Opening Statement



Friday, 4 March 2016

Teacher Free Speech March News + Views!

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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 

Black History is NOT Just a One Month Affair or Ending White Silence in Education: A US social justice advocates speaks out on teaching a Black Lives Matter curriculum @ PushingTheEdge



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

PARTY POLITICS



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 thoDopechef



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



Brunswick RIP! 

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 [1974]". 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


ETC

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



COMMENTS:

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This year's OECTA election lineup:

1st VP Liz Stuart York
2nd VP Barb Dobrowlowski Eastern
3rd VP Andrew Donihee Eastern
Treasurer Warren Grafton Treasurer
Councillors Michel Deryx Hamilton
Anthony Rocchio Sudbury Elementary

President, Table Officer, Governors are finishing the 1st year of a 2 year term.

Anonymous said...

Why not Trump? The standard governments in the past twenty years have proven to be incompetent, corrupt and only cater to the interest groups who offer financial help. As a teacher I have seen no increase in salary in five years. The upper class has seen tremendous pay increases. Our middle class continues to get crushed by the standard government. Trudeau is a joke right? Treating everyone with kindness should start with making sure the middle class is rewarded at the same rate as the upper class. I like Trump's style. If you cause problems let's send you back to your homeland. Trudeau, stop screwing up what we had. Trudeau, take care of the natives and the homeless in our own country before offering accommodation and $ to refugees who will be a perpetual burden to our social services. Easy to be a wealthy Prime Minister and focus on the the selfies (cause it's 2015) That's more of a dumb statement than anything Trump says. I can't wait to see the fallout when Trump wins.

David Chiarelli said...

Supporting Trump for all that ails is the equivalent of drinking Draino for a sore throat. Luckily we are not Americans, but these sort of things don't end well - for anybody. We are watching the death throws of the 20th century, and i strongly suspect history will not look back at our times kindly.

Anonymous said...

When people are begging for change David this is what happens sometimes. Trump may win the nomination but not the Presidency. A scare for the old guard to get with it hopefully. I am also predicting a PC win next provincial election if Patrick Brown embraces the one school system plan. This guy wont put his foot in his mouth like the wizard Hudak. He will get my vote and I am a teacher. Fed up with the Lieberals and the NDP will never win again.

Anonymous said...

I agree that people are tired of the same old same old that takes the middle class nowhere but down. During the economic difficulties that started in 2008 the wealthy elite came out of it better off. The middle class got squashed. Corruption, lieing, coverups are the norm. Our middle class has probably gotten fed up but cannot do much about it as we are too busy working. However, the poor of North America have a lot of time on their hands. They want a little bit of the pie. Under Obama and the existing governments they have seen their plight worsen. Of course they will follow Trump. It ain't working for them as it stands now. To see Obama and Trudeau do nothing but joke about hockey, hug, take selfies and the such makes me sad. Trusting a guy who just let 25 000 poor refugees into our country where they will stretch the social fabric beyond our homeless and native populations (These people need help- not selfies Justin). Go Trump! Go Hudak! I wish it had happened. Too bad we didn't keep Harper. He was no nonsense, no selfies, no political correctness garbage. Nothing but serious business. I'll take the draino over the garbage we call government that we presently have.

David Chiarelli said...

Well, I will disagree in wanting Trump or Brown to win, but appreciate you explaining your thoughts on this!

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