TEACHER + UNION
PM Trudeau's statement on the school shootings La Loche Saskatchewan @ PM.GC.CA
Adam Wood, a beginning teacher from Uxbridge Ontario has been confirmed as one of the dead @ CBC
Canadian unions celebrate Trudeau's decision to repeal the defeated Harper government's draconian C-377 union reporting bill. However, attacks against the international union movement continue to escalate, especially in the US and UK @ Rabble.ca
Toronto York Region Labour Council [TYRLC] President John Cartwright's New Year "Target Wins for 2016" interview calls for a "deeper narrative" in educating union members @ TYRLC
Canadian Union of Public Employees [CUPE] New Year's "Looking Ahead to 2016" reiterates it's promise to hold the Trudeau Liberal government to it's labour promises in the year ahead @ CUPE
Nova Scotia Federation of Labour's [NSFL] Hoping for a Better 2016 is a clarion call in the fight against the provincial Neo Liberal government's draconian, austerity binge, stressing that the goal is to "build and provide a better today and tomorrow" for union members and "all workers, their families and our communities" @ NSFL
An Ontario Superior Court verdict in the ETFO/ OPSEU/ OSSTF Bill 115 Constitutional Court Challenge could take several weeks. An appeal is likely. More @ CBC
More Teacher Bashing: This news article tries to raise alarm that ETFO teachers have been told to use their professional judgment in filling out report cards rather then get bullied around by admin who want all sorts of mindless crap and edu-speak being inserted to fill the spaces etc. etc. etc. @ Star
Here's a detailed examination of the Neo Lib "war against teachers" as "public intellectuals" in these "dark times" @ Giroux
Inquiring minds need to know ....;-)
RIP: David Bowie!!! Much more below. However, for useful teaching links and lessons to bring a little Ziggy Stardust into your classroom, visit @ Guardian
Major Tom to ground control: Hide the Bowie records quick!!! And the Alberta MOE "Best Practice" Guidelines too!?! Calgary's Catholic bishop has attacked the apparently "anti-Catholic" and "totalitarian guideline" for it's transgender policies encouraging such practices as gender neutral pronouns, washrooms, GSA's and sport teams @ Journal
Conflict between Human verses Denominational Rights and public Catholic school funding again becomes a big issue in Toronto and Edmonton. Also see below, under Party Politics and @ Big Huff!
Primary Source Document: Download the Alberta MOE "Guidelines for Best Practices" in respecting diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expression PDF @ LINK
Every Teacher Project finds the availability of inclusive LGBTQ learning resource materials is scarce in classrooms across Canada @ CBC
Download the Every Teacher Project report on "LGBTQ Inclusive Education In Canada K-12" PDF @ Egale
See report download link above!
MOE Sandals promises to release details about the new teacher contracts asap. Seems she just doesn't want to disrupt the ongoing local negotiations. Meantime, ETFO has gone ahead and released theirs anyway [see below]. Otherwise more news @ Star
Transparency: Not too hard to find: the ETFO 2014-17 Teacher/OT Central Agreement plus the basic voting figures; 86% support among 98% of members who voted @ Download
Ditto the text of the 2014-17 ETFO Central Agreement For DECE/ESP/PSP Members @ Download
More research is needed into many of our common assumptions about teaching and learning styles @ Scientific American
This opinion piece is about collecting data collection on racial disparity based upon the student's socio economic and racial factors. The author is concerned that we to avoid developing a school "culture of fatalism" and "low expectations" for the students. Hmmm @ Star
Issues in expanding libraries to our indigenous communities include the problem that there is very little available to encourage young aboriginal readers to develop a "love of reading". The emphasis on early, aggressive, literacy testing policies, the lack of heroes or for that matter even books of specific interest for the aspiring reader, are examined @ Kokum [Grandma], I Can Read!
