Opening Statement

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Teacher Free Speech Spring 2020 News + 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 


Go Home and Stay Home: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is quite clear about that in his daily Q+A outside Rideau Cottage. Our Canadian COVID-19 crisis begins with a good leadership example of self isolation and social distancing, after his wife Sophie is exposed to the virus @  CBC

"The Big Plan" or "Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan Support for Business and Canadians": Here's what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's minority Liberal government in Ottawa is planning to do @ CA

Emergency Aid: Canada's minority parliament votes unanimously to approve a record, emergency $107 billion aid package. However, Trudeau's forced to negotiate aspects of the bill that the opposition parties fear is a dangerous power grab. Now, his Liberal government must seek further parliamentary support before it spends any more money, hopefully maintaining more opposition input, oversight, and a sense of checks and balances. So that folks is why a really democratic political system really needs an effective opposition. And our minority government in Ottawa can actually be a good thing @ CBC

CCPA: A Social and Economic Analysis of COVID-19: The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives appeals for "social solidarity, the primacy of collective care and non-partisan co-operation" @ CCPA

Capitalism 101: A socialist critique the Canadian government's COVID-19 response so far? In short: Tens of billions of dollars for big business. A pittance for healthcare and workers. Sound familiar? Who does our government really work for anyway?!? @ WSWS

COVID-19 Equity Issues: Canada's most needy are seniors, the poor and our new immigrants. Not only are they economically disadvantaged. They are also the most vulnerable to illness, if we really want to help flatten the curve and stamp the virus out @ Star

Union Welcome: It's one thing to tell somebody to stay at home for the public good. Quite another thing to be be able to afford it. And so Canada's labour unions are urging the government for enough aid for our most financially vulnerable workers. Meanwhile, over one million Canadians have applied for unemployment insurance. And are desperately considering how to prioritize the basic essentials and pay the bills @ CLC @ Global

Oil Rigging? Trudeau's Liberals are also reportedly considering a multi-billion dollar oil and gas sector bailout in Canada. Ostensibly it's because of the COVID-19 crisis. Sinking gas prices and so on. But using a horrible public health crisis? As another excuse, to bail out and sustain the fossil fuel industry? For shame! All three of Canada's main political parties are in the industry pocket, so don't expect much real opposition, unless we strongly speak out! More @ Globe

Meanwhile In Ontario: At first, Ontario's Neo Conster Premier Doug Ford dragged his heals. Didn't pro-actively react to the COVID pandemic in our province until now. Not unlike the Donald. Think Trump North. Now, he seems very focused on helping his business pals, rather than the average everyday Ontarian. Nor renters, Or our working poor. Sadly, with a majority government, there's only Andrea Horwath's NDP and a leaderless, stump Liberal Party at Queens Park to keep him on his heels @ TO

Ford's Health Cuts: Labour is urging Ford to restore the $2.7 billion in healthcare cuts he already made this year, to provide tax cuts for his rich buddies. Ha! Now, let's just see how concerned about public health he really is @ UNIFOR

Our Dougie's List of Essential Services in Ontario seems pretty open ended, considering that there is public health crisis. A lot of our working families, especially in the service sector, still need to go to work, so that he can claim Ontario is open for business! Check it out @ ON @ CBC

Ontario's Moronavirus Crisis: Consider this -Ford's copy cat anti media bias has only ended up making him look as stupid as the Donald. Now he's out in front of the camera's every day fielding questions. Think if it will make any difference? @ Spec

Tim's New COVID-19 Drive Thru Service? No Can See!

Boycott Tim's: Tim Horton's like to promotes itself as Canada's coffee shop. But it's owners are from Brazil. Nor do it's supposed Canadian values actually reflect those of many Canadians living here. Despite Tim's claims to the contrary, it's minimum wage workers are still being required to come to work, to serve you coffee and donuts, regardless of whether they are sick or not! Plus it's dismissing shareholder calls for stronger health and safety policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. All the while, denying it in their advertising and public statements. Hey! Look at what hey do, not what they say. Sigh. Alas. Tim is rimming it's workers during a public health crisis and endangering the rest of us too! Enough is enough @ Press @ Progress @ PP @ Star

Know Your Rights: Download Unifor's info FAQ about income support and sick leave benefits for workers. Check for regular updates throughout the COVID-19 crisis @ PDF Also visit the online CLC: Canadian Labour Council Resource Centre @  CLC

