Savage war talk clueless
I heard your columnist Dan Savage speak on the CBC-TV show The End recently.
Savage has given some great sex advice in his columns. However, I am disgusted and shocked at his comments about the U.S.- led war on Iraq and "terrorism." Does this man even read NOW?
Please do not support him. I don't want to read Savage in my wonderful world of NOW.
We read war-mongering, imperialist lies all over the media. We don't need this perspective in conscientious publications.
Savage is gaining notoriety all over North America. A quick scan on the Internet will give your readers a sense of what he's been up to. Savage is not only pro-war, but he's also anti-left and quite a flaming bigot. I'm ashamed that he's gay. Please get rid of him or give him a clue.
Arshad Khan, Toronto
Iraq ain't no Vietnam
Letter writer Eric Brauer likens the Bush oil war in Iraq to the American war in Vietnam (NOW, March 6-12).
Consider that there were few high-tech "toys" at the U.S.'s disposal then, and many American soldiers lost their lives.
U.S. bombers likely won't be dumping unused bombs all over the countryside, many of which are still killing and maiming (in Vietnam) to this day, when it's all said and done.
They won't be using Agent Orange either, whose victims are still being born three generations later.
Buon Me Thuot, Vietnam
This letter is in response to "Hanoi" Eric Brauer's response last week to my letter.
So you're one of those suburban, U of T coffee-house peace activists, eh?
Well, you know, I think that's adorable, but it's grown-up time now, and you should leave big matters like Iraq and peacekeeping to the adults.
If peacekeeping were all handing out candy bars and digging wells, like you think, I still doubt you'd be man enough for it.
Check out (David Drake's) The Sharp End and spare us all your rhetoric.
If your next letter doesn't come from Human Shield Central, it'll pretty much show your Mickey Mouse level of commitment to anything, much less any legitimate anti-war movement.
Able Seaman Brendan Webber, Toronto
U.S. boycott second thought
re boycotting the war (now, March 6-12).
Your letter writer imagines if we "bought French instead of California wine, Molson instead of Coors, Zellers instead of Wal-Mart," the American economy would begin to feel it. This requires a second thought.
Would the boycott include American pharmaceutical products and medical equipment, research and university books published in the U.S., information technology hardware and software and so on?
Eighty per cent of our exports go to the U.S., our biggest trading partner. Could we stop that trade? Could we close all the American branch plants in Canada, starting with the automotive industry?
Boycotting might sound nice, but it is not practical. We would be cutting off our nose to spite our face.
George Remedios, Toronto
Praying for America
I watched a sombre president George W. Bush in his speech to the nation on Thursday and admired his inflexible resolve.
This was the president at his best, convincing viewers that he has exhausted every possible avenue to avert war.
God bless the Americans, Britons and Australians who valiantly stand on the front lines of the offensive to liberate Iraq.
I love America the beautiful and pray she will triumph over the dangerous menaces to freedom.
David C. Searle, Toronto
Savvy won't save TTC
re helen armstrong's saving the TTC (NOW, March 6-12).
A well-intentioned and interesting read. However, isn't the fundamental and inescapable issue the quality of service?
The fact is, TTC services are increasingly inadequate for a city Toronto's size. The bus platform at my old station of Jane resembles a refugee camp more than a bus depot. Never mind the decrepit, smelly old buses.
Moreover, choked train platforms at Yonge and St. George during rush hour are a potential mass accident waiting to happen.
Subways run less frequently than I can remember, even after rush hour. When trains do arrive, they're invariably packed to the gills. Who wants to stand and grip the handrail at 11 pm after a long, hard day?
No amount of marketing savvy can change the fact that Toronto's transit system is in desperate need of huge amounts of cash.
Calum McLeod, Toronto
Waiting for bike weather
the "cut-rate" metropass you refer to in your (TTC) story isn't cut-rate at all. Allow me to help with the math.
Presumably, this $28.50 pass, good for seven days, is aimed at students. A one-way student fare is $1.25. One would need to take over 22 rides in that week to make this pass cost-effective. Hardly a bargain.
Compared to the adult monthly Metropass, the weekly pass costs 25 per cent (!) more, $4.07 a day versus an average of $3.25 a day.
