Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

Gridiron Underground

December 24, 2017



I happened upon a beautiful documentary on WNED the Buffalo PBS station which serves up intelligent TV in the wasteland of our video lives.


The doc was called Gridiron Underground (2015) about black athletes, victims of Jim Crow stupidity who found a football home in Canada. Its central figure was the late Hamilton Tiger Cat star Bernie Custis who died in 2017. Custis like many American athletes, black and white, came north and made a life north of the 49th. He went on to become a teacher, principal and football coach in the Hamilton area. He will always be remembered as the first black QB in professional football.




Drafted by the legendary Cleveland coach Paul Brown Custis was advised if he wanted to be a QB, head for Canada. This he did and became an All Star, MVP and Grey Cup winner before injuries forced him to retire in 1956. A class act, he was much beloved by all, the man who blazed the trail for Chuck Ealey, Warren Moon, Damon Allen and Henry Burris.


Now I have come to despise football as the primitive residue of the dark ages. I have gone so far as to say that any parent who allows their child to play the game is guilty of child abuse. There is no excuse now with what we know about the damage done to our cognitive faculties. Football is dying in the high schools and for good reasons.

But I digress.


I ditched football about 40 years ago, stopped watching it-except for the Grey Cup. That late fall Canadian classic simply bubbled up too many good memories. As a kid I loved the game especially the CFL variety.




Our family lived very near Varsity Stadium where the Grey Cup was played in my teen-aged years. I never missed an Argo game or a Grey Cup—and never paid for one.The football was spectacular. Our game with its wide field and the single point rouge which placed a premium on putting the foot back into the game made it all very exciting.


At age 12 I knew about all the players. Colour meant nothing and indeed that’s what these gifted black athletes reiterated in this film centred around Bernie Custis.


There is a back story here not mentioned in this lovely tribute.


For a brief period Custis played on the same Syracuse team with Avatus Stone, two years his junior. In 1953 his final year at Syracuse University Stone was about to break the colour bar of the Orange Bowl played in Miami but was injured before the game against Alabama. The university admin ordered head coach “Red” Drew to take the Crimson Tide off the field if Syracuse put a black player in the game.The Civil War apparently was not over.




Stone put two and two together and knowing about Custis and yes, Jackie Robinson’s 1946 reception in Montreal, he headed north to play for the Ottawa Roughriders.


I remember Avatus Stone as a triple threat back-fielder, a great 2 way player who could punt almost as well as Hamilton’s Cam Fraser. What I did not know was that he apparently had committed a serious error by dating a white cheer leader. All this in New york state. The great Jimmy Brown another Syracuse alum who came right after Custis and Stone was warned not to do a Stone if he knew what was good for him.


Anybody for Canada?

After a game vs the Argos in 1955 (the year Sone was voted the Jeff Russell trophy as the best player in the east, I raced onto the field and asked the exhausted two-way player for his chin strap. He have it to me


Avatus Stone disappeared after his 5th year in Canada, never to be heard from again, another black athlete who found the underground railway to Canada.


Canada chickens out at the U.N.

December 22, 2017


Well they did it again. Just being a Liberal.

Tim Harper wrote in the Star:



When it comes to the Middle East, Ottawa sits on its hands to keep Trump happy Abstaining on a UN vote Thursday caps a year of Ottawa ensuring it doesn’t rattle the U.S. president’s cage during NAFTA talks,




And so the year draws to a close just as it dawned — with Canada walking on eggshells around Donald Trump. Thursday at the United Nations, the Liberal government had two choices. It could poke Trump but stand on principle, or continue a pattern of voting with the U.S. on the Middle East.
With the world watching, it did neither.


It abstained.


It moved to the sidelines and let the rest of the world take a position.


A vote to declare Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel “null and void,’’ passed 128 to nine with 35 abstentions.


The U.S. won the support of key allies like Togo, Palau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Honduras, Guatemala and, of course, Israel.


Take Israel out of the equation and the entire population of those backing the U.S. is less than the population of Canada.


