Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Easy Spinach Mushroom Beef Slow Cooker Lasagna

By Natalie 

Perfect for the season and really easy to make, today we are going to take a look at a way to cook "lasagna" in a slow cooker that uses ravioli in place of noodles. This dish is both very satisfying and full of the familiar lasagna flavours we all love so much.


1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 large bag (750-850 grams) frozen spinach & cheese ravioli
3 - 500 ml. can of crushed tomatoes
1 to 2 cups chopped brown mushrooms
1 medium onion
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan saute the mushrooms and onions over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add the beef to pan and brown. Once the beef is browned, stir in the tomatoes and seasonings and then add the sauteed mushrooms and onions.

Once everything has been stirred together, get out your slow cooker. This recipe works best with a 6 qt. or larger slow cooker.

Ladle a layer of the sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker. Then top with a layer of the frozen ravioli. You can use any cheese ravioli you like though I used spinach and cheese.

Cover the ravioli with a layer of mozzarella cheese.

Repeat these layers until you have used all the ravioli and then make the final layer a layer of the beef and mushroom sauce. Top this with the mozzarella and the Parmesan.

Put the slow cooker cover on and cook on low for 4 hours.

Simple and delicious fare. Serve with garlic bread and red wine.

See also: Clay Baked Lasagna

See also: Deep Dish Pizza Sandwich

Monday, December 11, 2017

John Horgan lets the facade drop with cynical, ugly comments after green-lighting Site C

By now the news that the British Columbia NDP government has betrayed the (sorta) promise it made to stop the building of the Site C dam is rippling like a shock wave through those New Democrats left who still take the party's pledges and claims to be a real alternative seriously.

The decision to green-light Site C is, indeed, a terrible one. It hurts the Horgan government's claims to want to be an environmental leader and will without doubt undermine the highroad approach it has tried to stake out in opposing the pipeline expansion supported by NDP oil industry hack Rachel Notley one province over in Alberta. It reeks of the long tradition the party has of promising the bare minimum and then failing to deliver even that, especially as this government had already backpedaled on its minimum wage pledge. It smacks of a sad pandering and cowardice.

None of this should be terribly surprising from the government of a party that has shifted as far as it has towards the Third Way centrism that parties like the Labour Party in the UK are now abandoning. The NDP outside of possibly Nova Scotia has become little more than a debased echo of a social democratic party whose increasingly tenuous connection to a now almost mythical socialist past consists of celebrating the fact that Tommy Douglas was voted the "Greatest Canadian" a few years ago.

But even with its recent history both in BC and across the country, Premier John Horgan still managed to surprise by, almost uniquely, actually dropping the facade and pretense of being something better or a part of a fundamental shift by saying:
When it comes to reconciliation and working with Indigenous leadership there has been over 150 years of disappointment in British Columbia. I’m not the first person to stand before you and disappoint Indigenous people."
"There has been over 150 years of disappointment in British Columbia. I'm not the first to stand before you and disappoint Indigenous people"

Let that comment sink in for a moment.

It is where you see the real face, motives and feelings of Horgan and his government come through in all of their cynicism and ugliness.

Remember it the next time you are yet again peddled the line that the NDP is fundamentally different from the other mainstream capitalist parties, that we have "no choice" on the left but to support it and that it remains a party committed to real change and a new type of society and politics.

No, Mr. Horgan, you are not the first to stand before us and disappoint Indigenous people. And you are likely not the last. But you can no longer have the benefit of the doubt from anyone on the left. Your true colours are on full display.

See also: The Constant Image Gardeners

See also: To Rachel Notley -- Climate change is destroying millions of workers jobs and lives around the world, so please, smarten up

The Constant Image Gardeners

By Scotty Hertz

As the somewhat freshly minted, seatless leader of the federal NDP, Jagmeet Singh is on a continuing mission to “visit communities to build momentum for the party’s brand and ideas” whilst compiling an extensive photo op folder. Singh is as photogenic as Trudeau Jr., perhaps more so, with social media forever bringing an end to the previous political style era of tragic comb overs, rumpled Eaton’s blazers and public smoking. Singh’s recent foray into the fruit and vegetable mines of southwestern Ontario was a beautifully framed masterpiece of visual symmetry; the eager well manicured rookie stands tall among the irrigation hoses, nary a leaf out of place. This image suggests at any minute he will be shedding the jacket to fill the flats behind him to the brim, ready for shipment by the skid load to warehouse shopping members nationwide. Undoubtedly on this day the ventilation system was cranked full bore before his arrival and the insecticide spraying put on hold for a while. The temporary foreign workers have been cleared off and given a brief respite from their work while their potential saviour gets the perfect shot for the growing Instagram portfolio. Was their pay docked during the stoppage?

