Links 5/24/2020

Since this is Memorial Day weekend, our dedicated moderators have asked for those days off. Therefore, comment approval will be slow through Tuesday. Please be patient, and give us 24 hours! Thank you. –lambert

Herd Of Fuzzy Green ‘Glacier Mice’ Baffles Scientists NPR (dk). Original. Like science fiction, except on Earth!

Remote sensing reveals Antarctic green snow algae as important terrestrial carbon sink Nature. Despite the greenery, this is a different story!

Banker Bots Rake In Nordic Wealth Business and Reshape Finance Bloomberg

Tax collection, a labour of love: the Tax Justice Network podcast, May 2020 (podcast) Tax Justice Network



READ: The Hill’s interview with Anthony Fauci (interview) The Hill

‘The house was on fire.’ Top Chinese virologist on how China and U.S. have met the pandemic (interview) Science

* * *

The science:

Findings from investigation and analysis of re-positive cases (press release) KCDC. Comment:

Covid-19 Patients Not Infectious After 11 Days: Singapore Study Bloomberg (original). n=72. “[V]iral RNA detection by PCR does not equate to infectiousness or viable virus.”

There May Be a Unique Coronavirus Immune Response Derek Lowe, “The Pipeline,’ Science

* * *


High COVID-19 Attack Rate Among Attendees at Events at a Church — Arkansas, March 2020 CDC

Mississippi church burned down, vandalized after challenging city’s stay-at-home order WREG and Investigators look at possible arson at Holly Springs church Daily Journal

How L.A. County became coronavirus epicenter: Slower shutdown, density, poverty among theories Los Angeles Times

Nursing Home Care in Crisis in the Wake of COVID-19 JAMA

One final viral infusion: Trump’s move to block travel from Europe triggered chaos and a surge of passengers from the outbreak’s center WaPo

Next, airports:

* * *


The Danger of Vaccine Nationalism Harvard Business Review

Europe’s Covid predicament – how do you solve a problem like the anti-vaxxers? Guardian

* * *


Remdesivir Data from NIAID Trial Published MedPage Today

Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report NEJM

Convalescent plasma treatment of severe COVID-19: A matched control study (preprint) medRxiv

* * *


Dogs are now being trained to sniff out people who have the coronavirus even before they show symptoms. Here’s how this could work Business Insider. Lots of new detail on the tests.

Aussie sewers a frontline in bid to flush out coronavirus Agence France Presse

* * *


A full-body mask:

Making massssks from Florida python skin Agence France Presse

Your face mask selfies could be training the next facial recognition tool CNET

Former White House aide won $3M contract to supply masks amid pandemic The Hilll. You’ll never guess what happened next!

* * *

Business response:

A reckoning for small business Axios

REVEALED: Two executives at drug firm Moderna quietly sold nearly $30 million of stock when they unveiled coronavirus vaccine and value rose – before share price went down again Daily Mail (Re Silc).

Higher Education Will Be Transformed By the Coronavirus Pandemic Teen Vogue

The Nonprofit Grifters Who Want a Cut of the Coronavirus Bailout The New Republic (KW).

* * *

Political response:

“Immune to Evidence”: How Dangerous Coronavirus Conspiracies Spread Pro Publica. I think shibboleths like “herd immunity” are partly to blame; words are used to signal group-membership and identity, rather than to communicate information (or knowledge (or wisdom)). Same deal with “kompromat.”

Americans Have Always Politicized Public Health The American Conservative

Which Post-Pandemic Government? Project Syndicate

* * *


States Are Reopening: See How Coronavirus Cases Rise or Fall Pro Publica. Handy chart:

Thing is, the hot spots happen at the city/county level, which the aggregated data conceals.

Report 23: State-level tracking of COVID-19 in the United States (PDF) Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team. Handy chart of R0, Montana best, Texas worst:

‘Politicised nature’ of lockdown debate delays Imperial report FT

How We Reopen Safely Covid Exit Strategy. The problem I have here is that one of the major sponsors of this effort is @USofCare, a front group that the health insurance industry established to prevent Medicare for All (NC here and here), and so they’re fine with losing 68,000 lives a year, year after year, and are covid-washing that policy position. Sadly, many of the American health care pundists posting on #COVID19 are in the same equivocal position. First, do no harm, and all that, but also there is to be no exit strategy from health care for profit, never ever.


Hong Kong police fire tear gas on protest against security law FT

Two Sessions 2020: Hong Kong national security law will only target ‘small group of people’, Vice-Premier Han Zheng says as Beijing hits back at critics South China Morning Post

Decision of the National People’s Congress on Establishing and Completing the Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region’s Legal System and Implementation Mechanisms for the Preservation of National Security (Draft) China Law Translate

The Infinite Heartbreak of Loving Hong Kong The Nation

Hate China Caitlin Johnstone, Medium

Confirm Eligible Hong Kongers as British Citizens The Atlantic. From 2019, still germane (although I imagine the Windrush scandal would be cautionary tale).

Nepal restarts work on border road after 12 Years Times of India. From the accompanying photo, this road:


Covid beds running out in Delhi private hospitals Times of India


Dominic Cummings ignored coronavirus lockdown rules for SECOND time to visit parents Mirror

London may have gone into a covid-accelerated decline The Economist

EU ‘frugal four’ present rival Covid recovery fund plan FT


Iranian fuel starts arriving in Venezuelan waters despite U.S. warning Reuters

Netanyahu in the Dock Doesn’t Make Israel a Shining Beacon of Justice Haaretz

Meanwhile, on Earth Two:

Trump Transition

The US successfully tested a laser weapon that can destroy aircraft mid-flight CNN. Mosler comments: “I hope this doesn’t get into the wrong hands.”

The CIA’s Murderous Practices, Disinformation Campaigns, and Interference in Other Countries Still Shape the World Order and U.S. Politics Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept


Where Biden, Trump stand in key swing states The Hill

Elizabeth Warren to Hold Big-Dollar Fund-Raiser for Joe Biden NYT (KW). Clarifying.

Only 3 Percent of Bernie Sanders Supporters Have Donated to Joe Biden’s Campaign Newsweek

The Corrupt Bargain Eric Foner, LRB. On the electoral college.

Democrats in Disarray

FDR’s New Deal Worked. We Need Another One. Noah Smith, Bloomberg

Alternate Histories The Baffler. The 1944 Democrat National Convention.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Russia, China won’t accept US nuclear superiority India Punchline. On Open Skies.

Class Warfare

Indict and Punish the Perpetrators of Covid Mass Death Black Agenda Report

Audio: No Evil Foods, a Faux Leftist Vegan-Meat Company, Busts Union Drive Vice

The Time Is Ripe for More Socialism Nathan J. Robinson, Newsweek (!).

The science behind human irrationality just passed a huge test Ars Technica

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Amfortas the hippie

    haven’t even tried to access that FP, but this really jumped off the screen:

    “four decades of successful U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East”

    analogous to : “when i got run off the road and into that tree 30+ years ago, it set me on a path to getting some healthcare 25 years later”

    “it was the coldest night in years, but we set the house on fire, so we stayed pretty warm”

    a foreign policy counterpart to that libertardian guy yesterday.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        by these standards, relations with the Barbary Pirates from 1793-1833 would be considered 40 years of utopia

    1. Howard

      US Mideast policy has been successful for the architects as well as their MIC/FIRE backers. For the rest of the several billion people on earth, not so much.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      Hundreds of thousands dead, forced migrations of millions.. but our oil is cheap and Israel is still there, so it’s a success!

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s been the same, but doesn’t every President promise to upend the policy.

      In many ways, Trump is running into the end game of the Carter policy. The advantages the US had (they changed over the years; it being Europe or the USSR changed to tech) are being undermined. Syria demonstrated many expected to join won’t as Iraq and Libya are clear examples of US pestilence.

      Even if Trump was so inclined (he really is), he simply doesn’t have the resources to make it work. Our defense budget is built around grift, not maintenance of empire. Turkey has turned away from NATO ando is active in the region. China and Russia exist again. Iran is a huge country with a local defense production capacity. Our allied militaries are jokes. Israel was stomped the last time they moved into Lebanon. The US can’t really offer anything anymore.

