Links 7/30/2020

Baboons armed with knives, chainsaw spotted in UK safari park New York Post (DK)

Loss of bees causes shortage of key food crops, study finds Guardian (resilc)

Scientists find out why leaves on the track causes travel chaos Guardian. Vlade:

In the UK, “leaves on rails” is a major reason for train delays in autumn (as is snow in winter, suicides in the spring, and hot weather in the summer. Or put it differently, the worst enemies of the UK rails is spring, summer, autumn and winter). Now someone looked into it.

World’s largest nuclear fusion project begins assembly BBC (David L)

Offshore wind in Europe won’t need subsidies much longer ars technica

#COVID-19

Science/Medicine

Trust me, read the entire tweetstorm (hat tip Kevin W). “#LongCovid numbers are high: 35% of people are not back to normal after the suggested ‘recovery’ period.” Related vid if you have time:

US

U.S. Leads the Globe as Coronavirus Deaths Pass 150,000, Hospitalizations Rise Wall Street Journal. We’re exceptional!

Dr Fauci tells people to wear goggles for ‘perfect’ protection from coronavirus amid growing evidence particles can get into eyes – as deaths surpass 150,000 and seven states smash daily fatality records Daily Mail

Baseball players express fear and uncertainty in the wake of Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak Washington Post (resilc)

What Vermont and Its History Might Teach the Nation About Handling the Coronavirus New Yorker. Resilc: “My wife got a free drive up covid test in Bennington yesterday. No waiting. The state lab calls her in 48 hours. Too bad we’re a state and not still a republic.”

Political Responses

Coronavirus relief talks hit impasse on Capitol Hill Washington Post (UserFriendly)

GOP hunts for ‘Plan B’ as coronavirus talks hit wall

Pelosi warns maskless lawmakers may be thrown out BBC

Go Big on COVID Relief, or Get Thrown Out of Power American Conservative (resilc)

Finance/Economy

State and local governments have lost 1.5 million jobs since February Economic Policy Institute

Spending is back to normal for poor Americans—but not for rich ones Quartz (resilc)

Does $600 a Week Make the Unemployed Avoid Work? Evidence Says No Bloomberg

The Problem of the Not-Quite-One Percent New Republic

China?

Mike Pompeo the Maoist Asia Times (Kevin W)

The Vatican Is Said To Be Hacked From China Before Talks With Beijing New York Times

Hong Kong property tycoon pitches new city idea to Ireland Guardian. PlutoniumKun: “Hard to know what to make of this.”

From Politico’s morning European newsletter:

DELINQUENT’ GERMANS: The U.S. will pull nearly 12,000 troops out of Germany — one third of the entire American military presence in the country, and more than previously announced. America will also move its HQ for Europe (EUCOM) from Stuttgart to Mons, in Belgium. Why? The criticism, repeated again on Wednesday by both Defense Secretary Mark Esper and President Donald Trump, that Germany doesn’t spend enough on defense.

Or, in Trump’s words … “Germany pays Russia billions of dollars a year for Energy, and we are supposed to protect Germany from Russia. What’s that all about?” Trump tweeted in the early hours of this morning. “Also, Germany is very delinquent in their 2% fee to NATO. We are therefore moving some troops out of Germany!”

Among strategists: It doesn’t take much digging to conclude the decision is mainly a political one, rather than military or strategic. NATO’s latest numbers, which set out how much each ally spent on defense, have German spending at 1.38 percent of GDP. Meanwhile, Belgian spending amounts to 0.93 percent. How the decision would “improve EUCOM’s operational flexibility,” as its Commander Tod Wolters put it, or help to deter Russia, as Esper claimed — they couldn’t explain. Here’s more on the big announcement, by Lara Seligman.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Rite Aid facial recognition rollout faces trouble Reuters (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

A U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams Tank Accidentally Shot a Friendly Tank Popular Mechanics (resilc). Admittedly, friendly fire happens all the time….but in training?

Trump Transition

Trump Administration, Oregon Agree to Reduce Federal Agents in Portland Wall Street Journal

Trump reportedly told aides to get Yankees to let him throw first pitch – but they hadn’t actually invited him Independent (resilc)

Trump Campaign ‘Laundering’ Campaign Finance Money, Election Watchdog Says Vice

Trump halts daily briefing amid questions about support for ‘alien DNA’ doctor – video Guardian (resilc)

‘Brushers’ Are in Focus as Officials Test Packages of Mysterious Seeds Wall Street Journal

2020

Jagger, Stipe sign letter demanding campaign song consent Agence France-Presse (resilc)

John Feffer, The No-Trust World TomDispatch

Don’t. Side. With. The. Powerful. Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

Our Famously Free Press

US military refers to news reporters as ‘adversaries’ in troops’ training Business Insider (Kevin W)

Police State Watch

Protester released after controversial arrest in Manhattan; NYC officials demand answers ABC7 (DK). Note that tweets, including from an archive kept by ProPublica, have videos of the shanghaiing that the claim that the police were being “assaulted by rocks and bottles” is false.

Tech Wet Noodle Lashing

Five takeaways as panel grills tech CEOs The Hill

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ‘Can’t Guarantee’ Policy Against Using Seller Specific Data Hasn’t Been Violated VentureBeat

Zuckerberg Goes Off-Script, Blasts Apple and Google in Testimony Bloomberg

Mark Zuckerberg was grilled over whether Facebook copied and threatened rivals, but the CEO says the social media giant just ‘adapted features’ Business Insider (Kevin W)

Airbus’ self-flying plane just completed successful taxi, take-off, and landing tests, opening the door for fully autonomous flight Business Insider. DK:

When the test had its first milestone, the airline industry was facing a pilot shortage. Now, airlines are finding themselves with too many pilots as fewer flights are being flown due to the pandemic.

“For autonomous technologies to improve flight operations and overall aircraft performance, pilots will remain at the heart of operations,” Airbus said in a press release.

Currency hit to North American companies’ results rises to $10.8 billion Reuters (resilc). From earlier in the week, still germane.

Hold the Halos John Kirakou, ConsortiumNews

International student applications to U.S. colleges are predicted to fall this year — why that’s a big problem MarketWatch. Now it’s official.

Boeing Plans Deeper Job, Production Cuts Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

Nationalize All The Nice Places Current Affairs (UserFriendly). Start with no private beaches, like Down Under (the story does mention beaches and I’m not even a beach person, but the premise really offends me).

Honda Requiring Office Workers To Build Cars At Ohio Assembly Plant MSN (ma)

How the Electoral College Is Tied to Slavery and the Three-Fifths Compromise Teen Vogue (Dr. Kevin)

Almost 30 Million in U.S. Didn’t Have Enough to Eat Last Week Bloomberg

Antidote du jour. John N: “​Wiley waiting for her software to open”:

And a bonus (guurst):

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

182 comments

  1. cocomaan

    Wow, I had been saying that goggles were next after masks. ocular transmission is a real thing. I was buying N95’s at the hardware store in mid January when I heard that the quarantines in China were the biggest quarantines in human history.

    I was talking with someone I know who works in a corporate environment with a lot of trade secrets about facial recognition and masks. His company is now using a temperature check scanner that can tell if you have a mask on.

    For facial recognition algo’s, this crisis is a great learning tool. I guess there’s silver linings…?

    Reply
    1. Krystyn Podgajski

      Speaking of goggle’s, I have been wearing my old motorcycle glasses so I look cool and protected. They are not perfectly sealed but I could not imagine much getting my them. Look for them by searching for “3 Pair Motorcycle Riding Glasses Padding”. You get clear, yellow and tinted for only $12.

      Reply
    2. Ignacio

      Contagion through eyes is indeed an issue. From there to the brain the distance is short while the lungs looks farther.

