What happens when everyone pees in a cup
Regarding Naseer Ahmad's assertion that "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 would be found in a year of raves" (NOW, May 18-24).
I submit that if everyone at city hall, the police force and the media had to pee in a cup, that cup would fill up quite quickly and would likely overflow.
Which part of risk don't you understand?
Re the strike at Toro-mont (NOW, May 18-24). You write, "Toromont enjoyed a 14-per-cent increase in revenue last year. Not only did that make it possible to top up dividends to happy shareholders, but it also paid for lavish political contributions to the Tory party. Alas, such largesse does not extend to the workers."
My first response would be, "Yeah, and so what?" Why do you assume an automatic entitlement? You are aware of the concept of risk and reward, right? Let's use a little analogy: Everyone at NOW decides to chip in on a lottery ticket, with the exception of Glenn Wheeler, who decides that his salary is quite sufficient and there is no need to take a risk on something that isn't likely to pay off. It does pay off, though. They win $10 million and decide to split it amongst themselves. Do you demand a share?
Well, being a good little socialist, you probably would, but you shouldn't.
Here's the way it works: The more risk you take, the more entitled to the reward you are. People who start businesses take risks. People who invest in these businesses take risks. People who show up for work, collect a paycheque at an agreed-to rate, then bugger off at the end of the day do not take risks and therefore are not entitled to reap the benefits of the reward.
Liberal journalism obscures OAS evils
In Glenn Wheeler's arti-cle on the upcoming protests of the Organization of American States (OAS) meetings (NOW, May 11-17) he asks, "Who's right -- those who want the Windsor meeting to go ahead or those who want to shut it down? Both, as usual, I suppose."
Wheeler seems to be aware of some of the atrocities that the OAS commits, but in the face of this information, he safely hides behind "objective" liberal journalism.
How can an organization like the OAS, which is responsible for free trade agreements that privatize health care and education while deregulating labour and environmental standards, be right?
Wheeler fails to make clear how strong the connections are between the OAS/ FTAA and other political bodies such as the WTO, World Bank and IMF. First of all, the main OAS priority -- the Free Trade Areas of the Americas (FTAA) -- will be WTO-compliant, the WTO being an institution that transnational corporations can turn to for enforcement of their "rights" when they want to violate laws that protect the environment.
Wheeler also makes no mention of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The IDB is the investment body of the OAS that co-funds "development" projects with the World Bank.
Like the World Bank, it also imposes oppressive structural adjustment programs (SAPs) on indebted nations -- forcing them to cut back social spending and sell their public resources to transnational corporations.
What better way to conceal its human rights abuses than to "promote" human rights?
Coalition to Shut Down the OAS/FTAA
Positive cover ruined by negative images
Is the idea of putting a positive black rapper on the cover (NOW, May 18-24) so strange and appalling that the potential backlash from your loyal readers has to be quickly mitigated?
Your page 11 branding campaign promo shot and the picture for the news story (page 17) do a fine job of suggesting that black people's notions of freedom are merely limited to ball-grabbing and jail-busting.
Thinking free from outside the confines of jail and both hands firmly on the keyboard, not on my blackened balls,
She gave her time and wants an apology
Regarding the letter
on the May 6 March Against Homelessness (NOW, May 11-17), we are totally confused by the content and wonder if we and the writer, Robert De Bartolo, were at the same event. The march was a partnership between several organizations and originated not with the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (though they were major partners) but with the Social Justice Committee of our church, Bloor Street United.
A number of United and other churches took part, as did the labour movement. We get the impression De Bartolo only heard one of the speakers -- others included a United Church minister, a recently homeless person and a labour representative.
Neither the labour movement nor the churches receive direct government funding. This was the second march and certainly last year's (in April 1999) did not result in any government handouts. In fact, one of the planning committee members has not been repayed for expenses from last year paid from his own pocket.
Food was available from a trailer located next to the speakers' stand at Queen's Park, and announcements were made about this.
The collection baskets all contained several bills as well as change. The total collected was $450, which, while not great (not enough to cover costs), does not seem like a collection from the homeless.
Those of us who spared time for four months to meet regularly to plan this march and certainly received no salary would appreciate an apology from De Bartolo.
I know Bentley, and that wasn't Bentley
as a native Albertan,
one who was born and raised in the Bentley area, I read with dismay your article (NOW, April 13-19). There are many, many errors. The more obvious ones, I'm happy to point out. As for the others, I don't have all the facts, so I would never think of attempting to correct them.
I do believe, however, that your journalist, Gordon Laird, did a poor job on his homework and should not be given a passing grade for his article.
First of all, Bentley is not a town. It is, indeed, a village. As a matter of fact, it is referred to by the people living there as the "Model Village" (not model town) for as far back as I can remember (that would be the early 1960s).
Besides the hotel bar, the other bar on the main street is actually an old grocery store-turned-pub. It's been in business for only a few years now and is not an old beer parlor. As well, Jim Keegstra was not tossed from a classroom in Red Deer -- it was a classroom in Eckville. He was employed by the county of Lacombe as a school teacher in their district. (This school district has since been taken in by the Wolf Creek school division.) Also, Terry Long is not a native of Bentley. These simple mistakes do not show good journalism.
I no longer live in Bentley, as I left in the mid-70s to go to university and find a new life in the big city. But I am very proud of my roots. Laird's article was so biased that it would make any reader sure that all people in Bentley were Christian fundamentalists with some pretty extreme beliefs. There was no mention made of the people in the village who go to the other churches and felt that perhaps the ideas of Stockwell Day and Jim Keegstra were a little extreme, to say the least.
It is my belief that your article is a very damaging one. Not only are there obvious mistakes, but there are also some pretty strong opinions and facts presented. It makes one wonder how accurate these are.
Bus companies win, the planet ripped off
I was really shocked to
call the Allo Stop office in Toronto and find out that the "big sharks or the bus companies" won their complaint (NOW, May 11-17). It just shows how the Ontario government and its institutions don't pay attention to the environment or low-priced solutions for its citizens.
Instead of the bus companies trying to improve their service, they seem to have chosen to spend their time hunting down great budget alternatives such as Allo Stop, a service that helped so many students and people on a very small budget who wouldn't have been able to travel if it weren't for Allo Stop.
I am sorry that this happened, and as a member of Allo Stop I'll miss having the laughter, talks and good times that I had in the past with some of the Allo Stop riders. It was a great service that worked wonderfully for me in the past 11 years.
As on so many other issues, the Ontario government keeps showing us how narrow-minded they can be.
Wrong book, but author says thanks
Thank you so much for mentioning my novel Midnight Robber in the alt-bestseller list (NOW, May 18-24). Unfortunately, the description that follows the title -- "smart tale set in 21st-century Toronto"-- refers to my novel Brown Girl In The Ring, which was published in 1998. If I had to do a brief description of Midnight Robber, it would be something like, "exile and betrayal on a future Caribbean planet."
The smaller the screen the better the movie
Interesting to see that
American Beauty warrants a three-N rating in your movie-review section and gets five Ns on the next page under your video reviews (NOW, May 11-17). Small-screen format must really do the movie justice.