Monday, May 30, 2005

Order seems to come from searching for disorder, and awkwardness from searching for harmony or likeness, or the following of a system. The truest order is what you find already there, or that will be given if you don't try for it. When you arrange, you fail.
-Fairfield Porter, letter to Claire Nicholas White (April 13, 1972)

Blogging takes us back to the roots of newspapers: In the blogging world, says Washington Post Co. CEO Donald Graham, there's one person who's Ben Franklin and 100,000 people who think they're Ben Franklin. Wonkette's Ana Marie Cox says blogs that have served as watchdogs on the mainstream media now look more like that segment of the media themselves: They're cliqueish, they're arrogant, they get things wrong
Blog search engine One site does all the hard search work

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Web is Drowning Snobery

There is, writes Virginia Postrel in her column on, 'something about blogs [that] makes a lot of respectable journalists hyperventilate. News pros seem terribly threatened by online amateurs.'

As an illustration she quotes a Los Angeles Times columnist, David Shaw, an über-hack who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for his media criticism. Blogging, Shaw writes, is a 'solipsistic, self-aggrandising, journalist-wannabe genre'. Bloggers are 'practitioners of what is at best pseudo-journalism' and 'many bloggers ... don't seem to worry much about being accurate'.

Journalists must stop being in denial: bloggers are here to stay [Journalism is politics by another name ; via Hugh Martin Measuring the Impact of Blogs Requires More Than Counting ; Best, worst, and everything you wanted to know about ]
• · What Professional and Citizen Journalists Can Learn From Each Other - In America, many bloggers from the political right wing have turned MSM into an insult Evolution from the lecture model; How many entries does the average blog produce on a daily basis? Second, what is the size of those entries? Analyzing the A-list of the blog world
• · · Blogdigger Local new service will find blogs by geographic location; Why? On July 27, 2004, I began to Blog. I’ve had a ball. My “constituency” has had a ball I’ve had my Best Year in 20 Years!; This is the most secretive administration in recent memory, writes Eugene Robinson. If you say inconvenient things out loud, with your name attached, you get frozen out. Unnamed sources are a necessity. Journalists would rather have an on-the-record source than an anonymous one, he notes, but without unnamed sources, we -- and you -- would be less well-informed. To cite just one example, Watergate would be nothing more than the name of an expensive apartment building overlooking the Potomac. Unnamed sources are a necessity when covering Bush admin
• · · · Tim the Blogger of SBS fame Blastradius rocks ; There's a revolution underway in recruiting communications Seeking release
• · · · · The Amazing Rise of the Do-It-Yourself Economy ; Hacker Hunter
• · · · · · What is the least damaging way to tax the media and entertainment industry? But wait. Why not find the most damaging way? P.J. O’Rourke has some advice Here's a Tax We Can All Agree On ; You'll get burned playing the anonymous source game "I don't know how many more times the American press is going to put its hand on that stove before they say, 'It's hot, don't touch it,'" says newspaper consultant Tim Porter. U.S. News & World Report editor Brian Duffy adds: Everybody who's in the business and is drawing breath has realized it's gotten out of hand. Off the record, newspapers have a problem

Sunday, May 29, 2005

When I remember bygone days
I think how evening follows morn;
So many I loved were not yet dead,
So many I love were not yet born.
-Ogden Nash, The Middle

Some people are born creative.Others are born with drive. Others still have a entrepreneurial nose. At the Sydney Writers Festival one and all of these characters were there. Characters who do not know the meaning of boundaries. I was lucky to chat with Morry Schwartz as well as David Suzuki ... A river of opportunities runs thought these characters. Politics and the Novel session was one of the most impressive thanks to speakers who spoke in reverse alphabetical order - Christos Tsiolkas, Gillian Slovo, Eva Sallis, Caryl Phillips. As Christo noted: Artists need to create beauty to give moments of optimism and hope, but also think it is important that we be honest about nightmares. I think [nightmares] are just as important to art because that is part of human experience and part of human culture. This is a moment of darkness. It is dangerous, ugly time in Western Culture. Like Cold River, Dead Europe, does not want the postcard view of Europe.

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: A River Ran Through Sydney Writers Festival
Among the audience at the festival was a group of the world's leading publishers has descended on the Sydney Writers' Festival looking for authors to take to the international market

POWER to the people, sang John Lennon in the 1980s. If he were alive today he would see his dream coming true but not quite in the way he imagined. People are deserting established politics and resorting to social activism to get the changes they want in society. Almost every week brings new evidence. This week the Sydney Writers' Festival is sold out with people wanting to attend sessions and hear from overseas activists and polemicists such as Tariq Ali, David Suzuki and Jared Diamond. Explore international coversation:
CANADA - Iris Tupholme, V/P, Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, HarperCollins Canada
KOREA - Eric Yang, CEO, Eric Yang Agency
NETHERLANDS - Martijn David, Mouria (part of Veen, Bosch & Keuning)
UK - Marion Lloyd, Marion Lloyd Books, Scholastic UK
USA - Judith Curr, (not Lisa) Executive VP, Publisher, Atria Books, Simon & Schuster
USA - George Gibson, Publisher, Walker Books
USA - Sharyn November, Editorial Director, Firebird & Senior Editor, Puffin Books & Viking Children's Books, Penguin
Hat tip to the students at the UTS for making the coverage of the festival so colourful. As Anna Funder noted - Student talent isn't just the tip of the iceberg. Production of the daily newsletter, Festival News , radio program, video documentary and website for the Sydney Writers' Festival is an example of the many projects undertaken by UTS journalism students who are under the wing of Wendy Baker.

Catherine Rey credits two events in her life with making her an author -- being given away by her mother when she was a baby and moving from France to the fringes of the harsh Australian desert almost 40 years later.
Say you want a revolution: start with the silent warriors [Festival Club is a very intimate venue where Mandy Sayer showed a very special slide night of her family life. She not only took us into her family album for a night of pictures from the past but also tap dancing to a drum filled with her father’s ashes Mandy Sayer’s Pictures from Life ; The Saturday evening highlight .. wine and cheese on the Master and Commander type ship: Cockfighter's Ghost Wine Tasting with winemaker Patrick Auld - The wines of legend..... Behind every wine is a story - Cockfighter, the lead horse, became bogged in river quicksand and despite all efforts, drowned. A fateful night that gave birth to the legend of Cockfighter's Ghost.... Named after a ghostly steed, said to reside upon our vineyard, Cockfighter’s Ghost is unquestionably the best]
• · I missed a tribute to Czeslaw Milosz because it clashed with another session: A Certain Maritime Incident. Tony Kevin gave an extraordinary speech which he taped in case media attempts to twist his words around. He certainly gave audience an insight into the dealing with the press, defence, police and ministers. In October 2001, over 400 asylum-seekers departed from Indonesia in an overcrowded, unseaworthy boat bound for Australia. In the deep oceans between the two countries the boat sank and 353 people drowned. Tony Kevin asks what responsibility we have for the tragedy and exactly who knew what and when. Tony Kevin, author of the book A Certain Maritime Incident and well-known campaigner for a judicial inquiry into the SIEV X sinking, was awarded the Community Relations Award in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards, which are attached to the Sydney Writers Festival Story of Siev X : The longest applause went to Tony ; There were many other goodies, but I am too tired to detail so czech out the Big Pond streams at SWF
• · · According to Google: Free eBooks ; Lloyd Grove with the latest buzz
• · · · Note to You Liberal Weenies -- Yes, the Right Really Can Write; If you can't actually get to a writers' festival then the next best thing is for someone to bring it to you. And that's what BigPond have decided to do by providing a live streaming feed from the Sydney Writers' Festival this week. The Lovely Bones
• · · · · Head & Heart: Why don't we Muslims grow up?; There was a time when the big names in mystery writing turned a cold shoulder to romance
Chick lit heroines, humor give glam makeover to mysteries

