Opening Statement

Monday 23 September 2019

Teacher Free Speech Fall 2019 New y Views!

HEY HO kEEP ChECKing BAcK! LaTeR AdDITIoNs WiLL bE AddED In LaRgE TYpe SeT! mY Acronym Guide IS @ hErE! MuCh, mUch morE to coMe ..... REadeRs gUiDe 2 TeaCHer fREE sPEech NeWs Y vIeWs @ HERE!  LiVe tWEEts @ davidchiarelli 


No Concession Bargaining: OSSTF is making that quite clear in their open and frank approach to collective bargaining talks. But will they stay the course? Are ETFO and OECTA also listening? More OSSTF @ City 

Ontario Teacher Strikes -See "Education Beat" and:

Did They Or Didn't They?!? Congratulations to Ontario's CUPE Education workers! Pending a membership ratification vote, CUPE has reached a last minute contract deal with the Ford government. Averting a school strike for now, during the Canadian federal election. But is it a good deal? And what happened?!? Did Ford fold? Or did CUPE sell the members short? AEFO, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF too? Letting Doug the Thug off easy? Sadly, we need to wonder. It wouldn't be a first for our unionized education sector. Cross your fingers. Let's see this time! More @ TStar @ Global

Concession Bargaining: Sigh! Alas! CUPE's education workers had the Ford government's nuts to the friggin' floor, during this fall's Federal election. But let him go for a measly 3% wage and benefit increase over the next 3 years!!! 

Get this: 21% cry foul ball. A tepid 79% ratify the deal. For 1% per year?!? That's less than the inflation rate! The cost of living! It's a CUT in pay!  

Like it or not, as with the "OECTA Roadmap" in 2012, that's called concession bargaining! Officially, education cuts have now been sanctioned by a union partner, as the government contract negotiations wage and budget baseline. So who strikes out next? As ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF come up to bat? Can they show Thug Ford that, unlike CUPE, they mean serious business? Or is it too late? More @ CTV @ WSWS @ WSWS

CUPE Strikes? Last ditch contract negotiations continue prior to CUPE's Monday October 7 strike deadline. It's mid federal election. CUPE's 55,000 education support workers are at a 5 month bargaining impasse, in fighting for their sick days, decent working and learning conditions. A living wage. 

York, Peel, York and many other Ontario school boards are planning to immediately close their schools Monday, arguing safety and sanitary reasons. Meanwhile, the province's parents are left madly scrambling to find alternate day care arrangements, as push comes to shove. More on CUPE y the boards @ Globe Parents @ CBC

More below under "Education Beat" ....

The Spin Game: A CUPE strike would squarely thrust the Canadian federal election spotlight on Ontario Premier Doug Ford's deep, very troubling public service cuts. Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer denies he'll follow BFF's Ford's lead, across Canada, if he wins on October 21st. Meanwhile, the ham fisted Ford's been desperately trying to lay low. Not complicate the facts for him, with any of his trade mark bullying and bluster. 

Will Doug The Thug finally agree to CUPE's not unreasonable demands? Or will a CUPE strike succeed in smoking Ford out? Embarrass and expose him? And Andrew Scheer? Or will the Conservative's back room boys be able to successfully spin it for parents, and the Canadian electorate? Get the better of CUPE instead? Without doubt, a province wide school strike blow's the door wide open to a huge, angry elephant in the Conservative war room @ CBC 

Front Line: An educational assistant speaks out. Shares her first hand experiences. See what life in the trenches is really like nowadaze, under Ford. For Ontario's students, education workers, teachers, and once world class, public school system. Read and weep @ CE


Canada Votes: Trudeau's back with a minority Liberal government! Moreover the narrow Conservative defeat is very good news, for we progressives! Do the math! Two thirds of Canadian voters choose a centralist of left of centre party! The NDP, Bloc and Green's now hold the balance of power in Ottawa!

But the national divisions run deep! Basically the Cons swept the prairies. Continue to do well in western Canada. The Bloc resurged in Quebec. While the Liberals take the urban vote in Toronto. Hold onto their power base across Ontario, Canada's most heavily populated province. Denying the Con's a hotly contested election, that seemed all but there's too lose! Whew!

Here's the cross Canada results @ CBC @ Macs Toronto @ City Ontario @ Ipol  Quebec @ Post  Alberta @ CalH  More @ CBC and @ Vice

All Out of Proportion: Both the Greens and the Bloc got about the same number of votes. But under our "First Past the Post" voting system, the first won 3 seats in parliament, the second 32! Here's how the election results would've looked under "Proportional Representation", as Trudeau promised in 2015 @ ConV

Politics of Division: It's the dirtiest federal election yet, with our prime minister reduced to campaigning in a bullet proof vest. The long term result? Alas! A huge wave of unwelcome, negative, US style election toxicity has now been injected into our Canadian body politic @ Walrus

BoP: Jagmeet Singh promises to use the NDP's balance of power to fight for universal pharmacare. Also to get the Trudeau Liberal's to drop their onerous appeal of Canada's Human Right Tribunal's urgent indigenous child welfare ruling @ CTV

Stinking Albatross: That's how Red Tory Peter MacKay describes party leader Andrew Scheer's losing "social conservative history" as he considers a possible Conservatives leadership bid to oust him. Git rid of Andy?!? Ah c'mon! He's such a putz. That was too much fun @ CTV

More Canadian Federal Election Coverage, specifically on reform of our highly flawed Cannabis Act [2018], is @ My Blog!

"Oligarchical Rigging 101" or "The SNC Lavalin Sideshow": All three of Canada's mainstream political parties; the Liberals, Conservative and NDP, continue to mudsling over the Lavalin scandal. Basically, it just distracts us throughout the fall election, from all the corporate butt kissing going on. Canada's political and judicial system system of government remains at the beck and call of Corporate Canada. It doesn't matter which party wins, ultimately they control them all. Zzzzz. Yawn. So let the finger pointing continue! It's just a side show. An amusing diversion. A corporate  blood sport. The status quo stays the same @ Tyee

Brownface Canada: Prime minister Justin Trudeau stumbles out the re-election post. US based Time magazine publishes a "Arabian Nights" costume photo [or two or three ... ]. Showing him back in 2001, painted up like Ali Baba, complete with dark make up and a turban, laughing it up at an elite private school party. Sure, Justin's indiscreet Disney dalliance paints a pretty ugly picture of the monied class, racism, and white privilege in Canada. But I guess our neighbours to the south only object to election interference, when it happens to them, eh? Just need to go find a willing Canadian partner. The story is Time Plus you'll find a very "Time-ly" reporting expose @ FTCP

Turban Power: Are Canadian's mature and open minded enough to vote for an NDP PM wearing a turban? Or are the media just trying to stir things up for Jagmeet Singh? @ CTV

Election Racism Frenzy: PC Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer, despite the rampant racism in his own party, goes on a vicious personal attack against Trudeau. Accusing him of being the most racist of all. But they miss the main point. Systemic racism is nothing new. It's rife throughout Canada, a historic by-product of wealth and privilege. It remains unchallenged today, despite all the self righteous, election furor @ CBC @ Huff

Jagmeet Demystified: NDP Party Leader Jagmeet Singh takes off his turban. Let's down the hair. Explains his Sikh turban for us. Knowledgeably. Sensitively. With a personal touch. And damn! He looks sooooo cool with long hair! Unlike Trudeau and Scheer, Jagmeet actually reaches out, to everyone who's been hurt by all the racial nonsense and joking around. Whom are someone often seen as lesser people, just because they're different. Don't closely conform to the elitist ideals @ CPAC . The high point? Jagmeet Singh uses the new story as a teachable moment to expose 5 misleading Sikh head wear myths! Seems a lot better at it too, than former teacher Justin Trudeau. Or for that matter, Andrew Scheer too. Well done @ CBC

BFF: Thug Ford y Andrew Scheer:  Premier Doug Ford successfully campaigned on "tax cuts for all". We got service cuts instead. Now the Thug's very desperate, fellow Conservative Andrew Scheer is quietly copying him to become the next Prime mInister of Canada. So far, he's had to tread very lightly in Ontario. Indeed, our voters have all ready seen where that leads. We've been conned once by their lies. Here we go again? @ CBC More on the "Doug Ford Factor" @ NP

Ford Tracker: Premier Thug Ford and his Ontario PC's have been very busy trashing our province's essential social services and safety net, since being elected in Spring 2018. Here's an ongoing record, with news links, for the damage to date @ OFL

Back 4 More: Wage caps? Teacher contracts? Fiscal updates? Carbon pricing? Alcohol y cannabis sales? Autism services? Housing? Health sector reform? Ontario place? Etc? Etc? Etc? The Canadian federal election is over! Ontario Premier Doug Ford is suddenly back from a 5 month "holiday". Hang onto your hat! Here's a sneak peak at the burning political issues in the action packed, firestorm that lies ahead @ CBC

