Saturday, March 14, 2020

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Fernanda Tomaselli and Sandeep Pal point out that the Canadian public is well ahead of its political class in recognizing that there's far more to life and to policy than inflating GDP. And Richard Adams reports on how the UK Cons' choice to keep schools open in the face of a pandemic is based on their directly valuing a few points of GDP over people's lives and health.

- Meanwhile, PressProgress' much-needed naming and shaming of employers in the face of the coronavirus pandemic focuses in on Tim Hortons' insistence on sick notes from its service employees.

- Andrew Nikiforuk offers some lessons from past pandemics. And Sam Hester highlights the need to pull together and face the coronavirus as a shared problem.

- Peter Waldman and Lydia Mulvany report on the right to repair as it applies to farm machinery - particularly when proprietary software might otherwise serve to allow manufacturers to exercise control after they've sold a major piece of equipment.

- Finally, Mark Mazzetti and Adam Goldman report on the use of spies by Erik Prince's shady business to try to infiltrate and disrupt progressive organizations. And Erin Seatter points out the use of state authority to bar activists from expressing support for Wet’suwet’en people on social media.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Musical interlude

Seven Lions feat. Lynn Gunn - Lose Myself

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Todd Gordon and Geoffrey McCormack write about Canada's crisis of capitalism - which is only being laid bare by a coronavirus pandemic exposing the fragility of a system built on precarity and debt.

- Kim Kelly discusses how service workers will face the worst of the coronavirus in the U.S. And PressProgress calls out the corporate lobby group Restaurants Canada for insisting that sick fast food workers don't need any opportunity to stay home from work when experiencing symptoms.

- Jordan Press reports that the Libs are rightly being told that Canadians are concerned with child care, education and housing as top affordability issues - though there's little reason for optimism that the result will be anything more than the usual set of baubles and half-measures. And a group of writers calls for the UK's next budget to invest in social infrastructure.

- Steve Lambert reports on Brian Pallister's ideological insistence on privatizing social assistance in Manitoba, while Ian Froese points out his appalling refusal to examine a school meal program because he believes children should suffer for their parents' lack of means.

- Finally, Kendall Latimer discusses how a lack of shelters is forcing Saskatchewan survivors of domestic violence to stay in abusive situations.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan write about the U.S.' choice between health care for all, or the spread of disease as people can't afford to seek medical treatment.

- David Dayen highlights how the coronavirus is likely to expose the weaknesses of an economy build on debt and precarity. Mandy Pipher reminds us that far too many workers can't afford to stay home even when containment is essential at a social level. And Liz Alderman points out how Europe's comparatively strong social safety net offers far more capacity for people to avoid making a pandemic worse, while Dan Taekema reports on the health benefits of Ontario's basic income pilot project.

- John Harris writes that the UK's social breakdown has gone well past mere inequality, to the point of actively harming the health of people living in deprivation. And Jon Stone notes that ending and reversing privatization is an essential step in ensuring that public services actually serve the people who need them.

- Bas van Beek, Alexander Beunder, Jilles Mast and Merel de Buck trace how corporations including Shell and Bayer have funded climate denial while knowing it to be false. And PressProgress exposes some of big pharma's lobbying to deprive Canada of universal pharmacare.

- Finally, Canadians for Tax Fairness highlights how more progressive fiscal policy can ameliorate Canada's continued gender inequality. And Anne Karpf points out how everybody is better off when we close our persistent gender gap.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Light cat naps.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Nick Falvo points out the massive cost savings that come from investing in Housing First programming. And Keith Gerein writes that if it wanted to help people rather than merely looking to vilify those in need, the UCP would be investing in housing rather than looking to shut down supervised consumption sites.

- CBC examines Alberta's increasingly alarming number of decaying oil wells which have been abandoned by their operators for the public to clean up. And Dave Seglins and Joseph Loeiro report on the literal self-policing which sees rail companies investigate (and cast blame for) their own pattern of disasters.

- Aaron Wherry challenges the Cons' constant attempts to pretend Canada can excuse its woeful track record on climate change by pointing to our proportional contribution to global emissions - though it's worth noting that his response misses our additional harm to the planet by subsidizing the supply side of dirty fossil fuels. And Chris Turner discusses the violent misogyny deployed against women who join the fight against a climate breakdown. 

- Peggy Nash asks why women aren't making the same type of progress in Canada as in many of our peer countries.

- Kyle Wiens notes that among its other desirable outcomes, a right to repair would make us far better able to withstand outbreaks and other disasters which threaten the flow of new goods.

- Finally, Rita Trichur makes the case for the Canada Revenue Agency to prepare automatic income tax assessments rather than pushing people into paying for tax services.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Robert Reich highlights how the long-term costs of failing to invest in a just transition and a healthy society far outweigh the short-term price of providing for basic needs, while Duncan Cameron calls out the deception behind claims that we can't afford social benefits.

- Paul Krugman points out that extremely low interest rates further militate in favour of public investment by making it all the more affordable. But Eric Doherty discusses the need for a full climate audit of Canada's infrastructure spending - as a willingness to dole out money doesn't help matters when any projects serve to increase our carbon emissions.

- Taylor Noakes calls for a long-overdue end to subsidies for the oil sector. Sara Hastings-Simon writes that while Alberta should be following in Peter Lougheed's footsteps, the lesson to take from him involves investing in the economy of the future rather than pouring every available cent into a dying fossil fuel sector. And Geoffrey Morgan reports on the drop in immediate oil consumption resulting from the coronavirus.

- Mike Hixenbaugh and Stephen Buranyi each discuss how we could have a coronavirus vaccine ready now, if only a profit-driven pharmaceutical industry hadn't concluded it wasn't worth bothering with.

- Finally, Jim Stanford discusses how public health in the face of a pandemic depends on our protecting workers.