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American Police State, Neo-Nazi Terrorists, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos August 11 - 18

Sun, 2019-08-18 22:56

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 August 11 - 18.

1) By Barring Omar and Tlaib, Netanyahu Did BDS a Huge Favor

Eric Levitz, New York Intelligencer

In deference to the wishes of the United States government, Israel has barred two members of the U.S. Congress from entering its borders. Or at least that’s how Thursday’s bizarre developments in American-Israeli relations appear to have played out.

2) Now is the time for the Democratic Party to stand up to Israeli racism

Nada Elia, Mondoweiss 

The lines dividing Progressives and supporters of apartheid are becoming clearer, and they are not along Democratic and Republican party lines.

3) ‘Tlaib and Omar gave us hope’: Decision to bar entry to congresswomen sparks anger and disappointment amongst Palestinians

Yumna Patel, Mondoweiss 

Palestinians are joining the chorus of international condemnation facing Israel for barring entry to US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar ahead of their planned delegation to the occupied Palestinian territory.

4) Did Netanyahu Just Kill Washington’s ‘Pro-Israel’ Consensus?

M. J. Rosenberg, The Nation 

Let the Likudniks, the lobby, the bought members of Congress, and the neocons cry. For those of us who want to see Israelis and Palestinians living in peace, in one country or two, with full security and sovereignty for both, Netanyahu’s stupid move is good news. It’s time someone tore the mask off the Israeli government and its fellow travelers in Washington. Perhaps, after the 2020 elections, the United States will serve as an honest broker between Israelis and Palestinians. Perhaps it will recognize that Palestinians deserve the same rights as Israelis in the land both peoples call home. Perhaps it will condition US aid to Israel on its negotiating an end to the 52-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. After all, there’s a first time for everything.

5) Argentina Primaries: Fernandez Wins Landslide Victory Over Macri With 15-Point Lead


Argentinian President Mauricio Macri conceded defeat Sunday night in the country’s primaries, leading to Oct. 27 general elections, against opposition ticket Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

6) Communists in Canada organizing international solidarity against plunder in Kaz Mountains

SOL International 

In a meeting that took place at the Greek Workers' Association, immigrant people from Turkey living in Montreal, representatives of the Communist Party of Canada, the Quebec Movement for Peace and the Greek Workers' Association met to discuss the actions to be held against the destruction in the Kaz Mountains, resulting in releasing a press statement on 16th of August.

On Monday, August 5th, thousands of protestors stormed the site of te Kirazli Gold mine project in North-Western Turkey. This project will have a heavy invornmental impact as 195,000 trees have been cut to access the gold resources present in this open-pit mine. To extract gold, it is said that 20,000 tons of cyanide will be needed as well as a considerable amount of other toxic elements such as arsenic. Particularly shocking to the population is the fact that this mining project is located at the fringe of the Kaz Mountains Natural Park.

7) You Must Be This Conservative To Ride: The Inside Story of Postmedia’s Right Turn

Sean Craig, Canadaland 

New CEO Andrew MacLeod has a plan to muffle moderate voices at Canada's largest newspaper company. It's created confusion and uncertainty in newsrooms across the country.

8) A&W Tells Anti-Union Conference It Keeps a Secret ‘Watch List’ To Make Sure Workers Don’t Unionize

Press Progress

Fast food giants tell anti-union conference they monitor ‘high risk’ restaurants fearing the spread of unions in the service sector.

9) 'I take responsibility,' Trudeau says in wake of damning report on SNC-Lavalin ethics violation

John Paul Tasker, CBC News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he accepts full responsibility after Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion found he violated the Conflict of Interest Act by trying to influence then-justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and get her to overrule a decision to not grant a deferred prosecution agreement to Quebec-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.

10) People’s Party wants to axe Multiculturalism Act, eliminate funding

Kerri Breen, Global News

Maxime Bernier‘s new political party, which plans to run candidates in every riding in the upcoming federal election, is calling for the end of “official” multiculturalism in Canada and the preservation of “Canadian values and culture.”

11) Hong Kong protesters have their flags backward

Ian Goodrum, People's World

There’s been a whole lot of controversy over flags lately.

12) Epstein’s Death Should Generate Investigations, Not Conspiracy Theories

The Real News Network 

Anti-Clinton/Trump hashtags will not get to the bottom of Epstein's death, or how the rich and powerful's involvement in child sex abuse, The Nation's Jeet Heer explains.

13) Jeffrey Epstein's Autopsy Is Raising Even More Questions About His Death

Tim Marcin, Vice News 

Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy reportedly revealed broken bones in his neck — a finding that raises questions about how, exactly, he died.

14) With Epstein's Death, Accusers Seek New Legal Recourse

Cat Schuknecht, NPR

With Jeffrey Epstein's death by apparent suicide on Saturday, his accusers lost any chance to watch him stand trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges brought by federal prosecutors in Manhattan last month.

15) Jay-Z Helped the NFL Banish Colin Kaepernick

Jemele Hill, The Atlantic 

Yesterday the hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell held a joint media session at the Roc Nation offices in New York to seal a once-implausible partnership that isn’t being received as positively as both parties probably hoped.

16) Cuts by Doug Ford Conservatives leave city’s long-term care homes short $550,000

 Joanna Frketich, The Hamilton Spectator 

Upcoming provincial cuts to long-term care funding will leave the city's two homes short more than $550,000 a year.

