Links 5/20/2020

World sparrow day 2020: Theme, history and significance India Today

Facebook takes on Amazon with online shopping venture FT

Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc-based baby powder in U.S., Canada Reuters

Botch on the Rhine New York Review of Books

Space Force graduating class suffocates after tossing helmets Duffelblog

#COVID-19

How the pandemic has changed the natural world, illustrated Politico

Lockdowns trigger dramatic fall in global carbon emissions Guardian

Holy Super Soaker Batman Common Dreams

Texas, North Carolina, Arizona see rising cases as they reopen The Hill

‘Don’t Come’: Hawaii Enforces Strict Lockdown Measures Bloomberg

States accused of fudging or bungling COVID-19 testing data AP

Chicago hospital on the financial brink: St. Anthony’s fights for survival, sues state for money owed Chicago Tribune

Remote Communities Face Virus With Fewer Hospitals Capital & Main

Apps/Screening/Contact Tracing

You Don’t Need Invasive Tech for Successful Contact Tracing. Here’s How It Works. Pro Publica

A flood of coronavirus apps are tracking us. Now it’s time to keep track of them. MIT Technology Review

Report warns against coronavirus fever-screening devices CBS.  Reminds me of the problems with breathalyzers, which produce many bogus, false positive results, particularly when poorly maintained.

Science/Medicine

Psychiatric and neuropsychiatric presentations associated with severe coronavirus infections: a systematic review and meta-analysis with comparison to the COVID-19 pandemic The Lancet

Need for Transparency and Reliable Evidence in Emergency Use Authorizations for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Therapies JAMA Network

Oxford’s Covid vaccine, being tested on humans in UK, fails to prevent infection in monkeys The Print

Class Warfare

Jamie Dimon says coronavirus crisis is ‘wake up call’ for a more inclusive economy CNBC

‘This Is Only the Beginning’: JPMorgan Chase Faces Investor Revolt Over Financing Climate Destruction Common Dreams

We Should Help Workers, Not Kill Them NYT. Paul Krugman.

‘Hard stop’: States could lose National Guard virus workers Politico

‘Way Too Late’: Inside Amazon’s Biggest Outbreak NYT

America’s Cold War Crimes Abroad Are Still Shaping Our World Jacobin

If Trump Responded To The Coronavirus Like FDR American Conservative

Wall Street banker blasts employees for not responding to 3 a.m. email NY Post

Poor New York City Neighborhoods Seeing Deaths From Covid at More Than Twice the Rate of Affluent Areas Common Dreams

Rent cuts and lease slumps: Is now the time to land a deal on a NYC apartment? Curbed New York

Trump banking regulator to announce departure after finalizing anti-redlining rule Politico

Serfs Revolt

Retailers Phase Out Coronavirus Hazard Pay for Essential Workers WSJ

Food Security

Quarantine measures may lead to shortage of fruit pickers in Britain Guardian

Nearly a third of small, independent farmers are facing bankruptcy by the end of 2020, new survey says The Counter

Health Care

A Drug Company Wagers the U.S. Won’t Dare Charge It With Crimes NYT

China?

What growing epidemic in China killed 843,000 people across the nation in 2017? SCMP

China updates its ‘Art of (Hybrid) War’ Asia Times. Pepe Escobar.

Millions of Newly Jobless in China Pose a Looming Threat to Xi Bloomberg

India

Why India’s Legal and Labour System Needs to be Reconfigured to Really Help Migrant Workers The Wire

‘My angel’: man who became face of India’s stranded helped home by stranger Guardian

Day After Chaos, Ghaziabad Admin Barricades Road Leading to Migrants’ Rail Booking Centre The  Wire

Bangladesh

Cox’s Bazar coronavirus case – the first of many? Qantara

France

France’s Macron loses majority as defectors form new party BBC
UPDATE: Luxury Stores Are Reopening In France, With No Chinese Tourists In Sight Jing Daily

Italy

IN ITALY, FAMILY-RUN SHOE FACTORIES ARE PART OF THE CULTURE. WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY CLOSE? Fashionista

Yemen

One country, two monetary systems Moneyness

Trump Transition

Foreign STEM Graduates Are Being Shut Out of the U.S. Job Market Bloomberg

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

And a bonus video:

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195 comments

  1. jefemt

    I noticed the bearer of the hummingbird feeder neglected to don a pair of PPE type gloves. Shortage? Scofflaw? Fierce libertarian birder?

    Reply
    1. Ignacio

      In the last part of the video you can notice humms perch in the hand only when they have good view of the person upholding the food. The second hummingbird, having not the possibility to perch in the “correct” position chooses to keep flying while feeding.

      Reply
      1. orlbucfan

        Love the.hummingbirds. Their wing speed is incredible. My sister has feeders and she told me they are not wimps. They are aggressive and have no fear when it comes to food. Sounds familiar.

        Reply
        1. jonboinAR

          We had one that would visit our feeder one season. One only, although he was there all the time. Wondering why there weren’t more, I observed him. He spent all of his time when not feeding sitting on a nearby branch from where he had a good view of the area. Whenever another hummingbird so much as approached, he would violently attack it. Alpha hummingbird.

          Reply
      2. Susan the other

        I dunno. I had a hummingbird encounter that made me think they do trust us if we are patient. One came thru my open doors one summer and was at a loss to get back out – I had closed the screen. I was at a loss too – and then I just thought I’d wait him out – so I took my dust mop (floor mop with a flat base) and I held it up at the open door and I just stood there for a few minutes – not long – and the little thing read my thoughts – really – He landed on the mop and I gently brought it down and stuck it out the door and he flew away. ‘Twas amazing.

        Reply
  2. fresno dan

    Antidote du Jour
    The hummingbirds in my yard glare at me, and I know they are humming under their breath, “alacrity with the sugar water slow poke”

    Reply
  3. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Foreign STEM Graduates Are Being Shut Out of the U.S. Job Market Bloomberg

    BOTTOM LINE – Science and math grads from overseas are seeing their job offers withdrawn and could lose access to U.S. visa programs that feed big tech companies.

    This is just terrible. Horribly, horribly terrible. Nothing concerns me more during this pandemic than foreigners with student debt not being able to stay in this country and work for “big tech.” It’s a tragic travesty, I tell ya.

    Reply
    1. timbers

      Maybe we could give work visas to those foreign tech students to work at fast food like McDonald’s and grocery stores with other “essential workers?” We owe them that at least. If nothing else, I would feel better :-).

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I love the “essential worker” label. Grow food, pick up garbage, run water systems, cap an oil well, give Covid tests: you are essential!

        But wait: doesn’t that mean that the executives on the 28th floor moving pieces of paper from one side of their desk to the other are…*not* essential?

        So

        Doesn’t it follow that we should be demanding to know why *not essential* “workers” are paid 205X what the ones who actually do the work and keep the economy and all the services operating? Curious.

        Reply
    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Someone in academia please fill in missing details and correct inaccuracies:
      Foreign STEM graduates fill out a large portion of the STEM slots in our graduate schools. Expenditures on STEM graduate students such lab equipment and lab supplies for the their lab classes dwarf expenditures on a graduate student in the humanities. This is partly offset by the cheap labor they provide to the research labs contracting with the Government and Industry to develop new products and processes. The Universities make a nice margin on their work. Once they obtain their graduate degrees they could take advantage of special H1-B visas [at least that was the case — not sure about the present]. In my opinion the preferences foreign STEM graduates enjoy as lower cost in-country competitors to US STEM graduates combined with the preference Universities have toward admitting foreign STEM students — similar to the Universities’ fondness for admitting out-of-state students in place of in-state students — might explain the ‘reluctance’ of US students to study STEM.

      The foreign STEM graduates are seeing their job offers withdrawn … how many US STEM graduates are seeing their job offers withdrawn? How many job offers made before Corona have been or will be withdrawn?

      Reply
      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I forgot to mention how undergraduates both from in and especially out-of-state help subsidize the whole edifice? Consider a State College or University — how much does it cost to spout wisdom from a podium to a class of hundreds or thousands when you pay the source of the wisdom next to nothing, pay the TAs even less, and the buildings are wholly owned by by the state and poorly maintained as staff are cut to pay for administrators? And I forgot the frequent mandate that Freshman, sometimes Sophomores as well, pay outrageous rents for bunks in the dorms — usually concrete cells rivaling monastic cells for comforts.

        Reply
  4. tinheart

    Okay, all of our friends in the right wing sewer hold are going gaga (maga?) over this thing which I’ll call the Joe Biden Tapes Leak. Basically, they have tapes (but with audio, you can never know if they’ve been doctored up) which are supposedly private calls between then-Secretary of State John Kerry, VP Biden, and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko which give the details on the “you get rid of that pesky state prosecutor” and according to the Washington Post, “They show that Biden, as he has previously said publicly, linked loan guarantees for Ukraine to the ouster of the country’s prosecutor general in 2015.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/ukrainian-lawmaker-releases-leaked-phone-calls-of-biden-and-poroshenko/2020/05/19/cc1e6030-9a26-11ea-b60c-3be060a4f8e1_story.html

    I’m just wondering where to file this in my “important things to think about file”. The right wing is having its own ‘we got him’ moment, the libs are going on (even in a veiled way in the Post link) about evil Russian influence.

    My opinion: this is just how the sausage gets made, so to speak. The equivalent of two guys visiting a shopowner and saying, ‘nice candy shop you have here, a shame if it burned down.’ Frankly, I don’t see how this is any different from any of other ‘statecraft’ the US has pulled over the past 70 years or so, for better or worse.

    Reply
    1. Darthbobber

      But if that’s all they “expose”, they are breathlessly revealing what Biden not only admitted but boasted of all along.

      Reply
      1. MK

        The key difference in talking points:
        Biden says the prosecutor was corrupt. Team Trump says the prosecutor was looking into corruption and getting close not only to Hunter, but others as well, and was fired to put in a patsy to close down the investigation.

