Links 5/7/2020

Camera Traps May Overcount Snow Leopards and Other Vulnerable Species Scientific American

Ants store long- and short-term memories on different sides of their brains Science

Layoffs Start Turning From Temporary to Permanent Across America Bloomberg

Why North Dakota Has the Best Internet in the United States Vice

Millions predicted to develop tuberculosis as result of Covid-19 lockdown Guardian


The science:

Fauci: No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab National Geographic

* * *

Was Sundance a “First Petri Dish” of Coronavirus in the States? Hollywood Reporter. Well worth a read. Plus this disease is very bad.

Coronavirus may have jumped to humans as early as October, study says South Chine Morning Post

The head of Sweden’s no-lockdown coronavirus plan said the country’s heavy death toll ‘came as a surprise’ Business Insider

* * *

Kicker is the last sentence:


* * *
Treatment and Vaccine:

Will Gilead price its coronavirus drug for public good or company profit? Reuters. Are we still going on a Gilead press release, or did I miss something?

Gilead Lobbying Rose As Interest In COVID-19 Treatment Climbed NPR. Handy chart:

Gilead Covid-19 Drug May Exceed $2 Billion Sales, Piper Says Bloomberg

VERIFY: What is remdesivir? WUSA9. Sober overview from a local D.C. station.

Gilead, working on its own remdesivir ramp-up, scouts licensing partners for global production Fierce Pharma

Japan to approve remdesivir and Avigan as coronavirus treatment NHK

Preliminary evidence from a multicenter prospective observational study of the safety and efficacy of chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 (preprint) medRxiv. 27 (!) authors, 6 contributing, others corresponding, from Guangdong Provice, China. From the abstract: “A total of 197 patients completed chloroquine treatment, and 176 patients were included as historical controls. The median time to achieve an undetectable viral RNA was shorter in chloroquine than in non-chloroquine (absolute difference in medians -6.0 days; 95% CI -6.0 to -4.0). The duration of fever is shorter in chloroquine (geometric mean ratio 0.6; 95% CI 0.5 to 0.8). No serious adverse events were observed in the chloroquine group. Patients treated with half dose experienced lower rate of adverse events than with full dose. … [R]andomised trials are needed for further evaluation.”

SARS-CoV-2 – Specific antiviral Treatment (preliminary document) National Center for New Infections (Switzerland). Note “Proposed therapeutic approach” (HQ “possible but uncertain” benefit, use would be off-label).

* * *

‘We’re disease vectors’: Senators press for rapid coronavirus testing for lawmakers WaPo

Why You Can’t Always Trust Your Coronavirus Antibody Test Results Pro Publica

* * *
Materiel shortages:

Opening Up New Supply Chains NEJM

“Like a Bully at the Lunchroom”: How the Federal Government Took Control of the PPE Pipeline Vanity Fair

Doctors lambaste federal process for distributing Covid-19 drug remdesivir STAT News. Looks like Gilead has adopted Hermès’ strategy for marketing Birkin bags.

* * *
Social distancing and compliance:

Functional fear predicts public health compliance in the COVID-19 pandemic (preprint) PsyArXiv. “Consistently, the only predictor of positive behavior change (e.g., social distancing, improved hand hygiene) was fear of COVID-19, with no effect of politically-relevant variables.”

The Effect of Stay-at-Home Orders on COVID-19 Infections in the United States (preprint) From the abstract: “The results here suggest that a coordinated nationwide stay-at-home order may have reduced by hundreds of thousands the current number of infections and by tens of thousands the total number of deaths from COVID-19. Future efforts in the United States and elsewhere to control pandemics should coordinate stay-at-home orders at the national level, especially for diseases for which local spread has already occurred and testing availability is delayed.”

The Public Is Astonishingly United The Atlantic. “A poll from The Washington Post and the University of Maryland released yesterday finds that eight in 10 Americans oppose reopening movie theaters and gyms; three-quarters don’t support letting sit-down restaurants and nail salons reopen; and a third or less would allow barber shops, gun stores, and retail stores to operate. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll last week found similar numbers.”

2 Utah County businesses told staff to ignore COVID-19 guidelines, resulting in 68 positive cases Daily Herald. “The right to infect others shall not be infringed.”

That’s one way to get the economy growing! Diners sit in individual GREENHOUSES to ensure social distancing at Dutch restaurant Daily Mail (Re Silc).




* * *
Economic effects:

Don’t Blame Me for Unprecedented Use of This Word Bloomberg

* * *
Finance response:

Banks’ dividends in Covid-19 times Bank of International Settlements. “Most authorities have undertaken initiatives in relation to banks’ distribution policies in the Covid-19 pandemic environment. However, practices across jurisdictions diverge markedly as regards scope and stringency.”

Crunch time for US tenants and landlords FT

* * *
Corporate response:

Frontier will charge up to $89 for social distancing on flights Ars Technica (Re Silc). Presumably they’ll sell masks, too? Used, half-price?

NYT ‘hastens’ transformation of ads biz as it braces for a 55% plunge in ad sales The Drum. I guess they’d better gin up a new *Gate.

Zoom taps former Trump national security adviser H.R. McMaster for board Politico. Does anybody know how to say “revolving door” in Mandarin?

* * *
Political response:

Trump calls Americans ‘warriors’ in fight to open the economy Los Angeles Times. Conscripts can be warriors, I suppose.

Lobbyists Request Bailout for Corporate Lobbyists The Intercept

Why the Small-Business Bailout Went to the Big Guys Neil Barofsky, Bloomberg

The Bare Necessities: Federal Court Rules That Strip Clubs Are Entitled To Pandemic Loans Jonathan Turley

House Democrats unveil legislation to forgive student loans for health care workers The Hill. Liberals sorting out the worthy and the unworthy again.

“Political Connections and Cronyism”: In Blistering Whistleblower Complaint, Rick Bright Blasts Team Trump’s Pandemic Response Vanity Fair

Bright Wanted US To Purchase Of All Available Remdesivir Stock Early In Coronavirus Outbreak Pink Sheet

* * *
Exit strategy:

Pandemic ‘Weather Service’ Key Before Next Outbreak, House Told (1) Bloomberg


Coronavirus: China has been preparing for this economic crisis since 2010, papers reveal The Independent

China’s mixed data point to challenge of rebooting economy and US looks to step up economic action against China FT

Photo Pulitzer:


China calls Hong Kong protesters a ‘political virus’ Guardian


Gujarat: Uttar Pradesh migrant cycling back home dies of fatigue near Karjan Times of India

The Koreas

Korean baseball thread. Find your favorite team!



UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won’t work well, asks for your location, may be illegal The Register

French farmers sound alarm in cheese market meltdown Politico. Another glut.

New Cold War

The Coronavirus Test for Russia The American Interest

International Institutions and the Challenge of the First Pandemic War Valdai Discussion Club


Michael Flynn Did Not Lie, He Was Framed by The FBI Sic Semper Tyrannis

Obama Says G.O.P.’s Biden Inquiry Promotes ‘Russian Disinformation’ NYT

The Macutazo: Timeline of an Absurd Military Adventure Caracas Chronicles. Very funny, well worth a read. A good break from #COVID19!

Captured American Mercenary Appears to Be Really Into Qanon Vice

Biden Sides With Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo in Backing Coup Effort in Venezuela Common Dreams

Trump Transition

Top Republican fundraiser and Trump ally named postmaster general, giving president new influence over Postal Service WaPo

Exclusive: Trump administration drafting ‘Artemis Accords’ pact for moon mining – sources Reuters


Democracy Wins in New York—and Bernie’s Back on the Ballot! Zephyr Teachout, The Nation


Customers shot 2 McDonald’s employees after being told to leave due to coronavirus restrictions CNN

Armed citizens escort lawmaker into Michigan State Capitol Lansing City Pulse

Our Famously Free Press

Why the media in UK and US has moved beyond manufacturing consent, and why that has led to a war about reporting COVID-19 Mainly Macro

Imperial Collapse Watch

Coronavirus survivors banned from joining the military Military Times (Rev Kev).

Princess Cruises offers Navy tips on Coronavirus Duffel Blog

How to stop a climate vote? Threaten a ‘no social distancing’ protest Los Angeles Times

Class Warfare

‘We Are Not Essential. We Are Sacrificial.’ NYT. From an MTA conductor.

