Letters to the editor – published

These are some of my letters-to-the-editor that have been published over the last few decades. There are a few more but I didn’t keep a record of all of them. Reading them now, I’m surprised some of them actually saw the light of day. Next up, I’ll post my letters-to-the-editor that did NOT get published.

– Gerold
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To the Chronicle Journal – April 1993

Re: “Hunters and Anglers Wait for Cards March 28

Ministry of Natural Resources official Ross Chessell must think we are all spineless cretins if he expects us to postpone fishing while we wait for his bungling bureaucrats to mail us our licenses.

It’s high time that government at all levels realized who’s the boss and who’s the servant.

Catch me at my favorite fishing spot; license or no license. I’ll let a judge decide.

– Gerold
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To the Thompson Citizen – Feb 8, 1995

Gwynne Dyer’s presentation “The Human Race: Escaping from History?” January 20, at the Letkeman Theatre was thought-provoking and James Ritchie’s subsequent reporting was both accurate and fair. Dyer admitted that he wasn’t telling us anything new but, was putting a “different spin” on what we already know. The problem is that his spin is misleading and deceptive.

Dyer’s message is that, globally, there is reason for optimism. On first hearing, this sounds positive. However, we do not live globally. We live and work and pay our bills and taxes locally. Dyer conveniently ignores the local impact.

He says that the world is seeing more democracy, less violence and greater economic growth. However, democratization, reduced numbers of wars and double digit economic growth is taking place in third world countries and not here in North America. Here in Canada, our socialistic welfare state is already somewhat democratic, we have no wars, thankfully, and our economic growth is pathetic.

Those of us who do not work for the government are faced with a declining standard of living, longer hours of work just to keep our jobs, less pay and fewer services from an increasingly indebted government that grows ever larger, more taxing and less effective.

It is noteworthy that Dyer hardly touched economics, yet almost all the questions he was asked after his speech were about economics. In fairness to Dyer, he does admit to being pessimistic about the environment. In future, he says our living standards will be reduced by increasingly powerful third world countries who will not tolerate limits to their environmental impact without sacrifices on our part. But, what bothers me about Dyer’s message is that he fails to mention that if our economy and government continue to deteriorate, there won’t be much left for us to sacrifice.

Perhaps Dyer should peddle his optimistic message to the third world. I for one ain’t buyin’ it.

– Gerold
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To the Chronicle Journal – June 1997

Re: a June 28 Canadian Press article U.S. Hospitals Sued for Overbilling, wherein U.S. hospitals defrauded OHIP out of more than $80 million. At a time of hospital closures and cut-backs, this is more than a slap in the taxpayers’ face.

What is interesting about the article is what is left unsaid. Why are alcoholics, addicts and psychiatric patients “lured” to U.S. hospitals in the first place? If we don’t have the facilities in Canada; why not? Have we closed them all? Is farming out our healthcare to predatory U.S. hospitals an admission of failure? It’s certainly an open invitation to over-billing and abuse. Are the inevitable rip-offs larger than the cost savings?

More important, what is OHIP doing to prevent recurrence of this fraud? There’s an old saying, “Hit me once, shame on you. Hit me twice, shame on me.” There are two parties involved in a fraud; the con and the sucker. Much of the article pointed a finger at those big, bad U.S. hospitals. Nothing was said about OHIP’s responsibility. Has OHIP learned from its mistakes or will the taxpayer get suckered again?

It makes one wonder: would OHIP have uncovered this fraud if other U.S. institutions hadn’t blown the whistle first? How much more fraud is the overburdened taxpayer footing?

Incidentally, that Canadian Press article is so blatantly biased and leaves so much unsaid it reads like an OHIP press release. I guess OHIP ain’t the only sucker.

– Gerold
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To the Chronicle Journal – Aug. 1, 1997

Re: Woman said to have bought prostitute’s baby for $20

On July 27, you reported the case of a Sacramento, Calif. woman who has been arrested and held in jail ”four years after she allegedly bought a newborn girl from a prostitute for $20 and raised the child as her own.”

Jail is hardly sufficient punishment for such despicable behavior; failure to fill in countless official forms (in triplicate, of course), refusing endless years of bureaucratic stumbling blocks in the normal adoption process and denying government workers the opportunity to justify their jobs.

It’s high time the authorities took that little girl from the only mother she ever knew. I’m relieved that kid was taken into “protective custody”. Everyone needs protection from motherly love. Placement in a government institution should inflict enough trauma to keep an army of social workers employed for years. And, on her fourth birthday yet! That should be young enough to suppress any inclination toward independence or self-reliance that criminal woman may have taught her. The kid was probably too happy for her own good, anyway.

Fortunately, the Sheriff has enough time on his hands to search for the prostitute birth mother so she can be forced to take back the child she never wanted. This unbelievable crime will show people the folly of trying to live their lives without government help; social workers who spend years learning to speak incomprehensible psycho-babble would be forced to seek productive employment. It boggles the mind!

– Gerold
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To Newsweek – August 10, 1998

Re: Science Finds God” July 20, 1998

SCIENCE HAS NOT FOUND GOD. Newsweek’s cover headline should have read SOME SCIENTISTS FIND RELIGION. There’s a vast difference between what some scientists believe and what they can prove. They have not proved the existence of God. That is a matter of faith.

