Articles/rsshttp://themetropolitain.ca/When Two Great Egos Collide: Lessons from the Truman-MacArthur Meetinghttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1701http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1701Washington, DC - The “on again/off again” Summit between President Donald Trump and Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong-un, has been media played more as farce (and Trump incompetence) than serious examination of the circumstances in play.Clearly irritated by Trump’s “break the box” maneuvers to address the existential threat of North Korean nuclear weapons, the “professionals” (having been cut out of the planning) found ways to denounce it—and predict failure.  Thus, Trump’s decision to cancel the Summit was vindication of the “I told you so” nature by these axiomatic nay-sayers.  And, consequently, they are disconcerted by the intensive efforts to “retrack” the Summit and, if anything, have redoubled their demurs over any Summit prospects.David T. JonesSat, 09 Jun 2018 19:54:00 -0400RFK: "A tiny ripple of hope..."http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1702http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1702“In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” ~ from Aeschylus’ “Agamemnon”, one of RFK’s favorite quotes he repeated often after the murder of his brother.Today we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. He was shot on June 5, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles as he was celebrating the California primary victory that would have led him to the Democratic presidential nomination. He died soon after midnight of June 6th. For many of us who were coming to political maturity in that turbulent time, hope seemed to die with him.Beryl WajsmanWed, 06 Jun 2018 16:17:00 -0400Israel changed the world - in the deepest and most meaningful wayhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1700http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1700In 1993, I travelled to Israel for the first time in my life. I was there to cover the restaurant scene with Toronto critic Sarah Waxman who became, with her husband, the late great actor Al Waxman (who used to joke he was my daughter's yiddishe mama) great friends of our family. During that trip, I had the privilege of meeting Itzhak Rabin and his wife Leah who were dining next to us at The Cow on the Roof in Jerusalem. There was so much hope and optimism in the air. How that seems so far away now. Israel changed and so did we all. In 2013, I published a book entitled ‘Pourquoi moi ?’ Why me. Lise RavaryTue, 29 May 2018 16:10:00 -0400Paul Ryan – Is There a French Parallel?http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1699http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1699The three traditional lies—so time worn that they have become caricatures—areOf course I’ll respect you in the morning;I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you; andI need to spend more time with my family.The final lie—the one to which Paul Ryan resorted when announcing that he would not run for reelection this November—is always hard to disprove definitively.  The individual may have “jumped” before being defenestrated.  (S)he may be totally burned out from effort (either successful or not) that health may be an imperative for departing.David T. JonesSun, 29 Apr 2018 22:50:00 -040050 years ago today we lost a King....http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1698http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1698Fifty years ago today, The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis. He had gone there to champion the rights of African-American sanitation workers  surviving on subsistence wages and striking for fair treatment. They marched carrying signs that declared, "I Am A Man!" King was slain by a rifle blast from James Earl Ray in the fading light of late afternoon surrounded by his closest brothers in arms including Andrew Young and Jesse Jackson with whom he had been  sharing laughter inside their rooms just moments before. Beryl WajsmanWed, 04 Apr 2018 00:20:00 -0400Canada is Sucking and Blowing on NAFTAhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1697http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1697The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA has been going on for over a year now with several rounds of discussions held between its three partners – the US, Canada and Mexico.  Up until very recently, the American negotiating team, led by chief trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer have complained of slow progress due to a reluctance by Canada and Mexico to engage wholeheartedly on US demands for massive changes to pillars of the existing pact.  