Giant Hospital Corporation Takes Advantage of Coronavirus to Fight Nurses’ Union Drive The Intercept

72 UFWC Members Dead – After Strike, 12 S.C. Chicken Workers Fired – NOLA Garbage Workers Strike Payday Report

‘Stop throwing us bare bones’: US union activism surges amid coronavirus Guardian

Mass Incarceration Poses Uniquely American Coronavirus Risk The Intercept

The Left Case against Open Borders Angela Nagle, American Affairs. Re-upping this controversial, unwoke article from 2018, because it seems the open borders crowd has gone silent in the face of a global pandemic.

When Cotton Mather Fought The Smallpox American Heritage (Re Silc). Mather’s house was bombed (!).

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:


I don’t think much of zoos, but I wish I were as happy as that bear!

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. John A

    Apropos The Coronavirus Test for Russia The American Interest
    the book of Matthew springs to mind, here’s looking at you US and UK!

    “first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

    1. carl

      That was exactly my reaction; the author seems oblivious to the US’ complete swan dive into the empty swimming pool. Most of it seemed to be pure speculation, mixed in with cold war tropes.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Some of her recent books-

        Lonely Power: Why Russia Has Failed to Become the West and the West is Weary of Russia (2010)
        Putin’s Russia (January 2005)
        Lonely Superpower: Russia’s Uneasy Relationship With the West (June 2010)
        Russia – Lost in Transition: The Yeltsin and Putin Legacies (November 2007)

        1. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

          Peter the Great cut off the Boyar’s beards: later on, Russia’s aristocracy conversed with each other in French. Britain and others sent troops against the revolution. No wonder there is a reluctance to come into the “fold”.

          Russia re-aligning is just as likely as Americans dropping exceptionalism.

          What they share in common is buried Imperialism.

          If It isn’t delusion versus delusion it could well be Orwellian – which is a lot more depressing.


    2. Arizona Slim

      Just finished reading that book.

      And, sorry, Mark, Luke, and John, but Matthew absolutely crushes it. No other Gospel writer comes close.

      Right now, I’m in the middle of Revelation. And, let me tell, you, it is impossible to read that book in one sitting. It’s short. And, oh, does it pack a punch.

      1. TXMama

        I’m afraid that 2020 comes too close to Revelations for comfort. I couldn’t read that now. Just like disaster movies are too close for comfort to watch. Even other movies/tv shows freak me out because I keep noticing how people are spreading germs like crazy.

      2. Synoia

        Yes, it is the biblical stick to accompany the gospel’s carrot.

        Constantine era fear-porn.

      3. periol

        When I was a kid my dad was a pastor. Just to give you an idea of what church was like for me, his sermons were so long that every week I would open and read all of Revelation during the sermon. There’s lots of juice in Revelation for a young bored mind.

        Been a few years since I paid attention (so it’s possible but unlikely scholarship has changed on this – textual criticism changes at a glacial pace), but Matthew was the gospel most closely associated with the church in Palestine – there is also suspicion part or all of it was originally written in Aramaic or transcribed from Aramaic sources we haven’t found. It is most likely the closest, out of the 4 gospels, to the theology and teachings of early Palestinian Christians, for whatever that’s worth.

      4. MLTPB

        In the beginning chapters of that book, the Zen No Mind existed.

        After the Firbidden Fruit, the first two humans became self conscious, of fig leaves, for example, lost their No Mind.

        I don’t rethink it’s in Zhuangzi, but the Centipde Dilemna is a good reminder.

        Hopefully, we can recover our No Mind if the Garden.

  2. fhb

    Can I respectfully predict that the COVID moment (ie: the next 18 months or so) will see a huge swath of the “symbolic analysts” in the U.S. losing their jobs to machine learning, AI and web-based services? And can I also suggest that a sizeable amount of the ‘support’ monies that government are throwing at these companies will fund much of that transition?
    Here’s a headline from 2022 : The COVID Crisis was to White collar jobs what NAFTA was to the blues.

    1. ObjectiveFunction

      Agreed, especially the culling of the expert ‘guilds’ of the PMC is long overdue, although I don’t personally think AI is the primary driver yet. But tech is certainly the enabler that lets, e.g. nurses do much of the work formerly done by MDs.

      It also seems likely that a great many corporate professionals working virtually have now revealed themselves either to be weak on productivity (their work is better sourced from consultants as piecework, rather than delivered by high salaried staff), or else entirely offshorable as USA Inc. once more savagely tightens its belts.

      I highly recommend the works of Richard and David Susskind on these megatrends, reviewed on NC back in January 2016

      1. Hepativore

        My guess is that just like around 2009-2010, all of the various media and corporate pundits will proclaim that the recession is “over” in the next few months as the stock market continues to soar, as they will ignore record unemployment numbers. Basically, we will have another “jobless recovery” on our hands. The only advice that they will give to the scores of unemployed is to “stop being so lazy” or “go back to school” just like what happened around ten years ago.

        So, monopolization is going to continue as it rushes to fill the void left by all of the companies that have permanently closed up shop and then we can look forward to a new era of robber barons even worse than the ones we had in the turn of the 20th century.

        1. ambrit

          A corollary to your observation is that there will be unprecedented anti-corporatist “direct action” as living conditions for the masses continue to deteriorate. Think the Kentucky Coal Mining “Wars” with automatic weapons. America ain’t gunned up for nothing!
          I think I have linked to this before, but, what the heck:

    2. WheresOurTeddy

      most humans still prefer their consent to be manufactured by other humans
      this will likely erode over time as the frog continues to not jump out of the increasingly warm pot of water

  3. diptherio

    Little spelling error in Barofsky’s name: “Why the Small-Business Bailout Went to the Big Guys Neil Baroksky, Bloomberg”

    1. GramSci

      Barofsky writes:

      the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements may pale in comparison to the anger that will once again alter the political landscape, in the November elections and beyond.

      Somehow I don’t get the feeling Bloomberg readers are worried about this.

      1. Ramon Z

        More of Occupy, Tea Party not so much. Wishful thinking a global pandemic is going to help anyone other than the greedy psychopaths. Would like to be proved wrong.

        1. juliania

          Maybe a little Shakespeare might help?

          “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”

    2. RabidGandhi

      I hate to nitpick with Barofsky whom I admire, but it amazes me that there is all this hulabaloo about whether some $200 bn in PPP funds are going astray when TBTF banks, hedge funds and PE just got a $10 trillion handout from the Fed. Of the CARES Act, the PPP seems to be the only working part, albeit improvable as Barofsky mentions.

      Meanwhile, big companies like Boeing and GE followed Barofsky’s prescriptions and eschewed PPP funds. Between them, those two laid off 30,000 employees this month.

      If the left truly cares about the working class–something highly in doubt in view of the Sanders movement’s utter collapse on the CARES Act–it would be throwing its efforts against the gargantuan actions by the Fed, not the imperfect but helpful PPP.

      1. barefoot charley

        An actual progressive left would pursue an economic ideology, instead of imitative performative identity panders like the centrists do–who despise us anyway. But we don’t–though to be fair we noodle with several: the DSA’s social democracy, MMT’s Helicopter Money for All, Not Bombing MIddle East, vague advocacy for UBI and universal job programs, mumbles about reparations. No explanatory vision. Bernie reflected this by personifying history rather than teaching it. Marxism used to be ‘a history of the future,’ a friend used to say: its aspirations were guiding lights, its social definitions outlined political strategies. Now we bicker about which senile sex offender should guide us over the abyss. What Bernie got right was “Not Me, Us.” That message must somehow break through to the identitarians who operate the DNC, and to the rest of us. Heaven help us.

        So I agree with you, RabidGandhi. We don’t have an explanation for our disintegrating world.

      2. Lee Christmas

        In a recent interview, the esteemed Michael Hudson stated that few, if any, on the Left understand finance.

        This is true in real life. And online, the Left can only talk about the Bearded One, et al. They don’t seem to understand the modern mechanisms by which their ideas are cloistered. These mechanisms are also thinly grasped by myself.

        Add to that the conviction of the Professional Left, or the Media Left, that as long as we use the right pronouns and have a diverse looking representation, then all will be well. No need for any systemic reconstruction because the real problem is a lack of civility, not understanding that the system is constructed to be uncivil.

        RabidGandhi you have zeroed in on a solid point of attack for those yet to come.

