Saturday, December 17, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Umair Irfan writes about the implications of COVID-19 having been allowed to spread and mutate to the point where monoclonal antibodies are ineffective against new variants. Joe Vipond, Lisa Iannattone and T. Ryan Gregory discuss the desperate need to reduce the levels of sickness in children. And Stefanie Davis reports on the regular lack of ambulances to deal with emergencies in Regina.

- Adam King offers a reminder of the important successes of the CERB in reducing poverty and deprivation through a pandemic which would otherwise have severely exacerbated it.  

- Emily Peck points out that a large number of U.S. workers have seen their ability to work lost to negligent public health policy. And Ghada Alsharif discusses how employers are looking to expand their current abuse of temporary foreign workers as a substitute for offering employment that's acceptable to anybody with the ability to choose where to work.

- Anders Lee talks to Samir Sonti about the history of using hawkish monetary policy to undermine labour - even in the absence of evidence that it benefits the economy in any way other than to concentrate gains at the top. And the Canadian Labour Congress rightly asks why the Bank of Canada's mandate to maximize sustainable employment seems to have been discarded without explanation.

- Finally, Alex Khasnabish argues the left should be engaging in deep organizing and collective liberation to counter right-wing rhetoric about a highly selective definition of "freedom".

Friday, December 16, 2022

Musical interlude

Serge Devant & Damiano feat. Camille Safiya - Fearing Love

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Shiloh Payne reports on new numbers from the World Health Organization showing that COVID-19 is responsible for nearly 15 million excess deaths around the globe. Liji Thomas writes about the widespread harm caused by long COVID in the U.S. And Neetu Garcha interviews Sanjiv Gandhi about the plight of children facing severe illness and death from COVID and other (likely related) infectious diseases. 

- James Powell discusses how Doug Ford's developer-heavy housing task force is utterly failing to address the "affordability" part of its mandate. Rachel Cohen writes about the concerted attack on housing first measures by conservatives bent on preventing public policy aimed at getting people into permanent homes. And Wayne Mantyka reports on the fire at a Regina tent community as a predictable outcome of focusing on dismantling alternatives rather than ensuring housing is available. 

- Deena Winter reports on cluster of cancer and other fallout from 3M's dumping of chemical waste into drinking water supplies. And Sabranth Subramanian reports on the massive public liabilities left behind as a result of the UK's Sellafield nuclear site. 

- Landon Wilcock discusses the desire of oil and gas workers to shift to industries which have a future - along with the best means to get them there. And Brett Forester reports on the call from MPs to ensure the resource extraction sector takes responsibility for its contribution to violence against Indigenous women. 

- Zak Vescera points out how labour regulation hasn't caught up to the systematic exploitation of workers by gig platforms.  

- Finally, Martin Lukacs and Emma Paling report on the deep organizing which enabled Ontario workers to push back against some of the Ford government's excesses. 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Katie Camero discusses how the belief that the COVID-19 pandemic is over (pushed by businesses and politicians eager to avoid responsibility for anybody's health) is creating avoidable dangers for everybody. Sydney Stein et al. study the persistence and dispersal of COVID in the bodies of its victims, while Alexander Tin reports on CDC research tracing the number of long COVID deaths in the U.S. And Jill McIntosh reports on a new study showing a correlation between vaccine refusal and car accidents - with the plausible confounding factors of carelessness and a disregard for others hardly serving as a defence for people inflicting risks on the public in multiple ways. 

- Danyaal Raza weighs in on the prospect of community health hubs to ensure people have access to the primary care they need. Kenyon Wallace and Megan Ogilvie trace the causes of the crisis of pediatric care in Ontario. And Chris Gallaway highlights how the solution to capacity limitations is investment in a public system that's designed to succeed, not funneling money toward corporate profiteers based on the claim that Medicare is beyond repair. 

- Armine Yalnizyan tests (and finds reason to doubt) the theory that increasing interest rates are invariable effective to reverse inflation. And Derek Decloet reports on the reality that Canadians are facing exceptionally high levels of consumer debt payments even with rates at relatively low levels - which should raise a red flag that further increases will cause catastrophic damage to individual-level finances.  

- Geoffrey York reports on the RCMP's investigation into corruption by the mining company Ivanhoe in its exploitation of copper resources in the Congo. And Matteo Cimellaro reports on a push by Indigenous nations in the Amazon to limit the harm done by the Canadian resource extraction sector.

- Janetta MacKenzie writes about the inevitable decline in fossil fuel reliance despite the obstruction of the industry and its political spokespuppets. Justine Hunter reports on a Canadian Climate Institute study finding that Canada's haphazard climate adaptation plan is both underresourced, and poorly targeted to address the known results of a climate breakdown. And Don Pittis discusses how a focus on electric vehicles alone neglects both the carbon pollution resulting from power generation, and the effects of perpetuating a car-based transportation system.  

- Finally, Doug Cuthand highlights how the cynical assertion of "sovereignty" by Danielle Smith and Scott Moe is based on the deliberate erasure of treaty rights. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Madeleine Ngo discusses how Americans (particularly with lower incomes) have been forced to spend any nest egg they managed to build up from pandemic supports, while Jeremy Nuttall interviews Jim Stanford about the drag household debt is placing on the economy. Jeremy Appel contrasts the media's eagerness to criticize people who received benefits against its silence about larger amounts handed out to businesses. And Karl Nerenberg reports on Stanford's observations confirming that corporations are profiteering off of food and other essentials.  