Anishinabek Nation launches a public education campaign on the agreement with the federal government to restore control to the First Nation body over the new Anishinabek Education System [AES]. Parents and elders worked with education experts to set up a new program that will need to be ratified by the 39 member communities. News report @ North Website @ SayYesToAES.ca
For shame! Auditor General reports that there are no guidelines or consistent standards for how our schools should be maintained @ Fix Our Schools
And we thought Goodwill Toronto was a charitable organization?!? Everything it sells are strictly free, donated goods. Most of the staff barely earn minimum wage. But it's claiming that it's broke because of the unions?!? Here's an interesting suggestion: maybe it's time our unions purchase and run Goodwill to save jobs and stop the incompetent management @ Rabble.ca
Kill A Worker -Go to Jail? Ontario Court sets an important health and safety precedent for the province's workers! A foreman, who's gross negligence resulted in 4 grizzly, scaffold deaths receives a historic 3 1/2 year sentence. 4 workers = 3 1/2 years?!? Well, we measure justice and progress in small steps @ OFL
Safe Workplaces: CLC comments on the court decision @ CLC
Read CUPE's "Refusing Unsafe Work, a Step by Step Guide". It explains the steps for in each province of Canada. BTW: Teachers and education support workers are ALSO covered by the Ontario provincial Health and Safety Act @ CUPE
Teachers, staff, admin and students all need to be on the same Health and Safety page: The Peel District Board has been fined $50,000 after a student is injured in shop class @ Bulletin
Labour + Social Justice Now! CUPE issues a statement on Martin Luther King Day 2016 in the US @ CUPE
NDP MPP Peter Tabuns at the January TYRLC Ed Subcom meet
Pleased to report that NDP MPP Peter Tabuns joined us at Chair Andy Lomnicki's TYRLC Education Subcommittee January 7th meet. The Toronto teacher and education support worker units discussed local CB. Sounds like OSSTF D12 still needs to play hardball at the TDSB. OECTA TSU didn't seem exactly pleased with progress at the TCDSB, to say the least. CUPE education workers with both boards, as well as ETFO ETT have tentative agreements -some small, important gains but didn't exactly strike me as anything they'd want to get up and dance on the table about! Focus turned to the pros and cons of local verses provincial CB, mostly the latter for the Toronto units, as well as violence in our schools. When will the MOE actually do something significant about teacher safety?!? My experience has been that the GTA all affiliates have had a long history of working very well together at the local level since the Harris Years. Once again it was a very worthwhile, robust, round table discussion and open, grass root debate!
AEFO reiterates francophone call for Ottawa to become Canada's "Officially Bilingual" Capitol @ Newswire
Read OECTA's Submission on Bill 132: The Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act  @ Brief
Sex Ed opponents will have a fit, but maybe young people need to be taught how to openly discuss their sexual boundaries with their partners by the time they reach the age of consent?! Forget pick up lines @ Conversation
TDSB reconsiders it's "No Nits" head lice exclusion policy after Toronto Public Health claims it's okay for the students in question to attend class. Star article quotes one expert entomologist as explaining that "Lice won't suck the blood out of your child and leave you with a potato chip ..." Note that our teacher unions are NOT consulted for a more serious discussion of the implications for vulnerable students and staff. One wonders, would the students then be detained in the office with admin ....?! More @ Star
Prince Edward board parent starts a "Stop the New Head Lice Protocol" site @ Facebook with a petition @ Change.org
School boards across Canada have been amalgamating for years, but has bigger turned out to be better? Increasing evidence show a wasteful, self serving hierarchy with a serious local democratic deficit develops, like at the Vancouver and Toronto public boards @ National Post [?!]
Can't happen here? In the true north weak and cold?!? The student movement is now challenging anti-black racism on Canada's university campuses across the country. The issues are many @ RankandFile
Free!!! The Chicago Teacher Union [CTU] Toronto Workshop is coming Saturday Jan. 16th: Go online to register now @ Labornotes.org
Saturday's Chicago Teacher Union Toronto Workshop was a great success! See my January 18th review!
