Links 10/24/2020

First Asian giant hornet nest in US found in Whatcom County to be eradicated this weekend King5

A Chasm Deepens in America’s Credit Markets, Swallowing Smaller Firms Bloomberg. You say “swallowing smaller firms” like that’s a bad thing.

Wells Fargo May Deprive Investors Of Its Peerless Service And Customer Care Dealbreaker

Virtual branch concept making inroads in U.S. American Banker

When Going Green Backfires: Eco-Friendly Car Wiring in Newer Cars Apparently Attracts Rats Core77 (Re Silc).

It’s Official: Solar Is the Cheapest Electricity in History Popular Mechanics (Re Silc).


How Straight Talk Helped One State Control COVID (interview) Scientific American. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control. Today’s must read.

The engines of SARS-CoV-2 spread Science. Another must-read.

* * *

Modeling COVID-19 scenarios for the United States Nature (popularization in STAT). From the abstract: “We find that achieving universal mask use (95% mask use in public) could be sufficient to ameliorate the worst effects of epidemic resurgences in many states. Universal mask use could save an additional 129,574 (85,284–170,867) lives from September 22, 2020 through the end of February 2021, or an additional 95,814 (60,731–133,077) lives assuming a lesser adoption of mask wearing (85%), when compared to the reference scenario.” • The model aggregates several natural experiments conducted in the United States and abroad:

Mask use has emerged as a contentious issue in the United States with only 49% of US residents reporting that they ‘always’ wear a mask in public as of 21 September 2020 ( Regardless, toward the end of 2020, masks could help to contain a second wave of resurgence while reducing the need for frequent and widespread implementation of SDMs. Although 95% mask use across the population may seem a high threshold to achieve and maintain, on a neighborhood scale this level has already been observed in areas of New York (; and on a state level, reported mask use has exceeded 60% in Virginia, Florida and California (see Supplementary Information for related methods). In countries where mask use has been widely adopted, such as Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Iceland among others, transmission has declined and, in some cases, halted ( These examples serve as additional natural experiments of the likely effects of masks and support the assumptions and findings from the universal mask-use scenario in our study. The potential life-saving benefit of increasing mask use in the coming fall and winter cannot be overstated.

“Regardless” is doing a lot of work there. If the tactic used to increase mask usage is shaming, it’s likely to backfire where mask uptake is needed most. (The historical analogy is the AIDS epidemic, where shaming failed to increase condom usage). Perhaps Biden’s famous albeit not systemically-applied empathy will percolate downward through the liberal nomenklatura, and shaming and fingerwagging will be abandoned as tactics. However, I fear they are too deeply embedded in the collective psyche of the professional-managerial class for that to happen (and, in any case, “Othering” is embedded not merely in the liberal Democrat psyche, but more to the point, in its fundraising.) I would be extremely happy to be wrong. (A paranoid and cynical person over-hasty to “connect the dots” will immediately connect Nature’s endorsement of Biden with recommendations for masking published in its pages, the “horns effect” of the former discrediting the latter, and producing, for that readership, exactly the result that the good people at Nature hoped not to produce. For example, how can this possibly achieve its putatively desired goal:

Oh well, regardless….

How an Aversion to Masks Stems From ‘Toxic Masculinity’ NYT

* * *

SARS-CoV-2 Is Restricted by Zinc Finger Antiviral Protein despite Preadaptation to the Low-CpG Environment in Humans American Society for Microbiology. From the Abtract: “Recent evidence shows that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is sensitive to interferons (IFNs). However, the most effective types of IFNs and the underlying antiviral effectors remain to be defined. Here, we show that zinc finger antiviral protein (ZAP), which preferentially targets CpG dinucleotides in viral RNA sequences, restricts SARS-CoV-2.” Zinc stans rejoice!

Coronavirus: Germany improves ventilation to chase away Covid BBC. “Fresh air has, for a while now, been seen as a key to dealing with coronavirus too. L for Luft (air) was recently added to A for Abstand (distance), H for Hygiene and A for Alltagsmaske (mask) – the official government directives on how to live in corona times.” There’s a lot to be said for Victorian remedies.

Tilt & Turn: Ingenious Three-in-One Window for Security, Breezes & Egress 99% Invisible. German HVAC capabilities may be different from other countries.

IZA DP No. 13790: School Re-Openings after Summer Breaks in Germany Did Not Increase SARS-CoV-2 Cases Institute of Labor Economics. From the abtract: “We conclude that school re-openings in Germany under strict hygiene measures combined with quarantine and containment measures have not increased the number of newly confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections.” However (see above) German HVAC may differ from the rest of the world.

Ultrastructural analysis of SARS-CoV-2 interactions with the host cell via high resolution scanning electron microscopy Nature. Amazing photos.

Mouthwashes, oral rinses may inactivate human coronaviruses (press release) Penn State News

* * *

Covid-19 vaccine trials from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson to restart STAT

US regulators seek advice on thorny issues as vaccines near AP

North Dakota seeks to repurpose coronavirus aid for fracking AP

Mexico will not follow FDA in approving Gilead’s COVID-19 drug Reuters


New World Disorder: will a US-China cold war and Covid-19 finally kill off the United Nations? South China Morning Post

US Coast Guard to tackle China ‘illegal’ fishing in Pacific

Teardown of DJI drone reveals secrets of its competitive pricing Nikkei Asia Review

China Wants a Baby Boom. Its Parents Aren’t Interested. Sixth Tone

Jokowi issues presidential regulation on vaccination Jakarta Post

Japan set to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 in policy shift Channel News Asia

Mitsubishi Heavy to freeze development of SpaceJet regional jet – sources Reuters. It turns out that aircraft aren’t easy to manufacture. As Boeing forgot.


US rebukes Turkey after Russian missile system test FT

New Cold War

Putin: Russia-China military alliance can’t be ruled out AP. Hey, The Blob, good job.

The World Composes Itself: What Was Impossible Yesterday May Become Reality Tomorrow Valdai Discussion Club

Russia Has Secret Novichok Nerve-Agent Program, Bellingcat Says Bloomberg. I’m printing this not so much for the story — I mean, obviously Russia needs a Novichok program, because the stuff keeps embarrassingly failing in high profile cases — but because Bloomberg’s editor, who wrote the headline, is treating Blob creature Bellingcat as a serious source.

Magic Novichok Craig Murray

Trump Transition

Trump’s ‘Stephen Miller acolytes’ in the civil service could destroy a Biden administration from within, insiders say Independent


Back at the Brexit table, UK and EU try to land deal on fish Reuters


Biden says he will start working on coronavirus relief during transition if elected Politico. America has two Presidents!

Joe Biden lays out a detailed plan to fight coronavirus as new infections soar CNBC

Biden pledges free Covid vaccine for ‘everyone’ in US if elected Agence France Presse. So, #MedicareForAll for this one disease (although, to be fair, catching SARS-COV2 is both effectively means-tested and about as complex an eligibility requirement as you can imagine, so you can fit Biden’s “pledge” into the liberal Democrat policy frame by applying a little brute force and ignorance).

Biden plans to reset ‘America First’ foreign policy FT. “Many European capitals hope the tone of Mr Biden’s foreign policy will help assuage fears that the liberal international order and its rules-based multilateralism is in danger of collapsing.”

What the Google suit may look like if Biden wins Politico

Sanders hits back at Trump’s attack on ‘socialized medicine’ The Hill. Wellie…

The flip side to “push Biden left” is “Biden circles back later and mops up the left.”

* * *

Furious liberals demand CNN fire Obama adviser Van Jones for saying Trump ‘doesn’t get credit’ for the ‘good things’ he has done for the black community Daily Mail

Trump Storms Back Into Interview While Leslie Stahl Eating Lunch At Home The Onion

In brutal rebuke, a second Bay of Pigs invasion fighter rejects Trump endorsement Miami Herald

A man can dream:

Policies, Persons, and Paths to Ruin desiringGod (Re Silc).

Americans Are Frantically Buying Military Gear Before the Election Bloomberg (Re Silc).

1986 MIKOYAN MIG 29 Trade-A-Plane (Re Silc). Re Silc comments: “[D]on’t know about you but I’m getting ready for the election.” Say what you will about the Russian arms industry, they certainly make lethal-looking aircraft (especially compared to that airborne tub of lard, the F-35).

Democrats in Disarray

Exclusive: Mayor and First Lady of Los Angeles Ignored Years of Warnings About Top Aide, Sources Say Yashar’s Newsletter

Health Care

Spillover Effects Of The COVID-19 Pandemic Could Drive Long-Term Health Consequences For Non-COVID-19 Patients Health Affairs

Our Famously Free Press

It is all just a metaphor: The New York Times attempts yet another desperate defense of its discredited 1619 Project WSWS

Imperial Collapse Watch

Elon Musk and the U.S. military plan to build a reusable 7,500mph rocket that can deliver 80 tonnes of cargo, including weapons, anywhere in the world in 60 minutes Daily Mail

‘Something Extremely Bad Is Happening Here’ Esquire. A death of despair.

‘We’re a long way from anywhere else’: Small U.S. cities hit with airline service cuts in pandemic CNBC

Class Warfare

Pandemic makes world’s billionaires — and their advisers — richer FT. So let ‘er rip!

Amazon workers threaten to shut down warehouses if employees don’t get a day off to vote. NYT. If voting were a national holiday, they wouldn’t need to. (Granted, nationwide voting on one day discourages partisan affiliation (“Vote Blue No Matter Who”), where early voting encourages it, but perhaps the country can live with weakended political parties.

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. PlutoniumKun

    When Going Green Backfires: Eco-Friendly Car Wiring in Newer Cars Apparently Attracts Rats Core77

    There has been an ongoing issue in Europe with Stone Martens chewing through brake cables of some makes of Japanese cars. Apparently, some Japanese makes are worst affected – its thought that a fish protein used in some types of sealant may be very tasty to this one species of marten.

    1. jefemt

      Big issue at national forest trailheads in sierras and elsewhere. $2-$3K re-wiring bill, not to mention the Long Walk Out.

      Rinse and repeat.

      Elaborate undercarriage tarping schemes are prevalent on those cars with owners who have had a negative experience or are well-read Boy Scouts.

      Be Prepared!

      I adore my ’96 tdi jalopy more and more every day

        1. rowlf

          The tape is treated with capsaicin (active component in chili peppers).

          I wonder if capsaicin can be mixed with something else and sprayed on the underside of a vehicle. For example, in ammunition reloading some people make their own case lube of alcohol and lanolin. The alcohol evaporates and the lanolin remains. A film of capsaicin and something waxy wouldn’t hurt a vehicle other than having dust stick to it. You’d have to be careful working on the vehicle later not to touch you face, eyes, or groceries but it may deter anything trying to chew.

          The current antifreeze mixtures have a bitter agent added so maybe wiping antifreeze on surfaces may deter chewing of hoses and such.

          1. ewmayer

            Why not just get a family-sized bottle of pepper spray at your local Costco or wherever, and (carefully to avoid blowback) spray the underside of the vehicle with it periodically? I wonder how long such an application would remain “hot” in dry conditions.

            Certainly easier than getting a hungry owl to nest under there, though. :)

      1. Loran Davidson

        We’ve discovered that spraying the engine parts with WD 40 keeps the rats far far away….also works for keeping the bees from making hives in the attic…..

    2. Wyoming

      In my part of AZ you do not want to leave your car parked outside at night – the pack rats love to climb up inside them and chew the cabling.

      If the neighbors leave a car in the driveway often they frequently put a florescent shop light underneath them at night as the rats stay away from the light to keep from getting eaten by the coyotes and bob cats.

    3. Janie

      At home we run a power cord to a a shop light on a timer shining into the engine compartment, weather protected of course. So far so good.

    4. crittermom

      For years I’ve used a solar-powered spotlight pointing under my vehicle at night, after pack rats and mice invaded it. (They don’t like going into light for their ‘snacks’, and access a vehicle from the ground climbing up tires, axles, etc)
      Seems to work well, and no electricity needed. Completely portable.
      Not sure how it would work on birds, however.

      Maybe someday an auto mfgr will install tiny solar panels above that connect to undercarriage lights to repel some critters at night?

      Maybe for the bird problem a solar-powered motion sensor that emits a feline meow? ;-)

      1. a different chris

        >I’ve used a solar-powered spotlight pointing under my vehicle at night


        Ok, I know what you actually are doing, but that’s just a funny sentence you have to admit.

  2. Noone from Nowheresville

    Birds by Artists.

    Josie Morway. Boston based artist. Self-taught. I’d say hyper realism (feathers, eyes) meets surrealism. The eyes. The colors. The messaging intent with bits of poetry thrown in. Well, at least if you look at her instagram account. Owls, herons, egrets, lots of white, hawks, parrots (even a hot pink), etc. etc. A few animals now and again. Ice cream, salt, jewels. The background and props tell a snippet story of the canvas’ world. If that makes sense.

    I discovered this artist while tooling around after artist Lindsey Kustusch (from a few weeks back).

    Josie’s website ( Recent paintings section is where the action is but it’s a bit of a bandwidth load.

    Instagram is where most of her updates go.

  3. Another Scott

    Re: It’s Official: Solar Is the Cheapest Electricity in History

    I followed the article back to the original IEA report. There’s a lot of interesting information in the executive summary, including a 5% drop in energy consumption and a 7% drop in energy CO2 emissions due to COVID. However, it also revealed the organization’s pro-business, pro-growth ideology, stating, “the pandemic and its aftermath can suppress emissions, but low economic growth is not a low-emissions strategy.” I didn’t pay for the full report, but I’m guessing that the IEA doesn’t explain why that’s the case.

    If anyone wants to pay, you can purchase the outlook here, but the executive summary is free to read and contains some good information.

    1. Pelham

      Whenever I read that wind and solar are now cheaper than coal or gas, I wonder whether the cost calculation includes the construction and fueling of the fossil fuel plants needed to supplement the wind or solar power. Nuclear is probably the way to go, but it’s not as touchy-feely.

      1. Fireship

        I will see your Megan McCardle and raise you one: I wonder do fossil fuels price in planetary extinction.

      2. Roger

        And I wonder whether the cost calculations herein includes the construction and fueling of the nuclear power plants needed to supplement the fossil, and solar plants?

        Anybody figuring in the cost of real liability insurance for all types of plants?
        A condition to get loans in some cases?

        How many terrorists are going to target my solar panels versus say, a couple of nuclear reactors, or, more likely their cooling systems and supplemental power backup systems; i.e. what happened after the earthquake at Fukushima.

        You think the Exide battery recycling plant in L.A. was a taxpayer funded cleanup mess?, try irradiating 1/3 of America’s most highly productive farmland downwind of Diablo Canyon on California’s central coast, where a complex series of recently discovered earthquake faults intersect.

