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(The Canadian Press)
(The Canadian Press)

WHAT READERS THINK

June 12: Treason’s consequences – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Treason’s price

You make a fair point when you argue that citizenship should not be revocable, except for those cases when the application was fraudulent (Don’t Banish Them – editorial, June 11).

However, when I became a citizen, I swore to “faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.” One might equally argue that people who commit treason have broken that part of the bargain.

If I buy a car, promise to pay and drive off, then refuse to pony up, should I be surprised when the former owner or police turn up at my door demanding the car back?

If I go to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban against Canada and her allies, should I expect any different treatment?

David Brewer, Puslinch, Ont.

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Horrific animal abuse

Re Dairy Farm Owner Says Abuse Captured On Video Is ‘Horrific’ (June 11): Animals are living, feeling beings with emotions and needs but no voice to cry out for help against mistreatment. They have the right to live in good conditions and to be treated with respect. It’s time the government and Canadians realized more dedicated inspectors are needed.

The only good aspect of these numerous videos of mistreatment is that brave people are finding ways to bring this dreadful behaviour to light. One wonders if some of the same treatment meted out to animals might be applied to perpetrators.

Carrie Toomey, Kingston

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What ails us?

Re Sex-Work Bill Defies Logic (June 11): I agree – we legalize tobacco companies despite the proven damage they do to our society but enjoying sex is bad?

Andy Mulcahy, Victoria

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Not a ‘tsunami’

Re Our Hospitals Are Not Ready For The Grey Tsunami (June 11): Unlike a tsunami, there has been nothing unpredictable about the aging of populations in Canada and other countries.

Jeffrey Simpson speaks of the effects our aging society will have on health care, GDP and public pensions. He says that it is hard for societies and democratic governments to plan for these sorts of things, given our electoral cycle. And so what is actually a failure of all of us to recognize the obvious and plan for it is branded in a headline as unpredictable and overwhelming (a tsunami) and grey (as in, brought about by old people).

Enough of that term. May it have appeared for the last time in The Globe. Canadians live in an aging society. That may not be a headline-grabbing term, but at least it does not label elderly persons as agents of destruction.

Jan Goddard, Toronto

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Gaming PTSD?

You report that using magnetoencephalography to detect Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in soldiers detected brains in a “hyper-aroused” state (A Picture Of PTSD – Life & Arts, June 9). This raises the question: Can children develop PTSD from early and prolonged exposure to video games?

Having worked for over a decade with children who overuse video games, I’ve increasingly noted chronic stress symptoms in these same children – hyper-arousal, sudden violent outbursts, aggression, poor impulse control, lack of empathy or sympathy, dilated pupils (even when not gaming), sleep disorders and poor self-regulation.

If indeed children are suffering PTSD from early and prolonged exposure to video gaming (and all violent media content), parents should be worried about long-term outcomes and act to restrict video game usage.

Cris Rowan, Sechelt, B.C.

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Moral imperative

History isn’t kind to societies that put financial gain ahead of moral questions (Won’t Bow To U.S. Pressure, Harper Says – June 10). Substitute one word in Stephen Harper’s climate-change statement and it would not have been out of place in the U.S. in 1850: “It’s not that we don’t seek to deal with [slavery], but we seek to deal with it in a way that will protect and enhance our ability to create jobs and growth, not destroy jobs and growth.”

The lesson to be learned is that despite all the rhetoric, abolishing slavery didn’t bring the U.S. to economic ruin. And the introduction of stronger environmental standards in Canada would not destroy our economy.

Brenda Davison, Bellevue, Alta.

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Stephen Harper and Joe Oliver see Canadians as incapable of being anything other than hewers of wood and drawers of water – or more specifically, rig pigs.

Without oil, says Mr. Oliver, we have nothing, just “economic decline, higher unemployment” etc. Canadians have a lot to offer the world – ingenuity, creativity, intelligence – much more than just oil. Our Prime Minister and his cronies don’t believe in us. That’s sad – and stupid.

Rebekah Eckert, Lethbridge, Alta.

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If Scots leave …

Re If Scots Leave, U.K. Clout Follows (June 10): I happened to be in Ottawa when I read this article. The arguments are complete tosh and quite ruined my breakfast.

Scotland makes up 8.3 per cent of the U.K. population and 8.9 per cent of the economy. Over 60 per cent of said economy is public sector, underpinned by the U.K. taxpayer. At current growth rates, the loss of Scotland would be made up in three to four years.

The EU costs the British taxpayer £38-million net each day for access to a single market that WTO rules insist should be free. Moreover, the argument over Britain’s membership is not just about the anti-growth EU of today, but the democracy-killing, elite-led federalism threatened tomorrow.

Yes, Scotland’s loss would be unfortunate but not the “end” of influence that the author implies. Whatever the political settlement, Scotland’s choice is devolution-max or independence-lite.

Julian Lindley-French, author of Little Britain: Twenty-First Century Strategy for a Middling European Power; Senior Fellow, Institute of Statecraft, London

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Andrew Hammond makes a compelling, reasoned case for a “No” vote in the Scottish referendum.

In sharp contrast, the Scottish government, formed by the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), while offering its version of logical arguments in favour of a “Yes” vote, has been pressing popular Scottish hot buttons in its cause, launching its referendum consultation in 2012 on Jan. 25, the birthday of Scotland’s iconic national poet Robert Burns, promoting a Hollywood blockbuster re-enactment of the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn and enfranchising 16-year-olds to capture their hopes for the future. The SNP even sent its First Minister Alex Salmond around the world in tartan trousers.

What they haven’t taken into account is historian Philip Guedalla’s observation that “An Englishman is a man who lives on an island in the North Sea governed by Scotsmen.” Do the Scots really want to give up this power over their historic foe?

Donald J. Gillies, honorary professor, University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland

 

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