It enrages me to see that the heavily subsidized CBC needed from 1977 until two weeks ago to change the viewing time for the news and to come up with a Canadian ripoff of ABC’s Nightline (Cover, Jan. 18). As for The Journal, poor Ms. Finlay is assigned little more than the announcement of commerical breaks. Barbara Frum shows a lot of political favoritism and has a nasty habit of constantly interrupting guests and allowing two people to speak at the same time. Is this the production Frum thinks “Canadians have deserved all along?” I don’t think I can take a second week! —BOB MARTIN,
The facts about the great one
As long as Maclean's devoted a triviafilled three paragraphs to Wayne Gretzky’s record-smashing 50 goals in 39 games (Sports, Jan. 11), you could at least keep all of the facts correct. It was early last April when Gretzky set the new records of 164 points and 109 assists, and he had already been 20 years old for nearly four months, not 19, as you stated. — c. WOLTERS,
Blood money and the mass media
I am appalled at the self-righteous hypocrisy exhibited by the media regarding the payment of money to the family of mass murderer Clifford Olson in B.C. (Canada, Jan. 25). Newspaper,
magazine, TV and radio people have been doing the same thing for years in competition to obtain, at fabulously high prices, the exclusive stories of murderers, thieves and robbers. If it can be proven that people are, or have been, committing crimes in the hope or expectation of a payoff, then all payoffs should be made illegal. —ERNIE LONG, Burlington, Ont.
Trivia and insinuation
Your description of Allan Gotlieb (Profile, Dec. 7), the new incumbent of Canada’s top diplomatic job abroad, was both silly and mischievous. Silly, because instead of evaluating for your readers Gotlieb’s accomplishments— not a word about what he achieved at the communications, employment and immigration or external affairs departments—we were treated to fatuous gos-
sip about such trivia as his taste in home furnishing and the color of his suits. Mischievous, because your writer manages to insinuate that his appointment, which follows a well-proved Canadian tradition of selecting former undersecretaries of state for external affairs as particularly equipped to represent Canada in the United States, is something less than a happy one.
— R.M. TAIT, Ambassador, Canadian Mission to the European Communities,
Missing the mark
Neil Boyd’s Taking a Well-Aimed Potshot (Podium, Jan. 18) is, instead, well off target. He suggests that relaxing the drug laws will not increase marijuana use. Of course it will. Ask any police officer in Ontario, for example, what happened when the drinking age was lowered from 21 years to 18 years. The only reasonable thing that Mr. Boyd said was that he would not encourage his students to use the stuff. I imagine a few parents will be relieved to hear that. —JOHN TRANTER,
Don Mills, Ont.
An estimated $60 million to $100 million of the Canadian taxpayers’ money being spent for the prosecution of marijuana offenders is ludicrous. Although I neither condone the use nor the legalization of cannabis, I do believe the time is ripe for the Ottawa bureaucrats to reevaluate the Le Dain commission’s recommendations. To impose incarceration on users of cannabis is both insulting and an infringement on the human rights of the individual. -BEA TAYLOR, St. Catharines, Ont.
Setting the record straight
The cover story God’s New Warriors (Jan. 4) contained outdated and erroneous information about our country, especially when it said, “In the Philippines today, all media is censored under martial law.” To set the record straight, martial law was officially terminated by President Ferdinand Marcos on Jan. 17,1981. Press censorship, imposed for a brief period at the start of the emer-
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gency rule, was lifted in early 1973even when the country was still under martial rule. —HONORIO T. CAGAMPAN, Consul General of the Philippines, Toronto
In your cover story, the article The Might of the Righteous describes Dr. C. Everett Koop’s two-day presentation, Whatever Happened to the Human Race, as a multimedia extravaganza. One would wonder if your writer has even read Dr. Koop’s book of the same title. Does he believe that more than 10 million abortions in the U.S. since 1973 and more than half a million in Canada since 1969 have benefited the human race? Does he expect that the everincreasing proportion of the population over 65 will be supported by a small proportion of taxpayers some 26 or 30 years hence? If human life is not sacred, euthanasia is not as unthinkable as legal abortion once was.
— KATHERINE McPHERSON, Oro Station, Ont.
As a Christian, some of the assumptions underlying your cover story on “militant” religion upset, but did not surprise, me. You say, “When religion and politics mix, it is religion that loses its credibility.” If this is true, you have thrown out the entire Bible. In it religion and politics are not separated: a widespread misinterpretation of scripture results in a “dualism” separating the “secular” from the “spiritual,” but biblically there is no such distinction. When something is radically wrong with the society and the economic system within which we live, as it is with ours, to be faithful requires being “radical.” Jesus was not killed for calling people to sit in comfortable pews.
— REV. JANET SILMAN, Toronto
Clash between faith and reason
It was ironic to see in your overview of last year’s science and technology (Images of ’81, Dec. 28) the offhand reference to “so-called scientific creationists” shortly followed by the casual admission that order in nature (Saturn’s rings) is proof of an orderly creator, God, and not random chance. While scientific creationists are accumulating a wealth of evidence to support their position, the evolutionist camp, faced with the growing disparity between its hypothesis and scientific data, is resorting to such fantasies as “Mother Nature,” the “Miracle of Evolution” and extraterrestrial beings for support. Perhaps there is a clash between “faith and reason,” but the sides have been reversed.
—DR. P. WHATLEY, Emo, Ont.
Credit where it is due
I would have enjoyed your article on Toronto’s new Massey Hall and its technical wonders (Refining an Architectural Tuning Fork, Technology, Jan. 4) even more had you not omitted to mention the name of the great lady whose work was instrumental in the creation of the unique “acoustic chandelier.” Mariette Rousseau-Vermette is one of Canada’s most respected fibre artists. She devoted years to helping architect Arthur Erickson and acoustician Theodore J. Schultz plan and execute the vertically adjustable acoustical banners.
—ELFRIEDE BUDGEY, Truro, N.S.
Tensions in the subcontinent
Peter Niesewand’s article on the buildup of aggression between India and Pakistan, The Darkening Clouds of War (World, Dec. 14), gives an incorrect impression of the relations between the two countries. India is a peaceful country, not because it is fashionable to talk of peace, but because peace is the very fibre of India’s makeup. Since Pakistan’s independence in 1947, the U.S. has repeatedly equipped it with the latest military weaponry, which Pakistan has used for the sole purpose of launching new military adventures against India. Pakistan continues to illegally occupy nearly half of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and has seldom respected the United Nations’ supervised ceasefire. Moreover, Pakistan continues to be ruled by a handful of self-appointed military brass whose main plank for survival is suppression at home or the bogey of war against India. —YASHWANT RAI,
Back to the history books
I read Barbara Amiel’s column in order to be amused by her right-wing kneejerking just as I am diverted by leftwing simplicities. But her most recent incantation (Stop Butting the Guy With the Bread, Jan. 4) is not at all amusing; it is blatant—and insulting—political pamphleteering.
If Amiel can find “no good reason for Canadian nationalism or our separate identity from the United States,” then she should read more Canadian history—and more American history. In fact, generally she should read a lot more and write a lot less.
— LARRY BLACK, Ottawa
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