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April 30: Letters to the editor Add to ...

Trump the Donald

Nothing like a wee laugh to get your day started. Like reading in Elizabeth Renzetti's article American Blowhard In Scotland (April 28) that Donald Trump's new golf course and resort north of Aberdeen aren't being built just to help fill his pockets. Och no!

It's “meant to honour his mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, who was born on the remote Scottish island of Lewis.” Entirely fitting, then, that Clan MacLeod's crest is a bull's head between two flags.

Gordon S. Findlay, Toronto

Cry for Argentina

Methinks José Néstor Ureta protests too much. The Argentine chargé d'affaires neglects three facts in characterizing the Falkland Islands dispute (Argentina's View – letter, April 28).

First, the Argentine President's sudden interest in the Falklands, an interest not shared by a number of her fellow citizens, is an exercise in distraction from her dismal management of the economy. Second, while the United Nations has indeed called for the parties to negotiate, Argentina has no interest in the desires of Falkland Islanders because they've resolutely said they wish to remain British. And third, the British won the war!

Kevin Hanna, Waterloo, Ont.

.......

Argentina can't govern itself but it wants to govern the Falklands? God help us.

Roy Smith, Whitby, Ont.

Harperland

Re Harper Unbound (Focus, April 28): Stephen Harper, you say, is a “principled” conservative. Principled? When ramping up tar sands production will affect the entire world? When the oil pipelines will destroy our inland and marine resources? When we must halt global warming or reap immeasurable grief?

Principled? When he tramples our constitutional rights to free speech? When he guts environmental safeguards to allow industrial gorillas to have their way with impunity? When he fosters destructive fish-farming regimes?

This “principled” man betrays us all.

Mary Russell, Port Hardy, B.C.

.......

I was bemused by references to the “enigma” known as Stephen Harper. The Prime Minister isn't at all enigmatic, but rather quite transparent. As your article shows, his hard-core conservative agenda has been apparent all along. It's even more amazing to see him referred to as a possible centrist. He may sometimes practise compromise to stay in power, but this has been common of politicians of all stripes.

And playing the occasional Beatles tune in public doesn't show any element of progressiveness – it's just grandstanding.

Margaret Thatcher's adage that “there is no alternative” is not true; there are always alternatives. But the majority of Canadians who didn't vote for Mr. Harper will need to actively promote such alternatives.

Dave Broad, Regina

.......

The Quebec government had better prepare for the influx of Canadians who won't be comfortable living in Harper country. Those of us who have no use for the monarchy, are environmentally aware and enjoy the CBC had better brush up on their French and check out real estate in La Belle Province. Je me souviens might take on a whole new meaning.

Helen Godfrey, Toronto

The good mother

Your interview with French feminist Elisabeth Badinter made me cry (Down With Despots In Diapers – Focus, April 28). “The good mother doesn't exist,” she says. “She's a myth.” Well, I'll be damned. All this time I thought I was onto something, aspiring to be a great mother. But to hell with hope.

Ms. Badinter is right: Breastfeeding is for cows, Mozart is dead, and mistakes just get me down. And yeah, wanting to give “the best” to our kids, what a cracked idea.

Laura Berends, Toronto

Nazis and the CCF

Having read the minutes of the CCF National Council debate about the coming war in 1939, I know how agonizing that debate was, something Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird have ignored (Why Is Harper's Team Invoking Hitler To Debate New Democrats? – online, April 27).

Canada's entry into the war was a foregone conclusion: English Canadian opinion took its lead from Britain. The question was what the CCF's policy should be. Beyond opposition to Nazi Germany and economic support of Britain, should it also commit itself to military intervention?

Little more than 20 years after the end of the Great War, many CCFers, and not a few other Canadians, believed it would be a mistake to send more young Canadians to fight in Europe.

CCFers agreed that Hitler was evil, but, in September of 1939, it was still possible to believe he was primarily an evil for Europeans to deal with.

In his pacifist opposition to the war as such, party leader J.S. Woodsworth was largely isolated within the CCF National Council, as he subsequently was in the House of Commons. Citing Mr. Woodsworth's stand as part of an effort to discredit the current NDP is, at best, historically irrelevant and, at worst, contemptible.

Michiel Horn, professor emeritus of history, York University

.......

I guess the Conservatives forgot Godwin's Law: Whoever makes a comparison to Nazism loses the debate.

Brian Gilbertson, Plympton, N.S.

Good vibrations

If a National Newspaper Award for best content in a single day's issue existed, it would surely go to Saturday's Globe. Citations would include: Elizabeth Renzetti's stomp on International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda at the Savoy Hotel (Believe It Or Not, Taxpayers Dodged A Serious Stompin' At The Savoy); Tabitha Southey's all-purpose-apology form for Conservative MPs (At Last, A Surefire Way To Have Our Cabinet Speak With One Voice); Judith Timson's Debt, Taxes And The Lessons Of $16 Orange Juice; John Ibbitson's portrait of Stephen Harper (Harper Unbound); and Roy MacGregor's clear-eyed assessment of the Rangers-Capitals playoff series (Good Teams With Some Glaring Holes).

There were probably more, but I saved several sections to read another day.

Doug English, London, Ont.

Pit and pendulum

Liam Lacey (Quoth the Raven, ‘What A Snore' – Arts, April 27) and Leah McLaren (Go On, John Cusack, Say Anything To Me – Arts, April 28) join the squadrons of writers who misspell Edgar Allan Poe as “Edgar Allen Poe.”

The only writer who suffers more than Poe would have to be Euripides, who consistently gets called “Euripedes.”

Christopher Kelk (or Klek, if you prefer), Toronto

Rack redux

Re Pope Appoints Crack Squad Of Cardinals To Shed Light On Whistle-Blowers (April 27): Pope Benedict has a short memory – the answer to the Vatican's problems is in his backyard.

Recall the Dominicans. They ran a great Inquisition!

Edward Gabis, Toronto

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