Opening Statement

Wednesday 31 July 2013

By-Election Day: A Political Theatre of the Mind!

My Ontario Teachers By-Election Watch coverage continues @ this link! 

[Ed: Latest Forum results show many ridings are too close to call as the by-elections end and voters head to the polls. Hey! I wish somebody had told me! ;-) @ Forum Poll Results ]

OK, so what's the prognosis come election day Thursday August 1st? Let's be clear. I have two basic interests in the 5 by-elections. I want the best political scenario for the teacher contract talks next year. Also, and it's directly related, even overlaps; to keep the neo conservative PC's at bay. 

What the politicians know and the voters don't!

Ideologically speaking the OLP have shown their true Neo-liberal colours. They have swallowed the austerity argument hook, line + sinker since 2011. We saw what happened to us as teachers last year. Premier Wynne might provide a shift more towards the Liberal centre left, in time, but aside from pasting a smiling talkative face to our teachers issues, have we seen any concrete shifts in the status quo? No. The OSSTF + ETFO MOU's have been watered down but they retain the same basic MOU OECTA terms signed by OECTA Provincial last July 5th.

It is absolutely necessary to keep holding the Liberals feet to the fire. Teachers have endorsed the party for many years. We provided votes, substantial cash donations and essentially free "education friendly" advertising, along with an army of knowledgeable, skilled campaign workers from the 2003 through 2011 provincial elections. We can't be taken for granted. IMHO, all OLP deals remain off. No provincial help should be forthcoming, as would seem to be the case.

Third Party Leader Andrea Horwath has basically shifted the NDP to the centre left within the Ontario political spectrum. The key operative here is that the party is now "within" the political centre, where most of the votes are. How much so on both accounts remains to be seen. Wynne would like to create the perception that she is moving the OLP into the centre left too by co-opting their issues and stealing the NDP's thunder.

Regardless of Wynnes fortunes it remains unclear how loud the NDP thunder really is from a union perspective. In time we might become disappointed with the Horwath NDP if we consider her as a social democrat, let alone a socialist leader. Horwath continues to lean further towards the political centre. She is the least progressive "progressive" NDP leader we have seen with her emphasis, for example, on balancing the budget and on cheaper car insurance for the middle class. She hopes to pull as many average voters as she can into the NDP tent. Indeed we have unfortunately seen that her union support has been nowhere near as unequivocally stated nor provided as in years past.

One can argue that Horwath's NDP made steady progress in getting other concessions for working people in the OLP spring budget. At the very least we do not see her actively waging war on the poor when she claims to be joining in the austerity march alongside the PC's and the OLP. She has come across as a credible contender in the public eye. Most usefully, she seems willing to make minority government work. I like minority government, because it has checks and balances. Party wise, I therefore hope the NDP are rewarded with a few seats in the by-elections to maintain that sense of balance for now. As such I am endorsing the NDP party for whatever that is worth.

What about the issues? Gas plants? Transit? The public service? Wynne is trying to breath new life in to the tired, old, scandal ridden OLP government. However the Liberals may well have reached the end of the line regardless of what she does next. As a teacher unionist, I'd still need to see some concrete gains in the contract talks next year before I would think the affiliates should provide any OLP life support at all

As far as these supposed "issues" go, they are mostly just a political theatre of the mind in the ongoing political games. In politics, it's not so much what is true, but what the public can be convinced is true that matters. PC Leader Tim Hudak has been working tirelessly to convince Ontarians that the OLP has to go. He has had the political playing field pretty much to himself since the writ was dropped, at least as far as Wynnes visible party leadership goes. She has, through her virtual absence and arms length campaign approach woefully let Hudak define the issues and the races. She has not provided a clear vision yet of what the new Liberals are like, or can do. Granted it is still early for her to have spelled that all out but that is her Achilles heal exposed in deciding to call the by-elections this summer. Her new approach to government is still very abstract, largely unsubstantial and based upon vague Liberal promises.

While Wynne was at the cottage, or off to the Premiers conference, Hudak and Horwath continued back and forth between the by-election races non stop, summer holidays notwithstanding, beating votes out of the bushes through actively and prolifically supporting their candidates constantly at the local grassroots level. Today, despite earlier plans to the contrary, Wynne managed amongst much Liberal fanfare to appear waving on a street corner near home in the Toronto riding of Scarborough Guildwood, perhaps still the only safe OLP seat come Thursday. Is it a case of too little too late? In a political game where appearances mean everything, it does not look good nor bode well for the  Liberals.

Ontario's historical political roots are Tory Orange. They continue to flourish in our provincial mindset through to today. We might well end up with a deep plunge back into a redux Tim Hudak style Mike Harris government come the next provincial election. We could see a return of a nasty PC divide and conquer "common sense" approach to governing including an unprecedented austerity binge once they win office. Unfortunately, it remains quite uncertain whether the NDP could currently take away sufficient Liberal support to form the next government. Should Wynnes misguided by-election strategy result in a lack of public confidence if the party gets beaten badly in Thursdays vote, we could see the forbidding black Tory storm clouds ominously settling in overhead when the legislature resumes this fall. Our options will be very limited and not at all good.

We would be better off if worse comes to worse, with a more red Tory PC government like during the Bill Davis years. Davis ruled a right leaning party that governed to the centre and sometimes even towards the centre left of the Ontario political spectrum in a pinch. He recognized that the combined numbers of NDP and OLP voters with their small "c" conservative social democratic mindset needed to be co-opted to stay in power. Unless Hudak takes a beating in the by-elections that won't happen again anytime soon. A good political bruising might've been enough to further foster doubts about his continued leadership direction within the PC party. That seems unlikely to happen now. It's a most unfortunate lost opportunity for the OLP. Without a strong and viable NDP we might suffer too.

Ontario voters in general are a middling group. They can only be gradually and incrementally moved away from the persistent Tory mindset towards a more progressive and compassionate one. It will take time. I would ideally prefer a party that's distinctly to the left.  Not only is the NDP decidedly moving away from that direction but they still aren't currently within reach of forming a government when we translate their increased polling gains into legislative seats at Queens Park.  However, some wins in the Thursday by-elections could help consolidate their support in the public eye. When we look at the other two neo liberal and neo con parties, that could be our best outcome as teacher unionists. It becomes an uneasy compromise with a long term goal of getting us realistically to where we truly want to be.

It's true the by-election results won't decisively alter the balance of power when it comes to the number of seats that the OLP minority government needs to stay in power for perhaps another year. BTAIM, the OLP have risked the perception of having lost their spring momentum under Premier Wynne. However, the NDP might stand to reinforce the gains they should be getting for the concessions they won in the spring budget.

The Tories have managed to strongly reinforce their perception of a corrupt Liberal government fumbling the political football as they penetrate the OLP tight zone. Is it realistic or true portrayal? Sadly, that doesn't matter. We have seen the same antics with all three Ontario parties when they were in power. That is unlikely to change for very long. What will change will only be who is in the hot seat as the accusations continue to fly. Any outrage is pure political fodder. It's like the proverbial story of the fire calling the tea kettle black. Or as Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney once ironically said, of the pigs lining up at the trough. Which pigs? Does it matter?

The race is in the home stretch. Who will win?

And so: what do I think will happen?

The NDP should win Windsor Techumseh. Percy Hatfield has a commanding lead in the polls. Watch where Wynne and Hudak go on election day. All the leaders will want to be in a winning riding when the results are announced. Word on the ground is that the OLP are pulling out campaign workers from here to concentrate them where the party stands a better chance. However, the NDP would be best not to get too confident in siphoning off their workers here too. The by-election has been a summer snooze fest in Windsor Tecumseh, as it has been across the province. It does not matter what folks say when polled, it's who gets their votes out that will count. The NDP will still need an army of campaign workers to close the deal and win. Slackness and indifference are their biggest risks.

The NDP has a chance to take London South as well. The local word is that the OLP's Ken Coran is dead in the water of lost union support and the local football scandal over his resume.The NDP's Peggy Sattler could still give the leading PC candidate a run for his money. Again, the decisive factor will be sufficient support in getting out the NDP votes on election day. Watch for Horwath to be on the run between here and Windsor Tecumseh. Come that evening she'll end up in Windsor or possibly London, if it's looking good. Wynne? The OLP campaign troops are all ready being pulled out of here to go where the party has a fighting chance. Say good bye Ken!

The PC's also have the lead in Ottawa South. A McGuinty backlash has taken it's toll on the OLP and the PC's have raised the Gas Plant Scandal here to a fever pitch. Watch Wynne keep her distance. The NDP will not waste it's resources on a lost battle in this riding. Hudak will be running back and forth but not end up here if Holyday looks about to make his day in the critical Toronto toe hold battlefield of Etobicoke Lakeshore. Otherwise Ottawa will be a safe place for him to be for a victory speech. The optics will still look very good as the PC's crack this OLP stronghold. Expect to see the PC campaign troops gathered in both ridings on August 1st. Watch where Tim ends up when the polls close to know if Etobicoke Lakeshore will be a likely PC win. He will need to be very fleet footed all day. Wynne likely won't be back here but still needs to keep her running shoes on too.

Etobicoke Lakeshore will be a real nail bitter for both the OLP and the PC's. Expect both to concentrate an army of campaign workers in the riding to get out their vote. Once again, that will be the deciding factor. For the OLP the teachers will definitely be MIA unlike in years past. Watch for a great number of the OLP's other campaign workers to be stationed here for the big fight to the finish. Watch Rob and Doug spend the day directing the Ford Nation troops in a full frontal attack as the brothers regain good favour within the Hudak camp. Wynne will have the dubious fortune of spending the day in home field Toronto. She will still need her running shoes. She will be racing back and forth between here and Scarborough-Guildwood. If the OLP are poised for an Etobicoke Lakeshore win expect her here right up to the last moment. If not watch her retreat quickly to her last be-election fortress before the results are announced for a dubious victory speech.

Scarborough-Guildwood is the OLP's best chance for a safe seat. Indeed as noted earlier, Wynne managed to drop by today to wave. Gambrione might be well known in Toronto as a whole but in Scarborough he had no traction. Regretfully Horwath probably wasn't much help as both flubbed the political foot ball, a long shot at best. The PC's have been noisy about the transit issue but didn't get much traction here either. What to say? OLP candidate Mitzie Hunter is nice, likable and a real keener, who's lined up for a cabinet seat this fall. It might well be a case of form over content, but I'd bet this was what Kathleen Wynne was expecting would win the day unnoticed in the OLP's low key summer by-election strategy across the province. Still, it would be foolish not to decamp sufficient OLP troops to get Mitzies voters out on election day and quite possibly to celebrate a Liberal victory with Kathleen on election night in the riding.

Probable results:

OLP in Scarborough-Guildwood and maybe Etobicoke Lakeshore.

PC's in Ottawa South, quite possibly Etobicoke lakeshore too.

NDP in Windsor Tecumseh and maybe London West which will be another nail biter this time between them and the PC's.

Best bet if I was a gambling man?

One seat each for the OLP, NDP and PC's. Possibly one more for the NDP, and one or two more for the PC's.

Scroll down the page for my "Ontario Teachers By-election Watch" blog!
More news-links at Odds + Sods: July Teacher News Links 2 @ THIS LINK

How about you? What do you think? Political punditry is an arm and lawn chair sport! Kindly share your projections with us in the space below @


Thursday 25 July 2013

Odds + Sods: [July Teacher Digest #2]

School and union news is pretty slim pickings in summer unless there is a big crisis like last year. This is my June Teacher News Digest #2 in a modified Odds + Sods format instead. My Ontario by-election coverage continues @ THIS LINK.

Yup! Summer news gets rather forgotten!


ETFO ETT endorses NDP candidates in both Toronto by-election races. Public elementary teachers are encouraged to go help out to punish the Liberals for last year @ Teacher Endorsements

Heard it through the grapevine: Rumour of OECTA Provincial OECTA funding for the OLP by-election candidates is being refuted. Spending was only for the spring Heritage Dinner like in years past. None was handed out as donations to any of the parties in this summer's race. One wonders about the other affiliates too ... ? needs member signatures for a petition asking President Paul Elliot to publicly disassociate OSSTF from Past President  Ken Coran's OLP by-election run in London West. So far mum's been the word. See @ Indie OSSTF Petition

Minister of Education Liz Sandals upon being questioned about any further plans for the provinces sex education courses admits she doesn't read the provinces education curriculum programming before she signs off on the changes. Ouch! So then what does the MOE do? Seems we remain just another political football to quick about the field in an attempt to score points! Sun News enjoys a few kicks at the story with their hard right wing boots. See the video @ Sandals

Disgraced former TDSB Director Chris Spence breaks silence on what it was like to be sent packing. Meanwhile other problems continue to plague the troubled school board @ TDSB

The Catholic boards continue to cherry pick which MOU terms they will or will not implement. The TCDSB continues to refuse the sick day plan agreed upon in the OECTA MOU. Now Brant Haldiman Norfolk Catholic board is refusing to implement any of the support staff changes agreed upon in the OSSTF MOU. OSSTF represents the staff in the Catholic schools. Enough is enough! Let's see how this goes over with them. The complete story is in my blog above. For a primer read more @ OSSTF + OECTA MOU's

Maggie Trudeau stayed at the Harbour Castle Westin too back in the day!

Here's the tentative itinerary for ETFO's August 12-15 Annual Meeting at the Harbour Castle Westin in Toronto. What dedication eh? In Summer! Both OSSTF + OECTA do it at the beginning of March break. Anyway, if you go and there's a reception upstairs in the penthouse on the West Tower check out the large bedroom. Amaze your colleagues with your inside knowledge. That's where Maggie Trudeau was caught in her pyjamas with Mick Jagger during the 1978 Rolling Stones heroin bust. She said she was just baby sitting. Hmmm. Well there, now you go, a little Toronto history. The agenda is @ ETFO

Principal arrested after fleeing his school in India where 23 students died after being fed a toxic lunch @ tried to flee!?

Journalist Sima Sahar Zerehi reports on how to bridge the gap between our unions and the public @ Public Image


Latest Forum polls show many ridings are too close to call as the by-elections end and voters head to the polls @ Forum Poll Results

The OLP braces for the end of the Premier Kathleen Wynne's honeymoon period with possible by-election close calls and lost ridings hanging over their heads @ OLP going down?

The PC's need to see some significant gains tonight or Tim Hudak's leadership could be on the line @ Hudak's PC fortunes?

The Toronto Star's Martin Regg Cohn argues that the declining number of voters means it's time to seriously consider online voting @ Online

Cell phone polling is flunking the test of time. 9/10's of people don't answer if they don't know who it is and/or will have to a pay by the minute for the call. Makes sense. Personally I don't provide any info to anyone I don't know, least of all on the phone, nor do I answer unlisted calls depending upon the area codes. Here's a good overview of the situation @ No Answer!

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announces it's time to legalize marijuana in Canada. It would be easier to regulate and eliminate the crime element. Oh, and be a big cash grab + possible youth vote getter.  Read @ Oh Cannabis!

Harpers Conservatives don't think Canada should legalize marijuana. It's bad for you and associated with crime. Read @ No Cannabis!

The Toronto Sun is outraged about Justin'T's promise to legalize marijuana too. Putting the tired old refer madness arguments + political posturing aside, here's a pretty well balanced overview on public opinion in Canada and the US, and why it might or might not be a good idea @ Up in smoke?

And the tacky award goes to ..... hand me the envelope please ..... The Federal Conservatives for their mass mailing to the blind informing them what the government is doing to help them. It's written in fake braille. They can't read it! Whew! More @ Tacky + mean!


Here's an update on the Toronto street car shooting for all the armchair policing experts out there, who are probably going to be mad with the politically incorrect statements I am about to make. As you probably heard a young 18 year old Syrian man, Sammy Yamin was tazered twice and shot 9 times by police on a crowded downtown Toronto streetcar last weekend. There have been angry protests with marchers heading to the police station to express their outrage over police brutality, because it does seem like excessive force was used. Police chief Blair has asked for calm until a thorough SIU police investigation and report with the complete story is prepared. The police officer in question has been suspended with pay. Angry citizens don't think he should be getting paid one more cent.

Toronto Police Chief Blair responds to angry calls for his officer's badge!

Rumours are rampant inflaming the situation. I've heard Sammy held the streetcar passengers hostage at knife point while pulling out his penis. The riders ran off the bus, some of them falling in the mad scramble that ensued. He then taunted and lunged at police when they arrived. Okaaaaay .... I've also heard Sammy was crazy, and that all he needed was a friend to talk him through his problem, whatever that might be. Boo hoo hoo!

Sammy's family has since said that he wasn't mentally ill. He was just a nice boy who wouldn't harm a flea, perhaps like Norman Bates. Chief Blair has promised to thoroughly review police training + procedures in emergency take down cases. Meanwhile the officer's name and picture has been released to the public. He wisely got a top lawyer to represent him, much to his critics chagrin.

Quite frankly, I taught in the inner city far too long to jump to any quick conclusion about the officer's response, regardless of how obvious it might seem that he overreacted. As a teacher professional I know he should be allowed a fair investigation before any verdict is reached. However I'm not surprised that isn't the case in emotional times like these.

It is easy and tempting to analyze the crisis and police response at arms length without knowing all the facts. Arguably Sammy should've been calmy encouraged to sit down for a friendly discussion in hopes of defusing the situation. Isn't that what we would be told should happen when somebody is "acting out" at school? Sure, it's easy to say afterwards when you are not there. The police were confronted by a very angry and irrational person wagging his penis and threatening folks with a knife. The pop psychology babble is quite predictable in the publics' response. It certainly isn't without precedent when all sorts of crisis's happen within our schools where Sammy would've attended in Canada after he arrived here from his troubled homeland. Sadly, one can almost see the surprise and shock on Sammy's face when things don't work the same way in the real world outside our school doors.

Sudden death on the mean streets of Toronto! Do we all need a reality fix?

The officer and his family wouldn't want him to leave work in a body bag. Neither  street car passengers nor the police would've understandably been interested in being Sammy's friend as he lunged at them in a violent manner with cock and knife in hand. C'mon now! Is it reasonable to expect Sammy wouldn't expect an unfavourable outcome to his actions if he was anywhere but in our schools? Then blame everybody else but him for what happened next instead?

I'll tell you I'm friggin' happy and relieved to have finally retired from the supposed behavioural "education" of our youth happening in the Ontario schools. Anyway you cut it, in Sammy's case we are stuck judging a very unfortunate situation. The officer certainly should have his right to the due course of law before any one of us jump any further to conclusions about what really happened, and whether he is at fault. In the minds of many if not most Torontonians he is not. God help us all!

There are numerous cellphone and security videos from at the scene to view @ See here

The 2013 Ontario Sunshine List for the top public wage earners has now been made available @ Sunshine

For a sixth consecutive year Toronto can boast the lowest crime rate amongst Canada's large metropolitan areas. We are even down further this year. Doesn't surprise me with all the major gun and gang busts. Across Canada the crime rates are the lowest since 1972. Wow! You'd never think so by watching t.v. though. Hmmmm. See @ Canadian crime rates falling

Incredible video footage of the deadly train crash in France as it shoots off the tracks at over twice the speed limit it should have been travelling. Horrific! 78 [ed: Correction] passengers killed and over 100 injured. You don't see any dead or injured bodies. If you still want to see how it happened it's @ Train Crash

Think this summers weather has been weird where you live? Check this out: The North Pole is melting and turning into a lake! Now that's scary! Some great photos to show you it's true all right! Global warning @ Melting!

The Walmart debate in the US is very interesting to follow. Insightful perhaps. See the video then read the comments below for some eye opening insights @ Walmart USA


Surprise! Instagram videos prove North Korea isn't a workers paradise where happy folk dance around a maypole singing joyful songs about the great leader. Unless of course, it's under duress. This would almost be funny if it wasn't so depressing looking. Check out the bar scene in particular @ North Korea: No vacation hotspot!

Visit North Korea? Lot's to see and do ...

Have you seen the Putin Airlines Safety Video? It's a satire on the anti-gay laws in Russia @ Putin Airlines

Boy things have just never been the same in Russia since Gorbachev eh? See President Vladimir Putin. See Putin catch 21 kilo pike. See Putin kiss big fish. In Russia everybody love you. Big fish too! Watch @ Putin Fishing Video

Putin: tell me you love me Mr. Big Fish like I love you!

Here's a 360 degree photo of the crowds outside St. Mary's Hospital in London England yesterday as Prince William and his wife Kate make their first public appearance with newborn Prince George. Okay! I know what some of you are thinking: More royals?!? Still, who wants to be a spoil sport at a time like this. See @ Royal Crowds

Far out! Literately! The Russian cargo ship Progress undocks after delivering almost 3 tons of supplies at the International Space Station. It later burned up upon re-entry into the earths atmosphere, according to plan. The video is @ Space Delivery!

I absolutely hate how "awesome" is commonly used to describe anything these days, even the most blase of happenings or events. However I think I might make an exception. The following video almost qualifies for the title. Maybe it does? Watch a live space shuttle launch from earth into orbit as filmed by an on board high definition camera. The booster rockets thunderous roar + the radio communications with the crew have even been gloriously remastered so they are sound perfect. It will be featured in an upcoming Bluray dvd. BTW check out the missing protective heat tiles on the underside of the shuttle that must've fallen off during lift off. Ouch! Not  safe! See now @ We have lift off!

NYC Mayoral candidate Wiener is in a real pickle now!

There are increased calls for New York Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner to pull out of the race. In the latest scandal he admits sending a "progressive activist" woman named Sydney Leather, whom he met on the internet, photos of his ...ahem! ... male appendage whenever he has a fight with his wife. Acknowledges he has been doing so since at least 2011. Somehow I can't see that being very good for their relationship. Nope. Hey! Don't try this at home! Especially if you are a teacher! Sheesh! Sounds like NYC might be about to get it's own version of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. No wait! Even Ford hasn't been caught doing this ..... yet. Hope he doesn't rise to the occasion now that Weiner has been exposed .... Story @ Mayor Wiener?! 

The times they are a changin'? Well they would seem to have passed me by. Is your loved one/ spouse upset because you sent out photos of your sex organ on the internet in a snit after a domestic spat? No problem! Having an affair with your ex can help save the ol' marriage! The bit about there being less stress from bringing STD's home seems weak to me, but then again colour me totally surprised with these latest breakthroughs in relationships today anyway. Good marriage skills have never necessarily been my forte. Still see this @ And you thought ....

Bob Dylan: Icon or iconoclast? From the folk protest movement in the early 1960's, through his rock, then country, then "saved" and "Everything is Political " periods, Dylan continues to chart new albums up until and including today. Plus he still continues to tour non-stop! Here's a whole falootin' load of info that you probably didn't know, unless you are a hard core fan. It's a good, lazy summer surf with lots of links, if you'd like to relive the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's or just stay put here in the new millennium @ Dylan

Here's a link to over 40 Dylan Youtube music videos @ Youtube Bob

I've also currently posted links to a few short Dylan docs in my videobar below this blog column.

We loved then yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Check out these fabulous black + white photos of the Beatles first concert in North America circa 1964 @ Fab 4!

Ringo Starr: This "Beatles thing" of his was very big back in the 60's!

Here's 15 Beatle hits with a slide show @ Enjoy!


Wednesday 24 July 2013

Whither too OECTA: The Catholic Schools Question?

Today's news demonstrates that the Catholic boards continue to cherry pick which MOU terms they will or will not implement. They do so without challenge from the MOE. I have previously addressed the TCDSB 's refusal to follow the sick day plan agreed upon with the MOE in the OECTA MOU. I will include the links below this blog.

For now let's consider the latest news: Brant Haldiman Norfolk Catholic board has announced that it refuses to implement any of the changes for support staff agreed upon within the terms of the spring OSSTF MOU. Remember, OSSTF is the sole representative of these workers, EA's and ECE's within the Catholic schools, whether the board wishes to acknowledge and respect that or not. The Brant Haldiman Norfolk Catholic board is now stepping on the public unions toes with the same blatant disregard as the TCDSB is on ours. You can read more about this latest development @ OSSTF + OECTA MOU's
When the MOU's were reached, the MOE had made it quite clear that they intended to enforce the terms upon all concerned. Now that promise isn't worth the paper it was written on, just like the MOU's themselves. I have been a strong supporter of our Catholic teachers and indeed OECTA on this independent all affiliate blogsite over the past three years. I also totally disagree with the Provincial 2012-13's Executive decision to ratify the July 5th MOU, and the way many local units spinelessly followed suit. A recent challenge by a few of them to try to crucify Richard "Bad Boy" Brock [OECTA Halton Elementary] for leading the charge against such folly is another story altogether. For now please know that I will get back to this unannounced news story later, after I have had a chance to speak directly with Richard.
My regular readers will recall that I stepped down from my local OECTA executive and decided to retire from active teaching as of July 1st this year. I salute + support 2013-14 President James Ryans return to office to try to save OECTA from itself after having defeated past president Kevin O'Dwyer at our spring AGM. Nonetheless, it's now time to be quite candid about the Catholic School crisis, much more pointedly and directly than I have in the past, without having to look over my back all the time as I dodge the schools and union wrath.

