Easier to blame the Yanks
Surprise, surprise -- another antiU.S. piece in NOW. This time it's a list of dictators aided by the States since 9/11 (NOW, September 5-11), tallying up more than 150 executions by said dictators in the past year.
This is all too typical of leftist peaceniks: quiet as church mice on the matter of mass atrocities in the Third World but angry as hell at anything having to do with the U.S. or Israel.
Perhaps the poor Palestinians and Afghans (or whoever else fits the bill as U.S.-oppressed victims-of-the-week) would be better served if NOW focused on the power-hungry, totalitarian dictators, warlords and religious clerics who are responsible for leading millions in the Third World straight into the gutter.
But, then, it's so much easier to just blame it all on the Yanks and Zionists.
Jan Burton, Toronto
The lessons of 9/11
On this, the first anniversaryof 9/11, it's sad to say that the Americans have learned absolutely nothing from the epiphanic event.The remembrance being planned will no doubt be a self-indulgent Hollywood-inspired orgy of mawkish panegyrics, grandiloquent platitudes and jingoistic fervour. Americans have gone soft in the head.
Rather than swiftly rebuilding the magnificent, gleaming towers, adding 11 floors to each in defiance, Bush is stupid enough to contemplate invading Iraq, ensuring that the proverbial you-know-what will hit the fan, with the whole Muslim world inflamed with hate and vengeance.
O.G. Pamp, Tweed
The miracle of marijuana
I just read the letter by Brian Martinka (NOW, September 5-11). It's clear Martinka has never had a loved one who benefited from marijuana.
In 1983, my grandfather developed throat cancer. My grandmother would allow him one hand-rolled cigarette each day. When she found out that marijuana might help his appetite, we would put the "medicine" in the cigarette and watch before our very eyes the miracle of marijuana. He immediately stopped throwing up and was able to keep his food and medicine in his stomach, where it belonged.
I pray that Martinka never has to find out about the medical uses of marijuana the way I did.
What a load of crap
Brian Martinka claims, "it's blatantly clear that the ill are being used by the pot lobby to achieve their objective of making marijuana widely accessible for all."
As a part-time caregiver to a few who are physically challenged and use cannabis to alleviate the ravages of conditions such as MS, I find this a patently absurd and crass insult.
Dr. Patrick Smith of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health told the Senate special committee on illegal drugs that "if we discovered three drugs today and they were alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, there isn't an expert in the country who would recommend that marijuana be the one banned based on individual and societal harm."Martinka should also be aware of the fact that thousands of bona fide medical practitioners would, as he not so eloquently put it, call that crap a "medicine."
Wayne Phillips, Hamilton
Just like suits at the Post
re reality check of the week, inUpfront (NOW, September 5-11). Your slagging of the National Post for its Alberta To Fight Kyoto Plan is hitting slightly below the journalistic belt.For one thing, like it or not, many people regard a premier's stated position as the position of the province. The Post is just making use of the well-oiled device of metonymy.One of your other Upfront items is headed Steve's Jihad. How can what is probably an ill-advised upcoming single by Steve Earle about soldier of misfortune John Walker be called a holy war?Fess up -- you were just trying to get our attention, weren't you? Just like the right-wing suits over at the Post.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
With our government making noises about ratifying the Kyoto Accord and immediately cutting greenhouse gas emissions, I wonder what will happen if we don't?
It's not like we're dying off. Life expectancy has risen to unprecedented levels in every nation over the past 50 years, and the folks from the industrial nations who are most to blame for the emissions live the longest.Where we find low life expectancy is in developing nations, and Kyoto allows them to emit as much of these gases as they wish over the next century. Just where is the logic in that?
Stick to the blow job ads
In skimming through your archives, I found 400 articles containing references to Israel. Of those, 100 per cent were anti-Israel. I've never read such a one-sided view of a conflict in any publication.
Either get the facts or stick to running blow job and whorehouse ads in your back pages.No one ever hears of the millions of displaced Jews from Arab countries. Where we were once all together, we are now all separate. But a Jew kills one Palestinian in self-defence and the world media goes crazy. Does anyone have an explanation for this?
Charly Hazan, Toronto
Unpopular but valid views
I am writing to express support for your uncompromising reporting on the situation in the Middle East.NOW is fulfilling the essential function of being the only publication with a serious reach in Toronto that talks about issues honestly and expresses unpopular but valid views, whether it's the Middle East, issues affecting the disabled or whatever else. Keep up the good work!
Jamil Ali, Toronto
In his praise for an article by Don Wanagas, letter writer Jim Richmond of Etobicoke Parents for Public Education refers to the Ontario government as "the Nazis at Queen's Park" (NOW, September 5-11).I'd urge Richmond to go back to high school and study what Nazism was all about. To compare any democratically elected government in this country to the Nazis betrays a gross historical ignorance.
Bernie M. Farber
Canadian Jewish Congress
Pedestrians have rights, too
I note that you printed a letter from Ann Hansen, a bicycle propagandist, in which she complains that she recently had to spend money on the TTC because the air was too bad for bicycle riding (NOW, August 29-September 4).
Yet my letter asking that you draw attention to the constant invasion of our sidewalks by irresponsible cyclists and reprint the poster recently produced by the city cycling committee has not been printed.
We, too, of course, spend money on the TTC, and what's worse, can't walk in peace even when the air is not bad.
Is it not time you remembered that pedestrians have rights, too?
Miriam M. Abileah, Toronto
Stink on the TTC
as the summer wears on, the stink seems to build on the TTC. The buses are hot and disgusting, the subways musty and dank. I don't know whose brainchild it was to have transit seats made of a gunk-holding fabric, but I for one would love to see this person's home to find out what other marvels of design have been dreamed up. Pack your air fresheners if you're going downtown. It would seem that a lot of our great city's people have not discovered deodorant.
Andy Thomson, Toronto
Richard freedman writes aboutmy presumed confusion as to what happened to those tadpoles dumped in them there Parkdale backyards (NOW, August 22-28).I doubt it, but they may have turned into frogs. And then those frogs were crushed by cars, killed by cats, burned to death in the sun or died in any number of urban nightmare endings for basically helpless amphibians.
Bob Allisat, Toronto
On saturday, before the triumphant U.S. Open women's tennis final, the non-American world was startled to hear Aretha Franklin and a blacks-only boys choir sing God Save The Queen with brand new words added -- something about "freedom."
So if we Canadians next hear our own anthem being belted out with words like "Yo New York State, Why is it we're so great?" let's not act offended, or they won't defend us against their enemies -- or buy our water.
Simon Leigh, Toronto
Ad a tad cracked
Just have to comment on the eye-catching ad for ORGASM.com on page 132 (NOW, September 5-11). The poor model appears to have had her spine crushed and twisted. Nasty car accident? Or just really clumsy air-brushing to conceal the crack of her ass from the eyes of innocents?
Ruth Barrett, Toronto
New and improved Bamboo
As a loyal reader, I have always been impressed by the high level of journalistic excellence that has been the hallmark of your paper.You can imagine, then, my bewilderment with Bamboo Bamboozled (NOW, August 29-September 4).
Had your reporter contacted me, he or she would have discovered that for the past year I have been working on a new club, bigger and better than the original Bamboo location on Queen.
My focus is to create an entertainment complex and special events venue that will expand on my longstanding vision to build an eco-friendly multimedia establishment for Torontonians as part of the harbourfront.
Although sentimentality and nostalgia are comforting in times like these, they should not impede and haunt the future.
Richard O'Brien, Toronto