Opening Statement



Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Toronto Covid Diary -Trippin' With Doug Fraud!


It's autumn in Toronto. Janet and I are back from the Land o' Lakes. Self isolating In our condominium high rise, in the cities west end. 

I gaze out our living room window at the Humber Valley. The thick, lush forest an exploding kaleidoscope of fall colours; Bright orange and yellows. Crimson reds. Very earthy. Dank. Nature shuttering up til spring.

While at home, one autumn day after another, runs endlessly into the next. A blur. A daze. 

The TV drones on. CP24 is rattling off the latest Covid numbers. There's more record highs! Even higher than last March, when the pandemic began! 

Back then we went in lockdown. But now? 


Ham fisted Premier Doug Fraud shamelessly plays an ill-advised, political card game of sorts. Dealing out the re-opening and closing cards, for Ontario's most troubled hotspots, at the business lobby's request. Brazenly, he shuffles and reshuffles the deck. Hiding our province's skyrocketing Covid numbers. Turning Ontario into a a Covid style, Trump Land North. Plagued by chaos and denial.

What's more important? Profitable bars, restaurants, casinos, strip clubs and gyms? 

Or overcrowded classrooms? Senior LTC? Eviction notices? Frontline workers? The less fortunate?

Sadly, in Doug Fraud's Ontario, it's business first! A short sighted trick, to get everybody back to school and work asap, despite the deadly, long term risks.

As for our everyday public health and safety? His hokum messaging is confusing, very muddled at best. 

Best beware! A tsunami's coming! 

A huge, viral tidal wave, at the very least! 

If life's a beach, then Doug Fraud's Ontario has become the perfect storm. 


One can almost hear the thunderclouds rolling overhead. The rising tide lapping at our door! As far too many of us misguidedly ignore social distancing. Discard our facial masks. Acting like they don't matter anymore. 

It's gotten so bad that Janet and are self isolating again. We hardly go outside. Except for supply runs, to stock up on PPE's. Consumables. Household supplies.

It's too exhausting dodging all the Covid zombies. Unmasked and undistanced, stumbling about the store aisles. Our city streets. Very stressful too!

I shiver in the cool autumn air, an early hint of the long, dark winter ahead, as the virus spreads.

I close the window, shut everything out. Drifting back, in my thoughts, to much happier days last summer at the lake. 

Lake Misissaganon Trippin'

I'm floating in my kayak. Lazily adrift, under warm, blue skies. Smoking a joint, lost in my peaceful reverie. The perfect social distancing!

We're far from the crowds at our trailer, with a deck and fire pit, on a big, thickly forested lot. Safe and comfy within our own, little, outdoor social bubble. 

It's a great Canadian summer retreat! Paid for by my teacher retirement gratuity. From 8 years or so ago, when I cashed in my chips, after my union sold us out, to the province. A sad betrayal of our most basic teacher union principles. So much BS!

With that, lots has sure changed. I liked teaching, while it lasted. But now I love retirement even more. [1]

We decided to downsize our city home. Condo life has proven comfy. Cozy. With 1200 square feet, there's just about enough room for the two of us. Less maintenance and upkeep too, especially as the cold weather arrives. 

The Trailer -Our summer space!

Come autumn, we usually start watching for last minute deals. Planning southern vacation getaways; to wile away some time outdoors, on a warm beach in Cuba. Jamaica. Mexico. Or Florida. Or maybe we'll save up. Fly away to Europe or Japan, if we're feeling more adventurous. 

But not this year. Nor maybe next year. Or the year after that either. Not with the coronavirus feeding off all the apathy and chaos, the sickly particles spreading through the air.

So what to do, as the Covid fatigue inevitably creeps back into our life? 

Well, we're weathering the second wave on line again. Plus with movies, music, books. I write a lot. And we talk on the phone, with family and friends. 

Mostly, we be here now. Just Janet and I cuddling on the couch. Holding on tight. Very tight. Being in and of the moment together, the very best place to be. 

But to liven things up? 

My Corona Survivial Kit -City Edition!

