Links 7/26/2020

My search for the world’s most filmed polar bear led me to a fascinating and tragic world Scroll

The Guardian Doesn’t Get Ireland Tribune

How to change US housing to hit Paris Agreement goals Ars Technica

‘Green Economic Growth’ Is a Myth Motherboard (UserFriendly)

Big Tech Wants To Own You American Conservative

Nantes cathedral fire: volunteer arrested and charged with arson Guardian

Sports Desk

England vs Warne TLS

#COVID-19

Texas braces for year’s first hurricane amid coronavirus outbreak Al Jazeera

UK quarantines travellers from Spain in major blow to Europe’s revival Reuters

UK PM Johnson Says Maybe He Could Have Managed Pandemic Differently The Wire

US universities under pressure to cut fees because of remote learning FT

These Elite Contact Tracers Show the World How to Beat Covid-19 Bloomberg (The Rev Kev)

Vietnam confirms its first local Covid-19 case since April The Print

One Word Spared Norway From COVID-19 Disaster Medium (Dr. Kevin)

The Eviction Ban Worked, but It’s Almost Over. Some Landlords Are Getting Ready. Pro Publica

Lockdown was the longest period of quiet in recorded human history MIT Technology Review

Friends of the IDF Lobby Group Secures Forgivable US COVID Loans for Israeli Soldiers MPN News (Dr. Kevin)

Serfs Revolt

700 CA. Hospital Workers Strike – UNC May Strike Over Reopening – Sheet Metal Strike in Missouri Payday Report

Class Warfare

The Police Tried to Make Me Medically Examine a Man Against His Will Zora (chuck l)

The Systematic Exploitation of Harvest Workers in Europe Der Spiegel

A State-by-State Look at Coronavirus in Prisons Marshall Project

Corporate Insiders Pocket $1 Billion in Rush for Coronavirus Vaccine NYT

Science/Medicine

The Key to Defeating COVID-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It | Opinion Newsweek. Harvey A Risch. Important.

Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis American Journal of Epidemiology. Paper by  Harvey A. Risch (cirsium)

Confusion spreads over system to determine priority access to Covid-19 vaccines Stat

Major’ breakthrough in Covid-19 drug makes UK professors millionaires Guardian Important.

Chinese scientist at the center of COVID-19 origin theories speaks out Science (guurst)

Trump Transition

Unpresidented New York Review of Books

US Postal Service

‘A Combination of Forces Puts Our Postal Service at Grave Risk’ FAIR

Russiagate

Bill Binney on Russian “Hacking” Craig Murray

UK ‘Russia report’ fear mongers about meddling but finds no evidence Grayzone. Aaron Maté.

Police State Watch

Unpacking DHS’s Troubling Explanation of the Portland Van Video Lawfare (David L)

Police declare riot at Seattle protests, make arrests AP

2020

Arizona Democratic Party HQ ‘Completely Destroyed’ In Arson Attack Huffpost

COULD 750,000 PENNSYLVANIA HEALTH CARE WORKERS TURN THE ELECTION? Capital & Main

Suddenly, Obama’s Back: A Look At The Ex-President’s Political Re-Entry Forbes

As pandemic limits scrutiny, GOP fears lesser-known Democratic candidates will steamroll to Senate majority WaPo

China?

China’s allies at loggerheads over Ethiopia dam – will Beijing intervene? SCMP

China bids to win back the Philippines Asia Times (The Rev Kev)

Men seen forcing open backdoor of China’s Houston consulate after closure Reuters. re Šilc: “never enough fed thugs around. china your move.”

Whose century? London Review of Books

India

India’s new fisheries policy will increase private control over open access water bodies Scroll

Bright Yellow Bullfrogs Emerge From The Ground After A Rainstorm In India The Animal Rescue Site (David L)

Argentina

Argentina’s Peronist president on the virtues of Henry Ford capitalism FT

Brazil

What Will Lula Do? Consortium News. Pepe Escobar.

Antidote du Jour(via) (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

210 comments

  1. jim_cricket

    In addition to HCQ madness, must raise the profile of better way of testing: cheap + crappy/lower sensitivity+ widespread/daily. Super important concept, insane it’s not happening yet and no momentum for it:

    https://overcast.fm/+HPbzYxNs

    https://youtu.be/h7Sv_pS8MgQ

    TLDR; test today are way too sensitive, expensive, slow and only administered after symptoms, as a result they likely miss the window of transmissability, which is all that really matters in testing someone from a public health PoV (ie “now You Stay Home!”)

    There exist very cheap ($1/day) immediate, self-administered, less sensitive tests that could be taken daily by everybody, to “catch” the virus at the point where it matters (ie at window of transmissability). Insane that our armed forces not doing this, or schools come fall. Only a matter of time before other, smarter, faster countries start doing this.

    It’s literally a spit test. No blood. No swabs to back of throat x2. Easy.

    Mina is not some crackpot, he’s at Harvard and NYT oped recently:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/03/opinion/coronavirus-tests.html?referringSource=articleShare

    Apparently the oped got no traction, bc fda standards are way too high. Category-error happening here is that fda (and individuals) see this as a treatment problem, so they want ultra-high sensitivity tests. But with R0 so high, it’s a public health problem above all, so individual treatment is secondary to controlling spread. Sounds obvious but the 2 problems become very conflated, and are not mutually exclusive, ie you could/should do BOTH

    Reply
    1. sd

      If everyone did the easy test regularly, it seems like you would scoop up more cases before they became symptomatic, and could send them on to more sensitive tests, with the opportunity to quarantine early.

      It would allow for daily testing in any area where people are in close proximity for prolonged periods of time. Could it be a catalyst to reopen theaters, sports arenas, concerts, and other public gatherings?

      Reply
    2. ptb

      You may get your wish, in part. (not the “cheap” part – shocker, right?). It’s the product I mentioned before a couple times. Point-of-care test, fast, low-sensitivity, production increase in the pipeline. Currently smth like 50k-60k tests/day (per figures announced by the manufacturer press release). Bump that up to several hundred thousand per day, eventually a modest fraction of a million if successful. Game plan is to also reuse the machinery for past/future diseases, by changing the active ingredient – so not just covid, but the emergency $$ means free capital investment. I think the target users are hospitals and clinics, despite prominent complaints by this group of users. Most of the automation is now built, the first piece of new production capacity to be commissioned early-mid August, qualified and/or waived thru around Sept if nothing chokes.

      Reply
    3. Stephen V.

      Between the AR Governor and certain medical experts, peeps are ready to go to war over schools reopening. No traction indeed! I’ve talked to a schoolteacher, a nurse, and others about the saliva strategy. Aside from yesterday’s link on the Psychology of Misinformation (first impression : this is a “crappy” test) I feel we are in a maze of medical authority. It’s hard enough to think one’s way through let alone act in the face of an ever changing mass of protocol.

      Reply
        1. VietnamVet

          This is an excellent video. Like the Norway article, it is clear that the USA has lost its way. The US federal Government has failed. We are not working together to defeat the pandemic. The USA can afford to provide daily monoclonal paper antigen/antibody tests to every American school kid and worker. Americans will have to agree to take the tests, wear masks, stay home if positive, quarantine for 10 days if two positive tests and get free medical care if symptoms of COVD-19 appear. This alone would drive the reproductive factor of the virus below 1 and it would die out.

          Instead, tens of thousands more will die. The Pharmaceutical Industry will receive billions of dollars in its quest for a magical for-profit vaccine.

          American protestors of the current system have good cause.

          Reply
  2. zagonostra

    That beach scene in the link section is not too different than here, in South East Florida. I had a difficult time finding parking yesterday. I wanted to go for a swim since last time I came down for a visit, about a month ago, the beach access to the ocean was closed and manned by police.

    Yesterday afternoon, even though the sea was full of sea-weed and kinda rough, the beach was filled with people. What was curious was that although folks coming out of their cars had masks, most not all, they had to key in their license on a parking kiosk in order to pay for their parking. It seems crazy that that kiosk was used a thousand times in the last couple of hours. It’s the same when I go in a grocery store that requires a mask and then requires me to pick up a pen used by the previous customer to sign my name. I have hand sanitizer in my car, but it strikes me as quixotically that so many people wear mask and then use their hands to touch some keyboard, door handle, railing etc…and then inevitably, unconsciously touch their face.

    This whole bit of wearing mask, I think, needs to be situational. If I’m walking on the beach it obviously makes no sense, if I’m at a crowded event it does…I don’t know it all seems so bizarre…

    Reply
    1. Carla

      I carry a mask on my hour-long morning walks, and put it on if/when anyone approaches. Of course it is almost always possible to give them wide berth as well.

