Opening Statement

Saturday 26 November 2016

RIP Fidel Castro!

I would be remiss if I did not post my condolences for revolutionary iconclast and former Cuban President Fidel Castro! In Cuba, Fidel is largely considered a nationalist hero, much loved and revered as a founding father figure, since the Triumph of the 1959 Revolution. 

Since 1959, Fidel Castro worked tirelessly to root out Cuba's neo colonial past. That's included kicking out the mafia and other US backed imperialist influences, that have plagued so many other developing nations in the America's, widely earning Fidel their respect.

Fidel Castro provided his people with independence, universal education and medicare. Virtually unheard of in the developing world, this has come at a very step cost. Fidel's social democratic reforms occurred under a crippling 50 year US economic embargo. It's resulted in a permanent state of emergency in Cuba, often thwarting the best efforts and intentions of the Castro Revolution.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, just back from a Cuba Trip last week has promptly offered his condolences. Canada and Cuba have had a long uninterrupted relationship, maintaining political, economic, social and cultural ties despite the 50 year old US embargo of Cuba. 

Canada and the US differ greatly on their approach to Cuba. Quiet diplomacy? A Mixed Economy? Taxes? Human Rights? Canada has had a hand in developing all of these in Cuba, following a close "policy of engagement" to create the prerequisites for peaceful, constructive change.

That's how I became involved in regularly travelling to visit, live and work in Cuba for much of my adult life. In 1992, I began, and continue to serve, as Director of the Cuban School Project. We have provided educational aid and assistance in developing the English and Business programs at the Santiago de Cuba schools. I continue to do so, on a more limited basis, since I retired from active teaching a few years ago.

My Cuba blogs, as posted here, have always tried to reflect this dualism in showing the good, the bad and the ugly side of life in Cuba, as I have experienced it first hand. I believe they also help show the great progress that has been made by the Cuban Revolution in the face of such incredible diversity.

Ironically, Fidel died on Black Friday, surely Capitalism's biggest holy day of the year. With President Elect Donald Trump quite likely plotting a new US controlled future the rogue socialist state. 

Fidel, one suspects, would remain undaunted, to the great challenges that still lay ahead! Truly he died as he lived life, believing that it's "Better to die standing, than to live on your knees."


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's official statement @ GC

Teacher Free Speech November News + Views -Latest News Links @ Here!

Habana Empire: The US + the Mafia in Cuba before the revolution @ Here!

The Cuban School Project Story @ Here!

My Cubans School Project Links @ Here!

Cuba: What The Heck Is Going On?!? @ Here!

Cuba: What Do They Think? @ Here!

On The Road in Cuba @ Here!

Chritmas In Cuba [1996] @ There!

I will keep adding my Cuba links and other hopefully useful ones here for your convenience.


Monday 21 November 2016

Toronto Protest: Love Trumps Hate!

On Saturday, over a thousand protesters marched from Toronto City Hall to the Trump Hotel Tower at Bay Street and Adelaide. From the get-go, the Rally Against Trump message was loud and clear -Canada is an inclusive and tolerant country. President Elected Donald Trump's politics of bigotry and division are not welcome here! 

This was the second Toronto Trump Protest within the last week. Despite the cold rain, strong winds and falling temperatures, the number of marchers continues to gather momentum since the smaller but equally steadfast march last Sunday.

For Saturday's Rally Against Trump, I volunteered as a marshal. I wasn't involved with the organizing committee for the rally. That consisted of members from various, active, Canadian environmental, social justice, civil liberty, and heritage groups, including reps from our marginalized POC [People of Colour] and LGBTQ [Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Trans + Queer] communities. [1]

As a marshal, our job was simply to direct marchers along the route and to monitor the situation for safety reasons. We each wore a vest, a bandanna and carried a "Love Trumps Hate" hand sign to help the protesters along their way. 

The Rally Against Trump began at noon with a number of short, but rousing speeches. Provincial NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo [2] spoke, as did retired union leader Sid Ryan. Others speakers were from the Ryerson Muslim Student Association, Fightback and our cities LGBTQ.

The short parade route ended in front of the Trump, "big brand" hotel tower on Bay St. at Adelaide. The police escort fanned out across the busy, main entrance way. Traffic was stopped until 4 pm. 

Bay and Adelaide were packed tight. The huge crowd came together in a very high spirited, protest chant. Our voices echoed off the seemingly impenetrable glass and steel highrise towers. Outward from Toronto's Skyscraper National Park, the deep, dark depths of Canada's Bay Street financial district. 

Loudly, we denounced a wide variety of Trump's unwelcome "hot button" and "wedge" issues in no uncertain terms. They included sexism, misogyny, Islamaphobia, homophobia, and transphobia. BLM [Black Lives Matter] received support, as did Greenpeace's environment concerns.

We expressed our deep, heartfelt, social justice concerns, as Canadian citizens exercising our right to free speech and assembly. The protest message? Simply put, we just don't want anybody to get confused and think that Trump's bigotry is okay here

Everyone I saw and talked to tried to stay very positive. To remember that Love Trumps Hate!

Unfortunately, there were a few small, but very persistent groups of agitators whom repeatedly attempted to disrupt our peaceful assembly, as a part of their "counter-protest" in support of Donald Trump. 

During the city hall speeches, a handful of operatives in red "Make America Great Again" caps dispersed through the crowd trying to target individuals and pick arguments with them. To her credit, Cheri DiNovo intervened on one occasion to help lead some of the more vulnerable Rally Against Trump protesters quickly away to safety.

On another occasion, a small group of Christian extremists on the sidewalk south of city hall were badgering the crowd, many of whom they claimed face eternal damnation because of their religious, political, and sexual orientation or beliefs. Our marginalized and stigmatized marchers quickly became very upset and vocal. Police formed a barrier, as tensions grew. A fist fight erupted over a sign. It was contained. An arrest was made. A small and localized incident, but one for the courts to sort out!

Trump Supporters: Note "Rebel" Reporter Faith Goldy in Leafs Cap. See below @ [4]

I'm not sure if he was from the same group, but an angry man with a megaphone continued to harangue the marchers with more bizarre "god talk" as he later followed up the rear of the march in his car. 

