Archive for December, 2017

Francis Bacon, Head I. Oil and tempera on board, 1948. Collection of Richard S. Zeisler, New York.

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A well deserved win, with some stiff competition. The price-fixing on bread is really just the tip of the iceberg, here. Don’t forget the union-busting!

“When the Ontario Liberals announced their intention to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2019 (under great pressure from workers and social movements) this past May, Weston responded by pleading poverty. Weston said the rise in the minimum wage would cost his company roughly $190 billion and would be a significant headwind to his business. Never mind that Loblaw Companies Limited profits continue to smash new records and that Weston’s personal wealth is in excess of $8 billion, Weston wanted you to feel bad for him and his company because they couldn’t pay the poverty wages to his workers.

Loblaws, which has been long in the spotlight for tax dodging, was named in this fall’s release of the Paradise Papers. The company registered offshore holding companies in Barbados and Bermuda in 2005. By some estimates its tax avoidance schemes have cost tax payers up to $350 million dollars.

And then on the day the Ontario government passed Bill 148 increasing the minimum wage to $15 and strengthening labour laws Loblaws announced it was closing twenty stories and firing 500 people from the company, despite making record profits.

Not to be outdone Weston and co., after an investigation by the Competition Bureau, copped to a 14 year price fixing scheme on bread. Yes, Weston had been fixing the price on fucking bread for 14 years, a basic food necessity for many Canadians. People used to be guillotined for that.”

Galen Weston Jr., 2017 Scumbag of the Year

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“North Bay Bandit Escapes With $80,” The Globe and Mail. December 30, 1936. Page 01.

Coal Dealer Wounded in Finger When Gunman Fires Shot to Enforce Order to Hand Over Cash

North Bay, Dec. 29 (CP). – North Bay’s first armed robbery in more than four years occurred tonight, when a masked man entered the office of Coleman & Prest, coal and wood dealers, fired a shot at Charles E. Coleman when he refused to hand over the day’s receipts, and escaped with between $70 and $80 in cash. Police launched a city-wide search for the bandit. Authorities said his face was covered by a red handkerchief. The bullet fired at the elderly proprietor of the establishment grazed his little finger.

The proprietor was carrying the money in his pocket and started for the door. When he put his hand on the door knob, the marauder drew a revolver and fired, wounding Coleman’s finger. The invader then tied the proprietor’s hands behind his back with string and rifled his pockets, obtaining, it is believed, close to $80.

Coleman was found a short time later by two employees who had been working outside at the time of the hold-up. They told police they did not hear the shot fired. Equipped with a partial description of the thief, police here and in the district are conducting an intense search tonight. As yet no trace of the man has been found.

The bullet which nipped Mr. Coleman’s finger was found in the office floor.

Sought at Sudbury.
Sudbury, Dec. 29 (Special). – Sudbury police have been asked to watch out for an armed thief who held up G. H. Coleman at North Bay tonight and shot him in one hand. The thief is said to have escaped with $50.

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“No Place For Dope Fiends,” Toronto Star. December 30, 1918. Page 21.

Escaped Drug Victims From Farm Are Sent to Burwash Reformatory.

During the trial of Joseph Howe and Anthony Riordan, before Judge Winchester this morning, it developed that there was no proper place in Ontario where drug victims, who may be serving sentences, can be treated.

Howe and Riordan were charged with attempting to escape from the jail farm. Both had been heavy users of drugs, and Major Morrison, governor of the jail farm, complained to the judge that it was impossible to treat drug victims at the farm. He thought that they should be sent to the asylum for treatment, but they could not be sent there unless they volunteered to go themselves.

Crown Attorney Greer: ‘I understand, major, that drugs have been circulating pretty freely through the farm.’

Major Morrison: ‘There has not been a case in 16 months, and that one was stopped. The only dope the men get now is what the jail surgeon, Dr. Johns, prescribed as a minimum amount for their treatment.’

Judge Winchester: ‘What would happen to them were it all cut off?’

Major Morrison: ‘The coroner would have them.’

Mr. Greer: ‘Yes, they would go insane and death would follow.’

His Worship agreed that death should be prevented, and regretted that the men would not go to the asylum for treatment. Mr. Greer believed that Riordan’s family, who were very respectable, could persuade him to take the treatment. Six months were added to each of their sentences to be served at the Ontario Reformatory at Burwash, his Honor hoping that the men would consent to go to Brockville for treatment.

Major Morrison said that there had been twenty-two attempts to escape from the Jail farm this year so far, but that all but one had been caught.

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“Lad Sentenced,” Hamilton Spectator. December 30, 1918. Page 12.

