If labour can't unite, maybe Tories can help
When Leonard Cohen says, "There's cracks in everything/ that's how the light gets in," he could have been talking about the labour movement.
Glenn Wheeler's article Labour's Bad Day (NOW, August 31-September 6) shows that labour is not now and never has been a homogenous, undifferentiated mass of the great unwashed.
Nonetheless, never in my 25-or-so-year history close to the Canadian labour movement have I witnessed a time of such rigorous self-examination, debate, passion, change and, yes, anger.
That same anger is the kindling that will inevitably ignite the fight against the current government-wide union busting.
I see the current CAW/SEIU/CLC process as a painful and necessary prelude to the transformation that's needed to take on the massively reconfigured right-wing offensive.
The cracks that Wheeler so painstakingly documents are the very fractures through which the lights of labour change are beginning to beam.
Scientific proof not all it's cracked up to be
The demand for "proof" that Colman Jones (NOW, August 24-30) makes for alternative remedies is too often made thoughtlessly.
Clinical trials are typically designed and funded by the legs of pharmaceutical giants, yet we treat these studies as gospel. And what constitutes "success"? A suppression of symptoms? Agreeable behaviour? Who defines it -- the person in therapy or the professional treating them?
Nothing in this world is immune from greed or exploitation. We need to think critically about the range of health care treatments available, whether they are "proven" or not. Instead of getting righteous about why alternative therapies should be
In other words, do your homework -- a fast-food visit to a New Age lecture doesn't make bread, and besides, it's lazy journalism.
Rocky has his hands around T.O.'s throat
One fine Thursday after beers at O'Reilly's and the Imperial Pub, we hop a cab around 9 pm at Edward and Yonge, only to get caught in stop-and-go traffic until we finally hit Bay. We pay the cabbie his $5 fare for driving us the block and hop out. Beer-brave, I ask the gentlemen what the hell is going on and, to our dismay, they tell us that Sylvester Stallone is filming a movie. Fuck me! Rocky is preventing hard-working me from getting home to our cats.
We met a gal my age or younger who joined in our anger, screaming that maybe Sylvester should be paying our friggin' taxes if he wants to close down our streets. At this point we were at Uni, and a copper tried to stop us, redirecting us down into the subway to cross the street.
In good old-fashioned "rebel without a cause" mentality, my man ran across the street flailing his arms and screaming "Sylvester is an asshole." The cops didn't know what to do and thus did nothing. Maybe with our passive/aggressive Toronto behaviour we can do something about this, eh?
No one's problems with cops are unique
The problem with set-ting up a police watchdog group such as the former Citizens Independent Review of Police Activities (NOW, August 31-September 6) revolves around the special interest mentality. Each and every group thinks its problems are unique and greater than other groups. Each one wants to be in control and, in bickering, loses sight of the good of society as a whole.
Another difference today is that politicians are only interested in serving themselves.
No matter who they are, they don't take risks. They have lost touch with their constituents and their role and duty to the public. The bureaucracy and the haves come before all others.
In the 80s, there was a group of politicians who had ethics and morals, and they provided the impetus behind CIRPA. The organizational work was done through their offices and meetings held in City Hall. Real people were involved. And there was a dedication. Who is there today to do this?
Toronto Muslims live in Western society
Messrs. Chebil, Ingar and Siddiq declare that homosexuality "is against the laws of God and nature" and "requires strong corrective measures" (NOW, August 31-September 6). This, on the basis of the Shari'ah, the Muslim legal and moral law code.
I have news for these gentlemen -- we, and they, are living in a western society. There are parts of the Shari'ah that stand in complete opposition to the foundations of our culture.
The Shari'ah places women in complete subjection and inferiority to men. (Examples: a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man's in court.)
I beg the school board to remember this truth when next they hear from religious fundamentalists, of whatever stripe, who demand that the board impose their oppressive, narrow-minded views on the children of everyone else in society.
Minorities have no right to prejudice
In my capacity as a femi-nist, anti-racist, leftist, pro-gay individual, I have watched NOW's denial/soft-pedalling of the more pernicious aspects of conventional fundamentalist Islamic practice.
Why is it that fundamentalist Christianity and Judaism are (rightfully) challenged by NOW for (among other things) their position on women and gays, while an Islam that insists on the literal truth of every word of the Koran interpreted in such a way as to support the suppression of women and gays is somehow excused in the process of discussing Muslim cultural empowerment?
It is my fervent hope that the very diplomatic article discussing some fundamentalist Muslim activist efforts at school board meetings (NOW, August 17-23) and the two letters responding to it that outline a conventional fundamentalist Islamic position on gays will encourage NOW to rethink some of its more conventional positions.
The Hairy Tarantula strokes his features
How much research did you do before you left our wonderful comic store to wither in the wasteland of cantankerous people-hating while doing nothing else (NOW, August 31-September 6)?
I'm asking you, when the time comes, to mention the Hairy Tarantula as a well-stocked, well-managed indie-friendly comics and gaming shop on Yonge Street right downtown (hello!), with a lively and friendly atmosphere since 1992. What were you thinking!?
Adding insult to injury, we've paid you people to run advertising! It was a few years ago and we've not done it since -- but what the hell are you people doing!?