Opening Statement



Saturday, 19 December 2020

Teacher Free Speech Winter 2021 News + Views!

 AddITioNs aDDeD In lArGE TypESeT! ReaDeRs gUIdE @ HERE! 

LaTeSt LinKs @ TWITTER!


OH CANADA

The Second Emergency Lockdown: Premier Doug Ford finally puts the province back into a full lockdown @ ON after updating us on his latest Covid-19 projections @ ST 

A Tragic Lack Of Leadership: After telling us to stay home, over 20 politicians from across Canada headed out of the country, for the Christmas holidays. Lots of them even bragged about it. Is it any surprise that 48% of Canadians didn't heed their warning, to safely stay within our household social bubble? Or that the pandemic is now wildly spiralling out of control?!? @ CBC @ Global

Premier Big Daddy Ford's Xmas Fraud: Ontario's lockdown begins with our Dougie's spin doctors trying to reframe the big fraudster as "Premier Dad". But everything soon falls apart at the seams! It turns out our Big Daddy's put Covid reporting, testing and vaccinations on hold for the Christmas holidaze! Then just disappeared! 

Also MIA is Der General Rick "The Trickster" Hillier, his retired Vaccination Roll Out Chief of sorts. Turns out he didn't even bother to consult with the province's doctors, nurses and health care providers about their surprise Christmas holiday. Why? So the province could save money on overtime pay. All this while Ontario is near 3000 new infections a day, with our senior LTC homes being hit hardest. J
ust as his big, super-duper inoculation campaign is supposed to be getting underway! 

Next, rogue Conster MPP Randy Hillier breaks big daddy's restrictions on family gatherings, blatantly rubbing it in his face via social media. While Finance Minister Rod Phillips is caught red handed in a sneaky Caribbean vacation cover-up scandal, clearly violating daddy's stern no travel rules. 

Meanwhile, we plebs are left alone in Christmas lockdown, at home by ourselves. Wondering where's Big Daddy when we need him most? Maybe at his cottage?!? Who knows??? So much for leading by example, eh! 

More on Premier Dad @ CP The Rickster @ CTV Getting Randy @ Yahoo! Roddy's Big Cover Up @ CBC

Phillips Resigns: Mostly, our Roddy's in trouble for getting caught! What else is a premier to do, when the story goes international?!? Still it's significant that many of Ontario's Neo-Conster's joined us, in demanding his resignation. They actually turned on their ilk, probably to try get the business lockdown lifted. 

So far? No such luck! 

Sigh! Alas! That isn't much cause for celebration. 
We still don't know where Dougie went for Christmas. Once again, he's dodged being held accountable for his lousy leadership and mismanagement skills. But best call child services el pronto -our Big Daddy is very, very busy, exposing his ... er ... shortcomings, for all to see @ GDNP @ CBC


Christmas Superspreader: Finally, Ontario Premier Doug Ford puts us into a province wide lockdown; 28 days in southern Ontario, 14 to the north. But get this -the starting date is pushed back 5 days to Boxing Day, after Christmas, to help the business sector out with their "inventory". He explains the lockdown's become necessary because our hospital capacity for handling the pandemic has reached the critical point. But he's hardly leading by example. Ford doesn't wear a mask, nor practice proper social distancing as he makes the announcement. Most tragically, he's just turned the annual, last minute Christmas rush into a potential, super spreader event @ Youtube CTV @ On.Ca

Sickly Delay: Yes, delaying our province wide lockdown until Boxing Day helps business move more inventory during the busy Christmas Rush. But it could also result in an estimated 10,000 extra cases of Covid-19. $adly, Christma$ profit$ trump our public heath and wellbeing in Doug Fraud'$ Ontario @ T$tar


How goes the lock down Roddy?

