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Monthly Archives: August 2012






Mitt has a dark record, well concealed, much like that other dreadful man, George W Bush.

Mitt was a “missionary” to get out of the Vietnam War.

Ever heard of a missionary toiling in the South of France and staying at a villa? That was Mitt’s arduous task.

The smuck had so little character that he was photographed insulting and heckling honest war resisters trying to stop the idiot slaughter in Vietnam at the same time he entered this glorious “service.”

His claim as to when he left Bain Capital is simply a lie, and trying to avoid iron-clad proof of that is why he won’t submit his tax returns, a practice which has become the expected norm in the U.S. elections.

His claim about turning around Bain Capital with his wonderful management skills is patently false.

He took advantage of the government’s bank account insurance agency to lay his hands on millions. Never even said thanks.

He’s kept good parts of his fortune in offshore tax havens like the Caymen Islands. How admirable for a potential President.

He has made the most stupid statements – on everything from the poor to the London Olympics – time and again, almost as bad as Sarah “no brains” Palin used to do.

And his little adventure in driving the family dog strapped to the roof of his car on super highways for a twelve hour trip speaks volumes.

He is a sociopath.

And that fact is confirmed further by the stories of youthful acquaintances of his great idea of a practical joke: he used a flashing light on his car to pretend to be a policeman and pulled friends over on the road. Not funny to normal people and definitely illegal.

Readers might enjoy:

Romney’s treatment of Ron Paul is still another big mark against him.

I’m not a libertarian, as Paul is, but I recognize a sincere and honest man of intelligence when I see one.

Romney’s cronies worked very hard to strip him of delegates, honestly won.

They carried out all kinds of tricks in some of the state primaries to make it impossible for him.

They seated the states with significant Paul delegations in obscure locations of the convention hall.

And they would not allow Paul to address the convention except under the most unacceptable conditions, including vetting of every word, something an honorable man simply could not abide.


Paul dislikes war, and always says so.

And Paul dislikes America’s nightmare marriage to Israel’s wishes and drives.

Indeed, possibly no candidate in history enters the race with more secret promises of cash from that most powerful of special interests, Israel, quite possibly many of them illegal since you cannot accept foreign funds in American elections.

Its most unthinking supporters have promised many millions to defeat Obama, a man whose only right act has been to put some pressure on Israel for genuine peace, earning himself a bad reputation with the Israel Lobby and Netanyahu’s people.







They would succeed only in alienating a still larger portion of the public.

You cannot play these kinds of games in private industry and remain employed.

And extremely well-paid teachers should not be able to either.

I see several references to professionals in recent comments.

There is nothing about teaching that warrants the name “professional.”

Teaching is a talent, an art, a calling, but it is not a profession unless you misuse language.

A profession is defined by a special body of knowledge – as exists in medicine or law or architecture.

There is no such body of knowledge in teaching.

Elementary teachers do not even have to have any expertise from their BA. Many of them do not know math or language or other subjects any better than people on the streets.

Teachers’ college serves up 8 or 9 months of unexamined assumptions and tidbits of pop psychology. It is totally unscientific and qualifies you for nothing beyond union membership.

Take any bright, motivated person – someone who actually knows a subject – and put him or her into the classroom, and you will instantly get results better than those of many of the “professionals,” especially the thousands who are unmotivated and often know little worth giving children.

We need expertise and motivation in our schools, and the loose use of “professionals” does not give it to us, especially at the elementary level.

The great teacher and scholar, Roger Ascham, tutor to the young Queen Elizabeth I, said that it was the young who should get the very best teaching, and we do precisely the opposite.

And he was right.

“So the minister thinks it’s a “privilege” for teachers to be able to spend the day in the classroom with students…

“What a crock. That statement ncely [sic] encapsulates why people loathe politicians. It’s a job where people have to make ridiculous statements that conform to third-rate p.r. strategies. And they have to do it with a straight face. This minister is either delusional or a simpleton if she actually beleives [sic] that statement.”

True for politicians, often.

But equally true for teachers, often.

“I’m out. I’m using the time I spent doing extra curricular on my new additional part time job. I have no choice. My hydro bill is going up 8 percent.”

There is a perfect example of a pathetic and unthinking pleading, seeming to come directly from the realms of Cloudcuckooland.

