Landlords not real gougers
scott anderson is to be commended for articulating quite accurately the respective positions of the two "tenant groups" in Tenant Clashes.
On the one hand, we have Dan McIntyre of the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations (FMTA) advocating policies with grants from city council. that focus tenants' attention on their ripoff-artist landlords, while ignoring the fact that City Hall is the main gouger of tenants through the unequal levy of property taxes.
On the other hand, we have Paul York of the rival Greater Toronto Tenants Association (GTTA), who says City Hall is responsible for imposing unequal property taxes that keep rents unreasonably high.
Taking cheap shots at York by saying he is just trying to serve the agenda of the council's right wing is the most ludicrous suggestion I have ever heard.
Mike Armstrong, Chair
Toronto Tenants for Fair Property Taxes
Who speaks for tenants?
re tenant clashes (now, november 29-December 5). Why would you even interview Paul York?
York is with a non-existent tenant group designed to undermine the tenants' movement at a time when renters need to be unified.
Anybody who was at the meeting knows who speaks for Toronto's tenants, and it isn't York.
Paul Samuelson, Toronto
Racism that rings hollow
re skinheads on the march (now, November 29-December 5).
Your article cites Matt Lauder, anti-racism director for the Guelph District Multicultural Centre. The complaints about the odd physical confrontation between skinheads and anti-racists in Kitchener ring hollow.
This spring, the Canadian Heritage Alliance applied for and won approval to take care of 2 kilometres of rural roads in a local adopt-a-road program.
Far from behaving responsibly, Lauder and the anti-racists raised a ruckus about a group with politically incorrect views being allowed to do public volunteer work. Frightened local authorities revoked the Canadian Heritage Alliance's participation.
Paul Fromm, Director
Canada First Immigration Reform Committee
Dead wrong on the NDP
your depiction of the federal NDP caucus's participation in the debate on One Member One Vote (OMOV) is just plain wrong (NOW, November 29-December 5). You suggested that the goal of the caucus was to water down the resolution. Dead wrong.
The MP who moved the compromise motion, Lorne Nystrom from Saskatchewan, has been an active supporter of OMOV for many years. Indeed, had we had OMOV in the last leadership race, Lorne would almost certainly be the leader now, having finished well out in front in the every- member ballot.
But Lorne, unlike many on the left, understands that incremental progress is better than standing still. The pure OMOV resolution would never have passed, so he introduced amendments to make it saleable to organized labour.
So, yes, caucus was involved in making the motion more palatable to labour. That part was right. But their goal was not to weaken OMOV, but to make it happen.
Bin Laden surfs for nukes
re bogus threat (now, november 29 -- December 5) .
David Cassell reports that the alarming document found in an abandoned Taliban building on how to make an atomic bomb was found to be a parody pulled off the Net.
In case bin Laden is trying to assemble his atomic bomb from plutonium sold on the black market, I only hope that he does not blow himself up.
Mohan Rao, Toronto
In Chomsky we trust
re chomsky falls flat (now, november 29-December 5).
Why doesn't NOW just publish some of what Chomsky actually says about "the war on terrorism" rather than Christopher Johnson's distortions?
Even better, why not have a weekly or biweekly Chomsky column?
Chomsky is with little doubt the best and most informative commentator on U.S. foreign policy today.
His post-September 11 public lectures and writings are remarkable for their breadth and clarity of thought. They contain a variety of interesting information and ideas that are generally not allowed to be expressed on network television and in daily newspapers in North America.
Simon Threlkeld, Toronto
Genius in the footnotes
i am looking forward to christopher Johnson's next detailed critique of Chomsky's "hasty conclusions" and "tired" arguments.
I've read a few of Chomsky's books and have actually taken the time to check many footnotes, and he is not a pathological liar. You can investigate the "thin evidence, dubious statistics and official statements taken out of context" by doing the same.
I have read many fatuous denunciations of Chomsky, and Johnson's is a thin one. This is news? I expect better from NOW.
