Friday, July 23, 2004

Since we know President Bush does not like to read should we expect him to read the entire [9/11 Commission] report? I was thinking about this earlier this morning. Not only Bush, but countless members of Congress have the reputation of asking their aides to do their reading for them. This has driven me nuts for years -- Bush is hardly the first president I've covered who sometimes avoids nuts-and-bolts hard work to absorb complicated material. Some politicians even defend the practice as 'good leadership' -- delegate the details. This drives me nuts tooEmperor of Pen fame, Kaiser, hates it when politicos don't read reports

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Intelligence failures exposed
Australia invaded Iraq on the basis of thin, ambiguous and incomplete intelligence but without Federal Government pressure, an inquiry by former diplomat and spy boss, Philip Flood has found
Spies underestimated JI threat: Flood [ via Vital reports on Iraq totalled only 51⁄2 pages ]
• · Congratulations: SMH actually provides a link to Flood Report from its Website; If this trend of providing links to primary material continues in the mainstream media then the MEdia Dragon can consider itslef totally redundant: Report of the Inquiry into Australian Intelligence Agencies
• · · Snapshot: Key findings
• · · · Speed of lies equals the ease of acceptance Propaganda, maybe, but Fahrenheit 9/11 encourages vigilance about truth
• · · · · Blair's off the hook (again). Bush brushes off the United States Senate finding about "the greatest intelligence failing in the history of the nation". And now Howard looks to have avoided incrimination: Artful dodgers, these vain masters of war
• · · · · · · See Also Companies that helped arrange financing for Gov. Bill Richardson’s $1.6 billion transportation program are the top contributors to a newly formed political committee affiliated with the governor
• · · · · · See Also Judges who enjoy extensive travel entitlements as part of their salary package are taking a second dip at the public purse by claiming additional trips as work-related expenses

Thursday, July 22, 2004

in Bushworld, you don't consult your father, the expert in being president during a war with Iraq, but you do talk to your Higher Father, who can't talk back to warn you to get an exit strategy or chide you for using Him for political purposes.
Ms. Dowd's Bushworld
Their civility...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Liberalism as Deep Civility
Political correctness is another name for civility
The point of being polite or civil to another human being is not to demonstrate superiority, it is to demonstrate respect. The real test of a person's civility is the way they treat those who have less power and status than they do. True civility is not about whether you chew with your mouth open or use four letter words, it is about acknowledging that other people's beliefs, ambitions, and feelings are as important as your own.
Good manners are sometimes about being respectful and sometimes about maintaining a status hierarchy. Knowing which fork to use at dinner can be a mark of status. Knowing the right name to call something or someone can serve the same purpose. For example, referring to a judge as 'your highness' will earn you a smirk and a snicker from those who pride themselves on knowing better. Elaborate rituals can be used to exclude and humiliate people.
Civility is not just good manners. It is not civil to publish tracts denying that the holocaust took place or promote research which set out to prove that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. It doesn't matter how well mannered your prose is or what deference you show to academic norms. To have members of your family slaughtered like animals and then be accused of making it up is to be treated with contempt.

What's the Point of Being Polite? I; Where's the civility? II [ courtesy of Ken Parish]
• · See Also John Quiggin
• · · Daniel Drezner had a nice roundup on civility in the blogosphere: An Incentive to Behave badly
• · · · Kalblog: That said, it does make a lot of civility complaints look rather silly, especially since the blogosphere is in many ways an outgrowth of academia
• · · · · See Also Rewarding-random-acts-of-civility
• · · · · · See Also Never underestimate the role of envy in any walk of life

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

All told, there have been no more than seventy empires in history. If the Times Atlas of World History is to be believed, the American is, by my count, the sixty-eighth...
Unilever NV, the Dutch conglomerate that just dropped Whoopi: Goldberg Brings Hypocrites from Under Their Rocks...

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Worst of the Worst?
Sally Neighbour pieces together the Mamdouh Habib story from his migration to Australia 20 years ago, his growing devotion to Islam and his radicalisation by the US murder trial of an Islamic extremist.
Habib campaigned for the men convicted of the first World Trade centre bombing and came to ASIO's notice. He began attending lectures by a firebrand Islamic preacher in Sydney. But he was under growing personal pressure. A government contract fell through. His business collapsed. He felt cheated because he was muslim and Egyptian, according to an old friend.

