The Franklin Mint:

Alex Jurkiewicz writes: Re. “First Dog on the Moon” (yesterday, item 7). You sure seem to be big and tough when making fun of the Franklin mint! After yesterday’s smirking apology in CCC, First Dog lifts the same text for a self-indulgent monopanel “cartoon” today.

I’d have a lot more respect for this puffed-chest carrying on if you did it more often. You folded like a pack of cards when Boeing politely asked you to take down the A380 pics and settled with giving Bernard Keane a grumbling editorial when SBS decided they owned “The World Game”.

Health and education:

David Havyatt writes: Re. “Measuring the ‘crises’ in health and education” (yesterday, item 2).  It is so pleasing to see Bernard Keane’s well researched statement that the Australian health and education systems are both effective and efficient.  Thankfully the Australian cricket team will provide the media something else to identify as a crisis.

Ireland:

Pádraig Collins writes: Re. “Rundle: Ireland failing as economic woes turn to political upheaval” (yesterday, item 4).  Ireland’s parliament, the Dáil, has 166 members, not 150 as stated by Guy Rundle.

Fianna Fáil is kept in power through the votes of independents, some of whom started this term as members of Fianna Fáil but lost or resigned the party whip.

Why don’t you send Rundle to Dublin? I’d love to read what he makes of matters on the ground.

Don’t blow up the pokies:

Scott Neylon, member of multiple Illawarra clubs, writes: Re. “Victorian gaming minister slams NSW pollies and industry” (yesterday, item 16). Is it any wonder the likes of Tim Costello and Andrew Wilkie are so despised in NSW when the anti-gambling lobby continuingly contradict themselves.

One minute they are claiming state governments are “jack pot junkies” who are addicted to gaming tax and therefore incapable of serious harm minimisation reform. The next they are attacking the NSW government and opposition for reducing tax rates for NSW clubs. Isn’t this evidence of government reducing its reliance on gaming tax?

Here’s another question for the Victorians. If NSW is ten years behind Victoria, then why is the rate of problem gambling 0.4% in the premier state, but 0.7% in the garden state? Perhaps the reason Stephen Mayne never gets elected when he runs on an anti pokies platform is because his arguments are just so one sided? Surely the decision of the Victorian Government to commit sight unseen to a pre commitment system that is yet to be decided, explained or costed, is worthy of some questioning?

I’ll cast my opinion on pre commitment technology once I actually know how it’s going to work, and what it will mean for problem gamblers and recreational gamblers like myself.

Climate change:

Wil Blackburn writes: In response to Tamas Calderwood’s continuing nonsense (yesterday, comments), let’s simply look at the warmest years on the instrumental record (the last 130 years) and see if we can spot any sort of a pattern.

So, considering every single year since 1880, we have, in order: 2005, 1998*, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2007, 2004, 2001, 2008, 1997.

If you want to look at decades, we have 2000-2009, 1990-1999, 1980-1989 as the hottest three on record.

No, there’s clearly no pattern there.

*no, 1998 wasn’t the warmest year on record Tamas, not that it matters.

Peter Fray

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