17) Here Are Five Lies About Iran That We Need to Refute to Stop Another Illegal War

Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept 

Last month, the Trump White House put out a typically Orwellian statement, chock-filled with lies, distortions, and half-truths about Iran and the 2015 nuclear deal. One line in particular stood out from the rest: “There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.”

18) Women Glitter Mexico City to Protest Rape, Gendered Violence


“We travel daily with the fear that when we leave home we will be harassed in the streets, harassed in public transport, work, or school. Violated by our partners, friends or bosses. Raped by our boyfriends, husbands, parents, brothers , uncles, grandparents or the police themselves," read a petition addressed to all levels of public security, state authorities, and Mexican society in general.

19) End Seattle’s inhumane sweeps of homeless camps!

Andrea Bauer, Freedom Socialist Party

The Seattle area is home to the world’s two richest people, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. It is also a place where those who have no homes are treated with inhuman callousness. The city regularly evicts them from their tent encampments with sweeps that force them to scramble for other shelter and often destroy their few possessions in the process.

20) New Zealand: Outrage over babies taken by the state

John Braddock and Tom Peters, World Socialist Web Site 

On July 30, several hundred people gathered outside parliament in Wellington for a protest titled “Hands Off Our Tamariki [children].” They delivered a petition with 17,000 signatures calling for the government to stop “stealing Maori children.” Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson, a partner in the ruling Labour-led coalition government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, accepted the petition.

21) Boris Johnson risks triggering riots with rollout of blanket stop-and-search powers, Diane Abbott warns

Lizzie Deardon, The Independent 

The expansion of blanket stop and search powers that let police challenge people without reasonable suspicion could provoke unrest, the government has been warned.

22) Boris Johnson’s law and order proposals are a scam

Eleftheria Kousta, Counterfire 

In a letter published in the Daily Mail, Boris Johnson has pledged to introduce a number of measures to shore up the law and order regime. His main promises are staff increases in the police department by 20,000 over the next three years, expanding the prison network by 10,000 places, increasing in-prison security, expanding Stop-and-Search, and allocating £85 million to the the Crown Prosecution Service.

23) Homegrown hate

Ryan Thorpe, Winnipeg Free Press

A Free Press reporter posed as a white nationalist to gain inside access to a neo-Nazi paramilitary group attempting to gain a foothold in Winnipeg and across the country.

24) Militant Neo-Nazi Group Actively Recruiting Ahead of Alleged Training Camp

 Mack Lamoureux and Ben Makuch, Vice News 

The Base, a neo-Nazi group aiming to provide military and survivalist training to fellow white supremacists, has been ramping up its activities including a massive recruitment campaign and a planned "hate camp."

25) Police Keep Arresting Young White Men For Trying to Copycat El Paso

Yess Owen, Vice News

In the past week, police across the country have investigated or arrested at least six men, most of whom are young and white, for making terroristic threats, stockpiling weapons, or plotting attacks.

26) It's Snowing Microscopic Plastic Particles in Arctic: Study


Winter is around the corner and with falling snowflakes come microscopic plastic particles, at least that’s what scientists say is happening in the Arctic right now in a new study published in the journal Science Advances.

27) Climate Change Is Taking a Bigger Toll on Our Food, Water, and Land Than We Realized

Rebecca Leber, Mother Jones

As the planet warms, parts of the world face new risks of food and water shortages, expanding deserts, and land degradation, warns a major new report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those effects are already underway, and some of them could soon become irreversible.

28) British Columbia's dirty natural gas secret

Peter McCartney, Canada's National Observer 

When I told people I was heading to northeastern British Columbia to check out fracking sites, the most common response was: “We do that here?”

29) The Planet's Real Overpopulation Problem: Too Many Rich People

Joe Sandler Clarke, Vice News

If the world as it is does have an overpopulation problem, it's that there are too many rich people using too much stuff.

30) Indian Communist leader slams ‘denial of basic democratic rights’ over Kashmir detention

The Morning Star 

COMMUNIST Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury has protested to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind over his detention in Srinagar on Friday, when he and Communist Party of India leader Doraisamy Raja were held at the city’s airport while trying to visit party members in Jammu and Kashmir and denied entry to the state.

31) The Silence Is the Loudest Sound

 Arundhati Roy, The New York Times 

As India celebrates her 73rd year of independence from British rule, ragged children thread their way through traffic in Delhi, selling outsized national flags and souvenirs that say, “Mera Bharat Mahan.” My India is Great. Quite honestly, it’s hard to feel that way right now, because it looks very much as though our government has gone rogue.

32) A New Trump Policy Could Deny Green Cards To Immigrants Who Use Public Benefits

Hamed Aleaziz, BuzzFeed News

The Trump administration introduced a sweeping policy Monday that will allow the government to deny permanent residency to immigrants who use or are likely to use public benefits, such as food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid.

33) Trump Is Now Going to Make Life Hell for Immigrants With Disabilities

Emma Ockerman, Morgan Baskin, and Gaby Del Valle, Vice News 

The Trump administration’s new “public charge” rule will force immigrants with disabilities to choose between receiving health care and staying in the U.S., advocates warn — and it’ll favor wealthy, able-bodied immigrants instead.

34) Trump 'Embodies Nearly Every Aspect Of A Racist,' Author Says

Rachel Martin, NPR

The writer Ibram X. Kendi has made a name for himself by tackling one of the most important — and one of the most sensitive — topics in America today.