Later, Trump "news reporters" tried to trick individual protesters into supposed "interviews" across from the Trump hotel. As if on cue, other Trump supporters would suddenly emerge from the crowd. Encircle them. Eagerly join in a twisted act of verbal masturbation, angrily bullying the trapped protesters over their views.

Very few folks got riled up, sucked in or fooled by the Trump supporter's nefarious trickery. Despite these small but distrubing incidents, overwhelmingly the protest remained extremely positive.

As marshals, we monitored the situation as per our instructions. Reminded everybody that each of us has the right to speak out. Or to remain silent, if we are challenged inappropriately. But mostly, just pointed folks along the protest route.

Any public concern over the Rally Against Trump shouldn't be directed at the protesters. Far from it! It was a very successful, peaceful, and well organized event! 

However, the Trump supporters' "counter protest" certainly warrants further police investigation. Our own Toronto protest security procedures will also need to change with the circumstances as we move forward. [3]

As for the Toronto Police presence, there is a video kicking around of one officer quietly mouthing the words during the BLM chant to himself. As the rally wrapped up, he informally acknowledged our marshal "Love Trumps Hate" signs to us, in a friendly, positive and disarming manner

From what I've seen, the Rally Against Trump protesters are a very inclusive and tolerant cross section of the everyday citizen's living in Canada today. We just want to peacefully express our rejection of bigotry and hate.  

This small outreach was appreciated by many of us whom saw him at the Rally Against Trump on Saturday. The officer seemed very genuine and sincere. It was only a small gesture by a single policeman. Still, whenever anybody on the barricades in the good fight "gets it right" -that's great! 

Maybe there's hope for the world yet!

In solidarity!

David C


[1] = Please note that the views expressed in my blog are not offical. You will find a link to the Rally Against Trump group organizers below.

[2] = Cheri DiNovo and I talked briefly. Alas. She confirmed that she will not be running for the Federal NDP leadership for health reasons. Also, she'll be stepping down as an MPP once she completes her current term.

[3] = Don't be too surprised when we get attacked in the news for the rallies! Regretfully, negative mainstream media coverage of the Trump Toronto Protests once against continues to miss the mark, in it's misguided effort to falsefy, manufacture dissent and delegitimize our local efforts. I will soon provide links to examine these at greater length in my Teacher Free Speech November News + Views. The link is below.

[4] In my photo you can see Pro Trump "Rebel" reporter Faith Goldy with the Christian extremists before the arrest. Where we Trumped? "Punk'd"? Set Up? Tricked? Fooled? Watch her video report on the incident "Toronto Trump Supporters Attacked at Anti-Trump Rally", and decide for yourself @  Youtube More in the Toronto News section @ HERE!


Rally Against Trump @ Facebook

Teacher Free Speech November News + Views @ Here!

Come to The Trump Toronto Protest @ Here!

On the November 12th Toronto Trump Protest @ There!

Marshall's point the way! 


Wednesday 16 November 2016

Come to the Toronto Rally Against Trump!

This Saturday, November 19th from 12 to 4 pm Toronto protesters will rally at City Hall, come rain or shine! We'll march to the Trump Tower on Bay St! Our cities LGBTQ, Muslim, black and and other racial minority communities desperately need you to help speak out against racism, misogyny and intolerance! [Details]

Please come! President Elect Trump was quite clear in his daily attacks on the campaign trail that there is a New Order of things stateside. It's an ugly sight indeed! Don't let any of our fellow Canadians, whom might be confused or misguided, think that is acceptable or okay here! 

Teachers and Education Workers: Our local and provincial CUPE, ETFO, OECTA, and OSSTF union affiliates can walk the solidarity walk for inclusiveness beyond the classroom, for our students living here, by coming and bringing your flags along. But will you? Remember, our actions speak louder than words! Enough talk, talk, talk!

The event could use some teacher volunteers to help out as marshals and so on. Many of us have extensive experience with that from over the years. If you can help out, please leave a message on Facebook @  Dana

It's time to put our foot down now, before it's too late! If you are in doubt about the very real fears that exist right here in Toronto please see my blog on last Sunday's rally @ Here!

Please also read the news links under "Toronto Ontario Canada" on this month's Teacher Free Speech November News + Views blog @ Here!

Rumours that this Saturday's rally has been cancelled are wrong! A counter rally is apparently planned, and the police have been consulted accordingly. Security arrangements are in place. Some of us are also volunteering to help marshal the event. 

Say no to bigotry! 

Hope to see you there!

PS: Lots of updates and news links etc are @ Facebook

Monday 14 November 2016

On The Nov 12th Toronto Trump Protest!

Sunday November 12th's Solidarity is Stronger: Against Hate At Home And Abroad was our first big Anti-Trump protest rally here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. [DetailsI am a late middle-aged, white, second generation Canadian, Toronto born and bred. Am retired. Have lived here all my life. This is what I saw and felt from a local perspective!

Between 4-6 pm hundreds of concerned citizens gathered outside Toronto City Hall. Then marched to the nearby US embassy. However, this was NOT the bigger, upcoming Toronto "Rally Against Trump"! That's on Saturday, November 19th! [Details]

Why protest Trump's election in Toronto Canada? What's it got to do with us?

Lots of confusing news reports about our Toronto Trump Protest have already widely appeared across Canada and the US vis a vis the mainstream media. My blog is, of course, a social media site, but as usual some of the better links are provided below

"Better"? I use the term lightly ...

True to form, our Canadian mainstream media doggedly followed a very old, tried but not-so-true news script in reporting the protest. The more vicious barbs, especially on TV, ignore or dismiss many of the inconvenient truths expressed by our very local, grass root protesters. Very US focused, the biased "news stories" sadly betray the lack of a truly insightful, homegrown perspective. 

The protesters were a very typical, diverse and inclusive crowd of every day Torontonians. If you live here, you would recognize this by the esoteric mix of faces, dress, and our overtly polite demeanour. Wandering into an "angry" Toronto protest usually goes something like this, "Excuse me! Excuse me! Excuse me! Eh? Sorry! Am I in your way?!?" 

