I often strongly disagree with some letters to the editor, but I can understand the thinking behind the writers of those letters.
But I cannot fathom the mindset behind the anti-vaxxers and their protests. If they don't wish to have the vaccination themselves why cannot they have it for the sake of those more vulnerable and at risk amongst their fellow human beings?
Don't they want to make a small sacrifice for the sake of the frail, old, very young, those living with life threatening conditions and those who put their own lives at risk to help and to protect others?
Many older people remember the devastation wrought by the polio virus before there was a vaccine. My best friend Jill caught polio and was in an iron lung for 10 days, hovering between life and death.
When she came out of it alive everyone in her circle of friends thought it a miracle. But Jill could never walk again, and was paralysed from the waist down for the rest of her life. This changed her whole life.
In the 70 years since vaccines have removed the scourge of terrible diseases including smallpox, whooping cough, measles, rubella, tuberculosis, hepatitis and chickenpox.
I am so grateful to the medical researchers and doctors who have made this possible.
Just when you think that for this year at least we have reached the end of ACT government misleading statements and sneaky tricks in relation to rates The Canberra Times tells us ("Government-owned blocks in some Canberra suburbs valued less than private neighbours", November 21, p1) the government has frozen the unimproved values of its own properties, resulting in lower rates for those properties.
It doesn't matter what ACT Housing pays, or doesn't pay, to ACT Treasury; there is no net loss to government. Even the article's angle that neighbours to those properties are being treated unfairly is a little off target.
The big game here appears to the government's announced (on average) 3.75 per cent increase in residential rates this year. If the government is artificially suppressing its own rates then the average rates of real ratepayers will have increased by more than 3.75 per cent. We are all being treated unfairly.
The government spokeswoman gave a smorgasbord of reasons for their properties having different values, most of them probably irrelevant for regular suburban blocks, but not a single reason for the sudden change this year.
It is easy to be pessimistic about long-term prospects for the human species. The decisions reached in Glasgow about climate change were depressingly inadequate and Australia's contribution to that discussion was utterly unhelpful and negative.
British writer, Georgie Monbiot, in a recent column, shared this pessimism but argued that there might still be a chance of mobilising the global population to take essential steps towards a survivable future. He referred to the evidence that when 25 per cent of a population works effectively together remarkable tipping points can occur that can generate unexpectedly profound legislative change.
With an election looming now is clearly the moment for others like me who believe that on our present course, humans are headed for early extinction, to join forces to mobilise the large majority of Australians who are concerned about the changing climate and shake our politicians free from the tentacles of the fossil fuel lobby.
Perhaps Douglas McKenzie (Letters, November 23) should discuss what is happening to our liveable planet, the earth, since he is calling himself an earth scientist, rather than just the predicted longevity of the fossil fuels industry.
Despite increasing international will to cut emissions, and the urgency of making significant cuts this decade, Australia's current 2030 emissions reduction target, set six years ago, is the weakest in the developed world.
There was specific recognition at COP-26 to move beyond coal power and phase out fossil fuel subsidies. We must not continue to blindly prop up one set of interests, when to do so, is at the expense of society as a whole.
This condemns the young to a situation that will be profoundly intractable if we don't act decisively now.
Nasser Mashni ("SBS appointment bodes ill for our broadcaster", The Canberra Times, November 22) is selective with the facts.
He states that Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets at people at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
He does not mention that the soldiers faced rioters who had stockpiled weapons - including Molotov cocktails and explosives - in the Mosque, and were attacking Jewish worshippers at the western wall nearby.
Nor does he mention that Israel "raining munitions on Gaza" was in response to Hamas firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians. Mashni says Palestinians practise "steadfastness" in the face of Israel's "brutal occupation". He does not mention that the Palestinian leadership rejected peace deals that would have seen them achieve a state.
Regarding Alhadeff's appointment to the SBS board, apparently Mashni feels if SBS doesn't comply with his alternative reality it is "accommodating to the Israel lobby".
Am I the only person who feels sorry for Pauline Hanson who is now desperately attempting to outdo the clueless and wildly libertarian Matt Canavan, George Christensen and Clive Palmer for the votes of the ethical and intellectual nadir of the electorate?
