Saturday, July 30, 2022

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Matthew Sitman writes about the fundamentally anti-social values being pushed by U.S. Republicans and their right-wing cousins - as well as the desperate need for pushback from progressives who actually value communities and the people who live in them. Gregg Gonsalves writes that the U.S.' political system as a whole is painfully prepared to let people die, whether based on explicit greed or simply a lack of willingness to fight to value their lives. And Jim Harding discusses how the health care crisis in many Canadian provinces is entirely the result of right-wing premiers' political distaste for public care services.

- Jessica Corbett analyzes how hikes in U.S. gas prices are the result of oil industry profiteering rather than any increase to its own costs. And Brent Jang reports on the predictably soaring price tag on the Coastal Gas Link pipeline - as well as the demand that carbon-polluting gas exports be subsidized in order to ensure the pipeline operator walks away with its expected profit. 

- Meanwhile, Paris Marx discusses how big tech's posturing as the only available provider of green development opportunities often serves as one of the primary obstacles to progress.

- Zachary Carter is rightly aghast at the theory that interest rate hikes with the purpose and effect of slashing jobs and wages would serve as anything but a disaster for the economy (as it affects the majority of people). 

- Finally, Max Fawcett offers a reminder that Pierre Poilievre's attacks on "gatekeepers" in fact reflects a desire to demolish institutions which protect people against abuse by the wealthy and powerful. 

Friday, July 29, 2022

Friday Night Cat Blogging

Laundered cats.

Musical interlude

PVRIS - Anyone Else

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Rhythm Sachdeva reports on research which has documented the effectiveness of COVID-19 testing in advance of events (just in time for governments to take that tool away from people as well). And Andrew Gregory reports on the prospect of a vaccine which might eventually be effective against COVID as well as the common cold. 

- The Globe and Mail's editorial board points out that public dashboards may be one of the best ways of ensuring our health care system is functional - though it's telling that the COVID versions used as an example have themselves been dismantled due to the preference of far too many governments to keep their citizenry uninformed. And Alexander Quon reports on a Saskatchewan Union of Nurses survey which fills in some of the province's information gap with a finding that an overwhelming majority of nurses are reporting staffing shortages in their workplaces. 

- Rebecca Solnit and Terry Tempest Williams write that there's no room for delay or equivocation in putting a halt to climate breakdown. And Gary Fuller discusses how increasing heat is even more deadly when connected to air pollution and other environmental factors. 

- Aidan MacNab reports on the litigation being used as a means to hold the oil industry accountable for its contribution to (and enrichment from) the climate crisis. And Carbon Tracker points out the dangers of allowing oil producers to grab windfall profits while deferring any holdback for cleanup obligations. 

- Finally, Gary Warth discusses the reality that homelessness is caused in large part by a lack of available and affordable housing, rather than by the personal circumstances of the people who suffer it. And Ramenda Cyrus' point that social housing should be treated as the equivalent of public health care is particularly apt in a country which prides itself on a commitment to the universality of the latter.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Andrew Gregory reports on new research showing that tens of millions of adults may already be facing long-term loss of smell and/or taste as a result of COVID even as further waves are allowing to run rampant. And Kevin Woodward implores us to get control over monkeypox before it too is able to harm people through uncontrolled spread. 

- Linda McQuaig discusses how hikes in interest rates in the name of fighting inflation serves primarily to enrich the already-wealthy at the expense of everybody else, while Robert Reich similarly criticizes the U.S. Federal Reserve for rate boosts which serve none of their intended purposes. And Sarah Butler reports on some of the food staples which are increasing in price with the primary effect of goosing corporate profits. 

- Justin Vassallo discusses why progressives shouldn't be shy about trade policy - both because it's a necessary element to an equitable economy, and because we've been absolutely right about the effects of reckless deregulation and corporatization.  

- Meanwhile, Joshua Schneyer, Mica Rosenberg and Kristina Cooke expose how Hyundai has been using child labour in its Alabama manufacturing facilities. 

- Ramenda Cyrus discusses the need for social housing as both a countercyclical economic force, and a right all too often being denied to the people who need it most. 