A teacher up in his scale, and it takes not many years to reach that, earns more than $80 thousand plus unbelievable benefits for what really is part-time work.

If you can’t live comfortably on that, just try your next best job opportunity.

Clerk at WalMart? Clerk at the post office? LCBO check-out? Real estate sales? Whatever a general BA gets you, which isn’t much.

Comments like yours only anger most people who earn a fraction of what your schedule rewards you with, and they have exactly the same costs of living.

And how about all the retired old folks, barely keeping their homes with costs like real estate taxes, used to pay your salary?

Anyone who complains the way you do only exposes himself as someone who should never have become a teacher.

“Thinks it’s very sad that people devote so much time and effort to criticizing the professions of others.”

The only reason this happens is because we have to read and hear the special pleadings of teachers regularly.

And you say people should “shadowing a teacher” to see how difficult is the work?

Please, everyone with children has intimate exposure to teachers, and that on top of their own experience growing up.

I’ve done both substitute teaching and tutoring as well as university lecturing.

I do believe I have experience worth communicating, as do many others.

Again, teaching is simply not a narrow field of specialized knowledge, and that fact qualifies all thoughtful people to comment on what are widely seen as abuses and excesses.

“Many [teachers] put their lives on hold for 10 months of the year. Spend some time shadowing a teacher before posting a rant. That’s how you can truly make an informed opinion.”

There is the special pleading of all time. While I don’t doubt that this might happen in a few extreme cases, I’ve never seen it, ever.

Spend a little time with teachers, and what you’ll often, in fact, hear are whining, special pleading, and just plain nonsense claims.

“It’s time for disgruntled teachers of the public system in Ontario to show us that they can find better job opportunties elsewhere. Good luck!”

Yes, just a few examples would be interesting.

But, except in exceptional circumstances of course, it’s an impossible task.

General BAs get you absolutely nowhere on the job market.

And a teaching certificate has zero, or even negative, value outside of the closed and privileged school system.

“The last time the teachers “worked to rule” my daughter was the high school year book editor. Alone, and unaided, my daughter got the Principal to cut her a cheque for $5K, bought the computer system she needed, taught herself Photoshop, and produced the yearbook in time and under budget. She received no acknowledgment for this accomplishment at her graduation the next year. The next year the yearbook editor had the help of teachers and went back to the non computer cut and paste method. Perhaps more student activities should be done without teacher “help”.”

Good example of the kind of stuff that goes on in so many places and institutions.

Yet the whining teachers think an hour or two a week spent on some activity makes them over into the image of Mother Teresa.

And your point on the use of a computer program versus cut-and-paste is well taken. Many teachers cannot use a computer, and they are under no pressure to learn. So students watch them doing tasks in totally out-of-date ways, the teachers earning for themselves a great deal of respect I’m sure.

And your anecdote is the precise measure of how bad the situation has become and why the public has no respect for their special pleadings.

Think of all the volunteers in schools, in public libraries, in Sunday Schools, in food banks, and churches, in old age homes, etc, etc.

Tens and tens of thousands, week in-week out.

And no brownie points earned towards keeping up their status in their work place.

It makes you want to puke that a teacher making more than $80,000 with gold-plated benefits and impossible to dismiss for poor performance thinks he or she deserves an Order of Canada for handling an extra-curricular activity.

They are so out of it, they keep making these ridiculous pleadings, only making people more unhappy with them.

“You all think attacking teacher’s [sic] is the solution but it is not…”

No one thinks that.

You are question-begging.

Everyone is tired of the whining and making a big deal out of every tiny event.

Especially in light of the mediocre performance of many and their guaranteed high remuneration.

“When report card season comes, she spends an extra 15-18 hours per week for 3 weeks at home doing them.”

Many teachers ‘do” the report cards today in a matter of a few hours.

They use a no-work-required, select-a-phrase computer program to fill the forms.

The parents and kids learn nothing from it, and the teachers put no work into it.

“I know some school boards in the US that pay teachers for extra-curriculrar [sic] activities, such as track and field, debate, basketball, and mock trial.

“Either make it part of a teacher’s duties or pay for the benefit. Teachers are not slaves.”

Perhaps, but a lot of other variables are handled differently in U.S. jurisdictions, and it is just dishonest to make a comment which isolates one small fact of costs from all of the others.

