Sunday, February 11, 2018

Justice For Colten -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List February 4-11

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  February 4 - 11. In a departure from our usual chronological format we will be leading with articles and posts related to the appalling miscarriage of justice that occurred when an all-white jury returned a verdict of "not guilty" in the killing of Colten Boushie.

1) In the trial of Gerald Stanley, an all-white jury runs from justice

Robert Jago, Media Indigena

Don’t say that this is about Saskatchewan, or the defence, or those racists over there. And don’t say that Canada failed Indigenous people—Canada just failed. It wasn’t a mob of racists that released a killer onto the streets—it was 12 regular Canadians.

Read the full article.

2) 'Enough': Colten Boushie's mom speaks out at rally

CTV News Staff

"White people -- they run the court system,” said Debbie Baptiste at a rally in North Battleford, Sask., one day after farmer Gerald Stanley was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Batiste’s son, Colten Boushie.

“Enough,” she said. “We're going to fight back ... Enough killing our people.”

Read the full article.

-Senator Murray Sinclair 

Ryan McMahon, Vice

It's hard to talk about reconciliation in a country that cannot serve you justice. It's hard to talk about reconciliation in a country where you need to fight to stay alive. It's hard to talk about reconciliation when families and communities literally don't have time to wipe away the tears from one tragedy to the next.

Kyle Edwards, Maclean's 

Put all this together, and you have a picture that for First Nations people in rural Canada is beyond discouraging: it’s downright frightening. An all-white jury believed Stanley’s side of the story, a narrative filled with holes, contradictions and details that were deemed outright impossible by experts on the stand. More than acquitting him of second-degree murder, the all-white jury decided, too, that Stanley was not guilty of manslaughter; that he was not culpable in any way in the death of Boushie; that he did not intentionally point his gun at him—this despite Chief Justice Martel Popescul stressing before deliberations that extreme recklessness is grounds for a finding of murder. The all-white jury’s acquittal implies that Stanley was justified in killing Boushie.

Is this an outcome Canadians accept?

Aidan Geary, CBC News

"This is a night when you want to give up hope. This is a night when you believe, what's the point of it? What's the point of trying to change a country that doesn't want to change?" said Niigaan Sinclair, when CBC News reached him half an hour after the verdict was delivered.

David Butt, The Globe and Mail

Trials are meant to deliver social peace, and allow us to move on after acute tragedies tinged with controversy lead to serious criminal charges. Jury trials perform these essential social functions through the rule requiring unanimous verdicts. If 12 regular folks, from the community where the tragedy occurred, listen carefully to all the evidence and arguments from both sides, then all agree on a verdict, that is about as wise a decision as can be expected. Twelve adult jurors collectively apply centuries of accumulated life experience and common sense. Jury verdicts therefore usually allow us to say – win or lose – the community has spoken with one voice, and we all must accept it and move on.

But the sad reality here is that the jury's verdict is palpably unconvincing, despite the centuries of common sense in the jury room. Because Gerald Stanley and the jurors were white, because Colten Boushie was Indigenous, and because the trial was in a community plagued by a well-documented racist/colonialist past, we can all easily doubt the integrity of the verdict.

Read the full article.

8) Fury across Canada after white farmer acquitted of killing Indigenous man

Tamara Khandaker and Hilary Beaumont, Vice

An acquittal in the shooting death of a young Indigenous man by a white farmer in Saskatchewan has left First Nations stunned and outraged, with protesters taking to the streets across Canada against what’s being seen a symbol of a racist and severely broken criminal justice system.

Read the full article.

(You can read and see The Left Chapter's account of the Toronto Justice For Colten Rally at: Justice For Colten -- Rallies and reaction to the verdict )

9) White Nationalism Is Spreading In The Orthodox Community

Elad Nehorai, Forward

Something disturbing has been happening in the Orthodox world. White Nationalist language is infiltrating our public spaces. It’s happening in our synagogues, in our communities, in our schools and, of course, online. And those of us who see it are looking on in increasing horror.

