Sunday, July 31, 2005

Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.
- Edward Abbey

Political-party memberships are sinking to new lows and the majority has become alienated from the political process.However there are signs of new grassroots activity in other forums. Power without people

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: ALP machine reasserts grip on power
Arrogant factionalism makes a joke of our democracy Money must talk if Iemma won't

Plucked from political obscurity, Morris Iemma will become the 40th premier of NSW on Tuesday after being handpicked by five general secretaries of the NSW ALP - Graham Richardson, Stephen Loosley, John Della Bosca, Eric Roozendaal and Mark Arbib. The only other premier to be shoe-horned into the job by the Sussex Street machine, Barrie Unsworth, led the Labor Party to a slaughter in 1988. There is another parallel: both Mr Unsworth and Mr Iemma were health minister before the factional chieftains elevated them into the premiership. At a stroke, Mr Carr's precious legacy of keeping Sussex Street out of Macquarie Street has ended and the influence of the ALP machine now overshadows the incoming administration.

• Extreme Measures: Cheerleaders, horses and jockeys [Knives are out as Iemma plans his cabinet revamp ; Premier-elect Morris Iemma's first executive decision after Tuesday's formal coronation by the Labor caucus will be to scrap the hated vendor tax on the sale of investment properties New premier to axe property tax ]
• · Douglas Rushkoff has an interesting yet disturbing take on suicide bombs and their coverage in today's mediasphere News of one suicide leads to another ; The Naked Eye of the Sun Herald fame notes: Walt Secord, Premier Bob Carr’s larger than life media minder, was in Beijing a week ago addressing the State Council Information centre as a guest of the Chinese Information Minister. It was attended by 200 budding spin doctors from the central administration and provinces. ‘We discussed dealing with the media in the lead up to the Olympic Games in 2008 and how to respond to crisis issues such as mad cow disease and the recent formaldelhyde-in-beer health scare,’ said Secord, who has spent the past 10 years wheeling ‘the truth trolley’ around the NSW Parliamentary press gallery dispensing press releases and informed leaks to the media. When Carr steps down on Wednesday, the genial Canadian-born (Indian) spinmeister will be moving to fresh pastures, but where? China? Putting a spin on the Olympics and Mad Cow
• · · A judge and a DPP: which one served the public interest? via Webdiary; If we could gather Australia's 25 dead and living PMs in this grand lecture theatre to muse on government and media, I’d specially want to hear from Alfred Deakin Grattan on gatekeepers and gatecrashers
• · · · Bob Carr woke at two o'clock yesterday morning. Even in the recent desert heat of Dubai, he had not perspired. But in the pre-dawn chill he sat up in a cold sweat. I have a sneaky way of entering people’s dreams or nightmares If you took the politics out of Bob Carr there would be nothing left ; Bob Carr returned to his grass roots on Friday night to thank his trade union "comrades" for a decade of power Praise for the workers and a parting shot
• · · · · Estate Tax Advocates Shift Moral Spotlight onto Unbridled Inheritance ; Document Release Excludes First Bush Administration White House To Withhold Nominee's Tax Returns ; A panel of 36 distinguished public policy experts and scholars—ranging from Nobel laureate Milton Friedman to Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey—has selected the Internal Revenue Code as the No. 1 item on this year’s Human Events list of the Ten Most Harmful Government Programs. Ten Most Harmful Government Programs
• · · · · · Union threats to leave AFL-CIO generate waves, new possibilities Labor Split a Mixed Bag ; Female union members are gaining clout, but are still shut out of top labor positions Women’s Work ; Let's Put the Nature of Work on Labor's Agenda

Here's what Media Dragon looks like after the Googlesque website has had its way with our character string. As they say it is not what you know it is who you know ;-) (thanks Mark) Google as Media Dragon

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Bye, Dad
Lachlan Murdoch, heir apparent to the world's most powerful media company, has quit his executive role at News Corporation to come back to Australia

I look forward to returning home to Australia with my wife, Sarah, and son, Kalan, in the very near future. I would like especially to thank my father for all he has taught me in business and in life. It is now time for me to apply those lessons to the next phase of my career

