Japanese whaling:

Geoff Russell, Animal Liberation SA, writes: Re. “Bloody death for the whales Greenpeace rejects” (yesterday, item 6). It’s a time honoured tactic of those who support cruel activities to try to discredit those who don’t with charges of inconsistency. I’m a vegan and whenever I end up in an argument over the way I live, I find the person I’m arguing will quickly scan my feet looking for leather shoes, or my waist looking for a leather belt. When that doesn’t work, they look for some trace of wool in my clothing. Did anybody notice that Khalil Hegarty didn’t actually say that he thinks killing whales is something he supports nor did he explain why the images of wounded struggling animals are images of a wonderful activity of which all humans should be proud. So just where do you stand Khalil? Do you think it’s fine killing whales? Is it fine if it takes them 10 minutes to die? How about if they escape and it takes a week to die? What is acceptable to you Khalil? What if dependent young whales are orphaned? Is that okay?

Marilyn Shepherd writes: Many seem to believe that because a sanctuary was declared in “our” waters that it really is a legally recognised sanctuary when it is not. We don’t get to unilaterally decide a bit of water or land is ours anymore and force the rest of the world to accept it. When the Japanese do point out our raving hypocrisy because we kill kangaroos they have largely been right but missed the real point. We kill the kangaroos because they are the native animals who dare to eat the food that we think should be given to the introduced species that we fatten up for the kill. Animals that have destroyed the environment – sheep, cattle, goats and others — are being pampered to their deaths while the natives are being slaughtered. Meanwhile, while we hypocritically pretend we have a whale sanctuary we destroyed the livelihoods of poor Indonesian fishermen who had fished those northern waters for centuries, we burn their poor boats and allow them to starve rather than take “our” fish. Why don’t we want them to take “our” fish? So that our fishermen can catch them and make a small fortune selling them to the Japanese. Cowards and hypocrites is what we are — and the bloody sanctuary is not real and it is not ours. 

Simon Rumble writes: The reason Greenpeace targets Japan over whaling is that they specifically kill the largest, slowest-growing and most endangered whales. The Faroese, by comparison, use traditional methods to take a small number of very small and quite plentiful whales. Personally I’m all for whaling by nations that have traditionally whaled. But they must do it in the traditional way. I’m talking bark canoes and wooden lances, not factory ships and explosive harpoons. My money’s on the whales.


Rod Raymont writes: Re. “Weekend at Corey’s: an idiot’s guide to fame” (yesterday, item 19). You would think it would be very hard for a drop-kick 16-year-old with attitude and ridiculous sunglasses to make a seasoned journalist look even sillier than him, but Corey Delaney managed to do it with ACA ‘s Leila McKinnon. The more a puffed up Leila began to take on the persona of an outraged parent, the more I cheered for the insouciant Corey. His response to the question about what he would advise other 16-year-olds to do — “Get me to organise your party” was the best response to a tabloid TV question I’ve heard in a long time. No wonder it’s ended up on YouTube. The adults involved in this saga, including the media and the Police Commissioner, all seem to be making the classic mistake first chronicled in the movie Rebel Without A Cause — the more they publicly criticise dopey Corey and give him a profile, the more his own generation thinks he’s cool! I’d like to give his parents some advice about what to say to him (in private) but I can’t think of anything.

Simon Drimer writes: Thanks for the chronicle Sophie Black, but I would have appreciated some editorialising. Something like “The guy’s a buck-toothed chav in an eskimo parka and two dollar shop plastic sunnies”.

Carl Richards writes: Being an unpaid up Crikey fence-sitter I was almost tempted to sign up and get my free beach ball when I read all this stuff about young Corey Delaney. I have been living away from Oz for the last 7 years and sometimes wonder how the younger generation is progressing back home. Your in-depth chronology of the Corey saga (to date) was cutting edge. But seriously, the lad has spirit and enterprise and knows what a lark is.

Jeff Morris writes: Just goes to show you what a nation of morons and w-nkers we’ve become.

John Goldbaum writes: Free Corey.

