Vox populi's big lie
Congratulations to Dalton McGuinty and the Ontario Liberal party for their massive majority win.
And congratulations to the 63 per cent of voting Ontarians who support an electoral system that so blatantly disregards the will of the people. Your voice has been heard, and, at your request, the government will continue ignoring it.
Is that local or loco?
The question asked on the cover of your Eat Local issue - "This meal travelled 50,000 kilometres. Why?" (NOW, October 11-17) - is not answered inside. It's the price system, silly. It's a fudge.
As a basis for decision-making, the pricing system is fraught with inefficiencies.
The meal on the cover is but a small example. How far has that new car travelled before it was purchased?
Veg on this
As a member of a family running a professional vegetable farm at Holland Marsh started in the 1950s, I question why the McGuinty government gave $25 million to fund a group of NGOs, most unfamiliar with farmers, to provide the bulk of fresh produce for domestic consumption and exports.
While the government supports campaigns to "buy local" at small farmers' markets, it pressures other farmers to amalgamate land and export.
We do not resent money given to other GTA farmers. But we question why fertile areas like Holland Marsh are ignored.
Isn't it enough that our "local" Niagara wines and grape lands were last summer turned over to an American conglomerate?
Not so hot for Halen
According to NOW, there were only three "shows that rocked Toronto" last week (NOW, October 11-17), including the Hives playing a short set to the wild indifference of teen girls and their moms at the ACC. And, uh, Van Halen. That's the scene?
I was a little surprised at the omission of the National at the Phoenix on Monday, which included an unexpected cameo performance by Hayden.
This review section is presumably meant to echo the feeling of gratification of those who attended worthwhile performances and to generate a sense of regret for those who didn't. Shouldn't that include shows in which the band and the crowd were, at the very least, happy to be there?
And Van Halen? Fuck sake. Dig a little deeper.
Tell us who's really making a scene.
The clamour for China to take action against Burma is puzzling (NOW, October 11-17).
After all, in its brutal repression of its people, especially democracy advocates, Burma has merely taken a page out of China's how-to book. I don't know why anyone would expect China to demand that Burma behave any differently. The bigger question is why those seeking sanctions against Burma aren't asking for the same sanctions against China for repressing its own people.
But then again, unlike China, Burma doesn't send us an unending supply of cheap toys and toothpaste (lead-laden and contaminated as they may be).
Flags of our foul-up
I realize that's a stock photo accompanying Alan Young's excellent column on the right to silence (NOW, October 11-17). But is it too much to ask to see a stock photo of a Canadian courtroom?
When Canadian prisoners must be handcuffed, as was the unfortunate man in your picture, they remain in a prisoner's box.
Our judges wear robes with red sashes and white tabs at the collar rather than the stark black favoured by their colleagues to the south.
Finally, ours typically sit beneath the coat of arms of Canada - not next to an American flag.
Making the blight choice
Regarding the city's expropriation of the Matador (NOW, October 4-10). There remains the broader issue of why government planners should be empowered to steal from people in the name of urban renewal.
In a free society, you and I are expected to purchase property without the use of force. Why should government operate by a different moral code than we use ourselves?
As it stands now, arrogant public officials believe that cities are their own personal sandbox. Where the government sees blight, its victims see hard work, their livelihoods and dreams crushed.
NDP's paler shade of green
RE Who's greener? (NOW, September 27-October 3).
NDP MPP Gilles Bisson and the NDP northern caucus members roundly criticized the new and overdue Liberal paper procurement policy, which gives preference to paper products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
I have done my time in the wood certification business as a forest certifier, and as someone who gets random phone calls from people asking for certified decking, doors and toilet paper.
For FSC and its supporters, it has been a long, lonely and expensive climb to the marketplace. Not long ago, no one knew what FSC was.
As I write this, the Canadian dollar has reached parity with the U.S. dollar. The ongoing disaster in the forest sector will worsen.
The emerging green economy is being led by innovative concepts such as FSC. It is time for politicians to reward our small successes and encourage others to catch up.
Mock me into obscurity
How dare you fucking call my website a "pretentious piece of high school new media drivel," you uneducated, moronic mainstream piece of shit? I've been writing satire for 25 years.
Oh, wait. Sorry. I meant to be mocking the kind of artist, like letter-writer François Miron (NOW, October 4-10), who complains that people don't understand his work even though it is intentionally obscure.
My therapist says I do a lot of that in my writing. It's called transference.
Apparently, I take on the persona of the person I intend to make fun of. You'll have to forgive me, as most of the time I don't even know I'm doing it.
You see, when I was a child, my parents didn't... no, that's not right either. I... you know, maybe it would be best if I didn't go on. So many letter-writing styles to parody, so little time. Sorry about that. I... yeah... sorry.
Mind the gap
It's great news that the works Committee okayed a study of a big long bikeway beside the Bloor/Danforth subway (NOW, October 4-10).
Two years ago another study on Bloor bike lanes got okayed by Works, though it was for a lane half as long.
Will this new report mean the $22-million rebuild of 1 km of Bloor between Avenue Road and Church will proceed without bike lanes?
Caronto is fabulous at offering plenty of sustained bull about the climate carisis but lousy at doing some logical and cheap things like some bike lanes alongside the subway.
Mod squad pops a wheelie
Our city is too busy patting itself on the back about the Bike Plan to bother installing bike lanes.
We need to make roads safe so citizens will leave their cars at home and bike to and from work. This will make for cleaner air and a friendlier city.
We should also create rush-hour bike lanes. It can be done overnight with a few cans of white paint. Fewer cars. More bikes. Happier city.
The city is broke.
We'll fix it, no charge.
Urban Repair Squad
RE Down in the dumping (NOW, October 11-17).
I was surprised to see the experts' advice on dealing with constipation.
They omitted two of the easier and more effective ways to solve the problem: eating a kiwi first thing in the morning and adding a tablespoon of flax seeds to your breakfast cereal.
A good glass of water as soon as you get up is good, too.
Pepsi leaves bitter taste
Regarding the ad on page 48, top left hand corner (NOW, October 4-10).
WTF? Pepsi! NOW?
What's the moral here?
Alter Eco - Environmental Art