Opening Statement



Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Teacher Free Speech Winter 2019 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!" @ [] MuCh, mUch morE to coMe .....



US Donald Trump Continues to Wow's 'Em On The World Stage!

EDUCATION BEAT

Sex Ed Rights: In Canada nobody should be above the law, including the Ontario Ford government. Nor anybody below the law. That includes our province's LGBTQ children and their parents. Now, the CCLA [Canadian Civil Liberties Association], and the ETFO public elementary teachers are taking the MOE [Ministry of Education] to court, claiming that the province is violating LGBTQ rights and freedoms, and thereby putting the province's teachers in an untenable professional and legal position. Sadly, Premier Ford is under intense political pressure from the parties sanctimonious, social conservative wing, to scrap the elementary level LGBTQ components of our province's 2015 sex ed curriculum, But will his actions hold up to a legal court challenge? ETFO's case @ ETFO The MOE's @ MOE  More CBC @ Rabble

Ontario Teachers claim a win with a first court ruling rebuking Ford's threat to punish teachers who exercise their professional judgement to be "inclusive, tolerant and respect diversity" within the classroom. That goes far beyond the new social conservative hellfire his government has imposed upon the province's Health/ Sex Ed curriculum. But this isn't over yet! Expect plenty more legal challenges ahead. @ ETFO




Hooray! Pennies in Savings y Dollar Rot Gut Beer!

Education Cuts 101: Yup! Ontario Premier Ford's fulfilled his promise of "beer for a buck". Also to save us a few extra pennies on a litre of gas. But now the bills are coming in! How to pay? Surprise! Autism services, primary grade class size caps and perhaps even full day Kindergarten are now on the chopping block. Ha! Who needs that?!? When we can buy cheap beer instead!?! With a few pennies left over to toss in the fountain n' wish for better daze?!? Sigh. Alas. It's going to be a very long, nasty four years til we can turf the Dufus out. Quite predictably, Dougie doubles down and digs in his heels, as the anger starts to boil over. It's not undoable, far from it, but don't hold your breath. Nor gamble on it, just yet @ ETFO @ Global

Special Ed Integration: Everybody in Ontario has the right to a public education. This inclusitivity also extends to our province's challenged Special Education students, behavioural and otherwise. They too have the right to be integrated within the regular classroom setting at school. However, often the proper funding and supports needed to make this work are desperately lacking, contributing to the spiralling violence in our schools. More @ Globe

Defending Working and Learning Conditions: Watch for the Ford government to manufacture a crisis to attack the province's teacher union's for his hater buddies as contracts expire this year. "Unnecessary" sick day leave is often front and centre of any such attack, conservative or liberal. ETFO explains why teacher sick days are necessary. Also why their use is on the rise @ ETFO More on the school violence issue @ InSauga

OH CANADA


Fake News Redux: 2019 is a federal election year in Canada. Expect the troll farms and twitter bots to be very busy indeed. There's lotsa election meddling ahead @ Walrus @ CBC 



Oh ya? Take that!

Jagmeet Singh: The Federal NDP is finally back. After a year and a half without a sitting party leader, in the House of Commons. Hopefully, the Jagman's just in time for this fall's Canadian election. But even with Liberal PM Justin Trudeau on the ropes over the SNC-Lavalin affair, is it a case of too little too late? Neo Conman Andrew Smear must be licking his chops, as the hapless Jag stumbles about trying to get up to speed @ Mac @ Mac2!

