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Opinion: My declining years – and yours
JULY 5, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by MARGARET WENTE

According to the experts, certain parts of my brain responsible for cognitive function are literally shrinking. My brain’s blood flow is slowing down, just like the rest of me. The inescapable result is lapses in the synapses. I’ve always thought that the worst threat to my vanity was advancing wrinkles. But now I know it’s cognitive slippage.

Perhaps it’s some consolation that my friends are getting dotty, too. Sure, they’re working gamely to keep their brains in tip-top shape. They do word puzzles, or try to learn a language. They take supplements and eat more leafy greens. Good luck to them. So far, nobody has figured out how to turn back the neurological clock.

The more I learn about brain aging, the more obvious it is that the kids really are smarter than we are. “The data are shockingly clear that for most people, in most fields, professional decline starts earlier than almost anyone thinks,” writes Arthur Brooks (no cognitive slouch himself) in a new essay for The Atlantic. He found that most of us reach our mental peak around 20 years after the start of our careers. We do our best work in our 40s and 50s and it’s all downhill from there.

People in different types of work peak at different ages, just as athletes do. Those who rely heavily on fluid intelligence – the ability to reason, think fast and solve problems in unique and novel situations – peak much younger than average. Mr. Brooks says his line of work is a good example. (He has just retired as the head of a well-known U.S. think tank.) “The most profound insights tend to come from those in their 30s and early 40s.”

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, chess grand masters and nuclear physicists are even more precocious – which means they burn out early. By the time they hit their 30s they’re already in creative decline. By contrast, lawyers, judges and professors draw more on what’s called crystallized intelligence – a stock of knowledge built up over time.They can coast on that knowledge well into their 60s. For most of us, however, cognitive decline begins in middle age.
aging  Arthur_Brooks  cognitive_skills  decline  elderly  elder_wisdom  journalism  Margaret_Wente  mental_dexterity  precociousness  retirement 
july 2019 by jerryking
We need to talk about the boys -
MAY 5, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | MARGARET WENTE.

It’s girls who get all the attention these days. But it’s the boys we should be worried about. Boys lag girls in school at every level. They drop out, get in trouble with the law, and become disconnected from the mainstream – sometimes for good.

Jamil Jivani was heading there himself. He grew up in Brampton, Ont....At age 16, he couldn’t read – or didn’t care enough to. He was convinced the system was rigged against him. His role models were gansta rappers. Police officers gave him a hard time. His dad wasn’t in the picture.....Mr. Jivani is now 30. He is a law professor, a graduate of Yale, and an activist for disadvantaged communities. His personal story is the powerful thread running through his new book, Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity......He aims to change the conversation from “either/or” to “and also.” “If you’re trying to change the conditions young men grow up in,” he says, “you need to talk about both law enforcement and families.”

He gets pushback saying things like that. “People are used to hearing a certain kind of narrative – the world is unfair, racist, biased, and the primary concern we should have is that these are systems that oppress us – systemic racism, sexism, and so on. It’s amazing how much this passes as a truth.”

Mr. Jivani believes that we can’t address the crisis of young men without talking about families and culture. For boys, fathers are their first line of defence. Without fathers, they may have no positive role models for how to be a man.

“A lot of people in the black community want to talk about fatherlessness,” he says. But we seldom hear from them. The voices you hear are all from one side, and the media seldom seek out any other perspectives.

People censor themselves too. “..... Black Lives Matter makes things worse. “It’s a style of activism that tries to define people – to tell them this is what you’re supposed to think and do because of your identity.” ....“BLM’s approach to activism focuses on having an enemy that must be defeated,” he writes. “It is accusatory at its core.”
Margaret_Wente  fatherhood  parenting  dysfunction  Black_Lives_Matter  African_Canadians  books  crisis  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  lawyers  Osgoode  family_breakdown  values  dropouts  achievement_gaps  Yale  activism  economically_disadvantaged  victimhood 
may 2018 by jerryking
America’s hidden crisis: Men not at work - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016

The United States’ biggest problem ... is more insidious. Millions of able-bodied men have dropped out of society – out of working life, of civic life, of family life. Many of these men belong to the Trumpenproletariat. How to re-engage them may be the biggest domestic challenge the country faces.

