Sunday, April 29, 2018

Toronto Misogynist Terror Attack -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List April 22 - 29

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 edition has a large number of articles and pieces focusing on the horrific misogynist terror attack in Toronto.

This list covers the week of  April 22 - 29. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

Toronto Misogynist Terror Attack

Arshy Mann, Twitter

A Facebook post is circulating that appears to be from Alek Minassian, the man charged with the Toronto van attack, that references "incels." This is a primer on the violent ideology that underlies incel culture.

North 99

Speculation abounded online in the wake of the horrific van attack in Toronto, and one voice did its utmost to ensure that speculation had an anti-Muslim tinge: foreign right-wing media and pundits.

Anti-Racist Canada

On April 23, 2018, a van swerved onto the sidewalk in Toronto in what appears to have been an intentional act. When the carnage was over, 10 people were dead and more than a dozen injured. The people killed and injured were men and women, young people and old, people of different faiths, Canadian citizens and tourists.

Read the full article.

4) "I laugh at the death of normies": How incels are celebrating the Toronto mass killing

Rachel Janik, SPLC

"That moment when this random dude killed more people than the supreme gentleman Elliot. I hope this guy wrote a manifesto because he could be our next new saint."

Read the full article.

5) Incels hail Toronto van driver who killed 10 as a new Elliot Rodger, talk of future acid attacks and mass rapes 

David Futrelle, We Hunted the Mammoth

But on the forum, one of the more egregious hangouts for incels online, many are already hailing the alleged mass murderer as one of their own.

Read the full article.

6) After Toronto attack, online misogynists praise suspect as 'new saint'

Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny, NBC News

Before allegedly killing 10 people with a van in Toronto, Alek Minassian appeared to have posted a message on Facebook that linked him to a toxic online community of misogynists that has become the source of a growing pattern of violence.

Read the full article.

7) How The Far Right Spun The Toronto Van Attack As Islamic Terrorism

Jonathan Goldsbie, Canadaland

A tweet from a CBC reporter got picked up and taken out of context.

Read the full article.

8) If incels’ violent misogyny had a role in Toronto, we mustn’t downplay it

Emer O'Toole, The Guardian

On 6 December 1989, a misogynist who claimed he was “fighting feminism” shot dead 14 women, mostly engineering students, at Montréal’s École Polytechnique. I won’t use the murderer’s name. These men want us to use their names.

Read the full article.

9) Toxic Masculinity Is At the Heart of This Darkness

Drew Brown, Vice

The two biggest massacres in the last 40 years of Canadian history have been explicitly linked to misogyny.

Read the full article.

10) Nearly every mass killer is a man. We should all be talking more about that

Gary Younge, The Guardian

After the Toronto attack, there should be a debate about toxic masculinity, and the issues of identity and rage that turn so many men towards violence.

Read the full article.

11) The misogynist ideology behind Toronto’s incel terror attack must be confronted

Arshy Mann, Xtra

It’s happened before. It shouldn’t be shocking that it would happen again.

Read the full article.

12) Incels, Alek Minassian and the dangerous idea of being owed sex

Alia E. Dastagir, USA Today

Before Alek Minassian killed 10 people, the majority of them women, by driving his van into pedestrians on a Toronto street Monday, he posted on Facebook praising mass murderer Elliot Rodger and called for an "Incel Rebellion," an uprising of men who are angry women won't have sex with them.

Read the full article. 

13) From the Montreal Massacre to the Toronto van attack: Why the reluctance to talk about male violence?

CBC Radio

On Monday, 10 people were killed and 16 others were injured in a van attack in Toronto. Alek Minassian has since been charged with 10 counts of murder in those deaths. He also faces 13 counts of attempted murder. He will be charged with three more counts of attempted murder at his next court appearance.

Read/Listen to the segment.

Rest of the Round-Up

14) Kim Stanley Robinson Makes the Socialist Case for Space Exploration

Dayton Martindale, In These Times

In an interview, the leftist sci-fi author argues that democratic space science is crucial to saving Earth.

Read the full interview.

15) Republican lawmakers threaten to jail Colorado teachers if they strike

Elham Khatami, Think Progress

Colorado teachers are preparing to stage walkouts in favor of higher wages and more education funding later this week, but Republican legislation in the state Senate could penalize them for striking — with far-reaching punishments that include fines and jail time.