Contrary to popular misconceptions you can't buy a stairway to heaven, Led Zeppelin notwithstanding!

 Let's be quite clear: It is of course totally deplorable and unacceptable for the Catholic trustees, principals + school boards to continue to choose from the MOU terms as they see fit. They do so out of a sheer sense of privilege and control over their supposed teacher + support staff "flocks". It is likewise dead wrong for the MOE to stand by and do nothing as they unilaterally cherry pick what to or not do within the terms of the OECTA + now the OSSTF MOU. Clearly such arbitrary actions should not be allowed upon the public dime used to fund the Catholic school system. Indeed, they are not just content to tell OECTA what they will do as they shamelessly take the money and run. They now are also telling OSSTF that as far as our Catholic support staff are concerned, to go stuff it too. The Catholic school situation has reached beyond the end of it's publicly funded tether.
The Catholic church has historically + institutionally been built upon a now outdated hierarchical "god the father" top down decision making methodology. On a wide number of issues our school system has reached critical mass. As the GSA debate showed the question of denominational rights, whatever that might exactly mean, verses ones constitutional human rights has reached an impasse.

Indeed the Catholic school's blatant disregard towards our gay students is one thing, but the question of how they treat our gay teachers has not yet even been broached. It is clearly oppressive and used to bully them with the fear of being exposed, denied promotions and threatened with dismissal. The teachers are completely vulnerable if they insist upon their basic human right not to be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Not only does this concern their personal relationships with a married partner but their family benefits as well. On this and many other so called "Gospel" values the situation has become totally intolerable from a legal let alone a caring perspective.
In my years of service in the Catholic board I met many social justice teachers who lived and taught according to compassionate and caring Catholic values much more so than those espoused by their fiercest critics. Likewise I have worked with many traditional Catholic hardliners who are genuinely concerned and upset with all their heart and soul that their orthodox Catholic teachings and beliefs are now constantly being attacked and undermined in our often sadly spiritually devoid modern secular age.

The winds of change ...

I believe it is important for society to respect the basic principles of life from the womb to the tomb. I have tried to be a strong advocate for this especially in my role as our local executive Religious Affairs liaison over the past few years. It was a tight balancing act. I have also tried to be a strong supporter of our Catholic social justice wing in the wider sense, for example through my union work and in providing developmental educational aid through the Cuban Schools Project. Hence, I suppose whichever way I go with the proposition to follow I will inevitably anger somebody on either side of the coin, but so be it.
It is time to frankly reassess the possibility of a better more realistic outcome with the Ontario Catholic school system for all concerned. Maybe public funding should revert solely back to the elementary level where the schools have long flourished in teaching young Catholics the tenets of the faith? If it came to a supreme court challenge under the BNA Act it is quite questionable whether our basic Catholic school denominational and constitutional rights, especially in regard to public funding would extend much beyond Grade 8 anyway. Originally it was only extended as far as the junior or primary grades if I am not mistaken.

The Catholic secondary schools could then revert to being private schools again. They could practice the strong undiluted inculcation of church teachings  academic and behavioural standards for which they once earned such well deserved accolades within the Catholic community. When I was a youngster the parishes would provide the financial cost for the student families who could not otherwise afford the opportunity to attend. Why not now? We all clearly understood it was a privilege that we needed to apply ourselves to and respect. Dare I ask, are we any better off today with fully extended public funding up to Grade 12? Is that even just? Or have we just inevitably traded off quality for quantity somewhere along the way? Let God + time be their judge as we let the Catholic elementary + private schools go their own way in a more publicly limited + easier approved way.

That was then. Now is not ...

Catholic studies could be offered as a separate department within the public school system. Yes, it would be optional. Only those who truly believe that it is important will take the program but they will do so with others of a like mind. The students will continue to mix in a secular world just like the one that exists outside and inside our own school doors today. That has unquestionably been a big uncontrollable part of our lives for the last half century or so whether we like it or not.
The big question then becomes what happens to our OECTA teachers union? It is not a union principle for one to raid another for members, so I do not think it would be right nor fair that OECTA just becomes absorbed into the other affiliates. This would create a huge problem regarding seniority, placements, amalgamation and fair political representation as well.

OECTA at its finest has become a strong, vibrant social justice wing for our province's Catholic teachers. We could be a valuable asset within a larger modified public school system beyond that which currently exists. For my doubters I'd note we are but a First World variant that has long become alienated from the orthodoxy of the Catholic church across much of the rest of the world where its largest traditional congregations and base of support exists today. Do you really think the church is going to change for us within the existing Ontario Catholic school system be it through the Council of Bishops or the Vatican in Rome? Likewise can we realistically continue our good work under these circumstances upon bended knee without compromise for much longer?

The Catholic left, if you will, could also face a big challenge in pursuing our goals and beliefs like any other group within the more pointed left wing verses right wing political dichotomy that often plagues the public school system. It's regretful to say, but perhaps we would be in better company there? At any rate we have never been strangers to adversity. We might even flourish.

 There aren't any easy answers to the Catholic school dilemma. It 's high time we seriously consider at last our realistic options for change within the Ontario public school system before our own, as it now exists, totally collapses from without or within. Most regretfully, all indicators are that the latter is inevitable. A publicly unaccountable and divided Catholic school system cannot continue unabated. We can't turn back the clock, nor can we continue to march much further under the school and churches own drummer. So what else can we reasonably do that has any chance of success?

I have considered a few possibilities. I look forward to your comments and input. This discussion is just too timely and important not to be straightforwardly addressed.

Additional Links [forthcoming]


Monday 22 July 2013

Ontario Teachers By-election Watch!

My blog acronym guide is @ Teacher + Union Acronyms etc.

Ontario's summer by-elections are heating up!

Check out the election summary and predictions on my July 31 blog!


