Links 10/14/2020

Amazon workers in Germany strike on ‘Prime Day’ Reuters

Amazon Offers New Blank Box Upcharge For Progressive Members To Discreetly Receive Prime Orders The Onion

Retail’s tick-box approach to supply chains is untenable FT

ESG Drives a Stake Through Friedman’s Legacy John Authers, Bloomberg

A fifth of countries worldwide at risk from ecosystem collapse as biodiversity declines, reveals pioneering Swiss Re index (press release) Swiss Re. Handy map:

New Maps Show How Climate Change is Making California’s “Fire Weather” Worse Pro Publica

Uber is attempting to colonize the California government Ryan Cooper, The Week


Genomic evidence for reinfection with SARS-CoV-2: a case study The Lancet. From the Findings: “The patient had two positive tests for SARS-CoV-2, the first on April 18, 2020, and the second on June 5, 2020, separated by two negative tests done during follow-up in May, 2020. Genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 showed genetically significant differences between each variant associated with each instance of infection. The second infection was symptomatically more severe than the first.”

Japan supercomputer shows humidity affects aerosol spread of coronavirus Straits Times

Why did J&J hit pause on its COVID-19 vaccine trial? Stay tuned, execs say Fierce Biotech

US Patent Boss Says No Evidence Of Patents Holding Back COVID Treatments, Days Before Pharma Firms Prove He’s Wrong TechDirt

Who Will Approve a COVID Vaccine in the US? Avalere. From September, still germane.

How to promote uptake of any COVID-19 vaccine Medical Journal of Australia

Coronavirus: Stanford doctors among leaders of global anti-lockdown movement Mercury News and The Great Barrington Declaration isn’t too worried about who makes the declaration Tax Research UK. “I used the name ‘Mad Scientist’….”

Covid in cabins: Low risk, no silver bullet Leeham News and Analysis

Coronavirus has exposed global leadership crisis: Milken survey Straits Times


China braced for lose-lose scenario as US election fuels unease FT

Would China prefer Donald Trump or Joe Biden as the next US president? This is what people told us ABC Australia

China Cybersecurity: No Place to Hide China Law Blog. Parts two and three. Not just about cybersecurity.

BTS face backlash in China over Korean War comments – as ads and merchandise suddenly disappear Sky News. Comment from South Korea:

National security law: when disruption equals ‘subversion’, what’s left for Hong Kong’s opposition legislators? South China Morning Post

Xi Jinping tells marines to focus on ‘preparing to go to war’ in military base visit during southern China tour South China Morning Post

As Taiwan’s profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China Axios

US plans to sell more drones, missiles to Taiwan: Report Al Jazeera


These 4 states are lagging in India’s fight against Covid Times of India

Why are North and South India so different on gender? Alice Evans


Huge crowds gather in city centre as pubs shut just hours before new lockdown Liverpool Echo. Off to a good start, then.

No hope of normality until JULY: Vaccine expert warns facemasks and social distancing will be needed until next summer because coronavirus jabs are unlikely before 2021… and then only for key workers like frontline health staff at first Daily Mail

UK Labour calls for ‘circuit-breaker’ full coronavirus lockdown Politico

There’s a financial incentive for councils to lock down Spiked

Ukania Perpetua? (PDF). Perry Anderson, New Left Review. Grab a pot of coffee, it’s 76 pages long. Masterful synthesis of contemporary British history, concluding: “The price of departure, indexed by the EU to political not economic considerations, has left Britain’s rulers answerless politically and, in all probability, the wells of Brexit further poisoned economically. No part of the current configuration is independent of the others. Their nexus is bound to dissolve, in one way or another. When or how is anyone’s guess.” Not with a bang, then?


EU has ‘serious concerns’ about UK implementation of Brexit treaty Reuters

Germany urges rapid progress in UK-EU talks as it warns of no-deal damage FT

Small investment funds buy Venezuela bonds to pressure Maduro and Guaido Reuters

New Cold War

Russia Rules Out Nuclear Deal With Trump Before U.S. Election Bloomberg


‘Unmasking’ probe concludes without ‘finding any substantive wrongdoing’: report The Hill

Trump Transition

Robert Lighthizer Blew Up 60 Years of Trade Policy. Nobody Knows What Happens Next. Pro Publica

McConnell: Senate to Vote on ‘Targeted’ COVID Relief Bill as ‘First Order of Business’ after Recess National Review

Supreme Court grants Trump request to halt 2020 census The Hill

Five takeaways from Barrett’s Supreme Court grilling The Hill


Carville predicts Biden will quickly be declared winner: ‘Not going to be close’ The Hill

How progressives should navigate their Biden conundrum Medium

To Stop an Electoral Coup, Study What Went Wrong in the 2000 Florida Recount Jacobin

Conspiracy theories, misinformation, COVID-19, and the 2020 election Survey Center on American Life

Democrats in Disarray

Holy moley:

Qu’ils mangent de la crème glacée….

Transcript of Pelosi Interview on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer Nancy Pelosi Newsroom (pq).

Our Famously Free Press

Speak no good of the dead:

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The Man Who Speaks Softly—and Commands a Big Cyber Army Wired. Why this beat sweetener now?

Health Care

A $52,112 Air Ambulance Ride: Coronavirus Patients Battle Surprise Bills NYT. In the aggregate, they are not “surprising” at all.


Ayn Rand and the Missing Gun Real Progressives

Protests and Riots

New eyewitness accounts: Feds didn’t identify themselves before firing on Portland antifa shooting suspect Oregon Public Broadcasting

Why Are All Swedish Cottages Painted Red? Smithsonian

The Modern Lives of Ancient Symbols Discover

Bear, wolf, lion or dolphin: how understanding your sleep type could change your life The Guardian

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterdays Links and Antidote du Jour here

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. upstater

    These links goes back to the Michael Klare post on Monday “How the US Plays Nuclear Chicken with Russia and China”.

    Some NC reader comments seemed to think that flying strategic bombers or spy planes close to China or Russia is reasonable and BAU for superpowers. BAU for the US. But as I commented that day, I can’t recall Russian or Chinese planes making dozens of appearances off of mainland US coasts. Two links from the SCMP:

    US spy planes posing as airliners ‘serious threat’ in South China Sea

    Beijing says US Air Force used fake identities at least 100 times this year, putting civilian flights at risk.
    Accusation follows similar claim by think tank using open source aviation responder records

    US sent 60 spy planes close to China in September: Beijing think tank

    These provocations certainly risk accidents that could quickly turn into (nuclear) war. What would happen if China or Russia sent naval and air forces to the Caribbean to insure “freedom on navigation” and prevent commandeering of tankers going to or from Venezuela?

      1. The Rev Kev

        I’ll be really curious when the day comes that China sends a Carrier Task Force to the Caribbean and starts flying fighter-bombers in the direction of the US how Washington will react. That would be worth at least three bags of popcorn. Who knows? Maybe one day China will send a Great Yellow Fleet on a tour around the world. It’s still early in the century yet-

        1. Wukchumni

          When I first traveled to NZ/Aussie in the early 80’s, souvenirs* of the Great White Fleet from some seventy years earlier were pretty commonly seen in the marketplace, meaning it was an important event at the time in that so much survived, in a bully pulpit market.

          * postcards, medals, badges, ribbons, etc.

        2. polecat

          Well, if that were to be the case, your popcorn bag might need no stove-top heating – those Gamma/X-rays could do the job ..

          … maybe a bit too well!

          ‘Anyone up for a round of Hulk snacks?

      2. Anthony G Stegman

        Back in the 1980s I served onboard an aircraft carrier. There were joint exercises with the US Air Force where nuclear armed B52s flew right to the edge of Soviet airspace. These exercises were supposedly to test Soviet air defenses. The United States has always been the instigator. Russia would send propeller driven “Bear” bombers over carrier task forces. The Navy would launch interceptors and take photos. It was a game of chicken that was repeated numerous times. The Russian bombers were not armed, unlike the B52s.

      3. Olga

        One of the main points, PK, is that both China and Russia do it (albeit to a much lesser extent) at or near their borders. Which cannot be said of the US (not to mention the frequency). Do explain what are US military planes doing above the Black Sea – other than to aggravate Russia and test its defenses. There is no equivalency here – unless one chooses to be completely biased.

          1. Darthbobber

            In recent decades, the US seems to effectively play a variant of Solitaire. It no longer occurs to our leaders that the other side(s) also have resources, and can also formulate plans and attempt to implement them. In the first dozen or so years after the end of the USSR those who govern us got used to doing as they pleased internationally with (temporarily) no effective push back. That was always going to be short-lived, but they still think of it as the norm, and when other parties effectively defend their own interests they cry foul.

          1. The Rev Kev

            The US, after looking at Russia in the Black Sea, tells Turkey Romania and Bulgaria ‘Lets you and him fight.’

      4. Temporarily Sane

        There’s a difference between buzzing the airspace of relatively minor powers and doing the same to a nuclear armed superpower. Also, if Chinese or Russian spy planes disguised as civilian jets were regularly loitering close to US airspace we’d never hear the end of it.

        Every powerful country engages in spying and military shenanigans but it is only the US and its “coalition” satrapies that send their militaries to provoke nuclear superpowers thousands of miles from their shores (not to mention waging war and destroying countries that have never threatened them militarily).

        The panic over “the rise” of China is hilarious. It’s a country of, what, 1.3 or 1.4 billion people with a culture that stretches back 5,000 years…so it’s kind of natural that it is one of the world’s most powerful countries. As for the righteous frothing from the US and the Europeans over China not always playing fair or by the rules, well, what goes around comes around.

        It really is quite amazing how the Euro-Anglo-American power bloc still champion a blatantly supremacist ideology that they think gives them the right to remake the entire world in their image – by the sword if necessary – and cannot accept that this is a fool’s errand that can only end in disaster. This delusion persists even as the West is mired in multiple existential crises it clearly does not know how to extricate itself from. In fact, the further the West implodes, the more aggressive and belligerent it gets.

        At some point the West will have to accept that a world run according to liberal post-Enlightenment (aka Western European) values is an unachievable pipe dream and learn to live peacefully with countries that do things differently.

      5. upstater

        60 times in one month?

        Spoofing ID by identifying as commercial aviation 100 times in the past year?

        100 km off the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts of the US?

    1. Zamfir

      Russia does this as well, see for example:

      where stayed just outside of US airspace in june


      where they entered Irish airspace in march.

      I am sure you can find plenty more examples. In Europe, intercepting Bears is a cherished highlight of the job for jet fighter pilots. It’s not extremely rare.

      I don’t think it’s much of threat in itself, the Bears are too old for that. But the ICBMs back home obviously are a threat, and the bombers are more of a symbolic reminder of that.

        1. ambrit

          True. Just because it is old does not mean that it cannot get the “job” done; whatever that “job” may be. Much military parading around is of a performative nature.
          The kicker is that it will only take a small part of the nuclear arsenal of any of the major powers functioning as designed to thoroughly [family blog] up Terrestrial Civilization.
          Any belligerent use of atomic weapons today on the surface of the Earth will be ‘Game Over.’
          To look for the ‘Silver Lining’ of those clouds of irradiated debris floating about the atmosphere one could rejoice in the fact that Atomic Winter will offset Global Warming.

          1. km

            1. A Bear armed with long range hypersonic missiles is a mobile carrier killer.

            Even in the 1980s, Bears armed with long-range missiles was the terror of the American surface fleets. Those missiles were big, fast and powerful. They have since become much faster and considerably more powerful.

            2. One of the things that the military pornographers won’t tell you, or at least they will not discuss openly is that pretty much every attempt to game out a limited war between the US and its vassals and Russia quickly ends up going all-out nuclear. Not a “limited exchange of tactical nukes,” but the real deal.

