Opening Statement



Monday, 1 May 2017

Teacher Free Speech May 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!" @ LINK!

 
TEACHER + UNION

TFS: Toronto Friendship School: The Santiago de Cuba barrio school has been teaching English and Business studies to the locals for over 25 years. I began it as a grass root, non governmental, solidarity project between teachers from Canada and Cuba during the "Special Period" on the beleaguered island, after the collapse of the Socialist Bloc. Funding came through donations from Ontario's OTF, OECTA and OSSTF teacher unions until I retired. Nowadays it's through personal donations, mostly my own. Tuition is $50 CUC's [about $2 US]. There's 90 students in attendance. Canadian teacher volunteers are still always welcome to drop by. Watch for a blog on my recent visit to the school for more updates. Kindly contact me to get involved if you can help!

English For You/ Ingles Para Ti: I've also continued work on the CSP "Made in Cuba" adult and secondary school, English instruction workbook. The culturally sensitive initiative continues to be developed in conjunction with the professors at the Oriente Pedagogical Institute in Santiago de Cuba. A new print edition was recently delivered to the mountain schools. An interactive computer edition continues to be produced to work around the paper and school supply shortages at the city schools. On my April visit, funding was initiated for a new Children's edition to be used at the elementary level. More details to follow, or contact me to get involved!


Hola from the Cuban Schools!

Take The Money + Run!: $3000! That's the max the Ontario Wynne government is about to pay each teacher in the province for violating their union contract rights during the 2012-13 labour disputes. In truth, it might well be viewed as a slap in the face for the average grass root member! Consider the lost local and collective bargaining [CB] rights! The tens of thousands of dollars in stolen sick days! The decades of difficult trade offs to secure them. Now all gone kaput! 

Hold onto your hat! It gets worse! Recently, the AEFO, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF union "leadership" actually convinced their teachers to vote to extend the bad concession contracts they've been "negotiating" for them since 2012. All in exchange for the quick $3000 cash out. Throw in a measly grab bag of education quick fixes. Some more Liberal promises, for whatever that's worth! It's a pretty crummy spectacle, one the public is guaranteed not to like, let alone understand.

So much for fighting the corrupt Wynne Liberals -the teacher unions have guaranteed the desperate government school labour peace during next year's provincial election. Now the shit's about to hit the fan! The Liberal and big union boss sweat heart deals are front page news! Won't be forgotten until well past election day.

Good luck -you voted for the fast cash! Settled for the shiny pieces of silver! Rather than throw the bums out, and rightfully reclaiming your once strong, proud and principled teacher unions. Watch the results and weep good bye to decades of hard fought respect and gains @ Star


Teacher Free Speech Archives: Exhaustive links from the contract fight between the Ontario Liberal government and the province's teachers for between 2011 to present are all archived on my blogsite for posterity's sake. RIP @ LINK!

Music Cuts: Only 41% of Ontario's elementary school students now have access to a music program. Rural students and those from low income families suffer the worst @ Star 

School Closings: Up to 300 are facing the axe, especially in rural Ontario! There are increasing calls to consider amalgamating many more of the province's public and Catholic schools. However that's just a short term quick fix. The bigger question of folding Ontario's two publicly funded Catholic and public schools together into one school system remain a political hot potato. It's one that our three mainstream Ontario political parties don't want to touch, especially with a provincial election next year @ Star


Cannabis Workers Unite!

Good Buds: Bud tenders at the "Canna Clinic" medical cannabis dispensary in Toronto have approached UNIFOR to form a union. The move is widely expected to be approved by the OLRB. If so, they will be the first unionized cannabis workers in Canada. Staff at other dispensaries are expected to soon follow their lead @ Vice

Political Donations: Truth be told, both big business and organized labour actively lobby the government on a regular basis. Business does so with an eye on the corporate profit line, labour for worker contracts and jobs. Like it or not, it's how the system works. They both know it, despite their great, apparent, outrage over what the other side is doing. Regardless of any doubts one might understandably have over the business and union leaders selfless intentions, it's still a "false equivalency" to think all's fair in love and war, at least for the everyday working stiff. The recent BC leadership debate provides a case in point @ GStraight

