Opening Statement



Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Teacher Free Speech Summer News y Views!

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



Hooray 4 summer in Canada: All 2 months of it?!?

TEACHER + UNION

NEWS FLASH: CUPW postal workers reach a tentative agreement with Canada Post. Details of the tentative agreement @ CUPW

CUPW claims they have protected their defined contribution benefit pension plan for both it's present and future workers @ Rabble.ca

Doctors verses Teachers: who does the Ontario government treat better? The writer seems to realize that the alleged OLP and teacher union love-in is mostly BS, at least as far as many teachers are concerned @ TVO

Back to School: OSSTF D12 TDSB secondary school teachers reach a tentative deal. We wait with bated breath to learn if they were able to secure their executive release time from the public board. Meanwhile OECTA TECT's TCDSB Catholic Elementary teachers brace for a withdrawal of voluntary services, including field trips and extracurriculars, baring a last minute break through in their long, dragged out, local negotiations @ Star

Democracy in Action: Ontario doctors reject by 63.1% a tentative fees deal as reached by the OMA [Ontario Medical Association] along with the nefarious Wynne government! Feeling sold short, the good doctors wisely insisted upon a binding ratification vote before it was too late. [OECTA members take note!] 55% of the members cast their vote. However, both the OMA and the Toronto media continued to think it was a done deal right up until the results were announced. Fortunately, the members bravely asserted themselves in the face of such overwhelmingly biased media coverage. Without doubt, the resulting upset serves to again highlight that CP24's highly slanted TV "political commentator" Stephen LeDrew is little more than a local neo con embarassment in disguise. Alas! His shelf life has long since expired, along with the tenure of brother in arms "Heave Steve" Harper and Rob "Cracked" Ford. Hopefully the Toronto "news station" soon seeks a more palatable and credible replacement. His desperate, thread bare act grows very tiresome indeed for both progressives and moderates alike.... Ugh! News details @ CBC

More than 1000 Canada Post workers protest outside Trudeau's Montreal office as fears of an ugly lockout resurface again @ CBC

The Plot Thickens: New Wikileaks reveal Canada Post and the CBC may be sold off under the TPP Agreement @ CanProg

Canada Post backtracks on it's threat to lock out CUPW [Canadian Union of Postal Workers] for now, to continue with Collective Bargaining talks as per CUPW's initial request @ CNW
Manufacturing A Crisis: Canada Post, in blatant disregard of CUPW’s commitment to staying at the table to work out a deal, had threatened to lock out the workers with the flimsiest of excuses! Seems mail volume is “rapidly deteriorating” because customers …. Get This: are expecting a possible work stoppage! In a flashback to Harper era "negotiation tactics", seems Canada Post didn't want to disappoint @ RTH



A Lock Out?!? CUPW [Canadian Union Postal Workers] and Canada Post differ over a wide range of pressing boiler plate labour issues, including wages, equity, job security, pensions, staffing, work conditions, as explained @ CUPW

The Canadian Labour Congress calls for an end to Canada Post's Neo Lib attack on the CUPW workers' pensions @ CLC

So far, Trudeau just issues some vague statements about not wanting to interfere with the collective bargaining process between CUPW and Canada Post. Then the Labour Minster suggested binding arbitration, which was rejected by CUPW. The Liberals definitely face some extreme challenges in fixing the broken federal government relationship with the Canadian labour movement now, and in the months ahead @ CP24

Don't Believe the Hype! 7 Myths about Canada Post @ RankFile

In Solidarity: Download and print CUPW support signs to post and share @ CUPW



ETFO Annual Meeting Time!

ETFO's 2016 Annual Meeting runs from August 15th to 18th at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. Member delegate's volunteer their summer holiday time to attend!

Live blog with Facebook and Twitter links @ Link 

Download and read the Resolutions @ PDF 

You'll find the related documents, and motions passed @ Docs

A Pro Education Government?!? $15 billion is badly needed to properly repair our Ontario schools @ Star

Special Summer school programs help Syrian refugee kids become literate in English while learning how to fit in and transition to their new life in Canada @ Star

Ontario's doctors have finally been able to reach a tentative deal with the province @ CBC and @ Citizen



"Anonymous" criticizes CAPE [Canadian Association of Professional Employees] Canadian public service union that is using membership dues to crush dissenters .... Eh? No, it isn't about OECTA @ Youtube

For more info and updates on the CAPE member's efforts to reclaim their union, check out these Twitter links #recertifycape and #CAPE_ACEP! 

PS: CAPER -Guest blogs most welcome!  Details @ HERE!

US report shows how sexism, in the shape of a gender wage gap, is the "glass ceiling" which keeps female teachers' as America's grossly underpaid professionals @ TakePart

Why Are So Many Teachers White? A student explains to her white male teacher how racism is systemic Huff

A white teacher acknowledges systemic racism is still rampant in the school system @ Huff

CLC explains what the expanded CPP pension plan will mean for working Canadians @ CLC



Our unions might want to consider advocating for the legalization of marijuana and it's inclusion as a medical benefit, considering the avalanche of research now suggesting it's many health benefits compared to the awful, addictive synthetic drugs the Big Pharma's have been trying to push on us for years: 
Parents 4 Pot are advocating for the use of Cannabis to treat epilepsy in children @ P4P

Seniors are increasingly turning to marijuana in large numbers as a user friendly treatment for aging and it's aches and pains @ Merryjane

4 Ways Cannabis can help ease the burdens of ageing; arthritis, chronic pain, brain functions and appetite @ Whaxy

Aching Joints? 4 Ways Cannabis can help with senior health care; chronic pain, appetite, memory loss and yes, arthritis @ Whaxy

There is increasing medical evidence that cannabis can also be used to treat autism. An overview is @ Whaxy


Canadian Armed Forces vets suffering from PTSD and painful injuries prefer the health benefits of legal med pot over Big Pharma prescription drugs, including highly addictive opiates @ MAP

Dispelling the Lies: Can you overdoes from Cannabis, like with other prescription drugs? No @ Whaxy

New research, from here in Ontario, shows Cannabis can be a safe, organic and helpful medical option for those suffering from PTSD [Post Trauma Stress Disorder]. We already know it’s good for stress and anxiety, making it all around helpful for our first line responders, including I dare venture, our teachers in the front line trenches of education in this province, come down time, or when they are off on a workplace sick leave. So when are our unions going to start speaking up for and advocating their Med Pot members’ rights?!? No time like now, with legalization on the agenda! Teachers educate and it’s very important that the government get this right! Story @ High Times
The Chicago Public Schools [CPS] and Teacher Union [CTU) seem headed for showdown over the latest proposed budget cuts. The CTS is threatening to strike over pay, staffing and service cuts @  SunTimes


Mexican Teachers: Serious Business!  

