Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Horwath's hand-wringing aside Harden had nothing to apologize for

By now many Ontarians have heard the simply shocking news that NDP Ottawa MPP Joel Harden was photographed at a healthcare rally posing with a man holding a sign saying "Fuck Doug Ford".

The horror. Think about the children. If they are younger than 5 or 6 they may not have heard this on Netflix yet, though likely have made mommy and daddy put a coin or two in a jar for saying a bad word like it, right?

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath immediately denounced this terrible transgression. After Harden personally apologized to Ford she piously proclaimed  "I've also once again cautioned my caucus members to be careful about putting themselves, and the rest of us, frankly, in that kind of situation".

She made sure that she could not possibly be misunderstood by also telling the press that she and her caucus had discussed "several times" that "we have to be very careful about attending events where these kinds of situations can arise".

What events would those be? Rallies and protests?

It is truly unnerving to think that working people angry at the Ford austerity regime and the cuts to healthcare and education might show up and express their anger with mock guillotines or by letting the premier know they think he is silver spoon asshole.

That they might answer his utter contempt for them in kind.

Don't they know any better? What a lack of parliamentary decorum!

The Conservatives showed their outrage at this by saying ""We believe in raising the decorum of our political discourse" which, of course, is complete horseshit.

We are talking about a caucus led by Doug Ford.

Harden had nothing to apologize for. It is not like he posed with, say, neo-fascists.

Parliamentary niceties are not going to defeat the forces of reaction, especially in this era where we are witnessing an alarming rise of a newly emboldened far right.

Harden was at a rally where a protester had a sign expressing his disgust in colourful terms with what Ford is doing to the province. If being in the presence of this is somehow "going too far" we have all lost in advance.

It is a complete non-issue made into an issue only by Horwath's use of it to show everyone just how parliamentary the NDP is and how committed to the practices and ceremony of that august institution of bourgeois rule.

As the right increasingly abandons any pretense at civility or commitment to "democratic norms" this is like bringing a knife to a gun fight.

Meanwhile, enjoy a refreshing moment from union leader Jerry Dias.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Lenin and Krupskaya at Kashino, November 14, 1920 -- Daily LIFT #71

Lenin and Krupskaya pose with local residents at a celebration of the completion of the power plant at Kashino, November 14, 1920 -- Daily LIFT #71

The program of electrification was considered to be of essential importance by Lenin and the Bolsheviks in the consolidation of Soviet power after the revolution.

Karl Marx: Correspondent for "The New York Tribune"

Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project

Leaflet: Karl Marx: Correspondent for "The New York Tribune", Soviet Life 1983

Written by Soviet historian Nelly Rumyantseva for the English language magazine Soviet Life in 1983 this is an interesting overview of Marx and Engels' time as correspondents for the New York Tribune between 1851 - 62. "During that period he and Engels wrote a total of about 500 articles, or an average of 50 articles a year -- something like one a week."

While the relationship began well, and helped Marx get some much needed money, over time it soured with the Tribune publishing much of his later work unattributed or declining to publish pieces altogether.

Rumyantseva also compiled "Marx and Engels on the United States" which was published in English in 1979.

(Click on scans to enlarge)

Monday, December 9, 2019

There is no welfare like corporate welfare -- Daily LIFT #70

There is no welfare like corporate welfare -- Daily LIFT #70

The "free market" is a myth. No group in society depends more on government handouts and subsidies than the capitalist class and major corporations.

As the 2008 crisis showed -- or the recent example of the Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada --when the corporations or the oil industry need bailouts the money is always there.

White Wine & Vinegar Chicken w. Olives, Capers & Garlic

Today we are going to make a chicken dish that is colourful and totally delicious. It is prepared by first seasoning the chicken and cooking it in the oven in vinegar and wine and then covering it with a sauce based around this as well as olives, capers and garlic.

I have adapted this recipe from one that originally appeared in the New York Times. 

To start you want to season your chicken for baking. For this recipe we used 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.

Seasoning Blend:

1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Toss your chicken in the olive oil. Place on a rimmed oven baking tray skin side up and then season with the turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper.

Once the seasoned chicken is in the tray, pour 1/4 cup of rice vinegar and 1/4 cup of dry white wine over and around the chicken.

Place in an oven preheated to 450 degrees and cook until done, 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the following ingredients together in a bowl.

Sauce Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 2 cups of crushed, pitted green olives.
1 small jar of capers
2 -3 cloves of grated garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil

Once cooked, remove the tray from the oven and place the chicken on a platter.

Then, without cleaning or draining it in anyway add the sauce ingredients to the tray with the juices and vinegar and wine from cooking.

Using a spatula gently stir everything together making sure to scrap up any pieces or bits attached to the pan.

After you have fully blended everything add a cup of chopped fresh parsley and stir in.

Pour all the contents of the pan over the chicken and serve.

This dish goes well with  rice or egg noodles as a side.


"I am going to remain loyal to my class, the working class, the builders of the future." - Annie Buller, Union Organizer and Communist leader, b. December 9, 1895

Buller addresses the miners in Estevan

"I am not guilty of this charge. I have said before and I say again that it is not Annie Buller who is on trial here. It is the capitalist class which stands in the prisoner's dock. No one realizes more than I do the forces against us are very great. But gentlemen of the jury, regardless of the outcome of the trial. I am going to remain loyal to my class, the working class, the builders of the future." - Annie Buller, Union Organizer and Communist leader, b. December 9, 1895

Union and communist militant Annie Buller was born December 9, 1895 in Ukraine. Her family moved to Montreal when she was a child and there she became active in the anti-war movement during WWI. In 1922 she joined the Worker's Party of Canada which was later renamed the Communist Party of Canada.

Buller was an organizer with several unions including the Toronto Dressmaker's Union as well as with miners in Nova Scotia and in western Canada. 

In September, 1931 Buller was in Estevan, Saskatchewan to help organize a coal miner strike. On September 29 the RCMP opened fire on a crowd of miners who were marching in the town. They murdered three of them and wounded many more. 

Despite the fact that they were victims of police violence it was organizers like Buller who faced charges for "incitement". Buller ended up being jailed for a year. 

Buller continued her organizing and Communist political work after her release and until her death in Toronto in 1973.

To read one of her accounts of the Estevan strike and massacre see: In Memory of the Estevan Massacre, September 29, 1931 w. Song of the Estevan Miners

Sunday, December 8, 2019