On Adam Goodes

Ken Lambert writes: Re. “Rundle: AFL comrades, rally around Goodes — and go on strike!” (yesterday). A very good effort today Guy of getting it wrong. You can always rely on Guy to propose a Leftist analysis to fix a perceived problem. Get booed by a cohort of the lower orders and go on strike! Guy, the booers are your natural constituency — the ignorant, lesser educated blue collar rednecks. These are the ones you should be helping, not depriving them of their sport, and their civil right to boo anyone they like short of threatening violence. And the 13-year-girl old dragged off for two hours to be lectured and then exhibited, declared by Goodes as the ugly face of racism. Really? Has anybody here not yelled something stupid and offensive when they were a 13-year-old in the frenzy of a football crowd?

And what of Goodes? Boo him and he will run at you with a threatening posture and ape some of his stone age spear-throwing ancestors. Rev up the mass crowd and expect nothing? The madness of crowds is well known, so Goodes will get as good as he gives. His best move would be to summon up all the strength of that 50,000 year old race and ignore the crowd by showing his mettle on the scoreboard. Of course, the crowd could have been booing the white portion of Goodes ancestry, seeing an unpleasant reflection of itself.

Michele Madigan writes:  Thanks to Guy Rundle and Crikey for the really good article on Adam Goodes, but more on the crowd. Spot on analysis.

Michael Pola writes: Guy Rundle sure does take his time to get to the point but at least he has hit the nail on the head. Buried in the middle of his article in today’s Crikey is the point that the booing of Adam Goodes is in the main, being done by mindless  sub-intellectual football fans for no good reason other than they can and they think it is fun. Whether or not it is racist is beside the point. These booing, braying, mindless morons are, at the end of the day, that most ugly phenomenon of human behaviour, the MOB.

Who was the real winner?

Peter Matters writes: Re. “The Penny Wong guide to debating (and defeating) Cory Bernardi” (yesterday). Cory Bernardi announced the well publicised debate by calling it “a fight between different ideas”. What Bernardi projected was neither “ideas” or “opinions” — it was hang-ups dinned into him from early childhood by probably parents and Church.

The human brain and the computer both transmit messages by electronics, but computers are machines which automatically process the instructions fed into it. If the instructions are faulty, the computer simply fails to produce a result. The brain is the principal organ of the human body. Although small in size, it absorbs by far the greatest part of the food we eat for the good reason that it is by far the most sophisticated and complicated creation of nature. In consequence it produces on the one hand the extraordinary feat of brilliant logical thought by which Einstein discovered that life would not exist without the simple formula of energy = mass by speed (of light) squared. Additionally, being an organ of the body, it receives its instructions to transmit messages via a multitude of usually conflicting hormones which in contrast with the computer very often produces an irrational result. Take an obvious example: if the parents teach a small child that the Earth is flat, when that child grows up it will have a problem.

When Moses realised that to eat pork in Egypt caused his flock to get sick, he did not tell them not to eat it. Seeing his tribe of Jews were simple, illiterate people, to make sure they stayed healthy, he told them that Jehovah had forbidden them to eat it. When Mohammad two thousand years later found the pigs in Arabia still to be diseased, he told his followers that Allah forbade them to eat pig meat. Sadly, even today, many — too many — people religiously follow edicts issued in times past for reasons long ago out of date, usually without the slightest idea why these edicts were originally issued.

Nature has designed human beings to live in pairs. However, in order to avoid endangering the species by overbreeding, she arranged to change a small number of genes of about 10% of the population to result in pairing people of the same sex. To pass judgment on gay people — and for the Bernardis of today to deny they are passing judgment proves only that they are lying to themselves — offends against the basic Christian precept of “All People Are My Brothers And Sisters”.

Mark Tanner writes: Penny would be a great PM, however friends have pointed out we are too racist (and homophobic) and sexist. The unfortunate list goes on. This made me wonder — what sort of country do we need to be to have Penny as our PM? Who do we need to be? Someone living in 2030 perhaps? I would be over the moon if we were big enough to elect her to the big office.

