Opening Statement



Thursday, 2 May 2019

Oh Cannabis -Our Condo "Air Quality Control" Rule!



Are you a medical pot smoker? Or a recreational one? Living in a condo? A rental home? Or an apartment? 

Remember last spring? Maybe you were shocked! Upset like me!

Cannabis was finally being "legalized!" But my condo board was hellbent on a complete smoking ban! 

Say what? I'm a medical user! I can't toke at home? 

Apparently not here at my 218 unit building in Toronto, Ontario, Canada! Nor in lots of other multiple resident properties, all across our provinceSee @ [LINK].

That's changed! 

No, our building's new "Air Quality Control Rule" isn't perfect. It's a compromise. 

But I can relax now. Toke peacefully in the privacy of my own home! If not in the other "common elements" or "areas"! Without the fear of being hassled!

It's far from perfect. However, our new rule is hopefully a useful model! One that you can build on! 

Here's the complete legal text, along with my explanatory notes, in case it's of some help for you: 


AIR QUALITY RULE


Pursuant to Section 58 of the Condominium Act, 1998


WHEREAS the Board of Directors of the Corporation has the authority to pass rules governing the use and occupation of the units, consistent with the Declaration, in order to promote the safety, security and welfare of the Owners and the property, or for the purpose of preventing unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the common elements and other units; and

[In Ontario, smoking tobacco and recreational cannabis can be banned in a condo, apartment and/ or house. But check where you live. The laws vary. Across Canada. In different US states. And other countries.]

WHEREAS the Board of Directors of the Corporation recognizes there is a distinct category of medical user. To prevent against substantial interference with the reasonable use of property amongst other users, reasonable containment is the goal of this rule to support accommodation.


[Let's be clear! A complete smoking ban? It's not all right to harass a medical cannabis patient! Most of us are very reasonable. Just want to be left alone. To relax. Be safe. And peacefully medicate at home. 

Of course, that can be problematic in a multiple resident building. If some of us aren't reasonable, then our neighbours definitely have rights too. But it's not fair to overreact. Automatically assume the worst.

Think of all the many contentious messes, stinks and noises in your building. Why centre us out for special punishment? 

The bottom line? Nowadays, cannabis is legal in Canada. That should be good news! We tokers have been unfairly criminalized, bullied and harassed for far too long! 

Lasch Law's complete smoking ban would've grandfathered us as medical users in my building. Require us to declare and share our medical information. That sounds like a legal quagmire. Smacks of bullying. [LINK]

Such reefer madness hysteria is at best manipulative. Ill-advised. And very mean spirited. Condo boards and landlords need to clearly hear that's not okay! Enough is enough! 

Inevitably, one or more of these nasty pot bans are going to result in a major, civil rights challenge. Under close scrutiny, they're very problematic. Will get botched up. Backfire in court. 

Especially when it comes to medical cannabis rights. The grass root activists among us need to lead the charge. Remind the condo board or landlord of our legal rights. So they don't carelessly over re-act. Rashly pass a complete smoking ban. Before carefully considering all of the legal implications. 

With my board, it was a long, gruelling process. At heart, they're good people, whom I quite like. Still, to put it nicely, it required a very high spirited debate. But was well worth it. 

In the end, we unanimously agreed to rewrite the complete smoking ban that Lasch Law had forwarded for our consideration. For starters, we added these specific references to our new Air Quality Control Act; "a distinct category of medical user", "other users" and "reasonable containment". Moreover, you can see that they are prominently placed within the opening clauses of the new rule we passed.] 


NOW THEREFORE BE IT ENACTED AS A RULE OF THE CORPORATION AS FOLLOWS:

1] There shall be no smoking anywhere on, within or upon the common elements of the Corporation [which shall include all exterior common elements of the Corporation such as patios, terraces and/or balconies, if any] except in areas as may be specifically designated by the board from time to time, at its absolute discretion.

[This protects the resident's medical and recreational right to smoke cannabis within our own condo units! I chose to focus on medical user rights first and foremost as a part of my strategy. The legal arguments are the strongest. Blowing big holes in our odious, Lasch Law ban. Creating the most reasonable doubt.

As a result, the recreational users also benefited. Can now smoke in their homes. Tobacco smokers too. Otherwise, their case would've been a lot harder to legally make! 

Seniors? New Canadians? People of colour? The LGBTQ residents? Quite understandably, few thought much of going out to the street for a toke! Nor do they want their loved ones to have to do so either. Mean. Not safe. Lots of hassles.

A tip: Be inclusive! Our Toronto condo building is very diverse. Certainly, casting a wide net helped provide a lot more good reasons and support to defeat the complete smoking ban! Moreover, it's a very important social justice issue too

Also helpful: Whether a resident or director is to the left or the right, the threat of unwanted intrusions at home proved very convincing. Smacks of "big brother" and the "nanny state". 