35) Steve King Is Racist, Misogynist—and Not that Different From Other Republicans

Elie Mystal, The Nation 

Republicans should be awarded no points for calling on Iowa Congressman Steve King to resign. Pointing out that this racist misogynist has no business serving in Congress is like pointing out that you shouldn’t make toast in a bathtub. It doesn’t mean you are insightful; it means the people who disagree with you are enfeebled.

36) Unequal Outcomes: Most ICE Detainees Held In Rural Areas Where Deportation Risks Soar

Yuki Noguchi, NPR

Yoel Alonso sat in a cell for 10 months before he ever met with a lawyer. His wife had to travel 1,000 miles to visit him at the remote Louisiana facility where he was detained.

37) A Prison Guard Drove A Truck Through A Group Of Jewish ICE Protesters, Injuring Several

Julia Reinstein, BuzzFeed News

"If they're willing to do that to us, we can't imagine the violence the ICE detainees behind those walls may be subject to every day," an organizer said.

38) Why a Banking Heiress Spent Her Fortune on Keeping Immigrants Out

 Nicholas Kulish and Mike McIntire, The New York Times

She was an heiress without a cause — an indifferent student, an unhappy young bride, a miscast socialite. Her most enduring passion was for birds.

39) Getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America

Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times

About 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in America can expect to die at the hands of police, according to a new analysis of deaths involving law enforcement officers. That makes them 2.5 times more likely than white men and boys to die during an encounter with cops.

40) AG Barr said there must be 'zero tolerance for resisting police' and went after 'social-justice reformers' in a heated speech to the US's largest law-enforcement organization

Sonam Sheth, Business Insider 

His comments come when law enforcement is under heightened scrutiny in the US over allegations of systemic brutality and bigotry in some communities.

41) Insurance Companies Are Paying Cops To Investigate Their Own Customers

Kendall Taggart, BuzzFeed News

A cozy alliance between insurers and law enforcement has turned the justice system into the industry’s hired gun and left innocent customers facing prison.

42) Family Wants Independent Probe In Fatal Police Shooting Of Teen In Colorado

Brakkton Booker and Richard Gonzales, NPR

"In my humble opinion, the black and brown citizens of Colorado Springs are not safe with these officers on the street," Terry Thomas, pastor of Lifting Up Jesus Church, said, as quoted by the Associated Press.

See also: El Paso Aftermath, Venezuela Embargo, Kashmir, ICE Raids & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos August 4 - 11

Good Housekeeping's Quick 'N' Easy Cook Book w. Ham Glamour, Sea Kabobs, Moonlight Cake & more -- Vintage Cookbook TBT

Fri, 2019-08-16 03:08
Vintage Cookbook: Good Housekeeping's Quick 'N' Easy Cook Book 

Publication Details: Consolidated Book Publishers, 1958

Recently on The Left Chapter we looked at Good Housekeeping's Fish and Shellfish Book published in 1958. That same year the magazine released another one, the Quick 'N' Easy Cook Book, which was billed as featuring "time saver dishes for today's busy woman".

As with other books of the era and type it has a lot of recipes and is punctuated with colour photography that highlights what are allegedly the more appetizing or interesting ones.

Suiting the theme it is broken up into sections like "Can-Opener Cookery" and "Make-It-From-a-Mix".

It also has an unusual number of dishes of questionable taste. "Bologna Roll with Corn Fritters" comes to mind. The "Marinated Hamburgers with Pineapple-Olive Garni" will likely make debates about pineapple on pizza seem tame.

On the other hand the "Sea Kabobs" look pretty good!

Here we feature most of the recipes that had a photo along with a few other gems.

(Click on scans to enlarge)

"Fidel’s enduring lesson is that yes it is possible"

Wed, 2019-08-14 02:44

Fidel showed us that " yes, it was possible to proclaim the socialist character of the Revolution 90 miles from the empire, and when its warships advanced toward Cuba, following the brigade of mercenary troops; that yes, it was possible to resolutely uphold the inalienable principles of our sovereignty, without fear of the threat of nuclear aggression by the United States in those days of the October 1962 missile crisis.

That yes, it was possible to offer solidarity assistance to other sister peoples struggling against colonial oppression, external aggression and racism.

That yes, it was possible to defeat the racist South Africans, saving Angola’s territorial integrity, forcing Namibia’s independence and delivering a harsh blow to the apartheid regime.

That yes, it was possible to turn Cuba into a medical power, reduce infant mortality first, to the lowest rate in the Third World, then as compared with other rich countries; because at least on this continent our rate of infant mortality of children under one year of age is lower than Canada’s and United States, and at the same time, significantly increase the life expectancy of our population.

That yes, it was possible to transform Cuba into a great scientific hub, advance in the modern and decisive fields of genetic engineering and biotechnology; insert ourselves within the fortress of international pharmaceuticals; develop tourism, despite the U.S. blockade; build causeways in the sea to make Cuba increasingly more attractive, obtaining greater monetary income from our natural beauty.

