Sunday, April 9, 2017

Syria, Trump, the JDL & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List April 2 - April 9

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 April 2 - April 9. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) NDP differences on international policy need to be debated

Yves Engler, Rabble

There has yet to be a single question about foreign policy in the NDP’s first two leadership debates, but some contenders say they want the party to devote a forum to international affairs.

Read the full article.

2) Russell Peters's 'joke' about young women had no place at the Junos

Kira-Lynn Ferderber, The Ottawa Citizen

Many of us in Ottawa’s music community were very excited to have our city host the Juno Awards on Sunday night; unfortunately, the show quickly took an unpleasant turn. Co-host Russell Peters chose to open the evening by looking out at the crowd gathered at the Canadian Tire Centre and commenting “Look at all the young girls. This is a felony waiting to happen.”

Read the full article. 


Warren Kinsella, The War Room

The Soldiers of Odin is a rapidly-growing far-Right anti-refugee, anti-immigrant racist organization now found across Canada.  Experts call them a terror group.  More on them here and here.

The Jewish Defence League is a far-Right group that has itself been classified as extremist by the FBI for many years, and its parent organizations Kach and Kahane Chai are now officially terrorist organizations in Israel, Canada, the E.U. and the United States.  More here and here.  The JDL wasn’t always that way, as I write in Web of Hate, but it sure is now.

And now the JDL stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Muslim and immigrant-hating Soldiers of Odin.  An organization founded by an actual neo-Nazi.

Read the full article.

4) Suspended police officers make Ontario's Sunshine List

Mike Crawley, CBC News

At least 15 police officers in Ontario earned more than $100,000 each in 2016 while sitting at home for most or all of the year, suspended over criminal charges yet collecting their full pay, an exclusive CBC Toronto analysis reveals.

Read the full article. 

5) South Sudan Is Officially In Famine. This Is What That Means

Ian Wishart, The Huffington Post

The first famine in six years has been declared in the world's newest nation, South Sudan. To understand just how dire the situation is, you need to understand the United Nations' reluctance to use the f-word: famine.

John Paul Tasker, CBC News

Senator Lynn Beyak has been removed from the Senate's Aboriginal peoples committee, interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose told CBC News in an interview Wednesday.

The Guardian

Iceland’s parliament has presented a bill that would require public and private businesses to prove they offer equal pay to employees, in what would be the first such requirement in the world.

Read the full article.

9) Mishandling of sex-assault cases violates right to equality, lawsuit alleges

Robyn Doolittle, The Globe and Mail

The 18-year-old Western University student whose sexual-assault allegation was dismissed as “unfounded” by a detective who relied on rape myths and stereotypes during his investigation was the victim of systemic discrimination based on gender, a lawsuit filed against the officer and the London Police Services Board on Friday alleges.

Read the full article.

10) Spineless Social Democracy

Thorvaldur Gylfason, Social Europe

Of all social democratic parties in Europe none has fared worse at the polls of late than Iceland’s Social Democratic Alliance. Whereas in the parliamentary election of 2003 it won 20 out of 63 seats in Parliament, it barely cleared the 5% threshold in the 2016 election, securing three seats, all in rural constituencies. The reasons for this spectacular fall from grace may hold lessons for other social democratic parties.

Read the full article.

11) Federal judge blocks Pence's Indiana law requiring women to get an ultrasound before they get an abortion

Timothy Mclaughlin, Reuters

A U.S. federal judge blocked an Indiana measure requiring women to have an ultrasound at least 18 hours before undergoing an abortion, saying that the mandate was unnecessary and a burden to low-income women.

Read the full article.

12) Toronto’s Jewish Defence League Fascists

Yves Engler, Dissident Voices

We live in strange and dangerous times. While Toronto thugs export their violence and extremist ideology to the USA and the Jewish Defence League works with neo-fascists to bash Muslims, the dominant Canadian media has placed a cone of silence over these disturbing developments.

Read the full article. 

13) How does a pundit get neo-Nazi fans? This is how.

Bernie Farber, iPolitics

If you’ve ever been through the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, you know that it’s a heart-searing, life-changing experience. It tells the story of one of the most terrible acts in recorded history: the murder of six million Jewish men, women and children during the Second World War.

Read the full article.

14) Trump Pulls Back Obama-Era Protections For Women Workers

Mary Emily O'Hara, NBC News

With little notice, President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order that advocates say rolls back hard-fought victories for women in the workplace.

Read the full article.

15) Trump administration halts money to UN population fund over abortion rules

Liz Ford and Nadia Khomami, The Guardian

The US state department said on Monday it was ending funding for the UN population fund (UNFPA) – the first concrete move in what activists describe as President Donald Trump’s “crusade against the health and rights of women and girls globally”.

Read the full article.

16) Unarmed. Not wearing a seatbelt. Running away. Police are more likely to shoot if you’re black

Neil Bedi and Connie Humburg, The Tampa Bay Times

In the past three years, police shootings have sparked an unprecedented series of protests across the country.

Groups led by Black Lives Matter said the shootings were part of a larger pattern of racial discrimination.

Read the full article.

17) U.S. Is Helping Israel Annex So Much Land, Palestinians Could Have Essentially Nothing

Democracy Now

Last month, a U.N. agency sparked controversy when it published a report accusing Israel of imposing an "apartheid regime" on the Palestinians. The report came the same month the Israeli government took the extreme step of banning non-Israeli citizens who endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement from entering Israel. For more, we speak with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky.

Read, watch and listen.

