Thursday, September 29, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes about the growing recognition that COVID-19 may have severe and long-term effects on the brains of people who get infected, while Hannah Devlin reports on research showing it may also have systematic personality effects on younger people. And Nam Kiwanuka discusses the appalling lack of discussion of a shortage of children's pain medication as one obvious symptom (and indicator) of a devastating COVID wave in Ontario, while Adam Toy reports on the soaring hospitalization rates in Alberta in a health care system already in crisis. 

- Jessica Corbett discusses how the UK Cons have crashed their country's economy by handing gigantic tax cuts to business while paying no regard to the well-being of actual people. And Jon Schwarz and Ken Klippenstein report on yet more corporate executives - this time the CEO and CFO of Iron Mountain Inc. - confirming that businesses are using the cover of inflation to extract windfall profits. 

- Ghada Alsharif reports on Canada Post's new offering of personal loans - though it's of course telling that it was only permitted to proceed with a private bank standing to profit. 

- Finally, Kate Wagner interviews Katharine Hayhoe about the effects of climate change in exacerbating extreme weather events like Hurricane Ian. And Max Fawcett reminds us of the oil industry's sociopathic plans to delay any action to reduce or mitigate the damage caused by continued carbon pollution until they can install a Poilievre government which will eliminate any climate policy whatsoever. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tuesday Evening Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Marina Hyde laments Liz Truss' decision to hit the gas pedal on free money for the people who need it least while most of the UK struggles to make ends meet due to her party's mismanagement.

- Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Katie Thomas report on the exploitative turn taken by "not-for-profit" U.S. hospitals which are extracting massive profits and failing to treat patients while being managed with a business mindset.

- Alex McCuaig reports on the fossil fuel companies who are still refusing to pay municipal taxes owing even as they're swimming in windfall profits, while Joel Dryden notes that the oil and gas sector is likewise falling far short of its already-insufficient emission reduction targets despite record cash on hand. Bill McKibben calls out the banks which are continuing to finance a climate breakdown and all kinds of pollution. And Britt Wray writes about the industry-funded defeatism being used as the latest prominent strategy to evade any climate action.

- Finally, CBC News offers competing perspectives on the Moe government's obsession with nuclear reactors - with the inescapable conclusion being that there's no point in insisting on an expensive set of vaporware a decade down the road when cheap and plentiful renewables are an option today. And Jeremy Simes reports on the literal downstream consequences of the Saskatchewan Party's neglect of water management and regulation.

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cats looking up.





Monday, September 26, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Assorted material to start your week.

- Jeremy Faust laments the removal of the few remaining COVID public health recommendations when we've had ample opportunity to learn about the costs of letting the coronavnirus run rampant. Dave Sherwood and Marc Frank report that Cuba has set an example for other countries in reducing the harm of COVID through widespread vaccination and a focus on children, while Nina Notman highlights how we have the means to clear the air around us to reduce the spread of multiple diseases. Ed Yong discusses how widespread long COVID is forcing health care system to reckon with the realities of chronic fatigue syndrome more generally. 

- Danielle Barnsley writes about the grim choices facing people whose existing poverty is being exacerbated by corporate price gouging. And Anna Fazackerley reports on the heartbreaking number of UK children going hungry as underfunded schools and overworked food banks try desperately to keep up with the deprivation being inflicted on them. 

- Meanwhile, Umair Haque writes about the UK's continuing self-destruction under a Conservative government which is undermining any semblance of a functional state in order to hand still more money to the corporate sector. And Pippa Crerar reports on revelations that a large amount of announced public procurement is being promptly sent to offshore tax havens  

- Finally, John Cochrane, Daniel Litvin, Yanis Varoufakis and Isabella Weber discuss the case for windfall taxes to ensure fossil fuel companies don't rake in undeserved profits while shirking any responsibility for the harm they're doing both to consumers and to our living environment. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes about immunologist Chris Goodnow's belated recognition that COVID isn't over only after he was hit with acute myocarditis, while Korin Miller discusses new research showing an elevated risk of blood clots for a year after a COVID infection. And Jessica Wildfire discusses how businesses making money off of COVID are all too motivated to keep the pandemic going - though it's worth noting that even the theory about commercializing prevention and treatment is falling apart as far too many people choose to do nothing from what they've been told is no longer a problem, rather than paying to protect themselves.

- Amal Abdulrahman points out that the availability of medication is a necessary element of any plan for mental health. And Dan Darrah writes about some of the open questions still to be answered about dental care under the NDP/Lib confidence agreement.

- Alex Hemingway highlights why supply issues are a crucial part of the housing crisis - while recognizing that leaving the supply of a human need to for-profit developers alone only ensures that new housing isn't affordable. And Dennis Gruending writes that Saskatchewan is slipping toward a new system of serfdom as farmland falls into fewer and wealthier hands.

- Meanwhile, Christian Paas-Lang discusses how product inflation also needs to be met with a rethinking of how essential goods and services are produced and distributed. 

