Autumn Forecast: Dark + increasingly dark until longer days return in Spring!
[Lou Reed tribute has been relocated below in blog under Kulture Kult Ink]
NEWS FLASH: CP24 Media Conference: Toronto Police Chief Bair says the police computer intelligence department has recovered a lost "digital video file" that was previously deleted from a computer seized by police in a recent drug raid. It is apparently in keeping with a recent video that's been "in the news", strongly suggesting it is the lost Rob Ford Crack Smoking Video. Blair is "disappointed" with what he has seen in the "digital video file" and is "sad" for the citizens of Toronto too. Released court documents today also include pictures of Ford meeting numerous times with charged drug dealer Alexander Lisi in parking lots, once getting out of his car to take a leak. Lisi has now also been charged with extortion. Has the mayor been caught with his pants down?!? The Rob Ford Cracked Saga continues ....... See my Oct 31 blog.
TEACHER + UNION
Here's a link to Bill 122: an act Respecting Collective Bargaining in Ontario's School System @ Download here!
Here's the initial response from the presidents of OSSTF, ETFO + OECTA. Basically they are waiting while heir legal counsel goes over it, but the tone of each might be insightful, also their choice of words @ Teacher Union Responses?
CPC-ML Political Forum has a summary of the Bill 122 issue + some of the changes the new act creates @ Political Forum
New OLP Collective Bargaining Law for teachers to be announced by MOE at QP today. Expect trustees seat at the PDT to be strengthened + local CB to take a hit @ Here we go!
The CBC explains what Sandals wants to do + why Provincial CB is legally so controversial @ CBC
The Toronto Sun reports @ Sun
OLP MOE Liz Sandals: Collective Bargaining? What me worry?!?
The Globe + Mail reports, expressing concern for the trustees @ PDT 2013-14
Why changes to strengthen the trustees at the CB PDT 2013-14 contract talks will be good for the trustees, principals + nepotism in the Catholic schools, but definitely not the teachers @ Blog Archive
The tired old "province is giving into the teachers who just want more money and sick days at the taxpayers expense" argument rears its ugly head again in the Globe + Mail. Hey, it's good for readership numbers and PC votes so why dig any deeper into the real issues than that. Sigh! Alas! More @ Big Bad Teachers Are Stealing Your Money BS!
OSSTF press release honours Oct 30th Child Care Workers + ECE's Appreciation Day @ Appreciated
ETFO too. Sam Hammond @ Youtube
OECTA is a part of a coalition in support of them but they are not in the union. James Ryan pushed for inclusion in a hotly contested debate a few AGM's ago, which was defeated, so now they are ETFO + CUPE workers. There are pro's and con's to OECTA members being qualified teachers only, which by the way I supported, but hats off to them for the great work they do regardless @ ECE debate
TCDSB accused of cover up involved in controversial Mayor Rob Ford's "quasi-employee" status as the "football coach" at Don Bosco CSS. 91 documents are being requested under the Freedom of Info Act. The documents cover a wide variety of local staff, administration and policing concerns about his presence in the Catholic high school including a withheld police letter from when he was finally given the boot over an assistants improperly conducted "security check". Much more info below under "In the News". Latest @ Toronto Star
ETFO ETT congratulates new TDSB director. Also reminds members of the boards responsibilities to respect teacher professional judgement + collaborative professional team work. Gee, somebody should send this too the TCDSB too, but then again, they wouldn't know what you were talking about @ Respect Teacher Professionalism!
ETFO President Sam Hammond delivers his State of the Union address, of sorts, as a new PDT fight looms + the Charter Challenge hits the courts come spring @ ETFO gets ready
Ditto ETFO's General Secretary Victoria Reaume! Good to see the news starting to flow from ETFO again. Hey can you imagine OECTA's General Secretary coming out like this?!? Yay ETFO! See @ Looking Forward
This is the ETFO 2013-15 executive. Can't accuse them of hiding like some exec's we know @ Photos
ETFO Provincial send school reps their own online "Stewards Mailing" newsletter . Does OSSTF do this? OECTA? Hmmm. See @ Direct Rep Info Access
ETFO publicly states it's endorsement of the CLC's Together Fairness Works campaign. We all need to actively get on board for it to work @ ETFO Advocacy + Action
Scathing Rabble.ca critique defines "bullshit" [not necessarily the same as just lying ... ] + applies it to Right to Work for Less in Canada @ David Doorey
Teacher shocker: Under new UK education reforms one would need more qualifications to flip burgers at MacDonald's than to be hired as a teacher in London @ Cameron no bright star!
New petition to stop unqualified teachers from being hired in the UK has been posted. Need a UK postal code to vote but good to know about @ Vote No Way!
100,000 teachers plan to strike across Britain this Thursday Oct 17 @ Solidarity Appeal
More info from the NUT [national Union of Teacher] website @ Here
Here's an FAQ on the government attacks on teachers in Britain @ NUTS to that!
Here's the strike newsletter links @ Oct 17
British Labour Party does about face in opposing the Conservative Parties equivalent to what we call "Charter Schools". It's a watered down version but Labour doesn't want to show it's in unions pocket, so to speak, meaning its a vote getter @ Bad UK Labour News
Sound familiar? Look, we Ontario teachers have been there, done that, and the way things are going we might be back on the battle lines again in the not so distant future. Hopefully our affiliates will show some solidarity for our British colleagues in their struggle! We are all teachers!
National Union of Teachers in Britain
For you perusal: Here's the federal governments first draft of the controversial First Nations Education Act available @ Download here
The Globe + Mail report is @ First Nations
Fraser Institute praises teachers merit pay claiming it produces improved results in student achievement scores. The OLP disagrees. No Comment apparently from our teacher unions. As we know merit pay encourages nepotism, butt kissing + skewered marks. It also punishes teachers who work with disadvantaged youth -/or maintain their professional integrity in accurately marking, reporting and not just teaching to the provincial tests, not that the latter necessarily seems to mean much outside our own teaching circles anymore. Anyway, vote in the merit pay poll! The yes side is winning @ Toronto Sun
ETFO launches it's "We Stand Together" campaign to raise awareness of Aboriginal people in Canada. Media release + lesson materials downloads available @ Nice one ETFO!
OECTA Provincial executive meets Monday October 7 to Tuesday the 8th. From reading your blog Comments it sounds like more than a few local presidents are planning to show up. Oh to be a fly on the wall! Unfortunately, now that I am retired I don't think I can attend, plus I'm sure they would go in camera as soon as I walk in! ;-)
The truth, the whole truth + nothing but the truth so help me ..... ?
Readers write that at the open Mondays OECTA PE meeting, held during school hours, the president gave an interesting CB update on a number of issues. Included were notes on the attachment of the MOU to local contracts, Catholic school board adherence to the relevant terms of the MOU, and OECTA's interest in sticking to the Fair Hire and Professional Assessment terms of the July 5th 2012 MOU as gains that are to be protected in the next PDT talks. Many of these issues have been big topics of discussion + concern here on my blogsite over the last year, so you might want to read the relevant additional info at the link below carefully.
Members can wait indefinitely until OECTA Provincial gets around to sharing this info with you, or rather gets somebody else to interpret + explain it for you. Or you can find the relevant letter + comments now if you scroll down the page in the Comments section @ OECTA: a question of trust!
Evil is when good people see but do nothing!
The teacher unions can try censoring or bullying everybody into silence. Or they could be truthful and upfront about what's really happening in an upfront and prompt manner as your elected reps. Is that happening now? Or will it happen during the contract year ahead? Quite frankly, the trust is just no longer there after the 2013-14 contracts. Enquiring minds need to know! We are not idiots for crying out loud!
Fairness Works! The new CLC campaign video works with positive direct imagery that appeals to common folk sans the union rhetoric. What's not to like? What's there to argue with? Very well done! Watch + share @ New Fairness Works Ad
People often ask me if I'm not kind of young to be retired. I ways answer no. Young yes, to be retired .... no! This is freaking fabulous! I still find it hard to believe, but that's o.k. Oct 15th will be my 57th birthday. So what does that make me??? Middle aged I guess. O.k. O.k that's not young but it's fine by me!
In celebration of World Teachers Day October 5th: Teachers are the Pillars of Democracy by OTF
Brain teaser: Spot the propaganda?!? Canadian applications too! See below!
TVO hosts the "Equinox Summit on Education" to formulate recommendations for the future of our schools in 2030. Only one teacher, a private school one at that, from an exclusive school in New York City represented us. Does Steve Paikin know about this? Duh! Oh! Wait a moment! That's right! We're not supposed to say anything. Just do what we are told by every Tom, Dick and Mary who ever went to school because they know best. Sure. See @ Summit Plummets!
Teach your Children well: Here's some handy lesson resources for teaching Gr 9-12 students about propaganda techniques in Literature + online political ads! 4 lessons worth of download tools + resources available @ Recognizing Propaganda!
TDSB names Donna Quan as new Director @ Toronto Star
MacLeans article claims Canadian students are actually falling behind @ MacLeans
Bubble Wrap or Free Range Kids: Which are best?
Bubble wrap kids? Are we overdoing the safety thing at school and creating a generation of fearful, paranoid sissies and wimps? A group called Free Range Kids seems to think so. Meanwhile the Thames Valley board bans children from walking alone between portables during the day. However, it turns out the alleged attack which resulted in the policy never actually happened, police say. More @ Free Range Kids?
Manitoba University study claims the benefits of full day kindergarten for lower social + economically challenged children can be lost later when their literacy skills are not reinforced at home @ Later Set backs?
Half the classes in Thames Board are split grade reportedly because of hard caps on class size. Article @ Splits
Whew! Just "some soil contamination" found at new school construction site. Well, I bet the staff + students feel better all ready @ the TDSB
A very disturbing story from stateside: A gay student in make up and a dress asks a straight student if he will "be his valentine". The straight student kills the gay student, shooting twice in the head during computer lab the next day. Guess who the teacher sympathizes with? Story @ Gawker
OTPP head Jim Leech co-authors new book on pension reform @ Pension Talk
Jim Leech says politicians have hard time dealing with pension issue. So called "gold plated pension" metaphors are misinformed. Video @ OTPP Pension Talk
Canadian teamsters celebrate the 1st World day of Decent Work @ Poster here
Labour leader Orville Thacker: RIP!
Local KW Labour Leader Orville Thacker eulogized for a life dedicated to fighting for worker rights. Members from all three of Ontario`s main political parties attend funeral. News @ RIP
Unions rally for striking Bonfield workers @ North Bay Nugget
Sparky Stelmacovich + I attended the USW Local 9176 picket line outside the Crown can manufacturing plant at #245 Signet Drive Toronto [Finch W/ Hwy 400] as the OECTA TSU retiree reps from the CURC chapter we are organizing. The workers are in the 5th week of what they told us they expect will be a very long strike. TYLC asked unionists to come out to join the pickets in solidarity last week. The workers told us that we were about the 2nd protesters to come by so far. It would be great if more teachers + other union members could put in at least an hour or so to show solidarity in this very daunting + possibly quite precedent setting strike. More details are available on my Oct 8th strike report!
USW Crown worker pickets run 24/7! When can you drop by?
This "Hour has 22 Minutes" comedian Mary Walsh roasts labour leaders+ Harperites alike at the Unifor Convention. Video @ Roast
Controversial OSSTF'er Barry Weisleder's "Labour Day 2013 Marred by Unions Bowing Down to Austerity" article gives an interesting overview of the situation many might not like to hear but should consider nonetheless. Scroll down the page @Socialist Action
Mira Katz provides an interesting backgrounder on the OLP's Austerity Agenda prior to this years teacher + education contract talks. She also refers to the Drummond Report recommendations in her analysis. Remember the Drummond Report? I don't hear our teacher unions mention it much anymore, at least when anyone's busy drinking the red kool aid and kissing OLP butt. Weren't we once all against it?!? Hmmmm. Read @ CPC-ML Forum
Just who exactly is earning the minimum wage in Ontario. Nope, it isn't the politicians. Here's a shocker! It isn't just the pimply faced teenage high school drop out either! Nope! Download the Wellesley Report @ For shame!
Doorey's Law of Work Blog has an insightful legal look at the implications of a Canadian Right to Work Law. Tim and Steve take note: This is not the US, our laws are different. Read @ Right 2 Work 4 Less?
I have an independent Twitter news service notifying you of my new blogs, additions, background archives + supplementary links on the latest teacher + union news + views. You can follow me by searching for and clicking my hashtag [#davidchiarelli] on Twitter. Here`s a handy user friendly guide for finding or setting up and using a Twitter account @ Twitter Guide
ETFO's QP Highlights for the week ending Oct.25th @ Teachers are you ready?
Andrea Horwath announces it's unlikley the NDP will trigger a provincial election this fall. PC Hudak uses this as an opportunity to try score political points by accusing her of propping up a corrupt OLP government. Zzzzz @ No Fall Election
Three parties unanimous in supporting the new Consumer Friendly Wireless Services Agreement. It will take effect in the spring. Info @ Wirele$$
Premier Wynne's press conference for "Open Goverment" [sic] is marred by a spelling mistake. Eh?!? ... No! Of course I didn't write that for her!!!! Harumph! @ Spell check?
QP construction was finished in 1893.
Here's a fascinating, brief history of QP [Queens Park], the building, our Ontario legislature. Know why its nicknamed the "Pink Palace" though the NDP has only sat there in government once? Why the centre tower hasn't been used since the 1960's? Who the province leases the land from for a $1 a year until 2892? Why there is a round window in the west tower? Answers + more @ QP History
Latest Nanos Poll: OLP=36%/ PC=31.2%/NDP=26.1% No bump in the polls for Mr. Hudak after the big much touted PC Policy Convention. Wynne and Horwath remain the most trustworthy party leaders. Read more @ Hudak stiffs
Latest 308 aggregate poll: OLP=34% /PC=31% /NDP=24% @ 308
OLP + PC's play QP footsies with EllisDon lobbyists. Seems union lobbyists are a threat to democracy and our way of life but not the indu$trial corporate one$?!? Also, is Wynne trying to out Mike Harris Hudak now while also proclaiming herself to be a labour progressive Premier? Tut! Tut !Kathleen! You can't have it both ways!!! Read @ Ellis Don
Hey! Timbo knows what to do!? Stop the teacher "special interest" groups from election spending. Yeah! if the big corporate interests won't slip him a fewer bucks then why allow anybody else to give it to the other parties eh? Smart Tim @ PC Hudak strikes again!
Hudak + his secret Harris cabinet got called on the EllisDon lobby scandal last summer by Randy Hillier who was then demoted just as the PC QP caucus started to split wide open over Timbo's "leadership" skills. Interesting eh? The plot thickens! See my previous blog @ Tory Lobby $$$$
OLP flip flops + joins NDP to defeat PC ant-labour EllisDon bill 60=33 @ Down in flames!
Andrea Horwath voices great disappointment of Steeltown closing. Also see "In the News". Media release @ Jobs!
