Checking - In: Listener Response
Our executive producer Jennifer Moroz, joined Anna Maria in studio to check-in with what you've been saying.
Twiplomacy: We start with weighing the value of 140 characters in the complex world of diplomacy. US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton encourages her staff to use social media. And some think combining things such as Twitter and diplomacy -or Twiplomacy ... is something Canada can put to good use. But not everyone wanted to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, including former Canadian Ambassador to Jordan, Egypt and Israel Michael Bell.
David Clearwater of Lethbridge, Alberta sent in these thoughts:
Michael Bell is a badly needed voice of reason. Sure, social media can be a useful tool... but one among many. Twitter shines in getting information out quickly and, mostly, to media. To expect that Twitter or Facebook is going to 'gamechange' diplomacy is more marketing hype than anything.
On Twitter, we asked whether it's time for Canada to start using Twiplomacy and Les Majestey tweeted back: No, because the leadership is incapable of exercising smart power.
When it came to exercising smart power, the US came out on top, while it became clear there was a lot more our Canadian diplomats could be doing. That got our comedy team here at the CBC wondering what twitter training on Parliament Hill might be like.
What Money Can't Buy: There's an old saying that the best things in life are free ... and political philosopher, Michael Sandel would likely agree with that. Monday on The Current, he cautioned against what society loses when everything becomes just a matter of opening your wallet.
And that hit home with Jennifer Johne of Maxwell, Ontario, who writes:
My daughter's school just sent home a third request for money in as many days. It was for a magazine subscription, emphasizing the importance of reading at home, and free classroom aids. But my daughter talks about the big bucket of stickers the winning classroom will get. Michael Sandel described the situation exactly when he talked of market mechanisms being used as the primary instrument for achieving the common good.
During the interview, Michael Sandel also raised an example at a daycare, where parents routinely were late picking up their children. But when the daycare implemented a late fee for their time, the tardiness just escalated.
That got Terry Kelly to tweet this:
The child care late fee story is true with more affluent parents. A dollar per minute? No problem, and teacher and child's feelings are disregarded.
Argentina's Dirty War: Confirmation of the systematic kidnapping of babies was welcomed this summer by many who have fought against years of denials. Two former top generals of the dictatorship were convicted of stealing infants of political prisoners. Last Thursday, we heard from one woman, Victoria Montenegro, who was stolen as a baby, in Kathleen Goldhar's documentary, Becoming Victoria.
The story was emotionally difficult and raised similar circumstances for some listeners. Andrew Walczak of Oakville sent us this:
I was horrified by this account. There was a similar abduction of not hundreds ... but tens of thousands of Polish children that the Germans carried out during World War II. Not only were thousands of these children killed, but many thousands were placed with German families.
And Russell Banta of Ottawa found parallels within Canada as he writes:
The Sixties Scoop in Canada was in some ways not like the stories from Argentina. The parents were not harmed. But the children, some estimate 35 thousand, were taken from their aboriginal homes and given to middle class white families until the 1980s.
During Kathleen's trip to Buenos Aires, she also sat down with another Argentinian woman, who wasn't stolen as a child, but whose family was traumatized by the actions of the military government who ruled Argentina during those years. Her name is Rachel Krowsick. She sat down with Kathleen in a busy restaurant, and told her story.
*** And just a quick warning, there are details that listeners might find disturbing.***
Canada's Embassy to Iran: And finally ... just enough time to get some thoughts from listeners about the closing of Canada's embassy in Iran last Friday.
Leon MacIntyre of Chesterville, Ontario emailed us these thoughts:
Cutting diplomatic ties with Iran does not benefit Canadians. It lends support to the long-standing Israeli call for an attack on Iran. We should never blindly adopt Israeli solutions to the problem. Canadian foreign policy ultimately should be concerned with our national interest.
And here's one more thought from Deanna Toxopeus of Ottawa who writes:
This is not an academic exercise. A student I taught last year is the son of an Iranian diplomat. He was so excited to start Grade 9. He is a good kid who worked hard, wanting to learn as much about Canada as possible. He read The Hunger Games on his cellphone and had the beer ap. How he will be able to revert back to behavoiur that is acceptable in Iran? I am sorry his last memory of Canada will be "get out". The "beer ap" Anna Maria - if you don't know what that is!! It enables you to turn the screen of your phone into a beer glass ... so when you tip it, it looks like the beer is pouring out as it makes a glug-glug sound.
Jim Brown is hosting the tomorrow. Here is what is in the works:
We're looking into a bleak new national report card from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that says infrastructure across the country is headed towards a crisis. The report says that more than 1/2 the roads owned and maintained by cities need major repairs and nearly a 1/4 of waste water systems are in need of billions of dollars in upgrades.
We know, from this Federation of Canadian Municipalities report, that this is an issue that's plaguing pretty much every city and town in the country. So ... to that end, we're asking our listeners to weigh in.
Is there a road, bridge, or pipe you're worried will break or fail in your neighbourhood? We want to hear from you.
10th Anniversary: One more thing before we go, The Current is celebrating our 10th anniversary on the air this fall and to mark the occasion, we've launched an interactive web site featuring some our most memorable interviews.
Additionally you'll find behind-the-scenes photos from the last ten years. Plus, you can listen to Anna Maria's reflections on the interviews ... and find out more about what went into making them happen.
One of our top ten interviews is with author Kurt Vonnegut. Anna Maria spoke to him a year before he passed away and he reflected on his prose, passions and of course politics.
We'll be adding to this site all season long, and bringing back more stories from our archives ... if you ask for them. Just go to cbc.ca/thecurrent and click on the 10th anniversary link. Or go straight to cbc.ca/thecurrent/10.
This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien and Carole Ito
Last Word - King Richard III
As you may have heard on the news, a team of archeologists in England unearthed what they think are the remains of King Richard the Third, the last English King to die in battle. Richard fell at Bosworth Field in 1485.
He's remembered as one of the creepiest English monarchs. Shakespeare portrays him as a plotting hunchback who murders children on his march to power.
The Tudors who succeeded Richard certainly had no reason to polish his record. But many historians say he's been judged too harshly; his short reign was quite enlightened. Interestingly enough, the skeletal remains do suggest there was something unusual about the owner's spine.
Jeff Ibsen is a Canadian descendant through King Richard's aunt. His family's DNA will be used to establish whether the remains do indeed belong to the King. Jeff Ibsen gets the last word ... with some help from Sir Lawrence Olivier as his royal ancestor.
Other segments from today's show: