Monday, July 31, 2017

Toronto Police, Star Trek, Omar Khadr & more -- The Left Chapter Weekly Reading List July 23 - 30

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  July 23 - 30. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) ‘Make It So’: ‘Star Trek’ and Its Debt to Revolutionary Socialism

A.M. Gittlitz, The New York Times

H. G. Wells’s foundational work of political science fiction, “The Time Machine,” predicted a future in which a small utopia of sprightly elites is kept running by a subclass that lives below the ground and is reduced to bestial violence. This prediction, carried to a horrifically logical extent, represented the intense wealth disparity of the Victorian England in which Wells wrote the novel. Judging from the major political narratives of the fictions of our era, films like “The Hunger Games,” “Elysium” and “Snowpiercer,” the certainty of a future rendered increasingly barbarous by class division remains essentially the same.

Read the full article.

2) Man tied to $1K reward for videos of Muslim students praying charged with hate crime

Shanifa Nasser, CBC News

Peel Regional Police have charged a Mississauga, Ont., man, who earlier this year posted a YouTube video offering a $1,000 reward for recordings of Muslim students during prayer, with a hate crime in connection with "numerous incidents reported to police."

Read the full article. 

3) U.S. army medic has no regrets about saving Omar Khadr's life

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

For years the battle-hardened and decorated American veteran wrestled with his conscience, with whether he'd done the right thing in saving the life of Omar Khadr, seen by many as a terrorist who profited from his crimes.

Read the full article.

4) Get ready — Toronto’s next wave of Black voices will be more urgent, strident and radical.

Royson James, Toronto Star

For Black citizens, the city just doesn’t feel like home anymore and nothing is being done to change that.

Read the full article.

5) Dislike of Khadr settlement does not entitle critics to disregard law or facts

Michael Spratt, Canadian Lawyer Magazine

Omar Khadr is a polarizing figure. To some, Khadr is a child soldier who was brainwashed by his parents and then abandoned by the Canadian government in the notorious and illegal Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. To others, Khadr is a terrorist deserving of no sympathy.

Read the full article.

6) What the last few years in Toronto tell us about our police

Shree Paradkar, The Toronto Star

The institution of police is not a good system with a few bad apples. It’s a rotten system with a few good eggs.

Read the full article.

7) Democratic senators are edging away from a bill that would criminalize boycotts of Israel

Ryan Grim, The Intercept

The lead author of the controversial Israel Anti-Boycott Act, Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, is open to amending the legislation to address concerns raised by the American Civil Liberties Union, he told The Intercept Monday evening.

Read the full article.

8) Family in ‘shock’ after permanent residency denied by Immigration Canada due to daughter’s disability

Andrew Russell and Brian Hill, Global News

In the small Manitoba community of Waterhen, population 169, Jon and Karissa Warkentin are fighting for the right to stay in Canada and run their business.

Read the full article.

9) Macron was never the saviour of the centre – his approval ratings show just how unpopular neoliberal politics really are

Matthew Turner, The Independent

A mere 16 per cent of Macron voters picked his political programme as the main reason behind their vote, so why are we so surprised that the more the public see of Macron and his politics without the spectre of Marine Le Pen, the more they begin to resent him?

Read the full article.

10) 46 homeless people have died in Toronto so far this year

Kenyon Wallace & Mary Ormsby, The Toronto Star

“Some very, very young people died and that’s not normal” says street nurse Cathy Crowe of information revealed by city’s expanded tracking system.

Read the full article.

11) Workers at 2nd Winnipeg Tim Hortons vote to unionize

The Canadian Press

15 people at Lombard Avenue location vote in union, Workers United Canada Council says.

Read the full article.

12) John McCain is far more consistently bad than you've been led to believe; here are his greatest hits

Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept

What sort of person takes a break from taxpayer-funded cancer treatment and flies 2,000 miles to cast a vote that could result in 22 million people losing their health insurance and tens of thousands of them also losing their lives, then makes a big speech about how messed up the whole process is?

Read the full article.

