Saturday, December 03, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Olha Puhach, Benjamin Meyer and Isabella Eckerle examine what we've learned about viral shedding from the COVID pandemic so far, while Bhanvi Satija reports on WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus' warning that we may face plenty more dangerous mutations if we keep pretending the pandemic is in the past. And British Columbia's lessons learned report (PDF) offers at least a somewhat substantial review of what governments need to be doing in order to be able to ensure public health during an emergency.

- Kate Bueckert reports on the continued expansion of food banks which were supposed to be a temporary relief measure, not a long-term alternative to an adequate standard of living. 

- Pratyush Dayal discusses the wave of Saskatchewan residents being evicted from housing due to cost pressures far beyond their control. And Jen St. Denis writes about the supports needed to keep people from falling into homelessness.

- Doug Cuthand writes that we should be funding safe consumption sites to reduce the harm from drug use - and not lending any credence to the politically-motivated messages of the anti-social parties bent on attacking them. And Euan Thompson, Ginetta Salvalaggio and Petra Schulz add supportive housing and safe supply to the list of policies which can end the drug fatality crisis.

- Finally, Simon Enoch offers a reminder that the Moe government's plans to shutter Saskatchewan's SLGA liquor stores represents the continuation of a longstanding policy of undermining public institutions, not a result of market forces. 

Friday, December 02, 2022

Musical interlude

Elderbrook - Beautiful Morning

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Umair Haque discusses why the 2020s are turning into a particularly bleak decade as people are buried under a perpetually larger mountain of debt to try to fund a reasonable standard of living while corporate predators privatize and exploit every available source of revenue. And Julia Davis and Winsome Hill discuss the unfairness of a tax system that's set up to enrich millionaires at the expense of working people, while calling for a wealth tax to set things right. 

- Rosa Saba reports on Jim Stanford's research showing that inflation is largely the result of soaring profits in a few opportunistic sectors including oil and gas. And Katrina Miller makes the case for a windfall profits tax to ensure that profiteering by fossil fuel companies doesn't lead to a wholesale transfer of wealth from the general public to executives and shareholders. 

- Oliver Milman warns of a flood of climate misinformation on Twitter while scientists and experts flee the site. And Emma McIntosh and Fatima Syed report on the findings of Ontario's Auditor General that the Ford government was already grossly underfunding its environment ministry before moving to gut legal protections. 

- Josh Lynn reports that the Moe government's response to the lack of family doctors taking patients has been to eliminate the public source of information which would allow people to contact them if they existed. And CBC News reports that New Brunswick's PC government has offered guidance on long COVID after being shamed into it by revelations of how it was concealing basic information from the people it was instructing to evaluate their own risk. 

- Finally, Emily Blake reports on the welcome news that Nunavut has reached the target of $10-a-day child care far in advance of the rest of Canada. 

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Rong-Gong Lin Il and Luke Money report on CDC findings showing that U.S. infants under 6 months had hospitalization rates as high as seniors during the summer 2022 wave of COVID. And Emer O'Toole writes about her nightmare with an asthmatic child at a backlogged children's emergency room, while Padraig Maron discusses the pattern of cancelled children's surgeries as health care facilities try to manage intolerable acute care loads. 

- Meanwhile, Amudalat Ajasa reports on new findings showing how breathing polluted air can harm children's academic development (even after controlling for the other aspects of environmental inequality). And Marc Lee and Ben Parfitt highlight the massive cost of failing to deal with carbon pollution in British Columbia. 

- Sophie Aubrey writes that a focus on the number of jobs held may mask the obvious stresses people face when required to hold more than one job to make a living. And Brett Wilkins discusses the needed push to rein in corporate profiteering at the expense of workers and consumers alike. 

- Lauren Boothby reports on Edmonton's needed - if belated - approval of a project to ensure that shelter is available for people who need it through the winter. Adam Toy writes about the work being done in Calgary among non-profits who haven't been supported with a similar investment. And Stefanie Davis reports that Regina will be relying on federal funding to keep one additional shelter open as both the city and province try to avoid taking responsibility for people's welfare. 

- The list of commentators pointing out the absurdity of Danielle Smith's plan to shift law-making authority to the unaccountable whims of cabinet includes Emmett Macfarlane, Lisa Young, Dennis Buchanan, Andrew Coyne and Graham Thomson

- Finally, Maurice Mitchell discusses how to build resilient movements (particularly in a time of perpetual crisis). 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Greg Iacurci discusses how long COVID is set to cause trillions of dollars of damage to the U.S.' economy (to say nothing of the toll in human suffering and death). Constance Sommer writes about the difficulty in distinguishing between "brain fog" caused by long COVID and that which signals the onset of dementia. And John Daley and Paolo Zialcita offer their recommendations on how to think like an aerosol scientist in reducing the risks of an infectious disease.

