Links 5/21/2020

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Man And Donkey Cry With Joy While Reuniting After Quarantine The Dodo (David L). Aaaw…

Summer solstice at Stonehenge will be streamed live Boing Boing (resilc)

Study Links Native Americans to ‘Paleolithic Siberians’ From Lake Baikal Region Sputnik (Kevin W)

8 logical fallacies that are hard to spot Big Think

Climate change is turning parts of Antarctica green, say scientists Guardian (Kevin W)

Miami pilots e-cargo bikes to reduce congestion, pollution Utility Dive (Chuck L)

Scientists Made a Mouse That’s 4 Percent Human Popular Mechanics (resilc)


Dance Macabre James Howard Kunstler (Chuck L)

Paris’s neglected pot plants get their own ‘hospital’ Guardian (resilc)



Coronavirus: World sees highest daily increase in virus cases BBC (furzy)

Chinese expert says new virus cluster in northeast behaving differently Times of Israel (David L)

The Public Do Not Understand Logarithmic Graphs Used To Portray COVID-19 LSE. Paging Edward Tufte.

Moderna’s favorable coronavirus vaccine trial results are an example of ‘publication by press release’ Washington Post

Hydroxychloroquine research shows some promise in interim study conducted by Telangana Govt Times of India. Ignacio: “Hydroxycloroquine is manufactured all around the world, but yes, India is not patent-friendly so they have incentives to push for this.” Moi: “We’ll see how careful the study is when it’s out.”

Ultraviolet Light to Be Used to Disinfect New York City Trains and Buses Complex (David L)

iFixit launches massive repair database for ventilators and other medical devices The Verge

Coronavirus: Afghan girls make ventilators out of car parts BBC



Survey finds 87% of America’s nurses are forced to reuse protective equipment Guardian (resilc)

US health agency director warns of virus flare-up this year Financial Times

Black Americans dying of Covid-19 at three times the rate of white people Guardian

Florida Governor Defends Firing Of Top Data Scientist NPR (David L)

Trump Fans Gobble Up His Favorite, Unproven COVID Drug—Some Are Even Trying To Cook It Themselves Daily Beast

Trump allies lining up doctors to prescribe rapid reopening Associated Press

Small Alabama City Says It’s Broke, Files for Bankruptcy Bloomberg

Political Responses

Trump plans halt to National Guard deployments before retirement benefits kick in: report The Hill (Kevin W)

Emergency relief screw-up hits 5 million student loan borrowers Politico (Dan K)


Private equity-owned companies miss out on bailout loans Financial Times. UK and Europe. But still….

Coronavirus Shut Down the ‘Experience Economy.’ Can It Come Back? New York Times

Cash, long a refuge in uncertain times, now under suspicion Associated Press

Could The 4-Day Work Week Be the Way to Recover From Coronavirus? New Zealand Thinks So. Vice


How To Understand All This China Stuff Caitlin Johnstone

COVID-19: China Updates its ‘Art of (Hybrid) War’ ConsortiumNews (Chuck L)

Senate passes bill that could block Chinese firms from U.S. securities exchanges Reuters (resilc)

Stop the $2 Billion Arms Sale to the Philippines Foreign Policy in Focus

Man sentenced to death in Singapore via Zoom BBC (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

No, CDA 230 Isn’t The Only Thing Keeping Conservatives Off YouTube TechDirt (Dan K)

Apple whistleblower goes public over ‘lack of action’ Guardian

AI guests are data harvesting our lockdown homes Financial Times (David L)

Trump Transition

Trump threatens to cut off federal money for Michigan over mail-in voting Reuters (resilc)

Howard Stern mocks ‘genius’ Donald Trump Jr. for engaging him New York Daily News


Senate Republicans issue first subpoena in Biden-Burisma probe The Hill. After Russiagate, there’s no requirement that anything make sense, just that it be dimly colorable. The question is whether the Republicans manage to come up with a simple narrative, or whether l’affaire Hunter Biden, like Russsiagate, becomes just another Benghazi hairball.

Stacey Abrams is the Democrats’ Sarah Palin Washington Post

Feds revoked Edenville Dam license over fears it could not survive major flood Detroit News (Robert R)

The Lunacy of Global Seafood Supply Chains The Nation

Why Do Food Delivery Companies Lose Money? Josh Barro, New York Magazine. It is enormously frustrating to see economists act like ants pushing grains of rice around until they manage to stumble across a hole for it to fall into. Hubert Horan explained this all years ago with respect to Uber, and did a similar kneecapping of various app-based local transportation product extensions. It’s really not that hard to look at the economics of delivery and see that adding an app adds zero or even potentially negative improvements in production costs (due to moar overheads) but no one ex Hubert seemed willing to do the work.

Two Massachusetts men arrested in plot to smuggle former Nissan chief Ghosn from Japan CNN

The Law Might Be Catching Up With Carlos Ghosn New York Magazine

Every New Volvo Model Is Now Electronically Limited To 112 MPH AutoBlog

Facebook takes on Amazon with online shopping venture ars technica (resilc)

Private Equity Is Ruining Health Care, Covid Is Making It Worse Bloomberg (furzy)

Walmart to Quadruple Sam’s Clubs in China After Virus-Led Boom Bloomberg (resilc)

Class Warfare

Wealthy tenants are SQUATTING in multi-million dollar homes in the Hamptons Daily Mail

College Tests Called Unfair To Homebound, Tech-Poor Students Bloomberg

The Golden Age of White Collar Crime HuffPost (UserFriendly)

FedEx Workers Fired After Viral Video GoFundMe. Apparently you can’t deliver packages while black in Georgia.

Antidote du jour (CV):

And a bonus. Timotheus: “Pretty amazing. Dutch guy has a owls’ nest outside his window, makes friends. (In Dutch, but doesn’t matter.)” Guurst had sent the story which has many good stills: Oehoe! Grootste uilensoort in Europa bouwt nest met drie kuikens op vensterbank van Jos: “Ze kijken ’s avonds mee televisie” HLN

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ramon

    8 logical fallacies that are hard to spot. This ought to be the defacto opening page for the internet. (and life in general)

    1. Off The Street

      If-by-whiskey makes me think of how many inane articles may have been initiated under the influence.
      A cousin, in vino veritas, may be only partly explanatory as sometimes the alcohol may lead to incoherence.
      For snow jobs, are the new Gish brand snowshoes helpful?
      Okay, sorry about all that, and now back to regularly scheduled comments.

    2. Mel

      :) Which side of the Grand Canyon stands at a higher elevation? Some say the north side, some say the south side. I guess the truth is in between.

  2. divadab

    Re: Hassan Akkad video – it seems the UK government has changed its immigration laws so that the families of foreign medical professionals who die from covid-19 while working for the NHS are allowed to stay in the UK indefinitely. But not minimum wage support workers, of who Mr. Akkad is one. Welcome to the Brit class system, Mr. Akkad. DO you really want to stay as a second-class person in the UK?

    In any event, to change the rule is not going to have a huge effect. It’s really about Tory classism and anti-immigrant (which Brexit really is about) feeling.

  3. .Tom

    Looks like Florida is set to get a lot of people infected. Assuming so, how is hurricane season going to be different this year? Evacuation will mean moving a lot of contagious people around.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Looks like Florida is set to get a lot of people infected.

      Asking as a Floridian–how do you figure that?

      1. .Tom

        Based on 1. the graphs of new case count or day in each of the big Florida metro area. They all turned upward when restrictions were recently listed. (See WC yesterday) 2. My assessment of the state politics is that this data will be ignored for as long as it is they can.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I would call BS, not on you personally sir, but on anyone who states that data comparisons are either easy or possible given the variables. This article is a nice skeptical piece that includes WSJ, Bloomberg, WHO, and Tel Aviv University. Read it quickly, before Zuckerberg decides it is “misinformation” that may end up aiding Trump’s chances of re-election:

    2. Tomonthebeach

      DeSantis is bucking for the 2020 Veep job and will take no prisoners. The best way to deal with the bad press is eliminate all data to squelch public alarm and make Trump look Great Again – look ma, no masks!

      1. Massinissa

        The 2020 veep job? Why would Trump replace Pence? Wouldn’t that be sort of unprecedented in modern times?

    3. Keith

      Hurricane season not likely to be different (Aside from the hype the media plays up for everything). Rule #1 for living in hurricane alley is ignore govt and the media and decide for yourself. As for COVID, only a fool or the destitute goes to a govt shelter. When I lived in LA, I did quite well staying in a Walmart parking lot while avoiding the authorities. It helped that I could spend time in a movie theater and enjoy the AC.

    4. Daryl

      > Assuming so, how is hurricane season going to be different this year?

      It will be worse, much much worse if a hurricane hits.

  4. Krystyn Podgajski

    Just want to put this out into the internetosphere: There are a bunch of us on disability who get our money via direct deposit who still have not received a stimulus check. I think that is insane becasue they have all of our information and send us checks every month. We were supposed to get them on April 29th, then May 20th…and so on.

    For me, I do not need it, but people getting $768 a month and then have to buy masks, etc? I am wondering what a Trump supporter on disability is thinking. But they did promise the check to me, which is frustrating.

    1. Grumpy Engineer

      I am wondering what a Trump supporter on disability is thinking.

      Probably the same thing that a self-employed liberal who was forced out of work is thinking… That they’d really appreciate some competent government right now. My wife’s best friend is a self-employed hair dresser who was forced out of work by the Democratic governor’s order back in March. Despite dutifully applying every week for the unemployment benefits that were promised (for eight weeks straight now), she still hasn’t received a penny.

      1. Wukchumni

        Got our 2400 clams last week, and I did a mental flashback of some 6 weeks ago (when the $1200 a person deal was announced) as I was the 29th person in line @ the supermarket, and #28 was a woman in her late late 20’s, and I said something like ‘this crisis is something else’ or equally inane uttering to get a conversation going, for we were 15 minutes away from conveyor belt & cashier.

        She told me her 8 year old daughter missed school already, and her husband who’d been laid off 3 months earlier, got re-hired 2 weeks ago, only to be let go again because of the Coronavirus. She also had an 8 month old baby as an added bonus.

        My shopping cart was all frozen food, while her gotten goods were in just one hand, maybe $8 worth. Instinctively she knew that she needed to go shopping for food, the only issue being that there was no do re mi to make it so.

        About 5 minutes into our talk, I fished a Jackson out of my wallet and told her to go buy some more food, and her eyes lit up and off she went like some contestant on The New Price Is Right trying to hit the $20 mark exactly, without going over.

        Our $2400 promise sorry note wasn’t needed in order for us to keep on keeping on, but imagine her family’s plight while waiting for a financial life boat, adrift?

        1. The Rev Kev

          You’re a good man, Wuk. And if your County is opening up, now would be a good time to go to ground.

          1. Wukchumni

            I bought a new never used astronaut suit from an army-navy-nasa store, and will be taking it for a test run tomorrow on a shopping spree, one small step for mankind. It takes a certain lunatic.

                1. MLTPB

                  Or train with the Bajau people.

                  I understand they can hold for over 10 minutes…long enough for a quick shopping trip.

                  1. Wukchumni

                    I’ve ordered some undergarments from an outfitter in Salt Lake City.

                    You can’t be too safe these days, and have to play all the angles.

      2. Oregoncharles

        We got ours, but a refund check is way overdue. Seems to be completely random.

        Easy enough to see why: the IRS is trying to do all this, right at tax time, while working from home. Nonetheless, they deny that they’ll put off the tax due date again.

        “Operational capability” would be if there were other agencies capable of sending out the checks, but not overloaded. Social Security springs to mind, but someone would have to sort out who does what – and SS itself is probably “lean,” ie as few people as possible, and also working from home.

        Not to let Trump off the hook, but these are not normal times. Come to think – did he ever fill out the roster of appointments in the agencies? I seem to remember he was claiming a lot of them weren’t needed, which might be a good point, but some extra hands might be nice about now. If he can get qualified people to work for him, another major issue.

    2. Screwball

      Nether have I, and the IRS website still doesn’t know either. I’m glad I don’t need it.

    3. BobW

      On SS retirement, got $1200 by direct deposit on Apr 15. I did work in 2018 and filed a federal tax return then, maybe that?

    4. rob

      There was an article at forbes online.. about a payment system and public banking that would address this very thing it seems.
      the title was “digital greenbacks”

    5. ewmayer

      Just by way of adding 1 data point – friend on SSDI got her $1200 via direct deposit at end of April. Maybe a statistical DD-versus-physical-check-in-the-mail disparity?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Empress Dowager Nancy put a stop to that idea quicksmart, recall that was what Orange Obama originally wanted to do.

        (OMG I said something nice about Orange Hitler, quick call Chuck Todd and Chris Cuomo!)

      1. J.k

        I could be wrong about this but i read one of the groups that will be getting their stimulus deposited over the next two weeks are people who have representative payees. These are often folks getting ssi and or ssdi which is payed out to a representative, often a family member. This is typically due to disability.

  5. Jessica

    Sanders (D)(1): “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce: The Collapse of the Sanders Campaign and the “Fusionist” Left” [Michael Tracey and Angela Nagel, American Affairs]

    from yesterday’s Water Cooler

    1) Listening to the audio book of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972, which concerns both the 1968 and 1972 campaigns, I am struck by the strong parallels between the 1968/1972 campaigns and the 2016/2020 campaigns. The parallel that is relevant here is that as McGovern got close to the nomination, he more and more adapted himself to the party establishment that he was in the process of defeating. This became even more pronounced in the general election. This shift to the “center” was completely self-defeating.
    It may well be that McGovern would have been overwhelmingly defeated no matter what he did. However, if he had campaigned all the way to November the way that he did in the early days of the primaries, when he was able to pick up many of the economically progressive socially conservative white working class voters, at least the loss could have started building a political movement that would have been able to carry forward the democratization of the 60s. (Instead of allowing it to be converted into the property (social capital) of elites cliques within the insurgent groups, property which they then traded for their own careers, a.k.a. sold us out.) Another parallel is that no matter how hard McGovern tried to win over the party establishment, they just stabbed him in the back. No, actually in many cases, they did it to his face.
    2) When I heard Bernie speak at a rally this year, there was far too much identity politics for my taste. This was particularly pronounced in the warm-up speakers, but even Bernie seemed to present a litany of demands more than a coherent class-driven narrative. I was also struck that most of the demands (other than Medicare for all) were those of the middle class, not the working class. There was nothing much on offer for the portion of the working class making more than $15 per hour.
    3) When any progressive demand is framed using the word “justice”, that word shows that something has gone deeply wrong. Justice is good and right and probably through most of history, fighting for it was a good thing. However, right now, the word is a reliable indicator of something wrong. Perhaps it is a sign that what could and should be a universal demand, some concrete benefit for everyone, has been reformulated into something akin to identity politics, i.e. something that stifles discussion and converts a movement against the logic of the current system into a careerist demand that fits quite nicely into the logic of the system, thank you. Or it is a sign that politics for those who most need it has been converted into psycho-spirituality for entry-level and aspirant professionals.

