Opening Statement

Saturday 30 September 2017

Teacher Free Speech Fall 2017 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!


No Is Enough: US Education Minister Betty DeVos "fact finding" trip to Ontario, Canada goes kaput! The province's OTF, ETFO and OSSTF public elementary and secondary school teachers make it very clear that her corporate education/ privatization agenda is not welcome here @  Globe @ ETFOOSSTF 

Cross Country Check Up: Teachers across Canada report that they are regularly being harassed and attacked at school! It's quite a very, shocking, workplace reality that few of us are even aware of! Learn more @ CBC

No 2 School Violence: Read OECTA's recommendations for dealing with the alarming rise in violence and harassment experienced by teachers in our province's schools @ OECTA

Drawing The Line On Sexual Violence: Here's a useful website that's trying to engage Ontarians in a thoughtful, constructive dialogue. Useful for adults and students alike @ DTL

On Communicating Climate Change: How to frame the argument in a way folks can relate to and understand @ CRP

Autism Now: Concerned parent's rally to demand more funding from the province. 72% of Ontario's autism students are not being adequately serviced by our schools @ CBC

Ontario College Strike: 86% of faculty rejected the Ontario colleges final contract offer before being legislated back to work by the not so union friendly Neo Lib Wynne government. Nope! The sticking issues didn't include the old boogey-man of more pay. Rather the 5 week strike was over fairness, precarious work and teacher input in their classes @ OPSEU and @ CBC

Words Alone Are Not Enough: Read Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's official apology on behalf of the Canadian government, to the First Nation survivors and victims of Newfoundland and Labrador Canada's residential schools. Of course, it's important to apologize, but let's see what the government actually DOES next @ Macs

Teaching "The Secret Path": Iconic Canuck Tragically Hip front man Gord Downie's tale of a young, indigenous boy who died trying to escape from a residential school is being taught in classrooms across Canada this year! Truth and reconciliation @ Youtube Video and discussion @ More  Also see below ... 


NAFTA Issues: An Environics polls shows 80% of Canadians feel the Trudeau government should "walk away" from NAFTA trade talks if labour, environmental and social issues aren't addressed. 75% are concerned that corporations have benefited the most from NAFTA @ Unifor

 Race 2 The Bottom: Since 2002, Canada's working poor have nearly doubled, while our middle class continues to shrink @ Huff

NAFTA Woes: Trump's win-lose proposals in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement have created an impasse for Canada and Mexico. His "Buy US" rules, a "Sunset Clause" and new car plant assembly rules block any possibility of a winning 3 way deal @ Star @ Star

Bilateral Free Trade: If Trump kills NAFTA, our old bilateral Canada/ US agreements will just kick back in, sans Mexico ..... right?!? Think again. For starters, our GDP could take a 2.5% hit. Much more @ CP

Peeved Steve: Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper criticizes Trudeau for being inflexible in meeting Trump's demands. He is also highly critical of Trudeau's for including progressive labour and environmental policies in the negotiation talks @ CBC

"Foreign Interference" or "Nothing New Under The Sun": Harper's Conservative government had a lackie track record for being subservient to US party renovations @ GR

No Is Not Enough: Canadian "No Logo" activist Naomi Klein warns the left about Trump's Neo Liberal Corporate "brand", his destabilizing "Shock Politics" tactics and the need to keep moving steadily forward on progressive issues @ RP 

TPP/ CETA: As Trump threatens to tank NAFTA, Canada has been quietly diversifying our free trade with Asia and Europe via the TPP and CETA agreements. It could be a good offset but get this! Our new European free trade partners are having serious concerns about us because of the flood of genetically engineered food entering the marketplace from Canada! It was all over the news when I was in Europe in October. Not much coverage here! See @ IATP   

Trans Pacific Blues: TPP trade talks hit a snag at the Asia Pacific Economic Council [APEC] meet in Vietnam. PM Trudeau explains that we can't sign on because, contrary to popular opinion, there is "no consensus" yet. Outstanding issues remain for Canada's automotive, agriculture, culture industry, also over intellectual properties @ CBC @ CBC @ Globe 

