Opening Statement



Tuesday, 21 April 2020

More Teacher Free Speech Spring 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

Wet'suwe'ten Solidarity Campaigns were rising up everywhere across Canada earlier this year. Now with the COVID-19 crisis, most everybody is staying safely at home. Not fighting the good fight to help stop the oil pipeline anymore. As a result, the indigenous resistance movement has been all but abandoned and left hanging @ RPM

Essential Services: Clearly, the pandemic shows just how essential Canada's unsung, everyday, labour workforce really are. Yup! The lowly grocery clerk, care giver, and pretty much anyone in the service industry are a lot more important than most of us might've thought. But they are paid very little. And their working conditions are just plain awful. Now, the push is on to permanently improve these, as a part of the new normal @ Globe

In the Meantime, please know your Canadian work rights and protections, such as they are, during the crisis @ PSAC


Minimum Basic Income: Trudeau nixes increasing calls that the Covid-19 CERB [Canadian Emergency Response Benefit] be used to create a minimum basic income plan for needy Canadians, after the crisis is over. Unemployed workers can currently apply for $2000 a month relief for 16 weeks. That's less than the average rent in Toronto. Nonetheless, it provides some much needed relief. With Justin's assurances, the greedy Bay Street suits at the National Post are now breathing a sigh of relief too @ NP

Needy Pipelines + Mines: Many Canadians are wondering why oil pipelines and gold mines have been declared an essential service by the Trudeau government, during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Wet'suwet'en too. But I bet the Bay Street boys aren't very surprised @ Huff

Big Oil has asked the Trudeau government to suspend Canada's environmental laws and climate policy to ... get this ... help them out during the Covid-19 crisis. Boo hoo hoo! Jeez! It must be so hard being an oil tycoon these daze! So Canada can't afford a minimum basic income, eh? Well, let's see how many billions of $$$ in "aid" our oil oligarchs get. More CoC

Silver Lining: As Canadian industry grinds to a near halt, during the pandemic, the dangerous carbon dioxide emissions have been drastically cut too. Canada's economic recovery provides an excellent opportunity to permanently crack down on them, on a constructive, go forward basis @ Global

$0 Oil: With oil prices in historic negative pricing territory, Canada's production of crude oil is shutting down. It'll have long term effects. Hey! What a great time to  implement a green plan! And halt the GasLink pipeline! But ... but ... how come there's so very little in the news about that?!? @ OP 



Senior Service: Nearly half of Canada's COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes. Sadly, years of health cuts and poor planning, including in Ontario, have left our highly vulnerable seniors in the virus' crosshairs @ Global

Military Alert: The Covid-19 crisis is so bad in Ontario's neglected long term care homes, that the Canadian Armed Forces are called in to stop the virus' deadly spread @ CTV

Re-Imagine: The CCPA [Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives] proposes some progressive measures to fix long term care in Canada, from the lessons hopefully being learned during the Covid-19 pandemic @ CCPA

Silver Lining: People Vs Cars: Some downtown Toronto streets are now closed off for cyclists and pedestrians only, to better facilitate safe social distancing. Thought we'd lost the ahem ... "War against Cars" on our overcrowded streets? This has been a long time coming. But it's finally here, ironically, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic @ TStar

Angus Reid: Polling shows that most Canadians support a careful, measured return to the new normal, once it is safe. To date, we largely trust and support the efforts and measures taken by our leaders and healthcare workers, despite some understandable concerns, that can wait for now. Check out the numbers @ CTV



One in Ten: That's how many Canadians believe one of the numerous coronavirus conspiracy theories making the rounds, usually involving 5G or the pharmaceutical industry. See "Edubeat" below for a rebuttal. Read more @ CBC

"Australia Vs Canada" or "A Tale of 2 Countries". Canadian travellers were simply advised to self isolate, rather than being required to do so, early in the pandemic. Was that a serious mistake, further escalating the public health crisis that followed? Consider @ Globe

Can't Happen Here?!?: The Canadian media rushes to play down a white terror rampage that left at least 13 dead in Nova Scotia @ Now

Early Bird Catches The ... Virus?!? So much for listening to the medical experts! Doug Ford's Ontario starts to reopen for business early. The province still can't trace where 2/3rd of the case's originate. The numbers are bouncing up and down like a ping pong ball. Testing lags miserably. But here we go @ City @ TStar @ NOCTV 

IN THE NEWS



How George Floyd Died in Police Custody: Minnesota police brutally kill a 36 year black man accused of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit bill. It's all caught on camera. America explodes @ Youtube

