Links 7/29/2020

Incredibly rare blue lobster saved from certain death by Red Lobster employees ABC

In California’s only known wolf pack, there are now at least 8 new pups CNN

Scientists revive 100 million-year-old microbes from the sea BBC. “After incubation by the scientists, the microbes began to eat and multiply.” Oh.

Tech giants invoke American dream to defend their power FT. Stoller on the Silicon Valley monopoly hearings:

One big happy!

Jeff Bezos To Washington: ‘My Dad’s Name Is Miguel. He Adopted Me When I Was 4’ NPR. You were lucky.

Absentee Ownership: How Amazon, Facebook, and Google Ruin Commerce Without Noticing Matt Stoller, BIG. And speaking of absentee landlords, there was that AirBnB “party house” in New Jersey the other day. 700 people….

Google’s Top Search Result? Surprise! It’s Google The Markup. Google turning itself into a walled garden.

Online Bar Exams Come With Face Scans, Bias Concerns (1) Bloomberg. And crashes.

US Treasuries: the lessons from March’s market meltdown FT

#COVID19

Treatment with hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and combination in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 International Journal of Infecious Diseases. From the conclusion: “In this multi-hospital assessment, when controlling for COVID-19 risk factors, treatment with hydroxychloroquine alone and in combination with azithromycin was associated with reduction in COVID-19 associated mortality. Prospective trials are needed to examine this impact.” From the Henry Ford Health Systems press release: “The vast majority received the drug soon after admission; 82% within 24 hours and 91% within 48 hours of admission. All patients in the study were 18 or over with a median age of 64 years; 51% were men and 56% African American.”

Why ICMR continues to stand firm on using hydroxychloroquine as prophylaxis Economic Times. Prophylaxis is also the use case advocated here. So we are conducting an enormous natural experiment.

COVID-19: India donates 7 tons of hydroxychloroquine to Nigeria Business Day. Here too.

Trump Doubles Down on Demon Sperm Doc The Daily Beast

* * *

A Vaccine Reality Check The Atlantic

Moderna pitches virus vaccine at about $50-$60 per course FT

The computational linguistics of COVID-19 vaccine design Language Log

‘It’s like you injected adrenaline into them’: Facebook’s vaccine misinformation problem faces a new test with Covid-19 STAT

* * *

City Praises Contact-Tracing Program. Workers Call Rollout a ‘Disaster.’ NYT

* * *

Face masks are breaking facial recognition algorithms, says new government study The Verge (Re Silc). That’s a damn shame.

Evolutionary origins of the SARS-CoV-2 sarbecovirus lineage responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic Nature. From the abstract: “SARS-CoV-2 itself is not a recombinant of any sarbecoviruses detected to date, and its receptor-binding motif, important for specificity to human ACE2 receptors, appears to be an ancestral trait shared with bat viruses and not one acquired recently via recombination. …. [T]he lineage giving rise to SARS-CoV-2 has been circulating unnoticed in bats for decades.”

India

‘A villager cried at seeing my picture of a snow leopard. That moment had great meaning for me’ Times of India

Indian firms struggle to lure migrant workers back Agence France Presse

China?

Three Gorges Dam under fast mounting flood pressure Asia Times (KW).

China woos Asean neighbours in bid to avoid US-led coalition on its doorstep SCMP. The word “water” does not appear.

Australia Abandons Its Neutrality on the South China Sea Maritime Disputes The Diplomat

Mistress of invective:

BJ = Beijing.

The Koreas

Revised missile pact with US to facilitate Seoul’s monitoring of Korean peninsula via satellite Straits Times. Ask a Korean comments:

Now South Korea’s Getting An Aircraft Carrier, Too Forbes

Seoul’s subway app to allow users to report passengers who don’t wear masks Hankyoreh

Syraqistan

Iran missiles target fake carrier as US bases go on alert AP

UK/EU

Labour anti-Semitism whistleblowers ‘could drop legal action that could cost the party millions if it expels former leader Jeremy Corbyn’ Daily Mail

Vloggers show how to migrate illegally on a jet ski The Economist

Venezuela Rejects Washington’s ‘Wild West’ Bounty Against Chief Justice Moreno Venezuelanalysis

Lithium coup:

He can’t help himself, can he?

How a Police Spy’s Stunning Testimony Threatens the Official Buenos Aires Bombing Story Consortium News (CL).

New Cold War

No need for a new Cold War. Fiona Hill on Italy, Russia and China (interview) Formiche.

Trump Transition

Here are the differences between the Democratic and Republican stimulus bills CNN. Zero for the Post Office is bipartisan, apparently.

A wave of evictions is coming. Democrats are proposing a lifeline. Vox. Access to lawyers. That’s the lifeline.

Police State Watch

Federal agents pull out of Seattle, mayor says Reuters (dk).

The Portland Military Policing Model Isn’t the Beginning of a Trend — It’s the Culmination of One Jacobin

Vallejo police bend badges to mark fatal shootings Open Vallejo

Minneapolis police say ‘Umbrella Man’ was a white supremacist trying to incite George Floyd rioting Star Tribune

How The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Has Used A Shadowy Charity Fund In Criminal Cases WLRN

Portland’s ‘Wall of Moms’: A Nonviolent Resistance Campaign with Historical Precedent Counterpunch

The Future of Nonviolent Resistance Erica Chenoweth, Journal of Democracy. From the abstract: “[E]ven as civil resistance reached a new peak of popularity during the 2010s, its effectiveness had begun to decline—even before the covid-19 pandemic brought mass demonstrations to a temporary halt in early 2020. This essay argues that the decreased success of nonviolent civil resistance was due not only to savvier state responses, but also to changes in the structure and capabilities of civil-resistance movements themselves. Perhaps counterintuitively, the coronavirus pandemic may have helped to address some of these underlying problems by driving movements to turn their focus back to relationship-building, grassroots organizing, strategy, and planning.” Well worth a read.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

How to hide from a drone – the subtle art of ‘ghosting’ in the age of surveillance Tech Explore. News you can use!

Class Warfare

Why Bitcoin is not a socialist’s ally – Reply to Ben Arc Yanis Varoufakis

More Than One In Four Young Adults Say They’ve Personally Participated In A Protest For Racial Justice Forbes

Antidote du jour (via Mithun H):

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.

123 comments

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s actually an interesting search to run, because I assume the results have been carefully engineered to present exactly the picture that Google corporate wants to present. The blandness is overwhelming

      Reply
  1. jackiebass

    I read an article about the NJ party with 700 people. In the article it said NJ allows gatherings of 500 outdoors or 100 inside a dwelling. To me this seems like too may people.

    Reply
    1. ObjectiveFunction

      Joisey showa*, baby! Party likely spills out onto the beach and/or boardwalk. But the bathrooms are probably quite a mess unless the renters arranged po’tapawts (Aaaay, it’s Joisey! I gotta cuzzin. Fuggedaboutit!)

      Reply
  2. zagonostra

    Now If only Japanese scientists can revive a real political movement like like the People’s Party that Thomas Frank talks about from the dead sea of American history.

    Reply
  3. PlutoniumKun

    Lithium coup:

    Much as I’d like to blame Musk for anything and everything, I think this is his idea of a joke. Lithium is not rare worldwide – in fact, prices are very low right now, and its price isn’t that important in the overall cost of batteries. Apart from the usual ‘because its there’ reasons the US had for promoting the coup in Bolivia, I doubt Lithium was a major consideration. The oil and gas, and possibly other minerals such as boron are likely to be higher on the list.