Wet'suwet'en Update: Coastal GasLinks use of court injunctions to push their pipeline through First Nation lands, shows that Canada is strictly a "smash and grab" country, for the oil industry and other big business interests. But now the very troublesome issue has fallen eerily silent. The COVID-19 crisis has certainly pushed it to the sidelines, for the time being. How convenient @ Globe @ Huff

Militarization: Few realize that Canada and the US have the longest unarmed border in the world. Both countries have now agreed to temporarily turn back anyone crossing it illegally, from either side, during the COVID-19 crisis, for public health reasons. Ummm .... hardly any of us want to sneak into the US illegally, at the best of times, so wants with the American troop build-up?!? 

Seems US President Donald Trump is as guns ho as ever. Wants to send any asylum seekers from the US back home to their country of origin, el pronto, as per his America First agenda. 

Canadian Deputy PM Christine Freeland strongly objects. An armed border is very bad for business. Also throws a real monkey wrench into the long term "special relationship" between our two countries, as "trusted friends" and "military allies". Der Donald backs down, for now, but lots of border issues remain @ Globe @ Global @ CBC @ WSJ

What Next?!? Canada braces for the mayhem Trump seems about to unleash in the new US COVID-19 epicentre south of our border! Too bad, if wants to re-open the border for Easter. We're shut down tight, braced for worst. As the number of confirmed cases continues to skyrocket, with the US now firmly in first place @ Globe @ Globe @ BBC


Social Distancing? Self Isolation? Or Quarantine? Different combinations are being used around the world in reponse to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stateside, President Donald Trump is now claiming that he'll relax his belated COVID-19 guidelines. Put economics first. Get America back to work early. Arguably mitigate the huge economic damage. But perhaps at the risk of of one's humanity? The nation's heart and soul? More @ ABC @ 

Go Early - Go Hard Verses The Laissez Faire Approach: The US and the UK have been pursuing a gradual laissez faire approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. While China, Italy, France, Spain and Canada are much more quickly utilizing a go early - go hard lock down strategy. So far, China and Italy seem to be making progress. While the US is in danger of becoming the new epicentre of the pandemic. @ Bloom 

US Stimulus Package: Trump is now rushing congress to pass a 2 trillion stimulus package. However, the Democrats put on the brakes, to insist on some oversite clauses. Ironically, these will also stop him from profiting from the crisis. This is not just partisan bickering. Sadly, the corrupt Trump organization and it's various business interests are posed for a major injection of new wealth, to er .... Make America Great Again, it seems @ BNN

Medicare For All? The US is one of the very few major developed countries without universal medicare, as the COVID-19 pandemic rears it's ugly head.
Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders continues to campaign for Medicare For All, as he goes down in the primaries. Sigh. Alas. @ Bernie @ More on Bernie, the Squad and health care as a basic human right @ PW

Care Strike: The US action group is calling for a widespread emergency response to survive the COVID-19 crisis. The rent and labour strikes begin April 2nd @ Twitter

2 Different Visions: The GOP and Democrats response to the COVID-19 crisis reveal quite different approaches to how the US proceeds on a go forward basis, during or after the Era of Trump. Here's Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi's version of what an emergency relief bill should look like @  DC Also a right wing critique @ NR

More on US Leadership or The Lackthereof -Cuomo verses Trump @ ABC

Foxy Election Year: Fox News is at it again! Once again, they're been badly misleading Trump's legion of supporters. Claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic is fake news. Just an election year trick. Of course, a bad economy is very bad for Trump come the fall US election. But the evidence, from around the world, surely shows how short sighted this is. Meanwhile the US moves up to first place in reported cases of the virus. See below and @ DB @ WP @ CTV

Right Wing Watch -OANN: Beware! The One America News Network is an extreme right wing conservative news network. Trump is increasingly relying upon them for his own fake news stories, when Fox doesn't come through. Check them out @ MBFC

Viral Rebels: According to a rash of sensational media reports, wealthy adults and restless teens continue to thumb their noses at COVID-19 containment. It's happening from Florida to France. The March break horror stories from the US are particularly alarming. Remember, in the greater scheme of things, martial law usually follows next, when emergency procedures seem to need to be more strongly enforced. Just saying ... @ VOA

