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By staff writers
May 15, 2009 09:46am

Much loved actor dies
Bud Tingwell died in Melbourne this morning with his son and daughter by his side. 05/09 Sky News
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VETERAN Australian actor Charles “Bud” Tingwell died this morning, aged 86.

Tingwell passed away in a Melbourne hospital at 8.30am with his son and daughter by his side, his spokesperson, Joanne Baker told

He died due to complications with prostate cancer, Baker said.

Tingwell had been diagnosed with the disease a couple of years ago.

Best known for his roles in film Breaker Morant, TV shows Homicide, All The Rivers Run and more recently, film The Castle, Tingwell was still acting in films and on stage until recently.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Tingwell was “in every sense an Australian legend”.

“He is so much a part of the Australian character as it’s been shaped and as it will evolve in the future,” he said.

“A great Australian and all Australians are sad to see his passing.”

Actor Jack Thompson, whose parents were friends with Tingwell when Thompson was a boy, told Sky News it was a pleasure to have known him.

“A great tree has been felled in our culture,” Thompson, who appeared opposite Tingwell in Breaker Morant, said.

“There cannot be a better person to pass on his craft … to young actors.”

The team behind Working Dog, which includes Rob Sitch and Tom Gleisner and worked with Tingwell on TV’s The Late Show and movies The Castle and The Dish, said Tingwell would be sadly missed.

“He was a real gentleman, always smiling, always enthusiastic and a thorough professional, whether appearing in a big budget feature or a one off comedy sketch,” they said.

“He also took a keen interest in supporting young people making film and television.

“Born in Coogee, a spitfire pilot, movie star, director and family man – it sounds like a character from a movie, but it was actually Bud’s life. He was a one-off.”

Gleisner told the ABC that when Sitch visited Tingwell in hospital a few days ago “he had a script next to him, beside his bed, and he was learning lines for his next role”.

“He never wanted to retire and he lived for and loved his work and I think that is an enduring memory he would like us to have of him.”

Tingwell appeared in over 100 films, according to Wikipedia, the first being Smithy in 1946.

He was awarded the prestigious Gold Logie Hall of Fame award in 1994.

In 2006 Tingwell successfully launched his own website, gaining over 500 registered users in just over a week.

With the tagline “never too old to blog”, Tingwell encouraged fans to share their thoughts on his life and career.

He revealed how he became known as Bud on his site.

“It wasn’t until I was 60 years old that I finally found out why my parents called me Bud, rather than my real name, Charles,” he said.

“Although it had been a much-discussed topic in the Tingwell family for decades, my mother had never come clean.

“After she died, an uncle finally told me the truth. When my mother was pregnant, she had been teased by some friends at the Coogee Surf Club, asking, ‘What’s budding in there?’ It became ‘How’s the bud?’ and finally ‘Bud’.

“I rather liked Charles. But I also love the ordinariness of Bud.”

Monkey bite: Tingwell’s childhood memories

Only a few weeks ago Tingwell told PerthNow about starting his career on radio and his days with the Royal Australian Air Force.

“The cinema, or the pictures, as we probably called it, was very, very important to me,” he said.

“I loved the magic of what movies could do. I loved film and radio.

“Dad said, ‘Look, why don’t you apply for this job? Cadet announcer/panel operator wanted for leading Sydney commercial radio station, 2CH.’

“So I applied and they offered me the job, making me the youngest radio announcer in Australia.”

Tingwell was a WWII pilot and was sent to the Middle East, completing 75 operational flights in Spitfires and Mosquito aircraft as a photographic reconnaissance pilot.

“Anzac Day is complicated for me,” he explained.

“I had a very close friend, Frank who was killed in the war flying over targets with bombs.

“Four or five years after the war ended, I was comparing on a radio show and I was told that there was someone to see me and it was my friend’s mother.

“She told me that Frank’s body was never returned to her and that changed my whole attitude – I kept thinking how many families didn’t have loved ones to bury and I have not walked in an Anzac Day parade since.”

