The long and short
Re: “Confessions from an Amazon,” Jan.
To the Editor:
I guess the adage is true: you always want what you don’t
have. For all the tall girls who wish they could shrink a few
inches, being short isn’t all that and a gin and tonic.
I can’t buy jeans without getting them hemmed, capris
are really more like pants and there’s nothing mini about
any of my skirts. I have to grocery shop with someone tall
enough to reach the top three shelves and I now have to look
UP to my younger sister — a recent development everyone
but me finds amusing. Going out with my 5’10” roommates
is like being a wiener dog among giraffes, and it’s an
incredible feat to haul myself into any SUV or truck.
You’d think I would have a short complex or something,
but I don’t. I swear. You can tell by the two dozen pairs
of 4” heels in my closet.
A lost $14
To the Editor:
Most of us remember the joyous occasion of cancelled classes
in high school — even if by virtue of the enigmatic “5
minute rule.” A cancelled class was reason for celebration,
because in secondary school attendance was mandatory, and
from our perspective, free.
However, it appears as though many of Western’s not-so-bright
have retained the same attitude towards cancelled lectures
at the university level. “Back to bed!” or “Beers
at The Spoke!” typify the reactions of many Western students
to the announcement of cancelled class.
What many of these disillusioned individuals seem to have
forgotten is that we pay to be here, and a cancelled lecture
is our money being burned before our eyes. A semester of one
course costs approximately $500, and with an average of three
hours for one class per week, each lecture ends up costing
a student in the ballpark of $14. Incorporating into the equation
the number of students in the class, these lost costs can in
many cases climb into the thousands.
So next time a professor announces a class cancellation, stand
up on your chair and demand the lecture you paid for. Another
option, for more introverted and modest individuals, is to
simply approach the professor and ask for a return on your
OSAP is crap
Re: “Gov’t admits OSAP ‘isn’t working’,” Jan.
To the Editor:
I was glad to hear the government has finally realized that
what they may deem as “in a student’s best financial
interest” on paper may not always be the case in real
life. Now more than ever, especially with the double cohort
year increasing the student population at a dramatic rate,
the needs of students have risen tremendously. Housing is
more expensive, book costs are adding up and basic student
living is not so basic anymore. At my residence alone, our
rent is guaranteed to rise at least 5 per cent every year.
I am in my third year at Western and this is also my third
year receiving OSAP. Attending university probably would not
have been possible if it were not for the financial assistance
from the provincial government. Unfortunately, OSAP has disappointed
me with a discrepancy I think everyone should be aware of.
As I was ready to pick up the second installment of my OSAP
a few weeks ago, I was surprised to learn that my papers were
not even sent to the university. After speaking to some helpful
councillors, I was shocked to discover I had to pay over $800
to the government before I could even receive my papers. Due
to a discrepancy found in my application from last year, I
had been “over awarded” money. What does all this
translate into? I better pay up if I even want to see the rest
of my loan.
The government may be stepping in the right direction by admitting
the system is not working, but it is one thing to admit it
and another thing to actually do something about it. If the
run-around I have experienced with OSAP is any indication that
the government is heading for improvement, they still have
a long way to go.
Re: “Dwarf Tossing Comes to London, PETA Declines Comment,” Jan.
To the Editor:
I would like to know what Mr. Bellamy’s purpose was in
contacting People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for
comment on the dwarf-tossing issue. Isn’t this “sport” de-humanizing
enough without the added insult of equating dwarves with animals?
Club VIP co-owner Jeffery Baines justifies this activity by
saying that it is hard to attract customers to a bar without
a smokers’ patio. If that’s the problem, then Baines
should build a damn patio, not toss a dwarf!
Picking up a human being and throwing him is being condoned
and accepted as entertainment. It is disgusting to think humanity
has sunk so low.
Re: “If we had $20 million to spend,” Jan. 21,
To The Editor:
You are an ass. Ha Ha Ha.
Deanna “a feminist with a sense of humour” Spencer
Women’s Studies V
Big surprise: Mid-East speaker polarizes
Re: “Mixed Response to IAC Speaker,” January 22,
To the Editor:
Having spent much of my life learning about the state of Israel,
I have to say that hearing Walid Shoebat, who came to speak
to a large audience alongside Rabbi Tovia Singer, was one
of the most interesting and unique educational experiences
of my life. Anyone can spend a few minutes doing research
and get a basic feel for the two sides in the Arab-Israeli
conflict. Once this is done, a question is likely to arise
very soon: What causes Palestinian terrorism?