- Finally, Mark Rendell and Vanmala Subranamiam report on the call from Canada's labour movement to stop interest rate hikes intended to suppress wages. And Umair Haque writes about the perils of a new economic era defined by the throttling of any development which could possibly share prosperity with the working class.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Musical interlude

Men I Trust - Sugar


Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Sarah Zhang discusses the absurdity of treating the COVID pandemic as being over when it's causing more death and illness than ever, while Shanoor Seervai interviews Bob Pratcher about the need for people to keep working on reducing risk even while being told there's nothing left to be done. And Erin Prater talks to experts about the risk that new variants will evade the few protections we still have. 

- Russell Wangersky writes that the reality of a pandemic still in progress applies as much in Saskatchewan as anywhere else - with devastating effects on an already-strained health care system. And John Paul Tasker reports on Alika Lafontaine's recognition that there's a cross-country crisis in medicine which demands immediate responses from the governments who are supposed to ensure our access to the care we need. 

- Phil Tank discusses Scott Moe's choice to be essentially the only politician willing to amplify and echo the nonsensical ravings of Danielle Smith. And Jason Warick reports on the push from former students to ensure that the private religious schools which have covered up child abuse get shut down - even as the Saskatchewan Party bends over backwards to prioritize them over public education. 

- Finally, Linda McQuaig contrasts Pierre Poilievre's performative populism against his consistent track record of attacking the working class on behalf of the wealthy few. Grace Blakeley discusses Liz Truss' embrace of trickle-down economics with no regard for how miserably it's failed even in its own supposed purposes. And as an example of what's possible when governments don't go out of their way to kiss up and kick down, Reuters reports on Spain's implementation of windfall wealth taxes to ensure the cost of inflation isn't borne by the people who can least afford it. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Evan Xu, Yan Xie and Ziyad Al-Aly study the long-term neurological effects of COVID-19, finding elevated risks of numerous kinds of neurological disorders even following mild initial infections.  

- Crawford Kilian discusses the need for a prosocial revolution to deal with COVID along with other social ills. Jenalee Doom discusses how poverty translates into lasting effects on people's health and welfare. And the CCPA's Alternative Federal Budget offers a reminder of what could readily be accomplished if our federal government was focused on meeting people's needs rather than serving the interests of capital.  

- Americans for Tax Fairness documents how the U.S.' political system has been warped by the billionaire-dominated Club for Growth and its perpetual demand of free money for the rich. And Erin McCormick and Aliya Uteuova expose how the lead industry - in the wake of public awareness that it was poisoning people - pushed for the proliferation of lead water pipes which continues to be a public health disaster in the U.S. 

- Finally, Jeff Gray reports on the Ford PCs' privatization of jobs programs, with the immediate effects of both eliminating provincial accountability and making citizens' interests subject to the pursuit of profits. And Fatima Syed reports on the Financial Accountability Office's projections as to how a climate breakdown will increase the costs of maintaining infrastructure - even as Ford remains determined to destroy green space and subsidize carbon pollution. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Aria Bendix and Shannon Pettypiece report on the reality that due to a failure to contain it in its early stages, COVID-19 now stands to be a leading cause of death (and a factor in reduced lifespans) for decades to come. Erin Praiter points out that yet another variant (BF.7) seems to be taking over as the dominant strain in the U.S. and elsewhere. John Naish discusses how even mild infections may cause long-term heart damage and other lingering effects. Pettypiece also reports on the risk that COVID test supplies will dry up this winter in the wake of proclamations that the pandemic is over - even as case numbers and deaths surge. Julia Metraux discusses why voluntary one-way masking isn't anywhere close to sufficient protection for people with compromised immune systems (including those suffering from the aftereffects of COVID itself). And Raia Small rightly questions why so many nominal progressives have given up on pushing for a pandemic response based on empathy and care, particularly when the alternative is acquiescing in social murder. 

- Ann Hui reports that grocery prices are rising at the highest rate in decades - which, as Armine Yalnizyan points out, means that oligopolistic suppliers of necessities are extracting even higher profits even as people's incomes are being suppressed in the name of fighting inflation. 

- Dylan Sullivan and Jason Hickel study the relationship between capitalism and human welfare, and find that people have in fact been better off under pre-existing systems and worse off within the global capital economy than generally assumed.  

- Finally, Yasmine Ghania tells the stories of some of the students who were abused within the churches and religious schools which continue to be catered to by the Saskatchewan Party government. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Outstretched cats.






Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Emily Alpert Reyes and Aida Ylanan discuss COVID's continued toll in lives and health even as the people in power seek to pretend it's over with, while Jamie Ducharme points out the growing spread of long COVID as an unprecedented mass disabling event. And Alex Boyd follows up on Canada's one-time commitment to deliver vaccines to countries which still haven't been able to provide a first set of vaccinations to their populations. 

- Neal MacKay writes about the desperate plight of Scotland's poorest families in which parents are going hungry to ensure their children have something to eat, while George Monbiot warns that Liz Truss' plan is to be even more punitive toward lower-income people in order to squeeze out more profits for the wealthy. 

