McDonald’s perks

Kerry Thompson writes: Re. “Is Macca’s supersizing our cops? Fast food perks for law officers”  (yesterday). Are you serious, is rehashing a 40-year-old story your idea of cutting edge journalism? Perhaps the scandal of children who visit the doctors getting jelly beans should be next.

As an emergency worker of 30 years’ experience, when we are tasked, we are expected to immediately respond, not finish our meal first. On a busy shift we may get little if any time for a proper break, so sometimes fast food fills a gap. Just please don’t expect us to pay full price for what your co-dependent “life threatening” emergencies force us to survive on.

How about you start looking at your own industry and the freebies, including all the pre-written stories (sorry, “press releases”) that fill the media every day. Or MPs getting automatic upgrades on flights and accommodation.

Real corruption exists, all the emergency workers have is indigestion.

Pastor Daniel Nalliah

Alan Corbett writes: “On the fringes with Monckton and the anti-Islam creationist pastor” (yesterday). So Pastor Danny Nalliah of the fringe Rise Up Australia Party wants to bring back the “disciplinary” beating of children in schools by means of wooden sticks. Look no further, Pastor. This aspirational goal of yours is already playing out in three Queensland non-state schools including one in the regional centre of Bundaberg, Queensland where the local state MP is also the LNP Police Minister.

In Bundy, the regional mayor is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bundaberg Christian College Ltd. This non-state school has for a number of years had both Labor and LNP permission to use the rod on its children including both indigenous and overseas students. But I hasten to add its use on any student is only given for moral or rebellious issues.

Actually, the relevant section on corporal punishment, which is evident in the 2011 and 2012 school prospectus, is missing in the 2013 prospectus. Perhaps the deliberate application of pain to a child’s body by means of an implement is not so acceptable these days and needs to be hidden from nonbelievers?

Meanwhile down in Canberra, ex-Midnight Oil lead singer, environmental/social activist and now Minister for Education Peter Garrett, sits on his hands and says he can’t do anything to stop this practice. God help us and I don’t mean whatever God Pastor Nalliah believes in.

One trillion dollars

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Rundle: there’s two sides to the US trillion-dollar coin” (yesterday). The scariest thing about the GFC is the complacency, the atmosphere of eerie calm:

  1. The assumption the GFC was over years ago. Or that it’s all the fault of Greek pensioners.
  2. The assumption that postponing the “fiscal cliff” for two months is a solution.
  3. The fact that serious economists think that minting a commemorative coin is a solution.

Will the USA raise taxes or will it cut spending? The likelihood now is that it will simply default on its debt, whether by a platinum trillion dollar piece or a less interesting method.

The Greens

L M McIntire writes: Re. “Whitehaven stunt among best environmental hoaxes” (yesterday). Senators Christine Milne and Lee Rhiannon think that as long as the cause is sufficiently morally worthy, it is justifiable to publish material that is knowingly false with the aim of causing people to act in a way they otherwise would not have acted.

The problem with their position, however, is that while they assert that they are able to determine whether the end they seek is of sufficient moral importance to justify the means used, they do not accept that others can use the same means for ends which they, the Greens, disapprove of.

What would Milne and Rhiannon say about a person who was conscientiously convinced of the need to support GM farming in order to prevent starvation in Africa and who sincerely believed that Greens opposition in parliament was the main impediment to the effective spread of GM farming? And in order to prevent this opposition at election time distributed information purporting to be from the Greens that said that the Greens supported the legalisation of heroin in schools?

ABC payslips

Helen McKenzie writes: Brian Mitchell (comments, yesterday) argues that the salary details of anyone “paid by the public purse” should be made public. Fair enough. But so should the salary details of anyone employed by a publicly listed company. To paraphrase Mitchell’s argument about public employees, employees of public companies “are in effect paid by” the shareholders. “If you’re paid by the shareholders, the shareholders have the right to know.”

And as Australian superannuation funds are among the biggest shareholders, they “are in effect paid by” the entire Australian community, which therefore has the right to know.

Phillipa Smyth writes: I cannot believe you found three respondents all in favour of the ABC publicising staff salaries (comments, yesterday). What could such a move possibly produce? “Transparency”, in and of itself, isn’t a reason to do anything.

Executive salaries are published not for some vague principle, but in order for shareholders to judge remuneration against individual performance. And it’s done only for staff who lead the company and can be reasonably assumed to directly affect financial results. That’s why we know what Mark Scott earns, but not Jonathan Holmes.

If you accept that all ABC staff salaries should be published to taxpayers then you should accept that any person working for any publicly traded company should also have to disclose their salary to shareholders.

Climate change

Matthew Saxon writes: I’m starting to get real tired of Tamas Calderwood (comments, yesterday) continually pointing to contextuless raw satellite data to support his monotonously regular assertion that the global temperature has not increased in the last 15 years. Well two can play at this game so I have taken the liberty of graphing the data Tamas kindly points us to as the smoking gun:

As you can see it quite clearly implies the opposite. Temperature anomalies have continued to increase since 1998. The only way this information could be construed as supporting his view is if one had no understanding of basic statistics and/or the ability to read graphs.

Peter Fray

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