Kemp Got Eighteen Months On Burglary Charge

The trial of John Martin and Edward Kemp, two Grimsby youths, who were charged with breaking into the Village Inn and stealing a number of articles, was held before Magistrate Kidd, in the town hall at Grimsby, on Saturday. Martin was allowed off on suspended sentence. Kemp, however, was given 18 months in jail, the preponderance of evidence showing that he was the one who had suggested the burglary and induced the other lad to join him. Norman Kay appeared for Martin and G. B. McConachie, of Grimsby, for the other defendant.

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December 30, 2017: a new episode of The Anatomy Lesson at 11pm EST on CFRC 101.9fm. The last episode of 2017, in fact, and in tribute, and by tradition, we will play no music from the current year. And some old favorites of this program. Featuring music by LAKE RADIO, A.I.Z., Nocturnal Emissions, Enstruction, Eric Random, Protoplasm, German Army, Esruk & Stephen Ugo Rosin, Silvia Kastel + more.

Check out the setlist below, tune in at 101.9 on your FM dial, stream at http://audio.cfrc.ca:8000/listen.pls or listen to the archive after airing at cfrc.ca or on mixcloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/cameronwillis1232/the-anatomy-lesson-december-30-2017/

Unkommunity – “The Hand Behind” Oblivione (1983)
Enstruction – “Notes from Baalberith” Because We Care (1983)
Wigglepig / Cal – “Ueuecoyotl” The Universe is the Messiah (1987)
Zona Industriale – “Les silences des la voix” Materiali 1985-1987 (1997)
Silvia Kastel – “39” 39 (2015)
Lake Radio – “Martin Hannett’s Ghost” The Weather (2010)
Last Few Days – “Too Much Is Not Enough” Too Much Is Not Enough (1986)
Eric Random – “In Cassette Conference” Subliminal 1980-1982 (1980/2005)
Esruk & S. Ugo Rosin – “Cream Out” Rap’n Crack (1990)
German Army – “Interview With Self Copy” Worthless Spectrum (2016)
A.I.Z. – “No Possible Life” A.I.Z. (1983)
Protoplasm – “Violation File” Standard Encryption Algorithm (1993)
Nocturnal Emissions – “Wrongly Wired” Drowning In A Sea of Bliss (1983)
Lieutenant Murnau – “Psychophonia” Meet Lt. Murnau (1980)
Unkommunity – “New Awareness” Oblivione (1983)

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Joseph Mallord William Turner,

Peace – Burial at Sea

Oil paint on canvas. Exh. 1842.  Tate Collection. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Ref. N00528.

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“The Vietnam War years were the most ‘politicized’ of my life. I spent my days during this war writing fiction, none of which on the face of it would appear to connect to politics. But by being ‘politicized’ I mean something other than writing about politics or even taking direct political action. I mean something akin to what ordinary citizens experience in countries like Czechoslovakia or Chile: a daily awareness of government as a coercive force, its continuous presence in one’s thoughts as far more than just an institutionalized system of regulations and controls. In sharp contrast to Chileans or Czechs, we hadn’t personally to fear for our safety and could be as outspoken as we liked, but this did not diminish the sense of living in a country with a government out of control and wholly in business for itself. Reading the morning New York Times and the afternoon New York Post, watching the seven and then the eleven o’clock TV news—all of which I did ritualistically—became for me like living on a steady diet of Dostoevsky. Rather than fearing for the well-being of my own kin and country, I now felt toward America’s war mission as I had toward the Axis goals in World War II. One even began to use the word ‘America’ as though it was the name not of the place where one had been raised to which one had a patriotic attachment, but of a foreign invader that had conquered the country and with whom one refused, to the best of one’s strength and ability, to collaborate. Suddenly America had turned into ‘them’—and with this sense of dispossession came the virulence of feeling and rhetoric that often characterized the anti-war movement.

…Of course there have been others as venal and lawless [as Richard Nixon] in American politics, but even a Joe McCarthy was more identifiable as human clay than this guy is. The wonder of Nixon (and contemporary America) is that a man so transparently fraudulent, if not on the edge of mental disorder, could ever have won the confidence and approval of a people who generally require at least a littlesomething of the ‘human touch’ in their leaders. It’s strange that someone so unlike the types most admired in the average voter…could have passed himself off to this Saturday Evening Post America as, of all things, an American.”

—Philip Roth, 1974. via Corey Robin’s blog.

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Of the top 20 global employers in 2017, five are outsourcing and “workforce solutions” companies, according to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence. In 2000, only one employer in the top 20—International Business Machines Corp., which offers outsourced IT services among its many businesses—fell into that bucket.

Outsourcing companies are vacuuming up the world’s workers as traditional employers are handing over more of their tasks to nonemployees, a shift that has transformed the way corporations do business and had profound effects on workers’ prospects and pay.

