Friday, January 26, 2024

Musical interlude

Birdy & Rhodes - Let It All Go

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg examines why seemingly healthy macroeconomic indicators - and even  positive personal expectations - haven't translated into public satisfaction with political economic leaders. But Dougald Lamont is setting out how our economic system has been torqued at the behest of corporate robber barons to exploit and extract wealth from everybody else for the benefit of the uber-rich. 

- As a particularly appalling example of the prioritization of corporate assumptions over human needs, Kumar Sambhav, Tapasya and Divij Joshi report on India's use of AI which simply presumes people to be dead in order to cut off their pension benefits. And Cory Doctorow discusses how tech giants are seeking to lock people into mandatory compliance with preferred business models to serve their own profitability at the expense of value to users. 

- Benjamin Shingler reports on new research showing that the dirty oil sector is polluting Alberta up to 60 times more than it reports. Sam Markert examines how plastics manufacturers have exploited massive loopholes in "extended producer responsibility" policies to dump waste where it's least regulated. And Judith Weis points out how textiles are an increasing source of microplastic pollution. 

- Jeff Berardelli offers a reminder that 2023 was by far the hottest year on record. Marshall Brain writes about the dangers of unfounded climate optimism when our current trajectory has us headed for disaster (and some of the most powerful forces on the planet are determined to make matters worse). And Eve Thomas discusses the IEA's recognition of the need for structural changes to try to limit the harm of a climate breakdown. 

- Luke LeBrun reports that the latest attack on the rule of law in Canada by the Cons' convoy buddies involves an attempt to coerce police into arresting political leaders. 

- Finally, David Climenhaga reports on Danielle Smith's choice to roll out the red carpet for Tucker Carlson rather than having any interest in responding to a shooting and firebombing in Edmonton. And Scott Dippel reports on the UCP's admonition that municipalities list any agreements in place with the federal government - signaling that the UCP isn't merely unwilling to bother providing housing or other vital services to Alberta's residents, but is determined to ferret out and block any attempt by other levels of government to do so. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Wide-eyed cat.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Tim Murphy discusses the many similarities between Russia's oligarchs and the U.S.' - including how both take advantage of deliberate policy choices to facilitate the concentration of wealth in secret. And Kevin Kharas' interview with Bertrand Monnet includes the recognition that their shared addiction to accumulation is also at the root of Mexico's drug cartels. 

- Linda McQuaig points out the similarities between Pierre Poilievre, Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro as strongmen determined to foment hate and rage to distract from the fact they have no plans to improve anybody's well-being (other than that of their cronies). 

- Jeremy Appel reports on the complete contempt for the law shown by Take Back Alberta in its refusal to cooperate with an investigation into its shady donors. And David Climenhaga notes that the most extreme and corrupt branch of the UCP is now trying to make a mockery of any form of democracy by attempting to take over the NDP.  

- Abdul Matin Sarfraz reports on Ian Burton's work to move us toward climate adaptation. But John Woodside highlights how Enbridge is trying to stop any transition to cleaner energy.

- Finally, Anne Rumberger interviews Anne Larson about the corporate media's systematic erasure of workers. And Matthew Stanley et al. find that workers' loyalty to bosses tends to turn into an invitation to increased exploitation. 

Monday, January 22, 2024

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- KFF Health News offers a reminder that the COVID pandemic is far from over, even if the highly effective public health measures which previously kept us relatively healthy have been discarded in favour of determined denialism. And Hayley Gleeson discusses what Australian scientists are doing at an individual level to make up for policy neglect. 

- Whizy Kim discusses how U.S. wealth is becoming both more concentrated and more nepotistic. And Joan Westerberg writes that the always-impossible admonition to people to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps is becoming all the more preposterous in a system designed to entrench wealth and grind workers. 

- Meanwhile, Patrice Bergeron reports on Quebec City's recognition that secure housing can serve as the base to address other problems.  

- Cory Doctorow examines the incestuous corporate connections which are making air travel both less safe and generally enshittified. And Morgan Grenfell calls out the Ford PCs for legislation designed to turn health care into a cash cow for private staffing agencies.

- Finally, Tyne Logan discusses how a spike in disastrous wildfires is both an effect and a cause of the climate breakdown. And Rochelle Baker reports on a new study showing how the dumping of microplastics is causing massive harm to marine life.