      The fantasies of the Carter doctrine continuing are deluded, and “thankso be to Obama”, but as bad it was, domestic oil production means the point of the Carter doctrine (maybe not Brzezinksi wanted) simply doesn’t exist.

    4. timbers

      The Carter Doctrine could be updated and used to invade franking/oil states right here in USA and get those workers back on the job so we can park that fossil fuel of the coast in tankers. They’re closer and unarmed, so it would a easier than invading the Persian Gulf all over again. It would also keep the grift right here on USA instead of over there. And that spending folks into oblivion to achieve nuclear superiority thingy… haven’t we been doing and off for decades and it’s worked so well. Can’t we just call it Star Wars again? Doubt Disney would mind since they acquired FOX. Maybe they could a prequel tie in – “The Force is Orange”

    5. Dalepues

      Perhaps it is Trump’s failure or refusal to spend more effort and money to support the Carter Doctrine that has turned the Deep State (really don’t like using DS, but…) against him. To Trump, perhaps “draining the swamp” meant cutting the Neocons off at the knees. It must be really frustrating for them to see Trump continue to spend billions on a military that they cannot send to war against Iran. BTW, the name Pollack sounds familiar for some reason….

      1. Edward

        I think they are trying to put the blame for U.S. problems in the Middle East on Trump, not the neocons, neolibs, or the MIC.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          In general this is the case, but this is a particularly bizarre framing of 40 decades of policy success or even coherent policy. Even the Shrubbists hate Bill. They use to attack 41 for “not finishing the job.”

          The article is so dumb I have to put it in the realm of religion, the equivalent of arguing how dinosaurs were killed in the Great Flood and weren’t on the Ark.

    6. John k

      I was thinking, what decades of successful me foreign policy? I didn’t see any of those.
      I guess the thinking is, he didn’t start any new wars, he’s even trying to pull our troops out of Afghanistan and Syria… what a disaster!
      Let me guess… they’re supporting Biden, the great white hope to get us back on the right track.

    7. km

      Anyone who calls the last 40 years of US middle eastern policy “successful” is either willfully blind or a sociopath.

  2. ramon

    Aussie sewers a frontline in bid to flush out coronavirus. I understand from an interview with Roger Newton, one of the developers of Statins, that China has had a program to test sewage for virus outbreaks for at least 20 years. Probably one of the why they are handling this outbreak better than others.
    Re the laser weapon. I think they are already in the wrong hands (sorry, were you being sarcastic?)

    1. shtove

      Just curious – do they find the disassembled bits of the virus in sewage, in what is effectively a mass anti-body test? I created my virus-bubble on the assumption fecal matter was the main vector, but now I’m unclear whether the virus remains infective at that end of the digestive system.

      1. anonymous

        Yes, viral RNA in sewage is being used for population surveillance.

        Infectious virus has been found in stool samples. The intestine is rich in ACE2 receptors, so that replicated virus has been found on electon microscopy of intestinal mucosa and that infectious virus has been found in stool is not surprising. The role this may play in transmission is unclear.

        Here are two articles: (a quick breakdown of this article by a virologist is here:

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Back in the 1990’s I recall talking to a biochemist who was working on virus detectors for sewerage systems. He described to me a fairly straightforward system whereby the water was blasted with a laser, the result then run through a spectrometer to identify specific RNA features of viruses. I never came across this proposal again, I’ve no idea if it was because it didn’t work (this guy insisted it did work) or because regulators found it easier to use tried and tested systems (which, it should be said, are very bad at identifying viruses, they use e-coli and other non-viral pathogens as ‘markers’ for viral contamination, despite evidence that there is little statistical correlation between bacteria and virus contamination). A quick google indicates that most such recent work uses more old fashioned methods. for identifying viruses in wastewater.

        I doubt if the Chinese do that sort of test for identifying new diseases, they are not exactly well known for paying close attention to water quality. It’s also hard to know how you’d develop a test for viruses that you don’t know if they exist yet. Plus, Chinese municipalities routinely pour very noxious chemicals into their sewerage systems to keep pest levels down (locals know when it happens, because dying cockroaches and rats usually flood out of the sewers and expire in peoples homes).

    2. jr

      Just a quick note:

      I had a visceral reaction to that video of the laser cannon, surprise and not a little fear. Maybe it’s just that I’m used to seeing them in sci-fi movies but there is something profoundly disturbing about that beam of hellfire lashing out. This is beyond a criticism of the MIC. That thing looked…alien, not made by human hands…

      1. periol

        It’s astonishing to me how much time, energy, money, and brainpower is spent by this society inventing ever more diabolical methods of destruction. It’s insane to me how much our current economic paradigm values destruction as a means to increasing wealth. Not nature. Not nurture. Destruction.

  3. bob

    I appreciate NC because of the variety of news and comments.I try and get my information from a wide variety of sources in order to not be hobbled by the political bias of a specific news site. When trying to research information on Corona or anything else I am amazed at the difference in search results. If I use bing or google I get a slant that eliminates almost everything that is not in line with a particular philosophy. If I use duck duck go or similar search engines, I get a wholly different view of the world. Why worry about Russian interference when our own masters of the universe do a much better job.

  4. bassmule

    Re: Which Post-Pandemic Government?

    “in a health emergency, markets may perform poorly”

    May? The expression “market failure” comes to mind.

    1. Oregoncharles

      There is no such thing as a market in health care. None of the conditions are met, and it would be highly unethical if it did exist.

  5. WheresOurTeddy

    “Bet You Stay Home Now, You Hypocrites.”


    Things are going to get wild when the 2nd wave of the virus hits in late summer/early fall.

    1. John Wright

      It was somewhat telling that the actual phrasing left behind was “bet you stay home, hypokrits”.

      This does not appear sourced by a PMC stay at home worker with access to a spell-checker.

      I view this as some evidence that the fear of Covid-19 extends to others than the relatively well-off.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        I noticed that too. I wonder if we could eventually reach a point where the astroturfed “open everything” movement overplays it’s hand. I always believe the “deplorables” are more aware of what’s going on than the media straw men would make people think.

        1. Procopius

          Besides which, the median wage for Trump voters was $70,000 a year. That means half of them made more than that. That means the Cletus safaris were (purposely?) looking in the wrong places.

      2. Beniamino

        I view this as some evidence that the fear of Covid-19 extends to others than the relatively well-off.

        And is particularly virulent among morons.

        1. The Historian

          Only a moron would not have a healthy respect for Covid-19. If you equate that with fear, so be it.

        2. Yves Smith

          Looks like you missed the polls, and even our posts referencing them, that opposition to ending the lockdown correlates strongly with income, with the poorest being most opposed. Rich people can afford to stay at home and get medical care early.

      3. What?No!

        It’s complicated, that’s just the sort of spelling the PMC’s I work with would use to make it look like teh hand of a deplorable…

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Only 3 Percent of Bernie Sanders Supporters Have Donated to Joe Biden’s Campaign”

    Three percent? As much as that? If Biden is hoping for a cash flow from Bernie supporters, I have news for him and its all bad. There is only one solution. Biden should find out exactly why Bernie supporters won’t touch him with a twenty-foot barge pole. I know! He should immediately form a Task Force. That is the way to get things done. Think he’ll man it with Bernie supporters? I doubt it.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      How many Sanders donors are public? It could just be the ones who crossed the threshold.

    2. richard

      I’m a little surprised bernie hasn’t tried to shame supporters into donating to biden yet. “If you don’t donate, you’re irresponsible”

      1. Massinissa

        “You’re also irresponsible if you voted for me or gave money to me previously!”

  7. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: There May Be a Unique Coronavirus Immune Response

    So what is the story here and why is it such a mystery? SARS2 destroys ACE2 when it is dragged into the cell by SARS2 and ACE2 is a human interferon-stimulated gene. No ACE2, no stimulation by interferon, and higher viral replications.

