Articles/rsshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/CANADA, BETTER ONE HARPER THAN 16 REPUBLICANShttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1549http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1549Washington, DC ~ In 1992 when I was preparing for my assignment in Ottawa as political counselor, I read many serious, academic oriented books and spoke with a wide variety of individuals in Washington with hands-on experience in Canada.  I also had the good fortune to talk with counterparts in the Canadian Embassy.During the process, however, I also encountered a little cartoon book, Son of a Meech:  The Best Brian Mulroney Jokes, edited by Mark Breslin and published in 1991.  A quick search of the Internet did not reveal it available for current sale.  It was unique in its way; frankly, I’d not seen anything outside of straight pornography with such viciously crude humor.David T. JonesTue, 21 Jul 2015 17:40:00 -0400La victoire de la diplomatie de l’autruche et le triomphe de la ruse iraniennehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1548http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1548Jerusalem - Le 14 Juillet 2015 sera inscrit dans les annales comme un jour sombre pour le monde libre car les Ayatollahs sont entrés triomphalement dans le club fermé des pays capables de devenir un jour une puissance atomique.En signant à Vienne un mauvais accord avec l’Iran, l’Occident abandonne ses principes et ses valeurs universelles. Elle l’a fait avec précipitation pour aboutir enfin de compte à un accord dangereux qui encourage la prolifération et le terrorisme et plongera toute la région dans une instabilité permanente. Amb. Freddy EytanThu, 16 Jul 2015 14:21:00 -0400The hypocritical criticism of Magic Mike XXL "It's reverse sexism,"says Andie MacDowell. "Women are in Charge!"http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1547http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1547"We want our streets teeming with sensual echoes framed in smoky blue-grey hazes fueled by intoxicating spirits. We crave to hear the sweet murmurs of pleasure. We yearn for those breathless encounters on the precipice of peril and menace. Without all this, life would be nothing but a vast treadmill from birth to grave. Let's all be kids in a sandbox and act like 'boys and girls together' to borrow William Goldman's phrase, and suck the marrow out of the bones of this thing called life!"I don't usually write about movies. But the criticism of Magic Mike XXL has reached the crescendo of a public issue. And, save for a few brave female commentators who admit liking the pure fun of watching male hunks and some great dancing, the general condemnation is breathtaking in its hypocrisy.Beryl WajsmanMon, 13 Jul 2015 11:23:00 -0400On Parizeauhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1546http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1546To be frank we were thinking of not commenting on the passing of former Premier Jacques Parizeau. Enough has been written in our pages over the years. Our disagreements with him are on the record. Yet some of the outpouring of opinion on him in recent weeks ascribing so many achievements to him - so much nobility of purpose - demonstrated such a lack of intellectual rigour, so much pandering to political correctness, that we felt some perspective was in order. Beryl WajsmanThu, 09 Jul 2015 19:43:00 -0400Let's make justice for seniors a priorityhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1545http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1545Jean Bottari has the type of face that lets you know what life is about. It reflects toughness, determination and pain. It's in his eyes. He's seen it all. And the handsome vigour of his face that younger men would envy, cannot mask what his eyes have seen and what they say. Bottari  has spent much of his working life in the healthcare system. Specifically taking care of elderly patients in chronic care facilities. And he was revolted by the treatment of our seniors in our CHSLDs. He confronted authorities and organized and gave hope to his colleagues. But this kind of work takes its toll. He left his work pained in heart but not broken in spirit. Bottari decided to do something about it.Beryl WajsmanThu, 09 Jul 2015 19:31:00 -0400M. Couillard, time to end the suppression of expressionhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1544http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1544The Couillard administration is failing in its promise to restore the dignity of all citizens on minority rights and constitutional protection of language. This failure will inevitably harm economic recovery as surely as the policies of the Marois government did. Appeasement of language extremists for political expediency, impotence or unwillingness to reign in the OQLF and the tactic of changing rule and regulation to thwart judicial decisions, is making Quebec look like nothing other than a banana republic.We yearn for investors from outside Quebec to invest here. We know that foreign investment is critical to job creation and to increased bank credits for small business.Beryl WajsmanThu, 09 Jul 2015 19:22:00 -0400"Décapitons" sans pitié la bête immonde islamiste!http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1543http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1543La dernière escalade de violence dans le Sinaï, les combats