Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes about immunologist Chris Goodnow's belated recognition that COVID isn't over only after he was hit with acute myocarditis, while Korin Miller discusses new research showing an elevated risk of blood clots for a year after a COVID infection. And Jessica Wildfire discusses how businesses making money off of COVID are all too motivated to keep the pandemic going - though it's worth noting that even the theory about commercializing prevention and treatment is falling apart as far too many people choose to do nothing from what they've been told is no longer a problem, rather than paying to protect themselves.

- Amal Abdulrahman points out that the availability of medication is a necessary element of any plan for mental health. And Dan Darrah writes about some of the open questions still to be answered about dental care under the NDP/Lib confidence agreement.

- Alex Hemingway highlights why supply issues are a crucial part of the housing crisis - while recognizing that leaving the supply of a human need to for-profit developers alone only ensures that new housing isn't affordable. And Dennis Gruending writes that Saskatchewan is slipping toward a new system of serfdom as farmland falls into fewer and wealthier hands.

- Meanwhile, Christian Paas-Lang discusses how product inflation also needs to be met with a rethinking of how essential goods and services are produced and distributed. 

- Finally, Mark Rendell and Vanmala Subranamiam report on the call from Canada's labour movement to stop interest rate hikes intended to suppress wages. And Umair Haque writes about the perils of a new economic era defined by the throttling of any development which could possibly share prosperity with the working class.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Musical interlude

Men I Trust - Sugar

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Sarah Zhang discusses the absurdity of treating the COVID pandemic as being over when it's causing more death and illness than ever, while Shanoor Seervai interviews Bob Pratcher about the need for people to keep working on reducing risk even while being told there's nothing left to be done. And Erin Prater talks to experts about the risk that new variants will evade the few protections we still have. 

- Russell Wangersky writes that the reality of a pandemic still in progress applies as much in Saskatchewan as anywhere else - with devastating effects on an already-strained health care system. And John Paul Tasker reports on Alika Lafontaine's recognition that there's a cross-country crisis in medicine which demands immediate responses from the governments who are supposed to ensure our access to the care we need. 

- Phil Tank discusses Scott Moe's choice to be essentially the only politician willing to amplify and echo the nonsensical ravings of Danielle Smith. And Jason Warick reports on the push from former students to ensure that the private religious schools which have covered up child abuse get shut down - even as the Saskatchewan Party bends over backwards to prioritize them over public education. 

- Finally, Linda McQuaig contrasts Pierre Poilievre's performative populism against his consistent track record of attacking the working class on behalf of the wealthy few. Grace Blakeley discusses Liz Truss' embrace of trickle-down economics with no regard for how miserably it's failed even in its own supposed purposes. And as an example of what's possible when governments don't go out of their way to kiss up and kick down, Reuters reports on Spain's implementation of windfall wealth taxes to ensure the cost of inflation isn't borne by the people who can least afford it. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Evan Xu, Yan Xie and Ziyad Al-Aly study the long-term neurological effects of COVID-19, finding elevated risks of numerous kinds of neurological disorders even following mild initial infections.  

- Crawford Kilian discusses the need for a prosocial revolution to deal with COVID along with other social ills. Jenalee Doom discusses how poverty translates into lasting effects on people's health and welfare. And the CCPA's Alternative Federal Budget offers a reminder of what could readily be accomplished if our federal government was focused on meeting people's needs rather than serving the interests of capital.  

- Americans for Tax Fairness documents how the U.S.' political system has been warped by the billionaire-dominated Club for Growth and its perpetual demand of free money for the rich. And Erin McCormick and Aliya Uteuova expose how the lead industry - in the wake of public awareness that it was poisoning people - pushed for the proliferation of lead water pipes which continues to be a public health disaster in the U.S. 

- Finally, Jeff Gray reports on the Ford PCs' privatization of jobs programs, with the immediate effects of both eliminating provincial accountability and making citizens' interests subject to the pursuit of profits. And Fatima Syed reports on the Financial Accountability Office's projections as to how a climate breakdown will increase the costs of maintaining infrastructure - even as Ford remains determined to destroy green space and subsidize carbon pollution. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Aria Bendix and Shannon Pettypiece report on the reality that due to a failure to contain it in its early stages, COVID-19 now stands to be a leading cause of death (and a factor in reduced lifespans) for decades to come. Erin Praiter points out that yet another variant (BF.7) seems to be taking over as the dominant strain in the U.S. and elsewhere. John Naish discusses how even mild infections may cause long-term heart damage and other lingering effects. Pettypiece also reports on the risk that COVID test supplies will dry up this winter in the wake of proclamations that the pandemic is over - even as case numbers and deaths surge. Julia Metraux discusses why voluntary one-way masking isn't anywhere close to sufficient protection for people with compromised immune systems (including those suffering from the aftereffects of COVID itself). And Raia Small rightly questions why so many nominal progressives have given up on pushing for a pandemic response based on empathy and care, particularly when the alternative is acquiescing in social murder. 