Canuck LGBTQ: Facing a class action law suit, Trudeau offers a "sweeping apology". He also creates a $100 million fund. It's for victims from Canada's "Gay Purge" of the LGBTQ from the public service sector between the 1950's to 90's @ CTV @ CBC @ Loop

Where's the $$$?: It's a significant start, but how far is the government actually willing to go to correct present wrongs? More specifically, where's the $$$ for long term and sustainable community based social service LGBTQ support?!? @ MacLeans

 Genocide Myanmar: Trudeau meets with leader Aung San Suu Kyi amongst deep concern, as Muslim Rohingya refugees continue to flee the state. Bob Rae sits in. But are they just soft peddling the issue? @ CBC

Politely Speaking: Trudeau has a "cordial" discussion with Philippino strongman President Duterte over the horrific human right abuses in his countries War on Drugs @ CBC

Trudeaumania 2.0: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is beginning to slip badly in the polls. Both the opposition NDP and CPC parties have chosen new leaders, eager for the renewed political fight @ Macleans 

NDP Singh: Canada's federal third party, the socialist but not socialist NDP, chooses Jagmeet Singh a Sikh leadership contender to lead the way. However, the Canadian media don't quite seem sure how to man handle our countries first non-white party leader yet @ Vice PS: These folks are NOT Jagmeet Singh @ Vice

A Place 2 Grow: NDP Federal Leader Jagmeet Singh promises to help the provincial wing defeat the very unpopular Wynne Neo-Libs in the June 2018 election @ Star

On The Ontario Election Trail: The Working Families Coalition turn Ontario Conservative Party leader Pat Brown's own ad campaigns against him to expose the hypocrisy of his supposedly reasonable stand on labour and LGBTQ issues @ Star

Big Con: Neo Conster Jason Kenney's united Conservative Party might ironically help set the stage for a generation of provincial NDP governments in Alberta @ CBC

Scheer delight!

Seig Heil: Newly minted Conservative CPC opposition leader Andrew Scheer doubles down on the neo right! He's named former controversial Canuck Rebel Media director Hamish Marshall as the parties 2019 federal election chair @  CBC

Con Job: Get this -CPC Party Leader and Neo Conster Andrew Scheer plans to beat Trudeau by pretending to be an "anti-vogue everyman" .... Ummmm! Go back to sleep Andrew @ iP

National Shame: Canada agrees to pay millions to finally settle a very disturbing indigenous lawsuit, this one over the forced racist adoption of First Nation youth during the 1960's to 80's @ NYT

MIA: Trudeau, Scheer and Singh all remain pretty tight lipped on Quebec's controversial Bill 62 Burqa Law, despite the Charter of Rights and Freedoms implications. Why?!? For political reasons, in courting the fickly Quebec electorate @  Star

UN Peacekeepers: Trudeau unveils a watered down Canadian peacekeeping initiative! It's one third the size promised in the last federal election, but is expected to expand in time. The initial government focus is a worthy one -recruiting women UN peacekeepers and tackling the foreign use of child soldiers in combat, but we had hoped for so much more @ CBC

Broken Trudeau Promises: Some food for thought -"UN + Canada: What Canada has done and should be done for UN Peacekeeping Operations" @ Ceasefire


NAFTA US: Deep concern over Trump's ham fisted approach to renegotiating, or perhaps even destroying the North America Free Trade agreement, raise alarm south of our border too. The Chamber of Commerce, the auto and retail sector all speak out @ Forbes @ Reuters @ Bloom @ Newsweek

Confusing Signals: Trump encourages Asia to unite over North Korea but go it alone on trade, during his recent visit @ NYT 

Der Trump: "America First" = "America Alone" @ WP

No Dapl: Water Not Oil!

Canuck Oil Leak: TransCanada Pipelines admits a 210,000 gallon oil leak along ..... wanna guess where?!? ..... the controversial Keystone route in South Dakota. Standing Rock Souix called it first -NODAPL anyone? @ ABC.

