Numbers Game: My 1200 beats your 200

A few weeks ago, JK TERFling and a few other bigots scrawled their names on a diatribe of hate filled propaganda.  Many of those who “signed” were well past their sell by date, irrelevant, or had the lost the plot about right and wrong.

In response, 200 British and Irish writer wrote another open letter in support of Transgender people.  Twelve hundred writers signed in support, with over 1500 names in total.

Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and Roxane Gay champion trans rights in open letter

Stephen King and Margaret Atwood are among the signatories to an open letter offering support to the trans and non-binary communities of the US and Canada, as a bitter divide over trans rights continues to split the literary world.

The message from writers and members of the US literary community follows a similar letter from authors in the UK and Ireland. Both letters come in the wake of a fierce row over JK Rowling’s comments on trans rights, including her comment that “if sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased”.

On 30 September, more than 200 British and Irish writers including Jeanette Winterson and Malorie Blackman sent “a message of love and solidarity for the trans and non-binary community”. A day later, more than 1,500 names in the publishing world joined them in asserting that “non-binary lives are valid, trans women are women, trans men are men, trans rights are human rights”.

The US letter, has been signed by more than 1,200 members of the literary community, including Roxane Gay, Neil Gaiman, John Green, NK Jemisin and Angie Thomas.

When will the bigots realize they’re on the losing side?

That Works: Canada should steal New Zealand’s voting system

Mano Singham covered New Zealand’s election today and Jacinda Adhern’s landslide victory.  Notable in the victory is New Zealand’s mixed-member proportional (MMP) voting system.  It’s fascinating because it negates the bias of “first past the post”, guaranteeing seats to parties which gain large numbers of votes even if none of their candidates win.  And just as importantly, it’s simple.

At voter has a simple two column paper ballot which is marked with a pencil.  They have two choices: one vote for a party, and one vote for a candidate.  Most people will vote for the same party as the candidate, but they do not have to.

In 2015 Dustbin Trudeau promised electoral reform but backtracked, and is even more reluctant after the 2019 election in which his liberal party “won” seats far in excess of the voting percentage.  This has only increased public demand for electoral reform.

Politicians only want to offer convoluted systems that the public can’t understand (e.g. vote distribution) because when people don’t understand change is better, they stick with the status quo.  If I had any say, I would offer a simple “first and second choice” points system.  It’s not a distibuted vote system like New Zealand’s, but it would be better than the current system.

My idea is each voter can make a first choice and second choice.  First chooses the candidate they prefer, then the option (not a requirement) to make a second choice, which must be a different candidate or none at all.  (If you choose the same for first and second, it is a spoiled ballot.)  Candidates would be awarded points: three point for each first choice, one point for each second.  The candidate with the most points wins the riding.  In the event of a tie, most first votes wins (granted, another tie breaker might be required).

Example using Canadian parties:

* conservatives 4 firsts, 1 second

* liberals 3 first, 5 seconds

* NDP 3 firsts, 2 seconds

* two ballots had no second choice

The conservative would have 13 points (4×3+1), the liberal would have 14 (3×3+5) and NDP 11 (3×3+2).  The liberal would win the riding.  Also the liberal was voted for on eight of the ten ballots, not five like the conservative or NDP, so this would be a more representative choice.

Point Made: Heartlessness in the ‘heartland’

A statue called “homeless jesus” was placed in a Cleveland park.

So naturally, the “good christians” called the cops when they saw it.

In Bay Village, Someone Called Cops on a Sleeping Homeless Person. It was a Statue of Jesus.

Twenty minutes after a “homeless Jesus” sculpture was installed on the grounds of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village, someone called the cops.

Created by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, the sculpture depicts Jesus as a homeless person lying on a bench covered in a blanket. It was purchased by the local Community West Foundation and has been traveling to churches and other religious organizations across the region since October, 2018. It is scheduled to be on site at St. Barnabas until Dec. 1.

Alex Martin, the St. Barnabas pastor, tweeted that he had a conversation with a Bay Village police officer because someone reported a homeless person sleeping on a park bench. (St. Barnabas abuts a public park, Fr. Martin told Scene, and the statue was displayed in a high-visibility area intentionally.)

This part I don’t believe:

Bay Village police chief Kathy Leasure confirmed the Oct. 12 call to Scene and said that the caller had advised police dispatch that they were unsure if the homeless individual was a human being or a statue.

