Good riddance to bad rubbish

Dave Worth writes: Re. “Wheels falling off FBT?” (yesterday). The Depatmentt of Planning and Infrastructure here in WA under the Gallop ALP government investigated with the Australian Tax Office whether it could allow its public servants to salary sacrifice for public transport/bicycles for those staff who didn’t want a novated car lease as part of their salary package. Unfortunately the ATO said no, so the staff took the cars and we are all the worse off. So good riddance to the old FBT rules.

America in decline

Roy Ramage writes: Re. “Rundle: in era of crap, Zimmerman case lurks in swamp of racism“. In Guy Rundle’s July 18 analysis of the George Zimmerman case, he searches for a word to describe America and also London. I suggest the American word is decline. Some 47 million Americans are on food stamps. Apart from quantitative easing, it is the only graph that climbs relentlessly upwards. The words for Europe are basket and case  — due to staggering rates of unemployment, cronyism and corruption, with many banks approaching failure. Greece is the word that awaits Spain Portugal and France.

While the law seems to be applied in the Zimmerman case, it is not so when a senior US government official lies to a congressional hearing about the enormity of their spying regime, including collusion with European governments. Australians find out that the US snoopers have long had access to our undersea cables.

In the US, the growing lack of inclusion has been abundantly evident for the last 20 years. America inc. has outsourced to China. As America descends towards an ever poorer status, state-authorities must deal with rising social unrest. Intense snooping is another sign of national decline. Tensions between haves and the increasing numbers of have-nots will be sparked by Zimmerman-type incidents.

The word is decline, Mr Rundle, and we should be watchful as our erstwhile leaders appear to be emulating the process.

Give it away, give it away now

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “A Christmas present?” (yesterday). The idea of excising Christmas Island from Australia is not as extreme as it sounds.  It is far closer to Jakarta than any Australian city.  It only became part of Australia in 1957, when it was bought from Singapore.  The vast majority of the population are of Chinese or Malay origin.  They are subject to WA law, but vote in the NT electorate of Lingiari.

I don’t believe Peter Nevin is right in asserting it is an “unsinkable aircraft carrier”. It has very little military significance. Economically speaking, it has a lot of guano and allows Australia to make ridiculous claims about fishing rights that no one else takes seriously.

But I guess the population would like to remain Australian citizens …

John Richardson: In response to Peter Nevin’s observation, I reckon capsizing boats full of asylum seekers/refugees should trump an “unsinkable aircraft carrier” every time.

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