Saturday, March 19, 2022

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Moira Wyton writes about the growing chorus of experts warning that we're on the verge of another deadly wave of COVID-19. Shira Lurie laments the epidemic of individualism that's standing in the way of needed collective responses. And Alexander Quon reports on the people suffering from long COVID who have been completely abandoned by Scott Moe's government, while a team of doctors is offering at least some mechanism to collect and share information about its prevalence and effects in Saskatchewan. 

- Adam Barnett and Michaela Hermann discuss the ties between nationalism, anti-environmentalism and corporatism which have contributed to effectively all of the forces destroying our well-being and our living world. And Justin Ling offers a reminder that the #FluTruxKlan was based on far more sinister motivations than opposition to vaccine mandates. 

- Matt McGrath reports on the link between wildfire smoke and melting in the Arctic region. And Jason Samsonow and Kasha Patel report on the unprecedented heat wave in eastern Antarctica which is baffling even the scientists who have been warning about the effects of global warming. 

- Bill McKibben makes the case to stop burning things as fundamental step needed to avert climate breakdown. And the Breach assembles a hypothetical retrospective as to how Canada could implement a just transition by 2025.  

- Finally, Erica Johnson, Katie Pedersen and Tiffany Foxcroft report on the neglect and abuse Canadian seniors have faced while relying on home care from corporate operators. 

Friday, March 18, 2022

Musical interlude

Diplo feat. Amtrac & Leon Bridges - High Rise

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Ed Yong laments the U.S.' particularly dangerous spin through the pandemic cycle of panic and neglect as it is eliminating all federal funding even as the most dangerous COVID-19 wave yet begins to crest, while Phil Tank calls out Scott Moe's cherry-picked appeal to public opinion as overriding any sense of responsibility to keep people safe and healthy. And Maija Kappler discusses how the Omicron BA.2 variant is taking over as the dominant strain in Canada, while Chris Herhalt and CTV News report on its rise in Ontario and Alberta respectively. 

- Joel Dryden writes about the fallout from the #FluTruxKlan's heavily-armed assault on the Coutts, AB border crossing. And Jessica McDiarmid and Mark Fawcett investigate how much of the Facebook content claiming to reflect grassroots local concerns from a right-wing perspective is in fact the product of Conservative-affiliated political operatives, while Geoff Dembicki reports on the role of Canada Proud in particular in systematically disseminating climate misinformation. 

- Meanwhile, Thom Hartmann writes about the role of the libertarian message injected into the political mainstream by Ronald Reagan in enriching the already-wealthy while making life ever more precarious for everybody else. And Patrick Radden Keefe discusses how Vladimir Putin's oligarch cronies have found welcoming servants in London (and elsewhere) when throwing around the money extracted from their home country.  

- Finally, Victoria Gibson reports on new research showing that the Libs' model for privately-developed housing development is allowing private rental landlords to access federal funding while still charging above-market rents. 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Tim Loh discusses how Europe's premature end to public health measures is resulting in another COVID wave. Lei Lei Wu notes that nearly two-thirds of U.S. children hospitalized with the Omicron variant had no other underlying condition, while Natalie Huet reports on the substantial proportion of children whose symptoms lead to long COVID. Juliet Pulliam et al. study the growing risk of re-infection by the new variants, while Gili Regev-Yonchay et al. find that a fourth dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is both safe and effective in protecting against symptoms. And Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz discusses why any "focused protection" theory (i.e. letting the pandemic run rampant other than seeking to protect only the most vulnerable) has always been doomed to fail. 

- Anna Bawden reports on new research showing the connection between air pollution and auto-immune diseases.  

- Anne Applebaum discusses how the U.S.' coddling of kleptocratic governments in Russia and elsewhere has undermined any goal of promoting democracy around the globe. 

- Meanwhile, Thomas Piketty writes that we would have little trouble identifying and seizing the assets of Russia's oligarchs through an international financial registry if the wealthiest few weren't determined to avoid having their own riches known (and potentially taxed). Transparency International Canada examines (PDF) how secrecy is at the core of Canadian "snow-washing" of offshore wealth. And Rita Trichur discusses how transparency is the only way to avoid being a haven for financial crime. 

- Adam Johnson calls out the U.S. media's eagerness to cheerlead for war - thereby serving the interests of the military-industrial complex in the name of holding politicians to account. 

- Finally, Anne Helen Pedersen examines how to marshal collective strength in response to the U.S.' seemingly relentless stream of individual-level stress and social regression.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Noushin Ziafati reports on the continuing challenges facing people suffering from long COVID - particularly as governments attempt to pretend the pandemic which infected them never happened. And Eric Topol writes about the continued denialism in the U.S. as another wave is cresting. 

- Nancy Olivieri, Michael Hurley and Natalie Mehra call out the Ford government's quiet privatization of health care. Marc Spooner warns that the Moe government is laying the groundwork to turn Saskatchewan's universities into subcontractors for corporate employers. And Kathryn Joyce points out the concerted attack on public education in the U.S. centered on a single conservative Christian private college. 