• · · · · · If you are travelling to Blava czech out this website run by my naughty but nice cousins Bratislava also known as Pressburg or Pozsony ; Jobs in corporate social responsibility are growing as businesses try to do the right thing Debt to society

Friday, May 27, 2005

Schapelle Corby dried her tears behind the walls of Bali's Kerobokan jail tonight, vowing to fight her drug smuggling conviction and 20-year prison sentence. Both sides to appeal 20-year jail sentence ;
Elisabeth Lopez analyses the online reaction to the verdict and sentence in the Schapelle Corby drug smuggling case Bloggers say boycott Bali - The media could not get enough of her. She was young, attractive and accused of a terrible crime. She steadfastly maintained her innocence. Everyone had an opinion on whether she did it or not. But publicly, she never cried. The national verdict: lock her up. That is what happened to Lindy Chamberlain 25 years ago, when her daughter, Azaria, disappeared and she was accused of murder. And, though the Schapelle Corby case may never enter the realm of folklore as the dingo-baby mystery has done, the author, journalist and lawyer who wrote the definitive account of that saga finds echoes of media overkill and public obsession in the drama unfolding in Bali. We'll go for whom the tears flow - Google and the world unite Australians express outrage at Corby verdict

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: GE 2005 Citizen Report
The degree to which corporations should also benefit society—corporate social responsibility—is a much debated topic, but giant GE has expressed firmly what it believes.

It’s a citizen of the world, and people have a right to understand how the business thinks about and acts upon on such topics as greenhouse gas emissions, offshoring, and globalization.
That’s the message in the company’s first “On Citizenship” report issued in mid-May, which aims to provide transparency on these and other issues. The seventy-eight-page document, available from the GE Web site in pdf format, will become a widely studied (and debated) model for how companies report their CSR programs.

The rising rates of concerns is a sign of our healthy integrity and compliance culture [Lloyd George caused a stir in Parliament when he did the sums and found that, according to the body counts announced by the British Government, they had killed more Boers than the entire Boer nation contained Good(?) News from Iraq ; Big companies understand the importance of brands. Today, in the Age of the Individual, you have to be your own brand. Here's what it takes to be the CEO of Me Inc Personal Branding ]
• · A new history of "losers" in American business, researched in part at Harvard Business School's Baker Library, explores the tension between the American Dream and those who fail to achieve it. The myth of the American Dream—from bootstraps to billionaire, if that is what you are capable of achieving—has been well explored. But what of this nation's losers? If we live in a country where anything is possible, then what do we think of those who don't succeed? What do people who fail think of themselves? Losers and the American Dream ; Plogress keeps track of what your senator or congressperson is doing; daily updated lists of bills and legislation, and an RSS feed
• · · Gaping hole means budget is dead on arrival: Brogden ; Take our ports, says minister
• · · · Brave face belies Corby's turmoil within
• · · · · It's judgement day for Schapelle Corby. Neil McMahon looks at the highly public making of an unlikely marty Indecent exposure
• · · · · · moderator, a Sydney blogger who uses the pseudonym "Weezil", got straight down to business: "Fundraising is a very good start. The Corby family are almost certainly going to be either staying in or commuting to and from Bali. I'm betting Mercedes & Wayan will be there for the long haul Someone has to feed Schapelle

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hugh Martin: Jozef Imrich is a prolific researcher. This kind of blog can become a trusted source of links; effectively he's editing the web for readers interested in the media - When are bloggers journalists?

People's No. 1 question is How do I find stuff? Most advertisers who survive know that - The advertising business is undergoing an upheaval, forcing marketers to try desperately to stay ahead of technological innovations Advertisers Want Something Different

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Always on Google

Kudos to Google for succeeding to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Integrated Media Systems Center [ A new sensation is piggy-backing on the phenomenon that is the iPod: podcasting Come One, Come All: The Rise of Podcasting ; Corporate blogs have become something of a norm Another twist in blogging's fate]
• · Blogebrity: A to C list ; Ali, Rafat ; Ace ; Chris Allen
• · · Blogs Are Just the Medium, not a Profession ; What makes a blogger a blogger?
Being a blogger is a bit like being an alcoholic: if you say you are one, you are
What makes a blog a blog?
• · · · BitTorrent Creator to Launch Search Engine ; How Old Media Can Survive In a New World
• · · · · Are Bloggers Setting the Agenda? It Depends on the Scandal ; Why is it worth having a debate about whether blogging is journalism? Because, for one thing, as James Packer points out today, online companies such as Google and Yahoo! have market valuations of $US55 billion ($A72 billion) to $US60 billion while "media behemoths" such as Viacom, News Corp and Disney are capitalised at $US50 billion-$US55 billion. The dollars will follow the eyeballs
• · · · · · 'All time Greatest Aussie Bloopers'; We are at the end of the beginning in terms of the internet Online the way to go - Packer

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

If a prisoner has gold teeth, he’s a drug dealer, if he’s reading Wittgenstein, he’s in for fraud. Now literary fraud is rather different... An imaginary “scandal”

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Bohemian Barista
Celebrating their visas to Australia, newlyweds Signor and Signora Bocconcini went for a last ride in the country of their ancestors. Just look at it carefully.

Who Says I Can't? Abandoned as a baby in Canada, Catherine DeVrye was adopted by loving parents. When she was twenty-one, they died of cancer, within a year of each other. An only child, Catherine packed her bags for a 3-month working holiday in Australia, arriving jobless and near penniless. If you’ve ever felt alone and hopeless, laugh and cry through Catherine’s story and become more empowered to turn your own stumbling blocks into stepping-stones.

