Screw the poor - I pay my taxes, dammit
I am very appalled AT the way NOW Magazine frequently bashes Mike Harris.
Why do you people care about cutbacks so much?
We need to put those wasted tax dollars being spent on the poor and the environment back into the pockets of people like me who pay the most taxes. The whole point of capitalism is to make sure that people get what they deserve.
The poor don't have much because they don't deserve very much. I took the initiative to be successful, so I deserve money back so I can take a vacation and relax from my hard year of work.
You also need to realize that saving the environment is a flaky idea.
We need to use all the resources we can to ensure that we have a booming economy. Besides, people won't feel the effects of a deteriorating environment until well after my lifetime, so why should we care anyhow? We'll all be dead to the world.
You so-called "social critique experts" at NOW need to stop smoking your marijuana cigarettes.
NOW's dick caught in bathhouse rumour mill
Re Is undercover dick Probing Bathhouses? (NOW, May 25-31).
The news flash claims, "Patrons of one spa phoned Rae's office two weeks ago with complaints of drug-dealing on the premises." I am the author of the report that allegedly set the community "abuzz with rumour" in fab.
Let me put the circumstances into an accurate context.
The detective quoted in my piece questioned accusations that charges laid by police at the Bijou and the Barn were motivated by "homophobia."
The officer elaborated, "...especially since we've responded to complaints in bathhouses where we regularly see mutual masturbation, oral sex and sometimes buggery, and never laid one charge." Now, that's reality.
Perhaps NOW's editors like the sensationalism created by division in the gay community. On the other hand, maybe they don't understand it.
Your article is an example of being blinded by hatred for police while ignoring police acceptance and tolerance.
What offends me the most is the idea that police may question and paint my work in the same light as the fear-mongering we see in NOW. Not fair!
Disillusioned activists and rightist fanatics
I have followed with in- terest the debate re poverty pimps.
"Robert De Bartolo" (NOW, May 11-17) is the nom de guerre of either a right-wing fanatic or a disillusioned social activist perversely attempting to create and inflame existing divisions between social activists.
Sadly, his hateful rhetoric, and the angry responses it has inspired, reflect a deep enmity between some goverment-funded agencies and volunteer activists.
Activists need unity and to support one another.
How psych centres compromise care
Pat Capponi's CONCLU- sions about the priority given to patient care at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) (NOW, May 4-10) correspond to my own experience in university-affiliated psychiatric care facilities in Toronto. In my 16 years of working at such facilities, I came to realize that the institutional culture pushed a relentless commitment to research above all else.
Research has led to helpful advances in patient care and should certainly not be abandoned.
However, research becomes a problematic mission in the absence of policy, operational and funding decisions that give equal or greater priority to patient and community well-being.
Community needs are discounted, best practices fail to be implemented and even basic clinical care can become compromised.
I would feel much more comfortable about referring my clients to CAMH facilities if I could see a demonstrated commitment to patient and community well-being as the top priority.
AIDS benefit a display of sickening gluttony
I found the volunteer party Fashion Cares recently held at Sailors to be a sickening display of self-indulgence and gluttony.
I am a white, male working-class person. Upon approaching Sailors front door I was greeted with, "This is a private function."
The people at the front door assumed I was not a volunteer. Other more middle-class people who approached the door were greeted with warm smiles and hellos. I ate and drank about $25's worth of free beer and food and on the way out received $100's worth of really very good CDs.
If you add the fact that I got to go to Fashion Cares free for volunteering, that's a value of $210.
It is sickening to think of all the HIV- or AIDS-infected people who have nothing -- lousy housing, poor meals, no activities, perhaps not even all the drugs and therapy they need. Meanwhile Fashion Cares volunteers are lapping up freebies like suckling pigs.
The money used on this party should have gone directly to needy PWAs, or how about the PWA organization itself?
I saw almost no one from the Gay Village. It was a roomful of strangers and very middle class, or at least middle-class wannabes.
The Fashion Cares event was a disgusting display of consumerism. I saw suburban people overdoing the shopping, drinking, smoking and eating expensive food. It was an orgy of cheap, crass entertainment. They were selling sex under the guise of fashion. The night of the Fashion Cares event was vulgar. The Fashion Cares volunteer party was an abomination of charity.
Teachers are heroes in their own minds
Unionized teachers all across Ontario are on the warpath. They tried an illegal strike, but all that it did was alienate parents with kids in school and other taxpayers.
Now, they have received orders from their union bosses that they're to flood the editorial pages of the province's newspapers with letters to the editor. Some teachers even have their children write in, telling readers all about the woes of being a schoolteacher in Ontario.
One teacher's letter contained 15 sentences. Twelve of the sentences started with "I." In a grade 10 English class, we were told by our teacher that the pronoun "I" should never be used to initiate a sentence. The explanation was given that if you did, "You would be taking on airs, and showing a self-conscious ego."
It would appear that many of today's schoolteachers are most likely to come in first -- at least in their own minds.
Peter E. Sticklee
How a disabled person took them on and won
All people who are disabled must deal with what seems like an unreal world of stigma imposed on us like blocks of ice. Dealing with Wheel-Trans, doctors and government is like that.
I was cut off Family Benefits in November 1996 because of the receipt of a bequest. I wanted to use the bequest in my senior years. My health began to deteriorate due to multiple sclerosis. That made me rely on the appropriate government services.
Financially, I did not have to pay any bills and payed minimal rent. But physically, it was very degrading not to be able to walk.
I hired a lawyer who drafted a trust that would allow me to keep what remained of the bequest money and receive Family Benefits. My application was approved, but these services make the disabled feel at the mercy of government.
If others understood our genuine difficulties, life would be easier to deal with for disabled people.