Friday, November 11, 2022

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your long weekend reading.

- Umair Haque theorizes that the relatively benign outcome of the U.S.' recent election reflects a public that's finally rejecting Trumpism. But Krystal Ball notes that some of the most important Democratic success stories (notably including John Fetterman) included a message based on the recognition that government can use its power to help people, rather than a weary position that elections can't accomplish more than minimizing the damage inflicted by the other side.

- Ryan Patrick Jones and Nicole Brockbank list the well-connected landowners who stand to be enriched by Doug Ford's plan to turn protected greenbelt land into developers' profits. And Dale Smith points out that Ford's gratuitous use of the notwithstanding clause to attack workers out of sheer impatience and stubbornness signals that all human rights are at risk.

- Gaby Galvin offers a reminder that publicly-funded stadiums seldom accomplish anything other than to funnel money to a city's best-connected business figures. And Paul Dechene discusses how a push to put an arena downtown is leading Regina into another round of discarding social benefits in favour of corporate playthings. 

- Finally, Yasmine Ghania reports on the John Howard Society's push for the provincial government to invest in the social issues at the root of crime. But Adam Hunter reports that the Moe government is instead bent on establishing more - and more politically-controlled - police and security forces even when all available evidence points to an absence of benefit for the cost.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Musical interlude

Lastlings - Get What You Want

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Tori Cowger et al. study how the presence or absence of mandatory masking policies affects the number of COVID-19 cases among students and school staff. The Canadian Press reports on the plea from Ontario doctors for parents and public health officials alike to avoid COVID spread as a priority. And Bob Ferguson reports on a leaked report showing that Ontario's emergency rooms are in an even more desperate state than previously known. 

- Meanwhile, Steven Staples rightly questions why so many provincial premiers expect to be handed gobs of money from the federal government in the name of health funding without providing any assurance it will actually be used on health care. 

- Paul Cowley writes that Alberta (like other jurisdictions) shouldn't be handing free money to the oil industry to clean up its own messes, while Climate Action Tracker calls out opportunistic polluters for planning to send fossil fuel production soaring for decades in response to temporary geopolitical conditions. And Sabaa Khan points out how a just transition needs to take into account the "invisible" informal workforce. 

- The Star's editorial board writes that there's no excuse for paving over Ontario's greenbelt in the name of new development which is designed primarily to funnel money to Doug Ford's supporters rather than to actually improve housing supply. And Gregor Craigie interviews Michael Andersen about Portland's experience in allowing for multi-unit zoning. 

- Finally, Phil Tank discusses the lessons Scott Moe could learn from Danielle Smith's attempts to chase an anti-reality fringe if he was interested in anything of the sort. And Nigel Bankes, Andrew Leach and Martin Olszynski point out that Moe's own anti-Ottawa legislation is matter of playing games rather than responsible governance. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Gwynn Guilford and Lauren Weber report on the recognition by economists that COVID-19 continues to be a mass disabling event - even as public health officials and politicians try to pretend the pandemic no longer exists. And Cory Franklin and Robert Weinstein discuss the potential social effects of an attitude dispensing with social responsibility. But there's little indication that people are actually as irresponsible as their political class, as Melissa Lopez-Martinez reports on a new survey showing a supermajority of Canadians support or somewhat support a return to mandatory masking if necessary.

- Chris Christensen offers his take on how a failure to invest in preventative measures is overloading our health care system. And Andrew MacLeod talks to Robert Brown about the dangers of turning family care into a corporate profit centre rather than a social priority. 

- Brett Wilkins reports on the recognition by the U.N.'s High Level Expert Group that there's no value to "net-zero" spin from businesses and governments using vague and distant commitments to excuse continued carbon pollution. Barry Saxifrage points out that we can't claim to be making progress in averting a climate breakdown while greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. And Miryam Naddaf offers a reminder that lower-income countries are bearing the brunt of a changing climate while having contributed little to its causes. 

- Matt Lundy and Vanmala Subramaniam discuss how Canada systematically relies on temporary foreign workers to suppress wages. And Yvette Brend reports on how the failure to ensure an adequate supply of housing serves to reinforce anti-immigration messaging. 

- Finally, Luke LeBrun reports on the background of Pierre Poilievre's director of communications Sarah Fischer as a supporter of the #FluTruxKlan (even at its most destructive) and general alt-right extremist - as well as the lack of any recognition by her or the Cons that there's any problem with those affiliations.  

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Attentive cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk discusses the looming prospect that COVID-19 infections will cause ongoing damage by exhausting people's immunity, while Betsy Ladyzhets writes about the lack of benefits for people who are disabled as a result of long COVID. Andre Picard highlights how children have been affected by COVID in ways not readily anticipated or apparent. And Nili Kaplan-Myrth offers some reassurance that people who are still masking aren't alone in their efforts to protect themselves and others.  

- Moira Wyton reports on the continued death toll of toxic drugs in British Columbia.

- Emma McIntosh discusses Doug Ford's plan to turn part of Ontario's greenbelt into a profit centre for his developer buddies. 

- Edward Keenan writes that the success of CUPE and other unions in pushing back against Ford's use of the notwithstanding clause to end collective bargaining and the right to strike is far from the end of the fight. 

- Finally, Sophie Tanno reports on a new study showing the disproportionate damage billionaires are doing to our planet. And Alex Himelfarb points out that we shouldn't accept the claim that economic laws require public policy to be biased in favour of corporations at the expense of people. 

Monday, November 07, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Erin Prater reports on research showing how long COVID may be traced to excessive pruning of connections in the brain. Faye Flam highlights why anybody who's been infected will need to be on the outlook for stroke symptoms. And Norman Swan warns of the aging effect COVID-19 has on a person's body. 

- Adam Morton reports on a study suggesting that Australia's system of carbon credits managed to reward businesses for "forest regeneration" even as they reduced tree cover. And Nicholas Kusnetz discusses the likelihood that private equity is snapping up unviable fossil fuel properties with the intention of continuing to spew carbon pollution long past the point when any publicly-traded company could justify that course of action to shareholders. 

- Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood and Noah Kathen outline what a green industrial policy could look like if Canada wanted to invest in a liveable future, rather than prolonging the damage done by reliance on oil and gas. And David Macdonald highlights how the federal government (like its provincial counterparts) has plenty of fiscal room for both industrial policy and social supports if it wasn't bent on pushing austerity. 

- John Anderson laments that Canada Post's theoretical nod to postal banking has been set up as a corporate income stream rather than a service for people. And Paul Dechene reports on the City of Regina's farcical attempt to force a series of entertainment projects onto residents rather than paying any attention to its previous consultations and promises. 

- Finally, Nora Loreto points out how authoritarianism has consistently been the establishment response to meaningful labour activism in Canada. 

Sunday, November 06, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Keenan Sorokan reports on the unprecedented number of students out sick from school in the Saskatoon area, while Karen Bartko reports on a spike in respiratory illnesses among Edmonton students. And Andrew Potter writes about the concurrent drops in government capacity and trust in public services with reference to ArriveCAN - though it's particularly worth noting that the important public successes earlier in the pandemic have largely been written out of history, while a counternarrative claiming none of them should ever have been bothered with has spread among the anti-science fever swamps.

- Meanwhile, Mazen Maurice Guirguis highlights Danielle Smith's apparent intention to declare a constitutional right to harm others, while Medicine Hat News reports on her plans to invite Paul Alexander and his "let-'er-rip" approach to define Alberta's further pandemic response. 

- Doug Henwood writes that any response to temporary inflation needs to recognize and ameliorate the longstanding failure of the U.S. economy to generate benefits for any but the richest of people. Jake Johnson reports on Bernie Sanders' crucial end-of-campaign message that Republicans are itching to make matters even worse if given the chance, while David Rothkopf and Bernard Schwartz offer a reminder that right-wing politicians are bad for the economy even on their own terms of promoting growth at the expense of fairness and inclusiveness. Lawrence Martin discusses how conservative politics everywhere have become synonymous with fear and bigotry as a substitute for any attempt to produce positive outcomes by rationale measures. And Murray Mandryk tries to hold the Moe government to at least the standard of not actively promoting anti-science myths in publicly-funded schools.

- Charles Smith discusses how Doug Ford is taking the usual right-wing attack on workers to new extremes by invoking the notwithstanding clause to terminate collective bargaining, while Linda McQuaig calls out his choice to make public education generally into a combat zone rather than a system intended to promote learning and socialization. And David Bush offers a reminder that the labour rights workers enjoy today are the product of collective against against unjust laws.

- Finally, Brandon Gage reports on the World Meteorological Organization's findings that the last eight years have been the hottest in recorded history. And Conrad Swanson reports on the megadrought which is threatening to make the entire area of the U.S. which relies on the Colorado River unliveable.

Musical interlude

Sneaker Pimps - Fighter