TEACHER + UNION
Chicago Teachers Union has voted 80% for a city wide all day strike on April 1! Details on the vote @ LiD
The City Of Chicago has offered a moratorium on some sticking points, like more Charter Schools and a 7% cut in pay, but no good will is left. The CTU is asking other city unions to join in the one day strike @ Alternet
Penny wise, dollar foolish? The OLP's new teacher sick day plan, since they took away our sick day banks, is now costing school boards $1 billion a year @ Globe
MOE Sandals releases info on the controversial teacher union CB expense audit @ Globe
Regretfully, the MOE still hasn't seen fit to request the same info from the trustees. The mainstream media still aren't following up. See my blog @ Inconvenient Truths
Top 10 things our Canadian unions want addressed in the federal budget. Read the CLC statement @ CLC
Responses to the 2016 Federal Budget, with more to come! Scroll down to check them all out @ Northumberland and @ View
Read CUPE's summary and response to the Federal Budget @ CUPE
Canada's new budget makes no mention of new tax revenues from legalized pot. A huge cash windfall is expected when legalization occurs @ Civilized
No Toronto isn't Cuba or a Trump Rally .... is it?!? Police violently bust up the BLM: Black Lives Matter Toronto camp outside their headquarters on Bay St! Many students and even children are present. The story goes international within minutes @ Telesur @ Star
Toronto Police bust up BLM TO protest!!!
Follow ongoing events first hand through Black Lives Matter Toronto on Twitter @ BLMTO
BLM Toronto issues include the police shooting of Andrew Loku, a mentally ill black man @ CP24
The BLM TO protest is still continuing outside police headquarters on College St! I visited but nobody official would speak. There was a decent size, mid day crowd. I walked around to try to get a better sense of what's going on. Saw where the tent city was. Some of the police damage. Took photo's like everyone else. Wished whoever was there well and left. Regretfully, I can't verify enough info to comfortably write an informed blog. However, they are still there, it seems for the long haul. More @ City News
Trudeau lowers retirement age back to 65 in reversal of unpopular Harper Neo Con senior slam @ Global
Ontario Human Rights Commission tells employers to drop discriminatory sexy dress codes for women that "please men". For example, women in the restaurant, bar and service industry can no longer be told to wear tight fitting or revealing clothing to work @ Sun and @ Varsity
OSSTF D12 talks with the TDSB stall over the issue of remuneration for union release officers @ Star
Tweeters report the OECTA annual fee has been increased to $1000, with an intended strike fund of $120M, at spring AGM. 0.25% of salary will now go to the fund.
OSSTF to seek strike fund increase to $140M for next round of provincial contract talks at this weekend's AMPA general meeting @ Globe
OSSTF AMPA approves a Charter For Public Education in Ontario calling for the elimination of Catholic School funding. See my blog for more details! Comments welcome!
Teaching Challenge: Most Syrian refugee students entering Kindergarten have known nothing but life as a refugee @ Buzzfeed
TRC Part 2? Drummond reports First Nation children are receiving 30% less per student at Canada's reservation schools @ CBC
MOE Sandals promises to release the teacher union's CB expense accounts after all the local agreements are reached. Still no request for the trustees' expense accounts. Also note: AEFO and OECTA have still not handed in theirs @ Globe
TDSB blames the need to cut 100 teaching and 45 ECE positions on declining enrollment @ Star
TDSB considers creating "vertical schools" in Toronto's high rise and high density condo towers @ Star
Progressive student leaders might want to consider unionizing their summer job placements. Here's how these Toronto student caseworkers succeeded @ Rank + File
What happens when high schools compete for students?!? TDSB's "optional attendance" is hurting the concept of a neighbourhood school @ The Lonely Teacher and @ The Last Student!
The Lonely Teacher? See Jason Kunin's DIY videos above!
