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GiveLife.ca

    
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Globe Columnists
Thursday, March 30




  Margaret Wente
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There's only one way to fix the bubble space
While governments fiddle, a generation is getting burned by Canada's housing market. Increasing supply is the only answer
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – Page A13
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-- A young couple I know are trying to find a decent starter house in Toronto. Their budget is a million and a half. They have good jobs and parents who can help out. So far, no luck.  FULL STORY arrow
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Academic freedom? McGill caves in to tribal politics space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, March 25, 2017 – Page F7
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-- The weather has been awful in Quebec. Two weeks ago, a massive snowstorm left hundreds of people stranded on a highway overnight awaiting rescue. It was a mess. The mayor of Montreal blamed the Transport Ministry, and the Premier admitted that something had gone badly wrong.  FULL STORY arrow
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Why campuses are ditching free speech space
Universities used to be about dangerous ideas, but they've turned into bastions of timidity
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 – Page A13
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-- Should speech rights be restricted by people's feelings?A lot of people think so - especially on university campuses.Consider Wilfrid Laurier University, a middle-tier institution that draws its students from Southern Ontario. It's not exactly a hotbed of student radicalism. Yet when Danielle Robitaille was invited to address the Criminology Student Association conference earlier this month at the school's Brantford campus, all hell broke out.  FULL STORY arrow
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Why trolls love to pick on women space
Internet miscreants are almost exclusively men whose behaviour is linked to what are known as the 'dark' personality traits
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, March 18, 2017 – Page F7
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-- Sometimes people ask me why I'm not on Twitter. The answer is easy. One, I have a life. Two, who needs the abuse? I get enough of that already. It's an occupational hazard.  FULL STORY arrow
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Why are the Dutch so riled up? space
The Netherlands has a long history of welcoming immigrants, but some have failed to integrate and adopt the country's customs
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 – Page A11
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-- The Netherlands is the very model of a modern European country - prosperous, peaceable and orderly. The Dutch pride themselves for their tolerant outlook and progressive values.Except for their wooden shoes and funny doors, they're a lot like Canadians.  FULL STORY arrow
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Deep down, most of us are racist - or are we? space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, March 11, 2017 – Page F7
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-- In 1998, two psychology professors, Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji, unveiled a research discovery that revolutionized our notions of racism and discrimination, and how they work to perpetuate inequality.They discovered that overt bigots are not the only people who are prejudiced. In fact, most whites and Asians are biased against blacks - even if they don't know it. As the headline on the news release proclaimed, ''Roots of unconscious prejudice affect 90 to 95 per cent of people, psychologists demonstrate.'' It went on to warn, ''The test has the potential to reveal things about people that they may prefer not to know.''  FULL STORY arrow
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What makes Snapchat worth $30-billion? space
The app has been hailed as a great leap in social media, but it's really a tale of market hype and speculative mania
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, March 7, 2017 – Page A11
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-- Last week, a 26-year-old Stanford dropout named Evan Spiegel became richer than Donald Trump and twice as rich as Oprah. Thanks to the spectacular public debut of Snap, the company he co-founded, he's now worth around $6-billion (U.S.). And Snap - whose market value is now around $30billion - is, for now, the hottest stock in the world.  FULL STORY arrow
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I wanted to be mindful. Here's what happened space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, March 4, 2017 – Page F7
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-- I am lying on the floor along with 24 other people, facing the ceiling. I'm trying to hold the toes of my left foot in mindful awareness as I breathe in and out. ''Not judging them ... just feeling them,'' says our guide in a soothing, soporific voice. By the time he reaches the right earlobe, I'm fast asleep.  FULL STORY arrow
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Trudeau needs to have a Merkel moment space
At some point, the Prime Minister is going to have to put head before heart and declare that Canada won't accept all asylum seekers
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 – Page A11
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-- In August, 2015, a young Somali man named Yahya Samatar jumped into the Red River and swam to Canada. He arrived wet and shivering, with nothing but the clothes on his back. ''I'm really feeling like I'm at home - the hospitality I have met in the Canadian people,'' he told the CBC.  FULL STORY arrow
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America's spectacular immigration mess space
When the ruling classes fail to do their jobs, what you get is Donald Trump
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, February 25, 2017 – Page F7
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-- America's opinion-leaders are horrified at the prospect of Donald Trump's deportation ''surge.'' He says his first priority is public safety. But the criminals and gang-bangers won't be the only ones caught up in his net. The immigration crackdown will also target tens or hundreds of thousands of hard-working souls - maids, dishwashers, construction workers - who could be torn from their families, held in detention centres, and eventually deported back to impoverished villages across Mexico and Central America. Their only crime - apart from being in the country illegally - is doing the dirty work for pay that Americans won't accept.  FULL STORY arrow
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Justin dances with the elephant space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 – Page A17
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-- Justin Trudeau was the very picture of Mr. Congeniality, positive and alert. Donald Trump looked as if he was struggling to stay awake. You couldn't blame him. Their news conference was a snoozer. Which means that it was a resounding triumph.  FULL STORY arrow
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Is it tragedy or is it farce? space
I can't decide if we're witnessing the forces of darkness unleashed upon the world, or the gang that couldn't shoot straight
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, February 11, 2017 – Page F7
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-- Forget the Muslim ban, the shredded trade deals, the nasty slurs of the judiciary, the insults to NATO allies. Here's what really got up Donald Trump's nose this week.  FULL STORY arrow
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The great temptation of Kevin O'Leary space
In disruptive times, the old rules cease to matter, and I wouldn't bet against a Canadian-style populist insurrection
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 – Page A13