A group that represents the workers who slog it in this environment (so you don’t have to) are not particularly happy with Singh’s sunshine and lollypop spin on his fact finding mission. “This industry has basically been built on the blood sweat and sacrifices of low wage, racialized, precarious workers,” Justicia for Migrant Workers advocate Chris Ramsaroop said in the Toronto Star. Beyond the well worn Farmer/Labour mojo that Singh is trying to harness here, the history of agriculture in Canada has a dimension that remains hidden for the most part, until an event such as the carbon monoxide poisoning of 42 greenhouse workers in Delta BC grabs a headline for the weekend. An aerial view makes it very clear that this isn’t some Little House On The Prairie Ma and Pa outfit, it’s a factory that just happens to have plenty of natural light and colourful edibles within it instead of widgets and punch presses.

Our agri-food system doesn’t like it when temporary foreign workers have down time. Injured and sick labourers are regularly taken off the job and sent back home if they can no longer cope with the grunt work that they were hired to do. Complaints about conditions, pay and ill treatment can lead to varying degrees of punishment. Harassment is rife both on the job and in the community. Gangsters regularly take a cut of some of the hardest earned wages in the nation. TFWs pay into Canadian benefits that they can never claim or access. There will be a fee for every ambulance ride required during this recent emergency which will put a divot in meagre savings, if there are any savings at all. It’s a tough, segregated, shitty life, with the potential of becoming a full fledged Canadian well out of reach of the majority. This award winning primer, Migrant Dreams, will make you pause for a moment the next time you are among the bags of peppers and poly pacs of on-the-vine tomatoes:

Moments like this add fuel to the great, never ending internal debate of the NDP; do they align with the workers and risk being branded unelectable pinkos or do they schmooze with the bosses and alienate the traditional base? With the temporary foreign workers out of the frame and unable to vote, it’s clear who the target was on this brand building mission. Here is a shot of some berry pickers in Milton from the Toronto Star a decade ago, the only mainstream media outlet in the nation to give the TFWs any regular ink. If the goal is to be firmly on the side of the working class in Canada, Singh will need to get the sleeves up and physically step into the gritty frame with the sweat, tears and toil. Until then his party should be prepared for the grumbling to continue.

Related Links:

This piece originally appeared on the Spannerbook blog and is reprinted here with permission.

Scotty Hertz is the co-host of Open Sources Guelph, CFRU-FM’s weekly political news and affairs show. He has appeared on Beyond the Ballot Box, The Working Week, Election Radio and developed The Labour Show podcast for, one of the first of it’s kind in Canada. He has contributed to, Canadian Dimension and blogs at Hertz is the former bass player of The Rebel Girls and can be seen with The Paper Candidates on occasion.

Do you have a left point-of-view or opinion, event or petition, a recipe or a story you want to share?

Send them to The Left Chapter via!

See also: Singh's victory was a direct repudiation of the left by the NDP -- It is pointless to pretend otherwise

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The #MeToo Movement, Jerusalem, Honduras and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List December 3 - 10

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  December 3 - 10. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

This installment has 5 entries that are from before the period. They have been integrated into the post.

1) A Women’s Revolt That Targets Far More Than Sexual Abuse

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

The press, trumpeting the lurid and salacious details of the sexual assault charges brought against powerful men, has missed the real story—the widespread popular revolt led by women, many of whom have stood up, despite vicious attacks and the dictates of legally binding nondisclosure agreements, to denounce the entitlement of the corporate and political elites. This women’s revolt is not solely about sexual abuse. It is about fighting a corporate power structure that institutionalizes and enables misogyny, racism and bigotry. It is about rejecting the belief that wealth and power give the elites the right to engage in economic, political, social and sexual sadism. It challenges the twisted ethic that those who are crushed and humiliated by the rich, the famous and the powerful have no rights and no voice. Let’s hope this is the beginning, not the end.

Read the full article.

2) Tax assessors target Canadians with diabetes, memo suggests

Bruce Campion-Smith, The Toronto Star

Federal tax assessors are clamping down on Canadians suffering type 1 diabetes to restrict their qualification for the disability tax credit, an internal memo suggests, contradicting public claims by the government that nothing has changed.