            Usually it takes no more than a couple of days of the outbreak of open hostilities.

            1. Procopius

              Point #2 has been well known since at least 1955. How there can still be neo-conservatives who believe a “bloody nose strike” with a tactical nuke would not set off a full-scale war baffles me. It’s been obvious since the first games theory book was written, but it really doesn’t need the fancy math. Only a lunatic would launch a nuclear weapon. Therefore, if you’re a country with nuclear weapons and you see someone (especially someone who has a reputation for being unstable and/or unreliable) setting off a nuke, your rational choice is to fire your nukes at their pre-determined targets before the lunatic comes for you, too. Yet there are people who want to develop “modern” low-yield nukes because they’re “more usable.” John Bolton comes to mind, as well as Mike Pompeo.

    2. Ozz

      This has been a game since the cold war. Now planes can actually see or listen to signals inside a country for a fairly good distance. The U.S. just has more assets with the capability. The Russians did fly two White Swans by the US coast on their way to visit Venezuela earlier this year. You can bet they picked up some US wingmen for par of that journey.

    3. JTMcPhee

      One might ask “Who started this game?” The US Air Force was led by generals who were in favor of nuclear first strikes (by bombers) against the Soviet Union in the decade and more after the end of WW II, cheered on by that psychopath Winston Churchill, And current “doctrine” sets the stage for first-use initiatives to further whatever inchoate “goals” there might be for Imperial “policy.”

      Anyone want to contest that the US empire is way more aggressive and expansionist and erratic and corrupt than either Russia or China? And way more likely to resort to violent “intervention” in other places on the planet? And that the MIC and state-security have successfully put down any initiatives toward standing down from this whole Game of RISK! ™ idiocy?

      I see the Space Force plans to use the new “Starships” from the up-and-coming monopoly of Elon Musk to be able to “ship weapons to any place on the planet within hours.” And of course “we” Americans support the world’s largest sales force for weapons of retail and wholesale destruction, So all the “market force” incentives are in place and working well. And Musk apparently hopes to capitalize/monetize his profits from facilitating war on Planet Earth by offering a few humans the chance to move off-planet, to set up the next round of idiocy… He’s well aware that there’s a good chance humans have screwed the pooch here on Earth, as regards global environmental collapse and our propensity to run circular firing squads at scale,

      So the constant pecker-dragging around borders by nuclear-capable weapons carriers “enhances” the chances that there will be another oopsie that won’t be blessed with that one sane man who acts as a circuit breaker in the chain of idiot command that would trigger that ‘exchange” of full arsenals of destruction. Anyone remember this guy, ? We’ve been very lucky as a species so far— but Murphy’s Law and the Basic Laws of Human Stupidity ( make it almost inevitable that “we” are on borrowed time. It’s not like we have not run up to the gates of hell a lot of times already:

      Seems to me that the recourse to a “tu quoque” riposte to people criticizing the current ramp-up of “probing”/provocation by the US shows how deep the propaganda has gelled in even the most critical thinkers among us.

      1. Donald

        I was surprised to see defenses of this myself. I understand that Russia does it. But how is that a defense? As you and others ( including me) have said, we have have had accidents before and a few times we have come close to nuclear war.

        People need to understand self selection effects. You simply can’t brush off the threat of accident or miscalculation because we haven’t had a nuclear war yet. The chances might be small in any given year, but if you play Russian roulette with a thousand empty chambers for every bullet, sooner or later your luck runs out. And there is no good reason for playing.

        1. David

          I don’t think anyone here is defending anyone. And it doesn’t matter who started it, because it’s not a children’s argument . It does matter that the article is ill-informed enough to confuse three things.
          One is the almost universal and very long-established habit of probing the defences of other countries to gain intelligence and see what reaction you get. This is normally conducted according to tacit but accepted rules, and is low-level and limited in scope.
          The second is deployment of forces for an alleged political objective, either to intimidate or to show support. This is frequently done, is of limited use, and can be dangerous and escalatory. It’s widely practised, but in the past the US has been in a much better position to do it because it has bases all over the world.
          The third is the Hollywood delusion that we are forever on the brink of nuclear war, which could be kicked off by a single incident somewhere. Obviously, there have been accidents and isolated incidents of actual aggression, but enough has now been published on topics such as nuclear command and control and national firing chains that we can see that this kind of thing can be safely left in the cinemas where it belongs. Behaviour that might provoke a crisis, or even risk conflict, is to be condemned whoever does it, but let’s not confuse it with the end of the world. If articles like this want to influence and even change minds, as opposed to just earning performative brownie points from like-minded readers, they should at least attempt to represent the situation accurately.

          1. JTMcPhee

            So glad all the serious people think everything is under control. Love that notion, “firing chain.” Maybe the world has changed since a conversation I had with three officers from US naval vessels making a port visit to Beppu, Japan in 1980. We were the only gaijin in the public bath at the Suginoi Hotel. There had just been a lot of “probing and testing” between Soviet and US naval ships in the Sea of Japan.

            The conversation turned around to what these officers did on their respective ships, which were missile frigates and a destroyer. They were, as I recall, missile control officers. They acknowledged that despite the Japanese prohibition on nuclear weapons on US ships in Japanese waters, they carried nuclear-armed anti-ship missiles. They also noted that the “horizon time” for an incoming Soviet missile, from when seen by radar to when it blows the ship to bits is maybe five minutes, and as a result, quite a few officers on board had the authority to launch return fire without having to go through a lengthy “firing chain.” One of them offered that this was likely how a major nuclear war would start, where some error in detection and perception of threat led to shooting first so as not to lose the initiative.

            Of course maybe that was all just bullshitting by three naked, testosterone-poisoned and pretty drunk males, but it sounded pretty authentic to me. Why they would share that kind of information with me, I don’t know — I was a peacenik and lawyer, who saw an opportunity to do a little cross-examination practice On the people who might be in position to start a shooting war.

            And it’s not like there have not been more recent evidences that the US Navy and other branches have som serious weaknesses in their command and control structures, leading to “inadvertent” (we never know, see Gulf of Tonkin and others, the real situation) loosing of serious weapons— like the USS Vincennes’
            Keystone Kops crew shooting down an Iranian airliner, And as linked elsewhere, the crews of the US ICBM flights are not necessarily fit for purpose,

            No amount of measured language and reference to supposedly effective control systems to restrain either maverick idiocy by (likely US, as most aggressive) military members or failures of command and control due to failure-engendering complexity and tech vulnerability of code and algorithms driving “mistakes,” can be convincing. There’s a human element, coupled with an un-human element “thinking” on its own, that has as noted above, already brought the species close to nuclear war a lot of times, and such fortuitous events are pretty much inevitable in the future.

            Those three nice If incomplete categories of behavior, based on the Game of RISK! thinking of military and strategic policy “thinkers,” don’t account for the problem of Murphy’s Law and the inevitability of human stupidity. Thanks for the acknowledgement that “ Obviously, there have been accidents and isolated incidents of actual aggression.” That does not at all address the many instances of error bringing open war in all forms to within a hair’s breadth of breaking out, nor does the bland assurance that “firing chains” and other Rube Goldberg erections, and “condemnation” by serious people is always looming reduce the likelihood of major-war events due to “the most persistent principles in the universe — accident and error.”

          2. Fabian

            So if nuclear weaponry is so well controlled why is so much money spent on developing new ways to deliver new types?

          3. upstater

            Are you saying spoofing IDs to identify as commercial aviation is “tacit but accepted rules, and is low-level and limited in scope”. BS! Didn’t such antics result in KAL 007 being taken down?

            This is a “Hollywood delusion”, that costs US taxpayers $1T per year to maintain? And not to worry because “adults” are at the table?

            Isn’t the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean within the US’s “nine dashed line” for 200 years now?. How would Trump or Biden react to such sustained provocations? We have ample evidence that Kennedy would have gone nuclear if sanity hadn’t prevailed with one of three officers on a Soviet submarine that was subjected to US naval depth charges in 1962. So much for “Hollywood”; we were doing”duck and cover” under our school desks and in the hallway. What were you doing in 1962?

            Are you saying the it is OK for the US to intimidate anyone, anywhere, anytime for any reason because we pay for 800 military bases in foreign countries?

            You must be a retired spook and not a civilian.

            1. Bill Smith

              Randomly picking an Mode S code sure has picked up a lot of hype. I guess they could just turn off transponder instead. But that would make them harder to be seen by other a lot if other aircraft.

            2. David

              OK, just briefly.
              Anyone who’s done any research is quite aware that the KAL007 incident has nothing to do with the usual process of testing enemy defences. If it was a spying mission (and we’ll never know for sure) it was beyond stupid.
              Much of the expenditure on nuclear weapons by modern states is on command and control systems and survivable firing chains to make sure the political leadership is in control of what goes on. Again, this is all public knowledge.
              I remember the Cold War and I was at school in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was just about old enough to understand what was going on, and I was scared to death, though happily I was in a different hemisphere. That is, of course, nothing to do with the present argument.
              Unfortunately, people who think like you (or me for that matter) don’t always get their facts right in articles, and a site like NC should be pointing this out. “I agree with what you say so I’ll overlook the errors and omissions” is on a par with “my country (or my political party) right or wrong” and should be resisted. I started off feeling reasonably well disposed to the author, but by the end I had concluded he didn’t know what he was talking about. That may not bother you: it bothers me.

      2. Synoia

        “I see the Space Force plans to use the new “Starships” from the up-and-coming monopoly of Elon Musk to be able to “ship weapons to any place on the planet within hours.”

        Yes, which seems to assume the troops are already in place at the destination.

        I don’t see much value in dropping a load of weapons into an area without US troops.

        Making this is “resupply” operation? And the resupply rocket is thus a big noisy vulnerable target?

        1. JTMcPhee

          Starships would be capable of delivering several hundred troops along with all those weapons, and the flight profile is such that they do not currently bear much risk of interception or destruction.

          This is to mind just another example of the “infinite variability” and strategic-spending mindset of the village idiots that comprise the strategic staff and opportunistic private-corporate management of the MIC. “Threats” expand exponentially, as do “points of attack” and “asymmetric opportunities,” and the weapons systems demanded to “counter the threats” and “make our own threats credible to the enemy.”

          Looking at each individual piece of the construct, it all seems “rational” “Logical” within the parameters the players set, and seemingly “doable” and “necessary.” Like the F-35, and the GWOT. But once again, apply Occam’s Razor to the whole and you come back to WOPR’s conclusion: “The only winning move is not to play.”

          Of course there are all those trillions of dollars and comfy, very well paid careers to by gained by continuing the game, so on it goes…

          Effing stupid humans, top to bottom.

        2. hunkerdown

          > I don’t see much value in dropping a load of weapons into an area without US troops.

          1. You’d think differently if you were a local insurgent or merc deemed by the Blob to be useful at the moment.

          2. You might also think differently if your weapons didn’t need US troops on-site to operate, being a conceptual blend of drones and MIRVs.

  2. Ignacio

    RE: Genomic evidence for reinfection with SARS-CoV-2: a case study The Lancet.

