Sunday, March 31, 2019

Israeli Attacks, Venezuela Resists, Climate Change & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos March 24 - 31

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 March 24 - 31.

1) Ford government cancels electricity conservation programs

Krystalle Ramlakhan, CBC News 

Ontario's government has cancelled a number of electricity conservation programs, including one which offered pool owners a $400 rebate for upgrading to energy-efficient pumps.

2) 9-year-old US citizen detained at the border for more than 30 hours

 Aris Folley, The Hill

A 9-year-old United States citizen was detained by Customs and Border Patrol officials for more than 30 hours this week after she tried to cross the U.S-Mexico border on her walk to school.

3) Autopsy For 7-Year-Old Migrant Who Died In U.S. Custody Shows She Died Of Sepsis

Shannon Van Sant, NPR

An autopsy report has revealed that a 7-year-old girl who migrated to the United States from Guatemala died from a bacterial infection known as streptococcal sepsis while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

3) 12 signs we're in the middle of a 6th mass extinction

Aylin Woodward, Business Insider 

The planet is undergoing a mass extinction, the sixth time in the history of life on Earth that global fauna has experienced a major collapse in numbers.

4) Chicago's Democratic socialists on brink of transforming city's politics

Eric Lutz, The Guardian 

Six Democratic socialists may join city council this year, reflecting the progressive momentum in national politics.

5) US: Democrat Presidential Candidates Boycott AIPAC Convention


2020 Democrat presidential candidates will skip AIPAC annual conference revealing the growing discontent of progressives with the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S.

6) Free Transit in Ottawa

Socialist Project Bullet 

Ottawa’s public transit system has many shortcomings. Too often buses are congested and/or infrequent. Few stops have shelters and many users face lengthy trips to get where they want to go. ParaTranspo is often inaccessible to those most in need. And the system is expensive! OCTranspo’s (Ottawa-Carleton Transportation Commission) fares are among the highest in the country. It is lower income people who depend on public transit to move around the city who are most affected by these shortcomings. There is an urgent need, and a question of social justice, to improve the quality and accessibility of the public transit system.

7) Montrealers take to the streets for anti-racism demonstration

CBC News

Several hundred people came out Sunday afternoon in Montreal to denounce racism and xenophobia, in the wake of the mosque shootings in New Zealand.

8) Hijab-wearing teacher threatens to leave Quebec if secularism bill becomes law

CBC News 

"I wouldn't let a man tell me to wear [the hijab]. I won't let a man tell me to remove it"

9) Omar Khadr's war crimes sentence is finished, Alberta judge rules

CBC News 

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr has completed his sentence, an Alberta judge ruled Monday.

10) Message from Omar Khadr to his supporters

Omar Khadr

On Monday, March 25, Chief Justice Mary Moreau granted me the freedom I have been long awaiting. This decision did not bring an end to my legal battles but it has removed the shadow of indefinite chains from my life. I would like to thank everyone who has stood by me throughout the years.

(Related: Omar Khadr is 'innocent' even if he is 'guilty')

11) The Three Intersecting Reasons Ilhan Omar Gets Singled Out

Vanessa Taylor, The Intercept 

What has been displayed is not genuine concern regarding anti-Semitism and violence against Jewish people because, as has been well-documented, anti-Semitic comments by nonblack, non-Muslim elected officials barely make a blip in the news cycle. Omar, instead, was condemned by everybody from the president of the United States — no stranger to anti-Semitic tropes himself — to Democratic leadership. Omar’s case puts on display the United States’s unwavering support for Israel, its violent protege, and the use of anti-black Islamophobia to carry that message.

12) Republican Lawmaker Prays for Forgiveness as Pennsylvania State House Swears in First Muslim Woman

Prachi Gupta, Jezebel 

As Pennsylvania made history on Monday, swearing in the first Muslim woman elected to the state House, one Republican lawmaker prayed to Jesus for forgiveness.

13) Trump tells aides "he doesn't want another single dollar" sent to hurricane-torn Puerto Rico: report

Shira Tarlo, Salon 

President Donald Trump wants to limit additional federal aid from going to Puerto Rico as the territory continues to recover from Hurricane Maria, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing senior administration officials.

(Related: Puerto Rico puts the lie to America's supposed "humanitarian" concern for Venezuela's blackout)

14) Mexico's AMLO Requests Apology From Spain, Church For Conquest


During a Facebook video recording in front of Mayan ruins, President Lopez Obrador says Spain, Pope should apologize to 'original people' for Conquest 'massacres'.

15) Still an Emergency, Still No Action: BC’s Homeless Deaths Have Skyrocketed

Jessica Hannon, The Tyee

Two years ago, when the coroner released the 2015 homeless deaths numbers — a then unprecedented 73 deaths — Megaphone called upon the next provincial government to support a review panel on homeless deaths. Before the 2017 election, both the BC NDP and the BC Greens said they supported the creation of the panel.

But that call has gone unheeded.

16) Who benefits politically from the B.C. NDP government's love of LNG? Elizabeth May, of course

Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight 

On this issue, the B.C. NDP is on the same side as the federal Liberals.