That yes, it is possible to resist, survive, and develop without renouncing our principles or the achievements won by socialism in a unipolar world dominated by the transnationals which emerged after the fall of the socialist camp in Europe and the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Fidel’s enduring lesson is that yes it is possible, that humans are able to overcome the harshest conditions as long as their willingness to triumph does not falter, if they accurately assess every situation, and do not renounce their just and noble principles.” - From a speech by Raúl Castro, 2016. (For the full text see: Fidel, the most visionary Cuban of the 20th century)

Fidel Castro b. August 13, 1926

Fidel Castro b. August 13, 1926

Wed, 2019-08-14 00:00

"Never before has humanity witnessed such an upsurge in the power of reaction and the empire is beset by all kinds of contradictions. But this is the time we're in, and I think that, right now, the preservation of values is of decisive importance for all progressives, all true democrats and all revolutionaries - all who want the best for humanity and who cherish the noblest sentiments. Preserving those values is of unquestionable importance.

No matter what happens, other times will come. Right now we're in the midst of a huge reactionary wave; later, a huge revolutionary wave, a huge progressive wave will come again. This is for certain.

Therefore, I think that what we're doing is of great importance for the future, but it doesn't make us believe that the future is entirely dependent on us. It gives us great encouragement to know that we're defending the future and that we're a symbol of the future and of those principles for a world filled with people who are hungry, exploited and suffering." - Fidel Castro, 1992

Fish Bowl

Mon, 2019-08-12 10:43
On that last day, after the goodbyes had been said and the final tears cried, Sam got on his motorcycle and drove out of the parking lot heading west along Birmingham. Roaring down the street he had traveled so many times the echoes off the buildings somehow seemed louder.

Louder than he supposed they ever had.

Jones had said he was going out to see Boris and Jack was off home to Cynthia. The rest were all doing what they were doing.

Sam had other plans.

Thing is he had loved the factory, though he had never really fit in. The little dramas, lunch room plots and after work outings had been woven into the fabric of his life.

They were his life. And now they were not.

In his head that old song by Pink Floyd seemed to be playing on a loop as he saw the evergreens that lined the side of the rural highway route blur by.

Two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl.

Charrington was small even as small towns go. Just a central strip with bus stop, post office, store and diner. And there was what used to be one those ubiquitous small town Chinese restaurants that was really a dive bar serving chow mein and chicken balls before 9 and draft beer until whenever Sally, who ran the place, decided to close.

Sam slid into a booth at the back and ordered a Black Label. Two old guys were playing pool at the front and there was a faint smell of stale cooking oil.

It was almost a half hour until Samantha showed up. His sister. Mom and dad and had been many things but not terribly original.

Samuel and Samantha.

Sorta fun when they were kids.

Samantha got the deep fried wings and a Canadian.

There was a long pause. Looking at the table and walls. Uncomfortable.

- Sam, why did you come back? You didn't even come back when dad died

Always the same thing. He loved his sister but didn't want to look at her. Not sure he really liked her very much.

- They had you.

He had wanted to come for the funeral. Laid awake at night thinking about it. But mama wouldn't have wanted him there. He had not been able to mend fences. Or maybe he had been unwilling. It no longer mattered.

Funny. Behind his sister he could see the reflection of the small neon sign that read Chinese Food in the store window across the street. He remembered that as a child. Something about it still magical.

- Look, I don't want to cause any shit, I just want to see her. I have a few things I want to say.

- What is that going to do? You had plenty of chances.

Sam ordered another beer. There was a TV with the evening news on and some faint pop music playing from the kitchen.

Dad is asleep in the living room. You can hear David Letterman reading his Top Ten List and the laughter. The night is very hot and very still. 

Samantha's car smelled stale with old cigarettes and booze. It felt claustrophobic but he had not come for limousine service.

Pulling onto Industrial Ave. she drove past the abandoned plants. He saw Quiller's Cannery where he had worked as a security guard a decade gone by as they shut it down.

He was a kid. Strutting around in a uniform but with no one there. Two thousand jobs lost.

Worst part was around 3 a.m. Tired and all alone doing rounds. The long and abandoned train dock. Like a scene out of a horror film though the only monsters were the investors.

Nothing ever happened other than boredom.

Sometimes he would check the lockers or common spaces. Take home toilet paper, soap or tools. Why not? It was not like anyone was going to use them.

Coming back early morning after a shift mama is up in the kitchen she yells out at him as he tries to mount the stairs what are you doing in this dead end job we saved for you to go to school I don't even know if your father wants you living here he would lie in bed crying but he understood he knew he had let them down he didn't want what they wanted was that wrong he remembered he even offered to pay rent before they asked him to leave. 

- So what happened with Philip?

Samantha has lit a cigarette and he opens his window fully. The smoke drifts past him.

- I don't know. It just didn't work out. Not sure why. We just grew tired of each other.

She glances over at him but thinks the better of it.

Philip is lying passed out on the bathroom floor the stench of vomit all around him Sam pulls him by his feet into the hall and then turns to shut off the stereo which is so very loud that someone is pounding on the door he does not think he is dead but he is not sure and he does not want to know why Philip why would you do this now but in the end the paramedics came and he was still alive

- Do you want me to stop in the house

- No. Not really.

They inch along Confederation St. until he spots the Mackenzie Memorial Cemetery.

Pulling through the entrance she parks the car by the gatehouse.

- I think you should walk from here

Mama reaches over touching his face there is cake on the table and everyone is laughing his friends are running around the yard and dad is trying to set up a pinata his uncle is barbecuing burgers and hot dogs I love you so much Sammy she says putting her nose right up against his cheek you will be my little boy forever just then grandpa started across the lawn with the bike

It took him a few minutes until he found it.