Resistance Is Futile?!? A private college in VP Mike Pence's home state of Indiana faces a fierce backlash over a "resistance class" on "Trump and US Democracy". Seems class materials present the president as a "purveyor" of "sexism, white supremacy, xenophobia, nationalism, nativism and imperialism"! Gasp! Guess the truth hurts, both in public and in private @ PBS


Decolonizing Schools Together: Toronto students meet to discuss ways to integrate indigenous culture into our city schools during 2018 @ InsideTO

BLM TO: A Black Lives Matter Toronto [BLM TO] protest gets an official response from TDSB Director John Malloy during a parent-student-teacher-staff TDSB school walkout. A 6 year old student of colour had been handcuffed by officers at school raising concerns over anti black racism @ [Blavity] [City]. 

TDSB's Malloy promises more anti-racism training. A recent York University study highlights an alarming percentage of black student streaming and suspensions within the Toronto board [Star].

A live video of Malloy's comments, and a list of BLM TO's demands is @ Facebook

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA


Oooooooohhh Canada!

Economic Nationalism Verses Integration? US President Donald Trump decides not to cancel the US, Canadian and Mexican NAFTA trade deal, despite much huffing and puffing to the contrary, after talking to the other 2 countries leaders. Here's Canadian PM Justin Trudeau on his discussion with Trump @ Huff

NAFTA Trade File: Trump is mad because he thinks that the US is getting a bad deal under NAFTA. He's not the only one who isn't happy! Here are Canada's concerns, especially over dairy products and softwood @ Globe


Real Life Art: A black and white, downtown, BLM Toronto, art installation on King St. was vandalized. Undaunted, the artist is working the slashes, rips, and other damage evocatively into their piece. Tips on who tried to wreck it are now being sought @ CTV

Toronto Police: Ontario's controversial policing oversight process is about to be tightened following BLM TO [Black Lives Matter] [Twitter] protests over the disturbing 2015 police shooting of Toronto resident Andrew Loku [CBC] Meanwhile, the SIU [Special Investigations Unit] has decided that the officer involved in the shooting won't be charged. An inquest into Andrew Loku's death will begin June 5th [CBC].

Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review: Read the report @ ON.CA


Ontario NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh: tosses his turban into the federal NDP leadership ring. His goal? To help build an inclusive Canada and bring a message that love trumps hate @ CBC

CPC: The Canadian Conservative Party: will choose a new federal opposition leader by May 27th. Maxime Bernier, a Libertarian seems to be leading the pack now that Kevin O'Leary has dropped out of the race. Who else is running? What are the issues? Where do the 13 candidates stand? @ Globe

French Connection: Seems Canada's Rebel Media had a hand in the French election hacking scandal. Trolling @ NatOb

IN THE NEWS


Nixon/ Trump -Two "Dicks" ...

Oligarchical Riggin' 101 or "The Ugly American": Huge, pressing issues like heath care, climate change, tax reform and the corporate agenda continue to slip under the news radar. Instead, Americans are distracted with a daily subterfuge of political scandal and intrigue. Truly, the Donald's got a style all his own. However, don't forget! Under Clinton, everything would hardly be hunky dory either, in the Tweedle Dee verses Tweedle Dum world of rigging the political agenda. More @ Rico

How CNN Sees It: The Trumpster White House is crippled by anger, turmoil and confusion. A lot of it seems self inflicted or due to sheer incompetence. Now, a special prosecutor has been finally assigned by the Department of Justice, to investigate deep fears of Russian election meddling and an obstruction of justice, or two or three @ CNN

How Fox Sees It: The defiant Commander in Chief rails against a "witch hunt", wherein no other politician in "history" but him has ever been "treated worse or more unfairly". He's determined to "fight, fight, fight" @ Fox

The US Alt Right has it's own alternate Trump narrative. in which he's the victim of a "Deep State Smear Campaign" @ NYT

Republicans have been building "tortured defenses" to mitigate the political damage. They are afraid that all the non-stop chaos will derail the presidency and/ or drive a wedge between Trump and the party @ TPM

