Saturday, September 10, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

 Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading.

- Jim Naureckas discusses the absurdity of the New York Times (among other outlets) criticizing the idea of saving millions of lives from COVID rather than choosing to act in denial of it. Paige Ouimet points out the widespread long-term damage long COVID is inflicting on the U.S.' workforce. And Rachel Jobson interviews Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha about the need to recognize both the reality of people with disabilities generally, and the importance of listening to them in caring for those newly disabled by the pandemic.

- Becky Kane writes that an obsession with quantifying worker productivity through constant surveillance is serving mostly to undermine its theoretical purposes. 

- Justin McCurry writes about the popularity of Kohei Saito's Capital in the Anthropocene as a rallying call for degrowth and greater equality. And Owen Schalk offers his own reminder of the dangers of pursuing growth for its own sake.

- Finally, Audrey Nilson discusses new research showing that gratuitously lengthy prison sentences don't lead to community safety.

Friday, September 09, 2022

Musical interlude

ODESZA feat. Sasha Alex Sloan - Falls

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes that what information we continue to receive about COVID shows that we can't afford to stop working on preventing its spread. And Katherine Wu offers a warning as to what this winter's flu season might bring based on the experience of southern-hemisphere countries over the summer. 

- Umain Haque points out that we should have a fairly easy decision to make in determining whether to fund a transition to clean energy - as the price of doing the work would pay for itself in six years, while the long-term cost of failure is an existential threat to civilization. Max Wakefield discusses how the UK is paying an alarming price - while fossil fuel operators rake in gigantic windfall profits - due to its subsidization of oil and gas over efficiency and renewable energy. And Damien Gayle reports on research showing how oil giants' much-publicized funding for clean alternatives is a tiny fraction of the riches they've hoarded by perpetuating dirty energy. 

- Meanwhile, Damian Carrington reports on a new study showing that we're passing or approaching some of the most crucial tipping points in determining whether we fall into catastrophic climate breakdown. And David Wallace-Wells discusses how massive floods are exposing Pakistan's vulnerability to extreme weather events. 

- Eric Gardner points out that discount stores are the latest example of corporate behemoths filling their coffers at the expense of affordable necessities for workers. Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell expose the Calgary Police Service's ties to a seedy California degree mill which is supposedly providing training on crisis intervention. And Kaley Kennedy writes about the need to take profits out of child care. 

- Finally, Madeleine Carlisle discusses how U.S. libraries are in the cross-hairs due to Republican efforts to disappear books which could result in the inconvenient development of empathy and recognition of diversity. Jeff Labine warns that the extreme right is looking to take over school boards in Canada as it's already managed to do south of the border. And Bob Hepburn calls out Pierre Poilievre for fomenting the deplorable culture of bigotry and exclusion. 

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ontario's COVID-19 Science Table has published a primer on long COVID (and the need for associated supports) just in time to be abolished for interfering with the Ford PCs' message that everything is fine. Sri Taylor reports on a massive jump in U.S. cases as students have returned to classes. And Marilyn Thompson and Jenny Deam report on how Republicans in power are using the force of the state to cater to anti-vaxxers and Trumpist quackery while imposing intolerable demands on already-strained hospitals. 

- Meanwhile, Ja'han Jones writes about the poisoning of black America as a result of selectively inadequate infrastructure and deference to corporate polluters. 

- Emily Stewart interviews Nathan Tankus about the need for an authority with the ability to take rational steps in response to imminent inflation, rather relying solely on an after-the-fact response which is limited to suppressing wages and killing jobs. And Grace Blakeley writes that the UK can't afford another bout of Con austerity, while Umair Haque identifies it as the country offering the most jarring example of how not to succeed in the 21st century. 

- Kenneth Mohamed writes about the need to rein in an oil industry that's destroying our living environment in order to extract gigantic windfall profits. Max Moran points out that any plan for a just transition needs to include the development of a civil service capable of doing the work. And Brady Dennis reports on new research showing the massive amounts of land which the U.S. stands to lose to rising sea levels. 

- Finally, Bruce Arthur discusses the futility of trying to argue with radicalized rightists who are impervious to facts and rational debate. And Meghan Grant and Rachel Ward report on the attempt by Flu Trux Klan fanatics to smuggle guns into what were billed as peaceful protests - a plan which was foiled only by the fact that undercover officers were selected to carry out the operation. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Megan Ogilvie and Kenyon Wallace interview public health experts about the steps they're taking to stay safe as students return to school and another COVID wave crests. Dilshad Burman points out the increased risks to workers when isolation periods are eliminated, while Megan Molteni writes about the difficulties facing people whose access to health care is turned into a game of Russian roulette in the absence of making requirements. And even as current policy fails to account for the harms to health lasting far after an initial infection, David Axe discusses the perils of new mutations which could result in longer infections to begin with.  