These most contentious points include the auto sector and US demands for minimum US content in all autos manufactured for sale in the US as well as proposing the effective dismantling of Canada’s supply management programs in the food and dairy industries.Robert PresserMon, 02 Apr 2018 23:19:00 -0400The Russia Question: Stop the whining. Everybody does ithttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1696http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1696Washington, DC ~ If truth is the first casualty in war, perspective is the first casualty in politics. Indeed, the ongoing frenzy of what Russians did when, where, how, and with whom during the 2016 U.S. presidential election is an illustration of disingenuous naiveté. One would conclude that the U.S. political structure was the equivalent of a convent of innocent religious refugees savaged by a barbarian horde. The longstanding historical reality is that “everybody does it.” And thus the question arises, “Do you remember Philip Agee?David T. JonesFri, 30 Mar 2018 21:40:00 -0400Hampstead: Trying to penalize what it can't criminalizehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1695http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1695Hampstead's ban on smoking in public spaces - including sidewalks - is an affront to a free community, unconstitutional in its breadth, unenforceable without encroachments on individual liberty, unnecessary even for health reasons and exhibits the worst elements of blue-haired prohibitionism that forgets the teaching of history which is that prohibitions increase crime. And the paternalistic manner in which Hampstead  did it is a slap in the face to the democratic due process owed to voters. Elected officials are our employees. Not the other way around.Beryl WajsmanSat, 24 Mar 2018 14:09:00 -0400Outremont: Yellow is not the new redhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1694http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1694Last week Outremont brought shame upon itself. A group of residents came to city council to demand restrictions on school bus traffic. Not all school bus traffic in an area with some of the highest concentration of schools on the island. Just the buses carrying children of Hasidic Jewish families. And these residents wore yellow badges to emphasize their point.Let's be as blunt as we can. These people were not complaining about buses. They were complaining about who the buses were carrying. Jewish children. This is the same group that lobbied successfully to get a ban against more synagogues being opened on Bernard Ave. Some of those wearing yellow badges claimed not to understand their significance. If they didn't understand it was because they didn't want to understand. But their leader clearly did.Beryl WajsmanWed, 14 Mar 2018 22:41:00 -0400Troikahttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1693http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1693He was born in the town of Bialystok, Poland. The day the German Army invaded his country on September 1, 1939 he was visiting Warsaw. Instead of returning home, he enlisted in the Polish Army. They were happy to take him, principally because he spoke faultless German. (In those days most Polish Jews spoke Yiddish only and they mistook him for a goy.)He fought first against the Germans and then against the Russians (who in, 1939, had signed a non-aggression pact with the Germans).He was captured and sent to Siberia.He somehow escaped the Gulag and found his way to the UK through Scandinavia in 1942, and enlisted in the Free Polish Army there.Robert LandoriSun, 04 Mar 2018 17:01:00 -0500The What-Me-Worry 2018 Federal Budgethttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1692http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1692Hey Canada, things are going great!  Unemployment is at 5.8%,a 4-decade low, we have the top growth rate of the G-7 nations since the second quarter of 2016 at 3.2%, and federal revenue growth has been stronger than expected.  Oh, but we still have deficits planned for the next decade or so?  We know that Liberal and NDP voters don’t care, so spending an extra $12-18billion per year with no end in sight allows the feds to pursue initiatives we all care deeply about – gender equality, reconciliation, and other promises from the 2015 Liberal election platform.  Well, not so much for all those infrastructure spending plans, we can’t seem to get that money out the door – but no matter, with all the growth in other sectors we don’t need all those new roads, bridges or water treatment plants in any case!Robert PresserSun, 04 Mar 2018 16:57:00 -0500The Parkland Massacre: The NRA’s Waterloo?http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1691http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1691"...the wolf will lay down with the lamb and a little child shall lead them..." ~ Isaiah 11:6The wolves haven't laid down with the lambs, but the children have picked up the standard of their fallen friends. As one American writer put it, "The kids of Douglas High in Parkland may be the NRA's worst nightmare." Unlike the other school shootings, the young survivors are speaking  truth to power. And the world is listening.Unlike other school shootings, the kids of Parkland are older and bolder. They have used social media virally to call out the cowardice of politicians who are too afraid to act and even challenged their parents who may not know how to act. Beryl WajsmanWed, 28 Feb 2018 20:38:00 -0500There may not be a solution to gun violence in the United Stateshttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1690http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1690Washington, DC Although not the most costly in terms of lives lost, the killing of 17 students in Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school on February 13 has unleashed an unprecedented “I’m mad as hell and not going to take this any more” reaction.Poignant scenes and finger pointing have dominated the national media, coupled with commitments on various political/social levels to “do something.”  