Balance needed in ‘hateful letter’ issue

Note: While this is a local matter, it clearly demonstrates how people will often respond to difficult issues in an emotional rather than a practical manner.  My responses to the first two comments to my letter should set the tone for future responses, so let’s see how it goes!

And also, let’s see if “politically correct” considerations result in my comments, or even my original letter, being taken down.

This is exactly how the left attacks opposing viewpoints when it comes to matters of race, religion and immigration; dissenters are viciously stomped upon with little regard for truth, facts, or the right to hold dissenting opinions.

It might be an idea to read the editorial referred to first, there is a link between my letter (immediately below) and the resulting comments.

Jeff Goodall.

Re: ‘Hateful letter galvanizes Clarington community’, editorial opinion,, Aug. 22, 2013.

I think it unfortunate that this nasty, intemperate letter has resulted in a massive wave of sympathy for people who can indeed be a thorough nuisance, and who can seriously damage the quality of life for people living in close proximity to them.

I certainly wouldn’t want such a person living next to me, but if the fates were to make that so then I certainly wouldn’t react in that manner. We have various laws and ordinances covering loud noises and disturbing the peace, and they can be applied if efforts to reason with the parents of such children fail.

Unfortunately, the revulsion caused by the letter writer’s hostile tone and unfortunate choice of language has turned this into a one-sided issue, which could encourage the parents of such children to greater and greater heights of “entitlement” when they are asked to control the noise level.

Let’s try to maintain a sense of balance over this. It’s very rarely that one side is entirely right and the other side is entirely wrong.

Jeff Goodall


See the Oshawa This Week editorial here.

See Oshawa This Week “Letters to the Editor, August 26th, 2013” here.

The comments (they are published “most recent first” by Oshawa This Week, but are listed in order of appearance below), will be updated as necessary here:

By Dot | AUGUST 30, 2013 05:23 PM

Jeff, one wonders if you’d consider a kid kicking a ball around to be a loud noise too. Maxwell’s doing things that any other so-called “normal” child does. He grunts and squeals. That’s how he communicates. It’s not like he’s constantly revving up a motorcycle engine, for crying out loud!! You need to give your head a serious shake. Maxwell isn’t a nuisance and it sounds like you’re the one who has the problem. You need to show a little more compassion and empathy!!

By Annette | AUGUST 31, 2013 11:30 PM

Seriously??? I am so very very glad Jeff that you are a minority in our community. Fortunately and for the good of all children (both “normal” and “special”) your opinion seems to be yours alone. I totally understand your concern over “noise” in the community but I personally am able to distinguish between a lawnmower and a human being (but I am not sure if you can) and therefore I do not understand the need for balance. Your letter is ultimately no better than the original one…only difference really is that at least you had the guts to sign yours.

By Jeff | SEPTEMBER 01, 2013 11:18 AM

@Annette: How telling it is that you assume my viewpoint to be a minority of one. And your effort to equate my letter as “ultimately no better than the original one” speaks for itself; abusing the facts is not a viable alternative to presenting a rational point of view. I spent 20 years filing grievances for CUPE, and one of the first things I learned is the difference between what is “morally right” and what is “legally right”. It is very easy to jump onto whatever feel-good “cause du jour” bandwagon happens to be rolling through town at any given time, and I have no patience for emotionally-indulgent self-righteousness. Let’s deal with both the letter-writer, and the noise problem.

By Jeff | SEPTEMBER 01, 2013 11:19 AM

@Dot: I cannot agree with you that Maxwell “is not a nuisance”, and the fact that anyone could write such an intemperate letter clearly demonstrates that they had been pushed beyond reasonable endurance. That does not in any way excuse the tone of the letter, it simply means that we now have two different situations to deal with, the letter, and the nuisance issue. As for your comment to me that “it sounds like you’re the one who has the problem”, I can only say it suggests you suffer from an intellectual arrogance which causes you to believe that because you think you are right, anybody who disagrees with you is therefore by definition somehow lacking. Such a superior attitude does not help your credibility, in my opinion.

Update:  For some unknown reason, “Dot” decided to add a comment to this thread on May 28th, 9 months later, and I just noticed this and added my own response to that today… The link above shows the new additions.