wRanter.com

Gentle and not-so-gentle thoughts and musings from a Jewish, left-leaning, Canadian, pro-Israel, inner-suburban, fortysomething, libertarian, recovering perfectionist, quasi-socialist husband, dad, basketball fan, writer and editor with a few opinions.

wRanter.com - Gentle and not-so-gentle thoughts and musings from a Jewish, left-leaning, Canadian, pro-Israel, inner-suburban, fortysomething, libertarian, recovering perfectionist, quasi-socialist husband, dad, basketball fan, writer and editor with a few opinions.
Featured wRants
He was burned by this very issue.

The Jewish community should fund its own schools

The fallout from the recent controversy over the creation of gay-straight alliance clubs (GSAs) in Ontario's publicly funded Catholic school system should give pause to those seeking funding – in the name of fairness – ...

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Being mislabelled by educators can make school a misery.

Your December-born kid may not have ADHD. He might just be immature.

A new Canadian study is bolstering an argument I've been making to my kids' teachers and principals for years: children born later in a calendar year are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit ...

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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau

Israel shouldn't be a political football or litmus test

Despite public and private appeals to call off the event, the Jewish Defence League (JDL) went ahead with its unfortunate decision to picket a Liberal fundraiser at the Toronto home of pharmaceutical magnate and Jewish ...

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Who will be the next big-name Jewish MP?

Last week, we examined four “Jewish” battleground ridings, including two – York Centre in Toronto and Mount Royal in Montreal – where, one way or another, a Jewish candidate is likely to win. This week, ...

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The next occupants of 24 Sussex?

Why Thomas Mulcair gets it when it comes to Israel

Not surprisingly, Thomas Mulcair won the NDP leadership last month, replacing Saint Jack Layton as the man social democrats hope can rally left-of-centre voters to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives. Here's hoping he's successful, but ...

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Thursday the rabbi walked out, or was he pushed?

Being a pulpit rabbi can be a cutthroat business

When Toronto Jews awoke last Saturday morning and collected their Globe and Mail newspapers from their doorsteps (those who still subscribe, that is), they discovered a front-page story detailing how Holy Blossom Temple, the city's ...

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Jewish issues at centre of partisan sniping

Jewish issues and candidates made headlines last week and became the subject of some distasteful political rhetoric on the campaign trail. In Alberta, a 21-year-old hijab-wearing university student resigned Aug. 18 as the Liberal candidate in ...

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Things that make me go arghhhh! Part 1

I figure that this wouldn’t be a true blog without random kvetching about nothing in particular.

Fine whine at wRanter.com

Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch…

So in that spirit, I present semi-aimless carping about disconnected aspects of modern life, or, with apologies to Arsenio Hall, what I like to call “Things that make me go arghhhh!”:

• When a store’s website inventory checker says something is in stock and you plan a special trip to a particular outlet based on that information, only to find out that the item you want isn’t there. This happens to me so often that you’d think I’d learn not to bang my head against the wall again and again. (Here’s looking at you, Canadian Tire!) Note to self: remember to use the telephone next time. Continue reading


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Competitive basketball saved our son

I never thought I’d hear myself say this, or see myself write it, but team sports have truly saved my kid’s life.

Really. Without team sports, he’d probably be an insecure, angry mess who might have been kicked out of his Jewish day school, a result of his interactions with an educational system that from a very early age did not know how to handle this bright, friendly, energetic, lovable boy. (You can read a bit more about his story here.)

But the quasi-redemptive kind of team sports I’m talking about isn’t the house league, everybody-makes-the-team and everyone-gets-a-trophy variety.

Atom boys basketballers at wRanter.com

It's all about teamwork and effort.

I’m referring to rep sports, which require you to work on your game (whatever it may be), risk rejection through a series of gruelling tryouts, and then earn your playing time (and your coach’s respect) with ongoing effort and hard work.

Before my wife and I had kids, and before we had two boys, we thought rep sports were too expensive and required too much of a commitment from both parents and kids at the expense of more important pursuits, like school. We considered rep sports and their high number of practice hours to be a drain on both time and money – two of our most precious family commodities. Continue reading


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Your December-born kid may not have ADHD. He might just be immature.

A new Canadian study is bolstering an argument I’ve been making to my kids’ teachers and principals for years: children born later in a calendar year are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, than their older peers. (You can read more about the study here and here.)

The conclusion seems pretty obvious to me, but apparently extensive research was needed to confirm – or at least strongly support – what many of us already know from painful experience to be true.

Dancing up a storm at wRanter.com

ADHD or normal childhood exuberance?

The 11-year study by researchers at the University of British Columbia looked at 938,000 six- to 12-year-olds from December 1997 to November 2008  in B.C. schools where the calendar year demarcates school-admission cutoffs. They found that kids born in December are 39 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and 48 per cent more likely to be treated with medication for it than children born in January.

The concern is that children who are immature relative to their classmates are being singled out based on distracted, “impulsive” or “hyperactive” behaviour in class, and that they’re being referred by educators to a psycho-educational industry that may be too quick to prescribe medications (mostly stimulants) whose long-term effects are still largely unknown. Continue reading


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