Friday, October 31, 2003


Examining recent changes in income distribution in Australia
"Tis paper analyses recently released ABS data on the distribution of income which allows, for the first time, estimates to be made of the distribution of income in 2000-01 and how it has changed since the mid-1990s. It is now possible to examine how inequality has changed since 1994-95 and since the election of the Howard Government in 1995-96. The estimates indicate that while real disposable incomes increased across the distribution, income inequality has also increased since 1994-95, particularly between 1996-97 and 1999-2000.
· ABS Data [Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales(PDF file)]

Speed of Barriers 

Masters v Peasants: Information is Power
Each year the Congressional Research Search (CRS) publishes approximately 1,000 reports of which the public may have access to several hundred. In an interesting change of policy, Secrecy News reports that access to selected reports previously provided via the websites of two members of Congress, Rep. Mark Green (R-WI) and Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), has been terminated.
· Public Access to CRS Reports Temporarily Curtailed? [Congressional Research Search ]
· Computing at the Speed of Light [Reuters ]

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Strange Bedfellows
One reason the Bush Administration gave for going to war in Iraq was Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to terrorists. So it is ironic that one of the partners in a big Iraqi firm being used by US contractors in Iraq is also a founding partner in an organization that's been identified as helping fund Al Qaeda. So far, however, neither the government nor the contractors have shown much concern.
· CzechPoint Sadoon Al-Bunnia: Contract with Amerika [The Nation]

Books are back in fashion, thanks to Rowling's magic 

JK Rowling accepted her 2003 Prince of Asturias Award (in Spain.)
It is given to someone who has helped the struggle against injustice, poverty, disease or ignorance, to opening new horizons of knowledge.
I certainly didn't set out to teach, or to preach, to children.
I wanted to depict the ambiguities of a society where bigotry, cruelty, hypocrisy and corruption are rife, the better to show how truly heroic it is, whatever your age, to fight a battle that can never be won.
And I also wanted to reflect the fact that life can be difficult and confusing between the ages of 11 and 17, even when armed with a wand.

· Dragons - and pots of gold: Teenage master of monsters [SMH: Paolini]

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Dissing Dissent  

Dissing Dissent
I am grateful to have become an American and to now belong to a country that has had an inspiring and enduring and true commitment to letting "a hundred flowers bloom," as Mao, hypocritically, once said. What has made the U.S. such a beacon to people like me is that it has always been principled, confident and strong enough to let its people debate and criticize government policies without suggesting that the critics are somehow less than patriotic.
When our government loses its tolerance for a full range of views on national and world affairs, it is veering toward the authoritarian world that speaks in one voice, the very political model it has so often stood against; even fought against. I hope I will never again have to live in such a world.

· In White House Actions, A Troubling Echo of Life in Communist China [LATimes ]

Politics Without Romance  

Bureaucracies grow with no limit and no regard to promised functions. Pork-barrel dominates legislatures, tax systems are loophole systems. Public choice does little more than incorporate a rediscovery of this wisdom and its implications into economic analyses of modern politics.
· Wisdom [CIS ]


Have Sivilized Blog, Will Travel to Nippon Club
Josh Marshall, who's been perhaps the blogosphere's biggest innovator when it comes to including actual reporting on his blog, took up a collection to raise money for a trip to New Hampshire. Marshall says he'll spend the last week and a half or so before the Democratic primary reporting on the Granite State campaign exclusively for his TalkingPointsMemo blog.
The fund drive was a huge success, raising nearly $5,000 in less than 24 hours. In fact, Marshall says he's raised far more than he needs for the trip and is offering to give some back.
Like all good ideas, this one is subject to refinement, and it strikes us that there's one shortcoming to Marshall's plan: There are already hundreds of reporters in New Hampshire; what difference does one more make? Why not raise money to report on an undercovered political event at the NSW Bear Pit?
So how about it, who wants to pony up to send me to cover the events taking place at the Nippon Club?
About Last night is my favourite time to blog about. Last night I discovered that our old neighbour from Birriga Road James Houston of Raw Fame is doing shoots for Thorpe new range of underwear, IT.