He used to attend an Anzac Day dinner with those who returned from WWII.

“There are very few of us left and now we have to have it at lunchtime,” he laughed.

“And recently – this made me laugh – a big bloke came up to me after I had a given a talk and he said, that he was glad that he had missed me.

“He was one of the German fighter pilots who had attacked my plane – but luckily he didn’t hit me.

“We had a lovely conversation that day.”,28383,25486771-10229,00.html?referrer=email&source=eDM_newspulse

25 per cent of employees steal work time
Time theft becoming more prevalent
Technology makes illicit activity easier

ARE you one of the 25 per cent of employees costing employers an estimated $1 billion a year in lost productivity by stealing work time?

Employers have been looking at the costs of workplace time theft since Robert Half published a report in 1983 estimating that the average employee steals four hours and 15 minutes a week – more than five full work weeks a year.

For many years, some employees have engaged in “moonlighting”, which involved working in a second job in the evenings or weekends.

But employees are now squeezing in outside work during a regular shift, creating a new and growing phenomenon called “daylighting”, The Courier-Mail reports.

It could be writing computer programs, creating graphic designs, typing university assignments or completing some other task in the employer’s time in return for payment from an outside source.

Time theft has always been a problem, but it is becoming more prevalent. With workdays becoming longer and workloads becoming more demanding, employees are two-timing the boss.

There are many demands placed on people outside their work. Employees try to get some of it done during work time or they may arrive late or leave early to try to meet these non-work responsibilities.

Gen Y in particular does not feel the sense of loyalty to employers that older workers do. Older workers are comfortable with going to work, then going home. Work and recreation time are separate. Younger workers prefer to mix work and play on the boss’s time.

Access to technology has made illicit workplace activity much easier. A survey of 1500 employees conducted by a HR management solutions company reported that respondents admitted spending up to two hours a day taking part in some sort of non-work activity.

Companies often provide employees with a range of mobile communication technology and expect them to be always available. The result is a tendency for employees to say: “If I need time during the day for personal needs, I am going to take it”.

Popular activities associated with cyberbludging include personal emails and phone calls, online shopping, social networking and games.

US sociologist Abby Schoneboom says part of the the fun of cyberbludging comes from the strenuous efforts to conceal it. A carefully rehearsed cover-up story to disguise such activity imbues stolen work time with a heightened value and excitement.

Alternative views argue that electronic breaks are not distracting employees from their work but actually increasing staff efficiency and morale. These findings are based on university trials carried out on a cross-section of British businesses.

Many employers, however, are combating alleged productivity losses and inappropriate use of workplace resources by either downsizing or salary reduction.

An employment law firm conducted research and found that seven out of 10 companies ban access to social networking sites and are considering banning personal internet access altogether.

In these tough economic times employees should be prepared to either face legal action or accept dismissal if they get caught stealing the bosses’ time. Surely it is fraudulent behaviour.

Posted Sun May 3, 2009 5:11pm AEST

Internet-age innovator Google is taking advantage of an old-time principle to thwart wildfires: goats will eat almost anything.

Google has brought in about 200 of the grazers to munch fields around its campus in the Northern California city of Mountain View.

California is prone to wildfires and several years of drought have heightened the danger.

Grasses and brush that thrives during the state’s brief rainy season turn ominously sere and flammable during parched months.

Firefighters consistently advise people to clear brush to create buffer zones bereft of fuel for spreading flames.

“We have some fields that we need to mow occasionally to clear weeds and brush to reduce fire hazard,” Google director of real estate and workplace services Dan Hoffman wrote in a posting on the company’s official blog.

“Instead of using noisy mowers that run on gasoline and pollute the air, we’ve rented some goats … to do the job for us (we’re not ‘kidding’).”

It is common for goats to be used in Northern California to clear brush, especially on terrain difficult for people or equipment to access.

“We currently have 800 environmentally friendly, self-propelled weed eaters for weed control and brush control, that are ready for your project,” California Grazing says on its website.

