Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Agreement and Conditions of Work: Acme Workers 1941 - Steel Workers Organizing Committee

Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project

See the end of this post for details on the project.

Leaflet: Agreement and Conditions of Work: Acme Workers 1941 - Steel Workers Organizing Committee

A fascinating flashback to a part of Canadian labour history, this small leaflet contained the first agreement won by the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) from the Acme Screw and Gear company in Toronto, 1941 during the war.

The leaflet begins by outlining the struggle that the agreement grew out of which included two strikes and the intervention of the government. The efforts of the union had been opposed all along the way by Acme's President, N. P. Peterson, who had proudly declared that he was "running a workhouse".

As the union was new to the workplace the SWOC wanted the workers to be aware of all of its terms such as seniority, filing a grievance, work hours, etc. It points out that these victories had not yet been won for workers in non-union shops.

We have also included a photo from a strike in the 1960s at the Acme plant on Weston Rd. in Toronto. The workers were represented by the United Autoworkers at that point.

The leaflet ends by noting "Don't and your fellow employees fought hard for these rights and benefits...Make Sure You Use Them and KEEP them."


(click on scans to enlarge)

Acme workers on strike, Toronto 1960s

When The Left Chapter began part of what I wanted to do on the blog was to show and highlight vintage public leftist election/political leaflets and booklets. While many of these have been offered with commentary to date, a very large collection of hundreds of them from several different sources remains and to preserve these often quite rare documents we will be posting them on a regular (almost daily) basis now often without or with minimal commentary so that people may have access to them as quickly as possible as an historical resource.

While these will all be leaflets from a variety of different leftist viewpoints and countries, they are being posted as an historical/study resource and the views or opinions expressed in them do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or blogger.

All of these posts (as well as posts made to date) will be listed on the page: Vintage Communist/Socialist Leaflets (which is still being updated with past posts).

If you have any public, vintage leaflets or booklets you would like to contribute to this project please contact us via

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The CBC notes the victory of fascism in Brazil by how it could benefit Canadian business. Seriously.

The extraordinarily dangerous proven racist, misogynist and outright fascist Jair Bolsonaro has won the Presidency in Brazil.

This is an extremely disturbing turn of events that could signal the end of democracy in the sixth most populous country in the world.

This is a man who has said:

“I am in favor of a dictatorship, a regime of exception.”

“The pau-de-arara [a torture technique] works. I’m in favor of torture, you know that. And the people are in favor as well.”

“I’m a rapist now. I would never rape you, because you do not deserve it… slut!”

“If your son starts acting a little gay, hit him with some leather, and he’ll change his behavior.”


On the night of his election the public broadcaster in Canada, the CBC, had this to say:

"This could mean fresh opportunities for Canadian companies looking to invest".


Based on a repugnant article from  Chris Arsenault of CBC News entitled "What a far-right Bolsonaro presidency in Brazil means for Canadian business". 

The debased, hypocritical and fake nature of the support of Canadian liberals and the liberal and conservative media -- including the state organ the CBC -- for democracy and the rights and freedoms of peoples is yet again fully exposed. 

Remembering Camilo Cienfuegos -- Cuban Revolutionary Leader Lost October 28, 1959

Camilo Cienfuegos was one of the principle revolutionary leaders who, along with Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, helped to bring freedom and socialism to Cuba.

Born in 1932, Camilo was dedicated to the defeat of the American imperialist stooge regime of  Fulgencio Batista and led one of the revolutionary columns that helped liberate the country.

After the triumph of the revolution he became Chief of Staff of the Cuban Army and was instrumental in preventing any immediate resurgence by counter-revolutionary forces.

Famously, during one of Castro's speeches in 1959 Fidel turned to Camilo and asked "Am I doing all right, Camilo?" and Camilo responded "You're doing fine, Fidel". "Vas bien, Fidel" become a Cuban revolutionary slogan and is now emblazoned on a 2009 monument to him in the  Plaza de la Revolución.

On October 28, 1959 Camilo Cienfuegos and the plane he was flying in went missing as he was returning from Camagüey to Havana. His body was never found.

Along with the 2009 monument Cienfuegos is remembered across Cuba in many ways from schools, to awards, to his appearance on Cuban currency.

Every year on the anniversary of his death thousands of flowers are left on the banks of the Bayamo River, among other places, in his honour.

