Sunday, July 1, 2018

US Supreme Court Decisions, Justice Kennedy, Ocasio-Cortez & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List June 24 - July 1

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  June 24 - July 1. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) Turkey: Opposition Ince Concedes Election Defeat to Erdogan


The Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate made the remarks at a news conference in Ankara one day after Erdogan claimed victory.

Read the full article.

2) Is Donald Trump truly incompetent? Not nearly as much as liberals hope

Amanda Marcotte, Salon

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately it must be said: Donald Trump knows exactly what he's doing.

Read the full article.

3) Trump UK visit: Tube strike to hit London Underground as US President arrives, announces RMT union

Tom Batchelor, The Independent

Drivers on parts of the London Underground are set to strike on the day of Donald Trump's visit to the UK.

Read the full article.

4) The case for public ownership is unanswerable

The Morning Star

LABOUR and the rail unions’ day of action for public ownership has put the government on the spot.

Read the full article.

5) US temporarily scales back 'zero tolerance' immigration policy

Al Jazeera

A US official has said the administration will scale back part of its "zero-tolerance" immigration policy as US President Donald Trump doubled down on his suggestion that undocumented individuals be deported without due process.

Read the full article.

6) Hank Aaron Says He’d Reject a White House Invite

Dave Zirin, The Nation

One of the greatest to ever play the game said that he stands with the athletes who boycott White House photo ops.

Read the full article.

7) Sexual assault acquittal 'sends women back 50 years,' says advocate

Ashley Burke · CBC News 

An Ottawa women's rights advocate says the verdict in a high-profile sexual assault case involving two former University of Ottawa hockey players could discourage victims from coming forward.

Read the full article.

8) The ‘wolf pack’ case showed the world how Spanish law is mired in misogyny

Victoria Rosell, The Guardian

The rape acquittal sparked huge protests yet was in line with legislation. As a criminal court judge, I find this deeply unsettling.

Read the full article.

9) How French immersion has created a two-tier education system

Jeff Outhit, Waterloo Region Record

What if Ontario school boards had a program that let parents steer top students to elite classrooms, relegating others to classrooms that struggle?

They do. It's called French immersion and it's a popular program with many problems.

Read the full article.

10) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wins as a Democratic Socialist With a 21st-Century Vision

John Nichols, The Nation

With a values-based campaign that championed Medicare for All and the abolition of ICE, the 28-year-old Latina beat a top Democratic incumbent.

Read the full article.

11) A Socialist Woman of Color Just Turned the Entire Democratic Party Upside Down

Kate Aronoff, In These Times

The experts were wrong. A 28-year-old democratic socialist woman of color—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—just unseated one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress, Joe Crowley, an incumbent who hadn’t faced a primary challenger since 2004 and was angling to become Speaker of the House. New York’s 14th District is 85 percent Democratic, meaning a Latina millennial calling for the abolition of ICE and the PROMESA board in Puerto Rico, Medicare for All, a federal job guarantee and a Marshall Plan to scale up renewable energy is almost surely heading to Congress.

Read the full article.


Ryan Grim, The Intercept

Power is as much an illusion as a reality. A politician with millions in the bank and the support of every local Democratic Party chair may be exposed as just a guy with a few rich friends. Politicians are nothing if not savvy about survival, and they have read the meaning of Tuesday night’s upset. They can lock down every big donor and every key endorsement and they can still be beaten, because people still vote — and there is still some democracy left.

Read the full article.

13) US makes the list of top 10 most dangerous countries for women

Aris Folley, The Hill

A survey of 548 experts polled by the Thomson Reuters Foundation has found that the United States is the 10th most dangerous country in the world for women.

Read the full article.

14) Poland backs down from its Holocaust law, showing international criticism still works

Tim Hume, Vice

Poland’s hopes for a permanent U.S. military base on its soil may be behind a surprise Wednesday reversal by the government over its controversial Holocaust law, analysts say.

Read the full article.

15) The racist myth of the 'physical' African football team

James Yeku, Al Jazeera

I love listening to white men, especially old white men, talk about black athletes during major global sporting events. I have been following the kind of language white pundits use during FIFA World Cups and Olympic Games for years, so I am well aware to their fascination with and ridicule of the black body.

Read the full article.