Habib [ via abc.net.au/4corners ] **Tony Blair was warned before the Iraq war by the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, that a UN court could rule Britain's invasion unlawful**
• · · · Westfield: Link to Ngo grounds for zoning ban. The battle over Nabil Gazal's Liverpool retail centre has turned personal [Assassination:
A Norfolk Island politician instrumental in the hunt for Sydneysider Janelle Patton's killer was shot dead in his parliamentary office yesterday

• · · · · Big funds boost for spy office
• · · · · · MP Peter Breen says he is victim of a payback
• · See Also This article from TIME states that the 9/11 Commission's upcoming final report will provide information linking Iran with Al Qaeda [via National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission) ]
• · · Brendan Gleeson, Toni Darbas, Laurel Johnson and Suzanne Lawson: (Warning PDF Format) What is metropolitan planning? [Brendan Gleeson outlines the major strategic challenges facing Queensland Transport (PDF) The chrysalis breaks open: the emergence of a post neo-liberal mode of urban change ]
• · · · Who Cares? Australian Council of Social Service: New tax statistics show capital gains tax cuts unfair
• · · · · Peter Mares: WHAT a surprise: ‘queue jumpers’ and ‘illegals’ who once made ‘an assault on our borders’ now make ‘a significant contribution to the Australian community’ and may be allowed to stay permanently
• · · · · · · Rudyard Griffiths...My Five Minutes on Fox:
Defending Canada Against the Broadsides of the U.S. Right is a Learning Experience

Monday, July 19, 2004

Once a year, every politician should be required to catch a train. He should buy a ticket with his own money, line up with the citizenry, fight his way through the crowds, listen to public announcements; and pay close attention to what his fellow travellers are saying and doing. In short, he should be forced to remind himself on a regular basis of how ordinary people experience life, and marvel at the fact that they keep voting major parties back in spite of everything...
Mark Latham in 2003 From the Suburbs paraphrasing Cold River:
Wherever power is concentrated in society - whether in the boardrooms of big business, the pretensions of big media, the political manipulation of big churches or the arrogance of big bureaucracies - we need to be anti-establishment. The outsiders want us to take on the system on their behalf. They want us to disperse influence and opportunity as widely as possible.

The Blog, The Press, The Media: If not now, when? Czech out: Smartmobs
About grassroot journalism unsettling Big Media's monopoly
86% of US MEdia Dragon readers declare that blogs are a useful source of news or links they can't find elsewhere, and most believe that blogs feature a better perspective, faster news and more honesty than traditional media.

About Last Night got written up yesterday in Publishers Lunch:
Finally, the big blog occasion this week is the one-year anniversary of cultural critic Terry Teachout's abundant blog About Last Night. He writes, Blogs are the 21st-century counterpart of the periodical essays of the eighteenth century, the Spectators and Ramblers and Idlers that supplied familiar essayists with what was then the ideal vehicle for their intensely personal reflections. Blogging stands in the sharpest possible contrast to the corporate journalism that exerted so powerful an effect on writing in the twentieth century.

I still can't figure out why everyone isn't getting their authors to blog [Blogging puts professionals and amateurs on an even footing: That’s why so many professional writers dislike and distrust it]
• · Yes, children, we did used to have blogs. We called them diaries: The Key to Discreet Gossiping ((Creator of the web turns knight: SIR TIM BERNERS-LEE ))
• · · The most delightful Tilly, the king of Moving Headlines: Coming soon: thunderstorm in the blogosphere
PS: I wouldn't move into knickerknotting mode here. But a sledgehammer was used to crack a nut, which managed to sprout legs and likketysplit out of the way on its little Dunlop Volleys.
• · · · See Also After The Lawyers, Can We Kill All PR People? [I would really like to believe that not all PR people are this bad, but I'm beginning to lose faith: PR-approved versions are clearly spun, and we're not fans of spinning]
• · · · · Well, come on. Both Yahoo and Google announced small purchases in the last week, do you think Microsoft could resist? Google-juice: Search Space Acquisitions Are Hot Hot Hot
• · · · · · Isn't it about time we addressed the question of why all that bandwidth is focused downward? Let Us Swim Upstream (( The internet is a communications medium, not a broadcast medium ))
• · · · · · · History is Back Australia Talks Back: Blogs and Blogging

Thursday, July 15, 2004

MM blog now has more hits than my decade old car has meters Here are Michael Moore's extensive factczeching notes on Fahrenheit 911