First, in many poor jurisdictions in the U.S., teachers are paid a fraction of what they are paid in Ontario. You would shocked by the pay in many poor, rural states.

Second, in some U.S. jurisdictions, teachers are paid according to the cost of living in various parts of the state with teachers in rural places and small towns receiving substantially less than those in a city.

Third, in many jurisdictions in the U.S., substitutes only are required to have a degree – BA for elementary, MA for high school – and they are paid at a low fixed rate, as low as $50 a day.

In Ontario the union says they must all be grads of teachers’ college, and they are paid at beginning full-time rates.

There are many other such differences, and you cannot compare one aspect without giving a more complete picture of all the financial flows.

As to your “teachers are not slaves,’ well, that really does make you sound just silly.

“My mom is a teacher – still working at 67. She loves her job and she’s good at it. Has banked over 350 sick days because she rarely takes a day off. She’s only getting paid for 200 of those banked days upon her retirement as they are still being honoured. That means she’s saved her employers paying her 150 sick days + the 150 days they would have had to pay for a supply teacher.”

I’m glad she is a good teacher, but you do not get to “bank” days almost anywhere in private industry.

And did you know that in many companies and organizations in the U.S. that each sick day taken subtracts from your annual vacation days?

It’s legal, and it is done.

“Teacher’s [sic] have to be in before 8:00, and if you think teachers are free after 5:00 when they homework to mark, lesson plans to write weekly, and new curriculum to learn and review, then you are silly. “

Please, maybe your mother believes that, but no one else does.

The parking lots at schools empty quickly.

And many teachers do almost no marking today, planning their assignments with just that in mind. Many use “group work” to cut the assignments down by a factor of five, too.

As for lesson plans, I’ve substituted, I’ve seen their books, and many are just bad jokes.

Finally, and most important for the quality of education, there is no one, absolutely no one, assessing our teachers’ work or knowledge or personality suitability.

Hired once, in for life.

It is impossible to have a high-quality system built on that weak foundation.






Of course it will take time.

The national army is, after all, fighting people supplied and assisted by the United States, Israel, and other American satrapies.

“The west doesn’t support truth, we deny it.”

The truth is that virtually all of our news in the international sphere now is synthetic.

We almost never see any more genuine reporting from places like Syria.

We read re-written press releases from Pentagon or State Department sources.

Or we read re-written stuff from organs directly serving Pentagon interests, outfits like Reuters or the Washington Post.

Even when we do have reporters on war fronts, they are now “embedded” and not the least free to address hard issues.

And a military like that of the U.S. has many ways of intimidating and shaping what they may write in their embedded situation. An extraordinary number of journalists were killed by American forces in Iraq, including journalists from several other countries.

And then the planted and warped stuff that we do read is further re-inforced by an army of journalistic ants scribbling away at columns about places and events they know very little if anything about, the Margaret Wente’s of this world.

There is no perspective in the mainline press on any international matter except the perspective intended by those manipulating events.

Orwell anticipated this reality with Oceania’s party constantly re-writing history and making words disappear.

But the modern reality is far more subtle and insidious with all the pretenses of reportage maintained and all the hollow claims of truth from independent sources on the Internet, again a place well-larded with CIA-supported blogs and news sheets which have all the tone and appearance of genuine independent sources.

It is becoming harder, day by day, to speak to truth and have it heard.






Israeli courts speak with just about the same sense of justice legitimacy as did the United States Supreme Court in the 1850s, a court that never saw a case of slavery or abuse of slaves that it didn’t think was just fine.

The legal apparatus of Israel serves as a big dumb show almost like Stalin’s courts.

How else do you explain murders being fine?

Theft being fine?

Abuse being fine?

Arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment being fine?

And a systematic race-oriented bias to all the activities and policies of government?






“Ottawa allows RCMP, border agency to use torture-tainted information”

Our country is being dragged down to the lowest ethics by this shabby, shabby government.

I almost can’t believe that a thoughtful person would announce such a policy, but then there are many things done by this gang of grovelers to America and its interests that I almost cannot believe.

You talk of forgetting the past?

This is forgetting the centuries of immense and bloody struggle in the Western world to establish human and democratic rights.

Tossed overboard overnight by an unblinkingly militaristic government in the South, and it makes no difference there who holds office because they all serve the same interests.

