This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
The above title and punchline for the joke comes from Steve Kannon, Editor of the Woolwich Observer in this week's edition. The punchline of course is that the love-hate relationship is that we love to hate politicians. Further on he mentions that Canadians complaining about government trumps the weather as the great Canadian pastime. I could not agree more. Steve's comments are under his Editor's Notes column and are titled "Will changing our voting system be enough to restore faith in politics?"
Steve gives us information on alternative voting systems including a lottery system as well as various forms of proportional representation. His opinions and comments are as usual highly informative. He also believes that Canadians have disengaged from politics as they have lost faith in the process. Quoting Steve "...power and decisions are typically ceded to unaccountable bureaucrats, developers and union lobbyists - the public good often left out of the equation.". Strong stuff.
Steve reminds us that the whole point of democracy was to allow the people to lead and rule themselves versus monarchies , dictatorships and I'll add powerful cliques solely looking out for themselves. He adds that Canadian citizens must not allow democracy to slip away, its roots and purpose forgotten. Absolutely beautifull and dead on the money.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Hmm. Well it doesn't seem to take much more than public shaming to get the attention of the Waterloo Region District School Board. Afterall year after year of being publicly raked over the coals in the media should get some reaction from senior Board staff and bureaucrats. Even the continually diminished Trustees are getting in on the action. Jeff Outhit has reported in today's Waterloo Region Record discussions that recently took place amongst the Trustees. The title of the story is "Struggling students get trustee attention".
Education Director John Bryant has advised trustees of a new "achievement" plan. It includes assessing if teaching strategies are being consistently implemented in classrooms as well as how they are being implemented. Hmm this could be interesting especially if the WRDSB bed partners decide to turn on each other. A skeptic might almost think that staff and big wigs are throwing the blame onto their unionized teaching staff. That would be a pleasant change but the reality is that everybody owns a piece of the deterioration of our educational system over the last thirty years.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
The story that I'm receiving is that Clinton quite clearly came across as more presidential, more polished and more professional. Big deal when you think about it. She beat an amateur, wanna be politician who tends to shoot from the lip. Yes Trump is a loudmouth and he's certainly not lacking in chutzpah but what the hell is he doing even on the same stage as her? She's spent decades if not longer preparing for this. She has been in the Cabinet as Secretary of State. She is a team player as long as it's carrying her along with the team. Now she wants to be captain of the team. This is despite watching her husband years ago go through the rigors and difficulties involved in being President.
I don't for one second believe it has anything to do with wanting to shape history or move it in a better direction for mankind. It is nothing but a sports metaphor. She is on Team USA and what is important is that either the media or the people (Americans) believe that she is working for them and for her team. Avoiding scandals, debacles and catastrophes is what it's all about. Keep the whole ship lumbering along with the most important donors, corporations and supporters at least satisfied that your not trying to undermine them or lessen their power and influence.
Every society, every country is involved in class warfare. It's universal. So many citizens must be uneducated and willing to do the low paid, low status jobs. Others must be willing to enter the Armed Forces. Others yet Academia, law and God help us even more politicians. Entrepreneurs must be willing to make great gobs of money off the labour of others and then willing to spend it politically to ensure and insulate their fortunes and others from decay. Whether the system is "democracy" or one Party rule or even one man rule, it's all about maintaining the status quo and the priveleges of the already wealthy. Others can join the club if they don't mind stepping on the necks of the masses but just don't upset the powerful and wealthy.
Clinton or Trump they are the same. Neither is remotely fit to serve the people. Both are fit to serve themselves, their donors, their supporters and the status quo.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Last week's Woolwich Observer carried an Opinion piece by Steve Kannon, Editor of the newspaper. The title was "Ag. industry mergers underscore the dangers of increasing corporatism". Bayer recently announced that it will be buying Monsanto for $66 billion. Just prior to that Potash Corp. and Agrium announced a $30 billion merger and ChemChina is buying Syngenta for $43 billion. Lastly Dupont and Dow will complete a $68 billion merger. Steve believes that none of these are in anybody's benefit except the shareholders. Consumers of these products will pay higher prices and receive less overall.
