Saturday, June 12, 2021

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Ed Yong discusses the preventable dangers created by a shift in COVID-19 messaging from one of public protection to one of individual choice. Moira Wyton offers some suggestions from experts as to people's options in getting a second vaccine dose - with the most important message once again to recognize the value of whatever vaccine is available, rather than worrying about custom shopping. And Murray Mandryk takes a brief break from his "everything is fine!" series to point out how vaccine hesitancy and complacency are putting Saskatchewan at risk, while Zak Vescera reports on the connection between vaccination rates and other forms of inequality and deprivation. 

- Meanwhile, Heide Pearson's report on Alberta's Foothills Medical Centre outbreak confirms that even full vaccination is far from bulletproof, as ten people who had received two vaccine doses nonetheless contracted COVID-19. Mickey Djuric reports on revelations that Extendicare Parkside residents were sent home from hospitals while still facing symptoms and complications from COVID-19. And Elizabeth Cooney discusses how children suffering from long COVID - no matter how many politicians try to wish away the risks based on their age.

- Chantal Braganza writes about Canada's deficient parental leave policy - and how it's been exposed by the pandemic.

- The Broadbent Institute busts some of the regularly-dispensed myths about a wealth tax. And Robert Reich points out the absurdity and gross unfairness of a U.S. tax system in which the wealthiest people can get away with paying absolutely nothing.

- Finally, Grace Blakeley discusses how capitalism has served to consolidate wealth and power into the hands of the richest few.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Cameron MacLean reports that Manitoba is providing incentives to overcome vaccine hesitancy. But Guy Quenneville reports on the Saskatchewan Party's refusal to consider anything of the sort even as new vaccinations grind to a halt. 

- Djaffar Shalchi writes about the need to revamp our revenue collection systems to make sure the wealthy contribute their fair share. And NUPGE joins the movement for a 21% global minimum corporate tax rate to ensuring businesses do the same. 

- Meanwhile, Miriam Lafontaine reports on the dangers of allowing corporate donations to influence police decision-making. And Jeremy Appel points out how Calgary's police have been quicker to hand out tickets to human rights protesters than to anti-maskers who are actually threatening public health. 

- Aaron Wherry discusses how a combination of Lib slow-playing and Con delay is leaving MPs with a choice between passing weak climate change accountability legislation, or getting nothing done at all. 

- Meanwhile, CBC News reports on the demise of Keystone XL - and the billion dollars thrown away by the Kenney UCP in an effort to posture about fealty to the oil industry. And Michael Buchsbaum calls out subsidies for carbon capture and storage as paying the fossil fuel sector to keep burning the planet.

- Finally, Cindy Blackstock and Pam Palmater remind us that the horrific discovery of child graves at Kamloops' residential school is just the beginning of the buried evidence of genocide against Indigenous peoples. 

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Devon McKendrick reports on Manitoba's announcement of a digital vaccine passport as a means of both incentivizing people to get vaccinations, and ensuring that additional activity avoids unacceptable risks to the public. And Andre Picard writes about the merits of vaccination-based lotteries to similarly encourage hesitant people to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

- Zak Vescera reports on the Moe government's inexplicable plan to sweep away overdose prevention sites set up in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. And Jim Storrie writes that the constant stream of preventable drug-related deaths is the scandal which deserves to be top of mind for Albertans in evaluating the UCP.

- Richie Assaly highlights the need to be skeptical of empty words from the Cons (and Bloc) who have long minimize or stoked Islamophobia for their own political gain. And Max Fawcett reminds us how the Cons in particular are at the root of the prejudice which they now pretend to decry.

- George Monbiot discusses how a series of shifting targets and highly selective metrics has substituted for actual greenhouse gas emission reductions in the UK. And Andrew Nikiforuk examines some of the lies and spin used to excuse climate inaction in Canada.

- Finally, Doug Cuthand discusses the importance of finally giving due respect to the burial sites of children killed by violent colonialism.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cats at rest.


Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Lauren Pullen reports on two outbreaks of the Delta variant of COVID-19 within a Calgary hospital. Emily Mertz reports on a push by Alberta doctors to have the province's major cities retain mask mandates until more people are fully vaccinated after the provincial government has abandoned the fight against COVID-19. 

- Jesse Eisinger, Jeff Ernsthausen and Paul Kiel report on newly-released documents showing how the wealthy in the U.S. pay lower tax rates than the people who have made them rich. And Noah Smith points out that the U.S. is facing multiple forms of self-induced scarcity to the detriment of people's well-being. 

- Paul Taylor argues that we shouldn't sweep inequality and injustice under the rug in order to return to an unacceptable pre-pandemic "normal". And Jack Trovato discusses how trickle-down economics have been a failure for everybody but the luckiest few looking to concentrate their own wealth and power. 

- Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on the conviction of an industrial bakery for safety violations resulting in the death of two temporary workers. 

- Adam Radwanski highlights how the Trudeau Libs have ended any pretense of mapping out a just transition to a clean economy. And Naveena Sadasivam writes that the oil industry itself has been meticulous in planning its own escape from any responsibility for the wreckage it's leaving behind. 

- Finally, Raisa Patel reports on the Libs' continued insistence on fighting against residential school survivors and Indigenous children in court - even after the House of Commons' participating MPs have unanimously passed an NDP motion for an end to the obstruction. 

Monday, June 07, 2021

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Adam Miller writes about the race between vaccinations and COVID-19 variants. The Strategic COVID-19 Pandemic Committee of Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association highlights why it's reckless to be insisting on an end to public health regulations (and concurrent encouragement of potential superspreader events). And Lori Culbert writes about the Surrey ICU staff who have had to deal with the worst of British Columbia's case load. 

- Vass Bednar and Robin Shaban make the case for a national bus service to ensure the economic and social viability of rural regions - while noting that there's a healthy opportunity to use Canada Post's existing infrastructure as a starting point.  

- Jennifer Knoch points out how the Libs' Greener Homes Grant conspicuously fails to offer anything to most renters - resulting it exacerbating inequality even as it makes a contribution to energy efficiency. And Johanna Bozuwa and Olufemi Taiwo make the case to nationalize the fossil fuel sector to clear away a massive structural obstacle to a clean energy transition. 

- Finally, Kelly Candaele talks to Morris Pearl and Erica Payne about the need for a fair tax system in which the richest few contribute to social well-being, rather than paying a lower proportion of their income in taxes than people who lack the means to warp public policy to suit their greed. 

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- David Olive rightly questions why big pharma has been gifted intellectual property monopolies and multi-billion-dollar profit streams over COVID vaccines developed through publicly-funded research. Ivan Semeniuk and Kelly Grant write about the push to speed up the delivery of second vaccine doses in areas facing the spread of the Delta variant.

- Martin Lukacs exposes the choice of Seumus O'Regan and his Department of Natural Resources to act as oil lobbyists within government, including by trying to interfere with scientific decision-making on environmental issues.

- PressProgress reports on the Winnipeg Police Department's alliance with - and publicity work for - a secretive and insular religious sect. 

- Melissa Mancini reports that Ontario is once again promising improvements in living conditions for residents of long-term care homes while doing absolutely nothing to enforce the rules which would require it. 

- Alanna Smith highlights how the UCP's criticism of "red tape" hasn't prevented it from imposing punitive restrictions on harm reduction initiatives. And David Climenhaga points out that the same party that bleats constantly about "ethical oil" is going far out of its way to ensure Saudi Arabia can enrich itself off of Alberta agriculture.

- Finally, Luke Savage writes that we should be treating space exploration as a matter of humanity's common interest, not a source of amusement and profit-seeking for the world's wealthiest people.