Opening Statement



Friday, 27 December 2019

Teacher Free Speech Winter 2020 News 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 




EDUCATION BEAT


Strike Hard: Schools close across Ontario on Friday Feb. 21st, for the first time since the Harris Years. As for the rotating strikes? AEFO, ETFO, OECTA, and OSSTF are now raising the ante for the Ford government, as they all walk out together. Then collectively rally again next day outside the Conservative policy convention in Niagara Falls, under the OFL "People Verses Conservative Cuts" banner. Jeez! This can't be about a 2% raise, like the Minister of Education claims! The teachers have voluntarily lost that much in pay, out on the picket lines, by now! Ummm .... don't back down! @ CBC @ OFL @ Facebook

Ontario Interlude: During my quick travel turn around back here in Toronto, come the dead o' winter, I managed to catch two big protests, in the freezing cold. Help out in some small part. At the Feb. 21 Queens Park Rally in Toronto, 30,000 of us shut down all four lanes of traffic around the legislature for at least 3 hours; a steady stream of protesters from the AEFO, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF teacher unions. My buffalo drum got a great work out! At the Feb. 22 Conservative "Policy" Convention in Niagara Falls, hundreds of OFL and teacher protesters stood between the hotel and the convention centre. Loudly voicing our concerns, in no uncertain terms, as the delegates made their way in. Labour leaders also advised the neo-consters that a province wide shut down could be forthcoming! More @ Globe  @ ETFOV @ Global @ Globe



May The Force B W/ Us: Rockin' The Tory Policy Con-vention!


Alt Fact Lies: Toronto Sun reporter Brian Liley [we use the term lightly ...] lies! Tries to set up the Catholic teachers at the Niagara Rally. Falsely links them to a radical protester with a sign claiming con-man MPP Sam Oosterhoff is a "problem an abortion could've solved.


Even an outraged Minister of Education Stephen Lecce jumps on board, demanding an apology. Ha! Drat! Foiled! Who needs to apologize now? @ Global @ SCS


Teacher Strike Info: Ontario's AEFO, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF public elementary, secondary and Catholic teachers overwhelmingly voted in support of work to rule and job strike actions. Here's a parents' guide with the relevent union, trustee, and government on line links, so you can reach out, get involved and stay informed, during the difficult political winter ahead @ Chat

Harris Redux? Premier Doug Ford fancies himself a modern day Robin Hood, much like former Conservative Premier Mike Harris during the 1990's. Pretending that he's the good guy in Ontario politics, taking money and resources from the big, bad teacher unions to pay off the province's public education bills. However, in gutting our world class education system, it's quite clear that Doug The Thug is just providing fat, tax cuts for his rich friends. The highly unpopular Ford Conservative government has so far only succeeded in hitting rock bottom in the polls @ Star

Here's How Ford's Education Cuts Hurt Kids: @ Star



Thumbs Down: The Ford government has so far been hesitant to legislate the teachers back to work. They are losing the PR battle. Public support is solidly on the teacher's side against his education cuts. While Our Dougie is exposed as the big, bad, untrustworthy bully that he is @ TStar @ Globe @ Record

Sisters Got The PowerConsider Ford's fight with the teachers as a deeper fight over family policy. A majority of the province's teachers are female identified. The students have mothers. His highly unpopular "austerity" cuts directly hurt women and families @ Spec @ TStar

Vaughan Working Families Scam: Insider Conservative attack ads target the teachers falsely, supposedly on behalf of City of Vaughan families in the GTA. They are quickly exposed as a complete fake. Consider it a nasty lesson in the deep, dark art of political gamesmanship @ TStar @ TStar

Right Wing Watch: Teachers are often vilified by the government in the public eye, to win a contract dispute. Sadly, the damage to the teaching profession and our public schools is long term and toxic. Even though it is later proven to all be a big lie. Learn more @ TR

Every Child Left Behind: Consider Ford's education cuts as a conservative wrecking ball. They open the door to privatization. Lay the groundwork for better private charter schools for the rich. Destroy public educational opportunities for immigrants, working families and the poor. Creating more inequality in our incredibly diverse province. Think of it as open class war, against our world class education system. Also, against equal opportunity for all, here in our province @ Macs @ BBC



