Saturday, May 14, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- David Dayen discusses how manufacturing monopolies have produced the U.S.' shortage of baby formula. And Alyssa Rosenberg recognizes that any reasonably-governed country would be moving heaven and earth to ensure infants don't suffer due to corporate greed. 

- Meanwhile, Nina Lakhani exposes how meat packing giants and the Trump administration sacrificed workers' lives rather than allowing any health and safety protections to be applied even in the face of a deadly virus. And Nora Loreto asks why we still don't have anything remotely approaching an accounting of the lives lost to workplace-spread COVID in Canada. 

- thwap points out how anti-inflation rhetoric is being used as yet another excuse for class war against workers. 

- Alexander Furnas et al. study how lobbying leads to changes in policy - finding donations to be less of a direct influence than ideological sorting. 

- On the bright side (and in a prime example of policy we should be looking to emulate) Sam Jones reports on Spain's plans to provide menstrual leave among other additional measures to ensure improved gender equity.

- Finally, Stephen Maher discusses the increasing threats and harassment facing people seeking to run for office - though it's well worth noting the asymmetry based on ideological orientation as fascist groups primed to treat others as subhuman apply that theory to the political sphere. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Musical interlude

Arcade Fire - Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Phil Tank offers a reminder that Saskatchewan's citizens shouldn't follow the lead of its government in wrongly pretending the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Sumathi Reddy writes about the growing recognition that reinfection - with a risk of both severe and long-term symptoms every time - is going to be the reality for people who fail to take precautions. And Keren Landman discusses a few of the questions about long COVID which have yet to be answered. 

- Peter Hannam talks to some of the economists pushing back against the attempt to suppress wages as a response to inflation in Australia. And Ethan Wolff-Mann warns that the U.S. Federal Reserve is effectively pressuring employers not to hire workers, sacrificing labour in the name of an issue which (as Michael Roberts notes) is almost entirely the result of corporate greed and profiteering

- Aditi Mukherji writes that putting water at the heart of climate policy will help point the way toward thoroughly and equitably addressing the climate crisis. And Zoya Teirstein points out that after decades of cynical delay tactics by the oil industry and its bought-and-paid-for political puppets when there was time for a gradual transition, there aren't many climate options left which don't involve some trade-offs. 

- That said, David Suzuki notes that there's plenty of room for adapting personal practices to be good for both ourselves and our planet. 

- Mitchell Thompson and Luke LeBrun report on Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce's participation in a "slave auction" as a leader of his frat house. And Stephanie Fung, Anna Liu, karine ng and Chris Ramsaroop discuss how the pandemic has exposed the racism which remains to be identified and uprooted in all kinds of communities. 

- Finally, Aditya Chakrabortty calls out just one of the systematic campaigns of targeted abuse generated by the UK's right-wing hatred machine. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Danny Halpin reports on new research showing that people who have suffered from long COVID are at far greater risk of blood clots, while Mary van Beusekom discusses how COVID-19 and other severe respiratory infections can lead to psychiatric disorders. And Johanna Reidy, Don Matheson and Rhema Vaithianathan write that we should be treating our public health system as essential infrastructure for its ability to avoid the time lost to illness and death when diseases are needlessly allowed to spread. 

- The Guardian reports on the numerous "carbon bombs" which are being planned by fossil fuel companies - and the reality that no climate plan can survive the damage major oil and gas companies plan to inflict on our planet if given the chance to do so. James Dyke and Julia Steinberger write that every increment of global warming we can prevent is worth the effort in the name of survivability even if we're falling short of the promises made to future generations. Natasha Bulowski and John Woodside report on the Libs' continued subsidies for carbon pollution - most recently through a loan guarantee putting the public on the hook for the Trans-Mountain pipeline. Darren Shore argues that it's long past time to stop handing out tax breaks to the oil industry. And Abacus Data finds plenty of interest among Ontario's population in switching to electric vehicles if their provincial government was willing to provide incentives or infrastructure.

- Pat Van Horne writes that there's no excuse for the Libs' failure to move ahead on pharmacare given the strong support from both the general public and the people working in the health care sector. But Kelly Crowe reports that the Libs have fully reversed their promises in throwing the force of the federal government behind pharma-sector profits at the expense of access to needed medications.  

- Finally, Emily Leedham points out the secretive religious sect which funneled tens of thousands of dollars into a third-party advertiser aligned with the oil sector, the Saskatchewan Party and UCP to run anti-Trudeau ads in the 2019 federal election campaign. Mack Lamoureux reports that while visible public disruptions may have ebbed and flowed, the anti-vax convoy has become a well-funded way of life for some of its participants. And Robert Reich warns that the U.S. is on the verge of what looks at best to be a profound divide, with the obvious risk of escalation into a second civil war. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction highlights the fundamentally flawed evaluation of risk which is resulting in our suffering from far more disasters than necessary. But while recognizing the problems with misplaced optimism and obliviousness to danger, Talia Lavin discusses the need to nonetheless hold out hope (and act toward its fulfilment). 

