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The hand of Franklin

Re Long-Lost Franklin Ship Found In Arctic, Solving 169-Year-Old Mystery (online, Sept. 9): It's not often that I can agree with Stephen Harper, but I share his excitement about this discovery.

He's right. It is a historic moment, especially since Franklin's expeditions "laid the foundations of Canada's Arctic sovereignty."

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Imagine if the ship had been found by a salvage operator or worse yet, Russia, with its contempt for the sovereignty of others – including ours in the North.

Helen Saunders, St. John's

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A ship from the Franklin expedition has been found! Will the Prime Minister now focus his attention on climate change before we lose the Arctic ice altogether?

Cheryl McNamara, Toronto

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I can't help but wish that the inimitable Stan Rogers had lived to see this day. Ever since I saw your story, his Northwest Passage has been playing in my head.

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Ah, for just one time I would

take the Northwest Passage,

To find the hand of Franklin

reaching for the Beaufort Sea,

Tracing one warm line through

a land so wide and savage,

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And make a Northwest Passage

to the sea.

Brendan Campbell, Halifax

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Consider the source

Re Are Gwyneth And Other Celebrities Wrong About Everything? Spoiler Alert (Sept. 6): No, but people need to be aware when they venture outside their area of expertise. After the suicide bombings of the World Trade Center, MTV rounded up rapper Ja Rule for his take on the situation. As Dave Chappelle aptly put it, "Ja Rule? I'm going to have lots of questions, and am willing to bet Ja ain't got the answers." Likewise for the growing bunch of opinionated ignoramuses worshipped by a celebrity-obsessed populace.

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Consider the source, people.

David Hughes Glass, Kincardine, Ont.

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Two violent people

Re The NFL Loses Its Soul After Sordid Rice Spousal-Abuse Video Comes To Light (Sports, Sept. 9): Cathal Kelly writes about "facts obscuring the truth." Ironically, his own description of the Ray Rice, Janay Palmer video points to how ludicrous that statement is.

The police and NFL (at first) reached a reasonable conclusion that these are two violent people who assaulted each other; that the initial aggression was by the less competent of the two does not change the fact that the loser was a willing participant.

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The prejudices (in the legal sense) of commentators will never end domestic violence, because such beliefs cheapen the suffering of innocent victims of domestic abuse through equating them with those whose victims retaliate successfully. The shape of one's sex chromosome has nothing to do with whether violence against a domestic partner should be vilified. Mr. Kelly should be thankful that two such people have chosen to marry each other and poison only one home.

G. Timothy Walton, Moncton

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Gridlock's price

The assumption that transit expansion will remedy congestion is fundamentally flawed (How Gridlock Became The Make-or-Break Issue – Sept. 6). Numerous studies from jurisdictions around the world have found that road-pricing tools are the only effective solution for congestion.

London's experience shows that road pricing can be used to generate revenue for transit expansion. Stockholm has shown that road pricing can be implemented democratically. And the experience of Valletta, Malta's capital, shows that this approach can be scaled to communities of almost any size.

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Each of the transit proposals being put forward by the four leading candidates to be Toronto's mayor has merit. However, none of them will have any noticeable effect on the gridlock that is confounding Toronto.

Scott Butler, policy and research, Ontario Good Roads Association

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Buggy-whip logic?

Re Why Textbooks Are So Expensive (Report on Business, Sept. 9): This sounds like the arguments buggy-whip makers used while continuing to make buggy whips long after cars replaced horses.

The statement about the editing process involving 30 economics professors to review an economics textbook when there have been no new major economic theories, just more explanations of old theories, shows how self-serving the textbook publishing business has become. Observations about high quality paper and sophisticated designs in full colour ring hollow when compared to online material that can be linked to additional explanations and bookmarks.

DVDs and ebooks provide better value, do not use forests of paper and allow new material to be updated very easily. The horses have been turned out to pasture.

Alyson Henry, Mississauga

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So sad. Pass the meat

Your Facts & Arguments essay on a stillborn calf and its mother's sorrow was heartbreaking (Cold Comfort On The Farm – Sept. 8).

Time and again, we read these stories, feel sad and empathetic, then promptly order a meat-based meal because we do not associate an animal's ability to grieve or feel pain with what's on our plates.

Stories like this remind us that all sentient beings are deserving of affection, love and respect. A mother's grief is a mother's grief, regardless of species. We can do better for them as we raise our societal consciousness.

Don Kearney-Bourque, Halton Hills, Ont.

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World of business

Re 'Corporation' is Not A Bad Word: How To Fight Against Pervasive Anti-Business Rhetoric (Report on Business, Sept. 8): Gwyn Morgan's sob story about how the young are brainwashed to dislike the world of business is ironically a wonderful example of why so many young people like myself have turned away from the pro-business orthodoxy.

Predictably, his reductive history of "Marxist-socialist theory" neglected to mention that democratic socialists west of the Berlin Wall successfully built some of the most just and egalitarian societies the world has known – societies which afforded his generation unparalleled prosperity, social mobility and economic security.

My generation has yet to experience these things. But, with any luck, we'll succeed in rolling back the corrosive political consensus he and his friends put in their place and come know them in our lifetimes.

Luke Savage, Toronto

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Tweet-free zone

Government officials should not be tweeting, period (Respect, In 140 Characters – editorial, Sept. 9). When they use Twitter to announce policy or respond to questions, they are using a medium that all Canadians do not have access to. Besides, who wants to follow John Baird's belligerent tweets when Charlie Sheen is so much more interesting.

David Bell, Toronto

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