Cheol Joon Baek
"The deliberate polarizing of the city is Rob Ford’s real crime."
Truthiness and Rob Ford
Re Ford's Burden Of Truthiness (NOW, September 6-12). I bet if I interviewed your left-wing readers after they read Enzo DiMatteo's article, they'd mistakenly think that Mayor Rob Ford benefited financially from his alleged conflict of interest.
But of course the article was only written to imply as much. Oh, but then it stops just implying to say, "But whether the mayor benefited financially is not so clear-cut."
Actually, it is clear-cut that he didn't benefit financially or he would be charged with fraud.
I love the part about lobbyists and their attempts to "curry favour." Nooo! Say it isn't so! There are lobbyists who try and curry favour! Oh, my. Of course, this would never happen in an NDP government.
Keep 'em coming, Enzo. Your articles are always entertaining.
Mayor's real crime
The biggest cause of this mess is amalgamation. While there may be significantly fewer supporters after Ford's performance in court, the mayor's followers still want what Ford is delivering.
The city is already polarized, and someone with experience is needed to bring the two sides together instead of pitting groups against each other.
The deliberate polarizing of the citizenry is Ford's real crime, a crime that is beyond the reach of punishment for the time being.
I appreciated that Robert Priest's article Are Libraries Throwing The Book At Us? (NOW, September 6-12) focuses on literacy as the main benefit of community libraries.
I would add to his facts and perspective one more lesson that I learned from my run-in with the library's gentle enforcers.
In March 2012, I received a collections letter to pay outstanding fines of $57.50. It seems that over two years ago, when my wallet was stolen, someone kept my library card and took out several items that were never returned.
My account includes such distinguishing info as my name, address, phone number and PIN, yet at check-out I am asked no verifying questions to confirm my identity.
I even have the option of "self check-out," where I need only scan my card and my books and go. Anyone in physical possession of my card can do the same.
I begrudgingly paid the fines (to support the library and my access to it) but believe that minimum security protocols are needed to preserve both my community's access to literacy and my own financial security.
I just read Benjamin Boles's review of Bob Dylan's Tempest (NOW, September 6-12).
Leave it to some hipster music critic (almost all NOW's music critics are failed musicians) to write a whiny, try-hard, inaccurate review of a great new album from the undisputed best songwriter of our time.
It's not a generational thing, Ben. Dylan is still relevant after 50 years.
Fruity tree logic
Re Changing Core Beliefs (NOW, August 30-September 5). To an otherwise excellent article by Wayne Roberts should be added that North American cities have eliminated female fruit-bearing trees from the urban environment to the point that 70 to 90 per cent of canopy cover in cities consists of male, pollen-producing trees. Why? Because female trees are too messy! I suppose we'd rather starve than have messy sidewalks.
Gun politics again
The gun is now a part of Canadian politics. Richard Henry Bain allegedly killed one person and injured another at the PQ rally September 4. He was ill, it seems, and a recluse, like many of those who suddenly, unexpectedly, tragically erupt into violence.
It's tempting to leave it there, at the feet of a madman. But like so many other similar madmen, Bain has tapped into something deeper and darker in our national psyche.
He's English, and when he yelled, "The English are waking up!" he tainted the next four years of politics in Quebec. Let us ignore all calls to arms. And heed our national impulse to disarm.
Air Show luck running out
Once again our city became a hostage of the Air Show at the Ex for another year. We're lucky that up until now all the planes that crashed through the show's history ended up in Lake Ontario. Just a few days ago, a plane crashed at an Iowa air show, killing the pilot. You can enjoy the view of a giant fireball on the internet.
What are we waiting for? Till one of them crashes downtown with unspeakable consequences?