Lunching in the NT:

Shane Stone writes: Re: “Doing lunch, Darwin style“. Not sure who Bob Gosford is from Yuendumu, but that’s a long way from Darwin. For the record the lunch I hosted is an annual event and had nothing to do with a mining venture; it has more to do with my sense of hospitality in a small community where cordial relations are important to all of us in the public arena. Galarrwuy Yunupingu was never slated to attend — ever. Any information relating to our joint venture is embargoed and will be for some time — off and on the record. It was a Xmas lunch and if Crikey would like an invitation for next year — drop me a note. Notwithstanding I suspect you were there in any event. Sadly most of what has been written is fictitious — apart from me paying of course.

Afghanistan redux:

Niall Clugston writes: Re: Charlie Wilson’s Afghan f*ck-up (19 December). Irfan Yusuf seems to admire Charlie Wilson’s War but doesn’t seem to recognise the movie as a masterpiece of unconscious irony, including an uncanny prediction of the Bhutto assassination. Bizarrely enough, the movie proceeds as if September 11 never happened and never mentions Osama bin Laden. And, no, I don’t think the result of scrupulous historical accuracy by Hollywood! Yusuf approvingly quotes the movie’s conclusion. Never mind that it asserts that the “crazies” only arrived after the well-meaning Americans left. Why can’t we just be told the truth?

Breeding confusion:

Leigh Hillman writes: Dear FD, I noticed in your recent Christmas Spectacular that you denote Kevin Rudd’s dog to be a Labrador — God forbid!!!!!!! Abby Rudd is, in fact, a Golden Retriever. You’ll have to publish an apology now as you’ve undoubtedly caused mortal offence to all political junkies who own Golden Retrievers… there’s at least one of us in the nation. (2, if I count Kevin!)

Water rats jump on board:

Bob Norson writes: Re: Journalists – Please follow UP! (23 December, The Content Makers blog). The yachting community has been putting up for years with the treatment that Nick Holmes a Court got with his blackberry and worse. Australian Customs and the Queensland water police have both been very heavy handed. Customs reserves the right to board any vessel, any time, anywhere. In a statement from Customs made to a Sydney radio station, they claim powers exactly like police in the NICNAK case. In fact when they are searching a boat they forbid the recording of any video or audio by the boats master but record everything for themselves. They insure they have the only record of the event. But even that was not enough, lately they have been ordering people from their boat for a search. Without witness of any kind a large team of officers and dogs may go through the boat, in one case causing considerable damage to the boats systems and personal belongings. If ACS has ever found anything in these searches, they have kept quiet about it.

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