      Reply
      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Could you possibly elaborate re the brain? Doesn’t the virus only enter the bloodstream via the lungs? which it would presumably reach from the eyes via the tear ducts and nasal cavity. Once there, does it cross the blood-brain barrier? Thanks for your contributions!

        Reply
        1. anon in so cal

          >Lambert posted this excellent UCSF video a few days ago. Prof Milton’s presentation is first and he explains how the virus can inoculate through the conjuncitiva.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cio3rh6ta3w

          >Russia’s national carrier AeroFlot now requires passengers to show proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of departure.

          Reply
    3. TroyIA

      It’s nice that Dr. Fauci finally recommends goggles to prevent infection. Too bad we already knew about their value 6 months ago. From the earliest stages of the outbreak way back on January 23rd a Chinese doctor claimed he contracted the virus through the eyes.

      Chinese expert who came down with Wuhan coronavirus after saying it was controllable thinks he was infected through his eyes

      As an aside it is funny that President Trump is criticized for calling covid-19 the China Virus but during the initial stages it was known as the Wuhan Coronavirus.

      Reply
      1. Icecube12

        Indeed, people were wearing eye protection to go to the shops in Wuhan back in January and February. I almost got a pair of ski goggles in March but no one in the country I live in (Iceland) was wearing masks, much less goggles, and I knew I wouldn´t have the courage to wear any of it in the shops. Now we might be entering the second wave, and the authorities are finally requiring masks in public transport and anywhere 2 meter distance can´t be respected. Maybe goggles will be a thing for us in the third or fourth wave.

        Reply
      2. Darius

        We have a new Wuhan every day here in the United States of Pandemica. It may have originated in China, but it took the exceptional nation to drop the ball in our own unique and spectacular way.

        Reply
  2. John A

    Re: Scientists find out why leaves on the track causes travel chaos

    On the line I take to London, they thought they could resolve the issue of ‘leaves on the line’ by chopping down loads of trees. This eliminated that problem but caused another problem, namely landslip onto the line from now treeless embankments, where the soil had been held in place by the tree system.

    Reply
      1. Off The Street

        Pacific Gas & Electric, PG&E, can send their crack team of right-of-way maintenance people for assistance.

        Reply
      2. vlade

        It also has a problem of learning from others. Because, you know, the UK is one of the least-leafy countries in the Europe. TGV in France, and a lot of fast-trains in the Germany, most of the rail in CZ and Slovakia run through forests.

        Weirdly enough, I am not aware of any “leaves on trails” problems (there’s a summer problem when you have a week or two of 30C+ daily highs though, and trains have to slow down). I’ll have to ask next time I’m with my friends who work on the rail (one of them does brakes testing, so would know).

        Reply
      3. Ignacio

        In this sense you will always be in good company. Or bad. Spain can easily defeat any other country regarding absence of crítical thinking.

        Reply
        1. vlade

          Spain has an excuse of only slowly (re)emerging into 20th century from 1970s post Franco era.

          The US, on the other hand, seems to have taken a retrograde action at the same time squarely aiming for late 19th century instead of early 21st (on most fronts except technology).

          Reply
    1. rtah100

      This argument on causation is plausible but there are other factors to consider. Remember, between 1850 and 1960, the heavily wooded line sides we see in the UK today were clear-cut, to ensure that steam locomotives did not set fire to undergrowth from stray sparks. For some suburban lines (especially in the Southern and Southwestern region where third rail electrification happened very early, 1920’s or before), the date that line clearance stopped may have been much earlier. Nevertheless, the lines did not have substantial landslip problems for the first 50-100 years.

      My suspicion is that the presence of the trees has changed the stability of the bank in the first place (they increase ground porosity) and the sudden loss of tree cover and the die back of roots has resulted in instability, rather than bare earth being the problem per se. The banks will also have moved over time, possibly slumping so that mass has shifted from the top of the slope towards the middle and held back by the trees at a steeper angle to the ground.

      Of course, it might be the “heavier rainfall” the climate change shroud-wavers keep mentioning. But it might not….

      Reply
    2. Nedd

      Why not install cheap little brushes ahead of the lead wheels of locomotives so that leaves are knocked off the rails before the train runs over them?

      Reply
    3. juno mas

      Didn’t read the article, but large leaves affecting urban activities is not uncommon. The solution is to plant trees with small, readily decomposing leaves (Ulmus japonica) or non-deciduous trees with small leaves (Acacia baileyana). Chopping down trees for the leaf is like. . . baby and the bathwater.

      Reply
      1. Conrad

        If you’ve ever slipped on some leaves you already know that fallen leaves are slippery. The witterings in the article about tannin content and its interaction with the rails really don’t add much.

        Reply
        1. juno mas

          Read the article. My comment stands the test. The leaves of the trees I suggested are much smaller that a standard steel rail. The small leaves would be apt to fall off the rail than stay on the rail.

          Reply
  3. Zagonostra

    >HEALS Act

    It looks like the HEALs Act it is developing as a worthy successor to the CAREs Act. Let’s see if Bernie and the Squad will vote yeah on this one as well when it finally emerges from the seedy sausage factory and comes up for a vote.

    HEALS Act, includes no funding for hazard pay, the Postal Service, state and local governments, nutrition assistance, or help for uninsured or underinsured Americans, but incorporates a $29.4 billion bonanza for the Pentagon…the bill (pp. 35-38) allocates $686 million for the purchase of extra Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, $650 million for A-10 Warthog fighter-bombers, $720 million for C-130J transport planes, $283 million for AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and $1.068 billion for P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft.

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/brazen-giveaway-gop-heals-act-30-billion-bonanza-pentagon/269857/

    Reply
      1. Zagonostra

        Yes JD is staying true, unlike other Ytubers who have pivoted to focusing on Trump and are apologist for the Dems. JD’s message is essentially that both parties are corrupt and that the Dems are the more “effective evil” since they adopt the language of the working class is spot on and ties in nicely with the series of interviews that Paul Jay is doing with Thomas Frank (new book is “The People, No!).

        Reply
      2. Duck1

        Gee, I thought they did a Defense Appropriations Act for the MIC goodies. My bad. Maybe they can get that A-10 Warthog to deliver the mail.

        Reply
        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          The military is still nominally public — gotta think privatization! Maybe Boeing has some planes to spare. . . .

          Reply
  4. crow

    Re: U.S. Leads the Globe as Coronavirus Deaths Pass 150,000, Hospitalizations Rise

    USA USA, we’re Number One!

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        Whatever happened to good old fashioned American Isolationism?
        We’ve been falling down on the job.
        (Phyl tells me that Europe is taking up the slack on American Isolationism. Good for them.)

        Reply
  5. Olga

    Amazing how no articles about the delinquent Germans, NATO, and troop reductions/moves mention the fact that this is all a part of strategy to punish Germany for sticking with the Nord Stream II project. Certainly, DT is not hiding it. Wld also be interesting to know who in Germany is (secretly) happy about the withdrawals and what the unintended consequences will be.

    Reply
    1. timbers

      Germany needs to bust a move: quit NATO, the Euro, revive the Mark, repudiate the US, start investing in Russia. OK, that could be done more discreetly, but point is she will do better looking eastward and getting out from under the US thumb.

      Reply
      1. vidimi

        germany has no incentive to do any of those things as it is the beneficiary of all of them. except for the investing in russia bit, which it is trying to do discretely.

        Reply
        1. timbers

          Not so sure Germany benefits from all of them, as you say.

          Judging by below comments, many in Germany apparently do not feel they benefit from NATO troops on it’s soil. I understand regarding the original setting of the EUR that most seem to think Germany got a benefit from that so I agree there. On the other hand, do not agree any nation benefits from negative or zero interest rates, that Germany is forced to suffer under ECB. In fact I’d rate that damage as high, with benefit to Germany for leaving. Also, not sure Germany pursuing investment eastward as it tries to now as you say, is equal to what it could do freer (not free, but freer) of US interference, should it leave the EU.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            But but but…those Red tanks are about to motor through the Fulda Gap!