Oy caramba [It’s brutal, the poetry world. Corruption, back stabbing, fraud – much of it exposed by a chipper and rather dangerous librarian How a Web site purporting to uncover fraud shook up the world of poetry contests ; Strange, wonderful, how we need to know why - In the end we, as human beings the world over and in our own way, love. We believe. We seek to eat, to have shelter and safe beds to sleep in. In all the tiny corners of the world, torn by war or party to it even if just by deed of our being human, we each head into sleep at night while within us somewhere deep or near the surface is the fundamental question we all ask. Why do we hurt, harm, kill? Why we ask...'why?' ]
• · I view life as a journey of initiation for death, Batya told a journalist a year ago: A person lives, suffers, dies. All the rest is grace. And love is grace. Writing is grace `Warm and wise' writer Batya Gur dies ; If we expect celebrities to be perfect, we are going to be continually disappointed Highs and lows for role models
• · · Snake River Brewing Company ; Human folly is often entertaining, but even its the most ardent connoisseurs have limits to their appetites. What biographers find in other people's mail ;
• · · · He was a strange and great human being Say it loud – it's Schiller and it's proud ; If Russia were ever to solve its problems, three groups would suffer most: corrupt traffic cops, oligarchs, and satirists... Adventures of a True Believer
• · · · · Microsoft & MEdia Dragon: 'There falls the Curtain that ruined my life.' There is not a lot more to say, except 'Thank You For Reading'; How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, a book by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble: Naked Conversations: Naked Coincidences: Naked Ambitions ; Deep Blog: Creating passionate readers in every corner of this small, small, world - Cold River: a survivor's story Sex Degrees of Separation Surfaced on the Web; Did you know that if you type my surname Imrich in any version of the Word (a.k.a. Gates-Scoble Microsoft) the spell czecher (sic) suggests the word Embrace Be Different! Creative Teaching and Spilling
• · · · · · The circle rippled outward to include the police divers fishing the river and the complete strangers who volunteered to comb meadow and fen. Police helicopters flew low over outlying villages and countryside as far as the county borders, truck drivers were alerted to keep an eye out on the motorway, and the army was brought in to search the fens, but none of them -from Amelia screaming herself sick in the back garden to the Territorial Army recruits on their hands and knees in the rain on Midsummer Common -could find a single trace of Olivia, not a hair or a flake of skin, not a pink rabbit slipper nor a blue mouse Case Histories revolve around three family tragedies; If you want to know what’s coming next, the answer starts here Far too many titles slip passed me - this is why I'm especially happy that Case Histories surfaced

Sunday, May 22, 2005

What makes Desperate Housewives compelling, apart from the snappy dialogue, is that it is about where we live – the suburbs:
‘In the slums, I reflected, they had a fetish about keeping front door-knobs polished, but here in the 'good' respectable suburbs the fetish was applied to cars and to gardens, and there were fixed rituals about this, so that hedges were clipped and lawns trimmed and beds weeded, and the lobelia and the mignonette were tidy in their borders, and the people would see that these things were so no matter what desolation or anxiety or fear was in their hearts, or what spiritless endeavours or connubial treacheries were practised behind the blind neat concealment of their thin red-brick walls.’
The only skeletons in our closets are the ghosts of the suburban dead - A man can't be too careful in the choice of his surburban enemies; Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much - Oscar Wilde A Matter Of Shire Reputations

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Like the ‘surburban song’ says, I live in the Shire of Tactful Meyers
I have made only one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.
- Voltaire
Winston Churchill said somewhere or other that there are few things in life more exhilarating than being shot at without effect. I thought of this utterly characteristic remark a few hours ago as I watched a wizard from Ms Mac Consulting wipe the hard drive of my iBook and reinstall the operating system, an experience which I imagine to be not unlike watching in a mirror as a neurosurgeon pokes around in your head with a scalpel.

“'There is no man,' he began, 'however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man—so far as it is possible for any of us to be wise—unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be preceded. I know that there are young fellows, the sons and grandsons of famous men, whose masters have instilled into them nobility of mind and moral refinement in their schooldays. They have, perhaps, when they look back upon their past lives, nothing to retract; they can, if they choose, publish a signed account of everything they have ever said or done; but they are poor creatures, feeble descendants of doctrinaires, and their wisdom is negative and sterile. We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you are not the result of training at home, by a father, or by masters at school, they have sprung from beginnings of a very different order, by reaction from the influence of everything evil or commonplace that prevailed round about them. They represent a struggle and a victory. I can see that the picture of what we once were, in early youth, may not be recognisable and cannot, certainly, be pleasing to contemplate in later life. But we must not deny the truth of it, for it is evidence that we have really lived, that it is in accordance with the laws of life and of the mind that we have, from the common elements of life, of the life of studios, of artistic groups—assuming that one is a painter—extracted something that goes beyond them.'”
-Marcel Proust, A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs

No problem in literature, perhaps, is less instantly soluble than the question of reputations: the bewildering process by which, in the years after their deaths, one writer's stock soars while another's sinks into bankruptcy. The only real judge of a book, Martin Amis once remarked, is posterity
Undeservedly obscure [It takes some courage to back down and give your computer to Mac Doctors ;-) Ms Mac Consulting ; A book is a mirror; if an ass peers into it, you can't expect an apostle to look out -G. C. Lichtenberg Unlike Media Dragon, Ken Loach rarely does sex. He's English, after all, and there are some things a chap doesn't ask actors to do. But in bohemian ‘Ae Fond Kiss,’ his star-crossed romance set in Glasgow, the sex is dramatic, an act of truth True colour of love as cultures clash ]
• · As Australian companies compete for workers - paying for visa applications, raising perks and wages, increasing training - some German employers have begun auctioning jobs online to workers willing to accept the lowest pay: Jobs for sale, and bottom dollar wins; Rise in number of sick police leads to inquiry
• · · Just the name 'subversive literature' has a provocative, candle-under-the-bedcovers feel. In communist East Germany -- perhaps the most spied-on nation in history -- however, almost everything fell under that dicey rubric. Poetry about freedom? Anti-utopian sci-fi? Political satire? All blacklisted. Now, 16 years after the Soviet puppet state crumbled, two former citizens have unearthed the vanished nation's hidden literature and -- adamant that it no longer be submerged in anonymity -- are pushing to get it published The Bloody Scalp of Literature: Uncovering East Germany's Vanished Literature ; Everyone was amazed when Robert De Niro piled on the kilograms for Raging Bull. Imagine the willpower it must have required for Christian Bale to lose 28.6kg for The Machinist. Is he mad?Weight for just the right part; Frida Kahlo is the only artist who gave birth to herself, a friend of hers once said. The sentiment could almost seem literal Daughter of the revolution
• · · · Discount hotels in Prague ; Wran had an extraordinary ability to play both sides of the street: This is the third time I read Neville Wran’s biography; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers…. There is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death: When death becomes real, or when deep disillusionment with the possibilities of experience overtakes the being, then one can no longer avoid the confrontation with fundamental questions Why is there suffering? I had a very vivid nightmare last night that Neville passed away and as Russell Banks noted ‘Luck can't last a lifetime unless you die young’
• · · · · Sherlock Holmes has had one of the most enduring afterlifes in all of literature. Holmes has become a one-man entertainment complex. He has been the subject of at least 100 movies and nearly as many plays and radio dramas, and he has inspired an entire library's worth of books. There have been countless sequels and knockoffs... Holmes - The Case Of The Enduring Detective: We have met the enemy, and he is us ;-) ; Last year every publishing trend piece talked about nonfiction and political books. So this year it's fiction's turn Summer should provide plenty of stories ;
• · · · · · Remember, the greatest gift is not found in a store nor under a tree, but in the hearts of true friends - Cindy Lew Absinthe & Cookies (a little bit bitter, a little bit sweet); Book reviews should inspire reading. They should excite, stimulate, agitate and empower readers to discover new books and avoid bad ones. They should turn you on to undiscovered authors, prompt you into finally reading the writer you have never quite got round to, and make you wonder at the world of delights that remain unread. But let's be honest. They don't, do they? What's Wrong With The Modern Book Review ; What We Really Want In Books - Get Happy! Our hunger for happiness books is virtually unslakable. It seems to be an American phenomenon. We buy can-do books that teach us to fix our problems. It's like having your own personal life coach, and it's less expensive than seeing a shrink We are just so into how-to-be-happy books

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Forged letters, smear sheets and allegations of a secret cell running a phone campaign to discredit rival candidates. No, it's not the NSW ALP Right, but the NSW Liberal Party. Liberals at war show that dirty tricks are a universal political truth - [Rebel Rebel Tomorrow's leaders are already rocking the river ]

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: The pursuit of happiness: Torture, anyone?
An innocent life is an innocent life irrespective of race, situation, colour or time.