Latest Forum results show many ridings are too close to call as the by-elections end and voters head to the polls @ Forum Poll Results

Here's a backgrounder [from July 17th], on the 5 by-elections across the province @ Interactive Guide

Here's some interesting updated by-election punditry from July 25 @ Punditry!

The Doug Little Report on the by-elections is essential reading for any and all progressives. For a studied + well written overview, read Doug @ The Little Report!

Here's the Globe + Mails Adam Radwanski's riding by riding analysis the day before the election. Bad news time for the OLP? See @ Punditry

Here's some Conservative blogging on the by-elections. Always know they enemy +  learn how they think. The readers comments are especially insightful in analyzing the whole mindset @ Blue Like You?

In a similar vein, here's a very conservative column from the Windsor Star that takes a counterpoint position to most every progressive view point common here on my blog, explaining what's wrong with unions and the province. Read why the PC's should point blank win the by-elections @ Blue too!

PC cheerleader Lorrie Goldstein provides the crown touch: 20 lies the Liberals told you @ Blue Boy

Lots of readers at this blogsite are wary of the Neo Liberal Toronto Star. They provides lots of fluff pieces but what to think? Toronto Stars Robert Benzie provides a video on 5 things he thinks you should know about the August 1 by-elections @ Toronto Star

 Is parachuting big name candidates into a riding a good idea? Seems sometimes yes, sometimes no. There have been very mixed reactions in the Ontario by-elections this time around @ Big Feet

Here's a CTV interview with NDP Party Leader Andrea Horwath @NDP

The PC + OLP Austerity Binge: birds of a feather?

The PC's have 8 t.v. ads against the Liberals broadcasting during the by-elections. See them @ PC ads

The OLP begins to roll out it's by-election television ads featuring Premier Kathleen Wynne. Will they help the Liberals regain some momentum?  Or are they headed for a political beating? Here's the first @ OLP

Here's the latest OLP radio ads by Wynne in French + English @ Radio ads

The Toronto Sun's Sue-Ann Levy goes after the Wynne OLP for not showing any white males in their latest ad. Also it seems all the Liberals have been doing is creating union jobs. The model white guy on the party by-election block is Coran but the column suggests Ryan, Elliot and Hammond will be joining him next. The pretty convoluted pretzel logic of the piece means it includes a link to the latest ad in question so you can see how picky the OLP are in favouring women + non white males @ Not enough white guys?

Overheard on the internet: Kathleen Wynne will not be campaigning tomorrow, July 30, 2 days before the by-elections. Tell me this is not true [except for ridings where the NDP is in the lead]. The results could make or break Tim Hudak's political fortunes. He had two weeks to define the candidates and the issues, while she went on holidays. Now the OLP is facing a political beating and the leader takes off again? If true she must surely be getting some very bad campaign advice, or she isn't listening. Bad moves!!!


CBC estimates voter turn out on August 1st will be very low. No kidding. I'm still convinced that after all is said and done the winners will be those who get most of their identified support out to vote on the big day. Read @ Record lows?

Advance polls open for all 5 Ontario by-elections across the province today [Saturday]. Info @ Vote now!

Advance Polling ends today Friday July 26. Elections Ontario Polling info @ Vote!

ThreeHundredEight aggregate poll shows OLP + PC's in province wide dead heat with NDP picking up points. Crunch the numbers for yourself @ 308 [ed. link fixed!]

Forum Poll July 22, 2013

July 22 Forum shows the PC's taking a 5 point lead over the OLP [36-31%] with the NDP continuing to bring up the rear [27%]. The PC/OLP numbers continue to bounce back + forth, nothing new until it becomes a trend. This is two increases in a row for the NDP though. No new seat projects yet. See @ Forum Poll

July 26 Forum Poll shows the PCs leading in Etobicoke Lakeshore + Ottawa South. OLP is holding onto Scarborough Guildwood. Windsor Tecumseh and London West remain wild cards. Hmmm. I've heard Windsor Tecumseh is safe with the NDP, Ottawa probably with the OLP, and London West is the wild card. We will find out for sure on August 1st. Report is @ Forum Riding Polls

Three Hundred Eight claims these polling numbers are meaningless in a summer election. It all depends who gets out their vote. A comparison between the latest polls in May and now could be more significant as they show a definite NDP gain of 7 points. Click and scroll down to Ontario @ 308

July 27 Toronto Star article handicaps the candidates issues and odds @ Changes coming?

MIA: Where's Wynne? Ummm ... who called the summer by-elections?

Premier Wynne was off the campaign trail on vacation for the first 2 weeks. Came back for a week or so. Now she's with the rest of the Premiers for a Council of the Federation meet. Lots of big talk but focus? Media coverage? I'd say Tim and Andrea are getting a lot more done at the grass roots level. We will see if Kathleen's "plan" [?!] works to the OLP advantage come August 1st. I'm skeptical. The only safe bet for now would seem to be the NDP in Windsor. All the other ridings continue to look like a crap shoot.

Wynne responding to latest polls claims she remains optimistic. Dunno. She doesn't look too pleased, and is making excuses that it doesn't matter all ready @ Headed for a fall

Here's something different: Twitters "Media Mister". Polling is done by recording which candidates and riding get the most references in the social media. Hey, the big pollsters have become notorious for not calling the results correctly over the past few elections in Canada and the US. What's to be lost by checking this out too, even if it just turns out to be for fun? PC Holyday has a commanding lead in EL. So does OLP Coran in London West. NDP Gambrione in Scarborough. NDP Hatfield has a 5 point lead in Windsor. PC Matt Young is leading by about 3 points in Ottawa South. The basic idea is that these are the names people recognize and are discussing. Wouldn't that group be more likely to actually go out and vote on August 1 opposed to those in a random sampled telephone poll? Some food for thought @ Twitter Election Predictions


My separate blogs on Etobicoke Lakeshore + London West are below. Scroll down for now. Links will be provided.


 Wynne hits the Ottawa South hustings to bolster the party fortunes @ Ottawa South

Ottawa South all candidates debate turns into a major snooze fest as everyone sticks to their talking points avoiding questions + debate. Now there's one way to engage the public during a summer by-election! Not! Maybe some parties prefer it that way? More @ Zzzzzzzzzz!