Ask what happens after that trip wire is crossed? What's going to be banned next? Of course, everyone has a pet peeve. The end result? A very slippery slope. All things considered, it's an argument which shoots lots more holes in the ban! From both sides of the political spectrum! 

As a result, our complete smoking ban was withdrawn. The new rule more fairly treats cannabis, tobacco and alcohol exactly the same. All three are allowed in your own unit. But they are prohibited in all of the "common elements" or areas located inside and outside the building.

Smoking on the balcony? It's prohibited by our city by-laws anyway. Hallways, elevators, the parking garage and lobby? Also a no go. 

Our board had already banned alcohol and tobacco from anywhere on the outside grounds long ago. Including at the BBQ pit. It's simple. Now the same rule applies for cannabis too!

That's only fair, if not a compromise of sorts. There's no smoking area outside. Or outdoor party drinks allowed during BBQ season. 

I asked around. Nobody wanted to champion those issues! Well, they really aren't that important to me, except in principle. And everyone is still free to apply "from time to time" for an exemption, as "specifically designated by the board."]



2] For the purposes of the Rule, "smoking" includes, but is not limited to, the combustion, vaporization, and/or inhalation of tobacco or tobacco products, cannabis [marijuana] or cannabis products, or such other substances as the Board of Directors may prohibit from time to time, in it's absolute discretion, by any means or method including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, joints, pipes, vaporizers or other means or methods as the Board of Directors may prohibit from time to time, in its absolute discretion.

[I would've liked a broad vaping exemption. But there wasn't enough interest and support!]

3] In the event that complaints are received by the Corporation that smoke or smoke odours are entering other units or the common elements as a result of smoking by a resident, that resident together with the corporation shall take reasonable steps to prevent such smoke migration from occurring, which may include, but is not limited to, the Corporation employing a licensed and insured contractor to mitigate the complaint involving that resident's unit at his/ her sole cost and expense.

[Corporations indemnify themselves. Our condo board is a corporation. This is a pretty standard legal clause, so I let it be.

The issue of "reasonable containment" however, could be more problematic! Of course, we need to be respectful and sensitive of others. And rightly so! 

As for our superintendent? Property management? The contractors? Will they be properly trained and qualified? In case of a complaint? About a medical cannabis patient? To decide what's "reasonable"? Or how we are to be "contained"? That's very difficult to properly determine! Fraught with legal peril!

At least our medical user rights are clearly noted in the preamble! We're not just another resident who smokes. Can legally call in the real legal experts should any faux pas occur! A useful reference point for us! And hopefully for all concerned]



4] Owners shall be solely responsible for the remediation of any and all damage caused in their unit[s] and the common elements [which shall include all exterior common elements of the Corporation such as patios, terraces and/or balconies, if any] including but not limited to mould or mildew, attributable to the cultivation of cannabis by such Owner[s]. No more than four [4] plants shall be permitted to be cultivated in any one [1] unit at any time.

[Our condo building doesn't have any existing rules banning house plants. Basically, cannabis will be treated like any other plant. Our baseline? The government limit of 4. That mitigated the board's fear of large grow ops! Widespread mould! And skyrocketing electrical costs! Also, our "medical user" reference could arguably help protect the ACMPR grower's legal right to grow more plants, if needed.]

Every lease of a unit in the Corporation, entered into by an Owner on or after the date this Rule becomes effective, shall contain a written term explicitly stating that the no smoking or vaping of any type shall be permitted on the common elements of the Corporation, and proof of same shall be provided to the Corporation immediately upon request. In addition to all the other means of enforcement and remedies available to the Corporation, any breach of this rule shall be enforced as set out in the existing Rules of the Corporation. Where any provision in this rule is inconsistent with any other Rule of the Corporation, the provisions of this Rule shall prevail and the other Rule shall be deemed amended or appealed accordingly.



FINAL NOTES

As medical users and grass root activists, we really need to get involved where we live. It's well worth it! After all, a cannabis ban directly effects us at home!

Get involved with your condo board or tenant association. Attend the meetings. Network! Maybe try a friendly knock on doors where you smell smoke! Remember, there could be lots of possible allies living in your building. They can help fight the good fight too!

The sooner the better! Condo boards often make decisions with minimal input. So even a few, very unhappy voices can have a big impact. 

Don't forget! After they pass a rule, it gets a lot harder to change! [LINK]

Renters face an even more formidable task. You don't own your house or unit. Still, the risk of doing nothing is just too high. And NOT in a good way! 

It could be very insightful to hear what others are doing! Please feel free to share your "Comments" below!

Fortunately, I could explain a lot of the basic issues to the board myself. Perhaps that comes from writing my Oh Cannabis News + Views blog. Still, it was often in lay person terms. And there was a lot of deep rooted skepticism. 

