Tuesday, November 30, 2004

One and Only Professor who was elected as the first academic onto the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board Roger Simnet

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Feeling trapped in a kind of unreality
It was only a casual encounter with Australia's second-richest man in the foyer of the NSW government offices in Sydney's CBD.
But bumping into Westfield boss Frank Lowy and chatting for only one minute was enough to see Katherine Keating, daughter of former Labor prime minister Paul Keating, reluctantly hauled into the political limelight to answer questions before a NSW parliamentary committee yesterday.
Young Keating has political baptism ; [Orange Grove Turning Red]
• · Liberals dominate campuses. Coming soon: Moon Implicated in Tides, Studies Find
• · · Of course, now that the shoe is on the other foot, and it is House Majority Leader Tom "The Exterminator" DeLay who is about to be indicted, all of a sudden the Republicans don't think that's such a good idea After we revisit the dark side
• · · · There are so many major problems in this country now; so much that literally depends upon concise and accurate information, that this simple phrase –Who can we trust, may be the difference between life and death
• · · · · A article on that subject written by Stefan Karlsson (John Quiggin of Austria) was published on the Australian Misesian web site Brookes News. He adds at another forum that while there are many similarities between the situation in Australia and the United States, with a housing bubble (The bubble is even greater in Australia) and huge current account deficit, one striking difference is that the Australian dollar has been very strong. There are probably two reasons for this. One is that Australia unlike the U.S. has a balanced budget and thus enjoys more confidence in the world markets and second that Australia as mentioned in the article greatly benefits from the rising commodity prices. That Bubble Has It
• · · · · · For reasons best known to itself, the Government has decided the public is not to be trusted in discussing the issues involved with such an ambitious plan Democracy is one British import that did not survive the crossing to Australia

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Democracy covers the years during which Willy Brandt was Chancellor of (West) Germany, and specifically the role East German spy Günter Guillaume played in his administration (and, eventually, its undoing) The West Wing meets the Eastern Bloc

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Throwing finishing lines offshore
Barista’s point is merely this: how are we supposed to get good at the particular highly skilled craft of feature film making? To compete in a ruthless marketplace where we inevitably start behind the financial 8-ball?

Producers in Australia are funded to develop slates; if they had to read these aloud to a focus groups at the local mall, some may need medical care to fix their egos.
I think it is becoming more and more obvious that these directors were also trained at a very particular time. Film Australia, 10BA tax money, protection for Australian commercials, an optimistic ABC. All gone. [Analogy could be drawn to swimming results in Australia; after the Montreal failure the seeds were sowed for the successful creation of the Australian Institute of Sport ...]

Reel Reality in Oz [I’ve been involved with the Australian Writers’ Guild, been a project manager in the Australian Film Commission, worked close to the action in Film Victoria, done a bit of fiction writing, and some script editing, written a heap of assessments… So I have some experience of film development. One and Only David Tiley aka Barista ]
• · Look Who Isn't Talking A filmmaker is murdered, and Hollywood loudmouths say nothing
• · · Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney until December 22 The Spook: ASIO is watching you
• · · · Jennifer Larmore Loving every minute
• · · · · Marketing Ana as an extremely sexy and engrossing read about suicide Climb Aboard Tolstoy’s Train
• · · · · · Sydneysiders refer to the bridge as the coathanger (Did the German Great Grandfather Dorman coined the label first?) Sir Ralph Freeman the father of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Saturday, November 27, 2004

One day on the set of Marathon Man, Dustin Hoffman showed up looking like shit. Totally exhausted and practically delirious. Asked what the problem was, Hoffman said that at this point in the movie, his character will have been awake for 24 hours, so he wanted to make sure that he had been too. Laurence Olivier shook his head and said, Oh, Dusty, why don’t you just try acting?
So, when all else fails, just try writing...

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Kokoda Track
If you only read one book on Kokoda Track make sure it is James Cume’s Haverleigh.
Kokoda is a period of fascination for Australian journalists and historians and it is intriguing to see different storytellers with the same story.

Book Reviews [Haverleigh: The most moving story on earth]
• · · If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. Vincent Van Gogh On your marks: Hack your way out of writer’s block
• · · · The urge to infidelity ... it's in her genes
• · · · · Cries out a literate despair War, Love and Theft ...