The Trump Show: Der Donald continues to misinform Americans and undermine his public health officials during his daily briefings. Too bad! With impeachment now off the Congressional table, he can't be "cancelled" before November @ Vox

What Next?!? According to the medical experts, here's how the pandemic plays out, when politics gets in the way of protecting public health, and one doesn't act pre-emptively to flatten the curve. Brace yourself for a total horror-show @ Atlantic

Of course, the economic impact of shutting down the country can be devastating too. But it will be anyway, if not to a lesser degree, if Trump stays his course. Perhaps, it's all a question of one's core ethics, values and principles. What comes first? Human lives? Or accumulating more and more wealth? @ NYT

Oil Rigging? House Democrats warn that Trump is considering a multi-billion dollar oil and gas sector bailout too. Truth be told, both the Democrats and the GOP are firmly in the industry pocket. Best beware the crocodile tears! See Oh Canada above. More @ Hill

"Hot Button" or "Temperature Rising": Sadly, climate change is often in danger of getting lost in the current COVID-19 pandemonium. However, this February was another record hot month around the world. The economic danger is much more costly than the virus. The environmental and social danger truly profound @ SA

US Leadership Void 2: China and tiny, socialist Cuba are providing medical assistance abroad, most notably in Italy. Consider it as another sign that the US has all but abandoned any attempt at real leadership on the world stage. Maybe for the best? @ CC @ Granma

A Bolivia COVID-19 Coup: New elections in Bolivia have been postponed because of the virus. Hmmmm. Get this -Evidence has surfaced proving there wasn't any election fraud last year, to justify the US backed coup against anti-oligarch, indigenous President Evo Morales. How convenient @ Telesur @ Canary @ Dissent


COVID-19 Real Time World Map and Counter: Watch the numbers rise and fall, country by country, around the world. An all too real horror show @ Youtube! More numbers from in Canada @ CBC The City of Toronto info site is @ TO

What's a "Pandemic"?!? The WHO [World Health Organization] has declared COVID-19 to officially be a world wide pandemic? What does that mean? What could happen next? How to deal with the stress? More @ MNT

"Stepping Out" or "How To Avoid COVID-19 At The Grocery Store" @ Atlantic

COVID Timeline: Estimates range from 2 months to a year and a half. I'll add more links as they show up. You can start handicapping the odds for yourself @ Atlantic 

Teachers Strike: The Ontario ETFO and OECTA public teacher unions have reached tentative contract agreements with the Ford government. We won't know many details until they are ratified by the members. Meanwhile AEFO teachers and OSSTF teachers are still in negotiations. Let's hope they haven't been sold short through concession bargaining, as in years past. More often than not, that hasn't been the exception, rather it's the rule. Moreover, it now sounds like the Ford government might've backed off on many of its cuts, for now anyways. We must remember though, that what they say and do in public, often isn't reflected at the bargaining table, nor followed through on later either, as CUPE has now found out. Teacher Free Speech wishes the teachers well, but urges everyone to be careful -very careful, in taking the Ford Neo Cons change of heart seriously. More @ OECTA @ ETFO @ CUPE

Learn At Home? Ford's latest boondoggle? A government sponsored on line program, for the province's students, while our schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apparently it was developed by teachers. Sure. Long ago. And it's very general at best. Sadly, the so called "plan" to help out at home, also excludes those disadvantaged students who could benefit the most from the extra help @ Star
"On The Good Fight" or "Fighting Back": Canada isn't broken. Far from it. True, there's the recent indigenous protests. Teacher and public service strike actions. The environmental movement. We know all is not well. But the robust political activism also show that the democratic tradition is still quite alive and well here in our country. So smile! Maybe there's hope for us yet. The revolution is alive @ Mac @ Guardian


Or Look At It This Way: What a great excuse to stay at home with your partner! Especially if you are empty nesters, or don't have kids. Yep! You're not so busy, busy, busy, all the time. On the run, doing this and that. So ... what now? Remember -You can't spell quarantine without U-R-A-Q-T! 

Caremongering: Everyday Canadian's rally to help each other out, as we bunker down in our homes for the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the country, groups are organizing, often online, to help each other out; especially the elderly and most needy and distressed. It's a very Canadian moment, eh! With most of us understanding that we're all in this together @ WP

Off The Road: Yup! All travel plans are on hold for now. Perhaps for the conceivable future. But we can still look at travel pictures! Here's some great ones, from a drone! Fun. Beautiful. But sometimes scary too @ TF

A su salud/ to your health -DC
Much, much more to come ....


