Sunday, January 15, 2017

Obama's Lies, Male Violence, Meryl Streep & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 8-15

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 January 8 - January 15. It is in order of date of the article's release.

1) Pity the sad legacy of Barack Obama

Cornel West, The Guardian

Eight years ago the world was on the brink of a grand celebration: the inauguration of a brilliant and charismatic black president of the United States of America. Today we are on the edge of an abyss: the installation of a mendacious and cathartic white president who will replace him.

Read the full article.

2) Canada will party while indigenous kids are denied services

Vicky Mochama, Metro News

For the vast portion of Canadian history, indigenous communities have been stripped of their rights. Underfunding students, bickering over health costs, and allowing children to slip into child welfare cracks is how those rights continue to be abridged.

Read the full article.

3) Black people 3 times more likely to be street checked in Halifax, police say

Phlis McGregor and Angela MacIvor, CBC News

Ashley Taylor tenses up every time he sees a police cruiser because he knows what could be coming next.

"Being pulled over by the police for me," the Nova Scotia resident said, taking a pause, "it's normal."

Taylor, 42, estimates he has been stopped by police an average of three times a year. The student support worker at Dartmouth High School in said it usually happens on his drive to work.

"Is it racial profiling? Possibly."

Read the full article.

4) Protests Erupt in Kentucky After GOP Supermajority Passes Extreme Anti-Choice, Anti-Union Bills

Democracy Now

In Kentucky, hundreds of demonstrators packed into the Capitol building Saturday to protest the state Legislature’s passage of a slew of controversial bills, including an anti-union "right-to-work" law and extreme anti-choice legislation that bans abortions after 20 weeks and requires a woman to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. The surprise emergency legislative session Saturday came after Republicans seized a supermajority in the House of Representatives, giving the Republicans control of the House, the Senate and the governorship for the first time in Kentucky state history. On Saturday, the Legislature also repealed a law that had guaranteed higher wages for workers on publicly financed construction projects. We go to Louisville, Kentucky, for an update from Richard Becker, a union organizer with Service Employees International Union, and we speak with Lisa Abbott, a community organizer with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.

Read the full article.

5) New numbers show spike in asylum seekers crossing from U.S. to Manitoba

Austin Grabish & Laura Glowacki, CBC News

The number of asylum seekers crossing the Canada-U.S. border into Manitoba on foot instead of through official ports of entry has risen fivefold in the past three years.

In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, 68 people illegally crossed the international border near the small, southern Manitoba community of Emerson and claimed refugee status, according to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). That jumped to 340 in 2015-2016.

Read the full article.

6) America dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016. What a bloody end to Obama's reign

Medea Benjamin, The Guardian 

Most Americans would probably be astounded to realize that the president who has been painted by Washington pundits as a reluctant warrior has actually been a hawk. The Iran nuclear deal, a herculean achievement, and the opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba unfortunately stand alone as President Obama’s successful uses of diplomacy over hostility.

Read the full article.

7) Jody Issel, Soldiers of Odin Moose Jaw President, Isn't Even Trying Anymore

Anti-Racist Canada

You know, if there's one positive thing about Trump's election is that the racists we've been covering here for years have become refreshingly honest about their views. Take this guy for example:

Read the full article.

8) Why Meryl Streep’s Golden Globe Speech Is So Important in the Trump Era

Juan Cole, Truthdig 

Occasionally entertainment and politics intersect, often hitting a false note.  You never want your screenplay to be, as they say in Hollywood, “on the nose.”  You have to step sideways away from ordinary news and address some dimension of the human condition to make art.

But in moments of national crisis, stars feel a need to speak out. Nick Gass has reviewed some of the major such incidents at the Academy Awards.  Jane Fonda used her moment on the stage at the Academy Awards in the 1970s to denounce the Vietnam War.  Marlon Brando declined to appear and had a Native American activist accept for him, making a statement about Indian rights.

Read the full article.

9) When men kill their partners, warning signs often missed

 Alyshah Hasham & Wendy Gillis, The Toronto Star

Last week, a relative of Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji sat silently in a north Toronto courtroom, watching as Dr. Mohammed Shamji appeared on a charge of first-degree murder. Pinned to her jacket was a purple ribbon to honour victims of domestic violence.

Read the full article.

10) I'm a TTC fare evader

Cliff G., NOW Magazine

My income does not meet the minimum poverty level, so without regular, fulltime employment I just can’t afford to get around this wondrous city. What's the answer? Free. Public. Transit.

Read the full article.

11) Obama’s Last Presidential Lies

Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

Nobody lies with the style and aplomb of Barack Hussein Obama, soon to be an ex-president of the United States. In his last address to the nation, Obama lied about his support for labor; economic and social justice for Black people; climate change and, of course, the rightwing Republican program that is his shameful legacy, Obamacare. Virtually everything the man says is a form of lie. But he does it so well, and some folks want so badly to believe.

Read the full article.

12) Here's Why Jeff Sessions Was Asked About a Murdered Abortion Doctor 

Stassa Edwards, The Slot/Jezebel

During Jeff Sessions’s confirmation hearing for Attorney General, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, asked Sessions about his endorsement from the extremist anti-choice group, Operation Rescue.

Read the full article.

13) The Boyden Controversy Is Not about Bloodline

Robert Jago, The Walrus

Over the holiday break, I was asked to host the @indigenousXca Twitter account, an account shared by different Indigenous activists, academics, and artists each week. I used that hosting opportunity to raise the question of author Joseph Boyden’s Indigenous identity—his “Indigeneity.” Raising this question inadvertently brought an Indigenous debate about identity and belonging into the non-Native media mainstream.

Read the full article.

14) Prosecutors dismissed his domestic violence charges. Then, police say, he killed his wife.

Lindsey Bever and Sarah Larimer, The Washington Post

For years, friends said, Tara O’Shea-Watson had been a victim of domestic violence.

She had shown up on their doorsteps, battered and bloodied after alleged violent encounters with her estranged husband, they said. She had talked to them about taking her children and fleeing from their home in Commercial Township, N.J., but the courts reportedly would not let her move them out of state.

Read the full article.

15) Activist Hilla Kerner says Christy Clark has done little to address male violence against women

Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight

Last June, Premier Christy Clark made a startling revelation.

In an article in the Vancouver Sun, she disclosed that 35 years ago, a stranger pulled her off the sidewalk into the bushes.

Read the full article.

16) Why do we coddle violent, abusive men? 

Heather Mallick, The Toronto Star

What are victims worth? When they’re women and children, not much. They’re dead, they only have us to defend them, and we’re doing a poor job.

Read the full article. 

17) The Boyden affair just got murkier

Rick Salutin, The Toronto Star

I found Joseph Boyden’s interview Wednesday on CBC — in a word rarely called for — unctuous. He surfaced three weeks after saying he wouldn’t deal with questions about his indigeneity publicly but only in a “speaking circle.” This after filling what he calls “airtime” for 10 years on every form of media.

Read the full article.

18) These acid-white LEDs serve as a lesson for Toronto planners

Alex Bozikovic, The Globe and Mail

Hit the lights! When Aura, at the corner of Yonge and Gerrard, turned on its exterior decorative lighting about a year ago, the downtown Toronto skyline changed dramatically. The 78-storey condominium tower was capped by long vertical icicles of acid-white LEDs: Many Torontonians were surprised.

Read the full article.

19) Canadian Union of Brewery and General workers on strike


Members of the Canadian Union of Brewery and General Workers (CUBGW/NUPGE) have been at the bargaining table with Molson Coors for months trying to negotiate a fair and reasonable collective agreement.
Despite being in a strike position as of Monday, January 9, the union held off on setting up picket lines to give the employer a last chance to come back with an improved package of proposals. The employer refused to budge.

Today, the members walked out of the plant to a picket line at the gate.

Read the full statement.

20) Judge blasts Toronto police over 'Kafkaesque' traffic stop

Jacques Gallant, The Toronto Star

A judge has acquitted a man of failing to provide a breath sample, rebuking Toronto police officers’ “aggressive” and “verbally abusive” conduct following a simple traffic stop, which included telling the man he needed to exit his car because he had come to a “high drug” area.

Read the full article.

21) After anti-abortion ads on buses, what’s next?

Heather Mallick, The Toronto Star

Why Peterborough agreed to allow anti-abortion ads on its city buses is baffling.

The ads planned for March will show an enlarged photo of a fetus allegedly at seven weeks, then 16 weeks, and then a smear of blood with the slogan “Growing, growing, gone. ABORTION KILLS CHILDREN.”

Read the full article. 

See also: Twitter, Basic Income, Kaepernick, Disney & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 1 - 8

See also: Netanyahu, Children of Men, Cheetahs & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List December 25 - January 1

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