It won’t be long before Harper signs us up to free access to American authority on every level.

We’ll have armed thugs darting in and out of our country to enforce their laws and interests.

“I don’t care how it was obtained. Use it to save lives.”

Save lives?

What an utterly foolish thing to say.

Who is doing most of the killing today all over the world?

You’re wrong if you say Muslim extremists.

The latest detailed study of American drone attacks – several thousand killings – shows that for the period covered, more than 70% of the victims in Pakistan were innocent civilians.

And of course, even the intended targets are indeed innocent under our law and the law of the savages carrying out these operations.

And did you know that now the thugs running this killing machine have adopted the tactics of American anti-abortion terrorists?

The hellish practice is that a second attack is made as soon as emergency response and families and neighbors begin heading for the first attack site.

Truly, what better example of terror do we have in today’s world?

We are being turned into Israel without consultation or consent by this extremist government, and Israel, as polls regularly show, is one of the least admired countries on the planet.






So they say.

Prove it.

But even then, what really is the Taleban?

It is not a dark terrorist force.

It had nothing to do with 9/11.

But it was, by Afghan standards, a reform political party with a conservative religious affiliation.

The only crime they are guilty of is fighting the invading Americans.

But from America’s establishment point of view, there is no greater crime.

And you must be regarded as one of Stalin’s “wreckers,” the vague word Stalin used when it was time for a bloody purge, working to oppose the benign work of America’s insanely militaristic government.

Again, NATO strike?

These are always, always American strikes.

But America sure loves to hide under the skirts of NATO while doing its dirty work.

And papers like the Globe sadly go along with the fraud, doing their part for America’s beloved Pentagon.



Jack Layton’s genuine legacy is as Canada’s last honest national politician.

He spoke to truth, virtually the opposite to the practices of the man now serving as prime minister.

And when you add his innate sense of humanity and decency, it is easy to understand why so many miss him.

He is likely the last of his kind.

I’m sorry to say Canada’s politics have decayed so badly, coming to resemble increasingly the sad dumb show to the South, there is no more room for a Clark, a Stanfield, a Pearson, or a Layton.






If Black manages to weasel his way into keeping the Order, he will succeed only in degrading its meaning.

No country maintains prestigious awards for convicted felons.

God, what a pathetic government that allows this.

Black shouldn’t even be here.

He gave up his citizenship voluntarily, indeed enthusiastically, years ago.






What a dishonest piece of legislation.

It does nothing about guns or guns being on the street or the criminals who carry and use guns.

It is a political lollipop for communities who have a high incidence of not looking after their own children.

“The Globe story quoting an ex-gang member who said handguns can be got for $100 a pop…”

I doubt this story seriously.

There are what are called “Saturday night specials” in the U.S., cheap little revolvers that can be had there for less than a $100.

But a decent quality gun is expensive even in the United States.

In Canada’s restricted market, its value of course multiplies.

Guys carrying 9-millimeter automatics are carrying hardware likely worth $1500 in Toronto.

In any event, the fact that we do not have a good fix on the quality and quantity of handguns in the city again is a reflection on our ineffective police.






No, they do not.

The law is the law, and these gals knowingly and deliberately broke the law in Russia, even recording their acts.

Their behavior wasn’t just illegal under the laws of Russia, it was disrespectful and rude to millions who view the church as a sacred place.

Just try doing something like that at Israel’s Wailing Wall. There wouldn’t be enough left for a decent burial when the D-9 bulldozers were finished.

And we have countless examples of genuinely unjust imprisonment in scores of countries.

Only the other day Bahrain sentenced a human rights activist to three years in prison, and his “crime” didn’t involve the disrespectful behavior of these gals towards the beliefs of millions of others.

No word from the Globe editorial machine on that. Nor do we hear the Globe bemoan the thousands held in Israeli prisons against all proper law.

And what of the CIA’s International Torture Gulag? No words of Globe concern there.

How about the more than two million refugees from America’s war crimes in Iraq? Where’s the concern?

Indeed, the biggest portion of these poor people were given shelter by that terrible country, Syria, where American paid goons are killing by the thousands and trying to overthrow a government?

I could write a list that would fill the newspaper of the savageries and injustices we see in the world right now.

And, believe me, a few goofy gals who deeply offended the beliefs of others would not be on it.

