Friday, March 5, 2021

Paranoia strikes deep


What's running through my head today.

"Canada is at the bottom of an international ranking of countries with whistleblower protection, lagging behind Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Botswana."

From The Huffington Post:

A report released Tuesday by the U.S.-based Government Accountability Project and the U.K.-based International Bar Association surveyed whistleblowing frameworks in 37 countries with such laws to determine whether they are actually working.

What they found is that they are not. 

“Too often the rights that look impressive on paper are only a mirage of protection in practice,” the study’s six-lead authors said. 

“Either they do not make a difference, or in some cases, make whistleblowing more dangerous.”

The picture is especially bleak in Canada, which together with Lebanon and Norway, tied for the world’s weakest whistleblower protection laws. 

The full list:

National whistleblowing laws complying with best practices (number of criteria met) as compiled by the report’s authors:

16 – EU Whistleblower Protection Directive, Australia, United States 

15 – Ireland, Serbia 

14 – Namibia 

13 – Kosovo 

12 – Cayman Islands, Croatia, Latvia, North Macedonia, Zambia 

11 – Kenya, New Zealand 

10 – Guyana, Lithuania, Republic of Korea 

  9 – Slovakia 

  8 – Albania, Jamaica, Malta, Uganda, Vietnam 

  7 – Bosnia, France, Ghana, Malaysia, Tanzania, Tunisia 

  6 – Moldova 

  5 – Britain, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa 

  4 – Bangladesh, Belgium, Botswana, Italy, Rwanda 

  3 – Papua New Guinea, Romania, Sweden 

  2 – Israel, Hungary, Netherlands, Peru 

  1 – Canada, Lebanon, Norway

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

"An operation to supply billions of vaccine doses to poorer countries got underway last week. But as rich countries buy most of the available supply, stark inequalities remain."

On The Daily, a fascinating conversation about the Gates Foundation and the limitations of capitalism when it comes to vaccinating the developing world.

Rebuilding Jones Bar-B-Q, a legendary Black-run barbecue joint in Marianna, Arkansas

From Garden and Gun:

Since around 1910, Jones Bar-B-Q Diner has been a mainstay in the small Delta town of Marianna, Arkansas. Still run by the same family who founded it, the barbecue icon received an America’s Classic award from the James Beard Foundation in 2012. But on the morning of Sunday, February 28, a fire broke out in the pit, devastating roughly seventy percent of the building before responders could put it out.  

“Jones Bar-B-Q Diner is one of the oldest barbecue joints in the country, one of the oldest Black-run barbecue joints, and one of America’s oldest Black-run businesses, period,” says the culinary historian Adrian Miller, author of the forthcoming book Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue. “Black entrepreneurs have always faced obstacles in this country, often hurdles intentionally put in place, so to have a business endure this long is significant.”

You can donate to a rebuilding fund here.

"These witnesses also described Jackson's leadership style with terms such as 'tyrant,' 'dictator,' 'control freak,' 'hallmarks of fear and intimidation,' 'crappy manager,' and 'not a leader at all.'"

Sounds like about half the attendings I had in medical school.

Monday, March 1, 2021

A Discussion of Carte Blanche: The Erosion of Medical Consent, with Harriet Washington and Carl Elliott

Sponsored by Politics and Prose. Register here: 

Fri, March 5, 2021

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM CST

Carte Blanche is the alarming tale of how the right of Americans to say "no" to risky medical research is being violated. Patients' right to give or withhold consent is supposed to be protected by law, but for decades medical research has been conducted on trauma victims--who are disproportionately people of color--without their consent or even their knowledge.

Harriet A. Washington is the author of Medical Apartheid, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Oakland Award, and the American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award. She has been a research fellow in medical ethics at Harvard Medical School, a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University, and the recipient of a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University. She lectures in bioethics at Columbia University. Her books also include A Terrible Thing to Waste and Infectious Madness. Follow her at @haw95.