        Question is, will someone over there reopen the investigation that everyone agrees was shut down?

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          It was a thing back then so political support to find out what was going on in the Ukraine will not attract much support. People said that “Biden, Pelosi, Kerry, & Romney all had children working for Ukrainian gas companies which make it sound like a honey-pot free for all. Fact checkers will say it is not so and will ask you to ignore the photos showing these sons with Ukrainian business people in the Ukraine at the time.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            No chutzpah required at all, he knew he had the nation’s top law enforcement department in his pocket. He knew he had the nation’s intelligence agencies in his pocket. He knew he had the nation’s press corps in his pocket. They laughed, and prevaricated, and looked the other way, and lied for him. So why not loot the store, fly wayward son Hunter across the world to Beijing on Air Force Two and emerge a few days later with a cool billion-and-a-half dollars from the Chinese Communist Party bank. Well played sir! Unfortunately he forgot which team he was on, he thought it was happy times on the team whose flag is green with a portrait of Ben Franklin and “E Pluribus Unum” on it when actually he was playing for the team whose flag has red and white stripes and a blue field with white stars on it. Oopsie.

            Reply
    2. Jessica

      _If_ (and I emphasize _if_), they wanted to rid of the “pesky state prosecutor” in order to protect then-VP Biden’s son from exposure, then that would move it from abusing US power for the sake of US power to abusing US power for the sake of personal gain. Not that that has never happened before, but I think it would then fit the definition of corruption held by much of the population (although not held by much of the PMC).
      Although as @CaitOz said, the Swamp will never drain the Swamp, so Biden won’t actually get in any trouble for this.

      Reply
    3. voteforno6

      Would it really matter if this was all true? He’s still presumably running against Trump, and all his issues, to include his incompetent handling of COVID19.

      Reply
      1. MT_Bill

        In the orange one’s defense, he has not yet used coronavirus as an excuse to invade some relatively-defenseless resource-rich country. But there’s still time….

        I’m sure John McCain’s corpse is spinning in his grave, muttering “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, Wuhan”

        Trump is obviously the least deserving and most dangerous presidential candidate in the 2020 race, with the exception of Joe Biden.

        Reply
        1. John Beech

          Trump is obviously the least deserving and most dangerous presidential candidate in the 2020 race, with the exception of Joe Biden.

          This last makes me hang my head in semi-despair. It’s the exact reason I voted for Trump over HRC, and is almost certainly why I will once again vote for him. Sigh.

          Sadly, Sanders didn’t make the cut with the majority of Dem-voters else he would be my choice.

          Reply
          1. Pookah Harvey

            The media smoke screen is working. Ukraine, Obamagate, China are dominating the conversation while the corporate interests are using Trump for disaster capitalism. The Guardian has an article on William Perry Pendley,Trump’s acting director of the Bureau of Land Management. He is the man in charge of moving the BLM headquarters from Washington DC to Colorado where they can effectively be out of the power loop. The agency has hemorrhaged staff members and lost critical institutional memory, which many critics believe was the true purpose of the relocation effort all along. There is only about 20% of permanent employees left at headquarters.

            Pendley was president of the Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), a conservative litigation organization funded by conservative and industry groups including the Charles Koch Foundation and Exxon Mobil, where he accused “the media” of selling “their soul to the greens”.

            After criticizing the Endangered Species Act, he made light of killing endangered species. “This is why out west we say ‘shoot, shovel and shut up’ when it comes to the discovery of endangered species on your property”.

            Pendley authored an article for The National Review entitled “The Federal Government Should Follow the Constitution and Sell Its Western Lands”.
            These are the nut cases Trump is surrounding himself with. Trump is not the problem himself, but he is handing the country over to the worst aspects of predatory capitalism.
            Trump is dismembering all the protections that federal government has provided and they are going to be difficult to re-instate at this point. Think what 4 more years will do.

            Reply
            1. MT_Bill

              Trump is a symptom, not a cause.

              Let’s review:
              Hillary Clinton would have handed the country over to the worst aspects of predatory capitalism with ruthlessly crushing effectiveness.

              Obama handed the country over to the worst aspects of predatory capitalism.

              George Bush handed the country over to the worst aspects of predatory capitalism.

              Bill Clinton handed the country over to the worst aspects of predatory capitalism.

              At least with Trump I get to enjoy all the crocodile tears and pearl clutching. It’s sort of like getting french fries with your turd sandwich.

              Reply
              1. Milton

                I’d say less a sympton and more a full manifestation of a diseased state. Cirrhosis is not a symptom, emphysema is not a symptom but are the result of personal neglect and/or chronic abuse.

                Reply
              2. Pookah Harvey

                While you are enjoying your french fries we are losing our public lands, the post office, public schools, the CDC, net neutrality, etc. Is Biden a good candidate, of course not. I don’t know about you but if forced to chose between eating a whole turd sandwich and half a one, I’ll go with half even if it doesn’t come with fries.
                Of course I’ll have to give up my virtue signaling rights.

                Reply
                1. Massinissa

                  No offense, but what part of “The dems also want to destroy those things and have a history of such” is so hard to understand?

                  Reply
                  1. Pookah Harvey

                    None taken. I understand it but the Dems are at least slower giving more time to react. Think of it this way, progressives need to fight the system. With Biden elected progressives can ally with the populist right (Trumpers) on many economic issues that they can agree on. If Trump is elected Trumpers will be allied with the establishment.

                    Reply
                    1. GettingTheBannedBack

                      Is it true that in the US there is a law against new political parties and the choice is always what is the least worst of the terrible two?

            2. Massinissa

              Four or more years of Biden will do the same thing. You think the guy who wants to bring back Larry Summers and Jamie Dimon is going to be anything different?

              Reply
              1. Off The Street

                I’d be worried about VP picks. That person would be the proxy President and yet another in the illustrious line of Only A Heartbeat Away.

                Realistically, I don’t expect Biden to make it through whatever passes for a convention. Summers et al are just part of the permanent furniture. :(

                Reply
          2. neplusultra

            This is a coward’s logic. You had more than 2 options. Just say the real reason why you voted for Trump and stop trying to make yourself seem like you had no choice. I didn’t vote for HRC in ’16 and won’t vote for Biden but there is not a chance in hell I’ll ever vote for Trump

            Reply
            1. MT_Bill

              FWIW, i have refused to vote for any candidate since Obama’s first term.

              I won’t be Fooled Again.

              Reply
            2. Glen

              Not voting for the Democratic presidential candidate IS NOT ENOUGH. Once you realize the the so called progressives actually block progress, you need to VOTE THEM ALL OUT.

              I, a fifty year Democratic party voter, am going to vote out all of the Democrats on the ballot in November if Biden is on the ballot.

              Reply
      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        It matters because Team Blue wants the White Flight Republican vote so badly. Trump didn’t do well in those suburbs with high rates of defense spending such as Northern Virginia, but he did what would be expected outside of those areas. Trump by being a normative Republican (remember the country is functionally dealing with the worst outbreak since the Spanish Flu with our Healthcare system; Cheney would probably have Shrub visiting hospitals both for self promotion and to cause shutdowns in the name of security). Trump hasn’t proposed a massive defense reorientation but is basically Obama again (he swapped out Iran with NK ). I thought for a time the GOP senators would start to pull high tech defense jobs out of blue areas.

        On one hand Trump isn’t an threat to the housing values in bedroom communities (ugh, the DC metro area is maybe the most depressing place on the planet) where HRC did well. Here is a group Trump will probably do well with as he’s delivered four more years.

        Again, transient voter organizing (young and minorities) This requires money today, not the floods that come later, and enthusiasm. It’s another nail, and attempts by the PMC to get their golf pals a bird for Biden will also be met with this by republicans.

        Reply
        1. neo-realist

          Trump’s FY 2021 budget provides 55 percent to the Military. In addition to the fact that he’s provided plenty the past 4 four years to the military, like a typical republican – more bucks than Obama.

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Hence hes a normative Republican, but there was a time when he was a threat to GOP types with hideous mortgages in the post 9/11 defense spending corridors.

            Reply
    4. ewmayer

      “My opinion: this is just how the sausage gets made, so to speak.” — True, but the MSM didn’t have a monthslong Impeachmentgasm over Biden’s bit of imperial/personal-thuggery, nor of St. Obama’s – per Biden – approval of same. It’s not so much the actions as the shameless double standard with regard to it, similarly to MSM+#MeToo with respect to the rape allegations against Biden.

      Reply
    5. Goyo Marquez

      “Corruption” has become the go to justification for getting rid of people that interfere with the oligarchs wealth transfer operations, Dilma Rouseff, Lula, Evo Morales…

      Reply
      1. jsn

        The meaning is now totally inverted.

        In the US system, thanks to 50 years of a waltz between Congress and the Supreme Court, Buckley vs Valeo to Citizens United and all the “campaign finance”(deregulation of bribery) laws in between, the US now has a political market where donors hire legislation and then the legislators when voted out of office for betraying their voters.

        It’s all a legal political market-place now and its an absolute orgy of looting at the moment, but from this perspective, Rouseff, Lula, Morales were all incredibly corrupt, they acted for their voters instead of their “donors”. Servering your voters is the neoliberal definition of corruption.

        Reply
  5. Yen

    Does anyone here suffer from generalised anxiety disorder? I have been suffering from anxiety for a few years and it’s got to the point where I think I need treatment. What kind of treatment have you found helpful and effective, that’s helped you to lead a normal life?

    Reply
      1. Yen

        Yes, considering how much news you all read plus your other committment s I’m amazed you haven’t gone crazy. How do you do it Yves?? How do you ensure all this bad news doesn’t put you in depression?

        Reply
        1. Ignacio

          IMO, is good advice to try behavioural treatments like those proposed by Yves before starting with any pill or wasting lots of money with psychiatrists.