Read the full article.

10) An insider explains how rural Christian white America has a dark and terrifying underbelly

Raw Story

As the election of Donald Trump is being sorted out, a common theme keeps cropping up from all sides: “Democrats failed to understand white, working-class, fly-over America.”

Trump supporters are saying this. Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this. Even some Democratic leaders are saying this. It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete BS. It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to draw attention away from the real problem. The real problem isn’t East Coast elites who don’t understand or care about rural America. The real problem is that rural Americans don’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of the choices they’ve made and the horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.

Glosswitch, The New Statesman

I don’t like the films of Quentin Tarantino. I think Woody Allen’s work is rubbish, and Brett Easton Ellis’s books suck. Am I allowed to admit to this now?

12) #MeToo Has Done What the Law Could Not

Catherine MacKinnon, The New York Times

The #MeToo movement is accomplishing what sexual harassment law to date has not.

Read the full article.

13) Why aren’t grid girls being celebrated as empowered feminist icons?

Meagan Tyler, Feminist Current

How can liberal feminism celebrate the end of grid girls while continuing to argue in favour of “sex work” as an empowering choice for women?

Read the full article.

14) DPD courier who was fined for day off to see doctor dies from diabetes

Robert Booth, The Guardian

A courier for the parcel giant DPD who was fined for attending a medical appointment to treat his diabetes collapsed and died of the disease, it has emerged. Don Lane, 53, from Christchurch in Dorset, missed appointments with specialists because he felt under pressure to cover his round and faced DPD’s £150 daily penalties if he did not find cover, his widow has told the Guardian.

Read the full article.

15) Deja vu? It's looking like 1987 again for the US economy

Larry Elliott, The Guardian

It is August 1987 and the US economy is humming along. Memories of the deep recession earlier in the decade are fading fast. Tom Wolfe is about to publish The Bonfire of the Vanities, which captures perfectly Wall Street’s greedy bullishness.

Read the full article.


Chantal Da Silva, Newsweek

In the aftermath of the chaos that erupted in Philadelphia as Eagles fans tore through the streets celebrating their Super Bowl victory, many could not help but notice the difference in how the public and officials reacted to riots by fans compared to those prompted by civil unrest.

Read the full article.

17) Rachel Notley's war cry against B.C. is an ill-fated strategy

Laurie Adkin, National Observer

Premier Rachel Notley is clearly frustrated by British Columbia’s new obstacles to the expansion of pipeline capacity for transporting Alberta’s diluted bitumen to the coast and on to markets in Asia.

Read the full article.

18) Millennials Are Keeping Unions Alive

Michelle Chen, The Nation

Are you a young adult confused about your economic future? You’re not alone. The president brags of surging markets and job growth, but you’re getting rejected for every job you apply for, scrambling to pay rent, and stuck in a dead-end retail job. Maybe it’s time to take inspiration from the latest stats about millennials: Workers age 35 and under are the main component of an unprecedented surge in union membership over the past two years.

Read the full article.

19) Ottawa lent $1 billion to a mining company that allegedly avoided nearly $700 million in Canadian taxes

Marco Chown Oved, The Toronto Star

The Canadian government provided more than $1 billion in loans to a mining company that used a complex offshore business structure to allegedly avoid nearly $700 million in Canadian tax.

Read the full article.

20) Why Antonio Gramsci is the Marxist thinker for our times

George Eaton, The New Statesman

The late Italian philosopher's concept of hegemony was startlingly prescient.

Read the full article.

21) German union wins right to 28-hour working week and 4.3% pay rise

Guy Chazan, The Financial Times

German workers won a key victory in their fight for a better work-life balance when a big employers’ group agreed to demands from the country’s largest trade union for the introduction of a 28-hour working week.

Read the full article.

22) Feds trying to stop sexual misconduct lawsuit against Canadian Forces

CTV News Staff

The Trudeau government is trying to quash a class-action lawsuit that alleges rampant sexual misconduct and gender discrimination within the Canadian Armed Forces, CTV News has learned.

