Here's some odds + sods for the lazy summer month of August. Teachers News Digest will return in September.
Re: Richard Brock: Ladies! Back! Please! He's married with a lovely daughter + wife!
Everyone loves OECTA Halton Elementary President Richard "Bad Boy" Brock! Or do they? The latest "News Flashes" are on my top right blog screen. The news watch remains in effect! Stay tuned @ MOU Hearing Results?
Allow me to provide a tip here too though. It is not OECTA President James Ryan who is upset with Halton Elementary President Richard "Bad Boy Brock" .... He agreed to speak at the hearing on Richards behalf. I was going to do so too, but had to forward my sincerest regrets because I had all ready booked my trip to Europe before the hearing date was set.
Meet Unifor the new Canadian super union! The founding convention is this Labour Day weekend in Toronto @ Unifor
Here's Michelle Obama's yearbook photos! What's this got to do with anything? Ummm .... it flashes!? Oh, I remember! Michelle sez: Don't drop out of school kids!
Read and/ or download the Toronto Stars special "Media Planet" Labour Day edition, sponsored by OECTA, OSSTF, ETFO, PSAC etc. etc. etc @ Labour Day
End of August Forum Polls show the OLP + NDP would hold their own or increase their seats at QP if an election, which most Ontarians polled don't want was called now. Hudaks PCs hold an insignificant lead in the popular opinion polls with little difference in the party rankings all summer. Bottom line? The standings wouldn't translate into enough seats for a PC win: PC = 35/ OLP = 32/ NDP = 26%. Crunch the numbers yourself @ Forum Summer Polling
ETFO passes a non binding motion expressing it's opposition to cellphones in the classroom. The issue centres around the controversial issue of whether the wifi waves are a heath hazard or not. Personally I think there is a lot better reason that's less debatable. Until recently nobody was allowed to take photos or make recordings of anyone in the classroom without written consent. Nowadays every cellphone has a camera and voice recorder on them. There is also a safety issue with whom the students are talking with during class time. Even if it is their parents, these contacts always use to be screened through the main office. Now? Anything goes.Let's not kid ourselves. In most cases they are not being used for learning purposes. Anyway, see the article @ cell phone intrusion
Hail ETFO! Finally! Some realism is introduced to the student cellphones in the classroom issue. More real straight shooting talk here. On top of everything else they are just plain distracting for students and teachers alike in a serious learning environment. Duh! Read + vote in the poll @ No More Cellphone BS In School!
Here's a link to the actual wording of all the motions passed at the ETFO Annual 2013. The cellphone one is in Session 7 page 2 @ PDF or Word?
OSSTF growls! Public boards are not implementing the provincial agreement. OECTA has been experiencing the same problem. The public school association claims the funding details were only released lately. The boards are worried that teachers will now use up their 11 sick days each year under the new "use them or lose them" arrangement. Seems like we are dealing with some real smart rocket scientists here! MOE's Liz Sandals insists they must comply but so far nada from the ministry to back that up. More @ Boards say no!
Prospects for the OLP provincial roll out of all day Kindergarten in Sept 2014 don't look good because of current funding and construction shortfalls @ FDK?
Walrus magazine argues business and government have "pension envy" over our successful OTPP. Moreover it should be the model for other unions, which would actually be in everyone's best interests @ Pension Envy
Toronto Tourist Advisory: Where's the best ice cream truck in town? Apparently parked outside the Queens Park legislature @ The Ice Cream Man Cometh!
OLP + PC antics over the municipal arbitration issue continue to dodge common sense. Careful, this Globe + Mail article assumes that the reforms are good and dismisses the NDP position against them pretty much out of hand @ More OLP PC anti labour election antics ahead.
Meet OLP insider Don Guy! He was a real mover and shaker, perhaps often even the one pulling the strings during the McGuinty years. Here's a rare public glimpse of him during the gas plant enquiry. See how he works @ Don Guy
OLP insider Don Guy makes a rare public appearance!
More on Don Guy's rare public appearance @ More Don Guy
Don Guy: McGuinty's Prince of Darkness + Lex Luther all in one? An interesting article but I'm pretty sure its got some wrong dates here @ Machiavelli Maybe?
CRTC rejects neo conservative Sun TV's request to be a mandatory customer paid part of your Canadian cable subscription package! Much more! The CRTC also decided to investigate some very interesting + perhaps controversial options that could change the way we get our t.v. news @ Sun News Blues!
What's it like smoking a doobie with Justin Trudeau? Do you know? Do you care? Marc Emery tells all. However Justin says they never got stoned together. It's just b.s. Will the Canadian political intrigues never end?!? Did he or didn't he @ Flyin' High?
There's a bloodbath + chaos in Egypt as security forces brutally attack + clear out 2 protest camps! The protesters are upset that their duly democratically elected leader was ousted in the recent military coup. Are we looking at another Syria civil war in the making? Story @ News Story + Photos
Egyptian style justice!
Egyptian court releases ousted President Hosni Mubarack from jail. Ummm, didn't the army just overthrow duly elected Muslim President Morsi? The US news, like the media here in London England keeps going on and on about the danger of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supporters on a variation of the tired old "war against terrorism" theme. Story circulating here in London though is that the Egyptian army feels power is slipping from it's grasp after the Egyptian spring + hence wants to restore Mubarack as their puppet leader. This story needs to be watched carefully in the weeks ahead. See the western media spin in play @ Coincidental timing?
UN Experts leave Syria. Rooskie President Putin basically tells Obama to p.o. Think Vietnam: Gulf of Tonkin, Iraq: Weapons of Mass Destruction ... Wasn't that b.s?!? Oh oh! No time left! Here come the US jets/ rockets/ drones @ Kaboom!
BTW: Better tank up on gas?
US Drone strikes sure could make a mess of things! Or will it be rockets or jets?
Worldview? Kudos to the Washington Post for this list of the Top 23 Twitter accounts to follow for news on the deepening Syrian crisis. Would seem to provide an interesting varied mix. Somewhere there within lies the truth? See @ Gathering Clouds of War
The Syrian Crisis? I am just back from London+ Paris as you might or might not know. Anyhow the spin on the street and in the news over there was quite different from what I am hearing here in Canada and on the US news. First off, folk over there are very upset about chemical warfare and innocent casualties, the latter part for some time now. There are even street posters denouncing the slaughter posted all over the Paris subway line. On the other hand the talk of an American military strike had the locals wagging their heads. Even scoffing whether the Americans had any idea whatsoever of what they were doing and what happens next. A frequent point of debate is whether Obama can get the American people primed and prepped for a big, snowballing war over this. Right on the EU's door step too.
Think of it this way: How'd folks like it here in North America if Russia or China launched an attack on Mexico coz things haven't exactly been going well there either what with the all the drug cartel verses the government fighting, beheadings, shootings etc?!?
Jus' another Friday night in Syria with the boys ... "OK! Who did what to whom?!? Wasn't me! Nor me! I dunno either ..... "
The British came off as complete suck ups, ridiculous toadies for miming the US position. Its even embarrassing to hear and when I watched the BBC news, the reporters seemed very sceptical about what the hell the Conservative government was doing or whether they'd even thought Syria through. Just like with their support for the US position on Egypt.
I saw an interview with the British foreign minister about Egypt and he sounded like a total buffoon. The press weren't hesitant to call him on it too. He just kept pretending that he was laughing because they just didn't get it. Very weird, but I admired the reporters persistence + forthrightness. Not like here. Anyway take it for what that's worth, but the public sentiments were quite different.
Rob Ford: This is chilling too. Whenever his name came up at a pub, café or wherever folks in London and Paris wanted to know how the mayor could keep getting away with his antics? Also quite embarrassing: How come he's still mayor? How can Torontonians put up with this? It's us more so than Ford that most folk seem to find hard to figure out + are talking about. So put that in a crack pipe and smoke it eh?
NASA introduces a new class of astronaut candidates and outlines a new manned [or womanned] mission back to the moon. How sixties + seventies! Gosh I use to like watching those old moon landings. But what about Mars?!? Now that would be exciting, plus I think it's good for people to aspire towards the stars rather than just roll in the dirt here on Planet Earth all the time. Then there's also all the new technology that can be researched and developed without having a war. I ramble. Video @ Back 2 the Moon!
Which is your worst nightmare? A snake in bed or a sink hole beneath it?
Case #1: Mom rescues her baby from a six foot Python that crawls into the baby's bed. According to some snake advocates it just wanted to "hug" the baby. Yup. Okay. Story @ Snake in the Bed
Case #2: A sinkhole opens up underneath a man's bed + swallows him as he sleeps. He has never been found @ Sinking Feeling
The "Pacu" -A member of the Piranha species with a blood curdling difference!
Warning: Bad news for men if you are planning a beach holiday or fishing trip in Sweden! Beware: A Piranha fish species known as the "Pacu" can bite + crush a fishermen's testicles. Swimmers too! Ouch! Look at those teeth!!! Pacus have now been found in Swedish waters! I can guess how they might craftily sneak into a swimmers trunks to do the dirty deed. But just how exactly do fishermen dress to fish in Sweden?!? Enquiring minds want to know but no matter! Come snack time and in one swift bite they can fit a whole testes in their fierce jaws + you end up like Adolph Hitler! Here's the understatement of the month, "It's not normal to get your testicles bitten off, of course, but it can happen now off the coast of Sweden". More @ Aka the Ball Crusher"
Whoa! Irish songstress Imelda May brings back rockabilly + jumpin' jive with class + style. Here's a taster of her big UK hit @ Imelda May video
BTW see my "Imelda May Youtube Videobar" below this blog column for more!
Zombie pigeons plague Moscow! The end is nigh? They fly backwards and stand with their heads resting on the ground. Their death in mass numbers spurs public fears. Just what the hecks going on???? See @ Zombie Pigeons
Also Aljazeera reports @ Beware Zombie Pigeons!
Ooooh Nooooo! ZOMBIE PIGEONS!!!
This is not a test of the Emergency Broadcast System!!!! Youtube video proof @ OMG!
Big News: Speaking of dead -not so Great Lake Erie is once again just a big toilet! Hey, didn't we fix that? Seems not 4 long @ No swimming! Or fish ....
Late Great Lake Erie down Windsor/ Detroit/ Pelee way: Deader than an doornail!
[Link fixed] Okay now. This video doesn't have class or style! It will not appeal to all sensibilities. Make sure your wife and kiddies are off watching t.v., gone for a drive in the car or something like that guys. I dunno, maybe give them money to go buy an ice cream cone?!? You figure it out. Otherwise you might get into a whole lotta trouble. For as Robbie the Robot once said "Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!"
Please note I am waving my arms up and down in front of me as I say it just like he did on "Lost in Space". Danger! Danger!! Danger!!! And so ....
Are Asian women being sexually stereotyped in the popular media? Along comes the summer video hit "Asian Girlz" to further stir the pot! Does it push the joke too far? Maybe it's even racist: Yes? No? A "Now" Magazine Poll once proclaimed that when it comes to it's Toronto male readers preference in women: "Asians are hot, white are not!" Hmmm. Video @ Warning: "Mature" Content
Leda + the Swan go Asian: A modern twist to the classic myth?
Rock and rolling good time: See and hear the Replacements live Toronto concert from Aug 25th @ live concert
Dept. of Cold War Nostalgia: The UN declares Aug 29th the International Day Against Nuclear Tests. Yeah its a pretty exclusive club. Ever notice how once a country acquires nukes they won't get rid of them like for example the US and the Russians? But they don't want anyone else to develop them either!!!
Anyway, I think I preferred the Cold War when the world was divided between 2 superpowers with enough bombs to blow up each other + anybody else a 1000 times over. Yup. As a result they were at a stand off and could never really risk a war despite all the sabre rattling. That held them + most everyone else in check for a long, long time, as scary as the threat of the nuclear deterrent could be.
Nowadays? Huh. Its always some b.s. war or another, each one more stupider, deadlier and suspicious than the last. IMHO, the whole Jihad and War against Terorrism thing being the dumbest yet. Here's 12 music videos of the Cold Wars greatest hits from back in the day, mostly the 70's and 80's though @ Our hearts went boom!
Sometimes I really miss the Cold War!