I THINK it is repulsive that so many Australian companies yesterday used the idea of Black Friday for promotion of goods and services. This is a USA convention, not an Australian one. The term Black Friday in Australia is commemorative of a day in 1939 when huge bushfires ravaged Victoria and 71 people lost their lives.
Why do Australian companies use this imitative and shallow type of marketing, and thereby in my opinion give disrespect to those who fought the fires and lost their lives, and all the other living things that died on that day?
Jill Albrecht, Duns Creek
BACK THE LOCAL MAKERS
IT seems the marketing gurus have a winner with the recent Black Friday sales pitch, although I fail to understand it's meaning. We have Movember, Genes for Jeans and a multitude of other worthy causes (Mad Monday firmly excluded), so how about we start Buy Australia Day where we buy only locally produced and made goods?
God knows our local farmers and manufacturers need all the help they can get, particularly with the amount of imported products that flood our stores.
I made a concentrated effort to try and buy our goods, and it made me realise how difficult it is. Bacon and other meats as well as fish, fruit juice and numerous other items are all produced overseas where the standard of living is well below ours. Sure, the so-called level playing field is supposed to help developing countries, but is it? Let's be perfectly honest: some of these countries have corrupt governments and are not democratic, so who are the main beneficiaries?
Perhaps it's time we, as Australians, started supporting each other and striving to be more self-sufficient before we end up under the control of others.
Alan Metcalf, Stockton
FELINE BETTER THAN CATS
IT is lovely to have visitors to our beautiful Stockton, but what a shame that Mr Astill of Rylstone (Short Takes, 26/11) can't enjoy his walk on the break wall because of the feral cats that live there.
Unlike Mr Astill, the cats don't have a choice of being there as they have been dumped there by our fellow humans. They are not killing any native animals, only keeping the rats and vermin down, which would otherwise overrun the area.
The only stench I notice on our regular walks is that of the old bait and rubbish left by fellow humans. My husband and I took a kitten from the break wall 12 years ago; it had a 50-millimetre fish hook in its tongue and mouth. This cat has been the most loving and faithful pet we have ever had.
These cats suffer some horrible injuries from our fellow humans, so maybe next time you walk on the break wall you might just think how lucky you are not to be one of the cats living there.
Dianne Kindleysides, Stockton
IT'S A TALE OF TWO CITIES
OILS ain't oils.
Any attempt by the powerful alcohol industry to equate Newcastle's 11-year experience of modest alcohol law reforms with those about to be undone in Sydney ('Lockout law repeal offers city 'catalyst'', Herald 29/11) would in my opinion at best be misguided, at worst misleading.
It is ironic that when it was first contemplated to flow the successful Newcastle controls on to Sydney in 2012, the industry bleated that there was no comparison between the two locations.
The Herald's good article of the tussle between public safety and pub profits made no reference to its earlier report that our night time economy's performance was one of the best in the country ('Night trade above average', Herald 3/10). Compare that with the alcohol industry-generated hysteria that the Sydney lockout laws have caused the death of their nightlife.
No alcohol industry boss has in my opinion ever genuinely supported any proven modest control that limits the supply and strength of alcohol to their thirsty customers.
Current long queues of patrons seeking entry in Newcastle's popular late-trading pubs on Friday and Saturday nights, where they can still drink until as late as 3.30am, is simple testament of Newcastle's package of modest conditions have in reality been anything but, bad for business. All businesses, including pubs and bars in Newcastle, are subjected to normal business vagaries; poor management; downturns; changing customer demands and demographics; new technologies, sales and closures.
There should be no debate that public, patron and emergency service workers' safety must remain paramount. Newcastle LGA's non-domestic assault rate being higher than the NSW average rate ('Time for action on domestic violence', Herald 12/1) mitigates against any weakening of our current licensing conditions. That no local pub has been on the lists of most violent premises in NSW for the first time in 10 years ('Hunter pubs earn way off naughty list', Herald 30/11) equally provides little comfort, especially if the number of license inspections and inspectors has significantly declined.
