Saturday, December 24, 2022

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Emily Toth Martin and Marisa Eisenberg point out the obvious value of wearing masks to reduce the likelihood of catching and spreading respiratory illnesses. And Wanzhu Tu et al. find that people build stronger immune defences to COVID-19 by getting vaccinated than by getting infected. 

- Angella MacEwen highlights the massive real wage cuts which Canadian workers are being told they have to accept, as well as the need for government action to ensure housing and other necessities of life are available and affordable. And H.G. Watson writes about the need for collective action to ensure workers don't bear the brunt of profit-driven inflation.

- Zak Vescera reports on the disconnect between the Globe and Mail's sponsored top employer list and the track record of worker deaths at Suncor. 

- Jessica Corbett discusses the difficulty in trying to undo the consequences of falling short of greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Natasha Bulowski reports on the growing recognition that "sustainable" monoculture forests are more a matter of greenwashing than climate change mitigation. And Adam Radwanski and Jeffrey Jones report on new investment standards based on the seemingly obvious principle that fossil fuel projects can't properly be classified as green. 

- Finally, Stefan Labbe reports on the calls for a fracking moratorium in British Columbia rather than continuing a practice of abandoning residents in "sacrifice zones" to ill health effects. And Rachel Monroe reports on the efforts to salvage something from a rapidly-receding Colorado River watershed. 

Friday, December 23, 2022

Musical interlude

Shallou feat. Colin - Count On

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Phil Tank writes that the holidays will be anything but happy for families dealing with long COVID due to the Moe government's choice to let it rip through the population, while Larissa Kurz reports that a year in which everybody decided to pretend the pandemic was over has been the province's most deadly one yet. Aaron D'Andrea reports on the World Health Organization's warnings about the potential effects of developing variants on overburdened health care systems, while Alika Lafontaine and Stefanie Davis each point out how ours are already collapsing. 

- Meanwhile, Marc-Andre Pigeon, Haizhen Mou and Natalie Kallio point out how cooperative clinics can ensure people have access to primary and preventative care without placing additional burdens on already-overloaded workers.  

- Armine Yalnizyan responds to anti-worker spin by pointing out that there's little reason to think higher wages are a driver of inflation. Marco Chown Oved reports that there's still a direct connection between food price inflation and profiteering by grocery giants. And Katie Hyslop explains her decision to stop contributing to band-aids such as food banks when there's an urgent need to work toward actual food security. 

- Dylan Short reports on the sheer cruelty involved in Calgary's decision to remove doors from transit stations in order to prevent people from seeking warmth. And Arny Wise offers some suggestions as to how David Eby can address British Columbia's housing crisis - including a need to focus on non-market housing rather than hoping that for-profit developers will solve the shortage of affordable homes. 

- Finally, Adam Johnson highlights how under a corporatist political and economic system, free speech is limited to what the wealthiest few are willing to hear and promote. And Rebecca Burns and Julia Rock report on the lobbying by U.S. banks to be able to commit felonies without consequences - supposedly in the name of serving the very customers they apparently plan to defraud. 

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk helpfully lists some of the most important facts which people need to keep in mind in evaluating COVID-19 risks (and which have been dangerously downplayed by governments). Julie Wernau and Jon Kamp report on the U.S.' jarring drop in life expectancy, with COVID-19 and drug poisonings serving as the main factors in setting it back several decades. And Karen Bartko reports on the state of emergency at Edmonton's children's hospital even as the UCP spends its time posturing against the federal government rather than showing the slightest concern for children suffering on its watch. 

- David Folkenflik reports on the power companies who have coordinated with pliant press to carry out concerted campaigns against anybody who challenges their dirty energy or obscene profits. And Jeremy Simes reports on the Moe government's decision to prohibit rural municipalities from collecting their currently-permitted share of taxes from the resource sector, requiring residential and commercial properties to pick up the bill instead. 

- Elise Gould and Jori Kandra examine the growing gap in U.S. wage earnings, with the top 1% seeing massive income increases in 2021 while the bottom 90% lost ground. 

- Finally, Whizy Kim discusses how 2022 has been the year that fully exposed the richest few people as anything but deserving of their disproportionate wealth and power. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Julia Doubleday writes that we shouldn't accept spin from any party which attempts to minimize the unacceptable dangers of exposing children to a virus known to cause lasting damage to people's immune systems, while Terry Pender reports on the growing recognition that COVID-19 does just that. And Justus Burgi et al. find that past COVID-19 infection is correlated with increases in troponin I which normally signals heart damage. 