    So things that raise ACE2 (Zinc, Nicotine, Low Salt Diet, Fasting, exercise, Human Recombinant ACE2) will help keep interferon high and lower your risk of having a bad infection.

    Zinc has been show int increase the action of interferon alpha (an Interferon I) ten fold(!) while decreasing Interferon Gamma (an interferon II which causes damage).

    Every person in medicine I show this to say it is right but none of them act on it. Why?

    1. Susan the other

      The insanity (biologically speaking) of a cytokine storm might be for survival of the species. Commit suicide and thereby stop the epidemic faster. Could our immune system know that? Interferon is crucial to buying time for the rest of the immune system to gear up and without it we can’t win? Two things – the obvious one is injections of the required interferons (I and III); and if we are designing vaccines we should focus on the specific RNA of COV2 that takes out our interferon production. Is it similar to HIV?

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        It’s not similar to HIV in that it does not destroy white blood cells. Possibly IFNalpha would slow the initial infection and then keeping INFgamma in check would help survival.

        Vaccines only help to train our innate immune system. It’s something that looks like the virus so our body is introduced to it but without the viral and inflammatory cascade. COV2 destroys ACE2 and possibly TRMPSS. And after a chain of events it causes a lack of (response or production?) of the Interferon Type I’s. It looks like it just inhibits the release of INF-I’s.

        i just think they are over complicating things.

        Yes, those who cannot be a healthy host for the virus are most likely killed. I mean, can’t we all just get along?

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        ” the obvious one is injections of the required interferons (I and III)”

        the first comment on that art. said something to the effect of: hey maybe we ought to infect people with the flu or a cold or something that boosts interferon I, as a prophylactic….since covid’s main line of attack, per this article, is suppressing/bypassing that expression and boosting cytokine, instead. so, inhale a mild coronavirus that’s known to ramp up interferon I at the first sign of covid infection.

        which makes sense, to me.

        (not a doctor…although I sometimes am compelled to be a medic around here, and am usually the go-to guy for our extended familia for translating doctorspeak.)

        1. JBird4049

          Rather like how they used to infect syphilis sufferers with malaria a century ago? It did not ramp up interferon production, but it did make fevers high enough to kill syphilis, and since they could cure malaria…

        2. Cuibono

          yeah well careful with the mild CV notion. There are well described outbreaks in Nursing homes with 8% mortality

        3. Krystyn Podgajski

          But this will not work, becasue there is no ACE2 for the INF-I’s to stimulate.

          Also, INF-I’s will only prevent infection. You have to raise INF-II’s to stop the inflammatory response.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        It is lower but it still exists. The study every one is harping about noted a difference but did not show that it mattered. There is nothing saying that this is why children are not affected, it is still pure speculation. What they do know is that whole body ACE2 expression decreases with age.

        We can speculate that high ACE2 receptor concentrations, trained immunity and a constitutional high lymphocyte count in children may partially explain the mild disease observed in this group of patients (fig. 1). Real reasons will probably remain a mystery fortunately because the number of infected children is too low to allow good-sized immunological studies.

      2. Yves Smith

        Lots of kids getting sick in Latin American countries:

        In Brazil, 15 percent of deaths have been people under 50 — a rate more than 10 times greater than in Italy or Spain. In Mexico, the trend is even more stark: Nearly one-fourth of the dead have been between 25 and 49. In India, officials reported this month that nearly half of the dead were younger than 60. In Rio de Janeiro state, more than two-thirds of hospitalizations are for people younger than 49.

    2. dk

      Every person in medicine I show this to say it is right but none of them act on it. Why?

      Having health with this kind of response for a long time in many different situations, my theory is that nutritional supplements (and preventive strategy in general) is too simple, and too simple detracts from the value of professional expertise, as well as takes away opportunities for R&D of lucrative special purpose meds. Cynical, but cynicism is bullish these days, not my doing. Similar behavior can be seen in other professional fields, not least of them political consulting, which after all is selling a product (the consulting and the implementation of the recommended strategies).

      Zinc is good but mineral supps generally can be rough on the system, zinc no exception:

      Even lower levels of zinc supplementation, closer in amount to the RDA, have been suggested to interfere with the utilization of copper and iron and to adversely affect HDL cholesterol concentrations. Individuals using zinc supplements should be aware of the possible complications attendant to their use.

      Not saying no to zinc, but why go with one thing? We want to mediate both interferon and cytokine activity? Proactively without special meds that come with side effects? Consider vitamin D.

      Vitamin D Is Required for IFN-γ–Mediated Antimicrobial Activity of Human Macrophages :

      Vitamin D Inhibits Monocyte/Macrophage Proinflammatory Cytokine Production by Targeting MAPK Phosphatase-1:

      My take from having observed a lot of people, qualified and unqualified, taking heavy dosages of things for protracted periods end up developing complications. If there’s an exception to this, it’s vitamin D (but I wouldn’t go hog wild on it either, or neglect zinc and other supplemental opportunities).

      1. Yves Smith

        I’ve been taking doses of zinc close to the RDA for a decade and have never had a hemoglobin issue. Most people who see MDs get annual bloodwork and hemoglobin is a basic screen.

        I’ve recently come into contact with a naturopath (in a state where they are licensed). Note I am not a patient. He claims he’s had patients taking 100 to 300 MG of zinc a day for decades with no ill effects. He’s also of the view that copper deficiency is way overhyped as a health concern.

        The reason one has to solicit views of non-MDs, to your point, is MDs aren’t interested or worse, take a dim view of using supplements.

        1. dk

          No argument from me. I may phrase things badly. What I was trying to imply was that mega-dosing zinc is not a good idea. I should have just said that.

  8. Mr. Magoo

    Re: Only 3 Percent of Bernie Sanders Supporters Have Donated to Joe Biden’s Campaign

    As a Sanders contributor, I would only be 3% likely to contribute again to Sanders after his belly-flop.

    1. Massinissa

      Hes failed twice. There is no third try. He is too old, and more importantly, most of us Bernie voters are too disenchanted to give him a third chance even if he was as young as Mayor Pete.

      1. JBird4049

        Probably, but if we get the same kinds of empty suits from the major parties then as we have now, who knows?

        1. Massinissa

          I’d rather bet a long shot on Tulsi or someone new than try voting for Bernie again, honestly.

          Also the chance of me ever voting for Warren is also less than 0 at this point.

          1. JBird4049

            I’m not sure about voting for Tulsi, but considering her consistently strong anti-death industry I’d definitely check her out again. But that’s also why Bernie is my Just Maybe List. Almost all the other politicos are gaslighting, trolling, or just flat out lies. Seeing Gabbard, Sanders, or even the Squad call out the verbal fecal matter is like a (small) parasol during August in Death Valley. It’ll still kill you but you will take what you can get.

    2. Cuibono

      can we all just agree to drop the ” i’m so disappointed Bernie turned out not to be the Messiah” schtick?

      1. ambrit

        It’s the how and when he ‘folded’ that is the most disturbing aspect.
        Another irony here is that he supposedly ‘folded’ partly out of fear that mass exposure of voters to crowded polling places would kill off innocent voters. Now, with the apparently ‘engineered’ “reopen now for Freedom’s sake” agitations, the Elites are sacrificing the people anyway. He folded too soon, and for no real benefit to the public.
        I’m thinking that Sanders didn’t really want to believe just how amoral and murderous the Elites of America are.
        If “Creepy” Joe does get sidelined at the convention, or even sooner, Sanders should try to reignite the Populist Movement. Fight hard for the Democrat Party candidacy, or, failing that, destroy the Democrat Party. It brings to mind the oft quoted Frank Herbert observation that; “The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.”

        1. Cuibono

          “I’m thinking that Sanders didn’t really want to believe just how amoral and murderous the Elites of America are.”
          i think you are right about that. My parents are the same way… and his age.

          1. JBird4049

            Bernie Sanders’ greatest strengths and weaknesses as well the reasons to vote for him is his humanity and decency; his opponents greatest strengths and weaknesses as well as the reasons not to vote for them are their cold hearted, depraved avarice.

            Bernie does come from a time when the elites had humanity and competence. Not all, but many. They have since performed the needed surgery to remove it from their class. Now, they are trying to remake us into their image.

            1. HotFlash

              Well, yes, I suppose, but we are not in those times anymore. We should thank Bernie for all he has done, and it is magnificent, and then carry on. torch is ours now, fails are ours now, too.

  9. scoff

    For all the baseball fans out there who are missing America’s Pasttime, here’s an interesting tidbit:

    A 17-year-old girl struck out Ruth and Gehrig

    If Gehrig or Ruth did strike out on purpose, neither owned up to it in subsequent years. While it would surprise no one if Ruth were in on such a setup, it would be out of character for Gehrig. Given Mitchell’s tutelage from Vance and the fact that her sidearm lefty delivery gave her the platoon advantage against both sluggers, it’s not a huge stretch that she struck them out on merit.

    But, if you really want an answer, there may be few better people to ask than Mitchell. Not only did she believe she struck them out fair and square, but she threw some shade on the Hall of Famers for good measure. “Why, hell, they were trying, damn right,” she said in 1987. “Hell, better hitters than them couldn’t hit me. Why should they’ve been any different?”

    Taught by Hall of Famer Dazzy Vance, a girl, 17 year-old Jackie Mitchell, struck out two of the greatest hitters of the time. I can’t help but smile at the thought.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I remember the best softball pitcher embarrassing major league hitters on the show before Fox’s MLB Saturday broadcast one season, but Bonds just hit everything out of the park. Bonds said she was a better version of his sister, so he knew the pitcher better than anyone and that unless she brought her A game he couldn’t not win the battle.

      Much of the game isnto how fast a fast ball is (it helps) but the difference between the fastball and the off speed pitches and getting the delivery to look the same.

      The obstacle for lady pitchers is 70 and 50 is easier to get use to than 90 and 70 for MLB caliber hitters, and thereally are less women available to take advantage of the height of the mound. If they raised the mound (I want a small raise anyway). My suspicion is the sidearm delivery took away their edge and made up for her lower velocity. Maddux was a victim of players being dialed in the playoffs. Pedro with the Mets had five pitches. Yeah, he was with the Mets. But no velocity.

      1. juno mas

        So, what is a “small raise”? MLB lowered the mound from 15″ to 10″ in 1969 AND reduced the size of the strike zone (top of knee to armpit). While mound height is important to maintaining pitch velocity, it is the strike zone that encourages more hits. (Major league hitters can hit most any pitch thrown at 90MPH.) Once an electronic “balls & strikes” are implemented, the pitch in the dirt for called strike three will be eliminated

        1. lyman alpha blob

          The day a computer starts calling balls and strikes is the day you know baseball is done for. All that’s left is to get robots to play the games, or better yet computers to simulate them, and get rid of the players too. Then there will be no chance whatsoever of human error.

          What’s so wrong just playing a game unencumbered by any electronics at all?

          1. flora

            Lets get rid of high drama in sports… sure… that’ll sell tickets. heh.


            For those who remember and who are currently uninterested in either party’s 2020 candidate: “George Brett for President. ” ;)

            (That was a bumper sticker sported by Royals fans in the 1980s.)

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            Pedro Martinez never threw a strike that wasn’t put into play. There was an issue with the umpires and the benefit of the doubt given to white players, probably still is, but the goal of a pitcher isn’t to throw a strike, those can be hits, but to throw what looks like a strike and get the batter to swing and miss, get the call, or put it into play for an easy out.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              I want to walk back my criticism of MLB umpires a bit. The problem may be high school coaches not pushing black players into pitching.

              The whole computer strike zone is just to avoid white pitchers getting better calls than black pitchers.

              1. ambrit

                Oh come on now. In ‘futbol’ at least as played in England, “Kill the Ref” is considered a normal and ‘wholesome’ crowd chant. In Central and South American countries, it is not uncommon for the Refs to wear bullet proof vests while officiating.
                I am still wondering why no enterprising teams didn’t name themselves such obvious crowd drawers as “Los Politicos,” “Los Obreros,” or “Los Patrones.”
                If La Lucha Libre can do it…..

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Much of the game isn’t how fast a fast ball is (it helps) but the difference between the fastball and the off speed pitches and getting the delivery to look the same.

        Any Sox fans remember Jonathan Papelbon? IIRC you might be one, NTG. I used to dread every time he took the mound near the end of his Red Sox career. He had the silly stare he’d do before throwing the pitch, and I don’t think his shaven babyface struck much fear into the hitters. Not when they knew to expect a 94 mph fastball with no movement 95% of the time. I think Papelbon developed whiplash from snapping his neck around so many times to watch the ball he pitched fly off into the bleachers.

    2. ewmayer

      It’s certainly possible – but baseball’s great hitters are not great because they can hit any pitcher, even on a first look – they are great because it takes them fewer at-bats to figure out a given pitcher’s (or better, a given battery’s) delivery, location and pitch-selection habits. Give each of Ruth and Gehrig 10 at-bats against Mitchell (or most anyone else), that would be much more illustrate. Great players (and teams) make great adjustments.

  10. Gavin

    Church burns down after challenging order.. Where’s the crying about the invisible hand of the free market.. speaking, or in this case burning?

  11. Kurtismayfield

    What is Ms Warren going to deliver to the Biden campaign? Massachusetts? More of the PMC? She really has nothing to offer to Biden at all.. her age is making her look really desperate to be VP.

    As Stalin said: “The Pope. How many divisions has he?”

    1. The Rev Kev

      Want to know what the best part is? If she tries to do to Biden what she did to Bernie and claim sexual harassment from him, they’ll just tell her to take a number!

      1. Kurtismayfield

        #Metoo is dead. It will no longer be able to be weaponized now that Mr. Biden has effectively turned it off during his campaign.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      Considering I still hear so many Media critters refer to Warren as a “progressive” and act as if she is interchangeable with Sanders, I think this is the angle they’re going for. It won’t work, but I think that’s the game.

      Warren, of course, isn’t a serious consideration anyway. The donors won’t have her progressive lip service and I doubt Biden would consider her sufficiently loyal to be his #2.

      1. Bugs Bunny

        My money is on Tammy Baldwin. Checks most of the boxes and as African Americans heard last week, if you’re not going to vote for Biden #youain’tblack.

        So that’s a fait accompli.

        I have a bad feeling about the next few months.

        1. lordkoos

          I’ve had a feeling of dread around the upcoming November election well before Sanders dropped out.

          1. ambrit

            You are not alone.
            If the Pandemic does come back strong this fall, who knows what the “official” political response will be?

      2. GettingTheBannedBack

        When people are invited to be VP, it’s because they bring something to the party. Nobody who is empty handed gets considered. They need to come with a whole bunch of rusted on supporters eg religious or “soccer moms” or the black vote or “working class” or whatever demo the POTUS candidate thinks will get him over the line. And with lots of money.
        I think Warren doesn’t have the numbers, of any demo, to get the gig. And she stabs her friends in the back (eg Bernie) in the pursuit of personal power which must give any candidate pause.
        On that note, it must be quite a dance between Trump and Pence. I saw Trump humiliate Pence about a month ago in front of the cameras when giving a COVID-19 presser. Cringeworthy for Pence. But hugely entertaining.

      1. Massinissa

        It was definitely Stalin… If it was anyone important at all. It may be apocryphal. Still, its always attributed to Stalin, even if it is a myth.

        1. marku52

          Stalin is also believed to have said “It would take a very brave man not to be a hero in my army.”

          Witty SOB.

  12. Knifecatcher

    My wife and I stayed at the Mauna Kea (hotel currently being fumigated) 5 years ago for our anniversary. It’s a truly spectacular place.