SNC-Lavalin: Seems Trudeau's highly hyped appointment of MP Jody Wilson-Raybould, as Canada's first indigenous Attorney General, was just fancy window dressing. Certainly didn't stop her from being unduly bullied nonstop by our corporate bootlicker of a Prime Minister and his neo lib cabinet. Why? To grant bad biz boys SNC-Lavalin a dubious "Deferred Prosecution Agreement". To avoid another ugly Lavalin legal mess. And ostensibly "save jobs". So Jody gets shuffled about to clear the way. But resigns, with the whole affair blowing up in Trudeau's face @ NP

Next up? Justin's Principal Secretary and BFF Gerald Butts! He hands in his walking papers too. Blames everything on a simple "misunderstanding" he somehow missed @ NP



Finally, the PM claims that Jody just needed to say something. The bullying would've stopped. Hopes everyone can just agree to disagree, or something like that. So that it'll all just somehow go away. As if @ Global

On and on it goes. No matter that CPC opposition leader Andrew Sheer is a complete corporate toady too. Throw enough Liberal shit at the news wall? Something has to stick! @ NP

With a fall election looming, Trudeau's stuck spinning his wheels. Without even an apology seemingly in the works. Add the indigenous, treaty pipeline mess. More gas on the fire! 

Kaboom? Perhaps, but the whole stink fest is just soooooo boring. Plus most Canadians probably can't, or won't even bother try, to make much sense of Justin's "existential" threat. He'll just have to try falling back on his Trudeau charms! More @ Macs


Trudeau/ Butts: Heh heh heh ... Er ....


Hard Turn Right: Welcome to Doug Ford's Ontario @ CD

Whither Too The OLP/ ONDP: Sadly, CPC Ford's regressive neo soc con attack on our progressive Ontario values has few political checks and balances. The leaderless provincial Liberals have been reduced to a stump party, while the opposition NDP continue to crash in the polls. Can they get their act together to mount a credible challenge to the non stop onslaught? Before the next provincial election at least?!? @ NP

No Police State: Disturbing questions over Ontario Premier Doug Ford's role in hiring buddy Ron Taverner as the province's top OPP cop is raising eyebrows across the province. Also raising concern is the Premier's request that the OPP secretly provide him with an "large camper type vehicle". We Torontonian's know our Dougie! These incidents alone are very scary abuses of power and privilege. Lots more will follow, if they are left unchecked. For now, Taverner's appointment is on hold. The premier's confusing denials just don't add up. What next? More @ Star @ Globe

Ontario Police Street Carding/ Checks: Have your say! Read the Ontario Ministry of Community Services review and attend the cross province public consultations @ SCR



Walking The Talk? PM Justin Trudeau is always quick to tune in with an apology for past injustices against our First Nation peoples. Frequently whistling a Truth and Reconciliation overture too. But not when it comes to natural gas pipelines! Suddenly, all the fine talk rings very shallow. A case in point -the RCMP are sent in to bust up a Wet'suet'en camp defending treaty lands against the development of the BC Coastal Gaslink Pipeline.  Even though the hereditary chiefs ultimately have the law on their side, in rejecting a "pipeline deal", it's a truth he's all to quick to overlook. One wonders: Would Trudeau so readily dismiss the concerns of some corporate patriarch flexing a lil' good old fashioned oil company muscle to assert their cherished property rights, if the shoe was on the other foot? Ha! No way! What BS next?!? More @ Tyee



New Colonialism 101

Multicultural Attack: Watch out for CPC Party Leader Andrew Scheer. Like his right wing counterpart, so called "People's Party of Canada" extremist Max Bernier, Andy's  got something special planned for this year's Canadian Federal Election! So too their buddies at the Toronto Sun and Rebel Media. Like in the US, they are all very busy spreading outright lies, and misinformation. The goal? To inflame some of the white vote's hidden, latent, racial animosity by demonizing Canada's minority groups, then score an election win @ Cable

Canadian Immigration -5 Right Wing Myths: Let's not let the Trump North forces mislead us with a stateside hate on for immigrants come the fall federal election. Know the facts from the lies @ Cable

Right Wing Watch: In France the "Yellow Vests" are taking to the streets! Why? To end austerity measures and tax breaks for the rich. In Canada? Because they hate immigrants and want to lock Trudeau up for not fully supporting the fossil fuel industry. Ho boy! Be aware. Very aware @ Facebook @ GStraight