G'day. It's a funny old world. As we face the fact that our government and its organs cannot be trusted to respect the rights, or even the humanity, of innocent Australian citizens, the same government and its organs are calling for the downgrading of citizen's protections agains abuse of power by the State with a view, perhaps, to the legalisation of state torture.

• Has the pendulum swung? A case for torture [Capitalism has usually had a bad press. Left and right have combined to denounce mass affluence and the Church has been hostile from the beginning. Even one of the quotations printed on the back cover of Rich is Beautiful says it is “the indefensible argued with vigour” Rich is Beautiful: A Very Personal Defence of Mass Affluence ; Government that’s rational and the market that’s dumb The New York Times begins a special series on social class in the US ; Top 10 Kerrys ... The richest 200 Australians increased their wealth by $11.9 billion to a record $83.4 billion in the past year, according to BRW magazine's annual rich listBillionaire Beauty Boom ; While last week's budget rewarded the wealthy, the poor got more stick:
John Kenneth Galbraith, a now deeply unfashionable economist, identified one of the great doctrines of our age as a belief that the rich don't work because they have too little money, while the poor don't work because they have too much. Or, as John Button once paraphrased it, the rich need more money as an incentive and the poor need less money as an incentive Treasurer's tax cut justification a bit rich ]
• · Ironically, the extent of US failure to control Iraq is masked by the fact that it is too dangerous for the foreign media to venture out of central Baghdad. Some have retreated to the supposed safety of the Green Zone. Mr Bush can claim that no news is good news, though in fact the precise opposite is true Iraq is a bloody no man's land. America has failed to win the war. But has it lost it?; Increasingly, business must weigh in on hot social issues -- and suffer interest groups' slings and arrows Culture Wars Hit Corporate America
• · · Tim Dunlop: Professor Bagaric said that one of the reasons that he and Mrs Clarke had submitted the paper to a American law journal was because they are more open to new ideas on human right Torture is Good for you: Professor Bagaric is a part-time member of the Government's Refugee Review Tribunal and Migration Review Tribunal ; How to be a Conservative Pundit in Three Easy Traits
• · · · A Quick Guide to the Second Annual Personal Democracy Forum, This Monday, May 16 Second annual Personal Democracy Forum ; The Wall around the West: Globalisation along rich-poor divides is less the swan song of state power Than its siren song
• · · · · Most disturbing sexual fantasies include sleeping with Michael Sandel Sexual Fantasies ; Torture produces misinformation rather than information, since victims of torture will confess to anything to make it stop When democracy is corrupted; Premier Bob Carr's two limousines were slapped with parking fines worth nearly $500 last year and taxpayers picked up the bill Bob's left us in a fine state; Melbourne: Weapons seized in police raids on bikie gang
• · · · · · Top spy bound for Washington: Wanted: New chief spy for Australia ; Torture advocate dismays colleagues, survivors : Moving from Voluntary Euthanasia to Non-Voluntary Euthanasia ... Right to die ; PDF version Goodbye Justice, Hello Happiness: Welcoming Positive Psychology to the Law

The Litblog Co-op choose yesterday to announce their first Read This! selection, Kate Atkinson's CASE HISTORIES. will their selection move the sales needle in any meaningful way? First Blog Reading Selection Named

Fire, fire, fire in a stack of needles - How likely are you to come across reality sale at FictionWise? Winning Through Obscurity & Worst Marketing ... Bringing the aesthetics of Hunter S. Thompson to the Web: More affordable than ever: Super Duper Troika Bargain Books on the Bank of the Cold River; Heavilly biased American Librarians are having a clearance sale on Unshelved stuff :-) Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Royallless Readers Shifting rivers at the speed of byte (Sound like a bargain? Then maybe it is too good to be true ;-)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Desperate Rage
On 16 May 2005 AD our society is finally celebrating the value of older women, but there's a catch ...

If there's one thing generation Y can thank the baby boomers for, it's that they are making the ageing process look a whole lot less scary than it used to.
In 1965, The Who's Roger Daltry captured the spirit of a generation when he crooned the lyric I hope I die before I get old. In 1975, my mother, then a teenager, told her overbearing father that if she had her way, everyone over 30 would be shot. By 1995, the cast of Friends had us raving about prolonged "adulescence" and claiming 30 was the new 13. And this year, the most popular show on Australian television is a window into the lives of glamorous middle-aged housewives

Cool to be forty-odd, as long as you don't look it [Inside Higher Ed -- The Power of 3 Who would have thought that the number three could wield such power? ; Rehabilitating Cynicism: Art as Political Action ]
• · History is making a surreal comeback. It is reasonable to ask why ; What makes some years iconic and not others?
• · · Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past ;
• · · · A German Shakespeare, Dante, and Pushkin rolled into one, Goethe is a randy iconoclast, a pure spirit who made language dance Poetic vistas of eternity

A book's power lies in its ability to erase us, to expand or contract without limit, to circle inside itself without beginning or end, to defy our imaginary timetables and lay us bare to a more basic ticking. The pages we read are a nowhen, unfolding far outside the public arena. As long as we remain in them, now reveals itself to be the baldest of inventions.
- Richard Powers

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Walking around the river I meet a woman who warns me about snakes. In Autumn (via delightful Boynton)

Humankind’s greatest creation has always been its cities. They represent the ultimate handiwork of our imagination as a species, compressing and unleashing the creative urges of humanity. From the earliest beginnings, when only a tiny fraction of humans lived in cities, they have been the places that generated most of mankind’s art, religion, culture, commerce, and technology The Genius Of the City

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Big Rocks
The busier you are, the more important to stop and read this story.
One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.

As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers, he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." He then pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one by one, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"
Everyone in the class said, "Yes."
Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more. "Is this jar full?"
By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered.
"Good!" he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question. "Is this jar full?"
"No!" the class shouted.
Once again, he said, "Good!" Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then the expert in time-management looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"
One eager Beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it."
"No", the speaker replied, "that's not the point.
The truth this illustration teaches us is this: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all. What are the big rocks in your life?
Your children, your spouse, your loved ones, your friendships, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others, doing things that you love, time for yourself, your health.
Remember to put these ‘BIG ROCKS’ in first, or you'll never get them in at all. If you sweat the little stuff (i.e. gravel, the sand) then you'll fill your life with little things you will never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks)."
So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the "big rocks" in my life? Then put those in your jar first.