Newsmakers: Meet Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein @ NYT

NAFTA: The Trumpster re-starts beating the diversionary war drums on the US Canada Mexico free trade agreement @ Hill

Distractions: As everyone focuses on the Russians, Trump's very suspicious dealings with the Saudi's slips unnoticed under the news radar @ Alternet

Most folks, this one included are just trying not to "drown" in the never ending "flood of major breaking news" @ NYT


The Plot Thickens: Former FBI Director James Comey apparently took notes on how Trump tried to pressure him to end the Flynn probe. He was fired after he refused to do so @ WP

You're Fired! President Donald Trump fires FBI Director James Comey, arguing that he's "not doing a good job" @ Guardian Read the dismissal letter @ Vox Live feed @ Here!

Impeachment Bound? The GOP oversight committee requests copies of the memo, and any other related materials or tapes @ Fox

Political Storm: What's Comey's dismissal really all about? The Trump Russian investigation? Here's a view from abroad @ Reuters

America Divided: Fox news continues to report the Comey affair as a nefarious media conspiracy, as the Trump new's boosters rally to the Donald's defence @ LATimes

The Polling Numbers: Trump's core support remains strong among his true believers. Otherwise, his numbers continue to fall @ WP

Self Inflicted Damage: Surrogate efforts to explain Comey's firing are turning into a very conflicting and confusing clown show. Nobody at the Trump White House seems capable of getting the story straight. Furthermore, every time the president opens his mouth, or fires off a tweet, somebody else get's thrown under the bus @ WP

"Watergate Again" or "Birds of a Feather?": Donald Trump as the new Richard Nixon -here we go again? @ WP @ Politico

The Nixon Library get's the last laugh @ Guardian


The Russian Connection? The scandals continue non-stop, one after another, on a daily basis! In another fiasco, the Trumpster apparently revealed classified, intelligence "Islamic terrorism" secrets to the shifty Russians at a White House Oval Office meeting in which the US media was not invited @ NYT @ Reuters

Big Secrets: Trump's defence of the classified intelligence leaks doesn't add up. Did he even understand the full implications of what he was doing?!? His actions might've even deadly compromised Israeli intelligence sources @ NYT

Trump as Infantalist? Is the free world now being lead by a US President with the limited emotional capabilities and intellectual mindset of an immature child? @ NYT

Is Trump The World's Most Dangerous Man? Hmmm. He poses a threat to international stability, world peace and our most cherished western ideals @ Spiegel

US Foreign Policy: What do America's allies in Europe and the Middle East think of the Trump's stateside bully pulpit antics? Should the terribly novice president [to put it nicely ...] be heading over there right now? Might he really screw things up badly for all concerned on the bigger, international stage? The implications are staggering @ WP


World War 3 is Coming! President Trump's got a plan to "crush our 8 enemies" around the world all at once! While still meeting all his other promises! A drone will pulverize Kim Jong Un! Expect Assad to be nuked in his underground Syrian bunker. Yup! It'll be the "Mother of All Wars" come "Go Hour" scheduled by the pentagon for sometime early this month! But worry not! Everything's going to be hunky dory afterwards! How do we know all this?!? Because the National Enquirer, tells us so! 

I couldn't resist buying the latest issue just for the great headline! Not to mention the trez kool fake photo's, graphics and charts chock full of lies! The cashier gave me a dirty look. Janet is real pissed. Does NOT, repeat NOT like me reading it out loud in bed at night. Nope! No way!

By golly, why pick on the grand daddy of all yellow news rags when the news is full of alt facts galore these days? Plus the Donald is turning out to be sooooo much fun to hate. He's managed to rally the left to new heights against every odious issue we could think of, and then some, no small task. It's never a dull moment with ye old pussy grabber, that's for sure!

