Opening Statement

Thursday 20 September 2018

Teacher Free Speech Fall 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 .....


Code of Silence: A male student is sexually assaulted with a broom handle on the locker room floor, at St. Mike's College school in Toronto. The details seem shockingly similar to a incident on the Netflix series "Thirteen Reasons Why". As the news story breaks, school admin quickly send a letter to parents claiming that they have already conducted an investigation and reported the incident to police. Turns out 1 student was suspended, 8 expelled. However, Toronto Police only found out about the brutal sexual assault two days later. Moreover, they were notified by the media instead, about a very graphic "child porn" video of it, still being shared on line. Reeks of a cover up! More @ CP24 @ CTV 

Public Vs Private Schools: The Ontario Child Youth Services Act clearly requires all publicly funded schools to immediately report even the suspicion of sexual and physical abuse of minors. It's provincial law that Children's Aid be notified too. However, private schools often seem to think that they are legally exempt, preferring to quietly take care of any such problems themselves. Perhaps it's with the best of intentions. Or maybe it's more a brick and mortar question of denial, with the focus on protecting school reputations and tuition fees instead. No matter, most folks clearly believe that is unacceptable, as St. Mike's has now found out. Fortunately, police and social services have a lot more  knowledge and expertise than our schools in appropriately investigating and handling sex assault cases involving minors, but they need to be immediately called in. Perhaps the courts will now clarify the responsibilities for anybody still in doubt about the education sector's duty to report, as the St. Mike's sexual assault case now makes it's way through the legal system @ CTV

School Daze: Likewise, the OCT [Ontario College of Teachers] clearly requires that any suspected sexual abuse of students be reported immediately to police. St. Mike's principal Gregory Reeves is a member, but he claims that he didn't do so because he was dealing with another bullying incident and hadn't advised the victim's parents yet. He's got a lot of excellent references and has been adamant that he did the right thing. However, he has since resigned, like St. Mike's President and Basilian Father Jeff Thompson, after some mixed signals from the board @ Globe @ Globe @ Globe @ CBC

School Survival: A former St. Mike's student remembers some excellent teachers. Also a deeply entrenched history of bullying at the prestigious, Catholic private school @ Globe

3 students being charged. Their identities are protected as minors.

Hazing: A former St. Mike's football player and survivor of sexual assault during the 1980's describes being hazed at the school @ Global More on the role of hazing in a male dominated environment @ CBC

Kinda Late: Principal Gregory Reeve's promised a "deep dive" into the school's history and culture, to find out what went wrong and to eliminate the bullying problems. Likewise, police are now digging deep and investigating too. They believe that there might be a lot more, child sexual assault victims about to come to light. So far, 6 students have been charged. Furthermore, at least 6 different incidents are now being investigated at the school. More @ CP24 @ CP24 @ TPS @ CP24

TPS [Toronto Police Services] warn that the St. Mike's sexual assault video is child porn. It's still circulating on line even though viewing and sharing it is highly illegal and subject to criminal charges. While it is, the assaulted student continues to be victimized and suffer through no fault of his own. More @ CBC

Bullying 101: Sadly, there's a strong need to review the systemic role of school culture and climate in countering bullying at our schools. Most studies show that they are definitely interrelated. The Ontario College of Teachers report @ OCT The "Australian Safe and Supportive School Community Working Group" @ NBN Some immediate parent resources are available @ MOE

Sex Ed Repeal: What a time for the Ford government to repeal the province's progressive sex ed curriculum, with it's emphasis on teaching consent! @ Huff

No Consent: Ontario secondary school students rally across the province to protest the Ford PC's social conservative "repeal" of Ontario's modern, inclusive, sex education curriculum. Our young student activist's tell the Premier that they don't consent to his regressive move in no uncertain terms @ Star @ Globe @ We The Students!

Sex Ed Charter Violation: The CCLA [Canadian Civil Liberties Association] argues that censoring LGBTQ issues from Ontario's sex ed curriculum will "do real harm" to the province's LGBTQ students and their parents. Of course, our new Premier might just once again brazenly evoke the Notwithstanding Clause, to override their Charter Rights, as he has threatened. But as the saying goes -no justice no peace. More @ CBC

Soc-Con Snitch Line: The Ford PC's quickly pick a fight with Ontario's teachers, as our provincial Conservatives are apt to do, once again forgetting whom helped bring about the Great Tory Demise of 2003. Get this -Parents that discover their children's teachers aren't blindly following Dougie's social conservative sex ed dictates, on the repealed curriculum, are supposed to report them to him by phone. Sadly, Ontario's teachers are now caught between a rock and a hard place -Ford verses the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, their professional standards and the Ontario College of Teachers. ETFO and OSSTF quickly guarantee their union member's legal assistance, if they get caught in the middle, as Ford's shit hits the fan. More @ Star

