Sunday, April 2, 2017

Canada 150, Saskatchewan Austerity, the Ottawa Police & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List March 26 - April 2

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 26 - April 2. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) Senator Lynn Beyak says she has 'suffered' with residential school survivors

John Paul Tasker, CBC News

Senator Lynn Beyak says she doesn't need any more education about the horrors of the residential school system because she "suffered" alongside Indigenous people who were sent to the institutions.

Read the full article.

2) The All-Male Photo Op Isn’t a Gaffe. It’s a Strategy.

Jill Filipovic, New York Times

During the great Republican health care debacle, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with the far-right congressional Freedom Caucus to discuss, among other things, stripping out requirements for insurance companies to cover maternity, newborn and pregnancy care. After the meeting, Mr. Pence tweeted a photo of two dozen men sitting around a table. Kellyanne Conway was reportedly in the room, but in the picture the vice president circulated, there was not a woman in sight.

Read the full article.

3) Toronto councillors want to deny Pride funding over police ban

 Michael Smee, Laura Fraser, CBC News

There is a move underway by several city councillors to have Pride Toronto denied city funding because of its decision to exclude the Toronto Police Service from this year's festivities, CBC News has learned.

Read the full article.

4) Droughts, floods from weird jet stream linked to Arctic heat

Scott Sutherland, The Weather Network

Something strange is going on, with more incidences of unprecedented heat waves, droughts and flooding happening in recent years, and based on the latest research, it's looking more and more like climate change is to blame.

Read the full article.

5) Rape fantasy Elle isn’t a five-star masterpiece – it’s sick

Bidisha, The Guardian

Rape apologists: do you like the cinema? Have you always suspected women secretly want to be stalked, brutalised and raped? And that the biggest woman-haters on the planet are not men, but women themselves? Then brace yourselves for a celluloid treat.

Read the full article. 

6) What do many lone attackers have in common? Domestic violence

Hadley Freeman, The Guardian

Desperate attempts to profile Khalid Masood after the Westminster attacks blame Islam, Kent or even drunk teenagers, but the common thread in terrorism is often misogyny

Read the full article. 

7) Toronto’s councillors bury themselves in Scarborough’s subway

Edward Keenan, The Toronto Star

There’s something that probably ought to be cleared up. There’s a perception out there — it arose during Tuesday’s city council meeting debating (again) the extension to the Bloor subway line to the Scarborough Town Centre — that proponents of the competing LRT proposal have somehow delayed the construction of the subway for years.

Read the full article. 

8) Building the “Saskatchewan Advantage”: Saskatchewan’s 2017 Austerity Budget

Charles W. Smith and Andrew Stevens, Socialist Project Bullet 

Saskatchewan's 2017 budget landed with an unenthusiastic thud last week. Riddled with cuts, job losses, public sector wage reductions, and tax increases, the Saskatchewan Party's austerity budget has garnered few friends, with critics ranging from organized labour movement to small businesses.[1] The government's budget has several fiscal goals: aggressively tackle its $1.3-billion deficit in three short years, overhaul the tax structure away from progressive forms of taxation to consumption taxes, and dismantle key aspects of the social welfare state.

Read the full article.

9) 'I feel duped': Why bank employees with impressive but misleading titles could cost you big time

Erica Johnson, CBC News

Mike Black says he feels "completely betrayed" after trusting RBC Dominion Securities employees with impressive-sounding titles to manage his life savings, only to earn far below the market average for six years.

Read the full article.

10) ‘Expect no apology’ for comments about ‘gay lifestyle,’ Brad Trost’s campaign says

Marie-Danielle Smith, The Star Phoenix

Conservative Party leadership candidate Brad Trost’s campaign is not backing down after controversial comments Tuesday about his discomfort with the idea of people being gay.

“In case you haven’t noticed, Brad’s not entirely comfortable with the whole gay thing. And if you haven’t noticed, you have not been paying attention,” campaign spokesman Mike Patton said in a “campaign update” video put out on social media Tuesday.

Read the full article.

11) Ontario Tory says 'zero tolerance' for doctors who sexually abuse patients is 'intolerant'

Press Progress

A Tory MPP says he's concerned a "zero tolerance policy" towards Ontario doctors found sexually abusing patients would not be in keeping with Canada's identity as a "tolerant society."

Read the full article.

12) Complainant in Kamloops sex assault case devastated by judge's comments, Crown stay of charges

Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun

A woman who accused her stepfather of sexually assaulting her decades ago plans to file a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council this week over controversial comments made by the B.C. Supreme Court judge presiding over her case.

Read the full article.

13) She’s Hot: Female Sessional Instructors, Gender Bias, and Student Evaluations

 Andrea Eidinger, Active History

“I think your feminist stances are slightly overcorrecting reality. I’m sure minorities had a harsher experience than women, ESPECIALLY today, a point you seem to overlook. You’re a really nice person though.”

That comment comes from my student evaluations from one of the first courses I ever taught, back when I was still a graduate student. At the time that I read that, I burst out laughing. I mean really, how else can you react to that kind of statement? But many courses and student evaluations later, I am starting to think that this is reflective of a larger problem in the world of academia, and history in particular, with respect to female sessional instructors and course evaluations.

Read the full article. 

