Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blogs of interest - on mistresses, Indonesia, Israel and drinking

Just at the moment as part of my series generated from reading Norman Davies The Isles I am mulling over the concept of Celtish and the Celtic myth, and what a remarkable myth it is. I had no idea!

While I am mulling, a few brief comments on blog posts of interest.

Let's start with Legal Eagle's O Mistress Mine!. This is a fascinating exploration of the type of of relationships linked in some way, in some cases not linked in any way!, to marriage. I found it all quite complicated but still interesting,

Just at the moment, the two main blogs that I use to follow the Indonesian experience are Multibrand and the RAB Experience. Tikno and Niar have been in something of a blogging pause, although I keep in touch with Niar through Facebook, one of a number of blogging friends there.

In a perhaps strange way I found Rob Baiton's reporting on the current scandal in Indonesia enormously re-assuring because it shows the way that Indonesia is, I think, evolving towards a more open and transparent system. One of the points that flows from my own writing into the Australian experience is the importance of transparency in providing a check not just on the abuse of state power, but more generally in correcting errors in public policy.

Mind you, this transparency can be a two edge sword. I want to write a little at some point about the way that certain types of transparency have begun to cripple Government actions. You see, its a question of balance.Weekend at Bernies

In Weekend at Bernie’s for Middle East Peace Paul Barratt provides a somewhat scathing assessment of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. All that is missing from the attached photo are the boaters and canes!

I do not pretend to understand the dynamics of this conflict, although I do know a fair bit of the history. Like many Australians, I have swung from very strong support for Israel coming out of the dynamics of World War II to something of an opposite position, almost a pox on both your houses.

Leaving aside current issues, I think that the combination of economics and demographic change is working inexorably against Israel. I suspect that if I sat down and looked at the numbers I could probably guess the point at which the balance will finally tilt. It may be that Israel has now lost its chance for a viable two state solution and that, instead, it is now staring down the barrel of a gun at some far more unpalatable outcomes.

I actually must look at the numbers, because they provide a way of analysing dynamics independent of immediate issues.

Finally, I found Adrian Neylan's Man of Lettuce through Neil Whitfield (Ninglun) as I have so many other things. Dear that man has had an influence, and for the better from my viewpoint.

This blog, a cabbies blog, is a really great blog. Looking at Adrian's photo, I suspect that I know his Dad!, who is very Australian in the best sense, an extremely nice man and a pleasure to work for as I did once for a brief period.

Adrian's post Brutal captured something that really worries me in general and as a parent with 20 and 22 year old daughters, the combination of drink and violence. Our conventional public policy answer lies in more controls. As I will try to address at some point in the current series, We need to reform Australia's approach to public policy, our current approaches are unimaginative, mechanistic and one-directional.

Well, its time to get ready for the working day.      


Legal Eagle said...

Adrian's blog is great, isn't it? - I've been a follower for a long time.

Jim Belshaw said...

Sure is.