Catholic Sex Abuse Scandals: As the Catholic Church is increasingly exposed for systemic, widespread corruption as the biggest pedophile organization in the world, Canadians, even those who are practising Catholics, must now ask ourselves: Should we be publicly funding the separate school system and providing the church with tax breaks any longer? Truly it's impossible to enable, hide or ignore the long track record of horrific abuse, least of all in the name of God and ahem ... Christian values @ CBC @ Buzz Another POV @ CV

Censorship/ Kid's Literature 101: What to do when our much beloved, golden, kid lit classics from the daze of yore don't age well anymore? Contain a lot of blatant racism or misogyny? Are offensive today? As a free speech advocate, I'd say they are still useful for teaching our young folk to think critically, but sometimes, admittedly, that can be a pretty hard sell. Censorship yay or nay @ Walrus

Is The Success of Feminism Basically a White Thing? A lot of First Nation and other women of colour are feeling left behind. Here's why @ Huff

Are All Journalist's Equal? No! Not if you are brown. So argues reporter Sunny Dhillon. He recently resigned from Canada's Globe and Mail. Here's why @ M

First Nations of Ontario: Indigenous treaty rights are increasingly in the news. We really know and understand so very little about them. Here's a link to every First Nation treaty in Ontario. Hey Mr. Ford -better read up! And stop cutting classes @

Why Do Unions Matter? Even if you don't belong to one? You like weekends, holidays, maternity leave, safe working conditions, healthcare, worker rights and a pension don't you? Thank the union movement! More @ NYT

Treating Autism With Homoeopathy: Parents and teachers are often the first to realize that a lot of the synthetic drugs regularly used to "help" treat autism are questionable and can have bad side effects. Here's to "treating the individual". Includes questions to consider before consulting with an homoeopathic expert @ Doc

Confirm or Deny: Premier Ford continues to madly slash budgets and exaggerate the provincial deficit. Quite arguably, it's a set up for the much, more, deeper cuts to come in 2019. [Globe] [Star] A case in point; teacher contracts for the province's ETFO, OECTA, and OSSTF teachers' expire next year. Are the rumours true? Of a feared 25% pay cut? With more sick day cuts? And possibly a very bitter strike to follow?!?


Takedown: Disgraced former Ontario PC leader Pat Brown's new, sordid, tattle tale book is rife with more PC sexual harassment allegations and a very offensive attitude towards women and mental health. Considering the source, it might seem little more than pay back time for Mr. Brown. Perhaps even a counterproductive one for him at that, as Brampton's newly elected mayor. However, regardless of Brown's true intent, it's the claims of his "co-ordinated political assassination" just before this year's provincial spring election, that's sadly being overlooked among all the outrage. Indeed, Brown notes that the party "dinosaurs" were lying in wait for him last spring. Remember when the neo conservative Ford nation was swept into power in Brown's place, once he was gone? They now enjoy a free hand to shamelessly reverse Ontario's progressive environmental, human rights and labour policies as they please. That's often quite contrary to Brown's more centralist "People's Guarantee" party agenda. Certainly, the media focus should also be on the party back room boys quite insidious coup d'etat, but so far it's not. More @ Global

NotWithThinking: Ontario Premier Doug Fraud is found guilty by a judge and shell shocked Torontonians of violating our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, without even giving it much thought. His new PC government has arbitrarily cut city hill from 47 to 25 elected councillors. Dougie thought that it would've been okay to abuse the Charter's "Notwithstanding Clause" to nix the verdict, rather than even bother to wait for an appeal. The Notwithstanding clause? Well, it's a very Canadian constitutional oddity and he uses it sort of like how Trump abuses his "Executive Orders", just to get his own way. Now, in grotesquely throwing our fall city election into total chaos as a part his lingering grudge match with city council's progressive wing, he is also unfairly disadvantaging many candidates, and undercutting our citizen rights to fair and equal representation. Very sad! Pathetic! Even tragic! More @ Star

Majority Rule?!?: Premier Fraud won Ontario's spring election with a majority of seats if not the actual vote. He now insists that gives him the complete right to do as he bloody well pleases, supposedly by "majority rule". In so doing, he displays a complete lack of respect and understanding for how Canadian democracy really works, visCBC @ Star