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-- Of all the disputes roiling Canada these days, there's one thing on which the mainstream media unanimously agree: Kevin O'Leary is appalling. He's a Trump-lite bully with no political experience and no qualifications to lead a major political party. A reality-TV star who's long on swagger and short on substance.  FULL STORY arrow
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No one is safe from extremism space
As Canadians discovered this week, it's not possible to build a wall between ourselves and the pathologies of the wider world
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, February 4, 2017 – Page F9
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-- When I heard about the terrible mosque attack on Sunday night, my first reaction was: This can't be true. This is Canada.This is what you might expect in the United States, now that Donald Trump's in charge.  FULL STORY arrow
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Canada is not the opposition party space
Whatever our Prime Minister may feel in his heart, his priority is to protect our interests, not signal our virtues
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 – Page A13
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-- It feels as if liberal democracy is splitting at the seams. An authoritarian leader has abruptly closed America's borders to people from countries he doesn't like. He has, in many people's view, attacked the fundamental values of the country.  FULL STORY arrow
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Ladies, check your privilege space
Men still call most of the shots, but women today have a far wider range of socially acceptable life choices
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, January 28, 2017 – Page F7
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-- It isn't always fun to be a man these days. (Especially a straight, white one.) You get blamed for everything. Manshaming is practically obligatory, especially among the educated young, where the vicious nature of men is blamed for everything from mass shootings and rape culture to mansplaining. To avoid the scourge of toxic masculinity, men must learn to check their privilege.  FULL STORY arrow
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Women's solidarity is a mirage space
The real lesson of the March on Washington is that women are every bit as divided as the country over Trump's presidency
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – Page A11
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-- They came from all over to express their fear, their anger, their solidarity and their resolve. It was epic. It was the greatest women's march of all time. It was, at any rate, the greatest group-therapy session.  FULL STORY arrow
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Don't set your hair on fire. It won't help space
Resistance against the President's extreme brand of populism won't succeed if we keep our outrage meters set at a steady 10
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, January 21, 2017 – Page F7
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-- For millions of people across America, inauguration day was a catastrophe. The world as we've known it is at an end.President Donald Trump is for real. Armageddon is at hand.  FULL STORY arrow
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Transgender kids: Who decides? space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 – Page A11
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-- Whenever I write about transgender issues, I get dismayed e-mails from grandparents, other relatives or family friends. They tell me that a child or teenager in the family has declared that he or she identifies as transgender. The parents are determined to do what's right.  FULL STORY arrow
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Cool, classy. That's the Obama I'll miss space
That wide-eyed, giddy feeling of hope in 2009 sure beats the feeling I have in the pit of my stomach right now
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Page F7
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-- It's hard to forget the giddiness so many of us felt at Barack Obama's inaugural. A brilliant, graceful and compelling candidate had come out of nowhere to trounce the party's old guard and win the presidency of the United States. He was the consummate meritocrat. He was self-made. He was black. His victory - it wasn't close - seemed like joyous news that America was well along the road to racial healing. His story reassured us that even in a country whose politics was becoming more and more broken, a good guy could still win. He was, as a bonus, as handsome and engaging as JFK. If this man could be elected, I thought, then America was in better shape than we thought.  FULL STORY arrow
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Justin Trudeau and the 99 per cent space
The Prime Minister may be popular, but he certainly doesn't have the populist touch
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 – Page A13
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-- It's minus 13 C on an Ontario Sunday morning, and the Tim Hortons up at Highway 9, handily located between Orangeville and Shelburne, is doing brisk business. A steady stream of folks in SUVs and F-150s make their way to the drive-through window to collect their breakfast sandwiches and double-doubles. Their heavy parkas come from Mark's Work Wearhouse, not Patagonia.  FULL STORY arrow
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I'm an analog girl in a digital world space
The world is speeding up just as I'm slowing down - and I'm beginning to feel like a souvenir from a bygone era
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, January 7, 2017 – Page F7
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-- The other day, my husband took in his old cellphone to swap it for a new one. The 25year-old behind the counter was impressed. ''Hey, look at this,'' he said, summoning his workmates.  FULL STORY arrow
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Ontario's plan: destroy jobs, save the planet space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Wednesday, January 4, 2017 – Page A13
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-- Here in clean, green Ontario, where the ambitions of our government know no bounds, a bright new year has dawned. Gasoline is likely to rise by 4.3 cents a litre. Your hydro bill is going up.  FULL STORY arrow
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Need a little holiday cheer? Here you are space
Try to forget about Donald Trump and other daily disasters. We're in the midst of a giant surge in human progress
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, December 24, 2016 – Page F13
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-- Was 2016 the worst year ever? You could be excused for feeling that way. Too bad years don't have delete buttons.In fact, despite Donald Trump and other unforeseen catastrophes, there's plenty to be thankful for. We are riding a giant wave of human progress. We just don't see it amid the daily disasters. As British economist Max Roser points out, there could be a headline every day that says, ''The number of people in extreme poverty fell by 137,000 since yesterday.'' Mr. Roser's online publication, Our World in Data, is indispensable reading for anyone who is sunk in excess gloom. It is a source for the first three items on this year's oh-cheer-up-already list.  FULL STORY arrow
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Should hospices be made to kill? space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, December 20, 2016 – Page A13
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-- Is there any place for conscience in medicine?Currently, the technocratic answer is no. If the state says euthanasia is a right, then euthanasia there must be - and it must be provided everywhere, even by faith-based institutions and by groups that have pledged to care for the most vulnerable people in society.  FULL STORY arrow
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Should we be shocked by cash for access? space
Trudeau's real problem was pretending that he, unlike every leader who ever lived, is above money grubbing
