Opening Statement



Sunday, 11 April 2021

Toronto Covid Diary: Third Wave Bluez!

Ummm. Hand me my air guitar ..... 

Ah 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 

Well, I got dem ol' Toronto third wave blues! 

Strum ... strum ... strum ... 

Ooooh ya ... 2021 style! 

A shot o' AstraZeneca too!

It's so frustrating! Janet and I've faithfully followed all the lockdown, stay at home orders. We've self isolated for over year now since the pandemic began. 

Spring finds us still alive and well. However, the coronavirus is now spreading like wildfire through our building, the infection rate climbing floor by floor

This week, a new warning was posted at the elevators in our north west end Toronto condominium building;

" ... at least 19 residents have contracted Covid-19 in this building resulting in at least 4 deaths that we are aware of ..."

It's so sad! We usually love it here! Our building is very Toronto-ish. There's folks of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. Nothing too rich or fancy, nor down and out, it's just a good place to live. 

Fortunately, our board of directors are pro-active, perhaps moreso than most. We post updates so that everyone's in the know about what's going on. We hope that they'll continue taking the pandemic seriously, despite the inevitable fatigue.

By law, we can't include any names, addresses or personal details, that might identify anyone. Even in a state of emergency, it's not allowed.

It's certainly been scary living here in Toronto during the pandemic, bobbing along like a cork in the seething sea of VOC and Covid-19 outside our building doors.

However, most of us were careful. It felt like the pandemic was happening somewhere else, not here in our home. 

Now, with the third wave, it's spreading throughout the building. Our biggest spike was just this week. 

What can I say? As the pandemic dragged on and on, some of the residents got negligent in following the safety rules. There were less masks and social distancing in the common areas! There were more and more large family gatherings and parties! 

Pretty soon a lot of us got sick! Then there was another death. Now each day or so brings more and more cases and a lot of grief.

There's been some real gut wrenching mental health problems too. Usually they're just everyday folk, maybe seniors, who've reached the breaking point. Angry and confused from living alone in isolation for over a year, they might take to wandering the halls, desperately seeking attention in all the wrong ways. During a contagionwithout the proper public supports, there's often very little that one can do.

I swear, it's so sad, it could make me cry.

However, there's little time for that now. The virus has reached our floor. We need to focus and think quick. Who knows if that's it knocking at the door?!?

I am so glad that we took the first vaccine available when we became eligible as a part of the 60's cohort, a few weeks ago. 

It was the AstraZeneca vaccine, so the conflicting news stories made us hesitant at first.

We're retired, just staying at home anyway. Why not wait for a shot of Pfizer? Moderna?Something else? 

Well, we both got a sore arm. I even had a slight fever for a day or two. Bottomline? Covid is far more dangerous. Plus there's a greater risk of getting hit by lightening than suffering a blood clot, from AstraZeneca or any of the vaccines. If in doubt, consult with your doctor first.

AstraZeneca isn't 100% effective. Still, we're very lucky to have gotten vaccinated when we did. Sure, we need a second shot. However, we're very grateful for the added safety and peace of mind that it brings! It could save our butt!

Meanwhile, the new warning notice seems to be helping too!

When I stepped out to take down the garbage today, nobody was crowding aboard the elevator anymore. Everyone was also wearing masks again.

So far, the third wave of the pandemic is the worst. It's pretty hard not to feel blue. This isn't over yet! Who knows what happens next ...?

We're in a real leadership vacuum these daze. We can't count on our politicos for much direction or help. It's also hard finding information about what's really happening in other apartments and condos, let alone practical ideas about what to do.

Is anything being done where you live? In Toronto? Across Ontario? In Canada or wherever you are? Are your case numbers being posted in the building? Did you take the first available vaccine too? Or are you still shopping around?

As always, there's a space for Comments below ....

Be well!

David

SOME LINKS

Good Toronto Boy: Yup, this goes back a few years, but it still rings true @ HERE!

Teacher Free Speech Spring 2021 News + Views: I've left out most of the political stuff in this blog. The links to what's been happening with the pandemic here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and around the world are @ HERE!

Oh Cannabis Spring 2021 News + Views: Here's what I've been toking on to chill out. Remember, weeds beats booze. No fighting, hangovers, blackouts or shakes etc. etc. etc. @ HERE!

My Toronto Covid Diaries 

Canuck Pandemic @ #1

Toronto Daze @ #2

Spring Fever @ #3

Costco + The Zombie Apocalypse @  #4

Toronto Trippin' @ #5

Escape From Toronto @ #6

Trippin' With Doug Ford @ #7

COMMENTS:

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Oh Cannabis Spring 2021 Newz y Viewz!

