Letters, Jan. 14


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Bad for whom?

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Bad for whom?

After reading the article about the sale of Lions Manor to private interests (“Lions Place residents worried about ‘renoviction’,” Jan. 10) I came across Peter Kaufmann’s letter to the editor (“Socialism bad for Manitoba”), in which he claims socialism will be devasting, and woe to Manitoba if the big, bad NDP come to power.

Kaufmann cites ancient history, of grocery-chain and railroad headquarters moving from Winnipeg to Alberta more than a generation ago. (CP Rail in 1996? That one’s on the Filmon PCs, one would think.) He gives no example of socialist evil — just let business do its thing, and we get an Albertan company specializing in “renovictions” coming to town, and his esteemed Saskatchewan opening the way for joe-jobs to replace family-supporting wages in the liquor retail industry.

Socialism… bad for whom?

Kevin Ferris


High cost for jets

Regarding “Canada confirms $19-B deal for fighter jets as ‘world grows darker’” (Jan. 10), the article refers to eight partners.

In addition to the U.S. and U.K., there are Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Canada, Australia and Denmark. If the eight refers to other than the U.K. and U.S., I’m not sure who it is. The seven I mentioned paid $4 billion to participate in its design, plus having first dibs at buying the F-35.

However, other than the U.S. and U.K., there is no guarantee they will participate in production of the F-35; any work handed out is determined by the U.S. Pentagon, on what it calls a “best value” basis, whatever that means.

With respect to the price, it is almost a given it will exceed the $19 billion, given the purchase is over an extended period, and that Lockheed Martin has had the tendency to add first-batch excessive costs into the next batch, such as occurred with their C-5A, and L-1011; not to mention its $600 toilet seat and $7,662 coffeemaker scandals. Nor is Pratt and Whitney inclined to do things on the cheap.

They both have certainly taken the U.S. taxpayer for a ride over the decades. (Read Prophets Of War, Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex by William D. Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.)

The usual claim of Russia or China being a threat is simply drawing back on the Cold War, since any such attack on us would produce a nuclear war. Given Russia’s incompetence in dealing with Ukraine, and taking the media at face value and not propaganda, any such war would trigger Article 5 and all NATO countries would be required to participate against both invading countries.

So, I think it will cost us double the price for the 88 aircraft. Also, under our bi-national military accord with the U.S., being the North American Aerospace Defence Commandx (NORAD), Canada is required to maintain the same miltary equipment as the U.S. and NATO forces, or what is called “interoperability”; hence, the F-35 and not a different plane (putting aside lobbying factors by Lockheed on our politicians). See also Stand on Guard for Whom? A People’s History of the Canadian Military by Yves Engler, particularly page 201).

Don Halligan


Things are getting Harry

As Shakespeare wrote, of an earlier royal: “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.” (King Lear)

Patrick Wright


We are embarrassed for the late Princess Diana’s memory and the British Royal Family for publicly laundering their problems for monetary gain.

As ordinary Canadians and no longer British subjects, we feel the British monarchy for Canada should just fade away, and enjoy life in harmony. They are ancient history and no longer relevant.

Joe Schwarz

Penticton, B.C

Re: Simply put, a shocking disclosure, Jan. 11

What struck me in Gwynne Dyer’s op-ed on Prince Harry’s “kill count” was its frequent reference to how fighters in wars are asked to do things that they “were not brought up to do.” Killing another is an intensely personal act that goes against a universal moral imperative. The distancing afforded by modern warfare may mitigate its violation, but the fact the Prince mentions it suggests that though he may not be “ashamed,” he is at least bothered by it.

It might be enlightening to try a little thought experiment: write down the names of 25 people you know and imagine you find out they all have died. Think about the many people that would be affected by these deaths: relatives, close friends, and work associates.

The same applies to the “25 kills” the prince reported.

Edwin Buettner


Bring back BUILD

I echo letter writer Joyce Loftson’s thoughts in her letter (“Program should be expanded,” Jan. 11).

On the opposite page, under the headline “Winnipeg needs programs like BUILD,” writer Anne Lindsey hits the nail squarely on the head when she says, “A comprehensive study of social enterprise in Manitoba, including BUILD, found training programs break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and positively impact trainees, families and communities.”

This program has already provided a path to economic participation for more than 1,000 people, which is a win, surely.

I am positive this outcome is precisely the one which all parties have been looking for, so I can see no earthly reason why Manitoba would not actively support the program.

Instead, we are informed the program is being dissolved. Since there has been no information offered that a better program, or initiative, is replacing it, I can’t imagine what the plan is.

Our province needs to step up… now.

Margaret Mills


Wishful thinking

Re: We might not be doomed after all (Jan. 7)

For all of Allan Levine’s enthusiasm in liberalism and progress, he barely conceal his own doubts and uncertainties in this ideology.

This is reflected presciently in his closing argument: “It is still better to remain positive.” Blind faith in liberalism amounts to nothing more than wishful thinking.

Furthermore, it is an example of historical ignorance, a strange mistake for a professed historian to commit.

Paul Robertson


Sticker shock

Re: Canada to buy $406-M missile system for Ukraine (Jan. 1)

Our federal government can dish out a billion dollars (that Canada must borrow) in military aid to the Ukraine, but cannot find any extra cash to give back to the provinces to help fix our collapsing health-care systems.

Go figure!

This is the kind of governance we can expect as long as we have the socialists and the Liberals running our federal government.

Cal Paul


Violence in Brasília inexcusable

I strongly condemn the anti-democratic violence seen in Brasília. The attack against all three branches of the Brazilian government, with apparent support from the Brazilian military, is a frightening and alarming assault on global democracy.

The international community must stand in solidarity with Brazil’s democratically elected government and support its efforts to uphold and defend the rule of law. Those responsible for this blatant attempt to undermine the will of the Brazilian people must be held fully to account.

Democracies worldwide must clearly and explicitly push back against antidemocratic efforts and embolden their commitments to freedom and justice.

Paul Bacon

Hallandale Beach, Fla.

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