Read the full article.

23) News Coverage of Ontario’s Minimum Wage Increase Was Slanted Heavily Towards Business Interests

Press Progress

If you felt like media coverage of Ontario’s recent minimum wage increase skewed towards business interests at the expense of workers, the data suggests it was not your imagination at all.

Read the full article.

24) ‘A pseudo-science’: Outrage after Ontario government funds college program in homeopathy

Sharon Kirkey, The National Post

Three years ago, Ontario became the first province to regulate the practice of homeopathy to widespread criticism the government was legitimizing 'quackery'.

Read the full article.

25) Family of man shot and killed by Montreal police last June sues city

The Canadian Press

Pierre Coriolan’s family allege police were abusive and used unnecessary force in its efforts to subdue him.

Read the full article.

26) U.S. military plagued by sexual assault: #MeToo in the military

Zachary Cohen, CNN

Army Spc. Sarah Reyes' instincts had always prompted her to run toward danger, not away from it.

Read the full article.

27) Judy Chicago, the Godmother

Sasha Weiss, The New York Time

For decades, the feminist artist was pushed to the sidelines. Relevant once again, she can no longer be ignored.

Read the full article.

28) Forget ‘peoplekind.’ There’s a lot else wrong with Justin Trudeau.

Molly Roberts, The Washington Post

These politicians are miles better than the far-right alternatives. They’re miles better than Trump. But that doesn’t place them beyond reproach. Americans who call themselves progressives should hold politicians accountable to the code they keep so close, even from thousands of miles away. At the least, they shouldn’t blindly celebrate leaders who miss the mark. Think these are really liberal heroes? Come on, man — or women, or people.

Read the full article.

29) Why is there so much poverty in a rich country like Canada?

CBC Ideas

With so much wealth in the world, why is there so much poverty? Poverty slows the development of all societies, and it's obvious that we should try to eradicate it, but it still seems intractable. How can we put poverty behind us? And what does our attitude towards poverty and social mobility tell us about who we are? A discussion from the Stratford Festival.

Read/Listen to the full broadcast.

30) If the suffragettes were active today they'd be despised by the establishment elitists

Another Angry Voice

This week the political establishment and the right-wing propaganda rags have been celebrating 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act which gave some women the right to vote in General Elections for the first time.

Read the full article.

31) B.C. First Nations plan large demonstration to stop Kinder Morgan pipeline

Angela Sterritt, CBC News

B.C. First Nations groups are hoping to throw another wrench in Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline by amassing Indigenous people and their supporters on Burnaby Mountain to further delay the project.

Read the full article.

32) This Former NFL Player Is Running on a Progressive Agenda to Flip a Red District in Texas

Kate Aronoff, In These Times

Former linebacker Colin Allred is hoping to take out Republican Rep. Pete Sessions by campaigning on Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage and automatic voter registration. But first, he will have to win the upcoming Democratic primary.

Read the full article.

33) Trump’s Attack on Immigrants Is Breaking the Backbone of America’s Child Care System

 Leila Schochet, Center for American Progress

Nancy is the director of a rural Midwestern Head Start center. Like many people across the country, she is concerned about the fate of nearly 800,000 young immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. Nancy’s Head Start program employs seven teachers who are protected by DACA. She worries about how her program will continue to operate if she loses those teachers.

Read the full article.

34) This Teenager Accused Two On-Duty Cops Of Rape. She Had No Idea The Law Might Protect Them.

Albert Samaha, BuzzFeed

When Anna said she was raped by two on-duty cops, she thought it would be a simple case. She had no idea she lived in one of 35 states where officers can claim a detainee consented.

Read the full article.

35) Why Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch is utterly depressing

Nathan Robinson, The Guardian

On Wednesday, two things happened. In Syria, 80 people were killed by government airstrikes. Meanwhile, in Florida, Elon Musk fired a sports car into space. Guess which story has dominated mainstream news sites?

