Letters to the Editor

Rating: NNNNNMedia's tie to war-makersyour upfront item coverage That Bombs (NOW, April 25-May 1) notes that the New York Times.

Rating: NNNNN

Media’s tie to war-makers

your upfront item coverage That Bombs (NOW, April 25-May 1) notes that the New York Times buried the story of the U.S. bombing of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan on page 15 and failed to be the least bit critical of the U.S. military.

The item ends with the glib question: “Times tied a bit too close to Bush’s war machine?” Well, no closer than any other big mainstream media, and definitely less so than the Wall Street Journal and CNN, whose programming of late has the air of being produced by the Pentagon’s public relations department.

It’s not a question of the Times being “tied” to the war-makers in Washington. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is not on its editorial board. It’s just that members of the ruling elite, which includes big media, all tend to view the world the same way.

Surely, a squib-writer for an alternative, moderately leftist publication understands this.

Dana Cook, Toronto

Friendly fire cover-up

as much as i hate to say it, what would be the point of investigating the “friendly fire” incident in which Canadian soldiers were killed? By now everything and anything related (to it) has already been shredded!

Derek Murray, Toronto

PLO lacks moral authority

john bacher is right to suggest that Canada has failed to help foster non-violent Palestinian resistance to the occupation (NOW, April 25-May 1).

In opposing Israel’s policies of home demolition and settlement expansion, the Palestinians would indeed wield greater moral authority than with suicide bombings.

What a difference it might have made to the ill-fated Camp David summit if there had been a Palestinian counterpart to Israel’s Peace Now movement.

Sheldon Gordon

Canadian Friends of Peace Now, Toronto

Condoning civilian deaths

simon rosenblum of the canadian Jewish Congress seems to condone the killing of innocent civilians (NOW, April 25- May 1).

How else is one to interpret “One stands in awe of (writer Ellie Kirzner’s) moral equivalency between deliberate terror and inadvertent casualties”?

Exactly which “inadvertent casualties” is he talking about? The ones produced out of the barrel of Israeli M-16s?

Perhaps the policy director of the Canadian Jewish Congress might like to explain how he allows his organization’s name to be associated with such views.

Max Blanco, Toronto

Hiphop’s changing tune

it does seem ironic that the American hiphop nation that in the past dissed its own country’s policies toward the world (and toward the African-American community) has now joined the flag-waving crowd in support of the “war on terrorism” (NOW, April 25-May 1).

But perhaps this will all turn around. During the Vietnam era, most people were singing the jingoistic classics The Ballad Of The Green Berets and Hello, Vietnam.

By the time the Tet Offensive smashed the mighty American military ego, the whole country was screaming to get out and singing the I’m A Fixin’ To Die Vietnam Rag.

So let Nas’s My Country and Rule and Spearhead’s Bomb Da World get shelved for now. But if America continues this blood-lust “war on terrorism” and more U.S. body bags start arriving, don’t be too surprised if these tunes start popping up on American airwaves on a regular basis.

After all, history does tend to repeat itself.

Julian Bynoe, Toronto

Disregard for disabled fans

eli shupak’s experience with accessible seating at the ACC is all too familiar to me (NOW, April 25-May 1).

I’m the able-bodied father of a nine-year-old sports fanatic who recently saw his heroes play for the first time at the Air Canada Centre. After going through hoops to get disabled seating for two, we, as Eli did, found our section filled with able-bodied people who seemed to come and go as the game wore on.

This experience has not been limited to the ACC, but has been repeated during visits to Skydome. The most annoying thing about our outing to the Dome was the disregard the fans in the row directly in front of us showed for our enjoyment they stood up for long stretches and completely obstructed our view during crucial plays.

On my son’s behalf, I’m asking the people in charge of seating policies in Toronto’s sporting venues to review their procedures to ensure fair and enjoyable experiences for all.

Bill Towgood, Toronto

Mammoth waste of energy

thank you for the article on ITER, the nuclear fusion reactor proposed for the Darlington nuclear station east of Toronto (NOW, April 25- May 1).

ITER, often pronounced “Eater,” certainly is an “eater” — of mostly public money that would otherwise be available for investment in conservation and wind and solar energy, a path that we want to, and ultimately must, take anyway.

The bloated scientific egos pushing ITER repeat the old refrain of a cheap, clean, safe, inexhaustible supply of energy — if only we would bear with them while they take at least 10 more years to try to figure out how to do it with inexhaustible taxpayer subsidies.

Unbelievable as it may sound, ITER promises not one watt of deliverable electricity and in the end leaves the public purse virtually empty.

To add fuel to this conflagration of public funds, and in common with Darlington and Pickering, the project is guaranteed to be plagued by cost overruns, radiation leakage and other safety concerns.

Fusion reactors require large amounts of tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen known to cause cancer and birth defects.

If we really want to show the world how smart we are, we had better catch up in energy efficiency, conservation, solar and wind. Canada currently produces 137 megawatts of wind energy, while Germany stands at 6,100, Denmark 2,140, Spain 2,250 and the USA 2,500.

Henry Kock, Guelph

The Hydro scramble

like most ontarians, we believe the sell-off of Hydro One is an exceptionally bad idea (NOW, April 25-May 1).

It’s even more important now than ever to remain vigilant and keep our utility in public hands. Certainly, most of the media have been irresponsible in their coverage of the privatization so far.

The Globe’s reportage of the court ruling was only concerned about how the delay would play on Bay Street.

Let’s not forget that deregulation left the state of California with brown-outs and price spikes (courtesy of Enron’s for-profit manipulation of the state’s energy grid). And it’s left the Alberta government scrambling to issue cheques to its citizens to offset the increased costs that appeared on their energy bills.

John Abrams

Carla Garnet, Toronto

Living that’s disconnected

excellent article by liz clayton on condo living in the downtown (NOW, April 18-24). Liz put into words what I have felt at an unconscious level for some time about what’s wrong with that disconnected lifestyle. Thanks.

Vern Short, Toronto

Saved by Powell

with the spectacular timing of a very young David Niven, some genius at Cinematheque decided to schedule a Michael Powell retrospective in April (NOW, March 21-27).

Given the extended and very boring nature of snow, grey, rain, sleet, snow (ad infinitum and ad nauseum), which this Anglo bloke is simply not used to, Powell’s flicks prevented one from being dragged off kicking and screaming to the Old JimJam Club in double time.

And Powell’s masterpieces (for they are nothing but true masterpieces) were the only thing that stopped one donning the old Hiawatha headdress and Turkish army trousers and goose-stepping the length of Yonge Street whilst whistling The March Of Colonel Bogey. Oh, sweet Jesus. Oh, nurse… where’s the cough syrup?

M. Chingo, Toronto

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