Dual Loyalty

As writers and bloggers are so fond of saying; you couldn't make it up. You don't cross the Iron Curtain and come out without scars ...
· Jozef Imrich, Survivor of the Iron Curtain Crossing

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A book released in Poland on Monday by historians Slawomir Cenckiewicz and Piotr Gontarczyk claims to offer evidence that political leader and Nobel laureate Lech Walesa was an informant for the country's secret service in the 70s. Co-author Gontarczyk said in an interview, "Life is complicated sometimes. He was a young deckhand then."
A German newspaper says Walesa "has denied the allegations and called the institute's authors 'fanatics' with libellous claims. He has threatened legal action and said he will soon release his own book to tell his side of the story." The paper notes that "during his presidency in 2000, Walesa won a court ruling that said he was not a spy. But opponents, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski, say they know he had worked for communists. New Book In Poland Claims Walesa Was Communist Informer

When communist fiction is not enough Professionals Get Publicity and Opportunity Through Blogs
We've mentioned it before as a by-product of a good blog, but it's becoming more and more prevalent. News media, book publishers, and trade organization publishers are reading professional service firm blogs and like what they see. Accountants and lawyers are getting visibility they never anticipated.

Two accounting bloggers I know have been contacted by Wiley about working on books!
One is Tracy Coenen of Sequence Inc whose http://www.sequence-inc.com/fraudfiles/ Fraud Files blog has been around for awhile and is excellent! She wrote me recently:
"Just wanted to let you know that all my blogging and marketing has paid off! I just got a contract with Wiley to write a book on fraud!
Who'da thunk that a little person like me would get a contract with a great big publisher for Wiley, for a book that I've not even written yet!!! The book is "Essentials of Corporate Fraud Management." It's geared for C-Level executives, attorneys, and other professionals who need quick knowledge on a particular topic.

I have been doing so much cool stuff. writing articles all over the place, getting involved in a high-profile investigation....business has never been better. (And has never been more fun too!)

• through blogs, professionals can even bypass the cutting room floor, and get their message out to their target audience on their own terms. It's exciting stuff! Practioners are better able to develop media relationships. ; [Online newspaper journalists offer networking & PR opportunities to blogging lawyers ; You may think you have the worst boss in the Western Hemisphere, but if you've never had to dodge a cell phone, been fired over a breakfast pastry or had your work referred to as "a complete and utter mess," you probably have it better than you realize. Famously (and famous) bad bosses ]
• · Blog father - Rick of the the Prelinger Archive; Online digital environments are inviting all of us to participate actively in our own learning No longer tuned in to master's voice
• · The issue of parliamentary salaries, allowances and benefits generates public discussion and attracts media opinion. This background note provides relevant data, hyperlinks and documents pertaining to the entitlements of Australian federal parliamentarians. Parliamentary allowances, benefits and salaries of office ; Who's to blame for the sorry state of Question Time Dorothy Dix meets Harry Jenkins; Who is to blame for current housing fiasco? Did you know that 71% of people cite the housing crisis, debt and financial difficulty as the primary reason they are currently homeless? More than a bed: Sydney's homeless speak out
• · · Private equity player Luke Johnson at Risk Capital Partners, "buyer" of Borders UK, is rumored to have bid for Border's Paperchase unit--though the rumor has his 40 million pound bid well below the price sought. A UK retail trade publication notes that "Paperchase operates 40 percent of its outlets as concessions within Borders UK stores, so a deal without Mr. Johnson seems unlikely." But WH Smith is among others thought to have offered. Bids Begin for Paperchase ; More Books by ABCtales Authors ; Chasing the Dragon's Long Tail Kangaroo a.k.a. Klokan: The Kindness of Strangers
• · · · Blogs can make, or unmake, your brand Kryptonite ; The lesson here is clear: if you want to create a proactive blog that is going to lead to the creation of value for your brand, be very, very careful. … Be careful with so10 cial news sites like Digg or Reddit. They may crash your server and/or cost you lots of money by driving tons of useless traffic in short ... Steps to Success on the ’Net Without SEO
• · · · · When your blog is up and running, you can register it with blog directories such as Amatomu or Afrigator. But be careful. You might run the risk of ruining ... BLOGGING has become the latest craze among young and internet-savvy people, but is it something you should consider as an alternative way to get your business’s name out there? Blogging allows anyone to download software and run their own newsletter online. It has become so popular that there are now over 70 million blogs on the internet Blogging: an alternative marketing method ; What good is link love if you don’t know how many links love you? Today I want to talk to you about some of the places where you can go to track down your links. We are going to look at two traditional search engines and two blog search engines How Many Links Could a Link Lover Love? ; "You really want to be careful about your personal use of the company's email system," Flynn said. "A growing number of employers are putting policies in ... Work and Net
• · · · · · A jealous husband is believed to have murdered the mother of their two children and then killed himself after she told the world via Facebook that they were splitting up Facebook murder rocks 'perfect little family' ; Feeling blue? Mung beans, lobster, turkey, asparagus, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese, pineapple, tofu, spinach and bananas could lift your spirits 10 foods to make you happy