Weaponized Racism: US President Donald Trump seems way in over his head, trying to turn the incident to his own political advantage, as riots and demonstrations erupt across the nation. Lots and lots of pent up rage. Blood. Destruction. And no justice, no peace @ CNN



"Sux 2 Die" But "Don't Tread On Me"? Protests are popping up across the US. Folks are suddenly being encouraged to not self isolate or follow the health experts' safety advice during the pandemic. Sure, staying at home is tough. It's creating economic hardship, and sometimes even calls into question our basic civil rights. Everybody is biting at the bit to resume life as we knew it. However, the precautions are saving lives. Flattening the COVID-19 curve. The brainless protest antics aren't unlike a zombie apocalypse. Except that on Walking Dead, nobody is fighting for their right to be killed by the virus. Or to spread it to others. To wit @ MSN

Perfect Storm: The GOP governors of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi are creating a southern coalition of sorts. They're teaming up to re-open the economy before the Covid-19 curve has been flattened, or sufficient testing is done. Healthcare in these states is badly underfunded. The rate of obesity, diabetes and other illness is very high. Medical experts worry that all the pre-requisites are now in place for a very deadly Covid-19 crisis, in the daze ahead @ Politico @ WP



"The Battle Lines Are Drawn" or "Divided We Fall": Tensions grow as the Republican led states square off with the Democrat lead ones, over whether to quickly re-start the economy, or continue to exercise more caution @ Globe

TV Doctors: Dr. Oz? Dr. Phil? Dr. Pinsky? No! They're not real medical MD's. But Fox keeps promoting them as COVID-19 experts in a fake news campaign. To convince it's viewers, with their absurd claims, that the COVID-19 pandemic isn't real @ CNN Dr. Fauci's fact check @ CNN



Herd Mentality: Fox "News" host Steve Hilton wants the Covid-19 restrictions ended asap, because the virus is "only terrible for a small group of people". So let's just expose everybody to the virus and develop herd immunity, without a vaccine. While just trying to isolate the most vulnerable among us, during a potentially very deadly pandemic that we little understand. 

Which is okay, as long as it's not you who die?!? Or your child, partner, parents or grandparents?!? 



Sadly, it seems money is more important than America's basic sense of humanity. Forget that everybody life is tightly interconnected nowadays. Or that the stealthy killer virus is often symptomatic. Creeps about unseen. And so it goes and on and on and on, as the herd mentality continues to thrive, via Fox News @ MM 

If one has half a brain, it's definitely best to also consider the sounder medical arguments against herd immunity and COVID-19 @ HL and from other countries also toying with it @ CT @ G @ IT @ CNN



Right wing Watch: Organizers with close ties to the Trump administration, gun groups and the GOP have been organizing protest against social distancing on social media, and targeting them against possible swing states, prior to the fall US election @ BF @ CJR @ M WP

A Deadly Spectre: There's a lot more leaking out about this diabolical coalition of US conservative groups. They've got connections to the Trump White House. Are secretly behind many of the lockdown protests erupting across the US, with their focus on the Democrat led swing states. 



The goal? Sheer political gain; to try overthrow the various state stay-at-home orders. Creating instability and havoc, as the fall election approaches. Expect a lot more deadly treachery ahead, with the US still firmly in the grip of the escalating, coronavirus pandemic. How sad @ NYT

Florida: A pandemic! Then wildfires closing highways! Burning homes! That's God punishing you for voting Trump. Ha. Just kidding ... @  WC

Polling shows that 2/3rd of Americans actually support social distancing. However, the fairly small and scattered protests continue to make headlines and mislead. Talk about complete chaos, just south of our border! @ UST



Bleached Trump: This spring, the president has been promoting quick, miracle cures, much like a snake oil salesman, during his daily White House Covid-19 briefs. Now, he's even outdone himself, in suggesting that bleach disinfectants can cure the coronavirus. Health experts and the chemical manufacturers quickly issue warnings, as there's a spike in calls to America's poison control centres. 

It's about as irresponsible as one can get! Everyday Americans are taught to listen to and respect the president. Who'd have ever guessed that one would someday try to shove a mad mix of deadly toxins and sheer stupidity, down their throats. We live in very strange times indeed @ NYT @ WP



Noam Chomsky Speaks: A timely video and transcript of Noam on the Covid-19 strikes, Trump, Biden and the NeoLiberal assault @ GZ

Wacky World Of QAnon: Hang on -it gets crazier! Many Trump followers actually believe that a satanic pedophiliac cabal is trying to take over the world. And that Der Donald is secretly playing a super smart 3D chess game to defeat them. Which invariably explains every bizarre thing he does. Including downplaying the virus and claiming it's a hoax. Or his deadly miracle cures.



