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  • The Enemy Within?Reuel S. Amdur
    December 2, 2012

    Back in 1971, President Richard Nixon's special counsel Charles Colson compiled an enemies list, a list of people Nixon did not like. John Dean, another Nixon counsel, explained the purpose of the list-"how we can use available federal machinery to screw our political enemies." Well, it appears that the Harper government has its own enemies list, with Cindy Blackstock having a strong presence on the list. Why might that be?

  • Tory Immigration Snake OilReuel S. Amdur
    December 2, 2012

    It was some years ago when Bill Davis was Premier of Ontario that I attended a program put on by Toronto Muslims to acquaint people, thought to be of authority or influence, with the Muslim community and its wants and needs. I was invited because I was the Unitarian in a group representative of the various religions working on a broadly based book of prayers and readings for the Toronto Board of Education, a book to replace the sole reliance on the Lord's Prayer in opening exercises in the schools.

  • Winnipeg Needs to Act on Crime PreventionReuel S. Amdur
    December 21, 2012

    When it comes to a coordinated effort to address crime in Winnipeg, key actors, including the mayor and chief of police, have been missing, not in action but in inaction. That is what Lisa Monchalin, a Métise, concluded in her Ph.D dissertation on reducing crime among Aboriginals in Winnipeg. She earned her degree in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa.

  • Is Israel Harper's Fair-Haired Boy?Reuel S. Amdur
    December 21, 2012

    Foreign Minister John Baird went down to New York to address the UN General Assembly in opposition to admission of Palestine as a non-member observer state and to cast Canada's vote against it. He issued Canada's condemnation of the move "in the strongest possible terms." The extent of his influence in the international community can be judged in the resulting vote, where Canada stood foursquare in the General Assembly with the United States, Israel, the Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands, and a handful of other ministates. (Incidentally, may we expect to see the opening of an Israeli embassy in Majuro sometime soon, with an Israeli-Marshallese exchange of ambassadors?) Baird's reasoning is that peace between Israel and Palestine can only be achieved through direct negotiations, not through a unilateral request by Palestine for recognition.

  • Is it a Double Standard? Reuel S. Amdur
    December 21, 2012

    One of the criteria of anti-Semitism listed by the so-called Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism reads as follows: "applying double standards by requiring of it (Israel) a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation." This criterion is a bit strained, suggesting the necessity of chasing after other nation's misdeeds before being able to say an unkind word about Israel's, but let's take it as it is.

  • Kenney breeds confusion and refugees' expenseReuel S. Amdur
    January 11, 2013

    When Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall was confronted with the case of a refugee with cancer, one of the many cut off medical care by the federal Tories, he was outraged, and committed his province to meeting the health care needs of refugees in his province. "It is unbelievable that some of the decisions that have been taken federally are having this impact on people who are clearly the most vulnerable, refugees who are obviously fleeing something quite terrible-that's why they're refugees." And this from a man who is thought to be a potential successor to Stephen Harper as head of the federal Conservative Party.

  • Hudak's welfare fairy taleReuel S. Amdur
    January 27, 2013

    Perhaps you haven't been holding your breath in anticipation of the Ontario Tory welfare policy announcement. Well, in any case it has arrived. Not surprisingly, it is full of holes.

  • Childhood depression is realReuel S. Amdur
    January 27, 2013

    Depression is not just an adult illness. Children can also suffer it, even as young as kindergarten. And when we speak of depression, we do not mean just the occasional spell of pouting or a pique of temper. We mean a condition that is persistent, long-term, and intense. It interferes with normal functioning, such as in school and in family relationships. More likely than with adult depression, childhood depression can be expressed in anger and defiance, not just in withdrawal and silence.

  • Unhappy with their bodiesReuel S. Amdur
    January 27, 2013

    Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini made history in providing the leadership to the movement that drove the Shah from power in Iran. He made his mark in the domain of sexuality as well. Fereydoon Molkara barged into his presence and brought his tear-filled problem, that he was, as he experienced it, a woman trapped in a male body. After due consideration, Khomeini decided that there was nothing in Islamic religious texts to forbid sex change operations, and so they are available in Iran, even though transgendered individuals there in fact are apt to face persecution.

  • The loss of a parentReuel S. Amdur
    January 27, 2013

    When my son Karl was ten, he embarked on a grand adventure. We took him out of school and let him go with his grandmother to visit Jerusalem. He had a great time, but on the way back his grandmother became very weak. He had to take charge of getting things like luggage taken care of. Then, when they got back, we learned that she was in the final stages of cancer. Not many months later, she died.

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