Oaxaca 2016: "This is not a teachers' struggle, it belongs to the people of Mexico" @ IGD

Mexican teachers continue their protest against corporate “reform” with a month of “blockades” since the army opened fire on them. Also, after their president, pretending to be a “law and order” man was greeted in Canada by our PM as his “Amigo/ friend”. Update @ Vice
Now It Can Be Told: Meritocracy Is A Lie! The system is rigged! In case you hadn’t noticed, here’s an interesting think piece on privilege in Canada today @ Walrus

Black Youth Matter: How do you talk to children of colour about the police shootings of black men? Or about what to do if they have an encounter? Hear from a Youth Worker @ CBC

White teachers arising to the challenge of a school in "the Hood" are urged to carefully avoid a "savior complex" and learn from the students about what the actual problems are and what they really need @ NEA

Preparing Students for the Real World?!? Seems a grade of "50" is becoming the "new Zero" here and abroad! Alas! So much for the right to exercise our teacher professional judgement as highly trained experts @ EW

Contrary to popular opinion, earning a Liberal Arts degree can still be very worthwhile @ MacLeans

Here's some handy advice for caregivers to help redirect a dementia patient and help them embrace reality. Nothing fancy -very doable! @ Alz

How to blend millennials with the Gen X'ers and Baby Boomers at work @ TVO
Some notes on dispelling the negative myths about teachers @  EducatorsRoom

Indigenous youth consider the dire recommendations from the inquest into First Nation student deaths' in Thunder Bay. The prospects are not good @ CBC



Nadia Shoufani suspended after speaking at Toronto Pro Palestinian Rally!

Teacher Free Speech?! A Dufferin Peel Catholic Board is investigating a teacher, Nadia Shoufani, who gave a pro-Palestinian speech at a July political rally in Toronto. B'nai Brith Canada and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre have complained about her radical ideology as a classroom teacher. OECTA will be representing the teacher. The OCT has also been advised of the situation @ CBC

What Was Said: Watch Nadia's controversial speech @ CBC

Guess What?!? Dufferin Peel Catholic teacher Nadia Shoufani has been suspended after speaking at a pro Palestinian rally!!! In Canada??? Several pro Israeli "advocacy groups" are cited for the complaints. OECTA argues that the board actually suspended her for "noncompliance" with it's investigation, which it claims is just not true! It's a very, very confusing and troubling story with vast implications! Check it our for yourself @ CBC

Supreme Court ruling on whistle blower protection highlights our lack of progress protecting fair, just and essential worker rights in Canada @ Rabble.ca


Half a Pay Raise?!? Saskatchewan Teachers argue that they are being falsely blamed for the province’s growing education costs. The labour scene remains tense, as the provincial government decides to renegade on their Collective Bargaining Agreement, and only fund half of the agreed upon salary increase! Meanwhile, the school boards are none too happy as they are expected to cover the rest of the missing teacher pay raise. Sound like another possible Charter challenge? More @ Rabble.ca



Autism Program and Support Changes in Ontario 101: Download a statement from Minister Coteau and a copy of Ontario’s “enhanced transition plan” @ CYS

Just Painting Lipstick on A Pig? Ontario's new autism policy is failing the parent test @ MBP
Although the Ontario Wynne government has backtracked under intense pressure on its planned Autism programming and support cuts to our province’s schools, we still aren’t out of the woods yet! Moreover, the recent botched reforms are only the latest in a series of disasters dating back to 2003, when we as teachers helped them defeat the Tory’s, to stop this kind of socially irresponsible policy BS @ Ribbon

Autism advocates point out that their fight with the Ontario government is far from over -it’s just begun. Stay tuned for more updates! And follow them on Twitter #AutismdoesntEndAt5 and #AutismDoesntEndAt18


Also, see my other autism teacher blogs @ Here! and @ Here! and @ There!

TORONTO ONTARIO CANADA

Ex Toronto Mayor + Canuck Neo Con Huckster Rob Ford's crack video finally sees the light of day @ Star

Ford's policies were even worse than the crack video. Now Mayor John Tory continues many of them, for example, with his public transit cuts and his Neo Lib agenda in general. Rob provided him with the perfect cover to take office, and unlike Rob he seems unlikely to self destruct @ Torontoist

More Rob Ford coverage and backgrounder links on my new blog @ Here!



Oh Oh Canada: bad ass socialism on the march ....?
Surprise! Canada makes the list of the Top 10 Most Socialist Countries in the World! Eh?! Nope! Canada is NOT like the USA! I’ve always maintained that a Kennedy Democrat was somewhere to the far right of Ontario’s Mike Harris. Bernie Saunders would make a more likely Canadian Prime Minister, than a US President. For crying out loud, Fidel Castro even called in Revenue Canada to set up Cuba’s tax program. Was tight with PET, his scuba diving buddy. But no matter -how do the socialist countries compare with their much touted capitalist counterparts? More @ PeerForm

Steve Heaved: It's been a great summer for truly horrid Canadian Tory Con men to finally bite the dust! Former PM Steven Harper resigns from politics to launch an international business consulting firm @ Star

Harrisite Neo Conster and former PC leader Tim Hudak to resign as MPP September 16 @ Globe

PC Tim Hudak was Ontario's R. Work 2 Rule 4 Less @ Blog

Behind the Scenes: See my blog on how low Hudak's secret Neo Con agenda could go @ Blog



Goodbye to Tim!

Toronto Cop James Forcillo released after 1 night in jail as he appeals conviction for the killing of teenage Sammy Yatim with 6 shots as he lay dying on a streetcar floor. Is it just? Is there a double standard or two at play? Will public confidence in our police department be undermined by the decision? Here's a very detailed analysis of whether he should've been released or not based upon court records and the judge's statement @ Now

Here's a history of what's happened in the past to Toronto cops who have faced jail time is @ Star

Ottawa Racism forum on the black experience draws large crowd expressing concerns @ CBC

BLM TO "Statement on the Public Meeting" critiques a B-grade "photo op" put on by the Anti Racism Directorate to make it seem like the Wynne government is really listening, is about to do something substantial and meaningful and cares @ Facebook

Premier Wynne's promised meet with Black Lives Matter Toronto and community reps occurs at 7 pm, July 14th in Regent Park Toronto. It is the first consultation meeting of the new Ontario provincial anti racism directorate. Toronto Mayor John Tory plans to attend, along with OLP provincial cabinet Ministers Mitzie Hunter, Michael Coteau, and David Zimmer. Anti black and anti indigenous racism, and Islamophobia will be on the agenda. Seating capacity is 300 @ CBC

For more info on the Ontario Anti Racism Directorate, it's mandate, the meetings and so on, plus a live feed to the consultations, visit their site @ OARD 

Pride Toronto: Political activists need not apply? Black Lives Matter Toronto interrupts this year’s Gay Pride Parade, recapturing some of the movement’s activist roots, if but for a brief moment. Then all the complaints start to roll in. Ummm … a protest by nature should rock the boat folks, even/ especially if you don’t like it. News report @ CBC


BLM TO co-founder Janaya Khan responds to the Pride Parade criticism, claiming the actions are well within thetradition of resistance that is pride” @ Now

She also explains more about the difficulties experienced by marginalized groups like BQY's [Black Queer Youth] in Canada. More @ Macleans

Pride Reckoning: Some LGBTQ members might've made big advances in breaking down barriers against inclusion. But what about the others whom get left behind after the battle is declared won? POV @ Now!

Toronto Mayor John Tory is criticized for not really being serious about "inclusion". He hardly seems disposed to using Toronto's first black police chief to improve the "rot in race relations" @ Now

Fringe "ethnoracial" visible minority LGBTQ'ers find it difficult to accept a whitewashing of past and ongoing police harassment as they see represented by Toronto Police floats in the local Pride Parade @ Now



Political Actiism 101: BLM TO shows us how it's done!

The highly successful and commercialized Toronto Gay Pride celebrations havedivorced blackness from Queerness”, according to Desmond Cole @ Star

Here’s a time line of developments leading up to the BLM TO Gay Pride Protest and a list of BLM TO’s demands, including that Pride be more inclusive of BQY. Also, to ban police floats from the parade @ Buzzfeed

Activists, police and gay community veterans react to the BLM TO Gay Pride protest @ CBC

BLM TO might well be the overwhelming protest success story for getting noticed in Toronto this year with their proactive hands on brand of old school political radicalism. Debate continues though, as to whether it’s Pride tactics hurt or help the cause @ CBC

"How Gay Stays White and What Kind of White it Stays" explained @ RFO



Canadian Tenor causes major grief by changing the lyrics to our national anthem to plug "All Lives Matter" at a stateside MLB All Star Game! Video and report @ CBC

Why "All Lives Matter" is offensive to BLM explained @ Vox and @ B2L

Day of the Dead [Beats]: Christian "Commandos" pose as "gay pothead zombies" in an effort to spread hate at this year's Toronto Pride Parade. No public out cry follows! More @ FNA and @ LGBTQ Nation




Showing Us How It's Done #2: A Tiannamen Style TTC-Disabled Stand Off!

Handicapped? A disabled Toronto man in wheelchair stops a TTC bus during a rush hour "stand off" desperately trying to get a ride. He wanted to teach his son to stand up for his rights @ CP24


Hundreds of Ontarians with developmental disabilities are stuck without proper support services in long term senior care @ Global

Psychiatric demands far outpace the availability of mental health services across rural Ontario @ Star

The Canadian Anglican Church will allow same sex marriages! Questions about the integrity of the vote resulted in a recount. Turns out the motion had actually passed, by a slim majority, after it had been originally been declared a defeat @ CBC



Ontario potable water for sale! Cheap! Consumers need not apply!

Environmental activists denounce Nestle's purchase of more groundwater from the provincial government. Meanwhile, a severe summer drought rages across southern Ontario. How much does Nestles pay for it's bottled water? $3.71 per million litres, or $75 dollars a day for 20 million litres!!! More @ Rabble.ca

Join the campaign to Save Our Water. Info, downloadable flyers etc. etc. etc. @ Here!

Ottawa Police beating and killing of mentally ill Somali Canadian Zeinab Abdallah leaves Canadian communities seeking answers to our own apparent homegrown brand of police violence @ Ribbon

Toronto Police Services refuses a OHRC [Ontario Human Rights Commission] request to attend the disciplinary hearing of 2 officers charged with misconduct in the arrest of 4 black teens. The OHRC wants to ensure that the issue of racial profiling is addressed and that trust can be restored among our cities diverse population @ Post


Post Brexit: Why Scotland isn't a road map for a Quebec separatist referendum @ Ribbon



Liz: Me too! Me too!

