Opening Statement



Sunday, 2 April 2017

Teacher Free Speech April News y Views!

hEY hO! kEEP ChECKing BAcK! LaTeR AdDITIoNs WiLL bE AddED In LaRgE TYpe SeT! mY Acronym Guide IS @ hErE! ... Legalization news now moved to "Oh Cannabis!" @ HERE!


TEACHER + UNION

Classroom Violence: Most folks little realize that our overcrowded Ontario classrooms are hardly safe places to learn anymore. Moreover, they can be dangerous for both students and teachers alike. As one teacher points out, the violence is nearing "epidemic levels" @
1010

Home [Not] Work [ing]: Often, the focused, parental home involvement and support necessary for student learning can be misdirected or is sadly lacking @ Star

Special Ed Support: Teacher's worry that there's a horrible lack of proper supports for students with behavioural problems integrated into the regular classroom setting. @ Star

War Zone: Understaffed CYW [Child Youth Workers] and EA's [Educational Assistants] are receiving the brunt of the assaults while just trying to do their job @ GDBlog

Back 2 School: Ontario Ministry of Child y Youth Services is developing a "black youth action plan" to help keep students of colour in schools and off the streets. Of course, more programming and other school supports, all ready in short supply, will also be needed @ Star


We are! We are!

Islam Mania: ETFO public elementary and OSSTF public secondary teachers announce their support for standing firm against Islamophobia at the Peel District board. Numerous ugly incidents of racism have erupted over the "Muslim prayer sessions" there. However, the religious accommodation is required by law under the Ontario Human Rights Code [ETFO ] [OSSTF]. Attempts to photograph the little children praying provides another recent and particularly nasty example of the ongoing problems. Duh, you can't take pictures of kids at school without permission, regardless of their faith, for so many reasons, legal and otherwise @ InsideHalton

USA North: Contrary to popular belief,  there's more than enough gun violence here in Ontario. Though not nearly as bad as in the US, one youth is shot almost every day, accidentally or otherwise. Are we also living in denial of a gun problem like our neighbour to the south? @ Globe

Working In Ontario: Coming fast on the heals of next year's provincial election, the Ministry of Labour is launching a review of employment standards, with the final report still 4-6 weeks away. What to expect? More @ CBC


Cannabis Korner:

Legal Cannabis: What will it mean for our schools? Will "Codes of Conduct" suffice in dealing appropriately with the social and legal changes? How much help are they now? Also notice how there's no mention of accommodating medical cannabis use @ CBC

Medical Cannabis Benefits: Shopper's Drugmart and Loblaw's announce that they'll help cover their employee's prescription costs! What is your union doing to make sure that you are covered too? @ Star

Psssssssst! Other links to legalization can be found @ Oh Cannabis News y Views!

OTPP AGM 2017: Good news -the Ontario Teacher Pension Plan has earned an $11.5 B investment surplus for the members! But it's too bad we weren't so well rewarded with answers to the pressing ethical questions raised about "Responsible Investment" from the floor! [PDF]. Climate change? Business ethics? Transparency? Health y safety? Third World resources? Water? Oil? Pfffffffft! It's amazing how long the directors spoke without saying much while mouthing bromides from the Neo Lib corporate "collaboration engagement" handbook


Top marks go to the member who took the directors to task over OTTP's equity policies. Seems all white men and women are created equal on the board. But where's everybody else? Are top notch financiers of colour or visible minority really that hard to find?

Afterwards at the social, member concerns were expressed about the Wynne Neo Libs, by some of the retirees. More specifically, would they go after the teacher pension plan to pay down the provincial deficit?

I've now gotten two quite different answers, from two  quite seemingly reliable sources. Colour me baffled. What do the OLP really say and do, while behind closed doors with the OTF and OTPP, far from the prying eyes of we pesky, grass root plebs?

In the age of Trump, Trudeau, and Wynne, promises and authority themselves regretfully no longer carry much credible weight. It is best to be vigilant and I will want to confirm the differing answers I've been told, out of respect for accuracy and to avoid any alt-facts. At any rate, I am not aware of any questions about the security of the surplus. Though I'd like to be sure that our Lib pals at Queens Park don't have an eye on much more than that ....?

