So, as the Senate sets sail on yet another political navel-gazing voyage of discovery in search of answers for the failings of ASIC, Australians are prepped for the always predictable outcome with suggestions that the corporate regulator lacks the necessary resources to carry out its statutory responsibilities (''Tough questions on ASIC dodged'', canberratimes.com.au, November 1).
How can anyone believe that this theatre of the absurd will achieve anything meaningful while ASIC head Greg Medcraft ignores his agency's responsibilities for policing and enforcing corporate law, including the pursuit of criminal and civil sanctions against organisations and their directors for breaches by publicly suggesting such matters were ''better left to the federal police''?
One doesn't need to be a lawyer, media mogul, politician or expert in public administration to understand that a fish always rots from the head down.
John Richardson, Wallagoot, NSW
Live export horror
Q. What's more sickening than the treatment of Australian animals exported to the Middle East? A. The hypocrisy of the live export trade and its apologists in federal government. How can they pretend to be shocked by the suffering of ineptly and callously butchered sheep which were transported in record numbers for a religious festival that culminates in ritual slaughter?
And it's not just an annual event. Home and back alley butchery is a widespread reality in the Middle East, as is animal sacrifice for all kinds of reasons - even something as trivial as opening a new shop. The only way to prevent these horrors is to cease exporting live animals to societies that have no concept of animal welfare nor adequate laws to prevent abuse and suffering.
Gaynor Morgan, Braddon
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, while in Jakarta, waved away the entire history of the repellent cruelty in the live export industry as if it were something Australians should have been more grown up about all along.
With Australia now officially ''open for business'' you can bet this morally bankrupt process of stuffing beasts into foetid, floating Guantanamos in order to outsource the slaughtering to countries where animal welfare is an even lower priority than it is here, has quite the rosy future. Charming.
Irrespective of this latest ritual sheep sacrifice travesty in Jordan, can you imagine what it will take for the new minister to intervene? The flip side of ''open for business'' is, unfortunately, open for compromise.
Ross Kelly, Monash
AWM loses way
I recently resigned from being a tour guide at the AWM because I felt it had strayed from the original legacy of Charles Bean. Bean wanted his creation to reflect war for the nasty business it is, not to be a trophy cabinet for the victors, and to belong to all. As part of this openness and honesty, he did not want the Hall of Memory to have any specific reference to God or to Christianity.
There were many Australian soldiers who served in World War I and indeed since who lost their belief in Christianity and the Christian God as a result of what they experienced during war time. ''Known unto God'' has no place in the Hall of Memory (its inclusion dates from 1999) because it had no place in the original concept of Charles Bean and because its specific reference excludes and ignores the feelings and losses of many Australians and the sufferings of their families. We have no right to do that. The AWM and its soul, the Hall of Memory, does not specifically belong to the Christian God or to Christians. It belongs to all.
Patrick O'Hara, Isaacs
As you point out, (''In God we must, claims War Memorial council'', October 30, p5) the inscription at the southern end of the tomb of the unknown soldier reads ''He symbolises all Australians who have died in war.'' This includes the 40 Australian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. The proposed replacement ''He is one of them, and he is all of us,'' is fine rhetoric but something is lost in translation. I'm sure the council meant well but my recommendation would be to let well alone and leave the tomb as it is.
Peter Edgar, Garran
The call to prevent Australians from volunteering to fight in Syria (''Carr's last throw likely to miss mark'', Times2, October 29, p2) smells of anti-Muslim bias. Many Australians hold dual citizenship (I have triple citizenship), and some of those countries require their citizens to undertake military service.
A well-known, but not unique, example is Israel, such that Australian citizens serve in the occupied territories of Palestine. Conversely, former Australian military personnel serve in overseas military ventures, either as overt mercenaries or ''security guards'' in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Some perhaps serve in the French Foreign Legion. Others are ''seconded'' from the Australian Defence Force to foreign military.
In 2012 another newspaper reported that the ADF had spent $100 million since 2006 recruiting more than 700 foreign nationals. The Spanish Civil War in the 1930s was a magnet for foreigners fighting on both sides.
If we are going to have a debate about this issue, then let us be even-handed and not target Muslims.
Peter Marshall, Captains Flat, NSW
Labor MP Michael Danby expressed concerns that ''up to 200 Australians are fighting'' in Syria - some affiliating with internationally disreputable groups.
I've heard nothing from Danby about the more than 100,000 men, women, and children killed - mostly civilians, the many millions displaced, or the need to stop the fighting.
Danby worries about having ''people flitting backwards and forwards who are involved in learning seriously evil crafts,'' and calls for a public debate.
I worry about any dual citizen or individual fighting for another authority, whether joining the Israeli army or a Syrian militia unit. It's been demonstrated time and again that even the most ''legitimate'' army teaches ''seriously evil crafts'' that have been used against Australia.