• James Cumes: Rocking the River: Cannes: Where are the Aussies? [ From blog to book, chasing the thin line; Money talks here, too ]
• · John Doyle, Washington and Lee Law School, announced that his Current Law Journal Content currently covers 800 journals. He is seeking to "include additional English language non-U.S. titles Current Law Journal Content Seeks Assistance to Expand Titles ; The terrific folks who give us continuous, open access to New York Times articles through the New York Times Link Generator are in need of support following the failure of their server hard drive New York Times Link Generator
• · · From the New York Times, this article reports that the UT Austin undergraduate library will be "empty... of books" by mid summer, having replaced them with "software suites UT Austin Library Goes Digital ; Shel Israel: Master of Ideas
• · · · Masturbation has come a long way in the last two-hundred-odd years. Kant proclaimed it the worst conceivable defilement of a person’s humanity. But for Woody Allen, it’s simply ‘sex with someone I love’ Master of His Domain ; It's Sunday morning and I'm feeling slightly sermonish having been reading various blogs and websites for the last hour or so Sermonetta
• · · · · The annual National Folk Festival held in Canberra over the Easter weekend has quietly become one of Australia’s cultural landmarks National folk ; Daily Folkloric Bread
• · · · · · Confessions of a dual citizen ; Can't find the right word? You might want to start moving your hands Hand Off To Better Story-Telling

Monday, May 16, 2005

Stephanie Dowrick: ‘We will never achieve what we can’t imagine, so what are we hoping for?’

John Ralston Saul: ‘If we believe in Democracy you have to believe in the power of the citizen – there is no such thing as an abstract democracy.’

Alexis de Tocqueville:‘Individualism ... disposes each member of the community to sever himself from the mass of his fellows and to draw apart with his family and his friends, so that after he has thus formed a little circle of his own, he willingly leaves society at large to itself. ... Individualism, at first, only saps the virtues of public life; but, in the long-run, it attacks and destroys all others, and is at length absorbed in downright selfishness.’

Ghandi: ‘Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.’

Robert Menzies: ‘Sovereignty is the quality of kingship, and democracy brings it to the poor man’s door.’
Last week was a hectic one for Webdiary, with some fast-breaking stories bringing a lot of traffic, many debut commentors and a lot of intense and angry discussion. Sometimes nasty, too, which is why I announced my intention to conduct an experiment banning all personal abuse altogether Webdiary Discussion Guidelines

Sadness and Injustice Across Frontiers: Seeking volunteers for Webdiary's 'people's inquiry' into Alvarez
G’day. After a good night’s sleep, I woke up with an idea to focus the energy of Webdiarists determined to get the truth about Vivian Alvarez and bring those responsible to account.

This is what we face. The Alvarez scandal goes to the very legitimacy of a government which in our democracy is supposedly elected “by the people for the people”. It is difficult to imagine a more frightening scenario for Australians – the knowledge that an Australian citizen, through, as Vanstone admits, no fault of her own, can be deported by her own government and left to rot in another country. And the knowledge that once the mistake is discovered, nothing of substance is done to remedy the error. And the knowledge that, when the government finally admits what it has done, it is left to the media to find the victim. And the knowledge that the government wipes its hands of the affair, handing over responsibility to someone without legal powers to get the truth in private conversations with those in the frame for possible crimes.

People’s Inquiry [The impact of outsourcing in immigration detention ; J'accuse! An open letter to Cardinal Pell on mandatory detention ]
• · Citizen Jack: how a man with a computer and a passion for justice can make a difference in today's Australia ;
I am Melba Marginson, a Filipina-Australian citizen who married Simon Marginson. I have an 8-year old daughter. After the revelations of Vivian's case, I want to withdraw the citizenship advertisement about me which appears on the DIMIA website entitled Make Australia your home by becoming a citizen.

A letter to Webdiarists from Melba Marginson, a Filipina Australian
• · · Webdiarists help reveal Vanstone "mistake" on crucial Alvarez fact ; Google: Woman deported because of looks: lawyer
• · · · Google: No Alvarez royal commission yet says PM! Vanstone secure in job, says Howard ; The Department of Immigration refused to help the Australian Filipino community search for deportee Vivian Alvarez Solon when she was declared missing Call for ministers' scalps
• · · · · White Australia has had an appalling 2 century record of racism, violence and human rights abuse ranging from 19th century slavery in the Pacific Islands and genocide of indigenous peoples to continuing complicity in horrendous Coalition passive genocide in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories. White Australia actually achieved a Left-driven "window" of remarkable social decency in the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, but has seen an appalling resurgence of cowardly, nudge-nudge, wink-wink racism over the last decade. Racist White Australia Deports Brown Australian Citizen ; Calls for an inquiry are reaching fever pitch as more details are released about Ms Alvarez's case and that of another Australian resident, German-born Cornelia Rau, who was locked up in the Baxter detention centre for 10 months as an illegal immigrant System causes untold agony
• · · · · · That's no way to treat a lady ; A Belated Mother’s Day Appeal To Pm Howard

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Every generation needs a new revolution.
- Thomas Jefferson

Sabotage is often the tactic and revolution the goal. Radical civil disobedience isn’t extra-legal, but illegal, and involves more, much more, than breaking one law to promote another. Strange times make Havel’s theatre of the absurd and fatalism very attractive. I know it's cliché to say there are two sides to every story, but it's true. One thing you learn pretty quickly is that when it comes to some sources in the mainstream media, you can bet you're only getting one side of the story - the side they want you to get. Perhaps the greatest strength of the blogosphere is that it allows readers access to the OTHER side of a story. But even outside the mainstream there are two sides to every story. I survived the East European River, but my OTHER two mates drowned and/or were shot dead as it was alleged at the memorial service: Memories of Cold Other Side: Milan and Ondrej

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Politics of Memory: Entrenched Loyalties
From Eurozine, rifts could be avoided by a version of European history that included both western and eastern experiences. In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares. Baby It’s Cold Outside

West German foreign policy after 1945 was reconciliatory but conducted over the heads of the eastern European populations who had suffered most during the war. Now, Germany can be said to have atoned for its wartime misdemeanours; yet, in the European political climate post-May 2004, eastern European experiences of subjugation are often glossed over. France's criticism of Poland's involvement in the occupation of Iraq as knee-jerk pro-Americanism overlooked alliances formed during the Cold War

The Power of Nightmares: Balancing the books [Over the last twenty or twenty-five years, every country, every social, ethnic or family group, has undergone a profound change in the relationship it traditionally enjoyed with the past. Pierre Nora looks at where this "memorialism" came from and why. Reasons for the current upsurge in memory ; In a searing new book, Soviet veterans challenge the official mythology of World War II Ready to dare: Uncensored Memories ]
• · Thank you Minister Books Alive success to continue ; The Government will extend the pilot Film Licensed Investment Company (FLIC) scheme for two years Delivering a World Class Film Industry
• · · Blog on a bookshelf ; Keyboard
• · · · New Hampshire Union Leader: Nobody loves me but my mother, B.B. King sang Thanks, Mom: For All The Sacrifices You Make ; Soup of Networking ; Thousands more Aussies will be able to get working visas for the US Uncle Sam wants you
• · · · · Film financing is a black art ; There needs to be a better system for financing local movies, writes Bill Bennett Earth calling film backers: get real
• · · · · · Joi Ito: I think it was a bold move to make Hitler seem human. He reminded me of some people I know. I think it's important to remember that Hitler was human and that we always need to be aware of the risk allowing anyone to have so much power. A "must see" movie The Downfall ; Two young people are drinking on a rooftop overlooking Berlin, talking in the cool night air about revolution. The setting of Berlin always evokes history The Edukators

Monday, May 09, 2005

Alex: Peace & Smile the Salt of the Earth
The earth smiles with flowers and children of the green revolution ;-)

President George Bush has denounced the Soviet rule of eastern Europe during the Cold War as "one of the greatest wrongs of history" in a jab at Moscow just before massive celebrations in Russia of the 1945 victory over Hitler. He said the end of the war brought liberty from fascism for many in Germany but meant the "iron rule of another empire Exchanging One Brutalism for Another

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF VE DAY: Celebrating war's end
My parents paid a terrible price ... Details of those days are fading from memory. Sixty years ago today, World War II was over in Europe!

