Sunday, March 12, 2017

Chrystia Freeland, IWD, the British Empire & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List March 5 - 12

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 March 5 - March 12. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) Somalia drought crisis: 110 people dead from hunger in 2 days, says PM

Russia Today

Over 100 people have died from hunger in a single region of Somalia in just 48 hours according to Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire. These are the first deaths attributed to the country’s severe drought since a “national disaster” was declared earlier this week.

Read the full article.

2) 5 of the worst atrocities carried out by the British Empire, after 'historical amnesia' claims

Samuel Osborne, The Independent

The British people suffer "historical amnesia" over the atrocities committed by their former empire, an Indian MP and author has claimed.

Read the full article.

3) What can $1,800 get you for housing in the North? Nothing

Jane Van Dusen, CBC News

Monthly rent of $1,800 may be enough to get you an apartment in downtown Toronto, or a two-bedroom townhouse in Fredericton. But across Canada's North, it's not enough to get you through the door.

Read the full article. 

4) Wildrose Finance Critic defines the word 'racist' as someone who is 'winning an argument'

Press Progress

And now for a public service announcement from Alberta's Official Opposition:

Read the full article. 

5) Capacity for consent and the Halifax ruling: Did the judge err?

Elizabeth Sheehy, The Globe and Mail

The acquittal of Halifax taxi driver Bassam Al-Rawi by Nova Scotia provincial court judge Gregory Lenehan raises legal, evidentiary and ethical issues that have rightly provoked outrage and debate.

Read the full article.

6) 'I will do anything I can to make my goal': TD teller says customers pay price for 'unrealistic' sales targets

 Erica Johnson, CBC News

Three TD Bank Group employees are speaking out about what they say is "incredible pressure" to squeeze profits from customers by signing them up for products and services they don't need.

Read the full article. 

7) No, we don’t need to center men in conversations about rape

Cecilia Lepine, Feminist Current

A recent investigation by The Globe and Mail revealed how badly the Canadian justice system fails at prosecuting rape cases. Robin Doolittle reports that “one of every five sexual-assault allegations in Canada is dismissed as baseless and thus unfounded.” Contrary to popular opinion, only a tiny percentage of complaints are false (between two and eight per cent), yet Doolittle found that police in Canada are closing a disproportionate number of rape cases as “unfounded,” meaning that the women simply weren’t being believed.

Read the full article.

8) Minister slams judge's sex assault comments, says 'clearly there's lots of work to be done'

Michael Gorman, CBC News

Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard says she shares the outrage mounting in response to a Nova Scotia judge's comment that "clearly a drunk can consent."

Read the full article. 

9) Trudeau's Feminism Is More Talk Than Action: Report

Sarah Rieger, The Huffington Post

Despite having a feminist prime minister at its helm, the federal government has yet to translate its rhetoric into policy when it comes to gender parity, according to a report from Oxfam Canada.

Read the full article. 

10) American Indians gather in D.C. for four-day protest against Trump, Dakota Access pipeline

Blake Nicholson, Associated Press

Members of American Indian tribes from around the country are gathering in Washington for four days of protests against the Trump administration and the Dakota Access oil pipeline that will culminate with a Friday march on the White House.

Read the full article. 

11) Freeland knew her grandfather was editor of Nazi newspaper

Robert Fife, The Globe and Mail

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland knew for more than two decades that her maternal Ukrainian grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper in occupied Poland that vilified Jews during the Second World War.

Read the full article. 

12) 'Feminism is cancer': Wildrose on Campus fires communications director over email

CBC News

Wildrose On Campus Calgary has fired its communications director and cancelled a film screening planned for Wednesday at the University of Calgary following public uproar over an email promoting the event.

Read the full article. 

13) Campus Club That Called Feminism Cancer May Have ‘Fired’ a Fake Member

Sarah Berman, Vice

In damage control statements to media, members of a Wildrose Party group at University of Calgary said they fired the person responsible—but former members question his existence.

Read the full article. 

14)  Our Political Economy Is Designed to Create Poverty and Inequality

Dennis Kucinich, The Nation

 Poverty is not an abstraction. People wear it on their faces, carry it on their backs as a constant companion—and it is heavy.

Read the full article. 

15) International Women’s Day has been stripped of its radical roots. That’s about to change.

 Katie McDonough, Fusion

This time last year, Ivanka Trump chose to observe International Women’s Day by releasing a series of e-cards featuring inspirational quotes tailored to the occasion. One of the cards, a dusty rose with elegantly minimal font and a #WomenWhoWork hashtag, read, “Do not wait for someone else to come and speak for you. It’s you who can change the world.”

Read the full article. 

16)  When Did Solidarity Among Working Women Become a ‘Privilege’?

Tithi Bhattacharya and Cinzia Arruzza, The Nation

The international women’s strike of March 8 is being put together with the unpaid labor of mostly women-led and grassroots organizations. No sponsorship from businesses, big or small, underwrites our organizing. As organizers of March 8 we believe that while Trump epitomizes our problems, the problems of devastating inequality, rampant racism and sexism, and violent imperialism did not begin with Trump. They are rooted in the history of US settler colonialism and were exacerbated in the decades of neoliberalism that preceded Trump.

Read the full article. 

17) On international women’s day, let’s remember what feminism is really about: women

Meghan Murphy, i-d Vice

We are told over and over again that feminism is for everybody. That "feminism" isn't a scary word - all it means is "equality." But they're wrong. Feminism isn't for everybody and perhaps those who are scared of the word are frightened for good reason. Feminism is about women. And if you don't like that, you probably aren't going to like feminism much.

Read the full article. 

