Posts filed under 'Talkback Emails'

The US Shooting – some thoughts, but not debate right now

An email to 2UE’s John Kerr. Respectfully, I think it is too early to debate US gun laws. This email does not do that. If you wish to engage me in debate on the subject, please note that I will not reply until later in the week. Nothing can be gained out of debating this at this moment when the emotion of the horrifying shooting largely obscures logic.

Good morning John,

The shooting in the Connecticut school is truly horrifying, and it is disturbing that anyone would ever be of a mind to inflict harm on innocent children, or the adults who were harmed for that matter. Many families will never be the same, and that is a terrible tragedy.

This is clearly the work of a mad man, possibly even an evil man. It is horrifying and I am very sad for everyone who is involved.

I must say though, I am quite disgusted by the people in the US who are using this tragedy to try and score political points on the gun control debate. That may be an important debate, but surely they could at least let the families get their heads around the tragedy, and allow law enforcement officials to figure out what exactly happened, and why, before passing judgement on what laws they think should or should not change.

The debate about gun laws is one better held when the emotion of what has happened has subsided, so that any decisions which are made, are based on facts and not a natural emotional knee-jerk reaction. Evidence of that, to my mind, is the fact that Connecticut has some of the stricter gun laws in America, and this is mostly being overlooked at the moment by people who are engaging in debate on the subject.

And for the people in this country who believe that a blanket ban is an obvious answer which should have been implemented years ago, I believe it is important to recognise the cultural differences between Australia and the US. Our laws work here for the most part because our country was founded peacefully and we therefore do not have as defensive a mindset. The mindset in the US is very different, and while something may need to be done, simply applying our laws to their country will probably do more harm than good as people will, for lack of a better term, cling to their guns, and violently so, if their government tries to outlaw guns. I should also note that, while we don’t have mass-shootings here, when people want guns in Australia, they find them, as evidenced by the spate of drive-by shootings in Sydney in recent years. It worries me that people in this country immediately decry American laws without giving any thought as to why they have them in place. I think that the views expressed in this country would have more effect on the US debate if more thought was given to those views.

Out of respect for the families of the fallen, I will not engage in a detailed debate of the intricacies of the US gun laws this morning, however if this is still of interest next weekend when the emotion of this awful event has subsidied, I would like to discuss this with you and get your input.

I hope you have a very nice week.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

2 comments December 16th, 2012 at 02:29am

ACT Election polling

An email to 2GB’s Ray Hadley

G’day Ray,

I’d believe the Canberra Times poll about the ACT Election if it said anything other than the status quo. The idea that there won’t be any change in the numbers in the Legislative Assembly is crazy.

I expect the Liberals to pick up at least one or two seats, but even if it said Labor would gain seats, I’d be willing to believe that the poll is legitimate. Both Labor and Liberals are annoyed with the Greens, so at the very least the Greens should lose a seat or two.

The poll saying nothing will change sounds like someone set out to produce a particular result with this poll. It just doesn’t ring true with what’s happening on the ground.

Glad your health is OK. Best of luck with all of the follow-up appointments.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

October 18th, 2012 at 09:45am

Some general political thoughts

An email to 2GB’s Mike Williams

Good morning Mike,

You certainly do attract some odd people on the phone. “Be polite to the ALP in Canberra” indeed…what rot, that caller didn’t want you to be polite to Labor, he wanted you to blindly agree with them and their odd ideas.

I really enjoyed his claim that he has a right to listen to 2GB, but 2GB’s presenters don’t have a right to hold an opinion with which he disagrees.

Keep up the good work Mike, and I’m glad you’re playing some of Ray’s songs.

As for the boat people, I believe that Labor implemented part of the Howard Government’s Pacific Solution knowing that without the rest of it, such as TPVs etc, it simply wouldn’t work, and I expect them to eventually use it as an attack against Tony Abbott, working on the basis that many people who don’t follow politics closely will believe the Labor line.

And how ridiculous is it that the European Union received a Nobel Peace Prize. It’s about as dumb as giving Obama one a few days after he took office…and look what he’s done for world peace. If anything, he’s made it worse. The EU is certainly not helping world peace with its amazing debts.