Chicago Teacher Union anticipates thousands of lay off notices are pending this week! More @ Sun Times
also @ Taking It To The Streets!
Union Watch is keeping an eye on a wide range of important labour developments in the US. Scroll down the link for a report on the upcoming Chicago Teacher Union labour board case for $26 million owing in back pay @ CTU
It's cold + flu season again! Guess what?!? Those stupid sick notes admin wants are a pointless bureaucratic ploy! As if you didn't find out yourself, the expensive, stressful, actually counter-productive way! Everybody loses, including the employer, for what is only a very, very small number of "fakers" to begin with! More @ Globe
Brrrrrrr!!! Winter's here! CUPE's worker [or for that matter anybodies] Guide to Cold Weather Hazards is a useful primer/ reminder with lots of very useful tips for us red nosers! Now about those school snow days?!? Be sure to look to your teacher union for direction and direction ....and dress up warm!!! @ CUPE
On a Sunnier Note: Cuban MOE struggles with continuing to provide special education services despite a half century US economic embargo, which has still not been actually lifted. There is currently a familiar debate over special need schools verses an inclusive integrated approach. Still, despite a quite worse economic crisis than we can even imagine, not a single school has been closed @ Granma
The OECD [Organization For Economic Co-ordination and Development] report on Trends Shaping Education 2016 can be read online @ OECD
Minimum Wage? Sick leave?! Unpaid hours?? Breaks?!? Ontario Ministry of Labour is allowing employers to fire workers without just cause, making many of them afraid to say boo. The quirky, antiquated Employment Standards Act  is apparently under review. However, the Ministry argues many of the exemptions are "long standing" and related to the "nature of the work performed". They leave out that most of the workers are also "precariously employed" @ Star
"Ontario Healthcare Cuts are Nuts" or "Gee Sorry but Times Are Tight!?" Cuba's universal access to healthcare continues with a focus on a proactive, preventative approach, earning WHO kudo's, even after over a half century US economic embargo @ BBC
Time for some Gray Power? Elder care is the new child care, and we aren't exactly getting any younger @ Globe
CLC debunks 4 myths about why the government can't expand the Canada Pension Plan @ CLC
Ooooh! Mon Cheri .....
Ontario NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo criticizes a "delusional" Federal NDP for straying from the parties social democratic roots. She discusses the Liberal sweep of Toronto, legal pot, leadership and strategy, focusing on the politics of "denial" @ CBC
Premier Wynne says Ontario male only colleges in Saudi Arabia are "unacceptable" @ Star
Not selling off Hydro One while cutting Catholic school funding are among the most popular ideas in the provinces much touted online budget consultation survey. However, the Wynne government is saying no and focusing on infrastructure, the #17th most mentioned issue, instead @ Global
Ontario NDP Party Leader Andrea Horwath makes the case for an anti-racism secretariat. The long forgotten agency was first created by the Liberals in 2006. Here's why she thinks it's so important @ Now!
Seems our teacher unions are still heavily involved in funding the Wynne government with donations, though no specific instances are given @ Star
Whatever happened to ... Dalton McGuinty's expertise is very little in demand, even as a former Premier. His top staffers have either moved on to bigger and better things, like Trudeau's PMO office, or have become mired down in the gas plant scandals @ Star
Whatever happened to .... Former Liberal Provincial MOE Laurel Broten is now President and CEO of the Nova Scotia Business Inc, the business development agency for the province @ NSBI
IN THE NEWS
Parliament resumes after Christmas Break: Here are 5 pressing issues, among many, that the Trudeau Liberal government needs to address asap @ Huffpost
"Fear doesn't make us safer, it makes us weaker." Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's advice to the US probably flies by unnoticed among the hysteria and sheer madness south of our border during the extra special Terror Christmas/ New Year Season this year. He speaks out against the politics of division, fear mongering and intolerance. It's certainly even a refreshing change up here in Canada, after the deep, dark despair of the Harper Years @ Ring of Fire
Canuck anti-terror law website pledges to keep tabs and hold the fire under Trudeau's ... er, feet ... to fight Bill C-51 into 2016 @ Anti-terrorlaw.ca
A first hand account of the alleged mass rape scene in Cologne Germany on New Year's Eve focuses on overlooked issues such as crowd control and a rising right wing backlash against immigration. The writer concludes that the real thing to fear is the growing fear reaction, more so than a reasonable fear of the refugees' themselves @ National Post
Welcome to Canada?! Harper's Year of Hate continues to reverberate! A man on a bicycle pepper sprays a crowd of 100 Syrian men, women and children refugees outside a Muslim Association Of Canada Centre in Vancouver! Trudeau and Mulcair denounce the hate crime. PC Ambrose continues to play both sides of the fence by making nice. An "inclusive" Canada, eh?!? For shame Rona @ CBC.
Oh oh, PC O'Leary?!
Kevin O'Leary, perhaps fancying himself as Canada's Mr. Donald Trump lite is considering a PC leadership run. Here's an overview of the possible candidates @ CBC
Worth repeating; O'Leary is on record in saying he would "make unions illegal" if he were PM, and the members should be "thrown in jail" @ Star
"They protest too loudly", or "The Great Canadian Tax Dodge": Here's how Canada corporations and the wealthy get away without paying their taxes while our public services get chopped to bits with austerity cuts. Lots of excellent links @ Grove
Prerequisite Info, Resources + Awareness: Here's how organized labour is uniting with business, faith and community groups across Canada in a concerted effort to support our Syrian refugees @ CLC
What causes terrorism against the west? Brit foreign policy analysis slices through the jingoism with some deep cuts that can draw blood in Canada and the US too @ Intercept
Hillary Clinton's role in "freeing Libya" from Ghaddafi raises cause for concern, in retrospect, as we learn more about what really happened, and see how it's doing now @ Right Stuff?
Canucks: "Nudding to Fear"?!? Too funny @ 22 Minutes
Canada's CF-18 Hot Air Campaign: Trudeau hasn't actually withdrawn Canadian jet fighters from Syria and Iraq, as promised during the federal election! Rather he's just waiting for their tour of duty to expire at the end of March. Meanwhile our Canadian military misadventure is badly blowing it! Increasing evidence shows that we're operating on false US intelligence, violating international law, plus we aren't getting the true story on how the "War Against ISIS" is really going! All the more reason to pull out Canada's CF-18 jet fighters asap, before all our credibility as "honest brokers" in the larger international community is totally wasted, while enabling the US in their latest, military folly. Often overlooked with all the war rhetoric these days, is that terrorism tries to mislead one into lashing out and making a bad, strategic mistake in anger. Unfortunately, like the US, we are really tripping up badly while blowing up everybody and everything to kingdom come! @ Now Mag
Both Trudeau and UNIFOR will have to make compromises effecting jobs. That's if they are going to take the moral, high ground. Will Canada cancel Harper's secret $15 billion arms sale of LAV's [Light Armoured Vehicles] to Saudi Arabia in light of it's most recent spat of reprehensible human rights violations and atrocities? We will watch with bated breath @ Now
Canada: Weapons for Sale! Weapons For Sale!
When's a terrorist not a terrorist? When they are a white US paramilitary group?!? In a klassik case of "No justice -no peace!" the Burns Paiute aboriginal tribe is telling the angry white guys to get off their traditional land, which they are now occupying, and claiming is there's, or some other such BS. Meanwhile, the police stand around and do nada. Wonder if they'd do the same if they were black, or Muslim militants with guns?!? Hmmm @ TPM
Lakota tribe denounces the "white washing of domestic terrorism" in the Oregon militia stand off on their ancestral lands @ Lakota Voice
Domestic Terrorism: what have both the US left and right got wrong about the Oregon Militia Standoff? Read @ Activist Post
Meanwhile in Canada: Have you completed the Government of Canada on-line survey for it's "National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls"? Please do so @ GCA
Missile Envy: Kim "Rocket in his Pocket" Jong-un sez: "Forget au$terity! Buy a big $hield!!!"
