Keep religion out of politics
There is some appeal to the idea suggested in Andrew Cash's Hello, God? It's Us, The Left (NOW, October 20-26). However, religion has proved much more of a divisive than a uniting influence in human history, and never more so than in the 21st century. There is a reason why John Lennon asked us to "imagine no religion, a brotherhood of man."
Catholicism under the reign of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is never going to be progressive. I think the better philosophical fit for the left wing would be secular humanism. We do not need the endorsement of imaginary supernatural beings or their earthly representatives, such as the Pope, in order to be able to work for the betterment of humanity.
God was a communist
I invite Andrew Cash to read John Paul II's encylical On Human Work. If you ignore references to God, you'd swear you were reading Marx himself in his defence of workers' rights. The Vatican also expended a great amount of energy in trying to prevent both Iraq wars, to no avail, [but this was] hardly mentioned in the Western media, so I could forgive Cash for not being aware of this particular left-wing slant to the Church.
The Church is also a leading voice in opposing capital punishment, greed, vanity and selfish behaviour. I guess a single issue like same-sex marriage is all that counts to Cash in defining political leanings.
What is needed is a non-religious debate on this issue, rather than just blindly supporting this policy based on human rights. Support of same-sex marriage by extension means promotion of same-sex families.
Scadding slag scathing
We are the "gruff, goofy youths" Debbie O'Rourke referred to in her article. (NOW, October 20-26). The attire worn was appropriate for the fish-handling job. We are sure you can understand why we would be offended by that description. We are amazed by O'Rourke's blatant disregard of respect for individuals involved in the Gone Fishin program.
We have not only been involved in that project, but in educating residents and school children about composting through a series of workshops and presentations, informing the public about the city of Toronto's pesticide bylaw, Seedy Saturday and World Food Day.
We hope O'Rourke's article does not dissuade people from using and benefiting from the incredible programs and services that this community centre in the heart of downtown Toronto provides.
Vinnie, read the fine print
According to Island Airport tenant Victor Pappalardo (NOW, October 20-26), the public can't close the Toronto Island Airport for a higher and better use without paying him and his fellow travellers who have struck secret deals with the Toronto Port Authority hundreds of millions of dollars. Pappalardo is wrong. The lease contract that allows the airport to continue to use city-owned land states that " "the lease will terminate upon the closing down of the Island Airport."
It would be no surprise if the Port Authority has inked preferential agreements that violate this tenet. But if that is so, then the Port Authority management and directors should be the ones responsible for any buyouts that may be required to liberate our land, not the public.
Cotler doing U.S.'s bidding
Re Cotler's State of Insecurity (NOW, October 20-26). It must be obvious to everyone by now that Justice Minister Irwin Cotler is more concerned with doing the bidding of the White House than he is with protecting Canadians.
Mommie not so dearest
Liz Wertan's Love & Sex column upset me no end (NOW, October 20-26). Unless I'm reading it wrong, her point is that if her child doesn't like or get along with her new mate, then she must break up with him. What child is going to want to share his or her parent with someone else? My father was killed when I was nine years old.
A year and a half later, my mother started to date someone. I didn't want him I wanted Daddy!
My mother didn't choose someone half her age, nor did she move in with this person right away.
Children like stability and routine. Maybe if Wertan had slowly introduced the "two men in her life," things would have gone a little smoother. One wonders why someone of her age wouldn't be adult enough to grasp this concept.
And what is a seven-year-old boy doing sleeping in his mother's bed anyway? No wonder he has attachment issues.
Rae proud of Gardens record
I think it's time to set the record straight on your continued sniping about Maple Leaf Gardens (NOW, October 20-26).
The Gardens transaction was between two private companies. The Gardens has never been owned by the city. Even NOW must appreciate the fact that private sales do not need the approval of city council. Despite your disappointment that the Gardens will become a Loblaws superstore, the building will be saved. I'm very proud of my record on heritage. We now have approved heritage conservation districts in both north and south Rosedale as well as along Hazelton in Yorkville. Well over 2,000 properties in my ward are protected by these districts. I know that Michael Hollett hasn't given up on his own NHL dreams, but c'mon, don't take that out on me.
Councillor Kyle Rae
Blame racism, not blacks
I find it disturbing when non-blacks like letter-writer Louis Solnicki (NOW, October 20-26) complain about the perceived whining by blacks for culturally centered programs that encourage a racist-free environment and refuse to acknowledge their own participation in the problem. The suggestion of a black-focused school is not asking for special status. It's recognizing that interactions with schoolmates who perpetrate their parents' racist views, biased attention from educators and high levels of expulsions of black youth are a problem.
So please don't bring up the usual lame-ass excuses and insinuations that the root of the problem is bad parenting, that our children lack discipline or are just plain stupid.
If Frank Lloyd Wright were alive today, he'd certainly let loose a torrent of scathing comments about those who try to shanghai the word "organic" to describe projects that are the antithesis of organic (NOW, October 13-19). While writer Natalie Fingerhut might plead that she was merely reporting, the fuzzy thinking of Larry Richards, the architecture professor she quotes, is another matter.
Richards mentions that "today's organic architecture is more physical and grounded in environmental awareness." Nonsense!
Wright long advocated a reverence for nature and building in harmony with the environment. In this sense his work was organic.
But many of his designs required the liberal use of steel and concrete, hardly energy-efficient materials in their extraction, manufacture, shipping and fabrication.
Richards's misunderstanding of architecture, shared by the vast majority of his profession, was exactly the reason that Wright stated flatly on many occasions that "all architectural schools should be shut down."
Joseph Henry Wythe
Sunrise not owned by big biz
I am just following up with an e- mail regarding Big Biz's Organic Grab (NOW, October 13-19). The article states under the Who Owns What headline that General Mills owns Sunrise Organic. This is incorrect. Sunrise Soya Foods, which produces Sunrise Tofu, Pete's Tofu and Mandarin Tofu, has been a family-run private company since 1956.
Sunrise Tofu and Pete's Tofu are trademarked Canadian brands. We have received some calls from readers, suppliers and retail partners who were concerned that we had sold our business to a major multinational.
Sunrise Soya Foods, Toronto
Old Nick a flavourful fave
As a regular patron of the Old Nick, I'd like to commend Steven Davey for his excellent review of Michelle Bellerose's organic brunch (NOW, October 13-19). I would add that the rest of the menu includes far more than frozen mozzarella sticks, all of it fresh and tasty! The pub also boasts some of the most colourful and kind bar staff in the city. Take care.
I'm currently working abroad and read your great magazine every week via the Internet. I implore you to please stop showing fugly clothes in My Style, especially all the nasty fashion trends of 2005. (Uggs/mukluks, anyone?) Do we really need style advice from a guy with mutton chops and a "whimsical" hat, or a woman wearing a gold lamé bolero jacket backwards?
People's Republic of China
Give us music we can use
Just a heads-up, but you really need to get some new people reviewing music in your magazine. Every review seems to be coming from a hipster (read poser), and the only qualification for a favourable review is for the music to be not yet popular. They seem overtly threatened by anything within the jam band scene or anything that their ignorant perspectives deem to be hippy-like.
Why not get people who actually recognize good music to review albums? That way the reviews can actually be useful. Peace.
RCMP let sealers off
I was at Paul Watson's zoocheck talk (NOW, September 22-28) and wanted to say that your description of the video shown of this year's seal slaughter neglected to mention that the RCMP refused to prosecute the sealers who attacked Watson's crew with clubs. Perhaps you will send a more balanced reporter next time.