Monday, 23 March 2020

Oh Cannabis Spring 2020 News y Views!

Inhale! Hold! Exhale! Smile! ChEcK oUt My "Readers Guide 2 Oh Cannabis News Y View" @ Directory! UpDAtEs AddED iN LaRgE TyPe! LiVe TwEeTs @ davidchiarelli 


Welcome to the COVID-19 Edition of Oh Cannabis!

Regarding COVID-19: NORML urges our cannabis community to come together responsibly to protect ourselves and the health and safety of others! Toking? Sharing? And cannabis activism? More tips on how to proceed below, and @ NORML

Regarding The Cannabiz Sector: ICC [International Chamber of Commerce] in collaboration with the WHO [World health organization] provides some COVID-19 safety guidelines for the cannabiz sector. The goal is to help reduce transmission of the virus, with a focus on the workplace, retailing, hospitality, and travel. More below and @ CIJ


Home Delivery: In Canada, the unregulated market is providing it, while the OCS [Ontario Cannabis Store] and other government licensed retailers across the country are overwhelmed and have cancelled same day service. From my own experience, here in Toronto, there's lotsa great deals, usually delivered el pronto, for free. Quite frankly, so far, it's better than ever! More @ CTV

An Essential Service: It's official! Ontario's 50 government licensed cannabis stores can remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like the beer stores and LCBO. Makes sense but nonetheless comes as a great relief. When it comes to weed, as with so many things, our Premier Doug Ford, far too often seems to be suffering from heh ... heh ... Er ... moronavirus @ BNN

The New NORML: Oh Cannabis welcomes Caryma Sa-d as the new, incoming executive director of NORML Canada. Caryma's "weirdly optimistic" that the COVID-19 crisis could prove to be a "catalyst" or "opportunity", for "reimagining" Canada's path forward with legalization, to make it more "sustainable".  

The board has also been reshuffled. New members Calyx + Trichomes founder Jennawae McLean and entrepreneur Derek Mascarenhas join as Retail Inclusion Co-ordinator and Treasurer respectively. Oh Cannabis wishes outgoing Executive Director Abi Roach all the best. Many thanks Abi! @ Jar 

Buddin' Lawyer Cary'ma Sa-d is no stranger to this site. Nor Toronto's cannabis community.  She helped advise us at my condo building with our new, cannabis positive, clean air policy. It was unanimously approved by an initially, very hostile board. So too, by the quite different mix of residents at our AGM! No small task BLOG

Game Changers? The prospect of legal cannabis lounges in Ontario, and legalized edibles across the country, could be long term game changers for the floundering legalized canna sector @ MF


Reefer Madman Donald Trump Doubles Down On Weed: Nope! A vote for the Donald in 2020 isn't a vote for legalization. Far from it! He wants to remove medical cannabis protections and thinks smoking weed makes you dumb. Nuff said @ CT

Slo-Joe On Weed: Leading Democratic Contender Joe Biden can't decide if he'll legalize cannabis or not. Maybe he'll decriminalize it? So which is it Joe?!? More @ MM and @ Vice

An Essential Service: Across the US, cannabis shops are being allowed to remain open, to at least provide stay at home service, during the pandemic @ MBD

NYC Cannabis Deliveries are flourishing as tokers' practice social distancing safely at home @ Complex

How the COVID-19 Crisis Might Make US Politicos More Receptive To Legalization: Just think of all the new, much needed tax revenue @ Yahoo

Indigenous Weed: US Justice department states that "Indian" tribes in the US are free to grow and sell pot, if they follow the federal laws @ Guardian


Cannabis Stock Ticker: The corporate cannabis party is over as the stock market tanks. And that was before the COVID-19 crisis! What next?!? Consider @ GMR

The Green Woes: All sectors of Canada's fledging cannabis sector are feeling the ill effects of the COVID-19 epidemic. They'll be seeking government financial assistance too @ 

A New Green Rush: Cannabis enthusiasts are not just stocking up on toilet paper and sanitizer, but cannabis too @ Forbes

