Should we ban rain, too?
Letter writer James Geuzebroek's analysis is typical of those who are so anti-marijuana that they can't think straight (NOW, December 14-20). While indoor marijuana gardens exist in a tiny percentage of homes in Canada, all homes are affected by rain, the major cause of mould. Should rain be illegal? I don't know. I think it would be quite difficult to arrest God, though I suppose we could try her in absentia. We might be bemoaning the lack of water down the road as well. How can Geuzebroek fail to comprehend the simple fact that if people were allowed to grow a few plants for personal use only, most so-called "grow ops" would disappear overnight?
I'm writing about James Geuzebroek's letter, "Even if you like pot." If Geuzebroek thinks the eradication of pot grow ops is worthwhile, then he should support the only measure that would accomplish this: full legalization of marijuana use, sales and production. Canada has no illegal tobacco grow operations because tobacco products are legally available to adults in local stores at affordable prices. If you were to criminalize tobacco, the situation would soon change and tobacco would be grown by criminals in clandestine locations. Just like marijuana is today.
Bromstein needs to detox
I am a terrific fan of your paper for many reasons, not the least of which is your outstanding coverage of local politics and the environment. I was surprised, however, by the recent review by your alt health columnist of Whole Life Expo 2006, Canada's largest showcase of natural health and green living (NOW, December 14-20). She turned a blind eye to the dozens of professional therapists who'd come from all over Canada to offer quality services to attendees - everything from acupuncture to organic facials. Perhaps a treatment from one of them would have cured her foul humour. Instead, she focused on a handful of products, dissing their pricing, effectiveness and even the complexions of their vendors. She also failed to report on the fact that thousands of Canadians have been greatly helped by the type of detoxification therapies offered at the show (myself included), therapies which have kept us out of hospitals and doctors' offices because we're able to cure our ills at home.
It's true that a good dose of skepticism is necessary in any marketplace, including that of alternative medicine. But Elizabeth Bromstein went too far. To maintain your high standards of journalistic integrity, I suggest you dump her in favour of a columnist who actually knows what he or she is talking about. She apparently doesn't.
Show Manager, Whole Life Expo
Time to pick that scab
There've been a lot of glowing reviews in Toronto papers recently (including NOW) about the reopening of the Royal Cinema by Theatre D, and Reg Harkema's new film, Monkey Warfare (NOW, December 14-20), which is about pseudo-radicals in Parkdale (pseudo since they're modelled in part on the anti-worker Squamish Five). Theatre D is portrayed as a progressive outfit committed to showing independent Canadian cinema. Monkey Warfare opened at the new Royal Cinema last Friday. What none of the reviews mentioned is that Theatre D is employing a scab projectionist! Isn't that something? Hiding reactionary anti-union politics behind a progressive veneer? I don't know what Harkema or his actors think of his film being shown by scab labour (though I'm certainly curious), but I know I won't set foot inside the Royal until Theatre D changes its retrograde policies.
I'm writing to thank you for your coverage earlier this year of our efforts to protect Sam Smith Park (NOW, June 29-July 5). NOW's was the first press coverage we received on this issue, and I believe it helped us to stop the regional skateboard facility from being placed in the wetland area of our naturalized park. (You may be interested to know that Sam Smith remains on Toronto's parks and recreation list as a possible site.) Your story informed our community of Councillor Mark Grimes's support for this inappropriate site and led to community involvement in protecting and preserving our park.
People power is alive and well here in South Etobicoke thanks to NOW the paper of the people.
Friends of Sam Smith
Justice Marion Cohen's order that a Christmas tree be removed from a Toronto courthouse lobby is ridiculous. Enough is enough! I have no problem with people practising their customs, but this is still a Christian country, founded by Christians.
Justice Cohen had no right to do this, and should be fired. In this case, the law truly is an ass!
Dude, you need a holiday
Four Ns for the holiday (now, de cember 7-13)? I think your movie reviewer needs to get his head examined. This is possibly the worst movie I have ever seen.
I heard someone mutter as they left the theatre, "Everyone involved in the making of that movie should be taken out and shot." Oh wait, that was me.
Tommy wasn't the last
The news that Tommy Douglas was under surveillance by the Canadian Security Services (RCMP) should be no surprise. The FBI was involved at the same time in surveillance of peaceful organizations that threatened the traditional power centres by offering alternatives to war. Former attorney general John Ashcroft once tried to prosecute Greenpeace under an obscure 18th-century law dealing with recruiting drunkards onto ships. Unfortunately, most security services, even ours, have a political propensity for fascism. They believe the real "enemies of the state" are not al Qaeda or the "axis of evil," but those who advocate peace. The actions of the RCMP at that time should be viewed in that light.
Having said that, it is up to us to judge and provide oversight on how much influence the U.S. security services have here today and how much progress our own security services have made since Tommy Douglas's day in focusing on those who would do us harm.
Last weekend while my boyfriend and I were searching for a brunch spot outside of our usual Annex/College places, we came upon a review on NOW's website praising Café Vert as an eco-friendly, vegetarian hot spot. We decided to venture east to indulge in some organic eggs. Both my boyfriend and I are non-swine eaters and eat meat in very limited amounts; we opted for the vegetarian sausage substitution offered on the menu. A few bites in, our waitress came over. "There's been a mistake in the kitchen" she said. "The chef accidentally put meat sausages on your plates." It was too late. The damage was done. This was one time when I envied bulimics and wished I could throw up on demand.
I am a forgiving person and understand that mistakes happen, but this place was rated NNNN and praised for being eco- and vegetarian-friendly, yet failed to deliver on the simplest request.
Vegetarians, beware. Double-check your order before digging in
A. C. Regev
No crème brûlée for you
I am writing you this evening with disappointing news on Toronto's fine dining front. A mere hour ago, my colleague and I thought, "Why don't we return to Silver Spoon for their delightful crme brlée?" Since we were returning guests, we thought it was courteous to mention that we wanted to enjoy our favourite dessert. To our great surprise, we were told, "We are not a dessert place. We don't just do dessert. I'm sorry." I would like to understand, from a business point of view, why an almost empty restaurant, just before the stroke of 8 on a Tuesday evening would turn down two young, well-travelled professionals? This experience has left a bitter taste in our mouths.
Bored in bed?
It's been said in this space re cently, but I'll say it again. These days there just doesn't seem to be much Love in the Sex column. Maybe gentleness, respect and two people as naked as they ever will be together is just too boring. But my friend and lover doesn't think so.
Get these kids off stage
I get it. Alexisonfire is this year's Broken Social Scene. Their 15 minutes should be just about over. Next!
Edward Paxton-Stoker Jr.