Saturday, April 22, 2023

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Jenna Cartusciello examines the connections between COVID-19 and gastrointestinal issues as yet another poorly-studied and potentially long-lasting effect of infection with a disease we're being told not to worry about. And Omar Mosleh reports on the backsliding in Canadian public health as diseases long understood to be eradicated are surging thanks in large part to anti-vaxxer ideology.

- Steven Lewis discusses the breaches of the Canada Health Act which are already undermining universal public health care while threatening to get worse if left unaddressed. 

- Lisa Harris, Calvin Sandborn, Matt Hulse and Leah Temper write that we can't afford to let oil-soaked disinformation obstruct the action needed to avert catastrophic climate change. And Patrick Greenfield reports on Denis Hayes' rightful condemnation of the use of Earth Day to greenwash environmental destruction by fossil fuel giants.

- Meanwhile, Michelle Lewis reports on the development of a new EV truck battery which offers the prospect of powering a heavy truck for 1.5 million kilometres while being manufactured with less impact than existing options. And Geoff Meggs writes about the combination of social and environmental benefits from the Squamish First Nation's Sen̓áḵw project - while noting the need for far more where it came from.

- Finally, Robert Reich discusses how the Republicans are hurtling ever faster toward fascism by removing elected representatives who dare to assert the humanity of the people they're looking to silence.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Musical interlude

Lastlings - Noise

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Martha Lincoln and Anne Sosin discuss the lack of sustained improvement in the social conditions which exacerbated the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

- David Spratt takes note of the climate tipping points which are being reached much faster than previously anticipated. And Claire Elise Thompson points out how a four-day work week would be better for the planet as well as for workers. 

- Spencer Bridgman discusses how the job action by federal civil servants reflects much-needed pushback against the theory that workers generally need to absorb the cost of inflation. And Jen Hassum writes that any populist worth listening to should be supporting the workers, rather than demanding that they accept stagnation and precarity to grease the skids for the wealthy to accumulate even more. 

- David Moscrop calls out the Ford PCs for lacking any recognition that education needs to involve more than training for the first available job. 

- Finally, Cory Doctorow examines how international trade agreements consistently reflect little more than corporate lobbyists' wish lists to exploit citizens in all of the countries involved. 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ed Yong discusses how the brutal realities of long COVID are being systematically erased from the public eye. And Josh Lynn reports on the state of crisis in a Saskatchewan hospital - even as the Moe government's top priority is to squelch any public awareness of the desperate circumstances facing patients and health care workers alike. 

- Ian Urquhart contrasts the self-congratulatory spin of the federal Libs against Canada's already-miserable track record of failing to even approach any of our climate change targets. And Steve Lorteau writes about the harm being done by state-owned polluters, while Troy Farah discusses the role of the rich in exacerbating both a climate breakdown and the harm it does to the rest of humanity. 

- Cory Doctorow discusses the cruelty behind the Republicans' constant attacks on people's access to the necessities of life. Umair Haque writes about the social collapse evidenced by the fear and violence that's led to a spate of shootings at doorsteps and in public places. And Robert Reich points out that Fox News' settlement with Dominion Voting Systems is designed to turn the consequences of deliberate lies about electoral outcomes into a readily-affordable cost of engaging in the fearmongering business.  

- Finally, Jared Wesley writes that Alberta's impending election reflects a referendum on democracy itself, as the rule of law figures to have little chance to survive another term of UCP government. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Evelyn Lazare discusses how the refusal of the powers that be to act to mitigate an ongoing pandemic is only ensuring that its effects will be worse and longer-lasting than they need to be. And Emily Moskal reports on a promising new type of long-cost, non-refrigerated vaccine which could provide a means of protecting everybody if any attempt were being made to help anybody. 

- Rebecca Leber writes about new data showing that air quality is deteriorating in the U.S. as the pollution caused by the productions of climate change (including wildfires, heat and drought) outweighs any gains in pollutant regulation. And the Canadian Press reports on a release of polluted water from a Suncor tar sands mine, while Natasha Bulowski reports on the warranted outrage of Indigenous leaders who were kept in the dark about Imperial Oil's release of toxic tailings into food and water sources.  