sans fin en Syrie, au Yémen et en Irak, les vagues interminables de réfugiés terrorisés fuyant l’enfer, les terribles attentats en Tunisie, en France, et au Koweït, les images effroyables de noyade et d’asphyxie de non musulmans enchainés, et les dernières décapitations notamment à Palmyre, par des citoyens islamistes européens, devraient secouer l’Occident et tous les hommes de bonne volonté.Et pourtant, rien n’arrête l’horreur, la barbarie se poursuit de plus belle, voilà déjà plus d’un an.Nous assistons chaque jour, dans la panique et le désarroi, comment des barbares assassinent aveuglement et avec le sourire tous ceux qui ne font pas partie de la mouvance islamique. Comment ces vandales saccagent et détruisent le patrimoine culturel de l’Humanité. Amb. Freddy EytanThu, 09 Jul 2015 19:14:00 -0400Politeness is…..http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1542http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1542So, Premier Couillard defends his decision to table legislation requiring French descriptors on trademarked English store names by characterizing it as “protecting basic politeness” to francophones. Some media commentators have actually bought into this transparent disingenuity. We thought it might be worthwhile to provide him with a list of what civil politesse – politeness – really should be about.Politeness is….respecting the rule of law and abiding by the decision of Quebec courts that descriptors are not required.Politeness is….not expanding Bill 101 which itself protects trademarked names from the application of the language laws.Beryl WajsmanThu, 09 Jul 2015 19:13:00 -0400Signs of Privilegehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1541http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1541As the venerable Canadian department store The Bay continues the process of rebranding into Hudson’s Bay, which is part of a plan to go upscale and thus to fit a bit more comfortably into the culture of a corporate family that now includes Lord & Taylor and Saks, one wonders how this change will affect the facade of the company’s downtown Montreal store on Ste. Catherine Street. Removing the old yellow “The Bay” lettering and replacing them with the longer “Hudson’s Bay,” or more likely, “La Baie d’Hudson,” won’t be a simple matter since the old signs fit perfectly inside the arched recesses that dominate the facade of that grand old red sandstone building.Jeffery VacanteTue, 23 Jun 2015 17:35:00 -0400SHOULD I HAVE FLUNKED BECAUSE OF MY CLASS SIZE?http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1540http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1540Washington, DC - The classic teacher student ratio has been said to be “Socrates at one end of a log and the student at the other end.”Unfortunately, even in the time of Socrates, there were very few such teachers.  And today one suspects there are none.The educational bureaucratic effort is to get the most students taught by the fewest teachers.  They hope that the students learn something and the teachers do not walk away from the process.  Unionized teachers, however, seek to teach the fewest number of students with the shortest work day implicitly (if not explicitly) citing Socrates as an example.The U.S. educational process has seen an interesting evolution.David T. JonesTue, 23 Jun 2015 17:33:00 -0400A GLOBAL VILLAGE GATHERS ITS URBAN LEADERShttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1539http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1539The human being is a work in progress.  The human narrative is being re-written.  “Human” means many things to many people.  Hat’s off to Mayor Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, for inviting 30 mayors of the cities of the world to a Summit in Montreal to address the theme, Living Together.  Humans living together.  No person is an island and communities are made up of diverse individuals from a variety of traditions, languages, cultures, religions, secularists and atheists.  Diversity is a treasure to be opened and shared by all humanity.  Diversity is ubiquitous.  Our streets and our neighborhoods are a microcosm of the diversity found in the entire world. Father John WalshTue, 23 Jun 2015 17:31:00 -0400Alberta’s Notley is saddling up on a stranger’s horsehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1538http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1538I write this column as I return from the Global Petroleum Show that took place in Calgary, Alberta.  The trip, as part of a Quebec delegation exhibiting and holding supplier meetings at the show, allowed me to gauge the reaction of a segment of Albertans (read, oil patch executives) to the recent election of the province’s first NDP government, lead by Rachel Notley.  The comments I am going to share with you are a rather pleasant surprise, given the chortling and dismissive amusement displayed by many columnists in the mainstream media in the election’s aftermath.First, there is no panic.  From a taxpayer’s standpoint, there is general acceptance that the Alberta portion of the income tax will increase for anyone in the upper middle-class and above. Robert PresserTue, 23 Jun 2015 17:28:00 -0400À la défense de l'enseignement bilinguehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1537http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1537Il existe au Québec depuis bien des années une sorte d'apartheid linguistique au niveau de l'accès à l'éducation primaire publique bilingue. Il demeure anormale que seules les communautés d’expression anglaise du Québec ont accès à ce système d'enseignement, au détriment de la majorité d’expression française du Québec. Lorsque je parle d'écoles publiques bilingues, je fait spécifique référence aux écoles publiques anglaises qui offrent des programmes d'enseignement bilingues où le français occupe un temps de classe variant entre 50% et 90% de l'horaire régulier. L'accès à ces écoles reste évidemment le privilège des communautés d’expression anglaise du Québec.Frédéric HébertTue, 23 Jun 2015 17:27:00 -0400Le but du boycott est de délégitimer Israël et haïr le Juifhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1536http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1536Jérusalem - Israël s’alarme à juste titre contre le boycott car il prend une ampleur sans précédent et constitue une menace réelle sur l’avenir de nos relations économiques, académiques, culturelles, sportives, et politiques. Il ne s’agit pas seulement d’une opération mondiale bien organisée et structurée qui a pour but d’exercer des pressions pour qu’Israël se retire des Territoires mais d’une campagne bien huilée et mensongère à des dimensions internationales discriminatoires et dangereuses. Il est légitime de critiquer la politique d’un gouvernement mais comment lutter contre l’antisémitisme quand l’incitation à la haine à l’égard d’Israël et des Juifs prend des proportions incalculables dans le cadre de la globalisation et de l’Internet.  Amb. Freddy EytanFri, 12 Jun 2015 22:58:00 -0400Delightful Dreykop: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz: The Musicalhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1535http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1535Comparisons are odious. Books are not movies. Movies are not stage plays and Broadway musicals are something else altogether.   The Segal Centre’s production The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, the   musical, which had its run extended into July even before it opened,  stands on its own as a  fearless, reimagined  version of Richler’s classic novel.  Even Richler’s widow, Florence and eldest son, Daniel who were at  the opening approved. But it is a show with limitations, not so much a musical as a play with music.  You keep waiting for a signature show tune, an anthem to hum as you leave the theatre, but there isn’t one. Eight songs into the first act, a song and dance routine,  Art and Commerce, encapsulates the spirit of the evening and finally kick starts the show.Alan HustakFri, 12 Jun 2015 17:35:00 -0400A NEW LOW FOR THE OQLF "SEGREGATION NOW, SEGREGATION FOREVER?"http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1534http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1534"Someone, somewhere in the bowels of the OQLF bureaucracy wants to impose a home-grown version of Alabama Gov. George Wallace's rallying cry in the 1960s of,"Segregation now, segregation forever!" No it is not a stretch to make this parallel. It is actually perhaps time to stop being politically correct about what is "normal" in Quebec. Segregation of people by color is not "normal." Segregation of ideas and words in the press by language is also not "normal." Lily Ryan is the publisher of the Pontiac Journal, a free weekly, home delivered to a bilingual community. It is an English newspaper. But in an effort to serve all members of her community,Ryan began publishing articles and ads in French some years ago. The only French community paper, Le Réveil, had closed in the 1980s.Beryl WajsmanMon, 25 May 2015 22:44:00 -0400Stop the prohibitions! We have a right to be human!http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1533http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1533Well, prohibition season is upon us and in full swing.What seems to be an at least yearly event, perhaps corresponding to the weather, is in full throttle at provincial and municipal governments. Politicians find it easier to prohibit first, question later, than concentrating on getting the basics right. It is an appeal to the base politics of fear and a perpetuation of the lie that life can be legislated into what David Taylor Jones has called the “zero-risk” state.This kind of politics is wrong. It infringes on Charter rights and natural justice. And worst of all it treats us all like children. The essence of a free society is just that – freedom -  to speak as we like, to choose as we like…even if they are bad choices.Beryl WajsmanFri, 15 May 2015 13:53:00 -0400Alan Borovoy: Permanent liberty is the ultimate valuehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1532http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1532The death of Allan Borovoy deprives Canada of a unique voice speaking in favour of liberty, but without the constraints of political correctness.The human rights industry in Canada has often shown undue deference to fashionable causes, whatever they might be for the moment.  Allan Borovoy, long-time president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, never let himself be swayed by fashion.  As a lawyer, writer and activist, he put individual liberty first and in particular defended freedom of expression, which is always under attack.  