Screwed: Canopy Growth's greenhouse workers under Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program are being laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, most of them must now return to even more uncertainty and financial hardship back home in India and Guatemala @ TC

Sign The Legal Tender Petition: It's from a group of experts, associates and companies, with a small biz focus. They want the BDC: Business Development Bank of Canada, and our Federal government to treat the regulated cannabis market like any other business, so that they can survive the COVID-19 economic crisis too @ LT

Guide 2 Saving Money: Prices are going up as the shortages kick in. Consider buying moon rocks, crumble, and saving your keif. Use terps. Buy the higher THC strains. Some more shopping tips @ WM

Cheap Weed: Buy from the unregulated market! Or ... the government licensed stores, in Canada anyway, they've got lots of cheap, low THC, ditch weed for sale. Yahoo! Yip! Yip! Er ... Not! @ Leafly

Friendly Stranger - Friendly Advice: Canadian retail cannabis chain provides a COVID-19 update on the safety procedures they've put in place for shopping at their stores @ FS


Cannabis Cure? Can THC and CBD's help you fight off the COVID-19 virus? There's no medical evidence to suggest they can. But of course, weed can help keep you healthy and relaxed, during these trying times @ GS @ HE

How to Avoid Germs: During your next toking sash; self isolate, if at all in doubt. Don't join in. Or smoke your own joint. Clean your gear regularly. Use a mouthpiece. And sanitize, sanitize, sanitize @ WM

Guide 2 Cleaning Your Gear: Glass? Vaporizers? Grinders? Lighters? More @ WM

RSO -Meet Rick Simpson: First thing I loaded up on? When I learned that we'd be stuck at home, for the duration of the pandemic? Rick Simpson Oil! RSO is a great organic medicine. Good for self medicating whatever ails on an everyday basis. Plus it helps with a whole whack of other more serious medical conditions! Besides the real nice CBD high, it provides a reeeeeaal great THC buzz too. Pffffft! Like totally el blotto! Learn more about Rick and his oil @ LCH @ Leafly

Cannabis Spirituality: Think indigenous in practice and in business @ DF

High Anxiety: Cannabis can help us deal with stress and anxiety. Or it can make it worse. Learn more about what strains, products and doses are best for you @ Leafly

"History Repeats" or "On Being Weirdly Optimistic": Sure, the COVID-19 crisis is wracking havoc on the cannabiz sector. But get this -the Great Depression, during the 1930's, helped end the prohibition of alcohol once and for all. Maybe the COVID-19 crisis will help do the same, for our favourite weed? More @ History 


Rolling Stone Guide 2 Getting High During The Pandemic: Roll your own joint 2 smoke? Switch 2 edibles? Lots more helpful tips, with advice from NORML @ RS

A Guide 2 Staying In + Social Distancing: What to do? Self isolation? Social Distancing? Or quarantine? Better safe than sorry @ WM

A Stoners Guide 2 Surviving Quarantine: Even more cannabis health, entertainment and creative tips to keep you feeling high, high, high @ CLN

Up In Smoke: Sadly, Vancouver 420 is cancelled due to the public health crisis. Expect many more April 420 events to announce that their folding too for this year, in the daze ahead @ 1130 

420 Toronto is postponed, for now @ Twitter

Toronto Karma Cup 2020: Here's something to look forward too! It's official! The Cup returns September 12 and 13th! Yep! There's still higher times ahead! See @ KC

Bored + Stuck At Home? Get cooking with weed! Meditate! Or there's always Netflix. More @ CM


Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Canuck Pandemic: The Local View!

We're back at Toronto's Pearson International Airport from our winter travels. It's sheer pandemonium. Next day, the WHO officially declares the COVID-19 a pandemic. Today, the panic is quite palpable. So dense, you can feel it in the air. 

We join the long lines snaking through the jam packed terminal. Beneath the pensive gaze of the custom and border guards, some in medical masks and gloves. Some not. Faced with a seething, angry mob. 

People push. Shove. Heave to and fro. There's lots of line jumpers. Angry shouting matches. Janet and I are stuck, at the weary end of our long, winter journey. Two tired travellers seeking repatriation; to just be back in the safety of our own home. But faced with a frightening spectacle. A pandemic that's suddenly turned very real, for us. Along with everybody else and their mother, desperate to get home asap, before the shit hits the fan.

