Thursday, June 30, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Katherine Wu writes about the much-needed update to COVID-19 vaccines coming this fall - and the challenge getting people to receive them after months of false messaging about the pandemic being over. 

- Steven Lewis discusses how the privatization of health care (including surgical services) stands to undermine our universal Medicare system. And Andrew Gregory reports on a new study showing how the UK Cons' privatization was the direct case of avoidable deaths alongside other demonstrable harm to services. 

- Charles Pierce points out how the hard right has been getting what it's paid for in securing a stranglehold over the U.S. Supreme Court. And Brigette Bureau reports on the intimidation of judges in Canada by Flu Trux Klan terrorists, while Brett Forester reports that the RCMP remains far more interested in infiltrating peaceful land defenders than dealing with the actual violence in our midst. 

- Emily Leedham reports on WestJet's attempts to use scab labour to operate while refusing to provide acceptable wages and working conditions for check-in clerks.

- Finally, Alex Himelfarb makes the case for proportional representation as a means of guarding against anti-majoritarian control over public policy. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Adeel Hassan reports on the dominance of the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron strains in the U.S. Phil Tank reminds us of the folly of the Moe government's admonition that people should assess their own risk even while actively suppressing the data which could make that possible, while Wency Leung reports on the push among experts for Canada to reinstate mandatory masking policies to limit the damage from a new wave. And Virginie Ann reports on research showing that the public health measures which Canadian governments seem determined never to use again helped to save tens of thousands of lives. 

- David Shield reports on research linking Saskatchewan's alarming HIV rates to inadequate social assistance. And Noushin Ziafati reports on the recommendation of a coroner's inquest jury that Ontario declare an epidemic of intimate partner violence and focus on eradicating it. 

- Edward Ongweso Jr. writes that we should recognize any current bout of inflation as being caused by corporate greed rather than pandemic stimulus payments to individuals. And David Sirota discusses how John Roberts has been central to the constitutionalization of corruption in then U.S.  

- John Clarke discusses the RCMP's "pipeline police" who have been mandated to violently suppress land defenders. And Natasha Bulowski reports that the Libs' case for TransMountain depends on its use to export dirty fossil fuels for a century.  

- Finally, Ariana Kelland reports on one case showing the continued fallout from the Phoenix pay fiasco, as an employee lost her home and her job after going without pay for months. Shelley Murphy reports on a much-needed award of damages to an employee who was handed on a platter to U.S immigration services in retaliation for reporting a workplace injury. And Chris Brooks discusses the possibility of substantially building strength in organized labour - as long as unions' organizational models are updated for the new reality in the workplace. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Elevated cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Ed Yong writes about the need for people to keep caring for and protecting each other to make up for being abandoned by business-driven politicians in the middle of a deadly and debilitating pandemic. Olivia Bowden discusses the considerations surrounding booster vaccine doses which do require government involvement. And Victor Castro-Gutierrez et al. study the connection between school infections and community spread (showing a clear pattern of the former driving the latter), while Sandra Lopez-Leon et al. examine (PDF) the long COVID symptoms suffered by children. 

- Stephanie Kelton writes that interest rate hikes and austerity are the hydroxychloroquine cure for inflation (i.e. quackery being pushed by the right as a substitute for viable measures which don't suit their political purposes), while the effective medicine of taxing windfall profits is being conspicuously left off the table. And TVO interviews Mike Moffatt about the glaring need for action to make housing remotely affordable for the people who need it most. 

- Jeremy Appel exposes how Amazon is trying to intimidate its workers in Quebec - but notes that it's also finding more resistance there than in some places. 

- Malcolm James, Jane Kenway and Rebecca Boden highlight how private schools in the UK use public money to create educational and social inequality. 

- Finally, David Fraser reports on the launch of the Ottawa People's Commission to report on the city's occupation. Jonathan Montpetit reports on the threats being made against libraries by convoy-affiliated bigots attempting to silence any voices which don't share their hostility to LGBTQ+ people. And Robert Reich writes about the roots of the U.S. Trumpism which is bleeding into Canada. 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Geoff Thompson reports on new research showing that the cognitive decline caused by COVID-19 is worse than previously known, while the European Academy of Neurology finds a greater risk of neurodegenerative disorders. And the Economist reports on findings that the vaccine development and distribution process (which is no longer being treated as a priority as we race toward pandemic denial) has saved 20 million lives worldwide, while Wenkai Han et al. find that the coronavirus projects to escape immunity.

- Meanwhile, Tania Arrietta discusses how past and ongoing austerity made the pandemic worse in the UK. 

- George Monbiot suggests that debt relief for developing countries may serve as an important part of a climate strategy. 

