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GiveLife.ca

    
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PRINT EDITION
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Globe Columnists
Friday, December 15




  William Thorsell
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Apologies don't reverse the harm. Deeds, however, do space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Apology is a tricky thing for us humans: wounds abound.It presumes a meaningful offence, but: When is it necessary?To whom is it meaningful?Where does it end?John Ibbitson reports in The Globe and Mail that Canada's government will apologize to homosexuals in its employ whom it harassed, defamed and fired in the many years through the 1990s. He writes: ''In choosing to act ... Justin Trudeau has decided to complete a process begun by his father almost 50 years ago.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Independent senators a threat to our parliamentary system space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 – Page A12
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-- Senior fellow at the Munk School of Global AffairsThere is something like a gun pointed at the heart of Canada's parliamentary system: the sudden predominance of independent senators.  FULL STORY arrow
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How the plutocrats placed the wrong presidential bet space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 7, 2016 – Page A11
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-- Senior fellow at the Munk School of Global AffairsThe Republican Party is distraught by Donald Trump's ascendancy, but the ''Dark Money'' running alongside the Republicans must be apoplectic.  FULL STORY arrow
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Sex, drugs and dying: You've come a long way Canada space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 – Page A12
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-- Senior fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and a former editor-in-chief of The Globe and MailSimply because he was a practising homosexual, George Everett Klippert was designated a dangerous sexual offender and sentenced to indefinite prison in the Northwest Territories in 1965. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld that sentence in 1967 - this morbid story well recounted by John Ibbitson in these pages on Saturday.  FULL STORY arrow
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Liberation architecture space
Radical buildings by visionaries like Libeskind and Gehry are helping free Toronto from the dry functionality of modernism
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Saturday, October 6, 2012 – Page M3
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-- On Oct. 10, Daniel Libeskind will be in Toronto for a ''topping off'' ceremony at the L Tower, a startling 57-storey condominium at Yonge and Front streets. Six years ago, Mr. Libeskind was in town to top off the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum (where I was then director). It's becoming a habit.  FULL STORY arrow
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The sheer folly of an elected Senate space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Saturday, March 31, 2012 – Page F9
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-- Globe and Mail editor-in-chief from 1989 to 1999At a cost of $3-million, Alberta will choose three federal ''senators-in-waiting'' along with its provincial MLAs this month. Alberta is the only province with legislation to complement Prime Minister Stephen Harper's scheme to ''elect'' the entire Senate by appointing individuals chosen in this devious way, but three more provinces look to be joining the game. It's the most radical and threatening item on Mr. Harper's political agenda, which says something.  FULL STORY arrow
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End run to an Americanized Senate space
The Conservatives would circumvent the Constitution to alter the very fabric of Canadian federalism
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Saturday, May 1, 2010 – Page A21
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-- Prime Minister Stephen Harper is regrouping this spring in his attempt to bring about the election of very powerful senators with fixed eight-year terms. This would change the structure and dynamics of power at the federal level in Canada more dramatically than anything seen since Confederation in 1867, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  FULL STORY arrow
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Where's the justification? space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Thursday, October 4, 2007 – Page A20
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Toronto -- How does The Globe justify its large, breathless ''leaks and woes'' story on the Royal Ontario Museum yesterday (Leaks, Woes A Smudge On Crystal's Sparkle)?You report that, since the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal's cladding system was finished this summer, the building is watertight. True. You report that the ROM established a maintenance budget to clean the windows in the Crystal. Well, yes.  FULL STORY arrow
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Securing his place - with his own pen space
We would do well to remember Mulroney's accomplishments
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Friday, September 7, 2007 – Page A21
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-- It has been said of Pierre Trudeau that ''he haunts us still.''Brian Mulroney is much too vigorous to haunt us - too present in the news, too active in public life, too insistent on participation in the debates about his legacy and the course on which Canada is headed now. Brian Mulroney lives, whether some people like it or not.  FULL STORY arrow
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Take dynamic regional tinderbox, add charismatic spark space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Friday, March 30, 2007 – Page A19
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-- The Economist magazine recently noted an agreement between Alberta and British Columbia creating a ''free trade'' zone between these two dynamic provinces. A few other provinces might join in, including even Ontario, something of an orphan these days in the Canadian family. If so, you might end up with yet another version of a nation within a state, defined by economic relationships rather than who arrived in Canada first. (There are at least 570 claimants here on various grounds, including Vikings.) In 50 years, we might have ''570 nations within a united Canada,'' to coin a phrase. Ca va.  FULL STORY arrow
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Unearthing an 'inconvenient fact' in Jerusalem space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 5, 2007 – Page A13
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-- It didn't take the media long to turn to the most conflicted sources for reaction to exotic claims that the ''tomb of Jesus and his family'' had been found in Jerusalem. We saw quotes from Christian clerics, Jewish clerics and surprised archeologists -- every one threatened by the possibility that a profound historical consensus might be at risk.  FULL STORY arrow
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The anxiety industry thrives on the news and drug ads space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, January 29, 2007 – Page A15
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-- Watching American evening newscasts last week, you would have seen an avalanche of advertising messages about your afflictions.''Restless leg syndrome,'' defined by ''tightening and a creepy crawly feeling,'' can be defeated by a pill. Acid reflux evaporates with a capsule. Dripping bladders, loose dentures, erectile dysfunction, dry eyes, constipation, heart congestion, diabetes and soaring blood pressure are all amenable to prescription drugs available from your doctor.  FULL STORY arrow