Steve also refers to corporations who've long owned the politicians responsible for oversight into corporate behaviour. Basically consumers are the huge losers in these mergers both with higher, monopolistic prices and with lower quality due to lessened competition. All in all society and the 99% are fast losing ground to the 1% and it is due to increasing power, wealth and political influence of ever larger corporations.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Wow, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The bulk of Trustees twenty years ago were hopeless and apparently with but a few exceptions things have hardly changed. I view it as all about the culture within the WRDSB including Staff, bureaucrats and administraters. Generally the attitude was and allegedly still is that we are all here for our own personal enhancement, egos, status and future political opportunities. Anybody messing with that by actually speaking out of turn and putting students first is to be marginalized and attacked.
Luisa's Opinion piece in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Trustees would rather gang up on a dissenter than focus on students". To my surprise Trustee Mike Ramsay appears to be the target of the Trustees ire. He gave a talk on a local radio show last spring and so on October 17/16 the rest of the Trustees will decide if he broke their Code of Conduct when he criticized some of them. His comments and interview were also published in the Record and there was a bit of a kerfluffle at the time. Luisa lists a couple of the self-serving and idiotic Sections in the Code of Conduct. Essentially it's more about giving a united face to whatever the stupidity of the day is rather than focusing on student achievement. Hence criticism is not tolerated with nasty sanctions being a possibility.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Luisa D'Amato's column in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Throwing money at schools won't fix our math problems". Surely Luisa is wrong about that. Afterall we've had problems with our educational system for decades and we've kept right on throwing money at them much to the glee of administraters, teachers and their unions. How could such smart people (by their own admission) possibly be wrong? Surely Luisa you aren't subtly suggesting that they've always been looking out for number one, have you?
Luisa's Opinion piece is in response to today's front page story by her colleague Jeff Outhit titled "EQAO results show students lagging". Jeff's article indicates that our local Separate School Board (Catholic) is keeping up with Ontario averages in reading, writing and mathmatics. Our public Board however not so much. The Waterloo Regional District School Board just can't seem to get their wee heads around the problem.
According to Luisa the math curriculum is the problem. The educrats at our School Board like to use big words and pretend they are so much smarter than everyone else. Turns out they're more like the dumb kid in class bragging about sports and or his first car. In other words big on puffery and really slow on results. Basic math skills such as multiplication and division don't seem to be well entrenched with incoming first year students. Apparently the kids were never taught them satisfactorily in the elementary grades and those deficiencies just carried on right through high school into university.
Luisa D'Amato feels that our education officials need to admit that they were wrong and fix things. Good luck Luisa with any of the big shots at the WRDSB admitting any such thing. Or maybe the really bad ones I knew twenty years ago have retired and moved on. I wonder if they promoted their subordinates based on educational merit or on the same basis that they themselves were promoted ie. circle the wagons, don't rock the boat, remember your priorities namely teachers, unions, administraters, parents and students dead last.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Well I'm kind of stunned. I read the article in the Waterloo Region Record earlier this week titled "Man stands trial four times in same murder case". Basically I was appalled that any person in Canada could be convicted of first degree murder, then acquitted upon appeal, only to be charged two more times and the juries could not come to a unanimous verdict, hence a mistrial. That said trial number four is now in the works. This is all wrong I thought and what the hell is wrong with our judicial system. Then lo and behold I read an article from 2014 by a Hamilton Spectator reporter. My God but this same accused was also charged with a second assault as in an attempted murder charge only weeks after the initial murder of Diane Werendowicz.
Allegedly new evidence 35 years after the fact will be allowed at the fourth trial. A local Judge (Gerry Taylor) had stayed the Crown's charges back in 2012 saying that Badgerow had been through enough and the Crown had had ample opportunities to prosecute him. An appeal court said otherwise a couple of years back and here we go again. To date Mr. Badgerow has spent eleven years in jail for crimes to date that the legal system have been unable to make stick. Usually guilty or otherwise, ties go to the runner in baseball and court. In other words you are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Unfortunately sometimes this means that a guilty person walks free but is that not better than the plethora of later proven innocent people that our judicial systems have stuck behind bars for decades?
