Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Howard Bashman 

Shock! Horror! A judge's ideology can affect the outcome of cases!
We have studied thousands of votes by federal appellate judges, who are randomly assigned to three-judge panels, which then make decisions by majority vote. According to our research, judges appointed by Republican presidents show more conservative voting patterns, while Democratic appointees are more liberal.
· Even in ideologically-charged areas many cases are resolved by application of precedent rather than ideology... [How Appealing]


Go to interview
They come into his office and break down in tears -- small-business owners who have lost everything to scammers and crooked employees. Their stories differ, says Robert H. Silbering, president of New York City-based Forensic Investigative Associates (FIA), but all made the same mistake: None investigated that seemingly stellar investment opportunity or merger proposal with the diligence it deserved. Same with employees, whose sparkling resumes may be tissues of lies concealing all manner of dark secrets, from past firings to convictions for fraud.
· Dark Secrets [BusinessWeek ]

Monday, September 29, 2003


Whenever I come across plastic and slimey kindofish (sic) characters: bullies at work, or cowards in print; bashers pregnant women in the safety of their homes, or liars around the parliamentary bar..., this saying tends to commits itself in my mind: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort, but where he stands in time of challenge and controversy.
-King (Martin Luther)

So True Cowards & Crowds
GAS BAG, EH? Someone called Norman Finkelstein says
In contrast to bursting windbags like Vaclav Havel, Hitchens is too smart to take his vaporizings seriously.
This is a former Marxist, but very much a member of the implacable left. Oppose Bush and anyone who defends any of his policies at all costs.
This fashion of hatred for Vaclav Havel among the left is fascinating to me. Must return to this. In terms of practical politics, Havel's a social democrat, really. In principle he's probably close to, say, an American lefty on a range of social issues. But he opposed the Soviets. And this is unforgivable. He opposed the Soviets eloquently (and bravely). Ergo, he is a bursting gasbag. I realize that Havel's worst crime, however, was to support the overthrow of a totalitarian regime in Iraq.
Imagine Finkelstein in Havel's shoes facing a choice between prison and freedom, all based on whether he shuts up or not. He'd fold the very first time he was interrogated and sign anything they put in front of him.
The piece is a rant about Christopher Hitchens, by the way, not Havel. For a good time, read Hitchens' response.
· Hitchens [via Pragueblog]

Saturday, September 27, 2003

The Final Earthy Campfire 

The Final Goodbye

My Dragon starts and ends with Daily Dose of Dust...
Oh it's-a lonesome away from your kindred and all
By the campfire at night we'll hear the wild dingos call
But there's nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear
Than to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer ...

· A Pub With no Beer is about mateship, the friendship of drinking together as equals contrasted with the misery of loneliness in exile [Slim Dusty]

The world's best blogs
Whether it's gossip, news, personal revelations or tech talk, online diaries can make anybody an opinionated commentator.
· 20 Must-surf weblogs [SMH ]

Future Is Still Full of Surprises  

Wired community

The idea of the ‘information society’ has taken hold in sociological and political analysis. Information technology, it is argued, is forming new virtual and actual networks that make up communities, both local and global. Computer networks are capable of transcending national boundaries, as information and communications is shared globally; they are also capable of redefining them, as they mark out new locations and regions, a new sense of place. Stubbornly, however, the problem of the digital divide has remained...
· Access [Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology(WordDocument)]
· We Media: How audiences are shaping the future of news and information [New Directions for News(NDN)]
· Caregiver Tech Slowly Evolves [Wired ]

Marketplace will bridge digital divide
Desktop and hand-held computers and Internet technology, wired or wireless, have reached American households and businesses faster than any other technology in the past century, reaching 50 million people in just a few years, according to the Pacific Research Institute.
The debate about the so-called " digital divide " between high-tech haves and have-nots ignores the real issue, however: the lack of wealth-creating opportunities and access to capital in our inner cities and depressed rural areas. I call this the "access-to-capital divide."

· digital divide digital divide [ EmpowerAmerika]

Expert stresses ethics
There's been a serious erosion of ethics in recent years and it represents a great danger because what is today foreshadows what will be tomorrow.
Corporate wrongdoers were punished swiftly in the 1930s and "being ruined meant something," Bowman said. Today, however, "the mention of business ethics draws a laugh," he said. We as Americans have lost our sense of outrage.

· Outrage lacking over wrongdoing [Daily Mail]

Friday, September 26, 2003

Lessons on leadership  

John Uhr finds lessons for John Howard in the story of Bob Hawke’s prime ministership
BOB HAWKE is back, larger than life. The recent publication of a book called The Hawke Government, edited by Susan Ryan and Troy Bramston, brought Hawke back to Canberra. The book was launched on September 11 by Simon Crean, who then had to watch as all the media attention moved from him to Hawke, and not back again. Crean served in the Hawke ministry but it is hard to imagine Hawke serving in a Crean ministry.

· If there ever is a Crean ministry [Political Science Program, Australian National University25-9-2003]
Labor needs to build bridges...
· Lawrence’s pillars of wisdom [APO ]

Thursday, September 25, 2003

House swapping 

Australia's property boom means prices are growing faster than people can save leaving many house-hunters looking for any leg-up they can get to enter the market. A potential solution, known as house swapping, allows would-be-buyers the opportunity to use the tax system to their advantage.
Investor costs are also $18,000, minus $12,000 in rent. But because of negative gearing, those costs are tax deductible, meaning the real figure is just $3000.
Just take a look at the difference, Claire is up for $12,000 while the investor is up for $3000 to own exactly the same property..

· Logic Prevails? [Current Affairs]

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

How Appealing
Media Dragon owes a lot of links to Howard who this weekend reached no 51 @ Blogstreet Directory of 145330
Adam Liptak had an article headlined Experts Say Court Panel Is Less Likely to Delay California Vote. The fourth and fifth paragraph of Liptak's article refers to Howard. To boot, Kause mentions Howard as well. How appealing and well deserved too!!!
· Earnest exclamation points? They're all ironic. I swear! [Kausefiles ]

I repeat tis (sic) is not my website. Over!
· JI [JI ]

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Capitalism's Next Revolution  

SHOSHANA ZUBOFF Capitalism's Next Revolution

As you shop for new classes this week, consider this: the pandemic of corporate narcissism, greed, rigidity and sheer cluelessness that you have been reading about all summer is a sign of the ripening conditions for economic revolution. We are facing a once-in-a-century opportunity for wholesale innovation and extreme creativity comparable to the rise of mass markets and mass production nearly 100 years ago. It is a time for a new generation?yours?to reinvent capitalism for our times. Your fresh insight and heart can ignite the next wave of wealth creation capable of carrying the global economy to new heights of prosperity and community. Here is why.
We are living in a period of ?disruptive capitalism,? because we have changed more than the companies we depend on as consumers and employees. Today, we have all become history?s shock absorbers, struggling to reconcile our new needs with the demands of an exhausted business model. A chasm has developed between organizations and us. It is filled with our stress, outrage and frustration. Anxiety is widespread and most people feel that they are being forced to fight over an ever-shrinking pie. How did we get here? ...

· Life Model [The Crimson]

Monday, September 22, 2003

Pretty Good eBook Surfing: Google 

At some point, just before oblivion of the sound of trees falling in the forrest takes us, someone will finally utter these fateful words:
eBooks are not so much different to paperbacks...

I have to brag about this! If you do a Google search for Cold River this site comes out at number 3 and 4 of about 2 million. That’s pretty good eBook surfing ...
The Open eBook Forum, www.openebook.org, suggests that Online reading, once viewed as a refuge for the nerds and as a faintly disrespectable way to read book, is rapidly becoming a fixture of publishing life for readers of all ages, backgrounds and interests.
I view this as a logical and inevitable move that more and more readers will make in the near future. I await the day when eBooks growth is routine, and no longer newsworthy. Reading will never go completely virtual, but readers have certainly noticed that with better quality Palm eReaders they can move towards saving space and creating less dust on shelves at homes and offices.

According to New Farm Organic Price Index, Organic farming makes up a fraction of farming in America, the industry is growing about 25 percent a year. Organic retail food sales in the U.S. reached $7.8 billion in 2000, up from $6 billion in 1999.