    1. Alternate Delegate

      … “justice”, that word shows that something has gone deeply wrong.

      Ahhh, yes – that! What you said!

      Decency is where the real progress is to be found, not “justice”. This isn’t about jockeying for position while pushing each other down. It isn’t about diverting some “advantage” to someone “disadvantaged” on the basis of some identity politics categorization. It’s about getting out of competition altogether – everybody gets education, everybody gets healthcare, everybody gets to eat.

      That’s not something “markets” can deliver, even if they’re “fair” or “just”. Markets are inherently about gaining and losing advantanges, about winning and losing. And therefore necessarily indecent.

      1. MLTPB

        Justice relates (more) to the mind.

        Decency, the heart.

        Usually, we have a a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.

        (Mr Spock, more this, and less of that. Dr McCoy, the opposite, for example).

        1. Alternate Delegate

          “If you had asked me why I had joined the militia I should have answered: ‘To fight against Fascism,’ and if you had asked me what I was fighting for, I should have answered: ‘Common decency.”

          George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

          I think there’s a material and economic basis to that statement, in addition to heart and mind.

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        Peter Maurin, who was friend and mentor to Dorothy Day in the early years of the Catholic Worker movement, said that the goal should be “a society in which it’s easier to be good.”

        Needless to say, that involves having one’s material needs satisfied.

      3. deplorado

        Yes – decency, I agree.

        But Joe Biden is said by some to be a “decent man”. So that term is compromised too. There is nothing that the system won’t co-opt. Even class. It’s about narrative.

      4. Bsoder

        You might want to read some moral philosophy ‘decent’ isn’t much of a concept as ‘justice’, your forcing the word into a definition it doesn’t have. Hitler was decent to his dog. So there you go.

        1. Alternate Delegate

          Dude, I’ve read more than enough to know the difference.

          If Orwell’s definition of decency doesn’t make sense to you, you can try reading some stuff like this.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      Wow. I too am listening to that audiobook (I last read it 10+ years ago) and I was wondering if it was just my desire to make some sense out of what’s going on now that was creating parallels. In addition to agreeing with your points, one more thing Hunter picked up on even in ’72 was that the Democrat Party is where progressivism goes to die. His rants about destroying the party and the need for an alternative hit me as extremely prescient.

      1. Jessica

        Yes, his calls for a true alternative to the Democratic Party were prescient and there were so many parallels: the party establishment overtly cheating (stealing Ohio in 1972, trying to change the delegate allocation rules after the California primary had already been run), Bernie now is basically McCarthy/RFK of 68 and McGovern of 72, the party establishment coalescing around an old politician with a proven track record of losing and of fighting against the left, not the right (Humphrey 72=Biden 2020), even the role of conservative African-Americans as an anti-left bulwark in the primaries, the inability or unwillingness of the “radical” candidate to stay the course.
        In a sense, Bernie’s discovery of campaign funding by the masses took us back to 1968-1976.
        I read most of Fear and Loathing 1972 as it came out in Rolling Stone, so it reminded me of much that I had forgotten.

    3. workingclasshero

      Bernie’s website was pretty bad,in fact it’s as bad as biden’s.something like 5 different sub groups from the identity parade and try finding open mention of social security and medicare on biden’s,at least bernie did seems after the seattle incident where blm showed up he gpt the “identity” religion

      1. GettingTheBannedBack

        I’ve come to the conclusion that Bernie was an amazing showman. The passion! The empathy! The integrity! The downright decency! He sure could pull in a crowd!
        Reminds me of another amazing showman. Obama. The passion! The empathy! The integrity! The downright decency! He sure could pull in a crowd!
        Contrast them to FDR. Someone to be reckoned with. When they came for FDR, he brushed them off and continued to work for the country, not the vested interests. He left a legacy that gave two generations opportunities for decent education and housing and jobs.
        So after the shows, when the lights are out and the crowd has gone home and the candy wrappers are blowing across the floor, what is Bernie’s legacy?
        Those who think he has influenced the Dems only have to look at how Dem supported legislation is shovelling money to the rich. Same old. And then look at the mothers who have $8 to feed a family and are dependent on the kindness of strangers.
        And what is Obama’s legacy? Someone? Anyone?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Huh? As one of my friends said, Sanders has all the charisma of your cranky Jewish uncle telling you to take your feet off the coffee table.

          Sanders got wage increases for Amazon and McDonalds workers despite being on a Senator from a pissant state. Also forced the idea of universal health care, heretofore verboten, into the policy debate. It took the right over 10 years of concerted effort, with unlimited spending and think tank messaging, to usher in the Reagan era. Go read the Powell Memo, which was a road map to increase the effectiveness of efforts underway. Date: August 23, 1971, when the far right was more or less in Siberia.

          1. GettingTheBannedBack

            I hear what you say re Amazon and McDonalds. Sanders did have a role in this. But he also said it was a grass roots movement, and he was probably right.
            Sanders packed the halls. Some politicians with the right motives couldn’t pack a hole in the wall bar. Corbin. I think Sanders’ charisma came from his espoused passion and concern for the least among us and for the young.
            Getting a wage increase is very good, and very commendable. But easily circumvented by taking away conditions. A real structural change would have changed the way the wages are decided. Indexed? Yearly? 5 Yearly? Broaden the minds of supporters as to what is worth winning.
            Medicare for all would have made a structural change to benefit ordinary people. But then when the country was collectively terrified of the virus a couple of months ago, Sanders said that “now is not the time” to call for Medicare for all. Why not? If not now, when? Politics has been his day job since Adam was a boy. Timing and leverage is everything. Having a begging bowl is not a strategy. Even Trump knew he had to do something with healthcare re the virus. And now Uncle Joe will kill M4A.
            The Powell memo, as I recall, was a roadmap to get power back into conservative hands. The long game. Ruthless. Understanding when the time is right to move. Perhaps when Keynesian economics was flailing?
            How could Sanders have led the country if he couldn’t see, let alone deal with, the fraud and corruption in his own party? And then he just folded his tent and stole away back to the warmth of the Democrat party machine. He had a lot of choices to be true to his supporters. He chose none of them.
            And dcblogger calling this a cheap shot is a cheap and lazy shot.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I understand your frustration, but getting regular high turnouts at rallies and lot of small dollar donations (which quickly go to campaign ops and TV ads) is only a limited amount of power. Sanders was and remains an independent, a Socialist senator from a small state. In terms of effecting change, all a Senator has is access to a microphone. Power in America lies in overseeing a bureaucracy, be it of a city, a police force, a state or Federal administration or powerful department, like the Attorney General or Secretary of Treasury. You act as if he has way more power that he does.

