Loney not the only victim
Those who fear the fate that awaits Jim Loney in Iraq (NOW, December 8-14) should bear in mind that many of the 30,000 victims of the American war against Iraq remain nameless, faceless statistics.
This is not a war against terrorism, but more a war against the people of Iraq. While many families of victims of 9/11 want to give dignity to their horrific deaths, Iraq's dead should be given the same dignity.
As terrible as it is to say, if death is Loney's fate, hopefully it will serve to give humanity to many of the other Iraqis who've perished.
Hemp solution to pollution
One way we can reduce greenhouse gases (NOW, December 8-14) that no one seems willing to discuss is to grow lots of hemp.
Hemp has over 25,000 industrial applications. The plant filters both the air and the soil as it grows, it needs none of the chemical fertilizers and pesticides of most other crops, and will grow on even marginal land.
We could make cheap ethanol fuel for cars from hemp, and throw clean-burning dried hemp into our coal-fired power plants. We could save trees by printing our newspapers on hemp, and use non-toxic, biodegradable hemp polymers to replace all our plastic needs.
But that would be stiff competition for Big Oil and Big Corn, who have a lot of stroke with our government, so it's no wonder we aren't doing it.
Tall climate change tales
As it happens, all of the people your reporter Andrew Athanasiu interviewed and quoted for Greens Divided Over Dissing Feds (NOW, December 1-7) are working together at the UN Climate Change conference in Montreal. As to not "dissing the feds," Pembina, the Suzuki Foundation and the Sierra Club of Canada jointly released a statement this week criticizing the contradiction between supporting the tar sands expansion and reaffirming a commitment to Kyoto targets. It is baffling that NOW appears determined to create an appearance of dissension. There are enough real, important environmental stories out there.
David Suzuki Foundation
Climate Justice Centre
Sierra Club of Canada
In Ignatieff Jumps Without a Parachute (NOW, December 1-7), we take exception to your characterizing the candidate as a "pompous ass." If anything, we should embrace a political figure who is also a teacher, scholar, prolific writer and public intellectual. Who better than Ignatieff, one of the leading thinkers on human rights and ethical intervention, to infuse some intelligent discourse about the betterment of Canadian society into this election. We need more discussions of ideas, issues and policy and less about personalities.
The media are letting us down by not reporting on important issues.
Carla Rose Shapiro
As a Toronto-born sexagenarian, I'm witness to the decline of our cities, and during my recent visit to smogopolis I was uplifted by the great mix of folks engaged in our truly multicultural, multiracial multiplying microcosm. But also demoralized by the homelessness. All of us can stop the decline of our society if we take responsibility to educate ourselves and vote, only not for the Liberals.
Jam talk radio schlock
It's time for progressive Torontonians to take action against local talk radio. The new election season has made it painfully obvious. This week at CFRB, the loutish Bill Carroll declared Stephen Harper to be rehabilitated, electable and definitely not scary. The less abusive Peter Shurman found downtown Toronto "extremely left-wing." They come off like a squad of enemy occupiers in their SUVs. Both CFRB and AM 640 seem to be propaganda arms of the Fraser Institute or worse. Both are at the ready disposal of Councillors Rob Ford and Georgio Mammoth-Loser whenever they have their 20-watt bright ideas.
We should be jamming their phone lines and e-mail boxes.
Who pissed in letter-writer Basil Papademos's cereal (NOW, December 8-14)? While NOW is reporting widely about the gentrification, or Starbucksification, of the city, it still is a great resource to find out about new movies, books, plays, good places to eat, new music, jobs and roommates as well as a leftist slant on the news. Are you actually proud that you live in a neighbourhood in which your girlfriend can't go out after 9 pm?
Quit ragging on the Drake
I live at Queen and Lisgar, just around the corner from the new Starbucks. And, frankly, I'm thrilled it's arrived. Previously, the only place (other than the Drake) to buy coffee was the Country Site, which you should not mistake for Country Style. And that shit they call coffee is undrinkable. Starbucks may be a large corporation, but at least its coffee is good. That graffiti made me (and several other people waiting for the streetcar) laugh for 10 minutes. Congrats to whichever pretentious prick wrote it. Rather than inciting me to hate Starbucks, you made me think you're an idiot. I'm so sick of people ragging on the Drake. I'm actually also paying less rent now than I did across the street two years ago.
Sirius-ly plugged in
I just needed to respond to the Upfront item on Sirius radio (NOW, December 8-14). I fail to see how Sirius screwed up. If people are dumb enough to go to the U.S and buy a receiver for a Canadian service, then they deserve what they get. Sure, both Sirius and XM Canada have certain restrictions, but they're nowhere near as drastic as you would have people think.
With both XM and Sirius you get more U.S. content and almost all the music stations.
Casella's got charm
Re Maggie's Misfire (NOW, December 8-14). So, I wonder if Glenn Sumi saw the same show I did. Maggie had the audience laughing for most of the hour she was onstage.
The thing Cassella does best is provide a perspective on things the rest of us don't take the time to really see or think about.
And it's scathingly funny because it's so right on. Judging from the audience response, she's right on the money more often than not. Loud and emphatic? Yup, she is, but it's all part of her charm.
Kicking Tom Green
After months of terrible reviews for some great albums (DangerDoom, Constantines, Art Brut, etc), it's no surprise to me that Tim Perlich gave Tom Green one N for his album Prepare For Impact (NOW, December 8-14).
What is surprising - disgusting, actually - is that Perlich would use all the space of his so-called review to only take cheap jabs at Green, as well as Mike Simpson of the Dust Brothers, for having some fun by working with him. On top of all this, Perlich even got his facts wrong. Tom Green dumped Drew Barrymore, not the other way around. Yes, shocking. It takes a real man to kick someone who's been down, Perlich. I hope you're proud of yourself.
Devil in the serpent dress
Reading about Zoë Brubaker's sexy blue dress and its provocative powers (NOW, December 1-7) reminded me of a hot little number I picked up at Rag Tag. It was a seductive, skin-tight sheath covered in fire-breathing dragons.
My beguiling dress was also the centre of many a sexual adventure.
Strutting down Queen, I'd feel as unrestrained as the winged serpents gliding across my bod. Guys were mesmerized by the daring dynamo I became whenever I wore it. But no matter how frenzied the fuck, that dragon dress never came off.
Mine, too, was recently sent to Goodwill. How serendipitous if some unsuspecting gal has managed to score both.
Come next summer, that lucky lass won't know what hit her.
Anita V. Robeson
Record 50's real problem
Re Barring 50 makes no sense (NOW, December 1-7). I agree with freedom of speech, too.
But the reason there was talk of keeping 50 Cent out of Canada had to do with the fact that he has a criminal record.