Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tim Hortons, BDS and Israel, Donald Trump and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 7 - 14

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  January 7 - 14. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

This installment has one entry from before the period. It has been integrated into the post.

1) Relax, Ontario’s minimum wage increase will not lead to massive job losses

Vanmala Subramaniam, Vice

The overwhelmingly alarmist rhetoric regarding Ontario’s recent minimum wage increase is due largely to a misinterpretation of basic facts, say two prominent Canadian bank economists.

Read the full article.

2) Labour council flooded with complaints about responses to minimum wage laws

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

Forty eight hours after setting up a hotline for workers, the Ottawa and District Labour Council said Sunday it had already heard complaints about more than 20 Ottawa businesses potentially acting as what it calls “corporate bullies” in response to new Ontario minimum wage laws.

Read the fill article.


David Climenhaga, Alberta Politics

Having quite possibly won the next Ontario general election for Premier Kathleen Wynne and her admittedly long-in-the-tooth Liberal government, the association of perpetually infuriated rogue Tim Hortons franchisees half-heartedly tried to walk back last week’s plan to beat the crap out of their employees because the government had raised the minimum wage in the province to $14 an hour.

Read the full article.

Roll out your rights! Stand with Tim Hortons workers! To reach a UFCW Canada organizer please contact our toll-free number at 1.866.977.0772 or visit

4) BDS Blacklist: Sadly, Now Might Be the Time for Jews to Boycott Israel

Mira Sucharov, Haaretz

The entry blacklist means Israel is effectively turning the screws in the prison of occupation a few notches tighter, as it continues to inch away from its self-declared commitment to being a democracy.

Read the full article.

5) So much for 'happily ever after': Sears pensioners stagger under stress of cuts

Meghan McCabe, CBC News

Ron Husk pulls onto the parking lot of Home Depot in St. John's, backs his car in, and totters into another day of his part-time job as a greeter, lunch pail in hand.

Read the full article.

6) Disgust Follows Pictures of Seinfeld at 'Anti-Terror Fantasy Camp' in Occupied West Bank

John Queally, Common Dreams

American actor and comedian Jerry Seinfeld became the target of ire among Palestinian rights advocates worldwide on Monday after it was revealed he recently visited an "anti-terrorist training camp" located inside an illegal Israeli settlement in the Occupied West Bank.

Read the full article.

7) 'Outrageous': Demanding Pay Raises for Educators Over Superintendent, Teacher Pushed to Ground and Arrested

Julia Conley, Common Dreams

A middle school language arts teacher was handcuffed and pushed to the ground in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana on Monday night after being removed from a school board meeting for questioning her district's decision to give its superintendent a raise while teachers' salaries remain stagnant and class sizes soar.

Read the full article.

8) Why Europe’s wars of religion put 40,000 ‘witches’ to a terrible death

Jamie Doward, The Guardian

It was a terrifying phenomenon that continues to cast a shadow over certain parts of Europe even today. The great age of witch trials, which ran between 1550 and 1700, fascinates and repels in equal measure. Over the course of a century and a half, 80,000 people were tried for witchcraft and half of them were executed, often burned alive.

Read the full article.

9) Men of Hollywood, spare us your ‘solidarity’ and actually speak up, for once in your over-privileged lives

Hadley Freeman, The Guardian

A-list men tore up the sartorial rulebook and wore black tuxes to the Golden Globes to show their support for the women’s protest? Not enough, guys. Not enough

Read the full article.

10) Catherine Deneuve, let me explain why #metoo is nothing like a witch-hunt

Van Badham, The Guardian

There is nothing puritanical about the belief that sexual liberty is the right to determine your sexual behaviour without coercion.

Read the full article.

11) I Made the Pizza Cinnamon Rolls from Mario Batali’s Sexual Misconduct Apology Letter

Geraldine DeRuiter, The Everywhereist

Last night, I made cinnamon rolls. I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon rolls, per se, but this recipe was included in Mario Batali’s sexual misconduct apology letter, and so I feel compelled to make them. Batali is not the first powerful man to request forgiveness for “inappropriate actions” towards his coworkers and employees. He is not the most high profile, and he is ostensibly not even the worst offender. But he is the only one who included a recipe.

Read the full article.

12) I’m not here for celebrity culture, but I am here for Oprah

Meghan Murphy, Feminist Current

I don’t want a celebrity-driven, Hollywood-centric movement. I don’t want a movement that fails to address race and class. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want women who are actresses, who have money, or who are “celebrities” to speak out and to declare solidarity with other women. It certainly doesn’t mean I don’t want a woman like Oprah, who is powerful, who has changed lives, and who, on Sunday, used that power to speak about real women and real women’s lives — women who have historically been silenced. This was — and is — an important moment. Not everything needs to be torn apart in order to advertise progressive credibility. Sometimes good things and powerful moments can be celebrated — and this is one of those times.

Read the full article.

13) The Lefty Critique of #TimesUp Is Tired and Self-Defeating

Rinku Sen, The Nation

This year’s Golden Globes were the best kind of anomaly, as women artists and activists took it over with #TimesUp, signaling an end to silence and inaction on sexual harassment and abuse. All the women wore black; men sported #TimesUp pins. Seven celebrity actors took women activists of color as their dates to raise the visibility of particular industries and communities. The campaign has raised more than $16 million for a legal defense fund. Several winners spoke to the issue (though none of them were men), and the night ended with Oprah Winfrey’s focused and moving acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Read the full article.

13) Imagine cities that shelter people, not war

Azeezah Kanji, The Toronto Star

After weeks of protest and a petition signed by tens of thousands of people, Toronto Mayor John Tory reversed his refusal to ask that the Moss Park Armoury be opened as an emergency homeless shelter: temporarily transfiguring an edifice of war into a space of refuge.