Labour Unites: 11 other Ontario public sector unions are joining the teachers in a Charter Right Challenge to Ford's Bill 124 1% wage cap on the public sector @ IP and @ Star 

Bill 124: A teacher wage increase isn't the sticking issue in contract talks. Far from it, even though, over time, 1% represents a significant pay cut, considering the inflation rate. Rather, Bill 124 is being challenged as unconstitutional in court, because it unfairly interferes in the collective bargaining process @ Star  

Defying the Law: Ford's Bill 124, like Bill 115 before it, might eventually, very well, be overturned. However, the damage will already have been done! 

Without doubt, a legal challenge takes many years to go through the courts. Probably result in another two bit pay out. Meanwhile, the teacher unions are once again invariably placed in the danger of caving in to more concession bargaining, like they did in 2012 and 2016, to try lessen their losses. 

Much of the current contract disputes are simply focused on reversing Ford's education cuts in staffing and class size to maintain the status quo. But Ford remains intransigent.

If legislated back to work, will Ontario's teacher unions finally risk a little, much needed civil disobedience? Stop the Ford government dead in it's tracks? Like they did Premier Davis during the 1970's, when they weren't afraid to really put their ass on the line? In the truest of democratic traditions? Rather than just huff and puff and engage in a whole lot  of ultimately useless posturing one again? We'll see! More @ MFB





2 Years Probation: That's what 3 students from the prestigious St Mike's football team got for a vicious sex assault with a broom handle on another student. It seems unfathomable. The victim was so distraught, that he couldn't provide a victim impact statement to the court. The judge stomped off without providing much if any insight into his decision. I'll provide a link to the complete text of the verdict, when it becomes available. More @ CBC 

Focus On School Culture: At St. Mikes, like at many private, supposedly religious schools, the real school culture is often one of bullying and hazing. The St. Mike's sexual assault provides a very clear example, that can't be hidden or denied @ TStar

Code of Silence: The TCDSB's Mike Del Grande strikes again! This time our Grande Meister bullied a young, Catholic school board student trustee. Made it a group effort. Because she thought "Unplanned", a Pro-Life classroom movie, was too propagandistic. Also dared question whether the board should exclude gender identity and LGBTQ references from it's Code of Contact, even though it's required by law. 

An oh-so-secret investigation has been called. A closed meeting too. But nothing done. Watch for a big denominational verses human rights case in the making, sooner or later, at the TCDSB. With lots of probing questions over whether discriminatory policies, and a whole, heaping pile of old, Catholic bullying and hazing school board shit, should be funded on the public dime. More @ TStar @ Star

Catholic Right: Board lobbyist's Campaign Life Coalition award Del Grande it's top award for "defending kids" from the "LGBTQ agenda" in the "Catholic schools" @ CLC More LSN Shocked?!? Consider their "Talking Points for Parental Consultation" on "gender identity" as a "mental disorder" too CLC  @ LSN

Meanwhile ... An embattled TCDSB scurries to reaffirm it's commitment to "inclusion". The OSTA: Ontario Student Trustee Association speaks out. Also worth noting, on a much more progressive note, the Toronto OECTA Catholic Elementary TECT and Secondary TSU teachers have strongly voiced their concern over Mike Del Grande's Great Debate of sorts @ CP24 @ Star Liz Stuart 


OH CANADA




Fighting The Canadian Corporate Agenda: Coastal GasLink enlists the RCMP to brutally force their Trans Mountain Pipe Line through unceded Wet'suwet'en land in BC. They are acting by colonial rule of law, under a divide and conquer strategy, vis a vis the racist, pre TRC "Indian Act". Any pretence of truth and reconciliation, by the Trudeau corporate lacky's and the First Nations in Canada, are dashed. The tribe's hereditary chiefs decide enough is enough. Are having it. Blockades and demonstrations erupt across the country, as push comes to shove. An overview @ G @ AJ 



Declaration of Wet'suwet'en Rights: The RCMP can't legitimately enforce government injunctions for big gas on stolen Wet'suwet'en lands. From an indigenous perspective they are protecting their own land and water, for future generations. That's their choice @ GS