16) Six Nations council urges attorney general to appeal not-guilty verdict in death of Indigenous man

Lucy Scholey, APTN News

An Ontario First Nation council is calling on the province to appeal a not-guilty verdict in the shooting death of a 29-year-old Indigenous man.

Read the full article.

17) Muslim Americans on Trump's travel ban: 'We live as second-class citizens'

Oliver Laughland, The Guardian

After the supreme court upheld the president’s executive order, Muslim Americans voice fears for their relatives.

Read the full article.

18) The Muslim ban ruling legitimates Trump's bigotry

Moustafa Bayoumi, The Guardian

Trump’s many bigoted statements and actions denigrating Muslims are well known. Yet the US supreme court decided that none of that matters.

Read the full article.

19) Janus Supreme Court majority ruling a major blow to union rights

Mark Gruenberg, People's World

In a predictable and mean ruling, the five-man Republican-named majority of the U.S. Supreme Court lowered the boom on unions representing state and local government workers, declaring every single such worker in the country a “free rider,” able to take union services without paying one red cent for them.

Read the full article.

20) How to Defeat the Post-Janus Union Attacks

Dave Kamper, Jacobin

Janus opens the door to active campaigns by the Right to get members to drop their union dues. Here's how labor can fight back.

Read the full article.

21) Timing of Kennedy's retirement only cements his right-wing legacy

 Larry Beinhart, Al Jazeera 

When it came to money and power, 'moderate' Justice Anthony Kennedy had always been an agent of the top one percent.

Read the full article.

22) Justice Kennedy’s Resignation Opens Door for Far-Right Supreme Court & Overturning of Roe v. Wade

Democracy Now

In a move that could transform the Supreme Court for decades, Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced his retirement, giving President Trump a chance to pick a second conservative on the high court. Kennedy, who was nominated by President Reagan, was widely seen as the swing vote on the nine-justice court. On Wednesday, he sided with the conservative wing of the court to deal a major blow to public-sector unions in the case of Janus v. AFSCME. He also sided this week with the majority upholding President Trump’s Muslim travel ban. But Kennedy has sided with the liberal wing of the court on a number of pivotal issues. He has been instrumental in preventing Roe v. Wade from being overturned, and he has supported same-sex marriage, affirmative action and criminal justice reform. On Wednesday, President Trump said he wants to pick a justice who will be on the court for the next 40 or 45 years. We speak to Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at

Read the full article.

23) Racist attacks in Italy: 'The problem did not start today'

 Ylenia Gostoli, Al Jazeera

As migrants are abused, an Italian-Ivorian trade unionist leads movement for workers' rights and against discrimination.

Read the full article.

24) Family medicine in Cuba, an achievement of the Revolution

 Nuria Barbosa León, Granma 

Last year, Cuba’s 10,851 family doctor’s offices throughout the country offered 83,534,085 consultations, as part of the country’s free, universal National Public Health System.

Read the full article.

25) A White Supremacist Was Charged With A Hate Crime For Killing Charlottesville Protester Heather Heyer

Talal Ansari, BuzzFeed News

A federal grand jury charged the man accused of driving his car — killing one woman — into a crowd of people protesting a white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year with federal hate crimes.

Read the full article.

26) The Escalating Air War No One Is Watching

David Axe, The Daily Beast

A complex air war over Libya has killed hundreds of innocent civilians, and possibly many more, since the U.S.-led NATO intervention in the North African state began in 2011. And almost no one outside of the war-torn country has even noticed. The U.S. government, for its part, increasingly seems to prefer it that way.

Read the full article.

27) Trump's Brutality Is Part of Obama's Legacy Now

Jacob Bacharach, Truthdig 

On Oct. 14, 2011, an order by Barack Obama resulted in the murder of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a 16-year-old American boy. Obama had ordered the execution of the boy’s father, also an American citizen, allegedly a member of the al-Qaeda network, two weeks before. Abdulrahman hadn’t seen his father in more than two years; he’d traveled abroad to search for him. We blew the kid up in a restaurant. When confronted by reporters, Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, glibly justified the extrajudicial killing of an American child: He should have had “a more responsible father.” Today, Donald Trump and his sycophants contend that the children of undocumented immigrants are the victims of their parents’ irresponsible law-breaking.

Read the full article.

28) US police officer charged in fatal shooting of unarmed teen

Al Jazeera

A US police officer has been charged with criminal homicide for killing an unarmed black teenager last week, an incident that had sparked outrage and daily protests across the city of Pittsburgh. 

Read the full article.

29) The U.S. Left in Transition

Joe Allen, New Socialist 

For the past two years, the U.S. Left has gone through a dramatic change in size, composition, and confidence.  “The Rebirth of Social Democracy in the U.S.” was my first attempt to outline of some of these changes. The major thrust of my article was that the explosive growth of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) was not only an important indicator of new, burgeoning interest in socialist politics but it could possibly be the embryo of a new socialist party in the United States.

Read the full article.

30) Eritrea and Ethiopia: 'The beginning of a beautiful friendship'

Abraham T Zere, Al Jazeera

On June 26, a high-level Eritrean delegation led by Foreign Minister Osman Saleh arrived in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for talks on ending the decades-long conflict between the two countries.

Read the full article.

31) Milo wants vigilantes to start killing journalists, and he's not being 'ironic'

David Neiwert, Southern Poverty Law Center 

The far-right provocateur tells reporters he hopes angry conservatives start assassinating them, and the alt-right '14/88ers' love the idea.

Read the full article.

32) Exclusive: Accused Annapolis shooter Jarrod Ramos had dark links to the alt-right

Paul Rosenberg, Salon

When the identity of the apparent gunman in the massacre of five journalists in Annapolis, Maryland, was revealed, Jonathan Hutson, a communications consultant and writer who lives nearby, had a shock of recognition. The suspect, Jarrod Ramos, had contacted Hutson in March 2015, taunting him about his role in alerting law enforcement and thwarting a potential mass killer who threatened schoolchildren and Jews in far-away Montana.

Read the full article.

33) The Activist Left Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Calls for Civility

Harry Cheadle, Vice 

Every day, America seems to get a little angrier. Wander over to Twitter just for a second and you can feel the anger wash over you the same way you feel the humidity when you go outside on a particularly brutal summer day. But the anger is there in real life, too. It follows Donald Trump wherever he goes: Last Tuesday, a congressional intern apparently shouted, “Mr. President, fuck you!” as he walked by.

 Antony Loewenstein, The Nation

Soon after President Trump assumed office in January 2017, he had a phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The transcript of the conversation, leaked in August, revealed that the new US president admired his Australian counterpart because Turnbull was “worse than I am” on asylum seekers. Turnbull had proudly stated, “If you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Nobel Prize–winning genius, we will not let you in.”

Fintan O’Toole, The Irish Times

To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we are living with is pre-fascism.

Press Progress

Doug Ford’s Ontario PC leadership campaign accepted over $10,000 from a candidate for Italy’s far-right, anti-immigration party and his family.

Amara McLaughlin · CBC News

Children, teens and young adults with private health benefits will no longer be eligible to receive free prescriptions through OHIP+, newly appointed Health Minister Christine Elliott announced on Saturday. 

James Petras, Canadian Dimension 

“Immigration” has become the dominant issue dividing Europe and the US, yet the most important matter which is driving millions to emigrate is overlooked — wars.

CBS News

While 23-year-old Alejandro Reyes may blend in perfectly on UCLA's campus, he's keeping a secret from most of his classmates: he's homeless. His school locker is his closet. He brushes his teeth in a public restroom and, at times, he sleeps on a sofa inside a 24-hour campus library.  

Frank Jack Daniel and Christine Murray, Reuters 

Mexican presidential favorite Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is due to wrap up his election campaign on Wednesday in the country’s largest soccer stadium, fortified by a new opinion poll showing his already-commanding lead growing even further.


Some 88 million Mexicans – almost half of whom are under 40 years old – are eligible to vote for a new president, 128 senators and 500 deputies in Congress.

1 comment:

  1. I hate to say it but, as a pharmacist, the changes to OHIP+ represent what should have been done in the first place. The program as it was originally conceived represented a huge subsidization of the insurance companies, who weren’t about to lower their premiums in response. If you’re trying to target those who are most in need, it makes sense for the government to be the payor of last resort for those who already have private coverage.

    Not that I like the fact that any of our pharmacare system is private, but at least the revised law is helping out actual people with inadequate coverage rather than being a giveaway to insurers.

    That’s been my view on it at least. I’m open to other arguments about why the original law was better.