Updated 14 December 2006
SOME LETTERS THEY DID NOT
INDEX of TOPICS - still incomplete
Some 2006 entries dated in red
17 November 2006
An Orwell election
When the urgent major issues are buried under promises (bribes) to spend money -
When everyone is urged to save water, with looming water shortages, while the State goes for population growth, to use more water, keep property prices rising and the building industry flourishing because our other industries are going under to imports.
When Public-Private-Partnerships ensure profits for the private partners while risks and subsidies are paid for by the taxpayer - rather than loan and tax methods to finance and own public works.
When the Top Tenth are paid more and more, while most ordinary people struggle with debt.
When for everything except for more and more entertainment, everyday quality of life is being made worse for ordinary people - such as increasing insecurity of jobs, small businesses and farms; unaffordable housing; traffic and transport hassles; children's loss of outdoor freedom; streetscapes wrecked by developers; wildlife and bushland disappearing, - all matters governments could do more about.
When Labor and Liberal can't tell the differences between them, in giving preferences to each other.
When the public is silly enough to follow How to Vote brazenly traded preferences instead of thinking for themselves.
8 May 2006
When 'Very rude' is 'Very adult''
Teenagers asked about 'What does the show Big Brother teach us?' made responses such as 'Very rude and very adult'. The media teach the young about what is being Adult. 'Mature Adult' ought to mean a responsible, nurturing, creative, problem-solving and thinking person, not someone obsessed by coarse language, violence and sexual voyeurism.
It would be good for the way our culture is going if ratings now labelled 'For Mature Adults' were labelled instead 'For Immature Adults', and 'For Mature Adults' meant that the programs really were for 'Mature Adults'. 'Adult shops' would also change their present meaning and products.
Does the mind boggle at a sensible idea?
NOISE obscuring voices
30 July 2006
to a radio religious program
Handicapping the handicapped
You may wonder why I take time off from all the serious battles in the world today to write to your program yet again about handicapping the elderly and hearing-impaired by background noises to speech, which is harder to hear against noise as their perception of higher frequencies deteriorates. There are several reasons. 1. It is a symbol of greater problems that are harder to fix - and yet this one would be easier. This particular problem, of not caring for the needs of weaker minorities when it affects our own pleasure, is worse when a religious program does it. It is like when church people in Aberdeen protested about bus-drivers having Sunday off, because then they could not take the bus to church themselves. Not as bad as the Vatican enjoying castrati singing in their choirs though. 2. Our society is increasing other practices that discriminate against the ageing - at a time when the population is ageing. Public transport, public broadcasting and product design are among the oppressors. 3. Music and noise backgrounds to voices in radio programs are a sign that speech itself is seen as not important itself in the messages that are being said for minds to think about. Emotional feelings are what matter. This again is part of a wide cultural phenomenon. 'Talks are batshit' and so must be sauced up? In public places and on TV and in films it is can be possible to lipread. Not on radio. In singing, music and lyric complement each other in rhythm and message - although in much modern music the lyrics cannot be heard clearly and the voice is just an instrument of noise. 4. An unscientific attitude at the national broadcaster. What experiments has the national broadcaster done to find out whether normal-hearing people can attend to messages adequately when there is clashing background, as in promotions for programs! This is getting abominable and many people support my complaints here.
Gelding the lily is worse than gilding it.
NOISE intrusions into another excellent program - 15 June 2006
I was shocked by today's historical program . There is increasing concern that people are becoming unable to distinguish image from reality, and fact from fiction, There is also evidence that concentration on the spoken word becomes harder with noise backgrounds, and about 15% of the population find it hard to discriminate speech when there is noise ii the background, with this proportion rising with age, as the elderly do not hear higher frequencies as well. Who are the nonages that treat this historical program as if it were fiction, to be dressed up with emotive music and noises, like an old radio drama in which coconuts are bashed to indicate a head being split? Play the whole back to yourself. It is appallingly stupid, insensitive and unaware that what they are messing around with is a period of our history, the Cold War, that could have killed us all. and needs careful listening. The drums, kettledrums, piano music, and even a rap song were inappropriate. There was not long ago a program that included a concentration camp - treated in the same way Shakespeare's Hamlet described how Ophelia behaved like those musicians. I think the reason must be that broadcasting staff are bored with what they are doing and so they want to play around, regardless of the subject and regardless of the listeners. It is far better to put on as good a spoken broadcast as you can - and what I could hear of it was very good. You could save money too without 'original music' and sound engineers playing around. Surely SB could do something else. Perhaps give him five minutes by himself saying "This is what SB thought of this program." Then he could play piano and drums and clash as much as he liked, for five minutes. Looking at the world you can see how much is happening because people cannot tell what is real and what fits the fictions they have got used to in computer games, soaps and other entertainment.
Trading in water rights
Trading in water rights is not about saving water but allows its effective privatization out of government control and into the hands of corporations, banks and speculators.
Water supplies are essential to the defence as well as the prosperity of Australia. Monsanto is interested in acquiring privatised water supplies all over the world, and it is becomiing harder to keep out foreign ownerships, following our trade agreements, especially with USA. There will be inevitable lawsuits, even international ones, so lawyers will benefit. Regulation will become a nightmare.
The future of the Murray-Darling Basin will become more hopeless if corporate agribusiness, with their short-term need for shareholder profits, control the use of water. A hundred years ago our Victorian forefathers with world-first foresight legislated to keep water and water frontages in public ownership. Both Federal and State governments today must act promptly to ensure continued public ownership of water supplies for coordinated regulation and development. That way can ensure the benefits of the highest value use of water, with long-term viability, as free trading in water rights cannot.
A free market in consumer goods can (though not always) ensure that buyers can choose what they want from among different products or services. Water is not a matter of choices.
A free market in water means that whoever can pay the most gets the product. Speculation takes its rip-off. Public benefit and the overall health of our agricultural economy are overruled.
A published response to an editorial 'Enjoyment with commonsense and responsibility' that only wowsers would want to limit more than six alcohol outlets in the Royal Botanic Gardens - 30 July 2006.
Alcohol does far more social and health damage than tobacco and even more than other drugs. Yet outlets are increasing, including extension to children with sweet-flavoured drinks, and binge-drinking is also increasing. Enjoying alcohol with ‘commonsense and responsibility’ (editorial 23/7) therefore should emphasise also the pleasures of social occasions with full consciousness and not needing lubrication to lose inhibitions about being happy together.
It is ‘ad-hominem’ arguing to label people with opprobrious names if they are worried that more plentiful alcohol in public amenities like the Botanic Gardens will not result in the civilised drinking of Continental open spaces or our own Lygon Street cafes, but extend an Australian cultural problem. Recent published research shows that even one drink can impair driving skills, drunkenness on public transport is a menace, and locking up is no solution. We need to improve our culture so that we don’t mind having places where enjoyment is free for all, especially in public gardens. It was bad enough to bring in private catering in the Gardens instead of making the public management more efficient. The private catering firm that will run all functions in the gardens already profits from their taxpayer-supported environment, and its push for more alcohol should be seen for what it is.
Drink is not a ‘demon’, but its ‘perceived perils’ in Victoria are not trivial.
August 16 2005.
Sex differences in Applied Intelligence
Despite measured IQ rising world-wide, looking at the present state of the world and human contributions to it, it is worth investigating the gender differences in how IQ is manifested in male and female behaviour. Check the sweeping generalisation that men are more likely to be stupid and women more likely to be silly, in the sorts of damage they perpetrate. Is Original Stupidity something we should admit as more serious than Original Sin? While the organizations and projects we set up become greater and still more global, our Original Stupidity may remain too great too manage them.
18 July 2004
The rights of authors
Anyone writing for the media risks chagrin because what they write can be distorted and misrepresented under their own names. Copy-editors might be more careful if authors who felt they had been seriously misrepresented could submit their manuscript and the published version to (who?) , who could, if they so decided, officially back the author in a request for a short statement of correction.
The alternative can be not writing to the press at all, to let ongoing public debate about a subject of social importance go on regardless, while trying to publish research in journals where, if not congenial, it will be unnoticed .