InHale! hOLd! ExHaLe! sMiLe! AddItIoNs ADDeD iN lArGe TyPe! 

StONerS GuiDe @ HERE! LaTest Links @ TWITTER!


OH CANNABIS

Canada's Drug War Redux: Since legalization, Canada's war on drugs has morphed into a retail battle between our licensed verses our unregulated sellers. The latest quarterly findings from the government run OCS [Ontario Cannabis Store] suggest that the newly created legal weed market now accounts for 40% of total sales. Perhaps that's because our pioneering heritage retailers .... yeah, those who actually fought for legalization, put some real skin in the game .... are finally getting their licenses too?!? Better late than never, I suppose! More @ MugH

Cannabis Tax Spoiler: Legal sales In Canada include an excise tax of 10%, or a dollar a gram, whichever costs more. Of course, an unlicensed retailer doesn't charge tax. That makes a big difference, when you're buying a quarter, a half and an ounce, or even a discount gram. It really hurts our small legal mom and pop growers, producers and retailers. Plus it's a big hit to the wallet for our medical cannabis patients too. Here's to a tax cut! Good luck @ StratCan

Dept of Big Secrets: Why are complete details of each province's bustling, cannabis trade figures being hidden and withheld from us? They could help create better business and consumer pot policies, now so sadly lacking. Duh @ MugH

Cannabis Amnesty: Where are the pardons promised to pot heads busted or incarcerated before Canada legalized weed in 2018?!? This is a grave injustice, especially for our people of colour, who've suffered the most, in a country that prides itself on being inclusive and multicultural, above all that! More @ CA @ TokeC @ Globe

Budding Toronto Cannabis Lawyer Caryma Sa'd explains why Canada's new system for erasing old weed convictions is a dud @ CTV

UNDRIP [United Nations Declaration On The Right of Indigenous People]: British Columbia is a signatory to the declaration, recognizing the indigenous peoples right to freely pursue their own economic development. Now Cory Brewer, an Okanagan Indian Band member from Vernon BC is claiming that he doesn't need a provincial license to sell weed on First Nation lands. Let's see if the province will actually walk the talk, rule of law style, like they said. Or whether it's all just talk, talk, talk? @ CBC

Craft Cannabis 2 The Rescue: Unfortunately, legalization has often resulted in lotsa low quality, corporate, ditch weed, that nobody wants to buy, piling up unsold on our dispensary shelves. Canada's micro-growers and the prospect of farm gate sales provide a viable alternative, if the government is only willing to listen @ CIJ

Much more to come ....

IN THE NEWS

Garlands 4 Merrick: Thankfully, US President Joe Biden's new Attorney General seems to pass the cannabis sniff test! He thinks the feds should leave the state's who've legalized it alone, noting it's not the "best use" of Justice Department's resources. He also seems aware of the racial socio-economic impact and inequities of prohibition. All in all, a very refreshing perspective and quite a departure from the long lineup of nightmarish reefer madmen, formerly sitting in the all important AG's seat. More on Merrick GarlandNORML @ Brook @ MJBiz

US Safe Banking Act: Back to Congress it goes! If passed, the bill will finally allow the legal cannabis sector to do business with the US banks and other financial institutions, like everyone else. That'll be a big plus for the legal states. So too, Canada's LP's [licensed producers], hoping to expand their stateside operations. Sadly, the bill was taken off the table by the GOP controlled Senate late last year. Maybe it'll pass this time around, with the Democrats now in the legislative driver's seat? @ BNN @ MRLLP

Say It Ain't So Joe: Don't get too excited about the prospects for legalization, decriminalization or whatever. The Biden White House asked it's incoming staffers to be honest about whether they toke or not. Then dismissed over a dozen who admitted that they do. Yiikes! Actions speak louder than words @ DB @ MM

Or We'll Do It 4 You: Fortunately, thirty congressional leaders quickly admonish President Biden for firing the potheads. Also, senate majority leader; Chuck Shumer, defiantly insists that he'll act on legalization with or without Biden's consent. Hey! It's democracy in action. Sure beats Trump and the GOP! @ Norml

State Legalization GuideMedical or Recreational? Who's legal? Who's not? Keep track! This spring, 10 different state legislatures have legalization bills coming down the line.  You'll find detailed state by state analysis @ Leafly @ WM @ DISA @ NORML Plus handy legislative links @ MM

Not Whistling Dixie: Alabama lawmakers from both sides of the Senate floor are finding common ground in passing the state's medical cannabis bill, this time with renewed vigour @ MM @ MPP Read the "Compassion Act" @ MPP

