Freedom haters, that's us
The intellectual elitism and hidden agenda of the leftists at the helm of NOW both come shining through in Smog Summit A Fog and Pitfield From The Peanut Gallery (NOW, June 15-21). Clearly, the primary issue for the leftist collectivist-altruists at NOW is not the environment but, rather, a dislike of human freedom.
Instead of celebrating the Newmarket initiative that dramatically reduces the environmental impact of housing, NOW prefers to sneer. You hate the idea of ordinary people enjoying privacy and freedom of choice, and you will never be satisfied until you have herded everyone like humble, chastened sheep, into packed warrens of socialist paradise.
How fortunate for NOW that you live in a country where you are free to express your opinions and not fear imprisonment.
I hope, too, that Councillor Jane Pitfield got as good a laugh as I did. I fully agree with Pitfield that taxpayers, transit riders and other participants in the life and economy of the city of Toronto deserve to be protected from extortionists of all kinds, be they panhandlers or labour unions.
Meth's dubious HIV link
Re Meth blamed for rise in HIV (NOW, June 15-21). Kyle Rae is full of it. And ACT has some explaining to do. ACT, public health bureaucrats and others desperate to find a culprit for the inexplicable rise in HIV here in the heart of the educated, wealthy Western world need only look at themselves. How can this be? AIDS education has failed because much of it is premised on the naively hopeful assumption that if people know something is bad for them, they will avoid it. How can we explain the stupid decisions people continue to make? Oh, quite conveniently it's (insert new drug scare here).
Weed, coke, crack, acid, angel dust, E, GHB, K and long ago opium and laudanum - they've all had their turn in the maelstrom of political reaction. Now, it's meth's turn.
You don't need Rae and ACT to point out the obvious. If you're fucked out of your mind on anything, you're not going to make good decisions.
No hoods on these heads
From the coy bicycling photo of the World Nude Ride guys - Santa Bob, Glen and Jeff (NOW, June 15-21) - I see that they aren't protecting their noggins with helmets. Fair enough. I hope they're wearing sunscreen and cod-pieces at least. Some things are more important than others.
Oh brother, where art thou?
Is Warner Bros. paying John Harkness to write favourable reviews of their excrement? Four Ns for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (NOW, June 15-21)? Are you out of your mind? I rarely walk out of a cinema, but that film was so mind-numbingly pathetic, absolutely devoid of artistic merit, that I had no choice but to exit!
Since returning to NOW, Harkness has demonstrated some intelligence in his reviews - on the rare occasion that I venture into Harknessland.
But Kiss Kiss Bang Bang for me epitomizes the utter emptiness of spirit in Hollywood films today.
Hardly worth my time responding, but what the hell!
Liberals' nuke folly
Dalton McGuinty's decision to proceed with the expensive nuclear agenda without an environmental assessment (NOW, June 15-21) - will he volunteer to keep the spent fuel in his back yard? - would seem to indicate that his government has been insincere in presenting itself as green and sustainable.
The Liberals are spending $83 billion on this folly. Is there anyone in the government who has the imagination to understand how much sustainability can be bought for $83 billion?
Wal-Mart's rush to organics
re Organic delusions (NOW, june 8- 14). Good for you! Wal-Mart wading into organics will leave Canadian organic farmer carnage everywhere. Organics are more expensive for a reason - you get what you pay for! Wal-Mart purchasers would destroy these people who are committed to keeping our planet healthy.
Thanks again for the article.
Director of Marketing
Community Natural Foods Ltd.
Anti-Harper snipes childish
i sometimes get the feeling that the entire NOW editorial staff has a combined age of 12. UpFront has always been a terrible, if sometimes funny section. Rather than reasoned arguments, one gets childish snipes at people NOW doesn't like. "That terrorist threat stems from our military involvement in Afghanistan, ya freak," you proclaim to Stephen Harper (NOW, June 8-14). Are you saying Canada would not be a target of terrorism if Canadian troops were not in Afghanistan? What a bunch of bullshit.
You call Harper a "pandering birdbrain" while giving a birdbrain argument so you can pander to your readers who want to believe that we'll never be attacked as long as we leave Afghanistan.
Grow up. As politically minded individuals, you should know damn well that the reasons for Islamic terrorism are much more complex than you portray in this ludicrous statement. It serves no one to be so simplistic.
Afghanistan: simple physics
What an exciting fortnight: homegrown Islamic terrorists arrested in Toronto; Musab al-Zarqawi, the cold-blooded murderer, killed in a heroic air raid - and no mention made of the 50,000-plus evil Afghans and Iraqis murdered so far. Only NOW had the courage to point out that this alleged terrorism came from our military involvements - simple Newtonian action/reaction theory. Muslims with some self-respect decided to retaliate.
I would like to see the achievements of our Canadian reconstruction efforts in the next 37 years. How many bombed-out schools and hospitals will have been rebuilt?
Teaching our children well
Thanks for Andrew Cash's coverage of the issue of military recruitment in Toronto-area high schools (NOW, May 25-31). Unfortunately, he failed to mention the groups that discovered this program and are working to end it: Women in Black in Windsor, and Homes Not Bombs in Toronto. Individuals wishing to get involved in the campaign to evict the armed forces from our schools - and schools interested in exploring nonviolence as an alternative to a world of war - can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Homes Not Bombs
Briggs a true star
Thank you very much for including Shannon Lee Briggs (NOW, June 8-14) in your last issue! She is one of the few artists left who has avoided the pretension and disillusionment of the Toronto music scene. She is a gifted vocalist and performer who presents something genuine onstage, and by doing so elevates herself above the novelty acts most publications flock to. Thank you for recognizing a true star.
Pride and Kennedy
As Pride weekend approaches, i am writing to say how proud I am of Helen Kennedy, who was a key member of my team at City Hall and is now running for a seat on city council (as detailed in previous issues of NOW). If Kennedy succeeds - and she certainly deserves to, as she has the talent, experience, passion and commitment we need - she will be the first out lesbian ever to serve in our city government.
This would be a great step forward, and Kennedy would be an exceptional role model.
As someone who has been working for equality rights with the LGBT community since I started in public life, I know how important this is.
Back in the early 80s, when I was a school trustee, I saw so many heartbreaking situations of young gay and lesbian students or children of lesbian and gay parents who were in despair at society's attitudes and entrenched bigotry.
We have made progress, but there is still an uphill battle, and we need to see leaders with the courage and confidence of Helen Kennedy.
I am proud to support her.
Member of Parliament,
Harper's fat lie
After reading Gloves Are Off (NOW, May 18-24), my belief in a strong public health care system is even stronger. The "personal responsibility" idea is too simple in a complex society. Government believes that people who get ill from alcohol, cigarettes and overeating should pay their own medicare costs. Yet government fails to mention who should pay for all the cancer and other diseases created by corporations that have polluted our land, water and air with life-threatening chemicals.
Wayne Roberts even seems to believe some of the government's lies. He lists the diseases and illnesses that are caused by corporations and should be part of the public domain. He fails to realize that in some cases heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis are not related to lifestyle choices.
And who is Harper to complain about overweight people anyway?
One big FU from Iran
NOW ought to know that it has the dubious honour of being filtered off the Internet in the Islamic Republic of Iran. I think it's the smut, although anybody in Iran can tune in to hardcore porno sites via satellite on TV. Let us all say a collective "fuck you" to Bush, Ahmadinejad, Blair, Olmert and our very own newbie Harper and get on with our lives.