All candidates meet with the Ottawa Citizen Editorial Board reminds me of a "Why I should be class president?" debate. The gas plant scandal continues to dog the OLP candidate who claims all three parties should be sharing the blame. Both the NDP + PC's promised to nix the plants during the 2011 election, the difference being the OLP went ahead and did it. I recall campaigning in Etobicoke Lakeshore at the time. Everybody but everybody was royally p.o'ed + the Liberals were taking the blame for not shutting the plant down. The PC's sure are getting a lot of political mileage off the issue now. Such is political life. A video and article @ Ottawa Citizen

Both Horwath + Hudak visit the riding for a third time each to beat the bushes for votes seemingly refocusing the race for their candidates moreso on local issues @ Heating up

The Toronto Sun targets Fort McGuinty! Isn't there an Ottawa Sun? I'd bet that's the Sun News target audience. This story could be wishful thinking on the Sun's part. A lot of the pundits are still calling the riding a Liberal win. But apparently everyone everywhere is madly in agreement with all Hudak's accusations. He's so bloody two faced! Anyway, see @ OLP going down?

 Warren Kinsella tweets that the Harper Cons are campaigning for the PC candidate on the taxpayers dime @ Con Hijinks?

Wynne visits the riding on the last Sunday before the by-election + shows a brave face @ Brave face

Horwath visits riding for last time before the by-election. Hudak will return for another visit. OLP candidate in a leg brace. PC candidate has a new hop to his step with a forecast 14 point lead. He's telling voters FDK will be frozen by a PC government where it's already available. Others can get it later after the budget is balanced. McGuinty family is everywhere campaigning out on the streets. However it sounds to me  like it's game over for the OLP + NDP in OS though of course neither will admit it. Both parties have a better chance in other ridings with time quickly running out @ Last Weekend Round Up

Dalton McGuinty joins the Ottawa South election campaign during the last few days. Under McGuinty the OLP held the riding for 23 years. He casts a long shadow, but is it good or bad? None of the OLP candidates in the other ridings want him to visit. Fear runs deep Ottawa South might be about to go PC. Read @ Dalton's last stand?

The Ottawa Citizen has endorsed PC candidate Young. I've read the editorial and I'm not quite sure why. Their assessment of the NDP and a supposedly new, improved Tim Hudak seem a stretch. See @ PC Endorsement


Earlier news reports on this riding can be found @ this blog!

CUPE throws it's support behind the NDP's Peggy Sattler in London West @ London Sattler

Here's a who's who of supporters campaigning for the NDP's Peggy Sattler in London South. It includes members from various ETFO + OSSTF local + more @ London West

Robocall poll misidentifies NDP's Peggy Sattler as the Green Party candidate! Elections Ontario is asked to investigate whether this was intentional. I'm surprised folks reply to these calls. Soon as I know it's a robo anything I hang up. See @ Robocalls

See the debate in London West. OLP's Ken Coran goes into attack mode @ London West

CUPE has endorsed the NDP. Coran claims union support doesn't matter. NDP's Sattler speculates union workers are assisting all 3 candidates [?] @ Unions?

Backtracking: I might've posted this link before but it perhaps deserves a revisit for the bit at the end. Ever considered that the OLP might just be positioning Coran for the 2014 provincial election? Sure, teachers aren't impressed but what about John + Mary Q. Public? See @ Future Plans?

Horwath + Hudak visit the riding again the day before the election. Horwath restates claim the OLP + PC's are both sides of the same coin. Wynne is MIA. I see her on the news today speaking on provincial + municipal Toronto matters. For the Liberals this riding is a sinking ship, their campaign troops could better be used elsewhere. Say good bye Ken! See my latest by-election blog, but first read this @ Riding visits


NDP Hatfield on the victory march in WT?

Percy Hatfield is on an NDP roll in Windsor - Techumseh, heat wave or not. Tip: He's got extra sun block if you see him out there hitting the pavement @ NDP lead

How the PC's are loosing the Windsor Tecumseh by-election is interesting @ Libs too

NDP Hatfield goes on the offensive over manufacturing jobs in Windsor. Watch the candidates debate @ Windsor Tecumseh

The Windsor Star interviews each of the party candidates. See the videos @ Windsor Tec

Is Hudak overstating his economic case by using the Detroit bogey man to frighten voters into the PC camp? Read @ Detroit?!

OECTA Provincial President James Ryan tweets that members are out campaigning for the NDP's Percy Hatfield today [July 29]. Officially OECTA Provincial, like the other teacher affiliates has not endorsed any by-elections candidates. Local units are encouraged to provide their members with relevant info on the local candidates. The  members can help out on their own as they usually would at their own discretion. The by-elections will not result in a new government. The next provincial election will do that. Perhaps it's wise that all the teacher affiliates hold back any all out involvement, support or endorsements, just to remind the politicos that we are not be taken for granted. I should think the message would be especially poignant in former MOE Laurel Broten's Etobicoke Lakeshore race. You can read into what you will about today's announcement on what's happening in Windsor Techumseh.

The Windsor Star sees the by-election as a Liberal referendum. Todays editorial claims the NDP helps the OLP so that's why they are endorsing the PC candidate. No matter, the NDP would seem to have this riding anyway. Read the papers rationale @ PC endorsement


Are the Scarborough - Guildwood NDP facing open revolt over the Gambrione endorsement? I wish Cohn would let go of the City Hall Couch Sex Scandal. Spicy yes! But Fords allegedly done worse since + got a blank pass @ Gambrione + the NDP

Oh no! The Toronto Star has a political hard on for the NDP's Adam Gambione's "checkered past" on a certain city hall couch late at night? C'mon give us a break! Folks are still concerned about his pre marital fling in a city where the mayor, who has a checkered past including allegations of attending crack land gang parties, pinching a female councillors butt, and wife beating enjoys a 47% approval rating?!? Read all about it Lots of shame to go around 

Adam Gambione is back!

Scarborough-Guildwood all candidates debate proves disappointing. OLP + PC candidates read stock talking point answers off sheets of paper. NDP Gambione remains as quiet as he can. Indie candidates shine @ debate no debate

Adam Gambione: is the public pumped up enough for a good redemption story + allow him a political come back? I wouldn't be unprecedented. Read @ Come back time?

Gambione isn't playing the "please forgive me" game. Good for him. If it comes down to name recognition he could still win the race. Even if he loses though he's credibly positioning himself back in the public eye for the next election he decides to run in. He's young, a top talent and focused on what counts. It's good to see him throw his hat back in the ring with the NDP. More @ Give him a thumbs up!