    Reply
      1. Bernalkid

        It could be argued that Morales himself was the problem, certainly to the local elites who seized power and in conjunction with the regime change types who infest the US government. Populism needed curtailment, and Venezuela is still a burr in the exceptional saddle.

        Reply
          1. Olga

            If perfection – or not ‘being a problem’ – were the measure of who gets over-thrown, the US would be leaderless for most of its existence. Unfortunately, there are many ways to justify a coup d’etat after the fact. Honduras comes to mind…

            Reply
            1. Bernalkid

              Just sayin’ that decapitation of a populist leader is an efficient way to pacify a population, if it works. Resources may not be the only motivator for the regime change types. Look at Aristide’s removal in Haiti, hardly a country redolent of vast natural resources.

              Reply
    1. jef

      “…oil and gas, and possibly other minerals…”
      All the above but it was the fact that Evo wasted too much of the wealth of the Country on making the lives of the people better and not allowing mega multi-nationals to syphon off all the profit. Same old story and the same reason why the Bern had to be taken out.

      Reply
      1. John k

        Odd to successfully help the poor and then either lose or have a much closer election. Not that many elites.
        Fdr helped the poor and was well rewarded at the ballot box at reelection. Three times. The first two re-elections preceded ww2.

        Reply
    2. D. Fuller

      Lithium, while not a rare earth metal – which are also quite common – is not found in great concentrations around the world. Where it is? It is economical to mine.

      Rare earth metals suffer from the same issue. They are spread throughout the Earth’s crust. Yet occur rarely in great concentrations. A mining company could scrape the entire surface of the earth to obtain vast quanties of lithium and rare earth metals.

      Destroying the surface of the planet.

      So, yes. Lithium deposits in Bolivia were a major factor – not the only one – in the coup against Morales. Considering how China locked up lithium supplies, leaving very little for others to compete for.

      Other factors:

      1. Political – the “socialist” boogeyman. Prevent China from locking in those lithium supplies.

      2. Business – Neoliberal supremacy in Latin America.

      There are others.

      Reply
    3. hunkerdown

      But we haven’t started any 20-year projects of changing the entire vehicle fleet to electric in earnest. In the event we do, batteries are certainly one limiting factor.

      More importantly, the Anglo ruling classes have always been very careful to keep their inferiors poor and dependent. Keeping lithium out of the hands of socialists or other world powers would be important to that end.

      Reply
  4. UserFriendly

    I’ve been meaning on saying this for a few days but it seams quite obvious to me that there is something about covid that makes it especially likely to trigger Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I found this video to be exceptionally informative on CFS and what triggers it. Which is essentially a layman’s review of this paper. Basically random autoimmune flare ups cause brain inflammation. There are two drugs that have off label side effects of reducing brain swelling. Low dose Naltrexone and low dose Dextromethorphan. Which kind of made me laugh a bit as I pictured people with CFS becoming junkies or robotripping just to get treated for something many doctors like to pretend doesn’t exist.

    Reply
    1. Lee

      Thanks for the links. I am being treated for ME/CFS at Stanford. Low dose (1.5 mg/day) Naltrexone has completely and effectively replaced opioids I’d been taking for years to manage chronic low back pain. I do have spinal defects, but as it turns out, it was my heightened sensitivity to pain rather than the defects themselves that was the problem.

      Kudos once again to NC commentariat where helpful information can be found about so many diverse things under the sun. And for the umpteenth time, special thanks to Arizona Slim for the tip on successfully treating sciatica. You can do it at home!

      Reply
      1. HotFlash

        And the thanks just cascade! Lee, your comment sent me to Bob and Brad. I already knew about Robin MacKenzie, his ‘Treat Your Own Back’ and ‘Treat Your Own Neck’ have been my vade mecums for 4 decades or more, so no news to me there. His method worked (DIY!!) when my MD wanted to do a spinal fusion and my chiropractor was building a clinic and seending his kids to college with my 3-times-a-week adjustments. But that has been under control for the aforesaid 4 decades.

        However, I have a dear friend who has not walked since her stroke last summer and with Covid, physiotherapists are loathe to do housecalls — BUT!! I found Bob and Brad’s ‘How to Make Amazing Progress in Walking After Stroke‘ and blimey, we are onto that as of this minute.

        Thank you, Lee and AZ Slim, and to our hostess Yves, to whom I must also say, “Ma’am, you run the most amazing place.”

        Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I’ve been meaning on saying this for a few days but it seams quite obvious to me that there is something about covid that makes it especially likely to trigger Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

      When I read about long-term effects of Covid like this, it makes me think of articles like “Coronavirus produces ‘sinister’ tentacles in infected cells” [FT]:

      Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour.
      https://www.ft.com/content/2690623a-6824-4837-a36d-73519b77aa7a

      Scientists have discovered that the virus behind Covid-19 causes the infected cells to grow stringy protruding branches — a highly unusual structure that allows the virus to attack several cells at once. 

      Researchers led by the University of California San Francisco have released the first ever close-up images of the spaghetti-like tentacles that were taken using an ultra-powerful electron microscope.

      “There are long strings that poke holes in other cells and the virus passes through the tube from cell to cell,” said Professor Nevan Krogan, director of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute at UCSF who led the project. “Our hypothesis is that these speed up infection,” Prof Krogan said of the “nasty and sinister” branches.

      I’m no more a physician than I am an epidemiologist, but I would speculate that the effects of the tentacles would vary by the infected tissue. whether the brain, the heart, the endocrine system, etc., as if kudzu started out on the lawn and them moved in through the kitchen window and got into the electrical system and the plumbing.

      Reply
      1. UserFriendly

        Well the thing about CFS is that it’s autoimmune. So the virus need not actually be present any more. Just whatever changes it left on the immune system cause flare ups.

        Reply
  5. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Korea and AAK

    South Korea has been building up its military for years now, and its continued under Moon. Whether this is because he agrees with the strategy or not, I don’t know – its possible that he finds it politically necessary to keep giving the military more toys. While some of the weapons they’ve developed are clearly aimed at the North, many others are not, most notably their ballistic missile capable submarine. You’d also question why a country like South Korea needs such a powerful (and enormously expensive) amphibious assault capability. The US just agreed this week to let it develop longer range ballistic missiles, but there is evidence that they’ve already been working with Russia on this – their medium range missiles are suspiciously similar to the Russian Iskandar model. Ballistic missiles like these make little tactical sense unless you anticipate getting your hands on nuclear warheads.

    When you look closely at the military spending all around the region, especially in Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam, its pretty clear that the military strategists are foreseeing a post-US world, one in which traditional local rivalries (along with fending off China) are the dominant requirements. Its becoming a little like the 1930’s, when the big European powers were still flouncing around the Pacific with their battleships, while everyone else was quietly preparing for the moment when they would inevitably be forced to withdraw, leaving everyone else to scramble to fill the vacuum.

