Thursday, September 29, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes about the growing recognition that COVID-19 may have severe and long-term effects on the brains of people who get infected, while Hannah Devlin reports on research showing it may also have systematic personality effects on younger people. And Nam Kiwanuka discusses the appalling lack of discussion of a shortage of children's pain medication as one obvious symptom (and indicator) of a devastating COVID wave in Ontario, while Adam Toy reports on the soaring hospitalization rates in Alberta in a health care system already in crisis. 

- Jessica Corbett discusses how the UK Cons have crashed their country's economy by handing gigantic tax cuts to business while paying no regard to the well-being of actual people. And Jon Schwarz and Ken Klippenstein report on yet more corporate executives - this time the CEO and CFO of Iron Mountain Inc. - confirming that businesses are using the cover of inflation to extract windfall profits. 

- Ghada Alsharif reports on Canada Post's new offering of personal loans - though it's of course telling that it was only permitted to proceed with a private bank standing to profit. 

- Finally, Kate Wagner interviews Katharine Hayhoe about the effects of climate change in exacerbating extreme weather events like Hurricane Ian. And Max Fawcett reminds us of the oil industry's sociopathic plans to delay any action to reduce or mitigate the damage caused by continued carbon pollution until they can install a Poilievre government which will eliminate any climate policy whatsoever. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tuesday Evening Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Marina Hyde laments Liz Truss' decision to hit the gas pedal on free money for the people who need it least while most of the UK struggles to make ends meet due to her party's mismanagement.

- Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Katie Thomas report on the exploitative turn taken by "not-for-profit" U.S. hospitals which are extracting massive profits and failing to treat patients while being managed with a business mindset.

- Alex McCuaig reports on the fossil fuel companies who are still refusing to pay municipal taxes owing even as they're swimming in windfall profits, while Joel Dryden notes that the oil and gas sector is likewise falling far short of its already-insufficient emission reduction targets despite record cash on hand. Bill McKibben calls out the banks which are continuing to finance a climate breakdown and all kinds of pollution. And Britt Wray writes about the industry-funded defeatism being used as the latest prominent strategy to evade any climate action.

- Finally, CBC News offers competing perspectives on the Moe government's obsession with nuclear reactors - with the inescapable conclusion being that there's no point in insisting on an expensive set of vaporware a decade down the road when cheap and plentiful renewables are an option today. And Jeremy Simes reports on the literal downstream consequences of the Saskatchewan Party's neglect of water management and regulation.

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cats looking up.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Assorted material to start your week.

- Jeremy Faust laments the removal of the few remaining COVID public health recommendations when we've had ample opportunity to learn about the costs of letting the coronavnirus run rampant. Dave Sherwood and Marc Frank report that Cuba has set an example for other countries in reducing the harm of COVID through widespread vaccination and a focus on children, while Nina Notman highlights how we have the means to clear the air around us to reduce the spread of multiple diseases. Ed Yong discusses how widespread long COVID is forcing health care system to reckon with the realities of chronic fatigue syndrome more generally. 

- Danielle Barnsley writes about the grim choices facing people whose existing poverty is being exacerbated by corporate price gouging. And Anna Fazackerley reports on the heartbreaking number of UK children going hungry as underfunded schools and overworked food banks try desperately to keep up with the deprivation being inflicted on them. 

- Meanwhile, Umair Haque writes about the UK's continuing self-destruction under a Conservative government which is undermining any semblance of a functional state in order to hand still more money to the corporate sector. And Pippa Crerar reports on revelations that a large amount of announced public procurement is being promptly sent to offshore tax havens  

- Finally, John Cochrane, Daniel Litvin, Yanis Varoufakis and Isabella Weber discuss the case for windfall taxes to ensure fossil fuel companies don't rake in undeserved profits while shirking any responsibility for the harm they're doing both to consumers and to our living environment. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes about immunologist Chris Goodnow's belated recognition that COVID isn't over only after he was hit with acute myocarditis, while Korin Miller discusses new research showing an elevated risk of blood clots for a year after a COVID infection. And Jessica Wildfire discusses how businesses making money off of COVID are all too motivated to keep the pandemic going - though it's worth noting that even the theory about commercializing prevention and treatment is falling apart as far too many people choose to do nothing from what they've been told is no longer a problem, rather than paying to protect themselves.

- Amal Abdulrahman points out that the availability of medication is a necessary element of any plan for mental health. And Dan Darrah writes about some of the open questions still to be answered about dental care under the NDP/Lib confidence agreement.

- Alex Hemingway highlights why supply issues are a crucial part of the housing crisis - while recognizing that leaving the supply of a human need to for-profit developers alone only ensures that new housing isn't affordable. And Dennis Gruending writes that Saskatchewan is slipping toward a new system of serfdom as farmland falls into fewer and wealthier hands.

