Jesus is a Liberal
re: beaches blowoff (now, september 6-12). Your organ has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in running a hatchet piece on Bob Hunter, the Liberal candidate in the September 20 provincial by-election in Beaches-East York.
Here's somebody with impeccable progressive and environmentalist credentials. But instead of congratulating the provincial Liberals for their inclusiveness and Bob on his political maturity, you attack the Liberals for being right-wing and Bob for not running for the Greens.
The NOW view of reality is so distorted that if the Liberal candidate were Jesus himself and walked on water, your headline would read, Liberal Jesus Can't Swim.
The NDP is an irrelevant, spent political force. The Greens aren't even in the running. Get over it.
Dean Rivando, Toronto
Regarding Bob Hunter
bob hunter is running for the Liberals in the Beaches, and the Green party is fielding a candidate against him. And Hunter is confused by this? Um, Bob, maybe it's because the provincial Liberal party has been, and continues to be, a party of business, not environmental protection.
But wait. Hunter 's been fighting for the environment since before many of us were even born. Quick, drop what you're doing and listen to what Uncle Bob says. He knows better than us.
Frankly, I'm deeply disappointed that Hunter would "pull rank" to prove his green credentials.
The Liberals are a party of tax cuts. Will Hunter call for a new tax on gasoline consumption to, say, help defray the cost of converting coal-burning power plants to natural gas?
It's a shame he's putting ambition ahead of what's best for the environmental movement. I don't think I'll be able to hold him in the same regard ever again.
Will Taylor, Toronto
Blacks not to blame
Adrian Harewood is brilliant. His piece Wrong Target (NOW, September 6-12) is heart-rending, poignant and has placed the crisis of black violence in proper social, political and historical context.
If we substituted the victims with any other group -- women, children, the elderly or any of the members of the so-called "dominant group" -- Toronto would be on lockdown. And there would be a manhunt for the perpetrators.
The silence that looms large around this emergency is alarming and indicative of Canada's refusal to take responsibility for its vulnerable citizens.
As a member of the African Canadian community, I face the issues daily that are the residual impact of poor quality of life. Cecil Hinds's death should put us all on notice.
Every single member of our community should reject this deafening silence, on behalf of our children and families and our right to live free from fear and violence.
Yes, my group have much to wrestle with, and we have to take some ownership. But society as a whole has refused to see us as moral and spiritual entities who have suffered.
A culture of avoidance is the culprit. Blame must also be placed on the backs of misinformed, callous and wilfully hating people and institutions whose attitudes affect us on so many levels.
At the end of the day, African Canadians, and all who profess decency and humanity, have been witness to a horror show.
I will go home now and grieve for the condition of disrepair and damage we have been left to clean up.
Name withheld by request, Markham
Getting there the better way
forty minutes to get from bloor and Christie to Dundas and Yonge (NOW, September 6-12)? Every day I walk from Harbord Street to the Christie station, subway to Union, get a bagel toasted, walk to my office tower and plunk myself down at my desk, all within half an hour. What route does your writer take?
Stephanie Horne, Toronto
A lesson in Jewish history
shame on c.r. hope (now, september 6-12) for suggesting in his letter that the victims of the Holocaust have only themselves to blame.
Clearly, the Holocaust did not occur in a vacuum. The Nazis' anti-Semitism was the tragic culmination of a long history of Jew-hatred that ended in the murder of six million innocent people.
Jews did not choose to be segregated in ghettos. It was chosen for them. By the early 20th century, Jews were fully integrated citizens adding to the culture and social fabric in cities across Europe.
In more rural areas of eastern Europe, while there was no more forced ghettoization (at least until the Nazis invaded), Jewish populations tended to stick together more out of the need for protection, defence and the fact that their neighbours still harboured anti-Semitic attitudes.
So Mr. Hope, who should have defended them?
Yes, of course their neighbours should have defended them; their neighbours chose not to.
Bernie M. Farber
Canadian Jewish Congress
Of cereal and anti-Semitism
c.r. hope may have "just about snorted (his) morning Wheaties" when he read L.J. Lev's pro-Israel letter (NOW, September 6-12), but I nearly puked (I'm serious) after digesting Hope's thinly disguised anti-Semitic bile.
An attack on Israel itself is by no means necessarily anti-Semitic, but his comparison of the Arab/Israeli conflict with Nazi Germany is as offensive as it is ignorant.
Aside from the fact that Israel is "insular," to suggest that the Jews could have prevented the Holocaust by mingling with their non-Jewish neighbours indicates that he is not only naive but lacks any basic knowledge of the Holocaust or Jewish history in Europe in general.
He notes that "their communities had not integrated with non-Jewish communities to any large degree." I wonder whose choice that was, Mr. Hope? Maybe they were too busy trying to ensure that their homes and businesses weren't torched.
While I suppose such a statement would be dismissed by Hope as melodramatic hyperbole, the fact remains that the Jews of eastern Europe did not integrate with their neighbours because they knew where they weren't wanted.
Trying to understand the motivation behind mass genocide is a fruitless task, but at the very least we know that the Jews were not just a "racial scapegoat" but a social, economic and political one as well.
Debbie Wolgelerenter, Toronto
And then there's Maude
i'm a little surprised that letter writer and self-confessed ""wacky' conspiracy nut" Michael Aerhd didn't apply some conspiracy theory to his analysis of Maude Barlow and the Council of Canadians before he rushed to defend her in print (NOW, September 6-12).
Why is Barlow so pathetically reluctant to point out the (many) shortcomings of the Liberal party when addressing her members and supporters at election time?
One might think that a group such as the Council of Canadians would, at the very least, compare its agenda to the published platforms of political parties. But it never does.
Even without the benefit of conspiracy theory, it's easy to see that the Council of Canadians is a) unwilling to offend its Liberal donors, and b) not exactly keen on the kind of parliamentary transformation that might render its own mission a little less urgent -- and therefore a little harder to raise money for.
I'm afraid I'll continue to regard them as just one more rather well-heeled lobby -- albeit one that I might agree with more often than most.
NEIL R. THOMLINSON, Toronto
Shoot, then ask questions
re grits' armchair ecology (now, September 6-12). Peter Sticklee takes justified glee in pointing out that the Ontario Liberal caucus is split over a proposed Ontario double-crested cormorant hunt.
Mr. Sticklee himself is fine with shooting these birds, though he fails to note why they ought to be destroyed. Maybe they steal fish from the hooks of anglers who pay hard cash for the privilege, while the cormorants are freeloaders.
Whatever the reason, the birds deserve to be got rid of. Bears, of course, require the same treatment, though bait, bows and unreliable arrows are good enough for them.
Sticklee is entitled to his opinion that cormorants and bears should be "culled." I'm old-fashioned enough to offer a live and let live approach. On the other hand, if push comes to shove, if I should meet a gun-toting bear, or cormorant, on a forest trail, I'll definitely have to run away.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto