re my week on welfare (now, october 3-9). Councillor Joe Mihevc says after his experience living on a welfare budget that "I now know why some people on welfare get thin -- they are not eating. I also know why some people on welfare get fat -- they are eating poorly." Of course, any emotional stress or possible medical conditions are ruled out.
He does wonder about the isolation and devastation of children not fitting into their academic and social environment. But that isn't unique to people who struggle with money either.
Mihevc also sees why "stealing and violence" are more of a problem in schools where children come from poorer backgrounds. Now, if that doesn't sound like a stereotype....
Douglas Helliker, Toronto
Kick in the head deserved
I thought dining on my pride (NOW, October 3-9) was really great.
Reading it made me realize a lot of things, including the valuable role food banks play in our society, and how easy it would be for so many of us to make a contribution, but we don't because we're either unaware of the need or just plain lazy!
It's kind of a kick in the head, and well-deserved, too.
Give that writer a therapist
re fool's pageant (now, october 3-9). Does Sigcino Moyo have some unresolved personal issues with his community that he needs to work out in a more private forum? Like on the couch of his therapist's office?
There is a difference between constructive criticism and reinforcing negative stereotypes about the black community.
I am surprised and saddened that Mr. Moyo has done what others have repeatedly done to "us."
Laina Dawes, Toronto
Black pageant a mockery
your piece on the miss black World Canada pageant confirms my suspicions about how some black folks seem to have forgotten that not too long ago millions of people were stolen from Africa, packed in ships like sardines and forced to strut their rumps on auction blocks -- the first North American contestants.
I'm sure they would've preferred to be riding around buck naked on zebras instead of prancing around against their will being judged by people who deemed themselves superior.
Perhaps Mr. Pinnock and future participants might want to reconsider this blatant mockery of the ancestors' memory.
Roxanne Joseph, Etobicoke
Setting the record straight
re double standard of the week (NOW, October 3-9).
There has been much confusion and misunderstanding about buttons that are sold at the Toronto Women's Bookstore.
In response to some of the criticism we have received, it has become necessary to state the following:
We call for peace with justice in Israel and Palestine. We denounce violence. We condemn suicide bombings. We condemn the bombings of occupation. We do not support the killing of civilians in any conflict.
We do not sell buttons that support violence in the Middle East. The buttons we sell promote women's rights and peace in Palestine and Israel.
There have been concerns raised about our decision to sell buttons with political themes.
We are a political bookstore.
We carry a wide array of political buttons addressing many issues.
As an independent feminist bookstore, we encourage discussion, ideas and critical thinking. We believe that it is through dialogue that we can work across our differences.
May Lui, Co-Manager
Anjula Gogia, Co-Manager
Esther Vise, Board Member
I've got to take issue with your most recent Double Standard Of The Week. Chastising the Women's Bookstore for not selling the "Stop the Homicide Bombings" buttons proposed by the Canadian Jewish Congress completely ignores the fact that these bombings are suicides, and perpetuates the ideological myth that the only deaths worth protesting are those of Israelis.
Given that Now has been courageous in reporting the Israeli state's colonial and genocidal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, I find it both confusing and offensive that you would go after the Women's Bookstore. Suicide bombings are a direct, if tragic, result of the occupation.
Trish Salah, Toronto
Ten reasons to bomb Iraq
Top 10 good reasons to bomb Iraq.
10. It will make cool TV.
9. America gave Saddam all kinds of weapons, but then he turned into a jerk.
8. It will take our minds off wrecking the environment and corporate corruption.
7. A war would make an exciting backdrop for SUV commercials.
6. Only America should get to have weapons of mass destruction.
5. George Bush really gets a kick out of killing people.
4. It will be an excuse to smoke, and that will be good for Big Tobacco.
3. It will be great for arms sales.
2. America would be the best guys to dominate the world.
1. There are no good reasons to bomb Iraq -- only self-serving excuses.
M. Leith, Toronto
Playing the blame game
David Palter asserts that "if precious Iraqi lives are lost in a new war (then) Saddam Hussein and those who support him in Iraq will be the ones to blame." If we're going to play the blame game, there is, according to Kurt Nimmo's piece (NOW, October 3-9), the U.S. Department of Commerce's licensing of the sale of lethal anthrax and "chemical and biological samples" to Iraq to consider.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Nothing natural about H2O
re bottling hype (now, october 3-9). Besides the shoddy treatment of employees, the water bottling factory in which I worked this past summer really blew in terms of regulations and labelling.