Shoebat brought perhaps the most unique perspective to this
question. Walid is a former terrorist for the Palestinian Liberation
Organization who was involved in all sorts of violence, including
planned bombings. His accounts of growing up in the indoctrinating
system of schools, mosques and media run by the PLO was more
compelling than any book or article, no matter how scholarly
the source. Walid brought a rare first-hand account of how
Palestinian children — as he himself once was — are
molded into instruments of hatred and violence.
Perhaps the most poignant part of the night happened near
the end. One member of a small group of detractors who were
not interested in Shoebat’s story decided to exit the
event by storming out while spewing malicious accusations at
the speakers and moderator. Just before this young man exited
the room, Shoebat picked up a microphone and addressed the
rabble-rouser personally: “I was once just like you,” he
I personally hope that this angry young man understood the
message Shoebat had conveyed — a mind filled with hatred
will never truly see the light of peace.
Political Science II
To the Editor:
An anonymous student described the talk as “one-sided
horse shit,” but I have trouble understanding how Walid
Shoebat’s courageous story, along with Rabbi Singer’s
astute analysis, could be interpreted in that way. Shoebat’s
presentation juxtaposed his hate-filled youth with his adulthood,
where he chose to rebel against his people in pursuit of the
truth. If this is seen as “one-sided,” then it
is simply because of a disagreement with his argument and frustration
that an individual who once towed the party line has decided
to research the foundation of his beliefs.
“Denial,” which Hussam Ayyad, president of Solidarity
for Palestinian Human Rights, claims Shoebat demonstrated,
is the exact opposite of what his life is based around. Shoebat
has noticed his previous denial of accepting Jews as humans
and has confronted the world he was once part of to deal with
their denial too.
To the Editor:
Why call it a peace talk if all you’re trying to do is
Israel Action Committee speaker Walid Shoebat cannot possibly
represent the Palestinian people. Shoebat’s childhood,
sad and full of hatred, is unique — his father was horrible
and mistreated him and his American mother. It’s too
bad that instead of resolving his issues with his father, he’s
chosen to spew generalized lies about the community to which
his estranged father belongs. Well respected rabbis disassociate
from Shoebat’s message completely. According to Rabbi
Nadya Gross: “I’m wary of exchanging one kind of
hatred for another kind of hatred... Shoebat’s fiery
passion has just found another target.”
Shoebat sees things in black and white: Jews are righteous
and chosen by God, so Palestinians must then be evil. Can discourse
like this ever lead to peace? Is “we were chosen by God” reason
enough for Israel to continue oppressing the Palestinians?
Another speaker, Rabbi Tovia Singer said, as evident in the
Holocaust, the only way a people can comfortably oppress another
is by dehumanizing their victims. As such, the IAC event focused
on dehumanizing the Palestinians, calling them an evil and
hateful bunch. News flash: If Palestinians are taught to hate,
it is by Israeli soldiers humiliating, harassing and brutalizing
them daily. If Israelis are taught to hate, it is by Palestinian
suicide bombers. Neither “side” is more evil than
the other and neither kills with God’s support.
I hope the next event the IAC has will not be an effort to
dehumanize Palestinians, but rather will focus on substantive
reasons to provide Israel with support.
Randa B. Mouammar, M.A.
Faculty of Law, LL.B. (2005)
To the Editor:
There’s nothing wrong with freedom of speech and nothing
right with hate speech. What exactly is the purpose of a talk
that dilutes the issue and encourages more hatred of the type
it purports to condemn? Do racist attacks and callous disregard
make these guys feel better?
I have never been so offended and outraged as I was at the
end of the “Let’s Talk Peace” event last
Wednesday. Almost everything mentioned at the so-called “Let’s
Talk Peace” event involved ignorant and baseless attacks
on Muslims and Christians, who are, if the message is to be
derived properly, “murderous and raping.”
“Muslims are not innocent; Christians are not innocent.
They are all connected to the Holocaust,” one of the
speakers, Walid Shoebat, said. The speakers also ridiculously
suggested that Nazism is the doing of Islam and Muslims. Not
only does this encourage a distorted and false image of Islam,
but it is blatantly untrue.
Insults, lies, ignorance and hate all came together that night.
Where is the talk of peace? If the organizers of the event
actually intended to talk peace, their invitation of a bigot
was a gross misstep. The only thing more unbelievable than
the title was those who laughed and screamed “YEAH!” during
the speech. May they never know the yoke of oppression and
Wassim El Khatib