Lachlan walks out on Rupert [Blogging is supposed to be democratizing the world of information, empowering the individual The feminine blogstique; Technorati Trends]
• · Jeni O'Dowd: Newspapers offer facts as their defining characteristic - and celebrity journalism is not exempt. Over the years Cindy Martin painted an image of life in the fast lane to colleagues, where she rubbed shoulders with the eastern suburbs' finest Between the lines ; What happens when you open up media platforms to bloggers, amateur critics, self-educated experts, passionate commenters, and independent reviewers? Garage Influentials
• · · Very Big Ad shows why we still call Carlton a beer ; A Comparison of How Some Blog Aggregation and RSS Search Tools Work for Keyword Search
• · · · Smart way to shop Price Comparison Center ; Scott Burgess' conservative/libertarian blog The Daily Ablution specializes in monitoring and commenting on some of the loonier aspects of Britain's leftist press Blog Bites Man; Blog Search Will Soon Be Extinct Blog sites boosted by increase in visitor numbers
• · · · · Encyclopaedia Britannica's challenge to Google, Yahoo and Wikipedia. ; Doing Business in Australia
• · · · · · Cyber criminals have found a new doorway into our hard drives, this time under the guise of seemingly friendly community sites, blogs and freebies Danger lurking on web freebies ;Help Discover Which Printers Spy on Users - Investigating Machine Identification Code Technology in Color Laser Printers

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The thing about nerves is that they can creep up on you. It hit me this week that some nerves can snap inside your head as you go about your well deserved good night sleep ... My experience at the Sydney Eye Hospital made my nerves calmer again after a week of surreal medical experiences. How can one thank the army of dedicated professional staff who survive on shoestring budget and yet manage to accommodate any situation that props up. The place was like a post office where mail never stops as one Doctor described the situation. Words fail me, but I thank one and all for being such a considered bunch with all patients. Jacqueline Maley, a Medical Reporter with the Sydney Morning Herald, who researched her story on Friday noted how ‘people who suffer strokes affecting the right side of the brain may be going undiagnosed, leaving them vulnerable to bigger, more catastrophic strokes later on’ When it comes to strokes, patients tend to the left and neglect the right

Thursday, July 28, 2005

My eyes are still playing up on me and I owe my double vision a rather surreal day; I rarely visit doctors so I was shocked to be told how lucky I was to get an appointment with a local Doctor. I should be grateful as the consultation cost $90, but it is discounted if I paid today to 70 odd dollars. After waiting for almost an hour my consultation took less than 30 minutes and in that time another appointment was stiched up for me at noon seven surburbs away which gave me less an hour to get there. Never mind that I prefer not to drive while my eyes are in such a sorry state. I was advised by my local Doctor I could catch a taxi ... The next consultation with a specialist has put my life in perspective as I accrued an additional $210 bill. But there is more as by the time I came from another referral which was next door to the specialist, the Southern Cross Radiology, demanded another $250. I was supposed to be told that I must pay the $250 on a spot or otherwise I cannot have the scanned images. I owe the reality of living the sick life a lot - the reality sure knows how to bite you when you are most vulnerable ... Just as well that I am being headhunted for the top job at the MacBank (hard one-eye-irony intended ;-) Macquarie Bank has challenged criticism of the $10 million-plus pay packets handed to its top executives, saying it can't base remuneration policy on society's perceptions of what is right or wrong - Millionaire's Factory' defends $10m salaries The Hidden Hand

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Why I dumped tilt at Canberra: Carr
Bob Carr says he always thought he was destined for a career in federal politics but scrapped his Canberra ambitions when he started to enjoy his job as premier of NSW.

Mr Carr announced his resignation yesterday, effective next Wednesday, after more than 10 years in the job. I thought when I was Shanghaied into the party leadership in 1988 that it would be a short-term thing

A 'solid chapter' comes to an end: Aurelius wrote For Bob Carr everything's altered again, but this time it is his own doing: Observe, in short, how transient and trivial is all mortal life; yesterday a drop of semen, tomorrow a handful of spice or ashes. And: … mark how hollow are the echoes of applause … how puny the arena of human fame
• As recently as March Bob Carr was saying he would lead the party to the next state election in 2007, what changed? Reverie in sun put paid to staying on Political Musings [Right figures Eddie Obeid, Joe Tripodi and Eric Roozendaal are believed to be backing Mr Iemma over Mr Scully even though they all belong to the same subfaction, known as the Terrigals. Late yesterday, Mr Obeid and Mr Tripodi met Mr Scully in his office to tell him they were considering backing Mr Iemma. Mr Scully, it is understood, told them he would run regardless. The Right plots to deny Scully his chance; And that's about it, folks Premier shocks party by retiring ]
• ·
The Carr years will be remembered for monumental missed opportunity, writes Nick Greiner Premier skills, ordinary Premier ; Craig Knowles says he will not run for premier after Bob Carr's resignation Google on Carr
• · · Scully stands firm despite 'dirty tricks' ; Kerry O'brien; Bruce Hawker, Former Chief Of Staff; Andrew West, Biographer Bob Carr quits as premier
• · · · While the state was losing a premier yesterday, Helena Carr was retrieving her husband and a life without the pressures of public office. Regaining a husband and lazy weekends ; Former spy backs Chen
• · · · · Nepal: thousands of intellectuals and rights activists are arrested demanding restoration of human rights and rule of law ; Australia: a look at how The war on terror emboldens white supremacists - Drew Fraser
• · · · · · Educated beggars. Joseph Stiglitz on The end of the beginning of ending poverty ; Educated beggars. ; Cameras in Britain Record the Criminal and the Banal