It's high time for some vapour puffs, from a jar or two of my favourite boo. Or perhaps a dab of shatter. Or an edible. While Janet prefers her sleepy time CBD's, with a spot of THC, courtesy of our evening pot of tea.  

With cannabis, unlike booze, there's no hangovers or blackouts. It chills, relaxes, and pacifies. Lights a creative spark. Is an excellent medicine for the everyday aches and pains of old age, whatever ails. And unlike tobacco, Cannabis is non addictive. Doesn't cause cancer either. 

Fortunately, Canada legalized weed in 2018. Pot shops are now popping up everywhere. Even during the first wave lockdown, it was widely available for pick up, delivery or by mail.

We've sure come a long way, since my I started toking back in the early 70's, After I later  began teaching, I still risked jeopardizing my job and everything I had worked so hard for, if I got caught. So I gave it up. For good measure, booze and tobacco too. 

Quite frankly, to quit drinking was the hardest part. Most everybody drinks. But for me, it often was like throwing gasoline on fire, what with all the stress in life and at work. 


I stayed completely straight for a few decades instead, about 22 years to be exact. To get the job done. Promising myself, I'd revisit the decision later on, after I retired.

Turns out, I only missed my weed, not so the other two. The biggest problem was that it was illegal. Since I started imbibing again, I haven't noticed any ill effects. 

I know lots of you love a nice weed buzz too. Oh Cannabis is still the best read blog on my site. So while we can't share a toke together in person anymore, for now, that will have to do!

Meanwhile, Janet and I count our blessings. Knowing that we're very fortunate to be living here in Canada. Enjoying a very middle class way of life. Our medicals covered. The household bills paid. We are resigned to being trapped indoors, until hopefully, we can escape back to the lake again next spring.

Plunking myself down on the couch, I squeeze Janet's hand, as we settle down into the long, dark winter ahead. About as ready as we can be.

Please beware of Doug! Take good care of yourself too! Until it's really safe out there, so we can all get together and puff, puff, pass again!

Peace/ Pax!

Stay tuned ..................

David


Footnote

[1] Quite frankly, I loved being in the classroom, teaching my students. It was all the other "adult" BS I couldn't stand.

COMMENTS:

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Teacher Free Speech Fall 2020 News + Views!

 LaTEr aDDiTiOns R In LargE TypEsEt! mY Acronym Guide IS @ hErE! MuCh, mUch morE to coMe ..... REadeRs gUiDe 2 TeaCHer fREE sPEech NeWs Y vIeWs @ HERE!  LiVe tWEEts @ davidchiarelli 

OH CANADA

State of Denial: The Canadian-US border remains closed. All is certainly not well here, that's for sure. But there's a sharp contrast in how both countries are handling the Covid pandemic. To wit @ Atlantic

Collaborators: Canada's labour unions continue to support Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's reckless back to work campaign, as our fall Covid Wave 2 infection rate soars. Sadly, the ostensibly left wing NDP party is aiding and abetting him too! Sure, party leader Jagmeet Singh scored some minor concessions in the fall budget: An expanded sick leave program for Federal workers. More income support for the unemployed. But basically Trudeau continues to suck off Canadian progressives into the Liberal Party fold. Leaving us without any effective opposition, now or for the foreseeable future, to keep him on his toes. Putting generating wealth, ahead of the health and safety of Canada's working families workforce, as the pandemic escalates. For shame! @ WSWS @ CBC

Covidiots North: Get this -Canadian Conservative opposition leader Erin O'Toole catches the coronavirus. Had been meeting across Canada with his other conservative buddies, risking spread. Oh, and now his wife has it too. While his right wing buddies continue to play loose with the alt facts. Pursue a corporate austerity agenda. Like the GOP, another Neo Conster party to our south @ CBC @ CBC @ Huff @ TSun

Big Secrets: Ontario Premier Doug Ford's Conservatives lose another court fight. And again decides to appeal. In question are the con-ster's mandate letters to each government ministry outlining their plans for us. Usually these mandates are clearly and promptly put on the public record. So why the big secret? What exactly is Ford really up to, behind the scenes, during the Covid crisis?!? We clearly have a right to know @ CBC

