Potheads a menace
all those selfish drug promoters like Enzo Di Matteo (NOW, February 7-13) should realize that the marijuana issue is not only about their rights, but also about the rights of those who do not wish to walk through a cloud of narcotic each time they exit an office building.
For all I care, Di Matteo can smoke his grass marinated in vodka and sprinkled with crack out of the barrel of a loaded shotgun, but let him do it outside of this country.
I don't want to be standing in an elevator or driving in traffic with someone who just got high on grass, because that's exactly where their rights end and mine begin.
Brian Martinka, Toronto
Drug war for the dim-witted
just finished reading growing Concern (NOW, February 7-13) and must say I'm thoroughly impressed.
The propaganda tactics used by the U.S. to manipulate its citizens' views and liberties are glaringly obvious even to the most dim-witted.
Much like the widespread social non-acceptance of homosexuality, pot users, too, are being persecuted.
Chris Smith, Toronto
Easy torture remedy
i have a suggestion for messrs (Alan) Dershowitz and (David) Harris, who believe torture is OK.
Maybe they should be allowed to come up with a list of "legal" torture methods and then volunteer to be put through each of them.
Naeem Siddiqi, Scarborough
Buffy will save us from U.S.
you published an informative article about the debate in the U.S. over the possible use of torture to gain information about international terrorism (NOW, February 7-13).
But you also sensationalize this situation with your screaming headline U.S. Hot To Torture, implying that the U.S. is a nation of depraved sadists who love to torture people.
Really, you have missed the bigger story. Haven't you ever wondered why it is that Americans are seen only at night? Why they have such long, pointy teeth? Why they are repelled by the sign of the cross? Their sadistic lust for torture is just a minor aspect of their true, unspeakable evil.
But don't worry. Buffy the Vampire Slayer will save us.
David Palter, Toronto
A woman's place
after reading the letter from Matthew Behrens (NOW, February 7-13), I realized there's something Matthew has in common with Prime Minister Jean Chretien: both seem unwilling to allow women to speak for themselves or to consult with women on women's issues. We keep trying with these men. When will they learn?
Karen Harrison Toronto Action for Social Change
Arafat the real villain
if, as i would like to believe, you truly oppose anti-Semitism and cold-blooded murder, then you should praise Itamar Marcus (NOW, January 31-February 6) rather than condemn him for his tireless efforts to help the world understand the astonishingly under-reported facts of official Palestinian incitement to lethal violence.
In fact, the New York Times's Deborah Sontag did find school texts in Ramallah that effectively deny Israel's right to exist. Sontag reports that in the Palestinian school text, "Israel is not pictured. Tel Aviv does not exist."
How interesting that even though you find it necessary to slander Marcus as a "propagandist," you quote Mr. Asfour of the Canadian Arab Federation, who goes so far as to condemn Marcus's documented factual presentation as a source of hatred, rather than placing the blame on the true source of the hate: the Arafat-led Palestinian Authority.
Dan Adam, Toronto
Israel teaches denial
re floating myths. Thanks for writing about this very important issue.
Unfortunately, Israel and its apologists have succeeded in falsely convincing many in North America that Palestinian textbooks are filled with hate. As a Palestinian who finished high school in the West Bank city of Hebron, I was never allowed to learn anything about Palestinian history.
The Palestinian flag or any combination of its colours was not allowed in our art classes.
I have a brother and two sisters in the school system in Palestine today. I challenge anyone to bring a textbook being used in Palestine today that teaches Palestinian children hate toward Jews or anyone else. In fact, the Palestinian textbooks are much better than Israel's books.
Jehad Aliweiwi, North York
Mel's Valentine message
valentine mel's number-one expression of love (NOW, February 7-13): "Bend over Toronto, or I'm giving the city back to the natives!"
James Boob, Toronto
Who's sorry now?
so toronto's business leaders find Mel Lastman an embarrassment (NOW, January 30-February 6)? And well they should! Their financial support put him in office in the first place.
I recall two other snakes in the grass -- Al Leach and Mike Harris -- who did their part to lay siege to the city of Toronto. Unfortunately, Mel didn't get out soon enough and is now taking all the flak.
I pray that our next mayor sees this city as more than a money-making machine.
David Moore, Toronto
We owe much to the car
i continue to be amazed and appalled by some of your letter-writers' self-righteous, egotistical proclamations on how they are superior, caring citizens because they ride bikes and presumably never, ever use a car to get anywhere (NOW, February 7-13).
I suppose if these cranks, who probably live in the downtown core in trendy little condos or townhouses and are well-serviced by every convenience known to humankind, understood that they probably achieved their status through an economy led by the manufacturing of cars, they might be a little more humble in their lofty criticism.
John Borovilos, Toronto
The measure of a porn star
i am writing to express grave concern about the misleading, if not fraudulent, representation found on the back of the Ron Jeremy T-shirt (NOW, February 7-13). This T-shirt promoting his new movie is available on his Web site. It states, "Over 1 million served."
Since sexual conquest is often measured by numbers, I thought I might put this number to the test.
Assuming that Mr. Jeremy had sexual congress every day of the year with 10 women, that would mean 3,650 women per year, and applying that figure to his 20-year career, we regret to say the number only reaches 730,000.
I want to order a T-shirt, but feel unprepared to confront this inevitable question.
David Reese, Toronto
Berry's breasts not the first
in his review of monster's ball (NOW, January 31-February 6), Cameron Bailey writes that "Swordfish marked the most gratuitous display of breasts ever by a woman (Halle Berry) who already had an established career."
Surely, you must recall Julie Andrews getting the matter off her chest in husband Blake Edwards's S.O.B. When it comes to gratuitous celebrity tatas, I'm afraid Andrews's pink Alps predated Berry's golden globes by 21 years.
Rick Klaver, Kitchener
In praise of older women
sitting through the stage production of The Graduate (NOW, January 24-30) was about as fascinating as it will be to watch Dawson's Creek Takes Broadway or American Pie: The Musical 30 years from now.
It's appalling theatre -- a formulaic blend of nostalgic revival with a few stars guaranteed to create a hit.
The characters talk endlessly of rebelling against society and their parents, yet, in the end, Benjamin chooses to learn nothing from the sophisticated older woman. He goes off with the stupid young girl who never questions anything. Great message!!
I am in a committed, loving relationship with a man 30 years older than myself. I am appalled by the treatment of this issue.
GARETH BATE, Toronto
Get plugged in
finally caught up with your Best-Of issue for 2001 (NOW, December 27-January 2). You guys really missed the boat by not mentioning Jill Scott in the best album or best concert lists. The vocal power, poetry and personal charisma of this performer puts the likes of Macy Gray (on many of your best album lists) to shame. Come on, NOW, plug in.
Joshua Burston, Toronto
Crap that sells advertising
the white star line article is fucking pathetic (NOW, February 7-13). All I read are lies. Is this the kind of crap you need to put out in order to pick up some more ads?
Luca Maoloni, Toronto Editor's Note: Luca Maoloni is a member of White Star Line.