Monday, July 21, 2008

Jonathan Coe explains his writing process
I stare at the computer until I get bored, which takes about five minutes. Then, if I'm feeling energetic, I'll get up and make a cup of coffee, or, if I'm feeling lazy, I'll start randomly messing around on the internet or playing card games on screen. I've just discovered Spider Solitaire and can sense a whole new world of distraction opening up for me.
-Sf author Thomas M Disch committed suicide at his apartment on July 4. Patrick Nielsen Hayden's eulogy paints a picture of a man who was brilliant, noble, foolish, difficult and angry. I only knew him through his fiction, from which I learned a great deal…
- This whole romantic myth of the artist the person laying around at midnight with a fag and half a bottle of scotch, it's just bulldust
-Since mid April, there have been 943 reported cases of salmonellosis nationwide caused by Salmonella Saintpaul - Salmonellosis Outbreak in Certain Types of Tomatoes

I just discovered that Dubravka Ugresic has a website. I am slow. And it is stylish and functional, it's like a goddamn miracle. Dubravka Ugresic

You Don’t Know Me: But Is the Sky Falling? Pour Some Sugar On Cold River
Ira Glass, host of the radio and television program This American Life, claims that nonfiction is the most important and impressive art form of our day: "We're living in an age of great nonfiction writing, in the same way that the 1920s and 30s were a golden age for American popular song. Giants walk among us, Cole Porters and George Gershwins and Duke Ellingtons of nonfiction storytelling.

To commemorate and canonize this golden age, Glass compiled an anthology of some of the best nonfiction writing. The paperback original, published last fall, with proceeds benefiting a nonprofit tutoring center, received prime display space in many bookstores. Its title: The New Kings of Nonfiction.