    With nearly 40 million Covid cases reported so far it wouldn’t be surprising to find re-infection cases. Now it would be interesting to see what is the frequency of reinfection. We have no idea and though it seems rare according to anecdotal evidence it would be good to have an idea on how rare it is in reality. As time goes by we can also expect a rise in the number of reinfections and this should be carefully addressed somehow. The problem with this case is that the immune response was not studied in the first infection. Each of the cases reported so far have showed different outcomes, some more severe while others milder. The most concerning would be the frequency of more severe cases and I disagree here with the discussion of the paper. According to previous experience with other CoVs, reinfections in a period of about one year use to be milder given a similar virus load, This could indeed be a case of exposure to a much higher load in the second infection though I don’t consider it a very likely possibility. It might well be a consequence of a very mild/muted/incomplete immune response in the first infection, remember how this virus meddles with the immune response. They argue that ADE is unlikely though it cannot be ruled out. If it has something to do with the initial immune response then the implications for vaccine development wouldn’t be straightforward since vaccines do not meddle with the immune response as the virus does.

    1. AnonyMouse

      There was an early study on this from Qatar, don’t know how reliable it is in all honesty.

      I think as you say it’s very difficult to know too much about the frequency of re-infection, especially given that we are sort of expecting protection to diminish over time. I have to say the fact that everyone goes back to that one old study about a couple of common cold coronaviruses really makes me realise how little scholarship has been done in this field – now it suddenly seems like such a crucial question!

      1. Ignacio

        Yeah, and because those common cold CoVs usually cause a mild disease you can really ask why they were doing those studies in the first place, if just for the knowledge itself. A reminder for why basic research can be important addressing questions that do not seem urgent.

      2. Ignacio

        As for the study you linked the problem is that they do not provide with good enough proof of reinfection in most cases. If they had just analysed the production of viable virus particles (difficult!) or done full sequence analysis as in the US example, before and after the secondary positive results their study would have shown much stronger proof of reinfection. Anyway, these studies are needed.

      3. TroyIA

        Two studies from India regarding reinfection.

        In the first study Asymptomatic reinfection in two healthcare workers from India with genetically distinct SARS-CoV-2 two healthcare workers who were reinfected had a much higher viral load the second time even though they were asymptomatic.

        In the second study Whole Genome Sequencing Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Reinfections Among Healthcare Workers in India with Increased Severity in the Second Episode First episode – 2 HCWs asymptomatic and 2 symptomatic

        Second episode – all 4 HCWs symptomatic with more symptoms and longer duration of illness.

        1. TroyIA

          Although not case studies this twitter thread has been keeping a running commentary on cases of reinfection in Iran. You have to determine how much credibility these reports have but if they are true then for Iran at least reinfection seems to be more common than recognized.

      1. Ignacio

        But she was such a special case with complicating factors including cancer disease that debilitates the immune system.

        1. t

          Reinfection stories seem a bit click-baity (or the academic urge to get attention by publishing something novel.) Countries with healthcare systems and American insurance companies should have clear indicators if this is a virus that rarely provides immunity.

          Worth remembering that want everyone vaccinated because vaccinations simply don’t work o some people, that is, for reasons that are not understood there will always be a small set otherwise healthy, normal, people and dogs do not benefit from a particular vaccine.

    2. Susan the other

      This morning on the BBC there was a discussion about the value of taking other vaccines like MMR and even polio to peak the immune system; that this helps fight Covid. If Covid-19 actually morphs into a virus that suppresses the immune system as well as attacks the body, like offense and defense at the same time, then it almost sounds like a Covid vaccine still would not be able to peak the immune system, whereas maybe an MMR vaccine would be better. They were implying in the report that taking just about any vaccine would boost the immune system and help fight Covid. So off to get my flu shot today.

    1. John A

      Look up (lilla) röda stugan on youtube and you can listen to loads of Swedish folksongs in praise of these cottages and the bliss of living there with your loved one…

  3. Tom Stone

    Thanks for the Pelosi Video, she did not handle herself well IMO.
    Modern medicine is a wonder she doesn’t look a day older than 89, one more facelift and she’ll have a goatee.

    1. Chris

      I wonder how her comments about representing the American people compare against her ice cream hoard from earlier this year? She just doesn’t want to give Trump the appearance of a win on this issue and she’ll happily watch the public suffer to get her way.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        replacement-level boring anchor demeanor

        This burn is being overlooked.

        My sense is Pelosi has become aware her strategy of giving Trump everything and going home to her hoard of ice cream in the Spring wasn’t the best look and now wants to now look tough.

        1. ChrisFromGeorgia

          I think Pelosi has played a masterful game of “snatch the football away at the last second” from Trump (who plays the role of Charlie Brown.).

          We’re less than 3 weeks now from the election and really it already started. So she is winning. Wolf did his job but I still give Pelosi credit for staying focused on the prize. She will have lots of opportunity to give away Fed-printed fiat after the election.

          1. tegnost

            She will have lots of opportunity to give away Fed-printed fiat after the election.
            …to her donors. Did you forget that trump is “leaving the cupboard bare” ?
            Too bad she doesn’t have a track record of giving away fiat to someone other than insurance companies, big pharma, real estate,…to be fair though (/s)
            You can’t help other people unless you help yourself first…everybody knows.

              1. ambrit

                I like the commercial airliner oxygen mask explanation from “Fight Club.” The masks are there to get you high and quiescent during your last minutes of life.
                “No one gets out of here alive.”

              1. Olga

                It seems that the last round gave her a permanent look of smirk. Even if she wanted to seem tough, she’ll be smiling. Bizarre, no doubt.

          2. edmondo

            masterful game of “snatch the football away at the last second”

            That should be great consolation to those hungry people who thought that their children weren’t in some kinda Mengele experiment where their kids eat every other day so Nancy could play Lucy.
            My own personal guess is that the Dems are so scared of winning the Trifecta that they purposely come out with stupid stuff to depress turnout. Owning the presidency, senate and house could be the worst thing that ever happened to them.

            1. jsn

              They managed to get rid of it ASAP in 2008-10, that’s why they Sainted Obama.

              No doubt that was part of the calculus in standing up Sleepy Joe.

          3. Fireship

            Pelosi is always winning, whether “in power” or not. She belongs to the winning class. Trump belongs to the winning class. He is also always winning. I, probably you, and most people reading this belong to the losing class (no matter which team we cheer for). Unless you are part of the 1% or one of their courtiers, you belong to the losing class.

          4. The Rev Kev

            She could have agreed with the deal. Shown the bill with her signature and others on it just waiting for Trump to sign. It would box Trump in if he refused to sign the deal that his very own people had negotiated for him. Then assuming that old Joe won the election, the Democrats could then top up the money needed after January.

            And who am I kidding? She got everything that her donors wanted with the CARES bill and the subsequent ones. If the Democrats get in, she will go back to what they were saying last year that no relief measures could be passed unless it would be paid for with cuts to sections like social security in the Federal budget.

            She will see her fellow Americans starve in the streets in order to get a tactical advantage over Trump for the election.

            1. Chris Hargens

              Trump gave in and upped his offer from 1.6 to 1.8 trillion. Pelosi et al could have played this as a win, arguing that they didn’t get everything they wanted but that the crisis demands immediate attention. It’s all about the spin you put on it.

            2. a different chris

              > Shown the bill with her signature and others on it just waiting for Trump to sign.

              Quick American lesson – Trump doesn’t sign it until the Senate also has agreed to it. So all Trump could do is say that he would sign if “if it looks like this after Senate negotiations” which is to say the day after never.

              1. doug

                That is what I don’t get. The ‘DEAL’ has to be between the senate and the house, then it goes to pres. That ‘DEAL’ that Nancy won’t ‘accept’ is not a passed bill from the senate. It is BS from the white house. Many in the senate have said they would not vote for much of anything.
                I don’t understand the framing of this at all.

                1. nippersdad

                  IIRC, early on Trump slapped down Republicans in the Senate so often that McConnell decided to just not do anything before he had Trump sign off on it. This would be a case in point.

                  And, I doubt that many in the Republican caucus would want to defy Trump, especially so close to an election. They have been to that rodeo before.

                  1. doug

                    Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your reasoning.

                    However on Aug 1:

                    “I think there are 15-20 of my guys that are not going to vote for anything. … It’s a statement of the obvious that we will not have everybody on our side,” McConnell told WHAS, a Kentucky radio station.

                    That was 2+ months ago, and maybe things have changed…

                    1. nippersdad

                      I am picturing a Trump rally on the holdouts front lawns a’ la Bernie Sanders proposed method of getting his legislation through. Not a pretty sight.

                      I sincerely doubt much has changed. They may not like him, but they truly fear his fan club.

    2. Wukchumni

      The idea that Madam DeForage had $39,574 too much worth of plastic surgery done on her noggin, is bad hominem and i’m not going there, although I will say that her favorite treat and countenance share a common feature in that both are frozen, and irrelevance is a dish best served cold, as she freezes out the public from receiving any assistance.

      1. km

        No way it was $39,574. She spent more than that.

        Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. Pelosi wants ordinary people to suffer as much as humanly possible before the election in the hopes that this will cause them to vote for Biden.

        The idea that any CNN anchor is a Team R apologist is a hoot.

        1. Off The Street

          The taxpayers likely spent that money, via the Golden Congressional Healthplan, Speaker Codicil, non-public document appendix. /s

      2. Darius

        You are a true gentleman, Wukchumni (sp.?) to not bring up Pelosi’s plastic surgery. In her defense, I would say her motivation to get nips and tucks are the normal politician’s or rich person’s delusion, to preserve the illusion of youth. Mike Pence’s got plastic surgery to kill off normal facial expressions that would spoil his godly-man face and persona. All serene and stern and thoughtful and condescending.

          1. Wukchumni

            Lady speaker is a bit too pre-embalmed for most-but it works for her, while Joe looks ready to do a tv commercial for a pharmaceutical drug with a host of side effects too numerous to mention.

          2. Darius

            Biden’s face has gone backward in terms of the character that comes with age. The problem with cosmetic interventions is that, at best, they erase the effects of age and leave behind a flattened effect without details. Sort of like what Alzheimers does with mental character. The person is just not as sharp. At worst, people become gargoyles.

            One aged person who hasn’t gone under the knife, at least in an obvious way, is Maggie Smith. She’s almost 90 and epitomizes the idea of aging gracefully. She looks so much better than her peers who have tried to maintain a fantasy of youth.

            1. nippersdad

              Agreed about Maggie Smith and Biden.

              All Biden has managed to do, IMHO, is stretch his skin to the point that all of the spots and blotches have become his most prominent feature. He would have been much better off leaving them to hide in the craquelure.

            2. km

              “Biden’s face has gone backward in terms of the character that comes with age.”

              Biden’s character has not come with age, so why should his money face follow suit?

              Being a sexist heterosexual cis-male who wants an attractive partner, I tried to choose girlfriends whose faces I thought would age gracefully as their character developed.

    3. ChiGal in Carolina

      What is most galling (and revealing) is her language in effect conveying that she owns those she represents by virtue of being elected, in contrast to snoozefest-with-a-beard.

      No. The people own the pols, not the other way around. Hard to remember with so much “expertise” clouding your judgement. And so many corporate dollars in your pocket.

      This clip is the definition of PMC.

    4. Toshiro_Mifune

      Thanks for the Pelosi Video, she did not handle herself well IMO.

      No, she did not handle it well. She looked surprised at even mild push back from Blitzer. She should have just admitted she was happy to let Americans be evicted, go hungry and lose jobs rather than give Trump anything that could be perceived as a win. At least it would have been honest.

    5. nippersdad

      No, she certainly didn’t handle that well. The whole spiel about how she knows the starving, represents the starving and understands their suffering flies in the face of the idea that she is holding out for some tax credits that most of the starving may not live to claim is ludicrous.

      Maybe if she actually understood and represented them they would have had some money in the bank so that they could ride out the rough times eating designer ice cream out of their sub zero freezers, but that is probably asking too much.