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Lieutenant Colonel was advised by the government to keep quiet about criticisms he made about Australia's intelligence system I was bullied and told to keep quiet ; I will fall on my sword over this: when something is so important an officer will take a stand Interview with Lance Collins

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Howard backs more security cameras
Closed-circuit television surveillance is expected to be boosted as part of tighter security arrangements to combat terrorism.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, was so impressed by the CCTV capacity used to identify four men believed responsible for 56 deaths on London transport that he wants Australian systems enhanced. "The biggest thing that I have learnt by a country mile out of my visit, particularly to Britain, is the extraordinary value of surveillance cameras," he said in London yesterday.

CCTV David Humphries [ Tax blitz widens to drugs, bribery ; The Smartest Guys in the Room Enron unmasked, but not comprehended ]
• · So many people dislike capitalism, it's a wonder it exists at all Stakeholder Capitalism One More Bind On Smith's Invisible Hand ; Environmental impact of consumption
• · · Recognising child workers: dilemmas of abolishing child labour ; Elba has something to teach us about tyrants and how they finish Tiny tyrants ; The Truth About Jihad
• · · · Premier Bob Carr today said Australia needed to have a "searching look" at its counter-terrorism laws after the second bomb attack on London in a fortnight. Can Western civilisation be glorified as the one true way, particularly when those who talk in this fashion usually sweep things like respect for liberties such as freedom of speech and freedom from fear conveniently under the carpet when it suits them? Strip citizenship: Carr terror plan ; As Australians, we tell ourselves many stories that stimulate our sense of self-righteousness and moral superiority; most societies do this sort of thing fairly regularly. Our myth-making is powerful - and very comforting - in a world of violence and destabilisation. Is this Islam? No. Is it "acceptable"? No. Is it caused by multiculturalism? No. A policy of assimilation would not solve any of this. The only "solution" in such a model is the forced baptism of the majority and the expulsion in boats of the remainder. A matter of respect
• · · · · Will intellectuals step forward when our political leaders fail us? ; Taxonomy of Political Conflict In Central and Eastern Europe
• · · · · · Bianca Jagger on sleeping with the enemy: Why she doesn't trust Bono, Bush, Brown, Bob and Blair on social justice Bedfellows; One drink does not a summer make Live 8 and Aristotle ; What can terrorists teach us?
It's Not Who We Are, It's What We Do

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Claude Simon ( 1913-2005 ) once wrote: For me, the big chore is always the same: how to begin a sentence, how to continue it, how to complete it

I have heard that one of the rites of passage for undergraduates at Harvard University is to have sex in stacks of the vast, labyrinthine Widener Library. It's sort of an academic version of joining the "Mile-High Club" ... Many students who enter university come from nearly book-free homes. Many have not read a single book all the way through Stacks' Appeal

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Let's face it, most books do stink.
Reading books is definitely more fun than writing them. They say everyone has a book in them. As if to prove this truism, almost everyone I know is writing one:

I used to think writers didn't like talking about their works-in-progress because they were afraid people would steal their brilliant ideas. Now I know the truth. Writers hate talking about their books because they're sick to death of them. That and the fact that, on any given day, they secretly suspect that their books might stink