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Keeping faith in Western civilization and its core values space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, January 1, 2007 – Page A11
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ROME -- Our audience with Pope Benedict XVI was scheduled for noon. An hour earlier, we were ushered into a remarkable room atop the Vatican to await him.This is the marvellous space where the Pope consults with the Cardinals -- and has done so for five centuries. In this context, it is the longevity of the Catholic Church that strikes the mind -- its potency through 1,500 years at the centre of Western civilization -- as the keeper of our core values while empires rose and flagged, reformations erupted, inquisitions responded, schisms divided and scandals undermined.  FULL STORY arrow
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Ukraine's still cuddling the bear space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, December 4, 2006 – Page A23
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KIEV -- Driving in from the airport, the sign reads ''Welcome to Kyiv'' -- a variation in the familiar spelling that speaks volumes about this ambivalent land. Kyiv reflects the Ukrainian, rather than Russian version of the city's name in Latin script. Long under the political control of Moscow, Ukraine is now self-consciously independent for the first time since 1654 (except for three years after 1917). But, of course, Ukraine remains at Russia's doorstep, sharing an often tortured history and economy, and immersed in Russia's language and cultural values. As Ukraine's history over the past decade has shown, the country is independent within a continuing embrace, vibrant in its Ukrainian identity but beholden still to its Russian character and minority population.  FULL STORY arrow
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And who would Stephen Harper prefer? space
Squaring off against Michael Ignatieff would certainly have its advantages, says WILLIAM THORSELL
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, October 30, 2006 – Page A19
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-- The Liberal leadership race provokes at least one obvious question: Who among the four leading candidates would Prime Minister Stephen Harper prefer to face in the next election? We do not know, so let us explore the landscape.  FULL STORY arrow
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Of Götterdämmerung and Gritterdämmerung space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, September 25, 2006 – Page A15
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-- There are four things to say off the top about the Canadian Opera Company's production of Wagner's Ring cycle at the new Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto:  FULL STORY arrow
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Oh, that disconnect between the cottage and the world space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, August 28, 2006 – Page A13
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-- So what about selective isolationism?Summer creates a disquieting tension between the local and global, between the ''cottage'' and the world. As war recurs in the Middle East, many of us are in the country, possessed by nature and the ordinariness of tasks around the house, the dock, the meadow and the woods.  FULL STORY arrow
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Rank your priorities, CBC, and hold the centre space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, June 26, 2006 – Page A15
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-- Last March, CBC President Robert Rabinovitch spoke over lunch at the Empire Club in Toronto about the future of the CBC. As we walked out of the room, someone said, ''He offered no way out of the box.''  FULL STORY arrow
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The dark side sells but where's our curiosity? space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, May 29, 2006 – Page A17
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-- Last week in The Globe and Mail, Greg Keenan wrote an investigative piece about Ontario's auto industry. He probed the reasons for its unusual success. One day later, Margaret Wente wrote an investigative column about education in Edmonton's public schools. She dug into a system that delivers better results for students than most in this country with a burning question: Why?  FULL STORY arrow
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When in doubt, say yes space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, May 8, 2006 – Page A15
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-- Daniel Libeskind sat quietly at the end of a long wooden table, in the basement of the Royal Ontario Museum, as the meeting wore on. The engineers were in town for the schematic design phase of Mr. Libeskind's ''Crystal'' addition to the ROM. The talk was all about loads and drains and steel. The unique design presented many novel problems. After an hour of this, Mr. Libeskind suddenly burst into voice, his face red and eyes flashing.  FULL STORY arrow
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The rights of the innocent can be easily trampled space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 27, 2006 – Page A17
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-- Who would have thought the exercise of search warrants would lead to so many dramatic confrontations? From The Edmonton Journal to former Ontario finance minister Greg Sorbara, the search warrant has raised intriguing issues of human rights and police conduct, public interest and private lives.  FULL STORY arrow
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Attention all shoppers, voters and viewers space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 6, 2006 – Page A13
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-- The death of the department store began with the elimination of groceries from the goods on offer. In the basements of Eaton's or the Hudson's Bay Company, entire floors were devoted to supermarkets. Then real supermarkets drove the department stores out of groceries -- the first of many retreats.  FULL STORY arrow
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The cultural finger writes and, having writ, moves on space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, January 30, 2006 – Page A13
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-- It may well be that the recent cycle of culture wars has passed its peak. That's why Stephen Harper slipped through to his minority: It's not that the potent issues of identity are gone; it's that they've been decided.  FULL STORY arrow
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Royal Canadian mounted values space
If Washington won't take Ottawa's calls, and if Canada keeps vexing the United States, maybe that's because our two countries are riding off in different directions
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, December 26, 2005 – Page A27
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-- Recurrent spats between Canada and the United States reflect much more than electoral politics, as the American ambassador to Canada suggests. Our countries are diverging in their character and interests, contrary to the expectations of many Canadian intellectuals, living and dead. (What Lament for a Nation? What beaver lacking its testicles?) Intimate economic relations with the Americans cannot prevent this divergence, and Canada will probably suffer some material loss as a result.  FULL STORY arrow
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Even in the city, it takes a village to raise a child space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Tuesday, November 29, 2005 – Page A21