Many outsiders might not know this, but Toronto is one of the most multi-cultured cities in the world -bar none! The protesters were an excellent cross section of Toronto's many different racial, religious, economic, social, and lifestyle groups.

LGBTQ? Minority groups? Working families? New Immigrants? Alt-progressive Canadians? These are just everyday Toronto folks -different perhaps, but meaning no harm. Hoping to continue to also pursue the Canadian dream of a good good life. Not having to watch their backs all the time because of intolerance, prejudice, hate and fear!

The real message was actually very clear to see! Simply put; Donald Trump's hateful racist, misogynist and homophobic New World Order is not welcome here! 

The fears aren't hard to understand! Everyday on TV, we see the rise and fall of a modern day Hitler in real time south of our border. Remember learning about WW2 in History class? Often wondering, "How could anybody fall for that?!?", or even "It can't happen here!" 

Trump's hate agenda is pretty hard to deny or miss! It was repeatedly spelled out during his 2016 election campaign. His divisive hate bombs relentlessly pounded our American friends and neighbours into submission daily on the Canadian and US news. 

"The Donald's" ugly, scapegoat and wedge issues? The "divide and conquer" strategy? It should be oddly familiar to us too! It's the same one used in Canada by Stephen Harper, our former Conservative Prime Minister [PM]. He used it, perhaps in a milder form, to win and hold onto power for nearly 10 years! 

We are Canadian! Not Americans! We are happy this way! Trump's vision of change is NOT in our collective national interest as Canadians!

Listen: My wife and I are second generation Canadians. We are very middle class. Have assimilated quite well. Plus we move in progressive circles. As a white guy, I certainly haven't experienced the intolerance shared by many others at the anti-Trump protest. Still, raised in the Catholic social justice tradition, I wouldn't want that to happen to anybody, whether they look or live like me or not!

I've enjoyed a relatively privileged life. Recently retired, I was happy to teach in our diverse Toronto schools for nearly 30 yearsI can remember when Toronto was mostly white and European. It wasn't necessarily a better place to live. Far from it!

Our city has become much more interesting, lively, and enriched . There is a wealth of different people who've come to live here today, from all around the world. I recognize that our country is changing. I want to help a facilitate positive change for everyone, not stand in it's way. 

My life clock is slowly but surely ticking away. That's just not the legacy I want to leave for our children, or our children's children's children.

The Toronto Trump protest was hardly a misguided or hateful event! Fittingly, it was organized by our First Nation peoples. Come sunset, the indigenous drumming ceremony was very moving indeed. So too, their very first hand and knowledgeable speeches about racism and hate. 

A very wide variety of progressive political and human right speakers joined them on stage. They voiced the shared concerns of other "different" citizens also living in our city. Didactic at times, but demonstrating a refreshing political depth, the speeches directly addressed hate and intolerance, in an illuminating, easily understandable manner, always directly related to everyday life here in Toronto.

All in all, despite what you might hear in the news, the Toronto Trump protest was very timely and relevant. It's foolish to silently await for "The Donald" and his ilk to come knocking at our own door! Hoping for the best! We already know the enemy! Recognize his hate filled ways! 

One can only wag our heads in dismay! Despite his appalling track record on the campaign trail, President Elect Trump is busy now trying to convince everybody that he is actually, get this -a very, nice guy! He's even launched a mock "Charm Offensive". 

Hell, why not! Even Hitler used to hug babies! Ugggh! History repeats itself, over and over and over again!

It gets worse! Lock step, Vichy like politicians everywhere are falling in line, expressing their great relief that he has somehow changed! Promising they'll try to work with him now too! 

In Canada, we hear Conservative leadership candidate Kelly Leitch's Trump North musings! We know Doug Ford has been quite clear that he and his family are big Trump boosters

As for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau? He won last year's landslide federal election, promising new hope and change! And now? Think pipelines? TRC? Defence? Legal Cannabis? 

Within the Canadian political spectrum, Trudeau often speaks from the political left of centre. However, so far we have just see him governing from the neo liberal right instead. [1] Sadly, he's even eagerly invited Mr. Trump for a state visit to Canada! 

President Trump?!? Here in Canada??? The man who labelled Canadians as "Snow Mexicans"! Who once threatened to build a Canada Wall along our southern border!

Do our misguided politicians really think they can appease "The Donald". Like British PM Chamberlain seeking to secure "peace in our time" with Adolph Hitler all over again? Concede this or that to Trump! Then he'll be fine! It's complete rubbish! 

Don't be fooled! A leopard doesn't change it's spots! Trump's culture of hate is a long term toxin to the body politic. It must not be welcomed back here into Canada, come what may! 

Some Canadians might misguidedly sympathize with our billionaire bully boy's right wing popular bluster. For example over free trade and defence. Hoping he's a "Wild Card" who'll take on the Washington political establishment. Thinking he'll create "change" for everyday people, the little guy, at home and abroad.

Don't be fooled into complacency! Trump is quite clear -NAFTA and TPP aren't pro-American enough! That's the completely opposite of our own Canadian concerns. With these trade agreements we see an existing, quite decidedly, pro-US corporate thrust instead. Beware: Trump is NOT a progressive economic force! 

Trump's foreign policy musings? They might seem non interventionist at first brush. Some hope he'll "avoid" a new Cold War 2.0 by not getting into any further conflict with Russia over the Crimea or the War in Syria. 

Regretfully, Trump's now got the nuclear button and the Drone War handbook in his explosive grip. For good reason, his very vague and spurious "Make America Great Again" foreign policies are not proving very popular with many of our allies in Western Europe. Nor with our Asian allies. Ditto our Latin, Caribbean and South American neighbours. 

On the home front, many Muslim Americans, LGBTQ's, Native, Latinos Blacks, and the disabled, just like in Canada, worry for themselves, their families and friends. The list of of folks at risk stretches endlessly on and on. 

Many everyday people both in the US, Canada and around the world are living daily in fear. While our enemies grow increasingly vocal. Are emboldened and all too ready to strike out to exploit and fan the Trump flames of hate!

