Opening Statement

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Kayaking: Land o' Lakes!

Truly, there's no place finer than Canada when the weather's fine! As spring slowly changes into summer, I find myself back out at our house trailer in God's Country on the shores of Lake Mississaganon, Land o' Lakes, Ontario. 

My kayak floats atop the royal blue waters, below pastel, cloudless skies, slowly floating with the eddies. The current. I lean back. Bask in the hot warm sun with nothing I have to do! Good God, it's great to be alive. Another summer in the countryside stretches endlessly ahead! 

I spent this winter happily cocooning in the city. Enjoying our condo renovations from last year. But enough! Will be going back and forth between Toronto and the lake ... mostly to the lake ... for the next few months. Here and there, with family and friends. My blogs will continue, though on summer hours. I'll update you about my plans soon. 

Yup! This is pretty much my yearly routine nowadaze. Some links: 

Land o' Lakes: Trailer Park Boyz! Teacher retirement as a seasonal thing @ Here!

Land o' Lakes May 2015: including "The Spring Mating Symphony Of The Frogs + Toads" @ Here!

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Bill 45: Ontario Reefer Madness!

Oh Cannabis! The "True North" strong and free! We stand on guard for thee .... or do we? Maybe the only real stand about to take place in Ontario, Canada is once again for somebody or anybody else?! Just not the average pleb like you and me? Go ask the provincial Wynne Liberal government and it's corporate, neo con, big business masters, if you are at all in doubt!

To Wit: On April 20th, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau preempted "420" protests across Canada. You might imagine our surprise when he suddenly announced out of the blue that marijuana would finally be legalized next year! Undaunted, Toronto Ontario's 420 marchers proceeded down Yonge Street with our victory flags held high. A happy, harmless cloud of pot smoke soon engulfed jam packed Dundas Square. As it spread across the downtown core, Toronto's huge lunchtime office and campus crowds soon emptied out into the all ready crowded streets full of pot smokers to spontaneously join in the festive celebrations. Endless lines of tour buses pulled up adding to the joyful bustle and buzz! 

420 Toronto 2016: Sampling the wares at Yonge + Dundas Square!

It was like nothing I have ever quite seen before in "Toronto the Good"! Finally, there seemed to be light at the end of the long, dark reefer madness tunnel of marijuana bummers, burns, ripoffs and despair. Torontonians of all backgrounds, colour, and age were briefly joined together in one big huge sigh of relief and joy! Perhaps our big payoff after years of suffering under the austerity measures of big business, banks and the Harper Conservative government had finally arrived?

Maybe not! Since Trudeau was elected last year on a platform to "legalize it", grass root Cannabis shops and lounges have been sprouting up and prospering all across our city. Toronto is quickly becoming Canada's Cannabis capital, providing a safe, friendly and very comfortable place to live and visit for medical and recreational marijuana users alike. Despite the worldwide economic turmoil, our great city seemed poised like never before to become Canada's #1 Summer Tourist hot spot. Along with it's many other attractions, Toronto is now also rich with plenty of new, small grass root businesses, cheap, friendly reefer and an 79 cent [US] dollar to boot! 

Justin: Ummm ... OK! OK! Smoke 'em if ya got 'em, eh! Like this ....

Pardon us small, inconsequential Canucks if we hope that the decades long, nasty, prohibition against "weed" might finally be over. So to the past excuses from which it was hatched, based upon class, race and political warfare! Steeped in deep prejudice and steered through parliament and courts by our nation's ruthless, self serving big business interests! Together, they still march in step to the beat of their US corporate counterparts, in the long since failed and discredited, so called "War Against Drugs"! [History Lesson] Forgive us if a proper way to regulate quality, remove the criminal element, and better keep it out of the hands of minors seems at hand! [Trudeau] For a brief moment anyway, as April drew to a close, it seemed our ignoble past had finally gone up in smoke! Had the 21st Century finally arrived?

Not if big business has it's way! Alas! The province's pharmacy and tobacco and other corporate interests have also been watching very carefully too. It should come as no surprise that they aren't impressed at all! Hardly! How else to explain that on April 28th Premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government suddenly passed the ill advised and nefarious Bill 45: Smoke Free Ontario and E-Cigarette Act 2016? [Read!] 

No matter that Premier Wynne, with thorough legal briefs from the law firm of Bennet Jones, was ready to throw Ontario's doors open for small business marijuana users and operators at the local level! [Legal Brief] Bill 45, once it takes effect on July 1st,  again threatens to again plunge us small folk back into the deep, dark, bottomless hole of corporate greed and naked self interest!

Wynne: No! No pot 4 you! My corporate pals know wot to do!

In case you are in doubt, let's briefly examine some of Bill 45's little known implications for our province's pot consumers + small business owners alike! Under the Wynne Liberal's Strengthening Ontario's Smoking + Vaping Laws [2016] ammendments to the Smoke Free Ontario and E-Cigarette Act [2015]:

Medical Cannabis is lumped together with recreational pot + E-Cigarettes! Medical marijuana patients will no longer be able to safely and comfortably buy and consume their weed and other paraphernalia in our province's mom and pop small biz dispensaries, shops and vapour lounges. Ditto, casual or quiting smokers who prefer the slow but easier and much more health conscious alternative of buying or using an E-cigarette instead of stopping "Cold Turkey". Or of wrecking their teeth on nicotine gums!Or sending their heart beat racing with a notorious nicotine patch!

No vaping or smoking cannabis will be allowed anywhere that tobacco is publicly banned! Both pot entrepreneurs and medical patients alike, along with the new crowds of recreational marijuana users come 2017, will once again be forced back into hiding! Their combustibles subject to arrest and seizure! How ironic! There isn't any clear medical proof that second hand vapour is dangerous like tobacco! [Medical] [Smoke] But medical users will be forced back into hiding! Vapour lounges and clubs won't any longer be allowed. Nor a medical stroll in the park either! Matter of fact, if you live in Ontario Public Housing, it will even be illegal to toke at home too! Thank you, Kathleen! Must be good news indeed for the criminal elements lurking in the dark forbidden places where they so easily find their prey!

Toronto Indie Pot Biz Threatened!

No Retailing of Vapourizers Allowed! Vaping unlike smoking does not release toxins into ones lungs or the air that others must breathe -but no matter! [Vapour] [Lungs] Medicated edibles? They remain an alternative, but they might very well not be agreeable to many users! Medical patients in particular, will again be forced into seeking unhealthy alternatives for their condition instead of being able to safely vape their weed!

No Retail Display of Other Goods Allowed Either! Merchants won't be able to display, answer questions, nor allow consumers to test the different strains and strengths of weed like they would any other product. Ditto the sampling of edibles, vapourizers or any other paraphernalia. Also included are the horticultural "grow your own" supplies otherwise allowed by law for medical marijuana patients!

No more safe, comfortable Cannabis Lounges Are Allowed! If the new law isn't challenged, big business can move in later to grab the entertainment and retail trade for themselves. Watch for the big tobacco companies to take over the E-Cigarette trade! Watch the LCBO and Shoppers Drug take over marijuana marketing and sales for themselves instead. Let's face it, it's too much of a cash cow! They don't want the very small time entrepreneurs and users who suffered under our oppressive and exploitive marijuana laws to now finally prosper and flourish instead. As for marijuana's naturopathic uses? Without doubt, the huge pharmaceutical companies will want to protect their huge monopoly on profits from that too!

420 Protester expresses her opinion on Bill 45 to Wynne! 

As a medical marijuana patient, I enjoy my weed! It's a safe alternative to Oxycontin and the other horrible chemical prescription drugs that I have been prescribed since my workplace injury teaching Special Ed. [School Daze] I don't drink booze either. Blech! So whatever happens, I will continue in my own merry way to toke at home in Toronto and the countryside with my own tunes, recreational activities, family and friends. 

Let me be frank [or David]; like many old school political activists, my days of going out on the town to party, protest and riot on the spur of the moment are now often infrequent at best. However, by and large, my experience with our local marijuana scene has been that most indie marijuana users and sellers, both medical and recreational, are politically null and void today. Still, it is they who will now need to arise and carry the torch across the finish line with Kathleen Wynne standing in the way!

Tourism Toronto sez: "Do lunch here!"

Fortunately, the CFBA [Cannabis Friendly Business Association] is helping organize the good fight across Ontario to hopefully give it some political direction. They are currently involved in providing PDF info flyer's, cards, letters and petitions explaining all that is at stake in much more detail @ [Here!] [There!] Please help! They've got some good stuff! For example, as their "Petition to Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne to have the Ontario Liberals reconsider having medical marijuana in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act" states:
We the undersigned agree that if the Ontario Liberals include medical marijuana in the amendments to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act ... they would be infringing on the basic human rights of the approximately 30,000 medical users ...
Denying the patients the ability to utilize their medication when and where needed purely based on the type of medication is preposterous. One wouldn't question someone taking an asthma inhaler in public, why outlaw another medication by amending the Act?
If this change is allowed to happen a person could be charged for medicating anywhere but in their own home. In addition it would make vapour lounges, businesses that have operated efficiently with little to no community complaint some for over a decade, illegal and would force their owners out of their livelihoods.
These establishments operate in the same respect as bars do, with the major difference being that patrons supply their own marijuana/extracts versus acquiring alcohol at the establishment, where adult patrons enter with knowledge of potential health risks involved with partaking. With scientific evidence proving that both tobacco and alcohol are significantly more harmful than marijuana, we the undersigned wonder what is the basis for this addition to the Act?
Please note that the CFBA are also currently attempting to raise the necessary funds for their lobbying and legal expenses and fees. One of their first tasks is to seek a court injunction for the protection of medical marijuana patients. It's the patients basic constitutional rights that are most immediately and obviously at stake as a result of the Wynne governments ill conceived Neo Lib exercise in Corporate butt kissing! 

