Saturday, July 09, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder discusses the imminent prospect of a majority of Americans suffering from long COVID as more and more dangerous variants are allowed to run rampant. And Courtney Greenberg reports on a new finding that half of Canada's population was infected over a period of only five months at the start of 2022.

- Marco Chown Oved examines how grocery stores have been hiking prices, and finds it to be a matter of profiteering rather than merely passing along costs. And David Macdonald warns that sharp increases in interest rates are virtually guaranteed to cause a recession while doing little to help curb the inflation most people are facing.

- David Wallace-Wells rightly questions why we accept (and largely ignore) the eight-figure annual death toll from air pollution. And Sonia Furstenau makes the case for a windfall profit tax on the energy giants who are simultaneously gouging customers and overheating our planet.

- Charles Rusnell reports on the UCP's attempt to conceal the concentration of drug poisonings in Edmonton and elsewhere. 

- Finally, Rachel Gilmore examines the deep links between Con MPs and open racists and white supremacists. And Max Fawcett rightly labels the party as a whole as the Convoy Party of Canada.

Friday, July 08, 2022

Musical interlude

Lost Synths - Don't Mind

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Benjamin Mazer writes that of all the other public health analogies, COVID-19 may prove most similar to smoking in the systematic failure of governments to take readily-available steps to prevent widespread harm. Beth Mole reports on research showing that COVID was the leading cause of death of Americans aged 45 to 54 in the first three quarters of 2021. And Benjamin Shingler reports on the new wave cresting due to the BA.5 subvariant, while Katie Anthony and Andrea Michelson discuss the danger of repeated infections at short intervals. 

- Meanwhile, Zak Vescera reports on the glaring gap between the messaging conveyed to the public about Saskatchewan's public health measures in 2021, and the recognition by Dr. Shahab and others that it was grossly insufficient. And Patrick Collison writes that the prospect of universal COVID vaccines is running into a lack of interest in developing new versions which could be more easily administered and more effective against variants.  

- Carolyn Ferns discusses how Ontario's private child care operators have proven they can't be trusted with the task of building an effective system for families. Tom Conway highlights how unions are having to take the lead in pushing for safety in all kinds of workplaces. And Christine Saulnier points out the continued need for paid sick days for the sake of everybody's health. 

- Damian Carrington reports on new research showing that investment in plant-based proteins is the most effective use of carbon mitigation funding. And Geoff Dembicki discusses how the oil industry's history of deception includes pushing carbon capture and storage which it has known for decades to be ineffective. 

- Finally, Shane Wright discusses how Australia's Labour government is ensuring that its budget is assessed based on public well-being, not merely on GDP or profits. 

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Chas Danner writes about the arrival of the BA.5 COVID-19 surge in the U.S. Nora Loreto writes about the thousands of Canadians who died of COVID acquired in hospitals - and the many people who continue to get sick from it. Kenyon Wallace and Megan Ogilvie report on new research showing the disproportionate concentration of COVID deaths among lower-income Ontarians. And Sophie Mellor reports on the belated recognition by federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos that it's impossible to stay fully immunized against COVID without regular boosters - even as doctors in both Ontario and Saskatchewan are desperately trying to prod negligent provincial governments to lift a finger to make additional vaccination doses available to people who need them. 

- Meanwhile, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke discusses research showing how the body's immune response to COVID may damage the brain. And Aron Emmi et al. find an immune response to COVID which extends to the brain stem. 

- Robert Reich calls out the attempt by Jeff Bezos and other corporate tycoons to use inflation as a pretense to redistribute the product of price increases away from workers. And David Milstead reports that CEOs took massive pay increases in 2021 without anybody complaining about any impact on prices. 

- Meanwhile, David Moscrop rightly points out that the inflation excuse is merely the latest example of how a capitalist system is designed to extract wealth from the working class to benefit the privileged few. And Stephanie Brobbey offers some suggestions for change from the perspective of somebody who has been employed enabling the wealthy to abuse the current system. 

- Finally, George Monbiot writes that we may be reaching the conclusion of the contest between democracy and plutocracy, with our future as a species hanging in the balance. And Umair Haque discusses how the U.S. is in the final stages of a collapse. 

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cats at home.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Eric Topol discusses the ominous rise of the Omicron BA.5 COVID-19 subvariant. Katelyn Thomas reports that Quebec has joined the jurisdictions demanding that people manage their own risk while depriving them of the information needed to properly evaluate it. Nick Natale, John Lukens and William Petri Jr. review the effects of COVID on the nervous system. Andre Picard writes about the imminent rollout of another round of vaccines. And for those inclined to pretend there's nothing that can be done to stop the spread, Shane Landry et al. find that the combination of fit-tested N95 masks and air filtration is sufficient to protect even against high viral loads over prolonged periods at close range. 

- Sharon Eubanks writes that oil and gas giants can rightly expect to face the same fate as tobacco companies in having to make reparations for their prolonged dishonesty and harm to the public, while Camilla Hodgson reports on litigation in Peru which is leading the way. And Kate Ravilious highlights how the effect of methane in contributing to climate breakdown is even worse than previously anticipated. 

- Owen Jones discusses how the sudden and vicious attacks on LGBTQ rights in the name of a violent patriarchy represent a threat to women as well. 

- Finally, James Hutt reports from the Labor Notes conference, including a surge in organizing which offers hope for the future of organized labour and workers generally. 

Monday, July 04, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes that the decision to stop doing anything to limit the spread of COVID-19 is opening the door for a forever plague. Olivia Bowden and Kenyon Wallace report on the start of a summer COVID-19 wave in Ontario, while Cindy Harnett discusses how one is also cresting in British Columbia. And Erin Prater examines the groups of people (covering a large proportion of the population) who are most likely to be vulnerable to long COVID, while Megan Leonhardt reports on the failure of far too many employers to support workers who suffer from it. 

- Fawziah Rabiah-Mohammed, Abe Oudshoorn, Cindy Brown and Luc Theriault discuss the need for Canada to build more housing for immigrants and migrants. And Holly Funk writes that Saskatchewan's minimum wage continues to fall far short of what people need to live. 

- Lori Fox discusses British Columbia's climate refugees pushed out of their homes by unprecedented fires and smoke. And Thomson Reuters reports that glaciers are becoming increasingly unstable as our planet keeps overheating. 

- Finally, Dayne Patterson reports on the revelation that the RCMP spied on advocates for Medicare. And Dennis Gruending rightly treats that as an example of Canada's police state being used to push the wrong side of history. 

Sunday, July 03, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Jim Stanford laments the likelihood that we're headed for a self-inflicted recession in the name of an arbitrary inflation target. 

- Acey Rowe talks to about the Craig Desson about the mechanisms used to perpetuate old wealth. And Rupert Neate writes about Gary Stevenson's story as someone who made large amounts of money in financial trading - but only through intolerable betting on needless suffering and growing inequality.

- Meanwhile, Mitchell Thompson calls out the Canada Infrastructure Bank's demand to turn essential public water supplies into sources of profits and management fees. 

- Ayurella Horn-Muller reports on some of the global responses to SCOTUS' decision to condemn humanity to a climate breakdown. And the Council of Canadians has released new Abacus polling data showing that Canadians recognize the need for strong climate action even when weighed against immediate economic interests.

- The Ottawa Citizen's editorial board weighs in on the need to combat intimate-partner violence.

- Finally, Umair Haque writes that we're all too likely to look back on the summer of 2022 as the start of an age of crisis.