There's nothing the PC's like better than a good scandal! Unless they are in power + are getting caught all the time. OLP candidate Mitzie Hunter would seem to have been caught falsely claiming John Tory has endorsed her. See @ Hunter hunted

Spacing Toronto has an interesting article on how Gambrione and the NDP have missed the bus in Toronto over the transit issue. To be fair, it's become a political football. Makes little sense anymore. Not since Glen Murray and Rob Ford made such a mess of it. Remember Transit City? It included years of  consultation and brainwork, then was killed off for this political nonsense today. Anyway John Lorinc figures Horwath + Gambrione fumbled the transit ball. His campaign will come to naught. He will head back downtown to try his hand again at municipal politics @ NDP fumbles the ball

Seems the OLP's Mitzie Hunter is now a reborn Scarborough Subway advocate, to good effect in the riding. Umm ... how many subway stops? How much money? Whatever happened to the approved Transit City plan?!? Oh yes, Rob Ford came along to bally-ho the subway idea after it had already been exhaustively studied, with proper consultation, and rejected for a mixed transit idea that would've gotten Toronto riders across the city more transit bangs for our bucks. Duh. John Tory qualifies his endorsement but expresses no rancour to Mitzie @ Subways etc.


Tim + Doug: Happy daze in EL since OLP shot themselves in the union foot?

Wynne and Broten help rally the Liberal troops for a Milcyzn campaign blitz in Etobicoke. Stay tuned as the OLP + PC pull out all the stops for a by-election fight to the death in the riding. I've heard rumours NDP help is being sent up to help out from Windsor Tecumseh where Hatfield holds a commanding lead. Milcyzn campaign news is @ Etobicoke Lakeshore.

Carpenter Union to the rescue! They are now helping campaign for Milcyzn. God knows, the teachers won't be flocking to the riding to help out. The OLP is definitely trying to hobble together a new campaign support crew in the riding to compensate for the one they lost with the MOU/Bill 115. Hmmm. More @ Carpenters build OLP support

Power Plant Politics: Hudak's grand announcement about the EL plant shows Tim Hudak is full of BS. A trip back to the province wide blackout in summer 2012 when the last Tory government was in power. PC mismanagement of the provinces hydro needs resulted in the crisis today. Important to keep this in perspective @ PC BS

NDP's P.C. Choo urges voters not to engage in strategic voting @ Choose Choo?

The Ford Bros. Sunday talk radio show continues to toot the PC horn for Etobicoke Lakeshore candidate Doug Holyday. Per Milcyzn? Good lad, wrong party. Are we to then surmise they would otherwise be interchangeable? Both are on Mayor Rob Ford's city hall executive committee. More @ Ford Yap Fest

Here's Doug Holydays PC tax cutter platform that never fails to make Ford nation go ga ga @ PC Rhetoric

It was 18 years ago this week that the Hudak - Harris PC's chopped the Eglinton Avenue subway line because the province was apparently broke. Now Hudaks PC's are all for building more Toronto subway lines despite the latest greatest provincial debt?!? Let's do the math ..... Nope! It doesn't add up! See the front page of the July 22 1995 Toronto Star @ Subway expansion? 

PC Holyday defends the Mike Harris record by claiming the PC's cancelled the Eglinton subway line in 1995 because they couldn't afford it, but now the province can.
You can't have it both ways Doug. Duh. More @ Harris PCs

Holyday takes the heat for using his position as Deputy Mayor to sequester a City of Toronto garbage truck from a private contractor as a prop in a campaign appearance by party leader Hudak. Holyday is proud the city privatized garbage pick up. Seems he likes to flaunt it on the public dime despite all talk of saving taxpayer dollars notwithstanding @ Trash talk

Milcyzn files a complaint about Holyday's actions to the cities Integrity Commission. Sad but true, Rob Ford was found guilty by them but the commission has no teeth. Plus nobody seems to care about possible breeches anymore, unless it concerns Gambrione's city hall couch escapades. Sigh. Alas @ Integrity?

A "heated" all candidates debate focuses on the Etobicoke gas plant issue @ gas pains

Think like a PC: Holyday is Hudak's great white hope for a Toronto breakthrough seat. He comes complete with a very dedicated army of Ford Nation campaigners. A good victory could save his leadership butt this fall @ A Tim Win?

Holyday poses for a campaign picture in a Delorean. Check out the Sun reader responses. You can submit one too! Ironic: PC's were outraged when they found out Broten's husband had two sports cars. But now? See @ Marty McFly?

Current seats in the legislature


The Ontario Provincial Green Party leader speaks out about the Alberta Oil Sands Project in Alberta during a visit to Ottawa South in support of the local candidate there. Hmmm. Didn't anybody ever tell him that ..... oh, forget it. Folks get confused enough as is about the different levels of government. It's sad that he seems to be too. It's true there is a push to run some pipelines east but how is a party that hasn't won a seat yet going to meet with the Fed + other provinces to stop it from happening? Even under the very unlikely scenario that they are going to win a seat this time around? Wouldn't it be better to start with important local issues at home that are more doable? Are they even knowledgeable about these? One seriously has to question what this party is really all about + is trying to do. I know some teachers support the Green Party because it advocates for one school system in Ontario, and the environment is of course a motherhood issue. However unlike most Green Parties elsewhere in the world this is not a progressive party. It is somewhere to the ultra far right of Tim Hudak. Check out their platform sometime! The site is @ Green Party
The Green Party's "One Ontario, One School System" platform is explained @ One School System

The Family Coalition Party has entered a candidate in the Windsor Tecumseh race. Lee Watson's great aunt Ellen Fairclough was the first federal female cabinet minister. The party supports a publicly funded Catholic school system in Ontario. Her priority is changes to the federal job program + a demand for more Federal infrastructure $$$, a position also supported by Premier Wynne who will be meeting with the other provinces this week. Somehow I can't see the party sharing interest in joining up with the OLP on much if anything. The party is ultra socially conservative. No word on Lee's position on the Windsor manufacturing crisis yet but abortions + gay marriage are big no nos @
Family Coalition

Meet the Family Coalition Party candidate @
Lee Watson 

Vote August 1st come rain or shine!


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!