The past two decades have been boom times for the outsourcing sector, with the annual value of contracts growing to $37 billion in 2016 from $12.5 billion in 2000, according to research and advisory firm Information Services Group Inc. III +0.00% The market is expected to rise again in 2017 and 2018, thanks partly to double-digit growth in big technology projects as more companies transfer massive volumes of data to the cloud.

For employers, dispatching work to outside companies saves money and lets them access skills they need without adding to their headcount. Workers in jobs that have gone to outsourcers, though, can feel moved around like chess pieces, either displaced entirely or re-badged as employees of a service provider, sometimes with fewer benefits and lower pay. A growing body of economic research suggests that outsourcing is a significant factor fueling the rise of income inequality in the past decade.

“If all the engineers are in one firm and the cleaners are in another, you get less diversity within firms and more inequality across firms,” says Nicholas Bloom, an economist at Stanford University.

The breadth of services on offer from outsourcing firms is staggering. Compass Group was founded in 1941 to run factory cafeterias in wartime England, eventually branching out into corporate catering. It now employs more than 550,000 and counts among its subsidiaries firms like Eurest Services, which staffs and manages mailrooms for clients, provides them with full-time receptionists, sets up their conference rooms for meetings and operates their warehouses. Eurest’s clients include Google, SAP and Pfizer Inc.

With so much work done outside the company, businesses employ fewer kinds of workers than they used to, a change that economists say has fueled income inequality.Outsourcing leads to workers being clustered in companies according to their skills, which affects pay and benefits. A bank used to employ janitors and security guards, in addition to traders and salespeople. For the sake of morale and a sense of fairness, management had an incentive to limit the disparities in employees’ compensation. That had the effect of boosting the pay of lower-skilled staff.

Now, those janitors might just as often work for an outside firm like Denmark’s ISS AS, one of the largest facility services companies in the world, while the high-skilled workers remain employed by the bank—a trend economists call occupational sorting. Pay for outside workers tends to be lower because outsourcing firms need to keep costs low to compete for contracts and because the workers don’t reap rewards from the financial successes of the bank.

Companies that provide security guards or IT help-desk workers have to show they can do the job more cheaply than the client can, keeping a tight lid on wages for those workers, says David Weil, a Labor Department official in the Obama administration and an expert on contract labor.

Outsourcing firms’ workforces, though, may shrink as algorithms take on more tasks, says Steve Hall, a partner at ISG.

“The large outsourcers are using a combination of analytics and automation to significantly reduce the need for labor,” he says.

– Lauren Weber, “Some of the World’s Largest Employers No Longer Sell Things, They Rent Workers.The Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2017.

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“Jail Prisoners Were Forgotten,” Sudbury Star. December 28, 1918. Page 01.

No Christmas Sweets Eaten or Carols Sung at District Institution This Year.

Apart from a good substantial, wholesome dinner, with a few extra frills, there were no festivities for the prisoners at the district jail this year, as there has been on other years. There were no visitors from religious bodies and no Christmas carols sung as in former years.

Officials at the jail feel that the many war charities have claimed the whole attention of the public, and this, coupled with the fact that nearly all inmates are now foreigners, has precipitated the situation which prevailed at the jail this Christmas. The twenty-two inmates were served with a plentiful supply of roast pork, mashed potatoes, mashed turnips, pickles, plum pudding and sauce. The customary apples, oranges, nuts and candies were missing, as in former years these may have been the gifts of local merchants.

There was a time when a Sudbury pastor brought a boys’ chorus to the Sudbury jail on Christmas morning, while the Salvation army has always been a regular visitor on Christmas Day. Both these, however, were missing this year.

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“Germans Tried To Make World of Drug Fiends,” Sudbury Star. December 28, 1918. Page 02.

“German scientists had intended to make drug fiends of all the nations which opposed Germany, according to Alex. Aabel, chief engineer of the steamer Frederica. Mr. Aabel told in New York recently of a conversation he had had in Iceland with a German scientist on the subject.

‘If they had only waited,’ the German said, ‘we, the scientists and chemists of Germany, could have infused poison into the blood of the whole world so skillfully and so insidiously that in the course of compartaively few years Germany would have had to fight only an alliance of drug fiend nations.

‘In patent medicines, in tooth pastes and powders, in various well known and much used prophylactic preparations, we had planned to introduce our morphia, our cocaine, and other habit-forming drugs.

‘Tooth paste containing drugs had already been distributed to natives on the cost of Africa, who, without knowing why, enjoyed the sensation which resulted from its use and became addicted to it.’”