    Reply
    1. David

      Yes, as you say this has been going on a long time – at least thirty years – and the buildup has included many components, such as a seagoing navy, that have no obvious relevance to the NK threat. Even then, in my experience, the SKs were looking beyond unification, or at least collapse of NK, to the days when they would have an effective land frontier with the local superpower. That accounts in part for their interest in nuclear weapons technology (they had their knuckles rapped by the IAEA for that) and MRBMs, as well as SLBMs.
      But I think it’s also part of a very long-standing desire to be taken seriously as a regional power, and to reduce the strategic leverage of the US, which they’ve been nibbling away at for decades. Koreans are famously insular, and the military especially so, and they’re often generally surprised that people are surprised about their plans.

      Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > You’d also question why a country like South Korea needs such a powerful (and enormously expensive) amphibious assault capability.

      I have some sympathy for South Korea here. They live in very rough neighborhood. I can also see why they would never, ever want a war fought on their soil again.

      Reply
  6. zagonostra

    >Desert Storm Gulf War Revisionist History?

    I don’t know what to make of this. I heard this somewhere on a podcast recently, forgot where, maybe Jimmy Dore, and it took some digging to find the source. If true, it’s very disturbing. It seems that getting a handle on history, even history within my own lifetime is elusive.

    Kuwait’s oil wells, torched during the final phase of the 1991 Gulf War, were set ablaze by fast-moving strike teams of U.S. Special Forces, not by Iraqi troops, as reported at the time, according to a U.S. Army officer who was there. Smoke from the fires blocked sunlight for weeks, creating a near environmental disaster in the Mideast . After almost a decade, this observer has decided to break his silence and divulge what he has seen on condition that his identity remain protected.

    http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/11/304515.shtml?discuss

    Reply
    1. Paradan

      I’m having serious trouble believing they sent individual soldiers out on there own, not even snipers operate solo.

      Reply
      1. HotFlash

        Interesting you should say that. The article cited says ” One veteran has now stepped forward and given a detailed account of how he and others in special teams, moved forward of the front, behind enemy lines ahead of US forces, set explosive and incendiary charges on the well heads, and remained hidden until after the charges were remotely detonated and US forces advanced beyond their position. ”

        Italics and bold mine.

        Reply
        1. CarlH

          I am not trying to counter this except to say that staying hidden in that environment is near impossible. Straight and flat as a table all around. I suppose small teams could accomplish this, though it would be very difficult if anyone was really looking for them.

          Reply
    2. CarlH

      My lungs are still problematic from those oil fires. My first in person look at them was the first time I started to really doubt humanity. Describing them as “apocalyptic” doesn’t do it justice. A truer candidate for “hell on earth” than I have ever seen, other than the second thing in my life that had me doubting our species, the Highway Of Death. I capitalize it because the victims deserve it. A straight up massive war crime that has been deep sixed down the memory hole.

      Reply
    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Kuwait’s oil wells, torched during the final phase of the 1991 Gulf War, were set ablaze by fast-moving strike teams of U.S. Special Forces, not by Iraqi troops, as reported at the time, according to a U.S. Army officer who was there

      Possibly. This paragraph:

      “A little known fact about the Gulf War is that one month before the Declaration of War on December 15th, 1990, Secretary of State, James Baker, signed the US Army report from the 352nd Civil Affairs Command on the New Kuwait (unclassified, and therefore available to those interested). This report describes in detail how extensively Kuwait will be destroyed, how the oil wells will be set on fire, and then how it will all be rebuilt ‘better than before’, with despotism, rather than democracy, even more strongly entrenched than it had been before. The report includes a list of US corporations who are to be assigned the profitable task of rebuilding Kuwait and extinguishing the oil well fires, as well as the Arab names they will be operating under.” Extra-Terrestrial Friends and Foes. George C. Andrews.

      Quoted several times, nobody thinks to add the link..

      Reply
  7. Alex morfesis

    Jim crow Karens in Miami…not exactly a fan of the prosecutor involved yet the article burps out and leads with a few pennies handed off to mostly black focused organizations while ignoring the millions of dollars given out from that same fund to mainstream legacy non profits…to channel Jim nabors…..shame shame shame…there are plenty of nonprofits in flow read duh which are wedding banquet halls masquerading as charitable organizations…and without mentioning all the rainbow apartheid with most HIV money going to the benefit of very non minority citizens when most (over 50%) new aids/HIV victims are hetro and bi black females…shame shame shame…

    Reply
  8. bob

    US Treasuries: the lessons from March’s market meltdown FT

    Moreover, recent transactions data from the Treasury showed that foreign investors offloaded a record roughly $300bn long-term Treasuries in March, and another $177bn in April. More than a third of March’s sales came from the Cayman Islands — a favourite domicile for hedge funds, analysts say. The following month, the low-tax jurisdiction was the largest net seller.

    A continuation of this pattern could have been dire. “With the market dislocated to that extent, it raised the risk that the government couldn’t fund itself,” according to a senior hedge fund executive. “It just had to be fixed.”

    Hedgies crying for mommy! “There’s a monster under the bed and you just have to do something about it!”

    Treasuries have NOTHING to do with the US being able to fund itself.

    Reply
    1. Mel

      Am I right in assuming that when they offloaded US Treasuries, they received US cash, or more likely US$ account balances?
      Which they did what with?

      Reply
    2. Tom Doak

      But they have everything to do with pretending that the government needs to tighten its belt, balance the books, live within its means, ad nauseum

      Reply
  9. timbers

    A wave of evictions is coming. Democrats are proposing a lifeline. Vox. Access to lawyers. That’s the lifeline.

    They should have thrown in a 5% discount coupon code on ACA Obamacare enrollment websites to show they really care. Another missed opportunity by the blues.

    Reply
      1. bob

        I have access to a private jet and a Rolls Royce to get me to it.

        I have no ability to pay for any of it.

        Reply
  10. Pavel

    Re: Three Gorges Dam.

    I stumbled on this Twitter thread yesterday and I swear it is one of the most frightening Black Swan events I can imagine short of an asteroid hitting the earth. I can’t vouch for the author in any way but he seems to have done his research.

    When the Levee (Dam) Breaks — by @man_integrated

    Read it and get scared. Imagine if this were to happen before the election?

    Reply
    1. timbers

      One scary thought:

      Since the folks running the U.S. government have declared a nuclear war is winnable and that they will use first strike, it sounds possible we attack China with nukes if the dam does break. We’ve ramped up the propaganda against her to prepare for a next step. What better time than to hit her when she’s down and distracted. I’m seeing more online comments about how the folks in power might decide they need a new war to save the economy for re-election.

      Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        The folks in power are not worried. Uncle Joe has already reassured them that nothing will change.

        Reply
    2. Synoia

      All dams fail, eventually. The weight of water deforms the earth (the planet earth) and changes the contour where the dam itself is built.

      The unknown is “when.”

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The weight of water deforms the earth (the planet earth) and changes the contour where the dam itself is built.

        Perhaps that is what the stories of “distortion” were all about.

        Reply
    3. PlutoniumKun

      I think what he says (as a worst case scenario) is credible. A dam burst here would completely devastate much of China’s productive capacity and transport links for years. Not to mention it would result in the loss of multiple GW of energy capacity. Even an economy as large as China’s would struggle to deal with the outcomes.

      The flooding in China this summer has been virtually unprecedented, if it wasn’t for ‘other things’ going on in the world it would have been much more high profile news. I’ve read lots of articles expressing concern about the main dam, but I honestly don’t know if those worries are genuine. Years ago (I wish I’d kept the article, I can’t find it now), I was reading some assessments in engineering magazines on concrete quality in China. The article was specifically about HSR, but it could be applied more generally.

