Date: May 15 2012
Many thanks again to Bruce Haigh for reminding us that ''demonising so-called boat people simply demeans us'' ( May 14, p13).
Especially when ''Refugee doctor's compassion heals old wounds'' (May 14, p5).
I particularly agree with Masa Lasica that ''knowing what it feels like to be from a civil war country, it certainly gives you a different perspective on the circumstances these people are actually coming from''.
My mother was a boat person - from Ireland in 1930, soon after its civil war. She was always grateful for the second chance given her by Australia. With courage let us all combine, to advance Australia fair - and a fair go for all who arrive here.
Peter Graves, Curtin
How petty of the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission not to approve Dick Smith's giveaways (''Watchdog knocks back Dick Smith giveaways'', May 11, p3).
I support the Australian farmer, and if Smith had been allowed to knock on my door I would have proudly shown him his Bush Foods Breakfast cereal as well as his Australian Grown Sweet Fig.
I would have loved to have had a cup of tea with him, and, to get around the ridiculous excuse the commission gave, would have donated the $500 cash to a worthwhile cause that, of course, the commission approved of.
Barbara Mecham, Melba
US President Barack Obama is one of the very few leaders in the world who is willing to take a political and social risk for the rights of homosexual partners. I'd like to hope that someone as influential as Obama could change the minds of those still opposing gay marriage.
It is disappointing that while the leader of the free world is on top of this issue, Australia's own Prime Minister is not. Get with the times, Julia Gillard. Before you sink. Do something for the people.
Jess Nicolazzo, Florey
I'm pleased to note (''Govt pays for trip'', May 12, p4) that, after lobbying by veterans groups, Canberra Times letter writers and others, Veterans Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon has had a change of mind on the funding of RAAF World War II veterans of RAF Bomber Command to attend the unveiling of a Bomber Command Memorial in London on June 28.
The six to eight places originally announced for the official mission party will now be increased to 30. A dedicated team including doctors, nurses and RAAF personnel will support the mission.
Further support, including a travel subsidy of $5000 (an increase of $2000) and assistance to take part in Australian commemorative services will also be provided for all other Bomber Command veterans who travel independently to attend the dedication.
Thank you minister. Lest we forget.
Don Malcolmson, Bywong, NSW
It was an interesting week last week - a federal budget on Tuesday with ensuing discussion and commentary leading up to nonsense about homosexual marriages.
I could not care less about any individual's sexual orientation, but when I see individuals shoving said orientation in my face in order to gain a benefit or importantly, to deny others a benefit, my contempt is immeasurable.
No matter how it is painted, homosexual marriage as a concept just does not exist. Now can we get back to analysis of the federal budget please - a document of fundamental importance to the prosperity of all Australians!
Michael Doyle, Fraser
David Biles (Letters, May 11) is entitled to be aggrieved because I employed polemic to illustrate that his repeated endorsement of ACT sentencing practices simply adds to the growing fury directed by normal citizens towards the bench.
His article in The Canberra Times (''A model prison system'', January 9, p9) argued that the ACT's correctional regime should be the benchmark for other Australian jurisdictions. My response the same day, not published, highlighted the understandable citizen and police frustration at judicial officers who believe that bail for repeat offenders, community-based correctional orders, good behaviour bonds, wrist-tapping sentences for career criminals and weekend detention actually work.
They don't. The friends, relatives and workmates of Clea Rose and more recently Linda Cox, together with scores of other innocent victims, establish that the ACT should definitely not be a benchmark - quite the opposite.
So, I'll apologise for resorting to polemic, but perhaps Biles could bring himself to concede that, in restoring confidence, the ACT judiciary has some way to go.
Patrick Jones, Griffith
Michael McCarthy (Letters, May 12) engages in the turgid art of nit-picking. Readers must expect an increase in this behaviour; as a direct result of the increase in population there are undoubtedly more nits and hence more opportunities for nit-picking. Another reason for a Small Australia?
Peter Baskett, Murrumbateman, NSW
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