Have a wonderful week.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

1 comment October 14th, 2012 at 12:58am

What a sad state Federal Parliament is in

An email to 2GB’s Luke Grant, who is filling in for Ray Hadley today

Good morning Luke,

How sad it is that instead of talking about things that affect people every day like the state of the economy; the carbon dioxide tax, how tax dollars are wasted on public service over-management; how our farmers are treated by wholesalers etc, we are talking about nonsense which reflects the poor quality of parliament such as Peter Slipper, Craig Thomson, imaginary sexism, racism, mysoginy, and how allegedly awful Tony Abbott is for using a common phrase which just happened to be said by Alan Jones in an entirely different context.

Disgraceful! We need an election to restore some sort of usefulness to this federal parliament. What a joke it is.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

1 comment October 11th, 2012 at 09:36am

Tips for the second week of the finals

An email to 2GB’s Andrew Moore and The Continuous Call Team

Evening Andrew,

How good is it to have another week of finals. It gets really serious from here…but not for the next few seconds…

After my resounding success of only tipping one winner (the Doggies) out of eight AFL and NRL finals last week, I’m officially tipping the Cowboys by seven points tonight, and the Rabbits by twelve tomorrow. In the AFL, Fremantle and Collingwood are my tips.

Have a great call!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

September 14th, 2012 at 07:13pm

Dealing with serious unprovoked physical attacks

An email to 2GB’s Andrew Moore

Good morning Andrew,

For obvious legal reasons I don’t want to talk specifically about the case of the kid who was king hit and killed in Kings Cross, but in general if people are found guilty of such a gutless and unprovoked offence, then I don’t think they are fit to be in society.

In my view, people who commit such types of crimes without provocation simply can not be rehabilitated and should either be locked away forever, or should be king hit by the relatives of the victim. There are some elements of an eye for an eye which I think are appropriate with people who commit this type of offence.

In some ways I wonder if the British had it right back in the day. Find an uninhabited land mass and send the “worst of the worst” there to fend for themselves.

Have a great day Andrew.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

2 comments July 11th, 2012 at 04:17am

Politics courses in schools, and young people voting

An email to 2UE’s John Kerr

Good Morning John,

I can't say that I'm surprised to hear that many near-adult teens who are nearing the completion of years 11 and 12 are not in the least bit interested in Australian politics. I remember when I was in school that politics was a unit of study in year four and then again in year nine or ten.

As I recall, it was one of the more loathed topics for most students and most students weren't particularly interested in the day-to-day goings-ons of parliament at the federal or state level. It would be fair to say that the US Presidential election was something which interested more students than domestic politics, but only during the month or two before the election, and probably only because it is in many ways portrayed by parts if the media as a far-away celebrity event rather than a serious event with many implications and consequences.

I remember in high school that politics formed part of the Social Studies course…I did absolutely nothing in this course other than draw pictures and set up an office at the time out desk, but I took a strong interest in the politics unit and put a lot of effort in to the assignment of producing policies for my own political party and speaking to the class about them. It was supposed to be a five minute speech, but mine went for 45 minutes, much to the surprise and consternation of the teacher who wanted me to stop talking, but didn't cut me off as he seemed to just be glad that I had finally showed an interest in something in his class. Alas, participating eagerly in a two week unit of a semester-long course was not enough to prevent me from failing.

Anyway, as someone who was very interested in news and politics (I brought a radio to school with me so that I could listen to 2CC during recess and lunch), it was very clear to me that most of the rest of the student population was not remotely interested. There was a brief peak in interest when the Iraq war started, but it was brief, and afterwards most students returned to other interests.

Those who were genuinely interested in politics were either interested and informed, or merely indoctrinated by Greens bumper sticker slogans. The latter category, sadly, outnumbered the informed people who understood why they believed what they believed.

In adult life, I have found that more people are interested in politics and at least somewhat informed, but then I also encounter people who could not care less and, come election time, horrify me by being completely unable to name party leaders or which party is currently in government.

For these reasons, I disagree with any move to lower the voting age below 18 as this would result in the majority of the extra votes being based on indoctrination rather than information, and I also support voluntary voting as I think it is wrong that people with no interest or understanding of politics are forced to vote, and have their vote cancel out the vote of someone who actually does care. At least with voluntary voting, you know that the outcome is a result of the votes of people who actually know for whom they wish to vote, and why they wish to do so.

Completely off-topic, please find attached a photo of something rare. My two dogs Nattie and Pebbles voluntarily sharing a bed, albeit for a short period of time.