Political economist Nicholas Eberstadt calls these men “the unworking,” to distinguish them from people who want work but can’t find it. “America is now home to a vast army of jobless men who are no longer even looking for work,” he writes. “Roughly seven million of them age 25 to 54, the traditional prime of working life.” His new book, Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis, is essential reading for this election cycle. “For every prime-age man who is unemployed today,” he writes, “another three are neither working nor looking for work.” Most of these men are less educated, and many, particularly blacks, have prison records.... in fact, the work rate has been in decline for two generations. What happened during those decades was a massive shift in cultural values.... “To the extent that non-work is contagious, it is likely to grow exponentially rather than at a linear rate.” If current trends continue, he expects that more than one-third of all men in the 25-54 age group will be out of work by mid-century. That is a truly terrifying prospect – as well as fertile soil for toxic populism.

At its root, the collapse of the working class isn’t so much economic as it is social, moral and spiritual. This means that economic remedies will only take us so far. Marriage rates for less-educated men have plunged – and unmarried men are far more likely to opt for unwork. The percentage of babies born to unmarried parents has soared. Working-class whites have largely abandoned church (while church attendance among higher-income whites has stayed relatively high). Family and community networks have dissolved [JCK: the fraying of what David Brooks would call, the "social_fabric"].
Margaret_Wente  unemployment  men  joblessness  working_class  social_classes  social_fabric  Larry_Summers  job_destruction  participation_rates  addictions  opiates  socioeconomic  habits  values  books  unworking  populism  social_crisis  moral_crisis  spiritual_crisis  cultural_values  whites  contagions  exponential 
october 2016 by jerryking
Trump nation: An insider’s tour - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2016

What explains the appeal of Donald Trump? Many pundits have tried to answer this question and fallen short. But J.D. Vance nails it. His stunning new book, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of A Family and Culture in Crisis, doesn’t even mention Mr. Trump.....It’s misleading to describe the problems of the white working class as an economic crisis. Above all, it is a cultural, spiritual and psychological crisis. The real challenge is not so much the loss of jobs as the loss of values, order and meaning. The yawning chasm between the working and the middle class isn’t about money. It’s about habits and attitudes and a sense of powerlessness.....Mr. Trump is “cultural heroin” – the newest opioid of the masses. He, too, offers an easy escape from problems that seem overwhelming and hopeless.

The issues described in Hillbilly Elegy – low social mobility, the yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots, the waning prospects and social decay experienced by people at the bottom of the ladder – are among the greatest challenges of our times. They can’t be fixed with technocratic or government solutions.
books  Margaret_Wente  working_class  J.D._Vance  Appalachia  Rust_Belt  poverty  Donald_Trump  resentments  grievances  values  habits  social_mobility  hopelessness  helplessness  industrial_Midwest  whites  family_breakdown  underclass 
july 2016 by jerryking
Why are young feminists so clueless about sex? - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015
feminism  sex  Margaret_Wente 
october 2015 by jerryking
Back to the future, with the kid - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015

So what will Prime Minister Trudeau do with all that horsepower? His policy proposals (which many voters are only dimly aware of) are also a blast from the past. Expand the government. Tax breaks for the usual suspects, especially the sacred middle class (on top of the tax breaks they’ve been showered with for the past 10 years). Soak the rich some more and pretend it makes a difference. Deficit spending, whether or not we need it, on infrastructure projects that may or may not help the economy. But no idea of how to get our landlocked oil to markets, or any comprehensive plan to spur innovation and economic growth.

Mr. Trudeau’s foreign policy ideas are naive and nostalgic. They hark back to the golden age of peacekeeping and multilateralism, as if blue berets and good intentions could defeat Islamic State. Those ideas resonate with voters, because they like to think of Canada as a force for good in the world. Unfortunately, the world is a nastier, messier place than it used to be, and niceness does not go very far.
Margaret_Wente  Justin_Trudeau  Federal_Election_2015  Liberals  Brian_Mulroney  golden_age  good_intentions 
october 2015 by jerryking
Why Stephen Harper is toast - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Sep. 10, 2015

At its heart, this election isn’t really about policies. It’s about change, and leadership, and tone. It is above all a referendum on Mr. Harper, a man who has been around for long enough and whose personal deficits are striking. The electorate’s centre of gravity hasn’t really shifted. People just want someone new.

