Saturday, October 08, 2022

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- David Moscrop hikes how Canada's financial elite is engineering a recession to ensure that workers don't see wage increases to match the price hikes caused by corporate profiteering. And Gaby Hinshiff writes about the UK Cons' plan to blame everybody but themselves (and their disastrous combination of nationalism and trickle-down economics) for what looks to be a particularly desperate winter for the UK's working class.

- The Canadian Press reports on the connection between the ongoing climate breakdown and the extreme weather seen in the course of Hurricane Fiona. And the Morning Star reports on the massive number of lives at stake if we don't work on limiting emissions and transitioning to a clean economy immediately.

- Meanwhile, Steven Donziger discusses the threat to U.S. democracy posed by a an impending case which could see the whims of gerrymandered Republican state legislatures take precedence over any effect of votes cast by the electorate.

- Finally, Pat Van Horne offers a reminder that the development of the universal health care system which we now value so strongly was the result of a determined focus by Tommy Douglas and the CCF - not a philosophy of taking only incremental gains toward no particular end.

Friday, October 07, 2022

Musical interlude

The Knocks feat. X Ambassadors - Comfortable

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Nicola Davis, Pamela Duncan and Carmen Aguilar Garcia report that the toll of long COVID in the UK has surpassed a million people. And Jane Dalton reports on the UK's massive increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations - which in past waves had tended to precede similar jumps in Canada. 

- Eric Levitz interviews Adam Tooze about the damage the U.S. Federal Reserve's obsession with suppressing wages figures to inflict on the global economy. And Paul Krugman likewise warns of impending self-inflicted economic damage. 

- Meanwhile, Robinson Meyer discusses the transformative potential of the U.S.' newly-passed climate legislation if it isn't completely counteracted by measures to prevent economic growth. Alex Ballingall reports on the push by Canadian oilsands workers for a transition to work that isn't tied to a dying industry, while Natasha Bulowski reports that the Libs have instead committed to an ever-escalating price tag for the Trans Mountain pipeline. And Aime Williams reports on the IMF's recognition that the costs of a total climate breakdown far exceed the investment needed to avert it to the extent possible. 

- Elizabeth Thompson reports on the growing amount of unpaid taxes identified from the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers - while noting that the Canada Revenue Agency can't say whether it's started a single audit to being recouping money that's been hidden offshore. 

- Finally, Tom Cardoso and Robyn Doolittle report on Information Commissioner Caroline Maynard's warning that the reflexive tendency to suppress and redact information has left Canada's access-to-information system falling far short of its legislated requirements while also costing far more than it should. 

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Nate Holdren calls out the people in power who have chosen nihilism and social murder over taking any responsibility to limit the harm from an ongoing pandemic, while Stephen Maher notes that months of talking points about COVID being over will only make it more difficult to change course if the need for public health protections becomes inescapable. Eleanor Hamilton examines some of the readily-available options to improve indoor air quality - which have unfortunately mostly been ignored in favour of doing nothing. And Mary Kekatos reports on the CDC's recent findings about the large number of long COVID patients who face long-term difficulty in maintaining their daily lives.

- Andreas Karelas writes about our lack of preparation for the readily-foreseeable effects of a climate breakdown. And Kit Stolz reports on the growing recognition that what was previously considered a "normal" climate has already been destroyed by carbon pollution. 

- Meanwhile, Pete Evans reports on the latest instance of the fossil fuel industry extracting windfall profits by hiking gas prices even while the price of oil has fallen. 

- Damian Carrington reports on new research showing that toxic air pollution finds its way into fetuses' brains, livers and lungs long before they have any direct exposure to the outside world. And Diane Peters writes about the efforts of some Ontarians to escape from constant noise pollution. 

- Joanne Hussey discusses how reliance on developers to determine housing is available has led to a gross lack of stable and secure homes for the people who most need them. And Zak Vescera reports on the effect of union-based cost-of-living adjustments as a key factor in protecting workers from corporate price gouging. 

- Finally, Yanis Varoufakis takes note of the IMF backlash against Liz Truss' round of handouts to the wealthy in the midst of multiple crises - but warns that we shouldn't treat an institution which has deliberately exacerbated inequality for decades as doing anything more than trying to prop up existing financial structures. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Melody Schreiber writes about the perfectly awful timing of Joe Biden's wrong-headed declaration that the COVID-19 pandemic is "over" even as a particularly damaging wave was cresting. And Troy Farah reports on new research showing that the treatments which previously offered some means of mitigating the effects after an individual was infected are no longer helping against the emerging variants. 

