Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List February 18 - March 4, with a Special Memorial Section for James Laxer

This period'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. In a departure from our usual weekly format, this post covers two weeks as there was not a post last week.

It also begins with a memorial section with some articles and remembrances about my father, James Laxer, including a few photos and editorial cartoons.

This list covers the period of  February 18 - March 4. 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.

In Memoriam: James Laxer 1941 - 2018

James Laxer -- Canadian iconoclast 1941-2018

Michael Laxer, The Left Chapter

James Laxer, my father, died suddenly and unexpectedly in Paris on Friday, February 23, 2018 doing what he loved most -- working on a new book about Canadian history while travelling with his constant companion and spouse, Sandy Price.

Read the full article.

James Laxer, one-time NDP leadership candidate, dead at 76

Alanna Rizzo, The Toronto Star

James Laxer, an author, York University professor and former federal NDP leadership candidate, has died at the age of 76.

Read the full article.

Mel Watkins: Reflections on Jim Laxer

Mel Watkins, Rabble

Let me share with you how I came to know Jim Laxer almost 50 years ago, for he had a powerful effect that has never left me.

Read the full article.

James Laxer and the movement he helped create

Karl Nerenberg, Rabble

Just before the recent NDP convention, this writer harkened back to the 1970s when the Waffle movement within the NDP caused a major rift in the party.

Read the full article.

Remembering Jim Laxer

Barry Weisleder & Bob Lyons, NDP Socialist Caucus

Accolades have been flooding social media since the untimely passing of longtime socialist activist, writer and professor Jim Laxer on Friday. Below are two articles about Brother Jim written by friends who knew him for decades.  The NDP Socialist Caucus wishes Jim’s family and friends heartfelt condolences during this period of great loss.

Read the full article.

The Reading List

1) Prime Minister Trudeau is Still Right, Alberta's Oil Should be Nationalized

Wes Regan

The national interest, we're hearing that term a lot right now from Rachel Notley, Prime Minister Trudeau and those others who are eager to see the Kinder Morgan pipeline twinned. So what is it? And is this controversial pipeline truly reflective of it?

Read the full article.

2) If paying for sex is wrong in Haiti, why do we still tolerate it in the UK?

Catherine Bennett, The Guardian

Finally, something on which we can agree: charity officials ought not to buy sex. No one, so far, seems prominently to have argued, of the Oxfam employees’ misconduct in Haiti and Liberia, that, providing their female purchases were adult, and not coerced, then their prostitution should rightly be called sex work, that is: a perfectly dignified transaction, from which both sides – say, impoverished survivors of a disaster and benevolent male humanitarians – stood to benefit.

Read the full article.

3) The Honduran Election Crisis

Jeff Abbott, Briarpatch

On the morning of December 15, 2017, spontaneous protests erupted across Honduras, and the poor neighbourhood of Villanueva in the capital of Tegucigalpa was at the centre of the actions. Protesters, many of them wearing improvised gas masks, had arrived early that morning to establish a barricade of burning tires on the main road that cuts through the neighbourhood. Black smoke hung thick in the air and chants of “Fuera JOH” – “Down with Juan Orlando Hernández” – rang through the streets.

Read the full article.

4) The Crisis of Social Democracy: From Norway to Europe

 Asbjørn Wahl, Socialist Project Bullet

The crisis of social democracy is being debated throughout Europe. Several of the historically strong labour parties have almost been wiped out in elections while others seem unable to recover from defeat. In the last few years, a number of social democratic parties have ended up with only one-digit election results (Greece, Ireland, Iceland, The Netherlands, France), while others have experienced major setbacks. The Norwegian Labour Party, for example, has experienced two of its worst elections – 2001 and 2017 – since the 1920s. Significant parts of the trade union movement believe that the party made serious blunders in what should have been an easy victory during last year’s parliamentary elections.

Read the full article.

5) From Spain to Germany and Italy, the outflanked centre-left cannot hold

Jon Henley, The Guardian

These are troubling times for Europe’s social democrats. Centre-left parties face fresh threats next Sunday, when Italians will vote in their first general election for five years and Germany will learn whether its centre-left SDP will approve a new coalition with Angela Merkel’s centre-right CDU.

Read the full article.

6) 'The time for reconciliation is over': South Africa votes to confiscate white-owned land

Frank Chung, New Zealand Herald

South Africa's parliament has voted in favour of a motion that will begin the process of amending the country's Constitution to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation.

Read the full article.

7) ‘This is about begging for our lives’: Parkland students reveal plan to destroy politicians in bed with NRA

David Edwards, Raw Story

Survivors from the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida said on Sunday that they expect students around the country to stand up against and “shame any politicians taking money from NRA and using us for collateral.”

Read the full article.

8) Socialists are Internationalists: A Response to DSA’s Recent Article

Brandy Baker, North Star

The word “socialism” was 2015’s most searched term. This can be attributed to the Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic Party nomination for President. With this peak interest in socialism came waves of people becoming politically engaged for the first time.