As Canuck as ....

CFBA plans also include a municipal campaign for the fair and proper licensing of the provinces cannabis shops and lounges to resist the corporate takeover of our provinces all ready existing small business marijuana community. They also plan to lobby the financial sector to remove the "Anti Cannabis Clause" in their merchant underwriting process.

Enough is enough! My Ontario does not include Bill 45 and the Wynne government's corporate marijuana agenda! Let's share these links and get involved in whatever ways we can! We've come so close! Yet we are still so far away! Let's fight for a truly legal, local grass roots business and consumer weed community all of our own. Stop the BS now, before it's too late!

In solidarity!

David C

Pax + Solidarity with all my good budz!


Spliff Magazine: Toronto Pot News y Views @ Online!

Toronto Now Magazine's 420 "Weed Issue" is @ Now

Article on Bill 45 and Your Vaping Rights in Ontario @ IdealVapes

Media Awareness Project: Latest Pot News Links from Across Canada @ Archive

Harper: Canadian Reefer Madness with Lots of Entertaining Links @ Blog!

Bob Marley + The Wailer Reviews! Part 1 @ Here Part 2 Here! Part 3 @ Here! Part 4 There!

Hi! Hi! Hi! My Visit to Bob Marley's Home in Jamaica @ Smile Jamaica!

Stoned: On The Beach in Jamaica @ Special Report!

Reefer Madness [1937]: The Original Movie! @ Youtube

Reefer Madness [2005]: The Showtime Remake @ Youtube

Sweet Marijuana [1934] Excerpt @ Youtube

Cheech y Chong's Dave's Not Here [Animated Short] @ Youtube


Wednesday 4 May 2016

Teacher Free Speech May News + Views!

hEY hO! kEEP ChECKing BAcK! LaTeR AdDITIoNs WiLL bE AddED In LaRgE TYpe SeT! mY Acronym Guide IS @ hErE!


ETFO knows! CUPE, OSSTF Too ...

ETFO's "Charter Rights Are For Everyone" ad appears in newspapers across Ontario. It's a public reminder that the Ontario Supreme court has ruled Bill 115 violated the province's public school teachers and education workers Charter Rights. The mainstream media continues to largely ignore the story. Meanwhile, CUPE, ETFO and OSSTF consult in private over what remedy they will seek, as per the judge's instructions. Still no official word from OECTA on the "smoking guns" [Paragraphs 168 and 178 for starters ...] evident throughout the verdict as to their glaring complicity in Bill 115 and the OECTA MOU Road Map Charter Labour Right Violations. See my April 26 blog [LINK]. Read the ETFO Media Release @ ETFO.CA and CUPE's @ CUPE.CA

ETFO President Sam Hammond on the Bill 115 decision @ Youtube

Recent landmark court decisions put both the Liberal governments in Ontario and British Columbia under a harsh spotlight for their blatant disregard of teachers' collective bargaining rights @ Star

CUPW Postal Workers win another important labour landmark ruling under our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Supreme Court of Ontario has decided that Stephen Harper's Conservative government illegally legislated CUPE back to work in 2011, violating the striking workers' right to freedom of association and expression @ CUPW

Public Service cuts coming?

Cloudy Daze: Here are the "watch fors" in the upcoming federal public service sector collective bargaining talks with the new Trudeau government. Sooner or later, the honeymoon WILL be over ! Don't be too surprised @ Rank+File

ETFO announces the appointment of Sharon O'Halloran as their new incoming General Secretary. Haven't seen anything official from OECTA yet but understand Marshall Jarvis is staying on. Media Release @  ETFO

ETFO President Sam Hammond explains that teacher directed Professional Development [PD] is more efficient, practical, extensive and equitable, than what the school boards can possibly provide, despite recent teacher bashing arguments to the contrary @ Star

An Aside: When I was on OECTA TSU exec we introduced teacher self directed PD, which often turned out to be the most useful of all for determining and meeting our professional needs. Plus I am not aware of it ever being significantly abused -far from it! Blog @ Here!

Teacher Bashing: Auditor General questions the use of OLP teacher union PD funds @ Post and @ Globe

Ontario's Ministry of Labour requires a copy of all the province's Collective Agreements. They now post these online for your perusal, though there is sometimes an administrative delay @ Doorey's

The CTF [Canadian Teacher Federation] releases it's latest handbook on Sexual and Gender Minorities in Canadian Education and Society 1969-2013 to celebrate the "International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia" @ CTF

The CTF provides a wide range of education resources for teaching ALL of our students. The issues include our aborigines, sex- gender identification, racism, poverty, immigration and child exploitation @ CTF

Ageism in the workplace can unfairly destroy long, productive, and honourable careers based upon false stereotypes most folks don't question or challenge @ Senior Matters

CCPA free download on Shameful Neglect: Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada includes the shocking and very disturbing child poverty rates on our reserves [60%!!!] and territories for the first time! PDF @ CCPA

York Region board orders principals to confiscate a parent coalition group protest letter over leadership, or the lack thereof, under an alleged "Culture of Fear" @ Star

Wrong Century/ Wrong Country: Halton Catholic Board rejects banning bullying based upon sexual orientation or gender orientation, because some trustees believe it violates the board's religious rights. Ummm isn't this Canada, in the 21st century, where our Charter of Rights prohibits discrimination. And isn't the board being funded on the public dime ...? @ Star

For Shame: The Limestone District schools in Kingston face a shortfall in special education funding for the third year in a row @ Whig

MOE Sandals releases OSSTF's CB expense account audit, with OECTA and AEFO's forthcoming after local CB is complete. In the ultimate of hypocrisy, there's still been no request for, or an investigation of the trustees CB expenses by the hostile, teacher bashing minister @ Globe

ETFO encourages it's teachers to withdraw their own children from the Gr. 3 to 6 standardized EQAO tests scheduled from May 25 to June 8 to protest the test's ineffectivity and waste @ Globe

73% of OECTA local units have ratified a 2014-17 Collective Agreement. Thunder Bay and Toronto Elementary have a strike mandate. Sudbury Secondary is awaiting a "no Board" report before considering further actions on May 9th. 

OECTA TECT President Patricia Minnan-Wong

OECTA TECT begins WTR today as CB talks with the TCDSB stall. 4000 Toronto Catholic elementary teachers and 60,000 students will be effected @ Star

All Is Not Well! Teachers report that only 30 to 50 of the 820 OECTA Simcoe Muskoka Elementary members showed up for their local CB ratification vote. Is that even quorum?!?

OECTA TSU executive elections result in Gillian Vivona stepping up to replace retiring President Dave Szollosy. Peter McKay becomes 1st VP. Angela Tersigni 2nd. Congrats! All three handily won their positions, the rest where acclaimed, with 27.3% of the membership voting ...

One wonders how much OECTA solidarity will be forthcoming from the CLC or OFL since the provincial affiliate's complicity in the OLP's illegal contract strip activities were exposed in the Bill 115 verdict! However, nothing yet on whether their actions will be broached by these two labour bodies for reprimand or disciplinary measures.

High School High: The Ontario Government boasts of reaching an "all time highest" high school grad rate of 85.5%. That's pretty "high"! So, what are they smoking?!? No mention is made of whether this has anything to do with the massive watering down of our academic and behavioral standards. Also the chronic dumbing down of society in the process @ Ont

Latest Ontario Teacher/ CYW/ EA School Fashion Ware!

MOE Cuts Hurt: Ontario's education workers and special need teachers are increasingly getting injured at work, safety plans, VIR [Violence Incident Reports] and PPP's [Personal Protective Equipment] notwithstanding. Danger! School @ EdForum

The "credit integrity" of Ontario's highly unregulated private schools are once again being called into question @ Citizen

Liz: Credit Integrity?!? What's that???

We Care: A teacher comes to the rescue of a special needs student onboard a troubled Airbus flight @ Theage

Teaching isn't the interesting, rewarding career it use to be. Here's 7 reasons why folks are beginning to turn away from the once noble profession, due to outside interference @ HuffPost

The Real Truth About Teaching?!? As always, it's a labour of love @ HuffPost

Though this is a US article, the story is the same. We remain a lone defence against rampant ignorance, authoritarianism, racism, poverty and a permanent war culture. Read "In Praise of Teaching During Dark Times" @ Spec

OFL salutes Black Lives Matter Toronto, as does the TYRLC Equity Chair! Haven't seen anything from our teacher unions yet though ... Solidarity @ OFL and @ TYRLC

What's it like being a "Principal of Colour"? Although this is a US article, it provides interesting insights into some of the prejudices they face daily from both parents and teachers @ ThinkProgress

"Occupied Canada" or "Strength in Numbers": Black Lives Matter has been uniting with our Indigenous activists to "protest violence and neglect". We saw that at the Attawapiskat occupation of the INAC offices here in Toronto as reported in last month's blog. News report @ Democracy Now  

Meet controversial Toronto Police Chief Union Head Mike McCormack. Hardly a progressive, he's been speaking out a lot in defense of recent police shootings and against BLM TO! Backgrounder @ Globe

Big, bad, black Toronto street gang largely a media construct/ lie?

Media Lies: This Is Dixon? New Vice documentary explores how the local media have created a stereotype Toronto Street Gang for it's policing stories that might not even really exist in real life @ Vice

Canada isn't the USA! Trudeau introduces a new transgender rights bill to provide "full protection" under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms @ CBC and @ CBC 2

How does the justice system fail transgendered people? This is a US article, but you'll get the gist! PDF @ MAP

TYRLC's Aboriginal + Workers of Colour Conference on May 14th in Toronto focuses on "developing leaders for today's issues + tomorrow's struggles". Download the flyer and registration form @ PDF

Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, in this case at the CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Corporation], are spotlighted again in Canuck TV host Jian Ghomeshi's latest court case. Defendant Kathryn Borel agrees to drop the case, in exchange for an apology. See and read her shocking statement @ CBC

Ghomeshi + Borel at the Toronto Courthouse

CBC host Gian Ghomeshi apology leaves many Canadians lamenting his legal and other forms of penetration of Canada's rape shield laws. Read his apology @ CBC

More Apologies: The CBC apologizes too. Borel has claimed it ignored her earlier complaints about Ghomeshi @ CBC

You're [Not] Fired! A largely middle aged, low paid Philippine work force unionize [Donald] Trump Towers in Toronto despite incredible harassment and against all odds @ Star

Strike Win: Not everybody backs down under the master's whip like Ontario's teachers! Teamster Local 419 Fresh Taste Produce workers at the Ontario Foodland Terminal in Toronto have successfully ratified their first contract. Also, the first raise for many of it's workers in 14 years @ City

First Taste Workers show Ontario how it's done!

Impressed With These Successes? "Fight for $15 & Fairness" encourages you to "take action" for decent working conditions and a fair wage for our province's lowest paid workers via these action links @ $15

Freedom of the Press Is Only For Those Who Own It: Vice Canada staff continue with their uphill fight to unionize, as reported @ The Guardian


Ontario Human Rights Commission calls for big policing changes, especially regrading "carding" [or racial profiling] and in funding for First Nations Police @ Star

Wynne government issues "The Journey Together: Ontario's Commitmment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Poples"! Download @ PDF

For shame! Polling shows Ontarian's on social assistance nowadays are actually worse off under the Wynne government, than they were under Mike Harris! Indeed, the "poverty gap" has increased quite considerably since 2002 @ PressProgress

Sign the "Sums Of Us" Petition! It calls on Premier Wynne to revisit the province's royalty regime to make diamond miners De Beers fairly increase their corporate compensation rate to the severely destitute Attawapiskat First Nation peoples. Over 100 locals, including many as young as 11 years old have attempted suicide in the past. Blame is squarely place on "colonialism" and "corporate greed." By the way, Trudeau was quick to race to Ft McMurray to hold the oil industries hand when wildfires threatened but is still a no show in lowly Attawapiskat [See last months blogs!]. Et tu Kathleen? Sign @  SumOfUs

More Shame! Premier Wynne orders MPP Bob Delaney to apologize for sending police after the mother of an 6 year old autistic student who threatened to hand out info pamphlets protesting the government's plans to cut IBC funding for her son outside his constituency office doors. In his forced official apology, he claims to now realize how important it is to listen to his constituents. Ummm ... when the next election?!? @ Star

Wot?!? A parent protesting Autism cuts???? Harumph!!! MPP Delaney calls in the police!!!

Even the Provincial Conservatives and NDP are united in the growing public anger and opposition to the Ontario Liberal Government's cut to Autism IBM [Intensive Behavioural Intervention] services @ Huff

Opposition continues to build against the Wynne governments ill considered and restrictive Bill 45 policies. Medical Marijuana users face discriminative measures which could also wipe out the province's fledgling grass root recreational pot industry and vapour lounges. The Ontario Liberal party continues to dance to the tune$ of the big biz corporate agenda @ Vice

Lost in the Weed Patch: Wynne admits the provincial government lacks direction on pot shops pending further direction from the Trudeau feds @ Cambridge

Toronto Dispensaries: Busted! 

Toronto Drug Bust! Toronto Chief Police Saunders reports that 90 people were arrested and 186 charges laid in a crackdown on the cities marijuana dispensaries. The local Cannabiz community continues to reel under a complete lack of regulatory measures prior to legalization promised for next year @ Vice

Toronto Chief Saunders laments that there is "no quality control" as police display the 72 kg of weed, 142 kg of medicated cookies among other cannabis goods seized in the huge, unprecedented and controversial raid. Dispensary owners are threatening to re-open and fight back @ Vice

Toronto overtakes Vancouver as Canada's Cannabis capital with over 100 dispensaries opening up on Queen St W., Kensington Market, the Danforth, and the Junction. Also across the GTA in Etobicoke, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Scarborough and Vaughan @ Globe and @ Atlas

Marijuana dispensaries continue to pop up across Canada, most notably in Vancouver and Toronto prior to Trudeau's 2017 legalization date. Municipal and provincial authorities are caught with their pants down as they ham fistedly respond @ Star

Federal NDP breathes new life, relevantly coming out in favour of decriminalization while we await Canadian legalization of marijuana to avoid unnecessary criminal records and arrests @ Sun

The Toronto health board calls for immediate clarity on pot rules while we await legalization @ CBC

Coming Soon: OLP Bill 45 kicks in July 1st. Meanwhile Toronto Mayor John Tory is also asking the municipal by law office to draft new regulations for the cities budding marijuana dispensaries @ 1010

Turns out corporate boot licker John Tory's marijuana dispensary crackdown follows extensive lobbying by the Canadian Cannabis Trade Association who's overpriced, poor quality, mail order weed can't compete with the thriving local small business scene. Everybody continues to operate in a legal vacuum until Trudeau introduces new legislation by August 24, 2017, as explained in more detail @ Huff

Trudeau's Legalization Point Man Bill Blair weighs in on the Toronto indie dispensary debate, siding with the 28 big federal government licensed producers of course. Blair argues that their procedures are more "exhaustive and exacting". Maybe so. As a bonafide patient, I much prefer their quality control, info and accountability standards for shatter, edibles and hemp oil. Especially those available from Snoop Dogg's licensed Southern Ontario "Tweed" weed farm. Otherwise, the "Big 28's" big biz monopoly, and ridiculous, highly restricted mail order and marketing procedures are a complete non starter. Remember; theses flaws, imposed upon them by the Harper governmentopened the door for the unlicensed mom and pop small store fronts now sprouting up all over in the first place. News @ Globe

Top Marks 4 Snoop Dogg's Ontario "Tweed" hemp oil!

Mayor John Tory claims he supports "decriminalization", not "legalization", the federal government policy Trudeau has committed too Youtube

Tell Mayor John Tory where to go stuff his "Wild West" pot shoot out and crackdown! Sign the Petition in support of Toronto's indie dispensaries @

Up In Smoke: Medical marijuana farm workers are refused the right to unionize under Ontario's Harris Era labour laws since they are "agricultural workers" @ Now

Marijuana community advocates will not be consulted as members of the federal government task force on the legalization and regulation of pot in Canada. That honour goes to "experts" in law, medicine and public safety instead @ CinC

Shoppers Drug Mart and the other big corporate pharms continue to eye the lucrative marijuana sales market for themselves. What might that be like? Check out the "Life Brand Marijuana" @ Youtube

Canadian Armed Forces veterans qualify for up to 10 free grams of medical pot a day for PTSD and whatever ails @ CBC


Trudeau MIA -Attawapiskat!

Attwawapiskat Chief Bruce Shisheesh continues to ask PM/ Youth Minister Trudeau to come visit his isolated indigenous community in Northern Ontario. The media circus is over, but the youth suicide attempts continue. There are an estimated 50 people at risk, including a dozen teens, 9 of whom attempted suicide earlier this month @ Buzzfeed

The human story behind the suicide epidemic plaguing our First Nation indigenous youth is @ Vice

Jeez ... Are You Sure Now?!? The Canadian government has agreed to confirm "Jordan's Law" ensuring equal access to healthcare for our First Nation kids @ Classroom

Under the Radar: Bet this news story slipped by most folks -"US or Canadian Forces" are believed to be engaged in armed combat near Mosul, Iraq @ Telesur

Elbowgate! Canada's "Mad Dog" PM Justin Trudeau engages in some very unparliamentary conduct on the House of Common's floor, pushing, grabbing and even elbowing some of the opposition PC and NDP MPP's while telling them to "Get the fuck out of the way...". This was prior to a vote on limiting debate over Bill C-14, the government's physician assisted dying legislation. Watch Youtube

HoC: More fights than a Blue Jays baseball game?!? 

What Would The Old Fuddle-Duddler Think?!? NDP MPP Ruth Ellen Brosseau misses the vote after getting elbowed in the breast while standing behind the Trudeau man beast during his mad rampage. "NDP leader/ not the NDP leader" Thomas Mulcair finally gets excited about something, calling Trudeau "pathetic". On and on the drama goes!

This link includes a video of NDP MPP Ruth Ellen Brosseau's personal statement to the house; required viewing. I like the link because it also focuses on the motion before the house, which has now been largely lost among the media brouhaha over "Elbowgate" @ CBC 

All Very Canadian Like, law and good order seems to be restored again in the not so peaceful kingdom as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologizes profusely over and over and over again. An all party committee investigation will look into what to do among all the angry words and indignation @ MacLeans

Here's the inside poop on Canada's messy Euthanasia debate aka Bill C-14 @ Vice

Fidel: 57 Years of Sustaining Socialism in Cuba Against All Odds!

In what might be one of his final speeches, a 90 year old Fidel Castro urges Cubans to finish perfecting the island states' 57 year old socialist revolution. Video @ Reuters

Raul Castro speaks on the task of building sovereign, sustainable socialism in Cuba as the country modernizes it's economy and moves towards normalizing relations with the US @ Granma

Reps from 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries are participating in the First Disabled Women Leaders' Regional Seminar-Workshop in Havana Cuba June 6-10th @ Granma

Cuba is holding a mass gay wedding as it's main event for May 17th -the International Day of Action Against Homophobia and Transphobia [IDAHOT] @ Telesur

Census 2016?!? Hee Haw -another invasion of our privacy?!? Oh boy!!!

Canucks in droves continue to willingly and cheerfully surrender their personal info to our countries Neo Lib corporate business marketing interests and government "experts" without question as a part of the supposedly new, improved 2016 Census. Some troubling questions @ Post and @ CBC

Former Prime Minister Steven Harper does all of us a big favour by finally deciding to step down as MPP and leave politics @ CBC

Here's an interesting look inside the Tories "warring tribes" as the leadership race heats up to pick a new Party/ Official Opposition Leader @ Post

Out NDP'ing the NDP: Federal Liberal Convention delegates grab the popular imagination and seemingly steal whatever NDP thunder is left by calling for a guaranteed basic income in Canada @ Huff

Canada's last standing NDP provincial government continues to suck up to Alberta's oil industry, as the party crashes and burns over it's pandering shift to the right, during the last Federal Election, on page 9 @ Turn Left

Ted Cruz loses out to Trump, conceding defeat as the Donald all but becomes the GOP's presidential candidate designate for the fall US election. In a bizarre, final parting shot Trump fingers Cruz in the 1963 JFK assassination conspiracy plot, based upon a supposed tabloid photo of his father with Lee Harvey Oswald in the National Enquirer @ New Yorker

All the News That Spritz: More "shocking" National Enquirer "news" on Daddy Cruz, Lee Harvey Oswald and JFK @ Here! and @ There!

Noam Chomsky's "watch for" list:  If Trump becomes president @ Salon

Chomsky warned about the rise of a Donald Trump in the US 21st Century Reich 6 years ago @ CommonDreams and @ Transcript

Donald Trumps statements on the education portfolio are mostly based upon very questionable numbers and dubious educational "theories", but folks in the US seem to be lapping it up @ Post

On Cutting Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face: Protesters in South Africa set 17 schools ablaze, leaving 26,000 students without classes to protest a corrupt government that is redrawing municipal boundaries. Duh @

Panama Papers: Tax Fun in the Sun ...

Still On Their Trail: The RCMP claims it will soon get access to the names of the Canadian tax evaders identified in the Panama Papers @ Star

Diving For Shelter? Canada has a sprawling industry of tax avoidance pro's helping our Neo Cons avoid paying $100 billion in taxes @ Star

The names of a further 200,000 offshore tax shelter companies have been released as a part of the Panama Papers. Can Revenue Canada be far behind in checking them out? @ Vice

BC Liberal donor Haywood Securities is first out of the Canadian gate in being identified by the Panama Papers @ Tyee

Canuck billionaire tycoon and university benefactor Victor Dahdaleh is the second domestic Panama Paper tax cheat to be exposed. He's been embroiled in a bribery scandal and has been photographed over the years posing with everyone from US President Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandella, Queen Elizabeth and our own Justin Trudeau @ CBC

Fort McMurray Burns: Visualizing climate change! 

Canada's biggest union expresses it's solidarity with the people of Fort McMurray as forest fires threaten the city. They are also helping lead the charge for Red Cross relief donations @ Unifor

The fire season is growing longer and longer. As the city of Fort McMurray burns to a cinder in the heart of Canada's Alberta oil patch, our attention should be drawn to climate change. Expect more such catastrophes ahead. Here's why @ Vice

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May talks climate change and the Fort McMurray firestorm @ Georgia Straight

Noam Chomsky hits the public circuit talking about the US Election, the Environment and Militarism etc. etc. etc. for his new book on "Who Rules The World?" @ Youtube 

Noam Chomsky compares the US base at Guantanamo, Cuba to the Russian occupation of the Crimea. He notes that their interest in normalizing relations with Cuba reflects a desperate attempt by the US to hold onto it's dwindling influence in Latin America and the Caribbean @ DemocracyNow


Record shopping in Little Jamaica, Toronto!

Toronto is a very multicultural city, at one point, if not still, among the most anywhere. Eglinton West can be considered our "Little Jamaica". Some kool pix and a little history @ Fader

Sign O' The Times: The CBC has begun capitalizing the terms Aboriginal, and Indigenous. Ditto, the Ryerson Review of Journalism which also capitalizes Black when referring to the people of colour @ Now

Twitter will be increasing the number of characters you can use in a Tweet so they are no longer strictly limited to 120. Question remains: do you really want to get longer Tweets? Here's how it works @ Twitter

And when you are done that, then "Consider the Troll" @ PopMatters

Toronto Rapper Drake tops the US Pop Charts with an album about .... Toronto! Some wags have suggested he could've topped the US Charts long ago if he'd only wrote songs about Toronto but said it was LA ... or NYC ... or .. or ...or ... No matter. Drakes "View" of Toronto isPitchFork

On Being Canuck: Drake scores a big hit Toronto album with "Views" -gets to sit atop the CN Tower!!! [See above if in doubt ...!] Moreover, now that he's hit the big times, Drake gets to go to the "Real Jerk" for a patty and bump butts with Rihanna while dancing in slow motion! Yup! Personally, I'd like to record a big hit rap tune too, but methinks Janet would git real upset ... Sigh! Alas! @ Work

Rolling Stones ask Donald Trump to stop using their songs. He plays two at his rallies; You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "Start Me up" @ NBC

What Would Neil Young Do?!? Still a good Canuck, he told the Donald to stop using "Rockin' in the Free World" long ago @ NBC

Dark Side Media Lies! Ex Pink Floydian Roger Waters weighs in on the US media bias towards Israel in it's coverage of mid eastern affairs @ RealNews

Today's politically and socially conscious pop fans are more likely to boycott artists accused of racism, misogyny and homophobia rather than sex, drugs and devil worship like in year's past. The results are mixed @ Now

Spring has sprung ...

Let's get this straight: Tim Horton's is an international corporation, not a Canadian one. There is nothing patriotic about buying your coffee there. It is strictly exploiting our national identity for shareholder profit by instilling and manipulating false patriotic sentiments about the Tim's experience through it's advertising and PR. Contrary to popular belief, there is actually very little that's Canadian about Tim's. Nay! It is chiefly their global investors who benefit when you buy a Tim's feeling all warm and fuzzy inside because ... get this .... you think you are being a good Canuck. Drink it if you like, but puleeeeeze! Let's drop the Canadiana shtick @ Beaverton

Personal Morality verses Political Ideology: On Doctor Who and the Cold War @ PopMatters

Was there a CIA cancer plot to kill Bob Marley? Too bizarre? There were some pretty strange CIA plots to assassinate Fidel Castro that have long since been declassified as a matter of public record. They ocurred during Operation Mongoose in the sixties and beyond. In Marley's case, he allegedly got cancer in the toe from a carcinogenic toxin put on a a wire inside a pair of gift shoes. Ouch! With Fidel, it was even more nefarious! They went after his cigars and scuba gear ..... Go figure! Now It Can Be Told @ HighTimes

Orillia Ontario's "Budstock 2016" happens July 15-16th. There's a midway, a vaporizer competition, the "Hazy Krazy" Olympic Games, live music, education tents, vendors, speakers, displays and more. The festival is open to all "Cannabis Connoissuers" and "Cannabis-preneurs" of "medical" marijuana @ Budstock

Back in the day, we'd "smoke a lil' boo", but no more! Here's one guide to "ganja vocabulary" for today's "weedologists", so hopefully everybody doesn't think you are a cop .... well, maybe not. Ooooh -and yes, tokers still call it a "doobie", though no word on whether they still listen to the Bros much anymore as they inbibe @ Ganjapreneur

Meanwhile back at their rastacamp in Jamaica, the rastamen show us how it's done! Gee! Scout and Guide camp was never like this!!! ;-) @ Rastaman Vibration

Goodbye to the "Good Wife", which ends it's seventh and final season on network TV with it's nuanced look at a complex women among all the other trash we are dished out nightly @ PopMatters

MAC Cosmetics denies it's new "Vibe Tribe" summer collection approriates indigenous culture @ Root

Whats more dangerous: life in the big city? Or in the great outdoors? Predator's are everywhere @ Buzzfeed


Blur's Damon Albarn and comic book artist Jamie Hewlitt sought to create a critique and a subversion of today's manufactured pop music with the Gorillaz. Did they succeed? @ PopMatters

Yes! The Gorillaz were a real band! Here's a trez kool live concert from the "Letterman Show" in 2010 @ Youtube

Nice Touch: The politically charged "Baltimore" is tacked onto the end of Prince's last album, "Hit and Run", with a tasty "No Justice No Peace" agitprop chant @ Youtube

Not Quite A Happy Ending But It Will Have To Do: Prince and the Revolution play Purple Rain live in 1985. This is the dreamy 20 minute version with the 10 minute guitar solo @ Youtube


Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!