Sunday, September 21, 2003


But listen here, there ain’t anything worth doing a man can do and keep his dignity. Can you figure out a single thing you really please-God like to do you can do and keep your dignity? The human frame just ain’t built that way.
*Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

Only On Sundays

Meanwhile, Kristofer Cieslak passed along some famous and not-so-famous, first sentences from his favorite novel...
Jerzy Kosinski's Being There:
It was Sunday.
Is it Sunday! and a satirical Christian Unrest online magazine, Ship of Fools, recently held a competition to rewrite the Lord's Prayer in 160 characters or less. The winner, British college student Matthew Campbell, produced this:
dad@hvn, ur spshl. we want wot u want &urth2b like hvn. giv us food & 4giv r sins lyk we 4giv uvaz. don't test us! save us! bcos we kno ur boss, ur tuf & ur cool 4 eva! ok?

Sunday @ Nine
It all started when Premier Carr claimed advertising man John Singleton had threatened to target him in a $5 million campaign...
· Week of Vitriol [Sunday]
· Latham on the Hill [Sunday ]

In the Bag
As my gypsy family prepares for the big change, a journey back to the deserted island called Sydney, it is time for In the Bag, the game that challenges you to put aside pride and admit what creative works you really like.
The rules: you can put any five works of art into your bag before departing for a desert city monitored by the good guys at ASIO, but you have to choose right now. No stalling or dithering—the secret armies of the night are pounding on your front door. No posturing—you have to say the first five things that pop into your head, no matter how uncool they may sound. What do you stuff in the bag?
Here are my picks:
PAINTING: Richard McWeeney, Cannonberry McKell Park, Darling Point
MUSIC: Kristofer Cieslak, Guralu Ci Ci Nezal (slow movement guitar, accompanied by Polish Vodka on Icy Lemon)
BOOK: James Cumes, Haverleigh
BTW, If you happen to be visiting Frankfurt at the time when the city of books manages to pack every season into a week, please consider stopping by Stand 3.1 C149:
James' and Jozef's coffee hause.
FILM: Milos Foreman, Lásky jedné plavovlásky aka Blonde in Love, (1965)
POP SONG: The Black Eyed Peas, Where Is The Love?
(My Children infected me with this song ...)

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Margin of Freedom in Australian media  

Australia is often cited as an exemplar of the failure of media policy to guarantee the quality and independence of broadcasting. But in its development of arguments about ‘freedom of communication’, this outpost of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire offers a surprising lesson in the significance of local experience in promoting a culture of informed citizenship.
· Regulating for freedom [Open Democracy]

Abuse kills one child a fortnight
An international table comparing child deaths from abuse and neglect places Australia in a worse position than Spain, Greece, Italy and Ireland, but better than the US, New Zealand and Britain.
· Children, Our [SMH ]

Thursday, September 18, 2003

CARPE DIEM - Seize the Justice!  

Our role in the terror
Since the second anniversary of September 11, we have had sober reminders that military force alone cannot eliminate the threat of religiously inspired terrorism. There has been the dramatic, if disputed, reappearance of Osama bin Laden; new reports that Islamist extremism is again gaining ground in Afghanistan; and in the wake of horrific attacks by Hamas, the Israeli right has called for the expulsion of Yasser Arafat - a move that would almost certainly provoke a new spate of suicide bombings.

· The only way to create a safer world is to ensure that it is more just [Guardian ]

Revelation led to Threats
Journalists have relayed to me that the minister's office have labelled me as a troublemaker, mentally unstable and this was a personal vendetta against the hospital following alleged disciplinary actions by MHS>
· Political Games [SMH ]

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Selling the Public Square  

Government institutions and public-minded nonprofits are increasingly accepting corporate money to make ends meet. While most of these partnerships are touted as win-win deals, many also blur an important line between private and public interests.
· Editorial [CSMonitor]
· Ashcroft Bars the Doors to Democracy: This is what democracy really looks like [Common Dreams]
· Under Blair, Britain has ceased to be a public square [ Guardian]


I have learned that there is one thing that makes life worth living and to be without it is worse than death. That thing is love. It is the most simple, most wonderful thing you will ever experience in life. Reach for it. Even at great risk, reach for love. If you don't, you will regret it, I promise you, and no one wants to have regrets when they die, believe me I know, for I have many regrets. My final words are this: Love simply and simply love.
· Nothing is quite as uplifting [Dead Letter]

Carried on the drifting current
Her destination will be
In the west, Siberia;
Or in the east, Java.
Which country will be her grave?
Lover's chatter
Is like the dust
Of any country.

