Letters to the Editor

WhatFinger

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

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was a great scientific that helped in our understanding of the Universe even if most people couldn’t understand his work. He was also a very successful author.

His work included Black Holes which may be symbolic as he did not wallow in a personal black hole when he became ill but rather fought it and showed that handicaps do not stop you.

His humor and wit was shown through his cameos on Big Bang Theory. A piece of trivia - he was the only person to appear on Star Trek as themselves.

A great role model for all.

By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Thursday, March 15, 2018

Twisted Twitter

Wikipedia gives ‘Bushism’ as linguistic errors in the public speaking of former George W. Bush and I wonder if there will be a ‘Trumpism’ in due time as I heard a similar error on the radio concerning President Trump.

The announcer misread ‘a Trump from President Twitter’ even though there may be some truth in this expression as he has appeared to pull a ‘Trump’ card from his pack with accepting the proposed talks with North Korea and announced it on Twitter. Some in the media have suggested that the President overuses Twitter as an ‘official’ means of communication and that not all of the tweets have met with approval.

What we need is clear communication of a clear message.

 

By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Sunday, March 11, 2018

“The Oceans will Boil”

Said the man in the ivory tower
Unless you stop wasting your power
The oceans will boil
And you’ll bake all the soil
And drought will wilt every flower.



By Viv Forbes - Sunday, March 11, 2018

Freeing the accused?

There has been concern when Malka Leifer, a Melbourne principal accused of child abuse was released from custody to home arrest on the word of a Religious leader. Putting aside the question of guilt or innocence till it is resolved in court it is still important that she face court. The issue in this case is that she left Australia 10 years ago when she was to face trial and has avoided court for the 10 years on various medical issues,  and the worry is that she will still avoid facing her accusers.

With the number of events that have come to light recently it is important that no accused escapes their trial and that they have an opportunity to prove their innocence or face the consequences of their actions.

By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Thursday, March 8, 2018