I also learned that another Eastern Surburb character, Ernie Page, a former MP who was liked by everyone at the Parliament House even cleaners, is attached to Richard Talbot Motorist Action Group, and likely to get most of the votes as his group is cleaver enough to suggest that NRMA members should appoint Ernie as their proxy for 2003 AGM. To boot, they have a website www.mag.org.au
Last night current MP Joe Tripodi of Fairfield Fame had actually made a core promise, in front of George Torbay, to buy a copy of my book Cold River. It was Ronald Reagan who said during his presidency that there had been times when he wondered how you could do the job if you hadn't been an actor. (grin)
While Garry David McIlwaine exRyde MP, who was desperately searching for someone at the Nippon Club around 7 pm, and out to shock me again by promising to borrow my book 100 times from a library...(smile)
· I never thought I’d say this, but: No More Contributions! [TalkingPointsMemo ]

Taxman warns the rich: hardball time for dodgers
The high-wealth individuals taskforce - targeting about 650 people associated with about 15,000 entities - required some "higher risk taxpayers" to lodge expanded tax returns and others to provide financial statements.
· Risks [SMH ]
· Thanks From Corporate Tax Dodgers [TomPaine ]
· Avoidance Issues [Tom Paine]

Those who oppress the needy insult their maker
The growing gap between the rich and the poor which has become almost obscene by anybody's standards, and the stated intentional policy of bankrupting the government so that in the future there'll be no money for anything the federal government would decide to do.
· Three great Abrahamic traditions [CommonDreams ]


We're all in the money, but mind the gap
The rising tide has lifted everyone's boat though the rich have enjoyed extra buoyancy ...
· Gap Widened Noticeably [SMH ]

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Surviving on $11.80 an hour
They have been dubbed the working poor - close to 2 million Australian employees struggling to live on the official minimum wage of $11.80 an hour.
Now a trade union has launched a wide-ranging campaign to highlight the plight of workers left behind during the wages rush of the last decade.

· Bread struggle [SMH ]

Monday, October 27, 2003


False security banking on two incomes to keep the family out of debt
How surprising that the good sense shown by most Australian families in choosing to leave slack in the system to make time for their children may also be providing some with greater economic security.
· Families [ SMH]

Landlord class
Should the housing boom turn to bust, bankrupting some debt-laden property investors in the process, they will have one thing going for them. Renting an apartment is relatively cheap at the moment.
· Housing [SMH ]

Sunday, October 26, 2003


Speaking of blood donations, I am at the crossroads, so please email me jozefimrich@authorsden.com with suggestions where the best, most social, points to give blood in central Sydney are. Somehow the Red Cross nurses appear to display great sense of humour, and some even rique acquired bohemian reading taste! Did you say legs, Neville? (I deny I corrupted Neville. However, Neville was a victim I created during the Red Cross drive two years ago for more blood. Somehow most lively friends and clayish enemies (out of 46 to be exact, I even asked Spanish Felix Monero, Dutch Pieter Keuning, Pommish Ernie Hall and convictish Robert Abel (no I did not ask Bruce Boland:*) I put on a spot in Brissie were not willing and more to the point were really not able to give blood.)
By the way, is any PHD student doing any research into how many politicians give blood regularly? I understand that Australia has more politicians per population than average, but the ratio of those pollies who give blood, especially after they get elected, is rather low. Are most pollies sick; scared of the needle; or just not prepared to be exposed to really rique sense of humour?
Patients given artificial blood
Doctors have for the first time successfully used artificial blood to treat patients.
The product is a powder which can be stored for years, say scientists at Stockholm's Karolinska Hospital.
It is made from donated supplies of real blood, which normally has a shelf-life of just 42 days.

· Blood supplies are stretched [Theirs BBC]

