Sunday, July 16, 2017

Venezuela, Omar Khadr, Climate Change & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List July 9 - 16

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  July 9 - 16. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) The Uninhabitable Earth

David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine

Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.

Read the full article.

2) Venus Williams, a Car Accident, and the Outrageous Police Response

Dave Zirin, The Nation

The tennis legend was publicly blamed for a man’s death, only to be exonerated thanks to TMZ. Something is wrong with this picture.

Read the full article.

3) Is social democracy facing extinction in Europe?

Davide Vittori, LSE Blog

One of the more surprising aspects of Labour’s strong performance in the UK’s general election is that it came at a time when social democratic parties have experienced falling support in other countries across Europe. Davide Vittori asks whether the exceptionally poor results of parties such as the French Socialist Party in recent elections herald the end of social democracy as we know it in Europe.

Read the full article.

4) Honouring the history and heritage of socialist ideals at The Durham Miners’ Gala

Alan Cummings, Morning Star

The Durham miners never gave up on their socialist principles – principles that are now reinvigorated in the era of Corbynism.

Read the full article.

5) Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says

Tess Riley, The Guardian

Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to a new report.

Read the full article.

6) How many died in the Grenfell tower fire? Anger rises as London police won’t say for sure

Rod Nordland & Iliana Magra, The Toronto Star

More than three weeks after the deadly fire, survivors and their advocates are convinced that the authorities have yet to publicly acknowledge the true death toll.

Read the full article.

7) The ‘odious’ logic behind opposition to Khadr’s compensation

Azeezah Kanji, The Toronto Star

There are many things in Omar Khadr’s story that merit denunciation, but the fact that he has finally received some justice is not one of them.

Read the full article.

8) Omar Khadr and the Shame of the Canadian Press 

Omer Aziz, The Walrus

Anger over the settlement has never been about law or even policy. It’s about how we see the crimes of people who do not look like us.

Read the full article.

9) Are we finally realising that Macron isn’t that liberal after all?

Nabila Ramdani, The Independent

Social media lynchings are as hyperbolic as they sound, but Emmanuel Macron got all the metaphorical violence he deserved when he suggested that poor African women have too many babies. The newly elected French President used a press conference at the G20 summit in Hamburg to say that wanton reproduction often made foreign aid pointless.

Read the full article.

10) Manitoba families want national MMIWG inquiry commissioners replaced, regional inquiry created

CBC News

A coalition of Manitoba families says the commissioners on the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls have become ineffective and must resign.

Read the full article.

11) Betsy DeVos Plans to Consult Men’s Rights Trolls About Campus Sexual Assault

Christina Cauterucci, Slate

When Trump nominated Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education, anti-rape advocates worried about the damage she might do. The Obama administration had pushed universities to better address sexual assault on their campuses, prescribing stricter guidelines for adjudicating accusations and publishing lists of schools under investigation. DeVos refused to say whether or not she’d uphold that guidance, but the prospects looked grim. She and her family foundation had both donated money to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, an advocacy group working to undo the progress Obama’s Department of Education had made on campus sexual assault.

Read the full article.

12) Confused about universality? So are NDP leadership candidates

 Michal Rozworski, Political Eh-conomy Blog

There was some pretty confused stuff on universality and means-testing during last night’s NDP leadership debate. Here are some thoughts that might help clear things up.

Read the full article.

13) Why are women who have escaped prostitution still viewed as criminals?

Julie Bindel, The Guardian

Women who have got out of the sex trade dread criminal record checks when they go for jobs. But now there’s a chance those records could be expunged.

Read the full article.

14) Five CSIS employees are accusing the spy agency of Islamophobia, racism and homophobia in a $35-million lawsuit

Michelle Shephard, The Toronto Star

“Careful your Muslim in-laws don’t behead you in your sleep for being homo,” a CSIS manager allegedly wrote in a 2015 email to an intelligence officer, one of several shocking incidents outlined in a statement of claim obtained by the Star.

Read the full article.