Doug Fraud: Ontario Premier Doug Ford readily bends to business pressure. Hastily begins reopening the province's gyms. Even allowing indoor dining again. As for test positivity? Our provincial infection and hospitalization rates? They've soared! While our Doug Fraud shamelessly continues to jiggle the numbers and restrictions around @ CTV @ CP24 Globe


Caught Red Handed! The Ontario Auditor General's report, on Ontario's Covid emergency response, is a total bombshell! Turns out that Premier Doug Fraud has stacked his dubious "command table" with political and business appointees. While his ... ahem ... "medical expert", Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, is merely a table advisor. Oh, and a lackey, messenger boy too, for the fraudster and his seal clapping cabinet. Now, we know why Ontario's business orientated "emergency response" is so mired in conflict, confusion and delay, when it comes to our most urgent, public health and safety issues @ CBC 

Stooge Show: More on how Dr. David William's isn't really  leading the province's Covid-19 response team. Far from it. Also how Public Health Ontario at best plays a "diminished role" in decision making, despite the premier's false claims @ CTV 

The Story So Far ....


Back 2 Rideau: The Prime Minister dramatically moves back into Rideau Cottage, like he did during the first wave of the pandemic, last spring. He speaks quite passionately, directly to the Canadian people. Admitting that the pandemic has spun out of control. He doesn't need a teleprompter, as he warns that the "virus is now running around unchecked". That if action isn't taken immediately, infections could spike to between 20,000 to 60,000 cases a day. However, the PM then leaves it up to each province to decide what to do. Doesn't officially declare a National Emergency, nor take any further decisive federal action. So what comes next then, eh?!? Here's a compendium of news links, as the story continues to unfold: Trudeau's speech at Rideau Hall @ CP24 @ CBC @ Youtube 
The projected infection ratesCBC On a national verses a provincial responseCBC

Toronto + Peel Lockdown: Afterwards, Premier Doug Fraud imposes a modified stage one lockdown on both of these two provincial hotspots. It's very last minute, without sufficient warning. Very patchwork and inconsistent too. Get this -Schools and daycare remain open. While no travel restrictions between regions are put in place. Some businesses can stay open, mostly the big box stores. While the other smaller, locked down businesses and restaurants, angrily start to flagrantly flout the new rules ON.CA CBC @ CTV @ BlogTO  


Covid Sauced: Etobicoke's Adamson BBQ illegally opens it doors for indoor dining, creating a super spreader event. Clearly challenging the lockdown rules. While Premier Doug Fraud fumes but does nada. And police scratch their heads.

It's a staged, political event, playing to maximum effect. Broadcast daily across the GTA on CP24 news. But it's a very sloppy anti-masker protest at that. The restaurant hasn't got a business license. The rabid, right wing protesters are waving a US, "Q" style, flag. Advocating wild, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. While angrily demanding their civil rights. 

Bottom line? Out of necessity, public health and safety must come first. Like it or not, it's for our greater, collective good, as the pandemic spins out of control. Regretfully, Covid doesn't care about business profits, dining rights. Nor any of our most basic civic rights. Plus, the protester's are only hurting small business. Sure doesn't help make them look safe at all. Far from it @ BlogTO @ 680

A Very Privileged Superspreader Event: Police negotiate with Adamson's BBQ for two days, seeking a peaceful solution. While the restaurant stays open. Offering illegal indoor dining. Without masks or social distancing. Racking up huge sales. As white nationalist Paul Fromm and a tightly packed crowd of very privileged, anti mask protesters disrupted the peace. Causing traffic jams outside. Spreading the virus about with impunity. Would our police force use the same restraint, if this was a racialized protest? Let's say over indigenous land rights? Or Black Lives Matter? Hmmmm. Very peculiar. Just saying  .... More @ City

Caught Red Handed: Oh! Oh! Once again, our Dougie the Fraudster's coming under real intense pressure and scrutiny. So, how's he going to flatten the province's skyrocketing, infection rates? As the second wave of the pandemic comes crashing down upon us?!? Especially in the GTHA [Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area]??? 


