In the second time in as many weeks, Crikey readers have waded back into the government’s troubled drought policy, using Inq’s look at “drought relief roulette” as a jumping-off point. Elsewhere, readers discussed Home Affairs’ growing interest in facial recognition technology (which it’s looking to impose on online pornography) and mulled over recent developments in the US’ international power under Donald Trump.

On drought funding

Mark E Smith writes: What’s more interesting lately are the letters here and in the dailies from long time farm folk. The common theme is widespread rural annoyance at how poor farm managers who don’t provide in good years for the inevitable bad years keep getting assistance but good managers get nothing. Rural communities are also coming around to the idea of closing down farming regions that have become unviable. Not many votes or photo ops in this unfortunate new world though. In my experience it’s rarely a good idea doling out vaguely targeted money to councils.

On facial recognition

Peter Turner writes: Australia, and most of the western world, doesn’t have a system to verify identity. The hundred point test is riddled with exemptions, so much so you can open a bank account without a passport or a drivers licence. Drivers licence and passport applications rely on the same 100 point test so we have a huge Jenga tower resting on the same few blocks. Add to this Australians don’t want a sound ID card, or they didn’t at the time of the Australia Card, you end up with a system to annoy the average citizen and assist the bad guys. Don’t for a minute believe criminals won’t be able to get false documentation, it’s just this will mean they are government approved.

On American power

Draco Houston writes: It would be remarkable if, unlike most empires in history, the American empire falls apart through own goals and not something like WWII. I am holding out for the systems it rules through being made untenable or something big like that. IMO Trump can’t kill it through incompetence. We just get monkey paw versions of things like “withdrawing from Syria”. Not looking forward to Turkey’s next move.

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Peter Fray

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