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Nudist colony gives you a newfound appreciation for intelligence
The intelligence failure over Iraq will take a prominent place in the history of notable intelligence breakdowns.
These range, if you want to go back far enough, from the wooden horse in Troy to, in modern times, Stalin's refusal to believe that Germany would invade the Soviet Union in 1941, and the British belief that they would have warning of an Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982.
Intelligence also failed to warn against - let alone stop - the two sudden and daring strikes against the US, at Pearl Harbor in 1941 and on 11 September 2001.
Intelligence failures can be put into a number of categories:
Failure to join the dots
This is the failure to make connections between bits of intelligence to make a coherent whole.
The key intelligence failure was that the Trojans ignored a warning.
The trouble is that lessons are not always learned, which is why the list of intelligence failures grows longer.

A short look at the long history of intelligence failures: Turning the tables on intelligent conpersons [Trotskyism and Centrism: Don't let a series on the politics of opportunism on the left rattle you(part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, and part 7)]
• · Dirty party talk: Tis the season of the free buffet, and the diplomats, self-important journalists (ahem) and cuddly cultural icons are out in full force
• · · See Also Who's Got the Wrong Values Now? Order of the British Empire
• · · · Operation Buy Candidate a Drink: Politicians have a legal right to lie to voters just about as much as they want: How come this fact does not surprise me to even the slightest degree?
• · · · · See Also Federal Park Police Chief fired after talking to reporter
• · · · · · · See Also Transparent grab for power or genuine threat?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Half way through their seven-day ordeal, 12-year-old Stephen Nona stood on a waterless, barren outcrop of rocks in Torres Strait and told his two sisters: We have to swim - or we'll die

Tracking Policies & Investigative Stories:
Imagine...all the world's information at your service with just a few clicks of the mouse. It's a dream that Brewster Kahle has held onto for the past 20 years and is now seeing through to reality in his role at the Internet Archive, where he serves as chairman of the board. The Internet Archive was founded in 1996 to build an Internet library that will offer permanent access for researchers and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format. Kahle is the force behind that effort.
BK: A 100-page black-and-white Cold River with current toner and paper costs in the United States is $1, not figuring labor costs, rights costs, or depreciation of capital. That's an interesting number, because at a buck a book, it turns out that for a library, it could be less expensive to give books away than to loan them. In his book, Practical Digital Libraries, Michael Lesk reported that it cost Harvard incrementally $2 to loan a book out and bring it back and put it on the shelf. This is not figuring in the warehousing costs and all the building costs. This is just the incremental cost of loaning a book out.
Even if you put some fee in for the author, it looks cost effective to print and bind many books locally.

The Librarian to be blogged on MEdia Dragon [link first seen at ]
• · See Also Why lessons of the past can help fight terror of the future [Hottest link on Amazon]
• · · See Also Money does seem to seem to buy greater happiness, but it does not buy more sex
• · · · Paul Krugman's crystal ball Paul Krugman has become the West's most quotable public intellectual...
• · · · · See Also Proposal To Postpone U.S. Elections:Joe has all the links you need
• · · · · · See Also French Jews are leaving, but why?

Saturday, July 10, 2004

We talk as if democracy were the natural human condition, as if any deviation from it is a crime to be punished or a disease to be cured...
Citizens seem increasingly unwilling to surrender civil liberties... and keen to celebrate their Independents... Somehow the hard won success of the major political parties doesn't smell as sweet for ordinary voting punters... The Broken Promise of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness...

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Dirt diggers: Digging dirt and slinging mud is risky
Writing in The Australian Financial Review yesterday, Hewson asserted, with obvious passion: If they are going to play the dirt game it should be spread fairly. Why not dig into John Howard as much as they dig into Latham? In his 30 years in Parliament nobody has ever done the job on him like it has been done on others.
How is it, they wonder, that Al Gore told small fibs and was branded a liar while George W. Bush told big ones and was elected President?