14) The pro-choice memoir we all need right now

Denise Balkissoon, The Globe and Mail

A pregnant teenager learns that the fetus she is carrying will be born without a functioning circulatory system. At no point will it be able to breathe for itself – there is no way that it can live. The teenager decides not to terminate the pregnancy, telling her obstetrician that she is “praying for a miracle.”

Read the full article. 

15) Policing the police in Sask.: Time to consider independent civilian agency, says justice official

Dan Zakreski, CBC News

In February, Ryan Donard ran into the Fond du Lac River in Stony Rapids after RCMP responded to a complaint at a house in the northern Saskatchewan community, according to a news release.

Read the full article. 

16) Lynn Beyak tells residential school survivors she wants audit of all First Nations spending

John Paul Tasker, CBC News

After hearing testimony about the atrocities committed in residential schools, Senator Lynn Beyak asked survivors at the Senate's Aboriginal peoples committee Wednesday what they thought about her plan for a national audit on all First Nations spending.

Read the full article. 

17) Canada 150 is a celebration of Indigenous genocide

Pamela Palmater, NOW Magazine

This year, the federal government plans to spend half a billion dollars on events marking Canada's 150th anniversary, prompting a great deal of debate about its historical treatment of Indigenous peoples. The majority of Canadians don't have all the facts about that, while First Nations continue to live the crisis-level effects of that legacy. Perhaps Canada should cancel its celebrations and undertake the hard work necessary to make amends.

Read the full article. 

18) Pro-Abdi wristbands a response to 'slap in the face' police campaign

 Amanda Pfeffer, CBC News

A retired Ottawa firefighter is launching his own line of wristbands in solidarity with the family of Abdirahman Abdi as a counter to a police campaign in support of the officer charged with manslaughter in Abdi's death.

Read the full article. 

19) Chrystia Freeland Can Rest Easy Now

Sheldon Kirshner

Congratulations, Chrystia Freeland.

You’ve won.

You and your handlers not only buried a legitimate news story, but convinced a compliant media, a cowed Jewish leadership and a spineless Jewish press to ignore it, as if it never even existed.

Read the full article.

20) A Message From the End of the World

Ariel Dorfman, The New York Times

Here in Chile, in the far south of the Southern Hemisphere, it has been the summer of our discontent. Never have so many natural catastrophes in a row hit this country at the end of the world. For once, it is not the earthquakes that have assailed us since time immemorial or the tsunamis that often follow, devastating land and coast, mountainscapes and ocean. This time, our unprecedented woes have all been man-made.

Read the full article.

21) Egypt’s Coming Revolt of the Poor

Zeinab Abul-Magd, Foreign Policy

Earlier this month, bread riots erupted in Egypt. Thousands of angry demonstrators blocked roads and crowded around state-affiliated bakeries, protesting a government decision to reduce the number of loaves of subsidized bread each family could purchase. As security forces clashed with rioters in poor localities in Alexandria, Kafr El Sheikh, Minya, and Asyut, protesters chanted, “We want to eat!” Social media activists have dubbed the movement “the supply riots” (intifadat al-tamwin).

Read the full article.

22) Why should we trust the Ottawa Police Service?

Tyler Dawson, Ottawa Citizen

What’s especially alarming about Ottawa police officers wearing solidarity bracelets isn’t so much that the wristbands exist, it’s that the officers involved clearly didn’t much care about whether or not there’d be blowback and how it would damage policing in this town.

Read the full article.

23) Video offering $1K reward for recordings of Muslim students praying ignites fears

Shanifa Nasser, CBC News

Staff with the Peel District School Board in southern Ontario are being cautioned to be "extra vigilant" about a video making the rounds online offering a $1,000 reward for recordings of Muslim students in any school in the region "spewing hate speech during Friday prayers."

Read the full article.

24) The ‘feminists should be nice to men’ trope is back. So is The Handmaid’s Tale

Van Badham, The Guardian

Creeping back into commentary is the notion that male power will be kinder to women if they flatter it. If history can’t demolish this notion, maybe fiction can.

Read the full article.

24) Inside the Dangerous Convergence of Men’s-Rights Activists and the Extreme Alt-Right

 David Futrelle, NY Magazine

James Jackson had a plan. Traveling by Bolt Bus from his home in Baltimore to New York City, the 28-year-old Jackson hoped to strike a blow for the beleaguered white race by carrying out a bloody massacre of black men in Times Square, using a two-foot sword he’d brought with him for the occasion.

Read the full article.

25) Mike Pence doesn't eat alone with women. That speaks volumes

Jessica Valenti, The Guardian

The vice-president’s rule is insulting for men and limiting for women. But let’s not let Pence’s sexism distract us from his whole party’s sexist agenda.

Read the full article.

26) Sergeant who Tasered dying Sammy Yatim faces misconduct charge

Wendy Gillis, The Toronto Star

Nearly four years after Sammy Yatim was shot eight times on an empty streetcar, Ontario’s police watchdog has ordered that a misconduct charge be laid against the veteran Toronto police sergeant who Tasered the 18-year-old as he lay dying, the Star has learned.

Read the full article.

27) It's better to be rich and mediocre than poor and bright in the UK, admits Education Secretary

Will Worley, The Independent

Lower-achieving pupils from rich families earn more than talented poorer children, the Education Secretary has admitted.

Read the full article.

See also: Climate Change, Police Malfeasance, Lenin & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List March 19 - 26

See also: The NDP Leadership Race, the Dutch GreenLeft, Gavin McInnes & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List March 12-19

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