  4. timbers

    Corporate response:
    Frontier will charge up to $89 for social distancing on flights Ars Technica (Re Silc). Presumably they’ll sell masks, too? Used, half-price?

    Supposedly the airline bailout funds – which are of course are “for the employees” – require they attain near full capacity rates sometime next year. 80% comes to mind. I read this on a site with European input so I don’t know it applies to Europe or both Europe and the States.

    Sorta as if nothing happened.

        1. Wukchumni

          NRA stood for something entirely different in the Great Depression…

          The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was a prime agency established by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) in 1933. The goal of the administration was to eliminate “cut throat competition” by bringing industry, labor, and government together to create codes of “fair practices” and set prices.

        2. timbers

          My big beef is, 87% of American’s get their water and sewer from local/state government. Not to mention public schools, fire, police, etc.

          Yet State and Locals are clearly hurting and becoming increasingly desperate financially.

          We’ve bailout out every junk bond and Wall Street type from here to Timbuck Two.

          Still no major bailout for State and Local (although there have been piecemeal patches within the earlier bailouts for The Rich, Buy Back Corporations, Junk Bond Junkies, etc).

          So what’s the plan?

          1). Force Locals to jack up property taxes and drive the middle class out of their homes, so Blackstone can buy the home on the cheap. Renter nation.

          2). Force Locals to sell public water works / police forces (think Robocop) / Fire Dept so Blackstone can buy them on the cheap and privatize drinking water and jack the rates up.

          3), Force Locals to sell public schools so Betsy can take them over and sell them to her friends.

          1. Charger01

            4- Force the locals/state folks to underserve their constituents and allow the infrastructure to crumble more

          2. John Zelnicker

            May 7, 2020 at 8:34 am

            5) Force states and municipalities to terminate their public employee pension plans. This has been a wet dream of Mitch McConnell’s for decades and he has recently admitted that it’s one of the main reasons he opposes giving any aid to the states and cities.

            1. JBird4049

              Well, if the economy collapses he will have a lot more to worry about then some silly pension plans.

      1. jo6pac

        That’s so special of nancy p. to make sure no lobbyist will starve. I’m sure she’s working a plan for us on Main Street/s

      2. allan

        Pelosi seeks to wrangle caucus behind next COVID bill [The Hill]

        … Hoyer, Pelosi and other leaders are aware of the need to protect their frontline members — the
        so-called “majority makers” who flipped GOP seats in the 2018 wave election — from walking the plank and voting for liberal provisions that could hurt their reelection chances in November.

        On a recent call with Democratic chiefs of staff, Dick Meltzer, Pelosi’s policy director, said the legislation should be reasonable and responsible, according to a Democratic source on the call, something that House Democrats can sell to the Trump administration and the American people. …

        Oddly, many of the proposals that Pelosi, Hoyer and their precious frontline darlings want to prevent
        from becoming law are, according to recent polling, wildly popular with the American people. Go figure.

        1. curlydan

          There they go again. Democrats giving away any leverage before negotiations even start.

      3. Amfortas the hippie

        the sentence that jumped out at me:
        “Corporations with similar concerns pool their money together to fund trade groups, which in turn employ thousands of lobbyists to shape elections and legislation on a daily basis. ”

        As I’ve said for decades, doesn’t that sound a lot like a Union?

        In the feedstore, etc I use the local Chamber of Commerce as an example of this concept of Unions for the Bosses, but No Unions for You….and it sells pretty well in this Red, Rural Texas area.
        In spite of an hundred years of propaganda.
        add in the First Amendment provision of Right to Association, and the propaganda falls to bits…stressing: Even Way Out Here.

        1. tongorad

          As I’ve said for decades, doesn’t that sound a lot like a Union?

          The bosses are organized & workers aren’t.
          It’s “Game over, man” until this situation changes.
          Solidarity ain’t just a slogan, it is necessary for our survival.

        2. LifelongLib

          Don’t have the text at hand, but IIRC Adam Smith of all people said “Combinations of owners to reduce wages are everywhere, combinations of workers to increase wages are everywhere suppressed”.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            randian libertarians only read a half a sentence in Smith…the part of the one about the Invisible Hand.
            they ignore the rest.
            I have both his books(wealth of nations and theory of moral sentiments) right next to Karl Marx and Polyani on the shelf…and next to them, as i’ve said, is Mario Puzo(the Godfather)
            I found the first two quite complimentary, much to my surprise.

      4. timbers

        I’m sure Nancy is supporting this, only as a bargaining chip to get aid for states and locals. Not. But she might say so anyways.

      5. Off The Street

        Stalin once mused about how many divisions the Pope had.

        Pelosi in this atomized era essentially asks by her actions how many divisions the people have.

        Her actions show her priorities.
        1. Lobbyist funds
        2. Eventual tax revenues to manipulate into pet programs
        3. and a very distant third, the impact on taxpayers

        How else does she amass a huge net worth? Rake-off from 1, added rake-off from 2, employment of her spawn to pad family value.

        1. John A

          LOL, I saw a clip of Nancy recently saying she had four daughters, then quickly added, and a son. They all need their rice bowls filling, dont forget the son, he was allegedly as qualified as Hunter Biden to chalk up board directorships in Ukraine.

    1. lovevt

      “We recognize the concerns raised that we are profiting from safety and this was never our intent,” CEO Barry Biffle said. I had a good laugh using profiting and “never our intent” since what are his chances of losing his opulent compensation. Average pay of CEOs at the top 350 firms in 2018 was $17.2 million—or $14.0 million using a more conservative measure; CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978; CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978.

    2. David R Smith

      Get ready. Fly now. It’s going to cost a whole lot more very soon. Big spacious seats with nothing in the middle.

  5. zagonostra

    >Censorship and coronavirus

    It seems that COVID19 has created turning point in Y-Tube’s censorship. Last night someone sent me a video link to a clip featuring Dr. Judy Mikovits, Wiki bio below. The person who sent me the clip is someone who lives inside the MSM world and rarely ventures outside it’s protective walls – a busy teacher and a mother of three young children.

    I’m unable, to evaluate what was sent to me (until I have time to find the clip on other platforms) on my own because Y-tube has deemed that I am incapable of deciding for myself what should be taken seriously and not. So am I to rely on Wikipedia and just move along?

    This is about censorship and not about the virus.

    Judy Anne Mikovits is an American anti-vaccination activist and former medical researcher. She has made discredited claims about vaccines, coronavirus, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

    1. Tom

      Odd. I received the link from a friend similarly in MSM world but looked at the video before the private censor commissars had released their diktat. Censorship of vicious infighting among the US science nomenklatura.
      Back in the USSR, you don’t know how lucky you are, boy!

    2. neplusultra

      she’s an anti-vaxer nutjob and the fact that this video is spreading so quickly shows how truly moronic most of the American populace really is. I mean, at this point, there’s really no hope of anything changing for the better because America has become so fat and stupid that it’s trivial for the elites to control a broad swath of the population.

      1. Jfreon


        >> she’s an anti-vaxer nutjob

        You are wildly misinformed on her career and her findings with respect to vaccine harms.

      2. zagonostra

        An “Anit-Vaxer Nut Job?” I don’t think so, otherwise it wouldn’t have gone viral. She may be wrong, but look at her Wiki Page credentials, a nut job? I hope to view video on BitChute when I get off work and form my own view, which is the point of my post. I want to be able to form my own opinion and not have Y-Tube pre-masticate everything for me.

        Mikovits was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a specialization in biology at the University of Virginia. After graduation, she went to the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland, where she developed purification methods for Interferon alpha. In 1986–1987, she started working at Upjohn Pharmaceuticals in Kalamazoo, Michigan, working to develop production methods to ensure biological materials manufactured using human blood products were free of contamination from HIV-1. In 1992 she completed a joint PhD program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at George Washington University.[8] Her PhD thesis was titled “Negative Regulation of HIV Expression in Monocytes.” Mikovits was a postdoctoral scholar in molecular virology at the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, National Cancer Institute, under Dr. David Derse.

      3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        It doesn’t matter in the slightest whether she is an “anti-vaxxer nut job”, whether she wants to shoot Covid patients into space, or whether she thinks 9/11 was an Ethiopian plot.

        I for one think that there is no worse threat to our future than appointing neo-lib idpol warriors, or anyone for that matter, to remove information they disagree with from the public sphere.