17) Cuba Sends Field Hospital to Help Mozambique amid Cyclone Idai


Cuban cooperation includes doctors and equipment to counteract the public health effects of the worst southern hemisphere tropical storm ever.

18) Uber and Lyft drivers in Los Angeles strike over pay, working conditions

Ben Kesslen and Ted Chen, NBC News

“I’m drowning in this gig economy," one striking driver told NBC News.

19) Bolsonaro To 'Commemorate' Brazil's 1964 Military Coup


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gave the Ministry of Defense freedom to carry out the "due commemorations" of the 55th anniversary of the country’s 1964 military coup on March 31, spokesman of the presidency Otavio Rego Barros said Monday.

20) Food banks are no solution to poverty

Open Letter, The Guardian 

Charitable food aid is a sticking plaster on a gaping wound of systemic inequality in the UK and US, say signatories including Prof Olivier de Schutter, a former UN special rapporteur on the right to food.

21) Tributes paid to assassinated communist commander

The Morning Star 

Commander of the Rojava MLKP, Bayram Namaz, was killed in a car bomb attack in northern Syria on Saturday morning.

22) Spain election: Prime minister Pedro Sanchez set to stay in power with left-wing coalition, polls show

Jon Stone, The Independent 

The socialist leader would be able to govern with support of left-wing parties.

23) Mueller Report Ends a Shameful Period for the Press

Chris Hedges, Truthdig 

The Mueller report’s categorical statement that Donald Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia ends one of the most shameful periods in modern American journalism, one that rivals the mindless cheerleading for the Iraq War by most of the press. It further erodes and may prove fatal to the credibility of a press that has steadfastly rendered most of the country invisible and functions as little more than an array of gossiping courtiers to the elites.

24) Communists protest against Kremlin policies

The Japan News 

Several thousand supporters of Russia’s Communist Party rallied in Moscow against government policies, with some attacking President Vladimir Putin, who they said was personally responsible for entrenched corruption and rising prices.

25) Caribou have quietly gone extinct in the Lower 48

Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post

This year, in the dead of winter, America’s wild caribou went extinct in the contiguous United States.

26) Bill Morneau Announced a Plan to Provide Meals to Low-Income School Children. The Plan Has No Funding.

Press Progress 

Believe it or not, but Canada is the only G7 and OECD country without a national school meal program for low-income children.

27) Dr Who the leftist

Matthew Trinder, The Morning Star 

From their ecological critique of capitalism, their awareness of class issues, to their steadfast opposition to racism, Dr Who has been flying the red flag for decades.

28) Racist street checks are a white silence problem

Robert Devet, The Nova Scotia Advocate 

The Wortley report, dealing with racist profiling within the Halifax police force, with all its stats and stories, only confirms  what the Black Nova Scotian community has known forever, and has said forever.

29) HUD Charges Facebook With Enabling Housing Discrimination

Matt Novack, Gizmodo 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Thursday charged Facebook with discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. HUD says it believes the company was “encouraging, enabling, and causing housing discrimination through the company’s advertising platform.”

30) Shrinking Arctic sea ice linked to less rain further south

Bob Weber · The Canadian Press

Research has uncovered powerful evidence linking shrinking sea ice in the Arctic to snow and rain in central North America.

31) China becoming more of an open book to much of the world

Cameron Orr, People's World 

Earlier this month, 22 communists from the United States, Canada, the U.K., Finland, Norway, and Sweden returned home after their two-week visit to Zhejiang Province and Beijing in China. While there, they learned about the history of China and current developments of “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.”

32) 100 Years of Fighting for People, Peace and Planet Before Profits

Communist Party USA

Celebrating 100 years in the struggle for working-class and people’s democracy, equality, peace, a sustainable environment, and socialism, the Communist Party USA will convene its 31st National Convention in Chicago from June 21 to 23, 2019.

33)  'There is no racism in Canada': Beyak leaves controversial letters online as minister calls for action

John Paul Tasker · CBC News

More than a week after the Senate Ethics Officer ordered Non-affiliated Ontario Sen. Lynn Beyak to take down letters posted to her website that have been condemned by politicians of all stripes as racist and hateful, the correspondence is still featured prominently on her taxpayer-funded page.

34) Lethal Fungus Threatens 'Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction' Event


A fungus-borne disease that has spread to over 60 countries has been killing large populations of amphibians over the last 50 years.

35) Argentina: Poverty Increases to 32% and Extreme Poverty Reaches 7%


Argentina's statistics agency published a study on Thursday which shows that poverty affects 32 percent of the population with 6.7 percent living in extreme poverty. In one year, indigence increased from 4.8 percent to 6.7 percent.

36) Those who are fighting back are in danger

Sebastien Brulez, The Morning Star

Brazilian feminist activist TALIRIA PETRONE talks to Sebastien Brulez about the struggle today against the reactionary government of Jair Bolsonaro and the political assassination of her comrade Marielle Franco last year.

Eoin Higgins, Common Dreams

Hundreds of migrants are being held by border agents in a fenced in encampment under a bridge in El Paso, leading to anger and accusations that the American government is holding people in "concentration camps."