• Where Are the Queens of Nonfiction? The New Kings of Nonfiction. ; [Maybe Book sections in newspapers are just dated. Lee Abrams' Permanent Cloud; God’s Law—is tricky to keep—born again you must be, yeah - Wrapped in its peculiar atmosphere, as if draped in clouds, I walked entranced to my desk at about 4am and typed it on to the screen. The story was called "Nadine at Forty". In its subject matter, in its tone, its setting, it bore no relation to anything I have ever written before or since. It extended itself easily into paragraphs, requiring little correction and not really admitting any; how could my waking self revise what my sleeping self had imagined? Hilary Mantel writes about the time she dreamt a story.]
• · Critics have become bemoaners. Nobody's a Critic ; While publishing Opium ; Tree House Media Project Debuts. Self-reliance for angry journalists, preached by a former member of the tribe. Plus: Last gasp of the curmudgeon class. Big Daddy Newspaper Has Gone and Left Journalism
• · China’s economy will surpass that of the United States by 2035 and be twice its size by midcentury, a new report by Albert Keidel concludes. China’s rapid growth is driven by domestic demand—not exports—and will sustain high single-digit growth rates well into this century. In China’s Economic Rise—Fact and Fiction, Keidel examines China’s likely economic trajectory and its implications for global commercial, institutional, and military leadership (vis Bespacific) China Will Surpass U.S. Economically by 2035, Double by Midcentury ; Like many others who watched the news in the 1990s, the authors were dismayed by the thousands of hours devoted to “infotainment” stories such as the O.J. Simpson trial Tabloid Justice: Criminal Justice in an Age of Media Frenzy and The Star Chamber: How Celebrities Go Free and their Lawyers Become Famous;
• · · I guess it’s gaining currency from the book of the same name by the ex-Amazon customer service guy Bill Price and David Jaffe. I get the idea. If you eliminate all the problems around customer service, your customers won’t have to contact you and that will be a good thing. You transform any customer relationship you’ve created back into transactions and save costs. There's a thought out there that the best service is no service at all ; I am a great believer in and/and. When two seemingly opposing ideas appear in the market or a couple of paradoxes seem to conflict your business, I say give room to them both. It’s by embracing paradox that a new third idea may develop that could move us all forward. I’m not talking about convergence here but the process of change. The paradox in its simplest form: paper v digital
• · · · We're actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history] National Geographics: North Pole May Be Ice Free for First Time This Summer Arctic won't see its first completely ice-free summer until somewhere between 2013 and 2030; amazon drought nearing climate tipping point
• · · · · Blogging and citizen journalism provides an alternative to the media delivering government and corporate spin as news.Raging against rising Internet repression; Modern media is tailor-made for propaganda, spreading often unchallenged values for financial profit or political influence. Learning rites and wrongs
• · · · · · Slovakia joins the eurozone next year, becoming only the second ex-communist country to do so – an achievement many thought unlikely and one that continues to elude its former Soviet-bloc neighbours. For a small, export-oriented economy, the coming years could be difficult, but Slovakia has already beaten the odds by becoming one of Europe’s most striking success stories Economy: The tiger that beat the odds ; George W. Bush once got Slovakia and Slovenia mixed up. Infamy, in the two capitals Bratislava and Ljubljana, but understandable elsewhere in the world, where these two benign, pretty countries must compete for a place on the tourist map. The Slovak capital (pop. 450,000), while immeasurably more attractive than when the communists handed it over in 1989, is merely “cute” by comparison with nearby Prague, Budapest and Vienna. The High Tatra mountains, while scenic, stretch for barely 50 kilometers; the highest peak, Gerlach, is fully 2,000 metres short of Mont Blanc. And so on. You can sell the Tatras. Nowhere in Europe is there a lowland airport so close to a mountain chain. You can be at your hotel in 15 minutes, whereas in the Alps you may have to drive for an hour or more. Our plan is to rebuild the Tatras, or perhaps to reclaim them from the ashes You can sell the Tatras

Sunday, July 20, 2008

In 1907 American humorist Mark Twain, in his "Chapters from My Autobiography" wrote: "Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'"

That familiar saying refers to the persuasive power of numbers, the use of statistics to bolster arguments, and the habit of discounting statistics that don't support your positions. Here, James cumes is going to address hard statistics about depression, realistic picture these numbers paint …

Two years ago, early in 2006, James Cumes wrote, in America’s Suicidal Statecraft, that:
One of the more fascinating debates is whether, if and when we crash, we will have deflation or inflation - and either one in its most extreme form. Within this debate, we have such entertaining - or devastating - suggestions as the helicopter drop linked to the names of Friedman and Bernanke. Some forty years ago, one of the more beguiling habits of President Bokassa of the Central African Republic, was to fling handfuls of coins and paper money to his grateful people when he went on walkabouts among them. His little gesture drew the crowds, increased his popularity and nurtured his ambitions. Eventually, it helped to bring about his apotheosis as “Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Empire”. He was crowned in a magnificent, Napoleon-like ceremony, costing $20 million that the country could not, of course afford; but it added circuses to the presidential appeal. Sadly, however, the fantasy was short-lived. Even his exuberant generosity could not prevent the Emperor’s eventual overthrow and imprisonment…
Assuredly, there will be many extreme as well as some more rational proposals when what seems to be the inevitable crash does arrive. By that time, we may have reached what one commentator has called “The End of the Western World we have known since 1945”, the United States dollar may have become a “monkey currency” like the Emperor Bokassa’s and any dollar notes that Chairman Bernanke might drop from helicopters might have even less real value than the paper money with which the Emperor showered his people on his Coronation Day, back in 1977. The End of the Western World since 1977

Can we change the human tendency for recession? Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
Interesting article from 1999 AD. courtesy of Steve M

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.
The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

Fannie Mae _ mea Culpa; [The Howard government did nothing as house prices spiraled out of control powered by a debt binge that will haunt us for years Sick Soil of Sydney and so on …; 'Casino capitalism', 'robber barren capitalism', 'the greed machine' - call it what you will - the corporate financial orgy has come to a shuddering halt. bubbles deflating worldwide ]
• · PERPETUAL and Wesfarmers are the latest in a string of companies to be targeted by predatory share-buying schemes, running under the names of Hassle Free Share Sales and Share Buying Group Beware of share predators;
• · Robert Higgs Boohoo: The Mainstream Media Are Ignoring Me Depression, War, and Cold War; On September 29, the day the House of Representatives voted down the bailout bill, the S&P 500 opened at 1,209 and closed at 1,106, registering a loss of 8.5 percent. Other stock-market indexes recorded similar declines in share prices. The Stock Market Proved . . . Or Did It?
• · · Mistrust over lending grips the globe, but a wiser, more nimble US could emerge from the chaos Branko Milanovic: Global crisis: how far to go? Part I; Collapsing share markets have dramatically reshaped the fortunes of the nation's multi-billionaires in recent months, stripping Mr Forrest of the crown and elevating perennial rich list bridesmaid Frank Lowy to the top of the rankings for the first time. Collapsing share markets
• · · · Shopping centre magnate Frank Lowy has taken the mantle of Australia's richest man for the first time. First time; Frank Lowy, an Australian Jew, for the first time was identified as the nation’s richest man.Richest Man; AUSTRALIA'S ability to crack down on offshore tax evasion is limited by how much it can legislate for activities that occur outside its borders Tax Havens
• · · · · 4 Corners, 6 October 2008. Liz Jackson reports on the insider who stole a bank's secrets, then sold them, sparking panic among the world's super rich Tax me if you can.; We need a watch kept on the operation of Australia’s terrorism laws Unique legislative regime" needs on-going review
• · · · · · Some of the most innovative ideas are generated during tough times. Kevin Roberts Presentation at the Insider's Creative Forum in Manchester; Three easy watching movies I’ve enjoyed lately in the air. It is definitely going to be Hugh Jackman’s year. He’s set to star in Baz Luhrmann's epic Australia

Thursday, July 10, 2008

W hat do I like most about blogging? Moving on. Being part of the flow of ideas and inspiration. Sometimes it feels as though I’m on a ship leaving posts behind in my wake as I keep my eyes on the horizon for what’s coming up. I am sure I’m not the only one to respond to blogging in this way Blogging with Wal-Mart

July 08 Australia rated tourist hotspot by US travellers Sydney is voted fourth best city in the world
Indeed Australia is the hearty gift to the world. With Mal we have covered the country far and wide – Molong where June was born is the best kept secret as are places around the Blue Mountains such as Blackheath’s Glenella BB and Restaurant Gareth and Kate of Glenella fame

Australia has again been rated a tourist hotspot by US travellers, with Sydney voted fourth best city in the world in a new magazine survey. US travel magazine Travel + Leisure released the results of its World's Best Awards today, with Bangkok taking out the top spot on the World's Best City list. Buenos Aires and Cape Town were voted second and third, while Sydney came in fourth after being ranked fifth last year.