Ta daaa! Our Doogie now introduces a new, much more varied, "colour coded", "multi-tiered system" of "bench marks" and "thresholds". That'll determine what businesses and services are opened or closed, in different locations across the province. While keeping the closure levels beyond reach, as he continues to ki$$ hi$ busine$$ buddie$ a$$. Keeping the province open for busine$$ and the profit$ rolling in, for as long a$ he can.



But drat! The big Fraudster gets foiled! Is nailed by the province's medical community, for his scary lack of scientific method and transparency. His failure to follow Ontario Public Health's expert advice. 

Undaunted, the Fraud Meister has only lowered the infection rate thresholds a bit, so far. While continuing to bizarrely blame us for ... get this ... not washing our hands enough! 


Stay tuned folks! Doogie's deadly debacle isn't over yet. Meantime, here's a compendium of links, to help us get up to speed, as the crisis continues to unfold: Dougie gets caught @ TStar @ Reacts @ TStar The experts disagree @ CBC @ CH 

TVO 

A lockdown looms @ CBC On passing the buck @ Globe The broken trust @ TVO


OMA: The Ontario Medical Association actually recommended substantially lowering the various infection cut off rates for moving through Premier Fraud's

 new ... ahem ... system, by as much as 50%! Regretfully dear reader, this important news info is hard to access. You've probably noticed the Toronto Star's paywall. Plus the nearly complete lack of other good, fairly reliable, local news services, reporting responsibly on the crisis. However, here's a summary of what the OMA has said, to at least give us an inkling of just how totally unsound Ford's "plans", or lack thereof really are @ CP24



Just In Ottawa: To his credit, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau was instrumental in getting Ford onboard with the coronavirus fight last spring, as the first wave hit. Still, the exact plan itself remains a provincial jurisdiction. It isn't decided or carried out in Ottawa. Basically, our PM's job is to co-ordinate the cross Canada effort. Offer financial aid. Which Justin continues to try to do. While sadly, our Fraudster Premier just takes, takes, takes. So where does the money go? Sigh. Alas. We really don't know. Leaving Justin stuck trying to cajole the stupid putz into acting responsibly, to no avail, as the pandemic continues to spread Politico

Failure 2 Re-Launch
Testing? Communications? The expert warnings? Our Dougie has failed us miserably on almost every level, in preparing for the coronavirus' inevitable, second wave @ N66

Expert Advice?!? There's widespread uncertainty over who's really advising Ford, from behind the scenes, in developing his floundering response to the Covid pandemic. The province's doctors and medical experts often aren't onboard with his safety plans, especially as the second wave comes crashing down upon us. As for his perilous, school re-openings? Ford still hasn't even consulted with the province's teachers. See Covid Beat below, and @ TVO

Traces: Contact tracing lags miserably in Toronto, Ontario. Only 55% of the new cases, are being traced. Meanwhile the virus continues to spread, the infection numbers soar @ CBC



Support 1492 Land Back Lane: The Haudenosaunee-Six Nation land defenders are taking a stand against real estate developers on the Grand River - Haldimand tract north of Toronto. Here's why their fight is so important, from an indigenous perspective @ FenFc Updates @ 1492

Define "An Abuse of Process": For starters, consider the police enforced court injunctions our colonialist Ontario courts are using, to settle questions over First Nation land rights. 1492 Land Back Lane provides a case in point @ ODOM

Under The Covid Radar: While we're distracted by the pandemic, Premier Fraud's been very busy changing the Ontario Conservation Act. Think his so called "expert advice" on health and education is pure bullshit? Well, watch out! Guess where Doogie's "expert advice", for the province's environmental approval process, will come from? When planning con$truction project$ and the like? Yup! Ontario'$ property developer$! Until now, Conservation Ontario's 36 local authorities have been responsible for protecting and restoring the water, land and the natural habitat within each of our communities, across the province. But not anymore! What a scam! @ StCS @ BlogTo


Humber Valley -Hurricane Hazel 1954!