Precipitous demands that Newcastle follows Sydney's destruction of alcohol management controls must be handled with extreme caution.
Tony Brown, Newcastle
HARM IS HARM, PREMIER
AM I missing something here, or is there a perverse hypocrisy coming from our Premier when she chooses to wind back lockout laws at the risk of renewed alcohol abuse (particularly by our young) as well as alcohol-induced violence, yet at the same time reinforce her hard-line rhetoric on pill testing and strip searches for drugs because 'the government has a responsibility to protect its young people from harmful social behaviour'?
I'm no prude, but the consistency of the government's messaging seems a little contradictory and hypocritical to me.
Antony Bennett, Bar Beach
SIDE OF SURPRISE WITH THAT
ON Tuesday morning, I could not find my wallet. After an hour of searching I tried to contact my son to see if it was in his vehicle, but he was camping out of mobile reception. Much angst.
I rang McDonalds Kotara, the last place I had used it the previous day, and to my good fortune a member of staff had picked it up outside and handed it in. I picked it up Tuesday afternoon and left some money for the employee who had finished work for the day to show my appreciation.
On Thursday I called in to thank the employee personally and give them a bit more after I had reflected on the troubles his honesty had saved me. When he came to talk to me, he tried to hand back the $20 I had left and refused to accept anymore. I told him I wouldn't take it back. His parting words were that he would give it to charity. McDonalds should be proud to have an employee like you, Dave.
Reg Howes, Valentine
SHARE YOUR OPINION
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.
SENATOR Jacqui Lambie was ignored when she tried to discuss eleventh-hour amendments to new laws to make unions more accountable. She asked why unionists can be jailed for protesting under proposed legislation while fraudulent banking CEOs walk free, a good question from an astute senator who appreciates injustice when she sees it. It's a win for working Australians who need strong unions to fight for them without fear of imprisonment.
John Butler, Windella Downs
THE price of fuel is just getting ridiculous. I checked with the federal government how much it would cost to fill my car - $175,000! Well, that's according to Angus Taylor, anyway. The local servo reckons it's only $70. But who are you going to believe?
Michael Jameson, New Lambton
COLIN Fordham (Short Takes, 29/11), when you become editor of this page I'll play by your rules. Until then, you can huff and puff but I'll do it my way. For the record, firstly I never said you didn't think farmers work hard. Secondly, I believe it's clear from the terms of your letter (Letters, 23/11) that you are strongly opposed to some farmers spending their income as they see fit. Finally, I have no interest in discussing how others should spend their hard-earned dollars. As this will be my last contribution to this page for 2019, I wish all a happy and stress-free Christmas.
Dave McTaggart, Edgeworth
I JUST read that a shortage is driving up the price of ham and pork by 30 per cent. That being said, it brought to my mind that it should be close to the fishing co-ops and seafood outlets saying people will have to pay more for seafood over the festive season because of a whole range of reasons that they come up with every year.
Les Baldwin, Pelican
THE ABC is to be congratulated on its magnificent presentation of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Sydney 2019. From start to finish it was a feast of entertainment, bringing together the nations in dance and song, also the superb bagpipers. All too soon it was over; leaving everyone I'm sure with unforgettable memories.
Daphne Hughes, Kahibah
I CHALLENGE our Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, to attend the funeral of the young man who died at the Strawberry Fields festival. Ms Berejiklian, face the parents, family and friends and explain why you are against drug testing. I believe this young man may be alive today if you supported the testing. My sincere and heartfelt feelings to his family and friends.
Robyn Starkey, Fennell Bay
CHARLOTTE McCabe (Letters, 28/11), you are so right. With proper transport, tourism would be Newcastle's gold-mine mecca with an endless future. It's so close to Sydney to boot.
Graeme Tychsen, Rankin Park
I BELIEVE if you deny saying something you have beenrecorded saying 17 times, you are lying. Scott Morrison did this with his denial of comments about Sam Dastyari. Credibility zero.