- Meanwhile, Christian Paas-Lang discusses how product inflation also needs to be met with a rethinking of how essential goods and services are produced and distributed. 

- Finally, Mark Rendell and Vanmala Subranamiam report on the call from Canada's labour movement to stop interest rate hikes intended to suppress wages. And Umair Haque writes about the perils of a new economic era defined by the throttling of any development which could possibly share prosperity with the working class.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Musical interlude

Men I Trust - Sugar

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Sarah Zhang discusses the absurdity of treating the COVID pandemic as being over when it's causing more death and illness than ever, while Shanoor Seervai interviews Bob Pratcher about the need for people to keep working on reducing risk even while being told there's nothing left to be done. And Erin Prater talks to experts about the risk that new variants will evade the few protections we still have. 

- Russell Wangersky writes that the reality of a pandemic still in progress applies as much in Saskatchewan as anywhere else - with devastating effects on an already-strained health care system. And John Paul Tasker reports on Alika Lafontaine's recognition that there's a cross-country crisis in medicine which demands immediate responses from the governments who are supposed to ensure our access to the care we need. 

- Phil Tank discusses Scott Moe's choice to be essentially the only politician willing to amplify and echo the nonsensical ravings of Danielle Smith. And Jason Warick reports on the push from former students to ensure that the private religious schools which have covered up child abuse get shut down - even as the Saskatchewan Party bends over backwards to prioritize them over public education. 

- Finally, Linda McQuaig contrasts Pierre Poilievre's performative populism against his consistent track record of attacking the working class on behalf of the wealthy few. Grace Blakeley discusses Liz Truss' embrace of trickle-down economics with no regard for how miserably it's failed even in its own supposed purposes. And as an example of what's possible when governments don't go out of their way to kiss up and kick down, Reuters reports on Spain's implementation of windfall wealth taxes to ensure the cost of inflation isn't borne by the people who can least afford it. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Evan Xu, Yan Xie and Ziyad Al-Aly study the long-term neurological effects of COVID-19, finding elevated risks of numerous kinds of neurological disorders even following mild initial infections.  

- Crawford Kilian discusses the need for a prosocial revolution to deal with COVID along with other social ills. Jenalee Doom discusses how poverty translates into lasting effects on people's health and welfare. And the CCPA's Alternative Federal Budget offers a reminder of what could readily be accomplished if our federal government was focused on meeting people's needs rather than serving the interests of capital.  

- Americans for Tax Fairness documents how the U.S.' political system has been warped by the billionaire-dominated Club for Growth and its perpetual demand of free money for the rich. And Erin McCormick and Aliya Uteuova expose how the lead industry - in the wake of public awareness that it was poisoning people - pushed for the proliferation of lead water pipes which continues to be a public health disaster in the U.S. 

- Finally, Jeff Gray reports on the Ford PCs' privatization of jobs programs, with the immediate effects of both eliminating provincial accountability and making citizens' interests subject to the pursuit of profits. And Fatima Syed reports on the Financial Accountability Office's projections as to how a climate breakdown will increase the costs of maintaining infrastructure - even as Ford remains determined to destroy green space and subsidize carbon pollution. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Aria Bendix and Shannon Pettypiece report on the reality that due to a failure to contain it in its early stages, COVID-19 now stands to be a leading cause of death (and a factor in reduced lifespans) for decades to come. Erin Praiter points out that yet another variant (BF.7) seems to be taking over as the dominant strain in the U.S. and elsewhere. John Naish discusses how even mild infections may cause long-term heart damage and other lingering effects. Pettypiece also reports on the risk that COVID test supplies will dry up this winter in the wake of proclamations that the pandemic is over - even as case numbers and deaths surge. Julia Metraux discusses why voluntary one-way masking isn't anywhere close to sufficient protection for people with compromised immune systems (including those suffering from the aftereffects of COVID itself). And Raia Small rightly questions why so many nominal progressives have given up on pushing for a pandemic response based on empathy and care, particularly when the alternative is acquiescing in social murder. 

- Ann Hui reports that grocery prices are rising at the highest rate in decades - which, as Armine Yalnizyan points out, means that oligopolistic suppliers of necessities are extracting even higher profits even as people's incomes are being suppressed in the name of fighting inflation. 

- Dylan Sullivan and Jason Hickel study the relationship between capitalism and human welfare, and find that people have in fact been better off under pre-existing systems and worse off within the global capital economy than generally assumed.  

- Finally, Yasmine Ghania tells the stories of some of the students who were abused within the churches and religious schools which continue to be catered to by the Saskatchewan Party government.