              He’s changed the perception of what is fair and what is possible. He’s forced the feckless Dems to defend their appalling positions on health care, and more and more people can see what bullshit they are. He’s called for canceling student debt and for having free public college. These ideas never even would have gotten a hearing. He’s created a significant constituency demanding it.

              The reason he said the height of the Covid crisis was not the time to call for Medicare for All was because it wasn’t. The country has been turned upside down with trying to limit the human and economic damage of coronavirus. Passing Medicare for All would consume a huge amount of Congressional bandwidth, and would be depicted as a Democratic party stunt since Trump would veto it even if it were miraculously to pass both houses.

              You expect the impossible from Sanders, for his to be acting as if he were President. He can’t because he isn’t.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        But but but we can all take comfort that the Round Two $3 Trillion Theft-O-Rama concocted by the “opposition” party included yummy goodies like mandatory diversity boards for companies, free money for minority female cannabis company owners, and free health care and amnesty for illegal aliens, because, you know, health care is a right and there are just so many job openings at the moment.

        Forward IdPol Soviet!

  6. Wukchumni

    In the not so distant past of just a few months ago, the before and after photos of the RN who lost 50 pounds, would’ve been used in order to sell gym memberships or weight loss methods, but that was then and this is now.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I believe it was Tommy Brady’s “doctor”, but I do remember a crank saying none of these people without fat (nothing close to obese or American thin) are healthy as they have nothing to burn except important parts of the body if they get sick or injured.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      No, you’v got that backwards. In the before photo, he already has super low bodyfat and is very cut. Look at his shoulders and biceps. He lost muscle, not fat.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m suggesting he’s not fit because he has low body fat. He has to burn important parts of the body not the fat when he’s sick. Fat, a certain amount, is critical, or there is room for rapid collapse in health.

        There was an SI cover article on Nomar Garciaparra (Mia Hamm’s husband) before his first injury but after he was married where he looked cut. This was when he was on pace to be up there with Frank Robinson and so forth, but i remember his strength coach from college said Nomar looked like he was in the worst shape of his life and would be prone to chronic injuries with that look.

        1. Oregoncharles

          This is essentially what a nutritionist told me when I weighed a lot less. She said her hardest cases were skinny old people who had no reserves when they got sick.

          OTOH, most really old people are pretty lean, so there are two sides to that.

          1. Merf56

            That is exactly what the docs told my Mom. She was slim with little body fat – she was quite the dynamo even with her COPD. Her doc insisted she put on weight ( healthy fats and calories not junk) as any health crisis would otherwise kill her far more quickly.

        2. periol

          Nomar was using steroids and possibly other performance enhancers.

          Steroids have a tendency to make you prone to chronic injuries, and aren’t exactly great for true physical fitness.

          I’m guessing his college strength coach was trying to paint the picture without coming out and saying it.

      2. BhamDan

        Exactly. Reverse the photos and the ad copy writes itself: “Tired of getting sand kicked in your face? Join Xfit Xtreme and get jacked like this guy did!”

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        I am VERY familiar with bodybuilders. Too many in the gyms I’ve gone to.

        Low bodyfat isn’t unhealthy per se but what most guys do to diet down to look like Men’s Health covers most certainly is. And yes, thin people have less in the way of reserves if they get sick and can’t eat much.

        Wuk was arguing the “after” photo was an improvement, a proof of weight loss. It’s a proof of wasting, a loss of muscle mass. His bodyfat was low in both pix.

        I don’t see how you can say he was using steroids. There are plenty of “natural” bodybuilders who are more bulked up than he is. The low bodyfat has nothing to do with steroids, it’s the result of “dieting down”.

        The other thing I am not clear about is whether low body fat, or just being skinny (low BMI) is a risk factor when you get old. High BMI but low-ish body fat means your body can consume muscle if you get sick, just as with the guy above.

    3. Keith

      LOL. I looked at the pictures of a body builder who lost mass and recall in the Marines while on deployment how many guys lost all their muscle mass. Ditto for month long training ops were you couldn’t pick up heavy things all day and then rest. I wonder how much of that is part of the picture. Right now, COVID sells, so anyone wanting attention just needs that angle for their five minutes.

  7. Toshiro_Mifune

    Every New Volvo Model Is Now Electronically Limited To 112 MPH
    For years JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) cars were limited to 112 mph as well. Including icons like the R34 Skylines, various iterations of the Lancer Evolution, etc. Bypassing the limiter, which in most cases was a ECU set fuel cutoff, was often trivial.
    Likewise, JDM also had a 280 bhp cap on engine output. This was skirted by simply stating the engine had 276 bhp and whatever dyno tests you did proving that your Mitsubishi Lancer 6 TME had 330 hp at the wheels was probably a one off fluke.
    It’s nice of Volvo to at least make the attempt. I suppose even they know that this is nothing but theatrics with no real substance.

    1. eyebear

      In Germany domestic cars are limited to 250km/h – 155 mph.

      Don’t try this at home.

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        112 ends up being the highest legal speed limit globally (with the exception of the autobahn) I believe.

        When does an average drive have a need to go at 90 MPH, for example?

        Oh, the average driver probably never will. I suppose the point was that this is a largely non-deterrent to exactly the sort of people who will do 120 mph+.

          1. Toshiro_Mifune

            Honestly – A very short bash script could circumvent that.

            mkdir /dev/gps_fake_input
            mv /dev/gps_input /dev/gps_real_input
            ln -s /dev/gps_fake_input /dev/gps_input
            for i in `cat /dev/gps_real_input’
            $1-112 > /dev/gps_input

            Well, you get the idea.

            … Probably easier just to;
            echo 25mph >> /dev/gps_input
            all the time

      2. eyebear

        That’s the only good thing of the corona crisis – the autobahn was empty. But speeding is boring – after a while you are driving slower and slower. After an hour or so you end up with 110-120 km/h – 68-75mph.
        Fun fact: in the 1960s someone tried to find the ‘natural’ speed of man. They shielded the odometer and only the front passenger had one, shielded from the driver. After an hour all drivers found their personal speed which was a speed of 115 to 125 km/h (71-78mph). So… good to know and good to go.

      3. Keith

        It is about a corp limiting, however theatrical, what you can do, which people hate. I recall my first car, a 92 Chevy Cavalier, which had a governor that limited you to less than 120MPH. Old tech and news.

        PS, yes, I did hit upon it in I5 in Cali back in the day. Good times!

      4. km

        112 mph = 180 kph, that’s why.

        Also, Lancia made the best cars, but a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX is also very nice.

