Opening Statement



Thursday, 15 February 2018

Teacher Free Speech Winter News y Views 2

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!" TheRe!



EDUCATION BEAT


Inclusivity and The CTFCanada is well placed for the 21st century. We are one of the most multicultural countries in the world today. This February, the Canadian Teacher Federation leads the way, as it's teachers advocate for our diverse student population during "National Inclusive Education Month". More @ OTF.  

#ArmMeWith: It's official -US President Trump wants to arm America's teachers with classroom guns! Perhaps it's just more BS from the Donald; a diversion to distract public attention from demanding a real solution to the the horrific US gun control crisis in the face of another mass school shooting, this time at Stoneman High in Florida, in which 17 students and staff died. 



Think about it: How realistic is it for a teacher to take down an active shooter in an overcrowded classroom full of students? When even police and armed guards have failed?? By throwing even more guns into the deadly mix?!? 



Taking the high ground, US teachers aren't wasting time letting us know what they really need to do their jobs right. Let police police. Lawmakers make laws. Let the teachers' teach @ Buzz @ Sugar #ARMMEWITH @ Instagram

#MeToo Or "It's All About Consent" Perhaps you've noticed? White male privilege is now a thing of the past. One hopes that real social change will come as our young folk are educated to demand and expect consent. Also as new laws and procedures are developed so that the abuses can be quickly and appropriately addressed. In the meantime, what does consent mean right now in the Age of #MeToo? When it comes to dating? Relationships? At home? At work? Out in public? In our everyday lives? Some thoughts @ Walrus



Harris Years Revisited: NSTU [Nova Scotia Teacher Union] moves into an "illegal strike" position in it's opposition to Premier O'Neil's Ontario copy cat style, educational "reforms" in the province. The similarities with Ontario's brutal, all out, school fight during the Harris years are jarring. But .... will the Nova Scotia teachers back down too? Enquiring minds need to know!!! @ BD Also see @ Global and CBC

OH CANADA



Hello Trade War: Out the blue, US President Donald Trump announces a surprise 25% tariff on imported steel and aluminium, threatening to create a trade war that he claims will be "easy to win". The move runs contrary to much all expert advice, even amongst the Donald's closest advisers. 

Arguably his threat is directed against China. However Canada and Mexico are much, much larger suppliers. As the NAFTA trade talks enter round 7, Trump's tariff threatens Canadian industry, bank rates and our dollar, also indirectly the price of cars, machinery, appliances, cans and packaging in the US. 

Ironically, Canada is running a slight, but on balance acceptable trade deficit with the US, on steel and aluminium at least. Chaotically pushed into a corner, the Canadian government, of course, threatens retaliation to defend it's own national trade interests and jobs. A trade war, eh? Off we all go! Sigh! Alas! @ GAC More @ CBC @ Reuters @ FP @ Commerce @ Quartz



NAFTA Charm Offensive: Surprise! The Trumpster actually seems to genuinely like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Canadian government's gambling that's worth something as the troubled NAFTA talks precariously drag on, during these highly uncertain times. Despite the occasional political jabs, our provincial premiers, along with leading figures from all three of our main parties, are actually working together behind the scenes with Justin on his "charm offensive". 

As Trudeau races about hitting the PR buttons state side, the verdict's still out here on the home front -Should the PM be taking a fairly progressive Canadian stand on social, economic, labour, indigenous and climate issues? When dealing with a very reactionary Trump, not to mention the GOP? Depends upon where you stand on the Canadian political spectrum. Seems sorta centre left but not really?! More @ Global Yay @ UNI Nay @ NP

Buy American/ Canadian: With NAFTA on the brink, Ontario Premier Wynne announces the province's, new, "Buy Canadian", trade policy. It's a response to the rash of "Buy American" trade protectionism sweeping south of our border.  Plenty here for patriotic nationalist chest beaters on both sides of the border, but ultimately a zero sum game, with folks sadly loosing sight of the bigger forest for all the towering trees @ Star



Neo Con Party Antics: Former Ontario PC: Progressive Conservative leader Pat Brown disputes the sexual assault allegations that led to his sudden removal from office. Now, on the homestretch to the June 7th provincial election, some are convinced by his rebuttal, others not @ Sun and @ Walrus

Brown, for his part, blames the Liberal government for his woes @ CTV Meanwhile, the Conservative party suspiciously shifts to the far right, dumping carbon pricing and thereby gutting the funding formula for Brown's centre right "People's Guarantee" election platform @ CBC @ NP What does Brown do? Throw his hat back into the conservative race leadership race! @ Globe 

Guilty As Charged? Apparently, PC party members have long had a lot of deep, pressing concerns about Patrick Brown. Now, he also stands accused of "absolute lies", "corruption" and "deceit" in how he was running the party. Also, for "ballot box stuffing", "voter fraud" and "bullying". Some party faithful are arguing that it's "Time To Take Back Our PC Party"  @ SCRIBD



Wrath Of Pat Brown: So far the Cons continue to poll well compared to the very unpopular Wynne government. Will Pat Brown's entry into the snap leadership race upset the election cart? More @ NP

Will the Cons destroy their own election chances, opening up a middle path to a possible victory for the NDP's Anrea Horwath? @ Star Interestingly, and often lost among the kerfuffle, is the fact that Andrea is leading significantly in the party leadership polls, has been for awhile now @ Star

Advantages: Who will really benefit the most now that he's been so unexpectedly dumped as party leader? Lotsa interesting links here @ CW

Pharmacare Canada: The federal government is ripping a page from the Ontario playbook. Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins has resigned to become head of a new Ottawa advisory panel. The goal? To make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible across Canada @ FP 


Universal Pharmacare: Critics argue that pharmacare should be universal. The Trudeau Libs just seem intent on filling in the accessibility gaps. Be that as it may, healthcare is universal in Canada -sure beats the awful US medicare debate south of our border @ CBC

Parkdale Toronto Rent Strike: History repeats itself -Yup! Got my political start organizing a similar "rent strike" in Parkdale against a slum landlord back in the 1970's. It's an age old story: An anonymous, numbered corporation buys a low rental property. "Gentrifies" it to get around rent controls. The poor tenants get tossed out on the street. Unless they can organize and fight back! With a good swift boot where it hurts most -to the wallet! Repeat as necessary; again and again and again @ Metro

IN THE NEWS



Another School Massacre: Student survivors from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Florida are leading the protest for an oblivious US government to do something/ anything about gun control @ Time

Gun Lobby: Will even their protest fall on deaf ears? The NRA [National Rifle Association] is literally calling the shots on the senseless proliferation of guns in the US. Check out how much each elected politico gets to toe the NRA bottom line @ Politico

Why The NRA Always Wins: It's not just the $$$. The US has a deeply entrenched gun culture that needs to change too @ Politico



Security Breach: Staff Secretary Rob Porter's not-so-secret history of domestic abuse raises grave doubts over the mind boggling cover-ups and a horrific lack of national security clearances at the troubled Trump White House. "#MeToo" scores a direct political hit! Even Chief of Staff John Kelly, Counsel Don McGahn and get this .... Jared Kushner feel the heat, further handicapping the Donald's few remaining WH supports @ Slate Moreover, as of last November, 130 WH staffers lacked a permanent security clearance. That's despite their ready access to highly sensitive intel and an inside line to the nation's business! Totally mind bogglng @ DI

Home Security: Trump certainly doesn't cut any corners, nor spare any expense, when it comes to his own personal safety, both as president and at home and on the golf course. Good luck @ BuzzF

Donald Trump -Playboy Prez: The Donald's latest reported sexual escapades with another busty blonde, this time a Playboy model, belies a deeply entrenched system of clandestine meetings, legal pacts and concealed identities. How long before "#MeToo" nails the #1 high profile, not-so-good, ol' boy, US sexual predator too?!? @ NY'er



Post American Century: On a dubious sales trip to hawk luxury condo's in India, Don Trump Jr. stops to compliment the poorest of the poor for having a nice smile on their face. So much for winning hearts and minds @ TP

LGBTQ Woes: Bermuda takes a big step backwards on the human rights front by repealing marriage equalityHRC

Police + Thieves: Beneath the emergency police crackdown on crime in Montego Bay Jamaica, are a horrific legacy of illegal police tactics and a culture of fear @ Amnesty

KULTURE KULT INK



Team Work!

Congrats: LGBTQ Canuck Figure Skater Eric Radford [centre] becomes the first openly gay athlete to win Olympic Gold @ Huff

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!
No I'm not!

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Oh no! I got something in my eye!

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Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

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It runs the length of the ball field!