Read the full article.

3) Honduras: police refuse to obey government as post-election chaos deepens

Sarah Kinosian, The Guardian

Honduran police have announced they will refuse to obey orders from the government of the incumbent president, Juan Orlando Hernández, and will remain in their barracks until a political crisis triggered by last Sunday’s contested presidential election has been resolved.

Read the full article.


Lee Fang and Danielle Marie Mackey, The Intercept

HONDURAN PRESIDENT JUAN Orlando Hernández, using the specter of rampant crime and the drug trade, won extensive support from the American government to build up highly trained state security forces. Now, those same forces are repressing democracy.

Read the full article.

5) Paramedic service will investigate after witnesses question treatment of Yosif Al-Hasnawi

 Samantha Craggs, CBC News

Witnesses including a local Muslim leader say paramedics told a dying Hamilton man he was shot by a pellet gun and merely acting injured before he died in hospital less than an hour later.

Read the full article.

6) Jeremy Corbyn stretches Labour lead over Tories to largest gap for five months according to only pollster to call election right

Keith Perry, The Mirror

The poll by Survation, which was the only company to accurately forecast June’s General Election result, puts Labour on 45 per cent, with the Conservatives trailing on 37 per cent.

Read the full article.

7) Iceland’s new PM is a 41-year-old anti-war feminist and environmentalist

Joe Roberts, Metro UK

Iceland’s new prime minister is a 41-year-old anti-war feminist, democratic socialist, who is also an expert on crime literature.

Read the full article.

8) Living in cars, working for Amazon: meet America's new nomads

Jessica Bruder, The Guardian

Millions of Americans are wrestling with the impossibility of a traditional middle-class existence. In homes across the country, kitchen tables are strewn with unpaid bills. Lights burn late into the night. The same calculations get performed again and again, through exhaustion and sometimes tears.

Read the full article.

9) Winning Slowly Is the Same as Losing

Bill McKibben, Rolling Stone

If we don't win very quickly on climate change, then we will never win. That's the core truth about global warming. It's what makes it different from every other problem our political systems have faced. I wrote the first book for a general audience about climate change in 1989 – back when one had to search for examples to help people understand what the "greenhouse effect" would feel like. We knew it was coming, but not how fast or how hard. And because no one wanted to overestimate – because scientists by their nature are conservative – each of the changes we've observed has taken us somewhat by surprise. The surreal keeps becoming the commonplace: For instance, after Hurricane Harvey set a record for American rainstorms, and Hurricane Irma set a record for sustained wind speeds, and Hurricane Maria knocked Puerto Rico back a quarter-century, something even weirder happened. Hurricane Ophelia formed much farther to the east than any hurricane on record, and proceeded to blow past Southern Europe (whipping up winds that fanned record forest fires in Portugal) before crashing into Ireland. Along the way, it produced an artifact for our age: The warning chart that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency issued shows Ophelia ending in a straight line at 60 degrees north latitude, because the computer program never imagined you'd see a hurricane up there. "When you set up a grid, you define boundaries of that grid," a slightly red-faced NOAA programmer explained. "That's a pretty unusual place to have a tropical cyclone." The agency, he added, might have to "revisit" its mapping software.

Read the full article.

10) The price of death

Kristin Annable, Jacques Marcoux and Vera-Lynn Kubinec, CBC News

From a 22-year-old fatally injured on her second day of work at a B.C. quarry to a 65-year-old Manitoban who died just 13 days before retirement, these profiles tell the stories of a fraction of the roughly 350 people who die on the job every year in Canada.

Read the full article.

11) My Experience at Charlie Rose Went Beyond Sexism

Rebecca Carroll, Esquire

In 1997, I joined the production team of Charlie Rose’s popular interview show. I was the only black journalist on staff. At the time, there was little to no recognition of what it meant to be black and female in a workplace dominated by white men. Twenty years later, in this watershed moment of examination and reckoning as one powerful white man after another is disgraced following allegations of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault, we’re still not talking about the ramifications for black women—or the broader connection to structural racism in America.

Read the full article.

12) John Conyers resigns from Congress after sexual harassment allegations

Ben Jacobs, The Guardian

John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who is battling sexual harassment allegations from former female staffers, resigned from Congress on Tuesday, after telling a Detroit radio host: “I am retiring today.”

