Friday, August 19, 2022

Musical interlude

The Paper Kites - Walk Above the City

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jacques Poitras exposes how New Brunswick's end to public health measures in response to COVID-19 was based on a single flawed study linked to libertarian think tanks. Alexander Quon reports on both the worrisome substance of the Moe government's latest monthly COVID report as well as the continued degradation of information, while Zak Vescera reports that Dr. Saqib Shahab is finally recommending that people consider the value of wearing masks in public spaces. And CBC News reports on UBC research which hints at an exploitable weak spot in all existing COVID variants - though it remains to be seen whether politicians will once again allow anti-science cranks to undermine the effectiveness of any newly developed vaccines and treatments. 

- Meanwhile, Jacqueline Howard reports on new research showing that nearly half of cancer deaths could be preventable based on just a few underlying risk factors. And Lee Fang reports on Eli Lilly's use of a "community development" charity to lobby for insulin profiteering. 

- Nick Butler discusses how the oil industry has become all the more greedy and destructive over the past few decades - and how public control could ensure it doesn't operate as a barrier to a healthy environment and energy security. And Kyle Bakx examines both the windfall profits being reaped by Canada's oil sector, and the complete lack of any resulting social benefit as it uses the money to lobby against the climate and goose its own share prices. 

- Sonali Kolhatkar discusses how new labour organizing - particularly by young people, women and people of colour - can help improve workplaces for everybody.

- Finally, Luke LeBrun reports on a terrorism assessment confirming that the Flu Trux Klan - endorsed by so many of the Cons and their right-wing cousins - served as an organizing point for violent extremism. And Laura Osman reports on how the anti-reality convoy has taken root, and is now using pseudo-law to lay claim to a headquarters after it has been evicted. 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Jason Gale reports on new research showing how COVID-19 can cause impacts on the brain for a period of years (with no apparent end in sight). And Saima May Sidik discusses the long-lasting cardiovascular problems which may also follow from an infection. But Sean Boynton reports that the choice to "let 'er rip" is resulting in even the acute measures of hospitalizations and deaths being higher than in the previous two years of the pandemic - while Isaac Callan and Colin D'Mello expose how the Ford PCs (presumably not alone among their right-wing cousins) were more interested in slashing costs and services than ensuring people had the tools to deal with COVID.

- Meanwhile, Brady Bouchard warns that family physicians won't be able to paper over the destruction of other elements of the health care system for long. And Jeremy Simes reports on the plight of one Regina patient wrestling with the possibility of seeking an MRI at his own expense, while CKOM reports on the Moe government's explicit choice to start diverting surgical patients to Alberta based on their ability to pay for their own travel. 

- Don Pittis discusses how workers shouldn't see an eventual drop in inflation as much of a win if it means their real income has been eroded by a combination of corporate-driven price increases and artificially suppressed wages. And Greg Jericho highlights how wages are falling far short of keeping up with theoretical labour demand in Australia. 

- Owen Jones writes about a rare but welcome step in unionizing a London nightclub - offering an example for all kinds of workers in precarious service jobs.  

- Finally, Erika Shaker offers a primer on student debt in Canada - and the value of removing the limitations faced by young workers as they complete their education with massive debt burdens. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Anne Sosin and Ranu Dhillon write that it's long past time to take the well-documented and devastating effects of long COVID into account as part of the measure of public health policy. And with a few provinces finally making second booster shots available, Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti offer their take on the considerations to be taken into account in deciding whether to get boosted. 

- Fahad Razak et al. write that we can't begin to ameliorate a collapsing health care system without getting COVID-19 under control. And Kenyon Wallace reports on the warning from emergency room physicians about the crisis at the St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto, while Alexander Quon reports on the prospect that laboratory services disruptions in Saskatchewan are set to get even worse. 

- Isabella Weber and Mark Paul discuss how interest rate hikes will only exacerbate the difficulties faced by the working class as a result of corporate-driven inflation. Lana Payne writes that consumers should be angry at CEOs rather than workers for exploiting the opportunity to take windfall profits. And Adam King discusses how the left can find an opportunity in labour shortages. 

- Ă‰mile Boisseau-Bouvier and Laura Cameron highlight how the Libs are set to miss their deadline to end fossil fuel subsidies - and are hiding behind weasel wording to avoid any action at all. 

- Finally, Chris Hedges warns that the U.S. in particular is headed toward irreversible civilizational decline.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

 Upturned cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Eric Topol writes that the only sensible response to the increased death and sickness from COVID-19 is to dedicate our efforts to fully containing it. And Jessica Nelson reports on research from the University of Alberta showing the massive health care costs alone traceable to unvaccinated people, while Enxhi Kondi reminds us that photo ops dedicated to new beds is useless when it's paired with a plan to refuse to respect or support the workers needed to keep hospitals functioning. 

- Meanwhile, Nakia Lee-Foon examines some of the ways in which COVID and our corporate-driven responses exacerbated inequalities. And Katherine Scott finds that the federal government's all-too-temporary willingness to ensure people had some source of income led to a drastic drop in poverty. 

- Clare Coffey writes that people can't be blamed for finding it difficult to cope with a capitalist system designed to extract every possible resource from them. Jim Stewartson discusses the obvious problems with arranging our economy and society so as to systematically treat psychopathic traits as preconditions to positions of power and wealth. Jeff Sommer points out how a growing proportion of the U.S.' economy is devoted to stock buybacks rather than anything which does anything but enrich existing shareholders and corporate insiders. And Jeff Schurhke reports on Starbucks' union-busting crime spree - and the need for unions and workers alike to counter it. 

- Finally, Derek Eaton and Anik Islam write that the U.S.' climate change legislation can help lay the groundwork for a clean transition in Canada. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- CBC News reports on the rise of COVID levels in Saskatchewan cities' wastewater. David Axe reports on the development of the BA.4.6 variant which looks likely to represent an even greater threat than the currently-dominant version. And Bruce Mirken discusses how the failure to recognize and mitigate the risk of long COVID has resulted in the U.S. (and Canada) sleepwalking toward disaster. 

- Meanwhile, Zak Vescera reports that overburdened hospitals in Saskatoon are clogging up other elements of the health care system, including the availability of ambulances which are spending hours waiting to hand off patients.

- The Washington Post maps the extreme heat covering much of the U.S. Jon Henley reports on the extreme drought which is drying up rivers in Europe, while Darrell Roberts reports on the fires threatening communities in Newfoundland which are being exacerbated by a lack of moisture. And Chris Saltmarsh discusses how the privatization of water has made it more difficult to protect limited resources against the effects of a climate breakdown. 

- Jacques Gallant reports on the federal government's failure to act despite being well aware of the drug poisoning crisis.

- Finally, Aaron Saad wonders whether we've devolved to the point of living in post-empathy times, while noting that collective acceptance of the view that we don't need to care about each other is an obvious predictor of impending fascism.