      Short version is that the Chinese are very good at the technical side of concrete pouring, but are generally bad at making very high engineering quality cement, mostly due to a mix of corruption and the specifics of raw materials availability (they refuse to use non-Chinese inputs), plus a cultural focus on ‘fast and cheap’ over quality. One outcome is a long term lowering of the speed on the railway network as structures degrade much faster than anticipated. But it does make me wonder if anyone (including the Chinese authorities) really knows how good the concrete is that went into the base of that dam. I do know that western engineering companies were involved at the early stages, but as usual in these things were pushed out early on as soon as their Chinese subcontractors reckoned they’d learned enough.

      That said, the Chinese really do understand river engineering better than pretty much any other country, and dam building is not particularly technically difficult compared to building (for example) a high speed railway structure. So I’d be very surprised if there was anything radically wrong with the dam, and I’d equally be surprised if they hadn’t built such a rare flood event into their calculations. But I’d still be kinda nervous if I lived downstream.

      Reply
      1. Plague Species

        The terraformation of China within the past half a century is nothing short of spectacular. A spectacular transformation and a tragedy for all the obvious reasons.

        China is America 2.0 as far as consuming the remaining planet’s resources is concerned. It’s as though the alien, alien to nature, entity has shed its American skin, hence America is dying, and has slithered into its Chinese skin, hence China’s meteoric rise.

        It’s likened to a super-organism where each person is part of the larger organism whose goal it is to destroy all remaining life on the planet. If Musk needs terraformers for his Mars project, China the super-organism is a sure bet to get the job done and considering his increasingly cozy relationship with the super-organism, China now comprises 25% of Tesla sales, he should have no problem convincing Xi that Mars is China’s if Xi agrees to let the super-organism terraform it.

        Reply
      2. juno mas

        From the end of the article:

        These provinces will see 180 millimeters in daily rainfall throughout the rest of the week, with some areas experiencing up to 70mm of rain per hour.

        With a metric to Imperial conversion the sentence may be more eye-opening to Americans:
        These provinces will see 6 inches in daily rainfall throughout the rest of the week, with some areas experiencing up to ~3 inches of rain per hour.

        This makes the recent central Michigan rainfall event (and dam failure) look like a sprinkle.

        Reply
      3. chuck roast

        So, PK if I understand you correctly, you are saying that there is little or no quality control in the mostly steel and concrete Three Gorges Dam. I can’t believe that the CP leaders and their commissars would be so stupid as to let this happen.

        A number of years ago there was a big interstate highway engineering project where I lived. Passing over one of the completed concrete lanes, I could see that an joining lane that had recently been poured was being broken up and replaced. An acquaintance of mine eagerly informed me of this and yukked it up that it was simply more evidence that my “bureaucrat” friends couldn’t do anything right. I e-mailed him back that it most likely was State Highway Department inspectors overseeing the $600M project demanding that the contractors remove and replace concrete that that did not meet compression and safety standards. That was the last I ever heard from the knucklehead.

        All this by way of saying that quality control is a rudimentary part of any engineering project. And if the Chinese can’t get this fundamental right, then there is no hope for them as world leaders.

        Reply
        1. Tom Bradford

          “So, PK if I understand you correctly, you are saying that there is little or no quality control in the mostly steel and concrete Three Gorges Dam.”

          I don’t read PK as saying that. I read it that he’s suggesting that there may have been some corner cutting in areas someone able to profit from it (financially or politically) didn’t think would matter – except perhaps in the case of an exceptional event. And I accept that China’s engineers are very capable, but in China particularly it’s the politicians who are in charge, and how many politicians have even a two-year time frame, let alone a 50-year one.

          And a dam is only as strong as its weakest link.

          Reply
      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > That said, the Chinese really do understand river engineering better than pretty much any other country, and dam building is not particularly technically difficult compared to building (for example) a high speed railway structure. So I’d be very surprised if there was anything radically wrong with the dam, and I’d equally be surprised if they hadn’t built such a rare flood event into their calculations. But I’d still be kinda nervous if I lived downstream.

        That is where I am on this. IIRC, Three Gorges was Xi’s baby, albeit before he attained his present eminent. I think even the most corrupt contractor would think twice about crapping around with Xi’s cement (especially if Xi felt that the floods he wished to prevent would be a sign of divine retribution).

        Reply
  11. PhillyPhilly

    In case any of you were missing the pan-leftist chapo subreddit since it’s banning, I’d recommend checking out the new site they rolled out this weekend. Already has over 2K subscribers, and a similar flavor to the sub.

    https://www.chapo.chat/

    Reply
  12. Alex

    Re the AMIA bombing article, evidence against the Federal Police does not really preclude foreign involvement. The FP could assist whoever did it, supplying them with building plans and looking other way. It’s my speculation – my point is that “there is some evidence against X => Y is definitely innocent” is a fallacy.

    What the article fails to mention is that two years before the AMIA bombing there had been another bombing in Buenos Aires for which Islamic Jihad took responsibility.

    Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “Federal agents pull out of Seattle, mayor says”

    I would guess that the purpose of this was twofold. The first is that it was realized that the Federal presence was only fueling protests. The protestors were shrinking in size until these anonymous federal police-slash-troops turned up and went in heavy. This brought people out in their thousands, especially when they started to snatch people off the streets. Not only did people fight back, but protesters were quickly adapting to police tactics and were upgrading their own gear – too quickly for police comfort.

    The second purpose is that I believe that the numbers were stacked against the Federal troops. Reinforcements were being selected to take off some off the pressure but I think that manpower was actually becoming a concern. Those troops must have been exhausted being on duty night after night and the number of protestors was increasing at a faster rate than those troops could be reinforced. The same was happening several weeks ago with some of the major riots. Unless the US military is brought in, the numbers will always be against these super-troopers in any long-term engagement-

    https://theweek.com/speedreads/927824/feds-say-wont-leave-portland-until-violence-stops-privately-concede-theyre-fueling-that-violence

    Reply
    1. Keith

      Another way to read it is now they can say they will only stay for as long as needed, hence why they are still in Portland. Portland also gives great optics to support the LEO defense of the courthouse. In the end, either side can spin it the way they want.

      Reply
    2. Geo

      “the number of protestors was increasing at a faster rate than those troops could be reinforced.“

      That’s never stopped us from continuing occupations in other countries. They didn’t even give it the six month “Friedman Unit” for those forces to “turn the corner” and “win hearts and minds”.

      Reply
  14. The Viking

    Re: Vallejo PD

    ‘Current and former employees describe a department where bullies thrive, whistleblowers are dealt with harshly, and the pressure to shoot and kill civilians is strong.

    “Some days I feel like I work with a bunch of thugs who take pleasure out of hurting people,” a current member of the department told Open Vallejo’.

    ‘McMahon told investigators he stopped Foster, who had been riding his bicycle without a light in Vallejo’s quiet downtown, to “educate” him about traffic safety. Foster rode away, fell off his bicycle and ran. McMahon chased Foster into the courtyard of a church on Carolina Street, where he struck Foster repeatedly with his duty flashlight. Foster broke free, turned, and tried to get away. McMahon fired seven rounds, striking Foster in the back and the back of his head.’