Hurricane Hazel: Back in 1954, it turned Toronto's many natural ravines and flood plains into raging rivers. 81 people were killed. 1800 left homeless. Everything totally destroyed in the watery wake. Afterwards, the Metro Conservation Authority was put in charge of flood forecasting. They redeveloped the flood plains, creating the gorgeous city parklands we enjoy today. In our much larger city of 2.5 million, that's about to easily come up for grabs. Surely, it's prime real estate, for the greedy property developers salivating and licking their chops, under Ford's new changes to Ontario's Conservation Act! But guess what happens to anyone living or working there, the next time, an unpredictable flood strikes?!? More NO @ CE


Homophobia Grande at the TCDSB!

Ex-Fordite Grande: The TCDSB Toronto's Catholic school board finally sanctions trustee, and former Rob Ford acolyte Michael Del Grande for breaching it's Code of Conduct. Get this -Last November, he made a series of homophobic slurs against the publicly funded board's LGBTQ community. Compared their school concerns to trying to accommodate bestiality, pedophilia and cannabalism within the Catholic classroom. Much of the Catholic community was of course, deeply hurt, shocked and disgusted by his behaviour, as were many others. Rightly so! Del Grande's words and actions also violate Ontario Human Rights Code, and they do so on the public dime. Sadly, it took the TCDSB Board of Trustees far too long to take decisive action. Lotsa flip floppingDenial. And badly split votes. Betcha' this isn't over yet either! More @ CBC

Catholic Code of Silence Exposed: By the way, here's the big, secret "Mike De Grande Investigation" report the trustees didn't want everybody to see. Very damning @ TCDSB


Very Nobel: The Council of Canadians has nominated Cuba's Henry Reeve medical teams for the 2020 Nobel Prize. Despite a crippling US embargo, 53 of these teams were sent to 39 countries, across 4 continents, to help fight the global pandemic. Bet that the US, having done basically squat, will now indignantly try to deny the Cubans this most deserving award @ CC

IN THE NEWS

[but won't admit it ....]

Trump Dumped: Biden wins the popular vote by a large margin! The Democrats hold onto the House, but loose a few seats to the GOP! While the Senate will be decided in 2 run off races in January! A look at the results and exit polls @  BBC @ NYT Handy state by state links and more @ NBC Even Fox News plays straight with the numbers as they come in @ Fox

Amerika -The Series Finale: Fittingly, it's a long, drawn out cliff hanger. President Donald Trump refuses to concede defeat. Engages in embarrassing attempts at overturning the results by litigating the vote count, while the world watches and cringes. Seems a vote doesn't count anymore, not if it isn't for the GOP. So far, they're readily going along with Der Donald's denial game. If that continues, can a coup d'├ętat be far behind? The long and short of it? The US has tragically turned into a strictly Third World, reality style, TV show. While the endless election recounts and court challenges drag on and on and on into overtime @ Slate


Well, I'll B -It Was Borat All Along!!!

Trump Trash Can Fire: The President's allegations of widespread election fraud are proving to be quite baseless. But the attendant right wing media hysteria paralyzes Amerika, as it continues to humour a sore loser. Basically, many Republicans voted in person on election day, at Trump's request. While the Democrats often voted by mail instead, quite understandably, because of the Covid pandemic. Sure, that resulted in some confusing, initial delays while counting the vote. But the Department of Homeland Security has refuted Trump's alt facts, insisting that the 2020 election was actually the most secure one in American history. While a delusional Donald madly stokes the fires of chaos, America's credibility, internationally at least, goes up in smokeCISA @ Bizi @ NYT  A useful tracker @ NYT

Trump Flu: US President Donald Trump downplays the Covid-19 early in the pandemic. Then catches it the virus himself, with the fall election but a month away. As President, he of course gets the executive medical treatment. That's well beyond the reach of his fellow 210,000 Americans who've so far died. The numbers continue to spiral out of control. But Trump tells everyone not to worry. Even suggesting catching Covid is a gift from god. Jeez, you can't make this up! @ CNN Fear @ NYT The average "loser" reacts @ Guardian Trump's messianic musings @ BBC

