Letters to the Editor

Rating: NNNNNCan't trust cops with picsre cabs on camera (now, febru- ary 22-28). Your reporter insinuates with his first couple.

Rating: NNNNN

Can’t trust cops with pics

re cabs on camera (now, febru- ary 22-28). Your reporter insinuates with his first couple of paragraphs that these are video cameras, but they are in fact still cameras that take one’s picture only once the doors are shut. This fact only partially comes out three-quarters of the way into the article.

This is not to minimize the danger to our civil rights. Who is to store the images? Eventually, if not already, the police. Cab companies can hardly be made responsible for data-storage costs. When can the keepers be expected to destroy this data? In the absence of very specific timelines written into the legislation or bylaw, never.

Even then, I wouldn’t bet a loonie on it. In the past couple of years, when the police have been put under the microscope, how many inadvertent mistakes with videotapes have we seen? Perhaps we need a citizen-controlled body to which all sensitive data is turned over, and which can only be compelled to release it by the courts.

Family spat among Jews

in unholy row (now, february 15-21), Enzo Di Matteo stated that the Jewish Tribune article claims “that Farber got the CBC to drop Dimant from a list of speakers scheduled to talk about the results just minutes before the network was scheduled to go live to air.” We note that Di Matteo’s report confirmed exactly the same details of the Canadian Jewish Congress’s demands to CBC. The public record is now clear. There is, however, one more item that needs clarification or correction.

The inclusion of the comment, “Dimant himself flirted with the idea of running for the Canadian Alliance last fall — while the CJC is decidedly more centrist.” For the record, I have been approached by individuals in the Liberal, Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance parties to consider running for office. I have always given serious consideration to these offers and have subsequently declined to run for any party. My political views, in any case, are not the issue.

At B’Nai Brith Canada we believe that there can be no single exclusive leadership that professes to speak for the totality of the community. B’Nai Brith Canada will continue to defend the right of all people in our community — whether from large or small organizations — to speak for themselves and their constituents.

An apology to me from Moshe Ronen, national president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, on behalf of himself and his organization, was unequivocal in its sincerity and I accepted it. I hope these clarifications set the record straight and can bring closure to a painful chapter in our community’s history.

A first on The Last Taboo

we didn’t get the best work of Don Weitz when he reviewed The Last Taboo: A Survival Guide To Mental Health In Canada, by Scott Simmie and Julia Nunes (NOW, February 22-28).

Don is the founder of Canada’s anti-psychiatry movement. He’s “troubled” the mental health discourse longer than anybody. Without him, there might not be a “survivor movement.”

So it’s right that Don questions diagnoses and “treatments.” But you’d never know from Don that Simmie and Nunes questioned them, too, perhaps because they had the benefit of Don’s views.

Nor would you know how unusual it is for middle-class “crazies” to come out, as Scott did, or for the partner of a “crazy” to come out, as Julia did. Or how unusual it is for a mainstream book to define “survivor” or to direct readers to survivor alternatives.

Don is right about one thing: if you’re looking for an anti-psychiatry book, The Last Taboo isn’t for you.

If, however, you’re like most people — puzzled about mental illness, unsure of what’s on offer and where to get it — the book will help.

And if you’re more postmodern, you’ll find the competing ideologies identified and some good clues about where to look for alternatives.

Book owed better review

don weitz did the community a big disservice in telling it not to bother with Scott Simmie and Julia Nunes’s The Last Taboo. The book fills a tremendous void. It responds to a need for navigation of the maze that is called the mental health system.

Rather than buying into the medical model, as Weitz’s review suggests, the book attempts to provide the reader with balance and choices, something sorely lacking in a system where the physicians hold the power. As a lawyer practising primarily in the area of mental health law, I believe the book will strengthen the call for alternatives to the medical model and provide some guidance to those lost in the maze.

Cell tower made him sick

re cellphone towers (now, feb- ruary 15-21). I enjoyed good health all my life until soon after moving close to a cellphone base station. It took approximately nine months for the symptoms I suffered to get so unbearable that I tied my mattress on top of my car and found a basement suite in a private home in a nearby town.

I had never suffered pressure-type headaches, ringing and pressure in my ears, hearing loss, joint pain, sleep disturbance, burning eyes, nervous tension or stomach problems until I moved into that home. I now feel better, except when I get near a cellphone tower or antenna.

Receptionist on front line

i just read the article on recep- tionists by Michael Dojc (NOW, February 22-28). I don’t usually comment on articles, but this is an exception. The article was funny, and I share your opinion on receptionists being underpaid and overworked. They are the front line of customer service. It’s about time someone appreciated their work.

Thanks for lightening up

i don’t usually pick up your weekly due to your pinko, leftist leanings, but bored waiting for the subway and flipping through pages, I happened to pause at this article about a guy who’s hot for receptionists.

This guy’s bang on. Receptionists are serious babes. Kudos to receptionists and kudos to NOW for lightening up a bit.

We miss Reid Diamond

thanks to sheila gostick for writing such a lively, heartfelt remembrance of Reid Diamond (NOW, February 22-28). The streets don’t look the same. Nor will future events at YYZ, but we will work damn hard to honour the spirit of Reid’s smart, silly, and serious shenanigans. His integrity is what I will miss most.

Somewhere to see Dzama

i was pleased to see the cover story on Marcel Dzama (NOW, February 22-28) and to read that his work is appreciated internationally. You duly mention Art Forum magazine’s remarks about Dzama, his upcoming book cover, his shows in L.A. and New York, the rave reviews and coverage in the L.A. Times, New York Times, Village Voice, New Yorker and Art Issues.

But you neglect to mention that Canada’s own Saturday Night Magazine publishes new work by him every week. Dzama has been contributing at least two gorgeous drawings each week since the re-launch of the magazine in May 2000. If you haven’t noticed this consistently outstanding artwork, you’ve been missing out.

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