To better know your enemy, we sometimes need to climb inside their head. You'll find the Q Patriot Hub conspiracy theory site @ QAnon A backgrounder @ Wiki Also check out Qanon's wacky Covid-19 conspiracy theory @ Con

MAGA Virus: The first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is now spreading through the Trump swing states. Der Donald's most obstinant MAGA deniers and his anti-Covid-19 protesters could be in for quite a surprise. That might seriously hurt his fall re-election chances. Or will it? @ G @ Pol

Masters of War: Aren't enough people dying already?!?  The US military industrial complex is sneakily eyeing billions of extra dollars, which they want added to the next coronavirus aid bill. Oh Oh! Seems the Covid-19 crisis has resulted in added costs and delays, for their new weapon systems. Beware @ Hill



"Very Special Forces" or "Foreign Affairs": Seems a madcap mercenary army was posed to capture and overthrow Venezuelan President Madura, at the US's behest. Sadly, there's even a Canadian connection. Reads like a real comedy of errors. Think Bay of Pigs. Scary. Scary @ PI @ ADN @ Ind @ GZ

Reclaiming Populism: Trump's a populist. Doug Ford too. Sooo ..... Why are our populist leader's always some dopey conman from the right?!? Will the North America political landscape soon shift? Creating the prerequisites for a revitalized, multiracial, populist leader to arise from the left instead? And would that really be progress? Or just more of the same old shit? Different smell? More @ PR



Environmental Attack: American industry is busily  working under cover of the Covid-19 pandemic to strip away environmental protections and safeguards like never before @ CJR

World Hunger Crisis: While the Covid-19 pandemic steals the news headlines, a much more deadly, global food shortage is looming, throughout the developing world. But nobody's coughing up the $$$ for that. No way @ NYT

EDUBEAT:

ETFO: Ontario's public elementary teacher follow OECTA in ratifying a new 3 year contract deal with the Ford government. It comes after a long, terse standoff. Our Dougie seems to have backed off his deep education cuts, for now. Unlike OECTA, ETFO releases the vote results: 97% of teachers voted yes. So too 94% of their education workers. We await further details, but it sounds quite a lot like what OECTA settled for too @ ETFO

OSSTF: Ontario's public secondary school teachers ratify their new contract, but not everybody is a happy camper. Did the union capitulate to the Ford government? Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? Out of fear? Gratitude? Sacrifice? Or for "stability"? The deal remains shrouded in public secrecy. As with OECTA, the voting numbers aren't released. More @ OSSTF @ CBC @ R+F 



Partnership Table: People For Education are calling upon the Ford government to convene an Ontario partnership table. It would carefully consider the way forward with online learning, and for the reopening of our schools. It would include teachers, educators and school workers, as well. Only makes sense. Perhaps too much sense. Still hasn't been tried. Duh @ OSH

Should Everyone Get An "A"? That's what a lot of school boards are thinking, in both Canada and the US. Sure classes were disrupted for the students, through no fault of their own, but does that mean any objective academic standards should go out the door? Just so everybody feels good? How will that effect post secondary education? And the knowledge, skill and training levels of our workforce in the year's ahead? Lotsa mushy thinking is sadly being peddled as informed thought @ NYT

Stop Asian Hate: The L.A. based AAPI is real concerned about the level of hate crimes against Asians and Pacific Islanders during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their incident reporting forms and procedures provide an excellent example of how we might better deal with this very real and pressing issue @ APC3



Home Safety: Sadly, staying at home isn't the safest place to be, if you are trapped inside with an abuser, during the coronavirus pandemic @ CLC

Everyday COVID-19 Safety Tips: Yiiikes! It's soooo easy to get paranoid, obsessive and uptight! Is the virus on your clothes? Shoes? Hair? The mail? More @ NYT

Secondary Effects: Sure, most Covid-19 patients survive the ordeal. But the effects can still, like heart disease, reduce your life expectancy, by at least ten years NP

COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories: Is 5G to blame? A bioweapon? A garlic cure? Or some other nefarious Chinese plot? Here are the Top 10 most popular Covid-19 conspiracy theories or myths. Plus why they are just plain wrong; a trail of deceit @ NGT



