Letters to the Editor

WhatFinger

Bring back Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

There are many people who prefer the old ways over the current with George Bush Sr. wanting life to be ‘more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons’ and if we look to the past with the tv show ‘The F.B.I.’ staring Efrem Zimbalist Jr. we see that the F.B.I. were the ‘good guys’ (the 60s were sexist and racist on tv) and nobody doubted their character or actions.

Now we see a President describing the past F.B.I. Director, James Comey, as a slime ball and saying that he lied under Oath. Although the world of TV often includes fictional components - including the 1998 WrestleMania hosted by Donald Trump - nearly all people in the real world see the F.B.I. and its leadership as honest and unbiased. There have been mistakes and corrupt people but rarely in the leadership.

We still need to believe in the F.B.I. and the people who protect us.

By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Thursday, April 19, 2018

Social media is uncharted territory that has the potential for great good and great evil

Social media is a product of our generation, it is uncharted territory that has the potential for great good and great evil. Sorting out the different pitfalls and fixing them will be tiresome and difficult. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in the Senate warm, not hot, seat this week as he was questioned mainly about protection of privacy and bias within the company.  One of the problems for users is the lack of competitive options. The other is that we are mostly old dogs for whom even this one new application came hard.

Still, users hold the power, if we are concerned about how we are treated by Facebook we can close our accounts. We also can check information and shine a light on stuff that is untrue. We are able to use Facebook for free because, like radio,  there are advertisers. Someone has to pay the bills. I do like the idea of having the same disclosures for political ads that we see and hear on radio, TV, and print material. I think voters need to know who is paying the tab.

And I for one, do not like the ad by Senator Bill Nelson regarding Facebook. It is just the sort of thing that causes division and strife and prevents honest conversations, solutions and compromises to happen.

By Guest Column -- Jennie Veary- Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Is there still a need for this job?

At a community carers forum today there were people from a number of related medical and carers groups, some politicians but also a representative from the LGBTQI support and protection services. It seems sad and that the world has a long way to go when there is need for such services - especially protection.

By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Wednesday, April 18, 2018

We cannot ignore a dangerous situation

Let’s say your neighbors have a volatile relationship. Usually they fight, scream, slam doors but one day you hear him threaten to kill her or you see him punching her. At what point do you have a responsibility to take action? Most of us probably think that how they live is their business until such point as someone is physically harmed or harm is imminent. And there is always the possibility of retaliation. One or both could turn on you for interfering.  Still, we cannot ignore a dangerous situation. In fact, the shooting in Parkland is a stark reminder of the outcome of ignoring clear and present danger.

If you take those lessons further, 6000 miles to Syria. How Syria (and other Countries) run their business is exactly that-their business. Democrats at one time and Republicans don’t want us to be the policemen of the world. But, for years the world has prohibited to use of chemical weapons. They are a horrific weapon with horrific results. How can the rest of the world look the other way? Syria crossed a line. Can you justify their actions in your mind? Can you pretend that this is ok?

“Evil prevails when good men do nothing”.

 

By Guest Column -- Mrs. Carolyn M. Brown- Monday, April 16, 2018

I’m sorry (that I got caught)

After hearing and reading a number of recent apologies that basically said - I’m sort of sorry if you think I did something wrong although this is not an admission of guilt - that I thought I would make some suggestions for the spin doctors to use.

The following might give some starting points and you can circle the words that apply.

I did…

This was wrong/illegal/immoral.

I ‘m sorry I did…(not just sorry that I got caught).

I will fix it by…

I won’t do it again/I won’t get caught next time.

Yes, I am an idiot/politician/sports person.

By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Sunday, April 15, 2018

Time to rewrite the book

The Bible includes the quote ‘An Eye for an Eye’ and this seems to be the current solution to the problems in Syria but there should be some consideration of the rest of that quote ‘…But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also’ and the Koran adds ‘But whoever gives charity, it is an expiation for him’.

There is already too much sadness from the bombings as no matter where or for what reason, innocent people - often children - are injured or killed. It is still time for talking and diplomacy even if it takes a long time. Many leaders and tyrants have found you cannot beat people into agreement only submission.