Read the full article.

14) Venezuelan Communists Urge Radical Solutions to Current Crisis

Communist Party of Venezula

The Communist Party warns Venezuela could be headed towards a social explosion if the Maduro government fails to take decisive steps to improve the conditions of working people.

Read the full statement.

15) Jeremy Corbyn is about to transform the Labour party – again

Richard Power Sayeed, The Independent

Not many people will have noticed the news, reported on Monday morning just as Theresa May’s ill-fated reshuffle began, that Jeremy Corbyn has set up a “community campaign unit”, a small but growing department in his office that will focus on organising with communities and groups of employees, helping them to campaign on local and workplace issues.

Read the full article.

16) 'He took every penny I made,' human trafficking survivor says

 Kate Dubinski, CBC News

A survivor of human trafficking now speaks to other women and teenagers in high schools about the risks.

Read the full article.

17) What's the Deal with Men's Rights Activists and Asian Fetishes?

Alia Marsha, Vice

There are plenty of men out there who think Asian women represent some kind of super patriarchal vision of a mate—a woman who is both subservient and hyper-sexual. And until we address that problem, there will be plenty of other men like Bond, and scores of fans willing to pay good money to learn how they too can fly to Asia and pick up women. Sigh.

Read the full article.

18) Women still earn 25% less as Canada slips down global rankings

Anna Maria Tremonti, The Current

Women working full-time in Canada earn 74.2 cents for every dollar that full-time male workers made.

Read the transcript/listen to the segment.

19) US to loosen nuclear weapons constraints and develop more 'usable' warheads

Julian Borger, The Guardian

The Trump administration plans to loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons and develop a new low-yield nuclear warhead for US Trident missiles, according to a former official who has seen the most recent draft of a policy review.

Read the full article.

20) Ahed Tamimi Offers Israelis a Lesson Worthy of Gandhi

Jonathon Cook, Counterpunch

Ahed and Nabi Saleh have shown that popular unarmed resistance – if it is to discomfort Israel and the world – cannot afford to be passive or polite. It must be fearless, antagonistic and disruptive.

Most of all, it must hold up a mirror to the oppressor. Ahed has exposed the gun-wielding bully lurking in the soul of too many Israelis. That is a lesson worthy of Gandhi or Mandela.

Read the full article.

21) Dutch Reporters Stun Trump’s Ambassador By Pressing Him to Admit He Lied About “No-Go Zones”

Robert Mackey, The Intercept

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS who routinely allow the president of the United States to repeat false claims unchallenged should study the footage of how their Dutch counterparts greeted Donald Trump’s new ambassador to the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Read the full article.

22) US ambassador to The Hague apologizes for making Muslim remarks after denial

John Henley, The Guardian

Pete Hoekstra says statements about Muslim migrants in the Netherlands were ‘simply wrong’ after last month telling a TV interviewer they were ‘fake news’.

Read the full article.


Spencer Woodman, The Intercept

OFFICIALS AT A privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia locked an immigrant detainee in solitary confinement last November as punishment for encouraging fellow detainees to stop working in a labor program that ICE says is strictly voluntary.

Read the full article.

24) Tim Hortons locations hit by protests over wage clawbacks

Sara Mojtehedzadeh & Alex McKeen, The Toronto Star

Labour activists converged Wednesday on Tim Hortons restaurants to protest pay and benefit clawbacks pegged to the recent hike in Ontario’s minimum wage.

Read the full article.

25) Tim Hortons workers in Dundas lose paid breaks, Timbits after minimum wage hike

 Kelly Bennett, CBC News

Marianela Quinlan's 15-year-old child used to be able to sample a free donut or Timbit when working at a Tim Hortons in Dundas.

But in the wake of the province's higher minimum wage requirement, that perk is gone – along with her child's two paid, 15-minute breaks for every eight-hour shift. They've been replaced by a 30-minute unpaid lunch break.

Read the full article.

26) New mom Serena Williams had to talk her hospital staff through saving her life

Annalisa Merelli, Quartz

Indeed, even Serena Williams, whose body, as her husband correctly notes, “is one of the greatest things on this planet,” is just another black woman when it comes to being heard in the maternity ward—and when it comes to being dismissed.

Read the full article.

27) ANC Delegate, Commune Leader Assassinated in Venezuela

Lucas Koerner, Venezuela Analysis

Two Chavista leaders have been murdered in the past four days in what could prove to be a new round of political violence.

Read the full article.

28) Israeli Minister on Gaza Rocket Fire: The Time Has Come for Dead Palestinians


Minister Uri Ariel said Wednesday that there needs to be more dead and wounded Palestinians in Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Read the full article.

29) Israeli Minister Dubs African Migrants 'Sanitary Nuisance,' Calls for Death Sentence for Fake News


Communications Minister Ayoub Kara sparks controversy as he calls for death for propagators of fake news and speaks out against African migrants as Israel launches deportation plan.

Read the full article.

30) The UN just called Donald Trump racist

Tom Embury-Dennis, The Independent

Donald Trump's reported remark branding Haiti, El Salvador and unspecified African nations as "s***hole countries" has been branded racist by a UN human rights official.

Read the full article.

31) If authoritarianism is looming in the US, how come Donald Trump looks so weak?

Corey Robin, The Guardian

There’s little doubt that Trump’s regime is a cause for concern. But fears about authoritarianism in the US ignore political realities.

Read the full article.

See also: Ontario Minimum Wage, Black Mirror, Woody Allen and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List December 31 - January 7

See also: Ahed Tamimi, Poverty in America, the Arctic and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List December 24 - 31

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