Albertans didn’t elect NDP Premier Rachel Notley because they suddenly wanted to shut down the oil sands and invest in windmills. They elected her because they were fed up with the old boys, and she was a fresh and credible alternative, and it was past time for a change. Canadians don’t want a radical change of course, either. They want a fresh leader with fresh energy, fresh ideas, and a heart.
Margaret_Wente  Stephen_Harper  elections  predictions  Syrian_refugee_crisis  Federal_Election_2015 
september 2015 by jerryking
What women can learn from men - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 10, 2015

Here are a few things Maggie Wente admires about men:

Men get to the point....Men are direct. They don’t think emotions are all that interesting. Women are overly sensitive to emotions and tend to get all caught up in process.

Men don’t hold grudges.....Men just let it go (jk: forgiveness). They can get furiously angry with each other, and two weeks later they’re the best of friends. Women would be better off if we didn’t take stuff so personally.

Men externalize their failures....When men fail at something, they’re likely to blame it on their subordinates, their boss, market conditions, bad luck or sunspots. They seldom blame themselves (and if they do, they get over it). When women fail at something, they’re likely to conclude that they’re no good, and who were they kidding anyway?

Men are focused and persistent....they can’t multitask the way women do but they don’t get so distracted either.

Men have no problem being assertive....Research has found that most women will only apply for a promotion if they are 100-per-cent qualified for the job, and sometimes not even then. Men, on the other hand, will apply for a promotion just because they’re capable of breathing in and out.

Men are less complicated than women. -They don’t have to be in the mood to enjoy sex.
forgiveness  gender_gap  gender_relations  grudges  Margaret_Wente  men  multitasking  women 
july 2015 by jerryking
The two conflicting narratives of Ferguson - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Dec. 04 2014
Ferguson  Margaret_Wente 
december 2014 by jerryking
Abolish the school boards - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Dec. 02 2014
TDSB  Toronto  Margaret_Wente 
december 2014 by jerryking
The Ubers are destined to win the taxi wars - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Nov. 20 2014
Uber  Margaret_Wente  taxis  Toronto 
november 2014 by jerryking
Look who’s on top of the marriage market - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Sep. 20 2014,

Like the economy, the marriage market has become increasingly stratified and class-based. An increasing number of successful, high-earning men are concentrated at the top, while the pool of reliable, stably employed men at the bottom is shrinking. Men at the top don’t want to marry the secretary any more – they want to marry their equals, for reasons of both status and earning power. After all, two professional incomes will buy you a nicer life than one. They also want to make the best possible genetic investment in their offspring.

“Educated men and women are drawn to spouses they think will help them produce the children likely to thrive in the contemporary knowledge-based economy,” wrote social commentator Kay Hymowitz, whom the authors quote. “… The preference for alpha kids is the reason there is a luxury market for Ivy League egg and sperm donors.”
marriage  relationships  education  women  Margaret_Wente  income_inequality  social_classes 
september 2014 by jerryking
Women against #WomenAgainstFeminism - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Aug. 09 2014
feminism  women  Margaret_Wente  CBC 
august 2014 by jerryking
Human shields are Hamas’s PR - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jul. 15 2014
Hamas  Mideast_Peace  Palestinian  Margaret_Wente  Israel 
july 2014 by jerryking
Are Airbnb and Uber changing the world? - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jul. 05 2014
Airbnb  Uber  sharing_economy  Margaret_Wente 
july 2014 by jerryking
Wynne’s scary ‘safe hands’ - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, May. 06 2014
Kathleen_Wynne  Margaret_Wente 
may 2014 by jerryking
How women are losing the pundit war - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 24 2014
Margaret_Wente  women  pundits  Steve_Paikin  TVO  gender_gap 
may 2014 by jerryking
Why crime is plunging but police costs are soaring - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Apr. 17 2014

Orangeville’s police force is the highest-paid in Ontario. Of the 34 municipal employees who made more than $100,000 last year, 14 are cops. Another seven are firefighters. hat’s the way it is across much of Canada. The cops and firefighters are taking home the biggest paycheques in town. While other public-sector salaries are frozen, their pay is rising faster than inflation. And the cost is eating small-town budgets alive.
Margaret_Wente  Ontario  public_sector  criminality  pensions  unions  police_unions  overpaid 
april 2014 by jerryking
Your ancestry may be your destiny
Mar. 22 2014 | The Globe and Mail | by Margaret Wente.