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-- It was wonderful last week to hear a pastor at another Toronto funeral for a young murdered black man demand that dysfunctional families and communities accept responsibility themselves for the trauma. Stop laying most of the blame on others, he said; face the fact that much of the pathology comes from within the home. The mourners in the church applauded. Many people who might try to help these troubled communities defer, waiting for the communities themselves to speak honestly about their own condition. At the core, it is a matter of values.  FULL STORY arrow
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The enduring shock of the excellent new space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, October 31, 2005 – Page A13
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-- Pamela Wallin uses the ''salon'' as her instrument to get attention for Canada in New York City, as Allan and Sondra Gotlieb did so successfully in Washington 20 years ago. Exploiting her consul-general's apartment on Park Avenue, Ms. Wallin uses celebrity to fight indifference in a city where countless foreigners seek attention. One example: Her consulate's ''cities project.'' This month, Ms. Wallin convened famous architects and their coteries to explore the ''Bilbao effect,'' packing a public forum with the likes of Daniel Libeskind, Will Alsop, Bruce Kuwabara and Jack Diamond. The ''Bilbao effect'' refers to Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and to the power of all great architecture to colour social identities and attract attention and investment.  FULL STORY arrow
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Dances with prime ministers space
Diefenbaker was congenitally pompous, Trudeau was cagey and reserved, and Clark shielded himself from ridicule with an armour of self-regard
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, October 3, 2005 – Page A15
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-- When Peter Newman scoops you on Brian Mulroney's insightful descriptions of Canadian public figures, you have to move on. (Book gone.) Here, then, are sketches of eight other prime ministers I have met. (Book foregone.)  FULL STORY arrow
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The great Alberta challenge space
The province's good fortune should make Canada feel tall in the saddle, says WILLIAM THORSELL. Take that, Pierre Trudeau
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, August 29, 2005 – Page A13
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-- Pierre Trudeau was invited, but not really welcome, to Alberta's 75th provincial birthday party in Edmonton 25 years ago this week. He came at the last moment (to ''my beloved Edmonton''), everyone knowing that Ottawa was about to come down hard on Alberta's energy revenues and the industry itself. Two months later, the Liberals introduced the national energy program, arguably the most ill-conceived economic intervention in Canadian history. It drove many of us living there at the time to the edge of treason.  FULL STORY arrow
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Canada's glass is half full and more space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Friday, July 1, 2005 – Page A13
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-- The public agenda in Canada this summer portrays a country that many of us do not recognize. We have been optimistic and even proud of the place. But we swim in the daily news agenda -- the dysfunction agenda, the conflict-and-fear agenda -- and our contented assumptions about Canada begin to waver.  FULL STORY arrow
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Israel has redefined the Mideast peace process space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, May 30, 2005 – Page A13
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JERUSALEM -- Two weeks ago, Palestinian television broadcast a sermon by Sheik Ibrahim Mudaris who stated that, ''The Jews are the cancer spreading all over the world . . . The Jews are a virus like AIDS hitting humankind . . . Jews are responsible for all wars and conflicts . . . Do not ask what Germany did to the Jews, but what the Jews did to Germany.''  FULL STORY arrow
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World's Fair: Winning takes heart space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, May 2, 2005 – Page A13
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-- Toronto is deciding whether to enter a global competition to host Expo 2015, a world fair of Expo 67's stature in Montreal -- or Expo 2010's in Shanghai. The first piece of advice for Toronto on this matter was unwittingly captured by activist Bluma Appel recently on the occasion of a cautious ''roast'' in her honour in Toronto. Do it for love dear, before you do it for money.  FULL STORY arrow
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Where the news action really lies space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Thursday, March 31, 2005 – Page A17
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-- It has been a good month for the conventional news agenda.Fresh off the Christmas tsunamis, we had the awful shooting by a suicidal farmer of four RCMP officers in Alberta. We had the awful shooting of nine people by a suicidal student in Minnesota. We had the end of the Air- India trial, which revived memories of the awful bombing of that flight in 1985. There were the usual car bombs in the Middle East, and then the drama of a vegetative woman in a Florida hospice.  FULL STORY arrow
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We are stone heads on medicare space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, February 28, 2005 – Page A13
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-- Canada has trouble taking care of itself.It's a mystery. We're a wealthy and peaceable kingdom, democratic and open. But we are growing visibly poorer in our collective life as a nation. Why can't we fix what's wrong?  FULL STORY arrow
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Ephemeral acts of a wrap artist space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, January 31, 2005 – Page A13
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-- Central Park is among the great urban spaces in the world, part of New York City's rich public assets, from museums and galleries to universities, sports facilities and transit systems. The capital of capitalism knows -- or has relearned -- that public assets do much to make private assets worth the begetting.  FULL STORY arrow
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The UN needs Mulroney space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, December 27, 2004 – Page A17
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-- Leading U.S. newspapers are calling for Kofi Annan to resign as Secretary-General of the United Nations. The United States abhors him, so many other powers that wish some good for the UN grow cool to him as well. If the world really needs something like the UN, the UN needs someone other than Kofi Annan at its helm.  FULL STORY arrow
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Architecture is back, our cities are stirring again space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, November 29, 2004 – Page A13
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-- The first words in Daniel Libeskind's autobiography Breaking Ground are: ''Someone once asked Goethe what colour he liked best. ''I like rainbows,' he said.''That's what I like about architecture: If it's good, it's about every colour in the spectrum of life; if it's bad, the colours fade away entirely.''  FULL STORY arrow
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America is a country still at war with itself space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, October 25, 2004 – Page A13