            (Overheard at CentCom: “Must fight last war…must fight last war. Hey, is the PX still open?”)

            Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      I knew an affluent middle-class family in Germany a long time ago and they referred to the American troops as occupation troops. This was back in the 80s when things were more hard core but you wonder just how many Germans think this way. I was certainly surprised to hear this viewpoint back then.

      Reply
      1. Fireship

        I know for a fact that the British Army ”Tommies“ are absolutely hated in Paderborn. They really are the dregs of the sink estates of Britain.

        Reply
        1. TMoney

          It’s an old problem. “We have in the service the scum of the earth as common soldiers.” -Duke of Wellington

          but Mr Kipling pointed out how the soldier felt

          I WENT into a public ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
          The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ” We serve no red-coats here.”
          The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
          I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
          O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, go away ” ;
          But it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play
          The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
          O it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play.

          I believe today it’s polite to say “Thank You for your service” as you walk past the homeless vets.

          Reply
          1. marieann

            My husband quotes it as
            “it’s Tommy this
            an Tommy that
            and throw him out the brute.
            but it’s savior of our country when the guns begin to shoot”

            He was born just after the war and he grew up with stories of the HomeGuard (Scotland)

            Reply
      2. Schmoe

        Based on the comment section of the newspaper Die Zeit (likely left-leaning), quite a few. One of the most liked comments was “Ein guter Anfang” -(“A good start”) to 12,000 troops leaving. Auf weidersehen also ranked high.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Perhaps the EUropean countries can begin thinking of a post-NATO defense alliance for themselves only.

          They could call it NEATO. The North East Atlantic Treaty Organization. NEATO.

          Reply
        2. EMHO

          Did Zeit is an arch-conservative newspaper, just like Die Welt. Both papers support Germany’s CDU/CSU party.

          Reply
      3. David

        Well, they were occupation troops originally, like the British and the French, and they enjoyed special legal status in the FRG. In about 1990, there were tense and complex negotiations to change this, and to abolish what the Germans called “siegerrechte” or “victory rights.”
        Incidentally, the move from Stuttgart to Mons makes sense, because that’s where the NATO military HQ is.

        Reply
      4. Brian (another one they call)

        When I went in 1972, the US soldiers that I visited were housed on a luftwaffe base. They had a bar in town they went to that was friendly to them, but no other in the area was. They lived in near isolation and I rarely heard where they interacted with anyone but the local girls. They got the message early on that weren’t welcome to mingle.

        Reply
          1. juno mas

            Europeans learn passable English through school and interaction with touring ‘Mericans. Casual verbal communication wouldn’t be a constraint.

            Reply
        1. rd

          I believe the English countryside perspective of American troops in WW II was “over-paid. over-sexed, and over here”

          Reply
      5. apleb

        Many germans still think this way.

        Having a foreign army stationed on ones soil is always like this.
        Generally the US troops in Germany are they same issue like troops in Okinawa or Bumfamilyblog Iowa.
        It’s a very important part of local economy, at the same time it’s a lot of young males with lots of aggressive training. Local bars and shadier ventures can’t exist without them, they also spend in normal supermarkets or gas stations. They als are responsible for a higher than normal amount of violent crimes up to the worst crimes imaginable
        So their money is very much welcome or even needed while the ones spending that money certainly are not.

        This is the same in Germany. Any mayor of a town where the local barracks were shut down was lamenting from the 90s to now. Same for all business owners Won’t anyone think of the taxbase!
        At the same time, normal families and especially families with girls were all happy they saw the back of them.

        As for the relocation of troops to Poland and away from Germany: maybe it’s a bit Nordstream II related but mostly it’s about Poland paying a lot of money to have the troops staying there. Movement from a troop rich environment of an old frontier country to a new frontier country. Nearer to the enemy and the new battleground.

        Reply
      6. Mark

        Why exactly is that viewpoint surprising, even back then?
        The troops are de facto the remains of the four victorious armies of WW2 which never ended their occupation. Even de jure they are no guests. The German citizens never had a vote to invite them in or even a realistic indirect vote via normal elections since neither Soviet nor Nato forces were ever up for debate in those. The US troops here do not pay tax, or face customs when they come in, they do not have to fear German law enforcement for small personal crimes nor for the large scale crimes commited as part of US forces either. Additionally they either operate independently or even have command authority over German soldiers in some cases. So yes de facto and de jure US forces in Germany are occupation forces albeit very benign ones.

        Reply
      7. ddt

        In the 80s there were many protests in West Germany about setting up cruise and tomahawk missile bases; remember as a child them blocking roads and railways when those were ferried about.

        Here’s an idea, instead of Belgium/Mons, move to Greece. Better weather, high GDP proportion paid to defense (mostly due to neighborhood), torn up social net from past decade. What’s not to like?

        Reply
      8. Leftcoastindie

        Maybe we should let Germany and Japan have a popular vote – Should we stay or should we go.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          We have no say in whether they choose to have a popular vote or not. They don’t need us to “let” them do it. They can do it on their own regardless of how we or our governators might feel about it.

          Reply
    3. PlutoniumKun

      Even back in the Cold War, the (West) Germans faced down US pressure over natural gas imports from Russia. Russian gas supplies are an absolute strategic necessity for Germany, even the most pro-US German politician and business people see this as a red line. So it’s incredibly foolish of Trump to push this.

      I’m no expert on German politics, but I believe that regionally US bases are very important, as they were often located in areas with little industry or any other economic base. So the US certainly has political leverage over this. But I think the Germans have reached a point, along with the rest of Europe, in knowing that they have to move on in a more independent direction and if that means a US pull-out, so be it (although many smaller Eastern European countries would be far less sanguine about this, especially the Poles). The problem of course is that nobody in Europe can agree on which direction. I doubt that any compromise view is possible, so we’ll continue to see the Germans and everyone else try to ride as many horses simultaneously as they possibly can.

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        Yet what i see about Trump is that he is not the insincere guy that others are and he is rising a question that indeed casts doubt on NATO funcions and objectives. It might be true that the NATO, in a more complex world doesn’t make any sense anymore. That is exactly what i feel when i enter the NATO web and see what they are doing.

        Reply
        1. RMO

          NATO hasn’t made sense since the breakup of the U.S.S.R. – and it didn’t make a whole lot of sense before it either. Unless you regard it as a way for the U.S. to exert power for whatever reason it sees fit and that have nothing to do with peace, freedom or justice. The it makes plenty of sense.

          Reply
    4. Zagonostra

      From the perspective of enlisted service personnel, being stationed in Germany is very desirable. The life style there is world class, the amenities are excellent (including golf courses), the beer, and access to traveling through Europe on their off time hours, etc…at least that’s what I heard from friends who were stationed there. Unfortunately these come with a huge cost to U.S. citizens that are struggling to get basic healthcare coverage and pay their rents.

      Reply
      1. Rod

        As an expendable stationed in Bavaria at the end of the VN War I thought I was blessed for numerous reasons–seeing a world class society having public transportation to the extent Europe had was but one, small, eye-opener for this 19 yr old American.

        Reply
  6. Krystyn Podgajski

    Since the Long Covid symptoms vary so much between people I have the strong feeling this is from nutrient depletion, a depletion so deep only mega doses of whatever vitamins, maybe intravenous, would help.

    This is a theory that is gaining traction in regard to other long term complications after viral infections like EBV or Post Treatment Lyme Disorder.

    I am not kidding when I say this, but many of the symptoms Hannah complains of has been my life for the past 30 years. Pretty much I just never get headaches. But everything from limb neurology to the lucid dreams are symptoms I have recovered from, mostly.

