Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/12/2010 (3367 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Appalled by treatment
Re: 'Three amigos' get evicted after photo appears in paper (Nov. 30). I am appalled by the treatment these three men are getting from what I thought was a great country.
First of all, they did not come here as illegal aliens, as others have been saying. They applied for a job and were hired as temporary workers under government regulations. Then the employers could not sustain their employment.
They did not come here by boat. Canada needed their services, mostly for jobs Canadians did not want. They did not steal our jobs. Give them a break. They are already scared to death.
Rodel G. Hernandez
Re: They'll tear down a parking lot to put up a really big parking lot (Nov. 27). Is there a sound reason why the City of Winnipeg is spending money on expanding parking facilities downtown (and partnering with private industry) when we are supposed to be planning for and constructing a state-of-the-art rapid transit system?
I thought the reason for the new transit system was to eliminate some of the problems of downtown traffic and parking. Spending money on expanding parking seems to me to be counterproductive to the message that has been relayed to us from city hall. What's up?
The southernmost sidewalks on Henderson Highway have been quickly and beautifully cleared. The sidewalks on the Disraeli Freeway, however, are near impassable.
For cyclists, they are impossible to travel on, and one is required to dismount, since all of the heavy, moisture-laden November snows are now frozen into large, icy lumps created by pedestrian footsteps.
Additionally, the sidewalk is narrowed by a snowbank that straddles road and sidewalk. Snowplows have pushed icing-like slippery snow loosely into the rightmost lane of the freeway, where bicycles are forced to travel.
This is one of the most dangerous road conditions for cyclists, since it greatly reduces traction even with studded bike tires. Why is there no safe place to cycle — or even walk — on the Disraeli? This is a tragedy just waiting to happen.
Regarding Lindor Reynolds' Nov. 24 column, Moment of discomfort better than the alternative, I direct you to a point made by Hitler's top military official, Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg Trials:
"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
Unfortunately, it works in today's Canada as well.
Re: Conflict is a certainty (Nov. 27). Despite his disclaimer that "the point is not whether Asper was fundamentally right or wrong" in accusing the Arab world of seeking the destruction of Israel and the killing, expelling or subjugation of all Jews there, Dan Lett's observations suggest he thinks otherwise.
Lett argues that the belief by many citizens of Western democracies who are neither Jewish nor Arab that Israel is guilty of human-rights violations is evidence of Israel Asper's "rigid, even one-sided perspectives" regarding Israel and anti-Israel bias.
Arguably, however, such beliefs may demonstrate the impact of the very pernicious anti-Israel media bias that Asper alleged. Although there are certainly exceptions, the public generally has little independent knowledge of Israel and the complex history of the Middle East. It relies on the media.
Here is a recent example of media distortion. On Nov. 8, Radio-Canada host Simon Durivage drew an equivalence between Israel, Iran and Sudan on the political talk show Le match des élus. Radio-Canada has since acknowledged that Durivage drew an "inappropriate comparison" noting that "Iran and Sudan were in no way suitable examples."
In a case of inversion and of minimization of the Holocaust, a recent issue of Adbusters magazine relies on images of the Warsaw Ghetto to make the comparison between the fate of Jews under the Nazis and the situation of Palestinians living in Gaza. Such analogies in which Jews become Nazis fit the working definitions of anti-Semitism employed by the European Union, the U.S. State Department, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
The organization Honest Reporting, which monitors mainstream media outlets and reports on significant lapses in accuracy, context, fairness and objectivity, has chronicled numerous other examples.
The point is very much whether Asper was right or wrong. The fate of Israel and Jews turns on it.
Many thanks to Belle Millo for responding to Dan Lett's mean-spirited piece about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Unfair to Jews..., Letters, Nov 30). Lett's article is consistently offensive, from its repeated use of the term "strident" to describe Izzy Asper's support for Israel to the quote under one of the pictures, implying people just donate money to museums so that they can get a tax write-off.
The article is only superficially an update on the museum. It is an opportunity for Lett to excoriate Asper in particular and Jews in general for their attitude to Israel. One of his points seems to be that Asper, by being so one-sided in his position, contradicted the whole spirit of the museum (which presumably believes that in many matters there is no demarcation between right and wrong). This article isn't a piece of reporting; it is a personal vendetta.
ER visits worrisome
Most Manitobans would disagree with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority mindset expressed Nov. 27 by Lori Lamont (Crime, growth boost ER visits) that a 25 per cent increase in ER visits to two major Winnipeg hospitals is not something to worry about.
Whether the increase in visits is prompted by an increase in housing starts (not sure of that logic) or crime-related violence such as stabbings or shootings, the increase by anyone's measure is significant and surely contributes to escalating health-care costs.
Presumably, a number of those violent crime ER visitors end up in hospital beds, taxing an already-strained system. Thank goodness for the Free Press in ferreting out information through Freedom of Information requests.