Muriel Thames
Loving Wife to Christopher
Mother to Samuel and Samantha 
On the Wings of Angels

He wanted to cry out. Scream something. Tell her just how mad he was.

Mad at her.

Mad at himself.

I hope you will understand he is yelling door open to the front yard she is angry and he knows why and she is not wrong but he can't really do this anymore Samantha is looking out from the upstairs window and as he gets in the back seat of the taxi he sees his dad pulling into the driveway from work 

On his knees staring at her name saying nothing.


Rain falling. Dark.

The silent wail broken by the whistle of the freight train that runs just alongside the cemetery on its way around and out of town.

El Paso Aftermath, Venezuela Embargo, Kashmir, ICE Raids & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos August 4 - 11

Sun, 2019-08-11 22:40
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 August 4 - 11.

1) ICE Raids Targeted Company Whose Workers Won Discrimination Lawsuit

Democracy Now

The arrests targeted chicken processing plants operated by Koch Foods, one of the largest poultry producers in the U.S. Last year, Koch Foods paid out $3.75 million to settle an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission class-action suit charging the company with sexual harassment, national origin and race discrimination, and retaliation against Latino workers at one of its Mississippi plants. Labor activists say it’s the latest raid to target factories where immigrant workers have organized unions, fought back against discrimination or challenged unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

THIS IS AWFUL. Yesterday in Mississippi, ICE arrested 600 undocumented immigrants during the work day while their kids were at school. It was the largest mass raid of ICE in American history. These were all men and women working in chicken and poultry plants. When it came time to pick the kids up, nobody came. Their parents had been detained. Strangers provided them with food and scores of kids just slept in the school gym last night. This is what our nation has come to. - Shaun King

2) U.S. Deported a Detroit Man to Iraq, Where He’d Never Been and Didn’t Speak the Language. He Died on the Streets.

Elliott Hannon, Slate

In June, the U.S. government deported 41-year-old Jimmy Aldaoud to Iraq. Aldaoud, who was born in Greece, said he had lived in the U.S. since he was 6 months old and had never even been to Iraq, the country where he was technically a national. Aldaoud was residing in a small Detroit metro area community of Chaldean Catholics, a branch of the Roman Catholic Church whose roots are in present-day Iraq, when immigration officials showed up, detained him, and ultimately put him on a plane to Baghdad. Aldaoud did not speak Arabic. He did not have a home or any contacts there. Aldaoud was also a diabetic, and on Tuesday, he died in a country that was not his own from what appeared to be a lack of access to insulin, according to family friends and the American Civil Liberties Union.


Chris Gelardi, The Intercept 

BEFORE HE WAS deported, Jimmy Aldaoud had never stepped foot in Iraq. Born in Greece to Iraqi refugee parents, he immigrated to the United States with his family via a refugee resettlement program 40 years ago, when he was just 15 months old. He considered himself American and knew hardly anything of Iraqi society. Still, on the afternoon of June 4, he found himself wandering the arrivals terminal of Al Najaf International Airport, about 100 miles south of Baghdad, with around $50, some insulin for his diabetes, and the clothes on his back.

4) ‘You don’t have any rights’: CBP agents interrogate US citizen and seize his phone after Venezuela solidarity trip

Max Blumenthal, The Grayzone 

A US citizen has told The Grayzone that the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) service detained him on his way home from Venezuela and violated his privacy.

5) Venezuela: US imposes full-fledged embargo

Lucas Koerner & Ricardo Vaz, Green Left Weekly 

United States President Donald Trump’s administration has imposed a sweeping economic embargo against Venezuela in its efforts to oust the Nicolas Maduro government.

6) Arreaza: US Total Blockade Will Make People Suffer But Won't Break Venezuela


Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza deplored Tuesday the total economic blockade imposed by the U.S. government of Donald Trump a day earlier in an executive order.

7) Food Shipment Destined For Venezuela Seized Due to US Blockade


Venezuela’s Vicepresident Delcy Rodriguez denounced Wednesday that a ship containing 25 thousand tons of soy-made products has been seized in the Panama Canal due to the U.S. blockade while calling on the United Nations to take action against the "serious aggression" that impede Venezuela "right to food".

8) March in Caracas Against US Blockade


The authorities of the National Government accompanied Venezuelans dmeonstrating their commitment and loyalty to the legacy of Commander Hugo Chavez and freedom from the blockade caused by U.S. President Donald Trump during mobilizations in Caracas Wednesday.

9) In Venezuela, Social, Popular and Communal Unity Is Not an Illusion

Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y Zamora – Peoples Dispatch

The Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y Zamora interviewed Ángel Prado, the spokesperson of the Socialist Commune El Maizal, a campesino organization dedicated to building socialism at the grassroots level in Venezuela.

10) NPR Shreds Ethics Handbook to Normalize Regime Change in Venezuela

Lucas Koerner, Orinoco Tribune 

The Reagan administration in 1982 coerced National Public Radio (NPR) to cover more favorably the US terrorist war then being waged against Nicaragua.

11) From El Paso to Christchurch, a Racist Lie Is Fueling Terrorist Attacks

Kelly Weill, The Daily Beast 

In El Paso this week and across the globe this year, white supremacists have left manifestos referencing a racist conspiracy theory to justify slaughtering religious and ethnic minorities.