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May threatens to step down if her party members doesn't reconsider their recent decision to support a BDS [Boycott, Divest Sanctions] of Israel to protest the occupation of the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories]. So much for grass root democracy! Israeli advocacy groups must be busy in Canada these daze. Also see how a Toronto teacher has been targeted under Teacher + Union above. More @ CBC

Democracy? What's that?!? Liz May doesn't seem to care that the BDS motion was passed by a large majority at the party convention @ Rabble.ca

Political Pressures: Elizabeth May is opposed to BDS sanctions against Israel even though they continue unabated to build settlements on PTO lands. The same applies to Canada's 3 main political parties who joined together earlier this year to condemn the BDS campaign without producing a credible alternative. Meanwhile, foreign investment in Israel has been cut in half at least partially because of the BDS campaign. Many are reminded of the international sanctions against South African Apartheid, except this time, Canada is not on board @ Star

The federal inquiry into Canada's missing 1000 indigenous women and girls will have to examine police conduct because of an "uneven application of justice" in their case, according to Minister Bennett @ Star

Alas! Overall, the criteria needed for Trudeau's national inquiry into our missing aboriginal women and girls seems sadly wanting as his government fuddles around with the terms @ Rabble.ca

Download a research report on the Distribution of Climate Change Public Opinion In Canada @ PLOS PDF



First Nation votes NDP!


Canada's indigenous peoples are on the front lines of climate change. Indeed, the Elders recognize it's detrimental environmental effects most readily @ Rabble.ca

The Canadian indigenous First Nation vote spiked to 61.5% in the fall federal election, with an increase in Liberal votes among the young voters, but with the majority of the votes cast going to the NDP @ CBC

Mr. Flip Flop! So, Ontario PC Leader Pat Brown promises to scrap the OLP's controversial new sex ed curricuculum if elected -eh? @ Star 

Next, PC Brown changes his mind once again! He bemoans that his signed letter promising to scrap it could now cost him a by election which he had little chance of winning anyway. Nice play Shakespeare -not! @ CBC



PC Pat "Flip Flop" Brown: Sex Ed? Yes! No! Yes! No! Er .... Er .... Er ...

An .... ahem ..... "report" on Sex Ed across Canada comes courtesy of 22 Minutes

Ontario's Sex Ed Curriculum: See my blogs with links to both sides of the great debate @ Part 1 and @ Part 2

Canadian Medical Association [CMA] is divided on how to best regulate legal marijuana. Though they agree that THC levels need to be kept low for the recreational boo! Well, that could keep the black market alive and well for some time to come @ Globe

Busted Canuck pot users drag heels in going to court anytime soon pending legalization within next year, as the Trudeau government dickers about, senselessly wasting our police and judicial resources @ MAP

Canada's real marijuana problem is the arrests, court procedures and resulting criminal records @ MacLeans



Trudeau government discussion paper on "Toward Legalization" is now available @ Doc

Read NORML Canada's [National Organization for The Reform of Marijuana Laws] bleak critique of the "discussion paper's" many shortcomings! Alas! NORML

Read my blog on "Towards Legalization". Earlier related news links have also now been reposted there @ Link

Confirmed: Licensed Canuck medical marijuana patients will be allowed to grow their own weed or designate somebody to grow it for them. Meanwhile the government also remains adamant that dispensaries are still verboten @ Reuters

Ch-ch-changes: The inside dope on the latest new rules for growing medicinal pot is Ottawa 

More on concerns over whether the Federal government's "immediate solution" to provide relief for Canada's medical marijuana patients could be changed yet again @ Citizen 


Tweed Marijuana Inc -a Canuck growth industry!


Canada’s “Monster Pot” Factory: Tweed Marijuana Inc. is gearing up for legalization by converting the abandoned Cadbury plant in Smith Falls Ontario to mass produce marijuana, and hemp oil. All the Cadbury jobs went south to Mexico in 2006. Now Tweed is doing the hiring, so far 125 workers, mostly locals, with plans to expand. Also, Tweed Farms is currently planning Canada’s largest greenhouse, at 350,000 square feet, in the Niagara region. The High Times feature spread on Tweed notes it’s probably the only grow op in the world where staff work wearing lab coats and protective gear. Only in Canada eh? [No word if they are union friendly] BTW: Querulous Med Pot users take note! Tweed will continue to fill prescriptions by courier, as usual, during the Canada Post strike, with 24-hour delivery available within the GTA @ High Times

Will the Canadian government cap the level of THC in legal pot to make it weaker?!? Colorado might be moving in the same direction @ High Times


Any "Big Tobacco" take over or creation of a marijuana monopoly needs to be resisted to avoid crappy weed @ High Times

A third party battery of tests on the weed for sale in Toronto's grass root marijuana dispensaries reveals the shortcomings in not having regulations and proper testing procedures in place. Rather than engage in a pointless cat and mouse "bust game" why not best set and help educate and faciltate acceptable, reliable and objective standards of quality control for the weed being provided at our cities' shops instead?!? @ MAP

Fer-git-about-it: The report also highlights concerns that our government actively discourages third party independent lab tests of Cannabis in Canada @ Ganjapreneur

Grass Cookies? Candy? Drinks? Quality control issues also similarly exist over the sale of weed edibles widely available at the dispensaries @ MAP

Restrictions on even testing for quality and safety of even medical pot creates chaos as Canada's legalization process drags on without any clear directives. Public safety could be at risk @ MAP


Moved: My August Toronto Pot Report is @ Here!

Smokin': The pot dispensary scene along Bank St., in Ottawa, and indeed across our National Capital is hot this summer, just like in Toronto and Vancouver @ Observer

Ottawa grapples with the issue of regulating it's pot dispensaries. The Public Health Department steps in to make sure Cannabis brownies are being properly stored according to the same health standards that would apply to anybody else @ Citizen

Turning a New Leaf: Kingston Ontario struggles to come to terms with the impending legalized marijuana legislation @ Pg 22!