          Reply
          1. Darius

            There was a link here in recent days about how gardening is a big help. I would endorse that. Except that I use it as another way to procrastinate. But I love being in the garden and I get a lot of exercise from it.

            Reply
            1. Amfortas the hippie

              aye. gardening…which can be meditation…as can be just sitting under a tree.
              when i finally obtained vicodin for my global arthritis(after years of “the Ladder”, trying every gut wrenching(!) NSAID out there), my recurring panic attacks just sort of went away.
              of course, i also cut way back on my going among the mundane right about then….
              seriously…it helps to identify the triggers, and learn to avoid them, or mitigate them in some way.
              i don’t do very large crowded places…avoid them like the plague….for this very reason.
              and I’ve learned to take time off from newsgathering and otherwise keeping abreast of what’s going on out there.
              I’ll go read science news or poetry or something…or get lost on the farm.

              Reply
              1. LawnDart

                seriously…it helps to identify the triggers,

                The alternative to that, I suppose, is better living through chemistry.

                When I was working as a mental health clinician in Pittsburgh, the first this that we were required to do was to identify a funding-stream that we could utilize to charge for billable hours.

                “Are you suicidal, thinking about harming yourself or others?” No? Okay, outpatient it is.

                Symptom A + Symptom B = ___(fill in the blank)___

                (Blank) = visit psych, X-visits per week + (these) meds

                If you are in crisis, if you are in immediate risk of harm from one of the anxiety attacks, definitely get get help now! (Whatever the source, it’s important to at least buy time, put distance between here and there).

                But as the hippy suggests, if you can identify the triggers and work out some kind of reasonable work-around, trust yourself to know yourself best and embrace it.

                Somewhere between active duty and the reserves, the panic attacks began. I thought I was OK with stuff, but apparently my unthinking mind thought otherwise. I’d be on a bus, or driving, or in a store, suddenly feeling hot and sweaty, short of breath, thinking the I was about to fall over, pee or poo in my pants, totally bewildered as to where it came from or what was happening, if it was mental or physical– but it was just there, almost overpowering. (Note: in the ER after feeling way-off, the docs were wowed at my blood pressure, wondering why I wasn’t dead: so these things could go hand-in-hand).

                Triggers: I figured out the crowd-thing wasn’t exactly good for me, so started avoiding crowds (especially in confined spaces) and that helped a lot. I examined personal relationships (both personal and professional) and cut-out/cut-off the toxic as much as I could from my life: those that couldn’t be cut out entirely, I erected barriers against. Much, much more, and over years: it was a process, very gradual, baby-steps all the way.

                Yen, as far as treatment goes, stay away from formalized, institutionalized, mental health as much as you can: your health (or best interest) may not be as important to them as it is to you.

                Do not shave your head and attempt to rescue teenage prostitutes. Or try to assassinate the president.

                Way better the weed than alcohol: you might still make rash decisions, but those can wait unit tomorrow.

                Find the low-reaching things that bring you peace, and reach towards them.

                Hope that this helps. Reach out to me if you have any questions.

                Reply
                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  “… my unthinking mind…”
                  aye.
                  I call it my Monkey Mind.
                  I’ve settled on the main trigger is a fear of my legs giving out when far from a safe spot…at that time, my body was in constant agony,and I’d often find that i could no longer walk very far…often quite suddenly.

                  Once, while wife and her cousin shopped for clothes, I had the eldest in the stroller in the nearby bookstore(bookstores are historically My Places).
                  suddenly it was if i was having a heart attack…overwhelming dread(pulse never deviated from 60 bpm, which is weird)
                  and had to get the hell out of there.
                  pushed the kid through the hot parking lot to a tree by the car, sat down and chain smoked for a bit.
                  I became acutely aware in those days of the lack of places to sit in public places these days…especially shady places(Texas, no less,lol) and even more especially, shady places where one can have a smoke without bothering someone.
                  here on the farm, before i had the golf cart, i had chairs strategically placed all over, for this reason.
                  it wasn’t even the crowds that set me off, but my disability, but it took me a long while to figure that out, because it was wholly derived from subconscious processes.
                  I mean…what does a book store amid acres of asphalt have to do with my truck starting to sputter on my way home on a dirt road?
                  fear of having to walk to save myself.

                  Reply
            2. Oregoncharles

              Gardening is an inherently optimistic, forward-looking activity – with a decent payoff, even. The real wonder is that so many plants live.

              And the slugs and deer appreciate it, too.

              Reply
    1. Steve H.

      Not reading the news.

      For me, 5-HTP helped, a serotonin precursor.

      And a commitment to joy and love. I’ve been told worry and joy are mutually exclusive in the brain. So I look for good news and strong relationships.

      Good luck.

      Reply
        1. Steve H.

          You’re here. It’s the primary news filter I use. None better.

          Medium groups of shared interests are fertile ground for relations. Theater. Church. Dancing naked around the fire to the incessant throbbing of the drums, the drums… Whose garden is growing?

          Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        5-HTP makes a good sleep aid, too.

        Only warning: too much at the same time, sometimes even double, can make you throw up – a direct effect on the gut. More is not better, unless you space them out well. This is not a reason not to take it, just use moderation.

        Reply
    2. Samuel Conner

      If your living circumstances permit, gardening pretty clearly has physical and mental health benefits. I’ve been using it as DIY therapy for years; this year for food too. Plant hummingbird and butterfly attractive plants for beauty. Herbs for cooking. Perhaps veggies for the phytonutrients.

      Reply
        1. Janie

          I find tai chi quite meditative. Perhaps in a park with a small group. More available in Singapore than in the US I think.

          Reply
      1. Yen

        Haha I’m in Singapore. Smoking a joint would mean straight to the gallows. By the way I wish NC would cover Singapore more.

        Reply
          1. Mordo

            1. https://twitter.com/kenjeyaretnam?lang=en – this is the twitter of a guy whose father was bankrupted just for standing for opposition

            2.https://www.onlinecitizenasia.com/

            3. https://www.scmp.com/topics/singapore

            4. https://www.biglychee.com/index2.html

            5. https://www.straitstimes.com/ – govt owned paper

            6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TZPdM3xn24 – video by a kid who eventually had to run away to the USA for talking shit about christianity and the founder

            Reply
        1. Judith

          If you can walk in the parks and gardens of Singapore: Japanese Forest Bathing, which is a meditative practice in the presence of trees.

          Reply
    3. Carla

      @Yen — two things that have helped me a lot are long walks, and keeping a gratitude journal. For me, the gratitude journal entails the nightly recording IN WRITING of at least three things I am grateful for. They can be the same three things for several days in a row, or different ones. And they can be mundane or profound. It sounds Pollyanna-ish, I know, but somehow expressing gratitude regularly, in writing, is an antidote to depressing or anxious thoughts and feelings. Keeping a gratitude journal also has helped my daughter a great deal.

      Reply
      1. Yen

        Hmm.. that sounds pleasant. Does it help to rewire the mind to be less anxious throughout the day, not just at the end of the day when journaling?

        Reply
    4. WhoaMolly

      Generalized anxiety disorder. Been there, done that.

      A few tips below. Choose one or two that fit your situation. Develop a system where the ones that work are an every day habit.

      Start tiny and gradually increase. The hardest step is the first and smallest step.

      – Yoga (Find a serious teacher with whom you are compatible)
      – Daily walk in sunshine 35-45 minutes
      – Eliminate sugar and other refined carbohydrates
      – Laughter
      – Meditation
      – Gardening
      – Avoid social media and the news.

      Steve H and Yves comments very good too. (By time this gets posted I expect others will have added more good advice.)

      Reply
      1. Yen

        Thanks. May I ask how gad affected you and how yoga etc helped you to keep your life on track? And which yoga is it, exercise or meditation?

        Reply
        1. Lee

          At times of difficulty, I have found Soto Zen meditation helpful. It is simple. Soto Zen is sometimes called “farmers’ Zen”, as opposed to the Rinzai school, which is associated more with the posh classes. If the traditional sitting position is difficult, it can be done in a chair. The thing I like about Zen is that, in my experience, one need not adhere to, and it tends to eschew the metaphysical claptrap one encounters in most mainstream religions. I’d be surprised if there were no Zen (Chan in Chinese) teachers to be found in your area.

          Reply
          1. MLTPB

            Two other meditation traditions in China – Daoist and Confucian.

            It’s called Jing Zuo (for a short introduction and the two schools of that, see Wiki) with the latter.

            The Daoist version is called Zuowang.

            (The Japanese word ‘zazen’ implies sitting down. One can do Chan or Zen meditation walking as well.)

            Reply
        2. WhoaMolly

          RE: Thanks. May I ask how gad affected you and how yoga etc helped you to keep your life on track? And which yoga is it, exercise or meditation?

          How GAD affected me.
          Anxiety about everything. At one point I became terrified of driving. I would have to say “Just make it to that overpass.” When I got to the overpass, I would tell myself “just make it to the highway turnoff.” Just about anything would trigger this kind of fear. When we bought a car, I freaked out about the debt.

          How yoga got life back on track
          After trying a dozen yoga teachers, I found a 70 year old man who had been teaching for 40 years. He’d studied with all the greats. After taking several of his classes, I decided he was teaching something I needed. I resolved to do the yoga *exactly* as he taught it, for 90 days and then evaluate the results.

          I found a place to practice every weekday. A local gym had a room free every day at 2 PM, so I would show up at the gym and practice. My goal was just to ‘be there at 2, and put out my mat.’ At the end of 90 days the anxiety was largely gone. However if I missed two or three days of practice, I could feel it returning.

          The yoga I learned uses precise bodily alignments. The way my teacher taught them turned them into an exercise in mindfulness.

          The movements are performed slowly. I hold postures for a minute or so at maximum extension before moving into the next.

          The bible for this kind of yoga is “Light on Yoga” by BKS Iyengar.

          After five years of daily practice I can pretty much control my mental outlook by using asana. I have very little anxiety unless I lay off for a week or two. If I get physically sick (cold, flu, injury) I learned a series of restorative poses that seem to speed recovery.

