U.S. neighbours, say no to drug madness
Enzo Di Matteo's piece on Plan Colombia, the plan to turn the drug war from figurative to literal warfare (NOW, May 11-17), was very informative and ominous. This incredible development is moving fast, and public opinion here in the U.S. is being carefully managed. Sensible people pray the plan is stopped.
Citizens of other countries have no idea just how bad the oppression has become here in the erstwhile Land of the Free. How could a country with over 2 million of its citizens imprisoned claim anything to do with freedom? The truth is, it can't. The drug war has been ruining the tenets of personal freedom by degrees for years, but the results are becoming dramatic.
America's neighbours would do well to just say no to Washington's threats when the time comes for common-sense drug law reforms in their own sovereign lands. Good luck.
Windsor no place for more mob scenes
On reading the article by Glenn Wheeler on the upcoming Organization of American States (OAS) general assembly in Windsor (NOW, May 11-17), I find it obvious that he has done very little research on the nature of this organization.
Having spent the latter part of last year working alongside other Canadians at the OAS, I can tell you what the organization is and is not. It is an organization devoted to alleviating poverty, inclusion of civil society groups and strengthening democracies in the western hemisphere. Examples are the beginning of the drafting of the Inter-American Declaration on Indigenous People, electoral missions to Guatemala and Honduras and the Unit of the Promotion of Democracy's outstanding work in building confidence in fledgling Latin American democratic institutions.
This organization can hardly be considered a covert operation for the United States to carry on its drug policy in Colombia (where Wheeler gets this idea for mass demonstration in Windsor because he disagrees with U.S. drug policy in Colombia is beyond me).
Wheeler's attempt to place the OAS in the same league as the WTO, the World Bank and the IMF in order to justify his and other bleeding hearts' existence is sheer and complete idiocy.
I surely hope that NOW readers will understand that Windsor should not be the location for another disgraceful mob situation posing as civil disobedience.
Rather, readers should look beyond Wheeler's diatribe on the evils of capitalism and call-to-arms for civil unrest in Windsor to see that the OAS is just one organization among many seeking to alleviate poverty, include civil society groups and strengthen democracy and human rights in the western hemisphere -- nothing more, nothing less.
Don't count him as one of socialist hordes
In his First Person col-umn (NOW, May 11-17), Glenn Wheeler puts out the call to "all decent Canadians who care about our country as we know and love it... where we treat taxes not as an evil, but as the price tag for living in a civilized society."
I'm not sure exactly for whom Wheeler is speaking here. He couldn't be so naive as to believe that the few remaining Canadian socialists constitute NOW's entire readership, and certainly he wouldn't be condescending enough to declare the rest of us who disagree with his outdated ideology indecent.
Politicians and police should pee in a cup
I was invited to Rave Against Rage at The Comfort Zone on May 11. Madam Zu and a host of other DJs performed brilliantly, the music was something I could dance to, the kids were your kids and mine. Why are the media and politicians (again) picking on those least able to defend themselves? If everyone at city hall, the police force and the media had to pee in a cup, then the drugs found therein would be far more than ever would be found at a year's worth of raves. I say again, Mayor Lastman is an unreconstructed boob.
Follow the money to the truth about tofu
The article about tofu brain rot (NOW, May 11-17) suffered from a journalistic lapse -- failure to identify who is funding the research behind the "studies" you are reporting on.
Who funded the the tofu research at the Hawaii Center for Health Research? Who funds Claire Hasler, director of the Functional Foods for Health program at the University of Illinois?
My bet is the meat industry is behind Hawaii and the midwest soybean crowd is behind the U of Illinois. This kind of yank-the-reader-around journalism is beginning to wear a little thin.
We all know that all the good guys and all the bad guys each have their own little scam going about using "institutes" to manipulate public opinion.
In the immortal words of Deep Throat, "follow the money."
Bryce D. Taylor
Time for organic question and answer
Q: Have you heard of the ultimate guilt-free food? A: Free-range organic tofu.
The bus companies killed a good thing
I appreciate that your paper bothered to report on the demise of Allo Stop (NOW, May 11-17). I was a member for two years. While it would have saddened me if their passing were through incompetence or insufficient supply of drivers, it angers me they were killed by the bus lines protesting their existence.
I was surprised your article didn't point out the political connections Laidlaw and associates have.
Allo Stop was about more than the money
I am writing to express my shock, anger and disappointment at the actions taken by the Voyageur and Trentway bus companies as well as the Ontario government against Allo Stop.
What kind of government finds fault with an alternative travel method that is affordable and environmentally friendly and forces the closure of its Ontario offices in Ottawa and Toronto? And what kind of bus companies make complaints to the Ontario Highway Transport Board concerning said car-pooling service? Ones who want the monopoly on Ontario highway travel, that's who.
I am not only writing this letter as an outraged client but as an employee at the Montreal office of Allo Stop.
It disheartens me to think of the employees who have lost their jobs and also that the community-based principles of Allo Stop have been threatened.
The real poverty pimps stayed home that day
Robert De Bartolo's letter is right in stating that there are plenty of "poverty pimps" who make money off the backs of the poor (NOW, May 11-17).
Contrary to his opinion, however, none of these leeches were at the March Against Homelessness on May 6.
For instance, Andersen Consulting didn't send a single staffer. Andersen has made millions by kicking poor people off welfare.
And all those property speculators and real estate agents who make big money by buying up inexpensive rooming houses, evicting the tenants and creating yuppie palaces were also strangely absent.
The facts about that homelessness march
Robert De Bartolo is ap-palled? I am appalled! Every single point he raises in his mean-spirited letter is wrong.
The March to End Homelessness was not organized by the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC), but by a different social justice group, called, in fact, The March to End Homelessness.
There were over 500 marchers, not 150 as he suggests, and from a wide range of communities -- including faith, labour and social justice.
Events such as this never provide food as a bribe to coerce anyone's participation. Food is provided so that people who depend on food services at drop-ins or shelters for their sustenance won't miss crucial meals by attending our events.
No one was "trying to get donations" out of anyone. The group that organized the march did send baskets through the crowd to help cover their costs -- but never with any hint of coercion.
Coordinator, Toronto Disaster Relief Committee