ courtesy of Ben Hammersley]
· See Also The Blog of Things To Come: Joi Ito is using his Weblog to put his virtual organization into action [Link Poached from Lucid article about Joi Ito]

Sunday, May 09, 2004

To the country boys here, if you're a different nationality, a different race, you're sub-human... Good ol' girl who enjoyed cruelty

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Blame Ourselves
You know how they get away with it? Because we, the people, let them. In the end, Bush, Blair and Howard invaded Iraq because our democracies were not strong enough to stop them. Blame politicians, blame the media and blame ourselves. The question for all of us, after we purge Australia of this weak, amoral excuse for a leader, is to work out how we can ensure we never let any "leader" do this to us again.
· Strong men encourage dissent from people of good faith with expertise, not silence it [ via SMH ]
· Peter Costello: It's pre-budget week and, as usual, there are more leaks than the Titanic
· See Also Stephen Mayne is the man behind
· See Also John Mangos, Alan Jones, and political fun(d)raising
· See Also We only really disagree on religion, religious grounds, I refuse to treat him like God
· See Also Politics of Nicknames [link first seen at Crikey ]

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Reason: Fools for Communism: Still apologists after all these years
In 1983, or more likely in 1984, the Indiana University historian Robert F. Byrnes collected essays from 35 experts on the Soviet Union -- the cream of American academia -- in a book titled After Brezhnev. Their conclusion: Any U.S. thought of winning the Cold War was a pipe dream. "The Soviet Union is going to remain a stable state, with a very stable, conservative, immobile government," Byrnes said in an interview, summing up the book. "We don’t see any collapse or weakening of the Soviet system."
Barely six years later, the Soviet empire began falling apart. By 1991 it had vanished from the face of the earth. Did Professor Byrnes call a press conference to offer an apology for the collective stupidity of his colleagues, or for his part in recording it? Did he edit a new work titled Gosh, We Didn’t Know Our Ass From Our Elbow? Hardly. Being part of the American chattering class means never having to say you’re sorry.

· In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage, by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr [ courtesy of REASON ]
· See Also Prague's Liberation: Only years later would I learn that the western part of Czechoslovakia had been liberated by troops of the U.S. Third Army under the command of Gen. George S. Patton
· See Also European Union: Giving Good Soldier Svejk a needed break
· See Also BookWorldPrague is back, with an impressive literary flourish

Joe is Hollywoodly challenged. Sex, drugs, scandal - reveals how his pursuit of the American dream took him from child refugee to Hollywood star

All the President's flaws
He helped bring down one American president - Richard Nixon. Now he believes the Bush presidency is even more corrupt. John Dean spoke to Paul Sheehan on the eve of his first visit to Australia
· Something to Sequel About
· See Also Antony Loewenstein: It was typical Times, not wanting the public to realise that their reporters were not gods, that it took so many people to do solid reporting. It was essentially a policy of lying for marketing
· See Also Even if Lance Collins was right about the doctoring of intelligence on East Timor, he may be wrong about who did the doctoring

Friday, May 07, 2004

Roozendaal Clause: Thanks to the benevolent timing of the Premier, Mr Eric Roozendaal will not have to endure the cutbacks promised by both the Prime Minister, John Howard, and the federal Opposition Leader, Mark Latham.

Do Australians want a private welfare state? Are they getting one anyway?
Private businesses now deliver a much higher proportion of health, aged, and child care services than Australians think is ideal. It is not hard to see why private businesses move into human service provision: taxpayer subsidised essential services make good business sense. But there are good reasons to suspect that privatisation makes bad social-policy sense, according to Gabrielle Meagher
· Do Australians want public/private nepotism and cronyism? Are they getting them anyway? [Link Poached from APO ]
· See Also Response to the Australian Broadcasting Authority’s Alan Jones 2GB Report (PDF formatß)
· See Also Toads: Highways, byways and beaches: not all fun and frolics
· See Also Silver Lining: The benefits of an ageing population (Judith Healy of The Australia Institute Fame PDF file)
· See Also The dynamics of child poverty in Australia National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Daniel Boorstin memorial turns into "book lovefest:" If Boorstin is remembered for nothing else, he will always be known as the one who opened up the Library of Congress to the people. Until he came along, the library existed pretty much to serve Congress. Boorstin saw the world's largest repository of knowledge as "a multimedia encyclopedia" and insisted that the bounty be shared with everyone.

Bipartisanship: Riding in Style
Kelvin Bissett of Australia’s Daily Telegraph used documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request to show that top State MPs have spent more than $100,000 of taxpayers’ money souping up their official limousines with sports suspension, sunroofs, spoilers, mag wheels and even satellite navigation systems. The Holden Caprice vehicles have leather seats, ABS brakes, cruise control and alloy wheels standard, but some MPs added items such as mag wheels and Pirelli tires. Even the usually frugal Treasurer Michael Egan, who often drives his white Caprice himself, added a $2000 sunroof, as well as cigarette lighter and ashtray. The extras total $2451.
· Souping up [ via Scoop ]
· Backpages: Privatisation of public infrastructure... Must be some sort of magic pudding, eh?