Three examples: Ridiculous headings clapped on articles that argue that English spelling might be improved are trivial, par for the course. However, reputations can be damaged and progress scotched. An article asking for R & D on improving spelling as part of modern communications technology was submitted to a prominent journal in 1982 with the title 'Spelling as Technology', It was rejigged 'to add interest' and rewritten by a copyeditor who said he was a 'spelling patriot' article infuriated by any idea of change. He gave the arrticle a misleading title, unjustified introduction, and bad graphs - not stating that one was of a single subject - despite more suitable illustrations provided. My short letter noting changes was refused publication because 'We thought we made it very readable'.
This was, I think, the first time a reputable journal for the general public had published an ostensibly serious article about how English spelling might be improved, and one wonders what might have followed if it had not been made unworthy of serious attention.
When 'funny grotesque' is dangerous - 29 July 2006
Psychologists know how easily desensitisation to cruelty occurs, and how prior imagination opens the way to how we act for good or ill under pressure ('Funny grotesque', a column by Charlie Brooker, July 27). It is hard to stop the cruelty in the world entering into your soul and your own imagination, but it must be resisted. For one thing, it takes the space needed to imagine peace, when hardly anyone can. (Of all the fantasy solutions to the Middle East I can think of, only two are pleasant.) With all the real unbearable cruelty in the world, how can Charlie Brooker, make up to me for adding the unbearable image of crucified pigs as 'funny grotesque'? Consider, part of the bestseller appeal of The Da Vinci Code is its sadistic imagery.
The other dangerous reaction to apparently insoluble problems is shuteye. Why cannot the media dare to include figures of population growth in reports of troubled states, with all the drivers to increase it further? The following trouble-spots reported in the same issue of the Guardian all have extreme problems exacerbated by population pressure -
The Gaza Strip, population 243,000 in 1950, now over 1 million and heading for 4 million by 2000 (catastrophes excepted) compared with Israel, 1 million in 1950, now 5 million, heading for 8 millionAfghanistan, 8 million to 23 million to 81 million
Brazil, 54 million to 175 million to 228 million
Congo, (Kinshasa) 13 million to 52 million to 183 million
Ghana, 5 million to 19 million to 39 million
Haiti, 3 million to 7 million to 18 million
India, 369 million to 1 billion to 1 billion 600 million
Iran, 16 million to 65 million to 89 million
Iraq, 5 million to 22 million to 56 million
Ivory Coast, 2 million to 29 million to 64 million
Liberia, 800,000 to 2 million to 7 million.
Mexico, 28 million to 99 million to 147 million
Pakistan, 39 million to 146 million to 294 million
And is UK getting crowded? 50 million to 59 million to 63 million - the increase disproportionately in southern England.
(Data from the International Data Base of the US Census Bureau 2005)
Courage in facing facts would be better 'future-proofing' than 'thinking of the worst things in the world, then laugh at them', because these worst things are still not beyond trying to do something about.
An eye for an eye in Gaza - July 2006
One of the greatest Jewish contributions to civilisation was the law of 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth' (Exodus, 21.24). This has often been criticised as a vengeful law in contrast with the Christian update of 'Love your enemy, and do good to them that hate you' (and see Matthew 5:38-9), but in fact it prevented excessive vengeance, with its escalation of hatreds. What would happen if this Jewish law was applied in Israeli-Palestine relations today? (Or if Christian nations considered Christian teaching?)
TV Entertainment and alternatives to censorship - 7 July 2006 - Racing to the bottom -
The democratic dilemma about literally in-your-face sexual romping on the TV show Big Brother was put to me by an early manager of a TV station when TV was new. He explained that he had to axe a popular children's science show because a competitor was taking the ratings with B- Westerns, so he had to rival that. In the 1930s the coming of television had beenwelcomed as the way to bring knowledge and peace to the whole world. We take for granted that most people are not influenced by what they see. Most people do not buy from ads with no case for their products, or copy the language of the soaps, seek to emulate the celebs, watch porn in order to be turned on, copycat criminal methods, or, because they see it on TV, feel encouraged to hit women, smoke, drink hard, drive fast or cheat. We reassure ourselves that most children who watch TV do not learn from it. Nevertheless, a significant proportion of people and children do learn, as can be observed. This hurts us all. Could artists and producers be clever and visionary enough to help them learn how to live ways possibly less entertaining on television but less likely to cause depression and relationship breakups in real life? This is the real alternative to censorship. How could Big Brother contestants compete in solving real life problems, using their creative imaginations? Young people could learn from TV about loving and making love, rather than that girls should accept being rough-housed and being the underlings in implied or actual oral sex.