“Goat weed control and land management with goats is not only easy on the eyes and the environment but is also cost effective.”

California Grazing provided the herd munching away outside the “Googleplex.”

Mr Hoffman said that a border collie dog named “Jen” is helping manage the goats.

“They spend roughly a week with us at Google, eating the grass and fertilizing at the same time,” Hoffman wrote.

“It costs us about the same as mowing, and goats are a lot cuter to watch than lawn mowers.”


Jacob Saulwick
May 4, 2009

At university, I remember a professor using Umberto Eco’s The Name Of The Rose to talk about why the public discussion of economics was often so puerile. In Eco’s book, set in the Middle Ages, a young Benedictine monk, Adso, travels with his mentor, the learned Franciscan, William of Baskerville, to an abbey somewhere north of the Italian city of Pisa. There, among the monks, they find murder, sex, pious learning, and the suppression of illicit literature.

The point of comparing medieval religion and economics is that with both, thinking insiders have more doubts about the way the world works than they present to the public.

In The Name of the Rose, William, in particular, but also other monks within the abbey, grapple with their religiosity in a highly complicated way. They scrutinise scripture, and test it against what they know of science and logic.

By the end of the novel – a gripping murder mystery – William has almost argued himself out of a belief in God.

But the 14th-century church projected no ambivalence to the outside world. For the groaning mass of peasantry in the shadows of the cloister, their only theology was a fierce fire-and-brimstone. You do bad and you go to hell. You think bad thoughts, and it’s the work of the devil.

Economics, too, can be rich, subtle and nuanced. But what hits the TV news – through the words of politicians, and also economists – is more often than not a simple story of good and evil. I don’t have a PhD. But it’s often said that post-graduate study in economics can be an exercise in working out why the simple lessons learned in first year do not always hold.

So, at the moment, all sides of politics are calling for wage restraint. The idea is easily understood. If it costs more to take on workers, employers will find it harder to put on staff, making the recession even worse. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development has released a report backing this up. A “wages breakout” during a recession, like carnal thought, must be diabolical.

Perhaps. But ask a few more questions and the story gets complicated. For example, if the owner of a factory lowers the wages of their staff, it follows that more of the factory’s income is retained as profit. In good times, the factory-owner will invest that profit – say, in new equipment – expand production and hire more staff. And lower wages will lead to higher employment.

But when the factory owner is nervous about their future, as they might be today, will they really re-invest that profit? They might be more likely to save the money, or use it to pay off debt.

And if you’re a government thinking not about one factory, but factories, shops and financial houses across the economy, then it does not necessarily follow that you would want to use wage restraint as a means of stimulating activity. At least if there is more money in the hands of workers, they are more likely to spend it on the everyday stuff of living than the factory-owner is to grow production.

It is possible to arrive at this position because you are a lefty. But it is also possible to get there just by asking a few more questions about the way the economy might actually work.

You can also see medieval economics at work in the attempt to demonise government borrowing during the financial crisis. The Opposition is on strong ground arguing that the Government has been wasteful in its past two spending packages. But it is little more than fear-mongering when they lambast government borrowing simply because it is borrowing.

The shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, said last week: “One concept that eludes Mr Rudd and Mr Swan is that of opportunity cost. A dollar spent by the Government needs to be financed (either by debt or directly, but ultimately by tax revenue) and that is a dollar less that can be spent by the private sector.”

For a start, I’m not sure that Hockey is talking about opportunity cost, but the concept of “crowding out”, where government spending pushes up interest rates, and deflates investment by the private sector.

Crowding out is an economic theory, fair enough, but there is also evidence that it doesn’t hold if the economy is running below capacity. If the private sector is not lining up to invest, how can it be “crowded out”? It is just as possible that government activity helps expand the economy, creating opportunities for the private sector.

But when it comes to demonising debt, no one does it quite like Peter Costello. Out and about last week at the launch of Peter Hartcher’s book on the fall of Howard, Costello reminded us that he spent a decade paying off Labor’s profligacy. And paying off its latest binge may take all of our lifetimes.