    For this year’s anniversary we stayed home and had meatloaf with the kids. Not quite as memorable I’m afraid.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      When I saw that photo I couldn’t help thinking of the episode of Breaking Bad when they used fumigation chambers over houses to disguise the fact that they were using the houses to brew up metaamphetamines. There are all sorts of things that can be done underneath such a convenient ‘cover’.

    2. Michael McK

      Fumigation does not seem to me to be an anti-virus strategy. I am going to go out on a limb and suggest they have bed bugs..

      1. Aumua

        Oh it’s definitely for bugs of some kind. I mean, when do you ever get a chance to fumigate a hotel except now?

      2. ChrisPacific

        More likely they have structural elements made of wood, which in Hawaii requires you to fumigate on a regular basis or you’ll eventually lose them to termites. Downsides of living in the tropics.

    3. wilroncanada

      Not quite as memorable: which? the anniversary, the meatloaf, or the kids? Haha

  13. Polar Donkey

    Burned down church in Holly Springs, Mississippi – Mississippi, per capita, is one of the states with highest covid 19 rates. The big drivers are poverty, poor health, and church attendance. Early in the outbreak, a town just east of Holly Springs had 7 people die, 4 from same family and all 7 went to same church, although news report didn’t explicitly say that. This small county is up to 11 deaths. People in the area are sensitive to how deadly church can be. The Pentecostals had already been shutdown twice by the cops. No one wants to shut down churchs, especially in Mississippi, but these folks wouldn’t listen.

    1. The Rev Kev

      These folks never listen. I think that what we see here is what I call the Asteroid effect otherwise know as the Lemming effect. As an example. So suppose that scientists announced that they had detected an asteroid that was due to hit the earth with the power of a very small nuke. But after giving the exact time & date of the impact, they further announce that it will hit in the middle of a desert and will effect nobody. So what happens then? Religious groups immediately go to the site to use prayer to keep the asteroid away. The Church of the Celestial Death announces that this asteroid will fulfill their prophecy of cosmic annihilation and rapture to heaven and also go there. Their prophesy is proven half right. Militia units dressed in camos and carrying automatic weapons turn up to protect these people’s right. Then lawyers turn up (here is where it really gets bad) to lodge injunctions to stop the government from evacuating these people by force. The UFO crowd turns up because they think that they will get to see Elvis. Merchants turn up with all sorts of junk to sell. Finally ordinary people turn up ‘to watch the fireworks’ and they bring their families with them. When the asteroid proceeds to arrive on time & in place killing tens of thousands, people then blame the government for not doing something.

      1. anon16

        These folks never listen. The Reverend? Kev

        The problem is they don’t read.* But if they did read, they’d find that far more people would be willing to listen to them when they did speak.

        * e.g. My people perish for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6
        * e.g. Thou shalt not put the Lord thy God to the test. Deuteronomy 6:16, Mathew 4:7, etc.

        1. JBird4049

          Sadly stupidity is often fixed permanently. If people insist on testing their faith, maybe they should try walking on water or air?

          Honestly, some areas truly are miserable places to be and going to church can be the one good thing each week.

          Then again I believe some preachers are not there to serve their flock, but rather to fleece them. Not the word of God, but that of Mammon.

          Just is what the proportion between the servers and the shearers?

          1. HotFlash

            some areas truly are miserable places to be and going to church can be the one good thing each week

            Aaaaah, get a better place?

            1. JBird4049

              If you don’t have money, and all your family and friends are near you, what is moving going to do for you? Stuff you, the spouse, and the kids into the (probably old) car, drive for hours and perhaps hundreds of miles to move to a “better” place without the rest of the family and friends to help, no income, and whatever living-from-paycheck-to-check you have saved up?

              1. periol

                Plus, if you have bad credit, you will have a hard time renting a place in a new area. Hometown, you can get hometown favors unless you’ve thrown all your friends under the bus. New town, good luck if you have a low credit score, a default or two, a previous eviction, or *heaven forbid* you ever sued a previous landlord in small claims court (and won) for illegally keeping your security deposit.

                Plus, you need a month’s rent plus a security deposit up front, sometimes even more. It’s no wonder people are hip to the van lifestyle these days. You might be able to pull a van for the cost of moving into an apartment in LA.

    2. Carolinian

      Sounds like you are endorsing church burning.

      And while Mississippi’s deaths per million is double that of neighboring Alabama it is less than half that of neighboring Louisiana and, at 207, is below the US figure of 298. There are quite a few states with higher numbers.

      1. Massinissa

        “Sounds like you are endorsing church burning.”

        This is a complete straw man. Its possible to partially explain a radical or violent action without ‘endorsing’ it. The same way you can explain the 9/11 attacks as foreign policy blowback, without ‘endorsing’ the attack. Complete straw man.

        1. Carolinian

          I’m saying that in this case the offered “explanation” doesn’t explain anything. The actions of some lunatic are presented as the result of Mississippi’s supposedly high death rate (which as I pointed out isn’t that high).

          Whereas your analogy of 9/11 is completely different. If we make war on the world and support those who do then sooner or later “blowback” probably is inevitable.

          As I’ve opined here before, hysteria over the disease threatens to become far worse than the disease itself. Those who burned that church should be put in the same category as those long ago Mississippi church burnings–something the above commenter did not do and, imo, should have.

          Of course if I’m being unfair then there’s a reply button for further explanation.

          1. CarlH

            Hysteria? Where do you live so comfortably? Do you know any doctors or nurses dealing with this, as I do?

          2. The Rev Kev

            For what it is worth, the judge ruling on their appeal pointed out to them a nearby church where the parishioners were having their meeting in cars but this church did not want to do that. They wanted the cheek by jowl meeting instead. If these people were socially isolating themselves between meetings then maybe fair enough. But if they were launching lawsuits to have their meetings, then likely they were also mixing with the rest of the community which made them a clear and present danger. They have the right to their religion. They do not have the right to put other people’s lives at risk for how they wanted to practice it.

        2. Oregoncharles

          Yes. Explaining is not excusing. Very important but somewhat difficult distinction.

      2. John k

        The risk of arson grows when people decide a church is a danger to the community.
        All rural states should have low rates bc of natural distancing. Large get togethers eliminate that natural protection.
        Louisiana is high because stupid got together with Mardigras.

        1. ambrit

          You thought that Mardi Gras was bad? Just wait till Southern Decadence this Labour Day Weekend!
          You’ll see a lot of people parading around wearing fancy masks, shoes of various sorts and little if anything else. (Those masks will give the wearer the illusion of anonymity, thus unleashing the inner demons.) And wait until you see the Mr. Covid 19″ Contest!

      3. hunkerdown

        Sabotage is normal in civil war. Sabotage of physical plant used by insane people and serving as a disease vector is normal pro-social behavior. (Which pro-social behavior also includes deplatforming lolbertarians from your social spaces as the predators they fancy themselves.)

        1. Carolinian

          physical plant used by insane people

          So those Pentecostals are showing the same intransigence as the Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn–a place with a far more drastic epidemic. If someone burned down one of their Synagogues would that be described as normal sabotage or a hate crime? Here’s suggesting that CDS is just the latest form of TDS.

          Covid is a bad thing. Burning churches is also a bad thing.

          1. Massinissa

            *Literally nobody is saying its a good thing*. We are offering explanations, not condoning the actions.

            1. Carolinian

              I’m not attacking anyone or trying to put words in their mouth. I’m making the point that in any other circumstance burning a church would be seen as a despicable act but add Covid and the attitude is “oh well, what did they expect?” If two wrongs don’t make a right then neither do two irrational acts.

              The truth it that we don’t really know why the church was burned or by who and therefore any “explanations” convey a certain cognitive bias on the part of the explainer.

              1. CarlH

                Take the religion out of it. If people were continuing to gather in a specific building, (for whatever purpose), expressly against the health edicts given and in a continuing danger to the rest of the community, then they can expect the same treatment (which I do not condone). Seems to me you are missing the point and hiding behind religion.

                1. Carolinian

                  Good to know you don’t condone burning down buildings. Isn’t that the only thing we are talking about here?

                  I’m not endorsing what the church did but do think the response is for the courts and the government, not arsonists.