- Sam Pizzigati discusses the still-underestimated concentration of wealth as calling for the richest few to contribute far more to the common good (rather than using unimaginable riches to consolidate their own power). 

- Hannah Levintovia offers a thorough look at how private equity is taking over more and more of the U.S.' economy (and leaving less and less viable businesses in its wake while looting immediate wealth). And Matthew Cunningham-Cook warns that Wall Street is taking over more and more of the U.S.' health care system, with the goal of turning the increased denial of care into additional profits. 

- David Macdonald and Martha Friendly examine whether the child care infrastructure set up in the last couple of years actually figures to achieve the promised reductions in fees. 

- Dawn Paley writes that safe supply is the obvious answer to the epidemic of drug poisonings, even as the issue is mostly left unaddressed while countless Canadians die. 

- Finally, Monica Kidd notes the movement toward extended producer responsibility for plastic waste which is being introduced in Alberta among other provinces. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Dozing cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Smriti Mallapaty reports on new research indicating that a two-thirds of U.S. children short of vaccination eligibility have been infected with COVID-19. Hannah Farrow reports on the U.S.' preparations for another wave this fall and winter (even as Congress refuses to fund vaccines or treatments), while Ian Welsh discusses the effect of China's zero COVID policy compared to the defeatism of so many other governments.  

- Ricardo Tranjan laments the lack of willingness among Ontario's political parties to eliminate poverty. And Brennan Doherty reports on the grassroots push for a liveable income for people with disabilities. 

- Matt McGrath reports on new research showing we have at best a 50/50 chance of even limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees over the next 5 years. The Chicago Sun-Times' editorial board endorses the passage of the Biden administration's climate change investment plans. And Natasha Bulowski offers a look at the type of lobbying efforts which have undermined the type of action needed to avert a climate breakdown, while Rachel Thrasher, Blake Alexander Simmons and Kyla Tienhaara point out that the oil industry is using the threat of exorbitant claims under free trade agreements to strongarm less-compliant governments. 

- Mark Vosler offers an overview of the health effects of relying on gas for energy. And Roberta Staley examines how livestock are both affected by and contributing to the climate crisis. 

- Mike de Souza and Matt Simmons report on the RCMP's false cover stories for their violent attack on Wet’suwet’en pipeline protestors and the journalists trying to provide an accurate account of the circumstances. 

- Finally, Vanessa Balintec reports on the alarming number of Canadian workplaces which offer no safety training whatsoever to employees. And Alex Hemingway discusses how British Columbia's reintroduction of one-step certification for unions will help to ensure workers are better able to stand up for their interests.

[Edit: fixed typo.]

Monday, May 09, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Sheryl Gay Stoberg discusses how concerns about pharmaceutical profiteering and a lack of access in the developing world are developing for COVID-19 treatments just as they did for vaccines. And Cory Doctorow warns that the single positive-sounding story about stolen Ukrainian farm implements being disabled remotely shouldn't serve to excuse the glaring risks of allowing technology to be so easily disabled from afar.  

- Jeremy Klaszus discusses the inexplicable privatization of sanitation work in Calgary in the absence of even a plausible argument about either cost or service effectiveness. And Nancy Olivieri writes about the dangers of privatizing health care even as Doug Ford and other right-wing premiers push to make that the response to the impossible demands they've put on the public system through their gross negligence in the midst of a pandemic. 

- Mike Crawley notes that the cost of living is becoming the main issue in Ontario's election campaign. And Matt Gurney discusses how the Libs have chosen not to offer any meaningful policy on that or any other issue (though they do seem to be hastily copying the NDP's work in a few areas now). 

- Better Dwelling highlights how the Canadian real estate has become infused with money laundering and fraud. And Mike Hager points out that British Columbia's beneficial ownership registry is providing information useful for far more than real estate enforcement alone. 

- Finally, Jeff Shantz writes about the role of police in suppressing and even killing people living in poverty. 

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Yan Wang et al. examine the feasibility of a zero COVID policy, and find that the even the development of the Omicron variants hasn't ruled out containment through appropriate interventions. Kirsten Wiens et al. study the spread of COVID-19 in U.S. schools, finding that while public health protections were effective, their elimination resulted in substantial avoidable spread. And Jen Christensen writes about the children suffering from long COVID - and the many different ways it can manifest itself. 

- Meanwhile, Bruce Arthur warns that Pierre Poilievre is determined to turn the Cons into the Convoy Party of Canada - with hostility to both science and public health ranking among its most dangerous traits. 

- The Energy Mix highlights new research concluding that Canada stands to lose trillions of dollars as the cost of climate breakdown, making for a far higher price than taking action to reduce carbon pollution. And Kat Kerlin reports on new research about California's 2020 wildfires - with the primary new issue being one of severity rather than area. 

- Jen St. Denis discusses the distributional problems with pushing existing tenants out of the way to build transit infrastructure (and new, more expensive housing). 

- Lana Payne points out that cost-of-living clauses negotiated by unions are one of the most effective ways to make sure workers don't bear the brunt of inflation. 

- Finally, Alejandra Bravo discusses the importance of building power as part of the effort to bring about change.