Michael Bryant's excuses leave bad taste
I really appreciated Susan G. Cole's review of Michael Bryant's book, 28 Seconds (NOW, August 30-September 5). I believe her point about how distasteful it is for the former attorney general to use Darcy Allan Sheppard's death for political leverage.
It reflects how a lot of people feel about Bryant's publicity blitz. Thank you for saying what needed to be said about the cynical way he's been treating what happened.
Al was a real person who didn't deserve to die the way he did and who doesn't deserve to be used as a public relations tool now. Thank you again for the great piece.
Once an a-hole...
I saw Bryant interviewed on CBC a couple of weeks ago to promote his book. He came across as a self-serving hypocrite.
Bryant lied about his reckless driving that killed Darcy Sheppard; then he and the PR folks around him blamed and demonized Sheppard.
Who needs this asshole?
Poverty the real culprit in Bryant saga
Editor Susan G. Cole seems to feel that Michael Bryant is focusing far too much on the rehabilitation of his image and [too] little on his being the instrument of Darcy Allan Sheppard's death.
It is accepted that both men made some bad decisions that day. Cyclists want to pillory Bryant and canonize Sheppard, while others would reverse those roles. However, I think the real culprit in this sad tale is poverty.
Darcy Sheppard was a child of poverty. This, coupled with living in foster homes, may have made him prone to alcoholism, rage and poor judgment. Imagine if he'd been born in a society with zero child poverty instead of one with 15 per cent poverty rates such as ours.
This might sound too idealistic for a society that is cutting social spending. Our governments seem to be obsessed with the price of things without any regard for their long-term costs. However, about half a century ago, the same was said about poverty among seniors, and now poverty rates among over-65s is much lower.
Let us make the complete eradication of poverty the great Canadian social policy achievement of the 21st century.
Back-to-school fashion faux pas
I was rather disappointed by NOW's Back To School special issue cover styling (NOW, August 23-29).
Was it so difficult to locate designers who make, produce and sell their garments and accessories in Toronto that NOW had to use Joe Fresh?
NOW could have [used] this cover to showcase local talents who work their butts off and have no marketing budget.
So much for the lil' guy.
J . Zela
Film reviewer Norm Wilner's proclamation that Jaws is "the greatest American movie ever made" tells me he's a hammerhead.
Quebec election questions
The election in Quebec may have divided student leaders (NOW, August 30-September 5), but let's not forget that some of those Quebec student protest signs read, "I vote for anarchy" and that many election posters of the three main political parties during recent protests were taken down and destroyed by demonstrators.
On Israel, anti-Semitic tendencies
I must respectfully disagree with letter-writer Barry Bender's claim that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories are "very much legal" in the eyes of "all non-anti-Semitic declarations" (NOW, August 23-29).
The International Red Cross, the International Court of Justice and the UN Security Council have all ruled that the settlements on the West Bank are in breach of international laws, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.
None of these ruling has anything to do with Judaism, but rather with the actions of a state - one that even its own leaders have declared to be secular. How then are they anti-Semitic?
The United Church chose to boycott exports from these settlements on humanitarian grounds, and not through some conspiracy of hatred against the Jewish people.
Criticism of Israel's policies should not immediately be equated with anti-Semitism; it's this that does a great disservice to all sides of the argument. Can we not discuss things rationally without accusations of racism being tossed around?
For urban studies, try York U
While I'm thrilled that you profiled urban planning as a career in your latest Class Action (NOW, August 23-29), I was a bit deflated that you didn't include York's professional planning program in your section on places to study.
Yes, York has geography and urban studies as listed, and they are awesome programs, but we also have the largest graduate professional planning program in Canada (based on student numbers).
Faculty of Environmental Studies,
Are chemtrails behind drought?
Thank you so much for bringing the devastating effects of the current drought on Ontario farmers to the attention of Toronto's residents (NOW, August 9-15).
You forgot to mention something: chemtrails. They also contribute to global warming. It's disingenuous to suggest that the drought is due to "carbon excess." Aluminum, barium and strontium are the main heavy metals - known neurotoxins - that have been tested in these chemtrails.
Strength in cycling numbers
As a female cyclist who was aggressively sideswiped and verbally abused when I dared to ring my bell at a van parked in a bike lane recently, I strongly encourage letter-writer David Otway (NOW, August 2-8) to join Cycle Toronto (formerly the Toronto Cyclists Union).
Cycling in Toronto can often lead to a feeling of victimization, intimidation and helpless frustration, which I imagine is what Otway's young son experienced when he was honked off the road by that cabbie.
Collective strength, and the knowledge that a whole group of vocal people is on your side and advocating for you, is one of the most powerful tools we have when the law is ignoring us.