Border Farce straight from Starship Troopers

James Burke writes: Re. “Anatomy of a clusterfuck: how Operation Fortitude went down” (Monday). What really rankles about “Border Force” is the plagiarism. The fascistic uniforms, the corporate drivel, the sinister ideological indoctrination disguised as HR nonsense — it’s clearly been ripped off wholesale from Paul Verhoeven’s campy, satirical sci-fi movies. Hell, I’m 95% sure “Roman Quaedvlieg” was the name of a military-industrial villain in some Verhoeven flick. Was it Total Recall, Robocop or Starship Troopers? Wait, maybe it was Showgirls 

Andrew Haughton writes: Mark Twain never knew Peter Dutton but described him perfectly as ” looking like an envelope on which no address is written ” .

Crikey, your skirt is showing

Charles Pickett writes: Re. “Sydney-centrism” (Monday). Does anyone at Crikey actually believe that the Oz and the Telegraph buried news of Friday’s border police debacle because it was a Melbourne story?

As a Sydneysider I enjoy Crikey despite its occasional eruptions of Melbourne paranoia and parochialism. However today’s effort suggests that this pathology is now raging unchecked.

Stop equating age and right-wing nuttery

Iain MacPhail writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (Monday). “…the in-house journal of prostate clinics across the country…” meaning the Oz.  I do wish you’d get over this tranche that equates conservative politics with an age-related urogenital condition. As one who falls into the medical demographic, but definitely not into the political one, it really pisses me off.

Prostate problems know no political allegiance.  Stop it!  It’s not even vaguely funny.

How we got into this mess

Jock Webb writes: Re. “What is happening in Kurdistan” (Monday). I hope Luke Godwin is wrong, but I fear that he is not, certainly not very wrong. The US has made a major balls up here. Back in the day, it gave Saddam the weapons to gas the Kurds in Iraq. Then it protected the Kurds who prospered and still do. It pulled down Iraq and created a vacuum filled by crooked Shia and Sunni extremists. As any fool(except Howard, Bush and the nitwit neocons) could foresee the rise of the Shia in Iraq enhanced the status of Iran and Syria. It also gave a safe haven for terrorists where previously, for good or ill Saddam had kept them under the jackboot. Now the only effective forces in Iraq are the Kurds and Iran backed militias. Who is our ally? Why are we there? It looks like Turkey will go Islamist leaving Indonesia as the only functioning Muslim democracy.

Into the fray steps Air Vice Marshal Julie Bishop filled with great ideas to lower the refugee count and defeat someone somewhere. Bomb Syria, you Europeans. Bomb Islamic State. Bloody hell. Half this garbage started because the West were so keen to remove Assad, but with Russian obstruction and no ideas, they started giving guns and money to every tinpot anti-Assad group as is they had some idea of what they stood for. How more bombs produce less refugees I wonder?

What about thorium?

Ailsa Cowan writes: Re. “The coal, hard truth: Chinese steel is the canary in the mine” (Monday). Interesting article. Although uranium is considered as being “the bright spot” there is no mention of thorium (which has many advantages over uranium) for use in the nuclear power industry. Australia has abundant supplies. Is there hope for the future for this metal?

Helping Heydon

EFA board member Andrew Pam writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (Monday). EFA does not offer any courses. The following sentence in our press release indicates an offer of personal assistance from individuals associated with EFA, not a formal course:

“EFA would be happy to provide guidance and basic training in the use of email to any high-ranking public officials that are in need of such remedial assistance.”