Flame shame

Flame shame

The Olympic torch relay is one of the less sinister practices the rest of the world has adopted from the Nazis.

Nevertheless, such facts should be remembered by those who believe the modern Olympic Games, saturated with nationalism, commercialism, and undetectable drugs, still have something to do with the Olympic spirit of the ancient Greeks.

The idea of the torch relay was first approved and put into practice by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, who could see the light, or rather the propaganda value, in staging such an event, as have all host countries since.

The same goes for the tradition of the opening ceremony, a disgusting exercise by the host countries in unrestrained self-adulation and shameless hypocrisy.

I would not be surprised if during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics we were presented with a performance by a group of dancing Tibetan monks displaying the wonders of Tibetan culture to ayoung Han Chinese girl who looks on with a benevolent smile on her face.

Seeing this, the millions of viewers around the world, having grown up on a steady diet of bread and circus, will reach for another tissue to wipe their teary eyes, overcome with the realisation that, after all, everything is just fine in Tibet, in China, in fact the whole world.

Tom Koo

Alstonville

Developing questions

Concerning the 34ha industrial zone proposed for the southern outskirts of Kyogle township, it is important to understand our councillors are not in unanimous agreement about this proposal.

Despite the inappropriate spruiking of the proposal by John Hession (Councils director of planning) in the media, it is in the hands of our councillors to vote on the merits of the plan.

Is it sensible to continue building developments on flood-prone lands?What of our image as the gateway to the rainforests?What about the residents of Highfield, who will have a drastically altered outlook from their homes?What of the effects of polluting industries near the town and on the floodplain? Kyogle does have alternative sites for industrial development.Council earmarked land in Craig Street in its 2005 planning documents but for reasons they havent explained they have decided to amend the Local Environment Plan in favour of this new proposal.

The community deserves more open and honest communication from Council. One way to achieve this is to make it clear to your representatives, the councillors, what your concerns are. You can inform them of how you would like them to vote on this proposal.

Eric Kaiser

Kyogle

No-brainer

In response to Arnold Jago (Echo, April 17) just because the brain is not fully-developed until the age of 30 does not mean 18 to 30-year-olds are children. Their brains are far more developed than a 5, 10 or 15-year-old and therefore should be allowed adult rights.

What would you suggest, withholding all rights from individuals until they turn 30? In which case we would have a country full of fully-grown people capable of nothing but following orders, great if you are trying to create a giant army of drones but horrible if you are trying to run a country. People need to learn how to think for themselves and be free to make choices, whether or not they fit in with your view of morality.

As for your claim that young people are rewarded for misusing their genitals, what is wrong with two 16-year-olds consensually exploring their sexuality together? Who are they hurting? Young adults are always going to have sex, its part of life, and I know plenty of people older than 30 who are still not mature when it comes to sex, so I dont think changing the legal age is going to make people less prone to regrettable sexual encounters. Maybe, as a society, we should be more accepting of young adults desires and allow them non-judgemental sexual freedom. Perhaps this way people will develop the capacity to be mature about sex and not treat it as some horrid, dirty taboo. While people are having sex there will always be babies born.

The parenting pension is hardly a reward, it is merely enough to provide food and housing for parent/s and child (and with prices nowadays it barely does that). What do you suggest? Withholding the money so that parent and child can starve? That would really teach those harlots not to misuse their genitals.

Finally, forgive me if Im wrong, but I always thought god wasmeant to love us as his/her/its children. The god you speak about sounds awfully like a nasty dictator. I think weshould all revolt by having as much fun misusing our genitals aspossible and perhaps by doing so we will be able to overthrow thishorrid totalitarian you call god.

C Hale

Goonellabah

Changing priorities

2020 was so positive that my naturally negative mind must remove some of the bias.

Bye Commonwealth of Australia, hello clever capitalised republic. Again we are free to decide what our temporary leaders decide.

In millions of years of evolution, life has been sustained, universally, never by our arrogance, or our efforts. Not one human civilisation has ever sustained itself. Evolution constantly formed by necessity.

Then all of a sudden, in 50 years, we realise we are not sustainable. Then proceed to plan for a sustainable future by commodifying air, water and our childrens first (used to be free) five years of life so we can be more efficient. Sorry, for being a burden during my first happy five years, where I was loved by family before your government policy documents defined me.

So weve been very greedy and exploited the environment; some think money can correct the imbalance of our trade. I comprehend the price we are about to pay. It will not be a symbolic payment. We are really going to have to experience the results of what weve done. Besides, everything we once owned is almost sold.