Ford Under Fire: The red hot political situation in Ontario might soon boil over for Premier Doug Ford. The province's teachers are now pushing back against his drastic education cuts @ TVO

98% School Strike Support: That's how many of ETFO's Ontario's elementary public school teachers and education workers have voted in support of strike actions, if necessary. The provincial contract talks are badly stalled. Better start making alternate daycare arrangements now @ CTV

More Strike Votes: OECTA, Ontario's English Catholic elementary and secondary school teachers, will also hold a strike vote. It concludes November 13th. The goal? To fight Ford's regressive educational agendaOECTA Ditto OSSTF, representing the province's public school teachers! They vote November 15th, after months of government inaction and delays @ OSSTF 

OTTP Dumpster Fire: Faced with an impasse, the Ford government wants Ontario's teachers to pillage their pension plan surplus. It's a quick, unseemly, cash, smash and grab for all concerned. A pox on our teachers if they're that short sighted. As for the Ontario PC's? Absolutely, no business smarts. Nor sound, sustainable, financial sense. You call yourself fiscal conservatives?!? For shame @ SC

OSSTF "Open Negotiations": The Ontario public school teacher union announces it'll openly post and share it's bargaining position and any updates online, during the ongoing contract negotiations, with the Ford government. IMHO the transparency is refreshing.  Hopefully better engaging the membership. Responsibly. Making the whole bargaining process a lot more accountable. With no more nasty last minute surprises, come the ratification vote, when the final deal is presented to them. We'll see. Open up! Waaaaaay up! OECTA take note! More @ TStar

Culture of Secrecy: Many unions are ending the questionable practice of media blackouts and closed door negotiations, during the collective bargaining process. During the 2012 and 2015 contract negotiations, our Ontario teachers often felt deeply betrayed by all the secret back room wheeling and dealing that occurred. The shocking concession bargaining practices, and so on and so forth. It's well documented in my Teacher Archives, top left of your screen. Check it out if you weren't around. Or need a refresher course. Anyway Kudo's to OSSTF. But betcha the OECTA catholic code of silence, as always, stays firmly in place. More on the new union approach @ BP

OECTA Pre-Empted: Ontario's Catholic teachers accuse the Ford government of unfairly "pre-empting" contract talks through teacher layoffs and drastic increases in  class size. Seems Ford's violated the integrity of the teachers bargaining process. Wrecked havoc among the student learning environment. While running roughshod over various, very important and legally binding "statutory freeze" clauses. All in all, it looks a lot like another constitutional court challenge, a la Bill 115, back during the McGuinty years. More @ Star

CUPE OSBCU Votes 93%: The Canadian Union of Public Employees are now in a legal strike position come September 30th. CUPE represent our Ontario's school staff, including the custodians, educators, paraprofessionals and office workers. Sadly, contracts talk are stalled with the right wing Ford government, as the big Thug takes a PC wrecking ball to our much needed provincial social services. Ford's goal? To pay for big, fat tax breaks for his rich friends! CUPE's options? Work to rule. Or maybe a full blown labour strike. Expect lotsa CUPE fireworks smack dab in the middle of our fall federal election! BFF's Andrew Scheer and Premier Doug Ford beware! @ CUPE

Fox North: The right wing Toronto Sun is hellbent, on helping elect CPC Neo Conster Andrew Scheer as Prime Minister of Canada, anyway they can. Beware! Very aware! Over the years they've shamelessly endorsed everything from racial apartheid to anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. And now, they're out to convince us to vote for Andrew Scheer! Consider the [news] source @ N99


Impeach Trump: Read the full text of the House resolution on the Trump impeachment process @ ABC 

A House Divided: The Republicans and Democrats vote sharply along party lines. Public support for the inquiry remains at above 50% CNBC

Finally! The Democrats are going to try to impeach Trump! But not with the Mueller Report! Instead, it's on a go forward basis! To wit: Since Russiagate, Trump's busier than ever with his corrupt, self serving bullshit. Seems like he's now trying to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 US election. This time vis a vis the Ukraine, Australia and China. Hoping they'll help him dig up dirt. Make up stories. Ruin Democrat leadership forerunner, Joe Biden and his son Hunter. 