12) 'White power ideology': why El Paso is part of a growing global threat

Lois Beckett and Jason Wilson, The Guardian 

More than 175 people have been killed in at least 16 high-profile attacks linked to white nationalism around the world since 2011.

13) It’s not a crisis of masculinity that’s responsible for mass shootings. It’s male power

Suzanne Moore, The Guardian 

US massacres such as those in El Paso and Dayton have become shockingly ordinary. How many people have to die before we confront what’s really happening?

14) Trump referred to immigrant 'invasion' in 2,000 Facebook ads, analysis reveals

Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian 

Donald Trump blamed the internet and social media for the “racist hate” displayed by the suspect in the El Paso massacre, but his own re-election campaign has characterized immigration as an “invasion” in more than 2,000 Facebook ads this year.

15) Walmart Bans Violent Imagery, But Not Gun Sales

Susie Neilson, NPR

After a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that left 22 people dead, the company said it would remove from its stores all signs, displays or videos that depict violence in an internal memo.

16) Kashmir: 'The Pakistan left and Indian left are united in condemning this bill.'

Susan Price & Farooq Tariq, Green Left Weekly

Farooq Tariq, spokeperson for the Awami Workers’ Party, Pakistan spoke to Green Left Weekly on August 6 about the situation in Kashmir.

17) India's annexation of Kashmir sets a path for war

Sweta Choudhury, Counterfire 

Kashmir is back on a knife edge with the Indian government’s outrageous unilateral decision to scrap article 370 that has given Indian-administered Kashmir its special status since May 14 1954.

18) Left leaders hit the streets in rain to protest Kashmir bifurcation

Pheroze L. Vincent, The Telegraph 

Top leaders of Left parties joined cadres in a protest in the rain on Monday as the debate in the Rajya Sabha raged over the Narendra Modi government’s decision to scrap the special status that Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed under Article 370.

19) Hundreds rally in Delhi to protest against India's Kashmir move

Bilal Kuchay, Al Jazeera 

Hundreds of people have rallied in the Indian capital to protest against the scrapping of a constitutional provision that granted special status to Indian-administered Kashmir.

20) Police Killed Her Boyfriend, Then Charged Her With His Murder

Melissa Grant, The New Republic 

Masonique Saunders has been locked behind bars in Ohio since December, when, at age 16, she was arrested in the death of her boyfriend, Julius Tate. She celebrated her birthday in juvenile detention. Last week, she was sentenced to three years in a Department of Youth Services prison.

21) Going Red-Red-Green


The European elections marked a historic setback for the German left. Die Linke cochair Katja Kipping tells Jacobin how she plans to revive it.

22) Christian Communism: Meet the hosts of ‘The Magnificast’ podcast

Eric Gordon, People's World 

People’s World (PW) was recently introduced to a remarkable phenomenon out there in Cyberland that we’d like to share with our readers. The Magnificast is a weekly podcast about Christianity and leftist politics. Each episode focuses on the under-explored territory of Christianity and the left that they didn’t teach you in Sunday School.

23) Uruguay Warns of US Interference in Elections in Support of Right-wing Opposition


Uruguay’s foreign minister warned Wednesday that the U.S. is attempting to damage Uruguay’s economy as a means of interfering in the country’s upcoming presidential elections in support of the right-wing opposition.

24) US: Boston Police Destroy Wheelchairs Belonging to Homeless


Police in the United States city of Boston Tuesday night destroyed three wheelchairs in a garbage truck compactor as part of a crackdown targeting the city's homeless population.

25) Is Amazon taking revenge on the Seattle socialist who took on the retail giant?

Jared Goyette, The Guardian 

When Sean Butterfield started door knocking for the re-election campaign of Seattle’s only socialist city council representative, Kshama Sawant, earlier this year, he knew his task was not easy. Last year Sawant took on one of the world’s biggest corporations, Amazon, with a tax intended to fund public housing, and nearly won.

26) Kshama Sawant to Face Off Against Amazon’s Candidate

Ty Moore, Socialist Alternative

The initial results for Seattle’s city council primary elections will greatly sharpen the class divisions in Seattle. Led by Amazon, big business in Seattle is waging a ferocious campaign to defeat every candidate who isn’t firmly aligned with them. Through a record-breaking infusion of corporate PAC money, business-backed candidates made it through the primary in all seven of the council districts, set to face off against more progressive candidates in the November general election.

27) “Mom, They Shot Me”: 12-Year-Old Was Sitting on His Bed When Chicago Cop Shot Him

Kelly Vinett, Vice News 

Twelve-year-old Amir Worship was fast asleep when a SWAT team allegedly raided his bedroom at 5 a.m. on May 26, conducting a search warrant in his south Chicago home.

28) Nicaragua To Open Embassy in Palestine


The Sandinista government of Nicaragua have sent their first ambassador to Palestine, handing over diplomatic credentials to Riyad Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on Wednesday.

29) House members are again pushing a bill that would censor Palestine advocacy on college campuses

Michael Arria, Mondoweiss 

On July 25, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that he was reintroducing The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act. While supporters claim that the legislation will allow the Department of Education to more effectively investigate charges of anti-Semitism on college campuses, critics point out that the bill adopts a broad definition of anti-Semitism that will inevitably lead to the censoring of pro-Palestinian students. Similar versions of the bill were introduced in 2016 and 2018, but failed.

30) ‘Our foreign policy has typically been a white supremacist foreign policy’: Meet the BDS proponent hoping to unseat a longtime Democratic congressman in Oregon

Michael Arria, Mondoweiss 

Earl Blumenauer has represented Oregon’s 3rd congressional district since 1996, but he’ll face two primary challengers in 2020. Charles Rand Barnett, who ran against Blumenauer in 2018, and Albert Lee. Lee is the dean of Portland Community College’s Business and Computing division and running on a progressive platform that includes support for the Green New Deal and Medicare For All. Unlike many Democrats, he also advocates for a progressive foreign policy that aims to challenge the Washington consensus on U.S. hegemony. Lee spoke with Mondoweiss on BDS, the occupation of Palestine, and whether his campaign is pushing Blumenauer to the left on these issues.

31) Workers March in Brazil Against Government Pensions Reform 


Workers marched Tuesday through the streets of Sao Paulo against the pension reform proposed by the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.


People's Voice

Hundreds of members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505, who are in negotiations with Winnipeg Transit, gathered in front of the Winnipeg General Strike centenary monument to deliver a message to Winnipeg City Hall and Mayor Brian Bowman. They were joined by many supporters, including members of the Manitoba Teachers Society and Fight for $15 and Fairness. Turnout was especially noteworthy considering the total membership of the union is around 1,400.


People's Voice

The Pallister government has spent the last 3 years slashing social programs and public services under cover of reducing deficits. But the cuts to hospitals and healthcare – including the decision to nix the regional hospital in Portage La Prairie – show that the Tories’ real goal was privatization – not deficit reduction. And now the people of Manitoba are suffering the consequences of reduced access to hospitals and healthcare that will cost lives.

34) Thousands protest at Turkish gold mine owned by Canadian company

CBC News

Thousands of Turks including opposition lawmakers staged a peaceful and unusually large protest on the outskirts of a small western town on Monday against what they say will be pollution from a foreign-owned gold mine project.

35) “Against looting, socialism!” Say the Çanakkale people (Turkey) against Canadian Mining Corporation Alamos

Adrien Welsh. Rebel Youth

It was with this rallying cry that activists from the Çanakkale branch of the Turkish Communist Party joined the thousands of demonstrators who stormed the site of the Kirazli gold mine project operated by the Canadian mining company Alamos. Despite a few altercations with security personnel, a human tide of thousands of protesters were determined to voice their opposition to the company caused deforestation and defeated the company's security agents. Once on the site, the event went off without a hitch, the protesters came among others to make an eminently symbolic gesture: planting trees.

36) Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Names Powerful Men in Alleged Sex Ring

Kate Briquelet, Katie Baker, Justin Miller, Pilar Melendez & Tracy Connor, The Daily Beast

A young woman who says financier Jeffrey Epstein and socialite Ghislaine Maxwell kept her as a sex slave also accused a host of high-powered men of being involved in Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking ring, according to court records unsealed Friday.

37) Ocasio-Cortez After Jeffrey Epstein Found Dead: 'We Need Answers. Lots of Them.'

Jon Queally, Common Dreams

In the immediate wake of news from New York City officials Saturday morning that disgraced billionaire and high-profile political donor Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in his Manhattan jail cell overnight, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez indicated it will be up to lawmakers and others to demand a full accounting of what happened to the man accused of operating a sophisticated sex trafficking ring that catered to the nation's rich and powerful.

See also: American Mass Shootings, Brazil, Venezuela, the Climate Emergency & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos July 28 - August 4

Spicy Peanut Butter and Dill Pickle Sandwiches

Sun, 2019-08-11 01:32
Today we are doing our take on a sandwich recipe from Sam Sifton of the New York Times that was itself a take on "a great old sandwich of the American South". This one may take a little time for some to get their heads around, as it involves peanut butter, pickles and hot sauce, but trust us, it is very good.

While Sifton used sriracha we switch it up a bit with the sauces and the ingredients.

To start you want to toast the bread to add some crunch. You can use any number of breads for this but we used a rye.

Top your toast with a nice layer of (preferably crunchy) peanut butter. Drizzle a bit of soy sauce over it. Then top this with sliced pieces of full sour style dill pickles.

Drizzle some hot sauce over top of the pickles. As noted Sifton suggested sriracha or sambal oelek but we used the similar Saigon Hot Chilli Sauce and also some of Grace's Caribbean style Scotch Bonnet Hot Pepper Sauce.

Then, to give some more depth, we added some thin sliced green onion and some slices of radish. You can also add a few more minced or chopped peanuts over top.

While it may sound a bit "out there", after you try it you will love it.

See also: Sardine Sandwich with Sauteed Spinach, Garlic & Jalapeno

Corporate names for public stations are as dangerous as they are idiotic and absurd

Thu, 2019-08-08 23:16
How does Oakville Station Brought to You by Burger King or No Frills Pickering Station sound to you? Or, even worse, how about Filet-O-Fish Station (Exhibition).

Absurd? Ludicrous? Inane?

It is certainly all of those things but it is also exactly what the geniuses running Ontario are proposing with their idea to sell the naming rights of GO Transit stations. They also are suggesting selling off naming rights for bathrooms and parking lots so one day soon you may be able to do your business in a toilet stall "brought to you by Walmart".

This surreal and disturbing creeping forward of the commercialization of public spaces and life has been going on for a long time now. The most obvious examples are the naming of sports stadiums -- almost all of which are built in part or entirely with public funds as one of the more grotesque forms of corporate welfare. While stadium names used to have historic or national references in many cases, now they are all corporate advertisements devoid of any character or community meaning such as the Rogers Centre or Minute Maid Park.