Covid In The Workplace: Untold numbers of essential workers and their families will still be exposed to the virus in unsafe workplaces, including factories, warehouses and stores. Since most of them don't get paid sick days, they basically need to show up for work no matter what. More than 400 cases have already been identified at Ontario's 2 Amazon Warehouses alone. Alas, the rest, we hear little or nothing aboutYahoo @ NP

More Workplace Spread: Premier Fraud insists that our lowest paid workers don't need any paid, sick days from the province. He's referring them to the Federal governments very limited, paid sick day plan instead. However, that's disingenuous! It clearly doesn't provide nearly enough financial assistance on its own. Unless Ontario chips in too, many workers simply can't afford to stay at home. Not just because they think that they might have some vague symptoms of the virus. And so the pandemic continues to spread @ Huff @ BlogTO @ Pointer

Scapegoating + Transferring Blame: Premier Doug Fraud is quick in shifting the blame to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for Ontario's huge spike in Covid numbers. His repeated fear mongering mainly focuses on travellers, whom the feds are letting in from outside the country, through Toronto's Pearson Airport. But in fact, they only account for a measly 1% of our cases to date @ BlogTO

A Canadian Covid Shield: Sure, very few Covid cases are now entering Canada from abroad. But as the coronavirus mutates, it might sooner or later become resistant to the new vaccines. A multi-disciplinary, non-governmental and non-partisan task force has completed a very timely report. It includes some very comprehensive recommendations on how to better shield our border entry points. But is Ottawa listening?!? @ CSC @ Tyee


2 Deal W/ Ford's COVID Shit!

Covid -The Federal Response: Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has been trying to consult with our sorry ass provincial premiers about evoking the Emergencies Act [1988]. The goal? To centrally co-ordinate our national effort to better deal with the out of control Covid-19 pandemic. But he's not had much luck. Too bad! As a result, we aren't benefiting from a lot more, much needed, direct federal leadership from Ottawa, as the Covid pandemic spirals out of control. Let's be nice for a bit -must hurt having to bite his tongue so much, with all the provincial BS going on @ CBC @ Mac  @ HS @ Wiki     

Rich Get Richer: Consider Ontario Premier Doug Ford's fall budget an exercise in disaster capitalism. Public services? Healthcare? Daycare? Education? Environmental protections? They take a financial hit, while Ontario stays open for business. And we're all herded back at work. Tragically, Ontario's 4th quarter profits now trump public health, safety and wellbeing. We'll pay the price, throughout the second wave of the Covid pandemic, during the long, hard winter ahead. And for many years to come. Alas! While we are distracted by the health crisis, Premier Fraud snuck lots of conster budget policies and measures into the budget, mostly serving to benefit the rich, at the public expense. For shame! CUPE Ontario's Fred Hahn explains SC


Failure 2 Lead: Ontario's doctors call for a province wide lockdown, as our overloaded hospital system reaches critical mass and the Christmas season approaches. Once again, business profits come before public health and safety. While Premier Doug Fraud continues to play a deadly game of chicken with the coronavirus, his inept half measures creating quite a sickly mess @ NOW

Ford's "Expert" Advice: Turns out Ontario's Integrity Commissioner David Wake has let off 85% of the "secret, unethical" lobbyists who've violated our laws, since Ford was elected in 2018. Get this -Those are just the one's we know about! Lots more go unrecorded! So much for Ford's promise of "government for the people". His pals, the business lobbyists, are actually calling the shots, with almost complete impunity @ DW

Alberta Bound: Like in Ontario, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney's Chief Medical Officer doesn't really have any control over the province's pandemic response either. It's Neo-Conster dictates are being determined by the Conservative party's backroom political and business experts instead @ CBC

Keystone XL Nixed: Immediately upon taking office, US President Joe Biden kills the Canadian US Keystone XL pipeline. It's a huge victory for indigenous land protectors and Canada's environmental movement. But very bad news for Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta's faltering oil industry. With Canadian PM Justin Trudeau stuck in the middle. So, enquiring minds need to know; is he serious about fighting climate change?!? What next for the Trans Mountain Pipeline? @ NY'er @ NRDC @ CBC


Trumpian O'Toole: The fall of US President Donald Trump creates huge headaches for federal CPC [Conservative Party of Canada] Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole. The similarities between the two are shocking. His promise to "Take Back Canada". His Covidiot bent. The close ties with Canada's far right. The talk of a "rigged election". On and on the similarities go, like they're joined at the hip. Well, now he's faced with the Trumpian task of proving he's not like the Donald at all. Pfffft! @ Yahoo @ CBC 

Sloaned: The hapless O'Toole is stuck flip flopping back and forth over what to do about PCP racist, bad boy, "leadership" rival Derek SloanCBC @ Youtube

Welcome to 2021: On The Homefront: Check out my news projections @ HERE!