  14. mpalomar

    The Baffler article on Henry Wallace was interesting but covers only the domestic. No speculation on the foreign policy side and whether the ‘Cold War’ was inevitable. My 2 cents, I recall Wallace had a bad fact finding trip to the USSR during the war and was accused of being too friendly to the Russians and gullible with regards to Soviet propaganda.

    This was part of the establishment attack used against Wallace, along with his crazy factor, i.e. non mainstream spirituality and as I recall a connection to theosophy. I do tend to think Wallace would not have embarked on the disastrous arms race and Cold War; no Alan Dulles, perhaps no John Foster and well one wonders about Wallace and Truman’s use of the bomb.

    Nichols from the article,
    “What you want in politics are political figures and political parties that are open enough to respond to and be made better by social movements that are uncompromising. The tragedy is when you have a political party that is inclined toward compromise, that is inclined toward a centrist route, trying to win narrowly rather than scoping out a big, bold vision—that party will seek to perpetuate its power, but not use its power.”

    The article notes that civil rights leader Randolph had a two party strategy, trying to push both parties at the 1960 conventions. The Republicans hardly fall within the definition of a traditional democratic political party, the Democrats, with the Sanders saga, now approach that absolute fail point as well.

    1. Carolinian

      No speculation on the foreign policy side and whether the ‘Cold War’ was inevitable

      In his TV series The Untold History of the United States Oliver Stone did so speculate–that it was not inevitable–and and even suggested tha the rejection of Wallace was the big turning point in late 20th century US history. Whether one agrees clearly Truman was terrible. He gave us the CIA (much later claiming to regret having done so) and made many other foreign policy mistakes.

    2. rob

      While I applaud every excuse to re-invent history, and bring up “what could have been” with Wallace… on the world stage…
      The democratic party, at that time… wasn’t just roosevelt.
      The southern US…. WAS solid democrat… Because it wasn’t “republican”… or as the people would have referred to it as “the “N” loving party…(because of lincoln)
      Even today… people in the south…
      the “reagan republican army” types.. the ones who excrete trumpisms… and vote republican ;no matter what… preface their opinions first by saying…” I am a registered democrat”… even though they probably aren’t… but what that really means is “my daddy was a democrat.. and my daddy’s daddy…
      After all strom thurmond, and jesse helms.. were democrats… first..
      Just like.. robert byrd, john d rockefellerIV, and so was one of the koch bros.. when he ran for gov. of michigan…
      The democratic party was sewn up by the twenties when jpmorgan partners ran the party. And ran against other jpmorgan partners in the republican party, and behind the socialist party.. or others who were running…in other available slots.
      The bankers had a foot IN ALL CAMPS.
      they ran the two main parties, and kept the radicals in the others at bay.. by proximity and financing..
      Our foreign policy has been in the hands of the establishment .which was plain when you look at front groups like the council on foreign relations members and business associates. being in every aspect of gov’t, business, and media, and academia…and spycraft./corporate espionage/.. since the twenties..
      when they were funding/giving material and technology to the soviet union..
      Averill harriman had written in a 1944 state dept memo, @ 2/3 0f soviet technology was supplied by the west…
      And the harrimans are “in the group”.being rail road money and all..

      And the cold war was a “ruse”
      Even when carroll quigley wrote his tome ” Tragedy and Hope, a history of the world in our time “c.1961.. He felt his book was suppressed. It got pulled by his publisher mid stream…Until a few years later… but he was a “russia expert” who taught at the navy war college. about russia… But he was not of the opinion that there was an actual threat coming from the soviet union.. other than pretense.
      But he did detail the creation of the economic history of the previous 6 decades, by the group who created the council on foreign relations(in the US 1919), and britian royal institute of international affairs 1919) by the british roundtables in britian.. who began as a group in 1891.. Who were instrumental in trying to form the league of nations, and eventually the UN… . He thought there wasn’t a real threat from communism , partially because the group who created those two versions of establishment subversion of culture and society, also created the Institute of pacific relations.. a group of communist countries, which had its operating expenses paid for by the royal institute, and the round tablers also created organizations in france,germany, russia,…
      And all the while thru.. when stories of “trading with the enemy” the nazi-american money plot 1933-1949… There is a nexus of personalities.
      before,during,after the cold war….there is a nexus of personalities.. to this very day .
      the modus operendi being..
      foment crisis.. profit from said crisis , monetarily, and by advancing policies that further enrich and increase control… by having more groups formed to populate positions of power… to isolate the population from their gov’t.
      These basic facts are the wellspring of conspiracy theories.. like the ones pushed by the kochs and others thru groups like the john birch society… When really the kochs were really just feuding with the rockefellers/pratts/bakers/buckley’s/rest of standard oil crew(who WERE the council on foreign relations side) for being unfairly driven out of business in the US, when the founding koch actually had a better patent to “crack” petroleum.. and were forced to go and make their family fortune building an oil infrastructure for stalin.. in the thirties.

    3. Harold

      This paragraph was removed from the wikipedia entry on Henry A. Wallace:

      Roosevelt also introduced Wallace to The Glory Road (1935), a novel by popular Broadway playwright Arthur Hopkins. Not a religious book, The Glory Road was a historical-political allegory inspired by the economic devastation wrought by the Great Depression. On its dust jacket The Glory Road is said to describe “the experience of the human race as it has tried to follow the road of truth while at the same time building up for itself a structure of civilization that will yield material wealth”.[17] Culver and Hyde identify this book as the source of the pen-names Wallace later adopted in some of his correspondence – perhaps including the so-called “Guru letters”. For example, in a letter to FDR, Wallace says, “You can be ‘the flaming one’.” Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. describes Wallace’s references to figures in The Glory Road (such as “the fervent one” and so on), as “rash” and “cabalistic”, bespeaking what Schlesinger calls “moods of rapture.”[18] However, Wallace’s use of the term in addressing Roosevelt is likely an in-joke, since in The Glory Road there is no “flaming one”, but rather a “flameless one’, “elected as his people’s executive”, supported by bankers and corrupt leaders, who urges the electorate to “buy, buy, buy” as a way out of economic collapse.[19]

      The Glory Road is available from second hand books stores, as it was apparently quite a popular book.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Covid-19 Patients Not Infectious After 11 Days: Singapore Study”
    “The bottom line analysis from the Korean CDC demonstrating that those testing positive for SARSCoV2 after recovering from covid WERE NOT infected or contagious.’

    Now that is two lots of good news that. It justifies the standard two week quarantine period and helps confirm that this virus might slam you, but that it does not keep going for week after week and flaring up again. Had one case in Australia last week of a woman that returned from India a month ago that came up positive. Hopefully that was just the test being unable to differentiate between live and dead virus. Yeah, the only good Coronavirus is a dead Coronavirus.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Russia, China won’t accept US nuclear superiority”

    It is plain that the US is stationing nuclear-tipped missiles on Russia and China’s borders in the hopes of a first-strike capability but the problem is that the US would be annihilated if it tried to do so. So why ratchet up so many tensions, especially in light of the fact that a single Chinese Jin-class submarine could launch 12 nukes into the US from off the American coastline?

    You want to know what the real worry is. That Trump or the Pentagon concludes that the only way to attain nuclear superiority is to station nuclear weapons in orbit. The temptation to have an EM pulse go off in your enemies country would be almost irresistible much less a volley of nuclear missiles. Sure it would mean exiting the Outer Space Treaty but for the present regime that would not be a problem. Every time the US breaks a treaty Bolton tweets that it is a great advance on arms control after all.

    1. juno mas

      Here’s a semi-secret for getting info about the Antidotes: right-click on the image, then scroll (select) ” image info”. Often, but not always, info on the pic will appear. In this case it’s a Swimming_Wolf.


  17. BoyDownTheLane

    I’m hip at age 70+ with the concerts&clubbing suit that has built-in canisters for vaping. What’s next? Contact dermal infusion of Huxley’s “soma”?