          The keys to success at yoga seem to be finding a skilled teacher, following the instructions, and practicing on a regular schedule.

          There’s lots more, but I’m already risking TMI (too much information) and TLDR (too long didn’t read).

          Hope this helps.

          Reply
          1. Yen

            Thanks for that :) Did you get to find out why your anxiety increased to that point?

            I noticed my anxiety got worse when I couldnt watch the latest joker movie without getting nervous and anxious during it. Or if I read some bad news a jolt of anxiety would go through my body leaving me shaken up for a minute or so.

            Reply
    5. Utah

      Therapy and medication. Together they do wonders. Breathing exercises and meditation are also helpful. I also take walks, even in quarantine I found time to walk around my neighborhood or sit in my car at the park and get in some nature time.

      Reply
    6. Lost in OR

      There is a Joseph Campbell quote that I cannot find. It goes something like- “When your personal myth does not align with the larger social myth, you are destined for a long walk in a dark forest”. But he is so much more eloquent.

      I’ve been in that dark forest since I read “The Limits to Growth” back in the 70’s. Industrialized life is insane and unsustainable. But seeing/believing that is not the same as coming to terms with it. I believe that my own anxiety disorder arises from my inability to find those terms. It’s hard. In an insane world what does sanity look like?

      Sites like NC and Peak Prosperity keep us enveloped in that insanity. Reading and rereading about eternal war and inequality and climate change and on and on leads you to understand that we live unsustainability. And logically, unsustainable systems can only fail. System failure is assured. We’re living that failure now. General anxiety seems to me the rational response.

      I’ve stopped diving into the proof of insanity on NC and PP. Instead, I search for paths out. Todays gem was the article on Food Security that led to The Counter. Cool site! I’m putting in a big garden and pondering how my community could become a small-farm based food hub. In short, I’m working toward a path through system failure.

      Finally, there’s Jordan Peterson. I don’t agree with all he expounds. But I do get value from his discussions on finding meaning in life. Nobody else I know of is telling me to pick up the yoke of responsibility to move my life and my community in the direction I believe it needs to move. And through that sense of personal responsibility, I am coming to terms with insanity. And not just my own.

      For me, the path out of the dark forest leads through system collapse. Is that nuts? I think I need more coffee.

      Reply
      1. Ed Miller

        Dark Forest: What a perfect metaphor for living in Oregon while questioning the official narrative. I am right there with you, also in Oregon. The last nail in the coffin, so to speak, for me has been my recent reading of “JFK and the Unspeakable”. The other nails are largely from following the John Titus videos on the Federal Reserve. If interested, search utube for “bestevidence”. The walls are closing in.

        Reply
        1. CoryP

          That really is a fantastic read. I didn’t realize I was so naive, but later in the book when they talk about CIA infiltrators in the executive and other branches of government, my heart just sank.

          I mean, “of course they’d do that”!, but for some reason it had never occurred to me before. Depressing AF.

          Reply
      2. Amfortas the hippie

        Joseph Campbell was one of my very favorite humans, ever.
        any of his books cannot but be helpful in navigating the crazy.
        my favorite is the most difficult: the 4 volume Masks of God, which is like a history of the human race told through our mythology and how that bubbles up from our psychology.
        I first read it when i was ..like…12…and it’s footnotes have provided a sort of master reading list ever since.

        Other books i can recommend for countering the insanity:
        Boethius, “the Consolation of Philosophy”
        Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations”(which is the book i’ve given away the most)
        and Aldous Huxley’s “Perennial Philosophy”, which can be dense, if read like a novel…but is very accessible chapter by chapter.
        This latter, too, provides a sort of Ur-Reading List in the footnotes…all manner of cool esoterica, from Meister Eckhardt to Rumi to various Zen and Daoist sages who’s names i can never remember.

        Reply
      3. Off The Street

        A generalized anxiety observation is that one’s own self-regard may deviate, sometimes extremely and unstably, from all that environmental feedback, causing or adding to anxiety or anxieties.

        How to become aware of, and then navigate, that distance between one’s perception and whatever outside reality may be can be a lifelong pursuit. That isn’t intended to be an end unto itself, as in an obsession, although it could trend that way. There are plenty of constructive diversions to allow just being, and recharge before taking up the reins again.

        A friend told me about a therapist expression along the lines of disappearing into the maze. People may find some comfort in their own thoughts, half-remembrances, fleeting snippets and such, and can wallow around and free-associate there for hours. Identifying and addressing that specific act can help jar one into saying Not going into the maze tonight, got better things to do. Asserting some control, even knowing that one can, has been beneficial for people I’ve seen going through that.

        Reply
      4. Acacia

        “The myth is the public domain and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn’t, you’ve got a long adventure in the dark forest ahead of you.” — Joseph Campbell

        Reply
    7. sd

      Meditation. Below are some books that I think are very approachable.

      Zen Training by Katsuki Sekida
      He describes the physiological aspects of meditation in very concrete steps.

      Practicing Jhanas by Stephen Snyder and Tina Rasmussen
      They also describe the progress of meditation in physical terms with exercises to practice.
      Advice…don´t get too attached to time as some stages may be jumped through fairly quickly while others take more practice.

      Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
      Because it´s always good to refresh the beginning mind

      Reply
    8. Dalepues

      I went through a very rough patch a few years back; hated waking up, even after a night of terrible nightmares. A friend who I hadn’t heard from in years called me out of the blue. We were in school together, shared a small apartment for a year. He studied the classics and was always deep into Greek. I decided to ask him for advice. Surprisingly, he told me to read P.G. Wodehouse. At first I thought he was joking, but I did what he suggested and bought a collection of Wodehouse stories and began to read. They made me laugh so hard….I made it a habit to read them every night before bedtime. Anyway, they helped me. Someone above mentioned laughter, and I can say that laughter surely helped me get through the dismal days. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. sd

        I’d also add anything by Alexander McCall Smith, 44 Scotland Street, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, etc.

        Reply
    9. HotFlash

      Gardening is great. For one thing, it focuses you on something outside yourself that needs your care, and encourages you to pace yourself to the plants time-scale. Apartment gardening is different, but still rewarding. Some gardening you can do in even a small apartment: this video is a good start, requires next to no investment or space (just seeds and *maybe* potting soil). You often don’t even need light for bean sprouts! Khang’s whole channel is great.

      If you have a sunny window, you can have a window farm!

      Reply
      1. HotFlash

        Yves is so right about exercise, I think it recalibrates the mind to the body. I like the martial arts, esp ones that involve real punches and kicks. Well, or swords. I overcame a lot of fearfulness when I discovered that I could, when required, deliver — and take — an effective punch. Not so easy during lockdown, I know. Lots on youtube, check some out to see what appeals to you.

        “Be warrior, not worrier.” Truly, you can get that on a Tshirt!

        Reply
    10. magnolia cul-de-sac

      I actually used benzodiapezines early in life and learned from them–like, I was terrified of public speaking, used CBT and a benzo, gave a talk while feeling calmer, examined how I felt calmer, built confidence as a result, and didn’t require it afterward. However, I think that kind of reasonable use of so-called “addictive” medicines is probably not allowable anymore.

      Beyond meditation, CBT, etc., green tea extract supplements (aka “theanine”) actually does have peer reviewed support behind it. As do peer-support groups, but they’re not possible right now. Nothing like working with other people with a similar condition to realize, with relief, that you’re just human after all, and that in fact you may be less anxious than you think, and that you have a lot to give other people, and they to give you. it’s hard not having 12 step groups right now.

      Reply
    11. Reader

      Try:

      Eliminating caffeine,
      Starting with breakfast, eat regular meals with enough fat and protein to keep blood sugar steady,
      Keep in mind that even sugar from fruits can mess with blood sugar

      Good luck!

      Reply
    12. Jason Boxman

      Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I don’t recommend Clonazepam (or that whole class of drugs). Nasty stuff to taper off of taking.

      Good luck!

      Reply
      1. Yen

        I am on paroxetine but I’m not even sure if it works! I know about clonazepam, thats just there for emergencies or bad days.

        Reply
    13. John Zelnicker

      @Yen
      May 20, 2020 at 8:53 am
      ——-

      I’ve only scanned the comments above, but I see some good ideas, particularly urblintz’s recommendation for cannabis sativa. Cannabis indica might be better for anxiety depending on how it affects you. Both strains have helped me cope with episodal anxiety for 50 years.

      For professional therapy, based on long personal experience, stay away from Psychiatrists, they only want to medicate you. Try a clinical psychologist who does Cognitive Behavior Therapy. For me, this was the best kind of therapy and it really helped at some difficult times.

      Best wishes for getting your anxiety under control. It can be debilitating.

      Reply
      1. Yen

        Thanks for the kind recommendations. How much did a psychologist help as opposed to medication? I have been prescribed paroxetine (and clonazepam for emergencies/bad days) but I dont think its really helped so far.

        Reply
        1. John Zelnicker

          @Yen
          May 25, 2020 at 11:17 am
          ——-

          Yes, it has helped to make my life truly enjoyable and to avoid being sucked into false narratives, in spite of the various difficult situations I’ve experienced.

          CBT helped me to recognize what one psychologist called “stinking thinking”, which refers to the stories we tell ourselves in order to explain the world around us that are untrue or lead to self-destructive behavior.

          We all tell ourselves stories to cope with uncertainty; some are true and useful, some are not. The task is to learn to distinguish between the two.

          The best single piece of advice I ever got was 50 years ago in college when a counselor helped me to understand and internalize the fact that we, alone, are responsible for what happens to us and how we respond to it.

          Bad things happen that we can’t control, but we do control how we respond and that can be life-affirming or destructive. We always have a choice as to how we internalize and cope with difficulties.

          Another important point is that our initial response to an event is emotional, which may or may not be a good basis for dealing with the event. It’s necessary to learn to separate our initial, emotional response from the consideration of how to cope with the event. This is where our control of the situation comes in.