Pot Fight: Supporters of the licensed pot producers and grass root dispensaries slug it out in the Waterloo Region, Ontario media as police raid a shop @ MAP

Very Taxing: The government continues to collect a tax windfall, or "jackpot" from the very medical pot dispensaries that the police keep closing down, as they re-open over and over and again etc. etc. etc. @ Post

Tecumsheh mayor wants pot revenues to benefit the municalities. Trudau claims they will be used to fund public health and addiction issues @ CBC
Former Federal PC and Provincial Cabinet Minster MP/MPP Tony Clement will soon become the 4th official candidate in the Conservative Party Leadership Race to replace disgraced and discredited former Prime Minister Stephen Harper after his stunning fall 2015 federal election defeat by the Trudeau Liberals. I knew Tony for a bit when I was the CIUT FM radio program director at U of T for a stint during the early 80’s. He was the young Conservative Editor about campus for Varsity rival the “Newspaper” back then. Despite our quite different politics, I recall he had great taste in tunes. But be darned if I can remember if he ever use to toke with us or not …. still he’d pop over to the radio station sometimes for a beer and to talk music. Last time I saw Tony, years after, I gave him a quick heads up about Steve Wilson’s Porcupine Tree, who were still a new up and coming underground, psych band. So it was a while ago! Different times! But, I digress! Also running, so far, are MP’s Maxine Bernier, Michael Cong, Kellie Leitch. More @ Star

Guns in Canada: We haven't any constitutional right to "keep and bear arms". We've also got a whole lot less guns in the streets than south of our border! Fewer than 20% of Canadians own a gun; 13% in Quebec, 14% in BC, 15% in Ontario, 23% in Alberta, and 27% in the prairies. Also note that 23% of the our wealthiest citizens and of our young men say they own guns. Who's got the most by political party affiliation? The Conservatives at 28%. Must be running scared! More @ Sun

Here's a "Who's Who Guide" for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race to date, including the fence sitters @ Post


IN THE NEWS



Rio Summer Olympics: Here's a very handy and thorough guide for watching online in Canada @ Huff

Media coverage of women competitors in the Rio Summer Olympics continues to propagate same tired old sexist stereotypes and commentary @ Globe

Sexist Olympic Commentary: Sad but True -Let's treat our female athletes better @ NP

A record number of LGBTQ athletes who've come out compete @ Good.is

Young black American athletes make history while being slammed by racist rolls @ Vice

Olympics accused of being more of a "boondoggle" than an "economic boost" for host cities @ PS

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Trudeau is accused of talking from the left but governing from the right on Indigenous, environmental, foreign policy, feminist and civil liberty issues @ Telesur

So far, Trudeau seems to be continuing Harper's assault against human rights at home and abroad despite his many fine words to the contrary @ DV

Racism in Canada is based upon a few national myths about ourselves that are seldom challenged @ Rabble.ca

Trudeau must now actually lead Canada in our response to terrorism, starting with the long awaited, and promised changes to C-51 @ CBC



Canada gives into US demands …. No! We become the “forefront” of the NATO military buildup in Lithuania, Poland, Latvia and Estonia, announcing we’ll contribute 450 troops, 6 CF-18 jet fighters and a frigate. The Russians are, of course, not impressed, and the situation continues to worsen. Hello Cold War 2.0 @ Vice

NDP's Thomas Mulcair denounces Canada's NATO military build-up in Eastern Europe as "dangerous", without the "diplomatic and political efforts" required to reach a more durable resolution @ Star

The Old Fuddle Duddler Must Be Rolling In His Grave: Read the NDP statement denouncing the Trudeau Liberal government's vote against a global treaty/ nuclear disarmament ban at the UN @ Statement

Shocker: Canuck mining investors run roughshod over democracy and human rights in Honduras under the watchful eye of our peacekeeping troops @ COHA

Our Brain Trust: Supposedly reputable Canadian think tank on foreign policy, the Canadian Global Affairs Institute is under fire for accepting donations from General Dynamics, an arms maker. It then published a number of papers supporting the controversial Canuck - Saudi Arabia arms deal @ Globe

Guess What?!? The Canadian government isn't being totally honest about it's plans to sell weapons to the Saudi's!!! Duh @ Vice

Blood On Our Hands: Canada is now the world's 6th largest arms exporter, 2nd only to the US in the Middle East @ Huff



Canadian Peacekeepers to be deployed to French West Africa, another unintelligible "terrorist" mess @ Citizen

Our "War Against Terrorism" [Or Something Like That ...]: seems the Trudeau government aren't interested anymore in investigating the Afghan Detainee Scandal it once denounced while in opposition @ OpenCanada


Must "Love Freedom": Seems the War in Afghanistan is a really good thing ... if you are heroin dealer @ ZH

Terrorist attacks in France have deep roots in Algeria's war of independence against the colonial power. It's an inconvenient truth mostly left out in the hubris of the mainstream news coverage we are being spoon fed amongst the anger, hysteria and outrage. Some tidbits here @ Independent

Must "Love Freedom" Too: Newly declassified documents reveal President Obama's Drone Strike Playbook for target hits outside of a combat zone @ Politico

Those Darn Russians!!! Why, they are always trying to invade and interfere in Eastern Europe just like ..... well, just like the US in Latin America and the Caribbean. A brief but insightful history, in case you are in doubt about some of the double standards here about "us" and "them", those devils who just don't "love freedom" dagnabit! @ Telesur

The UK Chilcot [Report] details how the US Invasion of Iraq, ostensibly to remove WMD [Weapons of Mass Destruction] that did not exist, created the material and psychological prerequisites which ultimately lead to the rise of ISIS. Not unlike drinking Draino to cure a sore throat @ Telesur
Alas! The Chilcot [Report] leaves Ex UK PM Tony Blair’s Labour Party twisting in the wind, just as the ruling Conservative Party is gravely shaken to the roots by the defeat of the EU Brexit referendum. Read an “Autonomy of a Failed Coup” @ Telesur  

Here's an alternative point of view of the Brexit vote, other than the negative one being dished out unquestionably by the mass media. Interesting @ JP

How to correct the media myths about refugees and migrants @ UNESCO



Terrorism?!? Are you sure??? Are the victims white ....?!