Have a wonderful morning John, and an equally wonderful week.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

July 8th, 2012 at 12:41am

Food I liked and disliked as a child

An email to 2UE’s John Kerr

Good morning John,

I was shocked, absolutely shocked and appalled when you said that some kids don't like pumpkin. They must all be stark raving mad! Roast pumpkin is one of the most delicious foods on the planet. As a child I liked pumpkin, but I absolutely loved roast potato, however then as now, I'm not as keen on reheated roast potato or pumpkin as I am on them when they're  freshly cooked.
I think my favourite vegetable was a combination of vegetables. Mashed potato and pumpkin. Yum!
There were two vegetables which I detested. One was Brussels Sprouts, which I thought tasted absolutely terrible as a child. Smothering them in tomato sauce helped, and now I don't mind them at all. Giving me corn on the cob was a good way to induce a tantrum. Loose corn I loved, but on the cob, not a chance…didn't like biting the corn off the cob, or the taste of the little stringy bits of the cob which would come with the corn.
On more than one occasion I refused to eat the corn on the cob and so Dad would tell me that if I didn't eat it, then it would be served again for breakfast and I would have to sit at the table until I ate it. Dad informed me that eventually it would turn green, which I thought meant it would be poisonous, and I would still have to eat it. Naturally, out of self-preservation, I ate at least some of it while it was still yellow.
By the way, I know you think my dreams are somewhat peculiar, so I was wondering what you make of a dream I had recently in which I had to hide in a kitchen from some people who were chasing me, and while I was hiding in the kitchen I turned in to a fridge, and fell in love with a gorgeous oven. Have you ever heard of such a dream? I think it's one of my strangest.
Have a wonderful week. I'll be listening from work all night.
Samuel Gordon-Stewart

1 comment June 10th, 2012 at 12:25am

Online gambling to have less regulations while pokies have more?

An email to 2GB’s Luke Grant

G’day Luke. Welcome to 2GB. We last spoke when you were in Melbourne and an ash cloud had grounded my flight…good to hear you again.

Anyway, online gambling, you’re absolutely right. It’s hypocritical of the government to be so opposed to poker machines while embracing online gambling which, as we all know, is exactly where folks will go if the pokies no longer satisfy their gambling urges.

Why doesn’t Wilkie ever talk about online gambling? I dare say that, if you can call gambling a problem (I don’t, I call it a choice), it’s a bigger problem than pokies. At least with pokies, you have to hand the machine your cash, whereas online, it’s your credit card number and it doesn’t hurt until the statement arrives and you realise you’ll be paying it back for years.

I suppose though, if the government are going to tax it, that might just get Wayne Swan his promised surplus.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

May 25th, 2012 at 04:21am

Wayne Swan can bribe the voters all he wants…it won’t help him or the country

An email to 2GB’s Andrew Moore

Good morning Andrew,

I see that Wayne Swan is reportedly going to start handing out more so-called “one-off payments” after tonight’s budget.

I remember when the federal government was not in debt and claimed that the best way to stimulate the economy was to plunge the government in to debt by sending everyone a one-off $900 cheque, along with the various other spending debacles like the pink bats, school shade cloths and overpriced digital set top boxes. It didn’t help…the Australian economy is worse now than it was in 2009, mostly due to the government’s actions.

Now the government is in serious amounts of debt, and Wayne Swan promises a surplus which might make the surplus smaller, except for the fact that most, if not all, of the surplus comes from budget tricks rather than actual savings. But instead of doing the responsible thing and paying off as much of the debt as is feasible, he wants to hand out more one-off cheques…he must sense an election coming soon.

It just proves that these payments, like the stimulus payments, had nothing to do with responsible economic management, and everything to do with bribing voters to overlook serious incompetence in the government. I’ll tell you right now Andrew, the man who once told Alan Jones that “traffic jams cause inflation” will not be the Treasurer once the people have had their say at the ballot box, no matter how much money he borrows to bribe the voters.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

May 8th, 2012 at 03:56am

Humphrey B. Bear

An email to Andrew Moore and 2GB’s Continuous Call Team

Good evening Andrew,

I heard you mention this morning that Humphrey B. Bear has come out of retirement. I know that he’s mute, so he can’t join the commentary team, but perhaps he could come on board the Continuous Call Team as the official mascot. I’m sure that a few old Bears fans would be happy about it.

