Sunday, February 19, 2017

Climate Change, Bill Maher, NSTU & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List February 12-19

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 February 12-19. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) The Campus Free Speech Battle You're Not Seeing

Peter Moskowitz, Jezebel

Last September, Simona Sharoni, a professor of gender studies at SUNY Plattsburgh in upstate New York gave an interview to an online magazine in which she talked about the need to connect feminism and gender to the movement for Palestinian rights. The interview wasn’t out of the ordinary for Sharoni. She’s made her critiques of Israel public many times in the past. And Sharoni is used to receiving emails in response to her talks and her public comments—being open to opposing viewpoints is part of being an academic. But this time, something different happened.

Read the full article.

2) Stephen Miller is the latest insufferable liar and bigot on Team Trump  

Shaun King, New York Daily News

Over the past few months, the nation has come to know Stephen Bannon, who serves as the Chief Strategist of Donald Trump’s White House, as a conniving, crass bigot who made a single hop from the leader of Breitbart, the nation’s most bigoted mainstream website to bullying his way into the highest office in the land.

Read the full article.

4) North Pole temps spiked by nearly 30 Celsius last week

Scott Sutherland, Weather Network

Conditions heated up in the Arctic, yet again, last week, as two storms swept up from the North Atlantic to cause temperatures near the North Pole to spike by nearly 30oC over just a few days.

Read the full article.

5) Stop applauding a rapist for admitting he raped someone. You’re applauding a rapist

Liv Wynter, Huck Magazine

A worrying precedent is set in the viral TED Talk and upcoming book starring a survivor of rape and the man who abused her; if a rapist shows up at your door it's their right to be forgiven. Liv Wynter explains her issue with the idea of a 'Good' and 'Bad' survivor.

Read the full article.

6) Kshama Sawant: Anti-Trump protests a 'historic' chance

Patrick Strickland, Aljazeera

American leftists see huge gains as anger grows against Donald Trump's anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies.

Read the full article.

7) Quebec takes a disappointing step backwards on accommodation

Toronto Star Editorial Board

In the wake of the Quebec City mosque shooting, the premier and the opposition leader left no doubt that they understand the responsibility that comes with power. That’s what makes their recent actions so disappointing.

Read the full article.

8) Judge rules in favour of Indigenous survivors of Sixties Scoop

John  Paul Tasker, CBC News

After an eight-year court battle, an Ontario Superior Court judge has found that the federal government failed to prevent on-reserve children from losing their Indigenous identity after they were forcibly taken from their homes as part of what's known as the Sixties Scoop.

Read the full article.

9) Oklahoma hits 100° in the dead of winter, because climate change is real

Jeremy Deaton, Think Progress

Two years ago this month, in a well-publicized and much lampooned political stunt, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) brought a snowball to the Senate floor to highlight the “unseasonable” cold and cast doubt on climate change.

The Republican lawmaker would have been hard-pressed to find a snowball anywhere in his home state this past weekend.

Read the full article.

10) Only 5 of 11 NFL players show up for Israel-sponsored trip

Associated Press

It was supposed to be a feel-good visit by a group of professional football players to give a boost to image-conscious Israel.
But in an embarrassing fumble by the Israeli government, only five of 11 NFL players in the delegation showed up after being blitzed by Palestinian activists opposed to the visit.

Read the full article.

11) What you can do to support Nova Scotia’s teachers

Tony Tracy, The Nova Scotia Advocate

The Legislature is now scheduled to begin sitting at 8 PM tomorrow (Tuesday evening) for the First Reading of Stephen McNeil’s anti-union bill attacking the Charter-protected right of teachers across the province.

Read the full article.

12) We Need to Start Telling the Truth About White Supremacy in Our Schools

James Ford, Discriminology

"If we would start telling the truth in schools, we would not have racism. We could cure racism in this country” —Jane Elliott

These words by anti-racist educator Jane Elliott are taken from her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1992 as part of a rebuke where she informs the audience of the many uncelebrated contributions by people of color to civilization. She takes to task a school system that she labels “racist” for overstating the achievements of Europeans and deliberately reinforcing the notion of White supremacy. It’s hard to argue with her logic.

Read the full article.

13) Black community’s feelings trump Nancy Elgie’s intentions

Desmond Cole. The Toronto Star

Many people seem to think this crisis is a referendum on a white woman’s character. No, this is a painful reminder that powerful people in this country are eager to excuse or ignore anti-black racism.