IMHO, President Trump is the best TV show of the new millennium! Unfortunately history teaches us that this story doesn't end well. Not at all. Lots of folks will get hurt. But for a great laff in the meantime, here's the Donald's plans for WW3 [NEQ]. Also a handy dandy critique, just in case you have trouble with the National Enquirer's "facts" @ Jez

Nuclear Madness: North Korea's short range scud rockets are low tech and out of date. Still, they worry President Trump a lot! You know the ones! They blow up on takeoff, crash off course into the ocean. Meanwhile, relations with China and Russia, the other 2 major nuclear powers besides the US are not good. So how does he try to get everybody to cool it down a few notches? At great cost, he upgrades the US nuclear arsenal, all ready by far the largest and most deadly effective in the world. So much for leading by good example @ CounterP

In Praise of Dictators: Trump's willingness to meet with ruthless dictators and killers like North Korea's Kim Jong Un and the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte continues to raise eyebrows. Face to face, open dialogue with one's adversaries is important. However, many are left wondering if the rash and vacillating Trumpster lacks the diplomacy, and sense of decorum needed to pull it off without granting them legitimacy, by inviting them to the White House. More @ LATimes

Who Controls The US Government? or "Is the US military still under civilian control?!" Don't expect any resistance from the "immoral and incompetent" politicians and government bureaucrats. Since 9/11 there's been a "permanent state of war" in Afghanistan and Iraq. Moreover, nothing's changed under Donald Trump. He's about to cast an even wider military net! The Generals' "psych-ops" are working like a snake charm. Now they've even got him, like most modern day US presidents, wrapped tightly around their wiggling middle finger @ ActivistP

Truth Be Damned: Truth has been the first victim of the Age of Trump! Even more scary, at least 40% of Americans are willing to believe whatever he says. Here's some of his biggest whoppers to date @ NYT

100 Daze #1 -The Video: Here are all the the leaks, executive orders, a gas attacks and ... and ... and you name it! Seem like a hard act to follow, but probably not for the Donald @ Guardian

100 Daze #2 -The Calculations: Republicans are increasingly worried about big electoral trouble ahead! Will next year's congressional mid terms become a referendum on der Donald's dumbfounding track record? What to do??? @ Politico

Blame Game: Trump blames the US Constitution! They are to blame for the many problems during the first 100 days of his clown show as US President. Meanwhile, he continues to hover at about 40% in the polls. There doesn't seem to be much prospect of expanding beyond his hard core support! Is it all down hill for Trump and the Republicans from here? @ Guardian

KULTURE KULT INK


Matrix 2.0 or "What Is Real? What Is Not?" Great shades of Neo in the Matrix! We might actually be living in computer generated world! Or perhaps some other type of "simulated reality"! No I'm not stoned! Get this! Scientists, researchers and our world's greatest minds are turning their minds to whether "our whole universe is a science experiment of some junior-high school science student in another universe"! Other similar far out possibilities too! Raising questions over whether we can create a better world? Or are we simply trapped? Gulp! More @ BBC

13 Reason's Why: Many parents and educators are concerned about the popular t.v. show's focus on teen friendships, bullying, slut shaming, suicide and rape. Does it normalize or even glamorize such behaviour? Is it white ethnocentric? Are these discussions that we need to talk about more? @ MacLeans


I Am Not Your Muslim: How is it that one Muslim social, economic, political, or religious group is specially targeted for discrimination, while another's not? It depends upon "identifiers" like one's sex, job, wealth and education, or even your manners and dress. Some will get you an "acceptable" pass. Others not. Basically, it depends upon the "dominant narrative" being set for the rest of us in the mass media. A female Muslim writer explains how it works @ NRP

More Sex Please: Feelin' frisky? Want to move? Here are 11 countries that are encouraging their citizens to have more sex! Alas! Things are not as jolly as it might seem. Falling fertility rates are the cause for concern @ BizIn

Sly Stone: A tip of the hat to the 60'70's Funk Meister! His hard hitting black power messaging and cross culture rallying calls have been missing in action from popular music for far too long @ PopMatters

Black Hole RIP: Here's Chris Cornell's last concert with Soundgarden on May 17th 2017 @ Youtube

Much more to come ....


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Look! I can crawl thru walls!

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I have a headache!
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I have a square hole in my bum!

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I have an ugly baby!
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Let's save all our money + buy pants!
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The Temple of Kukulkan!

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Temples + Snakes!

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The Snake!

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It runs the length of the ball field!