I've got an idea: bring back the Catholic pilgrims. It seems the only time there's a real discount on transit is when the city and TTC want to impress visitors. Waiting for bike weather,
Neil Jones, Toronto
Dundas Square in disarray
re kyle rae (now, march 6-12). Rae's ward is in disarray. There are numerous development projects with no sense of what is good for the people in the ward.
But rest easy. If all the development projects rise with the not-so-greatness of Dundas Square, it will be centuries before the current skyline disappears.
Douglas Helliker, Toronto
To my purple-haired hero
to the purple-haired woman in the car with one working wiper blade, travelling on Kennedy Road on a snowy March 5. I can't thank you enough for helping me out of a snowbank and giving me a ride back to the station. You made a frustrating day a little nicer.
Mark Lindenberg, Toronto
Wiarton Willie's false hope
Since 1956, wiarton willie has deceived and defied the will of the United Neige-Haters by, among other things, continuing to present erroneous prognostications, creating false hope in the blahest month and refusing to even acknowledge he is wrong. Wiarton Willie must be held accountable.
On March 4, 2003, a month after Willie emerged from his hole to indicate winter would soon be over, Environment Canada issued a heavy snowfall warning.
His prediction was completely off and in direct contravention of modern meteorological soothsaying practices. Without access to NEXRAD (NEXt generation RADar) base relativity mechanisms or at the very least Doppler, he cannot purport to accurately forecast with a straight face.
Clearly, his priority was answering the call of nature after six months of hibernation, and not presenting accurate predictions to the public.
Pamela Westoby, Toronto
Sending in the cynics
I held back writing this letter way back in October when I read the dismal review one of your staff gave the Foo Fighters concert.
But after reading Elizabeth Bromstein's equally negative review about the recent Audioslave concert (NOW, March 6-12), I cannot keep quiet.
Why does it seem as though these writers are being forced to attend concerts by bands they don't even like?
If Bromstein didn't like Audioslave to begin with, of course she isn't going to enjoy the concert, and then her negative review is published.
People who weren't fortunate enough to attend the concert get a wrong view of how it went down.
Maybe NOW should start sending actual fans of the bands, so that I and many other fans of these bands will not be disappointed.
Jennifer Infuso, Toronto
Assholes at the Opera
I attended the sleater-kinney show a few weeks back, or part of it.
My friend and I were enjoying ourselves at the front near the stage when things started to pick up and get a little rougher. A couple of guys drunk out of their asses approached and threatened my friend. They said, "Hey kid, if you don't start dancin' we're gonna beat you up" or something like that.
My friend started to jump around and was being being shoved about in the "pit." Suddenly, a large bouncer grabbed him by the collar and dragged him out through the crowd. I followed. We were soon told to leave the premises, for no reason whatsoever.
Are people at the Opera House just assholes in general?
Max Turnbull , Toronto
Sophisticated taste buds
I disagree emphatically with Steven Davey's review of Brassaii (NOW, March 6-12).
I've always counted on NOW to focus on the cheap-and-cheerful end of the market, leaving the more upscale places for Toronto Life, for example, to review.
But as I follow NOW's timid shift to the higher end, I sense that your reviewers get self-conscious and self-righteous when they sample something more chic than the simple Thai, Indian or dim sum plastic-tablecloth joints they've always been so good at ferreting out. Their taste buds seems thrown off kilter.
See the gushing mention of Jean's in the same issue, for example. But appreciating Jean's might demand a different sensibility than Brassaii does. Maybe NOW needs a more diverse team of testers.
Does it really make sense to be doing a definitive review of a new restaurant in the first week after opening? And why, when reviewing a restaurant that says its business splits dinner, lunch and breakfast, would a right-minded food critic skip dinner and dedicate half the review to something as lightweight as breakfast? Isn't breakfast kind of an afterthought that maybe merits a sidebar mention at most?
I have been to Brassaii for drinks once and dinner twice, all during the third week of operation, and each time my cohorts and I have left with very positive impressions. (And we are fussy and experienced dine-outers.)
Though huge and somewhat cavernous, the room is pretty, stylish and comfortable. The bathrooms are gorgeous.
Oh, yeah -- the menu and food. We actually liked all the dishes that Davey's mates so disliked.
So, go figure.
Peter Stock, Toronto
Three years later
Why was lefcourt's cartoon eliminated? Why was Life In Hell shrunk down? What was the official reason for reducing your page size? Most of these changes were made three years ago. Sorry for the late response.
J. Kerim , Toronto