I understand and support the essence of Danby's concerns, yet to limit them to ''Syria or Lebanon'' alone seems sadly (dare I say it) ''racist'' and playing up to his constituency.
Judy Bamberger, O'Connor
I was not surprised to read economists (being one myself) apparently like price signals, and apparently don't like direct action on climate change (''Direct Action policy rejected'', October 28, p1).
Allowing for the fact Fairfax queued this survey up, much of the former government's carbon tax funded initiatives had elements of direct action about them, involving direct payments to firms. Similarly when Labor claimed only about 400 companies would pay the carbon tax, it was clearly nonsense.
Much in economics is logical, efficient and so on. Perhaps an imputed rent tax on all owner-occupied dwellings might be applied. But how politically stupid would that be?
M. Gordon, Flynn
Christopher Smith's reply (Letters, October 31) to Heather Ross' earlier letter (October 28 ) is an object lesson in hypocrisy. Laced with value-loaded pejoratives, it leaves the burning question unanswered: how is it that a scientific hypothesis, supported by a wealth of empirical evidence and given credence by the overwhelming majority of climate and ocean scientists, has come to be an issue of the ideological left and right? Do we really believe that ideological positions are germane to the physics and chemistry of greenhouse gases and ocean acidification?
Rod Carter, Murrumbateman, NSW
Sour note on jazz
Where has John Moulis been? I nearly choked on my Cornflakes upon reading his comment (Letters, October 30) that ''jazz is not what the public is remotely interested in''. Canberra's jazz scene has suffered, true, due to the sidelining/reduction of the wonderful School of Music jazz program at the ANU, but there are many large and small jazz venues around Canberra that support past and present members of this school.
Many people recognise that jazz and classical music have common links and supporters of these genres are many. Jazz Track on Classic FM is a highlight of my weekend. While I have no appreciation of country music, I would not make such an unfounded statement as did John Moulis, assuming the non-interest of any genre of music. To each his own.
S. Lambert, Hawker
John Moulis asks ''… is anybody listening to ABC Jazz?'' At least one, me. He then tells us that … country music is the second biggest selling genre in the US…'' Someone please assure me it is not so in Australia. Hearing that genre always reminds me of when my school teachers scratched chalk on the blackboard and made my hair stand on end. At least that is not a problem these days, I'm bald.
John F. Simmons, Kambah
Full force of law
At least four judges of the High Court have shown commonsense in denying compensation to the woman injured from ''vigorous sex'' in a motel room (''Public servant has moved on from sex compo claim'', October 31, p1). But isn't it great to hear from her lawyer that she has now moved on after pursuing this claim at who knows what cost to the public purse from an obvious personal-choice activity. It seems responsibility takes a back seat these days if there is potential to blame someone else.
I wonder who paid for the damaged light fitting? If the motel billed the woman, did she pass it on to Defence? Or why not sue the motel, surely every motel owner should know that light fittings must be capable of withstanding the forces applied during ''vigorous sex'' and that this is a normal activity which such institutions should cater for. Move on!
Eric Hodge, Pearce
TO THE POINT
HABITAT RUINED FOR STAKES
Indonesia doesn't have a climate problem, because they chop their forests down to provide us with high-quality tomato stakes. Stuff the orang-utans. Visit Bunnings and check out their premium grade mahogany tomato stakes. Old-growth teak is in short supply but I'm sure they will try hard to get some of that product in the future.
John Lawrence, Flynn
DUBIOUS ON DEMOCRACY
Would Joshua Stewart (Letters, October 31) please explain how the placement of a foreign, hereditary, non-elected, male gender-preferred institution at the top of Australia's political system ''underpins our democracy''.
Paul McElligott, Aranda
OUR POLITICAL APOCALYPSE
The Mayan calendar was out by 11 months. The world as we know it will end in mid-November, when Clive Palmer is sworn in as member for Fairfax.
Fabio Scalia, Windsor, Vic
'SNOOPY' SALES SHUT DOWN
Leigh Sales, host of ABC TV's 7.30 report, found herself out of her depth on Thursday night in tackling newly elected MP Clive Palmer. He was forthright and aware of the self-indulgent nosiness of Sales and rightly treated with disdain her prying and her attempts to bluff him and learn of his private affairs.
His performance augurs well for making uncomfortable snoopers like Sales and other agenda-ridden ABC journalists.
Greg O'Regan, Farrer
WILDE SIDE OF LOST VOTES
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: To lose a few Senate votes, Australian Electoral Commission, may be regarded as a misfortune (''Missing votes could give WA chance to reflect on Abbott'', November 1, p7). To lose 1375 looks like carelessness.
Thos Puckett, Ashgrove, NSW
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