Read the full article.

9) A less timid version of Justin Trudeau won’t cut it. The NDP must be bolder

Martin Lukacs, The Guardian

At the New Democratic Party’s convention this weekend in Ottawa, their new leader Jagmeet Singh declared “the time to be timid was over.” For a party whose shambling meekness in the last election let Justin Trudeau claim the mantle of progressive champion, such a shift could not come sooner.

Read the full article.

10) UML, Maoist Centre to unify; strike seven point agreement

The Himalayan Times

The ruling coalition partners, CPN-UML and CPN Maoist Centre, have finally reached an agreement on unification of the two parties and signed a seven point agreement on the modality of the unification.

Read the full article.

11) Canada's #MeToo Movement Stretches Limits Of Sexual Assault Support Centres

Emma Paling, The Huffington Post

The #MeToo movement has sparked a surge in demand for sexual assault services across Canada, but organizations that support survivors are struggling to keep up.

Read the full article.

12) How the Maple Leafs can get on the right side of #MeToo

Kate Reddy Taylor, The Globe and Mail

Unbeknownst to those watching the Toronto Maple Leafs on television, each time there is a break in the game, a troupe of beautiful young women take to the rink wearing tight, low-cut hockey sweaters, leggings and leg warmers, and shovel snow from the ice. They are called the "Ice Girls." While they do perform a practical function, these women, with their body-hugging outfits and perfectly styled hair bouncing over their shoulders, are clearly not there because of their shovelling skills.

Read the full article.

13) Two of John Worboys' victims just won a human rights case that reminded me why I came to feminism in the first place

Julie Bindel, The Independent

I came to feminism partly because of police failures. During the 1970s and into 1980, Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, killed at least 13 women and left seven others for dead. Complacent police officers overlooked vital clues, and inadequate technology was used to collate the thousands of interviews and intelligence reports they gathered.

Read the full article.

14) Protocols needed for care of intoxicated patients: inquest

Michelle McQuigge, Canadian Press

An inquest probing the circumstances surrounding the 2012 death of an Ontario Indigenous woman is recommending stricter protocols for handling intoxicated patients.

Read the full article.

15) A Consensus Emerges: Russia Committed an “Act of War” on Par With Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Should the U.S. Response Be Similar?

Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

IN THE WAKE of last week’s indictments alleging that 13 Russian nationals and entities created fake social media accounts and sponsored political events to sow political discord in the U.S., something of a consensus has arisen in the political and media class (with some notable exceptions) that these actions not only constitute an “act of war” against the U.S., but one so grave that it is tantamount to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Indeed, that Russia’s alleged “meddling” is comparable to the two most devastating attacks in U.S. history has, overnight, become a virtual cliché.

Read the full article.

16) Trudeau’s Orwellian logic: We reduce emissions by increasing them

Mark Jaccard, The Globe and Mail

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley accuse B.C. Premier John Horgan of sabotaging Canada's climate plan, making him responsible for our continued planet-threatening greenhouse-gas emissions. But what exactly is Mr. Horgan's climate crime? He is resisting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, a GHG-increasing fossil-fuel project. George Orwell would have fun unpacking this black-is-white logic.

Read the full article.

17) Polish PM pays respects to Nazi collaborators underground group

Itamar Eichner and AP, YNet News

Photo posted on Morawiecki's Twitter shows him paying his respects to the Holy Cross Mountains Brigade, which collaborated with the Wehrmacht near the end of WWII; spokesman for Polish opposition party: underground force contributed to tarnishing Poland’s international image.

Read the full article.

18) Ontario Minimum Wage Hike Not Behind Job Losses, Scotiabank Study Finds

Daniel Tencer, The Huffington Post

Though the losses were steep, they weren’t where they should have been if they had been caused by a minimum wage hike.

Read the full article.

19) He Became A Celebrity For Putting Science Before God. Now Lawrence Krauss Faces Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct.

Peter Aldhous, Azeen Ghorayshi & Virginia Hughes, BuzzFeed

Lawrence Krauss is a famous atheist and liberal crusader — and, in certain whisper networks, a well-known problem. With women coming forward alleging sexual harassment, will his “skeptic” fanbase believe the evidence?

Read the full article.

20) Here are 6 awful details being omitted from Billy Graham’s fawning obituaries

Martin Cizmar, The Raw Story

Billy Graham, the firebrand evangelical who helped usher in the rise of the evangelical right, is dead at 99.

Read the full article.

21) James and Smith-Pelly both victims of insidious form of racism

Donnovan Bennett, Sportsnet

By now you are probably aware of this past weekend’s incident involving Devante Smith-Pelly. The Washington Capitals forward had racially-motivated taunts of “basketball” yelled at him by Chicago Blackhawks while seated in the penalty box.