Ooops! North Korea has the H-Bomb! Or so they say .... er, but don't the US and their allies in the developed world have them too? Yes -lots and lots and lots! And how often do they get tested? More than once!!! We know that Kim Jong-un is a very handy, crumb bum to kick around. Nope -he's not a nice man, to put it mildly. But then again, how convenient!!! The politicos, on behalf of the poor old military-industrial complex, are now falling over themselves to use the latest crisis as a handy excuse to make a pitch for buying more costly, wasteful, and ineffective missile shields. So much for austerity, when it comes to useless military spending @ Intercept
Oh oh! Saudi Arabia verses Iran?!? Could it have anything to do with the price of oil?!? @ Forbes
Drat! Oil prices haven't gone up!!! Guess, the west will quickly loose interest in who cut off the most heads first? Wuz it the Saudi's?! Iran?!? More @ Forbes
Noam knows ...
Manufacturing Consent: There will always be lots of other opportunities for Uncle Sam to intervene to shield the world from desert demons in the Middle East. Er .... right!?! A review of how the propaganda worked in both Gulf Wars involving Iraq @ Activist Post
Heads have quite literally rolled, but Saudi Arabia is busy behind the scenes making sure they won't seem like the bad guys to US policymakers and in the US media @ Intercept
Reefer Madness: So how did "hemp" become illegal anyway?!? This article explains the propaganda and marketing scheme to eradicate this natural product growing freely everywhere and let the big wheels of industry roll in to make a killing with fake manufactured goods @ Collective Evolution
As the Trudeau government moves to legalize recreational marijuana in Canada, it is interesting to review our "Federal MP Statements" from 2015. In this NORML [National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws] survey, PC's MacKay and Scott Reid differ greatly. Most everyone else toes their party line or did not reply. There's a few Tory rants, some Trudeau butt kisses and the NDP provide a lot of links. Sounds like there could be a blog here. Hmmm @ NORML
This very dodgy news report, based on a "briefing note" but sometimes directly attributed to the PM [Newsweek], claims Trudeau can't legalize marijuana because of a number of past international treaties once signed under a cloud of reefer madness smoke. Yet other countries around the world, and even some US states are moving forward despite signing the same treaties. We await the PM's response with great interest. It could prove a big test of just how sincere he is about keeping his election promises. In the meantime, see PC Peter MacKay's statement above on weed to figure out where this is coming from @ CBC
Reefer Madness Canada: It's projected Trudeau's plans legalize recreational marijuana will create a $5 billion dollar market. That has small growers and big business smoking mad, as they fight over their share of the pie. And what of the DIY heads who just wants to grow their own weed? More @ Vice
Indie medicinal Cannabis dispensary dealers in Vancouver are pushing for a small business, entrepreneurial model of growing and marketing legal pot in Canada, as opposed to the Government-Corporate-Union Big Biz one often being publicly debated, as with the LCBO @ D Laren
There is much misunderstanding, not to mention false and misleading information on the medical and recreational benefits of smoking pot. Of course, vaping is cleaner, better for your health and seriously cuts waste @ Huff Post
Why did Canada ban pot in 1923? It had to do with panic and racism rather than science and medicine @ Star
Author Dana Larsen discusses his new book Cannabis in Canada: The Illustrated History. An interesting discussion on the marketing and sales options for legal recreational marijuana in Canada ensues @ Pot.tv
Detail from Cannabis in Canada: The Illustrated History
Then there's Vices "History of Weed in Canada" [1922-2015] @ Raving Maniacs
Ho boy! The wheels finally fall off the Harper "economic action plan", or lack thereof, after Trudeau sends him packing. Having lost on his gamble to bet on a strong Canuck petro dollar, Harper's fall back plan goes tumbling too. Canadian manufacturing hits a record low, despite the much hyped advantages of an el' cheapo export dollar. Why?Because the King of Canada's Neo Cons didn't bother to invest much in the sector; plants or jobs! What's a Neo Lib to do? @ Huffpost
Primary Source: Here are the PDF downloads for the complete text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal @ Activist Post