Saturday, October 25, 2003


Andrew Refshauge
Greiner remains a non-voting member in support of Rees. But two weeks ago, on October 9, she phoned Rees to talk frankly about her concerns with an accelerating campaign against Ashrawi. A file note of their conversation reads: KG: "I have to speak logically. It is either Hanan Ashrawi or the Peace Foundation. That's our choice, Stuart. My distinct impression is that if you persist in having her here, they'll destroy you. Rob Thomas of City Group is in trouble for supporting us. I think he must have had a phone call from New York. And you know Danny Gilbert [partner in the law firm, Gilbert and Tobin] has already been warned off."
SR: "You must be joking. We've been over this a hundred times. We consulted widely. We agreed the jury's decision, made over a year ago, was not only unanimous but that we would support it, together."
KG: "But listen, I'm trying to present the logic of this. They'll destroy what you've worked for. They are determined to show we made a bad choice. I think it's Frank Lowy's money. You don't understand just how much opposition there is. We cannot go ahead. If only there was progress in the Middle East, this would not be such a bad time."
SR: "I won't be subject to bullying and intimidation. We are being threatened by members of a powerful group who think they have an entitlement to tell others what to do. This opposition is orchestrated. The arguments are all the same - that Hanan Ashrawi has not condemned violence sufficiently, that she was highly critical of Israel in her address to the UN's Johannesburg Conference on racism, and wilder accusations that do not bear repetition."
KG: "But you're not listening to the logic. The Commonwealth Bank - I was at a reception last night - is highly critical. We could not approach them for financial help for the Schools Peace Prize. We'll get no support from them. The business world will close ranks. They're saying we are being one-sided, that we've only supported Palestine."
SR: "Kathryn, we need to avoid the trap of even using the language of 'one side'. That's not the issue. We are being bullied and intimidated and you are asking that we give way to it. The letter writers and the phone callers who this group encourage have spent weeks bullying a 25-year-old colleague of mine who handles the foundation's administration. You are asking me to collude with bullying."
KG: "I'll tell you how serious this is. Bob Carr won't come to the dinner. He'll flick the responsibility to [his deputy, Andrew] Refshauge at the last minute. And you won't get the Town Hall. It is more than Lucy's life is worth. They will desert us as well."
SR: "I've never given way to bullying. Public life is too much characterised by cowardice. If we give way I'd be so ashamed I couldn't face myself. The image of the Peace Foundation would be shameful. Our reputation would count for nothing."
KG: "My friend, I am telling you what the reality is. The foundation will be destroyed. I'd hate to see its work come to nothing over this. Our critics are saying it's an awful choice."
SR: "These critics are 'they' and 'them', invisible but powerful people. They stay powerful because they are invisible. They bully and intimidate in the same breath they behave as unblemished pillars of the community. Do you mean to say that in cautious, often gutless Australia we are not going to follow through on this? No. I remain completely committed to our decision."
Watch this space.

· Public life is too much characterised by cowardice [SMH: Ramsey]

Journalists overpaid? Nonsense!  

Journalists are woefully underpaid. Financially, the profession cannot attract or retain the brightest university graduates. The average starting salary for a new J-school grad is $26,000, according to the annual survey done by the University of Georgia's Grady Collegr. Even the true believers, those motivated by the higher principles of journalism, are too often forced out by paychecks that can't be stretched to meet costs of living in our nation's pricier cities.
· But you can only abuse people so much [Tim Porter]

Friday, October 24, 2003

The Case for Unraveling: Win - Lose horizon
Descendent of the royal charter monopoly companies of the 17th and 18th centuries and emergent in its present legal form on the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, the modern multinational corporation pulses with this ancestral DNA which guides the thoughts, words and actions of its CEO and Board of Directors.
· Early American presidents [ CommonDreams]

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Hooked on self-esteem  

'Therapy breeds mistrust, and makes a virtue of estrangement'
There are no heroes in this drama. Every culture has a story about the human subject - the values it expects people to aspire to. Our culture's story is of a weak, feeble person, who is continually at risk, and for whom the chances of things going wrong are very great. Therapy culture represents a shift from the view of the robust, independent person, capable of great individual and collective achievements, to the notion of the fragile, powerless victim in need of continual professional support. Far less is expected of humans in the twenty-first century than was expected in the nineteenth. Today's society operates around the belief that people can't cope on their own, or face the challenges of life.
· The ascendancy of therapy culture [Spiked ]

Rethinking thinking  

College classes that make one think - it's a basic concept assumed as a given. But many grads walk away with a diploma yet still lack critical-thinking skills. That's why some educators are asking students to close their textbooks and do a little more reflecting.
They scan articles dating from the "red scare" in the 1920s on through World War II and then read further new accounts of relations between the US and the Soviet Union in later decades.

