Friday, April 28, 2023

Musical interlude

John Summit & Hayla - Where You Are

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- The Canadian Health Coalition weighs in on the recent study showing that privatized surgeries in Quebec cost more than twice what public procedures would. And Matt Bruenig discusses the U.S. Democrats' development of a layer of bureaucracy for a child care subsidy program intended to exclude only 1% of applicants as a painful example of prioritizing the limitation of access to benefits over the effectiveness of the benefit itself.  

- Sarah Wakeman discusses by the involuntary treatment requirements being pushed as a draconian alternative to harm reduction are dangerous. And Duncan Kinney reports on the deaths resulting from the UCP's insistence on abstinence-only public policy, including ones caused by facilities' lack of training and supplies to deal with drug poisonings.  

- Meanwhile, David Climenhaga writes about the utter refusal of Alberta's energy regulator to answer even the first questions about its coverup of toxic tailings pond leaks. 

- Martin Regg Cohn calls out the Ford PCs' combination of cuts and neglect which is undermining Ontario colleges and universities. 

- Zak Vescera examines what's at stake in the strike among federal employees. And Cory Doctorow discusses how workplace democracy can serve as the foundation for the broader application of democratic principles.

- Finally, Liana Hwang highlights how the availability of food shouldn't be a matter of charity - even as governments are increasingly leaning on food banks and other charities to provide the necessities of life so they can spend lavishly on luxuries for billionaires. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Arielle Dreher reports on the findings of the U.S.' COVID Crisis Group that the U.S. fell short of the mark in coordinating its COVID-19 response and figures to do so again in future pandemics without improvement. And Leigh MacMillan reports on research showing how COVID produces changes in respiratory tract microbes which can in turn cause additional health problems.  

- Nathan Robinson offers a reminder that the means to end homelessness through a housing guarantee are readily available. And Max Fawcett discusses how the choices we've made around housing - including the expectation that it serve as a risk- and tax-free investment - have led to the lack of homes for far too many. But in case we needed a reminder of the forces working to make matters worse, David Sirota examines Blackstone's plans to extract even more intolerable rents from university students and others in order to goose profit margins. 

- Meanwhile, Christine Boyle and Jim Stanford discuss why Vancouver's abandonment of a living wage is bad economics. 

- Josh Gabbatiss notes that Shell has effectively acknowledged that we can't avoid breaking the 1.5 C barrier without ended new fossil fuel development (though of course it wants to instead count on future carbon removal to excuse further pollution). 

- Finally, Geoff Salomon makes the case for Alberta to save the proceeds of non-renewable resources rather than relying indefinitely on temporary revenue sources. And Doug Johnson writes about the immense potential to integrate solar power into agricultural operations to meet Canada's energy and food needs. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Braced cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Australia's Inquiry into Long COVID has produced a report (PDF) confirming the obvious needs both to limit the continued spread of COVID-19, and to provide support for the people suffering ongoing effects of the coronavirus.  

- Michele Friedner writes about the people being extorted to preserve their hearing as corporate health equipment providers discontinue the cochlear implants they've come to rely on. And CBC News reports on new Quebec data showing that even after cherry-picking only the easiest cases and shedding , private surgery clinics are charging more than twice the cost of performing operations publicly:

- Bob Weber reports on new research showing that the oil sector is grossly understating the amount of carbon pollution it's currently spewing (even as it plans to keep increasing its emissions). Adam Morton reports on the false promise of the world's largest carbon capture and storage system which is failing to capture anywhere near as much carbon dioxide as claimed. And Natasha Bulowski reports on the Parliamentary hearings into Alberta's toxic substance coverups - which unfortunately continued through a refusal to answer simple questions about when the Alberta Energy Regulator knew about the leaks it concealed. 

- Ann Pettifor debates - and gets the best of - Nick Macpherson in discussing whether the UK's austerity imposed in the course of a downturn produced anything but needless suffering. And Erin Weir points out how Scott Moe is using the assertion of control over natural resources to hand out windfalls to his corporate donors, rather than to benefit actual people in Saskatchewan. 

- Finally, Cory Doctorow writes about the tax-loss harvesting which is being used by the wealthiest few to avoid paying any taxes on massive capital gains. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Trevor Hancock discusses the need to treat the economy as a means to human well-being, rather than an end worth sacrificing our health and our living environment.

- Henry Killworth writes about new research confirming that the lost sense of smell arising out of COVID-19 is associated with brain impairment. And Simran Purewal et al. discuss how long COVID is being dismissed or ignored by far too many physicians, resulting in patients facing stigma and receiving no effective treatment. 

- Aaron Wherry writes about the latest national inventory report on greenhouse gas emissions - though it's worth noting that even the math which shows Canada falling far short of its existing climate commitments fails to account for the further harm caused by fossil fuel exports which are also linked to continued domestic emission increases. Cory Doctorow notes that the capitalists profiting from dirty energy appear far more willing to invest in preserving and expanding their wealth through violence than in any transition to clean alternatives. And Leyland Cecco reports on the justified fears of Indigenous communities that the oil sector (and its fully-owned subsidiaries in the UCP) would rather poison vital water supplies in secret than admit to the environmental consequences of its operations. 

- Finally, Rachel Cohen points out that any push to respond to the housing crisis needs to include the availability of affordable homes for families. And Brian Doucet and Laura Pin comment on the need to act against renovictions to ensure developers don't make matters worse.