Tory private members bill to stop seniority hiring in schools is shot down. Liz Sandals explains @ PC's
As far as scandals go, gas plants just plain aren't a sexy issue. Nonetheless the auditors report reveals Ontario taxpayers will fork out $1.09 billion for the OLP's 2011 election time decision to cancel the controversial plants. Truth be told both the NDP + PC's wanted them cancelled too, due to environmental + safety concerns, and the locals were quite pleased at the time. The whole fiasco smacks of scoring political points on all 3 parties behalf. However much the PC's and NDP try to bring down the Liberals over the current gas stink, Ontario voters don't seem to give a hoot as the party continues to lead in the polls. Of course, so does Rob Ford! Are we concerned about Toronto's mayor smoking crack? The OLP giving in $1.09 billion dollars worth for a last minute election gain? Seems not but the battle rages on! Anyway, the auditors report is out @ CTV News
A reader qualifies the NDP position in the Comments below this blog.
Safe nuclear power? Like in Japan?
More bungles in the energy portfolio jungle: OLP announces will cancel the 2 new nuclear reactors and refurbish the existing ones. PC's vow to resume building them. NDP says no nukes. Article @ Toronto Star
BTW a spike in nuclear radiation levels have finally been confirmed in sea life all across the Pacific since the Fukushima Reactor earthquake disaster was apparently, ahem, "contained" @ What next: Nuke the whales?!
Ho boy! A Forum Poll shows Ontarians prefer nuclear power 2 to 1 over the other energy sources @ Yes Nukes!
OLP introducing new Green Bond coming to fund environmentally friendly transit + infrastructure projects. Makes sense. Environmental issues often seem to fall off the public radar during hard economic times. Story @ Green Bonds
Toronto Star article claims Andrea is Premier Wynne's secret policy adviser, and is making gains for it too @ Policy
Anger mounts with OLP energy policy, or lack thereof, as hydro prices spike. It is also noteworthy though, that the price increase is also partially the result of coal energy being phased out because of environmental concerns @ CTV Video
No, the OLP doesn't know how much the 2014 Toronto Pam Am Games will cost. However the elephant in the room is the question that's never asked: How will the million or so visitors get around Toronto to see all the games?!? On the TTC?!? No, Transit City was scuttled for 2 or 3 more subway stations that won't even be finished until next decade. Duh. Ford plays the provincial parties like a fiddle. Latest @ How much? For what???
Hudak promises to cut back on LRT [Light Rail Transit] + build more subways in Toronto without raising taxes if elected. Unfortunately the math doesn't add up but that doesn't faze Tim @ Pulling Out Subways from Thin Air!
Negative Twitter blast turns the Premiers Thanksgiving dinner enquiries into a hate in. Is it for real or is it orchestrated political mischief? The responses? The media attention? You decide @ Gobble Gobble!
Auditors report shows McGuinty could've cancelled plants without any compensation fees but it would have been a long drawn out affair @ No Compensation?
NDP's Andrea Horwath: An eye on the prize! Is she playing a good game?
Will there be a fall election? PC leader Hudak claims he wants a non confidence vote. However, like the NDP's Horwath + Premier Wynne he knows it's not going to happen. The polling trends show not much would probably change in the legislative seat count. Of course, anything can happen in politics. Maybe this could be a desperate gamble for him. Likewise it's not impossible the OLP could finally get their majority back. Andrea is playing it cool, with her cards close to her chest. She's on CITY-TV now saying there won't be a fall election. Without NDP support there can't be the required non confidence vote. Might not look good for her now but she's being the realist here. Let's hope she continues to consolidate the NDP's gains between now and the spring. More @ Toronto Star
Another thing about our Mr. Tim Balls: All his tough talk no doubt also reassures his angry white guy voters that he's the only party leader with balls. One wonders if our "wild dog" likes Chinese food? It can be good luck Tim .... but maybe not for you. Hmmm. Could somebody please pass the man a toaster? Scroll down, way down ...... ;-)
PC's plan to introduce confidence motion at Queen Park. Interesting how they are focusing their strategy on discrediting the NDP. They must be getting worried? Story @ Vote?
Dubious sounding NCC [National Citizens Coalition] posting downtown Toronto billboards itching for a provincial election. I suppose this is Timbo's version of the Working family Coalition? Story @ NCC
Horwath calls PC's on non confidence motion trickery + political grandstanding at QP. Gilles Bisson really explained it well on CP24 at lunch today despite LaDrews attempts to paint the party as supporting a corrupt government. Tired argument! NDP getting results + working within voters mandate @ PC BS
Is the gas plant scandal still the major irritant among Ontario voters that it was or is "gas fatigue" setting in? The Sun can say what it wants but let's face it, everybody knows a winter election now would be a real bummer. I wonder how this poll was worded @ Forum
NDP MPP Paul Miller is sent to the backbenches by Andrea due to excessive heckling. It's not considered appropriate. Bottom line? It's refreshing to see a party leader insisting on some respect + decorum in that clown show at QP which is supposed to be our provincial seat of government. Apparently, Miller was warned it was excessive and begged to differ. I'd think his seat will be restored once the message sinks in but for now he's @ Bounced!
NDP party leader explains her Miller decision, while he remains unrepentant @ Shouting Match
Veteran Kingston OLP MPP + Attorney General John Gerretson announces he will not run in the next provincial election @ Even More OLP Woes!
