Macklin on the Racial Discrimination Act and the Northern Territory Emergency Response:

From the office of Jenny Macklin MP: Re.”Is Macklin ignoring her own legal advice on town camps acquisition?” (Tuesday, Item 17). The first paragraph of the article by Alison Vivian and Larissa Behrendt is factually incorrect.

The Minister was responding to a question from Kerry O’Brien (7.30 Report) on the Racial Discrimination Act and the Northern Territory Emergency Response, not the potential acquisition of the Alice Springs town camps.

KERRY O’BRIEN: On the broader issue of the Racial Discrimination Act and intervention, you’ve promised to restore the Racial Discrimination Act in the Territory in October. Have you yet been able to work out how you’ll be able to do that while still imposing a disciplinary regime under intervention in some communities, thereby treating them differently to other Australians?

JENNY MACKLIN: Well in my personal view, these are beneficial measures.


Grant Muller writes: Re. “The man who never was: Peter Costello closes the door” (Tuesday, item 1). Having read Bernard Keane’s précis on Peter Costello reminds me why I don’t resubscribe — as the lead commentator he is third rate compared to Hilary aka Christian Kerr.

Christian used to focus his analysis on critically examining the Government’s actions — rather than being a pathetic apologist for it. Keane reserves his vitriol for the opposition and I sincerely doubt he can even spell the word critical.

Crikey used to be a fantastic independent media — questioning the Government, which is what leads to better decision making (and that is from someone frequently on the wrong end of the pineapple.

Hope you guys lift your standard so you can get back the subscribers who joined when Crikey was critical, independent, witty and insightful.

Tom Osborn writes: Jackie French (yesterday, comments) ponders a First Dog on the Moon conspiracy with an “Oh No Not Costello” cartoon delivered 15 minutes before the announcement.

Much more impressive is the First Dog on the Moon’s calendar entry for June 13 (two days prior). “Peter Costello wonders if maybe he should stand for the leadership of the Liberal Party”.

Good one Dog!

Climate change:

Animal Liberation SA’s Geoff Russell writes: Re. “Milne: the climate nightmare is upon us” (yesterday, item 4). I don’t quite believe it. Did Christine Milne clear yesterday’s Crikey piece with her Tassie mate Kim Booth and the beef producers he supports? Christine … you just can’t mention methane in public, even if it is from arctic permafrost.

It’s the thin end of the wedge. Mention methane just once, and pretty soon we will work out that livestock methane is a bigger climate forcing in Australia than all our coal fired power stations.

Next somebody will realise that a tonne of beef generates more than twice the greenhouse emissions of a tonne of aluminium.

Stay on message Christine. The message is coal, coal and coal. Nobody burns coal; coal is somebody else’s fault. Our natural distance from the industry gives us the high moral ground from which to piss down upon those nasty coal company executives. In hate we stand united. Think about the consequences if people realise that they don’t need an ETS, a CPRS or even a Greens senator, to wipe five tonnes per annum off their carbon footprint … they can do it all by themselves by changing their cooking and eating habits. I call it carbon cookuestration.

The IPCC has said “eat less meat”, James Hansen and many others have concurred. But The Greens (with apologies to SA’s Mark Parnell and other vego Greens), as a matter of policy, still put the preservation of the Aussie BBQ ahead of saving the planet.

Viv Forbes, Chairman the Carbon Sense Coalition, writes: We must assess the environmental damage caused by global warming alarmists. Six stand out.

Firstly, by mandating the use of bio-fuels for motor vehicles, they have accelerated clear felling of tropical forests for palm oil plantations.

Secondly, by subsidising ethanol production, they have increased the area of cultivated land covered with a sterile mono-culture of ethanol crops. This also created a grain shortage and soaring food prices.

Thirdly, their silly carbon credit rules have replaced productive native pastures with monotonous forests of woody weeds which harbour feral pests and provide the ready fuel for wild fires. This problem is exacerbated by their bans on clearing regrowth.

Fourthly, by putting carbon taxes on coal but not on wood, they have increased legal and illegal logging to feed thermal power stations on wood. This also increases power costs.

Fifthly, their blind worship of piddle-power has blighted vast areas of land and sea shore with noisy and ugly wind towers and solar panels and scarred the landscape with their network of transmission lines and maintenance roads.