    2. Bugs Bunny

      Since Volvo stopped making the C30, I don’t think there’s a model that I’d even enjoy driving fast.

      Not that I speed…

      1. JohnnySacks

        And it even came with an available stick shift. Almost bought one in ’08 but no base models were available (as apparently they never are) and dealer was a dick. Wish I had put more effort into it, but the price was still a bit of a stretch at the time.

  8. Wukchumni

    Tulare County* has decided to throw caution to the wind and go to phase 3 re-opening, which allows higher risk businesses to open, and there’s a number of Mini-Mega-MAGA churches in Visalia with room for a thousand or more parishioners to congregate like it’s 1348, party on.

    * Gov Newsome has informed the county that $47 million in state aid is in jeopardy if they go through with their planned grand re-opening.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Saw newsome on the tv yesterday talking about working “tirelessly” and “hard” to reopen churches.

      I’m not a churchgoer myself, but how “hard” could it be? If there’s any place it would seem to be relatively simple to enforce social distancing / mask protocols, it would be in church. Those people OBEY, and there’s always someone standing upfront to call out anyone who doesn’t behave. Unlike, say, a grocery store or Home Depot. At least that’s how I remember it from the old days.

      Early on there was a church somewhere that had people sit in their cars while the preacher preached with a bullhorn. The local sheriff threatened to arrest the lot if that continued.

      Always sounded a bit suspicious and targeted to me.

      1. Wukchumni

        Churchgoers require invisible means of support in order to believe, but why worry about an invisible invader in their midst?

        Keep tabs on us, and a mid June outbreak seems like a natural, with so many potential super spreaders here in the Central Valley Bible Belt, who from what I see, tend to be a way lot more touchy feely with one another than most.

        I switched barbers and went with a $30 Conair model online and enlisted my wife in her first ever attempt of cutting somebody’s hair, and it went ok and I look almost respectable, but imagine all the schmoes 2 months into not getting a haircut, and what a vector Victor* the barber in Visalia will be, ye gads.

        * there is no Victor as far as I know, but then again when was the last time you ran into one so named?

        1. Wukchumni


          You kind of wonder what sort of pissed off anger comes of all of this, and currently Visalia has a serial arsonist who has torched a supermarket (they used a Molotov cocktail through the window, apparently), an atm @ Wells Fargo bank, 10 new sheds (they’re mostly plastic-so that would take a little doing to burn em’ up) @ a Home Depot parking lot, 22 acre grass fire near the Costco, and the other day, 10 grass fires, all of this in the space of about a month.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I figure binge drinking is down, and the weather has been decent across the country.

        2. chuck roast

          I’m one of the schmoes. Took the scissors to my head a few days ago. Not too bad ear-to-ear over the top of the skull, but I couldn’t figure out the stern or the port and starboard quarters. If this goes on long enough, I’ll have a nice mullet. In that case there will only be one thing to do…start playing hockey again!

      2. swangeese

        You would be surprised. As a regular churchgoer I can tell you that getting people to comply is often like herding cats.

        Churches have reopened in my state (Louisiana), but there are limits on attendance at each service. In my church, non-family members are required to sit six feet apart and masks are encouraged. Friends that attended services reported that mask wearers often would pull the mask under their nose. Many simply did not wear masks.

        Quite frankly I’m content to watch services online for the time being. It’s harder because I’m in a sacramental faith (Catholicism), however it’s also not forever.

        For a lot of people, especially elderly people, it’s difficult to stay home because church is their only social outlet. And they want the interaction with people so praying in the church during off-hours while it’s open isn’t satisfactory. I have empathy for them.

        I don’t care for the Christians that complain simply because they’re being inconvenienced. Unfortunately they’re a loud few and politicians feel the need to pander to them.

    2. ambrit

      The question is, what and who is that state aid targeted to? If it is stuff for poor people, like food stamps or medicaid, then your solid business friendly Establishment will willingly ‘take tje hit’ for the good of the economy. If it is for something more ambiguous, like streets and bridges, etc., the question becomes somewhat more difficult. A cost/benefit analysis will be undergone before deciding. If the aid is for businesses and elites, then it’s a no brainer: “We stay closed!”

    3. anon in so cal

      Tulare County, California, from today’s Los Angeles Times:

      “Despite many coronavirus deaths, Tulare County vows to defy Newsom and further reopen”

      “But Tulare, south of Fresno, is one of California’s hardest-hit counties. In all, it had confirmed 1,552 coronavirus infections and 73 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon.

      The county’s death rate of 15.9 per 100,000 residents is one of the highest in the state, according to The Times’ data tracker. In comparison, Los Angeles County — the current center of the COVID-19 pandemic in California — has recorded more than 1,900 deaths, with a rate per 100,000 of 19.5.

      Deaths in Tulare County from the disease caused by the coronavirus are also much higher than in neighboring counties in the Central Valley. Much larger Fresno County, to the north, has recorded 17 deaths, while Kings County has two, and Kern County 25.

      Tulare has also seen a plateau, but not a decline, in the number of hospitalizations connected to the outbreak. There were 42 COVID-19 patients as of Wednesday, 11 of whom were in an intensive-care unit, according to the latest government reports.”

  9. Baby Gerald

    Re: Ultraviolet Light to Be Used to Disinfect New York City Trains and Buses

    The story opens with this:

    In a move being touted as the first of its kind, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials said Tuesday that ultraviolet light lamps will be used to disinfect subway cars and buses in New York City starting early next week, CNN reports.” [emphasis mine]

    Yet, on April 17 Forbes ran the story [linked from here at NC, no less] How UV ‘Roomba’ Robots Could Accelerate The Opening Of Mass Transit Systems which indicates that the city of Shanghai, China was already doing this as early as March 4, according to the photo in the article of a bus being disinfected by UV light.

    Can’t go giving the Chinese any credit for innovating this technology now can we, Complex?

      1. Baby Gerald

        Your first two questions can be answered by reading the Complex article or the one I linked.

        And your third question is posed as if this UV light is all we’re going to need when you clearly know it isn’t.

        It is, however, one possible useful tool to reopen. It’s clearly one tool that can be used to disinfect surfaces. Far-UV light is being tested in addition to UVA and UVB which, if you took the time to read either article, is touted by actual scientists as effective in killing both bacteria and viruses. It’s more environmentally friendly than spraying poisonous disinfectants all over the place. Since you didn’t feel like reading the other two articles, here’s another one you can ignore in order to make uninformed comments:

        One of the biggest hurdles to reopening a city like New York, where 2-3 million people use subways and buses to get to their jobs, is making public transit safer.
        One might presume that this UV tech could also be deployed in lobbies, cafeterias, classrooms and other heavily trafficked spaces.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Hydroxychloroquine research shows some promise in interim study conducted by Telangana Govt ”

    Speaking of India, I saw a story mentioned on Peak Prosperity about Hydroxycloroquine being used there. In Mumbai, about 10,000 police aged over 40 years of age were offered Hydroxycloroquine but only about 4,500 took it up regularly. In the last month or so, 9 police have died. Thing is, none of these 9 were among those police that were taking Hydroxycloroquine and those in that smaller group do not suffer so badly if they catch the virus as those that refused it. Of course this is anecdotal and is not a study and all the rest of it but still……

  11. NotTimothyGeithner

    I know Palin has a mean streak, but she was woefully out of her depth. Her ascent in Alaska was due to a massive corruption scandal which wiped out sitting GOPers. Abrams is definitely a self promoter and aligned with the worst people in the blue jerseys through conscious choice. McCain was looking for some kind of Hail Mary and was running through options.

    Palin is a dumb hillbilly who is largely leaving us alone. We really don’t need her. Also the WaPo opinion piece brings up Cheney and Biden as examples of sound picks…

    Also…I mean Dan Quayle was VP. Has that been forgotten?

    1. Tomonthebeach

      The reason the Veep questions is a hot issue is that DNC’s presidential candidate is frail and likely senile. He almost surely will either retire while in office or be Article 25’d by party consensus. Thus, it is highly likely that the Veep is the true candidate for president.

      Dems hope a minority candidate will animate historically low Black American voter turnout. That is a zero-sum strategy because a) Race animates Reds, and b) Gender animates Reds. The only hope for DNC is a low Red turnout, yet they propose candidates that will surely bring the GOP out in enraged droves to support Trump.

      The DNC has one platform – anybodybutTrump. That is not a platform, and it is not likely to animate centrist voters – the largest voting demographic. It is hard to look at the USA and buy the gaslight that we are a 2-Party Democracy. We are, just like Russia, a 1-Party Oligarchy. Whichever candidate wins – We the People lose.

      1. Watt4Bob

        It’s beyond time we admit to ourselves that Trump is the DNC candidate.

        We’ve reached peak kafabe.

        1. cripes

          “We’ve reached peak kafabe.”

          I’ve thought so many times, and been proven wrong just as many.

      2. Tom Stone

        TomontheBeach, you have that wrong.
        The DNC platform is and was “AnyBodyButBernie”.
        if it were otherwise slowJoe would not be the presumptive nominee.

        1. edmondo

          The real problem was that Bernie was on-board with the DNC platform all along. But now the kids at the DNC think Bernie is swell so I guess it was worth it.

      3. John Anthony La Pietra

        In this column, Caitlin Johnstone quotes Julius Nyerere to good effect:

        When Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere was accused by the US of running a one-party state in the 1960s, he famously said “The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.”

    2. Wukchumni

      Unintentional humor is the best kind, and we in the Palinstinian Movement really appreciated it. This would’ve been the high moment @ a pre-Thanksgiving pardoning a dozen years ago, where as turkeys are being slaughtered behind her, she prattles on without suspecting any fowl play.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        6,000 words in her Vanity Fair puff piece but not a single solitary line about her qualifications, accomplishments, policies, or beliefs. Odd.

        (Maybe they do not want to highlight the fact that she did things like tighten college scholarship standards so 97% of African-Americans no longer qualified).

        But Biden said he wanted a woman of color. Hey, I’m sure Tulsi is available!


    3. The Rev Kev

      I don’t see it happening with that Stacey Abrams. She and Biden were on TV together recently where he could have announced her being his VP but when she realized that it was not going to happen, well, her face was a study. Here is the video (yeah, yeah, I know – it is a Jimmy Dore video) with a few reminders what Abrams is really all about-

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think there is probably an element of the Clinton camp which recognizes the failure of the Kaine-esque pick and knows the “centrist” women Biden would grab are Kaine 2.0’s, so they are looking for a candidate who might excite anywhere they can, hence the campaign for a state senator. Biden is far too conservative in nature to break the mold and has too many viable options aligned with him anyway. He’ll pick Klob because of the usual over speculation over regional balancing that belongs to an era before primary contests when state delegations mattered.

        1. Massinissa

          I mean, Minnesota IS a swing state. If Klobuchar could shore that up it would be a good move.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            “IF” is the operative word, but the record seems to indicate “swing” state running mates tend not to make it to the inaugural. Gore, Cheney, Pence, Biden.

            The whole notion of the VPs delivering states is a left over notion from when the patronage jobs were being promised for delegates at conventions. I would even argue Presidential nominee looking for a swing state VP is destined to lose as they are demonstrating they can’t do it on their own.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Can we just lament the state of our republic…that an extremely mediocre completely uncharismatic and frumpy Midwestern office lady with a very limited set of credentials and a very thin track record supporting mostly the same tired old neo-lib policies would be one brain enzyme event away from holding the most powerful office in the world.

            Better than a short serial molester Jewish multi-billionaire monopolist or a gay CIA agent mayor of a tiny no-account Midwestern town perhaps. This video best expresses how I feel about it all (don’t click of you are offended by the release of intestinal gas by herbivorous semi-aquatic mammals, 33 million views):

    4. Duck1

      You have to admit Palin’s much derided by the liberals “drill baby drill” turned out to be the most excellent proposal for the “recovering” economy under 0bama. Translated into his soothing bafflegab read off the teleprompter PMC’s swooned and rubbed their little American flag lapel pins thanking our newly found and fracked energy independence. That the fuel contained only the lighter fractions and was somewhat useless matched the thin content of their intellect.

    5. Daryl

      I recall that election somewhat differently from the author. Palin was more popular and energizing with R voters than McCain. She was ahead of the curve on dropping the thin veneer of intellectualism that was applied to Republican ideas.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Abrams shares Palin’s unfitness for office, but I don’t see her bringing anything to the ticket aside from IDPOL. And Biden has other choices on the IDPOL front. Palin sold the ticket to a lot of Republicans who otherwise weren’t that enthusiastic about McCain. It wasn’t just voting against Obama, they were voting for Palin. And I would say simply interjecting Palin’s anti-intellectual Republicanism into the public discourse at the highest level, permanently changed politics in this country. Also, I’ve never seen any numbers, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Plain made a bunch of PUMAs who voted Republican feel justified because at least they had a woman VP to vote for.
        Palin may have been a mistake, as McCain would later say, but his campaign was flailing when he was saddled with her. With Palin on board, it seemed like the serious people began to openly fret that he was going to win. Obviously, the woman had no business running for any national office, but it’s hard to ignore the help she granted his campaign. (And I certainly don’t think McCain’s preference of Joe Lieberman would have helped him at all.)

    6. jonboinAR

      yeah, Palin was a maroon, which became perfectly obvious after a little while. (My very favorite moments ever of SNL are of Tina Fey as SP. She absolutely nailed her, hilariously.) I don’t know about Abrams.

      1. WhoaMolly

        “Maroon” – From urban dictionary:

        A term of derision often uttered by Bugs Bunny when referring to an interaction with a dopey adversary. It is a mispronunciation of the word “Moron”
        “What a Maroon!” “Will ya get a load of this maroon”

    7. WhoaMolly

      I’m still predicting a Clinton/Harris 2020 ticket.

      Can’t shake the idea that Biden is an unwitting place holder to spare Clinton all the attacks and stresses of pre-convention campaigning.

      Full disclosure: my political prediction record is somewhere near zero percent.

      1. TXMama

        I agree. That duo would pull in far more votes than any other combination. That’s if they actually want to win. Not that I’m a fan of either one.

        1. John k

          Pulling in black votes down south or more votes of any color in ca wont add to electoral votes.
          But guaranteed to energize the rep base like no other combination.
          On second thought, not clear to me Harris adds any votes in ca, it’s widely thought she would have list her own state if she’d stayed in.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “I really don’t know what to say about this.” – Biden’s stance on the Palestinians

    In that twitter feed, one woman named Alexandra Halaby made a zinger of a point-

    What is this from? Palestinians like me are left out of all conversations and have no idea, what this is from. Imagine leaving Black people out of all discussions of police brutality and police killings of unarmed and non combative Black people.

    1. ewmayer

      “I wonder if the polling people told people how long it takes to build new plants?” — So what, as long as the construction workers are getting decently paid and taken care of? American manufacturing wasn’t offshored in a day, why would anyone in their right mind think re-shoring some fraction of it would be quick and easy? And newsflash – companies building stuff in China for export back to the US aren’t exactly contributing to the domestic tax base, either.

      Lastly, do you think spelling America with a ‘k’ makes you clever? Do you also impress your friends with inanities like ‘sheeple’?

  13. allan

    COVID-era junk bond deals begin to go sour [Reuters]

    Companies hard-hit by the pandemic rushed to raise debt last month, encouraged by the Federal Reserve’s intervention to support the credit market. But for some of the riskier names, those bond offerings have quickly curdled.

    Since March 24, the day after the Fed announced its unprecedented stimulus programs, 23 companies have borrowed money in the public market at a rate of 9% or higher, according to data from Tom Graff, head of fixed income at Brown Advisory and from Refinitiv Eikon and MarketAxess.

    Of those 23, new bonds from pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt (MNK.N), movie theater chain AMC Entertainment (AMC.N) and billboard giant Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO.N) are trading around 80 cents on the dollar, a 20 point fall in the two months since they were issued, the data showed. …

    “I definitely think as the market wakes up to the reality that the Fed isn’t going to prevent defaults, and that there will be winners and losers, the junk bond market could get more challenging.” …

    Time for some more under-water hedge fund managers to call for herd immunity.

    1. MLTPB

      There is a bit of asymmetry.

      When a giant corporate chain is not well, people there most likely are collateral damage.

      When the latter is not well, the former may not necessarily be.

      So, it’s a bit tricky but not impossible by handling with care.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      Others might know better than me but the standard malaria drug I’ve been given there is Malarone.

      1. The Historian

        Granted I’m looking at the CDC treatment table for the US, and they may do things much differently in India, but chloroquine seems to be the preferred drug of use. Only if you are cholorquine resistant do you get Malarone (atovaquone and proquanil).

        But I also found this:

        So, it looks like perhaps India has become drug resistant to hydrochloroquine since it is not listed as a preferred treatment there! I learn something new every day! Thanks for your post!

        1. Bugs Bunny

          That’s what NC commenters are here for. Just doin’ my piece.

          (now if I could only get whitelisted…)

  14. Acacia

    Re: Apple whistleblower goes public over ‘lack of action’

    Related to this, I just went to update my iPhone and was greeted by this:

    iOS 13.5 speeds up access to the passcode field on devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask and introduces the Exposure Notification API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities. […]

    Uh… “Exposure Notification API”…? Is it moar spyware? Not stoked.

  15. rd

    It is clear that Boyce Hydro needs immediate government bailouts. The $83,000 cost to do spillway upgrades was clearly an exorbitant amount that no corporation should be forced to bear without government assistance. They are now the victim of the lack of government action to prevent excessive water from getting to their dam reservoirs. The previous lack of government support in the free market economy for their company means that they now have massively higher repair costs that require, at a minimum, a tax credit written into federal legislation to provide funds to repair these dams and bring them back up to their previous unsatisfactory condition.

    BTW – most boating in inland lakes in the US, especially in the Mid-West, South, and Southwest are on reservoirs for lakes like this. Many of these dams are in conditions not much better than these were. Many of the dams are well over 50 years old.

    1. Duck1

      These mighty risk takers are shocked, shocked I tell you, that anything other than the gravy train rolling in everyday might loosen their clutch on their purse. Surely losing is an act of god that the marks must pay for, since being a winner is an eternal state of being granted by god and country. (Heh, heh, don’t tell them their asset is worthless if not repaired.)

    2. rd

      FYI – additional good info on the Michigan dams, especially Edenville Dam:

      It looks like the spillway upgrades etc. were going to be $8 million and Boyce Hydro wasn’t willing to put up that cash just to maintain water levels and the locals weren’t willing to provide funding. To some extent, not doing the repairs could be managed by lowering water levels to provide more flood storage. However, there is 49 miles of shoreline that has cottages on it and lots of boats. Waterfront owners, boaters, and bass fishermen are some of the most effective and vocal lobbyists in existence. I suspect the freshwater mussel citations to Boyce Hydro were at the behest of this lobbying movement.

      Water levels generally need to be kept quite static, wthin 1-2 feet, for many of the facilties to operate as designed. So lowering the water elvel several feet means that boating is much more difficult and existing launches and boat ramps don’t work. Lakes don’t have tides so the infrastructure is not designed for water levels to go up and down much. This is one of the issues that is going on with the Great Lakes, especially Lake Ontario. Wixom Lake is now largely a beach with a river running through it:

      It seems like the right side of Sanford Dam also breached and so that lake is probably also a beach. This stretch of river is now probably suitabel for canoeing and kayaking, but not boating.

      The lakefront owners were probably behind the two-county commission buying the four dams in 2022 and slating $100 million in repairs. I assumed that would be paid for special purpose bonds funded with increased assessments on the lakefront properties.

      There is a major environmental movement to have rivers run free without dams. It appears that Michigan is moving towards this goal the hard way.

    3. periol

      Oh, so maybe this shouldn’t have been a privatized venture after all? You don’t say? Hindsight really is 2020.

      I’m sure this will cause the US to do a serious reevaluation of privatization. Don’t worry, not holding my breath.

  16. Wukchumni

    The owl video anecdote is something else, what fun.

    Wild turkeys foreclosed on us a couple years back and rule the roost sort of speak. We came across a couple of hens and at least a dozen wee ones the other day, each just a little bigger than your fist, following in hot pursuit of mom.

  17. Wukchumni

    There’s a certain odd symmetry to this bust going off in slow motion. The main stream media valiantly trying to not discuss collapsing interest in acquiring homes-or the likelihood of major declines in value, while the cruise lines tell of all the future bookings they’ve gotten-things must be looking well on the good ship lollypop. Elon wants to expose his employees to the plague, in order to make cars that nobody wants. An odd predilection in a bad direction.

    I think the latter-day Ivar Kreuger has met his match in the virus…

    1. Watt4Bob

      Think about the rich, now salivating about the vast numbers of small businesses to be had at fire-sale prices as bankruptcies proliferate like a red-tide.

      Mnuchin made killing in foreclosed homes during the last crisis/opportunity, I can’t see any indication it will be different this time around, except of course that the ‘opportunities’ will be bigger.