This time though, it looks like he's been caught red handed in the act! The Whistleblowers complaint is @ Wired The Trump Transcript @ CNN Australia @ NYT  China @ NBC

Upside Down: The journalist who originally reported on Joe, and his son Hunter, explains how the right wing spin doctors misrepresent the real Biden-Ukraine story @ Intercept

House Hearings: Is Trump on the ropes? Finally getting tied up but good, by the witness statements? His attempts to obstruct justice? His endless deceits? Or could the Democrats strategy to catch him still fail? More @ CNN @ NBC @ CNBC

The Conservative Media is real busy trying to bury the whistleblowers report under a flurry of misleading conspiracy theories @ MM

Out Foxed: Fox News is a prime example. It's a major source of news and views for many in the US. It's been very busy helping Trump, by either ignoring or weaving a false narrative about his impeachment @ MM

"Down But Not Out" or "The Trump Grievance Machine": Sure Trump is about to finally get raked over the coals in the lead up to the 2020 US election. However, the Trump campaign is successfully using these conspiracy theories and the impeachment proceedings, to fundraise huge amounts of cash. Can he buy his way out of this? More @ Politico

The World Stops Listening: US President Donald Trump has devalued American credibility, power and prestige such that much of the world no longer respects or feel they need the United States. That's unlikely to go away, whether he's still around after 2020 or not. The damage at home and abroad has been all ready done, much more effectively than any progressive, anti-imperialist critic could've ever dreamed. But make no mistake! Trump's also created a very unstable power vacuum in his wake. Not just America's important, international allies have noticed. Other various big, bad boy, dictators, terrorists and assorted malcontents are also very busy out there, carefully taking notes. Planning accordingly @ Macs

Gobsmacked: Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, British PM Boris Johnson, Princess Anne and others are caught on camera sharing a laugh at Trump's expense during the NATO Summit in London. Can you blame them? Watch @ CTV

"How America Ends" or "Goodbye White Privilege": Whites are the dominant demographic group. Have been throughout US history. But within the next quarter century, America's visible minorities will become the new majority. White people the new minority. Consider the Trump years a last ditch fight against the inevitable. Will the American democratic experiment die? On the altar of white privilege? Or will anybody still want to play let's-make-a-deal? @ Atlantic

Boris y Natasha Redux: Meet the top secret Russian GRU Cyber Spy units trying to help destabilize the US and Europe. Think Russiagate for starters .... Here's how they work @ MSN

Trump, Putin and the Ukrainian "Connection" More @ Time

Bolivia -Evidence Talks: So what's it saying? About the November 10th coup that oh so conveniently removed President Evo Morales? And his socialist government? That maybe Trump and the US government actually orchestrated it for their own ends! So who's next? Venezuela? Columbia? Cuba? Consider the unrest! Maybe they're being set up too? Think Bolivia @ GR

Japan Times: My recent visit to Japan was very interesting. Of special note, was the quite different regional news perspective on the stalled US/ North Korea denuclearization talks. It's one we usually don't consider here. 

Think about it: Trump is looking the other way. While North Korea's Kim Jung Un continues to fire rockets toward the Sea of japan. And insist that the US lift economic sanctions. Plus scale back it's military presence throughout the region. It's real scary from a local perspective @ JT @ JT

Remember: Japan had to disarm after WW2. Become dependent upon US military forces for it's protection. Where does that leave them if the Donald, like in Syria, withdraws from the region? Maybe it's time to decide screw this, and go nuclear too? What a mess @ JT


Teachers Strike: Ontario's public, elementary and secondary ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF teachers brace for various job actions across the province. Contract talks with the intransigent Ford government have reached an impass @ GSS @ OECTA

Cuts Con Lecce: Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce's response? He threatens to "name and shame" the teachers as a part of his ... ahem ... "negotiation strategy" OSSTF @ City 

Sadly, it seems Steve's hardly a stranger to these type of macho hazing activities. Far from it! Not according to a Toronto man, Kyle Ashley who knew him during his Sigma Chi frat days at Western U. He's publicly accused Lecce of assault and abuse. Asked for an investigation. Kyle 

After Kyle dares to speak out, a nasty slew of bullying, name calling and other shaming activities ensue. The offending Facebook and Tweets disappear. While the mainstream media remains quiet. 