Cannabis might be legal. However, the reefer madness lies and confusion are still very hard to dispel. That won't change overnight!



When the going got tough, I had the board invite Toronto Cannabis Lawyer Caryma Sa'd to attend a meeting. She thoroughly confirmed the "medical user" facts and answered any questions. It was very refreshing, because she did so from a progressive perspective. Very rare! And of course, she knows all the proper legal terms and references. [SITE] [FACEBOOK]

Caryma also very much appreciated the board's concern about "reasonable containment". So that was also appropriately addressed to the board's satisfaction. 

Overall, it was a very useful visit. Our board needed to hear all this, from a good, well versed lawyer, rather than just me. 

In short, Caryma was a real deal clincher. Her visit helped dispel any lingering reservations. We were able to ditch the complete smoking ban. Then draft and pass our new Air Quality Control Rule.



James O'Hara from CFAMM [Canadians for Fair Access To Medical Marijuana] was also very helpful! I heard him and Caryma speak at Karma Cup 2018. Phoned him later for a sounding board, to make sure I was on the right track. [CFAMM] [TWITTER]

You might look both of them up here in the GTA. Or seek out other similar, cannabis advocacy resources to successfully fight your building's cannabis ban.

Hopefully, our new Air Quality Control Rule is of some help too! 

Pax/
Solidarity!

David C

COMMENTS:

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Your Reader Guide 2 Teacher Free Speech News y Views!


Under the influence! 

Above the ignorance! 

Welcome to the straight goods! 

Think of Teacher Free Speech as Oh Cannabis' alter ego. Both have a grass root focus on social justice. Civil Liberty. The counter culture. The good fight against rigged government. And corporate rule. Rooted in the here and now. That's my goal!

Teacher Free Speech News and Views has a wider political, social and economic focus. Hopefully providing more general and comprehensive insights into our life and times. 

Oh Cannabis covers much the same ground. With a much, more specific, activist thrust; the fight to legalize cannabis. An end the legal reefer madness of Prohibition 2.0. But the underlying issues are the same!

Be in the know! Read together, they're more holistic. More complete. Whole. Make more sense.

I know. This is getting pretty high falootin'! Soooooo ..... 




HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL FIND:

EDUCATION BEAT: I use to cover the teacher movement here on my site, in a lot more detail, as a union steward, before I retired. Still do somewhat. But as an older, everyday citizen. With wife, family and grandchildren. And nobody growing any younger. The focus here? On educating ourselves. And others in our care. The goal? To be more inclusive. Empowering. Caring. And to celebrate our diversity

OH CANADA: [Verses "Oh Cannabis" .... comprehend?!] You'll find Toronto, Ontario, and Canadian news links and commentary, in that order, on the pressing issues of the day ...


IN THE NEWS: Includes political, social and economic news links from south of our border. And around the world. From a Canadian POV. Something a little different perhaps, for many readers ...

KULTURE KULT INK: Think "Culture" with a capital K. Society. Arts and entertainment. Society. Links that are just for fun. Or that really don't fit in anywhere else ....

COMMENTS: Please feel free! Any and all constructive criticism and/or points of view are welcome! Use the link. 

Enjoy!

David C

LINKS

My Blog Site Acronym Guide is @ HERE!



COMMENTS

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Come 2 Dankmasta P's Nugswap!


Psssst! Wanna swap buds in Toronto?!? Come to Dankmasta P's "Nugswap"! It's  from 5-8pm, on the third Saturday of each month, at the venerable downtown Vapor Central Lounge. [LINK!]

There's no cash involved, except for the $5 club entrance fee. Everyone's very friendly, laid back and discreet. Just local cannabis enthusiasts. And lots of home growers. Out to swap, trade or "Gift" each other, with the following:

-Flower
-Cuts + Clones
-Seeds
-Edibles + Extracts

Here's how it works:



Upon arrival, fill out a card. Include a nickname. List the Gifts you've brought. And the Gifts you're looking for. Post it on the bulletin board. 

Next, grab a name tag. Check out the other cards. Decide who you'd like to share with. Then swap wares. 

Of course, you can fire up the volcano's! The dab rigs! Vape away!

No cash means no hassles. Just gift what you got. Get gifts back.

Very gifty! Dankmasta P's Nugswap's are very potent and mind expanding too! Sample a whole whack of different cannabis strains! Try them in bud, edible and/ or in extract form. Learn more about growing your own weed. See what you like for yourself; the low cost/ no cost way. 

Collect a very kool bag of goodies! Maybe win a prize in the draw. 

Get stoned AF. Then safely ride the subway home!

Think alternatives: Ontario's uptight, overpriced, licensed, pot shops? 

Tell Doug Ford to go stick it, the Nugswap way! 