18) Boxer Custio Clayton says he was racially profiled by Montreal police

Kalina Laframboise, CBC News

Former Canadian Olympic boxer Custio Clayton says he was racially profiled — detained without reason, handcuffed and arrested on suspicion of being a drug dealer by Montreal police on Tuesday night.

Read the full article.

19) I’m not going to answer the same question about being fat any more

Lindy West, The Guardian

This morning at 8:15am some man with a cool life navigated to my YouTube page, found a five-year-old video in which I taste-test an unpleasant seasonal cookie, and typed the comment: “It’s like watching a reallllllly slow suicide.” Men have been leaving similar comments on this video obsessively for the past five years: “You fucking disgusting pig. KILL YOURSELF.” “You actually posted a video of the time when your fat ass got really super excited about eating seasonal, promotional candy.” “Fugly dumpling stuffs her gullet on youtube. Disgusting.” The video is monetised; my husband asked me today whether I’ve made any money off of it. I told him I think YouTube sent me a check for $100 (£80) once. That’s it.

Read the full article.

20) Of Course Donald Trump Doesn’t Think Bill O’Reilly Did Anything Wrong

 Rebecca Traister, New York Magazine

By every rational measure, “Donald Trump Defends Bill O’Reilly on Sexual Harrassment Allegations” should be the least surprising headline of any given day.

Read the full article.

21) Halifax police sign on to ‘start by believing’ sex-assault campaign

Les Perreaux, The Globe and Mail

Halifax police have signed on to a slow-growing movement of municipal forces adopting a “start by believing” approach to sexual-assault complaints in the hope of hastening a culture change among officers and encouraging victims to come forward.

Read the full article.

22) Hero or villain? The Livingstone question

David Rosenberg, Rebel Notes

My favourite political image among the protests and street activism that has marked the first three months of 2017 is a banner held on the St Patrick’s Day parade. It proclaimed:”More Blacks! More dogs! More Irish!” – mocking the daily racism of the 1960s when people looking for homes were confronted by openly discriminatory window signs rejecting applicants from these categories. The first Race Relations Act of 1968 finally knocked that appalling behaviour on the head, but not the sentiments behind it. It took another 20 years of grassroots campaigns led by victims of racism, finally aided by another layer of government, to normalise anti-racism and explicitly promote multiculturalism.

Read the full article.

23) The Last 5 Presidents In A Row Have Bombed Iraq

Darius Shahtahmasebi, Activist Post

Who is to blame for the current state of chaos in Iraq? An oversimplified and misguided, if not dishonest course of action would be to blame Iraqis for being the radical, death-cult worshiping fanatics they are and ignore America’s foreign policy decision-making, which led to the current situation. In turn, one could place Iraq on a travel ban list of nations that doesn’t include any of the countries that created and support al-Qaeda (and then nonsensically remove them from your revised list some weeks later).

Read the full article.

24) Trump lifts ban on hunting hibernating bears

Daksha Rangan, The Weather Network

The state of Alaska is home to 16 U.S. national wildlife refuges and a vast variety of iconic animals — two of which are now fair game for hunters.

Read the full article. 

25) Government unveils eight-page 'rape assessment form' for mothers hit by tax credit cuts

Jon Stone, The Independent

Women who have a child conceived due to rape will have to fill in an eight-page form to prevent the Government from withdrawing their tax credits.

Read the full article.

26) Community and Police Action Committee faces barrage of criticism over wristbands

Simon Gardner, CBC News

At a meeting of a committee that works to improve relations between diverse communities and Ottawa police, speaker after speaker ripped into the force over a controversial wristband campaign supporting an officer charged with manslaughter.

Read the full article.

27) No good will come of Trump's Syria strike

Ryan Cooper, The Week

On Thursday night, the Trump administration abruptly announced that it had launched more than 50 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield, in retaliation for the apparent use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians by Bashar al-Assad.

Read the full article.

28) Trump's Strike has Prolonged the Syrian Tragedy

Chris Nineham, Socialist Project Bullet

Trump's attack on the Shayrat airbase in Syria has received plaudits from western politicians and commentators across the board. Liberal pundits, who had nothing but contempt for Trump days ago, are suddenly more respectful after this show of lethal force, even though most would probably accept The Guardian's Jonathan Freedland's caveat that despite this virtuous show of violence, Trump is still not to be wholly trusted.

Read the full article. 

29) Brendan Cox, Husband Of Murdered Jo, Warns Of The Rise Of Fascism

Chris York, The Huffington Post

The husband of murdered MP Jo Cox has warned of the growing dangers of fascism and extreme right-wing politics.

Brendan Cox, whose wife was stabbed and shot by a right-wing extremist outside her constituency office last June, said communities need to stand together against division and hate.

Read the full article. 

In addition to these articles, the following two articles from prior to this past week are worth sharing in the roundup as well:

30) Colin Kaepernick Saw This Coming

Dria Roland, Complex

In pop culture years, 2012 was ages ago. But try to remember. That was the year quarterback Alex Smith suffered a concussion in the first half of the Niners game against the Rams in Week 10, and a backup QB named Colin Kaepernick had to fill in. The game ended in a tie, the NFL's first in four years. The next week Kaepernick started, and led the team to victory. And even after Smith was declared healthy, Kaepernick continued to start—and to win. A "quarterback controversy" brewed, but coach Harbaugh went with the guy "with the hot hand," as they say.

Read the full article. 

31) Israel Is an Apartheid State (Even if the UN Report Has Been Withdrawn)

Jakob Reimann, Foreign Policy Journal

A withdrawn UN report's conclusion that the criminal occupation of Palestine and Israel's racist policies toward Palestinians are "apartheid" remain true.

Read the full article. 

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

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

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