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-- The American historian Frederick Jackson Turner claimed that the experience of encountering the frontier contributed decisively to famous American virtues: ''That coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness; that practical inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things . . . that restless, nervous energy; that dominant individualism.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Conservatism is about more than cutting taxes space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, September 27, 2004 – Page A13
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-- It is human nature to fight the last war and view life in a rear-view mirror. And so it is with Canada's conservatives and Conservatives and Progressive Conservatives. They are still defining themselves by markers of the receding 20th century.  FULL STORY arrow
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Hear the wounded U.S. lion roar space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, August 30, 2004 – Page A11
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-- With the ultimately boring Olympic Games behind us, we can turn again to the far more satisfying melodrama of a major political convention -- where winning or losing matters to history.  FULL STORY arrow
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Burn, baby, burn: Why we're back to nuclear power space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, July 26, 2004 – Page A13
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-- As the anniversary of Ontario's power blackout approaches, the volatility of energy markets rises around the globe. Our social survival depends on the consumption of energy, especially electricity. Oil requires a military perspective on the world. The environment weighs in. And so we contemplate the resurrection of nuclear power.  FULL STORY arrow
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Want to throw constitutional law out the window? space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, June 28, 2004 – Page A17
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-- If Stephen Harper becomes prime minister of Canada after today's election, we will soon be back into the constitutional debates that engaged and enraged so many of us a decade ago. He doesn't like some aspects of Canada's Constitution very much, and he plans several routes of attack to work around it. The results could be profound.  FULL STORY arrow
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Et tu, Lucien? space
A new book reveals Lucien Bouchard planned to betray Brian Mulroney long before he actually stabbed federalism in public
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, May 31, 2004 – Page A13
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-- Paul Martin may well complain that he is fighting this election burdened by the poisoned chalice of Jean Chretien's activities in Quebec, but William Shakespeare would not give Mr. Martin much sympathy.  FULL STORY arrow
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Japan's Kobe works space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, April 26, 2004 – Page A13
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-- Kobe occupies a narrow strip between the mountains and sea just west of Osaka and south of Kyoto in Japan's economic heartland.In the Second World War, Kobe was bombed to a gray reduction. In 1995, a devastating earthquake killed thousands of people and destroyed much of the city.  FULL STORY arrow
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Beauty: China's new revolution space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, April 19, 2004 – Page A13
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-- The freeway linking Shanghai's elegant new airport to its miraculous city centre is perhaps the most lavishly landscaped freeway in the world.For hundreds of feet on either side of this hour-long drive, splendid rows of fruit trees, bamboo, flowering shrubs, grasses and lagoons line the road. The median is a clipped hedge. There is not a piece of litter or shredded tire in sight.  FULL STORY arrow
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Visit the past and move on space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, April 12, 2004 – Page A13
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-- Daniel Boorstin died this winter at 89, a former U.S. librarian of Congress, an eminent historian and a man whose path I once crossed quite productively. He argued bravely, on a panel that I chaired, that the leader of a state should sometimes work to suppress the memory of troubling historical events to make room for the future.  FULL STORY arrow
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We can't go to bed with cops space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 29, 2004 – Page A15
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-- It was a bad year for journalists working in the field. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 36 journalists were confirmed killed last year covering sectarian strife, criminal cabals, religious rampages and furious fanatics.  FULL STORY arrow
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Let's cure monopoly mania space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 22, 2004 – Page A15
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-- Monopoly government control of health-care spending and provision of basic services is headed for a dead end. The monopoly payer won't have enough money to meet consumer demands, even if governments continue to bleed other public programs to death and hike various taxes.  FULL STORY arrow
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Medicare: Canadians have a choice space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 15, 2004 – Page A13
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-- When the same problem recurs and deepens, and when vigorous efforts to fix it repeatedly fail, it is time to ask what the nature of the problem really is. Is there something wrong within Canada's health-care system that we can fix, and so keep the system pretty much as it is? Or do we have to look at significant changes to the system itself?  FULL STORY arrow
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Rites and duties on gay rights space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 1, 2004 – Page A13
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-- The right of homosexuals to marry, or not, reveals interesting distinctions between Canada and the United States, in law as well as in values.Homosexuals are, of course, the product of a factory known as the heterosexual family. Men and women pump out a dependable supply of homosexuals in every generation, so marriage between a man and woman really is at the core of the whole business. Traditional marriage is the supply side, creating the demand for gay marriage when these born-gay kids grow up.  FULL STORY arrow
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The sponsorship scandal's the past; let's move on space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, February 23, 2004 – Page A13
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-- Lust for outrage fuels Canada's long-known sponsorship scandal, a pent-up desire to vent against the system, at Jean Chretien, at Quebec. The tone of the thing, from the grassroots up to the Prime Minister himself, reeks of generalized frustration funnelled into a vessel much too small to contain the bile. The bile overfloweth in an almost masochistic orgy of recriminations. Auditors-General from coast to coast feel the animal spirits and prepare to bring more damning tablets down from the mount as evidence of their bona fides. O Canada, we stand in fury for thee!  FULL STORY arrow
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The medium is the message space