And finally, by their vilification of coal, they have delayed the provision of clean electricity to Indian and Chinese cities, thus increasing the choking Asian smog caused by open air burning of wood, dung, coal, coke, cardboard and rubbish.

Oblivious to all of this damage to the environment and living costs, climate continues to change naturally, in tune with the sun.

Alex White writes: Re. “Richard Farmer’s political bite-sized meaty chunks” (yesterday, item 12). Richard Farmer wrote: “Reminding people that it is the Greens, and Greens alone, who are prepared to go into battle to preserve the trees simply gives the good Senator more support.” Need I remind Richard (and Crikey readers) that it has been Labor that went into battle to save the trees (national parks and world heritage listing of several significant forests) under Hawke and Keating. Brown wasn’t in the Senate then.


Julian Gillespie writes: Re. “Iran’s digital warzone gets bloody” (yesterday, item 2). To quote a friend overnight – “…even Crikey is buying the anti-Iran-US bullshit – riots, protests, and 2 people died in Tehran – that would be considered a good night in Chicago, New York or LA…” – nuff said.


Martin Gordon writes: Re. “The NSW government’s foray into blatant protectionism” (yesterday, item 12). I live in a territory, and as the Commonwealth can override our laws we are second class citizens. But we can be protected from really stupid ideas, unlike the long suffering people of NSW.

I have thought for some time that the NSW ALP government is incompetent and corrupt, but now they are in the desperate and really dangerous territory (Local Jobs First — Ban on Chinese goods). The ALP has taken on the worst and stupidest ideas from the unions and ACTU of xenophobia, protectionism and jingoism. I am pleased the Federal ALP has opposed the NSW move but such discriminatory rules will bring World Trade Organisation action and trade retaliation against Australia. Applying a 20% tolerance to local products will just mean its costs more to provide goods and services. So much for value for money.

When eventually the ALP is defeated in NSW it will be a great relief, but it can’t come soon enough!

Indian students:

Peter Quiddington writes: Re. “Resisting the stereotype of the meek Indian student” (Monday, item 19). The Oz has finally, FINALLY, twigged that the Indian student protests are not just about street hooliganism, but actually about the tightening up of the residency conditions of students. BUT you knew that and ran with it weeks ago, way ahead of the pack … yes? Tell me you did!

Good wrong work:

Christopher Lamb writes: Re. Yesterday’s editorial. Thanks a lot for telling your readers about the World Disasters Report published each year by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Yes, it’s true that this year’s edition was launched yesterday, but the edition you publicised was not this year’s but last year’s. 2008 was HIV and AIDS, 2009 is “Early Warning, Early Action”, about disaster risk reduction and the need for disaster preparedness action. Thanks for referring to the WDR, for it’s a top publication, but please correct the publicity. This year’s WDR is described by the IFRC here.

Carlton vs. Henderson:

Keith Binns writes: Mike Carlton (yesterday, comments) gets it right again. Already there are lots of things on Crikey I don’t read as there are just too many: First Dog and all the other links for a start. Now there’ll be another. Gerard Henderson writes regularly for the Herald and I’ve read enough of him to know that nothing he says is of any interest to me or to anyone who is not a mindless, elitist wanker. Why you would want to give another platform to this blight on intelligent commentary is beyond me. It’ll be Miranda Devine next. God save us.

Justin Templer writes: Mike Carlton writes of Gerard Henderson: “It’s the same old stuff over and over and over, tedium ad nauseum.”

Mike Carlton’s entry in Wikipedia: “Carlton is noted for his criticism of conservative public figures such as former Prime Minister John Howard, former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer [2] and radio personality Alan Jones, and for his criticism of conservative governments, including the US’s Bush administration.[3]” Tedium ad nauseum.

Pot, kettle, black. Except that Henderson lacks Carlton’s bitchy temperament.

Keith Thomas writes: Re. Mike Carlton. You should also require Henderson to avoid any mention of or reference to Robert Manne. Manne, of course, should likewise be barred from mentioning Henderson anywhere on Crikey. If you can’t shut them up, please censor them out. I’ll lay good money that no one other than the named parties subscribes to Crikey to read what each thinks of the other.

A dog’s breakfast:

Kate Haycock writes: Re. “Vanstone on the hunt for the dog leaker” (yesterday, item 5). I know pedantry is the last reserve of dullards, but the breed is the Weimaraner, not Weimarana.

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