Read the full article.

13) Ontario police to turn over sexual assault cases for outside review

 Judy Trinh, CBC News

Advocates for women say a new pilot project — which allows outside experts in gender-based violence to review sexual assault investigations by police in Ontario and Alberta — will increase the number of charges laid and improve public trust.

Read the full article.

14) #MeToo – The Yoga Stories

Rachel Brathen, Yoga Lifestyles

I want to begin by extending my immense gratitude to every single person that has submitted a story over the past week. You are so brave. I believe you. And none of this was your fault. Thank you all for speaking up! I hope that shedding light on this issue will attribute to some sort of change. This post is not about my own #MeToo stories (I recorded a podcast episode available here if you want to listen), but about the many women (and some men) that have been courageous enough to speak up. We have received over 300 submissions and many of these individual stories name the same yoga teacher again and again.

Read the full article.

15) I Believe Franken’s Accusers Because He Groped Me, Too

Tina Dupuy, The Atlantic

The Democratic Party needs to stand with women who have been harassed—and not defend the politicians who abused them.

Read the full article.

16) Al Franken resigns from Senate over sexual misconduct allegations

Lauren Gambino, The Guardian

Senator Al Franken announced his resignation on Thursday, becoming the highest-ranking US politician yet to step down in the wake of widening allegations of sexual misconduct against powerful men in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the media and politics.

Read the full article.

17) The Silence Breakers

Time Magazine Person of the Year

Movie stars are supposedly nothing like you and me. They're svelte, glamorous, self-­possessed. They wear dresses we can't afford and live in houses we can only dream of. Yet it turns out that—in the most painful and personal ways—movie stars are more like you and me than we ever knew.

Read the full article.


 Hari Ziyad, Afropunk

A Black woman creates something, and white people credit themselves for it, after ignoring it for as long as possible. Where have we heard this before?

Read the full article.

19) AFN chiefs back resolution calling on MMIWG chief commissioner to resign

John Paul Tasker, CBC News 

First Nations chiefs have backed a resolution calling on Marion Buller, the chief commissioner of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls inquiry, to resign.

Read the full article.

20) Don’t let the Tories fool you: we must borrow to invest

Owen Jones, The Guardian

Here is a story about how crude dogma and a factually baseless political attack line are wrecking the country’s future. Britain desperately needs investment, and with interest rates this low it would be economic madness not to borrow to fund it.

Read the full article.

21) Why are America's farmers killing themselves in record numbers?

Debbie Weingarten, The Guardian

The suicide rate for farmers is more than double that of veterans. Former farmer Debbie Weingarten gives an insider’s perspective on farm life – and how to help.

Read the full article.

22) Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen?

Dylan Farrow, LA Times

We are in the midst of a revolution. From allegations against studio heads and journalists, to hotel maids recounting abuses on the job, women are exposing the truth and men are losing their jobs. But the revolution has been selective.

Read the full article.

23) All I wanted was for the government to say, ‘Yes, it’s true’

Verity Stevenson, Maclean's 

Lucie Laperle was one of the veterans invited to Ottawa for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology to LGBTQ Canadians for the state discrimination they experienced. Laperle underwent surveillance, interrogation and was institutionalized because of her sexual orientation in the Canadian Forces in the 1970s. She has been diagnosed with PTSD, determined to have been caused by what happened to her in the army. Maclean’s met with her in Shannon, north of Quebec City. This is her story, as told to reporter Verity Stevenson.

Read the full article.

24) Council votes for new shelter beds, refuses to open armouries to the homeless

David Rider, The Toronto Star

City staff say armouries are not the best option for homeless people, but advocates say opening them could save lives.

Read the full article.

25) Council rejects request to study whether Scarborough subway is good value for money

Jennifer Pagliaro, The Toronto Star

A motion from Councillor Josh Matlow to study the costs and benefits of the subway compared to the alternative failed in a 13-27 vote.

Read the full article.

26) Marriage equality law passes Australia's parliament in landslide vote

Paul Karp, The Guardian

Australia’s parliament has legislated for marriage equality, passing a bill almost unanimously to allow two people, regardless of sex, to marry.

Read the full article.

27) On a Vancouver SkyTrain full of people, just one came to help teen in religious attack

Patrick Johnston and Stephanie Ip, Vancouver Sun

When a man started yelling and hitting a young woman wearing a hijab on the Canada Line on Monday night, Jake Taylor didn’t hesitate.