Much to my delight, this shesh, I scored:



Rick Simpson Oil -Very smooth. Clean! A lil' dab will do ya! For aches! Pains! Whatever ails! A classic, home made, medical cannabis high!

CBN Capsule's: A clear, natural extract that helps relax and put you to sleep.

Buds: A dank, indica Rude Boy Kush caught my fancy! Plus there was lotsa fun Grape and Purple Kush. Really, with so many homegrown strains, I always find something trez kool. I even scored a few grams of real Jamaican ganja. Very old school! Hard pressed into a brick! Irie!



Cuttings, Seeds, Clones: Great starter strains! Endless varieties! Take your pick! 

So plan to attend Dankmasta P's next Nugswap! Partake in the festivities! 

A splendid time is guaranteed for all! 



LINKS:

Twitter Updatesdavidchiarelli

The Nugswap Co-op ExplainedHERE!

Teachers In The WeedpatchHERE!

My Nugswap Bud ReviewTHERE!



COMMENTS:

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Let's Rally 4 Education!

My AcrOnyM GuiDe IS @ hErE!

It's the April 6th Rally for EducationQueen's Park Toronto is packed! 170 buses line the curb outside the provincial legislature. While tens of thousands of protesters pack the front lawns! Teachers! Educators! Parents! And students!



Welcome to the first in a long series of huge protests! Think back to the Harris Years. The late 1990's. Once again, the Ontario teacher and educational worker unions are united in a Common Front.  AEFO, CUPE, ETFO, OECTA, and OSSTF are rallying together. The good fight is back on! The grand kick off is today!

Sadly, the Ford Conservative government has declared war on public education in our province. Thrown even more fuel on the fire by threatening the teachers not to stand in his way. Or else. 

It's official! A huge, Ford PC, school wrecking ball is coming Ontario's way -starting with $851 million in education cuts! A so called austerity measure. Really, a textbook case for creating a crisis in our schools. 

Watch out! We'll see class sizes soar. Support services cut. Special education programs slashed. Our school's left to crumble. As for teacher, and educational worker jobs? Gone! Gone! Gone!

Next will come private school vouchers. B-grade, US style charter schools. So Premier Doug Ford can pay off the high cost of his "For the People" election promises. Like cheap "buck a beer" swill. Penny savings at the gas pump. Tail gate parties at sporting events. New license plates. 



How about Ontario's students? In our publicly funded schools?

They get the leftovers?!? Pretty slim pickings!

Sigh! Alas! No more bread and circus shows!

Ford's rich buddies must be laughing! Ontario is "open for business" again! Sure! With lot's of big, fat tax cuts to line their greedy pockets. Paid for on the back's of our province's struggling students, teachers and once world class schools!  

Regretfully, I've been here to protest at Queen's Park many, many times before. Although I'm retired now, I can quite clearly recall the NDP social contract in 1993. The so called PC "Common Sense Revolution" in the late 90's. The province wide protest strike of fall 97. The "Great Tory Demise" of 2003. The fight against the OLP's Bill 115 and MOU's in 2012-13. With a rerun in 2015. 

Here we go again! Belly up stage front, I sadly watch and listen.  




Ontario Students Say No!

Quite fittingly, the fresh faced student organizers of #studentssayno, including Natalie Moore, Rayne Fisher-Quann, take the lead. Beginning the rally on a strong student first note! 

Various passionate Autism coalition and CSF speakers take their turn, in-between the speeches that follow. Very broad based. Committed to the good fight ahead!

ETFO's Sam Hammond speaks! A seasoned union fighter, Sam knows the battle drill! Also, in the wings; OECTA's outgoing General Secretary Marshall Jarvis. Methinks I even saw OSSTF past president Earl Manners back stage. All 3 -veterans of the struggle! 


The other, current presidents of Ontario's 3 teacher unions, of course, speak. AEFO's Remi Sabourin. OECTA's Liz Stuart. OSSTF's Harvey Bischof. However, the real barn burner of a resistance speech comes courtesy of Ontario CUPE labour President Fred Hahn, another warrior chief, especially during the Wynne years! 




CUPE Ontario's Fred Hahn Rocks The Rally!

Also from the labour front, representing our education support workers and administrative staff, is the CFL's Hassan Yussuff. Next up is OTF's Chris Buckley. The word is to get ready for an upcoming, province wide, General Strike in the days ahead! 

Queen's Park explodes with thunderous cries of "No ifs! No buts! No education cuts!". and "Hey ho! Hey ho! Doug Ford's gotta go!"

The fight against Doug Ford's education cuts is on! In no uncertain terms!

All in all, a very well organized rally! With meeting tents set up. Toilets. A kid's area. Plenty of marshals. Protest cheer leaders. And the prerequisite posters, leaflets, and signs. All ready on very, short notice. 

It augers well! Everything is up and running today. Looking good! 



