What's Left 2016-01-24 Volume 42

Songs, trade, Sanders and more.

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Songs to spice up your January

Through a guest submission to What’s Left, we present some carefully selected songs to beat-back the winter blues. 

“My hometown” by Bruce Springsteen

The so-called golden age of capitalism cast an idyllic veneer over a powder keg of brutal racism and white supremacy that erupted in violence during the Civil Rights movement. Subsequently, deindustrialization due to the relocation of sites of capital accumulation to the global South, leading to widespread urban decay and emigration, would once again show our nostalgia to have been illusory.

“Born In The U.S.A.”

The innate patriarchal violence of American working-class life prepared me for the racist violence of imperialist war in Southeast Asia. I returned from war a domestic victim of aggressive US foreign policy, only to face high structural unemployment due to deindustrialization. The death of the “American dream”.

“The times they are a-changin’” by Bob Dylan

The current social upheaval represents a stark challenge to the powers that be. Members of the Establishment will suffer a reversal of fortune if they show themselves to be on the wrong side of history.

“It Ain’t Me Babe” (originally by Bob Dylan)

Unquestioning patriotism and blind obedience to state power requires the uncritical suspension of basic human decency. I cannot participate in this “relationship”, so I ask that you recruit someone else into your ideological façade.

“War (What is it good for?)” by Edwin Starr

Armed conflict is an unnecessary and immoral waste of innocent human life, and fails to solve the problems it purports to address. Therefore it serves no rational purpose.

“Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

I do not share in the naked bourgeois class interest that is the source of American imperialism and foreign policy. Therefore military service in support of US aggression must be out of the question.

“Fight the Power” by Public Enemy

Revolutionary action and popular organization against state power are the only viable means of opposing institutionalized oppression. White America clings to heroic myths that occlude the record of open racism of certain revered historical figures.

“911 is a joke”

Emergency services’ response times in the context of racialized poor communities would be farcical, were they not tragic. American state power is organized to oppress, not serve the interests of, the black minority.

“Express yourself” by Madonna

A partner’s sexual prowess, patriarchal notions of “romance”, ostentatious displays of material wealth or the showering of commodities upon an individual – while appreciated – are no substitutes for an egalitarian relationship based on mutual respect and the capacity to openly communicate one’s thoughts and feelings in a non-oppressive context.


Canadian judicial system continues to punish Indigenous peoples

Correctional investigator Howard Sapers sums it up: “poverty, the history of colonialism and lingering effects of the residential school system [are the] reasons why so many aboriginal people suffer from alcoholism and other problems that land them in the justice system.” Instead of helping those whose lives have been destroyed or addressing racist colonialist policies, the government is locking them up in record numbers. While so much goodwill and understanding is being extended to Syrian refugees, we should be sure to focus similar efforts here in Canada to work alongside Indigenous populations in the struggle for justice and self-determination. 

• [[http://citizenspress.us10.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=27d7d00e19a37005743125d7e&id=7b2ebdef2e&e=8484a6ba75][Prison watchdog says more than a quarter of federal inmates are aboriginal people]]

Uber is not playing by the rules

You can’t fight progress, so stop trying. This was the theme of an editorial in The Globe and Mail in mid-December defending Uber’s right to do whatever it wants. Uber is disruptive, but not in a way that is positive for workers. Lawyers at Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP remind us what the media tends to forget when reporting on Uber.

It’s Cheaper, But What’s the Cost? - Uber and the Sharing Model

TPP will cost Canada, US, and Japan hundreds of thousands of jobs

A new study shows that the secretly negotiated TPP is not just terrible for the quality of jobs (and the environment and equality and public safety and local communities) but will actually kill hundreds of thousands of jobs. Further proof that this agreement was negotiated by the rich for the rich. There will be no benefit for anyone else.