Huronia Residential School survivors not feeling the love from Wynne @ No big deal?!
Global News reports on what the media can and can't do in covering the news a QP @ News Protocols
Premier Wynne rejects calls for beer + wine in the corner stores. Dunno, might sound prudish but I agree. Alcohol is a major factor in a lot of driving accidents and domestic violence. Who needs that? More @ Not Convenient!
IN OTHER NEWS
No woman - No Drive! Dunno if this belongs in Kulture Kult Ink or here but no matter. Saudi Arabian women are defying tradition this week by driving their husbands car. This hilarious video, made by a Saudi activist is going viral. It's sung to the melody of Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry!" Check it out @ Too funny!
Can gay people be "cured"? The American Psychological Association claims attempts too do so could be potentially harmful. AllOut.org circulates a petition asking the Marriott Hotel chain to stop hosting "gay cure" conferences + seminars @ Harmful
Down at Joe's Barbershop is where all the action is dudes! The week 8 NFL picks @ No hippies allowed at Joes!
Russian Olympics: Things go better with Coke?
Urgent! Coca Cola bosses are meeting to discuss the Russian anti gay laws prior to the Olympics, as a major corporate sponsor of the event. Allout.org is asking folk to email Coke to let them know that if Coke is such a people friendly product, as they claim, then they need to speak out to President Putin, rather than brush the anti gay Russian Olympic issue under the rug. You can find the email link @ Things Go Better With Coke?
Well done Ladies!
Happy Persons Day: October 18 celebrates the 1917 anniversary of women first being legally recognized as "persons" in Canada resulting from Emily Murphy's constitutional challenge of the BNA [British North America] Act  @ Status of Women Media Release
Canadians should be able to have more choice in picking the t.v. channels they want rather than have to buy those stupid packages. There's no technological reason you can't pick and choose just what you want. Don't hold your breath but the Federal Conservatives to make an announcement in upcoming throne speech @ TV Packages
US world lead in oil production gives them a major strategic advantage @ Huffington
Honest Ed's: Going, going, gone ....
Toronto landmark or eye sore depending on your perspective, Honest Ed's at the corner of Bathurst + Bloor St. Toronto has been bought by controversial Vancouver developer Westbank Properties. The discount store will remain open for 2 or 3 years while the new owner seeks the necessary city permits to tear down the heritage building and put up something else. Nearby Mirvish Village is also included in the sale. Cry not for the Mirvish family who will focus on their theatre holdings and a new development of their own south on King St. Story @ Honest Ed's
Sears Canada is selling back the lease to its prized Eaton Centre/ Dundas Square flagship store and closing 3 others in malls across the GTA resulting in 965 layoffs, to save $400 million. The Eaton Centre location is a prime Toronto property so which for it get grabbed up quickly by another major retailer. Tops name has been rumoured. Suppose Sears will be having a really big sale this Christmas before they close the locations for good in February. Story @ Not Eaton Or Sears so Who?
Kaput! Sears huge indoor Eaton Centre flagship store up for grabs!
End of an era! US Steel announces it will be wrapping up operations at Stelco Hamilton Ontario Dec. 31st! One wonders if they will they also repay their Canadian Federal grants + clean up the environmental mess? Good luck with that! Announcement details @ Live News + Comment Feed!
Michigan kicks Ontario's butt by claiming the position of being North America's number 1 auto making king. Don't count "dem darn Yanks" ;-] down and out yet as the US economy continues to try to dig itself out of the hole created by the 2008 economic crisis. Mexico, our third North American trade partner is also picking up auto industry speed. We are talking lots of potential jobs and tax revenues here. More @ Michigan USA
Peter Leon, a self described fiscal conservative has been appointed Ward 3 councilor to fill Doug Holyday's empty seat on Toronto City Council. Doug, of course, was elected as PC MPP in the provincial riding of Etobicoke Lakeshore, a QP seat left vacant after former MPP/MOE Laurel Broten resigned. Peter holds the seat until the Dec 2014 municipal election, in which he won't be able to run. More info on the fancy political footwork @ Toronto City Councillor
Pssst! Giorgio! You gotta keep awake with your own eyes open for this one dude!
Half dozed Toronto Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti continues to wave red herring over cutbacks to community centres by flaunting pictures of alleged sleeping staff worker. Listen I live a few doors down from the centre in question and the staff are great there! Too bad there's not enough money for more community programs though! Read @ Giorgio Strikes Again!
Ford phones to swear at Sun Reporter who questioned if he doesn't have double standards for others like ..... oh I dunno ..... falling asleep on the job!? Scarier yet. Readers poll agrees that what Rob did was appropriate!!! See @ Snoozer?
Police were watching the crack house where Rob Ford allegedly was at the time the video was made, and have a time line of the event @ Smoke + Mirrors?
