A pox on Pawlenty
Re Serious Candidates Trump the Field (May 24): My wife and I are visiting Quebec City from Minneapolis and read your editorial. I am compelled to comment on the candidacy of our (thankfully) ex-governor Tim Pawlenty, who has now declared for the presidency. He is a self-promoting peacock, what you would call a poseur, who has destroyed the infrastructure of the once proud state of Minnesota.
Mr. Pawlenty's form of "leadership," amounted to a knee-jerk "no new taxes" vetoing of any compassionate or conscientious attempt to promote the well-being of the citizenry. We were once one of the nation's leaders in education and quality of life. Now our schools are in shambles, libraries are being closed, people with disabilities have no coverage, the middle class are bankrupt if severe illness strikes, our bridges are collapsing (literally), and property taxes on the middle and lower classes have risen.
He left the state more than $5-billion in debt while off chasing his presidential dream. Meanwhile, our privatized corporate medical insurance companies are sitting on a "reserve" of more than $3-billion that by rights should be used to provide health care or balance the state budget. Mr. Pawlenty has no sense of economic democracy or the social gospel; he was unfit to lead Minnesota and he is even less fit to lead America.
Ralph S. Bovard, MD, Minneapolis, Minn.
Girl seeks dog
Re Rex And The City (Girl) - May 24: It appears that Amberly McAteer is well on her way to responsible pet ownership. If more people seeking pet companionship put as much time, thought and effort into finding a good pet-fit for their lives, fewer dogs, cats and other furry and feathered creatures would be crowded into our animal shelters.
I eagerly await the episode where future "puppy-mommy" visits her veterinarian to discuss breed-associated traits and health issues, routine preventive health care, pet insurance, training and socializing, nutrition (including the risks of raw food to both people and pets) and much much more before she continues her quest for the perfect pooch.
Trace MacKay, DVM, past president, Ontario Veterinary College Alumni Association, Guelph, Ont.
So how come …
Re It's Just Supply And Demand (May 23): Andrew Miall insists "the market [for gas]is working exactly as it should." That would explain why every gas station in any community charges the same price for its gas? Where's the market competition Prof. Miall says "has done wonders for the development" of other products?
Roger Smith, Lantzville, B.C.
Although I agree with Prof. Miall's view that news departments are neglecting their duty to inform, the "person on the street" interview is sometimes helpful in determining the equilibrium point for supply and demand. The interviews with consumers being outraged and feeling ripped off are indeed misleading, but articles such as the one in The Globe (The Big Squeeze On The Family Budget - May 21) are constructive. It demonstrates how consumers are gradually lowering their demand by walking to work or to the grocery store.
Eric Kam, Toronto
Joy of reading
Re Don't Discard The Librarians (May 21): I consulted one of the approximately 1,000 books in my office on the McMaster University campus and found this Virginia Woolf quote from How Should One Read a Book?:
"I have sometimes dreamt that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards - their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble - the Almighty will turn to Peter and say not without certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, "Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have loved reading."
Walter G. Peace, associate professor, school of geography and earth sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton
Sex selection in India
Your newspaper's coverage of "gendercide" in India avoids the philosophical question of how the targeted abortion of female fetuses constitutes a wrong. For anyone who considers it a woman's "right" to abort a fetus, there can be no objection to this supposedly barbaric action.
Geoffrey T. Sigalet, Montreal
Sex antics of the rich
Re Marrying Up, Cheating Down (May 24): In answer to Margaret Wente's question, it is entirely possible that these women didn't know who they were married to. DSK and Arnold and Tiger Woods and Eliot Spitzer et al. are all intelligent and successful and charming. But an erect ego just might be camouflage for another trait that can be carefully hidden for years from an unsuspecting wife: a flaccid character. And there's no Viagra in the world that can compensate for that.
Chris Clark, Willowdale, Ont.
I have noted that none of the recent articles in The Globe and Mail relating to the serious consequences of prominent leaders losing their integrity and destroying their reputations and careers has mentioned the important connection between workaholism and the loss of integrity.
During the very predictable breakdown that this addition to power and control follows, there are two significant changes - the loss of feelings and the loss of integrity - that produce serious changes in character and acting-out behaviours. The idealist Dr. Jekyll turns into a narcissistic, self-absorbed Mr. Hyde.
It is important to address the dangers inherent in work-related obsessions that lead to the entitlement issues that encourage such deviant behaviour. Power can be used to do good works, or for self-serving, selfish purposes.
Barbara Killinger, PhD, clinical psychologist, Toronto
Re Trading (Slowly) Goes Mobile - May 24: Just what the world has been waiting for - a mobile trading app. Now I'll be able to drive and rebalance my portfolio at the same time!
Michael R. Conrad, Vancouver
Re 'Writers Never Retire, They Just Die' (May 23): I was saddened to read of Eric Nicol's passing, having enjoyed his books. I do, however, remember an occasion when his writing had a particularly insalubrious effect on my punctuality. I was on the subway, reading Dickens of the Mounted on the way to an appointment, when I had to make a precipitate return home for a change of underwear.
It was worth it, though. Laughter is a gift. Thanks are due to Mr. Nicol for a lifetime of gifts.
Celine Papizewska, Bloomfield, Ont.