Read the full article.

16) Israeli government justifies killing child protesters in Gaza: They’re not in school

Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss

The picture of Alaa Zamli, 15, is on top of this post because of his beautiful smile, which should have taken him very far in life. But he lived in Gaza, where he was killed by an Israeli sniper during the fence protests April 10. Today Ben White tweeted Zamli’s picture along with those of three other children protesters Israeli snipers have killed in Gaza.

Read the full article.

17) Israeli Troops First Shot a Gaza Journalist's Left Leg, Then His Right. And They Didn't Stop There

Gideon Levy and Alex Levac, Haaretz

His left leg was amputated in Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip, and now efforts are underway, in Istishari Arab Hospital in the West Bank, to ensure that his right leg doesn’t suffer the same fate. More than two weeks passed between the amputation of the first leg – which itself could have been prevented – and the action undertaken to save the other one. Precious time in which Israel refused to allow Yousef Kronz, the first Palestinian seriously wounded during the recent weekly protests in the Gaza Strip, to be moved to the hospital outside Ramallah. The High Court of Justice finally forced the Defense Ministry to bring this disgraceful conduct to an end and allow the transfer of the 19-year-old student and journalist from Bureij refugee camp, to that more sophisticated facility.

Read the full article.

18) From Natalie Portman to Iran, the Telltale Signs That Israel May Have a Loose Screw

Chemi Shalev, Haaretz

Thank God for Twitter. Were it not for the social media giant’s decision to suspend Member of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich’s account, his tweet clamoring for Palestinian teen provocatrice Ahed Tamimi to be shot – preferably in the knees – might have gone virtually unnoticed. The total lack of political reaction to an Israeli legislator’s call for Israel Defense Forces soldiers to commit what is essentially a war crime was not only shameful: It provided yet another sign – one of many – of the accelerating spread of lunacy in Israel’s public domain.

Read the full article.

19) Israeli Lawmaker: Palestinian Teen Tamimi 'Should Have Gotten a Bullet, at Least in the Knee'


Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager famed for slapping an Israeli soldier on camera, should have been shot, at least in the knee, Deputy Knesset Speaker Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) wrote on Twitter Saturday.

Read the full article.

20) The NDP’s Oil Problem

Gerard Di Trolio, Jacobin

On April 8, the energy company Kinder Morgan announced it was suspending plans to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline. The news should have been cause for celebration on the Canadian left. Instead, it’s only ratcheted political tensions to new heights.

Read the full article.

21) Preparing for a Hard-Right Government in Ontario

John Clarke, New Socialist

With a June Ontario election looming, it is clear that the most likely outcome is a Doug Ford-led Tory majority government. I will be the first to agree that this lamentable result might still be avoided. These are volatile times and prevailing moods can shift. However, the Ford threat is serious enough that unions and social movements would be well advised to think now in terms of how we would respond to a vicious Tory regime. It seems rather absurd to wait for the day after a grim election result to ask ourselves “what do we do now?”

Read the full article.

22) Spurned Tories cry foul over Doug Ford’s ‘brazen abuse of power’

Steve Paikin, TVO

But then, can’t political leaders just dispense with the BS about “local democracy” and “respect for the grassroots”? Every leader talks a good game about that, but almost none of them actually follows those principles. The consequence is a further erosion of public trust in politics and politicians. In this case, some very disillusioned Tory supporters are now asking themselves who they’re going to vote for. They simply can’t support their own party, which in their view has so flagrantly abused the process and disrespected local democratic traditions.

Read the full article.

23) What change looks like in a Doug Ford government

Martin Regg Cohn, The Toronto Star

Doug Ford hasn’t publicly uttered all the words spoken by Tanya Granic Allen, notwithstanding his record of vulgarisms when denigrating people who annoyed or challenged him, but the so-called straight shooter has played a double game of first embracing Granic Allen, and only later distancing himself — and never denouncing her hateful words.

Read the full article.

24) A Leaked Memo Exposed the Toronto Sun’s Secret Plan to Manufacture a Right-Wing ‘Culture War’

Press Progress

Even though polling shows Ontario voters care about healthcare and the economy, the Toronto Sun apparently has a secret plan to convince its readers that policies promoting diversity and equality are the real problems facing the province.