    So it was wonderful to see her bring up people with myalgic encephalomyelitis suffering the same issues. There is a lot of research linking Vitamin D deficiency to myalgic encephalomyelitis and now we have the link between COVID and Vitamin D? Maybe the virus causes a depletion in vitamin D? Maybe these people need to pound some Cod Liver Oil and hang out in the sun?

    But maybe doctors need to start testing for nutritional deficiency? Ya think?

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Sorry, I can’t agree on this one. This is profound damage on an epic level – real Andromeda Strain stuff. You read what might happen if you get infected and wonder just what the hell is going on. I mean for a start, flare-ups on old, healed injuries? Seriously WTF? Yes I agree for testing for nutritional deficiency as that might show a course of simple treatments to ease a patient’s sufferings but this sounds like it is screwing with the body’s nervous system as well as the brain itself. And that is for a start. You wonder what will happen if people experiencing being a “long hauler” suffer a second infection. The worse thing that could happen would be for doctors to say “Meh, probably just chronic fatigue syndrome or something” and then just dismiss it.

      Reply
      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        “flare-ups on old, healed injuries” – What is so strange about that? If you cannot control inflammation it makes total sense. Plus people feel pain in old injuries when it is cold, so again, not WTF at all.

        You say there is damage but no one can see it (besides the embolisms). There is pain and dysfunction, but that does not mean there is damage. The thought that COVID entered the neurons of the nose to cause damage, not they find that it doe snot happen. So simply saying I am wrong is doing the same thing CFS doctors have been doing while refusing to look at nutrition after viral infections.

        Nutrition affects the body’s nervous system, from Vitamin A, B12, D all the way to Zinc, these deficiencies are linked to neurological problems.

        Reply
        1. Cocomaan

          I have nothing really constructive to add except I laughed at something that was probably accidental

          COVID entered the neurons of the nose to cause damage, not they find that it doe snot happen.

          Reply
        2. The Rev Kev

          I hope that you do agree that this is a novel virus and we don’t really know what it does to the human body. The treatments that we have now are much better than we had near the beginning of the year but we are a long way from getting it to a point where it is treatable. You read those symptoms. If someone had that level of damage, could they still hold a job? A firefighter I read yesterday wondered if she ever could again.

          And what is strange about that flare-up is not someone saying, ‘Oh, it hurts where I broke my foot three years ago’ but more like ‘Jesus Christ! This feels like I have just broken it!’ The truth is Krystyn that we just don’t know what this virus does. For all we know, it may block the body absorbing all those nutrients like Vitamin A, B12, etc. So until we do, we are still feeling our way in the dark here.

          Reply
          1. Krystyn Podgajski

            I agree that it is novel, but we know enough about what it does; It enters cells by attaching to ACE2 with the help of two other enzymes, and replicates inside of the cells. This triggers an immune response. The only thing “novel” is how it attaches and is transmitted because it is a new strain and we have no adaptive immunity to it in the population.

            I am not saying the pain is not severe, as I said, I have lived with pain that severe and doctors said it was all in my head. It left me disabled. They thought I had MS and a bunch of other things but nothing was ever nailed down even though my blood work was always a little wonky. I get what these people are going through because I lived it.

            The virus cannot block nutrients, that is not how they work, it is just not possible based on human biology. And if it did it would affect everyone the same. This is why I am sure there is an individual difference in response that is based on either environment, genetics, nutrition, or all three. The fact that it is affecting poor people more hints that it is a nutritional issue.

            They are already showing this with Vitamin D and there is no possible way a virus “blocks” vitamin D absorption or metabolism.

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              Hell, for all we know the next mutation of this virus might reanimate the dead. I was just watching a clip talking about the high levels of heart damage caused by this virus and I suspect that this virus will leave behind a ‘Broken Generation’ of people fighting off the after-effects of this thing. I should mention also that when I said that it might interfere with nutrient absorption, that I was implying the body’s control of these processes, not a direct blockage of them.

              Reply
        3. Janie

          Improving our diet and replenishing nutrients stripped from our cropland should help overall health and do no harm. Absorption is another issue.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Food from replenished-mineral cropland will cost more, as it should.

            And one can grow one’s own hi-nutridense food if one highly remineralizes one’s own garden soil.

            Reply
        4. John k

          My thought is that while Covid thrives in people that have other issues, it also hits apparently healthy elders harder than younger ones. Perhaps older immune systems are more susceptible. But many elders have poor nutrition and may be deficient in vitamins and minerals, particularly d3 because many elders hide from the sun, but also certain trace minerals like zinc.
          Unfortunately they aren’t testing for deficiencies. Be nice to know if vegetarians fare worse, they will be very low in zinc if they don’t take supplements.

          Reply
      2. Ignacio

        On this i am with you. We still don’t see this disease is well beyond virus replicación an cell death. It is also about how the virus meddles with our body and makes our inmune response faulty and damaging.

        Reply
        1. Krystyn Podgajski

          That is just not how it works. It is our own immune system that does the damage, not the virus. It is our REACTION to the virus that needs to be controlled. That is why all the immune modulators work.

          With a BALANCED, not a “strong”, immune system you will feel no effect of viral infection.

          Reply
          1. Ignacio

            But having a balanced immune response is not that easy. Rather than a STRONG inmune response It is a BIASED inmune response what causes problems. Modulate this is quite difficult since It is the virus itself what causes this bias. A problem could be for instance if virus epitopes induce a response that recognizes human proteins. Whether immunosupressors will work is not clear.

            Reply
            1. juliania

              The latest MofA thread addresses an article by the San Francisco UC team which has a link to pediatric kawasaki like occurences in children that is very interesting in light of this immune response discussion. At the end of the video, a question is asked by the moderator as to when this kawasaki onset occurs, and the pediatrician replies that it comes after contact with a covid carrier. In children, whose immune systems are in formation, perhaps the onset of the symptoms better models what is the course the virus takes in causing extraneous problems? The pediatrician did say that much remains to be discovered in this respect. Here is the link to the video. Perhaps others more clinically aware can better address my question:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny4NivhjHAQ&feature=youtu.be&t=5014

              Reply
        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Did you notice the bit about post menopausal women getting periods again? Admittedly they sound line the “barely there” right before menopause period…but try mapping that onto any vector. Google says HRT can do that, but only initially, and usually only if the estrogen dose is wrong. So this is leading some older women to produce more estrogen?

          Reply
        1. furies

          After reading Hannah Davis’ twitter feed–it sounds almost exactly what I and many thousand others have lived thru after getting off prescribed psych meds/benzos.

          Hmmm.

          Reply
    2. vidimi

      i think there’s more to it than that. it’s likely defficiencies of lots of other things, chiefly oxygen. it seems that the main effect of the virus is to inhibit oxygen absorption and the body reacts to this in different ways: lung strain, heart strain, but also damage to other parts which do not get the necessary oxygen supplies.

      Reply
    3. Samuel Conner

      Recently a sibling who has a lot more medical acumen than I suggested that the wide diversity of symptoms could be evidence that the virus inflicts tissue damage via vasculitis. She was disheartened by this possibility because of the difficulties she has seen treating vasculitis and its consequences in animals.

      I’ve read that the blood vessel wall constituents immediately below the endothelial (blood-contacting) cells is highly stimulative to the clotting cascade. Damage to blood vessel lining could result in widespread micro-clotting that has been reported in microscopy of tissue samples.

      Every organ can be attacked in this way.

      It is a disheartening prospect.

      Reply
    4. jef

      Two things about nutrition. First most of the food we now have commonly available has much of the nutrition processed out of it or the soil it was grown in was devoid of biota required to produce fully nutritious food. Sure the throw in some vitamins and minerals but only a few letters of the alphabet or a half dozen minerals but it is the micronutrients that allow for assimilation.

      Second is that human gut biome has been dropping since the beginning of the industrial rev. We are down to only 40% or something.