15) CMHC tells Ontario housing co-ops to abandon low-income members

Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada  

Multi-million dollar renovation plans at three Ontario housing co-ops are in limbo after receiving government demands to cancel rental assistance to low-income families.

Read the full article.

16) Sears managers to earn thousands in bonuses while laid-off workers get no severance

Sophia Harris, CBC News

Sears Canada plans to dole out big bonuses to senior management while the retailer restructures, even as thousands of laid-off workers aren't being paid severance.

Read the full article.

17) Insiders speak out on 'dysfunctional' missing, murdered Indigenous women inquiry

Maura Forrest, The National Post

As concerns mount about the future of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, sources who were inside the inquiry are speaking out about what they see as its “rudderless” operation and a chief commissioner who they say is misrepresenting recent high-profile staff resignations.

Read the full article.

18) Meet Red Opera, the local rapper who ran for the Communist Party of Canada

Stephanie Johns, The Coast

Released on Canada Day, Ryan Barry's (AKA Red Opera) Lifestyles of the Bourgeoisie was meant to make a political statement. The rapper, who has been performing on and off in Halifax since 1998 including releasing group albums under the name Tranz Ill, dipped his toes back into the music world with this collection. When not writing about the uneven political climate, Barry remains politically involved, running in the 2015 federal election in the South Shore St. Margaret's riding for the Communist Party of Canada. Listen to his latest offering and let Red Opera put a bug in your ear. 

Read the full article.

19) 2 Ontario police officers charged in death of Indigenous woman

Chris Ensing, CBC News

Two police officers have been charged in the 2016 death of Debra Chrisjohn, of Oneida Nation of the Thames, according to Ontario's police watchdog.

Read the full article.

20) Jacobin magazine attacks Venezuela, Cuba and TeleSUR

Jordan Woll, Liberation

Right wing opposition sympathizers in Venezuela are on social media, as always decrying so-called government “repression” while obscuring the real motivations behind the effort to bring about regime change in Venezuela. Such online propaganda campaigns are nothing new. What is new is that in recent weeks, they have been citing the “socialist” U.S.-based magazine Jacobin. How could this be?

Read the full article.

21) Why Can't the US Left Get Venezuela Right?

Shamus Cooke, Venezuela Analysis

As Venezuela's fascist-minded oligarchy conspires with U.S. imperialism to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro, few in the U.S. seem to care.

Instead of denouncing rightwing violence that aims at regime change, many on the U.S. left have stayed silent, or opted to give an evenhanded analysis that supports neither the Maduro government nor the oligarchy trying to violently overthrow it. Rather, the left prioritizes its energy on lecturing on Maduro’s “authoritarianism” and the failures of “Chavismo.”  

This approach allows leftists a cool emotional detachment to the fate of the poor in Venezuela, and clean hands that would otherwise be soiled by engaging with the messy, real life class struggle that is the Venezuelan revolution.

Read the full article.

22) Nordic Parliamentarians Slam Right-Wing Venezuela Violence


Dozens of parliamentarians from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland have launched a declaration calling on the international community to reject ongoing right-wing violence in Venezuela, which has since claimed at least 94 lives.

Read the full article.

There are also two articles from prior to the period that we missed that are being included.

23) We Need To Talk About Johnny Depp

Selene Nelson, The Huffington Post

Last week at Glastonbury Johnny Depp flippantly suggested assassinating President Donald Trump. The media erupted. The backlash was quick; so was Depp’s apology. But, tasteless jokes aside, this outraged reaction concealed some other significant news.

Read the full article.

24) Proud Boys toss around the shade in the Summer of White Male Grievance

Elizabeth Renzetti, The Globe and Mail

Certain summers are so eventful and singular that they are remembered by name long after. There was the Summer of Love, and at the other end of the fun spectrum, the Summer of Sam. This year is already promising to be one for the history books. I like to think of it as the Summer of White Male Grievance.

Read the full article.

See also: The Proud Boys, Omar Khadr and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List July 2 - 9

See also: Canada 150, Basic Income, the Western Wall & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List June 25 - July 2

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