    Let me get this straight: If I am a psychopath and want to murder people for kicks, all I have to do is join an American police department? This is really hard for me to process because I live in a country where the police are unarmed. I cannot see how such a society has a future.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yep. Hence, why advocates of “reform” are frauds. American police are far too rotten to ever be reformed. A couple of beers and a sensitivity video isn’t going to do it.

      Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Decades, a generation or three, of peace is what it will take. Our police departments are largely manned by veterans of foreign killing fields, where weapons systems are tested, supplies consumed which require replacement orders (lest some politician be accused of leaving the cupboard bare when the next crisis is manufactured), heroes (our children) hardened by murder (of other’s children), etc. Don’t think for a second the lessons of My Lai weren’t learned by both sides.

        Those same multiple generations is also what it will take for our VA system to recover from 30 years of war.

        Reply
        1. HotFlash

          Iraq/Viet Nam/whatever war veteran PTSD not necessarily required. In my little old home town, it was the school wienie, victim of bullying (and IMHO, at least somewhat deserved, but I don’t know what his home life was like) that became sheriff (elected). His not-so-bright but big and strong younger brother was deputy. Kids who reminded Our Sheriff of the kids who picked on him in grade school and high school? Targets.

          Reply
      2. Wise Lizard

        Saw this on Twitter and thought it summed up the police situation perfectly.

        Gravis (edited) @gravislizard “the police are like cheese that my mother says is good if you just cut the mold off but mold isn’t surface-level, that’s just the part you can see”

        Reply
    2. fresno dan

      The Viking
      July 29, 2020 at 9:16 am

      The article shows the iron fist in the propagandized velvet glove of police power, revealing that the police aren’t there to “protect and serve” but whose true purpose is to control and maintain power of those who benefit from the status quo. It is as if the whole system, with its layers of legalistic and formulaic bureaucracy is designed to thwart accountability (to “educate” him about traffic safety – that fact that something so transparently ridiculous is accepted only shows that people indoctrinated can only see what they are supposed to see)
      From a very early age, Mericans are inculcated by Hollywood, TV, and TV news with the idea that all police and military are heroes and that violence solves problems. This is the political sea we swim in, all pervasive and ever present. The idea that a de facto death penalty is appropriate for bicycle infractions is preposterous, but there you have it…

      Reply
    3. Oso

      The Viking
      basically yes if you want to murder for kicks one can join a PD and kill at will. Ronell’s mom Angela is a friend, everything about this is true. she had pics of what the flashlight beating did to his head. Over the past several years as the shootings/fatalities have increased, among the things we have demanded at city council meetings is drug testing the officers following OIS. Steroids and amphetamines in particular. So the PoA requested the city remove from the contract with VPD the language which allowed drug testing following OIS (even though they have never used this option). After a very long line of people eloquently spoke to keep the language in, the city council voted 6 to 1 to remove it.
      VPD runs the city, and the Fatal Fourteen run the POA.

      Reply
      1. HotFlash

        This. Even my BFF’s boyfriend the cop ‘way back when (4 decades or more) knew about — and disapproved of — aggressive cops, racist cops, cops on steroids, naming names. One he described as ‘the cop with no neck’ (due to steroids). He retired as early as he could. Code o’ Silence and all that. You really, really need to trust that your partner will back you up.

        Reply
    4. Randy G

      The Viking — The key to this delightful culture of killing citizens for ‘riding bikes without lights’ is that cops know they will be coddled and protected by prosecutors:

      ‘Krishna Abrams, who was elected district attorney in 2014, cleared McMahon of wrongdoing in January. Her office denied knowledge of the badge-bending.

      “We don’t have any credible evidence of that,” Solano County Chief Deputy District Attorney Paul Sequeira told Open Vallejo. “We don’t respond to rumors. Nobody brought that to us.”

      But Abrams participated in meetings where the custom was discussed months before clearing McMahon, according to two high-ranking law enforcement officials who work at different agencies.’

      The law, including decisions by the Supreme Court (‘qualified immunity’), protect police violence. And on rare occasions when prosecutors bring cops to trial for slaughtering citizens, juries typically let them off after some hand wringing.

      So the brutality and rot is systemic, and not just bad thoughts on “race”. (And if you do your “job” in this system –you might even end up as a Senator or President: see Kamala Harris.)

      Note that Steve Darden (see photo in article) is the Department’s # 1 killer. That’s why handing out copies of ‘White Fragility’– basically corporate navel gazing guides — to police departments around the country might not work.

      Police need to be demilitarized and held accountable for their ‘kill first, ask questions later’ mindset.

      Will it happen? Probably not.

      Reply
    5. km

      You don’t even need to be an actual police officer.

      Witness the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. The DA had the video and sat on her hands for months, until public pressure forced her to do something.

      Reply
    6. JBird4049

      The Viking:

      I can confirm what the other commenters have said. First though, much death has happened using a car, fists, boots, taser, and baton. IIRC, around 10% of police homicides nationwide each year happen without the use of guns. being conservative, using only 1,000 homicides with 5% done without guns, that is 50 per year. Then there are all the injured and crippled… then again, ratio of the injured to the dead of police shootings is probably 1 to 3. Then there is the fact that at least 10% of the dead were completely unarmed without so much as a pebble available.

      I already knew that the Vallejo department was perhaps the worse in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has been for decades, but not of the murder club it has. Considering that I have to drive through Vallejo occasionally, that is not a happy bit of information. I am going to make sure all my paperwork is correct before I next have to drive there in a few weeks.

      As to the violence of American policing, it has gotten worse over the past forty odd years, in tandem with the neoliberalization of our society. If you can, look up pictures of officers on patrol, riot duty, or in SWAT thirty years ago and to today’s police. They look nothing alike. The police of thirty years ago, while they could be scary as all Hell, especially the riot police (trust me on that) they looked like police; the police today, even on patrol, often look like they are soldiers on the battlefield. That also matches the attitude as well.

      On police reform, they will probably have to do with what Camden, New Jersey and fire the entire department and then hiring replacements after strenuous vetting. They did accept a few from the old department. But even that doesn’t always work. I believe it was tried with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. It did get better, for some values of better.

      They do not have the training or mindset of soldiers though. Too often, they have the mindset of a drug gang, which some of them are.

      The truly scary part is not knowing which kind of officer you will meet. The former kind who is professional, helpful, even friendly. An officer you would thank God for in an emergency. Or will you meet the latter kind who is basically a goon with gun and badge. An officer who can do almost anything and get away with it. Fortunately, where I live, most of the officers are in the former.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Rereading what I wrote, I find myself realizing that I live in a country that is increasingly a failing state with its police death squads or serial killers and narcotraficantes.

        In absolutely no way everywhere is this remotely true as there are a large number of good people and police departments, but this cancer seems to be spreading everywhere. The city of Vallejo and Los Angeles County are in very wealthy and blue areas although Vallejo was a conservative navy town. Still, but for the eastward curve of the Bay it would be in eyesight of San Francisco and Los Angeles has Hollywood. Yet, perhaps the two most violent departments, including one of the most corrupt, in California are right there. Perhaps, it is not a coincidence that the areas of a large poor black population (Vallejo) or of the over 60,000 homeless in Los Angeles have these departments.

        This is not only frightening, it’s embarrassing. Paraphrasing here, Lambert wrote that he has a hard time reconciling the failing country that is with the country that had a reputation for being able to do things. I guess that I do too. What I remember of my childhood, of the optimism even when we were really poor, is like a opium user’s dream. Something that never existed except as a phantasm. My childhood is a phantasm. Perhaps, that’s what some want us all to believe, so why try to change anything?