Syria? The Western Media Lies: Dead children become little more than fodder for news stories .....Ooops! That is for propaganda @ Activist

Unidentified Syrian airstrikes destroy Doctor Without Border hospital killing 13 patients, including 5 children and 4 staff @ Guardian

US lead airstrikes in Syria kill 83 civilians, as many casualties as the terrorist attack in Nice, Italy the week before! Hypocritically, little to no mention or care about the war crime is reported by the western mainstream media @ CD

Syrian opposition calls for end to US airstrikes. Hey, don't they ..... "love freedom"??? Hmmm, it turns out the airstrikes are backfiring and serve as a recruitment tool for the "terrorist groups"! But ... but ... which terrorist groups?!? Ummm ... the "bad guys" of course?!? More @ Telesur



OK OK, so what if some innocents are getting killed to forward and feed the corporate agenda?

More Denial: What did Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, US President Obama and Mexican President Nieto actually agree upon during the Ottawa “3 Amigos” Summit? Farcically, their statements were issued before they had even met! During the “summit” Obama was nowhere as near vocal about human rights in …. oh, let’s say Mexico …. as he was during his recent visit to Cuba, or in his criticism of Venezuela. Trudeau flabbergasted Canuck progs by assuring Nieto that he is his friend as he forces through his “corporate reforms” at gunpoint against Mexico's teachers. Without doubt, with the Trudeau love in still in full swing much of this is regretfully overlooked, whitewashed and forgiven, but still … @ CBC



When Trudeau and Obama talk “lumber” it isn’t about the timber in their little ol’ bag o’ boo that they are referring too! Far from it! The softwood issue continues to plague the two leader’s bilateral bromance @ CBC

Fear and Loathing on the 2016 Campaign Trail: when Bernie Sanders folded and endorsed Clinton, he left American progressives in deep despair, over both the Donald and Hillary @ Star



Republicans -You're Fired?! Mid August, and billionaire Neo Conster and reality TV star Donald Trump continues to plummet in the 2016 US election polls. In New York State, he now only has the support of 55% of Republicans! @ Heavy

Weep not for the Donald! His latest "reality show", the 2016 presidential campaign, has turned out to be a real ca$h cow @ Telesur

Is 2016 the year America's two party political system officially started to implode? @ Activist

Donald Trump Summer 2016: Like watching the rise of Adolph Hitler in real time:

Here's the video links for Trump's Mexican press conference and his "Immigration Speech" @ Fox

Mexican President Nieto contradicts Trump claims that they did not discuss paying for "The Wall". Maybe the Donald thought they were discussing the Pink Floyd album?!? Nah -Don't think so @ Huff

Here's the full text of Trumps controversial August 15th "foreign policy" speech on "fighting terrorism" @ Politico

The Horror! The Horror! Donald Trump's horrific Republican National Convention [RNC] acceptance speech reads like a bad TV script @ Politico

Why have so many working class males been supporting the Trump agenda?!? Consider the rise of Donald Trump and the decline of US unions @ NYT

US Presidential Material? Trump suggests Second Amendment gun advocates "could deal" with Hillary Clinton. Even many Republicans are shocked and aghast at the possible assassination implications. "The Donald" then blames the media for the backlash! Very bad move!  They built him up! They can tear him down! The gauntlet has been dropped @ CNN

Damning: 50 Top GOP security advisers to Nixon through Bush publicly warn that Donald Trump would be the "most reckless president in US history @ LA Times


No Bright Side? The rise and fall of Donald Trump's bumbling Hitler redux routine might end the political paralysis in Washington, if the floundering Republican party ends up getting trounced. Course then our US neighbours could end up with a "one party autocracy" with a choke hold on power. Ying and yang? @ NYT

ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] prepares to legally fight Donald Trump's long list of "unconstitutional proposals", if he is elected president @ Intercept

Don't laugh! Canada isn't immune from Trump's brand of extremism @ Ribbon
Spinning Our Wheels? The United Nations continues to move very slowly towards drug policy reform and the legalization of marijuana. Although the April UNGASS [the United Nations General Assembly Special Session] acknowledged that the “War Against Drugs” has been a dismal, counterproductive failure, China and the US have become strange bedfellows in still insisting upon prohibition, with Canada, Mexico and Jamaica speaking out against it. Uruguay has become the first nation to legalize pot, with Trudeau promising Canada will follow suite next year. High Times provides an overview/ update after the …. heh … smoke has cleared @ High Times Pg 21



Che lives!

Further South of  Our Border: Legalization seems to be succeeding where the War on Drugs” failed! The notorious drug cartels from Mexico to Columbia are now watching helplessly as legalization and drug policy reform changes the Latin American narco landscape @ CannabisNow 

BTW: Here's 8 Latin American key Indigenous rights victories the mainstream media have been largely silent about. Maybe somebody doesn't want to give anybody any 'radicalized" ideas? @ Telesur

Noam Chomsky heralds Latin American Indigenous peoples as the "ones fighting back against decades of corporate exploitation". Moreover, he claims that the world indigenous people are our "only hope" @ Telesur

Here's Clinton and Trump on legalizing pot, as the US hot box election continues to heat up! Also provides a good overview on the marijuana issues stateside! Up on smoke @ SIS



Milestone: Presidential contender Bernie Sanders becomes the first candidate in US history who wants to legalize pot. Now Clinton and Trump are flip flopping and stumbling over themselves to come up with compromise positions. Regardless of whether he wins or loses, everybody in US politics is now “feeling the [Pot] Bern”. Too bad Cannabis Now didn’t get an interview, but it’s another prog endorsement for Saunders @ CannabisNow More on Saunder's drug policy @ FTB Trump's position is @ HT Clinton on weed @ MPP

