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Democracy views irrelevant

I confess myself baffled at why the Free Press and Jeffrey Goldberg think readers should be aware of King Abdullah II of Jordan's views on democracy in the Arab world (Morsi proves dim copy of Erdogan, July 8).

As Amnesty International pointed out in their 2012 country summary on Jordan, it remains an undemocratic country that imposes limits on freedom of speech and association, arrests inconvenient journalists, allows indefinite detention without trial and routinely tortures its prisoners.

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Perhaps this article is merely the beginning of a series. I eagerly await your articles detailing Robert Mugabe's thoughts on democracy in Africa and Alexander Lukashenko's analysis of human rights in Europe.




Midwifery program stable

Your July 8 editorial, College of the North overreached, appears to leave the impression that some of our programs were shut down. In fact, they were suspended and if numbers so warrant, they can be reinstituted.

UCN takes strong exception to your suggestion that our midwifery program has been derailed. UCN's program is very stable. We are delighted that the program saw its first graduate in June 2013.

There are currently 10 students in Years 3 and 4, the majority of whom are expected to graduate in the coming year. In addition, we have provided educational opportunities to several midwifery students from other educational institutions.

In total, we have served about 20 students, a significant number given that there are only 39 practising midwives in all of Manitoba. In 2014, UCN will be admitting a new cohort of midwifery students.

Jim Scott

University College of the North

The Pas


Pipelines beat rail

About 70 railcars crash and burn on impact in Quebec. Serious environmental damage results and around 60 people are killed.

The equivalent amount of oil leaks from a pipeline and causes about the same amount of environmental damage, but nobody dies.

I prefer a pipeline. Don't you?




Electoral respect essential

Re: The meaning of democracy (Letters July 5). Although I understand Ab Freig's enthusiasm over the ouster of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, it is inappropriate to call a military coup democratic, even when a large number of citizens support it and the end result may be seen as desirable for many.

Absolutely essential to democracy is respect for the electoral process and the rule of law. As for Freig's view that the transition of power is peaceful, the deaths of more than 100 people and the injury of hundreds more, as well as a call to intifada by Egyptian Islamists, suggest otherwise.




Impressing a casual reader

Your July 6 edition contains two noteworthy articles by Melissa Martin. One is on the art of pitching (Pursuing the perfect pitch), the other about a panhandler getting ripped off (Putting value on the vulnerable).

Both are excellent reads. I will be picking up your paper more often.




Pensioning Toews

Re: Our new Ottawa top dog is... ? (July 8). If Vic Toews had no intention to serve his full term as MP, then he shouldn't have run in the last election.

Not that I'm sad to see him go, but perhaps the unnecessary cost of a byelection should be covered by his lucrative pension.




Could it be that Vic Toews' retirement was announced on July 8, because Harper is reported to be shuffling his cabinet? And Toews' salary on July 8 could be considerably higher that day than the day after the shuffle?

A moot point you might think, but Toews' severance payment (yes he'll get one, plus his pension) will be based on his last day's pay scale.

Good riddance to him, I say. His myopic views have no place in today's Canada.




Responding to Daisy

Re: Cat bylaw less than purr-fect (Letters, July 6). Dear Daisy: It's too bad your relatives persist on relieving themselves at my front and back doors.

They regularly choose my garden and flower beds as their private bathrooms. As a senior, I have cleaned up after cats for many years and I don't need the aggravation in my golden years.

As for your "thought" on Winnipeg women being saddled with a corresponding tax burden, I'd be the first to agree if they ever left their souvenirs on my doorstep or in my garden.




Daisy the cat hits the nail on the head. Some years ago, I saved a cat's life. He was hanging from a low branch by his collar. It took a while to revive him.

So why is it necessary for cats to wear these confinements? All for the sake of money? Isn't there some other way to gouge us for cash?




Congratulations, Daisy. Your advice to the napping pussies at city hall is the cat's pajamas. You've called a spade a spayed, and your eloquence, like that of your housemate, is up to Parrrrrrr.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 11, 2013 A14

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