Even Scott Morrison is trying to make inroads into that cohort now.
The alt-right, terminally alienated and "woefully marginalised" community has become an extremely competitive Senate-electoral market.
In question time on November 22 the Prime Minister was asked about the misleading information his office had provided to the media about his Hawaiian holiday.
The Speaker seemed to rule that ministers were only open to questions on their own actions and not the actions of their offices.
Ministerial staff have been immune from accountability to Parliamentary committees because of the doctrine that all actions of these offices were deemed to be actions of and on behalf of the Minister who was therefore accountable for them.
It now appears that staff working in ministerial offices can act as unaccountable freelancers within the political system.
My wish is for my grandchildren to be back in school learning with their friends rather than, as now, in isolation at home. "Grandma, I just want to go for a walk!"
My wish is for the precious ICU beds to be ready and waiting for people without COVID-19 and our medical people to be doing other vital caring.
So Chris Watson (Letters, November 22) we are not there yet. Like many others , I continue to wear my mask and look forward the children being double vaccinated.
So Barnaby Joyce has revealed that a "religious freedoms" bill is part of the price the Liberals paid the Nationals for keeping quiet over the zero-emissions by 2050 agreement.
I wonder whether the Nationals' religious freedoms include the freedom to burn me at the stake for not voting for them? Do religious freedoms include the freedom to avoid taxes if you're a worshipper of Mammon? Do religious freedoms include the freedom to murder anybody not of your faith? Is child sacrifice okay if you're a worshipper of Moloch? Where is any line to be drawn?
The phrase "religious freedoms" is a blind for bigotry and prejudice, imported from that cesspit of bigotry and prejudice, the USA. Barnaby Joyce has revealed a scheme to buy the votes of the bigoted, the prejudiced and the cynical opportunists. We now see clearly what kind of party he and his allies are running.
I saw the climate activists sign on State Circle the other day. It said "Honk for our climate". I thought to myself, "okay that is easy". So I accelerated my 2.2-tonne bi-turbo diesel truck past the sign and tooted multiple times. It did sound just like New York and they honk there too you know.
I looked in my rear vision mirror and, through the clouds of black exhaust smoke, I could just see the sign and the dancing climate activists.
I felt so good and apparently so did "our climate".
Am I the only one amused that many of those who are "pro-choice" on vaccination seem to be the same people who are so vehemently "anti-choice" when it comes to a woman's right to have an abortion?
Will Labor make any promises re the judiciary and how out of date it is? With elections looming this could be a real weapon. People are sick of criminals basically getting off scot free. They are also sick of seeing older people who can't defend themselves being picked on.
Yes, Roger Gottlob (Letters, November 21). We had the same experience trying to contact ACT Policing on 131 444, also on November 19, to report an ACTION bus driver driving dangerously late at night. We finally gave up in disgust after being on hold for an absurd amount of time.
Congratulations to US VP Kamala Harris for becoming acting president for one hour and 25 minutes. It's democracy.
I share Oliver Raymond's (Letters, November 20) concern that the PM put political self-interest before national unity by not unequivocally calling out threats of violence at demonstrations in Melbourne. His failure is not surprising. He is a reactive person, not a leader. National unity should be paramount.
When is Australia's preoccupation with cricket going to end? Get the idiots off the front page.
The PM's "double-speaking" tactics do suggest that he pontificates with a forked tongue.
To be fair to our PM, who doesn't mean "I'm off to Hawaii", when they say "I'm going on holidays with my family"?
I'm not usually a great fan of Pope's View but I must say that on November 23 he has excelled himself. Maybe we could club together and have a few thousand leaflets printed and distributed to certain parts of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
So ScoMo wants all voters to be properly identified to rule out dishonesty. That's a bit rich coming from him.
People in NSW like to say the best thing to come out of Victoria is the Hume Highway. No prizes for guessing what Victorians now say is the worst thing to come out of NSW.
Every time I hear or see Barnaby, Hanson or Clive Palmer I feel temporarily sorry that I live in Australia.
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