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Australian Immigration Madness

October 31, 2008

mohammed290.jpgI travel in and out of here with nary a thought for border control, just glad that I can do so easily. But we (Australia) have an extremely fine mesh immigration net that catches all sorts. I know from experience that it hooks the sharks, and does so in such a way that we are the envy of other border management agencies around the world. But sadly it catches the good guys as well. Sometimes with fatal consequences. Mohammed Hussein here is one example. Read more

Forced to Eat Her Own Genitals

October 25, 2008

rwanda290.jpgWith power comes responsibility. (Cliched but true!) With great power, great responsibility. The internet is a powerful tool. It can be a plaything, offering self indulgent writing as is the case with this blog. Conversely it can offer a voice to those who have no voice. But only if we,with access to it, make it available. So when I read the personal story of Maryam who met Vestine, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, I could not not hit the keyboard. To ignore it would be to turn away. Read more

Taxi Story – The Korean

October 25, 2008

cab.jpgGuess where I am from. I never tell anyone. It takes about ten hours to fly from here to my home.

Ah, Hong Kong?

No, no, that is eight hours.

Shanghai?

No, that is 9 hours.

Korea?

Yes, yes, Korea. Read more

Art Deco At Fair Park

October 22, 2008

art_deco_statefair290.jpgIn an area of the US which boasts one of the most rapidly growing urban areas in the country (I understand it competes with San Diego for that dubious honour) not only are places like Frisco and McKinney keeping some grip on their heritage but so too downtown Dallas where Fair Park retains most of the buildings erected for the 1936 Centennial Exposition. Read more

O’Connor Buckley

October 17, 2008

louise_oconnor.jpgI have never been overly comfortable about saying how proud I am about family – can’t have them getting grand notions about themselves now can we ?! But the fact of the matter is that wherever I cast a glance out across the tree I only see people of whom I am extremely proud and who I love dearly. Read more

Recession? What Recession?

October 16, 2008

joetheplumber_290.jpgThe statistics tell one story I guess. And the emotionally driven sinking red line tells another. But last week I picked up a copy of the Wall Street Journal on my way to breakfast where beside pictures of brokers with heads in their hands was a small story about one (unknown) company paying $6billion in cash for another (unknown) company. Read more

McKinney is Famous for …

October 13, 2008

mckinney290.jpg…being so, well,  American. It is October. So the corn stalks are out, reminding us of harvest thanksgiving. Orange pumpkins dot the sidewalks and verandas. Halloween creeps up on us after all, and only the blind or dull and unobservant could miss these brilliant cues.  Read more

Body of Lies a Body of Lies

October 13, 2008

bodyoflies.jpgOn Sunday I sat in a movie theatre  in Texas and watched Russell Crowe, Leonardo Di Caprio and others in the recently released movie “Body of Lies”. There was something in the experience that came full circle  – or rather I should say there were a number of interesting threads that came together that afternoon. Read more

American DNA

October 11, 2008

gm_challenger290.jpgWe always say that even though we speak the same language as our American cousins we often don’t hear the same words. Which is another way of saying there are lots of things which on the surface are assumed to be the same but which are in fact very different. Read more

Taxi Story – The Ethiopian

October 9, 2008

cab.jpg(Starting to slip into a US drawl) “Howya doing? Hope Street please.” (this was in Washington DC).

Silence

“Do you know where that is?”

Nods.

“Are you able to take me there?” (it is considered a tough part of town)

“Mmmmmm.” Read more

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