- Simon Black observes that while workers have fought to stand their ground at times in the course of the pandemic, there's ample room to seek improvements in wages and working conditions. Kim Kelly makes the case for workers to push to unionize. Jim Stanford discusses both why the Bank of Canada should be pivoting away from interest rate hikes in the face of a slowing economy, and why it's all too likely to keep reducing employment in the name of fighting inflation caused by matters beyond its control. And Darren Shore points out that Canada is far behind many peer countries in implementing taxes on the wealthy which would both improve public balance sheets and reduce inflation from where it produces the most unfair consequences. 

- Trevor Melanson and David Colletto argue that the path to needed climate action is to highlight the connection between a just transition to clean energy and relief from high non-renewable energy prices. And Nick Gottlieb points out that Canada is falling far short of the mark in funding energy efficiency retrofits. 

- Molly Taft reports that the same Gulf of Mexico oil field which caught fire last year is now spewing methane into the atmosphere. And Bob Weber reports on a new lawsuit seeking to hold Alberta's government accountable for the cumulative environmental effects of the fossil fuel industry and other development. 

- Finally, Andy Kroll and Justin Elliott report on Barry Seid's "attack philanthropy" seeking to weaponize wealth to undermine social organization. Leah Gazan writes about the rise of far-right extremism in Canada as one of the offshoots of the cultivation of a fascist movement in the U.S. And Jeff Shantz calls attention to the horrors of vigilante violence against unhoused people. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Centre of attention cats. 


Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Bruce Arthur laments the message being sent by Ontario's government that there's no need to care about other people in the face of an ongoing pandemic, while Norm Farrell discusses British Columbia's sliding back into a neglect phase. Anne Flaherty reports on the young workers losing their careers to long COVID. And Grady McGregor reports on China's development and approval of a nasal vaccine which offers the prospect of better protection to those who haven't been sacrificed to COVID-19 before it's available. 

- Meanwhile, John Michael McGrath writes that governments which have gone out of their way to eliminate COVID protections can't plausibly expect to keep any promises that schools will stay open. 

- Rosa Saba reports on the disconnect between a hot job market and the continued refusal by employers to pay people accordingly, while Nojoud Al Malles talks to labour leaders about the growing gap between stagnant (or worse) real wages and record profits. 

- Andrea Houston discusses how Canada's public health care system is being sabotaged by politicians eager to chop it up into profitable pieces. And Sanah Ashan notes that mental health - like health care generally - needs to be based on recognition of the importance of the social determinants of health. 

- Finally, John Smith writes that any hope for a better future needs to be paired with a willingness to fight for it. And Jeremy Corbyn notes that a new spokesperson doesn't serve as justification to keep repeating the same old corporatist mistakes.

Monday, September 05, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Labour Day reading.

- David Macdonald offers a reminder that any difficulty employers are having finding workers is a result of their failing to pay wages to even match, let alone stay in front of, the cost of living. And Trish Hennessy takes a look at the politics of inflation - including the tools to support a reasonable standard of living which have mostly been ignored or ruled out in favour of blatant political bribes by governments who are ideologically opposed to helping people.

- Jake Rosenfeld discusses how the disconnect between low unemployment and continued exploitation is resulting in greater recognition of the importance of unions. And David Beers interviews Enda Brophy about the efforts of gig workers to fight back against platforms designed to evade the protections won in the 20th century.

- Meanwhile, Jorge Renaud writes that one of the U.S.' main workarounds to avoid paying reasonable wages - the prison labour complex - does nothing to improve the future employment prospects of the inmates who have been turned into profit centres.

- Christopher Curtis writes that the CAP government's failure to rein in an epidemic of drug poisonings should be a far greater issue in Quebec's ongoing election. And Karen Ward highlights the importance of how we talk about an avoidable public health catastrophe to avoid minimizing or excusing the human cost of inaction.

- Finally, EKOS offers a look at Canadians' views of the Flu Trux Klan - with a strong majority opposing it within nearly every grouping except for those who consumer disinformation on a regular basis.

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Jasmine Kerrissy and Judith Stepan-Noris examine the state of the U.S. labour movement for Labour Day. And Gil McGowan points out the many basic freedoms which are lacking for Canadian workers and their unions.

- Alex Himelfarb writes about the politics of inflation - and particularly the deliberate effort to allow profits to rise while suppressing any associated improvement in wages. And Ted Johnson discusses the significance of even modest student debt relief in making clear that working people can benefit from public policy choices.

- Jeremy Clifton and Nicholas Kerry study the values which best map to political ideology, and find that the most important dividing line is not based on fear (as often assumed) but the acceptance of hierarchy and inequality. And Ariel Kalil et al. find that welfare restrictions driven by both neoliberal and conservative politicians served to exacerbate those factors by preventing parents living in poverty from providing needed emotional support to their children.

- Kevin Rennert et al. find that our current estimates of the social cost of carbon - though far higher than the prices set by public policy - are themselves far short of sufficient to account for the damage wrought by carbon pollution. And Megan Rowling reports on the prospect of a rapid transition if only the money currently spent on fossil fuel subsidies is instead put into a clean economy. 

- Finally, Kate Aronoff writes about Mississippi's example of eco-apartheid, while the Economist's review of two new books points out the imminent reality of large number of climate refugees from around the globe.