“If this was a person laying on a bench, the officer would have made sure the person was not in any sort of medical distress,” Leisure wrote in an email, explaining the theory behind a police response. “If the person was, the officer would have been able to radio for an ambulance to respond and start rendering first aid. Additionally, if this were a homeless person, the officer would have checked to make sure the person was okay and to see if they needed anything. There are hotels in nearby cities that will give homeless individuals a free night stay. The officer could have helped to facilitate this. If the person did not want or need anything, the person would have been permitted to stay where they were.”

She actually “thinks” we believe cops would “help” a homeless person sleeping in a park?  Not beat or kill the person because no one would care?  Given that the “neighbors” called the cops on a statue, it’s more likely they would turn a blind eye if the cops became violent.

Three Thoughts To Say: Two are mine, one is a quote

1) British writer Edie Miller:

“Mumsnet is to British transphobia what 4Chan is to American fascism.”

2) My view on TERFs:

TERFs are incels with the egotistical sexual fantasy that they are somehow “desirable and attractive” to Transgender women.

3) My response to those who spew “thank you for your service”:

Armies protect corporate interests.

The people protecting freedom and democracy are protesters in the street.

I Don’t Care: Cliff Richard is not a ‘guilty pleasure’

Yes, this post is completely frivolous.

Cliff Richard (OBE) was born Harry Rodger Webb on October 14, 1940, turning 80 years old today. He has recorded and performed for 60 years (his first single was “Move It!” in 1958).  Only Elvis Presley has more top 10 singles in UK history.  Until the Beatles, he was the UK’s most successful act and remains one of the UK’s biggest ever.

Yes, Richard has been “uncool” for large chunks of time, and some would call him a “guilty pleasure”. I don’t. I have loved and enjoyed his music since I was a kid and have never been ashamed even once.

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I Laughed: The BBC are a Bunch of Blundering Clowns

For the second time this year, the British Biscuit Company (BBC) have committed a major blunder involving Taiwan.  Neither was critical, but it doesn’t speak well for their journalistic standards.

Back in March, the BBC erroneously reported about a UK couple on their way to Australia.  They were quarantined for two weeks in Taiwan, and the BBC reported claims of the woman’s mother, that the accomodations were substandard and “prison like”.  Photos of the apartment, food and other living conditions proved otherwise.  The BBC deleted the story and pretends it doesn’t exist.

The same thing happened again on Saturday, the BBC labelling Taiwan’s Independence Day celebrations as “North Korea”.  It’s gallingly incompetent not just because Taiwan’s flag is highly visible and there were no missiles or tanks, but also because North Korea’s military parade was at 4am, in the dark.  Taiwan’s was midday.  How do you make that mistake?

BBC mistakes Taiwan Double Ten parade for North Korea

In a report about a military parade in North Korea, BBC International News erroneously showed footage of Taiwan’s Double Ten National Day celebrations Saturday (Oct. 10).

Observers had been expecting the communist regime to stage its largest-ever military display to mark the 75th anniversary of its ruling Workers Party. However, while discussing the event, the BBC news report showed footage of Saturday’s much more modest parade outside the Presidential Office in Taipei.

Though Taiwan flags and some landmark buildings in central Taipei were clearly visible, the BBC still showed the words “Live Pyongyang” at the top of the screen.

About Face: The KMT have started whistling a different tune

Saturday was October 10, Taiwan’s Independence Day from China.  Well, not officially, but it’s treated that way by most.  I’ve got the fireworks induced headache to prove it.

For over sixty years, the rightwing Kuomintang party (KMT) have insisted that China belongs to Taiwan, and that the official power of China rests in Taipei.  They have also been “PRC friendly”, willing to talk to Beijing about the “one China policy”.

On Wednesday, for the first time, the new KMT leadership have openly talked about full diplomatic relations with the US, and words suggesting recognition as an independent state.  Those are words they have never spoken before and always opposed, especially when Taiwan was a police state under KMT rule.

KMT Reversal Prompts Fresh Chinese War Threat Against Taiwan

A stunning reversal by members of Taiwan’s leading opposition party — long seen as supporting friendly relations with Beijing — has given fresh impetus to Chinese calls for the use of military action to bring the self-governing territory to heel.

“We must no longer hold any more illusions,” wrote Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of Global Times, part of China’s state media conglomerate. “The only way forward is for the mainland to fully prepare itself for war and to give Taiwan secessionist forces a decisive punishment at any time.”