The original German title of Uwe Timm's memoir translates as "On the Example of My Brother." That captures its central concern rather more pointedly than "In My Brother's Shadow," for what he wrestles with here is whether the wartime experiences of his long-dead brother Karl-Heinz left an example that can be understood.
In any case, it is not Karl-Heinz's shadow that Timm seems to have been in most of his life, but that of his father, with whom he also does a bit of figurative wrestling. He says, "Writing about my brother means writing about my father, too."
Timm, a respected German novelist ("The Invention of Curried Sausage"), was 3 years old when his brother, 16 years older and a member of the Waffen SS, died in Ukraine in 1943 shortly after being wounded and having both his legs amputated. Timm tried several times to write about him, but couldn't while his mother, father and sister were still alive.

Shadow' examines Germans' attitudes over WW II [At the outset of the war there were those who believed that democracy was too soft to survive, especially against a Nazi Germany. They boasted the most professional, well-equipped and highly trained military forces in the world Mixed feelings as Moscow marks WWII anniversary ; Tax cuts to offset rising living costs ; Google: Thousands join in rallies to hail wartime heroism]
• · Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned last night "there can be no forgiveness" for his predecessor Joseph Stalin, who had created a "slaughter machine". Allies unite to honour heroes ; Dictator Stalin stirs nostalgia as Russians remember war
• · · Arnold Scott-Schlessinger, born a Slovak Jew who, was handed an opportunity to fight fascism. All but 10 of his 60-member Slovak family failed to survive World War II, but Scott-Schlessinger escaped to Britain and joined the Czechoslovak battalion of the British air force. The man who fought fascism - and won ; Auschwitz was a killing factory running at the pace of 12,000 lives a day Why didn't we bomb Auschwitz?
• · · · Google: Leaders pay tribute to WWII Russians; Bridges are all very well in times of peace when trade and communications can freely pass both ways. In times of trouble, bridges are the first things to be closed. In times of war, bridges get blown up Walker's World: Where does Europe stop?
• · · · · If Carr wants to talk business taxes, he calls Margy Osmond, a former National Party staff member who heads the State Chamber of Commerce. Businessman Nicholas Shehadie, who is also the husband of NSW Governor Marie Bashir, chairs Carr's Major Events Board Premiers' Kitchen Hands; Tax tinkering 'is not enough' ; Economic theory suggests that land tax is efficient (even perfect) ;
Bob Carr risked his leadership to back the creation of ICAC Bob Carr is the only Premier over the body's 16-year life who always supported i
• · · · · · Tax cuts to offset rising living costs ; Technorati on Tax

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The most infuriating thing about men, (brothers, sons, husbands) was that they were both predictable and impossible. Their buttons were ridiculously easy to push, but unfortunately, every button came with its own self-destruct program."
Donald E. Westlake, Watch Your Back!

Mother's Day - Every Day, hardly in my exile books. In the last 25 years I have visited my Mamka only twice as the tyrany of distance lack of time or money mean that a phone call is the best I can ever do on Mothers Day ... The Greatest Mom of All
Mother's Day wish is for mothers of all persuasions - those who stay at home, those who keep earning, those who parent alone - to be supported in their choices and cherished in their role. Motherhood is a gift, but it can also be a burden because, generally speaking, no one is more aware of the importance of good mothering than the many worried mothers among us. A quiet Mother's Day wish: When you're a mother, you'll understand

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Happy Mothers Day-8th May

As an ardent republican, I shouldn't really be interested. But all the same I was delighted to hear that Princess Mary of Denmark is pregnant and soon to be mother, God willing, to a future heir to the Danish throne.

We focus on the woman, not just because she is doing all the heavy lifting, but because every pregnant woman reminds us of the wonder of how each of us came to be ...
The great love of life-giving [ Mothers' Day musings ; A tribute to the hand that rocks the cradle ]
• · When you bone up on the history of Mother’s Day, you find that the person who first proposed it, Julia Ward Howe, saw it as an occasion for women to speak out for peace, and that the person who finally got the federal government to proclaim it, Anna Mary Jarvis, wasn’t always perfectly peaceful. Battle Hymn of the Republic ; Indeed, the founder of Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, wrote that her passion to honor mothers was particularly inspired by a prayer delivered by her own mother, Ann, in 1876: "I hope that someone, someday, will found a memorial mothers day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life." Mother's Day as envisioned
• · · Forgive me Lauren since it's been a year since I last showered you with love or pampered you with breakfast in bed ;-) But there was the Iraq war and so many other global disasters ... also time just flies so fast ... and you are not in bed anyway as you dissappear with the girls swimming at 4 am... Why do we wait for one day a year to tell our moms, wives, we love them? The effect of a mother's apron on mankind
• · · · For me, imagining a holiday is almost as enjoyable as the vacation itself, regardless of how the holiday ends up. Mother's Day born under proud banner of pacifism ; It's a political thriller and a family drama with the two protagonists of the title having more than a passing resemblance to Peter and Tim Costello ... You want the audience to be intellectually challenged, really stretched and provoked Simon Phillips: dynamic director
• · · · · What makes it different is its focus on contemporary Israel and a younger generation, twice removed from the war. Walk on Water brings together young Israelis and young Germans, dealing in their own ways with a past that has undeniably shaped the world they live in Film: Walk on Water ; Are you a woman? Over 45? Having trouble finding fiction you can relate to? A new imprint, launched last week, claims to be the answer to your prayers. But it has inadvertently opened up a can of worms. Books For "Women Over 45"? How Insulting!
• · · · · · Larry Baker couldn't get a publisher interested in his book. Then, when he couldn't get the local book chains in Iowa to give him shelf space, he struck on an inspired idea - sell it in the grocery store, where it sells beyond all Expectations... Books In Grocery Stores: A Testimonial ; Language: What's hot in the hype of publishing

Writing is like making love. Don't worry about the orgasm, just concentrate on the process
-Isabel Allende

Six Degree of Separation in the Spirit of Sydney Writers Festival ... from the Literary Larrikin at Matilda; Georgina at Stack ; Zoe at Crazybrave

Passing the Baton: Island Life: May Day
Ach May is not only the month of my real birthday, but also a month when Sydney celebrates the birth of the written word SWF Book Lust Forever! As Zue noted 'memes aren't real so tell your friends’ and Gianna at She Sells Sanctuary passed this on to me this week.
[Most of the monographs and essays I had read in my teenagehood, and especially during my two year compulsory service in the Czechoslovak army, are listed at Eastern European Literature. (Naturally, I also read my essay)]

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be saved?

War and Peace - by Leo Tolstoy. In UK electors rattled cages, but Tony Blair can continue happily declare: ‘Don’t you worry about that Iraq War.’ History repeats itself, though no two readers agree quite how... I could not agree more with Tolstoy! In Russia's struggle with Napoleon, Tolstoy saw a tragedy that involved all mankind. Greater than a historical chronicle, War and Peace is an affirmation of life itself, as a reviewer put it, 'a complete picture of everything in which people find their happiness and greatness, their grief and humiliation'.