Speed cameras, speeding fines and the greater good

Tony Wheeler writes: Re. “Don’t knock speeding fines” (yesterday). So the dramatic drop in the road death toll is all down to booze buses and speed cameras? Err — seat belts, air bags, anti-lock brakes, collapsible steering columns, side-intrusion bars, electronic stability control, traction control, crumple zones, reversing cameras, autonomous braking, collision warning, adaptive cruise control — guess those engineers were all just wasting their time? Still, there must be a great export opportunity to a country with one of the worst road death rates in the world: booze buses to Saudi Arabia anyone?

Geoffrey Heard writes: The bleating of speeders that they cannot keep below the limit is ridiculous. If their driving is of such poor quality, there is a simple answer: take away their licenses since they are a danger to everyone. The speed limits were introduced and remain in place for the very important reason of limiting road deaths and injuries. When I was a lad, they were horrendous. Whenever I chafe at a poorly set limit, I remember that — I remember the time when every family had a connection with one or more dead or terribly injured.

The limit is the limit, the top we are allowed, not a speed that it is mandatory that we drive at. Yet that is the attitude speeders so frequently demonstrate. They want the limit at 60 with a real limit of 66 then they never try to drive around 60 but rather right at 66.Okay, let’s accept their thinking. Set the limit at 55 and the “real limit”, the point at which you get fined, at 60. But let’s be consistent about the imposition of speed limits, and on four lane freeways, for example, let’s free them up during low use times so people don’t feel as though they are riding a bicycle through a desert, and make quiet suburban streets 45 or 50 kph max (real max that is).

And (one of my pet peeves) let’s have those school zone 40 kph zones used sensibly. Why is the reduction from 60 to 40 set to happen half an hour before the actual school finishing time? Five minutes before would be more than adequate. And why are those limits sometimes enforced during school holidays? And let’s not have those 40 zones in 80 kph four lane main thoroughfares — if necessary, introduce some pedestrian lights (there’s a classic on Cheltenham Road, Dingley in Victoria — one side of the road is a secondary school, the other side is a park!). Make the speeding fines (in fact, all traffic fines) proportional to the price of the car so that a fine will have a similar financial impact on all road users. The owner of the clapped out old Holden pays $100; the owner of the Maserati pays $10,000 (or whatever more than that). Let’s get some justice into the system.

No turnbacks

Adrian Miller writes: Re. “Labor on turnbacks: moral conundrum, political no-brainer” (July 23). The inconvenient truth ignored by Bernard Keane and other proponents of the turn back the boats policy is this: what happens to the asylum seekers when they are turned back?  Do the drivers for their desperate action in seeking safety and asylum evaporate?  Does their safety improve and the persecution they suffer disappear?  Quite on the contrary.  There is compelling evidence, particularly if they are ultimately returned to their country of origin, that they are worse off and much more at risk.  What Australia is doing is making them someone else’s problem.  Let them die out of our sight, not in our territorial waters please!   I am sick of the shameful politicising and hypocrisy around our treatment of asylum seekers.  If turning back the boats and The Pacific “Solution” is to remain Australia’s official policy on asylum seekers, let s stop pretending that we are a compassionate country and withdraw our signature from the UN Refugee Convention.

Scraping off the barnacles

Bronwyn Humphries writes: Re. “Bronnie, it’s time to go” (Wednesday). Not only is Bishop a recidivist in the matter of expense rorting, but she has disgraced with role of Speaker since holding that office  — which we are all aware was a captain’s call by Abbott as she was promised a ministry. John Hewson has done an excellent job of commenting on Bishop and her outrageous sense of entitlement and arrogance. Lastly, Bishop is 72. As a Senior myself I am very supportive of those who can and wish to work should. But 72 is ridiculous for a parliamentarian. This brings the crucial area of no retirement age for politicians and it is a very overdue area to be addressed. Given the strenuous hours and responsibilities I would suggest 67 as an appropriate age but it is a decision to be made by the nation. Both Bishop and Ruddock are like barnacles sticking to the public trough.