Sunday, July 2, 2017

Canada 150, Basic Income, the Western Wall & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List June 25 - July 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  June 25 - July 2. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) The Neoliberal Writing on the Wall: Ontario’s Basic Income Experiment

John Clarke, Socialist Project Bullet 

Since 2010, the UK has endured a political regime that can be considered a cutting edge of the austerity agenda. Through the film, I, Daniel Blake, people around the world have become familiar with the institutionalized cruelty of the Country’s warped system of providing social benefits to those in need.

Colin Campbell, Polygon

A phone camera is trained on Anita Sarkeesian as she prepares to speak on a panel. In footage later posted online, the camera wobbles slightly. Its setting is on high zoom. It follows her every move.

Andrea Huncar, CBC News

Critics are calling for an Alberta-wide ban on street checks as a CBC News investigation reveals Edmonton police have been disproportionately stopping, questioning and documenting Aboriginal and black people in non-criminal encounters.

Nancy Macdonald, MacLean's

Barb Kentner wants a Big Mac. For the past two days, she has been lying in Thunder Bay Regional Hospital, periodically thinking of eating one last burger. In late January, the Anishinaabe woman was hit in the stomach by a rusting trailer hitch in Thunder Bay’s east end, in an unprovoked assault. It was hurled at her from a moving vehicle. “I got one,” someone is alleged to have yelled from the car as it peeled off into the night. She has been in and out of the hospital ever since.

Mark Lamoureux, Vice

Here’s a breakdown of the major players.

Claire Provost, The Guardian

Despite Justin Trudeau’s efforts to stress his country’s female-friendly credentials, a new report has identified a ‘substantial gender gap’ in its workplaces. Is Canada’s feminist image too good to be true?

Julia Angwin and Hannes Grassegger

In the wake of a terrorist attack in London earlier this month, a U.S. congressman wrote a Facebook post in which he called for the slaughter of “radicalized” Muslims. “Hunt them, identify them, and kill them,” declared U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, a Louisiana Republican. “Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
Higgins’ plea for violent revenge went untouched by Facebook workers who scour the social network deleting offensive speech.

But a May posting on Facebook by Boston poet and Black Lives Matter activist Didi Delgado drew a different response.

Read the full article.

8) National Farmers Union backs Idle No More's call for national day of action on July 1

 Brandi Morin, CBC News

As Canada readies to celebrate 150 years since Confederation, the National Farmers Union is putting its support behind Idle No More's "UNsettling Canada 150" call to action.

Read the full article.

9) The Centrist Suicide Note

Steven Parfitt, Jacobin

Jeremy Corbyn's recent success has finally deflated New Labour's favorite boogeyman: Michael Foot's 1983 general election defeat.

Read the full article.

10) Teepee erected in ceremony on Parliament Hill after opposition from police

CBC News

A group of Indigenous people and supporters headed to Parliament Hill Wednesday night to try to perform a ceremony and erect a teepee, but faced opposition from police.

Read the full article.

11) Cultural Appropriation Is, In Fact, Indefensible

K. Tempest Bradford, NPR

Last week, the New York Times published an op-ed titled "In Defense of Cultural Appropriation" in which writer Kenan Malik attempted to extol the virtues of artistic appropriation and chastise those who would stand in the way of necessary "cultural engagement." (No link, because you have Google and I'd rather not give that piece more traffic than it deserves.) What would have happened, he argues, had Elvis Presley not been able to swipe the sounds of black musicians?

Malik is not the first person to defend cultural appropriation. He joins a long list that, most recently, has included prominent members of the Canadian literary community and author Lionel Shriver.

But the truth is that cultural appropriation is indefensible. Those who defend it either don't understand what it is, misrepresent it to muddy the conversation, or ignore its complexity — discarding any nuances and making it easy to dismiss both appropriation and those who object to it.

Read the full article.

12) Indigenous leaders call out Trudeau over funds for social services

Gloria Galloway, The Globe and Mail

First Nations leaders say Justin Trudeau is wrong when he says native communities do not yet know how they would spend additional funds for child welfare and health services.

Read the full article.

13) Far-right Soldiers of Odin members ‘not afraid to use violence,’ intelligence report warns

Stewart Bell, Global News

The emergence of the far-right Soldiers of Odin group in Canada has raised concerns about the potential for “anti-immigrant vigilantism,” according to a de-classified intelligence report obtained by Global News.

Read the full article.