A Pandora's Box: Premier Fraud seems totally oblivious that he's crossed a very dangerous political line, in evoking the Notwiththinking Clause to override our Charter Rights, opening up a real Pandora's box for year's to come. Let's be completely objective. Imagine future NDP or Liberal governments using the clause to do whatever they want too! What a horror show! A truly ugly, impulsive precedent has been set totally without any sober thought or care. It's no way to govern responsibly in a complex, developed country and democracy like Canada. For shame! @ CBC

Everything Is Broken: Surprised? Premier Fraud has a long, very shady and disgraceful political record, dating back to his term as councillor and wingman for  brother Mayor Rob Ford at Toronto City Hall. Still the putz has managed to easily seize control of the provincial PC party, win the spring election, and turn our Canadian constitution upside down on it's head. Not only do we desperately need to defeat the PC Fraudster in the next provincial election, but it clearly shows that our legal and political system also carefully need to be fixed, so that this chaos doesn't happen again @ NatPo

Rise and Fall of Caroline Mulroney: Lots of Ontarian's had high leadership hopes for Caroline as our our new AG [Attorney General]. She's also the daughter of a former Prime Minister who ironically, is a very strong critic of the "Notwithstanding Clause". However, her complete spineless inaction and compliance during the recent crisis has now totally overshadowed all of that. Surely, it's time for her and the Ontario Progressive Conservatives to drop any pretence of being "Progressive" and change the party name. As for Ms. Mulroney, it's going to be a very long, and nasty 4 years before we can bid her 
adieu. But meanwhile we can give her a damn good run for her money @ Star

Fact Check Time: Premier Fraud didn't conduct any public consultation whatsoever on his plans to slash Toronto City Council, despite his claims of widespread support for his haphazard actions. Like buddy boy President Trump, south of the border, our Fraudster's frequent, bogus lies always, invariably, and without reservation require that we very thoroughly fact check everything he says More @ iPol and @ Globe and @ Star

The Ticking Clock: The polling numbers are clear, both across Toronto and the province. Ontario overwhelming opposes PC Druggie Ford's crude and uncalled for use of the notwithstanding clause. He's clearly exposed and branded himself as the crass, unabashed Neo Con Fraudster that he really is, despite his manipulative,  mainstream charm. Doesn't even seem to care that smack in the middle of his government's honeymoon period he's gone shot himself and the party in the foot. True, it's still very early in his term, but he's now painted a huge, inviting target on his political back for all to clearly see. Really, our Fraudster Premier is only making our job to unseat him and his lackey, unethical PC government, all that much, more easy over the four years ahead @ Global

Political Buggary: Hydro One's $6.7 billion acquisition of Avista, a huge US energy interest goes kaput due to Premier Ford's "political interference". How ironic! Dougie's always accusing everybody else of that but guess it''s not the same when he's doing it, eh? South of the border, nobody is fooled. How much longer will we be?!? Lotsa Ford neo conster boardroom intrigues @ CBC and @ Prov

Scary! Scary!: Ford's appointment schedule had to be requested under the provincial freedom of information act. Unlike former premiers, he won't release it on his own. Here's the good, the bad and the ugly of Dougie's first 100 daze! Check out who's been bending his ear @ CBC

Right Wing Watch: Right wingers especially hate "special interest lobby groups", except when they're right winger consters themselves. Then it's okay. A case in point? Loblaws, Giant Tiger and the Canadian Bread Company vis a vis the Ontario Chamber of Commerce! They've been very busy working the back rooms at Queen's Park to get the Ford PC's to repeal Bill 158. The goal? To lower the minimum wage for Ontario's lowest paid workers! They'll also lose their new sick and domestic abuse leaves, and additional vacation days! This from the same crew that were recently caught red handed, price fixing the cost of a loaf of bread in our province! Is there no shame? More @ N99

Right Wing Watch Too: Steve Bannon's recent controversial invite to speak at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario Canada was organized by the right wing Aurea Foundation. They frequently work with Canadian alt right think tanks, "news organizations" and lobby groups to try to weave such extremist and intolerant views into the public discourse. These include the Fraser InstituteSun/ Post, Rebel Media, Ontario Proud and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Beware! More @  PP

Bill 115 y The OLP Neo Libs: After all is said and done ....