How's your book going? [I have always thought of Australia as a very sort of progressive, sophisticated, cosmopolitan place. So to run into this roadblock is surprising Some Australian conservatives are trying to ban the film ; Heim's Australian fans ]
• · Lewis Libby, Richard Perle, Lynn Cheney: neocons, D.C. insiders, and novelists. What does their fiction tell us about the reality of life and power in Washington? Tory Stories: Neo-Con Novels ; This independent publisher is true to its word in bringing us works that just do not seem to sit pretty on the shelves of our highstreet book stores. In this world of mainstream, conglomerate-led, dumbed-down publishing it is always a pleasure to stumble upon a dedicated group who strive to bring you the book that others either daren't or can't. So, for a start get your hungry taste buds around the litle morsel below: Reaching the reader on multiple levels A common interest unites us; it is one world, one life
• · · Random UK is hoping for better results than Simon & Schuster's memoir contest promotion with Good Morning America earlier this year, in an agreement with the influential show Richard & Judy UK Tries TV Memoir Contest ; Peter Spiegelman "socked away millions" when his employer, a Wall Street software company, was bought--which gave him the freedom to write crime novels The Case of the Writer Who Left Wall Street
• · · · What’s missing in many people’s beliefs about success is the fact that the more challenging the goal, the more frequent and difficult setbacks will be How to learn from your mistakes; A law firm that spent decades winning lawsuits against huge corporations is now in the cross hairs of a government investigation Robin Hoods or Legal Hoods?
• · · · · Why are the movies so bad? Hollywood's Phantom Menace; For your typical young British writer/intellectual it’s deeply shameful to confess that you love Starbucks Starbucks: The daily grind
• · · · · · When a man lands a big fish, the tale is told of fight and peril, exhaustion and triumph. The beast is weighed, the record inscribed, the photo taken, bragging rights secured. And that is where the story usually ends The Fish That Came With a Catch ; Nabakov caught in the act of Kissing Media Dragon Deadly at After Grog Hammer Time

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Political economy as usual in the land of the absurd. What makes some of us look out for each other, while others look out for themselves? Power brokers such as Jeff Kennett, Michael Kroger, Ron Walker, Don Argus, Steve Vizard, Eddie McGuire, Fraser Gehrig and even Paul Sheahan lucky recipients of the maximum priority retail allocation of 5,000 shares each Vizard a Tatts shares winner ... one of the biggest imbalances in supply and demand in Market history

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: The Role of the Opposition
Parliament is the institution that embodies society in the diversity of its composition and its opinions and which channels this diversity into the political process

Its vocation is to regulate tensions and maintain equilibrium between diversity and uniformity, individuality and collectivity, to enhance social cohesion and solidarity. It is fundamentally about debate and the transacting of the people’s business in public. It is also about the right to dissent in a civilized manner. Genuine political opposition is a necessary attribute of democracy, tolerance, and trust in the ability of citizens to resolve differences by peaceful means

Opposition to a politician creates stronger opinions: Any opinion can be formed in two ways. You can support someone because you like them or because you don't like their opponent
Loyal Opposition [An axis of democracy; I am second to none in my admiration for what George Soros intended and achieved under this rubric, in the dark days of the Soviet empire The United States and the open society ; Labour should not follow Tory calls for smaller government, says Ann Rossiter: Size isn't everything ]
• · The development of democracy in South Korea is a miraculous achievement The dilemmas of democracy ; Why the country needs to choose its political model carefully Terestroika ; That's what legalizing undocumented immigrants would unleash, creating a win for everyone A Massive Economic Development Boom
• · · Radical Islam is spreading across Europe among descendants of Muslim immigrants. Disenfranchised and disillusioned by the failure of integration, some European Muslims have taken up jihad against the West. They are dangerous and committed -- and can enter the United States without a visa Europe's Angry Muslims ; Last week's attacks on London have once again stoked the fires of debate on the causes of terrorism So you want to stop the suicide bombers? ; Most Muslims abhor violence, yet the terrorists are a product of a specific mindset that has deep roots in Islamic history The struggle for Islam's soul ; War of the Worlds If the victory of liberalism is inevitable, do we need to fight in the Middle East? ; How can we tell if we’re winning the War on Terror? The Fog of War: The asymmetrical rhetoric of war and peace; Why is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security constantly telling every American to be afraid? Think Again: Homeland Security
• · · · Why Unions Are Like Typewriters ; That nocturnal strike against capitalism is emblematic of the soul of socialism What is the Soul of Socialism?; Black Rednecks and White Liberals: Who's a Redneck? ; Did the Founding Fathers Really Get Many of Their Ideas of Liberty from the Iroquois?
• · · · · It's a very interesting question, why a society doesn't even notice or doesn't successfully respond to problems that look obvious. Easter Island, C'est Moi: Jared Diamond ; Joseph Wilson: From the moment that what's now known as "Plamegate" emerged on the horizon, alternative media outlets have demanded accountability from the White House. Although the mainstream corporate media is now focusing on the legal issue of whether Karl Rove or other White House staffers will be indicted, the more preeminent issue is that the Bush White House committed treason by betraying the national security of the United States of America. It goes without saying that I found his comment to Chris Matthews, that Valerie was fair game, to be repugnant Bush's Culture of Unaccountability
• · · · · · In the law, predictability is usually important. People need to know the rules, and they cannot plan their lives unless they know the law in advance. Many conservatives expect a Supreme Court justice whose opinions they can predict. Predictability may be a virtue in a political leader. For judges, it’s a vice The Problem with Predictability ; With a Supreme Court Nomination on the Horizon, the Stakes Are High What Are the Rules and Standards In the Judicial Appointments Game?; How the Supreme Court sows moral anarchy Their Will Be Done ; To understand this Supreme Court, it's best to look at the justices themselves Under the Microscope Longer Than Most