We Canadians, of all stripes, from all our different backgrounds and all walks of life need to speak out now! We need to do so in no uncertain terms. Enough! Let's make it clear from the get-go that Trump's hate agenda is totally unacceptable here!

As a proudly tolerant, inclusive and diverse country, our Canadian needs are very different, as we seek renewed strength to proceed into the very new, different and challenging 21st century ahead. 

Saturday, November 18 is the big Trump protest at Queens Park. From there we march south to the Trump Tower!

Let's not just talk the talk! It's time to walk the walk too!

Hope to see you there! 

In solidarity!

David Chiarelli


[1] = Quite frankly, I've heard the US Fox News like Pro Hillary spin on our Toronto Trump protests. It's ill informed, ridiculous and misleading! US Democrat Hillary Clinton is somewhere to the far right of our own Canadian neo conservative leaders, be they former PM Stephen Harper or even Premier Mike Harris. Sunday's protest wasn't a pro Clinton Democrat or for that matter a Canadian style Liberal rally. By the usual American political standards it was clearly far to the left of all that!


Solidarity is Stronger Mission Manifesto + Protest Details @ Facebook

Rally Against Trump Rally @ Facebook

News links on the protest by the Canadian mainstream media can be found under "Toronto Ontario Canada" in my Teacher Free Speech News + Views blog @ Here!

The Toronto Sun "news" report is particularly vile and despicable Sun


Wednesday 2 November 2016

Teacher Free Speech November News + Views!

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

RIP: Fidel Castro -PM Trudeau's statement @ GC More links below under "News". Also see my blog @ Here!


Sid Ryan warns that NDP and Labour must beware of the "blue collar fury" that fuelled the Trump win @ Huff

Supreme Court rules in favour of BC teachers' right to negotiate working conditions and class size Globe and @ CBC

Read the BCTF [British Columbia Teacher Federation] media release on the court ruling @ BCTF. Their summary of the key points are @ BCTF Find the full text of the ruling @ TEXT

Not Their President: Post US election teacher and student Anti-Trump protests erupt at high schools, colleges and universities across the US BI

Student protests continue to spread and grow across US a week after Trump's election victory @ CBC

US teachers face the challenge of providing a safe school space for Mexican American students worried about deportations and hate crimes @ C+L

Follow the comments and news updates on "Not My President Elect" @ Twitter

What does the Trump win mean for education? His policy statements, so to speak, have been vague and contradictory at best @ Politico

US Teachers + Students mobilize for Post Trump Era!

Talks between OSSTF and the Wynne Liberal government seem to be over with no deal over compensation for Bill 115 reached! Meanwhile, ETFO talks continue ...... and the OECTA Code of Silence remains firmly in place! See the Comments bar below this blog ....

A Unifor First Student school bus strike has been averted, as a last minute tentative agreement is reached @ City

School Bus Blues: A looming strike action by First Student's 325 school bus drivers will put service on hold for 8,500 public and catholic school students across Toronto. Regretfully, the drivers horrible working conditions and low pay are absolutely abysmal. Hardly anyone wants the job anymore, resulting in a desperate, ongoing shortage of drivers. Unifor Local 4268 are up against the school board brickbat wall seeking a first collective bargaining contract @ Star

Trump Region North? MOE's Mitzi Hunter is investigating allegations of racism/ Islamophobia and a lack of trustee transparency at the York Region School Board @ Star

Read the OFL letter, signed by 141 community leaders which sparked the investigation @ OFL

Is the EQAO is lying about the October 20th DDoS [Distributed Denial of Services] cyber attack?!? Allegedly, it caused Ontario's big standardized math test failure to launch this fall. However, there were no recorded cyber attacks in our province that day!!! See the Digital Attack Maps for yourself @ LookingUp More @ LookingUp

Opting Out: Here's how parents who object to the standardized tests can opt out of EQAO @ LookingUp

EQAO: Failure 2 Launch!?

Nova Scotia teachers reject any "conditional bargaining". They are flatly refusing any limits being placed upon the talks, unlike .... oh say, in Ontario @ CBC

CB Consideration: How will medical cannabis patients be accommodated at work? In the office? At school? On the workplace floor? If the issues are handled openly and responsibly as cannabis is legalized, that could solve a lot of problems on a go forward basis. If our unions can get it in their medical package, that could benefit workers in every sector! News story Globe

Leading the Way: PEI educators are working to incorporate cancer patient and Tragically Hip rockster Gord Downie's truth and reconciliation tale, A Secret Path, into their school curriculum @ CBC

Contrary to popular media misconceptions [or "outright lies"] teachers aren't in it for the money! Far from it! A recent study shows that efficacy, trust and the proper resources usually count for a lot more! It's what makes most of us really tick, as professionals @ Tyee

Stress Factors: Teaching is among the top 3 most stressful jobs because of the hours, workload and government interference @ Tes

Are schools letting our students down when it comes to teaching them about short term discomfort, self-regulation and real accomplishment? Read @ CA

School Sucks? US study shows that lousy organization factors and nincompoop administrators are the key problems in retaining teachers and raising student test scores. Huh! No such thorough study is needed here in Ontario, Canada! Any one of us could've told them @ EurekAlert 

A "Feminist Class for Boys" teaches the guys to think outside the restrictive "man box" which can be very healthy and helpful for us as males tooVice


Media Lies: The Toronto Trump Protests -Where we Trumped? Punk'd?! Set up?!? Fooled??? See pro Trump "Rebel" reporter Faith Goldy above, with extremists at the November 19th Rally Against Trump. She's wearing a "Leafs" cap in my photo, from just before the scuffle. Now watch her video report about the "Toronto Trump Supporters Attacked at Anti-Trump Rally", and decide for yourself @  Youtube

Manufacturing News: Now read how the Toronto Sun white washes the incident clean, headlines it "Trump Supporters Clash With Protesters at Toronto Rally", and posts it as news @ Sun

See my first hand report of the Rally Against Trump HERE!

Oil's Not Well to the North: 85 indigenous nations denounce Canada's role in backing DAPL @ Telesur

Will Canada's First Nation pipeline fury here result in another Standing Rock?!? @ Telesur

More Blood On Our Hands? Guatemalan farmers are ready to take on Canadian mining giant Tahoe Resources over grave human right abuses in their country @ Telesur 

For Shame: Toronto has Canada's highest child poverty rate at 27% @ Globe

Little Said: Canada commits to a three year military deployment in Africa @ Star

PM Justin Trudeau will visit Cuba next week. The Obama administration had been moving towards normalizing US relations with Cuba, though it remains unclear what Trump will do now @ CBC

Trudeau the Elder paid a controversial visit to Castro's Cuba in 1976, despite the US blockade @ Youtube

Yesterday + Today: Pierre, Fidel, Raul y Justin......

Canuck Cuba Redux: OK OK. It's an old joke. Let's get Cuba to join Canada -then we'll have the US surrounded! Anyway .... PM Justin Trudeau's Cuba trip was quite different than PET's 1976 visit during the Cold War. Still, it could help to reaffirm and bolster Canada-Cuba ties as Trump prepares to take office. BTW: the lack of comprehensive CBC news coverage this time around was a down note. Maybe just trying to play it low key? More @ Star

Here's why Americans and new immigrants might prefer to live in Canada after the Trump win Economist

Premier Wynne expresses concern over the ill effect the Trump win could have on our province's trade with the US. Trump's concerns over the NAFTA free trade agreement are that it isn't favourable enough for the US. From a Canadian perspective, we often see it as quite the opposite; it favours the US too much @ Star

Goodbye To Cheri DiNovo: The Toronto NDP MPP was out to speak and help at the "Rally Against Trump"! She confirmed to me that she's dropping out of the federal leadership race. She won't be running provincially at Queens Park again either. Cheri cited health reasons. She's been a real trooper, and will be sadly missed. There's more @ My Blog

Ontario's PC and NDP opposition are accused of using a variation on Trump's vague "truthiness" against the Wynne Liberal government Star

Nov. 12th Toronto Trump Protesters

Federal PC Leadership contender Kellie Leitch extols the many virtues of the Donald! Gets all warm inside dreaming about Keystone and screening for Canadian values Star 

Canadian news reports on the November 12th Toronto Anti Trump rally downplay it moreso as a copy cat imitation of the American protest movement, rather than a very heartfelt expression of the fears of our own local LGBTQ'ers, racial minorities, Muslim community and abused women! See @ CBC @ Global @ Star and @ Sun

See my firsthand blog report on the Toronto Trump protest @ HERE!

A rash of racist incidents have occurred across Canada, as reported in the news, since the Trump election Vice

Toronto citizens intervene in disturbing racist incident on TTC streetcar @ Video

Busted: Toronto protesters video tape and expose fascist recruitment/ "info" meeting in the Bloor Annex @ TrackingHate

Very disturbing racist recruitment posters show up outside a Toronto elementary school after Trump is elected US president @ Huff

The little known but grim history of the KKK in Toronto @ SP

Canadian dollar initially hits an 8 month low on news of the Trump election victory @ Financial Post

Anti Trump protests spill over into Canada, where a large crowd rocks Vancouver BC @ Star

Toronto commuters are involved in a silent "Love Trumps Hate" anti Trump "post it note" protest @ CityNews

Can PM Justin Trudeau work with Donald Trump? Inquiring minds need to know! Multiculturalism? Environmentalism? Globalism? Feminism? They are hardly on the same pageVice

After talking to each other firstCanada and Mexico agree to discuss NAFTA with Trump @ Global

Trump's anti Mexican NAFTA rhetoric might equally provide a glimpse of his aggressive plans for Canada as the trade deal is re-opened CBC

What does President Trump mean for Canada? The Keystone XL Pipeline? Taxes? Real estate? Trade? The stock market? The environment? International relations? Defence? More @ Huff and @ CTV and @ Globe Global

What me worry?!?

Black Lives Don't Matter?!? A Toronto Police Tribunal into Officer Adam Lourenco's alleged assault of 4 black teens heading to an after school tutoring program turns into a complete farce. Note how dubious the tribunal is to start with! If the chief doesn't like the hearing officer's ruling, he can be removed Post

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti -Mayor Tory's Toadie?! Giorgio certainly never fails to astound! Toronto's Wild West Licensing and Standards committee cancels depositions on the Project Claudia cannabis dispensary raids by it's concerned citizens, to discuss pressing issues like the viability of perhaps licensing snakes and ferrets as service animals instead @ Youtube

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss: The deadlock over CETA [The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement] between the Europe Economic Union and Canada is broken. Our illustrious "Heave Steve" PM Justin Trudeau then signs the Harper free trade agreement, making it official for our corporate bosses Telesur


Oh Cannabis! Toronto's slow burn .....

Oh Cannabis: Trudeau's safety minded approach might go so far overboard that it is going to make legal pot totally unkool, especially from a free market perspective Lift

Veteran Affairs: The Canadian government cuts medical cannabis prescription subsidies for our CAF [Canadian Armed Forces] veterans' big time CBC

Politics Before Medicine: The federal government's decision to arbitrarily cut cannabis subsidies fails to put the veterans' medical needs first. Many vets require prescription cannabis for PTSD @ CBC

Business reports suggest that the Trudeau government might add a 25% tax to legal Cannabis while marketing it through the liquor control board @ Globe

Adam Vaughan, former Toronto city Councillor, current Federal MP and legalization point man, speaks out against Toronto's aggressive approach toward regulating cannabis dispensaries by busting them Lift

A busted Toronto dispensary worker tells us that she's basically screwed. Here's one insider view of what a cannabis dispensary bust is like, from an employee's perspective Lift

Toronto City Hall Licensing and Standards Committee cancellation of all 4 of the meetings so far scheduled to deal with the Project Claudia dispensary raids is creating serious medical Cannabis issues. See my interview @ Youtube. Also my blog @ HERE!

Project Claudia's puzzling and quite arbitrary "Whack-a-Mole" dispensary raids are proving highly ineffective while creating big, unnecessary burden for our court system. The workers, many as young as 19 likely only face a small fine. However, they will have a lifetime criminal record for pot and be unable to travel to the US @ Global

Your Weed is in the Mail!?! Just like the licensed producers [LP's], Toronto's cannabis dispensaries are now increasingly switching to online sales in the wake of Project Claudia. Unlike the LP's they offer much better customer service and same day delivery too @ Now

Busted: Ottawa police launch major raid on 6 local cannabis dispensaries. 9 employees arrestedCitizen

Ottawa police are inviting cannabis dispensary landlords to "turn narc" on their tenants. Meanwhile, it's been a record year of unrelated shootings. Ummmmm ... For safety reasons, mightn't that be better monitored and dealt with instead @ Citizen

Edmonton city council takes a more constructive, forward looking approach by considering how dispensaries will be regulated @ Lift

Vancouver becomes the first Canadian city to licence and regulate the budding marijuana market rather than try to bust it, as we head towards legalization next year @ Guardian

Vancouver Compassion Society's Dana Larsen

What Is To Be Done? Dana Larsen's non profit Vancouver Compassion Society is donating a large portion of it's dispensary revenues to cannabis advocacy! It's a strategy Cannabis Culture's Marc Emery follows too. Such a medical patient focus and generous lobbying/ protest effort puts our own nascent, often politically null and void Ontario legalization movement to shame @ Sun

On Hold -a book deal and movie offer for Canadian High Prince of Pot Marc Emery's autobiography! Marc tells me that he's still waaaaaaay too busy living the story to write about it! Unless of course he ends up back in jail, for his vigorous cannabis advocacy efforts here in Ontario -always a distinct possibility!

Makes too Much Sens-imilla? Get this -Non Profit "compassion" societies are running much of Vancouver's multi-million dollar retail weed market for it's med pot patients @ Sun

LP's [Licensed Producers] = Dispensary Snitches?!?

Are the licensed producers [LP's] like Tweed Inc behind the cannabis dispensary raids sweeping across Ontario? Unable to fill pre$crition$ and orders, they don't want anyone else to do it either CD Also see my blog @ 

Instant Karma: Now here's a really excellent review of the 2016 Toronto Karma Cup. Puts the rest of us to shame @ Now My blog is @ 

Project Claudia busts threaten to dry up Toronto's supply of cannabis edibles Now

Saturday in Toronto at the Green Market....

Green Market Toronto provides a ready source of Cannabis medibles for the cities hard pressed medical patients and recreational users. Details Civilized

Um Um Good! Green Market Toronto holds another successful market day featuring a wide variety of cannabis edibles, topicals and booty, if not so much buds. Knowledgeable producers were readily available to answer questions! Lots of free samples too! Fritz's gummies and Eyebake Medibles baked goods were strictly two thumbs up, but hardly alone in that department. Plenty of choices! The good folks from Alair and Toko let folks try out their kool, disposable vapor pens. Refill batteries/ liquid cartridges are available by mail order, or at their booth, for now. Overall: Reasonable access! Very informative! Lots of fun! Next really big show is in December! 

Canadian flyer's are now being told to bring the medical paperwork and be prepared to talk with police before boarding a flight with their prescription pot. Sigh! Alas! It only took the government a decade to come up with these "directions" @ CBC


Reality Fix Coming: Low income voters who thought Trump can help them are in for a big surprise. Many of the changes will probably impact negatively on them at the grass root level, for example with healthcare. More @ Nation

Trump wins surprise landslide victory taking presidency, house and senate @ NYT 

The Media Is Not A Reflection of Reality: As often happens in Canada as of late, the US election polls turn out to be wrong @ Globe

Clinton narrowly won the popularity vote. However, 43.2% of eligible voters didn't cast a ballot @ Heavy

The Trump win highlights a nation sharply divided by race, gender and education level @ PEW and @ PGW

Surprisingly a lot of middle and upper income earners supported Trump, in addition to those in the more economically challenged US "rust belt". Clinton, the establishment candidate, also fared a lot poorer than expected with the black, Latino and women's vote. Some helpful charts further break down the election results for us Globe

He is the Establishment Stupid: Robert Reich views the US election within the framework of a rigged political system ruled over by a billionaire oligarchy. Alas, many voters were fooled, by Trump, an authoritarian demagogue supposedly leading a political revolution on their behalf against the "establishment" @ Reich

Looks like President Obama's vision of the "Way Ahead" to an inclusive and tolerant United States has been relegated to some other universe, for the next four years at least. Read the text @ Economist

Making America Grope Again: Sexual violence survivors are shocked, disturbed and very worried about the US election results @ Medium

Why'd he do it? Here's Julian Assange's statement on the Wikileaks released during the homestretch of the US election @ Wikileaks

Sidelined former Democratic Presidential Contender Bernie Sanders views Trump's landslide victory as the frustrated, misguided result of a declining US middle class. Unfortunately, he was ignored and pushed aside by the Democrats. So were they. Sanders vows to continue to fight Trump's racism and Xenophobia @

No Exaggerations: A new interview with Noam Chomsky on Trump's landslide win! What it means TO

CNN's Van Jones describes Trump's victory as a racist "white-lash" against a black president and a fear of change within the US status quo CNN

Here's Black Lives Matter's statement on the Trump win! Steady as she goes @ Telesur

Making Amerika White Again: White folks thinking Trump's racist and misogynist statements were just election talk, have just been scammed "bigly" by the man himself @ Affinity

History Repeats Itself: North American media tried to downplay Hitler's anti-semitism and bigotry during his rise to power @ Snope

The Crucible: Newt Gingrich wants to reactivate the notorious House Committee of Un-American Activities to question Muslim citizen's allegiances and "weed out" ISIS @ CNN

Final Solution? A Trump Great American PAC surrogate speculates on Fox News about using Japanese WW2 internment camps as the model for rounding up US Muslims as a first step to their removal Telesur

Trump victory debunks the myth of a "Post Racial America" @ Huff

More on the sexist and elitist underpinnings of the 2016 US election results @ CBC

Trumps victory now definitively exposes the deep misogyny and racial fault lines in the US for all to see @ Globe

Watch Trump's victory "unity" speech! Slim pickings @  Times

You Are There: Enjoy this first hand review of his oddball, rather troubling victory party NR

Understatement of the Year: Clinton belatedly admits that the US is "more deeply divided" than the Democrats thought in her concession speech. Duh @ WP

Birther Trump meets President Obama for the very first time at the White House! Obama emphasizes a peaceful transition of power to Trump, who would now seem to be on a Charm Offensive, minding his mannersNYT

Trump's upset victory now threatens to destroy the Obama legacy, creating much unrest and uncertainty in the US and abroadPolitico

No Disclosure: Trump's potential conflict of interest as a business tycoon who's tax records and worldwide investments remain mostly unknown, give pause for grave concern @ CBC

Michael Moore's 5 point "Morning After To Do List" includes re-taking the Democratic party, restoring it to the people, and firing the mainstream media @ Huff

Moore's "Day Two To Do List" includes organizing a major protest movement along the lines of Occupy Wall St and BLM. As for the Clinton Wikileaks about how badly Bernie Sanders was treated, Moore claims the Democrats now owe him an apology. He also says to be prepared to "Impeach Trump". Lots more! Follow Michael Moore @ Facebook

A new progressive anti-Trump movement will need to be re-imagined and carried out differently than the political protests of year's past. Latin and South American activists have a lot of experience with what is to be done @ Telesur

Not My President: Thousands protest the Trump win in cities across the US @ Telesur and @ WP

Mexico informs President Elect Trump that they won't be paying for the wall @ Telesur

Mexico meets with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, it's Central American neighbours, to co-ordinate a Trump response @ Telesur

Rotten Apples: A Trump trade war with China risks losing access to the economic giant's huge Smartphone market. China is also a huge manufacturer of electronic goods in general. Local manufacturing lacks the capacity to make up the difference anytime soon. Meanwhile China could continue to produce and market these goods for themselves on their own, sans the belligerent US @ Verge

Trump seems to narrow Clinton's lead as the US election looms with but days to spare @ CBC Electoral Tracker

Whoa! FBI announces they will, then that they won't be investigating/ laying charges in the Clinton email Wikileaks during the final daze of the US election. Meanwhile, the damage is done! Clinton's commanding lead in the polls is whittled own, perhaps denying her a majority win in the house and senate. Strictly procedural? An accident? Happenstance? You'd think there'd be an major investigation of how this all happened @ CBC

From Russia With Love? The 2016 US Election and the Russia Connection -Assange? Clinton? Trump? More Vice

Oligarchy Rigging 101: Forget Trump's bogus charges of a fixed election, if he loses. Conveniently overlooked among all the ensuing madness however, is a "perfect storm" of voter suppression, looming in North Carolina and some other states! The NAACP reports on the rampant discrimination and intimidation practices @ Telesur

An Interesting Profile: 1 in 4 Americans reports having a health problem, disability or handicap. 5% less of them voted in 2012. Difficulties with reading, filling out the forms and following the procedures are often cited @ FactTank

Trying to Buy the Election?!? Seems Clinton and Trump, two of the most despised presidential candidates in living memory, are spending billions on TV ads, especially as election day approaches. Details @ AdWeek

US Cannabis Election Results: California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada voted to fully legalize recreational weed! Although Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota only voted to legalize medical cannabis, it's an important first step. The only state where a legal cannabis referendum was defeated is in Arizona @ MassRoots

Legalization: It might not turn out to be all it's cracked out to be. The powers that be are still arbitrarily tossing about your "legal rights" as they see fit, to manipulate and control you @ ActivistPost

Smokin': many states have legalized cannabis, but with Trump as president, users had still better know their rights and exercise them carefully, especially if you are from a racial minority group @ MJ

Prepare to Meet Your Maker?!? Some musings on the Far Christian Right: Forget Trump, or for that matter climate change -legalized cannabis has now helped bump the biblical rapture index for the impending apocalypse up to an all time highVice

The Rockets Green Glare: A state by state guide to the 2016 US election cannabis vote @ High Times

The LGBTQ Vote: Here's a rundown of each presidential tickets' position and track record on LGBTQ rights @ Ballotpedia

Surprise! Trump has made a financial killing from this run at the presidency, at the expense of others. The corporate agenda @ ShareBlue

Are Trump and Clinton's 2016 election campaigns programming American's to hate? @ Corbett

Tattoo Fail: "Kids -don't try this at home!" or "Stop White People Now!"

"Oligarchy Rigging 102" or "Democracy in Action?" Trump verses Clinton? Trudeau verses Harper? Wynne verses Hudak? Hmmmmm! Ever notice how we are always voting for the lesser of two evils? This article also has an interesting Cuba angle Telesur

La Cucaracha/ The Cockroach: Trump's threats to build a wall and tear up it's free trade deals with Mexico have created a very rocky ride for the Mexican peso. Now the Mexican Central Bank is busy creating an emergency contingency plan for what happens next, if he is elected Guardian

No DAPL! Here's an interesting perspective on racism and the militarization of the police viewed through the Sioux stand off at Standing Rock North Dakota. Especially when it comes to Big Oil verses our dwindling water supplyIndianCountry

"Home of the Free?" or "Irony of Ironies": a UN advisory group on human rights is investigating US police abuse of protesters at Standing Rock @ Telesur

Worse Case Scenario? Armed US domestic militia groups, not to be confused with Islamic terrorist groups .... er .... er .... are reportedly ready to act if Clinton wins the US election @  Telesur

Trump + Cuba: What will he do?

Cuba Si! For the first time, the US has abstained from voting against a UN resolution condemning it's illegal half century economic blockade of Cuba. Will Obama take it one concrete step further and lift it? More @ Telesur

Cuban President Raul Castro congratulates US President Elect Trump. Here's how the Cuban media is reporting Trump's election win @ Granma

Cuba release 787 more inmates in addition to the 3,552 granted clemency during the Pope's September visit to Havana @ Reuters

Cuba Plans Kaput?!? The rogue socialist state announces new defensive military exercises following the US election. Although no particular reason has been given, in the past these were common whenever tension arises with the US. Alas! Trump's landslide election victory now pretty much gives him an "executive free hand" to do as he pleases with the Cuba portfolio. Obama's olive leaf to "normalize relations" with Cuba did not prove popular with many Florida expatriate voters. Trump's threatened to get tough Telesur

Back to the Beach! What can Canucks expect this winter on the beach in Cuba? Not the Americans! Our US neighbours might be coming back some day soon, or maybe not. Their government still officially bans beach travel to Cuba. More chairs CBC


The Zombie Apocalypse? Welcome to Fall 2016!