“There are many Camilos among our people!” - Fidel Castro

"He had the natural intelligence of the people, who had chosen him out of thousands for a privileged position on account of the audacity of his blows, his tenacity, his intelligence, and unequalled devotion." - Che 

Road of Courage and Heroism -- Building the BAM in the USSR 1979

Today we are looking at a panoramic postcard folder from 1980 that celebrated the remarkable building of the Baikal–Amur Mainline (BAM) railway in the USSR between 1975 and 1979. While the BAM would not be fully completed for a few more years, during this time great progress was made.

The BAM sought to open up vast areas of Siberia economically. Many new communities were planned (and were built) for its route. (Numbers of these, tragically, became ghost towns with the collapse of the USSR). It was to also provide another rail access to the Pacific via ports like Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

In order to expedite construction the Communist Party called on its youth wing, the Komsomol, to send volunteers to help plan, engineer and build the line. Volunteer brigades from the whole of the Soviet Union were formed, often along republic lines, and tens-of-thousands of young workers went into action across the route.

These volunteers and the workers on the BAM projects were celebrated as soldiers and their efforts were framed in very heroic terms.

Along with the photos we have translated all of the text which tells the story of this largely forgotten tale of socialist construction and achievement.

(Click on images to enlarge)

From the folder's flap:

Taiga to the horizon. Fresh dirt. Steel track. A train. This is BAM - the most massive project of the USSR in terms of its economic and socio-political importance. The party has entrusted the Komsomol to carry out this construction program.

What had been achieved on the BAM in 1979? On the western branch of the railway line, Nizhneangarsk saw its first train. The builders of the Baikal tunnel covered about one thousand one hundred and fifty meters. There was work on the Severo Muisky tunnel. The commissioned line Tynda - Berkakit opened. In the central section, the rails came to Chilchi. In the east Vostochny port received delivery of the first tons of Yakut coal.

"From year to year the pace of construction of this railway increases, with trains to new sites, with growing cities and towns. BAM is already manifesting itself as the mighty accelerator of socio-cultural transformations of vast uninhabited territories", Secretary General of the Central Committee. CPSU, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme USSR Council Comrade. L.I. Brezhnev said to the participants in the construction of the Eastern section. Here the main event of the year was the completion of the Urgal - Komsomolsk-on-Amur line.

1. Komsomolsk-on-Amur  BAM

It seemed that all the history of this city had been written. It seemed that all that was to heard was the industrial rhythm of one of the most powerful of the Far East industrial centers. But here the young star with the word "BAM" has risen over the city, and volunteer detachments again moved here to show the glory of Komsomol labour. They came to pave the way and tie Komsomolsk with future industrial areas of the BAM, to build a bridge and make Komsomolsk a gateway to the great ocean. This will give a new impetus to the development of the legendary city and the Komsomolsky territorial production complex.


It was September 26, 1975. The wind howled in the openwork bindings of the new railway bridge. There it is: the bridge over the Amur, the largest in the whole of the Baikal-Amur track! The opening of traffic on a new bridge has an important economic value as it provides another route to the Pacific coast, allows the USSR to significantly increase the carrying capacity of the existing port of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. No wonder the bridge over the Amur River is called the eastern gate of BAM.


"We will come to you, Komsomolsk!" This catchy inscription was on one of the cars of the first BAM trains. One year ahead of schedule the eastern section of the Baikal-Amur Mainline began. The best
of the best took seats in the train. The workers. The foreman of the installers A. Boyko and the head of detachment number 26 A. Avakimov, brigadier of the Komsomol Youth Noah Brigade. V. Vlasov, bricklayer, A. Lysochenko, carpenter, N. Mirchuk, dredger driver, V. Shevtsov, K. ’Choban and a lot of others. They dreamed of the day when they when they would ride the first train. This day came.


Alonka, Dzhamka, Soloni, Berezovka-these names still were not on the map of the Soviet railways, but the train went there now. More and more places across the taiga Increasingly, the vigorous whistles of locomotives are being blown by the best drivers of the route S. Likhachev, N. Tsopkov, I. Drapak, A. Matusevich. Over the years working on the eastern sector, they transported more than a half million tons of cargo, significantly more than projected.


Eleven large bridges are to be built by builders on the Eastern section of the highway. Completed was construction of a half-kilometer bridge across the Amgun River. Much work was ahead of time, thanks to the E. Stavitsky led brigades. Experience gained in hard work was successfully applied.