        There is a concerted new effort on YT and elsewhere to remove Dangerous Crimethought. The “crime” of course is anything that gives The Orange One any benefit of the doubt, that insists Russia is our existential enemy (somebody send them some newspaper clippings from 1989 please), or thinks JoeB has at least as many questions to answer on his conduct as B. Clinton did.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          DOJ completely exonerates Flynn. The last teesy-weensy scrap supporting RussiaGate that the last and most highly-deluded true believers could cling to vanishes without a trace.

          ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC issue blanket statements of contrition over the entire 4 year witch hunt, and promise sweeping changes to how they investigate and report on domestic U.S. politics.

          Just kidding. I never thought Id say this, but if you want real news try Tucker Carlson.

      4. kareninca

        What does obesity have to do with it? “Fat and stupid” is really nasty. I know plenty of obese people who are extremely intelligent.

    3. Aumua

      The problem with this video, which i can not get away from by the way… It’s everywhere i turn, so censorship or not it’s spreading quite effectively. But the problem is that whatever she might be right about, whatever bits of truth are in there, they are most certainly mixed in with all kinds of misdirection and misconception. Separating them takes effort that most regular people cannot or will not take.

      So this kind of thing becomes a very effective vehicle for spreading paranoia, mistrust of authorities and fellow citizens, and general altright, far right agendas. To me the instant popularity of this speaks volumes about how far into ‘normal’ society the far right is penetrating.

      Its kinda spooky.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Was Sundance a “First Petri Dish” of Coronavirus in the States?’

    This is really a great article this and well worth the read as you are seeing how this virus spreads almost in real time. In hindsight, we know what it was but to see it spread through so many visitors going into cinemas, going to parties, sharing rides, shaking hands, giving hugs – it was awe-inspiring. The severity of the symptoms might suggest that it came from someone who had been in Italy or more likely, a European ski resort with people from Italy there.

    But what is really disturbing is how to this day the Utah Department of Health is still trying to censor information about this early outbreak as is the Park City Medical Center. Good luck trying to trace & contact people with their non-cooperation. Going by this, if Coronavirus had broken out in the US rather than China, you may have had health departments and hospitals trying to cover it up to protect their local economies like in the link further down of Utah businesses insisting infected people come to work. This would have led to Xi Jinping, in this alternate timeline, accusing the US of failing to prevent the spread of this virus around the world.

    1. Wukchumni

      Growing up in the white heat of the Cold War, one distinguishing feature was our openness compared to the Soviet Union. My rose colored glasses got ran over by a steam roller long ago, and I get that we weren’t exactly angelic in our aims, merely the cleanest dirty shits.

      We’d televise our space flights, they’d only announce theirs after the fact usually. You couldn’t buy a street map of Moscow in their creepy closed society, and you’d need internal passports to go anywhere

      Park City isn’t too far away from Moscow in their refusal to divulge critical information, although as usual here-maybe their decision stems from avoiding potential law suits?

      1. Carolinian

        Robert Redford has some ‘splaining to do? (I’m not sure how much he is still involved with the running of Sundance.)

        The story–assuming it was Covid–does cast some shade on that PBS Frontline report that pointed to the Seattle case as patient zero and implied that proper testing could have somehow controlled the spread. It increasingly appears the disease was within our borders and spreading far earlier than was thought.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          Wife and I both had a rather severe sinus infection(with lots of productive coughing) around new years.
          Put her in hospital prophylactically, due to neutropenia, due to the chemo. Makes ya wonder…
          I’ve heard the same sort of story from far and wide…”I thought it was a bad cold…”.
          Similarly, 1/3 of the folks testing positive out here are saying on FB, etc that if it weren’t for being in contact with someone who was positive, they would have blown off the “bad allergies” and “summer cold”.
          and this reminds me of another thing floating around: that the severity of symptoms are often correlative with “dosage”…which gels with cousin’s nursing home physical therapist girlfriend, who had it pretty bad for a week. None of the positives out here work in healthcare, and we haven’t had a nursing home for 15 years. She was in close quarters with 50 old and frail people who had it, lifting them and such.
          if we were a civilised nation, and had the means to test for antibodies, it might shed further light on this.
          I’d be interested to know.

          I’m still waiting on my test results….maybe tomorrow. I expect negative(touch wood)…and that my symptoms are due to too much pot smoking(sore throat, etc), allergies and maybe my usual sinus infection this time of year.
          Latest estimate from girl at clinic is $50.
          won’t know for sure until the bill arrives.
          (no price discovery? it ain’t a “Market”)

          1. Carolinian

            While not getting into yet another speculative medical discussion I suspect you may be right about the importance of the dose. And on that front sitting in a crowded theater next to international movie moguls throws up all the stop signs.

    2. MLTPB

      Over here, a state can say to the center something like, that would be a declaration of war.

      For Xi, a mayor or a first party secretary can be easily fired, much less hospital officials.

      Don’t think you can expect the situations comparable, even if time travel is possible such that the outbreak started outside Xi’s control.

    3. Susan the other

      Yes, I agree it was Sundance and I live at ground zero. The good news is that the State did a good job of containing it, with a few glitches. So far – now over 3 months out from Sundance – the infection rate is rising slowly (with the exception of Utah County where they are relatively oblivious to reality, but that’s another story). So I see requests for plasma, for blood donations, to treat the most severe cases. Thats very “proactive” as they say. And Utah is remarkably cautious in its move to open up business activities. Fortunately the State of Utah is not as dumb as the County of Utah.

      1. MLTPB

        A few other Petri dishes…the Superbowl, Mardi Gras, the spring break…

        The question is which has lead the most cases, I guess.

  7. o-o-o

    Is it me or has the NYT eliminated all of their reader comments as part of their corona virus / election season narrative control? They used to be open for most of the opinion pieces, and I believe some of the main articles. Don’t have a subscription and haven’t bothered a google on how to crack the paywall, so I am not sure if the comments are considered a premium service. Not that the comments were all that interesting, but I do confess to deriving some low pleasure from wading into and sneering at the Upful Groupthink (hat tip W. Gibson) routinely on display. Plus sometimes it was fun to look at the disparities between the reader’s picks and the editor’s picks.

    Then comes the article about how ad revenues at NYT are expected to crater. Maybe they have a unrecognized revenue stream in their comments. After either an investigative exposure of corporate/personal/political malfeasance or a straight-up hit piece, they could approach the subject with the offer “And for a low, low price of $$$, we will make sure that the comments stay off”.

    1. Off The Street

      All The News That’s Fit To Print*

      *and we had to destroy the readership to save it

  8. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: Functional fear predicts public health compliance in the COVID-19 pandemic

    There were moderate to strong correlations between the FCV 19S scale and
    PROMIS Anxiety and Depression, suggesting this novel measure of fear is highly related to anxiety symptomatology.

    So why were psychiatrists been trying to rid me of these very helpful traits? We need more neurodiversity! We only end up wanting to kill ourselves because they make it impossible for us to live in the world.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Here in Australia we have had 97 corona deaths. New cases are down to single digits per day, all traceable, and the state of South Australia has not had a new case in 14 days. And the Head of Mental Health Australia just stated they estimate we will have an additional 1500 suicide deaths due to the economic hardship of the lockdown.

      Somebody put these scientists and epidemiologists back in their important but highly-proscribed boxes.

  9. Wukchumni

    The Macutazo: Timeline of an Absurd Military Adventure Caracas Chronicles.
    A fun romp!

    Its comical, here we are in hot pursuit of the shittiest oil this side of Albertan tar sands-in the middle of a friggin’ global pandemic, and we (insert official denial here) send in what was essentially any old action movie plot where a relatively small force takes over a country in an hour & forty seven minutes, maybe 2 hours tops.

    Life didn’t imitate art so much for the Camo’d Keystone Kops in Caracas-adjacent, maybe Hollywood can make a film of how everything that could go wrong in the caper, seemingly did.

    1. The Rev Kev

      One of my favourite books is Frederick Forsyth’s “Dogs of War.” It follows a mercenary in the 70s who is contracted to overthrow an African dictatorship and most of the novel is devoted to the assembly of the team, the sourcing of equipment and arms, the arrangement of transport, etc. through companies with a parallel financial operation to set up a company structure to follow the attack. Quite fascinating to read.