          I would be glad to continue a discussion if you would like. I can be reached at banjo23 [at] comcast [dot] net.

          Be well, stay safe.

          Reply
    14. jr

      I suffer/profit from bipolar disorder and when the anxiety hits it’s epic. Like during a pandemic, for example. I’m on meds and they get me there most of the way but to fill in the cracks and smooth out the ride I turn to the Herb. I like to pair it with:

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bKlUG1AjunM

      Edibles are a great way to ingest because they relax the body, thus “body buzz”, but too many will put you on your bum. There are also indica/sativa hybrids that provide the best of both worlds; pure indica can hit you near to opium and pure sativa can be like drinking a strong cup of joe. It’s good to know that modern strains are incredibly powerful so a tiny bit goes a long way. I also find ritual prayer and meditation help corral those pesky goblins with their hammers and gongs, hammers and gongs…..

      Reply
    15. ewmayer

      In addition to al the other great advice NCers give above, I suggest to stop watching TV news (except for local+weather) and reading the MSM propaganda/panic rags. If you must watch TV, watch something funny/inspiring/educational. I’ve been using the daily 30-60 minutes I used to devote to the ‘news’paper to catch up on some literary classics I missed in earlier years and work through some great short story collections.

      Also, do you cultivate regular social interactions, even if brief ones, with some trusted group of friends, neighbors and such?

      Best of luck, in any case!

      Reply
      1. Yen

        Yes, I dont watch tv or consume much news. Tbh I have even reduced NC quite a bit after the primaries result and uk vote. There’s no point hoping for change when people dont want it. Very likely trump’s going to win and further austerity will be unleashed in the UK after covid situation gets better.

        As for social interactions, yes, as I’m away from family in a foreign country I ensure I talk to my parents every day. And I’m trying to cultivate a group of friends here without using facebook which can be hard.

        Reply
    16. Jeremy Grimm

      Anxiety … generalized anxiety disorder … sounds like DSM babel-speak — an open invitation to drugs. I believe, anxiety is an entirely appropriate response to these times. I too am anxious and grow more so as we progress toward the mid-century. You can very deliberately control your anxiety. Accept what you cannot change. Learn all that you can about what is happening to our world. Find ways to adapt, and make ready. Build confidence in your ability to do what must be done — always remembering to expect all your plans might fail. You will learn to make plans and act in the moment. Never let anxiety become panic.

      I very much agree with other commenters about the value of exercise. Exercise quiets the mind to the immediate now cleansing your mind of panic thoughts. When you stop to rest your mind will contain answers your anxiety held from you.

      Reply
    17. Foy

      Hi Yen

      What I did to help myself was what I call mini waking meditations throughout the day and just try give my full awareness to whatever small mundane thing/task it is that I am doing for that 1-2 minutes.

      So if I’m making a cup of tea, I try to observe all the tiny details, the teabag dropping in the cup, the hot water swirling as it pours in, the steam rising off the surface, the heat in the cup when I touch it, milk changing the colour, the tea bag swirling around, the different sounds of a teaspoon hitting the sides, bubbles and light reflections on the water surface. Its impossible to observe everything that is going on and it is different every time.

      By trying to observe all the tinest details, you are giving your full awareness to the current moment and giving your mind the opportunity to let go of whatever may be worrying it for a short period. And if you find your mind has wandered, thats ok, just do the normal meditation thing and say ‘thats ok I’ll let that go and go back to watching my tea’.

      There are literally hundreds of opportunities each day to do this without actually having to stop what you are doing to do it. Washing hands, walking up or down stairs, washing the dishes (soap bubbles, different sounds and textures of plates and crockery etc), getting up and walking to the kitchen (observe and feel your body get up and your feet touching the floor etc), filling up the washing machine, even picking up the TV remote! When walking outside I always touch plants, fences trees etc, and try to make sure I’m observing the touch and feel of them, how they are stretching out their limbs and leaves.

      Each of those short little events is an opportunity to let the mind rest and just become aware or focus on the current moment and just observe it for what it is. It starts off as a very manual process but slowly becomes an automatic process and habit if done consistently, the mind starts automatically let go the moment you start to get up and make a cup of tea. And the great thing is it doesn’t require any additional time to do. Some days are tougher than others to remember to do it, but it’s only a 10 seconds – 2 minute window each time, and if you forget, there’s always another opportunity!

      And the same principle applies to longer tasks like the dishes or mowing the lawns, hanging out the washing. They are all opportunities to be aware of the current moment closely, for helping train the mind to let go and have a rest, even if only for a short period of time and be in the current moment. Anxiety is the opposite of that, it is living in the future. These ‘waking meditations’ are just training the mind to be aware and be present of the current moment.

      I’ve been doing them for years and they definitely helped me.

      Good luck go well

      Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “Quarantine measures may lead to shortage of fruit pickers in Britain”

    Finding pickers is not so easy an undertaking, especially in the middle of a pandemic. Those pickers need some place to stay at night and places to get food, wash their clothes, have a bit or relaxation & socializing but how is that all accomplished when you have to do social distancing and the like? Look, a century ago east Londoners use to go to the countryside for the hops picking and entire families went. It was not only to earn money but it was also a massive social do. Here is a page showing what it was like-

    https://mashable.com/2017/06/03/hop-pickers/

    Now try imagining all those images in a era of social distancing. As the article mentioned, Prince Charles made an appeal for people to recreate WW2’s Land Army to do all the picking but that went down like a lead balloon-

    https://www.rt.com/uk/489112-prince-charles-fruit-britain-covid19/

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      At least the UK is making an effort to find fruit pickers, so far in California i’ve not heard one word about who might replace Mexican pickers out on account of testing positive for the virus.

      Reply
      1. kareninca

        It would be better if a lot of the fruit growing moved back to New England and the Midwest. Michigan used to be a big source of cherries. There is plenty of water, and the farms are closer to where more middle class people live, so they could pick their own, or even do it as a seasonal job. In the 1970s “pick it yourself” was a normal thing for middle class people to do in New England. I learned that way that strawberry picking is fun in small amounts but would not be fun at all as a profession, but I would have done it as a summer job if I had needed to. Back then it was also normal for middle class American young people to work in orchards and vineyards in Europe to pay their pay as they traveled around, or so I have read; that was a little before my time.

        If the CA farms paid better then even now they would attract more workers; they’d have to pay enough so that the worker could afford a car to drive there and a place to live that wasn’t a crowded shack, and enough per hour so that it was not necessary to work ridiculous hours to earn a decent income. It would not add a lot to the cost of produce.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          If the CA farms paid better then even now they would attract more workers; they’d have to pay enough so that the worker could afford a car to drive there and a place to live that wasn’t a crowded shack, and enough per hour so that it was not necessary to work ridiculous hours to earn a decent income. It would not add a lot to the cost of produce.

          I don’t think it is a matter of more pay in order to attract more workers, not many people want to do physical labor that includes stooping low and being high up and all points in between in a vast orchard.

          I’d suspect that not only would a 20 something year old be burned out in no time flat from the repetitive nature of the job, but also it would cut into their internet time something fierce, and its hard to wield a pair of loppers while up on a ladder, checking your social media on your smartphone at the same time, unless one has a prune up agreement.

          Reply
  7. marym

    Family Separation 2.0 – “Protecting” the “rights” of children by separating them from their parents.

    Late last week, ICE officers presented parents with the option of separating from their children or remaining together in detention indefinitely.

    The decision to give parents the choice to release their children was made in response to a court order requiring the agency to show that it is in compliance with the Flores court agreement, which protects the rights of children in immigration custody.

    Now, to further show compliance, ICE is drafting a new form that would ask parents to waive their rights under the Flores settlement, the ICE official said. Those rights include not holding children longer than 20 days in facilities that are not licensed to hold children, as none of the three ICE family detention centers are.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/faced-choice-migrant-parents-ice-detention-refuse-separate-children-n1209841

    Not that 1.0 really ended
    https://time.com/5678313/trump-administration-family-separation-lawsuits/

    Reply
  8. Steve H.

    > China updates its ‘Art of (Hybrid) War’ Asia Times. Pepe Escobar.

    You can follow links to get to the original interview.

    Quotes below, some thoughts first:

    1) Sergey Glazyev outlined how Russia recovered its productive base and became more independent after the fall of the Wall. Qiao Liang outlines the tremendous forces in the US that undermines current moves toward mercantilism.

    2) Sure looks like they want the US to waste money patrolling the Pacific, and are turning the ocean into their version of the steppes. senseis.xmp.net/?Moyo: a framework player should invite the opponent to invade, and then get profit from the resulting attack on a weak group.

    3) The dog that didn’t bark: nothing about the alternative monetary systems being set up to circumvent dollar hegemony. That could be cracks developing from strains on the Belt-and-Road; or it could be not interrupting a rival making a mistake. Those are not mutually exclusive.

    Quotes:

    From half a century ago, after the dollar delinked from gold, the United States gradually used the dollar to profit from the world. In this case, they abandoned their low-end manufacturing industry and gradually made themselves a country with hollow industries.

    In the past half a century, the United States led the way, and then Europe and Western countries have followed up, embarked on a virtual economic path, and gradually gave up the real economy. For these countries, this trend may seem to be a benefit that developed countries get for nothing, but in fact it has hollowed out their own bodies.

    More importantly, the restoration of manufacturing will seriously damage the interests of US financial capital groups. What can Wall Street do? What can the Fed do? Trump’s approach is different from that of the previous 50-year-old US presidents. The previous 50-year US presidents were all maintaining dollar hegemony, and Trump now wants to resume manufacturing. With such a subversive toss in the United States, there is a greater possibility that the entity will not succeed and the virtual will not go back. As a result, the empire is in danger.