There'll be two dates on your tombstone
And all your friends will read 'em
But all that's gonna matter is that little dash between 'em..."
-Kevin Welch

Friday, November 26, 2004

In the fallout over Charles' controversial memo on ambition and opportunity, onlookers have debated just how meritocratic society really is. Unfortunately, in crowds it is stupidity and not mother wit that is accumulated. For a group to be smart, it should be autonomous, decentralized and diverse and the same applies for royalty and politicians. Politicians are responsible for the leaders they choose. Their choices reflect their moral values ... In terms of moral values, this is where the rubber meets the road. The rules you apply to yourself are the true test of your moral values. Hypocrisy at the highest levels of government is toxic to the moral fiber that holds our communities together ...
In this context, Slovakia publishes the names of former secret police officers, causing mild shock in a country that has made little effort to bar communists from public posts Slavic Pandora

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Why Mark Latham must be in it for the long haul
Our hit-list on schools reminded me of what Joe Chamberlain said to me about state aid for Catholic schools in 1963: For every vote we lose from the Catholics who want state aid, we will gain votes from the Protestants who oppose state aid.
• Czech-grown Westfield Mallers and the Maller from the Bribery (sic) Island The Labor Party should remember Whitlam and think long term, writes Graham Freudenberg ; [Recommended Reading Your Shout and the New Matilda ]
• · Sydney at the post election railway crossing All stations to frustration; [Everybody knows the federal election was decided on federal issues ; NSW Premier Bob Carr has rejected claims by Federal ALP leader Mark Latham that state issues contributed to Labor`s Federal election lossThere`s no Labor Party polling that says state issues intruded even to the slightest extent in NSW or in other states... economic management, and particularly interest rates, were the dominating issues]
• · · A new report [nicknamed Work til you Drop] say that Australia`s ageing population will cost taxpayers $2.2 trillion and will cut economic growth in half over the next 20 years Huge cost of going grey: My saltish hair is getting less and less of that peppery look
• · · · Looking back, we may also one day see 2004 as the year when a new iron curtain descended across Europe, dividing the continent not through the center of Germany but along the eastern Polish border. The New Iron Curtain ; [Speech by Premier Ladislav Adamec at the extraordinary session of the Czechoslovak Communist Party Central Committee, 24 November 1989 This remarkable previously secret transcript shows the party elites choosing against violent repression of the mass protests in Wenceslas Square]
• · · · · Political and Economic Armageddon predicted
• · · · · · A billboard recently put up in Orlando bearing a smiling photograph of President Bush with the words Our Leader is raising eyebrows among progressives who feel the poster is akin to that of propaganda used by tyrannical regimes. Our Misleader ; [The election is over. The fight is not Elections are only one part of democracy ]

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Can we believe what the bestseller lists tell us about what Americans are reading? Cooking the Book Lists

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: With tongues firmly planted in cheeks ...
‘Tis better to give than to receive, but what to give? Books, of course. They're reasonably priced, last well beyond the holiday season and are good for the brain (as well as the soul).
Obvious: The Homer Book: The Simpsons Library of Wisdom, by Matt Groening. The patriarch of the Simpson clan shares the benefit of his experiences, prompting the question, What's it like inside that world of yours, Homer?
Not So Obvious: As Joseph Dantica liked to say, for people like us, the malere, the poor, the future was not a given. It was something to be clawed from the edge of despair with sweat and blood. Czech out why the analogy holds water with my story entitled Cold War River ...
The majesty of the words: The Book Babes are book critics Margo Hammond and Ellen Heltzel; [Sophie Masson Most Borrowed Book into film...]
• · Szirine Jared Pepper: Calling Australian Sun His Home
• · · Czech born Stoppard Stopped At the Hollywood Door
• · · · Politics, Patrick and Power Mixed Up: White house may still be saved
• · · · · Charlotte Abbott, Book News Editor of Publishers Weekly; Bob Minzesheimer, Book Reviewer and Publishing Reporter of USA Today; Sam Tanenhaus, Editor of the New York Times Book Review; and Steve Wasserman, Editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review Around Round Table
• · · · · · Writers get less respect in this country than people who eat live bugs on television for money In The Stranger Neal Pollack notes It Can't Happen Here
• · · · · Beware the brolliepaths of thrusters and swingers; [Spotted by Divine Boynton fotograf of Woman with Broken Umbrella; Iron Vodka Crossing Barista cocktiles the best way to attract readers]

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

If acting is a creative art—if it is—then it is perfectly reasonable to demand for it conditions similar to those of the painter or the writer: the right, that is, to make a mess, to splash around, to make drafts and sketches, to have a wasterpaper bin at your side. In any creative activity, art is madness, craft is sanity. The balance between them makes the work.
-Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: I'm the Honorable Mr. So-and-So: How I envy him
I want to influence people so they’ll do what I think it’s important they should do. I can’t get ’em to do that unless I let ’em bore me first, you understand. Then just as they’re delighting in having got me punch-drunk with talk I come back at ’em and make ’em do what I’ve got lined up for ’em.’
‘I wish I could do that,’ Dixon said enviously. ‘When I’m punch-drunk with talk, which is what I am most of the time, that’s when they come at me and make me do what they want me to do.’ Apprehension and drink combined to break through another bulkhead in his mind and he went on eagerly: ‘I’m the boredom detector. I’m a finely tuned instrument. If only I could get hold of a millionaire I’d be worth a bag of money to him. He could send me on ahead into dinners and cocktail parties and night clubs, just for five minutes, and then by looking at me he’d be able to read off the boredom coefficient of any gathering. Like a canary down a coal mine; same idea.’