This winter, we've been to Japan, Florida, and Cuba. I've got a headache. We've both got the sniffles. All symptoms of the virus. But also very typical for this time of year. So who knows?

The politics of the Great 2020 Pandemic are maddening enough to burst a blood vessel!

Here in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford's Conservative government has eliminated sick days for our lowest paid workers. If away, they must pay for sick notes, they can ill afford. While Doug the Thug claims that no cost will be spared to ease the economic crisis. Perhaps for his big, fat corporate friends that is! 

Hello Corporate Socialism! Watch the big business bail outs begin. While the little guy once again, gets stuck with the bill!

Stateside a befuckled President Donald Trump has been all but in complete denial. Crying fake news. Wasting valuable time before he flip flops. Promising that he'll keep the stock market open for his big, business buddies. Other partners in crime. A small consolation for the poor working American stiff. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is in self imposed social isolation for two weeks. There are so many words and terms that seem benign in our new COVID-19 lexicon, eh? 

His wife Sophie was diagnosed with the virus, so he's being prudent. Cautious. And very Canadian. Likewise, Toronto Mayor John Tory self isolates too, after possibly being exposed to the virus, while travelling over seas. 

Two different political. Different levels of government. Both setting a good personal example for a jittery public. Like them or not, and I'm not usually sold on either, it's a big plus!

Now a days, these emergency measures are called "flattening the curve". Think better safe than sorry. An ounce of prevention. Nipping it in the bud. 

Italy is in lockdown. Whole cities in China quarantined. Welcome to COVID-19; a new respiratory virus for which there is no inoculation shot, yet. Nor clearly defined public and medical procedures yet in place. Everything is evolving by the minute.

In Ontario, we're caught with our pants down, so to speak, amongst all Ford's health cuts to ... ahem ... balance the conservative provincial budget.

Hell, truth be told, testing centres are just now being set up here in Toronto and across Ontario. A full week after we've returned home! 

Most of us probably don't have the virus, though most everyone is very worried that they do. 

So here we are, trapped in our very own Toronto, Ontario, Canada existential crisis!

What can Janet and I do? Japan's close to the epicentre, but we travelled there in November. As for Panama City Beach, Florida? Or Santiago de Cuba? Could we have gotten infected there?

We've decided to self isolate for two weeks. Take it from there .....

Anyway, here we are, back home from our travels. But quite frankly out of everything. The kitchen shelves bare. 

My ... er ... unregulated weed man provides free home delivery, so I quickly load up on Rick Simpson Oil, a THC tincture, and some nice bud to tide me through the crisis. Calm minds will prevail! In our home, anyway!

The pharmacy renews all my other prescription for three months, over the phone. Delivers them too. 

But we absolutely need to make a grocery run to Costco. And so we do.

Oh no! A frantic crowd quickly strips a skid of water bottles clean, no sooner than it's wheeled out on the floor. 

The mad frenzy continues. Get this -there's no more toilet paper left! Anywhere! Explain stockpiling toilet paper for me, please! 

Only in Canada you say?

A couple grab at the Maple Syrup. Madly staring at us. Not so little knives shooting from their dazed eyes. 

Jeez. No problemo. it's yours!

It's only fitting, I suppose, that come March 2020 we are faced with yet more crisis, shock and awe. I should be very upset.

But here Janet and I are stuck at home for two weeks. With a great excuse to relax and do absolutely nothing! 

Family and friends call to check up on us. Our building super and neighbours too. 

I smoke another doobie. Put on some more tunes. Janet couch surfs the huge backlog of all her favourite TV shows on the PVR. 

How surreal! Despite the gnawing uncertainty, all is well. Still, it's hardly a happy occasion. And after so much adventure and excitement on the open road, the homebound boredom is definately setting in. 

Sigh. Alas.

Anyway, with spring just around the corner, we'll be off to the Land o' Lakes soon enough. 

Meanwhile, I hope you are staying well. Taking good care of yourself too, wherever you are. 

Remember, it's okay to go outside for a nice, refreshing walk. Some exercise, Maybe in the park. Or the countryside. Just so long as there aren't lots of people around.

Works fine for me. It was getting too peopley outside, anyway. 

Heh. heh. Er .....

Though last time I looked out our window it was rather eerie. Busy, bustling Weston Road is now quiet and empty. It's rather unsettling, but let's hope for the best. 