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Sad Day for London & Liberty
O THE sad day! A series of explosions ripped through London's underground system on Thursday morning. 6 Blasts Rock London, Killing at Least 30 ... At least 90 casualties in London explosions, subway closed Terrorist Explosions rock London
The world's most powerful leaders got down to talks in Gleneagles, Scotland, on Thursday on aid to Africa and climate change, but the summit was brutally overshadowed by a series of explosions that caused casualties and at least two deaths in London London blasts upstage G8 summit - Olympic bid team devastated by London blasts news
United States: September 11, 2001
Spain: March 11, 2004
England: July 7, 2005
Today, we are all Britons

Matters Arising from the Terrorist Bombing: After the joy of winning the Olympics, Evil came swiftly , however, How to verify a terrorist group's claim of responsibility

CODA: James Bond once said, ‘You only live twice.’ Once when you are born and again when you face death. He may well have been referring to my life ... My life, all of it, comes down to 7/7

God said to Abraham, "Leave your country, your family, your father's house, and walk inward to the land I will show you." This is what true spirituality demands: to leave everything we know; to relinquish everything we are...simply trusting that when we get "there..." we will know. Buddha did that. So did Lao Tzu, Jesus, and Mohammed. They all left home. But we do just the opposite. Worse! We take refuge in those who taught No Refuge. We imitate those who demanded No Imitation. We study each other's floor plans, and borrow each other's furniture, when what we really need is to leave home.
-Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

Hello, and welcome to my miserable attempt at marking the day I began writing my obituary ... It is hard to believe that it was 25 years ago exactly ... Is the self that is conscious of being alive in the present meaningfully continuous with any version of the self in the past? I have journal entries from years ago, describing the exact feelings I face today. For a host of reasons the return of old feelings and reminders lurk on. Reminders aren't just tied to the calendar. They can be anywhere — in sights, sounds and smells, in the news or on television programs. And they can ambush you, suddenly flooding you with emotions when you drive by the restaurant your sister loved or when you hear a song your friend liked so much.

Since early morning I have spent quite a bit of time sitting here, trying to think how can I revisit my thoughts about a certain river incident, but I am failing miserably. I'd like to add something deep and meaningful here but I don't have the words, so I'll copy a paste my old attempt Strictly Iron Curtain: One Man Survives a Crossing

Beyond Grief: Politics is the art of the possible
When loved people die, they are agonizingly present – hyper-present – in our heads, and agonizingly absent everywhere else. All over the mind, like ink spilled on a table, cherry juice poured over ice cream, saturating everything – and nowhere at all, nowhere to be found, always always missing, gone, not there, absent – a hole, a blank, a negation, a continuous ever-renewed check, stopping, lack, gone-ness – in the real world.

Once there were three of us but now I am the only one. These were friends with whom I was certain I would grow old. We had known each other from school and ar,y days. We were one soul in three bodies. Some part of their death reached out to us all.