Consequently, the cynical, ritualized reaction of “been there; done that” so far as public manifestations of grief/concern are concerned may not suffice to mitigate the outrage.A fresh examination of realities might be useful.  Will they fit the United States socio-political circumstances?David T. JonesWed, 28 Feb 2018 20:35:00 -0500An open letter against the closing of Mount Royal traffichttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1689http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1689Dear Mayor Plante ,  I wish to voice my opposition to your decision to close a large part of chemin Camillien-Houde, effectively removing one of the more convenient, and beautiful, east-west trajectories of this city.I drive that route every morning on my way to work, and it’s truly one of the things I cherish the most about my day. When everyone obeys the traffic signs, as they usually do, Camillien-Houde is a safe road, both for cyclists and drivers. I do not believe this decision is in the best interest of Montreal’s population. Closing the road will increase traffic congestion on other major arteries in the city by re-routing thousands of cars daily.  It will also needlessly restrict access to the park, especially for those with families or limited mobility.Me. Hannah DeeganTue, 20 Feb 2018 23:58:00 -0500Canada must show resolve against Iran or children will continue to be slaughteredhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1688http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1688In Shiraz of 1978 when I was 13 and used to slip out of my house to protest the Shah’s corrupt government, I was never arrested nor hurt. Flash forward to January 2, 2018, an 11 –year- old boy participates in government protests in the small town of Khomeinishahr: he dies as a result. Nearly half a century later, and Iranian children still feel they have to march to get their leaders to listen to the people.Iranians hoped that when President Obama lifted economic sanctions against Iran, inflation rates would drop, employment would rise and foreign investment and tourists would return to this country so wealthy in natural resources and potential; but under Rouhani’s government, the expected gains have not materialized.Dr. Sima GoelTue, 20 Feb 2018 23:54:00 -0500UToo Is no longer just an Irish band. Let's guard against mass hysteriahttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1687http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1687It mystifies me every time I read or hear about people, from every walk of life, who do the unthinkable, or even the risky, and believe no one will ever ferret out the truth.If orange is the new black, and 0 is the new 6, is sexual abuse the newest fad?  No disrespect to anyone who was actually sexually molested, but the flood gate that seems to have been opened in 2017, thanks to men like Harvey Weinstein, appears to have been holding back an ocean of complaints against an ocean of transgressors.In this day and age of no more privacy given social media, investigative journalists worth their salt, drones, hackers - the list is endless – why does anyone actually think no one else will figure it out, or talk?Me.Linda HammerschmidTue, 20 Feb 2018 23:48:00 -0500Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's indictments are legally questionablehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1686http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1686Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's indictments are legally questionable, intellectually dishonest and threaten an open internet and free expression...Let the piling on begin but read my comments past the headline please. I am anything but a Trump fan. I find him offensive on so many levels not the least of which are his affronts to aesthetic sensibilities, intellectual rigour and the civil discourse demanded of all public officials but particularly of a President. But I am equally offended by the hypocrisy of these indictments which would threaten the very standards and liberties we all feel are jeopardized in the conduct of this administration. Beryl WajsmanSat, 17 Feb 2018 13:20:00 -0500Closing Mount Royal: Plante administration exploits the politics of fearhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1685http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1685George Orwell warned that the limits to freedom by command-state government will come as much through the use of the psychology of fear as the brute force of arms. That is a prophecy that has become overwhelmingly evident as rule and regulation is constantly formulated to limit our everyday actions “for our own good.” Quebec elected officials know that game very well. Le Jour’s great editor Jean-Charles Harvey first condemned it in his seminal novel of Quebec political life titled “La Peur” – “The Fear” – published in 1938 in the darkest time of the Duplessis era. But the tactics of the old right, have been adopted by the new left.Beryl WajsmanThu, 15 Feb 2018 10:42:00 -0500Running for the hills in the GOP? Not quitehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1684http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1684All the US administration’s 2018 optimism seems to have vanished in the face of Wolff’s inside look at the Trump White House, Fire and Fury, coupled with the threat of a new round of indictments from the Mueller enquiry that target more insiders.  