– Gerold
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To the Chronicle Journal – June 30, 2000

I quit smoking cigarettes 10 years ago after numerous unsuccessful attempts. Having been addicted for 24 years, I used to have sympathy for smokers, especially since they are increasingly being treated as social outcasts.

Much has been said about the health hazards of smoking so I won’t repeat that but little has been said about the mess created by smokers. Over the years I’ve seen smokers empty their ashtrays out their vehicle doors or flick butts out their windows.

Until several days ago, I thought I’d seen everything. I was lined up at a fast food drive-thru. The ill-bred, brainless white trash in front of me casually leaned out his pick-up truck and butted his cigarette on the restaurant wall. I wonder how he’d feel if I butted a cigarette on the wall of his house or trailer or suite or whatever rock he crawled out from under?

I used to have sympathy for smokers. Not anymore.

Gerold
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To Macleans magazine – Apr. 23, 2001

So now the media want us to feel sorry for convicted criminals because it’s boring being locked behind bars.

What planet are you guys from?

– Gerold
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To Macleans magazine – September 15, 2003

As a life-long bachelor, I can’t understand why anyone would want to marry in the first place but, as a citizen of a democracy, I will defend the right of consenting adults to marry regardless of my opinion or some dogma-spouting churchman’s.

– Gerold
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To the Chronicle Journal – May 28, 2004

We should be shocked but not surprised by America’s abuse of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. America’s disregard of the Geneva Convention is nothing new.

Almost a million Axis prisoners of war died in the two years after the Second World War as a result of U.S. General Eisenhower’s policies. This was painstakingly researched in James Bacque’s book “Other Losses.”

More than nine million Germans died as a result of starvation, disease caused by malnutrition and expulsion policy in the five years after the war according to Bacque’s other book “Crimes and Mercies.” Incidentally, both books were published in Canada and Britain but not a single American publisher had the courage to do so.

As French political analyst, Alexis de Tocqueville, stated in 1835: “America may become great but it will never be civilized.” That still holds true today.

– Gerold
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To the Chronicle Journal – Feb. 17, 2005

Re: Gas price mostly taxes, so what’s to investigate?

It was only a matter of time before Ken Boshcoff joined the ranks of the shell-game shills and called for a useless “investigation” of high gasoline prices (“MP calls for gas agency” Feb 15). Since two thirds of the pump price goes to the government, what’s to investigate? The higher the cost of crude oil the more cash the government gets to waste on Adscam, gun registry, day-care, etc. in order to buy our votes with our own money. The only result of another such investigation is Ken Boshcoff gets free media exposure by pretending he’s doing something.”

– Gerold
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To the National Post – Mar. 7, 2005

Re: “Informed Sources – Are you listening, Janeane?”

Kid Rock’s comments remind me that Frank Zappa, one of the few musical geniuses of the 20th century, once said that most rock stars are not very bright and what they have to say is not worth listening to.

– Gerold
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To the Chronicle Journal – Apr. 18, 2005

What sort of nonsense are our political masters trying to shove down our throats now? We, the people, are supposed to be scared of another election.

Oh, really? A few weeks of Canadian politicking that can be easily ignored and an hour to vote the bums out of office is hardly frightening. It’s the governing politicians that are scared of another election. I say, bring it on!

– Gerold
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To the National Post – June 23, 2005

’No Use’ Coming to G8 Unless (PM) Martin Does Aid My Way’ Geldoff Says, June 22

Message to Bob Geldof: mind you own business. Nobody elected you.

Gerold
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To the Chronicle Journal – Oct. 7, 2005

Public support for the CBC has been conspicuous largely by its absence. Scrap the old CBC and save the taxpayers a billion dollars every year.

– Gerold

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To the Chronicle Journal – Feb. 7, 2006

There has been much in the news lately about the need for more government control to save our dwindling forestry resources. Are we talking about the same government that allowed over-fishing to destroy cod stocks on the East coast fifteen years ago? Is this not the same government that recently allowed over-fishing to destroy salmon stocks on the West coast?

What characterizes well-meaning, leftist, bleeding-hearts like David Suzuki is their naive faith in government. How long before we realize that government is the problem, not the solution? If government is the only hope for the preservation of our forest industries, then would the last person leaving Northwestern Ontario, please turn off the lights.

– Gerold
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To the Chronicle journal – April 14, 2006

This Easter weekend I though it would be fitting to announce my membership in an organization called “the Brights” which can be found at
WWW.the-brights.net. I joined because I consider myself an enlightened person, unencumbered with supernatural, mystical or religious beliefs.

I recently found myself at a private dinner and was asked to say grace. I politely declined but the host insisted. I realized that after a lifetime of studying religion (beginning with Sunday school at age six) as well as continuing my research into the origin and history of religion and belief, that it was time to stop pretending. I said “Rub-a-dub dub, thanks for the grub, Yay God. Lets’ eat.”

Needless to say, it caused a bit of a stir. I replied “next time, don’t ask a skeptic and atheist to say grace.” I may not be invited back but that’s their loss, not mine.