• So so so true. Life ebbs and flows Did I really crossed that? Destined for Immortality like a heavy axe in the distance chopping into a wet log [Ernest Hemingway, in a moment of drunken self-parody, once described world literature as a boxing circuit. The only matchups that scared him, he said, were against the traditional Russian heavyweights: Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy. I've often seen that little acts of evil come together and form a bigger one – a theme in all Slavic literature – and the same is true of little acts of kindness Dream as if you'll Live Forever; and Live as if you'll Die Today ; No one, who could have heard my emotional screams and saw the look of terror on my face could doubt for a single minute that I was actually in a place called hell! Digging up the surreal mirrors of truth ]
• · After the Velvet Revolution, I Count Myself Lucky to be Living in the Age of Digital Revolution. I want to live among the broken, because I too am broken, and I believe it's only in our brokenness that we find freedom and hope. I want to remain a dreamer ;
• · · Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten In a way, to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman ; The road to Gulags was built by hate but paved with indifference Cold River: Against all odds
• · · · No war, cold or hot, missed this tortured people ... As you all know, Czechoslovakia was then ruled by one of the most repressive regimes on earth. The conventional wisdom was that it would be the last of the Soviet satellites to undertake reform Prague's Second Spring ; The cause of Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution seems to be primarily shrouded in fog. Despite typical Western assertions, the primary building block for the Velvet Revolution appears to have been the revival of conscience and morality in Czechoslovakia A touch of velvet ; It is amazing that no person active in the cruel and murderous Communist regime in Slovakia or former Czechoslovakia was ever brought to justice. Everything is usually blamed on the "Totality". As if some abstract thing called "Totality" and not certain human beings tortured, imprisoned, deported and killed the many innocent citizens living in Slovakia from 1948 to 1989. There were a very few indictments and none resulted in a conviction Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death
• · · · · Back in September 1980, I was in Villawood, my Hollywood, when it was considered a place of hope ... In the Cornelia Rau case it looks like Immigration officials used the work of Alexander Solzhenitsyn as a guide, when they were not following Franz Kafka Cornelia Rau case a national disgrace Escape stories are not for the faint-hearted nor those who wish to remain deluded, but for everyone else political escape is a relief, like the collective popping of every helium balloon-headed star. I am way too bohemian to be razor-sharp wise, but hopefully my observations and links will cut apart why irony laced with caustic tone is sometimes necessary Where has all the water under the Cold River’s Bridge Gone? ; Like the cold there is no cure for grief. We may never be the same again. And this is an unwelcome reality Coping strategies
• · · · · · For Dvorák, the Stabat Mater was a work brought about by personal tragedy of almost incomprehensible proportions. He lost all three of his then living children: In the refrain of Just an Accident, the soprano sings: Life is fragile. Death is final. Any one of us can leave this hall, turn a corner and be no more. Dvorak Means Intense Harmony to Me; Not unlike acts of reading literature, acts of diagnostic listening enlist the listener's interior resources--memories, associations, curiosities, creativity, interpretive powers, allusions to other stories told by this teller and others--to identify meaning. 'What is wrong with me?' 'Why did this happen to me?' 'What will become of me?' This is where literary experiences come in. By partaking in the catharsis of the pity and fear of a great drama, we inevitably put our theatrical experience in relation to our emotional knowledge Through Hamlet to Narrative Escape ; How to be a perfect stranger ; Where would literature be without drowning if the remorseless deep had not closed over the head of Lycidas? or if Orpheus had not floated down the swift Hebrus, dismembered by the rout that made the hideous roar, but singing still. Rivers have received a great many things over the years as offerings - swords, flowers, blood, lamps, bullocks and girls in bridal costume Beyond Death's Door: Rivers compete in malice

Life is like a very short visit to a toyshop between birth and death.
-Desmond Morris

Do you blog a beat? Are there any Sydneysiders or other capital city bloggers who consider the geo-local politics and culture to be that special niche of their blogging activities? Let Michael know: info at Local Citizen Journalism

The Blog, The Press, The Media: PR & Surfers' Turf: We Are The Champions (Of The World)
London won a two-way fight with Paris by 54 votes to 50 at the IOC meeting in Singapore, after bids from Moscow, New York and Madrid were eliminated. Rare chance to turn next generation towards sport

YOU don’t often get the chance to have the Olympic Games in your own city or even your own country, never mind just around the corner from where you were born. But that is what is going to happen if London is selected to stage the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Singapore today.

• Things I Couldn't Say Out Loud...and Didn't - Ecstatic Londoners celebrate winning Games London beats Paris to 2012 Games [Google: London Calling ; ASIO gags media]
• · The Sydney Morning Herald hasn't been as vocal on Bernard Lagan's Latham book as it might have been. Stephen Mayne explains why: Why the SMH snubbed Bernie Lagan ; Tim Porter Some Sparkles from the Fourth ; Hello compares! Welcome to the Mafia Site
• · · Who needs Big Brother when you’ve got Scoopt. It is the first picture agency set up specifically to help citizen reporters around the world sell the pics they take on their cameraphones Scoopt ; Planet Earth has become the new battleground for the world's leading search engines and Google looks to have stolen an early lead Mapping the new battleground for search engines ; Why would a 30-something, successful journalist and state government public relations officer drop everything to risk her life as a 'human shield' against the American bombs dropping on Baghdad? Donna Mulhearn
• · · · The creation of global networks is taking a back seat to wrangling over control over the Internet Is U.S. Telling ICANN It Can’t? ; Going against previously stated policy, the United States Department of Commerce has decided not to hand over control of DNS (Domain Name System) services Icann might have staked out domain for red-light district, but it will have to wait for green light via Google ICANN needs international rescue ; Anonymous comment in peril ? ; Now it's the Washington Post's turn to write a silly, paranoid, and ignorant story smashing blogs Beware the blogs! Your Blog Is My Blog
• · · · · Bush accused of having obsession with secrecy ; Talk about lack of accountability. Ed Harriman of the London Review of Books examines the flow of money into and out of Iraq since the US invasion. It’s a long tale of incompetency, malfeasance and greed Where has all the money gone? ; Pentagon Finances= No Accountability Exploiting a traged
• · · · · · Tim Blair: NSW premier to a Pentecostal Christian conference: This week you are turning the Superdome into a cathedral Vanishing Bob Carr: Devine (sic) intervention ; Tim Blair unaware of the foxy sharks Andrew West: Northern Crocodile Dundee; In the stolen-data trade, Moscow is the Wild East ... This Gorbushka vendor offers a hard drive with cash transfer records from Russia's central bank for $1,500 (Canadian) Russia's Black-Market Data Trade

