Canada’s great loss
Former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed was a champion of Canada – all of Canada (Lougheed Was A Champion Of Alberta – Sept. 14). Don Getty had the order absolutely right when he said, “We have lost a great man, and a great Canadian and a great Albertan.”
Genevieve Beauchamp, Winnipeg
Where so many saw what separated us, Peter Lougheed saw what held us together, in this province and in this country. We’ve lost a good one.
Frank Rogers, Edmonton
Peter Lougheed – a mensch for all seasons and all reasons. They don’t make that type any more.
Geoff Smith, Kingston, Ont.
When will the U.S. realize that warships, nuclear submarines and ballistic missiles are useless in fighting the type of wars being waged against it by religious fanatics, suicide bombers and the various tribes of failed states (U.S. Braces As Protests Spread – Sept. 14)?
Instead of trying to impose democracy on people who have no real concept of free speech, a free press, freedom of religion and, especially, freedom for their ethnic minorities, Washington should return to its traditional practice of cultivating dictators it can work with.
Otherwise, all the state-of-the-art military might it can muster will be a colossal waste of money and American lives.
William Bedford, Toronto
In reading Friday’s letters regarding the anti-Islam movie that has spurred so much violence in several Muslim countries, I am reminded of a friend’s yearbook entry of some years ago: There’s a big difference between free speech and cheap talk.
R.G. McGillivray, Oakville, Ont.
I’m shocked to see stunts, such as this video, from non-Muslims time and again, where the sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims are severely injured. Why do they keep generating books, articles and movies that flare up hatred among multitudes of Muslims?
While the reaction of angry mobs in some Muslim countries must be condemned in the strongest terms, it’s the duty of all governments to ensure no one is allowed to launch efforts that can deeply hurt large groups and rouse feelings of the utmost pain and, naturally, anger. As an Ahmadi Muslim, I respect all religions and their founders; I am taught not even to utter a word that could hurt a fellow non-Muslim.
And as for questioning the history of Islam, that’s like trying to hide the bright sun in the sky. Islam is documented so well that it makes the histories of other religions nothing more than bedtime stories, given the glaring lack of detail in comparison to Islamic history.
Naveed ul Islam, Maple, Ont.
I, too, agree that the $703,000 reward for the bullied bus monitor was inappropriate (A Reward’s Rationale – letters, Sept. 14). I would like to respond to the letter writer who asks what the 68-year-old monitor was supposed to do when students ganged up on her.
As a 67-year old supply teacher, I would have quietly asked the bus driver to pull over as soon as it was safe to do so. Then I would have returned to the area full of the bunch of unruly brats and reminded them that that I had the principal’s phone number and that the principal had their home and parents’ work numbers.
If I heard another peep from them, I would ask the principal to phone their parents at work and tell them about their child’s outrageous behaviour.
Michael Haas, London, Ont.
GMOs: nay, yea
Despite Margaret Wente’s convincing discussion (Greenpeace’s Golden Rice Stand Should Appall Us All – Sept. 13), there remains a global voice of naysayers to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It’s obvious their protests are simply those of science deniers.
The added advantages of, for example, herbicide tolerance has resulted in growers being able to adopt minimum tillage practices which has significantly reduced the carbon footprint previously associated with crop production. Pesticide usage has been reduced dramatically.
Denying science-based progress is an affront to humanity.
Martin C. Pick, Cavan, Ont.
As a crop scientist, now retired, I am not appalled by the stand of Greenpeace, but applaud it.
In countries where the diet of children consists mainly or entirely of rice, there is a lack of vitamin A, which can lead to blindness. In those countries, farmers grow mostly rice – monoculture.
Golden Rice has been promoted as the solution to the problem of vitamin A deficiency. While a total of 100 to 150 grams of cooked Golden Rice can provide a six-year-old with about 60 per cent of the vitamin A the child needs, where does the other 40 per cent come from? Vitamin A can be obtained from green and coloured vegetables, but these are lacking in the diets of those children.
It would be more effective to encourage by various means the inclusion of such vegetables in the diets, and for farmers to grow other crops rather than monoculture rice. To promote Golden Rice as the solution to the problem will not be effective if rice continues to be the sole source of food. It will give a false sense of security.
Bert Christie, Stratford, PEI
Working to rules
Upon what facts is your letter writer (A Mayor’s Methods – Sept 14) basing her assertion that “too many people … make their way through life mostly anonymously, barely getting to know their neighbours, let alone contributing to their community”?
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s current imbroglio has nothing to do with the virtues of voluntarism and everything to do with either his complete lack of understanding of the rules surrounding the use of city employees’ time or his assumption that these rules don’t apply to him.
Victoria Brown, Toronto
When the people who are ganging up on Rob Ford have done as much for troubled kids as he has, they can criticize. Until then, they should zip it. And that includes the media.
George Lawrence, Saint John
My granddaughter asked me how long a gravy train is. I said I did not know, but it was at least as long as a football field.
Peter Woolstencroft, Waterloo, Ont.
I understand that there were no contemporary verifications of Richard III being deformed (Be These The Bones Of Shakespeare’ s Most Infamous King? – Sept. 13). Many think this was a fabrication of the playwright. As Shakespeare was writing in Tudor times concerning what was then a fairly recent history, he would have ensured the play had a slant favouring the current head of state. Always a wise move, I’m sure.
Contemporary accounts indicate Richard’s bones were scattered on the field of battle, so it would be quite a surprise if they were ever located.
Peter D. Hambly, Hanover, Ont.