13) 700 baggage handlers, ground crew workers go on strike at Pearson airport

CBC News

Roughly 700 ground crew workers at Toronto's Pearson airport walked off the job Thursday night after voting to strike during the busy travel season of summer holidays.

Read the full article.

14) Desmond Cole Police Board Protest Facebook Post

Yesterday I was arrested for speaking at a public meeting. The Toronto Police Services Board met yesterday for the first time since we learned about Dafonte Miller, a Black teenager who was attacked and badly beaten by Toronto police officer Michael Theriault and his brother Christian Theriault. The police board did not want any public discussion about this officer, so the issue was not on yesterday's meeting agenda.

Read the full post.

15) Stepping to Conclusions: The Truth Behind "Stairgate"

Shelley Carroll, City Councillor Newsletter

I spent a week up north with my family last week while "Stairgate" held the attention of every media outlet in Toronto, beginning with the Toronto Sun. You might be tired of it, but please indulge me. I need to vent a little.

Read the full article.

16) Zoë and the Trolls

Noreen Malone, NY Magazine

One day in 2014, the video-game designer Zoë Quinn decided to make herself a cyborg. And so, this being the modern world, she simply ordered a kit from the internet that would allow her, via a large sterilized syringe that she plunged into the webbing between her left thumb and index finger, to implant a microchip the size of a Tic Tac under her skin.

Read the full article.

17) Trump-style vitriol infecting Alberta politics

Jim Storrie, The Edmonton Journal

I work in politics, so I’ve received my share of threats.
But I never thought I’d get one from my own MP.

Read the full article.

18) How We Make Black Girls Grow Up Too Fast

Tressie McMillan Cottom, The New York Times

It was over a plate of ribs at my aunt’s dining room table when I learned that being a woman is about what men are allowed to do to you. I was 15 years old. Mike Tyson was the most famous boxer in the world.

Read the full article.

19) From the Enlightenment to the Dark Ages: How “new atheism” slid into the alt-right

Phil Torres, Salon

A movement supposedly committed to science and reason has decayed into racism, misogyny and intolerance. I'm done.

Read the full article.

20) 'You failed': Missing and murdered inquiry commissioners confronted at AFN meeting

Tim Fontaine, CBC News

There were some heated moments on day two of the Assembly of First Nations gathering in Regina when the talks turned to the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Read the full article.

21) What happens when our government is overrun with toxic white masculinity

Shaun King, New York Daily News

When 63 million people voted to elect Donald Trump as the President of the United States, it opened up the floodgates for toxic white masculinity in America. We saw it coming, but we are just now fully experiencing the consequences and they are deeply disturbing.

Read the full article.

22) Palestinians, B’nai Brith and Canada’s New Democratic Party

Tony Hall, Canadian Dimension

Like many NATO countries, Canada has suffered from an impoverishment of free and open debate when it comes to the issue of relations with the Israeli government and the Palestinian people. In country after country the Israeli lobby dominates not only governing parties but opposition parties as well.

Read the full article.

23) Strange Fruit: Venezuela has an Opposition that Nobody Should Support

Chris Gilbert, Venezuela Analysis

Bolivarian University Professor Chris Gilbert addresses the racism and white supremacy of the Venezuelan opposition in light of recent lynchings against Black and Brown Venezuelans accused of being "Chavistas" or "thieves" by opposition militants. The most emblematic of these cases was the public lynching of Afro-Venezuelan Orlando Figuera on May 20. Figuera was stabbed six times, doused in gasoline, and burned alive by opposition protesters in the eastern Caracas neighborhood of Altamira. He died in hospital ten days later. Other prominent cases include that of Danny Subero, Pedro Josue Carrillo, as well as a pair of youths in Lara state.

Read the full article.

This important article that we missed is from before the period covered:

24) Who Is Killing American Women? Their Husbands And Boyfriends, CDC Confirms.

Melissa Jeltsen, The Huffington Post

Most murders of American women involve domestic violence, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.

Read the full article.

See also: Police Brutality, Thunder Bay, Ryerson & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List July 16 - 23

See also: Venezuela, Omar Khadr, Climate Change & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List July 9 - 16

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