Rights agency isn’t
Bravo for Sarah Schmidt’s whistle-blowing on the Ontario Human Rights Commission (NOW, January 11-17).
As an Ontarians With Disabilities Act committee member and a director on the board of a poverty law clinic, not to mention a commission claimant, I’ve found that, from the executive privilege of declining to respond to flat-out stonewalling a claim’s progress, nothing seems too low for the commission if a disabled complainant appears “undeserving.”
The Ontario Human Rights Commission also has an inadequate mandate to compensate real losses attributable to abuse of persons with disabilities, which go beyond the “indignity” specified by the code. Further, discrimination against the poverty of persons with disabilities is no less than discrimination against the disability that makes poverty inescapable and perpetuates it. How far would Stephen Hawking have gotten redressing a claim for workplace re-entry with Ontario’s Human Rights Commission?
first of all, congratulations to all the members of CUPE 3903 on their successful strike. I want to correct an impression that your article (NOW, January 11-17) might have given that there is some deep division within the labour ranks based on age.
This is simply not true, and this belief has in fact been created by the media. All members of the labour movement are bound by principle to support other unions, industrial or non-industrial. All of us also know that when the CAW or the Steelworkers show up on the picket lines, management start to shake in their Gucci shoes.
All these unions recognize something the press seems to unable to see, the central tenet of all labour movements everywhere: solidarity.
Don’t swallow the oils
i am a holistic practitioner, and one of the modalities I practise is aromatherapy.
Last week I was contacted by one of your researchers requesting information on uses of aromatherapy to quit smoking. The article (NOW, January 11-17) suggested that essential oils be taken orally. It is with great concern for your readers that I wish to clarify the uses of essential oils. They are not to be taken orally. On rare occasions a professional aromatherapist will suggest taking them orally – in a specific, controlled quantity, and most importantly, only certain brands that always sell the purest, organically certified essential oils. It is my recommendation to use essential oils with caution.
Also, certain groups of people should seek out professional advice before using essential oils – pregnant women, people suffering pain because of a medical condition, the terminally ill, people who take large quantities of tranquilizers, those addicted to alcohol and drugs, and children. These are considered special cases who need controlled treatments of aromatherapy after consulting with their physician.
Thanks for review but...
I greatly appreciate that Colman Jones reviewed my book (NOW, November 9-16), but he made several critical errors.
The essence of his criticism is that my book “ignores” the co-factor theory, which suggests that HIV only causes problems when other pathogens already have infected a person. I do not ignore this theory – I dismiss it. Jones attempts to bolster his case against HIV itself causing AIDS by claiming that the virus does not do anything “tangible” to other species, including chimpanzees, our closest relatives.
This argument is specious on two fronts. First, in 1997, researchers demonstrated unequivocally that chimps given a particular strain of HIV did develop AIDS, which led to an uproar from some scientists and animal conservationists who worried that AIDS vaccine developers might begin using this lethal strain routinely in chimp tests of AIDS vaccines. Secondly, many bugs are species-specific; the plasmodiums that cause human malaria, for example, do not cause symptomatic disease in other animals, including chimpanzees, the natural host for these parasites.
In another stab at challenging the evidence that HIV causes AIDS, Jones writes of “experimental vaccines that seem to produce strong immune responses against the virus but don’t appear to offer any protection against AIDS itself.” Huh? As I document in Shots In The Dark, the experimental vaccines tested to date have received so much criticism from the AIDS research community precisely because they do not seem to produce strong immune responses against the virus.
The Jewish tragedies
re extreme honour (now, jan- uary 11-17). Zionism is at once a heroic and tragic movement of the Jews. Twenty thousand soldiers have been killed fighting the Arabs since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, and who knows when and where this most intractable international conflict of our time will end. The recent murder of Binyamin Kahane and his wife and the wounding of five of his six children by Palestinian terrorists is but the latest tragedy that has befallen Israel’s leaders. Kahane and his father, rabbi Meir Kahane, who was himself assassinated in New York a decade ago, were both radical Zionists.
Former president Ephraim Katzir’s brother, a brilliant scientist, was slain by Japanese terrorists in a massacre at Tel Aviv’s Lod Airport in 1972. Former president Ezer Weizman’s son was severely wounded in war and died in a car accident several years ago.
Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother was killed in the historic raid on Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976. Former prime minister Menachem Begin’s grandson was killed in a military accident last year. Former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995.
Nothing, however, compares to the unimaginable tragedy of Theodor Herzl, father of political Zionism, and his family. Herzl died in 1904; he was only 44 years old. His wife died in 1907, she was only 39. Both of his daughters suffered from mental illness; one died of a heroin overdose, the other in a Nazi concentration camp. His son converted to Christianity and committed suicide. His only grandchild committed suicide by jumping off a bridge in Washington, DC, in 1946. Thus ended the line of Herzl, the grand visionary of the Jews.
An interracial success
John Harkness’s critique of the movie Save The Last Dance (NOW, January 11-17) bothered me. We must have watched a different movie, because I enjoyed it.
The issues of interracial dating were adequately addressed. Throughout the movie, the disapproval of family, friends and strangers came through in body language and jargon. I thought Julia Stiles’s performance was missing something. The only time she looked relaxed and convincing was when she was dancing. Sean Patrick Thomas and his friend Malachi were believable and engaging. I’d watch the movie again just to see their performances.
Here is a film with a predominantly black cast and the only actor mentioned in Harkness’s critique is white. Why is that?
Although Toronto is the most multicultural city in the world, the media often reports things from a white-only perspective. I’m disappointed that in regards to this movie, NOW magazine did the same.
Doreen Muriel Leacock
It’s the talent, not size
What’s new for toronto’s so- called alternative press for 2001? Nothing, apparently, so long as papers like NOW insist on employing music critics for whom body size trumps incredible vocal talent (NOW, December 28-January 3). Dah! Large women like Virginia Rodrigues are both talented and sexy. Oh, grow up!
Nice story, wrong place
I was very pleased to see Fastwürms’ photo-based installation Superstition picked as one of the top 10 art shows of the year 2000. (NOW, December 28-January 3). Unfortunately it was attributed to the wrong gallery. The exhibition took place in Gallery TPW and we still have copies of the catalogue available, which includes an essay by curator John Marriott .
Director, Gallery TPW
Correction: Constable Paul Van Seters (NOW, December 28-January 3) was charged with criminal negligence causing death, of which he was acquitted.