Ontario Liberals Attack on Public Education

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It looks like Wynne’s Ontario Liberals will put up to 300 public schools on the chopping block within the next 12 months.

Like most taxpayers and citizens, I hate hearing this kind of news because it sounds like an echo of defeat.  My interpretation on this is similar to my response to Wynne’s cynical plan to reduce Ontario Hydro bills.

Everything she does, she does at the expense of people that can’t vote for her.

Children are bearing the brunt of Wynne’s hopeless and hapless management of Ontario.

Schools ultimately get closed for two reasons in this province:

  1. Sprawl
  2. Excessive administrative / management costs

Sprawl is Earth’s cancer.  As we build ‘new communities’, we pull away from existing ones.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a new, gleaming Catholic school located on a massive field in the middle of a soon-to-be-built suburb.

The suburbs act as a giant centrifuge, pulling bodies, money, commuters and other resources away from what we’ve tried to build in central areas.

And even if it’s a new public school, it draws potential homeowners away from urban areas into the burbs.  It threatens the very core of what we city planners are supposed to strive for:  intensification, integration and socialization.

Sprawl is the epitome of design and intellectual laziness when it comes to municipal planning.

Administrative costs with schools have skyrocketed.  There are now several layers of management for every school, driving up the cost of keeping any institution.  Of course, the same goes for hospitals, universities and even once-public organizations like Ontario Hydro, where administration / management costs now account for about a third of all budgets.

Instead of removing some of the bloat from the public ranks, Wynne would rather sacrifice the future of children and our urban centres.

What a shame.


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Some Good News: Ontario Cottagers Will Not Get Hydro Rebate

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The entire Ontario Hydro portfolio is a disaster.

Kathleen Wynne has admitted it.

The opposition leaders know it.

Thankfully, the rural rebate will not be applied to temporary residents known as cottagers.

Seasonal owners will not get a rebate from Ontario Hydro and will stay be forced to pay the delivery charge.

If you don’t like the situation, sell your cottage.

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Hey Lamestream, Focus on the Right Question: Did Jeff Sessions Lie to Congress?

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Oh, Donald.

You suck.

The issue: Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s appointee for Attorney General – one of the highest and most important legal positions in the country – may have lied to the Congress during his confirmation hearing and he has now had to recuse himself from any investigations associated with Donald Trump and his gaggle of puppets on Vladamir Putin’s strings.

The distraction: quoting the same source that brought us questions about Obama’s legitimacy as an American citizen, Donald Trump used Twitter to declare that Obama had issued FBI-sanctioned wire taps on his hotel in New York.

Look, not even Melania is ‘tapping Donald’s wire’, but that’s not the point.  The point is that Donald is trying to distract the world from this mess created by his and his government’s reliance on Russia to bring him a win in 2016.

And he’s not doing it with a private investigation using the world’s largest investigative authorities because he’s alienated all of the FBI, CIA, NSA and other institutions that are supposed to protect the President.

The connections with Russia that continue to materialize just months after the inauguration of Donald Trump are the real issues that need to be investigated, which I’m sure these fine institutions are doing.  Which is why Donald’s only resource is to belch wild-ass ridiculous accusations out to the public as a distraction from reality.

This is a deep issue and lamestream media needs to keep focusing on the real issue concerning the current President’s relationship with the likes of Putin, Wikileaks owner Julian Assange and how many pieces were in play to deliver the top office to someone dangerously unqualified to run it.

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Trump To Spend NATO Into Oblivion

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Donald Trump has announced that he will increase ‘defense’ spending by an unprecedented (and unwarranted) $54 billion over the next year.

This is in addition to the roughly $600 BILLION spent per year on military and defense infrastructure.  This is also a conservative number, as many additional billions are spent on defense or security related programs.

Where does it all go?

No one really knows.

And why does the US feel it has to continue to outspend everyone?

These excessive levels – if we allow them to continue – will result in bankrupting NATO.

Nato Defence Spend % of GDPMembers will simply declare that they can no longer afford to support Trump’s ridiculous overspending on military hardware and contracting.

And when that happens, he’ll have all the justification he needs to terminate relations with NATO countries, putting the world on full alert.

Assuming threats exist (as we’ve been told since the introduction of personal income tax back at the beginning of the 20th century) and they’re not just manufactured to ensure that the big spend on military continues, we’ll see ex-NATO members fall to bullying brought on by either the US, Russia or both.