• [[https://citizenspress.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=27d7d00e19a37005743125d7e&id=381aeb94c4&e=8484a6ba75][Independent economists: TPP will kill 450,000 US jobs; 75,000 Japanese jobs, 58,000 Canadian jobs]]

• [[http://citizenspress.us10.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=27d7d00e19a37005743125d7e&id=85538782b0&e=8484a6ba75][‘More Realistic’ Modelling Of TPP’s Effects Predicts 450,000 US Jobs Lost, Contraction Of Economy]]

• [[https://citizenspress.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=27d7d00e19a37005743125d7e&id=d7860fa1b4&e=8484a6ba75][Trading Down: Unemployment, Inequality and Other Risks of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement]]

Health Care is Still Dangerous Work

Unions are essential in the workplace for many reasons, but almost universally accepted is their positive role in health and safety. Ontario’s Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan has the goal of increasing public health’s ability to address violence in the workplace. Bill 132 will change the definition of domestic violence under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and employers will need to be pro-active in reassessing their policies, awareness, and worker training.

Ontario Nurses think there are still plenty of amendments that are needed for the bill to live up to its promises, especially proactive reporting to joint health and safety committees in the workplace.

Health Care is Still Dangerous Work (Infographic)

• [[https://citizenspress.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=27d7d00e19a37005743125d7e&id=b7445c5b94&e=8484a6ba75][ONA Submission On Bill 132: An Act to amend Various Statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and related matters]]

Intimate Partner Violence against Women Report CUPE 79


Seven steps to school privatization

As US schools continue to suffocate due to neglect, The Washington Post provides a primer on the tactics and arguments used by the rich and right-wing to push US public schooling to where it is today. It’s important to understand these tactics as the right wing in Canada attempts to do the same.

A primer on the damaging movement to privatize public schools

Pro-Clinton Atlantic Magazine publishes nonsense about Sanders

Opponents of Sanders are reaching for anything to attack him as support for his movement grows across working class America. But, the Clinton campaign got a bit of a surprise response to what appears to be a coaxed article in the Atlantic attempting to paint Sanders as racist for his stance on reparations.

The article is so transparent that it came under immediate scorn – even from those who do not support the Sanders campaign. Coates’ purposeful mis-characterization of Sanders’ socialism exposes the true intentions of the article.

It is unfortunate, but predictable, that the campaign has taken such a turn. If the mass of black working-class Democratic Party supporters turn to Bernie, it is the end of days for the Clinton campaign.

• [[https://citizenspress.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=27d7d00e19a37005743125d7e&id=94af4e7d2d&e=8484a6ba75][Black Americans Defend Sanders Against Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Biased and Baseless Attacks]]

• [[https://citizenspress.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=27d7d00e19a37005743125d7e&id=579d95a449&e=8484a6ba75][Black Lives Matter Movement Gives Bernie Sanders’ Racial Justice Agenda the Push It Needs]]

Bernie Sanders’ Policy on Racial Justice

The Seven Stages of Establishment Backlash: Corbyn/Sanders Edition

Corbyn proposes actually holding corporations accountable

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is proposing new reforms targetting the dividends of companies who underpay workers. Corbyn’s idea is to make companies pay employees a living wage and put in place “salary curbs” or “pay ratios” preventing management from hiking their own salaries without also raising their workers’ wages. Such proposals would connect capitalist profits from the financial sector with workers’ wages for the first time.

Jeremy Corbyn to confront big business over living wage

“Bonus reads”

• [[http://citizenspress.us10.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=27d7d00e19a37005743125d7e&id=aa4382621d&e=8484a6ba75][Richest 62 people own as much wealth as half the world’s population, says Oxfam]]

Rail safety documents heavily redacted or kept secret by Transport Canada

Amnesty International report: Children mine cobalt used in gadget batteries

• [[https://citizenspress.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=27d7d00e19a37005743125d7e&id=034f3960bf&e=8484a6ba75][England’s most senior civil judge rules that Terrorism Act violates human rights]]

• [[http://citizenspress.us10.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=27d7d00e19a37005743125d7e&id=70b78543ad&e=8484a6ba75][Hotel workers are resisting concessions at Regina’s Best Western Seven Oaks]]

U.S. Escalates Battle to Keep Guantánamo Force-Feeding Tapes Hidden