School Daze: A Florida teacher at Space Coast High is fired, after a school drug test reveals that she's taking medical cannabis, for a workplace injury. Seems it's okay for the students, but not the teachers. Like Allison Enright! She was being supervised and taking it instead of opioids. But the Brevard County School Board was worried that'll affect their federal grants. What a cop out @ GO

Mexico A Go Go! Lawmakers in the lower chamber vote overwhelmingly to legalize and license adult recreational weed. It's still unclear though, whether it'll pass through the upper chamber of the legislature, when two thirds of Mexicans oppose legalization. If it does, Mexico becomes the third country after Uruguay and Canada, to legalize weed. Ironically, leaving the US, the odd man out in our new, three way USMCA trade pact. 

Corporate Weed: Many Mexicans are also concerned about whom will profit. It might well not be Mexican consumers, home growers or indigenous people. Activists insist that the new laws will continue to discriminate against, stigmatize and criminalize the grassroots cannabis community. While only furthering the government's nefarious, corporate weed agenda. Hmmm ... sound familiar?!? More @ NYT @ MugH @ MugH

Much more to come ....

GREEN MARKETING

Perhaps a separate section is redundant, what with so many business stories being posted throughout my blog this spring. Anyway, here's a tip o' the hat to what I myself am enjoying. More reviews will follow, especially as the warm weather takes me back to Ontario's Land o' Lakes, near all those fab Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory pot shops once again: 

Bruce Banner: Yep! After a loooooong winter lock downed here in Toronto, this hybrid bud is just about the only thing stopping me from turning into the incredible hulk. First, I scored a few grams of "Elemental" Bruce Banner shatter for just shy of $20 each from Toke Online @ HERE! Cheap and very relaxing! Plus it's helping keep me mindful, focused and alert too! I love it so much that I also scored an ounce of phat, earthy BC Bruce Banner buds from BudBox online @ HERE! $180 with shipping and tax! Top notch sales and service from both retailers. Was delivered to my door in no time flat! Definitely, two thumbs up!

Redecan Reign Drops: Earth to David! We have lift off! 28.5 grams. 30 mg THC. Mixed with MTC oil. It's quite the space trip! 30ml for $43.50. Like the next two products, available though Shoppers Drug MarketHERE!

RHO CBD Spray: My morning medical cannabis fix! 22 mg CBD. 11 mg THC. Too bad about the leaky dispenser. Spills all over the place. Is plastered with big dumb warning stickers. A real packaging turn off, but par for the course with the legal stuff! 15 ml cost  $34.99.

Zenabis Spray: At 27.9 THC it's a handy pick me upper, when I don't feel like rolling one, or getting out my torch. Two or three squirts will do. But again, it comes in a super leaky dispenser with a big ugly sticker on it. What a friggin' mess! So el cheapo looking and  downright clunky at 15 ml for $39.98.

"Turn! Turn! Turn!" Or "Too Everything There Is A Reason": The OCS, Ontario's government online retailer, has gone through 6 presidents in it's first 3 years. Insiders insist there's "unique circumstances" behind each executive departure. However, that still represents an alarming sense of "corporate discontinuity" at the bumbling Ford government's flagship cannabis store @ MJD

Celebrating 420 in Style: Edibles? Elixirs? Glass? Papers? Volcanos? Pens etc. etc. etc. Moreso for Mr. + Ms. Fancy Pants, or I suppose anyone wanting to liven up your sesh @ HT

Put A Spring In Your Step: Here are some strains that are especially appropriate come this time of year @ Civilized @ CN 

Much more to come ....

HIGHER LEARNING

Grow Yer Own: Adult Canadians ... ahem ... can each legally grow 4 cannabis plants at home. So whatcha waiting for?!? Here's how to get growing, in just 8 easy steps @ TOk Plus some spring seeds suggestions @ H2GM

Fighting the Racist Stigma: Where to begin? Please! Everyone from Weed Nation; white, black, brown, purple or ... or ... or .... whatever ... just admit it! You smoke pot! Or maybe we white folk should go first? We're the least at risk. Love to toke. Can get the ball rolling. So that we can all work together to dispel the stupid social barriers, especially for our brothers and sisters of colour MIC

This Ain't The Summer of Love: During the Covid pandemic, seniors are increasingly turning to cannabis. It's great for stress, depression, aches and pains .... whatever ails. There's lots of the usual fear mongering here about the effects. Will it make you dizzy? Lightheaded? Confused? Coz you're old?!? Funny how nobody goes on and on like that about booze, which makes folks get real aggressive, results in lots of fights. Still, like the article says, "start low, go slow". Weed today is a lot more potent than back in the day, especially if you haven't toked in a while @ NYT @ Insider

Much more to come ....