Unfortunately, Canadian human rights activists are all in favour of freedom of expression, but not when their favourite cause is at issue.Julius GreyThu, 14 May 2015 12:10:00 -0400I Did Not Have Sex Ed In Elementary Schoolhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1531http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1531I didn’t know that I could have two mothers.Nor did I know that my little sister could have two fathers.Indeed, I didn’t know (at age four) that my mother was pregnant, and when my sister appeared in our apartment and I viewed her diaper being changed, I asked with naïve ignorance, “Where’s her little ‘gigger’?Yes, I also assumed until about age 10 that “the stork brought me” or that “you were found under a cabbage leaf”—both then-prevalent circumlocutions for the messy reality of sex and birth.  To be sure by that age such nonexplanations were wearing a bit thin.David T. JonesThu, 14 May 2015 12:06:00 -0400The Iran nuclear deal and American historyhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1530http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1530So much has been written in the past several weeks on the terms of the P5+1 deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear program. To summarize, proponents of the agreement believe that this was the best deal possible under the circumstances and that the West retains the ability to reinstate sanctions or undertake military action if Iran abrogates its commitments; opponents of the deal doubt that the verification process is adequate and lament that Iran’s nuclear research program and facilities remain intact.  Both sides arecorrect in their assertions; it is unlikely that Iran would sign a more restrictive deal and the provisions of the current agreement will indeed allow Iran to continue essential efforts to develop its nuclear program with a view to building a bomb after the deal expires some 13 years from its ratification.Robert PresserThu, 14 May 2015 12:01:00 -0400V-E Day 70 years later: Pounded on the anvil of historyhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1529http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1529"The pounding those heroes took on the anvil of history produced the steel that is the stuff of legend. We have an obligation to honor that legend and live up to that legacy every day and in every way. There remain obstacles to storm today that will hold us loyal to that purpose. The beaches of injustice. The cliffs of oppression. The marshes of apathy. We must be standard bearers of compassion and conscience. That would be the living proof that the sacrifices of 70 years ago were not wasted."Beryl WajsmanMon, 04 May 2015 18:24:00 -0400The Need For A Liberal Arts Education. It's About Being Humanhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1528http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1528Every once in a while someone delivers a commencement address to graduates that makes you sit up and notice.  A recent address by Fareed Zakaria, at Sarah Lawrence College, the quintessential liberal arts college, admitted that to speak about the liberal arts is not very cool. What you’re not supposed to do is get a liberal arts education … A liberal education - as best defined by Cardinal Newman in 1854—is a “broad exposure to the outlines of knowledge” for its own sake, rather than to acquire skills to practice a trade or do a job. However, the President of Yale, the late Bart Giamatti, asked in one of his beautiful lectures, “what is the earthly use of a liberal education?”  Zakaria says it teaches you how to write. Father John WalshSat, 02 May 2015 17:06:00 -0400Okill Stuart. One of the greatest generationhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1527http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1527Okill Stuart was with the 14th Canadian Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery,  at a command post a few miles into Germany 70 years ago, when the war ended.  The regiment had just swept through Holland and was on its way to Berlin when it  was told to cease fire. ‘We were expecting the end, then we got the news the war was over,” recalls Stuart, “The Americans were the army of occupation, we weren’t. They pulled the Canadians out the next day and hauled us to Utrecht. There was no way we could all get back to Canada at once, so while we were waiting in Utrecht, we found a yacht club where the Germans had been relaxing a few weeks earlier,  picked up cigarettes and bully beef,  and we went sailing  to celebrate war’s end.  With  a bit of bribery, we  never ate better in our lives.” Alan HustakSat, 02 May 2015 17:00:00 -0400I WAS A FREE RANGE CHILD! Let's end our "zero risk" mentality.http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1526http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1526Washington, DC - Currently, in the United States, a widening number of states have laws and regulations addressing “child neglect” that require intensive monitoring of children for a significant part of their lives. The proximate example is Maryland where police seized a 10-year-old and a six-year-old walking home from a local park approximately a mile from their home.  