Adam Johnson, FAIR

A FAIR survey of the phrase “renounce violence” in the New York Times over the past 10 years shows that 95 percent of the time the demand is made of Muslim organizations, people or political parties, the most prominent being the Taliban and Hamas. There are zero instances of anyone in the Times—whether reporters quoting officials or columnists—from March 28, 2009, to March 28, 2019, insisting or suggesting that the United States, Israel or any white-majority country “renounce violence.”

Teachers really are paid terribly in America. This is how bad.

39) Good riddance to Amsterdam’s disgraceful red-light district tours

Julie Bindel, The Spectator 

The city of Amsterdam is to finally ban guided tours around its most notorious window brothel area, the sex tourist trap known as De Wallen. Since Holland legalised its already burgeoning sex trade back in the year 2000, it has become apparent that if you display women in windows, wearing nothing but a bikini and a fake smile, and market them like pieces of meat, that is how they will be treated by those that flock into the area to have a laugh at the human zoo.

40) An Awkward Kiss Changed How I Saw Joe Biden

Lucy Flores, The Cut

In 2014, I was the 35-year-old Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in Nevada. The landscape wasn’t looking good for my party that year.

41) Georgia Lawmakers Approve ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban

Emma Hurt, WABE

The Georgia House of Representatives put its final stamp of approval on an anti-abortion, so-called “heartbeat” bill Friday, by just one vote. It now needs Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature to become law.

42) Russian Troops, Military Advisers Land in Venezuela, Report Says


'Russia has various contracts that are in the process of being fulfilled, contracts of a technical military character,' confirmed Russian government-owned news agency Sputnik, quoting an unnamed source.

43) 'Arrogant': Russia Tells Trump Troops To Remain in Venezuela as Long as Needed


Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova rejected Thursday President Donald Trump's statements regarding the presence of Russian military in Venezuela and noted that her country's actions were legitimate and agreed upon with the President Nicolas Maduro administration.

44) Chinese Aid Arrives in Venezuela


China delivered 65 tons of medicine and supplies to Venezuela Thursday as a result of a strategic cooperation between the two countries. The delivery of aid is one of many, according to government officials.


Tom O'Connor, Newsweek 

China has defended Russia's recent deployment of troops to Venezuela amid U.S. statements suggesting Moscow and Beijing had no right to support a Latin American government disavowed by Washington.

46) Fake Photos of Venezuelan Health Situation on Social Media: AFP


A publication with ten photos that supposedly shows the health situation in Venezuela has been shared on Facebook but not all of the photos were taken in Venezuela and none of them are recent.

47) Defending the Bolivarian Revolution, one commune at a time

Fernando Arce, Rabble

In Venezuela, socialist communes play a key role in the production and distribution of food directly to families as hyperinflation, price speculation and illegal U.S. and Canadian sanctions limit access to many necessities. In the wake of Juan Guaido's unconstitutional self-proclamation as president, communes have also taken a more active role in the defence of the Bolivarian Revolution by holding those who are leading it accountable, including incumbent president Nicolas Maduro's government.

48) Pathological Deceit: The NYT Inverts Reality on Venezuela’s Cuban Doctors

Ricardo Vaz & Lucas Koerner, FAIR

After debunking Washington’s lies about the burning of “humanitarian aid” trucks on the Venezuelan/Colombian border (more than two weeks after being scooped by independent journalists), the New York Times quickly reverted to form in an article by Nicholas Casey headlined “‘It is Unspeakable’: How Maduro Used Cuban Doctors to Coerce Voters”.

49) University of Ottawa Professor Melts Down at #HandsOffVenezuela Presentation

Dimitri Lascaris

As for Nahon–Saferty’s assertion that I would fail his journalism class, I have only this to say: one of the very reasons that journalism is so pathetic in this country is that ‘professors’ like Nahon-Serfaty are teaching it.

50) Venezuelan Gov’t Presents Evidence of Alleged Opposition Paramilitary Plot

Ricardo Vaz, Venezuela Analysis 

Venezuelan authorities claim to have uncovered the plot from a conversation between Guaido and Russian pranksters impersonating the president of Switzerland.

51) Venezuela Denounces New Attack On Its National Electric System


A new attack on Venezuela’s National Electric System, which left many sectors of the country without service, was denounced Monday by Vice President of Communication, Tourism and Culture Jorge Rodriguez.

52) US sanctions don’t work, make human rights situation worse – UN sanctions rapporteur


From Venezuela to Iran, Liberia to Belarus, there’s barely a corner of the world not sanctioned by the US. But economic penalties don’t help regime change and unfairly impact civilians, the UN sanctions rapporteur told RT.


Ivar Andersen, Popular Resistance 

More than 60 countries have recognized Juan Guaidó as legitimate interim president. But among international trade unions, support for Venezuelan self-determination is resolute .

54) No More US Financial Aid for Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador


United States President Donald Trump has ordered to suspend financial assistance to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) said.

55) How War Criminal Elliott Abrams Orchestrated the 2007 Hamas-Fateh Palestinian Civil War

 Utsa Sarmin and Mohamed Hemish, Telesur 

Elliott Abrams, the convicted war criminal behind many U.S. interventionist policies, was also behind the coup against a democratically elected Hamas in Palestine in 2007.