We must all keep looking for peaceful solutions.

Regards,

By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Saturday, April 14, 2018

Facing up to saying NO!

The solution to the Facebook Privacy dilemma is easy - set it, by law, as a default NO! or maybe NYET! at the start and reset every 3 months.

There are many forms that ask for information and in most cases you have to tick to accept their emails and often emails from ‘Third Party’ groups which are generally advertising. As part of the sign up process you could choose which options you want and that could include the following;

  • I am happy to share with everyone except for that weird kid in second grade.
  •  

  • I am happy for Facebook to make billions out of my data - It makes me feel valuable.

  • I am happy to share with the Russians - especially those nice women who write to me all the time.

  • I am happy to help the Russians elect Donald Trump.

  • Who cares - I am so boring nobody would be interested in my shopping preferences.

  • (Tick any or all that apply to you)

    The only other option seems to be to not sign up or never use it again.

     

     

    By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Thursday, April 12, 2018

    Wrong Clue

    The clue in a recent crossword was ‘Abnormally fat’ with the answer ‘obese’ but unfortunately it’s not abnormal but becoming normal. It’s time to stop doing the newspaper crossword, get out of the chair and go for a walk.

    By Guest Column Dennis Fitzgerald- Tuesday, April 10, 2018

    Humanity shuld be more human

    The search for proof of alien life has taken another twist with astronaut Buzz Aldrin having passed a lie detector test about having seen a UFO.

    There is no need to search that far for proof as the world leaders provide many forms of alien life starting with the humorous - a president with Orange skin and hair and then the horrific - a leader so inhuman that he would gas his own people.

    We don’t need to look to space for inhuman beings, rather we need to look to Earth for more human behaviour.

    By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Monday, April 9, 2018

    A Poker Bluff

    Apparently President Trump is going to ‘double down’ in the Tariff battle. This is real, not a poker game with a bluff being called, although there is something to be considered in the gambling lore of ‘A Smith and Wesson beats 4 aces’.

    By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Friday, April 6, 2018

    The real criminal collusion has the Clinton label

    The hysterical frenzy on the left for losing the election has not subsided, as evident with the continual maliciousness voiced by irresponsible elected officials, that feeds into the disgustingly crude liberal hyperbole. No question about it, there is no love lost between them, the mainstream media and President Trump.

    By George Giftos - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

    Places like California would lose House members if an honest count of legal voters was done

    Every 10 years we are required to take a census (tally) of the number of people in our country. Over time we have found it necessary to add pages of additional information, education, employment, what kind of house you live in and whether you rent or own, age, ancestry, internet use, health insurance coverage, whether you receive food stamps, income, fuel you use to heat your house and much more. But, oh the uproar at the suggestion that you would be asked if you are a citizen. Can there be a bigger hypocrisy?

    In my mind, the citizenship question should be #1. Much government planning is based on census data. In doing that planning, the number that are really eligible for some things is important. I would also contend, if we are not going to ask citizenship question, we shouldn’t ask all the other invasive questions and save money by doing a simple head count.

    The real issue here is not protection of illegals, it is about votes, plain and simple. Places like California would lose House members if an honest count of legal voters was done.

    By Guest Column -- Virginia Sparks- Wednesday, April 4, 2018

    The election of Pres. Trump has done little to improve the approval rating of Congress which stands

    The election of Pres. Trump has done little to improve the approval rating of Congress which stands at just 15%.  The American people consider Congress virtually useless, unable to solve problems or even agree on simple matters. That is probably the reason that good people like Jason Chaffetz and Trey Gowdy are leaving. They are frustrated with the inability to get the work of Government done. Who can blame them? Most of us see that Congress functions on reelection stats, all decisions are made with an eye toward getting reelected.

    Shame on Congress for abandoning their jobs and the American people.

    By Guest Column -- Linda Barrington- Wednesday, April 4, 2018

    Turn - Don’t Swipe

    Being that it was close to April 1st I thought the story that beginner students at schools were ‘swiping’ their paper books rather than turning the pages was a rather amusing April Fools joke but it was actually a fact.