In short, the amount of bacteria in bottled water may be caused not only by the contents of the water at source, but also by the shoddy bottling process that allows extended exposure to airborne particles.
Never once in my time did I see a safety inspector tour the grounds, which goes to show that the programs aren't in place to ensure workplace safety or clean drinking water.
I never did find out where that "natural" source we were supposedly getting the water from was either.
Carolyn Tripp, Toronto
Hysteria against Muslims
Thanks for providing coverage of Mahmoud Jaballah (NOW, September 26-October 2). Unfortunately, there are numerous questions that were not raised by your story.
CSIS has no new evidence against Jaballah, only a new interpretation of old facts that have already been declared unsound by a Canadian judge!
Why is Interpol treated as if it were some sort of official agency, when in fact it is an unaccountable police club that any country can submit a warrant to, regardless of that country's human rights abuse record?
NOW states that there is a fairly scary 21-page document of public facts about Mr. Jaballah, but your reporter was not in court last winter to see each and every item in that report collapse under the logic of thorough cross-examination.
We need to get beyond the hysteria being whipped up against Muslims.
Matthew Behrens, Toronto
Naomi a jewel
George Perry's take on the Naomi Klein appearance (NOW, October 3-9) missed the entire point.
We as Canadians should hold our heads high and be proud that one of our own has become a world leader in the fight against globalization. One can only hope that people like Perry will read her books and articles that have readers worldwide and finally get it.
Warren Brubacher, Toronto
Giving Greens the thumb
NOW does its readers a disservice in profiling only the Ontario PC, Liberals and NDP in the News Insight page (NOW, September 26-October 2).
The Greens surpassed the Ontario NDP in two by-elections last year and came within several percentage points in the Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey and Nipissing by-elections, although we are listed at only 1 per cent in a recent poll.
NOW does a great job reporting on lesser-known but promising bands, books, theatre and restaurants, so why are only old guard parties covered?
Frank de Jong, leader
Green Party of Ontario
Revisiting Tent City
I had the opportunity to cycle by the former Tent City location today and was astounded at the security "precautions" being taken by Home Depot.
If people thought the area looked bad (un-Toronto) before, it has the appearance of a gulag now!
Private security guards circle the perimeter, with the remains of people's housing / belongings in the background.
Even the trees between the Martin-Goodman Trail and the fence have been cut down, presumably to prevent scaling the heightened fencing.
The next municipal election can't come soon enough, and with it, hopefully, a fresh perspective on the reasons for our problems of segregation and homelessness.
Doug Dent, Toronto
Porn in advertising
I just wanted to say bravo to Finn Harvor for writing such an honest article on the problem of pornography in our society (NOW, September 26-October 2).
I Say No To Porn hit the nail right on the head. Sexually explicit advertisements and commercials are rarely put in the same category as pornography, though that is exactly what they are.
Shaina Burgess, Toronto
Perlich a pinhead
how nice of tim perlich to pronounce the Silver Dollar and the Toronto blues scene dead (October 3-9).
If the scene is suffering, surely NOW must shoulder some of the blame. After all, if you had hired someone with even the slightest idea of what blues is instead of the angry, anal and socially dysfunctional dolt Perlich, perhaps clubs like the Silver Dollar would draw better crowds.
Perlich wouldn't know real blues if it fell on his pointy little head.
Al Kirkcaldy, Peterborough
re John Harkness's review of Moonlight Mile (NOW, September 26-October 2).
Moonlight Mile should be taken on its merits as an artful, expressive and touching film, not as an Oscar-hungry, star-studded schlock factory.
The first two paragraphs are not even dedicated to a critique of the film, but to a complaint about the weather and a down mood.
Who cares if Susan Sarandon has three films opening in the space of two weeks? Who cares that the Rolling Stones' Moonlight Mile was never a single and could therefore not be in a juke box?
This movie matters enough to receive a decent review rather than a regurgitation of the review written during the film festival mixed with silly observations.
Krysta Massey , Toronto
Out with MuchMusic crowd
Each week I read now hoping that you might have freshened up My Style by sending the photographers and writers outside the Kensington- Queen-Yonge corridor. How about taking a look at some older, confident, smashing-looking women and men for a change, and give us a rest from the MuchMusic crowd?
Ruth Warner, Toronto