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What is the world coming too? Another bullet dodged by Tim Blair’s administrator, Andrea Harris, who has banned Antipodean Daily Flute from spreading a dissenting voice The Act of Being Blaired: Blairingly Obvious [It was Blair citing Bush as a fountain of wisdom that tickled me, I hadn’t heard anything else] Banned Blair ; Minds Lost; I’d think very long and hard before calling Tim Blair a moron Robert Corr; Mat Henderson-Hau has been banned from Blair's site after his internet protocol (or identification) number was tracked and blocked

The Blog, The Press, The Media: How Congress Uses Blogs
Once again I am grateful to Catherine the Great for drawing to my attention the latest alert from the Congress Online. Colourful comments on the special come from DelaBlogger, Blue States of Mind and So this is mass communication?

As an emerging technology, it's interesting to observe the first stages of blogging on the Hill and contemplate its potential. This special edition highlights the new and innovative ways (by Hill standards, at least) that Members are using blogs and how a few politicians off the Hill are using them, as well.

Few Members of Congress have taken the plunge and created blogs to communicate with constituents. Their hesitance is understandable given the unfiltered nature of blogs and the high workload demands already placed on Members and their staff. As an emerging technology, however, it's interesting to observe the first stages of blogging on the Hill and contemplate its potential.
• Congress Online Special Edition: The Blow-by-Blow Blog [Though blogs are more likely found on campaign sites Rep. John Conyers or on candidate sites Brian Kennedy there is a small but growing number in use on the Hill; Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) ; Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) ]
• · All the political news, buzz, gossip and polls in one place! More from the Floor ; Congressman Kirk's Blog ; Oregon State House of Representatives Team Blog
• · · Some founders want Congress to keep hands off Bloggers launch lobby campaign ; JD Lasica What will happen when we become the media?
• · · · Many people still do not appreciate how fast science and technology (S&T) will change over the next 25 years Technology could grow beyond human control, warns Millennium report; via Scitech Medical journals are an immoral marketing tool, says the former editor of the British Medical Journal A question of ethics ; Breathing furniture, a digital paint roller, and a concrete tent -- what will be the hip new product of tomorrow? Students exhibit tomorrow's designs
• · · · · In theory I can already afford to store a digital Library of Congress in my home plus every movie and music track ever produced - but not the entire internet. Peter Cochrane's Blog: Thanks for the memory ; Top 10 Digital County Governments Showcased ; Call for Hearings on UK WMD Memos
• · · · · · 2003 - By now, almost every representative and every senator in Congress has a Web site Congress Online: Much Sizzle, Little Steak ; British Library Plans for Future in Which Most Publications Are Born Digital

Monday, July 04, 2005

On America's celebration of its declaration of freedom from despotic rule, citizens should show their colors by an act of defiance. The fact that Thomas Jefferson, who penned the document, was a free man and that his illiterate slaves were his property shows that liberation is found in the inkwell. The paradox of Jeffersonian democracy is that it works well only when everyone is free to read, write, speak and think deeply. America's cities and towns are filled with parades, fireworks, and barbecues. They celebrate the Fourth of July, the 229th birthday of America. But one hopes that -- on this fourth post-September 11 Independence Day -- the speeches will contain fewer bromides and more attention to exactly what is being celebrated. Put the "Independence" Back in Independence Day

Happy Birthday Amerika: Fourth of July
They died for their country," read the white granite memorial in the Concord, Massachusetts town square, honoring local men who died in the Civil War ... Newer headstones mourned Concord men who gave their lives in other wars
Independence Day. Here in America, we know the power of such words ... The genius of America was its independence. For most, it's connotations include fireworks, semi-annual car sales, barbecues, beer, and a bocce game on the lawn. At least that's how I was raised.

