Friday, September 16, 2022

Musical interlude

Bonobo - Rosewood

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

-  Michael Toole and Brendan Crabb write that COVID's impact on multiple types of cells and systems makes it particularly dangerous compared to the illnesses we're used to confronting, while Juliane Samara asks why there's no apparent anger and grief over soaring numbers of fatalities. Zeynep Tufecki discusses the importance of booster shots better targeted to new variants - as well as the concern that relatively few people are aware of their benefits. And Kenyon Wallace tracks down the massive number of Ontario emergency room shutdowns this summer which were swept under the rug by the Ford PCs.

- Jonah Fisher reports on new Oxford University research concluding that a transition to clean energy would save trillions of dollars by 2050 even without accounting for the benefits of averting a climate breakdown. Bill McGuire discusses the importance of doing everything we can to limit global warming - even as decades of fossil-fueled delay and denial (including that of the auto industry) may have pushed the 1.5 degree target out of reach. But Justine Calma reports on the World Meteorological Organization's conclusion that carbon pollution continues to soar to unprecedented levels, even as its devastating effects are seen in unprecedented disasters including extreme rainfall in Quebec and food shortages in France. And Umair Haque rightly characterizes the climate crisis as the express train to hell. 

- Meanwhile, Hannah Devlin reports on the developing awareness of the connection between air pollution, cancer and other threats to health. 

- Finally, Sonali Kolakhtar writes about Barbara Ehrenreich's contributions both in exposing the desperate precarity facing lower-income workers, and calling out the toxic positivity used to try to paper over it. And Jordan Barab writes about the effect of solidarity in ensuring that U.S. rail workers received at least some improvement in their working conditions - even in the face of callous disregard for their contributions by the CEOs raking in massive pay thanks to their work. 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ed Yong offers an important look at what long COVID's "brain fog" means for the people suffering from it, while Peter Thurley discusses his personal experience with it. Mark Caro reports on the work being done - and the desperate need for more attention - in studying and treating long COVID generally. And Adam Miller discusses what it means for a large majority of Canadians to have now been infected - including the reality that some incremental immunity doesn't relieve us of the need to protect against avoidable infections and reinfections. 

- Vjosa Isai reports on the general crisis in Canadian emergency rooms as provincial governments have chosen to placed constant strain on already-struggling health care workers. But Gordon Guyatt warns against being scared into accepting privatized health services which only serve to further diminish their availability for anybody but the wealthiest few. 

- Steve Wamhoff points out the need for those with the most to pay taxes like everybody else, rather than being protected by preferential regimes won through political pay-for-play. Ben Butler and Nick Evershed report on the stark gap in pay increases between Australia's CEOs and its workers generally. And Jacob Lorinc reports on the growing recognition that sharp interest rate increases will cause a recession that mostly hits workers after capitalists have already locked in their gains. 

- Marc Fawcett-Atkinson discusses the gall of the right-wing provincial governments who didn't wait a day after accepting billions from the federal government for agriculture before spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation about supports for fertilizer efficiency. And Duncan Kinney reports on the Edmonton Police Service's plans to carry out mass arrests of counter-protesters while laying out the red carpet for the Flu Trux Klan. 

- Finally, Karl Nerenberg writes about Pierre Piolievre's predictable - if glaringly unsuccessful - attempt to pivot toward more moderate branding after spending the Conservative leadership campaign catering unabashedly to violent extremists. And Max Fawcett notes that some of his gratuitous fights - including one against any media which fails to serve as an unquestioning dispenser of his talking points - have only just begun. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cats with company.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Pratyush Dayal reports on the COVID outbreak which has infected every single resident of a Regina care home. And Dan Scheuerman reports on the effect the drug poisoning crisis is having on people's health generally by further straining already-limited health care resources. 

- Don Pittis writes about the shock treatment being administered to the economy through interest rates hikes - and the explicit goal of suppressing wages so they don't catch up to locked-in increases in prices and profits. And Marc Fawcett-Atkinson points out that Alberta is both Canada's wealthiest province and the one with the most hunger - confirming again that mere GDP numbers don't translate into reasonable standards of living when the spoils of development are funneled to the privileged few. 

- Ben Sichel discusses the need to build organizing unions rather than mere service providers to members. And Eric Blanc interviews Harper McNamara, Sam Smith, and Atulya Dora-Laskey about the factors which enabled them to organize the first successful organizing drive at Chioptle - including workers' desire to have a say in working conditions which are otherwise set by management detached from the realities of the workplace. 

- Erika Shaker discusses what Canada should learn from the U.S.' partial forgiveness of excessive student debt. 

- Finally, Tracey Ferrier discusses the International Cleanup Conference's recognition that chemicals are already affecting food supplies (and stand to do so all the more based on a climate breakdown). And Dorothy Woodend interviews George Monbiot about his book Regenesis and the importance of ensuring that our methods of food production don't destroy the soil and natural environment necessary for our survival.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Laura Ungar reports on the message from experts that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. And Jon Kamp discusses the reality that COVID-19 remains one of the main direct causes of death in the U.S., while Neha Madaan reports that the main Omicron subvariant in India is mutating to become even more dangerous. 

- Meanwhile, Therese Kleim reports that the drug poisoning crisis also continues to escalate in Saskatchewan while being met with utter neglect from the Moe government. 

- Inayat Singh writes about Canada's connection to two of the key climate tipping points which we're passing with barely any effort to change course. And Annette McGivney discusses the unprecedented megadrought in the U.S. as another example of the extreme conditions being caused by the continued spewing of carbon pollution. 

- Jason DeParle notes that the U.S. has seen a little-discussed drop in child poverty which is traceable entirely to public-sector supports. And David Moscrop writes about the problem with Canadian housing policy which has been set for the benefit of capitalists who want to profit from a basic human right, rather than people who actually hold the need. 

- Finally, Emily Leedham points out how Pierre Poilievre has spent his entire career attacking the interests of workers. Michael Harris writes that he's best considered a symptom of the rot which set in under the Harper regime. And Aaron Wherry rightly identifies Poilievre as the ultimate expression of the Conservative id.