Hu’s October 6 editorial was prompted by two bills proposed by the Kuomintang (KMT) in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, urging the government to actively pursue restoration of formal diplomatic ties between Washington and Taipei and request U.S. official assistance to defend the island against any future Chinese aggression.

“Our government ought to try and persuade the United States to lend us help diplomatically, economically, and/or through direct military intervention” if and when the Chinese communist authorities take such actions as to constitute a direct threat to Taiwan’s democratic existence, the proposed legislation said. The bills were passed without objection Tuesday.

“We wish for the world to see and understand that we in Taiwan, across Party lines, are determined not to seek war, but also equally determined not to fear war,” the KMT caucus stated.

Members of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s independence-minded Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) described the language in the bills as “unprecedented” from a KMT party that has long been seen by Beijing as a dialogue partner, with a shared vision of “one China” and unification as the eventual goal.

There are two possible motivations for this sea change in policy.  One, they accept that the populace here has no desire for reunification under any circumstances.  Recent polls were the highest ever for full independence.  Two, massive losses in last January’s national elections and success of president Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at coping with COVID-19 and the economy (an expected -0.6% decrease for the year, best in the world unless China’s numbers are legitimate), the KMT have a long slog if they have any ambitions of governing again.  They are still the second largest party, but the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) and New Power Party (NPP) have made significant gains at their expense in the last two elections.

At the same time, the increased talk of independence has increased the sabre rattling (or should I say, dao rattling) from Beijing.  Mainland aircraft have invaded Taiwan’s airspace several times in the last few weeks, and US and Taiwanese military aircraft have responded by patrolling the line between Taiwan and China, not crossing it.  Xi Jinping’s bellicose posturing may be just for show considering China’s domestic problems.  I’ve intended to talk about this in depth, but have been interrupted.

China has a potential food shortage and mass starvation, the worst since the “great leap forward”.  This summer’s flooding and pest infestations have destroyed much of the domestic rice crop, plus other foods.  For the past two months, propaganda has been blasted in the regime’s media, telling people to eat smaller portions and to not waste food.  A sign of desperation was China’s largest ever purchase of US corn during July.

Taiwan may be at less risk of invasion than the four Southeast Asian mainland countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam)Thailand and Vietnam are two of the world’s ten largest rice producers as are several of its neighbors.

‘It’s all gone’: Floods in China ruin farmers and risk raising food prices

At this time of year, the rice that grows on Bao Wentao’s family farm should have been ready for harvest.Instead, heavy flooding engulfed huge swathes of southern China, including more than 36 acres of rice paddies that Bao, 19, and his father cultivate in their village near Poyang Lake.

“The harvest has completely failed,” Bao told CNN Business in an interview on social media app WeChat, adding that his family had already lost around 200,000 yuan ($ 28,000) in produce. “The rice was almost ripe and ready to harvest before the floods. But now it’s all gone.”

Flooding floods hit the shores of Lake Poyang in Jiangxi province last month, destroying thousands of acres of farmland in what is called the “land of fish and rice”. The wider Yangtze River basin – which includes Lake Poyang and stretches over 3,900 miles from Shanghai in the east to the Tibetan border in the west – accounts for 70% of the country’s rice production.

Xi’s limping military posturing is akin to Cheetolini’s.  It’s starting to sound like flag waving measure to rally the populace.  But people are unlikely to listen if they’re hungry.  How desperate will he be to hold onto power?  And can he?

Side note:

China’s bellyaching about Taiwan included “instructions” for the media in other countries about how to report on Taiwan’s Independence Day.  India’s government and media laughed at this, and one politician went so far as to place a Taiwan flag and sign of congratulations outside the PRC’s embassy.

Taiwan Thanks ‘Friends in India’ on National Day as Posters Erected outside Chinese Embassy

It was an unusually noticeable 109th Taiwan National Day in India, with posters and flags hung outside the Chinese embassy by a ruling party member and Taiwan’s president thanking “dear friends in India” for sending wishes for their annual celebration.

There had been heightened awareness about the Taiwan national day, especially after the Chinese embassy issued a ‘letter’ to the Indian media with instructions not to use certain terms that would violate the ‘One China’ policy.

India has followed the ‘One China policy’, which means that it doesn’t have diplomatic ties with Taiwan. However, both sides have trade offices which operate as de-facto embassies.

Subsequently, India’s Ministry of External Affairs dismissed the Chinese embassy’s instructions, by stating that the “free” Indian media would report “as it sees fit”.