"First Peoples Law" or "The Wet'suwet'en" Verses Canadian Rule of Law": Guess who was here first? On unceded land that does not belong to the Crown? Now guess who's by-passing the hereditary chiefs? Appealing to the government's Indian Act chiefs and councils instead? To try push the oil industry Trans Mountain Pipe Line through anyway @ FPL



Corporate Rights VS Indigenous Consent : Here's more about Trudeau's skewered view of what "consent" means for the First Nations in Canada. And on how an oil industry pipe line across Wet'suwet'en lands, was a government conflict of interest, from the very get-go @ PO

Corporate Vs Indigenous Rights: It gets worse! Amnesty International, the BC Human Rights Committee and the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination all speak out in the Wet'suwet'en defence. And no! Pure and simple: None of them think we should let indigenous rights be defined by an energy corporation. Duh YHI



Remember Oka: A blockade of the CN train line across Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory outside Belleville, Ontario threatens to shut down rail traffic across Canada. Don't expect these warriors, for one, to back down anytime soon @ Globe

Fake News: Beware! Corporate Canada is manufacturing a mainstream media crisis to force an armed intervention and get their way @ Global



All Talk -No Action: PM Trudeau claims that the Canadian government won't use force to end the protests, demonstrations and blockades erupting across Canada. Let's see. No doubt it's a black eye for Justin who's out of Canada shilling for a UN Security Council seat on the world stage. Nor are his corporate masters impressed! 

Meanwhile Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer has yet to vacate his government post. Continues to shame himself, demanding the Wet'suwet'en "check their privilege". This from Canada's Mr. Priviledge himself! Get this -He's stepping down for pilfering Conservative Party funds to pay for his kids private school education, as he heads out the door. 

Sadly, beyond being "concerned", the NDP are MIA. Laying low. Saying and doing as little as possible to stick their neck out. Ditto the Greens who apparently "condemn" the RCMP actions, in word if not in deed. All in all? A lesson in Oligarchical Rigging 101Global @ APTN @ GP



On Why Protest and Civil Disobedience Is Necessary: They might not be popular. Are a great inconvenience. But both are sometimes absolutely necessary, if democracy is to work @ Macs

Wet'suwet'en Supporter Toolkit 2020: Lots of direct links WSTK

Indigenous Ally ToolKit: Be informed! Get involved! PDF @ IA

The Twitter Links#WetsuwetenStrong  #WetsuwetenSolidarity  #ShutCanadaDown



Extinction Rebellion Toronto: ER Toronto, a local nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience group show us how it's done! Friday downtown Yonge-Dundas rush hour traffic grinds to a halt! Only public transit is let through, a nice people's touch. CP24 covers the speeches. Perhaps a bit too shrill and erudite at times, short on the just plain folks appeal your average Torontonian might better understand. Still, the demonstration succeeded with only about 70 protesters, no small task. Let's help ER Toronto spread the good word in advance, by sharing their alerts next time @ Twitter Story @ CP24 @ CTV 


Scheer Madness: CPC Andrew Scheer steps down as CPC party leader. It's been a long descent since he fumbled the Conservative tackle of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in this fall's federal election. Seems it truly was his to lose. A time line @ CTV 

Sticking Points: Will the CPC choose another social conservative to replace Andrew Scheer at their next leadership convention? With two thirds of the Canadian electorate voting for the centre or centre left Liberals and NDP respectively, in the fall federal election? Let's face it! Andrew was a nasty piece of work. Right wing kooky. Geeky. But easy to kick around within the Canuck political milieu. And ha! ha! -it was lots of fun too! Still, one wonders if we might not miss him in retrospect, should the Cons shift back to the Canadian political centre. For now at least, it's far from a done deal! More @ CTV TSun

Private School Scandal: Alas! Seems our Andy was finally given the boot over a scandal. One we didn't hear about during the election. Yup. He was sending his own kids to a private school in Ontario, on the party dime. While buddy Dougie was ever so busy destroying our Ontario public school system! Damn! Now how are the boys going to learn how to bully and haze folks just like daddy, eh?!? @ Globe 

Neo Conned: What do Stephen Harper and Andrew Scheer have in common? Besides the CPC? Der Trumps buddies in the GOP? And Boris Johnson in the UK? For starters, they all belong to the right wing Global Intel Democratic Union! Where they attended the same sorta election seminars; on how to stalk the electorate, high tech style ... The plot thickens @ Tyee



Canada's War With Iran?!? Trump assassinates Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Almost plunges the US into a deadly long drawn out war. Few of us seem to realize, that had there been a war, Canada like many other US NATO allies would've been dragged into it too, whether we liked it or not. 