• Modern Kicks: Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim
• · Sandra Cisneros tells us, Write about what makes you different. Your readers want to see the world through your eyes Farewell my General (Johnny Warren) by Les Murray
• · · Cult of Mac Dragons and Southerly Busters know a lot about spilling coffee and picking-up venue of choice Dating at the Apple Store
• · · · Barista Getting Arrested in Iran
• · · · · Having your heart repeatdly broken, evidently, can be rewarding. Congratulations to our very own Breakup Babe. She just got a book deal with Random House based on her blog. The book will be called Breaking Up, Blogging On. Well done! Silver Lining

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Disclaimer: The following editorial is not politically correct

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: After the Fall: People's voices are crucial ...
It is possible that what we are witnessing is a mere change of paradigm, caused by new technologies, and we have nothing to worry about. But perhaps the problem is deeper: global corporations, media cartels, and powerful bureaucracies are transforming political parties into organizations whose main task is no longer public service, but the protection of specific clienteles and interests. Politics is becoming a battleground for lobbyists; media trivialize serious problems; democracy often looks like a virtual game for consumers, rather than a serious business for serious citizens.
Vaclav Havel; Sametova a Nezna revolucia
• · Prague Posts Memories
• · · Velvet surprise: Commercial-driven media and populace
• · · · Charter 77: Heroes, villains and observers of the Velvet Revolution respond
• · · · · Many Czechs want to move ahead but are not ready to ask the big questions Wanting it Both Ways
• · · · · · Prague’s Most Private Eye

Monday, November 22, 2004

We weren't born yesterday, we didn't come down with the first snow ... Charles prefers that serfs remain serfs

My thoughts are probably similar to the Janosik's prayer on being chased up a tree by a huge grizzly bear in High Tatra Mountains:-
Lord you did deliver Daniel from the Lion's Den,
And Lord you did deliver Jonah from the belly of the whale
And then three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace, the Good Book do declare.
So Lord, if you can't help me, for goodness sake don't help that bear

I am part of the Lost Generation of ‘68 and ‘89. Like the Slavic serf Janosik I know what being a disobedient servant means.
This year is the 15th anniversary of the Czech people's overthrow of 41 years of communist rule ... If democracy is emptied of values and reduced to a competition of political parties that have `guaranteed' solutions to everything, it can be quite undemocratic!
15 years ago, exactly, (smile) my first daughter of the Velvet Revolution was conceived in Sydney Long Live Havel
Slovakia will become the first post-communist country to make documentation of repressive state organs in the Communist and Nazi era accessible to all ...Long Live the Memory of the Nation

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: In Falluja, Young Marines Saw the Savagery of an Urban War
Some great war reporting... ...by Dexter Filkins of the New York Times, who provides us with an emotional inside glimpse of Marines in action in Fallujah
Eight days after the Americans entered the city on foot, a pair of marines wound their way up the darkened innards of a minaret, shot through with holes by an American tank.
As the marines inched upward, a burst of gunfire rang down, fired by an insurgent hiding in the top of the tower. The bullets hit the first marine in the face, his blood spattering the marine behind him. The marine in the rear tumbled backward down the stairwell, while Lance Cpl. William Miller, age 22, lay in silence halfway up, mortally wounded... Nothing in the combat I saw even remotely resembled the scenes regularly flashed across movie screens; even so, they often seemed no more real.

Focus on the bravery and sacrifice of the Marines
• · · Mike France and Stephanie Anderson Forest What Cheney did at Halliburton

Ach, my computer was mysteriously fixed by the Apple Mac doctors!
A girl by the name of Rebecca has had more emails --angrycommuter@hotmail.com - in the last three weeks than I have had in 3 years. How she managed to keep up with her daily secretary’s job as well as a night position as a supermarket packer will remain a mystery...
We may not enjoy the luxury of a functional rail system in Sydney at the moment but thank God for people like Rebecca Turner who remind us that we still live in one of the greatest democracies in the world.

Today Momentum Gathered for a Grassroots Protest
Hold onto your bootstraps folks! If you liked Erin Brockovich, you’ll be thoroughly intrigued with the adventures of this Sydneysider, , and her knack for civil disobedience.
· Free trains on Monday: Carr, grandson and son of a traindriver, caves in [ via British Rail News Global News ]
· Commuters got a fare-free day