Strange interpretation of the peace process
To suggest, as your
piece on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does (NOW, October 12-18), that "Oslo seeded violence" is a peculiar interpretation of the peace process. The Oslo process may not be perfect, but it sure achieved a lot more for the Palestinians than the 30 years of "armed struggle."
Yasser Arafat failed to liberate a single dunum (4,201 square metres) of the occupied territories by force of arms, but since the signing of the Oslo Accords, Israel has turned over all the heavily populated areas of the West Bank. At the Camp David summit, Israel offered to cede 90 per cent of the West Bank -- proof that words can be more effective than weapons.
As the article notes, Oslo didn't bring the Palestinians "freedom and prosperity," but no peace pact could do that. Arafat's regime has stifled those hopes with its repression of dissent and misappropriation of foreign aid. The best a peace process can accomplish is the peaceful co-existence of two states. Wouldn't that be better than the appalling violence of the past two weeks?
Canadian Friends of Peace Now Canadian Friends of Peace Now
Why he stays away from Zionist meetings
Regarding your two articles on the Israeli-Palestinian clashes. I fully support Israel's current actions against the brutality and madness of its enemies. That said, as a non-Zionist Jew, I refuse to participate in any local Zionist meetings, including the huge rally held at a Thornhill synagogue on October 11 to defend Israel in its crisis.
In all my dealings with Zionist organizations and Jewish/Zionist newspapers in the diaspora, I have found most of them are run by publicity hounds, insufferable elitists and people who lack integrity.
A scoundrel like the late British Jewish media magnate Robert Maxwell was awarded the highest honours by the Israeli government. A reminder to readers of NOW Magazine: beautiful ideals like socialism or Zionism when put into practice are corrupted because of the unscrupulousness of human beings.
Are citizens of Islamic states any better off?
Bilal Abdullah regrets that "Muslims in North America are not living under anything that resembles an Islamic state." (God forbid!) Therefore, they cannot "influence society as a whole" (NOW, September 21-27). May it please Allah that this remain so!
Today, North Americans enjoy democracy, security of person and freedom of expression in arts and culture -- the latter having a strong influence on the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the theocracies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East are still living in their dark ages.
Abdullah believes that "Islam strives to make a society that is free from influences that inhibit the happiness and healthy functioning of the majority." Are the majority of residents of Islamic states happy and healthy? Have they stopped killing one another? Have they stopped oppressing women and members of other religions?
One-sided attack on good native people
I was appalled at the
one-sidedness of Drew Hayden Taylor's article Real Natives Don't Arrive Late (NOW, October 12-18). Surprisingly, Hayden Taylor fails to tell us that the instructor who taught the aboriginal studies course is none other than his significant other.
His personal bias should not be allowed magazine space unless the three individuals -- whom I know to be good, intelligent and articulate people -- are allowed to tell your readers their side of the story.
Many of us are aware of the circumstances of these students' problems with this instructor. The fact that we know who the three students are is a slap to their credibility, reputation and honour as good red people.
It's too bad this magazine did not check on Hayden Taylor's attempt to crucify their reputations before allowing it on your pages in the style of tabloid journalism.
The question of professionalism should be directed at the "instructor," who in an attempt to save her own skin tries to ruin reputations through untruths and breaking the academic codes so dear to the U of T. Meegwetch.
Deadly picture of what Adams Mine will bring
"When industries poison
our food chain and governments compound the hazard by suppression of information, apathy and incompetence, then we are all threatened. The story of mercury poisoning in northwest Ontario is a classic case, but it can be paralleled throughout the industrialized world, where death or crippling illnesses may lurk in our drinking water, in our children's schoolyard and at our place of work."
The above words appear on the inside cover of the late Warner Troyer's book No Safe Place.
The book deals with the mercury poisoning of the White Dog and Grassy Narrows Indian reserves on the Wabigoon/English River system by the Reed Paper Company at Dryden in the early 1970s. I still have a green button from that time with the letter "G" added to Reed.
In the early 1990s, the people of Six Nations Reserve at Brantford discovered that their (then) chief had entered into a secret deal with (then) North York mayor Mel Lastman to dump Metro's garbage on their land. The ensuing uproar soon scuttled that deal.
Now we are dealing with a largely secret deal to ship Toronto's garbage to the Adams Mine.
Tooker Gomberg appears to be the only environmentally friendly mayoralty candidate in next month's election.
To foul our own nest is stupid; to foul the nests of others is criminal.
Mel makes us all fools in eyes of the world
I thought we'd been humiliated for the last time by this city's quack of a mayor. But Mel and his personal butt plugs on council have really done it to us this time by deciding to hurl 20 million tons of garbage into a big hole in the ground.
We've just sent a clear message to consumers and investors in Toronto's arts, tourism and business communities (never mind the IOC): this city is full of assholes. I dare the mayor and councillors who voted for this ludicrous Adams Mine deal, against the obvious wishes of their constituents, to defend their position as part of their re-election campaigns.
How to use Tory $200 buy-off against them
When I soon receive My $200 tax-cut cheque from a smiling Mike Harris, I know exactly what I will do with it. I will immediately give it to one of the opposition parties at Queen's Park.
This political contribution will save me $150 on my provincial income tax for this year. I will again give this $150 saving to an opposition party next year. This will save me another $112.
I will continue this practice until 2003, when Harris will probably call an election. By then I will have contributed a total of $410 at no extra cost to me toward the defeat of the Harris government. It has borrowed every penny of its $10-billion-total tax cuts. It's like an employer giving you a raise and charging it to your credit card.
Another good way to spend the Harris lucre
there's been discussion of what to do with Harris's tax rebate buy-off since it was announced in the spring. If, like many people in Ontario impacted by the Tory cuts, you need the cash, then you should put it toward food, rent, clothes or your bills. Those with the luxury to choose risk playing along with Harris's scheme.
Investing or blowing the cash will help the Ontario "open for business" image touted by the Tories. Signing your cheque over to a service-oriented charity will justify further cuts because it will look like they can be made up for by volunteers and private donations.
I would advocate using the rebate in some way that directly challenges the Harris regime. If you are not aware of an opportunity to do this in your community, I would recommend contacting the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (249 Sherbourne, Toronto M5A 2R9).
Tobacco executives sponsor cancer
Re tobacco companies'
two full-page ads (NOW, October 12-18).
How to become a successful tobacco industry executive: the sponsorship angle.
Find something to sponsor. Hire art directors, photographers and illustrators willing to work for the tobacco industry. Pay them lots of money to create "cool, hip" ads where the company logo and slogan can appear.
Don't worry about promoting any specific event just as long as the target market has lots of potential young customers. Approach publications tailored to the target. Offer to pay them lots of money to run your ads.
Play up "style," "attitude" and "thin models." Play down "lung cancer," "heart disease" and "death."
Poor advice to small Canadian publishers
If the head of the company that published Mouthing The Words was quoted correctly in saying "Books move by word of mouth" (NOW, October 5-11), then it's no wonder that small presses are destined to remain so.
Word of mouth may be OK for Oprah, but not for the relatively unknown and uninfluential Beth Follett of Pedlar Press. Until she realizes this, her authors will not receive the "promotional push" to which they are entitled and which she, as a publisher, owes them.