Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Trump Administration, O'Leary, the Women's Marches & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 22-29

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

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

1) Donald Trump Signs Anti-Abortion Executive Order Surrounded By Men

Amanda Terkel, The Huffington Post

On Monday, surrounded by other white men, President Donald Trump signed an anti-abortion executive order that has far-reaching consequences for women’s reproductive health access worldwide.

Read the full article.

2) Benoit Hamon - the 'French Bernie Sanders' - goes from underdog to Socialist favourite


Benoit Hamon, who was a surprise winner of the first round of the French Socialists' presidential primary on Sunday, was the furthest to the left of the top three contenders.

Read the full article.

3) Nova Scotia village hosts one of the smallest women's marches, but it's still mighty

Jennifer MacMillan, CBC News

The village of Sandy Cove, N.S., may have just 65 year-round residents, but its voice is being heard by thousands around the world.

Gwen Quigley Wilson and Melissa Merritt, who both live in the area, wanted to join the millions of people who marched worldwide for women's rights on Saturday, the day after Donald Trump's inauguration.

But it's a 2.5-hour drive to Halifax, where the biggest local march was taking place. So they decided to organize their own march.

Read the full article.

4) You Are Not Equal. I’m Sorry.

 Dina Leygerman, The Bigger Picture

Say thank you. Say thank you to the women who gave you a voice. Say thank you to the women who were arrested and imprisoned and beaten and gassed for you to have a voice. Say thank you to the women who refused to back down, to the women who fought tirelessly to give you a voice. Say thank you to the women who put their lives on hold, who –lucky for you — did not have “better things to do” than to march and protest and rally for your voice. So you don’t feel like a “second class citizen.” So you get to feel “equal.”

Read the full article.

5) Women's March Organizer Linda Sarsour Is Under Attack on Social Media

Mattie Khan, Elle

One of the organizers of the Women's March is under attack this morning, following reports from conservative news sites like The Daily Caller that accused her of having ties to terrorists. Linda Sarsour, a Muslim-American woman, has been an activist for decades and is widely respected for her dedication to progressive causes.

Read the full article.

6) With Donald Trump as President, Americans Are Flocking to Socialism

Kate Aronoff, In These Time

One evening the week before Christmas, about 100 people squeezed into a room in the Brooklyn Free School, located on one of central Brooklyn’s posher streets. The private school’s chair collection exhausted itself within minutes as attendees packed the room for the monthly meeting of the Brooklyn chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)—which, just a month earlier, had fit easily into the same space.

Read the full article. 

7) Why we should listen to anarchists in the age of Trump

Nathan Schneider, America: The Jesuit Review 

Among the sweeping changes that President Donald J. Trump has already brought to Washington with his inauguration is the specter of window-breaking anarchists.

“Less than two miles from the inaugural ceremonies,” The Washington Post reported on the front page of its website on Friday evening, “anarchists marched through the city’s streets, smashing bus-stop glass, vandalizing businesses and lighting fires.” It goes unexplained how the paper was able to confirm that these protesters were adherents of anarchist political philosophy, since fascists, soccer fans and others have been known for such conduct at times. (To The Post’s credit, at least, if these are the same protesters who also punched white nationalist Richard Spencer in the face, that pretty well points in the anarchist direction.) But whatever you think of such mayhem, or regardless of whom you accuse of it, anarchism is a tradition of thought and practice that we would do well to reconsider in times such as this.

Read the full article.

8) Trump and Netanyahu Are Going To Get Jews Killed — Unless They Change Course

Peter Beinart, Forward

When the mass violence starts, and some Israeli Jews die, and many more huddle in bomb shelters, I won’t write a column like this. I won’t write a column like this because when Jewish blood flows, it changes the conversation. American Jews became less tolerant of criticism of Israel. And I feel less comfortable offering it. When the next intifada begins, I’ll write more cautiously for fear of causing pain to my fellow Jews, who will already be suffering enough.

Read the full article. 

9) Don't shame the first steps of a resistance

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Socialist Worker

The United States has just experienced a corporate hijacking. If Trump's inaugural speech did not alert you to the fact that they intend to come after all of us, then you are not paying attention.

The scale of the attack is as deep as it is wide, and this means that we will need a mass movement to confront it. To organize such a movement necessarily means that it will involve the previously uninitiated--those who are new to activism and organizing. We have to welcome those people and stop the arrogant and moralistic chastising of anyone who is not as "woke."

Read the full article. 

10) Trump Gives Green Light To Keystone, Dakota Access Pipelines

Brian Naylor, NPR

President Trump on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for construction of two controversial oil pipelines, the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access.

Read the full article.

11) Democracy is Not a Team Sport

Kristine Mattis, Counterpunch

Once, at a check-up in Wisconsin, a nice young dental hygienist asked me if I followed the Green Bay Packers. She happened to be a huge fan, bristling with excitement about the upcoming game. I hail from a different state, have lived in a number of cities, and never cared much for football. No, I was not a fan. In fact, I always enjoyed playing sports more than watching them. Nevertheless, the woman went on to talk about her team for the entire time she cleaned my teeth.

Read the full article. 

12) Toronto police threaten to seize phone of man lawfully filming arrest

Wendy Gillis, The Toronto Star

“Clearly there is more work that we have to do. This is very much a teaching moment,” says Toronto police spokesperson after man lawfully filming an arrest was told to stop recording, then threatened with having his phone seized.

Read the full article.

13) Irish women to go on strike in protest of country's abortion ban

Siobhan Fenton, The Independent

Women in Ireland are going on strike to protest the country’s abortion ban.

Pro-choice women will refuse to attend work on 8 March, as part of direct action to make the government pay attention to growing frustration over lack of reproductive rights.

Read the full article.

14) Is the left with Trump against the TPP?

Pranav Jani, Socialist Worker

I hate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Donald Trump also opposes. But labor and the left need to make sure we don't fall into the trap of Trump's economic nationalism--which is just changing the terms by which U.S. capitalism exploits the working population at home, while trying to keep its global dominance against China's rise.

Trump's rhetoric and even threatened action against free trade--a border tax on U.S. companies that move production, restrictions on exports and imports--are calculated to continue the myth that he is for ordinary working people.

Read the full article.

15) White House sources say Trump was ‘visibly enraged’ at the size of the Women’s March: report

David Edwards, Raw Story

President Donald Trump became “visibly enraged” over the weekend when he saw that the Women’s March dwarfed the size of his inauguration crowd, The Washington Post reported.

White House sources told the Post that Trump’s celebratory mood turned to “flashes of anger” less than 24 hours after he took office.

Read the full article.

16) Let’s Talk About How Bell Fired Me After I Asked For Mental-Health Leave

Maria Mclean, Canadaland 

Today, a giant Canadian company is doing a wonderful thing for mental health awareness. The hashtag #BellLetsTalk will be used a record-setting number of times and will raise a record-setting amount of money. Tomorrow, praise will rain down on Bell for their record-setting generosity, and all I’ll be able to think about is how Bell responded to my mental health needs when they were my employer. They fired me.

Read the full article.

17) Let’s Talk About The Corporatization of Mental Health

Hana Shafi, Torontoist

While Bell Let's Talk Day strives for mental health awareness, Toronto critics say there are better ways to start conversations.

Read the full article.

18) How the Star got its O'Leary poll story dead wrong

Paul Adams, iPolitics

It isn’t always the polls getting it wrong. Sometimes it’s the journalists.

Here’s a newsflash: The polls in the election that delivered us Donald Trump weren’t the problem. The journalists and commentators who reported on them — they were the problem.

Read the full article.

19) Premier Kathleen Wynne bombarded on social media by homophobic, sexist abuse

 Mike Crawley, CBC News

The replies to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne on Twitter are not for the faint of heart.
The tweets at Wynne predominantly express anger about her record and most stay within the bounds of fair comment, not crossing the line into personal abuse. Such calls as "Resign!" "You're incompetent!" and "Worst premier ever!" are now simply part of the deal for a politician in the era of social media.

But Wynne also draws a significant number of abusive, sexist and homophobic tweets.

Read the full article.

20) Jimmy Snuka probably murdered Nancy Argentino. Don’t forget that.

Josh Kolic, The Hoop and the Harm

Nancy Argentino.

If you are going to remember anything about this piece, it should be that name. It’s one of the few things that has been brought up in the days since Jimmy Snuka passed away.

Nancy Argentino was 23 when she died. Her life – like all lives – meant much more than being the possible murder victim of a famous professional wrestler.

Read the full article.

21) "I'm Afraid They Are Out to Kill": Water Protectors Testify to Police Violence at Standing Rock

Democracy Now

On Tuesday, Donald Trump took action to revive the contested Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. He signed the presidential memorandum as water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota were gathered to testify to a wide range of police abuse. One of those to testify was Diné water protector Marcus Mitchell, who has lost sight in his left eye after being hit by a bean bag round fired by police last week. We hear his testimony and then get response from water protector Bobbi Jean Three Legs of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and longtime Anishinaabe activist Winona LaDuke.

Read the full article.

22) Toronto police can't stop you from filming them, nor seize your phone, lawyer says

John Rieti, CBC News

The man who captured video of Toronto police officers using a stun gun on a pinned suspect "absolutely" had the right to record that footage, a criminal lawyer says.

Read the full article.

23) 3.2 million people and you still can’t see us

 Kate McInturff, Behind the Numbers

An estimated 3.2 million people turned out for Women’s Marches around the world on Saturday. The sea of protesters had barely arrived on the Washington Mall before the questions started: “Where will this protest movement go? Do they have a plan? Is this just a one-off event?”

Read the full article.

24) Why non-Indigenous support for Joseph Boyden should set off alarm bells

Alicia Elliot, CBC Arts

I must admit, until the Joseph Boyden controversy started, I never thought I'd see white men in national newspapers arguing against Canada's colonial definition of "Indian." I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. After all, there is a uniquely Canadian history of rewarding "good Indians" and punishing "bad Indians."

Read the full article.

25) Strike for $15: Food service workers ready to take on Aramark

CJ Chanco, Rand and File

Cafeteria workers at York University and the University of Toronto’s (UofT) Scarborough campus are gearing up for a joint strike in February. The workers are employed by Aramark, which is contracted out by the universities to provide food service on their campuses.

Read the full article.

26) Our cynicism will not build a movement. Collaboration will.

Alicia Garza, Mic

I’ve been grappling with how to challenge cynicism in a moment that requires all of us to show up differently.

On Saturday, I joined more than a million women in Washington, D.C., to register my opposition to the new regime. Participating in the Women’s March — if you count satellite protests around the country, the largest one-day mobilization in the history of the United States — was both symbolic and challenging.

Read the full article.

27) Here are the potential sinister motives behind Donald Trump's voter fraud lie

Lawrence Douglas. The Guardian

During the third presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump whether he would “absolutely accept the result of the election” should he lose. What Wallace neglected to ask was whether Trump would accept the result if he won.

Read the full article.

28) Chicago To Trump: Go F*ck Yourself

 Dominic Gwinn, Wonkette

Donald Trump looks at Chicago and sees one thing: a war-torn post-apocalyptic hellscape. On the campaign trail he barked about the dismal homicide rate and claimed that he alone could stop Chicago’s crime within three weeks. Just last month he tweeted that Chicago should ask for federal aid to fix its beleaguered police, a gesture that was met with pursed lips and blank stares. Then he had to send his latest 140 character tantrum into the ether, threatening to impose martial law.

Read the full article.

29) Kevin O'Leary's 'Misogynistic' Remarks Are A Warning Sign: Arlene Dickinson

Maham Abedi, The Huffington Post

Arlene Dickinson says Kevin O'Leary's latest "misogynistic" jab at her proves exactly why Conservatives are better off without him as leader.

Read the full article.

30) Jacqueline Craig Case: Leaked Bodycam Video Shows Cop’s Violent Arrest of Mom Seeking Help 

Kirsten West Savali, The Root

The Fort Worth Police Department has dropped charges against Jacqueline Craig, 46, and her daughter, Brea Hymond, 19, and will not pursue charges against Officer William Martin for the violent Dec. 21 arrests of Craig and her daughters, Dallas News reports.

Read the full article.

31) Take my class, Indigenous studies prof tells Manitoba premier after 'racist' comments

CBC News

The head of the Native Studies department at the University of Manitoba is inviting Premier Brian Pallister to attend his class after comments from Pallister critics are calling inflammatory, disgusting and racist.

Read the full article. 

32) Onlookers yell at man drowning in a Venice canal: ‘Go back where you came from’

Amanda Erickson, The Washington Post

As the man bobbed in the water, onlookers pulled out their smartphones.

“Go on, go back where you came from,”one man yelled. “Africa!” shouted another. “He is stupid. He wants to die,” said a third, caught on film. Someone in a nearby water bus threw out a life vest, but the man in the water didn't grab on. Spectators began to wonder if he was suicidal. One woman suggested to a neighbor that he was just pretending.

Read the full article.

33) This powerful Twitter account is sharing the names of Jewish refugees the US turned away in 1939

Zak Cheney Rice, Mic

In May 1939, as the Nazis were tightening their chokehold on Europe, the United States government rejected the SS St. Louis, a German passenger vessel carrying 937 refugees who were trying to dock at the Port of Miami.

Read the full article.

34) A top White House official told the media to 'keep its mouth shut'. That's a threat

Francine Prose, The Guardian

Anyone who cares about language has been repeatedly appalled by the crudeness of Donald Trump’s rhetoric and by the thuggishness of the directives issued by Trump and his cohorts. They have instructed the American people on what to believe, whom to hate and how badly they can behave. And yet we continue to be surprised by each bullying pronouncement, most recently by chief White House strategist Stephen K Bannon’s suggestion that the “humiliated” media might do well to “keep its mouth shut”.

Read the full article.

35) Against amnesia: The empire under Obama

Khury Petersen-Smith, Socialist Worker

Even before Barack Obama left office, an effort was underway to secure his legacy as a progressive and an idealist. And now that Trump has taken the throne of American power, the mythology surrounding the Obama years will only grow.

The myth presents Obama as a tragic figure: committed to a progressive agenda, but more committed to national unity. This idealism, the story goes, left Obama open to a relentless, racist opposition by the Republicans that hamstrung his presidency from the start.

The Republicans' racism and efforts to undermine Obama at every turn are undeniable facts. But an honest assessment of Obama's presidency needs to go further--to look at the unforgivable actions that he, and not the Republicans, is responsible for, particularly beyond the borders of the U.S.

Read the full article.

36) Toronto woman's Facebook photos from Women's March flooded with sexist comments

Ali Chiasson, CBC News

The Women's March in Toronto on Jan. 21 saw thousands of people gathering in solidarity for equal rights and female empowerment, but all that positivity was suddenly swept away for one Toronto woman when she checked the photo album she posted on her Facebook page the next day.

Read the full article.

37) Canada considering global fund to counter Trump abortion directive

International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says Canada will increase its funding for global sexual and reproductive rights, possibly through a safe-abortion fund announced by the Netherlands this week that was in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s order banning U.S. funding for any organizations that mention abortion.

Read the full article. 

38) Jewish groups pan Trump for signing refugee ban on Holocaust Remembrance Day

 Laura Koran, CNN

Many organizations that advocate for refugees slammed President Donald Trump's executive action Friday imposing "extreme vetting" on those fleeing to America, among them Jewish groups that took particular exception to the day on which he signed it: Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Read the full article.

39) Trump official justifies travel ban with attack that would not have been stopped by new rules

Athena Jones, CNN

A senior Trump administration official on Saturday pointed to the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, to justify the President's order to ban US immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations.

But neither of the attackers in the shooting, which left 14 people dead, would have been affected by the new ban.

Read the full article.

40) A Federal Judge Just Issued a Stay Against Donald Trump's "Muslim Ban"

Mother Jones

A federal judge in Brooklyn issued an emergency stay Saturday night against President Donald Trump's executive order banning immigration from certain predominantly Muslim countries, temporarily allowing people who have landed in the United States with a valid visa to remain.

The ruling—a stunning defeat for Trump at the end of his first week in office—protects from deportation refugees or visa holders who were detained at American airports since the signing of so-called "Muslim ban." It also protects those in transit when the emergency ruling was filed.

Read the full article.

41) The Lawyers Showed Up

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

For weeks, we have been wondering about the lawyers. What suits would they file? Would they have standing? Could they have any impact? Today, the lawyers showed up. Bigly. And happily, for America, the courts are still independent, and largely allergic to “alternative facts.” This is a country where the law matters and the Constitution endures. And it’s also a country in which hordes of lawyers just showed up at airports to defend detained travelers ensnared under Donald Trump’s lawless and unconstitutional Muslim ban.

Read the full article.

42) Jeremy Corbyn calls for Donald Trump to be banned from UK visit until Muslim country travel ban is lifted

Jon Stone, The Independent

Donald Trump should be blocked from making his planned state visit to the UK as long as his "Muslim ban" policy remains in place, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader said Theresa May should not be endorsing Mr Trump until it was clear his Government was "actually going to protect fundamental rights and freedoms and laws".

Read the full article.

43) If Trump is a fascist, he may be the most backassward fascist we’ve ever seen

Corey Robin

Rousseau thought that in a real democracy, each person would be so concerned with the fate of the republic that at any sign of a problem, she’d “fly to the assemblies” to make things right. Tonight she flew to the airports.

Read the full article.

44) Mexico to Israel: Dismayed, Disappointed With Netanyahu's Support of Trump's Wall

Barak Ravid, Haaretz

'Mexico is a friend of Israel, and must be treated as such by its prime minister,' its Foreign Ministry says, noting that it had expressed its solidarity with Israel only a day earlier, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Read the full article.

See also: The Women's Marches, the Inauguration, Saskatchewan Austerity & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 15-22

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

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