HIGH TIMES

Much more to come ....

COMMENTS

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Teacher Free Speech Spring 2021 News + Views!

AddITioNs aDDeD In lArGE TypESeT! ReaDeRs gUIdE @ HERE! 

LaTeSt LinKs @ TWITTER!

OH CANADA

Kinda Sorta Stay At Home: Ontario Premier Doug Ford finally issues another last minute stay at home order. It's for the next four weeks, as the third wave of the pandemic comes comes crashing down upon us. Meanwhile, there's a huge outbreak in our north west end Toronto condo, like in many of the more challenged parts of the city. The local park is packed with kids and lots of folks are walking about the streets without masks, enjoying the spring weather. His latest "plan" is wishy washy. Enforcement dicey at best. It's clearly another case of too little, too late @ On.Ca @ CTV 

Sick Daze: Tragically, there's still no readily accessible, paid, provincial sick days or mass vaccinations available for Ontario's most challenged, frontline workers @ CBC @ Canada Press @ CTV

School Daze: The staff and students at our schools still haven't been vaccinated. The classroom are overcrowded, understaffed and lack proper HVAC [heating, ventilation and air conditioning]. But Ford still refuses to close them down. Fortunately, our local public health boards are starting to do so anyway. More under "EduBeat below" and @ Globe  


Nope! Nothing Ads Up!

Move It: A new, home eviction ban has also been put in place, on paper anyway @ BlogTo

Covid Fever: As spring arrives, Ontario's daily Covid rate snowballs past the 3000 mark! What does Doug Fraud do? Issue a "stay at home order'? Nope! He applies an "emergency break". Orders a third province wide "shutdown", if we can call it that! Basically, Ford's closing our outdoor patios, tattoo, barber shops and other personal care services in Toronto again. While the rest of the province joins us in the already ineffective, half measures, still in place here since Christmas. While our schools remain open and his vaccine roll out stumbles out the gate. It's super scary! The pandemic has spun totally out of control CTV @ CBC @ CP24 @ BlogTO

Canadian Muddle: Sadly Canada's province's aren't working together to eliminate the Covid virus. Each is merely content with trying to contain or live with the pandemic instead. The third wave shouldn't be any surprise. It's like the premier's are playing whack-a-mole. While the cross country muddle of business and school openings and closures simply continues to feed the pandemic's exponential growth @ Tyee 

Surf's Up: As spring arrives, the third wave of the Covid pandemic hits Ontario with a  spike in new variants. It's now been a year now since Premier Doug Ford first declared a province wide state of emergency. He's still playing the same, political con games with the statistics, endlessly tinkering about with his confusing opening and closing orders, as he panders to his big business cronies. Luckily here in Toronto, Mayor John Tory continues to rely a lot more upon the medical experts advice instead, largely helping keep our winter lockdown in place, for now anyway @ Global @ CBC @ CTV @ NP @ CP24

Send Vaccine! The US recently helped out by donating 1.5 millions of AstraZeneca vaccine to Canada. We're scheduled to receive 2 million doses from India this spring. Sadly, there's an international shortage of vaccines, including Pfizer, Modern, and J+J, which are also authorized for use in Canada. They continue arriving from around the world in ribs and drabs, underscoring Canada's inability to manufacture them here ourselves. Tragically, our lack of a cohesive vaccine strategy is a federal problem, dating back to the 1980's, through successive Liberal and Conservative governments CNN @ Global @ Conv

Ford's Rollout Follies: In Doug Fraud's Ontario, online booking glitches, freezer failures, broken vials and long line ups for a vaccine shot, are the order of the day. Incapable of distributing what we've got, Ford instead deflect's the issue, blaming Prime Minster Justin Trudeau for not sending more @ CTV @ Narc

Hillier Express A Go Go: Retired General Rick Hillier, the head honcho of Ford's vaccine rollout, resigns just 4 months into the highly inept campaign. Worry not! Rick the Trickster has still got his side job as an international arms salesman to fall back on. Won't need to worry much about it anymore. Unlike the rest of us, left wondering what the F$!# Doug Fraud will do next?!? @ CTV @ OC

AstraZ: According to Health Canada, the evidence doesn't suggest that Astrazeneca is any more dangerous than the other Covid vaccines. That despite a mad flurry of suspensions across the European Union. Now, their initial concerns have been discounted by the medical experts too. 

