Opening Statement



Monday, 16 April 2018

Teacher Free Speech Spring 2018 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!" TheRe! MuCh, mUch morE to coMe ......



EDUCATION BEAT

Liberal Collusion: Ontario's OECTA Catholic teachers have just reached a $31 million settlement with the Wynne government. It's the result of a grievance over the salary grid delay resulting from the Liberals long, drawn out contract negotiations, since OECTA broke with the ETFO and OSSTF public teacher unions, to sign the contentious 2012 OECTA MOU. Much bitterness and acrimony persists, as the June 7th provincial election approaches, along with a very disturbing, well documented sense of internal/ external union betrayal and nefarious, backroom deals @ Star  

Grass Root Teachers in Revolt: It's the teacher union members whom are leading the charge! They defiantly refuse to settle when the leadership makes compromising sweetheart deals with state authorities, unlike here in Ontario @ R+F



For More: Also see my extensive Teacher Free Speech 2011-18 Archives, especially for 2012 to 2013, and 2014-15. You'll find a whole whack of often very illuminating, primary source and news links from back in the day, on the top left of my blog page. More @ Here!

Walking The Talk: In the US, teacher's are breathing new life and vitality into the nation's often long moribund, union movement. The teacher walkouts in Oklahoma, West Virginia and now Colorado too, certainly show a refreshing sense of commitment. No doubt our own impotent Ontario teacher unions could also learn a thing or two from them too @ NYT @ Fox

Teaching Diversity and Equality: Canada is one of the most diverse countries in the world. It's essential that we all learn how to get along as equals. Inclusion isn't just a skill that needs to be taught at school! Parents need to get involved too! Check out and use these educational materials at home, on your own. Remember -Our children are the future @ CYH



Lessons for Life for an Autism Spectrum Teen: In Ontario, like many places, our teachers are required to prepare a useful IEP [Independent Education Plan] for your autistic child at school. Parents have the right and an obligation to get involved and provide direction. Do you? Is your autistic teen learning about more than just reading, writing and math? Are they learning about social justice and the social good too? Check this out @ OECTA

Digital Distractions: Our average attention span nowadaze is just 8 seconds! That's less than for a goldfish! Bowled over? Maybe we shouldn't be! Consider the possible role and implications of smart phones and the new electronic media, in the massive dumbing down of our society today @ PMC

Empowering Our Youth: Today, young folk are entitled to be involved in, and often even make choices, about their own health at the doctor's office. A lot of frustrated parents are upset and don't know what to do. Rather than get angry, perhaps we need to teach and empower our kids how to make more informed healthcare decisions for themselves! Here are some ways to help them become more responsibly involved. It's a very important and useful, life long skill that will serve them well long after they've left the nest @ Globe

OH CANADA



Toronto "Terrorist" Attack: Local, college student Alek Minassian, of European descent, is charged with 10 counts of first degree and 13 counts of attempted murder. Quite deliberately, and at random he mowed down the unsuspecting late, lunch time pedestrians along 16 blocks of busy, downtown Yonge Street in North York, Toronto. It's a copy cat horror show similar to recent incidents in London and Paris, but with some notable exceptions. Read my blog @ 


Local news links @@@@

Haper Style Terrorism @@

Toronto Strong @


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NAFTA Lies: For shame! Turns out that the Donald has been making up stories about a sneaky, unfair US - Canada trade imbalance! Doesn't seem to know his own facts, as released in another White House report, showing that there's actually a slight US surplus instead! It might be a big joke stateside. But such bully boy antics also have a very negative and corrosive effect on others outside the US. Like in Canada; one of America's biggest, trade partners. We're also a long time, trustworthy friend and reliable Allie! Is it really worth all the grief?!? @ CBC

"NAFTA -Crunch Time" or "The Whole World's Watching": From a world perspective, the multilateral 3 way trade talks are a actually a very timely and insightful litmus test too! Will MAGA nationalism trump the traditional US internationalist approach to the global economic order since WW2? Considered are 3 key multilateral trade issues, with dire implications for Canada, Mexico, and the US; equity, protectionism, and dispute resolution @ CR

"Think Positive" or "Trudeau's Trump Bump": An untethered Canada, in the Age of Trump, is free to actively pursue a growing range of "third options" for trade and other alliances on the world stage. We are often far too dependent upon the United States anyway @ FA

Indo Pacific: Here's but one example -Canada stands to benefit greatly long term, from it's strong, close "family ties" with our large Indian population. India is also a huge growing market and possible partner in the TPP [Trans Pacific Partnership]. Trudeau's recent visit there was much more important in cementing key, new, regional trade relationships in the face of Trumpism, than the partisian fashion/ dinner party intrigues playing out in Ottawa and the tabloid news would suggest. A coincidence? Hmmmmm @ CR