- Nick Gottlieb traces the many connections between the U.S. Congress' investigation into industry-funded climate deception and denialism, and the Canadian fossil fuel companies blocking climate action. 

- Finally, following up on the work of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network in exposing the concerted effort by the alt-right to take over school boards, subsequent reports about secretive slates include those from Ottawa, Victoria and Kelowna - with Ben Bulmer's report on the latter offering these particularly telling passages on the contrast between the extremists' motivations and their vague oppositional platforms:

Sylvia Herchen is running for a seat in the Vernon school district but largely refused to answer any of our questions.

Herchen said she's running because she wants openness and more input for parents and more accountability.

However, Herchen wouldn't give an opinion on SOGI 123 – the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity guidelines put out by the province.

"We are not discussing that," she said.

She also refused to answer questions about transgender bathrooms simply saying "no comment."

...

Also running in Vernon, Jewlie Milligan said she stood for openness and transparency and parents having a voice in what their children are taught.

However, after saying she stood for openness and transparency, she refused an interview.

"I can't give you any more information," she said.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Jacob Stern asks whether the new normal is to blithely accept large numbers of avoidable COVID deaths - and sadly the answer to that question from everybody with the ability to avoid the outcome is a resounding "yes". But for those who haven't given up on the concept of respecting people's health and well-being, the University of Saskatchewan has developed a means of sampling wastewater on a building-level basis to identify outbreaks. And Eric Topol discusses the advantages of getting a booster vaccination in reducing infection and severe outcomes alike. 

- Meanwhile, Dean Baker offers a reminder that there's no need for governments to pay corporations over and over for the same work - including by providing them monopolies and large public payments for medications also researched and developed on the public dime. 

- Oliver Milman reports on the newly-revealed documents showing how the fossil fuel industry has lied to the public about both the climate crisis and its willingness to be anything but an obstacle to a health environment, while Natasha Bulowski exposes yet another "grassroots" campaign being exposed as funded by dirty energy. Nadeen Ebrahim discusses why petrostates can't afford to drink their own Kool-Aid in proclaiming that oil booms are here to stay. And Fiona Harvey reports on Oxfam's research showing how the countries most exposed to a climate breakdown are facing desperate shortages of food due to the carbon pollution we've spewed to date. 

- Gabriel Blanc writes that Pierre Poilievre is looking to undercut collective action against a climate crisis facing humanity as a whole. Leah Gazan points out the many shackles he plans to place on Canadians while claiming to stand for freedom, while Jim Stanford highlights the utter folly of his economic talking points. 

- Finally, the Globe and Mail's editorial board discusses the importance of building more - and more affordable - housing to meet growing needs. And Andy Crosby and Jacqueline Kennily offer a reminder that the roots of soaring rents can be traced to austerity and underinvestment since the 1990s. 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Musical interlude

Bonobo - Rosewood


Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

-  Michael Toole and Brendan Crabb write that COVID's impact on multiple types of cells and systems makes it particularly dangerous compared to the illnesses we're used to confronting, while Juliane Samara asks why there's no apparent anger and grief over soaring numbers of fatalities. Zeynep Tufecki discusses the importance of booster shots better targeted to new variants - as well as the concern that relatively few people are aware of their benefits. And Kenyon Wallace tracks down the massive number of Ontario emergency room shutdowns this summer which were swept under the rug by the Ford PCs.

- Jonah Fisher reports on new Oxford University research concluding that a transition to clean energy would save trillions of dollars by 2050 even without accounting for the benefits of averting a climate breakdown. Bill McGuire discusses the importance of doing everything we can to limit global warming - even as decades of fossil-fueled delay and denial (including that of the auto industry) may have pushed the 1.5 degree target out of reach. But Justine Calma reports on the World Meteorological Organization's conclusion that carbon pollution continues to soar to unprecedented levels, even as its devastating effects are seen in unprecedented disasters including extreme rainfall in Quebec and food shortages in France. And Umair Haque rightly characterizes the climate crisis as the express train to hell. 

- Meanwhile, Hannah Devlin reports on the developing awareness of the connection between air pollution, cancer and other threats to health. 

- Finally, Sonali Kolakhtar writes about Barbara Ehrenreich's contributions both in exposing the desperate precarity facing lower-income workers, and calling out the toxic positivity used to try to paper over it. And Jordan Barab writes about the effect of solidarity in ensuring that U.S. rail workers received at least some improvement in their working conditions - even in the face of callous disregard for their contributions by the CEOs raking in massive pay thanks to their work. 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ed Yong offers an important look at what long COVID's "brain fog" means for the people suffering from it, while Peter Thurley discusses his personal experience with it. Mark Caro reports on the work being done - and the desperate need for more attention - in studying and treating long COVID generally. And Adam Miller discusses what it means for a large majority of Canadians to have now been infected - including the reality that some incremental immunity doesn't relieve us of the need to protect against avoidable infections and reinfections. 