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“More arcane is the account of a small fire that destroyed relevant materials from World War I and World War II in the Australian War Memorial. The representatives of the British government operate under strict rules of secrecy concerning a very large amount of military-related material and they uphold these rules rigorously. The Australian government operates with a greater openness. The problem arose because in the Australian war memorial were records that the British deemed secret and the Australians did not. The problem was resolved by the British, or so my reliable source tells me, by planting a mole archivist in the War Memorial. This mole lit a small fire in the relevant stacks and disappeared.”


Margaret Levi, Consent, Dissent and Patriotism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997p. 13. via Crooked Timber

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“Condamnation Des Isidore,” La Presse. December 27, 1917. Page 01.

Les dangereux assomeurs hébreux reçoivent leurs sentences, ce matin, devant le juge Bazin, qui condamne Lionel à 12 ans de pénitencier et son frère, Sam, à 7 ans.

Pas De Clemence Pour Ces Bandits

Lionel et Sam Isidore, les deux jeune Israélites qui dans le courant du mois de septembre ont pris part à deux vols avec violence commis au détriment du bijoutier McKinley, de la rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, ont été condamnés, cet avant-midi, par le juge Bazin, en cour des sessions.

Le premier passera douze ans au bagne et son compagnon fera un séjour de sept années dans la même institution. 

Me Ladouceur, le greffier de la cour, lut les chefs d’accusation aux deux prévenus et leur demands s’ils avaient quelque chose à dire avant que sentence ne soit prononcée.

‘Oui’ dit aussitot Lionel Isidore, ‘Vous voudrez bien prendre en considération que mon frère et moi avons fait tout en notre possible poiur faire découvrir les autres coupables et faire retrouver les marchandises volées. J’espère que vous ne serez pas trop sévères à notre égard.’

Quand it eut fini de parler, le juge se tourna vers les deux prévenus et fit la mercuriale suivante: ‘Vous êtes des voleurs de la plus dangereuse espèce, des bandits, des assommeurs. On sait ce que valent ces individus quand ils sont pris; ils sont prêts à tout avouer et à faire les plus belle promesses, mais si nous les relâchons, ils seraient prêts à recommencer demain à assomer leurs concitoyens. Vous ne méritez aucune clémence. Au contraire vous devez être punis sévèrement’.

Après avoir lu de nouveau les volumineux dossiers des inculpés et avoir énuméré les plaintes, le juge Bazin condamna Lionel Isidore à six ans de pénitencier sur deux acusations de vol, les deux sentences devant être passées l’une après l’autre, ce qui fait en tout douze ans de bagne.

Son frère a été condamné à six ans pour vol et à une année supplémentaire pour s’être enfui des cellules de la


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Andrew Wyeth, Trodden Weed. Tempera on panel, 1951. Private Collection.

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“Pulls A Gun on Messenger,” Toronto Globe. December 27, 1918. Page 06.

Shaken Off, Assailant Runs Thrown Down-Town Streets


Police Find on Him Rope, Mask and Loaded Revolver

Following a struggle with a bank messenger and a chase that lasted for over two blocks, William Smith, who have a wrong address to the police, was arrested at 7.30 yesterday morning, charged with assault, attempted robbery and with carrying firearms. Wearing a mask over his eyes and carrying a long rope with a noose made in it, and a loaded .32 calibre revolver in his pocket, Smith attacked a messenger for the Bank of Montreal branch office at Queen and Yonge streets, and after assaulting him attempted to escape.

The police say that Smith is twenty-one years of age, and that his home is in Massachusetts. Coming from Port Arthur a short time ago, Smith obtained work with Young’s Lunch, Limited, Queen and Yonge streets, during which time he learned the system by which the cashier handled his money.

Early yesterday morning Smith, armed with the gun, mask and rope, concealed himself in the lavatory across from the restaurant office on the second floor of the building. In the meantime William Richardson, the bank messenger, opened the lavatory door. In doing so, he saw the shadow of a man inside on the frosted glass window of the door.

As Richardson opened the door, the police stated, Smith took hold of him by the throat with one hand and at the same time drew a revolver from his pocket, demanding that Richardson throw up his hands and remain silent or he would shoot. Richardson stepped back quickly after breaking the hold Smith had on him, and stepping outside the room pulled the door closed. He then fled along the hall.

Smith ran from the building to Yonge Street. Richardson followed closely calling for people to beware of Smith, as he was armed. A number of employees of the restaurant followed Smith along Queen street east to Victoria. Turning south on Victoria to Richmond, Smith was soon overtaken and held until the arrival of Constable Smith, who placed him under arrest. Smith made no effort to resist, being detained by the persons who apprehended him.

The rope, mask and loaded revolver were found on the prisoner when searched. A parcel containing live cartridges was also found on him.

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