Cop Sours Special Day
I am writing to your magazine to tell your readers about my experience as a volunteer for the red ribbon campaign.
My father and I headed to the Eaton Centre to sell ribbons for AIDS research. This was special for me.
My father's friend passed away from AIDS-related complications a few weeks back, and since I did not know her and did not attend her funeral, I wanted to go out and support a good cause in her memory.
Dad and I spent a wonderful day together. Many we encountered thanked us for our hard work, because they too had lost a friend or family member to AIDS.
What saddened me was the ignorance of others. I heard some very rude comments that I don't even want to repeat. The icing on the cake came when a Toronto police officer asked me what I was selling. "Is it for Apple Day?"
When I told him it was for AIDS research, his response was, "Eeeewww, I don't have money for that."
I do appreciate the Toronto police, but comments like that, especially while in uniform? Shame.
The "Good" in T.O.
I was walking along Dundas west one afternoon when I passed by a public school. I noticed a group of boys, about eight years old, playing soccer. There were a couple of black kids, and the rest were Chinese.
Suddenly, one of the bigger Chinese boys and a black kid started fighting. They were hitting each other and kicking a bit. The Chinese kid grabbed the black kid and they both fell to the ground.
The Chinese kid looked to be winning. A few of the other Chinese boys started circling around and taking little kicks at the black kid on the ground. I thought this could get ugly, and stopped to watch just in case.
Then one of the other Chinese kids pushed the boys away. The Chinese boy fighting with the black kid stopped fighting and got up and walked away. The black kid got up and dusted himself off.
One of the Chinese guys came over and he and the black kid walked back to where the soccer game had resumed playing. End of fight. Sometimes something happens that makes Toronto seem like a really great city.
Dennis Mills strikes again
To Mr. Dennis Mills (member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth). My family recently received three Christmas cards from you. We read your card and realized it was actually a pamphlet of Christian propaganda.
Throughout the card you say that World Youth Day 2002 is "an interfaith celebration of peace." Yet only one faith is mentioned.
These are the words you chose to describe non-Christian faiths: "the other followers of other religions," "interfaith celebration," "values that belong to all faiths," "multi-faith."
When I visited the World Youth Day 2002 Web site, I was surprised to find out that "WYD is meant primarily for Catholic youth."
I think it was very disrespectful on your part to promote Catholicism and not recognize "the other followers of other religions," and use our tax dollars in the process.
Emily Doehler-Knox and four others
Rude Table Talk
We were relishing one of those great days when you feel strong, creative and ready to take on the world.
We sat down in one of our regular spots, anxious to discuss our plans for our department, our future, when we heard a loud-mouthed burly white man yammering on to one of the other five men at his table about his most recent "threesome."
Then the conversation turned to the details of an elaborate betting scheme that was being hatched for their office Christmas party. We sat frozen with horror.
What were they betting on? Well, which of the women at the office they were sure they were going to "lay."
They established a $100 prize. The interesting part (to them) was who could get which woman and where. (Apparently, cubicle ambushes don't compare to the boss's office.)
We would have liked to hang around to learn the name of the company, the names of these disgusting men and which dark alleys they hang out in.
But we were both going to be sick.
Getting the Spin Around
I'm really frustrated. i've been frustrated ever since I graduated. Every day I wake up and look for a job for four or five hours. Every day I send out resumés. Every day I call people about jobs. And every day I'm unsuccessful.
The reason: "not enough experience." I have worked so hard the last three years to gain experience by working for free. I even moved across the continent at my own expense to do an internship at Capitol in California.
I have student loans to pay off.
I know so many people who would be excellent for any record company. And all of these people are doing nothing, only because everyone is concerned with "experience."
Don't let us go to waste. This is our dream.
Beating up the homeless
As I do my security shift at Cumberland Terrace, I note a police cruiser from 52 Division.
I notice another unmarked car. There are four police circling a homeless man and beating him senseless, batons pounding -- bloody mess. Why? Pounding, pounding.
I am on the second level, so the police can't see I am watching them. They cuff hog-tie this poor homeless man and throw him in the back seat like he's an old carpet.
The police association got the chief they wanted. Now the association beats up on Fantino. If this is the way they treat their own, how do you expect them to treat the ordinary citizen of Toronto?
I've noticed that police never walk. They are always in their cruisers. I've noticed that police are still very white and do not reflect the ethnic makeup of Toronto. I am told very few Toronto police actually live in the city. When did things get so messed up? This TV-style rogue mentality is wearing thin.
Name withheld by request
Hard turn to the right
Please identify the Tory you hired to write the Upfront column in your December 13-19 edition.
There's something wrong with Rae working for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Red Cross? There's a contradiction between Alexa McDonough saying the Canadian military is underfunded and that the government has overreacted to the terrorists?
Mike Colle's proposed legislation against puppy mills was inferior to the bill proposed by a Tory dog breeder?
I realize your magazine wishes to attract more right-wing readers, but if you keep publishing things like this people may think they're true.
NOW has done a great job of keeping real public issues in the spotlight at a time when sanity has gone out the window.
But Alice Klein's article Saved By Al Qaeda (NOW, December 13-19) moved me to write. Particularly, there is one line she wrote: "Security and military needs have written a big role for government back into the neo-liberal formula."
For at least a decade it has seemed as though anybody elected into government was bent on destroying it.
While effectively killing any capacity for citizens to use governments as a tool to improve society, the real decision-makers have sought to redefine the role of government as the official enforcer of a New World Order.
In this order, health, education, water and electricity are all things for corporations to sell at a profit.
But it is more than just manning the guns, printing the money and writing the laws: theoretically, that could all be outsourced, too. The role of government in the NWO is to lend its "legitimacy" to a new system of power structures. These systems are designed with one intention: to maximize profit. They are the very things our ancestors, from Jesus to Jefferson, fought against.
A hunting we will go
Last month the Ontario government decided to support hunters by recognizing legally the right of Ontarians to hunt. (The bill has since died on the order paper.)
Some 97 per cent of the letters received by the government from the public supported this right.
Those who write in support of the right to hunt are doing tremendous damage to wildlife conservation efforts, to the values of peace and compassion and to the ideal that we should live in harmony with other creatures.
The government would have me turn my back on the beautiful wildlife in Ontario so that hunters can bleed this wildlife for their enjoyment. I worry for Ontario's wild creatures.
Ads polluting our minds
Is it just me, or am i really havingto fight to find a space where I can open my eyes, ears and mind without someone bombarding me with a sales pitch?
You'd think your home would be a place where you could control and limit the encroaching effects of our corporate-culture economy.
So what do I see when I look out my front window? Paper bags emblazoned with Canadian Tire and Home Depot logos. Since we changed from plastic to paper for the environment's sake, could we not legislate that they be free from mind pollution as well?
Do I need to walk through a nice residential neighbourhood and be bombarded with these kitschy ads? Isn't there a bylaw that prevents this type of atrocity? There ought to be.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Our free local newspaper, which is really just a wrapper for advertising flyers, regularly arrives with huge volumes of print ads.
We got out the kitchen scale and, sure enough, it weighed close to two and a half pounds! Something needs to be done.