No worry, Trump is telling us that he can take the heat, and that he is prepared to take the heat for everyone involved.  Fear not, skittish Republicans, Trump has your back!With the mid-term House and Senate elections coming up in November 2018, incumbent Republicans must make two major related decisions. Robert PresserMon, 29 Jan 2018 14:36:00 -0500The Holocaust: On memory and witnesshttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1683http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1683“In our time, it is more important to be hard and relentless than genteel and unobtrusive.” Today, January 27th, is the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops. For this reason, this date was chosen as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year the World Jewish Congress has launched the #WeRemember campaign in the face of studies that have shown that half of young people in the west today have not heard of The Holocaust. Think of it. Half. Please share this.Beryl WajsmanSat, 27 Jan 2018 21:17:00 -0500The Malysa Affair: Compassion should be the only language of healthcarehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1682http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1682By now most of you have heard of the language prejudice suffered by Zbigniew Malysa when he went to the CHUM for some medical tests and was refused service because he asks to have things explained in English. His daughter  Suzanne has done a remarkable job of bringing this unconscionable behavior to the public's attention. We offered her whatever support and intervention she and her father need, and will continue to help through the pricess of examination of the behavior of the doctor by the CHUM and the Human Rights Commission to whom she has made a formal complaint. Beryl WajsmanThu, 18 Jan 2018 17:59:00 -0500Couillard administration begins to discuss potential Universal Basic Income initiativehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1681http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1681Although it’s presently considered to be among the most ambitious and progressive policy initiatives on the table, the Couillardadministration’s recent policy survey indicates that it’s going to take a while before there’s going to be any kind of a realistic discussion about a working UBI (Universal Basic Income) policy within Québec’s National Assembly.While early reports indicate that an efficient and universal UBI policy could make a serious difference in the lives of the working poor, Simon Lejeune’s analysis of the Couillard administration’s recent UBI report describes at least 6 problems that must be dealt with before any government can realistically consider adopting a UBI policy.P.A. SévignyThu, 18 Jan 2018 17:57:00 -0500NORTH AMERICA, JAPAN, INDIA AND THE TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIPhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1680http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1680Negotiating a free trade agreement with an increasingly totalitarian and plutocratic party-state in China, which treats its Tibetan, Falun Gong, Uyghur, Christian, farm, urban worker and other communities appallingly,should be unthinkable for any democratic country. Canadian Clive Ansley, who practised law in Shanghai for 14 years until 2003, notes that its Communist party has long operated outside and above the law: China is a brutal police state…There is a current saying amongst Chinese lawyers and judges who truly believe in the Rule of Law…: ‘Those who hear the case do not make the judgment; those who make the judgment have not heard the case’…. Nothing which has transpired in the ‘courtroom’ has any impact on the ‘judgment’. The Hon. David KilgourSun, 07 Jan 2018 08:30:00 -0500Jerusalem recognition opens door to out-of-the-box solutionshttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1679http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1679Washington, DC - After more than a generation of excavation in the Middle East, the US government has finally concluded that the hole it has been digging for the “Two State Solution” has no foreseeable “pot of gold” at the bottom.  Nor, to mix metaphors a bit, does the room filled with manure have a pony in it as hypothesized by the little optimist.So we have stopped digging (and closed the door to the manure pile). It was not that that “the two state solution” has not seemed both tantalizing and seductively attainable.  It should have been Political Science 101 simple:  a state for Israel.  A state for Palestine.  Land swaps transferring parts of Israel to Palestine to compensate for the major settlements constructed in the West Bank post-1967.  