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Nov. 12: Letters to the editor Add to ...

War, remembrance

A brave man died on Remembrance Day this year. He was my neighbour and an honorary family member throughout my teenage years. He lied about his age to join the air force and fight for his country. But before he was to be shipped overseas, it was discovered he was colour blind, and he was grounded. Because he never saw live combat, he was never able to receive full benefits.

His wife gone, and no children, he was fortunate to have loving neighbours and friends. We took turns providing meals and checking in on him. On Remembrance Day, a neighbour went over to say good morning and was unable to wake him. I will remember his commitment to our country. And I will never forget.

Tess LaPensée, Peterborough, Ont.

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Re Museum Prepares For Final Remembrance Day Ceremony (Nov. 11): So an ice rink will be planted where Canadian aviation history was made. As a former combat pilot, I must voice my disappointment that Canada takes so little pride in its own remarkable record in aerial combat and our pioneering of so many great Canadian warplanes.

William Stevenson (author of A Man Called Intrepid ), Toronto

Money and time

U.S.-style primaries are very costly and very time-consuming (Liberals Hope U.S.-Style Primaries Will Rejuvenate Party – Nov. 11). Then again, spending money has never been a problem for the Liberals, and time they sure have.

Claude Gannon, Markham, Ont.

Pipe dream

It's difficult to shed tears for the Keystone XL pipeline, the latest mega-venture of the wizards running the oil industry's 1 per cent (Pipeline Shutdown – Report on Business, Nov. 11). It's not hard to account for the problems they've created. They ignored the elephant in the room, put the cart before the horse, counted their chickens before they hatched, and ended up cooking the goose that was supposed to lay their golden egg.

It's time our politicians and corporate execs yanked their heads out of the oil sands and recognized their responsibility for climate change, the lack of a coherent national energy policy, plain old greed and bad planning.

Greg Michalenko, Waterloo, Ont.

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If the Obama administration is so concerned about the Keystone pipeline's possible impact on both the environment and the health of U.S. citizens, then he should take the next logical step and immediately shut down all existing oil pipelines operating throughout the United States. Surely the older pipelines are less safe than the new ones.

W. William Gibson, Toronto

Pride and policy

Campbell Clark (No Pro-Israeli Policy Shift, Ottawa Says – Nov. 11) insinuates that the Harper government should be condemned for voting with the U.S., Israel and four South Pacific island nations simply because only a few stood against “one-sided” anti-Israeli United Nations resolutions and that any opposition to these resolutions would be contrary to Canada's “more balanced” approach.

But since when does one determine the legitimacy of a resolution by the number of countries in favour of it? And why is it considered “more balanced” to condemn the only democratic state in the Middle East? If there is a government shift in policy, as Mr. Clark contends, then Canadians should take pride in this welcome development.

Joseph Adler, Toronto

Tempest continues

By way of illuminating the debates about the Shakespeare authorship question (What Will We Believe? – Review, Nov. 9), let me remind readers that the longest word in Shakespeare's plays is honorificabilitudinitatibus from Love's Labours Lost, an obvious code word that can be unpacked into hi ludi F. Bacon nati tuiti orbi (“these plays, born from F. Bacon, are preserved for the world”).

This might well be a solid proof of Bacon's credentials, but for the title of the next play, Much Adoe About Nothing (original spelling), which is obviously code for “Bacon? O naught due to him.”

Ian Johnston, Nanaimo, B.C.

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As the debate continues over the authorship of Hamlet, The Tempest et al., I've always favoured the explanation that these plays were not written by William Shakespeare but by someone else with the same name.

Rupert Taylor, Waterloo, Ont.

Protect the children

The concerns raised in your editorial The Silence At The Top (Nov. 11) that staff members of institutions must immediately notify law enforcement at the very least (which Penn State allegedly failed to do) is, thank goodness, not the state of the law in Canada.

Persons who perform professional or official duties with respect to children and who have reasonable grounds to suspect abuse must forthwith report their suspicion and information on which it is based to a society and/or the police, depending on age. Whether a duty of care on the part of an informant will be negated where the parties are strangers linked only by the events surrounding a “report” is a question that can only be decided when it arises.

The duty to report must be made directly by the person. Informants are not required to have reasonable cause to believe that abuse has occurred before making a report. Coaches and professors, inter alia, are mentors, and part of their philosophy for what they teach is to be able to allow young people to avail of that expertise and to learn.

Nothing is more important than having laws that protect our children. How many suicides do we need on campus to get the message through?

Mr. Justice Marvin Zuker, Ontario Court of Justice, Toronto

Hey, man …

While I can appreciate John Gardiner's support of the Occupy movement (Still Like The Canary In The Coal Mine – Nov. 11), his suggestion that the Occupy protesters are basically fighting the same thing as the hippies did – namely, the Establishment – is mistaken. The hippie movement was a cultural phenomenon, not a political one, representing young middle-class people dropping out of mainstream society.

It was the New Left and the Yippies (Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin), not the hippies, who thought we could change the world and make it a kinder, gentler place.

Nick Ternette, Winnipeg

Tipping the scales

Lynn Coady's I Asked My Husband For A Romantic Gift And Got A Scale (Life, Nov. 11) reminds me of another story. A wife asks her husband what he's buying her for her birthday. He says, “When you wake up tomorrow and look out the front window, you'll find something silver to greet you and, best of all, it can go to 250 in no time flat.”

Always wanting a sports car, she could hardly contain herself. But when she looked out the window, she found a bathroom scale in the driveway.

Frank Cain, Toronto

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