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Posted: 04/17/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0


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The terrorists have won

The fact of this Boston Marathon tragedy urges me emphatically to ask, why are the North American media doing the terrorists' job for them?

Regardless of whether anyone ever goes to trial for this atrocity or not, the act was a success. The message being repeated endlessly is clear. We know next to nothing about what really happened, but we should all be very, very afraid. The media insist on granting the criminals their goal -- nationwide terror.

Toronto mathematician Jeffrey Rosenthal has pointed out more people die in traffic fatalities every month in the U.S. than did in the entire 9/11 terrorist attack on New York. We are all astronomically more likely to die in a car crash than a terrorist attack, but the media raise no red flags regarding that likelihood.

I am not for a moment suggesting precautions against terrorist attacks should be reduced. In fact, in this climate where the media guarantee the criminals will overwhelmingly succeed in getting their message through, I'd feel more secure if anti-terrorist measures were increased. At the moment, they're receiving far too much encouragement.

The war on terror will only progress when the media take a rational attitude toward the events, based on a sense of proportion and perspective they have no problem adopting toward the threat posed to our lives by the automobile industry.




The attack in Boston is terrible, yet a U.S. airstrike killed more than two dozen Afghan civilians, including 11 children, just last week. These were families who were simply sitting in their homes. Where were our hearts and prayers then?

This is not meant to delegitimize the chaos in Boston. Of course, it's an atrocity and of course, our hearts should go out to those affected. But we all need to better educate ourselves and re-evaluate our priorities. Because, like the shootings in Newton and Aurora last year, our initial thoughts and prayers will soon be thwarted by a Kardashian getting pregnant or Justin Bieber saying something ignorant.

We need to mourn but we also need to learn about what's going on not only here and next door but abroad. We need to realize that there are atrocities like this, and much worse, around the world every day.

We need to start caring. All of us. And to demand change. Because if we don't, these atrocities will become more frequent, both at home and abroad, until one day we turn on the TV and it's our friends and family who have become the victims.




A respectable trade

Re: Mystery man to lead Venezuela (April 16). If Poland could elect a plumber as president without falling apart, I'm sure Venezuela will be fine with a bus driver.




Selective complaining

Peter Squire's April 15 column, Exorbitant tax hurts market, buyers, is quite ironic. I agree that the land transfer tax should be adjusted, but what about realtors' fees? They also have seen a huge increase due to the rising house prices.

Has the realtors' association expressed any concern about this much more exorbitant cost to buying a home? I would suggest the cliché of "the pot calling the kettle black" applies.




References to Winnipeg's affordable housing prices, relative to other cities, are misleading. There is little correlation between list and selling price.

We've been looking for a house in Winnipeg for months. We've bid on properties five times. The last house we bid on went for $56,000 over the list price of $285,000 (with an unfinished basement and a 50-year-old kitchen).

We lost one bid, at over $330,000, because we asked for a home inspection. What sort of housing market will drive people to the point of not even inspecting the homes they want to buy?

Winnipeg's real estate market has not only become unaffordable for many, it is also irrational. City planners and developers have failed us. It should never have come to this.




Just a parsec

Bartley Kives's big word of the day in his April 13 column, Chance to do it right at Forks, is "parsec."

Regular readers are no doubt in awe of his vast knowledge of seldom-used words and his eagerness to educate the unwashed masses.




A tragic situation

While Canada is grieving over the terrible loss of a lovely Nova Scotia teen who was being bullied and decided to end her life, Winnipeg Free Press readers have been bombarded with constant coverage of the so-called courageous story of Susan Griffiths and her plans for assisted suicide, as well as her pleas for this kind of death to be legalized in Canada.

Is it really true as reported that one in five people in our country would choose this? I find it hard to believe.

What a tragic situation. Are we now trying to make heroes of those who choose death over life? It is always sad when people choose not to live. The human instinct for life is strong, and it's a great gift.

Suffering is also a reality of life. And there is so much help in this wonderful country of ours for people who are not well, physically or mentally. It's tragic that some choose not to see things that way.




Disturbing parallels

Re: In the April 11 story, Mother gets 10 years for killing child, we learn that another mother was sentenced to 10 years in prison for inflicting over 50 injuries onto her four-year-old daughter, who later died.

The child had previously been under the care of Child and Family Services but was returned to the mother just a year before her death. Unlike the Phoenix Sinclair situation (Phoenix inquiry to get grim, April 15), this mother and child were not and will not be identified. There also will not be an expensive multimillion-dollar "inquiry."

Why not?



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 17, 2013 A9

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