        Reply
        1. Oso

          JBird4049
          one thing i’ve noticed, Stockton is similar to Vallejo as far as cops. very brutal force also with multiple killers. Both went broke in the past, both isolated from public transportation and both typically lack media coverage until there’s another police killing. Oakland, SF and Sac always have network news and newspapers around, only the vallejo times-herald and stockton record there on the regular. I grew up around LAPD and LASD, brutal MF’s but nothing like what passes for police in Vallejo and Stockton.

          Reply
  15. Wukchumni

    One of the cabin owners in our community is a retired NPS superintendent who worked his way up the ranks, and along the way was a mounted ranger riding the trails of Grand Canyon from 1964 to 1971, and knew Ed Abbey (quite the loner, he stressed) to drop a name. He’s a proud 1/53rd owner in the cabin built by his grandfather in 1932. It’s typical of long held family cabins here to have quite spread out ancestral tendrils, and it isn’t as if owner #37 wants to sell, he or she can.

    He just turned 79 and we went off on a wild gooseberry chase, and the mother lode goes on for about 200 feet on the left hand side of the trail 3 miles from where you start on the Hockett trail, with wild strawberries, gooseberries and thimbleberries crowding out one another for attention in the shadow of thousand year old Sequoias. A few thimbleberries were ripe, but it was most fortunate we brought lunch, as foraging was 3 weeks away.

    I’d never eaten gooseberries, and he told me you wait until the leaves fall off and then shuck them using a glove (they’re quite spikey) and put them in a pot over a low flame and they’ll start popping, producing a syrup, and then when they’re all popped, strain it into a cup and add it when making an apple pie.

    Reply
    1. rtah100

      Hi Wuk,

      I just made gooseberry crumble for dinner. I bought 1kg for £1, they were in a gateway just after the boys’ holiday club, complete with honesty box. Cultivated, not wild, but still delicious.

      They certain produce a lot of “syrup”. What your friend omitted was the instruction to add your own weight in sugar! As they ripen, they soften to the point of bursting when looked at but they don’t get any sweeter. If you want a less soupy result, for a crumble or a pie for instance, it is worth cooking them down first.

      Their tartness makes them an excellent traditional accompaniment to oily fish (e.g. mackerel). Maybe with some capers. If making compote or crumble, don’t forget the sugar but one should also stew them with a head of elderflower (or some cordial if out of season) – again, the pairing really goes well.

      Three more gooseberry items:
      – we used to have bushes of green ones but also red, white and gold. Red were deliciously winey. I would hide under the bushes as a child eating the berries, as my mother did in her day. And yes, they are very spikey if you stand up too early
      – here in Devon, the traditional place for babies to be delivered by the stork is under the gooseberry bush. Also an expostulation that one wasn’t born yesterday.
      – in the UK, a gooseberry is the third person on a (non-poly) date. Is that a US usage?

      Reply
    2. HotFlash

      Thimbleberries, the unicorns of the berry world! Rarely encountered, almost never tamed, but if you have ever eaten one, never, never forgotten. For the uninitiated, thimbleberries are to raspberries as apricots are to peaches, but more ephemeral.

      Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “Australia Abandons Its Neutrality on the South China Sea Maritime Disputes”

    Yeah, about that. It was not that simple. I think that Pompeo wanted Australia to totally trash our relations with China and start sending our ships out to challenge China in the South China Seas. As China is our biggest trade partner, that was never going to fly. The normally belligerent Foreign Minister Marise Payne said that they won’t go so far but as a compromise, will let the US build a large fuel depot near Darwin for sustaining future operations. I suspect that there is not much trust in Pompeo or Trump and that there is nothing to be gained in outsourcing foreign relations to Washington-

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/australia-tells-us-it-has-no-intention-of-injuring-important-china-ties/ar-BB17i496

    Reply
  17. Wukchumni

    The country is in the early straits of a smash & burn mode, with the latter being especially scary if this trend continues in our National Parks, with Yosemite NP having similar arson issues.

    A nearly-century old backcountry patrol cabin in Glacier National Park was lost to a fire that is being investigated as suspicious, one of four fires that were reported Thursday morning.

    The Ford Creek Cabin was built in 1928, a tiny, one-room log cabin built for $350. Despite its age, it had been used by rangers for winter patrols. It was destroyed by the fire, park officials said Thursday evening.

    Park officials received a report of multiple wildland fires early Thursday morning. That led to a multi-agency response from local county, state, and federal agencies consisting of wildland fire crews, hotshot crews, engine crews, and law enforcement.

    https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2020/07/suspicious-fire-claims-historic-backcountry-patrol-cabin-glacier-national-park

    Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “No need for a new Cold War. Fiona Hill on Italy, Russia and China”

    I have come across articles about Fiona Hill before. She was a British exchange student in the Soviet Union back in ’87 and as far as she is concerned, it is always 1987 and the Soviet Union is still here but in disguise as the Russian Federation. That is the trouble with American foreign policy. Hill is supposed to be ‘one of the world’s leading experts on Russia’ but it is because of her prejudices that she was chosen as an advisor. It does not matter if it is arms control, the defeat of Georgia, the reunification with Crimea, the war in the Donbass, the shooting down of MH17, the interventions in Syria and Libya, poisonings, assassinations, interfering in elections, etc., etc., etc., it is always Russia’s fault and they have to be ‘managed.’ The only thing is that Trump is wrapped up about China so Hill is having to shift focus and climb aboard the China train before she gets left behind. If Biden wins in November, I would not be surprised to see her given a top post with the State Department.

    Reply
    1. John A

      What amuses me is that no msm journalist ever question the likes of Fiona Hill when they simply state “Russia invaded Ukraine and Georgia, illegally annexed Crimea, shot down the MH17, poisoned the Skripals etc.,” and all you ever hear on the BBC is ‘Russian aggression’ but no voice ever says, er, there are 2 sides to all these accusations and plenty of reasons to question to US/UK narrative.

      Were Biden to win, he will likely bring back all these hawks and Nuland as well. Not an enjoyable prospect.

      Reply
    2. anon in so cal

      >”Fiona Hill was mentored by Richard Pipes, arch-Russophobe who blamed Soviet aggression on Russian “national character,” advocated a massive nuclear build-up as leader of the neocon Team B, and nurtured the Islamophobe Daniel Pipes”

      –Max Blumenthal

      >Hill stokes regime change, consorts w/ Nuland, mentored by Richard Pipes. Hill’s salary at Brookings partly paid by Ukraine oligarch Pinchuk. Hill worked to stoke “Kremlin regime change schemes during the Obama Admin & at Brookings w Strobe Talbott, Clifford Gaddy, and Robert Kagan (husband of Victoria Nuland)”

      http://johnhelmer.net/fiona-hill-to-take-over-president-trumps-russia-desk-2/

      http://johnhelmer.net/vladimir-putin-is-safe-if-donald-trumps-expert-on-russia-is-fiona-hill-but-is-trump/

      Trump should have cleaned house.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        And yet, very curious that she says this:

        “the West is no longer engaged in a frontal geopolitical struggle with Russia. Whoever stands by the opposite theory is still living in the 20th century. Our systemic rival, as of now, is China.”

        Battleship America under The Biden of course will be re-aimed at those coordinates from the 20th Century.