18) The women's protest that sparked the Russian Revolution

Orlando Figes, The Guardian

The first day of the Russian Revolution – 8 March (23 February in the old Russian calendar) – was International Women’s Day, an important day in the socialist calendar. By midday of that day in 1917 there were tens of thousands of mainly women congregating on the Nevsky Prospekt, the principal avenue in the centre of the Russian capital, Petrograd, and banners started to appear.

Read the full article. 

19) Chrystia Freeland’s granddad was indeed a Nazi collaborator – so much for Russian disinformation

David Pugliese, The Ottawa Citizen

The news conference on Monday by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was interesting not for the announcement that Canada was extending its training mission to Ukraine but for the questions and answers about the minister’s grandfather

Read the full article.

20) Quick release of officer accused in Abdirahman Abdi's death raises eyebrows

Steve Fischer · CBC News

Courtroom 6 at the Ottawa courthouse is reserved for bail hearings, and on Monday afternoon the docket included people accused of assault, sexual touching and breach of bail conditions.

Const. Daniel Montsion's name was on that list, too: the Ottawa police officer was scheduled to make his first court appearance on charges including manslaughter in the death of Abdirahman Abdi, a charge more serious than any other being dealt with that day.

But Montsion was a no-show.

Read the full article.

21) 'But what about the railways ...?' ​​The myth of Britain's gifts to India

Shashi Tharoor, The Guardian

Apologists for empire like to claim that the British brought democracy, the rule of law and trains to India. Isn’t it a bit rich to oppress, torture and imprison a people for 200 years, then take credit for benefits that were entirely accidental?

Read the full article.

22) Ignoring Chicago, Toronto Has a Big, Stupid Idea

Joyce Nelson, Counterpunch 

Last weekend, the good folks of Toronto, Ontario learned that their elected officials at City Hall are considering selling off the Toronto Parking Authority – which operates dozens of municipal parking lots as well as on-street parking.

Read the full article.

23) Every semi-competent male hero has a ​more talented​ female sidekick. Why isn’t she the hero ​instead?

Constance Grady and Javier Zarracina, Vox

In the season one finale of The Magicians, a drama based on the best-selling books about a group of students at a magical university, there’s a moment when the show's protagonist begins to doubt that he's the hero of his own story.

Read the full article.

24) It Should Be Self-Evident That Socialists Should Be Anti-Prostitution

Frankie Green, Morning Star

Prostitution is at the heart of women’s oppression. The commercial sex trade is both cause and consequence of men’s greater economic, political and legal status — although it is absurd to refer to “sex” in the case of the sex trade when desire is not mutual and only money is the facilitator.

Read the full article. 

25) Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois wants leadership role with Québec Solidaire

Benjamin Shingler, CBC News 

After months of speculation, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois confirmed Thursday he wants to take a leadership role with the small, left-wing party Québec Solidaire.

Read the full article.

26) Chrystia Freeland Should Come Clean With The Truth

Sheldon Kirshner, The Times of Israel

Why can’t she come clean?

Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister and a member of Parliament representing a mid-town Toronto district, has been less than transparent about her maternal grandfather, Michael (Mikhailo) Chomiak, who edited a pro-Nazi Ukrainian newspaper in Cracow during Germany’s occupation of Poland

Read the full article.

27) Margaret Mitchell: NDP stalwart, social activist, Mac grad dies at 92

Hamilton Spectator

Margaret Mitchell, a former New Democrat MP and McMaster University graduate who became a leading voice in raising awareness about domestic abuse died Wednesday.

Read the full article.

28) Another Russia ‘Fake News’ Red Herring

Robert Perry,

On Feb, 27, published an article describing misrepresentations by Canada’s new Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland about her Ukrainian maternal grandfather whom she has portrayed as a hero who struggled “to return freedom and democracy to Ukraine” but left out that he was a Nazi propagandist whose newspaper justified the slaughter of Jews.

Read the full article.

29) MP who survived residential school calls for senator's resignation

Laura Peyton, CTV News

New Democrat MP Romeo Saganash wants a Conservative senator to resign after she lamented that negative stories about residential schools overshadow the good things they accomplished, including raising the students as Christians.

Read the full article. 

30) Why is the Foreign Affairs minister concealing her pro-Nazi lineage?

J. Baglow, Rabble

I have never believed that the sins of the fathers (or grandfathers) should place a burden of guilt upon succeeding generations, so at first I found myself detached from the current Chrystia Freeland brouhaha, and even a little embarrassed that some of my political allies were making such a great to-do over it. So her grandfather, Mykhailo Chomiak, was a pro-Nazi Ukrainian collaborator -- so what?


Read the full article.

31) Chrystia Freeland and the complexities of history

Henry Srebrnik, The Prince Arthur Heald

On March 8, the Globe and Mail reported that “Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has known for more than two decades that her maternal Ukrainian grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper in Nazi-occupied Poland.”

Read the full article.

32) NDP Base Is Crying Out For Principled Left Leadership

Sid Ryan, The Huffington Post

Canada's two main opposition parties are in the throes of selecting new leaders to replace Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair. Both found themselves walking the plank after losing the 2015 General Election. The Conservatives face the spectacle of 14 candidates vying to become Leader of the Official Opposition. The New Democratic Party has attracted four candidates to its leadership contest.

Read the full article. 

33) Aliens, Antisemitism, and Academia

 Landon Frim & Harrison Fluss, Jacobin

Alt-right conspiracy theorists have embraced postmodern philosophy. The Left should return to the Enlightenment to oppose their irrational and hateful politics.

Read the full article.

See also: Judge Lenehan, Dr. Seuss, Berta Cáceres & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List February 26 - March 5

See also: #Resistance150, the Oscars, Remembering Bob White & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List February 19-26

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