Forget the economic benefits, great architecture must stand on its own merits
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, February 2, 2004 – Page A13
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-- The unveiling of Frank Gehry's design for the Art Gallery of Ontario last week in Toronto provoked a rash of feature stories on the ''Bilbao effect.'' Mr. Gehry stunned the world with his sculptured dream of a museum in Spain seven years ago, and drew enormous attention and resources to the place as a consequence. Was this latest unveiling in Toronto just another knock-off in the attention-grabbing game of third-rank cities hanging their hopes on a Hail Mary pass called splashy architecture thrown by international design gurus?  FULL STORY arrow
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Conrad blackened his own name space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, January 26, 2004 – Page A15
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-- The computer has changed the landscape of truth-telling. Consider just one of Conrad Black's e-mails to colleagues in his private holding company:''We have said for some time that [Hollinger International] served no purpose as a listed company other than relatively cheap use of other people's capital, and privatization noises have been audible for a long time.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Canada: All set for China's century space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, January 19, 2004 – Page A15
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-- The ''science'' of content analysis consists of clipping newspapers and other media for frequency and volume. If the phrase ''surrogate mother'' starts showing up in much greater numbers, and the references to it are of increasing length, the trend-spotting company you hired to help prepare for the future will reveal that surrogate motherhood is a coming thing. Get out of the way, or get in the way, but be forewarned: ''One'' is no longer the loneliest number.  FULL STORY arrow
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We're building an ever-blander society space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, January 12, 2004 – Page A13
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-- The problem with the Ground Zero memorial proposals in New York, including the one that won, is their surfeit of reverence. There's no anger there; no fear, no doubt, no despair. There is only respect and pity, which are inadequate in light of the events, and are rarely adequate to anything.  FULL STORY arrow
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Is it the year of progressive conservative Liberals? space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, January 5, 2004 – Page A13
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-- The realignment of Canadian federal politics continues apace, and will change the agenda in Parliament for a decade. The regional right has had its day.There was no compelling logic behind the creation of the Reform Party in 1987, and a predictably self-defeating result: If Reform was successful in the West, it would cripple the Progressive Conservatives nationally without offering any real hope of replacing them. The Liberals would inherit the Earth, and so they did.  FULL STORY arrow
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Sorry, wrong number space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, December 29, 2003 – Page A19
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-- It's the holiday season, which enforces too much intimacy on too many families, and too much isolation on too many friends.You rifle through your tattered personal telephone book looking for the number of a recent squeeze, but then begin to linger on names no longer called or heard from. What, since years past, has happened to these people, and to you? How do names in personal telephone books go silent?  FULL STORY arrow
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Stephen Harper should stand aside space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, December 15, 2003 – Page A17
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-- A modest proposal: If Stephen Harper wants to be on the government side of the House of Commons some day, he should make a bold and surprising decision. Mr. Harper should announce that his candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada is John Tory, and that Mr. Harper himself is working full out to draft and elect him.  FULL STORY arrow
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A battle too dumb to fight space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, December 8, 2003 – Page A17
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-- City-building is both a prosaic and visionary thing. It has to do with roads. It has to do with spires. It has to do with sewers. It has to do with fountains. The agenda in city-building is contextual. In Edmonton once, a great victory was defined by the replacement of an orange garbage bag draped over a barrel in a lovely city park, by a green garbage bag draped over a wire mesh container. Such was the context, and so was the triumph described.  FULL STORY arrow
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Reporters: Prick up your ears space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, December 1, 2003 – Page A13
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-- Anniversaries can be wooden affairs, requiring that attention be paid on arithmetic grounds to something that doesn't really justify it. A war. Middle age. A marriage.The 35th anniversary of CBC Radio's As It Happens is an exception, because AIH retains so much of its vigour despite the passage of time, the pestilence of fads and the pomposity of managers who come and go. Its durability tells us something about good journalism.  FULL STORY arrow
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We are beholden to beauty space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, November 24, 2003 – Page A13
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-- Daniel Libeskind's vision for the World Trade Center site in New York included a beautiful tower rising a symbolic 1,776 feet from the scarred ground. Its elegant angularity and conspicuous investment in symbolism played delicately off the original skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan, unlike the brutalist towers of the WTC itself. Beauty was the operational noun in Mr. Libeskind's design, but now beauty is ceding to money -- again.  FULL STORY arrow
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Risk and vision are back again space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, November 17, 2003 – Page A13
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-- A new prime minister, several new premiers and some new mayors amount to more than changing faces or even changing priorities. They will change the assumptions by which we meet new information and ideas. We are moving to the psychology of Yes.  FULL STORY arrow
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How to shore up an election: It's the waterfront, stupid space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, November 10, 2003 – Page A15
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-- Toronto City Councilor David Miller started his campaign for mayor by visiting the greenest of grassroots: Toronto's business establishment. Ensconced in its gothic clubs, it is skeptical about everything it hears for the first time -- but concerned about the state of its city.  FULL STORY arrow
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Giller prize space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Tuesday, November 4, 2003 – Page A22