        The biggest insurance scam in the world is the Price Anderson Act:

        ” [It] bestows a twofold subsidy on the nuclear industry. First, the Act artificially limits the amount of primary insurance that nuclear operators must carry – an uncalculated indirect subsidy in terms of insurance premiums that they don’t have to pay. This distorts electricity markets by masking nuclear power’s unique safety and security risks, granting nuclear power an unfair and undesirable competitive advantage over safer energy alternatives. Second, Price-Anderson caps the liability of nuclear operators in the event of a serious accident or attack, leaving taxpayers on the hook for most of the damages. This makes capital investment in the nuclear industry more attractive to investors because their risk is minimized and fixed.”

        1. Grumpy Engineer

          Terrorists wouldn’t bother with solar panels. They’d instead attack the battery stations that store energy to be used at night, in hopes of causing a fire like the following:

          The battery station in Hawaii was a mere 30 MWh, yet it took two full days for the fire to finally burn out. Massive amounts of lead and other toxic combustion by-products were strewn across the land. And all the firefighters could do was watch, as the risk of electrical shock from the charged batteries was too high.

          Now if we’re truly going to power the US using this “cheap” solar and wind, they’ll have to be accompanied by hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of such stations to keep the grid up during winter nights. What happens when a 1000 MWh station burns to the ground? I bet there are some terrorists out there who’d like to find out.

          No energy scheme is risk free.

          1. rowlf

            My wife was enamored by a video recently on a solar cell powered factory in Thailand. When I watched the video my question was what do they do when they have a runaway battery cell? Where is the isolation and fire suppression systems? (I work in maintenance and see everything as being in two states: Broken, and Not Broken Yet) I have worked around lead-acid and nicad batteries and having to deal/intervene with a runaway cell scares the willies out of me. I’d rather deal with fuel fires.

            Captain DIY SolarCell ใช้ไฟทั้งบ้าน เปิดแอร์แบบบุฟเฟ่ต์ ชาร์จรถยนต์ไฟฟ้าสบายๆ I EV Story

            1. Grumpy Engineer

              Oh, yes. Battery fires are much scarier than fuel fires. With a fuel fire, if you can cut off the oxygen to suppress the active flame and cool things enough to keep it from re-igniting, you’re done. It’s out.

              But a battery fire doesn’t need oxygen or an external heat source to re-ignite. The battery can catch fire entirely on its own by simply having an internal insulation breakdown that permits more uncontrolled energy release from the charge that remains in the battery. That’s how events like this happen,, where a wrecked Telsa caught fire again in a storage yard five days after the accident.

              In the aftermath of a large battery station fire… Hoo boy. It would take weeks to go through all of the station’s batteries, doing a controlled drain of most batteries and then driving metal rods through the rest to release any charge that was trapped behind burned connections or broken fuses. All in a hazardous waste zone.

      3. oliverks

        I can only speak about the USA, but nuclear power here as been the most expensive way to produce electricity man has ever found. Ok that is probably an exaggeration, but gosh darn it is expensive.

        And that is before the massive insurance breaks.

        And before the grossly underfunded cleanup “costs” that are shoved down the throats of tax payers.

        And before all the “stranded” cost shoved down the throats of rate payers.

        And that is before the inevitable disasters. We have, as a planet been someone lucky that none of the plants have wiped out major cities yet, but we have gotten close. Fukushima almost toasted Tokyo.

        The whole experience in the USA has been a fiasco from start to finish.

        1. Basil Pesto

          Fukushima almost toasted Tokyo.

          [citation needed]

          Incidentally, the largest nuclear bomb heretofore designed, if detonated at surface level at Fukushima Dai-ichi, wouldn’t have come close to Tokyo:


          Are you saying that Fukushima Daiichi “almost” amounted to a cataclysmic explosion roughly three times the size of Tsar Bomba? How?

          Also, taxpayers don’t fund cleanup costs, or anything

    2. Sunyata

      I don’t think German (private) electricity consumers would agree with this statement at all, see the key messages from a very recent MSM newspaper article below.

      The energy transition threatens to get completely out of hand financially

      The EEG surcharge (EEG = Renewable Energy Law) on the electricity price will “shoot through the roof” in the coming year, says E.on boss Teyssen. The reason is also the current upheavals on the electricity market due to the Corona crisis.

      As a result of the dramatic economic crash in spring, the demand for electricity collapsed. Nevertheless, the price of electricity rose sharply in the Corona crisis. The increase was almost seven percent. How can that be?

      Looking at the electricity bill is not subject to entertainment tax in Germany. In 2004, the then Federal Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin had announced that the promotion of renewable energies cost average German households no more than a scoop of ice cream a month. The citizens now know better. Even daily sundae would be a lot cheaper than the local green electricity subsidy.

      As reported by the Federal Statistical Office, the electricity price rose sharply again in the middle of the Corona crisis: the increase in the first half of 2020 was almost seven percent compared to the same period of the previous year. Private individuals and companies don’t need such an economic damper this autumn.

      The energy transition threatens to get completely out of hand financially. As a result of the dramatic economic crash in the spring, the demand for electricity also collapsed. The price fell accordingly on the electricity exchange. The customer in Germany does not benefit from this, on the contrary: because the green electricity is still produced and has to be purchased at a fixed, highly subsidized price, there is now a huge deficit on the EEG account.

      To compensate for this, the EEG surcharge to be paid by the customer to promote green electricity would have to be increased by 40 percent to over nine cents per kilowatt hour in the coming year.

      You don’t have to understand all of this to understand that it will definitely get more expensive for citizens and companies that are already suffering from one of the highest electricity prices in the world. Because the (worldwide unique) double exit from coal and nuclear power is the one factor driving prices.
      Unquote (Google translated, italics added by me)

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Teardown of DJI drone reveals secrets of its competitive pricing Nikkei Asia Review

    Its interesting that some teardowns (including those for Huawai phones) indicate that US sourcing of some basic products is still very important, even for Chinese manufacturers, when it comes to keeping the price of many complex products low. It does show that that world supply chain interactions are more than just one-way – China is dependent on the US as vice versa. This possibly explains why China is going all in on domestic dependency on all forms of chips.

      1. Glen

        Too little, too late. Trump at least has the right idea, but a better way to implement this would be to pick the American CEOs and elites that have SOLD OUT and throw them in jail.

        Pontifications; Does the pandemic change the airliner market dynamics?

        Bottom line – China’s ability to effectively handle COVID-19, and put it in the rear view mirror has put them in the driver’s seat moving forward.

        America’s technical competence has been effectively crushed by Wall St, neoliberalism, and greed.

        1. VietnamVet

          US primacy in computer chips is going, gone. Intel is following in Boeing’s, IBM, etc. footsteps. Sold its NAND business for $9 billion which will help finance its $20 billion stock buy-back to enrich its managers and stockholders. Relatively shortly the corporation will cease to exist. Intel foundries are stuck at 14 nm. TSMC, Taiwan, is producing at 7 nm and design is underway for 5nm chips.

    1. Wyoming

      The take away for me from this article was that some really good engineers made a superior product and whipped ass on their competitors – and we are trying to find a way to punish them for it. It is a perfect example of why we are in decline.

    2. hunkerdown

      I read the US content observation as separate and not consequential to the price observation.

      I can’t find the teardown report or a bill of materials, so we are limited to Nikkei’s teasing disclosures (two clauses and the top illustration are all that’s useful) and can only speculate as to what makes US parts so indispensable. UHF RF design is a bit beyond my level, but I know there are many vendors East and West making amplifiers and filters for commodity mobile phones which could serve in their stead. (I can note Qorvo recently acquired the maker of the power management controller marked ACTIVE 8846QM in the photo, adding another $1 or so of BOM share to Qorvo profits — and to US export control jurisdiction.)

      Nikkei’s algorithms recommended an article headlined “EU turns to DJI drones for coronavirus fight despite US worries”. I suspect the emphasis on the US content of the product is a plea in response for a neutral designation in the trade war, in much the same spirit as automakers promote local content proportions to quiet locally-minded regulators and workers.

  5. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: SARS-CoV-2 Is Restricted by Zinc Finger Antiviral Protein despite Preadaptation to the Low-CpG Environment in Humans

    Well Zinc Finger Proteins need zinc (PDF) so maybe that is important?

    Zinc homeostasis during acute phase response is the temporal transfer of serum zinc to the tissues, causing transient serum hypozincemia


    And in case you missed the comment I added late yesterday, more zinc news:

    People with Down syndrome have 10 times the risk of dying from Covid-19 compared to those without the disability, a team of researchers reported Thursday.

    And what nutritional challenges do they find in people with Down’s?

    Zinc Nutritional Status in Adolescents with Down Syndrome


    Oral zinc supplementation in Down’s syndrome: restoration of thymic endocrine activity and of some immune defects

    On the whole, these findings suggest that there exists a defect in the bio‐availability and/or in the utilization of zinc in DS, This alteration, of unknown origin, can be underestimated on the simple basis of the zinc plasma level and can be corrected with moderate nutritional zinc supplementation.

    1. Carla

      Thanks, Krystyn. Very interesting and helpful. Lambert referred in his comment to “Zinc stans.” Anybody know what that means?

      1. rtah100

        I think zinc is likely to help and unlikely to harm but I don’t think we can conclude anything from Down’s patients. Their trisomy has such pronounced systemic implications and they have such compromised organs that low zinc may be the least of their risk factors in the face of Coronavirus.

        1. oliverks

          It is certainly true zinc helps with corona viruses and influenza in general if taken within the first 12 hours of symptoms. In fact, studies indicate it is as effective as Tamiflu.

          One possible concern with younger people is their problems with COVID19 might be more caused by a hyper active immune system response. In that case zinc might hurt rather than help. I am not claiming any evidence for this statement. I am just raising it as a concern.

          I do think the evidence that vitamin D is beneficial is strong enough to recommend taking 10ug (400IU) a day in the winter months.

      2. lambert strether

        Stan is from K-pop!

        Noun: An ardent fan

        Verb: To be an ardent fan

        “I stan for aerosols!” (That is, I think the aerosol paradigm is supported by science, but I am also ardent, because I think it’s a beautiful model.)

        It’s not pejorative.

        1. ambrit

          And here I am thinking that “Zinc Stan” is American slang for the region up around Lake Baikal where most of the world’s ‘zinc organophosphates’ are mined.

    2. skylark

      Thank you for this Krystyn. I have a 30 year old daughter with Down syndrome so this information is very useful. I also passed it along to some other parents of people with Ds.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    Mitsubishi Heavy to freeze development of SpaceJet regional jet – sources Reuters. It turns out that aircraft aren’t easy to manufacture. As Boeing forgot.

    This isn’t new – the Japanese have been backing away from the Spacejet since the beginning of the year (even before Covid). Its a pity, its a beautiful piece of engineering. My guess is that they picked the wrong size aircraft. It probably seemed to make sense to go for a smaller aircraft to fit ‘under’ the 737/A320 market, but that market has become crowded with cheaper offerings from Airbus (A220) and Embraer and Comac. The Japanese can’t compete on price and the Spacejet just isn’t good enough to offer a premium – it makes more sense for an operator to go for a larger jet at that price. I think the A320NEO will emerge as the last aircraft standing for the post-Covid world, nothing else makes sense for the vast majority of routes.

  7. Diego M

    “German” 3-in-1 windows are pretty standard in Spain, at least in not-too-old homes.

    Newly built schools also have them.

    1. grayslady

      They have been available in America since at least the 1980s through Marvin Windows. Marvin makes great windows, but they are not inexpensive.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The 3-in-1 windows look cool and I am curious to understand the mechanism that enables them but I don’t see what great advantage they have over windows that open by other means. As for egress from a window — unless it’s a safety glass or tempered glass — windows break easily enough.

      I think this is the most important take away from the article:
      “American Modernism of the 20th Century was obsessed with controlling indoor experiences, from sounds and smells to temperature and breezes. Fixed windows allowed spaces to become fully-regulated, hermetically-sealed environments.”

  8. Henry Moon Pie

    So if the Valdai Discussion Club is a Russian version of Davos, can you image the following being said at the Swiss gathering?

    Tsogtbaatar Damdin, former Foreign Minister of Mongolia, and now a member of parliament and head of the Mongolian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, believes that the world becomes “angry”. The coronavirus is one of the forms of nature’s anger which has resulted from unreasonable human actions. Global warming is accelerating and the risks of new diseases are increasing – nature is unhappy with what a man does. On the other hand, we see that the world community is dissatisfied with global processes. Over the past thirty years, globalisation began to intensify, and politicians around the world made exaggerated promises that led to exaggerated public expectations. They talked about big numbers – that the pie will grow and there will be enough for everyone.

    That’s a very interesting assertion, and fits well into the context of yesterday’s NC discussion of animism and our attitude toward the environment. Apply our Mongolian brother’s idea of The Virus as a product of nature’s anger to the Gaia Hypothesis, and do you get an almost infinitely complex, living system that seeks to “warn” an out-of-control species that poses an existential threat rather than just eliminate it?

    1. mle durham

      Yes. Remember Bea Arthur on Golden Girls–“God’ll get you for that”? Just change it to Gaia.

    2. Susan the other

      This was the strangest Valdai Club report I’ve read. I think they are suffering from bad translators. The general tone was very anti Liberal as usual. But now they are looking at what might work going into the future as the world “recomposes itself.” Maybe reinvent would be a better word. I thought perhaps nobody really understood what Ray Dalio might have said (don’t have a transcript) but I’m pretty sure he didn’t give a history lecture on Bretton Woods politicking, nor on Nixon and the gold standard. Dalio is credited by Valdai with saying that the US pushed through the new monetary world order after the war with an intention to create zero interest banking. Maybe that’s a shortcut to explaining how we, as the reserve currency, were able to inflate our way to heaven while we loaned the rest of the world money for exorbitant interest rates. And the point of the discussion seems to be their concern about what will happen now that the US looks to be backing away from the sole reserve currency position and China is ascending. But China wants to base its reserve status on “assets” whereas the US always based it on “debt.” And it was such a strange discussion it really made no sense. How is China gonna become the reserve currency when it refuses to go into debt? It will definitely not become the buyer/lender of last resort. It’s as if the Valdai club has shifted the narrative, and substituted the discussion point from Liberalism to something unmentionable like a new “reserve” gold standard – while not offending the broad reach of Liberal debt. One day Valdai Club will realize that gold really is not a substitute for the debt. That’s not even an oxymoron. The only option the world has is sovereign spending. Period. It will be interesting to hear Valdai talk about that possibility. Because that’s when the entire world gives up the “assets v. debts” fantasy and just uses money as it should be used. To “recompose itself.”

    3. Mummichog

      “Apply our Mongolian brother’s idea of The Virus as a product of nature’s anger to the Gaia Hypothesis, and do you get an almost infinitely complex, living system that seeks to “warn” an out-of-control species that poses an existential threat rather than just eliminate it?”

