August 25 1980


August 25 1980


Rescue impossible

Your cover story on the current renewed interest in coal as an energy source is a timely and important one. (Coal's Big Comeback, July 14.) However, while discussing one solution to our energy problem I feel you have ironically demonstrated the real cause of the dilemma—energy waste. Too many Canadians, such as the young coal miner in your article, feel it necessary to “maintain a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, a four-wheel-drive Jimmy and a trail bike.” The real long-term solution is not coal or any other miracle fuel, but energy conservation which is also the cheapest, safest, cleanest, most longlasting solution and surprisingly painless, too. No amount of coal or anything else can rescue those who continue to live in a fool’s paradise of unending cheap energy. MARILYN R. WATSON, CORNWALL, ONT. They eat horses don’t they? Thank you for the excellent article concerning the consumption of horsemeat. (Leading a Horse to Slaughter and Prof-

it, Agriculture, July 14.) I have enjoyed horsemeat on numerous occasions and I hope for the day when the horse burger will outsell the beef burger.


I was upset to read your article about people slaughtering horses because they are worth more dead than alive. If they kill horses because they are worth more dead, I don’t understand why people don’t slaughter people—as obviously we are worth a lot more money dead than alive. All people think about these days is money. I’m 12, and by the time I’m 25 there won’t be any more horses left. How can we stop it?


No dummies here

Your article The Savin Deadly Virtues (Business, July 7) identifies an “industry source” as claiming that Xerox “sent a dummy candidate to a Savin interview to scoop their plans.” The facts are that Savin recruiters invited numbers of Xerox employees, and presumably others in the copier industry, to employment interviews. Some accepted employment offers with Savin;

most stayed with Xerox and many reported to us on the content of these interviews.


NTI Business Equipment Ltd. is one of two Canadian-owned and -operated distributors of photocopying machines, contrary to the statement made in the article on the photocopy industry in Canada written by Ashley Collie. As Maclean's is aware, it is extremely easy for a Canadian corporation such as ourselves to be overlooked in a sea of multinationals in this $630-million industry.


Hurrah for the volunteer

While I wish to congratulate Barbara Amiel for her excellent article on The Mature Woman (Lifestyles, July 7), I must comment that she appears to categorize volunteer work as a secondary pastime for only those women who are not full-time in the paid labor force. Volunteer work may still be an enrichment for the person who chooses to remain out of paid employment or is retired, but it must be emphasized that it is also an important factor in the improvement of the quality of life of all Canadians.


The law’s no asset

I enjoyed reading your article The 50Per-Cent Solution (Justice, June 23). However, I am a bit concerned that one of my quotes could be misconstrued. When I suggest that “It makes me see red when judges give orders—say to divide an RRSP—that can have the most astounding tax consequences,” I mean no disrespect for, or criticism of, judges. They have little option but to divide family assets, including RRSPs and pension plans, as required by the acts. The inequality comes from conflict between income tax and family laws. The federal Income Tax Act imposes a harsh penalty for compliance with the provincial family laws.


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Life in the fast lane

Having seen Mendelson Joe in the flesh around the time he began his fast, I must say that his protest would have considerably more force if he had not been in need of shedding more than a few pounds—which a month or two of fasting should just about remedy. (If You Don't Agree, Say So, Podium, July 7.) Next time I go on one of my occasional three-day fasts, I might as well kill two birds with one stone. If nuclear waste merits two months, three days should just about cover, say, the Toronto Island homes?


I would like to stand up and be counted, too. I share the author’s concerns relating to nuclear energy and wonder why, with the vast potential of alternative energy sources, our government and that of our neighbor the U.S. insist on continuing on a suicide course for our planet. Nuclear waste will be around for millions of years to come. How long does mankind have left?


One of the problems with the anti-nuclear movement is that it is so easy to identify it with a ’60s sensibility. This is, after all, the ’80s. Mendelson Joe’s more individual approach places the facts back in the ’80s. It is then that one realizes that there is a kind of mass insanity or conspiracy of apathy surrounding the control of the business of nuclear energy. As he so aptly pointed out, no one knows what we are going to do with this stuff once it has been used up. It is a problem that another generation will have to deal with. It is a problem that a future generation may very well condemn us for having left them. It all boils down to a question of risk. Is it ultimately worth it? Or, more importantly, should we look to the advocates of this business for the answers? It certainly appears as though this is what we have been doing.


But is the bard reading?

Robert Lewis did a very good job of making the story of the summit meeting interesting. I thought that the heading, The Merchants of Venice (Cover, July 7), was terrific. Whoever thought up that title deserves a raise in pay from Maclean's. I’m sure Shakespeare would have approved. Let us all be happy that there was no Shylock present to demand his pound of flesh.


A modest proposal

I feel compelled to respond to the implication in your article A Legal Blow to Abortion (U.S.A., July 14) that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling against providing Medicaid funds for poor women’s abortions thereby discriminates against the poor. The problems of the poor are not solved by encouraging the poor to kill their unborn children and then freely providing the means to do so. The solution is to eliminate poverty, not the poor. We are ignoring the most vital and necessary element of civilization-belief in the sanctity of human life. By demeaning the value of human life—by making it a qualitative value based on socioeconomic criteria, length of time of physical development and so on—pro-abortionists effectively undermine the most fundamental moral value that distinguishes the savage from the civilized within us.


An inch is as bad as a mile

Val Ross’s article Inch by Inch by Inch (This Canada, July 21) would have been more accurately titled Metre by Metre by Metre, since our map-makers have never used the inch on the ground. Some of your readers, with reason, may have been puzzled by her statement that “Canada was completely mapped, at a scale of four inches to the mile, by 1968,” followed later by “30 per cent of the country has yet to be mapped at the scale of 1 Vi miles to the inch.” What she was trying to say in the first case was “Vi inch to the mile,” and in the second case, “1 Vi inches to the mile.” She would have avoided these mistakes, been accurate and communicated better if she had stuck with the cartographer’s terminology and said: “Canada was completely mapped, at a scale of 1:250,000, by 1968,” and “30 per cent of the country has yet to be mapped at a scale of 1:50,000.” This illustrates the perils that beset the journalist who tries to do calculations involving those obsolete units, the inch and the mile. JOSEPH B. REID, PRESIDENT, CANADIAN METRIC ASSOCIATION, TORONTO

Another scent

I would like to disagree with Lawrence O’Toole’s review of the movie Honeysuckle Rose. (The Sun that Sets in the South, Films, July 28.) I found the film most entertaining. The music and sound production are excellent; Willie Nelson and company are enjoyable throughout. In my opinion, Honeysuckle Rose is one of the few films worth the price of admission.