Saturday, June 26, 2021

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan highlight how inequitable access to vaccines around the globe increases the risk of variants which will hurt everybody. Charles Schmidt takes note of the work being done to track variants - but also the massive blind spots which only exacerbate the dangers. And Berkeley Lovelace Jr. reports on the recommendation from the WHO that people continue to mask and take other precautions even after being fully vaccinated, while Darren Major reports on the Public Health Agency of Canada's recommendation that we not look at fully lifting indoor protective measures until 75% of the population reaches that threshold.

- Max Fawcett writes that Jason Kenney may end up having access to the spoils of Alberta's last oil boom - though the predictable result is that it will end up frittered away in corporate giveaways with even less to show for it than previous ones. And Michelle Gamage highlights how British Columbia is spending more money subsidizing fossil fuels than acting to protect our climate.

- David Moscrop makes the case to treat housing as a right rather than a commodity.

- Finally, David Pugliese reports on the Canadian military's use of COVID-19 as an excuse for illegal activity including spying on Black Lives Matter activists and other protesters, as well as distributing domestic propaganda, while PressProgress follows up on the meager level of responsibility it's taken so far. And Kaitlin Peters discusses how Doug Ford's use of the notwithstanding clause to silence political opponents far in advance of any election fits with his general suppression of dissent.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Musical interlude

 Tracey Thorn - Dancefloor

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- ABC News reports on the risk that the Delta COVID-19 variant can be spread through "fleeting" exposure rather than prolonged proximity. Daniel Boffey reports on the push to speed up vaccination rates in Europe in response. And Attila Somfalvi and Alexandra Lukash report that Israel is reinstating its mask mandate after realizing how much more danger the Delta variant poses. 

- Seth Klein wonders whether Jonathan Wilkinson will ever parallel the role of C.D. Howe in assembling the full force of Canada's economic capacity to serve a vital end in the fight against climate breakdown - though the more likely result for appears to be the Libs continuing to echo the "phony war" prior to full mobilization. John Woodside reports on the PBO's conclusions that the federal government is far from having any realistic plan to reach Canada's existing emission reduction commitments. And Michelle Gamage writes about the importance taking into account the climate disaster of forest emissions in assessing what needs to be done. 

- Tom Parkin examines how Justin Trudeau has chosen to delay any legislation against conversion therapy for political purposes. 

- Bianca Mugyenyi discusses the need to organize to transform Canada's foreign policy into a force for human rights and environmental protection. 

- Penelope Mason reports on the call by a top IMF official for the richest people in Latin America to pay far more in taxes to fund equitable development.  

- Finally, Naomi Klein interviews Doreen Manuel and Kanahus Manuel about the deliberate choice to steal Indigenous children from their families and communities as part of a colonial land grab. And Brendan Kennedy and Alex Boyd talk to Indigenous leaders in Saskatchewan about the children's gravesites yet to be discovered. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Bryan Eneas reports on the discovery of 751 unmarked graves near a single residential school in Saskatchewan. And Samantha Beattie reports on a Catholic priest's attempt to justify the genocide committed through the residential school system, while John Paul Tasker reports on Erin O'Toole's predictable choice to demand the uncritical celebration of Canada Day rather than allowing for any meaningful recognition of the lives and culture lost to the systemic oppression of Indigenous people. 

- AFP reports on a new draft IPCC report finding that severe climate impacts are closer than we've generally assumed. Haroon Siddique reports on a newly-developed definition of ecocide intended to allow for wanton environmental destruction to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court. Jessica Corbett writes about the social cost of carbon emissions as a factor which should be central to decision-making - but instead largely gets ignored in favour of raw GDP. And Michelle Gamage offers a reminder of the dangers of focusing on distant "net zero" targets rather than actual emission reductions. 

- Daniela Gabor discusses why we shouldn't expect private capital to transition us to a clean economy, and instead need to push the public sector to lead the way. And Steven Morris reports on the Welsh government's decision to suspend further road construction as a noteworthy example of the type of shift in priorities needed to avert a full climate breakdown.  

- Finally, Karl Nerenberg warns that a thoroughly unnecessary federal election is on the way due to the Trudeau Libs' preference for an unchecked majority over a minority Parliament in which they're already able to pass progressive legislation when they bother to advance it. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Zania Stamataki warns that we can't afford to treat vaccines as a magic bullet against the dangers of the coronavirus when public health regulations remain needed to limit its spread and severity. Brishti Basu examines the reasons for both concern about the Delta variant of COVID-19, and for hope that its harm to the public can be contained through high vaccination rates and continued public health measures - at least in provinces which are bothering to pursue them. And Madeline Holcomb reports on the recognition by CDC Director Rochelle Wolensky that any COVID deaths at this point are entirely preventable. 

- But Dhruv Kullar notes that the Delta variant is particularly dangerous to unvaccinated people - making Scott Moe's elimination of precautions in the face of Canada's lowest vaccination rate particularly destructive. Jonathan Levin reports that U.S. states where people have refused vaccines are seeing surges in case numbers. And Sophie Harman, Eugene Richardson and Parsa Erfani discuss the need for global vaccine justice to enable anybody to be fully protected from COVID-19, while Abdi Latif Dahir points out the growing case numbers in Africa. 

- Nora Loreto calls out the refusal of most provincial governments to provide any transparency about viral transmission and associated illness and death caused by hospital outbreaks. 

- Meanwhile, Dorothy Woodend invites us to consider what we've learned from the "great pause" caused by COVID-19. 

- Finally, Shawn Micallef writes about Toronto's ugly and violent response to people camped in Trinity Bellwoods park - making for a particularly stark contrast against the kid gloves used toward anti-maskers who actually present a threat to the public. And Charlie Smith highlights why there's growing reluctance to set up unreserved celebrations of a history steeped in genocide. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Water cats. 

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The Canadian Press reports on new Leger polling showing that over two-thirds of Canadians want to see COVID-19 protections remain in place - even as Scott Moe and Jason Kenney barge ahead in slashing public health measures. Mark Lautens warns against treating vaccinations as a matter of consumer choice rather than social importance. And Christopher Whaley, Jonathan Cantor and Megan Pera study the effect of small household gatherings on the spread of COVID-19. 

- Members of the Alberta Nurses Coalition for Harm Reduction highlight how shutting down harm reduction sites is an utterly counterproductive response to the opioid crisis. 

- Joshua Posaner reports on the EU's draft policy which figures to presage a complete shift away from the use of combustion engines in vehicles. Rebecca Leber writes about the self-serving attempts of fossil fuel producers to hype miniscule differences in production emissions as an excuse to keep pushing consumers to pollute. And Robert Tuttle reports on CCPA research showing that Canada's managed forests are actually a major source of greenhouse gas emissions rather than a sink.  

- David Sirota duly questions the assumption that whatever billionaires do to avoid paying taxes must be legal. And Christopher Reynolds reports on the CRA's failure to manage a single prosecution or conviction after auditing 44 ultra-wealthy individuals. 

- Finally, Mariana Mazzucato examines how to build a political economy which facilitates sustainable and public-focused development rather than short-term profit-seeking. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Monday Afternoon Links

 Assorted content to start your week.

- Josh Taylor reports on contact tracing which has revealed that "fleeting contact" can be enough to result in the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. And Chris MacIntyre reports on some of the Yukon's largest outbreaks yet even in the face of widespread vaccination. But Theresa Kleim reports on Scott Moe's refusal to accept anything other than the complete elimination of any measures to protect public health in the face of an ongoing pandemic (not to mention a failure to reach Moe's own insufficient thresholds). 

- Heather Long writes about some of the changes to the U.S.' economy arising out of the pandemic - including both a further inflated real estate market, and the retention of some of the technology adopted to facilitate work in the face of public health restrictions. And Umair Haque discusses how the U.S.' economy is rigged against the working class. 

- Robert Cribb, Kelly Bennett and Emma Jarratt report on both the worsening working conditions in the clothing industry, and the failure of promised auditing and inspection processes.  

- Finally, Robert Reich writes that the attempt to paint China as the main threat to the U.S. serves only to distract from the much more real and severe threat of domestic fascism. 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- As Jason Kenney and Scott Moe rush to slash public health protections including mask mandates, Gavin Leech et al. study how important masking has been in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Sarah Bridge, Ioanna Roumeliotis and Joseph Loiero highlight how rules which actually responded to the dangers of the coronavirus could have saved thousands of lives in Ontario. And Concepcion de Leon offers some suggestions for families considering traveling in the midst of the continued pandemic - with the key point being to recognize (unlike government officials) that children under 12 are at substantial risk.

- Meanwhile, Umair Haque writes about the shortages of catastrophe caused by the pandemic - and the likelihood that after failing to address the underlying causes of supply fragility, we'll see even worse economic breakdowns in the future. 

- Zachary Wolf discusses the drought and water depletion which represent the new normal for the western U.S. 

- Joe Pinsker argues that we should be pushing for a four-day work week as part of a logical progression toward making life less centred on work.

- Finally, Jake Thompson makes the case to lower the legal voting age to 16 in order to ensure that the people most affected by policy decisions in the long run actually have some say.