The race nobody's watching
RE The grate debate (NOW, September 21-27). While I appreciate your mayoral race coverage, Jane Pitfield's self-immolation is rapidly turning this into a coronation.
Perhaps space could be devoted to the race for president of the police union instead. The incumbent is hysterical about the possibility of officers having to wear name tags identifying them to the public they've sworn to serve and protect.
And the challenger is proposing the union be allowed to sue any member of said public who lodges a complaint against officers that is judged to be without merit.
In other words, if you can tell who mistreated you, pursue it at your own risk. I know Julian Fantino is gone, but his bully tactics and culture live on.
RE Nick of Time (NOW, September 21-27). For a second I thought I'd picked up the wrong paper. Maybe I missed something, but when did Nick Lachey become relevant?
RE OCAP in hand (now, september 21-27). OCAP deserves far more respect for the enormous contributions it has made to raise awareness about homeless and poor people. It's unfortunate that union leaders prefer to quibble over some of OCAP's tactics instead of realizing that these same tactics ensure that anti-poverty issues are kept before the public. They should be thanking anti-poverty activists, who risk much in educating the public concerning the most forgotten and abandoned people in this city.
Musical Madness a delight
We made our way to hart house last Saturday (a long drive) to see Reefer Madness: The Musical. It was a pure delight. Hard to tell from your feeble review (NOW, September 21-27), but I must assume your reviewer is someone who has gender/body/anorexia issues. Certainly, your reviewer could not get beyond the great glitz and gloss of the production to look more closely at the actual stellar performances.
Dawson's kick in the head
You champagne socialists kill me. Susan G. Cole points out in her wankfest (NOW, September 21-27) - or frigfest, depending on your genitals of choice - that the Dawson school shooter was an alienated young man. Wha? Men are violent? Ain't that a kick in the head.
So, yes, Susan, how to stop it?
It's never quick and easy, but is it possible that male violence is learned behaviour, like, I dunno... extreme child abuse? In the end, humans are dumb animals, and who knows why we do half the stupid shit we do. One thing's for sure... assholes come in all shapes, sizes... and genders.
Feminists need to fess up
I wholeheartedly agree that as a society we continue to ignore male violence. But part of the blame, in my mind, falls directly on the feminists you defend. They blew it.
Women's shelters, help lines and abuse education programs are unwilling to work with men who are part of the problem.
Feminism seems to have forgotten that it was originally about educating both men and women about women's issues, not about establishing a powerful opposing team. Is it any wonder feminism is seen as so last century?
What planet are guys on?
The day after reading why do we Keep Asking Why? I turned on the local 24-hour news station. In less than five minutes three headlines caught my attention: police look for man on bike after woman assaulted; police issue warning after woman sexually assaulted near Bloor and West Mall; four brothers arrested after throwing their 95-year-old mother on their father's funeral pyre.
Those people who say feminism is obsolete, what planet do they live on? Because I'd like to move there.
Just yesterday, police, politicos and media outlets arrogantly celebrated the destruction of another sizable marijuana farm here in southern California. Then I read Marijuana Mood Swing (NOW, September 21-27), wherein NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre comments that the development of cannabis-based medications is an "irony" that may leave "the bid for legalization of just plain weed... in the dust." These absurdities are depressing, and much less a matter of irony than of tyranny and inhumanity. As Paul Terefenko's piece reminds us, the disadvantages of cannabis prohibition on physical and mental health are unacceptable.
Municipal time, place and manner ordinances should be the only regulations regarding the peaceable consumption of cannabis.
Santa Monica, California
I just read Nik Sarros's story about being chronic (NOW, September 21-27). It gave me chills. I've been in a similar situation with weed. Bravo to Sarros for writing an honest tale about his experience. I believe that not many weed users admit to the side effects that being chronic can bring; it's always bittersweet. It's nice to hear about it from that perspective. Thank you!
Weed wacker a wank
Nik Sarros's chronic shock was utter nonsense. I've consumed cannabis for 30 years and have run out dozens of times without any of the withdrawal symptoms described by Sarros. I also know hundreds of users who say the same. According to StatsCan, there are over a million other Canadians who will likely back up that claim. Meanwhile, the report of the Special Senate Committee Report languishes and is ignored by the (pharmaceutically) vested politicians.
I have some difficulty swallowing the notion that someone with such an obvious lack of self-control could produce such a well-written article.
What bothers me about the ma her Arar case (NOW, September 21-27) is not so much the incompetence and violations of policy by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A mistake can be understood. A mistake can be corrected. A mistake can be forgiven. What bothers me is the acquiescence, by the RCMP, by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service and by Foreign Affairs in the U.S./Syria kidnapping and torture of a Canadian citizen, and the RCMP's feeding of questions to Syria to ask Arar under torture.
All the Canadian officials involved should at the least lose their jobs, and at most face charges of conspiracy to torture. These people have lost their moral compass.
Pope no anti-Muslim putz
RE Gwynne Dyer's assessment of the Pope's recent remarks on Islam (NOW, September 21-27). Christianity as a religion that believes in salvation only through Christ will always have leaders who, at least privately, view Islam as evil. The Pope is just being the Pope. His address was to a science faculty at one of his old universities. The thrust of his argument was that theology as an inquiry into God shouldn't have its radius reduced by being treated as a science. He was addressing that particular audience and wanted to portray Catholic Christianity as closer to reason than Islam or the Christianity of Western evangelists. There was no intent to slam Islam or justify a 10th Crusade. It was the mass media that turned this minor speech into an international incident.
And what has happened to freedom of speech now that we have the mullahs and the Western media out to silence us all. As ridiculous as it may seem, is the Pope now the new champion of the free exchange of ideas?
I won't drink to that
I didn't think now was naive enough to take Leah Casselman's comments regarding the province's new deposit return system for empties at face value (NOW, September 14-20). You've been pretty good at casting a skeptical eye when a public figure proposes an idea, so your easy agreement was a bit disturbing. Her arguments that liquor bottles will not be returned because of the inconvenience of going to a Beer Store don't ring true. The Brewers Retail operates in all the same markets as the LCBO and has a proven collection system. Her comments should be taken with an understanding of her bias: supporting her members first.
Prevailing in Parkdale
Thank you for providing engaging and lively coverage of the by-election in Parkdale-High Park (NOW, September 7-13). The personal attacks on my person by the entire Liberal machine were met with support and a vindicating win by our informed and ethical riding. Our local, provincial and national media also proved that they are far too intelligent to be influenced by a smear campaign and did not cross the line into yellow journalism.
Our victory proved that every so often justice does prevail. Thank you for your part in keeping democracy democratic.
Reverend Cheri DiNovo
MPP, Parkdale-High Park