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Reuel S. Amdur Reuel Amdur is a freelance writer based near Ottawa.


  • On the streetReuel S. Amdur
    June 9, 2019

    Most people do not choose to be homeless, and the experience is generally negative, unpleasant, unhealthy, unsafe, stressful, and distressing. That is what Sue-Ann MacDonald old an audience at Ottawa's Algonquin College on May 30. She was citing Stephen Gaetz, Director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. She is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the Université de Montréal.

  • Transgender TreatmentReuel S. Amdur
    May 23, 2019

    In Canada, one of 200 people is a redhead. The same proportion applies for people who are of physically indeterminate gender and, according to Dr. Leah Layman-Pleet, of people who are transgender. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) gives an incidence far lower, less than .2% for persons born as male and less than .1% for females. It has been the common practice for physicians who deliver a baby of indeterminate sex, with mixed genital expression, to operate to transform the baby into a male or female, according to what appears to be the predominate characteristics. Now, many physicians avoid performing such surgery and allow the person to grow up with these anomalies intact.

  • Bringing Science to Crime PreventionReuel S. Amdur
    May 23, 2019

    Irvin Waller. Science and Secrets of Ending Violent Crime: Lanham, MD, 2019

  • The Happy BrainReuel S. Amdur
    May 1, 2019

    A quiet brain is a happy brain. That was the observation made by Guillaume Tremblay, a nurse practitioner at the Brockville campus of the Royal Ottawa Hospital. He was speaking at the Royal Ottawa Hospital in Ottawa on April 25.

  • From Detroit to IsraelReuel S. Amdur
    April 24, 2019

    It was either in 1962 or 1963. I was fresh out of graduate school in my first social work job, at Brightmoor Community Center in Detroit. In those times racial conflict was never far from mind. At Brightmoor, we received a post card inviting us to send someone to a meeting, clearly a meeting to prevent black people from moving into white neighborhoods. Of course, nothing that crude was said openly. I was assigned to go.

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum DisorderReuel S. Amdur
    April 24, 2019

    While not readily in the public eye, the rate of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is far higher than that of the raft of other serious disorders. That includes Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, and muscular dystrophy. Dr. Svetlana Popova, Senior Scientist at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, noted this unfortunate situation, pointing out that FASD can damage any organ of the body and can have serious mental health consequences. She was part of a panel presenting in Ottawa on January 24 at a session sponsored by the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Group of Ottawa and Adopt 4 Life.

  • Persistence of Bad Welfare PolicyReuel S. Amdur
    April 24, 2019

    Karl Marx famously observed, in the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, that "The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living." This quotation came to mind when I reflected on the putrid and bizarre changes to social assistance in Ontario over the years that are carried over from government to government, coming back like that bad penny. As has been said, the bad penny always turns up, even now that the penny is no longer with us.

  • We should swap for MengReuel S. Amdur
    March 9, 2019

    Canada is holding Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese bigwig, for possible extradition to the United States. The U.S. wants to try her on charges alleging that business interests controlled by her firm Huawei are trading with Iran in violation of U.S, sanctions. In retaliation, China has arrested two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, charging them with endangering national security. China has also increased Canadian Robert Schellenberg's sentence for drug offenses to capital punishment.

  • Ambassadors Address Gender Reuel S. Amdur
    November 26, 2018

    Rima Alaadeen and Souriya Otmani, from Jordan and Morocco respectively, share on a couple fronts. They are the only Arab female ambassadors to Canada, and they both attribute much of their progress in the foreign services to the attitude and policies of their countries' progressive kings. Both governments have implemented more progressive family codes. In Jordan, according to Alaadeen, if your children don't go to school or marry under the age of 18, you go to jail.

  • Men and SuicideReuel S. Amdur
    November 26, 2018

    On November 22, the Royal Ottawa Hospital's psychiatrist-in-Chief Rajiv Bhatta gave a presentation on men and suicide. "Men have low rates of depression compared to women, yet they are four times more likely to die by suicide." Thus, of people with depression only a third are men, while some 75 to 80% of deaths by suicide are by men.

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