Hard 2 Watch: History might be kinder to ousted Premier Kathleen Wynne than her contemporaries. Public anger over the Liberal parties spotty track record is justifiable. I for one, still feel royally p.o'ed with and betrayed by Bill 115, no two ways about it. The bottom line? After all is said and done? Unable or unwilling to reign the parties reckless neo lib faction in, Kathleen now sits nearly alone in the legislature, watching the Ford PC's vilify and destroy her progressive legacy on human rights, Sex Ed, the carbon tax, and her green initiatives etc. etc. etc. Personally speaking, I don't think she deserves this, but so it goes, and on and on and on @ Globe

Dougie's Kangaroo Court: Could somebody please tell Ford that the election is over. He can stop beating up Kathleen. What next?!? Is Mr. Trump North going to try to lock her up?!? What a dum ass bully! More @ Star

Election Meddling 101: Folks are understandably very upset about the prospect of Russian election meddling south of our border. However, quite ironically the US has also regularly rigged elections in other lots of other countries, including Canada, for many years. Consider President Kennedy's successful coup de etat in helping defeat Canadian PM John Diefenbaker. Why? Dief refused to arm Canada with US nuclear US tipped weapons of mass destruction because he hadn't been properly consulted or warned, thereby royally pissing off JFK during the controversial Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962!? Whew! Now it can be told! A must read @ Boyko 1 and @ Boyko 2

Contract Law: Often lost in the outcry and gnashing of teeth, over GM's decision to close it's Oshawa Canada plant, is the broken union contract. Tough concessions were made to keep jobs here. In exchange, GM promised that the Oshawa plant wouldn't be closed for the term of the contract. Obviously, that legal document wasn't worth the paper it's written on! Now Premier Dougie's claiming that there's nothing he can do, the GM ship has sailed! Ontario's open for business eh? Just come on in! Say and sign anything. Grab what you want. A labour contract?!? What's that??? A sad day @ CBC

On Standing United: OPSEU and UNIFOR are joining forces to fight Ford's destructive labour agenda. Dougie shrugged off the GM closing. Killed Bill 148. The conster certainly isn't "for the people". Not those who have to go to work every day. But the harder they come, the harder they fall. It's good to see labour quickly lining up it's ducks. The premier's always shooting himself in the foot. If labour can get their act together, the fat fool shouldn't be too hard to take down. Or is that a pretty big "if" for labour?!? More @ Huff

The Proverbial Canuck Mouse In The Elephant Cage 2.0: Canada gets caught up in Trump's reckless trade war with China, after Huawei Tech exec Meng Wanzhou is arrested and detained, while transferring flights in Vancouver. We have an extradition treaty with the US which wants to nab Meng for allegedly violating it's trade sanctions against Iran. Now Canada's stuck in the middle of an explosive fight between the two economic giants. The Chinese are not impressed, to say the least. What will the fallout be? Hold onto your hats. This could get real nasty. Let's hope not @ Globe

What's In A Name? In Canada, the newly negotiated NAFTA agreement is called CUSMA [Canadian US Mexican Agreement]. In the US it's USMCA. In Mexico, T-MEC. Lotsa nationalist flag waving! Very confusing! A diversion perhaps, as we try to sort out what the Trump deal will really mean @ Star


Butina: Bang! Bang! Shoot! Shoot! And Not A Shot Fired ...

Straight Outta Siberia: Here's a real life, Russian spy thriller for our times! Loaded with lots of political drama and intrigue! Gun totting Rooskie operative Maria Butina manages to infiltrate US conservative circles. A gun rights lover, she targets the NRA with oligarchical $$$. The NRA then endorses Trump and the GOP in their 2016 election win. Donate a huge whack of questionable, campaign funding. 

As we've seen, total chaos ensues! Trump's GOP controlled congress is totally hamstrung by the NRA whenever another gun control crisis arises. And so the Russians score a very direct, debilitating hit. No need to fire a shot themselves. The Second Amendment guarantees that the mass shooting epidemic continues to spread across the US unchecked. The death toll soars.

Nothing is done as the government trips up over it's own contradictions. Is stuck staring down the hot lobbying barrel of a smokin' political gun. While the social fabric of the most powerful country in the world is ripped apart. It's impotency and humiliation on show for the world to see.

Vladimir laughs so hard he pisses his pants!

But now Butina's spy thriller is starting to unravel! She's plead guilty in court. Is telling all. Mueller is taking notes. 