      Whether one accepts the Gaia Hypothesis or not, one must surely admit that we live in a world that gets more and more complex by the day, “almost infinitely complex”. But the humans in charge believe that their science and technology will master it all despite all the devastation and destruction science and technology have wrought to date. Keep in mind that their science and technology are in the main $$$$ driven, side effects and unintended consequences conveniently ignored, no scientific analysis of those—too costly.

      The NC links today, only a sampling of the day’s global activities, demonstrate that complexity. Numerous existential analysts believe that Complexity alone will do us in.

      1. Susan the other

        …and thereby save us as well. We are homo sapien idioticus technicus. That’s all we really have. We are clever. “Technology” has been our survival edge for 3 million years. I’m thinking we gotta stick with it. But at a much more humble and complex level. We have the ability to do so. Our science is good and so are our intentions. The biggest thing getting in our way now at this critical point in time is the “profit motive” – because it destroys everything in its path that cannot be monetized. And Nature, who is indeed angry, is saying, “Oh really – well monetize this!”

        1. Susan the other

          …and just to extend that thought – if we monetized everything down to bacteria, viruses, molecules and photons – we’d realize that money is absurd. We simply cannot “monetize” life.

            1. Procopius

              I suppose I need to take some time to really find out what it means to “patent a gene.” The U.S. patent system has become a joke since the 1970s, when they decided that prior description of an invention was not a bar to getting a patent, and then later deciding that you could patent software. Originally patents had two purposes: to promote innovation, and to preserve knowledge of techniques. There used to be is a myth that The Ancients™ knew how to make bronze that was stronger and more flexible than steel. Kind of like the 100 mile a gallon carburetor.

  9. jsn

    Germany has a strict definition of what’s a habitable room and equally strict rules on remoteness from windows.

    Most homes aren’t mechanically ventilated as a result.

    Downside is it makes heat waves dangerous.

  10. The Historian

    Has ND’s government completely lost its mind?

    ND is facing a huge spike in coronavirus cases and its hospitals are already pretty much filled to capacity and ND officials want to take money from coronavirus relief to fund MORE fracking -especially when there is not even the demand for more fracking?

    1. a different chris

      I wish in the Presidential debate, after they both gave the oil/nat gas industry a tongue bath, the moderator read your second link in full and then asked “so how do your positions sound when contrasted with this?”.

      The biggest problem with these things is that there is no concept of both of the participants being dead wrong on something, and being called on it. But we live in a stupid country so we do things in a stupid way.

      1. tegnost

        The PTB whether dem or rep like to point fingers at each other and highlight their differences, but our problem as a nation is in the ways they are the same.

  11. WhoaMolly

    > New York readers and online
    Strand has a very good website. I will order something, even though I live in the wildfire wilds of Ca.

    Might also suggest my local Used Book store Treehorn Books in Santa Rosa. They bought a large collection of Bukowski poetry and novels, including new first editions.

    1. s.n.

      maybe before getting all misty-eyed about the Strand you should consider this first“>
      “…Some current and former Strand workers suspect that their boss isn’t particularly interested in running a bookstore at all; instead, it seems that she is more driven to leverage the Strand’s independent history into building a boutique brand, and she is taking the pandemic as an opportunity to do so. “Her dream is to expand, expand, expand, to promote merchandise rather than books,… She’s really into the idea of branding herself and the Strand, what she thinks is a cohesive Strand brand. To what extent she knows how to do that, I’m not sure.”

      “The books aren’t the focus. The idea of the Strand is the focus. The brand is more important than the actual grunt work of running a bookstore,” …. “We have knocked down so many shelves to put up merchandise. Eighteen miles of books? I’m sure we’ve lost miles of books.”

      1. fwe'zy

        Very gross
        Reminds me of Burt’s Bees and how the widow took things in a different direction from the founder.

      2. Roger

        Bukowski was a filthy, drug addicted, mysogynist, self-destructive lothario, a heterosexual equivalent of the NAMBLA loving Allen Ginsberg. Why these scum are venerated by so called literary intelligentsia is like why some people make excuses for tinkering with heroin.

        1. ShamanicFallout

          Roger-a quite sane take. It’s strange though because now the idea came to me to go back and re-read Jung’s Aion: Phenomenology of the Self (Ego, Shadow, Anima/Animus). It’s all about projection!

        2. Darthbobber

          A lot of good writers have had personal lives I wouldn’t necessarily approve of. But I don’t live with them. I just read their work.

          1. Dr. John Carpenter

            +1 and you can just change that to artists or creatives of any type. (Also Bukowski wasn’t drug addicted, he was an alcoholic, not to mention any self-destructive appearance was part of the act, especially after he got some acclaim.)

        3. Boris

          Holy family blog! You could just as well call Nabokov a pedophiliac. Have you ever actually read Bukowski? As a non-American Id say the one thing I admired and still admire most about the US is the fact that probably no other country, very surely not mine, had and has so many artist that have the guts to show the most ugly and terrible parts of their own country. (Lenin: The main enemy always stands in your own country.) Bukowski was the greatest of those, and please dont mention him in one sentence with Ginsberg!

          1. witters

            I got The B’s The Most Beautiful Woman in the World collection of short stories many year ago in Sydney (Glee Books, for those interested). Absolutely amazing (like Chandler high on a very bad day), and it came in a plastic shrink wrapped cover, same as porn mags.

    2. Zzzz Andrew

      I’m a little surprised by Lambert’s plug here — when I lived in NYC I always thought the Strand hugely disappointing (dirty, glacial rotation of stock, no “finds,” lots of new crap hawkery) compared to the used bookstores of Chicago or Maine or the Northwest, and then remember a perhaps too lazy sense of “aha” when I learned, right here on Water Cooler, that it’s owned by Nancy Boss Wyden, the very wealthy in her own right wife of Senator Wyden of Oregon:

      I get that the employees are unionized and I respect that. Still, if the owner is as wealthy, thanks to the bookstore, as the Daily Mail asserts:

      then it’s hard for me to want to send them money.

      Supporting the book trade in a way that makes me feel good about where my dollars go is complicated. Most of the online portals are owned by amazon or private equity (and if, like mine, your bookbuying is typically focused on specific obscure titles, you need a portal). is the only one left that I know of that isn’t owned by one or the other, but I feel like keeping up with marketplace changes is a game of whack-a-mole.

      Best used bookstore I ever frequented was Amaranth Books in Evanston, IL. I haven’t been back to Illinois in 20+ years, but man, I loved that place. If I could recreate the experience of some quiet afternoons there followed by a motorcycle ride home with a haul in the saddlebags, man …

        1. JP

          Grew up in LB. Spent many an hour in the cramped stacks. LA also had Pickwick, which was an endless labyrinth.

      1. jr

        I’ve been to the Strand a couple of times, it’s billed as this palace of books but it’s just a retail book store with all the literati coasters, witty magnet sets, and sixteen different kinds of bags that say “The Strand” so people know you read books. There is no sense of a magical place where you might find a rare copy of this or that by accident on a shelf. For the youthier than I it may have some “book store feel” but it ain’t the real thing.

        I recently tried to order a book from them over the phone and was directed (back) to the website by a desultory young lady. When their website didn’t work, I moved on.

        1. cyclist

          The best thing I remember about the Strand were the reviewer’s copies of recently released books in the basement at about 1/2 price. I guess the volume of book reviews is not what it was 20 years ago, so I’m not sure this section exists anymore. Other than that it was an overcrowded dump with a special mention of the men’s bathroom, which was more disgusting than the worst dive bars in Alphabet City. Moved to the DC area just over a year ago and the book stores here are surprisingly good. Wish some of our overlords actually spent more time in these places.

        1. Carla

          Me, too. If I need to buy online, I buy from Betterworld. BUT if you’re ever in Cleveland, visit Mac’s Backs on Coventry for a truly wonderful experience with a new- and used- bookstore. The best! (And now offering curb-side pickup for those who don’t care to come inside to browse.)

          1. Procopius

            Thanks for the link to betterworld. Back when Amazon still had the independent sellers with used books for $0.01 and mailing cost to my APO address was $3.99 I discovered they were the best and most reliable. Alas, nobody is selling 1¢ used books any more, and the APO was closed last year.

      2. neo-realist

        Unfortunately, yes, in recent years on visits back to NYC, I’ve found it pretty barren as far as finds. it’s fallen off from the 80’s and the 90’s – found a hardback of Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich way back when. Plenty of other merchandise – cups, bags, notebooks – reminding you that it is “The Strand”. Always was a great dusty ragged place to hide out and wander and browse at will, unlike most chains, who jump on you to find out what you want, want to lead you to it, want you to purchase it now, then get the hell out.

        Shopping online for books seems to be where its at: Gotten good books that have been hard finds from

    3. Big River Bandido

      I read a piece written earlier this year by a Strand employee, about how the new owner, Nancy something (daughter of Fred the previous owner who died recently) has been deliberately running the bookstore into the ground, turning the entire operation into a “bling” operation. The article made clear that Nancy wasn’t into books, and didn’t want anything to do with the employee’s union. Searched for the story but cannot find it now.

      It wouldn’t surprise me at all if she were just using the epidemic to grift, and then shut down the store anyway. Once it’s liquidated she could re-open a new business, non-unionized. That is, unless her only interest is to cannibalize the business and run off with the profits.

    4. Loran Davidson


      Heather McCracken
      Oct 24
      Replying to

      cannot copy but says – Strand received a Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of 1 to 2 $million by claiming to retain 212 jobs. But in fact Bass-Wyden laid off all but a few employees shortly before applying for the loan.

      Bass-Wyden went on to make multiple purchases of Amazon stock during the shutdown….etc!!

  12. Davie

    As a non-german in Germany, I find it absolutely hilarious the superstitious nature of the German mindset wrapped up in rationalization.
    “Luftung” is an age old thing they thought was necessary so that people don’t run out of oxygen in dank apartments, and that it stops mold from growing in winter months, and that it’s more comfortable, and several other reasons, but hardly anything consistent.
    They’ll complain that it’s cold, and just once the room warms up, someone will go over and crack the window, then someone else will come into the room and complain that it’s too drafty. They’ll go close the window, and then someone else will go crank the heater even higher to try to heat the room up faster again. Then they’ll take off all their wool clothing, just for someone to open the window again, and everyone will put their overcoats on again.
    Even that Germans think they are so oh-so-rational and came up with this recommendation is hilarious. Please, someone correct me if there’s studies showing it’s effective, but while purging an empty room can help diminish transmission, creating drafts in an occupied room is just asking for a virus to be carried further than 2 meters, as we saw happen with forced-air AC systems.

    1. Diego M

      Aerosol concentration in a room builds up very quickly if windows are closed. In just 90 minutes, infections may occur, even when masks are worn (masks are no barrier for a high aerosol concentration). That’s why ventilation is so important.

      1. davie

        Without a study, it still seems mostly like a shot from the gut that might work well in some situations, and might work worse in other situations.

    2. jsn

      Odd that natural ventilation turns out healthier for an animal (humans) than living in a machine, regardless or the absurd reasons they do it…

    3. Cuibono

      I can remember being an expatriate thinking I was oh so clever to make fun of the quaint superstitions of my host culture. Then I grew up.

      1. davie

        Glad to see you’ve graduated to projecting your faults on to others on the internet instead.
        The superstitions aren’t the part I’m making fun. It’s the rationalizations.

        1. Cuibono

          to think that you find it hard to believe that good air exchange might diminish the spread of a airborne virus…

    4. Synoia

      At Boarding School in England we had to have our windows open, and wear enough clothing to keep warm.

      The School also complained about heating bills.

      Most of the House Masters, if not all, at the school were form the Arts and not Science stream, they seemed not to even consider the relationship between heating costs and closed windows.

      1. rtah100

        My wonderful fifth form French teacher, who refused to speak English for the entire two years of GCSE, would barrel into the room and yell “Ouvrez les fenetres au maximum!” as the first line of the lesson. Without fail. In all weathers. But thirty fifteen year old boys honking of B.O., Lynx, fags, mints and farts would recommend that, even before considering infection control.

        School heating was always either full on or off. Opening the windows at least kept us awake in stuffy winter and drowsy summer and in the spring and autumn the outside was a clement temperature and teenage boys don’t feel the cold.

        Once girls arrived in the sixth form, the windows stayed shut….

    5. Procopius

      As far as I know, the best window ventilation was with the sash-weighted ones where you could raise the lower pane and lower the top pane, and get the benefit of density of air changing with temperature. Warm air above, near the ceiling, would flow out, and cooler, denser air would flow in at the bottom. Of course you had the problem with the ropes getting old and rotten, and I don’t know how that was solved, if it was.

  13. WhoaMolly

    Power shutdown announced for Northern California this Sunday, Mon, Tues. We will be preparing for outage (again) today.

    High capacity residential solar cells and batteries can’t come soon enough.

    Not quite there yet, but possible in next decade?

    1. anon

      What is the carbon footprint of producing those batteries and mining the lithium (which will come from where?)? Will they be capable of handling surges?

      1. WhoaMolly

        Yes, carbon footprint and ewaste are huge unsolved problems.

        Possibly un solvable. If so then modular 4 Gen nuclear a likely alternate.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Using “highly enriched uranium” maybe, convertible to weapons? Still generate “forever waste.” (Half life centuries instead of hundreds of thousands of years) And as noted by involved engineers, operating units at scale are (seemingly always) a decade away at least, several designs like liquid sodium and others can fail spectacularly (liquid sodium at high temperature? Really?) and be impossible to repair, and as ever, fallible humans will f44k up in permitting, construction, maintenance and operation.

          Do fans of nuclear power generated from very heavy metals hang out with people who pump for a return to the Gold Standard (another pretty heavy metal)?

        2. Reaville

          Stop saying that ewaste is a problem for lithium batteries which are being aggressively recycled. That’s because it is much more efficient to recycle than mine, so…profits!

          Also please compare your carbon footprint to the alternatives. Does anyone have data showing that gas, coal, even hydro when fully accounted for are greener than battery manufacture?

          Data please.

          1. diptherio

            And what if, just for the sake of argument, none of the above listed technologies are actually sustainable? That is, what if it is the case that even using the least destructive technology available to us, a modern American standard of living is simply unobtainable without causing massive damage to ecosystems and depleting non-renewable resources? What if the least bad option is still bad? What then?

            This is the hard question that practically no one wants to grapple with, imo. The likelihood that we simply can’t have all this fancy stuff in a way that isn’t positively destructive, regardless of whether we go solar or nuclear or anything else. Contemplating life without our gizmos and conveniences is just too depressing, so better to argue of which way of destroying the planet is the greenest.

            1. WhoaMolly

              James Howard Kunstler has been thinking through a post-cheap-energy society for decades. He believes the future that works is small scale community, with most jobs being in things like local farms. I see his logic but have hard time accepting it.

              1. Carla

                Kunstler also believes we will have to have some “event” that reduces our population by, I’m not sure — 70, 80, 90 percent — before that post-cheap energy society is possible.

                So, who wants to (with their family) go first?