      Some employees at retail outlets around here are working with only plastic face shields on — a no-no according to an article linked here a couple of days ago. For their own protection and the public’s, they need to wear masks, with or without the plastic shield. I let the owner of our local grocery know, and he appreciated it. For those who may have missed it:
      https://www.thelocal.ch/20200715/only-those-with-plastic-visors-were-infected-swiss-government-warns-against-face-shields

      Reply
    2. Amfortas the hippie

      on the necklace that holds my wedding ring(arthritis in fingers(thanks, Johnny Law!)), i attach a little plastic jar of hand sanitizer, in it’s own little koozie, with a clip attached. It was in a grab/goodie bag from some long ago function of the local/regional bunch that looks after abused and neglected kids.
      so i always have hand sanitizer on my person, and use it immediately after unavoidable doorknobs and keypads…or if i need to adjust the bandanna.
      i also usually walk with a stick…unless a shopping cart provides that service..so my right/stick hand is reserved for me…my left for the world.
      (based on the seaman’s adage:” one hand for the ship, one hand for you”)

      Reply
      1. zagonostra

        I like that seaman’s sea fairing adage, it analogically applies to many areas of life. Yet on Tera Ferma I typically like to embrace life with both hands and a clear mind…at least – as Dylan’s song pops into mind- most of the time…

        Reply
      2. Otto

        Well Amfortas, do whatever it is you need to do to be safe. I’ve read probably a thousand papers on CV19, And transmission by touching objects that may have had viable CV19 virus on them is in most cases likely to be very low. Likely 99% off all infections are airborne. I my self, besides a mask wear gloves that I can chuck at the end of run outside of where I live (horse farm). Disinfectant on the hands are going to eventual lead to fissures that make it way too late to wash one’s hands after the fact. The whole wipe down everything process git started when everyone thought was was going to last a week.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          yeah, i’m aware of the skin issues that can result from overuse of hand sanitizer(the alcohol dries out the skin).
          but we’re fortunate that we don’t have to leave the farm that often.
          my trips to town…11 miles distant…are almost expeditionary affairs…carried out with precision and forethought and as efficiently as possible(i was this way before pandemic, due to the arthritis)
          and even if fomites/surface transmission isn’t as big a thing with this virus…it IS a big deal with others, like the flu.
          aside from the masks, what we’ve been doing is little different than what we do every year during flu season…boys have been well trained in these protocols from kindergarten….they’ve known that they were “Vectors” from then on,lol.
          This is because things like the flu are unpleasant, and objectively pretty avoidable, if discipline is maintained.
          so i saw great value in including it in the home curriculum, alongside philosophy, etc.

          Reply
    3. Lee

      In addition to wearing my mask, goggles and light-weight rain poncho when going to stores, I carry a small bottle of isopropyl alcohol with which I douse my hands after touching any surface in such places. Upon removal, I disinfect the outer surface of the goggles and the rubber framed P-100 mask. The poncho I leave in the car til the next trip to the store days later.

      I have since learned that because my mask has an exhalation valve, it can put others around me at risk. I guess now I have to get a mask for my mask.

      Reply
    4. jsn

      It’s nice to see the MD sector of the PMC waking up to criminally dangerous misinformation of the media though.

      Just wish they’d take the same skepticism to The Magnitzky Act or Assange extradition, maybe we could do some good in the world for a change.

      We have a truth telling watchdog free press, the best medical system in the world, Putin is the root of all our problems and Assange shot Vince Foster, or whatever it was they’re try to kill him for…

      Reply
  3. Charles D Myers

    The Article about the post office being under attack makes no mention of the sweet heart deal Amazon gets.

    They pay 2 dollars a package half of what the nearest big users pay.

    If they paid a fair market value for their package deliveries the USPS would be awash in money.

    The article that I found this info from is from the Washington Post. Jeff Bezos paper.

    It won’t let me link to it anymore.

    You can google Wahington Post Is the post office making or losing money with Amazon

    Reply
    1. timbers

      In the past, items I’ve ordered that arrive via USPS that near arrival, get tracking updates saying they are in my city’s PO. The next day, they go out for delivery to my home.

      That’s recently changed. Now, they show “left distribution center” located in my city, and remain in that status for days.

      Something has changed.

      Reply
      1. WhoaMolly

        RE: show “left distribution center” located in my city, and remain in that status for days. Something has changed.

        What has changed is that there are suddenly millions of people at home who can’t go out and shop normally. My little post office downtown is overwhelmed with boxes. The clerks at the Post Office are handling a significant portion of retail purchases in our area. (And doing a great job of it!) The stores that formerly handled those thousands of purchases are either closed, or their shelves are partially empty.

        I’ve also seen unexplained delays at UPS. The UPS site just says “delays related to Covid…”

        Reply
        1. timbers

          “Millions of people are getting deliveries thru USPS who can’t go out.” Just a minute. Just a minute. I have just determined that hiring thousands of new Postal employees would help provide jobs in this time of high unemployment and help address service issues at the Post Office. (The HAL 9000 unit).

          Reply
          1. flora

            See the timeline in the link in my comment below.

            Koch backed lobbying group Americans for Prosperity singled out GOP senators for ‘special pressure’ to vote against the HEROS act and specifically against increased emergency funds to prevent the USPS bankruptcy.

            That explains T’s otherwise inexplicable (to me) veto of $13billion emergency funds passed by both houses.

            Reply
            1. Charles D Myers

              Why bail the USPS out? Why not collect a fair rate from Amazon? Why should the Mainstreet taxpayer subsidize Jeff Bezos?

              You can both hate Amazon and Donald Trump.

              Reply
              1. flora

                Collecting a fair rate from Amazon? Well, the 2006 law that forced USPS into pre-funding 75 years of pension obligations is what created the initial on-going economic disaster; the law also said the USPS could no longer set its own postal rates, and it could not spin up new customer services like postal banking. The 2006 was designed to kill the USPS by bankrupting it over time.

                I’m all for rolling back that poison pill 2006 law. Let the USPS set its own rates. Drop the 75 year pre-fund mandate. Let the USPS office post office banking and other services.

                Oh, and, get rid of new Postmaster General DeJoy who, it looks like, stands to make millions if the USPS goes under. It’s time for the Inspector General for the USPS to do a full audit on that guy. And investigate the rest of the Board as well.

                Reply
                1. flora

                  The Postal Board of Governors is made up of Trump appointees. T is being disingenuous, imo.

                  The Postal Service Board of Governors, made up of Trump appointees, recently tapped Louis DeJoy to be the new postmaster general. DeJoy is the finance chair of the Republican National Convention.

                  https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/post-amazon-fedex-ups/2020/05/14/id/967458/

                  and
                  Here’s a report from RawStory about the current sabbotaging of mail delivery.

                  https://www.rawstory.com/2020/07/maine-letter-carriers-allege-usps-leadership-willfully-delaying-mail-to-sabotage-postal-service-from-within/

                  Reply
                2. flora

                  And from Crooks and Liars about DeJoy:

                  There’s also the little matter that DeJoy himself has between “$30.1 million and $75.3 million in assets in USPS competitors or contractors.” It’s such a major conflict of interest that DeJoy should never have been accepted into the role. Except that an ideological crony with every incentive to wreck the department he’d been handed was exactly what Trump was looking for.

                  https://crooksandliars.com/2020/07/trumps-new-postmaster-general-generating

                  Reply
                  1. Charles D Myers

                    Analysts have estimated that Amazon uses the Postal Service for 40 percent of its shipping and that the per-package cost works out to roughly $2, or about half of the standard rate charged by other big shippers.

                    This is from the Washington Post Article. Again why does Amazon not pay a fair rate?

                    Reply
                    1. flora

                      The usps does not set its own rates.
                      The usps can request rate changes, but cannot set them. That’s part of the 2006 law’s change.

                      See the Postal Regulatory Commission set up in the 2006 bill. a successor to the Postal Rate Commission. There are 3 GOP members and 2 Dem members.

                      The current Board of Governors is also controlled by GOP appointees, including many appointed by Trump.

                    2. flora

                      There are all these claims it’s not a fair rate.
                      The board doesn’t set rates.

                      The board doesn’t set rates, which is done by a separate agency, the Postal Regulatory Commission. Both bodies play a role in establishing confidential agreements that are negotiated with private companies such as Amazon and United Parcel Service Inc.

                      https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2018/04/18/usps-board-nominees-prepare-to-challenge-trump-over-amazon-rates/

                      The current Postal Regulatory Commission was set up in the 2006 bill. It’s a successor to the earlier Postal Rate Commission.

                3. Carla

                  Yes, well. The time for rolling back that 2006 law would have been 2009- 2010 when the Dems held both the White House AND Congress. BUT, somehow, they just didn’t do it.

                  Then, somehow, Barack Obama, just couldn’t manage to do anything in the next 6 years, either. It is just AMAZING, how much CAN’T get done under the Democrats. It truly does boggle the mind.

                  I mean, they can’t even PRETEND to work for us.

                  Reply
                  1. Darius

                    Split the Difference Obama wanted to eliminate Saturday delivery. He wanted to sabotage the Post Office too, just not be as blatant as Trump about it. No drama, and all. A good centrist, he, Obama never in a blue moon would ever restore the Post Office to viability.

                    Reply
    2. flora

      Kochs are biggest funders of the Libertarian Party.
      1976, Libertarian Party adds defunding and privatizing the Post Office to its platform.

