Crime and ambiguity

“The reality is that for serious criminal offences there are many ambiguities contained in the Criminal Code,” says Alan Young, a professor of criminal law at Osgoode Hall Law School, on the justice minister’s herculean task of overhauling the Criminal Code, in The Ottawa Citizen Sept. 29.

The challenger

Harvey Simmons, professor emeritus of political science, begins his essay in the op-ed pages of The Montreal Gazette Sept. 30 on the future of Israel’s Labour Party: “Violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians continue to make headlines, but two less-noted developments could have a profound impact on Israeli politics. The first is the continuing decline of the Israeli economy. The second is the emergence of Amram Mitzna, mayor of Haifa, as a major contender for leadership of the Labour Party and as a challenger to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.”

Continued neglect

A Kingston Whig-Standard reviewer recommends Canada’s Army: Waging the War and Keeping the Peace by Jack Granatstein, professor emeritus, to the history-challenged National Defence Minister John McCallum Sept. 28. Granatstein argues, says the reviewer, that despite its accomplishments during war, the neglect of our army by politicians has been a recurring theme throughout our history.

A lack — of Olympic proportions

Our federal government, through Sport Canada, has spent around $1 Billion on Olympic sports in the past 20 years, most of that on expensive bureaucracy and ineffective programs, writes Tudor O. Bompa, professor emeritus, in the National Post Sept. 28. For example, in 1908 the Canadian Olympic Association had only one office in Montreal. Now it has three. No wonder we don’t have money for training facilities athletes and coaches.

A wrong turn

Had not Jake Lishinsky, a storekeeper from Beinfait, turned left at an intersection in Estevan on Sept. 29, 1931, and turned right instead, his cargo — striking coal miners — wouldn’t have been delivered into the arms of shooting RCMP officers and police. Stephen Endicott, retired history professor, tells the story in Bienfait — The Saskatchewan Miners’ Struggle of ’31, reports The Leader-Post Sept. 28 in Regina.

Longer school sentence

Stephen Gaetz, an education professor, agrees with Ontario Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty about making it mandatory to stay in school until age 18, reports The Toronto Star Sept. 28. “In the days when you didn’t need a university education, you could get a good job without having completed high school. That age (16) is a vestige of the past.”

Nothing new

Cold War historian and retired professor Gabriel Kolko points out, even George W. Bush’s use of the doctrine of pre-emptive “regime change” to justify his proposed invasion of Iraq is not entirely novel. “The US has always done that. The CIA overthrew the government of Iran in 1953 and brought in the Shah; it overthrew the government of Guatemala in 1954. It has consistently intervened in the Middle East,” he said in The Toronto Star Sept 28.

“Irredeemably corrupt”?

Dismissing politics as irredeemably corrupt is “totally counterproductive,” said political science Professor Ian Greene, in a story on low Canadian voter turnout in The Edmonton Journal Sept. 29. “I’ve found that the only time governments will put in effective legislation in this area [corruption] is in a crisis. They have to be pushed by an aroused public.”

Watching you

“I think that it is a tragic mistake to install cameras in public spaces to compensate for the shortcomings of a legal regime which allows us to ignore cries for help,” wrote Alan Young, Osgoode Hall Law School professor, in his Toronto Star column “Body and Soul” Sept. 29. “I am happy that [Madelyne] Toogood’s crime [beating her daughter in the back seat of a car in the US] did not escape detection, but I would be far more satisfied if her apprehension was a result of concerned citizens calling the police or intervening in the assault.”

Healing hands

Toronto Argonaut John Terry, who tore his Achilles tendon last season is able to play in the game against the Montreal Alouettes after a year out thanks to Cindy Hughes, York University sports therapist, reports The Toronto Sun Sept. 28.

On the air

Health management Professor Dennis Raphael talked about the link between poverty and health on CBC’s French television program Ce Soir, Sept. 27 in Toronto. … Dance Professor Penelope Reed Doob talked about what keeps ballet dancers on their toes on TVO’s Studio 2 Sept. 27…. Robert MacDermid, political science professor, talked about the influence of money on politicians following the revelation that Ernie Eves spent $3 million on his leadership campaign, on TVO’s Studio 2 Sept. 27.