Jakarta and the NY Times

It is good to note that our American friends find the Australian Embassy bombing worthy of front page news….. NOT! (Item 2 international)

Although no Americans where killed/injured….

If a person dies in the desert and CNN is not there to film it did it really happen???

Stephen Windybank

Bob says “Greens will act responsibly”…Yeah right!

Every day in NSW Parliament I see how “responsibly” the Greens use [or is that abuse] their balance of power there! Have a look at the political history of most of the current Greens, ex presidents/members of the Trotsky party, the Socialist party etc etc. The Green party has been well and truly hijacked by the far far left.

However my main gripe is that they misuse the passion of the grass roots members to pursue policies at the political level which are actually damaging to the environment because they want endangered species and environmental drama to continue: it gives them more political power. And they accuse Mr Howard of lying! Come on Mr Brown now’s your chance to fess up to the real agenda: put it to the people!

There are viable sensible alternatives for those concerned about the environment but are not interested in extreme left wing politics or eco-fundamentalism.

Jon Jenkins MLC
Outdoor Recreation Party

Those watermelons

Loath as I am to agree with the Tories on anything, the allegations that the Greens are “watermelons” (green on the outside, red on the inside) are not so far-fetched.

Why else would the Victorian Greens direct their preferences in the last State election to Socialist Alliance – a bunch of Stalinist knuckleheads who still think Castro’s Cuba is a workers’ paradise.

The Hard Left Watcher

The Panel’s surreptitious election support

Has anyone noticed the strong anti Howard sentiments on the program “the Panel” over the past weeks? Last night’s program also had the smooth headed aged rocker and Labor candidate as special guest. Thousands of dollars of free political advertising going Labor’s way. Bring on the revolution.


Untrained Labor stamping ground

Latham may not feel he needs the Queensland Labor Premier on side, but he sure as hell should have a chat to the West Australian Labor Premier.

In sunny Queensland, the punters pay just 2% stamp duty on their Kingswoods and Landies, but over in the West, their cousins pay 6.5% stamp duty and the native Sandgropers are restless. In fact some of them are so restless, they’re flying to Queensland to buy their wheels.

So why would you take a chance and throw a marginal or two to Labor in the West, when the record shows, they’ll up any tax they can find? C’mon Biff, hop on that silver bird and drop in for a chat to Geoff and his crew, about very quickly levelling the playing fields for business and helping the punter.

Greg Ross
West Perth

Latham correct on transport funding

Well done to Mark Latham for promising to divert Scoresby tollway funding to other road and transport projects. Melbourne’s eastern suburbs desperately need better transport. But building the Scoresby is no answer. New freeways don’t cure traffic congestion; all they do is encourage more people to drive longer distances.

Labor should now ensure that these funds go to a mix of public transport and local road improvements. For example, rail to Rowville and East Doncaster, buses that don’t stop at 7pm and on Sundays, attention to local black spots and the removal of level crossings on Springvale Rd.

These projects combined would cost less than $421 million. In contrast to the tollway, they’d give immediate benefits. The outer east would no longer have some of the worst public transport in Australia. Families needn’t own three or four cars just to get around. And congestion would be reduced, allowing extra roadspace for traffic that needs it, all without building an expensive and unnecessary tollway.

Latham has taken a good first step by refusing to fund the tollway. Now he must ensure these funds stay in the outer east and provide maximum benefit to families by ensuring that public transport gets a fair slice of the funding pie.

Peter Parker

Nine Melbourne, NRL finals and the Storm

Patrick Fitzgerald’s oh-so-true whinge at Ten’s AFL coverage in Sydney and Brisbane can be extended to Channel Nine Melbourne’s treatment of the Broncos-Storm match this Saturday. While Sydney and Brisbane will see it live at 6.30pm, Melbourne has to wait until 11.40pm, AFTER Funniest Home Videos, The Wedding Singer and Muriel’s Wedding. You’d think that with the match starting 30 mins earlier than the Cats-Bombers clash, Nine could get some foothold (ANY would be good, you’d think) on Melbourne’s can’t-get-enough-sports audience. Or maybe it just doesn’t think the Storm has a hope.


AFL coverage north of the Murrumbidgee

You think the northern TV networks have missed the boat on AFL coverage. Try reading Murdoch’s northern newspapers. They are still not aware that AFL is a national league some 14 years old and they continue reporting it as though it was VFL.

The flack/flak question

I get as annoyed about this flack/flak question as anyone – but the correspondent who pulled you up in Wednesday’s sealed section annoyed me even more.

They complain that you used the spelling ‘flak’, which means anti-aircraft fire. To me, this is exactly where the origin of the slang description of spinners lies – ‘flak’ is short for ‘flak catcher’.

Their reasoning for the different spelling is given thus: “I think “flack” was 1920s US slang.”

Meaning what? used by whom? derived from what? No-one who prefers the spelling with the ‘c’ has ever been able to explain this.
Until they do, please stick with the shortened form of ‘flak catcher’ – a very apt description of the job, and far more logical than the other mystery word.

Ben Knight

The flack/flak question

Your subscriber who wrote:

“Flak is – or was – anti-aircraft fire. Spinners, or flacks, might cop a bit of flak from time to time, but they are not flaks. I think “flack” was 1920s US slang.” is not entirely right. He or she is apparently unaware of Tom Wolfe’s book Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, where the word gets a decent run. The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary says a flak-catcher is “a person or organization whose job it is to deal with criticism on behalf of another” ie a PR person. Flak can mean strong adverse criticism but flack can mean a press agent or a publicity man (also Flackman). Flack can also be a verb to act as a flack. Flack is mid-20th century slang of North American origin while flak is an abbreviation of fliegerabwehrkanone, also from the mid-20th century.

There’s bound to be a sub-editor somewhere who likes to shout at young journalists for either of the spellings.


Crikey’s youngest fan

I subscribed to Crikey the other day, and took the t-shirt option. Our 2 year and 9 month-old loves the shirt. The first time I wore it, he said “What’s that?” I said: “Crikey!”

Now whenever I wear the shirt he says: “Daddy wearing Crikey shirt,” then describes the logo. “There’s a ball. There’s a head. There’s a chin. Big one on the back!”

I like the shirt too.