Anyway, looking forward to a great match tonight. One-eyed prediction of Dogs by 22-6 from me.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

April 27th, 2012 at 07:41pm

Anders Breivik is not a “right wing extremist”

An email to 2GB’s Andrew Moore

Good morning Andrew,

I’m a bit concerned by the coverage which the media is giving to the trial of the confessed Norway shooter, Anders Breivik. My concern is with the way he is being portrayed.

It seems that a lot of the media has forgotten everything that we found out about this man immediately after the Norway massacre. As you would recall, we found out that he was a confused paranoid schizophrenic with various views which could partially fit as “right wing” and partially as “left wing” and partially as neither left or right wing.

Unfortunately, now that the trial is underway, much of the media has gone back to labelling Breivik as a “right wing extremist”, which he is not. They have also said repeatedly that he performed a right wing salute in court.

The salute he performed was a raised arm with a clenched fist. It closely resembled a communist salute, but I certainly wouldn’t call Breivik a communist. I don’t know how anyone could have concluded that it was a “right wing salute”.

I just wish large sections of the media would stop labelling this madman, as it does a serious disservice to all of the good, law-abiding right wing people in Australia and around the world to have this madman’s actions incorrectly tied to their world view.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

April 17th, 2012 at 04:27am

US unemployment and the economy

An email to 2UE’s John Kerr

Hi John,

Just on the US unemployment rate, whilst the official rate has fallen to 8.2%, this figure, like our unemployment rate, does not include people who have given up looking for work and are therefore no longer receiving unemployment benefits.

The number of people who are not employed and are not looking for employment has risen to an all-time record high of 88 million. That's 28% of the population. Real unemployment (ie. people who are out of work and want to find work) is actually around the 13 to 14% mark. The US economy has also suffered from the lowest rate of economic growth for any post-recession period in the last century. The economy there is hardly growing, the real number of unemployed is rising, and inflation is creating further problems. It's called "stagflation" and in many ways, the current President and his economic policies are to blame.

The recovery of the US economy is, sadly, a myth, and another four years of Obama will only make it worse. I'm not sure that the Republicans opposing him can turn it around quickly, but they will certainly try harder than Obama has and, I believe, do a better job than he has done so far.

Anyway, something more pleasant, the two little doggies Nattie and Pebbles were asleep downstairs a few minutes ago having dozed off while listening to you, Pebbles on a chair and Nattie on the footstool in front of the chair. A photo is attached which I hope you will like.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

April 7th, 2012 at 01:33am

Easter Rugby League

An email to 2GB’s Continuous Call Team

Good evening and Happy Easter Andrew and Blocker…don’t let Daryl eat all the Easter Eggs!

A disappointing result for the Dogs today, but that’s what happens when you only play for one half, and don’t even win that half. Congratulations to the Bunnies.

As for tonight, I think it’ll be tight, but the home ground advantage might just get the Tigers over the line, so I’m joining Blocky in supporting the Tigers tonight.

By the way, are you calling a match on Sunday.

Happy Easter!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

April 6th, 2012 at 07:11pm

April Fools Day

An email to 2UE’s John Kerr

Good morning John,

Happy April Fools Day! What an interesting day for the daylight saving changeover to occur. There are so many opportunities to work daylight saving in to a prank by deliberately telling people to change their clocks the wrong way, or by the wrong amount, or better yet, tell the Queensland listeners that they will be joining daylight saving when we leave it.
Here's another one I thought of which you might be interested in using one year. In the "On This Day" segment, find out some really mundane things which happened and use them instead of the historical events. For example, on this day in  1904 the United States Surgeon General enacted a close quarantine in Texas. In 1932, "Mobsmen On The Spot", the ninth story featuring a fictional vigilante named The Shadow was published. In 1948, it was a Thursday. And in 1976, the overnight low in Canberra was 9 degrees, the top temperature was 20 and it did not rain.
Actually, there's another idea for you John, just give out different weather forecasts…so give Sydney's forecast for Brisbane, Canberra's forecast for Dubbo and so on and so forth.
Ahhh the possibilities.
Anyway, will you be on next weekend? If not, have a great Easter, and be good so that the Easter Bunny visits.
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
P.S. The above historical data is accurate. I have been researching it while I have been writing this email.

April 1st, 2012 at 01:30am

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