Re Wayne Roberts's When Aid's no Help (NOW, January 13-19). While the results of some of the economic diktats imposed by the "imperialist North" in the tsunami-affected areas are distasteful and may be hampering the recovery effort, Roberts's idea that kicking the WTO out of the affected areas could somehow have mitigated the destructive force of a tsunami is pure folly.
As reported in the Guardian last week, leading seismologists agree that industrialized Japan - which is spending vast sums to build the largest sea wall in the world - would be devastated by waves like those that wrecked Southeast Asia. As to Roberts's notion that we do nature a disservice by lamenting her cruelty, the truth is she can indeed be terribly vicious.
To think otherwise puts us in great danger - and her fury has little to do with the policies of the West. Just ask the dinosaurs.
Von Dutch too much
Re We want a tsunami relief t (NOW, January 13-19). Since those Von Dutch trucker hats aren't grating enough, why not wear a tsunami relief shirt with a huge Von Dutch logo on the sleeve just to take it to the next level of moronic consumerism?
If you really cared, you wouldn't need to wear a T-shirt announcing you donated $43 to the relief efforts, and you certainly wouldn't wear a sweatshop T-shirt that takes money and quality of life from the very people you're donating to. I would rather wear a grease-stained Spudz Mackenzie XXXXL beach shirt cinched at the waist with a piece of rope every day for the rest of my life than give them $43 to sport such an embarrassment. Come on, people!
Donate your money to worthy causes, not this disgraceful branding of tragedy.
Frankly, Mr. Martin
The Canadian government at the urging of most of its citizens chose not to join with the U.S. in its illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. And yet Frank McKenna has been chosen by Prime Minister Paul Martin to be the new Canadian ambassador to the U.S. (NOW, January 13-19).
McKenna is well known for his corporate ties to the Bush family and, in particular, the Carlyle Group of companies, which specialize in the filthy arms business and are profiting from the current misery in Iraq.
The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the prime minister is underhandedly changing policy regarding our relationship with the U.S. and its continuing murder of innocent Iraqis, without consulting the Canadian people.
It's a beautiful face
Re Facing the face, by Albert Nerenberg. (NOW, January 13-19). Circumstances made it impossible for me to be in Ukraine at that historic moment. Albert, thank you for being there and painting a most beautiful picture of a terrific man and an awakened country - but also thank you for showing us the darker side of what we are doing to our own land.
Homeless on meth hit list
I was very interested to read Elizabeth Bricknell's Lost In Meth (NOW, January 13-19).
I am a professor at Simon Fraser University investigating the spread of methamphetamine among the homeless. I am quite concerned that methamphetamine may spread among other populations and communities, such as high schools across Canada.
Given years of underfunding, it's unlikely that public health departments will be able to deal with this potential public health threat.
My girlfriends and I loved Watch Those Good Intentions (NOW, January 6-12).
We totally related to Shannon and even the selfish, shallow Darrell.
We relived our experiences with our own Darrells, and our subsequent confusion about rejection, affection, hot-and-cold attitude and, most of all, the infamous branding of us as psychos.
On our second round of cocktails, we discussed the why factor. It gets complicated when our men, soon to be our exes, are alone with us. They continue the charade of being the romantic, caring boyfriend. We put it down to one thing and one thing only: sex.
Seems men (not all of them ) will lie and continue to string us along if the booty is still there, sort of securing it until they can make a smooth transition to the next girl.
I should know better. I asked my almost-ex recently what he missed most about me, and his answer was "Your skin." Somehow, in my wanting him to love me, I took the words to mean something romantic. Silly girl. I let him talk me into a night at a hotel.
Radio without the buzz
Fear not, Sheila Gostick. Don't concern yourself with static, or with the availability of shows on radio (NOW, January 6-12). There are plenty of Old Time Radio (OTR, as it is known) stations on Internet Radio.
A quick search via Windows Media Player shows a half-dozen, most operating 24/7. Good luck!! Chimo!
Education in art
Thank you for your review of the Jerald Webster exhibit at the Museum of New New Painting (NOW, January 6-12, 2005), which shows the urgent need for art education. Our series of seven public classes/debates about the New New Painting movement begins next month at Woolfitt's art store. Registration fee is $ 35.
Museum of New New Painting
Tree cutters branching out
Trees have increasingly been the subject of pictures or articles in NOW (NOW, January 13-19). It's obvious that you have a good awareness of what effects trees have on this city.
As an arborist, I have realized that a lot of the articles about street trees, tree bylaws, heritage trees, etc, miss what the private sector provides for the urban forest. Companies vary in their services, but industry is steering strongly toward preservation.
Kitty litter's eco mess
Congrats to Adria Vasil for taking some pressure off Mother Earth and not wasting water by turning off the tap and making her cat drink from a bowl (NOW, January 6-12). However, the really messy part of cleaning up after cats' environmental act now begins. Yep, I'm talking about finding a replacement for sand/rock-based kitty litter.
Ever stop to think about where this material comes from? How far it's carted to get to the store? How much space it takes up just sitting in landfills after it's used? What chemicals are added to reduce odour, and how toxic they are to you and your pet? On all possible fronts, this stuff is bad, bad, bad.
But there is some hope. If a person insists on wasting resources on a pet, there are litter alternatives that are less harmful to the earth than that rocky crapola. Thankfully, plenty of commercially available litter products use compacted pine shavings, cedar, newspaper or corn cobs. Still wasteful, but miles better than that rocky stuff.
Simple Green is all that
I recently came across your article Scrub Everything From Dishes To Toilets Clean The Green Way (NOW, November 25-December 1, 2004), in which Simple Green was referred to.
While we appreciate the product review, the information you published is not accurate.
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser does not contain any ammonia-based ingredients. I've attached our MSDS sheet for your review. And we have more than $3 million worth of independent testing that has been approved by various regulatory agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada proving that it's non-toxic.
Simple Green does make a disinfecting product called Simple Green d that does contain an ammonium disinfectant, which is different from ammonia. However, it's distributed only to the industrial marketplace and is completely different from our All-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser.
Simple Green Marketing
Huntington Harbour, California
Docks the pits
I recently attended the three Days Grace/Thornley concert (Sunday December 26) at the Docks. I was very disappointed by the venue. The Docks is an awful place for a live show.
It's not accessible by public transportation. Parking is always such a mess. The venue itself is not designed well for a live band. It's too long, with a small stage, and pillars at the side obstruct the view everywhere. There's a huge lineup for coat check. I was trapped and nearly trampled in the mosh pit.
My friends and I would never go back to the Docks for any type of event. That's my rant.
Give me the Y, straight up
So I'm showering at the YMCA the other day when this dude comes up to me and makes a comment about my penis. I didn't really think about it much until my girlfriend informed me later that evening that I was probably being hit on.
Being rather uninformed about the intricacies of locker room etiquette as it relates to the courting habits of gay men, I was taken aback.
It has since become evident to me that a large percentage of men at this Y seem more intent on using the facility to work on each other than to work out. Maybe NOW readers can help me out with this one. Is this type of behaviour really appropriate for a fitness club? Am I being hypersensitive?
A little clarity, please.