CUPE Local 79 City of Toronto inside workers ratify a new collective agreement but the details are being kept under wraps. Surprised? See below and @ CBC
More Concessions? CUPE Local 79 inside workers have reached a tentative contract deal with the City of Toronto, following in the heels of the Local 416 outside workers, who traded off job security for a pay raise @ CBC and @ CBC and @ Star and @ CUPE
Chaos reigns in the UK schools as teacher accreditation is discontinued and head teachers [principals] are given the right to hire unqualified personnel. My niece was fortunate to get hired "over there", or so it seemed. Then 48 of the 50 teachers at her school quit. It's become a neo con educational hell of tail spinning academic and discipline standards as pedagogical training and classroom management skills are shown out the door. Sounds like a lot of folks are in denial too @ The Telegraph
The morale of UK teachers has plummeted. They are deserting in droves as the Conservative government's neo cons continue to wrack havoc on the education system @ Guardian
Chicago Teachers go to court to fight the arrest of union members at a Bank of America protest over "toxic swaps" @ CTU
Whoa! Hundreds of protesting students block an expressway in Lagos demanding removal of the decomposed body of a women waiting at a bus stop outside their school gate. They government is reportedly "alleged" to be insensitive to their health concerns @ Mirror
Teacher argues "no fail policies" and "lenient deadlines" don't teach students to finish what they start, nor accept responsibility for their actions or lack thereof @ Edmonton
Surprise! It's the Law: Barrie teen arrested and jailed overnight by police under the Education Act for repeatedly skipping classes and missing court date @ CTV
OSSTF Updates us on the 2012 Ontario Bill 115 court challenge. They are still awaiting a verdict from the December 2015 trial dates. OSSTF summarizes their case and notes that regardless of the verdict, this will be far from over. The implications for collective bargaining in Canada could be profound and far reaching. Present at the trial were teacher and education worker reps from CUPE, ETFO, OPSEU and UNIFOR @ OSSTF
MOE Sandals announces that the government saved $40M in wages during last year's teacher strikes. No apology is offered for screwing up with the CB procedures and causing so much hardship, bad will and delays @ CBC
MOE Sandals refuses to rule out closing provincial schools for the deaf and severely learning disabled as new applications are halted for 5 schools in Milton, Ottawa, London and Belleville @ CBC
Alas! Sophie cut short: Enuff of the hockey jokes guys!
Sophie Gregoire's eloquent, moving comments on the need to "Let Girls Learn" is cut short during CBC coverage of the Trudeau's Washington visit. What for?!?More of the boys' stale hockey jokes! CBC quickly offers an apology but no rerun! Sad because it's well worth hearing @ Youtube
Brock University students are understandably upset about an apparent sexual harassment cover-up in which one was asked to keep quiet about a drunken prof's after class sexual advances @ CBC
Planned Parenthood video teaches sexual consent by showing how to appropriately interpret language and words @ EverydayFeminism
KKK in Kanada: It can't happen here? The Klan arrived in Canada during the 1920's. In this news story they raided an Oakville home to stop a black labourer from marrying a white girl. Media coverage of the victim's case softened somewhat during trial. Police reported that he was part Cherokee, rather than black, went to church meetings sometimes and was known as a "decent sort of chap". However, the bride's parents were still concerned that he might be too lazy "to make a man out of himself". And older Oakville residents were adamant that he looked as "black as the ace of spades". Much, much more @ Torontoist
Canada's Correctional Investigator has informed parliament that black people and indigenous Canadians are severely over represented in our prisons. Furthermore, the rate of incarceration is up by 70% for blacks and 50% for the indigenous @ Buzzfeed
Right wing US news article falsely accuses completely innocent U of T Muslim student of mass high school stabbing in Pickering Ontario. No apology has been forthcoming @ Gateway Pundit
In a situation Ontario teachers will be no strangers too, the New Brunswick Teachers' Association [NBTA] is calling for an immediate review of the provincial inclusion policy for severely disabled students. A "positive learning environment" in class is being compromised by a lack of clarity, inconsistent application and policy conflict @ CBC
At the most basic level, NBTA teachers are wearing protective clothing in class due to the "frequency and severity" of classroom violence. They are seeking proper supports for the inclusion, within the regular classroom setting, of violent Special Education students who are prone to bite and kick @ CBC
P.E.I. teachers launch ad campaign for more classroom resources. Like in Ontario, the province's teachers are also badly overworked and worried that learning conditions are suffering @ CBC
For a rich TRC backgrounder and study guide, download Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and Residential Schools. It contains plenty of primary resources for teaching about the 150,000 children forcibly taken from home and stripped of their language, culture and traditions. Free @ PDF