· Texts [ CSMonitor]



Born To Try

Doing everything that I believe in
Going by the rules that I've been taught
More understanding of what's around me
And protected from the walls of love

All that you see is me
And all I truly believe

That I was born to try
I've learned to love
Be understanding
And believe in life
But you've got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you've got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

No point in talking what you should have been
And regretting the things that went on
Life's full of mistakes, destinies and fate
Remove the clouds look at the bigger picture

And all that you see is me
And all I truly believe

That I was born to try
I've learned to love
Be understanding
And believe in life
But you've got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you've got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

All that you see is me
All I truly believe
All that you see is me
And all I truly believe

That I was born to try

I've learned to love
Be understanding
And believe in life
But you've got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you've got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

Now you have
But you've got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you've got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

thanks to Lesley Smith (lesleysm@tpg.com.au) for correcting these lyrics
· Born to sacrifice the things you like [Lyricstop ]

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The big baby-boom generation is starting to retire. Its oldest members are about 57 and will be 65 in 2011. There simply aren’t enough workers behind them in the labor supply pipeline to fill their jobs. Employers will have to try to retain older workers in some capacity or lure retired workers back into the work force. Companies that have treated their workers badly or engaged in even the subtlest forms of age discrimination will regret it. So will companies that just ignore the problem.
Who the hell do all these smug and self-satisfied baby boomers think is going to buy their already overpriced houses?

· Not If [NYTimes ]
· Housing affordability [OLO - Russ Grayson]
· Australia's affordable housingcrisis [OLO - Peter Verwer]

Sentence Imposed for 1968 Sabotage
Communist-era leader gets six-year term for blocking broadcasts. Former Communist functionary Karel Hoffman was sentenced to six years in prison Oct. 13, making him the first person ever convicted for his actions during the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of the country.
· Lucky 13? [Prague Post]
· Red Rights? [Prague Post]

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


Sweet Reward: Tax Notes of Known World
He had never considered writing fiction full time before. Mr. Jones was the author of an acclaimed collection of short stories and the winner of a $50,000 literary prize, but he was also the son of an illiterate and impoverished mother. As a young man he lived briefly in a homeless shelter and learned to view a steady paycheck the same way that a drowning man might view a lifeline.
To think about being a writer was to think that I had the whole world, and I really didn't, and I knew I didn't," said Mr. Jones, 53, who spent nearly two decades proofreading and summarizing news items for Tax Notes, a trade magazine, before he was laid off in January 2002.
But he decided to dive into his first novel without much of a safety net. To his astonishment, his tale of a black slave owner, an aching and lyrical exploration of moral complexities, has become a literary sensation since its publication in August. Janet Maslin in The New York Times called that novel, "The Known World" (Amistad/HarperCollins), stunning. Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post hailed it as the best new American fiction to cross his desk in years.

· As a drowning man might view a lifeline [NY Times]

Show Me A Real Man...  

Philip Marchand thinks that the world of Canadian literature could do with a good, healthy shot of testosterone. I don't know if there is any wider significance to this year's rash of novels populated by feminized or ineffectual men. There has always been this tendency in Canadian literature, particularly French Canadian literature, but it has never seemed so blatant as now. Regardless of the cause, Marchand finds himself pining for the strong male characters of Mordecai Richler, or at least the suave calm of Robertson Davies' men.
· Show v Tell [Toronto Star 10/18/03]
· Show Me Real Journalists


There are a lot of bloggers doing their finger-walking on these two stories

Repetition: Our Stories
Rebekah Amaya faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Grace Headlee, 4, and Gabriel Amaya, 5 months.
The coroner said both children drowned and determined the deaths were homicides.
Amaya, a registered nurse, was being returned to Lamar from a Colorado Springs hospital, where she was treated after she cut her wrists in the suicide attempt.

· Drowning [Fox ]
· Suicide [NYPost ]


Has this piece of writing come directly from one of the Czechoslovak Samizdat magazines circa 1977?! Is Australia ready for Democratic Republic?
Ordinary Person
I'm a pretty ordinary sort of person. I love my kids, work hard, like to spend time with friends with a bottle of wine and good music and hate being cold. I also hate injustice, cruelty and hypocrisy. And I certainly don't like being misled, misrepresented and manipulated.
It has become increasingly obvious to anyone that this is what has been happening over the past year, to me and to every other Australian in this wonderful sunny country. We have been implicated in one of the biggest scams of all time.

