Correction.  Stephen Mayne writes: Some naughty sub-editor added the word “hagiography” to Tuesday’s Crikey story about Eddie McGuire and the Patrick Lindsay biography that has been pulled by Random House. Far from it, part of the problem was Eddie’s refusal to co-operate with Lindsay who was planning a robust portrait. I’d even assisted him with a tour of all things Eddie in Melbourne so he was rightly annoyed to have his work dissed like that. Give Tamsyn a break!  Paul Cottam writes: Re yesterday’s editorial: Shame on you for such a cheap slag off at Tamsyn Lewis. Snide remarks about an inability to reach the quarter finals indicate an ignorance of her 800m gold at this year’s world indoor championship. So few of the Australian public know about this great achievement because of media disinterest in any sport that doesn’t help sell beer or cigarettes. You also insult Australians in general by saying we “suck at athletics”. Population wise we do well. Do you expect to see any athletes from the USA, UK, Germany, etc battling it out against the Africans in the 5000m? The sole white man will be easy to spot, Craig Mottram. Not that the Crikey editor would know, or care.  Julien Marr writes: Look I agree that we do spend too much time focussing on the ‘Go Aussie Go’ events that we are likely to win Gold in, but as a Hockey fan this is the one time every four years where my sport is (sort of) in the news, I can watch it on normal TV and plenty of it! So there are some positives :D. And yes, swimming is the most boring sport in the world. I’ve never understood the horizontal equivalent of watching flies crawl up a wall. Grocery Watch is useless.  Greg Angelo writes: After reviewing of the Grocery Watch website, I am of the opinion that the information is essentially useless. The inclusion of ALDI in the “Independents” column (independent of what?) on the basis that it only sells the basic staples in one category is disingenuous in the extreme. Most people in need of Grocery Watch are probably in the basic staples category and would benefit the most from having this comparative information. The ACCC as usual is a toothless tiger. How much pressure was applied by Coles and Woolworth to conceal the ALDI data? This is just another smoke and mirrors activity by the current government to give the illusion of progress without upsetting “mates” by the provision of genuine comparative shopping information value to those most in need. Google Street View and privacy. Simon Wilkins writes: Paul Bullock’s pixel paranoia (yesterday, comments) doesn’t fly with me. “The effort” of taking pictures is overstated in a digital age. I agree with Stilgherrian that such technology empowers the user. The best example is that the most photographed object on Street View is likely to be the Google-mobile (or whatever it is called) itself. Every shopfront window, reflective surface…try the following addresses if you don’t believe me: 402 Brunswick Street, New Farm, Brisbane or Chapel Steet/Princes Close in Melbourne. So what is the googlemobile? Personally I was disappointed to find out that it was a Prius…No jet-black monster trucks with machine guns, just good mileage and probably good PR. Batman has a lot to learn. The problem with tax.  John Goldbaum writes: Re: “Dense detail on the root and branch of tax. Woohoo.” Just like fixing politics, fixing tax is easy! For a start, we need a 15% GST and the elimination of all of the other inefficient and distorting taxes. Then we need to make retirees self-sufficient by lifting compulsory superannuation contributions to 15%. In due course, there would be no need for an age pension and associated benefits, so all other tax rates can come down. Out-of-work accountants and tax collectors can become maths teachers. Ken Henry and Henry Ergas can become maths masters. Other surplus public servants can re-train as nurses and cops. Send the drought-stricken farmers to work in the mines and the post-economic-slowdown unemployed mortgage brokers and stockbrokers, baristas and beauticians can learn to make cut lunches for the new miners. With lower taxes, people can buy private health insurance and save for their own rainy days. Public hospitals are unaffordable for any government which tries to meet the public’s unlimited expectations. Why should we tax and spend like the Europeans when our future lies with our trading partners in Asia? I’m with Bernard Keane. Give rugged individualism a chance.Does anyone check tips and rumours at Crikey? Mark Byrne writes: Re yesterday, tips and rumours. One would have thought that Crikey’s “Tip and Rumours” section is to provide an avenue to release suppressed information, not to promote embarrassing misrepresentations of science. In yesterday’s tips Crikey published the claim that “the Northern Ice caps are melting because they have the equivalent of volcanoes warming up the sea under and around them”. This was such a distortion of the facts that it would seem the author was unwilling to put his or her name to it. The referenced article made no such claim, it did not mention ice nor trends nor equilibrium of ocean temperature. How might we learn if the heat from ocean vents was changing over time Answer, we might expect the sea temperature to lead rather than lag behind the change in land temperature. Which we know is not happeningMatt Hardin writes: Your tip on this is bullsh-t. The two vents described in the linked article are 5 degrees SOUTH of the equator, nowhere near the Arctic ice (or the Antarctic) for that matter and have nothing to do with the melting of the ice caps. Other vents have been found at a depth of 2.4 km at 73 degrees North with no mention of these being new or in any way contributing to accelerating melting of polar ice. I know fact checking of tips is hard in the teeth of deadlines but this information is hardly protected by FOI. Publishing it as a tip or rumour also adds to the “global warming is a giant conspiracy” theory and does not contribute to a healthy debate especially as it is misleading at best and incorrect at worst. Adam Rope writes: Whoever gave you that mid-ocean ridge black smokers spewing out super-critical water tip yesterday was drawing a very, very long bow in trying to link it to melting Northern ice caps. I could find no reference at all in the linked New Scientist article to the Northern ice caps. However I did note that the research took place at the southern end of the mid-Atlantic Ridge, just south of the Atlantic equator. So how super heated water at a depth of 3 kilometres below the equator is melting the Northern ice caps, without apparently affecting any other body of water in between, is a little beyond my scientific understanding. I know that there has been an urban rumour about sub-sea volcanoes melting the Arctic ice wandering around the climate sceptic blogosphere for some time, but I’ve yet to find a scientific paper supporting that story.  MV Cape Don.  Shirley Colless writes: If the information I have been given is correct, Maritime NSW, aka Joe Tripodi, hates the whole of the Sydney Heritage Fleet (James Craig, Lady Hopetoun and the John Oxley) as well as the MV Cape Don. The word is that the Sydney Heritage Fleet, another flotilla of heritage vessels brought back to life by years of dedicated voluntary labour, is to be evicted from its wharf at Blackwattle Bay. For what reason? The same as the eviction of the MV Cape Don — Maritime NSW wants to, or has been ordered to, find a possie for the really Big Boats, you know, the mega yachts of the Really Very Important and Filthily Rich blokes. So there will be mega marinas choking up Blackwattle Bay and Wollstonecraft Bay. Maybe not so big in the latter, as HMAS Waterhen has control over quite a lot of the water space out there. Little people like the dedicated volunteers who have treasured these vessels, brought them back to life and provided a wonderful jab in the arm to Sydney’s tourist business don’t count when you are up against the moneyed men.

Peter Fray

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