Links 10/6/2020

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Tasmanian Devils reintroduced into Australian wild BBC (resilc)

America’s Rapid Feral Hog Problem Is Creating a ‘Super-Pig’ Uprising Popular Mechanics

How Reykjavik’s Sheet-Metal Homes Beat the Icelandic Winter Bloomberg (UserFriendly)

Study Shows Renewables Are Kicking Natural Gas To the Curb cleantechnica

Boris Johnson to unveil plan to power all UK homes with wind by 2030 Guardian (Kevin W)

Exxon’s Plan For Surging Carbon Emissions Revealed In Leaked Documents Bloomberg

Venice Holds Back the Water For First Time In 1,200 Years CNN

Americans are becoming climate migrants before our eyes Guardian

Colombian designers prepare cardboard hospital beds that double as coffins Guardian (UserFriendly)

Trump Infected

White House Is Not Contact Tracing ‘Super-Spreader’ Rose Garden Event New York Times (Kevin W)

Trump: It’s Actually Good I Contracted the Coronavirus New York Magazine

The President’s Coronavirus Treatment Science Magazine (UserFriendly)

Trump returns to White House despite mysteries around his health Politico. Note that the comments about Trump walking maskless into the White House and his possible contagiousness.

CNN medical analyst: I’d perform psychiatric evaluation on Trump if he were my patient The Hill. Resilc: “Nothing there to lobotomize.”

You can preorder a $100 ‘Trump defeats COVID’ commemorative coin at White House Gift Shop USA Today (Kevin W)

#COVID-19

Science/Medicine

First-of-its-kind Study Examines the Frequency and Severity of Neurologic Manifestations in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States Northwestern Medicine. Typical press report: COVID-19 study finds 82% of hospitalized patients experience neurological symptoms, Northwestern says ABC7Chicago

Study: COVID-19 antibodies decline quickly in donated plasma UPI. Consistent with other findings.

Support for my trusty alcohol spray bottle:

Long Covid: the evidence of lingering heart damage Guardian

Study shows some high school athletes suffering from depression, anxiety due to COVID-19 3WTKR

How Coronavirus Spreads CDC. Maryann: “We have the update today. No mention of aerosol, only droplet. But acknowledging it can be airborne, though this isn’t foregrounded like it was in the “draft.” Weak tea.”

Trump health official meets with doctors pushing herd immunity The Hill

US

Americans fault US govt over foreign powers for virus crisis Associated Press (resilc)

UK/Europe

Ireland rejects own experts’ call for second COVID-19 lockdown Politico

Covid: how Excel may have caused loss of 16,000 test results in England Guardian

Finance/Economy

Las Vegas Tops U.S. in Rise of Apartment Tenants Not Paying Rent Bloomberg

COVID-19 and SME Failures NBER

Brexit

UK is the EU’s “sovereign equal” just as Malta is the “sovereign equal” of the USA Breeg Blog (guurst). Very good high level overview. And includes the IT customs issue we flagged early on.

The Race to Replace the City of London Begins Bloomberg (vlade)

New Cold War

WaPo Publishes Paranoid Screed Cautioning Readers Not To Let Russia Make Them Paranoid Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

Syraqistan

OPCW probes couldn’t prove chemical use in 2 Syria attacks Associated Press (UserFriendly)

The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté testifies at UN on OPCW Syria cover-up YouTube (UserFriendly)

Yemen’s Houthi Rebel Leader: “The Americans Label Anyone Who Opposes Their Policy as Terrorists” Der Spiegel

Trump Transition

Inside the Lincoln Project’s War Against Trump New Yorker

2020

Biden says he will debate Trump if experts say it is safe Reuters (resilc)

Giuliani: ‘No reason to delay’ second Trump-Biden debate Politico

Trump was sent from God!’: MAGA country brings the rally to a stricken president Politico. Resilc: “Get a new god.” Moi: OK, but for what purpose?