Read the full article.

25) The sadism of white men: Why America must atone for its lynchings

Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

Vanessa Croft was driving home after work in Gadsden, Alabama last month when she noticed something strange in her rear-view mirror. There were two huge flags bearing the starred cross of the Confederacy fluttering angrily behind her from the back of a menacing black pickup truck.

Read the full article.

26) Lynching memorial leaves some quietly seething: 'Let sleeping dogs lie'

Sam Levin, The Guardian

Black men were lynched for “standing around”, for “annoying white girls”, for failing to call a policeman “mister”. Those are just a few of the horrific stories on display at a new national memorial to lynching victims in Montgomery, Alabama.

Read the full article.

27) READ: Full declaration of North and South Korean summit


"During this momentous period of historical transformation on the Korean Peninsula, reflecting the enduring aspiration of the Korean people for peace, prosperity and unification, President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea and chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea held an Inter-Korean Summit Meeting at the 'Peace House' at Panmunjom on April 27, 2018.

Read the full declaration.

28) Yoga's Culture of Sexual Abuse: Nine Women Tell Their Stories

Matthew Remski, The Walrus

Disturbing accounts of misconduct against the founder of one of North America’s most popular forms of yoga.

Read the full article.

29) 20 killed including bride as Saudi-led coalition airstrike hits a wedding party in Yemen

Jon Sharman, Ghaida Ghantous & Ahmed al-Haj, The Independent

 At least 20 people including the bride were killed when an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a wedding party in northern Yemen, health officials have said.

Read the full article.

30) Calgary officers guilty of corruption in harassment campaign targeting mother

Meghan Grant · CBC News 

Three Calgary police officers have been found guilty of nine corruption-related offences related to the harassment of a local mother whose bitter ex-husband hired them to stalk her.

Read the full article.

31) The Cost of Accusing Bill Cosby

Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic

The women who faced the comedian in court this week faced a shocking array of attacks on their stories and their characters.

Read the full article.

32) 'We're doomed': Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention

Patrick Barkham, The Guardian

“We’re doomed,” says Mayer Hillman with such a beaming smile that it takes a moment for the words to sink in. “The outcome is death, and it’s the end of most life on the planet because we’re so dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps. And very few appear to be prepared to say so.”

Read the full interview.

33) Protests in Spain as five men cleared of teenager's gang rape

Sam Jones, The Guardian

Protests are being held across Spain after five men accused of the gang rape of a teenager during the running of the bulls festival in Pamplona were found guilty of the lesser offence of sexual abuse.

Read the full article.

34) Golf course that called the police on black women loses business, faces call for state investigation

Rachel Siegel, The Washington Post

In the days after white golf course owners called the police on five African American women they said were not playing fast enough, a Pennsylvania state senator has called for an investigation into the incident and the club is losing local business.

Read the full article.

See also: Miguel Diaz-Canel, Kinder Morgan, Starbucks & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List April 15-22

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The grotesque absurdity of left-liberal support for porn and prostitution needs to be questioned after Minassian's misogynist attack

Warning: At the end of this piece are disturbing screenshots from Porn Hub. These were taken from the front page of Porn Hub 28/04/18. They are included solely to provide an example of the type of misogyny that is commonplace on the most popular porn sites in the world

How to do you square an irreconcilable circle?

In the wake of the vicious, misogynist attack by Alek Minassian it has been important and long overdue to see people and the mainstream media talking about toxic masculinity and the danger of online misogyny.

Some of us have been writing and warning about this for a very long time.

It is important and long overdue to see people and the mainstream media talking about how objectification and the sense of entitlement by so many men to women's bodies and to "sex" (it is really rape they are interested in) leads to exceptionally dangerous outcomes.

But it amazes me that so many remain unwilling to draw the obvious and direct line of this type of misogynist thinking by men to the racist, colonialist, misogynist and degrading institutions of pornography and prostitution in which countless women and girls (as well as some boys and men) are brutalized in horrific ways daily by men around the world.

It takes mere seconds to show this.

This is a terrible, depressing blind spot in much of the liberal and left analysis of the societal horror of violently misogynist views of women and girls.