Beware of Big Pharma! There's lots of nasty, fear mongering, competition and interference, as the inoculations begin! From my own experience, the end result was very unsettling, for those of us stuck awaiting our shot this week! See "Covid Beat". More @ CBC @ Global @ Reuters


Lilley Gate 101!

In BeddedMeet Toronto Sun reporter Brian Lilley; chief Doug Fraud butt kisser and alt right kook. Lilley loves to expose the Libtard's shortcomings. Nor is he one to let the truth get in the way. Now it turns out that he's quite literally in bed with Ivana Yelich; the Conster's Media Relations Director! Shamelessly, Lilley claims not knowing what she does at work, even though the two are living together! Have been for awhile. Pffft! Goes to show just how complicit the Sun is in Ford's big Covid lies. Read the whole sordid tale @ DB 

"Lilley-Gate" or "Compromising Positions": How come nobody has said anything about the Lilley Gate scandal until now?!? Think conflict of interest! And it still isn't breaking news!!! Nor is Doug being questioned about it at his various, daily media ops. Duh. Our Queens Park media gallery, what a sad, sorry, f'n lot @ Passage


Anti Asian Racism: Sure it's terrible in the states. But let's not get too smug about the recent shootings south of the Canadian border. Say it can't happen here. Trump's off colour, racist "China Flu/ Kung Flu" references and jokes, were often eagerly echoed across Canada. Anti-Asian sentiments run deep throughout our history too. From the Chinese head tax, to prohibition, fears of the  "yellow menace" and the Japanese internment camps in WW2. It's a horrible problem of our own making, that mustn't be ignored @ CBC @ CTV @ TO


Border Walls: The Canada US border remains tightly shut for at least another month. Yup! It's been closed to all non-essential travel for over a full year now, by mutual agreement, due to the pandemic. Rest assured, out of sheer necessity, very few of us are arguing over this @ CTV

Much more to come ...

IN THE NEWS

Keeping It Competent: US President Joe Biden quickly reverses many of Trump's most offensive policies on climate, Mexico and the WHO. He's taken decisive action on the Covid pandemic and an economic relief package, as promised during the fall election. He's even surpassed a promise to inoculate 100 million Americans within his first 100 days in office. Also, the lack of embarrassing tweets, hissy fits, cronyism and presidential attempts at fomenting insurrection are a great relief. More @ CTV CNN @ MSNBC 

American Justice On Trial: Think OJ Simpson. Or the police beating of Rodney King! The US remains deeply divided along racial lines. Hold on tight! Former cop Derek Chauvin's trial in the death of George Floyd, has just begun @ BBC @ NYT

Trump -Welcome to 2021: the US + Abroad Revisited: President Biden might be getting onboard with the international community, by rejoining the Iranian JCOAP nuclear deal. So maybe the Iranians won't assassinate Trump after all, now that he's no longer president, like I said in my new year's blog? No more drone strike on the golf course at Mar-a-Lago?!? Hmmm. Let's see @ AP @ Politico My @ Blog

More On My Trump Musings: Turns out that Trump was a whole lot sicker than he let on, when he caught the Covid virus last fall. Apparently he's "recovered" now, but watch carefully. I still bet that he'll eventually succumb to the various medical complications, like I said in my Welcome to 2021 blog. Won't be around in 2024. Maybe? Maybe not? @ Global My @ Blog


What Next 4 Donald?!? 

Biden,Trudeau and Cuba: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Joe Biden continue to parrot Trump's lies and banalities about Cuba. That despite the socialist state's new constitution, election process and move to a mixed economy. Seems Cuba still isn't "free". It continues to resist the Neo-Liberal agenda, most notably the unfettered flow of US capital in and out of the country. Wonder how many of our human rights we'd still enjoy here, if Canada like Cuba was living under a permanent state of emergency? Due to an illegal American economic embargo? The very real threat of military attack? 

Sadly, despite Obama's effort to normalize relations, Biden's aggressive tone towards Cuba, coming Post Trump, isn't much of a surprise, especially in the swing state of Florida [Blog]. However, Trudeau's lackey response remains downright perplexing, given our policy of constructive engagement with Cuba since the 1959 revolution. So too, his toadyism within the "America First" Lima group's Neo Lib offensive against Venezuela and Bolivia @ CD 

Read more about the new "Canada-US Agreement on the America's" @ Global Affairs Canada

