The Gaddafi in Rob Ford
In his guide to surviving Rob Ford (NOW, December 29-January 4), Enzo DiMatteo recommends reading the Sun and listening to talk radio. It will drive you "apeshit," he explains, but the insight into the Ford mindset is invaluable. "You have to be crazy to understand Gaddafi. Same applies for Ford."
This last comment gives me valuable insight into the mindset (and gullibility) of a supposedly progressive alt weekly's chief political writer.
It tells me that he was suckered by the campaign of the Western corporate media to demonize the Libyan leader, which was an important supplement to the "responsibility to protect" doctrine and other humanitarian intervention propaganda that paved the way for this naked and outrageous NATO action of smash-and-grab imperialism. Say it ain't so, Enzo!
Grown men behaving badly
Regarding Rob Ford emergency (NOW Daily, December 31). Ford has taken a page from former premier of Alberta Ralph Klein when it comes to the media.
The media also tiptoed around Klein, and if anyone took issue with his behaviour, Ralph would just label them left-wing nuts and everyone would laugh (well, not quite everyone, but you get the picture). From the state of our largest city to our country, I'm beginning to think stupid shows up in mass numbers to vote.
C'est tout pour El Fordo?
Rob Ford is finished as far as I'm concerned. After the recent Christmas 911 call, I could care less what he does at City Hall. This guy has some serious issues and is a bad role model for this city. I feel like an idiot for voting for him. I just hope a Doug Holyday type of fiscal conservative steps up to the plate for 2014.
In your year-in-review issue (NOW, December 22-28), you claim that the "TD Centre will never be the same after the city's Sign Variance Committee approves an application by Ernst & Young to erect a 25-square-metre illuminated sign on the face of the tower."
Such a sign is allowed under current bylaws without review. The Variance Commitment only rules on applications that "vary" from those allowed under the bylaw. An application for a sign larger than allowed by the bylaw was rejected by the committee.
Letter-writer Vikram K. Mulligan is right to suggest that Toronto get a 1 per cent sales tax (NOW, December 22-28). Prince Edward Island, with only 400,000 people, can have one because it's a province. Toronto, with 2.5 million inhabitants, can't because it isn't a province. That's stupid.
I'm scratching my head once again after reading Steven Davey's wrap-up of the year's Top 10 Restaurants (NOW, December 22-28).
Where is Acadia? Grand Electric? I'm confused by Davey's omissions and perplexed by some of his inclusions. What is his process? I'm very curious, because he doesn't reflect my taste or that of anyone I know.
It's time Davey explained how he comes to his conclusions. Please find the Norm Wilner of food reviews! You guys deserve better, and so do we.
Good Egg, Toronto
Grinch steals Xmas bureau
Regarding Closing Time for the Christmas Bureau (NOW Daily, December 28). Rob Ford just reeks of class.
Wait.... No!! The man just reeks, and so does every other toady who backed him on the elimination of the Christmas Bureau.
Toronto's budget malaise
Toronto needs leadership and vision, the opposite of bean-counting executives (NOW, December 15-21). The cure is not cost-cutting or selling the farm.
The cure is to innovate our way out of the current predicament. Let us see if the people we have elected are up to the task.
The mayor is one vote!
Real costs of Occupy
Regarding Odds and Sod (NOW, December 15-21). There were no city plans to re-sod St. James Park.
All city parks get a touch-up each spring. For St. James that might have meant a bit of sodding and seeding at a cost of $500 to $1,000, a far cry from the $65,000-plus in re-sodding done by the private sector.
And none of that work would have been done had there not been extensive damage to the park as a result of the Occupation. So there.
Councillor Norm Kelly
Chair, Parks and Environment Committee
Rap on pro-arts argument
I applaud Robert Priest's Banking On The Arts (NOW, December 15-21). Having been a recipient of many Arts Council grants and FACTOR loans over the years, [I'm very sad] to see the current movement to curb funding to artists who help define our culture and shape forward thinking. What derails Priest's efforts from my angle is the plea from Kardinal Offishall.
KO earnestly claims that "it's been proven that when you invest in the arts you reduce a lot of bad behaviour, because programs for kids means they have less time in the streets to waste on crazy stuff."
This comes across as a tad hypocritical and really pretentious, considering that the roots of rap and hip-hop essentially ride on the integrity of just that. If I was a politician advocating changes in Arts Council funding, this would just provoke me to want to push the button faster.
Rather than contributing to sarcasm, negativity and fear-mongering, could now instead publish articles that are more positive and solution-focused?
You provide a valuable service and resource that many are grateful for and rely on. NOW has a huge following and wide reach. NOW sometimes hits the mark.
However, I am consistently not drawn to read. Where our attention goes, energy flows. Frustration and negativity breed more frustration and negativity.
Getting kicked off all-night buses as easy as puking.
Throwing up on Blue Night
I'm not sure if Ben Spurr has ever ridden the Blue Night at closing time (NOW Daily, December 31), but the buses tend to be packed like sardines, and there's no way for the driver to see that a person in the very back is about to yack.
If drivers refused to let everybody on who looked intoxicated at 2:30 am, the night buses would be empty. Yes, at closing time they're full of drunks, but in my experience it's not nearly as bad as people make it out to be.
Of course, if somebody pukes in the back, people don't say anything, because they don't want to get kicked out into the cold to wait for another jam-packed bus.
HarperCons' eco snow job
I awoke December 18 to a small amount of snow accumulation, the first of the season. If I were advising Stephen Harper and his environment minister, I'd have them and a team of photographers head out and get some jovial shots throwing snowballs before it melts. I'm sure this will help Canadians forget that global warming is upon us and that a change of just a few degrees will be enough to decimate our ecosystem. The outcome of such a PR campaign would be that Canadians might realize too late that they'd missed their chance to disburse climate justice to their government via a good old schoolyard snow job.
Department of Chemistry
University of Toronto