Victorian police:

Jenny Morris writes: Re. “Victoria’s Police Force is out of control” (yesterday, item 11). So Greg Barns would like Victoria Police to confront 500 drunken teenagers with what – a damp copy of The Big Issue and a loud voice? I’ve no fondness for excessive use of power, but alcohol-fuelled stupidity by what Crikey described later in the same bulletin as a “punk” and 500 people he most likely didn’t know (and obviously couldn’t control) could easily and quickly get out of hand. Greg might be interested to read about NSW “user charges (user pays) policing services”, where services “go beyond these [general community] responsibilities” – here . As for the capsicum spray – now that might be what Sir Humphrey would describe as very courageous. On the other hand, who knows what arrangement Vic Police and the Australian Open have in place?

Jack Smith writes: I don’t care if he is a civil libertarian do gooder, that’s democracy, but in Greg Barnes world, criminals can do no wrong, rampaging teenagers can do no wrong, the police should just sit back and watch it unfold. Sadly Greg fails to understand that the Police are there to help maintain a civil society, where criminals do get punished and suburban neighbours should not have to live in fear of 500 rampaging teenagers. If the police aren’t meant to break up a wild party, then who is? Maybe they should have sent Greg in with his soothing words of comfort and his “your not responsible for your actions, blame society” approach.

Citigroup and the subprime mess:

Steve Martin writes: Re. “Big boys neck deep in the subprime swamp” (yesterday, item 23). A $10Bn blackhole at Citigroup and 4000 jobs go. If there is any justice in the world the greedy idiots who were responsible for loaning money to those who have poor credit ratings, i.e. those who are not likely to be able to afford the money lent them, should be first in the firing line. However on past performances if they do in fact get the sack they will be looked after with generous severance pay.

Rudd’s sideburns:

Jim Hart writes: Re. “Rudd uncut: from heir apparent to apparent hair” (yesterday, item 12). Never mind Kevin’s sidies, what’s he got on his head – Her Majesty’s iPod or the GG’s Skype-phone? Or is it simply his new halo?

Steve Johnson writes: The positioning of the crown on Mr Rudd’s head will no doubt be utilised by David Flint for future Australians for the Monarchy campaigns.

Dave Liberts writes: As a long-time wearer of “interesting” facial hair (I once had to use a protractor while shaving), I’d noticed Rudd’s new sidies and am hoping he’s gearing up for something bigger again. I’d vote for something like Samuel L Jackson’s character Jules in Pulp Fiction. Sure, sidies are only fashionable for about five minutes a year, and every time I get a haircut my barber kindly offers to eliminate mine for me, but I see them as a means of self-expression which transcend all generations and cultures. Like disco music, I can understand that they’re a bit silly (mine certainly have been at times), but I can never get what people hate about them.

George Perry writes: Is it me or does Kevin Rudd’s new sideburns make him look like an identikit picture? 

Ray Williams:

Niall Clugston writes: So Warwick Sauer (yesterday, comments) thinks Stephen Mayne was “defending” Ray Williams. He wasn’t. He was defending the truth. HIH might have been Australia’s biggest corporate collapse, but it wasn’t deliberate. Bankruptcy isn’t an “indictable offence” as Sauer seems to think. Williams’ crime was not stealing money; it was not coming clean about the extent of the problem. And this selective, synthetic outrage is all the more hypocritical when News Limited is leading the mob. Murdoch shouldn’t preach to anyone about corporate integrity, but of course no one’s going to hound him. The concern for truth and justice is confined to kicking people when they’re down. When it’s largely too late.


Zachary King writes: Re. Geoff Driscoll (Tuesday, comments). If you would like support for the “claims” that Ponting is arrogant may I present the following observations. Immediately following the victory in the last Test the Indian captain Anil Kumble was left stranded at the non-strikers after an incredibly gallant knock and this would have been the perfect time for our captain to acknowledge his efforts along similar lines to Freddie Flintoff consoling Brett Lee in that 2005 Ashes series. During the post match interviews Punter further did not acknowledge the efforts of the opposing team in any way. Not once. He simply talked about how good the Australian team was, and how they had won the game. Arrogance (noun) overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors. If you were looking for support from other games, please let me know and I will provide them directly.

David Wilson writes: Re. “Hillary was no Bradman. Hillary was a great man” (Tuesday, item 14). Spot on Greg Barns! Look what we have now as a result of more than a decade of the “Relaxed and Comfortable” policies – ugly cricketers, even uglier grunting tennis players and now a media frenzy over that bogan oaf Corey Delaney. Proof positive that this nation is intellectually bankrupt!

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