Is Allan Fotheringham still around? We hope we are not too late with this letter because we want to avert a disaster of national proportions. Having singlehandedly installed Brian Mulroney as Canada’s new Prime Minister, Fotheringham concluded his Sept. 17 column, “The Rt. Hon. PM from Whimsy,” by saying, “My job done, I think I’ll move to another country.” Fotheringham’s job is far from done! How will we ever come to grips with Politics in our Time without the incisive, trenchant and razorsharp intellect of Allan Fotheringham? How can we mere mortals ever hope to understand the goings-on in the Village on the Edge of the Rain Forest without his guiding insight? Who will help us to separate “the masochists from the fruitcakes,” the Red Tories from the Blue Tories, the Rainmakers from the Hit Men if not Fotheringham? Without his wisdom and sagacity how will we now decide which is the Natural Goobering Party of Canada? Don’t do it Allan! Don’t leave us! We need you!
— MARC SWANSON, HARRY KATZ, Toronto
A questionable comeback
Two years ago then-Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon was the man ultimately responsible for the decision to send the Phalangists into Sabra and Shatila, even though he and his commanders knew that a massacre was likely. More generally, Sharon was the architect of Israel’s decision to saturate West Beirut and uncounted refugee
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camps with American-made fragmentation bombs. Now, almost two years to the day after Sabra and Shatila, we learn that Sharon is to be given a post in the Israeli cabinet (“A shared bid to ease a crisis,” World, Sept. 17). Could there be any clearer evidence of the moral bankruptcy of modern Israel? Further, apart from the Zionist fanatics in our midst who will support Israel no matter what, does anyone really believe that an Israel that appoints a man like Sharon to power is capable of initiating a just peace in the Middle East—that is, a peace that recognizes the just claims of the Palestinians in the homeland that has been taken to them by force?
— MICHAEL P. CARROLL,
A voice for all nations
Regarding “Danger on the Channel floor” (World, Sept. 10): The French ship Mont Louis was carrying 240 tons of uranium hexafluoride from France to be refined in the Soviet Union. The article states that Western nations reprocess strategic nuclear materials in the Soviet Union because of its competitive pricing policies. The danger of transporting such dangerous nuclear materials in order to save a few dollars at the cost of safety to humanity is horrendous—everybody loves to make a buck—but what is the greatest danger is the game of fear being imprinted in the minds of individuals by the two superpowers. When is the United Nations going to wake up and become a voice for all nations instead of being a puppet show for the two empires?
— LORRAINE LEISSIER FAOUAZ, Ottawa
The impact of the media
Your comment in the Sept. 3 Canada/ Cover, “Down to the day of decision,” concerning the public images of John Turner and Brian Mulroney strikes at the very heart of a problem that has infiltrated our political system—the growing impact of television, the other media and the proliferation of opinion polls. The game plan in politics today is fundamentally different from what it was just a few years ago. The cure is not to try to eliminate those things; rather, our leaders must, as you state, to themselves be true. But the media also have a responsibility. They must become more concerned with quality. I am sure the public is more than ready to digest real > issues if only the media would present them in an objective manner.
—GEORGE WAGDIN, Ottawa
After reading “Down to the day of decision” I called our local Liberal headquarters, and they assured me that, win or lose, they would be in complete support of John Turner. Perhaps you did not interview enough Liberals. Secondly, anyone who has read anything about Turner will know that he is highly competent and intelligent and that his intellectual attributes are balanced by a sensitive and kind nature. It seems incredible to me to see what the Liberal party and the press have put this man through. He could have been, in my opinion, an exceptional Prime Minister; his biggest problem has been fighting the Canadian voters’ desire for change and press assassination of his character.
— BARBARA MOWAT FOX, Stratford, Ont.
I thought the Aug. 20 editorial, “Reforming the press,” was a most appropriate subject a week before our federal election. It is disturbing that we live in such a media age that everything must appeal to the eye. The images are so important that the apples in the store must all be red, the displays attractive, the advertisements depicting youth, beauty and perfection. Can you then blame the politicians for wearing masks? After all, if they show a blemish we are the first to criticize and condemn them. Let’s face it. It is not just Mulroney’s and Turner’s handlers who want them to show a perfect image; it is also the public. It is a sad reflection on today’s society. —EVELYN HACHEY,
The status of women
A big cigar to Barbara Amiel for another of her “well-researched” diatribes on a subject she knows nothing about (“The politics of sexual harassment,” Column,
Sept. 3). Her support of the boys-willbe-boys school of sexual innuendo in the workplace reverses any progress women and men have made in the past 20 years. Perhaps Amiel has not heard, but it is not only women who have a “tendency to .. .the wearing of perfume.” Perhaps she has not heard anything about developments in human resources in the workplace because she is too busy with both the genteel Victorian ladies in the parlor and the ribald cigar-chomping brandy quaffers in the smoking room. Try joining 1984. —JANE WIDERMAN,
It is hard to know whether or not Barbara Amiel’s tone is meant to be taken seriously when she alludes to the Victorians as an example of society’s historical tendency to recognize “attitudinal differences between the sexes.” I suppose she is being ironic and knows we live in 1984, not 1884. While, historically speaking, society may have always recognized such differences, some of those attitudes have kept the status of women below that of men for hundreds —indeed thousands—of years. In the 20th century we can still hope that bad attitudes can be changed for the better.
And we can hope that the recent action taken by Kristina Potapczyk against her former employer, Allister MacBain, will accomplish something toward the elimination of sexism in the work force.
—P.J. WILSON, Halifax
Republican sour grapes?
Regarding all the furore over Geraldine Ferraro’s finances and those of her husband (“A feisty Ferraro takes the offensive,” World, Sept. 3): one cannot help but wonder if the roles were reversed and the vice-presidential candidate were a man with a real estate developer wife, would there be as much of a todo? Knowing Ronald Reagan’s opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, I think not. It looks like Republican sour grapes to me. More power to the lady.
— IAN CROCK ATT, Toronto
Watching the fur fly
I was pleased to see your even-handed article “The fur industry under siege” (Wildlife, Aug. 20). It may help southern Canadians to understand that northern and rural people have few economic options. Sealing, hunting and trapping are traditional occupations, carried out long before European man started dictating the lifestyles of native people. Expan-
sion of the trading sphere beyond village and tribal boundaries has allowed many northern villages to rise above the bare subsistence and welfare economies that overzealous animal rights activists, snug in their southern urban homes, seem intent on reimposing. And animal welfare lobbyist Richard Morgan’s comparison of northern native people and the guards at Dachau and Buchenwald
is more than stupid—it is outrageous. I wish every success to the Fur Institute of Canada and the Aboriginal Trappers Association. —DONALD BLOOD,
No laughing matter
The evening I saw the so-called “political morality play,” Red Dawn, it was often and loudly laughed at (“A last stand for democracy,” Films, Aug. 20). And political it certainly was. The movie, exposing itself as anti-peace-movement propaganda without a bit of subtlety, seemed to the politically astute as humorous (though just as dangerous) as catching Ronald Reagan thinking about plans to outlaw the Soviet Union and to bomb it in five minutes. A film that can blatantly turn the poor and oppressed people of the world into the enemy of democracy is about as heinous as any government that, in places like Central America, is making Western democracy as tyrannical as Soviet Communism. To most peace-loving Canadians, this is not a laughing matter. -REV. KEITH HEIBERG, Wynyard, Sask.
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