India and China are currently involved in a military stand-off since May in eastern Ladakh. While both sides are still talking, the negotiations have stalled with China unwilling to return to its side of the Line of Actual Control. There have been heightened emotions in India due to the stand-off, which have already led to the first casualties along the border in over four decades.

The Bharatiya Janta Party’s Delhi unit spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga had tweeted pictures of having erected posters with flags of Taiwan in a sidewalk near the Chinese embassy in the capital’s diplomatic enclave on Friday night.

The October Crisis Remembered: Nous pardonnerons ou oublierons

We will never forgive or forget.  Nor should we.

Pierre Trudeau was part of the liberal government that nationalized health care in Canada in 1966.  As justice minister, he decriminalized homosexuality in 1969. (“There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”)  His government started Petro-Canada in 1975 and the National Energy Program in 1980 which kept oil and energy prices affordable for Canadians (especially important in long, cold winters).  He helped formalize the Canadian constitution and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982.

So what?

Any and all good he may have otherwise done was nullified by his crimes against Canadian people during the October Crisis in 1970.  Trudeau’s crimes went unpunished and he was never held accountable for thirty years until his death in September 2000.  We wouldn’t forgive a man who was arrested beating his wife even if he spent a life (before and after) doing charity work.  Why should Trudeau get a pass?

A quick recap: The FLQ kidnapped British trade commission James Cross on Monday, October 5, 1970.  Five days later, on Saturday, October 10, another FLQ cell kidnapped Quebec labour minister Pierre Laporte.  On October 12, the military were on the street in Ottawa, intimidating citizens.

On October 13, Trudeau and federal parliament held a secret session where the War Measures Act was invoked on October 16.  The War Measures Act allowed the government to do three things without challenge:

  • permit the arrest and search of people without a warrant
  • detain citizens for up to 21 days without a reason
  • suspend the Canadian Declaration of Rights and Freedoms

More below the fold.

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Death Tolls: The mass murder of Transgender people gets worse in 2020

Despite quarantines around the world, the violence against and murder of Transgender people continues unabated, and is actually worse.  This is no doubt fed by the rise of rightwing “populism”, religious fanaticism, the increase in police violence, and the uneducated ignorance of the populace in many countries.

Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, 2020 will be the grimmest yet.  There were at least 331 victims in 2019; I suspect 400 in 2020.  If estimates are accurate that 0.3% of people are Transgender, that means there are roughly one million in the US alone.  Thirty murders per million may sound low compared to the US average of roughly 42 murders per million, but you have to take into account the murders that have gone unreported (the victims’ bodies not found) or cases where the dead are deadnamed and misgendered.

Bigots, rightwingnuts, cops and other human garbage in the US have murdered thirty Transgender people in the first eight months of 2020, a number likely to surpass the worst totals in recent years.

30 Transgender People Have Now Been Violently Murdered In America This Year

30 transgender or gender non-conforming people have now been fatally shot or killed in violent attacks this year. 2020 is now the most violent year against transgender people in America for five years.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is now reporting Michelle (Michellyn) Ramos Vargas was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in San Germán, Puerto Rico.

Some reports identify her as Michelle and some as Michellyn. But Vargas, who was only in her mid-30s, was studying to become a nurse at Ponce Paramedical College.

She joins a long list of mostly black and Latinx transgender women believed to be, at least, the 30th violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person this year in the U.S.

It follows a spate of transgender murders this year, with three killed just in the last two weeks.

[. . .]

“Racism, transphobia and misogyny too often play a role in the deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially trans women of colour. As we are mourning the loss of Michelle, we must do more to bring this violence to an end. We must work together with lawmakers at all levels to ensure that policies have protections in place for trans people, and we must work to support our trans friends and family.”

In Brazil, their human garbage have murdered 129 people for being Transgender in the first eight months (205 murders per million Transgender people).  That’s more than the entire year of 2019.  It’s a safe bet most of the murderers are cops.

Yes, suicides count as murders because the victims were driven to it by societies that tolerate, permit, and even encourage hate and violence.

Reported murders, suicides of trans people soar in Brazil

The number of transgender people killed in Brazil this year has risen by 70% over last year, according to research underscoring the South American country’s rank as the world’s deadliest place for trans people.

The 129 trans people murdered since January already exceeds the total killings in 2019, according to a report by the National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals (ANTRA), a local activist organization.