        “Hard to starboard!”

        “Hard to starboard it is, Captain!”

        Reply
        1. Olga

          Poor Fiona! Now, she’ll have to learn Mandarin to stay current as the member of the ‘trash-any-would-be-rival’ brigade. Maybe she can manage that… or perhaps, in the ‘trash’ business, no real knowledge of anything is required. The hatred of ‘other’ is the only qualification needed.

          Reply
    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > If Biden wins in November, I would not be surprised to see her given a top post with the State Department.

      That’s why Pelosi platformed her in the ridiculous impeachment hearings on UkraineGate.

      I wonder if Biden/Obama promised Mayo Pete State. They’d be mad to do it (serious case of overpromotion, in both senses) but they could make Hill his deputy.l

      Reply
  19. ptb

    Glad you put up the Absentee Ownership (Stoller article). Amazon definitely facilitates enough scams that if it was a brick-and-mortar, it would have been shut down.

    Also interesting postscript in the same article about the grass-fed (but-only-for-a-month) beef laundered thru Whole Foods too. Is there a conclusion here? Something about corporate business ethics?

    Reply
    1. JWP

      “corporate business ethics?” An oxymoron.

      No Microsoft at the hearing…PMC’s love of Bill gates getting in the way?

      Reply
  20. pjay

    Re ‘Trump Doubles Down on Demon Sperm Doc’ – Daily Beast

    I’d like to argue for using “conspiracy theory” as a verb, as in: “All right! I really conspiracy theoried that SOB!”

    These Daily Beast authors nicely illustrate two key mechanisms for “CT-ing” something like, say, the suggestion that HCQ might be a useful treatment for COVID19. First, you simply state as fact that the idea has been “debunked”. Of course today’s Links show that it has not, but that doesn’t matter when defending an important establishment narrative. Second, of course, you link the deviant idea to its most ridiculous proponent, say, a “Demon Sperm Doc” — or maybe a farcical President. Those crazy deplorables will believe anything.

    Thanks, Daily Beast, for showing us today’s “journalism” in action.

    Reply
    1. pjay

      The Fiona Hill article reminded me that there is a mirror condition for those with the requisite impeccable credentials — “CT immunity.” This is a condition in which you can make up any crap you want, as long as it reinforces the dominant Establishment narrative. Such credentials include Ivy League degrees, elite academic or government positions, or platforms in the top mainstream media outlets. Unlike those poor Conspiracy Theorists who are officially “debunked” even when they have facts on their side, CT-immunity means you can never be debunked, or “CT-ed”, even when the facts suggest that you should be.

      Reply
    2. BellTolls

      Except her claim was it’s a cure not that its a treatment. It is not a disputed claim that HCQ is not a cure.

      Reply
      1. pjay

        Well, that’s my point. HCQ is associated with this kook and her right-wing supporters.

        Here’s the first line of the article:

        “The President of the United States doubled down on his support of a doctors “summit” peddling the debunked COVID-19 drug hydroxychloroquine…”

        The article linked to in this sentence (also from Daily Beast) says this:

        “Numerous studies and clinical trials have found that the drug has shown no real benefit in treating coronavirus patients. Experts also have warned of potentially deadly side effects.”

        That article was from July 28 – yesterday. Reading both articles, it is clear that the authors are not criticizing this woman for overreach on her claims. Rather, they are associating anyone “peddling the dubunked COVID-19 drug hydroxychloroquine” with believers in alien lizard DNA and demon dream-sperm.

        Perhaps I’m overreacting, but I don’t believe this is a helpful contribution to our understanding of current scientific research.

        Reply
    3. Rod

      I am not proud to say that my Congressman-Ralph Norman(R) SC CD #5–introduced that group of “Americas Frontline Doctors” on the steps of the US Supreme Court before handing over the mic.
      Sure, Ralph talked about the importance of finding a working strategy for opening up Education because,
      well, ummmm,
      y’know…
      That DC # is 202-225-5501 if you care to tell his office what a benevolent Public Service all that was.

      Reply
    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      All of these things can be true:

      1) Stella Immanuel is a loon

      2) Trump was either lazy and careless, or owning the libs, or butchered the optics when he endorsed her

      3) HQ has promise as a prophylactic, with some studies and adoption in the global south

      4) HQ appears to have little promise as a treatment (especially if the disease has reached the lungs)

      5) HQ is off patent so Big Pharma hates it

      6) The US health care system is geared toward hospitals, so (a) that is where the first HQ tests were done (drunks/lamp-post), and (b) approaches that are not hospital-related are second-class citizens

      7) Some HQ supporters are cultists

      8) Some scientists genuinely believe HQ is dangerous

      9) Some liberal Democrats are so deranged they would deny people a successful treatment by smearing it, especially if it brought down Trump (see general insanity under “health care policy”)

      10) Sometimes we have to make personal decisions — whether for ourselves, or for patients — about the risk of ruin before the controlled studies are in

      So the result of politicization is to conflate denying people a potentially successful treatment (see studies linked above) with defeating Trump. This is absolutely unconscionable and even sicker than RussiaGate.

      Reply
  21. Wukchumni

    Trump Doubles Down on Demon Sperm Doc The Daily Beast
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I’m not sure I get this, but if we secrete Donald Trump Jr.’s precious bodily fluids, a vaccine can be developed from it, and an otherwise utterly useless offspring can prove to have some worth?

    Reply
    1. km

      I thought I was in favor of vaccines. “Vaccines create adults” and all that stuff. However….

      I DO NOT WANT ANY VACCINE MADE FROM TRUMP SPERM!

      Reply
  22. fresno dan

    Internet Advertising
    I have to say, I always find it amusing what the algorithms believe I am interested in, and how they try and pique my interest.
    So yesterday, on Zero Hedge, entertaining myself with the guilty pleasure of my perusal of the usual outlandish, outrageous and disturbing content therein, there was an advertisement for Nordic Trac. Now, I am WAY TOO CHEAP to pay to run when I can just go outside and run around all I want (in Fresno, I’d advise running before 7am, unless your partial to melting) so buying a Nordic Trac holds no appeal to me what so ever.
    So I click on the ad, again, not because I’m interested in Nordic Tracs, but because I very much want to…ahem… see more of the young woman on the machine, who apparently only wears spray paint while exercising. Of course, this is only because of my interest in internet advertising methodologies and the nefarious lengths advertisers will go to capture the public’s attention and my desire to examine this more closely…
    Alas, clicking on the advertisement just got me a bunch of drivel about the product and pictures of people attired in normal workout clothing.
    So clicking on NC today, what do I see in the advertisements but my muse from yesterday, but the picture cropped so as to not display her form below the waist. Which I think just affirms that the denizens of this establishment are not swayed by such crass and boorish appeals to people’s more base desires.

    Reply
    1. ptb

      Ha! yeah, one can “train” the google AdSense or third party equivalents. The power move is to not only click, but also put the item being advertised in a virtual shopping cart and let it sit there.