· Extraordinary Times [Webdiary: Sue Roffey]

Driving Dangerously
I am an occasional HOV violator, a rampant speeder and a firm believer in civil disobedience in the face of unreasonable laws. If pre-war Germany was inhabited by like-minded souls, World War II would have never happened.
· Faulksy Fascism? [AdventuresinBureaucracy ]

Monday, October 20, 2003

Rumours have been circulating all week that the former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson is about to reveal in the Bulletin that a decade ago, the current Liberal aspirant Malcolm Turnbull was sent by the prime minister, Paul Keating, to canvass with the Senator For Kneecaps some future options...Taking self interest loaded leaf out of Wran's biographical books.
Labor, Liberal ... Politics Without Any Lines or Shames Top end of town turns out for the Turnbulls
For Sale Sign
Nobody here ever opens their own home for these functions other than for their own self-interest, no matter how altruistic they might appear to be. There was certainly the expectation there, that they could be called up to support Malcolm in some way or another.
· Rent a AAA-list crowd: Me, Myself and Michael in High Society Boys Do not Cry [SMH ]

· Nation reflects EU-wide disparity when it comes to women's pay
[Prague Post]

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Ding to a New Study  

Tall people earn considerably more money throughout their lives than their shorter co-workers, with each inch adding about $789 a year in pay, according to a new study. If this is true, I should make a killing! Hmmmm..... At 6'3, I disagree, while Bill Gates is smiling all the way to his huge Library Room
· Height does matters for career success [Yahoo ]

Friday, October 17, 2003

Our lives begin to end when we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King

The Two-Income Trap: Going broke over Lattes
Today's two-income family has 75 percent more earnings, inflation adjusted, than their parents had a generation ago. The reason, of course, is because today's average family has two people in the workforce, instead of one. But this year, more children will live through their parents' bankruptcy than their parents' divorce.
What they discovered shocked even themselves: the effort to keep the kids in a good school district when one parent is laid-off is the main factor driving Americans into bankruptcy court, not all those trips to the Niketown store.

· Foreclosures: Silent Shame [Salon ]
· Wealthy bosses have good reason to worry [SMH ]

Hope the second soul of the unhappy- Goethe, the dream of those who wake- Matthew Prior, the thing with feathers that perches in the soul- Emily Dickinson, the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of man- Nietzsche

Ah. Uncle Franz. He always was too optimistic: Man proceeds in a Fog
The historical record is our great shared reservoir of human experience. Past episodes are amenable to systematic analysis and reflection exactly because they are past. We can concentrate on understanding, rather than on acting or reacting or refusing to act. And there is a further benefit.
The role of historians - who are scientists of the human - is to unscramble myths...

· Struggle of men against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting [SMH ]


Partnerships, Community and Local Governance
Papers include: Limits to Local Governance: Lessons From the UK (Professor Mike Geddes, University of Warwick), Partnerships and Local Governance: Some Lessons from European Innovations (Professor Mark Considine, Centre for Public Policy, University of Melbourne) and Enhancing Diversity: Managing Partnerships with the State (Professor Paul Smyth and Dr Tim Reddel, University of Queensland)
· International Perspectives and Australian Experiences [ UNIMelbourne]
· Why California is more unpopular with public companies headquartered in California [CorpLawBlog ]

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Australian roulette  

Property developers are not known for their revolutionary dialectic. So when a successful member of this supra-entrepreneurial group predicted, at a dinner held by one of the nation's top legal firms, that Australia was about to go the way of France in 1789 I took notice. "Income disparities are so out of whack in this country it will be the French Revolution all over again," he said. I waited for the smirk. It never came.
If the wealthy are worried it is little wonder that even a conservative government is legislating in response to community concern over stratospheric corporate incomes.

· Wealthy bosses have good reason to worry [SMH ]

Face it, I'll never be rich: My surname is just loaded with Irony
Why do migrants still believe in the rags-to-riches fairy tale? In this final extract from his explosive new book, Michael Moore explains why the corporate bosses will never let the new world dream become a reality
· Less is Moore [The Guardian(UK)]

Pro Activism  

Some people believe that social movements are fueled by misery—that communities only start standing up for themselves when things get really bad. It's an appealing thought in difficult times. However, fear is historically a lousy engine of solidarity. Progress and optimism go hand in hand. When people are hopeful about the future, they are inclined to demand positive change.
But if the misery theory is wrong, so is the belief that activism dies when the going gets tough. Few progressives doubt that the past two years have been the most politically trying in recent memory. Nevertheless, union members, globalization activists, immigrant rights advocates and anti-war groups have persevered. This fall, just when we need some good news, those of us concerned with social and economic justice can see a remarkable number of our efforts bear fruit.

