Saturday, August 07, 2021

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Holly Yan examines the growing medical recognition that children need to be protected from COVID-19 (and particularly the Delta variant). David Holtgrave et al. highlight why we need to be increasing our testing and monitoring - not abandoning the effort as the UCP has chosen as part of its "just give up" philosophy. Alessia Simona Maratta reports on Quebec's move to implement a vaccine passport - and the resulting increase in vaccination rates. Eleanor Murray and Ruby Barnard-Mayers discuss when it will be safe to remove mask mandates - and how far the U.S. (like most of Canada) is from that point. And on the bright side, Jennifer Abbasi examines evidence of the lasting effect of COVID immunity.

- Meanwhile, Christopher Reynolds reports on the hardship facing seniors whose Guaranteed Income Supplement is being slashed without warning based on their temporary receipt of CERB benefits last year.

- Frances Bula discusses how the Libs' supposed housing plans are in fact aimed at boosting developers' profits rather than the availability of affordable rental units.

- Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on the responses provided to Ontario's one-sided consultation on the future of work.

- Finally, Ben Oquist makes the case for tax being a needed aspect of our public policy debate rather than a dirty word. And Abacus Data finds a strong (and growing) majority of Canadians eager to see a wealth tax among other means of ensuring that the wealthiest pay their fair share toward a functional society.

Friday, August 06, 2021

Musical interlude

BT feat. Emma Hewitt - No Warning Lights (Alpha 9 Remix)

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Erika Edwards reports on the increase in the number of children being admitted to hospital due to the spread of the Delta variant. And Sarah Rieger reports on the growing number of infections traced back to the reckless slashing of protections during the Calgary Stampede (despite the Kenney government's attempt to release a laughably low preliminary number then stop counting). 

- Nora Loreto writes about the need for the media to include the connections between business lobbyists and government decisions in its general reporting, rather than saving discussion of those links for all-too-rare special investigations. 

- Stephanie Ross and Larry Savage ask why more workers aren't organizing their workplaces in light of the well-documented advantages of being represented by a union. 

- Jeremy Appel discusses how the UCP's state-directed inquisition against environmental activism has had toxic effects even if the resulting report isn't going to produce any meaningful findings. And Amanda Follett Hosgood observes that seven years after the Mount Polley tailings pond spill, the corporate operator is still using a "temporary" permit to keep dumping toxic water into Quesnel Lake. 

- Finally, Zak Vescera reports on the need for millions of dollars in urgent repairs to Regina's hospitals as the Moe government has allowed our health infrastructure to decay. 

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Brooks Fallis highlights why a strategy limited to vaccines won't stop a fourth wave of COVID-19. The CP reports on the call by doctors (and others) to have the UCP reverse its declaration of surrender to the pandemic, while David Cournoyer points out that the axing of all public health precautions is leaving a large number of Albertans behind. Jacquie Miller reports that even the Ford government is promising to buy air filters to somewhat improve the safety of schools in the fall. And John Ibbitson discusses the latest polling showing that a strong majority of Canadians support restricting unvaccinated people from attending public gatherings. 

- Karen Howlett points out the lack of coroners' reports or other accountability mechanisms for the thousands of Canadians who died of COVID in long-term care homes. 

- Sarah Lawryniuk discusses how a drought linked to climate change is disrupting agriculture in Manitoba, while Bonnie Allen and Heidi Atter report on the dire plight of Saskatchewan ranchers who can't find food for their herds. Damian Carrington reports on evidence that the Gulf Stream (a major regulator of the global climate) is on the verge of collapse. 

- Jaby Dayle rightly questions how so many people are eager to blame minimal social supports for people's understandable reluctance to accept dehumanizing work.  

- Finally, Jillian Horton expresses her understandable frustration at the disconnect between public needs and demands, and the priorities of those who govern us. 

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Nora Loreto points out the thousands of deaths known to have been caused by the spread of COVID-19 in Canadian hospitals - and the virtual certainty that the numbers available to date represent a significant undercount. Allan Massie discusses the spread of COVID-19 through the majority of the attendees at a party where every guest was fully vaccinated. Vincent Del Guidice reports on Idaho's stark rise in cases among babies and toddlers. And Don Braid calls out the UCP for axing even the most uncontroversial and necessary of public health measures to limit COVID transmission. 

- Scott Gilmore argues that we're past being able to rely on rewards and bribes to try to get people vaccinated, and need to start instead limiting holdouts' access to the "normal" they claim to value as long as they make it needlessly more dangerous. 

- David Wallace-Wells writes that a climate breakdown happening at an unforeseen speed is leaving us with the choice to either adapt or die (while still needing to limit the amount of damage to be taken into account). And the Globe and Mail's editorial board rightly recognizes that there's no point in banking on liquified natural gas exports which are far from viable both environmentally and economically. 

- Finally, Tom Parkin writes that the Governor-General has a legitimate role to perform in determining whether an election call is necessary where the prime minister relies on laughable assertions of non-confidence. And Andrew Jackson points out that the Libs may not be on the safe ground they're expecting in trying to plunge Canada into a mid-pandemic election. 

