Saturday, August 06, 2022

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Kayla Kuhfeldt et al. study the effect of a combined vaccine and masking policy, and find that those basic public health measures were almost entirely effective at stopping the transmission of COVID-19 at a large university. But Gregg Gonsalves writes that far too many political leaders are simply unwilling to do what they know needs to be done (and will work) to keep people safe from the multiple diseases posing new threats - as evidenced by a response to monkeypox which features the worst mistakes of the reaction to COVID without any precautions to balance them out.

- Matt Gurney calls out Doug Ford and the Ontario PCs for refusing to be honest about the crisis in the public health care system. Joey Chini reports on the story of one Albertan who had to perform medical procedures for a loved one due to a complete failure of hospital capacity. 

- Philippa Nuttall highlights the need to fight to save a habitable planet rather than giving up in the face of conveniently-placed doomism. Any Guy Quenneville reports on Canada's complete lack of a response to Antonio Guterres' call for fair taxes on the fossil fuel industry, while Geoffrey Morgan reports on the gigantic dividends being paid out by oil companies while they demand subsidies and concessions.

- M.V. Ravana writes that any attempt to push small nuclear reactors is a matter of hype, wishcasting and climate delay rather than realistic expectation.

- Paul Kershaw discusses how having wealthy homeowners pay their fair share can play a major role in ensuring people have access to the housing they need.

- Finally, Gary Mason rightly calls out the dangerous level of irrational hate and rage being fomented by the right in Canada.

Friday, August 05, 2022

Musical interlude

Jessie Frye feat. Timecop1983 - Faded Memory

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Elizabeth Yuko reports on the Biden administration's creation of an office to address long COVID, while Joe Middleton reports on the soaring number of Britons excluded from economic and social participation due to the disease. And Erin Prater reports on new CDC research finding large numbers of rare pediatric health problems caused by COVID-19. 

- Jacelyn Wingerter discusses her chaotic experience as a newly-employed nurse in a collapsed Saskatchewan health care system. And Madeline Smith reports that Edmonton is the latest home of systematized hallway medicine as emergency rooms struggle to cope with their case loads.  

- Paul Sinclair writes that nobody can afford continued delay in working to avert a climate breakdown. Damian Carrington examines how the global warming already locked in is exacerbating the effects of extreme weather. And David Gelles reports on the Republican climate destruction zealots who are not only refusing to take any action to rein in climate change, but setting out to punish anybody who tries. 

- Jason Warick follows up on the growing list of students reporting abuse at the private schools which have been promoted and funded by the Saskatchewan Party, even as the government provides its tacit approval by refusing to lift a finger to protect students unless a police investigation results in criminal charges. 

- Finally, Nathan Robinson reviews Luke Savage's The Dead Center as making a compelling case against establishment liberalism which couples a professed commitment to positive social change with a determination to put barriers in its way. 

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Bedir Alihsan et al. examine the effectiveness of face masks in preventing COVID-19 infections in both health care and community settings. And Taiyler Simone Mitchell and Catherine Schuster-Bruce note that the loss of smell may be returning as a signature symptom in the Omicron BA.5 wave.

- Andrew Jackson reviews Stephen McBride's Escaping Dystopia, and writes that while it's not too late to escape the dystopian results of neoliberalism run amok, we need a strong reassertion of the role of the state to serve the public interest in order to get there. And Tom Blackburn calls out Keir Starmer's choice to attack labour rather than ensuring that working people see their voices and interests represented by his party.  

- Penny Daflos reports on the increasing intrusion of private agencies even in staffing British Columbia's public health care system. And Tzeporah Berman makes the case for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty to avoid the familiar refrain of oil and gas interests complaining that no jurisdiction can be any more responsible than the most destructive regimes around the globe, while Antonio Guterres calls out the grotesque greed which is putting humanity at risk in the name of carbon pollution and windfall profits. 

- Yasmine Ghania reports on Saskatchewan's continued ranking as the Canadian province with the highest rate of homicides. And Myrna Dawson writes about the need to recognize and address femicide as a distinct form of violence. 

- Finally, David Moscrop highlights how a safe supply policy would rein in the drug poisoning crisis which continues to run out of control.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Andre Picard writes that COVID-19 remains an imminent and severe threat to our health - no matter how many people are choosing to operate in denial. Jianlyu Lai et al. examine how COVID has been transmitted, and find that aerosol transmission has been the dominant source of spread throughout the pandemic. Wency Leung writes that vaccines alone don't have any realistic prospect of bringing the pandemic to an end. And Brendan Ellis reports on a spike in COVID rates in Regina's wastewater.

