When josh brull complained that NOW's Mideast coverage is anti-Israeli/pro-Palestinian (NOW, August 15-21), he condemned NOW staff as stupid leftist racists. Such an ignorant statement stifles debate and posits any opposing viewpoint as morally wrong and therefore irrelevant.
If there is indeed some merit to Brull's statement that NOW's Mideast coverage is biased, he unfortunately negated the opportunity for critical debate and scrutiny by resorting to name-calling. Such talk is pejorative, reactive, counterproductive and, yes, just plain stupid.
Tony Elliott, Toronto
Happy to dance
It was with shock and dismay that we read of a Toronto adult club's discriminatory and illegal treatment of your writer and his friends (NOW, August 15-21).
At Filmores Adult Playground, we welcome disabled patrons as we do all patrons, with an outstretched hand and gratitude. We frequently accommodate wheelchair-bound patrons. Our doormen are very familiar with the logistical needs of patrons using wheelchairs. Our dancers love to entertain men and women, without qualification.
May we suggest that Mr. Shupak and his friends, or any of your readers, consider trying Filmores the next time they head out with people who might have special needs?
President, Filmores Adult Playground
Look it up
Read bob allisat's letter (now, August 15-21) and was puzzled by only one detail -- his confusion about what happened to all the tadpoles collected in previous seasons by Lesley McAllister. Here's a thought: they turned into frogs. You know, I'm all for a strong concern for the environment, and have one myself. But for Christ's sake, read a book.
Richard Freedman, Toronto
We all killed Elvis
Listen, i love elvis. i listen to his music pretty much every day. But let's not let our love of the King lead us to rewrite history, Robert Priest (NOW, August 15-21).
No one who has read Peter Guralnick's exhaustively researched and beautifully written definitive two-part biography of Elvis, Last Train To Memphis and Careless Love, can come away with anything but a sense of horror and sadness at what a pilled-up, tottering wreck the King had become by the end. His manager, "Colonel" Tom Parker, pushed him onstage (Elvis had very little interest in performing for the last few years of his life), largely because Parker was up to his ass in debt to Las Vegas casinos.
While it's true that Elvis suffered from a variety of hereditary disorders that contributed to his death, Priest's starry-eyed hero worship does the King a disservice. After all, it was the same sort of excuse-making and refusal to accept the legitimate evidence at hand that allowed Elvis's small army of handlers and millions of fans to live in denial throughout the 70s and push the poor man toward an ugly, early death.
Beau Levitt, Toronto
After weeks of reading your ex- tensively one-sided (to the left, simply for the sake of being on the left) coverage of World Youth Day, even I, a non-Catholic, can't help but chuckle at the desperate lengths you go to in order to berate and beat down what was essentially a positive experience. Perhaps born and bred on cynicism, downtown "indie" journalists must lash out at the sight of whole crowds smiling, laughing and singing because it's so foreign to them. Well, it's foreign to me, too, but at least I'm still human enough to cherish it. Forget, if you can, what the Church objects to and try to remember what it stands for: love. Marc Boudignon , Toronto
Tax benefits outrageous
It is indeed hard to swallow the fact that the Catholic Church is able to cover its own WYD shortfall with tax receipts (NOW, August 15-21). But let's not rock the boat too much on this. There have been many worthy causes over the years -- some of which even NOW would heartily endorse -- that have achieved tax-deductible status only through the very loosest affiliations with some religious group or other.
The truly outrageous scandal here is our Canadian tax system. It offers major tax benefits for donations to hack politicians, with minimal rewards for donations to even the worthiest charitable causes.
Christopher Clapp, Toronto
TTC, stop your engines
re ttc, the smoggier way (now, August 15-21). I sympathize with Joachim Richter's complaint about buses idling near his home. Buses on the University route regularly idle just north of College.
I doubt this is a unique site. Richter's letter from TTC general manager Rick Ducharme refers to instructions to drivers not to idle for more than three minutes to conform to the Toronto bylaw.
The anti-idling campaign about to get going in Mississauga as well as Ottawa suggests shutting down within 10 seconds. Each and every time. How bout it, Mr. Ducharme?
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Park it already and ride
Perhaps the best place to start when it comes to changing commuter habits would be the TTC itself.
A number of years back, the TTC wanted to build a 250-car parking lot at the end of my quiet street, adjacent to the Greenwood Yards. Its argument was, "Our staff who come in from outside the city must be able to drive to work." (!) Our response was, "Why not have them park at the periphery and use the TTC, which they can use for free?" Not acceptable, we were told.
Eventually, the TTC settled for, in its mind, "the bare bones" of 100 spaces. It was a bit of a struggle, and after five years the TTC has yet to fulfill its side of the agreement it made with the community.
Shouldn't the TTC make its employees park at the appropriate station and use the "the better way" to come to work (at no charge) when the system is running? Surely, the TTC can lead the way. If it can't, why should anyone else change?
Nicholas Brooks, Toronto
Police priorities all wrong
If the police in our country have the resources to waste on a three-month investigation of a Compassion Club that has operated openly for years, then their complaints of underfunding must be wildly exaggerated.
Aren't there any unsolved murders or violent robberies in Toronto?
I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the Toronto police never caught the criminal thugs who stormed into the Toronto Compassion Club and beat its female employees three months ago in the violent robbery that started this ludicrous waste of taxpayers' money by Toronto's "finest."
What kind of dumb, evil fascists run the Toronto police department? Chris Donald,
Stop the megacity whine
Re 905 state of mind (now, August, 15-21). As if this is news. Have your reporters, or city council for that matter, ever heard of a little town called New York City? The home of superdense Manhattan also has outlying areas that are extremely low-density, village-like and remote from "city" services like, say, mass transit and expensive infrastructure. They've been whining over which area gets what since their own mega-merger 100 years ago.
Just accept the Toronto borders as they are and focus on the important things, like cleaning up the place.
New York, NY
Welcome to the party
As a great admirer of Marlene Nourbese Philip's body of work, I am disappointed and a little bit angry that she would call Caribana an "African-based" festival (NOW, August 15-21). Last time this Trinidadian-descended daughter checked, people of South Asian and Chinese descent were all over the region.
Depending on where one wanted to draw the dividing line, perhaps our Spanish-speaking, salsa-dancing cousins in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries should also be welcomed to the party. But black as they may be, Shaq, Puff Daddy and American hiphop have no place in Caribana. And the next time Ms. Nourbese Philip finds herself enjoying a curry aloo and roti, perhaps she should reflect more fully on the origins of that Caribbean treat.
D. Balkissoon, Toronto
Avoid lipstick buffet
After reading Sibylle Preuschat's article Loser Lipsticks (NOW, August 8-14) and learning that "a woman who wears lipstick every day will end up eating about a pound of the stuff every year," I eyed my tube of Burt's Bees lipstick warily. Then a quick check of the label (net weight: 2.3 grams or .08 ounces) and some fiddling with a calculator showed a woman would need to eat 197 tubes of lipstick to ingest a pound (454 grams).
I agree with Ms. Preuschat that women should be concerned about potentially toxic ingredients in their cosmetics, but unless a woman sits down at a cosmetics counter with a knife and fork, it's unlikely she'll eat a pound of lipstick.
Lori Bloomfield, Toronto