Sunday, November 12, 2017

Paradise Papers, Texas Massacre, Catalonia and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List November 5 - 12

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  November 5 -12. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) Billionaires' law firm helped wage 'Kill Bill' campaign to block offshore tax legislation

 Harvey Cashore, Chelsea Gomez, Gillian Findlay, CBC News

A Montreal law firm representing clients closely connected to the federal Liberal Party was a leading player in a campaign to block offshore tax legislation passed by the House of Commons, a CBC News/Toronto Star investigation has found.

Read the full article.

2) Blue-chip law firm Appleby explored connecting tax haven to Halifax, leaked documents show

Marco Chown Oved, Andrew Bailey, Valerie Ouellet, The Toronto Star

New leak reveals 3,000-plus Canadians, including three former prime ministers, had links to offshore business.

Read the full article.

3) Canada Revenue Agency fought to keep tax-gap data secret

Alex Boutilier, Robert Cribb, The Toronto Star

Dozens of pages of correspondence between three different parliamentary budget officers and CRA officials, obtained by a Toronto Star/CBC investigation, detail a five-year battle for data that has ended in a stalemate — and no information shared.

Read the full article.

4) All The Elite Hypocrisy Revealed By the Paradise Papers So Far

Mark Wilding, Vice

There are a number of reasons why you might want to put your money in an offshore fund, but chief among them has to be the offer of secrecy. After all, who wants other people getting all up in their financial affairs? It must be more than slightly annoying, then, that the inner workings of the world's leading offshore law firms keep getting leaked to the world's media.

Read the full article.

5) Tax avoidance may be legal but it’s bankrupting our social order

Owen Jones, The Guardian

The Paradise Papers show tax avoiders thrive by exploiting legal loopholes, at the expense of a state they refuse to contribute to. This rotten system must be replaced.

Read the full article.

6) Canada Legal Fight May ‘Destroy the Faith’ in First Nations Treaties

Dan Levin, The New York Times

The indigenous groups thought they had reached a deal: A vast landscape in the north of Yukon Territory would be mostly set aside for preservation, with only a small percentage allotted to industrial development.

But then the Yukon government decided to push aside this recommendation agreed to by a joint government-indigenous commission.

Read the full article.

7) 'I'm not signing it': Correctional officer says superiors tried to buy her silence after week of 'hazing'

Erica Johnson, CBC News

A B.C. correctional officer says superiors tried to buy her silence by offering her a plum job in exchange for signing a "gag order" that would prevent her from discussing settlement details after a controversial training camp.

Read the full article.

8) Criminal justice system is failing women

Hilla Kerner, The Vancouver Sun

We, the women who work in rape-crisis centres, didn’t need the #MeToo campaign to know how common it is for women to experience sexual assault and rape. Being a girl and a woman in this world means we are likely to be sexually assaulted. If we are poor, or Indigenous, or women of colour, or women with cognitive or physical disabilities, we are even more likely to be sexually assaulted — it’s almost guaranteed.

Read the full article.

9) Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies

Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker

In the fall of 2016, Harvey Weinstein set out to suppress allegations that he had sexually harassed or assaulted numerous women. He began to hire private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose the allegations. According to dozens of pages of documents, and seven people directly involved in the effort, the firms that Weinstein hired included Kroll, which is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to its literature.

Read the full article.

10) 'Fed up with the old boys' club': Women elected to top municipal jobs across Quebec

Claire Loewen, CBC News

7 of 18 borough mayors elected in Montreal are women, as are many city councillors and other Quebec mayors

Read the full article.

11) Good guys and bad guys

Robert Jensen, Feminist Current

We have to let go of a comforting illusion — that there is some bright line between men who rape and men who don’t rape, between the bad guys and the good guys.

Read the full article.

12) After Texas Massacre, Drexel Prof. Asks: “What Makes White Men So Prone to This Kind of Behavior?”

Democracy Now

Sunday’s shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was one of the deadliest mass shootings in Texas state history. It comes only a month after the shooting massacre in Las Vegas, where another white man, Stephen Paddock, opened fire on concertgoers, killing 59 people, including himself. The majority of mass shootings are carried out by white men. For more on the connections between race, white supremacy and mass shootings, we speak to George Ciccariello-Maher, political science professor at Drexel University and the author of “Decolonizing Dialectics.” He was banned from campus after questioning why mass shootings in the United States are almost always carried out by white men.

Read the full transcript/ watch the interview

13) Texas shooting: It’s not Muslims, Mexicans or immigrants making the US unsafe – it’s men

Yas Necati, The Independent

Not only are most adult mass shooters in the US men, but most school shooters are boys too. And not only are many adult male shooters perpetrators of domestic or sexual violence, but young boys can be too.

Read the full article.

14) I left the misogynist film industry after I was raped

Winnie M Li, The Guardian

I’m not the only woman whose career has been thwarted. But with so few women in the industry, we’re missing important female-led narratives.

Read the full article.

15) Democratic Socialists Just Won a Huge Victory in Virginia

Andrew Romans, Revere Press

Lee Carter’s (D) election victory was a shocking upset for experts, who predicted that Republican incumbent Jackson Miller would likely win. Carter ran unapologetically on pursuing a single payer healthcare system for Virginia and limiting corporate influence in politics, echoing policy positions taken by Sen. Bernie Sanders in last year’s Democratic primary.

Read the full article.


Zaid Jilani, Ryan Grim, Rachel M. Cohen, The Intercept

A CIVIL RIGHTS attorney who delights in suing the police is the new district attorney in Philadelphia. A democratic socialist shocked an incumbent Republican in Virginia. A black woman who prosecuted a white cop for shooting a black teenager was re-elected as prosecutor. Three months after Charlottesville, a black lieutenant governor was elected in Virginia. A transgender woman who focused on traffic problems knocked out a longtime culture warrior who focused on bathrooms. A criminal justice reformer flipped the Washington state Senate to Democrats. A wet bag of mulch beat a race-baiting lobbyist in Virginia by a stunning nine points. Maine voters expanded Medicaid. Long-held Republican seats in Georgia flipped in a special election. New Jersey, finished with Gov. Chris Christie, elected a Democrat in a landslide.

Read the full article.

17) Kneeling for missing, murdered indigenous women

Nathan Delong, The Aquinian

Many people have seen the kneels that National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers has taken during the national anthem to protest racial oppression and police brutality in the United States.

Read the full article.

18) Quebec's face-covering law heads for constitutional challenge

Benjamin Shingler, CBC News

Civil liberties advocates have launched a legal challenge over the constitutionality of Quebec's face-covering ban, arguing it "directly infringes on the freedom of religion of individuals."

Read the full article.

19) Johnstown Never Believed Trump Would Help. They Still Love Him Anyway.

Michael Kruse, Politco Magazine

Pam Schilling is the reason Donald Trump is the president.

Schilling’s personal story is in poignant miniature the story of this area of western Pennsylvania as a whole—one of the long-forgotten, woebegone spots in the middle of the country that gave Trump his unexpected victory last fall. She grew up in nearby Nanty Glo, the daughter and granddaughter of coal miners. She once had a union job packing meat at a grocery store, and then had to settle for less money at Walmart. Now she’s 60 and retired, and last year, in April, as Trump’s shocking political ascent became impossible to ignore, Schilling’s 32-year-old son died of a heroin overdose. She found needles in the pockets of the clothes he wore to work in the mines before he got laid off.

Read the full article.

20) Mother of Four Found Dead in Freezing Home After Her Welfare Was Cut Off

Sirin Kale, Broadly Vice

38-year-old Elaine Morrall had her welfare payments stopped after missing an interview with officials, her mother claims. She later died, wearing a coat and scarf, in a home she couldn't afford to heat.

Read the full article.

21) An Open Letter to (Male) Chefs

Tom Colicchio, Medium

The recent ‘revelations’ of rampant harassment in the restaurant industry weren’t exactly a shocker to the women working in it. Or the men, for that matter.

Read the full article.

22) I was harassed at the New Republic. I spoke up. Nothing happened.

Sarah Wildman, Vox

In my mid-20s, I was an assistant editor toiling on the lower rungs of the New Republic, working late nights and long shifts. One evening, most of the staff went to a bar after work. The usual lines of banter were soon crossed; the teasing turned darkly sexual. As the night progressed, Leon Wieseltier, the magazine’s intellectual luminary and literary editor, cornered me, alone by the bathroom, and put his mouth on mine. I clapped my hand over my mouth in surprise. “I’ve always known you’d do that,” I recall he said.

Read the full article.

23) Resisting a climate of misogyny

 Andrea Harden-Donahue, National Observer 

 Michael Joyce

Dallas Gagnon

John Roberts

Josh Casey

These are names on the Facebook profiles that sent me misogynistic and violent messages over a span of a few days.

Read the full article.

24) How the Myth of the Artistic Genius Excuses the Abuse of Women

Amanda Hess, The New York Times

To some, assessing an artist’s work in light of his biography is blasphemous. But it’s time to do away with the idea that they’re separate.

Read the full article.

25) 'We're not lazy, we're old': 71-year-old worker at Costco wins right to sit on the job

CBC News

After being ordered to stay on his feet or go home, a 71-year-old sample server at Costco has won the right to use a bench at work.