Dept of Socialista Vaccine: Cuba is rushing to develop and distribute 2 new Covid vaccines; Soberana 2 and Abdala. Venezuela is participating with the stage 3 trials, as they race to get access to a vaccine too. Hopefully, Cuba will be immunized by this August. Meanwhile, it's also thinking ahead by working with China to develop the Pan Corona vaccine, to protect against the new, more dangerous SARS-CoV-2 strains @ Global @ Telesur @ Telesur

Covid Cuba: Cuba is trapped in a desperate race against time to develop it's own Covid vaccines. It also wants to share them with it's Latin American and Caribbean neighbours in the developing world. Offer them to any tourists visiting their country. But sadly, the US embargo is cutting off the medical supply of equipment and raw materials needed to quickly test and produce the new vaccines. While Pfizer and Moderna are bowing under pressure and refusing to export theirs to the beleaguered socialist state. It's truly a horrific and frightenly overlooked state of affairs @ Granma @ Pleng

Bobi Wine Rocks: Uganda's defacto President-in-Waiting is bravely standing up eyeball to eyeball against Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, a notorious Idi Amin style dictator, unwilling to blink. Museveni still enjoys strong US and World Bank support, despite ruthlessly kidnapping, torturing, and murdering his political opponents with complete impunity. But is anybody even paying attention in the west?!? How long until Bobi Wine [aka Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu] disappears too?!? What next for the struggling African nation? @ BBC @ AF @ Ugmon @ PRI

Much more to come ...

COVID BEAT

When I'm 64: Out the blue, those of us aged 60 to 64 suddenly get to line jump in Ontario for a surprise shot of the Astrazeneca vaccine. I had a sore arm, a mild fever and chills for the next few days. Overall, a minor discomfort, in exchange for some sorely needed peace of mind! Still, one can't help but wonder why the surplus shots didn't go to our frontline teachers and education workers instead?!? It just doesn't seem right! Now, I've got a much sought after Ontario Ministry of Health vaccination certificate. With the promise of a second needle sometime within the next four months. Very strange and Sgt Pepperish. Yours sincerely wasting awayCP24 A Beatlesque interlude @ Youtube Now I'm 64 @ Youtube

DIY Risk Assessment:  Premier Doug Fraud is playing real loose with Ontario's daily Covid facts and figures, to further his own highly dubious political agenda. You can better assess the actual risks for yourself! To help you out, Teacher Free Speech will continue to monitor and post lots of helpful charts and timely tips on Twitter Here! Often they're from family Doctor Jennifer Kwan @ Twitter Biostatician Ryan Imgrund @ Twitter  and Covid Schools Canada @ Twitter 

Vax Time: Dr. Makhija and Dr. Kwan Show Us How it's Done!

Expert Advice: Much more on Dr. Jennifer @ Global and Ryan Imgrund @ CTV 

Contact Highs + Lows: Ryan Imgrund's daily charts let us know how many people we can come in contact with, before we seriously risk catching the virus @ Outline

New Addition! Crush The Curve: Retired statics prof Bill Comeau also posts a handy, daily Covid's dashboard! He quickly shows us the latest numbers at a glance. Then his colourful charts and graphs break them down, so that they're easier to understand and make a whole lot more sense. Highly recommended @ Twitter

Women and Covid: Covid has had a disproportionate effect on women both at home and in the workplace throughout the pandemic. It's exasperated a wide variety of gender equity, human rights and social justice issues that remain largely unaddressed @ CTF


Better hear this ....

Third Wave Blues: So far the Covid pandemic is unfolding remarkably like the 1918 Spanish Flu. But we're very lucky. It's not nearly as virulent, or we'd be royally screwed. Still, contrary to popular opinion, we might very well not be out of harms way just yet! 

In 1919, the virus returned for the children and younger folks -those whom it missed the first two times around. A real horror show! Formerly "recovered" patients sometimes began to bleed from their eyes and ears. They were kind of lucky. Many others died suddenly in huge waves, from heart attacks and other lingering, medical complications, little understood at the time. Some cities got hit extra hard with signicifantly higher fatality rates than during the first two waves. While others escaped completely unscathed. Afterwards, the virus kept returning pop-a-mole style, for a few years to come, seemingly at random, all over the place. 

We're in a mad race now, to hopefully get everyone vaccinated asap. Perhaps modern science can better deal with whatever follows next. But maybe not right away. Will our politicos be listening? Will they follow their advice? 

Better safe than sorry! For a great history lesson and insightful read, I again highly recommend John Barry's The Great Influenza, as we now enter the third wave @ Amazon

History Repeats: No? Think it's BS? Then check out how the third wave of the 1918-19 pandemic in Hamilton Ontario, mirrored what's happening today. Very eerie @ McMaster

Dept of Covidiot RebukesHelp end the big lies about Covid-19 in the Post Trumpian Age! Here are 3 steps to stop the wild conspiracy theories, alt facts and talk of fake cures WF

Dear Post Covid Me: Writing letters to yourself in the future, about the crisis we are now in, is a great way to reduce stress @ NaPo

Much more to come ....