The Native Womans Association of Canada is protesting their exclusion from this month's First Minister's meeting! Read the statement @ NWAC
The Plot Thickens: Both the previous Conservative and incoming Liberal governments have been less then forthright about up to $2.6 billion in missing indigenous education funds @ APTN
There's a Thunder Bay inquest into the death of 7 First Nation students who came to the city alone, apparently without proper supports, for their high school studies @ CBC
Dept of Inclusivity: Sex Ed just got a whole lot more complicated, and rightly so! Did you know that our indigenous peoples recognize gender states that don't even have English names? @ Globe
New study shows teachers can even unwittingly allow their own perception of a student's different racial background to negatively impact the approach to classroom management and student evaluation procedures. Here's how this can happen @ Brookings
What is normal? Here is how young professionals are discriminated against in the workplace for being LGBTQ and black @ BGD
Also Often Overlooked: The western obsession with stereotyping Asian females as sexy and exotic puts many in serious danger at home, school, work and out on the street @ Everyday Feminism
Followup: Last month a story also appeared here about a young store employee who received a homophobic Valentine's Day Card at work. It called him a "Faggot" and claimed that "You are not getting shifts for a reason". He has since received a personal note of support from PM Justin Trudeau saying "Know that your friends outnumber the haters by millions, and I am one of those friends". And yes, fair is fair -it was the young man who is personally sharing this heartfelt story on Facebook. Great PR, of course, the messaging shows real leadership, and I'd suspect Justin even means it @ Buzzfeed
We enter the profession "Stand + Deliver" but what becomes of the Myth of the Hero Teacher?!? This is a US article, however Canuck teachers will also often be quite able to relate @ NYT
A seemingly innocent teacher crush can be potentially lethal for your career @ Star
Study shows professional autonomy makes for happier teachers, but good luck with that in Ontario, or for that matter the rest of Canada, the UK, the US etc etc etc @ Tes
Read the OECD's report on Parental Leave: Where Are The Fathers? @ Download
Helpful Tips: Here are 49 phrases that might help calm an anxious child at home or at school @ Psych
Some scientists are tackling the issue of gender exclusive language as applied to discussing manned spaced flights by saying they are "crewed" instead. But what about our species: will the terms human and mankind need to suffice? More @ Sapians
Provincial NDP Education Critic Lisa Gretsky warns that education cuts are hurting Ontario's most vulnerable students @ Windsor
Speculation is rife that the troubled Wynne government might be about to prorogue the legislature, perhaps until this fall. Wynne isn't exactly denying it @ CBC
Related? Recent Forum poll shows only 20% of Ontarians approve of the job Premier Wynne is doing. Both the OLP and PC's remain at 30% and 40% respectively for the second month in a row. Horwath has the highest approval rating of the three main party leaders at 35% [NDP=24%]. Note: 52% claim not to know enough about PC Opposition Party Leader Pat brown to form an opinion on him. More @ Star
Sign the petition to stop the Ontario Seniors Drug Benefit deductible from being nearly doubling [$100 to $170]! It's an unfair tax, under the new Budget that many on a fixed income can ill afford @ NDP
Sign o' the Times: an armed security unit is deployed at Queens Park for the first time in response to the 2014 shooting at Parliament Hill @ CBC
Port Hope citizens have objected to the local police force's "Blue Lives Matter" t-shirt campaign. Critics suggest that the predominantly white police force is inadvertently creating a "blue" verses "black"/ "us" verses "them" dynamic which is unhealthy for the community, because they lack context. Police are reviewing the campaign. Story @ Buzzfeed Online petition @ Change.org
Ontario to finally ban police "carding" or "random police checks" of people of colour in 2017 @ Global
We watch with bated breath! Many activists and groups are concerned that the ban won't go far enough. The police too, but for different reasons @ Global and @ Global
What's the going rate for a face time lobby meet with Premier Wynne, or for that matter Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli [btw: no relation!]?!? $6,000 @ Globe
Wynne: Hey officer!!! Bust that medical marijuana user!!!
Dept of Very Unkool: the Wynne government is going to deny medical marijuana users the right to toke on their vapourizers in public. The medical evidence against the danger of second hand pot vapour is dubious at best, so a court challenge might be pending @ Star and @ Vice
Confusion continues to plague public officials and medical marijuana users alike as the Wynne government flip flops on vaping laws @ Intelligencer
Watch Here: Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana continue to monitor the situation @ CFAMM
WGT: High on the prospects!