You can bet that a huge shit storm is coming! Watch how Maria Butina's spy thriller story line interweaves with the Trump investigation in the days ahead. The NRA? The GOP? Russian Oligarchs? Sanctions? Trump? As court documents show, the collusion could be very far reaching. The implications profound @ RS @ NBC @ CNN 

Meet Maria Butina Here's the "plea agreement" and her "statement of offence" outlining how she conspired to "influence US politics" @ LF 

More on the NRA's tainted campaign $$$ @ VF  

"Bear + Elephant" or "A Lil' Footnote": Check out Lil' Tina's political essay on US/ Russian relations. Ho hum.  @ NI

NRA Intrigues: Oddly, this story has been kicking around for quite some time now, but received little attention in the mainstream media @ TP @ RS

QAnon: Despite the lack of hard facts and evidence, Trump loyalists continue to doggedly hang onto the Q's bizarre, far right, conspiracy theories. They actually still believe that Amerika's-Tragic-Reality-TV-Star-of-a-President is leading them in a desperate fight to the death against the "deep state". In their minds, it's a quintessential comic book battle between the American good and diabolical evil. No matter that Q's absurd apocalyptic prophecies, like his mid term prediction of a huge GOP red wave, have all but turned out wrong. There's always another far fetched excuse to keep hanging on against all reasonable odds. Of course, oligarchical rigging by our corporate elites remains a deep political concern stateside, like here in Canada. But in the grave new world of the Donald, steeped in the murky depths of fake news and social media run amok, nothing but nothing seems too crazy, bizarre or simply preposterous, for the Q faithful anymore. And so, down the old rabbit hole MAGA goes, pulling us all along; the good, the bad and the ugly. The corporate oligarchs must be laughing so hard, they're pissing their pants. Sigh! Alas! Details @ FP @ Vox @ WP 

When All Else Fails: Trump seems quite aware of the Q movement. At the very least, it seems he's using it to his advantage, as more red meat to feed his hungry, delusional followers. More on the frenzy @ NR

Corruption Central: What's worse? A corrupt leader or a corrupt country? Wow! Here's why Trump supporters don't think he's corrupt, nor worry much about it. despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary. Ok! Ok! I know, but let's consider all points of view. Crawl inside their heads @ Atlantic

Who Is The Resistance? During the US mid terms, Trump, Fox and the GOP recklessly and wrongly tried to write them off as a highly manipulated group of ridiculous leftie, liberal, commie, radicals. Wrong! Basically, they are just a wide cross section of very concerned, everyday Americans. For two years, they've been patiently organizing locally on the ground from the grassroots up. They're out to save the country that they once knew, from the toxic, divisive ravages of Donald Trump. Snooze you lose @ Globe

House Vote: US Democrats take back control of the House of Representatives with a historically, diverse cross section of Americans today. That includes younger ones, lots of women, and the LGBTQ, Indigenous, Hispanics and Muslims too. Not only does this create some very much needed checks and balances on the Donald. On a go forward basis, it also represents a much larger, representative base of support for future growth @ CNN

Mid Term Wedgies: Ironically, during the US Mid Terms, the sexual assault issues surrounding Supreme Court nominee Kevin Kavanaugh might well have galvanized conservative voters and helped the GOP secure the senate. The battle lines between them and the We Too movement are now clearly drawn. What next? @ MC @ CNBC

Attack of the Online Bots Etc: Here's how the lowly, often undetected "bot" can help swing popular opinion and effect election results without us even knowing it. Includes instructions on how to spot them @ WP

North Korea + Russia Good! Cuba Bad! Forget the beleaguered socialist state's recent elections! The sweeping constitutional and economic reforms! Trump goes ahead and extends the illegal and crippling US economic blockade of Cuba anyway. Too bad GOP turd Ted Cruz will still around for another term pushing Trump's Cuba buttons. Almost looked like voters had given the snivelling suck up the mid term Congressional boot! But no matter! This US Cuba madness has been going on for over a half century century now. The long and short of it? For the many Canadians, Euros, Latin Americans and even Russians still flocking to Cuba's many kool, friendly and safe Caribbean attractions? More empty chairs for us to happily sit on the beach @ Rebelde

Ex-Gay Files -The End of Gay to Straight Electro Shock Therapy in the UK: Here's how an investigative journalist helped finally expose and end the horrifically abusive "conversion" practice in the UK @ Ind


Lennon Remembered: This fall, the ex-Beatlemeister finally gets the "Imagine" 6 disc deluxe box-set treatment to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic rock album's original release. Imagine that! Of course, the faithful have long ago already scored a nearly endless, unreleased stream of Lennon "Imagine" bootleg outtakes, rare songs and videos! So why take so long to try to cash in?!? Does anybody beside the aging Beatlemaniac still care about all these kool tracks? BTW, in our crazy, post 9/11 world, Mr. Lennon is very sadly missed. Can just imagine what he'd have to say! @ UCR