Canada, on the other hand, was the only G7 nation beside the United States that did not vote to condemn the move by Trump.


An abstention, at first glance, does seem to be a craven move, especially in light of the crass threats and bullying delivered by the American ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.
Haley was defending Trump’s right to make an unnecessary, provocative move in the Middle East for strictly domestic political reasons.

Oh, she was going to take names. She wasn’t going to forget this vote.



She was going to remember when nations come calling for America’s financial help or its global influence.


It was an appalling performance, coming on the heels of Trump’s flat-out threat to cut off aid to anyone who voted against him.
Don’t disrespect us, Haley warned.


The Americans were going to take their ball and go home if others were mean to them.


In short, it was the type of speech that should have sent nations on the fence into the “screw you’’ camp against Washington.
Canada stayed quiet.

In Canada’s case, an abstention does send a message, because the Trudeau government, like the Stephen Harper government before it, has slavishly backed the U.S. in voting against UN resolutions perceived to be anti-Israel.


Harper IS


But overwhelmingly the message sent by an abstention was that Ottawa didn’t want to be there, didn’t want to take a stand, wished that this would just go away.





It was in keeping with Ottawa’s initial non-reaction reaction to the Trump move, a statement that did not mention the U.S. or the president, but merely affirmed Canada’s support of a two-state solution that includes agreement on the status of Jerusalem.


By abstaining, we did not support Trump, nor did we poke him, but, of course, Washington immediately spun the results to indicate those who had abstained had backed them.

The Liberal two step

December 19, 2017


Not only is Canada weak on Israel’s ongoing repression of Palestinians but sadly quiescent on Honduras, almost as bad as Paul Martin was on Haiti and as cowardly on huge corporations stashing money in offshore havens. Chrstia Freeland obsesses about the Ukraine but twiddles her thumbs elsewhere.This is Canada’s Liberal Party, campaign from the left, fool progressive voters and govern from the right

Phil Little sends this from Vancouver island.
Canada’s role in Honduran electoral fraud and repression, including the deaths of 21 people (and counting) since election day on Nov.26
Letter from Cara-Lee Malange to the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs about the situation in Honduras.
(Please use this to write your own letter to your MP, the PM and foreign affairs minister.)
Cara-Lee Malange writes: I encourage you all to read this letter. If you agree with me, I ask that you write your own letter. If you want to write your own letter but struggle to find the words, reach out to me and I will help you.
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Freeland,

I am a Canadian citizen who is deeply concerned about the events surrounding the aftermath of the Honduran election, particularly pertaining to the repression of peaceful protestors by the government of Juan Orlando Hernandez. As you are aware, there is overwhelming evidence to indicate that the recent election was neither fair nor transparent. In fact, the Organization of American States has stated that “irregularities, errors and systematic problems” with the presidential election on November 26, 2018 has meant they can not be certain of the result. Similarly, “The Economist” has reported to be in possession of a video tape that provides instructions to election workers on how to falsify and destroy ballots should the election fall in the opposition’s favour.


Indeed, this is why for the past three weeks thousands of Hondurans have been risking their lives in hopes that their peaceful protests will garner the support of the international community to help them secure their demands for basic fairness, justice and democracy. Clearly, when the country’s national police declare a strike against their own government and refuse to carry on with the continued repression of their own people, it speaks volumes about the current state of democracy in Honduras and the true will of the people.

Moreover, I am deeply concerned about the Canadian government’s very tepid response to the situation; in particular by Minister Freeland’s statement “Canada also calls for calm and urges all parties to resolve any disagreement peacefully, transparently and in line with the highest democratic and human rights standards.”
Whom, may I ask, are all parties involved? Current events show us that there is effectively only one party and that their opposition is the people. More profoundly, if the one party in power cannot uphold fair and transparent elections and needs to use force and repression to uphold their power, than that means they are, effectively, a dictatorship.

To get to the point quickly I ask you if Canada’s economic interests in Honduras are so important that we remain not only bystanders to such unimaginable suffering, violence and injustice, but effectively aid and abet a violent dictatorship by not using our authority to speak the truth?