We also heard from NDP Opposition leader Andrea Horwath. The NDP is the only political party onstage at Saturday's event. Hmmm. OK, but given half a chance? An NDP government has turned on teachers too!

Ontario's been down this political road before. As each Ontario party plays musical chairs. Regardless of what they say, once in office, what do they do? Cut. Cut. Cut. The rigged corporate dictate; always the order of the day. 

Of course, our education community always needs to listen, pressure and lobby the politicos like everybody else does. But otherwise? Beware .... very aware!

As for me? What more can I say? Now that my classroom days are long over?

Nowadays I'm a grandparent. Especially worried about JK/ FDK for my grand daughter and all the other little ones. We also have a nephew who is autistic. Requires the educational supports now being cut.

I taught English, History and Special Ed for many years. From my own experience, I know that large class sizes are a recipe for chaos and failure. Especially without proper staffing and other supports! They are key!



I was very involved as a teacher union activist and PAC advisor, at both the local and provincial level. Also sat on the executive of my local unit for many years. Let's be frank. Teacher union solidarity has often failed in the past, when push comes to shove. 

The FWTAO cut ranks to go it alone in 1997. OECTA in 2012. OSSTF in 2015. Who divided and conquered the province's teachers best? Rae? Harris? Or Wynne? Take your pick! Though I'd say Wynne ....

Compared to all three, Doug Ford is a complete buffoon. MOE Lisa Thompson? Totally inept. Unfit. A sad joke. His PC majority? Brainless, clapping seals!

I'm going to go out on a limb here. The current fight to save our education system is completely doable. That is, unless our teacher union's do themselves in first ....

For what it's worth, I'll be monitoring the teacher protests here on my site. Provide insights from time to time, as I see fit. Hopefully help you make some sense of whatever come's next. 


Read my Teacher Free Speech blogs if you like. Or skip them if you don't. I don't work for anyone anymore. Nor do I have any educational fights to pick, except with Doug Ford PC's!

My site advocates all sorts of activist causes. Hope you will follow on the teacher free speech education front too, regardless of your other interests. Enjoy. Maybe even learn something worthwhile that you didn't know before. And most importantly, join in! Help with the good fight!

As Ontario citizens, we need to rally for public education! We are a very diverse, forward looking province. Education is our great equalizer. Creating opportunities and social stability. Providing a knowledgeable, skilled workforce. That's what truly makes us "open for business", Mr. Ford! 

We can't stand idly by. Let Ford's Conservative wrecking ball destroy our hard fought for, publicly funded school system! Enough of his bullshit!

In solidarity!

David C



COMMENTS:

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Teacher Free Speech Spring 2019 News y Views!

HEY hO! kEEP ChECKing BAcK! LaTeR AdDITIoNs WiLL bE AddED In LaRgE TYpe SeT! mY Acronym Guide IS @ hErE! ... LegaLIZation nEws noW Moved to "Oh Cannabis!" @ [] MuCh, mUch morE to coMe .....





EDUCATION BEAT

Not Right: Big, bad, bully boy, Premier Doug Ford warns Ontario's teachers that they better not protest his plans to increase class sizes! Or else! Ummm. So much for quality public education? The freedom of speech?! The right of assembly?!? Maybe Ford forgets the Great Tory Demise of 2003!?! What happened last time the PC's picked a fight with our teachers?!? Yup! the circus stage is set! Let the fireworks begin TStar

"Rally 4 Education" or "Cuts Hurt Kids": Ontario has a world class education system. Or rather we did, after the last round of Neo Conservative attacks during the Mike Harris Era. Well, here we go! Now Ford's PC's are out to cut, cut, cut again! 

Fortunately, the province's teachers, parents and students aren't wasting any time. Nor are AEFO, CUPE, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF either. Our union movement is all ready help make the necessary arrangements. Organizing collectively across the province. To get the job done. 

Let's hope nobody backs down! Stab themselves and/or each other in the back. Not this time around! Ho boy! It's definitely going to take lots of good, strong, steadfast eyes, ears and voices to stay the course. Pull this off together, again. 

The big kick off rally, of sorts, is Saturday, April 6 at Queen's Park. Plan to attend! Our children are the future. Quality public education offers a real opportunity for everybody to get along and do well. It is the great equalizer needed in a very diverse province like ours. Bottom line? The cost of inaction is just too great! Let's not fail to make the grade! Facebook

Let's Rally 4 Education: Read my first hand account of the April 6 protest @ HERE!