Say whatever you like about me, but leave them out of it please [ via Moore's Ax Falls on a Derelict Media Too... ]
• · See Also A divided Europe is like a room in which only one half is heated ((It's Not Always About You... Cold War Ideology Doesn't Work: the rich rule and the poor obey ))
• · · See Also In the U.K. and Oz, liberalism means small government, free trade, and self-reliance. For Americans, it means Bill Clinton The mediator, former NSW Court of Appeal judge Tony Fitzgerald: ((Westfield settles Ken Hooper affair with $3.5m cheque to Kirela)) ((Ach, Carr's man in London paid twice the salary
• · · · See Also Historians are either truffle hunters, noses buried in detail, or parachutists, with a view from on high [Imagine you're a federal judge. Life used to be glamorous: the money, the women, the imposing work clothes... But the Incredible Judiciary Is Shrinking: The federal judge starts to be a rubber stamp more often than the gavel]
• · · · · See Also White House Moves to Protect RIGHT to SPY on Readers...
· · · · · · See Also Paul Volcker on getting to the bottom of the UN Oil for Food scandal ((They Behead; We Do It With Smart Bombs... ))

For some reason entrenched government and waste seem to go together...Govt office space left invisible ...Yes, Minister

Invisible Hands & Markets: In search of optimistic leaders
Many successful leaders have two faces.
The public one inspires and conveys optimism, hope and a galvanizing sense of direction.
And there's a private one that is often subdued, moody, plagued by doubts, and even a sense of foreboding.
Sometimes the public face slips, and the private one peers out, provoking a sense of disquiet in observers.
Paul Martin, for example, has frequently -- and with good reason -- looked worried on this campaign trail even though he is by far the most experienced leader.

Honorable mentions to Vaclav Havel [I can't take politics anymore, and pretty much everything The last of the attempts at honesty have gone out of the thing, and we're down to side A trying to brainwash side B into believing that Side B has already been brainwashed by the evil leaders of side B, with--and this is the part that's wearing me out--absolutely no reference to reality]
• · See Also War and Tax Cuts... In the Age of Terrorism, the Rule Is: Celebrate Early, If At All... ((Australian Election 2004: taxing times for working families))
• · · See Also The strength of the small donor has helped level the financial playing field with the Bush campaign
• · · · See Also The customer is always right? Not anymore
• · · · · See Also A Microsoft employee puts up with the fact that Bill Gates gets $80 billion. But if the idiot in the next cubicle makes $5/hour more, there’s indignation. Are people crazy?
• · · · · · See Also Nothing to Hide: The Iraqi official heading the investigation into alleged corruption in the United Nations oil-for-food program was killed in a bomb attack

Friday, July 09, 2004

During a recent graduate seminar on 20th Century American Autobiography and Memoir, I found myself obliged, in the interest of civility, to swallow a fit of temper.
Deeply ironic, Saar's work speaks from a sort of existential nakedness, and gets beyond...Exclusion is the rule in binary practice (either/or), whereas poetics aims for the space of difference -- not exclusion but, rather, where difference is realized in going beyond. Read it before it is banned!

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: ACTION AND REACTION: It's Imitation Time
In Seven Types of Ambiguity, William Empson argues that ambiguity serves an indispensable function in poetry. When the disparate meanings of an ambiguous grammatical construction or word reinforce and enrich each other, the poet can achieve radically novel conceptual and emotional effects; but unhappy ambiguities, including those condemned as mixed metaphor, may be simply incoherent when the meanings are mutually impertinent or at odds. In his recent contribution to the history of ideas, which tracks the medieval word reaction and its more ancient correlate action from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries, Jean Starobinski makes a similar argument about the metaphorical appropriation of terms.
Jean Starobinski's History of Reaction: The Uses and Dangers of Metaphorical Language [The most dangerous threats are right under our noses: If books could kill]
• Gene Deitch: A whole new area of work opened up for me just as the Soviet forces were breathing smoke around the borders of Czechoslovakia, and I made a film called The Giants that the communists banned for 20 years. For me, it was a point of pride: The Giants Win and Lose (Part 1): (Don’t Let a Little Thing Like Failure Stop You!)
• · See Also Our MPs can scarcely be accused of being bookish. Why then a plush library?
• · · Péter Esterházy's Celestial Harmonies A Cheeky Work of Postmodernist Genius
• · · · The Boston Globe: offers an amusing round-up of reviews of presidential memoirs
• · · · · See Also The attraction of strangers: partnerships in humanities research [Happy ever after - on separate floors Couples are increasingly finding that living apart is the best way to stay together ]
• · · · · · See Also Literacy in the new millennium

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Showing once again that there is a tax angle to virtually everything, Laurence Tribe (Harvard) in an op-ed in Thursday's Wall Street Journal compares Iraqi torture to tax .
Justice Department memoranda cynically dissecting the laws banning torture with a sensibility better suited to the parsing of tax-code loopholes than to the treatment of human beings...