Read the full article.

26) Why Louis CK’s Statement is Worse Than You Think

Jade Blair, Fashion Magazine

Louis CK’s public statement is being lauded as an excellent example of an apology, but does he ever say sorry?

Read the full article.

27) Louis C.K.’s Public Statement Unnervingly Misunderstands the Concept of Consent

Christina Cauterucci, Slate

After a month of writing almost exclusively about sexual harassment, a week of listening to powerful men explain how they shrugged when confronted with a predator in their workforce, and 24 hours of watching right-wingers contort their moral codes to defend child molestation, Louis C.K.’s attempt to justify his sexual abuse hit me like a glob of saliva to the face.

Read the full article.

28) Sexual harassment commonplace for women on Parliament Hill, MPs say

Laura Stone, Erin Anderssen, The Globe and Mail

In her first year on Parliament Hill in 2011, Conservative MP Michelle Rempel began hearing the rumours.

Read the full article.

29) Allowing #MeToo To Go Viral Is The Biggest Mistake The Establishment Ever Made

Caitlin Johnstone, Medium

Louis CK has just released a statement on the sexual misconduct accusations that have been levelled at him by various women, and it goes pretty much exactly as you’d expect it to go if you’re familiar with his work. He changes things up from the standard stock response powerful men generally provide in these situations, says that the stories are true, explains why what he did was wrong, then launches into his “gosh I’m such an awful person” lovable loser schtick that his fans have already come to adore.

Read the full article.

30) Ellen Page accuses Brett Ratner of sexual harassment

CBC News

Canadian actress Ellen Page is sharing stories of having suffered sexual harassment and assault at work, including accusing Brett Ratner of making aggressive and inappropriate sexual comments to her and others on the set of X-Men: The Last Stand.

Read the full article.

31) Health minister dodges questions on pregnant woman's search for doctor

Carolyn Ray, CBC News

Nova Scotia's health minister says the case of a pregnant Cape Breton woman who could not find a family doctor is an exception, and the Liberals' long-term plans to improve health care in the province will make a difference.

Read the full article.

32) New Mass Resistance as Spanish State Jails Catalan Ministers

Dick Nichols, Socialist Project Bullet

Judge Carmen Lamela of Spain's National High Court – direct descendant of the fascist Franco-era Court of Public Order – took the war of the Spanish state against the Catalan pro-independence government to a new level of judicial violence on November 2.

Read the full article.

33) Report: Police Have Sufficient Evidence to Charge Netanyahu With Bribery


Sources in the Israel Police believe there is sufficient evidence to charge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with bribery for accepting hundreds of thousands of shekels’ worth of gifts from wealthy businessmen, Israel Channel 10 News reported on Friday.

Read the full article.

34) Polish Nationalist Youth March Draws Thousands in Capital

Drew Hinshaw, The Wall Street Journal

Tens of thousands of Poles marched across downtown Warsaw on Saturday, in an independence-day procession organized by a nationalist youth movement that seeks an ethnically pure Poland with fewer Jews or Muslims.

Read the full article.

While the last three articles are from prior to the period, we include them as they are important reads:

35) Why do women get all attractive if they don't want to be harassed? Glad you asked

Heidi Stevens, The Chicago Tribune

A man named Steve emails me every now and then to take issue with something I’ve written. He checked in a few weeks ago after I wrote about the #MeToo movement, which was inspired by sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

Read the full article.

36) Legalized Prostitution In Germany Looks Like A Living Nightmare 

 Manuela Schon, Fight the New Drug

When German anti-prostitution advocates talk about the situation of prostitution in Germany, we hear the same responses, over and over: “You’ve got to be kidding!” or “How is this possible?” When we do presentations in other countries, people in the audience will often start to cry or ask for a break after 15 minutes to get some fresh air. The same presentations in Germany cause outrage as well, but we’ve noticed that people have become so accustomed to the situation, their emotional response is subdued. In fact, German men will often openly and proudly out themselves as sex buyers at abolitionist events. There is no shame in being a commercial sex buyer in Germany. This is an obvious and alarming sign that decades of legalized prostitution have shaped society.

Read the full article.

37) The Legalization of Islamophobia in Québec

Benoit Renaud, New Socialist

ON OCTOBER 18, the Québec National Assembly adopted Bill 62, making it illegal to wear a mask or any other clothing that covers the face when providing or receiving public services managed by the province or by municipalities. The law will primarily affect Muslim women who wear niqabs or a burqas.

Read the full article.

See also: Weinstein Aftermath, Catalonia Crackdown, the USSR and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List October 29-November 5

See also: Ginger Jentzen, Pope Francis, Podemos and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List October 22-29

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