White Album 101: Next on the Beatle reissue list comes the 6 cd and blue ray "Anniversary Edition" of their 1968 2 LP post psych epic. It's quite arguably my favourite Fab 4 album, with it's spacey, mad mix of wonderful, musical styles. But take note! Each time a Beatle album is re-released, they're also remixed to suit the latest advances in audio technology; analogue or now digital. The sound stage might be altered. The sonic levels changed. Like here, the loudness is usually ramped way up, as is the bass, to suit current tastes. As a purist, I will never stop playing my original vinyl copies. But all reservations aside, there's enough other trez kool audio magic going on here to still truly enhance our White Album listening experience, for life in the new millennium. Back in the USSR [Youtube!] and Glass Onion [Video] sounds great as do most of the many, many Beatles classics here within! This box set includes some brand new 5.1 audio stereo mixes, along with the original mono mix, as well as the group's previously, unreleased, acoustic "Esher" demos and lots and lots of studio outtakes. The extended, rough outtakes for Revolution and Helter Skelter are a big plus! Here's Giles Martin on how he's remixed the White album @ BBC Plus learn more on how he's been busy slowly but surely remixing the whole Beatles catalogue for 21st century tastes @ BBC 

The Falling Man: Photos of 9/11 jumpers from the WTC are often censored or viewed with shame in the US. They were hardly cowards. Rather they were just simply everyday people like you and me. Nor where they few and far between. Truly, they are among the real unknown soldiers in the horrific terror wars that still continue to brutally victimize innocent folk of every colour, faith and nationality around the world, as collateral damage, even today! A very powerful piece @ Esquire 

"Baby Boomer Ghosts" or "Little Known Facts": President Kennedy's modified SS-100-X Lincoln Continental was used by 4 more presidents after his assassination in Dallas Texas on November 22, 1963. Yeah, the sun roof was off. No, it wasn't bullet proof anyway. That was fixed afterwards for Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter; whom even used it on state trips to Vietnam, the Soviet Union, China and England respectively. Too late for JFK, who wanted the roof off after the rain stopped that fateful day! The ghostly limo, sans the blood, bone chips and bullet holes, is now retired from active service at the Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan @ AB @ DN @ HFM Lotsa car pix @ NYD

Henry Ford Museum: JFK's 1961 Lincoln Continental With The Roof On!

"Beatles Verses Trump" or "Revolution For The Hell Of It": Yup. He's a helluva big Blue Meanie but ye Fab 4 know what to do. Eh? They're not around anymore?!? Well, if they were ... @ Youtube!

Elvis Trump: Was the Donald actually blowing another  dog whistle for his red meat, white bread fans when he awarded Elvis the Medal of Freedom?!? In all fairness, I'm not convinced, but read for yourself @ Ind

Donald Trump + The Pop Kulture Presidency: Here's a review of the Donald's rise as a reality t.v. show and social media icon. Oh brave new 21st century world @ BBC

Man in The High Castle: Whoa! Hitler wins WW2 by nuking Washington. America readily goose steps into the Nazi thing, embracing it whole heartedly, except for the "resistance". Is the Amazon Prime hit series supposed to be a parody of the US today? Hmm. It began before the Trumpster took office. Still, the similarities all to often seem very shockingly real. Classes of student's cheerfully giving the Nazi salute at school? A US slaughter of blacks and jews? Naw. Can't happen?!? But ... but .. but ... Yiiikes!!! More @ TVIn

Meet The High Castle "Germanic Greater Reich": Scary! Scary! Scary! No Way? Hmmmm ... @ Youtube!

A Canuck Reich? Yup! Except no need to nuke us! We gladly surrender and get a slightly better deal! Oh nooooo ..... Great shades of the 2012 OECTA MOU!!! Er ... Here's how Canada and the rest of the continent is divided up @ Wiki

Canada's Digital Landscape: Be aware! It's about to change as a result of NAFTA 2.0, or the USMCA trade agreement as it's now known. Here's the good, the bad and the worst of our new reality. Copyright changes in particular, for music, books and other intellectual property, will really suck for a lot of educators and consumers @ OM

Happy Thanksgiving? Not if you are indigenous! Regretfully, It might even be considered a day of mourning. For good reason! A young Navajo writer explains @ Paper

Phenomenal Women Action Campaign: Learn more about the very proactive, grassroots indigenous female advocacy group's efforts! Their goal? To raise our awareness of women's rights, across all cultures, socio-economic classes, gender identities and abilities. More @ PW


Tuesday 18 September 2018

Oh Cannabis: Judging Notes -Karma Cup 2018

OK Karma Cup Fans! Here are some of my judging notes from this year's show, to compliment my "Intro" [HERE] and "Review" [THERE!]. A link to the complete results is included below. It includes the full names of all the products and producers, and how they placed. 

