Demand more cops
Alan Young writes that "the in stitution of criminal justice was never designed to reduce the incidence of crime it was designed to punish crime" (NOW, August 25-31). This statement is largely untrue. Sentencing convicted criminals has three goals: 1) punishment, 2) rehabilitation, and 3) deterrence. When trying to convince young people to live a law-abiding life, one of the obvious negatives to a life of crime is firm punishment, up to and including jail.
That is tough to do today, thanks to the Young Offenders Act. Why do people on the left side of the political spectrum think that hiring more cops means we can't demand more and better initiatives for youth?
We should be demanding both from our leaders and justice system. Stop blaming the police for a lack of cooperation following a shooting. It is a true indication of just how dangerous this small but ruthless group of criminals is.
It's Offishall: programs work
I enjoyed your article on Kardinal Offishall (NOW, August 25-31). He echoed some of the things I have been saying for many years now about solutions to the growing gun violence problem in Toronto. I was there, too, at Fresh Arts back in 93. I was 23 (he was much younger and hungrier) and capable of anything. Life in Scarborough was rough, and although I had an education, I felt lost and angry. Today I shudder to think....
Fresh Arts gave me so much. It was the first time I started believing in myself. It wasn't just about the arts - we had life skills programs and exercises that armed us for combatting life's problems. It felt like family, maybe because I needed one at the time or needed to learn how to interact in a group.
I, too, was an aspiring filmmaker but became a father shortly afterwards and a few times over since. It made achieving my goals difficult. That Kardi, Jully, Marvel, Saukrates, Thrust and many more are doing their thing serves as inspiration to me every day.
Guess what? Ten years later I did shoot that film on super-16mm. I hope the mayor and other politicians are listening, or at least that they read NOW and realize we need those kinds of social programs to come back if we are to effect some positive change. Now is that time.
Thanks to all the counsellors who gave us their time, effort and energy for very little or nothing, for helping to shape our minds and give us some sense of purpose. Peace, y'all
F**k the union
Thank you for your insightful article on the CBC strike (NOW, August 25-31). I'm a media technician who's worked in the private sector for almost 30 years now.
Passing by the CBC building last week, I was approached by a picketer who said she would appreciate it if I stood in silence for two minutes in respect for their "cause." I've never had the protection of any union, so I walked away.
Welcome to the real world.
No townhalls for CBC
I'm shocked to see daily BBC on CBC Newsworld.
Haven't we, the taxpayers, any voice in this matter?
No townhalls for the CBC?
Joseph William Lea
Too hot for her own good
The arrogance exhibited by Diane Sokoloski in her Love & Sex column (NOW, August 25-31) is absolutely staggering. So Sokoloski is upset that she is ogled by every man she seems to encounter? Boo freakin' hoo. I'm supposed to believe that it's simply her hormones making her attractive to other men?
There's a common thread to her story, in that she's the one in these situations. It can't be a coincidence.
Sounds like Diane is doing the classic tease-'n'-bolt. I wouldn't be surprised if she were wearing nothing more than a tube top and heels when she went to get that prescription she's so "afraid" of wandering into the streets to get.
The millions of women around the world who have terrible self-esteem and self-image problems may have just the solution for her "I'm too hot" conundrum: a razor for her hair. Get over yourself.
Why I love Megabins
Re This Trash Can is Garbage (NOW, August 25-31). Reasons to keep the new garbage bins:
1) They're a great place for muggers to hide behind - or for people being sought by the police;
2) As a means of population control, since they're a distraction to nighttime drivers and cyclists;
3) They're a huge source of corporate profits that will result in much-needed election campaign contributions to city council members;
4) They put across the message that Toronto is a place of business, not people;
5) Another place to put those great Toronto Unlimited ads to attract tourists.
Thanks for your story on Fido (NOW, August 25-31). I travel to the U.S. all the time. Fido's recent rate hike is a ripoff. Other phone companies are even more expensive.
Why doesn't the CRTC regulate this? What are we supposed to do buy a U.S.-based phone service?
Toronto 1's pit of quicksand
From its inception it was pretty apparent that Toronto 1 was TV for Sun readers (NOW, August 25-31), with the added advantage that there were not only bright and shiny pictures but now the viewership didn't have to sound out words longer than "tits," "bum" and "Tory," as might be the case in the Sun. Hardly surprising, then, that the Sun announced it was taking over the station, though one wonders how close to the line it's running in fulfilling its mandate for the CRTC.
Granted, the original licence application promised little, but still, the station remains a lost opportunity for the city and ranks below only the CHUM-owned A-Channel network as a waste of Canadian broadcast frequencies.
Like watching the baddie slide slowly below the surface in a pit of quicksand.
Barry W. Cook
Death watch in Afghanistan
Prolific war-mongering letter writer Jan Burton says "only" 120 American and NATO soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan (NOW, August 25-31), as if that makes it okay to send Canadian troops.
Sorry, Jan. You can't market a war just because "people are returning home."
Muslims need to fight bigots
Naomi Klein is blowing smoke about where the bigotry lies between Muslim terrorists and the frankly more enlightened West (NOW, August 18-24).
Under the Islamic dhimma system, Christians and Jews are tolerated only if they pay a special tax (with no upper limit) to compensate for their non-Islamic beliefs. If Klein wants to work for anti-bigotry, she should convince the people of Muslim lands to accept tolerance and true equality for people of all religions.
Conduct seminars and hand-holding exercises and persuade all citizens of those lands that, yes, other religions exist and have equal rights, and their own children even have the civil right not to be Muslim any more.
Warning about Diane-35
In Hair Today (NOW, August 25-31), one of your experts states that "Diane-35 is a birth control pill that can help with certain types of hair loss." In fact, Diane-35 has never been approved in Canada for use as a birth control pill or for hair loss. Diane-35 has only been approved for restricted use in Canada for the treatment of severe acne in women who have failed to respond to other acne treatments and who also have signs of hormonal imbalance.
Diane-35 also has serious potential health risks associated with it.
Health Canada has already issued two safety warnings for Diane-35, in both cases stating that it carries an increased risk of venous thrombo-embolism (potentially fatal blood clots) compared to other similar hormonal combinations, and that it should not be used just for birth control. Your "expert" should think twice before recommending it to anyone.
Canadian Women's Health Network
Years ago I tried a number of natural deodorants (NOW, August 18-24) until I found the Kiss My Face Active Enzyme stick. Recently, they removed the propylene glycol to make it more friendly to the environment, and it now works so poorly, I no longer buy it. As I began the frustrating process of trying to find another natural deodorant that works, I got talking to a clerk at a health food store who said that one deodorant may work for one person but not for another.
I'd like to send a message to natural deodorant makers: it is not good for the environment for people to have to throw a dozen sticks of deodorant in the garbage before finding one that works with their body chemistry! Can you not devise a way for consumers to test your product without having to buy (and trash) a whole bottle?
Maybe a paper we could lick, like the pH paper used to test acidity, or even a small $1 sample bottle that would get us through a week of testing. PS: I really appreciate Ecoholic's testing and information. Keep up the good work.
I caught musical artist feist on TV recently. She was so engaging, dynamic, unique and incomparable, I thought I'd celebrate Canada's most original singer/songwriter since Bob Wiseman. Wowee.