On February 5 the AWM hosted one of its regular daily Last Post ceremonies.
But this was different. It featured speeches by both the PM and Mr Dutton, and, almost as an aside, a somewhat belated and brief reference honouring one of our fallen soldiers from World War I - in this case Private Frank Noel McGowen.
There did not appear to be any family representatives of the McGowen family on the video available.
I attended a Last Post ceremony last year. It's a truly wonderful, tasteful and appropriate ceremony to honour those who fell in service to our country. But to invite two politicians of contrasting views to speak reminds me that it is politicians, and in particular conservative politicians, that have sent us to all our wars, without any parliamentary debate, or vote.
Mr Dutton's speech was inappropriately war-mongering at a sacred ceremony. It referenced armaments manufacturing and called for a speedier military build up. All class.
I get it that the AWM is probably under the hammer to host politicised ceremonies (funding is always hard to come by) but let's come up with something else to call the function, physically remove it away from the Pool of Remembrance, and revert to appropriately honouring the men and women that politicians sent to war, in the usual tasteful and sympathetic manner.
Should we expect current AWM board member Tony Abbott to pop up at the next politicised ceremony and give a short spiel on how "stop the boats" has now been adopted by the UK conservative government?
Or perhaps a word from the China-hating ASPI?
W A Brown, Holt
From stone age to doctorate
David Pope's cartoon featuring Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, James Marape (February 9) reminds me of a chance encounter when I was engaged in a geological survey of the Highlands region in 1971.
At the end of a week's on-foot geological mapping and sampling, I happened upon a small native-materials village amongst the sea of rainforest. Most of the people in that village had never before seen a white man, and were using stone tools.
Upon my return to our Mount Hagen base, I visited the Hagen Club for a cool beer. I sat next to a young Highlander man and struck up a conversation. He told me, in excellent English, that he was a PhD student at the University of Queensland, in town to visit his parents.
When I asked where his parents lived he named the village that I has briefly visited earlier that day. From the Stone Age to 20th-century university doctorate in one generation: a remarkable achievement.
Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Greens wrong on Gaza
Greens spokesperson Andrew Braddock wants a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Apparently, he has no problem with leaving the Hamas terrorist organisation in power, or with the inevitability of future actions against Israel and its citizenry.
Given that Israel totally withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and Hamas has responded with constant acts of terror since, his claim that the war is a tipping point against Israel is nonsense.
He is incorrect to claim that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found that Israel's conduct could be reasonably characterised as genocidal. He is also incorrect in claiming the ICJ ordered Israel to stop the fighting. The ICJ found it was plausible Israel had committed some acts of genocide based on South Africa's allegations. It made very clear this finding did not indicate what the Court's final verdict would be.
Douglas Randell, Nicholls
Once a knight is enough
Further to Alex Mattea's letter (Letters, February 8) there is no need for the current crop to knight the King.
As Prince Charles, he was knighted by PM Malcolm Fraser on March 14, 1981.
As he was, and is, not an Australian citizen, and to avoid conference of an inferior "honorary" award, an amendment to constitution of the Order of Australia was required. It helped somewhat that his mum could sign the requisite letters patent.
Andy Hogan, Bonython
Stop the fake news
Usually absent from The Canberra Times letters page are claims that Trump won the last US election, that Bill Gates is injecting us with microchips, and other popular and often ludicrous, but demonstrably false, narratives perpetuated by people who are stupid, wilfully ignorant or just malicious. And a good thing that is too.
But there appears to be two regular exceptions to this general filter - the claims that Canberra cyclists don't pay for their road use, and that road funding comes primarily from vehicle registration fees. These have been soundly rebutted so many times by those who understand how taxation and infrastructure funding actually works that I don't need to repeat the facts here.
What's more concerning is that such letters are not harmless; they are often written with the apparent intention of inciting hatred against other road users.
Terry George, Kingston
No place for cyclists
Dave Jeffrey complains that "cyclists pay nothing for the privilege and expect all the rights" on our roads (Letters, February 8).
As a cyclist, I can assure Mr Jeffrey that I want to spend as little time as possible on roads competing with increasingly oversized and poorly-sighted vehicles that are capable of causing me serious injury at any moment.
My Jeffrey is apparently concerned about cyclists causing accidents. Continued investment in the maintenance and development of Canberra's network of off-road cycle paths is the best solution to minimise accidents involving cyclists and other vehicles.
Mary Taylor, Phillip
ABC bias claims absurd
For their entire time in government the LNP avoided the ABC like the plague. Their Prime Ministers and ministers very rarely appeared on the ABC. They were scared of being asked questions and being held accountable. They preferred the alternative universe of Sky News. Now that they're in Opposition they enthusiastically line up for interviews and are desperate for time on air.
That hasn't prevented them from making the usual accusations of ABC left wing bias. The predictable Mr Dutton did exactly that on 7.30 when interviewed by Sarah Ferguson. If you don't like a question you shoot the messenger and drag out the old ABC left wing bias mantra. It's complete tripe. The ABC jettisoned Andrew Probyn, arguably the best political journalist in Australia. His role now belongs to David Speers, formerly of Sky News. The new Labor appointed head of the ABC is Kim Williams, former News Ltd CEO.
The latest accusations of bias have come from Peta Credlin over the documentary series Nemesis. There's no bias involved in former Liberal PM's calling each other thugs or duplicitous. She went on to say that when Abbott was shafted by his own team it was a tough time for her. She mentioned that she had great respect for Shorten and Albanese who reached out to her but Gillard didn't.
Could that possibly be because she and her boss ran a relentless character assassination of Gillard including an expensive, failed Royal Commission into AWU misconduct? Some perspective would be nice.
Peter McLoughlin, Monash
The Jewish homeland
Michael McCarthy's suggestion Jews should have been encouraged to seek refuge in the US rather than establishing Israel (Letters, February 6) is simply a fancy way of denying Jews the right of self-determination in their homeland.
Israel has not, as he claims, established itself on the basis of religious exclusivity.
It is a Jewish state, but it has approximately two million non-Jewish citizens and all have absolute freedom to practise their own religions.
That's one of the many aspects that disprove his apartheid allegation.
He also says it should embrace the two-state solution, but after the Palestinian leadership refused various offers of statehood point blank, he should save that advice for the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
Jane O'Neill, Aranda
What a waste of money
ACT Special Minister of State Chris Steel has now issued a special governmental mea culpa about the failed ACTPS human resource management upgrade project.
This debacle's $78 million write-off prompted one astute Canberran to remark publicly that this is "an astonishing amount of money down the toilet".
Icon Water must be sighing and fantasising about how such a monumental flushing exercise would at least clear out many problematical fatbergs from our sewerage system.
Between now and October 19 the minister's "lessons learned" mantra needs to be backed up by evidence of much improved project implementation approaches and the employment of the additional skilled staff needed across all directorates, and not only in relation to major ICT projects either.
Sue Dyer, Downer
To the point
SURELY THEY WOULDN'T
Nine News has admitted letting generative AI loose on its photos. But I'm sure it's not letting AI actually write its news. Is it?
Richard Manderson, Narrabundah
THINK IT THROUGH
Kathryn Kelly (Letters, February 8) says if the USA got Israel to put a ceasefire in place it would save many lives on both sides. If, in 1943, the Allies told the Nazis they were giving them a thrashing and it would save lives all round If every one agreed to a ceasefire would it have saved lives in the long run?
Bill Deane, Chapman
Again The Canberra Times writes about big vehicles ("Aussie motorists show a big preference for big vehicles", February 8). But nothing on the rise in road fatalities and whether the simultaneous increase in purchases of unnecessarily large vehicles has anything to do with this.
Roderick Holesgrove, Crace
SAME OLD, SAME OLD
Don't expect politicians of any stripe to do anything about negative gearing and family trusts. Odds are they're up to their eyeballs in such schemes.
Dave Roberts, Belconnen
OUR TRUMP CARD?
Rajend Naidu (Letters, February 7) wants to know why it has taken the Australian government three long years to put sanctions in place against the military regime in Myanmar. In international relations, as in euchre, it is unwise to lead with your trump card.
Roger Terry, Kingston
God save the King.
Ian Jannaway, Monash
PAINTING THE BLUES
I was disappointed to see whoever was responsible for painting the rainbow in Lonsdale Street chose the wrong blue - a dark navy. It's more ultramarine. There's too much bad public art in Canberra, especially specially at the O'Connor shops.
Penelope Upward, O'Connor
WHAT HOPE UNITY?
If we can't unite on a simple thing such as the date for Australia day then what can we be united about?
Mokhles Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
ON THE ROAD AGAIN?
I wonder if Zed is considering moving to Cronulla?
D J Taylor, Narrabundah
When will Transport Canberra complete the line markings on Adelaide Avenue? I have consistently seen cars and utes use the bike lane as an "extra lane" which is a serious threat to the safety of cyclists.
Rebecca Scouller, Barton
I'll bite. Was the juxtaposition of the two front-page stories on Friday - "Woden route takes shape" and "ACT deficit blows out by $340 million in update" a case of deliciously intentional irony or just an inevitability?
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
I can hardly wait for Taylor Swift to go the way of Madonna - off the charts, literally. And she could go live in a retirement home with Paris Hilton and Theda Bara.
Gary Frances, Bexley, Vic
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