The president of the Australian Federal Police Association is dismayed that the ACT would consider decriminalising small amounts of drugs deemed for personal use, while at the same time, condemning the teenager who crashed into a police car while reportedly high on illicit drugs ("Australian Federal Police Association 'dismayed' by ACT government drug decriminalisation push", July 12, p10).
What is Caruana trying to say here? That what we are doing is working? That his law enforcement strategy is working? So don't let's try something different.
It obviously is not working if a young person supposedly high on drugs crashed into a police car. It has long been known that punishment for the use of drugs is not achieving any positive outcomes except perhaps to keep the money flowing into the government's coffers.
It has long been advocated by researchers in the field that drug use (not drug dealing) needs to be treated as a health and social issue if improvements are to be made, not only for the lives of users and family members, but for the whole of society.
To begin this, we need to decriminalise personal use of drugs to reduce the stigma that will improve family relationships and encourage people who use drugs into treatment.
Recent polling showed that nearly 80 per cent of Canberrans surveyed in three local electorates support decriminalising the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs and providing a health response instead.
I am in awe at the astounding images produced by the James Webb telescope. More significant is what scientists will learn from them about the beginnings of the universe (or indeed universes), including our own miniscule blue planet.
I wonder though how church leaders will try to rationalise these discoveries as part of God's creation. They will need much more than the simple platitudes of centuries past, such as "God moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform".
All of the schemes that have been proposed so far for storing excess energy from wind and solar seem to be expensive and time consuming (eg Snowy 2.0) or expensive and only of very limited capacity (eg big batteries).
Would it not be possible to generate and store hydrogen through electrolysis of water and then use that stored hydrogen to run fuel cells to feed power back into the grid at times when demand exceeds capacity? I am no engineer and would appreciate a comment from anyone who is as to the feasibility of this.
I refer to your article "Pocock backs strong political ad reform" (July 11, p6).
While Senator Pocock no doubt feels aggrieved at his treatment, it seems to me that the untruths of the other side of politics are always worse than the untruths of ones own side of politics.
For example was Kristina Keneally's claim that the LNP would introduce a cashless income card for pensioners referred to the Australian Electoral Commission? Not to mention the usual scare campaign about Medicare.
I do agree to some extent with Zoe Daniel's comments about the media. I will always remember driving to Sydney from Canberra during the election campaign Malcolm Turnbull won when the big story was how the government had frozen the Medicare contribution for consultations.
Mr Turnbull was interviewed on the ABC and made the points that the Labor Party had introduced the freeze and that the Coalition's action would add $1.50 to the cost of a consultation.
I did not hear this attempted rebuttal of the story on subsequent ABC news bulletins during my drive.
Of course, Malcolm Turnbull got back, David Pocock got elected and Kristina Keneally was defeated, suggesting that the chips fell where they should have. So I agree that we do not need a well-remunerated quango to help the electorate work out when either side of politics is "gilding the lily".
Like Michael Lane (Letters, July 12) I have had a security clearance, to the then highest possible level, and have been privy to classified information. For those who haven't, I'd like to point out that a file of papers gets reclassified to the highest classification of any document in it, and the over-classification of documents is common.
I was astonished once to discover that the Secret file in my new cabinet was about the drug dependence of one individual in a well-known pop group. There was no way that the contents of this file was a threat to Australia's security. An in-confidence level of classification would have been far more appropriate.
As for the information revealed by Bernard Collaery and Witness K, it is clear from what we have known since 2013, that the information revealed should have been classified Commercial-in-confidence at best. As Michael Lane says himself, "Commercial-in-confidence is very different from classified information".
Christian Porter ordered these two to be pursued because East Timor might attack Australia? Pull the other leg.
I was born Irish Catholic but now, while no longer practising, I am pro-life in every respect, war, abortion, guns and any other topic you choose.
Abortion is a health-care issue only in a minority of pregnancies, (e.g. severe abnormality, health of mum, serious threat to mum's life, rape, or incest).
Pregnancy health care means the protection of the mother and baby to birth, and their inherent right to life.
Abortion is precisely the opposite. It destroys one life, and unnecessarily endangers the other.
