Saturday, May 08, 2021

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- David Graham points out that what's being labeled "vaccine hesitancy" reflects little more than abject denial about the realities of a deadly disease.

- Peter Graefe and Mohammed Fredosi discuss how the CERB - limited though it was - exposed the grossly insufficient provincial social assistance people are expected to survive on in its absence. 

- Cole Webber notes that Doug Ford is using the pandemic to criminalize any tenant organizing, while facilitating the trampling of tenants' rights on an individual level.

- Damian Carrington writes about the difference between genuine climate policy and insubstantial greenwashing - with the latter description fitting the Trudeau Libs to a T. And Fiona Harvey reports on new research showing that developed countries are on pace to blow past any remotely acceptable emission threshold with their current policies and emission commitments.

- David McKenzie and Ingrid Formanek report on the plans of a Canadian oil company operating in Namibia to detonate yet another carbon bomb. Carl Meyer reports on a new legal opinion finding that Canada and other countries are putting themselves at risk by subsidizing and financing fossil fuel development. Meyer and Emily Holden call out Trans Mountain's refusal to name its insurers (in a move obviously aimed at avoiding the prospect of public organizing to reconsider the merits of providing support for a project with calamitous climate consequences).

- Finally, Simran Chatta reports on a new study showing that continents are drying out at an unprecedented pace as one of the consequences of the climate breaking down.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Musical interlude

 Wide Mouth Mason - Erase Any Trace

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Mickey Djuric reports on the growing surgical backlog resulting from the Moe government's willingness to let COVID-19 tear through Saskatchewan's health care system. And Joel Dryden and Sarah Rieger report on the pattern of outbreaks at Alberta meat processing plants which have been encouraged to keep operating with no regard for the health of employees and their families.

- Meanwhile, David Moscrop comments on what it means to be writing in the course of the pandemic - and particularly the need to situate political writing as a community-oriented rather than individual activity. 

- Samuel Preston and Yana Vierboom write about the causes of the "mortality penalty" which sees hundreds of thousands more Americans die every year than would be expected in a country with its standard of living. And Joshua Sharpe discusses the need to better recognize and account for the risks associated with driving.

- James Bloodworth writes that even as the pandemic has only highlighted longstanding problems with the UK's long-term care system, there's still no indication of any willingness to make improvements. And Shanifa Nasser reports that after promising to investigate the preventable deaths of people in are last year, Doug Ford's PCs are now announcing they never bothered to do so.

- Finally, Tom Parkin examines how it's possible for the federal government to take a leadership role in protecting our health and environment - and why we shouldn't accept "not their jurisdiction!" as an excuse for delay and inaction. And Gordon Cleveland writes that Andrew Coyne's refusal to acknowledge the value of building a child-care system (rather than merely handing money out to parents) reflects a misunderstanding of the value of care.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Leyland Cecco discusses how a combination of feckless government and decades of carefully-stoked anti-science sentiment has turned Alberta into North America's COVID-19 hot spot, while Max Fawcett writes that Jason Kenney's response has been the picture of cowardice. 

- Ediriweera Desapriya, Parisa Khoshpouri and Kamal Gunatunge write that the risks of long-haul COVID in particular highlight the important of ensuring that people get vaccinated, while John Michael McGrath makes the case to pay people to do so. But Yves Smith takes note of the reality in the Seychelles, where one of the world's highest rates of full vaccination is doing little to stop the spread of variants. And Allison Bamford talks to Kyle Anderson about the flaws in Scott Moe's reopening plan which cuts ongoing transmission and its impact on health out of the picture entirely.

- Andrea Reimer examines the psychology behind the propensity of people with power to use it foolishly and anti-socially. And Mitchell Thompson writes about the strike-breakers' playbook used to intimidate workers into abandoning efforts at collective bargaining.

- Benjamin Storrow exposes how actors in the natural gas sector are conspiring to delay the electrification needed as part of a just transition to a clean energy economy. And Jim Stanford highlights how Canada's progressive union movement is well ahead of the curve in fighting for a sustainable economy with good jobs.

- Finally, Linda McQuaig writes about the need for the Trudeau Libs to go beyond merely pushing back against deficit hawks, and also ensure that their use of public money serves to improve the lives of people rather than relying on discredited trickle-down theory.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cushioned cats.


Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Apoora Mandavilli warns about the looming prospect that the U.S. will be unable to reach herd immunity through vaccination due to right-wing cultural resistance to public health. Andrew Nikiforuk writes that Alberta's place as the COVID hotspot of North America is the result of the choices made by Jason Kenney and the UCP - both in stoking distrust of science generally, and refusing to protect the public as coronavirus variants have run amok. Dave Cournoyer contrasts Kenney's bluster against his utter ineffectiveness as he shuts down the Legislature while insisting that other workers in far less safe environments continue to put themselves at risk. And CBC reports on the call from Alberta's previous chief medical officer of health James Talbot for a province-wide lockdown to get the current outbreak under control.

- Alex Hemingway observes that the lack of public policy action on sick leave is all about the desire of the corporate sector to hold power over vulnerable employees. But James Dunne discusses how employers are better off ensuring their employees can take paid sick leave. 

- Jamie Swift and Elaine Power note that the supports developed in response to COVID-19 offer at least a hint of what a basic income could accomplish. And Michele Girash points out how our social safety net still has unacceptable holes, including for people suffering from long COVID. 

- Ellen Hoen argues that the arguments to privilege intellectual property monopolies over public health in the face of a pandemic simply don't add up. 

- Andre Picard laments the fact that even a myriad of preventable deaths doesn't seem to be enough for Ontario to fix its long-term care system.

- Finally, Adolph Reed Jr. writes that decades of concerted attacks on government have left far too little understanding of the importance of the public good.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Emma Paling discusses the reasons why repeated warnings about Canada's third wave of the coronavirus went largely unanswered. And Rachel Bergen reports on another national call among doctors for a COVID-19 circuit breaker, this time with a focus on stopping the spread of variants of concern while vaccinations take place. 

- CBC News reports on Dr. Andrew Bond's eminently sensible suggestion that the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine be used to reach unhoused people and others who may have difficulty following through with a second dose. And Nick Dearden notes that the need for vaccines to protect the health of all of humanity has only exposed the greed of the drug companies prioritizing profit over access.

- Doug Cuthand discusses how the pandemic has further exposed the dangerous effects of white privilege in Saskatchewan.

- Taylor Balfour writes about her sister as one of the victims of the opioid crisis. And Morgan Modjeski reports on a stark increase in the number of violent deaths of children under the province's care in 2020.

- The Canadian Press reports on the push by the NDP opposition parties across the prairies to ensure that provincial governments properly cushion farmers against drastic declines in income. 

- Finally, Toby Sanger examines (PDF) how much revenue Canada could bring in merely by matching Joe Biden's rate increases on corporations. And MercoPress reports that Bolivia has actually been bringing in twice as much revenue as initially anticipated from its wealth tax.