Saturday, January 29, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Doug Cuthand writes that all spin to the contrary, the #flutruxklan has nothing to do with freedom. Rachel Gilmore reports on the its connections to white nationalism and racism. Justin Ling reports on the warnings to MPs that they're at risk of violence - even as conservatives both provincial and federal continue to support the convoy. And Elizabeth Thompson and Roberto Rocha point out that the firehose of money directed toward the violent overthrow of Canada's federal government includes large donations made anonymously or using fraudulent aliases.  

- CTV News reports on the spread of the Omicron BA.2 subvariant in Canada. Zak Vescera reports on the warning to Saskatchewan's medical community that this will be the worst wave yet even as Scott Moe leaves the province at the mercy of the pandemic, while Phil Tank looks at the soaring rate of outbreaks in long-term care homes. And as our governments actively make a goal out of ensuring that everybody gets infected, Katie Russell discusses a few of the factors which increase one's risk of suffering from long COVID.

- Meanwhile, Walker Bragman and Andrew Perez expose how businesses have lobbied against any protections for workers or customers. And John Bell discusses the connection between profiteering and pay-for-play cronyism reflected in Doug Ford's private vaccine clinic contract.

- Jim Stanford examines the connection between income security and power dynamics in the workplace. And Steve Early reports on the harm done to workers through false promises of cooperation from employers in schemes to increase workloads without raising pay.

- Finally, Umair Haque discusses how acceptance of social Darwinism is at the root of the U.S.' inability and refusal to address collective problems.

Burning question

Where could Scott Moe have possibly developed the idea he's entitled to dictate what questions the media is allowed to ask?

Friday, January 28, 2022

Musical interlude

Cannons - Shadows

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Zak Vescera reports that the Moe government's push toward privatizing COVID testing has turned into such a fiasco that even the for-profit operators are calling for somebody to apply regulations to protect the public. Ninan Abraham et al. call out a Globe and Mail opinion column for feeding anti-vaxx narratives in the absence of any evidence. And Doug Saunders discusses how Europe's latest wave can be traced to politicians catering to science denialists. 

- Bruce Arthur argues that while we may need to live with anti-vaxxers, we should at least expect our leaders to have the sense not to lend them support. And the Canadian Anti-Hate Network documents how the Flu Trux Klan convoy has turned into little but a show of fascist hate on wheels. 

- George Monbiot highlights how carbon offsetting is only encouraging the continued use of fossil fuels by allowing people to treat them as climate solutions rather than the continuation of a problem. Data For Progress examines both the health impacts of poor air quality, and the public's desire to see political action to remedy it. 

- Colin D'Mello reports on Doug Ford's grant of a sole-source private vaccine clinic contract after a flurry of donations from board members and their families. And Kim Siever reports on the UCP's decision to put the son of private ambulance magnate in charge of a review of emergency services. 

- Finally, Luke Savage writes about the essential role unions play in protecting and advancing democracy far beyond the workplace. 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Stephanie Carvin, Kurt Phillips and Amarnath Amarasingam discuss how anti-vaxx themes in Canada are being pushed and used by the fascist right. Alex Boutilier and Rachel Gilmore highlight how the convoy supported by Scott Moe, Jason Kenney, and so many other right-wing politicians is explicitly seeking to create its own January 6th riot and overthrow the federal government. Emily Leedham exposes the conspiracy theories and racism of Moe's new friend Nadine Ness. And a medical officer of health offers some needed tips in responding to targeted harassment by the anti-vaxx cult. 

- Kate Aronoff writes that a return to meaningful public planning is a must to deal with climate change (among other problems which can't be solved by hand-waving in the general direction of "market forces"). And Stephen Leahy discusses the counterproductive realities of tax giveaways to the fossil fuel sector for promised carbon capture and storage. 

- Lisa Friedman reports on new research showing the health consequences of even small levels of soot pollution. And Raymond Zhong reports on research revealing that gas stoves and other appliances may be leaking methane even when not turned on. 

- Finally, Aaron Gordon and Lauren Kaori Gurley report on Amazon-funded high school courses intended to indoctrinate students into an exploitative corporate mindset. And Michael Smart and Sobia Hasan Jafry ask why Canada isn't applying reasonable inclusion rates to capital gains to ensure the rich pay their fair share. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Emma Farge and Mrinalika Roy report on the World Health Organization's warning that it's dangerous to act like the COVID pandemic is over. Davide Mastracci observes that governments who have been willing to bother protecting citizens against substantial community spread have been successful even against the Omicron variant - meaning that the illness and death sweeping over countries with less responsible governments are a matter of choice. Vincent McDermott reports on the Alberta Workers' Compensation Board's recognition of thousands of cases in the province's workplaces, while Zak Vescera reveals that Scott Moe and his government have blocked any enforcement of the vaccine mandate which was supposed to reduce the risk of transmission in Saskatchewan's health care system. And Sarath Peiris argues that we should be expecting Saskatchewan Party MLAs to speak up about their leader's refusal to keep the province healthy - though there's no apparent precedent for their doing anything of the sort. 