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Long overdue according to critics and victims alike of Ontario's Children Aid societies (CAS). How in God's name did they ever become for profit institutions based upon a financial scheme regarding how many children currently "in care"? How did they become so unaccountable. Why were foster homes not better screened and better supervised?
The article in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Province maps out children's aid overhaul". Group homes, foster care and Children's Aid societies are all criticized. Overall the criticism seems muted in comparison to horror stories that have been told by parents who have had their children snatched. Nevertheless it is obvious that the goverment wants greater control over the 46 CASs in the province and that is a pretty strong signal that bad publicity such as the Toronto Star series has hit home. Group homes are also in for much more, long overdue, scrutiny. Too many have been calling the police apparently for even minor infractions of the rules, leading to too many youths being funnelled into the justice system unnecessarily.
Numerous CASs across the province have been accused of child snatching for profit. Too many CAS workers have been accused of being incompetent and unqualified. It is decades after the fact to just now start cleaning up this mess. Shame on Ontario.
Monday, September 19, 2016
So Tony Clement federal M.P. thinks that Canadain citizens without benefit of criminal conviction should be incarcerated based upon a maybe. If they simply have "extremist" ideas they should be thrown in prison just in case. O.K. Tony and what are you going to do with little problems like the Canadian Constitution, Bill of Rights, Charter of Rights and Freedoms etc.? Apparently Tony wants to assist our judicial system maintain their workload, wages and benefits by manufacturing even more work than marijuana has provided police, Crowns and judges. The Waterloo Region Record carried the following story on September 13/16 titled "Can't track, jail them: Clement". It isn't criminals nearly as much as our politicians and governments that are a threat to Canadians.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story titled "Snowden says he improved privacy". Indeed to a small degree he has. The total effect will be miniscule however unless others pick up the torch. The chances of that are slim to nill if future whistleblowers see how Edward Snowden was treated both by the guilty ie. government bureaucrats in the NSA as well as politicians who were part of the domestic spying on U.S. citizens as well as by the innocent victims of illegal domestic surveillance of American's phone records. The innocent victims are doing exactly squat. Snowden is in exile in Russia precisely because cowardly, lazy, uninvolved citizens who should be shouting his name to the rooftops in support are simply sitting on their hands while wearing self-imposed muzzles. This man stuck his neck out for you and your gratitude is such that you will do exactly nothing to see im back in the States as a free man. Shame on all of you.
In regards to Canadians they are basically just as apathetic. Whether trade deals favouring corporate power and pocketbooks or turning a blind eye to Bill C-51 dealing with our own increased surveillance and alleged domestic terrorism by our government; we have learned nothing. Canadians and Americans are far more likely to be victimized by their own governments and own corporations than they are by outside agitators/terrorists or even by local, home grown criminals. Sure that happens but nothing like the every day fleecing and screwing of citizens by both legal and illegal methods while our governments smile and accept corporate donations from those same companies.
Friday, September 16, 2016
And we thought the recent scam regarding giving away our groundwater to the bottled water industry was a sellout by government to private corporations. This is even worse and begs the question as to where the government was when this started and why is it the media now versus our governments telling us how we've all been lied to and deceived by corporations for their benefit to our direct detriment. The Waterloo Region Record today carrys this Editorial titled "Sweet and sordid: How the sugar industry gamed vital research". Today's Editorial follows up a recent story by Candice Choi out of New York titled "Sugar industry attempt to slant science revealed. The science that was slanted was no less than research being done by Harvard researchers while being paid by a sugar lobby. The lobby group were kind enough to send along thanks afterwards advising the reasrchers that indeed that was exactly the kind of results they were looking for and well done. Kind of reminds one of the cigarette manufacturers at their worst denying tobacco's health effects for so long.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Review of police oversight starts". Well this should be worth a laugh at least. Police oversight by civilains is less than a joke. At least here in Waterloo Region it is and by extension likely in other areas of Ontario as well. We have a civilain Police Board here who are nothing but a bunch of old boys and girls with long histories of being at the public trough. Oops I mean who are either current or retired politicians whether municipal or regional.