The number of trans people – 16 – who died by suicide in the first six months of 2020 is a third higher than last year as well, ANTRA said.

“The outlook is bleak,” said Bruna Benevides, a trans activist and author of ANTRA’s report, via messaging service WhatsApp.

“The death of trans people … starts long before the trigger is pulled. It’s in the insults, the evictions from home, the lack of job opportunities, it’s at school where gender is never discussed,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Poland, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries with cops and governments that are violently anti-Transgender are unlikely to keep accurate statistics or treat us as human beings.  And when you take into account the lockdowns in most countries and how fewer people have been in public, the statistics are all the more alarming.

I have seen a growing number of US Transgender people in facebook groups talk about getting guns.  They are scared and stuck between the choice of being alive in prison, falsely convicted of “murder” when they defended themselves, or being murdered themselves.  They’re openly saying that killing is better than being killed.  This item is from 2018, but still relevant:

The Trans Women Turning to Firearms for Survival

More trans women are taking up arms than before to protect themselves. But even the simple act of self-preservation can be deemed aggression to conservatives.

s.e. smith

Jan 3, 2018

Kayla Harris, an Oakland-based woman who started out with LGBT gun rights organization Pink Pistols before splitting away to form the Rouge Rifles with a colleague, has been a gun owner for a very long time. But it wasn’t until the election that she started exploring the possibility of supporting fellow LGBT people who wanted to learn more about guns. “After the [Pulse] shooting and after the election, I knew tons of people who were suddenly interested in guns who never had been before,” Harris says.

Harris carried her interest in firearms through transition, and is a certified firearms instructor—one reason she pursued and maintained her certification was a desire to give back to her community. “Gun owners shouldn’t just default to the white guy who lives in Wisconsin or whatever,” she says. “That’s not the only person who should own guns. For disadvantaged and marginalized people, it equalizes force.”

[. . .]

“When I teach a defense class, the point of the class is to kill someone,” Harris says. “If you’re a trans woman, the person you’re killing is likely to be someone society values more than you.”

Emphasis mine.

And this is without counting all the “legal” violence against Transgender people (i.e. refusal to allow name change and gender recognition, forced sterilization, denial of basic rights such as employment, housing and legal protection, etc.).

 

Johnson Transgressed: The UK’s tories manage basic decency for once

Boris Johnson has shown he is a backstabbing backtracker.  Tory backbenchers have their backs up and shown they have a backbone.  I’m not shocked at the first, but I am at the second.

In October 2017, the UK’s conservative prime minister Teresa May agreed to allow Transgender people to change their identification without medical check, to make it solely about paperwork and not surgery.  This was a pleasantly surprising development, but one in line with four European countries which enacted the same policy (Norway, Malta, Denmark, Ireland).  Being able to easily change one’s gender gives people legal protections, makes it easier to maintain employment and afford surgery if people want it, instead of forcing Transgender people to live on the margins of society.

Theresa May plans to let people change gender without medical checks

Theresa May has pledged to press ahead with plans to let people officially change gender without medical checks, as she said “being trans is not an illness and it should not be treated as such”.

The prime minister said she was committed to improving trans rights as she spoke at the Pink News awards dinner in central London.

However, on September 22, 2020, Boris Johnson and his cast of clowns and TERFs violated May’s wishes, reneging on the promise.  He laughably claims ease of changing documentation is “not in Trans people’s interest”.

Changes to gender recognition laws ruled out

Ministers have ruled out changes to make it easier for transgender people in England and Wales to have their gender legally recognised.

They have rejected calls for people to be able to self-identify their gender and change their birth certificates without a medical diagnosis.

Ministers said reform of the 2004 Gender Recognition Act was not the “top priority” for trans people.

The UK’s equalities watchdog said it was a “missed opportunity”.

But [anti-Trans bigots and TERF trash] applauded the decision as a “victory for fairness and common sense”.

The emphasis and edit is mine.  More below the fold.

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The October Crisis Remembered: The origin, rise, and end of the FLQ

The Front de Libération du Québec was a marxist and extremist political group founded in Quebec during the early 1960s.  The group existed for barely a decade (ceasing activities in 1971).  Despite the image they presented of themselves as a popular movement with many supporters (à la the Irish Republican Army) in reality never had more than 200 members.

