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Letters to the Editor: We are the US’s willing lapdog

The inhumanity of Saudi Arabia in the continued bombing of Yemen, a country now plagued with a potential cholera epidemic and millions facing starvation, is tolerated by the feeble United Nations, welcomed by this country, and it is now adding its murderous talents to the war in Syria.

Naturally, serving under the control of our great ally, the United States – now seen by a lot of commentators as the world's No.1 terrorist with world hegemony as its sole objective and Australia its willing lapdog ... as normal.

Meanwhile, as the Jewish PR machine swings into top gear in promoting the Holocaust again as they have for 72 years, the world ignores even more inhumanity in something called the "Holodomor", the deliberate starvation of 10 million Ukrainians in 1930-1932 by Joseph Stalin.

Heard of it? No, of course not. Far worse than the Holocaust but just the wrong nationality to get any coverage out here.

At the same time, May 15 marked the 69th anniversary of the 1948 NAKBA, the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland.

Between 1947 and 1949, Zionist paramilitaries, and subsequently Israeli forces who are still in brutal occupation, made an estimated 700,000 Palestinians into refugees to establish a Jewish-majority state in Palestine. Remember that one, then?

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No, again. What does it take for the truth to emerge in Australia? Millions of Palestinian refugees (are) still waiting to return to their homeland.

It's called Palestine, not Israel, by the way.

Rex Williams, Ainslie

Islam gave women rights first

Recently there has been a lot of criticism on the rights given to women in Islam.

This letter just sets the record straight, as Islam gave rights to women centuries before the "liberal West" did.

1. Right to keep what they earn. Koran: "Men shall have a share of that which they have earned, and women a share of that which they have earned" (4:33).

In America, married women could not own their property, and had no legal claim to any money they may earn, up to the 19thAmendment in 1848.

2. Right to inheritance and property. Koran: "For men is a share of that which parents and near relations leave; and for women is a share of that which parents and near relations leave, whether it be little or much – a determined share" (4:8)

As stated above, in America, married women could not own their property up to the 19th amendment in 1848.

3. Right and obligation to education. The Prophet Muhammad said, "Education is compulsory for every Muslim". (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 74) i.e. Education is compulsory for every Muslim male and female.

It was only in the early 20th century, with the first wave of feminism, that women in the US started gaining equal rights to education.

As a Muslim, I will not take lectures from other people on the rights of women. Islam gave rights to women centuries before the West did.

Khizar Rana, Walkerville, SA

A question of blame and belief

James Allan, ("Testing of belief", letters, May 17) demonstrates his firm conviction that if he (James) had been in charge of the creation of the world, he would have made a much better job of it than Almighty God.

He touches on the same issue that 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume expounded.

If James does not believe that God exists then how can he make this non-existent deity responsible for all the terrible suffering in the world and for the depraved human sin that causes it?

Christians believe that Almighty God has created human beings with free will and that gives us the capacity for sadistic evil as well as sublime acts of love and truth and beauty.

If James reads the accounts of the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ on the cross he will see both the hatred and malice of religious leaders and also the power of divine loving forgiveness.

Innocent suffering is a profound mystery but the Cross of Christ is at the centre of it.

I respect atheists who, even if they deny God, try to alleviate suffering caused by sin, and work to build a better world.

We can all do something.

Robert Willson, Deakin

The gaffe is entirely Walters'

Rosemary Walters' disparaging reference to Prince Philip's "gaffes" (letters, May 13) was apparently made in ignorance of well-known British journalist Harry Mount's explanation of them in The Spectator about eighteen months ago.

As Mount saw it, the Duke has spent 68years meeting strangers and wants to make such meetings easier for both sides.

At a function, always making sure he is holding a glass in his right hand to avoid the formality of having to shake hands, after an introduction he will often launch into a straight-faced light-hearted comment that puts people at their ease and establishes an almost conspiratorial link between them.

Asking long-term British students in China why they haven't got slitty eyes, asking Mount at a Gallipoli Association dinner who roped him into attending, asking a charity trustee who she sponged off, are not intended to demonstrate Wildean wit but are a tease and "a quickfire shortcut to a proper conversation – to talking on the same level. It is the ultimate royal icebreaker".

He knows full well that the Rosemary Walters of this life, and many others, will doubtless cringe in horror at another "gaffe".

At almost 95, knowing he's much loved, he doesn't give a damn.

Bill Deane, Chapman

Track perpetrators' histories

It should be noted by the federal government that Muslim men (were among those who) rescued the women being assaulted by a maniac near Salt Creek in 2016.

The women would probably have both been murdered if not for their intervention.

The Prime Minister should honour them. Further, the locations of the Milat-like maniac over the past 40 years should be investigated, including possible trips to sex holiday destinations like Thailand, to see if there were any unsolved crimes at the time when the predator was there.

John Dobinson, Herston, Qld

The cost of living? No one really knows exactly what it is

The Treasurer rightly mentioned in his budget speech that Australians were struggling with the cost of living, and who could dispute that?

What he failed to say was that he doesn't know what the cost of living is. That's right, he doesn't, because the CPI doesn't measure the real shop prices we all pay every day.

The CPI has been adjusted, mostly downwards, for quality changes to the CPI basket of goods and services for at least the past 25 years. For example if a current model washing machine has increased in price from $1000 to $1100, that's a 10 per cent increase in price, isn't it? Well, not necessarily.