Trump Supporters Aren’t ‘Shy,’ But Polls Could Still Be Missing Some Of Them FiveThirtyEight

Joe Biden calls Bernie Sanders ‘a socialist’ and tells swing voters he WON’T go far left as he hits the campaign trail in battleground Michigan Daily Mail

‘Middle-Class Joe’ Doesn’t Understand the Middle Class Nation (resilc)

How Hatred Came To Dominate American Politics FiveThirtyEight

The Political Implications of D.C./Puerto Rico Statehood Sabato’s Crystal Ball (UserFriendly)

After Trump, the GOP Can Still Be Saved From Itself American Conservative

The Rise of Christian Nationalism in America Consortiumnews (UserFriendly)

Supreme Struggle

Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation Is in Jeopardy Atlantic (furzy)

Daniel Cameron Lied About Breonna Taylor’s Killing New York Magazine (UserFriendly)

Our Famously Free Press

Smoking’s lessons for regulating social media MIT Technology Review

America Is Having a Moral Convulsion The Atlantic. Putting this here because, as Matt Taibbi explains, the balkanization of American and resulting lack of trust is significantly the result of the media whipping up fear and anger.

The Bezzle

Nassau County Is A Hotbed Of Fraud And We Couldn’t Be Prouder DealBreaker

John McAfee Arrested in Spain on US Criminal Charges CoinDesk. BC: “As you pointed out Bitcoin = Prosecution Futures.”

Getting governance right key for public pension plans Pensions & Investments

Critical Minerals and the New Geopolitics Project Syndicate (UserFriendly)

Exclusive: U.S. banks prepare to seize energy assets as shale boom goes bust Reuters (Chuck L). From a few days ago, still germane.

Short on Money, Cities Around the World Try Making Their Own Bloomberg (UserFriendly)

Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ Delayed To October 1, 2021 Variety :-(

Class Warfare

Debt Collectors Have Made a Fortune This Year. Now They’re Coming for More. ProPublica (UserFriendly)

The Covid Economy Carves Deep Divide Between Haves and Have-Nots Wall Street Journal

The Pope’s kicking neoliberalism when it’s down today Richard Murphy

Amazon workers march to Jeff Bezos’ mansion, calling for higher wages, protections Los Angeles Times (UserFriendly)

Antidote du jour. From Alan T a while back. His daughter Jessica’s big Siamese:

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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269 comments

  1. Richard H Caldwell

    Don’t blame Excel — blame users who don’t know the limitations of their tools. Anyone who uses Excel seriously knows the row limits and the differences between .xls and .xlsx and 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Excel is a fabulous tool that is widely used in data manipulation and reporting. Like every tool, it has limits.

    Reply
    1. divadab

      Yes and managing a million-record database is NOT what excel should be used for. At a minimum, Microsoft Access should be used, and there are free alternatives which are also suitable. The incompetence of the UK government’s “Public Health England” agency – I mean, one reasonably competent person who has taken a couple of database courses and built a few database apps could put this simple thing together on a bad day.

      Speaking as an excel uber-user.

      Reply
      1. vidimi

        to clarify, the incompetence was private contractor Serco’s, to whom the evil UK government outsourced this operation.

        Reply
        1. Divadab

          Ah well then – not mentioned in article. I surmise then that Serco staff consists of several well-connected and very well paid managers and directors who probably have little or no technical skills (but write a mean essay on medieval history!) and one poor underpaid scribe also with no formal IT training working long hours inputting data into the only thing he knows how to use- a spreadsheet. And this poor scribe is now the unemployed goat for this thatcheresque exemplar of greedy privatization of public function.

          Reply
    2. skk

      One has to laugh – it was such a given to have the style of a header record, then item record(s) and finally an end record when transferring data between people – with count information on the header record ( and tail record ).Then there was the ‘sophistication’ of check-sums and as the term implies, if the “check-sum” you calculate at the receiving end does not match the expected value, things are awry. This is over 30 years ago.

      Things are much more sophisticated now, AS A MATTER OF ROUTINE, with encryption and more.

      O well. Computing has gone to the dogs. The “IT Crowd” comedy plays out live nowadays in the UK govt. / NHS computing departments.

      Reply
    3. vlade

      Excel, the tool of the big data wizards that Cummings wants to bring in. Maybe only when it actually matters to him, like the Vote Leave winning. Not when smaller people’s lives depend on it, after all, all those are just replaceable, he isn’t.

      Right.