But the good old Globe editors are right out there on the front lines with that glorious defender of human rights and democratic values, Madonna, whining and bellowing about the trivial.

I have no doubt whatever that their sentences will be commuted at some point.






That’s all Harper ever does…build momentum…political momentum.

That’s why all the vacuous photo-ops in parkas.

Maybe they could just build a little fake arctic set in Ottawa, all refrigerated and with a few Inuit kept around in native costume, for filming these ridiculously meaningless efforts.

You know, like the fake lake for the G-20?

John Baird, baring his teeth, could pass for a sled dog too if the camera did only a head shot.

Sovereignty in the North has only one serious threat, and that is the hyper-militaristic United States.

But our Boy in Ottawa not only is the most servile in our history towards that country and its goals, he is ready with agreements on our borders which will only further and quickly erode claims to sovereignty.

If you recognize the importance of our North and its future to us, you cannot support Stephen Harper.

But you do very much support Stephen Harper.

So this is all empty blather, just as his photo-ops are.

If Harper genuinely wants a research facility in the North, we know there are plenty of unemployed government scientists to man it.






Thought of in the right way, this is a hilarious story.

A political version of “time wounds all heels.”

Actually, this is not unprecedented.

When the Nazis set their laws regarding who is a Jew and who is not, they had a large philosophical problem.

They came up with an elaborate scheme of half-Jews being Jews and certain quarter-Jews being non-Jews.

Now, you can just imagine the many people who did not know or could not prove who their four grandparents were and what was their religious and ethnic history.

And there were many rumors of prominent Nazis having a Jewish skeleton somewhere in their family closet, as it were.

This was said of Eichmann, for example, and it was even a secret rumor about Hitler.

All appallingly ridiculous, as all such concepts are, much as Israel’s rules about who is Jewish are ridiculous and out of keeping with modern thinking.






The Globe editorials in recent years have become noted among thinking and informed people as right-wing hack work, a la Margaret Wente or John Ibbitson.

But this one is truly breathtaking for its brutal stupidity.

Too much power?

For an elected government?

As opposed to a military junta?

Further analysis is appropriate here.

This move may well have been an orchestrated shadow-play to boost the democratic claims of the new government.

It may well have been part of an agreement worked out with Washington.

The removal of a couple of generals – out of hundreds in the junta – can be regarded as token.

This notion is re-inforced by two important observations.

One, the entirely inappropriate statement by the Pentagon that it will continue its relations with Egypt’s military hierarchy.

Can you imagine a more inappropriate statement in diplomatic terms, yet it raised no red flags?

Two, Israel has shown not nearly the same reaction it had during the original anti-Mubarak revolution, a time when many prominent Israelis made terribly anti-democratic, anti-human rights, and pro-dictatorial public statements.

Israel’s knows that this little stage play was part of the deal, so it isn’t concerned.

After all, you do need some stability in Egypt.

The huff-and-puff of this unthinking piece is just part of the stage setting for the shadow-play.






Nonsense propaganda.

A boycott would be a moral and ethical beacon in the world.

And churches like the United have always stood for genuine moral and ethical issues right here on earth.

It was just such acts, by scores of individual groups, which marked the beginning of the end of South African apartheid.

“If I am not mistaken, Israel was also the last country to disassociate itself with Apartheid South Africa.”

Yes, but further than that, Israel had a history of close association with the apartheid regime.

Israeli regarded the Boers as people in a very similar situation to themselves.

They had agreements concerning technology and strategic materials.

And many have long known that Israel had a role in South Africa’s becoming a minor nuclear power.

That fact has never been dealt with by the press, except the recent release of a letter signed by Shimon Peres (political father of the Israeli nuclear arsenal) by South Africa’s government.

Of course, it was all denied by Israel.

But we know there was a top-secret project to remove South Africa’s nuclear weapons associated with the change in government.

The late Dr Kelly in Britain knew all the details of the operation and how the fissionable materials were disposed of, and that fact alone may have caused his murder disguised as suicide.

We also know that Israel’s only atmospheric test – likely done in association with South Africa – was a typical intense flash spotted by a spy satellite.

That, too, was under-reported by the press.






“Most teachers have never lived in the real world spending their entire lives from age 5 to retirement in a classroom. They are the most pampered whining class of people in our society.”

Well said, indeed.

A pointed truth.