Donald Superspreader: Was Trump contagious during the White House Rose Garden fete for SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett? At his vile, unpresidential first Presidential debate? His various GOP rallies and fundraisers? The GOP party faithful are catching it like crazy too; supporters, donors, politicos and army brass alike. Meanwhile mum's the word. Trump's hiding the medical details about how he caught it; the who, where, when, why and hows. Nor is there much tracing going on. As the White House remains a contagion zone, for staff, visitors and family alike. Sadly, if our neighbours to the south re-lect this Covidiot, well then, what to say? They deserve what they get! GOP Denialism @ WP More @ CNN @ CVB @ CD @ NYT

Oligarchical Rigging 101: Biden or Trump? Sigh! Alas! Either way the rich corporate oligarchs win! That's been quite clear in the 2020 election race, since Joe won the Democratic leadership race, pushing the party progressives aside. While leaving him the lesser of two evils, in what's a no win election, regardless of the outcome, admist the deadly Covid pandemic @ CD @ Jacobin @ ITT

Fear + Loathing: Like some power hungry, third world, tin horn dictator, the US President suggests he'll refuse to concede defeat, if he loses the fall election, preventing a peaceful transfer of power. America -a beacon of democracy no more! Once unstoppable, the US is now hellbent on doing itself inAtlantic


Election Email Scandal: Here we go again. A last minute October election surprise. Amplified by a suspicious far right wing news echo, this time between Fox News and The NY Post. Centring on a whack of  unsubstantiated emails, on a dubious computer drive. Supposedly linking Hunter and Joe Biden to another deep, dark state conspiracy theory. With Trump cronies Steve Bannon, Sean Hannity, and ... ahem ... Rudy Giuliani lurking in the background. Sure. The US right wing media is on fire, but few else are convinced. This isn't 2016. Is another Trumpster dumpster trash can fire the best Der Donald can do, as his weirdo election campaign seems to crash and burn?!? Zzzzzzz @ NPR

But ... but ...but: What will CNN and MSNBC have to talk about after Trump?!? 

Free-Dumb: In Trump's America, one's freedom from wearing a mask means that you've got the unfettered right to put other's lives at risk too. Sadly, the very most narrow, infantile, and self-serving of interests, now trump the common good! @ Eand


Nigerian Lives Matter: Sadly, it's all too common. The peaceful protests against police violence in Nigeria are being met with beatings, guns and bullets. In this case, lots and lots of them. But in today's global village, the widespread concern isn't just going to go away. Or be ignored anymore. In the US, Canada, or wherever it occurs @ PAC

All Families Count: Pope Francis seems to shift the Vatican's LGBTQ stance by calling for civil union law to be extended to same sex couples. But will the Catholic church practice what it preaches? Allow same sex marriage? Become more accepting? And inclusive? Don't hold your breath! @ CNA 

COVID BEAT

Hello Second Wave: It should come as no surprise! Science and history tell us a second and third wave were inevitable all along. See my Teacher Summer 2020 News y Views blog for more links, plus @ OHS

Wear A Mask: During the first wave of the Covid pandemic we knew very little about the virus and how it spreads. There was a lot of focus on disinfecting surface spread. Now we are learning that the bigger threat is from inhaling and exhaling the Covid aerosols droplets in the air @ ElMed

A Marathon Not A Sprint: Surviving the Covid pandemic is a long not short range goal. Better be especial careful as the cold weather arrives. Now, the second wave action moves back indoors, where there's a whole lot more danger of spread @ CO


Covid Health + Safety: Sure. Covid might not kill you. But it's much more deadlier than the flu. And even if you survive, the long and short term health complications can be reeeeaaaal bad @ Giz

Keep Your Social Distance: Should we keep one or two metres apart? Current research suggests that the airborne aerosol droplets in our breath are much, more dangerous than the surfaces we touch. Sadly, the farther apart we are, the better, at least as far as the spread of the coronavirus is concerned @ BMJ

Presidential Hide + Seek: President Donald Trump isn't the first president who's tried to hide his illness during a pandemic. President Wilson downplayed the 1918-19 Spanish Flu. Took few precautions. Caught it himself. Then tried to carry on business as usual, with some very, very dire results. Sound familiar? More @ Yahoo