- Vjosa Isai reports on the general crisis in Canadian emergency rooms as provincial governments have chosen to placed constant strain on already-struggling health care workers. But Gordon Guyatt warns against being scared into accepting privatized health services which only serve to further diminish their availability for anybody but the wealthiest few. 

- Steve Wamhoff points out the need for those with the most to pay taxes like everybody else, rather than being protected by preferential regimes won through political pay-for-play. Ben Butler and Nick Evershed report on the stark gap in pay increases between Australia's CEOs and its workers generally. And Jacob Lorinc reports on the growing recognition that sharp interest rate increases will cause a recession that mostly hits workers after capitalists have already locked in their gains. 

- Marc Fawcett-Atkinson discusses the gall of the right-wing provincial governments who didn't wait a day after accepting billions from the federal government for agriculture before spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation about supports for fertilizer efficiency. And Duncan Kinney reports on the Edmonton Police Service's plans to carry out mass arrests of counter-protesters while laying out the red carpet for the Flu Trux Klan. 

- Finally, Karl Nerenberg writes about Pierre Piolievre's predictable - if glaringly unsuccessful - attempt to pivot toward more moderate branding after spending the Conservative leadership campaign catering unabashedly to violent extremists. And Max Fawcett notes that some of his gratuitous fights - including one against any media which fails to serve as an unquestioning dispenser of his talking points - have only just begun. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cats with company.





Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Pratyush Dayal reports on the COVID outbreak which has infected every single resident of a Regina care home. And Dan Scheuerman reports on the effect the drug poisoning crisis is having on people's health generally by further straining already-limited health care resources. 

- Don Pittis writes about the shock treatment being administered to the economy through interest rates hikes - and the explicit goal of suppressing wages so they don't catch up to locked-in increases in prices and profits. And Marc Fawcett-Atkinson points out that Alberta is both Canada's wealthiest province and the one with the most hunger - confirming again that mere GDP numbers don't translate into reasonable standards of living when the spoils of development are funneled to the privileged few. 

- Ben Sichel discusses the need to build organizing unions rather than mere service providers to members. And Eric Blanc interviews Harper McNamara, Sam Smith, and Atulya Dora-Laskey about the factors which enabled them to organize the first successful organizing drive at Chioptle - including workers' desire to have a say in working conditions which are otherwise set by management detached from the realities of the workplace. 

- Erika Shaker discusses what Canada should learn from the U.S.' partial forgiveness of excessive student debt. 

- Finally, Tracey Ferrier discusses the International Cleanup Conference's recognition that chemicals are already affecting food supplies (and stand to do so all the more based on a climate breakdown). And Dorothy Woodend interviews George Monbiot about his book Regenesis and the importance of ensuring that our methods of food production don't destroy the soil and natural environment necessary for our survival.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Laura Ungar reports on the message from experts that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. And Jon Kamp discusses the reality that COVID-19 remains one of the main direct causes of death in the U.S., while Neha Madaan reports that the main Omicron subvariant in India is mutating to become even more dangerous. 

- Meanwhile, Therese Kleim reports that the drug poisoning crisis also continues to escalate in Saskatchewan while being met with utter neglect from the Moe government. 

- Inayat Singh writes about Canada's connection to two of the key climate tipping points which we're passing with barely any effort to change course. And Annette McGivney discusses the unprecedented megadrought in the U.S. as another example of the extreme conditions being caused by the continued spewing of carbon pollution. 

- Jason DeParle notes that the U.S. has seen a little-discussed drop in child poverty which is traceable entirely to public-sector supports. And David Moscrop writes about the problem with Canadian housing policy which has been set for the benefit of capitalists who want to profit from a basic human right, rather than people who actually hold the need. 

- Finally, Emily Leedham points out how Pierre Poilievre has spent his entire career attacking the interests of workers. Michael Harris writes that he's best considered a symptom of the rot which set in under the Harper regime. And Aaron Wherry rightly identifies Poilievre as the ultimate expression of the Conservative id. 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

 Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading.

- Jim Naureckas discusses the absurdity of the New York Times (among other outlets) criticizing the idea of saving millions of lives from COVID rather than choosing to act in denial of it. Paige Ouimet points out the widespread long-term damage long COVID is inflicting on the U.S.' workforce. And Rachel Jobson interviews Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha about the need to recognize both the reality of people with disabilities generally, and the importance of listening to them in caring for those newly disabled by the pandemic.

- Becky Kane writes that an obsession with quantifying worker productivity through constant surveillance is serving mostly to undermine its theoretical purposes. 

- Justin McCurry writes about the popularity of Kohei Saito's Capital in the Anthropocene as a rallying call for degrowth and greater equality. And Owen Schalk offers his own reminder of the dangers of pursuing growth for its own sake.

- Finally, Audrey Nilson discusses new research showing that gratuitously lengthy prison sentences don't lead to community safety.

Friday, September 09, 2022

Musical interlude

ODESZA feat. Sasha Alex Sloan - Falls


Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes that what information we continue to receive about COVID shows that we can't afford to stop working on preventing its spread. And Katherine Wu offers a warning as to what this winter's flu season might bring based on the experience of southern-hemisphere countries over the summer. 