It is time for an Ontario Premier to show enough courage to take the teachers’ union on.

The courage to take a strike would re-establish the proper relationship of government and government employees.

A strike would not only be extremely helpful in this way, it would not last very long.

When the teachers realized that their next vacation in the South of France or Cancun, Mexico, was imperiled, or payments on the two fully-equipped SUVs wouldn’t be met, the strike would end.

We have no better example of a huge ship without anyone at the helm than Ontario’s public schools.

McGuinty has done nothing but throw money at teachers to buy votes, giving them, last time round, a generous multi-year increase when most of society, the people who pay the wages, was being sent into an economic tailspin.

The arrogance of teacher-spokespeople is simply breathtaking. Here is a job in which the bulk of practitioners have a general BA – often with not-stellar academic performance – plus a pretty meaningless certificate from an anti-intellectual teachers’ college.

The truth is that – except for specialists in science, math, and languages – most teachers could be replaced almost instantly by people without the certificates, and if we included retired experts and highly-motivated people only, we would see a startling improvement in our kids’ schools.

In economics we would say that the next best opportunity for the bulk of them is as clerks and salespeople at wages a fraction of what they receive and with no gold-plated pension and no working effectively 8 months a year.

We need a sense of reality here, as society is facing great waves of turmoil and insecurity from the world economic situation.

And the harsh truth is Ontario schools on average are not terribly competitive in the world.

McGuinty’s past giveaways have achieved not much beyond enriching and indulging the teachers.

All the tests by which we supposedly measure improvements are poorly conceived and in the control of teachers to tweak and adjust and mark.

They are not objective, and they are completely unsatisfactory measures of performance.

The very measure of the teachers’ poor attitudes is precisely this almost insignificant sacrifice McGuinty is asking. It does barely begins to change the many things needing change, yet they whine and reject like the worst students in their classes.

“Wow, continue to be astounded by the depth of teacher hatred in the general population.

“To be fair, teachers are very well compensated for their work, not sure they are over compensated, though.

“Summers off? Well, maybe they should be in PD training or refresher courses for 4 or 5 weeks in July or August.

“Pensions? Yes, but they do contribute about 10% of their pay to their pension, or, looking at it another way, they pay half their pension contributions. Their pensions are not paid by the government, but through the pension board, which invests their money. Done a pretty good job of investing so far, it looks like.

“Teachers’ unions? The Charter guarantees freedom of association. it is right under the Charter to form a federation and have that body negotiate on their behalf. It’s all legal.

“So, it’s a good job, if you like doing it.

“Don’t know anybody in it for the money, though.”

Hatred of teachers?

That is simply wrong.

Rather, it is hatred of abuse and arrogance and hypocrisy and the fact that teachers do not clearly perceive those demonstrated qualities are major parts of the problem.

To assume that it is hatred of teachers reveals the same warped perspective that generates this entire issue.

Refresher courses in what?

The courses now offered by their administration for advancing them on the pay-scale are appalling in their content. They run from childish to anti-intellectual with surprisingly little hard new information and demand for learning, and the reason for that is simple: they would be flunking hundreds of teachers regularly otherwise and still sending them back to their jobs – an impossible bind.

They pay half their pensions? That’s not an accurate way to measure it, but even if it were, what a deal, double your money, guaranteed. Try getting that deal anywhere.

Teachers’ unions are indeed the exercise of a right, but all rights can be abused and have limits, even freedom of speech.

The key point you ignore is that the teachers’ union, rather than genuinely trying to improve education and conditions, consistently works to extract more money by the threat over all parents’ heads of striking. And while they work to fleece the public, they use weasel words which fool absolutely no one but themselves. They also consistently defend the indefensible, poor and even ignorant teachers.

That last line of yours is very telling.

You either do not know anything about the people with whom you work or your head is in cloudcuckooland.

It is easy to spot teachers whose only drive is their own career and pay advancement. Loads of them.

And when your next best employment is a store clerk – true, I’m sorry, for many of them – the money counts hugely.

They, and you, only pretend it doesn’t.

“Think about teachers the next time your child is in a play at school, taking part in a Christmas concert, going on a special field trip, being part of a sports team, being a member of a school band or participating in a talent night. I am not looking for accolades but the harsh words and misleading comments are hurtful. I think you should all homeschool your children since we as teachers are all so stupid and wouldn’t be able to get a job in the real world.”