Protest Now! Tens of thousands of teachers, education workers, parents, and students protest the Ford cuts to education outside the Queen's Park legislature in Toronto @  Varsity @ TStar @ CBC

Common Front: It's official! AEFO, CUPE, ETFO, OECTA, OSSTF jointly commit to working together to protect publicly education in our province. Same as during the Harris Years, when the Common Front's refrain was "We Won't Back Down". Will they or won't they, this time around?!? Let's see! The joint statement @ JSEO

Labour Front: Ontario's labour groups are also quickly mobilizing for the fight against the Ford government's public service cuts. An ongoing series of protests, like the Days of Action during the Harris years, is all ready in the works. Here's the OFL battle plan, coming out the gate. But what next? @ R+F

Students Say No: Ontario high school students are very busy organizing across the province. They're walking out of classes to protest Ford's cuts on April 4th! Student's first @ Narcity Follow Twitter

Here's Why: Student protester/ activist Rayne Fisher-Quann reads Ford the riot act @ TStar Ditto Frank HongCTV

Power of Purple: CUPE public service workers are encouraging everyone to wear purple on April 4th in solidarity with the students! Follow @ Twitter



Education Cuts: During March break, Ontario Premier Doug Ford tried to sneakily slip a rash of ruthless, education cut announcements by unnoticed. They included everything from slashing Autism support services, to increased class sizes. Some shady, new hiring practices too. Hey! How else can Ford now pay for his piss poor, dollar beer promise? The mere pennies we're saving on gas prices at the pump? Or reward his poor lackies? His rich friends? And so, the end result of his deceptive, election promises are coming home to roost! Cluck! Cluck! Cluck! Don't be fooled! Check out Ford's dim witted ... um ... "new vision for education" @ ETFO

MOE: Ministry of Education Lisa Thompson: Tragically, the minister's lame excuses for massive PC education cuts are a complete circus show, totally lacking in substance @ Macs She's definitely out to neo con us about how they're needed to fix an education system that isn't broken and balance the budget too. Boo hoo hoo @ GR 

Sad Fact Check: Our education empress Lisa Thompson has no clothes! Not so much as a shirt on her back! Not when it comes her bizarre praise for larger class sizes @ CBC

Student's First: An Ontario teacher succinctly cuts through Thompson's BS for us. She explains how first and foremost they'll badly hurt the students, especially the most neediest ones. But who cares? We the people do @ Huff



My Back Pages: This blog site has extensively covered the fight against education cuts in Ontario from 2011 through present. In particular, check my often quite controversial posts from 2012 through 2015. Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it! You'll also still find all the original news and document links archived here! See top left of your screen! More @ Teacher Free Speech Archives!

OTPP: The Ontario Teacher Pension Plan concluded 2018 with a whopping 191.1 billion in net assets! The virtues of a defined pension plan are many, as was pointed out at length, during this year's April AGM. Also, we're safe! Seems that the Ford government can't chisel away at our teacher pension plan to balance his provincial budget either. Another highlight: The director's updated stakeholders on the OTPP's responsible investment strategy, in response to many of our ongoing, educator, ethical concerns @ OTPP @ OTPP

OH CANADA

Right Wing Watch: Canada's far right is alive and well! An in-depth report uncovers their activities vis a vis a supposed online gaming chat group, with tentacles across the country, from sea to shining sea. They're anti semiotic! Anti immigrant! Islamophobic! Sexist! Racist! Young and radicalized! All this and more! Know your enemy @ Globe


Seal of Disapproval: Controversial Ontario Conservative Premier Doug Ford is putting on quite the embarrassing circus show at Queens Park! He continues to insist that the party faithful actually stand up to cheer, bark and clap whenever he and his ministers speak. How ridiculous! True, the opposition is in disarray. But as polling shows, the electorate still isn't being fooled by his stupid, clown antics @ City Yup! His "strong arm" antics are even putting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to shame @ Beav

Hole-y Cheese: A Useful Grass Root Activist Primer: Here's how you can quickly run the dirty lil' Ford rat outta your home town, next time he drops by to grandstand for the news cameras. Be ready! First; build a local communication's network. Next, get your protest signs ready. Then organize a car pool. It's real easy! Dougie and his rat pack like to pretend that he's the Big Cheese, but really he's just a scared little mouse. Here's how the locals unceremoniously kicked Ford out of Napanee! Sent him scurrying at the first sign of trouble. See how he runs @ R+F




Ontario's New Licence Plates?!?

Integrity Sans Rules: Ontario's Integrity Commission decides that no rules were broken when our Dougie picked buddy boy Ron Taverner as Ontario's new OPP police chief! Say what? Basically ... get this ... it's because there are no official rules in place to break! At least Ron fortunately has the good sense to withdraw his own name, keeping the OPP and his own public integrity intact @ CBC @ CP24



Because it's 2019: PM Justin Trudeau doubles down, unceremoniously kicking out former AG MP Jodie Wilson-Raybould and Treasury Board Prez MP Dr. Jane Philpott from his Neo-Liberal "cock-us"! So much for Justin the feminist! Our TRC man with nothing but respect for Canada's indigenous people! 

