Saturday, May 28, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Katherine Wu warns about the consequences of the powers that be deciding that people will be subjected to repeated COVID-19 infections. And Saba Qasmieh et al. examine the difference between reported case numbers and actual COVID prevalence, and find that the data now being provided may underestimate case counts by 30 times due to the choice not to conduct systematic testing. 

- The Globe and Mail's editorial board discusses how density - not further publicly-subsidized sprawl - represents a key part of the solution to ensuring people's right to housing is met. 

- Marco Chown Oved, Kenyon Wallace and Ed Tubb call out the Ford PCs' plan to shovel billions more public dollars toward the well-connected private long-term care home operators which saw some of the worst death rates in the course of the COVID pandemic. And Stephen Magusiak and Luke LeBrun report that Doug Ford's shady activities include having inner-circle operatives put one of his own cabinet ministers under surveillance. 

- Duncan Kinney exposes how the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is exploiting a loophole intended for community groups to avoid property tax on most of a $11 million commercial property - and how the provincial government is allowing the business lobby tax advantages which aren't available for labour organizations. 

- Finally, Umair Haque laments the ongoing - and indeed worsening - carnage in the U.S. most recently exemplified through the mass murders in Buffalo and Uvalde. Elizabeth Bruenig writes about the U.S.' final descent into utter nihilism as yet another preventable  massacre of children produces public outcry but absolutely no policy response. And Sigal Samuel writes about the debate over grossly insufficient estimates of the social cost of carbon in the U.S. - and the reality that any reasonable valuation of human rights and a viable existence for future generations would make any avoidable carbon pollution untenable. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Musical interlude

Jarryd James - Do You Remember

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jennifer Hulme discusses how long COVID is causing devastating long-term effects on women in particular, with little apparent prospect of treatment to improve matters. And Linda Gaudino's report on the prevalence of long COVID offers an important reminder that the damage is both economic and physical. 

- Emily Leedham surveys the response of Ontario's major unions to Doug Ford's attempt to claim to have workers' interests in mind. And Adam King argues that Canadian labour law should be changed to enhance the right to strike - particularly by ensuring that non-union workers are able to strike in order to effect change in the workplace. 

- The CCPA examines how Saskatchewan's minimum wage continues to lag far below the cost of living even for a two-income family. And Don Pittis discusses how Canadians generally are seeing a need to cut back on consumer spending.

- Mitchell Beer reports on Caroline Dennett's revelations about Shell's complete disregard for the need for climate action despite a glossy greenwashing campaign. Innovative Research Group examines Canadian public opinion on the need for a just transition - with the phrasing of a particular question having an outsized effect on many respondents' support for change. 

- Sharon Udasin reports on Massachusetts' move to sue manufacturers over the "forever chemicals" used in a fire suppressant. 

- Finally, David Moscrop writes that the planned Rogers-Shaw merger is just the latest indication that private telecoms can't be expected to serve as anything but profit extractors - strengthening the case for public providers to ensure people have access to information. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Sara Reardon discusses new research showing that vaccination has only a limited effect on the prevalance of long COVID among people who wind up getting infected, while Cindy Harnett offers a reminder that the best way to limit the likelihood of long-term symptoms is to avoid catching COVID at all. Jaela Berntsen looks for answers to some of the questions people still have about masking, including by identifying the need to keep masking after an infection. And Kay Lazar reports on research showing that people who receive Paxlovid may have a propensity to become highly contagious again after their treatment is done.  

- Bridget Kuehn examines the causes of the U.S. mental health crisis, with both the added stresses of the pandemic and a lack of clinicians adding to the burden on patients. 

- David Milstead and Susan Krashinsky Robertson report on Dollarama's doubling of CEO pay even as it slashes even the minimal benefits provided to workers during the pandemic. 

- Doug Henwood points out the increasing proportion of Americans identifying themselves as working-class or lower-class - though it's jarring to see that increase predominantly among supporters of the Republican party doing everything in its power to make conditions even worse for all but the ultra-rich. And Robert Reich discusses the similarities between the Republicans and Russia's oligarchy in using violent nationalism to distract from the systematic looting of the general public. 

- Finally, Jerome Foster, Julia Jackson and Alexandria Villaseñor write that continued dependence on fossil fuels is a threat to national security among other vital interests. And Paul Sutter discusses new research suggesting that we're much further than anticipated down the road toward chaotic behaviour in our climate system (rather than pattern-based damage which can be predicted and mitigated). 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Aekkachai Tuekprakhon et al. study how the Omicron COVID-19 subvariants are evading both previous immunity and existing treatments. And Zak Vescera reports on Dr. Saqib Shahab's recognition that misinformation and apathy are key factors keeping Saskatchewan's vaccination rates low - though both government policy and messaging have played a substantial role in their development. 