See the documentary on "How Big Oil Conquered the World" @ Waking Times
Now, we need to consider the changing geo political reality of big oil's collapse @ Salon
Whatever happened to ..... the NDP's Thomas Mulcair?! Tom speaks @ Macleans
Leadership Games: Tom Mulcair's heavily centralized, top down NDP might have become cut off from it's grass roots. It's no longer "open politics" for the NDP @ Winnipeg
Left Chapter laments the NDP "social democratic delusion" in shifting from the left to pander the right, all but handing the Federal election to Trudeau's Liberal Party. A comparison is drawn to the butt kicking the Ontario Provincial NDP election got too @ Left Chapter
Media Lies: Canadian newspapers were heavily involved in trying to swing the 2015 election vote. Especially the Sun "Postmedia" chain, by insisting that all their tabloids across Canada sing Harper's praise. But this time it didn't work! And complete endorsements by ownership and publisher are now listed, get this on Wikipedia!!!
Meanwhile stateside, the Koch Bros and their billionaire buddies have built a private political election machine that rivals the GOP! @ Politico
Lost in the News Shuffle: Obama calls on congress to officially lift the US economic blockade of Cuba in his State of the Union Address @ Granma
Contrary to popular opinion, the US still has not lifted it's economic blockade of Cuba. Here are the measures Obama has taken so far, and others that he could unilaterally make, as President @ Granma
Indie DIY Cubans will want to strongly maintain their own culture and social goals within the rush of US investment soon expected on the island, as the US and Cuba continue to normalize relations @ CUNY
The "No to Gender Violence" Flash Mob Rally, Habana Cuba
Activists from the "Red de Artistas Unete" artists' network organize a "No to Gender Violence" flash mob rally during the "International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Havana Cuba". The governing PCC [Communist Party of Cuba] has included the "rejection of gender and domestic violence" as a "key objective" in it's "list of reforms" to "update" the countries "socialist model of development". However, the push is now on for "specific policies" to combat sexist violence and protect victims, including the LGBTQ community. The Caribbean island state's "hetero normative, patriarchal" culture is cited as a traditional challenge that needs to be overcome. Indeed, 14 Latin America and Caribbean countries have legislated a separate classification for "femicide" to deal with the deep running problems @ IndoCaribbeanWorld.com
KULTURE KULT INK
So. The Neo-Lib er .... culturalists at USAID figured they could dampen the Cuban youth's revolutionary spirit by sparking a commercial hip hop coup, now that the US is "normalizing" relations with Cuba?!? Think again @ Sujatha Fernandes
Sociologist Sujatha Fernandes has insightfully written a lot on the local development of Hip Hop in Cuba, how it differs from US Rap, and even the movement's interesting relationship with Cuba's socialist government @ Made In Habana!
Here's a very colourful and insightful DIY Cuban Hip Hop and Rap video track from the barrios of Santiago de Cuba, the site of many of my Cuban School Project reports. Check out Ando Raper Isaac's very real slice of Cuban life @ Youtube
Female Cuban rappers more than hold their own with the homies minus Hip Hop y Raps all too often typical misogynist bent @ Obsesion
Cuban women in Hip Hop y Rap: a live show @ Youtube
Yo Canada?!? Though a bit dated, this "Comprehensive Guide to Toronto Hip Hop" is worth a look see. Notice our local variants diverse multicultural mix @ Noisy Vice
Is Trudeau rebranding Canada's international image with a missing dash of actually being kind of leading edge and alt-prog-kool for a change? @ Georgia Straight
The PM's wife, Sophie [GT] Gregoire-Trudeau broke out into song, one she wrote herself for her daughter, during a Martin Luther King Day event, amazing many @ Sophie Rocks! Now there's even a "chill deep house remix" .... only in Canada you say? @ Youtube There's also a "techno mix" too! BTW, Sophie doesn't seem to have anything to do with these @ Youtube 2
The New York Times anoints Canada as now being "hip", prompting online laffs. Listen: We know it isn't "cool" so much as it's damn "cold", especially in January. And we don't need the hype to appreciate where we are at @ CBC
Wot's with Deathstar's Shaky Dance?!? Think Popeye and ritual ....