Why so much drama?!? There's no way these grrrrrl's are going to help with the cover-up. Sacrifice their own principles and integrity. Trudeau's SNC-Lavalin corporate pals must be royally pissed! And now his own scandal riddled ass is on the line too!

How far do Justin's Liberal values go? With a fall federal election around the corner? Out the party door! But it's a futile attempt at damage control. He's lost his mojo! 

China Cards: The Canadian Government has issued a travel advisory for travel to China! Canadian are warned to exercise "a high degree of caution" as Trudeau plays footsies with Trump, in detaining tech giant Huawei's Meng WanzhouGC.CA



SNC Lavalin -The Whole System is Guilty: The scandal so far, as part and parcel of our rigged Canadian political system @ FB 

More @ Global @ NP @ CTV @ Globe Plus here's a few First Nation perspectives on how Jodie, in particular, is being treated! Ouch! Hey Justin -wanna talk oil pipelines?!? @ Huff @ Huff

Bad Girl Jodie! Bad! Bad! [Not!] Here's what Ms. Wilson-Raybould says @ Macs @ Facebook  

Ottawa Musical Chairs: Throw enough mud at the wall. Something's gotta stick! Voila, the SNC-Lavalin affair! CPC Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer finally scores a direct hit! Kicks up a total shit storm! Justin Trudeau's Liberal juggernaut comes unhinged. And so our Corporate Globalist Neo Lib/ Neo Cons are once again poised to play musical chairs, in this fall's upcoming federal election. 

The NDP? Prefer a watered down third party version instead? Okay, leader Jagmeet Singh finally has a seat in parliament. Can seriously join in the fray. But is it a case of too little too late? Sad. More @ CBC @ Mac

IN THE NEWS



With God on Their Side: Sadly, the "religious" world are at it again. Setting in motion a mass slaughter of Muslims at prayer in Whitechurch NZ. Followed by a mass slaughter of Christians at Easter Service in Siri Lanka. As the violence spirals out of control! 

The targets now are vulnerable, out of the way places, with limited resources. There's lots of finger pointing. Two bit terrorist groups claiming responsibility. But really, any one of numerous, much, more sophisticated, government intelligence agencies, could've easily pulled this off! Virtually undetected! 

The GRU? CIA? Mossad? Mercenaries? Somebody/ anybody else? Rather than jump to conclusions, watch carefully. Follow the smoke and mirror trails. Think: Whom stands to benefit the most from an all out holy war? The answer? Maybe not what we might think. But it's still early in the religious killing game. More @ WCH @ BBC @ NPR

Shitposting + Inspirational Terrorism: A close study of the Christchurch terrorist manifesto reveals the memes, tropes, phrases and references that are the dog whistles for the far right these daze. It's horrible stuff, but ignore at your own peril @ BCat



It's Mueller Time: Sadly, Big Bob's long awaited report continues to divide Americans. AG William Barr has just released an .... ahem .... condensed version of the findings. [Text] There's isn't any proof beyond a reasonable doubt of Russian collusion. But possibly there's been obstruction of justice. Make sense?! Get this -All told, Trump's cronies were nailed with 215 criminal charges. 38 indictments or pleas. 5 prison sentences. Plus, the Russians were definitely involved in at least two attempts at election meddling. While plenty of other related Trumpster Inc. investigations remain ongoing. If Congress digs a little deeper, it might very well uncover a whole lot more dirt and corruption still. 

Meanwhile the bitter "Mr. Birther" himself continues to indignantly rail over Russia-gate. Fake news? Ha! Remember what he did to Obama? Looks good on him! Doesn't like it much either! But watch out! Now our big, bad Donald is really pissed. Angry. And emboldened. Like never before. This isn't over. Far from it. Vladimir must be laughing so hard, he'll piss pants. A very useful idiot indeed. Trez stupido. More @ NYT @ WP @ Fox @ Atlantic

Building Walls: Guess what?! The Trumpster doubles down. He's vetoing Congress to build his Mexico wall. And planning to totally eliminate what's left of  Obamacare for millions and millions of Americans. Hey! Where are your tax dollars needed most? To provide affordable health care for all? Or build a dim witted, medieval style wall? Whoa! Think about it: The world's richest, most powerful country needs to debate this?!? For shame! No mojo no more! @ MJ @ NPR

The Day After Mueller: Let the inquest begin! Did the Democrats get the deeper story wrong from the get go? Or did Trump's new bragging rights result from a whole lot of misguided, media overkill? Or ... or ... maybe something/ anything else is to blame?!? Say what? Naomi Klein and others weigh in. Check out the podcast and text @ Intercept Even more speculation @ Intercept




Trump's in Charge? A lil' birdie says so ....

