El Mo economics
thanks so much for your inciteful look at free market economics. Yes, everyone knows that the new owner of the El Mocambo (NOW, October 11-17) can open a dance studio and gut the place if he wants. It is also painfully obvious that this problem could have been averted if the building had been purchased in the first place by After Dark for the approximately $1 million sought by the previous owner.
The campaign to save the El Mocambo is about preserving the heritage of one of the last homes for rock and roll in Toronto.
The plan to keep the downstairs open as a live music venue is at best naive. It strikes many as a plan to appease El Mocambo supporters until the new owner has taken over and it's too late for anything to be done. Have you been in the basement? Do you really think it could possibly be converted into a women's shelter, and if so, how could that possibly coexist with the noise from a live music venue? Shut up already and stand up for Toronto's rock and roll landmark.
Richard Frost, Toronto
Keeping the neon palm lit
let me begin by thanking now for giving space to an issue that we believe is of utmost importance to the collective arts communities. I do feel the need, however, to speak to a few of the points mentioned by Scott Anderson in his article.
While history plays a major role in the need to preserve the el Mocambo, it is the present that deserves an equal share of the attention. Yes, the el Mocambo has hosted some historic shows and events. But it is Dan Burke's support of Canadian, Torontonian and alternative acts that holds the mystique for many of us in the music community.
As clubs in other major North American cities adopt "pay to play" practices and turn their backs on young or first-time bands, the El Mo remains a place where artists can perform in front of an appreciative audience without resorting to begging.
Throw in the fact that the club is listed as a tourist attraction in city guides worldwide, and you begin to get a picture of the ongoing value of the el Mocambo.
Jordan M. Stewart
Save the El Mo Committee, Toronto
Declaring holy war
rudolf manook's letter, islam Forgives And Forgets (Now, October 11-17), propounds exactly the sort of mentality of superiority that sparks conflicts over religion.
We've seen this all throughout history. Also, how can he say that Islam is "based on love and compassion" when it is the only religion (that I am aware of) that declares "holy wars" on non-Muslims?
Andrew Wolfe, Toronto
Slippery police tactics
re ocap about-face (now, october 11-17). I know literally dozens of people who have been charged by Toronto police in the past few weeks for unlikely or totally bogus reasons.
In two of the cases, the people told me the police admitted the charges would likely be dropped before they got to court but that the real reason was to get and keep the fingerprints of potential troublemakers.
I understand that where charges are dropped or people are found innocent, fingerprint records are supposed to be destroyed. But it seems the cops are creating an illegal database of innocent citizens, particularly if they might be activists in one cause or another.
This shows how easily and quickly our democratic rights can erode in times of paranoia.
Name withheld by request, Toronto
the article missile diplomacy (NOW, October 11-17) appears to be designed solely as anti-American propaganda rather than serious political analysis. Consider the following series of assertions taken from that article:
The war in Afghanistan is "the culmination of a decade of U.S. aggression." Would you believe it is the culmination of several weeks of self-defence?
The U.S. wants to take over Afghanistan because of the economically strategic location of that country. Today Afghanistan's only economic importance lies in its opium crop, which the U.S. merely wants to suppress, not to exploit economically.
Civilian targets are on the American attack list. After all, the defence ministry in Kabul has been destroyed, and that is "no more a military target than the Pentagon." Obviously, the Pentagon is a military target, and so is the Taliban ministry of defence. It was the World Trade Center that was a civilian target.
If Afghanistan didn't want a war with the U.S., it should not have sponsored terrorist attacks. Keep it up, folks. Osama bin Laden is counting on you.
David Palter, Toronto
What would Jesus do?
"what would jesus do?" was becoming the defining American slogan. Has it been heard anywhere since September 11?
If an American military base were blown up, killing soldiers as they slept, would it be considered a legitimate act of war or an act of terrorism? How are the current American attacks on Afghanistan "ground forces" any different?
Rabbi Justin Jaron Lewis, Toronto
No nuke security breach
regarding your article nuke in security (NOW, October 4-10), pertaining to my case.
With all respect to your attempt to handle the topic from a different angle, I have to disagree with you on the following points.
Your claim that getting into the Chalk River facility is easy, etc. This is not true at all, and if it were the case, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission would never issue an operation licence to any of the nuclear facilities in Canada.
(As to) your suggestion that as a contractor, my security clearance was somehow inferior to others', I doubt it very much. I got an enhanced security clearance when I started in Chalk River last year.
My car with NY licence plates was entering the facilities in accordance with procedures that require stopping each time at the guard's gate and providing all detailed info as may be required.
I adhered to these procedures religiously each time.
Mohamed A. Attiah, Deep River
Military need our backing
defence and security form the
cornerstone of any nation's central government. Our military have been shaken by slashed budgets and unfair criticism for far too long.
Now that they have once again been called to place themselves in harm's way, they deserve our unwavering support. We must be prepared to redirect our priorities so every effort is made to give them the best opportunity to perform not only in this mission but also in future missions in an increasingly unpredictable world.
Jean Chretien will find a great deal of support among politicians of most stripes, and an unprecedented willingness to cooperate with the government.
It is an opportunity he must cultivate for the sake of all Canadians.
He can no longer continue to marginalize Parliament and individual MPs as has been the custom throughout his tenure.
Richard P. Neumann, Thunder Bay