- Finally, Kenan Malik writes about the well-recognized reality (contrary to the UK Cons' spin) that union influence and solidarity is necessary for the public good. And Andy Burnman makes the case for Labour to back proportional representation as a means of better distributing power. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022


A brief roundup of news and coverage from the Saskatchewan NDP's leadership campaign as Sunday's convention approaches.

- There's been some more media coverage at a high level, including Adam Hunter offering an overview of the campaign; Global News interviewing Harvey; CKRM profiling both candidates; and Katia St. Jean offering profiles in French. 
- Meanwhile, those looking for somewhat deeper dives with the candidates will find them from Lenore Swystun's Civically Speaking, including an interview with Harvey going into her experience of racial divisions in Saskatchewan, and one with Beck with Beck which includes some discussion of her recognition of the effects of inequality and poverty based on her family's history. 
- Finally, the last interim financial disclosure statement before the vote has been released (if not reported on). And it looks to rule out any prospect of a shift in the race behind the scenes, as Beck raised roughly $13,000 in May to Harvey's approximately $2,500. 

For those who haven't yet voted, the deadline to do so is Sunday at 3 PM. And we'll find out shortly thereafter who will lead the NDP into the next election. 

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

Mary Ziegler and Scott Lemieux both warn of the many other rights in imminent danger due to both the fact of the elimination of abortion rights by the Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court, and the excuses made for it.

- Dylan Scott discusses how the decision will lead to increase in child poverty. And Cassandra Szklarski reports on the growing reality of child hunger in Canada - as well as the need for a fundamentally more equitable policies to ameliorate it, rather that short-term band-aids. 

- Meanwhile, Erika Ibrahim reports on the Libs' choice to keep delaying even a framework bill for a national disability benefit. And Sid Frankel, John Stapleton and Shalini Konanur discuss how the demand that people repay the CERB benefits which they were told to apply for is further squeezing people already living in poverty.  

- Emily Leedham calls out Pierre Poilievre's designs on using the threat of withholding federal funding to dictate the lines of academic freedom. 

- Raymond Zhong writes about the proliferation of extreme heat around the globe. 

- Finally, Adam King discusses how Amazon is continuing to violate labour standards in an effort to prevent employees from exercising any collective bargaining power. 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Musical interlude

Cannons - Fire For You

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Kit Yates weighs in on the work which still needs to be done to avoid further waves of COVID-19. And Marsha Barber writes that we can tell from even the limited information still being released that it's delusional to suggest we're out of the pandemic, while Jonathan Charlton reports on research showing how important now-discarded vaccine mandates have been in broadening protection against the spread of COVID.  

- Lauren O'Neil writes about the end of Ontario's COVID-related paid sick days, including the reality that we'd all be better off if workers were better able to recover from all kinds of illnesses rather than being compelled to work. 

- David Feckling discusses how there's no business case for the tar sands if they aren't being massively subsidized - both through deliberate climate negligence as a matter of policy, and through direct public funding. And David Climenhaga writes that the TransMountain pipeline expansion has officially turned into a money loser for the federal government for the purpose of lining the pockets of the oil sector. 

- Meanwhile, Carl Meyer reports on the Notley government's choice to acquiesce to CNRL's lobbying demanding that methane regulations be torqued to allow heavily-emission operations to keep spewing pollution. 

- Finally, Jessie Anton reports on the needed backlash against the Saskatchewan Party's choice to pour money into private schools with anti-LGBTQ affiliations while forcing public schools into brutal cutbacks and job losses.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Wednesday Night Cat Blogging

Resting cats.

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jon Henley writes that COVID is surging across Europe as governments and people alike ignore desperate warnings not to let their guard down. And Eric Topol writes about the reality that reinfection produces even worse outcomes than initial exposure - even as governments have largely abandoned any effort either to minimize spread through public health measures, or to reduce individual impacts through further vaccines. 

- Alex Cosh discusses how more and more Canadians are going hungry while corporate profits soar. 

- Fiona Harvey reports on research showing the need for consistently accurate climate messaging for people to understand the urgency of our climate crisis. David Moscrop writes about the stark contrast between Justin Trudeau's spin on climate change and his government's consistent catering to the fossil fuel sector. And Jan Gorski argues that Canada is more than capable of meeting its climate commitments if it stops operating in denial of the steps needed to get there. 

- Meanwhile, John Michael McGrath points out how the determination of where to bury nuclear waste comes down to a decision as to whose water supplies will be put at risk of radioactive contamination if all doesn't go as planned.  

- Finally, Ken Rubin discusses how Canada's access to information system has fallen far short of the promise of open government due to the combination of overly broad exemptions and governments' cynical refusal to comply with either the spirit or letter of access legislation. And Elizabeth McMillan reports on the results of the Mass Casualty Commission's review showing how the RCMP endangered lives by withholding crucial information from the public in the midst of a shooting spree.