WHAT is it about Donald Trump that attracts so many? Why is he so popular with those who feel they were previously unheard? Why do his supporters include huge numbers of Christians?
Physically, Trump is a big man. He walks tall, dresses smart and has a reasonably thick head of hair. He has a younger, beautiful wife who is the mother of his youngest son. He commands and is commanding. What he says, he says in a few loud, roughly spoken words. And he likes to tweet.
Concerning his large Christian following, what is it that makes this group drawn to him? When you compare Trump to their leader, Jesus Christ, I believe the man is the complete opposite.
Jesus was not abusive to women, neither was he abrasive and foul-mouthed but kind, compassionate and loving to outsiders and those on the margins. He was also poor.
So, why do many see the US president as a saviour of sorts? Could it be that the teaching of male headship within the church blinds Christians to the real Donald Trump? Are they happy to overlook his wealth and vulgarity, also his attitude towards women? Do they see him as a powerful, highly successful male who has everything under control and will do the best for them and their country? I wonder.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
TOWERING COSTS IN STORE
I REMAIN amazed that the same council that tore down the Queens Wharf Tower because of a maintenance budget should be the same one that has taken on the horrendous cost of both constructing and maintaining a skate park on the beach at South Newcastle.
In my opinion there is no logical explanation for this attitude. Maybe those who were involved in the design were unaware that Shortland Esplanade had been closed to traffic for years because of the previous overreaction by Newcastle City Council to a rock that fell off the cliff.
The challenges of securing a large edifice on the beach in the impact zone of the Tasman Sea, especially during south coast lows, could be avoided by simply building the skate park on the landward side of the Bather's Way. In building it there, the opportunity exists for terracing the rock face with seating to provide an amphitheatre overlooking the skate park. It could also provide a space for outdoor performances such as plays and concerts.
Anyone who has been to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall UK will understand the special atmosphere provided by such a venue. There is an old saying that the wise man builds upon the rock while the foolish one builds upon the sand. I hope that the saying will not be proved right in this case.
Stuart King, Toronto
WELL RUNS DRY ON NUCLEAR
CARL Stevenson (Letters 5/11) got one thing right: many country towns are already benefiting from the 11 gigawatts of renewable energy plants in progress or completed in their area in 2017/2018. But they are supplying the entire grid, not just locally, at prices coal plants can’t match.
South Australia’s big battery was never intended to power a smelter, but it has actually improved system reliability by stabilising the national grid during around 100 failures of coal-fired units this year. Pumped hydro systems, which can produce large loads over many hours, are designed to perform that task. 22,000 suitable sites have been listed across Australia, and only a few of these will be necessary to cover our needs.
Add in the imminent trial of adding green hydrogen fuel, generated during periods of excess renewable energy, into our natural gas systems, and it is easy to understand why the power industry, investment firms, insurers and national grid operator the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) are all driving the transition to renewables with stored energy backup. The direction is decided, only the pace is debatable.
As a nuclear power station consumes 1700 liters of water per megawatt hour, and its power costs three times that produced by wind and solar, I suspect we can ignore that as an option for our dry continent.
Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi
CLAIMS HAVE LOST APPEAL
WHEN Newcastle council CEO Jeremy Bath claims the council is committed to open and transparent governance, I believe he is being disingenuous. His claim requires wider investigation.
Newcastle East Residents Group (NERG) wanted access to some Supercars documents, which the council refused. NERG appealed and pretty well achieved all that it wanted. The council then appealed.
Ten months later, and a mere 24 hours before the hearing of the appeal, the council supplied copies of all the requested documents. They were heavily redacted, and NERG members felt they had been ambushed.
For the first time, Novocastrians learned about the secret deal with Supercars (‘Group reveals secret deal with Supercars’, Opinion 8/6). Not even the democratically elected council could be told how much money the race was going to cost ratepayers (‘Supercars services deed kept secret from councillors’, Herald 9/6).
The appeal tribunal noted that NERG had accepted the original umpire’s decision in its entirety, and allowed access to everything except the dollar costings.
It is not correct for Mr. Bath to crow about NCC's win (‘Council loses NCAT appeal’, Herald 3/11). It gained nothing by originally refusing access and then appealing. The true losers have been ratepayers, who funded the fruitless defence.
The actions of NERG were vindicated and truth carried the day. In my opinion, this case puts paid to the claim by Mr. Bath that the council "is committed to open and transparent governance".
Les Brennan, Newcastle East
PULL BACK THE CURTAIN
AFTER this year's Melbourne Cup, and the death of yet another innocent animal through greed, I believe it is time that "the tent" is removed from around the injured animal so that everyone can see the pain the animal is in, and then observe it being killed and taken away. That would ensure the realities of this race become real, not sanitised, for spectators.
Perhaps the killing of the horse should be televised to really drive home what we collectively do to these horses. The horse doesn't need privacy, but those who are out for a day of fun need to see that their "entertainment" comes at a gory and painful price for the horse.
I actually bet on this horse on race day, and have decided that I will never bet on a horse race again.
No horse deserves to die for three minutes of entertainment.
Beth McHugh, New Lambton
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