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Oct. 27: Letters to the editor Add to ...

$: Ooh la la

Re New Plastic Bills Yield Spooky, Sexy Images (Oct. 26): Users of Rorschach tests have known for years the accuracy of Anaïs Nin's famous quote, “We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

Might this explain the reaction to drafts of Canada's new polymer banknotes?

Jo Meingarten, Toronto


Canadians are often called dull, but the furor over the new currency proves we have a great imagination.

Michael McGrath, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Queen's University


If some Canadians see the shape of a woman's body in our new banknotes, the lack of sunlight is affecting more than their levels of Vitamin D.

Then again, what's the shape of a woman?

Riaz Damji, Guelph, Ont.

$: Spend and save

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is spending billions on new warships and fighter jets, and seeking a military base in the Caribbean (Ottawa In Talks With Jamaica To Set Up Caribbean Staging Base – Oct. 26), while Treasury Board President Tony Clement is in Ottawa explaining to the Chamber of Commerce where his government plans to cut and save taxpayers' dollars.

It reminds me of the guy who loses a dollar for every dime he stoops to pick up and proudly proclaims how much money he's found.

Bill Bousada, Carleton Place, Ont.

Scorched earth

Re End Of Long-Gun Registry Seen As Victory In War On Big Government (Oct. 26): In 1959, John Diefenbaker ordered the cancellation of the production of the Avro Arrow, a military aircraft seen, at the time, as representing one of the world's most advanced designs. He also ordered the destruction of all aircraft, engines and technical information so his decision could not be reversed or proved wrong.

In 2011, Stephen Harper ordered the introduction of legislation to cancel the long-gun registry. Following Mr. Diefenbaker's strategy, Mr. Harper's “public safety” minister said the bill will “provide for the destruction of all records pertaining to the registration of long-guns currently contained in the Canadian Firearms Registry and under the control of the chief firearms officers.”

Mr. Harper, in repeating history, must also be afraid he could be proved wrong.

Anthony N. Doob, professor of criminology, University of Toronto


Will the Harper government now launch a scorched earth policy on information gathered by Statistics Canada on the abolished long-form census? Will it then go on to trash historical weather data gathered by Environment Canada as a means of destroying scientific evidence of climate change in Canada?

There's a fundamental legal question here: Who owns the data collected by government – the government of the day or the Canadian people?

Burris Devanney, Halifax

Flying taxes

So Canadian pilots live outside Canada in order to avoid Canadian taxes (Air Canada Pilots Set Course For Tax Breaks – Oct. 26). Good for them. I hope that the IRS has noticed, and that the pilots are paying taxes to the U.S., instead.

Do any U.S. pilots live in Canada to avoid U.S. taxes? Absolutely not. The reason is not higher Canadian taxes, but, rather, that the U.S., wisely, taxes all U.S. citizens wherever they live on their worldwide income (minus an exemption of $91,500 for earned income).

As well, U.S. taxes on additional income beyond the exemption start at the 25-per-cent rate for income over this amount, rather than at the lowest rate. So it's hardly worth the effort. Any U.S. pilot who lives in Canada doesn't do so to save money on taxes.

So the larger question is: Why does Canada give non-residents, or partial non-residents, a free ride on all the benefits of citizenship, including airlifts away from dangerous locales, without a corresponding obligation to pay taxes on all their income?

Lewis Auerbach, Ottawa

Sacred spaces

Andrew Gadsby names The Pink Elephant In The Classroom (Oct. 26), calling on schools to do better by gay youth by banishing hurtful words from locker rooms and playing fields. A laudable goal, indeed.

But there's another pink elephant in the room and the greatest source of homophobia in this country: our religious institutions.

Cowering behind the cloak of religious freedom, thousands of Canadians who gather in churches, cathedrals, mosques and synagogues are encouraged to engage in gay bashing through religious dogma that emanates from their “holy texts.”

For centuries, the church has marginalized particular groups of people – women, aboriginals and scientists who challenge ancient doctrines. Gay bashing continues that long line of historical marginalization.

So, knowing that gay and lesbian teens are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, will churches be shocked enough to welcome all people into their sacred spaces?

Rev. Linda C. Hunter, Wild Rose United Church, Calgary

Sour grapes?

Reading your series this week on Candy Wars sure spooks the heck out of me. Sour Skittles and Sour Patch Kids are sour precisely because they contain citric acid that pretty much melts away the protective enamel on teeth. The phenomenon is called “acid erosion.”

Perhaps an article on “healthy” Halloween treats and tips to fight the effects of acids from products such as pop, sports drinks, lemonade, vinegars and other sour foodstuffs might spare years of dental angst.

Sheryl P. Lipton, Victoria Park Dental Centre, Toronto

Laugh? Or call 911?

Along with most Torontonians, I was amused by Mayor Rob Ford's bizarre reaction to Marg Delahunty's ambush (Mayor Ford Is Not Amused – Oct. 25). Strangely, Peter Mantha (But Seriously, Folks – letter, Oct. 26) confused This Hour Has 22 Minutes with journalism. And this is telling.

The fact that both Mr. Mantha and, apparently, Mr. Ford mistook Mary Walsh in her Princess Warrior costume for a journalist is a sad comment on the sorry state of Canadian journalism, and politics.

Joseph Romain, Toronto


No one likes being accosted by strangers at one's own private residence. On the other hand, there are few things in life that redeem us like a little humour now and then.

So God forbid, if we've become so infatuated with our own significance that we can't take a joke, then maybe someone better call 911.

Richard Grace, Toronto


Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair must be delighted that Rob Ford called 911. It helps to make his case for a billion-dollar budget: He needs to cover the costs for all those nuisance 911 calls.

Christine A. Featherstone, Toronto

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