- Umain Haque points out that we should have a fairly easy decision to make in determining whether to fund a transition to clean energy - as the price of doing the work would pay for itself in six years, while the long-term cost of failure is an existential threat to civilization. Max Wakefield discusses how the UK is paying an alarming price - while fossil fuel operators rake in gigantic windfall profits - due to its subsidization of oil and gas over efficiency and renewable energy. And Damien Gayle reports on research showing how oil giants' much-publicized funding for clean alternatives is a tiny fraction of the riches they've hoarded by perpetuating dirty energy. 

- Meanwhile, Damian Carrington reports on a new study showing that we're passing or approaching some of the most crucial tipping points in determining whether we fall into catastrophic climate breakdown. And David Wallace-Wells discusses how massive floods are exposing Pakistan's vulnerability to extreme weather events. 

- Eric Gardner points out that discount stores are the latest example of corporate behemoths filling their coffers at the expense of affordable necessities for workers. Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell expose the Calgary Police Service's ties to a seedy California degree mill which is supposedly providing training on crisis intervention. And Kaley Kennedy writes about the need to take profits out of child care. 

- Finally, Madeleine Carlisle discusses how U.S. libraries are in the cross-hairs due to Republican efforts to disappear books which could result in the inconvenient development of empathy and recognition of diversity. Jeff Labine warns that the extreme right is looking to take over school boards in Canada as it's already managed to do south of the border. And Bob Hepburn calls out Pierre Poilievre for fomenting the deplorable culture of bigotry and exclusion. 

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ontario's COVID-19 Science Table has published a primer on long COVID (and the need for associated supports) just in time to be abolished for interfering with the Ford PCs' message that everything is fine. Sri Taylor reports on a massive jump in U.S. cases as students have returned to classes. And Marilyn Thompson and Jenny Deam report on how Republicans in power are using the force of the state to cater to anti-vaxxers and Trumpist quackery while imposing intolerable demands on already-strained hospitals. 

- Meanwhile, Ja'han Jones writes about the poisoning of black America as a result of selectively inadequate infrastructure and deference to corporate polluters. 

- Emily Stewart interviews Nathan Tankus about the need for an authority with the ability to take rational steps in response to imminent inflation, rather relying solely on an after-the-fact response which is limited to suppressing wages and killing jobs. And Grace Blakeley writes that the UK can't afford another bout of Con austerity, while Umair Haque identifies it as the country offering the most jarring example of how not to succeed in the 21st century. 

- Kenneth Mohamed writes about the need to rein in an oil industry that's destroying our living environment in order to extract gigantic windfall profits. Max Moran points out that any plan for a just transition needs to include the development of a civil service capable of doing the work. And Brady Dennis reports on new research showing the massive amounts of land which the U.S. stands to lose to rising sea levels. 

- Finally, Bruce Arthur discusses the futility of trying to argue with radicalized rightists who are impervious to facts and rational debate. And Meghan Grant and Rachel Ward report on the attempt by Flu Trux Klan fanatics to smuggle guns into what were billed as peaceful protests - a plan which was foiled only by the fact that undercover officers were selected to carry out the operation. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Megan Ogilvie and Kenyon Wallace interview public health experts about the steps they're taking to stay safe as students return to school and another COVID wave crests. Dilshad Burman points out the increased risks to workers when isolation periods are eliminated, while Megan Molteni writes about the difficulties facing people whose access to health care is turned into a game of Russian roulette in the absence of making requirements. And even as current policy fails to account for the harms to health lasting far after an initial infection, David Axe discusses the perils of new mutations which could result in longer infections to begin with.  

- Simon Black observes that while workers have fought to stand their ground at times in the course of the pandemic, there's ample room to seek improvements in wages and working conditions. Kim Kelly makes the case for workers to push to unionize. Jim Stanford discusses both why the Bank of Canada should be pivoting away from interest rate hikes in the face of a slowing economy, and why it's all too likely to keep reducing employment in the name of fighting inflation caused by matters beyond its control. And Darren Shore points out that Canada is far behind many peer countries in implementing taxes on the wealthy which would both improve public balance sheets and reduce inflation from where it produces the most unfair consequences. 

- Trevor Melanson and David Colletto argue that the path to needed climate action is to highlight the connection between a just transition to clean energy and relief from high non-renewable energy prices. And Nick Gottlieb points out that Canada is falling far short of the mark in funding energy efficiency retrofits. 

- Molly Taft reports that the same Gulf of Mexico oil field which caught fire last year is now spewing methane into the atmosphere. And Bob Weber reports on a new lawsuit seeking to hold Alberta's government accountable for the cumulative environmental effects of the fossil fuel industry and other development. 

- Finally, Andy Kroll and Justin Elliott report on Barry Seid's "attack philanthropy" seeking to weaponize wealth to undermine social organization. Leah Gazan writes about the rise of far-right extremism in Canada as one of the offshoots of the cultivation of a fascist movement in the U.S. And Jeff Shantz calls attention to the horrors of vigilante violence against unhoused people. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Centre of attention cats. 