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Kerry's Sexiest Salesman
Think about this for a minute: He left college, and he volunteered three different ways. First he volunteered for military service. Then he volunteered to serve in Vietnam. And then he volunteered for some of the most dangerous, hazardous duty you could possibly have in Vietnam...
That's John Edwards talking about John Kerry at a Florida Democratic Party fund-raiser three weeks ago. This is why Kerry had to pick Edwards: Kerry sounds so much more attractive when Edwards is doing the talking.

The Big Decision - The wisdom of picking Edwards [Edwards’ weakest on issues that matter most... Why Edwards Hurts Kerry]
• · See Also Campaign Websites and the Politics of Open Source. [Why governments so often allowed themselves to pursue self-destructive policies Government is little better practised now than three or four thousand years ago ]
• · · See Also Survey Chooses Top 10 Digital Counties (( An investigation into why a private investigator was following city manager could end with a city councilwoman in hot water. The resulting report reads like the script for a detective show ))
• · · · See Also Stay Tuned This could be a major story: Iranian Intelligence Officers Captured in Iraq
• · · · · See Also Austrian President Thomas Klestil has died in a Vienna hospital aged 71 NSW Premier Bob Carr denies his Government's unpopularity could cost Labor the federal election ...((And testing how far his luck would stretch, Mark asked for one for NSW Premier Bob Carr, saying the bookworm and American history buff loved nothing better than a stubbie cooler ))
· · · · · · See Also How a man behaves publicly is a mere postscript to how he's been behaving privately (know your Freud: there are no accidents)

In 2004 AD Rupert Murdoch's media empire pulled a Dewey Defeats Truman moment...
In 1979, Observer published a list of 80 young people The Observer predicted would define the country's culture, politics and economics for a generation In 2004 new selection of 80 prodigiously talented young people is out

Tracking Policies & Investigative Stories:
Government advertising is a contentious issue in modern democracies. In Australia, both Commonwealth and state governments are entitled to taxpayer money to provide the public with information about their programs. This is allowed for under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. Richard Grant provides figures on expenditure since 1991 and examines proposals for reform.
· Top-spending advertising programs [2002–03 Redistribution of Commonwealth Electoral Boundaries]
· · See Also Focus On Ethics Can Dispel Cynicism: the growing divide between the values of business and those of society
· · · See Also I don't like secrets. This story's about Neil Goldschmidt, it's not about me. I was just a conduit, and I couldn't look the other way ((A doctor who revealed that the SARS epidemic in China was worse than the government was admitting is undergoing reeducation by the authorities))
· · · · RNC Research: Who Is John Edwards?
· · · · See Also Who Is Rene Rivkin? (( Gayle Rivkin ))
· · · · · Walter Williams: An Explanation for Third World Poverty
· · · · · · See Also When political bloggers bay in the blogosphere, do political reporters hear them?
· · · · · · · See Also Interesting debate in the blogosphere among non-tax professors over the the estate tax: They often die not even realizing that they were wealthy, but without the elaborate tax shelters of the very rich

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The rich have the right to buy more homes than anyone else. They have the right to buy more cars than anyone else, more gizmos than anyone else, more clothes and vacations than anyone else. But they do not have the right to buy more democracy than anyone else.
Justice Learned Hand, a prophet of democracy

To live is an expression which has had much harm done it by rich celebrity writers who seem to think that life is limited to pretending you like absinthe, cocaine, and keeping a mistress in Potts Point.