If coming out of the religious closet helps even one other person find comfort with their religious doubts and their non-belief then it will be well worth eliminating from my social life those who cannot accept me and my naturalistic world view. If anyone has a problem with this, that’s their problem, not mine.

– Gerold

Postscript: My announcement in joining the “Brights” (a name I’m not entirely comfortable with) was made at Easter, however the dinner at which I was asked to say grace was NOT Easter dinner and took place several weeks prior. I mention this because my letter to the Editor generated an angry response from one reader who ASSUMED my frivolous grace was said at Easter dinner. I could say something about lack of critical thinking skills indicative of the gullibility of believers but I won’t stoop so low.
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To Maclean’s magazine – Dec. 4, 2006

Investing in university

The question you pose about the economic value of a university education (“Should everyone go to university?” Nov. 13) has an obvious answer. No, not everyone is suited for a university education. However to imply that a degree in the humanities is a waste of time because a science degree earns more income misses the point.

Grade school teaches us the basics. In secondary school we learn how to learn because we will spend the rest of our lives learning. University teaches us how to think because critical thinking is necessary for a democracy to function in a world full of misleading advertising and sleazy politicians.

I was told a university education was worth if even if I didn’t earn a nickel more. That is as true today as it was 30 years ago when I graduated.

– Gerold
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To Macleans magazine – June 12, 2006

Women, especially picky women, can be the authors of their own misfortune (“I declare a chore war,” Home, May 29). Missing from the research in your story on the responsibility of domestic chores in the modern family is the notion of necessity. Researchers should go back and do interviews with bachelors to establish a baseline of bare necessity. In other words, is it really necessary to wash your coffee cup every time you use it?

– Gerold
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To the Chronicle Journal – Jan. 23, 2007

Not more government, please

Re: “United voice needed“, Jan. 20

As if we don’t have enough useless government agencies, now NOMA wants to create a Northestern Ontario Regional Development Authority (NWORDA) to solve the problems created by government in the first place. Government is the problem, not the solution.

Inept government regulation destroyed the East coast cod fishery; the West coast salmon and Northern Ontario forestry. NDP Bob Rae’s wasteful social programs were foisted upon Ontario Hydro’s debt load contributing to today’s exorbitant electricity rates.

Governments already extort more than half or our hard-earned income in one form of taxation or another, making us uncompetitive in today’s global economy. Now the local government gangsters want to shake down the provincial government gangsters to waste even more of our taxes.

The solution is less government, not more. Leave the marketplace alone to sort itself out. Leave more of our earnings in our pockets instead of robbing us in order to bribe us with our own money and making us dependent on incompetent, self-serving hoodlums who create more problems than they solve.

– Gerold
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To Macleans magazine – April 30, 2007

Re: “Is God poison” April 16, 2007

God is not poison because there is no God. Much human misery is caused by people who allow their minds to be poisoned by belief of any sort whether it’s religious, political or our new, mindless environmental eco-religion.

– Gerold
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To the Chronicle Journal – July 6, 2007

Atheism doesn’t kill but belief can

Re: “Don’t overlook devastating effect of atheism” June 30, 2007

Atheism is not a belief in the non-existence of a God. Atheism is the non-belief in the existence of a God. The distinction is important because the difference is one of belief versus non-belief. Belief is wishful thinking that is lacking in demonstrable evidence.
Henry V-’s letter of Saturday, June 30, commits the “straw man fallacy” (a form of misrepresentation) because it was not atheism that murdered millions of people. It was extreme political ideologies such as communism and Nazism substituting their political beliefs for religious beliefs that murdered millions of people. Atheism doesn’t kill, but belief can.

Religion is but one form of dangerous belief that has caused untold misery throughout human history. Granted, religion provides people comfort, but history shows that unfettered religion is extremely dangerous.

There are many forms of belief, some more dangerous than others. For instance, people who know the least about computers have the greatest belief in them. Anyone who questions the belief that an increase in carbon dioxide causes global warming faces a backlash bordering on fanaticism in spite of a complete absence of scientific evidence to support this belief – Al Gore’s junk science notwithstanding.

People murder for their beliefs. Nobody goes to war for science.

– Gerold

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About gerold

I have a bit of financial experience having invested in stocks in the 1960s & 70s, commodities in the 80s & commercial real estate in the 90s (I sold in 2005.) I am appalled at our rapidly deteriorating global condition so I've written articles for family, friends & colleagues since 2007; warning them and doing my best to explain what's happening, what we can expect in the future and what you can do to prepare and mitigate the worst of the economic, social, political and nuclear fallout. As a public service in 2010 I decided to create a blog accessible to a larger number of people because I believe that knowledge not shared is wasted.
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2 Responses to Letters to the editor – published

  1. gerold says:

    Thanks, Ken.
    I’ll be back.
    Gerold

  2. Ken says:

    Thanks Gerold
    I appreciate your honesty, It’s sometimes hard finding the truth, many know something’s wrong,
    Yet finding the truth sometimes is difficult because so many individauls will say anything to make a dishonesty. Thanks and enjoy the holiday,

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