Kevin Rudd:

David Lodge writes: Henrie Ellis (yesterday, comments) is absolutely typical of the latte set in this country. You know, the lot who continually bleat about conservative governments, accusing them of everything under the sun yet when those aforementioned governments become opposition, the bleating continues even though they haven’t retained power!

May I remind Henrie that Labor won in 2007, and it would be best, really it would, if you could perhaps focus your attention on the party that is running things. You know, the party that refers to everything with a “greatest moral challenge” here and a “rolling national crisis” there. Sure, I understand that lofty rhetoric appeals to the true believers who consider Rudd a saint, but for thinking Australians, it’s just a bit silly for both Labor & and its supporters, 3 years later, to be behaving like Labor is still in opposition.

Henrie, if you consider the billions wasted on green loans, 950,000 dollar glorified pergolas and insulation schemes that kill people to be some sort of evil scheme concocted by conservatives, you really need to put your socialist alliance newspaper away and so some wider reading.

Ken Henry, his advice and the Resource Super Profits Tax:

Peter James writes: Re. “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits” (yesterday, item 11). When Richard Farmer complains that Ken Henry’s public support for the Resource Super Profits Tax does not follow the convention that “In the old theory, fearless advice was delivered in an independent and impartial fashion and in private” he ignores the fact that the Government commissioned Henry to chair a panel to prepare a report which would be made public.

Farmer’s view that Henry’s defence of the review panel’s report is not a healthy development” “could not be more wrong. Why should Ken Henry be the only member of the panel, indeed the entire Australian population, barred from entering the hopefully healthy debate on a public report.

Rod Metcalfe writes: We have tax scales for income tax on individuals yet we have a flat tax for company profits. One has to be right and the other wrong.

Labor’s “dodgy” SA election win:

Maire Mannik writes: Re. “Labor’s ‘dodgy’ SA election win heads for the court” (yesterday, item 10). The Family First component of this supposed electoral atrocity is a total crock. Had the How To Votes put Labor at #1 while pretending it was Family First then it might be questionable. But they didn’t did they? There is no rule about which party the voter gives their second preference to and the only time the party has any control is when people vote above the line in the upper house.

These were lower house How To Votes. The actual voting paper has the party name next to the candidate’s so the family First voters who “unknowingly” put their number 2 next to the ALP person must have been even thicker than normal.

To make it even more ridiculous, a number of Family First men purposely voted Labor #2 because they preferred the red socialists to a party led by a woman, an abhorrence to many readers of the bible.

Airport security:

Gavin Greenoak writes: Re. “Dishonest airport security still based on low-setting gambles” (Monday, item 15). Ben Sandilands wrote:

“So far, Australia has a perfect record for using community intelligence and targeted vigilance in identifying and stopping the bombers before they join a crowd of potential victims.”

Can we know how many bombers have been so prevented? No security system is going to be “fail-safe”. When we joined the attack on Iraq we were also joining the list of targets for “terrorists” (in scare quotes because they don’t happen to agree with Western Imperialism, and have no table at which to negotiate their utter dismay). Have there been any non-Islamic terrorist attacks?

For people who travel frequently for business could there not be a system of pre-flight security clearance. For example, a look at my travel itineraries over the past five years, a minimal investigation of the public record, would show that I am not a terrorist. It is the robotics which at airports (somewhat more than in other areas of social life) really get people’s goat. A system designed to completely eliminate actual human responsibility.

I go through a checkpoint and no one is looking at me. It is my bags that are being looked at. This is like an insect amputating its antennae because sometimes they are wrong.  Without them however they cannot get anything right! I repeat… And then I have seen more than twice a little old lady being checked for explosives. Very politely, but…. for god’s sake!

And it is obvious that the person checking has completely forgotten why s/he is there, but almost virtuously demonstrates a “fair minded” approach to a reality now extant that “everyone is a suspect”. To meet this challenge and encourage public co-operation the very opposite should apply.

Thailand:

Justin Templer writes: Re. “Postcard from a ‘yuppie refugee camp’ in Bangkok” (yesterday, item 1). You seem to have lost your tweet in your coverage of the situation in Bangkok.  Where are the normal insightful twitting comments like “Heard gunfire but could be fireworks or too many beans at lunch @duckface” or “Situation confused, lights went off then back on, possibly faulty fuse @spannerman125”?

Telstra:

Andrew Storrie writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday, item 6). Just like to back up the Telstra tip from yesterday:

“I’ve just had a phone call from Telstra about updating my mobile phone plan. All very nice, and the new deal is actually better than the old. However, to switch to the new plan, I will have to be transferred from Telstra’s new billing system to their legacy (i.e. old) billing system. Apparently the new billing system can’t handle the new phone plans they are offering, but the legacy one can. Work that one out.”

It took Telstra 12 months to sort out my wish for a single bill for my mobile and landline. Problem was that the mobile was on the Legacy system and the landline on the Seibel system, which, I was told, the staff weren’t allowed to talk about. It only took 12 months (and numerous phone calls)  to back migrate me to the OLD system.

One “client service provider” or whatever they are called, told me that it was only the long serving  staff are fully trained in these systems and know how to deal with it. It appears the other staff I spoke with did a “Tony Abbott” on me, and I didn’t respect them in the morning. Or were they non-core promises??

Terry Mills writes: There does seem to be a problem with the new online billing system but everybody at Telstra is keeping mum. When I finally got through to the billing extension the operator said that I would have to call another number (1800 266 000) as they don’t handle the new billing enquiries : I called that number and ended up in downtown Manila and I finally hung-up as the charming Filipina lady couldn’t help me.

Thought of the Day:

Bev Kilsby writes: We all have to learn to renew our thinking pattern. Sometimes we put our foot into it and instead of thinking it through and what we want to say — we spurt out things. And that make us look like a fool.

This may cause stress to our opponent, or vice versa. We all tell fibs now and then — if we are human — and no one is perfect. But after it is over, get on with living.

Peter Fray

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