This is the Escape that will Never Be Duplicated: The Seventh of July of Our Tragic Escape: Declaring Independence From Fear...
It is important from time to time to remember that some things are worth getting mad about. The cold hard truth is that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, so we should not be surprised if or when Madmen Run the Asylum...
Once Upon A Bad Time, the lives of Eastern Europeans were dominated by leaders with aristocratic manners appropriate for the stone age. Thank your lucky stars you were not one of us. We have to remind ourselves that those born and bred in the Eastern parts of Europe were the Western European equal in their desire for life, their longing for liberty, their passion for happiness.
7/7 of 1980 enlarged the meaning of escape across the Iron Curtain as the crossing has no exact precedents or parallels. Even after 24 years, the scent of horror is still impossible to wash away.
In death, Cold Rivers’s characters find an extension of life: they live in death and we, the readers, actively participate in keeping them alive, even if only during our reading. Nothing was as it seemed and the more mundane the surface, the more layers there appeared to be; we are peeling a true literary onion, multi-layered myths and realities that are quite able to bring literal tears to your eyes.
There is no history, only biography of divine discontent. It was Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson who first coined the prase divine discontent. Characterized by a yearning for greater meaning in life, this restlessness and dissatisfaction with the status quo is often an impetus to escape to the world that is more soul-satisfying... What could possibly impel three twenty-two-year-old Czechoslovaks, who just completed two year compulsory service in the communist army, to swim across the Morava River to Austria? How are we to understand their decision to forsake the land of their birth and build a new life in the far way world?
The ghost of the Central Europe tends to breathe confused life into every boy born into the communist system. In childhood we harboured fantasies that when we go to sleep at night our toys would magically come alive and carry us across the borders to the New World. Alas, it never happened, but that did not mean that one day we would not discover a mystical passage to the land of our dreams. One of the great things about life under communism was that it could always get worse, just when you thought it couldn't... Those who know what it was like to be twenty-two-years young in communist Czechoslovakia might understand that some of us had absurd and impossible aspirations and we believed that we could achieve them. We used to dream of dancing at the Beatles' concert and marrying Olivia Newton-John ... Then we transferred our dreams to crossing the Iron Curtain.
There is a theory going around on the net that everything you need to know about divine discontent, and even life, you can learn from the drops of lessons in the Cold River. There is a lesson for teens, there is a lesson for adults, there is a lesson on having fun, there is a lesson on being serious, there is a lesson on soulful friendship, there is a lesson on dancing, there is even a lesson on how not to escape across the Iron Curtain. Moreover, there is a lessson how to make you feel like a Central European.
Unlike myth, history is not tidy, and the wall that became known as the Iron Curtain is complex as any genuine tragedy. Cold River is a chilling image of a totalitarian world without breathing space, where ideology has no outside and even an unborn child is already a subject.
When something is wrong, you know it. Deep inside, even if everyone around you tells you it is not, you still know the truth. Few would dare dream about crossing such a border, unless, of course, you have inside knowledge and contacts. Milan has both. They will have only one chance to disarm the army guards at the gate and drive through an army barracks without alarming others. Their set day is sunny. Not one of them, even for a moment, thinks it might rain. But it does and the swollen river makes it impossible for them to cross, yet it is impossible to go back...
You didn't care if you were brave or weak. You just became nothing!
The character in the Quiet American said, Sooner or later, one has to take sides. If one is to remain human.
In some ways, it was a selfish act. We had in a small way done our duty to our people and our country. We crossed the uncrossable Iron Curtain so we could sleep at night. True happiness calls for courage and a spirit of sacrifice, the rejection of any compromise with evil empire, and readiness to pay in person, including with death... As Zakes Mda's Ways of Dying features a central character Toloki who observes:
Death lives with us everyday. Indeed our ways of dying are our ways of living or should I say our ways of living are our ways of dying ?

· No power on Earth can stop an oppressed people determined to win their Freedom: Let's Say It with Blood [Any survivor has more to say than all the historians combined about what happened This was the Escape of Our Times: Survivor-on-Amazon breaking historical taboos]
· · See Also This is Another Fight of Our Lives [New Political Tidal Wave: Something to get mad about: Just memorise poetry if you are a teenager at heart- because the escape defies prose
· · · We weren't given a hope in Morava River... The Passion of Exile: Sentenced to the Strange Psychological Hell... From Old World Tragedy to New World Disaster
· · · · See Also In any society, it’s a risk to take freedoms for granted
· · · · · Random reality bites: We can't all be born rich, handsome and lucky... Better That 100 Witches Should Live
· · · · · · Better Off Dead: I'll admit I survived, but I wasn't proud of myself for surviving
· · · · · · Read more: In every book a wealth of experiences and universal wisdom awaits you, and they will enrich your cultural world ... Marilyn Monroe swimming in the Cold River

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Glenn Milne: At last count, three but which one is the real Mark Latham?