Given the appalling, misogynist, racist and colonialist depictions of women and girls that are just an internet click away and given the access to women's bodies as sold commodities that is being pushed as a North American left-liberal ideological line, why would we expect many men and young men growing up in this context to not see women this way?

Is it ok for men to masturbate to images of women and girls being violated and abused? Is it ok for men to find sexual gratification in  the humiliation of young women who participate in videos for money?

Have we really debased ourselves in our analysis so far where we equate the most empty liberal narratives with "freedom"?

When is the left going to wake up to the reality of what the ideological underpinnings of porn and prostitution actually mean in reinforcing and consolidating systemic misogyny and the brutal objectification and oppression of women and girls?

Until that day comes the left has been little but an ideological handmaiden to the grotesque and vicious.

It is impossible to support the principles of "Me Too" and to really oppose the vile and debased narratives of Men's Rights or "Incel" groups or other men who feel that women or girls exist for or owe them sex while supporting the porn and prostitution industries that say the exact same thing.

There is no liberal or left case for porn or prostitution that is not simply aiding and abetting the worst and most dehumanizing aspects that have led us here.

Warning: Below are disturbing screenshots from Porn Hub. These were taken from the front page of Porn Hub 28/04/18. They are included solely to provide an example of the type of misogyny that is commonplace on the most popular porn sites in the world:

See also: We all could have seen Minassian's misogynist attack coming if we had wanted to look

Friday, April 27, 2018

Kothur Indian Cuisine's fantastic lunch special in Mimico

Kothur Indian Cuisine in Mimico has been serving (and delivering) some of the west end's best Indian fare for several years now. Just down the street from and affiliated with the excellent Everest Hakka House that we profiled on The Left Chapter before, it deserves a broader post of its own.

You really can't go wrong here with everything from their notable samosas to their Gobi Manchurian to their excellent fish or shrimp curries.

Today we are going to take a look at Kothur's weekday lunch special (available 11 am-3 pm). It is a terrific way to introduce yourself to their menu at a very affordable $10.99 flat rate price.

The special includes a small bowl of Mulligatawny Soup, a pakora, naan bread and rice, a main and a rice pudding for dessert.

Lamb vindaloo, rice, rice pudding and naan
The mains available are exceptionally varied and run the gambit from vegetarian to chicken to lamb or beef entrees. They do not include fish or shrimp entrees.

The Mulligatawny Soup is a great way to start as they make one that is perfectly seasoned, with a nice, subtle level of heat.

With so many mains to choose from it is hard to narrow it down to just a few.

Butter Chicken

The chicken, lamb or beef vindaloos are spectacular with a wonderfully tangy sauce. The Butter Chicken avoids the cloying sweetness of some interpretations for a more balanced taste. A vegetarian stand out is the Malai Kofta, a rich blend of cheese and vegetable dumplings in a cashew sauce. If you like Panneer dishes there are number to choose from, all very satisfying.

Mutter Panneer
While not a part of the special, I can never pass up a side order of Kothur's top-notch Indian Mixed Pickle. I think Indian Pickle, in its many varieties, is one of the great dishes on the planet, and Kothur offers up one that is lime based, salty, spicy and delicious.

Indian Mixed Pickle

Kothur Indian Cuisine is located at 2403 Lake Shore Blvd W., on the 501 Queen Streetcar line, and is  a block east of Mimico Avenue. 416-253-5047. It is fully licensed. It is also located by the lovely Amos Waites Park.

See also: Everest Hakka House in Mimico -- Worth the trip to South Etobicoke!

See also: Ali's West Indian Roti Shop w. Fiery House Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital Women's Auxiliary Centennial Cook Book w. Fruit Cake, Captain's Casserole, Crabmeat Souffle & more -- Vintage Cookbook TBT

Vintage Cookbook: Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital Women's Auxiliary Centennial Cook Book

Publication Details: Self-published 1967

Published during Canada's centennial year 1967, this cookbook is of the community fundraiser type that we have looked at before in examples like Cooking Favorites of Long Branch with Perfect Meat Loaf & Christmas Cake and Bon Appetit Appleby 1977 with Carrot Bread & Easy-Life Stew.