- Julian Jacobs writes about the contrast between the capital class which continues to rack up massive increases in wealth, and the recession of choice being imposed on workers. And David MacDonald points out how federal benefits for housing and dental care have seen low uptake rates which results in far less improvement of people's material conditions than promised. 

- Emily Leedham offers a primer on the strike among federal government bargaining units seeking to avoid losing ground, while Jeremy Appel reports on the massive strike vote among WestJet pilots. 

- Finally, Max Fawcett writes that the alt-right takeover of Twitter has allowed Pierre Poilivre to claim one victory over truth in his contrived fight against the CBC. And Martin Lukacs points out that beyond serving to separate more gullible supporters from their money, Poilievre's false outrage also works the refs to help ensure the CBC's coverage remains objectively biased in favour of conservatives. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Snuggled cats.


Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Stephanie Soucheray discusses new research linking COVID-19 to subsequent sleep disturbances and dyspnea. And Linda Geddes reports on findings showing that a growing number of cases of diabetes can also be traced to COVID. 

- John Bell and Alex MacKenzie argue that Canada should develop its own pharmaceutical research and manufacturing infrastructure to treat rare diseases. And Andre Picard highlights how any effective response to the drug poisoning crisis needs to include harm reduction and social supports, rather than being limited to a demand that people immediately sequester themselves in for-profit treatment centres. 

- Meanwhile, the Canadian Press reports on the Moe government's diktat that health care workers conceal the dire state of Saskatchewan's medical system from the opposition. 

- Kate Aronoff discusses how inflated fossil fuel profits over the past couple of years are the direct result of war profiteering. And Julia Conley points out how corporate landlords are taking over more and more U.S. housing and driving up rents. 

- Finally, Alex Birrell calls out Sandra Masters for using convenient allegations of sexism to impose regressive policy choices and misogynistic themes which hurt women. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Jia Li et al. study the causal associations between COVID-19 and numerous types of cancer - finding generally that COVID is associated with increased cancer risk. And Erin Prater reports on the spread of the Arcturus variant as the most transmissible version yet.

- Alex Press discusses how deteriorating working conditions in the trucking industry are leading to safety risks for truckers themselves, and for the general public. And Robert Ovetz and Kevin Van Meter offer some advice to marshal the collective strength of labour to stand up to exploitative employers. 

- Brett Christophers writes that contrary to what people might assume in turning the ownership of public infrastructure over to pension funds, the incentives facing the funds' managers tend toward short-term thinking at the expense of the long-term preservation of the underlying asset. And while Graeme Nuttall and James Bonham offer a theory as to how they'd like employee stock ownership to work, their proposed mandate that employees take on debt to pay owners more than market value for businesses seems to represent little more than a systematic upward transfer of wealth.  

- Finally, Ricardo Tranjan writes that the housing crisis is the result of governments catering to private developers' desire for immediate profit, not the presence of newcomers needed to perform essential services in our communities. 

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Kenyon Wallace writes that the only reason we're not observing large COVID waves is that we've been pushed to accept a perpetual high tide - with all the avoidable illness and death which comes with that. And Bill Hathaway discusses new research showing how the Omicron subvariants in particular avoid our immune system, meaning that their uncontrolled spread and mutation pose especially severe threats.

- Bill McKibben discusses how even after years of unprecedented heat waves, wildfires and other severe weather events, we're likely only approaching the true weight of a climate breakdown.

- Cara McKenna and Martin Lukacs report on the Indigenous communities fighting to avoid the uncontrolled release of toxic tar sands waste into crucial watersheds. And Bob Weber reports on the predictable reality that the UCP's assurances about having contained the initial spill (while concealing it from the people affected) have proven false.

- Blair Fix discusses the redistributive implications of interest rates - and the inequality which inevitably results from a choice to prioritize higher rates of capital return over shared wealth. 

-' Finally, Crawford Kilian reviews Paul Wells' An Emergency in Ottawa, and discusses how it points out the continued need for a reckoning with the systematic breakdown of trust in public institutions and the concurrent rise of the anti-social right. And Euan Thomson comments on the UCP's choice to value religious control over human lives in allocating resources for drug treatment.