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Behind the mask
Re We Need A Better Mask To Protect Us Against Outbreaks (Feb. 6): In East Asia, people mostly wear surgical masks when they have a cold or flu in order to protect others from illness. Perhaps it is time for us here to adopt this sensible custom, because we seem to have a misconception that people should wear masks to protect themselves. This may be true to some extent, especially with the coronavirus outbreak, but it should be mainly viewed as a gesture of social solidarity, not of self-protection.
In fact, masks do not do a great job of protecting wearers. Rather, it best protects others by preventing droplets from being breathed out into the air as freely.
Greg Whincup Sooke, B.C.
Re Harry, Meghan And The Need For A Canadian ‘Rexit’ (Opinion, Feb. 1) and Wet’suwet’en Chiefs Vs. Coastal GasLink: A Guide To The Dispute Over A B.C. Pipeline (Online, Feb. 6): Contributor Peter Donolo writes that “Canada’s last colonial vestige” is the monarchy. I wonder what the Wetʼsuwetʼen elders would say to that.
David Arthur Cambridge, Ont.
Any selection process for a governor-general to be Canada’s head of state would be vulnerable to politicization. As unappealing as it may be to some, a head of state determined by birthright, such as the Queen, prevents this.
Drew Davies Belleville, Ont.
Re Senate Acquits Trump (Feb. 6) and Donald Trump Just Had His Best Week Ever (Editorial, Feb. 6): In the United States, there is no body in its system of government whose job it is to rise above party politics. There is the judiciary, but it plays no role in impeachment. In Canada, the monarch’s representative is above party politics. Their job is to speak for the people and this has been so for hundreds of years. Thank goodness.
Malcolm Stott Kingston
When asked by a curious citizen after the 1787 Constitutional Convention what kind of government had been structured by the U.S. Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin is said to have answered: “a republic, if you can keep it."
John Dowson Newmarket, Ont.
Would the outcome not have been a lot different if voting was by secret ballot?
Gary Shawyer London, Ont.
Let’s remember that Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. The ignominy of being one of only three presidents to be impeached should define his legacy. As Nancy Pelosi said, Mr. Trump will “be impeached forever.”
Anthony Cantor Toronto
I believe that sound of silence you hear is U.S. democracy being squandered and set adrift into the unknown.
David Michael Toronto
This seems merely the demise of the Democratic Party, for now, not the ultimate demise of U.S. democracy. Americans have the magical skill of constantly reinventing themselves, and they seem to conveniently have daily amnesia. So this should not be the end, but merely another footnote in the history of a nation that always gets up off the mat – even when critics have declared a knockout.
Douglas Cornish Ottawa
Give Donald Trump an inch, and he think’s he’s a ruler.
Gordon Salisbury Mississauga
Is it possible for someone to be both a great person and a good person – someone who achieves monumental things that change the world while also holding steadfast to high moral standards? Most of us are good people while not achieving greatness. Then, as history shows, there have been a few who have achieved greatness while not being particularly good people. And then, given what we are currently witnessing in U.S. politics, it seems evident that it is also possible to have leadership which is neither great nor good.
Can a society be both great and good if such values are not upheld and modelled by its leaders? I think the history of the United States will clearly provide the answer.
Ray Arnold Richmond, B.C.
Re Generalists Still Wary On Gold Despite Recent Price Rally (Report on Business, Feb. 3): Reporter Niall McGee’s article on lukewarm enthusiasm for gold and gold stocks is part of the beauty of the commodity’s current bull market.
It is unloved and dismissed as an old, boring relic, even though it is making historic highs in Canadian dollars, euros, Russian rubles and very close to new highs in Chinese yuan. The only major market where gold is not making new highs is in U.S. dollars. However, the U.S. government is US$23-trillion in debt and running a trillion-dollar-plus annual deficit.
This old relic thinks that the headlines will be changing soon.
David Craig Delta, B.C.
Re TD Move Shows Flip Side Of Credit Card Loyalty (Report on Business, Jan. 28): This is not the saddest story I’ve ever read, but it is a story of concern. The idea that Toronto-Dominion Bank will be charging interest on unpaid interest obviously affects those who are already having difficulty paying off credit-card charges. To me this is almost immoral on TD’s part, and when one bank does this, others will surely follow.
How sad at a time when banks should be enriching the economy by getting people out of debt, not into more of it. Tap-and-go on my debit card won’t work if the charge is more than $100 – credit-card issuers could copy the idea for those who have a history of overspending and carrying debt. Maybe these cardholders could have monthly limits, depending upon salary, and their cards not be reactivated until the charges are paid. Of course, this is an idea formed in the clouds and not one to make money for covetous banking systems.
Bernice Senkiw Toronto
Re This Is How My Adviser Gauges Returns – Do I Have Reason To Be Concerned? (Report on Business, Jan. 29) I agree with how difficult it is to judge performance. As always, one should start with an investor’s goals and characteristics.
If these are long term in nature – risk-averse and more specifically tilted to income, rather than highest total return – portfolio construction should be rather simple, although sticking to the discipline requires fortitude. Investors should conduct fundamental research (which is where an adviser is worth their weight in gold), then ignore market fluctuations; do not trade unless new research indicates a deterioration in fundamentals.
The only downside I can see is that this strategy is “boring," so it would not suit the type of investor who sees investing as a “game.“
Peter de Auer Former director, Ontario Hydro pension fund division; Port Hope, Ont.
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