Read the full article.

Nancy Elgie did resign after this article was published, though Cole's points remain very important to read.

14) Rebel Media’s Freedom Rally Was Bonkers

Zach Ruiter, Torontoist

Rebel Media‘s “Freedom Rally” at Canada Christian College in Toronto on February 15 was as chilling as you can imagine.

Some of the hundreds in attendance did not hold back their support for the conservative speakers. Even more troubling, at least one even gave what appeared to be an enthusiastic Nazi salute.

Read the full article.

15) 4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump

Dale Beran, Medium

Trump’s younger supporters know he’s an incompetent joke; in fact, that’s why they support him.

Read the full article.

16) Greenwald: Empowering the "Deep State" to Undermine Trump is Prescription for Destroying Democracy

Democracy Now

Some supporters of Trump, including Breitbart News, have accused the intelligence agencies of attempting to wage a deep state coup against the president. Meanwhile, some critics of Trump are openly embracing such activity. Bill Kristol, the prominent Republican analyst who founded The Weekly Standard, wrote on Twitter, "Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state." We talk about the deep state with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept.

Read the full article.

17) Striking Nova Scotia Teachers are making history

Suzanne MacNeil, Rank and File

Today, 9300 Nova Scotia public school teachers, with Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU), will be on strike for the first time in its 122-year history.

Read the full article.

18) What does playboy's return to nudity really mean?

Meghan Murphy, i.d. Vice

Playboy has long been at the forefront of the women's liberation movement… According to Playboy, anyway. Hugh Hefner himself famously claimed to have been a pioneer in our movement, saying, "I was a feminist before there was such a thing as feminism." Good to know! I mean, think of the time and energy women could have saved had they simply pulled their husbands', brothers', or fathers' porn collection out of the garage, instead of instituting sexual harassment laws, setting up rape crisis shelters, or fighting wage discrimination.

Read the full article. 

19) Bill Maher Lets Milo Yiannopoulos Attack Female Comedians Unchecked on HBO’s ‘Real Time’

Daniel Holloway, Variety

If Milo Yiannopoulos hoped that Bill Maher and HBO would provide him a new platform to renew attacks on familiar targets, his wish was granted.

The far-right provocateur appeared on HBO’s “Real Time” Friday and took aim at the likes of Lena Dunham, Leslie Jones, and other female comics — and offered praise for his host, Maher.

Read the full article. 

20) Bill Maher Is a Monster

Hannah Gold, Jezebel

Nominally liberal comedian Bill Maher finally followed through on his irresistible urge to discuss the beauty of laughter with far-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos on his HBO show “Real Time” this Friday. It went just as poorly as people familiar with the work of Maher and Yiannopoulos expected it to.

Read the full article.

21) Yes, Donald Trump IS an anti-Semite

Bradley Burston, Haaretz

We have to just come out with it, those of us who are American Jews in the media. It's time we made Trump bathe in his own batshit.

Read the full article. 

22) Ukraine turns a blind eye to ultrarightist militia

Jack Losh, The Washington Post

A jeep hurtles down a long, potholed road toward the front line. Inside, Misha, Monarch and Dinamo balance their assault rifles between their legs. The mood is upbeat; it has been days since these militiamen traded fire with their enemy entrenched across no man’s land.

Read the full article.

There are also two articles from prior to the period that we missed in p[revious round-ups that are worth sharing here:

23) People Are Falsely Claiming That Canada Is About To Make It Illegal To Criticize Islam

Ishmael N. Daro, Buzzfeed 

A motion before the Canadian Parliament that calls for a study of Islamophobia has set off a wave of online rumours and conspiracy theories that criticizing Islam will soon be illegal in Canada.

Read the full article. 

24) Toronto Sun Columnists on the Wrong Side of History Through the Ages

Jamie Bradburn, Torontoist

In a response to a reader question on Twitter earlier this week provoked by Toronto Sun columnist Tarek Fatah’s comments on the Quebec City mosque shooting, Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale described the Sun as publishing, beyond a decent sports section and solid tabloid-style news coverage, “the country’s worst opinion writers.” While readers can debate Dale’s use of “worst,” the current crop of Sun columnists continues a long tradition of deliberately provocative writing that has shaped the paper since its inception in 1971.

Read the full article. 

See also: The Immigration Ban, Israel, Patriot White House Boycott, Kaepernick & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List February 5 - 12

See also: Trump, Quebec City, Fukushima & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 29 - February 5

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