We are all in this together. So let's take every reasonable precaution, for both ourselves and the sake of others!

And hey -we've still got the internet! Expect lots more of my blog site updates in the daze ahead!


David C


Monday, 27 January 2020

A 2020 Vision!

Greetings Dear Reader!

For today's twenty twenty blog, I'm putting on my sunglasses. To cut through the glare of 2020. Provide a few thoughts on the direction for my blog site this year. 

Remember when Bob Dylan sang that the times are changing? Sadly, over the years, those changes often haven't been for the best. Far from it.

Still, in my humble opinion, to paraphrase Mahatami Gandhi, it's important to always be the change we'd like to see 

No. Nothing much might come of it. 

I've been retired from teaching for awhile now. My glory days are, so to speak, far behind now. But I'm going to continue to follow my muse. Use my political activist skills. As I have, for the past 9 years, here on my site.

I am doing so, independently. To advocate for the causes which I believe can create positive change. Make for a better world. Even if only in some small way. 

If not our generation, then for our children. Or our children's children. 

If not now, than for in the years ahead.

I'd rather be somebody who helped open, not close doors. For a better world. 

Because I still believe in the good fight. For social justice. Diversity. Inclusiveness. And universal public education, here and abroad. 

These are the great equalizers, as I see it.

So I hope you stick around. too. Read along. Get involved, in your own way. Or just share the good word, about those issues that matter most to you too.

Teacher Free Speech and Oh Cannabis News and Views will continue in tandem into their 4th and 8th year respectively. So to many of my regular features and special reports

Here then are some twenty-twenty notes on what you can expect this year:

Teacher Free Speech News and Views

The focus of my politics and society news and views blog is still the same; to provide lots of links and analysis of Canadian, US and world issues, from a uniquely progressive, Canadian perspective -my own. 

Nowadays, I post fewer links here, using Twitter a lot more instead. Then afterwards, I condense the best of them into a news digest, or summative compendium of sorts here on my blog. 

That process continues this year. It's more timely. Streamlined. A more comprehensive overview, I think. 

Plus bottom line, it's less labour intensive. More convenient for me, when I'm on the go.

In Canadian politics: Maybe Trudeau's Neo Lib minority government will be more progressive, not just word but in deed. But will the NDP and Green's light a fire under his ass? On pharmacare, electoral reform, climate change and respecting treat land rights? On fighting the corporate agenda? Don't hold your breath.

Goodbye Conman Andrew Scheer! Too bad in a way, he was such fun to kick around. But if the next federal conservative leader marks a credible shift to the political centre, where Canadian elections are won, we could still be in deep trouble!

Ontario's Doug Ford -his public support has tanked! Now's the time to start seriously lining up the thug tight in our protest sites for the 2022 provincial election.

Sure, the Ford Conster's won a majority in 2018. But two thirds of the province voted for the centre and centre left Liberals, NDP and Greens. 

The teacher protest movement could prove crucial. A turning point. This winter's school strikes are clearly exposing Ford as the wrecking ball that he is, out to destroy and privatize Ontario's world class education system; the great equalizer in our amazingly diverse province. Just like he's trashing Ontario's other top notch public services. That our working families so badly want and need.

But will AEFO, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF stay the course? Fight to at least maintain the status quo? Not stab each other in the back? Cave in? Engage in concession bargaining instead, like in year's past? 

Also, how far do the teachers dare go, when push comes to shove, if Ford legislates them back to work? Would they risk civil disobedience again? Like during the 1970's? To save our education system and public service net from the Ontario conservatives. Or will they let them remake us into Trumpland North?

In American politics2020 will be even more of a critical turning point stateside. Regardless of which way the impeachment trial and election go. An ultimate test of the US government's system of checks and balances. 

Bernie Sanders is a ray of progressive light. Nope, properly funding health care and education isn't radical. It's done in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, NZ etc. etc. etc. But don't expect Bernie's radical political partying to be tolerated by the Democrat oligarchs. They'll be nostalgically eyeing a return to the old Neo Liberal Globalist status quo, this election year.

Trump is the great disruptor, both on the national and international stage. Years from now, he will be remembered as America's worst president. Laws will have been passed to prevent his flagrant abuses of presidential power and privilege. His obstruction of congressional oversight. 

