“Trudeau’s ‘Gamble’” in Renewal Update is a very good article which goes right to the heart of the problem as to why the various factions of the ruling class are unable to make accurate predictions in the current political and economic situation which this same ruling class has fostered.
Cuba continues to receive international accolades for its singular role in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This is illustrated by the numerous nominations of Cuba’s internationalist medical contingent – the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade against Disasters and Serious Epidemics – for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. Continue reading →
(December 21) – As 2020 draws to a close, the COVID19 pandemic rages on, yet, undoubtedly, we have entered a distinct phase as a number of countries now begin or plan for mass distribution and administration of newly developed vaccines. As of this writing, there are six approved vaccines and over 50 candidates in development (Craven, 2020, WHO 2020). In the UK, the NHS recently started administering the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine, and the US followed suit one week later. COVID19 vaccine development has reinvigorated a certain type of vaccine nationalism not seen for decades. Each vaccine or candidate gets a particular pedigree, narrative and aura of trustworthiness according to its origins. The vaccines and candidates are a mix of private-sector developed or public/private partnership, with only a few candidates from universities or the public sector (WHO, 2020). In Cuba’s state-run socialist biopharmaceutical system, their new COVID19 vaccine, called Soberana or “The Sovereign,” is effortlessly enfolded into a long-standing national narrative of vaccine prowess. Continue reading →
1919 (20 December): Under the heading “Scientists as Spies,” The Nation, a liberal journal based in New York, published on this date a letter by Franz Boas, the father of academic anthropology in the United States. Boas was one of the most prominent opponents of the then popular pseudo-science of eugenics and “scientific racism”, the fascist concept that race is a biological concept and that human behaviour is best understood through the typology of biological characteristics and not social and cultural factors.
Boas publicly charged that four American anthropologists, whom he did not name, had abused their professional research positions by conducting espionage in Central America for the U.S. armed forces during the First World War – precisely when U.S. imperialism had aggressively occupied Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti and was conspiring against the Mexican Revolution. Boas strongly condemned their actions, writing that they had “prostituted science by using it as a cover for their activities as spies.” Continue reading →
If not for the unwritten premise of the imperialist media that anything good about Cuba is not to be reported, it would be striking that this piece of news has gone practically unnoticed: that in recent days the vaccine “Soberana 01” [“Sovereign” in English – Ed Note] began clinical trials in humans and became the first in Latin America – and in the entire so-called underdeveloped world – to advance to this second phase. Continue reading →
The Bell and Telus monopolies are being pressured to use Ericsson instead of Huawei even though it will be more expensive and less efficient. In parallel, while Canada has just authorized the extradition of Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of one of Huawei’s leaders, to the United States, the U.S. Congressional Research Service exposes the military component of the 5G technology | MANLIO DINUCCI
Arrival at U.S. AFB Nellis of an aircraft classified for G5 tests.
At Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada – announces the Pentagon – construction of a 5G experimental network will begin in July. It will become operational in January 2021. Continue reading →
Members of Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade in Barbados during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuba has sent similar brigades throughout the Caribbean and around the world.
By Isaac Saney, Spokesperson, Canadian Network on Cuba
The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) is launching the Campaign to Support Cuba’s Contribution to World Fight Against COVID-19 to assist the heroic island’s internationalist medical missions that are combatting the pandemic across the world. Continue reading →
Like other countries, Canada is facing an acute shortage of respiratory masks in the struggle to protect health care workers and the population at large from the COVID-19 virus. Supplies dwindled fast with a province like Ontario reportedly having only a five-day supply left on April 3 and health care workers forced to disinfect and reuse their masks. Without protection of masks, these workers are being put in an impossible, life and death situation. Continue reading →
The refusal to stop paying the rich and increase investments in social programs has created the current situation where a health care system already over-capacity and where workers experience unsustainable workloads is now faced with the COVID-19 crisis. The reversal of all privatization schemes is in order | PEGGY MORTON
Across Canada, labs with facilities to test for COVID-19 are overwhelmed. Both the speed of results and the scope of testing are far below what is needed, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and proven effective in countries like China, south Korea and Singapore. This is the case right across Canada and shows the need for significant expansion of public health laboratories. Continue reading →
The present aim of maximum private profit has obviously failed with regard to having a secure supply chain of necessary health care products or it would not be a matter of discussion and concern | Commentary by K.C. ADAMS
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19. He said the plan will “create pathways to deploy resources to domestic manufacturers and businesses so they can help during this critical time. […] The Plan introduces new measures to directly support these businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against COVID-19. These products could include critical health and safety supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment, sanitization products, diagnostic and testing products, and disease tracking technology. […] It focuses on domestic capacity building, innovative solutions, and procurement of essential supplies.” Continue reading →