IN THE NEWS

Trump's Amerika -The Series Finale! You can't make this up! On January 6th outgoing President Donald Trump incites the "Capitol Riots" live on TV. The insurrection brings a close to the Trump presidency. Amongst a cloud of tear gas, an angry lunch mob of MAGA protesters set up a gallows and storm the US Congress, armed with guns, sticks and zip tie strips. They're hunting down House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. VP Mike Pence. Other Trump enemies real and perceived too!

The Senate reconvenes to accept the electoral votes confirming incoming President Joe Biden's win anyway. Then a week later on the 13th, Trump is impeached in the house by a bipartisan vote. Now the action moves to the Senate for a vote on whether to disqualify Trump from holding office again, the outcome uncertain @ NYT @ AP @ WP @ Fox

Trump's Big Lie: Despite being thrown out of almost very court in the land, almost 1/3 of Americans still believe that the election was fraudulently stolen from him by the Democrats @ WP 

Crazy Like A Fox: The right wing news network helped set the stage for the Capitol Riots, by echoing Trump's big lie over and over again. It's now accepted as fact, a very divisive one at that, by Trump's diehard MAGAT followers @ WP 

QAnon Crosses The Rubicon: The further to the alt right one goes, the crazier the seditious MAGA lies and conspiracy theories get! Trump loyalists fervently believed that a congressional coup was scheduled for the 12th. The goal? To "cross the rubicon," arrest and kill the Democrats in Congress, then reinstall Trump as the President of a "New American Republic". Imagine their angst as he's now being impeached, with President Joe Biden in office instead @ NBC @ NBC @ #CrossTheRubicon

More Capitol Riot Craziness: The legal investigations continue! Probably for some time! Complicity seems to run very deep throughout MAGA and the GOP. Some links: The GOP @ Politico @ CNBC Capitol Police @ Reuters National Guard @ USAT FBI Most Wanted List @ FBI Former military and police officers @ Global The March for Trump @ Reuters

The Biggest Loser's Inauguration Daze: News coverage of the big day is shocking! Biden is sworn down amongst a pandemic, with the National Guard occupying the now empty streets of the US Capitol. Breaking with tradition, Trump refuses to attend. Biden speaks of unity in his address. The event is carefully staged to reassert the authority and process of a peaceful transfer power. But Washington moreso resembles a banana republic warding off a coup @ AP

Georgia On Their Mind: President Biden's got a real big job ahead, in unifying America and implementing the Democratic agenda. But the party now has a slim majority in the US Senate, after winning 2 post election, run off races in Georgia. Meanwhile, the GOP certainly aren't happy campers, in more ways than one. Trump's leaked phone call, as he attempted to interfere in Georgia, only served to anger and divide many Republicans, as they headed out to vote @ BBC @ NYT @ Guardian Listen to Trump's phone call @ Youtube

Impeachment -The GOP? The new Congress now arguably faces an existential dilemma. It cannot allow a sitting president, and a lame duck one at that, off the hook. Not after he tried to overthrow it! How can they possibly preserve the institution and move forward together after that? But if the Republican Senators vote to impeach Trump, they'll then face the angry wrath of their huge MAGA base. Seems like a no-win situationAtlantic

Booby Prize: Well, it could've been a lot worse @ Triad

Covid -A Long Dark Winter: Sure a vaccine is on the way, but the pandemic isn't over yet! US President-Elect Joe Biden's hands are tied by a mind boggling, Trumpian post election crisis, that threatens the nationwide recovery effort from the get go, with winter just ahead @ NYT

America's Plague Year: Here's a review of how the pandemic unfolded under President Donald Trump throughout 2020 @ NYP

America's Election Year: Trump has undermined trust in the US election process for many years to come. He's helped create a bizarre, alternative narrative, in which the election was somehow stolen from him. Although none of his false claims held up in court, the damage is done. An ugly "myth" has been created. It's lies will linger throughout the Biden - Harris presidency. Totally crazy shit -if America was a TV series, I'd say it's jumped the shark by now @ WP @ NYT