· Fruits [TomPaine.com]

Somewhere, Orwell's ghost is smiling grimly  

Almost all of the bureaucrats at the information ministry have done very nicely for themselves since the war. The government minders who spent their days reporting to the intelligence services on foreign reporters or doing their best to obstruct their work have gone on to well-paid jobs - for the same foreign news organisations they once hounded.
The second-in-command at the information ministry, who spent his days reading the reports the minders wrote about visiting foreign journalists, has been employed by Fox News.

· Irony [Guardian(UK) ]
· Let he who is without Spin... [The Age]

The Plame affair gets to the dilemma of how journalism is practiced in Washington
T he first real political scandal of the Bush administration appears to have legs, to the discomfort of an unusually large number of people in Washington -- both in the White House and the press corps.
· Uneasy bedfellows: White House and journalists both under scrutiny [SFChronicle]

Vaclav Havel 

The Soul of a Nation
Just recently friends of mine sent me a couple of photographs of Aung San Suu Kyi. The nonviolent struggle of this woman for her fellow citizens' freedom dwells in my soul as a stark reminder of our struggles against totalitarian regimes in Central and Eastern Europe.
Thousands of human lives have been destroyed, scores of gifted people have been exiled or incarcerated and deep mistrust has been sown among the various ethnic groups. Human society is, however, a mysterious creature, and it serves no good to trust its public face at any one moment. Thousands of people welcomed Suu Kyi on her tours, proving that the Burmese nation is neither subjugated nor pessimistic and faithless. Hidden beneath the mask of apathy, there is an unsuspected energy and a great human, moral and spiritual charge. Detaining and repressing people cannot change the soul of a nation. It may dampen it and disguise the reality outwardly, but history has repeatedly taught us the lesson that change often arrives unexpectedly.

· To talk about change is not enough, change must happen [WashingtonPost ]

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Waking up to strange bedfellows
To me politics is not a religion, it is about making things work in the way that I think makes sense.
Life at the pragmatic centre is hardly boring. It is a very challenging place to be. It is an open place, a marketplace where good ideas are appreciated. Laurence, Latham and Coombs had good ideas this past week, so good that I don't want to make a single knit picky point about any of it except to thank them for their contributions to our wonderful public life.

· Tonight I will get into bed with some trepidation [Webdiary: Harry Heidelberg]

Sunday, October 05, 2003


The most disturbing spy who came in from the old folk's home
Desks were rifled, diaries were read and address books photocopied so that the information could then be transferred to BAE. CAAT members were often followed.
One such target was Jenneth Parker, described in one report as a "good-looking" 25-year-old, who was a key activist and networker for CAAT and student groups.
A tape recording of a phone conversation between Le Chene and a senior officer in BAE group security reveals that they discussed having Parker followed. Reports on Parker give details of her addresses, housemates, hairstyles, the contents of her diary and her alleged habit of smoking marijuana in the corridor.
Le Chene’s agents were instructed to take particular interest in connections between anti-arms trade pressure groups and the House of Commons. Meetings and correspondence with MPs of all three parties was closely monitored and advance warning of any parliamentary events was always reported.

· The infiltration was so bad that one of Le Chene's agents even acted as secretary of a CAAT-affiliated group in Hull. [in Denial]

Present Soros: Silenced
Silenced was made possible by a grant from the Open Society Institute. Blogs has evolved to become an increasingly important platform not just for economic development, but also as a support for advocates who wish to express their opinion freely and to work toward the development of democracy.
· Platform Bits [Privacy International]
· Speech Makers [BostonviaGoogle]

Past Spy pictures of suffragettes revealed
Photos uncovered by the National Archives show how the police spied on the suffragettes. These covert images - perhaps the UK's first spy pictures - have gone on display to mark the centenary of the votes-for-women movement.
· Irony and Spying Dead in 21st century (smile) [BBC ]

Future Leaks
Terry Moran of ABC News says top officials in the West Wing aren't leaking, but the "level two and level three" people are starting to talk to reporters. NYDN's Ken Bazinet adds: "There's an undercurrent of career employees who feel like they are being picked off by the political appointees." They're the leakers. Harry Jaffe reports there are signs the White House may be striking back at reporters it considers too aggressive, including Moran and NBC's David Gregory.
· Shafer: Exactly what law did Novak's leakers break?[(Slate) viaRomenesko]
· Claim: White House correspondents are finding more leakers (Washingtonian)
· Open Leaks [Diplomacymonitor]
· Blogging v journalism: Harvard University [the Nieman Reports PDF]