Court rules an interesting Alexander Lisi drug related arrest document should be released under the Freedom of Information Act. Parts will be "parsed" or blacked out though. Should be available Thursday Oct. 31.Lisi is Ford's "buddy" driver who has been charged with drug trafficking @ Lengthy document
Rob does it again: Now he's gone and written a reference letter for former aid being tried on drug trafficking charges praising his work ethic + sense of diplomacy, pointing out he is the Mayor of Toronto, so he should know. Ironic? Well using the mayor's city letterhead is a questionable touch. Oh there's more, the "friend" in question has also been convicted of threatening to kill a woman and is seeking an appeal. Rob thinks everybody should get a second chance. God only knows, he himself has received a lot more than that + is as popular as ever in Toronto. Must be something to it?!? Not! More including some video updates on the latest Ford scandals @ Toronto Star
Ontario's Attorney General rules it's "inappropriate" for Mayor Ford to be writing his friends reference letters on official city hall letterhead. No kidding. Do you think Rob cares? Dollars to donuts he could give a hoot! More @ City letterhead paper anyone?
Rob Ford wows them in Austin Texas with his celebrity wit!
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford exits stage right to Austin Texas for a music industry trade junket on the heels of his latest scandal. Rob's friend and sometimes personal chauffeur is charged with drug trafficking. Watch his popularity polls go above 50% now. No kidding, they are all ready hirer than ever! Meanwhile, in Austin he seems to be a popular comical celebrity figure. His non stop scandals have been world news now, for quite some time. Story + videos on the complete story @ On the Road to Austin
What's he smoking now??? Ford flees Toronto reporter questions about his fascinating new "drugs for my cellphone back" initiative yelling "Subways! Subways! Subways!" @ Umm ... About the police investigation ... ???
Big brother Dougie comes to Rob's rescue kinda sorta @ This explains everything!
Hooray TCDSB! Payman is to the right of Rob with his clipboard in this photo of the Don Bosco football team.
Attabee TCDSB: the Toronto Catholic school board allowed one of Rob Fords criminal buddies to be his assistant football coach at Don Bosco CSS, upon Ford's recommendation, without assisting properly in the police security check! Payman Aboodowleh [his real name though he has aliases] has a criminal record of assaulting a police officer, his own brother, reckless driving, plus previously break + entering a store that's under investigation by police. He was assistant coach from 2007 to 2011, when he was dismissed for an altercation with a student at the school. He was rehired in 2012 upon Fords advice. In his police security check he gave a the wrong spelling of his name so his criminal record did not show up on the report. Neither the school principal nor the board asked him for his name so the error was not detected. On + on it goes. The TCDSB will bust a teachers butt for looking cross eyed at a student but otherwise it seems they are pretty darn lax. More @ Toronto Star
Robo Rob made making robocalls across the city criticizing a city councillor who wouldn't vote the way he wanted him to on the controversial Scarbourough subway line. Claims he didn't do anything wrong and plans to continue making the calls against others who don't vote his way. Ummm. Personally I would respect an elected rep who votes for what he thinks is right + best for the city, not somebody who has been bullied by Ford into voting his way. Wow. Well, Fords gotten away with a lot worse before so I'm sure he's not worried about what anybody says or does about his actions now @ Robo Rob
Will Mayor Ford boycott the 2014 Toronto Pan Am Games? One can only hope so @ A No Show?
Toronto Councillor Ainslie wants Rob Ford's "bully pit" Sunday radio show removed from the air @ Complaint
The Torontoist covers + reports on the Ford Brothers weekly radio show so you don't have to sit through it. This should be a useful link for out of town readers too Reality Check@
Conservatives sure know how to pick them!
Former journalist + current Conservative Senator Mike Duffy, fighting dismissal, claims Conservatives "nefarious scheme" behind his woes. Hey didn't the Harper Conservatives defeat the Liberals on a platform of fighting corruption? How quick we forget! @ Toronto Star
Ford's planning on running for a second term as mayor of Toronto AND he's got subway plans. Haven't we seen this movie before??? Video nightmare @ Ford Video
Mayor Rob Ford takes credit for saving Toronto from going over "the cliff" during his first 3 years in office @ Toronto Star
TTC chair Karen Stintz announces she will run for mayor next year. She is known as a "credible" conservatives but does not enjoy the backing of Ford Nation. Speculation continues on whether John Tory will also run on that side to dethrone Ford, who despite his success, has become a major embarrassment for Ontario Conservatives @ Toronto Sun
It's an ugly picture indeed! Mayor Rob Ford says he's "drooling + salivating" for the chance to defend his record in next years municipal election. He's off and running all ready though the election is still a year away. More @ Ford Droolfest!
He's also calling next years election a "bloodbath", once the "gloves come off". He's invited as many people who want to run to go for it. I suppose too many candidates could give him an advantage if they divide the anti-Ford vote @ Itchin' 4 a fight!
8 year old Daniel/ Danielle has made up his own mind: a sex change at age 18!
Parents are allowing their 8 year old son to decide if he wants to be a boy or a girl. The youth is hoping to be accepted into a new Transgendered Youth Clinic set to open at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto because of his gender diaspora. Daniel/ Danielle claims he plans to take hormone blockers to delay puberty, then take advantage of the newly public funded sex reassignment surgery option at age 18. Mother is worried he might commit suicide as a teenager if he doesn`t get into the program. Dunno, I always try to be progressive. Still I seriously worry when we allow young people the right to make decisions they are little able to make on their own at their age. Think about it for a bit: An 8 year old deciding they want to delay puberty so they can get a sex change operation?!? I realize my thinking is not politically correct. So be it. Story @ Toronto Star
Minister of State announces 2 Canadian academic activists, Loubani and Grayson who've been detained in an Egyptian jail will be released at Official Statement
Striking teacher "Blob" cabal attacks British school initiatives!?