In this case the aim of the cookbook was to raise money for the Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital in Strathroy, Ontario, a hospital that exists to this day.

As is often the case in cookbooks of this type the recipes were solicited from members of the community. They certainly reflect the types of recipes you find in Canadian cookbooks of the era in ways both good and bad.

The cookbook also has a number of pages of handy tips for home cooks, such as roasting times, how to cook for larger groups, etc.

As part of the fundraising they solicited advertisements from local businesses and did so, from what I can tell, quite successfully. For a community of around 20,000 people many of the local shops and services seem to have chipped in. These ads are interesting as well and I have included a number of them.

I am rather fond of the West Middlesex IGA slogan "Where you are only a stranger once".

Finally, what to say about the crabmeat souffle? It stands out as one that must be tried, for better or worse. If I do give it a go, I will be sure to share the results.

(Click on scans to enlarge)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

We all could have seen Minassian's misogynist attack coming if we had wanted to look

Horrified. Disgusted. Angry. Those words and many others can accurately describe how myself and so many others feel about the terrible, senseless attack in Toronto that claimed the lives of 10 innocent people and seriously injured 14 others.

But what I am not is surprised.

If, as seems increasingly likely, the alleged killer Alek Minassian was motivated by a hatred of women and the ideas and philosophy of online misogynists, this is an attack that was all too predictable.

Minassian appears to have been an "Incel", an extreme wing of what has been described as the "manosphere", a loosely connected collection of misogynists of various stripes and incarnations. The Southern Poverty Law Centre said of this: "The so-called “manosphere” is peopled with hundreds of websites, blogs and forums dedicated to savaging feminists in particular and women, very typically American women, in general."

Toronto journalist Arshy Mann has posted a "primer" about Incels that is definitely worth reading if you are unfamiliar with the term.

After many years of writing about, researching and covering the "Men's Rights" movement and its assorted figures, websites and detritus, what I would say is that while Incels may well be particularly bad, they are simply a logical conclusion to an already dangerous extremism.

An extremism that turns reality on its head with lies about notions of "misandry" and absurd ideas that women and feminists (especially) are somehow oppressing men.

A remarkable number of what amount to terrorist acts are motivated by misogyny and the internet has allowed very angry, bitter, woman-hating men to find each other and various organizations and groupings that reinforce their views.

No doubt many, especially on the right, will write off this recent attack as the actions of a mentally ill man -- a label and attitude that among other things is profoundly unfair to people suffering from mental illness.

They will do this even as evidence is mounting that Minassian targeted women during his rampage.

The mainstream media "terrorist" narrative is not served by a story of terrorism against women. That horrific daily reality is just the background noise of the crime pages, rarely acknowledged even when it manifests itself in the most terrible brutality. Regularly men who commit acts of  depraved viciousness against women are portrayed sympathetically by the media. They supposedly suffered from PTSD, bullying, mental illness, or any number of other supposed mitigating factors. They often are remembered as "loving" or as having cared about their wives, partners or families, even when killing them all.

It is rare indeed that the essential issue of systemic misogyny is named. Rare indeed that the terrorist actions of men targeting women are acknowledged for what they are and that, god forbid, it is suggested that maybe men online spewing a constant stream of hateful vitriol about women and feminists might have something to do with, might even encourage, male violence.

The online "manosphere" has been incredibly dangerous for a very long time. It actively promotes and facilitates the hatred and delusions of angry, exceptionally violent men.

It is important for people to understand this and the threat it poses.

It is important for all of us, collectively, to confront the profound danger that is male hatred of and violence towards women.

Further reading about the MRA and online mysogyny:

Call it men's rights extremism because that is what it is -- What The Walrus got wrong in their article about CAFE

Lies our fathers told us: The men's rights movement and campus-based misogyny

A Voice for Men's new Canadian misogynist campaign, CAFE and Ryerson University

Dan Perrins, CAFE & Canada's Men's Rights movement

Mainstreaming misogyny: Canada's new charitable hate movement, CAFE

Guess what's coming to U of T: The Men's Rights Movement, Janice Fiamengo and Paul Elam

Diminishing legitimate 'male' issues: Gary Mason, the Men's Rights Movement and the myth of misandry

Anti-MRA Links & Resources

The Freedom of Your Right to Work! f. Billy Bragg

The Freedom of Your Right to Work!

There is power in a factory, power in the land
Power in the hands of a worker
But it all amounts to nothing if together we don't stand
There is power in a union - There is Power in a Union, Billy Bragg

See also: The Boss's Worst Nightmare...An Organized Working Class!

See also: The Economy, Neoliberal Style

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Miguel Diaz-Canel, Kinder Morgan, Starbucks & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List April 15-22

via Telesur on Facebook
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  April 15 - 22. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

This installment has four entries from before the period. They have been integrated into the post.

1) First Nations say Trudeau doesn't have their consent to build Trans Mountain

Hilary Beaumont, Vice News

Justin Trudeau’s government is inching closer to a head-on collision with opposing First Nations, mayors and the B.C. government over the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Read the full article.

2) My Epiphany About the Problem With Apu

Jeet Heer, The New Republic

On last Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons, Marge and Lisa had an awkward mother-daughter conversation about a children’s book that Marge loved as a child, but which, upon revisiting, turns out to have an embarrassing colonial subtext. “Well what am I supposed to do?” Marge asked. “It’s hard to say,” Lisa said. “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” Then Lisa looks at a framed picture on her nightstand of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an Indian-American character at the center of a debate over racist stereotyping on the nearly 30-year-old show.

Read the full article.

3) Tesla says its factory is safer. But it left injuries off the books

 Will Evans and Alyssa Jeong Perry, Reveal News

But things are not always as they seem at Tesla. An investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that Tesla has failed to report some of its serious injuries on legally mandated reports, making the company’s injury numbers look better than they actually are.

Read the full article.

4) From Starbucks to Hashtags: We Need to Talk About Why White Americans Call the Police on Black People

Jason Johnson, The Root

As horrible as the realities of American policing can be for black America, we can’t ever forget that there are even worse people out there. They’re peering out from the curtains of their house, information kiosks and “liberal” coffee counters, surreptitiously dialing their phones, whispering the exaggerations and Trumped-up fears that make America’s violent policing possible.

Read the full article.

5) 2 black men arrested at Starbucks get an apology from police

Errin Haines Whack, AP News

On Thursday, they also got an apology from Philadelphia police Commissioner Richard Ross, a black man who at first staunchly defended his officers’ handling of the encounter.

Read the full article.

6) Why Starbucks shouldn't be praised for its misguided racism workshops

Hina Tai, The Guardian

There is a place for recognizing the critical role of implicit bias in racial disparities; it’s just not here. Bottom line – don’t be too quick to label Starbucks’ racial implicit bias trainings a victory. It’s far from it. The process for change is uncomfortable and if it’s not, then it’s probably not working.

Read the full article.

7) Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?

Adam Frank, The Atlantic

By asking about civilizations lost in deep time, we’re also asking about the possibility for universal rules guiding the evolution of all biospheres in all their creative potential, including the emergence of civilizations. Even without pickup-driving Paleocenians, we’re only now learning to see how rich that potential might be.

Read the full article.

8) Call me radical, but journalists should be able to pledge support for Palestinian journalists 

Neil Macdonald, CBC News

Call me radical, but I've always thought there are at least two subjects on which journalists are absolutely entitled to express public opinions: freedom of expression, and attacks on journalists.

Read the full article.

9) North and South Korea reportedly set to announce official end to war

Sam Meredith, CNBC News

North and South Korea are in talks to announce a permanent end to the officially declared military conflict between the two countries, daily newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed South Korean official.

Read the full article.

10) How Doug Ford's pledge of 'zero income tax' leaves minimum wage earners worse off

Mike Crawley, CBC News

Doing the math reveals Liberal, NDP plan for $15 hourly rate puts more money in workers' pockets.

Read the full article.

11) These Appear To Be The Toronto Sun’s Provincial Election Plans

Jonathan Goldsbie, Canadaland

There’s nothing surprising about the fact the Toronto Sun might take an anti-Liberal line heading in to the June 7 Ontario election. What’s somewhat more remarkable, however, is that they’d feel the need to set that down on paper.

Read the full article.

12) The restaurant industry ran a private poll on the minimum wage. It did not go well for them. 