    In my opinion, it is not so easy for developed countries to “decouple” from China and resume local manufacturing. The dilemma is that if you want to restore manufacturing, you must be mentally prepared, or share the same hardships and pains with China, and pay the same work for equal work, so that products and labor are the same price as China (otherwise the products will not be more competitive than Chinese manufacturing). It is equivalent to giving up currency hegemony and product pricing power and stepping down from the top of the food chain; or continue to be at the top of the food chain, so that the income of employees continues to be more than 7 times higher than that of China, thereby making the product uncompetitive and the enterprise making no profit.

    This epidemic is just the last straw to crush this round of globalization and the driving force behind globalization.

    xw.qq.com/cmsid/20200502A0DY7M00

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith

      The reason the US is the reserve currency is that it is willing to run trade deficits (export jobs). Period. That gets dollars in the hands of our overseas vendors. For another country to have the reserve currency, it similarly would need to run pretty consistent trade deficits. This is the opposite of the mercantilist policy that pretty much every other country tries to implement, to run trade surpluses, so as to have higher employment than they would have based just on serving their own economy, and let the private sector (as in households) have a higher level of savings without imposing a growth cost.

      Reply
      1. anon8

        Positive interest and yields on the inherently risk-free debt of a monetary sovereign like the US constitutes welfare proportional to account balance and no doubt contributes to the popularity of the US dollar.

        Along with other fundamental reforms, we should abolish that welfare for foreigners (and the rich).

        Reply
      2. Steve H.

        He addresses this with:

        Because others will not have dollar hegemony if they do not use dollars, the United States must also accept a deficit economy.

        but also says:

        Because the tax is reduced, the US fiscal revenue will be reduced.

        So I can’t assess how much he gets MMT. He views finance as a tool of conflict.

        Note his skepticism, with ‘the virtual will not go back.’ The roi on federally-backed speculation so overwhelms productive behavior that there is no contest. He calls manufacturing subversive. I can’t tell if it’s a material threat, or just makes clear how the game is rigged. The latest bailouts weren’t exactly cloaked. And how many more jobs do we have available to export anymore?

        That’s a real question. When I got sold globalism in the ’70’s, it wasn’t about making the worlds first trillionaire. Within my state, production chains are getting very local, with farmers and mask-makers. Proactions vary on a county-by-county basis. Incoherent. That’s the word I’m looking for.

        I think he’s right, the empire is in danger. The decoupling between the investment class and the working class has become extreme in the last quarter. Investment aspirants are crashing out as their retirements corrode. I’m uncertain who is controlling the guns and money. And if what we export is jobs, we just lost a lot of supply.

        Thank you, Yves et al. I wouldn’t have a hope of understanding this world, without what you have given.

        Reply
      3. a different chris

        Was there a “reserve currency” before the dollar? Or was it simply gold itself?

        If so, what was the actual trigger for the change? I’m guessing WWII, whether it was immediately obvious or not.

        PS: don’t expect our estimable host to drop everything and give me a free lesson on The History Of The World, just musing aloud :)… should probably go try to figure this out myself. But any “short versions” and “”for further reading” would be appreciated.

        Reply
        1. Synoia

          It was gold itself. The gold was shuffled between the various piles of gold in London, and probably other places, to settle accounts.

          The Gold Standard link to the US dollar was abandoned by Nixon, in the ’70s.

          Reply
          1. anon9

            Yes, and though the Gold Standard was abolished we still continue with the obsolete Gold Standard banking model – as if fiat were too scarce for everyone but depository institutions to use directly.*

            Nor would the MMT School (so far) replace that obsolete banking model with an ethical one. I guess that would reduce the power of so-called “elites” too much for their taste.

            *Except for mere physical fiat, grubby coins and Central Banks Notes, to a limited extent.

            Reply
        2. Wukchumni

          The almighty $ was only made the world’s reserve currency after the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, when it was nominally backed by all that glitters. (rescinded in 1971)

          I’d suggest you read Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for history.

          One by one early in the 30’s, countries went off the Au standard, only to be raided by newly constructed national fiat money backed by bupkis, until there were none left, after thousands of years of old yeller’ being the world’s reserve currency.

          Fiat had a remarkable run in a similar way to the Bosch-Haber process, in that both allowed almost limitless quantities of money & food to be produced, and both ‘inventions’ occurred around the same time frame.

          It is doubtful we could’ve gotten to nearly 8 billion of us without those two game changers.

          Reply
          1. mpalomar

            I will check the library (once it reopens) for Ahamed’s book.

            In his book Money, Galbraith claims gold had about a hundred year run as international reserve, shorter than tobacco’s in the colonies, which, “came to use in Virginia” in around 1630 and became legal tender in 1642 by, “outlawing contracts that called for payments in gold or silver.

            The use of tobacco as money survived in Virginia for nearly two centuries and in Maryland for a century and a half… The gold standard, by the common calculation, lasted from 1879 until the cancellation of the final attenuated version by Richard Nixon in 1971.”

            Galbraith also notes that paper money was often the go to currency in financing revolution, American, French and Russian to name a few.

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              There was such a great lack of coined money in the new world that up in Canada they used playing cards as moolah, and we here in the USA were ecstatic even if we ended up with coinage meant for Ireland in 1722, instead:

              http://numismatics.org/wikiuploads/CNL/Hibernia.pdf

              There was also Wampum, the original financial shell game:

              The first Colonists adopted it as a currency in trading with them. Eventually, the Colonists applied their technologies to more efficiently produce wampum, which caused inflation and ultimately its obsolescence as currency.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wampum

              Coined money was so scarce in the colonies and up until 1858, that any old silver dollar sized coin from anywhere in the world sufficed as coin of the realm in the USA, and was accepted as payment.

              Reply
              1. mpalomar

                Ah yes, “playing cards as moolah.” Well a distinct currency deserves a distinct Quebecois culture; I can attest, being married to one. They are indeed cards.

                Reply
          2. MLTPB

            The dollar, as money, is used to facilitate international trade.

            Being unlimited, it may lead to much (of it itself, and of trade, or of globalization).

            The alternative, say, of a gold backed currency, may lead to insufficient trade.

            Reply
          3. BrettM

            I 2nd that suggestion. Very good book to understand the underpinnings of the current structure and the prior structures.

            Reply
      4. .Tom

        Can we have an article and conversation about this one day, Yves? I still have some confusion and questions.

        Reply
      5. jef

        Yves – So you disagree with M Hudson who has gone into great detail about balance of accounts, military spending generating the defecit, 800 bases around the world making the dollar reserve currency and giving America a “free lunch”?

        Reply
        1. mpalomar

          The one ‘job’ the US has yet to export is world hegemon and the one industry still vibrant in god’s country is the arms industry.

          Reply
          1. Paradan

            Nope. Over 50% of the arms industry supply chain is overseas, and yes, some of it is in China. DoD released a report in 2018(?) about this. It’s seriously mind blowing that they could let this happen.

            Reply
            1. mpalomar

              When you’re on a roll. So they are buying steel and circuitry etc. overseas and fabricate/assemble in the US?
              Business Insider has an article placing the US at the top of the arms trade. “The US sold weapons to at least 98 countries between 2013 and 2017.
              Its largest clients were: Saudia Arabia (18% of all sales), UAE (7.4% of all sales), and Australia (6.7% of all sales)…
              The US accounted for 34% of all exports and its exports increased by 25% compared to 2008-2012.”

              I get your point. Always mind blowing that Bell Labs gave the transistor business to Sony in the mid fifties… still it may be the way the beast is put out of our common misery.

              Reply
      6. Darius

        Who benefits from the US dollar being the reserve currency and how? It seems like it’s nothing but down-side for the working class. Is it that it makes the fortunes of the oligarchs more valuable?

        Reply
      7. ewmayer

        With all respect, that claim needs some further unpacking, including a history of other reserve currencies, as well as the other major reserve currencies currently operative. For example, I would be interested in your and the commentariat’s take on Wolf Richter’s January update on the status of the various major RCs, Status of US Dollar as Global Reserve Currency v. Euro, Yen, Chinese Renminbi, & Others, which he concludes thusly:

        The US dollar is the dominant reserve currency, and the US has the largest trade deficit in the world. This gave rise to the theory that the US, in order to maintain the dollar as dominant global reserve currency, “must have” a large trade deficit. But this “must have” relationship is disproven by the euro and the yen, the second and third-largest reserve currencies: their economies have substantial trade surpluses with the rest of the world.

        But there is a relationship: The US dollar’s status as the largest reserve currency and the largest international funding currency permits the US to easily fund its trade and fiscal deficits. This enabled policies by the US government, by governments of other countries, and actions by Corporate America that have led to the gargantuan dual deficits.

        Reply
    2. Socal Rhino

      To avoid competing on the cost of labor, especially in early days, you erect trade barriers. The overall idea being a move toward autarky.

      Reply
    3. Jeremy Grimm

      From your Quotes:
      “… they [the US] abandoned their low-end manufacturing industry and gradually made themselves a country with hollow industries.”

      “In the past half a century, the United States led the way, and then Europe and Western countries have followed up, embarked on a virtual economic path, and gradually gave up the real economy. For these countries, this trend may seem to be a benefit that developed countries get for nothing, but in fact it has hollowed out their own bodies.”

      A flaw with this — the US is not an individual. There is a small class that did very well by this process of hollowing out the economy. I suppose some of the other individuals in the US do believe the pretty story about getting something for nothing — or gave it little thought — as they struggled to a pay for a few basics of life and went into debt to buy an occasional flat screen tv or smart phone.

      I believe Trump’s mercantilist Kabuki or the hand-wringing over the problems with Globalization made so plain by Corona will do little to change Globalization. There will be some switching around of sole sources to different vendors and different countries. Bringing US Industry back, even basics necessary for a certain amount of national self-sufficiency will require a long well-organized effort that will put a dent into the wallets of the small class that has benefited and benefits so greatly from Globalization. Their interests have already proven more durable than the interests of the US DoD in re-domesticating the supply chains for their equipment.