White Slavs, White Slaves, and White Australia:
Ms Simaplee's case is interesting to an historian not because it represents a new trend, but because it is another example in Australia's long history as a destination in an international traffic in sex workers. And responses to this traffic - often referred to as 'white slavery' - tell us a great deal about Australian society.
· Political prostitution [SMH ]

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Definite Maybe 

The Yes Minister website
Sir Humphrey: You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously you want to create a good impression, you don’t want to look a fool, do you? So she starts asking you some questions: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?
Bernard Woolley: Yes

· Definite Maybe [Yes/No]


Imagination...has its wise men and its madmen...Those gifted with imagination are more at home with themselves than the prudent...It cannot make madmen wise, but it makes them happy.
- Pascal

Sweatshops On Our Shores
A seamstress and member of the Chinese Progressive Association says sweatshops are sweatshops, whether in the garment industry or high-tech.
· Trade Testimonials [TomPaine]
· The big companies are following a new business model : Pay Chinese wages, but charge U.S. prices. [ Seattlepi]
· New York's New Beggars [NYPost ]

Can You "Celebrate" Diversity?
We Celebrate birthdays, sporting victories, jubilees. We do not celebrate diversity. To do so is to misuse language. 'Celebrate diversity!' is a vacuous exhortation, yet it has become the rallying cry of a depressing number of muddled, though presumably well-meaning, participants at library (and other) conferences across the nation.
· Google generated 320,000 hits when I entered the term 'workplace diversity' and 16,500 for 'celebrate diversity.' [Library Journal]
· 'Brick Lane': A Village Girl in London [NYTimes]
· Booxie Reviews [Boox]

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Job odds against sole parents  

Racheal Evans is a champion. She took on the law enforcer, the Australian Crime Commission, and showed it to be a law-breaker: her superiors harassed her out of a job there because she took leave to care for a sick child. They told her if they had known she was a single parent, with sole responsibility for a child, they would never have hired her. The ACC contravened the Sex Discrimination Act and it was ordered to pay her $54,000.
Evans has unmasked an ugly secret: sole parents aren't wanted in some workplaces. How ironic. Sole parents are constantly harangued about getting a job, and belittled if they live on welfare for too long. But employers have been let off the hook.

· Solely Ironic [SMH ]

How do you get a job in journalism?
Jeremy Vine Radio 2 presenter
Never take no for an answer and never stop knocking until the door has fallen off its hinges.
Piers Morgan editor of Daily Mirror
Sleep with the editor. It may be a cliché, but it worked for me at The Sun - though Kelvin complained about my stubble afterwards.
Other than that: work hard, play hard, dress smart, think smart, file on time and remember that factual inaccuracy is never, ever acceptable.
· Sleeping With Enemies [Telegraph(UK) ViaTimPorter]

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Transparency and accountability 

Ministerial staff: a need for transparency and accountability?

In this submission to the Senate inquiry into the staff of members of parliament, Anne Tiernan and Patrick Weller identify five core problems with the ministerial staff system as it has evolved. They argue that the system has outgrown the arrangements designed to support and control it; that it is premised on a number of myths and assumptions that have become redundant as the staffing institution has evolved; that the roles and responsibilities of ministerial staff and the public service are ill-defined, undermining the quality of advice and support to ministers; that there is too little public information about the operations of the staffing system.
· Ministerial staffing system lacks transparency [Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, Griffith University: PDF via APO::http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/fapa_ctte/mops/submissions/sub04.doc]

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Chief tormentor Keating's Song

The writing of The History Wars (Stuart Macintyre and Anna Clarke) is very important. The book will sit on the shelves of libraries as a sort of code stone to help people understand the motivations of players in today's contemporary debate. It sheds light on the political battle which is carried on in the pubs and on the footpaths about who we are and what has become of us. For the protagonists and antagonists in academe are now surrogates in a broader political battle about Australia's future.
· The History Wars [SMH]
· Banjo Paterson's trick: the song is the ghost of the swagman [SMH ]