      The point is that by comparison, this is such a slapdash operation with minimal numbers and lousy procedure, that you wonder why it was ever launched in the first place. It does not sound like the Pentagon or the CIA at work here. It sounds more like an amateur effort by someone who has ties with Trump trying for their own operation outside normal channels.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        There were plenty of half assed attempted coups back in the glory days of the mercenary in Africa. Some were hilariously inept. Another great writer, Graham Greene parodied the ineptness of foreign intelligence services in Our Man in Havana. He was very good at spotting the human failings that led so often to idiotic foreign policies (The Quiet American is the best at all his books at this – he predicted the fiasco of Vietnam before the war even went hot).

        If I was to make a wild guess, I’d say plenty of people in Washington knew about the plot, but decided to stand back, ready to take the credit if it worked, but kept enough distance to ensure they wouldn’t get caught in blowback. From the point of view of certain people, even a pretty stupid plot with minimal chance of succeeding like this one has value, as it can be seen as increasing pressure and paranoia within Venezuela, and perhaps could identify weak links within the Venezuelan government. Just like it’s been rumoured in Korea that Kim Jong-il deliberately allowed people to think he was dead/dying, to see if he could flush out any disloyal elements.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The biggest difference between successful coups and failures is the expectations of enough of the local elites about where they stand. I wouldn’t be surprised if sans Iraq and Libya followed by an attempt on Syria that the expectation is enough of the local elites who could be bought simply recognize they are more invested in the current government to risk selling out. The non-Sunni elites and the non-elites simply recognized in Syria that Iraq would happen there if they didn’t align with Assad.

          My guess is they don’t want Guaido and friends to start saying they were betrayed by the US as it would undermine future operations with the U.S. being “agreement incapable” already.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Egypt was an interesting case, after decades of propping up bloodthirsty dictators who completely looted the place (Mubarak et al) Obomba told them all about “democracy!” so they had a vote. Oops they picked The Muslim Brotherhood! Wrong answer, so sorry. ‘Bomb-a and She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named re-installed the generals.

            But per your point, I would have thought those gathered in Tahrir Square could have attracted enough local elite sponsors to get something other than the same tired old repression and looting?

        2. Maxwell Johnston

          Every day I look forward to reading the comments on this site. Graham Greene is wonderful, and those two books are simply timeless (and both of them incredibly prescient). I never read The Dogs of War, but the 1980 movie was excellent. As for Venezuela, the Yanks have long had difficulties there: read about Tricky Dick’s visit back in 1958:

        3. J.k.

          Im with you on the wild guess. I would be surprised to learn elements within the national security state in the u.s were not aware of these clowns and the plot. Since this act of terror was planned and launched from u.s and Colombia and since neither government will turn over the other plotters i suppose Venezuela has every right to invade Colombia and the u.s? Oh, that’s right, might makes right.

    2. Massinissa

      People compare this incident to Bay of Pigs, but really, it sounds more like it was emulating the old satire film, The Mouse that Roared, where a tiny European microstate tried to invade New York using a force of seven knights in armor.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        the mouse — the Duchy of Grand Fenwick — won that war . . . by capturing the quadium bomb and it’s inventor.

  10. Linden S.

    Regarding Remdesivir I saw this Twitter thread from a doctor who “specializes in treating transplant and cancer patients.” Sounded like it really helps, but I am assuming this still counts as anecdotal. (I know nothing about medicine/drug development)

      1. ambrit

        I just really hope that this Remdesivir doesn’t turn out to be another Thalidomide. It seems to have been pushed to ‘approval’ awfully quickly.

        1. The Rev Kev

          At over $4,000 a dose, why wouldn’t they be pushing it? But everybody would still have “access” to this drug.

  11. allan

    The rich are sheltering from coronavirus in luxury retreats with guns [NY Post]

    … It’s easier to cope with coronavirus lockdown when your backyard is thousands of acres of rolling hills, meadows and marshes.

    So says Manhattanite Karyne Bazzano, who is hunkered down at her weekend home at The Preserve Club & Residences, a sprawling master-planned community in Rhode Island with lavish amenities that include hunting and shooting. Sons Casey, 13, and Christian, 16, are sheltering with her, virtually attending their private school in Providence, a 30-minute drive away. …

    “With 3,500 acres, we have the ATVs and the fishing gear and ponds and the rock wall, and I almost forget that I’m supposed to be afraid of the world outside the gate,” says Bazzano, a divorcee who usually operates a staffing service from her Upper East Side condo. “Imagine if we were in a 2,400-square-foot apartment somewhere? We would be crawling the walls.” …

    1. Bugs Bunny

      Links like this should somehow be automatically added to Guillotine Watch.

    2. mle detroit

      “2,400-square-foot”? Oh, the misery!
      You can’t make this stuff up. :(

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Initial jobless claims: 3.169M vs. 3.05M est.

      Stock market higher by over 300 points on the dow.

      This has happened each Thursday after multi-million initial jobless claims figures were reported.

      It’s easier to cope with coronavirus lockdown when every fiber of the federal government’s being is dedicated to making sure that you never lose money, no matter how bad it gets for your ostensible “neighbors,” who will be spared no sacrifice to keep you “safe.”

    4. Amfortas the hippie

      “It’s easier to cope with coronavirus lockdown when your backyard is thousands of acres of rolling hills, meadows and marshes.”

      I can attest to the truth in this…although i am not rich, and all but 20 acres of these incredible vistas belongs to other people(also not “rich” by any usual standards)
      It’s those actually rich city folks who make my property tax bill go up in strange ways.
      I wish they would stay home in their penthouse.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “When Cotton Mather Fought The Smallpox”

    This story may have had consequences not thought about at the time. By making it more acceptable to have inoculations, half a century later in 1777 George Washington was able to order the entire Continental Army to be inoculated. Opposing forces of the British had their own troubles with smallpox during the Revolution but not the Continental Army which helped lead to their eventual success-

    1. Phacops

      For a more thorough discussion of the struggle Americans had with smallpox see the book, Pox Americana. The Americans were a far more immunologically naive population than the militaries assembled to fight them.

    2. shtove

      I liked the turning of the guns of predestination on the inoculation Calvinists: damned is he who would interfere with God’s will! An example, I suppose, of the essential disconnect between ideology and praxis. And of the unhelpfulness of public controversy.

      The article credits Jenner with the discovery of vaccination by cowpox, which is not true. The first deliberate use of the cowpox virus was twenty years previous by a Dorset farmer, Ben Jesty, who eventually did a Mr Deeds Goes To Town to receive an award in London. I think there’s evidence it was used even earlier in France. Jesty also had to resist disapproval, but nowhere near that of Cotton Mather, since inoculation with cowpox was not as troublesome as with smallpox.

      1. ewmayer

        The Wikipedia article on Jenner has an extensive section on the matter of precedents and priority:

        Inoculation was already a standard practice but involved serious risks, one of which was the fear that those inoculated would then transfer the disease to those around them due to their becoming carriers of the disease.[23] In 1721, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu had imported variolation to Britain after having observed it in Constantinople. While Johnnie Notions had great success with his self-devised inoculation[24] (and was reputed not to have lost a single patient),[25] his method’s practice was limited to the Shetland Isles. Voltaire wrote that at this time 60% of the population caught smallpox and 20% of the population died of it.[26] Voltaire also states that the Circassians used the inoculation from times immemorial, and the custom may have been borrowed by the Turks from the Circassians.[27]

        By 1768, English physician John Fewster had realised that prior infection with cowpox rendered a person immune to smallpox.[28] In the years following 1770, at least five investigators in England and Germany (Sevel, Jensen, Jesty 1774, Rendell, Plett 1791) successfully tested in humans a cowpox vaccine against smallpox.[29] For example, Dorset farmer Benjamin Jesty[30] successfully vaccinated and presumably induced immunity with cowpox in his wife and two children during a smallpox epidemic in 1774, but it was not until Jenner’s work that the procedure became widely understood. Jenner may have been aware of Jesty’s procedures and success.[31] A similar observation was later made in France by Jacques Antoine Rabaut-Pommier in 1780.[32]

        Noting the common observation that milkmaids were generally immune to smallpox, Jenner postulated that the pus in the blisters that milkmaids received from cowpox (a disease similar to smallpox, but much less virulent) protected them from smallpox.