If the Bureau of Statistics rules that the current model washing machine has an additional washing cycle valued at $50, they report that as only a $50 increase, 5 per cent, rather than 10 per cent.

But you can't buy the old model with the fewer wash cycles (for the old price).

It's a disgrace that no government can tell its people what real cost of living increases are.

Don't be fooled into believing that prices have increased by what's reported in regular CPI announcements. It's high time the government instructed the Bureau of Statistics to produce and make public, what the real cost of living is.

The Bureau of Statistics has advised me that it does not have actual cost of living data because once quality adjustments are made, it scraps the real price movement data.

John Coleman, Monash.

Not so high tech

North Korea aside, there are only so many rocket scientists needed per head of population. The point is, technological change is not a major cause of loss of jobs.

The reverse is often true. Decades ago I could produce a major economic indicator with the help of one comptometrist quicker and a lot cheaper than I could after computerisation.

Decades later I worked for a chap who described himself as the highest paid typist in the department. He was the highest paid person of his classification and his classification was the highest to lose entitlement to a PA, or secretary.

He had to type all of his own correspondence.

Sure, some job classifications have changed but it is no failure of our education system that "26 per cent of of students fail to finish school or a vocational equivalent". ("The key to 'jobs and growth' too often ignored", May 17, p17).

A wealth of menial and mundane tasks remain despite technological changes.

"Jobsan Groath" has been deported. If it ever ceases to be economical to export tasks to other countries because the paradise of global equality has been achieved, that will only establish that the normal distribution of student capability in all societies contains an appreciable percentage not suitable for academic development and that most of these will be relegated to the inevitable menial and mundane tasks.

Gary J.Wilson, Macgregor

The child can't choose

MLA Tara Cheyne ("Dunne tweet war over abortions" May 19, 12) is mistaken when she claims that women have a right to choose to abort their children.

When it comes to "choices", we women have every right to choose what political party we will vote for, what job we will do, what friends we will make (and) what we will have for breakfast.

But none of us has a right to abuse another human being in our power and under our care.

No human being has ownership and lethal disposal rights over another human being, no matter how small or dependent or disabled or "unwanted".

Ultrasound technology, together with biology, embryology, fetal surgery, and examination of the human remains of an abortion, all tell us that the victim targeted for abortion is a human being, belonging to the human family; a human being who can be identified as a daughter or son, a "who", not a generic "thing".

True justice requires elective abortions be recognised and treated not as harmless, idiosyncratic, personal "choices" but as abusive practices, as human rights violations perpetrated by individuals and involving the complicity of politicians, judges and others.

Rita Joseph, Hackett

Refugees free to go

In his letter of May 1, Keith Binns said "what Jesus would do" in regard to Manus and Nauru was abundantly clear.

I agree. He would have said "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's".

Jesus would also have admonished Keith for dishonesty with references such as "political prisoners incarcerated in concentration camps".

These asylum seekers are not prisoners: they are free to leave.

Further, Australia, with enormous generosity, is supporting them (housing, food and water, clothing, medical services, security and so on) pending their return to their home countries or to countries willing to accept them.

Millions of destitute people around the world would willingly swap places with them.

Many, perhaps most, can return home. The Sri Lankan civil war ended years ago.

If Australian troops can be sent to Afghanistan, surely the Afghans can return to Afghanistan to work for the cause the Australians are working for.

Are the Iranians incapable of living within the rules accepted by the vast majority of their country's citizens? I do not blame any of the asylum seekers for wanting to come to Australia. However, they do not have a right to do so.

Australia gave a commitment to other potential asylum seekers it would not give preference to asylum seekers who attempted to "jump the queue".

It has an obligation to honour that commitment.

To do otherwise would be immoral and trigger another wave of illegal immigration.

Bob Salmond, Melba

Spoilt brat in charge

From someone who is looking from the outside looking in, Donald Trump is acting more like a spoilt brat who cannot acknowledge his mistakes than the leader of the "free" world.

Such puerile behaviour should be viewed as a cause for concern. It has a lot to do with the fact far too many of those who voted for him are navel gazers who haven't a clue of the responsibilities their country has outside its borders.

Personally I couldn't give a tinker's (cuss) what the US does within its borders but I do care about what this oversized elephant does in the global china shop.

D.J.Fraser, Currumbin, Qld

No locking up here

An allegedly armed man holds up a petrol station in Holt, traumatises the attendant and, reportedly despite failing to reveal the gun's location, is granted bail.

Bikies allegedly invade a home, one of them, who is armed, flees to a nearby unit, allegedly holds police at bay until arrested and is also granted bail.

What does one have to do in the ACT to get locked up, pending trial?

The police must wonder why they bother.

D. N. Callaghan, Kingston

Manning a true hero

Chelsea Manning is an amazing hero and a model for others to follow.

If we want to make our planet a better place for our species we need more people like Manning.

People who are willing and able to stand up to the police state and are not cowered into obedience to those who commit terrorism under the guise of legitimate military actions.

Adam Bonner, Brogo, NSW

Probing questions

The Centrelink debt letters just roll on under another guise.

I have been on the age pension since July 2015.

I have just received a Centrelink probe asking me about work details for four years before this.

It caused me a great deal of angst, especially because I was always fastidious in reporting income to Centreprobe.

Gary Frances, Bexley, NSW

Notable names

Seeing we are going back in international history (M. Moore, letters, May 19) how about Rosa Luxemburg and Che Guevara for streets in our little socialist republic of Canberra?

Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla

Email: letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au. Send from the message field, not as an attached file. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610.

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