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, December 17, 2016 – Page F7
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-- There's one thing I don't get about Justin Trudeau's cashfor-access scandal. Why is everyone so shocked that there's gambling going on here?Money is the oxygen of politics.  FULL STORY arrow
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Trudeau's climate 'deal': all pain, no gain space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, December 13, 2016 – Page A13
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-- How much is moral leadership worth?We'll never know for sure. What we do know is that the price tag will be steep. Justin Trudeau's new climate deal with the provinces will cost Canadians many, many billions, maybe more.  FULL STORY arrow
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The tweet revenge of Donald Trump space
Twitter is the perfect medium for the president-elect - it's ideally suited to his attention span and the depth of his ideas
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, December 10, 2016 – Page F7
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-- I have a confession to make.There's something refreshing about watching Donald Trump break the china.Take his phone call with Taiwan last week. Everybody knows this isn't done. You can't talk to Taiwan because China will be mad, and you can't afford to upset China. The pundits (to say nothing of the diplomatic corps) had conniption fits. They wrote many column inches explaining that Mr. Trump's epic blunder had destroyed two generations of SinoAmerican relations. ''Trump flunks his first foreign policy test,'' blared The Washington Post.  FULL STORY arrow
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Trudeau's dreams - and nightmares space
The Trans Mountain project may soon resemble Standing Rock: a drawn-out battle fought in the courts and on the ground
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – Page A11
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-- If you want to see what the future has in store for Justin Trudeau's pipeline dreams, just head to North Dakota. On a frigid stretch of prairie, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is waging an epic battle to stop an oil pipeline near its traditional lands. The protest has attracted a swelling tent city of indigenous people and environmental activists. Military veterans have vowed to act as human shields. The horses and the banners snapping in the breeze evoke another day and age - the Battle of the Little Bighorn comes to mind.  FULL STORY arrow
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Academic extremism comes to Canada space
University campuses have always leaned a little left - we're now well past the point where the radicals have taken over
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, December 3, 2016 – Page F10
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-- I bet the poor guy never saw it coming.Until recently, Henry Parada was director of the School of Social Work at Ryerson University, Toronto's big downtown commuter school. His career was going well and he got major research grants. Now he has stepped aside after a handful of students calling themselves the Black Liberation Collective accused him of ''a violent act of anti-Blackness, misogyny and misogynoir.'' What was this act?  FULL STORY arrow
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Justin Trudeau's man crush on Fidel space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 – Page A13
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-- Justin Trudeau's man crush on Fidel Castro is making news around the world - and not in a good way. The headlines are painful. ''Justin Trudeau ridiculed over praise of ''remarkable leader,' '' said The Guardian. ''Trudeau's Castro tribute raises eyebrows,'' said CNN. ''Twitter imagined what he would say about Stalin,'' mocked The Washington Post.  FULL STORY arrow
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Why populism triumphed space
For better or for worse, we've entered a post-postnationalist world
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, November 26, 2016 – Page F7
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-- The year 2016 will go down as a watershed in history. It will be remembered as the year when the postwar dreams of liberal internationalists were shattered, and populist nationalism staged a roaring comeback.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Galloway affair: Salem comes to UBC space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, November 22, 2016 – Page A13
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-- I have a question about the Steven Galloway fiasco, now well into its second year. Why don't they just burn the poor guy at the stake and get it over with?  FULL STORY arrow
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Did racism and sexism elect Trump? space
The chasm between Middle America and liberal progressives is vast, and Democrats will have to overcome their cultural cluelessness
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, November 19, 2016 – Page F7
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-- In the aftermath of the biggest upset in U.S political history, people are groping to find the reasons why. One popular explanation is that racism and misogyny elected Donald Trump. As Jenee Desmond-Harris wrote in Vox, ''Never underestimate the power of racism and bigotry.'' He brought out the worst instincts of America and rode the hatred all the way to the White House.  FULL STORY arrow
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It might not be all bad space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 – Page A11
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-- I was in the Y the other day, in the women's locker room. Everybody was in mourning. Some people had begun to prepare for the worst. ''We could set up abortion clinics right across the border,'' I overheard one woman say. The others nodded in agreement.  FULL STORY arrow
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Trump voters deserve respect. Here's why space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, November 12, 2016 – Page F8
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MIDDLETOWN, OHIO -- Fricker's is a fine place to meet Trump voters. It's located on the outskirts of an old industrial town that has seen better days.Fricker's boasts big-screen TVs, 22 kinds of beer and 36 kinds of wings. Its motto: ''I love this frickin' place!''  FULL STORY arrow
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Why is the election so close? space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, November 5, 2016 – Page F7
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-- This election should have been a blowout. Instead, Donald Trump has a non-trivial chance of winning - roughly the same chance the Chicago Cubs had of winning the World Series when they were behind three games to one. Despite all the wounds he has inflicted on himself, Americans may be about to elect a rogue president - a know-nothing blowhard who doesn't care about the rule of law or our NATO allies, and generally wants to smash things up.  FULL STORY arrow
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Hillary's Halloween horror show space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 – Page A11
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-- Only one thing is clear about this strange, surreal, seemingly endless U.S. election season. Every time you think it can't get worse, it gets worse. Just when you thought that Donald Trump had finally driven a stake through his own heart, he has leapt from the grave - thanks to an incorrigible sexter named Anthony Weiner.  FULL STORY arrow
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PM and millennials: The love-in won't last space
Trudeau's plan to 'grow the economy' is ambitious, but it won't fix the problems facing young Canadians