At this point, it's a forgone conclusion that we spend our Fourth of July parties blending frozen margaritas and running around the pool to facilitate our meditation on the historical significance of America's independence from England. So naturally, I ask myself exactly how things would be had our country not extricated itself from those good chaps across the pond. Let's discuss founding fathers, Liberty Bells and Samuel Adams (the patriot, not the booze).

Declaration of 'Eccentricity' [Never forget great lessons of liberty Independence Day 2005: 'A new America' ; Google Add a freedom: To challenge status quo ]
• · Independence is an ongoing quest Why the 4th? ; Keeping alive the spirit of independence Land of the free and the home of the brave ; Troops start celebrating Fourth of July early in Iraq - ; How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negroes? Fourth Of July: A Cause For Celebration Or Mourning? ; This Fourth of July, while Americans are marching in parades and oohing and aahing at the fireworks, it would be a patriotic gesture to also spend some time thinking about what independence means today Celebrating Independence in the Era of Empire
• · · 4th July By Wiki ; Time to reflect on Declaration of Independence Independence Day 2005
• · · · Citizenship is the cornerstone of America's immigration success story Immigrants make us a better country ; What a way to kick off America's Independence Day: Nasa's big bang for Fourth of July Deep Impact Kicks Off Fourth of July With Deep Space Fireworks

Sunday, July 03, 2005

... raking through the detritus, I pick out bits of my life Bloggers who do real watchdog journalism will suffer now - Irony Alert: Killing the Office Blogger

I love the look of picturesque Find Forward and hope I see it used more widely by bloggers everywhere

The Blog, The Press, The Media: We are Technorati bloggers, hear us roar
Our friends at Technorati are working with the organizers of the Live 8 concerts to call attention to bloggers writing about the concerts and fundraising efforts.

The tagline on their special site for the event reads, “We don’t want your money, we want your voice!” Technorati is urging bloggers to write about Live 8 and tag their posts so Technorati can track the conversation.

Roundup: Africans on Live 8 [Too little imagination is being used... because it is at odds with the daily news cycle Are we getting the most out of FOI? ; SBS is now providing MP3 downloads and podcast feeds for some of its programs ; Is it wrong for a sports editor to cheer for the home team? But if they are battling for a title, what's wrong with hoping for victory? ; When will the network media and other "mainstream" outlets finally stop pretending to be balanced? Bias, what bias? ; Public TV is already sinking, so why not rock the boat? Public TV is already sinking, so why not rock the boat? Media: The PBS Paradox ]
• · Compassion overload not only affects the public but also the media that keep it informed, writes Mark Scott For a day, at least, the news of the world's greatest tragedy will be on page one Why you will never see a front page like this [Mark Scott is a former researcher for the skinny dipping Minister of Education, Terry Metherell, and now editor-in-chief, Metropolitan, Regional, Community Newspapers for John Fairfax]; Though the Washington Post doesn't acknowledge it in their own article, the newspaper continues to get beat on the Deep Throat story. USA Today Is First with SECRET MAN's Secrets - Woodward's 'Deep Throat' book surfaces ; Does Redford/Woodward meeting signal new Deep Throat movie? ; Musical: Stop ID Card and the Police State
• · · The big brother at BigPond sent me a series of frantic messages recently: I had to update my email program immediately on pain of exile Small fish, BigPond ; Debt relief and poverty reduction: an update by Brian Bahnisch
• · · · AFP raids home in net fraud investigation ; via Boynton - What’s a blog for?; John Podhoretz, New York Post THOUGH it has always been the fantasy of Americans that their highest court was truly a Solomonic body, only the foolish and the sentimental hew to that romantic vision of the U.S. Supreme Court these days Supremely Absurd
• · · · · Who Has Most Influence Online?; Every single day, 30,000 children die, needlessly, of extreme poverty." ~Bob Geldof Become one of 50 bloggers to go backstage at Live 8 ; Jana Wendt Live 8: Rock around the clock ; Here Is The Complete List Of Performers At All The Live 8 Concerts; ONE MILLION Americans are now a part of ONE; Bye bye anonymity and data security and welcome to the international club of Internet Nannies Austria joins international club of Internet Nannies ; Is German culture against blogging ?
• · · · · · Around the World in 15 Songs ; Sean Penn An American Reporter's Notebook ; Who's Lost Faith In Professional Journalists? Ink-Stained Retches ; Indymedia UK reports that servers hosted by Italian group Autistici have been hacked by police This story echoes another one