David Bowie RIP: Was the "Blackstar" album David Bowie's way of saying goodbye? Analysis @ Guardian
Art Imitates Death: For Bowie, life like death was a work of art. His last album, "Blackstar" released 2 days before his death from cancer, is no exception @ Rolling Stone
Here's an interesting review of Bowie's "Blackstar" video. It deconstructs the imagery: Major Tom? Button Eyes? The Strawman? Crucified? Then there's the Shaky Dance! Includes some insightful notes on ritual and pop @ Flavorwire Also watch the video @ Youtube
Bowie art designer explains the meaning of the "Blackstar" album cover imagery @ Blackstar
Another rather fascinating look at the cultural references and imagery involved in the creative process while Johan Renck directed the "Blackstar" video @ Noisey
13 songs [with video links] show how Bowie kept defining and redefining himself over the course of the last half century @ Vox
Wowie Zowie: How David Bowie used pop kulture to change the way society thinks about gender and sexuality @ LGBTQ
Woooo-Weeee! Here's how the Christian Right "thinks": David Bowie dies at age 69 .... "Will he go to hell?" asks the Vigilant Christian. Yes .... unless there was a bedside conversion .... The Egyptian outfits and pyramid hats are singled out for special mention. OK OK. I get that part ....... ;-) But this is NOT a joke @ Youtube
Chris Rock labels the OSCAR nominations the "White BET Awards". Seems only white actors y actresses made any good movies and most all of them are about white people too @ People.
Spike Lee -off to see the Nicks instead!
Seems Aboriginals, Asians, and Middle Eastern Americans aren't up for any OSCAR awards either .... Plus is it just me or do most of the movies, besides not being especially inclusive, often just plain suck? Are mediocre at best? Leonid DiCrapola, best actor?!? I myself very rarely recall the winners years later .... Anyway, the Academy has announced changes, to apparently make it's voting membership more diverse. But one wonders just how democratic or reliable the vote to choose the winners is, there are just so many big studio buck$ riding on them. As far as I am aware we never see the final count nor do we have any way of verifying the results. Why was this or that movie in particular chosen? There's little if any accountability. No marking schemes, rubrics or final counts given here! Ha. No matter. Producer Spike Lee won't be attending, despite being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award, though he claims that he's not exactly boycotting the show @ Oscars
Black Like You? 27 things every person of colour must learn before age 12 @ Huffpost
White Like Me? Privileges?!? What privileges??? Naw. I know I am privileged, but here's an interesting article on the psychology of denial @ Raw
Pushing back against privilege, whether it's because you are white, monied and/or straight requires more than an admission. Some interesting strategies are outlined in this article. For my part, I am happy to welcome guest blogs that are different. Also to try to make my news links and coverage as diverse and inclusive as I reasonably can. I'll probably want to comment some more on this soon, next time I reflect at length in a separate blog about directions for my site. In the meantime see @ BGD
Welcome to the Education Dark Side: 31 ways to tell you've been teaching far too long @ Buzzfeed
Whoa! Check it out! That's a lot of boots! And ummm .... you will find the beer in the snowbank over there ..... Lookit all the women!!!! .... No! No! I mean the hockey game on TV ........ 13 photos that seemingly best sum up how we party in Canada @ Buzzfeed
Whatever happened to Canadian Klassic Rocker Kim Mitchell?!? Nope! Mr. "I Am A Wild Party's" many hits y misses might suggest he's just off having a good time! Instead, he's recovering from a heart attack! Get well Kim @ Globe
Welcome to "Turonno": 27 things you can only learn about us from living here. Harummph!!! I've lived here all my life. Yup! Can recall when it was pronounced "Tarawna"! But maybe times change or it depends upon where in the city you are, east end or west ..... @ Buzzfeed
Read Between the Lines: The plot for the new mega-hit Star Wars movie frighteningly resembles modern day America. Hmmm. I still prefer Walking Dead, more to my "taste" ... heh ... yup! Has more bite!! See my January 2nd blog, and beware the Evil Empire @ Activist Post
Politically speaking, this article argues that all the Star War movies have been disarmingly vacuous from the start, throwing sops to both the right and the left @ Politico
"Art Mimics Real Life" Or "Evil Empire 2016": May the Force NOT be with you!!!