56) What you need to know about the bombings in Gaza

Mike Merryman-Lotze, AFSC

Israel has begun bombing targets in Gaza and has issued call-up orders for thousands of reserve troops, signaling that a new large-scale attack on Gaza may be in its early phases. Political action is needed now in the U.S. to push for a halt to violence that could result in the deaths of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza.

57) Cuba condemns U.S. recognition of Israeli occupation


The U. S. government’s announced intention to recognize the occupied Syrian Golan as Israeli territory constitutes a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and the Security Council’s Resolution 497 of 1981.

58) Palestinian junior medic shot and killed by Israeli soldiers

Ceren Sagir, The Morning Star 

Mourners pray by the body of Sajed Mizher, 18 during his funeral in the Palestinian Refugee camp of Dheisheh, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, today.

59) Gaza border protests: 190 killed and 28,000 injured in a year of bloodshed

Oliver Holmes and Josh Holder, The Guardian 

One year ago, Palestinians trapped in Gaza began a protest movement at the frontier with Israel that was intended to last six weeks.

60) Over 450 Brazilian Jurists Call for Release of Lula


A manifesto signed by 464 Brazilian jurists calls for the release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been held as a political prisoner since April 7, 2018, after being sentenced on the second instance for passive corruption and money laundering without any evidence against him.

61) Playgrounds only for the rich kids? What grotesque social apartheid

Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian 

A developer has fenced off social housing residents from a playground outside their homes. This is society at its most mean-spirited.

See also: Christchurch Aftermath, Venezuela, Israel, Climate Change & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos March 17 - 24

Saturday, March 30, 2019

American Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

American Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

“We strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations. We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region.” - American Imperialist Thug and U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton after Russia deployed some military advisers to Venezuela which has been under siege by the United States and its stooge allies. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Fondue Cook-In, 1968 w. Beef Fondue, Fondue Gruyere, Sangria & more -- Vintage Cookbook TBT

Vintage Cookbook: Fondue Cook-In

Publication Details: Potpourri Press, 1968

"The success of your party is insured at the moment you decide to cook fondue!". So opens this very cute and campy little cookbook that seeks to meet all your fondue needs.

Since the book was published in 1968 fondue as a party favourite theme has, too say the least, rather declined sadly. Occasionally there will be rumours of a fondue comeback, but they never really seem to go anywhere.

Still, fondue is great fun, can be quite delicious and sets are still available, so maybe this will prompt you to give it a try.

The book starts with a "how to" section and then quickly heads to the recipes and sauces all of which look good. The little extra of suggested libations helps as well.

When you do roll with a fondue night be sure to keep me in mind if I am in town.

(Click on scans to enlarge)

Working Class Unity...Our Cardinal Task, Robert Laxer, LPP 1951

Peace Poster USSR c. 1985
Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project

Leaflet: Working Class Unity...Our Cardinal Task, Robert Laxer, LPP 1951

"The connection between the economic and the peace issues is...deep going. In making this connection in our popular agitation to workers such as "You can't have butter and guns" we are preparing them for the events which will ever more clarify the link between the peace fight and the battle for bread and butter."

This article from the January, 1951 issue of National Affairs Monthly -- a publication of the Labor Progressive Party as the Canadian Communist Party was known at the time -- is interesting in the historical context of trying to build a peace movement with the rise of McCarthyism, the Cold War and government and media fostered anti-Communist hysteria.

This anti-Communism, as the article touches on, had also taken hold within the leadership of much of the Canadian labour movement as well as in the CCF (the predecessor to the NDP) making the task of building a peace movement that much harder. The article outlines some ideas for how to deal with this that would be discussed and dealt with at the party's upcoming convention.

The article is also of interest to me as it was written by my grandfather, Robert Laxer, who was a lifelong political activist -- first as a Communist then as a socialist and nationalist -- and writer. He left the party in 1956.

I have touched on this family history of Communist activism in the time of McCarthy before in the posts Till the World is Bright (In Memory of the Rosenbergs) - A Poem by Edna May Quentin Laxer and Win With J.B. Salsberg...and Robert Laxer!

(Click on scans to enlarge)

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

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic -- The Socialist Planned Economy City Building Transportation Computer Game

Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic is a remarkable city building, resource management and transportation game that allows the player to manage all aspects of a planned, Soviet style country and economy. Set in a small, economically backward, fictional European country that borders both the Soviet Union and NATO, this very challenging simulation is a must for fans of this type of game (think Tropico) as well as for anyone who ever wondered what it would have been like to take power and try to chart a socialist path under extremely difficult circumstances.

It must be noted that though it was released on March 15 on Steam, this is an "Early Access" game meaning that its developers are still working out its kinks and making additions to it. There have already been several updates to fix bugs and crashes (I personally never encountered these so far as I know) and it does have something of the feel of an unfinished product in ways both good and bad. Some have complained that given this the price tag of $28.99 in Canada seems a bit steep though I think it is worth every penny.

Opening menu
In fact, part of what I found exciting playing it was precisely its unpolished aspect with only basic help instructions and no tutorial. For me its resultant very steep learning curve enhanced the feel of being almost thrown into an impossible situation after assuming control of a state against all the odds in trying conditions.

Right now the map options are limited to a totally blank one and the same map with a variety of pre-existing towns and hamlets. For the purposes of this review's screenshots I chose that latter option and started building up around the largest town.

As the name implies the purpose is to manage the allocation of workers as well as the supply chains and resource and industrial development of your socialist economy. Included in this are designing bus and train routes to transport your workers from home to job as well as the creation of truck and train networks to transport resources from resource to factory or from resource/factory to sell at the border to either the USSR or the west.

Meanwhile you are seeking to create new or expanded housing of varying quality for the workers, as well as amenities for them such as playing fields, schools, daycare facilities, hospitals, shops and pubs. Educational facilities also ultimately generate an educated workforce. The goal is both to expand the economy while enriching the lives of the people so that they remain content and supportive.

Early in the game you can import power, resources, food and goods while you get your industries established but in the long run you can tool the economy to run in various ways. For example, you can place an emphasis on selling natural resources like coal, lumber, etc and importing other things you need, or you can attempt self-reliance and try to fulfill all your country's needs internally. You can even decide whether or not to try to lure foreign workers and from where.

The game really shines in the range of transport options and the old-school East Bloc vehicles from buses and trams, to trains, to trucks and tractors. You decide which vehicle to purchase and to allocate which is great fun.

The centre of the largest town right after the revolution!
There are flaws and limitations as more options would nice on some fronts as would a more highly developed political or military aspect. After all, with self-reliance or socialism came the need for defense against imperialist encirclement and attack, but in time the developers may yet take the game there. 

The lure of this game lies in building those farms and wondering what to do with the crops, creating bus lines to hamlets that no one uses at first, developing a resource and wondering how the placement of the various connections and extractors work and how to get workers to it, etc. I don't want to go into too much detail as I think it is great to just leap in. 

Suffice it to say if you have ever wanted to simulate the challenge of taking control of an all powerful version of Gosplan in 1922 when everything was a shitshow in the USSR this is the game for you. If you have no idea what I meant saying that, it is almost certainly not.

Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic is available on Steam for $28.99 in Canada. It is in early access development. 

New Housing for Power Plant Workers with playing fields and a statue of Lenin.
Note the buses, part of the public transit networks.

"Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification" - Lenin
In that spirit one of the first things I built was a power plant to cut dependence on energy imports.

A new housing complex with a soccer field.

Undeveloped hamlet with a bus stop. 
Soon resources nearby will make this a mining boom town.

Livestock Farm

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hot Italian Sausages with Onions and Peppers

Today we are going to look at how to make one version of a classic combination -- Hot Italian Sausages with onions and sweet peppers. As with most great comfort food dishes it is fairly simple to make but delivers bold flavours. It is also one of my family's favourites.

To begin you want to pick up some Hot Italian Sausages. You can use any sausages but the spicy really contrasts well with the "sweet" of the onions and peppers.

Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan and then brown the sausages for around 2-3 minutes a side. Remove from the saucepan and set aside on a platter. These are not fully cooked at this point but that is fine as they will be later.

Do not drain or clean the pan. In the juices and oil saute 1 or 2 sliced onions and 1 or 2 sliced bell peppers. Here I used 1 yellow onion, 1 red onion and 1 large green pepper, but you can use any combination you like. Saute for around 5-7 minutes.

While the onions and peppers are sauteing slice the sausages width-wise in about three evenly placed spots around 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through.

While some folks like to cut the sausages into several small pieces I prefer it this way as people can still get an entire sausage if they wish.

Once the onions and peppers are finished sauteing add the sausages back to the pan and then add enough chicken stock to get about 2/3 of the way to the top of them. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.

Cover the pan and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until done. According to Health Canada sausages are done when they reach an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees.

Serve the sausages covered with the peppers and onions. They go really well with sauerkraut or coleslaw on the side or, if you wish, you can have them on a bun.


See also: "Green Bay Packer" Wisconsin Beer Brats with Sauerkraut & Mixed Vegetables

See also: Charcoal BBQ Hot Italian Sausages and Onions

Fridays for Future School Strike for Climate Rally: Queen's Park, Toronto, April 5

Poster for an upcoming Fridays for Future School Strike for Climate Rally
Queen's Park, Toronto, April 5th, 12:30 - 2 pm
For developments and details see the Facebook event page: 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Christchurch Aftermath, Venezuela, Israel, Climate Change & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos March 17 - 24

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 March 17 - 24.

1) Christchurch terror attack: ‘Politicians have blood on their hands’

Ahmed Aboushabana, Green Left Weekly

When are we going to learn that they do not care about us? They only care about their seats, their comfortable seats [in parliament].

They do not think twice about sacrificing any of us to keep these seats.

They say “We are all Muslims”?


We remember when they said they were going to fight Islam for the next 100 years. We remember their double standards; we will never forget it.

Finally, I want to thank my First Nations brothers and sisters for their usual support and solidarity. Thank you for always being there for us.

I’m sorry for not showing the same support when your people are killed in custody, when your lands are stolen and when your kids are taken away. We can do better and we will do better.

I also want to thank Will Connolly: thank you for egging that racist scumbag. You’ve done well. You are good brave man and thank you.

2) Islamophobia is practically enshrined as public policy in Australia

Jason Wilson, The Guardian 

In the period of the country’s enthusiastic participation in the War on Terror, Islam and Muslims have frequently been treated as public enemies, and hate speech against them has inexorably been normalised.

3) 'Egg Boy' to donate money raised for him towards victims of Christchurch attack

New Zealand Herald 

"Egg Boy" is going to donate most of the money raised for him towards the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

4) New Zealand Suspect’s Actions Are Logical Conclusion of Calling Immigrants “Invaders”

Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept 

Tarrant’s words are both lucid and chillingly familiar. His references to immigrants as invaders find echoes in the language used by the president of the United States and far-right leaders across Europe. And that is why it would be a mistake to dismiss them as the incoherent ravings of a madman.

5) Will Trump go for Bolivia next?

Ken Livingstone, The Morning Star

With Evo Morales campaigning for re-election in Bolivia later this year, the left must raise awareness of the threat of growing US hostility.

6) Canada’s next target after Venezuela: Cuba?

Yves Engler

“First we take Caracas then we take Havana.”

7) “No War for Oil” as Thousands March Against US Intervention in Venezuela

The Real News Network

As part of an international day against US intervention in Venezuela, a mobilization in Washington, DC with speakers Daniel Ellsberg and Jill Stein emphasized that Trump is only interested in Venezuela’s resources, not in its human rights.

(Related: Puerto Rico puts the lie to America's supposed "humanitarian" concern for Venezuela's blackout


Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance

We are completing what became more than a week-long peace delegation to Venezuela organized by the US Peace Council and the Committee for International Solidarity in Venezuela (COSI). The trip was complicated by American Airlines cancelling all flights in and out of the country, leaving us scrambling for ways to get there and get home. We also arrived in the midst of the attack on Venezuela’s electrical system, which caused further complications.

9) On the Ground in Venezuela vs. the Media Spectacle

Paul Cochrane, Counterpunch 

British photojournalist Alan Gignoux and Venezuelan journalist-filmmaker Carolina Graterol, both based in London, went to Venezuela for a month to shoot a documentary for a major global TV channel. They talked with journalist Paul Cochrane about the mainstream media’s portrayal of Venezuela compared to their experiences on the ground.

10) Juan Guaidó: From self-proclaimed President to sacrificial lamb

 Raúl Antonio Capote, Granma 

History is full of self-proclaimed kings, presidents and governors. Many are to be found in literature, as well, and some of these real and fictitious figures marked eras, while others end up as protagonists of some hilarious anecdote or after-dinner joke.

11) Indian Workers’ Convention in Solidarity with the people of Venezuela Against the Imperialist Aggression


The Convention appeals to the Indian working class and the patriotic people of the country to mobilize mass of the people in support of the people of Venezuela.

12) Maduro: US Withholding $5bn of Medical Supplies in ‘Criminal’ Measure

Paul Dobson, Venezuela Analysis 

The US government is withholding US $5 billion which was meant for the purchase of medicines and raw materials used in medical production, President Nicolas Maduro claimed Wednesday.

13) US Sanctions Venezuelan Bank After Guaido Aide Accused of Leading ‘Terrorist Cell’

Ricardo Vaz, Venezuela Analysis 

The US Treasury imposed sanctions against the Venezuelan Economic and Social Development Bank (BANDES) on Friday.

14) Cuban-Venezuelan Program Returns Eyesight to 700,000 Bolivians


Operation Miracle, the free Cuban-Venezuelan eyecare program has brought back sight to more than 700,000 Bolivians in the last 12 years.


People's Voice 

As fallout from the SNC-Lavalin scandal spreads across the landscape, the record of Justin Trudeau’s election pledges to Indigenous peoples could affect next October’s federal campaign. Back in 2015, voter turnout on reserves across Canada jumped to 62%, up from 47% in 2011. One reason was anger among Indigenous peoples against the Harper Tory government’s Bill C-45, which removed federal protections for forests and waterways, sparking the emergence of the Idle No More movement. Trudeau’s Liberals took advantage, promising to implement a “new nation-to-nation relationship”. It has been estimated that higher Indigenous voting may have helped swing up to 22 ridings to the Liberals.

16) The Case Against Joe Biden: How the Former VP Fueled Mass Incarceration & Protected Big Banks

Democracy Now 

Speculation is growing that former Vice President Joe Biden will soon enter the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. We continue our conversation with Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor for Harper’s magazine, about what he sees as Biden’s dangerous track record, from his 1994 crime bill to his close ties with big banks. Cockburn’s latest piece is headlined “No Joe! Joe Biden’s disastrous legislative legacy.”


Meg O'Connor, The Advocate

In 2017, over 2,000 homeless people were arrested on charges including drinking in public and panhandling. That same year, roughly 1,400 people were arrested in Miami-Dade County for rape, murder, and robbery.

18) College admissions scandal highlights inequality of American education system

Paulina Cachero, Yahoo Lifestyle

However, as the country fixates on the gross extortion by those who have the means to provide the best academic resources and advantages that money can buy, others are using the opportunity to try and shed some light on the realities of America’s unbalanced education system — specifically, the prosecution of struggling, working-class citizens fighting for equal opportunities for their children.

19) ‘The neoliberal nightmare’ is over in Mexico, Amlo declares

The Morning Star 

The Mexican President promises ‘markets won’t replace the state’

20) This family of five lives in a laundry room, a sign of Nunavut's housing crisis

Kieran Oudshoorn, CBC

Maniapik is one of thousands of Nunavut residents struggling with inadequate housing. Nearly half of the territory's population of 38,000 people lives in overcrowded conditions, and Inuit leaders in Nunavut say unless decisive action is taken now, the territory's housing crisis will only get worse.

21) All the Ways Bernie Might Lose: A Socialist Critique of Social Democracy

Andrew Dobbs, The Hampton Institute 

There are six generally possible outcomes for this exercise, each with clear historical antecedents that demonstrate the ease with which the ruling class would blunt any electoral effort even calling itself socialist. It is crucial that DSA members remember this history and resist the well-trod path to embarrassment they are considering right now. Here are the ways history has shown a campaign like this one can be destroyed.

22) 'Military Keynesianism is Back!': Democrats and Trump Agree on Pentagon Increase, Quibble on Details

Eoin Higgins, Common Dreams 

President Donald Trump's requested military budget is another record breaker—and Democrats are countering with their own increase.

23) Lorenzo Orsetti: a modern-day partisan

Rosa Gilbert, The Morning Star

ROSA GILBERT salutes her comrade, the Italian revolutionary killed this week in the fight between Isis and Kurdish-led forces in Syria.

24) Ilhan Omar Calls US Iraq Invasion 'Illegal' on 16th Anniversary


On the sixteenth anniversary of the day when former President of the United States George W. Bush, and his British ally, Tony Blair, decided to invade Iraq arguing that they will turn the country into a model of democracy and spread freedom across the Middle East, Ilhan Omar, the U.S. congresswoman from Minnesota, said in a series of tweets that the George W. Bush administration's invasion of Iraq was "illegal."

25) Looking for Loopholes: On the Misuses of Lenin’s “‘Left-Wing’ Communism”

Doug Greene, Left Voice 

Lenin’s “‘Left-Wing’ Communism” is often misinterpreted to justify betrayals of revolutionary principle, here we set the record straight.

26) Quebec interns want wages, and they want them now

Savannah Stewart, Briarpatch 

Last fall, Quebec saw over 58,000 students participate in a week-long strike. From November 19 to 24, students at universities and junior colleges (CEGEPs) walked out on classes, held street marches, and formed picket lines in front of their schools to enforce strike mandates.

27) Unpaid internships hit female students harder because 'women's work' is devalued: expert

CBC Radio 

As thousands of students strike over unpaid internships in Quebec, one expert argues that the issue disproportionately affects women.

28) Winnipeg Labour Council boss stepping down after alleged 'degrading and disgusting' remarks

Austin Grabish · CBC News

The president of the Winnipeg Labour Council says she plans to resign, alleging her male colleagues in the labour movement bullied her, made sexist remarks and pressured her to quit.

29) The Sudanese uprising further escalated since December


In Sudan, the mass protest movement against the dictatorial regime that started in December has greatly escalated and spread to all major cities and towns since then. Following the appeals of the Sudanese Communist Party, a number of communist and workers’ parties had issued a common statement on January 9, expressing support for and solidarity with the struggle of the Sudanese people "against the dictatorial regime, for democracy and social progress."

30) Trudeau continues Canada's war in Iraq with little critical media coverage

Brent Patterson, Rabble 

There has been little mainstream media attention -- or context -- given to the Trudeau government's announcement earlier this week that it would extend the deployment of Canadian troops in Iraq until March 2021.

(Related: Canada extends Ukraine military mission against alarming backdrop of rising fascism and neo-Nazism

31) 11 Pinochet Ex-Military Convicted For Burning Protesters Alive


In a triumphant win for victims and survivors of the bloody Pinochet military dictatorship, the Chilean Justice system closes the "Caso Quemados" (Burnt Case) and sends 11 retired military personnel to prison for up to 10 years for burning two young protesters alive in 1986.

32) Report: Great Lakes feeling effects of rapid climate warming

JOHN FLESHER, AP Environmental Writer

The Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the U.S., a trend likely to bring more extreme storms while also degrading water quality, worsening erosion and posing tougher challenges for farming, scientists reported Thursday.

33) Macron’s military reaction to the gilets jaunes is a sign his government has lost control

Pauline Bock, The New Statesman 

Rather than appease protesters with social change, the French government has demonised them as criminals to justify repressive tactics.

34) Court calls Canada’s treatment of ‘safe country refugees’ unconstitutional

Nicholas Keung, The Toronto Star

The Federal Court has struck down one of the last remaining planks of a controversial revamp of the refugee asylum system introduced with great fanfare by the Harper government as a way to root out what it called bogus claims.

35) Brazilian Social Leader and 'Defender of Life' Dies


Brazilian social leader, Dilma Ferreira Silva, and other activists were killed Friday in the rural Parana, Brazil, the Movement of the Affected by Dams (MAB), an organization which fights for water and electricity rights for the public, reports.

36) The EU has derailed left governments at least three times - don’t let Corbyn be next.