Meanwhile Americans stare at their naval, pondering Donald's antics in the Ukraine. Seem mostly oblivious to their declining confidence and respect abroad. Nope. Trump doesn't consult his allies. It's always America First, for better or worse! With fewer of us keen on sticking around for the dubious ride. More @  NP

RIP: 57 Canadians are killed as Iran mistakenly shoots down a commercial airliner departing Iran at the height of the crisis. Let's face it! War sucks. Innocents get caught in the cross fire. And the violence spirals. What folly! @ Macs

IN THE NEWS



Feel The Bern: Democratic Presidential contender Bernie Sanders promises a broad slate of "day one" executive orders. Fighting climate change? Cheaper prescription drugs? Legalized weed? What has Trump wrought? Whether they're legal enacted by executive order, or that's even practical or realistic -no matter. With the Donald a new standard has been set! Perhaps just in time for Bernie. A leftie populist president next? More @ CNN

Sander's Democratic Socialism: It's not to be confused with socialist democracy. There are some subtle changes for the American voter, which seem to be finding widespread appeal. Here's how it works! Rabble

Here We Go: Far from being humbled by the impeachment stigma, Donald Trump flex's his new expansive presidential powers to seek revenge. Without doubt, a very dangerous new precedent has been set. More below and @ Politico




But crafty ones ...

Impeached: It's official! The US House of Reps has voted to impeach President [... we use the term lightly ... ] Donald Trump on two grounds; for high crimes and misdemeanours and the obstruction of congress. Read the annotated articles of impeachment @ CNN 

Dept Of Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Der Donald responds with a most unbecoming letter, ostensibly for posterity's sake, to set the record straight. Blah. Blah. Blah. Rips Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi NBC Read the fact checkWP Then really out does himself impeachment night at a Michigan rally, mocking recently widowed, Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingle. Suggesting her dead husband is in hell. And on and on and on it goes @ WP

Trump Freak Out: Pelosi is slow walking the articles of impeachment over to the Senate during the Christmas break. Demanding to know from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, what sort of trial the Senate has in mind! Will it be a fair, impartial one? Based upon facts? Witnesses? And evidence? 

An unnerved Trump goes berserk again on Twitter. Demanding "due process". Gee, does he even know what that means?!? And could he actually weather a Senate trial, without becoming totally unhinged; his own worse enemy??? More @ Pol @ WP @ MSNBC



Blemished: Trump's only the third US Present to be impeached. It's a permanent blemish on his record. Will always be on his historical record, even centuries from now. Maybe all anybody will eventually remember about the pathetic fuck ST

Two Tribes: A Democrat majority voted to impeach Trump, in the divided House of Reps. Next a divided GOP controlled Senate will decide his punishment, if any. The mighty US government is badly divided. Turning inward on itself. Doing itself in much quicker and more effectively than anybody else could. While it's enemies laugh so hard they'll piss his pants! @ NT  @ USAT 



Trump's Defence: The spineless GOP quits him without a trial. Nor any further evidence. There's a vote split strictly along party lines. Meanwhile, Trump's lawyers set a very dangerous precedent. They argue he's got an set of expanded presidential powers to pretty much do as he pleases, without much congressional oversightPBS

Head On A Pike: GOP Senators are warned about what will happen if they don't vote to acquit Trump. It works only too well, as they buckle under in mass @ Lev

Mitt Romney: The lone GOP senator to defy Trump and vote against acquittal, strictly on principle, explains why @ NYT