    6. Donald

      If you read the transcript at one point she made some reasonable- sounding points about what the Democrats had versus what Trump was offering but she wasted most of her time talking about chairmen and how “ we” feed the poor. She just isn’t very good at making her case and that is supposed to be her job. I think they should accept the Trump offer and then revisit the issue when or if the Democrats take control. If that idea is wrong, she didn’t explain why it was wrong. They barely discussed anything at all— it was just posturing and hot air and both were at fault.

      I don’t bother watching the cable news networks because most of it is a waste of time at best.

      1. RMO

        “Speaker Pelosi. Thank you for your sensitivity for our constituents’ needs.

        Wolf Blitzer. I am sensitive to them, because I see them on the streets begging for food, begging for money. Madam Speaker, thank you so much –

        Speaker Pelosi. Have you fed them? We feed them.

        Wolf Blitzer. We’ll continue this conversation down the road, for sure.”

        Yep, she’s out there on the mean streets every day feeding homeless people with gourmet gelato from her freezer I’m sure.

    7. Darthbobber

      In fairness to Pelosi/Gamelin, it’s been months since I looked at a political piece on CNN that could not have been edited and produced by the Biden campaign. So this brief flurry of actual journalism, especially from as unlikely a source as Blitzer, probably came as a total shock.

      All of these people should stop pretending that they have the foggiest idea what it’s like for most people. They don’t, people know they don’t, and they’re increasingly unable even to fake at all convincingly.

  4. zagonostra

    >Apropos Amazon

    I’ve fought off purchasing anything from Amazon for a long time (with the occasional relapse of a hard-to-find used book), until yesterday. I needed a microSD card for a Tascam portable recorder that I bought online from Guitarcenter so I went to our local drug store where they have electronics. A 16 gig card cost about $20, on Amazon it was $6 with free shipping and would arrive in 2 days.

    I don’t mind paying a reasonable amount more to keep my purchases local. And though I am willing to make charitable donations to the local church, I’m not willing to make charitable donations to local businesses.

    With the postal trucks scurrying about delivering Amazon products at fraction of the cost of local businesses in a timely fashion, and you throw in COVID on top of that, it seems that the score is in and the winner is Amazon and internet retailers, as Bezo’ increasingly obscene worth illustrates.

    I’m at the point where it’s “screw it”, it’s all going to pieces let me just enjoy the ride while I can. When the walls come crumbling down, crumbling down, I’ll adjust as an animal would, and rationality be damned.

      1. zagonostra

        Hey thanks for the link, this is the first time I’ve purchased a microSD card. I’ll do a more thorough search in the future to avoid Amazon. I don’t know there was much of the difference in these memory chips, I thought they were pretty much all the same…

        My point of local merchants being able to compete still stands. Charge me a bit more, I’ll buy from you to keep business local, no variety, high prices, bad service, I’m going to an online store.

    1. hunkerdown

      I agree, the merchant class are not an alms case and will not be an alms case until we get the subjection and self-abasement, i.e. the formation of an alms class, that we’re actually paying for. That said, the “photo department” isn’t the one-stop shop for electronics consumables it once was, now a selection of imaging supplies and services curated for maximum profit. Have you no refuge, no resource? Are there no Micro Centers? Are there no Best Buys?

      I might have tried one of the independent cell phone hawkers (if you can find any remaining after COVID and the T-Mobile merger — one local Cricket store went directly into a skip a few months after Michigan first shut down, but the front sign is still up) first, on the theory that the alms stays local rather than going off to Boots or Aetna or whoever owns Rite-Aid this week.

      1. zagonostra

        I probably could have gone a couple of miles out of my way to Best Buy.

        I think maybe, subconsciously I want to give-up, join my friends and family in their taking advantage of the convenience and prices of an Amazon. It’s probably a spill-over effect of Biden beating Bernie and the bad political choices in front of me that makes me just want to say “the hell with it” go ahead and join the dark forces…I think I need a dose of courage and stamina to stay the course of not going along…not sure where to find it. It’s so easy to withdraw into a solipsistic stupor.

        1. hunkerdown

          Here is good. It would be so much easier to take the bribe, not to sell out but to buy in (as the dad in SLC Punk put it). It’s hard enough not to, with so many eBay listings being sent via some third platform sharecropper to Amazon for drop shipping, and plenty of small producers using Amazon for warehousing and fulfillment and maybe even the company website hosted on AWS too.

          Instead, I simply have morning lattes for a week instead of morning mochas, and hold that order until I can’t scrape half a level teaspoon out of the cocoa canister. It is a very modest sacrifice to remind myself that oligarchs are only the center of the world as long as others put them there.

          You got the late Graeber’s book of essays, Possibilities? Have a paragraph, however loosely related:

          Let me illustrate. To say that, in fetishizing commodities, or money, one is confusing one’s partial perspective on a system with the nature of the system as a whole, does at the very least imply that a whole system exists and that it is possible to know something about it. In the case of a market system, this is a perfectly reasonable claim: all economic study is premised on the assumption that there are things called “markets” and that it is possible to understand something about how they work. Presumably, the knowledge required is not comprehensive: one need not know exactly who designed and produced the pack of cigarettes or Palm Pilot in one’s pocket in order to avoid fetishizing it.25 One simply needs to know how these things generally tend to work, the logic of the system, how human energies are mobilized, organized, and end up embodied in objects. But this, in turn, implies the system tends to work roughly the same way over time. W hat if it doesn’t? W hat if it’s in a process of transformation? W hat if, to take an extreme example, the system in question does not yet exist, because you are, in fact, trying to bring it into being through that very act of fetishism?

          Theory: Amazon could do one-day shipping anywhere in the US, right now. They conserve two-day shipping simply to optimize the dope-amine hit when it arrives. That day of anticipation adds sizzle to Bezos’ stake.

        2. fwe'zy

          On the contrary, do not focus your stamina on avoiding Amazon (do avoid if you want to). This lifestyle choice trap is precisely what TPTB use to control us. “We’re not worthy! Still using Amazon! A thousand lashes on my unworthy frame, my liege!”
          Amazon is penetrating our lives in a way that can be turned to our favor. The vast infrastructure and logistics are ripe for nationalization. Take out the astronomical profit imperative and the warehouse standards for worker well being go up.
          I came back from going to a dumb phone instead of smartphone, no Amazon, no TV, artisanal clothes mending, all of that … and the world had kept right on intensifying-high-stakes-class-society-ing.
          The responsibility is not on the masses to merit or deserve a less extractive and inhumane system.

  5. timbers

    Wold Blitzer / Nancy Pelosi / Terminator: Dark Fate:

    Blitlzer certainly blew Nancy out of the water on his show. Every time he attempted to reference back to a reality based comparison of the state of stimulus talks, Nancy interjected with name calling and sweeping generalizations (“you don’t know what you’re talking about / You’re an apologized / He’s Lovely”). Looked really bad.

    Nancy is 80. She doesn’t look 80 on Wolf’s show. I recently watched Terminator: Dark Fate. Linda Hamilton was 62 when she did that film. She didn’t look 62 by Hollywood standards but much older, but I like and respected her look with deep wrinkles (possibly due her medications for bipolar disorder) and that she appeared to have no cosmetic work done on her and she didn’t seem to care, and she still had great screen presence though I suspect she’s petite in person as Hollywood makes you look larger than life. There must be some better Dems who could take Nancy’s place on the TV and assemble words that are more connected to the lives of most non millionaire Americans.

    With Nancy, it’s follow the money. She took what could be had with ACA. It sent trillions to rich gigantic insurance corporations (“it can only be improved/we have to pass it to know what’s in it”). As Lambert noted, why not that for the 1.8 trillion stimulus?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      There must be some better Dems who could take Nancy’s place on the TV and assemble words that are more connected to the lives of most non millionaire Americans.

      Pelosi fundraises and doesn’t ask the caucus to do anything.

    2. The Rev Kev

      That was an amazing video. I was watching Jimmy Dore do a commentary on it and Blitzer did not crumple like Jake Tapper did. I guess that at 72 Wolf Blitzer said to hell with it. Slam her with some hard questions and see how she copes. The answer was of course badly. And he did it with such ease while Pelosi was trying to treat him like an unruly peasant like she does with other reporters. It’s a standard play with her.

      By now Nancy and her “friends” would have been on the phone demanding that CNN fire Blitzer or demote him back to his first job – on the Tel Aviv bureau of Reuters. I have seen a few interviews over the years with Pelosi and normally the reporters do not dare push back against her bs but Blitzer here really took her apart. And rightly so. Maybe driving by all those desperate homeless people driving to and from work just got too much for him. What are they going to do? Fire him? Then he would just publish his autobiography and god knows what juicy stories he could tell in it.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          It sure seemed like it didn’t take much from Blitzer to call nancy’s bluff and cause a pretty spectacular faceplant. All he really did was repeat a couple of logical criticisms of her position and ask, “Why not?”

          Just goes to show how vital media complicity is and always has been in protecting the “peoples representatives” from the consequences of their own self-serving, corrupt claims to be doing “public service.”

        2. Eureka Springs

          Blitzer saw hungry people from tape thrown on the editing room floor or from his limo window. Imo don’t over credit the media who spend thousands of hours ignoring and 47 seconds acknowledging for gotcha points of some sort.

          1. nycTerrierist

            point taken, but this was more than a mere gotcha

            he was doing what a competent journalist
            should do all the time

            rare to see on the corporate news

          2. hunkerdown

            Those 47 seconds reveal the capabilities they spend thousands of hours telling us they don’t have or even don’t exist. “It can’t be done” is a presumption or conceit which can be quite effectively refuted by precedent. It’s an example of what they could be doing if they were not instead fighting us.

            I don’t think we’re feting the man, or the network, so much as the breaking of the taboos that (falsely and arrogantly, like all taboos) set apart our aristocrats.

      1. timbers

        Unruly peasants = those who ask tough questions. Good one. BTW I watched the full 13 minute clip vs Lambert’s 1.5 minute clip.

        1. Brunches with Cats

          So did I. Holy (family-blogging) (family blog). Not sure what’s scarier, Pelosi’s apparent confusion between “elected” and the divine right of kings, or the large contingent on Twitter demanding an apology from Blitzer for being “disrespectful” and “mansplaining.” Think I’ll just go drown myself in the bathtub now.

      2. judy2shoes

        “Slam her with some hard questions and see how she copes.”

        She coped by turning into the democrat version of Donald Trump during the so-called presidential (nothing presidential about it) “debate.” Her performance was ugly and hard to watch. I found myself yelling family blog-type words at my screen. No – I’m not angry…/s

    3. Donald

      I don’t agree with the idea that he blew her out of the water. He was just the normal TV gasbag. He adopted the Trump position and asked her why she didn’t accept it. He didn’t get into detail at all. I doubt he knows any details.

      Pelosi screwed up entirely on her own. If you read the transcript there is one point where she starts to explain what the Republicans cut out— that was important. I would have liked to have heard why the Democrats couldn’t accept this bill and then put these things back in if they have control of both the House and Senate in January. I would have liked to hear Wolf ask that question. But he is an idiot and she spent most of her time just spluttering.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Valid assessment, Donald. But it was by getting her to sputter to the point of becoming unhinged that he “blew her out of the water.” And yes, you could argue that she did it to herself, but the result was the same: Her imperious narcissism and hypocrisy were exposed in the ugliest possible way. It just baffles me that there are people on Twitter who see her as the warrior woman defending the people against Big Mean Orange Man.

      2. Darthbobber

        Yes. What blew her out of the water was her clear outrage at being questioned at all. If she deigned to answer, she had plenty of plausible lines available to take. But no.

    1. DJG

      zagonostra: The three-legged version is the symbol of Sicily, and if you have never read Conversation in Sicily, by Elio Vittorini, I recommend the book to you–eternal Sicily, yet filled with “magical realism” surprises. Even better if you can read the Italian in that Vittorini has a wonderful style.

      Meanwhile, influenced as I am by the god Hermes, I propose another very complicated set of symbols–his petasos (sunhat), his winged feet, and the enduring symbol of the herald’s staff, the caduceus, entwined with a snake–his role as a chthonic god and guide of souls to the Underworld.

      The article itself mentions “non-PG” Kokopelli, and the famous herms of Athens, set up to honor Hermes, would now be considered NSFW, I suppose.

      1. zagonostra

        Wow, this is why I love NC’s comments. I didn’t know the origins and since I’m from Reggio Calabria and can read (not well, but well enough struggle through Dante) I will definitely look up Elio Vittorini…

        On Hermes, Frances Yates opened my eyes to his importance in Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition .Bruno, Robert Fludd, Tommaso Campanella, and others in that tradition were amazing figures that were never even mentioned in my formal education.

        1. Procopius

          So much has to be left out of our formal education just because it has to be aimed to just above the lowest common denominator and time constraints. That’s why we need to find/make time to read. Even non-specialist stuff like Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time is fascinating because of bringing in different points of view and lots of facts about Richard III. Barbara Tuchman is wonderful. If you can, get The First Salute. I never knew about the epic march of the American Rebel Army from New York to Chesapeake
          ay. Of course a lot of what’s left out of our formal education is skipped for political reasons.

    2. Brunches with Cats

      “My favorite ancient symbol, sadly not covered in the article”

      Well, since it covered only three ancient symbols out of thousands, it’s a safe bet that those of us who even have a “favorite ancient symbol” didn’t find it in the article — which IMO is little more than click bait. But yeah, I fell for it. And I’ll take your bait, too:

      Noting that there are, in fact, tiny eight-pointed stars above the Kokopelli image at the top of the article, but no mention in the text. The Wikipedia entry isn’t the best, either, but off the top of my head I don’t have a better reference. I’ll add only that it’s more likely that our ancient ancestors used the eight-pointed star to depict the brightest object in the night sky (besides the moon) long before they created the mythology.

    3. ShamanicFallout

      I came across this one a while back and was more than intrigued. It’s the Eye of Horus but the weird part was the juxtaposition with the Thalmus, Corpus Callosum, Hypothalmus. I will try to post this image but if it doesn’t come up one can image search Eye of Horus and Thalmus. Makes me re-think a lot of ancient symbols that what they actually might’ mean’

  6. BoyDownTheLane

    “… Once you open the doors, you have significant amount of investment in labor (and) significant amount of investment in product, and product that is fresh and has a short shelf life,” said Bob Luz, president and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. “So in many cases, it’s just going to be a better business decision.”….”

    Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Guide To Quick & Easy Dinners | Ultimate Cookery Course [21:28]

  7. PlutoniumKun

    BTS face backlash in China over Korean War comments – as ads and merchandise suddenly disappear Sky News

    In response to AAK’s tweet about China’s cultural products, the country does actually have a small but very vibrant non-mainstream music scene. A few years ago I was listening a lot (as one does) to the bands on the Beijing punk scene and they were great – there is a network of small labels producing some really interesting alternative rock and dance music in most of the big cities. However, the scene is very small considering the size of the country, but it does show there is a lot of creativity lurking under the surface.

    Unfortunately, the media in China is notoriously controlled and conservative, so anything beyond painfully sincere singers of love songs and glossy boy/girl bands rarely get any chance of a wider audience. Piracy is also a big problem, meaning its hard for any creatives to make much money from recording unless you are very much inside the big tent – and only those who toe the line get inside. The 2012 documentary on Ai Weiwei, ‘Never Sorry‘, is a very disturbing account of what happens to even revered artists who don’t want to toe the official line. Another issue unfortunately is that some writer and film makers have found a niche for themselves selling a sort of orientalism for the entertainment of high brow European critics. For all his faults, Ai Weiwei is I think one of the few Chinese artists who insists on ploughing his own furrow, as unafraid to criticise the west as he is to let loose on his government.

    It would be fascinating to see which way China’s music and artistic world would go if it was let loose. For better or worse, the South Korean (and to a lesser extent, Japans) music scene is very Americanised, although I love that they are doing so well at playing that game (although I can’t get as enthusiastic about K-Pop as AAK is). China would potentially have the wherewithal to take its own path, as India does (there is amazing hybrid music scenes coming out of India, especially those influenced by cosmopolitan mixes of communities based in Europe). But there is very little sign of it so far.

    1. hunkerdown

      I don’t see what’s wrong with local music staying local. Let the Chinese Capitalist Party play with big blocks like a big boy and leave the real work of creative production to the interstices where it rightly belongs.

  8. Wukchumni

    Ayn Rand and the Missing Gun Real Progressives
    Covid has shown what a rickety financial structure the economic growth industry was as entire sectors of businesses are going tilt, and even the idea of being propped up by the chairman of the keyboard is a no go, as you can lead people to consume but you can’t make them go into an elevator or jetwalk the plank.

    Old yeller is strictly a de-growth instrument in the scheme of things, as it greatly favors savers who aren’t indebted to the system of playing with other peoples money, which until fairly recently was greatly discouraged, and perps went to prison when they got in too deep.

    Atlas Shrugged is merely a novel experience, by the way.

    1. Greg Taylor

      Always thought Rand’s “gun” that gives paper money value was a reference to tax collectors. Couldn’t follow the author’s characterization of her views on the “gun.”

    2. ambrit

      I always viewed “Atlas Shrugged” as what would have emerged if ‘Der Fuhrer’ had gone into Magical Realism after “My Struggle.”

      1. Mk

        Or – there will be no return to the gold standard until the elites figure out how to get even more rich & powerful from it!

  9. a different chris

    “As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists, we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies,” the declaration states.

    Um, if a psychiatrist made a broad statement about infectious disease these people would have a bird. But its OK for them to pronounce upon “mental health”.

    And I don’t even know where they are going with the “physical” part. I guess these high-achievers got locked out of their expensive gym so it’s a problem.

    It is really the “high-achievers” thing, though. In the world as it is, they are exalted. So any change to that world scares them, thus the hand-waving and “look at me, I’m educated and have something to say” bit. Whereas poor Dr. Smith, who is at the place where the buck truly stops, just shakes his head.

    1. mike

      the physical part is partially described by people not receiving ordinary maintenance medical care out of fear of catching covid. Other instances would be an uptick in suicide as a consequence of increased isolation.

      1. polecat

        Speaking for myself, it would be the abject fear .. of catching a fatal amount of ungodly, and extortionate medical expenses!!

    2. ewmayer

      If you think the concept of “public health” is limuted to the physical health of the populace, you are gravely mistaken — but based on numerous past NC posts you’ve never let being wildly wrong get in the way of tendentious opinion-spouting. Wikipedia:

      Public health has been defined as “the science and art of preventing disease”, prolonging life and improving quality of life through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations (public and private), communities and individuals. Analyzing the determinants of health of a population and the threats it faces is the basis for public health. The public can be as small as a handful of people or as large as a village or an entire city; in the case of a pandemic it may encompass several continents. The concept of health takes into account physical, psychological, and social well-being. As such, according to the World Health Organization, it is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity and more recently, a resource for everyday living.

  10. drexciya

    Lambert, you can have your doubts about the people arguing against a regular lock down, but it’s a bit more nuanced. I’ve just watched a discussion with a Belgian academic, who is advocating for a reverse lock down, and he comes with a really properly built case:
    – The current approach, which tries to save everyone, doesn’t work, and is not viable for much longer.
    – The current and proposed measures are becoming disproportional, compared to the actual severity of Covid-19.
    – The societal damage is becoming larger than what we try to prevent. There’s seemingly no room to discuss this aspect at all. Things like suicide rates, domestic violence, drug/alcohol abuse, are a thing, and there’s a lot more going on. We’ve already seen lots of articles on the measures hitting the lower socials classes much harder than the upper class.
    – A reverse lock down is the best we can do now, balancing the different aspects of covid-19. It also offers us a way out; currently I don’t see an exit strategy, especially if there’s no vaccine coming along soon. We need a plan B in that case anyway.

    Unfortunately, the discussion is in Dutch (and Flemish), but it’s very good, and he doesn’t attack people. He acknowledges the initial panic, and the measures taken back then, as well as the people who are still gripped by fear. But we need a working solution, so we can get on with life.


    1. antidlc

      And how many of the people arguing against a regular lock down have the luxury of working from home?

    2. furies

      Yeah, Belgium is not to be emulated; sorry.

      Seriously. I want the black pill. I don’t want to die of Covid like my brother did…frightened, gasping for air *alone*. (No, actually, we are NOT born alone) And I really don’t want to live with the sequela–I’ve already suffered from medical error for years now. So many cheering for us to die already…just send morphine please. I am totally serious.

      And what kind of world is this to live in anyways? Where *everything* is predicated on money? Not afraid of dying…just sick of suffering. This virus is a cruel way to go…

      1. drexciya

        What you are missing, is that the effects of the current measures are even worse, than the damage we try to prevent. Your fear is valid, but the big question is how do we limit the societal damage, while still limiting the casualties by the virus. We’ve seen lots of links in previous weeks about the smaller businesses and ordinary citizens suffering way more than the PMC. There has to be a better way.

        This isn’t about money; the current approach has been all about money; bail-outs for the elites, no proper protection for healthcare workers, no support for businesses that have been forced to close up, lots of money thrown at questionable vaccines (150 million euro in The Netherlands alone), and no proper attention for relatively cheap treatment options, that do seem to work.

        The Ivermectin+ protocol seems to be significant, and is way cheaper than the rather ineffective, and very expensive remdesivir. The Ivermectin+ protocol was covered by Chris Martensen at Peak Prosperity, he went through the research results that look really good. Interestingly, the research comes to us from Bangladesh, and more research results are slowly coming in from around the world as well, including an Australian doctor.

          1. ambrit

            Here’s a vote for a program of “reverse eugenics.”
            Take heart from Dylan Thomas’ famous poem.
            “Do not go gentle into that good night.”
            Rage can be a useful tool.
            Very sorry about your brother, but more to the point, for you for having to suffer this ‘second hand.’

            1. furies

              Thanks, ambrit. :)

              I have to wonder, why would anyone want to work in health care with this attitude of let ‘er rip? The number of nurses, aides, respiratory techs, and docs etc that have died *doing their ‘essential’ jawbs*…why should they risk all for a public that only cares about themselves?

              And as for ‘but the children’…how many of us had to “duck and cover” at school? I had to pack a suitcase and the nightmares lasted for years …remember THAT? (And just an observation; home schooled kids that I have known and loved (my own were until the divorce) are much more down to earth, respectful and helpful than their peers who are addicted to video/phones/pop’culture’.) But hey, we’re old and expendable.

              As I stated above, and I’m serious, if anyone here could hook me up with some morphine, I’d be forever grateful. I can’t afford the Neptune Society…

              1. ambrit

                I don’t know how to answer your query. I fear for the eventual outcome. If this is a real request, look up, (youtube has some good ‘how to’ videos on organic herbals that mimic the effects of opioids,) herbal remedies. There is a group in England that does ‘how to’ videos on cooking up tinctures from homegrown poppy plants. There is also a ‘wild weed’ that mimics opioid effects. (Something that grows in most lawns and waste patches.)
                Please take care of yourself, and, as I have heard and read, the decision to “shuffle off this mortal coil” must not be a snap decision. Take your time and you might find that tomorrow is brighter than today. (I’ve been there.)
                Phyl says to consider how unpredictable life is. She was ready to go bye bye last year. Then she decided to let the ‘offending member’ be removed. (Full blown melanoma of the lower leg.) Now she chides me for not being optimistic enough!
                Be strong!