Indeed, as a Canadian, it is heart-wrenching to watch your government remain complacent while millions of people are being brutalized for simply and peacefully wanting fair and transparent elections.

I am old enough to remember former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s iconic proclamation that “Canada must be a just society.” Indeed, when he said this it was a defining moment in the creation of our national identity, which most Canadians tend to believe to this day.

Regrettably, I am not one of them but I deeply long to witness our country be an genuine moral authority so that we can uphold this identity with legitimacy and authenticity.
I say this because if you were to reach inside the hearts of the vast majority of Canadian citizens you would discover that we as a people ultimately do not want to be a part of a violent and unjust global economic model; an economic model that is dangerously warming our planet and creating unimaginable suffering for the majority of the world’s people.

We truly do not want to be that nation and we beg of you to do the right thing by us, by Hondurans, and by the rest of the world and speak up against the blatant tyranny and injustice that defines the regime of Juan Orlando Hernandez.
I am not religious but I pray that you will do the right thing and use our global position of authority to speak up unequivocally in support of the will of the Honduran people. It really is as simple as that.

Yours sincerely,
Cara-Lee Malange
Nelson, BC

Trudeau at Auschwitz

July 11, 2016


PM Trudeau visited Auschwitz on Sunday and like any sentient being was deeply affected by what he saw and wiped away tears several times as the survivor Nate Liepciger pointed to the massive ruins and shattered masonry that had once been gas chambers where millions met their deaths.

Trudeau to his credit made a point of asking to visit Auschwitz following the NATO summit in Warsaw. Anybody who gets to Warsaw and ignores  nearby Auschwitz is terminally incurious.

Visiting this replica of hell prompts serious thinking about the human condition.

My visit has remained indelible. I spent much time in the showers and crematoria with my bible.It served to deepen my pioneerin work on the shoah. It eventuated in my double solidarity to the state of Israel but also to the humiliated face of the Palestinians mabdated by the gospel.

Post Auschwitz I journeyed  to Israel, a sad country which has never internalized the universal meaning of the Nazi atrocity, a country in former speaker of the Knesset Avraham Burg’s words “where today there are horrible layers of racism that are not essentially different from the racism that exterminated many of our ancestors.” Burg’s Orthodoxy is universal in its understanding. He reminds Jews today that ” since the shoah took place there is no genetic Judaism, only ethical, obliging Judaism. Automatic Judaism, bereft of self-criticism and moral obligations is for mer an abominable race theory.”


Burg  an intrepid critic of israel’s brutalization of the Palestinians said in his classic book The Holocaust is Over, We must Rise from its Ashes,”never again not just for us Jews but for every suffering victim in the world today”—and I would add to the Jews of israel, the Palestinians.

My fear is that once again holocaustmania will be used to mute any criticism of Israel and Trudeau will continue as has until now, become blind to Palestinian suffering.

The late British-Jewish historian (d.2005) Tony Judt writing in the Nation in 2005 made this point:

The Shoah is frequently exploited in America and Israel to deflect and forbid any criticism of Israel… It gives American Jews in particular a unique, retrospective “victim
identity”;  it allows Israel to trump any other nation’s sufferings (and justify its own excesses) with the claim that the Jewish catastrophe was unique and incomparable….
This modern instrumentalization of the Holocaust for political advantage is ethically disreputable and politically imprudent.”

One can only hope that Trudeau will grow in his understanding. A sensitive man, right now he sees with one eye and his clouded vision will continued to be manipulated by people with no shame and les sensitivity to others’ suffering.

Next stop Gaza if the jailers will let him in




Even Premier Notley is behind the curve

June 1, 2016


This very good woman the premier of Alberta is caught in the crosshairs of an ugly provincial politics. Alberta has long been in the pockets of Texas oil people who see no difference in the country north of the 49th parallel. Canada to them is simply Texas north . As a result Alberta the oil rich province has suffered from abysmal economic leadership for decades. All her eggs in the petroleum basket. The government never planned for a rainy day and when the sky fell and oil prices plummeted she suddenly became a poorer province.