A deeply challenging new book by economic historian Gregory Clark (The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility) argues that such endurance is not the exception but the norm. It goes on to argue that most people’s outcomes can be predicted at conception. To an alarming degree, your destiny is determined by your ancestors.
ancestry  books  economic_history  genes  historians  Margaret_Wente  social_classes  social_mobility 
march 2014 by jerryking
Why can’t today’s graduates get hired? -
Dec. 05 2013 | The Globe and Mail | by Margaret Wente.

“Everywhere, employers are looking to recruit young people with a strong complement of soft skills, such as the ability to communicate, think critically and work in teams,” John Manley, president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, said in a recent speech.

The real skills gap, business leaders say, is not the shortage of oil-field engineers and the glut of history BAs. It’s about the shortage of young people who are good at problem-solving, communication, teamwork, time management, persistence, loyalty and dedication. Survey after survey reports that businesses can’t find enough workers who are motivated, flexible and organized. As a recent piece in Time magazine declared, “The entry-level candidates who are on tap to join the ranks of full-time work are clueless about the fundamentals of office life. ”...“As recently as 10 years ago, organizations would hire for potential,” Ms. Moses told me. “But now they want people who can hit the ground running.” Employers have also become extremely risk-averse about new hires – another factor that stacks the deck against the twentysomethings. It’s hard to prove that you can do the job if nobody will give you the first one. As for the soft-skills gap, she thinks it’s overblown. For starters, today’s young adults have collaborated and worked in teams all their lives.

The trouble is that few companies do training any more, even the kind of informal short-term training that can break in someone new.
Barbara_Moses  Communicating_&_Connecting  critical_thinking  grit  hiring  job_search  John_Manley  loyalty  millennials  Margaret_Wente  new_graduates  persistence  problem_solving  skills  short-sightedness  skills_gap  teams  time-management  young_people 
december 2013 by jerryking
How Jeffrey Sachs failed to save Africa - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente

The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Sep. 21 2013

What he forgot was the human factor. It turns out that people are not always rational. They don’t always do what’s in their own best interests, even when the benefits are completely clear to a development economist.....At every turn, Mr. Sachs’s master plan was undermined by culture.
Jeffrey_Sachs  economics  Africa  economic_development  Margaret_Wente  economists  failure  human_factor 
november 2013 by jerryking
The confessions of Michael Ignatieff
Sep. 26 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Margaret Wente.

Like a flawed Greek hero, Mr. Ignatieff believes that his greatest sin was hubris – which, in case you have to look it up, is ambition combined with pride and ignorance. He actually believed the three Liberal operatives who showed up on his doorstep in Boston one day and persuaded him that they could pave the way for him to Sussex Drive. (“The men in black,” he calls them). He had no idea that the Liberal Party was in such bad shape, that it had largely destroyed itself through infighting, scandals and intellectual exhaustion, or that the piggy bank was empty....A decade ago, Mr. Ignatieff wrote a widely praised but little-read novel called Charlie Johnson in the Flames. Charlie is an American journalist working in Bosnia.
Michael_Ignatieff  Margaret_Wente  Liberals  hubris 
september 2013 by jerryking
Margaret Wente: Why old-age parenting is a bad idea - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

Last updated Saturday, Mar. 30 2013
aging  parenting  Margaret_Wente 
march 2013 by jerryking
Who's killing the children of Iraq?
October 8, 2002 | The Globe and Mail | MARGARET WENTE
Margaret_Wente  Iraq  Saddam_Hussein 
march 2013 by jerryking
Why America's hated: all that and more from your teachers union
December 6, 2001 | G&M – Page A25 | Margaret Wente

Doug Little teaches high-school history at Rosedale Heights in Toronto. He's
also the editor of his union newsletter, which goes out to 6,500 t...
Margaret_Wente  unions  anti-Americanism  schools  teachers  anti-Semitism  public_sector 
march 2013 by jerryking
Muslim matrons of jihad
Margaret Wente

Asra Nomani is a Western journalist with family ties in Pakistan. She recently took a leave from The Wall Street Journal to spend some time there. In Islamabad, she found a diffe...
Margaret_Wente  women  Pakistan  moderates  Islam 
march 2013 by jerryking
They had it coming?
September 15 | Globe and Mail | By MARGARET WENTE.

