Friday, December 30, 2016

The Art of Resistance: Sketches of the Vietnamese National Liberation Front 1964 - 1966 Part II

The second part of our look at this art of liberation and resistance. The first part can be found at this link. 

In 1967 Liberation Publishing House -- which was the publishing house of the South Vietnamese National Liberation Front -- put out a remarkable series of folders that contained sketches drawn by artists who were on the front line of the fight to liberate South Vietnam.

Called "South Vietnam Land and People" these amazing portraits of resistance run from drawings of sites that had been bombed by the Americans, to liberated villages, to individual guerrilla fighters. All were originally done in pen or crayon and, in this installment, date from 1964 or 1966.

While there are sketches from several artists, the most, by far, are by a remarkable artist Huynh Phuong Dong. Dong, happily, survived the war and died at the age of 88 in 2015. He is regarded in Vietnam as one of the greatest creators of what is called 'Liberation Art'.

These folders were accompanied by a brief but very moving leaflet that speaks of the terrible brutality and barbarity of the war and the spirit of resistance.

This is the second of two parts showing some of the sketches. They are divided by artist and are accompanied by their title/subject.

(Click on images to enlarge)

Artist: Nguyen Van Kinh

The Wreckage of an Enemy M-118 Armoured Car

Artist: Co Tan Long Chau

A Halt on the Journey

Artist: Le Hong Hai

Studying on Top of an Air Raid Shelter

Artist: Thai Ha

An NFL Cadre on a Mission

Making the Balance Sheet of a Demonstration

Mimeographing Newspapers and Leaflets

Artist: Huynh Phuong Dong

After an Engagement

Where the Ap Bac Battle was Fought


A Foot-Bridge

A Village School in Reconstruction After US Bombing

Binh-Duc After Liberation

A Makeshift Bridge

A Drawing Lesson

Food Scattered and Camouflaged Against Enemy Bombing

Thom Marketplace in the Liberated Zone

Digging Anti-Tank Ditches

Enemy Tanks Must Be Stopped

A Canteen for Combatants

A Grove of Coconut Palms

At Thom Landing-Place 

In the Liberated Area of Ba-Ria

Preparing for a Struggle Against the Enemy

An Evening Class in a Liberated Village

Go Luy After Liberation

Latania Leaves for Roofing

Rural Landscape

Mrs. Hai, A NFL Fighter

You'll Be Avenged My Child

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Lamb Keema with Onions

Keema is an Indian ground meat dish that is generally made with lamb. While there are a number of variations of it, this is my take.

This dish is easy to make, quick to prepare and full of flavour. It is a terrific family supper that won't tire you out too much after a long day at work!

The dish we are making today used 2 lb. of ground lamb so adjust measurements accordingly if you use less or more.

To start, in a large saucepan heat some olive oil over medium-high heat and, when hot, add two small to medium diced onions and 4 minced cloves of garlic. Saute the onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes.

Add the 2 lb. of ground lamb to the sauteed onions and garlic and begin to brown the lamb breaking it up and stirring as you go. To the lamb and onion mixture add the following spices:

1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garam masala or tandoori masala
1/2 teaspoon vegeta seasoning (optional)
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional)

Blend the spices in as you brown the lamb.

When the lamb is browned, add 1 can of diced tomatoes to the pan with the liquid. You can also, if you wish, add a cup of fresh or frozen peas. Stir everything together thoroughly.

Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally. This will both bring out the flavours and reduce the liquid.

When ready, serve spooned over rice with naan bread and Indian style pickle.

Delicious, simple and hearty!


See also: Butter Chicken Roti -- Fiery Spicy & Delicious Indian Rotis on Queen W.

See also: Stove-top Caribbean Style Braised Oxtail

Monday, December 26, 2016

Car Culture, the CIA, Pope Francis & more -- The Left Chapter Holiday Reading List December 18 - 25

This week's list of articles, news items and opinion pieces that I see as must reads if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of December 18 - 25. It is in order of date of the article's  release. As Christmas fell on a Sunday it comes one day later than usual.

1) Still fighting for our seat at the table: Keep the national inquiry focus on Indigenous women and girls

Cherry Smiley, Feminist Current

Our lives as Indigenous women and girls are severely impacted by male violence, poverty, and other expressions of patriarchy, capitalism, and racism. We should, therefore, be allowed to prioritize issues that directly impact us. But some Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals believe that we should now, at the eleventh hour, rethink and redo decades of focused political strategy and no longer support a national inquiry into disappeared and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Rather, they say we should expand the national inquiry to include disappeared and murdered Indigenous men and boys.

Read the full article.