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Toronto -- Rebecca Caldwell's attack on the integrity of Justice Rosalie Abella as a juror for the Giller Prize was gratuitous, groundless and profoundly careless (Look Who's 10 -- Nov. 1). The fact that Judge Abella is friendly with one of the short-listed authors is transparent and thus utterly innocent, and has applied to many jurors in the past.  FULL STORY arrow
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He goes not gentle into that good night space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, November 3, 2003 – Page A13
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-- In the rudeness of journalese, we quickly dubbed him JP2, the Pope who chose a name to honour the all-too-brief reign of his predecessor John Paul I. And now we observe the denouement of John Paul II's papacy a full 25 years after his election. Rather like Waiting for Godot (God to do it?), we ponder this likeable Pope's insistently conservative quarter century and its implications for the West.  FULL STORY arrow
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Democracy with Deco decorum space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, October 27, 2003 – Page A15
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-- The popularity of Art Deco as a design style is a cautionary tale for collectors, aesthetes and maybe even politicians. Be careful what you throw away -- and whom. What goes around, comes around, and everything old is new again.  FULL STORY arrow
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Canadian democracy's spare tires space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, October 20, 2003 – Page A15
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-- Why are most people happy to see the Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties head for unification? It is not, in the first place, because they love conservatives. It is because they want a two-party system as a form of insurance against distortion and abuse. Canadian conservatives need to understand the implication of this lest they waste too much of their opportunity.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Great One can do better space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, October 13, 2003 – Page A11
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-- ''To do a great thing, do a little wrong,'' wrote William Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice. It was a typically Shakespearean bit of wisdom -- ambiguous at its core -- and it comes to mind these days in respect to the United States. How much wrong is necessary to reach the state of greatness, or is compatible with greatness?  FULL STORY arrow
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Making book on old prime ministers space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, October 6, 2003 – Page A17
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-- When Pierre Trudeau's Memoirs appeared in 1993, they disappointed most reviewers because, of all things, their banality. They were loose and anecdotal, light on analysis, ordinary in their use of language and almost entirely lacking in news.  FULL STORY arrow
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Some things are best forgotten space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, September 29, 2003 – Page A17
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-- Repression, denial and selective amnesia are not popular among psychologists as methods to deal with bad experiences, but most of us know that these tools of avoidance ward off certain madness in our personal lives. Now we have some support from the profession itself that might well be applied to a broader canvas.  FULL STORY arrow
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We must avoid being undertaxed space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, September 22, 2003 – Page A15
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-- Ontario Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty has reiterated his support for a provincial law that requires politicians to get public approval through a referendum for any tax increase. Premier Ernie Eves is promising to extend the practice to all municipalities in Ontario if he is re-elected in the Oct. 2 provincial election. How did we get down to this simplistic model of democracy-by-referendum, and why do tax levels loom so large in defining it?  FULL STORY arrow
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Living closer to disaster's edge: a terrible beauty reborn space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, September 15, 2003 – Page A15
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-- The New Normal has arrived along with the End of the Ordinary, which makes this first decade of the millennium especially interesting. (How many people get to pass through the symbolic gates of both a century and millennium? How many people get to pass through the substantial gates of both the atomic age and the Internet?)  FULL STORY arrow
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Paranoid and prudent: Chaos looms, be prepared space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, September 8, 2003 – Page A15
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-- When bad things happen, and it's a near miss, we tend to deny how serious it could have been. A high speed fender-bender. A slip on a mountain ledge. ''Too close for comfort'' is the phrase, and then we seek our comfort in getting as far away as possible from the memory.  FULL STORY arrow
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A new Iron Curtain descends space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, September 1, 2003 – Page A11
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-- We may look back at the Cold War with some nostalgia now that its brittle order has given way to the murderous slurry of so many belated cultural conflicts.After 1945, the alternative to the Cold War was mutual nuclear destruction, so the frigid standoff was a blessing in bare disguise.  FULL STORY arrow
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Green acres is the place to be space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, August 25, 2003 – Page A11
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-- Executives don't die, they farm. My neighbour in the country is approaching a certain age. He is making his own beer. He is spraying his own apple trees. He is playing with pond engineering. He is cutting trails through his ravine. And he has just been promoted to assistant beekeeper to the experienced former-somebody from the city who lives atop the north ridge of our mellifluous valley.  FULL STORY arrow
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Poverty of city spirit space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, August 18, 2003 – Page A13
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-- Dangerous power blackouts aside, how did Toronto become so visibly poor?Arriving in Toronto as a refugee from the ''Alberta Advantage'' in 1984, I was immediately struck by the city's wealth in public goods. Garbage pickup occurred twice a week and seemed to include whatever you could throw at it -- from mattresses to unruly piles of brush and bulky cardboard moving boxes. In some districts, trash collectors even went to the backs of houses to collect the garbage containers, so the streets wouldn't be degraded by the stuff overnight. Class.  FULL STORY arrow
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Good law, but bad process space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, August 11, 2003 – Page A13
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-- Both the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Government of Canada took shortcuts on the route to gay marriage that undermine Canadian democracy, despite the laudable goal of allowing loving homosexuals to wed. It is too late to reverse these errors, but it is important to understand and learn from them.  FULL STORY arrow