- Ann Hui reports that grocery prices are rising at the highest rate in decades - which, as Armine Yalnizyan points out, means that oligopolistic suppliers of necessities are extracting even higher profits even as people's incomes are being suppressed in the name of fighting inflation. 

- Dylan Sullivan and Jason Hickel study the relationship between capitalism and human welfare, and find that people have in fact been better off under pre-existing systems and worse off within the global capital economy than generally assumed.  

- Finally, Yasmine Ghania tells the stories of some of the students who were abused within the churches and religious schools which continue to be catered to by the Saskatchewan Party government. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Outstretched cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Emily Alpert Reyes and Aida Ylanan discuss COVID's continued toll in lives and health even as the people in power seek to pretend it's over with, while Jamie Ducharme points out the growing spread of long COVID as an unprecedented mass disabling event. And Alex Boyd follows up on Canada's one-time commitment to deliver vaccines to countries which still haven't been able to provide a first set of vaccinations to their populations. 

- Neal MacKay writes about the desperate plight of Scotland's poorest families in which parents are going hungry to ensure their children have something to eat, while George Monbiot warns that Liz Truss' plan is to be even more punitive toward lower-income people in order to squeeze out more profits for the wealthy. 

- Nick Gottlieb traces the many connections between the U.S. Congress' investigation into industry-funded climate deception and denialism, and the Canadian fossil fuel companies blocking climate action. 

- Finally, following up on the work of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network in exposing the concerted effort by the alt-right to take over school boards, subsequent reports about secretive slates include those from Ottawa, Victoria and Kelowna - with Ben Bulmer's report on the latter offering these particularly telling passages on the contrast between the extremists' motivations and their vague oppositional platforms:

Sylvia Herchen is running for a seat in the Vernon school district but largely refused to answer any of our questions.

Herchen said she's running because she wants openness and more input for parents and more accountability.

However, Herchen wouldn't give an opinion on SOGI 123 – the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity guidelines put out by the province.

"We are not discussing that," she said.

She also refused to answer questions about transgender bathrooms simply saying "no comment."


Also running in Vernon, Jewlie Milligan said she stood for openness and transparency and parents having a voice in what their children are taught.

However, after saying she stood for openness and transparency, she refused an interview.

"I can't give you any more information," she said.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Jacob Stern asks whether the new normal is to blithely accept large numbers of avoidable COVID deaths - and sadly the answer to that question from everybody with the ability to avoid the outcome is a resounding "yes". But for those who haven't given up on the concept of respecting people's health and well-being, the University of Saskatchewan has developed a means of sampling wastewater on a building-level basis to identify outbreaks. And Eric Topol discusses the advantages of getting a booster vaccination in reducing infection and severe outcomes alike. 

- Meanwhile, Dean Baker offers a reminder that there's no need for governments to pay corporations over and over for the same work - including by providing them monopolies and large public payments for medications also researched and developed on the public dime. 

- Oliver Milman reports on the newly-revealed documents showing how the fossil fuel industry has lied to the public about both the climate crisis and its willingness to be anything but an obstacle to a health environment, while Natasha Bulowski exposes yet another "grassroots" campaign being exposed as funded by dirty energy. Nadeen Ebrahim discusses why petrostates can't afford to drink their own Kool-Aid in proclaiming that oil booms are here to stay. And Fiona Harvey reports on Oxfam's research showing how the countries most exposed to a climate breakdown are facing desperate shortages of food due to the carbon pollution we've spewed to date. 

- Gabriel Blanc writes that Pierre Poilievre is looking to undercut collective action against a climate crisis facing humanity as a whole. Leah Gazan points out the many shackles he plans to place on Canadians while claiming to stand for freedom, while Jim Stanford highlights the utter folly of his economic talking points. 

- Finally, the Globe and Mail's editorial board discusses the importance of building more - and more affordable - housing to meet growing needs. And Andy Crosby and Jacqueline Kennily offer a reminder that the roots of soaring rents can be traced to austerity and underinvestment since the 1990s.