(March 10) – When new, virulent diseases emerge, such SARS and Covid-19, the race begins to find new vaccines and treatments for those affected. As the current crisis unfolds, governments are enforcing quarantine and isolation, and public gatherings are being discouraged. Health officials took the same approach 100 years ago, when influenza was spreading around the world. The results were mixed. But records from the 1918 pandemic suggest one technique for dealing with influenza — little-known today — was effective. Some hard-won experience from the greatest pandemic in recorded history could help us in the weeks and months ahead. Continue reading →
Tom Hanks is today’s Everyman good guy movie star – an honest, trustworthy and stand-up white man just like Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck and, yes, even John Wayne. In the recent film Bridge of Spies, one of those “inspired by true events” obfuscations, Hanks plays a certain James B. Donovan. In the movie, Donovan is an insurance lawyer lured into defending Soviet spy Rudolf Abel back in the good old days of the Cold War in order to prove that this is the land of justice and due process. Bridge of Spies, directed by Steven Spielberg, appears to be headed into Oscar territory. Continue reading →
On June 19, 1953, U.S. citizens Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed at Sing Sing Prison in New York on the false charge of conspiring to pass atomic secrets to the Soviet Union during the Second World War. The U.S. and Soviet Union were nominally allies against Nazi Germany at the time so the Rosenbergs were actually sentenced to death for passing secrets to a U.S. ally, which makes no sense. But the U.S. was a Soviet ally in name only. It is now well-known that the U.S. ruling circles, which had conspired with Nazi Germany during the war, had decided to openly betray the anti-fascist alliance before the war ended and to rebuild Germany as an anti-communist bulwark against the Soviet Union. Continue reading →
The second People’s Climate March is taking place in Washington, DC on Saturday, April 29 at the National Mall, blocks from the White House. Tens of thousands are expected to attend, highlighting the deep concern of the people over climate change and their demand for deep-going transformations to avert the dangers it poses and defend the natural environment. Continue reading →
Science – natural and social – is what distinguishes a society on the high road of civilization from a society that is retrogressive, turning its back on truth and scientific pursuit, imposing instead irrationalism arising from prejudice. Today that would be neo-liberal prejudice or narrow self-interest of the rich at the expense of the rights of people by virtue of being human and interests of society itself. Continue reading →
Government cutbacks undermine public health and safety. ANNE JAMIESON
King Stephen – “Canada For Sale” by Royal Prerogative. Photo is from a June 25, 2011 rally of some 3,000 Newfoundlanders on the St. John’s waterfront against the decision of the Harper government to close the Marine Rescue Centre. | Tim O’Brien, The Muse
Sometime in the afternoon of April 8, bunker fuel started leaking from a ship anchored in English Bay in the outer harbour of the Port of Vancouver as it waited to load its cargo of grain at the docks. At 5:10 pm, a recreational boater noticed a large oil slick and called 911. The call was passed on to the Canadian Coast Guard, the designated lead agency for incidents like this. A Port Metro Vancouver boat appeared on the scene around 6:00 pm. Continue reading →
The Harper government, with its anti-social, anti-national and neo-liberal agenda, is shutting down a “world class” collection on freshwater science and protection, ANDREW NIKIFORUK* reports in The Tyee. We also list other federal library closures (9) and consolidations (27). Continue reading →
At a time when scientists and personnel in the fields of science and research are coming out with ever greater determination to stand against the politicization of science as part of the neo-liberal, anti national and anti social agenda of the Harper and Obama regimes, revelations are emerging that many basic cancer studies in the USA simply cannot be validated. In the life sciences, it seems that parallel forces, similar to those in theoretical physics and in mathematics, are at work, making it sterile and useless, and separating it from the needs of the people. And this is not at all accidental. Science, which at one time was useful to the rising European bourgeoisie, is now in a state of marasmus and disintegration. The scientific method has been buried and replaced with hocus-pocus. The imperialist system – unable to give the people anything but devastating wars – is holding back the development of the productive forces, and is a brake on progress, science and culture.“Billions of dollars in worldwide resources devoted to finding and developing remedies for the diseases that afflict us all is being thrown down a rathole,” concludes MICHAEL HILTZIK* in the LA Times.
IN TODAY’S WORLD, brimful as it is with opinion and falsehoods masquerading as facts, you’d think the one place you can depend on for verifiable facts is science.
You’d be wrong. Many billions of dollars’ worth of wrong.
A few years ago, scientists at the Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen  set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology. Continue reading →
The Science Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives held a 90-minute hearing on extraterrestrial life on December 4, called “Astrobiology: The Search for Biosignatures in Our Solar System and Beyond.” The hearing was called by the committee chairman, Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), the subject of a previous post on this blog.* Not until the hearing was nearly over did a lawmaker address the issue head-on.
“Rep. Ralph M. Hall (R-Tex.), the chairman emeritus of the committee, asked the panel: ‘Do you think there’s life out there, and are they studying us? And what do they think about New York City?’”
Four thousand Canadian scientists respond to survey. Hundreds confirmed they’d been asked to “exclude or alter technical information in government documents for non-scientific reasons.”
PressProgress (Oct. 22) – IT ISN’T EASY being a scientist for the federal government these days. That’s the clear message from new research released by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).