Our migrants could learn better things to copy in Australian culture than they do at present.
Alternatives to pokies 2nd March 2006
Something is wrong if people will drive to another town if their town does not have pokies. They need to have more exciting and interesting things in their lives, and addictions that are less wasteful. Perhaps a newspaper could take this up, and collect recommendations for other ways that adults can have thrills, surprises, social togetherness, play with machines that make noises, escape their troubles, and have unexpected treats.
Banks could make it possible for poorer people to save their money and gain interest, tobecome richer. They could have regular lucky bonanzas for small savers, like UK=92s premium bonds.We could look for other ways for the State to be financed, so it no longer has an interest in supporting a social problem. Gambling owners claimed in 1998 that 69% of players play for entertainment and do not expect to win. Test that claim; have no payouts at all. Then see who will pay to play gambling games, which games, and how much they will pay, when there are no prizes. The gambling instinct is vital to our survival - to be willing totake risks. It is a shame that it is perverted so that people just lose their money.
If only millionaires gambled on ways to improve the country.
Societies corrupt, and Societies honest - To a National Broadcaster, July 2006
Please can you now have a program on the delights of honesty and being honorable, and the pursuit of truth? It is so pleasant to live in a society that is basically honest as ours still largely is, rather than one that is largely corrupt, that I react with horror at every push to make Australians less honest than they are. In your program about Telling Lies you kept saying 'we' as if everyone did it, about behavior that fortunately is not yet universal in Australia. You know that people copy what they think everyone else does. You are an opinion and behavior shaper. Western civilisation and the way our modern society works developed in part because 80% of the people tried to be honest 80% of the time, so that the cheats were a minority. Religious values were that lying was a sin and smirched the soul, and social values were about honesty, honour, self-respect, integrity and decency. Science and the pursuit of knowledge are driven by a desire to find the truth. Religious people prospered in business because people could trust them. The desire to be honest and truthful is important, to keep trust and honest endeavour going in our society. Even if all of us lapse, it should be a matter of shame and regret. (Remember the story of the clergyman who came across fellers having a bet on who could tell the biggest lie. " Why, I have never told a lie in my life, " says the clergyman. " Give him the prize, Bill ," shout the boys.) You don't need lies to make life interesting. You only need curiosity, interest iin other, imagination, and action. I was brought up in an extended Methodist family that was keen on telling the truth and it made life easier and more comfortable to be able to trust everyone. Most lies are quite unnecessary. It is possible to say the truth, or avoid lies. People should never lie to their children. (Have a Life Matters program on that?) As a clinical child psychologist I have seen the damage when parents habitually lie and take it for granted that they lie.
Father Christmas? When they asked about him, we told our children he was a pretend and they needn't have it if they didn't want it, They always cried, " We like the pretend! " and joined in.
' Can we go to the circus ?' Never promise unless you can certainly keep it.
' Do you like my dress ?' 'I like your red one better.'
Where do babies come from ? " You'll know more about this as you grow older, but basically, ." (and then at the level a child can understand)
Why does Uncle Joe do that ? " I wish he wouldn't ."
Why? The eternal questioning of children trying to make conversation. Answer as you can, including, ' Let's try to find answers later . . ' ' Can we come out to see you ?' ask unwanted acquaintances. Well, let them, it might be better than you think. "Well, we do have an hour free at . ."
It's better to try to avoid lying than to give in. Be true to yourself, even down to your CV. The problem of hypocrites is because that is 'the tribute that vice pays to virtue', but they are shown up when others keep their word.
23 March 2005 - Making a city more - or less - liveable
18 Ways in which the City of Melbourne is being made more livable.
Made more livable for the well-heeled, with large and opulent homes and unearned income from properties.
