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Harrison Samphir

  • Shortchanged in the restaurant kitchen

    Cooking attracts passionate and skillful workers, but the discrepancy in pay between kitchen jobs and other skilled trades is staggering. According to Statistics Canada, certified entry-level tradespeople earn an average hourly wage of more than $22, six per cent higher than other occupations. Cooks work like labourers, yet earn an artist’s wages. A typical full-time salary barely tops $35,000 a year.

  • Interview: Andrew Bacevich on American militarism

    The election of Donald Trump raised serious questions about the direction of US foreign policy. Would the president seek better diplomatic relations with Russia? Would he step up, or deescalate, conflict in the Middle East? So far, there are few indications this Republican administration will change course from that of its predecessor.

  • Ava DuVernay’s ‘13th’ a must-see exposé of mass incarceration in the US

    Avu DuVernay’s latest documentary 13th comes at an important junction in American history. The 2016 presidential elections confirmed that divisions of race and class continue to be central and defining features of contemporary US society. Donald Trump ran on a platform of open bigotry, courting a reactionary following and emboldening the so-called ‘alt-right’ movement.

  • Theorizing a new radicalism: Henry Giroux on how to change the world

    In the overlapping realms of cultural studies and critical theory, few scholars have made a more significant impact upon contemporary educational theory than Henry Giroux. In 2002, the American-Canadian academic was named by the British publisher Routledge as one of the top fifty educational thinkers of the modern period.

  • The class struggle behind Brexit

    Brexit was an appeal, campaigned for passionately on a nationalistic platform of xenophobia, to “real people” — those disaffected by decades of rising income inequality, de-industrialization and a political culture that remains consistently at odds with the anxieties produced by widespread socioeconomic hardship.

  • On Palestine: A brief but essential update

    On Palestine is based upon a paradigmatic historical understanding of the ethnic cleansing of 1948, when more than half a million Arab people were forced from their homes to make way for a Jewish state. This understanding “clarifies” the connection between Zionist political ideology and the movement’s policies in the past and present.

  • Resist the silent war on Canadian medicare

    Since the election of a Conservative majority government, taxes are at their lowest levels in more than half a century. In its myopic vision of deficit reduction and austerity, Ottawa now collects $45 billion less in revenue. It is no wonder the Canadian public is being told it cannot “afford” adequate levels of health-care funding.

  • Can democracy be salvaged?

    The Extreme Centre is a valuable update on the troubled state of democracy. Ali writes with a focused intensity that is at once polemic and deeply lucid. Despite skirting any mention of the environment and how climate change might alter comprehensively the prospects for revolutionary change in the middle of the twenty-first century, there is an inspiring optimism in these pages.

  • KC Adams: Perception, imagery and the fragility of prejudice

    Perception demonstrates the malleability of attitudes and the fragility of stigma. Its use of photographs, a medium central to our understanding of human faces and identity, serves an emotional and cognitive purpose: it allows one to transcend the shell of appearance and grasp the essence of others.

  • Who watches the watchmen?

    Balko recommends greater accountability and the scaling back of government grants supplying powerful weapons to local and state police. He doesn’t go much further, but then again, political will is not his focus; rather, it is to expose the hazards of a police state and warn readers of how disturbingly vivid it may become.

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