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Latest Blogjam7 is in the Cold War air and dominated by freezing stories...

I move my head imperceptibly, because of his moustache which brushes against my nostrils with a scent of vanilla and honeyed tobacco. Oh!...suddenly my mouth, in spite of itself, lets itself be opened, opens of itself as irresistibly as a ripe plum splits in the sun. And once again there is born that exacting pain that spreads from my lips, all down my flanks as far as my knees, that swelling as of a wound that wants to open once more and overflow—the voluptuous pleasure that I had forgotten.
Colette, La Vagabonde

Enjoying the rest of my 15 minutes of the unexpected state of affairs
As Edmund Gosse told a fellow writer whom Max had just caricatured: "I feel it my duty to tell you that something has happened to you that sooner or later happens to us almost all. Max has got you. We don't like it and you won't like it, but you must pretend you do. You can console yourself at any rate with the thought that it will give uncommon pleasure to your friends."
· Retrieving the shape of man [ courtesy of Amazing Catroon Zone]
· See Also How_many_Google_machines
· See Also Self Publishing Hits The Big Time
· See Also OK, you wrote a book, but how many times can you stand to write your name? The Evolution Of Silly Book Marketing Techniques

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

A fast spreading nightmare called Sasser hit thousands of PCs within the last few days...
To see beyond their own little world and get a sense of what's really going on, journalists and readers need to get out of their pajamas!

Battlefield of Dreams
Few Americans would want to trade places with the people of Iraq," wrote the economist, Daniel Mitchell. "But come tax time next April, they may begin to wonder who's better off." Even when he wrote that, the insurgency in Iraq was visibly boiling over; by "tax time" last month, the situation was truly desperate.
· T Time [ via ]
· See Also Instinct for bureaucratic self-protection: Cat's got his tongue about Abu Ghraib? [ via ]
· See Also Say hello to Media Matters, the new website headed up by former conservative journalist David Brock
· See Also The Next Velvet Revolution Will Not Be Blogged

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Web sites shine a light on some of the biggest secrets in the publishing industry, allowing ordinary authors to penetrate the mysteries of book marketing...

Small booksellers get big picture
New technology to help small booksellers compete with the "big guys." One of the firm's first and most satisfied customers is Karl Pohrt, owner of the Shaman Drum bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor, who calls the technology nothing short of revolutionary.
· Retailing [link first seen at Boom time for Dragon books ]
· See Also Is not Google Linking Dangerously: Blogjamming & Sex

Saturday, May 01, 2004

There is nothing about this story that doesn't make my memories of my days in the Czechoslovak Army alive...

Iron Curtains Ordered for Military in torture scandal
I'm not one who puts the UK press on a pedestal - I've lived enough to know that it too occasionally has an on-again off-again relationship with the truth. But, it is pretty sad that we have to turn to the Guardian to learn a key detail about the prison torture story. A military report into the Abu Ghraib case - parts of which were made available to the Guardian - makes it clear that private contractors were supervising interrogations in the prison, which was notorious for torture and executions under Saddam Hussein.
· Keep doing things that can only reinforce the perception around the world that America is a big bully [ via Atrios: acusados de obrigar iraquianos a simular actos sexuais e a fazer pirâmides humanas]
· See Also Photos show jail abuse by US troops
· See Also ...if proven, the Brittish perpetrators are not fit to wear the Queen's uniform and they have besmirched the Army's good name and conduct
· See Also Triumph turns to tragedy: More Agents Track MEdia Dragon Than Bin Laden
· See Also Listing of those killed in Iraq is now on the American ABC website

The past decade has been one of the most eventful in American political history, from the Republican takeover of Congress to the presidential impeachment, the resignation of two speakers of the House, the deadlocked presidential election, the 2001 terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more... (Insert another shameless plug for Technorati here!)

Why Books Are the Hot Medium
Former government officials have committed their recollections to books at least since 1934, when a former White House usher, Irwin Hood Hoover, published the memoir "Forty-Two Years in the White House"... But seldom, if ever, have as many volumes thick with inside details of an administration appeared as fast as they have during the presidency of George W. Bush.
· Memoirs [link first seen at]
· See Also Insert another shameless plug for Cold Medium: I may not know what writting is but I know what I survived...
· See Also A man, a man's man, a manly man
· See Also The Jesus Factor in Amerikan Politics
· See Also Pledge to give power to the people takes centre stage
· See Also Machiavelli's philosophy: It is notoriously vile and his name has become an adjective for evil and two-faced-ness.