2) Obama and the Clintons still have no earthly idea why the Democratic Party lost the presidential election 

Shaun King, New York Daily News

Over the past few days, the Obamas and the Clintons have made a series of statements on why the Democratic Party lost the presidential election to Donald Trump. The statements, if anything, reveal what happens when politicians are isolated from the American public for so long. While some nuggets of truth could be found there — by and large they all severely miss the mark on how and why Hillary Clinton lost. Instead of looking internally at mistakes they made, they continue to look outward — casting blame on anybody and everybody but themselves.

Read the full article.

3) ‘Fake News’ in America: Homegrown, and Far From New

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

The media landscape in America is dominated by “fake news.” It has been for decades. This fake news does not emanate from the Kremlin. It is a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry that is skillfully designed and managed by public relations agencies, publicists and communications departments on behalf of individuals, government and corporations to manipulate public opinion. This propaganda industry stages pseudo-events to shape our perception of reality. The public is so awash in these lies, delivered 24 hours a day through electronic devices and print, that viewers and readers can no longer distinguish between truth and fiction.

Read the full article.

4) Canadians are wrong about Muslims, happiness, and homosexuality

CBC Radio

Canadians think there are way more Muslims in Canada than there really are.
We think a third of Canadians believe homosexuality is immoral, but in reality, only a sliver of the population thinks so.

On average, Canadians believe a quarter of the population think it's wrong to have sex before marriage. In reality, only 15% of us think you should get hitched before hooking up.

Read/hear the full article.

5) Letter to a “comrade” who insists on justifying the unjustifiable

 Julien Salingue, Medium


For several weeks now I’ve been saying to myself that I’m going to write to you, and the tragic events of Aleppo and your reaction to them, and sometimes your non-reaction, is what eventually persuaded me that the time had come to address you.

Read the full article.

6) The top 10 most irritating Canadians of 2016 (TV-related)

John Doyle, The Globe and Mail

What a year, my dears. Are we jaded yet?

Trump and Brexit, terrorist attacks and death. The endless deaths. All those celebrities passing away and, well, in case somebody feels like fixating on that, the countless dead in wars, bombings and shootings as the viciousness of human hatred was on full display. A year of hackers, hotheads and liars.

Read the full article.

7) Private car, socialized costs

Yves Engler, Rabble

The second in a four-part series on the "great Toronto toll debate."

When are capitalists in favour of public ownership? When it earns them a profit. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than when looking at car companies.

Read the full article.

8) Michigan Dem Meeting Breaks Into Violence as Clinton Fans Repel Sanders Partisans

Michael Sainato, Observer

On December 3, the Michigan Democratic Party held a committee meeting, open to the public and party members, to vote on delegates to represent Michigan at the Democratic National Committee. Unfortunately, rather than learning from Hillary Clinton’s presidential election loss, and sincerely welcoming Bernie Sanders supporters into the party after scolding them for more than a year, the Democratic establishment has continued treating progressives as second class citizens.

Read the full article. 

9) Car-centric landscape, not tolls, harm the poor

Yves Engler, Rabble

The third in a four-part series on the "great Toronto toll debate."

There's no doubt tolls hurt poor people, but a car-dominated transportation system does far more damage and everyone who wants a more just society should support measures that help rid our over-heating planet of private automobiles.

Read the full article.

9) A black mother told police a white man assaulted her child. They arrested her instead.

Peter Holley, The Washington Post

A Fort Worth police officer has been placed on “restricted duty status” after a viral video emerged Wednesday showing the officer arresting a mother who called authorities to report that her 7-year-old son has been assaulted.

Read the full article.

10) The CIA Is Not Your Friend

Jordy Cummings, Jacobin

The Central Intelligence Agency used to be the “bad guy.” After the coup in Chile and Operation Phoenix in Vietnam; after spying on and repressing the antiwar movement; after secret mind-control experiments and bizarre assassination plots, the agency became liberals’ ultimate bogeyman.

Read the full article.

11) Trump’s unpopularity threatens to hobble his presidency

Steven Shepard, Politico

President-elect Donald Trump will descend on Washington next month, buoyed by his upset victory and Republican control of Congress to implement his agenda.

But he’s facing a major obstacle: Trump will enter the White House as the least-popular incoming president in the modern era of public-opinion polling.

Read the full article.

12) Unhappy Holidays: Houston Police Force Homeless People to Throw Away Food

Jeremiah Jones, Counter Current News

Local activists attempting to hand out food and gifts were shocked on Thursday afternoon when Houston police forced the homeless to throw away the donations.  Around 1 pm on Thursday,  several individuals met in downtown Houston to distribute plates of hot food, blankets, and other supplies to the city’s growing homeless population. Soon after, Houston police arrived on the scene of two different intersections where the homeless advocates were giving out gifts and food.