 







Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Bruce Arthur laments the message being sent by Ontario's government that there's no need to care about other people in the face of an ongoing pandemic, while Norm Farrell discusses British Columbia's sliding back into a neglect phase. Anne Flaherty reports on the young workers losing their careers to long COVID. And Grady McGregor reports on China's development and approval of a nasal vaccine which offers the prospect of better protection to those who haven't been sacrificed to COVID-19 before it's available. 

- Meanwhile, John Michael McGrath writes that governments which have gone out of their way to eliminate COVID protections can't plausibly expect to keep any promises that schools will stay open. 

- Rosa Saba reports on the disconnect between a hot job market and the continued refusal by employers to pay people accordingly, while Nojoud Al Malles talks to labour leaders about the growing gap between stagnant (or worse) real wages and record profits. 

- Andrea Houston discusses how Canada's public health care system is being sabotaged by politicians eager to chop it up into profitable pieces. And Sanah Ashan notes that mental health - like health care generally - needs to be based on recognition of the importance of the social determinants of health. 

- Finally, John Smith writes that any hope for a better future needs to be paired with a willingness to fight for it. And Jeremy Corbyn notes that a new spokesperson doesn't serve as justification to keep repeating the same old corporatist mistakes.

Monday, September 05, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Labour Day reading.

- David Macdonald offers a reminder that any difficulty employers are having finding workers is a result of their failing to pay wages to even match, let alone stay in front of, the cost of living. And Trish Hennessy takes a look at the politics of inflation - including the tools to support a reasonable standard of living which have mostly been ignored or ruled out in favour of blatant political bribes by governments who are ideologically opposed to helping people.

- Jake Rosenfeld discusses how the disconnect between low unemployment and continued exploitation is resulting in greater recognition of the importance of unions. And David Beers interviews Enda Brophy about the efforts of gig workers to fight back against platforms designed to evade the protections won in the 20th century.

- Meanwhile, Jorge Renaud writes that one of the U.S.' main workarounds to avoid paying reasonable wages - the prison labour complex - does nothing to improve the future employment prospects of the inmates who have been turned into profit centres.

- Christopher Curtis writes that the CAP government's failure to rein in an epidemic of drug poisonings should be a far greater issue in Quebec's ongoing election. And Karen Ward highlights the importance of how we talk about an avoidable public health catastrophe to avoid minimizing or excusing the human cost of inaction.

- Finally, EKOS offers a look at Canadians' views of the Flu Trux Klan - with a strong majority opposing it within nearly every grouping except for those who consumer disinformation on a regular basis.

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Jasmine Kerrissy and Judith Stepan-Noris examine the state of the U.S. labour movement for Labour Day. And Gil McGowan points out the many basic freedoms which are lacking for Canadian workers and their unions.

- Alex Himelfarb writes about the politics of inflation - and particularly the deliberate effort to allow profits to rise while suppressing any associated improvement in wages. And Ted Johnson discusses the significance of even modest student debt relief in making clear that working people can benefit from public policy choices.

- Jeremy Clifton and Nicholas Kerry study the values which best map to political ideology, and find that the most important dividing line is not based on fear (as often assumed) but the acceptance of hierarchy and inequality. And Ariel Kalil et al. find that welfare restrictions driven by both neoliberal and conservative politicians served to exacerbate those factors by preventing parents living in poverty from providing needed emotional support to their children.

- Kevin Rennert et al. find that our current estimates of the social cost of carbon - though far higher than the prices set by public policy - are themselves far short of sufficient to account for the damage wrought by carbon pollution. And Megan Rowling reports on the prospect of a rapid transition if only the money currently spent on fossil fuel subsidies is instead put into a clean economy. 

- Finally, Kate Aronoff writes about Mississippi's example of eco-apartheid, while the Economist's review of two new books points out the imminent reality of large number of climate refugees from around the globe.

Saturday, September 03, 2022

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Jennifer Ackerman reports on what Saskatchewan can expect from a COVID wave allowed to sweep across the province without precautions. Eva Ferguson points out that plenty of experts and parents alike are calling for protective measures in Alberta schools (to no avail in the face of the UCP's catering to the Flu Trux Klan). And Rob Ferguson discusses what's looming this fall in Ontario.

- Meanwhile, Matt Gurney writes that any substantial flu season will exacerbate the crisis in an undersupported health care system.

- Steven Greenhouse explores how younger workers are organizing and providing hope for a resurgence of the U.S.' labour movement, while Hayley Brown delves into the numbers showing how unionization leads to higher wages and improved benefits. And David Moscrop writes that only the most entitled and delusional employers can be surprised to see workers choosing not to work extra for no reward.

- John Smith notes that a punitive social housing regime should be taken as a canary in the coal mine for any democratic effort to meet the basic needs of citizens. Armine Yalnizyan points out Orangeville, ON's imminent implementation of free public transit as an example to note of how strong and freely available public services can benefit everybody. And Alexander Shevalier offers a reminder that universal pharmacare stands to both keep people healthier and save money.