Biological Warfare 101: The indigenous "depopulation" of North America began through simple exposure to the germ carrying European settlers. Millions died as they were exposed to small pox, measles, typhus, fever, flu, syphilis, bubonic plague and the mumps for the first time. Want a conspiracy theory? Evidence suggest that the British colonists might've contributed to the pandemic by purposely handing out infected blankets to the unsuspecting aborigines. So who's a "savage" now?!? @ VT @ History

COVID-19 Psych'ed: Here are some helpful, coping strategies for dealing with all the very understandable worry and anxiety, resulting from the global pandemic @ PT



More COVID-19 Timelines

History Repeats: A hundred years ago the Spanish Flu killed hundreds of millions around the world. The quarantine ended early. Very deadly second and third wave attacks of the virus soon followed, in it's wake. Are we making the same mistakes today? @ CBC @ CBC-R

Monitor The Cross Canada Curve with daily updates @ DH

Re-Open Saskatchewan: The prairie province is the first with a plan to restart it's economy. There are 5 steps. The first 2 include dates. If that sounds rather rash, please note that it hasn't been hit as hard by the pandemic, as most of Canada. Read @ CBC

Ontario releases it's 3 stage framework for reopening our province. No dates are provided. That's good, because it means the often buffoonish and inept Ford government will still be relying upon the medical experts to determine that. We still haven't peaked @ Scribd

Latest Toronto COVID-19 Stats: These are pretty interesting as they are broken down by age group, gender, hospital admissions and deaths @ TO 

KULTURE KULT INK



Self Isolation is not as easy as it might seem, as most of us are now finding out ... Insert scream here .... To varying degrees we thrive on human interaction and contact. Maybe we can take it or leave it, that is, until it's suddenly gone! Bottom line? Our friends and significant others are absolutely necessary for our sense of wellbeing and mental health! Read Gillian Sisley Mamamia More on why social isolation can be draining and hurt your mental health @ M

History Repeats Again: There have been lots and lots of pandemics throughout human history. They never end well. Nor do we ever learn from our mistakes. A brief history lesson. Then here we go again, one more time for the books @ History

Important Life Lesson: The Covid-19 pandemic shows us that "everyone looking out for themselves" is at best an illusion. On a go forward basis, it's time to open our eyes. We live in a very interconnected world @ SCMP



After the Pandemic: Here's a ten point plan for extending our collective responsibility to meet everyone's basic needs. Let's dare to think bigger now than we did in the past @ PR

How To Change The World: Think big. Create communities. Be a real leader. Plus there's more! To celebrate Earth Day, UN Environment Program department considers our new possibilities, in a post Covid-19 world. Let's not blow this opportunity for a fresh start @ UNE

Fuck This: Yes! It's true. Lotsa folk are stuck inside and screwing like crazy! But if condoms aren't exactly an essential service where you live, we could be looking at another baby boom too. Hope you really like kids @ Wired



True Social Distancing: Gurdeep Pandher of the Yukon shares his love of bhangra dancing with us. The goal?!? To keep spirits up. And show us how to have a little good natured, isolation fun together during the pandemic. From where???  His cabin in Canada's far, far north. Would you like some Scottish bagpipes with that? Sure! This is Canada eh! And this is about as multicultural as it gets, eh! Enjoy @  Huff

Not Walking The Talk! Everybody is falling over backwards to assure you that safety comes first nowadays  However, Amazon and the Dollarama amongst so many others stand accused of saying one thing and doing something else, at least as far as employee safety goes, during the pandemic. Dollarama @  SOU Amazon Yahoo

Mis/DisInformation: It's everywhere on the open net. We are in great danger of getting jerked around and being mislead. Learn how to recognize and combat it online @ GFCYBER

Digital Spies: Any digital tracking and monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic must respect human rights. That includes our right to privacy, plus our freedom of expression and association @ HRW @ ICIMG



Finding Zen: Perhaps you're reading my mini travel blog series on Santiago de Cuba 2020? Then you'll find writer Eric Demore's first hand account of an emergency visit to a Cuban hospital there very interesting and informative. Ya gotta have heart. Cuba sure does. Zen and Eric too @ Medium

Pet Peeves: Ever wonder how your dog, cat or other pets are holding up? Now that you're at home all day long? Notice anything weird? Don't forget, they're often used to having your home to themselves. Their comfortable, everyday routines suddenly have been thrown off too! More @ Vox


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