But in the meantime, how much damage is being done? To the American republic? It's democratic system of government? Most valued institutions?

And what happens next on the world stage? In Iran? Iraq? Russia? Syria? Afghanistan? China? North Korea? Bolivia? Venezuela? Cuba?

Sooner or later, something will go very wrong. Who trusts the US anymore, as they recklessly go it alone; America First styleHow will Amerika's enemies and allies react amongst so much uncertainty? As the US retreats into isolationism, a land divided? As the American century abruptly comes to an end?

One thing is for sure -expect lots of fireworks ahead in 2020. 

Oh Cannabis News and Views

My focus is still fixed on the good fight against the corporate weed, monopoly. In short: No government licensed ditch weed. Keep it organic. And ethically sourced! 

Canadian legalization as an important grey power issue, for me as a senior. It was a huge win. Bottom line is that I for one, can now toke in peace. Medicate myself legally. Via our thriving unregulated market, which is providing a huge, cheap, reliable source of excellent weed.

The government roll out hasn't been equal nor fair for many Canadians. The LGBTQ, women, and people of colour are often forgotten and lost in the Trudeau government's corporate legalization shufflePlus it's supposed commitment to medical cannabis remains a secondary thought; a joke at best.

Sadly, Canadian legalization has been little more than a quick smash and grab cash grab for government insiders. The big Bay Street boys. With our heritage growers, producers and retailers stuck on the outside, looking in. And our medical cannabis patients still being taxed for their medicine.

Oh Cannabis will continue to advocate for equity and inclusiveness in our counterculture cannabis community. For legal pardons, expungement. An official government apology. 

When need be, medical cannabis rights can provide a handy, political battering ram in the fight for change. Last year, I reported on how they can be used to challenge a condo or apartment cannabis ban. [] 

Oh Cannabis will continue to advocate for our rights with a dash of good, old fashioned, cannabis activism. While providing links to useful civil disobedience strategies, when need be, that you'll hopefully find instructive and informative.

Meanwhile, watch as the Bay Street disconnect results in a cannabis stock ticker blood bath this year. And for our heritage growers, producers and retailers, those with some real skin in the game, to step up. 

In Ontario, Ford's corrupt pot shop licensing lottery is now over. Oh Cannabis looks forward to advocating for our unregulated, local activist-entrepreneurs, as they are finally allowed to legally re-open for business this year. In time, show everybody how the cannabiz sector can be correctly set up and run, with a more diverse, grassroots approach. Sans the clueless, tired, good old boy, corporate boardroom BS.

Oh Cannabis will continue to provide an overview of the legalization movement in the US. Internationally too. 

I'll follow the party and candidates election positions on legalization during this fall's US federal election. The GOP and Democrat movers and shakers. The Presidential contenders. The state and federal legislative initiatives, referendums and so on. 

US coverage is an exhaustive effort. It's much more thoroughly covered by social media than the Canadian scene. So if my Canadian links are much more extensive, the US more summative and via my tweets, I hope you'll understand. 

Oh Cannabis will also continue to track the legalization movement round the world. It's increasingly taking root in other countries. Stay tuned in 2020!


All of this sounds kind of busy, busy, busy eh? Well, retirement also means more time to travel. Last year Janet and I tripped from Toronto to Cuba, Ontario's Land o' Lakes and Japan. So far this year, we've been to Panama City Beach, Florida. With another trip to Cuba planned next. Then back to the Land o' Lakes for the summer. Off we go. With more travel blogs to follow!


My Cuba coverage continues. 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Toronto Friendship School in Santiago de Cuba. The embargoed socialist isle has been thrust back into a horrific special period, during the Age of Trump, much like I wrote about during my work and travel there during the 1990's. Watch for more Cuba coverage. Ditto the situation throughout the America's. All is not as it might seem ....

Otherwise? Protests. Rallies. Demonstrations. Riots. If they happen locally, or on my travels, I plan to be there. Cover them for my site.

I like to keep it loose here. Not too rigorous or planned, so that my site stays interesting for both you and me. I'll be sure to report on any other pressing issues of our life and times, as they arise.

Of course, guest blogs are always welcome too!

So welcome to 2020! Let's get laid back. Light up a spliff. 

Off we go ............


A Readers Guide to Teacher Free Speech news y Views @ 

A Stoner's Guide to Oh Cannabois new y Views @ 


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!