      So food is less nutritious and our bodies are less able to acquire what little remains so it would not be a stretch to assume there is rampant deficiencies. Blood tests again only test for a few letters of the vitamin alphabet or a half dozen minerals.

      Reply
    5. marieann

      “But maybe doctors need to start testing for nutritional deficiency”

      A few years ago I was reading up on Vitamin D deficiency
      since I live in Canada I decided to start taking a supplement,
      after 3 months I told my doctor I wanted a test (not covered by the health insurance)
      He said “why would you pay for a test when we know you are just going to be low”

      I was low and increased my dosage and repeated the test I was just in the normal level.

      So why are they not routinely testing for this…baffles the mind

      Reply
        1. jen1

          Vit d is inexpensive. 50000 units once a month/ or 2000 units daily for the 6 months of winter will prevent/ treat a deficiency. Certainly less expensive than testing for it when a large percentage will be deficient. No profit for the doctor and minimal for the pharmacy. And at that dose for that duration, one will not be exposed to overdose toxicity.

          Reply
          1. marieann

            Yes, it is inexpensive and it would not be covered by insurance even with a prescription. I had to pay $25 for the blood test.
            My concern is that many/most people will be deficient and not even know they should take a supplement.The least the doctor could do would be to recommend taking a supplement in the winter time.

            Reply
    1. fajensen

      Great. Just fantastic. Handing some apocalyptic Christian lunatic fringe, and a bully-boy to boot, the nuclear button ….

      Reply
  7. timbers

    Trump halts daily briefing amid questions about support for ‘alien DNA’ doctor – video Guardian (resilc)

    I think the Doctor Trump was referring to is Dana Scully of the FBI.

    Could be a good segue to a new X-Files movie. Paging Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

    Covid could the opening dry run to harvest humans for the alien take over.

    The truth is out there.

    Reply
    1. pjay

      I do not underestimate Trump’s foot-in-mouth stupidity, which he demonstrates every day. But for him to choose *this particular* “Demon Sperm Doc” to represent the pro-HCQ contingent seems almost too perfect, especially given how the story immediately exploded all over the MSM. I’d love to know who recommended her to Trump.

      Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    “The Vatican Is Said To Be Hacked From China Before Talks With Beijing”

    John Feffer’s “The No-Trust World” is a good reminder. How would we know any more that this is a true article? How do we know that any attacks were not done by intercepted messages via the US intelligence agencies and forwarded on? We know through Snowden’s revelations that they have a library available to make an attack appear to come from any one of a number of other countries. And it is not like the New York Times has covered itself with glory in the way of truthful reporting the past few decades. For all we know, this may all be part of an op to disrupt negotiations between the Vatican and China. Or it may be a genuine series of attacks by China. I suppose that this was what John Feffer was talking about in a no-trust world.

    Reply
    1. Zagonostra

      There are many interesting news developments in the Catholic universe of politics, besides Vigano’s letter to Trump. One such development involves now discredited pedophile Cardinal McCarrick’s leading role in the Vatican’s negotiations with China and the supposed infusion of billions of dollars from the latter to the former.

      The Catholic Church is going through a turbulent internal struggle with sides aligning for and against Pope Francis. There are many who have been waiting for the “Bishop’s Report” on how McCarrick was able to get away with his perfidious and twisted activities for so long, but it keeps being delayed. Many speculate that they are waiting for him to die since he knows so much, similar to a religious analogue of Epstein, except with boys and male prostitutes.

      Reply
    2. km

      Without expressing an opinion on this particular alleged hack, I will say only that the revelations of hacking and other malfeasance ever always only seem to happen at the most convenient times.

      Reply
      1. Off The Street

        Counter-programming.
        Spin.
        Public relations.
        Crisis management.
        Getting out ahead of the deluge story.

        That latter can also mean literally getting out, by putting out some smoke screen or other diversion that happens to take the form of a ‘news release’ that stirs up people. Meanwhile, assets are liquidated, premises are vacated, passports are used. No sense of agency applicable, as expected.

        Reply
    3. hunkerdown

      Snowden and his material were NSA. Vault 7, including among others the Marble framework for attribution spoofing, were CIA materials, separately released by Wikileaks some time later and probably supplied by a different contact. +1 to the rest.

      Reply
  9. Disenchanated

    Resilc: “My wife got a free drive up covid test in Bennington yesterday. No waiting. The state lab calls her in 48 hours. Too bad we’re a state and not still a republic.”
    Yeah, too bad Vermont doesn’t make a go of it on the basis of its agricultural income and industry? Lets be frank, if it weren’t a vacation and retirement destination, it would be the third world. Norway you are not.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      To be fair, this is about how being community-minded has enabled Vermont to put a lid on their corner of the pandemic. What has also helped is their Governor. That Phil Scott may be a Republican but when you read his Wikipedia entry he sounds very progressive and level-headed when compared to the Governors of other States, whether Republican or Democratic. Resilc’s anecdote about his missus getting a quick, free drive up test is really about how it should be like this everywhere and not just Vermont. Finally, PlutoniumKun has talked about how this pandemic is a stress test of institutions and people and I would say that Vermont has passed-

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/vermont/

      Reply
        1. Pat

          In these extraordinary times managing a small population may be the best we can expect. The systematic dismemberment of our governmental institutions has been almost complete.

          At this point, I find any administration level of American government management that has not failed to be exceptional.

          Reply
      1. neo-realist

        I don’t think the governor of Vermont is burdened by immense amounts of poverty, income inequality, failing public schools and racial and ethnic strife, as well as having to craft policies and mediate tensions between classes and various interest groups as governors of medium and larger populated states must do. In other words, he’s not tested all that much.

        Reply
    2. tegnost

      “Lets be frank, if it weren’t a vacation and retirement destination, it would be the third world. Norway you are not.”

      No, no they are not, just a bunch of cows and goats and farms and completely useless stuff like that, maybe if they handed bezos a tax holiday and built him a fulfillment center they could enter the modern world? Hey, do they have any lithium up there? Surely there must be something to exploit…

      https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47494239#:~:text=Norway's%20%241%20trillion%20sovereign%20wealth,on%20oil%20prices%2C%20it%20says.

      Reply
    3. Swamp Yankee

      I love the Vermont republic, and wrote one of the chapters in my undergrad thesis.

      One of the things that I don’t think McKibben emphasizes enough is how radical the Vermont Republic, led by the Allen brothers (Ethan and Ira, who were, to be fair, also giant land speculators), was. It was the first constitution written (1777) to include universal manhood suffrage and to ban slavery. It had extremely pro-debtor politics, e.g., Daniel Shays flees their after his failed debtor-agrarian revolt in Massachusetts in 1786-1787 (Rhode Island also was pro-debtor, and drew the ire of MA and NH and CT by printing lots of paper money).

      As for the notion that Vermont would be Third World without the rest of the Union — yes and no. It’s true that the state is poor and agricultural, but much less so than formerly, and part of that is indeed due to the Federal Government via things like the Interstate Highway system, which does bring tourists.

      But it’s also got the potential for lots of small manufacturing (tons of water power), and it has a local financial industry, captive insurance, when a larger company essentially establishes its own insurance company, registered in Vermont (sort of tax-haveny, yes).

      And its population is highly literate, it is highly democratic, and arable land, timber, and pasture are indeed valuable resources. It could de alright on its own; it could prosper as part of a greater Commonwealth of New England.

      Reply
      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Vermont also had a small but longstanding metal working and machine industry, much of it unionized, which was destroyed by the neoliberal trade regime.

        Reply
  10. PlutoniumKun

    Offshore wind in Europe won’t need subsidies much longer ars technica

    I’ve long had a suspicion that there is a significant lag time between reports of dropping wind/solar costs and the actual drop in costs. There is a major incentive for wind operators in particular to over exaggerate their costs in public, as this makes it far easier to attract government subsidies (not to mention scare off competitors). The industry was investing heavily in off-shore even in the UK when it was claimed to be far more expensive than fossil fuels and there were governments in power (e.g. the Tories) who were overtly hostile to more subsidies.

