Sunday, December 10, 2017

The #MeToo Movement, Jerusalem, Honduras and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List December 3 - 10

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  December 3 - 10. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

This installment has 5 entries that are from before the period. They have been integrated into the post.

1) A Women’s Revolt That Targets Far More Than Sexual Abuse

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

The press, trumpeting the lurid and salacious details of the sexual assault charges brought against powerful men, has missed the real story—the widespread popular revolt led by women, many of whom have stood up, despite vicious attacks and the dictates of legally binding nondisclosure agreements, to denounce the entitlement of the corporate and political elites. This women’s revolt is not solely about sexual abuse. It is about fighting a corporate power structure that institutionalizes and enables misogyny, racism and bigotry. It is about rejecting the belief that wealth and power give the elites the right to engage in economic, political, social and sexual sadism. It challenges the twisted ethic that those who are crushed and humiliated by the rich, the famous and the powerful have no rights and no voice. Let’s hope this is the beginning, not the end.

Read the full article.

2) Tax assessors target Canadians with diabetes, memo suggests

Bruce Campion-Smith, The Toronto Star

Federal tax assessors are clamping down on Canadians suffering type 1 diabetes to restrict their qualification for the disability tax credit, an internal memo suggests, contradicting public claims by the government that nothing has changed.

Read the full article.

3) Honduras: police refuse to obey government as post-election chaos deepens

Sarah Kinosian, The Guardian

Honduran police have announced they will refuse to obey orders from the government of the incumbent president, Juan Orlando Hernández, and will remain in their barracks until a political crisis triggered by last Sunday’s contested presidential election has been resolved.

Read the full article.


Lee Fang and Danielle Marie Mackey, The Intercept

HONDURAN PRESIDENT JUAN Orlando Hernández, using the specter of rampant crime and the drug trade, won extensive support from the American government to build up highly trained state security forces. Now, those same forces are repressing democracy.

Read the full article.

5) Paramedic service will investigate after witnesses question treatment of Yosif Al-Hasnawi

 Samantha Craggs, CBC News

Witnesses including a local Muslim leader say paramedics told a dying Hamilton man he was shot by a pellet gun and merely acting injured before he died in hospital less than an hour later.

Read the full article.

6) Jeremy Corbyn stretches Labour lead over Tories to largest gap for five months according to only pollster to call election right

Keith Perry, The Mirror

The poll by Survation, which was the only company to accurately forecast June’s General Election result, puts Labour on 45 per cent, with the Conservatives trailing on 37 per cent.

Read the full article.

7) Iceland’s new PM is a 41-year-old anti-war feminist and environmentalist

Joe Roberts, Metro UK

Iceland’s new prime minister is a 41-year-old anti-war feminist, democratic socialist, who is also an expert on crime literature.

Read the full article.

8) Living in cars, working for Amazon: meet America's new nomads

Jessica Bruder, The Guardian

Millions of Americans are wrestling with the impossibility of a traditional middle-class existence. In homes across the country, kitchen tables are strewn with unpaid bills. Lights burn late into the night. The same calculations get performed again and again, through exhaustion and sometimes tears.

Read the full article.

9) Winning Slowly Is the Same as Losing

Bill McKibben, Rolling Stone

If we don't win very quickly on climate change, then we will never win. That's the core truth about global warming. It's what makes it different from every other problem our political systems have faced. I wrote the first book for a general audience about climate change in 1989 – back when one had to search for examples to help people understand what the "greenhouse effect" would feel like. We knew it was coming, but not how fast or how hard. And because no one wanted to overestimate – because scientists by their nature are conservative – each of the changes we've observed has taken us somewhat by surprise. The surreal keeps becoming the commonplace: For instance, after Hurricane Harvey set a record for American rainstorms, and Hurricane Irma set a record for sustained wind speeds, and Hurricane Maria knocked Puerto Rico back a quarter-century, something even weirder happened. Hurricane Ophelia formed much farther to the east than any hurricane on record, and proceeded to blow past Southern Europe (whipping up winds that fanned record forest fires in Portugal) before crashing into Ireland. Along the way, it produced an artifact for our age: The warning chart that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency issued shows Ophelia ending in a straight line at 60 degrees north latitude, because the computer program never imagined you'd see a hurricane up there. "When you set up a grid, you define boundaries of that grid," a slightly red-faced NOAA programmer explained. "That's a pretty unusual place to have a tropical cyclone." The agency, he added, might have to "revisit" its mapping software.

Read the full article.

10) The price of death

Kristin Annable, Jacques Marcoux and Vera-Lynn Kubinec, CBC News

From a 22-year-old fatally injured on her second day of work at a B.C. quarry to a 65-year-old Manitoban who died just 13 days before retirement, these profiles tell the stories of a fraction of the roughly 350 people who die on the job every year in Canada.