      Reply
      1. anon10

        Yes and the last I’ve read the MMT school considers a trade deficit to be a real benefit to a country.

        But as you say, it’s a benefit for the few at the expense of the many and ultimately the entire country.

        So there’s another black mark against our would be saviors, the MMT School.

        Not that I don’t hope the MMT gang will accept some constructive criticism…

        Reply
        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I guess I missed where the MMT school claimed “a trade deficit to be a real benefit to a country.” I thought the MMT school suggested a deficit by a Government with a fiat currency spends currency into a country’s economy. The Government’s currency is an IOU for the the national debt. Government taxes which must be paid using the national fiat currency helps give value to the currency the Government issues.

          I make no claims of great knowledge of MMT but I don’t need to know much to suggest you need to do a lot more study to better understand MMT. Constructive criticisms are always welcome and given their due consideration. Criticisms from ignorance are a nuisance, but I suppose part of the trouble with ignorance is knowing it when you hold it. [I confess I speak from experience.]

          Reply
            1. Jeremy Grimm

              I stand corrected about MMT’s stance on trade deficits:

              Extracts from the rather lengthy blog post you referenced [Bill Mitchell]:
              “A trade deficit is a sign that the real terms of trade are working in favour of the deficit nation. That is standard MMT and, in my view, unassailable.”

              “Unless you adopt the view that imports are not beneficial. And good luck running that line.”

              Further down:
              “The claims that external deficits automatically lead to a hollowing out of the industrial sector and the nation ends up a consumption unit (consuming junk) and sedating its population with a Job Guarantee, once all the skilled jobs shift to Country X?”

              “There is nothing in MMT that supports a deindustrialisation process and perpetual current account deficits.”

              My comment May 20, 2020 at 2:04 pm makes no reference to MMT or trade deficits. The US hollowed out its industry very intentionally. I believe trade deficits or surpluses are incidental to the process — just as I believe the “something for nothing” argument served as whitewash over the intent driving US deindustrialization. I do not see how abstract MMT trade theory or the trade theory of any other school of economic thought is applicable. The US deindustrialization crushed US Labor, while exploiting nice tax advantages for hiding the profits of US based International Cartels. It was about Power and Control. It was about who gets the income and who holds the wealth. I stand corrected about MMT trade theory but I cannot conclude with anon10 that the US deindustrialization is a demerit against MMT theory. [It is not difficult to contend with the view that imports are beneficial — taken out of context. British opium imports to China were not beneficial. Cheap US corn imports to Mexico were not beneficial to Mexican small farmers, and I believe not beneficial to Mexico. Chinese steel imports to the US were not beneficial to the US steel industry. But in terms of economics they are beneficial … something in return for printed paper or in the case of British opium for specie metal — silver.]

              Reply
    4. MLTPB

      How does Escobar feel about China not being able to decouple from over reliance on exporting?

      Will the merchantilist empire be in danger?

      Reply
  9. Tom Stone

    I’m encountering a lot of people who are nostalgic for the “Good old days” of the Obama administration, it was apparently “Camelot” with a tan.
    Is this proof of the “Alternate Universe” theory ?

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Ignorance is bliss. I mean if you watch dad do during that period you might hear three stories in a given night about a buffoonish state or local republican and a story about the president’s dog but nothing about anything else. Pretending Obama was competent but beset by the forces of evil excuses the behavior of most Democrats during the time. Whenow Obama linked SS to nominal inflation not cost of living, was this on Maddow? They know it happened, but they simply failed as citizens. It’s much easier to not recognize how asset inflation is terrible policy or how voluntary climate accords are meaningless and then act surprised.

      Reply
      1. .Tom

        It’s hard to face the truth. It makes me sad and angry almost every day. I cognitively came to terms with Obama’s con years ago but it still hurts emotionally to consider the scale and stability of the corruption we live under. So I can empathize with those still in denial.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          So I can empathize with those still in denial.

          Some. The ones who should have known better are an entirely different matter as if they had even held themselves to minimal standards there might be actual accomplishments in the future Obama mausoleum even if he was dragged kicking and screaming.

          Reply
        2. Darius

          I really blame Obama for this. His refusal to adequately address the financial crisis when he had solid majorities in both houses, his full-on embrace of austerity in 2010, and the resulting chronic economic stagnation led directly to Trump’s election in 2016.

          Obama really was a reactionary, but he covered for it with his tremendously skillful empty gesturing and virtue signaling. I can’t stand to watch him, knowing that most of Team Blue still swallows everything he says whole. I have a real aversion to him. So, no excuses for Obama or his legion of adoring fans. He needs to stop posturing, and they need to grow up.

          Reply
    2. timbers

      I recall the Obama yrs. When I spoke out that Obama was doing the same things Bush did and sometimes worse, to my Team Blue friends, I was almost always told to stop watching FOX news. Later they all went down the Russiagate rabbit hole, some in a very emotional way as in like Rachel Maddow emotional.

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        timbers
        May 20, 2020 at 9:48 am
        ===========================================
        https://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2015/02/01
        If you substituted “candidate” for “football team” in the above cartoon, it would be EXACTLY the same – and I guess you should substitute “election victory party” for super bowl party. I believe it is just to difficult for people to see that B. Clinton = G.Bush = B.Obama = The Donald.
        Like political parties, football teams have different colors and logos, but it really is just different rich guys trying to get more money…

        Reply
        1. km

          That is why I refer to the two legacy parties as “Team D” and “Team R”.

          Frankly, I’ve seen football fans offer more reasoned, fact-based explanations of why they support a given team than the average partisan political junkie.

          Reply
    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Again I would point to anecdotal encounter with a neighbor where he was completely flummoxed by the idea that a self described antigun as one can get should at least call their senators and congressman to demand action or at least consider not blindly voting for the ilk of Mark Warner who managed to get an A- rating from the NRA after the VPISU massacre in 2007. I merely presented what he was told represented good citizenship as a kid in school. We saw that Obama will respond to pressure such as DADT or Shinseki during Obama’s own VA scandal.

      Trump’s incompetence aside, warnings about supply issues, a lack of factories, insufficient preparedness, poor infrastructure, widespread poverty, etc have been around since the Shrub administration. Pretending Obama was a golden age is preferable to recognize the problems and that they won’t have much sympathy from millennial on down.

      Reply
      1. Pat

        I spent much of the first year of Trump pointing out how this or that latest outrage was either an out right continuation of ongoing policy from the Obama years or a return to the policy they operated under until the last months of his administration when they changed policy usually stating some future date. I was either humored or told I was wrong by those most in mourning for Obama. This despite having lots of empirical evidence of the kind we have been told Republicans ignore.

        While I did have a brief moment of joy when the photos of Trump’s detention center atrocities were from Obama’s term, that like so much got flushed down the memory hole.

        I should say that people I know who have been less fortunate than the PMC with the exception of the romantics, either helped or examined the evidence and their nostalgia is tempered. They long for the less World Wrestling dramatics laid back atmosphere but want massive policy changes so mixed.

        Reply
    1. rtah100

      It’s a sui generis decision (along with Oxford).

      For undergraduate teaching, the University is literally only responsible for lectures (and, in lab subjects, labs). The Colleges are responsible for accommodation and “supervisions” – between one and six people, usually the lower end, typically spending an hour a week with a College Fellow or a graduate student (or longer sessions less frequently in arts subjects, where some supervisors may just cover a single text or a short lecture series).

      So the University announcement puts all the lectures online. For arts students, they may notice an improvement, because they will be able to watch them when they wake up rather than sleep through with a hangover. For science students, they will be able to watch the lectures (rather than copy friends’ notes). It sounds like labs will still take place and the supervisions will continue. The real question is will the Colleges take the students back and will the College Bar be open?

      Taught masters may be affected more, some of these have more departmental tuition (e.g. MBA) but most graduate degrees are research degrees, again with one or more supervisors.

      Reply
    2. CoryP

      I have an aversion to the idea of eliminating in-person lectures. Mostly because it portends bad things for society, privatization and the pauperization of instructors, already well under way.

      But then I remember in my professional degree during the aughts, my attendance was abysmal and I preferred to to teach myself from textbooks and power points. Excepting the two or three instructors that were actually captivating and insightful. And I graduated with honours.

      So I’m torn. I bemoan the swift transition to internet-mediated everything, but I was ahead of the curve and took every advantage of those kinds of things in my own schooling. Not sure how to reconcile that.

      Reply
      1. witters

        I teach mostly on line, but we have residential colleges, so we have an ‘internal market.’ I record the lectures with people with me in the room. Then upload them. I tried recording alone, but ended up even more bored than usual. Everyone notices.

        Reply
  10. Jessica

    The Proud Tower by Barbara Tuchman claims that the decades before WW1 were miserable, but after the trauma of WW1, the pre-war era remembered fondly.
    Hell, if the virus drags on long enough, even the first 3 years of Trump will be remembered fondly.

    Reply
  11. chuck roast

    Facebook Takes on Amazon (FT)

    All I can say is wow! I can’t get by the paywall, so I decided that I would just go and cue up my old black and white videotape of Mothra vs. Godzilla. Some Japanese locals find an egg washed up on the shore. The egg is Mothra’s kid and Godzilla attacks it with Mothra in defense. They duke it out. Godzilla has atomic breath, so Mothra is toast. There is radioactivity everywhere. For some reason the Japanese had a thingy about radioactivity. Apparently, Mothra is supposed to be the messenger of peace. Uh…wrong movie.

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      chuck roast
      May 20, 2020 at 9:50 am

      As I am unfamiliar with the Godzilla versus Mothra genre and the subtleties contained therein, I decided to look it up in Wikipedia:
      Historian Steve Ryfle called the film’s themes as a “classic good-versus-evil stand-off”

      As apropos Facebook and Amazon, I would say its evil versus evil.