Maryland law says a child must be eight years old to stay home alone, and a child must be 13 years old to baby sit a younger child. The result has been a new level of confrontation between “helicopter” parents (most recently epitomized by a man that had a drone to monitor his child’s progress to school) and “free range” parents who believe that children early on should be taught independence and given an opportunity to exercise such.David T. JonesSat, 02 May 2015 16:56:00 -0400Federal Budget 2015: Winning Conditions or Not?http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1525http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1525Joe Oliver probably never imagined that his first budget would be delivered late and under the dual pressures of an election campaign on the horizon and falling revenues from oil royalties as a serious constraint on spending promises.  Without the sudden passing of Minister Flaherty in 2014, Oliver would have been an unlikely candidate for the job of finance minister at all..  He came to electoral politics late in life after a long career in business and finance, arguably well equipped to handle the job – it’s just that the government’s front bench is mostly under 55 and it is rare that a 70 year-old gets the most critical economic portfolio at the cabinet table.Robert PresserSat, 02 May 2015 16:46:00 -0400Suffering seniors - the sham of social security: Living on a pension in the Pointehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1524http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1524At 79 years old, Kathleen Brown keeps a neat and orderly apartment with all the usual details that includes lots of pictures of both her children and her grandchildren on the refrigerator along with the local grocery-store’s Christmas holiday calendar on the kitchen wall. “I don’t get anything done for free like other people do,” she said. “I’ve been paying bills for all of my life and I expect to keep on paying them till I’m dead and gone.”P.A. SévignyMon, 27 Apr 2015 23:45:00 -0400The Armenian Genocidehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1523http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1523Last Friday marked the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. Those two words, “Armenian Genocide,” are usually not capitalized, except in the minds and hearts of its survivors. Very few are alive today. But for their descendants around the world, the Armenian Genocide is a rallying cry for more than remembrance.What happened on April 24, 1915? Ottoman Turkish soldiers carried out a centrally planned executive order to gather the Armenian minority’s elite. Over 250 political, professional, religious and business leaders were brutally marched into exile to the Syrian desert or simply killed.Harry DikranianSun, 26 Apr 2015 15:41:00 -0400Triplex Nervosa: Mischievous Mile-End Mysteryhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1522http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1522A wonderful confection of cock-eyed characters are at the heart of Marianne Ackerman’s dark hearted comedy, Triplex Nervosa that’s playing at the Centaur until May 17.   Written on her kitchen table on a weekend, Ackerman’s play involves the trials and tribulations of a Mile End landlord, Tass Nazor  (Holly Gauthier Frankel)  who owns a heavily mortgaged triplex in Montreal’s trendy crunchy granola  neighbourhood.  She is in dire straights  and needs to rid herself of a rather forlorn tenant, Max Fishbone  (Howard Rosenstein), who has moved into his son’s apartment and won’t move out.  The action begins with Tass suggesting to her rather sinister  Slavic  handyman   Rakie Ur,  (Karl Graboshas),  that he take care of her problem by subjecting Max  to some sort of  “invisible damage.”  Alan HustakSun, 26 Apr 2015 13:45:00 -0400Wacky Wilde Travesty: The Importance of being Eccentric.http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1521http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1521Travesties, Tom Stoppard’s intellectual exercise about the literary and political co-ordinates of  art  and Oscar Wilde playing  at the Segal Centre until May 3  Is a polished, but exhausting three hour excursion into the surreal.. Unless you are familiar with the origins of Dadaism and the cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, know something of the precious personality of James Joyce and have studied  Vladimir Lenin’s revolutionary ideas,  this scholarly,  highbrow  drawing room comedy isn’t always easily accessible. There is much, much more going on in on in this chaotic production as well.   It is overloaded with talk, much of it too clever by half, and demands a familiarity not only with Wilde’s play, The Importance of Being Earnest, but with Shakespeare,  Gilbert and Sullivan and early 20th century European history. Alan HustakThu, 23 Apr 2015 02:52:00 -0400Thursday’s Israel Rally. Why it matters to us allhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1520http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1520Thursday at 11 in the morning, over 10,000 Montrealers of all faiths and backgrounds will march from Phillips Square to Place du Canada to celebrate Israel’s independence. It is important to all of us – as members of the family of free people – that we be there. Here’s why. If the Jewish people – in its national as well as religious manifestation - is the “canary in the mineshaft of history,” a phrase regularly employed by historians,  then Israel is the litmus test of the ability of western civilization to survive. It is the frontline member of the family of free nations facing the existential challenge of Islamist fundamentalism. It may very well be that as Israel goes, so goes the west.Beryl WajsmanMon, 20 Apr 2015 13:26:00 -0400