Friday, January 12, 2024

Musical interlude

Flight Facilities feat. Broods, Reggie Watts & Saro - Stranded


Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Sara Moniuzsko reports on the World Health Organization's recognition that COVID-19 is still causing nearly 10,000 reported deaths per month (to say nothing of unreported deaths and disabilities). And Michelle Ghoussoub reports on research confirming that access to prescribed opioids results in dramatic reductions in overdoses and deaths. 

- Tim Bousquet discusses the normalization of a lack of housing which has led to the building of "temporary" pallet shelters being treated as progress rather than a sign of desperate need for change. And Drew Anderson highlights how Danielle Smith and the UCP have pushed to set a baseline expectation of increased pollution, sprawls and energy inefficiency just over the holidays.  

- Andrew Coyne writes that surrender to premiers who thumb their nose at the rule of law only encourages them. And Linda McQuaig points out how the Libs have chosen to serve big oil at the expense of any responsible climate policy (with a similar effect of emboldening its climate sabotage). 

- Karin Kirk notes that even at a time of relatively low oil prices, consumers are better served charging an electric vehicle than buying fuel at the pumps. 

- Finally, Jon Stone reports on Sadiq Khan's efforts to break the UK's culture of silence about the immense real costs of succumbing to the implausible promises of Brexit. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jon Henley reports on new research showing that adopting right-wing policies does nothing to help left-of-centre parties win votes (while producing disastrous effects in shifting the spectrum of political options). 

- Laura Weiss discusses why U.S. Democrats need to acknowledge and present a plan to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic rather than buying into denialism. Eric Topol calls out the decision-makers who are living in a fantasy world rather than responding to an immediate and important crisis. And Lindsay Clark highlights how the limited information now being made available shows that many countries are on the precipice of another devastating COVID wave. 

- Joy Buolamwini writes about the need for regulation to protect biometric privacy - and the dangers that either insufficient or corporate-friendly rules will leave citizens vulnerable. And David Moscrop points out the need to dismantle Canada's telecom oligopoly which had left consumers in provinces without Crown-sector alternatives to face deteriorating services and soaring prices. 

- Moscrop also writes about the continued concentration of wealth and erosion of standards of living for Canadian workers - together with the need for a policy response to end the new gilded age.

- Finally, the Eurasia Group's grim set of top risks for 2024 starts with the danger of a sharp U.S. slide away from democratic governance. And lest anybody think the spread of reality-averse politics stops at the border, Luke LeBrun exposes how the Cons are actively helping to shape and propagate outlandish conspiracy theories. 

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Crashed cat.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Jessica Wildfire laments the great abdication of mutual responsibility which is resulting in countless preventable dangers being allowed to spread unabated. And Benedict Michael et al. study how COVID-19 is giving rise to sustained cognitive defects even as it's being treated as a non-issue. 

- Damian Carrington reports on a new analysis showing that 2023 temperatures just barely fell short of a 1.5 degree increase from the pre-fossil fuel period - with scientists warning that far worse is in store. 

- Naixin Qian et al. examine the effects of a high concentration of nanoplastics in bottled water. And Michelle Gamage reports on Canada's halting first steps to study and regulate the ingestion of "forever chemicals" through our food supply. 

- Charles Rusnell reports on the glaring conflicts of interest in Alberta's health care system, as profiteers are being allowed to steer patients to their own privately-owned clinics.  

- Finally Judd Legum and Tesnim Zekeria examine the fleecing of American workers to the tune of nine figures just in identified wage theft which hasn't been claimed. 

Monday, January 08, 2024

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Maura Hohman discusses how the U.S. is going through one of its most severe waves of COVID-19 (with very little attention), while Henna Saeed points out the spate of respiratory illnesses in Alberta. And Ashleigh Furlong reports that an attempt to work out a World Health Organization treaty on pandemics is stalling out as COVID minimizers and profiteers hijack any attempt to keep people healthy. 

- Les Leopold highlights how U.S. health care is increasingly being shaped to serve the interests of capital rather than the health of patients. And Susan Zielinski's report on Red Deer's patchwork ERs and Patrick Swadden's report on an Ontario newborn waiting 5 hours to be seen by a doctor serve as appalling examples of how Canada's public health care system is being grossly neglected to allow corporate operators to move in. 

- Graham Readfearn points out how the same types of "cranky uncles" who believe their ignorance to trump scientific fact (generally with prompting from businesses who profit as a result) have been major forces in spreading misinformation about COVID and the climate crisis. 

- Gregor MacDonald discusses how merely adding clean energy on top of continuing fossil fuel operations will fall far short of averting climate disaster. And Owen Jones calls out governments for responding to a climate breakdown in progress by persecuting the activists calling for desperately-needed action. 

- Finally, Mehdi Rizvi writes about the need for policy aimed at building social connections to counter an increasingly atomized and lonely world.