Expo's peak oil problem
re expo: gambling on a legacy (NOW, June 1-7). How can Mike Smith honestly analyze the success or failure of Toronto's bid for the 2015 World Expo without factoring in the likely peak in world oil production? Global peak oil will send oil prices through the roof, greatly reducing the flow of travel and international tourism. I can't see in this light how the Expo could benefit Toronto.
Expo 2015 is a dead letter. Toronto should focus on preparing for the coming energy crisis, fast.
Director of documentary The End Of Suburbia,
I have to congratulate r.g. gibb for coming up with a very original version of the also very original idea that women who like sex = sluts (NOW, June 1-7). Thanks to Gibb's enlightening confession, we now know what to call a woman who wants "no dates, no going out, no relationship - just no-holds-barred, all-out, total sex." And dares to - gasp - have more than one sex partner! Had I not read Gibb's piece, I might have been inclined to think of such women as honestly and openly taking charge to satisfy their sexual needs.
Men should also be thankful to Gibb for pointing out one of the greatest dangers to sex-loving-nymphomaniac-slutty women: by sucking multiple cocks, they can compare the taste of their partners' sperm!
Nike gripe tripe
Jenny Yuen's Sports no fix for at-risk kids (NOW, June 1-7) represents an unfocused outrage that is all too common in Toronto activist circles. The fact is, Nike putting up money for a sports complex in Scarborough is a good thing.
It is not the whole solution for at-risk young people, but there is good reason to think that the introduction of this sports facility will have a positive effect in the community.
I think you rightfully point out Nike's inconsistent position on the rights of children, but your pessimism is unfounded.
TTC union wields big bat
Please don't blame transit workers for last week's wildcat strike (NOW, June 1-7). It's the Amalgamated Transit Union that's wielding the baseball bat. I have a Metropass; the union doesn't care. I work in this city; the union doesn't care. Toronto has an economy; the union doesn't care.
NDP on the face of it
re The hex on Helen (now, june 1-7). The NDP has always positioned itself as the sole and absolute defender of human rights and equality in this country. When I visit their federal or provincial websites, I find myself staring at the faces of white men, the only exception being Olivia Chow. Since not a single progressive woman of colour sits as city councillor in Toronto, I must ask, why on earth would Chow devote unlimited time and resources from the party machinery to stop another progressive Chinese-Canadian woman from wanting to diversify the lily-white face of City Hall? From this voter's perspective, the NDP is the most conventional and rigid of the three big parties when it comes to promoting diversity within its own ranks. Jack Layton should stop pretending that the NDP believes in equality if his own elected members do not actively support it.
Shirley Ann Spiteri
Wayne Roberts is waiting for the government to save the planet (NOW, May 25-31)? Might as well wait for Superman. Only the threat of losing an election has more power than corporate support. The planet will not be saved without a fully engaged population. We've all seen the numbers. We use twice as much energy per capita as Sweden. We are both northern countries; why are we so wasteful? Okay, maybe we have longer distances to travel, but maybe we open windows in winter, air-condition the sidewalks in summer, leave the TV on all day and run the dryer for one shirt in the morning since, you know, we look so groovy in it.
Similarly, corporations will only react to falling profits. Boycott polluters, stop shopping as a hobby. Only we can keep the environment on the political and corporate agenda. Otherwise, it's business as usual, raping the planet to feed the mindless consumer with useless junk.
re Fast times at machine gun high (NOW, May 25-31). I'm a part of the co-op program mentioned in this article. To say that our armed forces have "morphed from UN-supporting peacekeepers into counter-insurgency killers" is entirely inaccurate. The only way to peacekeep is to peacemake and peace-enforce. This means saying to those in conflict that they will stop killing each other or we will kill them both.
This program wasn't introduced for the sole purpose of bolstering our ranks in Afghanistan. It's been around for some years.
As for students thinking that shooting machine guns or throwing grenades is cool, since few of us have done it before, I doubt many of us feel this way.