Lots of restaurants, concerts, creative arts
More civic money spent on celebrations, fireworks etc (I am agin this waste)
Asian tourists remark on the cleanliness
Graffiti are getting better - and I hope the best will be encouraged for the Olympic Games
More spectator sport facilities. Um.
People are friendly. Many suburbs (most?) people have friendly neighbors.
City streets pretty safe.
More psychiatric problems and homeless and domestic violence
Remarkably good doctors in hospital, especially pediatricians
Variety of cultures
less public drunkenness
People are allowed to save roofwater with tanks, once forbidden.
Docklands and Southbank are far more attractive and 'livable' than they once were.
The Yarra river used more as an asset
Lots of Potter , everywhere a Potter, everywhere you go something delightful and useful has been funded by the Sir Ian Potter Foundation.
Many local areas have community spirit and are still game to protest.
56 ways in which Melbourne is being made less livable -
mainly through size beyond its 'natural size'. but also because the driving political force (as expressed to me by a government MP) is that since manufactures are gong down, then wealth has to come from the building industry and property prices because growth has to keep going.
Taking up more and more good agricultural land for housing - and Australia is short of good agricultural land. they should be building on the least fertile soils.
Differences between the rich and the poor getting worse in schools as well as in suburbs. Trashville contrasts with Brighton. (We should have Shame-Tours)
Smog so that Melbourne at night has an orange miasma. Seen from a mountain the smog can look awful.
VCAT is a great force against saving civic amenities.
Pollution. Crowding. Transport Minister Batchelor says we 'have to get used to' transport congestion and transport problems.
More heritage value quality well-built homes destroyed
Federation square unfriendly to women, children, wheelchairs and baldy signed.
Stupid pricing of public transport, including country
More feral problems from foxes, rats, possums and crows.
Inefficient government departments in education and public transport
More waste especially of building materials and food
No emergency planning for any oil shortage.
Government - far more spin and government employees and contractors not really knowing what they want to do.
Healthy weather, stimulating, can do without air conditioning and central heating if the worst comes to the worst and your homes are sensible but recently more extremes.
Too much junk mail wasting trees.
Residents keep getting lives made worse by developments they are supposed to put up with -why? Views being spoiled, traffic worse as space made denser.
New estates are pretty awful, including weird street layouts to confuse everyone, and lack of public transport ane amenities.
Small shops having a worse time, including small shops dictated to by the owners of shopping malls.
More people living further from their work.
More insecure and even useless jobs.
Less care for psychiatric patients, and more forces to make people less mentally healthy.
Quality of child-care is not as good - private profit is not a good motive.
University life has gone to pot for students - they just go there for lectures, not for the best years of their educational life.
Ghettoes starting u with ghetto schools, whereas previously there have been areas of ethnic specialisation, but well influencing everyone else, eg Springvale, Victoria ST, Lygon St
Muzak in public places.
Loss of graceful beauty in buildings. New buildings usually ugly and fragmented.
Offices less pleasant to work in for the sake of economy in running them.
Hospitals more strained and recuperation times sometimes cut so much that readmissions result.
More people with less motivation because they take recreational drugs.
Victoria Market under constant threat.
The barbaric doing over of what was a beautiful and convenient Central Station in order to fill more spaces up with shops.
Worse seating for bus-shelters and the like.
Fewer facilities for children to run free and allowed to be out in the streets
Homes less suitable for children, including space for fresh air play.
More public land passed over to developers to make profits.
Environmental criteria for building cuts out at 5 stars not ten stars so a lot of shoddy and not really environmental buildings are approved and falsely look like the top.
Greater distance from shops as small shops go under
Greater distance from schools
Greater distances between tram stops as Yarra Trams policy cuts stops
The wonderful view of Melbourne from across Princes Bridge when Gas and Fuel was pulled down was only temporary - now spoiled by Federation Square which will soon look tatty.
Uglier municipal public spaces with monoculture deserts with single plantings of ugly plants where there used to be gardens.
No railway to Tullamarine though the road is getting more crowded.
More people spending more time of their lives commuting.
Fewer people and children able to play sports while more are just watching.