Bringing miniadvisers to account 

Bringing miniadvisers to account

They've been accused of bullying public servants, doctoring official advice, withholding information and generally doing the dirty work of the Howard Government. But they can't be caught out. As Paul Keating's former top adviser put it this week, ministerial advisers are the black hole of accountability in the Government.
· Unaccountable Bullies [SMH]

Saturday, September 06, 2003

September 11th, 30 Years After  

Chile September Coup

On September 11, 1973, a military coup cut out the democratic way of Chile. Today, 30 years after, local media are remembering what, why, and how it happened. The newspaper La Tercera has an hour by hour historical account of that day. Emol.com has the private stories of 40 people, who write very personal My September 11th accounts.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Any survivor has more to say than all the historians combined 

What's the point of being a sole survivor if you're not convinced the world will read your story in the end? Somehow an awareness of death encourages us to live more intensely. I know writers who are smarter than me, who are more talented than me, who have stronger instinct than me, who know more literary agents than me. I am preoccupied with more guilt than all of them. I'm a survivor - nothing more, nothing less. I don't fear life, I don't fear death and I don't fear literary humiliations.
The struggle against forgetting is unending and according to Elie Wiesel: Any survivor has more to say than all the historians combined about what happened.
Somewhere in the depths of my foolish soul I nurture one conceited notion: One day, perhaps - one day - something shining will be prised out of all this raw skeleton...swimming in my Cold River
Like a good father or a beautiful view, a work of art is harder to describe than to recognise. Professor Gombrich once said that there was no such thing as art, only artists. Which begs the question, what makes an artist?
Vaclav Havel says that they are those who ‘celebrate our existence by making us more conscious of it.’ Art is a language and that it must have something to say:
Having my first daughter being born exactly 9 months after the Velvet Revolutiont is, perhaps, one of the most remarkable illustrations of how hope can spring from the most appalling of tragedies.
To download "Cold River: a survivor's story" use any of these links:
· Three men with courage to escape make a majority [Double Dragon Publishing]
· via Microsoft
· Via FictionWise
Send constructive editorial suggestions to jozefimrich@authorsden.com

The strange case of Stephen Crittenden  

The strange case of Stephen Crittenden

Middle management is on a mission, according to long-time ABC staff member, Terry Lane
THE ABC’s punishment of broadcaster Stephen Crittenden for writing an anodyne article for the Sydney Morning Herald is at least wacky and perhaps even bizarre. What is going on?
My guess is that it is a flexing of muscle by middle management in the corporate affairs department. They are proving that they take seriously the job of controlling ABC staff – or at least some of the staff some of the time.

· ABC [APO ]
Under questioning from Opposition members Charlie Lynn and Greg Pearce, Mr Debus said the allegations were "of a relatively minor nature".
· Two senior zoo managers were currently on stress leave [ SMH]

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Goal shifts  

Pushing further into the book How Breakthroughs Happen......here’s quote: The pursuit of innovation changes dramatically when the goal shifts from invention to inventive recombination, from pushing people to think outside of the box to helping them think in other boxes.
Seeking a greater depth of knowledge
I've been writing and talking about weblogs and news feed readers to the point that folks think of me as some sort of "blog nut." By writing this column, I risk perpetuating that notion, but this is too big of a deal to keep quiet.
· Your Life [ CNN]

Monday, September 01, 2003

The workplace of democracy 

It's time to bring to the workplace the principles of democracy, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Working In America Jobs Without Power

This is the first of a series of bi-weekly columns by Jonathan Tasini called "Working In America."
For at least half their waking hours, the American people live in a dictatorship. At home or in public places, Americans enjoy a measure of freedom and liberty envied by most people around the world: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association (true, John Ashcroft is trying to change all that but that's another story). But, the moment Americans walk through the doors of their workplace, they enter into a world that strips away all their basic rights. Within the walls of the workplace, the whim of the corporation is more powerful than the

· American workers live in a dictatorship. [TomPaine ]

Kindness Without Frontiers  

Revolution of kindenss
· Manifesto for Workers [Anita Roddick]

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