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Kennedy inspired hope

I would guess that writer Doyle McManus (JFK legacy: historic or a footnote? Nov. 21) is too young to remember John F. Kennedy personally. If he did, he would not ask the question.

Kennedy was more than merely a romantic figure. Even though he seldom ignored political realities, he had the ability to cast a vision that stirred people everywhere.

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I remember reading a commentary about that time of someone who found Kennedy's picture pinned to the wall of a poor villager's hut somewhere in India. Why? Because he inspired hope in people all over the world.

Some may set aside such feelings as mere sentiment. But to dismiss a president who would go to Berlin and tell its people, "Ich bin ein Berliner," when it was still an isolated enclave in a communist world, entirely misses how electric such words can be.

Kennedy was a master of the words many were longing to hear, and for that he will always be one of America's greatest presidents.




The Nov. 23 story Dallas, JFK forever linked in tragedy refers to the Texas School Book Depository building "where Lee Harvey Oswald fired from the sixth floor at Kennedy's open-top limousine." Actually, it should have referred to Oswald as the alleged assassin who allegedly fired at Kennedy.

Remember that the findings of the Warren Commission -- that Oswald acted alone and that there was no conspiracy to kill the president -- are not legally binding in any American court of law.

In addition, the Warren Report was not unanimously endorsed by all its members. At least two commissioners would not sign off on it. This casts further doubt on the report's official findings.

To continue to promote Oswald as the actual assassin distorts the truth as we know it and suggests sloppy journalism.




The cost of Wuskwatim

In his Nov. 19 piece, Manitoba Hydro expansion is on the right track, Vince Warden claims, without justification, that the cost per kilowatt hour of electricity from the Wuskwatim dam is "about 7.5 cents." One wonders if Warden used the same math in arriving at this figure as he used when he was chief financial officer for Manitoba Hydro to calculate the projected $75-million annual operating loss that will be incurred by Wuskwatim in 2013-14 (page 26 of PUB Order 43/13).

In that calculation, he inappropriately subtracted more than $0.5 billion of "internally generated funds" from the $1.8-billion actual cost of Wuskwatim before computing the projected loss. Such an adjustment was inappropriate because internally generated funds still have to be paid for by ratepayers. Without it, the 2013-14 operating loss will be in the order of $106 million, not $75 million.

Furthermore, once the agreement with the First Nations partner in Wuskwatim has been renegotiated, Manitobans can expect to learn of Wuskwatim annual losses even greater than $106 million. The agreement is being renegotiated, incidentally, because the original agreement didn't foresee shared losses of this magnitude.

Considering Warden's logic from a different perspective, it is difficult to understand how he considers a 7.5-cent kilowatt hour generated in northern Manitoba, which still has to be transmitted to the southern Manitoba load centre at a cost of about three cents (total cost of about 10.5 cents), to be "competitive with other forms of generation." Hydro's own annual reports reveal that it is currently realizing an average of about only four cents or less in the export and domestic industrial markets.

With annual losses exceeding $100 million, Wuskwatim will be a long, long way into its 100-year life before it starts paying for itself, adding losses to Hydro's bottom line every year until then.


Bipole III Coalition



Fences improve view

Anyone who has been to Phoenix, Palm Springs or any other well-planned city will appreciate how roadway fences can improve the view of old neighbourhoods or unsightly industrial areas (City hall blows off Route 90 fence plan, Nov. 20). With artwork motifs, they can be very effective.

The best solution for reducing the eyesore view between Winnipeg's airport and the downtown, though, is to get rid of those terrible, ugly overhead hydro lines.




People behaving badly

Re: Judicial panel quits (Nov. 21). Everywhere I look in the public realm, I see people behaving very badly who are suddenly transformed into the wronged and begin to assert their rights while not acknowledging their wrongs.

Whenever the courts become involved, the due process becomes interminable and the costs soar into the millions.

This is farce, not justice.

The public spectacle of disgusting behaviour is forced on the unwilling ad nauseam by the media, which seem to feel we want to know all the sordid details.

We need to re-examine not just the Senate, but also our entire justice system and our moral, political and media culture.

If the parties wronged had any sense of decency and any honour, they would resign and spare us further moral chaos.




Honouring the departed

I take exception to the angle of your feature on funerals and cremation (Ashes to ashes, Nov. 23). Allow me to point out that the living, who are the bereaved, have little to do with whether the deceased is buried whole or is cremated.

If a person makes it clear while they are alive whether they want to be cremated or buried, it is only proper that their wishes are then executed upon death.

So please do not suggest that we the living are averting our eyes from death, from the last vision of our dearly beloved in his or her stillness, when we are observing the wishes of our most beloved.

And let me point out that the love for the departed is the greatest love of all, because it is love given without expectation of anything in return.




Predicting correctly

Since I predict the Free Press will not acquiesce to the request in the Nov. 22 letters (Paper, please, not cyberspace) to publish the results of the Nov. 20 poll asking readers their preference for usage of The Forks space, because the results could only be accessed by Blippar, I will tell the reader that 23 per cent preferred green space, 15 per cent preferred restaurants and 12 per cent preferred retail stores.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 26, 2013 0

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