None of these politicians ever rocked the establishment boat. Why would they as it's worked for them. Hence when the duly appointed regional Police Chief tells they they don't need to know this or that for whatever reason then why would they buck him? Generally speaking who cares? Is it the well off in Westmount and Beechwood or is it the homeless, unemployed, invisble young and or disadvantaged in our society who come into contact with the police? And if they complain who the hell listens to them anyways?
Civilian oversight is a sham. Most police officers behave appropriately and for those who don't they just like teachers have union protection. Occasionally an officer will cross a politically incorrect line and get thrown to the wolves. The really bad ones such as was on display at the G20 in Toronto a few years back mostly have gotten away with their bad behaviour. Here senior police administraters know it's all about politics. Don't embarass the political elite and authorities and they'll let you do your thing. As long as only the marginalized and disenfranchised yell and holler then everybody is happy. Bad policies including excess co-operation with school boards resulting in witch hunts of occasional parents is tolerated even defended. Ignoring drunk drivers leaving hotels was tolerated for decades until the public overall stepped up and said enough. Distracted driving causing more mayhem and injury than even drunk driving was both ignored and tolerated by our authorities, both political and police, until only recently.
None of these issues should have taken half a century to fix. The public knew that something was wrong with police focusing solely on drunks and speeders and letting everything else go was a prescription for disaster. To this day speeders are jumped all over despite studies showing that speed alone does not kill. Inattention first, alcohol second and health deficits due to age and illness third are the causes of injuries and fatalities. Maybe because our politicainas are mostly older white males has something to do with police biases. Driving while black as an offence is alive and well here in Waterloo Region and certainly is in Toronto.
Get real citizens on Police Boards and give them some authority to change bad police policies and practices. Exclude the priveleged and certainly former and current politicians. If you flood any Board or Committee with professional liars then you get exactly what you intended which is a committee of the deaf, dumb and blind who will find no problems.
Monday, September 12, 2016
According to the April 11/16 Waterloo Region Record apparently 8% of the world's wealth has been squirreled away in secret offshore banking accounts. The title of the story is "Hiding wealth makes the world go 'round". I'm not clear if this is primarily hiding one's wealth frompublic scrutiny or whether it's about hiding it from the tax collector. Apparently 100 news organizations managed to work together to expose millions of financial records related to thousands of companies and 14,153 clients of a Panamanian law firm. The company Mossack Fonseca represented at least 12 current world leaders among the 143 politicians, families and pals who have been hiding their money in these havens. The article also shows us the hypocrisy of many of these world leaders who cheerfully are cutting back welfare payments and minimum wage laws all the while taking care of number one. The author seems to feel that there is good news here. Essentially greed will prevent world leaders from doing anything just too radical that would imperil their own wealth and best interests. So if not blood, apparently money is thicker than water.
Friday, September 9, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Anti-terror revamp delayed". This is in regards to the federal Liberals promise to make amendments to some of the more egregiously offensive portions of this Bill passed by Harper and the Conservatives prior to their unceremonial boot from office. Guess it turned out that Justin was just a tad more "ready" than Stevie Wonder thought possible. God did that look good on you Steve and the Conservatives. Your personal attack ads were disgusting and contemptible and I'm not even a Liberal.
Collective security can be much better balanced with rights and freedoms we enjoy as Canadians. CSIS God help us just like the Mounties should have fewer powers not more. Are we so stupid that we think non-transparent and unaccountable police powers and more will not lead to less security? Frankly I'm far more afraid of my own government than ones thousands of miles away.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Today's Woolwich Observer carrys this Editorial by Steve Kannon titled "Things don't add up as math scores continue to slide". While English test results for public school students are holding steady, math scores continue to slide. It is how the so-called brains in our school boards have been teching math. Terms like "self-actualized", "inquiry based" and "self-discovery" are being shown to be nonsense. Other problems include math teachers with little appreciation for plus less knowledge of math in our public school classes. Steve Kannon indicates that there are many people invested in the current model. The system does not work and as Steve says "the facts speak for themselves, and no amount of fuzzy logic will change them.".