      Reply
    4. David

      Working in government, I used spreadsheets over a period of some 25 years, from SuperCalc (!) on a CP/M terminal, through Lotus 123 of blessed memory on a PC with less computing power than the average contemporary fridge, up, of course, to Excel. And in all that time, I don’t think I had any formal training in the use of spreadsheets at all. Government (pushed by the Treasury) saw massive investment in IT as a way of saving money and cutting staff, and getting what had previously been tasks carried out by trained specialists carried out by ordinary civil servants instead, enabled by the magic of IT. Training was something we’d get around to when there was a bit of spare money, and when increasingly overloaded departments could actually release staff. And then, again under Treasury pressure, Departments contracted out their IT functions, with the result that they had virtually nobody within the walls you could turn to for advice, whilst paying much more for a worse service, and often skimping on upgrades to save money. Clever, that.
      Nothing in this story surprises me.

      Reply
      1. Grumpy Engineer

        Oh wow, that brings back memories. My first spreadsheet was Supercomp-20 on a DEC VAX, accessed using an honest-to-gosh VT100. Way back in the mid 1980s.

        Oy, I feel old.

        Reply
    5. Stephen Gardner

      Big projects like that should use appropriate tools. R or Python are used for big projects–not Excel. Professionals in the business know this. Presumably this is a case of saving costs by hiring amateurs.

      Reply
    6. Maritimer

      I worked in IT in the 80s. What a racket! Sell the user software that is not perfect, charge them monthly “support” fees and additional maintenance costs when it has to be fixed. When this revenue stream slows down, issue a new version and start the cycle again.

      Amazing the IT folks do not identify that this is the exact model Bill Gates, IT billing guru, is exporting to the vaccine racket. As of now, Covid vaccine like the yearly Flu vaccine will have to be administered over and over, constantly updated, more and more billing. And the more ineffective it is, the more the profit!

      Best software joke I ever saw was a cartoon in the New Yorker. Two well dressed IT Professionals walking contentedly along a NY street with attaches. One says to the other “Computer errors have been very good to me.” Exact description of the biz.

      Reply
  2. Eelok

    On the Cleantechnica piece about falling renewable costs vs gas-fired generation:

    It contains but does not give sufficient weight to the caveat that these optimistic projections make sense only if continued

    There are potential headwinds for the price of utility scale renewables deployed as the majority of our energy mix that don’t get enough attention. I’m thinking of this paper I read yesterday, which points out that in one scenario where most power comes from wind and solar needs for different rare earth metals and other materials are 60-400% of proven reserves. Existing extraction efficiencies and recylcling practices are not sufficient.

    Also as I’ve come to expect from these kinds of articles, they do not clarify how they treat capacity being developed and the actual capacity factor. Saying that there is 10x as much renewable capacity in development vs gas is meaningless when 1GW of wind power is only worth 30% of 1GW of gas generation. Barring spectacular (exponential) gains in battery technology, the need for baseload generation in a mainly wind and solar energy system isn’t going anywhere. I’ve been reading Vaclav Smil, and he expects battery tech to take a linear path to very modest improvements over the next several decades.

    Reply
    1. Paradan

      No one’s talking about using “gravity” or potential energy batteries. Not sure what they’re called but basically a bunch of heavy rail cars on a hillside attached by cable to a winch/generator at the top. There’s already a bunch of patents out for this stuff. Best guess as to why it’s not being suggested as a solution is that there’s no raw material to stranglehold/financialize.

      Reply
      1. Eelok

        Seems like the field is less developed than pumped-storage hydro, but the limits are probably the same. Very capital-intensive, needing to be done at a huge scale in order to make sense. Both need a specific set of geographic features to be successful, and there’d be large outlays on transmission capacity as well.

        So the requirement is massive investment from the public sector to make it work, which doesn’t line up with the idea that this is something that market can take care of on its own.

        (also I noticed the incomplete sentence in my original post. I was pointing out optimistic projections for continued falling costs on PV and wind)

        Reply
        1. Grumpy Engineer

          It’s not so much an issue of “less developed”, but rather an issue of “too expensive”. After all, the technology required to build gravity batteries has existed for 40+ years, and nobody has ever bothered to build one of any significant size. The reason is cost, plus the siting requirements you list.