Republicans don't include legalization in their election platform. The Democrats endorse medical marijuana but not legalizing nationwide @ Marijuanomics

Meanwhile, the 3 Vice Presidential contenders' position on Cannabis reform is sure to disappoint. Hardliner GOP Pence, who believes cigarette smoking doesn't kill, doesn't want to legalize pot because it's "dangerous", despite a lack of medical evidence. Democrat Kaine wants to toss the hot potato issue onto each states lap to decide. Libertarian Johnson recognizes that the War on Drugs has been a dismal failure but is still courting lost Republican votes. More @ Marijuanomics

Top Pot News + Views Mag gives Trump VP Pick Governor Mike Pence two thumbs down for his just plain bad drug and public health policies @ High Times

Ironic: New survey shows a majority of Republican voters now support legal pot @ Vice

5 states will also be voting on whether to legalize recreational weed @ Fox

Most US marijuana businesses aren't contributing to the numerous legalization campaigns across the states this year, perhaps thinking decriminalization/ legalization is a no brainer. Whatever happened to the pot counterculture? Where are the weed activists?! Is this not rather politically naive??? Regretfully, lobbying is how politics works. If you aren't, then somebody else is! Guess Who? More @ High Times



The rockets red glare ....?

For a further breakdown, also see the Marijuana Business Daily "Chart of the Week" @ MBD

Legal Pot -The Corporate Angle: Legal marijuana users are increasingly using less pain killers as they switch to weed! As always, that has the big pharma companies worried about their profit line. Hence, as in the US again recently, they are dead set against legalization @ Washington Post

Here are some different policy concessions that Bernie Sanders has been able to get included in the Democratic election platform @ WallStreetJournal

What next?!? Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party Presidential Candidate for the fall US election. Will the Democrat's young, progressive left now embrace the party establishment to help them defeat Trump? The lesser of two evil's is still evil, and the strategic voting model, at least here in Ontario/ Canada, has often backfired. Will US progs find themselves lead down the same dead end path CNN

Seems the Democratic National Convention [DNC] pro Bernie protesters might not be prepared to give up the fight @ Vice

How does Bernie Sanders plan to keep his political revolution alive? @ Vice

Although Noam Chomsky has endorsed Bernie Sanders, he would support a strategic vote for Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump. Here's the how's and why's @ DemocracyNow! and @ Politico and @ Alternet

Noam Chomsky's 8 point plan for holding his nose and voting for Hillary Clinton is outlined again for anyone in doubt. Based upon our own experiences, don't think I'm buying it. The lesser of two evils is definitely still evil, and may very well still quite likely turn around later and give alt progs the ol' FU. But Bernie's out, and as a Canuck I don't get to vote. So, here it is @ Alternet

Day of Rage protests have been scheduled for July 15th in 37 US cities as racial tensions continue to flare GWP

Was Anonymous initially behind the Day of Rage? @ DC

Obama's speech on the shooting of 5 police officers in Dallas Texas tries to offer "hope" and "unity" to Americans on both sides of the racial divide @ WashingtonPost


No justice -no peace!

President Obama earlier condemned the Dallas shooting but omits any comments about the hundreds of unarmed blacks killed by US police, once again @ Black2Live


What Did You Expect? A Dallas sniper suspect, accused of killing 4 Dallas Texas police officers apparentlywanted to kill white people”. So, white police are shooting black Americans. And black Americans are now shooting at them! Hey! Where’s Dr. Martin Luther King when you need him, eh? Oh Yeah. He got shot by a white sniper! The cycle of violence continues! And so it goes and on and on and on @ Guardian


Iconic Baton Rouge protester heroically risks life confronting police so they don't shoot at protesters. The image is shared around the world via social media @ Vice



Oh nooooo! She's "disturbing the peace"! 

Media glad to tag Baton Rouge gunman who shot police as a member of the "sovereign citizen" movement, perhaps to play down that angry blacks are fighting back against scot free police violence with bullets now too. Guess the popular fall back of an "ISIS terrorist" or "lone wolf" attack wouldn't be convincing enough here @ Vice

Are the rampant police killings of black men in the US a new form of terrorism? Or are BLM a terrorist group? The allegations fly about the police @ Telesur and BLM @ FrontPage


Backfired: Gun control continues to befuckle Americans who seem at a loss for a solution! That should come as no surprise to the racist elements. The Great US Gun Control Debate has often been basically mired in diabolical ways to deny weapons to revolting slaves and Black Militia’s in order to preserve the white status quo, according to this analysis @ Telesur

Trevor Noah [The Daily Show] responds to the recent spate of US police killings of young black men, and now vice versa, with a little necessary but missing black comedy and insight [i.e. "You can be pro cop and pro black"] @ DailyBeast
For the record: BLM supporters have condemned the Dallas shooting, though their frustration over the unabated rash of police shootings of unarmed black men is quite understandably apparent nonetheless. The protests continue @ ABC



Fidel: Viva La Revolucion Cubano!

US resumes regular scheduled flights to Cuba in latest move to "normalize relations" @ Reuters

Must Be Doing Something Right: Cuba along with much of South and Latin America as well as progressives around the world celebrate revolutionary Fidel Castro's 90th b'day! Here's why @ Telesur 

Fidel's birthday column discusses his formative years growing up @ Granma


KULTURE KULT INK



Gord Downie: Telling it like it is ...