It is our pension plan! If you'd like to constructively discuss this further, as a teacher, please feel free to use the Comment space below.....

Update @ OTPP! See my AGM report from 2016 @ Blog!

TORONTO ONTARIO CANADA


Oh Canada: PM Justin Trudeau takes a traditional Canadian Foreign Policy approach to the alleged chemical weapon attack in Syria, with a focus on the 3 "C's" of Liberal Internationalism; combination, consensus, and constraint. His focus is upon verification and on developing a long term, multilateral United Nation's response. See his initial position on the crisis @ Intercept

About Face: Next Justin changes his position announcing that Canada now supports the unilateral US air strike on Syria. Why? He's been assured by Trump and US Defense Secretary Mattis that Syria is responsible for the alleged chemical weapons attack. How reliable are these US White House sources? What's fact? Alt Fact? Complete bull a la shit?!? No matter, Justin supports the US air strike as a "limited and focused" action, even though it's a violation of international law. He still advocates his multilateral approach, but now for the next steps to follow. Might it have something to do with seeking an open seat for Canada on the UN Security Council? He'll need US support @ NationalPost



Warning US Readers: Dairy farmer war flags going up across Canada! See sample above!

Cow Tip: The Donald launches a fiery anti-NAFTA invective against Canada's dairy famers as a part of his plans to "Make America Great Again"! Seems that the US is getting screwed by the diabolical Canuck dairy farmers over an imbalance in the trade of "ultra filtered milk" a product that allows for "greater efficiency" in "making cheese". Right! And next we're going to steal all of your pot from Colorado ........ [Note: Hmmmmmmmm!]

David McNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the US replies by noting that dairy trade actually favours the US 5 to 1. What to do? Maybe we better run and hide behind a cow!? Just hope the Donald doesn't know how to tip it over!!! Ouch @ Global 


Not Quite A Chop Off The Old Block: PM Justin Trudeau is adamant that "Canada is back" on the international scene. Unfortunately, he remains silent on pressing nuclear disarmament issues, just like  US President Donald Trump. Canada is one of the few nuclear powers, if not the only one, to ever unilaterally disarm ourselves. But that was under his father, the old fuddle duddler himself; Pierre Elliot Trudeau [PET]. PET must be rolling in his grave! The reasons the new Trudeau's Liberals give for not saying or doing anything are pretty feeble, to say the least @ Huff

Toronto City Council considers whether to pull funding for the cities Gay Pride celebrations. Why? Toronto Police are no longer invited to participate in our annual, world famous Gay Pride parade. By whom? Uncomfortable marchers who don't fit into city hall's white, straight, cisgender vision of what Pride should be like @ Star


BLM TO actions continue to challenge Toronto-The-Not-So-Good!

Meet Gay Prides new boss, Olivia Nuamah! She vows to stand up for most marginalized members of the LGBTQ community, not just it's white members. They still feel threatened! More @ Globe

Not Much Fun: How much does it cost for a young adult to enjoy the "fun life" in Toronto? The minimum cost of living, just to cover your basic bills is about $45,000 a year. Add in dining out, some nightclubbing, and vices like booze, smokes or weed, and the price for la Tarawna "dolce vita" skyrockets even more! Whew! A breakdown is @ Vice

Lost In The Northern Swamps: Here's another way PC Party Leadership Candidate Kellie Leitch is like Donald Trump. Both claim they'll launch a "war on the elites". However, the Donald is US elite. Duh. Kellie? Truth be told, she's overwhelmingly bankrolled by the GTA [Greater Toronto Area] corporate elite @ Vice

IN THE NEWS



Nukes: The major powers, especially the US, Russia and China have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world many times over, even though the Cold War is  long finished. Disarmament? Forget about it! No one even mentions it much anymore. Small wonder their word doesn't carry much weight on the subject, as many other smaller, far less stable counties race to develop their own weapons of mass destruction @ Vice

Chemical Attack: At least 58 Syrians were killed, including 11 innocent children after a toxic gas was air dropped on them apparently by Russian or Syrian jets. The UN is considering it a "possible war crime"! Very graphic and disturbing @ AlJazeera