Read the full article.

28) St. Thomas woman describes disturbing baseball-bat assault that hospitalized husband

Liny Lamberink and Jake Jeffrey, Global News

A woman and her family are left feeling shaken, after a shopping mall parking lot assault in St Thomas, Ont., on Thursday that’s being investigated as a racially motivated attack.

Read the full article.

29) Advocate group calls Niagara Region’s seizure of reporter’s notes, computer ‘an outrageous assault on media rights’

Alison Jones, The Canadian Press

The Niagara Region has apologized to a reporter for seizing equipment staff thought was being used to record a closed council session, an incident journalism organizations decried as an assault on press freedom.

Read the full article.

30) Brian Pallister Takes Heat After Thanking Winnipeg Chamber Of Commerce Chair For Wearing Heels


Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is taking criticism for making comments about the physical appearance of the woman who chairs the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.

Read the full article.

31) Migrant workers’ group slams NDP’s Singh for online posts on farm visit

Alex McKeen

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh fielded harsh criticism this week from a group of activists advocating for migrant workers’ rights — a cause the leader has promised to address in an upcoming party platform.

Read the full article.

32) Trump’s error on Jerusalem is a disaster for the Arab world … and the US too

Rashid Khalidi, The Guardian

Every time it seems Donald Trump cannot outdo himself, he does it again. Now he has announced that his administration will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing nearly seven decades of American policy. This step will have multiple negative ramifications, many impossible to predict.

Read the full article.

33) How will US Jerusalem move affect Israel's far right?

Jonathon Cook, Al Jazeera

Trump's recognition this week of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, overturning seven decades of US policy in the region and effectively ending hopes of a two-state solution, has provoked dire warnings.

Read the full article.

34) Charlottesville: Where's the $200,000 the DSA raised?

 Creede Newton, Al Jazeera

Allie was among the 19 people injured when white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr allegedly drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.

Read the full article.


Robyn Doolittle, The Globe and Mail

In February, after a 20-month investigation, The Globe found that one in five sexual-assault allegations reported in Canada is dismissed as unfounded. Now, law-enforcement agencies are reviewing more than 37,000 cases and many are pledging to revamp their approach to policing sexual violence. But for some police services, it’s still status quo.

Read the full article.

36) Honduras: Government deploys dangerous and illegal tactics to silence population

Amnesty International

The Honduran government is deploying dangerous and illegal tactics to silence any dissenting voices in the aftermath of one of the country’s worst political crisis in a decade, including preventing lawyers and human rights activists from visiting detained demonstrators, Amnesty International said after a visit to the country following contested presidential elections on 26 November.

Read the full article.

37) US Looking to Divide Honduran Opposition: Ex-President Zelaya


Former president of Honduras and coordinator of the Opposition Alliance against the Dictatorship Manuel Zelaya denounced that spokespeople for the Organization of American States asked the opposition presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla to disassociate himself from Zelaya "for being a Chavista and promoting Democratic Socialism."

38) Donald Trump and America’s new civil war

Omar El Akkad, The Globe and Mail

Barack Obama's presidency was supposed to mark a great leap forward for the United States. But, as Omar El Akkad discovered as he travelled across America this year, the election of Donald J. Trump has turned the country against itself. Scenes from a divided nation.

Read the full article.

39) #MeToo means I can be honest about why I skip office Christmas parties

Jean Hannah Edelstein, The Guardian

No, I’m not going to the office Christmas party this year, and yes, I’m feeling pretty happy about it. Thanks to the current cultural moment, in which we’re being more open about sexual assault than ever before, I feel safe being open this year about the fact that it’s because I was sexually assaulted at an office Christmas party. And though it’s a long time since I worked for that company – I left less than a year later – the thought of colleagues and alcohol and Christmas lights still makes my blood run cold.

Read the full article.

40) Why approving Site C could sink NDP

Damien Gillis, Common Ground

It’s getting down to the wire for the NDP-led government to announce its decision on Site C Dam. The corporate media and some big guns for labour have been making a sales push to throw the beleaguered project a lifeline and many fear they could succeed. That would be the biggest mistake the NDP could make. They didn’t create this monster, but they will own the consequences if they keep it alive.

Read the full article.

See also: Honduras, the #MeToo Movement, the OFL & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List November 26 - December 3

See also: Transit, Housing, Climate Change & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List November 19-26

Friday, December 8, 2017

What is the World Peace Council, 1975

Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project

See the end of this post for details on the project.

Leaflet: What is the World Peace Council, 1975

Released in 1975 this leaflet gives a brief overview of the history, raison d'être, objectives at the time and structure of the World Peace Council. While the WPC was founded in 1949 to fight for an anti-war, anti-nuclear and anti-imperialist agenda during the Cold War, it continues to work for these objectives in the post-Cold War era.

You can visit their website at:

(click on scans to enlarge)

When The Left Chapter began part of what I wanted to do on the blog was to show and highlight vintage public leftist election/political leaflets and booklets. While many of these have been offered with commentary to date, a very large collection of hundreds of them from several different sources remains and to preserve these often quite rare documents we will be posting them on a regular (almost daily) basis now often without or with minimal commentary so that people may have access to them as quickly as possible as an historical resource. 

While these will all be leaflets from a variety of different leftist viewpoints and countries, they are being posted as an historical/study resource and the views or opinions expressed in them do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or blogger.

All of these posts (as well as posts made to date) will be listed on the page: Vintage Communist/Socialist Leaflets (which is still being updated with past posts).

If you have any public, vintage leaflets or booklets you would like to contribute to this project please contact us via

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Jalapeno Avocado Egg Salad

Submitted by Natalie:

Today we are going to take a look at an egg salad recipe that adds avocado and jalapeno for a fiery, almost buttery, and totally delicious take on a classic.


.-3 eggs
-1/2 jalapeneo, partially seeded
-1 1/2 avocados
-1 small pickle, minced
-1TB mayo
-salt & pepper to taste
-Dash hot sauce, we used Ali's yellow home hot sauce which is a fiery citrusy hot sauce you can get at their restaurant in Parkdale, but you can substitute with any similar, Caribbean style hot sauce.

Using an egg slicer, slice the eggs and then gently mix with mayonnaise.

Coarsely mash the avocado and mix with the jalapeno, pickle, salt & pepper. Fold together with the egg. Do not over mix  as you want the egg to remain a little chunky. Taste and season more as desired.

This is spicy, very tasty and quite rich.

Serve on crackers or a toasted English muffin.

Do you have a left point-of-view or opinion, event or petition, a recipe or a story you want to share?

Send them to The Left Chapter via!

See also: The best canned tuna or salmon salad sandwich recipe

See also: Fiery Caribbean style peel-and-eat shrimp

Military spending: As wasteful as it is dangerous

From 1984 at the height of the Cold War -- when the Reagan Administration was pursuing an extraordinarily aggressive and violent imperialist agenda centred around death squads, support of military dictatorships, the Star Wars initiative and military spending -- this cartoon reminds us just what is lost by this. The CUPE newsletter of the period that it is taken from talked about how military spending is "as wasteful as it is dangerous".

While it has long been a fundamental myth of American imperialism and its legions of media apologists that American military spending is defensive and meant to protect "freedom" and "democracy", the lie is put to that by the very fact that the US spends as much on its military as the next eight largest national military budgets combined!  At a projected $824.6 billion for 2017-2018, the US spends more annually on "defence" now than the entire world did in 1984.

Yet, despite all the claims, these increases in spending and the military adventurism it results in has never made the world a remotely safer place.

Quite the opposite.

As Michael Parenti put it:
Far from being reluctantly propelled into hostilities by popular war fever, leaders incite that fever in order to gather support for their war policies. Thereby do they attempt to distract the public from pressing domestic matters, serve the overseas interests of U.S. investors, justify gargantuan military budgets, and present themselves as great leaders.
Imagine, though, what could be done for schools, hospitals and health care, fighting poverty, building housing and on and on and on with even a serious fraction of that $824.6 billion.

Canada -- long an enthusiastic lapdog that is generally keen to please its American masters -- capitulated to pressure from the Trump Administration and our Liberal government plans to increase the military budget by 70% from $18.9 billion to $32.7 billion annually by 2026-27. The Conservatives want to see even more spending and after the Liebral announcement NDP  defence critic Randall Garrison said the increases were not coming soon enough!

That $13.8 billion (never mind the base $18.9 billion)  extra annually could fund a lot of programs and initiatives that would help a lot of Canadians in direct, meaningful, real world ways. 

Remember that the next time a federal politician tries yet again to claim we "just don't have the money" to fight poverty, homelessness and other injustices, or pitches an austerity, "belt-tightening" agenda.