Sunday, June 11, 2017

Corbyn, the 'Top 20%' and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List June 4 - 11

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 June 4 - June 11. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) The American dream? Top 20% pulling away from the rest, study finds

Edward Helmore, The Guardian

Does the American dream exist? Or has the middle class ruined it by hoarding opportunity on a scale that makes even the infamous one-percenters appear harmless and ineffectual?

Read the full article.

2) 'I'm the victim and I'm in shackles': Edmonton woman jailed while testifying against her attacker

Janice Johnston, CBC News

On a Monday afternoon in June 2015, Angela Cardinal was led into an Edmonton courtroom handcuffed and in leg shackles. Metallic rattling echoed as a sheriff escorted the 28-year-old to the witness stand.

She was not the accused, but rather a victim — called to testify at a preliminary hearing after she was savagely attacked and sexually assaulted by a notorious sexual predator.

Read the full article. 

3) Question of race in sex assault victim's jailing 'keeps me up at night,' Alberta justice minister says

Michelle Bellefontaine, CBC News

Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley says the case of an Indigenous sexual assault victim who was jailed for five days while she testified against her attacker raises questions about whether her race played a role in the decisions that were made.

Read the full article.

4) Family demands apology after police caught on video mocking woman with Down syndrome

Ramna Shahzad, CBC News

A Toronto family has demanded a public apology after two police officers were caught on dashcam footage mocking a woman with Down syndrome during a traffic stop, describing her as disfigured and something less than a whole person.

Read the full article. 

5) I’ve never voted with hope before. Jeremy Corbyn has changed that

George Monbiot, The Guardian

How they mocked. My claim, in a Guardian video a month ago, that Labour could turn this election around, was received with hilarity. “Fantasy Island”, “pure pie in the sky”, “delusional”, “magical thinking”, “grow up” were among the gentler comments. The election campaign, almost everyone agreed, would be a victory lap for the Conservatives. The only question was whether Theresa May would gain a massive majority or a spectacular one. Now the braying voices falter.

Read the full article.

6) Ted Wheeler, The Portland Police Bureau and White Supremacists all teamed up to assault the people of Portland… They all need to answer for it.

Gregory Robert McKelvey, Medium

Before we get into what exactly happened yesterday and why it occurred we need to set the scene. If you live in Portland and were not aware of the planned invasion of white supremacists into your community just a week after one of them murdered two heroes on our public transportation system, you must have been living under a rock. But I don’t blame you, that privileged rock is probably pretty comfortable right now. Some of us don’t have that luxury. White supremacy in Portland is threatening our existence every single day. But maybe you have been out of town or you don’t live here in Portland. So, I’ll attempt a far too short synopsis of the days leading up to yesterday’s violence:

Read the full article.

7) Ontario commits to universally accessible child care

Laurie Monsebraaten, The Toronto Star

Ontario is about to become the first province outside Quebec committed to creating affordable child-care spaces for all parents who want them, according to an ambitious new vision to be released Tuesday.

Read the full article.

8) How Canada's tax system subsidizes the very rich

Dennis Howlett, iPolitics

Canada’s tax system is riddled with loopholes. Year after year, we hear tax experts and politicians talk about it but, aside from some tweaking and a whole lot of rhetoric, they do little to fix it.

Read the full article.

9) The Clintons Had Slaves

Nathan J. Robinson, Current Affairs

Contrary to popular understanding, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution did not prohibit slavery. The text makes it clear:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

The nifty little loophole of that word “except” means that slavery isn’t actually banned outright; someone simply has to be convicted of a crime in order to be enslaved. This gave Southern states a welcome free hand in re-establishing forced servitude for African Americans in the years after Reconstruction collapsed; as Douglas Blackmon documents in Slavery By Another Name, the Jim Crow era was in many places characterized by a mass re-enslavement process, whereby criminal laws were devised that allowed states and municipalities to put black people in chains again. Today, forced labor among African Americans persists; in Louisiana, for example, felons are sentenced to “hard labor” as well as prison time, and inmates at the infamous Angola prison still pick cotton at gunpoint.

Read the full article.

10) We may have seen the last of Colin Kaepernick in the NFL

Jason Reid, The Undefeated

Colin Kaepernick may never play in the NFL again. Let that sink in. A mobile, 29-year-old quarterback who in the past five seasons started in two NFC championship games and one Super Bowl and amassed a touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio that ranks among the best in NFL history is out of the league without an apparent opening to get back in.

Read the full article.

11) $15 and Fairness Shakes Up Ontario

David Bush, The Socialist Project Bullet

The Fight for $15 and Fairness scored a big victory on May 30 when the Ontario Liberals announced they would raise the minimum wage to $15 by January 1, 2019. The Liberals also announced a slew of other legislative changes they will introduce as part of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, such as two paid personal emergency leave days (as part of the 10 PEL days workers are already entitled too), equal pay for equal work for part-time workers, requiring employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours, an additional week of paid vacation for employees who have been with a business for at least five years.

Read the full article.

12) Many terrorists' first victims are their wives - but we're not allowed to talk about that

Helen Lewis, The New Statesman

The links between domestic violence and mass killings are now exhaustively documented. So why the conspiracy of silence?

Read the full article.

13) Inmate shackled during childbirth awarded $6.7M

John Diedrich, USA Today

A federal jury Wednesday awarded $6.7 million to a woman who was raped repeatedly by a guard when she was being held in a Wisconsin jail four years ago.

Read the full article.

14) The facts proving Corbyn’s election triumph

Jonathon Cook

Watching the BBC’s coverage of the election, you could be excused for taking away two main impressions of last night’s results. First, that Theresa May had a terrible, self-sabotaging campaign; and second that, while Jeremy Corbyn may be celebrating, he decisively lost the election.

Read the full article.

15) Jeremy Corbyn just made history with the greatest increase in Labour’s vote share since 1945

Lee Brown, Medium

As we wait to see if Theresa May can stitch together an alliance to form the next government one striking conclusion from Thursday’s general election is already clear: Jeremy Corbyn has made history by securing Labour’s highest increase in the vote since 1945.

Read the full article.

16) Corbyn. Is. Dumbledore.

Branko Marcetic, Jacobin

J.K. Rowling, Barack Obama, the list goes on. Prominent liberals all opposed Jeremy Corbyn — and it didn’t matter.

Read the full article.

17) Labour rounds off remarkable election with narrow win in Kensington

Nicola Slawson, The Guardian

Labour has staged a major upset by taking one of the wealthiest constituencies in London, from the incumbent Conservative candidate Victoria Borwick, in a dramatic result 24 hours after polling closed.

Read the full article.

18) Stop Pretending You’re Not Rich

Richard V. Reeves, The New York Times

When I was growing up, my mother would sometimes threaten my brother and me with elocution lessons. It is no secret that how you talk matters a lot in a class-saturated society like the United Kingdom. Peterborough, our increasingly diverse hometown, was prosperous enough, but not upscale. Six in 10 of the city’s residents voted for Brexit — a useful inverse poshness indicator. (In Thursday’s general election, Peterborough returned a Labour MP for the first time since 2001.)

Read the full article. 

See also: Labour, Québec Solidaire, the CPC and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List May 28 - June 4

See also: UK Election, Manchester, Kerala and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List May 21 - 28

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