Obama: is he for real?
George Elliott Clarke says the idea that Obama "is running the biggest show on earth" doesn't feel real (NOW, February 5-11). Sadly, that's probably because it isn't real.
The fact is, Obama reports to a few wealthy and powerful families who own the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Yes, folks, it is a privately owned bank that controls the finances of the U.S. and for that matter the finances of a major part of the world.
It has been that way with every president since 1913, with the exception of John F. Kennedy, who tried to shut them down. Most people will remember that JFK was assassinated in 1963.
Trading up minorities
One of the glaring omissions from the infrastructure investment discussion by Alice Klein (NOW, January 29-February 4) and many other commentators is the need for equity in the employment opportunities that come from this type of government spending.
Racialized and women workers are poorly represented in the various trades within the construction sector. Infrastructure dollars should not aid and abet systemic racism and sexism in this area of employment.
That would be the outcome if steps are not taken to set up employment equity targets and timelines.
Who killed the coalition?
What is it with Alice Klein? For years she attacks the NDP for aggressively going after the Liberals, while soft-pedalling or ignoring altogether every perfectly predictable betrayal and act of perfidy on the part of the Liberals.
Stephen Harper remains prime minister of Canada for one reason and one reason alone: Michael Ignatieff is spineless.
No amount of artful apologetics or smooth elision can change this. So why the double standard? Why, in light of her previous attacks on Jack Layton, is Klein so silent on Ignatieff's coalition cave-in?
When will she finally acknowledge the NDP as Canada's lone progressive alternative?
Is her silence part of the so-called "new thinking"?
Black history mystery
How well does NOW actually know black history? The Nathaniel Dett Chorale was founded in 1998, fifty-five years after the death of Dett in 1943.
As Colin Eatock points out in a brilliant and well-researched feature in a recent issue of WholeNote Magazine, the Chorale was founded by Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, a gifted Trinidadian who was born about 10 years after Dett died.
Dett's name was chosen, in Blyden-Taylor's words, to "honour black Canadian heritage."
Dett himself spent most of his life in the United States, as do many Canadian-born celebrities.
Tweetle dee, tweetle dum
I know it's a popular pastime in Toronto to dis NOW Magazine at every chance, but my motivation for this letter stems more from a desire to help than tear down.
I think you've got some great content, but the twitter tweets do not do the material on your site justice.
I'm a progressive, socialist, lefty blah, blah, blah, so I should naturally want to read your links more than, say, the National Post or Maclean's, but I find myself reading their tweets because they're more compelling. (Okay, admittedly when I see "David Frum on why he's such a douchenoozle" - or at least that's how I read it - I'm going to click on that so I can tear my own eyebrows off in indignation.)
Whoever writes your feed got all bitchy this weekend. I wasn't sure if someone had taken over your site and was trying to make NOW look needlessly belligerent. Oh, and this weekend during the NDP Ontario leadership debate there wasn't a peep.
With the exception of a few fairly recent horoscopes that boasted decidedly psychopathic influences, Rob Brezsny's astrological predictions are clear and even provide comic relief, especially on Aries.
I hadn't given any particular consideration to how well my plumbing, courage or vibrator work for me until he suggested creating an ongoing list of things that make me feel at home in the world.
There's nothing like a freebie that lifts ones spirits.
Get your news kicks for free
Your short item on the Globe and Mail dismissing 90 employees (NOW, February 5-11) reminds me that American humorist Will Rogers's saying that "all I know is what I read in the papers" doesn't apply any more, with all the free news on the Internet.
I suspect that the four Toronto dailies aren't telling the truth about their circulation figures. I check the garbage bins in the subway system and at Union Station, and almost all the newspapers read and thrown out are the two free ones distributed each morning.
While butchers and fishmongers used to wrap their products in newsprint, I need it to cover my floor to prevent it from staining when I polish my shoes.
Letter-writer Morris Field certainly has a lot to say about those who disagree with his "Israel right or wrong" philosophy (January 29-February 4).
They are either "self-hating Jews," "illogical," "uninformed," "dumb," "fools" or "idiots who hate and have always hated the Jews."
Furthermore, he makes the blatantly racist and factually untrue comment that "the problem has always been the lack of desire for peace on the side of the Arabs."
For too long, those who have dared question the orthodoxy of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians have been attacked as anti-Semitic.
Disagreeing with the actions of a country's government, military and some of its citizenry is not the same thing as hating all Jews, just as disagreeing with Stephen Harper doesn't mean I hate Canada (although Conservatives might say otherwise).