How would you know Minute Maid Park was in Houston? Well you wouldn't until you were told. The name has zero connection with the city and its history at all.

Names like these are, frankly, soul-deadening. They are a logical goalpost along the neoliberal path to tearing down the very idea of the "public" and replacing it with a world where everything is private and corporate including what once were your communal services or gathering places.

Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney sweetens the pot for the companies by offering to  provide those who do "sponsor" stations with ridership data. Allegedly your privacy would be protected, but who can really say for how long. She also makes it clear that her government is thinking of other ways to sellout the system for short-term corporate cash when she says “We are looking to maximize the value of Metrolinx assets, properties, and services to increase non-fare revenue."

Of course, they could increase funding to GO Transit, but that would be too obvious and run counter to their false narrative that the province is in terrible financial shape due to the Liberals.

How about instead of selling naming rights to corporations the government levies a Public Transit Tax on them since all this public infrastructure, among many other things, is necessary to get workers to their jobs and keep the economy moving? Making companies pay for public transit through higher corporate taxes also makes sense given that transit is an essential component of any program to combat the climate emergency that corporations played the central role in creating.

By making the corporate a part of the very names of your local stations it is a strategy -- conscious or intuitive  -- for the government to build a daily, ingrained association between transit and private corporations. Given that the Ford government is quite open in its desire to grant the private sector a much larger role in the provision of public works, having stations with corporate branding is a form of propaganda to breakdown the general, natural resistance to the notion that there is nothing that belongs to us collectively anymore that should not have some shitty logo on it.

Maybe McDonald's could build a giant Golden Arches entryway to Union Station. Why not?

What a terrific tribute to the conquest of the civic by the corporate that would be.

Mao Tse-Tung - Hugo Gellert c. 1944

Wed, 2019-08-07 22:29

Mao Tse-Tung - Hugo Gellert c. 1944
Hugo Gellert was a member of the Communist Party in the United States who rose to fame in the 1920s and 1930s through his political posters and art as well as illustrations he did for socialist and communist magazines. He was blacklisted during the McCarthy era and opened a gallery for blacklisted artists in New York. Gellert died in 1985.
We looked at his art before in the post: Three Portraits of Lenin 1922 - 1927

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, IWW, labour and Communist activist, b. August 7, 1890

Wed, 2019-08-07 19:53

What is a labor victory? I maintain that it is a twofold thing. Workers must gain economic advantage, but they must also gain revolutionary spirit, in order to achieve a complete victory. For workers to gain a few cents more a day, a few minutes less a day, and go back to work with the same psychology, the same attitude toward society is to have achieved a temporary gain and not a lasting victory. For workers to go back with a class-conscious spirit, with an organized and a determined attitude toward society means that even if they have made no economic gain they have the possibility of gaining in the future. In other words, a labor victory must be economic and it must be revolutionizing. Otherwise it is not complete.  - Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, IWW, labour and Communist activist, b. August 7, 1890

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was an early IWW leader who played a critical role in many labour struggles across the United States. The famous labour leader and martyr Joe Hill wrote the song "The Rebel Girl" in her honour. She was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union and organized mass protest campaigns against the executions of Sacco and Vanzetti. 

In 1936 Flynn joined the Communist Party of the United States and went to prison for two years in the 1950s as a result of the anti-communist persecution of the Smith Act. Flynn became the National Chairperson of the CPUSA in 1961. 

Flynn died while visiting the USSR in 1964. She was accorded a public state funeral in Moscow.

For a brief biography of Flynn see the scan below from the Communist Party of Canada's 1999 People's Voice calendar.  

A Cruise Along the Soviet Dnieper, 1985 Part II: Dnepropetrovsk to Odessa

Tue, 2019-08-06 23:26
The Dneiper River is either the third or fourth longest river in Europe -- depending on whether or not one counts the Ural River as European -- and it is hard to overstate its significance historically and economically to Ukraine.

While it begins in Russia and flows through Belarus, over 1,000 kilometers of its length runs through Ukraine and connects many of its cities to each other as well as to the Black Sea. During the Soviet era the river was a major transportation corridor for industrial goods and natural resources as well as an important source of hydroelectric power.

It was also a major tourist attraction with the introduction of river cruises along it on passenger ships with names like the V. I. Lenin and the 25th CPSU Congress.

Published in 1985 this comprehensive promotional book highlights the ships themselves as well as all of the cities and attractions that the ships stopped at on a cruise from Kiev to the city of Odessa. Each community is profiled with an outline of its history, economy, cultural and educational facilities as well as with many photos. It was aimed at both a domestic and non-Soviet audience as it is written in English and Russian.

These cruises, which are now quite expensive, were heavily subsidized by the Soviet government and Soviet trade unions for Soviet citizens.

In this second of two installments looking at the book we follow the ship's journey from Dnepropetrovsk through the communities of Zaporozhye, Novaya Kahovka, Kherson, Ochakov and ending in the Hero City of Odessa.

There are many interesting facts about what was happening in these communities at the time such as, in Ochakov, "It has an experimental mussel-and-oyster cannery -- the USSR's first -- a bread-baking combine, dairies and collective fisheries".

You can see the first part here.

( Click on scans to enlarge )