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Hacks cop flak
Forget the dangers of policing the meaner streets of our state. Far more dangerous is a stint at the Police Media Unit.
As well as having three managers leave in less than a year, remaining staffers in what was a 25-strong unit have lodged numerous complaints against each other. One female employee complained about a threat to throw her from a 14-storey window.
And the dust is still settling after the axing last week of Norm Lipson, who was head of the unit, and his public affairs director boss, Ross Neilson. Stepping into the breach in the interim is Superintendent Mark Wright, whom the Herald revealed recently is being investigated after openly referring to Aborigines as "coons" during a senior management team meeting.
Police reporters got drawn into the squabble. Indeed, Channel Nine's Adam Walters complained to the Deputy Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, that Neilson had left a text message on his mobile phone which read weak c---. Neilson, on the other hand, complained to friends that he was sick of Walters, Lipson and others bad-mouthing him when all he was trying to do was to break down the historic mistrust between the media and the police.

· Spin Doctors ((Bipartisanship Ian Hanke: a Kevin Andrews' staffer )) [ Elsewhere Political and Media Animals]
· · Mark Latham: Will you take me as I am, Australia? I've been subjected to more rumours and smears than you can poke a stick at... (( Boilermaker Bill's Macquarie St musings ))
· · · See Also My hero, George Soros,Musing on Putin's Heavy Hand Halting Russia's Rise
· · · · See Also E(l)ction-vote-eligibility
· · · · · See Also This the most horrible thing I have read all week Almost as bad as the patterns set by the NSW Parliametary Clerks (nicknamed Marco Polos)
· · · · · · See Also This the most tattooed thing I have read all week: tracks the 372,644 tattoos on current and former state politicians

Invisible Hands & Markets: The Chinese Century
China's miracle economy can come at you in a lot of ways. By now most of us know that China is the factory floor of choice for the world's low-road manufacturing: it assembles more toys, stitches more shoes and sews more garments than any other nation in the world. China is home to close to 1.5 billion people, probably, which would make the official census count of 1.3 billion too low by an amount equal to roughly the population of Germany, France and the United Kingdom combined. China has 100 cities of more than a million people. Since economic liberalization began in 1978, under Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese have started tens of millions of businesses.
China is not home to the cheapest work force in the world. Even at 25 cents an hour, Chinese workers cost more than laborers in the poorer countries of Southeast Asia or Africa. In the world's miserable corners, children carry rifles and walk mine fields for less than a dollar a day. China is the world's workshop because it sits in a relatively stable region and offers manufacturers a reliable, pliant and capable industrial work force, groomed by generations of government-enforced discipline.

· TED C. FISHMAN [Barista, the whistleblower: Statistically insignificant]
· · See Also
Lines of Despair: number of people seeking help at food pantries statewide has risen three straight years

· · · See Also Czech XL
· · · · See Also The best way to work out how much money the ABC needs may be to look at its competitors
· · · · · See Also An iron curtain is descending between the West and the Muslim world

Sunday, July 04, 2004

If you aren't reading Margo's book now, you're missing out. I'm happy to report that this book launch was not sexed up

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Green Valley: Once a Beauty, now a Beast?
Mark's selection signalled that Labour insiders thought this election will be decided on personality. I know a female political journalist or two who regard Mark as charismatic.
Most women see him as younger and more telegenic than John Howard. His round, baby face has something of the abstraction of a tribal mask. However, does Mark have enough Elvis in him to beat John; enough excitement factor, enough charisma, enough likeability?
I first practiced my broken English on impatient Mark at my maiden parliamentary Christmas party back in 1982. At the time Mark used the NSW Parliamentary Library on regular basis as the researcher (biographer) for Gough Whitlam. Only Garry Sturgess would match the level of dedication and hard work displayed by Mark. The way he managed to capture the media imagination with the list of broken promises by Greiner made other people on the opposite side of politics such as the bar regulars of Ken Hooper, Bryce Osmond stature just shake their heads.
At the Library, Mark would bounce ideas, with minds great and small. It was a real pleasure listening to his approaches on solving problems in the communities living in the public housing stricken areas of Western Sydney. It would come as a great surprise to many, especially Greig Tillotson and David Clune, who are long time admirers of Gough and Bob Carr, that their heros would employ someone who would actually hit king (sic) anybody. I personally find it very hard to believe the allegation even though I have participated at a number of late night drinking sessions when Peter Anderson and Brian Langton added guitar fire to the already jolly atmosphere by singing revolutionary songs.
Somehow I suspect that the Sunday program by Ross Coulhart might actually work in favour of the subject of the unauthorised biography as most Australians prefer the bare fist to the backstabbing knife. I certainly do!

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