Saturday, February 18, 2023

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- E. Wesley Ely discusses the developing - and worrisome - body of knowledge of how COVID-19 affects the brain, while Korin Miller reports on the link between COVID and diabetes. William Brangham and Dorothy Hastings talk to people living with long COVID about the devastation it's caused with little public attention. And Brianne Foley reports on the latest after-the-fact data dump showing that the Moe government's consistent minimization of an ongoing pandemic has pushed people to stop taking the most basic precautions including getting updated vaccines.

- Megan Ogilvie and Kate Allen survey experts as to the most immediate priorities for investments in health care. And Armine Yalnizyan and Pat Armstrong write about the dangers of the profitization of care - and the need for protections against the level of corporate ownership that's permitted as Canada's health care system is currently structured.

- Eugene Robinson writes that the East Palestine toxic release shows the dangers of prioritizing a quick buck over people's health and well-being.

- Arielle Samuelson and Emily Atkin call out some of the propaganda tactics being used by the fossil gas industry to try to lock us into decades of carbon pollution. And Markham Hislop points out how Danielle Smith is predictably treating fossil fuels as her only priority by setting up a panel with zero representatives connected to any other energy source.

- Finally, Justin Ling and Catherine Tunney each report on the findings of the Public Order Emergency Commission that a declaration of emergency was warranted to respond to the threat of the #FluTruxKlan (due particularly to the combination of fecklessness and outright sedition from right-wing forces). And Robert Libman discusses how Pierre Poilievre's rhetoric about freedom is absolutely hollow given his eagerness to support prejudice-based crackdowns on the rights which are actually under threat.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Musical interlude

Andain - Promises

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Robert Reich discusses how the concentration of power in the hands of the U.S.' capitalist class has reached levels not see since the gilded age - and how improvements in general access to consumer goods (driven in part by increased work participation and debt) doesn't justify or ameliorate the harm from that top-down control. And Josh Rubin reports on the abuse of the CEWS "blank cheque" by major corporations who used public pandemic funding to inflate profits and share prices. 

- David Macdonald highlights the track record showing that no-strings-attached money demanded by the provinces for health care is highly likely to be diverted toward tax giveaways and other ends. And Annie Waldman reports on the evidence of how the world's largest medical device company Medtronic has pushed for the overuse of its products with little regard for anybody's health. 

- Emma McIntosh offers an explainer on induced demand in pointing out the folly of building more highways rather than developing transit plans which actually help people get where they need to go. And Oliver Wainwright discusses how anybody outside of the alt-right fever swamps should see 15-minute cities as an eminently reasonable planning principle. 

- Finally, Robin Abcarian writes that the bigoted attack on pronouns (and other simple elements of basic recognition for trans people) are the result of the deliberate sacrifice of human dignity to political opportunism. 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Charles Schmidt reports on new research findings showing that repeat infections with COVID-19 result in substantially elevated risks of death, hospitalization and long COVID. Stephani Sutherland discusses the emerging treatment of long COVID as a neurological disease. KACL reports on research connecting past COVID infection to increased risk of diabetes. And Blake Murdoch writes that treating children (or anybody else) as being invulnerable to COVID in the face of all available evidence represents a profound devaluation of their health and well-being. 

- Meanwhile, Ricardo Tranjan and Randy Robinson highlight how Ontario has the means to end poverty, with a sharp decrease in poverty rates in 2020 showing what could be accomplished if we cared enough to provide people with even a minimal standard of living. And Stephen Wentzell reports on the findings of the Ottawa People's Commission that authorities chose to prioritize accommodating an occupying #FluTruxKlan force over the basic necessities of life for residents. 

- Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa discuss the environmental disaster in East Palestine as reflecting the prioritization of corporate profits over human health. 

- Finally, Damian Carrington reports on the accelerating loss of Antarctic sea ice as just one example of the extreme climate trends which is showing the profound damage carbon pollution is doing to our planet. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Toying cats.

Tuesday Evening Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Henry Mance talks to Mariana Mazzucato about the big con by private consultants who have been treated as a substitute for a knowledgeable civil service without having any expertise in actually serving the public. And Cathy Taylor writes about the need to invest in non-profit rather than corporatized supports for people living in poverty. 

