No one has answers
I AM pleased to see that at last Jack Waterford has responded to the question asked by so many readers on what he might do to overcome what he perceives as failings in white management of Aboriginal affairs (''White not black dysfunction'', Sunday Canberra Times, January 27, p 18).
The first part of his solution, to do nothing and sack ''the hordes of public servants and other players in the Aboriginal industry'' seems pretty clear-cut. However, it gets messy when he then writes about the ''savings'' of about $40,000 per Aboriginal man, woman and child being '' divvied up around Aboriginal families''.
How can this be doing nothing? Why would any government make such payments? As some sort of royalty, compensation or conscience money?
Perhaps it's time to face the fact that no one, least of all journalists, has the answer.
E L Fisher, Kambah
THE ARTICLE by Jessica Wright (Canberra Times, January 27, p3) outlining Senator Cory Bernardi's links to American and British right wing pro-tobacco, pro-gun lobby groups, including the National Rifle Association (NRA), contains more sinister news than a casual reading may imply.
The NSW government, under pressure from the Shooter's Party, is allowing recreational shooting in NSW national parks, against the strong advice of its own officials.
Recreational shooting in national parks will endanger the lives of other users and the scientific evidence is that it will do little to keep feral species under control.
Perhaps even more seriously, it will lead to more guns existing in Australia. Is this what we want, given the dreadful situation in the US where elected politicians are unable to stand up to the lobbying activities of the NRA?
Timothy Walsh, Garran
Dirty name game
I SUPPOSE young reporters need to practice their beat-up skills and your paramedic racist insult story (''Race row'', Canberra Times, January 27, p1) looks like a good start. Who would have thought that a family would be ''devastated'' when a member was ''traumatised'' and that he would be unable to return to work for more than a month after hearing himself referred to as ''sooty'', and that ambulance officers would have been ''outraged'' that the dirty-talking superior was only ordered to make a formal apology and undergo appropriate training? No doubt our lawyers are rubbing their hands in anticipation of a rash of compensation cases from people devastated by having been referred to as ''baldy'', ''chubby'', ''paleface'', ''ranga'' or something equally traumatising.
Michael Duffy, Curtin
ALTHOUGH society in general would abhor vindictive racial slurs, particularly in the workplace, the incident involving a Canberra paramedic being referred to as ''sooty'' (''Race row'', Canberra Times, January 27, p1) seemed to spark an overreaction in your front page headlines in last Sunday's paper.
Most of us, I'm sure, have suffered worse indignities during our working life and for the paramedic in question to be too traumatised to return to work, one would wonder how he would cope if confronted with a real tragedy. The comment was not made to his face and as one would read the report, there was no malice intended.
Political correctness seems to be taken too far these days. Shrug it off; sticks and stones … a reasonable perspective.
Tony May, Pearce
I AGREE with Paul Malone that frequent update requests for Adobe Flash Player are irritating (Focus, January 27). But he is not correct in saying that he does not use it. It is used to play videos and music from his browser. Paul would have been better off checking Wikipedia rather than struggling with the meaningless explanation he got from the Adobe website. The annoying and intrusive frequency of updates, most of which seem to be bug fixes rather than enhancements, is in my view a reflection on both the quality of the software and the shortcomings of the security architecture. Unfortunately, a streamlined update process with ''silent'' updates would also have a disadvantage. If there was a problem with the new version, Paul would not necessarily be able to pinpoint which software was causing his computer to misbehave.
David Roth, Kambah
PRAISE be to the Canberra Hospital doctors who, with a surgeon, Professor David Croaker, successfully treated a little boy born with rectal malformation, which caused stool to constantly leak out ( ''A small wrong is put right'', Canberra Times, January 27, p3). This was done ''under a partnership with Rotary-run charity, Oceania Medical Aid for Children. Nine-year-old Leon Kanas endured years of ridicule and being avoided by village friends in Vanuatu. Associate Professor David Croaker operated three times and said ''This is my particular thing and I'm happy to use that skill whenever possible. Leon now seems to be on the up and up.'' God bless all those dedicated, gifted people and the happy, grateful Kanas family. We are proud of you.
Evelyn Bean, Ainslie
SARAH Wilson (Relax, January 27) states that ''we are only able to handle six to nine teaspoons of sugar a day … which is about the amount contained in two to three pieces of low-fructose fruit'' and attests this to the AHF (it is actually AHA). The American Heart Association states in its paper: ''A prudent upper limit of intake is half of the discretionary calorie allowance, which for most American women is no more than 100 calories per day and for most American men is no more than 150 calories per day from added sugar.''
If you read the actual paper you will see that it is merely a percentage of discretionary calories. It doesn't refer to how much our body can handle. Table five shows active males 21-25 being allowed 18 teaspoons of sugar as part of a discretionary calorie allowance. It also refers to added sugars and thus fruit doesn't fall into this category.
I would also ask why this is the only comprehensive research that Sarah can find? Has she read lots of other papers (including all of the ones supporting this one) and decided that the research is high quality? If so why does she ignore the recommendation when declaring other sugars (for example, glucose) safe when adding them to her recipes. The guidelines refer to all added sugar; thus glucose would be included!
David Driscoll, Chifley
Just stop it
I AGREE entirely with Alan Barron (Canberra Times, January 13). The theory of global warming/climate change/catastrophic weather events, whatever the next buzz phrase will be, has been disproved repeatedly. The IPCC is discredited as the politically driven institution that it is. NASA has rebelled against political bullying and changed its focus to solar research.
Our once-iconic CSIRO is totally discredited as a scientific institution and is under investigation for workplace bullying. Respected scientists such as Professor Murry Salby who produce solid evidence against anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions as a factor in global warming are subjected to vitriolic abuse.
Please let it stop.
Dr Judy Ryan, Lyons