And Jerusalem as the capital for both Israel and Palestine. David T. JonesSun, 07 Jan 2018 08:27:00 -0500Quebec obstructs medicare portability and Ottawa does little to helphttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1678http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1678Hospital care is fully portable across Canada, but unlike all other provinces and territories, Quebec has refused to sign a reciprocal agreement for physician services. Quebecers seeking medical treatment in another province usually find that the MD refuses to accept their provincial health card. Instead they must pay upfront and wait for partial reimbursement (often only half of the amount paid) from the Quebec government. This affects three major groups of persons.Quebecers may wish to visit friends and relatives in other provinces. Those with pre-existing conditions should not be deterred from travel for fear that they may develop an unexpected illness and face unaffordable up-front medical charges in another province.Dr. Charles S. ShaverSun, 17 Dec 2017 20:51:00 -0500Shame! Not one voice against the suppression of expressionhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1677http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1677Yet again in Quebec, we are living through more suffocating political hypocrisy and pandering to the worst elements of division and discord merely to cover the cowardly partisanship of elected officials. And as has become de riguer here, truth, equity and respect for civil rights be damned. It is not justice that "rains down like waters" from the National Assembly but words of "nullification and interposition" as Martin Luther King, Jr. once called the rule and regulation of institutionalized prejudice in the American South. And not one voice was raised in the Assembly against the latest installment of capitulation and appeasement. Not one voice.Beryl WajsmanWed, 06 Dec 2017 16:25:00 -0500Poor Morale at Department of State—Ho Humhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1676http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1676Washington, DC - In recent media stories, there has been a flurry of excitement among the fluttering class prompted by a State Department spokesman’s comment that morale is poor at State.The announcement is as dramatic as “The sun rose in the east this morning” or “It was really hot and humid in Washington this summer.”Drawing on 50 years of experience with State, both on active duty and as a retired officer, I can say that there has never/never been a period when one could say that morale at State was good, let alone excellent. David T. JonesMon, 04 Dec 2017 10:07:00 -0500Who will watch the watchmen?http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1675http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1675When UPAC was created, there were many who warned that setting up another level of policing - with extraordinary powers - was inconsistent with due process of law and could pose a threat to basic liberties. UPAC's arrest without charge of former senior SQ officer and now Laval MNA Guy Ouellette may have finally woken up those in power to the dangers of such a body.Assembly Speaker Jacques Chagnon rose to give an extraordinary statement criticizing UPAC and saying in part that UPAC's action demonstrated, "...ignorance of our institutions, and in particular of parliament, which is at the very heart of the democratic governance of our State."Beryl WajsmanSun, 26 Nov 2017 19:55:00 -0500On Salman Rushdiehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1674http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1674Having recently completed “A Sketch of the Past” from Virgina Woolf’s Moments of Being, I walked away from the recent talk by Salman Rushdie at the Jewish Public Library inspired. He was enigmatic, charming and incredibly funny. His staggering playfulness interspersed with witticisms about everything from Saul Bellow and Heraclitus to Trump and the challenges of journalism today were enlightening to say the least. He spoke of the intersection of the public arena with private life and how that plays a role in fiction writing and journalism, as well as politics and social responsibility. However, it was not those reflections that inspired nor touched me. It was not his gaze outward that allowed me to get to know him a little better, rather it was the moments between his speech, the moments when he glanced inward that opened a porthole into who the man behind the work truly is. So, who is Salman Rushdie? Alecs Kakon-GrundmanSun, 19 Nov 2017 17:20:00 -0500The Church in Quebec - The challenge of asking why?http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1673http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1673In the recent visit of the Catholic Bishops of Quebec to Pope Francis, Bishop Lortie of Mont Laurier, vividly and honestly described the Catholic Church in Quebec.  He told Francis that the Bishops “are aware of the limits and poverty of our Church and we are looking for concrete ways to develop a missionary spirit in a Quebec that has broken its relations with the Catholic tradition and heritage and chooses to find its references elsewhere than the Gospel. In the present context being pastors of a small number, a  little flock, we ask ourselves as pastors, how can we reawaken the faith, reveal the love and mercy of God, open hearts to the Gospel, invite people to conversion, create disciples … in a secular, pluralist Quebec that is often allergic to religion?”Father John WalshSun, 01 Oct 2017 14:55:00 -0400