Fudging anti-Israeli facts
re friendship wins (now, febru- ary 8-14). It was almost objective of NOW to quote Israeli Consul General Meir Romem's response to the demolitions. The pure facts are that Jewish homes get demolished, too, and almost as many. I have done you a favour and sent materials that balance the story. Take a look and see that professor Halper, notwithstanding his academic background, does not cite his sources even when mangling the "data" in his favour.
Whether you are politically left or right, an attempt must be made by the writer to maintain balance and objectivity. The writer made no attempt. He admitted to being emotionally swayed by photographs at the anti-Israel lecture that were principally designed to do just that.
A good journalist has the skills for critical thinking that supercede what mere photographs show. Photographs in a half-truth context can lie.
Let me show the writer some photographs of mutilated bodies littered on a Jerusalem street from a bus bomb. Want to change your tune now?
Media embrace of the Halper/Shawamreh tour demonstrates that in many media outlets, as among the hard-core Israel-baiters, an attack on Israel is still too appealing to check against the facts.
regarding the article friend-ship Wins, you may be premature in announcing the victory of friendship, although we all hope for this. It is admittedly remarkable merely that friendship exists under such adverse conditions -- that is a victory of sorts in itself, I suppose. But the overall conflict remains.
You show that an anti-Palestinian sentiment exists in Israel (resisted by some Israelis) and the resulting housing policies have been drastically unfortunate for Salim Shawamreh and others like him. But do not (as is your wont) blame Israel exclusively. Many Palestinians have worked very hard for decades to destroy Israel. If they are therefore not well loved by Israel, that is understandable.
More fundamental change is needed. And what change might that be? Everyone send in your suggestions and I'll choose a winner.
Sharon's peace promise
those folk who seem to believe that Ariel Sharon will bring peace and security should think again. Perhaps the peace of the Sabra/Shatila refugee camps, but not real peace. The Palestinians have nothing to lose, and will never give up.
Mel, that ridiculous fool
thank you now magazine for making the information available to Torontonians about the situation created by Mel Lastman (NOW, February 8-14). People actually voted for this ridiculous fool? As a native activist in this city for 12 years, I found Lastman's re-election a great disappointment and disgrace.
If libraries, city parks, pools and community centres are closed because of cuts, then this, I believe, will contribute to more drug activity and other social problems.
Our elders say that our leaders are supposed to work for the people, not for themselves, and that everything we do affects the future. Mel Lastman does not have the wisdom, compassion and spirit to look out for our children.
I urge Toronto's citizens to speak out and say something positive that will contribute to the protection of our children, elderly and homeless. As long as there are people who care about justice, equality, health and harmony, then we can continue to put an end to suffering.
Ode to dead garbage deal Ode to dead garbage deal Ode to dead garbage deal
an open letter to mayor mel Lastman. The city of Toronto is prepared to ship 100 per cent of its garbage to Michigan and will be paying over $23 million more for that privilege. Keeping the waste disposal contract in Ontario and using the Adams Mine landfill in Northern Ontario would have seen investment here of over $600 million. On my home ground as a businessman in Kirkland Lake, we have been fighting for the survival of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, one of the North's largest employers. Rail Cycle North would have provided more than $140 million in freight revenues over a period of 20 years, ensuring the stability of our rail system.
Municipalities in the North, who have supported the Adams Mine development for more than 10 years, would have received substantial job creation and over $ 25 million in royalties. Over the years we have visited Toronto many times to vocalize our support and offer encouragement to the city to make the right decision. Exporting to Michigan is not the right decision.
And I would ask you to reconsider your decision to export the waste contract and its substantial benefits. The contract with Rail Cycle North and the Adams Mine landfill can be reintroduced and salvaged. That would be in the best interest of Toronto residents, my community, Northern Ontario and the entire province.
Mel didn't resign?
i was surprised to read in the Table of Contents (NOW, February 8-14) that "Mayor's resignation might be proof the province needs to believe city's cash crisis is real." I wondered how the mayor could have resigned and I'd not heard about it. I then turned to the article and realized that the writer was expressing his opinion about what would happen to the city if the mayor resigned. I'd like to suggest that your editors be more careful in the art of contents writing. This line was misleading and could have done lots of harm to our mayor.
Cabbie doesn't like my skin
i'm not sure if you'll discuss a topic that is getting extremely dangerous in our city: I'm talking about taxis in Toronto and how they disregard their black customers, especially in the early morning hours. This has been happening to a great many members of my community for some time now. I'm sure that you are aware of such discrimination in the United States, but the apparent epidemic is also getting to our society. We need to expose this disgusting practice before it goes too far.
Outkast's misogynist rap
"i made her eat my meat while iwas rubbing her coochie/ Injection in her top and bottom lip straight from her booty/ So Do Re blow me, Fa So La Ti Da Ha I'm telling the truth/She tried to pull my rubber off with her pussy muscles that was wrong/ The bitch is no good like lesbians with no tongues/ You fucked around and knocked her up, now you say she the one/ Nigga you sprung, you should have pulled it out and squirted on her eyelash/ And let her face be holding the baby, now she after yo ass!"These lyrics, from the song We Luv Deez Hoez, are written by Outkast from their album Stankonia -- one that, if I'm not mistaken, at least three NOW music critics ranked as one of the best of the year 2000 (NOW, December 28-January 4).
I wonder if they would have been as enthusiastic about an album that denigrated Somalis, Guatemalans or Pakistanis in the way this album denigrates women. Why is it that of all vulnerable groups, our society still publicly condones violence against women, including verbal violence that passes itself off as "art"?
I guess that accepting the concept of women's rights as human rights is a battle that is far from over.
Stern's satire rules radio
regarding kim hughes's articleRighteous Renewal (NOW, February 1-7). I have only two words -- Baba Booey! I'm not going to go on like some obsessed sociopath with too much time on his hands. I just wanted to thank NOW for finally recognizing the true genius of one of the great comedians/radio talk show hosts of the century. Sorry, make that best radio talk show host of the century.It has been obvious to me, as it certainly is to Hughes, that Stern's gig is satire. If you want to feel a part of something that is truly groundbreaking (even in its popularity), then the Stern show is for you. If you're like one of the knee-jerk, poker-in-the-ass Victorians who feel that Stern is a disgusting and vile pig without a shred of decency who clogs the airwaves with drivel, then maybe you should listen again.
It doesn't matter, anyway. People who hate him the most probably don't understand the gist of Stern's humour, if they listen at all. Right on, Kim!