Surprised? As writer/ activist Gillian Sisley explains, Kyle's not immune from victim blaming just because he's male. Nor are the shameless attackers, like his, usually taken to task Med 

Sigh. Alas. And now the stage is set for CPC Conster, Lecce's biggest, most nastiest haze yet: He's doubling down on Ontario's teachers, students and public schools!!! 

No? Watch carefully in the collective daze ahead .... Consider it his modus operandi!

More on Twitter @ #ResignStephenLecce and IBelieveKyle

School Closures: First off; a one day OSSTF public high school strike is scheduled for December 4th. Which schools will remain open? What are the different board's planning to do @ Docs 

Parent/ Student Guide: How to prepare? What to expect? More @ Chat

Why Strike? Why are teachers across North America, in both the US and Canada, increasingly involved in strike actions? Sadly, it's become a necessary response to the appalling neo conservative political and societal attacks. They've become so bad that they threaten to completely undermine and destroy our highly valued, public school systems @ Inequality @ Vox

On Bill 124: Ford's controversial austerity act unfairly caps public sector wages at below the inflation rate. By his own estimates, the economy is thriving. The government a billion dollars ahead of it's deficit target. Ontario's public education unions are now also taking Ford to court, for interfering in the collective bargaining process @ OSSTF

Denominational Vs Human Rights: Canada's largest Catholic public school board, the TCDSB, might not add human right references to genre identity and family status, to it's code of conduct. Apparently it's "uncatholic to do so", even here in Toronto. So we're all expected to pay for this blatant violation of our Ontario Human Rights Act, on the public dime?!? A final decision is expected soon [See below]. Expect a lot of fireworks. Also more than a few constitutional challenges and Catholic school public funding debates should the motion pass @ CBC Across the GTA, 1 in 4 high school student's report being the victim of hateful, homophobic and trans phobic comments and more @ OHRC  @ CBC @ CBC

Gender Identity and the Catholic Schools: The TCDSB seem to think that denominational religious rights will trump Ontario's Human Rights Code when it comes to gender identity and expression. But would that really hold up in court? And if not? A case of cutting off your nose to spite your face?!? More @ CBC

Right Wing Watch: Campaign Life continues to help organize the effort at the TCDSB @ CPL Alt right Catholic poster girl Faith Goldie has been very busy too @ FG

Not So Grande: Right wing TCDSB Vice Chair Mike Del Grande links LGBTQ issues with bestiality, pedophilia and smoking cannabis, as a public showdown looms @ CBC @ To.Com @ Lifesite  @ Lifesite

Jury Punishes Catholic Church: An civil jury fines the Basilian Fathers of Toronto $2,570,181 including $5000 in punitive damages, for covering up a series of horrific sexual assaults. By his own admission, the Catholic priest in question had abused at least 17 school boys, starting in 1947. The assaults continued for over 38 years. The Basilian Fathers received at least three complaints. Six reports. But just kept moving him around. Then tried to save themselves a few bucks by appealing the fine. 

Sure! Our publicly funded Catholic Ontario school boards do a lot of good work. However, why do we continue to let them set their own "religious" standards and police itself on such matters?!? For shame! More @ Beckett 

Let Us Prey: If in doubt, please see for yourself how truly evil this well documented case is! Stream "Prey" for free @ TVO Read the review @ TVO

Fraser Institute Watch: Ever wonder who funds this supposed "think tank", that's so frequently cited, whenever social service cuts are made? Or climate change is being denied? Try Big Oil! Plus the Koch Brother$! And that's just for starters, as far as being nefarious goes! Much more @ North

Special Ed Integration: Ontario's Ford government is hellbent on integrating all special education students into the regular classroom setting. Including the most violent and challenging ones! Realistically speaking, numerous educational assistants and other in-class supports are desperately needed, for such a plan to even half work. Too bad! The Ford government is cutting them, to ostensibly help balance the provincial budget. Pay for his tax cuts for the rich. More on the truly, horrific problems ahead @ NFR

Millennial's Matter: The youth vote elected Trudeau in the 2015 federal election. An older, angry vote might now well turf the Liberals out. After all is said and done, it's the voter turnout which actually wins an election. Will our young voters still show up, in large numbers, this fall? Are they still attracted to the Trudeau Liberals? How about the NDP? The Greens? Or will they be outnumbered by the older, white male Canadians whom vote PC? More @ CBC

Chicago School Strike! The teachers vote on a tentative contract after 11 days marching the picket lines. The offer includes caps on class size, while providing more student supports and a 16% salary raise over the next 5 years. Ontario teachers take note! Chicago teachers take no guff! Plus they don't back down. Hint. Hint. Hint @ RS

Greta Thunberg: A co-ordinated network of climate deniers, across Europe, the US and Canada, is out to discredit her calls for action by any means necessary. Can't see that appealing to our next generation of voters and decision makers, during their formative years. Talk about being on the wrong side of history .... But damn the torpedoes @ TVogue

Angry Grrrrl's: Ontario March For Our LivesClimate Strike youth activist Rayne Fisher-Quann explains why young women are increasingly leading the social justice fight in our new millennium! A powerful read @ R29  @ Vice

Rayne Speaks Out! 