14) 2,900 Sears Canada employees won’t receive severance after layoff

Katie Dangerfield, Global News

The 2,900 Sears Canada employees recently laid off will not be receiving severance packages and retirees who worked with the company for years may be losing all their benefits, according to court filings.

Read the full article.

15) Company in charge of Grenfell Tower locks community out of therapy centre

Emma Graham-Harrison, The Guardian

The company responsible for managing Grenfell Tower has changed the locks on a community centre used to provide art therapy for children affected by the tragedy, stranding parents and children outside in the street when they came to seek help.

Read the full article.

16) New Players, Same Game: How the NDP-Greens Won’t Address the Housing Crisis

Nathan Crompton, The Mainlander

Evictions, rent increases, and developer tax breaks — when it comes to the housing crisis it is hard to see where the parties truly differ.

Read the full article.

17) It's Only About Them: U.S. Jews' Outrage on the Wall, Silence on the Occupation Is Obscene

Simone Zimmerman, Haaretz

When Gaza was left to choke, when the occupation hit 50, when Bibi and Trump were having a lovefest, the only issue American Jewish leaders made a scene about was egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.

Read the full article.

18) Now American Jews Are Angry

Gideon Levy, Haaretz

When it comes to the Western Wall, suddenly U.S. Jews are liberals, criticizing Israel. Did they ever fight for the right of Palestinians to worship freely?

Read the full article.

19) TTC gets mock award for ‘least funded’ transit system

Ben Spurr, The Toronto Star

Members of an advocacy group descended on city hall Thursday to present the TTC with a mock award for being the “least funded” public transit system on the continent.

Read the full article.

20) Phil Collins: why I took a Soviet statue of Engels across Europe to Manchester

Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian

Friedrich Engels spent two decades in Manchester. The horrific conditions he saw in the cradle of industrialism forged his great works. But the city has never commemorated him – until now.

Read the full article.

21) Indigenous People and Resource Extraction

Nicole Hill, Angele Alook, Ian Hussey - The Socialist Project Bullet

In February, the government of Alberta signed a ten-year framework agreement with the Métis Nation of Alberta, emphasizing a relationship based on recognition, respect, and cooperation. In March, Alberta and the Blackfoot Confederacy signed a protocol agreement on how they will work together on economic development and other areas of concern to both parties. These agreements, of course, are only two of many instances of Indigenous people in the mainstream media recently.

Read the full article.

22) The Labour Right's Single Market Rebellion

Vince Mills, Morning Star

The House of Commons vote on the Queen’s Speech offered an obvious opportunity for the right of the Labour Party to make their peace with Jeremy Corbyn and play a constructive role in the left’s transformative project. But it was snubbed.

Read the full article.

23) 150 years of cultural genocide: Today, like all days, is an insult

Romeo Saganash, The Globe and Mail

I lose sleep most nights.

It started when I was young. Now I have a whole regimen of supports to help me sleep: exercise, healthy eating, music, darkness, relaxing tea, books of poetry. When it gets really bad: mandatory time off, writing, sleeping under the stars beside white pine trees, near a lake, on the land of the Eeyou, my people.

How colonization affects an individual is difficult to explain. How deep the tentacles reach. How vast the expanse of jarring totalitarian domination extends. Someone said to me recently that they like to have friends with different political and social points of view because it broadens their experiences and teaches them to refine arguments. For the past seven generations, in order to adapt to and accommodate the colonizer’s values, goals, institutions and society, I have learned to see so broadly that my eyes tear up.

Read the full article.

There are also two articles from prior to the period covered that are well worth sharing and that we missed before.

24) Stop those naturopaths who spread anti-vaxxer myths

Timothy Caulfield, The Globe and Mail

There is growing concern about vaccination rates in Canada. While most Canadians support vaccination, recent research has found that nearly 30 per cent of the population has concerns about the link between vaccines and autism. In some parts of the country, the vaccination rates have fallen below the level needed to achieve herd immunity.

Read the full article.

25) Science Has Consistently Underestimated Women Because Scientists Are Sexist

Sirin Kale, Broadly Vice

In her new book, "Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong," Angela Saini argues that the "sexist baggage" within science has made us—mistakenly—believe women are weaker than men.

Read the full article.

See also: Grenfell, the LCBO, Québec Solidaire and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List June 18 - 25

See also: Grenfell Tower, Theresa May, Philando Castile & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List June 11 - 18

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