RE Bono hears boos (NOW, June 30- July 6). Wayne Roberts and those cited in his article misrepresent the Make Poverty History campaign.
While the article is correct in pointing out that more free trade isn't the answer to Africa's poverty, criticizing the MPH campaign for promoting that is at worst a blatant lie or at best an unprofessional misrepresentation of another's perspective.
The MPH campaign is calling for trade justice, which is much more comprehensive than simple free trade. Trade justice may very well mean that developing countries erect trade barriers in order to protect their own food production and other industry.
A global food marketplace certainly isn't the answer. "Food production for local consumption" is key, and is part of any serious discussion at Make Poverty History. Global poverty is too serious an issue to allow superficial knee-jerk responses.
Peace & Justice Ministries Toronto
Live 8 eats up profits
As an attendee at Live 8, I was appalled by the greed displayed by vendors at this awareness concert. From the $3 bottles of water and $40 T-shirts to the $20 programs, it was sickening to see the same greed that keeps this country from giving developing countries the support they need.
I wish every ticket holder had been asked to fill out the postcards of support before entering the concert, just to remind them why we were there in the first place.
This was supposed to be a gathering of minds and compassion.
Hyde Park, Brandenburg Gate, Palais de Versailles, Red Square and, er, Barrie. Is there a more telling sign that Toronto has an embarrassing lack of good public space?
Our beaches are bitchin'
Cynicism is clearly crippling NOW Magazine. Your recent Blue Flag Over Troubled Waters (NOW, June 30-July 6) skewed the facts and did a huge disservice to NOW readers by giving them the impression that no one is looking out for them when they go to the beach.
Four of Toronto's beaches received the international Blue Flag Award because, among other things, they have consistently good water quality. Unbelievably good.
You failed to check the facts when you claimed that the beaches in BC and PEI must be cleaner. Ontario has the toughest standard for recreational water quality in North America, and you can go swimming in PEI or BC in water that has up to 200 E. coli counts per 100ml of water, whereas the city of Toronto posts its beaches when the count goes over 100.
The Blue Flag program lets the public know which beaches are usually clean for swimming and which ones still have problems. This is the information a swimmer needs, but many people will also appreciate the fact that a Blue Flag beach must meet 27 criteria in total.
In addition to good water quality, it must be managed according to environmental principles and meet safety and service standards. NOW readers can stay better informed through www.BlueFlag.ca.
Environmental Defence Toronto
Something happens when you over-analyze: what you're analyzing is stripped of its virtues. Cameron Bailey's review of War Of The Worlds (NOW, June 30 - July 6) did just that with its ad nauseam referencing of the Iraq War and 9/11 and likening the "phallic, camera-eye protrusions" to "invasion by media." Reading this review makes me feel invaded by the media.
I mean, it's just a movie. Get over it.
Hammocks for jackasses
RE We want a hammock (NOW, June 30 - July 6). I was totally floored when I saw Zenya Sirant's advice in the Life & Style section: "I ask that you refrain from pulling any jackass stunts with a hammock...." Funny - www.extremehammock.com was just launched last week and it features nothing but jackass stunts with a hammock. We've decided that hammocks shouldn't be the sole property of investment companies promising dreams of early retirement. Check out the site and see for yourself.
Same-sex marriage freebie
RE The passage of bill C-38 legalizing same-sex marriage (NOW, June 30 - July 6). The Liberals and New Democrats pursued passage based on a "rights" platform. But the rights of those who were against it were abandoned by these two parties. Neither allowed a "free" vote on the issue by party members.
Spruce Grove, Alberta
Sins of heterosexuals
I have always found it a bit anomalous that my fundamentalist and evangelical acquaintances protest vociferously against same-sex marriage unions and homosexuality in general and yet applaud the lifestyle of us heterosexuals who have remained sexually "pure."
In my many readings of the Bible, I have never discovered a passage that condemns or even deals with homosexuals in a loving relationship. Some of us wear socks made of wool and nylon, a grievous sin according to Hebrew scripture. But our sins are purportedly more forgivable than those of homosexuals.
Wayne C. Vance
Compassion for feverfew
Just wanted to quickly jot a line to thank you for Debbie O'Rourke's article, Finding Feverfew (NOW, June 30 - July 6).
Admittedly, I am not as regular a NOW reader as I used to be, but I thoroughly enjoyed the article for its educational merit and compassionate voice.
Miller's ship full of fools
RE Council highs and nose dives (NOW, June 23-29). Bureaucracies love to pretend that bad things happen by osmosis, with no single individual being responsible. This way no one is accountable.
Shirley Hoy is a person of no integrity. Under Mel [Lastman] she was happy to do any unethical bidding of the mayor.
Does Mayor Miller have some foolish idea that integrity is something you can turn off and on? If he believes that, then he is the consummate bureaucrat and clearly has no integrity himself.
Too casual with pee praise
RE Girl pee power (NOW, June 16-22). "Let's face it, men are blessed with the perfect equipment. Women have a different experience."
Yeah, you knew there'd be a letter or two - it's just semantics, after all, isn't it? But really, "blessed" and "perfect" and "men" are not words I feel like reading in NOW all in one sentence - especially when followed by a sentence containing "women" and "different."
Men are perfect and I love their equipment, but even when they piss they're no better than me, so don't get too casual with your praise.
And most women I know don't piss outdoors because they think it's gross. Interesting piece anyway. Your next one up should be best places to pee in the city. That'd be hilarious. Everyone would finally know what they're smelling when they walk by, say, that corner at such and such intersection.
RE It's never safe to breathe (NOW , June 9-15). So are we to follow the government's feeble remedy to "stay indoors"? Smog advisory warnings without action taken to alleviate the problem are inadequate.
It is the bioaccumulation of toxins and the extent of exposure to them that has created chemical intolerance, a host of health problems, increased hospitalizations and premature death.
More than 90 per cent of deaths and hospitalizations linked to poor air quality occur on days when air quality is recorded as "good" or "very good," according to the 2004 auditor general's report. The report further slams Ontario's environment ministry for failing to adequately measure air pollution. The ministry standardized only 18 of 76 high-priority pollutants, thus misrepresenting the health risks associated with air pollution.
RE Bollywood blow-up (NOW, June 2-8). Some people take their culture so seriously. Lots of cultures borrow from each other.
What is Bollywood? It is borrowed from the West (which made Indian movies a little cooler). Have you seen what Bollywood culture did to hiphop? Jesus (or should I say Krishna?), at least Fashion Cares hired a South Asian Bollywood DJ for the event.
Queers won't steer clear
We read the critique by Susan G. Cole of the fine documentary Why Thee Wed (NOW, May 26 - June 1). Who told her that we were lovely people in sweet relationships?
We, along with the eight couples in Ontario and one couple in Quebec, are mainly responsible for setting not just Canada on its head, but also the world. We are a group of same-sex couples who wanted to marry and were prepared to spend years fighting to win our rights. As we spent long months in mostly empty courtrooms, most "queers," as she puts it, were involved in sophisticated discourse on the social meaning of marriage.
These same queers are now jumping on the bandwagon, claiming to have been in favour of same-sex marriage all along.
No, Susan, we are not always lovely, nor are our relationships always sweet. We are just a few more queer activists who are prepared to fight for our and others' rights. While you contemplate your navel, we move ahead.
Lloyd and Bob Peacock