Nancy-Bird Walton:

Crikey: Re. “Media briefs: Who is Nancy-Bird? … NRL no longer cool” (Monday, item 20). In Monday’s Crikey Glenn Dyer suggested that Qantas had got it wrong by naming the new Qantas A380 Nancy-Bird Walton, rather than Nancy Bird-Walton. Qantas has since pointed out that in fact, that’s the way Nancy-Bird wanted her name to appear.

Short selling:

Michael Vanderlaan writes: Re. “Richard Farmer’s political bite-sized meaty chunks” (yesterday, item 11). Richard Farmer’s swipe at regulators for banning short-selling is a little too cute. To state that “good and sound businesses … have nothing to fear from hedge funds” is naive. When false rumour and innuendo are coupled with short-selling raids, no business, regardless of goodness and soundness, is impervious. False rumour is a malicious practice; underwriting it with a short-selling programme is nothing but fraudulent and market-manipulative. Any efforts to curb this “strategy” should be applauded.

Saving US bacon:

Denise Marcos writes: Re. “$700b might only buy short term relief: Moodys” (yesterday, item 21). It appears the USA is on the brink of injecting approximately US$1 Trillion into woeful Wall Street “investments”. Isn’t the US treasury already committed to US$3 Trillion for the Iraq War (aka the “War on Terror”, aka “The War We Good Ol’ Boys Demanded”)? As a confessed fiscal dunce I seek enlightenment from informed Crikey-ites on how this proposed monetary policy could possibly save US bacon. Surely they can’t afford it: my gut says they’re stuffed.

Turnbull’s Shadow Ministry:

Noel Courtis writes: Re. “Turnbull’s front bench: clash of the chihuahuas” (yesterday, item 10). I was quite amazed reading the comments, by Bernard Keane, on the new shadow ministers. It would be nice to have him write on the government ministers. If he has the same opinion on the ministers we should call in the administrators.

Contaminated milk:

Richard Davoren writes: Re. “From poisoning dogs and cats to babies” (yesterday, item 18). Richard Farmer writes that Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) have confirmed that Australia has not received any imports of dairy products from China this year. That’s partly reassuring but being alert to the possibility that some of the Chinese product could be in an instant soup mix I had just consumed, I read the label with interest. It said “made in New Zealand from local and imported ingredients”. The ingredients were mostly milk powder and dehydrated vegetables.

So what was the imported ingredient? Where from? At least one New Zealand dairy company has been involved with the establishment of dried milk production in China so is it unreasonable to assume, that if the Chinese dried milk was cheaper than the local product, manufacturers would opt for the former? It is not enough for AQIS to state that no Chinese product has been directly imported. Contaminated milk could be consumed by Australians through products sourced from, say, New Zealand or any other country, for that matter.

Crime prevention:

Lisa Crago writes: Re. “Crime prevention may not be s-xy, but it’s much more effective” (yesterday, item 14). Currently in South Australia we have such a shortage of police, who are supposed to be paid to protect citizens, that there is NO WAY Mike Rann and the AG can justify employing an army of spies to act on this draconian legislation. We already have Federal legislation for terrorism (gee and hasn’t that been working well — not!) and ASIO and the AFP as intelligence officers, South Australia does not need its own. Large country towns have NO night time police at all; big rough towns such as Coober Peddy have to call Port Augusta 500kms away. With only 1 in 10 break and enter thefts solved in SA, Rann et al need to get back to ensuring we have some basic policing.

Margaret Dingle writes: I wish the Rann Government in South Australia would talk more about crime prevention and less about punishment and act accordingly. The Rann Government is doing something about crime prevention, but it’s banging on about being tough on crime makes me sick. It’s not the severity of the sentence that matters, it’s preventing the social conditions that make crime more likely and the surety of detection when a crime is committed that matter.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and c*ck-ups to [email protected] will be given to comments that are short and succinct: maximum length is 200 words (we reserve the right to edit comments for length). Please include your full name — we won’t publish comments anonymously unless there is a very good reason.

Peter Fray

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