Sorry, but that is a perfect example of the special pleading that make so many despair at teachers’ lack of understanding on these issues.

If you do those things, it is only what parents expect in return for your handsome remuneration.

You don’t seem aware at all that anyone who takes pride in their work anywhere does equivalent things.

It actually is a bit stunning that you don’t realize that your preconceptions and special pleadings are strong evidence of the cloudcuckooland that so many teachers reside in.

The hard truth is many, many teachers never do more than they absolutely have to. I’ve seen them, and I’ve heard their smirky remarks.

They are ready to go home at 3 PM, and they do. You can see them by the score doing so.

You say you are not looking for accolades, but the drift of your comment is precisely to seek accolades, not just for yourself but all teachers.

But all teachers do not deserve accolades any more than all auto mechanics or all cooks. Many just barely function in their jobs, others are getting away with murder, and the public is well aware of those things, yet we have to read the special pleadings and the whining about the least change in work conditions.

If you had any exposure to the lower middle-management world of private industry, you’d know that overtime and evening or weekend work are completely the norm.

Expected by management, but earning no special remuneration or, often, no special praise.

And the salary and benefits of an Ontario elementary teacher, one up in the pay scale, are quite comparable to that hardworking class in private industry (In excess of $80,000 per year plus immensely rich benefits).

And people in private industry start with two weeks of vacation, maybe building up to 3 or 4 after some years.

And if they regularly took another 20 or so days off as sick days (sick days whose cost is literally double given the need for substitutes) – as many Ontario teachers do – their careers would likely come to an end.

They won’t get your pension either.

Your last thought is both ridiculous and offensive.

People should teach their own kids just because they have criticisms of how things are in the schools and how teachers present themselves in public?

It’s a childish and petulant statement.

And, sorry, but just plain ignorant.



I wonder if Gorilla Boy, as he perambulates around for cameras to stress the horrors of Syria, knows that the American invasion of Iraq produced more than 2 million refugees.

America pretty much refused to take the people it made homeless.

But Assad’s Syria took the largest number of them.

Some heartless tyrant.


To understand why John Baird has well earned the epithet, Gorilla Boy, see:






Boost Canada’s role in Syria?

What role?

We have none so far as the people of Canada know.

Is Gorilla Boy planning something of which we haven’t been advised?

Stay out of other people’s civil wars.

Even when they have been deliberately engineered by the United States and Israel.

But, of course, the genuine authors of this war are the people who have extraordinary influence in this most un-Canadian of governments, and that’s the real reason he’s going.

His job is to add to the phony western clamor the U.S. orchestrates to protect its nefarious investment in creating terror.

Saying anything else is just blather.

Our country has never been at so low an ebb in world affairs as it is under this extremist government.

A nasty loudmouth is our foreign minister and a servile American wannabe is our prime minister, and in every international forum – from climate change to war – Canada has lost the prestige it had by vigorously serving the wrong side.






‘”Human rights” is a Western concept that has no importance or meaning in Chinese thought.

‘Or in Islam, for that matter.’

Only partly right, and more wrong than right.

“Human rights” is a modern concept, having no long history in Europe.

Every state which reaches general prosperity and modernity comes to gradually embrace the concept.

Even in a place like Saudi Arabia, there is a growing implicit recognition.

So, too, China.

It took Europe a very long time to evolve the concept, through centuries of absolutism and religious violence.

The United States borrowed all the concepts in its founding documents from Europe, but it was a very long time until it lived up to them.

Dr. Johnson talked contemptuously of “drivers of negroes speaking of liberty!”

And we see today that ignorant fear, re-inforced by government’s special interests, can start making what we thought were well-established freedoms start disappearing under ghastly legislation like The Patriot Act.

Again, where is the concern for rights in a place like Israel with its 4.5 million people with no rights whatsoever and suffering constant abuse?

The person writing this is simply ignorant of China.

China is not intolerant of religion.

Religion often in the past – as the Catholic Church of the sixteenth century – has been used by outsiders as a means of gaining power in a state.

The Chinese understand this, and much like French kings or Henry VIII’s England, they are against such efforts.

Outfits like Folun Gang fall into this category.

While I’m sure it has some sincere followers, the organization unquestionably has been driven by secret CIA funding.