Red Star Rising: Does the 21st Century belong to China? The economic and military superpower eagerly steps up to fill the leadership vacuum, poised to eclipse dwindling US influence during the Age of Trump @ WP @ Telesur

"Foreign Interference" or "Shock Doctrine" or "State Sponsored Terrorism" Or "Terrorism! Terrorism! Who's The Terrorist?" Or Or Or: Newly released JFK papers include over 90 pages about CIA plans to assassinate foreign leaders prior to Kennedy's assassination in 1963 @ PDF

Question of Privilege: Surprise! Trump, the notorious, old "pussy grabber" somehow can't quite find the words to properly address the horrific issue of sexual assaults being voiced across the US, in a presidential manner befitting his high office! Ummmm ....... Perhaps that's due to his own piss poor track record on the subject?!? Indeed, many feel that the Donald's bragging about his er .... sexual conquests still hasn't been adequately addressed. Not since his alleged victims first spoke out before he was elected president @ Star

Donald Trump = A Sexual Predator? There's a huge elephant in the room. Surprise! Powerful, once invincible men from across America are now being accused daily of rape and sexual exploitation. Meanwhile, the POTUS [President of the United States] remains at a loss for words. Here's what his forgotten sexual victims say @ NY'er @ WP

Oligarchical Rigging 101

DEM MIA: US Democrats seem missing in action. They need to articulate an alternative for the new US silent majority, to counter Trump's "white cultural grievance" political agenda. Will the party capitalize on the Donald's fuck ups to make some big electoral gains in 2018 or 2020? Not necessarily, as history shows. Think Nixon and McGovern. It's very important how they proceed, policy wise. Are progressive politics a winning or a losing proposition for voters in the USA? One point of view @ Politico

No 2 Oligarchic Rigging 101: US Congressman and former Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders will be running again as an independent in the 2018 mid term Congressional elections @ Huff

Feel The Bern: Sanders praises Canada's successful, cost effective, single payer, universal health care system as an exemplary model for the US to follow during a visit to Toronto. Check out his corporate neo lib health care critique @ Globe

Yes LGBTQ: The Australian parliament is proceeding with a marriage equality motion. The public voted 61.6% in favour of the move in a recent volunteer referendum @ LGBTQ

A Guide for Frustrated Conservatives in the Age of Trump: Gotta feel sorry for our old foes. At least they had some principles @ NBC

Keeping Up The Nationalist Delusion: Here's some food for thought -Why do poor white Americans' support Trump even though they have the most to lose? Hint: Come what may, they still get the booby prize -one can think and act like you're actually special and better than everybody else. And so, his constant attacks on Muslims, aboriginals, blacks, trans and the LGBTQ @ Atlantic

Like A Hurricane: An independent Cuba rallies to quickly recover from this year's killer hurricanes. Meanwhile in Puerto Rica? The American protectorate's call for help goes largely unanswered by the Donald. For shame! Anyway, Cuba helps fill the relief gap, by sending it's own doctors to help throughout the badly ravaged region @ BBC @ Ind  


JFK Papers: President Trump promises to release the last of the top secret files on the 1963 Kennedy assassination. The CIA somehow intervenes. After over 50 years, it seems some names still need to be redacted, at the very last minute. Now he promises that the rest of the files will be released this spring @ CBS

That Wasn't The Summer of Love: This year is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles iconic, counter culture, psychedelic opus, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Oooooooh, how the times have changed @  Guardian

Canuck Tragically Hip Minstrel Gordon Downie has died from cancer, but he leaves us with this fine, live performance of The Secret Path @ Youtube

Not So "Lil" Jackie Shane: The Toronto based sixties transgender Little Richard/ James Brown styled soul singer had a surprise local hit with "Any Other Way", recorded a sizzling live album, then disappeared from sight -but now she's back with a new 2 cd re-issue of her riveting tunes @ Now! Order @ Numero

Coming Down: Here's a fun, recent, video spin on another Jackie favourite @ Youtube  Also, see Jackie Walking The Dog!

Trans Rights: Relatively speaking, Jackie's struggle against both homophobia and racism is a lot better understand and appreciated today. She revisits life in "Toronto the Not So Good" [back in the day] in this insightful interview @ Guardian

LGBTQ: On how music "came out" of the closet recognizes Jackie's contributions along with 14 other unsung heroes @ VF

Pocahontas = a rape victim? Does Trump know? Care?

Pocahontas: Her name has become both a racist/ sexist dog whistle and a progressive rallying call. The Donald likes to use her name in .... er .... jest. But was she a real life Disney princess or a brutal rape victimWhat's real? What's not?!? You decide @ ICT @ WP @ BM  @ RP

Future World 102: China Vs The USA: The US government wants to cut taxes for the rich, cut health care for the poor and build a wall with Mexico. On the other hand China wants to develop articificial intelligence [AI] to gain global economic dominance by ... oh let's say ....1930! Oh boy! Let's see who wins @ MIT


Monday 11 September 2017

Oh Cannabis: Karma Cup 2017 Review!

[Links + Photos To Follow!]

Summer has definitely ended on a "high note"! On September 9-10th, I had the distinct honour of being one of 200 judges at Karma Cup 2017, here in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. During the daze leading up to the cup, I sampled over 146+ entries of the "best of the best" in cannabis bud, shatter, concentrates, non-solvents, medibles, topicals, glassware and more!Then marked each sample between 1 to 9, in each of up to 9 categories [Smell, taste, strength, medicinal effect ...]!

Whew! Perhaps I've finally found my true vocation in life as a retired teacher and medical cannabis patient, -grading pot!Hard work! But somebody had to do it!

Lotsa marking to do! Much more fun than school! Much ...

Once again, there were 2 equally important parts to this year's 4th Karma Cup; Firstly, there was the NORML [National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws] Canada [] annual conference. It was held at the Yonge Street Vapor Central Lounge []. Secondly, the Cannabis Expo on Church Street.

As a toker of long standing, circa 1970 to be exact, just getting veeeeery stoned at the EXPO, sampling more weed, would've been enough in and of itself for me! Yippie! Er ... er ... in between, of course, long trippy sessions toking and feeding my head at Vapor Central! Listening to the mind blowing NORML keynote speakers! The discussion panels! Joining in the very potent and mind expanding Q+A's!

Here are but a few of the many highlights:


There were 4 very interesting Key Note Speakers; one Ottawa politico and three of our leading Canuck cannabis activists:


Dana Larsen: Our conference's activist voice from BC provided a very hopeful message. The cannabis community is winning, despite the ongoing pot busts and our attendant activist misgivings with the Canadian government's heavy handed, corporate "legalization" agenda. Yes, it's turning into a great, big, nasty, legal mess! However, we've come a long way! As Dana noted, we are now sitting safely in a downtown Toronto cannabis vapor lounge, pondering what most certainly will be a new "golden age for cannabis" during the century ahead. Finally, the times they are a' changing: The new CBD market alone will be huge. Our children will never suffer the injustices of Prohibition 1.0 or 2.0! Nor for that matter, the stigma of just being labelled a crazy pot head! It will take time! There's still a lot of work to do! Fittingly, Dana ended with a rousing call to action; "Long live the cannabis revolution!"

Jodie Emery

Jodie Emery: The Cannabis Culture co-founder provided an impassioned social justice-civil rights critique of the legalization process. Speaking for the cannabis community, Jodie called on Trudeau to "Stop criminalizing us, and recognize that we exist". Former Toronto Police Chief and Trudeau Pot Point Man Bill Blair was taken to ask for "G-20'ing 420" vis a vis the government's heavy handed legalization tactics. Jodie encouraged everyone to get involved and take a stand, to protest and write letters to our politicians and the media. She finished on an uplifting note, proclaiming that now truly is the time to "Plant the seeds of freedom! Overgrow the government!"

Britney [on right]

Britney Guerra: The Cannabis Culture 5's Britney spoke on "Cannabis Entrepreneurship". Her valuable insights into Canada's grass root, cannabiz "craft industry" were based upon her own experiences starting up the pioneering Cloud 9 dispensary and Cannagems in Hamilton Ontario. Also, through her cannabis activism and "civil disobedience" with Marc and Jodie Emery's, over the past year or so, as reported on this site. Regretfully, bail conditions prohibited Britney from sharing any tantalizing background info about the infamous Project Gator busts with us. However, though her simple resilience and true grit, Britney bravely provides another excellent example of what each of us can do, when we are pro-active, in the good fight for legalization! Thank you Britney!

John Conroy [NORML] + MP Erskine Smith [Lib]

MP Erskine Smith:  How rare is this? The Liberal party faithful actually descending from on high in Ottawa! To rub shoulders! To hear first hand from folks whom actually smoke pot! A lot! Know the score! Can recognize a bummer, burn and rip off when we see it! Certainly, our lone, pro-cannabis federal Member of Parliament [MP] got a real earful from the activists gathered Sunday morning to voice their concerns. Promised me he'd look into the disgraceful, government "tax" on our cannabis medical prescriptions. Danced around my complaints about the government's sorry assed Licensed Producers [LP's]. Suggested that that we medical patients should be able to fill our prescriptions at a pharmacy too, rather than address the craft dispensary issue. Too bad Erskine wouldn't tell us if he still smokes pot or not! Still, he deserves credit for actually coming. Let's watch to see what he can really do!


Sarah + Craig!

The 36+ producers at the Karma Cup Cannabis Expo literally ripped a page right out of the Cannabis Free Enterprise Supply and Demand 101 handbook! Confronted us with a mind boggling array of heady delights! To sample and buy! With them on hand, knowledgably answering our questions. 

No shortage of free bud, shatter or concentrate samples here! Nor tasty treats! Quality was high! Competition stiff! Prices cheap! With good deals aplenty!

Standouts for me were Can Deliveries "Rockstar" buds at $5 [Cdn] a gram! Generous free dabs from Seven Star, Honey Badger, High Grade's, and Phat Farmer's, to name but a few! Then there was Seaway Valley's killer vape pens! Sofa King's to-die-for pretzels! Clearly Delicious' death star 1000 mg infused Peanut Butter! Dana Larsen's super star MJ creams and Pot Head books! Well, the list goes on and on!

No duds! Lots of good vibes! This was an excellent example of what a healthy, vibrant, craft cannabiz industry looks like! One that's all ready up, running and in place for legalization next year, should the Trudeau government only really look and see ....


Many thanks to NORML for providing us with a very thought provoking weekend! Finally, some real discussion about what legalization can and should look like, and why! Truly, the conference provided a refreshing alternative! Without all the loathsome and odious, fear mongering, corporate based monopoly bullshit disguised as "legalization", being trafficked to us by the Trudeau government and the mainstream media!

There's hope yet! It was also great to see our every vigilant local social media out in force, most notably Dopechef and! Covering the real life Canadian cannabis scene, where the big boys fear to tread! Hooray! The counterculture in Canada, is still alive and well! Get your real news here!

And remember -craft cannabis works! Let's make sure the message gets out! It's a viable alternative to Trudeau's poorly thought out and executed legalization plans. Prohibition 2.0 be damned! The only real question is; will it exist above or underground come next year?

Finally, a big thank you is due to the organizers of this year's Kama Cup! As someone who's done a lot of marking over the years, I noticed a lot of ways the grading system could be tweaked to make it much, more easier and accurate to use on a go forward basis. Your judges can be a valuable resource! Perhaps a follow up survey is in order?

Still -well done! At Karma Cup 2017 a splendid time was guaranteed for all! 

Grading Pot -Serious Business!

NEWS LINKS [More To Follow]

The Karma Cup 2017 Winners are @ KC


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!