The bigger story is that the progressive Notley has to genuflect to the reactionary past and work out of an outmoded worldview.The economic worldview, Wall Street wisdom, has proven to be physically, soulfully and ecologically world destroying. As the Dow Jones rises more species go out of existence.The Living Planet report warns us
Populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have declined by 52% between 1970 and 2010.
Humanity’s demand on the planet is more than 50% larger than what nature can renew.
We are currently using the equivalent of 1.5 planets to support our activities – if everyone on Earth lived as the average Canadian does, we’d need 3.7 planets to support our demand.

The emerging myth of the 21st century is the ecological imperative proclaimed by environmentalists all over the world, theologians with their ears close to the earth, the air and the natural habitats. This of course has been fought by troglodytes like Stephen Harper and his oil company base. The Tar Sands with its massive footprint,humanity’s demands on nature has shamed and embarrassed Canada for far too long.The jobs created in the oil patch pale in comparison to those in conservation.

On May 12 Martin Lukacs writing in The Guardian wrote a prophetic piece.


Looking to discover the source of the destruction in Fort McMurray, Notley’s province.look to the crime scene and name the arsonists.
They’re the companies that helped turn the boreal forest into a flammable tinder-box. The same companies that have undermined attempts to rein in carbon emissions. The same companies that, by their very design, chase profits with no mind for the ecological and human consequences.

Yet in the fire’s aftermath, it has seemed impossible to name them: fossil fuel corporations. Of course they’re not the only ones who have fuelled climate change: all of us consume oil at every level of our lives. But the record is clear that we are not equally responsible: an astonishing 90 companies alone have caused two-thirds of global carbon emissions. And all the oil giants involved in the Alberta tar sands are among them: ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Total, CNRL, Chevron.


“We have loaded the dice for more extreme wildfires,” says Mike Flannigan, a wildfire scientist at the University of Alberta. “We attribute the increase in wildfires and their severity and intensity to human-caused climate change. We’ve been saying it for years. Many of us saw a Fort McMurray-like situation coming, but none of us expected anything as horrific as what has happened.”


The answer is obvious…but even Rachel Notley can not see it so captured she is by the Alberta ethos

Lukacs says what only the LEAP Manifesto boldly says : keep most fossil fuels in the ground.

Economics as the organizing earth principle is dead. The earth and sacred ecology must become our fundamental organizing principle.


The ghost of Joe McCarthy

May 19, 2016

Shame on Tim Hudak and Mike Colle.
Suddenly a draconian bill sponsored by two grads of Catholic schools has suddenly appeared in the Ontario legislature. It will blacklist supporters of the Palestinian-led grassroots campaign for human rights, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.


ONTTim Hudak a rabid pro-Israel backer and failed leader of the Conservative Party and Mike Colle a grad of St Michael’s College who represents many Jews in his North Toronto riding are the amnesiacs in question. Can’t believe Mike is playing politics with this justice issue.Hudak has always been a reactuionary politician.

Listen to Hudak’s nonsense: the goal of BDS is “to sponsor the de-legitimization of the state of Israel as well as to foster hatred and animosity against those of Jewish faith in support of Israel.” Wrong.

The goal is never to delegitimate Israel. It is here to stay.BDS is to bring israel to its senses by using a totally acceptable nonviolent tactic (BDS) the same one which helped South Africa on its way to a more inclusive democracy. The bill woukld have wide ramifications for those seeking government contracts.It shockingly also states that universities, pillars of free speech can not paticipate or supportt BDS.

Hello Joe McCarthy!

This genuflection to the powerful Israeli lobby was already mocked out of existence in New York state where the citizens seem to have a healthier respect for democracy and free speech.