Read the full article. 

13) Pope Francis: Christmas has been ‘taken hostage’ by materialism


Pope Francis said Christmas has been “taken hostage” by dazzling materialism that puts God in the shadows and blinds many to the needs of the hungry, the migrants and the war-weary.

Read the full article.

14) Germany moves to atone for 'forgotten genocide' in Namibia

Jason Burke, The Guardian

It has become known as the first genocide of the 20th century: tens of thousands of men, women and children shot, starved, and tortured to death by German troops as they put down rebellious tribes in what is now Namibia. For more than a century the atrocities have been largely forgotten in Europe, and often in much of Africa too.

Read the full article.

See also: Climate Change, Porn Culture, Tolls & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List December 11 - 18

See also: Last Tango in Paris, the TDSB, Duterte & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List December 4 - 11

Black Lives Matter, Right Sector, Canadian Labour & more -- 2016 on The Left Chapter in review

2016 saw 236 posts of various kinds on The Left Chapter. Expanding on a great first year in 2015, 2016 saw record numbers of hits and readers month-after-month as the year progressed.

I want to thank all of our readers and contributors very much for their feedback, support, criticisms and engagement. I look forward to what 2017 has in store.

The year had many posts that came very, very close to making this list including posts about the Canadian Labour Congress and the Liberals, McMaster and neo-Nazis, Pam Anderson and pornography, the Left and road tollsColin Kaepernick and a very popular post about "Strongest", an vintage Soviet children's story.

We also had contributions from other writers that were widely read and shared, such as Simon Dougherty's trenchant look at Trudeau and "Elbowgate", Jesse Zimmerman's take on how "The Blairites and NDP leadership share the same contempt for their party members", Natalie Lochwin's powerful exploration of her past as an anti-abortion activist, or 11 year old Julia Laxer's poem on why we should remember the fallen on Remembrance Day.

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed this year and I look forward to seeing what interesting viewpoints and arguments we see next year!

(Remember that if you have a left point-of-view or opinion, a recipe or a story you want to share or if you want to share a petition/appeal or upcoming event you can send them to The Left Chapter via!)

Here, without further ado, are the top ten posts (in terms of hits) on The Left Chapter in 2016:

You know, it is always appalling to see some oblivious white idiot walking around with the horrifically racist Cleveland Indians logo on their chest or on some sign of some kind.

I did not see this specific idiot in the picture, but saw another entitled white idiot, strolling down the platform of the Go Station after a Jays-Indians game this year with this disgraceful caricature on the front of her jersey.

Toronto's Ukrainian Festival is an annual celebration of Ukrainian culture and food that takes place on Bloor St. W. and that draws large crowds looking to enjoy some traditional song and dance, perogies and all the other things that get people out to festivals. The organizers say it is the world's largest such festival.

The last few weeks have seen a series of what are seemingly truly perplexing moves and actions by some of the country's most important labour leaders.

The "problems" facing Canada Post are entirely ideological.

Canada's politicians and media have bought into a long-term project driven by right-wing notions of society and the economy that seeks to re-frame public services as "businesses" that should be run "efficiently" along the lines allegedly followed by the private sector. 

A photo is going viral on Facebook that purports to show the Standing Rock Pipeline protest in North Dakota.

Excited about the possibilities that the upcoming NDP leadership race might allow?

Wondering if an insurgent campaign might arise and if an outsider or unexpected candidate might lead to something akin to what happened with Corbyn in the Labour Party?

Have you seen this Facebook post circulating around?

Sadly and depressingly it has been shared more than 44,000 times as of this posting.

Old myths along these lines have been around for a long time and have been repeatedly disproved and shown to be false or totally misleading.

After a generation of retreat that saw its abandoning of the welfare state and of any meaningful advocacy for working people and much of the middle class in the United States, it can now truly be said that the wages of liberalism is Trump.

Yesterday, the Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination released a campaign ad unlike any you have ever seen.

Do you remember this moment?

That time when newly minted President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for absolutely nothing other than having won an election in the wake of the George Bush apparent catastrophe and for having given nice speeches about "hope", closing down Guantanamo and supposedly taking the US in a new direction that would be a departure from the death dealing of the past.

So how did that all work out?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Very Vintage Christmas & Holiday Greetings from The Left Chapter

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from The Left Chapter

From a collection of cards that someone received as a young woman in the late 1940s, here are some seasonal vintage Christmas and holiday cards to bring a bit of respite from all of the retail line ups and family squabbles!

I love this one as it is rather pagan!

For the cat lover!

For the dog lover!

An interesting Christmas card as the image has no connection to Christmas!

However you plan to spend it and whatever you plan to celebrate,
may your holidays by happy, healthy and fun!