"BAM - to the service of the motherland!" Under this slogan they live and the warriors are working today. They have the honour of laying this climbing road to the ocean. There is a plan of attack on the taiga. Railway divisions of construction troops build bridges, dig through the earth, and lay the rails. From Urgal to Komsomolsk-on-Amur , there is a soldier's "red star" quality mark on the rails. So, on the initiative of the platoon leader, Communist winner of the Lenin Prize of the Komsomol, Lieutenant E. Zuev, groups began to celebrate each accurately completed "red star" link..


"This is a mixture of Switzerland, the Don and Finland," - wrote A.P. Chekhov, passing through the places where now is the BAM. The writer was struck by the beauty of Baikal, the taiga and the rivers. But what would he say if he saw the quicksand of the Charsky Kotel, the Kodar glaciers, the fells of the Badzhal Range, the Stanovoi highlands, covered with thick evergreen cedar. And the animal world! In the valley of Amguni live brown bears and moose, wolves and foxes; in the foothills of the mountain ranges - sable, squirrel, ermine. In the cedar forests of Gorina are hidden Himalayan bear, Harza, deerfish. There are also many spawning grounds for valuable fish species.

As rich as the nature of these places is, it is also fragile. In the BAM zone, a set of measures is planned to protect the environment. Much work is being done here in Siberia. Seventeen species of animals and birds of the country districts are listed in the Red Book of the USSR, and the black crane
and the red wolf- in the international. And the builders of BAM do everything to preserve the local nature in all its beauty.


It has become a tradition to send the Komsomol troops to the hardest tasks. In the history of the Baikal-Amur Mainline are firmly inscribed their names. The handwork of the detachments - the envoys of the Union republics, will be seen by a passenger in the form of stations such the Georgian Niya, the Armenian Tayur, the Belarusian Zolotinka, the Lithuanian Kunerma. Village Soloni is being built by envoys from Tajikistan. They will build a large trade and public center. It will house shops, a post office, telegraph, a cinema, a gym, a cafe, a library, a hotel. A new complex is designed by Dushanbe architects. Decorated modeling from comes from national Tajik material. These buildings will fit beautifully in the taiga landscape.


The first survey and design work on the Urgal- Komsomolsk began back in the thirties. In 1941 there was construction of the tunnel on the right shore of the Amur. On November 7 of the same year, the way was opened on lrshii Urgal - Izvestkovaya. But then came the war, and after two years, at a rapid pace, was built the strategically necessary line of  Komsomolsk-on-Amur-Soviet Harbor, with rails removed from the Urgal - Izvestkovaya line. After the war again began construction works which are now being brought to a conclusion.


Urkaltu. It's not even a station — just a junction. So why the white-winged ten-meter proud obelisk Right wing - Urgal. Left Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The gap between them is connected by a narrow plate with the inscription: "Urkaltu" - a symbol of the "silver link”, which closed the ring.

Its southern half is the Trans-Siberian Railway. Now the BAM. In a single system, necessary for our economy, are such large railway junctions as Khabarovsk, Izvestkovaya, Urgal, Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The reliable BAM, will relieve the Trans-Siberian, overloaded with trains, by taking on part of the traffic.


So is called the village of  Urgal-‚the main stronghold of the eastern section of the new coal basin, which will produce almost a million tons of coal a year. But not only coal makes big Donbass and small Urgal. What builds the new Urgal construction and installation train "UkrstroyBAM", is a large detachment of the Donbass Komsomol.

From scratch, where the first detachment arrived in 1974, grew a real city with clubs and cinema theaters, schools and kindergartens. During the trip to Siberia and the Far East, Secretary General of the  CPSU Central Committee and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council USSR, Comrade L. I. Brezhnev said: “In the areas of construction it is necessary to create good conditions for life, to pay more attention to the construction of housing, clubs, schools and do it with the necessary scope and technical level, taking into account climatic conditions. This task is deeply important to the party".


Thousands of kilometers from native rivers and gardens to distant cedar and pine forests flew a moltsavsky stork with a bunch of grapes in its beak. Here in the Far East the Alonka village is now his new home. Multi-story houses, a club, shop, stadium - all this is done by the hands of the volunteers from Moldavia. On the square, in front of the school, a six-meter figure of the hero of the civil war Sergey Lazo. Also built by the project teachers is a Polytechnic Institute named after S. Lazo.

There are the Moldovan decorations of the hall of the Alonka House of Culture where you can hear echoes of Moldavian melodies of "Brotherhood". Here, also, came amateur singers and dancers from Urgal in the spirit of socialist competition. There was an exhibition of volunteer creativity and art. Much of it about the heroic work and unique romance of life building the BAM.

See also: Trams and buses in the USSR -- A look at public transit in the Soviet Union, 1976

See also: Khabarovsk -- Images of the Soviet Far East, USSR 1975

Bolsonaro and Fascism in Brazil, Honduran Migrants, Ford Attacks Workers & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos October 21 - 28

This week's list of articles, news items, opinion pieces and videos that I see as a must if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of October 21 - 28.

1) Canada Post union workers to begin rotating nationwide strikes Monday morning

Jessica Vomiero, Global News

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) announced Sunday that it will begin rotating strikes on Monday morning at 12:01 a.m. in Victoria, Edmonton and Windsor, and at 1:01 a.m. in Halifax.

2) From Mosul to Moria: 'A US air strike killed all of my family'

Richard Hardigan, Al Jazeera 

An Iraqi refugee remembers the day when 12 of his relatives, including a six-month-old, died in the Battle for Mosul.

3) Will NAFTA 2.0 Really Boost Mexican Wages?

Carrie Khan, NPR

NAFTA is no more. The North American Free Trade Agreement has a new name — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA — and its rules have been updated and revamped.

4) Hondurans continue to leave for US as Trump ramps up threats

Jeff Abbott, Al Jazeera

Exodus of Hondurans seeking refuge in US continues, as small groups of migrants and refugees stream into Guatemala.

5) Brazil: Bolsonaro's Son Threatens Electoral Court with Violence


Eduardo Bolsonaro warned the Supreme Electoral Court that they would face dire consequences if they contested his father’s candidacy.

6) Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro threatens purge of leftwing 'outlaws'

Tom Phillips, The Guardian

The far-right favourite to become Brazil’s next president has vowed to spearhead a historic purge of his leftwing political foes in a menacing address that delighted supporters and left opponents outraged and unnerved.

7) Bolsonaro, foreign meddling and the destruction of Brazilian democracy

 Marcelo Zero, Brasil Wire

At the moment that I write this article (October 2018), Brazil is about to elect Jair Bolsonaro as President of the Republic. He is an ex-military officer and politician who is openly fascist, homophobic, misogynist and racist.

8) 'Secure Justice for Berta': NGOs Condemn 'Arbitrary' Rulings in Berta Caceres Case, Accuse Honduran Officials of Limiting Victim’s Rights


A coalition of NGOs and human rights groups have condemned the court's decision to exclude Berta Caceres' family and lawyers from the murder trial.

9) 'You can’t even walk, there’s just so many people': Migrant caravan bound for US swells despite Trump threats

John Bacon, USA Today

A caravan of Central American migrants marching into Mexico bound for the United States grew to more than 5,000 people Sunday despite threats from President Donald Trump to use the U.S. military to seal the border.

10) PM Modi not honouring promise of helping Kerala after floods: CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Jeemon Jacob, India Today

In a Facebook post, Kerala CM alleged that the prime minister has backed out from his promise of granting clearance for the visits of state cabinet ministers to various countries to raise funds for the reconstruction work in the state.

11) Iqaluit student sits during national anthem to make statement about residential school curriculum

CBC News

A 12-year-old student in Iqaluit says he ended up in the principal's office after he sat during the Canadian anthem to make a statement about how the history of residential schools is taught.

12) A 14-year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico verges on becoming one of the worst in U.S. history

Darryl Fears, The Washington Post 

An oil spill that has been quietly leaking millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico has gone unplugged for so long that it now verges on becoming one of the worst offshore disasters in U.S. history.

13) Attack of the Right-Wing Snowflakes

Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times

In other words, some men are really angry, and the political faction that claims to hate political correctness is appealing to the state to shut people up.

14) Venezuela’s Maduro Meets Commune Leaders, Calls for Devolution of State Power

Paul Dobson, Venezuela Analysis 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro led a gathering of commune leaders this weekend as part of the IV Congress of Communes and Social Movements, during which he made a series of important announcements in the area.

15) Remembering John Reed and 'Ten Days that Shook the World'


If you've ever read about the Russian Revolution, you've probably heard of "Ten Days That Shook the World," an intense recount of the socialist movement by John Reed.

16) Doug Ford is Gutting Labour Laws, Eliminating Sick Days and Cancelling Raises for Minimum Wage Workers

Press Progress

Doug Ford’s government announced Tuesday it is tabling sweeping legislation to gut Ontario’s labour laws.

17) No sign minimum wage hike was 'job killer' Doug Ford says it was

Mike Crawley · CBC News

The changes did put more money in workers' pockets and less in employers' pockets, and that simple fact raises questions about the real reasons why the Ford government is making this move.

18) Making Ontario Open for Greed

David Bush, Rank and File 

Quick look at the Tories “Making Ontario Open for Business Act.” This is a massive gift to employers coming off the back of workers.

Facebook via Canadian Labour Institute

19) Here's why Ontario PC government’s ‘deceptive’ measures aren’t saving taxpayers money

Paul Taylor, Orangeville Banner

The current Ontario Progressive Conservative government has just cancelled more than $300 million in funding expansion to post-secondary education institutions.

20) Ministry of Labour puts hold on proactive workplace inspections, internal memo says

Sara Mojtehedzadeh, The Toronto Star

The Ministry of Labour has instructed staff not to initiate any new proactive inspections aimed at preventing wage theft and other employment standards violations, according to an internal memo obtained by the Star — a day after the Progressive Conservative government introduced a bill that will significantly roll back recently enacted labour protections.

21) ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ Is Marxist Fantasy Porn

Malcolm Harris, Eater

“They say the potter always drinks out of a broken pot,” Nosrat’s mother tells her in the last episode, “Heat,” as they share some rice that misses the serving plate. In what kind of world is the food fallen on the counter the best bite? One that will belong to the workers, someday.

22) Some 60 Journalists Killed Since Peña Nieto Took Office in 2012


The Foro Nuestras Voces Frente a la Impunidad, a group composed of journalists from several Mexican states, denounced President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Government for being the most violent towards journalists over the last 18 years of the country's history.

23) West Backs Saudi Arabia Despite Calls for Boycott Over Khashoggi Murder, FII Receives $50B in Investments


Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a warm welcome in Riyadh Tuesday during his surprise visit to the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference. The conference has yielded investment deals worth an estimated US$50 billion despite calls for a boycott by activists and some countries over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

24) European Parliament votes to ban single-use plastics in bid to tackle pollution

Josh Gabbatiss, The Independent

The European Parliament has voted for an extensive ban on single-use plastics to stop pollution entering the world’s oceans.

25) UCP Candidate Steps Down After Receiving Illegal Corporate Donation from Alberta Car Dealership

Press Progress

One of Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party nomination candidates has withdrawn after taking an illegal corporate donation from a car dealership.

26) Killing Journalists Is Wrong When the Saudis Do It — and When the United States Does It, Too

Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept

We rightly demand justice in the case of Khashoggi, so why not in the case of Ayoub?

27) The ominous third-place finish of a white supremacist in Toronto

Brian Budd, The Conversation

It’s important that Goldy’s campaign isn’t laughed off or dismissed as a delusional political incursion by an extreme right-wing media figure.

28) Palestinian women: An untold history of leadership and resistance

Mohammed El-Kurd, Al Jazeera

The hallways of my memory have always echoed with my grandmother's voice storytelling, and thus unburdening, narratives of womanly struggle. Her voice projected both wit and resilience in the face of the Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the decades-old Israeli military occupation. However, my grandmother's testimonies were rarely recognised.

29) US Midterms: Judge Rules Against Voter Suppression in Georgia


The move prevents Georgia elections officials from throwing out any ballot on 'exact match' grounds.

30) Georgia’s Kemp Purged 340,134 Voters, Falsely Asserting They Had Moved

Greg Palast, Truthout

Last year, Brian Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state canceled the registrations of over half a million Georgians because they left the state or moved to another county. Except they didn’t. The nation’s top experts in address location reviewed Kemp’s list of purged voters — and returned the names and addresses of 340,134 who never moved at all.

31) Calling out the Toronto Sun's Islamophobia

Richard Warman and Bernie Farber, NOW Magazine

Time for media and civic institutions to stop granting legitimacy to the Toronto tabloid while its columnists continue to demonize the "other"

32) Dodgers players and staff ignore striking hotel workers, cross picket line in Boston

Alan Pyke, Think Progress

With their own fights with management looming, Major League Baseball Player’s Union members let an opportunity for labor solidarity bounce under their gloves Monday when the Los Angeles Dodgers crossed a picket line at a Boston hotel ahead of their World Series matchup with the Red Sox.

Meet Cibo, the Italian street artist using paintings of treats, fruits and vegetables to fight neo-fascism.

33) How Olympic Champion Wyomia Tyus Found Her Voice At The ’68 Games

Karen Given, WBUR

On Oct. 16, 1968, Wyomia Tyus and about 200 other athletes crammed into the stands of the Olympic stadium in Mexico City to watch Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos accept their medals.

34) Young black Portuguese men take police brutality case to court

Ana Naomi de Sousa, Al Jazeera

Six alleged victims say officers beat them until they bled and were bruised and forced them into humiliating positions.

35) Thousands march in Taiwan gay pride parade for referendum vote

Al Jazeera

The massive march, attended by nearly 13,000 people, was held in capital Taipei on Saturday in advance of a landmark vote next month on LGBT rights.

36) Another Indigenous Rights Activist Killed in Oaxaca, Mexico


This is the fifth member of the Indigenous Rights Defense Committee to be killed in 2018.

37) Mexicans shower the caravan with kindness — and tarps, tortillas and medicine

Joshua Partlow, The Toronto Star

Everything Pedro Osmin Ulloa was wearing, from the black felt shoes with the gold buckles to the shimmery blue button-down, was as new to him as he was to Mexico.

38) Liberia announces free tuition for undergraduates

AFP Reporter

Liberian President George Weah, who overcame childhood poverty to become one of the world's top footballers, has abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students in the poor West African country's state universities.

39) Sanders and Varoufakis Announce Alliance to Craft 'Common Blueprint for an International New Deal'

Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams

After arguing in a pair of Guardian op-eds last month that a worldwide progressive movement is needed to counter the unifying rightwing "that sprang out of the cesspool of financialized capitalism," former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced in Rome on Friday that he and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) plan to officially launch "Progressives International" in the senator's state on Nov. 30.

Advice on fighting fascists from Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the WW2 female Soviet sniper who killed 309 Nazi’s singlehandedly. Today is the anniversary of her passing in 1974.

“"How many men have you killed?"

"Not a man... fascists. 309."

40) 'I leave the car at home': how free buses are revolutionising one French city

Kim Willsher, The Guardian 

Dunkirk is a month into a project that makes it the biggest European city to offer entirely free public transport to residents and visitors alike. So what do people think?

41) Cesar Sayoc, Mail Bombing Suspect, Found an Identity in Political Rage and Resentment


Cesar Sayoc was a volatile nobody desperate to become a somebody.

42) Trump Didn’t Pull the Trigger on Jews in Pittsburgh, but He Certainly Prepped the Shooter

David Rothkopf, Haaretz

The massacre in a Pittsburgh synagogue is the result of Trump’s constant endorsement of hate against the other, a hate-and-fear-mongering which has brought America to a very dark place.

43) Pittsburgh suspect was avid poster of anti-Semitic content on Gab

Jason Silverstein, CBS News

The suspected Pittsburgh synagogue gunman regularly posted anti-Semitic threats, memes and conspiracy theories on a social network often associated with conspiracy theorists and extremists — including an ominous warning posted just hours before the attack. Robert Bowers was a regular user on Gab, a website that promotes itself as a haven for free expression that major social networks will not allow.

44) A Day Before Brazil Elections, Bolsonaro Supporter Kills Young Man at Haddad Rally


Charlione was the son of the National Secretary of the Working Women of CNTRV/CUT. The confederation said in a statement that the victim was shot in a peaceful rally by a Bolsonaro supporter.

45) Polls Open in Second Round of Brazil Elections


Polls opened Sunday for the second round of the presidential elections, the most polarized of their kind in decades as voters choose between far-right Jair Bolsonaro and leftist Fernando Haddad who has been reducing his opponent's lead over the past few days, as he looks for a surprise upset victory.

UPDATE: Bolsonaro has won in Brazil. The sixth most populous country in the world has elected an outright, actual fascist.

Very disturbing news.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Basil Tomato Pasta Toss

By Natalie 

This is a really nice way to use up any extra fresh basil and tomatoes that you have from the garden or store.

First, prepare half a package of linguine cooked al dente. Liberally salt the cooking water.

Reserve 1 cup of the salted cooking water.

In a wide mouthed pan swirl in about 3 tbsp olive oil. Add 5 cloves of crushed garlic, 1  cup of roughly chopped fresh tomato, 1 small diced onion (or half a regular sized one) and season with a bit of pepper and salt.

Saute the fresh ingredients, slightly mashing down the tomatoes as you go, over medium heat. After a few minutes add the cooked and drained pasta to your pan and sauteed ingredients, adding some cooking water to create a saucy consistency.

Season this to taste and near the very end add a large handful of torn fresh basil and a handful of grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve alongside a bowl of fresh Parmesan, and baguette slices for a quick and delicious pasta side or main.

For all our food posts visit our Food Page. 

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

NDP's Horwath appears at Ontario Chamber of Commerce event mere days after the gutting of rights of workers

If there was ever any doubt about the duplicitous and class collaborationist nature of modern professional "social democratic" politicians they can be safely laid to rest with the following tweet from Ontario NDP "opposition" leader Horwath on October 25.

Rocco Rossi and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce have spent months successfully lobbying the reactionary Ford government to rip up Bill 148 that granted new rights and protections to workers in Ontario and that was to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in January.

This is all being repealed. When the gutting of the new rights and the wage increase for Ontario's most precarious and vulnerable workers was announced on October 23, Rossi said  “We are absolutely thrilled that the Government of Ontario is holding strong in its commitment to keep Ontario open for business.”.

What, exactly, does Horwath hope to accomplish here?

Tim Hudak, the former leader of the Ontario Conservatives, who pledged to fire 100,000 civil servants and introduce vicious austerity in 2014, thought her appearance was pretty groovy.

What did Horwath have to say to the assembled business audience? 

Who cares? Seriously, it does not matter at all. They could not care less what she has to say and have no intention of listening to her ideas, such as they are.

The real question leftists should ask is why, mere days after this group of reactionary cretins had managed to viciously attack the rights of workers in Ontario, would Andrea Horwath legitimize and dignify their stage and forum?   

That is precisely what she does by appearing there.

What possible motive could a leader claiming to represent workers have in appearing with Rocco Rossi? 

The answer is the craven and bankrupt desire by the new generation of fake social democrats to pretend that they can represent the interests of both the workers and the bosses, both labour and business, in a pathetic attempt to pander to people who will never support or vote for them.

This notion of 'progressive' or social democratic governance is an explicit rejection of class politics and of the idea that a 'progressive', labour or left party or government is meant to represent the workers and, yes, to take their side and act in their interests.
To the great cry of "which side are you on" it answers with "both", which is no answer at all. The principle of "evenhandedness" is predicated on a quaint idealization of capitalist "democracy" where workers and their bosses are all parts of society who need to work together for the "common good" and "shared values", etc.
But power, wealth and influence are not at all evenly distributed in our society or economy. A party or politician that says they will seek to represent "everyone" is at best going to aim at a few token reforms that will attempt to "humanize" capitalism while keeping all of the fundamentals and structures of it completely in place. Workers and their bosses do not share "common interests". You cannot be a party of the working class or a party that claims to be on their side and acting in their interests and yet represent "everyone".
At times it is like the so many New Democrats and their supporters who love to share the 'Mouseland' parable that Tommy Douglas made famous have entirely missed its point. It is not going to be a government by and for the mice if it wants to find "common cause" with the cats.
Apologists for the NDP always try to claim that it remains, somehow, a party that represents the interests of working people in the province and beyond.

But appearing on stage with Rocco Rossi for a"fireside chat" in the present context puts the lie to that. 

The Great Halloween Book w. Ghoulash, Goblin Cupcakes, Jack-O'-Lantern Burgers and more -- Vintage Cookbook TBT

Vintage Cookbook: The Great Halloween Book, Mark Walker

Publication Details: Liberty Publishing, several editions 1980s

First published in 1983, The Great Halloween Book is a very fun, illustrated volume with lots of ideas on how to make the most of everyone's favourite spooky fall unofficial holiday. 

The book has sections that deal with the history of Halloween, how to make specific costumes, various elaborate makeup effects, tips on creating your very own "haunted house", as well as themes -- and food -- for Halloween parties aimed at both children and adults. 

The costume section is hilarious with instructions on how to become a TV, Harpo Marx, a mummy, etc. I provided one on how to dress up as a turkey, though I suspect most Conservative MPs and MPPs would not need the help.

Included also are a couple of party kid games and the recipes for kids and grownups, all of which look worth giving a whirl. 

Pumpkin Punch, Candied Apples, Popcorn Balls....all sorts of ways to get even more excited about the big night.

(click on scans to enlarge)