British Education Minister Grove claims a "blob" like "teacher cabal" is trying to undermine his education initiatives. Sure, this weeks teacher strikes + unrest are to blame! That`s why the initiatives don`t work? I bet. A truly kooky situation for our teacher colleagues "over there". We will be following the story more closely in the days + weeks ahead. If you are on my Twitter followers list I will retweet you some interesting supplementary links as they become available. The story is Here
This years British Inspectors Handbook shows what local teachers over there are up against with the requirements, procedures + initiatives in the rocky year ahead @ Total Horror Show!
KULTURE KULT INK
If you scroll down near the bottom of my blog page you will find my recent movie + TV reviews: Homeland, Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire, Robert Johnson, Son House, Ike + Tina Turner, Harry Nilsson etc!
Oswald Escape Plan: Oops! I forgot my ring! Umm ..... Can I go home get it now???
November 22 marks the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. Weren't all the secret documents supposed to finally be released about now? Hmmm. Will have to check. Meanwhile, Lee Harvey Oswald's wedding ring has sold at an auction for $108,000. He left it on the dresser the day he went to work at the Texas School Book Depository [Hey!!! Maybe a teacher did it?!?] and shot Kennedy. A collector had it. Guess Marina didn't want it @ JFK
In special remembrance [?!] A JFK tribute is depicted on Jack Campbell's Dallas Star's new mask @ Masked Realities!
Toronto verses Paris: Photos of the best show stopping street style fashionista looks! Nope I didn't I didn't make the lists again. Harumph .... er ... er @ Fashion Plates
Now for Something Completely Different: Brazil fashion week runway is in an subway station@ Sao Paulo Fashionistas
Lesson Plan: Why does fashion matter to Kulture Kult Ink? Marshal McLuhan says everything is an extension of ourselves, so that must mean clothing too. What do todays fashions tell us about people today? Think about it. Discuss among yourselves. ;-)
Okay class! In a Tarantino movie? Yes. Anywhere else? No.
Latest teenage fad: Car surfing! You stand on the hood or roof and ....... guess what? El stupido eh? Wasn't that in a Tarantino grind house flick once upon a time? More @ Bad Teenage Idea of the month!
The world is your pumkin @ patch
Unilever's Thailand subsidiary has created a controversy over skin colour + educational ability with its new product to help young Thai students look more white. This story appears in the South China Post. Asia is rising and might well overtake the west before the century is over, economically, politically, maybe even socially and culturally. It is very interesting to note people over there are starting to sit up and question a lot of our supposedly superior qualities + abilities, and we are often found wanting. Its a whole other perspective. I plan to cover the Asian news more in the days ahead. For now here's the whitening story @ Citra for White Skin + Higher Grades?
Asian racial shocker: Will she become smarter if she looks whiter?
Seneca student pushes a man blocking the subway door after he refuses to leave, holding up the train. Would somebody please give the young man a medal? Sigh! Alas! The lack of consideration, manners and sense of entitlement is getting so bad here in Toronto! Check out the ignorant boor's reaction afterwards! I've seen people purposefully blocking the doors too. IMHO everybody should be required to take a full credit course in manners + etiquette, even if its just common sense stuff, but you know it isn't going to happen. See video @ Boor!
Good news! 4 reasons why you are not going to hell when you die @ Whew!
The Canadian donut bait protesting technique!?
39 things that are so adorable about Canada. From the hilarious to the mundane: Bagged milk, maple syrup, Beaver Tails, Canadian Tire Money, Poutine, Kraft Dinner, Universal Healthcare, tobogganing, our kind of protests, being polite etc etc etc @ Nice nice very nice
Here's a handy guide to writing good headlines on Twitter Facebook and even a blog. What catches readers attention + what doesn't? An interesting scientific analysis of what makes words, and also photos lick in a readers mind. It seems to be written moreso from a commercial mercantile sales perspective but still well worth a read @ Word Kulture
Not a good idea!!! Or ...... Substitute teacher in Tampa Florida passes out in class on heroin. Police seem impressed by his live first hand demonstration of the dangers of drug addiction @ Mixed Reviews
This is Major Tom to ground control ...
Canada`s 1st real life Space Commander gets a David Bowie makeover for the front page of MacLean magazines Oct 14th issue. The photograph story is @ Chris Hadfield
MacLeans also published Good Morning Earth, an Ebook on his space trip aboard Soyez and the International Space Station. Info Here
Just what the heck happened to Planet Kepler + will we end up the same?!?
Space Shocker! Earth sized fireball rock planet is discovered orbiting a sun in a far away galaxy. What does Planet Kepler's fate mean for us earthlings? More info @ OMG!
Chris Hadfield promo video for his new book launch " An Astronauts Guide To life On Earth". Quite humorous @ Youtube
Happy Mole Day American Readers!!! October 23 is Mole Day in the USA! You can even tell mole jokes at school! More @ Mole Day!?!