EDUCATION BEAT


Education Minister Lecce's Got A "Plan" ...

How Safe Are Ontario's Schools? Why so safe, they're being closed indefinitely, after the April break! Yup! It's official! Education Minister Stephen Lecce finally closes the our public elementary and secondary schools @ CTV @ CBC

School's Out: Toronto Public Health follows the lead of other local boards across the province. They finally issue a Section 22 order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, closing our public schools while they investigate the safety concerns. However, it's only until spring break next week. After that, who knows what comes next? But at least they're exercising some leadership, in an otherwise gaping void @ Global @ CBC @ Globe

Teacher Vax: AEFO, CUPE, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF finally make a concerted, collective pitch for the province's teachers and education workers to be vaccinated during the break. The Ford government agrees, or "promises" to do so anyway. However, the devil as aways, is in the details. Special education teachers, workers and those in a few, high risk areas come first, the rest by mid May. The vaccines will take at least 2 weeks to kick in, as the school year rapidly draws to a close. Better late than never, I suppose, but the Ford government still won't close the province's schools even for now, to really make sure everybody is safe @ CTV @ Global


Lecce's Safety Plan!

Sick Daze: Our school boards are so desperate that they're getting lunch supervisors and admin staff, to fill in when a teacher is away. Hardly anybody wants a full-time teaching position in Ontario anymore. Even retirees, like myself, won't supply teach. Who wants to risk going into a Covid infected classroom, when the student's teacher is off sick?!? By the way, do you really think it's a good idea sending your kids to school, when even the teachers are super scared to go in?!? Just saying @ CBC

2021 Bludget Cuts: Both the Ontario's school boards and the Ontario Teacher Federation are speaking out against Ford's projected $1.6 billion dollar education cut! Beware of how the big Fraudster is using the pandemic! He's hellbent on destroying our world class, public education system, so he can privatize it later on @  PP@ OTFEO 

Back 2 School: US President Joe Biden's "Five Step Plan" has everything Ontario Premier Doug Ford's school re-opening plan lacks; inoculations, testing, tracing, proper PPE's, teacher consultation, on and on the list goes! More @ Biden @ NBC @ EdWeek

On Right Wing Populism: Think Donald Trump. Erin O'Toole. Or even Doug Ford. The alt right is feeding on the very sense of disenfranchised public discontent with the status quo, that was once the left's exclusive domain. We desperately need a find a coherent response to this new brand of right wing populism, before it's too late @ Passage

KULTURE KULT INK

Toronto, Eh: Is it pronounced "T-ronto", "T-ron-o" Or "T-raw-nah"? Hmmmmm .... the "6ix" is completely bogus. It's a useful, if not fake marketing handle. Only goes back a bit at best! So here's yer first lesson on how to really speak like a local, so you can ... er ... er ... ummm. Well, anyways @ Beaverton

Wag The Doug: Check out this monthly podcast on all things Ford @ CL

Escape From Toronto: Threatening to leave is a beloved past time, here in the city Canada loves to hate. Matter of fact, I can hardly wait to leave for the Land o' Lakes, as soon as the weather's nice. Here's how our rite of passage works @ Beaverton

Blogger Milestones: April marks the 10th anniversary of my site. I've also reached 2 million views. You can see the counter and archive links at the top right and left of your screen. Many thanks for reading me! Please stay tuned for more .....


COMMENTS


Monday, 18 January 2021

Welcome To 2021: The US + Abroad!


Another year! Another lockdown! 
Hello Covid pandemic! Hello Capitol Riots! 
Goodbye President Trump! 

Welcome to 2021! My new year inauspiciously starts stuck at home, on the couch, watching TV. Squirming uneasily, I scratch my head. Fire up a spliff. Wondering what comes next?!? 

I planned to speculate at great length about US President Joe Biden in this blog. It made sense with his Inauguration this Wednesday. But only two weeks and a bit into the new year, everything is changing so fast! It's impossible to keep up anymore! 

Instead, a very basic "Watch-For" list must do: 

Watch For USA ....

Watch for the Democrats to use the Capitol Riots as a very handy wedge issue to divide the Republicans in Congress. Complicity runs deep, throughout the house and Senate. The FBI, CIA, National Guard, Capitol Police and army too. That might help the Democrats muster enough bipartisan votes to impeachment Trump. If not, the various legal investigations will still continue to be an albatross around the GOP's neck, in all matters Trump. Not just for the first year of the Biden presidency either.