“You have got to remember there is no such thing as a free cheque. You will pay for it. That is borrowed money that has been sent to you and the Government has now got an interest bill. And when the Government pays that interest bill, it will get the money out of your taxes.”

Scary stuff. Forget the details. Warn the kids and live in fear.

Dough-Vo a no-no: Krispy Kreme concedes

April 30, 2009 – 11:20AM
The stakes were high when Arnott’s took on Krispy Kreme to protect its Iced Vo-Vo trademark.

Arnotts was defending big bikkies and Krispy was looking at a lot of dough.

The battle was set to play out in the homes and offices of Australia at morning coffee and afternoon tea time, but the war of the clones ended today without a shot being fired.

Arnott’s threatened legal action action over Krispy Kreme’s Iced

Dough-Vo doughnut, which is covered in pink icing and coconut flakes, just like the famous Iced Vo-Vo biscuit.

An Arnott’s spokeswoman said Krispy Kreme Australia must have been coconuts to think it could take advantage of the 103-year old Vo-Vo trade mark.

Krispy Kreme Australia had argued that imitation was the sincerest form of flattery and Arnotts should be tickled pink at the homage to its iconic brand.

Now the doughnut maker has backed down and agreed to rename the Iced Dough-Vo from May 11, Arnott’s and Krispy Kreme said in a joint statement issued today.

A storm in a teacup, it seems.

Malcolm Knox
March 21, 2009

Once a national treasure…Marcus Einfeld was cheerful when he arrived at court, surrounded by family and friends. Photo: Jon Reid

FOR $75, Marcus Einfeld could have caught a taxi home to Woollahra from his fateful lunch at Freshwater in January 2006.

That unpaid $75 speeding fine has cost him his title as Queen’s Counsel, his Order of Australia honour, his reputation and at least two years in jail. It has cost him everything but his $200,000 annual retired judge’s pension.

But as the Supreme Court judge Bruce James stressed yesterday in sentencing Einfeld, it was never about the $75. Nor was it about the three demerit points Einfeld would have picked up for the offence in Macpherson Street, Mosman, as he drove his friend Vivian Schenker to her Cremorne Point home. The extent of Einfeld’s “deliberate premeditated perjury” and “planned criminal activity”, revealed in its totality yesterday, was all the more astounding for the triviality of the initial offence.

In a courtroom shocked into silence and tears, Justice James sentenced Einfeld, 70, to three years in full-time custody, two years of it non-parole, for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The fall was complete for Einfeld, once a Queen’s Counsel, Federal Court judge, National Trust living treasure and president of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

Operatic in scale, that fall was reflected in microcosm yesterday: between Einfeld’s robust, cheerful arrival at court and his sombre departure between two Corrective Services officers; between the ebullience of his big entourage of family and supporters at the start of the hearing, and their tearful silence when his sentence was announced; and between the eminence of his achievements and the pointless deviousness of his crimes.

Einfeld had pleaded guilty to two offences relating to his car being clocked 10 kmh over the speed limit at 4.01pm on January 8, 2006. For the first, lying under oath to the Local Court in August 2006 when he said he was not driving the car but had lent it to an American friend, Teresa Brennan, he was sentenced to one year and nine months.

On this excuse he was acquitted in August 2006 but it was later discovered that Professor Brennan had died three years earlier. This gave rise to the second offence, of wilfully trying to pervert the course of justice. It was for this that Einfeld received the heavier sentence of two years and three months. The latter crime “aggravated the seriousness” of the first, Justice James said.

In August 2006, when police investigated the Brennan revelations, Einfeld wrote a 20-page statement that would have done Colleen McCullough proud. It was an elaborate fiction about how Einfeld lent his car to a woman named Brennan whom he had met in Bangladesh. His 82-paragraph description of this Brennan’s appearance, the scenes, dialogue and narration were vivid, fluent and totally fictitious.

The intelligence and imagination Einfeld brought to that statement, his history in the law and standing in the community only made things worse for him.