The union commissioned Environics “gauge the scale and impact of ‘muzzling’ and political interference among federal scientists.” Over 15,000 were invited to participate in the survey, and about 4,000 took up the offer. The results, released Monday, are startling. Continue reading →
The American Council on Science and Health defends fracking, BPA, and pesticides. Guess who their funders are. Guess who its executive director is. (Hint: he’s a convicted felon.)
By Andy Kroll and Jeremy Schulman*
Mother Jones (Oct. 28) – THE American Council on Science and Health bills itself as an independent research and advocacy organization devoted to debunking “junk science.” It’s a controversial outfit—a “group of scientists…concerned that many important public policies related to health and the environment did not have a sound scientific basis,” it says—that often does battle with environmentalists and consumer safety advocates, wading into public health debates to defend fracking, to fight New York City’s attempt to ban big sugary sodas, and to dismiss concerns about the potential harms of the chemical bisphenol-A (better known at BPA) and the pesticide atrazine. The group insists that its conclusions are driven purely by science. It acknowledges that it receives some financial support from corporations and industry groups, but ACSH, which reportedly stopped disclosing its corporate donors two decades ago, maintains that these contributions don’t influence its work and agenda. Continue reading →
Posters at Ottawa rally held on Sept. 16 to oppose the politicization of science by the Harper government
TML Daily – EDMONTON scientists and their allies participated in a very lively public meeting on October 23 at the Alberta Art Gallery under the title “Get Science Right.” The meeting, attended by about 120 people, was organized by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) as part of a series of ongoing Canada-wide regional town halls aimed at providing an opportunity for the public and scientists to look at what is happening in science and research, and discuss what should be done to improve the situation in the interests of the people. Continue reading →
From Dougal MacDonald’s Facebook page: In a rare moment of unintended candour, federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver recently told the CBC that “[Canadian scientists and environmentalists] are entitled to their opinion, but they are not entitled to the facts.” Whatever Oliver meant to say, his words accurately reflected the efforts to make a state secret of any and all information that could be considered damaging to the interests of the global monopolies.
Hoyne Santa-Balazs commented: See if I have this right: the scientists are entitled to find facts and to form opinions about them, but not entitled to the facts. Said “facts” are destined to be proprietary (“title” implies legal constructs around property). Loose lips and the truth slips out.
Scientists rally on Parliament Hill, September 16, 2013.
By DOUGAL MACDONALD
TML Daily (Oct. 15) – IT IS noteworthy that on the Conservative Party of Canada’s Convention Website, the list of resolutions the Harperites will discuss October 31-November 2 in Calgary makes no specific mention of anything directly related to science and scientific research. This is surprising in view of the fact that the Harper dictatorship’s muzzling of science and of scientists’ right to speak about their work is a major issue at this time. On September 16, scientists, researchers, and their supporters held rallies in at least 17 cities across Canada, including in Alberta, to defend the important scientific work they do in the service of the public. The largest rally took place on Parliament Hill where over 1,000 people, including hundreds of scientists in white lab coats, demanded “evidence-based decision-making.” Continue reading →
JOHN DUPUIS, reblogged from Confessions of a Science Librarian, concentrates on the Harper agenda regarding “natural sciences, environment and some public health topics rather than looking more broadly at how the Conservative government treats the humanities, social sciences, memory and heritage institutions and just generally any sort of evidence-based policy- or decision-making.” How $50 million in federal funding is being directed to such pseudo-science centres of big capital as the Perimeter Institute in Kitchener-Waterloo; the militarization of research, especially the role of Lockheed Martin; and the reactionary ostracism of science and scientists from Iran, Cuba and other countries merits definite attention. – TS
* * *
THIS IS a brief chronology of the current Conservative Canadian government’s long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making. It is a government that is beholden to big business, particularly big oil, and that makes every attempt to shape public policy to that end. It is a government that fundamentally does not believe in science. It is a government that is more interested in keeping its corporate masters happy than in protecting the environment. Continue reading →
The Harper Government’s anti-social agenda has a political aim; depriving Canadians of scientific information by preventing scientists and others from giving their views in interviews, articles and other forms, which violates the right of the public to getting factual and scientific information in a timely manner, and marginalizes Canadians from participating in more fully debating and discussing issues that concern them. Today, thousands of scientists and citizens are again demanding the federal government prioritize science in the public interest.
Evidence for Democracy (September 16) – TODAY, thousands of scientists and concerned citizens participated in rallies across Canada, voicing their concern for the state of science in the public interest. Speakers highlighted that the health of public science impacts all of us and called on the federal government to make transparent, evidence-based decisions for the health and prosperity of all Canadians. Continue reading →
Global Research(September 15) – THE World Health Organisation has categorically refused, in defiance of its own mandate, to share evidence uncovered in Iraq that US military use of depleted uranium and other weapons have not only killed many civilians, but continue to result in the birth of deformed babies.Continue reading →