        On 14 May 1796, Jenner tested his hypothesis by inoculating James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy who was the son of Jenner’s gardener. He scraped pus from cowpox blisters on the hands of Sarah Nelmes, a milkmaid who had caught cowpox from a cow called Blossom,[33] whose hide now hangs on the wall of the St George’s medical school library (now in Tooting). Phipps was the 17th case described in Jenner’s first paper on vaccination.[34]

        Jenner inoculated Phipps in both arms that day, subsequently producing in Phipps a fever and some uneasiness, but no full-blown infection. Later, he injected Phipps with variolous material, the routine method of immunization at that time. No disease followed. The boy was later challenged with variolous material and again showed no sign of infection.

        Donald Hopkins has written, “Jenner’s unique contribution was not that he inoculated a few persons with cowpox, but that he then proved [by subsequent challenges] that they were immune to smallpox. Moreover, he demonstrated that the protective cowpox pus could be effectively inoculated from person to person, not just directly from cattle.”[35] Jenner successfully tested his hypothesis on 23 additional subjects.

        Jenner continued his research and reported it to the Royal Society, which did not publish the initial paper. After revisions and further investigations, he published his findings on the 23 cases, including his 11 months old son Robert.[36] Some of his conclusions were correct, some erroneous; modern microbiological and microscopic methods would make his studies easier to reproduce. The medical establishment deliberated at length over his findings before accepting them. Eventually, vaccination was accepted, and in 1840, the British government banned variolation – the use of smallpox to induce immunity – and provided vaccination using cowpox free of charge (see Vaccination Act).

  13. CuriosityConcern

    If we are all warriors by executive decree, do we now get to use the VA hospitals?

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          combat pay in America is “thoughts and prayers” and being told you’re a “hero”
          (note: being called a “hero” likely means you’re about to be sacrificed…”martyr” might be more accurate)

  14. Samuel Conner

    > Conscripts can be warriors, I suppose.

    My guess is that when an elite, and especially that elite, speaks of “warriors,” what he is thinking is … “galley slaves”

    1. Samuel Conner

      My apologies to all offended by my gender insensitivity, since there are numerous female elites.

      However, I am offended by the grammatical transgression of using “they” in a singular reference, and “he/she” strikes me as disagreeable to read.

      I propose in such situations, and in recognition of the inhumanity of many of our elites, that an appropriate gender neutral pronoun would be “it.”

      In that spirit, … when an elite, and especially that elite, speaks of “warriors,” what it is thinking is … “galley slaves.”

      1. mle detroit

        Props for noticing. I myself am fond of the “surprise she.”
        Remember when this was a puzzle?: The father died in the crash: the boy needed surgery; the surgeon said ‘I can’t operate, this is my son.’

      2. xkeyscored

        In British English, an elite, or a government or committee or football team, can be grammatically singular or plural. We can say “Arsenal have won the Cup” or “Arsenal has won.” Likewise “The government is a bunch of idiots” or “The government are a bunch of idiots.”

        I believe US English favours the singular, especially with proper nouns like Arsenal, but is it correct or standard in the US to refer to the government or an elite as he, or she or she/he or s/he?

        “When an elite speaks, what they are thinking …” sounds OK to my British sensibilities.
        “When an elite speaks, what it is thinking …” sounds equally OK to me, and I’m led to believe it’s OK in the USA.
        “When an elite (or government) speaks, what he (or she or he/she or s/he) is thinking …” just sounds bizarre.

        And while she/he may well think of USians as galley slaves, when I hear US elites talking of warriors, I guess i/t/hey mean(s) the rest of the world had better prepare for the dying empire lashing out yet again.

        1. ShamanicFallout

          Unfortunately, regardless of grammatical propriety, we have not been able to say “Arsenal have won the league” for going on 16 years. I didn’t need to be reminded of this now

      3. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

        I find it interesting that “they” used for a singular referent of unknown or indeterminate gender is troubling to you. It’s been in use since at least the 19th century. And I’m sure it doesn’t bother you that you use “you,” a pronoun with a plural referent, instead of “thou,” a pronoun with a singular referent.

        I do agree that “he/she” is terrible.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I believe the “they” predates the 19th century and predates attempts by academia to change the language to reflect Latin. The switch to “he” when the gender was unkniwn was supposed to imitate Latin where the masculine is used when you don’t know the gender and its obviously human related. I believe “they” was good enough for a lay about playwright, so like the OED, he’s the final word.

        2. xkeyscored

          The OED traces it back to the fourteenth century. According to her/his/their/its blog,

          “Former Chief Editor of the OED Robert Burchfield, in The New Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1996), dismisses objections to singular they as unsupported by the historical record. Burchfield observes that the construction is ‘passing unnoticed’ by speakers of standard English as well as by copy editors, and he concludes that this trend is ‘irreversible’. … Even people who object to singular they as a grammatical error use it themselves when they’re not looking, a sure sign that anyone who objects to singular they is, if not a fool or an idiot, at least hopelessly out of date.”

        3. MLTPB

          I know what they mean, however it is written.

          In Chan, it’s like that…special transmission outside scriptures. With the No Mind, or smiling at a flower.

    2. shtove

      There was an article, linked here recently I believe, describing the shortcomings of warrior culture. It had pics of those maverick special ops types, with overgrown beards and lashings of ammo belts, and then took as an example of how things go wrong the activities of a clique within the French army in Algeria in the 1960s.

      The point was that this culture receives approbation from bored grunts who wish their army experience was relieved by the glamour of transformative violence, and is readily crushed when the bureaucracy grinds into action and the grunts fall into line.

    3. VietnamVet

      The terms “Warriors” and “Heroes” are Empire PR bunk. As one of the last generation of conscripts, the best title for us was “We were soldiers once, and young”.

  15. Off The Street

    Open Borders, versus Open borders, gives rise to an aspect of what the author called fierce moral absolutism. Loaded phrases may cause readers or viewers or workers or anybody to miss out on consideration of human beings while maintaining some ideological position. That maintenance becomes more and more difficult to identify, yet alone support, in the face of so many conflicting positions. That can lead to yet another example of attention fatigue from an overload of manipulated messages along with what people used to believe were honest ones.

    Cut through the terminology and look at the conditions of one subset of Americans, the black community, some of whom may be your friends, neighbors or colleagues. It should not be difficult to see in the countless studies that that community is typically the last hired and first fired, and is also beset with many challenges to household formation, for example.

    A little effort in migration policies to recognize and include the impacts on citizens could have a big positive result. Look at the following chain.

    Reduce what amounts to an artificially induced labor supply increase, from NAFTA, from ruining Central American economies and societies causing flight and/or from any number of other controllable causes.

    That increases the likelihood of more domestic hiring.

    Which increases the employment and life chances for those noted above as last hired and first fired.

    Which increases incomes, encouraging greater household formation, leading to more community stability.

    The benefits of that type of virtuous cycle were in evidence as part of the post-War period, and that prior environment was killed off by many factors. Isn’t some reconsideration, discussion and progress toward those the positive impacts worth pursuing, given that decades of negative results, trillions of dollars and fractured communities can be traced at least in part to past migration policies? That isn’t a panacea, but protection of American citizens is certainly worthy of inclusion in the discussion instead of the continued futility of suppression.

    1. GramSci

      I’ve always thought that James Galbraith (in The Predator State) presented an ingenious method of limiting illegal immigration: Raise the minimum wage!

      Of course it has been a long time since one could expect Democrats to help with that.

      1. xkeyscored

        You might find there’s enthusiastic bi-partisan cross-party support, at least at the top, for razing the minimum wage.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Here in Australia they’ve had a roller coaster ride of immigration policy since forever. Until the 1970s they had a “White Australia” policy, favoring imports from white nations. They even had a program called “Beautiful Balts” that resulted in lots of imports from Baltic nations (extremely handsome blondies are still quite evident here). And of course the native peoples were classified as “flora and fauna” until pretty recently.

      But Sir James Goldsmith back in 1994 could clearly see the pernicious effects of globalism and “free trade” (in goods and people) on the standard of living in the West:

  16. rd

    “Senators press for rapid coronavirus testing” should be posted under Guillotine Watch.

    They are being treated like they treat their voters. The senators are not happy.

    1. MLTPB

      The Supreme Court justices are working, I think, by phone.

      The legislative branch can probably work something out.

    2. Gaianne

      Actually, this is interesting.

      Are the senators no longer part of the oligarchic elite?

      This is a change. Perhaps the Senate’s role in governance is slated to be downgraded.