Watch for Trump's re-election hopes to quickly go up in smoke! Lots of mainstream voters were really turned off by the Capitol Riots. Non stop video reruns will keep it that way. Sans Twitter and Facebook, they won't be tuning Trump back in either, not like before. A presidential pardon can't save his sorry ass. It won't cover his tax returns, sex scandals or Russian real estate deals, anyway. Basically, it's all down hill from here!

Watch for medical complications from the virus to slow down and kill Trump. Next time you see him on TV, listen carefully to his voice. Watch his face and demeanour. Trump's old, fat and very stressed out. He's not taking good care of his health. He won't die right away, but pretty soon, over the next few years.

Watch foBiden to make little progress with gun control, racism and police violence anytime soon. The underlying issues are far too systematic. Any real solutions too "radical socialist" for the moderates in both parties. The progressive's will get quickly sidelined as the Democrats court the soft Republican votes. Decisive action? Ha! Expect some pretty, wishy-washy, half measures, instead. 

Watch for Biden's globalist free trade agenda to quickly trump "America First". A return to free trade will prove a very popular, unifying force, for the many reps from both parties, dining at the corporate trough.

Watch for President Joe Biden to die in office before completing his first term in office. Dunno why really, could be his heart, it's just a hunch. Kamala Harris will become America's first black, south asian, female President. The prospect of change then ends up in her hands.

Watch for the Covid virus not to mutate and become resistant to the new vaccines. If it does, it'll spread like wildfire. There will be nothing anybody can do. America's social structure, like the economy and medical system will collapse. Millions will die a horrible, painful death. The pandemic will spread like wildfire until it eventually burns itself out. It's game over. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Watch for Trump's big lies, and the threat of white domestic terrorism to be his lasting legacy. The violence will continue off and on, to varying degrees, for many decades to come.

WATCH FOR ABROAD

Watch for China to wait and see what Biden does next. They're still busy building their economic and military resources. Lining up their political ducks. China's star is on the rise. America's isn't. They know it. Won't do much, even in the trade war, until they're absolutely ready. Won't be this year.

Watch For Biden not to lift the US economic embargo of Cuba, at least not this year. The Democrats will pussy foot around the Cuban American vote in Florida for a bit, carefully considering their options. Hopefully, Cuba will be removed as Trump's last minute addition to the State Department terrorist list, a sign of their good intentions.

Watch for Iran to seek payback against Trump: Remember Qasem Soleimani? They do! Trump is no longer president. The Iranians figure he owes them one, bigly! Picture a surprise drone strike. Maybe on the golfing greens at Mar-a-Lago? Not nice I know, but beats dying from Covid complications, eh!

Watch for Mexican fence mending rather than Mexican walls. Biden will treat them with more respect like a North American free trade partner should. Plus it's a lot better way to fix border problems. 

Watch for NATO to quickly regain favour as Biden quickly moves to restore the US's leading role. Unpaid fees will matter far less than the many other benefits from this important military alliance with many of America's leading trade partners. 

Watch for North Korea's Kim Jung-Un to step up testing his rockets and nukes in 2021. He liked Donnie. Won't waste any time now. Like it or not, NK's is a member of the nuclear club. Probably the biggest wild card for the incoming Biden administration!

Watch for the Russians to come under lots of close scrutiny and pressure. The UkraineBaltics? Cyber Warfare? And the election hacking too? The hawkish Democrats will quickly begin tightening the screws as soon as they take office.

Watch for South America to continue bearing the full US imperial brunt of Manifest Destiny. Venezuela for sure! Bolivia, maybe not? The Democrats will continue to stir things up, for their own economic ends, throughout the troubled region.

WATCH FOR CANNABIS 


Watch for the MORE Act to be passed by the end of the year. Or perhaps a similar bill. Legalization 
was the only clear winner in the 2020 election. The referendums won in a huge landslide victory, both in red and blue states alike. The Republican are about to have a "praise Jesus" moment. Jump onboard with a passion. They'll realize that buying and selling weed is just good, old fashioned, grassroots capitalism. It makes perfect business sense. Bet they really kick butt, now that Trump is gone. Help end the impasse. 

Watch for lots of countries to start jump on the global legalization bandwagon. The UN has removed cannabis from it's most dangerous drug list. In 2021 countries around the world will start getting ready so they can cash in too. More out of greed than any high principle, but so it will go, and on and on and on .....

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!