Resentment and animosity within Quebec was not solely at English speakers and Ottawa.  Quebec premier Maurice Duplessis ruled the province with an iron fist for eighteen years (1936-39, 1944-59), a time referred to as le grande noirceur (the great darkness).  He was not only premier but also attorney general, and censored printed media for anything advocating socialism or for the rights of certain minorities (e.g. jehovah’s witnesses) who suffered under his regime.  The catholic cult controlled schools and much of society.  The Duplessis Orphans (orphans, children of unwed mothers, etc.) were placed under catholic control and subjected to sexual and physical abuse for decades (e.g. lobotomies).

Duplessis’s death in 1959 ended his hold on the province, allowing new intellectual and social freedoms.  While most Quebecois embraced and participated in the “Quiet Revolution”, some wanted full independence for Quebec.  The Réseau de résistance (RR) and Comité de libération nationale (National Liberation Committee) committed the first acts of vandalism and violence.  Members of both groups formed the first incarnation of the FLQ in 1963: Belgian emigré Georges Schoeters and two Québécois, Raymond Villeneuve and Gabriel Hudon.

More below the fold.

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The October Crisis Remembered: Le dominionisme du Canada

On October 5, 1970, the Front de libération du Québec kidnapped UK Trade Commissioner James Cross. Many call this the beginning of the October Crisis, but that is like saying the attacks on September 11, 2001 were the beginning of US trouble with islamic nations. It is a whitewash of history and ignores all the things that Canada and the US did for years before each event happened.  (I will be making the October Crisis / 911 comparison again later.)

Canada’s white occupationist history begins with the landing of Jacques Cartier, continues with the first French settlements, the Hudson’s Bay company and many other events that are too numerous to mention. The key moment in the history of the October Crisis happened in 1760, when the British took over the French colony (read: seized control by force), beginning 210 years of English domination of the country.

Canada is often officially referred to as “The Dominion of Canada”, but the dominionism of Canada might be a better title considering what the English did to the First Nations people and to the French. Over the next two centuries, English was the only official language, the one predominantly used in government, law, policing, schools, courts, commerce and anywhere else. French might well have been eradicated if not for the will of French speakers to preserve their language.

This is the first of five parts on the October Crisis.  There is more below the fold.

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Teachers Wanted: Except nobody’s that desperate

Ontario’s inept premier government wants to “reopen” schools – in-person teaching – but has a shortage of qualified teachers.  Ontario is so desperate for warm bodies that people I know in the ESL trade from Ontario are receiving emails and messages like this:

Teaching in person?  In an era of COVID-19?  With Ford and Ontario’s incompetent response to the pandemic?  And that’s before we talk about budget gouges (they’re not cuts).  And the failure to provide basis maintenance of schools.

Then there’s the issue of non-union wages (as if Ontario would pay them decent wages, let alone union wages) that likely won’t include hazard pay, safety equipment or benefits.  There’s no word on how the Ontario Teachers’ Federation feels about hiring non-union staff, but the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation sounds ready to toe the line in order to keep it a union shop.  Those I’ve talked to who are qualified teachers and have ambitions of unionized jobs when they eventually return home are saying, “Not just no, HELL no!” Nobody wants to go back.

From the World Socialist (WSWS) Web Site:

Ontario teachers union leader emphatically opposes job action to stop reckless school reopening

By Matthew Richter

8 September 2020

In an interview with Toronto-based CP24 television last week, the head of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF), Harvey Bischof, admitted that the government-big business drive to reopen schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic is endangering teachers’ health and even lives.

He pointed to the lack of social distancing measures, the Ontario Conservative government’s refusal to reduce class sizes, and the failure of the government and school boards to provide teachers with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to substantiate this assessment.

Yet when Bischof was asked what the trade unions intend to do about these life-threatening work conditions, his answer was unequivocal. “If the question is whether we are planning some illegal job action, the answer is a flat out no,” he asserted.

At the end of July, Beau of the Fifth Column did this “light hearted” video about a shortage of teachers in the US.  Ontario may not be recruiting Canadian military members, but a lot of this still rings true.

Numbers Game: One million dead

According to Worldometers, the one millionth death from COVID-19 happened at approximately 16:00 UTC on September 27, 2020.  The total only reflects the deaths reported, not those misattributed to flu, other medical conditions, or false numbers reported under orders of republican politicians in the US.  The real daily and total death count could be much higher.

Ten times in September there were 300,000 new infections in one day. In July and August, there were twenty days with at least 250,000 new infections. There was no days with over 250,000 before July 1.