By David T. Jones on June 23, 2015

jones_david.jpgWashington, 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.


By Father John Walsh on June 23, 2015

father_walsh.jpgThe 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. 

Alan Borovoy: Permanent liberty is the ultimate value

By Julius Grey on May 14, 2015

borovoy.JPGThe 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.

I Did Not Have Sex Ed In Elementary School

By David T. Jones on May 14, 2015

jones_david.jpgI 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.

The Need For A Liberal Arts Education. It's About Being Human

By Father John Walsh on May 2, 2015

father_walsh.jpgEvery 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. 

I WAS A FREE RANGE CHILD! Let's end our "zero risk" mentality.

By David T. Jones on May 2, 2015

Jones_David_bw_new.jpgWashington, 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.

I Would Not Want To Be A Young Man Today

By David T. Jones on April 16, 2015

jones_david.jpgWashington, DC - I am now certifiably an “old man”—well past social security age with a gray beard.
And, the sexual mores of today are so different than those prevailing when I was young that one wonders how a young man (often with his “brain” between his legs) is able to negotiate the minefields laying between his desire for sexual intercourse and acceptable female acquiescence in his desire.
Recently, an Internet Headline News article, ostensibly directed at Canadian athletes but applicable to all young men, displayed as part of its story a wall-mounted poster listing a dozen examples illustrating how and when “NO MEANS NO.” 

On civil conservatism/ The restraint of reason over illiberal license.

By Beryl Wajsman on April 7, 2015

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgThere are core belies of personal civil conservatism that drive my social activism and journalistic advocacy. Foremost amongst them is my concern that many of the approaches of  today’s inappropriately named liberalism have supported the proposition that the state has an undisputed authority to impose a framework of imperatives that not only delineate and define how we should live but who we should be.  Social engineering as statist faith has become too ingrained and is increasingly seen as central to “progressive” government doctrine. In today’s “liberalism,” Individual expression is to be moderated and sublimated to the supposed greatest good for the greatest number. 

Alana's plea

By Beryl Wajsman on March 30, 2015

Although Mayor Copeman has already received a longer and far more detailed letter from Ms. Ronald, the following is an abridged and edited version, with Ms. Ronald’s permission, for the purpose of publication. It is a story of her trials and tribulations with the city's social housing bureaucracy. It raises critical issues of the tragedy of what our seniors on fixed incomes have to go through. They, who built our society, suffer needlessly because our governments have not met their fiduciary responsibility to assure that pensions are sustainable. By 2020, some 30% of Montreal's non-francophone population will be seniors. Close to 40% will have no other source of income than government pensions which are below poverty levels of $19,000 for a single individual. There is no more vital issue on the agenda of social justice than to right the wrongs to the most vulnerable among us. Former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty wanted to start increasing pensions two years ago. It is time to begin. 

Be Careful, your views could affect your will

By Jordan Turner on March 9, 2015

turner_jordan.jpgTwo weeks ago, a story that received limited press should have sent shockwaves throughout the legal establishment and to anyone who has prepared a last will and testament.   Ontario, Judge C.A Gilmore rejected the will of the late Rector Emanuel Spence who bequeathed his entire estate to only one of his two daughters as the judge believed his motivations were racist. As such, the Judge set a controversial precedent where the thoughts and views of the deceased, and not the recipient of the inheritance, was determined to be detrimental to public policy and warranted the complete nullification of his will.

New income security coalition unites left and right

By Joel Ceausu on February 16, 2015

Ceausu_Joel.jpgFew things unite the right and left in Canada, Tim Hortons and hockey notwithstanding, but a not-so-radical idea might be one of them.
Mention “guaranteed income” and most people think “handout.” But there’s a lot more to it, says Jonathan Brun, spokesperson for the Basic Income Canada Network and co-founder of Revenue de base Quebec, working to get Canada to adopt a basic income scheme.
“It appeals to everyone because it addresses the burgeoning government bureaucracy and maintains a solid social safety net while changing the way government transfers wealth between taxpayers.”

Doing good is just not good enough!

By P.A. Sévigny on February 16, 2015

Sevigny_PA_bw.jpgDuring last week’s hour-long lecture in Westmount’s Atwater Library, Matthew Pearce once again reminded his audience why charity must be more than “...just a soup kitchen and a bed.” 

“Shelters were originally conceived as an emergency option and not as permanent housing for the destitute,” said Pearce. “So our goal is not to warehouse people but to help as many as we can to re-integrate back into society. Our ultimate mission is to end homelessness as we know it.”

Time for compassion and coherence in welfare

By Beryl Wajsman on February 16, 2015

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgThe Couillard administration is taking a look at revising welfare. It is in the context of the general austerity plan. It has been made clear that there will be some nominal cuts. This is the wrong policy. It punishes the vulnerable, perpetuates a system that does not work and cannot achieve any economic or social benefits. It is time for compassion and coherence in our welfare policies. 

Our social security system – pensions and welfare – have been compromised for generations by governments taking in what were in fact trust monies – deducted from all of us at source - and using them for general purposes.

“Counter-productive” Groups denounce welfare reform

By Joel Ceausu on February 3, 2015

Ceausu_Joel.jpg“There’s still time,” says Clement Citeya of the Comité des Personnes Assistées Sociales de Pointe-Saint-Charles (CPAS). Still time that is, for the province to reconsider its welfare reforms that the groups calls counter-productive and shows “shocking contempt for welfare recipients and are based on a false understanding of the welfare system.” Quebec is applying its austerity belt cinching to welfare rolls as well, affecting many of the nearly half-million Quebecers receiving social assistance.
CPAS along with Côte-des-Neiges based Project Genesis and other groups held a press conference last week to denounce the changes and Employment Minister François Blais’ “spreading false ideas rather than dealing with real social assistance issues.”

The pen or the Kalashnikov- your choice

By Stephanie Azran on January 18, 2015

Azran_Stephanie.jpgLast week, #Je SuisCharlie became the anthem of artists, journalists and citizens who refused to back down in the face of violence.
12 people died in the attacks in Paris and several more French citizens were killed in the days following. In the initial affront, gunmen with Kalashnikovs went into the building during an editorial meeting and opened fire. On writers, editors, citizens of France who may have taken things too far, but for a real purpose.
This isn't the first time the magazine has been under fire- literally. It was firebombed in 2011 for publishing an edition poking fun at Mohammed and Islamic law. Writers and the editor-in-chief were and are used to receiving death threats. Even after requests from the French government to temper their satire, the magazine refused. 

Aujourd'hui, nous sommes tous Charlie ... et nous sommes tous juifs

By Beryl Wajsman on January 11, 2015

je_suis_charlie_01.jpgLes lombrics se sont glissés hors de leurs repaires une fois de plus dans une attaque brutale et barbare envers la liberté en massacrant des dizaines dans les bureaux de journal français «Charlie Hebdo». Des satires sur l'islamisme et les islamistes constituaient le «crime» du journal. D'ailleurs, il avait été incendié en 2011 pour la republication des caricatures de Mahomet. Ce faisant, ils ont ensuite ciblé des Juifs dans un marché cacher appelé Hyper Cacher. Le «crime» des Juifs était tout simplement d'être juif. Notons toutes les fois où la liberté et les Juifs ont été ciblés pour les mêmes raisons et par les mêmes ennemis.

Je Suis Charlie

By Father John Walsh on January 8, 2015

father_walsh.jpgThe world must stand up for freedom, freedom of expression; freedom, pure and simple!  History has proven that the denial of freedom is the greatest obstacle to our development as human beings.  The greatest freedom we have is to seek the truth.  Truth will make you free.  What is the truth about Je Suis Charlie?
Although we seek truth that is absolute and therefore self-evident, truth is not absolute, it is relative to the events and circumstances in which we seek the truth.  It is not situational but must be situated in the time and space in which truth is sought after.  In the case of Charlie Hebdo, people use their pens as satirists and draw cartoons lampooning people and events in depictions that may be considered extreme to wake people up who otherwise would be very content to live with the status quo.  

Today we are all "Charlie Hebdo"

By Beryl Wajsman on January 7, 2015

charlie.JPGThe nightcrawlers have slithered out of their lairs once again in a brutal and barbarous attack on freedom butchering dozens in the offices of France's press icon of satire "Charlie Hebdo." The paper's "crime" was satirizing Islamists and Islamism. It had been firebombed in 2011 for republishing the Mohammed cartoons. Now, it is once again the duty of all free people to gather bold resolve and  expose, denounce and destroy the vermin who perpetrate such horror so that we can rid our society of their pestilence. We can have victory over terror and we can have victory despite the terror. We can build communities of conscience that  -  together – will overcome the mightiest wellsprings of hatred and oppression. Because together people find courage. But we must all have the courage – even the audacity - to take the first step. Silence is not an option. 

Denis Delaney 1933-2014

By Alan Hustak on December 26, 2014

Denis_delaney.jpgDenis Delaney was a free spirit an entertained and storyteller whose vivid imagination and homespun poetry celebrated the long since vanished Irish slum neighbourhood of  Griffintown.  A impish character in his own right, Delaney died Sunday, a week after his 81st birthday. “He was wonderful. He was Griffintown’s leading cheerleader,” said author Patricia Burns, who profiled Delaney in her book, The Shamrock and The Sheild. “He was such a loving,  giving person, whose enthusiasm for the community was infectious. He used to write such wonderful stories, but Denis being Denis, you never knew where the truth began or ended.”

The Concordia BDS experience When does anti-Zionism become anti-Semitism?

By Jonathan Mamane on December 14, 2014

mamane_jonathan.jpgAt the beginning of the semester a controversial anti-Israel referendum question was brought forward by the Concordia Student Union. As a result of the election, myself and numerous other anti-BDS Concordia undergraduate students, have been subjected to harassment, defamation, and public humiliation. In the short time period of the campaign, it was made evident that the initial purpose of the Israel boycott was an excuse for anti-Semitism.
Prior to the BDS campaign, the hostility between students was at an all time high. Opposition increased when CEO Andre-Marcel Baril formulated a question regarding the newly formed campaign. “Do you approve of the CSU supporting the Boycott, 

Jean Béliveau: The greatness of grace and grit

By Beryl Wajsman on December 10, 2014

beliveau.JPGHow many words are always written when greatness passes. Yet they are all necessary, as much for the living to continue, as to honor the departed. Because it becomes personal. And as much as any man, Jean Béliveau was personal to all of us.
The memories flood back of watching his fluidity and grace as young children sitting next to our parents. Following his career of greatness that was nearly unparalleled, his achievements were almost markers of our lives. For almost two decades, Hockey Night in Canada was Hockey Night with Béliveau as much as anything else.

Remembrance and War

By David T. Jones on November 27, 2014

jones_david.jpgWashington,DC - There is a special mythos to ending a war on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” that has clung to societal memories.
Some years it has been a grind-through-it event, when we were deeply engaged in other wars.  One doubts that in the midst of World War II there was much attention paid to “Armistice Day” when the Great War had proved only a precursor to another greater one.
And during my boyhood, U.S. citizens were still celebrating “V-E” and “V-J” day proclaiming the victories in Europe and against Japan. “Armistice” Day had not yet morphed into “Veterans” Day.

JFK: Why he matters still…

By Beryl Wajsman on November 27, 2014

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgToday is the fifty-first anniversary of the funeral of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States. Just over a half-century after his assassination, his hold on our imagination does not wane. It is important to reflect on the reasons why.
We live in a petty era colored by false pieties, moral relativism and obsequious pandering to the lowest common denominator. JFK matters to us still because he made courage tenable. Courage to be just. Courage to be compassionate. Courage to be dreamers. And he challenged all our resolves to make it so.

What Are You Doing Sunday?

By Joel Ceausu on October 30, 2014

Ceausu_Joel.jpgYou’ve read the headlines. Here, in other papers, saw TV reports and heard it on the radio.
You get it; the game is stacked against English participation in school board elections. Unless you have a kid in English school, you should never have assumed you have the right to vote for English boards, because for years the English boards have been double-teamed: Names summarily yanked off English rolls by an electoral system designed to minimize the Anglo franchise, while language laws choke off enrolment.
Nice talk of collaboration, lobbying and consultations has not amounted to a hill of beans over the years. That’s not my opinion:

Corinne Kernan Sevigny 1924-2014

By Alan Hustak on October 4, 2014

Clou_sevigny_01.jpgCorinne Sevigny, who died Friday, at the age of 90, was an indomitable character who was connected to pedigreed political families in both Canada and the United States. Her paternal grandfather, Francis Kernan was the first Roman Catholic to be elected to the United States Senate.  Her maternal grandfather, Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, was a former Quebec lieutenant governor and one of Louis Riel`s defence lawyers.  Raised in an atmosphere of privilege, she was a no-nonsense, powerhouse of a woman, who in the words of one friend, “is now in heaven, undoubtedly telling the angels what to do and how to do it.”

Robin, "we hardly knew ye..."

By Beryl Wajsman on August 13, 2014

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgIf he couldn't make it, who could? If he couldn't conquer the demons, how are we to cope? As much as his art touched the millions that loved him, these questions also explain why Robin Williams' suicide touches us all so poignantly.
Williams' battles with depression and substance abuse are well-known. But one does not have to be clinically depressed to empathize with the everyday demons so magnified in illness that Robin succumbed to. We all have them, and constantly battle them.

On appearances

By Father John Walsh on August 10, 2014

father_walsh.jpgDo clothes make the woman or the man?  There are shocking and staggering fashion industry statistics.  There are over 7 billion people on this planet. If you count one number a second without stopping until you reach a billion, you’d be counting for 31 years, 259 days, 1 hours, 46minutes, and 40 seconds. If each person owned only one pair of pants, one shirt, and one jacket, that would be 21 billion articles of clothing. If you were to count each of those, one per second, it would take nearly 672 years. We spend more than a few dollars to keep up our appearance. 

Change In Scriptural Interpretation Is Inevitable

By Father John Walsh on June 26, 2014

father_walsh.jpgAll religious traditions are facing the same reality; we are struggling to emerge in a new way from a re-interpretation of our sacred texts.  Brian McLaren in his book "Everything must change" states the matter succinctly as "when the world’s biggest problems and the teachings of Jesus collide."
Have we experienced enough of the dog- eat-dog-world to know its futility?  Will we be content with a callous and cold world?  Hope may erupt when all our faith traditions are in compliment with each other and together we refuse to accept conflict and confrontation to resolve whatever differences we may face together.  

Supreme Court reaffirms our "most comprehensive" of rights

By Beryl Wajsman on June 20, 2014

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgSupreme Court reaffirms our "most comprehensive"of rights Internet privacy and due process protections strengthened.
Friday's unanimous Supreme Court decision in the Spencer case is not only a watershed in privacy rights but also reaffirms that due process is our paramount protection of liberty. The Court ruled that security authorities could not demand of internet service providers the identities and addresses of people unless a warrant was obtained first. It said that warrantless internet searches were "presumptively unreasonable." The Court stated that internet users have a right to,privacy pending a warrant. Yet violations of this basic civil right has been going on for years.

Coderre's right, QLB's wrong

By Beryl Wajsman on June 19, 2014

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgIt's as simple as that. On multiple levels.

The Quebec Liquor Board has rejected a pilot project by the City of Montreal to extend bar hours until 6 a.m. It said the pilot project was   "likely to disturb public tranquility." The Agency further stated that, "A project such as this merits taking the time to reflect and to document its feasibility in light of similar experiences elsewhere in the world." 

A Pilgrimage Of Peace

By Father John Walsh on June 15, 2014

father_walsh.jpgThe road to peace in the Middle East has a new roadmap.  Pope Francis walked a road less travelled with his two friends from Buenos Aires, Rabbi Abraham Skorka, former rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, and Sheik Omar Abboud, a former secretary-general of the Islamic Center of Argentina. Francis was telling the world that he had been on the inter-faith road for a long time. What we have learned is that Pope Francis cannot be orchestrated.

Cop rage: police ticket 87 year-old $494 for crossing the street

By P.A. Sévigny on June 3, 2014

Sevigny_PA_bw.jpgLate last week, while on his way to an afternoon medical appointment, 87 year-old Sam Ferstman was given two tickets totalling $494 because he failed to see the pedestrian crosswalk on Ste. Catherine near the Stanley Street intersection.
“I could see that the light had changed so I (along with two or three other seniors) tried to move a little faster but just as I got to the edge of the sidewalk, this policeman grabbed me by the arm and pulled me aside ,” said Ferstman. “He was very rough and very rude and after he called me an old man (for the first time), he told me that this was going to cost me a lot of money.”

Bill 52: How about “living” with dignity? The dying is hard enough.

By Beryl Wajsman on May 26, 2014

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgThe problem with prohibitionary law, is that when the prohibitions are lifted, a new set of problems can arise.  Government intervention in our privates lives and choices will always present such problems and dilemmas. And this is true with the re-introduced “Dying with dignity” Bill 52
The new Liberal government has brought forth this PQ legislation into the Assembly as one of its first orders of business. It will pass unanimously in all likelihood. But this question would never have arisen if all governments had stayed loyal to a fundamental principle of natural justice that personal moral choices by adults should be outside the purview of the state.

Benedict Vanier 1925-2014 A Spiritual Life

By Alan Hustak on May 20, 2014

benedict_vanier_01.jpgBenedict Vanier stood  tall,  head and shoulders above all the other  the Trappist  monks in his religious community  at l’Abbye Val Notre Dame in  St. Jean de Mantha.  The regal bearing came naturally. He   was  the   son of Canada’s devoutly catholic Governor-General Georges Vanier and his wife Pauline Archer. He   lived a life of contemplation in relative obscurity as a monk  and as a  priest for almost seven decades. Yet at his funeral on May 17, he was remembered as a genial spiritual advisor who was both pithy and profound. 

A prescription for healthcare

By Beryl Wajsman on May 16, 2014

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgAs the new Couillard administration prepares its agendas, let’s put some pressure on to make sure it gets healthcare reforms right. Health Minister Barrette knows the score. He knows what needs to be done. We must press that the government to have the political will to do it.
As the super hospitals come close to opening, we must be honest as a society and realize that they cannot succeed. The plans were based on the thesis – a correct one - that most people can now be treated on an out-patient basis if enough equipment – enough as to quality and quantity – is obtained. People would do better.

Editorial Staff

Beryl P. Wajsman

Redacteur en chef et Editeur

Alan Hustak

Senior Editor

Daniel Laprès


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Contributing Editor

Robert J. Galbraith


Roy Piberberg

Editorial Artwork

Mike Medeiros

Copy and Translation

Val Prudnikov

IT Director and Web Design

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