For shame! The US far right is using "Star Wars", Taylor Swift and even the Mizzou student protests to spread racist messages @ SPLC
Both Google + Itunes agree to stop online sales of the "Survival Island 3" game app. A 50,000 name petition complained that the game encourages players to "meet" and "kill" indigenous people from Australia. Apparently the game makes fun of and promotes racial and frontier violence in the Outlands of Oz where such "sport" is often far too real, for this app to be ignored @ Oz
Wot?!? The Mid East can actually be .... kool?!? Here's something trez alt-prog; a study of the underground sub- culture, tune-age and street graffiti in that seemingly blech, perpetually troubled, war torn region! Lotsa kool links @ Word Press
Surfin' in Gaza!
Blowfly the self styled "Godfather of Hip Hop" has died of liver cancer at age 76. True he was rapping long before most of today's stars were even born. His words, rhymes references and profanities [his signature tunes included "Dirty Rap", "Your Mouth" and "Sesame Street"] terribly shocking and disturbing even by today's non existent standards. He got zero recognition in his over sized and tacky Blowfly superhero garb, playing dives or as a 3rd or 4th string opening act until his recent demise. Yet, his alter ego "Clarence Reid" was also a smooth, mainstream R+B singer who wrote hits for such big name retro acts as KC + The Sunshine Band, Betty Wright and Gwen McCrae! Watch the tributes start rolling in now! Jeez, I can't even really post a link to any of his songs or videos here without truly offending somebody very badly, so this one time I won't. But search him out yourself on Youtube if so inclined, and read his obit. Weep or laugh, your call @ Billboard
Ever wanted to call up Bell or Rogers to tell 'em where they can stuff their obscenely overpriced cable bill for all that garbage?!? Well, 1 in 10 English Canadians now can, as they stream all their favourite shows directly online from the web instead. You can DIY, or buy an android Zoomtak box or some other type, all ready packed with apps to just surf the net for pretty much anything, but ANYTHING you'd care to see! Movies? Complete series? New and old shows? Radio? Videos? Music streams? Heck you can even do a Google search! Check your email! Or read my blog on yer living room couch from the big TV screen! Or so we learn @ Huffpost
Zoom! Zoooom! Good-bye Cable Rip Offs -now you can stream!
Final Word: For those who read this far ......
Space -The Final Frontier: an extensive new online video and photo archive helps you relive the final Apollo 17 mission to the moon from 1972. Good for school or just plain kooooool to vape ... @ NASA and the Site's @ Apollo17.org
Iconoclastic Canuck film maker Bruce LaBruce speaks out on the politics of zombies, especially the gay zombie phenomenon @ Porn Diaries
Rockin' Dead: Here's a very kool in depth analysis and recap of the Mid Season 6 Finale to hold you until the show continues next month. Spoiler alert: don't watch if you haven't seen the episode already!!! Tip: If you have, also check out Vol. 14 ["No Way Out"] in the Walking Dead graphic novel series for more clues about what might happen next .... then jump ahead a bit further to find out more about Negan. Note; the comic and the TV show can differ! More @ Youtube