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Hard-wired to kill

Re: The bane of birds (Letters, April 23). The real bane of birds, by far, is an animal that eats their young and their food and competes for territory in the trees. That would be the squirrel. To top it off, many people think it's fine to feed squirrels to encourage their presence and population growth in our neighbourhoods.

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One squirrel creates far more havoc for the bird population than any house cat ever could, not to mention what squirrels like to do to flower beds (eat the flower bulbs).

Cats get blamed for garden destruction more often than squirrels do. That's why I added that in.


Point Douglas


Re: Wolf traps removed from park, could be back (April 21). I love dogs and have great admiration for wolves. But guess what? Wolves kill dogs, and it doesn't mean they are a bunch of meanies who are out to kick butt.

Wolves are wild animals that aim to dominate their territory. If I were walking my dog in any area where wolves preside, I would keep it on a leash. That's the way wolves are wired, so let's not be so surprised.



Disgraceful description

Bert De Leeuw's opinion regarding the "left-leaning Free Press" and Frances Russell's status as a "dinosaur" is utter nonsense (Living in Jurassic Park, Letters, April 20).

First, the Free Press is anything but left-leaning. Second, for the editor to approve the description of Russell as a "dinosaur" is a disgrace. Third, for De Leeuw to apologize would be beyond his mentality or respect for women.

I sincerely doubt he would approve of his sister or mother being described in Jurassic terms. It doesn't say much for the editor's capability or desire to maintain a balanced viewpoint on the paper's opinion pages.



Accurate assessment

Martha Owen's April 20 letter about Canada being in the grip of a tyrant is spot on. Now if only there was a way to make the NDP and Liberal leaders read it and wake up.



Indulging motorcycles

Oh, to be in Winnipeg now that motorbike season is here.

We don't need to sit out in peace and quiet and enjoy the early springtime air, and in the summertime we don't need to open a window and spare the air conditioner: no not much.

We don't need uninterrupted speech on the street or an undisturbed good night's sleep: no not much. You have to wonder why we, on an annual basis, indulge those motorcyclists who give not a care how much they intrude negatively on other people's lives and seemingly couldn't care less that excessive, unnecessary noise is contributing to, among other things, sleep apnea and diabetes.

Therefore, why not an additional noise tax for such selfish riders? The more noise they make the more they pay. Sounds fair, and if one day they should find themselves taxed out of existence, it would serve them right, and it would prove to all those outer-space aliens, which so many people claim to have seen evidence of, that we really do have the ability to evolve. Not all motorbikes make an insufferable racket, so why should any?



Different arguments

In his April 18 letter, Respect lacking, Dave Dessens misses the point of my April 14 letter, Like crack from an addict. The confiscated and broken cellphone was my property that was taken away from my daughter because she refused to comply with my household rules about acceptable cellphone use.

He compares this disciplinary action to taking a cellphone away from a co-worker as a criminal act of assault and violence. This isn't even the same argument. What adults do on their cellphones is none of my business. But what my teenage daughter does on her cellphone is my business, especially when I'm paying for it and am responsible for making sure she is getting good grades and becomes a productive member of society.




If Darren Marrese and William Wade (Life-or-death struggle, April 11) want additional support for less cellphone use by their kids and grandkids, they should consult the instruction manuals that came with their phones. Motorola, RIM and Apple all now issue warnings to keep their cellphones at least 2.3 centimetres away from your body when on.

There is still much to be learned about the possible harmful effects of cellphone radiation. A 2012 animal study by Dr. Hugh Taylor of the Yale School of Medicine found evidence that exposure during pregnancy can cause neuropathology with implications for adult behaviour. My daughter, after persistent reminders on my part, carries her phone in her purse, not her pocket. This is a case where it is better to be safe than sorry.



Deep-seated problems

Re: Long in our past (Letters, April 23). Despite what Cal Paul seems to think, just because he feels that the issue of residential schools has been "studied and debated ad nauseam" does not mean that the issue is anywhere near settled.

Paul needs to realize that it doesn't suddenly become time for society to ignore a problem just because he has grown sick of hearing about it.

All the residential schools may be closed now, but they are not so far in our past as Paul seems to think. The last school in Manitoba closed its doors for good in 1988, and the last in Saskatchewan not until 1996. It's no secret that a multitude of the social problems facing aboriginals today stem from residential schools, because the problems seep down from generation to generation and are too complex to be solved by simply throwing money at them.

It seems to me that since residential schools are responsible for many of the problems faced by aboriginals, Paul asserting that aboriginals simply need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps is his passing the buck on to them.



Placid constabulary

A group of people, perhaps 1,000, gather at the legislature to partake in a mass illegal activity (Puffs and politics hit legislature, April 21). The police, and not many of them, stand idly by.

Would the same constabulary placidly look on if 1,000 people, under the age of 18, gathered to drink liquor in support of changing the province's drinking laws? I think not.

If an action is by legislation illegal, then the law should be enforced until such time that the legislation is changed. Otherwise no laws are safe from being openly flouted.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 24, 2012 A7

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