    The members of the National Union of Teachers (UK) have reported that this now a common event. Apparently it’s a result of the overuse of iPads as a childminding device and the cost of paper books.

    As a child I was always happy to read a book and still do almost 60 years later although I read most newspapers online. Books rarely run out of power, they are ready the moment you pick them up and there are not ads at the bottom of the page.

    Print this letter out on paper and show your child how to physically read it.


    Regards,

    Dennis Fitzgerald

    By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Wednesday, April 4, 2018

    Tariff war: A numbers game

    After teaching Math for over 30 years I have taught a range of students including some who found it ‘challenging’. Even the least able were able to understand some simple arithmetic - if you charged someone $10 and they charged you $10 then nobody was better off and you were probably both annoyed. This works the same for larger numbers!

    Why can’t our world leaders understand this? A tariff war with matching increases will not help anyone in the long term. Get back to looking for positive approaches.

    Regards,
    Dennis Fitzgerald

    By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Wednesday, April 4, 2018

    Still a long journey to a peaceful school

    Recently Malala, the youngest Nobel Peace winner, returned home to Pakistan but didn’t find the peace that she promotes. For a person who left as a gunshot victim and returned as a Nobel Laureate the biggest change was in her and what she has achieved but until it is safe for everyone to go to school in Pakistan and many other countries the world has a long way to go.

    By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Tuesday, April 3, 2018


    Waiting for big announcement that everybody in Ontario gets free groceries for life for liberal vote

    Premier Wynne’s 25% hydro discount was to cost a minimum of 45 billion dollars for 24 billion dollars of hydro relief if the government could balance its budgets for 30 years in a row and now the Wynne Liberals have stated they will run huge deficits for the next 6 years if re-elected with zero thought of getting a balanced budget.  If they win this election they will continue to bribe Ontarians with their own money on the following election to stay in power.  As the Auditor General pointed out earlier this relief could cost Ontario close to 90 billion dollars if financed.

    By Guest Column -- Ross Ayotte- Monday, April 2, 2018

    “Upheaval” in the Trump administration

    There’s a lot of air time being devoted to the “upheaval” in the Trump administration. Let us remember that middle America supported this President and applauded his promise to drain the swamp. That is not an easy or quick thing to do. Many times vacancies are sought by more swamp creatures. And the parties are creating swamp creatures at an alarming rate.

    The example of David Shulkin comes to mind, under President Obama he served as an under secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department was failing our veterans, President Trump fired Bob McDonald and nominated Shulkin for the job. Shulkin was still an Obama era employee and it didn’t work out. At least give Trump credit for trying to work with existing staff.

    It has been wisely pointed out that all Presidents surround themselves with staff who hold and support the views of the President. Barrack Obama was the most recent and glaring example. His staff was of one mindset. And they helped him advance his agenda in his second term. His first term was spent on his own re-election.

    This President has made mistakes but he has also accomplished more in one year than most Presidents accomplish in a 4-year term. And he certainly is not spending exorbitant amounts of time in front of the cameras. He is working. Polls show that nearly half of us see these truths.

    By Guest Column -- Wilma Howe- Sunday, April 1, 2018

    Wrong Date, Maybe

    A local newspaper (“The Australian”, March 31) had an article headline I never thought I would or should see “Who do you believe, the President or the porn star?” Surely this would be more appropriate the next day - April 1.

    By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Saturday, March 31, 2018

    Children, listen up. Do you know the meaning of hypocrisy?

    Children, listen up. Do you know the meaning of hypocrisy? It means insincere or hollow. Your “March for Our Lives” was your cry for school safety, or at least I thought so. You think the 2nd amendment is a bad law, You want restriction placed on the right to bear arms. You feel that would keep you safe. Here’s the hypocrisy part, if you were truly concerned about your own safety, you would welcome a rule requiring clear backpacks. But you don’t like that rule, do you? It infringes on your constitutional rights, you say. Critical thinking is necessary to understand that constitutional rights belong to everyone, not just you.