A son of the former Labor minister Syd Einfeld, Einfeld was a pillar of the Jewish and eastern suburbs establishment.

But for Justice James, Einfeld’s position aggravated his crimes. “He knew the high importance of telling the truth,” Justice James said, and his crimes “strike at the heart of the administration of justice”. He had no excuses for attacking the rule of law itself.

On Einfeld’s sentencing submissions that his physical and mental health would make jail too onerous, Justice James said his various symptoms would probably worsen but not to the extent that he could avoid full-time jail.

After the sentence, Einfeld was mobbed by weeping family and friends. One by one he thanked them. They would be heading in opposite directions: his family eastwards along Syd Einfeld Drive; and he westwards, to jail. In his parting words, he murmured: “I have my bags packed”.

Richard Ackland
March 20, 2009
Shortly after 10 o’clock this morning Marcus Einfeld should know his punishment for two criminal offences: perjury and perverting the course of justice.

The case has attracted a considerable amount of excitement, and even some splenetic commentary.

Many people may have only dim memories of what happened, so for a moment let’s go back to the very heart of the former judge’s crime. It can be broken into what loosely might be described as Plan A and Plan B, which the Crown characterised as “cunning, elaborate and premeditated”.

Plan A was to protect himself from a speeding offence committed on January 8, 2006. Einfeld made a false statutory declaration after receiving the speeding penalty notice – he knew that he was the driver of his car when he nominated Professor Teresa Brennan as the person “in control” of the vehicle.

Further, he knew when he elected to have the matter heard by the Local Court that he was the driver of the car. He knew he was lying when, to the written notice of pleading, he attached a letter addressed to the presiding magistrate. It said: “My plea of not guilty is because I was not the driver of the car at the time and place stated … I am happy to come to court on a convenient day to swear to these facts if required.”

On August 7, 2006 he gave sworn evidence before a magistrate, Ian Barnett. He used his status as a “justice” when he perjured himself, saying he had left Sydney on January 6, 2006 and went to Forster; that he had lent his car to an old friend, Professor Brennan; that he was not driving his vehicle on January 8, 2006; and he did not know Macpherson Street, Mosman, the place where the offence took place.

The magistrate dismissed the charge against Einfeld.

After the hearing, journalists from The Daily Telegraph discovered that Professor Brennan had died in a car accident in Florida on February 3, 2003.

Questioned by a journalist, Viva Goldner, about this, the former judge said that he knew two Teresa Brennans, both were professors, both were Australians and both had died in motor accidents in the United States. The one he was referring to in court earlier that day was not the one who died in 2003.

You would have thought that at that point he would have detected a terrible storm was gathering. Yet on he pressed.

Two days later he told Channel Nine news: “I categorically deny that I was the driver of my car on January 8, 2006 in Mosman. On January 8 I was out of Sydney … I again unequivocally and categorically deny any suggestion of wrongdoing on my part.”

A day later – August 10, 2006 – the police began investigating whether Einfeld had committed perjury.

Time for Plan B. This plan was doubly complicated. He sought not only to extricate himself from the speeding fine but also from perjury.

To this end his barrister, Winston Terracini, SC, handed the police four signed statements, including one from Einfeld, one from his mother, Rosa Einfeld, 94, and one from a former journalist, Vivian Schenker.

The story had shifted again, significantly. There was no mention of being in Forster. Instead there was an elaborate scenario about how he had lent his car to Brennan, that his girlfriend Sylvia Eisman was taking his mother to see a play called Menopause, that he “suddenly remembered” he had an arrangement to meet Schenker for lunch at Pilu restaurant in Freshwater. He borrowed his mother’s car for this expedition. In her original statement to the police, Schenker falsely stated that she was in Mrs Rosa Einfeld’s car on the lunch trip.

Both Plan A and Plan B were sheer and utter concoctions, as he admitted on October 31 last year, when he entered a plea of guilty to the allegations of perjury and perverting the course of justice.