            2. JP

              Abolishing technology is the Luddite solution. The real problem is we have exceeded global carrying capacity for humans. This is because, oh, technology but in this case we need to throw out the baby and keep the bath water. No one wants to admit that the best green solution we have is birth control.

              1. diptherio

                Carrying capacity depends on energy/resource use per capita, as well as population numbers. The US comprises ~5% of global population, but manages to consume 25% of the worlds energy resources. Maybe the problem is how much we’re using, not how many of us there are. But, of course, it’s much easier to blame people procreating than Americans’ (and other “1st worlders'”) desire to consume endless amount of stuff.

        3. Roger

          Molly, by all means, take out a second on your house, empty your bank account and put every cent you can raise into “4 gen nuclear.”

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Amazon workers threaten to shut down warehouses if employees don’t get a day off to vote.”

    If only Amazon had access to some fast transport system, then they could get workers to do postal votes in the morning and have their votes delivered the very same day. I guess that Amazon can’t handle challenges like that as that would require delivery organizational abilities.

    1. edmondo

      Amazon workers threaten to shut down warehouses if employees don’t get a day off to vote. NYT. If voting were a national holiday, they wouldn’t need to.

      I keep hearing this and I still don’t believe it. “Essential workers” (like the schlubs who fill Amazon orders, check out your groceries and drive the busses) don’t get “a day off” if there was a national Election Day holiday because their employers still operate. A National Holiday would immediately turn into a “Special 4 day election day sale” and guess who gets to work? It ain’t the corporate office. And if I’m PMC, why not VBM and head down to the Caribbean with the kids for a mini-vacation? It’s not a real American holiday unless someone can make a dime off of it.

      1. JMM

        In Spain we have elections on Sundays. If you happen to be working that day, you have the right to a 4-hour pause to go and vote. The country is still standing.

      2. Biph

        Don’t do a 1 day election holiday, but have the election over 3 days tuesday, wednesday and thursday and require all employers to give all of their employees 1 of those days off. The employer could shut down for a day or run at 1/2 strength for 2 days or 2/3 strength for 3 days.

  15. Carolinian

    From the article on soy covered car wiring.

    “[Volvo owner] JoAnn conducted an exhaustive Google search and discovered a new rat repellent: Coyote urine. She bought a supply of the Coyote formula from Home Depot for $24 — plus shipping. Every night, JoAnn pours a little coyote piss around her tires. ‘I dot my driveway with some too,’ she says. She also places a Coyote urine-soaked sponge inside a tin pan near the car. She’s not sure it’s working yet and does not want to take her car in for any more repairs until she’s rid of the rats once and for all”

    Alternately you can keep a real Coyote in your yard to patrol for rats. They aren’t very prone to domestication however. Fortunately I don’t own one of those car brands.

    1. Janie

      For those thinking about buying coyote urine, think about how it is obtained from captive coyotes. Or so I’ve read, and I can’t think of any other way to get it.

        1. polecat

          A cougar maybe .. a wolf, or better yet, a bear??

          But then, any one of those beasts approaching close up and personal like, would most definately cost me some major ‘leakage’!

          Hey! … maybe I could market that!

      1. ewmayer

        “think about how it is obtained from captive coyotes”

        I just buy my coyote pal Wily a couple of beers and a new ACME products catalog whenever I need a refill – he’s happy to recycle those brewskies into a plastic bottle for me. Stuff smells nasty, though!

        Once a year or so I also use the pickup to help him with his latest multi-ton giant horseshoe magnet purchase … but I’ve told him numerous time, I draw the line at helping him with the dynamite.

      1. wilroncanada

        First you’d have to teach the coyotes to read. Sort of: like those deer crossing signs you see on the highways. The damn deer still get killed because they refuse to read the signs.

  16. timbers

    Biden plans to reset ‘America First’ foreign policy FT. “Many European capitals hope the tone of Mr Biden’s foreign policy will help assuage fears that the liberal international order and its rules-based multilateralism is in danger of collapsing.”

    In other words it’s OK that a rules based order has collapsed, but if we take the fear out of that collapse everything will be good again.

    Good Euro poodles. Job well done.

    1. apleb

      As a euro, this is my biggest fear with Biden as a president: then all the european governments will again do the US’ bidding. Right now, the US could promise rainbows and unicorns, our governments won’t lift a finger. When the US wanted to send a multinational armada in the persian gulf to protect against iranian attacks on shipping, no one wanted to go with them. Not even UK or Poland.

      No matter what the US aka Trump administration proposes, the EU/NATO leaders will have none of it, since it’s Trump. With Biden this will all change and we will have many more clusterfs, wars, sanctions, chaos and general mayhem since Biden and his euro allies will all be oh so cozy. Liberal international order is simply codespeak for wars, economic and physical, to keep those pesky coloreds of various stripes in their place.

      1. Gc54

        And the MSM media will use this consensus of lackies as support that “it’s the right thing to do”.

        1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

          FT: the Bidet Administration will no longer pursue an ‘America First’ policy.

          Q: do we get to know which country’s interests will get the top spot? Maybe Joe will let people know whether America will be second, third or perhaps fifth? Maybe Kazakhstan goes first, followed by Ukraine and then China?

          Or maybe we can find a foreign leader who puts America’s interests ahead of his own country’s, and we get him to run for US president instead?

          1. apleb

            You got the wrong inclination. It’s not some random continent first (America is a continent, right?), it’s people first!

            That is, people with more than 1e12 US dollars net worth. If you can find one of them in Khazakstan, probably their local strong man, president for life and all around swell guy, I’m sure Mr. Biden will do anything in his power to help him. Joe is a great guy too, and he doesn’t look for such outdated things as nationalities or passports.

              1. John Anthony La Pietra

                If you read that as $1 x (e^12), you get a bit under $163,000.

                If you’re using old-fashioned calculator/programmer-style exponential notation, the value would be $1 x (10^12) or $1,000,000,000 . . . a billion in the UK, but a trillion in the US.

                1. Basil Pesto

                  I won’t even give myself the charitable possibility you offered and will admit I was reading it as 1^12. Knew I should have kept that comment to myself!

    2. anon in so cal

      Matt Taibbi: massive suppression of the Hunter Biden corruption laptop scandal:

      Big Tech and the MSM are suppressing this huge story.

      Same way the MSM suppresses discussion of the 2014 Obama Biden Nuland coup in Ukraine
      and the same way the MSM suppressed China’s donations to the 1996 Clinton campaign—maybe the passing of Princess Diana eclipsed it? LOL

    3. anon in so cal

      LOL “Rules-based multilateralism” collapsed under Obama and Biden:

      “Obama relied heavily on raw power, waging serial military campaigns from Somalia and Yemen to Iraq and Syria and initiating “targeted killing” of even U.S. citizens with suspected ties to terrorism.

      Obama championed “a nuclear-free world” only to quietly pursue an extensive expansion of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, already the world’s costliest and most sophisticated.

      Indeed, if one disregards his softer tone in comparison with Bush’s strident rhetoric, Obama’s record shows him to be even more interventionist than Bush. Last year, for example, the United States, according to an analysis of military data, dropped more than 26,000 bombs in seven countries. This happened under a president who, while deploring the ethos of “might makes right,” told the United Nations that “right makes might.”

      In truth, Obama, like Bush, paid little heed to international law — or even American law — when it came in the way of his overseas military operations.

      For example, Obama did not seek U.N. or U.S. congressional authorization before launching an air war in Syria. In fact, he speciously justified his bombing campaign in Syria by relying on the unrelated congressional authority that Bush secured to go after those who “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

      The 2011 U.S.-led operation against Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi began as a supposed humanitarian mission [based on viagra lies promoted by Susan Rice], only to quickly turn into a regime-change exercise, whose success quickly bred chaos and mayhem in Libya. Although goaded into the Libyan operation by his hawkish secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, Obama will be remembered in history for demolishing Libya in the same way that Bush unraveled Iraq. The collapse of the Libyan state has created a jihadist citadel at Europe’s southern doorstep.

      Obama’s CIA-led regime-change operation in Syria, although unsuccessful, contributed to plunging another secular Muslim autocracy into jihadist upheaval….”

      1. D. Fuller

        Grenada. Panama invasion. Name a “peace keeping mission” under Clinton, with some exceptions where the Europeans collaborated. Iraq where The US leadership bribed foreign governments to participate. Libya. Honduras. Bolivia – though recent elections do say something. Obama’s willingness to send troops to Syria.

        Good thing about Trump? He hasn’t starting any wars. The bad thing about Trump? We’re still in the ones we have. One reason? We’re not prepared at this time to bite off more. Hence? Modernization. We are in a lull right now as the military is geared up for future unilateral acts. Also? Recent developments in Chinese and Russian weaponry that has The US playing catch up… sucks resources away from expanding our wars.

        Fun fact? The US has possessed hypersonic weapons since the 1960’s culminating in the Sprint missile system (Safeguard) and gliding body research for missiles is from research done in the late 1940’s and 1950’s.

        However, the MIC must be fed. Presenting something old, as new.

        1. neo-realist

          The bad thing about Trump: An isolationist President who has budgeted 55% of the budget for the military for FY2021. What’s up with that? Why not budget much of that on infrastructure like he promised?

          The bad thing about Trump: He couldn’t level with the American people on the severity of the covid-19 crisis early on, but his aides could level with richie riches, allowing many of them to short their positions and make bank. MAGA is profits before health.

  17. polar donkey

    Sports teams driving covid outbreaks in schools. This is getting more attention locally. Private schools are having athletes and non-athletes go to school on alternating days. A friend who teaches at a public school said 4 football coaches have gotten covid along with many players. When a football team does get shut down for a couple weeks because too many players have gotten sick, it is common for teams to show up at park and keep practicing. It is insane.

    1. The Historian

      Yea, I’ve heard that same excuse being pandered around here too. “It’s not the schools, it’s the sports teams that are causing the outbreaks, so we shouldn’t shut down schools.” Like those kids on the sports teams aren’t in the classrooms too, exposing teachers and other classmates. Of course, NOBODY is talking about stopping the sport teams from playing around here! People around here have to have their favorite entertainment, no matter the cost!

  18. Toshiro_Mifune

    How an Aversion to Masks Stems From ‘Toxic Masculinity’

    Oh good lord. This is headache inducingly bad.

    Unaddressed: A govt and power structure that has spent the previous several decades repeatedly lying to its populace finds that some engage in passive-aggressive push back when asked to do something by said govt/power structure. Shocking, I know.

    It has been noted several times by the media and by academics that countries with female leaders — Taiwan, Germany, New Zealand — have handled the pandemic better. Do you think toxic masculinity incompatible with crisis management?

    You know, are you so cartoonishly unimaginative that you can’t see that the previous 4 decades of systematically and intentionally dismantling/crippling large swathes of the state has produced the intended results; that the state now cannot function properly?
    Please proceed with the idpol analysis though. I’m sure it will be enlightening and not something whose content I could produce in a rather short bash script. Of course a woman in charge* would have made all the difference. We would have had a national mommy figure to put bandaids on our boo-boos and help us blow our noses. I’m sure this longing for a national level mommy figure isn’t evidence that the author is a simpering child who has found a way playing of Boys vs Girls into adulthood for pay.

    * Any woman, they are all magical and instantly caring. Except Republicans…. or actual Leftists… both of whom are probably some sort of victim of toxic masculinity, not sure how right now, give me a few minutes to figure that out.

    1. The Rev Kev

      This is what happens when you have a viewpoint seen through too many idpol filters. Are guys pretty reckless with their health and safety? Absolutely. There are no end of YouTube videos of young guys doing stupid stunts and getting themselves injured as a result. But there is a flip side to this in that lots of guys will do this to impress girls – and it works. Guys will wear clothes that normally they would never wear, say things that they don’t believe in and it is because that is what is demanded of them.

      So my point is how many guys are not wearing masks because the females in different region look down upon those that do? From bits and pieces that I have seen over the months, I do think that this is a factor. How many guys will wear mask when the local females make plain their disdain for those that do? If you do not believe what I say about female influence over males, then consider the white feather campaigns of the past. I think that it may be a factor in spite of what the authoress of this article thinks.

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        So my point is how many guys are not wearing masks because the females in different region look down upon those that do

        Woman are the enforcement arm for the variable $SOCIAL_NORM via access to perceived breeding rights. Yes, this is over simplified.

        1. a different chris

          >Yes, this is over simplified.

          Especially since women think most of the things men do to “impress” them are completely idiotic.

          So I think this is better stated as ” is how many guys are not wearing masks because they think the females in different region look down upon those that do”

          A women could probably best chime in to this sausage party, btw.

          1. Toshiro_Mifune

            Especially since women think most of the things men do to “impress” them are completely idiotic

            Warning: Opinions stated out loud may not match those held internally.

          2. km

            “A women could probably best chime in to this sausage party, btw.”

            I’m all for a female perspective at this sausagefest, but I thought the discussion was “stupid stuff that I and other men do in hopes of attracting women” not whether any of these stupid ploys work?

            1. Tom Stone

              I have fond memories of Mills College in the 70’s and early 80’s.
              They had quite a few evening lectures and concerts/recitals, free or close to it.
              It’s a lovely campus, and I never went home alone.
              Not once.
              I wore pants, that was enough…

          3. The Rev Kev

            I was reading about life in East Berlin before the wall came down and the guys talked about the outfits that they wore back then. When they thought back to what they wore it was really weird sounding but they acknowledged that at the time that if they did not wear such an outfit, that the girls would not look at them. Even in the west in the 1950s, guys would wear ducktail haircuts for the same reason.

          4. skippy

            Would seem to suggest a ripe candidate for conditioning from the female perspective.

            In other news … wife is moving back in after almost a year with the cry of “I’m spiraling down” notice.

            What does one do when person in question might have a rare condition that something like 300 people might have on the planet – at this time. Created various psychological disorders and symptoms due to fluctuations in cerebral arteries and veins with pathways to an early childhood illness.

            Remember me fondly ….. lmmao …

              1. skippy

                Divorce is still occurring [her choice] although the dogs aspect might be beneficial – wink – see above.

                Wish our late decamped NC resident psychologist that specialized in head traumas for Vets was still around.

                Pre ICH diagnosis of OCD w/anxiety panic attacks daily, post ICH no panic attacks, but replaced with migraines and one year into a 6 year [at least] discovery process.

                Maybe Krystyn has something to add.

                  1. skippy

                    Whom knew that SERE school was applicable to domestic life … snort …

                    On the upside the kids are good and doing well in work and private life, not to mention with what is transpiring globally we’re in Queensland of all things thanks to the efforts of our PM.

                    Best part is the sanity I have found on your blog, over the years, and its effect of not feeling alone in seeking knowledge outside stakes driven in the ground irrevocably.

                    I don’t lament what is lost as long as what is gained surpasses it …

      2. a different chris

        Interesting points.

        Now try to figure out what I see here in W Pa, which looks at first like a complete contradiction to your theory but actually may be some weird twisted version of it.