Canadian Nobel Prize winner, writer Alice Munroe is interviewed after she learnt about her win @ Video
Brief overview of Alice Munro's canon of literary works praises her stereotype busting subject matter @ Noble Prize for Literature
Ken has some new accessories!
Plastic icons Barbie + Ken headed for D-I-V-O-R-C-E as Ken discovers his real self? @ In The Doll House!
The rise and fall of intellectualism: Where have all the great public thinkers gone and why are they scorned? Interesting @ No thinkers allowed?
Broadcast journalist claims bloggers are not "citizen journalists", but rather, well .... just bloggers. The commentators tear a few strips from him el pronto. Bloggers don`t write lies for the mainstream press. A lot of folk don`t trust or respect journalists anymore. Interesting! Read @ Not Up to His Standards
Puff the Magic Dragon: Trudeau sees "Medical Marijuana" scheme going up in smoke!
Son of PET + Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau gives Harpers mega "Medical Marijuana" plans a thumbs down. He wants it to be legalized without all the BS by also allowing tokers to grow their own, just like booze aficionados [so to speak ... ] can make their own wine or beer. Hmmm. Maybe he readVideo @ Sorta like decriminalization
Why might criminalization actually be a very bad counterproductive idea? Also, famous Canadian politicians who smoke pot @ Kinda scary
Bonding with sharks!
A shark wrestler on Massachusetts Nantucket Beach claims he is actually a "conservationist" because he doesn't eat or hurt them. He just catches them, wrestles them to shore, then lets them go after he has bonded with them through this strange, but he claims satisfying relationship. He does admit it "freaks" the sharks out. Needless to say shark advocates are not impressed @ Shark wrestling hobby
My blog is @ Reefer Madness!
One of Canada's greatest resources is our fabulous outdoors! Take a video tour of Indian Head Cove in Tobermory Ontario. It`s not a tropical beach with swaying palm trees + umbrella drinks. Still check this out for true northern beauty @ Here
No horsing around for Master Chef China. Dinner's almost ready!
Foods of the World: A Chinese Master Chef knows their customers tastes in cuisine. Animal penises are a popular delicacy on a big night out. They are much treasured for their alleged potency enhancing powers + good luck, albeit not for the original owner. $200 buys a speciality tray of length and dial sliced cuts of odd looking "sausages" + "veined testes" served on a "bed of lettuce". Horse penises are known for their chewy texture + distinct taste. Bulls are very beefy tasting but a hard chew. Goat apparently tastes like a rubbery flavourless licorice stick. Likewise donkey. The Russian wild dog is renowned as a spicy, almost zesty taste treat though it resembles undercooked pig skin. Still it remains a big customer favourite. It is the only animal penis with a bone in it. After dinner the bone is wrapped up and presented to the customers in a red gift box for good luck. There's more culinary shockers, for the North American reader anyway @ Strange foods
The mixed tray is a real crowd pleaser for the hungry guests!
What would Chef Ramsey say?!? Not so Master Chef England botches his breakfast sausage in the toaster! Send him to China for some cooking lessons?!? Video @ AOL
A toaster?!? Chef Ramsey knows a better way!
Carole Pope + Kevin Staples Canuck album classic "O Tempora! O Mores!" is now available for a preview + to download at @ Itunes
From Huffingtons here's a link to 12 versions of John Lennon's Imagine. Imagine was released Oct 1971. The author is mistaken, it did not reach #1 in the US, Lennon's only solo #1 was Whatever Gets You Through the Night. No matter, it's definitely one of the top most played songs of the last half century if not longer. It's been said that after he was killed the song was forever framed in a different context than when Lennon released it, thereby altering the meaning in the pop kulture sense. Go figure for yourself, and if you figure it out please let me know. I'm pretty sure it has, but 1971 was soooooo long ago. Here it's covered by Lennon of course, also Neil Young, Queen, Lady Gaga, Eva Cassidy, Pink, Madonna etc. etc. etc @ Imagine that!
OK! OK! We've all heard Imagine a kajillion times over the years. IMHO it wasn't even his best song. Here's a Free Lennon Video Jukebox with 60 songs on it instead @ Lennon Video Jukebox
Lou Reeds Rolling Stone Magazine Obituary with lots of great links is @ Rock Obituary + Links!
The Lou Reed Youtube Video Channel is @ News + Music Videos!
One of my favourite Lou Reed social justice commentaries was in his song "Dirty Boulevard". What does the Statue of Bigotry say? See @ Powerful Video + Lyrics!
Lou Reed has a pretty kool Facebook Page @ Facebook!
Reed did not suffer journalists gladly. He always hoped they would ask interesting questions about his music but they rarely did. A case in point, and the writer doesn't even seem to realize it @ Interview!
Influential Vatican cardinal tweets chorus to a Lou Reed song as his tribute, but no it wasn't "Walk on the Wildside", "I'm Waiting for the Man" or "Venus in Furs" @ Perfect Day
For my Lou Reed/ Velvet underground quickie album review + buyers guide scroll down below the blog column towards the end of the site. Also check out my Lou Reed Video Bar immediately below this column. We lost a great man -Lou Reed had true rock + roll heart. RIP Lou!