A Puff of Absurdity: Fixing French Immersion

The Agenda with Steve Paikin had a segment on French Immersion in the schools this week. The panel raised some interesting points but neglected a few issues. A Bit of a Summary (skip down for more interesting bits) The guests were Caroline Alfonso, an education reporter for the Globe & Mail (with a young child in immersion), ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Blame Game

The fact that I experienced physical and verbal abuse at the hands of my teachers during my Catholic education probably has a lot to do with my visceral response to arrogance. Having someone presume to sit in judgement on another is both a humiliating and ultimately enraging experience, one that most of us have probably ...

Politics and its Discontents: Two Takes On Taxation

The contrast couldn’t be more striking. As announced by federal Fiance Minister Joe Oliver the other day, Ottawa is well on its way to posting a $9 billion surplus, but Canadians shouldn’t expect any massive new spending programs. Instead, he plans to reduce taxes once the deficit is eliminated in the 2015-16 budget, likely next ...

Alex's Blog: Tax Is More Than A Four Letter Word

“Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society”, a quote from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes on the IRS headquarter in Washington Ontario Budget 2014: watch my interview with Steve Paikin at The Agenda HERE

Alex's Blog: Tax Is More Than A Four Letter Word

http://castroller.com/podcasts/TheAgendaVideo/4043959 The Agenda – Steve Paikin interview before the Ontario Budget  May 30, 2014

Politics and its Discontents: An Economist Who Opposes Austerity

Unfortunately, I did not have time to write the blog post I had in mind, but fortuitously a friend alerted me to this video, a discussion between TVO’s Steve Paikin and Mark Blyth, an author and Ivy League professor who discusses why the current austerity mania is a bad idea. Coupled with the fact that ...

Politics and its Discontents: An Economist Who Opposes Austerity – UPDATED

Unfortunately, I did not have time to write the blog post I had in mind, but fortuitously a friend alerted me to this video, a discussion between TVO’s Steve Paikin and Mark Blyth, an author and Ivy League professor who discusses why the current austerity mania is a bad idea. Coupled with the fact that ...

An individual with opinions.: Jesse Brown gets it.

He’s a quote from him, on The Agenda regarding the Wentegate. “It’s not Darn Trends. It’s not Darn Internet [that caused Wente’s plagiarism]. We’re talking about a specific thing here…. It’s not so much the  [Wente] response, but is the Globe [and Mail] okay? And this brings up questions about the Globe that needs to ...

An individual with opinions.: Jesse Brown gets it.

He’s a quote from him, on The Agenda regarding the Wentegate. “It’s not Darn Trends. It’s not Darn Internet [that caused Wente’s plagiarism]. We’re talking about a specific thing here…. It’s not so much the  [Wente] response, but is the Globe [and Mail] okay? And this brings up questions about the Globe that needs to ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: The New McCarthyism

There is no worse cancer in a free society than the thuggish impulse to equate dissent as disloyalty… The greatest patriot is the person with the courage to be the lone voice in the crowd crying out that the Emperor has no clothes. The test of our society’s democratic nature is our instinct to value ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Forgiving the Unforgivable – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Our capacity to do violence to one another is the worst tragedy of the human condition, but it makes our still greater capacity to forgive one another all the more powerful.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: The Raj, the Reich, and the Good Fight – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Gandhi and Bose were brothers in the hunger for justice, and both had followers who were willing to die for freedom rather than live as slaves. But one group was so blinded by passion for its cause, that it was willing to join hands with regimes whose very names have become bywords for evil in ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: A Meritocracy Worth Fighting For – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Throughout our history, Canada has grown through the toil of generations of Canadians who were inspired by the belief that our country is free of the rigid class systems of the Old World, that Canadians’ success or failure depends on our own efforts and our own abilities…But in recent years, we have come to doubt ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Resistance is Not Futile – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

In any democracy worthy of the name, it is not merely the right, but the responsibility of every citizen to resist unjust laws… but there is a contrast between making a scene, and making a difference. There is a choice between the comfort of self-righteous illusion, and the peril of self-sacrificing commitment. There is a ...

Red Tory v.3.0.3: Summing Up the Republicans

Good discussion about the current state of the GOP with respect to the primary race and hypothetical outcomes should a Republican become president, featuring David “Axis of Evil” Frum, New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait and National Review editor Kevin Williamson. Towards the end of the conversation, Paiken wheels out this priceless quote from Mike ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Hope for the Holidays – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

We will be able to hold our heads high before the judgement of history if we can reply that in our season, we held on to hope, we put aside our doubts, we came together believing in our better selves, and we remembered that we have always burned brightest as a nation during the darkest ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: To Lead or to Serve – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Over the past quarter century, political parties have too often lurched away from being mass movements of individual Canadians sharing a common vision of the public good, and towards being backdrops for individual party leaders who speak the language of democracy while wielding near-absolute power over their elected caucuses.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Liberalism of Conviction and of Convenience – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

The 20th century began as the age of the dictator. It ended with liberalism having come of age as the ascendant political philosophy across the world. Yet liberal parties everywhere are in crisis. Can they grow with the success of liberalism, or have they been outgrown by the success of their own political philosophy?

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Faith in Secularism – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Speaking on TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, I make the case that separation of church and state is as much in the interests of the church as it is in the interests of the state. However, upholding the ideal of the secular state often demands more courage than we might expect.

350 or bust: The Problem We’ve Created

The world needs to reduce carbon emissions. While oil and gas were cheap, there were few incentives to seek newer, cleaner and renewable resources. But time is now the biggest factor. We’re running out of cheap energy and continuing to contribute to the current climate change problem. What, if anything, have we learned in the ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: Akaash Maharaj: A Party of the Many

As long as I have been involved in the Liberal Party, it has been my conviction that for all its strengths, its one fundamental weakness has been an unhealthy obsession with the identity of its leader. This impulse has taken us from being a party of the many, towards being a party of the few… ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: The Arab Spring – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

In my broadcast essay for TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, I argue that despite our sometimes chequered history in the region, Western states have an obligation to enforce the Libyan no-fly zone, both to protect civilians and to ensure that the Arab Spring and the hopes for democracy in the region are not snuffed ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Truth, Casualties, and War – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Videocast of my televised essay for TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, on Canada’s role in Afghanistan: Our ability to successfully conclude the mission and effect an honourable departure is being prejudiced by an ignominious political retreat from the truth: the truth about why we went to Afghanistan in the first place and what we ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: An Injection of Moralism – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

In this, my second broadcast essay for TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, I argue that the efforts by the federal government to place emotion above reason and shut down Insite are unworthy of our country’s better traditions and higher responsibilities. It is little more than an effort to purchase easy political popularity at the ...

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: The Rights of Vulgar Little Cowards – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

In this, my maiden broadcast essay for TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, I argue that freedom of expression is too fundamental a right to be casually abridged, and that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal must be stripped of its power to regulate public expression.