Indigenous Activist Top 10: Meet 10 of North America's most leading edge, indigenous activists. These innovators and disrupters are strongly speaking out about pressing First Nation issues, with deep, universal implications for all of us today! Youth Suicide? Violence against women? The destruction of our environment? Racial stereotyping? Truth and Reconciliation? Colonialism now? Learn more @ Imp

Socialism Now? Good news for Canada's left! But not stateside! Unlike in the US, most Canadians have a positive view of the socialist bugbear that Americans love to hate -in equal measure! Up here, the times they are a' changing. Sooner or later. It's just a matter of time @ Star

Why People Hate Religion? A pox on the countless charlatans and phonies amongst our oh-so-newsworthy Christian conservative circles! Sadly, they're undermining all the good, social justice work of those hands on Christians whom still humbly follow His example. Instead of passing judgement or looking for fault, they're still actively helping desperate refugees, the poor and downtrodden today! @ WP


The Best: Trailblazing, sixties, R+B iconoclast Tina Turner is enjoying retirement. At age 79, she's doing "absolutely nothing she has to do" for a change. But continues to dish out some helpful advice on ... get this ... relaxing. Yup! Our Tina's still alive and well @ N1 Some Tina tunes @ Youtube Live Concert @ YT @ 60's

"Now It Can Be Told" or "I Hate Tim Horton's More Than I hate Donald Trump": Let's face it! Faux "Canadian values" donut shop Timmies exploits it's workers. Plus simply put, it's just trez unkool! @ TStar

Workplace Attire: This is sad. I've was in Japan recently. It's a very advanced G20 country, even moreso than us in many respects. Still, many companies there are banning women from wearing glasses at work. Why?!? Seems they don't look feminine enough. Unlike high heels, which should be worn ... ummmm ... because they are cute! The women are trying to push back, but it's no easy task. Alas! It's isn't traditional. Well, let's hope they can use their shoe tips to kick some sexist butt! Or maybe jab these dudes somewhere else .... Oh?!? Right! But how can they do that if they can't see???? Hmmm. Now it all somehow makes sense @ BBC

Kool Kimono's: Most Japanese men and women don't wear kimono's anymore. Ditto a colourful Yukata or Jinbei. Still, they are very kool. Some traditions like these, aren't altogether bad. Not at all. Janet and I picked up a few on our fall trip to Japan. They make for great indoor wear. House pyjamas, if you will. Indeed, Canadian fashion designer Robert Hamilton is even striving to make them much, more accessible! Hope he succeeds! @ JT

Japan's Princess Aiko Turns 18: The new emperor's only child would seemingly be next in line to the throne in Japan. Except that she's a girl, so under Imperial House Law, it's a no go. Still, in a recent survey 81.9% of the public said they'd like her to be appointed empress someday. It'll be interesting to see what the new imperial couple can do, to help Japan get more up to speed, in the years ahead @ JT

Sad: A Liberal snowflake turns white supremest book burner after being radicalized online by the right  ... but now she's seen the light ... Ya right! Puleeze! Whatever yer political ideology, let's take responsibility for ourselves, not just blame somebody else @ CNN

Happy Autumn? Thanksgiving? Not if you're indigenous; a member of our First Nations! Think about it: Settlers come from Europe. Steal your land. Destroy your way of life. Then want to celebrate it every fall?!? More @ Think


Wednesday 18 September 2019

Oh Cannabis: Karma Cup 2019 Review!

The 2019 Karma Cup Results are in. See below and @ RESULTS!

Karma Cup 2019 was a totally smoking celebration! Our top Canadian indie, craft weed growers and producers brought along their very best bud, shatter, concentrates, edibles, topicals and CBD's ... well, you name it! 