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Leisurely cats. 

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Emily Anthes highlights what the people paying attention to COVID-19 (and particularly the Delta variant) have learned about the risks of transmission in schools - including the need for ongoing mitigation measures to avoid outbreaks. Simon Rella et al. study the spread of vaccine-resistant strains and find a continuing need for public health protections. Antonio Regalado and Casey Crownhart discuss the numerous outbreak clusters among vaccinated people around the globe. And Megan Molteni writes about the reality that the fight against an ongoing pandemic is a long war, not a one-time skirmish which can be left behind us. 

- Ubako Ogbogu and Lorian Hardcastle write that the UCP is playing Russian roulette with the health of Albertans by eliminating public health measures, while the same criticism would of course apply equally to the Saskatchewan Party. Brad Reed reports that Louisiana has been forced to reinstate a mandatory masking policy due to the disastrous results of reopening without protections. And Akiko Okamoto, Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka report that Japan's choice to prioritize large-scale sports over public health have led to its health care system having to turn away COVID patients and hope they can survive at home. 

- Rebecca Hersher writes about new research showing that a rapid transition to clean energy could save tens of millions of lives. Rebecca Leber discusses how a clean power grid is an absolute must as part of any climate change plan. Julia Peterson reports that Saskatoon is doing its part to shift toward solar energy even as the provincial government tries to stifle its development. And Mitchell Beer weighs in on the large number of fossil fuel workers eager to transition to more sustainable industries. 

- Meanwhile, Amy Harder points out the importance of addressing the demand side of our energy equation to enable a transition to a clean economy. 

- But Emily Atkin notes that for all the public support for a shift to renewables, advocates for a just transition are being prevented from advertising due to the refusal of media properties to serve as anything but shills for dirty energy tycoons. 

- Finally, David Dayen provides an inside look at employer union-busting efforts. And Sara Ashley O'Brien reports on the recommendation for a new vote after Amazon went all-out to intimidate employees against unionizing. 

Monday, August 02, 2021

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Jonathan Howard writes that the recognition of higher COVID-19 risks in adults has been used as a means of misleadingly minimizing the risks of death and long-term effects in children. And Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz offers the receipts as to how the dangers of COVID itself are far more severe than any effect of public health measures intended to reduce its spread.

- Ahmed Mushfiq Moborak and Saad Moer recognize that we should be sending vaccines to the countries where they're most needed, rather than allowing them to expire in the midst of populations unwilling to receive them. And Sasa Petricic discusses how glaring failures in the face of the pandemic are leading to the unraveling of longstanding governance structures around the globe. 

- Liz Walker and Shanice Regis-Wilkins talk to Jim Stanford about the prospect of increasing the use of sectoral bargaining to increase the bargaining power of Canadian workers.

- John Woodside reports on the difference between the Libs and the NDP as to whether new infrastructure necessitated by a climate breakdown should primarily be built with public money for public benefit, or whether (as the Libs prefer) any planning is going to bake in private profit-taking.

- Finally, Paul Dechene discusses the downside of increased sprawl which seems to be under consideration by Regina's City Council. And Katelyn Duncan highlights how the Moe government has gone out of its way to make it difficult for Saskatchewan residents to mitigate some of the effects of car and truck-focused cities by switching to electric vehicles.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Lauren Pelley examines the impact of the Delta variant in Canada. And Marieke Walsh notes that we're facing an increasingly tight time frame to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations to avoid it resulting in a fourth wave, while reports on U.S. research showing vaccines alone won't be enough to respond to Delta or other new variants. 

- Paul Krugman discusses how COVID-19 has followed political lines in the U.S. due to the irresponsibility of Republican governments. Blake Murdoch comments on the repugnance of Jason Kenney's decision to let a deadly disease run rampant, while Kelly Cryderman notes that an ideological aversion to acting in the public interest is entirely consistent with the UCP's brand. The CP points out warnings from public health officials as to how the recklessness of Kenney's choices will echo far beyond Alberta's provincial borders. And Kendall Latimer examines the risks arising from Saskatchewan's increasing case counts even as Scott Moe likewise insists on removing any protection for people. 

- Rebecca Casey and others review how the pandemic has highlighted the need for paid sick leave. 

- Oxfam highlights how intellectual property restrictions have already quintupled the cost of distribution COVID vaccines, while Reuters reports that Pfizer and Moderna have gone into full-on shameless profiteering mode by hiking the prices of COVID vaccines in Europe. And Linda McQuaig offers a reminder that Canada has chosen to allow big pharma to engage in price-gouging rather than ensuring that medications and vaccines are both accessible and affordable.

- Noelle Allen discusses the folly of relying on market to fix problems with housing which find their root in the prioritization of profits over people's rights and needs.

- Finally, Jane Gleeson-White writes about the patriarchal bias underlying what's presented as objective and neutral economic thought.