Globe objections objective
re review the globe wouldn't run (NOW, December 11-17). The sub-headline asks: "Was take on Middle East offered by playwright Jason Sherman just too cheeky for conservative Globe?"
Most of the Globe's views and features seem to be more left wing than right. If the Globe is conservative, then NOW must be full-fledged Communist.
As for why the review wasn't published, I assume it's because it sounds more like an essay written by Noam Chomsky or Yasar Arafat than an actual review. Sherman practically drools over the pro-Palestinian authors and essays, while pro-Israeli pieces are dismissed out of hand.
Even an overall left-of-centre paper like the Globe strives for some sense of objectivity in its reviews.
Jan Burton, Toronto
in his artful rationalization for rejecting (or censoring) Jason Sherman's review of The Politics Of Anti-Semitism, Globe books editor Martin Levin accuses Sherman of parti pris. But Levin exposed his own bias when he refused to publish the review instead of letting readers make up their own minds. Granted that the essays were against deliberately mislabelling anti-Israel sentiments as anti-Semitism, but that is of course precisely what the tendentious politics of anti-Semitism is all about - exploiting it to silence criticism of Israeli infamies against the Palestinian people. O.G. Pamp, Tweed, ON
Who's Tory now?
re two wrongs (now, december 11-17). So Peter MacKay feels "vindicated" by the "overwhelming endorsement" to merge the grand old party of Confederation into the neo-conservative Republican Party of the North. MacKay must have chosen the word vindication because he was accused of betrayal after standing as a no-merger candidate in the leadership race in May. But rather than providing vindication, this vote was further proof of a deceitful and manipulated process.
The membership of the PC party was 65,000 at the time of the vote, 15,000 of those new members having joined since the proposed merger was announced. Of that 65,000, 3,286 delegates were "elected" at the local riding level. Of the 2,557 delegates who actually voted, 2,234 were for the merger. I count that as less than 5 per cent of the PC party membership. A sad day in Canadian history and a shameful one for a country that claims to be a world leader in democracy.
Peggy Smith, Thunder Bay, ON
Tory vote wasn't fixed
i have read a number of letters in the media recently regarding the process the late Progressive Conservative party used in its merger with the Alliance. I am astonished by the tenuous grasp that most of the correspondents have on "democracy." Some have complained that it was fixed by 15,000 members who joined the PCs to "rig'" the vote.
They ignore the fact that some ex-Tory members might actually have rejoined because they thought the merger a good idea.
I don't hear these voices when we are told the new mayor of Toronto has a sweeping mandate to do this and that. Miller's percentage of the vote was slightly more than 10 per cent of the population and less than 50 per cent of the votes cast. Dalton McGuinty, with his promises, much broken already, of change, again won with less than 50 per cent of the vote.
Managing to win by a minority is the name of the game.
So welcome to politics and democracy in Canada, folks, aka catch as catch can.
Nicholas Brooks, Toronto
Poverty cut-up unkind
i usually enjoy sheila gostick's cranky-old-lady, terminally hip writings about cowboy boots and bohemian life. However, her story about being poor (NOW, December 4-10) bothered me. Doesn't she have a cat to feed? The artsy-fartsy community in the downtown core tend to be quite unkind in their attitude to women and children living in poverty in their midst. It's, like, "Could you take that breeding and feeding out to Rexdale? You're cluttering up my charming second-hand clothing store."
Sheila may dismiss us welfare mothers - we're no fun at the watering hole - but I assure her we will be there to provide a bed, food, clothing and comfort when that Queen Street scene has no use for her and she needs a women's residence.
Deborah J. Sharpe, Toronto
Call me crotchety
now's newsinsight on restrictive signs in parks and neighbourhoods (NOW, December 4-10) was somewhat skewed. It usually takes a broad, community-wide effort, plus multiple documented incidences identifying a problem, for a neighbourhood to get the city to place these notices in a public area. To dismiss these requests as acts of some crotchety resident is not fair.
Prohibitive signs, for the most part, go up as the result of repeated and excessive rude, inconsiderate, loud and dangerous behaviour.
For example, I seriously doubt my neighbour's seven-year-old is the recidivist leaving behind all those soiled prophylactics in the neighbourhood parkette's sandbox, nor is she serenading us at 3:20 am with DJ Funk's Pop That Pussy.
She and her pals seldom play pick-up hockey, all the while telling each teammate to "fuck off" at the top of their lungs every six seconds.
The "Quiet Residential Area" signs should be standard issue on every street coming off a major retail thoroughfare, no?
Roberto "Crotchety Old Man" Veri, Toronto
Bring T.O. into 21st century
of the signs-that-frown photo collage, I was most fascinated by the one prohibiting anyone from being in a park 30 minutes after sunset. Your take is that it's probably a curious 19th-century attempt to squash intimate encounters on the (dark) greensward. Whatever the reason, perhaps now that the bridge thing is over, Mayor Miller can direct some of his considerable energy to bringing these signs into the 21st century. Denzil Minnan-Wong, I'm sure, would be quite happy to take on this assignment. Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Krishna doesn't wear rags
i am responding to your coverage of the yoga show (NOW, November 27-December 3). It was super to see a polished show devoted to yoga in this city. Yoga has always been used as physical medicine and rehabilitation. The practice of yoga is in itself a medicine. Literally, yoga means "union." Union with the divine.
Of course, we live in a commercial society, which makes it possible for some people to make their living by aligning themselves with the blessed yoga. For example, yoga clothing. Nothing wrong with that. Dress is important for climate and most important for comfort. You will never, ever see a picture of Lord Krishna wearing rags. He is always completely adorned!
Surendra Tripathi, Toronto
Salads play their hearts out
hey, now. very simply, the salads rock our !@#$ asses and they absolutely are deserving of this year's CASBY for fave indie band (NOW, December 4-10). They play their hearts out for us, the fans, every single time. Frankly, it was about time the judges and crtics alike accept that Toronto is a rock !@#$ town, ya follow? Big up, NOW Mag and the Salads both. J. Moore, Toronto
Elected reps "violent" ones
re monica howard's letter kids As Political Pawns (NOW, December 4-10). As a peaceful participant at last month's OCAP squat, I plead guilty to partaking in "activist behaviour." Howard suggests that OCAP members show their displeasure with "violent actions." Howard also writes that taking children to protests is "disgusting and inexcusable."
OCAP members were occupying a building on the very corner on which several Torontonians died of hypothermia in recent years.
What is "violent and inexcusable?" Our elected representatives' unwillingness to provide adequate social housing? Or OCAP members who are willing to protest this gross injustice?
Joshua Bates, Toronto
Pitting race against class
Although I am appalled at the racism expressed by the woman in the donut shop (NOW, November 27-December 3), I am annoyed by her being described in a subsequent letter to the editor (NOW, December 4-10) as "trailer park Nazi trash."
Let's not succumb to the divisional tactics of pitting race against class.
Linda Sukloff, Toronto
In the November 20-26, 2003, issue, NOW Magazine published a story on the Otto Vass case entitled Sliding Scales. NOW Magazine fully apologizes for the mistaken suggestion that the four officers involved were responsible for the death of Mr. Vass. In fact, a jury acquitted all four of manslaughter. We deeply regret any harm or injury arising from our suggestion.