Lisa Graves and Zaid Jilani, The Intercept

The poll — which was presented on a slide deck obtained by The Intercept and Documented — found that seven in 10 Americans want to see the minimum wage raised even if it means that they’d have to pay more for meals. It also found that the industry’s various talking points against raising the wage are mostly falling flat with the general public.

Read the full article.

13) Syria airstrikes added $10 billion to missile manufacturer stock values

C. J. Atkins, People's World

War, who is it good for? Missile manufacturers, that’s who.

Read the full article.

14) There’s dumb, and there’s Alberta dumb—and Rachel Notley’s Bill 12 is both

Martyn Brown, The Georgia Straight

The emperor has no clothes, I suggest. Be it the one occupying the prime minister’s office in Ottawa, or the tiny Tories of all political stripes in Edmonton.

Read the full article.

15) Prof. Mike Davis: “There Was Once A Generation of Lions”

Mohsen Abdelmoumen, American Herald Tribune

A 'triage' of humanity is in progress and in such times one must take a stand for the species not for the nation, for the necessary not for the immediately realistic.   The key question is not the growing inequality of wealth and income as the Occupy movements maintain, but the privatization of economic power that ensures such inequalities.  Future survival for the majority of the world's population requires that the economic surpluses generated by the information revolution and globalization are invested wisely in rebuilding our living environments and equalizing a high quality of living (which is not the same as rampant consumption).  How to democratize economic power?  Socialists may not yet have found the path, but they are the only ones urgently looking.

Read the full interview.

16) Dozens of American Jews arrested protesting Gaza violence

Edo Konrad, 972 Magazine

From Boston to San Francisco, young activists from IfNotNow demonstrate outside the offices of prominent Jewish institutions and senators, demanding they condemn Israel’s violence against Gaza protesters.

Read the full article.

17) Natalie Portman Says ‘Jewish Values’ Caused Her To Scrap Israel Visit For Genesis Prize

Dave Goldiner, Forward

Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman has refused to travel for Israel to accept a $2 million award, citing her “Jewish values” as an imperative to stand up for justice amid an increasingly deadly conflict with the Palestinians.

Read the full article.

18) Likud MK: Strip Natalie Portman of her citizenship

Arutz Sheva 

MK Hazan calls on Interior Minister to strip Portman of her citizenship, Culture Minister Regev says Portman fell into hands of BDS.

Read the full article.

19) Portman’s V for Vendetta Against Netanyahu Touches Raw Nerve for Israel

Chemi Shalev, Haaretz

Natalie Portman’s decision to withdraw from the Jerusalem ceremony to mark her acceptance of the $2 million Genesis Prize is, not to put too fine a point on it, a very big deal.

Read the full article.

20) Tory leadership candidate worries weed will make Nova Scotians lazy like Jamaicans

Jacob Boon, The Coast

One of the candidates hoping to lead the Progressive Conservative Party is concerned legalized cannabis could have the same impact on Nova Scotia's productivity as she assumes it's had on Jamaica's economy.

Read the full article.

21) B.C. First Nation wins right to its own commercial fishery

The Canadian Press

A group of West Coast First Nations has won the right to harvest and sell fish commercially after a 12-year court battle.

Read the full article.

22) Kevin Taft on what turned Rachel Notley from crusading critic to big oil crusader

Kevin Taft, The National Observer

I spent four years in the Alberta legislature with Rachel Notley, from 2008 to 2012. I liked and admired her and was delighted when she became premier in 2015. Today when I watch her on pipeline and oil issues I ask myself, what happened to the Rachel Notley I knew? And I wonder if the same thing will happen to John Horgan.

Read the full article.

23) Stop the Kinder Morgan bailout

Lead Now

Right now, Trudeau is considering using your tax dollars to bail out Texas oil giant Kinder Morgan’s floundering pipeline and tanker scheme. 

Read/sign the petition.

24) The gender pay gap is not a myth. Here are 6 common claims debunked

Marilisa Racco, Global News  

This fact (and the figures that back it up) are consistently argued and even denied by many people. In the spirit of clarification, Global News has broken down the common misperceptions around the gender pay gap and answered some of the most popular claims from opponents.

Read the full article.

