The merits of being mayor
The current direction of the mayoral campaign is hugely disappointing (Ready, aim, fire... on Judy W., Sept. 3).
The last time I checked, the mayor only has one vote on city council. Instead of promises that no candidate can deliver on without the majority support of council, I want to hear about what the mayoral candidates can deliver on their own.
I want to know how they will conduct themselves if elected. I want to hear about their values in regard to respect for others as well as see leadership based on high standards of ethical behaviour, integrity, transparency and sound judgment.
I'm not interested in haggling about property taxes or political affiliations, but am concerned about the vision each candidate has for our city, and how as mayor they will provide leadership with other councillors to create that vision in a way that we can afford.
Given the policy announcements and campaign tactics to date, I'm still waiting to be inspired, and so far have little confidence that anything will really change at city hall.
For all of the nine candidates campaigning for the mayor's office: Why are you running for this head-aching, gut wrenching job?
Is it for the power, prestige, position of the office? Or are you running to selflessly serve and protect the people of Winnipeg in every good and honest way that you can?
Do you have the wherewithal to do that by working with council and the city administration? What experience and personality do you have to accomplish your goals, whatever they may be?
Judy Wasylycia-Leis seems to think that we're just like her -- that everyone has two or three fully indexed public pensions and therefore can afford to pay the endless tax increases she is promising.
She should find a way to pay for all her promises with the money that is there now -- that's how we in the real world have to live.
Contemplation in education
Kelly Gorkoff is close to the mark in saying that our sense that something is wrong with education should be "a question of what we consider an appropriate way to acquire knowledge and what the institutions that provide that service should look like" (Something rotten in the state of education, Sept. 2).
But education is a tricky topic, and it is hard to avoid getting pulled back in to doing the same thing over and over.
It's not a question of corporatization versus education as "a key component of social change," but of looking into the ethos underlying both. We won't see what we are doing wrong in education until we see that Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey are two faces of the same beast.
The very impulse to get everyone on board and set everything right is in fundamental contradiction with the only thing that the social sciences and humanities can legitimately do -- sit back and contemplate. And while I'm not suggesting that education is entirely unrelated to social change, we currently don't even know what we are looking for.
School speed zones fair
Re: Speeding near schools nets fines (Sept. 3). To those who complain that it is unfair to have those 30 km/h speed zones around schools: It is also "unfair" for a child to lose his or her life because some drivers don't have the common sense to drive their vehicles safely, especially around school zones.
There are absolutely no valid excuses for driving recklessly anywhere, anytime.
Killings don't reflect Islam
It is extremely disturbing and appalling to read about the brutal act of beheading American journalist Steven Sotloff by a member of Islamic State (Video purports to show second journalist killed, Sept. 3).
Barbaric killing of innocent people is neither moral nor Islamic when Muslims proclaim that Islam stands for peace, tolerance and humanity. The heinous crime and atrocities carried out by Islamic State are defaming Islam and are cause for concern for all Muslims.
My thoughts and prayers are with the deceased's family, and I hope that Islamic State will refrain from killing any other journalists they have kidnapped.