- Carly Weeks reports on Ontario's belated decision to require the use of biosimilar biologic drugs to prioritize access to medication over pharmaceutical profits. Liana Hwang and Adam Pyle discuss the unfairness of government attempts to blame doctors for their own failures in making health care available. And Mitchell Thompson reports on the Ontario Financial Accountability Office's finding that the Ford PCs have set the hospital system up for years of worker shortages to come. 

- Thompson also calls out the Fraser Institute for its truly inhumane attempt to claim that poverty is a trendy lifestyle choice rather than an injustice demanding a policy response. And Pratyush Dayal reports on the thousands of evictions (caused in part by the Moe government's deliberate choice to make social assistance both stingy and unduly complicated) which have left Saskatchewan people without homes over just the past few months. 

- Vijith Assar discusses how Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter shows the need for social networks which can't be put under the thumb of capricious and self-serving billionaires. But Jim Stewartson points out that for the moment, both Twitter and one of its most prominent replacements are under the control of alt-right actors more interested in stoking misinformation and division than providing sustainable spaces for online interaction. And Heidi Cuda writes about the natural alliance between corporate power and fascist politics.  

- Finally, John Nguyen and Maryam Tibrizian make the case for Canada to follow the U.S. in ensuring open access to publicly-funded research. And Justin Ling offers a reminder of the importance of transparency in the beneficial ownership of property - while noting that a European Court of Justice decision is providing a precedent going in the wrong direction. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Watchful cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Marco Zuin et al. examine the connection between COVID-19 infections and subsequent heart attacks. And Felicity Liew et al. study the effect of mucosal defences which don't arise from injected vaccines, but can be promoted through nasal ones. 

- Meanwhile, Consumer Reports finds that dark chocolate is rife with dangerous levels of cadmium and lead - meaning that a product often promoted as a healthier alternative may be smuggling harmful metals into people's bodies.   

- Alex Cooke reports on Halifax's failure to ensure that unhoused people have access to safe accommodations as winter endangers their lives. And Colin Butler points out how encampments made more precarious by the threat of police removal are at particular risk of having concealed fires burn out of control. 

- The Energy Mix discusses how oil is headed down the same path toward obsolescence as telephone landlines due to the increasing availability of superior alternatives. 

- Austin Grabash reports on the private religious schools which insisted on censored tours of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights to avoid any acknowledgement of the rights of LGBTQ people. And Feo Snagovsky discusses how the UCP and Saskatchewan Party are causing real damage to Canadian federalism with their performative posturing about sovereignty.  

- Finally, Marsha Lederman writes about the importance of investing in public libraries. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Blair Fix discusses how inflation reflects both instability in the overall system of prices, and a business strategy to turn that instability into an increased profit share. And Angella MacEwen writes that central banks are choosing to lend their authority to that strategy by attacking any attempt to make wages keep pace with price increases.  

- Rupert Neate reports on the soaring support for a wealth tax in the UK as a small number of tycoons are enriching themselves while broader standards of living erode. 

- Carl Meyer and Drew Anderson expose how the fossil fuel sector thumbed its nose at lobbying laws while pitching the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to claim massive concessions from Alberta's government. And Trevor Herriot discusses how the industry-controlled Moe government is failing by any measure of environmental responsibility. 

- Heidi Lee reports on the experts pleading for governments to implement Housing First policies to lift people out of homelessness. 

- Mike Crawley reports that provincial governments are refusing even to provide information needed for people to limit preventable disease and death among children. 

- Finally, Frank Graves and Stephen Maher discuss how Pierre Poilievre's strategy to take power in Canada involves playing up and tapping into the global authoritarian movement. 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Greg Jericho rightly notes that the COVID pandemic showed beyond doubt that poverty is a policy choice - which makes it all the more maddening that the powers that be are so determined to inflict it on people as part of any new "normal". And Ian Welsh invites us to imagine a world where the violence and need that characterize our political economy are themselves treated as unthinkable.

- Henry Giroux highlights the overlap between neoliberalism and fascism in treating large numbers of people as disposable. And Paul Dechene writes about the choice of Regina's City Council to disclaim any responsibility for, or interest in, ensuring people have homes as one of the aspects of city politics which needs to be burned up. 

- Joe Fish discusses the tragic gap between the Canadian research discovering vaccines which could save countless lives, and the complete lack of interest in developing and producing them due to an insufficiently profitable market. 

- Finally, Eugene Boisvert and Anisha Pillarisetty write about new modelling showing the risk of cascading extinctions caused by climate change. James Hansen et al. warn that existing greenhouse gas forcing could result in a 10 degree increase in global temperatures - far beyond the scenarios treated as even worst-case results of fossil fuel lock-in. And Dana Drugman reports on a new study showing how the oil industry has poured billions of dollars into preventing any action to ameliorate any climate breakdown.