Brian Otto lamented on the Electrionic Intifada website:

It was entirely predictable that the reply of Israel and its apologists would be that the BDS movement is “anti-semitic”. This is the lie that Israel perpetrates against anyone who criticizes their politics, their illegal occupation, their apartheid-like treatment of the Palestinians. Except Israeli Jews – or any other Jews – who criticize Israel are “self-hating” Jews. What’s astonishing is how many people buy into this crap. It’s truly a shame that the two most significant Liberal leaders in Canada – the Prime Minister, and the Premier of Ontario – are among those who peddle this mean-spirited, anti-democratic BS. Shame!

“Ashamed Canadian” wrote:
As an ashamed Canadian, rest assured: this legislation does NOT reflect the views of most Canadians. Like its counterparts in the US, this kind of legislation is pushed by the Israel lobby and corrupt, corporate-backed Zionist politicians. Politicians like to rant about the threat of terrorism, but when the wretched of the Earth practices peaceful activism, they are silenced, attacked and repressed. What is the effect of this policy? Death, destruction, and despair.

and “Eric” added

Based on its past performance, the Ontario NDP may support the bill, as a few years ago it vociferously backed a motion condemning Israeli Apartheid Week. The federal NDP also opposes BDS, though it plucked up its limited courage and voted against the recent federal BDS motion on civil liberties grounds

Frank Holden had a stroingly worded monitum
The goal of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is to get Israel’s murdering military and Israel’s settlers and settlements out of Palestine, to allow exiled Palestinians to return to their homes and towns, and to accomplish this by international economic pressure only. Anything else we hear about the BDS movement is Zionist lies. Anyone in doubt about the rights and wrongs of the Palestine-Israel conflict and why BDS exists, should research the “conflict” on line and find out for her/himself. Caution: Be prepared to find out how much your own Canadian politicians and media are lying to you. Be prepared to discover how and why. Fear not, for you will acquire so discerning an education in being a citizen of your human community that you will be very glad you’ve taken the trouble.


It will be interesting to see how much courage there is in the Ontario Legislature.


Mike Colle has been a good MPP but here his blind spot is evident.

Millenial Jews shaking the foundations

May 12, 2016

Young millenial Jews seem to be about the only hope for Jewish institutions to wake up and reclaim an authentic Judaism, a biblical prophetic brand best summed up in the invocation of Deuteronomy 16:20, “tzedek, tzedek tirdof” ( justice, justice you shalt pursue). Sadly a debilitating Zionism has wormed its way into too many sanctuaries, twisting maybe the greatest gift to the human community, biblical Judaism.
Ben Lorber a young Jewish campus minister in Chicago recently lamented that that “Mainstream synagogues, with their ‘We Stand With Israel’ banners facing the street and Israeli flags adorning the bimah, are struggling to find members under the age of 50.” Millenials like Lorber are more and more challenging Jewish institutions to participate in the movement for Palestinian justice. Heretofore, most have been silent. But a growing number of millenial Jews who care and have eyes to see simply cannot abide in the name of Jewish ethics, the shocking oppression of the occupation. They notice what it has done to the state of Israel and the deleterious effect it has had on North American Judaism.Lorbr

Lorber in his article which had to appear in Israel as most North American papers are terrified of printing such a seismic shift in the Jewish community, wrote that “yesterday’s Jews would be shocked to see that it is considered more heretical for Jews today to question the State of Israel than to question belief in God.”
In Canada many of these millenials have also come to the conclusion that those rabbis at the turn of the 20th century who warned the community about zionism were right. Zionism had the capacity to uproot Jews from Torah. Israel the state would become akin to the golden calf of Exodus, an idol.


It is quite inspiring to to see people like Tyler Levitan of Independent Jewish Voices ( challenge Prime Minister Trudeau to mark May 15 not only as Yom Ha’atmaut,the birth of the state of Israel but also as Nakba Day, commemorating the forced exile and dispossession of the majority of the Palestinian people from their homeland. Liberals of course are no better than Tories on this issue…both genuflecting to the Jewish vote.