- Finally, Monique Welch reports on the certainty that Texas inmates will die from extreme heat in facilities which aren't equipped with needed air conditioning. PA Media points out new research showing that air pollution is likely to raise dementia levels and exacerbate cognitive decline in an aging population. Ketan Joshi writes that in the face of a supposed consensus on the need to avert climate breakdown, Australia's new government is planning on pushing exports whose carbon pollution will far exceed any reductions from domestic use. And Sandy Garossino makes the case for suing major fossil fuel companies based on their knowing damage to our planet, combined with the deliberate cover-up and misinformation which continue to create obstacles to amelioration. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- David Adams examines the evidence that COVID-19 remains infectious far longer than assumed by politicized public health messaging. And Ted Raymond reports that Ottawa has already seen more COVID deaths in 2022 than in 2021, confirming that the end of public health protections has been disastrous even by the painfully low bar of considering fatalities alone. 

- Zak Vescera reports on Dr. Ivar Mendez' warning that diverting public money to private surgical clinics will only exacerbate the staffing shortages caused by the Moe government's disinterest in a functional health care system. And Michael Gorman reports that Nova Scotia's PCs are following the usual right-wing playbook of rank patronage in the service of the destruction of public service capacity, with two personal friends of Premier Tim Houston having been appointed to oversee the gutting of Crown corporations. 

- Noah Smith contrasts China's strategic development of technology which actually serves useful purposes against the U.S.' focus on extracting wealth from people through hype and misdirection. 

- Finally, Umair Haque discusses the need for economies to evolve in order to survive the ecological shocks which are striking with increasing frequency and intensity. And Tom Green and Stephen Thomas highlight how Canada has immense potential to develop an economy powered by zero-emission renewables.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- John Donne Potter discusses how an increase in reinfections is exacerbating the risk of long COVID. And Mark Kekatos reports that numerous U.S. cities are looking at reimplementing mask mandates as their case loads spiral out of control in the course of the BA.5 COVID wave. 

- Meanwhile, Zak Vescera reports that the Saskatchewan Party is once again focused on turning health care into a profit centre for its donors rather than a vital service for people, this time by doubling down on their failed attempt to address surgical backlogs with private clinics. 

- Alistair Steele reports on the labour shortage arising out of the demographic shift which has been foreseeable for decades, but never dealt with meaningful plans for succession. And Sarah O'Connor discusses how the UK is choosing to exploit migrant labour to fill care positions rather than creating viable working conditions for its own workforce - which is of course a familiar phenomenon in Saskatchewan as well. 

- Umair Irfan discusses how the EU's devastating heat wave is merely a hint of what's to come. And Umair Haque writes that our political leaders have no plan other than to tell people to learn for themselves to live with an apocalypse. 

- Finally, Wayne Poole notes that the end of the combustion engine vehicle is in sight - but that's not stopping the car industry from looking to push the largest polluters they can in the meantime. 

Monday, July 25, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Sasha Warren reports on new research showing that people suffering from long COVID may not be fully clearing the coronavirus from their systems even after being treated as having recovered. Steven Findlay writes about the need for public health protections based on the increasing recognition of the harms of long COVID. And Matthew Herper and Lev Facher report on the Biden administration's plans to push for a new generation of vaccines which do more to protect against infection - though it's not clear what resources will be available for the effort. 

- Dean Baker warns against allowing the U.S. Federal Reserve (and other central banks) to be bullied into inflicting an avoidable recession on workers in the name of stifling already-stagnant wages. And Umair Haque writes that part of the increase in sticker prices is the result of the bill coming due for unsustainable practices. 

- Kaija Jussinoja reports on the introduction of armed police into grocery stores to protect the profits of the same tycoons who have enriched themselves through systematic price-fixing. 

- Aaron Wherry highlights how leaders who care in the slightest about public well-being can't afford to ignore the climate breakdown to focus on short-term complaints. But Elise von Scheel reports that the same Trudeau Libs portrayed as Wherry's comparative climate heroes are in fact musing about granting the oil industry yet another delay in addressing carbon pollution. Naomi Oreskes discusses how far too many mitigation plans rely on fictitious large-scale carbon capture and sequestration. And Jane McMullen reports on new revelations about the fossil fuel sector's PR campaign to deliberately sow doubt about scientific fact in order to keep polluting with impunity. 

- Finally, Conor Dougherty and Ben Casselman point out that a downturn in private home building and sales (which is inevitable based on interest rate hikes) is the perfect time for governments to invest in building social housing.