    I’ve seen on-shore wind farms being constructed and operating within 6 months of their final grid connection approval, which by any standards is astonishing construction speed. The only reason for this I can see is that they are hugely profitable, and quite possibly more profitable than they’ll admit in public.

    Reply
    1. John k

      Good news, profits means we get more of that and less fossil.
      Actually, coal is dropping like a rock for years, accelerating into the dustbin of history in this country in spite of trump.
      What’s surprising is that it’s expanding rapidly in India and China… China makes the best cheapest solar panels and wind Turbines, why are they expanding coal? I looked at the map, lots of low lying land, massive pollution, three gorges dam at risk… ?

      Reply
  11. Dalepues

    On reading the friendly fire incident at Popular Mechanics, noticed this:

    The GOP’s Coronavirus Aid Gives Millions To…the F-35?

    “The U.S. military is set to receive billions of dollars in military equipment canceled earlier this year. The equipment, including F-35 fighter jets, C-130J transports, and fast transport ships were canceled in order to pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The proposed equipment, which has little to no utility in fighting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is being criticized as classic pork barrel spending.”

    Pork barrel spending? I guess. But wouldn’t it be interesting to know what percentage of GOP Senators hold defense stocks in their portfolios, and how large a role armaments manufacturing play in their respective states. In Mobile, AL, we have Austal, builder of the Littoral Combat Ship, and in Huntsville, nicknamed Rocket City, there is Redstone Arsenal. This from Wiki:

    “In 1950, about 1,000 personnel were transferred from Fort Bliss, Texas, to Redstone Arsenal to form the Ordnance Guided Missile Center (OGMC). Central to this was a group of about 200 German scientists and engineers, led by Wernher von Braun; they had been brought to America by Colonel Holger Toftoy under Operation Paperclip following World War II. Assigned to the center at Huntsville, they settled and reared families in this area.[39]”

    Sweet Home Alabama, famous for shrimps and rockets.

    Reply
    1. km

      To be fair, it’s not just a Team R problem.

      One thing that Boeing did in securing funding for the F-35 boondoggle was to disperse proposed manufacturing facilities in as many states as possible, thereby securing the votes of those districts’ Representatives and those states’ Senators.

      Among those voting “yea” was one Sanders, B. (I-VT).

      Reply
    2. John Beech

      Alabama? Rather more famous for . . . Roll Tide, Roll! . . . I suspect.

      On another subject, wouldn’t it be smart to report all the problems of the F-35 in hopes opponents dismiss it as a complicated blunder? Disinformation serves a purpose, wouldn’t you agree? Me? I’m always cognizant the guys on the pointed end of the stick have family at home, so ‘who’ they are defending if called upon the for the ultimate sacrifice is never in any doubt whatsoever. As for the motivation of the press? Let’s just say that’s a bit more nuanced but the military referring to them as adversaries isn’t out of line in my view considering a scoop has more value in their world than the lives put at risk by their loose lips.

      Reply
      1. km

        I thought the idea was “peace through strength” and “speak softly, but carry a big stick”, not “peace through inviting attack.”

        Reply
  12. Redlife2017

    So after the US just posted their Q2 GDP dive of -32%, El Trumpo though it a good idea to throw this one out on twitter (possibly as a way to have people not pay attention to the -32%?):

    “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

    I will be rather gentle here and say…not a good idea to push this right now…I’ll have a nice Quarantini later today for my mental health…I know he sort of doesn’t mean it and it is misdirection. But…really???? The QAnon peeps are going to eat this up. 2020 really sucks.

    Reply
    1. pjay

      Not just QAnon peeps. I predict a s***storm in the MSM — more “fascist” threats from the Man.

      Trump’s antics serve everyone’s agenda. Convenient. Not that facts matter at all, but I think he is correct about the election itself (at least the fraud – the delay is another matter).

      Reply
      1. marym

        Re: Fraud

        04/28/2020 “Let’s put the vote-by-mail ‘fraud’ myth to rest”
        “Vote fraud in the United States is exceedingly rare, with mailed ballots and otherwise. Over the past 20 years, about 250 million votes have been cast by a mail ballot nationally. The Heritage Foundation maintains an online database of election fraud cases in the United States and reports that there have been just over 1,200 cases of vote fraud of all forms, resulting in 1,100 criminal convictions, over the past 20 years. Of these, 204 involved the fraudulent use of absentee ballots; 143 resulted in criminal convictions…We are talking about an occurrence that translates to about 0.00006 percent of total votes cast.”
        https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/494189-lets-put-the-vote-by-mail-fraud-myth-to-rest

        06/02/2020 Discussion of Heritage Foundation data
        “First, note the small number of voter fraud cases overall. Next, note that a subset of those cases involve types of fraud to which mail-in ballot systems would be especially susceptible. Next, look at the time periods covered by these data. In Oregon, the first state to adopt a universal vote-by-mail system, the Heritage researchers had to cover a period of 19 years in order to find 15 cases of voter fraud! Less than one case a year hardly qualifies as rampant voter fraud.”
        https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2020/06/02/low-rates-of-fraud-in-vote-by-mail-states-show-the-benefits-outweigh-the-risks/

        8/3/2018 “Trump commission found no widespread voter fraud, report says”
        “The now-disbanded voting integrity commission launched by the Trump administration uncovered no evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud, according to an analysis of administration documents.
        In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who are both Republicans and led the commission, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said the documents show there was a “preordained outcome” and that drafts of a commission report included a section on evidence of voter fraud that was “glaringly empty.””
        https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-voter-fraud-commission-20180803-story.html

        Reply
        1. pjay

          I’m familiar with some of the earlier studies of voter fraud, which found almost none. I’m also very familiar with Kobach’s use of “voter fraud” as a mythical scare tactic to justify massive voter suppression of primarily Democratic voters in favor of Republican candidates. I don’t generally take anything Trump or the Republicans say about voter “fraud” seriously.

          That said, we are in a different time now. Under current conditions, I believe universal mail-in voting has a *massive* potential for manipulation. In whose favor? I’d say it depends on which party controls a particular state. Both parties have proven themselves quite capable of abuse. And since Trump has been subject to a soft coup effort for four years utilizing a number of what I believe to be illegal methods by some very powerful enemies in major institutions including the DOJ, CIA, FBI, and the entire mainstream media, I don’t think it’s fantasy for him to be concerned.

          Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      If this had been a stock that wall street wanted to pump, there would have been rejoicing since the 32.9% decline “beat expectations” of a 35% loss by two whole pennies….er….points.

      Instead we get “US economy suffers worst quarter since the second world war as GDP shrinks by 32.9% “ As if someone was hiding in a jungle for the last four months and had no idea that small business contributors to “gdp” were being jailed if they tried to keep it up by cutting people’s hair.

      It’s all about whose nest the headline writers want to feather, and “not as bad as feared” just doesn’t get the job done.

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/07/29/u-s-gdp-nations-economy-likely-shrank-35-annual-rate-q-2/5530223002/

      Reply
    3. km

      If that is not Trump’s admission that he is losing badly, then nothing is.

      Nobody postpones an election that they are confident of winning.

      Reply
    1. Redlife2017

      My jaw dropped. For some reason I didn’t think he’d die – sort of like how Bolsonaro and BoJo were “fine” after getting Covid-19. Might this puncture the haze of kool-aid amongst some of the believers?

      Reply
    2. allan

      From June 18:

      Days before hosting a massive rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, President Trump said in a Wall Street Journal interview that some people at the rally this Saturday may catch coronavirus,
      but added “it’s a very small percentage.”

      The Culture of Life in all its glory.

      Reply
      1. juno mas

        Herm Cain attended the Tulsa Rally (June 20th). He died about a month later. He tested positive for the virus within two weeks of the Tulsa Rally. Is Trump next?

        Reply
    3. Katniss Everdeen

      This has the potential to be the “Access Hollywood” tape of 2020, albeit a few months early.

      I have no doubt that Cain’s 2012 presidential primary candidacy, which was the butt of so many jokes, will be rehabilitated into the courageous effort of an invaluable american voice-of-color in a world of suffocating white privilege, that was snuffed out too soon by the racist Trump.

      9-9-9.

      Reply
  13. orlbucfan

    Successful launch of Perseverance from Canaveral AFB this morning. Helicopter on top of rover heading for Mars. I have the rare feeling of being proud to be an American.

    Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “Pelosi warns maskless lawmakers may be thrown out”

    At age 80, Nancy must be getting nervous when these maskless diehard politicians like Louie Gohmert start shaking each others hands and maybe coughing without covering their mouths. This is her life that we are talking about after all. And with Herman Cain dying today of this virus, that must have sent a chill down the back of her neck. Her old, old, wrinkled neck.

    Saw something similar in Oz recently. Before the present explosion of cases, the government was insisting that not only workers go back to work but they were demanding that all children go back to school or else. But as cases started to tick up, the Parliament decided not to risk their valuable lives and voted not to convene for several more weeks.

    Reply
      1. juno mas

        Well, “Nordics” includes Sweden in the grouping. Sweden is on the podium for having one of the highest Covid deaths per capita than ALL of Europe, if not the world.

        Reply
          1. juno mas

            Those other countries are Finland and Norway. Sweden has a per capita fatality rate 10x’s that of Finland and Norway. As I mentioned, Sweden is pushing the British, the Belgians, Spain and Italy (barely eeking out the U.S.) for the top of the list worldwide.

            Reply
            1. Keith

              Right, yet those three, plus the Netherlands, still don’t mask, whereas others on the list do. Also, Sweden also did not invite economic devastation.

              That being said, point was not about Sweden, it was more about is there something else there? People are getting too focused on the mask debate, and might be possibly missing that perhaps there is another piece to the puzzle. I do not claim to know what.

              Reply
        1. s.n.

          three days ago i took a trip from my Danish provincial city to Copenhagen, spent a few hours there, then returned. Out and about for some 18 hours. No masks at all in evidence anywhere except for a total of eight at Copenhagen’s Central Station (and those apparently all involving recently arrived international travellers). Personally I’m all for masks –and goggles– everywhere.. but it hasn’t happened yet in Denmark. An outbreak two days at a large meat processing plant otherwise Danes are doing well corona-wise

          Reply
      1. polecat

        She probably tossed away her kente cloth … would’ve made a fine maskmaking feed (ing from-the-trough) stock …

        Reply
      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Rev Kev explained it. Pelosi didn’t care until she was personally threatened, and I’m personally of the opinion critical thinking and empathy go hand and hand. The threat of a pandemic can’t really register with these people as it would require understanding person to person transmission means Pelosi could be infected by the plebes.

        Reply
  15. Keith

    Regarding friendly fire during training, yes, it happens. In the end, you play the way you train, so troops will be engaging in training ops, including live fire, under conditions they will face, including fatigue, sleep deprivation, etc. Additional issue, this is where they will experience live fire for the first time (well, unless they come from Chicago). I recall during my infantry training in the Marines, by “luck” I was appointed squad leader for a live fire hill assault. We were not allowed hearing protection, as our instructor was a sniper who survived the Lebanon bombing and believed in realism. Nothing prepares you for ~ 12 Marines firing M16s while assaulting a hill. Noise, smoke, etc. Then, I had to keep everyone one line, so no one got ahead and got shot; it was quite illuminating.

    Even afterwards, when I did my real job, elect maint, we had our episodes, when our convoy was shot at by tanks (actually met the Coyote later who kicked the tanks off the range). There are more stories, it is just how it goes. The danger is not that these missteps happen, it is when “do-gooders” want to make a safe space and get rid of these events.

    Reply
    1. Glen

      My dad was at the Yakima Training Center, getting ready to get shipped to Korea when the tanks drove through the encampment at night, crushing soldiers in their tents.

      He told us about it long after I had gone to college and moved out of the house, but I do remember that he never like camping when I was a kid.

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      The ironical good news for the Marines is that this sort of accident is no longer possible. They have just gotten rid of their tanks now under orders from the Commandant as no longer of any use. And this guy seems determined to turn the US Marine Corps into the US Missile Corps as well.

      Reply
      1. Keith

        No worries, we can still cause plenty of problems in gators and quick boats.

        My uncle, a brownshoe Marine, was part of a team of Marines navigating their own boat for a stealthy landing. Problem was they got lost and technically invaded Mexico. Turns out, back in the 60s, Mexicans did not have a sense of humor about stuff like that. :)

        I think the lesson learned is simple, Squids do have a place and that is navigation.

        Reply
  16. Ignacio

    On the Hannah Davis tweet and responses therein.

    Indeed a good read. And please try to get from this a general picture. Much of what is known: cytokine storms, blood clotting has not to do with the cytopathic effect of virus infections but systemic failures many of those related with the inmune response. Complement activation, faulty innate response and biased celular responses which are highly inflammatory. Faulty humoral response… Not surprisingly, as one of the papers linked un the tweet series does, some suggest immunodepresing therapies.

    Reply
    1. rd

      Even if a vaccine doesn’t provide complete immunity, hoepfully it will provide enough to prevent cytokine storms etc. in many patients.

      If a vaccine turns Covid-19 into the common cold for impacts, then it would be a success.

      Reply
  17. Synoia

    “For autonomous technologies to improve flight operations and overall aircraft performance, pilots will remain at the heart of operations,” Airbus said in a press release.

    Passenger to Pilot: “How do you fly this plane?”
    Pilot to Passenger: “I don’t remember, I’ve not touched the controls recently.”

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      An Airbus rep on TV in Japan in the mid-80s explained that their planes were already capable of doing complete flights without human intervention but that they dialed the autopilot way, way back because otherwise they would deskill the pilots.
      After the two Boeing 737 crashes, a lot of pilots online speculated that the lack of experience in actual flying (as opposed to monitoring the auto-pilot) may have been part of why the crews were not able to overcome the disastrous Boeing software.

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      It has been said that these future planes will have as a crew a pilot and a large, vicious dog sitting in the copilot’s seat. The job of the dog will be to lunge for the pilot every time any time that he touches any of the controls. Here is an old anecdote. Decades ago the Russians would invite cosmonauts from a variety of small countries aboard on space mission. One time a Mongolian cosmonaut returned and it was noted that his hands were oddly red. When asked about this, he joked that it was because every time he went near a control, that one of the Russians would slap the back of his hand with a ruler.

      Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      So Stoller is denying his own hot take?

      Merely answering for misdeeds = wet noodle lashing. I didn’t detect any sign whatsoever than any CEO was threatened, much the less intended to behave differently.

      Wake me up when there’s serious legislation. The EU is way ahead of the US and they still wind up losing some court fights.

      And Stoller works for an anti-trust think tank, so he has to say Nice Things about the hearing since he was part of the team that ginned them up. The Congresscritters were apparently well prepared, but that’s way short of being read to change the laws so they can mandate different behavior or break them up.

      Reply
  18. Nedd

    Defunding the police =”Kentucky town hires two social workers.. they experience “a significant drop in repeat 911 calls”

    But, after ending their police contract.. “According to an online job posting, the Minneapolis Public Schools plan to pay between $65,695 to $85,790 for 11 “public safety support specialists (PSSS).” The PSSS won’t be police officers, but are required to have law enforcement degrees and experience. enforcement.” The zerohedge.