Read the full article.

36) The Case for Nationalizing Elon Musk

Kate Aronoff, Common Dreams

When companies like SpaceX make it big, they’d be obligated to return some portion of their gains to the public infrastructure that helped them succeed, expanding the government’s capacity to facilitate more innovative development.

Read the full article.


Ian Wilkie, Newsweek

Lost in the hyper-politicized hullabaloo surrounding the Nunes Memorandum and the Steele Dossier was the striking statement by Secretary of Defense James Mattis that the U.S. has “no evidence” that the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent Sarin against its own people.

Read the full article.

38) Former MLA dubbed 'Minister Tickles' apologizes after 5 women allege years of unwanted touching

Katie Nicholson, Kristin Annable, CBC News

Former Manitoba finance minister Stan Struthers has issued an apology after five women, including a former cabinet colleague, came forward to CBC News with allegations of unwanted touching — behaviour they say went on for years despite complaints to NDP brass.

Read the full article.

39) Former NDP MP Peter Stoffer denies sexual misconduct allegations

Adrian Humphreys, Sean Craig, Marie-Danielle Smith, The National Post

The NDP appears never to have investigated Parliament’s 'most collegial' MP over complaints about behaviour toward women.

Read the full article.

40) Rob Porter’s History of Domestic Abuse Wasn’t a Secret. It’s Just That No One Cared.

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

The cops, the FBI, and the White House chief of staff all knew, and he still continued to rise through the ranks of our government’s highest office.

Read the full article.

41) California police worked with neo-Nazis to pursue 'anti-racist' activists, documents show

Sam Levin, The Guardian

Officers expressed sympathy with white supremacists and sought their help to target counter-protesters after a violent 2016 rally, according to court documents.

Read the full article.

42) Decoding the resistance to climate change: Are we doomed?

CBC Ideas

Global warming is "fake news", or a "Chinese hoax". So says a richly funded conservative movement that's become a world-wide campaign. In her book, The Merchants of Doubt, Harvard historian of science Naomi Oreskes traces how this propaganda war started and how to fight it.

Read/Listen to the full broadcast.

43) GTA hotel workers vote to stay with union amid Unifor raiding attempts

The Canadian Press

Thousands of workers at 17 Greater Toronto Area hotels have voted against defecting to Unifor and will stay with Unite Here Local 75.

Read the full article.

44) One in five women have been sexually assaulted, analysis finds

Alan Travis, The Guardian

One in five women in England and Wales have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16, according to official analysis of violent crime figures.

Read the full article.

45) Review: '50 Shades Freed' Is an Ignorant, Poisonous Anti-Feminist Hate Anthem

TK, Pajiba

I know I’ve perhaps come off as harsh, but this movie is far worse than I’ve described. It’s irredeemably terrible. The writing is disastrously pedestrian, the dialogue rote and mawkish to the point where it feels like it was scripted by mentally defective monkeys, and the sex scenes are like a tire fire inside a robot handjob factory. I might give a slight amount of credit to Dakota Johnson for actually showing some real emotion and somehow keeping the unrelenting despair of her poor choices out of her eyes. But it’s canceled out by Dornan, a ripped and spectacular physical specimen with the charisma of a dinner plate and the acting acumen of a corpse. He’s utterly vacant in his every moment, with a variety of looks that appear to range from “is this food?” to “it’s not food”, regardless of the context. Every time he’s asked to emote, it looks like his brain is melting and no one in the room realizes it. There’s nothing to redeem Fifty Shades Freed, not even the promise of titillation. It’s like offering waffles for breakfast and then making the waffles out of misogyny and feces. Enjoy your god damn shitwaffle, America. You deserve it.

Read the full article.

See also: Police Violence and Misconduct, Colten Boushie, the Presumption of Innocence & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 28-February 4

See also: Patrick Brown, Holocaust Revisionism, the Arctic and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 21 - 28

No comments:

Post a Comment