Once again, they set up shop in the Church St village, downtown Toronto. With mad pot parties at our cannabis lounges. Plus lotsa other weed festivities and the like, throughout the city core.

Truly, A splendid time was guaranteed for all!

It was my third consecutive time, as a Karma Cup judge. I again somehow managed to complete all the blind taste tests, this time for about 115 of their fine products. Over an extended three week period. Carefully assigning a mark of between 1 to 9 for each, in 9 different categories!

9 marks X 115 samples = 1235 blind taste tests! So many numbers! All floating about my head! In-between countless, endless tokes, tastes and rubs.

Whew! It doesn't get much better than this! Puff, puff passing away the daze at my summer home, in the Land o' Lakes Ontario! In-between kayaking, camping and dancing around the campfire, with all my stoner family and friends! 

The price of the judges pack? The early bird special cost $650. Cheap and well worth it, for a hardcore, medical and recreational cannabis enthusiast like myself. 

Get this -you personally can sample most every type of weed product possible. See what you like. Mark it by preference. Then find out what each is afterwards. While enjoying the leftovers. Now able to buy and use them as an informed, knowledgable consumer! 

Forget our uptight, legal, licensed government dispensaries! At Karma Cup, everyone of legal age can smell, ouch and taste everything first before making a purchase. Just like the big boys and girls that we are. Very much reminding me of Toronto's great, green market market scene before legalization. Before the new reefer madness of prohibition 2.0, made that all but impossible to do!

Remo Brand Remo!

This year, I even noticed two Licensed Producers [LP] in attendance. To his credit Mr. Remo Brand showed up in person, with his camera, flying his cannabis colours. Scoring tons of accolades from the different winners for his fine line of plant nutrients. Ditto LP 7 Acres. They sponsored a kool, outdoor "Session Garden Lounge". Signing up tokers online. Actively promoting their "Respect The Plant" brand!  Both at our pot party deluxe! 

Yup! We actually smoke weed here! Screw that!

But it was the Unlicensed Producers whom were the true heroes! Winning handfuls of trophies! Setting up over 50 plus sponsor and vendor booths at the jam packed 412 Church St. Market. Providing a rich bounty of free tokes, dabs, edibles, and swag. With plenty of great bargains! Their business cards! And lotsa invaluable, product information. While the DJ's blasted the stoner tunes! And we partied away like there's no tomorrow!

High 4 or 5'ing It At The Cup!

My good buds and I began making the rounds Friday night at the High 5 Karma Cup Kick Off Party in Toronto's west end. Think of a warehouse party! With lotsa free dabs. A THC/CBD cocktail bar. A comedian. Pole dancers. Not what you'd think! Nothing sexist or demeaning. All in all? Plenty of great laffs. With lots of cheap goodies to buy! 

Next we headed across town, to the east end, for the Planet Paradise Karma Cup Kick Off Party. Planet Paradise is a converted bar where one can smoke weed and safely party in peace. We enjoyed the great tunes. Tokes! Dabs! Edibles! The tons of other giveaways. No end to all the good cheer!

On Saturday afternoon we attended the Karma Cup Speaker Series at Yonge Street's Vapor Central, a vape only toking space. This year's excellent panel discussions addressed everything from growing, licensing, and cooking with cannabis, to pets, weed and youth. There was also a heartfelt, special tribute to local cannabis activist Tracey Curley, who passed away this year. 

My two personal favourite sesh's were:

Legacy 420 Rocks The Cup!

Cannabis as Sacrament, Indigenous Medicine and Each Healing: The speakers included Legacy 420 alchemist Seaira Maracle and marketing/ training director Jordan Brant from the Tyendinage Mohawk Territory, outside Belleville Ontario

We leant a lot more about our favourite herbal medicine from a very enlightening,  indigenous perspective. Also about the First Nations' homegrown, community challenge to Canada's "Prohibition 2.0" cannabis laws. 

Sadly, the First Nations' weren't consulted about legalization. Nor have the various levels of government in Canada show any respect for their legal jurisdiction on Treaty Lands! 

Jordan was quick to emphasize that in the broader sense, we are all allies within the Canadian cannabis community. The government has shown complete disregard in so many, different ways towards each and everyone us, with it's highly flawed legalization "model", if you will. This is not just a First Nation issue! 

Hardly! Oh Cannabis looks forward to further following up with our indigenous counterparts in the legalization struggle, during the daze ahead. One quite respects the strong, activist and indigenous thrust that Jordan has voiced. And suspect that we'll see quite the shit storm, when push comes to shove on Treaty Lands. Like Tyendinaga. No bars hold. Remember Oka!