- Brian Callaci and Sandeep Vaheesan discuss how a moment of inflation should represent an opportunity to consolidate gains for workers, rather than an excuse to shackle them to real income losses. And Bradley Hughes offers a reminder that strike activity may be needed to ensure workers can pursue their fair share. 

- Meanwhile, Carl Cannon examines Americans' attitudes toward billionaires - which include a stark rejection of the "greed is good" mantra which serves as the primary underpinning of capitalist planning. 

- Hamilton Nolan writes that there's an inescapable "us or them" choice between the oil companies profiting from carbon pollution and political instability, and the rest of humanity which needs a life-sustaining planet to have any future. And Jasper Jolly confirms that fossil fuel concerns themselves have no interest in averting climate breakdown. 

- Stan Cox writes about the connection between the extraction economy, white supremacism and creeping fascism. And Susan Delacourt discusses how the forces behind the Flu Trux Klan's violent occupation of Ottawa are now trying to establish a permanent presence in the city (and elsewhere). 

- Finally, Jason Warick reports on both the Saskatchewan Party's funneling of public money toward a private school with a history of abusing students, and the government's false denial of being aware of the problem. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cats hanging on.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The Globe and Mail's editorial board writes that we're being left to navigate an ongoing pandemic in the dark as governments choose not to provide either resources or information to protect public health. Riley Acton et al. study (PDF) how vaccine mandates reduced COVID spread at U.S. colleges, while Prabir Purkayastha notes that everybody is suffering for the WTO's decision to prioritize pharmaceutical profits over the availability of vaccines. Emily Clark discusses how habitual mask-wearing has allowed Japan, Singapore and South Korea to avoid the death toll of the Omicron COVID wave experienced elsewhere. And Sky News reports on the emerging recognition of multiple forms of long COVID.

- Kevin Wasko writes about the lessons we should be taking from the calamitous failures of Canada's senior care system. But Chris Hannay reports that provinces are instead enabling more of our health care system to fall into profit-motivated corporate hands, while Tom Yun reports on the worsening staffing shortages in our public health care system. 

- George Monbiot writes that a pattern of unprecedented heat waves should make clear that we can't count on small actions to avert a climate breakdown, while Damian Carrington reports on the warning from climate scientists that societal collapse and even human extinction represent increasingly foreseeable scenarios if we keep spewing carbon pollution. Christy Climenhaga examines how climate change is altering Canada's forest regions, while Nouran Salahieh and Claudia Dominguez report on the latest wildfires in California. And Peter McKenna points out the looming prospect that an increasingly parched U.S. will look to Canada to divert water for its use. 

- Émile Boisseau-Bouvier and Laura Cameron call the bluff of the Libs' weasel wording by setting out a framework which a fossil fuel subsidy would have to meet in order to avoid being "inefficient". And Aitor Hernandez-Morales writes about the success of Pontevedra, Spain in prioritizing car-free development.  

- Finally, Anna Cooban reports on the results of the UK's trial with a four-day work week, along with earlier pilot programs which showed it's possible to maintain productivity without demanding the work days currently required of most workers. 

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your long weekend reading.

- David Macdonald writes that if there's a risk of a recession being caused by interest rate hikes, it's because people with wealth and power have chosen to engineer one on purpose. And Ken Klippenstein and Jon Schwarz report on an internal Bank of America memo stating that the hope is to undercut labour strength at a point when people are in a position to demand higher wages and better treatment.

- Zeke Hausfather discusses how we're on track for yet another summer of record-breaking heat as a result of a worsening climate breakdown, while Robin McKie writes about Bill McGuire's observations on both how much had gone awry already and how much worse matters will get if we don't reverse course immediately. And Julia Conley reports that catastrophic flooding in Kentucky represents another extreme weather event traceable to the climate crisis.

- Justin Mikulka writes about the hopeful signs that the gas industry won't lock us into methane-dependent "blue" hydrogen due to the lower cost of renewable alternatives - though we still need to be wary of fossil fuel sector lobbying to have governments put a thumb on the scale. And Paris Marx writes that a shift to electric vehicles alone won't be anywhere near enough to make a dent if it's not paired with policies to reduce car dependence.

- Meanwhile, Paul Dechene offers a reminder of the City of Regina's broken promises to address people's core needs eventually after funneling money toward shiny megaprojects - as it's now looking at a new round of sports and entertainment spending after doing nothing to work on the housing and revitalization which was supposed to be paired with the construction of a brand new Mosaic Stadium.

- Finally, Andrea Hsu discusses the millions of Americans suffering from long COVID, and the ripple effects of their being unable to work as before in an environment where employers don't bother offering required accommodations.