Still hope for war resisters
Matt Mernagh's Awol Gis Dealt Legal Blow (NOW, May 18-24) is fine as far as it goes. But while discussing in depth the legal points made in the Federal Court decision that rejected war resisters Jeremy Hinzman's and Brandon Hugh-ey's appeal, he neglects to inform readers that this decision will be appealed to a higher court. The legal struggle will continue, and the war resisters' refugee claims will remain in force.
This means they will be able to stay here with us in Canada, living in peace with their families. That in itself is a victory.
There's a large and growing nationwide campaign for the war resisters, supported by thousands of Canadians. This campaign will continue to demand that the government let the war resisters stay here.
Cindy Sheehan's visit was made to help this campaign. She'd urged her son Casey to come to Canada rather than go to Iraq, where he was killed. Now she urges Canada to welcome those who did make the trip north, as it did during the Vietnam War.
We urge NOW readers to help the war resisters by contacting their MPs, volunteering, petitioning and donating to the War Resisters Support Campaign.
Please visit our website, www.resisters.ca, and get involved.
The war resisters face prison if returned to the U.S. We mustn't let them be punished for refusing to fight in a war that Canada refused to fight.
War Resisters Support Campaign
Private health care scare
In Gloves Are Off (now, may 18-24), Wayne Roberts's anti-Tory invective is so thick it is hard to decipher the point being made. That said, only a "mommy statist" could somehow take issue with the argument that individuals have a re-sponsibility to maintain their own health.
Public health care will be privatized, apparently due to the evil Tories.
This kind of fear-mongering is un-productive. No one, not even Ralph Klein, is arguing that we shouldn't maintain some form of collective health care system.
But to say, as Roberts does, that "only government or collective organizations have the means" to implement more effective health care delivery ignores the fact that Canada is virtually the only country on earth (including the Scandinavian countries that he holds up as a model) that does not rely on private delivery of a broad variety of these services.
Pillow babes deserve better
I was happy to see you had a picture from the first live event for Toronto's Pillow Fight League (NOW, May 18-24). That's a good start, but these chicks should be on the cover. They are fucking amazing, intense, growling, ballsy, hot and sassy fighters. I have never seen a crowd get as worked up as they did at the Vatikan that night. It was rowdy! They're playing the Phoenix in August, and I can't wait to see them whale away on each other.
Da Vinci dilemma
Re Da Vinci A Dud (now, may 18-24). How can Christian fundamentalists label The Da Vinci Code's premise fiction when they're mimicking what the book says the Church did back in the Middle Ages?
Their desperate protestations only serve to validate the premise, proving that The Da Vinci Code's controversial theory is, at the very least, plausible. Besides, why are all these so-called religious people so insecure and defensive about their faith?
Doesn't having faith mean that you have complete trust and confidence in your beliefs? What does it matter to you if others have a different spiritual view?
Do you think your all-powerful god feels threatened by a movie? All arguments to the contrary will be taken as proof that I am right.
This crew is hardcore
I'm writing in response to Jason Richards's live review of the Necro show (NOW, May 11-17). The review completely discredited our group, Riviera Regime! "His influence has spread for long enough that even his fans are rapping now, as was proven by openers Bloodline and Riviera Regime, who tried very hard to come off hardcore." What is Richards suggesting? That Riviera Regime are nothing but groupies and imitators of Necro??
We are a large crew that has been around since the early 90s. We met while serving in the Golani brigade of the Israeli Defense Forces.
We currently reside in the Jane and Finch area and have been through all the hardcore realities of our surroundings.
If Richards had done a little research, he would have learned that we had to deal with the stabbing death of a friend at our own album release party at the Swallow Lounge back in December 2004.
We have independently released two albums in stores and directed and produced two of our own music videos.
We are not little followers of Necro. We are friends, and we have a common respect and admiration for one another, not because we are his fans who are riding his jock!
I had to set that straight, because we felt disrespected.
Cop critics should just STFU
Re W.E. Brown's letter calling police fences "sad, ironic and pathetic" (NOW, May 11-17). The police have a memorial to officers lost in the line of duty as a testament to how dangerous their job is. I believe there are some 246 names on that memorial, and counting.
Wonder how many NOW writers (or whatever W.E. Brown does for a living) are killed in the line of duty from the safety of their little desks? What's that you say? Zero?
If the police feel it's a safety issue, then let them have their fences. Until your ass is on the line every day, shut the fuck up.
Scoop doos and don'ts
Further to the hazard that our finest mounted police pose to the cyclists of the city by dropping their dung on city streets (NOW, May 18-24).
Why are they exempt from bylaws that enforce "stoop and scoop" policies?
Surely, in a modern city there is no need to have horseshit in the street.
In his letter, Harp's Bush Act (NOW, May 18-24), Gord Ruddin takes aim at the pro-U.S. (and pro-Israel) foreign policy of the Harper administration by attacking the "large, predominantly white, Christian and rural populace" supporting Harper. Imagine the frenzy of charges of racism if someone attacked the "large, predominantly non-white, non-Christian urban populace?"
Ruddin smugly considers himself among "those of us in Canada who are educated, intelligent and tolerant." Really?
Bad Moon over Parkdale
Thank god that dump Blue Moon is closed (NOW, May 11-17). I hope they clean it up and create a better, cleaner atmosphere where a person like me can feel a bit safer walking down the street.
What possible contribution did this hole offer the area other than giving Parkdale the horrible rundown reputation it holds?
Research shocker at U of T
Re U of T's Bio-med Backtrack (NOW, May 4-10). The shocking and ugly reality is that our teaching hospitals are supporting the Battelle partnership with U of T.
People Against Militarization of Life Toronto
I'm very disappointed that you no longer run Connections in your classifieds section and have reverted to the soulless, impersonal ads found in other free weeklies. My boyfriend and I used to enjoy making our own connections using the ads in the Variations section.
We would read out each ad and see who this person could potentially connect with.
For example, a man seeking a well-hung, passable black transsexual, and an attractive African tranny with a big dick looking for a night on the town would obviously go together. It's amazing how many matches we could make.
Your current adult classifieds do not provide for this game. By leaving this out of your otherwise fantastic publication, you've inadvertently denied us this interesting, often enlightening, opportunity.
So please, bring back Connections so we can continue to learn and laugh.
Meaghan and Alex Turner