There is an alternative:  if the US were to pull its defense spending to be more in line with the rest of NATO as opposed to pushing NATO members to keeping upping the ante, we’d have trillions of dollars to spend on more important things.

Like saving the human race from ourselves.

If you know of organizations that are making a legitimate impact with respect to pushing for reductions in military, security and defence spending, please share the links in the comments below.

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Which ‘news’ is ‘real’ and which is ‘fake’?

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I came across this article about how it’s unlikely that the Washington Post – supposed 1960s bastion of investigative reporting – will ever report on Jeff Bezos and his relationship with the CIA.

That’s because that would take money off the table.

In a market economy, there’s no doubt in my mind that the profit motive is important, but how does it affect ‘news’ and more importantly, the credibility of that news source?

We’ve endured decades of garbage from the likes of PostMedia, Rebel Media and many traditional outlets (who hasn’t yelled at their radio while some moron throws thought grenades out across his microphone) and others that simply want to fan the flames.  And when the flames go out, they light them up again.

Let’s pivot to England and see that the Guardian is reporting on Bill Gates’ statement that ‘Tens of millions could be killed by eco-terrorism’.  This is a shocking and alarmist article, but doesn’t seem to be getting much press, well, anywhere.

Unfortunately, a Google search only yields Business Insider and Breitbart (but only on an unrelated topic).

When someone I would consider to be a world leader makes a pretty shocking statement like that, why is no one covering it?

We get more press about McDonald’s going to all day breakfast sandwiches (which in my view is the extreme version of fake news being spewed by the likes of ‘credible’ institutions like the CBC) than we do about something like this.

I know so many people are wrestling with this, especially when the ‘Leader of the Free World’ declares that everyone is fake news, but only because they’re questioning his sanity.

In an interesting twist, I too was accused of basically being a Kellyanne Conway clone because I don’t trust the media, but I bring it back to how things got twisted by the Canadian Conservatives when talking about the census.  I refused to do the census because it was being managed and handled by Lockheed-Martin.  My words were spun in a way that I was now a frothing at the mouth libertarian that didn’t want government in my life.

This was a lie at my expense.  More importantly, my belief system was manipulated into this awful and disgusting Frankenstein-like abortion of intent that I was permanently pushed away from the Conservative Party of Canada.

(Likewise now for the Liberals who have pushed me away from voting for them ever again because they stole my vote under the promise of electoral reform).

I see this today with the media and don’t have a solution for understanding how badly our information is being manipulated against us in order to create a story that suits a handful of old white men determined to f*ck the world royally for their own gain.

All I can do is try to summarize and see if that helps us at least set the stage for creating or stimulating ‘real’ conversation about critically important issues:

  1. News is vital to a functioning democracy.   Without it, we have some kind of ‘ism’ (Fascism, Socialism, Communism, take your pick).
  2. The vast majority of news is suspect because it’s driven by the profit-motive.  Full disclosure might solve that problem.
  3. The vast majority of ‘public’ news is susceptible to interference by third-parties and propaganda. Again, full disclosure might help, but it’s unlikely.
  4. People need motivation (usually financial, but fear is another good reason) to properly research stories.
  5. Stories need an audience.
  6. Audience exists for at least two reasons:  desire for truth and desire for entertainment.
  7. People are dropping paid subscriptions – and the life-blood of news investigation – in favour of secondary and alternative sources.  Advertisers are disappearing. For-profit companies are losing money hand over fist.

When you piece together the central issues, it’s easy to see how people can easily be herded towards what they want to hear, which is what is happening in all camps, including the Trump base.

What’s the solution? Here are some basic ideas:

In Canada, we spend about a billion per year on the CBC.  A lot of it goes into garbage like Schitt’s Creek and dozens of other Cancon projects.

  1. Let’s start by properly allocating public funds for proper public investigation and stop with the entertainment side of the business.
  2. Let’s create a free source of news that all Canadians – including for-profit news companies – can access, read, report on and interpret for the benefit of all Canadians.
  3. Let’s stop the CBC from posting stories that have been paid for by private companies and PR experts.
  4. Let’s instead put some of the funds that are spent on companies like Canada News Wire and give out investigative research grants to people that successfully pitch and win the money.
  5. And let’s make sure that we continue to work in a transparent environment so that we can understand who’s behind the story.

Let’s own the news.  It’s our right.  It’s our obligation.