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, October 29, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Canada's millennials have a crush on Justin Trudeau, and the feeling is mutual. The Prime Minister's values align with their values. He embodies all their hopes and dreams - for the environment, for social justice, for gender and racial diversity and equality. He has shaken off the tyranny of the boomers and embraced everything that is young and fresh. He even appointed himself Youth Minister. What more could they want?  FULL STORY arrow
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Why the housing market is rigged space
Millennials will never afford single-family houses as long as Ontario's growth plan is controlled by urban-dwelling environmentalists
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 – Page A13
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-- I live in a vibrant Toronto neighbourhood, just across from a university. It looks diverse, because of all the students, but it's really not.Middle-class families were pushed out long ago - first to Scarborough and Mississauga, then to Ajax and Pickering and Newmarket and Barrie. But even in the hinterland, housing prices have soared out of sight. A runof-the-mill three-bedroom house in Ajax (a brutal commute from Toronto) now goes for $500,000 or $600,000.  FULL STORY arrow
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The professor vs. the pronoun warriors space
Canada's leading university is caught up in a fight that combines gender, language and human rights
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, October 22, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Psychology professor Jordan Peterson is a man under siege.Angry students are accusing him of hate speech and transphobia.More than 250 faculty members at the University of Toronto, his employer, have signed a letter condemning his behaviour. The CUPE union local has denounced him and told its employees not to report to work if they feel ''unsafe.'' Now even his bosses have lowered the boom. A joint letter signed by David Cameron, the dean of arts and sciences, and Sioban Nelson, the vice-provost for faculty and academic life, warns him that he is suspected of a serious breach of human rights.  FULL STORY arrow
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Good riddance to sexist Trumpworld space
Groped, flashed, mashed - for years, women coped with harassment and kept quiet. No more
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, October 18, 2016 – Page A11
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-- I wasn't in the working world for long before I discovered the facts of life. I was a waitress.My manager was Charles, who was married and 25 years older.  FULL STORY arrow
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America's hidden crisis space
Men are fleeing work in epic numbers. The problem is more social and moral than economic
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, October 15, 2016 – Page F7
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-- I think we can all let our breath out now. Donald Trump is finished. Hillary Clinton will win. A great calamity will be averted.Ms. Clinton probably won't face an immediate financial crisis, as U.S. President Barack Obama did in 2008. The United States' biggest problem at the moment is more insidious. Millions of ablebodied 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.  FULL STORY arrow
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How much diversity do Canadians want? space
The idea of a 'values test' for newcomers has public support, which may not jibe with Liberal government goals
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 – Page A11
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-- Justin Trudeau has made diversity and inclusion the cornerstone of his brand. ''Diversity is Canada's strength,'' he tells the world. There's a lot of virtue in this. We are among the most successful immigration countries on Earth - one of the rare places where high rates of immigration are not contentious, and where anti-immigrant rhetoric has no respectable place in public life.  FULL STORY arrow
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The perilous whiteness of ... pumpkins? space
The deep silliness of race and gender 'studies' is no longer a joke
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, October 8, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Hey, you! You, with the Starbucks pumpkin-spiced latte in your hand. That ridiculous concoction - with its fluffiness, lack of substance, and triviality - is the ultimate expression of white privilege. So shame on you.  FULL STORY arrow
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On Monsef, the Liberals are acting just like Harperites space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 – Page A11
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-- Gerry Butts is in a snit. It's bad enough that the Prime Minister's chief adviser had to pay back some of his moving expenses recently because they were embarrassingly high. And now, people are attacking Maryam Monsef, one of the Liberal Party's star MPs, who came to Canada as a refugee and rose to be a cabinet minister at the tender age of 30. How dare they?  FULL STORY arrow
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Syrian refugees: the romance and the reality space
There are problems in the resettlement process for the newcomers, from getting language training to finding work
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, October 1, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Jim Munson has one of those refugee stories that warm your heart. He belongs to a private group in Ottawa that is sponsoring a Syrian family. Last winter, he was asked to make sure the boys got skates and hockey sticks. So he found them skates and hockey sticks and took them skating on the canal. Their first words in English were, ''He shoots, he scores!''  FULL STORY arrow
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Justin Trudeau: climate denier? space
The Prime Minister's 'social licence' economic strategy is damaging his image as an environmental defender
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 – Page A11
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-- Bill McKibben is on the warpath. The famous anti-Keystone activist has seen the future, and it's even worse than he suspected. Climate change is speeding up. In order to prevent catastrophic global warming, we have to stop drilling new oil fields, building pipelines and digging coal mines - right now.  FULL STORY arrow
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Please forgive me, and slap me with a cod space
I once called the province a 'vast and scenic welfare ghetto.' I couldn't have been more wrong
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Aubrey Payne is a stumpy guy with a weather-beaten face and hands like horn. He has a thousand stories. Once he was out fishing with his wife, Marie, and fell into the frigid North Atlantic. ''I thought I was a goner,'' he says. She fashioned two lassos with rope and hauled him into the boat, saving his life.  FULL STORY arrow
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Mr. Trudeau goes to the UN space
The PM's maiden speech to world body is meant to showcase Canada's successes as it lobbies for a Security Council seat
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 – Page A11
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-- In his latest effort to rebrand Canada on the world stage, Justin Trudeau is scheduled to give a major speech at the United Nations today. Alas, his timing isn't very good. New Yorkers are still transfixed by the weekend's bombings, which triggered a massive hunt for terrorists on the loose. The citizens are jumpy. They know that every backpack and every dumpster could contain another explosive. But they're New Yorkers, after all.  FULL STORY arrow
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Hillary swoons, and so does her lead space
It's not that the Democratic candidate fell ill. It's that she didn't come clean, giving rival Trump a chance to boast, again
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Page F7