Money Worries: No fiscal, conservative expense is spared for a corporate bailout, an oil pipeline, or to fight a senseless war! Eventually, the economy bounces back. It always does. Except, it's argued, if the fiscal stimulus is for everyday working people and the less fortunate. Small business. Or even public services instead. Bottomline? How can we go to work anyway, if we get sick and die? The economy will still grind to a halt. The financial crisis will even be a lot worse. In short, we definitely need to stay at home to flatten the curve. Many of us require direct government support to do so. Ford and Trump are being disingenuous! They lie! Some worthwhile links to consider @ Globe EI

EDUCATION BEAT

Official Ontario Covid Tracking Site: Here's a link to the government website, listing the province's infected schools and childcare centres. You might well want to supplement it with the other links below, but it's @ On.Ca  

Daily Ontario Classroom Risk Assessment: Check out Ryan Imgrund Biostatician and Science Head Ryan Imgrund chart to see how safe the kids are. It's updated daily @ Twitter

Canada Covid School Finder: Go to the map. Check out the schools in your area. Updated daily, as the pandemic continues to spread @ CCSF

Canada Covid School Guide: Here's a province by province breakdown, with lots of stats and links. Runny noses, nasal congestion and more @ MacLeans

School Covid Zone: Premier Doug Ford still refuses to properly consult with Ontario's teachers and medical experts on the province's school reopening plans. As the Covid virus spirals through our schools, our teacher unions speak out. AEFO, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF's hold a joint press conference outlining the pressing concerns @ Teachers

OLRB [Ontario Labour Relation Board]. Get this! They too refuse to hear the teacher's school safety concerns too. Why?!? Seems it's not within their lackey, legal jurisdiction. So who's in charge, then? Just our Dougie and MOE Lecce it seems! Sure. Individual teachers could still risk a personal work refusal. Get bullied mercilessly by the school admin, the board and the powers that be. But where are our teacher unions when you need them most?!? MIA! Big time! Sadly, it's high time for some good old fashioned civil disobedience. Rather drastic yes ... But hey! If the teachers aren't safe, neither are our kids!!! For shame @ WSWS  Sud.Com

Work Refusals: Ontario's teachers are risking more and more individual work refusals, in some of our province's most badly infested schools. Sadly, they are still mostly on their own, and at the mercy of Ontario Labour Board. So where are the teacher unions?!? Still in hiding. MIA @ CTV

Ford Lies: The Premier goes out of his way, during his daily news presser, to attack the province's frontline teachers. Gets all worked up. Claims that they won't agree to in school testing. But it turns out that's because ... get this ...  he never askedCTV

HVAC [Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning]: Class size matters. So do masks, in reducing spread. But then there's the HVAC. This all important school infrastructure was in widespread disrepair when I retired 7 years ago. Certainly hasn't gotten any better since then either. There isn't any simple quick fix. Now, like in our long term care homes, watch the virus spread. Especially as the cold weather arrives @ Global @ CTV

People Vs Generating Wealth: There's nothing new under the sun. Teacher unions around the world are clashing with the government over ill considered school reopening plans. Consider it a question of priorities @ WP

No School Lock Downs: Ontario's classrooms will remain open during the current lockdown in Toronto and Peel. The province's ETFO elementary teachers are again urging the Ford government to listen to the experts. While asking them to spend the $9.3 billion in unallocated, contingency funds received from the federal government, on reducing class sizes and improving ventilation in our overcrowded schools. Here's the letter listing the urgent health and safety concernsETFO

"Celebrating" Ontario's Schools: Here's how Minister of Education Stephen Lecce is cherry picking the Covid case numbers at our Ontario schools, to trick us into thinking that all is going well @ PP

More Number Games: Public support for keeping Ontario's schools open, often seems far greater than it actually is. In fact, many parent's have opted out of the provincial plan. Lots of student's are studying at home, participating in online learning programs instead @ NYT

Mission of Destroy: Even during a dangerous pandemic, Ford continues to underfund our neighbourhood schools and treat them with sheer neglect. While encouraging home learning. And providing extra help to the private schools instead. His hidden agenda? To destroy public education! No? Here's how it works @ PRO

Exposing The Capitalist Cracks: It's really quite shocking. Ford's tells us to go back to work. So we drop the kids off at school, in overcrowded and poorly ventilated classrooms. Risking their health and safety. That of our other family members too, including our elders and anyone with a medical concern. 

