Teach our sons

It’s not just about showing sons and grandsons … but about teaching them too.

The young man was showing off in front of some of his buddies. The conversation shifted from small talk to basketball – one of his favourites – and then to some of the women in his college class. At the time, I was one of his instructors, and he didn’t know I could hear pretty much everything he was saying.

“Oh, you know what they say about women,” he joked. “They’re like city buses. If you miss one, there’ll be another along in a minute.”

Power in association

The occasion was a municipal debate at Toronto City Hall, that I witnessed some months ago. The issue arose over the purchase of a small, insignificant piece of land by the municipality for the expansion of a city service. And before the debate even began, the city clerk called for city councillors to declare. Then, several stood up and did.

“In accordance with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act,” one councillor said, “I excuse myself from the debate.”

Character in comeback

Michelle Obama illustrated the importance of not giving up. csmonitor.com.
Michelle Obama illustrated the importance of not giving up. csmonitor.com.

It’s no wonder she is a model mother. It’s no coincidence she has earned such great respect as the U.S. first lady the past eight years. But if the new leaders of her country – whoever they turn out to be – are wise, they might turn to her often to deliver positive energy and a way through the rhetorical mess that is sinking America. I mean, who paints stronger images than this one?

“I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” Michelle Obama said to the Democratic delegates on Monday, “and I watch my daughters, beautiful, intelligent, black young women – playing with their dogs on the White House lawn…”

Quips, jabs and the TV coup de grace

Munk Debate brought more of the politics of fear into play. (photo CQCC)
Munk Debate brought more of the politics of fear into play. (photo CQCC)

One could see the man was about to pounce. One could see that it was a debater’s moment – maybe even one of those so-called knockout punches. And the punch was aimed at the prime minister. Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau wound up and let it fly at Conservative leader Stephen Harper.

“Mr. Harper on (Bill) C-51,” Trudeau said of the anti-terrorism bill passed into law in June of this year, “wants us to be afraid that there’s a terrorist under every leaf and rock in Canada.”

Do not hurry autumn

Plenty of autumn to soak up before we have to deal with the inevitable.

It didn’t take long. The trees have just started to turn. Outside town the low spots each morning are full of that chilly mist. The sandals have pretty much been moved to the back of the closet along with many of my short-sleeved shirts. But I wasn’t ready for this: I got a promotional circular from the place I usually take my car for oil changes.

“Get ready to winterize,” it said. “Cold weather’s just around the corner.”

Occupying minds, not parks

On Nov. 15 city officials delivered eviction notices to the Occupy Toronto protest site in St. James Park. A judge later stayed that eviction until the weekend.
On Nov. 15 city officials delivered eviction notices to the Occupy Toronto protest site in St. James Park. A judge later stayed that eviction until the weekend.

The comment was bold and brutal. The man on the other end of the phone was blunt and to the point. He pulled no punches. His voice was full of disgust.

“You’re lazy. You’re vagrants. You’re a bunch of hoodlums, drug addicts and anarchists” he said on the phone. “Get out of our park!”