    Reply
  19. Swamp Yankee

    Re: the Electoral College, this Teen Vogue by Maya Francis piece is incomplete and I have to say, somewhat partial and/or tendentious, in that it appears to go in with a thesis and then search the evidence for it, rather than vice versa.

    The reality is that there were smaller states North and South who had to be mollified through a number of measures, including the Connecticut Compromise (House by population, Senate by state), the 3/5 Compromise, and the Electoral College. The 3/5 Compromise is of course, the most explicitly tied to slavery. But the other two are made not only with the small Southern slave-holding states like South Carolina and Georgia in mind, but also small northern states like New Jersey and New Hampshire. Remember that Rhode Island didn’t even send delegates to the Convention and had to be threatened with an economic embargo if she didn’t join the Union. (Yes, Newport was the third-largest slave-trading port in the British Atlantic, and there were, for New England, atypically large slave populations in aristocratic and Anglican South County, RI was not, and never was, a slave society a la’ GA or SC). None of these wanted to be dominated by Virginia — or Pennsylvania, or New York, or Massachusetts. They still don’t!

    What I think many modern liberal cultural critics don’t get at a fundamental level is that everything in the human story is soaked through in blood and tears; there seems to be this expectation that the past ought to have been this Kantian post-historical utopia which has never existed, anywhere, any time, even or especially now; it is the thinking and rhetoric of Ought, not Is.

    It also neglects historical reality and its real and current day resonances for a kind of history-as-paint-by-numbers polemic, as a kind of prop for current-day political positions, that used to be, fifteen or twenty years ago, the provenance of the Right. (I remember debating a conservative on precisely this issue in my college newspaper in 2004-5).

    As for getting rid of the Electoral College — do it and you’ll break up the Union. I don’t think our metropolitan bourgeoisie knows how much they’re playing with fire on this one.

    Reply
    1. John k

      Not to worry, you’ll never get 38 states to agree to abolish it. And probably couldn’t get 67 senators on board, either.

      Reply
      1. RMO

        I would love to see the reaction if in the next election (I know it can’t really happen given the numbers, just postulating) Trump won the popular vote but lost the electoral college. Massive twisting, turning and justifying or would the issue just go down the memory hole?

        It would also be fascinating to see the aftermath if Biden were to kick the bucket before fall. Imagine the machinations that would be undertaken to ensure Sanders still wouldn’t get to be the candidate.

        Reply
        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          For this, we might want to look at — or even read — Jeff Greenfield’s novel The People’s Choice. The first paragraph of the blurb:

          “What happens if the President-elect of the United States dies before the Electoral College has a chance to officially vote him in? What happens if the Vice President-elect is a man who nobody dreams could be President? What happens if the highest office in the land is suddenly up for grabs—and the most ruthless pols, the smoothest power brokers, the minions of the media, and just plain ordinary citizens get into the wildest act in the three-ring circus of American politics?”

          Reply
      2. John Anthony La Pietra

        Of course, there are folks who are trying to get around that little difficulty with the “National Popular Vote” proposal. Unfortunately, there are problems with that, too — but they take a bit of going into.

        In the beginning, state legislatures had “plenary” (full) power to choose how their states’ Electoral College votes were awarded. Some gave them out on a winner-take-all basis; others were more proportional. Some legislatures made their own decisions and ignored the popular vote altogether.

        That plenary power was from Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the US Constitution: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”

        Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 is where it originally said electors got two votes; that was replaced by the 12th Amendment in 1804 after Jefferson and Burr tied in 1800 and the race went 36 ballots in the House. (BTW, enough of the electoral votes received by each man came from the three-fifths counting of slaves that John Adams should probably have been re-elected . . . but that’s another story, for which you might read the Garry Wills book “Negro President”.) Anyway, the 12th Amendment shifted to giving each elector one vote for a Presidential ticket, but left the legislatures in charge of how to select the electors.

        Then came the 14th Amendment in 1868, after the Civil War. As part of enforcement of the other Civil War Amendments granting African Americans the right to vote, Section 2 of the 14th Amendment says that — if a state denies “or in any way abridge[s]” the right of its male citizens 21 and over to vote for President and Vice President (or any of a list of other offices) — it is to lose a number of US House seats in proportion to the denial . . . which would also cost it that many electoral votes.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

        [continued]

        Reply
        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          [part 2]

          This penalty may have been expected to apply to only the “returning” Confederate states, but it doesn’t say that.

          Both these amendments were, of course, adopted after the original language — so Congress and the states are presumed to have passed them knowing what else was previously in the Constitution, and agreed to any impact the amendments would have on that older language. In other words, the amendments supersede the original language — and the 14th, coming after the 12th, takes precedence over it in the same way. Several later amendments have changed who was eligible to vote, but nothing later has changed how the Electoral College itself works. (Unless you count the term limits in the 22nd Amendment in 1951.)

          Now fast forward to the 1960s, and a bunch of big Supreme Court opinions on voting rights. The one-person-one-vote line of decisions (such as _Reynolds v Sims_) holds that one way to not only abridge but actually deny the voting rights of a person or a group is to dilute their voting power — their ability to actually elect who they want by voting. Well, winner-take-all awarding of electoral votes does exactly that . . . it dilutes the voting power of anyone who didn’t vote for the state’s plurality winner. (The more candidates there are, the less likely that state winners are even majority winners — and the more people whose voting rights are denied by dilution.)

          Combine this solid Supreme Court precedent with Section 2 of the 14th Amendment, and the upshot is that a state legislature’s power to appoint Presidential electors however it chooses is no longer plenary. Instead, a state which doesn’t apportion its electoral votes to Presidential candidates/tickets in proportion to the share of popular votes they got in that state is *violating the Constitution* — and subject to the Mal-Apportionment Penalty of losing House seats and electoral votes. (At least the state’s “House-based” EC votes should be apportioned; one could make an argument either way about awarding the two “Senate-based” EC votes separately, or maybe even winner-take-both.)

          This is related to why the National Popular Vote compact proposal is unconstitutional too. NPV would mean an even worse denial of the voting rights of pluralities or even majorities of voters in some NPV states — totally diluting their voting power based on results from other states which may very well have vastly different rules for who can vote, who can get on the ballot, when which ballots can get recounted, etc. (And the 11th Amendment specifically bans citizens of one state suing another state — unless Congress specifically authorizes such suits under Section 5 of the 14th Amendment.)

          I would support a direct-popular-vote Constitutional amendment once all states have the same good and fair rules in all those vital areas — or at least once all states meet good, fair, and strong enough standards for them. In the meantime, we can get closer to a direct popular vote without NPV by enforcing Section 2 of the 14th Amendment. Here’s one good source for more information on that section and the Mal-Apportionment Penalty:

          http://asagordon.byethost10.com/

          Reply
  20. juno mas

    RE: Nationalize All the Nice Places

    This article is whimsical, at best. Many of the US “nice places” are already nationalized; they’re called National Parks. And they need substantial management expertise to maintain their scenic and wild appearance for the millions of Americans that visit every year.

    The article also mischaracterizes Garrett Hardins “Tragedy of the Commons”. (A discussion that appeared long ago in NC.) Hardin was referring to a wholly unregulated commons (a condition that rarely exists): local cultural, community, and legal (government) imperatives always impacts access/use of any commons.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      And Hardin himself in that very article referred to “mutual coercion mutually agreed upon” as a method for all the users of a commons to regulate all the users’ use of the commons. Tribal law, custom, etc.

      It seems a lot of people have been carefully disinterpreting Hardin deliberately on purpose with malicious intent.

      Reply
  21. rd

    So, in order to read an interesting historical backgrounder on the origins of the electoral college in the Constitution with a hard look at slavery etc., we need to go to Teen Vogue?

    What is wrong with this picture?

    Hosever, it will explain down the road why the under-40 crowd may turn US politics on its ear.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

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