Saturday, February 12, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Gary Mason writes about the combination of fatigue and outrage which is producing a particularly toxic mix for anybody attempting to limit the damage caused by COVID-19. Phil Tank laments the sense that protecting people from avoidable infection and death has become controversial, while also reporting on "Unified Grassroots" and other anti-public health forces who have organized to create that reality. And Adam Hunter highlights how Scott Moe's messaging about and to unvaccinated people has turned deferential even as more dangerous variants have emerged.

- Robert Hiltz discusses how Ontario has been one of many jurisdictions which has repeatedly wasted the downtime between waves by choosing to operate in denial rather than doing anything to prepare for foreseeable events. Don Darrah discusses how conservative premiers including Moe are using the damage they've inflicted on health care systems as an excuse to turn more and more necessarily medical services into profit centres for their donors. And Catherine Varner writes about the physicians who are looking at leaving jurisdictions or even the profession due to the violence directed at them by anti-vaxx extremists. 

- Van Badham writes about the crank and conspiracy behind anti-public health protests around the globe. And PressProgress has offered plenty of important reporting on the #FluTruxKlan - including a systematic look at its donors, as well as reports on the intention to pursue intimidation and violence for political ends and how that's been carried out.

- Finally, Cam Scott writes that there are limited lessons for progressive organizers to draw from the right's populist organizing which is necessarily built around fabrications and illusions rather than solving real-world problems. And John Geddes discusses the institutional differences that have helped somewhat in limiting the translation of far-right ideology into formal power.

Musical interlude

The Avener feat. Ane Brun - To Let Myself Go

Friday, February 11, 2022

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Elian Peltier reports that Denmark's message that the COVID pandemic is over has predictably given rise to a new - and particularly dangerous - wave as people abandon even the most elementary care to avoid community transmission. And Brittany Gervais reports on the justified outrage of immunocompromised Albertans who have been told the new normal involves their being unable to participate in society due to uncontrolled viral spread. 

- Cindy Blackstock, Leilani Farha, Monia Mazigh and Alex Neve offer some important questions about how we treat protests generally in the wake of the #FluTruxKlan being allowed to lay siege to Canada's capital. Doug Cuthand discusses how the deference shown to violent extremists shows the operation of white privilege in action. And Justin Ling points out the role of QAnon and other conspiracy theorist groups in driving the convoy. 

- John Anderson discusses what Canada has lost through two decades of corporate tax revenue lost to tax slashing and loopholes. 

- Meanwhile, Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood notes that workers predictably haven't benefited from yet another temporary boom in oil prices. And Marc Lee, Tom Green, Peter McCartney and Anjali Appadurai discuss the need for British Columbia's royalty regime to take into account the transition away from relying on carbon pollution for energy. 

- Alyshah Hasham writes about a new learning hub intended to ensure that people facing criminal charges aren't trapped in a cycle of poverty and recidivism. 

- Finally, Lee discusses the need for more medium-density not-for-profit housing to ensure that a fundamental right isn't left to the whims of market forces and exclusionary zoning. 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Zak Vescera reports on leaked information showing that Saskatchewan's COVID hospitalization rate has reached a record high just as Scott Moe decided to starve the public of information about the toll being taken by an ongoing pandemic. Meredith Wadman discusses the growing recognition of the long-lasting effects of infection - including heart disease lasting a year or more after "recovery". And a Nature editorial highlights the need for far more research into the harm long COVID is inflicting on children.

- Linda McQuaig is rightly angry that violent racist insurrectionists were handed the keys to Canada's capital. And James Gacek writes that it's past time to put #FluTruxKlan and its denial of science (along with reality in general) behind us. But Robert Hiltz notes that there's plenty that we should be concerned about in our governments' lack of action to protect people's health and well-being over the course of the pandemic - which makes it all the more appalling that the most prominent voices of opposition are complaining about their having done too much.

- Meanwhile, Joe Roberts offers a reminder that there's a readily-available option to ensure that the convoy and its political enablers can't take full power over our federal government with the support of a minority of voters.

- Henry Fountain discusses the new satellite imagery of methane leaks, while adding the observation that Canada and China bear the dubious distinction of having so many concentrated leaks in fossil fuel-producing areas as to make it impossible to distinguish them. And Stephen Huddart writes that we need to start living based on the reality that a climate breakdown is already well underway.

- Finally, Larry Elliott highlights how much better off everybody would be if labour movements were stronger.

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- David Climenhaga writes about the need to investigate the U.S. funding which seems to have built the #FluTruxKlan's profile, while Saba Aziz discusses how the cross-border extremist ties have only become tighter as Ottawa has been occupied. Arwa Mahdawi discusses how the threat raised by the violent occupation in Canada may reverberate around the globe. Anna Drake notes that both the convoy itself and the kid-gloves treatment it's received from police reflect profound inequalities. PressProgress offers an introduction to some of the hateful extremists responsible for the siege. And Michael Coren writes that the convoy is using religious symbols to propagate a message antithetical to anything remotely Christian. 