And if we are going to speak of religious intolerance, may I remind you that the United States has virtually declared war on Islam, the religion of more than a billion people?

It murders literally thousands in Afghanistan and, with its drones, in Pakistan and Somalia and other places.

And not one of its victims was involved in 9/11.

Saudis, the folks helping engineer the violence in Syria, very much were.

And what of Israel’s 4.5 million victims, the Palestinians, people of many faiths actually, including significant numbers of Christians?






Surely, this is the dumbest column in a long line of dumb columns.

Ibbitson’s blind right-wing hate must have reached an intense pitch to produce it.

Even in old age, Vidal was one of the best raconteurs on the planet.

He was brave in what he said, and said it so wittily.

Just listen to Michael Enright’s CBC Radio interview with Vidal on Sunday Edition (repeated Aug 5).

Vidal’s reputation will live in the brilliant-critic tradition of Orwell, Jonathon Swift, Dr. Johnson, or Voltaire.

His literary talent wasn’t as large as some of those great people, but his speaking to truth and razor wit were the equal of any of them.

Unlike Mr. Ibbitson, who will be forgotten with his last droning column.






This is dishonest stuff.

First, it starts with a truism, faith affects politics.

Yes, just as temperament, age, literacy, and a host of characteristics. So what?

So long as the faith part remains just a part of personal motivation, there can be no argument.

But accepting that does not mean that expressions of faith should become part of national politics or have a role in policy or laws.

That is gigantic leap from a feeble truism.

We simply have too many faiths and shades of various faiths to allow that to happen without unpleasant consequences.

Just look at some of the debates and controversies in the United States over the last few decades of the Religious Right entering formally into politics.

Almost all of it has been a vast waste of resources and human effort for no gain, full of hysteria and screaming and even violence.

Freedom of religion absolutely includes freedom from religion in the public sphere.

Any politician who makes an effort to disturb our delicate balance deliberately to make some little political gain – very much what Harper has done – is someone to shame and disapprove of.

Otherwise, we end up with vicious morons like Huckabee or Gingrich making outlandish statements and proposals, getting campaign funds for doing so, and only scattering dragon’s teeth in society.

Harper and Baird and Kent have already started down this damnable path, a path which vitiates democracy and rewards special interests.

Of course, Jesus said to render unto to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and he condemned the Pharisees for their public pretentious prayers, saying prayer was a private matter between God and God’s creatures.

But that hasn’t stopped so-called Christians from trying to railroad over others time and time again.






“Own the podium” is a genuinely stupid expression, not in keeping even with Olympic ideals.

Naturally, money and resources dedicated to any object, however trivial, can give results.

I wonder how many Canadians care enough about things like rowing or badminton or trampoline to even walk down the street to see someone playing?

Not a lot, would be my guess.

With all our genuine needs as a society – everything from bridges and roads in need of replacement to medical needs – the dedication of large amounts of taxpayers’ money to sports is of doubtful merit.

As for the Olympics themselves, the constant repetition of country names, flags, and anthems is in direct contradiction to genuine sports ideals.

It is supposed to be a competition of individuals in an international atmosphere, not a mock war between nations. Indeed, this modern emphasis owes a great deal to Hitler’s Berlin Olympics in 1936.

Indeed, that is when truly barbarian concepts like the quasi-religious running of the Olympic torch had their beginning – stuff straight from Dr. Goebbels’ mind.

One thing Canadians might learn from this waste of money in search of momentary drum-crashing national prestige, the same principles are now being applied to politics by Harper.

He works tirelessly towards the American system, which is one where vast amounts of private money from special interests are collected to finance campaigns.

It’s precisely what has turned a democratic institution into a plutocracy.






Blair is, quite simply, the most inept police chief we’ve had.

He totally blew it on the G-20, and never had even the grace to apologize.

He totally blew it on many other occasions, including importantly the time officers wore their uniforms to a demonstration at City Hall, against his direct orders.

All the offenders got was a light slap, instead of the dismissal they well deserved for an act which had great overtones of threatening our civil government.

Blair doesn’t even speak with much thought, his is always a rapid expulsion of cliched words, a torrent which seems intended to overpower listeners and avoid exchange.

He does not represent our best values, and the fact that he now uses terms from liberal values to protect his inept performance is not praiseworthy.

He should resign.