To be perfectly honest, I was probably one of those "bored and impres-sionable teenagers" when I joined. But am I to understand that values like discipline, attention to detail, professionalism and high standards are things to be frowned upon?
If someone is willing to bleed for this country, are you saying that helping them with post-secondary education is being too generous?
Mom no warmonger, but...
I take exception to much of what was written in Andrew Cash's Fast Times At Machine Gun High. When my son was in high school, I often found it difficult to get him up in the morning. During his last year, the military came to school and introduced him to the reserves.
He was a member of the engineering corps in university and graduated with an honours degree. When he'd return home for the summer, he'd built up a great physique, had a tan, had seen new parts of Canada and made friends for life.
He has become a most independent, gracious and courteous man, capable of critical and analytic thinking and able to tackle just about any job with great self-confidence. He's finishing a course in Gagetown, NB, will be promoted to master corporal and will teach the reserves.
I think there are a great many young people who would benefit from the mental and physical challenges and the respect and discipline the army instills. I'm no warmonger, but if it ever came to that, I'd rest a little easier knowing my son has that training.
Shoot to thrill
As a former high school teacher, I couldn't agree more with Len Desroches's and Gary Connolly's criticisms of military recruitment aimed at high school students. Recruiters should not be allowed to present a one-sided story about how great it is to enter the military. Presentations leading to a fully informed choice should include the history and practice of non-violence as well as info about the attacks on civilians that they will be called on to make because this is a part of all modern warfare.
Documentaries and photo essays on military massacres of civilians at My Lai, investigations underway in Iraq and Afghanistan and torture at Abu Ghraib should be just as much a part of students' education as learning how to operate a machine gun.
Before even picking up a gun, students should be reminded that every potential person brought into the sights of their weapon may have a loving mother, father, siblings, spouse and children. School trustees should ban this kind of one-sided education from our schools.
Murray D. Lumley
Method to Iggy's madness
Steven Staples's article on Liberal leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff's vote to extend the presence of Canadian troops in Afghanistan (NOW, May 25-31) unfairly leaves out the reasons behind Ignatieff's actions. Ignatieff voted to extend the mission for purposes of peace-building, an international relations term that incorporates traditional peacekeeping (using UN or national troops to prevent violence) with other aspects of maintaining the safety of people in high-conflict areas.
Ignatieff further mentioned the need to support non-governmental organizations and government aid agencies. Furthermore, it must be noted that Ignatieff's support of troops in Afghanistan is not to spread some sort of Canadian agenda, but to help create a more suitable life for those in this troubled area.
Dust this one off, cop lover
In response to letter-writer David Currie's Cop Critics Should Just STFU (NOW, May 25-31). While the police are planning to spend so much money fencing themselves in, what effect will the allocation of that money have on essential services provided by Toronto police?
In the last year, I have had my vehicle stolen from property within city limits. While it was at large, I approached a division regarding its recovery. At one point I was told it would be dusted for fingerprints if it was found. It was taken to an impound yard but never fingerprinted. From subsequent conversations, I discovered that only when there is money available under specific programs are stolen cars dusted for fingerprints.
You can imagine the bitter taste it leaves in my mouth to hear that TPS is allocating millions to construct unnecessary fences that could be better used to serve the public.
I believe that Currie needs to take a dose of his own medicine and STFU.
Star's Tory shimmer
I was very interested to see your Upfront item Who's Tory Now? (NOW, May 25-31). I've been a loyal Star subscriber ever since I can remember. But it's been giving the Tories in general and Stephen Harper in particular a free ride. Snap out of it, Toronto Star.
Our Canada, as we know it, is in dire peril. Where's the outrage?
These resisters dodgers
re Awol GIs dealt legal blow (now, May 18-24). I'm fundamentally against war, but these war deserters coming from the U.S. are not like the draft dodgers of the Vietnam War. Then there was no choice - they were drafted. These deserters signed a contract. It's spelled out to them that in the event of war they will be called to serve first. These are not anti-war guys, or why would they have signed up in the first place? NOW is an open forum for leftist views, but please call them what they are, deserters, not resisters.