      2003, James Miller, then a director of a Koch backed lobbying group, was appointed to the USPS Board of Governors by Sen. Susan Collins.

      2006, the Postal Accountability act (75-year full pension funding demand) was pushed by Miller and Sen. Collins and passed.

      2009, ALEC begins pushing a bill to require military service members ballots be carried by for-profit corporations.


      Since the 1970s, a concerted effort to popularize the fringe idea of privatizing the Postal Service has been advanced for nearly five decades with the support of one man: the billionaire and libertarian ideologue, Charles Koch, chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries.

      This brief traces Koch’s connections, influence, and ideological push to weaken and ultimately privatize one of America’s most essential public services—and, along with it, the jobs of hundreds of thousands of public servants.

      Download the full timeline Brief pdf here.

      https://www.inthepublicinterest.org/the-billionaire-behind-efforts-to-kill-the-usps/

      The GOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of one man, apparently.

      Reply
      1. flora

        Maybe the GOP should change its mascot from a lone elephant to an elephant wrapped in the squeezing arms of a giant octopus. /heh

        Reply
      2. hunkerdown

        And, libertarianism === neoliberalism presented in a form designed to create entitled, intractable teenage sociopaths en masse. I mean, let’s call it what it is and where it came from, and sabotage their brand of being the solution — to the problem that they themselves have been for 50 years.

        #NeoliberalPropertyDoesntMatter

        Reply
      3. flora

        And where are the Dems in all this?
        Where is Biden in all this?
        Is he, are they going to roll over for this? Are they going to pass a bill that sets up bankrupting the USPS and SS and Medicare (that 75-year funding GOP funding demand in the TRUST act) ? Are they going to wring their hands claiming there’s nothing they could do to stop this?

        Biden, Schumer, and Pelosi are silent.
        They just gave the billionaires $2.3 trillions in tax cuts.

        Reply
        1. JWP

          seeing as they are republicans with a social justice facade, I don’t see why they would be calling out such practices. Someone’s gotta keep their industrial freezer’s ice cream stocked! So long as anything with the USPS doesn’t effect that, there will be nothing.

          Reply
            1. JWP

              +1…”lobbyist for lift against labor laws” Nothing says “what did you do at work today?” like ruining people’s lives for a financial racket disguised as a drunk person chauffeur service. Lots to look forward to indeed!

              Reply
              1. John Anthony La Pietra

                Or to quote that great statesman from Missitucky, Senator Billboard Rawkins:

                [dictating a speech to his chief aide Buzz Collins] Gentlemen, the festering tides of radicalism are upon us. But before I yield up our glorious South -and her sister commonwealth, the U.S. of A – I will lay down my life. I will do more – I will filibuster. Back, you crackpots! Forward, America! Forward to the hallowed principles of our forefathers. Forward to the sweet tranquility of the status quo. Forward… to yesterday!

                Reply
      4. George Phillies

        The Kochs ceased to support the Libertarian Party close to 40 years ago, when our National Convention rejected their Presidential candidate. The Kochtopus scuttled away into the outer darkness. Their SuperPAC now supports Republicans. If you doubt me, consult FEC filings.

        Reply
        1. flora

          Thanks for the correction.

          The K extreme ideology did not change. They found ‘better value’ in buying up the GOP, (which could be called “outer darkness” I guess).

          Reply
          1. Darthbobber

            Only after a run with the DLC for a number of years. After Clinton was installed, they were able to go straight right wing GOP. But now they are back to hedging with propping up conservadems against more left challengers.

            Reply
  4. John A

    Re one Norwegian word, clearly we could now be in for a spate of Christmas stocking filler books with ‘dugnad’ in the title, with publishers aiming to replicate the success of Danish ‘hygge’. Or maybe not. Sweden has been trying for years to inflict ‘fika’ on the world, but the more prosaic coffee break seems to be holding its ground in English.

    Reply
    1. Pelham

      It should also be noted that Norway can afford it’s dugnad because of its $1 trillion commonwealth fund — due to many years of oil revenue from the North Sea. Thus while contributing mightily to global warming, they’ve managed to pile up a big financial cushion. And timely use of that cushion allowed people to self-isolate, making dugnad possible. Otherwise Norwegians would have faced the American choice of going to work and risking death or staying home and descending into destitution.

      Not that Norway is exceptional when it comes to oil. The US is far worse with virtually unlimited fracking, and any country would pump oil if the stuff were present. Norway should also be credited for using its oil revenues wisely. Also for its leaders’ political will to actually take effective measures against the coronavirus and for the people’s trust in leadership that hasn’t discredited itself — a situation quite unlike ours with a Congress that openly detests voters and a presidency long renowned for its mendacity.

      The US could have done the same in the early stages of the virus. Instead of tapping oil revenue, we could have printed the money that would have allowed most Americans to stay home. But due to the superstitions surrounding the national debt and the even more sinister motive of sustaining the economic lashing of a workforce long humbled and reduced to debt peonage, Congress basically chose to keep turning the screw with only a trickle of direct compensation to workers.

      Life isn’t a controlled experiment, so there’s no telling, but I wonder whether much of the silly political strife we’ve witnessed over masks and social distancing would have occurred it our evil, cloddish Congress had simply done the right thing and compensated non-essential workers for their lost paychecks while providing generous hazard pay to truly essential workers (notably not including meatpackers). We’ll never know. But we will be forever scarred and shamed by the reality that the entire country did a giant collective face plant.

      Reply
    2. Lee

      Watching a lot of Scandinavian and Dutch crime shows lately, I’ve noticed many of our everyday English words and phrases are quite similar or even identical to theirs. I’m assuming English is the more derived variation on the Germanic vocabulary. Every now and then Latin based words and English phrases are utilized by these Germanic speakers, but the Latin much less than in English, which makes historical sense.

      Reply
      1. John A

        It is funny, I left Sweden in the 1980s and whenever I go back or read stuff online, I hear and see more and more anglicised words replacing traditional words. Swedish has strict rules about pronounciation, so words brought in are respelled to fit the pronounciation rules. Unlike English that keeps the foreign spelling but mangles the pronunciation. For instance ‘tape’ is used in Swedish but is respelled as ‘tejp’ to sound the same as English.

        Reply
          1. HotFlash

            I was a little at sea until I encountered ‘cookie’. After which I was able to decode the whole thing. I LOVE keks!

            Reply
    3. ewmayer

      Great for Norway, but worth noting that that sort of communalism is easier to achieve in a highly-ethnically-homogeneous nation of around 5 million.

      Reply
  5. griffen

    The return of Obama should include a video link to a particular rhyme by LL Cool J.

    Don’t call it a come back I’ve been here for years…mama said knock Trump out..

    Reply
        1. Big Tap

          Beetlebama Beetlebama Beetlebama. After the incantation you turn into a neoliberal and lover of wars. You also become a Wall Street toady and bootlicker.

          Reply
    1. Oh

      That greedy grifter is not satisfied with all the money he got from Wall St. and others and his yuuge house in Martha’s Vineyard. He wants MORE….

      Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “UK ‘Russia report’ fear mongers about meddling but finds no evidence”

    Sounds like the UK government has been getting their information from the 77th Brigade which may not be the best of sources. Without proof, all sorts of stories are being bandied about how not only did the Russians meddle with the Brexit vote, but also the Scottish Referendum as well. Well there could be good news and bad news if the UK government backs this story. They could go to the European Union Headquarters in Brussels and say that as the Russians influenced the Brexit vote, that the whole thing was obviously wrong and that they have decided to cancel the whole thing. So, problem solved. And we want our Seats in the European Parliament back again. But then the Scots will step forward and say that as the Scottish referendum was spiked as well, that that is us laddy boy walking out the door.

    Reply
    1. km

      Once upon a time not so long ago, any occurrence the establishment didn’t like was automatically blamed on Jews.

      No evidence needed. Because Jews.

      Now, Russia serves the same function.

      Reply
    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Well, according to this democratic shill…err, strategist on The Hill the other day, it’s just that people, specifically Latinos, don’t know Biden’s “personal story”. Once they know all the hardships poor Joe has been through, they’ll fight hell to vote for him. Feels to me that the problem is 180 degrees the opposite, that ‘Ol Joe doesn’t know a thing about the voters, be they Latino, Black, female, working class or anything else outside the donor class. At least the Dems are into recycling, even if it is just recycling excuses from Hillary’s 2016 run for Joe’s 2020 run.

      (Sorry forgot the link: https://youtu.be/2Bks0dtz0aw)

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        Yeah, I saw that on The Rising. I’ve been thinking if this is the kind of talent the DNC is hiring (how does one become a “Democratic strategist,” anyway?) then it’s lucky for them Trump is defeating himself. And over at Eschaton I had to leave because I ran into a series of vitriolic comments about the evil Bernie Bros who doomed the rightful President because they sat out the 2016 election. It was several people who are absolutely certain we’d have a woman president not it not for those traitors. I’m not optimistic about our future.