"So Hip It Hurts" or "Action Speak Louder Than Words": Tragically Hip's rock star and cancer victim Gord Downie uses his final concert appearance, broadcast across Canada, to make a cry for help and action for our indigenous people. Let's hope his message isn't lost on PM Justin Trudeau who was sitting in the audience @ Citizen

See how Gord put Justin on the hot seat while leaving him a way out, by being more proactive @ Youtube

Indigenous leaders praise Downie's speech! Here's why @ Globe

See my blogs on Trudeau and the Attawapiskat youth suicide crisis @ INAC and @ Trudeau



Apokelypse Now: This summer's Pokemon Go craze has resulted in some bizarre violence, accidents, deaths and crime among enthusiasts @ Vice

Beatle John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman, has been denied parole for the ninth time. The parole board cites the "premeditated and celebrity seeking nature of the crime" Time

Read my blogs on Lennon's untimely demise @ Double Fantasy and @ Remember

Reefer Madness: These vintage movie posters, and book covers would be hysterically funny, if so many people hadn’t been fooled by them. Here's a fascinating, nay trippy look back at the Golden Age Propaganda Front in the failed “War on Drugs”. Unabashed lies galore @ HighTimes

This "Top 15 Weed Movies List" includes Reefer Madness of course. Also the mandatory Cheech y Chong flicks, Dazed and Confused, and Pineapple Express. However, there are a few other more recent surprises, especially for the Gen-X'ers and the millennial aficionados @ MassWeed



Making Amerika Rage Again ....

Hip Hop Supergroup Prophets of Rage [including members from Public Enemy, Cyprus Hill and Rage Against the Machine] crash the GOP convention, then continue their election year trek across the US to "Make America Rage Again" @ HT

Prophets of Rage perform "Prophets of Rage" [Kimmel], "No Sleep/ Fight The Power" [More!] and "Killing in the Name Of ..." to Make Amerika Rage Again @ Youtube 

Scarborough Canada Grammy Award Winning Soulster, and it turns out political activist The Weeknd doesn't forget his roots! He's donating $250,000 to Black Lives Matter. Also $50,000 to the University of Toronto for an Ethiopian studies program @ Post



Canada's The Weeknd remembers his roots!

Hip Hoppers move in on the legal weed brand by investing and marketing dynamite hemp oil [Snoop] and edibles [Dr. Zodiak] @ MassRoots

Smoke the Vote 2016: OK OK! It's an oldie but goodie! Now's as good a time as any for Afroman's "Because I Got High" Positive Remix. Educational @ Youtube



Malia O: does she or doesn't she ....?

Malia Obama Gets Ready for College! Slips out of the White House and into a pair of jeans. Dances up a storm at Lollapalooza and then ..... allegedly fires up a spliff! Not quite the Beatles at Buckingham Palace, but this time around the response, at least in the social media, is two thumbs up @ SFGate and @ Massroots

Now It Can Be Told: "Why Weed Should Be Legal" featuring Barack Obama?!? A must see @ Youtube



Hmmm .... Barack?!? Iz that you???

President Kennedy -Pot smoker?! He smoked three joints in the White House one night Politics

Buds and Baby Boomers: US polls show marijuana use among baby boomers is skyrocketing again, typically after a “middle life pause”, and no doubt assisted by weeds increasing social acceptance as a safe, viable, user friendly medical and recreational drug of choice. However, Cannabis Now advises the born again baby boomer pot enthusiast that the typical “old school” THC stoner levels “back in the day” were often 5 to 10 times less than they are now, with all the new super strains being developed today. However, our aging boomers, while perhaps sticking to their milder weed [?!], are often pleasantly pleased to rediscover that it’s still the “most entertaining anti-anxiety” fix around @ CannabisNow Pg 37 and @ B+B and @ HighTimes and @ Huff
So, anybody for a toke of Acapulco Gold? Panama Red?  Some vintage Afghani? Thai?! Worry not! “Heirloom Cannabis” is being conserved, preserved and grown again for anyone still nostalgic about the good, old daze of weed @ CannabisNow and @ LeafFly 

Alternatives to Toking: Notes on the different "Cannabis delivery methods", including vaping, edibles, dabbing and topicals explained @ Whaxy

More: Whaxy's guide to marijuana edibles is @ Whaxy

Ultra Health, a US medical marijuana company has become the sponsor of the Gathering of Nations, one of North America’s largest indigenous pow wows @ HighTimes


The #BeingAsian Twitter thread causes quite an interesting ruckus exposing a raw, often overlooked nerve based on prejudice and stereotyping, as we often see but don't notice, both on the internet, and in the mainstream media @ Huff

Asian Bad Grrrrlz?!? Entertainment wise, BabyMetal show us how it's done @ Gimme Chocolate! and @ Karate! Though the Barberettes catch my heart @ Be My Baby!

Bad Relationship Goals: Hollywood's on screen romances often glorify dysfunctional, just plain bad "loving" relationships! Think critically for yourself @ Affinity

Mr. Robot: One waits with bated breath for Season 2 over endless 1st Season summer reruns to see what happens next! Yup! The FSociety hackers are going after those drat, big, bad Wall St corporate baddies for us! Whew! The TV show, besides being most entertaining, is also very here and now @ PopMatters



Mr. Robot/ FSociety ...

Public Enemy’s Prof Griff has to defend himself over an old photo with the Dallas shooter. God only knows politicos and entertainers regularly get asked for pictures with people they don’t know all the time. Despite belonging to one of the all-time, very best, agitprop bands in the world, as Griff explains, “I don’t train snipers!” Duh! Not his style! And as he and Chuck D must know, the real power for positive change, along with their heart and soul, is in the music @ Dallas

Bruce La Bruce: The Canuck writer, artist, and ... er ... alt "adult" film producer's "Punk as Fuck" speaks out on his life as a "Queer Punk Revolutionary" @ LaBruce

"Hands" -A Song For Orlando! Survivors of the LGBTQ Club shooting join a star studded cast for a tribute to the victims @ Youtube



ETC

Spill the Wine: Some summer groovin' y trippin' @ Diane Armano! Fresh Prince @ Youtube @ Eric Burdon and @ Isley Bros!

For no other reason but that it's a whole lot of fun, unlike the many bummer's, burns and ripoffs or worse in our regular monthly news y views, here's The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made [2004]. Clocking in at an hour, it cuts straight to the "best" scenes @ Youtube


COMMENTS:

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Youtube Bar: Afrika Bambaataa!

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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!