Boko Harum: The terrorist group has ransacked villages, attacked schools and farms, while engaging in mass kidnapping and beheadings, across north east Nigeria and into Niger and Chad. But they are only one of many disparate groups operating within the region. It's often confusing trying to figure out who did what. Heavy military losses and widespread public distrust of Nigeria's security forces, have also proven very challenging in combating the deadly crisis. Sadly, very little of this story gets reported here. It's very hard to make much sense of it, but our hearts go out ... @ BBC

Covid Cuba: Cuba's "intensive medical care" program has greatly reduced the spread of the coronavirus across that beleaguered, socialist isle. Despite a daunting and highly illegal US embargo, government, state and party still work very effectively together for the common good. How unlike Cuba's capitalist critics in the NeoLiberal world @ Granma @ Granma

Warning -Mutant Spread: A new super fast spreading strain of the coronavirus has shown up in the UK. Early indicators are that it's already spread to Europe and Australia, so it's on it's way here. Will the new vaccines still work?!? Be aware -The same thing happened during the Spanish Flu pandemic with very deadly results. See "Covid Beat" below and @ DW

Welcome to 2021: The US and Abroad: Check out my news projections @ HERE!

COVID BEAT

DIY Risk Self Assessment Links: Let's face it. The daily Covid numbers are widely juggled about by the government for political reasons. They're often incomplete or shown out of context, to cover up their ineptitude and/ or confuse us. Thankfully, there's still lots of top notch, medical experts out there whom aren't afraid to accurately break the numbers down further, showing us everything that we might otherwise miss. I'm reposting 3 very useful links to better help us plan safely as the second wave of the pandemic spirals out of control. I heartily encourage you to check them out. Each is truly an unsung hero, in the good fight against Covid-19. 

Physician Dr. Jennifer Kwan posts her latest, thorough charts and spreadsheets after 10 am each day, along with a lot of good, practical advice for making healthy choices @ Twitter I like Biostatistican Ryan Imgrund's focus on Reproductive, Positivity and School Infection rates @ Twitter So too Covid Schools Canada with it's school tracker @ Twitter @ 


Covid + Domestic Abuse: Many victims of domestic abuse are locked down this Christmas in a refuge shelter. They're the lucky ones. Sure, we've all got it rough, but let's not forget their plight @ Metro

Human Face Of Covid: One reason why we feel so little empathy with all the death and suffering, is that the Covid pandemic doesn't have a personal face. Confidentiality laws prevent us from actually seeing the victims and learning more about their plight. This might help @ WP

History Repeats: When Covid arrived last spring, the history teacher in me decided to investigate various pandemic's from the past. I wanted to see what happened. My jaw dropped! As the literature shows, there's very little that's really new about the crisis now unfolding. Be it a plague, influenza or Covid-19; our social, political and economic responses are chillingly the same! Ditto our beliefs, attitudes and patterns of behaviour too! In fact, the course of the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic very closely mirrors everything that's unfolded so far, and we haven't even reached the third wave yet! What happens next?!? A vaccine to save the world from itself? Hmmm. These books are essential reading. A rather frightening read, but a real eye opener too! Daniel Defoe's "A Journal of the Plague Year" @ Gutenberg and Albert Camus "The Plague" @  Guten Plus John M. Barry's "The Great Influenza" @  Amazon


Albert Camus Redux: The French existentialist author is long gone, but his books can still teach us a lot about the pandemic and it's aftermath today. "The Plague", "The Stranger", "The Fall" reconsidered @ F24


Newspaper Follies: What's left of our Ontario mainstream media has done little but shamelessly pander to Premier Doug Fraud, throughout the Covid pandemic. So much for being a watchdog and providing investigative reporting! But there's nothing new under the sun. As Daniel DeFoe ["Journal of the Plague Year"] explains, the media also created much confusion and assisted with lots of cover-ups, during the Black Plague @ Atlantic 


Nobody's Safe Unless Everybody Is Safe: Even if current projections are correct and most of us in Canada get vaccinated by next September, the pandemic is far from over. All elements of society, both at home and abroad, must receive the vaccine in a prompt, organized manner, or it'll just continue to grow, spread and prevent a complete recovery. Good luck  @ JT


Covid Class War
: The need to "Flatten the curve" often provides the perfect excuse for "economically destructive policies" that help the rich, but hurt the poor. It's such an effective if not diabolical strategy, that most of us don't even notice what's going on @ Bellows