- Meanwhile, Clifton van der Linden and Alexander Beyer find that contrary to the convoy's assumptions, the general public remains strongly in favour of public health protections. And Sasha Abramsky discusses how one town managed to fend off a hostile QAnon takeover attempt. 

- Justin Ling notes that the Cons stand to make their party utterly toxic by enabling what's recognized to be an illegitimate and destructive attack on democratic institutions and vulnerable people. And Heather Mallick writes that if Pierre Poilievre seems like a prohibitive favourite for the Cons' leadership, it's only because his substance-free nastiness fits a party which has no interest in building anything other than resentment. 

- Michael Mann and Susan Joy Hassol highlight how delaying action only makes our path to averting climate breakdown steeper. And Ryan Heath reports on new polling showing that people around the globe recognize that our political leaders are falling far short of their responsibility to respond to a world on fire. 

- Finally, Laszlo Radvanyi argues that Canada needs a national strategy for early cancer diagnosis - even as the collapse of COVID control measures reflects the distaste the Cons and their provincial cousins have for anything resembling preventative and precautionary action. 

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Sprawled cats.

Tuesday Evening Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Sarath Peiris discusses the foolishness of prioritizing the self-indulgence of the grossly uninformed over the protection of the vulnerable. For those looking for a thoughtful discussion of how to avoid recklessly gambling with public health, Andre Picard discusses how protections could be removed responsibly. And Yasmine Ghania talks to public health experts about what living with COVID would mean if it wasn't based in wilful denial. 

- Jacob Serebrin reports on Quebec's soaring count of pediatric hospitalizations, while Noah Ivers and Cora Constantinescu urge parents to get children vaccinated as soon as possible. And Yan Xie et al. examine the long-term cardiovascular damage caused by COVID. 

- Stefanie Davis reports on the push by Saskatchewan workers to demand some protection - though that was met with a typically callous response as Scott Moe has chosen to surrender utterly to COVID. And Julia Raifman, Alexandra Skinner and Aaron Sojourner study how low-income workers have borne the brunt of the pandemic.

- Peter Coy discusses how wealth inequality in the U.S. has reached a higher level than has been seen since World War II. Heather Vogell points out the problem with private equity taking over needed housing and turning a human right into a profit centre. And Alex Collinson discusses how the UK's cost-of-living crisis is the result of the systematic transfer of wealth from workers to the wealthy - which won't be improved any by suppressing wages. 

- Finally, Peter Votsch offers some thoughts about building labour strength in the workplace. And the Globe and Mail's editorial board argues that Canada needs to ensure its labour and employment laws protect gig workers.

Monday, February 07, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Bruce Ziff highlights how axing vaccine passports and other basic health protections would only eliminate freedom for the vast majority of people who want to be able to act responsibly in the face of a pandemic. And Karen Mossman and Matthew Miller write that we'll face far more difficulty trying to build a better future after COVID if we allow it to run rampant now. 

- Meanwhile, Judy Rebick and Corvin Russell discuss the need for a strong left position on the pandemic, including increase social solidarity and support, as well as protections for the workers being placed at risk while facing increased demands from callous governments. And Jen St. Denis notes that part of the response to #FluTruxKlan intimidation has been renewed recognition of the importance of health care and service workers. 

- David Climenhaga traces the convoy to interference by the U.S.' far right in Canadian politics, while Eli Sopow notes that it has also exposed some of the bigotry and violence which had been waiting below the surface. And Abbas Rana discusses the growth of "disruption politics" even where it runs contrary to the interests and choices of most citizens. 

- Finally, Rick Smith writes about the importance of the next year in developing climate policy which will chart Canada's path for decades to come. And Tim Radford discusses the need to put an end to systematic plastic pollution as another element of living within our planetary boundaries.

Sunday, February 06, 2022

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Melody Schreiber discusses how the U.S.' inequality and lack of support for workers has severely exacerbated the pandemic. And Eric Schwitzgebel examines what it means to be a COVID jerk - and how their ubiquity and prominence has made life worse for everybody else.

- The Canadian Press reports on new research confirming that a strong majority of Canadians still support vaccine mandates and passports, along with other public health measures to limit community transmission. And Sandy Garossino points out how the response of Donald Trump and other Republican politicians shows how the #FluTruxKlan convoy has been stoked and manipulated by the U.S.' most extreme political actors.

- Shree Paradkar discusses how the hate behind the convoy was always apparent to anybody who wasn't looking to make excuses for privileged white insurrectionists. And Kaitlin Geiger-Bardswich writes that the convoy is effectively domestic abuse on a social scale.

- Finally, Helena Horton reports on new research showing that the carbon emission gap between the rich and the poor is only growing.