Read the full article.

22) 'Science is being ignored:' prominent Alberta professor sides with B.C. on pipeline

Clare Hennig, CBC News

Despite the tough stance from Alberta Premier Rachel Notley about Kinder Morgan Canada's pipeline expansion, a prominent Alberta academic is taking British Columbia's side in the dispute.

Read the full article.

23) Up to us to create justice for Tina

Melissa Martin, Winnipeg Free Press

It was bitterly cold outside the courthouse, which in a way seemed right, as if all the warmth had leached out of the world and vanished into the night. What remained: a gnawing absence, a silence and a cruel and indifferent wind.

Read the full article.

24) Momentum bid for key Labour post exposes tension with Unite

Jessica Elgot, The Guardian

Len McCluskey once joked that Labour MPs were so paranoid about the closeness of Unite and Momentum, they were worried about “a secret tunnel linking Unite HQ to Jon Lansman’s home”.

Read the full article.

25) Jeremy Corbyn supporters launch campaign to bring back Labour's historic Clause IV and 'end capitalism'

Benjamin Kentish, The Independent

Hundreds of supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have launched a campaign to reinstate the historic Clause IV of Labour’s constitution in an attempt to “end capitalism and bring about the socialist transformation of society”

Read the full article.

26) What Italy’s “Potere al Popolo” Can Teach Us About Building a Popular Party of the Left

Valentina Dallona, In These Times

This party is rejecting the false choice between a Europe united under the misery of austerity, or one united under the horrors of racism and bigotry.

Read the full article.


David Gilbert, Vice News

“Crazy,” “weird,” and “wacky.” That’s how scientists are describing the temperature in the Arctic.

Read the full article.

28) What Could a Left Presidency Look Like in Mexico?

Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, The Socialist Project Bullet

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) could become Mexico’s first progressive president in generations, but what would such a presidency actually look like? It is not an easy question to answer, though his time as leader of Mexico’s largest city could offer some insights. Between 2000 and 2005, Lopez Obrador headed the government of Mexico City. In a position akin to mayor, AMLO ran a city that today boasts a population of 8.9 million people in the city proper, and 20 million people if the surrounding greater urban area is included. In short, Mexico City is a country within a country.

Read the full article.

29) Canada’s Social Democratic Party Suppress ‘Palestine Resolution’

Yves Engler, The Palestine Chronicle

They came, mostly young people, to fight for justice. They came to support the rule of international law, to help solve a longstanding injustice through non-violent means; they came to tell an oppressed people you have not been forgotten; they came to do what is right for a left wing political party; they came to speak truth to power.

Read the full article.

30) If the Supreme Court rules against unions, conservatives won’t like what happens next

Shaun Richman, The Washington Post

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard the case Janus vs. AFSCME, with the fate of the labor movement seemingly in the balance. At stake are agency fees — public sector unions can collect fees for service from employees who don’t join the union that represents them, which the plaintiff argues is an unconstitutional act of compelled speech.

Read the full article.

31) Budget's second-parent leave not equal: experts

Tara Deschamps, Canadian Press

The federal budget might have been sold on its female-friendly features, but business experts say it still falls short in solving the wage gap because the formula it uses to calculate employment insurance still favours men over women.

Read the full article.

32) Children’s advocates say family courts unfairly favor fathers, even when they’re the abusers

Rebecca Addison, Pittsburgh City Paper

“It’s really the same story of the #metoo movement, just in a much more dire setting where children are at stake.”

Read the full article.

33) BC Liberal MLA: Why Preserve Indigenous Languages When You Can Hire ‘Hundreds’ of Police Instead?

Press Progress

A BC Liberal MLA is doubling-down on his suggestion British Columbia should not invest in “Indigenous language preservation” because the money would be better spent hiring police to crackdown on crime in “First Nations communities” instead.

Read the full article.

34) West Virginia teachers won't back down

Michael Mochaidean, Socialist Worker

Thousands of teachers stunned West Virginia politicians and employers by launching a strike on February 22 in a fight against a miserable pay increase and a freeze on scheduled improvements to health insurance benefits. But they had another surprise in store when the walkout continued into this week in every part of the state.

Read the full article.

35) ‘I Live Paycheck to Paycheck’: A West Virginia Teacher Explains Why She’s on Strike

Jess Bidgood, The New York Times

Public schools in West Virginia were closed for a sixth day on Thursday, as teachers striking over health care costs and pay largely rebuffed a deal this week between Gov. James C. Justice and union leadership aimed at getting them back to school.

Read the full article.

36) Canada’s richest citizens give the least to charity

Bob Ramsey, The Toronto Star

While the rich are growing richer, their generosity is getting poorer — not just compared to those earning much less than them, but compared to what they gave in years past.

Read the full article.

See also: Parkland, Colten Boushie, the NDP, Oxfam and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List February 11-18

No comments:

Post a Comment