Why? To protect the business sector and pay our household bills. But it's very unnatural. Against our most basic, human instincts. Sadly, our most vulnerable family members, no longer come first. Intentionally or not, they are a secondary concern @ Huff PA @ Sage @ HC


Do As We Say -Not As We Do: No large social gatherings, eh? Except for Assistant to the Education Minister and Niagara West bible belt PC MP Sam Oosterhoff? Poor Sam! Boo hoo hoo! Get this! He got caught red handed at a big family party, in a restaurant hall, flagrantly breaking pretty much all the Covid rules. Even boasted about it, posting the photos on line. Then refuses to apologize. So, what does Premier Doug Fraud do?!? Forgives him! As he continues to court the province's religious right wing @ Ipol 

The Kids R NOT Alright! On teacher and student freedom of expression in the new ... ahem ... improved online classroom experience @ CFE  @ CFE


Apathy Plus: Only 15-20% of us closely follow the news! Sadly, widespread apathy is even more prevalent and dehabilitating than today's deep right/ left wing political divide. This article suggests that we need to make the issues much more tangible for everyday folk. Otherwise ... like it or not ... they couldn't care less, no matter how worthy the cause. A biiiiiiig dilemma @ NYT

Age of Collapse: If Americans can't rally together to beat the coronavirus, what are their chances of fighting climate change? Or any of the major existential threats facing the world today?!? @ Eand

Generation Z + The Fall of Trumpism: Todays' youngest voters are often deeply committed to diversity, social justice and fighting climate change. That puts them sharply at odds with Trump and the GOP during this year's US election and for the years ahead @ Politico

KULTURE KULT INK


Gimme Some Truth: October 9th would've been Beatle Meister John Lennon's 80th b'day! To celebrate, Sean Ono Lennon steps up as executive producer, on John's latest, greatest, 2020, solo pack. We're treated to some new analogue stereo and 5.0 surround mixes. Lennon's paraphrasing on the vocals sounds warmer. The bass and drums tighter, less boomy, more concise. Song wise? Kinda heavy on the love songs, ballads and later releases. So overall? Nope! I'm still not dumping my original vinyl. But the new mixes sound pretty good, even hold their own, on today's more common, digital sound systems. More @ AP Dusted off and cleaned up a bit, the title song sure sounds especially relevant nowadaze too @ Gimme Some Truth!

500 Greatest All Time Albums: OK, here we go again. These lists are never very definitive. But at least this one tries to be more diverse and inclusive. So whattaya think? Feel free to list any "corrections" in the Comments section below. List @ RS

Toronto Nightclubs Remembered: Here's an interesting Top 27 list. Being Toronto born and bred, I vaguely recall the Gas Works, RPM, the Kool Haus. Kinda mainstream, not really my scene. Have some fond memories of the more exotic Boom Boom Room [Link]. But hey! This list misses the legendary, punk rock Crash and Burn! [Link] So whatdya think? Any more you'd add too? @ BlogTo 

Twilight Zone Time: By the way, I'm pleasantly surprised to see the Richmond St. "Twilight Zone" make the list. A New York import. Lotsa art. Laser light shows. Graffiti. Music. Dance. I hung out there a lot, very late at night, while at U of T. Back in the early 80's, when rap, hip hop and house were still very new and leading edge, "Planet Rock" an underground hit, that we'd dance to every night. Here's why the Zone mattered @ DG

Read "Paintball: A Climate Change Novel": It's available as a free E-Book download til the end of November. Is suitable for the budding young activist reader and those of us who are .... er .... still young at heart. Comes courtesy of local "crotchety old introvert" and ETT teacher retiree Peter Brickwood. Use the coupon ZW69K @ SW

Worst Vintage Ads: Many of yesteryear's most popular advertisements wouldn't go over very well today, to say the least. Check 'em out @ SG

COMMENTS:

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!