That noted forecaster, the Governor of the Reserve Bank, postulates that inflation could reach 7 per cent by the end of the year. Clearly, nobody at the Bank does the family shopping.
I am not sure how closely the ABS's rather eclectic selection of components for the CPI actually coincides with normal household expenditure. However, on the basis of my recent shopping experiences, I would think a CPI increase of 7 per cent plus for the June quarter alone is a real possibility.
Roll on that overhaul of the Reserve Bank.
The great philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was chided perhaps unfairly by Clive James (Letters July 12). In Russell's old age, his secretary Ralph Schoenman, who was on the very radical left, issued controversial political statements in Russell's name but without his approval.
It took some time before this became clear to Russell, who eventually disowned him in a long statement dictated to his wife.
Schoenman was harshly but fairly condemned in Bryan Magee's brilliant Confessions of a Philosopher. He sued for libel and won. Unsold copies were pulped and replaced by an expurgated edition.
Book collectors should be aware that original copies are rare.
Recent letters to The Canberra Times suggest there is an organised campaign by critics of the Australian War Memorial to have the so-called frontier wars recognised by the AWM. Somewhat ironically critics of the upgrade of the AWM, including Dr Wareham (Letters, July 9) and Professor Stanley (Letters, July 12) seem to be demanding an even greater expansion to accommodate their demands.
There was no such thing as the Frontier Wars. The recorded conflicts were usually carried out by settlers and police (sometimes aided by other Indigenous tribes with a score to settle), not as part of a military campaign.
While some may like to use the term, they do not meet any definition of war anymore than the crushing of the Eureka Stockade rebellion in 1854, or the putting down of the convict uprising at Castle Hill in 1804 can be called civil wars. None of these were wars and they have no place in the AWM.
What is the problem with acknowledging that Australia was settled using the gun and the sword (with the bible in the background to convert the heathen?).
Our First Peoples never signed a treaty or voluntarily ceded the land on which they had lived continuously for longer than any other extant culture on earth.
It was taken from them at the point of the sword and the muzzle of the gun.
Those who resisted were killed. Many others died of introduced diseases.
TO THE POINT
Could R C Warn (Letters, July 9) let us know how many people waiting at the hospital emergency department were there for minor ills that should be treated by their GP, or drop-in centre? How many urgent, serious and life-threatening cases are not seen in rapid time? It's pounds to pennies that those who really need emergency attention are seen quickly. That's what triage is for. It has nothing to do with roadworks or trams.
I enjoyed David Pope's interesting adaptation of Hopper's much-memed Boulevard Of Broken Dreams, mainly for taking the diner off-planet, where its occupants seem to spend most of their time. But I fear that the orange haired individual's dreams are not yet broken, only bent. Like everything else about him.
A great quote from Lisa Gershwin on The Drum on Tuesday: "If you don't like wearing a mask, you're going to hate wearing a ventilator".
I find it astonishing how far back in time the Webb telescope can see compared to Hubble. If technology keeps advancing at this rate 30 years from now we'll be able to see the USA Supreme Court's basis for decisions.
My thanks to David Wilson (Letters, July 13). I must do some more study about Galileo. The editor is no slouch either, having used Galileo's dying words in the header of David's letter.
The news Qatar Airways is resuming international flights from Canberra Airport may be good news for international travellers, but the use of such large jets to fly to Melbourne or Sydney can hardly be good for the environment. I remember being one of only six passengers on a Qatar jet from Sydney to Canberra.
We, too, are intrigued by the "Roo's about" signs on Sulwood Drive. We wonder every day as we drive along there who is "Roo" and what are they about.
Peter Campbell's letter, referencing light rail "whingers (Letters, July 11), prompts me to express my frustration at how anti-trammers are often characterised. Some of us are not against light rail, per se. However, in relation to Canberra's light rail (present and future), many of us object to the cost, relative to other solutions. Saying some people believe the money could be better spent would be a better way of portraying their views.
Those who persist in saying that astronomy shows we're insignificant in the enormous universe as if they're guarding against arrogance and hubris for some reason ought to be ignored. We're entitled to be overjoyed and proud of our planet of life, and of the human race for its amazing achievements. We are not insignificant.
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