Mel no match for Beijing
re star buries its mel bomb (nowJune 28-July 4), by Scott Anderson. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your ignorance condemns you and further distances your fragile ego from reality.The inflammatory remarks by the mayor regarding Mombasa, Kenya, and the conclusion by the press that the African bloc will not vote for the Toronto Olympic bid as a result is not the real story.
The real story is that China has for all intents and purposes walked away with the 2008 Games, irrespective of the mayor's foolish remarks, because of Beijing's superior bid.
The Chinese have an historical connection to Africa unlike any other country's. For over five decades, China has forged diplomatic, cultural, sports, and economic ties to African countries through its support for black liberation during colonial rule.
When western countries refused to help build the Tanzania-Zambia railway line to disengage apartheid South Africa, China contributed the bulk of its $600-million cost and sent 15,000 Chinese workers for its construction.
Since 1960, China has injected over $5 billion into Africa, into more than 600 medium-scale projects, and has funded no fewer than 120 agricultural projects in 44 African countries.
Many African countries, including Nigeria, Angola and Sudan, are selling oil and providing oil concessions to China. These countries, in turn, are buyers of Chinese weapons. All of the foregoing points to one logical conclusion: Beijing is the favourite.Olympics all the rage
so now writes a blazing full pageon how the Toronto Star delayed reporting an inappropriate gaffe by Mayor Mel. What this story really exposed is that there must be some intense competitive animosity between NOW and the Star.What should really enrage Torontonians is that three levels of government, historically known to disagree, have somehow found millions of dollars for a two-week event that's seven years away.
The same governments that can't find funds to prevent the closure of schools, swimming pools and community centres have somehow planned to build mega-structures for an event that may or may not come here in 2008. We don't need to create temporary sports complexes, we need affordable housing in Toronto and a solution to the homelessness that exists now!
We need fewer cars and a solution to the environmental problems plaguing smog-ridden Toronto. That residents are not more outraged by the indifference of the government to real, everyday problems in Ontario baffles me. Loblaws: eat it and shut up
thanks for your full-page exposéon Loblaws' new policy on blacking out with marker any reference to "GMO-free" on the labels of their health food suppliers (NOW, June 28-July 4).Clearly, they don't want to draw attention to their own refusal to eliminate GMOs from their house brands, despite longstanding demands from shoppers. What they're saying to Canadians is: "Eat it and shut up."
The government continues to disregard the overwhelming sentiment of consumers. Nor are biotech companies required to assume financial liability for damage to health or the environment.
Even if genetically engineered food were "safe," it is not incumbent on consumers to provide reasons for rejecting a product. It is enough to say that current factory farming processes are disgusting, and the level of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and genetic pollution in our food is intolerable.Green alternative to NDP
did anyone notice that the greenparty candidate came in third in the by-election in Vaughan-King-Aurora?It was a distant third, but the party still got more votes than the NDP.
Just think how well the Greens would do if the press acknowledged them.
Even the alternative press ignored everyone but the front-runners.
It must be true that the press is only as free as its owners allow.Another homophobe rants
re marc ponomareff's letter to the editor (NOW, June 28-July 4).Poor Marc Ponomareff is feeling left out of Pride Week celebrations and is annoyed he has to put up with a "litany of complaints" from groups who don't enjoy the privileges that he does.
Interesting how a letter that begins discussing the everyday lives of gay men and lesbians easily slips into a rage against gay men and never mentions other queer identity groups again.
Ponomareff's "facts" about the outstanding wealth of the gay community, considering Stats Canada has never collected or released data on queers or our incomes, are nothing but a Will & Grace-induced myth. Ponomareff has been misled by right-wing and corporate imagery of queer lives.
Too bad it's made him so mad, or else he might come and join us in the struggle and celebration.Gay families show Pride
as coordinator of jr. pride 2001, ijust wanted to send a shout out to all the beautiful families that came by to share with us during Gay Pride. Thanks to the single moms who brought their kids in hopes of meeting others of like mind. And the parents who dropped by to make masks with their kids. As for the makeup-wearing, playwriting drag queen who made that derogatory remark about "disgusting lesbians pushing strollers," there is more than one expression of being gay, you dork. Community does not depend upon your station in this life, just your involvement. Harris's Walkerton weaselit has been quite interesting,during the recent Walkerton inquiry, to see the leader of the so-called Common Sense Revolution disavowing what most of us would consider to be common sense. Mike Harris took about 700 jobs and tens of millions of dollars out of the Ministry of the Environment. And then, when questioned, he says nobody told him there would be any negative consequences. Gee. What about all that common sense? You know, Mike, the kind of common sense that tells you that when you take hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars, there might be negative consequences?
Didn't people tell you that firing nurses and taking money out of hospitals could have negative consequences for our health care system? Did no one tell you that taking millions away from our public schools could have negative consequences? Golly, Mike, if that's all you need, then consider yourself told. Food guy's grouchy bite
please let poor steven davey havea holiday. He seems to desperately need one. His grouchy negative reviews are becoming a bore. Recently, he's trashed three perfectly lovely restaurants (Kei's, Zelda's and Millie's Bistro). Having dined at Zelda's for years (no one is expecting Canoe here, we come for Zelda herself) and more recently having discovered and loved Kei's on Queen, I feel certain that were I to try Millie's I would find it to be equally delightful. Perhaps Davey could be encouraged to spend less energy on injurious reviews and more on removing the stick from his bum.It's all Greek to music criticat the end of his presentation atHarbourfront Centre on June 24, Rachid Taha did not mumble, as Tim Perlich writes (NOW, June 28-July 4). He spoke rather clearly. Not in exotic Arabic, but in common French. In fact, he saluted all homosexuals, in particular those who live in Islamic countries, because life for them, as Taha invited the audience to consider, is usually rather difficult.
I lose respect for a music journalist who cannot hear well and chooses to report confusion that is apparently all his own.Ode to Justin Sheppard
last saturday, a friend of mine died. Justin Sheppard was murdered, and his mom lost her reason to live. As I sit here at my work desk, my eyes continuously turn to the small newspaper picture of Shep. It states, "NBA superstar brother slain. Promising young man shot to death." This is what I woke up to Saturday morning in St. Jamestown as it mourned the death of this popular figure.
As I walked through the neighbourhood, people were glum, sitting on the concrete walls and whispering to each other. Shep is gone. Things around here will never be the same.
This isn't just another Toronto shooting. This isn't just another "thug" who got what he deserved. Shep was graduating high school this summer. Shep was going to Maryland College to meet a basketball scout to get his dream started.
He loved his mother dearly. He'd tell me his church stories as a kid. His mom took him every Sunday. Last Christmas I went to a tattoo parlour with him, where he got his mom's name tattooed across his chest. He said that's where she belonged, forever close to his heart.
This is where Shep belongs, forever close to my heart. No matter how hard the sun shines down on St. Jamestown, days will never be as bright as they were, now that my friend is gone. When I look up at the sky, I see him playing ball with God, and he's kicking his ass.