Levitan a millenial “ Jew of Conscience” puts it right to Trudeau
If the Liberals wish to play the role of an honest broker– which they have failed at playing since coming into office–they need to begin by commemorating Nakba Day alongside Yom Ha’Atzmaut. A failure to do this will continue to send Canadians the message that Palestinians and their narrative should simply be ignored. Is that the behaviour of an honest broker?

Levitan then profers the invitation:

Please take a moment to sign our e-mail petition to Prime Minister Trudeau, and share this message with your friends through email and social media by copying and pasting this link:

Mulcair pays the price

April 11, 2016


Good for the Youth Wing of the NDP who four days before the NDP convention, said that the leader must be dumped, and they called for Mulcair’s sayonara.

These young people were reading the tea leaves correctly.
Looking at the numbers still rocketing upward for young Trudeau, these young uns presciently saw 8 years in the wilderness. Let’s get on with the demolition.
After the worst run campaign in NDP history when those in the bubble around Mulcair smelled victory and tilted to the mushy middle, the NDP defaulted on core principles. Like Icarus they got too close to the sun, in this case power. The smell of victory was too enticing. Amnesia set in and they forgot who they were. Pride went before the fall. It was pathetic to watch to watch the inner core of the party grasp for the gold ring. They played it safe, swore they would never run a deficit and allowed the Libs with Trudeau leading the charge to dream big. This is what the NDP was built on—vision of the common good. What a tragic miscalculation—of epic proportions. People were ready for this breakout after the dark years and meanness of Stephen Harper. And voila—Trudeau usurped the throne with bold policies which used to belong to the NDP.
This was the same mistake committed by Andrea Horvath the Ontario provincial leader lat year.  She smelled power and dis not stay true to NDP values.When will they ever learn? The party’s only hope is to stay committed to those core principles. When you don’t, people will smell dishonesty and naked ambition These two leaders got caught up in hubris. They started acting like cheap politicos pandering to what they figured voters wanted. They fell from grace and deservedly so.
Mulcair was a good performer in the House but for a guy who said in a Maclean’s profile that he was inspired by Catholic social principles, he never inspired. Particularly brutal on Israel. Is there no political party which will say the obvious. The Occupation of Palestinian land for 50 years has had terrible ramifications all over the Muslim world. All Canadian parties seem craven in front of the pro-Israel lobby. The bravest people are Canadian Jews of conscience who are saying the obvious. For the NDP to remain mute was a terrible blow for those who looked to the party for a braver stance.



Next leader—a new generation. Nathan Cullen or Megan Leslie.

Canada blind on Palestine

December 9, 2015

Brother Phil Little the Bard of Vancouver Island expresses my exact sentiments when I read Justin Trudeau’s statement regarding Brian Mulroney’s receiving the OR Tambo award by the South African government. One wonders in the year of our Lord 2015 when we are approaching the birthday of the most radical Jew to live under occupation, Yeshua ben Miriam (Jesus of Nazareth) how intelligent people can still be deaf, dumb and blind over the new Jews, Palestinians living under the world’s longest occupation.Mike Marquesee in his book If I Am not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew phrased his incredulity this way:

The blindness of the majority of American and British Jews to the criminality of Israeli behaviour towards the Palestinians beggars belief and is an index of moral, spiritual and intellectual decadence.This is the question. When it comes to 68 year long oppression of Palestinians why is the world so blind?

Trudeau is probably not aware that Nelson Mandela was a fierce supporter of the Palestinian cause. South Africans were well aware that Israel was apartheid’s best friend. Hence  Israeli  PM Netanyahu had the brains to stay home when the great Mandela was buried. He would have been booed out of the stadium.Unlike North Americans black Spoiut africans kneww all too well who their friends were


Sadly, we live in a time of massive amnesia and cowardice in high places.Enjoy brother Little’s fine riposte which follows Trudeau:

On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I would like to congratulate Mr. Brian Mulroney on being awarded the highest honour South Africa bestows upon foreign nationals: the Supreme Companion of Oliver Reginald Tambo award. This prestigious award recognizes Mr. Mulroney’s exceptional contribution to South Africa’s liberation movement and his steadfast support for the release of Nelson Mandela.
“Under the leadership of Mr. Mulroney, the Government of Canada strongly opposed apartheid, a system of racial segregation in South Africa that was at the centre of political violence in the country for decades.
“Only four months after his release, Nelson Mandela travelled to Ottawa, Montréal and Toronto as a gesture of gratitude for Canada’s contribution. In 1998, Mr. Mandela became the first foreign leader to be awarded the Order of Canada. He later became the first living person to be awarded honourary Canadian citizenship in 2001.
“In Canada, diverse perspectives and different opinions are celebrated, not silenced. Canadians know that we are stronger not in spite of our differences, but because of them. I am therefore very proud of the role Mr. Mulroney and Canada played in bringing an end to apartheid and helping Mr. Mandela’s fight for freedom.
“I extend our congratulations once again to Mr. Mulroney on receiving this tremendous honour, and on showing the world that Canada champions pluralism and multiculturalism, both at home and abroad.”

The Prime Minister’s Office

Phil Ltitle writes:

Is Trudeau aware of the implications of his statement?  He has praised the liberation struggle in South Africa and the leadership of Nelson Mandela. He says “This prestigious award recognizes Mr. Mulroney’s exceptional contribution to South Africa’s liberation movement and his steadfast support for the release of Nelson Mandela.  “Under the leadership of Mr. Mulroney, the Government of Canada strongly opposed apartheid, a system of racial segregation in South Africa that was at the centre of political violence in the country for decades.”


Apartheid is a system of racial segregation that is at the centre of political violence.  Is Trudeau also referencing Israel?  Surely if there is a state in the world actively engaged in a policy of racial segregation, a military operation of genocide and an internal system of denial of basic rights using a pass system and segregating a different ethnic and religious group to designated areas (such as Gaza) and the imprisonment of dissenters and selective assassination, then Trudeau must be speaking about Israel.

Leaders of the South African resistance, including Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu, and even US former President Jimmy Carter, state that Israel is more of an apartheid state than South Africa in its worst time. 

The story of a baseball

August 16, 2015



Yes indeed, it is Sam Jethroe, much beloved former Toronto Maple Leaf outfielder 1955, 56 and 57. We saw Sam on his downward trajectory from the bigs.He led the NL in stolen bases in 1950 and 51 and was the oldest “rookie of the year” ever (age 33).

Sam because of Jim Crow probably shaved a few years off his age to even get a look. He was the first black ball player to play in Boston whose  redneck owner  waited till 1960 for the Sox to sign their first black player, Pumpsie Green.

The guy even in his late 30s could fly—the skinniest legs of any ball player i ever saw and the man with the shortest lead off.His speed was blinding.

The ball has an interesting story.

My former student at Mimico High, Jerry Farrell is a  ball nut and when Sam fell on hard times (he ended up a barber in Erie,Pa,) Jerry heard the story, drove to Erie  and gave Sam $500.00.Sam gave him the autographed ball and Jerry gave it to me. Now I use it to play catch with my grandkids.

Sammy Ferris, a great hitter from our city championship teams of ’61 and ’62 was horrified that I use the ball to play catch with Doug and John my grandsons.I told him to me it’s just a ball. My memories are deeper than an object like this. I think Sam would smile watching the joy I get just tossing his ball to these young Blue Jay fans.

Samuel Jethroe (Jet)

Position: Centerfielder
Bats: Both, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 1″, Weight: 178 lb.

Born: January 23, 1917 in Lowndes County, MS
High School: Lincoln HS (East St. Louis, IL)
Signed as a Free Agent with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948. (All Transactions)
Debut: April 18, 1950 (Age 33.085, 8,238th in MLB history) vs. NYG 4 AB, 2 H, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB
Rookie Status: Exceeded rookie limits during 1950 season [*]
Teams : Braves/Pirates 1950-1954

Last Game: April 15, 1954 (Age 37.082) vs. BRO 1 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
Died: June 16, 2001 in Erie, PA (Aged 84.144)
Buried: Erie Cemetery, Erie, PA