      Fun experiment: See if you can train google to show you only goods that are purple (or any arbitrary color).
      Bonus: train google to eliminate ads with models who are blondes (or brunettes)… or ads with models who are men with (or without) beards…

      Reply
  23. Bernalkid

    Thinking about umbrella man and pizza box guy at this later date, my opinion is that pizza box guy was perhaps fake opposition to keep others away from interfering with the window breaking. Umbrella man used a hammer, and could have wacked an opponent, so pizza guy seemed to be putting himself in harms way, while doing the “good” work of challenging a violent protester. Others would go “that guy is taking care of it” and he continues to hector umbrella man walking away from Autozone out of site around a dumpster, I recollect. Anyway, the collaborative footage is a bit later, the two are walking down the street away from Autozone, chatting, pizza guy holding his box vertical under his arm rather than horizontal as during the set piece like he actually had a pizza in it. Seems like pizza guy would be relatively easy to identify since none of his features were covered, but he seems to be assumed to be an innocent bystander who spoke up.

    Reply
    1. Foy

      I replied to your comment yesterday. I saw it much differently after watching additional videos of them walking together:

      If the other videos are listened to when they were walking away together the pizza guy kept saying accusing the other guy of breaking windows. He was following him making sure other people knew what the had done and continually asking him was he an undercover cop. It looks like pizza guy was staying just far enough away so the guy didn’t turn around and whack him and also in a way that wasn’t aggressive – it seemed he was smiling/laughing because he was so incredulous that they guy had the balls to do what he did and walk away calmly like he did.

      Reply
  24. Wukchumni

    Take me out of the ballgame
    Where there is no crowd
    Buy me an instant Covid test
    If it comes back positive, a fortnight rest

    For it’s root root root for the season to continue
    If it don’t it’s a shame
    For there’s no TV money to be had
    If there’s no ballgames.

    Reply
    1. Maritimer

      How can we survive without Monopolized Professional Sportz run by the same Bills looting the system, paying no taxes and getting taxpayers to build their Taxfree Taj Mahals? Very fitting that the Fauch should throw out the First Pitch. Talk about rigged rackets!

      I have yet to ever hear any sitting Senator or Congresscreature say anything against these sports monopolies. AOC would be scared to death to ever say anything criticizing the “beloved” Mets. (Anyone remember Madoff, Wilpons and Mets?)

      Reply
    2. Late Introvert

      It is so gross. I even like baseball and did Little League badly. I also hate jocks with a passion so have an ulterior motive.

      So sad too bad, all you muscled up steroid boys, who now have to find real jobs in late stage capitalism.

      Reply
  25. David

    The JoD article on “civil resistance” (the author doesn’t seem quite sure of her terminology) isn’t very convincing, I’m afraid. It’s a classic example of developing a (very simple) model and then looking for examples to fit to it. The author seems to have a pretty shaky grasp of most of the historical examples, and conflates very different, and in some ways opposed, episodes as though they were the same thing.
    Nobody with any knowledge of South Africa, to take an obvious example, could write: “The Black-led anti-apartheid movement in South Africa succeeded in bringing down the country’s regime of legally enshrined racial discrimination.” Apartheid was not “racial discrimination”, it was a highly complex complete political and social theory of politics and government, justified from the Bible, and allegedly based on scientific theories of racial superiority, and fervent anti-communism. (The English-speaking whites were actually the first targets). The “anti-apartheid” movement was overseas, not in SA, and most of its leaders (as opposed to most of the ANC’s leaders) were white. (It’s HQ was in London.) The ANC itself was mostly in exile and, far from undertaking peaceful resistance, it had decided as early as 1961 that the regime could only overthrown by force. The decade or do before the end of apartheid was bloody and violent, with bombings and shootings, riots and assassinations and an intermittent war in Angola and Namibia. The regime was not “brought down” by the “anti-apartheid movement.” The regime eventually decided to negotiate because, with the end of the Cold War the threat from communism was believed to have receded, the war in Angola was unpopular and expensive, sanctions were biting and, as one white general put it to me “the country was burning.” The regime thought they could fob off the ANC with a few concessions, but were outmanoeuvred, after several years when civil war seemed a real possibility. You may think I’m breaking a butterfly on a wheel here, but the fact is that the examples used are nearly all gross-oversimplifications, which leaves the theory with no real evidential support.
    The reality is that the main determinant of whether large-scale political change is peaceful or violent is how important the stakes are. It may seem grotesque to compare, say, the independence war in Algeria with the “struggle for LGBT rights” as the author does, but the fact is that the first of these was violent because the stakes were infinitely higher. Algeria was legally part of France and had a million white residents, some of whom had been there a century or more. The French were never going to give it up easily, not least because the white settlers would’ve reacted violently (which indeed they did). Colonial regimes ended peacefully (Tanzania, Ivory Coast) where the stakes were low, and violently (Kenya, Rhodesia, Angola) where the stakes were high. In the end, the NSWP states fell, not because of popular pressure, but because Moscow made it clear that they were not going to prop them up with force, and from that moment their fate was sealed. The Sudanese elite was prepared to sacrifice Bashir, as the Algerian military was prepared to sacrifice Bouteflika, to stay in power.
    The real message of this saga, therefore is, know your opponent and choose your battles. It’s pointless to demand something that your opponent cannot give you: if you try, they will react violently, no matter how peacefully you behave.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The JoD article on “civil resistance” (the author doesn’t seem quite sure of her terminology)

      That’s remarkable, since the article is by Erica Chenoweth, who invented and popularized the concept.

      Reply
  26. Offtrail

    Labour anti-Semitism whistleblowers ‘could drop legal action that could cost the party millions if it expels former leader Jeremy Corbyn’

    As someone who has supported Palestinian rights for decades, I have watched the Labour party’s treatment of Jeremy Corbyn with great foreboding. Efforts to prohibit BDS in the US have the same earmarks as the witch-hunt conducted against Corbyn and his supporters. What Corbyn’s critics got away with in Britain is worse than anything attempted thus far here, but it may be only a matter of time. Mind you, this sort of faux anti “antisemitic” persecution has been happening for years at sites like Daily Kos.

    Reply
  27. Susan the other

    Thanks for the Nature link on the evolution of Covid19. It’s hot and I’m pooped, but if I read it correctly, scanning it, it said that this Covid19 strain has been around in bats for some time according to the DNA regressions. It said surprisingly that it really doesn’t seem like it requires a boost from an animal to infect humans, that it might as easily be transmissible directly to humans. No pangolins required. And the lineage shows that the affinity for human ACE2 receptor sites also regresses back for some time in corona viruses. I’m butchering the research, sorry – so it sounds like it has been transmissible directly to humans for a while and also between humans. Raising the question, why such a pandemic now? Interesting, as Shi was adamant she could find no intermediary. Which now doesn’t seem to even be the question.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Raising the question, why such a pandemic now?

      We quote this a lot, but: ““Then, as his planet killed him, it occurred to Kynes that his father and all the other scientists were wrong, that the most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error.” — Frank Herbert, Dune

      Reply
  28. Tom Bradford

    “A vaccine reality check” – The Atlantic.

    20% of Americans would refuse a vaccine even if available?

    As someone in a country with a brilliant Public Health Service (I’ve had to use it too much not to be aware of it!) I have to say I’d be very annoyed at anyone using its facilities, and public money, if/when they fell ill for refusing a vaccination. Perhaps to the point of arguing that when people bring illness on themselves they should at least be required to pay towards the treatment.

    As I believe in the US you’d have to pay for it anyway I’d’a thought anything to keep one out of the system would be sensible.

    And if you could add the innoculation against religion Trump’s latest witch-doctor is fulminating about into a universal vaccine I think it should be compulsory.

    Reply

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