Saturday, October 04, 2003

1981 AD A Turning Point for the human rights movement
Despite lack of progress in prosecuting those responsible for 500 civilians killed at El Mozote, human rights advocates consider El Mozote a turning point for the human rights movement because it marked the first time that an investigative approach was used to document abuses. (Previous efforts had relied largely on individual testimony.) In addition, the massacre prompted the first-ever use of the Geneva Conventions for assessing human rights abuse in Central America, and the reporting and investigations that followed El Mozote helped focus debate on U.S. responsibility for massive human rights abuses through its continued support for El Salvador's military.
· First-ever use of the Geneva Conventions for assessing human rights abuse [Soros Open Societies Insitute (October 2003)]
NOTE: OSI’s Iraq Revenue Watch has issued two new reports that criticize U.S. administrators for failing to prioritize transparency in the reconstruction of Iraq and the management of its public finances.

Exclusively Scoopy Is Havel a top runner for the Nobel Peace Prize?
Let me be the first in the Antipodean world to go on record as saying that Vaclav has got it!
· Nobel Man [Zpravy ]

A man has to see things as they really are. After all, a man with responsibilities can't walk around with his head in the clouds all the time. Oh, a man should have his dreams...but a man has to learn to put those dreams to some practical use, not just sit around and think about them all the time.
--Caractacus Potts

Dumb and dumberer
It’s not that Bush is mad or mendacious. The problem is that he’s dull-witted and easily manipulated.
· I am the joke of the modern leadership [Phillip Adams]

Via Lucis  

The Great Moravian bishop Causes Unholy Alliance
Hell, most of us have common ground on some things - why are we so loathe to admit it and work together when we can?
John Amos Comenius (Latin Name, in my home country known as Jan Amos Komensky) was born in 1592 in Nivnice, Moravia (now in the Czech Republic) and died on November 15, 1670. Komensky is the moral reference point for the idea of an universal education. A contemporary of Galileo, Descartes, Rembrandt, and Milton, Comenius contributed greatly to the Enlightenment. The father of modern education, a status earned by his years of hardship. Komensky came to develop a philosophy, pansophism, which stressed political unity, religious reconciliation, and educational cooperation. This philosophy of pansophism related education to everyday life and advocated systematizing all knowledge, teaching in the common language of students rather than in Latin, and establishing a universal system of education with opportunities that included women and peoples of all nations.
As bishop of the Protestant Moravian church, he was persecuted by the Catholic Hapsburg dynasty both during and after the Thirty Years War. As a refugee, he came in contact with many of the intellectual leaders of his time in Germany, Poland, Sweden, England, and Holland.
His major work, The Great Didactic, was written from 1628 to 1632 and was translated into English by M.W. Keatinge in 1896. His other works include The Gate of Languages Unlocked (1631; Eng. trans., 1659) and The Visible World (1658; Eng. trans., 1659), which is considered to be one of the first illustrated books for children.
Throughout his life, John Amos Comenius worked for educational, scientific, and cultural cooperation, enlightenment and understanding. May his philosophies serve as the inspiration of educational alliances.

· The Gate of Multipartisan Tongues Unlocked [Webdiary SMH]

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the husband of Valerie Plame, is going to name the reporters who told him that Karl Rove said his wife was fair game.
· Impoor, butblogmothscometomyflame [ThePoorMan ]

Hey, Jozef: take a number
Do we really have trouble believing that these guys would smear someone who said stuff they didn't like? I mean, it's not like they haven't tried this sort of thing before, and quite recently, and on a similar topic ...
· Aides leaking anonymously: Joseph Wilston Smith (1984 = 2004) [RoadtoSurfdom ]

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

hmmmmm Australia takes leaks very seriously
The Mathar mystery: Edmund Rice Centre case notes
· He was deported again on the same passport 29 October, as the stamp inside the document attests [Webdiary]
· Flames inside a Leaking Google: The Most Insidious Of Traitors? [Valerie Plame]

Kushner: Of Art And Politics
Playwright Tony Kushner on the responsibility of artists in challenging time: You can't find any important work of American art, in theater or anywhere else, that doesn't have a very powerful political dimension. [But] whatever you do with your day job—and writing plays is what I do—is no replacement for activism, which is a necessary part of being a citizen in a democracy.
· Axis of Optimism [Seattle Weekly 09/24/03]
· Why is consumer power a myth? Here are three reasons [CommonDreams]

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