        Reply
  7. mle detroit

    Here’s the link.
    Apparently the column (from 2018) is way too long for some readers to get to the final paragraph.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      You mean this paragraph?

      So what would happen if Trump got his way and the Postal Service was required to charge that much for a package? It’s a pretty good guess that the Postal Service would lose many of its biggest package delivery customers, including Amazon. And without that revenue, the Postal Service would lose a lot more money than it is already losing. That would force it to dramatically raise rates on Aunt Millie and Orvis, who would respond by mailing fewer birthday cards and catalogues. And in the end, what you would get would be a death spiral that eventually would force Congress to shut down the Postal Service and sell it off to the highest bidder.

      What isn’t said is that the USPS money losing is due to that arbitrary Congressional pension mandate. Which is to say the bigger picture is about whether the public wants to keep a postal service and whether the USG should be helping out a disruptive force like Amazon. These are not just dollars and cents questions.

      We the taxpayers subsidize a giant military to no apparent purpose (at least when it comes to benefiting ordinary people). One wonders how much of that military budget it would take to help the USPS out of its “crisis.”

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        >That would force it to dramatically raise rates on Aunt Millie and Orvis,

        Always a lack of agency as to *who* forces these things, isn’t there? As you said:

        >We the taxpayers subsidize a giant military to no apparent purpose

        … but somehow the Post Office just simply has to break even, if you ask why it’s like you’re questioning the existence of gravity.

        Reply
  8. christofay

    With the U. K. Russia Report or the Mueller being unable to find the Russia collusion, the obvious point is we’re getting down market level counter-intelligence. We need to pay up for the capable people that can find that Putin malfeasance. Tricky Russians.

    Reply
    1. timbers

      I’ve often scanned MSN articles that read something like “While Mueller did not show Trump colluded with Russia, he did indict oddles and oddles of Russians for interfering in the 2016 Presidential election.” Except of course he didn’t. No a single person was ever indicted by Mueller for anything remotely like that and the judge told him his evidence was horse sh$$t.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        What was most strange about the Mueller report was that when he delivered it, that instead of what you would think be a sharp lawyer delivering it, that he seemed befuddled and it was like listening to Joe Biden have a grandpa moment. Maybe that is why nobody much talks about it any more, in spite of the fact that there was so much devotion to him at the time.

        Reply
    2. Bill Smith

      And then the Russians can lay off any hacking at all, which means the newly empowered intelligence agencies will continue to find nothing and they can say they need even more money to track those wiley Russians down.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Intelligence agencies had no problem labeling anti-fracking activists especially non white ones as Russian assets before Trump made the USA a racist society.

        Reply
  9. David

    Since no-one else has done so, let me make a quick post in memory of Peter Green, founder of Fleetwood Mac, who died aged 73. He led the original (non-gender-inclusive) version of the band from 1967-70, before leaving because of psychological problems that plagued him for much of his life. I can’t remember how many times as a student I listened to the LP of Then Play On on somebody’s record player.
    Here’s what I think is the best song from the period – Man of the World.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IkNgwQNy2w

    Reply
      1. BobW

        RIP Peter Green. I only saw Fleetwood Mac once, after Peter Green and before Nicks/Buckingham. Not at their peak, then. Very few people in the audience. At about the same time caught Bonnie Raitt, even fewer people in the audience, but she sang her heart out. A real trouper. Went right out and bought both of her albums. Great version of Bluebird.

        Reply
      2. Michael

        Hey old timer…I saw It’s A Beautiful Day at the Family Dog on the Great Hwy in 69 or 70. Good times!

        Reply
      3. JWP

        Wasn’t there, but the tape of when he hopped in with the dead and allman bros at fillmore east is legit jamming! Dark Star-> Spanish. Jam-> Lovelight.

        Reply
      1. BoulderMike

        Indeed, I have that double CD. It is great. If you like it, check out Duster Bennett doing Jumping at Shadows. Duster actually wrote it. He also met a tragic death by car accident at age 29.

        Reply
    1. Watt4Bob

      That’s a wonderful track.

      Peter Green was also high on the list of British guitarists who introduced American kids to the Blues, and cemented the status of the Gibson Les Paul as one of the primary choices of guitarists the world over. Peter’s particular Les Paul is endlessly written about and is arguably the most famous single instrument of modern era.

      This is one of my favorite numbers of his in the electric blues style;

      Fool No More.

      And don’t make the mistake of thinking Carlos Santana wrote Black Magic Woman, it was Peter Green.

      Reply
    2. polecat

      I will take the original FM over the P0P reincarnation ANY day!
      I would bet, that if you were to ask a random sampling of people, who was the originator and performer of the song “Black Magic Woman” .. most would utter ‘Santana’, who got all the accolades for his version of that tune.

      Yeah, Peter Green was a goodern, That’s for sure!

      Reply
  10. carl

    A comment on the Newsweek piece suggested people obtain hydroxychloroquine and begin using it, along with zinc, upon first symptoms and then get tested. The problem, at least in the US, is that you’d need to report symptoms and get tested (and wait for results) before you could get a prescription. Ugh. Anybody have any good ideas on what to say to a physician to get a prescription issued?

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Tell them you saw it on TV. Doctors don’t like to refuse prescriptions for drugs advertised on TV because they’ll get bad Yelp reviews. Doesn’t really matter what it’s for or whether you “need” it.

      “Healthcare” is a “business” ya know.

      Reply
    2. Otto

      Yes say I would like a zinc supplement. Then the doc will write up a lab slip to determine what levels of zinc you do have. It helps to know.

      Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Isn’t that the whole point? That proper studies of HCQ are not being done so cannot be scrutinized? I find the whole drama about HCQ so odd and the fact that dodgy, rigged studies are being used to spike proper trials of this drug combo outright criminal. Does it work? Perhaps. But it would be nice to know!

      Sometimes when watching the news you can recognize a line of propaganda. So tonight I was watching the news and they were talking about how the Brazilian president had been sick but he used HCQ which is a drug that is ‘dangerous’ and spruiked by people like Trump. That seemed to be the point of mentioning Brazil here. And I have seen this line being given again and again for months now.

      Funny how a drug that has been in use for seventy years and been given millions of times suddenly becomes dangerous. Strange, very strange that. I have an idea. How about we have proper studies done of HCQ in combination with azithromycin and zinc and we find out?

      Reply
        1. barefoot charley

          Idealistic American scientists surely will reconstitute the molecules by a complicated, patented process that will enable HCQ to be marketed at 1000 times the price. Then let the tests begin!

          Reply
          1. barefoot charley

            And needless to say, there’ll be none of those unregulated, dangerous ‘supplements’ like ‘zinc’ included in testing, so it may fail anyway. Oh well.

            Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        No one demanded “proper studies” of the addictiveness of oxycontin before the number of prescriptions exploded, even though the addictiveness of opiods was well-established at the time, and there were many other effective drugs available for pain control.

        With HCQ ++, the circumstances are exactly the opposite. The drug is cheap, has been in use for decades and has minimal side effects, particularly when not used long term. Not to mention this country is in the middle of a dire emergency. There is literally no defensible reason NOT to prescribe a limited course of HCQ++ to those who want it, with or without a “positive” test.

        As far as I’m concerned, the tremendous economic and political upheavals that are being justified in the name of covid strongly suggest that the inexplicable resistance to HCQ++ represents one aspect of an attempt to prolong covid chaos at least through the election. joe biden would have no “candidacy” without it.

        The progress of neoliberalism has always depended on there being “disposable” people who are sacrificed for the “cause.” That they’re being sacrificed “for their own good” now should surprise no one.

        Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            So, in other words, another “noble lie” after the spirit of “masks don’t work” and “nothing to see here”, or, noise designed to conceal the failures of the market and the nudging signal embedded in the transmission.

            Reply
            1. Yves Smith

              I’m not defending it.

              And there is a large contingent of medical professionals who have been persuaded by the raft of anti-hydroxycholoroquine studies that it doesn’t work. So at this point, I would blame groupthink more. A US MD would be putting a liability target on his back if he were to prescribe hydroxycholorquinine for Covid.

              Reply
      2. John k

        Pharma is a big advertiser, has great influence with msm.
        Employs many in research, has great influence with licensing orgs and med groups.
        Are spending millions, maybe of gov money, hoping to make billions with vaccine or treatment.
        If hcq works they won’t make a dime. And that would be sad.

        Reply
    2. pjay

      If you think Gorski’s website is unbiased, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. The article itself presents a distorted view of the evidence. Almost all of the links are to other similar “debunking” websites (like “science-based medicine”, etc.) that are similarly biased, not to contrary research. The tone of the article itself gives the game away. Even if the research bears out his argument that HCQ has little positive effect, this article is a smear job.

      He is right that sterling credentials or publication in top journals is no guarantee of quality (he rightly cites the Lancet HCQ fiasco – even though that would seem more in line with Risch’s main argument). But this is anything but an honest contribution to scientific knowledge. Rather, it is just more partisan obfuscation.