Trolled: What to think about those "Russian troll farms"? Might they, whoever "the" are, also be stirring up shit here in Canada? Maybe over Trudeau and the pipe line controversy? Beware! The National Post is a very selective, neo con-ster rag! What?!? No mention of the PC debacle with Pat Brown, Doug Ford and the upcoming 2018 Ontario election?!? Might the trolls be having a hand in that too? Time to investigate! Dig deep! Enquiring minds need to know what's really going on @ NP

Pipeline Woes: The feds, the provinces and our indigenous people are all up in arms about the rocky issue of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline extension. The facts can easily get lost or tangled up in all the shifting political, economic and environmental winds, but one thing's for sure! There sure doesn't seem to any way Trudeau can win this one, as the crisis peaks @ Vice


$15 + Fairness: The protests snowball! Canuck coffee shop Icon Tim Horton's has been caught punishing it's underpaid coffee shop workers over an increase to the Ontario minimum wage! Staff benefit cuts? Unpaid breaks? Cost cutting? Profiteering? The ugly, exploitive underside of Tim's is finally exposed! Nope, it isn't really a Canadian company. Nor does it respect Canadian values, despite wrapping itself in our flag! The once popular, two timing Tim's takes a huge hit, as coffee drinkers wake up, dropping from #4 to #50 in this year's top Canuck brand survey @ Globe 

Make That A Double - Double: Oh oh! Double trouble times two! Now, the federal government is investigating Tim Horton's Brazilian owners! Seems they might also be screwing Tim's franchise owners under the Investment Canada Act @ CBC




"Toronto Sun Ontario Election Plans": A leaked internal memo shows how the alt right Toronto Sun hopes to help throw the provincial election to Doug Ford and the Ontario PC's. Among their other usual talking points, the Sun's set to go down on a particularly nasty, set of social conservative hard ons like "diversity, division and free speech" as they ostensibly pertain to "race, gender" and "sexual politics" [as opposed to "gender politics" ... ].  Apparently these issues are really, badly dividing the province. Well, they're certainly stirring up a real WASP nest at Postmedia Network headquarters, that's for sure. Now, watch for lots of trolls to get their day in the Sun, as the rag's boffo "rapid response team" spread out looking for  "human faces" and "background material" to help feed the "social media" and elect their good bud Dougie @ Sun

PC Doug Ford: Will the surprises never end? In the skin tight, controversial leadership race, after PC Conservative leader Pat Brown's sudden ouster on sexual misconduct allegations, populist neo-conster Doug Ford takes charge of the party, just in time for the June 7th provincial election. He quickly kills Brown's "Peoples Promise" to support the carbon tax, which was supposed to finance the PC's many election promises. So, how can Doug still possibly do so without deep cuts to jobs and spending while balancing budget? More @ Macs

Trump North: Yup, he's Ontario's Donald Trump @ WP! No, he's not @ Globe! IMHO? A different Canuck variation, yet still very much alike! Ooops! Oh no! He's also taking to Twitter ....

Soc Con Hell: During the leadership race, Ford made a whole whack of social conservative promises to court Ontario's extremist, religious, far right. He'll "repeal sex ed", restrict abortion access, facilitate protests outside the clinics, and let doctors opt out of performing the procedure. Often, these promises blatantly run contrary to Canadian Constitutional law and our Charter Rights and Freedoms @ PP  

From The Weed Patch: Doug Ford also promised to legalize the free market sale and distribution of weed. Then quickly flip flopped back to the Wynne government's plan for a government run pot monopoly. Seems his social conservative wing, and most, but not all of his party supporters and caucus, are outright opposed to legalizing cannabis at all. More insightful, social con, inner, PC party intrigues @ PostMillennial

Oh Cannabis: Check out the various "Oh Canada" news links and commentary in my "Oh Cannabis" blog and marvel at the many similarities. The focus and underlying themes in both blog features are often complimentary, and not quite as different as you might think @ Oh Cannabis!


Millennial Wynne: Hmmmm. Premier Kathleen Wynne's Ontario Liberal party suddenly announce a wide range of very progressive election promises. These follow years of a very tight ass and corrupt Neo Lib austerity agenda! They included new special education and school infrastructure funding. Free pharmacare. Daycare. And tuition breaks. The list goes on and on. There's lots to appeal to Ontario millennial's, as they overtake the aging baby boomer's in our province. But will they vote? @ Star

Much, more to come ......