- Jim Stanford warns that the Bank of Canada is inflicting an entirely avoidable recession by failing to pay attention to the actual causes of inflated prices. And DT Cochrane studies how corporate Canada has avoided $30 billion in taxes even while profiteering at the expense of the public. 

- Meanwhile, Armine Yalnizyan warns against allowing the corporate powers that be to paint workers as the villains for seeking to have their pay keep up with the cost of living. And Stephen Magusiak points out that the list of disqualifying characteristics of UCP frontrunner Danielle Smith includes absolute contempt for service industry workers. 

- Matthew Cunningham-Cook and Ricardo Gomez discuss how Jackson, Mississippi's water crisis can be traced directly to Wall Street exploitation. And Adam Ramsay points out the predictable harm to the UK's economy and democracy arising from Liz Truss' choice to begin her stay in power with a blizzard of disaster capitalism, while Max Fawcett notes that the Cons are once again stubbornly refusing to learn anything from the damage wrought by their policy choices abroad. 

- Finally, Andrew Coyne writes that Quebec's election results provide one of the most glaring examples yet of the unfairness of a first-past-the-post electoral system. And Fawcett suggests that the federal NDP push Justin Trudeau to keep his long-broken promise of electoral reform as the price of continued support. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Huddled cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Ryan Tumilty reports on research showing how many Canadian lives may have been saved by COVID protection measures - making for a rather grim bit of information as the previous protections have been almost entirely eliminated in the midst of another wave. And Alison Braley-Rattai makes the case to add COVID to the list of designated diseases for childhood vaccinations in schools. 

- Emily Gruenwoldt points out that children's access to medical care is even more likely to be delayed than that of adults, signaling the need for better children's health planning. CBC News reports on the practical effect of a shortage of pediatric medicine - if not so much on its obvious cause. And the Canadian Press reports on the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table's warning that primary health care providers aren't set up to deal with the ongoing stress from the pandemic, while Andre Picard writes that Canada's health care system generally needs to be substantially improved. 

- Fares Alghoul reports on new research from Canadians for Tax Fairness showing that Canada's corporate giants dodged over $30 billion in taxes last year. And Ian Hussey examines how the oil and gas industry has long since stopped pretending to deliver jobs or general prosperity in exchange for the massive subsidies and preferential treatment it demands from governments. 

- Alyssa Battistoni reviews Aaron Benanav’s Automation and the Future of Work and Sarah Jaffe’s Work Won’t Love You Back as important discussions of the growing gap between the types of job people want and those actually on offer. 

- Finally, Anand Giridharidas examines how Russia's online operations in the U.S. have been aimed at eliminating the possibility of meaningful conversations and persuasion - and how a shift toward constructive politics demands pushing back. 

Monday, October 03, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Ed Yong writes that the tragic legacy of the COVID-19 is one of policymakers repeating (and indeed increasing) the same mistakes at the expense of people's lives and health. And Stephanie Kampf and Adrienne Arsenault discuss the desperate situation facing emergency rooms as an unchecked pandemic is piled on top of an already-underresourced health care system. 

- Meanwhile, Molly Gill writes about the reality that the release of prisoners to limit the spread of COVID produced virtually no effect on public safety - raising the question of how many more people are being incarcerated at great expense without any social benefit. And Mikkael Sekeres explores what it took for regulators to remove ingredients including antifreeze from what were pitched as curative elixirs - offering a stark reminder of how dangerous it is to take a  manufacturer's word as to the effect of a product without a sound regulatory system. 

- Michael Green studies the connection between inequality in smoking rates and other related health problems including dementia. Elizabeth Chuck reports on the plight of U.S. students who are going hungry for want of eliminated school lunch programs. And Kat Eschner discusses how the housing crisis (driven by a political imperative to inflate property values for the benefit of wealthier voters) feeds into wider inequalities in Canada.

- David Borer offers a reminder that the best solution to a lousy job is a union, though Andrea Hsu reports that Starbucks is among the employers engaging in wanton law-breaking and retaliation in order to prevent workers from achieving that outcome. And Dylan Matthews discusses the need for "encompassing coalitions" (such as class-based unions) to ensure that public policy doesn't merely cater to smaller interests including the wealthy. 

- Finally, Marc Fawcett-Atkinson reports on the coordination between the Poilievre Cons, the alt-right noise machine and the fossil fuel industry to spread conspiracy theories about fertilizer bans in order to farm outrage.