  17. bassmule

    Re: Feds take control of PPE pipeline. So where is all this stuff now? Who controls it? And *sigh* who’s making the profit?

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Like a Bully at the Lunchroom”: How the Federal Government Took Control of the PPE Pipeline”

    Not long ago I made a comment how the States should send their National Guard in convoys to protect their incoming medical gear from the clutches if the Feds. I was of course joking but just yesterday I read of how one State – Maryland I think – had their National Guard protecting their warehouse of medical gear from seizure.

    I don’t think that the Federal government has any idea of how much gear or where it all is anymore. They are just interested in sitting on it. It just come out the other day that the TSA is sitting on top of 1.3 million N95 masks, even though they cannot use them because the airports are all closed-

    1. marym

      Trump considers himself a ruler with the “right to do whatever I want” and public assets — ventilators, Congressionally allocated aid to Ukraine or to the states, PPE — as within his Benefice to be distributed as patronage to those who serve his personal goals.

  19. JohnnyGL

    Thanks for re-upping that Angela Nagle piece about being anti-open borders.

    Matt Stoller, Saagar Enjeti and Krystal Ball have kicked around the idea of left-right populist coalitions.

    I think a big key to making it work is that…

    The left movements need to get serious about reducing immigration (including student, tourist, and H1-B visas) and understand that labor markets aren’t immune to economics of supply/demand.

    The right populists need to get serious about dealing with race. There’s this weird, pervasive belief that racial issues can be alleviated by just being ignored. It’s a group that either doesn’t know or doesn’t want to know the history of how a black underclass was created by policy.

    1. Arizona Slim

      As far as I know, this movement doesn’t have an official name. But I have heard Saagar and Krystal discussing it on “Rising.”

      I like the sound of it. And, thank you, JohnnyGL, for putting the ideas into words for us to read on NC.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I get the impression Nagle became a bit of a persona non grata in some left wing corners because of that article. But she hit some large nails on the head with it. Its an issue which I think traditional left wing parties are desperate to keep a lid on as they see the potential for deep splits on it – its already highly divisive within European Green parties, especially the German Greens.

      1. funemployed

        I don’t think it’s necessarily an inherent conflict (although at the moment, the discourse does make it an inevitable one). I believe a coalition could theoretically built around four goals:

        1) Make it illegal to employ illegal immigrants (with perhaps an exception for very small businesses), and sentence chief executives, owners, and board members to lengthy jail terms for doing so.

        2) With that in place, grant a one-time amnesty, along with no-questions-asked citizenship for those who have established permanent residence illegally.

        3) Ensure that all citizens are paid adequately and treated decently at work.

        4) Stop F-ing up the political economy and environment of other countries, for god’s sake, so fewer millions of people need to flee F’d up countries in the first place.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Maybe put #4 first, as that’s the left-wing solution we can all agree on. People are normally reluctant to leave their family, firends, and country behind, so ordinary immigration rates are pretty low. It’s the refugees that really run up the numbers and are hard to cope with.

          Of course, your #1 makes sense, but would break up the right-wing side of the coalition. Maybe that’s a good thing.

          Then there’s ” labor markets aren’t immune to economics of supply/demand”, Johnny GL. While that’s true, the application of supply and demand is very qualified; human motives are more complicated than that. It’s easy to find examples, like the meat-packing plants, where immigrants have been used to drive down wages, but hard to find statistical evidence overall, even though common sense would imply that.

          Anyway, we have to clearly address the humanitarian considerations in order to get support from the Left.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think the framing is bad as it runs the risk of legitimizing bad actors. This is a serious risk. The 50 state framing is more appropriate where you simply push good ideas with/for everyone.

      “Amfortas the hippie” makes a better case that unites people without legitimizing bad actors up above by pointing out the Chamber and other elites have unions as a result you need one too. With organizational capacity, this message gets repeated and focused where its needed.

      The black guy with the foreign name trounced the Sainted Veteran and father of John McCain’s daughter while being denounced as a socialist after promising to raise taxes and end wars.

      My sense is Ball and Stoller if they wouldn’t say it do find Republicans in the circles they run in to be more honest about their intentions and views and subsequently easier to deal with versus Team Blue elites who are basically Republicans who want to be “thanked” by the poors for being kicked. In theory, Senator Hawley could be of use as an ally, but it would be better if he was scared into supporting good policy by a populace that has received a message of “we are all in this together” or simply replaced by a person who believes in good policy all the time.

    4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      The Pact should recognize only Universal Economic Ideas and eschew any and all Identity Politics rhetoric.

    5. Dirk77

      Having argued with open border types for years, Nagle’s article was a welcome read. Marx’s thoughts on this issue were especially interesting. Reminding open border “liberals” that they don’t own the moral high ground strikes to the heart, assuming they are sincere.

  20. Big River Bandido

    Thank you for that Rex Chapman tweet about restaurant retraining in Amsterdam. I really needed that.

    1. Marco

      Too bad it’s not retraining at all, it’s just Nicolette van Dam (tv host/model/celeb) copying a ‘joke’ from someone else, typical.. Many of these video’s were made, with this one cafe (the name is Facet, which I thought was a nice pun) being the original before all the wannabe’s wanted to try as well:

      I have moved out of the city into the northern province of Friesland so to dodge any possible infection. Good choice as happens to be the least hit by the virus. I wonder if the mice have already taken over my Amsterdam apartment though..

  21. The Rev Kev

    Exclusive: Trump administration drafting ‘Artemis Accords’ pact for moon mining – sources

    “This isn’t some territorial claim,” said one source, who requested anonymity to discuss the agreement. The safety zones – whose size would vary depending on the operation – would allow for coordination between space actors without technically claiming territory as sovereign, he said.

    Unsaid is the fact that they are receiving extensive legal advice from Israelis with experience in the Palestinian territories. And just how big are those ‘safety zones’ going to be anyway? Maybe 100 miles? Maybe even 1,000 miles? Would there be a de-facto control over these zones for reasons of safety? Possibly secured by the US Space Force which is one of the reasons that it was created?

    Remember – Service guarantees citizenship. Are you doing your part?

    1. Wukchumni

      Donny’s a little late in laying claim…

      The Nation of Celestial Space (also known as Celestia) is a micronation created by Evergreen Park, Illinois, resident James Thomas Mangan. Celestia comprised the entirety of “outer space”, which Mangan laid claim to on behalf of humanity to ensure that no one country might establish a political hegemony there. As “Founder and First Representative”, he registered this acquisition with the Recorder of Deeds and Titles of Cook County on January 1, 1949.

      Its only surviving legacy is the series of stamps and silver and gold coins and passports issued in its name by Mangan from the late 1950s through to the mid-1960s.

      Some of the coins minted by Celestia included a silver “1 Joule” of 4.15 grams (.925 silver) and a gold “1 Celeston” of 2.20 grams (.900 gold). Their scarcity ensures that they sell for many hundreds of dollars apiece on the rare occasions they come to market.

  22. Carolinian

    Re Mainly Macro–the article proposes a distinction–dubious to begin with–between “manufacturing consent’ models of information control that leave inconvenient information out and “direct propaganda” media that flat out lie. It then treats us to this howler

    there are no left wing DP outlets in the MSM

    Of course one could argue that the NYT, WaPo and the Guardian aren’t “left wing” at all but this isn’t what the author is arguing. It’s just the usual “fake news” plaint that righties fake the news while the poor lefties are trying to give us the facts. Taibbi gives a much sharper take on the current state of journalism and by his account there are no heroes. Indeed ideology seems to have little to do with the problem and its more a matter of cowardice and careerism in what is indeed a threatened profession.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      I agree with the Mainly Macro author that there are no genuinely left wing DP (Directed Propaganda) outlets. I would categorize the NYT, WaPo and the Guardian, etc., as well as MSNBC and CNN as faux left wing. These outlets are seen by most of the populous as lefty only because the Overton Window has been pushed so far to the right. However the right and faux left DP media serve the goal which was implied in a phrase prior to the one you quoted from the piece:

      You can see manufacturing consent operating when particular politicians attempt to challenge the current system in some way

      1. Carolinian

        Oh I think I could point to some unambiguously lefty sources that are quite willing to push misinformation in the right cause–particularly if that cause is getting rid of Trump. I’d say by bringing left/right into the discussion the author betrays his own point (which should be that we need to show healthy skepticism toward all news sources).