A White House in Chaos: The best case scenario? The Mueller report paints a damning picture of a totally dysfunctional White House. Trump's staff regularly disregard the president's wishes. Thank god! But there's also little attention paid to the traditional boundaries of this all important office, by all concerned, with grave implications both at home and around the world. Not so smart as he thinks @ Politico

Lotsa Oligarchical Rigging 2.0: Throughout Ru$$iagate, the Democrat$ have been very bu$y too. They've been indulging in a lot of diabolical hanky panky on behalf of the U$ military-indu$trial complex. The goal? To edge the Trump$ter and GOP into more and more defence $pending. Perhaps even a new Cold War! Sigh! Alas! More @ ITT




Trump Laundromat: Shady, Trump real estate deals? Dirty money laundering? An international Rooskie crime syndicate? They could help explain what the Donald was really doing. OK, so he didn't knowingly collude? But what else does the Mueller report say? About obstruction of justice? And why at such, great lengths? Surely, the devil is in the details @ NR

Gun Bans: New Zealand wastes no time banning assault rifles within a week of the brutal massacre at a Whitechurch mosque, in which at least 49 Muslim worshippers are slaughtered while at prayer. Meanwhile back in the US of A? Despite one non stop mass shooting after another!? No such luck. Not with the NRA still calling the shots in Congress @ CBC

Brexit 2.0? UK PM Elizabeth May's Conservative party continues to flounder over plans to leave the EU. A second referendum could even be in the works. It's a terrible clash -should Britain stay or should they go? More @ BBC @ BBC



The Russians R Coming! The Russians R Coming: In a scene vaguely reminiscent of the lead up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the Russians have sent military troops and supplies into Venezuela. They've warned the US not to even think of staging a coup, let alone invade the rogue, socialist state. Like in 62, the US is again evoking it's self proclaimed Manifest Destiny, ie: no foreign interference in the America's. But Trump isn't JFK. Far from it! So far he's ignoring the UN, which is desperately asking everybody to cool it. Not to play dangerous games with all the "aid". And deal with the concerns peacefully through the proper international channels. So what do we get? One beady US eye on the state controlled oil reserves. With lots and lots of Trump bullying and bluster. Sans any Kennedy brinkmanship whatsoever  As this sad, sad humanitarian nightmare drags on and on and on. Growing increasingly ugly. What next?!? @ Haar @ Ind

Imperialism 101: Here's why the US is back again interfering in Venezuela's election politics .... Ooops! Isn't that supposed to be a no no?!? Only in the US, you say? More @ DM

Canadian Imperialism: Sadly, Trudeau seems to be in league with Trump on Venezuela! Really kissing butt! Even assuming a leading attack role! It should come as no surprise, considering our own track record throughout much of the America's. Alas! Canadian progressives are often silent! The NDP nearly as quiet as can be! Shhhhh! You'll wake somebody up! More @ CD

Neo Lib BS: Have no doubt, the US has an awful, throbbing hate on for Venezuela! Hugo Chavez created a "revolution within a revolution". By including the marginalized, he dared challenge the neo liberal status quo. In short, it's a vision for the developing world that simply can't be allowed! By hook or by crook, it must be made to fail, by whatever means necessary. Look beyond the media lies @ DV

Cuba Si! Socialist Cuba also feels Trump's Venezuelan wrath. More travel restrictions. Investor lawsuits. Widespread shortages of consumer and humanitarian goods. Sadly, it's a new Special Period. Perhaps Cuba is Trump's real target? But they've been there, done that before. And survived @ CBC @ CH

KULTURE KULT INK




Tip: Learn 2 Learn 4 Yourself! 

5 Hour Rule: Yep! That's the bare minimum we should spend each week learning about ourselves and the world around us! It can include reading, reflecting and thinking. By reading. Or surfing online. At home. A library. In a museum. A gallery. Or even just through our studied observations in the school of life. What have you. 

Eh? No! There's no need to go to class to do it either. Not if you've graduated already. Basically, it's just a question of becoming life long learners. First and foremost, the learning should be of personal interest. And fun. As we follow our own particular muse, wherever it takes us. 

It's absolutely essential! Nowadays, like never before, knowledge is power. At work. At play. In our everyday lives. It's not just about earning $$$ either, as these articles would suggest. Think self development. Keeping sharp, alert and "in the know", so you are nobody's fool, instead. All this and more @ AL and @ E

It's Only Rock + Roll [But We Love It]: Quite arguably, the Rolling Stones taught us how to be young in the sixties and seventies. Now they're showing us how to grow old, without giving up. Alas! The band's summer US/ Canadian tour has been postponed for medical reasons. 75 year old Mick's headed for an operation! But he promises to be back on the road as soon as he can ... Hmmm. Who'd have ever guessed that the Kieffer might outlive him?!? More @ DB @ Gu @ NME

Doo Doo Doo Heartbreaker: Hmmm. Seems Mick is headed to New York for heart surgery; either a valve replacement or a splint. More @ WebMD



COMMENTS

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!