    I think some serious civics education is in order. We, as Americans have rights. This is a free country. As long as people can move about freely and are not (hypothetically) subject to undue government interference or restriction, there could be danger. But, taking away freedoms is a slippery slope.  And, the fact of the matter is that the Constitution reads like this: Amendment IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. That means they can’t search your backpack without a reason. It does not say that the school can not require clear backpacks or ban backpacks all together.  And, it doesn’t say that school can’t have rules. They have lots of them and we should be glad they do.

    By Guest Column -- Alice Vann- Thursday, March 29, 2018

    Switched off

    Julian Assange has had his Internet access cut off and the world knows about it, although obviously not from him.

    He has made the use of the Internet his tool or weapon to spread information that others don’t want spread and this has made him a number of enemies but seemingly few friends. With the spread of so much fake news there is a need to spread real news even if it is confronting, although there have been concerns that he may have endangered a number of people as well.

    To most of us being offline, even for a few hours, is horrifying and we will miss the latest Twitter from some Twit or an Instagram photo of the perfect breakfast. Our lives would lose meaning - well, actually it might gain some meaning.

    Perhaps the Ecuadorian embassy should allow him incoming messages only. He has raised awareness, confronted a number of issues and maybe carried the torch of truth but it is time for him to come out and sort out his own life first.

    By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Thursday, March 29, 2018

    Dough lost in translation

    A recent discussion with a friend from the Bakery industry reminded me of the line from the classic British comedy ‘Fawlty Towers’ - He’s from Barcelona!

    Their business was having trouble taking orders from some small franchises as no one there spoke any English. Although people should retain their culture and language there is a need for a minimum level of contact with others. If you cannot place an order then you cannot get any products into your shop.

    We all need to rise to the occasion and connect with our neighbours and community and this involves everyone learning how to communicate directly although the use of online supermarket ordering systems could be modified to work with any industry and their needs.

    Let’s keep what we have already got and then go out there to gain more, especially language skills, so we can contribute more.

     

    By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Wednesday, March 28, 2018

    State, local income taxes, property taxes and sales tax all hit record highs in 2017

    State, local income taxes, property taxes and sales tax all hit record highs in 2017. It is easy to understand why. More people are employed, businesses are growing, new homes are being built, and people are spending money. Yet even with all this, governments want more. They have an insatiable appetite for money, our money. There is never enough.

    They build facilities which need maintenance. They permit housing developments without the infrastructure to support them. They give tax breaks to encourage more development which then saps services. They run buses with no passengers and buy fleets of higher-priced vehicles. The ways to cut spending are numerous and obvious.

    As voters and citizens, we must not be fooled by the emotional pleas. Take a good look at budgets, both income and expenses. I bet you’ll find, historically, government will spend whatever it takes in and ask for more - more school taxes, more local sales taxes, higher property taxes. Well, guess what? This economy has given them all of those just by being vital.

    And when the next downswing happens (and it will), there won’t be a penny saved and they’ll be crying for more.

    By Guest Column - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

    Bill 71

    Mr Goodale, if you wish the general law abiding Canadian citizen not to be in possession of firearms for what ever reason you, your party or the United Nations can come up with, why then don’t you just come and take them ?

    You have the entire Armed Forces and RCMP not to mention the Ex-Officio (armed) departments of this great country at your disposal, so why not use them? It would be quite decisive and at a much lower cost and a more or less complete disarmament of the honest citizenry.

    The liberals, etc, could then proceed with whatever nefarious plans you may have for ultimate control over the people of Canada.

    Are you afraid that we won’t like what you have planned for us?

    At this point, Mr Goodale I really do not believe you are a honest Canadian with the good of Canada and its people at heart. I believe you and the Liberal party are a huge lot of cowards bowing to the wishes of the UN.

    There is still time to correct this mistake, we were screwed once by the liberals but we will not be screwed twice.

    You will notice that I have not mentioned the PM in this letter because he is of no consequence just someone who was pushed to the head of the line to take the heat. The sad thing is he is too simple to realize it.

    I feel sorry for Sophie and the children.

    Please sir, give us good reason to vote Liberal in the next election.