Women Grow Toronto is a feminist collective that is seeking to protect and enable women entrepreneurs who wish to become involved in Canada's budding marijuana industry. The have been busy lobbying and consulting with all three levels of government on the legalization process and are concerned by the gray areas and confusion here in Toronto, Ontario @ Civilized
Once Upon a [High] Time: Wynne admits that she's smoked pot, but for recreational reasons, and it was over 33 years ago. No word on the PC's "Phat Pat" Brown [as opposed to "Green" ....] or NDP "Party" leader Andrea Horwath tho @ Dopechef
Pressure mounts for the elimination of publicly Catholic school funding in Ontario in light of recent polling and the ongoing "human rights" controversy over the school's discriminatory "denominational right" practices. A widely read Metro piece claims that contrary to popular misconceptions, Catholic school funding could be legally terminated, like in other provinces, under Section 43 of the 1982 Constitution Act @ Metro
Recent Forum Poll spotlights that 52% of Ontarians are opposed to publicly funding the province's Catholic school system. Among party supporters the breakdown is OLP=49%, PC=51%, NDP=53% @ Sun
Ontario's universities have been ordered to have a sexual violence policy in place for students by 2017, but critics argue that the requirements don't go far enough @ Varsity
Premier Wynne: Weeeeeee! Panda Cubs!
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets up with Premier Wynne and Mayor John Tory at the Toronto Zoo Panda Bear Summit, a coming out party for two Chinese cubs born on a state visit of sorts ....OK it really has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING, least of all human rights, but all concerned get to mug on camera with the bears while we are supposed to go oooooooooooh and awwwwww and and and .... 48 times in 3 hours, eh? Hmmm. Well, yes we are getting royally screwed a lot too .... Read the article @ Sun
Ontario PC Party Leader Pat Brown announces he will be appealing to union members, gays, immigrants and the poor as he rebuilds the Conservative party. He also used this month's Tory Convention to launch a new online policy consultation process. He is promoting himself as a "pragmatist". The party is now $5 million in debt. His new tone on the environment reportedly met with a tepid response. See last month's "Party Politics" for his overtures to OECTA and OSSTF. The latest is @ Citizen.
IN THE NEWS
Populist Toronto neo conster Rob Ford dead at age 46
Controversial former Toronto "Trump North" Mayor Rob Ford dies of cancer at age 46 @ Vice
Although his death from cancer is sad, Rob Ford's legacy is not fondly remembered by many Torontonians from different racial, economic and LGBTQ backgrounds. They argue that he left a lot of "wreckage" in his wake, through his policies and behaviour @ TVO
Others don't want to be rude, as his supporters and fans in Toronto express their grief. However, they don't think that they should be expected to mourn for a physically and verbally abusive man who, they argue, was also both very bigoted and entitled @ Rabble.ca
Others think he was great @ Star
Neo Cons even praise him for his "principles" @ Sun
Does Rob Ford deserve a civic statue? The Rob Ford "Incident File" documents 121 reasons why not @ Torontoist
Canadian and world leaders react to the Brussel attacks. Much news speculation and conjecture prevails. I will not dwell on that, but please see my blog. You'll also find a summary of what we know or don't know @ Global
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau's progressive and inclusive messaging contrasts sharply with "The Donald", leading the Washington Post to compare him to the "Anti-Trump" @ WP
Five reasons why US progressives are interested in Canada's PM @ Think
Obama jumps in to stop Trudeau from getting caught up in the debate over Donald Trump. Justin, for his part, rises above partisan politics to focus on process and the need for a respectful relationship between our two countries, regardless of who wins the highly charged and controversial US election race. It was a very interesting Joint White House Press conference with much of the focus being on the "Republican Crack Up" as Obama put it. The complete Q+A scrum is @ Youtube
Trudeau and Obama share a lot in common as advocates for Liberal causes at home in the US and Canada, as well as on the world stage. Odd -would the fact that they hit it off and compliment each other so well be the subject of this much focus if they were staunch conservatives instead? More @ Guardian
Trubama: The Social Media has a field day with Trudeau and Obama's "bromance". If two women leaders of a similar political bent hit it off, would the focus have the same homoerotic tint? Still, Teacher Free Speech enjoys a good laugh. If we keep an open mind, this is pretty funny, no harm intended @ Buzzfeed Indeed, some folks are pretty worried that certain ...ahem ... "border lines" are being crossed @ Buzzfeed
See, hear and read US Secretary of State John Kerry's opening foreign policy remarks at Trudeau's working luncheon at the State Department. Focus is on immigration, climate change, human rights, compassionate leadership, cross border trade, and the TPP, as throughout the visit. Note: Neo consters Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell are in attendance. Speech writers have pulled out all the hockey jokes they can think of for the state visit, quite popular but grow increasingly tedious IMHO, though Kerry gets in a good self depreciating zinger @ Video and @ Text
Trudeau continues to poll very well in Canada. This trip can't hurt much either. Look, I didn't vote Liberal mostly because of the neo lib track record in Ontario, as witnessed by the disgraceful way they have treated our province's teacher and labour movement. Same party establishment, different level of government .... However, in all fairness, so far he is doing a good job in moving to restore some much needed hope and confidence in an inclusive, caring and compassionate Canada after years of Tory misrule. But of course it's very early in his term and so the final verdict's still out. I intend to keep a very healthy skepticism. More on the numbers @ MacLeans
Did Trudeau's demeanor perhaps suggest that we Canadians are pushover's, ie; just a bit too nice, unlike Harper who often took a harder line, less openly friendly line on many of the sensitive issues? More @ Star and @ Vice
Obama will be reciprocating the Trudeau visit with a parliamentary address in Ottawa come this June @ Huff
"Anonymous" calls for hackers to target Donald Trump on April Fool's Day .... Anon?!? Hey they post in the Comments below my blogs all the time too! Imagine that .... er ... er ... @ Youtube
Who's Protecting Whom from What? FBI pounce on "non crimes" to protect Trump @ Antimedia
Canada's Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is off to Washington to seek closer US Canada ties in tight window between post Harper Canuck "Tea Party" era and possible pre Trump US swing to the far right @ World Post
PM Trudeau joins in the jokes about Americans moving to Canada if Trump wins prior to his White House visit later this week. He remains optimistic that the average citizen will still exercise wisdom when it comes time to vote. However, Cape Breton is apparently accepting applicants @ Huff
Foreign A'Bears Dept: Canada's "Panda Bear Offensive" continues unabated, quietly side stepping the rather delicate issue of Chinese human right abuses, while reinforcing just what a nice place Canada is to be. [Too] Cute @ New Yorker
OK OK! Canada's bust .... but we've got Panda cubs!!!
Black Lives Matter are campaigning to make racial injustice and police brutality key US election issues, but they won't be endorsing any presidential candidate, because the real "revolution will not come at the ballot box" @ Democracy Now
Sixties Black Panther "10 Point Program" and modern day social media can help Black Lives Matter organize more effectively against police brutality, violence and government backlash in our new millennium @ Newsworks
This is Not a Joke: In what one wag describes as a "cockfight", a recent GOP leadership debate ground to a halt as the Donald bragged about the size of his penis. He has been accused of being "short finger vulgarian" @ AddictingInfo
Donald's "Brownshirt Moments": Protesters are regularly getting beat up and tossed from Trump's rallies, with his support @ Raw
Seig Heil Mein Donald: A black man is sucker punched in the face at a Trump Rally. Charges have been laid! Seeing is believing @ Raw
Rally turns ugly: Trump supporters label activists "terrorists" + "escaped slaves"
Read how a protest was successfully organized to stop the Chicago Donald Trump rally. However, it got especially tense when the African American college activists ended up surrounded by angry Trump supporters calling them "terrorists" and "runaway slaves" @ Popular Resistance
A Trump supporter....ahem .... "explains" their Nazi salute. Seems she's a self proclaimed teacher of sorts only trying to show the protesters what folks would do to protest "idiots" back in the day @ Chicago Reactions @ Tribune
Welcome to Der Dumpf's US Reich!
Trumps political views might be all over the place, but his tactics are frightening reminiscent of Adolph Hitler whipping Nazi Germany up into a frenzy. As we know, these stories invariably don't end well @ Memo
Speculation is rife on the "Republican Crackup" as even respectable conservatives watch in shock as Trump snuffs out their once highly cherished and world respected US democratic "beacon of light". Here's but one of the many points of view making the news @ Tea Party Jihadists
Noam Chomsky weighs in on what happens if Trump becomes President @ Youtube
Democrat Hillary Clinton has long planned to make gender politics a centrepiece of her 2016 election campaign. If she gets the nomination, could we be looking at a "boys verses girls" race with the Donald as her Dream Opponent? More @ New Republic
Bernie Sanders "left wing platform" has many socialist and left leaning Canadian NDP members escalating calls to replace moderate party leader Thomas Mulcair at next months convention, after last year's crushing election defeat @ Globe
Next Leader of the "Free World"?!? Trudeau speaks out on Donald Trump's ahem .... leadership. PC Interim Party Leader Ambrose calls Trump "off the spectrum" even for our own neo cons @ Huff
The Whole World's Watching: The Chinese media reacts to the Donald's big mouth. It isn't lost that he jokes about them using a "funny" racist accent. It's not going over well @ CNN
Here's how the Al Qaeda media views Trump, Clinton, Sanders + Cruz @ Vice
Bricking it for Canada: new website asks for your help in building our own border wall with the US, to Trump the Drumpf. Click to add a brick. The moose will let you know when it's added your brick, usually in only a second or two, longer when he's busy. Please help! Story @ Huff Link @ Bricks
A Not So Funny Clown Show: All hellzapoppin' stateside in the US of A, as billionaire reality TV Star and GOP presidential contender Donald Trump wins a decisive "Super Tuesday" lead in the leadership race. Mitt Romney is now sparking a Republican revolt, which could see an independent Conservative candidate also enter the usual two party fall presidential election race. Here's a full transcript of his critical remarks @ Politico
Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is under close scrutiny for her role, as then former Secretary of State, in pushing Obama to bomb Libya 5 years ago, creating a failed state @ Democracy Now!
Unspoken Truths: Is ISIS but a convenient pawn for the US to use in an effort to create a new US styled Middle East? @ Dirty War
Despite his promise to legalize marijuana, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warns that he won't decriminalize it for now until a comprehensive plan is in place, meaning Canadians can still be busted for pot @ Georgia Straight
Preposterous: Medical marijuana is a prescription drug, and YET it is taxed! Sign the petition to the Finance Minister to have it removed @ No Pot Tax!
Global warming is raising the ocean temperature and destroying our coral reefs. The process is speeding up. Nothing significant is really being done @ Grist
Coming Up Next: Obama in Cuba -the Cuban government reaffirms it's will to advance relations with the US prior to the president's historic visit with reference to the principals of the UN Charter and the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace @ Granma
See my March "Obama in Cuba" and "News Link" Blogs for further coverage of this month's Cuba visit!
Unlike in Cuba? Obama soft steps around the issues of human right abuses and US involvement in Argentina's military dictatorship on the next step of his tour after Cuba. He is pursuing a neoliberal agenda which will mainly assist the US government and the countries business interests @ Telesur
We'll give Fidel Castro the final word on Obama's visit. He says Cuba has no need for "gifts" from the United States; the evil "Empire" @ Telesur
KULTURE KULT INK
The Rolling Stones play to a reported crowd of 1,200,000 [700,000 inside the gate/ 500,000 outside] at a free concert in Havana Cuba! The concert was filmed so we look forward to seeing an official or bootlegged tape sometime soon. Details and film clips @ Rolling Stone
The Stones opened with "Jumping Jack Flash" and closed with Satisfaction. Here's the complete set list and some more video clips @ Classic Rock
See the Stones open with Jumpin' Jack Flash @ A Gas! Gas! Gas!
Rock music was outlawed in Cuba for many years after the revolution. I've written about my own first hand experiences with that back in the 90's [LINK]. It may be a landmark concert for such a big name act to now play there but the ban was actually lifted long ago. Read more @ BBC
More info and video clips about the Stones in Cuba @ Youtube and @ Satisfaction!