The Crown said in its sentencing submission: “In his endeavour to escape his criminality he struck at the very heart of all aspects of the justice system and the administration of the law.” He did so using his standing as a “justice” in giving his perjured evidence.

Einfeld’s counsel, Ian Barker, QC, submitted that Justice Bruce James, the sentencing judge, should take account of the proposition that the offender is a “beacon of light … a living treasure … [and] a man of honour”. Further, “society owes him a debt, and he’s entitled to call it in”. Already he has suffered a “terrible fall from grace” and was “tormented” by the shame he had visited upon his family name.

The fall from grace happened because step by chilling step Einfeld ensnared himself in a web of lies – to avoid a lousy $77 speeding fine. That’s the story. It only blew up in his face because Einfeld took it to court. A fool for a client.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Ok, this is not normal Blogistic Digression fare, but this is an extraordinary, sad story of the fall of an icon of Australian progressive thought…

Malcolm Knox (ed note, I went to school with Malcolm)
March 20, 2009 – 12:47PM

‘Bag’s packed’: Einfeld enters court today prepared to go to jail. He was not disappointed. Photo: Jon Reid

The former Federal Court judge Marcus Einfeld has been sentenced to at least two years in jail for lying to evade a speeding fine three years ago.

In a packed hearing room at the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Bruce James imposed a maximum three-year sentence on the 70-year-old.

His lawyer, Ian Barker QC, said Einfeld’s tireless work for the disadvantaged and other mitigating factors justified the imposition of a non-custodial term.

But Wayne Roser, SC, for the crown argued Einfeld should be jailed full time, saying the counts were “in the worst case category” of such offences.

Justice James said the retired judge engaged in “deliberate, premeditated perjury” in order to avoid incurring demerit points on his driver’s licence.

He also concluded Einfeld had engaged in “planned criminal activity”, detailing the numerous lies in his police statement when he asserted he was not driving his car when it was clocked going 10kmh over the speed limit in the Sydney suburb of Mosman.

Justice James set a non-parole period of two years.

After the sentence was imposed, well wishers went over to the dock where Einfeld embraced and kissed many of them.

At the suggestion of corrective services officers, he handed over his valuables, including his mobile phone.

‘Oh, the bag is packed’

In reply to a comment from one supporter, Einfeld said, “Oh, the bag is packed,” and he was then escorted out of the dock.

In January 2006, Einfeld’s car was caught by a speed camera clocking 60kmh in a 50kmh zone. Rather than accept the $77 fine at his court hearing in August 2006, Einfeld said a friend of his, American college professor Teresa Brennan, had been driving the car.

It later emerged that Ms Brennan had died three years before the speeding offence took place.

Einfeld continued to deny any wrongdoing until his hearing before Supreme Court justice Bruce James, when he pleaded guilty to both charges. Einfeld’s psychiatrist, Dr Jonathon Phillips, told the sentencing hearing that his patient had been treated for depression in 1996 and 2006, and
had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

An Aboriginal elder, Madeline McGrady, praised Einfeld’s work with indigenous communities when he was Human Rights Commissioner in the 1980s.

In a separate hearing, Ms Angela Liati was found guilty last month of making a false police statement by saying that she had been using Einfeld’s car at the time of the speeding offence. Ms Liati is currently on bail awaiting sentence.

– with AAP

Naomi Watts in her best role yet Jet Girl

Naomi Watts in her best role yet Jet Girl

AUSSIE star Naomi Watts says actors should be immune from pay cuts in the financial crisis – because the world needs escapism.


Asked in an interview with Cinema Confidential whether Hollywood actors are making too much money at a time when the economy is in tatters and people are being laid off, the actor responded:

“I think we may be more open to negotiations and things like that but I think the art world tends to thrive in times of recession.

“We need the escapism,” she said.

“We need stories to be told to take ourselves away from the reality of our situations of circumstance. So I don’t think it’s (Hollywood) gonna stop. I think money is gonna be tight, definitely.”

Good point, but easily said when you get paid more for one film than most people do in their entire life.,22606,25100231-5012985,00.html