Jamie Smith, Toronto
Recalling Lubor Zink
not since lubor j. zink graced the pages of the Toronto Sun has the Toronto press featured a report as dogmatic and simplistic as Tom Lyons's Peaceniks, What Gives? (NOW, November 22-28). The article is grossly inaccurate. The rally was not made up of "the same Toronto crowd who were recently chanting 'No justice, no peace,' 'Smash the IMF' and other warlike rhetoric in their calls for the overthrow of everything from Harris to the WTO."
In fact, the rally featured a large number of groups representing Toronto's diverse immigrant communities and included traditional Canadian peace organizations such as the Toronto Disarmament Network.
The danger of this misleading reporting is seen in last week's letter from Andy Patton, who states: "By their actions in opposing the war, protestors are showing they don't believe that violence necessarily causes more violence."
Clearly, Patton has been given the impression that the anti-war protest was an action akin to the October 16 demonstration organized by OCAP.
In fact, the rally was consciously organized to avoid violence of any kind. The rally proceeded as peacefully as the Santa Claus Parade the next day, and with a lot less littering.
Coordinator for the November 17 rally to oppose the war in Afghanistan
Being nice to terrorists
max blanco accuses me (now, November 22-28) of faulty reasoning because of my supposed belief that the war on terrorism can be won, something that I never said.
There is no apparent way that we can put an end to all terrorism for all time, so in that sense the war on terrorism cannot be won.
However, the war in Afghanistan is going well, and there is every reason to believe that we can at least prevent Osama bin Laden from arranging for any further airplane crashes into our skyscrapers. So in that sense, we can have a degree of victory over terrorism. And that victory is well worth achieving.
Blanco does not actually say what we should be doing if war cannot defeat terrorism. But I would imagine that he favours the approach of being really nice to all the people who want to kill us, in the hope that their attitude will improve.
David Palter, Toronto
when i moved to toronto for a summer job four years ago, I found NOW to be one of the most refreshing weeklies I had ever seen.
The only problem: too nauseatingly pro-Israel. Now I'm absolutely appalled and revolted by the anti-Israel filth that seems to permeate every issue. You can't seem to get enough of digging up stories or inventing twists on non-issues to portray Israel or local Jewish agencies as perpetrators of all that's evil and oppressors of the innocent.
I would love to cite examples, but it would be refreshing if you finally took your collective heads out of your assholes and portrayed the complete story.
Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are innocent in this conflict. Enclosed is an article you likely will never print because it doesn't fit your bullshit yammerings. (That applies to my little e-mail here, too.) Enjoy the read.
Richard SIGESMUND, Toronto
was nelson mandela's visit to Canada an honour or humiliation? When Mandela was released from prison he met with Arafat and Qaddafi. Arafat was a fellow freedom fighter and Qaddafi gave aid to black Africa while the U.S. only had eyes for Israel.
When Mandela was invited to address the United Nations and participate in a tickertape parade in New York as well as a presidential reception at the White House, Jewish radicals threatened to demonstrate. Mandela had to explain himself before the protest was called off.
More recently, in the environment of the fundraising dinner in Toronto, he was obliged to say complimentary things about the corporate elite present who supported apartheid. All because he needs the money for his country's children. How much forgiving can this man give?
E. Neczkar, Etobicoke
Eating Garden no Eden
we are always interested in your restaurant picks. So after reading about Eating Garden (NOW, November 29-December 5), we decided to try it out. We waited 20 minutes to be seated. Our order was taken promptly, but things went downhill from there. My spring roll came in 10 minutes, my husband's seafood soup -- an insipid broth with lots of tofu cubes, some greens, one shrimp and three pieces of what looked like squid -- took another 10 minutes.
We ordered three other dishes that each arrived 10 minutes apart. This was the most disappointing meal we have ever eaten in a Toronto Chinese restaurant.
While you take great pleasure in criticizing Lee Garden for their priciness, you forget that value doesn't simply mean the most for the least. Eating Garden was not an inexpensive meal -- $43.50 plus tip and no beverages.
Murray Leiter, Susan Silverman, Toronto