Lucky Country: Sydney climbs back up the ladder of tourist popularity; [World tourism growth continues to outstrip a stagnant Australian industry Where the bloody hell are they?; THEY packed their Bibles and rosary beads along with their bedrolls, sleeping bags, guitars and woolly beanies. Loudly and proudly they proclaimed their nationalities, wearing vibrant national colours and carrying flags with the broadest of smiles. [The mobile device dubbed the Jesus Phone is about to have its second coming. The iPhone 3G, the new incarnation of Apple's first foray into the mobile handset business, will go on sale in 22 countries on Friday] The flock descends from everywhere - The 'Jesus' phone has a second coming]
• · Courtesy of Polish Victor - Made Mal Smile … Sikh dancing; Compliments of Polish Christopher Aboriginal Zorba
• · The Income Tax department and RBI would perhaps like to know from where Pankaj Oswal got all the seed money, especially when his father’s group has been a loan defaulter for long Oswal; Legal doubts cloud the rise of the awesome Oswals
• · · Nothing deters Abhey Oswal from talking big--not even the size of his past failures. A Team BT investigation. Sinking at home, Abhey Oswal beefs up son’s Australian plant ; The Dreambagger
• · · · In the Attraction Economy, design is King. Well, Queen too, for that matter. We are way beyond modernism’s rubric of ‘form follows function’ Design to feel for; The Daily Telegraph just published their ranking of the world's top 50 restaurants. I believe restaurants are totally personal (eating is an emotional experience after all) and, as I've been to a few on the list, here's an assessment based on my personal experience.. Restaurant Review: The Best of the Best
• · · · · How I Realized that Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s E-Reader Were Exceeding Sales Estimates Looks Like a Million To MEdia Dragon; Publishers (and fans) increasingly expect and hope that top fiction authors will issue a new book on regular basis, but the Boston Globe says writers are complaining about the pressure. Patricia Cornwell says : "The Scarpetta [manuscript] that's due out Oct. 7 is due in a few weeks, because they have to reserve the storefront real estate and pay for it. If I don't get the book turned in on time, they'll be freaking out. If I miss my deadline, I miss the entire year. Sometimes there's an overwhelming feeling of panic. It's like a rock 'n' roll concert, and what if I don't show up?" Top Authors on Annual Deadline Pressures

• · · · · · If you haven’t tried our sister site which deals in social networking for reader BOOKTRIBES and DRAGONS; Rose Tremain Wins Orange Prize

Monday, July 07, 2008

So few and far between are my books like Cold River or my entries on the Media Dragon … I love the moments when I do come up with an entry. Flowers like blogs grow out of dark moments. Therefore certain spirit of the moment – moments are vital as they affect the whole. Writer’s life is a succession of such inspiring moments …

Speaking of inspiring moments, I feel very lucky as I tend to come across many characters who know so much about inspiration and challenges. One such a character is a friendly lawyer who is also an iceberg swimmer - few people can claim to be as True Blue Blokes born and bred at Bondi as Mike Malley is ... So if you are exchanging contract or need a lawyer to represent you on almost any matter under the sun - czech Out the services of Michael Malley of Malleys Lawyers As Media Dragon is ranked £ 5 on Google lets hope the ranking is being helped by this entry ... Malley on Google

Today is exactly 28 years since I escaped across the Iron Curtain. Who can count how many liters of water flowed under the bridges of the Morava River Written exclusively for Beautiful Minds and Hearts

Is Eternal vigilance the price of freedom? Wise people store up knowledge Prv 10:14 NKJV

28 Years On and East Meets West Where Iron curtain and Cold Morava River used to flow ...

Water Bridge in Germany.... What a feat!

Six years, 500 million euros, 918 meters long.......now this is engineering!

This is a channel-bridge over the River Elbe and joins the former East and West Germany, as part of the unification project. It is located in the city of Magdeburg, near Berlin. The photo was taken on the day of inauguration.

To those who appreciate engineering projects, here's a puzzle for you armchair engineers and physicists. Did that bridge have to be designed to withstand the additional weight of ship and barge traffic, or just the weight of the water?


It only needs to be designed to withstand the weight of the water!
Why? A ship always displaces an amount of water that weighs the same as the ship, regardless of how heavily a ship may be loaded.

Remember your high school physics, and the fly in an enclosed bottle project? Similarly, the super sensitive scale proved that it didn't make any difference whether the fly was sitting on the bottom, walking up the side, or flying around. The bottle, air, and fly were a single unit of mass and always weighed the same.
German Bridge That Is For Boats-Truth!

CODA: Learn a communist language before the badly awarded Olympic Games of 2008 AD
- Learn Chinese in 5 minutes (You MUST read them aloud)
English – Chinese
Small Horse - Tai Ni Po Ni
I think you need a face lift! Chin Tu Fat
It's very dark in here! Wai So Dim
Your body odour is offensive - Yu Stin Ki Pu