    “… The main transmission path is long-residence-time aerosol particles (< 2.5 μm), which are too fine to be blocked, and the minimum-infective-dose is smaller than one aerosol particle. ….”

    Happy weekend to all…

  18. juno mas

    RE: Tenting Mauna Kea

    Fumigating a hotel is not unusual. Since it is empty (no tourists) this is a good time to get it done. The fumigation is not likely for coronavirus intentionally, but for the normal hotel bugs (lice, bed bugs). This type of total shutdown and tenting is a normal occurrence at hotels in my tourist town on the California coast. It is so common that skilled workers can tent/fumigate a broad complex of structures (large and small) rapidly in 3 or 4 days.

  19. smoker

    I rarely comment, as currently the scripting required to nest a response to a comment is tanking my internet connection; but I saw a comment on Links from two days ago suggesting Newsom as a possible presidential candidate which horrified me.

    There have been numerous glowing headlines about Newsom since the Covid-19 pandemic, many which he didn’t deserve at all when the details were actually parsed. Those non California residents not subjected to any of his previous or current duplicity in his non stop striving for Presidential Office should be reminded how tight he was with Bill and Hillary, that he’s Pelosi’s nephew, that he endorsed Biden, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Don’t have the energy to comment at length, I have a disabled loved one just past Medicare retirement age who is now at direct threat of being stuffed in a coronavirus loaded nursing home due to Newsom’s horrid proposed Medi-Cal (i.e. MEDICAID) cuts.

    Given how very difficult it is to find any critical articles regarding Newsom lately – no matter how finely tuned the search is – I’ll offer up these:

    05/19/20 “Might as well have them walk the plank” — Cuts may force many seniors into nursing homes [Along with the disabled – smoker]

    05/18/20 Column: To balance California’s budget, state will stick it to its most vulnerable citizens This is particularly obscene, emphasis mine:

    The way it works is this: The federal and state governments make sure there’s a minimum monthly income for anybody who is aged, blind or disabled. If a person doesn’t have enough outside income or Social Security to reach the minimum standard, the feds kick in what’s called Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. States can also add extra money, which California does. That’s called the State Supplementary Program, or SSP.

    The combined SSI-SSP, administered by the feds, guarantees most Californians $943 a month — $783 from Washington and $160 from Sacramento. A couple gets $1,583 — $1,176 in SSI and $407 in SSP.

    That isn’t much to live on in high-cost California — roughly $11,300 for a single person and about $19,000 for a couple.

    Here’s the California sin: The Social Security Administration annually calculates inflation and adds a cost-of-living adjustment to its monthly benefit. And when budget balancing is tough in Sacramento, state politicians routinely seize that federal COLA meant for the aged, blind and disabled. They toss it into the state’s general fund.

    The governor and Legislature do that by cutting the state SSP payment by an amount equal to the federal COLA.

    It’s not much money by most people’s standards, but every dollar means a lot to people living on the edge. Budget writers in the state Finance Department estimate the federal COLA starting Jan. 1 will be $9 for single people and $13 for couples. Their monthly checks will remain the same, but the state will rob them of the feds’ intended COLA.

    Newsom expects the state to net $33.6 million from the heist.

    “It always mystifies people,” says Marty Omoto, executive director of the California Disability Community Action Network. “They ask, ‘How can the state take away the federal cost-of-living increase?’ Technically they don’t. They just take away part of the state portion….

    05/18/20How Newsom budget yanks back Medi-Cal health care gains for low-income residents [Well that was kept extremely quiet, it’snot even in the headline, but Newsom plans to reinstate California’s Ugly Estate Recovery Rules, which Brown didn’t temporarily roll back until forced to by the outraged California citizens forced onto Medi-Cal (a n outrageous third of the state is on Medi-Cal, i.e. MEDICAID) during the Horrid ACA rollout – smoker]

    03/17/20 Newsom did not issue a statewide eviction ban. Tenant groups say renters’ health could be threatened [Note, headlines initially made it appear that he did though – smoker.]

    Lastly, I’ve yet to read that Newsom has weighed in at all regarding:giving Nursing Facilities immunity from liabilities they well deserve; particularly the countless for-profit facilities in California.

    1. periol

      I am in full agreement with you. Newsom has deep ties to Pelosi, the Browns, and the Gettys. He’s as slimy as they come.

      Here are a few links. Nice little family connection tree chart at the first one.

      The connections date back at least 80 years, to when Jerry Brown’s father, Pat Brown, ran for San Francisco district attorney, losing in 1939 but winning in 1943, with the help of his close friend and Gavin Newsom’s grandfather, businessman William Newsom.

      Fast forward two decades. Gov. Pat Brown’s administration developed Squaw Valley for the 1960s winter Olympics and afterward awarded a concession to operate it to William Newsom and his partner, John Pelosi.

      One of the Pelosis’ sons, Paul, married Nancy D’Alesandro, who went into politics and has now reclaimed speakership of the House of Representatives. Another Pelosi son married William Newsom’s daughter, Barbara. Until they divorced, that made Nancy Pelosi something like an aunt by marriage to Gavin Newson (Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law was Gavin Newsom’s uncle).

      San Francisco society’s “first families” — whose names grace museum galleries, charity ball invitations and hospital wards — settled on Newsom, 50, as their favored candidate two decades ago, said Willie Brown, former state Assembly speaker and former mayor of the city.

      “He came from their world, and that’s why they embraced him without hesitancy and over and above everybody else,” said Brown, who is a mentor to Newsom. “They didn’t need to interview him. They knew what he stood for.”

      (emphasis mine)

      1. rob

        Great links.
        I think seeing peoples family/social connections… personal history.. Is very telling.
        This is aristocracy.
        Just like how the aristocracy has ruled britian, through all of its “reforms”.. it has shown how these social ties count more than what people say they believe in.
        The relationships of the “aristocracy” in this country..which is open to new money.. is one of the biggest hurdles to people getting a voice in the political system.

        In british history, it is shown how connections, education, and up-bringing… supply a steady stream of idiots who will assume the role of whatever is needed to support THEIR “community of interest”.
        The US thinks it is immune from such “old world” relationships..
        But besides these “friends and family”.. there are the “other sides on all those charts..
        Nancy pelosi is from a baltimore political family as well
        George “P” shulz the “p” is for “Pratt”, one of the families in the standard oil trust…

        As opposed to how people paint “conspiracy” ; where people are “acting on plans”… this aspect to social connection is more subversive.. and intertwined with everything else, making it difficult to “pin down”.
        As you said,” no one needs to ask a position. They already know how they will go.”
        It is like a fraternity/sorority thing where the people are already “the type” before joining in.
        If nothing else, It is interesting.

  20. lyman alpha blob

    RE: the full body mask tweet

    I give this idea about 3 frat parties before somebody drinks too much, passes out, vomits, and dies inside one of these.

    If someone really needs to profit off a pandemic, maybe try manufacturing working protective equipment for health care workers, not ravers.

    Have I mentioned how tired I am of capitalism lately?

    1. hunkerdown

      For decades the goth scene has had a small but present full-latex-enclosure subcommunity for decades, who go to clubs and mingle in support of an aesthetic of zero skin exposure. Nobody needs another SKU except the compulsive entrepreneur.

    2. wilroncanada

      lyman alpha blob
      Old comment on bad humour: funny as a barf in a space helmet.

  21. Chris

    I like the way my daily dose of conventional wisdom is summed up with this standard from Mr. Frum:

    The Atlantic writer David Frum argues that “democracy is tested by its ability to deliver security, prosperity, and justice”. By that metric, the Trump presidency is a shambolic failure.

    The quote was taken from the Guardian.

    And by that standard, the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations are also failures, right?

  22. Oregoncharles

    “States Are Reopening: See How Coronavirus Cases Rise or Fall Pro Publica. Handy chart:”

    Isn’t this premature? IIRC, there’s about a two-week lag. Oregon, at least, “opened up” (rather partially) just last weekend; the effects of that wouldn’t show up yet. It shows a slight decline, which is good, but that reflects measures in effect two weeks ago.