        1. Bruno

          “This isn’t about money; the current approach has been all about money; bail-outs for the elites, no proper protection for healthcare workers, no support for businesses that have been forced to close up, lots of money thrown at questionable vaccines (150 million euro in The Netherlands alone), and no proper attention for relatively cheap treatment options, that do seem to work.”

          So it *is* about money! and there *is* a better way: provide adequate income support to the *whole* population during whatever lockdown is needed to get to the point where effective vaccines were available to all (comprising people, *not* corporations). but that would be communist, wouldn’t it?

        2. Cuibono

          but this is utter nonsense as Taiwan, HK, Korea, NZ, Australia, Japan, Vietnam etc etc have shown.
          You manage the economy WELL by managing the pandemic well. Period. End of story.

    3. ChiGal in Carolina

      I wonder if there’s a transcript. Problem is, it’s different opening up in an environment where people are distancing and masked and opening up living in the land of liberty.

    4. Phillip Cross

      What is a reverse lock down?

      How would a reverse lock down, and the massive epidemic that would be encouraged to follow, stop the people who don’t want to get sick from holding back from non essential interactions with the economy.

      Would the virus get to the number of people needed to eradicate the threat, or when things got bad, would people just lock themselves down bringing the r0 below one? Is there a risk of endless spasmodic outbreaks?

      When you look at the google mobility data from Sweden at it’s spring peak, it’s population was no more mobile than the locked down UK. They just stayed at home of their own accord, presumably because they didn’t want to get themselves and their families sick wirth a new and poorly understood pathogen.

      The advantage of the government issuing public health policies like closing high risk businesses, is it opens the door to compensate those businesses vs. having them close and go bankrupt because nobody wants to go there during a deadly outbreak.

      1. drexciya

        The whole point is that the current number of cases is overstated. The expert quotes colleagues in Belgian hospitals that currently don’t see an overload situation at all. This was, of course, different in the first wave, but this second wave isn’t as bad as the first one. We really need to distinguish between actual cases and positive test results.

        A reverse lock down means that you protect the vulnerable, but more or less open up the rest of society, for people who have a very low risk of contracting the illness, let alone die of Covid-19. This doesn’t mean we completely go all out, and remove all measures, but we leave it up to the people themselves.

        1. CallMeTeach

          I see this phrase thrown about: “protect the vulnerable.” Who are those people? Just the elderly who are most at risk? The other portion of the population at risk, which is a quite high percentage of adults? What does protection entail? Paying for those people to stay at home, so they don’t have to risk their lives? And if something like 40% of the adult population under 60 has to stay at home, how will that help the economy? And how about those not “vulnerable” who catch the infection and have long term repercussions? Should they sacrifice the rest of their lives, and as a society, are we willing to support those who were willing to get sick to rescue the economy?

          1. mike

            children appear to be in more danger to the seasonal flu than they are to covid. As a society, how many of their formative years should we sacrifice in order for infirm and older people to feel safe? Whose interests prevail? I personally see the children as our future and value their lives and development over that of the 80+ year old and infirm cohort that is the predominant victim of this disease. I would prefer no one need suffer from this disease but that seems fantasy

            1. Fireship

              So we teach our young people that the elderly are expendable rubbish to be discarded. I cannot wait to live in your brave new future, Mike.

              1. mike

                I did not say that at all. I asked the question of whether we should ask children, who are at very little risk to the virus, to sacrifice their eduction and mental health, as well as should we as a society be willing to sacrifice the development of our future leaders/producers.., for the well being of the oldest and most infirm in our society? It is not to teach the young people that the elderly are expendable. it is to respond rationally as a society. We are making many trade-offs and the timing of a real cure could very well be a long time off. Unfortunately, the trade-offs may include older and less infirm people sacrificing for the benefit of the rest of society.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Sacrificing for the benefit of the rest of society or sacrificing for the benefit of the rest of the economy? Spokespeople for this concept have made it plain that it is for the latter.

                2. judy2shoes

                  “I personally see the children as our future and value their lives and development over that of the 80+ year old and infirm cohort…Unfortunately, the trade-offs may include older and less (sic) infirm people sacrificing for the benefit of the rest of society.”

                  Two things come to my mind: first, death panels, and second, you don’t value what elders bring to society. Just because they are old doesn’t mean they are irrelevant, ffs.

        2. antidlc

          You can’t “protect the vulnerable” when so many multi-generational families live together.

          Look at the recent articles of the number of young adults under 30 who still live with their parents.

          And even if you don’t die, you can still suffer long-term consequences — lung damage, heart damage, etc.

          JEEZUS! JUST. STOP.

          JUST. STOP.

        3. a different chris

          >The whole point is that the current number of cases is overstated.

          Prove it.

          And note while you scan your usual “reliable sources”, the Precautionary Principle of medicine not only says don’t do anything seemingly unsafe until you are sure it isn’t (cough, communicable disease, cough) but also in a seemingly conflicting manner it makes doctors really careful about Cause Of Death.

          So doctors know communally that they Have A Really Big Problem because they know they are almost assuredly, as a professional caution, understating CoD.

          It’s a continual problem they have, “don’t do this” is often readily obvious but they scientifically restricted from officially saying so. Just the opposite of economists, really.

          Finally, it’s been less than 1 year for chrissakes. I have no doubt there were voices in WWII saying “hey we can’t defeat the Nazi’s without reaming the economy so let’s quit now before it’s too late and just live with them”.

          Fortunately wiser heads prevailed.

          1. drexciya

            You are approaching this crisis from a very narrow medical point of view. This is reflected in The Netherlands by the advising council focusing purely on input from virologists, and not consulting epidemiologists, and immunologists.

            My opinion is that we can’t save everyone with the current approach, without breaking society. We’ve seen the virus return, after a summer hiatus, in Western Europe, just like regular respiratory viruses do, and I don’t believe that lock downs will get rid of it.

            What good is the precautionary principle, if after an additional 9 months the virus is still around, and we’re going in and out of lock down all the time. Apart from the people going completely nuts, we’ve achieved absolutely nothing, apart from having caused even worse damage to the vulnerable, and society in general.

            1. hunkerdown

              It’s a much better heuristic to look at whatever the neoliberal think tanks want, and do the exact opposite. All neoliberals should be presumed to be arguing from bad faith until proven otherwise, which is simply irreconcilable with everything about their position as the ruling class of society, so stick with the former. That may not be logical argument, but life is not exclusively governed by liberal reason and never will be, no matter how hard they try.

              1. anonymous

                All neoliberals should be presumed to be arguing from bad faith until proven otherwise . . .

                I’m convinced the expression Politically Correct originates as a slant for Neo-liberal deceit. It’s why Lambert’s Neo-Liberalism Expressed as Simple Rules (below in this thread, from 2014) is no hyperbole; it’s the truth, even if neo-liberals — because they’re “rational”— keep that truth hidden from themselves. It’s why so many neo-liberals fit the very definition of socio-path, although they can’t recognize that either.

              2. drexciya

                Do you have a real argument here? We’ve seen lots of bail-outs of corporations so far, and some crumbs for the rest. If you look objectively at what’s going on, it’s hard not to notice that the underclass is hit the hardest. What about the 30+ million people who will become homeless? And that’s just the damage so far.

                As Graham Elwood noted (who’s pretty much to the left, and personally suffered from fraudclosure), the end game is kicking people out of their homes, buying those homes on the cheap, a rinse and repeat of 2007-2008.

                Do tell, how do you want to prevent that from happening with the current Covid-19 approach?

                1. furies

                  Your home for my life…

                  Got it.

                  and your faux concern for the poor; they’re the ones working ‘essential’ jobs on the front lines dying of Covid.

                  There will be plenty of company in the homeless encampment…

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Wait, what? You mean our goal should not be to eradicate death?

              Maybe they we should look at how deadly the virus is for those under age 20. Let’s see, where would we find information like that? How about the nation’s top health policy institution, the CDC:

              Infection Fatality Ratio for 0-19 years = 0.00003%

              The World Bank says the loss of total lifetime earnings for children because their schooling has been thrown into disarray is estimated so far at $10 trillion. That’s through August, and counting.

              So: we saved almost none of their lives, but we made them all poorer, forever. Raise your hand if you think that’s clever.

              And no points for mentioning that we made them all fearful and mistrustful and confused and took away any sense of certainty they had about the future.



              (Cue people moaning about how it’s not just kids it’s teachers and janitors and why can’t we have permanent testing and why can’t we set up impossible safeguards, blah, blah, blah…)

              1. skippy


                The very idea that the WB could estimate lost earning on school kids during their lifetimes is a bad case of rubbish in and rubbish out.

                Firstly as education is not a linear case globally, cog and widget plug and play in a dynamic work environment has short term-ism features, crapification of jobs was already well underway, lmmao at wage deflation, oh yeah student debt, you get the idea.

                Long story short the well spring of this view comes from – The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) is a libertarian[2] or free-market think tank[3] located in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

                Anyone can unpack it from there, especially when one considers previous PR works and for whom … tobacco, FF industry, and a bunch of other cartel types. Not much science coming out of that mob unless it can be cherry picked and twisted, then turn around in the next breath and say science is rubbish when that is off the table and thwarts their ideological propaganda.

              2. Phillip Cross

                HAL, you’re only 2 orders of magnitude off their estimate. They think 99.997 survived, so 0.003%…which is 100x more than you said. I don’t know the assumptions involved in those estimates, do you?

                You might be interested to see this story about the UK flu epidemic in 2018.


                215 dead and 2.6m infections making the IFR 0.008% over all ages combined. The CDC estimates you mentioned estimate 0.65% overall for Covid19, making it 80x deadlier than flu.

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  The assumptions are clearly stated on the CDC website. As is the IFR for 0-19 years: 0.00003%. In the column entitled Current Best Estimates.

                  If you wish you can review the information at the following link:

                  But apparently we are disregarding what the CDC, the WHO, the U.N. (who stated that an additional 100 million people face “imminent starvation” from the economic effects of the lockdowns), and the World Bank say. Mm-k.

                  1. Phillip Cross

                    You are erroneously adding a % sign. Those IFR numbers are a ratio not a percentage, so the scale is from 0-1, not 0-100.

                    Just relax! I can promise you that your ill informed posts aren’t going to change a single mind or help anyone, anywhere. So, maybe don’t bother?

                    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                      Oops! A percentage sign. Good catch! So the survival rate is 99.997%.

                      Funny how the resulting IFR compares to the IFR for seasonal influenza:

                      But someone citing the public information from the world’s top public health institutions is now labelled “ill-informed”. Got it.

                      And you’re right! Using information from those institutions couldn’t possibly help, for example, 100 million people who now face “imminent starvation”, not from the virus but from the lockdowns. But that info is from the U.N., obviously also not a credible source.

                    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                      On second thought I also am pondering your comment that my posts aren’t going to change a single mind anywhere, ever, so I should not bother.

                      Q1: for what reason do you bother to post? Wouldn’t you be better off writing your opinions and then sending them in an email to yourself?
                      Q2: if presenting alternative points of views that might change a single mind somewhere is not the point of coming here, what is?
                      Q3: do you work for Twitter?

                      And I can only come up with one reason why you do not care whatsoever to be open to questionning the wisdom of a policy that has pushed an additional 100M people to the brink of dying from starvation: you’re not one of them!