IN THE NEWS


US Air Strikes In Syria: Maybe Trump is suddenly a great humanitarian, only out to destroy Syria's chemical warfare facilities. Or there are at least 6 other more likely possibilities for why he'd consider risking a war in Syria. They include petrodollars, a distraction to the Cohen - Stormy Daniels affairs, Saudi or Israeli pressures, and a lot of deep state anxieties. Sounds like a cover up @ ASNM

Military Industrial Complex: Surprise! There's more! The stock value of Raytheon, the US Tomahawk missile manufacturer, and other arm merchants like Boeing, Northrop Gunman and General Dynamics, suddenly rockets up nearly $5 billion after the Syrian air strike @  Fortune

Nothing New: Hardly "recent", US "intervention" actually dates back to "Day 1" of the Syrian war @ ActivistPost

Trumped? North Korea's Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet prior to Trump's May visit for nuke talks. Unlike Donald, they definitely have a well thought out, long range plan for the region. Indeed, their goals and strategy for both the nuclear umbrella and trade alone are often quite different and diametrically opposed to those of the US.  Are his visit and any "deal" they reach, just a risky US public relations stunt? Will the Donald get trumped? @ FP

Giving Up The high Ground: Since Trump has largely given up on human rights, selectively at least, will any surprise deal with these oppressive regimes simply overlook the horrible, ongoing abuses of power? What sort of an international message does that send out? @ FA

Mahjong: China responds carefully to Trump's surprise trade war sanctions, targeting the US states where he enjoys the most support, with a long list of tariffs on agriculture, technology, cattle, chemicals, and airplanes. That's just their opening volley. They still have a whole lot of even much more powerful moves that they can bring into play, as the world's largest economic power @ CNA

Politics of Food: Think about it! Chinese tariffs target soybeans, nuts, pork, fruit and cotton. US farmers whom voted for him will now be cut off from a huge, lucrative market. Too bad the Trumpster doesn't seem to have any back up plan in place. Xi must be laughing so hard so he'll cream his jeans! Here, bite the big one, Don @ Eater



The Law is Coming: The plot thickens as Trump's lawyer and BFF Ray Cohen is busted! His alt facts collide smack head on with the the rule of law. Of course, he denies everything! So who'll win this one?! "President Trump" is the best, reality TV hero and/ or villain ever, depending upon which network you watch, in the complete, value negative sense. A total horror show too. Now, let's see what the US justice system can or can't do about the Donald @ NYT

Emboldened Trump: He's fired about half of his White House staff. Seems to be flying solo now, completely untethered. What next?!? It's all grown very, very tiresome, wearing everybody but everybody down, even we hard core, political junkies. US politics has become completely toxic, muddying any and all political waters. Perhaps Trump's intent? More @ NYT

Facebook Follies: Mark Zuckerberg sits poker faced being questioned by a technologically clueless US senate. The issues? A very worrisome data breach. Plus there's them there election trolls. Sorta like he's being grilled at a piqued, senior citizen gathering about that how that durn, internet thingy of his works! Yiiiikes! Very scary implications for the way forward, no? More @ Wired



Miguel y Raul: Hi? Bye? What happens next?

Cuba Election: Cuba has a new President, Miguel Diaz-Canel. Also a new Council of State. Raul Castro becomes Second Secretary of the PCC Central Committee until 2021, to assist with the smooth "transfer [of power] to a new generation". 42% of the National Assembly are new. 48.4% are women. There will be a referendum on charges to the constitution. The beleaguered socialist state remains under a permanent state of emergency, with a US economic embargo and the threat of military intervention hanging over it for almost 60 years @ Granma

Here's how the Cuban election system works @ Granma

Much, much more to come .....

KULTURE KULT INK



Toronto The Good, Bad + Ugly: Cannabis is being legalized! Along with our many other vacation amenities, Toronto could become a very kool stop for a little pot tourism. To get primed, here's but one list of Toronto's Top 100 tunes. Really, the "Tarawna" link here is really pushing it sometimes. Still, it's an interesting, varied list! Included are Drake, the Weekend, Bare Naked Ladies, Broken Social Scene, Viletones, Gordo, Buffy, and The Band! More @ Star



Canada For Sale: The True North is very rich in natural resources. In the very polluted new millennium, many previously overlooked ones are now in big demand! Get this: even Canada's fresh mountain air is being bottled and sold as a "wellness" product! Be well @ CBC

With Marti Against Irma: Meet Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, Cuba's new ambassador to Canada, at a $25 Hurricane Irma fundraiser in Toronto, on April 27. Buffet, dancing, poetry and lots of tunes @ CCFA




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Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

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A careful analytical study!

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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!
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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.

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The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

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Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

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Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!