    By Guest Column -- Bud Young- Tuesday, March 27, 2018

    Disturbing that our children are being subjected to adult biases, in the guise of education

    The story about the California school teacher who, back in January, told his class that that members of the U.S. military are the “lowest of the low” has finally been put on administrative . His remarks were inspired by a 17 year old boy wearing a Marines sweatshirt. There is so much wrong with this picture that we must question what took so long? In one statement he insulted the student, disparaged the military, and displayed distain for other members of the community.

    We appreciate our teachers but we expect them to keep their personal biases to themselves. I remember the worse argument I ever had was with a teacher who said,  “Doers are not thinkers and thinkers are not doers”. I was insulted for my blue collar family members who could also wipe up college graduates at Trivial Pursuit. I was defensive of my grandmother who was one of the most thoughtful and well read people I knew but who also was a hard worker. It was, as was the incident in California, an elitist self important attitude by a teacher. I have never forgotten it.

    Frankly, I find it disturbing that our children are being subjected to adult biases, in the guise of education.

    By Guest Column -- M.A. White- Sunday, March 25, 2018

    The Senate proposal to ease some of the Dodd-Frank rules will help stimulate the housing market,

    The Dodd-Frank Banking Law was designed and enacted after the 2008 boom and bust of the housing market. It was created to protect the public from continued taxpayer bailouts of failed banks. It greatly tightened regulations on the banking industry. All the current hoopla about loosening those regulations overlooks a critical point, that under Bill Clinton, banks were forced to make bad loans. The Clinton administration wanted more or most people to own homes. In order for that to happen, banks had to make subprime loans to people who had no money down, who had poor income to loan ratios, and who even had credit problems. Dumping all those people into the housing market resulted in drive-by appraisals, poorly assembled loan packages, credit default swaps and derivative speculation. The situation was exacerbated by the Greenspan policies that kept interest rates way too low. Dodd-Frank’s higher reserve requirements caused banks to hold more of the deposited money to meet those reserves so there was less money to lend and a real hesitation by banks to make even very good loans.

    The Senate proposal to ease some of the Dodd-Frank rules will help stimulate the housing market, which in some places is so deficient that low and middle income earners cannot afford a rental much less to own a home. It will help community banks while still keeping a tight rein on the very large institutions. Dodd-Frank has some good points regarding banking practices which are only going to be effective if we remember how we got to the bursting of the bubble. If we have learned nothing else, let us remember that lending to people who have no ability to repay only hurts them and the lender.

    By Guest Column -- Malcolm Williams- Friday, March 23, 2018

    It might be easier to believe some news stories if the hypocrisy wasn’t so blatant.

    It might be easier to believe some news stories if the hypocrisy wasn’t so blatant. Have you seen pictures of Al Gore’s 9 million dollar mansion which is reported to use nearly $3,000 worth of energy a month? Kind of hard to listen to him tell us to reduce our carbon footprint. Or how about Bernie Sanders showing up at an anti-gun event while being escorted by armed guards?

    By Guest Column -- Margaret Grover- Wednesday, March 21, 2018

    Facebook faces a drop in it’s book value

    The drop in stock market prices is now being attributed to Facebook’s value or lack of value.

    Why is my retirement fund taking a drop because of facebook which is designed to keep you in contact with people you don’t know or don’t want to and show you ads for products you didn’t know you needed?

    There should not have been a surprise that a company such as Data firm Cambridge Analytica was a user of Facebook that collected, collated and considered and potentially corrupted the political system.

    It ‘s time to face the truth and turn Facebook off so that we can live our own lives and not an online one.

    By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Tuesday, March 20, 2018

    The breaking news that Vladimir Putin has won the election - again - should not surprise anyone or r

    The breaking news that Vladimir Putin has won the election - again - should not surprise anyone or really be a news item.

    He has used a number of effective strategies that are not available to most politicians including jailing your opponents although declaring them ineligible does seem to occur in a number of countries.

    For true leadership to occur it must be with the support of the people and not with rigged election - a number of African countries, not with a family tree - North Korea nor appealing to mainly the disenfranchised - the USA.

    If readers have the time, they could count on their fingers the number of countries that have leaders that are freely elected with the support of the masses and that are making their county better. Don’t worry - you won’t run out of fingers.

     

    By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Monday, March 19, 2018

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