Taking longer to get to the bush or the 'unspoiled beach'.
More ruthless tree pruning in streets for the sake of cars
A nasty promotion of road ragers, domestic ragers, ragers against welfare workers, doctors, nurses and other public servants,
Higher property prices so most families cannot buy homes
What once was the green belt is now green wedges and they are wedges that are getting thinner and thinner.
Logging in Melbourne's catchments so the water quality will get worse.
Still pretty stuffy about innovations.
Ideal city used to be 250,000
Sculptures more machines and rough technique
Flinders Street concourse not passenger frendly.
The critical mass for attracting genius and sparking it off is wonderful individuals - as well as patrons with money. Yet Melbourne does tend to squash lively individuals and lively talk about things that can be done.
Huge liability insurance and fear of litigation has stopped many good things and prevents many others.
CENSORSHIP & OMISSIONS IN PUBLISHED LETTERS
Armaments profits as crimes .
A letter published
in an international weekly, Nov 13-19,
the first time since the middle ages, individuals or
groups will possess destructive power that puts them
on equal terms with the state.' Robert Cooper's
warning (Nov 5) makes more urgent the international
recognition that weapons research, manufacture and
export for profit is a criminal activity that is
already rebounding to threaten rather than secure
civilisation. An ironic fulfilment for the biblical
warning - 'he that saveth his life shall lose it.'
omitted as a 'criminal activity' included 'weapons research
and manufacture' along with 'export for
25 April 2003 I sent one of the best Australian broadsheet
newspapers this letter about how to encourage more respect
for politicians, following another salary hike recommended
by an 'independent tribunal'.
tribunal setting Parliamentary salaries is
disinterested because judgement affects evaluation of
their own incomes. Members should be publicly
identified on front pages. A 'taxpayers' tribunal' on
average incomes should complement it. All
Parliamentarians should spend a week in a hard
low-paid job annually, to better represent the
they printed was only:All
Parliamentarians should spend a week in a hard low-paid job
annually, to better represent the people.
. .the need to observe the environmental consequences
of these vehicles let loose on riverbanks, sand-dunes
and unmade roads as shown in the advertisements. You
only have to look at the damage one car can make on a
nature-strip, or one motorbike in a city park, to
realise what is happening in the countryside.
just the letter editors. The
letters editor of an Australian news magazine rang to say
that following an article on 4-Wheel Drive vehicles, they
were publishing my letter that pointed out:
letter was never printed.
In the interests of truth and freedom for
authors have the right for their published letters to at
least have *** to indicate where they have been cut, and
' ' to indicate where editors have rewritten
who re-write letters could even have their names as a
In the interests of truth and freedom to know for
letters editors should not knowingly publish in letters
from readers what are demonstrable untruths or gross
misrepresentations, without a footnote correcting the
a letter writer chides Green Senators for hypocrisy
and worse in not speaking up in the presence of the
Chinese President in Federal Parliament, as they had
in the presence of the American President, the editor
should point out that they had been barred from the
chamber to prevent them doing so.
letter writers chide any organization for a 'deafening
silence' on some issue, it is only fair for the media
to admit that this 'silence' is because they are not
given a voice for any of the organizations' press
releases, pronouncements, and appeals.
A selection of some earlier letters to the press
On how to wash a car without sloshing, to save water
8/31/03. The Aboriginal culture all Australians could
learn from, but even aboriginals are forgetting
1. Children's literacy problems can have social and
classroom causes - they are not all defects in the child2. 10.October An American mother may face 10 years jail
for putting her child at risk because of her unhygienic home
that allowed her smelly son to be so bullied at school that
he suicided.(8/10). She had five children by three fathers;
the boy's father was usually in jail; she worked full-time
60 hours a week as well as part-time. Should the other
parents be jailed who had not taught their 12-year-olds not
to kick, punch and spit on isolates more unfortunate than
themselves?3. 28,May The worst thing about child sexual interference
short of rape is what it does to children's minds. What the
media are doing to children's minds in the name of adult
entertainment could be called psychological child rape, and
the worst things about it are what it is doing to children's
minds and to their behavior - and to their behavior as
Do they learn about how to make love? No.Do they learn how to live peaceably together as adults?
Do they learn about how to care for each other and for
their children? No.
On keeping Christmas genial instead of all the media
whingeing about how awful & hassling it all is, and how
nice to be alone
19 July. Prosperity cannot be financed by escalating
27.10 What history should children discover?
Language and literacy
1. Renaming the English language, since it now belongs to
the world, not just Anglofones. Worklish might be one
solution2. Helping yourself to learn to read, with video, phonics
and or Whole Language
3. 27 May. Linguistic trubls if we really tried to make
our spelling show etymology
Media and comunication
1. 7.6. Background noise and music to voices on radio and
TV handicap many with hearing discrimination problems, and
distract others. Here is a way to save ABC money2. Violence in real life is not the same as violence on
TV3. 16 May 2003. Investigate anyone -spam on destroying
privacy4. 14 July Films are different from and rarely as good as
the books they are based on
5. 8/26/03. Risky perceptual experiments on the entire
public carried out by the media in visual and auditory noise
and lack of meaning - constant drum-beats possibly the most
Peace and War
1. Research on inventing robot soldiers is playing into
the hands of terrorists who will not need suicide bombers in
the future2. 27 May. Israeli settlements and their support as
colonialism and Palestinian responses similar to the US
3. 25 June. Sensory deprivation and other psychological
techniques at Guatanamo Bay are forms of torture with
Foreign aid needs help in family planning, child health
and adult security, so that populations will not continue to
explode disastrously, as parents seek to ensure at least one
surviving child to care for them.
1. The live sheep trade to enable ritual sacrifices in
the Middle East is unnecessary; the origin of the custom is
a misinterpretation of the Biblical story of Abraham told
not to sacrifice his son - which was the divine precedent
against human sacrifice.
2. The USA as a Christian nation loving its enemies
Telecomunications are essential for defence and should
not be in private hands for profit
Planning to increase Melbourne's 3 million population by
another million may seem peanuts in an age of megapolises,
but then Australia's water supply is peanuts compared to
those of the other continents.
Some earlier letters
4 Economic and legal
6 Genetically-engineered crops
8 and 9 Media
11 - 15 Peace
17 Information Technology
19 TV cartoon of Norman Lindsay's Magic
20 TV documentary of Mark Twain
21 Water and Population
1 How to survive without a constant inflow of plastic
2 And plans to increase Melbourne's population by a
.3 In the future countries will need to be more
self-sustainable, with trade in surpluses and for needs.
Reliance on exports is going to be dangerous and harm
4 Ways of stopping the bizarre situation of public
liability insurance premiums that are crippling small
businesses, public entertainments and health care.
5 Comment on a politician's remark that the Australian
Broadcasting Commission 'catered only to the educated and
should not be financed by the rest of the population'.
Surely we chuck out our expensive education system that has
failed the rest of the population.
6. Plants that are resistant to pesticides and
terminators that cannot be grown from farmers' seeds are more dangerous
than crops engineered to be resistant to pests
7 How an Ozroypublic TV serial with characters that
performed public ceremonial duties could be better and more
profitable than our present system of vice-royalty.
8 Background noise to narration on TV and radio is unfair
to the elderly and the disabled in hearing or attention
9 How television could help with parenting, and by
reducing its encouragement of violence, and instead
encouraging courtesy as a sign of strength, could help
reduce child-abuse as a widespread social phenomenon.
10 Parliamentarians' salaries to be fixed at the average
wage, to encourage working for the prosperity of all, and
staying in touch with average people. Post-parliamentary
life to be insured against poverty, but not given
11 19 UN Resolutions as a package for peace.
12 Who peace-marchers are, and protests against Weapons
of Horrible Destruction, not just Weapons of Mass
13 Landmines as war crimes - of the makers, sellers,
distributors and users.
14 Looking at how the American Wild West was won in order
to understand attitudes of Israelis and Palestinians to each
other in the current colonial situation
15 Psychological torture at Guatanamo Bay, not an example
for the world to follow
16 Exampls of what English spelling would look like if
we really went back to etymological origins, which some
claim sentimentally to love.