Read the full article.

11) My Experience at Charlie Rose Went Beyond Sexism

Rebecca Carroll, Esquire

In 1997, I joined the production team of Charlie Rose’s popular interview show. I was the only black journalist on staff. At the time, there was little to no recognition of what it meant to be black and female in a workplace dominated by white men. Twenty years later, in this watershed moment of examination and reckoning as one powerful white man after another is disgraced following allegations of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault, we’re still not talking about the ramifications for black women—or the broader connection to structural racism in America.

Read the full article.

12) John Conyers resigns from Congress after sexual harassment allegations

Ben Jacobs, The Guardian

John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who is battling sexual harassment allegations from former female staffers, resigned from Congress on Tuesday, after telling a Detroit radio host: “I am retiring today.”

Read the full article.

13) Ontario police to turn over sexual assault cases for outside review

 Judy Trinh, CBC News

Advocates for women say a new pilot project — which allows outside experts in gender-based violence to review sexual assault investigations by police in Ontario and Alberta — will increase the number of charges laid and improve public trust.

Read the full article.

14) #MeToo – The Yoga Stories

Rachel Brathen, Yoga Lifestyles

I want to begin by extending my immense gratitude to every single person that has submitted a story over the past week. You are so brave. I believe you. And none of this was your fault. Thank you all for speaking up! I hope that shedding light on this issue will attribute to some sort of change. This post is not about my own #MeToo stories (I recorded a podcast episode available here if you want to listen), but about the many women (and some men) that have been courageous enough to speak up. We have received over 300 submissions and many of these individual stories name the same yoga teacher again and again.

Read the full article.

15) I Believe Franken’s Accusers Because He Groped Me, Too

Tina Dupuy, The Atlantic

The Democratic Party needs to stand with women who have been harassed—and not defend the politicians who abused them.

Read the full article.

16) Al Franken resigns from Senate over sexual misconduct allegations

Lauren Gambino, The Guardian

Senator Al Franken announced his resignation on Thursday, becoming the highest-ranking US politician yet to step down in the wake of widening allegations of sexual misconduct against powerful men in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the media and politics.

Read the full article.

17) The Silence Breakers

Time Magazine Person of the Year

Movie stars are supposedly nothing like you and me. They're svelte, glamorous, self-­possessed. They wear dresses we can't afford and live in houses we can only dream of. Yet it turns out that—in the most painful and personal ways—movie stars are more like you and me than we ever knew.

Read the full article.


 Hari Ziyad, Afropunk

A Black woman creates something, and white people credit themselves for it, after ignoring it for as long as possible. Where have we heard this before?

Read the full article.

19) AFN chiefs back resolution calling on MMIWG chief commissioner to resign

John Paul Tasker, CBC News 

First Nations chiefs have backed a resolution calling on Marion Buller, the chief commissioner of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls inquiry, to resign.

Read the full article.

20) Don’t let the Tories fool you: we must borrow to invest

Owen Jones, The Guardian

Here is a story about how crude dogma and a factually baseless political attack line are wrecking the country’s future. Britain desperately needs investment, and with interest rates this low it would be economic madness not to borrow to fund it.

Read the full article.

21) Why are America's farmers killing themselves in record numbers?

Debbie Weingarten, The Guardian

The suicide rate for farmers is more than double that of veterans. Former farmer Debbie Weingarten gives an insider’s perspective on farm life – and how to help.

Read the full article.

22) Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen?

Dylan Farrow, LA Times

We are in the midst of a revolution. From allegations against studio heads and journalists, to hotel maids recounting abuses on the job, women are exposing the truth and men are losing their jobs. But the revolution has been selective.

Read the full article.

23) All I wanted was for the government to say, ‘Yes, it’s true’

Verity Stevenson, Maclean's 

Lucie Laperle was one of the veterans invited to Ottawa for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology to LGBTQ Canadians for the state discrimination they experienced. Laperle underwent surveillance, interrogation and was institutionalized because of her sexual orientation in the Canadian Forces in the 1970s. She has been diagnosed with PTSD, determined to have been caused by what happened to her in the army. Maclean’s met with her in Shannon, north of Quebec City. This is her story, as told to reporter Verity Stevenson.

Read the full article.

24) Council votes for new shelter beds, refuses to open armouries to the homeless

David Rider, The Toronto Star

City staff say armouries are not the best option for homeless people, but advocates say opening them could save lives.

Read the full article.

25) Council rejects request to study whether Scarborough subway is good value for money

Jennifer Pagliaro, The Toronto Star

A motion from Councillor Josh Matlow to study the costs and benefits of the subway compared to the alternative failed in a 13-27 vote.

Read the full article.

