Canada and the Arms Trade Treaty

January 22, 2016 Thirdway

By Jennifer Wiebe, Director of the Ottawa Office, MCC Canada During the marathon (by Canadian standards!) election campaign, the Liberal Party claimed its vision for “a more compassionate Canada”—a “sunnier” Canada that would re-engage multilateral institutions, re-invest in public diplomacy, and reverse the decline in foreign aid. Three months after their win, the Liberals have moved in as governing party. Political staffers are slowly (but surely) taking their positions. And everyone in Ottawa has hit the ground running, trying to give legs to the many promises made on the campaign trail. The slogan around town is, “Canada’s back.” As the […]


January 22, 2016 Carmen Andres

I grew up watching the Rocky films, so after Sylvester Stallone received a Golden Globe for his performance in Creed, I thought it about time to see that one too. Like Mary Anne, Johnson, and Rocky, we are a family of adopted and wounded brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, mothers and fathers bonded by a sacrificial love. Since it had been decades since I’d seen the first film, I decided to watch Rocky first. Rocky, which won Best Picture, was written by Stallone, who also was nominated for his portrayal of the blue-collar boxer who holds his own in […]

What Makes Your House a Home?

January 22, 2016 Melodie Davis

When we in 2007 moved out of the house we had lived in for over 30 years, we didn’t feel truly “at home” until an unusual argument erupted in the new house. Do we devote at least as much time and energy in truly caring for each other as we do in caring for the house? It happened at Christmas that year when the kids were all back home in our new house. A noisy argument erupted from a bedroom where two of our girls were sharing space for the holiday (and before any of our daughters were married). Upon […]

Race and mass incarceration

January 19, 2016 Joshua Russell

Race and mass incarceration By Joshua Russell There are a plethora of injustices that need to be reformed in the U.S. criminal justice system. From harsh mandatory minimums to the many restrictions that are placed on people after their return from prison, reforms are desperately needed at every level. But it would be foolish and dangerous to undertake these reforms without considering the racial element of mass incarceration. White men in this country stand a 1 in 17 chance of going to prison during their lifetime, while for African-American men the rate is an astounding 1 in 3. Why are […]

The Church and Racism: Some Fresh Thinking

January 15, 2016 Melodie Davis

“Once more the car drove by, but this time the police officers stopped and got out. They immediately arrested my brother for ‘fitting the description’ of someone who had recently committed a crime.” The responses to racialized arrests, beatings, and trials we’ve seen in the United States are so “predictable, as many people fall into their default defensive positions,” Drew Hart points out. Drew G. I. Hart was on a road trip with a carload of white college friends when his mother called and told him about his brother’s erroneous arrest. It was a critical wake-up call for Drew, who […]


January 15, 2016 Vic Thiessen

Sure to be nominated for numerous Academy Awards, Carol is an engaging and evocative period drama about two women who fall in love with each other in 1951, a time when such a relationship was not only scandalous but a sign of serious psychological dysfunction. Carol is a quiet, understated film featuring terrific performances by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as well as gorgeous cinematography, a great score, and tight, flawless direction. Carol (played by Cate Blanchett) is a wealthy woman who has recently initiated divorce proceedings with her husband, Harge (Kyle Chandler). She has a close friend, Abby (Sarah […]

No Longer an Only

January 8, 2016 Michelle D. Sinclair

Editor’s note: Michelle Sinclair is the daughter of columnist Melodie Davis and writes occasionally for Another Way. She works in the advertising department of a major daily newspaper, and she and her husband are parents of one son. No longer being an only child isn’t a bad thing, right? My husband and I aren’t ruining our son’s life by giving him a little brother, are we? Maybe he will be horribly jealous the way I was when my sister Tanya arrived on the scene about two weeks after my second birthday. These are the (somewhat facetious) questions I ponder now […]

The Big Short

January 8, 2016 Jerry L. Holsopple

The Big Short, a film based on a nonfiction book by Michael Lewis, is crammed with information that seems more akin to a documentary. But it still maintains an entertaining story line. Pure greed is the only motivating factor offered as explanation of what led the big banks and rating agencies to deceive customers and place the whole economy in a fragile state. Director Adam McKay goes all out as characters or celebrities, including chef Anthony Bourdain, speak directly to us as they explain how the housing bubble came to be and how it brought down the whole economy. Given […]

Find a Way to Say Yes

January 1, 2016 Melodie Davis

A niece of mine works in upper management at a “members only” big box warehouse chain store. They are particularly known for their customer service and generous return policy. She says they are often told that when dealing with any customer’s problem or a return, they should “find a way to say yes” even when they don’t at first see a solution. I’m sure other businesses have “yes” as a policy, but it seems like some are the exact opposite: they try to find reasons to say no. She shared a story of how one woman—on the phone from another […]

The human face of evil

January 1, 2016 Gordon Houser

We are inundated by news of the atrocities of ISIS and other jihadist groups, and many Americans live in an often misguided fear of Muslims. We tend to view these Islamic militants as monsters. Timbuktu is that rare film that is both disturbing and inspiring. Abderrahmane Sissako’s outstanding film Timbuktu paints a different portrait by showing the complex humanity of his characters. This French-Mauritanian film, which originally came out in 2014 but only came to the United States this year, takes its name from the cosmopolitan city in Mali that draws people from many places and where many languages are […]