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The train: a matter of civility space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, July 14, 2003 – Page A15
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-- It is a cold and snowy night in central Canada. You are heading to Montreal from Toronto to spend the weekend with your boyfriend, because Montreal is sexy and so is he. The storm intensifies. Do you head to Pearson Airport to take Air Canada's shuttle or take the new fast train just unveiled by VIA?  FULL STORY arrow
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Why it pays to party hearty space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, July 7, 2003 – Page A11
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-- Montreal was a wonderfully modernized city when it played host to Expo 67, and emerged on the world stage with great elan. Expo 67 showed off a city that was already reborn, rather than giving birth to it. Montreal made a claim to cosmopolitan stature in North America in that coming-out party and succeeded.  FULL STORY arrow
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We won't surrender our dominion space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, June 30, 2003 – Page A15
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-- He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.-- Psalm 72:8Michael Valpy and I may have to consider the possibility that we have lost the battle to sustain the lovely moniker, ''The Dominion of Canada'' and with it, Dominion Day. In government circles, it reeks too much of WASP exclusivity, is difficult to translate into French, and gives John Diefenbaker too much comfort in his grave. It seems quite incompatible with the ''new Canada'' that Mr. Valpy has been documenting recently in the pages of The Globe and Mail. We will live in the 21st century.  FULL STORY arrow
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Alberta Advantage? No way space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, June 23, 2003 – Page A13
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-- Alberta Premier Ralph Klein is in Washington and New York this week to promote his province's virtues in a competitive world. ''In New York, I'll be selling the Alberta Advantage to financial leaders who want to hear about our robust economy and opportunities for investments,'' he says. What does this have to do with Alberta's conspicuous opposition to gay marriage?  FULL STORY arrow
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When it comes to architecture, to thine own city be true space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, June 16, 2003 – Page A17
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-- The Rockefeller Center in New York does not tower above the rest of the city like the World Trade Center did, but it has always granted more pleasure. Its ensemble of elegant buildings grouped around intimate plazas and sunken courts creates a powerful but humane public square that opens directly on to major streets. Rockefeller Center captures and then amplifies the spirit of New York, no more so than in the quotation from Aeschylus carved behind the ebullient golden statue on the axis from Madison Avenue: ''Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Tories follow path of Lao-Tzu space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, June 9, 2003 – Page A13
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-- When Peter MacKay lost faith in his ability to win the Progressive Conservative leadership on the strength of his own capacities, he rationalized his weak-kneed deal with David Orchard by reference to a ''big tent.'' He said the Tories would govern again only if they built a broad-based coalition, like the Liberals usually do, and like former prime minister Brian Mulroney did. Aren't brokerage politics and coalition-building the very definition of leadership in a diverse country such as Canada?  FULL STORY arrow
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Even mediocrity comes in extremes space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, June 2, 2003 – Page A11
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-- In recent weeks, we've had the opportunity to hear compositions by Louise Farrenc, George Chadwick, Johann Schobert, Josef Mysliveceh and James Paisible, among other unknowns who live In the Shadow on Tom Allen's excellent CBC Radio program, Music and Company.  FULL STORY arrow
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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's most anxious of us all? space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, May 26, 2003 – Page A13
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-- You finally burst out laughing at the headlines in the news. They're out to imprison us in our basements, or tie us to our bathrooms taking drugs.The Weather Channel observed last week that it would be unusually warm in Winnipeg, with a chance of showers. Good news in a cold spring across much of Canada? Not. Nice weather in Winnipeg means good conditions for mosquitoes, and thus for West Nile virus, the most overhyped threat to human health since, well, mad-cow disease.  FULL STORY arrow
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Good reason to oppose mono-media space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, May 19, 2003 – Page A13
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-- The Senate is looking at the state of the media in Canada, provoked, it seems, by the parochialism of the Asper family in centralizing editorial control in Winnipeg over its many major Canadian newspapers. That is a good reason to be concerned about the quality of Canadian journalism, and to consider new applications of competition law to counteract it.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Americans' new view of us: the ugly Canadian space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, May 12, 2003 – Page A15
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-- Your impression of somebody you don't really know arises from many factoids and hazy images. The stranger's personality is a composite sketch in your mind, loosely drawn, but decisive nevertheless in defining your attitude to them. You act on what you know, whatever you know.  FULL STORY arrow
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When the town got dirty on the way to going down space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, May 5, 2003 – Page A17
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-- It might be called the ''Giuliani paragraph'' in Ontario's Throne Speech last week -- two small, wonderful sentences lurking at the end of the piece, suggesting a corner turned if not a sea changed in the focus of government in Ontario.  FULL STORY arrow
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Airbus: a goose chase and a fiasco space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, April 28, 2003 – Page A13
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-- In the fall of 1995, Brian Mulroney called me quite frequently from Montreal to describe the volatile conditions in Quebec, where the referendum campaign on sovereignty was underway. The former prime minister thought the editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail should know that things were much worse on the ground for Canada than they appeared. Then, a few days after the traumatic referendum result, Mr. Mulroney called again with a cryptic message: Something disturbing had just happened at home, he said, so I wouldn't be hearing from him again for a while. That was all for the moment.  FULL STORY arrow
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Flipping and flopping toward the tulips space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, April 21, 2003 – Page A13
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-- Like the observant pagans who laid out Stonehenge and the pyramids of Central America, we have marked the annual, prodigal journey of the sun across the horizon on our hillside in the country. Standing on a certain rock looking west, you can see three markers in the grass beyond Martini Point, one that shows where the sun sets in a blaze on June 21, one where it sets in golden hue on the equinoxes, and one where it glimmers on December's shortest day. It looks quite orderly until this time of year, when all hell breaks loose in the heavens, and you get a glimpse into the nature of change.  FULL STORY arrow
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In taxing times, you can count on cash space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, April 14, 2003 – Page A13
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-- Tax time comes and you finally add up the losses on the stocks you sold off last year, defeated, denuded and denied. It's a shock. When the dot-com bubble burst, trillions of dollars were wiped away, draining the economy of its life blood of consumption and borrowing, leaving us collectively poorer. Poof -- we lost a mountain of money, and hard times result.  FULL STORY arrow
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Canada can no longer ignore the world's siren call space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, April 7, 2003 – Page A13
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-- Canada is the defensive, admiring, critical sibling of a much bigger brother, not a mouse sleeping beside an elephant really, but a small half-brother, riven with the contradictions that come with shared blood and disparate circumstances.  FULL STORY arrow
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Raise a glass to public spirits space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 31, 2003 – Page A15
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-- The old train station's dirty clock tower lacked the clock and gave home to thousands of messy pigeons. The beer store at the back of the place was a depressing warehouse opening into a cruddy parking lot. The wine and liquor store at the front was crowded and undistinguished, wheedled out of the original passenger hall. Then the government monopoly that rented most of this wanton warren worked with the owner to change all that, and now we see one of the most elegant and capacious liquor stores in North America at the Summerhill train station in Toronto.  FULL STORY arrow
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Brian Mulroney said it first space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 24, 2003 – Page A15
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-- Twelve years ago, Canada's prime minister foreshadowed the revolution in international law that bedevils us today in Iraq. On what grounds is intervention in the ''internal affairs'' of a sovereign country permissible? And who decides that the grounds exist?  FULL STORY arrow
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Where's the 'why' in forecasts? space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 17, 2003 – Page A15
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-- During the first month of this awful winter, no one was talking about the weather, and everyone was doing something about it.Canada's Parliament ''ratified'' the Kyoto accord on global warming (an American term that does not strictly apply to Canada's political system, but is used in popular discourse, anyway). Months of well-financed debate on both sides about the rationality of spending billions to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions in the face of apparently rising global temperatures finally led to Canada's confirmation of a promise to cut CO2 emissions by more than 25 per cent from levels expected in 2012. No legislation describing how that would be done was attached -- but hey -- there's another prime minister on the way.  FULL STORY arrow
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Separating the 'accident' from the moron cull space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 10, 2003 – Page A13
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-- We used to accept high rates of mortality in car crashes on the assumption that such deaths came with the territory. Then Ralph Nader wrote Unsafe at Any Speed,and the design of cars radically improved to prevent deaths and reduce injuries. Can't we do the same with skiing and the fact of avalanches?  FULL STORY arrow
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All papers should target an elite few space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, March 3, 2003 – Page A13
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-- An outbreak of free, public-transit daily newspapers in North America is reviving debate about the nature of newspapers and their future. Do the free subway tabloids portend the end of the big-circulation broadsheets? Do the editors of upstart, youth-oriented papers hold the key to the future of journalism?  FULL STORY arrow
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Here's a good-news story: apartment vacancy signs in Toronto space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, February 17, 2003 – Page A15
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-- A forest of signs has grown up in central Toronto offering refurbished apartments for rent in buildings that people used to bribe their way into with family connections and key money. (''This upgraded front closet door will cost you $3,000, sir.'') The most desirable apartment buildings now offer vacancies in every category, from penthouses to studios, and many boast of new kitchens and spruced-up lobbies to boot.  FULL STORY arrow
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Plane crash kills seven: Raising the bar on tragedy space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, February 10, 2003 – Page A13
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-- We were dabbling in breakfast at the Senator Grill in Toronto when the doctor's cellphone rang. He was on call that weekend -- oh dear, it was probably about another wonky kidney. But, no, it was 9:15 on Saturday morning and a friend was calling to say that the space shuttle Columbia had just exploded on approach to its landing in Florida. The TV over the cash register showed the fiery trail.  FULL STORY arrow
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Who governs: the pretense of a balance of power space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, February 3, 2003 – Page A17
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-- One is the loneliest number, and the United States is the one.Otto von Bismarck thought he could contain France by creating a balance of power in the 19th century, but it eventually got so complicated that the mechanism itself almost caused the disaster. The First World War arose from more than a German need to meet railway schedules in the face of a possible conflict, but the Bismarckian system of Great Power alliances crashed under its own weight to a historically sobering degree.  FULL STORY arrow
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In New York, you are born to be freed space
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By WILLIAM THORSELL
Monday, January 27, 2003 – Page A15
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-- The E train to Ground Zero from midtown Manhattan is not crowded at 10 in the morning, but every subway car seems to contain one noisy character of some description. He may sit speaking loudly to himself about nothing comprehensible to the rest of us, or cruise the car shaking a plastic cup with a few pennies in the bottom yelling ''Please!'' He may stand yapping furiously on his cellphone to his lawyer. But he's there to disturb the universe just a bit, which is the nature -- nay, the role -- of New York City.  FULL STORY arrow
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