Stevie, you'll be missed
It's too bad that Steve Macdonald of Halifax "will never ever read (this) paper again" (NOW, October 17-23).
One of my great joys in reading NOW is those occasional letters from mean-spirited micro-minds like Steve who blame the "left" for every ill on the planet.
Such creatures have absolutely no capacity for looking at their own privilege, so they join in on the state-sanctioned fun of dumping on those who are down.
Sure, the left ain't often pretty. What do you expect from people who are resisting homelessness, hunger, ecological devastation and police harassment? A shiny infomercial about "opportunities in the new millennium"?
I think what really bothers shitheads like Steve is how the few outlets (like NOW) of real funk and flava in this corporate-conservative culture invariably bend toward the left.
Stevie, you will be missed, though I know there's likely a long line of similar-minded parasites waiting to whine in your stead -- 'cause it's much easier than honest reflection.
Andrew James, Toronto
Truth or consequences
justin kennedy, an american, writes in to say that he's "shocked by the bile spewed toward the U.S." (NOW October 3-9). He's surprised by the fact that many Canadians consider Americans ignorant and in some ways deserving of the 9/11 attacks. He concludes that our resentment of the U.S. is due to a Canadian inferiority complex.
Well, Justin, as a Canadian, I'm shocked to find an American who is actually aware of his country's encroachment on Canada's or any other country's political, economic, and social sovereignty. However, that you're "shocked" by our resenting you for it does not surprise me in the least.
If most Americans can buy gas for their cars and Nikes for their feet fully aware of the terrible regimes their money supports, don't you think they should be willing to face the consequences?
Rocco de Giacomo, Toronto
U.S. right about one thing
The recent attack in indonesia was very quickly blamed on al Queda (NOW, October 17-23), but I think every news source has so far missed what would seem to be an obvious connection -- the bloody atrocities carried out by the Indonesian army in East Timor in 1998, resulting in the murder of 200,000 of its 700,000 inhabitants.
It would be logical to suppose that the attack on a Western "soft target" stems from the terror inflicted in East Timor by the West through active and not so tacit support. I won't regale you with details about the atrocities or U.S. involvement. The information is well understood in Indonesia.
Donald Rumsfeld is right about one thing, if only one thing: there will be future attacks.
Tom Pashkov, Richmond Hill
re israel's numbers game (now, October 17-23). We on the left always thought liberal immigration policies were a good thing, but apparently not in Israel's case.
Indeed, Israel usually suffers a double standard. Yes, Israel is encouraging Jewish immigration to a Jewish state.
Perhaps Uri Avnery has conveniently forgotten the massive Jewish emigration from Arab countries (my family among them) where Jews were discriminated against or outright persecuted.
If Israel had existed during the second world war as a haven for Jews, perhaps millions wouldn't have been burned in ovens.
Josephine Ohayon, Toronto
Dissed for being utopian
geoff rytell objects to my blaming Saddam Hussein for any upcoming war, on the grounds that it was the U.S. Department of Commerce that licensed the sale of anthrax and other dangerous materials to Iraq (NOW, October 10-16).
I am actually not eager for war with Iraq. I believe it would be more productive for the U.S. to find peaceful solutions that would bring an end to the increasing hostility between the U.S. and the Muslim world.
I have occasionally tried to suggest such solutions, but I'm dismissed as overly utopian.
David Palter, Toronto
Politician's wet dream
your report on censorship of books by Canadian Customs astounded (Now, October, 17-23).
Well, not really. Customs officials act improperly all the time. I've been a victim of these nameless and faceless bureaucrats myself.
Can Canada call itself a free country? Only in a politician's wet dreams.
Max Blanco, Toronto
Solution to litter problem
re litter bug (now, october 1723). Unfortunately, Toronto the clean has become Toronto the garbage haven. Not only is it up to the fast food industry to clean up its act, but it's up to each and every citizen of this city to sort his or her waste and put it in recycling bins, where available, and not on the streets. In Montreal, pop cans and plastic water bottles can be returned to stores for 5 cents each. I can tell you that there wouldn't be too many of those lying around our streets if we adopted this policy.
Chantal Clermont, Toronto
Holding waterfront bag
the long-awaited business plan for the Toronto waterfront has finally been released.
My major concern is with the murky questions surrounding public lands and public investment.
Looking at maps from 100 years ago, we notice that most of (the land) due to be revitalized was used by individuals and industry as garbage and sewage dumps. When this was deemed a health hazard, the public paid to fill in the marshes and shoreline, creating valuable new real estate for a growing city.
The land was then handed over to industry and unaccountable public agencies that created a big mess in the pursuit of economic progress.
Still-unaccountable public agencies are major barriers to plans to revitalize the waterfront (Ontario Power Generation and the Port Authority in particular). But many of the industries are gone, leaving a highly toxic mess.
Robert Fung's plan calls for almost $300 million of public money to be spent "remediating" the soil, and billions more in capital costs to revitalize the waterfront. Will the old pattern -- private messes cleaned up with the public purse, only to be turned over to private interests to be messed up again -- be repeated for the third time in fewer than 100 years on the north shore of Lake Ontario?
Greg Bonser, Toronto
Dopeheads get their yayas
Skydome's acoustics aren't the greatest, and Mick Jagger isn't able to hit those high notes any more, but the Stones concert was a ga-ga-gas. But why do the dopeheads insist on being so self-centred that they're unable or unwilling to consider that some (the majority?) of us may actually want to enjoy a concert without the odour or headache of their habit.
Jeff Feldman, Toronto
Steamed over buns
NOW restaurant reviewer Steven Davey ought to do less sloppy guesswork. Why not read some cookbooks? Better yet, why not invite members of local immigrant communities to help him write about their foods?
Davey's review of Chinese Traditional Buns (NOW, October 3-9) is a case in point. The restaurant serves northern-Chinese-style snacks that are made from wheat flour, not, as he guesses, rice flour (as in southern Chinese dim sum).
The "steamed bao dumplings" he refers to are not dumplings. "Bao" is Mandarin for "steamed bun," made from yeasted dough. Dumplings are made from unyeasted dough. If he'd asked, he would've found out the Qinchuan cold steamed noodles are made from wheat flour, not rice flour.
Hilary Buttrick, Toronto
Savage a jackass
dan savage's lumping of american religious jackasses with French Canadians puzzles me greatly (NOW, October 17-23).
He talks of the Queen of England, our patriotism toward the Crown and Louis Garneau, a French Canadian who broke protocol this past week by placing his arm around Queen Elizabeth's shoulder. Cheap feels aside, French Canadians might be shit-disturbers, but they certainly are not jackasses.
Merika Ramundo, Toronto