Bye bye life, hello resources.

Keith A Stone

North Lismore

Popular republic

Julia Gillard was correct in saying the majority of Australians want a republic, as polls have demonstrated consistently that between 65 per cent and 70 per cent of Australians support becoming one.

In 1999 Australians werent asked whether they wanted a republic; they were asked whether they wanted a republic with a president elected by a majority of the members of Parliament. This was unlikely to be successful, as it split the supporters of a republic into those who supported the model put forward and those who wanted the people to elect the president. Its widely seen as a clever move by the former prime minister to ensure defeat, reinforced by his public arguments for the no case when traditionally prime ministers support referendums which are, at the end of the day, proposals put forward by the government.

Yes, our Constitution would have to be rewritten if we were to become a republic. Its an Act of the British Parliament that makes no mention of three of our most important political institutions political parties, the prime minister and cabinet or of issues that our founding fathers could never have anticipated. There is, and will continue to be, much debate about whether it adequately addresses the diversity and needs of contemporary Australia.

Although unlikely to be addressed in the near future, the suggested summit approach in regard to a republic is that a plebiscite or poll be held in conjunction with a federal election simply asking whether or not Australians wanted to become a republic. If the answer were no the issue would proceed no further. If the answer were yes there would be a three-year period during which models and other issues could be widely discussed with an option put forward in a referendum in conjunction with the following election. That approach is arguably more democratic than that of the 1999 referendum.

Although most Australians do support a republic a sizeable minority do not. However, the majority ultimately decides for the rest of us and there are always significant numbers of people who dont agree with those decisions. In the suggested process the concerns of the minority should be addressed and if, eventually, the decision is to become a republic the considerable debate and public participation in the proposed process should mean most Australians would at least feel their views had been heard and they could accept the change even if it werent their preferred position.

Ros Irwin

Lismore

Watered down

Further to your story Water becomes source of contention (Echo, April 24).

Not only is Lismore City Council (LCC) in the process of knowing and willing to allow the contamination of the Wilsons River catchment and therefore the Lismore Source. The executive director of governance, Mr Lindsay Walker, continues to deliver verbal diarrhoea to the wider community through your newspaper.

After my initial concerns about the Low Tech septic systems being deployed in the rezoning proposals at McLeans Ridges, which have been approved by LCC staff for public exhibition, citing compliance with their On-Site Waste Water Management modelling program (this process is lacking input data, conferred by the Environmental Defenders Office), I made contact with LCC and requested a list of the government departments to whom they refer the rezoning proposals. In my reply dated September 28, 2007 (submitted to the editor for confirmation), I received a list of those departments; the Dept of Environment & Climate Change, the Dept of Water & Energy and the Catchment Management Authority. I then contacted each department about my concerns. Each categorically denied they were the body to deal with such matters. In frustration I contacted Rous Water, who was unaware of the developments, even though Crs Crimmins and Hampton sit on the board. Rous has written to LCC on several occasions in relation to these matters however LCC planners have refused to reply to mail thus far, or make any attempt to make interim changes to the current LEP. As stated in your article Mr Walker was publicly questioned on two occasions and a third by a councillor with respect to any concerns that Rous Water may have. Mr Walkers response was always Rous Water had no issues. This is clearly not the truth, Mr Walker. Your words that refer to continuing to work with Rous should be tabled. Where is the draft LEP amendment?

Unfortunately this is not the only government authority that the Cameron and Roseview Road rezoning proposals dont comply with. They fall well short of meeting the guidelines and standards of the NSWRFS, FNCRS, and Lismores own LEP, DCP, SIA, and RHS. I strongly suggest that Lindsay Walker not only wants the Lismore community to drink human waste, but continues to feed it to them, in an attempt to keep them in the dark.

Garry Wergs

McLeans Ridges

Clear intention

Supt Bruce Lyons, i

n my last job as a cleaner, I picked up enough used needles to understand. We give them clean needles, if they overdose they get a night in hospital, and wont be charged, they will rob you blind for the next fix. Take the pot off the street and make more junkies. Real smart mate. Ive seen a dead man being wheeled out before. He died on the crapper. Target the junkies, that shit kills people, and destroys families. Do your job, or resign. Ask an ambulance officer.

Janelle Saffin, MP for Page,

you are the peoples representative in Canberra. You should be at the MardiGrass law reform rally in Nimbin. Listen to the people who have elected you, or should all pot smokers move to the ACT so they are not classified as criminals? You are responsible for the polices actions over MardiGrass, are you not?

Just one of the voters who elected you.

G Cooke

South Lismore


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