Where to begin?!? There were a lot more buds [34] and a little less shatter [23] this year. A lot more Terps [14]. About the same "Glass" [14], "Topicals" [12] and "CBD's" [3]. A lot less "Pens" [4], "Edibles" [23], and "Solventless" [9]."Budder/ Live" is no longer a separate category. However, there were two new categories; "Distillates" [2] and "Pre-Rolls" [2].

Girl Scout Cookie strains scored well in the "Hybrid Solvent" category. As with the buds, [1- Zombie, 2-Wedding Cake, 3-Gorilla Glue #4] some of the most appealing Karma Cup strains for me, were definitely in the Hybrid category this year, with Sweet SkunkGorilla Glue and Locktite 777 locking up the top 3 "Hybrid Solvent" spots. Loved all the wonderful Sativa-Indica blends! Definitely, the best of both worlds!

Ghost Train HazeTrainwreck and Grapefruit Haze were the top 3 "Sativa Buds", in that order. Ditto FrodoOld School Haze Wax and Thai Stick, which likewise won in the "Sativa Solvent" category. Quite frankly, all the entries were very solid Sativa's! So much to sample! Ka-boom! Definitely left me high AF! 10 samples X 10 times over!

Remo Kush, Tahoe OG and Grape Pie were the top 3 "Indica Buds". Regretfully, there were only 4 "Indica Solvent" entries this year, with Death Bubba, Destroyer and Purple Terps being the top 3. At #4, the Nuken still was on par with the others. Actually it was my second choice, with the Purple Terps being my personal favourite.

Everybody loves a great THC high! The Karma Cup 2018 judge's pack certainly delivered in that department! However, I was still kind of disappointed as a medical cannabis patient. I would've like to see a lot more Indica's, not to mention CBD's at this year's show!

The Mendo Breath [#5] and Crimson Crush [#7] quite quite delightful. However, what  little hash [2] there was in "Solvent-Less" pretty much got lost among the other 7 entries. Alas! This category is now a mad mix of concentrates, rosin's, oils, budder, what have you. Sometimes, the contestant's choice of containers and wraps left me judging a horrible mess. That didn't do these entries much justice, I'm afraid. Nor, in many cases, did the lack of generic info on ingredients and directions for use on many of the different substances, help much. In general, I wasn't impressed, nor did I particularly enjoy this category much this year. Messy! Messy!

I was glad to see Toronto's Sofa King Good Bakery score the #3/4 "Edible" spots with their  delectable Cosmic Pretzels and Space Bombs. Sofa King is always a big hit at our local High 5 and Toronto Green Market shows too. The Twisted Tiramisu Cannabiscotti was #1 again, a huge crowd pleaser for sure. Still, I'm Italian-Canadian, so I can say it .... Biscotti?!? Reminds me of stale cookies! They're just not my thing! 

There was lots and lots of chocolate to judge, that's for sure. Sadly, one of my samples had a hair in it! Blech! However, I really liked the Raw Organic Dairy Free Chocolate Bar [#17]. 100 mgs/ 10 pieces. Perhaps it's just a little too raw and organic for many stoner tastes. However, as a judge, I tended to vote for edibles with natural ingredients in them. I was glad to see a lot more this year. I know junk food is a whole lot of stoner fun, also a 420 tradition of sorts, but it's just not that great health wise, and I do eat a fair bit of medibles .... 

Missed the gummy bears this year! Know there's tons of great, local gummies in the GTA alone, but they were largely MIA!

Otherwise the white Choco-budz [#2] definitely topped my Edibles list! They look just like a nice, big, fat bud and get you high AF. Break off a piece, as little or much as you wish. Then munch. Wow! A new, pot party snack favourite! For sure!

The "Topicals" also proved to be another mad pot pourri of balms, creams, soap, oils and even a sexual "personal lubricant" too. As a judge, I didn't try voting for what was the best product in each category. Really it often would be like trying to choose between apples and oranges. The Releaf spray [#7], and Mother Mary Pain Balm [#9] sure helped soothe my sore and aching muscles after all the kayaking I've been doing out here at the lake, while I judged the Karma Cup. So although they didn't make the official Karma Cup 2018 top three, they definitely work for me.

My personal favourite? Dr. Errl's Refreshing "Lavender Soap" [#4] is all natural. Very organic. I really enjoyed using it for bathing on the far side of the lake, during my morning swim, when I was out kayaking. Add a nice little toke. Off I go, for the day ....

I quite enjoyed Dr. Errl's "Warm Earth" [#5] massage oil too, but my wife found it had a medicine smell about it that she didn't like. Next we tried Bast Silk [#6] a personal lubricant. I love the idea. I truly wish Bast Box only the very best in their future endeavours. However, we found it was way too watery. Very messy. Not very romantic either! 

The instructions say to "apply 2 or 3 squirts of lube to your intimate areas 30-60 minutes before playtime". Unfortunately, I can't comment on any special effects the lubricant might have because, doggonit, there's no way we were going to wait around a friggin' hour to get our jollies, with wet goo smeared all over our "intimate" parts, so to speak. No way! Suppose it would've been much better to test it out with multiple partners too, strictly for ... ahem ... research purposes, but am quite sure that kinda playtime could be really, really bad karma for me. Quite love my gal! Wasn't about to test my luck! Yiiikes! Still, after all is said and done, it was quite smooth and silky, if not very sloppy fun, when you do finally get down to it, between the sheets for a good workout, if you know what I mean! Nudge. Nudge. Wink. Wink. Er ... Er ... Er ...

My favourite "Pens" were the disposable Black Dog OG [#2] and Holy Grail Kush [#4]. Quite frankly, I mostly make my own cheap refills these daze. My biggest concern would be the price, which we of course, did not know. The Terp Distillate cartridge [#3] was a nice touch. A great terp idea. The way to go. But it was rather flavourless and nondescript. Some product info on the packaging for each sample would've been a great help! 

The lack of info on the "Pre-Rolls" was also very confusing. Plus consistency and price point would seem to be the real deciding factors here. Fukushima's Citrus Skunk [#1] was a very fancy joint with lots added to it, smeared and dusted on the wrapper and so on. But just what exactly? Unfortunately  I couldn't really tell in a blind taste test. Dirty Dave submitted a Triple Hash Joint [#2] that I could readily taste and recognize. A fun new category, but but but ....

Super Love PotionSuper Old School Lemon and Black Dog Og were the top 3 "High Terpenes" respectively. This is a great Karma Cup category, still with a very strong medical cannabis angle to it. It was incredible to be able to try all 12 samples. I spaced them out throughout the testing and learned a lot. Came to realize, I've got a lot more to learn. Like the Karma Cup as a whole, it was a real learning experience -an invaluable one, useful for any pothead, medical or recreational, who enjoys the many flavours, moods and medicinal qualities of their favourite, different strains. Once again though -some more info please! The specific type of terp? How to use?

Finally, we come to "Glassware". Let me be quite frank. Although most of the pieces were quite excellent, showing a high degree of artistic creativity, craftsmanship and design, I much prefer simple functionality and a simplicity of design, especially when it comes to bongs. I'd be too afraid to smoke, mess up and/or drop an artist's very complicated and intricate masterpiece to actually friggin' enjoy using it. Price point also would be an all important deciding factor. Plus I like a fun, good time vibe, when I'm toking, nothing creepy or negative in the design, though that wasn't really much of a problem with the submissions this year. That said  Redbeard's "Pool Sharks" [#2] and Tropical Iceberg's "Peacock Alien" [#3] were both pretty cool, but not really my thing. Still, there was lotsa fine work all around with Korey Glasses "Dragon's Breath" [#1] rounding out the Cup's top 3.

So, all in all, a splendid time was guaranteed for all. Karma Cup 2018 was very educational and it was truly an honour to serve as a judge again this year. One can appreciate how very hard it must be to set up, organize and run under prohibition. Please carefully consider all of the criticisms I've made here in my judges notes, in light of that. 

Really, there is great weed. Then there's crud. But for the most part it all comes down to what you personally like. In the final analysis, it's what works best for you that actually counts the most in getting high. So my advice is to just consider the final judging results as but a rough guide, to help you discover what really turns you on!

Here's a link to the Karma Cup 2018 results, so that you can see the complete results, including the full names of all the products and producers I've reviewed, for your scholarly erudition of sorts! Enjoy! @ HERE!


Karma Cup 2018 Intro @ Here!

Karma Cup 2018 Review @ Here!

Karma Cup 2017 Review @ Here!

Karma Cup 2016 Review @ Here!


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!