Epic historical novel: originally published as Voyna i mir in 1865-69

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

How long is a piece of Central European string? Czech out books by Milan Kundera in 1960s and books read by Jobs’ girlfriend ;-)

My girlfriend always laughs during sex - no matter what she's reading.
-Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computers
A popular oasis for the finest in original erotic fiction

The last book you bought was...?
With one stone I got two birds:
Dirt Cheap: Life at the Wrong End of the Australian Job Market by Elisabeth Wynhausen
The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing by Michael Mann

The last book you read was...?
Many Unhappy Returns: One Man's Quest To Turn Around The Most Unpopular Organization In America (Leadership for the Common Good) Charles O. Rossotti

What are you currently reading?
I am juggling trojka: I am reading Dr Russel Cope’s draft publication ‘No Continuing City, or the City To Come? Librarianship’s Dilemmas and Retreats'
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
Knock Them Dead Job Interview Strategies by D.P. Roseberry

Five books you would take to a desert island...
If it can be reread many times I take it with my fotoalbum ...
- Haverleigh and other books by James Cumes
- Milan Kundera, Unbearable Lightness of Being
- 1984 by George Orwell
- SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron
- A Fortunate Life by A. B. Facey
• Who are you passing this stick on to and why?
MJ Rose Buzz, Balls & Hype and Antony Loewenstein at Just what is "the whole truth"? 'Cause both love books and are prepared to risk it all in order to make a difference. [By the way, Boston Globe highlighted last week MJ Rose's blog (though apparently the paper will not print the word "balls" when it doesn't relate to sports, so they leave out the actual name "Buzz, Balls & Hype") as part of "finding effective ways for readers, authors, and books to link up." ;-]

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Sydney is choking with traffic congestion, but the Government has neglected it’s public transport to the point where patrons are driven away. Their attitude of contemptuous indifference was well summed up a few years ago when the then Minister for Transport in NSW mocked me for my well known preference for traveling by public transport. “Surely you must get trains all the time.” I innocently replied. “Oh, no,” said the Minister “I’ve got a driver.”
-Malcolm Turnbull

James Salzer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution used state records to show that Gov. Sonny Perdue has championed limiting the gifts that lobbyists can give legislators and other state officials, but he has accepted airplane rides, NASCAR tickets and dinners from lobbyists Georgia Lobbyist Gifts

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Federalism, Infrastructure, Tax and Welfare Ideas: Shaken and Stirred
As practical people we should judge our leaders, in whatever field, on output, not rhetoric; on substance not process. Now, I am not one of those people who imagines that the Government’s management of the economy means it is responsible for all our prosperity.

Certainly Labor is in no position to criticize the Government’s economic record; not least because they have no policies of their own to put up as alternatives. Last night Greg Combet, Secretary of the ACTU, complained about the lack of investment in “roads, ports, transport and other infrastructure”. Well he might, but given that the Labor Party is the political wing of the trade union movement, it is a great pity that he has not directed his considerable political influence towards the Labor Premiers.
In New South Wales, where Bob Carr has perfected the concierge style of government, we have a Government which is rolling in money as a result of the GST and the property boom. They have never had it so good and possibly never will again.

Yet, a city which is running out of water has no plan to recycle its waste water. Sydney Water, the monopoly water company, has a profit margin of more than 25% and a massive dividend yield the envy of anyone in the private sector. It is being run for cash. There has been no significant addition to the city’s water supply for forty years, and as the BCA points out within twenty years demand will be nearly 40% greater than sustainable yield...
Sustaining Prosperity [A disturbing exhibit probes the depths of human cruelty. Experiences from World War II concentration camps are brought to life with a grim combination of text and images The dark side; Bridge or barrier? Three Cold War veterans assess the role of the EU's newest member nations as seen from both East and West Bearbaiting? ]
• · The secret thoughts of Iron Mark Publishing Latham's memoirs ; Latham tome tells of despair, euphoria ; The gloves are off the Liberal Roman Empire will Never be the same ... Tim Dunlop On the Liberal Leadership Limricks
• · · There were more than a few raised eyebrows last week when the Housing Minister, Joe Tripodi, used ownership of a BMW to illustrate the Government's plan to remove subsidies from undeserving public housing tenants Car culture ; How teens' high-speed chase ran out of fuel; Ian Demsky of the Nashville Tennessean used local police data to show that “a record number of police pursuits zipped through Nashville streets last year, even as beefed-up safety measures caused officers to cancel more of the dangerous car chases than ever before Nashville Police Chases ; Patrick Lakamp of the Buffalo News analyzed records from 24,000 parking ticket hearings, finding that most Buffalo residents pay the majority of their fines, whereas as a select few city insiders get their fines dismissed Buffalo Parking Ticket Fix
• · · · While rich-world investors struggle to make decent returns, investors from emerging markets are lending to America as never before ... WHAT links the ludicrous price of property in London with financial markets? One answer is obvious: the buying power of the City shilling, or rather many millions of them Many unhappy returns ; If you have an overdue tax bill or you think it might be easier to skip lodging your tax return this year, watch out: the Tax Office has resolved to get tough on "the most blatant forms of tax avoidance" - continual non-payment and deliberate non-lodgement Tax Office resolves to get tough; When people think of taxes and the European Union, the first thought is normally of value-added tax (VAT) and customs duties ... A time bomb for EU tax systems? ( Hans van Capelleveen )
• · · · · Rivkin death may open Swiss door; The matriarch of the Rivkin family has been touched by tragedy before The sorrowful tale of Mother Rivkin ; HOW do you condense a life to a few paragraphs? Especially when it is a life such as Rene Rivkin's
• · · · · · The life and times of Rene Rivkin have filled newspaper columns for years. Naturally publishers are keen to do the book. Spike hears that the Australian Financial Review journalist Andrew Main is close to publishing his book Rivkin Unauthorised, through HarperCollins. The book will probably go on sale in early July and is described as a warts-and-all biography of Rivkin. I'm going to rewrite the ending, which obviously won't be as upbeat, Main told Spike yesterday. Meanwhile, Penguin Books has said it has no plans to publish an authorised biography of Rivkin by The Sunday Telegraph's gossip columnist, Ros Reines. The project never materialised, the Penguin publisher Robert Sessions told Spike. It was started but never completed. Rembering Rivkin ; The madness of money Rivkin Editorial

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Corporate privacy's shadow still falls over Detention Centers. Christine Rau travelled to Baxter detention centre for the first time yesterday to join authors Tom Keneally and Rosie Scott and launch an anthology of stories from behind the gates. When we read this collection we are entering another country - a shadowy, unfamiliar country with its own laws, languages and borders Asylum seekers tell their shadowy stories

Cambodian refugee tells her amazing story of survival in her second book, Lucky Child I was spared to tell my story

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: If Asylum Seekers ruled the world...
They have cornered the market in a range of industries, achieved perfect scores in university entrance exams and reinvented Australian notions of food, art and fashion. The second generation of Vietnamese Australians has come of age, and it is only the beginning.

