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
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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 – ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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, ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

Steve Nash wins, and poor Jose Calderon loses – again

Steve Nash at wRanter.com

Captain Hollywood?

So it turns out that all-world point guard Steve Nash isn’t going to be a Toronto Raptor next year.

Boo hoo.

Wonky back and all, the 38-year-old received a contract offer from the Raptors reportedly worth $36 million over three years, but ultimately signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

While I like Nash – who doesn’t? – and I appreciate the veteran leadership he would have brought to a young Raptors team, I don’t think his presence would have done anything more than make them a fifth- or sixth-seeded playoff team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference – at best.

It’s also hard to see why he would have been a huge upgrade over the incumbent, 30-year-old starter Jose Calderon – who, like Nash, isn’t a great defender – and backup Jerryd Bayless.

I don’t buy the argument that if the Raps couldn’t entice the best baller Canada has ever produced to play in Toronto, they’ll have little chance at enticing other free agents to sign here.

Players don’t sign with the Raptors because the team is awful. One playoff series victory in 17 seasons is the only statistic you need to know in that regard. Continue reading

Print pagePDF page

Why I like the CFL, and you should, too

As my beloved Raptors wind down yet another lost season, and with the Leafs mercifully having been put out of their misery a few weeks ago, it’s time to turn my attention to the sports of summer.

Arrrrrgooooooooooos at wRanter.com


Here in Toronto, that means Blue Jays baseball – it’s hard not to get excited about a team that could contend this year – as well as Toronto FC in Major League Soccer and the Argonauts in the Canadian Football League.

I realize that pro sports is mostly a business populated by multi-millionaire players and billionaire owners.

A left-wing Christian that I once profiled felt all pro sports are wastes of time and money, diversions from more important pursuits, and he was probably right.

Intellectually, I can understand this “bread, not circuses” attitude, and I don’t take any pro sport that I follow too seriously (although I did as a kid and as a teenager). But emotionally, I think there’s something fun and collectively healthy about bonding around a local sports team.

At the very least, it gives Torontonians something to talk about beyond the buffoonery of our dumb-as-wood conservative puffball of a mayor and his fumbling of the transit file.

It’s also a bit easier for a lefty like me to get behind smaller-scale teams such as TFC and especially the Argos, the latter being the poor cousin of the local pro sports scene.

Continue reading

Print pagePDF page

Linsanity and some personal soul-searching on race

The New York Knicks and Asian-American rookie phenom Jeremy Lin were in town last week to play the Toronto Raptors, and it led me to some personal soul-searching on race, particularly when it comes to Asians and Asian-Americans and Canadians.

By now, many of you already know Lin’s story, and you know what he inflicted on the Raps – a last-minute, buzzer-beating three-point shot to win the game, which only enhanced his growing celebrity.

For those of you who live under a rock or couldn’t care less about basketball (or sports in general), this is what you missed:

Lin isn’t the first person to star in the NBA after going undrafted. Indeed, Knicks shooting guard John Starks was an all-star in 1994, and Bruce Bowen, Ben Wallace and Avery Johnson all played key roles on championship teams.

But Lin, the American-born son of Taiwanese immigrants, is the first true Asian-American pro baskeball star, one who seemingly came out of nowhere. Continue reading

Print pagePDF page