Greens not soft on feds
Your Greens Divided Over Dissing Feds (NOW, December 1-7) claims that during a climate conference strategy session in late September, the Pembina Institute was among those encouraging the gathering to "let the feds off the hook" so as not to undermine efforts at this week's climate change conference in Montreal.
On October 13 the Pembina Institute issued a news release calling on the government to take major corrective action to prevent Canada being "seriously off-track in meeting its Kyoto emissions target." We would hardly have advised other groups to keep quiet and then issued such strong criticism.
The UN climate conference now under way in Montreal is about much more than Canada's performance. We need this conference to produce a clear process to negotiate a global agreement on far deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions after the initial Kyoto targets expire in 2012. But to achieve success at the Montreal conference, the main focus must be strong international action on climate change.
Director, Climate Change, Pembina Institute, Gatineau, Quebec
Sex with a stranger horrors
I am not sure if Zoe Brubaker's Love & Sex column (NOW, December 1-7) was meant to be reality, fantasy or tongue-in-cheek, but it read to me like a horror story. Woman picks up strange man, takes him back to her apartment and has unprotected sex with him several times. Where has this girl been for the last 20 years? If she's the kind of person who "can't explain why I do what I do," no doubt several months from now she'll be stupidly walking around not understanding why she's HIV-positive.
Gentrification in a NOW box
You and your cocksucker news paper have a lot of gall moaning about gentrification (NOW, December 1-7). Your fucking green newspaper boxes are evil signs that a neighbourhood is doomed. The same shithead corporate whores who drive up everything in a formerly organic, genuinely human area are the same pigs you readily accept advertising dollars from.
Well, I've got news for you fucks. I live in a neighbourhood that's close to downtown, is run-down, cheap, has whores and drug dealers on the corner and is genuinely dangerous at night so I'd never let my girlfriend walk around alone. Not one fucking gallery or café or groovy clothing store.
So fuck you and your kind and the fucking green box you rode in on.
Peculiar ad complaints
I have noticed that every now and then you publish a letter that complains about some advertisement you have dared to publish. I always find such complaints rather peculiar. After all, NOW costs the reader nothing - hence, we can never say we were cheated. If we can find even a single feature that we enjoy, we're ahead of the game.
But I understand that since NOW is champion of left-wing causes, some people expect NOW to be morally pure in all things. However, even the promotion of left-wing causes costs money. Without advertising, there would be no way to publish a free magazine. There are some limits. But in general, I would rather err on the side of free speech. Note: I have not been paid to write this letter.
50 Cent stupidity
The "leaders" of the community have decided to shoot the messenger rather than take the blame for their mistakes. With their idiotic idea of banning 50 Cent (NOW, December 1-7) in order to stop violence, they show their utter stupidity once again. In all honesty, if anyone should take the blame, it's the record companies, not the artists. The suits decide what to release and how to promote it. Until the various "leaders" spend time and money on the less fortunate, we will have inner-city violence.
TTC art money better spent
Art on the TTC (NOW, December 1-7)? Have any of you travelled on the subway, buses or streetcars lately? Poetry on the inside of and on subway trains, streetcars dressed up in advertising. Many stations on the Yonge line also have murals on the walls. So why the bellyaching about doing more for the city to show its arty side? Alas, at Christmas time, when selling and buying fill our time, we don't see the homeless person asleep on the street.
Joseph William Lea
Ignatieff equals integration
The Martin Liberals' machinations ensuring "pseudo-Trudeau" Michael Ignatieff's Liberal candidacy in Etobicoke-Lakeshore (NOW, December 1-7) ignored his Bush apologist record and sycophantic proposals of certain "lesser evils" of torture that leant academic credence to Rumsfeld's justification for its use around the globe. I can only see him as another American-system familiar slicking the slope for further integration with the U.S.
For Martin it's now or never
Prime Minister Paul Martin must be aware that unless he produces a majority government, his political career is in jeopardy. It's inconceivable that the federal Liberal party would enter a subsequent election with a two-time loser.
Immigration's eco limits
Letter Writer Rod Taylor wonders why the Green party hasn't spoken out on immigration and population growth issues, given Ontario Environment Commissioner Gord Miller's recent statements warning that southern Ontario's population level is in danger of becoming unsustainable (NOW, December 1-7). I can't speak for the Green Party of Canada, but as Ontario Green party leader, I believe it can be argued that Ontario's population level is already over its ecological limits.
We import half a million barrels of crude oil every day, we export garbage, we are paving our best farmland, our air is badly polluted, and one in five children live in poverty. It is not only population, but per capita consumption, that determine our impact on the natural world.
Frank de Jong
Leader, Green Party of Ontario
Messing with Buy Nothing
I thought Yee-Guan Wong's article on Buy Nothing Day (NOW, December 1-7) was definitely refreshing and brought up critical points that aren't normally seen in alternative publications. For the Zombie Walk activists, Adbusters started Buy Nothing Day to combat big corporations and materialism, not independent hot dog vendors trying to keep their business afloat.
Chris Jai Centeno
Magic Marley maul
The only thing I like about Jason Richards is that he's not Matt Galloway, whom your paper employed for too long. Richards wants readers to believe he's like a patron saint of hiphop and all things "real," but his review of Damian Marley's show (NOW, December 1-7) was one of the most shortsighted I have ever read. How do you give a show a chicken-shit NNN rating while ho-humming your way through the entire review?
James Di Fiore
Poetry in Lauper
Re Cyndi Unplugs (NOW, December 1-7). Sarah Liss writes, "Lauper may be all gussied up, but she still has that awesome Queens drawl, which makes even her most complex ideas sound like she's talkin' smack about some bitch on The Ricki Lake Show." That line is poetry.
I laughed, I cried, I phoned my ma. And then I picked it up and read it over and over. Keep doin' what you're doing, Sarah, cuz what you're doing is real good.
Cops don't have it cushy
As an avid reader of NOW, I am aware of your politics. I tend to lean to the left a bit myself, which doesn't always suit my husband. He is one of Toronto's finest.
I must say, however, I am upset by your article Are Our Cops Overpaid? (NOW, November 3-9).
I am offended that you described a police officer's job as cushy. How many cushy jobs require you to work 70 hours in a workweek? A workweek that consists of telling family members that their loved ones have died before their time; dealing with gore and decomposing corpses (they can't get rid of the smell even after several showers); working with the often violent mentally ill and drug addicts who carry diseases and other deadly weapons.
The Toronto Police have dramatically increased their hiring requirements, and today's well-educated recruits are beginning to wonder if the job is worth all the trouble. So last night, as my hubby put on his bullet-proof vest and stepped out into the cold (while most of us were getting into bed), I patted him on the shoulder and said, "Have fun at your cushy job."