- Meanwhile, Ian Welsh writes about the lasting implications of long COVID as millions of workers in the US and UK are unable to continue their previous work. 

- Seth Berkley points out that among the other areas where we've failed to take any steps to better prepare for health issues even in the midst of a pandemic, we're no further ahead in bridging the gap between academic vaccine research and distribution (due primarily to the insistence on letting the corporate sector dictate the terms of the latter). And Nathaniel Dove reports on the Moe government's determination to prevent anybody from having access to accurate COVID data without their every communication being subject to government diktat. 

- Finally, Mandy Pipher discusses how Doug Ford has used state power to ensure the workers are perpetually more undercompensated for performing essential work in an environment made worse by pandemic neglect. And Cathy Crowe writes about her determination that she's not prepared to put up with intolerable working conditions anymore, while Jennifer Lee reports on the health care worker burnout in Alberta as multiple infectious diseases hit an already-depleted heath care system. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cozy cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Juliana Kim reports on the growing wave of public health advice recommending masking in order to limit the harm from a "tripledemic" of infectious diseases. Blair Crawford reports on PSAC's rightful concern that a return-to-the-office order will avoidably expose workers and their families to circulating viruses. And Jessica Wildfire discusses how the systemic underreaction to pervasive threats can be explained as an example of normalcy bias - while pointing out how ill served we are by allowing it to dictate our actions. 

- Alan Joseph recognizes that the deaths being caused by a lack of emergency care are the result of a conscious a policy choice on the part of governments who are simultaneously ignoring public health threats, and underfunding the health care system being hit with the consequences. Tara Kiran examines the limited availability of primary care for millions of Canadians, while Audrey Provezano makes the case to shift from a single-physician model of primary care to a team approach. And Megan Ogilvie tells the story of a family forced to endure a 350-kilometer flight to get their 4-year child to a functioning ICU. 

- Lourdes Juan offers a reminder that donations to food banks don't do anything to address the underlying causes of poverty and hunger. And Jerusalem Demsas points out that homelessness is an entirely unavoidable consequence of a failure to ensure people have access to housing. 

- Lloyd Alter reviews Matt Simon's A Poison Like No Other as an essential read on the dangers of plastics (and the failure of recycling to address them). And Christy Climenhaga reports on the melting of permafrost as both a result and a cause of our climate crisis. 

- Finally, Jason Herring reports on a new Ernst and Young study confirming the obvious point that public auto insurance leads to more affordable rates, while the policy choice of leaving insurance to market forces results in brutal price-gouging. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Lisa O'Mary discusses the sharply increased risk of severe outcomes from a second (or later) COVID -19 infection. Lauren O'Mahoney et al. examine the large number of long COVID patients with unresolved symptoms. And Kyra Markov writes that Alberta (like so many other jurisdictions) has failed to learn any lessons from the pandemic to date, or take obvious steps to protect public health as it continues.  

- Max Fawcett offers a reminder that the CERB and other pandemic supports were mostly successful at achieving absolutely essential goals. Scott Martin calls out the corporate media for a targeted set of attacks on the CERB which helped to keep working-class people afloat, particularly as it pays relatively little attention to the larger amount paid out to employers in CEWS wage subsidies. And Ally Lemieux-Fanset discusses how a new era of austerity is likely to drive people back into poverty. 

- Meanwhile, James Tapper reports on new research showing how working-class people have far less opportunity to work in artistic careers than they did 50 years ago. And Don Wright questions why governments are choosing to drive down wages even while echoing corporate complaints about a "worker shortage"). 

- Finally, Doug Allan discusses how the Ford PCs have cut compensation for health care workers while claiming to be investing in health care by funneling money to the corporate sector. 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Max Fawcett writes that the willingness to accept avoidable illness in children is an inescapable sign of an overall sick society, while Benjamin Mazer discusses how we're losing the race to fight COVID-19 with scientific discovery by limiting our own knowledge about an ongoing pandemic. Rong-Gong Lin Il and Luke Money highlight some of the steps which can help limit the spread of airborne diseases - though it's well worth noting how much more effective a focus on ventilation and prevention at a systems level would be. Matthew Cantor notes that masking in particular should be an easy call for individuals, while Bill Comeau makes the case for a mask mandate for those who have managed to retain some interest in preserving public health. And Harry Taylor reports on the sellout of strep A testing kits in the UK as another example of how leaving social health to the market results in little but windfalls for a lucky few, and shortages of essentials for the population at large.

- Thomas Walkom discusses why we can't presume that a 1980-style fix for inflation will accomplish anything but to inflict needless harm on workers. And Magdalena Sepulveda calls out the perpetuation of legislated poverty as the ruling class has chosen to impose the burdens of a pandemic - and more - on the people least able to afford it rather than taxing those with more than they know what to do with. 

- Meanwhile, Canadaland offers a reminder that we should consider every food bank as an unacceptable policy failure. 

- Finally, Steven Mufson and Timothy Puko report on the U.S. House investigation showing how the oil industry has blocked climate action while being fully aware of the damage that would do to our planet. But Harry Cockburn reports on the IEA's recognition that avoidable energy crisis caused by reliance on fossil fuels is giving rise to an accelerated transition to renewables.