When Thomas and Simon Tran arrived from France on holiday in 1999 it felt like the promised land. "In France you can be French or Vietnamese, but not both. But here you can be both Australian and Vietnamese," said Thomas, co-founder of Astracom, the $30 million-a-year business they run out of a garage in Hinchinbrook. The Trans bought call time from Telstra at wholesale rates and began retailing discount phone cards. They sold 400 million minutes of airtime last year and employ 28 people.

Thirty years after the fall of Saigon, the children of Vietnam's refugees embrace Australia as their own, but a candle still burns for the country their parents fled
After 30 years, success has a Vietnamese accent [A damaging rift between the Prime Minister and Treasurer has cracked open with John Howard's "provocative" and "arrogant" declaration that he was determined to stay leader indefinitely and beat Labor at the 2007 electio Howard digs in, Costello blows up ; The international extravaganza, which Prime Minister John Howard has said outranks the 2000 Olympics in significance and prestige, will cost at least $20 million in security alone. With the relationship between the Federal Government and NSW Premier Bob Carr already poisonous over GST payments, relations are set to nosedive further if NSW carries through a threat to invoice the Federal Government for its contribution Row over $20m tab for APEC conference ]
• · While some think a conspiracy ruined the Deputy Commissioner's career, the smart officers suspect a stuff-up Good cop, bad luck cop; Until last week, I believed that our hard-pressed policemen, despite the spin and dissembling of their leaders, continued to fight thuggery with vigour. When Tony Blair last month hailed the latest meaningless British Crime Survey statistics - which claimed a drop in violent crime last year - he again parroted what has become his Government's mantra on the subject: it is not crime that we should worry about but the fear of crime. How the police tolerate thuggery; Honesty and a freshness of approach are possibly the best attributes A Melbourne pub was the setting for a party rethink Lack of policy debate is making Labor irrelevant ; The announcement of a new cabinet in Iraq is not the end of the process - it's just the very beginning Elusive democracy; The Prime Minister Blair fooled only the foolish Regime change is illegal: end of debate
• · · Why am I taking the trouble to write about this? This is the politics of our generation. The current bad guys are dragging it up again to justify contemporary viciousness. And we won't let them get away with it, because we are joined with our children in opposing the current war Pissing on its own history; via Barista ; How I was ejected from the premier’s office. Geoffrey Barker recalls a short, eventful audience with the Queensland premier Joh Remembered ; The Schapelle Corby case appears to have made magistrates out of everyone
• · · · At a time when dissatisfaction with politicians is glaringly evident, the solution is not less democracy, of course; it is deeper democracy. And in deliberative experiments around the world, governments and NGOs are attempting to extend citizen participation beyond voting, lobbying, and protesting Citizens and Governments: Stroppy Adversaries or Partners in Deliberation? ; The Federal Government has expanded its inquiry into immigration detention centres after discovering it had deported an Australian citizen four years ago and also wrongly held several other Australians in detention. Immigration admits citizen deported
• · · · · Why cutting tax rates won't work ; Low-income earners could be forgiven for thinking that superannuation is a tax perk for the rich, but thanks to the Federal Government's super co-contribution, most Australians have a financial incentive to boost their retirement savings before June 30Give and you shall receive;
So are we out of the woods? Why we mustn't rouse the dragon of inflation

• · · · · · Fact Sheet: Protecting America's Critical Infrastructure--Chemical Security ; The State Government risks losing the expert it picked to lead its urban growth strategy, all because it doesn't seem to understand the man Professor Edward Blakely - a loping, soft-speaking American with more direct links to Australia than many of his critics realise

Onward Australian consumer-soldiers who have found new confidence in online shopping, splurging $617 million in March alone. David Binning reports on why remote retail therapy is now catching on A matter of clicking your fingers
Actor Tom Cruise Opens Up about his Beliefs in the Church of Scientology. Imagine what would happen if I was producing Cold River and invited some Mormons or Jews or Christians or Muslims to pitch tents on the set and minister to the "sick and injured" on my crew Scientology on the Set

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Off the Wall: Pleasure and pain behind closed curtains
East Berliners used to risk their lives trying to escape to the west. Now the former communist stamping ground is fun and funky

During its 28-year lifespan from 1961 until 1989, the Wall came complete with barbed wire, bloodthirsty dogs and gun-toting guards. Then, in 1990, 100 artists were commissioned to paint their reactions to what became known as "die Wende" - the turning point - of November 1989. One famous painting was of a Trabant, the dodgy East German car that is now a collector's item, bursting through the bricks; another was of East German leader Erich Hönecker giving his Soviet counterpart, Leonid Brezhnev, a lusty kiss on the lips.

We are each the love of someone's life [Despite obvious lacks and omissions - no German Expressionists, no Russian Constructivists, no Italian Futurists and few Surrealists - it brought the modern movement with a bang to the doorstep of Australia as nothing else had. Degenerates and Perverts ; My old tropical stamping ground - Fraser Coast city of Maryborough So, will the real Mary Poppins please stand up ]
• · I never think about plot, Renee Manfredi said in a recent interview. I don't think about theme. I think about characters. And these characters became very real to me. I dreamed about them. I Rich Characterizations Propel Debut Novel to May Picks ; Hellfire: The Story of Australia, Japan and Prisoners of War by Cameron Forbes. Ross Fitzgerald on a powerful retelling of the horror story that was Changi and the Death Railway. Lives on the line ; The play is right in raising issues about our treatment of refugees. The Australian author and playwright, Hannie Rayson, has found it necessary to respond to a recent critical review, entitled Drowning in propaganda, of her new play, Two Brothers, by Tom Hyland The fiction and fact of Two Brothers ; It's risky and may just be too eccentric to work Playing with Water
• · · Reading the World: Independent Booksellers Unite to Promote Literature in Translation ;
• · · · Australian literature is currently more diverse and robust than it is sometimes given credit for; good novels are being published, even if they are not always the most visible Stephen King defends popular writers ; Australian Book Review May 2005 - Nowdays, we want the truth. Suddenly, it seems, we are no longer content to be sceptical and laconic and sophisticated, or to take the line that there are many kinds of truth and that it all depends on how you look at it, and on who is doing the looking. Politicians and journalists, for example, long assumed by a knowing public to belong to professions that not only display but positively require a flexible approach to the facts, now find themselves being scrutinised and investigated to establish whether or not they have been telling lies. The Politics and Aesthetics of Blogging ; No more lessons. No more books. No more teachers' dirty looks Where do the books come from, Mommy?
• · · · · Enough of the talk - now it's time for action Literary Blogs: Rise and Rise ; Myself at the Bookseller's by M. Kodak - I do not drink or gamble - I only dissipate with books
• · · · · · Here is a delicious story that says everything you need to know about politics. On Monday, February 14, Kim Beazley sat down to pen a letter. He had returned, unopposed, to Labor's federal leadership on Friday, January 28. The man he was writing to was Mark Latham, the leader his "colleagues" hounded into resignation on January 17, amid great internal bastardry, following Labor's October election loss Farewell proves there's still a sting in his tale ; Sheer frustration, point by agonising point Latham memoirs a hard sell ; Using his typical single-minded lone-wolf approach to politics, Latham held his cards close to his chest and never revealed the contents of his diary to his authorised biographer Bernard Lagan, whose book on Latham – The Loner; Inside A Labor Tragedy – is due out in July The write stuff from Latham - Sandra Lee