      Reply
    2. ewmayer

      Like the original Godzilla-less Mothra (1961), ya gotta watch these in gorgeous full color! (Plus the original film has the famous singing-twin cuties, The Peanuts / Za Pinnatsu, Emi and Yumi Ito, as the miniature Mothra-callers). Re. the Japanese “thing about radioactivity”, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were less than a decade before Godzilla (1954), during which years the US was busily testing ever-larger H-bombs out in the Pacific. Wikipedia:

      Over the series history, the films have reflected the social and political climate in Japan. In the original film, Godzilla was an allegory for the effects of the hydrogen bomb, and the consequences that such weapons might have on earth. The radioactive contamination of the Japanese fishing boat Daigo Fukuryū Maru through the United States’ Castle Bravo thermonuclear device test on Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954, led to much press coverage in Japan preceding the release of the first movie in 1954.

      Castle Bravo was the first major test of a solid-fuel (no cryogenics needed) Lithium Deuteride H-bomb … it was expecte to yield a “mere” 5 megatons TNT-equivalent, but a previously unknown nuclear reaction involving the Lithium-7 isotope (natural Li is a mix of Li-6 and Li-7 with over 90% Li-7, but the Castle Bravo device used Li enriched to 40% Li-6 because the Li-7 was incorrectly assumed to be inert in an H-bomb context) caused the actual yield to “run away” to a massive 15 MT.

      Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “Jamie Dimon says coronavirus crisis is ‘wake-up call’ for a more inclusive economy”

    This account can be safely ignored. Dimon is in the running for being on Biden’s cabinet so I am cynical enough to assume that this is just PR fluff meant to appeal to progressives and democrats to show that Jamie is actually on your side and to make him more acceptable. He has been involved with top politicians for a long time and now he is within reach of a brass ring for his efforts-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Dimon#Political_endeavors

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      >This account can be safely ignored.

      I get what you mean, but on further thought: Can it be ignored? People like Dimon get to where they are by finding the parade and running out in front of it… then if necessary misleading it around the block so it winds up just where it started again.

      Shorter me: him being a friend is of even more serious concern than him being an enemy

      Reply
    2. edmondo

      Plus there’s the added bonus of selling off all his JPM stock without paying any capital gains tax if he secures a position in the Biden Administration. It’s a big club. We aren’t in it.

      Incoming cabinet officers and senior members of the White House staff have to rid themselves of any potential conflicts of interest before starting their new jobs, and often that means selling investments.

      That is not as punitive as it sounds. To help a nominee avoid the sometimes negative consequences of quickly unloading stocks or bonds, the tax code contains a provision that allows the securities to be sold and the capital gains tax on such sales deferred if the full proceeds are used to buy Treasuries and certain money-market funds. The tax continues to be deferred until the Treasuries or money-market funds are sold.

      And if for some reason the individual is really rich and never needs or wants to sell the Treasuries or money-market funds, then the tax owed can be deferred for a very long time, maybe even forever.

      Reply
      1. allan

        Inquiring minds would like to know how this goody for the chosen few
        interacts with the step-up-basis provision in the estate tax code.
        Would Jamie’s lucky off-spring be able to bypass the capital gains tax entirely?

        Reply
        1. Science Officer Smirnoff

          And if for some reason the individual is really rich and never needs or wants to sell the Treasuries or money-market funds, then the tax owed can be deferred for a very long time, maybe even forever.

          Which, of course, is the magic of step-up-in-basis for heirs (of any wealth).

          Reply
      2. Foy

        That is exactly it, edmudo. I remember Hank Paulson having the same benefit when he became Treasury secretary, no capital gains on the Goldman Sachs and other assets ($700m) he had to divest from in order to take the job. A once in a lifetime opportunity to efficiently change and balance one’s portfolio if you can get it at zero cost. All very convenient…

        Reply
  13. Mikel

    Re: What growing epidemic in China killed 843,000 people across the nation in 2017? SCMP

    About diabetes…
    Does anyone check their feet occasionally?
    Maybe a med professional can weigh in, but isn’t puffiness around the feet (when there hasn’t been any activity that would cause swelling) one sign of elevated blood sugar?

    Reply
    1. kareninca

      For fifteen bucks you can get a meter and some test strips from Walmart, and you can find out a lot earlier if you have a blood sugar issue than if you wait until you have puffy feet!!!!!

      Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “Poor New York City Neighborhoods Seeing Deaths From Covid at More Than Twice the Rate of Affluent Areas”

    I am just going to wing it here and say that it might have something to do with income. Those in the affluent areas may have been in a situation to isolate and work from home so reduced their chances of catching the virus. Those in poorer areas more likely than not had to work as there was no other support for them from the government to be able to buy food. That may have meant taking a crowded subway and working in a crowded environment. It may have even meant them taking food and other deliveries to those people self-isolating in affluent areas in irony of ironies.

    Reply
    1. Bernalkid

      Blessed are you who are poor,
      for yours is the kingdom of God.

      Everything is going according to plan.

      Reply
    2. Pat

      Absolutely, but a few other things also play into it.
      Housing is more crowded, more people to an apartment.
      These are largely minority, and male Hispanics and male African Americans are apparently more susceptible to Covid-19.
      Culture where touching each other is the norm. There was a recent article where two adjacent Queens neighborhoods were looked at because the primarily Asian American neighborhood had such lower infection rates. Early recognition of the danger including masks and early shutdowns were thought to be a big part of it, but also the cultural norm of noninvasion of personal space.

      A perfect storm so to speak.

      Reply
    3. TooSoonOld

      People living in the poorer areas also tend to have more health issues. And not necessarily because they’ve always been poor – in the US, having health issues often causes people to become poor, so they move to the less expensive neighborhoods.

      Reply
  15. bassmule

    What if the Feds threw an “opening” party and nobody came?

    Rabbi Joel Sisenwine of Temple Betyh Elohim Wellesley MA: Just because the governor has enabled us to gather doesn’t mean we should….If anyone is going to lead, it should be a community that strives for the highest of ethical living….we need to walk together….There are things that we’d like to to, things that we want to do, that we can’t, because we have to preserve human life.

    Religious Leaders Interpreting New Guidelines For Reopening

    Reply
      1. Off The Street

        Where does the nugget come from on a chicken?

        Parts is parts.

        Everything but the squeal.

        A few observations about food, or what has become ‘food’, long after The Jungle.

        Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “‘Don’t Come’: Hawaii Enforces Strict Lockdown Measures”

    Now this could get interesting this. Suppose that Hawaii, and Alaska for that matter, eradicate the virus from their States. Meanwhile on the mainland, States like Georgia and Florida are having a helluva battle and just cannot get on top of it to the point it is endemic. So what happens next? Does Hawaii re-open down the track? Do rich people flood in because it is now a safe State to live? Does Trump order it to open up to the mainland because they are making the mainland, and him, look so bad?

    This is not only an American problem. In Australia the most populous State – New South Wales – has demanded that all the other States open up their borders so that interstate tourism can get underway again. The other States are not having a bar of it as new cases are going to zero while NSW still has new cases appearing. The Federal Government is on NSW’s side and a top Health Officer said that he cannot understand why the States still have their borders close. Yeah, this is the level of medical advice that we have been receiving on the Federal level. My own State is saying maybe they will open up in September – maybe.

    Reply
    1. Wellstone's Ghost

      One issue Hawaii may have going forward is with the large number of military personnel stationed on Oahu. The state won’t be able to control the movement of troops on and off the island. If the military implements strong quarantine policies for the bases, it might not be a problem. However, the military community on Hawaii is deeply enmeshed in the local communities with huge amount of traffic moving on and off base. Alaska, specifically Anchorage may have an issue with this as well.
      The hit to Hawaii’s tourism industry cannot be overstated enough.
      For the Governor of the state to say “Don’t Come” should be a BIG sign of the level of concern they have.
      Also, a ton of elderly in Hawaii that live in multigenerational households due to
      the INSANE cost of housing.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        if i remember rightly, Hawaii is also a major Net importer of food(and a whole bunch of other stuff one needs).
        so that’s a skillet balanced over their heads to get in line.
        Open Up, or Starve.
        but couched in polite bafflegab.

        Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I believe the coming Collapse will occur as many disasters occur in proximate time. We handle a single national disaster badly — I am being generous. Multiple disasters occurring at very near the same time will overwhelm our ability to recover.

      Reply
  17. Wukchumni

    Chicago hospital on the financial brink: St. Anthony’s fights for survival, sues state for money owed Chicago Tribune
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    …isn’t St Anthony the patron saint of lost articles?

    Reply
    1. Off The Street

      Resistance Journalism has an older colleague in Resistance Teaching. I saw that being mal-practiced while in high school decades ago by an earlier wave of similarly-enlightened folk.

      English teachers who told you what you shouldn’t be doing, Sociology teachers who reinforced that, Biology teachers who were early in the eco-shaming for not thinking rigidly like them. What happened to helping young people learn to learn, to think for themselves, to appreciate the scientific method?

      They would be surprised to find out that many of us grew up to be responsible citizens, concerned about our environments and, yes, still willing to do things that they didn’t approve of.

      Greenwald’s article sparked many comments and suggestions for more credible sources.

      Reply
  18. Darius

    I’ve always considered House Sparrows to be a nuisance in North America. I’m surprised that they could become rare in their native environment, since they appear to love city life here. Perhaps Indian cities need more trees. I would think that would provide all the habitat they need.

    Reply
  19. Rod

    Botch on the Rhine New York Review of Books

    For those that study on WW II, on this 75th of a ‘Bridge too far’, a good review of a bad idea and a reminder of the perils of steadfast allies.
    Or sacrosanct Tea Times

    Here’s a ‘hero’ from our State who was there:

    en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Moffatt_Burriss

    or to hear him recall that Battle, Tea Time at the Wrong Time, and more with another sort of State Treasure:

    https://www.southcarolinapublicradio.org/post/remembering-t-moffatt-burriss-world-war-ii-battlefield-hero

    Reply

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