Blame Game: Trump shamelessly blames past president Barrack Obama's inaction for the horrible, grizzly Syrian chemical attack. However, we can still read his Tweets from 2013 urging Obama not to get involved. Wonder how much credibility the Donald will have left at home and abroad when he needs to be trusted in a world crisis? @ MotherJones


Spoils of War: Trump discovers how to make his critics and the public at large rally behind him as US President when all else fails. What does he do? He launches an illegal US air strike on Syria over an alleged chemical weapon attack. But where is the evidence? How to verify? Confused? Here's how the game plan works @ Intercept

Russia is adamant that the "gas attack" was the accidental result of a Syrian air strike on an unknown rebel chemical weapon depot. They also question what his long range plan is for ending the Syrian civil war @ Reuters and @ NYP

The Plot Thickens: The Pentagon casts doubt on an AP news report [AP] that Russia knew in advance of the international incident. Apparently they've seen "nothing to corroborate" the "definitive statement". It's based upon an anonymous report by an unnamed "official" of an unidentified drone seen over a hospital in the war zone @ DailyCaller

Pfffft! Read retired Colonel Patrick Lang's critical analysis of the case against Syria @ ActivistPost

Russia might be content to let Trump trip up on his own mistakes with this one, which might not be hard to do @ Guardian

Red Alert: Russia and Iran warn the US that they will respond with force if the "red lines" are crossed again in Syria. Evidence that the Syrians are responsible remains vague @ ActivistPost and @ Independent


"Poodle Diplomacy" or "Great shades of Iraq": Brit Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson unashamedly plays lap dog for the US President. He's threatening sanctions against Russia, once again without any hard, reliable evidence of their complicity in the still unverified Syrian WMD "attack". Along with Iran and Syria, Russia's now threatening a "real war", if any more Trump "red lines" are crossed. As in 2003, the events and intrigues start to take a life of their own as they snowball out of control @ BizInsider and @ Indpendent

Bedding Down: Was the US Syrian air strike a deliberate attempt to confuse and distract the public over Trump's suspected links with Putin, and/ or the mounting turmoil he faces in Washington? More @ ShareBlue and @ HeisReport


Scud Boy: Seems North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un's been firing deadly missiles out to sea! Trumps sure that they could soon reach and target the US bringing nuclear destruction to it's shores! Or could they? Basically Kim's been firing off liquid propelled scud missiles built using a highly outdated, ineffective and unreliable technology. It's more of a terror weapon than a strategic military tool. Somehow a lot of this seems to be getting left out of the news and the White House script. Let's keep it in perspective @ Reuters and @ Fox

More on the WW2 era scud missiles as a "Dong No" @ A+S

"North Korea RIP" Or "Spinning Out Of Control". Trump's got war ships headed/ not headed towards North Korea. Has he thought this one through? Sure he could give Meister Madman Kim Jong Un a hard, swift kick to the butt, but then things could spin horribly out of control @ Vox 


Thanks but No Thanks! Read more about the implications, especially for the region @ Vox

Oops! Turns out Trump's war armada hadn't yet headed out towards North Korea, despite his tweets and sabre rattling! How do we know? The US Navy tells us so @ Vox

The Trump Doctrine?!? The Donald is making up US foreign policy doctrine as he goes along. There doesn't seem to be any discernible long range objectives or game plan in place. We've seen him repeatedly lie before. He's used some real whoppers when it suits his purpose. He doesn't trust the CIA at all, except now it seems, to fix blame for the chemical attack on Syria. That's the same CIA, who's false WMD [Weapons of Mass Destruction] claims led to the disastrous 1993 US invasion of Iraq! Alas! Americans might be readily tricked into supporting another ill conceived war for "freedom", or whatever the flavour of the day is 2017 style. A quick glance at CNN or Fox News makes that quite apparent. However, why would the international community also trust President Donald Trump if push comes to shove? @ NYT


Blow Back: Meanwhile, hundreds of innocent Iraqi's continue to die as a result of US air strikes. This is really nothing new. All of the last 5 US presidents, Bush Senior through Trump have bombed Iraq into rubble to no avail. And folks wonder why the middle east is growing more radicalized and increasingly fighting back, while peace remains increasingly allusive? More @ ActivistPost

Unmasking US Foreign Policy: Trump embraces Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on his White House visit. The tyrant's state visit comes as the Trump administration decides not to any longer tie human rights abuses to US support for his brutal regime. Truth be told, the only real change is that any pretence otherwise is now being dropped @ Intercept


Trump White House: What's really going on?!