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-- It must be horrible to have smartphones and cameras always in your face to capture your every slip and fall. That's the price you pay if you want to be the most powerful person in the world. So I felt a little sorry for Hillary Clinton last weekend as she collapsed and lurched, head first, into a waiting van after she became ''overheated.'' They played that clip over and over.  FULL STORY arrow
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Wynne's way: Rob the poor, help the rich space
As the big thinkers at Queen's Park bask in air-conditioned bliss, more and more folks are struggling to pay their bills
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 – Page A13
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-- Out in rural Ontario, far away from the lush grounds of Queen's Park, a crisis is brewing.Electricity rates have soared so high that many people can't afford to pay their hydro bills.  FULL STORY arrow
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Welcome to college - and the thought police space
Today's campus 'freshpeople' can expect continual assurance that the world we live in is a dark and dreadful place
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, September 10, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Freshman orientation week isn't what it used to be.These days, it's not just about learning your way around the campus. It's also about learning how to avoid giving unintentional offence. Not all the answers are obvious. For example, is it okay to sing along with music that uses the ''n'' word if you are white? No, it definitely is not! Nor is it okay for anyone to use the term ''you guys'' (sexist).  FULL STORY arrow
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The lost boys: Video games more fun than growing up space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Page F7
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-- As our friends' children reach their 20s, we've noticed a pattern. Their daughters are often model kids - focused, tenacious, diligent. They get top marks. They have a plan for their life. They have benchmarks and goals and usually achieve them.  FULL STORY arrow
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I'm very glad the Mounties got their man space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – Page A11
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-- The biggest story in Canada this weekend was the triumph of Penny Oleksiak, the dazzling young Canadian who took the swimming world by storm.Lucky us. The biggest story could have been the triumph of Aaron Driver, the Islamist-inspired jihadi warrior, if he had blown himself up at a train station in Southern Ontario and taken a dozen innocent people with him.  FULL STORY arrow
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Trump is finished. Trumpism's here to stay space
The anti-establishment revolt that has swept the United States won't fade unless there are dramatic social and economic changes
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Anything can happen in politics, and November is almost three months away. But if I were you, I'd stop hyperventilating about Donald Trump. It has finally dawned on people that they probably do not want to elect a nutbar as president of the United States. Not all the people, of course, but enough of them to matter. He's behind in opinion polls, and almost every day he demonstrates his amazing talent for self-sabotage.  FULL STORY arrow
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An Olympic challenge: testosterone space
Should athletes be barred from competition if they don't fit the standard binary of male and female?
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, August 9, 2016 – Page A11
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-- At 25, Olympics runner Caster Semenya has the physique of a top male athlete. Her jaw is prominent and wide. She is heavily muscled, with chiselled abs, a broad chest and a thick neck. By comparison, the women she competes against look scrawny.  FULL STORY arrow
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So much for flossing - and for the tyranny of expertise space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, August 6, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Floss much? Me neither. I'm a flossing slacker. For 40 years, I've dreaded going to the dentist, because I know I'll get a lecture about my oral hygiene.  FULL STORY arrow
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A darkness over Europe space
An end to immigration, mass deportations, harsh restraints on civil liberties - all are possible
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, August 2, 2016 – Page A11
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-- It doesn't take much to spread terror. You don't need fancy weapons or a network of co-conspirators. All you need is a truck, a homemade bomb, a knife or an axe to inflict maximum fear.  FULL STORY arrow
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Hillary (mostly) hits her marks space
To the extent that conventions matter any more, the Democrats had a triumphant week
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, July 30, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Like millions of other people, I'm not a big fan of Hillary Clinton. No matter how hard a worker or great a grandma she may be, God has not blessed her with the ability to project charm, or wit, or warmth. On that score she compares poorly with Barack Obama. Her efforts at soaring rhetoric usually come off as banal and trite, and her policy ideas are standard leftwing boilerplate.  FULL STORY arrow
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Hillary's uphill slog space
It's hard for Canadians to understand why she is so widely loathed
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 – Page A11
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-- I t wasn't supposed to be like this. Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have pinned their hopes on persuading voters that they are everything the Trump campaign is not - united, stable, professional, uncrazy and adult.  FULL STORY arrow
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'I alone can fix it' space
Trump's dystopian vision of America capped the most bizarre party convention in memory - riveting in a train-wreck sort of way
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Page F7
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-- An angry man is yelling at me on TV. He says our country is at a moment of crisis. Terrorists are attacking our police and our cities. Elect him, and safety will be restored. We cannot afford to be so politically correct any more. Homicides are on the rise.  FULL STORY arrow
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Trump nation: An insider's tour space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 – Page A11
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-- 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. Yet it explains more about the people who form the core of his support than everything else I've read. It is an intimate portrait of the white working class by a man who knows this world in his bones, because they are his people.  FULL STORY arrow
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Justin's dilemma: soft power, hard world space
The Prime Minister thinks he can influence a gang of nasty actors with his ideals and virtue. Unfortunately, they're not listening
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Justin Trudeau's true brilliance - and I say this with admiration and respect - is his gift for branding. The Prime Minister is determined to rebrand Canada as an attractive, youthful, progressive, postnational country, with himself as its attractive, youthful face.  FULL STORY arrow
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There is no 'war' on blacks - or cops space
The numbers don't support the polarizing narratives of gun violence in the United States, and both sides are manipulating the truth
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 – Page A13
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-- Michael Brown. Freddie Gray.Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. It goes on and on. The killing of black Americans by police seems to have become numbingly routine. Too many young black men, dead for no good reason.  FULL STORY arrow
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The bizarro world of presidential politics space
All that stands between us and the abyss is Hillary Clinton, perhaps the worst candidate of recent times - except for the other one
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, July 9, 2016 – Page F7
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-- The world is collapsing into chaos. Britain is leaderless, and no one has the faintest idea what's going to happen next.The European Union might crumble. Islamic State is executing fresh terrorist attacks every week. Vladimir Putin is rattling his sword, and things are getting ugly in the South China Sea.  FULL STORY arrow
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The bullies of Black Lives Matter space
By pretending that Toronto is just another racist hellhole, the protest group does not create a useful forum for discussion
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, July 5, 2016 – Page A11
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-- Toronto's legendary Pride Parade is a festival of inclusiveness - a good-natured rainbow coalition that embraces every letter of the LGBTQ alphabet. It's so inclusive that even straight people march in it. Its message is: Loud, proud and unbowed. Nobody can bully us any more.  FULL STORY arrow
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Canada gets it right ... so far space
Tolerance is part of the Canadian identity. But so is pragmatism
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Page F7
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-- The other evening I watched my seven-year-old niece play soccer in the park. The scene was typically Canadian. The parents cheered on their daughters from the sidelines, frequently in accented English. The girls seemed oblivious to ethnic differences. When the game got dull, they did cartwheels across the field. It could have been an ad for harmony and world peace.  FULL STORY arrow
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How dare they vote to leave space
Brexit shows that the Eurocrats, party leaders, academics and pundits do not understand their own people
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 – Page A11
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-- There's nothing to celebrate in Brexit. The fallout will be more or less awful. It's hard to know who'll be hit worse, the European Union or Britain (or what remains of it). The entire postwar EU project has come to a crashing halt, with consequences that will play out for many years to come. Vladimir Putin is gloating. Britain is leaderless, and the EU leaders, with the admirable exception of Angela Merkel, are as vengeful as a husband whose unhappy spouse has walked out on him. The squabbling over the terms of the divorce will be prolonged and messy, and will surely distract everyone's attention from Europe's urgent problems of flailing economies, uncontrolled migration, terrorism threats and rampant Putinism.  FULL STORY arrow
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Free our children: Bring back play space
Summer used to be a time for freedom. Now it's a time for kids to build their resumés
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, June 25, 2016 – Page F7
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-- When I was a kid, there were some woods behind our house. We used to run around playing cowboys and Indians and making up the rules as we went along. (''Bang, Bang! You're dead!'' ''No, I'm not!'') Summer was an endless season of unstructured time. Whenever we whined about being bored, our moms would kick us out of the house to play.  FULL STORY arrow
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Those deranged Brexiters space
Ahead of the vote, there's only one certainty: Many Britons are tired of hearing the elites lecture them about their own self-interest
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, June 21, 2016 – Page A11
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-- I have no stake in the Brexit referendum, and I have no idea how it will turn out. But I do know what to think about it.Leaving the European Union would be a disaster for everyone, especially Britain. So why take the risk? Greater integration is the way of the future. Besides, whose side would you rather be on?  FULL STORY arrow
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How hookup culture hurts young women space
Sexual liberation is great in theory, but reality is far more complicated
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, June 18, 2016 – Page F7
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-- When I headed off to university back in the Stone Age, girls were still afraid of being called sluts. By the time I graduated, there was a worse label - ''unliberated.'' It applied to girls who didn't have sex. And no one wanted to be that.  FULL STORY arrow
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How Orlando divides America space
The United States is no closer to stopping terror attacks than it was after Sept. 11. In many aspects, it's farther away than ever
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 – Page A13
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-- Today, 9/11 seems as if it happened in another century.After the planes hit the towers, Americans stood united in their grief and solidarity. They cast aside their partisanship to mourn the dead.  FULL STORY arrow
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Can women in power save the world? space
We can tell our daughters they need special treatment to succeed. Or we can tell them they need smarts, stamina and guts
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, June 11, 2016 – Page F7
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-- This week, a male cabinet minister in Ontario sacrificed himself on the altar of gender equity. It was not a pretty sight.''Sometimes the best way for a man to advance the equality of women may be to step back and make room at the table,'' declared Ted McMeekin as he announced his resignation as minister for municipal affairs and housing.  FULL STORY arrow
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Time to soak the seniors space
Justin Trudeau should show some courage by taking on the elder lobby and limiting entitlements to those who really need them
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 – Page A13
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-- I hate being called a ''senior.'' A senior is a hunched little old lady with a cane who can barely cross the street. I'm not that person.I prefer to think of myself as a hot babe pumping iron (okay: not so hot, and small amounts of iron).  FULL STORY arrow
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The follies of French immersion space
After 40 years, there's not the slightest shred of evidence that the program has accomplished any of its lofty goals
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, June 4, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Nothing is cuter than tiny tots speaking French. Their accents are impeccable. Their vocabulary is much larger than mine. I took French for years, and I can barely order lunch.  FULL STORY arrow
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The African surge into Europe space
European leaders don't know how to cope with the flood of illegal migrants. Shifting blame and passing the buck isn't the answer
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 – Page A9
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-- Last month, I stumbled across what must be the most poignant shrine in Sicily. It consists of a few rough planks of wood, painted red and blue - all that's left of a primitive boat filled with migrants desperate to reach the Promised Land. You can see it in the great baroque church in Noto. What became of the people is unknown.  FULL STORY arrow
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Bathrooms: the culture war's new frontier space
North American schools districts are grappling with how to accommodate transgender kids. Are laws and lawsuits really the answer?
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, May 28, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Few among us could have foreseen the culture war that is currently ripping America apart.Like abortion and gay marriage, it has pitted conservatives against liberals, thrown communities into turmoil, inspired impassioned editorials, and prompted boycotts by Hollywood celebrities.  FULL STORY arrow
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A new Ontario: Electric cars and unicorns space
The province's leaked green plan would be a gravy train for subsidy seekers, lobbyists and hawkers of renewable-energy schemes
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 – Page A13
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-- The future is going to be a lot of fun in Ontario. Just a few years from now, millions of us will be liberated from our evil fossil-fuelled transportation network. Millions of government-subsidized electric cars will whisk us silently to work. Our buses will run on biofuels. Our retrofitted geothermalpowered homes will keep us warm at prices much higher than today's natural gas (which would be banned). Vast tracts of land will be diverted to solar panels, which will transform the sun's rays into clean, green, righteous energy - as soon as we can figure out how to store it and attach it to the grid. Unicorns will frolic in our gardens, and pigs will fly.  FULL STORY arrow
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Justin has a temper tantrum space
The PM has disarmed people with his sunny ways and one-armed pushups. No one expected him to strong-arm them
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, May 21, 2016 – Page F7
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-- Oh, fuddle duddle. There goes the brand.Until Wednesday night, it was shaping up as such a good week.There was Justin Trudeau in a tete-a-tete with the Aga Khan, discussing pluralism, diversity, and respect for human rights. There he was, boldly championing the rights of transgender people.  FULL STORY arrow
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Two very different Americas space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 – Page A13
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CHICAGO -- Last week I went to Chicago to help out my sister, who was having surgery. I felt as if I'd stepped into an alternate universe. The hospital (Northwestern Memorial, one of the finest in the country) reminded me of a gleaming convention hotel, with vast meeting spaces and sumptuous food courts. My sister had a spacious private room with a fold-out couch in case I wanted to stay over. There were plenty of empty beds. Attentive nurses were at her beck and call. The day she was scheduled to go home, her surgeon dropped by and encouraged her to stay an extra night because she looked a little tired. My jaw dropped. We Canadians can only dream of such luxuries.  FULL STORY arrow
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Great global greening is happening now space
Leapers are heading down the wrong path: Technology is liberating the environment
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Page F9
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-- We have new neighbours near our place in the country - bears. Every so often, one shows up and gets his picture in the local paper, the Echo. People swear they've even seen wolves - creatures that were driven out long ago after farmers moved in and chopped down all the trees.  FULL STORY arrow
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The vindication of Mike Duffy space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Friday, April 22, 2016 – Page A12
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-- After more than three years of accusations and counteraccusations, mountains of documents, 31 charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust, 62 days of trial - along with fevered commentary about crimes and cover-ups and abuse of power extending to the highest office of the land - we wind up with this?  FULL STORY arrow
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Pass the butter: The experts were all wrong space
For decades, we've been told a healthy diet is a low-fat diet. Not so, research shows
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, April 19, 2016 – Page A11
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-- mwente@globeandmail.comWhen I was a kid, the milkman came right to our back door. He brought us bright glass bottles of rich whole milk and thick sweet cream. We drank a lot of milk. Nobody had heard of skim. On weekends my dad cooked up breakfasts of eggs fried in butter, piles of bacon, delicious German sausages. For dinner, we had big chunks of fatty meat every night.  FULL STORY arrow
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Reality bites: Rhetoric is easy, governing isn't space
From the Saudi arms deal to pipelines, it's difficult for Justin Trudeau to claim the high road
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, April 16, 2016 – Page F9
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-- Justin Trudeau is a master of the moral high ground. ''Canada is back,'' he proclaimed, promising that we will once again be a light unto the nations. Our foreign policy will reflect our values. Our environmental policy will square the circle of sustainability and economic growth.  FULL STORY arrow
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The middle-class drug epidemic that grew space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 – Page A11
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-- A melia and Hardy Leighton weren't your typical drug addicts. They were extroverted outdoorsy types - an attractive young married couple with close families and new jobs. Life was good. And then they were dead, the victims of an opioid epidemic that is sweeping North America.  FULL STORY arrow
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Should universities police sexual assault? space
Schools are under pressure to respond properly to complaints, but that's what the justice system is for
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, April 9, 2016 – Page F9
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-- Fifty years ago, life on campus was pretty dull. Student behaviour was tightly (if not always successfully) regulated by curfews, single-sex dorms and noalcohol rules. All these prohibitions were meant to ensure that immature young adults wouldn't get into too much trouble.  FULL STORY arrow
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Trump comes undone space
Anything can happen in the race to the White House, but the GOP front-runner hasn't yet faced his worst enemy: himself
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 – Page A11
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-- If Donald Trump were a stock, my advice would be to sell it now. He's had a great run. But if he wins the U.S. presidential election, then I'll show you how to fly to the moon on gossamer wings.  FULL STORY arrow
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Save us from hashtag justice space
The system isn't perfect, but it can do the job - despite what its critics want you to believe
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, April 2, 2016 – Page F9
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-- mwente@globeandmail.comThe moment the judge issued his not-guilty verdict in the Jian Ghomeshi case last week, the wailing and gnashing of teeth began. A public opinion poll found that most Torontonians (especially women) thought he should have been convicted.  FULL STORY arrow
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Extremists don't just hate the West space
It is clarifying to remember that Islamist hatred is often inflicted on religious minorities, both Muslim and Christian
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 – Page A11
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-- As the Belgians mourned their dead on Easter Sunday, Islamist fanatics carried out more bloodlettings. In Pakistan, at least 70 people were blown to smithereens by a suicide bomber at a local park in Lahore.  FULL STORY arrow
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Should Catholic hospitals be forced to kill? space
Many religious institutions provide an ethic of care that secular outfits can't match
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, March 26, 2016 – Page F9
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-- Of all the bold new initiatives on the Trudeau government's to-do list, there's one it really doesn't want to talk about: the new law that will legalize doctor-assisted dying. The Supreme Court has given the government a deadline of June 6 - just two and a half months away.  FULL STORY arrow
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A SYSTEM ON TRIAL space
Marie Henein tore into the credibility of Mr. Ghomeshi's accusers - and was absolutely right to do so, writes Margaret Wente
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, March 26, 2016 – Page F1
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-- There are certain moments that criminal lawyers live for, when it all comes together. Those moments are the payoff for the endless hours of meticulous preparation, the carefully crafted strategy, the finely honed performance skills. That moment came for Marie Henein on Day Four of the Jian Ghomeshi case. On the stand was Lucy DeCoutere, who had become a stand-in for abused women everywhere. In 19 media interviews, she had described how, one night, Mr. Ghomeshi had choked and slapped her and, in so doing, put a brutal end to their budding relationship.  FULL STORY arrow
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Truth and deception: Verdict a good day for justice space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Friday, March 25, 2016 – Page A13
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-- The courtroom is where the truth comes out. On Thursday, Justice William Horkins summed up the truth about the case against Jian Ghomeshi.There wasn't one. None of the three witnesses were trustworthy.  FULL STORY arrow
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Who's a feminist? It's complicated ... space
The rampant weeds of identity politics are spreading quickly, and threatening to engulf us all
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 – Page A11
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-- I was relieved when Justin Trudeau called himself a feminist last week. The world is unfolding as it should! In case you had any doubts about where our leader stands on gender equality, doubt no more.  FULL STORY arrow
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If Trump wins, I'll eat this column space
Forget about hope and change - this presidential election is all about fear and loathing
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, March 19, 2016 – Page F9
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-- All my friends are asking me if there's any way Donald Trump can get elected president.My answer is to cross my fingers and say no.I say this because I believe the American people are not, ultimately, batshit crazy. Mr. Trump appeals to their lizard brain. I believe, perhaps naively, that most voters will still possess some remnant of executive function on election day.  FULL STORY arrow
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Justin Trudeau: a leader with no parade space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 – Page A13
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-- The President of the United States adores you. He throws a state dinner in your honour and cracks friendly jokes. He gives you a 19-gun salute. The mainstream media are in a swoon over the bromance. They hail you as the anti-Trump. You get your picture on the front page of The New York Times and The Washington Post. As the Canadian press corps giddily take selfies in the White House, influential think tanks call you a global leader in the progressive movement.  FULL STORY arrow
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Social psychology's credibility crisis space
Scientists are reeling amid doubts and questions about theories and research long used to track human nature
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, March 12, 2016 – Page F9
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-- It's a golden age for the study of human nature. Almost every week brings new discoveries that shed light on why we behave the way we do. A vast new field of academic endeavour has revealed how people are subtly influenced by environmental cues and unconscious biases, and why our willpower often fails us despite our best efforts.  FULL STORY arrow
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Forget the gender pay gap. The class gap is much bigger space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 – Page A11
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-- How big is the gender pay gap?In Canada women make about 69 cents for every dollar men make, or maybe 73.5 cents.In the United States, it's about 77 cents. But never mind the details.  FULL STORY arrow
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President Trump? Pass the smelling salts space
The clownish, vulgar reality-TV star is now on a dangerous roll to the White House
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By MARGARET WENTE
Saturday, March 5, 2016 – Page F9
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-- A ghastly pall has descended over U.S. politics. Barring a minor miracle, Donald Trump really will be running against Hillary Clinton to be president.The world is looking on in slackjawed horror. Never in our lifetime has a man so unsuitable for office got so near the White House. Almost no one saw it coming - certainly not the Republican establishment, and least of all the pundits, who've been reassuring us for months that this clownish, vulgar reality-TV star would never, ever get near the nomination.  FULL STORY arrow
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Should right-to-die law apply to mentally ill people? space
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By MARGARET WENTE
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 – Page A11
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-- Most Canadians know that the right to die will soon be the law of the land. Most Canadians enthusiastically approve.But how many know that right may well extend to the mentally ill - people whose sufferings are psychological?  FULL STORY arrow
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Complete Index of Today's Print Headlines
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