"The Americans are reaping the fruits of their crimes against humanity."

That's Saddam Hussein speaking. But you don't have to go to Baghdad to...
Margaret_Wente  anti-Americanism 
march 2013 by jerryking
Tiptoeing through Islam
October 2, 2001 | G&M |By MARGARET WENTE
Margaret_Wente  9/11  islam 
march 2013 by jerryking
Jobs, jobs, jobs! The future is brighter than you think
Feb. 16 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Margaret Wente.

if the idea of working for someone else doesn’t appeal to barista girl, she’s in luck. Thanks to the IT revolution, starting your own business is easier than ever, as American thinker Walter Russell Mead has pointed out: All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. You can provide math tutoring to kids, music instruction, even long-distance psychological counselling. You don’t even have to be in the same country as your clients. You can find cheap marketing information to identify your potential customers, and you can reach them via social media. You can buy inexpensive accounting and billing software. If you have employees, you can even get HR advice online.

The IT revolution is wiping out entire industries, like bookstores and travel agents. But it is also creating virtually unlimited opportunities for new service businesses.
Margaret_Wente  entrepreneurship  Desire2Learn  disruption  self-employment  IT  millennials  Walter_Russell_Mead  bookstores  travel_agents  new_businesses 
february 2013 by jerryking
The awful truth about being single - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente

The Globe and Mail

Last updated Sunday, Jan. 20 2013
Margaret_Wente  relationships  solo 
february 2013 by jerryking
Can we just relax about our breasts? - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

Last updated Wednesday, Oct. 31 2012

the real problem isn’t jet fuel in our breasts. It’s chemophobia – a fear so rampant that it has infected an entire generation of women. Ms. Williams is right that our bodies contain trace amounts of pretty much everything that’s in our environment. But toxicity is a matter of degree. And technology is so advanced that we can measure trace amounts in parts per trillion. As yet, research has found no trace of harm. For example, after a comprehensive review of environmental causes and risk factors for breast cancer, the U.S. Institute of Medicine found no conclusive link between any of these chemicals and an increased risk of breast cancer. According to Scientific American, “some research shows the toxic load in breast milk to be smaller than that in the air most city dwellers breathe inside their homes.”

So what are the biggest risks for breast cancer? Getting old, and being female. “If you parse out all the things that cause breast cancer, about 75 per cent of it is living,” Harvey Schipper, one of Canada’s leading breast cancer doctors, told me. Much of the rest is hereditary. Other risk factors are bound up with our Western lifestyle – high-protein diets, early puberty, later and less frequent childbearing. “Societies with poor nutrition don’t get breast cancer,” he says.

This is not to say there’s no impact from environmental factors. But these effects are small and uncertain. To eliminate them all, we’d have to eliminate modernity and return to being hunter-gatherers again.

But I’m afraid chemophobia is here to stay. Fear sells. Fear of chemicals manufactured by rapacious, greedy, money-sucking capitalist enterprises sells even better.
ageing  cancers  chemicals  fear  hunter-gatherers  Margaret_Wente  medical_communication  rapaciousness  risk_factors  toxicity 
february 2013 by jerryking
Celebrate boys’ boyness – and work with it -
Nov. 17 2012 |The Globe and Mail |by Margaret Wente.

Several public school systems have launched all-boys’ schools for failing boys. In New York, the Eagle Academy for Young Men is achieving impressive results for minority boys in a tough neighbourhood. These schools demand a lot. Their ethos is: We’ll help you succeed, but we’ll be tough on you, and you must claim responsibility. (By contrast, the attitude of Ontario’s public schools toward difficult boys is: We’ll let you pass if you leave us alone.)

If boys are failing schools and schools are failing boys, it’s really not too hard to see some of the reasons why. They really are fish out of water. Before the Industrial Revolution, boys spent their time with fathers and uncles, often engaged in strenuous physical activity. Now they spend their time in the world of women, sitting behind desks. If schools threw out the desks, they’d probably be a lot happier.