Politics of Distraction: Trump Svengali Steve Bannon is unceremoniously kicked from the NSC [National Security Council]! Looks like NSA Chief Advisor Masters and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are back in charge! [Politico]. Sure Trump's shuffled the advisory deck, but maybe there's still a slight of hand at play @ Guardian and @ WashingtonPost

All In The Family: Some pundits think Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are behind Bannon getting the boot, as their White House influence over the pater familias grows @ AOL

LGBTQ DNE [Do Not Exist]: Trump "inadvertently" eliminated LGBTQ questions from the 2020 US census. It's no small matter! The data collected helps set funding and policy priorities @ Out

No Trump-Pope Meet: So far the Donald hasn't requested a sit down with Pope Francis while he's attending next month's G7 Summit in Italy. Vatican policy? Ask and ye shall receive @ Telesur


Trump in Rome?

"Billionaires Club" or "Money Talks": Trump meets with two of the Koch brothers. They want Obamacare completely repealed. Remember, they promised hefty campaign contributions to anyone in the GOP "Freedom" caucus, who helped defeat Trump's bill. No mention is made of what was discussed @ Hill

Gutting America's Socialism: Here's an interesting read on how the dark side views developments in the US since the 1960's. An unbridled laissez fair free market approach verses an unquestioned belief in central planning and social engineering!?! Or consider this: Capitalism verses Socialism -which can save the day?!? Sigh! Alas! Either way the thinking requires a huge leap of faith! One only wishes we could somehow rise above the all too easy bromides. Apparently a stock sharing option is all it takes here to close the huge, growing income gap in the US of A. Zzzzzzzzz. Still, it's always good to be able to crawl into other folk's head, as much as we might disagree, to really see and understand how they think. Go for it @ ActivistPost

Conflict of Interest: The lines continue to be blurred. Ivanka and Jared Trump are clearly working at the White House, while still running the Donald's $740 million real estate empire. Nice work if you can get it, but that doesn't make it right @ NYT

KULTURE KULT INK


The Kids Are Alright: Here's a real pick-me-upper! Perhaps there's hope yet? A Target store cashier kept asking a little white girl if she really wanted a black doll. The little girl insisted yes, because it was a nurse. She wants to be a nurse someday! They are also both alike because they are "pretty". Makes sense! At least somebody is on "target" these daze for getting along @ Mic

Seniors Aren't? Seems sex is bad for older men because it can give us a heart attack. However, it's good for older women because it can reduce hypertension. Hmmm ..... Suppose I could insert some titillating comments about Janet and I here. Kinda sorta hidden at the bottom of my blog ..... However, I'm reminded of an particular episode of the Simpson. Don't want to end up like Homer! Know she wouldn't be very good humoured about it. No way! Read more here instead @ IreCall


Pepsi All A Twitter: The cola company raises the ire of protesters for appropriating their image to try to suggest police violence could be ended by just giving the cops a can of pop. Would it have gotten Rosa Parks and other people of colour a seat on the bus back in the sixties? Or could a Pepsi have saved Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Right Marchers from getting beaten to a pulp, to put it mildly? His daughter thinks not @ DailyNews

In Your Best Interest: "Interest groups" might be a dirty word. They lobby the government to make decisions that favour you.  Most every sector of society does it, whether we like it or not. Is it time for young adults to also start thinking and acting like an interest group too? So your good interests don't get lost in the shuffle? @ Vice

Climate Change 101: Summers coming! Many of us will be heading back to the countryside or out to the lake. I can't wait to get kayaking again myself! But be prepared! Sigh! Alas! There will be more and more mosquitoes and ants due to climate change @ Vice


COMMENTS

2 comments:

Big Al said...

heals = heels allusive = elusive
ex-teacher, can't spell?? or just poor grammar?

David Chiarelli said...

Thanks yer right but 726 blogs over 6 years at minimum of 500-1000 words a day .... oh well! There are plenty of other blogs for those who are more worried about spelling, seek y ye shall find! Or just enjoy .... Cheers!

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