Covid Unionization: Paid sick days? PPE's? Safe working conditions? Many frontline workers are showing renewed interest in joining a union, to better protect themselves at work @ NPR

No-Ho-Ho! Santa visits a Belgian nursing home with tidings of cheer and good will. Instead a super spreader event ensues, as he infects 75 residents with the virus. Beware of the not-really-so-jolly-fellow this year @ DB


Covid Christmas: Lotsa folks in lockdown are have a very hard time deciding to what to do about Christmas this year. Do we celebrate it with others? Including family members and significant others from outside our own household? Here are some mindful tips on how to prevent Christmas from turning into a huge super spreader event this year @ Ref29 @ TP

On Covid Fatigue: We survived the first wave. Are so tired, that the second is quite challenging. Probably there's still a third wave ahead. Dr. Anna Benerji and Dr. Jennifer Kwan discuss how to cope @ CK

Should I Disinfect The Groceries? Less focus is now being placed on surface verses airborne spread. Unless something has been touched a lot, it probably poses less of a Covid threat. Still, I suspect paying more attention too cleaning our hands and commonly used surfaces in the home, is still a whole lot more healthy and sanitary for us anyway. As for the groceries? You decide @ Global @ CTV

Much, much more to come ...

EDUCATION BEAT

School Spread: As the pandemic spreads like wildfire, OSSTF's Toronto secondary public school teachers and educational workers rightly call for more asymptomatic testing to really determine the actual infection rate within their schools. Also, for our city high schools to stay closed an extra 2 weeks after Christmas. 

In a second letter, OSSTF along with the AEFO, ETFO and OECTA teachers join 18 other community groups. Together, they call for more asymptomatic testing as well. They want smaller class sizes, better worker sick days and more family income supports too. 

But so far, there aren't any collective job actions. While Ford and Lecces' continue with their ongoing, shameless politics of denial, the 2020-21 school year has turned into a giant, super spreader event. 

Members first? Union solidarity 4Ever? Pfffft! Why are Ontario's teacher unions letting this nightmare drag on for so long? 

Some responsible, measured, civil disobedience is now quite clearly in order, before it's too late! 

Quite frankly, the members, students, and wider school community aren't safe. But sadly, the weak teacher union leadership still doesn't seem ready, willing or able to really "walk the talk", in the good fight against Covid-19 within our schools @ City @ OSSTF @ Toronto

Asymptomatic Spread: It's widely being recognized around the world, but not in Doug Fraud's Ontario. School aged children are especially vulnerable. They don't show any signs of infection and become "key spreaders" of the virus. Meanwhile, we're packing them into the province's overcrowded schools, without testing, inoculations and proper HVAC?!? @ Guardian

Covid Educational Road Kill: The Covid pandemic is providing a ready opportunity for Doug Fraud to destroy Ontario's public education system and open the door to privatization. Last March, it looked like the province's teachers, students and parents might actually foil his plans. Now his emergency dictates have them back firmly under his control. To better get the big picture, here's a review of the Fraudster's efforts to wreck havoc upon our public school's throughout 2020 @ PP

Much, much more to come ...

KULTURE KULT INK

Xmas Pandemic: Let's flashback to the December news headlines from during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic! Masks? Lockdowns? Shopping? Parties? Dodgy politicians? Hey, it's just like right now!!! History repeats. We don't learn. So it goes, and on and on and on ..... Slate

Choose Canada's "Scumbag" of The Year: Past winners include Scott BandaDeepak Chopra, Doug FordStephen Harper, Tim Horton's Heirs [The Joyce-Lynn-Horton-Royce's], Jason Kenney, Mark Lever Stephen McNeil, and Gale Weston Jr. 

This year it's a tie, with former Ontario Premier and AB LTC Provincial Director Mike Harris and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce being awarded the dubious honour @ Rank+File

Not Amazon: A helpful new website provides links and FAQ for shopping locally and supporting our small businesses during the lockdown. So far it covers Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Calgary. Even the record stores @ Not-Amazon.Ca


Covid Singles Sex + Dating Tips: Whoever thought it would come to this?!? On room mates, zoom dates and whether the masks stay off or on. Ho boy @ Ref29

Much more to come ...


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