17 The problem of planned obsolescence in development of
computer hardware, so that simplicity that suits the
ordinary user has to be thrown out, for the sake of those
who need the cutting edge.
18 Improvements in public transport - a batch of
19 TV cartoon of Norman Lindsay's Magic
Pudding Needs remaking according to the original story and
illustrations, not Americanised and bastardised
20 What is left out about Mark Twain's social criticism and ideas
- including spelling reform.
21 And the future - the need to limit population - and go
for quality, not quantity. Water is our limiter.
SOME UNPUBLISHED LETTERS
The Social Arithmetic of Peace Marchers
(expanded on Social Arithmetic)
What Peace Marchers Really Do - Peace-Package - 19 Resolutions for the United Nations - A Drought Victorian State Election and policy issues needed - A Public Transport Holiday Quiz - How ABC TV is dumbing down the people; Australia Day and Australians without rights at Guantanamo Bay - Better royal shenanigans for OzCommonwealth games - bushfire costs - Debt, poverty, and children - recommendations for a UN Convention on the Right to Reproduce - Imagining an end to a war on terrorism - Iraq is not an island - Liberty: 'To none will we deny justice, or treat inhumanely' except if the USA regards them as non-Americans - Longer lives for plastic bags - Making public transport safer - Media obsessions with pregnant headless Mum's Tums, and now a 2.5 metre high Pop Art in the Canberra National Gallery costing the public $817,000 - Motives for arson during bushfires - Patriotism - Personal 4WD Tanks and the environment - Racism and imagined racism - Seven Consequences for Australia of pre-emptive war - State Election Promises or Policies in today's climate - Teaching Maths in primary school - The good and the bad of GM crops - The Protestant Work Ethic - The results of war - UN and national Resolutions - A 19-piece package that could help achieve peace, rather than just Either-Or-Iraqi-War - Vietnam and Iraq - Weapons of Horrible Destruction - What else there could be: positive suggestions for a just society - Weapons of horrible destruction (WHD) as war crimes
PUBLISHED LETTERS -
The Other Ashes - made by man and made by Nature, and world unity in fighting the second.
The need for a more 'Lindsay' cartoon version of the Magic Pudding than the recent Americanised travesty.
Earlier letters that are still
Some letters to be pasted up later in
A public Tournament of Minds - Aboriginals teaching Earth Literacy - Adult & Immature-Adult Entertainment - Alcohol & teenagers - Balanced Trade - Banks are not 'just businesses' - Banks and what Henry Ford did - Bully humor - Calendar of social problems to solve - Child abuse now and in the past - Climate disasters and our responses - The Common Wealth - and a bank for it - The Press and Corrections of errors made by
sub-editors - Debugging the 21st century - Drugs and ongoing evaluations of heroin
trials - Alternatives to drugs need
publicity - Dyslexia research and spelling - Economy's false highs - Encouraging poverty - Entertainment from watching cruelty: the
voyeurs of suffering - Fashion and a new tack for Australian fashions - First day at school - Freedom and free trade
Freedom in shoe advertising - Headless pregnant mum's tums - Hippocratic Oaths for scientists and
businessmen - Housing Design for the future by today's
developers - ISAGIATT - doing good for aboriginals - Landmines as war crimes - Libel laws and when taxpayers pay - Literacy How To - The Messages of Books - Milennium Dare - Milionairs' bailouts in failed businesses - Moratorium on screen violence for six weeks
And more still
- the nextOlympics
and shipwrecks - Humanity
On being One Tenth Human - OzOlympics
Ideas - Parliamentary salaries at the
median wage, and
consequences - Population
and Prejudices - Protestant work
ethic - Refugees
- Over 18 million economic
Refugees - Resisting foreign take-overs
of prosperous Australian
companies - Transport:
Rutting in the countryside - what 4WDs leave
behind - SkillOlympics - Social innovations
Sorry Day is today
- Spelling as a colonial opression
for the new Milennium
- Spelquick ABCs - Swearing
better - Olympics Television - The "criminal mind", a critique - Transport
and the future - Treason by the media
- Trees and Wasting
Paper - Waste.
The way we waste - Workers in failed
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