    2. shtove

      Indeed. I don’t see how the Guardian evades the DP category, given its embrace of the world as described by the Democrats managers and the UK intelligence services. Maybe osmotic gives a better distinction, assuming there’s a dividing structure that also regulates diffusion of the material.

    1. xkeyscored

      Or this, dated 4 May:

      “Russian Emergencies Minister Evgeny Zinichev has said that in Krasnoyarsk, 10 times as much territory was ablaze on April 27 compared to the same time last year, while in Transbaikal it was three times, and in the Amur region it was one and a half times as much.”

      “We already saw some pretty intense wildfires in Siberia in 2017 and 2019, and London School of Economics geographer Thomas Smith told Earther that Russia currently has 2 million hectares of grassland and forest on fire across the continent – which is not far off the horrific July 2019 figures. And it’s only May.”

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Trump calls Americans ‘warriors’ in fight to open the economy”

    Maybe so, but consider this. The cost of equipping the average US soldier with a kevlar helmet, safety glasses, night and thermal scopes, body armor, fire retardent gloves, knee and elbow pads, combat boots, M4 modular carbine, close combat optic for M4, and miscellaneous equipment is about $17,500 at a minimum. If Americans are going to be considered as ‘warriors’, how about springing for the cost of N95 masks for them a start? And full PPE for healthcare workers as well come to think of it.

    The trouble with Trump is that he is so erratic. The other day he was going to get rid of the Pandemic task force and I had a vision of him being landed aboard an aircraft carrier, exiting wearing a flight suit, donning a leather jacket, and then announcing “Mission Accomplished!” Now he is going on about how America has been attacked. If he keeps it up, do not be surprised if he gives an address to the joint Senate and House and says-

    ‘January 2020 — a month which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by bio-labs and air travelers of the People’s Republic of China. The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of China, was still in conversation with its government and its President looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.’

  24. Eureka Springs

    Supply chain, uh, disruption writ small…

    In addition to my own garden I subscribe to a neighbor pro’s weekly organic veggie supply. Yesterday while picking up lettuce, spinach, radishes, oyster mushrooms and such, farmer Andrew had worries. His sheep got loose in the night and ate most of the cauliflower and broccoli.

    I wanted to say, no problem I love lamb chops, but it wasn’t the right time.

  25. anon in so cal

    Physician suicides:

    “Male doctors have a suicide rate 40 percent higher than that of the general population, and female doctors almost 130 percent higher. There are many papers that talk about all the potential reasons, but one thing is certain: It didn’t start with Covid-19.”

    Despite doctors’ high suicide rates, and despite the fact a female U.S. physician committed suicide recently, due in part to despair over coronavirus fatalities, the MSM has been having a field day propagandizing against Russia based on some physician suicides there. Even a pandemic will not prevent the MSM from stooping that low.

    Mark Ames weighs in:

    “NYTimes’ Russia correspondent makes a zinger out of pandemic-related Russian health care worker suicides. Western media editors have a knack for staffing Moscow bureaus with these callous, smarmy shitlords—nothing’s changed in decades.”

    1. MLTPB

      I assume the 40 percent and 140 percent quote relates to US Male and female doctors.

      And that’s from the NY Times, 5,1,2020.

      If so, the paper covers US doctors’ suicides and also Russian doctors suicides.

      As far as covering or neglecting to cover, both countries are covered here, it seems.

      Perhaps the ways they are covered expose the propanganadizing. Maybe an example, or a different quote?

  26. Tom Stone

    Rev, this is what I’d expect from Biden.
    “The Republic is under attack by enemies from within and without as never before”

  27. periol

    That poor landlord in the FT article. Used to have 29,000 rental units spread across 8 states, but now he is down to only 12,000 – these are worrisome times for him, since they may not pay their rent.

    Won’t someone please think of the poor landlords?

  28. rd

    “The public is astonishingly united”

    What if the economy re-opened and nobody showed up? Some businesses are going to reopen which will force their employees back to work or lose their unemployment benefits. However, many small businesses are probably not going to open up until they consider it safe and people will show up.

    They can open all the restaurants, bars, and moviee theaters they want. I won’t be stepping foot in one unless it is to pick up takeout. there are very few things I would go to a retail store for unless it is sidewalk pick-up.

    I could see doing one short haircut when they re-open if it looks like they are taking good precautions but probably won’t go back in for 3 months after that. Our area is doing fairly well for reducing infections, so the initial window of time afterwards is probably low probabiltiy of anything bad. After 3-4 weeks it will likely be a crap shoot though.

    If they want to re-open the economy, they need to get testing supplies in testers’ hands! How many times does this need ot be screamed from the rooftops? This is why DPA exists and they are refusing to use it to execute the primary thing that would allow the economy to revive. This is so bafflingly incompetent by the federal government (aka Trump Horror Picture Show).

  29. Susan the other

    The Valdai Club – always interesting for the understatement of the day. The modern world (as it is now) reduces down to cooperation between states versus power confrontations between states. So what else is new? They did some digging back into history and came up with a big conference of the Allies (the one wherein FDR insisted that China be included in the victorious “powers” which included (officially) France, the UK, the US and Russia – all nuclear powers). That China was included in this group in 1945 was an expression of the faith of Americans that China had the stuff to make it as a successful nation – which it certainly did. Otherwise I cannot figure out who was the fifth nuclear power – Israel? (not until after 1948), India not until the 60s; likewise Pakistan – my hit-and-miss memory of the “nuclear powers” is failing me. Who was it?

    1. rowlf

      Was the China lobby in the US at the time a possible factor too for being included in the group by FDR?

  30. ewmayer

    “Fauci: No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab | National Geographic” — Fauci conveniently omits the “no scientific evidence that it wasn’t, either”, unsurprisingly given his own involvement in supporting the gain-of-function research that was going on in the Wuhan lab. From the conclusion of the outstanding scientific deep dive in Yuri Deigin’s article:

    I hope this post is not used to prematurely assign blame or propagate one-sided theories. What I do hope it highlights is the scale of dangerous gain-of-function research that has been and is going on in virology. The Covid-19 pandemic really exposed its huge risks in the face of few benefits: GOF research hasn’t protected us from this outbreak, hasn’t provided us with any effective treatments or vaccines in time to save hundreds of thousands of lives lost to CoV2, and if there is even a 0.1% chance GOF research caused the whole thing, that chance is too high.

    1. Oregoncharles

      This one matches well with mine, just below.
      We could put it this way: the pandemic makes it painfully clear what kind of fire they were playing with, whether or not theirs was the match.

      And a corollary: Trump actually did the right thing by shutting down the funding for this research. Once in a while, he does do the right thing. Not so sure about cutting off WHO. I think they’re needed even if they didn’t look good in this one.

  31. Oregoncharles

    “Fauci: No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab National Geographic”
    Fauci would say that. Technically, it’s true: the evidence is not “scientific,” it’s more historical and circumstantial – but IMO, dispositive. And apparently Fauci was directly involved in outsourcing coronavirus human-oriented gain of function research to Wuhan, when US funding of such research was banned under Obama (and later restored under Trump).

    Here’s the proof that it happened – the resulting scientific paper, straight from NIH:; and a discussion of the controversy over gain-of-function research:

    Hair on fire stuff. North Carolina researchers were a big part of it.

    To be clear: this is not quite the same virus; it’s from 2015. It’s proof that that type of research was being done at that lab – with American money. I’ve seen repeated claims that Patient Zero had NOT been to the wet market; if so, and I certainly can’t document it, that eliminates the market as the source, making it merely a spreading center, and leaves only the lab as a likely source.

    I’m pushing this because I want human-oriented gain of function research not only defunded but made criminal. It’s inexcusably dangerous, and the justifications are paper-thin. There’s plenty of virology to be done – collecting samples from the bat caves was useful; it’s the gene splicing I object to – without putting the whole world at risk to benefit someone’s career.

  32. ChrisPacific

    There are a lot of creative solutions here for contactless delivery at cafes. The best one I’ve seen involves loading the coffees onto a model train set, which then delivers them to the customers and pay terminal outside.

    1. Off The Street

      Love boat sushi, now with beverages.

      There was an LA-area restaurant back in the day, or evening, that had a little moat around the sushi bar. The patrons could select any number of semi-random offerings that floated by, or could order something more specific.

      The train set delivery is probably far more hygienic, and could take advantage of themes like bullet train, steam train and other options.

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