But schools can’t give them everything they need. Boys also need the company of men – men who will guide, instruct, esteem, respect and understand them. When asked about the happiest experience of their lives, boys often say it was the time they made something with their fathers. Their mothers matter, too – but, sometimes, there’s no substitute for Dad.
Margaret_Wente  masculinity  gender_gap 
february 2013 by jerryking
Teachers’ unions are obsolete
Jan. 12 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Margaret Wente.
Wherever you live in Canada, whatever party your provincial government happens to belong to, strife in the schools is about to become a way of life. The public-sector pie is shrinking, and everybody on the public payroll will have to take a hit. That’s why Ontario’s education-friendly government cracked down on the teachers. If they’re not reined in, everybody else will fight back, too. More than 1.1-million people in Ontario – civil servants, social workers, nurses, teachers, police, garbage collectors – are on the public payroll; their collective paycheque amounts to around $58-billion a year.

The case for public-sector unions is arguable at the best of times. Public employees are supposed to behave in the public interest. But the more entrenched and powerful their unions become, the more money they are able to extract in the form of raises, bankable sick days, job security, generous pensions, rigid work rules, and the like. The unions’ job is to act in the interest of their members, which is inevitably contrary to the broader interests of the public. Politicians are happy to comply because the public purse is bottomless (until it’s not). Politicians are supposed to bargain on behalf of all the citizens. But the citizens don’t have unions.
Margaret_Wente  unions  Ontario  teachers  public_sector  Salman_Khan  Khan_Academy  Queen’s_Park 
january 2013 by jerryking
Strange bedfellows want the U.S. to step up to the plate - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente

HALIFAX — Globe and Mail Update, includes clarification

Published Sunday, Nov. 18 2012
november 2012 by jerryking
The young should join the Tea Party - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Jun. 21 2012
Margaret_Wente  Tea_Party 
october 2012 by jerryking
Is the real problem here crime or systemic racism?
May 31, 2005 | G & M |Margaret Wente.

What the study did was record the age, race and gender of everybody stopped by police in the course of a year. What it found was that blacks (who make up only 1 per cent of Kingston's population) are stopped nearly three times as often, per capita, as whites. Therefore, it concluded, the police are racially biased.

But if that's true, then the police are also ageist and sexist. Only 7 per cent of the people stopped by police were 55 or older, while 35 per cent were between 15 and 24. And roughly three times more men were stopped than women. Does this mean the police are also biased against young people and men? Most crimes are committed by young men, and a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by young black men. Only 9 % of Toronto's population is black, but more than half of Toronto's 20 "most wanted" are black.
Margaret_Wente  Toronto  African_Canadians  disproportionality  statistics  Kingston  systemic_discrimination  zero-tolerance  expulsions  high_schools  criminality  Toronto_Police_Service  carding  racial_profiling  racial_disparities  young_people 
september 2012 by jerryking
Cut off Iran? It’s about time - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Sep. 11 2012,
Margaret_Wente  Iran  Canada  diplomacy 
september 2012 by jerryking
Guns, gangs and Boston's miracle: Article from Canada - THR
Guns, gangs and Boston's miracle

DATE: 2005.11.24
Margaret_Wente  Eugene_Rivers  churches  Boston 
august 2012 by jerryking
Race is the elephant in the room
Nov. 22 2005 | G&M | MARGARET WENTE

Toronto schools are also taking it in the neck for racial profiling. That's because young black males make up a disproportionate number of the students who are penalized for discipline and behaviour problems. Anyone with the slightest experience in Toronto's schools knows these problems are real. But saying so is not an option. Instead, the school board has promised the Ontario Human Rights Commission that the schools will be more sensitive. From now on, principals must consider "mitigating factors" before they impose discipline. One such factor is "racial harassment." Next fall, schools will begin to gather race-based discipline statistics in order to detect bias. Want to guess what's going to happen?
race  Toronto  Margaret_Wente  killings  African_Canadians  schools  students  youth  disproportionality 
august 2012 by jerryking
Guns, gangs and Boston's miracle & Race is the elephant in the room
November 24, 2005 | G& M | Margaret Wente.

Mr. Rivers argues the black middle class has failed its poor by refusing to confront the cultural catastrophes that sweep boys into thug life. First, there's father absence, which leaves them unmoored and out of control. "The failure of black men to discipline their sons has created a generation of de facto orphans." Next, there are the toxic messages of gangsta rap that glorify outlaw life.