- Jen St. Denis writes about the causes of B.C.'s deadly heat dome last summer - and the steps needed to prepare for more to come. And Matt Elliott discusses the folly in Doug Ford's plans to add still more lanes of traffic which only stand to increase gridlock and sprawl. 

- Dru Oja Jay interviews Seth Klein about the needed fight to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. Kate Aronoff calls out the fossil fuel sector for its greed and arrogance in response to Russia's attack on Ukraine, while Katherine Fung reports that the Koch empire continues to stand out in its corporate villainy by acquiescing in Vladimir Putin's war. And Charlie Angus writes that we can't afford to keep clinging to the laughable theory that it's possible to avert a climate breakdown while subsidizing the increased production and export of dirty oil and gas. 

- Finally, Giulia Gipponi and Steve Machin study labour market inequality in the UK, and find that the middle class of workers has seen effectively no increase in income over the past four decades. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Homemaking cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Nora Loreto discusses the collective trauma which is following from the combination of a pandemic and a determined effort by our ruling class not to limit the harm it causes. And Dan Sinker writes about the impossibility of reaching anything approaching normal when war and disease are the leading factors shaping our lives. 

- Luke Taylor offers a warning to the Americans not to lower their guard against COVID. Brooklyn Neustaedter reports on the recognition that there's no going back to the way things were prior to the pandemic, while Jean Laroche reports on the expert pushback against lifting mask mandates in Nova Scotia. And Maria Godoy writes about the obvious potential for improvement in air quality standards in classrooms and elsewhere.

- Katherine Scott points out how the pandemic has confirmed the need to take profit motives out of long-term care - as the same businesses responsible for tens of thousands of deaths through resident neglect and poor planning managed to keep their profits at entirely typical levels. And Robert Williams reports on the organizing drive to keep Ontario's health care system from being sold off. But the Canadian Press reports that Loblaws is giving effect to the dangers of for-profit care under corporate control by buying up a major provider of uninsured services. 

- Meanwhile, John di Nino writes about the pattern of privatization of public transit, while Natasha Bulowski reports on the Libs' choice to continue that trend for a major VIA Rail corridor. 

- Finally, Jake Johnson observes that a massive majority of Americans wants to see corporations pay windfall taxes based on their jacking up prices and profits in the midst of a crisis. And John Nichols makes the case to apply that principle to the fossil fuel sector in particular. 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Steven Woolf examines the inescapable connection between political choices and avoidable COVID-19 deaths between U.S. states. And Christopher Blackwell discusses how the pandemic may never end in prisons where authorities are even less interested in ensuring the health of the people whose lives depend on their decisions. 

- Luke Savage makes the case to tax the windfall profits being greedily accumulated by the fossil fuel industry. And Scott Schmidt writes that the Kenney UCP's refusal to consider any budgeting philosophy other than crushing austerity even in the midst of an oil boom proves that there's no time it will ever invest in the well-being of Albertans. 

- Naomi Klein discusses the use of toxic nostalgia to keep us tethered both to the continued of fossil fuels, and the extractive mindset needed to overlook its harms. And Philippe Fournier writes about surveys showing a large number of Con and PPC members who have fully bought into Trumpism. 

- Tim Louis writes about the growing scientific consensus around the reality - and imminent danger - of climate feedback loops. 

- Finally, David Moscrop argues that it's long past time to decriminalize drug use and focus on harm reduction rather than gratuitous criminalization and stigmatization. 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Kit Yates discusses how the lifting of COVID-19 public health protections in the UK has predictably precipitated another wave of infections. Natalie Grover writes about the two-year-long battle to get decision-makers to accept that COVID-19 is transmitted through the air. And Catherine Pearson examines the factors which have allowed people to avoid becoming infected through the pandemic so far - with the effectiveness of public health measures (even when they haven't been recommended or required by governments) serving as the most important factor. 

- Meanwhile, Annie Lennon writes about research showing how COVID-19 can cause lasting nerve damage. And Adnan Qureshi et al. find that it can be responsible for new onset dementia. 

- Josh Rubin reports that far too many business are following cues from governments eager to declare the pandemic over in the face of any scientific evidence. Charlie Smith reports on research showing how racialized people suffer disproportionately from the elimination of public health protections, while the Canadian Press reports on the impossible situation facing parents of children under 5 who lack the protection from vaccination that the rest of the population is relying on to avoid the worst effects of COVID-19. And Adam Miller discusses how our mental health care system is in crisis while lacking any new resources to deal with new cases and issues arising out of the pandemic. 

- Finally, Markham Hislop contrasts Canada's largely empty words about transitioning to a clean economy against Europe's developing plan to make the shift over a decade or less. And Max Fawcett points out that Canada's oil industry is beholden to exactly the same Russian interests which its political puppets are claiming to be able to replace.