    Addendum: Oregon’s shutdown was not severe, I think reflecting Oregon’s fortunately low numbers. No enforcement, that I heard of, just a call by the governor to stay home, and closed state parks – some of which might better have been open, since it would be easy to maintain social distancing. That would be a case-by-case call, so a lot more administrative burden. Despite its blue reputation, Oregon is a fairly low-service because low-tax state.

    OTOH, some narrow trails at the federal wildlife refuge south of town were open when they shouldn’t have been – but I think they closed the gates shortly after. At least it gives the wildlife a break.

    1. The Historian

      Actually the lag should be longer than two weeks. When venues open up, people are still going to be careful and self-distance as much as possible. It will be when they start feeling comfortable going out and start dropping their vigilance that the disease will rise again. So I don’t expect any rise in cases for at least a month or more.

        1. JBird4049

          Oh my. IIRC, the American city hardest hit by the 1918 pandemic was Philadelphia because they refused to stop war bond drive and parade. Apparently, it was a great success and very popular. It was also a great success in spreading the flu among the spectators.

  23. Oregoncharles

    ” with Hawaii tourism shut down, they tent fumigated the entire Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (iconic Big Island resort designed by SOM and built by the Rockefellers in 1965) ”
    Yes, wow. Especially since I’ve been there – just a couple of years after it opened. That was during the Vietnam War. I was a college student; noticed I had more in common with the help than the other guests.

    Oddly, judging by the pictures, not that attractive a building.

    1. VietnamVet

      There apparently is six degrees of separation or else there is self-selection by commenters on NC.

      I was training in Hilo Hawaii for 3 months in 1965. Two weeks were spent living with a Hawaiian sugarcane plantation family and practice teaching at the public school. On the weekend the family drove us over the mountain to visit the just opened Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for lunch.

      Later, I spent four years as a perpetual student at Oregon State getting a Master’s Degree. But as a harbinger of the looming victory of plutocratic capitalism, the only job offer was way across the country by a Federal Agency which was giving preference to hiring Veterans and former federal employees. Now 55 years later, corporations and oligarchs have so decimated the nation, Washington DC is unable to do its primary job of protecting its citizens and is totally failing to control the novel coronavirus pandemic.

      1. flora

        The Vietnam war, lasting over 30 years under admins from both parties but mostly associated with the Dem party (LBJ). discredited ‘big govt’ in the eyes of many people.
        Therefore, letting business have a go at running the country on market principles gained listeners who in the 1930’s would have scoffed at the idea, imo. We now know how that’s worked out.

  24. UserFriendly

    Europe’s Covid predicament – how do you solve a problem like the anti-vaxxers?

    Well it’s nice to know that we Americans don’t have a monopoly on being aggressively stupid.

  25. Goyo Marquez

    Here’s some facebook video from the opening minute of a friend of mine’s church in Orange county California, having service for the first time, in spite of the governor’s orders. They say they’ve taken all the appropriate precautions, hand sanitizer, social distancing of six feet in all directions, volunteers with masks, etc. But even the beginning of the service shows what the problem is,

    I hope nothing happens but it feels to me a bit like spitting in the wind.

    1. anon in so cal

      Speaking of Orange County….they now allow restaurant patrons to dine *inside* the restaurants.

      My hunch is that, in two weeks, there will be a spike in cases. Hope I’m wrong.

  26. Portlander

    RE: Full body mask with N95 filter

    In a large study, Singapore found that only about 12% of people were wearing their N95 masks correctly, hence were not protected. They couldn’t even follow easy pictorial instructions on getting the correct fit, and the critical importance of such fit.

    Too bad N95 doesn’t really provide assured protection against covid-19 even when correctly worn. Some protection, yes, but when you’re out all night on the club circuit with people shedding virus, it’s not up to the job without regular re-sterilization.

    If you’re drunk clubbing in this suit, and you need to go to the bathroom, will you remember to follow all of the directions?

    1. The Rev Kev

      In another large study, the Pentagon found that only about 12% of soldiers were wearing their body armour correctly, hence were not protected. They couldn’t even follow easy pictorial instructions on getting the correct fit, and the critical importance of such fit.

      Too bad body armour doesn’t really provide assured protection against bullets even when correctly worn. Some protection, yes, but when you’re out all night on the battle field with people shooting bullets, it’s not up to the job without regular re-adjustment.

      Man, whether worn correctly or not, masks do give you the protection of not copping a full virus load from another person in your face. Those countries that have the most successful fightback against the virus are typically ones where people mask up. It is a matter of never letting perfection getting in the way of the good. As the Czechs say (who masked up), my mask protects you, your mask protects me.

      1. periol

        “As the Czechs say (who masked up), my mask protects you, your mask protects me.”

        I do like this saying from the Czechs, and I used it and the video to convince my parents to wear masks.

        That said, I’m also relatively convinced, based on the “viral load” speculation, that my mask helps me as well. Sure, the virus can get through the mask, but the mask will still keep some of it out, and can hopefully help me not to get a large viral load if I do pick up COVID-19. To me, even if the viral load speculation turns out to be hogwash, it’s a step worth taking in light of the risk. Not just for others, but for myself as well.

        I wonder if America needed to have a more selfish slogan.

        1. Yves Smith

          One way to deal with people who aren’t wearing masks is to say, “What are you doing to protect your family from Covid-19?” You might get a beyond-redepemption response like, “This is all fake, it’s no more dangerous than the flu”. You might say, “How many ICU doctors and nurses who have treated Covid-19 patients have you talked to?” and drop it. Best you can do is create guilt and push back a little.

      2. Portlander

        You totally miss the point. All NIOSH approved masks state quite clearly the importance of fit.

        It’s like going out into battle with body armor that is advertised as “total protection” when it actually leaves much of the body exposed because it’s worn improperly. It’s rather like–

        In another large study, the Pentagon found that 88% of soldiers were dying because they weren’t adequately trained to follow directions.

        1. Portlander

          And, unless you change and sanitize your mask regularly, you are apt to be breathing a virus-laden mask, and increasing your viral load. Droplets do evaporate, leaving the virus through the pores of the mask.

          Many of our front line health workers are being required to re-use their N95 masks for extended periods (if they are fortunate enough to have them), which increases their risks considerably.

          If you were a health worker, you might feel differently about the level of protection of the “body armor” that the NHS/Pentagon is giving you.

  27. Tom Stone

    It’s been a good day, spotted an eagle’s nest along the Russian River while fishing, pigged out on local cherries at $1.99 Lb and flirted with a pretty girl whose Mother is probably too young for me.
    Fresh trout for dinner!

  28. kareninca

    So, most churches are remaining shut, including most big ones, and I think that will be the case for quite a while. The churches that stay open, or reopen, get the press. But I am most interested in the shut ones. Especially the big shut ones. People put a lot of time and energy and effort into attending church. I know I do. So, that is time and energy and effort that will now be redirected. I wonder towards what.

  29. Tom

    NC have you tried this podcast called what’s left . The hosts are pretty darn critical of the likes of Nathan Robinson or aoc and have an interesting view on politics.

    1. Yves Smith

      To be candid, neither Lambert nor I have time to listen to podcasts. We can process transcripts, it takes <30% as much time to read. If there's a particular segment you think readers would like to listen to, please mention it in comments. That way readers will see it and depending on the topic, we might hoist it into Links or Water Cooler.

  30. The Rev Kev

    “Herd Of Fuzzy Green ‘Glacier Mice’ Baffles Scientists”

    They look more like moss-covered tribbles to me.

    1. Procopius

      They aren’t covered in moss, they are moss. And they move. Like a flock, or a herd. Fascinating.

  31. Freddo

    Amazing admission from leading Brexiteer MP, Steve Baker that Michael Gove told him to sign the Withdrawal Agreement, without reading it, because they could change it later! And it looks like he did!
    Three points:
    1. Baker is a moron to admit that;
    2. The Brexiteer rats are jumping off the ship; and
    3. Why on earth would the EU, after reading that, trust the UK Govt about anything.

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