wmtc: what i’m reading: pit bull: the battle over an american icon

If you have an opinion about pitbulls, chances are good that it’s based on myth, misinformation, and even disinformation. I know a good deal about dogs, and I thought I knew a lot about pitbulls, yet I was constantly amazed and enlightened by Bronwen Dickey’s Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon. Here are some ...

wmtc: what i’m reading: leaving lucy pear

The year is 1917. A teenage girl from a wealthy family is pregnant, the result of rape — by a man who her mother pushed her to pursue for marriage. Now the girl is being forced to surrender her baby to an orphanage. She has met the person who runs the orphanage, and she cannot ...

wmtc: postscript: some clarifications and addenda to my recent post on cultural appropriation

Many people have been discussing my recent post about cultural appropriation on Facebook. I’m not surprised that many people disagree (that’s why I wrote it, to put my countering opinion out there), but I have been surprised by how many progressive people do agree. From the negative comments, I can see that I wasn’t clear on ...

wmtc: accusations of cultural appropriation are a form of bullying — and don’t reduce racism

I’m increasingly dismayed by accusations of cultural appropriation that are used as weapons, rather than as a tool for raising awareness and educating. Accusations of appropriation have become a form of bullying, a weapon wielded to police and enforce a superficial obeisance to a behavioural code — while doing nothing to address the underlying issues. ...

wmtc: it’s crunch time at the bargaining table

Now here’s an interesting calendar of events. June 27-29: The Negotiating Committee for CUPE Local 1989, Mississauga Library Workers Union, returns to the bargaining table for three days. June 30: The Negotiating Committee presents membership with a settlement offer. If the bargaining team recommends ratification, there is a ratification vote. If we do not recommend ...

wmtc: rtod: we only want the earth

On the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, these Revolutionary Thoughts of the Day are brought to you by the great Irish socialist, James Connolly. The day has passed for patching up the capitalist system; it must go. (1910) This speech, from 1897, is recreated in the excellent Ken Loach film “The Wind that Shakes ...

wmtc: precariously yours: notes from the 2016 cupe ontario library workers conference

Last week I attended the CUPE Ontario Library Workers Conference, my second year, and my first since being elected to the organizing committee. This year’s theme was precarious work, and nothing could be more relevant to library work today. All three keynote speakers were excellent, with engaging, eye-opening presentations that brought our picture into sharp ...

wmtc: dispatches from ola 2016, part 2: libraries and prisons

I’ve had a longstanding interest in prison libraries, and was happy to meet another librarian-friend who shares this. But I was very pleasantly surprised at the large turnout for the talk Prisons and Libraries: A Relationship Worth Incubating at the 2016 OLA Super Conference. A panel of three librarians who serve incarcerated people in different capacities gave ...

wmtc: things i heard at the library: digital divide edition (#20)

In library school we talked a lot about the digital divide, the ever-increasing gap between those who have access to information and communication technology, and those who do not. Public libraries are one of the very few institutions that exist to bridge that gap, however imperfectly. What does the digital divide look like on the ...

wmtc: bernie sanders, the pope, and the politics of amnesia

I see a lot of excitement online, in places like Common Dreams and The Nation, and in my Facebook feed, about Bernie Sanders, supposedly remaking US politics, and Pope Francis, supposedly remaking the Roman Catholic Church. About Sanders, I shake my head and wonder why long-time Democrat voters do not see him and his candidacy ...

wmtc: wmtc 2015-06-21 17:00:00

I stumbled on this letter to the New York Times Book Review from a few weeks ago. It’s in response to a review of two books about precarious work – one about technology threatening jobs of even the most educated people, and another about the rise of unpaid labour. Barbara Ehrenreich’s chilling review of Martin ...

wmtc: what i’m reading: salt sugar fat by michael moss

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss is an excellent addition to a bookshelf that includes works by Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Marian Nestle and others who write about the health of our food and the un-health of the industrial food system. Moss lifts the curtain on the giant corporations ...

wmtc: mcdonald’s announces phony wage increase: workers rising on april 15

The resurgent workers’ movement scored a huge victory earlier this year, when Walmart announced it was raising wages – a step on the road to a true living wage and the right to unionize without fear of harassment. Other big corporations, such as Target, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls, followed with similar wage-hike announcements. Naturally, it sounded ...

wmtc: walmart increases wages: workers united are winning, and the struggle must continue

Workers in the US have won a significant victory in their struggle for dignity and a living wage. This week Walmart announced that within one year, all current Walmart employees will be paid at least $10/hour, and that newly-hired workers will start at $9.00/hour, with a real opportunity to earn $10/hour with six months. While ...

wmtc: what i’m reading: pro: reclaiming abortion rights by katha pollitt

Katha Pollitt’s new book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, is a powerful gust of fresh, clean air that blows away the toxic stench of the current discourse about abortion. Pro is a thorough, no-holds-barred takedown of the hypocrisy of anti-abortion-rights movement – not only in the most obvious sense that people who claim to be “pro-life” ...

wmtc: rtod

Revolutionary thought of the day: Hunger isn’t about the amount of food around. It’s about being able to afford and control that food. After all, the U.S. has more food than it knows what to do with, and still 50 million people are food insecure. Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved and The Value ...

wmtc: rotd: this changes everything

Revolutionary thought of the day: …if there is a reason for social movements to exist, it is not to accept dominant values as fixed and unchangeable but to offer other ways to live – to wage, and win, a battle of cultural worldviews. That means laying out a vision of the world that competes directly ...

wmtc: 150 cities + 500 arrests = whatever it takes for $15

Last Thursday, fast-food workers in more than 150 US cities went on strike. Some 500 workers were arrested for civil disobedience, including this man, José Carillo, an 81-year-old McDonald’s worker. In Detroit, there were so many arrests that the police gave up: they ran out of handcuffs. There’s a very short video compilation of some ...

wmtc: fast-food workers are on strike today. you can support their cause.

Fast-food workers all over the US are on strike today, demanding a living wage and the right to form a union without retaliation. Did you know that the majority of fast-food workers are adults trying to support families on those crap wages? Their pay is so low, they qualify for food stamps! So taxpayers are ...

wmtc: revolutionary thoughts of the day: kareem abdul-jabbar, the new yorker, howard zinn

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has an excellent essay in Time, something only a big-name writer can get away with in the mainstream media. Abdul-Jabbar names the stark truths behind the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri. And the mere fact that this appears on Time.com is reason for hope. This fist-shaking of everyone’s racial agenda distracts America from the ...

wmtc: dark times in canada, part 3: adding my voice to oppose andrea horwath’s rightward shift

I’m quite sure that Canadians who read this blog already know about this, and for others, it’s not relevant. But I want to add my small voice to the chorus of progressive Canadians who are angry, hurt, and disgusted at the Ontario New Democratic Party. Thousands of Ontarians who would normally vote NDP are either ...

wmtc: mcdonald’s? mcbullshit!

Sign!

wmtc: the ndp: so sad, so frustrating, so maddeningly predictable

Where oh where has the NDP gone? One of the most wonderful things about Canada, for me, has always been the presence of a viable third party on the left. When we first moved here, it was so amazing to hear Jack Layton, Libby Davies, Peggy Nash, Paul Dewar, Olivia Chow, Linda Duncan, and many ...

wmtc: open letter to james moore

To the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry: In answer to your recent question, yes, it is your job to feed your neighbour’s child. And it’s my job, and it’s my neighbours’ jobs, too. It is all of our jobs to feed every hungry child, because we live in a society, and that’s what society ...

wmtc: former walmart executive leads covert smear campaign against activist workers: watch their hilariously awful video

From The Nation: Last night, Worker Center Watch – a new website dedicated to attacking labor-affiliated activist groups like OUR Walmart, Restaurant Opportunities Center, and Fast Food Forward – began sponsoring advertisements on Twitter to promote smears against the protests planned for Black Friday. In one video sponsored by the group, activists demanding a living wage and ...