Cannabis Advocacy -Past Present and Future: 420 Toronto's Erin Goodwin, "Cannabis Amnesty's Reena Rampersaad, along with Justin Loizos Just Compassion and CFAMM's Sarah Coleco updated us on their cannabis activism efforts, past and present. Some of the names and initiatives will be quite familiar to readers on my blogsite. I'm glad to report that our movement remains alive and well. It's in great hands. There was a great mix of old and new faces in attendance. With our political novices in the audience eagerly asking about how to get more involved!

Sunday afternoon found me at the Karma Cup Awards ceremony. Much good vibes! Fanfare!  And more free giveaways! Craft cannabis growers and producers Phatpharms, LD Extracts, and Sofa King Bakery were among my own favourites, winning a handful of trophies. But there were many more @ RESULTS!

Over my last three years judging the cup, I've noticed that the number of entries in each category, quite accurately seems to reflect our changing consumer interests and preferences, in both the larger under and above ground market.

This year the number of Hybrid buds [15] was up. The number of Sativa ones [7] down. The Indicas [11] held their own. So too with Pre-rolls [4]. Sadly, Solvents [11] and Solvent less [4] seem to be in steady decline. Including hashish too. Boo hoo hoo!

Edibles [22] and Terps [14] held their own. More Topicals [15] Pens [8] and CBD products [8] were readily apparent. This should come as no surprise! Hopefully, the second wave of legalization will finally bring them to Canada's licensed dispensary shelves, just in time for Christmas this year. 

Harder to explain: Glassware was dropped altogether! Hmmmm. There also seems to be a drop in the THC percentages of Edibles. Generally to well within the 25 to 100 mg range. Perhaps that's a tip of the hat to the government's legal 10 mg limit, without going all the way? 

Some of the weed and Solvent/Less samples also seem to be getting smaller, and therefore harder to more fairly re-evaluate, as I continued to judge the different entries. 

Fortunately, a lot more attention was paid to properly wrapping the individual samples. However, the Topical, Term and CBD directions remain scant. The buds sometimes rather flat and squished. 

There's was far too much sugar, chemicals, preservatives and processed flour in many of the Edibles for my own liking. Not very healthy. But no doubt very popular and convenient.

All in all? For my money, despite these reservations, it's still a top notch judges package, which I thoroughly enjoyed! Without doubt, Sarah Sunshine has performed a Herculean task in getting the Karma Cup together for us, despite the many challenges, legal and otherwise. 

Retired and laid off teachers please take note: At the awards show, Sarah noted her concern over finding people whom can actually do the marking! Provide grades. 

Hey! It comes natural to us! And believe me, grading cannabis samples is a helluva lot more fun, than school projects, papers and activities ever were! 

So rah-rah! Let's help Sarah out! Be sure to apply next year!

Another word for the wise. If you have an entry, have somebody there at the awards ceremony in case you win. Prepare a little speech. Plug your wares. Encourage the shoppers to visit your booth. Makes $en$e -No?

Sarah y Craig Show Us How It's Done!

In conclusion, as Expert Joint's co-host Craig Ex pointed out, Karma Cup is what legalization should really look like! So true! The products are high quality! Carefully crafted! Very innovative! The growers and producers true aficionados! Bonafide originals with some real skin in the game! A lot of love and attention goes into each and every cannabis product, unlike far too much of the legal shit that you'll find on the licensed store shelves! 

As medical and recreational consumers, we can taste, touch and smell the goods. The samples allow to actually check them out and do some real comparison shopping. The actual growers and producers are there to answer our questions. Educate us about their wares. 

Just add lots of good times! Love. Peace. Lotsa great vibes! 

Hey! It isn't like we gathering together to take poison! Far from it! 

Karma Cup 2019 was a total blast. Come Sunday at 420, endless joints were freely being passed around. It's was a giant pot party! The pot party to end all pot parties! Culminating after the roaring countdown with a crowd sized super joint! []

Next year, come to Karma Cup! Don't trust the government! Or be fooled by it's rip off legalization scam. And Prohibition 2.0. The bullshit reefer madness. The endless lies.

Instead, learn how legalization can actually work, for growers, producers and consumers alike. See for yourself what our cannabis community is really like. And what we are all about! 


David C


Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
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Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

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Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

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Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

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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!