- Meanwhile, Alessia Passafiume points out the dangers of Twitter's decision to enable the spread of COVID misinformation. And Robert Mackey and Micah Lee highlight the effects of its decision to put content moderation and account regulation in the hands of the fascist right, while Graham Gallagher writes about the utterly bizarre worldviews that are being normalized in the Republican party. 

- Max Fawcett discusses how the anti-democratic #FluTruxKlan is continuing to organize even as an inquiry highlights why the federal government had to use emergency powers to end its occupation of Ottawa. And Eric Adams and Jason Markusoff both write about Danielle Smith's plan to end accountable government in Alberta in order to speed up the process of picking fights with the feds. 

- Linda Qiu reports on the rise of farmland values as an investment in the U.S. which is pricing actual residents out of the market. And Yasmine Ghania and Sam Samson discuss how the same hollowing out of rural areas is playing out in Saskatchewan. 

- Finally, the Economist discusses new research showing how air pollution can lead to harms including increased suicide rates, while Damian Carrington writes about a study showing pollution to be the cause of almost a million stillbirths around the globe every year. And Crawford Kilian points out why it's foolish to gamble the future of humanity on the remote hope of being able to make another planet habitable, rather than working on keeping the Earth liveable. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Aligned cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Emily Crane reports on a new report commissioned by the U.S.' Department of Health and Human Services finding that masking policies are needed just to deal with the known dangers of long COVID. And Abdullah Shihipar, William Goedel and Abigail Cartus point out that masking is particularly valuable (and necessary) when there are multiple respiratory viruses all causing intolerable stress on health care systems.  

- Meanwhile, Stephanie Murray discusses how the COVID pandemic has exposed glaring inequalities in the resources available to parents (among so many other facets of life). Katherine Scott notes that women are looking to new career paths to attempt to avoid systemic wage discrimination. And Tom Sandborn writes that Canada can't claim to be standing up for workers while allowing (or outright encouraging) exploitative practices in its foreign policy. 

- Oliver Moore and Jill Mahoney expose the connections between the Ford PCs and the wealthy developers who stand to profit by paving over Ontario's Greenbelt. And Matt Gurney writes that Ford's actions both at the time of the #FluTruxKlan and in the recent inquiry demonstrate utter disregard for the interest of his province's citizens. 

- Finally, Lisa Young points out how Danielle Smith's tenure in office has been marked by refusing to take legislative steps which could be subject to debate and review, and instead using direct intimidation to push an anti-vax position on anybody daring to try to keep people healthy in their workplaces and venues. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Cate Swannell discusses how research showing the multitude of harms which can result from COVID-19 infection. Calixto Machado-Curbelo, Joel Gutiérrez-Gil and Alina González-Quevedo study how new variants are entering the brain in different ways than prior versions - easing the respiratory damage associated with the coronavirus initially while also causing different symptoms. And Bryce Covert points out how long COVID is affecting the workforce - resulting in labour shortages for exactly the employers who are demanding that employees be forced back to in-person work.  

- Emily Blake reports on the billions of dollars in remediation costs being dumped on the public as large mine operators have left contaminated sites to be cleaned up on the public dime. And Drew Anderson exposes new information as to how Imperial Oil concealed its knowledge about contamination while claiming innocence when people have observed direct damage from their sites. 

- Annie Lowrey discusses how misogyny in the field of economics results in a distorted set of interests and assumptions behind economic research and decision-making. 

- Finally, John Bell calls out Danielle Smith's smash-and-grab UCP government. And Katha Pollitt writes that democratic socialism offers reason for hope in some alternative to a capitalist system where greed is the primary consideration in all kinds of decision-making. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Benjamin Veness writes that the best way to address the dangers of long COVID is to prevent spread of the underlying viruses. And Daniel Bierstone and Monika Dutt write that it's never been important to make sure workers have sick leave available than at a point where health care systems are crumbling under the weight of multiple infectious diseases. 

- Mitchell Thompson points out how the Ford PCs are measuring the results of privatized social programs solely by how many people they force back to work, not by anybody's welfare or escape from poverty. And Simon Woodside observes that the developer-led sprawl being put forward as Ford's excuse for a housing policy will ultimately impose both weaker communities and higher property taxes on the public.

- Emily Baron Cadloff discusses the potential for a retailer code of conduct in response to rising food prices - though the prospect of an unenforceable, industry-led deal among businesses known to have colluded to fix prices for their own benefit hardly inspires confidence.

- Jake Johnson writes about the growing amounts of dark money flooding the American political system.

- Finally, Max Fawcett offers a warning about Pierre Poilievre's simplistic and demonstrably counterproductive "solutions" to problems which deserve to be taken seriously - with his insistence on a drug policy of harm exacerbation once again ranking as a prime example.