- Moira Welsh and Clare Pasieka each report on AdvantAge's report on exploitative practices by temp agencies who poach staff from the public sector, then charge exorbitant rates to now-desperate care homes. Joel Lexchin discusses how the pharmaceutical and insurance industries are standing in the way of universal prescription drug coverage in order to preserve their own profits off of people's need for medicine. And Sarah Rieger interviews Arshy Mann about Canada's grim status as three monopolies in a trenchcoat. 

- Meanwhile, Tim Redmond reports on draft plans indicating that San Francisco could afford to set up a public bank with as little as $20 million in startup capital - ensuring that all citizens have access to the financial services they need without being at the mercy of the corporate sector. 

- Finally, Madeleine de Trenquayle interviews Naomi Klein about the inextricable connection between economic inequality and climate injustice. Naveena Savidasam discusses how the East Palestine rail calamity underscores the needless dangers arising from our reliance on petrochemicals and plastics. And Carl Meyer highlights how the tar sands sector is engaged in another exercise in greenwashing - this time at the expense of tens of billions of public dollars - in order to run decades off the clock while avoiding any plan to build out cleaner energy alternatives. 

Monday, February 13, 2023

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Ann Mallen offers a personal account of the effect of the continued COVID threat on people who are already immunocompromised, while Richard Woodbury talks to Nova Scotia seniors at risk who are rightly concerned that pandemic denialism amounts to a loss of recognition of their humanity. Kelly Fearnly writes that there's no excuse for removing even the most basic protections like masking in health care facilities when we know of an immediate threat to public health. And Cara Murez reports on some good news, in the form of research showing the continuing effectiveness of Paxlovid against newer variants which have proven resistant to other treatments. 

- Meanwhile, Ian Sample reports on the conclusion of chief medical officer of England Chris Whitty that indoor air in public places needs to be monitored and improved. 

- Jean Swanson discusses the need for vacancy control to ensure that everybody can afford a home, rather than establishing protections limited to individuals in particular units which allow for systemic price gouging every time a unit becomes vacant.  

- Tom Wilson and Derek Brower weigh in on the reality that big oil is laughing all the way to the bank while tearing up its climate commitments - and being rewarded for doing so. And Brendan Boyd and Marielle Papin discuss how to ensure people see the benefit of a just transition - though it's also essential to keep an eye on actual public opinion, rather than allowing fossil fuel magnates and their fully-owned political subsidiaries to be the judge of climate action. 

- Finally, Laure Brimbal discusses how adults tend to lay the groundwork for cultures of deception by judging children more harshly for telling blunt truths than for lying to get along. And Daniel Drache and Marc Froese point out how authoritarian politicians are using that prioritization of in-group belonging over general ethics to seize and wield power. 

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Maura Hohman discusses how COVID-19 has been found to cause increased heart problems in young people (among other harm to health) - even as it's being allowed to inflict that damage population-wide. And Lidia Morawska et al. examine how warnings about the airborne transmission of COVID were ignored by the people responsible for assessing the threat and protecting the public.

- David Sirota, Julia Rock, Rebecca Burns and Matthew Cunningham-Cook report that the East Palestine, OH train derailment (with associated fires, explosions and toxic chemical releases) was traceable directly to corporate lobbying for deregulation of safety standards. And Tom Perkins writes that the disaster should be a wake-up call as to the need for protection - though there were obvious recent precedents which would have alerted any halfway competent regulator as to the dangers of undermining rail safety.

- Paris Marx writes that a series of developments in artificial intelligence don't figure to eliminate the need for human labour - though they do figure to be used as an excuse to make work more precarious. And Marietje Schaake rightly notes that large-scale layoffs in the tech sector should be treated as an opportunity to recruit well-trained workers into the public service.

- Finally, Rumneek Johal reports on the connections between the puritanical and for-profit "recovery" sector trumpeted as an alternative to harm reduction and concern for people's health, and the right-wing politicians pouring public money into the former over the latter.