Gangsta rap and hip-hop -- which have spread to the slums of Paris,
Brixton and Rio -- moved into the void left by the decline of the
civil-rights movement. "The globalization of thug life," he says, "is
the direct result of the failure of the black middle class to engage
the crisis of the underclass." Tough words....Boston's anti-crime initiative has three legs: prevention, intervention
and enforcement. There are a lot of strategies to intervene with
high-risk kids before they turn into thugs. When it doesn't work, the
reverend is unequivocal about the consequences. "The thugs must be
locked up for a long time. They must be made an example of." One of his
challenges was to bring on board the people he calls the "hug-a-thug
liberals" -- those who see only victims, never criminals.

But he also challenged the law-and-order crowd -- the ones who see a
thug in every kid. All sides had to get past the rhetoric and focus on
what works. By now, there are strong networks among Boston's community
leaders, police and politicians; they regularly work together on crime
Margaret_Wente  pastors  Toronto  Eugene_Rivers  guns  gangs  Boston  fatherhood  African_Canadians  leadership  hip_hop  churches  voids  middle_class  African-Americans  thug_code  crisis  underclass  race  outlaws  toxic_behaviors 
august 2012 by jerryking
Just call Toronto Dodge City
Jul. 28 2005 | The Globe and Mail | MARGARET WENTE.

Incidents of public gang-related violence have increased and, in some neighbourhoods, gunfire has become routine. Mr. Thompson has been told that speaking out isn't good for tourism, but he does it anyway. "Innocent people are dying in our streets as a result of reckless acts of violence."

For reasons that aren't hard to guess, few people will talk bluntly about who's being shot, who's shooting them, and why. According to Mayor David Miller, the problem is lax gun laws in the United States. "The U.S. is exporting violence," he said the other day. Police watchdog John Sewell insists it's our fault, for not doing enough to make sure "kids aren't interested in guns and feel that they're part of the society."

So let's give thanks for Mr. Thompson. He's not afraid to say the problem is drugs and gangs and lax gun laws and the growth of a thug culture. Perhaps the reason he can speak so plainly is because he's black -- as are almost all of the shooters and the shot, as well as those scared little kids who've got to sleep with Mommy....Mr. Thompson was born in Jamaica and came to Canada when he was 11. He was raised by a single mother, and now has a young family of his own. "There are a lot of people who've come through adverse conditions and haven't resorted to crime and violence," he says. As for the racial issue, "I'm not going to walk on eggshells about it. It's young people from a distinct community who are uninterested in being contributing members of society. . . . The expectation is, let me get what I can as quickly as I can. The fastest way to get there is crime and drugs.

"There's a culture out there of rap music and videos and the lingo and the bling bling, the jewellery and fine cars. The friends and family are very supportive when they bring the money home and drive the fancy cars, but very unhappy when they get arrested or killed."
Toronto  Margaret_Wente  guns  violence  thug_code  Michael_Thompson  instant_gratification  young_people 
august 2012 by jerryking
Africentric academic dilemma
November 8, 2007 | G&M pg A 23 | Margaret Wente
They came from homes where the TV was blaring-all day. and nobody ever read a book or had a conversation. Audaciously, they named their school Downtown College Prep.
At first. the teachers assumed the problem was motivation. not academics. But they soon discovered that many of the kids could barely read or write. So they set up a skills boot camp and put in a structured curriculum. They focused on discipline. hard work, an atmosphere of community, and parental involvement. The school had small classes and long days. The teachers were highly self-cn'tjcal and quick to change tack when things didn't work By 2005, Downtown College Prep had sent all the graduates from its first two classes to four-year colleges. It now ranks among the top third of public high schools in the state. (A terrific book, Our School, recounts the gritty blow-by-blow.)
Therc’s a common denominator to these stories: Strong leadership. Committed teachers. A commitment to out what works. not race politics or ideology. And an organizational culture that's relentlessly focused on instruction, data and results. Toronto’s public schools provide almost none of this. Perhaps black-focused schools - with a genuine focus on success - will eventually find the way. Let's just learn a lesson from the people who‘ve been down this road. The kids need pragmatism, not kente cloth.
Margaret_Wente  African_Canadians  Afrocentric  hard_work 
august 2012 by jerryking
Panic in the blackboard jungle
January 12, 2008 | G&M pg A 23 | Margaret Wente
Margaret_Wente  TDSB  guns  gangs  sexual_assault  race  parenting 
august 2012 by jerryking
July 19: When society’s broken, and other letters to the editor - The Globe and Mail
july 19 2012 | G&M | David McInnis

Margaret Wente (Broken Families Caused This – July 18) shows courage and candour in naming fatherless families as one of the significant, if not precipitating, reasons for the rise in violence in Toronto’s low-income communities.

