Democrats sore losers
RE At Least We're Divided, by David Corn (NOW, November 4-10). Oh, please! Is this the first of many sour grapes articles with twisted interpretations of the U.S. election? Bush won fair and square. Get over it! How low will the anti-Bush left stoop, really! Malcontents of David Corn's ilk should try some constructive opposition instead of whining for four more years.
For Kerry, Moore is less
Bush supporters should thank Michael Moore for enabling Bush to win. Polling indicated that few Americans were swayed to vote against the Republicans by his propaganda flick Fahrenheit 9/11. The fact that Democrats honoured Moore by seating him next to Jimmy Carter at their convention likely hurt Kerry with moderate voters. Moore also helped Bush win in 2000 by endorsing Ralph Nader. Perhaps he's a secret Republican plant!
Buying into Bush
Anyone who watched the presidential debates knows that Bush is an empty-headed puppet whose strings are being pulled by some of the most frighteningly conservative right-wingers imaginable. The thing that has taken Dubya this far is that he and his handlers are especially adept at deception. While bolstering worldwide support for terrorist groups through an aggressive foreign policy, they simultaneously portray Bush as the only solution to the problem.
Bin Laden working for U.S.
Jan Burton's letter suggests that the bin Laden video puts to rest conspiracy theories about 9/11 (NOW, November 4-10). Is it not patently suspicious that this tape - claiming unequivocal responsibility for 9/11 for the first time - should suddenly turn up a few days before the election? This tape is either a forgery by rogue elements of the American state apparatus and the Mossad (most likely scenario) or bin Laden is stashed somewhere safely and working for the Americans. Didn't he work for the CIA in Afghanistan?
Ray Charles a realist
RE No Ray Of Hope (NOW, November 4-10). Norman (Otis) Richmond's piece is ludicrous. Richmond should read Booker T. Washington's autobiography, because Washington, like Charles, just played whites for the fool. I never quite understood why the black community places pop stars on a pedestal and expects them to be political. People need to stand up for themselves instead of waiting for some celebrity to do it for them. Just look at the recent American election. The pop stars failed to sway the Republican vote.
Look who's ad whoring now
RE your Upfront piece, Star's Desperate Acts Of Ad Shilling (NOW, November 4-10). I think it's about time somebody stood up to the cheap, insulting ad whoring so prevalent in today's media. All it does is prove that even the most objective publishers have a price tag on their dignity. Oh, wait... isn't that Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology converted into a full-page ad for Pizza Pizza's stuffed sandwiches? You're taking the Star to task for wrapping its front page in a fucking ad, and in the same issue you vandalize one of your own columnists to sell those sick-looking sandwiches? Back the fuck off, preacher.
RE Steve Jones's article Can This Card Save You? Gentle Wind's Big-Buck Healing Instruments Panned By Ex-Members (NOW, November 4-10). The Gentle Wind Project has never claimed to "save" anyone from anything. Like many non-profits, Gentle Wind relies on donations. When someone makes a donation, he or she is offered a healing instrument as a gift.
In May 2004, the Gentle Wind Project filed a lawsuit against seven parties. Jones states that the courts have "not smiled" on Gentle Wind, citing the dismissal of two federal claims. What Jones failed to tell readers is that the courts have upheld five other charges.
The Gentle Wind Project technology has been studied by independent health care professionals who are well respected in their fields and have legitimate credentials. In any group studied, a majority of instrument users obtained some positive results.
Jones offers Dr. Robert Baratz as an expert. Baratz is president of the National Council Against Health Care Fraud and a board member of Quackwatch. These are organizations that are biased against any alternative forms of medicine.
Jones also stated that "the attorney general in Maine is interested in getting information about the Gentle Wind Project." The attorney general in Maine already received 14-plus cartons of documentation from Gentle Wind over a year ago and has not brought any charges against us to date.
The Gentle Wind Project
Thanks for reviewing Edgar Breau's CD (NOW, November 4-10)! Tim Perlich's observations are lucid, but we have a slight problem with your suggestions for Ed's wardrobe make-over. We just can't afford full-length black capes and gold face paint. So I'm asking a favour, from one brother to another: next time we're in town, can we borrow yours? That'd be swell!
Songhammer Music Group, Toronto
Dim sum downer
If Steven Davey can make such a big deal about Golden Leaf charging him $1 for a pot of tea (NOW, November 4-10), obviously he hasn't been to too many dim sum places. In Cantonese, going for dim sum is invariably called "yum cha," which literally means "drink tea." Tea is an important aspect of the dim sum experience. It make sense, then, that you would have to pay.
By George, you're cracked
Your item on the beauties of St. George Street (NOW, October 28-November 3) reads like a North Korean press release valourizing the people's utopia. "Pavers or cobblestones" are a failed instrument in two ways: they do not in fact "slow traffic" one little bit, and clueless U of T pedestrians interpret them as crosswalks, sashaying smartly across without so much as a glance.
You can't really believe that planters less than 2 feet high "reduce noise"? And "trees provide welcome shade in summer and protection from wind" - if and only if they were large and mature. Urban renewal is fine and dandy. Overwrought lies about urban renewal are not.
Disservice to dance
We were frankly appalled by the listing of Arabesque Academy in your Best Of Toronto Sex (NOW, October 28-November 3). Insulting the students of the academy, women and Middle Eastern culture in general, the listing showed insensitivity, outdated thinking and an extraordinarily adolescent approach, totally inexcusable in a professional weekly. Yasmina Ramzy, director of the academy, has worked diligently to change such outdated viewpoints, bringing Middle Eastern dance out of the clubs and onto the concert stage. This is a disservice to her and to this ancient form of dance.
Rosslyn Jacob Edwards
DanceOntario Association, Toronto
The unoriginal alternative
RE Best of Toronto (NOW, October 28-November 3). Perhaps a better title for your waste of a poll should have been Best-Advertised Of Toronto. With best cappuccino from Starbucks and best seafood from Red Lobster, this poll shows nothing more than the best advertising for the conglomerates. Could you be less original? If NOW is truly an alternative representative of Toronto, where are your alternative readers? I guess they're too busy having the best burger at McDonald's.
Jack and Lauren Brotman
Coach House grouse
Jeremy Murray's piece about Coach House Press and Campus Co-op (NOW, September 30-October 6) would benefit from having the facts right. It's wrong to suggest that the building "is in rough shape physically." It's perhaps a little funky and unorthodox, maybe even a little surprising here and there. But it is sound, safe and in exceptionally good condition because it has been both used and looked after lovingly.
Michael Ondaatje and David P. Silcox
Why is an American-owned business chosen to be the sole distributor of the Royal Canadian Mint's Remembrance Day coin?