      1. Wukchumni

        In the book The Great Depression-A Diary, diarist Benjamin Roth tells of those with assets in closed banks in Youngstown, Ohio in the early 30’s, who could get as little as 35 and as much as 65 Cents on the $ of their money in right now cash, as sharpies would buy distressed funds and then go to the bank and ask what they have in real estate they want to sell on the cheap, and they were getting it for half price, more or less.

        Its worth noting that not many new homes were built in the Great Depression, where was the need?

        This led to the pent-up arrival of Baby Boomers after the war and a housing crisis.

    2. Lee Christmas

      Thanks for the info on Ivar Krueger. I had never come across this fellow.

      He seems like the inspiration for Milo Minderbinder in Catch-22, and his hilarious M&M enterprises and his cornering of the egg market.

      I’m sure there might be others that fit the bill, but Mr. Krueger seems to fit the shoe quite comfortably.

  18. Johnny

    “Cash, long a refuge in uncertain time, is under suspicion”
    Yes, cash allows anonymous transactions with no ability to track the users, send them advertising, allows government to build dossiers on their activities, habits, associates, travels and worst of all, it prevents the banking system from obtaining profits on every transaction, from both buyers and sellers at any time, but especially in a power failure when only cash works.

    Your groceries that have been on the rubber belt at the store are as dirty as cash.
    Solution to “dirty money”: A bowl full of bleach water for coins and 30 seconds in the microwave for bills.

    When cash is illegal, only government approved people will be able to buy necessities.

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Emergency relief screw-up hits 5 million student loan borrowers Politico (Dan K)

    Is there no end to the abuse, almost routinely heaped on student borrowers, for their crime of trying to get a college education in a nation that is more concerned about employing cheap foreigners than employing them?

    As a matter of fact, I find myself wondering how many foreign STEM graduates with green cards stapled to their american diplomas or Hb-1 visas are involved in this latest algorithmic clusterfuck under the guise of technological “superiority.”

    1. Screwball

      I worked for a division of a very large global appliance manufacturer. I was laid off at 59, 4 years ago. Myself and 112 others, all of ages well into our 50s and 60s. By law (I was told) my separation agreement included pages listing the job classifications and ages of the people who got whacked, and the people who stayed. It was overwhelmingly old people. I was the youngest of 6 in my job class.

      At the same time, in the prior 3-4 years, we had been “invaded” by H1B workers. My boss used that word. That’s who took my job. Younger, trainable, cheaper, and plenty to chose from.

      Hell, we farmed out our entire IT department to IBM India. If I needed IT support (good luck with that) I had to call India so a guy who sat 100 feet away could fix it (if he ever heard I had a problem). It was a CF.

      Doesn’t matter, It’s all about the bottom line. Or they think it is.

      1. periol

        At the same time, in the prior 3-4 years, we had been “invaded” by H1B workers. My boss used that word. That’s who took my job. Younger, trainable, cheaper, and plenty to chose from.

        Those H1Bs are much, much cheaper. Part of the multi-pronged attack on normal Americans.

        Doesn’t matter, It’s all about the bottom line. Or they think it is.

        I have long suspected that the “bottom line” talk is just talk. The people at the top of the food chain at these companies know the ride can’t last forever, but they want it to go as long as possible.

        Honestly, it reminds me of the Biblical story of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, who became king after Solomon died. I Kings 12…

        10 And the young men that were grown up with him spoke unto him, saying: ‘Thus shalt thou say unto this people that spoke unto thee, saying: Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou speak unto them: My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins. 11 And now whereas my father did burden you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.’

        16 And when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying: ‘What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse; to your tents, O Israel; now see to thine own house, David.’ So Israel departed unto their tents.

  20. ewmayer

    o “Man And Donkey Cry With Joy While Reuniting After Quarantine | The Dodo (David L). Aaaw…” — Agree with the “Aaaw”, but in a different “Aaaw shucks, they missed a chance at a real zinger of a headline” sense, e.g. “Tears shed as man reunites with beloved donkey after having kissed ass goodbye to enter quarantine”. I mean, really, this is slow-pitch softball as far as headline-punnery goes.

    o “Summer solstice at Stonehenge will be streamed live | Boing Boing (resilc)” — No one knows who they were / or what they were doin’ / but their legacy lives on / hewn into the living rock … of Stonehenge. Just be careful that those dancing dwarves don’t trod upon it!

    o “Study Links Native Americans to ‘Paleolithic Siberians’ From Lake Baikal Region | Sputnik (Kevin W)” — Aha, the original Putin stooges! See, they’ve been hacking US democracy way, way longer than 2016.


    o “Ultraviolet Light to Be Used to Disinfect New York City Trains and Buses | Complex (David L)” — The powerful NYC vampire lobby is not gonna like this one bit. And I’m not just referring to the ones living on Staten Island, with their annual NFL-championship “superb owl parties”.

  21. ewmayer

    o “Black Americans dying of Covid-19 at three times the rate of white people Guardian” — I’ve seen similar ratios for Latinos … seems to be a combination of more people per household, and disproportionately filling the ranks of essential/low-protection jobs. I.e. economic and class warfare.

    o “Why Do Food Delivery Companies Lose Money? Josh Barro, New York Magazine” — Wolf Richter had a good piece on this yesterday, What Unicorn Money-Sinkholes Actually Disrupt.

  22. juno mas

    RE: Ibex Antidote

    The dam climbing Ibex in the video are either young or female. Older males a scaredy-goats.

    1. Oregoncharles

      What day are you on? I see a tortoise, and owlets, with Mom peeking out from behind a bush in a very cat-like manner.

  23. The Rev Kev


    This article explains something I saw on the news today. It said China is backing off some of the harsh criticisms that it made yesterday. If Australia did not circulate their own text at this meeting, this may explain why. Scotty from Marketing has been sucking up to Trump and has been picking a public fight with our biggest trading partner when our economy is in a shambles. This is so stupid on so many levels. But I guess Scotty found out that when China announced that they were going to put all those tariffs on our barley, that they were going to source it from another country – America. So he just realized he sacrificed a chunk of the Australian economy to please Trump and Trump has just taken over that chunk now. Sucker.

    This new text now kills the idea of setting up a new body to do the investigations which would have ended up like another OPCW which China was obviously trying to avoid. Hopefully it will be a scientific investigation but you can bet that Trump will have a series of hissy fits if he does not like where the evidence leads. I will mention here that the Russian Minister Lavrov made a few clarifying remarks on this whole debacle in a 6 minute video on Russian TV-

  24. KFritz

    Re: Hamptons Squatters

    A clever litigation attorney and a team of forensic account-investigators might be able to turn the squatters into a cottage industry. If they could prove that the squatters had enough to pay the rent, and are were using Covid-19 to, in effect, defraud the landlords, they might very well be able to encumber the assets of the perps and exact a very nice payday for attorney, investigator, and client.

  25. wilroncanada

    Re: the donkey story.
    It made the 5 o’clock news in Victoria BC (the Canadian one).
    A lot of people get emotional when they’re reacquainted with their ass-ets.

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