During a period of cultural studies in Kingston, Jamaica, a few years ago, I listened as academics discussed the role of “matrifocal” families as a contributing factor to the breakdown of social cohesion in that country. Matrifocal is not to be confused with matriarchal: In the latter, women have the power; in the former, they are a segment of the dispossessed.

Matrifocal societies are ones in which groupings of women, usually mothers with children of various paternities, grandmothers, even great-grandmothers all live under the same roof. They become the dominant model for family life. Males come and go as they choose, and usually contribute little if at all to the family’s maintenance, financially or emotionally.

In such families, not only do male children suffer from the lack of decisive and stable male role models, they are often subject to discrediting messages about and toward males by the female family members.

Small wonder young males growing up in such environments lack direction and are attracted to pseudo-families (gangs) that they falsely assume can provide them with a sense of self-respect.

We must surely find a way of supporting such families and the fragile and emerging egos of this vulnerable element in the population.

David McInnis, Ancaster, Ont.
letters_to_the_editor  directionless  Toronto  dysfunction  violence  Margaret_Wente  parenting  fatherhood  Jamaicans  family_breakdown 
july 2012 by jerryking
Broken families behind the violence -
Jul. 18 2012 | The Globe and Mail |Margaret Wente.

"The single most significant root cause is not guns or crummy housing or racism or inadequate policing or lenient sentencing or lack of jobs or insufficient social programs. It is family and community breakdown. Most especially, it’s absent fathers.

Social programs are essential. But all the social programs in the world can’t make up for family disintegration."
Toronto  violence  Margaret_Wente  dysfunction  family_breakdown  fatherhood  parenting 
july 2012 by jerryking
Victim, bully or both?
18 Sep 2001 | The Globe and Mail A.16. |Christopher Levenson.

Once the smoke has cleared from Manhattan, I hope ordinary Americans -- surely among the least politically sophisticated and most insular of major world populations -- will finally begin to ask themselves what is behind the rhetorical smokescreen about the U.S. being the "beacon of liberty" and the "leader of the free world" that could make millions of ordinary people around the world hate them so much. Nothing can ever justify the horrendous loss of innocent lives in last Tuesday's terrorist attacks, but this horror and anger must be accompanied by introspection.

Many, especially in the Third World, have every justification for hating America because of its economic imperialism. This is not just a matter of overt military intervention, as in Chile, Nicaragua or El Salvador. It is also a matter of inaction: failure to adequately fund UN agencies, failure to support the ABM treaty and the refusal to sign on to the Kyoto agreement.

Until Americans realize that, in virtually all eyes except their own, they are an imperialist power in a world that is crying out for co-operation and long-term people-to-people assistance, we can only expect the hatred, and with it the terrorism, to get even worse.
letters_to_the_editor  anti-Americanism  ProQuest  Margaret_Wente  9/11  U.S.foreign_policy  moral_equivalencies 
july 2012 by jerryking
The professional-class bubble is bursting - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Apr. 28, 2012
automation  bubbles  career_paths  downward_mobility  Margaret_Wente  middle_class  professional_service_firms  white-collar 
april 2012 by jerryking
Why romantic love is overrated - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012
valentine  dating  relationships  marriage  Margaret_Wente  romantic_love  overrated 
february 2012 by jerryking
Go west, young Canadians - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 09, 2012

The country’s economic, demographic and political power are all shifting. Western power has already begun to change our national values. Stephen Harper’s majority was no fluke. He was elected by a new coalition of westerners and voters in the suburbs of Toronto. These people prefer CTV to the CBC. They think Ottawa and government should matter less, and they seldom think about Quebec at all. This is an epochal shift.
demographic_changes  Alberta  Quebec  population_growth  population_trends  Margaret_Wente  commodities  oil_industry  Saskatchewan  natural_resources 
february 2012 by jerryking
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