Legendary Zombie film producer George Romero laments the genre's tragic decline via "Walking Dead" and the recent rash of hit Zombie movies. In his landmark "Night of the Living Dead" and "Dawn of the Dead" foundation flicks, the focus was on the socio political message, not just the blood, violence and gore Vulture

Possible spoiler Alert ...

"Welcome to Fall 2016!" Or "Walking Dead 7:1"! In the season premier, arch villain Negan brutally and very graphically beats Glen to certain death using a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire to the head. The macabre and quite grizzly prime time event is very long, and drawn out. Few of the gory, explicit details are spared. Glenn was a big favourite of the shows millions of fans. Much beloved! Sob! He's also one of the very few big Asian stars on the tube. A new level of ultra violence is set for mainstream TV! Think about it .... You can see for yourself @ Youtube

King Ezekiel -losing his ... ummm ... mind?!?

Hooray 4 King Ezekiel!?! What a pleasant surprise after the trouble with Glen! But hang on just a minute, before we get too delighted ... The "Walking Dead" TV series only loosely follows the original graphic novel, where he hitches up with Michonne and then very ummm ... animatedly er .... er ... loses his head! A spoiler???? Well, who knows?!? Sometimes the book and TV show are alike, other times they're different! Kinda sorta. Meanwhile, oooooh Carol! What to do?!? Hmmmm PS

Is "Breaking Bad's" Walter White responsible for the zombie apocalypse in "Walking Dead"?!? Think Blue Meth ..... and never, ever cross a chemistry teacher!!! Perhaps it's a bit of a stretch but here's an interesting fan theory connecting the two shows @ Net Flix

What A Horror Show?!? "Horror" is a genre that is based upon our deepest emotions, providing excellent fodder for the entertainment industry @ CBC

Borat Revisited: 10 years later, Kazakhstan is still dealing with the fallout from the hit comedy mockumentary. Is it deserved? More Vice

Yer November Kulture Kult Ink Jukebox:

Dream on! Here are some offbeat links to a lot of great, old school, stoner tunes! Are they all about pot? Well, maybe that's pushing it a bit, but what a kool video list all the same! Check out the Chordette's Mr. Sandman an the Electric Prune's Too Much 2 Dream Last Night or Fleetwood Mac's Dreams Plus: How does cannabis affect your sleep life?!? See @ StonedInsdier

How the Spice Girl's commercialized version of "Girl Power" destroyed the term's radical roots @ Vice

Iconic Canuck poet, singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen dies at age 82! Younger folk will perhaps be most familiar with his Nevermind, the intro song used in Season 2 of True Detective, and Hallelujah, a big hit for k.d.lang among others @ RollingStone

Here are links to 20 essential Leonard Cohen songs from Suzanne onwardRolling Stones

"You Want It Darker": Many consider Cohen's final album, released only weeks before his death, a major tour de force, from a visionary who continued giving right up to the very end @ Review

RIP: Field Commander Cohen signs off: Over + Out! 

Trump Win - American's Defecting To Canada: Snoop Dogg says he's moving to Toronto! Good! Maybe he can kick Tweed Inc's irresponsible medical cannabis butt from real up close and hard! As for Project Claudia? Make Tweed get their friggin' "Big 6" house in order! Other celebrities who've considered moving to Canada include Miley CyrusBarbara StreisandBryan CranstonStephen KingNe-Yo etc. etc. etc. @ Global

Boycott Trump: Here's a list of companies selling Trump products @ Spreadsheet

More "marijuana slang"? As legalization looms in Canada, and even the US, the list of vocabulary words is always growing and changingNote! Weed wordsmiths! New submissions are being sought @ Ganjapreneur

Vaporization: the "Science of Harm Reduction" explained! A vapor pen or volcano can be more clean, convenient, discreet, effective, and healthy than smoking a joint. Plus there is little or no waste! Personally, I enjoy a good hit from the bong .... when I'm outdoors at the trailer. But for everyday city life? My Pax for sure! More @ Whaxy

Hi! Is the Donald home?!? Watch Michael Moore try to meet up with the Donald at home in Trump Towers NYC! Funny as hell, and insightful Huff

Donald: Hello New Order! Hurry up Mel! Hop in my car!

"Meet Amerika's New First Lady" or "Getting to Know Melania Trump": Was she an escort, or a model? What's the Donald like in bed? All this and more @ Bloomberg and @ GQ

How did the Donald and Melania actually meet?!? Paolo was there! Feel your skin crawl! Read NYT

Hey Donald -Nice Tie! [Not!] A "deep analysis" of Trump's sit down with Obama at the White House to plan for the transition @ Vice

The lack of diversity in our mainstream media leads to an oppressive and biased brand of news coverage that usually goes unquestioned @ Star

What Is Truth: Will Facebook and Google be the new arbitrators deciding what is true or not in the War on Fake News?!? @ ActivistPost

Racism in the media and in everyday life needs to be recognized for the negative, divisive and hateful force that it is. It can't just be ignored @ Vice

Good 2 Know: Avoid being defrauded when you go to withdraw cash from an ATM machine @ NP

Good 2 Know 2: Only 30% of the pedestrian cross walk buttons in Toronto and many other big cities are actually functional. However if you press them for 3 or more seconds, you will hear bird noises! Here's why @ CBC

Mr. C's Tip 4 Teachers: Ommmmmmmmmmmmmm! 


Free Speech: why it's very important and necessary that we learn, consider and debate many different points of view, to better understand the pressing, often very controversial issues of our life and times @ BigThink

Are our life and times getting you down these daze?!? Let Monty Python shine some light on the "Meaning of Life" ... so to speak .... @ Galaxy Song!


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!