- Meanwhile, Dr. Kevin Wasko discusses the five key areas where Saskatchewan's health care system is in the most need of improvement.

- Isaac Callan reports on the Ford PCs' refusal to make any effort to even discuss accessibility improvements for people with disabilities. And as Vanmala Subramaniam reports, that contrasts thoroughly against their choice to grant virtually every item on the wish list of Uber and other exploiters of precarious workers seeking to avoid normal employment responsibilities. Luke Lebrun exposes the PC's approval of a candidate whose background involves scamming students through an unaccredited career college. And Randy Robinson discusses the state of the Ontario election campaign - including the strong demand for change among women.  

- Alex Hemingway highlights how an investment in public housing can be self-financing while meeting people's essential needs. 

- Barry Saxifrage examines how Canada (like other countries) fell far short of its Copenhagen climate change commitments, while AFP reports on InfluenceMap's research showing how the fossil fuel sector is trying to use Russia's attack on Ukraine as an excuse to keep ignoring any climate responsibilities. And Damian Carrington reports on Antonio Gutteres' call for young people to refuse to pursue work with climate wreckers. 

- Finally, Clint Smith rightly opines that nobody should have to live through the losses caused by the U.S.' refusal to avoid readily-preventable mass shootings. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Focused cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Nicola Davis reports on new research showing that the effects of long COVID include sustained damage to organs including the heart, lungs and kidneys. 

- Neal Wilcott and Sean Cleary discuss why businesses would be smart to plan for a net-zero emission world rather than delaying climate action and facing the risk of ecological system breakdowns as a result. But Oil Change International assesses the much-ballyhooed climate claims of the major oil companies, and finds that none of them are remotely close to operating within the imperative of meeting the world's Paris targets:

- Meanwhile, Fiona Harvey reports on the need for sharp methane cuts in order to avoid unacceptable near-term harm to our global environment. 

- Jen St. Denis writes about the potential for collective action by renters to shift a balance of power that now entirely favours commercial landlords. 

- Finally, Gaby Hinsliff notes that the resounding defeat of Australia's right-wing coalition offers hope that similar results are in store for the UK Cons and other right-wing, know-nothing populists. But Catharine Tunney reports on warnings from security experts that Canada needs a plan to decouple from the U.S. if it succumbs to the Republicans' anti-democratic bent.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- The Associated Press reports on Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's warning that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Mary Papenfuss discusses how people living in Trump-supporting counties (with lower vaccination rates driven by COVID denialism) have thus far been twice as likely to die of the coronavirus. And Ja'Han Jones writes about the latest research showing how widespread the ill effects of long COVID have been even among people fortunate enough to avoid severe initial symptoms.

- Meanwhile, Zak Vescera reports that the list of public health crises being allowed to run rampant by the Moe government includes Saskatchewan worst-ever level of HIV infection.

- Nisha Patel writes about the "shrinkflation" which is allowing corporations to pad profits while providing less of what people need. And Scott Horlsey discusses the corporate concentration that resulted in the U.S. having no baby formula available for families which desperately need it. 

- Jon Quealley writes about Oxfam's call for taxes on concentrated wealth and windfall profits to reduce poverty and inequality. And Will Bunch notes that even the oligarchs of the world are ultimately better off not competing for total domination.

- Dave Robbins interviews George Monbiot about his new book on how to sustainably feed the planet. And Mia Rabson points out the need for more resilient infrastructure and more effective disaster response to address the harm already wrought by climate change.

- Finally, Brian Topp offers a post-mortem on Jason Kenney's tenure in charge of Alberta. But Scott Schmidt warns that nobody should assume the UCP can't find someone even worse.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Irelyne Lavery reports on the increasing number of Canadians needing medical attention for the flu as COVID-related protections have been scrapped. And Wallace Immen reports on some of the possibilities to try to improve a health care system which has been put under intolerable strain by the pandemic - though it's worth noting the distinction between the people working on improving the system, and those looking to enable the extraction of wealth from it.

- Meanwhile, Ian Tucker interviews Peter Kalmus about the dangers of trying to stay on auto-pilot in a system which is obviously breaking down absent major repair. And Fiona Harvey reports on the first steps being taken toward managing geoengineering as a risky substitute for reducing avoidable carbon pollution.

- Matt Krupnick reports on research showing that thousands of dangerous chemicals can be found in food packaging.

- Kriston Capps and Sarah Holder report on the workplace organizing happening among architects in an occupation where long hours and heavy debt are the norm.

- Finally, Jordan Bollag discusses the need for the left to build capacity as a movement willing to fight for social outcomes, rather than merely as an electoral machine hoping to harvest votes on election day. And Melanie Paradis points out how the anger-driven strategy which has become the norm on the right is ultimately untenable for any party or leader.