Confirmed: The Rolling Stones will be playing a free concert for 50,000 in Havana Cuba on March 25th. The Stones, in coordination with the Cuba Music Institute will also be donating instruments to Cuban artists from all genres on the US embargoed isle @ Granma
Dept. of Deep Thoughts: I'd consider myself quite the Stones fan. Have seen them live about half a dozen times at least ...... But truth be told, there's often been an awful cringe factor to the Rolling Stones, despite their self professed claim to fame as the "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". This "Shred" video takes the "Start Me Up" video, and by overdubbing a new soundtrack, illustrates that perfectly @ Whazzup?!?
BTW: I phoned my Cuban school teacher friends to congratulate them on the Obama visit. They were more excited that the Rolling Stones were on their way!
Compared with the Beatles, what did the Rolling Stones, the Who and a lot of the sixties greats lack, despite their great song writing and musical skills?!? A great producer! Sir George Martin dies at age 90 @ BBC Obit
Is the Bachelor actually "anti-women"? Consider the case @ Tribune
Everyday Feminism argues that the typical, "spicy" media portrayal of Latina's negatively creates stereotypes that they are only here for men's pleasure or comic relief. LGBTQ Latina's? Their complete absence further reinforces the delimiting notion that they simply don't exist @ EverydayFeminism
University of Toronto's Varsity Newspaper celebrates the closing of the Brunswick House, after 140 years of ... ummmm ... service. It is a very famous, or rather infamous student "watering hole" that most of us went to, though of course there was also Grossman's and the Maddy! But how could you not love the piano player ....?!? I also remember one New Years Eve, when the drummer for the band decided he was going to do an extended solo on "Surfin' Bird" right through until midnight. Started waaaaay too early, the group lost it and by then they had completely petered out. Ha. Er ....guess you had to be there. More @ The Brunny
Any flick with cute, talking animals is usually incredibly irritating and a no go for me, but get this: Disney's Zootopia apparently deals with the issues of white supremacy and the War on Drugs. It's far from perfect but possibly a pleasant, rather progressive change for Disney anyway @ Root
How Disney and Pixar usually mislead your kids about inequality and the class system @ Yahoo
Kendrick Lamar verses Capitalism: His surprise new album/ EP "Untitled UnMastered" grapples with our screwed up economic system and the pressures on him to compromise his integrity @ Atlantic
Nein!!! Trump is No Hitler: An indignant Adolph [Sarah Silverman] appears on the Conan Show to refute any such er ... outrageous claims. Laff-fest @ Ring of Fire
Canadian History comes to life in full colour @ Buzz
Please be advised that Canuck indigenous folkie, songwriter, activist Buffy Ste Marie ["Universal Soldier" etc] is still alive and well! She won a 2015 Polaris prize for her latest album that mixes traditional and contemporary sounds including the title rocker @ Power in the Blood and the anthem @ Sing Our Own Song!
For more info on Buffy, check out this neat interview video and backgrounder @ Stroumboulopoulos
Buffy Ste Marie still totally rocks!!!
Indigenous rockers Redbone's 1973 hit "We Were All Wounded at Wounded Knee" wasn't originally released in the the US because it was too controversial, though it was a hit in Europe. 2 bad 4 us! Trez kool @ Youtube
Fortunately Redbone scored big with other hits like "Come and Get Your Love ". Here's a great live performance of it from the old Midnight Special Show @ Youtube
Can we have our country back now?!? Warning! If you see a white man driving this car, it's probably stolen!!! Eh?!? Drat! Foiled @ "Indian Car"
New biopic about jazz singer Nina Simone tanks over whitewash done to mute her "blackness" @ Atlantic
The "Spotlight" is on the Catholic church as a movie on the cover up of mass child sexual abuse in Chicago wins an Oscar for best movie of the year. Both the Chicago archbishop and the head of Pope Francis' special papal abuse commission issue statements praising the film, but is it a case of too little too late? Story @ Cruxnow
What Is To Be Done?!? Ukraine changes the name of "Lenin Street" to "Lennon Street" in honour of fallen Beatlemeister John, not to be confused with Vladimir @ GoodNewsNetwork
Al-Qaeda Update: Startling FBI report reveals they are now just going to sit back, relax and watch the US collapse from within @ Onion
Are there any other Max Headroom fans from the 1980's still out there??? Here's a rerun of Season 1, Episode 1 just for old times sake @ Blipverts