Price Canada must pay
Let me congratulate the team at NOW for the excellent tone of the No War coverage in the last issue (NOW, March 27-April 2).
You are the only media that I trust in this city.
What we have in Iraq is not a war. A war is about heroes and ethical goals. Iraq is about pure aggression.
Canadians may have to pay a price for holding onto our sovereignty and not going along with the Americans, but this is a small price.
If the U.S. boycotts us, fine. We'll suffer, but we'll emerge with new partners and a renewed sense of being.
Daniel Yanomami, Toronto
Making nice with dictators
When will you "peace at any cost" people get it through your ultra-thick skulls? You can't achieve the kind of peace that lasts by "making nice" with terrorists and dictators.
The war will result in more terrorist attacks? C'mon, the terrorists already hate the West. They don't need an excuse to hate us even more!
For god's sake, read your history. Back in 1934, Churchill was urging England to put a stop to Hitler.
Everyone called Churchill a warmonger. They said he was the real threat to peace, not Hitler. Well, guess who was right?
Joseph Clenman, Toronto
Peace movement with balls
Hearing that Josh Matlow resigned as campaign organizer for the Canadian Peace Alliance came as a big disappointment (NOW, March 27-April 2).
It's obvious to me that as long as the cameras are rolling and the cellphone interviews pour in, this guy is happy. Once reality sets in, where a little civil disobedience becomes part of a movement, Josh Matlow checks out.
Has Mr. Matlow done any research into the shootings at Kent State? What would he have done in that case?
We need some real leaders with balls, thank you.
Warren Brubacher, Toronto
Grits got peaceniks fooled
Chretien seems to have pulled some kind of Jedi mind trick on the anti-war crowd. They honestly think he's against the war!
Our ships are currently helping to guard coalition vessels in the Gulf, Canadian military personnel are either at U.S. HQ in Qatar or embedded in U.S./UK units on the front line (NOW, March 27-April 2).
As U.S. ambassador Paul Cellucci said last week, Canada is giving the U.S. more support than most U.S. allies!
It should be remembered that our PM never had much of a moral stance on the war.
Jan Burton, Toronto
Still, the people protest
re Phil Holloway's letter (now, March 27-April 2) about how "pathetic" the turnout at Toronto protests has been., Toronto is headquarters to virtually all the major media in English Canada, most of which offer skewed news coverage if not outright jingoism. Check out CTV, Global, the Sun and the Post to see what a massive force of bigotry we are up against. This is the well-funded stronghold of the right wing.
Still, the people of Toronto are now protesting daily in various locations. Hopefully, everyone who opposes the war won't wait any longer to stand up and be counted.
David Buchanan, Toronto
re Susan G. Cole's oscar's war on Women (NOW, March 27-April 2).
Has Cole ever looked at the last 20 pages of the magazine she works for? I can't say I'm personally offended by gratuitous ass shots, but I suggest that there are more unsettling, immediate examples of anti-woman sentiment.
Cole even provides provocative out-of-context quotes from Eminem's songs to make her point. She claims that "You can't separate (Eminem's) talent from his misogyny."
I suppose this means Ice T truly wants us to kill cops, Trent Reznor is indeed going to "fuck us all like animals" and the Dixie Chicks advocate justifiable homicide (forgive the dated references -- I'm over 30).
David Gibson, Toronto
Shooting up the works
re No place to shoot (now, march 27-April 2).
Safe injection sites have been proven to reduce the spread of HIV without increasing drug use. They also serve as a bridge to drug treatment for an especially hard-to-reach population. Drug users are not the only beneficiaries.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control researchers estimate that 57 per cent of AIDS cases among women and 36 per cent of overall AIDS cases in the U.S. are linked to injection drug use or sex with partners who inject drugs.
This easily preventable public health crisis is a direct result of zero- tolerance laws that restrict access to clean syringes. Can Toronto afford to emulate the harm maximization drug policies of the former land of the free and current record holder in citizens incarcerated?
Robert Sharpe, Drug Policy Alliance
Irradiated food safest bet
re freshly nuked for you (now, March 20-26).
Tests have proven time and again that food irradiation is safe. Lingering doubts over the advantages of this process emanate from a general and irrational fear of radiation, which belongs more in sci-fi B-movies of the 1950s than in sophisticated contemporary debates.
Moreover, your claim that food-borne diseases such as E. coli and salmonella can be prevented by better food handling is clearly incorrect. Just as pasteurization is required to sanitize milk, irradiation is essential to eliminate the threat from these deadly micro-organisms.
Monica Howard, Toronto
We're all guinea pigs
re Freshly nuked for you. I attended the government's so-called public consultation meeting in Toronto last December, (where) a government spokesperson said there's no reason to question the safety of food irradiation.
Food irradiation does not address any public demand or health need. It serves the beleaguered nuclear industry's aspiration to justify its heavily taxpayer-funded existence. It is also an attempt to polish the image of a sloppy and outsized factory farming industry that is anxious to redeem itself from contamination scares. Food irradiation and genetic engineering are flip sides of the same coin. The entire population is already a guinea pig.
Anne Hansen, Toronto
Clueless Macy Gray review
Elizabeth Bromstein's review of Macy Gray's recent performance at the Guvernment (NOW, March 27-April 2) made me wonder (again) if a certain amount of cluelessness is required to become a NOW writer.
The fact that Bromstein was apparently too uptight to be anything other than "annoyed" by Gray's knockout performance was bad enough, but following this with praise for Lamya was ridiculous. Lamya was so bad that I started to feel embarrassed for her. In 20 years, Macy Gray's On How Life Is will be regarded as a classic. Lamya will not even be a faded memory.
Ian Revell, Toronto
Ad's worrisome message
As a reader who appreciates your paper's sensitivity when it comes to stereotyping and cultural diversity, I must nevertheless interrogate the full-page spot one of your advertisers ran on page 15 of your recent issue (NOW, March 27-April 2).
The ad depicts a meeting in a rain forest between a white couple and a generic Meso-American male (complete with spear) in "tribal" attire. The couple is showing the native a poster of their son who has gone missing in his SUV. In a gesture that is reminiscent of the stereotypical wily "Indian" misleading the white cavalry or posse of so many old U.S. oaters, the native is gesturing vaguely off into the forest. The parents look worried.
It's a catchy, edgy ad. But I wonder if there's a subtext here? Is the reader to infer that the Amerindian has taken the son's vehicle from him and sent him on his way? Or is something more troublesome implied? It is certainly a commonplace of cultural geography that at least some Central and South American aboriginals practised cannibalism. I wonder.
Michael Whealen, Toronto