Sunday, November 19, 2017

Polish Nationalist Marches, the Tar Sands, Libya and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List November 12-19

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

1) 90% of Polish Jews Died in the Holocaust. So Why Are Poland's Nationalists Chanting 'Get the Jews Out of Power'?

Maya Vinokour, Haaretz

Poland's anti-Semitic far right marches to the tune of recent nationalist myths pushed by their government, including years of official denial of Polish complicity in the death of Jews in WWII - and with a little help from Donald Trump.

Read the full article.

2) Poles Cry for ‘Pure Blood’ Again

Jan T. Gross, The New York Times

If you want a sense of where Poland could be heading, look no further than the events last Saturday in Warsaw.

Tens of thousands of people — many of them young men with crew cuts, but some parents with children, too — flocked to the Polish capital to celebrate Independence Day in a march organized in part by two neo-fascist organizations. They waved white and red Polish flags, they brandished burning torches, and they wore “white power” symbols. They carried banners declaring, “Death to enemies of the homeland,” and screamed, “Sieg Heil!” and “Ku Klux Klan!”

Read the full article.

3) “Knees Together” Judge Accompanied Ezra Levant On Trip To Train UK Rebel Staff

Graeme Gordon, Canadaland

Disgraced former Federal Court Justice Robin Camp — who infamously asked a 19-year-old homeless woman why she didn’t keep her “knees together” in a 2014 rape trial — did unpaid work for Rebel Media earlier this year, CANADALAND has learned. Camp’s work included accompanying founder Ezra Levant on an overseas trip to train new UK hires, shortly after leaving the bench.

Read the full article.

4) It’s time to call the housing crisis what it really is: the largest transfer of wealth in living memory

Laurie Macfarlane, Open Democracy

One of the basic claims of capitalism is that people are rewarded in line with their effort and productivity. Another is that the economy is not a zero sum game. The beauty of a capitalist economy, we are told, is that people who work hard can get rich without making others poorer.

Read the full article.

5) Canada's most shameful environmental secret must not remain hidden

Tzeporah Berman, The Guardian

Tar sands have been dubbed the largest – and most destructive – industrial project in human history. And Canada is on the forefront of their exploitation.

Read the full article.

6) Petition: We Support TDSB Trustees to Vote for the Full Removal of the SRO Program on November 22!

We fully support the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to vote for the removal of the SRO program from all TDSB Schools. We thank and congratulate the TDSB Staff and School Trustees that have practiced equity by listening to the voices and lived experiences of their most vulnerable and marginalized students and youth through the SRO consultation process and beyond.

Sign the petition.


David Dayen, The Intercept

BIPARTISANSHIP, LONG LEFT for dead in Washington, has struck again. And Wall Street looks to be the winner.

In the wake of the Equifax scandal, Congress has been under pressure to act. But the price of modest reforms in Washington is often much larger giveaways elsewhere, and that pattern holds true in the agreement announced Monday between nine Senate Democrats and the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee.

Read the full article.

8) Police watchdog orders Thunder Bay police to reinvestigate Ojibway man's wrongful arrest

Jorge Barrera, CBC News

Samuel Pervais was in a "good mood" that January Saturday morning. Early for a medical appointment, he bought himself a coffee from Robin's Donuts and was strolling down the sidewalk when a Thunder Bay police cruiser suddenly pulled up and blocked his path.

Read the full article.

9) Why do people care more about benefit ‘scroungers’ than billions lost to the rich?

Robert de Vries and Aaron Reeves, The Guardian

Despite the Paradise Papers’ revelations, most British people prefer to focus on the perceived crimes of the poor. We must show how tax avoidance harms us all.

Read the full article.

10) ‘Unsafe and Just Plain Dirty’: Women Accuse Vice of ‘Toxic’ Sexual-Harassment Culture

Brandy Zadrozny, Daily Beast

The Daily Beast talked to more than a dozen former and current employees about the culture for women inside Vice Media. They spoke of harassing behavior and company indifference.

Read the full article.

11) Your Ward News editor, publisher charged with promoting hatred against women and Jews, police say

CBC News

The editor and publisher of Toronto-based newspaper Your Ward News have been charged with the wilful promotion of hatred against women and Jews, according to Toronto police. 

Read the full article.

12) Julian Fantino, who once compared weed to murder, defends opening medical marijuana business

As It Happens, CBC Radio

The former police chief and politician who once compared legalizing weed to legalizing murder is defending his decision to open a company connects patients with medical marijuana.

Listen to the full interview.

13) Montreal Against the Far Right

Alain Savard, New Socialist

The streets of Montreal were taken over by more than 5,000 demonstrators on November 12 in a powerful protest against the far right. The march was festive and colourful, with two banners leading the way that read “United against hate and racism” and “Montreal Antifascist.”

Read the full article.

14) Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And There’s Nothing Funny About It

Leeann Tweeden, 790 KABC

In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. My father served in Vietnam and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a ‘little piece of home’ to servicemembers stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege.

Read the full article.

15) 'It Was Clearly Intended to Be Funny but Wasn't'

David Sims, The Atlantic

Al Franken’s apology—in response to the accusation that he groped a woman—deployed, in part, a "joke" defense often used to explain misbehavior.

Read the full article.

16) Al Franken Should Resign Immediately

Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

On Thursday morning, Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden wrote a disturbing article alleging that Sen. Al Franken sexually harassed her on a 2006 USO tour. According to Tweeden, Franken coerced her into “rehearsing” a kiss for a skit, then forcefully stuck his tongue in her mouth. She also provided a photograph of Franken appearing to grope her while she slept.

Read the full article.

17) The Guardian view on Yemen: a catastrophe that shames Britain

The Guardian Editorial Board

The world’s worst humanitarian crisis is deteriorating as a Saudi blockade prevents desperately needed food, fuel and medicine from entering the country. London’s unstinting support for Riyadh makes the UK complicit.

Read the full article.

18) Starved, 'mutilated' and blackmailed migrants auctioned off as slaves by smugglers in Libya

Lara Rebello, International Business Times

Slave markets are springing up across Libya trading impoverished African migrants who have arrived on the Mediterranean coast dreaming of a new life in Europe. A new investigation has revealed people are being sold as modern-day slaves for as little as £300 ($400).

Read the full article.

19) Richard Leonard wins Scottish Labour leadership in decisive victory

Severin Carrell, The Guardian

Jeremy Corbyn has strengthened his grip on the Labour party after Scottish members elected a leftwing trade unionist, Richard Leonard, as their seventh leader in the past decade.

Read the full article.

20) TED talks conferences plagued with sexual harassment complaints

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Danielle Paquette, The Toronto Star

When Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor who now campaigns against sexual harassment, took the stage at a TED event this month, she described 2017 as a tipping point in the fight against workplace misconduct.

Read the full article.

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

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

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