Body Blow: Trump's dubious aquittal scam could come back to bite his ass come election time, unless he can boost his popularity numbers. But will US voters have the wherewithal to succeed where congress, democratic traditions and the constitution have failed? @ Palmer @ NY'er



White Tribalism: Here's another variation on the tribal theme. Has more of a focus on Trump's white trash electorate and their own special brand of identity politics. Plus the need to hold onto power and privilege at all costs, damn the Republic SD @ 

Foxy: Fox News stokes hysteria throughout Trumpland with an alt fact version of the Trump Impeachment. The  coverage is rife with wild conspiracy theories. It's a false narrative supported by totally off the wall talking points. Frighteningly resembling an authoritarian cult

Think of Fox as a toxic poison within the body politic. Sadly, one that also has become for many Americans, their main source of "news". No? Check it out @ Fox and @ Wired



Foxocity: Former Fox "News" host Tobin Smith provides an insider peak at the network's secret playbook for white tribal warfare. He explains how Fox pits Retro against Metro America by mining the deep, exhaustless pet peeves of the aging, conservative couch potato [or "Foxholes"]. Fox is short on news facts. Big on their entertainment value, and the endless dopamine and serotonin hits their fix provides for the unsuspecting, addicted viewer. Sadly, Smith's irritating style and lack of editing leave a lot to be desired. But check it out! Reviews @ Div @ K

Tobin Smith also explains how the Fox formula was used to unfairly, discredit impeachment witness Colonel VindmanNYT

Trump Fundraising Blitz: The Trump re-election campaign successfully uses the Iran attack and social media ads to help fund his 2020 run. Scary stuff! I was in Florida throughout much of January while the Impeachment Trial was also going on. Fox News was piped in everywhere we went, providing his spin. The store shelves were stocked with Trump T-shirts and bumperstickers etc. etc. etc. A TV reality show come to life in real time! Sigh! Alas! He might yet pull it off! More @  WP



General Terrorism 101: Der Donald orders a drone strike to kill Iranian General Soleimani because ... well because he's a "terrorist", a rather slippery and troubling military slope, on a go forward basis. Here's how he pulled it off @ NYT

On Top Of His Game: Trump explains the Iran attack as a tough guy isolationist, winning accolades from his homespun American audience. The Democrats are stumped. Seem an emboldened Donald Trump is finally hitting his stride @ LAT

Foxy: Fortunately, even Trump stalwarts Fox News urged him to avoid war with Iran. For a brief moment anyway, even American liberals loved evil ol' right wing Fox News @ Politico

Assassinate Trump? An Iranian presidential advisor puts an $80 million bounty on the Donald's head. Proves a list of his properties where he might be found. But is it for real? More @ DM @ Sn

Afghanistan Papers: The endless war rages on and on. The latest leaked documents are a real bombshell, akin to the release of the Pentagon Papers, during the Vietnam War. In short, we've end lied about what's really been going on over there, from the get go. Even more disturbing; both parties are now involved in the coverupNR



On Trump Verses The Latin American Anti-Globalist FrontUW

Viva Cuba: Trump tightens the illegal US economic sanctions against Cuba, while putting the squeeze on Bolivia and Venezuela to put the screws to them too! The socialist state is slowly but surely being economically strangled to death. Stay tuned for the live twitter coverage of my upcoming to Santiago De Cuba! More @ Granma

Operation Condor 2.0: Ousted President Evo Morales squarely blames the Bolivian Coup on transnational corporations and the US government @ OT

Spin Doctoring: Trump is also hypocritically intensifying his covert war against socialist Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. Meanwhile he courts the immigrant vote in his State of the Union speech, as he continues to villify and hunt their fleeing compatriots down. Will it work come election time? Consider the following @ MJ

KULTURE KULT INK



Ageism: Diversity means hiring people of different ages too. Hey, seniors are people too! More @ Adage

Survival Mode: How is this season of the TV show "Survivor" like the Trump impeachment? Winning bigly becomes all that matters @ Wired

Much, much more to come ....

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Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
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Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

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A careful analytical study!

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Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

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Have you seen them!

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Look! I can crawl thru walls!

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No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
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Let's save all our money + buy pants!

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You don't look well.

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Would you like a bun?

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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!