25) 'One day that door will open': Women of colour talk about racism on campaign trail

Sherri Borden Colley · CBC News

One woman was asked if she was lost when she filed her papers to run; another heard refugees 'were a threat'.

Read the full article.

26) Anti-Abortion Leader Emerges As White Nationalist

Laura Bassett, The Huffington Post

Anti-abortion groups are distancing themselves from a prominent writer, activist and thought leader in the movement who has leaned into white nationalism since Donald Trump’s election.

Read the full article.

27) Sexual Harassment Was Rampant at Coachella 2018

Vera Papisova, Teen Vogue

I interviewed 54 women at Coachella, and they all said they had been sexually harassed.

Read the full article.

28) Don’t be fooled by Emmanuel Macron the ‘moderate’

Owen Jones, The Guardian

The French president is hailed as a centrist saviour, a bulwark against extremes – even as he cuts taxes for the wealthy, attacks workers’ rights and demonises refugees.

Read the full article.

29) Canada’s Wealthy Elites Are Dodging More Taxes Through Loopholes Than Previously Thought

Press Progress

It’s a wonderful time to be a wealthy tax dodger in Canada, new data from Finance Canada suggests.

Read the full article.

30) Trudeau not ready to join British PM's ban on single-use plastics

CBC News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stopped short today of echoing British Prime Minister Theresa May's call for Commonwealth members to ban single-use plastics — but pointed to a planned discussion at the next G7 summit, being hosted by Canada later this year.

Read the full article

31) Blackface is free speech but anti-Bush tweet is not at California university

Sam Levin, The Guardian

The divergent responses have provided a stark illustration of what some critics say is a double standard that has emerged in the fraught campus free speech debates of recent years. That is, in the face of conservative outrage over controversial leftwing views, colleges are quick to condemn and censor. But when racism, hate speech and pro-fascist views emerge, university presidents regularly declare their unwavering commitment to free speech rights – no matter the content.

Read the full article.

32) Yanis Varoufakis: Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out

Yanis Varoufakis, The Guardian

The Communist Manifesto foresaw the predatory and polarised global capitalism of the 21st century. But Marx and Engels also showed us that we have the power to create a better world.

Read the full article.

33) Miguel Diaz-Canel Elected as Cuba's New President


The council of 31 deputies – made up of workers, students, women and peasants – confirmed the nomination of Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Read the full article.

34) Who Is Miguel Diaz-Canel, Cuba's New President?


The Cuban National Assembly elected Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, a 57-year-old Cuban born two years after the island’s socialist revolution, as the country's new head of the Council of State and therefore the president of the Caribbean country. During his speech after he was sworn-in, Diaz-Canel vowed to be faithful to the legacy of late Cuban President Fidel Castro and his revolution.

Read the full article.

35) Cuba's New President Vows to Defend Socialist Revolution


Cuba's new president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, began his term on Thursday with a promise to defend the socialist revolution led by the Castro brothers since 1959, giving a sober speech that also emphasized the need to modernize the island's economy.

Read the full article.

36) UN's Mideast Envoy Blasts Israel Over Gaza Deaths: 'Stop Shooting at Children'

Noa Landau and Jack Khoury, Haaretz

War of words erupts between Nickolay Mladenov and former IDF spokesman over fatal shooting of 15-year-old Palestinian during border protest. Trump envoy Greenblatt says Israel has launched investigation of the incident.

Read the full article.

See also: The Notley-Trudeau Pipeline Axis, Syria, Doug Ford & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List April 8 - 15

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Visit the USSR - A look at the Soviet Union in the late 1960s from Intourist (w. photos)

Published in the late 1960s by Intourist, the Soviet tourist bureau and company, this comprehensive brochure encouraging people to visit the USSR reads almost like a "State of the Union" leaflet.

A really fascinating glimpse into the Soviet Union of the time (as well as how it saw itself) it has a very detailed section on Moscow and its attractions, then looks briefly at all the other major cities of the USSR, and follows all of this with sections on labour conditions, country life, and finally overall standards of living, education and rights and freedoms of citizens.

Full of interesting facts and photos, it shows a society bursting with energy and optimism after decades of turmoil, war and civil war.

(Click on scans to enlarge)

Note that there is a typo here as Lvov had a population of at least 500,000 at this time.