- Zackie Achmat discusses how Cuba's vaccine development and distribution efforts are creating a needed alternative to the corporate pharmaceutical industry which has sought to prolong the pandemic in the name of profiteering. But Joel Lexchin offers a reminder that the Libs are choosing to side with big pharma over the Canadian public when it comes to ensuring that people have the medication they need. 

- Dylan Matthews reports on new research reaching the entirely predictable conclusion that improved income supports enhance children's brain development. CBC News reports on the recognition by anti-poverty activists that the aspect of inflation which needs to be fought is its effect on people already struggling to get by - not the prospect of slightly reduced net returns on capital. And Meara Conway has released her consultation report on housing and social supports in Saskatchewan. 

- Finally, Rachel Snow discusses how the right-wing denial of mass graves and other residential school abuses represents a continuation of white supremacy and colonialism. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Puzzled cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Andre Picard recognizes that stoking sentiment about being "done with COVID" only increases the likelihood of further transmission and mutation, while Gail Bowen writes about the need to cultivate the strength to push back rather than succumbing to a sense of futility. Gwynne Dyer discusses the far more justifiable fatigue with anti-vaxxers and deniers who are making the pandemic worse for everybody. The Canadian Press reports on Statistics Canada's finding that life expectancies saw their most severe drop in nearly a century as the pandemic began in 2020, while Phil Tank reports on the stark gap between what's been reported in Saskatchewan and the far higher number of deaths likely attributable to the coronavirus. 

- Katie Hyslop talks to young British Columbians about their eagerness to get fully vaccinated. Leana Wen discusses the need to update vaccine policies to account for the importance of third (and additional) doses in maintaining continued protection. And Katherine Wu is hopeful that a three-dose vaccine will eventually help to protect children under 5 - though the prospect of that development in the near future makes it all the more senseless that kids are currently being sent into viral incubators. 

- Saleemul Huq writes about the need for any effective climate action plan to address the loss and damage a deteriorating climate imposes on the people who can least afford it, while Oliver Milman notes that the rarely-recognized consequences of the climate crisis include massive interference with insect populations. 

- Fatima Syed highlights how businesses are cashing in on the Ford PCs' cancellation of a previous provincial climate policy - signaling how destructive climate policy represents a corporate giveaway as well as environmental negligence. And Michelle Gamage reports on the latest example of the polluting fossil fuel sector being put in charge of deciding what to bother fixing and cleaning up - this time being site contamination in British Columbia. 

- Meanwhile, Marc Lee, Belinda Li, Sue Maxwell and Tamara Shulman point out how a focus on a zero-waste society can create both economic and environmental benefits.

- Finally, Robert Reich argues that corporate sedition is an even greater threat to democracy than the violent political version. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Katharine Wu examines how the effect of immunity is just one more area where people are seeing profoundly unequal results of the COVID pandemic - with a disproportionate burden being placed on those who were already facing disadvantages. Lauren Pelley reports on the current state of knowledge around long COVID, as well as the danger that many people may face symptoms and aftereffects for decades to come. And Ian Welsh discusses the example set by Western Australia in demonstrating that COVID has always been controllable - making for a particularly stark comparison to the resource-based provinces in western Canada which have instead chosen to let it run wild. 

- Jacob Lorinc points out that the workers who have left restaurant work during the course of the pandemic have done so for good reason. And Dan Darrah discusses the prospect of a four-day work week coming to Canada in the wake of successful trials elsewhere. 

- Diana Chen McNally and Naheed Dosani write that while we should be looking to eradicate homelessness altogether, we should at least ensure that all people have access to basic hygiene and sanitary services.

- Zoe Craig-Sparrow, Shelagd Day and Margot Young discuss how all levels of government in Canada have prioritized fossil fuel profits over Indigenous rights.

- Finally, David Climenhaga and Ryan Lindley each write about the combination of separatist fanaticism and cynical grifting behind the latest yellow vest convoy. 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Alex Ballingall and Raisa Patel ask why Canada's federal government seems to have learned nothing from four previous waves of COVID. And Kari Dequine Harden writes about the large number of children saddled with the effects of long COVID because their leaders didn't bother to keep public health protections in place for the benefit of those who couldn't yet be vaccinated.

- Umair Haque discusses how the U.S.' elite consensus around unrestrained capitalism has led to its political ruin - and while the U.S. may stand out for now, it's not hard to see the same dynamic playing out in Canada and elsewhere. And Elizabeth Meager points out that investor protection agreements have been treated as barring countries from meeting their climate commitments. 

- Meanwhile, Phil MacDonald and Sarah Brown note that soaring energy costs in the UK are the result of continued reliance on fossil fuels. And Marc Fawcett-Atkinson writes that access to safe food is just one more area in which inequality of income and wealth feeds into disparities in other aspects of well-being.

- Finally, Stephanie Kelton discusses the dangers of treating reflexive interest rate manipulation as the only - or best - means of responding to inflation.