        4. hunkerdown

          So the Great Barrington Scam, which has already been fully identified as a genocidal, straightforward application of Rule 2 of neoliberalism by the same oligarch farm that considers Thomas Sowell a good use of money. “The economy” is collapsing anyway, as capitalism’s unique division between places for creating goods vs. people fades. Don’t save the coyote that’s after your livestock ffs.

          I think we need to start talking about canceling people who support this extremist right-wing cop-out non-plan of a plan.

          1. lambert strether

            > Rule 2 of neoliberalism

            Neo-liberalism Expressed as Simple Rules.” I wrote this in 2014 and I had no idea — who could have had any idea — how on-the-nose it would be.

            Remember also from the same post:

            The rules of neoliberalism do not apply to those who write the rules.

            The rules of neoliberalism do not apply in the world of the 0.01%.

            1. hunkerdown

              I had forgotten those were codified as rules (or taboos)! Duly bookmarked for reference, thanks for the re-link. The post and concept really have aged better than one might have wished. Except for endnote 4, whose dissembling Princeton economist, perhaps rightly deserving a good sneer just for being so quotable by the Times, made good with valuable clarifying contributions to the public policy discourse in the year to follow…

    5. marym

      Here’s some criteria which I would look for in any proposal to “get on with life” in a time of pandemic:

      Acceptance of masks and social distancing in indoor places open to the public
      Refraining from lawsuits or physical threats against government officials trying to implement the above
      Treating workers in places requiring masks respectfully
      Unwillingness to patronize businesses that don’t provide workers with protective equipment appropriate to the risks of their jobs
      Demanding governments provide material support for displaced workers and small businesses
      Demanding universal healthcare
      Supporting the “lower social classes” beyond much more than demanding they “get on with” lives of danger, sacrifice, low wages, etc. in service of the “upper social classes”

    6. Grant

      “– The current and proposed measures are becoming disproportional, compared to the actual severity of Covid-19.”

      This is a much more difficult case to make than it may appear. We have kinda locked things down here and there, and we still have over 210,000 dead here in the US, and how many others with long-term health issues because they go this. And that in the most inhumane, brutal and inefficient healthcare system in the developed world. Arguing that the cost is much larger than the benefits (or avoided costs/deaths) requires us to ask what would happen if we never shut things down at all. How many more would be dead? How many more with long-term health issues, and how will those costs be socialized in different ways in this rotten healthcare system? Would suicides, depression, alcohol/drug abuse go down in such a situation, with so many more dead? Would such a thing allow us to “get on with life”? Could we just get on with life like it was if there was 400,000 officially dead (knowing the official numbers are a floor?). If so, I can see why so many Americans are unmoved by a healthcare system that kills up to 70,000 a year. That is a third as much as COVID so far this year.

      We should just be honest about the reality we face and get rid of delusions about returning to normal. That world is gone, one way or another. The problem isn’t that we can’t economically get through this, and that we can’t adjust and learn to live in a new normal. It is just that capitalism, neoliberal capitalism, makes such a thing very difficult because it requires a level of economic planning that capitalists have long fought. The state here in the US should certainly be doing things it has not for some time, possibly ever. These things are possible, but hard to realize if you confine yourself to economic norms of recent decades and aren’t willing to finally move beyond capitalism.

      I have to ask you though, if you agree with the argument, what exactly do you think is going to have to happen to deal with the environmental crisis? Cause this is a walk in the park compared to what is needed to deal with that. Hard to have much hope in humanity at this point.

      1. a different chris

        > it has not for some time, possibly ever.

        As I said above, WWII. Not in method but in overall structure.

      2. drexciya

        I agree with you, on that there will be no return to normal. This was baked in, before Covid-19 accelerated the blow-up, which was coming anyway. I see most of the actions taking place on the financial side of things, as the final looting operation.

        Unfortunately, the climate/environmental crisis has been hi-jacked by globalists as well, and the current measures typically seem to be focused on making money for special interest groups, and don’t contain much in the way of measures, that will either work, let alone do something for the lower social classes.

        I’ve been watching a video on the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, of which environment is one part. In The Netherlands, we see that a lot of money is thrown at measures that are dubious at best, and seem to be focused on subsidizing people that have the proper connections with politics and businesses.

        In my opinion, the only thing that will work is the bottom-up approach; I don’t have any trust in politicians to do the right thing. So think global, act local:
        – Use less energy to begin with.
        – Consume less; our whole consumption based society isn’t viable in the long term. We’ve covered the fashion industry at NC a lot, and there’s more examples of needlessly wasteful industries. Just using devices for a longer period of time, in general, makes a difference.
        – Food should be produced and consumed locally much more, and we have to return to seasonal foods. I continue to be astounded, where some of the food in my supermarket is coming from.
        – Less waste should be a focal point as well. I’ve read a book about that more than 5 years ago, and especially the fast food industry throws away a lot of food.

      3. John Steinbach

        What has to be done to address the environmental/resource depletion crisis has been known for over 150 years. Marx wrote about “the ecological rift” between human activity & nature in the mid-1880s. Lewis Mumford wrote about “Man’s Role In Changing the Face of the Earth” in the mid 1950s. Barry Commoner wrote about “The Closing Circle” in 1971. Daniel Yergin co-wrote Harvard University’s “Energy Futures Report” in 1979.

        All these visionaries (Yergin has dramatically backslid) advocated radical changes in organizing society to conform with the reality of ecological/resource constraints- emphasizing radical conservation & voluntary simplicity.

        This vision is mostly missing from Green New Deal proposals, which advocate technological solutions and vast ‘clean energy’ reindustrialization to achieve “sustainable growth.” The centerpiece of most GNDs is to substitute ‘carbon-free’ renewables for fossil fuels, discounting or ignoring the reality that renewables can, at the most, complement but not replace energy dense fossil fuels.

        Recognizing that there is no viable timely technological solution for humanity’s predicament, and that ecological, carrying capacity & resource constraints dictate a near term radical reduction in energy and resource consumption, Marx & Commoner’s insights remain valid- either humanity recognizes natural limits & undertakes immediate massive global societal changes emphasizing conservation & simplicity, or else the jackpot.

  11. Wukchumni

    A fifth of countries worldwide at risk from ecosystem collapse as biodiversity declines, reveals pioneering Swiss Re index (press release)
    Wowsers, Aussie looks like an upside down map of Red China, while the land of the long white cloud is totally copacetic* in comparison.

    There are over 25 million Australians and about 5 million New Zealanders-a little similar to our 8-1 ratio of Americans to Canadians, and NZ is the size of the state of Colorado, as a lifeboat.

    Here, we’d have a lot more room in BC/AB to spread out, and i’ve already put down a deposit on a condo with a bitchin’ view of the Great Slave Lake, they tell me it’ll be nice.

    * excluding volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis et al

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Xi Jinping tells marines to focus on ‘preparing to go to war’ in military base visit during southern China tour”

    Umm, well yeah. It’s kinda like their job. I believe that it is even in their official job description. If the Chinese Marines are anything like their counterparts in the US Marines, what else is he going to say to them? ‘Chill out dudes. Grab yourselves a weekend pass but remember our regular safety brief- no DUIs, no pregnant strippers and no calls from a jail cell.’

    1. Wukchumni

      Semper Xi

      From the fall of everything east of Zuma beach
      To shores of disputed isles and riches in reach
      We fight our country’s battles
      In the air, on land, and sea;
      First to fight for right and freedom
      And to keep our honor clean;
      We are proud to claim the title
      Of PRC Marine.

    2. Darthbobber

      Basically the usual rendition of “You are the heroic defenders of the homeland, train hard and be ready to do the heroic defending thing. ”

      It’s generally thought that the main point of having a standing military is to be ready to fight wars as needed.

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: A $52,112 Air Ambulance Ride: Coronavirus Patients Battle Surprise Bills NYT.

    Since there’s an election in less than three weeks and democrats are eagerly anticipating a “blue wave,” it’s worth remembering that there was a bipartisan bill (genuflect now) to deal with “surprise billing” that was sabotaged by powerful Massachusetts democrat richard neal last December.

    While the Bad Orange Man inexplicably took a break from trying to deny all americans affordable “healthcare” and supported the bill,

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, receiving pressure from the Greater New York Hospital Association, did not endorse the bill but did not try to block it.

    It’s been 10 years since the mighty ACA “revolutionized” “healthcare” in america and a 20-mile air ambulance ride now costs $52,000+ that nobody but you pays for. You would be forgiven for thinking that all the lame rhetoric over the sacred ACA now going on by democrats in the Barrett confirmation is….what’s that word….kayfabe.

    Refresh your memories on surprise billing here, or don’t and trust the “blue wave”:

    1. petal

      Just had the radio on in the car and Shaheen(NH) had a commercial playing about how she is “fighting” surprise billing and she should be re-elected.

    2. Tom Bradford

      I’m wondering how you’d avoid the cost of a helicopter ride being ‘surprise billing’.

      Helicopter lands next to where you’re struggling to breath or feeling your heart fall apart or looking at half your blood on the asphalt. Medic opens door and calls out, “10 minutes to hospital. Fare $50,000. Yes or no?”

      Surprise bill avoided.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        From the provided link, this was the bipartisan proposal that was shitcanned by democrat neal:

        Ultimately, the Senate Health Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee came to a compromise: Doctors cannot send surprise bills to patients, and insurance companies will pay out doctors at the average in-network rate for all bills up to $750. Above $750, the price goes to arbitration.

        Substitute “air ambulance,” or any ambulance, for “doctor,” and there you go.

  14. cnchal

    > China Cybersecurity: No Place to Hide China Law Blog. Parts two and three. Not just about cybersecurity.

    Globalization is a disaster, no matter where one cares to look.

    To all the phuckers that extolled the virtues of shipping jawbs to China for their own personal profit, I pray for a rain of anvils and that your Chinese made umbrella fails. Bunch of idiots. Look where we are now, Technology is the noose around your neck and the platform is being yanked from under you.

  15. Clem

    Proposition 22 article:
    “Uber alone has lost something like $27 billion since 2009……It seems it has a blank check from the bottomless sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.)”

    Kamala Harris’ brother in law, Tony West is Uber’s chief counsel.
    Kamala Harris voted to send more weapons to Saudi Arabia.
    Kamala’s husband, is another corporate law parasite.

    “Mr. Emhoff announced that he was taking a leave of absence from DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest law firms, where he is a partner.
    It remains unclear whether Mr. Emhoff will continue to practice law in any capacity, but keeping a connection to a firm with a thriving Washington lobbying practice and offices in places like Moscow and Riyadh, the Saudi capital, could prove problematic.”

    “During his decade as a lawyer at the corporate firm Venable, Mr. Emhoff represented the pharmaceutical giant Merck in lawsuits tied to its drug Fosamax; the arms dealer Dolarian Capital in a case related to its sale of AK-47s for use in Afghanistan; and a nightclub owner accused of sexual harassment and sexual battery.”;read=155665

    “Based on 2018 tax returns obtained by the New York Times, the Biden/Harris ticket is the wealthiest of all the combinations of the Democratic hopefuls in 2020. Harris’s adjusted gross income (AGI) was nearly $1.9 million, putting her directly behind her running mate, Joe Biden with his $4.5 million in income.”

    Saw one of her original campaign posters yesterday:

    Kamala Harris for “The __?__ People”

  16. The Rev Kev

    “The Man Who Speaks Softly—and Commands a Big Cyber Army”

    So if I got this right, he is the guy that organized it so that everybody in the world would be spied upon 24-7-365. And he also launched the Stuxnet virus whose components are now being used both near and far by criminal gangs after it was disassembled. Finally, he is launching attacks left right and center against countries like Russia, China, Iran, etc. I hope that he never transfers to the US Space Force. Otherwise he will get it into his head to blow up Russian and Chinese satellites on the quite, Kessler syndrome be damned. I wonder if he ever heard of Sun Tzu? Sun Tzu warned that you should not be fighting your enemies all the time because when you do, you end up teaching them your art of war.