 Chris Nineham, Counterfire 

With the backing of wider forces, the right in the Labour Party is trying to push Corbyn into agreeing to stay in the European single market and the customs union. This would water down Brexit to the point where it was barely a Brexit at all. The single market and the customs union come with a host of conditions guaranteeing, amongst other things, corporate ‘market access’ to industries and services, which would effectively neuter Corbyn and McDonnell’s plans for renationalisation and rule out all kinds of state intervention in the economy.

37) ‘I work in the civil service – and it will resist a Corbyn government’

Fred Wrigley, Tribune 

An anonymous civil servant writes for Tribune about the politics of senior Whitehall figures and why they will aim to frustrate a Corbyn government.

38) Southeastern Europe’s New Left

Igor Štiks & Krunoslav Stojaković, RLS

The emergence of a New Left in Southeast Europe—varying from state to state in terms of its impact—can be traced back to the financial crisis of 2008.[1] Following two decades of ideological hegemony under neoliberal and neoconservative political actors, the crisis gradually created spaces for the public articulation of anti-capitalist criticism throughout the post-socialist Balkans. The spectrum of left-wing political actors that has since then formed—and, in part, continues to form—ranges from more informal alliances in the context of concrete political and social struggles to radical left-wing non-governmental organizations that emerged from Southeast Europe’s active student movement, to smaller party-style organizations to more or less stable political parties and party coalitions, especially at the local level. In the following, we will try to provide an overview.

39) 'Fascist, violent, dangerous': protests planned as Bolsonaro arrives in Chile

Anna Jean Kaiser, The Guardian 

At the end of his first state visit to Washington DC this week, Jair Bolsonaro hailed his meeting with Donald Trump as a “historic moment”, claiming he was returning home with a sensation of “mission accomplished”. Today, Brazil’s far-right leader begins his second official trip – to Chile, where he is poised to receive a much less warm welcome.

40) From Liberal ‘Ideology’ to Massive Cuts: Ford’s Education Policy for Ontario

Dudley Paul, Socialist Project Bullet 

Education Minister Lisa Thompson, walked up to the podium at the Ontario Science Centre on Friday to tell Ontarians about her plan for education. But first, she took a shot at the Liberal Party. Liberal “ideology” she claimed, got it wrong on education from the “social experiment” of the 2015 sexual education curriculum to Discovery Math. It was “not a moment too soon” she said, that the government of Doug Ford stepped in to set Ontario schools on a new “sustainable path.”

41) Israel's Top Court Bans Kahanist Leader From Election Run, Okays Arab Slates, Far-left Candidate

Yotam Berger, Haaretz

Israel's Supreme Court banned on Sunday Kahanist leader Michael Ben Ari from running in the April 9 general election and reversed the disqualification of Arab joint slate Balad-United Arab List and Ofer Cassif, a member of political alliance Hadash-Ta'al.

42) 'Endless Trip to Hell': Israel Jails Hundreds of Palestinian Boys a Year. These Are Their Testimonies

Netta Ahituv, Haaretz 

They’re seized in the dead of night, blindfolded and cuffed, abused and manipulated to confess to crimes they didn't commit. Every year Israel arrests almost 1,000 Palestinian youngsters, some of them not yet 13.

43) Video: Israeli Troops Arrest 10-year-old at Palestinian School


Israeli forces arrested a 10-year-old boy from his classroom and beat the deputy head of the school in the West Bank Wednesday. Activists posted a video of the incident.

44) Pompeo Says Trump Sent by God to Save Israel


United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo proclaimed Thursday that “The Lord is at work here” regarding Trump’s meddling in Middle East affairs between Israel and Iran, in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network.

45) Trump Offers Netanyahu Part of Syria to Boost Israeli Leader’s Flagging Re-Election Campaign

Robert Mackey, The Intercept 

WITH A TWEET posted on Thursday, President Donald Trump dismissed five decades of international consensus on the status of the Golan Heights, Syrian territory seized by Israel in 1967 during a pre-emptive war, declaring that the United States would recognize Israel’s annexation of the region.

46) UN report: Pillaging Palestine’s resources a ‘crime against humanity’

Green Left Weekly 

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) met on March 18 to investigate the human rights situation in Palestine and issued a report that focused on the impact of the occupation on the environment and natural resources, the ongoing use of excessive force by Israeli security forces against demonstrators in Gaza, and the near-humanitarian catastrophe in the territory caused by the blockade.

47) Jewish Lawmaker Shoots Dead Arab Colleague in Campaign Video; Complaint Filed

Jack Khoury, Haaretz 

MK Jamal Zahalka, the chairman of the Arab-majority Balad party, filed a complaint with the police on Tuesday against MK Oren Hazan (Likud) for incitement to murder.

48) England could run short of water within 25 years

Damian Carrington, The Guardian 

England is set to run short of water within 25 years, the chief executive of the Environment Agency has warned.

49) Ending climate change requires the end of capitalism. Have we got the stomach for it?

Phil McDuff, The Guardian 

Policy tweaks won’t do it, we need to throw the kitchen sink at this with a total rethink of our relationship to ownership, work and capital.

See also: Christchurch, International Student Climate Strikes, Venezuela & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos March 10 - 17