      Reply
      1. Detroit Dan

        Yeah, I took a look at the article by “Gorski” (didn’t see his name their, so apparently he has a pen name). It definitely sheds much more heat than light and should be ignored by anyone wanting to learn the truth about this issue, IMO.

        Reply
    3. pjay

      Do you consider Gorski an unbiased commentator on this issue??

      [My earlier comment did not appear. But I would argue that an evaluation of this article, and Gorski’s past history, clearly suggest that he is not. This is regardless of whether I might agree with him on other issues.]

      Reply
  11. Wukchumni

    UK quarantines travellers from Spain in major blow to Europe’s revival Reuters
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    How funny, we have no quarantine whatsoever here in the USA as people fly and drive all over the place to ensure that the virus is here to stay, but single out a scintilla of Spaniard tourists as being risky.

    How did our country become so amazingly inept?

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        A quarantine not enforced is kind like a cop that doesn’t have any authority to do anything, but looks resplendent in his uniform.

        Reply
      2. Winston Smith

        Was checking out the procedure to go to Canada to visit my father who is 91 and has “mild” dementia. It is serious stuff with up to 100000$ fines and possibility of jail time (unlikely). Must present a quarantine plan at the border and it sounds like they check on you regularly

        Reply
  12. Wukchumni

    $1200 checks are coming in August according to Mnuchin, as the $600 unemployment per week stipend ends, so here’s a fortnight worth and don’t expect anymore. You’ve lived too high on the hog with that free money America, time to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and please don’t call it levitating.

    Here’s the next awful development by the way. People are stony broke and soon an assault on supermarkets holds sway, initially excessive shoplifting, eventually followed by mass looting.

    And there’s no incentive for said supermarkets to reopen, so they all close, and even though food isn’t rare at present, when the purveyors of such foodstuffs decide it isn’t worth the bother, is when things get really weird.

    Reply
    1. JWP

      “but wait, those looters are all a bunch of opportunists” -everyone
      hmmm… a quarter of the population living on income around that of Ukraine, Bolivia, or Cape Verde, sure to go over well.
      Might add the federal crackdown on them too for trying to acquire necessary means to live. Federal troops in cities are just waiting for the evictions and crime to start. Authoritarianism is being teed up and “serfs revolt” might soon have to have its own links post.

      Reply
      1. Pat

        I think there are more of us like that out here then are thought.

        I was also pointing out to someone that in the over thirty years I have lived in NY, the top unemployment benefit has never been increased. My rent stabilized rent has more than tripled in over 20 years. Supplementing unemployment kept people eating and the lights on. That $1200 check and $600/week was of more use to keeping the economy afloat than probably anything else in the CARES Act. Even with the problem of actually getting Unemployment. But the only people who realize that are those who have figured out that Wall Street is a casino and has no connection to the condition of the US.

        And even then the idiots tried to make sure it got to as few people as possible. I’m not sure there are enough troops, federal or otherwise, to stop the uprisings, especially as those troops begin to realize how dependent they on the people that just got kicked to the curb. And they won’t all be as stage managed as most of the more recent ones were.

        Reply
  13. philnc

    The main tactic of Reaganism and what followed was always to discredit government as the most visible source of social services by starving it of resources and intentionally lobotomizing it with incompetent leadership. The USPO had actually become so financially successful that they had to first semi-privatize it and later tie the millstone of pre-funding pensions around its neck to bring it down. I’m old enough to remember when its profits were routinely raided to make up shortfalls in other government revenue (like the Reagan tax cuts). Republicans, and corporate Democrats, have been consistent about this over the years. Look at the current cabinet and you’ll find a collection of pompous, venal, morons who stand on the shoulders of midgets (apologies to little people everywhere for my use of the term). Although “the best and the brightest” (who recall included a young Donald Rumsfeld) were really never either, you do have to wonder how it is we’ve come to be “served” by people who even the great Harry Hopkins (the chief engineer of the New Deal’s jobs programs) would have had a hard time placing. Imagine, if you will, any random member of today’s cabinet in charge of Agriculture during the Dust Bowl period instead of Henry Wallace: would you expect anything less that a full on famine worse than that brought on by the Soviet NEP in the 20s? Hopkins and Wallace represented the high point for real public servants in high office. We have rarely seen their like since under either Republicans or corporate Democrats, and that has been by design.

    Reply
    1. flora

      The neolibs and billionaires want to discredit govt so they can privatize govt services and loot those revenue streams. They are “rational actors”. Both R and D.
      Now they want to tie the same 75-year pre-funding pension requirement to SS. They’re consistent; they’re a danger to the people of this country, imo, but consistent.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Linked on NC a few days ago: “the public good does not consist of an aggregation of private goods”

        They knew that from the start but I do love watching it coming home to roost as the neo-lib Brain Trust slowly realizes that the usher may force them to sit down at the banquet of consequences table. Turns out The Hamptons are not a defensible position.

        Q: it’s fourteen weeks until the election, has the country figured out how the vote will be conducted yet?

        Reply
    2. Olga

      Where do you get the idea that NEP (new economic policy or plan) brought on a famine? Actually, the exact opposite happened, as NEP led to a substantial increase in agri production. Stalin did not like NEP precisely because he considered it a step back to capitalism; it was largely abandoned in 1928. Lenin thought that, given the circumstances, it was necessary (starting in 1921). The famines happened in the early 30s, and were caused by a complex set of reasons.

      Reply
      1. flora

        Use the Great Chinese Famine as an example, then. The drought damage was compounded by politics and ideology, by human action and inaction based on ideology.

        “The Great Chinese Famine is widely regarded as the deadliest famine and one of the greatest man-made disasters in human history, with an estimated death toll due to starvation that ranges in the tens of millions.

        The major contributing factors in the famine were the policies of the Great Leap Forward (1958 to 1962) and people’s communes, in addition to some natural disasters such as droughts which took place during the period.”

        Reply
      2. Bernalkid

        Interesting ideological juxtaposition by an ill informed American tooting Wallace, who was widely considered a CPUSA sympathizer by the right while denigrating the NEP which was a partial, controlled resurrection of capitalism in the context of the Bolsheviks consolidating power after the western intervention. The western intervention led to some agricultural disruption, but let’s forget about that.

        Reply
    3. workingclasshero

      Bad weather and civil war brought on the famine in the ussr in the 20″s.collectivization in the 30’s. as far as i know.

      Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “England vs Warne”

    Shane Warne was a highly talented bowler but he had a terrible nemesis – himself. If he had been more self-discipline, he would have been made Captain of the Australian Cricket team but nobody was game to risk that. Even his Wikipedia entry says that ‘His career was plagued by scandals off the field, including a ban from cricket for testing positive for a prohibited substance, charges of bringing the game into disrepute by accepting money from bookmakers and sexual indiscretions.’ And that was only some of what he did. I suppose that every sport has a player like that. One who could have been really great but who never reached their full potential because of self sabotage.

    Reply
    1. BoulderMike

      I briefly live in Adelaide in the late 90’s. Shane Warne was everywhere then. I remember him well. Also, I remember being fascinated by cricket, and thinking it funny to see that, at least at that time, Australians played American baseball.

      Reply
          1. BoulderMike

            Seriously, I was in Adelaide and there were baseball diamonds and games going on. Again, this was the late 90’s. I don’t know if they had “professional” leagues, but the citizens did play baseball.

            Reply
            1. Basil Pesto

              It’s true re: baseball in Australia, though it was a very small league, many of orders of magnitude less popular than cricket. I went to a few games as a kid as iirc my dad’s company was a minor sponsor of Adelaide’s team, which played their games at Norwood oval. I’m pretty sure I have a ball autographed by the team somewhere, for whatever that’s worth. This has taken me down the memory hole.

              There are also small community teams in all the big cities, a bit like ice hockey,
              they’re very niche sports though.

              The 2005 and 2006/07 Ashes series were just brilliant. I didn’t enjoy 2005 as much as I’d have liked because it was my last year of high school and the games were overnight, but 06/07 was great and I went to the last day of the ‘Amazing Adelaide’ test which had one of the most amazing test cricket comebacks.

              Reply
        1. Massinissa

          I think the boringness is the appeal, though. I think I would prefer to go a baseball game than most other sports games because the atmosphere is much more relaxed. With other sports you have to actually pay attention, with baseball you kind of just sit there, pretend you care what’s happening, and sort of just sit there relaxing with everyone else who is doing the same lack-of-action.

          That being said, its no small wonder no one cares about it anymore if you’re paying the ticket just for the atmosphere. Also I don’t see the point of watching baseball on TV, even less so than other sports.

          Reply
          1. Basil Pesto

            I actually agree, the one and only time I actually ‘got’ baseball was when I went to a game at Yankee stadium, which was a fun day out.

            Cricket, by contrast, is great on TV, particularly with insightful commentators. A test match is excellent ambient television.