Charles McVetty Verses The CBSC [Canadian Broadcast Standards Council]: So Con Evangelical "leader" McVetty has got Doug Ford's ear with his nefarious LGBTQ hate mongering and anti sex ed spiels! However the CBSC warn that his proselytising definitely violate their Broadcasting Code of Ethics. P.U. -That's some company our Dougie keeps! Better hide the kiddie from them! Quick! More @ Rabble

Xtra! Xtra! Read All About It: Toronto Church St. Gay Village Serial Killer Bruce McArthur pleads guilty. The LGBTQ community avoids the dire, court repercussions of a lurid media circus. But will there now be a full reckoning on how the proper authorities failed to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens? Seems not @ Xtra!

IN THE NEWS




Look! Up In The Sky! It's Berd! It's A Plane! It's ...

Manufacturing A Crisis: US President Donald Trump stages a faux pas JFK style Presidential Address to drum up support for his partial government shutdown and much ballyhoo'ed Mexico wall. Forget that domestic terrorism is resulting in non-stop mass shootings across the US! Once again the facts don't matter, as he engages in a whack of immigrant scare mongering. Indeed, the Trumpster chooses to ignore the real stats showing illegal immigrants are actually much less likely than the average American to be involved in violent crimes. So what happens when a real crisis happens? When he desperately needs to be trusted and believed? At home? Abroad? What a fucking stupid mess! Transcript and video @ ABC More @ NYT @ WP @ PRIFox 

The Chuck and Nancy Show: Hot on their mid term win in the US House of Reps, the Democrats lash out at Trump's "Presidential Address" reminding Americans he claimed, during the election, that Mexico would actually pay for the wall. Also that the symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty and not a ridiculous Trumpian border wall. More of their focus is on the 800,000 plus public employees whom are out of work or not get paid as a result of the Trump shutdown. However, their grim-and-mad-but-not-altogether-disappointed mom and dad style rebuttal also quite arguably fails to inspire much hope or inspiration. The American public remains gravely divided on all things Trump. Video and transcript Time @ Vice @ NYT

Deafening Church Silence: If your church isn't speaking out loudly for universal love, mercy and goodness nowadays, then maybe Jesus has left the building. Perhaps it's time for you to do so too. So much for preaching social justice in the era of Trump! It's time to walk the talk, one way or another @ JP



GOP Autopsy: The 2018 mid terms have resulted in a divided US congress. Still, the Republicans are far from down for the count. No matter that history let alone democracy doesn't seem to be on their side @ Int 

Syria: International confusion continues to swirl around Trump's plan to withdraw-but-not-withdraw US military forces from Syria because-or-rather-perhaps-when ISIS is defeated. On and on the BS goes ... Meanwhile the mortified allies such as, well, let's start with the Kurds, have been left high and dry. Will Trump cut and run on the US War Against Terrorism in Syria or not? And what happen's next? @ Independent @ WP

Afghanistan: Ditto again! Trump's also claimed that he's about to cut US forces in the War against Terrorism here too. However, the Taliban are balking at a ceasefire and joining peace talk as the US bimbo in chief continues to play at being president on the world stage. Hmmmm. Didn't the US once claim it wouldn't negotiate with "terrorists" @ ET @ Reuters @ Fox

Is Trump Making America Great Again? Better hope he knows more than his generals and the US military establishment. Secretary of State Mattis has resigned rather than betray America's allies. Read his resignation letter @ CNN So too the US special envoy for Syria! Letter @ Politico More @ FP 

World Reaction: Alas! Also let's not forget! Post 9/11, the US recklessly led it's allies, often rather grudgingly and under pressure, into an open ended War on Terrorism around the world. It was a very bad mistake from the get go. Now, 18 years later, der Trumpster wants to cut and run? Leaving everybody else holding the bag?!? Fortunately Canada was wise enough not to commit to Syria. However, did we senselessly sacrificed our young men in Afghanistan for this?!? There isn't a good way, or good time to end the military madness. But to do so without any proper allied consultation, warning or concern? Who'll trust the US the next time there is a world crisis? And who's watching and waiting in the wings? Ready to take advantage of the division and chaos? Welcome to 2019! More international analysis and reactions @ NPR @ BBC @ OC @ CBC 

17 Investigations and Counting: One bombshell after another continue to explode in Washington. Most every aspect of the Trump administration and his family financial dealings come under investigation. Moreover, mounting evidence suggests that we don't know the worst. It's still coming! Hang on tight! We haven't seen everything yet @ Wired Also check out Robert Mueller's 2019 "to-do" list @ Wired

Final Word: Newly elected Democratic Congress woman Rashida Tlaib accuses the Donald of ... er ... having sex with his mother. Well, who knows, he's done it with everybody else!!! Just kidding! Still, it looks like there's finally a new, next generation of US politicos. One whom isn't about to take nay BS or cut Trump any slack, in no uncertain terms @ TMZ





Venezuela Sure. Trump hates dictators. Unless of course, they are from North Korea, or Russia, or China or or or ..... anywhere as long as it's "over there". But if the supposed "dictator" is from Cuba, or Venezuela, then God forbid! Have no doubt -the US has militarily intervened in South and Latin American 56 times over the years. Are always very busy! Stirring up shit down South America way, then crying foul! Why do you think all those refugee "convoys" are always desperately trying to escape somewhere/anywhere else anyway?!? Now it's Venezuela's turn. Again. It's all about oil reserves. The defeat of Socialism and Chavismo. Another example must be set. So nobody gets out of line. Smash. Grab. And then? Who cares? More @ PR @ PR @ WP Here we go again @ PR

"New Cold War Blues"  or "One Nuke Can Ruin Your Whole Day": Get this -Der Trumpster has dumb foundedly decided to rip up a Reagan era nuclear treaty! Yup! It's one of many which effectively ended the Cold War between Russia, during the late 80's/ early 1990's @ [NYT] [Hill] [Conv] More specifically, it placed limits on INF's [Intermediate Nuclear Forces]. Theses nuclear tipped missiles are primarily for use in Europe, to deter a Rooskie invasion. Not that that could happen anymore, eh? In all fairness, successive presidents put off updating America's nuclear treaties with Russia, let alone include China, for decades. Now, we've got a complete nincompoop dangling the nuclear sword of Damocles over our heads, to get the job done. Not much comfort! Or collective security! How we got here @ FP

Nuclear Deterrence: The threat of nuclear war is all or nothing. If it works, it deters war! But if it fails? Kaboom! We all die! Plus miscalculation on either side is always a huuuuge risk. So. Think the Donald can play nuclear poker smartly with Vlady and the Kremlin boys? Has a firm grasp on the "escalate to de-escalate" strategy behind the new generation of battlefield INF's? Some insight into Russia's Nuclear doctrine @ CSIS

KULTURE KULT INK



Kold War Kulture: The Cold War between the US and Russia ended not with a bang, but a whimper. That's because pop culture went to war too, helping finish it off. Ironically, blue jeans and the Beatles were sometimes more of a threat to the Russians than the nuclear bomb. Here's how pop bizarrely celebrated, and helped win the Cold War, in the US, Russia and around the world @ Shmo @ Tele

Atomic Cafe: This pop culture artifact perfectly captures the utter madness of the cold war era. It uses a fantastic collage of authentic pop music and film clips from back in the day. Here we go again? @ Youtube!

Duck and Cover: Yup. Today it's gunmen and lockdowns. Back then, they use to show kids this flick at school, in case of atomic attack. To be safe, we were supposed to hide under our desks ... The Cold War -Believe it or not! @ Youtube!



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