    1. Gaianne

      This piece of glorifying biography is a bit alarming:

      Defense is already too boring. (And what would cyberdefense consist of anyway? Patching the holes in microsoft? Can that even be done? But how do you wage cyberwar if you have no defenses?)

      But cyber attack are exciting: Knock down the enemy’s electric grid! Blow up his factories and power plants!

      Don’t worry that your cyberweapon leaves millions of copies of itself in computers strewn over seven continents!

      It’ll be fun!

      Just part of the full on march toward (full, hot, shooting) war. Our global oligarchs want us to be cheering as they open the gates of death. For us.


  17. chuck roast

    Pro Publica article on Lighthizer:

    First definitive thing I have ever read about him. Interesting. Sounds like we could have used him 20 years ago. Lots of pearl clutching from the “free trade” class. Near the end of the piece their was a quote from former USTR staffer Sam duPont who was off to join the German Marshall Fund…really, all you need to know about this class of people are their names and which direction they are heading to or from.

    I have been thinking more and more that on a macro level there is little (official) inflation because there is so much leakage in the current accounts deficit. Low unemployment (pre-cootie), no labor bargaining power and huge fiscal deficits keep the economy afloat…but without any growth. GDP = C + I + G + (Ex – Im) Add the upwardly mobile flight of all capital and no investment in productive capacity, without massive deficits the whole U.S. economy would sink like whale poop. As the austerians wait in the wings.

  18. Mark Gisleson

    Wow that was a bad article on sleep types. I haven’t felt so left out since Gail Sheehy’s “Passages” revealed that working class people do not actually exist.

  19. Otis B Driftwood

    Hoping every single voter in Pelosi’s San Francisco congressional district sees this. If they haven’t voted, they can do the right thing and vote for Shahid Buttar.

    If they have voted, and it happens they voted for Pelosi, well, they can at least feel ashamed of themselves.

  20. Wukchumni

    Saw a mom & a couple cubs the other day-all brown in color, she was bigger than her brood, but not a lot more in the scheme of things.

    That brings me to 9 sightings for the year with months to go, and when the acorns start getting ripe & falling later in the month is when you get the best chance to see a bear from your car driving up the Generals Highway from around 2,500 to 5,000 feet. You need at least one dedicated set of eyes to look for them noshing on acorns, although the easiest method is to merely look for stopped cars on the road, the telltale sign boo-boo is around.

    Late October-mid November is when you want to go…

    I saw 9 in one day about a dozen years ago.

    Fruit dick news:

    I’d mentioned that a 125 year old apple tree in Mineral King had it’s main leader come off, and I drove to the scene of the crime where the 12 foot long and as much as an inch wide evidence was strewn on the ground, and it was pulled off, so i’m thinking that a bear done the deed, in that said branch was a bit overloaded with fruit (about 40 apples) which allowed it to be in reach, as opposed to previous years when you needed a fruit picker to be able to access the 20-25 orbs on high. Add in that there was no apples on the tree anymore, nor on the ground, another just in time eating mission accomplished.

  21. km

    Wonders will never cease! MSN implicitly refers to the Russiagate conspiracy theory (or a less virulent adjacent conspiracy theory) as a conspiracy theory.

    “Sixty percent of Democrats believe Russia has compromising information about Trump, while roughly the same percentage of Republicans are convinced there has been a coordinated effort by “unelected government officials” to undermine the Trump administration.”

  22. Wukchumni

    “Redbacks” were bearer promissory notes issued between January 1839 and September 1840 by Mirabeau B. Lamar to fund the national debt during his presidency of the republic. Inflation, due mainly to overprinting, devalued the notes substantially, making 15 redbacks equal to one United States dollar.[citation needed] This debt of over $10 million was an important factor for annexation into the United States.

    The end of the redback coincided with the presidency of John Tyler in the United States, who had proposed a regulated paper money system called the Exchequer plan. Upon resuming the Texas presidency, Sam Houston attempted to restore the negotiable note system under the name of “exchequer bills.” This effort had little success until the following year, when economic conditions throughout North America began to improve. By 1845 the bills were passing at par value.

    Under the Compromise of 1850, Texas was given $10 million for all the land it had claimed outside its present state boundary. With this money, Texas paid off all its debts, including the redemption of its notes.,never%20minted%20its%20own%20coins.

    A $3 bill, why not?

    1. ambrit

      Gadzooks! I remember the Nixon Twee Dolla bills floating around during the 1972 conventions on the Beach.
      Then it was fun. Now it’s finance.

      1. Wukchumni

        Heavens to murgatroid, with fake Tricky Dick money instead of this turning up on Florida shores…

        The 1715 Treasure Fleet was a Spanish treasure fleet returning from the New World to Spain. At two in the morning on Wednesday, July 31, 1715, seven days after departing from Havana, Cuba, under the command of Juan Esteban de Ubilla, eleven of the twelve ships of this fleet were lost in a hurricane near present-day Vero Beach, Florida. Because the fleet was carrying silver, it is also known as the 1715 Plate Fleet (plata being the Spanish word for silver). Some artifacts and even coins still wash up on Florida beaches from time to time.

        1. ambrit

          Yes indeed! That section of beach is now a tightly controlled place. No metal detectors etc. You must turn in any “finds” at the rangers station as you leave, etc.
          In the old days, that beach would be ‘popular’ right after any strong gale or hurricane.

  23. anon in so cal

    >Biden and Ukraine:

    Trending on Twitter: the New York Post reported that Hunter Biden introduced a senior Ukrainian energy official to VP Biden. Apparently, FB is censoring any NY Post material. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman mentioned the NYP’s report:

    “People discuss NYT WH correspondent Maggie Haberman sharing a NY Post report that alleges then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son introduced him to a senior Ukrainian energy official”

  24. Lynne

    So now we know for sure what Biden and the Dems promised Klobuchar for the night of long knives. And it puts a different complexion on Klobuchar’s speech at the opening of the hearings about being hasty.

    KLOBUCHAR: OK. Well, you also separately acknowledge that in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court’s controlling opinion talked about in — the reliance interest on Roe v. Wade, which it treated in that case as super precedent. Is Roe a super precedent?

    BARRETT: How would you define super precedent?

    KLOBUCHAR: I — I — I actually — I might thought someday I’d be sitting in that chair. I’m not, I’m up here, so I’m asking you.

    BARRETT: OK. Well, people use super precedent differently.


  25. Wukchumni

    There’s a plane wreck near Hockett Meadow I found online a few years ago, and in the description of the fellow that found it, was mostly in steep chest deep manzanita, and of all trees in the Sierra Nevada, nothing burns as fierce, and according to my handy dandy SQF fire map, it’s a bit toasty @ 178 degrees around them parts. The plane crash dates from either 1960 or 1980 according to the research I did on it. We’ll see what gets uncovered next summer.,-118.67801&z=15&b=mbt&a=modis_vp

    Photos of airplane parts strewn on the ground near bottom of link

    1. Glen

      Unfortunately if what remains on the ground gets caught in a hot fire, there may not be much left.

      Near enough where I live is a B-17 wreck. it has been years since I was there, but pretty amazing to see.

      1. ambrit

        I remember the grounded Constellation commercial airliner that was set up as a house next to the Tamiami Trail west of Miami. That was the definition of ‘landmark.’

  26. Glen

    It’s starting to look like ACB’s SCOTUS mission will be to deny that climate change is a thing:

    Krystal and Saagar: Dem Senator EXPOSES Big Money Behind SCOTUS Nominees

    Upcoming SCOTUS Climate Case Involves Oil Giant That Employed Barrett’s Father

    So that makes sense. Both the Dems and the Repubs continue to use ObamaCare as a convenient club for the voters. I doubt if either want to get rid of such a perfect POS healthcare system. After all, it is a Republican plan, but the Democrats now defend it almost literally “to the death” despite the fact that everybody knows it’s just horrible.

    I mean $52K surprise billing for a medically necessary trip, and this was a person that HAD a healthcare plan. We are close to achiving the perfect healthcare system – everybody has to pay, but nobody dares to use it – PERFECT!

  27. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    I just have to riff on How Progressives Should Navigate Their Biden Conundrum, LOL

    The system has hoicked up the most corrupt candidate possible who spent 47 years working tirelessly for war, big corporations, banks, and billionaires. He stated publicly that “don’t worry, nobody’s standard of living is going to change” and that he “would veto” any legislation aimed at giving the nation a First World health system. Along the way the political and media machine behind him skewered all challengers who dared propose any policies that would favor people over corporations.

    What to do?

    (Your dog just deposited a giant one on the carpet, should you A. Scold him, or B., Give him a treat?)

  28. Maritimer

    How to promote uptake of any COVID-19 vaccine Medical Journal of Australia
    “Key to delivering a successful COVID-19 vaccine program will be understanding and engaging with the community, ensuring that communication programs are appropriately tailored and that capacity-building activities focus on providers.”

    Yes indeed, more than just Shortcut Science is needed, let the propaganda push begin. All these socio-psycho researchers are ready and able to join the propaganda team.
    Previously at NC I had posted about an NIH study advocating the use of various messages like anger, embarassment, guilt, etc. to get vaccine compliance:

    So it’s not about the Science but about the propaganda.

    And lest the above seem exaggerated, today this report in Canada wherein Canadian Military Forces were engaged in domestic tactics to scare the population:
    “The Canadian Forces revealed its role behind the fake letter last week to the Nova Scotia government and then on the weekend to local news media. Media outlets reported military staff had written the letter but didn’t know why.

    Emma Briant, a professor at Bard College in the U.S. who specializes in researching military propaganda, said what the Canadian Forces did was a major violation of ethics. “This is way over the top,” Briant said. “It’s a very dangerous path when you start targeting your own public with false information and trying to manipulate them….

    The Nova Scotia propaganda training comes as the Canadian Forces spools up its capabilities to conduct information warfare, influence operations and other deception missions aimed at populations overseas and, if necessary, the Canadian public.””

    Please note, that is “information warfare” on “the Canadian public”.

    That is a reputable “trusted” Canadian newspaper by the way.

    And this is only the tip of the Global Propaganda regarding Covid and other issues. Let the brainwashing begin. Those who lived through 9/11 and the Iraq WMD propaganda war may remember that it was predicted that the psysops techniques used in the Middle East and Asia would eventually be brought home to be used against the domestic populations. Those days indeed are here and funded with the tax dollars of the citizens abused, manipulated and used as test beds. And the socio-psycho researchers are there to assist,with appropriate compensation, of course.

    1. Temporarily Sane


      And they wonder why people don’t trust the MSM anymore.

      It’s clear to anyone who has been paying attention that the mainstream media, along with the social media monopolies, espionage agencies and establishment linked “think tanks”, actively engage in widespread propagandizing and information shaping rather than simply informing people.

      It’s information warfare conducted against their own populations. Leaked documents from the UK military’s psyop division, the 77th Brigade, describes it in exactly those terms. All the stuff they accuse Russia and shadowy foreign “meddlers” of doing they themselves do.

    2. HotFlash

      Thanks for this, Maritimer. I don’t usually follow any of the various Post’s incarnations so this is news to me, but holy moly! ‘Scuse me while I write my MP, this is seriously scary business. I don’t know which is scarier, that the military is officially (but secretly) doing this kind of thing (illegal, so far as I can tell), or that a bunch of yahoos in uniform did this off their own bat (illegal and insubordinate), or that it got out (illegal, insubordinate, *and* incompetent!).

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