            Reply
    2. Musicismath

      Warne’s ability as a bowler was utterly freakish and I doubt we’ll ever see a leg spinner of his like again. Leg spin is incredibly difficult to deliver out of the hand. For a right hander, you have to flip your wrist sharply over counterclockwise and deliver the ball out of the back of your hand, using your little finger as a guide. The amount of spin a leggie can impart on the ball is massive, but it usually comes at the expense of accuracy. After thousands of hours of practice, a top-level leg spinner can probably get the ball to pitch somewhere near where they want it 4 times out of 6. The other two deliveries though will be a hostage to fortune, resulting in “long hops” that will likely be carted by the batsman to or over the boundary. Leg spinners are thus usually very expensive in terms of runs conceded, which is why there were practically none of them at the top level of the game (Test cricket) when Warne emerged in the early 1990s.

      Warne, though, was different. He had a freakish ability to deliver the same ball over and over, with subtle intentional variations. His levels of control were orders of magnitude greater than any leg spinner seen in many decades, which was why he was so dangerous. He could generate sharp bounce and turn from most surfaces, and above all he was fearsomely accurate. He didn’t give away those two bad balls an over any batsman facing leg spin expects. There was no respite, and nowhere to hide. Against batsmen unaccustomed to leg spin (which was most, because good leg spin had practically died out at first-class level in most cricketing nations before Warne appeared on the scene) he was utterly lethal.

      So yeah. Warne was great. With 708 Test wickets, he’s the second highest wicket taker in the history of the game. And he achieved all that while being incredibly annoying.

      Reply
      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        ” Cricket behind a paywall “, I miss those long days of test match cricket courtesy of the BBC, featuring Benaud, Blofelt & others whose names escape me with the added bonus of cameos from old timers like the professional Yotkshiremen Boycott & Trueman . I got more work done with fast bowling due to the time it took to pace out the run up. With Warne there was no time to look away with each over soon over & of course by cricket standards his contribution was always potentially very dramatic.

        I lost track of it all after the carve up to SKY – ” I’ve got 14 channels of shit on my TV to choose from ” wrote Roger Waters back in the 70’s, & about 10 years ago when flipping SKY channels I dumped the service after realising that I was paying for over 300 of them.

        Reply
      2. ChrisPacific

        Agreed. He definitely did all that stuff, but I think it’s less clear whether it held him back at all. He had a remarkably successful career by anybody’s standards. I defy anybody to look at his career numbers and think they represent wasted potential.

        Reply
        1. Basil Pesto

          Yeah I thought that was a curious remark by Kev, he’s regarded as one of the greatest cricketers who’s ever lived! Musicismath explains why excellently

          Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I can’t recall a baseball strikeout where the pitcher pitched the ball *behind* the batter

        Reply
  15. joevolcano

    With respect to “The Police Tried to Make Me Medically Examine a Man Against His Will”
    The consensus position of the American College of Emergency Physicians has been clear for probably over twenty years that patients have autonomy over their bodies and decision making. Most of my colleagues would refuse to perform this exam against patient wishes even with a search warrant. You probably can find some who will accommodate police requests, but they are probably becoming rarer by the day.

    Reply
  16. Eureka Springs

    The Police Tried to Make Me Medically Examine a Man Against His Will – Michele Harper

    Great post. I want a doctor someday and I want them to be someone just like Dr. Harper.

    I wonder how and why a hospital with both a legal and ethics departments can have so many employees who have flagrantly violated both on this matter? When this does happen, who pays the hospital for it? Police or the accused? Is there any police department in our country which isn’t one giant corrupt blob of violations?

    Reply
      1. barefoot charley

        I’ve encountered such arrogant little residents in EDs with my father. Luckily, I can play class-arrogance and smarter-than-thou as well as any resident I’ve had to belittle, in order for Dad to get appropriate treatment, because to me they’re all still pre-meds, that often obnoxious class of undergraduates.

        More interesting was the author’s well-conveyed racializing of the smarty-pants behavior, which I found very compelling, even though it needn’t be racial at all. I accept what microaggression may mean now, and I give her a lot of credit for getting through to me. Good article.

        Reply
  17. Wukchumni

    Medical facilities in Kern County are being pushed to the limit as more and more residents contract COVID-19.

    During a Thursday news conference, Kern Medical CEO Russell Judd said all local hospitals have reached the point of maximum capacity and were beginning to implement surge plans.

    A state model predicted the county would run out of staffing and space to treat coronavirus patients by the end of July. With hospitals reaching capacity several times over the last few weeks, and no sign that infections will decrease any time soon, Kern officials have started scrambling in search of new staff to work in intensive care units.

    “What we thought was going to be in March or April is upon us in July and August,” Judd said in reference to early predictions that hospitals would exceed capacity last spring.

    He later added the number of COVID-positive patients continued to increase, taxing resources. “We do know that there are more patients, they’re sicker patients, so we need to be able to prepare for that increased number.”

    In anticipation of even more residents needing medical care, the county plans to use federal CARES Act money to bring in intensive care unit nurses from across the country to allow local hospitals to staff ICUs above their licensed capacity. At the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, the county plans to retroactively authorize a contract with a staffing agency to bring the nurses to Kern.

    “There’s not enough RNs who live in Kern County to provide this level of care,” Judd said, later explaining that the traveling nurses were sometimes paid in excess of triple normal wages. “However, we’re securing this now in anticipation of the continued increase in the number of cases. We are firm believers that if we waited until the crisis hit and we got to the point where we had to have them now, there would not be any nurses available.”

    https://www.bakersfield.com/news/kern-county-hospitals-reach-capacity-with-surge-in-covid-patients/article_ce337082-cd29-11ea-98aa-93a726d78fb4.html

    What good are imported out of state ICU nurses when your hospitals are full?

    Reply
    1. kareninca

      Did you see this posted by Unruly Panda in the comment section?

      “Also, you folks realize that Kern County has not actually been in compliance with the State’s metric for the last 2 months, right? There are several different measurements that cause a County to fall out of compliance. Cases per 100,000 measured over 14 days, with a 3 day lag is one of them. For Kern to be in compliance, we need to have less than 900 cases reported in a 14 day period, or basically not more than 65 per day. If you look at the KPH dashboard for the last 2 month, you will see that we have exceeded that measurement for every 14 day period going back to the end of May. KPH has failed to timely update the numbers, whether because of delays by labs in reporting results, or KPH lagging on compiling and reporting the data, or both. As a result, test results have been getting posted to dates that fall outside of the 17 day reporting period. So you see dates from a month ago, that are still getting updated. Look at June 23. A week ago, the numbers for that date were around 350. Now it is 440. Updating test results for a sample date that is a month old. So the whole time since Memorial Day, the County has been reporting that we were in compliance, while the whole time we actually were not. People running around thinking that everything is peachy, not worried about needing to maintain strict mask compliance, unknowingly spreading the virus. Which why we are getting our butts kicked now.”

      Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I wonder where else that is happening. That sort of surprise is not nice.

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      Tents in the parking lot.
      Temporary nurse dormitories in the executive dining room and lounge.
      “Chilean” air taxis dumping ‘off chart’ deaders offshore at night.
      Learn to think like a ‘Chicago School Alumnus.’

      Reply
    3. Glen

      Don’t worry, CEO Judd will continue to make MILLIONS. Pelosi will provide BILLIONS when he’s forced to DECLARE BANKRUPTCY for having TOO MANY SICK PEOPLE (customers?) And the healthcare available to you will continue to get worse and more expensive.

      Funny how that works.

      Reply
  18. Rod

    What Will Lula Do? Consortium News. Pepe Escobar.

    this is what sausage/hotdogs/spam/etc looks like being made and Pepe Escobar is making sure you see it and can not turn away.

    when i read this here yesterday I thought ” and we think our system is a big mess” and thought of Lott’s hopelessness and growing desperation in looking for an honest man…

    Reply
  19. Wukchumni

    There was a 2 mile backup to get into Sequoia NP yesterday @ noon, as our National Parks are one of the few places where large numbers of people can go.

    Usually this happens on July 4th weekend or Labor Day weekend, not on an ordinary weekend in late July.

    Reply
  20. Jim Hannan

    The arson attack on the Democratic Party headquarters in Phoenix is extremely troubling. But perhaps it’s a signal to take precautions now to protect offices and data from any further attacks.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Times are so mixed up now, I wouldn’t put it past a faction of the DNC to have done this as part of a disinformation campaign, preparing for the coup this winter.

      Reply
  21. edmondo

    Arizona Democratic Party HQ ‘Completely Destroyed’ In Arson Attack Huffpost

    I’ve been living in Arizona for the last three years. I had no idea that There even was a Democratic Party in Arizona. Quick Question: If there really is a Democratic Party in AZ then why do we keep running Republicans for the senate?

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      You need to listen better to your elders when they repaint their neoliberals. What? “Paint doesn’t sound different” is just the sort of thing a Putinist would say. Unity, you peasant!

      Just maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll be hearing a little bit less of that trite scolding in your neck of the woods, from the totally-not-a-church Democrat Party.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Unfortunately, that is true. Not only is she a blue dog, she is an indigo dog. She votes just like a republican.

        Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      “Completely”. Blue neoliberals breathe a sigh of relief and quietly thank the red neoliberals for helping them out in their time of need.

      Reply
    3. neo-realist

      When you consider the politics and culture of AZ, you would be hard pressed to elect a Jeff Merkley type of democratic candidate. Blue dogs are the best you can do.

      Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      Irrelevant defensive action. Where are the neoliberal economists? Funding this whole drama on both sides when they ought to be having their minds changed with a bike lock.

      Reply
  22. David Carl Grimes

    The Pro Publica article on evictions is depressing. Where is the left on this? No rent strikes? No moves from Democrats to prevent this catastrophe. And the stock prices of American Homes For Rent (AMH) and Invitation Homes (INVH), the single biggest landlord of single family homes, seems to be defying gravity like the rest of the stock market.

    Reply
    1. Jason Boxman

      The article yesterday that described the professional left in this country might answer that question; housing would be outside the class interests of the professional left; to the extent it matters, it must be seen through an intersectional lens only.

      Reply
    1. fresno dan

      George Phillies
      July 26, 2020 at 12:40 pm

      I agree. The house I live in was built in 1952. I’m thinking of buying another house, and one I was looking at was built in 1932. Hard to imagine either house not existing and being occupied even a hundred years from now…

      Reply
    2. Milton

      According to the latest American Community Survey (ACS) as used in Esri’s demographic data product, the median age of Americas 130 million, or so, structures is 43. The median year that a household moved into a particular structure is 2009.

      Reply
    3. ObjectiveFunction

      Yes, having 5% of your dataset pre-1800 (if true) pushes the mean value (average age of the entire dataset) up meaningfully, relative to the median value (age of the home where 50% are younger and 50% older, regardless of their age). So I agree that 40 year mean doesn’t seem to make sense unless the other data is wrong.

      Reply
    4. Darius

      I have read at the Strong Towns website that current construction methods and materials assume a useful life for a brand new house of about 30 years, before major renovation is necessary. Today’s houses are such cost-cut angel food cakes, that renovation probably won’t be worth it, and those houses will just be torn down and replaced by something even worse. Such a huge waste of resources, but the modern insistence on hyper-efficiency, coupled with the financial and regulatory requirements, allows nothing else. Try getting finance for an actual brick house with load-bearing walls. You can’t do it unless you’re rich and it’s your hobby horse.

      Reply
  23. Jason Boxman

    So what exactly is this “rental record”? Is there an Equifax for landlords that everyone uses? It seems like we already have a ‘social score’ like in China, it’s just fragmented and exists in the private sector.

    Reply
    1. barefoot charley

      It is Equifax et al. Credit scores are telling, and co-signs as needed even more so (if your mom won’t sign for you). Credit history may show late and non-payment for rent. And many places ask for rental referrals.

      Reply
        1. ObjectiveFunction

          I always thought this could be a lucrative spinoff business for AirBNB, with commissions paid to ‘spotters’ of long term vacant properties, plus handy tips on how to gain entry and use the premises without attracting notice, etc.

          At minimum, it would ‘stimulate’ private security and alarm businesses (jerbs!), which could create a ‘roll up’ portfolio opportunity for the funders. :-p

          Reply
  24. vlade

    On the UK miracle drug – aka interferon beta. I think I sent a link in March to the links about how Cubans were using interferon alpha in CV treatment and it was very promising. I still find very few (and mostly in European press) articles about it, although there are actually two western studies showing significant promise (for example, UoTexas in vitro study showed 10k reduction in viral activity).

    Interferons are critical to the human immune system response to viruses, and were (I believe) discovered to be missing in some people who seem to be more than usually suspectible to colds. “Flu like symptoms” are actually interferons at work.

    Reply
    1. Clive

      Yes, interferon has a intrinsic relationship to immune response. My eye condition, Keratoconus, has been shown to generate increased inflammatory agents such as interferon in corneal cells and also tear production https://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2016/1243819/

      I, along with many other patients I’ve spoken to report virtual immunity to flu and significantly limited susceptibility to the common cold. The price we pay is that our immune systems over-enthusiasm causes irreparable cornea damage and eventual failure in some patients with the condition.

      The immune system seems to be a perpetual compromise between trying to do too much and not doing enough.

      Knowing what I know from first-hand experience, when I see people being all blasé about messing about with their immune systems, always seeming to be thinking “boosting” = “an inevitable and unquestionable Good Thing” I wish they’d maybe exercise a little caution about fiddling amateurishly with poorly-understood complex systems.

      Reply
      1. vlade

        Yup, the “bigger is better” tells you that most people have no clue about complex systems. That’s not to say that they are stupid, but humans are not really able to deal with complexity w/o sufficient training.

        Which, in current world is a problem twice over (people can’t deal with it, and want simple).

        Reply
  25. Susan the other

    Most interesting. From Science. By Jon Cohen. Where Did The Wuhan Virus Come From? “Trump owes us an apology,” Shi Zhengli, lead researcher at the Wuhan Virology Institute. Sounded sound. So then, to cut it short, if Covid19 did not come from Shi’s lab (the bat woman) then where oh where did it originate? What/where is the true origin of this virus “strain”? It was not Shi’s Wuhan lab. It was not the wet market. Maybe some intermediate host like Fr. Dietrich, MD? But no, let’s not consider that unless we must. Shi herself (the expert) is puzzled how this virus jumped from humans to animals. Aren’t we all? One Peter Daszak of the Ecohealth Alliance supports an international research effort to trace the origin. As does Shi. As do I. You?

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith

      I am tired of CT and if you persist you will have your comments privileges restricted.

      Did you miss that mad cow disease jumped from animals to humans due to bad agricultural practices, as in putting dead sheep odd part, including brains and central nervous system tissue, in cow feed? We are lucky in that you have to eat a lot of beef to contract it.

      How about “Where did Ebola come from?” Or “Where did HIV come from?” Or “Where did SARS come from?” Or “Where did MERS come from?” Did you miss that epidemiologists have predicted the outbreak of a pandemic since at least the early 2000s? That this was so predictable that Steven Soderbergh made a movie about it in 2011? Oh, but he was covering the tracks of the Chinese eight years in advance. Really?

      Small Chinese farms have lots of different animal species in close proximity due to demand for freshly killed (as in a market) exotic meats. Some farms are not far from bat caves. Living in Sydney, where bats would fly every night in huge formations (you could see them) and shit in flight, ruining car finishes, the idea that bats fly around and might shit in places where their shit could wind up producing a pathogen isn’t a stretch.

      On top of that, Ignacio has described at length how an engineered virus would have certain markers. It would be easy to identify. There’s been tons of speculative nattering with “aha!” of the dispositive sort.

      Reply
      1. Susan the other

        Yes.
        Apologies for not having anything to back up my suspicions. Nothing concrete. But there are certainly questions raised constantly – this article about Shi being a very trustworthy virologist seems to me to imply that if she can’t explain the intermediary from her own research and nobody else can pin it down either that it is a mystery that should be solved. I don’t think it is unreasonable to include virology labs in the US and Canada which have been studying SARS for some years now in the list of possible advances (toward an enhanced virus) as places that we should investigate. We have boldly pointed the finger at China but not a word about our own research. Just that I’d like to not have such a dead end on the subject. The most recent explanations seemed to rule out the wet market because Covid showed up earlier and only subsequently at the wet market.

        Reply
        1. Susan the other

          And I keep remembering Xi making what seemed like an overly dramatic statement that if the Chinese authorities did not warn the rest of the world they would be “nailed to a pillar of shame.” It didn’t seem in character for him to be that upset over a virus that could have come from anywhere. There seemed to be an underlying concern that it had been a big mistake and it was not a good idea to hide it. That, and a lot of other stuff that admittedly doesn’t amount to evidence but is nonetheless disturbing.

          Reply
  26. JWP

    updates from Portland:
    -Before about 1130, the protests were something of a massive block party, with food, music, dancing, and a general feeling of community. The diversity of protestors was astounding. Dads with their kids, couples, seniors up to at least 85. A true melting pot of groups, and the nurses and doctors group were the leaders of chants and marches last night.
    -One the sunset, there were some powerful speeches by elected officials and community leaders, talking abut surveillance, and a lawyer pointing out how many local and federal codes are being violated.
    I left before the real tense standoffs started but it was a great sense of community down there.

    Reply
    1. kareninca

      Were people wearing masks and social distancing?

      It’s kind of odd that you didn’t say in your post.

      Reply
    2. Procopius

      … elected officials and community leaders, talking abut surveillance, and a lawyer pointing out how many local and federal codes are being violated.

      Well, there are reports that the local police are coordinating with the federal terrorists, and I’ve seen at least one story saying the police (the Chief?) requested the feds without telling the mayor. So if the mayor tells the police chief to arrest those feds who are violating statutes, codes, and regulations, what will happen? Will the chief send the president of the police union to explain to the mayor that enforcing the law would violate their contract? Interesting times, when many towns and cities are unable to control their police forces.