- Finally, Michael Harris discusses the need to be wary of politicians looking to incite violence against journalists for doing their job of questioning the misuse of influence and authority - particularly in light of the disproportionate effect their rhetoric has on historically suppressed voices.

Friday, September 02, 2022

Musical interlude

CHVRCHES - Asking For A Friend


Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Martha Lincoln writes about the needless harm caused by public health messaging about being people being "tired" of pandemic precautions which many (if not most) are entirely willing to take. Rachel Gilmore reports on the WHO's warnings about the continued human toll from COVID. And Patrick Rail warns that Ontario is careening toward a brutal eighth wave this fall, while Josh Rubin reports on the recognition that the elimination of any isolation period will only increase the number of worker absences caused by COVID.

- Alexander Quon reports that a shortage of workers continues to devastate Saskatchewan's health care system and put patients at risk. And Heather Ganshorn and Medeana Moussa discuss the problems with "privatization creep" being imposed on Saskatchewan schools by the Moe government. 

- Meanwhile, Russell Wangersky points out that Scott Moe's recent bloviating about basic environmental enforcement actually means complaining about federal action which he specifically demanded - not that we can expect any acknowledgment of such inconvenient realities from a government focused purely on posturing and hate-mongering. Jared Wesley discusses how that same philosophy has resulted in Jason Kenney's downfall. And Luke LeBurn reports on the latest revelations of threats to the lives of federal cabinet ministers as a result of the Flu Trux Klan which continues to be supported by the Cons and their provincial cousins. 

- Martyn Brown suggests that Anjali Appadurai's campaign for the leadership of the B.C. NDP should include a much stronger message about the need to build labour solidarity and challenge the dominance of the rich. Darren Shore discusses how Canada is being far outpaced by other countries in bringing in tax revenue from the wealthiest few. And Umair Haque writes that soaring energy prices - like so many unfair and frustrating elements of our world - are the result of an economic system designed to enrich a well-connected few. 

- Finally, Tameed Hawfiq reports on a new report showing how increased mercury levels are threatening human and animal life in the Arctic. 

Thursday, September 01, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Rachel Aiello reports on Health Canada's approval of COVID booster vaccines targeted at the Omicron variants. And Andrew Romano discusses the hope that the updated vaccines will result in a turning point in combating COVID - though getting enough people vaccinated to limit further spread and variation looks to be a serious challenge after months of messaging that people could move on from taking any precautions. 

- Owen Jones discusses how UK Con leadership frontrunner Liz Truss is one of the appalling number of right-wing politicians who values fossil fuel profits over human life, while Trevor Herriot calls out the Moe government's attack on the very concept of enforcing environmental laws. Geoff Leo exposes the case of a 14-year-old who died while under the "care" of social services. And Brody Langager reports on the work being done to push the Sask Party to fund harm reduction, while Zak Vescera offers a reminder that nobody can avoid the devastating effects of the drug poisoning crisis.  

- Alice Lee et al. study the increase in fuel poverty in the UK, while noting that a transition to clean energy would also reduce inequality of access and ensure a more stable supply. Mia Rabson reports on new research showing the particular ubiquity of toxic chemicals in dollar store products. And Damien Gayle reports on a new study showing how carbon capture and storage isn't part of the solution in trying to avert a climate breakdown. 

- Paul Prescod writes about the importance of unions in fighting for the rights and interests of minority workers. And Molly Smith reports on new research showing that single women without children are managing to accumulate more wealth than men in the same cohort - but those with children lag far behind other groups. 

- Finally, James McCarten reports on new opinion polling as to the main concerns of Canadians - with climate change and misinformation ranking as major public concerns even as so many right-wing politicians dedicate themselves fully to preventing any action on them. Aaron Wherry writes that political leaders need to part of the solution in ending rage farming as a political strategy - though there's plenty of reason for concern that the Cons and their allies only plan to keep pushing the envelope in lying to stoke anger, rather than taking anybody's advice to do what they can to avoid having people get hurt. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Liz Szabo examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved - and the reality that the large number of infections in the Omicron wave is overwhelming the benefit of existing immunity.  And Andre Picard highlights how counterproductive it is to be eliminating Ontario's Science Advisory Table and other expert groups in the midst of a pandemic where ignorance has already seized an advantage over evidence-based precautions. 

- Meanwhile, Jane Greenhalgh and Selena Simons-Duffin report on the jarring drop in overall U.S. life expectancy due to the pandemic. Sarah Neville discusses the aftershocks of each COVID wave in increasing the risks of a myriad of other health conditions. And Carly Weeks reports on the drop in routine vaccination rates as anti-vax fanatics have applied their politically-cultivated disregard for public health to other diseases. 

- Justin McCarthy reports on the increasing public support for unions in the U.S., with over 70% of respondents approving of organized labour even in a generally polarized political environment. Caitlin Clark reports on the success of port workers in Tacoma in doubling their pay and securing better benefits and working conditions by unionizing, while Randy Thanthong-Knight reports on Unifor's push for wage increases following the election of Lana Payne. And Gregory Beatty discusses the potential for a four-day work week to improve health and work-life balance without affecting productivity. 

- Beatty also examines the Sask Party's attempt to push students into religious schools rife with abuse and scandal by cutting support for public education. And in the wake of public revelations of exorcisms at a Bible camp, Jason Warick reports that officials actually argued that they were necessary in the name of "spiritual warfare". 

- Nick French writes that the nonsensical and counterproductive response to student debt relief by U.S. Republicans only serves to signal how important and powerful a policy it is. 

- Finally, Pollara finds that a strong majority of Albertans are firmly opposed to both the goals and methods of the Flu Trux Klan (even as the UCP's leadership contenders go out of their way to cater to it). 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Wrapped-up cats.





Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Kaylyn Whibbs reports on the entirely justified concerns of parents whose children have been unable to receive a COVID booster due to provincial neglect. And Dana Smith discusses how polio has managed to make a resurgence in the U.S. as the same anti-social attitudes and aversion to science which have allowed COVID-19 to run rampant are also reversing previous victories over preventable diseases. 

- Richard Wolff discusses how messaging about "economic policy" typically serves as a cover for class warfare (though it's worth distinguishing between corporatist policy serving only to enrich the wealthy, and development policy which actually seeks to help people). And David Climenhaga rightly calls out Jason Kenney for trying to lure unsuspecting workers to Alberta with the promise of wages he's actively working to suppress. 

- Kate Aronoff examines how Ron DeSantis and other right-wing demagogues are trying to eradicate the slightest trace of social responsibility from corporate governance in order to justify continued carbon pollution. And in case there was any doubt that the balance instead needs to tilt toward greater consideration for the public interest rather than a sociopathic focus on short-term profit, Peter Milne reports on the massive amount of money the Australian public will be paying to clean up a Chevron oil field. 

- Meanwhile, Shah Meer Baloch and Damian Carrington report on the devastating monsoon and flooding hitting Pakistan, while Michael Le Page reports on the unprecedented heat wave endangering millions in China. 

- Finally, Peter Wehner argues that we can't afford to give in to the fatalism of Trumpists (which holds as true in Canada as in the U.S.). But as Stephen Maher writes, there's little reason to think Pierre Poilievre and his ilk will do anything but continue to court and support violent extremism since it suits their own political ends. 

Monday, August 29, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Dayne Patterson reports that what little data Saskatchewan residents have to manage to risk of COVID is showing higher levels than have been seen in months. Sophia Tan et al. find that even while breakthrough COVID infections have escalated, prior vaccination (and particularly recent vaccination) has a substantial impact on reducing transmission. And Nili Kaplan-Myrth implores parents to ensure that children reduce the risk of spread by masking when they return to school. 

- Meanwhile, John Michael McGrath discusses why clean air may be the foundational public health advancement of the 21st century just as clean water was in the 19th century - though it's of course worth pointing out the forces seeking to reverse that progress. 

- Sharon Kirkey writes about the unmanageable burdens being placed on Canada's hospital emergency rooms - due largely to austerity in dealing with the health care system as a whole. And Zak Vescera reports that Saskatchewan is sharing the experience of other provinces in having ambulance service delayed by the wait to get patients seen in ERs.

- The Star's editorial board weighs in on the need to stop exploiting and abusing temporary foreign workers. 

- Finally, Ian Welsh discusses how our ongoing (and escalating) problems can be traced not to a lack of technological development, but to a failure to use the technology and resources we have for the betterment of people's lives. And David Sirota and Joel Warner highlight the need to end the flow of dark money which ensures that the U.S.' political system serves only the interests of the wealthiest few. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Wency Leung asks how much more of a human toll we're willing to accept in order to operate in denial of a continuing pandemic. And Phil Tank discusses how the Moe government has chosen to frame the constant stream of preventable disease and death as merely a monthly report beneath any direct comment or action.

- Zak Vescera has been digging into the shady history of the Sask Party-boosted churches and private which have been caught in a child abuse scandal - including their exploitation of donors, and their links to longstanding reporting of violence against children. 

- Andrew Longhurst points out the dangerous rise of corporate health care in British Columbia. And Frances Bula reports that the building of social housing alone hasn't been enough to help people who can't realistically be expected to avoid the myriad of pitfalls which can be used to throw them back out on the streets. 

- Sarah Jones writes that the real story behind "quiet quitting" is the near-universal expectation on the part of employers that workers will willingly suffer to the point of burnout. And Greg Jericho discusses how Australia is among the many countries where workers have been seeing little if any benefit from consistent productivity increases.

- Finally, Charles Rusnell reports on the right-wing rage farming behind the increasingly violent attacks on any political figure even faintly tethered to reality. And David Sirota offers a reminder how the U.S. is subsidizing the massive dark money network drowning out any meaningful political discussion with fascist propaganda.