Issue of the Day

The art of lobbying

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Business ethics, Issue of the Day | 0 comments

The discipline of lobbying has a chequered history and sadly suffers a rather tainted reputation. That’s because the role of a lobbyist is primarily to influence others and the easiest way to influence many people is to offer inducements. All too often those can take the form of financial incentives and things can get messy, not to mention illegal. But a lobbyist is like a lawyer. They use their communication skills to assist a client achieve an objective. More often than not that objective is to modify the proposed form or content of...

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Pollies play us for fools

Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Issue of the Day, Political comment | 0 comments

The following story happened in Australia but I am sure it has parallels that play out in most liberal democracies – and, no doubt, in quite a few regimes that don’t favour transparency and accountability to the same extent. It essentially comes back to that great old line: How can you tell a politician is lying? When his lips are moving. Boom, boom! But, seriously, these elected representatives must think we are idiots. The Australian government recently released a new Defence White Paper. This happens every four years and paints a...

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Gotta love the plastic!

Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Issue of the Day, Social comment | 0 comments

 Indonesia is a vast archipelago that stretches for thousands of kilometres. It comprises some 18,000 islands of which 10,000 remain to be named and there are less than one thousand that are permanently occupied. A great place to get lost! It is also the world’s most populous Muslim nation with some 240 million people. This makes it the world’s fourth-most populous nation after China, India and America. But there is another distinguishing characteristic that makes Indonesia somewhat different: they just can’t get enough Tupperware. ...

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Community blogging

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Issue of the Day, Social comment | 0 comments

There is a certain egotism to blogging that cannot be denied. Indeed, should not be denied. We want our voices to be heard, in whatever shape, form or process that suits each of us, individually. I really hunger for a large audience. It would signify that what I have to say has some validity. After all, if people don’t wish to read what you have to say then maybe your message does not resonate. It’s a basic, if brutal, law of the universe. We attract an audience according to the validity of our message. At least, that is the presumption....

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Anyone doubt we live in a weird world?

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Issue of the Day, Social comment | 0 comments

Let’s face it, a lot of strange things happen in America. That doesn’t make all Americans strange. Hey, some of my best friends are, you know, . . . But there are some aspects of US culture that go way beyond anything people in the rest of the world would generally regard as normal. And ya can’t go past guns for examples of strangeness. Take the rural enclave of Nelson in Georgia. The civic leaders of this community of 1300 souls recently decreed that you MUST own a gun. Well, they did offer a few exemptions to, like, people with mental...

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The dangers of social media

Posted by on Apr 26, 2013 in Issue of the Day, Social comment | 0 comments

Social media are transforming our world in ways similar to the advent of the Internet. Yes, their influence is THAT profound. But are those influences beneficial? Well, the positive side is that they do facilitate communication and in that sense alone they have the potential to be beneficial. Regrettably so much of that potential is wasted. Like the internet, social media give us access to vast quantities of information: more material than has ever been conceived in the history of humankind. It is an enormous privilege to have so much usable...

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Well, go figure . . . likes attract

Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in Issue of the Day, Social comment | 0 comments

There has been extensive debate – and very considerable academic argument – ever since the ancient Greeks about whether opposites or likes attract each other. Accepted thinking has spun like a weather vane between the two as physicists and other scientists have revealed ever deeper secrets of physics and the universe. It has been the same with social relationships with some gurus saying opposite characters create the best marriage/partnership models but with seemingly just as many believing the contrary. This discourse will no doubt...

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Shock jock idiot

Posted by on Apr 21, 2013 in Issue of the Day, Social comment | 0 comments

Radio broadcasters often set out to become ‘shock jocks’: that peculiar form of verbal terrorist who dominates the airwaves by focusing on controversy and airing views that are deliberately provocative. We have plenty of them in Australia (they make music stations sound good) and they command large audiences. But that does not mean they don’t utter stupid comments as often as not. One of these commentators who should know better has just courted controversy by buying into the Boston Marathon bombing. The background to his idiocy is...

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The price of freedom is to not live in Russia

Posted by on Apr 20, 2013 in Issue of the Day, Political comment | 0 comments

There is something about Russians and their love of ‘strong’ leaders that is frightening. Why would they continually subject themselves to rulers who oppress the masses? It is not as if the Russian people are unfamiliar with rebellions and revolutions but they seem unable – or unwilling, more intriguingly – to decisively throw off the shackles of autocrats. President Vladimir Putin is the latest in a long line of national leaders who bend the system to their personal preferences – the pursuit of unbridled power – and let the...

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Tales of the traveller – Chinese legroom

Posted by on Apr 18, 2013 in Humour, Issue of the Day | 0 comments

Travelling on China’s internal airlines is an experience – for many reasons including the ability to shoehorn fifty per cent more paying passengers on each flight than anywhere else in the known universe. Now, it’s not being racist to suggest the Chinese are generally somewhat lesser in stature than Aussies. Hey, some of my best friends are Chinese, right! However, leg room is a concept that has never been explained to the mandarins that operate these services. With a population of 1.5 billion, there are plenty of takers...

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