      Reply
  27. JWP

    Re; COVID causing “longest period of silence in recoded history”

    The first few weeks of lockdown were truly calming. Despite the virus running rampant, as a city dweller my whole life, hearing the chorus of birds and seeing a bluer than usual sky really put my mind at ease. Here’s hoping the aftermath causes everyone to slow down their lifestyles.

    Reply
  28. Terry

    I don’t know if this will get past moderation since I’ve broken site rules before (for which I apologise). But The “Sweden problem” in terms of COVID-19 comes as no surprise to me, having lived there for 6 months in 2015. My (former pastor and lovely) boss ended up releasing me from my contract (making the uni pay all my costs of relocation back to UK) when I almost literally “blew up” at a colleague’s attempt to undermine me as a foreigner who had “jumped the queue” of career progression.

    I was warned by a fellow professor that I would be a target for not “progressing via buggins’s turn”. She implied Swedish exceptionalism would always assume that that system would work, even though her body language said otherwise.

    I still value a lot about Sweden and hesitate to launch a hatchet job on it – but my Swedish colleagues DID generally believe they “knew best” and it was one or two who had worked elsewhere who warned me that this mindset could cause me problems. After all, if a professor from Stockholm has problems integrating in Uppsala you must wonder if all is well there. All my “other” Nordic friends found my experiences unexceptional and indeed a bit laughable.

    Reply
    1. BoulderMike

      I was also surprised to see she was still alive. 104 is a good, ripe old age. I am also about your age and I often wonder if it is the same for everyone, from every generation where once you reach “old age” you no longer recognize the world. It is sad when we long for the good old days of the 60’s. Vietnam, assasinations, riots, Nixon!!, etc.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        I’m almost 51, and don’t recognise the world.
        i tell the boys my tales of trainriding(started that when i was 11), evading the law(started when i was 16) and other insane things, and they marvel…because they know that such things wouldn’t be possible, today.(hopping freights, alone, would have me in a world of hurt, today)
        and, of course, they have difficulty imagining a world without internet and smartphones, in spite of my haphazard efforts to remind them(turning off the internet out here, back when wifi was the only way their phones would connect—disabling the sat tv, etc)

        Reply
    2. mpalomar

      I wasn’t consciously aware she was still alive but I knew the sisters Joan Fontaine and Olivia deHaviland had some long range genes. As far as her comment about being “a survivor from an age that people no longer understand,” perhaps also of some importance to her, she survived younger sister Joan, with whom she had an enduring and famous quarrel and who died at 96.

      What I didn’t know but just learned at Wiki P; Joan’s and Olivia’s paternal cousin was Sir Geoffrey de Havilland (1882–1965), an aircraft designer known for the de Havilland Mosquito, and founder of the aircraft company.”

      Reply
    3. norm de plume

      I’m not sure I understand the age she came from, but I sure as hell admire it, and enjoy its cinema. A local DVD store specialises in art house, foreign, cult and classics and, after a spell with French noir, I have been working my way thru the golden age – late twenties to late forties I guess. There is some gloom to be had but what strikes me is the cheeky optimism, the sheer joi de vivre that pours out of these movies. Not much navel-gazing occurs, and when it does it doesn’t last long.

      Last night it was my 4th Chevalier and McDonald vehicle – Love Me Tonight – and it was silly, but utterly charming. They were churning these out at a pretty fair clip from Depression to war and beyond, lighting up what Auden called the ‘low dishonest decade’ of the 30s in particular. de Havilland was just one of a constellation of female stars who lit these things up with their wit and what used to be called ‘spunk’.

      Accompanied by the post-prandial snifter, they are proving the best antidote I’ve found to our ‘interesting times’.

      Reply
      1. Harold

        “Love Me Tonight”, directed by the great Armenian-American director Rouben Mamoulian, was the first “talkie” to use a rolling soundtrack that followed the singers.
        The pre-code plot is more sophisticated than the usual Hollywood fare The exquisite Myrna Loy, in her Hollywood debut role, was cast as a comedic nymphomaniac. McDonald plays the heroine, who, at age 22, also suffers from sexual frustration, having been a widow for three years after being married to a 72-year-old aristocrat. The hero, Chevalier, is a tailor, an energetic man-of-the people, trying to collect a bill.

        The witty song lyrics are by Lorenz Hart.

        Reply
  29. paul

    by starving it of resources and intentionally lobotomizing it with incompetent leadership

    This what I resent the most.
    Institutional memory/recording is rather important.
    Which is why it has had either a gun or a retirement notice pushed in its face for the last 40 years.

    Reply
  30. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Whose century?”
    I recall seeing a reference to this essay in yesterday’s comments(?).

    While I am still digesting this essay it contained a couple of items I especially enjoyed:
    “He[Trump] regards trade deficits as a drain on America’s ‘precious bodily fluids’.”
    And at the conclusion:
    “Can it[the US political class] fashion a domestic political bargain to enable the US to become what it currently is not: a competent and co-operative partner in the management of the collective risks of the Anthropocene. This is what the Green New Deal promised. After the shock of Covid-19 it is more urgent than ever.”

    As fresno dan says in a comment above: “I also feel I’m from a different age.” [I very much like this item/quip also]. But I am not sure whether my point of view originates from a different age in the past or from an age in the too near future. I believe International Co-operation in dealing with the Anthropocene is critical. I believe the US is quite unable to assume the responsibilities the coming Crisis would place on its shoulders consistent with its pretense to ascendance as World Hedgemon or as ‘a’ World Hedgemon in the multi-lateral world Adam Tooze and many of the books he reviewed conjectured.

    I believe that very old-school Hamiltonian Economics [no I do not particularly admire Hamilton although I often wish he might multiply himself in my wallet or transubstantiate his face and context to that of Benjamin Franklin] … is the remedy the US and most of the rest of the world requires … very soon. The Corona pandemic emboldened, underlined, and hi-lited the fragility of the world’s economic structures — the long narrow supply-lines and the many vital commodities no longer produced or available here. Resilience has proven ‘inefficient’ and economically non-viable over the time domains structuring world business and as a means of control the US has actively and enthusiastically undermined the food resilience of much of the world within its trade domains. But the Corona pandemic cast arc lights on how many supply chains for now vital commodities like face masks, drugs, and drug precursors had crucial origin points far far away. Bringing back some industries is not a simple matter tariffs can address. A comprehensive industrial and agricultural policy focused on resilience and instituted at each hub of product dispersal is critical to the continuance of Society in some form we might recognize. Such re-structuring will never be a product of the Market.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      this is what worries me, too….
      I understand that i have essentially zero influence on anyone in a position of power above the county level…and that even that local influence is only even possible because of the small size of the population of this county. I wouldn’t be noticed at all in Bexar County, or Harris(San antone and houston, respectively)
      so i’ve been patiently preparing the way out here for 20 years…and only now are they ready to even entertain ideas of autarky and self-reliance…and that entertainment hasn’t penetrated the habitual “way things are done” inertia.
      add in recent immigrants from Orange County California(ugh)…who remind me of the Friars who went before the Conquistadors, in that they seem hell bent on stirring the local pots…and it’s still difficult to get a fair hearing from an open mind.
      the recent chaos doesn’t help, either,lol…with everyone of any influence struggling to hold it all together amidst the flood of FUD.
      I figger that we, as a county, are better ready than other places…but not ready enough.
      everyone still hopes fervently for a return to normal.

      Reply
  31. Maritimer

    Big Tech Wants To Own You American Conservative

    Quotes from the article:

    “These companies really aren’t “social media….Rabbi Hillel said, “that which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow.”

    I use my own language not that of the Spinning Tech Giants. These companies are “anti-social” media. Pretty simple. Call a thing what it is and that’s a good start on a solution. Use their language and you play their game on their turf.

    Reply
  32. The Rev Kev

    ‘The morons ye shall always have with you’-

    https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/video-of-woman-who-refuses-to-wear-mask-in-bunnings-goes-viral/news-story/0b295e267e7efdfed2e267f177859b59

    There has been a very few cases of people demanding their right not to have masks on in Victoria which is experiencing an explosion of Coronavirus cases. This woman was threatening police if they arrested her for not only false arrest but also arresting people while being armed as the police were armed and she was not. See the video clip in that article titled ‘Qaren doesn’t believe in being arrested.’ Yeah, they arrested her till she coughed up a medical certificate which she had all along.

    Reply
    1. Darius

      It’s organized by the American Postal Workers Union, one of the primary unions representing postal workers, along with the Letter Carriers.

      Reply
  33. The Rev Kev

    So I was just watching a Jimmy Dore video on a “feel good” story and the involvement of Joe Biden. The feel good story is, I kid you not, is how an 84-year old woman from Maine got herself a job as a housekeeper in a hotel. Yes, I checked and it is a real story. Dore puts in a few clips from Biden’s past which leaves you no illusions what his priorities will be if he becomes the President to put it into context. So Joe’s message to America will be work until you die-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN1RcDI6xHE (language alert)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *