If I were a lawyer …
Re Duffy To Face Charges In Sen-ate Scandal (July 17): Mike Duffy allegedly asked for and accepted $90,000 from Nigel Wright. According to the police, that’s criminal and he’s been charged with bribery of a judicial officer.
On the other hand, Mr. Wright handed over $90,000 to a member of the Canadian Senate. According to the police, that’s okay. No charges.
Perhaps, if I were a lawyer, this would make sense.
At least I now understand the “it’s fine to sell but illegal to buy” logic underlying the government’s new laws on prostitution.
Previous actions by the Harper government have led me to reread George Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four. I guess now it’s time to dust off my copy of Franz Kafka’s The Trial.
John Steeves, Sussex, N.B.
Re The Shell That Killed Four Boys On The Beach (July 17): The escalation of the Mideast crisis reflects the failure of diplomacy in the region and the stubbornness of those in power in the Knesset. The asymmetrical nature of this conflict is immense cause for concern in the realm of global politics. Israel has a right to protect itself but the disproportionate use of violence undermines legitimacy. It’s time for Western powers to step up and increase pressure on Israel through boycotts and sanctions in a manner similar to the approach to Iran.
Omar Mesbahuddin, Toronto
Re Please Don’t Revive The Anger That Killed My Daughters (online, July 9): I am very sympathetic to Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish regarding the loss of his daughters, as is the wider Jewish community. Peace, including a democratic Palestinian state living side by side with Israel, is the ultimate goal.
However, it is important that Dr. Abuelaish admit that this tragic situation is the consequence of Hamas’s continued firing of rockets at Israel and its rejection of a ceasefire. This Russian roulette is terrorizing Israelis and causing untold hardships for the civilian population. As a doctor, he writes about curing the disease of hate. The disease is, in fact, Hamas, whose Charter calls for the destruction of Israel.
Dr. Abuelaish calls Israel an occupier. However, Israel vacated Gaza in 2005 so that Palestinians can run their own affairs. Instead of building a civil society, Gazans elected Hamas.
Equally shocking is his accusation that Israel is committing genocide. This is a denial of what genocide – including the Holocaust, Rwanda, Bosnia and Cambodia – really is. Once we can have an honest discussion without throwing around inflammatory terms, the “cure” for peace will surely be found.
Avi Benlolo, president, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies
Reach out to Iran
Re Can Rouhani Square Iran’s Circle? (July 17): The Globe is to be commended for including this characteristically nuanced, clear-eyed article by Said Arjomand, a scholar who is respected as someone seeking neither to demonize nor idealize, but rather to fairly understand the dynamics and historical development of Iran’s current governing system.
This is all the more so, in juxtaposition with The Globe’s coverage of the unfortunate effect that pervasive economic sanctions have had on the artwork of Iranian-born, Canadian permanent resident Sadaf Foroughi (Artist’s Work May Be Destroyed Due To Iran Import Ban – July 17).
One indeed hopes that, if the tragic chaos enveloping Syria and Iraq can have any salutary outcome, it might involve the realization that co-operation between Iran and major Western powers on regional and broader concerns could be far more fruitful than endless recrimination.
Andrew M. Wender, Victoria
Clothes aren’t ‘goals’
Re J. Crew Draws Ire For ‘Scarily Skinny’ Sizes (Arts & Life, July 17): It trivializes eating disorders to blame them on how sizes are labelled. Clothing should not be addressed by anyone as “goals” to which women must aspire. These are just clothes. Everyone needs them and has a right to proper sizing, whatever that size may be.
Having my body, which fits the size 000 in question, called “scary” and “unnatural” is personally insulting. However, there are larger issues at hand.
Clothing sizes are being used as yet another outlet through which women are being pressured to apologize for their bodies. If people stopped treating clothes as aspirations, young girls might stop seeing them that way.
Emily Brade, Toronto
No booze on ship
Re Roll Out The Barrel (editorial, July 17): Can people who regularly drink alcohol function effectively? The U.S. Navy doesn’t think so and bans alcohol on its ships.
A naval vessel is a military team. The safety of the ship depends on the clear thinking of all the sailors, all the time. The Canadian navy should follow the U.S. example and ban alcohol on its ships.
Reiner Jaakson, Oakville, Ont.
Margaret Wente points out, correctly, that children today are overprotected (We’re Getting Hysterical About Child Safety – July 17). The children in my area are dropped off at school from BMWs and large SUVs. In the afternoon, these pantechnicons wait to take them home. The kids, however, are free to roam the area at lunch time in order to spend money at fast food outlets.
If parents took the trouble to make lunch for their children and allowed them to walk to and from school in groups, the kids of today would be much healthier and happier.
Kitty Graham, Toronto
Issue is sovereignty
Would a non-aboriginal buyer of title land, and all subsequent buyers, be subject to First Nations authority, or would sovereignty pass to local municipalities, subject to provincial and federal control (Title’s True Meaning: Billable Hours – July 17)?
The unstated central issue here is that of sovereignty. If a non-aboriginal in B.C. sells a piece of land to a Chinese national, does that property become sovereign territory of China? Of course not, as Canadian sovereignty is neither transferable nor negotiable.
Only when First Nations sovereignty is fully established and universally recognized will the free sale of title lands be any-thing other than a continuation of the devastation inflicted on native North Americans for five centuries.
Ron Sigler, Montreal
Re Sausage Sellers Linked To Price-Fixing To Fork Over €338-Million In Penalties (Report on Business, July 16): 21 sausage-makers fixing prices? In Germany, that has to be the wurst news ever, coming on the heels of price-fixing at the breweries. It is the stuff of Oktoberfest nightmares.
Siegfried (Fred) Schmidt, Regina