        When I see somebody without a mask, it is almost always in the context of older couples where the wife wears a mask and the husband does not. In fact of the non-wearers I see, I would have to say it is at least 10:1 male to female.

        If the female “looks down upon” then why is she wearing a mask? But sexual relations/identities are so messed up nowadays that I can see a woman wearing a mask and finding her husband non-manly for also doing so.

        What a family-blogged world we live in.

        And I’m still mystified why all the Freedum people, who spent the last 20 years worrying about being identified by Big Brother’s cameras suddenly shifted so quick when told “hey you can wear a mask and nobody will even think anything about it”. They should have been ecstatic, but I guess the emphasis seemed to be more on the “dum” than the “free” with these people.

        1. rowlf

          Freedum people I have had to deal with over the years often have problems with logic. For example, a coworker was trying to tell me Biden will enact a law to take away all firearms. I tried to argue that Democrats don’t actually do anything they talk about and if a politician were to solve a problem nobody would need a politician afterwards. No luck. I tried do you know how legislature and court challenges work. Zippo. I tried do you know how many firearms there are in the US and the effect of attrition/morale on government staffing if they were to try to seized them all. No dice. I had to admit defeat.

          I also recommend when several of these fruitcakes gather to stay away as I am sure listening to them causes actual brain damage. As the Car Talk brothers would say, “Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis” (Unencumbered by the Thought Process), which you can test by asking if the nutters had actually thought through the nonsense they were spouting and their eyes get panicky.

        2. km

          And I’m still mystified why all the Freedum people, who spent the last 20 years worrying about being identified by Big Brother’s cameras suddenly shifted so quick when told “hey you can wear a mask and nobody will even think anything about it”.

          Because Trump. If the COVID is fake, then Trump’s muddled response is less deadly, even if it is still clownish.

          Trump is also the reason why The Resistance insists on shutting down everything, immediately. Because it emphasizes the deadliness of the Trump response.

      3. STEPHEN

        I was halfway through your post and started thinking about the white feather campaigns in WW1 era Britain…and was delighted to see that you noted the same.

      4. Stephanie


        While hanging out on a dating forum recently, I saw a screenshot a woman had posted of a text convo she’d had with her boyfriend. She mentioned that she hadn’t enjoyed their kiss and he “joked” that he could brush his teeth before they went out next time. She “joked” back, couldn’t you do that more often? And then he dumped her, because “I don’t respond well to being told what to do. Good luck.”

        And of course the comments were full of “OMG, my ex said that too when I asked him to brush his teeth/wash his hands after peeing/take a g-d shower!!!”

        My experience, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the experience of many other women as well, is that when men engage in low-risk unhealthy behavior, such as not brushing their teeth, not washing their hands, not washing themselves, or as with the issue in the article, not wearing masks in public, it is not us as women they are trying to impress. It is themselves.

        1. rl

          It is not [about] us as women … It is [about] themselves [as men].

          Please forgive the liberty taken with your words here. I think you have hit the nail on the head.

          Klaus Theweleit’s duology, Male Fantasies and Male Bodies, makes for a particularly interesting read in this vein.

        2. Toshiro_Mifune

          While hanging out on a dating forum recently, I saw a screenshot a woman had posted of a text convo she’d had with her boyfriend.
          Once again…
          a text convo she’d had with her boyfriend
          when men engage in low-risk unhealthy behaviorher boyfriend
          it is not us as women they are trying to impressher boyfriend

          Now, Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I may be a simple country lawyer, posting as a Japanese actor quoting Christopher Walken, but “it seems what we what we got here is a little game of show and tell. You don’t wanna show me nothin’, but you’re tellin me everything.”

          γνῶθι σεαυτόν

          1. jax

            “But there is a flip side to this in that lots of guys will do this to impress girls – and it works.”

            My, my, it doesn’t take long to blame females for risky male behavior, does it?

            One would think that homo sapiens are stuck in the Class Aves and, driven by evolution to impress females, drag around outrageously abundant feathered tails, like the peacock.

            With this line of thinking, which I often call the Adam Defense (because Eve *made* him eat that apple) physiologically mature men attempt to deflect responsibility, pinning everything on some vague biological drive to mate. I’ve seen this used in actual rape cases. “She dressed provocatively!” It doesn’t play there, and it doesn’t play any better in “men won’t wear masks if women disapprove.”

            Talk about biological reductionism.

            It may not be toxic masculinity, but it sure is low-level thinking.

            1. Toshiro_Mifune

              One would think that homo sapiens are stuck in the Class Aves and, driven by evolution to impress females, drag around outrageously abundant feathered tails, like the peacock.
              /checks sales figures for BMW/Audi/MCB/Lexus….

            2. The Rev Kev

              ‘it doesn’t take long to blame females for risky male behavior, does it?’

              Wasn’t my point at all. What I was saying was that men’s behaviour does not operate in a social vacuum and that only a lazy idpol journalist would claim that it was all about ‘toxic masculinity’ – or a journalist from the New York Times.

        3. jrh

          Machismo is a form of drag. Just look at men’s magazines. Endless photos of ripped, depiliated shirtless dudes.

    2. marym

      Re: “…when asked to do something by said govt/power structure”

      The pro-contagionists don’t seem to have a problem listening to govt/power structure politicians who tell them they don’t have to do anything for anyone but themselves.

      1. Carolinian

        pro-contagionists? It’s amazing how we have all developed an x-ray ability into other people’s motivations–the NYT with their 5 cent psychiatric analysis leading the way. Of course when you have a lock on media messaging you can pretend that there’s not a scientific debate going on about all these things including masking.

        It’s time for everyone to depoliticize Covid–please!

        1. a different chris

          >It’s amazing how we have all developed an x-ray ability into other people’s motivations

          Yeah I haven’t heard anybody pushing “herd immunity” for… several minutes now.

        2. Carolinian

          This is worth a read for an alternative view to the binary debate going on in the US (and even the presidential campaign) re Covid.

          Her view is that recurring restrictions are more reckless, that they will worsen already catastrophic levels of hunger, joblessness and mental illness, and cause a further wave of deaths due to the neglect of other disease programmes. In short, she argues, they will hurt everyone except the minority who enjoy lockdown-proof incomes, comfortable homes and supportive families or partners.

          “As soon as lockdowns started to become the norm rather than the exception, I really started to fear for what this would do at a local and international scale. It’s difficult to ask someone to lock down in a country like India, where I come from. We heard reports of migrant workers walking back or being stuffed into trains and dying on their journeys back to their villages. You hear of a 90-year-old walking back to her village because she can’t sell toys on the pavements of Delhi anymore. That’s pretty scary. I was in South Africa earlier this year, and it’s obvious that in many parts it was inconceivable to lock down.

          Meanwhile maximum lockdown advocates claim that governments can step in to lessen the harm even as Pelosi plays politics with another round of relief. Perhaps you need someone from India to really understand poverty. The pandemic is not a simple morality tale but rather a difficult problem with many sides.

          1. D. Fuller

            What lockdown? There never was a real lockdown. Americans do not understand what a real lockdown would entail. Other than the kids being home and some businesses being closed and wearing a mask? I was laughing my a** off listening to people complain about the lockdown while doing routine shopping, from the beginning and have never stopped laughing. Whenever someone mentions “the lockdown”.

            No, it was a partial shutdown at best. A far reaching one at that. Americans as a whole are too disorganized to possibly ever achieve a true lockdown. With incompetent leadership existing at all levels.

            Americans need to grow a pair and stop thinking that a mask means government control or loss of manhood/womanhood or whatever latest excuse they can imagineer into existence. Angry people come up with the dumbest excuses.

            1. Carolinian

              So you have your full lockdown a la Wuhan. Does that solve Covid? The Chinese claimed it did and yet the disease has spread all over the world. Lockdown the world? And forever?

              Gupta is saying that’s not how diseases work. Only immunity–however acquired–ultimately stops them along with a decrease in the most likely victims. Do bear in mind that the vaccines currently under development are intended to lessen the severity of the disease, not eliminate it. And even there effectiveness will likely be limited.

              People on her side of the debate say protect the vulnerable while the rest of the population develops immunity as quickly as possible. The problem is to make Covid go away as soon as we can because of all the collateral damage that an extreme response will bring. The maximalist response taken by China was when the ifr was thought to be much higher than it really is and only involved one province.

              Some of us have agreed with the idea of wearing masks because it does no harm during the few minutes you are in a store (perhaps not true if you have to wear one all day). But I’d say other measures like closing schools are considerably more controversial given the age skew of the victims. By dwelling on the fear aspect politicians are serving themselves, not the public.

              1. jef

                I tend to agree with your points. Also I read the “The engines of SARS-CoV-2 spread” piece and it states that the largest number of infections happen at home so does it make sense to tell everyone to stay home?

                1. ChiGal in Carolina

                  New word from the must-read Science article:

                  Both superspreading events and transmission-amplifying settings are part of a more general phenomenon: overdispersion in transmission. Overdispersion means that there is more variation than expected if cases exhibit homogeneity in transmissibility and number of contacts; hence, a small number of individuals are responsible for the majority of infections. This phenomenon has been described for diseases as diverse as measles, influenza, and pneumonic plague (11). For SARS-CoV-2, studies suggest that ∼10% of cases cause 80% of infections (1). Overdispersion is characterized by a large number of people who infect no one, and most people who do transmit infect a low-to-moderate number of individuals. Large superspreading events (such as those infecting 10 or more people) are likely quite rare, although they are far more likely to be detected and reported.

                  Urgh! Can someone explain? It seems they are saying most people don’t infect others and mostly super spreader events don’t account for a lot of transmission.

                  Can someone with a better brain than mine please state clearly the takeaway of overdispersion?

                  1. Mel

                    Is this what a power-law distribution looks like? (Taleb convinced me that power-law distributions are important, but they’re not as obvious to me yet as Gaussian.) Most spreading events are small, a very few are enormous.
                    I would phrase that “Most people don’t infect many others and a few super-spreader events account for most of the transmission.”

                  2. D. Fuller



                    Using genetic analysis, discovered many strains of Covid-19 being spread from central locations such as meatpacking plants.

                    Few spreading events resulting in a massive dispersion of various strains of Covid-19. Not to mention the naturally occurring mutations that allow for tracking to a high degree of accuracy.

                    In other words? The majority of cases are OVER-represented in DISPERSION of Covid-19 among the population from so few people from so few locations. Such as the meat packing plant.

                    One would expect that with Covid-19, that dispersion throughout the population of the coronavirus would be more homogenous through many vectors of infection available to the virus. Perhaps one sign that the “lockdown” did work somewhat in preventing infections from more vectors and locations.

              2. D. Fuller

                Did it solve Covid? No. Did it help prevent unnecessary suffering and death? YES. This excuse, “well, it is going to spread anyway” is a cop-out.

                Do we stop driving now that automobiles are safer, stop wearing seatbelts? No. Do people still die? Yes.

                Lead paint? Many homes still have it. Do we stop removing it? No.

                This seemingly unconscious quest for a quick fix that is perfect? Exists only in fantasy. There will be no perfect fix.

                If the government came out with the policy of giving everyone Covid for herd immunity? I can guarantee you that the very same people would suddenly be whinging and crying that it is a government conspiracy to murder them. What is the difference between an asymptomatic person shrieking “Freedom from government! Don’t wear a mask!”, while spreading Covid and the government worker spraying people down with Covid for “herd immunity”? A matter of degree. One is “freedom” and the other is “Agenda 21”.

                Herd immunity is a swell idea. Well, hell. Let us infect everybody with Ebola. Hanta virus. Marburg. HIV. There will be people who are immune. Let us get to it.

                Oh, that is right. Those diseases kill far more. No one wants to risk their own life. Covid? Not as deadly. As long as other people are dying or suffering? That is fine for many. As long as it is not themselves, those who refuse to take basic precautions. As soon as it is, how quickly their tune changes. How quickly they beg for care. How quickly they come with their hands ot braying, “GIMME!GIMME!GIMME!”

                They are disgusting and vile.

                For those who do become infected and recover from a mild bout? Their mistake is that many of them believe that their case is like everyone else. “Oh, no big deal. I got the Covid. I am fine.”

                Tell that to the dead. Tell that those who will be dead from complications later. It will be interesting to see how many will drop dead years or decades before they would normally have… if they had never have had Covid.

                If Gupta told people to jump off a cliff because of, in death you are cured of everything? Would you do it?

                It is simple. Take precautions, sensible ones, to MINIMIZE spread. There are no quick fixes or easy ways out. There are actions that could be taken to further reduce the numbers. To save lives.

                Or why bother at all? Surrender. Give up. Accept our fate. 3% (Covid) or 80% (Marburg), let’s all get infected. It is inevitable. That is how diseases work.

                Does anyone have any objections?

                1. Carolinian

                  Gupta is a scientist and describes things the way they are, not the way you want them to be. Covid will end with herd immunity sooner or later regardless of what we do. Yes some of us can go hide in a cave until that happens but there will be consequences depending on who we are. She’s saying that some are insisting on the cave without concern for how that may affect others. They then concoct morality tales that favor their point of view.

                  1. jef

                    Also when you come out of the cave you are now at a much greater risk of infection because your immune system has …atrophied?

                    1. Darryl Fuller

                      No lockdown. No cave. Haven’t been in a cave.

                      As per my O.P., there was no true lockdown.

                  2. D. Fuller

                    Like I do not know Gupta is. Do not presume.

                    Can Gupta be wrong? Yes.

                    Can Gupta have an agenda? Yes.

                    Do I believe that Gupta talks some sense? Yes. When Gupta gets it right or wrong. As supported be the evidence. Is Gupta infallible? No.

                    Please, do not try to hide behind Gupta’s credentials.

                    Ask any 74D what a true lockdown is. Ask the ones who deployed to Africa to contain Ebola back in 2014, what needs to be done. When all those scientists from WHO and around the world screwed up in Africa. Famous scientists, who botched the response. We had no lockdown here in the States.

                    When it comes to the operational aspects of containment of an outbreak? Gupta would be lost.

                    It does not take a genius to practice common sense. What harm comes from wearing a mask? As recommended by many and opposed by others. There is a difference between what famous scientists recommend, and the people who risk their lives making those recommendations reality. The two often do not mix.

                    I wear a mask. have not lost any freedoms despite the shrieking and shrill cries from those who protest. My man-bits are still intact.

                    Does it mean I will not get Covid? No. Is it less likely I will? Yes, under circumstances. Not when others do not wear their masks. Do I surrender to the maskless begging for infection who only care about themselves, who do are willing to let me risk death & suffering? They do not give a damn about me. They are fine with my suffering and/or death, should it come about. Ad they are fine with those who are dead or suffering long term consequences. They do not give a damn about the dead and those who will suffer. They are selfish, believing in their cause.

                    Only for so long as they lose nothing.

                    “Better you, than me!”

                    They height of selfishness.

                    Vile, disgusting people. It is a shame to have to call them, human.

                    Anti-government types protesting government recommendations to wear masks, will hate anything government. Just like Democrats hate anything Trump would propose even if it were sensible. Because government, because Trump.

                    How ironic that anti-government Trump supporters support government through Trump. Political Schizophrenia. The very system they wish to tear down is the very system they voted for. Mass stupidity. Like Biden supporters who believe Biden will spread prosperity to Joe & Jane Q. Public if elected.

                    What herd immunity? This is not the first SARS coronavirus.

                    1. anon in so cal

                      We had what I think came closest to a full lock-down in Los Angeles County, in March. The order was to not leave the house, except for essential trips (to the doctor’s or to work in an essential capacity). So, even then, it was not a complete lock-down. No one stopped anyone out driving or walking.

                      Separately, while masks are good policy, they are not foolproof, especially if not fully protective of the wearer.

                      The CDC recently had to change its advice about the total exposure time sufficient to contract Covid. Instead of a 15-minute stretch of time in the presence of someone with Covid, it’s now 15 minutes total time during any 24 hour period. This is after a fully-masked guard contracted Covid from (apparently) asymptomatic prisoners:


                    2. Carolinian

                      Ya know we’ve debated this issue here at length and I’m reluctant to weigh in both because it’s hardly my area of expertise and because minds never seem to be changed.

                      I do so now simply in the spirit that there are two sides to this and scientists like Gupta (there are many others) offer up a viewpoint that should be heard. We’ll know what it was all about when it’s over. I think she’s right.

                    3. mpalomar


                      “I do so now simply in the spirit that there are two sides to this and scientists like Gupta (there are many others) offer up a viewpoint that should be heard. We’ll know what it was all about when it’s over.”

                      Only two sides? and if in fact you believe we’ll know what it was all about when it’s over you are an optimist.

                  3. cuibono

                    actually that is not known : “Covid will end with herd immunity sooner or later regardless of what we do”

                  4. CanCyn

                    This is not true. It could also mutate out of existence as did the SARS virus. Or it could mutate into something far more deadly. Herd immunity is not the only way.

              3. SteveW

                Taiwan never had a full lock down. School continues. Yet only hundreds of total cases and handful of death. Just good citizenship and common sense. Trustworthy government.

                    1. fwe'zy

                      Let’s explore how Taiwan’s government implemented this “audacious” health care system 20 years ago. In 1995, Taiwan’s economy is picking up slowly but surely because of the stability relationship between Taiwan and China. The Taiwanese government was launching some great projects to enhance their infrastructure throughout entire Taiwan. After the strong economic growth, people begin to worry about the condition of their own health and demand a better health care coverage, so the citizens and lobbyists begun to push the legislators to implement a universal health care system and let Taiwan’s government to run the system, which is “single-payer” health care system.
                      Before initiating this universal health care, 41% of Taiwanese is uninsured. For those who are insured, they were insured because they have a decent job in a government, organization, which means if they lose their job one day, they pretty much would become uninsured like those who were uninsured. Ironically, this is the situation of the United States, who is the most powerful countries in the world but their health care system is AT LEAST 20 years behind this developing country, Taiwan.

              4. Jeotsu

                If everyone had gone “full Wuhan” in February/March we could (possibly) all be sitting on the beach together talking about the big pandemic bullet we dodged.

                NZ went full Wuhan, and eliminated the virus. But now it keeps popping up, because the rest of the world is on fire. And on fire with ever-increasing intensity.

                Magical thinking plagued too many countries — ‘flatten the curve’ was about buying time until a cure vaccine, which every knows is right around the corner, right? It’s always like that in the movies.

                If in 24 months we have no vaccine I wonder if the NZ population will call for giving up the border controls? I don’t know. There is a lot of ugly yet to come.

          2. D. Fuller

            …even as Pelosi plays politics with another round of relief

            Dare you mention Trump’s politicization or Mitch’s? Mentioning Pelosi is no problem, however.

            A simple demonstration of politicization that spreads distrust and prevents solutions.

            What has private industry done then? If you are so distrustful of government… that private industry types advise.

            How about private industry funding solutions themselves by not relying on taxpayers giving them a free ride with funding and basic R&D?

            Private industry is loathe to do so. Their response, without government, is even worse than government as half-a**ed as igov’t has been. Then again, that government response is led by Trump. With both parties trying one-up each other in Congress.

            Pelosi gave Mitch and Wall Street their CARES Act wish, expecting quid pro quo in return. Mitch stabbed her in the back. Republicans who were fine spending trillions of dollars all of sudden became fiscal CONservatives.

            If Covid were an Ebola or Marburg outbreak? Maskless anti-government protestors would be shooting people who came within 50 feet.

          3. Cuibono

            Asked about the collective shaming of young people living their lives normally, Gupta told Reaction in July that “the only way we can reduce the risk to the vulnerable people in the population is, for those of us who are able to acquire herd immunity, to do that.”

            “Maybe the way to counter it now is to say, actually, not only is it a good thing for young people to go out there and become immune, but that it is almost their duty,” she said.

            1. marym

              Thus demonstrating that “pro-contagionist” is an accurate description.

              Herd immunity isn’t something those “who are able” acquire by going around spreading disease. It’s a gift a mostly immune herd gives to the vulnerable. Maybe people seeking to accelerate the giving of that gift can investigate the possibility of volunteering for a vaccine trial.

              1. Carolinian

                Except as I understand it the vaccine is not going to convey immunity but rather a statistically greater chance of survival if you do get the disease.

                If the plan is to hunker down until the vaccines save us all that may not work out while millions of poor get even poorer.

                  1. Carolinian

                    Sorry. The source for my source’s information is probably this.


                    Speaking to MPs on the science and technology committee, Kate Bingham, the chair of the UK’s vaccine taskforce, said that in the near term, she was “pretty optimistic” about one being developed that reduced symptoms.

                    She was “relatively optimistic we will find a vaccine that will be able to treat the population”, she said.

                    “The caveat is… is it a full sterilising vaccine, which means you can’t get infected, or is it one that basically just takes the edge off the symptoms so it reduces mortality?

                    “Clearly we would like to get to a sterilising vaccine so that people are prevented from being infected.

                    “But in the near term we may just have to satisfy ourselves with a vaccine that reduces the severity of the disease, and I’m pretty optimistic we will get that.

                    The article is from several months ago. Of course there have been problems in the tests so perhaps her skepticism about getting a “sterilising” vaccine still holds?

                    1. Yves Smith

                      I don’t recall seeing any other vaccine development official make a remark like this.

                      And it appears Bingham has always worked on the business side:


                      The scientists can pipe up, but something that reduces disease severity but is not a vaccine is either a prophylactic or a treatment. I wonder if she is choosing to be sloppy so as to allow for the possibility that the vaccine efforts might deliver a treatment as opposed to a vaccine.

                      If you read this discussion of flu vaccines, they stress how flu vaccines can lessen the severity of other illnesses. But I do not see any DIRECT claim that it makes the flu you were vaccinated against less severe:


        3. marym

          Advocating going maskless as a route to “herd immunity” without a vaccine, and legislative action, lawsuits, and physical threats against public officials who try to impose anti-contagion measures are also choices made about public policy, despite the scientific debate going on.

          1. Carolinian

            There is unreason on all sides. That doesn’t make someone like Gupta (see above) wrong. I do think Trump (and Biden) should shut up about Covid. If Trump advocates something people will immediately oppose it just because he said it. Our scorched earth political environment carries on because it’s often about trivial things (the lower the stakes the greater the disagreement as the saying goes). But this is not trivial at all. True experts need to be listened to and they often don’t agree with the general conversation which is steered toward blaming it all on Trump.

              1. Carolinian

                Of course. And let science do what science is supposed to do which is to freely debate the truth without political interference from any side. You think they aren’t getting it from all sides? Dream on.

            1. D. Fuller

              The real problem is politicization and private business, the latter of who would oppose any less expensive alternative to as a threat to their profit.

              As for China? They bear responsibility. What China is not responsible for is Trump’s incompetent response. China was not making the decisions for Trump.

              China is not responsible for American business leaders protecting their potential moneymakers (vaccine). If Trump were truly concerned? He would have zinc + HCQ investigated. Jared Kushner and Trump’s Big Pharma Council (what passes for the Administration’s advisory board) oppose that. Trump supporters do not dare mention that ever. Doing so would further destroy their fantasies of, Trump as savior.

              Ask Trump why he does not direct the CDC & and HHS investigate HCQ + Zinc. Or other less expensive alternatives that show promise.

              Or why Congress does not pass a simple bill to release necessary funds for such investigations of alternatives. Big Pharma does not want that. Whether they advise the White House or Congress.

              Something about being paid not to.

            2. marym

              There are a lot of steps, and room for debate on the consequences, and blame to go around, between the simple step of wearing a mask and “lockdown” or even some of the stricter closures some states tried in the early months.

              1. D. Fuller

                Pennsylvania was supposed to have one of the strictest lockdowns, early on. Why, they were even allowing private companies to issue “driving permits” for essential workers and their drivers (who took those workers to their job sites).

                A JOKE. I know of no one who was ever pulled over and checked. NO ONE.

                When calling the PA State Covid Hotline? Directed to the State economic development board. Which shows the true focus of the “lockdown”.

                Other than that? Besides some businesses closing? Life as usual. Barely a pause in the routines of most. With the exceptions being those who had no work.

                There was no lockdown other than forcing businesses to close. Everyone was redirected to the big-box stores as a natural consequence. I would hesitate to describe that as a conspiracy but people had to know that such would happen. Not by design, by consequence.

                1. Darthbobber

                  I live in Philadelphia, and this description seems inaccurate to me, but then Philadelphia’s city measures tracked New Jersey’s.

                  Though both did indeed focus almost entirely on customer-facing operations. All manufacturing and transport, regardless of whether the products could be called essential or not, we’re “essential” for the duration. And many production sites could not easily be rejiggered to allow for anything resembling sane distancing. Even if this was high on the manufacturers’ list of concerns. State and local enforcement at such operations would require a small army, so compliance was effectively voluntary behind all those closed doors.

        4. Cuibono

          That the same forces that created the scientific debate around global warming and tobacco and cancer are behind this does not trouble you at all?

          1. Phillip Cross

            I’ve heard that once you imbibe suffient kool aid, everything slots irreversibly into place. All the sickening, inhumane “conservative” ideology, which normal people instinctively hate, suddenly makes sense. Don’t ask me how it works, but I believe it’s like the reverse effect of those sunglasses Roddy Piper wears in “They Live”.

            1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

              All Hail God Phillip, who in his omniscient prescience enters the minds of “all normal people” discovering that they “all hate” conservative positions. Never have so few done so little to impugn so many. Carry on! For it is only by your amazing see through x-ray mind that I can possibly know what I think.

      2. Noone from Nowheresville

        Let’s play thought experiment.

        What if the PMC travel but don’t do the recommended 8 weeks worth of self-quarantine? 2 weeks before they go, 2 weeks after they arrive, 2 weeks before heading home, 2 weeks after they get back. If they actually had to do that, I’m guessing all travel would stop.

        Finger wagging / soapbox brigade is I: Can I please call these individuals (or should I actually come up with a new group label) deplorables too or should I just settle on pro-contagionists?

        As an aside, I’d also be curious as to how long the masks stay on (on either side of the political power structure coin) when the camera stops.

    3. Darthbobber

      As usual with such pieces it dispenses with any need to show that the resistance is mainly male. Certainly here in Philly this doesn’t seem to be the case.

      And leave it to such writers to toss in that gratuitous blah-blah about female political leaders. Two of the three they arbitrarily list are island nations. And none of that trio have government’s in which the “political leader” rules single handedly.

      (This BTW is an example of the gender essentialism that alternates with the gender irrelevance position staked out BY THE SAME PEOPLE. One minute there are literally no differences between genders, or better yet gender is a meaningless concept because a social construct. The next minute everybody is totally overdetermined by gender role, and things happen as they do because of the inherent nurturing nature of women or the combativeness of men.)

      1. marym

        The PMC should wear their masks too, and if they don’t they should be called whatever we choose to call people who won’t do something simple, while the scientific debate proceeds.

        1. JWP

          The only way the PMC would be taking this seriously would be when the reporters and public figures on tv wear masks. Right now it’s just a bunch of people sitting far a part breathing into each-other’s throats. I think a unified name to make fun of them by and comedically shame them out of relevance is a good idea!

        2. marym

          Oops, sorry, that was supposed to be a reply to Noone from Nowheresville October 24, 2020 at 9:52 am

      2. rl

        Certainly here in Philly this doesn’t seem to be the case.

        Nor here in the Atlanta, GA suburbs. But slippery phrases like “toxic masculinity” betray a speaker (or writer) who would rather be an “interesting” commentator than an observant one. If it is clearly some kind of thrill to dance just so around saying outright that the very status of being (biologically, materially, in fact) a man is a sickly and shameful thing (I am not referring only to this article; the “toxic masculinity” meme has taken many pen names), it is no surprise that women without masks may not fully register on the radar.

  19. Noone from Nowheresville

    Re: North Dakota seeks to repurpose coronavirus aid for fracking

    Repurposing the $16 million will keep 500 to 1,000 people employed through the end of the year, he said. “There’s nothing inappropriate about using CARES Act money to create jobs in the oil service industry,” he said.

    If the money was used for the continuing cleanup of wells, how many people would be continued to be employed? Heck for $16 million, I bet I could employ more than 1,000 people through the end of the year at very good wages and local community “enrichment” which, if done right, would lead to more state income taxes and sales tax generation compared to giving it to the oil industry for well development and leaving the clean-up to maybe be done at a later date.

    Their job creation bs logic doesn’t even compute but the media keeps treating it like it’s a real thing. So what’s the real purpose of all this fracking which is essentially sh&tting one where supposedly eats and drinks?

    1. RMO

      If it was about “jobs” and wages for the actual workers they could just give those thousand people $16,000 each. That would certainly be a good amount of money and it would mean no extra fracked hydrocarbons being produced at a loss, creating more CO2 emissions the world cannot afford and it would also not leave the state with yet more fracking pollution and abandoned leaking wells. Of course it’s not about jobs, but about the finances of the fracking companies and the compensation of their executives.

  20. foghorn longhorn

    Re; military gear
    Haven’t been to the local army-navy store in awhile, but I can assure you my local walmarts (2) are TOTALLY out of common ammo sizes.
    Never have seen anything close to this. Keep in mind this is in rural Tx, so there is definitely some prepping going on.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Not looking for any, just keeping a finger on the pulse as it were.
        Clerk said any shipment was gone in days.

        Oddly, there were a couple boxes of .30-.06.

        1. farragut

          When Wal-Mart stopped selling handgun rounds, it became more difficult to find them locally in our area–they were, by far, the easiest place to obtain them if you didn’t want to buy bulk from on online vendor. You can still get handgun ammunition at the local Dick’s, but they’re often out-of-stock, and when they do receive shipments, they sell out quickly as word spreads. Oddly enough, a few weeks ago, I was surfing an online ammo vendor’s website and stumbled upon a clearance sale. Unbelievably, they were selling Hornady .357 magnum hollow points at a substantial discount, so I bought up all they had.

          1. rowlf

            The practice around here for commercial ranges is they buy bulk ammo from the local ammo companies and then sort the ammo into ziplock bags for sale with range time and/or firearm rentals. The rush of new owners led to positive changes in safety practices and fortunately the ranges have figured out how to safely run classes, which fill up quickly.

            1. RMO

              I just bought a Scott full-face respirator and some cartridges for it. I bought it for when I make soap. Previously I used my 3M half-mask with organic vapor cartridges and P-100 prefilters for this combined with safety glasses. It’s just mixing the lye and water that produces fumes and presents the possibility of getting splashed in the face with caustic liquid. The P-100 filters are sufficient but I’ve found it extremely difficult to find replacement cartridges and filters lately (as well as N95 and P100 masks). The Scott mask I bought it used as a gas mask as well as for industrial safety and I bought it because though it was overkill, it was available. Of course just after ordering it I found a complete, new 3M half-mask respirator including organic vapor cartridges and P100 filters at my local hardware store – and for less money than any of the cartridges and filters I had found for sale online. So I guess now I’m ready if I have to enter an extremely Covid-hazardous location… or if the police start firing off tear gas rounds (not too likely as I’m in Canada!)

              1. ambrit

                Stay away from the US border during ‘disturbances.’ The police here have been known to shoot off ordinance in “random” directions, as in not at the actual demonstrators, so as to limit third party observers to their actions.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “US Coast Guard to tackle China ‘illegal’ fishing in Pacific”

    I hope that Washington is aware that China also as a coast guard too – the China Coast Guard. By all accounts they are not bad so what happens when they get into a spat with the US Coast Guard? Sideswipe each others hulls? Fire their water cannons at each other at point-blank range? Shout at each other “Respect My Authoritah!” This could get interesting this-

      1. RMO

        Rev: The U.S. Coastguard already has quite a few fairly heavily armed cutters. If they get into a “spat” both nation’s coastguards have enough firepower ready to go to spark a war even before the navies come onto the scene.

  22. Lex

    Where is the piece on Toxic Femininity? Is that not a thing? We humans tend to be yin/yang in our thinking, so I’m wondering why we’re not giving equal time to the little woman right next to him, who derives her uber feminine identity by supporting and enabling his uber masculinity.

    We keep giving women a pass for the choices they make, by portraying their gender alone as the victims of patriarchy.

    1. ShamanicFallout

      I think about the Tina Fey written film “Mean Girls”. ‘Based in part on Rosalind Wiseman’s 2002 non-fiction self-help book, “Queen Bees and Wannabes”, which describes female high school social cliques and the damaging effects they can have on girls’ (wiki)

      And I believe Yves has written a number of times here at NC about the female version of ‘toxicity’ in the work place.

        1. ShamanicFallout

          I think they were more personal anecdotes from her/ sharing thoughts in the comments and not full on posts.

    2. hunkerdown

      They were called Karens, but I think that term has been #cancelled.

      Predation is okay as long as the predator class is demographically correct.

  23. nat

    Not nice to post as antidote the donkey being abused by a heavy load. All that grass is not weightless.

    1. Nakatomi Plaza

      I’ll admit I don’t know anything about the context of that photo, but I’m guessing the donkey’s owner values the animal enough not to destroy it with overwork. That donkey is quite likely well-cared for.

      Visit an industrial farm if you want to see something really sad.

  24. a different chris

    The bear antidote is hilarious.

    Having been a child in a time where it was Very Adult to state confidently that animals had no sense of self, no personality, no concept of time, no nothing just more animated pieces of machinery than we had managed to build at that point, I am glad that crap is over.

    It was so bizarre because we had dogs and cats and my barely-developed brain could see that they were… very much alive.

    No I don’t think they think in any frames we would recognize. But I don’t know that they don’t, either. But it amazes me that anybody would think something that can feel fear would also not be able to feel joy?

        1. hunkerdown

          Which is an odd number of legs for a donkey to have. But six is an even number of legs, and the only number that is both odd and even is infinity. Therefore, donkeys have an infinite number of legs. Q.E.D.

    1. mle durham

      Whatever “Church Security” is, they’re stealing from Barry Ritholtz too, e.g. “MiB Ray Dalio.” And all “©”.

    2. Basil Pesto

      I found a site with a different URL when I googled a neologism in yesterday’s WC (‘homoploutic’). It threw up 5 or so results including the original paper, yesterday’s WC, and a spammy looking news aggregator called ‘Breaking News Log’ which was a wholesale lift of the WC. Link here

      1. farragut

        Interesting. Both sites look very similar in format and they’re both registered to an entity in Panama (same PO post box) according to

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Exclusive: Mayor and First Lady of Los Angeles Ignored Years of Warnings About Top Aide, Sources Say”

    Pretty ugly story this. And Eric Garcetti? I remember his name. During the riots when some police cars were burnt out, he wanted to close all Coronavirus testing sites in LA as punishment to that city – until he was forced to back down that is. What else can you say about this whole article –

    ‘Forget it Jake, its Californian Democrats.’

      1. D. Fuller

        NC featured a story awhile back about how people grow up to to take jobs that their parents had.

        A taxi driver’s son will most likely be a taxi driver. A politician’s son will most likely be a politician. Stagnating mobility for those lower on the economic pole, which has been greased.

        Wish I had kept the link, no dice however.

        People forget that before Reagan? College was affordable. Then our society completelyi turned everything into being all about money. The exorbitant college tuitions have the effect of keeping the poor from being competition. Whether by design or simple greed.

        The libertarian view of the world: competition produces winners. Refusing to acknowledge that those who have more? Have a vast head start over those who do not. Unless Libertarians would like to become Socialists or Communists – the actual world of Ayn Rand she advocated in that grade school book for children, Atlas Shrugged.

        The best way to remain wealthy? Eliminate your competition. Our society has done a very good job at that.

    1. The S

      Yup. Strand is Investor-class millionaire owners who own Amazon stock and treat employees like dirt. Lots of ex-employees posting about this. There are many better Indy bookstores:

      1. Tangled up in Texas

        Can someone repost the list of ethical online booksellers to buy from? I thought I added the list to my “books wanted” list the last time this convo came up but I did not.

        It really upsets me when I buy from what I perceive to be an indy bookseller only to have the book arrive in Amazon packaging.

  26. Ep3

    “No guarantees for anything”. The basis of their legal argument goes back to a State of Michigan Supreme Court ruling from 2019 for Macomb County that says nothing in the contract guarantees health care beyond the length of the contract.
    Please note, the pension fund and the health insurance fund are separate. The pension fund is ~60% funded, while the health insurance fund is the one with issues, at ~20% funding. Yet, the two items are being mixed together to say both are financially insolvent (and to make the numbers look scarier). All newly hired active employees will not receive health insurance after retirement, only a health savings account. Yves, if you know anyone that has retired with a health savings account and was able to pay for premiums (not Medicare premiums), please let me know.
    Please email me for further information.

  27. IMOR

    ‘Devolving’ is intransitive, and I don’t think the mere fact that this is tweeted doggerel quite excuses or saves the awkwardness.
    That said, the process and policy disaster that is the drive to return the little b—–ds to the classroom ASAP regardless of troublesome, you know, facts and rates and advice and stuff in places like the West Ada Unified (Idaho’s 2nd largest) is more cause for sputtering rage than sputtering rhyme.

  28. The Rev Kev

    “Modeling COVID-19 scenarios for the United States”

    So I have just stared to re-read the book “World War Z” which is not to be confused with the crappy film that was made from it. After living through the past several months, the first few chapters of this book I find to be far more believable now. So after quickly reading through this article, the thought in my mind won’t go away. What if instead of a Coronavirus pandemic, it was actually a zombie virus that re-animated the dead? Stay with me here a moment. How would the world have coped? More specifically, how would the United States have coped – during an election year and regardless of who was President.

    Would not governments try to downplay it in order not to protect their economy? Would countries try to keep their borders open because they depend on the income from tourists? Would business travelers use private jets to get around border closures? Would governments try to keep secret what is going on to protect themselves? How about people depending on a vaccine/drug to protect them? In the book a popular but expensive marketed placebo vaccine, ‘Phalanx’, created a false sense of security until it was almost too late. I think that re-reading that book makes for some very uncomfortable reading now-

    1. Lex

      Here’s a video that was recorded recently of Max talking about Covid and its effect on our lives. If you look further back on Youtube though, closer to when the book came out, you’ll find interviews with Max talking about how long he’s been thinking about viruses and pandemics and how his reading and writing and researching lead to his writing ‘World War Z’.

      But as for Max as a writer and his style of writing, I hear so much his parents in his voice. Not speaking for him but supportively just behind him, and that whole group of artists and writers that was woven through his life. WWZ reads like a well thought out script.

    2. Paradan

      man I loved that story about the Chinese sub captain, you could get a really intense movie from that.

    3. D. Fuller

      The play is, drag out the response until people are tired of it… Pretend to deal with Covid, drag it out, and people will eventually give up.


      Simple. Effective. Works.

  29. Phacops

    Re: eco friendly car wiring.

    Mice are especially a problem in my rural area. They have a fondness for cabin filters, building nests, and that along with the soy based wiring are issues that necessitate rodent control. An underappreciated issue is the plastic cowlings on top of many new engines. My spouse had an engine fire in her 3 month old Hyundai when a mouse built a nest on top of the engine and under the cowling. She pulled up yo the house one day with smoke coming out from under the hood with me scrambling for the garage fire extinguisher. The tight quarters at the same location on my Dodge engine seems to discourage that behavior.

    Worst for me was when I had a Toyota Sienna. Since in the summer we carry a lot of cargo, I removed and stored the mid-row seats in plastic in the garage and failed to pay attention to them. Families of mice moved in and ruined them completely.

    Plus, about mice in my area – mice will bring ticks into their nest, providing good homes for growing ticks. My solution has been targeted to limit negative effects by putting permethrin-treated cotton balls in used TP tubes and spreading them near the house. Mice love the nice nest material and any tick carried into the nest, dies.

    1. Carolinian

      My brother has an old car and I opened the hood and it was full of acorns. He doesn’t drive it much.

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        We have red squirrels who like to stuff acorns and pine cones into the lawn mower. Pull on that thar’ darn string and it won’t go nowhere. Blades are stuck solid.

        They also like to look down from the trees and yell at you to get off their lawns and out of their yards.

      2. Lunker Walleye

        This happens here too in the woodlands. We’ve used peppermint oil purchased from the health food store to fend off chipmunks. It works very well.

    2. km

      Put mothballs around the tires of a car that you are storing for the winter.

      Mice and critters hate the smell.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      We should figure out exACTly what makes these car-cavities so attractive to mice/squirrels/etc. And then build outdoor mouse/squirrel etc. houses which are even more attractive to give the mice/squirrels somewhere else other than cars to live their lifestyles.

      As with those carpart-eating marmots in the Sierra. Build feeding stations for the marmots with even more and better of whatever it is they are eating from the cars.

  30. bruce

    You’ve heard of yellowjackets
    Tarantula hawks too
    Killer bees will swarm you
    And leave you feeling blue.
    But I’ve come here to tell you
    There’s a brand new gang in town.
    We’re saying it loud, we’re saying it proud
    You’ll be seeing us around.
    We are the Murder Hornets
    We’re a very special thing
    If you or your bees get in our way
    We pack a mighty sting.
    And wherever we land in your land
    We will never go away
    You can burn a nest or poison one

    1. bruce

      We wish no war with humans
      We desire peace with you
      Just one more thing that you should know
      We love the Lakers too.
      We acknowledge global warming
      We don’t like 45
      Just tell us what we can do
      To help keep us all alive.
      We are potentially useful
      For things you can’t foresee
      We could be especially useful
      In Homeland Security.

      1. bruce

        We promise not to eat your bees
        If you will but supply us
        With a steady stream of alternate bees
        To nurture us and ply us
        We had aspired to bee
        The first animals into space
        But we simply couldn’t compete with
        The ingenious human race
        So what we have left over
        Is not much at all, I sigh
        For I am only but a drone
        And I will shortly die.


        1. Brunches with Cats

          Dang. I was hoping for an encore, in which the sole survivor of unspeakable vespacide offers the secret of murdering SARS-CoV-2 in exchange for its life. Alas, seconds before its tormentors agree, it expires.

          Thanks for the eco-tainment. :-)

  31. Samuel Conner

    re: the Biden transition CV-19 relief plan.

    I wonder to what extent a president elect could in fact exercise something of a “bully pulpit” during the transition period.

    The thought occurs that this lame-duck period could be one of the more consequential ones since Lincoln’s 1861-62 transition.

    I have no doubt that had Sanders been the nominee, he would if elected attempt this kind of influence through mobilizing his “list” to exert constituent pressure on representatives and senators who were not leaving office in January. I imagine that could be effective. Office-holders never really stop campaigning/raising money for re-election, and I would think they don’t stop listening to constituents, even the plebs, during the lame-duck period.

    I doubt that Biden would be able to exert this kind of influence, though I hope I am wrong. I share Lambert’s concern that if DJT is not returned to office, there will be no further stimulus before the inauguration.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      I’d love to believe in the Sanders’ legend but his CARES Act speech and what he’s done since then don’t leave me with much hope that he or any of the politicians have the capability, much less the willingness, to lead a rebellion for honest to goodness relief and leadership for the masses rather than asset striping, means testing for worthiness or staning for next season’s show. Maybe in the days after the election, they’ll release a new mini-series to bridge the seasonal gap for our holiday viewing pleasure.

      Further stimulus: how much and what we will have to give up in return? Will we get less than CARES but give more? How long before austerity, business roll-ups and evictions start in earnest?

      I’d really like to know their plans.

      1. ambrit

        I really fear that “they” only have plans for themselves; the Public be D—–d.
        So far, the Elites have consistently acted in their own best interests, no matter the consequences for the rest of us. Historically, such social systems continue on until some complete collapse event destroys them, and everything around them, the guilty and the innocent alike. An interregnum ensues while the survivors work on reassembling some sort of “higher” civilization.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          This next time around, the “mass” survivors will have to be sure to make very sure that no “class” survivors are permitted to remain alive and surviving.

          1. ambrit

            You’re coming in loud and clear. However, I have observed that “class consciousness” has been efficiently suppressed in America for decades. The rational restructuring of a society after a disaster takes advanced planning. I see little evidence of such, yet. Related to that is the perennial question; how steep can the learning curve go before it breaks down?

    2. Mikel

      The transition will be a big money grab because much fear will be generated. This system is about profiting from crises although they’ve sold alot of grand illusions to people about intentions of “progress” and change.
      I’m trying to think of the form the money grab will take this time. They may be able to shake a good bit of cash from the pleebs playing the stock market. That’s lately reeled in more suckers than usual.

      It could be a number of things.

  32. andrea casalotti

    German TV recently showed a classroom where every 20 minutes they would open the window for a few minutes. Some children were wearing blankets.

  33. Alex Cox

    Fascinating article from the Sixth Tone (how do you find all these websites?). My takeaway is that as societies develop larger middle classes (as in Japan, Western Europe, Russia, and now China) the cost of having children becomes much greater, and the inclination to have them lessens. So, in every case, we have a declining population.

    Isn’t this what we want? The author mentions a “low-fertility trap” — an economic chain reaction wherein a growing elderly population acts as a drag on growth and sends care costs spiraling. But so what? This is just an economic challenge (like funding Social Security in the US). Surely our goal is to reduce human fertility and to make sure that all humans (and other species) are able to survive comfortably.

    Instead we have politicians and the MSM panicking because human reproduction levels in wealthy, high-consuming states are falling.

    Again, this is what we want.

    The alternative – unlimited population growth and an increased volume of middle and upper class consumers – does not bear thinking about.

    1. barefoot charley

      The typical reason to care is that without children we will be inundated in darker breeders who will work our profit-centers and wipe our butts–until they drive us at scimitar-point into mosques when they outnumber us. That’s the essential terror. We need worker bees from somewhere for our quality of life as much as our economy, as Europe has shown. Which is an unsolvable dilemma short of shriveling lifestyles, which doesn’t win elections. Here in the US we just lie about reducing average lifestyles being the bipartisan plan since the 1980s. Just ask Volker!

      1. RMO

        “The author mentions a “low-fertility trap” — an economic chain reaction wherein a growing elderly population acts as a drag on growth”

        Well, that’s something that we will inevitably have to deal with, so why not start now? There’s a finite amount of room on Earth and, space exploration enthusiast though I may be, there’s no way to send a substantial amount of us to some other worlds barring the sudden perfection of near-magical interstellar travel technology.

        1. c_heale

          Think it’s already happening now. And we aren’t dealing with it. Like we aren’t dealing with global warming which is an existential threat to homo “sapiens”.

    2. Mikel

      I wouldn’t worry about it. The world is not going to overrun with elderly people.

      With govt subsidy being the lifeblood of so many corporations, they’re just nervous about anything that competes for that money. Before Covid there had been flat earnings.
      And much of the world was still “papering” over the non-recovery for many from the 2008 financial crisis.

      I also don’t believe the scientific advances will be anything like advertised and there are still more horrid unintended consequences from the science in use now.

  34. lyman alpha blob

    If Joe Biden wins as president, one way or another, Merrick Garland needs to be a Justice of the Supreme Court by the end of the year.

    So after Barrett gets confirmed, which one of the Supremes is the Democrat party planning on knocking off so they can appoint another Republican? If I were Breyer, I’d be watching my back.

    1. edmondo

      This is the kind of “Big Thinking” you are going to get with a Biden Administration. I am waiting for them to post the odds on the election of 2024. I am betting the ranch that the Republicans sweep the whole sheebang.

      How many change elections in a row can we have with nothing changing?

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If things get worse, that means they didn’t stay the same. If they didn’t stay the same, then they changed.

        A change for the worse is still a change.

  35. jr

    (I cannot remember if I posted this earlier or not, apologies to the management if this is a repeat.)

    “What feels very thrilling about this moment is that we are at a moment of real reckoning with three interlocking supremacies: white supremacy, male supremacy and capital supremacy.”

    What reckoning is he talking about? The fact that at best a token class of non-male, non-hetero identified parasites will assume positions of power? More trans friendly fare on Netflix? More hot coverage of gender by “gender reporters”? This stuff is comical. The same people will continue to do the same things, albeit some will be wearing trangressive clothing.

    “things work together and what they have in common is dehumanization and the centering of the aggressor’s point of view instead of those who most need our support and attention.”

    What exactly are you doing for those who “most need our support and attention”; that’s about a milquetoast list of goals to reach for as one could not ask for. Maybe lots of Zoom chatrooms to kick around cool ideas for new identities? And the pseudo intellectual language, “centering” of the aggressors “point of view”, it tastes synthetic on the tongue.

    “I was heartened to see that Joe Biden loves his son, and visibly. Given all the family he has lost, I can understand the tight grip with which he holds what he has left. What we learned this week is that a picture of a father loving his son can be terrifying to the legions of men in this country, whose narrow vision of masculinity is that it consists of being independent to the point of isolation”

    Or the legions of men who can see clearly that the doddering would-be pedophile is using his grim family history as a marketing tool for his campaign. Anyone who thinks Joe Biden is capable of the emotion of love is a fool. Incidentally, I went ahead last night and tried to raise Beau but got a Kennedy instead. Woops, what a sight! Dropped my worm a little too deep into Hell! Back it went, screaming…

    “Another possibility is that in patriarchal societies, it remains much harder for a woman to get to the top and so when a woman gets to the top, she’s three times better.”

    Oh yeah, all the successful women are on top because they are the best at what they do. Like the Butcher of Libya HRC, “Mad Dog” Maddy Albright, pedo priest pal Harris, and Nancy Antoinette. Top shelf porn to the ears of a NYT professional puff piece thought leader. Are those female leaders doing horrible things because patriarchy makes them?

    “my guess is she had to be three times as talented as many of the cruisers and flunkies around her to even have a shot at being taken seriously”

    Why? What if she was just a talented bootlick who made the smart play of following the recommendations of her experts? She may be wonderful, my point is why are we to assume she isn’t a cruiser or a flunkie who made good and who knows when to shut up and smile? Because she is a woman and powerful woman either are super successful because it’s: 1. inherent or 2. Darwinian. These clowns are pandering to the current clucking amongst the “smart set.” This isn’t an interview; it’s advertising.

    “It is also about lived experiences.”

    Here we go. They just got done discussing lived experiences. Are you saying that you are examining lived experiences from another angle? Fine. But he isn’t. He is just laying down the term “lived experiences”, similarly to “centering”, because the emphasis makes it sound profound, compelling to those ensorcelled by such antics. These IDpol dust bunnies couldn’t construct an argument to save their lives.

    “In a properly constituted society, women wouldn’t do disproportionate amounts of child care work, but in this society they do.”

    A “properly constituted” society. I’d love to see the plans for the properly constituted society. I bet they have blueprints drawn up at Hunter College. I totally agree with the notion of sharing child raising but he should steer clear of theory.

    “so is it an accident that we did bailouts for big corporations before we did any kind of child care help? If there were more women with young children in the Senate, it’s hard to think the Senate would make exactly the same decisions and have the same priorities it does now”

    Right, the psychopaths who run for the Senate will suddenly become wuvable because their genetic “Generalplan Ost” has been given free reign. What none sense. Sad times at the Times.

    1. a different chris

      Whew good you got that off your chest.

      I couldn’t stand to read the article, but my commenting law allows me to comment on your excerpts:

      >they are the best at what they do. Like

      Don’t stick with the politicians, we have Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Meyer to show “horrible things done by women” isn’t limited.

      And Ms Meyer makes another cameo in:

      > before we did any kind of child care help? least I’m pretty sure, if memory serves me isn’t she the rhymes-with-witch that made her female employees come to work but had paid daycare there for her kids? Doubly strange because they weren’t exactly assembling widgets, their product itself was online! You don’t have to drive to Yahoo, but they had to drive to work. So familyblogged up…

  36. ewmayer

    1986 MIKOYAN MIG 29 Trade-A-Plane (Re Silc) — Saw a Mig-29 do its famous Cobra maneuver at an airshow in Michigan in the late 80s … pilot comes in super-low, slows plane to a basically a standstill, cranks the afterburners and stands that sucker on its tail, even going beyond the vertical. Spectacular maneuver, bonus being seeing the diamond shock-wave patterns in the supersonic jet exhaust close-up.

  37. drumlin woodchuckles

    A Joemala Administration could remove all the Steve Miller accolytes from the civil service if it wanted to.
    How? Open a field office of whatever for all of them on Rat Island, Alaska. Rat Island is in the Aleutian Islands. All they would have to do to keep their jobs would be to relocate to Rat Island.

    But a Joemala Administration will be happy to keep all the Steve Miller accolytes in place. Also, a Joemala Administration would be too busy supporting and protecting the next wave of Financial Crimes and Criminals to worry about any Steve Miller accolytes.

  38. Brunches with Cats

    Not just Bloomberg editors treating Bellingcat as a serious source. I couldn’t get past all the ads in Bloomberg Quint so did a search. Here are some other headlines (w/o links so as not to get stuck in moderation, but they’re all just rewriting Bellingcat’s press release anyway):
    CNN: “Bellingcat: Russian scientists secretly developing Novichok nerve agent, and working with military intelligence”
    DW: “Bellingcat: Russia continued Novichok program despite claiming to end it”
    Salisbury Journal: “New Salisbury Novichok poisonings claims accuse Russia”
    (Bellingcat not in headline, but first paragraph starts out, “New claims by investigative journalism website Bellingcat …”
    Not added yet to the 12 mentions of Bellingcat in the Wikipedia entry on Skripals. Fielding media calls is time-consuming for scrappy independent journalists, after all. /s

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m waiting for the Bellingcat article where it says that the Russians have given up on the super-deadly Novichok as it hardly ever works. Putin, in it, will state that from now on it is a double-tap to the head. Quick, cheap and efficient and proves that the old ways really do work.

  39. jr

    Out for a walk and dinner earlier with the GF and we came across a line of people at a local church voting early. I would say the space between them was something averaging around 2 to 2.5 feet. I couldn’t make out the number of mask v. unmasked but the spacing said it all. This is in “enlightened” Manhattan.

    People. Can’t live with em, can’t eat em.

    Well, technically yes, but there are legal issues.

    1. bruce

      We are all going to die. What we do before we die defines who we are. I am an American voter. Who are you?

  40. BoyDownTheLane

    Seen in Twitterville: “Health Experts Now Recommend Maximizing Social Distance By Attending A Biden Rally”

  41. Brunches with Cats

    Re: Military gear
    Controlling the narrative, so that when the s—t hits the fan nine days from now, it will be well-established that the violence is all coming from Trump supporters.

    “Everyone knows” there’s going to be violence as the election returns come in, but it’s going to be far worse than any of us imagine. The forces working to elect Biden (I’m not sure it’s accurate to call them “pro-Biden”) are in the final stages of contingency planning for massive demonstrations all over the country. Lambert linked to their playbook in Tuesday’s WC, but I fear it got lost due to the subject matter (Toobin).

    I’ve been slowly working my way through the 22-page document — slowly, because of the intense fight-or-flight response it’s triggering. Despite the title of the paper and repeated insistence that they’re trying to prevent disruption, these people are setting up a bloodbath, and controlling the narrative is among their top priorities. A couple of excerpts (link follows):

    It is incumbent upon elected officials, civil society leaders, and the press to challenge authoritarian actions in the courts, in the media, and in the streets through peaceful protest. Specific recommendations include:

    Address the two biggest threats head on: lies about “voter fraud” and escalating violence. Voting fraud is virtually non-existent, but Trump lies about it to create a narrative designed to politically mobilize his base and to create the basis for contesting the results should he lose. The potential for violent conflict is high, particularly since Trump encourages his supporters to take up arms.


    During the exercises, winning “the narrative” emerged as a potentially decisive factor. Either side can ex- pand or contract the “margin of contestation” if they succeed in substantially changing how key decision makers and the public view the “facts,” the risks of action or inaction, or external events such as civil un- rest. An integrated strategy of legal contestation, political leadership, mass mobilization, and messaging is much stronger, and Team Trump often had the advantage because they could rely on Fox News, a significant and committed base, and loyalties from law enforcement agencies. Team Biden often had the majority of the public on its side, and the ability to mobilize resentment about the structural disenfranchisement in the way we conduct presidential elections.

    I know assignments are against the rules, but I could sure use some help. If anyone else was willing to read at least some of this document and follow some of the links, maybe we could figure out if there’s anything we can do, individually, collectively or both, to protect ourselves and the good people around us? We’ve got only nine days.

  42. Mikel

    I’m about to throw this California ballot in the trash.
    I’m tired of voting on the same %#!× every election. It’s the same crap! Rewritten!
    You buy a house? THERE ARE TAXES! Deal with it. You have schools? THERE ARE TAXES! Deal with it.
    Employ people or want people to do a job for you? PAY PEOPLE!

  43. flora

    Charles Hugh Smith’s latest on the fragility and corruption built into efficient, govt sanctioned monopolies.

    There is no “public good,” there is only a rapacious, obsessive self-interest that claims the mantle of “public good” as a key mechanism of the con.

    The DoJ anti-monopoly case against Google is a good step.

    1. The Rev Kev

      When the excitement was running high for Bernie’s run several months ago, there were days that I think comments went over 400.

  44. occasional anonymous

    >1986 MIKOYAN MIG 29 Trade-A-Plane

    “Say what you will about the Russian arms industry, they certainly make lethal-looking aircraft”

    IIRC, NATO was able to fly and test a squadron of them after Germany reunited (this in fact might by one of those planes).

    The verdict was that the plane itself was fine, but that it was woefully outdated in terms of battlefield management capabilities. It had to be carefully shepherded by AWACS in a way NATO planes didn’t, and would have ended up being more of a liability than an asset in a real fight as a result.

    Presumably Russia was aware of these problems and has massively upgraded the relevant capabilities in the MiG-29s it’s still flying.

  45. occasional anonymous

    >It is all just a metaphor: The New York Times attempts yet another desperate defense of its discredited 1619 Project WSWS

    This is the third or fourth time NYT has attempted to walk back their original thesis. Nikole Hannah-Jones and her fellow cowards apparently don’t realize the Wayback Machine exists and that we can track each of their lies.

    1. RMO

      “the Wayback Machine exists and that we can track each of their lies”

      At least for now. I’m sure it’s in the sights though. I’m amazed there hasn’t yet been a concerted push to portray the Wayback Machine as being a tool of Putin. “Pointing out our own articles, interviews and videos is Russian disinformation!”

  46. Mickey Hickey

    The French newspaper Le Monde ( (The World) has a good article on the role of the nation state in plagues. The title of the article is “L’Etat face au grand défi des épidémies” The State facing the great challenge of epidemics in English. Link ,change dot lemondedotfr/idees/article/2020/10/23/l-etat-au-grand-defi-des-epidemies_6057056_3232.html
    France has not handled this pandemic well, if the country with the Pasteur Institute , Albert Camus’s The Plague and Napoleon the most effective charismatic leader of all time cannot get things under control it does not augur well for the rest of us. Clearly their media is on the level although in the majority French speaking province of Canada they have a version of talk radio they call Radio Poubelle (Radio Garbage Can) which is as rabidly anti infection transmission control as anything found in the US.

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