Being an avid climber I read your article on climbing, Muscling a Way to the Top (Sept. 24), with great interest. The sport of rock climbing has been served an injustice by your article simply because of the macho image which it portrayed. To suggest that the sport belongs to the bronzed and muscled is only to discourage others from experiencing the excitement of climbing. The most successful climbers are those who combine the factors of experience, efficiency of body movement, strategy, strength, mental attitude and, above all, ability to recognize their own personal threshold.
JOHN AMBROSE, MALLORYTOWN, ONT.
Piping out the sheaves
Your article Unclogging the Horn of Plenty (Sept. 24) regarding the Conservative government’s attempts to unclog the grain routes reiterates their lack of understanding of the mechanics of free enterprise. I am astounded that this new government would seek to add to the farmers’ costs by appointing yet another czar or commission to escalate costs. Building a second terminal and upgrading two sets of lines, only to have ships in both ports charging us demurrage would far exceed the amount necessary to make the system work. I suggest paying the railways enough money (not necessarily what they’re asking) to eliminate costly building in Prince Rupert, and the regular practice of downgrading wheat; and, if you tie rail rates to the amount paid in ships’ demurrage, we could cut out the studying and
talking to death of the whole problem, because grain would be rolling in as if we had a golden pipeline. The only other necessity would be to ensure no wheat product moved through any but Canadian ports. I challenge Joe Clark to try the very thing he said he wanted to docut back government spending and reduce civil servants.
JIM GREENLEES, LANGLEY, B.C.
Suits for successful men
Stephen Kimber in his article Getting a Second Opinion (Sept. 3) reports that faced with possible litigation by the
baby’s father, the doctors of Victoria General’s obstetrics department decided not to go ahead with the abortion. By opposing the right of women to terminate the lives of their unborn children, one does not automatically become a supporter of “shotgun marriages” or “wife beating.” The article also mentions that, to date, fathers of unborn children have not been too successful in preventing the termination of their offspring. However, it fails to mention a parallel where fathers have successfully sued for damages if their unborn child is accidentally killed or injured. The classic example is, of course, thalidomide. It is a schizophrenic law indeed which fails to prevent the intentional destruction of a child in the womb, but grants astronomical settlements to parents for unintentional damage caused in the womb by a drug prescribed for nausea. Abortion is not a panacea for social problems. Troubled families need compassionate, constructive help.
KATHLEEN M. TOTH, CAMPAIGN LIFE-CANADA, EDMONTON
Warren Gerard’s article Warner Troyer Takes Time Out for Kids (Sept. 24) leads one to wonder, once again, if the CBC is bent on self-destruction. I cannot believe that the producers of fifth estate are so lacking in acumen as to say that Troyer “doesn’t sparkle.” As far as I’m concerned, fifth estate lost its sparkle when it lost Troyer.
HELENE CARYK, SPIRIT RIVER, ALTA.
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William Lowther’s piece Emperor Henry's Court (Sept. 10) was a welcome pin in the Kissinger balloon. But Lowther neglected to mention one undercover trick: Kissinger’s role in the bloody overthrow of Chile’s democratically elected Allende government and its replacement by a military dictatorship. The thousands of refugees from Chilean fascism must find it somewhat ironic that Kissinger arrived in the New World as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
ANGUS M. TAYLOR, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
A plaque upon their house
I have just read Peter Newman’s editorial Perhaps U.S. TV Needs Only to Entertain, but Canada's Must Claim a Higher Mandate (Sept. 24) calling for a higher level of responsibility in Canadian programming. I agree wholeheartedly. We need programs that are more than merely entertaining; ones that challenge us to actually improve our lives in a deep sense instead of merely coping.
IAN RITCHIE, VANCOUVER
Peter Newman’s editorial proclaiming the coming year’s TV mush was most timely and threatening. May I suggest that it be engraved upon a golden plaque to be presented to the Canadian producer of the most memorable program of the year 1980. There won’t be many worthy of consideration, but surely there will be one.
HERBERT P. CREED, HAMILTON
On her own dime
A somatóse class at John Taylor Collegiate will rouse itself sufficiently to respond to several of Barbara Amiel’s observations on today’s teen-agers in Hanging Out at the Shopping Mall (Sept. 3). We regret that Amiel did not encounter any of our friends in her parade across the mall—they were all too busily engaged in frivolous activities such as summer employment, volunteer work and babysitting for working mothers. Her high-school teacher friends assured her that we are “a terrible lot.” They sound exactly like the sort of concerned, dedicated and optimistic teachers we need in our high schools— tremendously inspiring to their students. We appreciate Amiel’s “purely unscientific judgment” that we “are not concerned with improving or changing the world.” We realize that any hard, investigative reporting techniques (such as actually talking to one of those “pouter pigeons”) would cramp her highly subjective style. We are sorry Amiel was unable to discover any burning, bombing or passionate dissent going on in Toronto’s shopping malls. But, somehow we don’t feel that we are the generation with the problem—after all, Ms. Amiel was the one who inserted her dime in the sex machine!
JOHN TAYLOR COLLEGIATE, WINNIPEG
Explainer in the grass
The Eurasian milfoil has choked another channel, a communications channel. The plant that inventor Jennens, To Invent a Better Weed Trap (Sept.17), is trying to control is an aquatic weed, the Eurasian water-milfoil or myriophyllum spicatum L, not the milfoil that was illustrated which is the common yarrow or achillea millefolium L, a weed of dry waste places and roadsides.
G.W. ARGUS, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCES, OTTAWA
Games people plague
Let’s get our priorities straight. Who cares about discrimination of Americans in the Canadian Football League? (Passing the Buck on Canadian Content, Aug. 13.) The CFL has, through the years, called for protection from the Canadian government of the “Canadian identity” in Canadian football. This presumed preservation has, in my opinion, led to the expulsion of the WFL from Toronto, and has kept the NFL from expanding into Montreal. The truth remains that there is no Canadian identity in the CFL, only a low-grade American one. It says a lot when the top college player in the nation, Jamie Bone, can’t make it on one of the most hopeless teams in sport. It’s about time the CFL was made a showcase for Canadian talent, because, believe it or not, there is such a thing.
DOREEN VANDEWETERING, LONDON, ONT.
Once in a blue moon
After reading Bruce MacMillan’s comment (Letters, Aug. 27) that “if all Canadians were to learn both French and English, this would provide insulation against assimilation by the United States,” let me suggest that an equally sensible preventive would be to paint ourselves blue and dance naked under the full moon. If those who wish to speak French would simply do so, and cease thrusting an unwanted language on others, this would be a much happier nation.
R. G. WESTERGAARD, MENSA CANADA, PRINCE RUPERT, B.C.
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