26) Marriage equality law passes Australia's parliament in landslide vote

Paul Karp, The Guardian

Australia’s parliament has legislated for marriage equality, passing a bill almost unanimously to allow two people, regardless of sex, to marry.

Read the full article.

27) On a Vancouver SkyTrain full of people, just one came to help teen in religious attack

Patrick Johnston and Stephanie Ip, Vancouver Sun

When a man started yelling and hitting a young woman wearing a hijab on the Canada Line on Monday night, Jake Taylor didn’t hesitate.

Read the full article.

28) St. Thomas woman describes disturbing baseball-bat assault that hospitalized husband

Liny Lamberink and Jake Jeffrey, Global News

A woman and her family are left feeling shaken, after a shopping mall parking lot assault in St Thomas, Ont., on Thursday that’s being investigated as a racially motivated attack.

Read the full article.

29) Advocate group calls Niagara Region’s seizure of reporter’s notes, computer ‘an outrageous assault on media rights’

Alison Jones, The Canadian Press

The Niagara Region has apologized to a reporter for seizing equipment staff thought was being used to record a closed council session, an incident journalism organizations decried as an assault on press freedom.

Read the full article.

30) Brian Pallister Takes Heat After Thanking Winnipeg Chamber Of Commerce Chair For Wearing Heels


Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is taking criticism for making comments about the physical appearance of the woman who chairs the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.

Read the full article.

31) Migrant workers’ group slams NDP’s Singh for online posts on farm visit

Alex McKeen

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh fielded harsh criticism this week from a group of activists advocating for migrant workers’ rights — a cause the leader has promised to address in an upcoming party platform.

Read the full article.

32) Trump’s error on Jerusalem is a disaster for the Arab world … and the US too

Rashid Khalidi, The Guardian

Every time it seems Donald Trump cannot outdo himself, he does it again. Now he has announced that his administration will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing nearly seven decades of American policy. This step will have multiple negative ramifications, many impossible to predict.

Read the full article.

33) How will US Jerusalem move affect Israel's far right?

Jonathon Cook, Al Jazeera

Trump's recognition this week of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, overturning seven decades of US policy in the region and effectively ending hopes of a two-state solution, has provoked dire warnings.

Read the full article.

34) Charlottesville: Where's the $200,000 the DSA raised?

 Creede Newton, Al Jazeera

Allie was among the 19 people injured when white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr allegedly drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.

Read the full article.


Robyn Doolittle, The Globe and Mail

In February, after a 20-month investigation, The Globe found that one in five sexual-assault allegations reported in Canada is dismissed as unfounded. Now, law-enforcement agencies are reviewing more than 37,000 cases and many are pledging to revamp their approach to policing sexual violence. But for some police services, it’s still status quo.

Read the full article.

36) Honduras: Government deploys dangerous and illegal tactics to silence population

Amnesty International

The Honduran government is deploying dangerous and illegal tactics to silence any dissenting voices in the aftermath of one of the country’s worst political crisis in a decade, including preventing lawyers and human rights activists from visiting detained demonstrators, Amnesty International said after a visit to the country following contested presidential elections on 26 November.

Read the full article.

37) US Looking to Divide Honduran Opposition: Ex-President Zelaya


Former president of Honduras and coordinator of the Opposition Alliance against the Dictatorship Manuel Zelaya denounced that spokespeople for the Organization of American States asked the opposition presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla to disassociate himself from Zelaya "for being a Chavista and promoting Democratic Socialism."

38) Donald Trump and America’s new civil war

Omar El Akkad, The Globe and Mail

Barack Obama's presidency was supposed to mark a great leap forward for the United States. But, as Omar El Akkad discovered as he travelled across America this year, the election of Donald J. Trump has turned the country against itself. Scenes from a divided nation.

Read the full article.

39) #MeToo means I can be honest about why I skip office Christmas parties

Jean Hannah Edelstein, The Guardian

No, I’m not going to the office Christmas party this year, and yes, I’m feeling pretty happy about it. Thanks to the current cultural moment, in which we’re being more open about sexual assault than ever before, I feel safe being open this year about the fact that it’s because I was sexually assaulted at an office Christmas party. And though it’s a long time since I worked for that company – I left less than a year later – the thought of colleagues and alcohol and Christmas lights still makes my blood run cold.

Read the full article.

40) Why approving Site C could sink NDP

Damien Gillis, Common Ground

It’s getting down to the wire for the NDP-led government to announce its decision on Site C Dam. The corporate media and some big guns for labour have been making a sales push to throw the beleaguered project a lifeline and many fear they could succeed. That would be the biggest mistake the NDP could make. They didn’t create this monster, but they will own the consequences if they keep it alive.

Read the full article.

See also: Honduras, the #MeToo Movement, the OFL & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List November 26 - December 3

See also: Transit, Housing, Climate Change & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List November 19-26

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