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Here in Elmira we have scientific data proving that the sediments in Canagagigue Creek are contaminated with Dioxins, DDT, P.C.B.s and Mercury not only above federal guidelines but also to the point that tissue residues in fish in the creek are also above federal Tissue Residue Guidelines. Does any of this automatically trigger cleanup actions in the creek? Nope it merely triggers more studies followed by more studies after that.
We are probably going to end up with a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) which will be irrelevant to the health of life in and around the creek. Wildlife including fish, frogs, turtles, mink, muskrats, fox, coyote, blue herons, hawks etc. will be ignored. Even the HHRA will be a crock just like the last one around 2003 which said that all was well on the Chemtura (Uniroyal) site for both humans (HHRA) and wildlife via an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) .
Now the Ontario Ministry of Environment believe they have more evidence of Chemtura/Uniroyal contamination downstream in the creek. Granted they've had that for twenty years but they had done some relatively minor cleanup on-site in 2006 that they hoped would cleanup the problem. It may have helped but not nearly enough. Shovels so to speak in the ground are needed. Further studies and mathematical as well as word games are not.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Gwynne Dyer has an interesting article in the September 3/16 Waterloo Region Record titled "We are but a layer in geological record". Apparently scientists have determined that the earth is now in a new geological epoch referred to as the Anthropocene. You guessed it this is the age of Man. Well. Sort of makes one feel important until we get into the details.
For geologists of course it's all about the rocks. Mankind have become the dominant factor in the planet's evolution. mostly for the worse unfortunately. We are causing global warming and melting the ice on the poles and raising the levels of the seas. All bad things. In the rocks is evidence of radioactive elements courtesy of mankind. Unburnt carbon, bits of plastic, concreteand aluminum are all imbedded in the muds that someday will be rocks.
All of this according to some scientists will result in a total breakdown of the Earth's natural systems for maintaining a stable environment. Mankind will need to become the planetary maintenance engineer. Another very bad thing as we've shown a greater aptitude for destruction of the earth than for protection and maintenance of it. Once again I'm feeling very bad for our future generations and what we are leaving them.
Monday, September 5, 2016
Steve Kannon in the Woolwich Observer this week has an excellent "Editors' Notes" article titled "They ain't what they used to be, but protest movements can serve a purpose". Bernie Saunders who ran a strong campaign against Hillary Clinton advises that trade agreements are not really about trade per se. They are about protecting corporate profits while assiduously ignoring "...the environment, human rights , health care or the needs of the people". The establishment claim that these deals such as the NAFTA and TPP bring properity. They do not. Just look at the prosperity that has not flowed to North American workers since the 1980s.
Steve compares today's labour Day weekend and lack of enthusiasm for labour rights compared to the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. Tradespeople walked out and were joined by factory workers, retail employees and even government workers. Government officials and police were not sympathetic at the time. Since then many progressive labour and social welfare policies have been passed. This is a direct result of militancy of citizens. It may well be time to strike again.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this Opinion piece from Luisa D'Amato titled "Has all-day kindergarten been a waste of money?". Apparently after six years of full day kindergarten in Ontario at a direct cost 0f $1.5 billion per year we have exactly...nothing to show for it. Promised improvements in student education are nowhere to be found. In fact while rreading and writing are holding up well, mathematics was and is in the dumpster and still falling. Supposedly trotting our young children off to all-day kindergarten was going to reverse this. It hasn't done so.
Other jurisdictions have tried the same experiment and it has not delivered there either. Apparently the benefits are limited in kindergarten and tend to fade away completely by the middle of Grade One. The cost however to the Ontario taxpayer remains. Thank You politicians and educrats.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
This is what one might expect in a so called third world judicial system. For this to occur in Canada is beyond shameful and a disgrace to each and every person with any authority whatsoever in our judicial system. A mentally ill Jamaican man has been in prison for five years without being charged with any offence. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys the story titled "Indefinite immigration detention rapped as rare release hearing begins".
Canadian immigration authorities have neither charged the man with any offences nor have they had him deported to his native Jamaica. The man came to Canada when he was six or seven years old and has been here for the last thirty-three to thirty-four years. His mental illness includes depression and schizophrenia. Does anybody think that indefinite incarceration hasn't exacerbated his mental health challenges? Canada get off the pot and get this fellow out of jail yesterday.