What invention are you waiting for?
Apple’s new watch is sure to please Dick Tracy fans who have fantasized about communicating with their wrists. While many technologies dreamed up by sci-fi writers have become a reality, others – such as flying cars and jet packs – remain elusive. Send your futuristic gadget ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Re: Dive, Dive, Sigh, Michael Byers, March 4. Although Michael Byers’ article contains numerous inaccuracies, he raises one important question: “Why are submarines not included in the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy?” The question of future submarines clearly needs to be addressed, the sooner the better, given Canada’s lengthy acquisition process.
First, we need to put to rest the notion the requirement for submarines should be re-examined. This was done in the process leading up to the decision to acquire Victoria Class subs. Arguments against submarines haven’t changed, while arguments for submarines in an ever-more challenging global security environment have grown stronger. Continuing this discussion only serves to delay the acquisition process – which is probably what opponents want.
We need a procurement strategy. A decision on something as fundamental as whether to build in Canada or not would be a start. Many assume building in Canada is a “bridge too far,” but other countries with similar sized (small) navies do it – Australia and the Netherlands, for example. Taiwan is also developing an Indigenous Defence Submarine program.
Lessons learned, good and bad, from these programs would facilitate a Canadian program. If an offshore acquisition strategy is chosen, then associated Canadian industrial benefits need to be defined. Either strategy – build in Canada or acquire offshore – could eventually integrate with NSPS.Bob Bush, Commander RCN (Ret’d), Ottawa.
Hybrid cars the real threat
Re: Sabotaging The Electric Car, John Sydor, March 10. Saudi Arabia has no need to sabotage the electric car. Electric cars are not and – barring some unforeseen technological miracle – never will be a serious threat to gasoline-powered vehicles. The reasons are energy density and refuelling time.
Energy density measures the amount of energy a given mass or volume of gasoline represents, compared to the energy stored by a similar mass or volume of electric battery. A full tank of gas in a typical car represents about 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy. A large electric car battery pack represents about 50 kWh and weighs more than a tank of gasoline. The gasoline tank can be refilled in less than five minutes. Recharging a 50-kWh battery pack takes several hours.
Hybrid-electric cars, with a combination of electric drive and gasoline engine, are another matter. With appropriate design, they can provide better energy efficiency than gasoline alone. However, they still need gasoline, so Saudi Arabia has no need to fear them.Roger Graves, North Gower, Ont.
Man up and report violence
Re: Men Are Victims, Too: CAFE Group, March 10. Whether violence against men is slightly more, or equal or slightly less than what women experience, distracts the fact men experience it and there are no laws, resources, media pushes and social resources to help. Even if it was 5%, that is hundreds of thousands of Canadian men – like your sons and brothers.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne encourages women only to come forward, but nothing is said to men. This is although the pain of violence is clear: a slap is a slap, yelling is yelling, abuse is abuse.
Male victims must begin reporting spousal violence to police and keep evidence,. They must stop the male tendency to apologize or minimize what the abusers have done. Man up and report it – not man up and deny it.Nigel Chan, Brampton, Ont.
Honour our soldiers
Re: Reservists Denied Entry To Trendy Bar, March 10. It is a mark of shame a Canadian would even think about denying one of our soldiers access to a bar – or anywhere – let alone acting on that thought. Our soldiers represent our country and protect us. We should be honouring and respecting them.
Pride in our country, and respect for our flag and soldiers are things we often take for granted. Honouring our soldiers is something we tend to do only when they are killed in action. It is time we – parents, teachers, government – reverse that trend and make sure we honour and respect them all the time.Ruth Ekstein, Thornhill, Ont.
Re: Good Neighbours, Bert Archer, March 7. Bert Archer owes an apology to Puerto Vallarta for the insulting comment in his article. As someone who has spent many winters in the Mexican resort, I can assure you it is definitely not “awful.” Not least of its attractions are the incredible weather and a variety of amusements, both for the typical tourist and the many snowbirds.
His praise of Yelapa is incredible, considering he was only there for one day.Tom McGuigan, Barrie, Ont.
Re: Government And Court Set To Collide, Andrew Coyne, March 10. It is quite apparent the real reason Prime Minister Stephen Harper created the anti-terrorist Bill C-51. He has no desire to again run and hide in a closet, as he did during October’s Parliament Hill terrorist shooting. Fifteen quivering minutes alone in a dark cubbyhole would test the resolve of any prime minister.Richard Krieger, Victoria.
Re: Time To Rethink Daylight Savings, editorial, March 9. Saskatchewan did and does have Daylight-saving Time (DST). It began while I was a boy on a Saskatchewan farm and everyone I knew in our community hated it.
Most of them were dairy farmers. Twice a year, they dealt with cattle that weren’t home when they were supposed to be, or else home an hour early, bawling to be milked; production fell. A decade or two ago, Saskatchewan decided to leave the clock on DST. Residents are on DST year-round, getting up in the middle of the night in winter.Arnold Voth, Edmonton.
Baby boom Israel
Re: The Baby Bust, Noah Smith, March 9. While Noah Smith correctly identifies the demographic challenges faced by Western liberal democracies, his solution left me shaking my head.
Emulate France? France is an economic basket case, crippled by high unemployment and crushing debt. Many Western European nations with generous welfare states are also struggling with low fertility rates, calling into question his explanation for France’s “secret sauce.”
Finally, if he is really concerned about how to reverse declining birthrates, why doesn’t he look at Israel, which has – by far – the highest rate of members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development.Andrew Rosner, Toronto.
Keep politics out of death
Re: Tories accused of ‘Hiding Truth,’ March 10. As the National Post said so succinctly, “Defeating ISIS is an important goal, not just for Canada, but for humanity.”
Indeed, it is hard to fathom the extant of the jihadists’ depravity, supposedly in the name of God. Doing nothing is not an option. We – all those who do not subscribe to their twisted perception of their religion – are essentially at war with ISIS and those who plan our destruction. So what is “the truth” and how can it be conveyed without compromising those who are actively trying to neutralize ISIS? How can the efforts of our troops and those allied with us succeed if the exact nature of our involvement is made available to those are plotting our destruction?
Common sense would suggest keeping these details from public dissemination. Megan Leslie, the New Democrats’ deputy leader, might want to give some serious thought to the difficulties of accomplishing those noble goals. In the meantime, let us respect the sacrifice made by Sgt. Andrew Doiron and not politize his death.Douglas Campbell, Leduc County, Alta.