          And yes, the “massive investment” thing is also an issue. We don’t do big projects any more. I live fairly close to the Bath County Pumped Storage facility, which was built over an 8-year period (starting in 1977) by Dominion Energy (a private company). It holds 22,000 MWh of energy, which is more than all of the world’s battery stations combined can hold.

          Today, such a project would never get off the ground, whether done by government or the private sector. To quote from the Atlantic article: “Distrust of institutional authority has manifested as a series of checks on power that have given many small actors the power to stop common plans, producing what Fukuyama calls a vetocracy. Power to the people has meant no power to do anything, and the result is a national NIMBYism that blocks social innovation in case after case.

          Just look at the case of the Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage facility in California. The permitting process started way back in 2008, and they haven’t even started construction.

          So what we’re left with is building dinky battery stations in the 100 MWh range. People say that “small is beautiful”, but when one realizes that we’d need a million of these stations to get to the 100+ TWh of storage necessary to keep a 100% renewable grid running through an extended period of unfavorable weather, it begins to lose appeal.

          Reply
          1. Noone from Nowheresville

            “Distrust of institutional authority has manifested as a series of checks on power that have given many small actors the power to stop common plans, producing what Fukuyama calls a vetocracy. Power to the people has meant no power to do anything, and the result is a national NIMBYism that blocks social innovation in case after case.”

            I’m fully on-board with distrust of institutional authority since things like environmental clean-up and quality of life aren’t part of their calculations but tax credits and pro-business power policies are. Corruption reigns. As far as vetocracy is concerned, it’s generally short-termism problem for business. Or a slap on the wrist fine down the road.

            So what’s the lie and what’s the truth here since the Atlantic piece is an status quo / establishment article. Who does the quoted paragraph serve? And what the heck is social innovation? Is that the new “progress” and how many more sacrifice zones should we expect?

            As far as a real energy policy is concerned think about the difference between frackers & green new dealers. The narrative is one bad and the other good. Why is that?

            Reply
            1. Grumpy Engineer

              Well, today’s situation (with “vetocracy” and “national NIMBYism” being fairly accurate descriptions) favors those who dislike change and favor the status quo.

              Now sometimes this can be a good thing. I can think of several dumb ideas that were (fortunately) blocked because of local opposition. But sometimes it can also be a bad thing. I’ve seen multiple wind and solar farms blocked because of local opposition, to the great dismay of “green new dealers”. Is this what you wanted? Because it’s happening.

              And how about lithium mining? If the Green New Deal becomes a real thing, we’re going to need a LOT of lithium. But attempts to open new lithium mines in the US are already running into opposition: https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-death-valley-lithium-mine-california-environment-20190507-story.html. Would you agree with the opposition here, or not? [Please note that the US currently imports 95% of the lithium it uses. As our lithium demand increases, will the rest of the world be willing to tear up their own back yards so we don’t have to? Is it even right for us to ask them to do so?]

              I happen to share your distrust of institutional authority (both corporate and governmental), but if we can’t make changes… Well, nothing will change.

              Reply
              1. hunkerdown

                Elon Musk coups whoever he wants and you just have to deal with it.

                His little gaffe is a pretty good indication that we need to start changing institutional authority first before asking it to work in our interests. Not all pumps are reversible.

                Reply
              2. Noone from Nowheresville

                That’s easy. I’d support opposing the mining. Why? Because none of the questions I have have been answered.

                If you want to make changes then start by cutting the fat. Private jets, military adventures, cruise ships, leisure travel, long global-supply chain lines, methane flaring, etc.

                Now ask who are all the big players in the game, what their objectives are, where / how large will the sacrifice zones be. What are the government policies supporting their efforts? what’s the government’s objective for those policies? what do the balance of payments look like?

                Once you’ve set the board. Let’s start looking at the current sacrifice zones. Real environmental costs to find, develop and exploit the resource. Are the end products recyclable? toxic waste? What about end goal objectives e.g., are electric cars the start to restricting freedom of movement? etc., etc., etc.

                When one pulls all the information together, what are the real costs, benefits and sacrifice zones of each technology? What are the byproducts e.g. PLASTICS!!! and their consequences

                I want change but not change just for someone else’s gain. The Jackpot is coming. I want to understand the real stakes and whether or not the sacrifice being asked for actually serves the stated purpose. Or if real costs in lives, environment and quality of life are simply too high. Which solutions, IF ANY, will make a noticeable difference?

                Reply
                1. fwe’zy

                  A-men!
                  Social “innovation” is a terrifying term but it is good for identifying lobbyists/ publicists fronting for things like charter schools, brownfields profiteers, and tower block boondoggles.

                  Reply
      2. Louis Fyne

        “gravity” batteries are snake oil looking for investors.

        barring some Star Trek-level revolution in material science in the near future, they’ll never store the energy needed for civilization at 3am on a windless spring night, let alone 4pm on a July windless day in the US.—unless you want to clear cut the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains to make way for the batteries and required transmission lines.

        And if we do get some Star Trek-level revolution in material sciences by 2030, gravity batteries are moot as such revolution will make fusion and superconductors ubiquitous.

        ymmv.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          1. There are other forms of civilization besides bourgeois industrial aristocracy, and nature is not obliged to support any of them.
          2. Transmission lines don’t take nearly as much space as your argument needs them to. Nor does pumped storage, a form of gravity battery with a slightly different storage medium.
          3. This childish fantasy of “getting” technology like life is a video game. If “we” (by which you mean a patent holder and the useless oligarchs) get these batteries, the rest of us aren’t likely to see them until they’re off-patent.

          This is what we mean when we say video games destroy the ability to think.

          Reply
          1. Basil Pesto

            This is what we mean when we say video games destroy the ability to think.

            sounds like a pretty………. bourgeois opinion to me

            Reply
        2. a different chris

          I see the “we can’t” brigade is out in force.

          Actually no solutions are going to work as we top 8 billion people that our betters want to tempt with an American (in debt until you die for trinkets) lifestyle. You can’t ring up that kind of debt without selling people something. Consumption consumption consumption.

          But fossil fuels (and unless we are suddenly growing uranium, it’s might as well be included) are now to the point where they have as many $$ disadvantages as anything else, even ignoring the external costs.

          >they’ll never store the energy needed for civilization at 3am on a windless spring night,

          Oh so the way we’ve lived for – generously rounding up – a century and one half, aka 0.2% of the time since Homo Sapiens actually started to talk, is the only way possible? What kind of energy do you really need on a windless spring night? What are you doing for god’s sake?

          Mozart wrote symphonies in poverty in a world where everybody looked to be in poverty compared to today. Probably more than once on a “windless spring night”.

          But Change Is Impossible. I Have Charts.

          Reply
          1. Basil Pesto

            and until mass production and various other technological developments, those symphonies were not particularly easy for ordinary people to listen to, certainly not at will.

            Reply
        3. Tom Bradford

          I’ve a gravity battery standing in my hallway that’s nearly a century old, and there are many far older.

          It’s a long-case clock. Every Sunday after breakfast I expend 30 seconds and perhaps a calorie pulling up the three weights and it rewards me with accurate time-keeping 24/7, Westminster chimes on the quarter-hour and a solid, regular, unhurried tick that’s only perturbed by the occasional earthquake we experience.

          It’s also, I’ve just realised, the only non-battery or mains-powered household device still in regular use in our house.

          Reply
      3. PlutoniumKun

        Vaclav Smil (Bill Gate’s favourite writer apparently) has been pushing hard for gas generation for years now, and refuses to admit he’s been wrong. He has also been consistently wrong over 2 decades in his predictions of solar and wind costs. His writings are Thomas Friedmanesque broad brush strokes based on arbitrary historical analogies. One thing I’ve learned when reading up on energy is to be suspicious of writers who use different metrics for assessing different energy uses and Smil is a rampant abuser of this type of analysis. Examples:

        Saying that there is 10x as much renewable capacity in development vs gas is meaningless when 1GW of wind power is only worth 30% of 1GW of gas generation.

        Nope, 1 GW of wind power is worth exactly 1GW of gas generation. 1GW of wind power capacity on a windy site will produce about one quarter to one third this amount over its operational lifetime. 1GW of gas generation capacity will produce exactly zero watts, unless you pay for gas. It will then produce 1GW of power over its lifetime, if you pay for its maximum capacity of gas for its full lifetime, and it never breaks down or needs maintenance downtime. In practice, it will give about 80-90% capacity if you never have an interruption to the supply of gas for whatever reason. And in the modern world, thats a big ‘if’. In other words, they are different, and to make any meaningful comparison of costs, reliability, resilience and environmental impact, you have to look in detail at multiple variables, and these will vary according to wind/gas availability and grid type. And thats not even looking at issues like backup and storage and the need to over provide capacity for peaks and downtime.

        And as for rare earth metals and so on – anyone would think that conventional plants don’t need them. They do – lots of them (so do IC engines). Maybe less of them than renewables, but writers like Smil aways ignore that side of the balance sheet, or at least he has in everything I’ve read on him.

        Energy projections when dealing with very different energy sources are notoriously difficult, and yes, renewables are highly problematic, and will continue to be until we embrace dramatic energy reduction strategies. But you can’t make reasonable assessments until you look at full life cycle costs (financial and environmental) and assess all options on a level playing field, and don’t start playing games with things like discount values (the favourite way the nuclear industry of trying to look viable). And to add to the complexity, the best option for grid system A may be very different for grid system B for multiple reasons.

        The simple reality is that for most grids, wind and solar are now not just viable, they are usually the cheapest options. And thats with gas at historic low prices. Nuclear simply can’t compete on cost or speed of construction (it takes 10 years or more from breaking ground to getting a nuclear plant up and running). All the major sources of future energy use have bottlenecks – in truth, for the next 3 to 4 decades we’ve little choice but to mix and match as appropriate.

        Reply
        1. UserFriendly

          Energy projections when dealing with very different energy sources are notoriously difficult, and yes, renewables are highly problematic, and will continue to be until we embrace dramatic energy reduction strategies.

          Energy reduction would be about the worst thing possible for renewables. They can only cover, at most, 80% of demand before the cost of storage and the cost of excess capacity to charge that storage becomes exponential. Reducing demand just gets us to that 80% sooner and leaves less time for all the renewables advocates to pull a unicorn out of their a$$ to cover the last 20%.

          There is a reason they don’t push energy reduction.

          Reply
            1. Yik Wong

              I’d only add the Amazon isn’t being raped because of energy needs, but the reasons for raping it are feed by energy supply growth. Promoting increasing the energy supply, rather than reduce and replace in a green manner shows how many don’t get it.

              Reply
              1. Foy

                Yep exactly Yik. GDP growth is almost an exact match for energy use growth (see the Our Finite World website). So they don’t want to see energy use fall otherwise the whole economic house of cards comes tumbling down. But it means that other resources will get used faster and faster. Catch-22

                Reply
          1. Olga

            I have hard time following the logic (if any) in this comment. “Energy reduction would be about the worst thing possible for renewables.” How do you figure? The rest makes little sense, too.

            Reply
        2. Grumpy Engineer

          You said, “1GW of wind power is worth exactly 1GW of gas generation” and “wind and solar are now not just viable, they are usually the cheapest options.”

          That’s true, but only when the wind is blowing strongly and the sun is shining brightly. During the middle of a low-wind night, both solar and wind are useless. Because of this, we must switch to alternate power generation sources (typically gas turbines fueled with fracked methane). Are these alternate sources more expensive? You bet. [Especially since the capital costs will be distributed across fewer kWh and there will be increased maintenance costs because of all the start-stop cycles.]

          But we have no choice but to pay it. If we don’t, the lights go out. So our power bills don’t shrink. Instead, they grow because the “backup power” that will actually provide the bulk of our electricity is more expensive than ever before. Gail Tverberg examined this at length here: https://ourfiniteworld.com/2016/08/31/intermittent-renewables-cant-favorably-transform-grid-electricity/. Key quote:

          Even if wind turbines and solar PV could be built at zero cost, it would not make sense to continue to add them to the electric grid in the absence of very much better and cheaper electricity storage than we have today.

          Energy storage is key. And unfortunately, we’re not planning on anywhere near enough. California, New York, and Virginia all recently passed legislation requiring the deployment of energy storage. But if you look at the numbers, you’ll find that their proposed systems will cover ~10% of electrical demand for about 3 hours. This isn’t enough to make it through a single windless night, much less an extended period of unfavorable weather (like when a slow-moving winter storm dumps a foot of snow on top of every solar panel in the state).

          Instead, the real purpose of these systems is to permit a smoother transition from solar to natural gas at sunset. Why else would energy executives be signing off on these plans? James Hansen warned of this: https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/06/26/thirty-years-later-what-needs-change-our-approach-climate-change/dUhizA5ubUSzJLJVZqv6GP/story.html. Key quote:

          Tricking the public to accept the fantasy of 100 percent renewables means that, in reality, fossil fuels reign and climate change grows

          Reply
          1. barefoot charley

            This link goes to what seems to be a static screen shot of the article headline and illustration. Googling the title led me to people linking to it back in the day, also taking me to that static page. I can’t understand this and I’m out of tin foil (and I wanna read Hanson). Anyone?

            Reply
              1. barefoot charley

                Thanks! In the link below, it’s amusing to ride the Wayback Machine straight into the same paywall.

                Reply
                1. UserFriendly

                  with Wayback, in the upper left hand side of the paywall box, it should say close, click it. You should be good to go.

                  Reply
          2. UserFriendly

            Resistance is futile. Trying to explain that the problems of renewables are insurmountable, and conversely that the problems with nuclear are, in fact, solved is like talking to a brick wall. We are well on our way to stupiding ourselves to extinction. People would much rather kill most life on the planet than consider the fact that they may have been wrong about nuclear power.

            Reply
            1. CarlH

              I still remember Fukushima. Did they release all that radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean yet? How anyone can just hand waive away the problems with nuclear energy like you appear to do here is beyond me.

              Reply
              1. Tom Bradford

                Disposal of spent nuclear fuel is also still a problem not easily waved away by the two-eyed:

                Since the 1950s, hundreds of nuclear reactors in scores of countries have been producing spent nuclear fuel – some 400,000 metric tons of it. The amount of spent fuel in storage is expected to continue to grow for decades to come.

                Spent nuclear fuel is dangerous for thousands of years, but borders change and governments rise and fall on much shorter time scales. Storage locations in one country may well find themselves in another country in the future. This poses particular challenges for safeguarding buried nuclear waste.

                https://www.stimson.org/2020/spent-nuclear-fuel-storage-and-disposal/

                Reply
                1. UserFriendly

                  Whatever will we do with all that? Oh, right, this. If we can ever get people to stop being so stupid about irrational fears, that is. So no. Much rather kill most life on earth.

                  Reply
        3. Jonhoops

          I think Bill Gates favorite guy on energy is now Donald Sadoway who is building large liquid metal batteries for grid storage. His approach is to use the most common elements on the periodic table and use large scale to drive costs down.

          https://youtu.be/BiPly5Ne4uU

          Reply
      4. Yik Wong

        There are plenty of papers and youtube videos on why potential energy batteries other than pumped storage so far are a bust: build costs, maintainability (costs again), and what happens if that immense amount of potential energy that needs storing goes awry (liability costs) pretty much doom all those patents to novelty status, or worse yet grifter tools along the line of solar roads. Besides pumped storage, flywheels have found use in UPS systems, but primarily to bridge the time to spin up stand-by gas/diesel gen sets. as to Pumped Storage, it’s the old story of location, location, location. All the good spots are just about done.

        Reply
        1. rtah100

          There’s is interesting work on placing large balloons on the seabed and inflating with air. When energy is required, they drive a turbine with the air. Same turbine tech as developed for compressed air vehicles. Safe, under water, and surprisingly effective in demo plants. Potentially handy to co-locate with offshore wind.

          Reply
          1. Yik Wong

            Compressed air either stores little energy density or it stores hell waiting to be unleashed as high pressure. Another con.

            Reply
              1. Yik Wong

                Navy Sonar disturbs ocean wildlife, and they are the authority you take that there is no downside to a energy release far larger than what any sonar rig can achieve even at the rather puny size achievable?

                I can see why the Navy would be interested in a small capacity underwater store of power, but I want to point out that if read carefully, the article is about a study, not an actual pilot project. The “proposed” pilot project would contribute output storage equivalent to 40 large wind plants, but only suitable for peak lopping over short periods of time.

                https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/10/links-10-6-2020.html#comment-3442388 “I want my MTV…”

                Reply
              1. Yik Wong

                High loss of potential energy, anyone running a trompe to make compressed air to generate electricity at industrial scale is insane. Greater efficiently of power other than at very small scale to run a hydroelectric plant to make power for a compressor. This video is more for prepers who think they can run a mining industry in a collapsed economy .

                ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (only because I don’t know how to do facepalm in unicode.)

                Reply
        1. Yik Wong

          Don’t know enough to evaluate it,
          When it’s competitive, the world will beat a path to the door of the mouse trap maker, and not before. That and waiting to see who (if anyone adopt it) is a useful tool to evaluate most technologies. The other clue is when the sales material does not list out the negatives, or puts out something even a layman sees is easily overcome. There are good reasons any process isn’t in the market, and it’s seldom the cost of a license. Beware of lists of investors, they are often like the number of Joe Biden’s college degrees, inflated.

          Reply
          1. Grumpy Engineer

            My favorite question to ask? “Where’s the pilot project?

            If there’s not an industrial-scale pilot project somewhere running the technology, then it may as well be vaporware. Technical papers and laboratory experiments don’t count.

            Reply
    2. rhodium

      The thing why these projections are somewhat irrelevant is that they create projections based on known technologies. Every few years we get a bunch of additional technologies and then the projections change. If you look at the projected renewable energy adoption rates thirty years out and compare them to a forecast just 3 years later you get an incredibly different forecast just due to the onslaught of new technology. There’s really no way of predicting exactly what breakthroughs will be made, except they keep making them, so I expect renewables will be a huge portion of our energy mix in 10-20 years. Energy storage is the biggest problem, but advances are being made here rapidly as well.

      Reply
    3. Ignacio

      Projections? The paper is more about results and current investments than projections –except in the analysis of future costs– and so far the projections of costs of renewable energy are being revised downwards. The levelised cost of energy in new wind and utility-scale PV projects is now LOWER than the operational costs of coal plants and very close to the operational costs of existing gas plants so the shift described in the paper looks poised to keep and turn even more profound.

      Besides battery technologies other investments are being considered and particularly the production of H2 from renewable sources (so called ‘green hydrogen’) is now considered one of the most promising alternatives for long-term storage of renewable energy. Up to 2019 only 250 MW of green hydrogen had been installed but current projections are that by 2025 the deployed capacity will reach 3,200 MW, a long order of magnitude increase. Many of these projects are already in the pipeline. It is expected that the cost of ‘green hydrogen’ could be competitive with ‘grey hydrogen’ from natural gas somewhere close 2030 in combination with utility-scale PV. (see here or hereand the paper linked therein).

      As investments in renewables and related technologies are increasing while fossil fuels are increasingly seeing divestments, i think it would be a safer bet to see that the trend already observed will consolidate in the future.

      Reply
    4. Odysseus

      I’ve been reading Vaclav Smil, and he expects battery tech to take a linear path to very modest improvements over the next several decades.

      Define “modest”. Because there’s ample evidence that both performance and cost are going to improve significantly. Battery costs have dropped sixfold in the last decade. We have a large number of different battery chemistries for different applications, and improvements in those chemistries are also rolling along at rates like “25% better every three years”.

      The story of cheaper batteries, from smartphones to Teslas

      New Cobalt-Free Lithium-Ion Battery Reduces Costs Without Sacrificing Performance

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        +1
        Plus the number of technologies in the pipeline is quite large. This is now a very dynamic world with lots of research and innovation ongoing. Heavy investment also.

        Reply
      2. Yik Wong

        One of the biggest challenges with batteries is going to be safety. As the amount of energy stored goes up, so does the potential for thing to “go up” when they go wrong. 1 GWH or power discharged is a lot of oomph!

        Rectifying hydrogen into hydrocarbons is a proven technology, creates a product that we’re experienced at handling. but doing it on scale is going to be a challenge. Probably the most stable way to inject carbon into the ground is turning it into a hydrocarbon, ie: reversing what the petroleum industry has been doing for 100+ years. Kind of shows the madness of burning the stuff in the first place to even contemplate it.

        Reply
    5. heresy101

      Coal will be gone in about five years and natural gas won’t be far behind. Renewable prices have changed massively in the last twenty years. In response to our Green RFP in 2003, solar responses were $225/MHh or higher. Solar without storage ranges from $20-30/MWh today and solar with storage ranges from $35-45/MWh; both are cheaper than coal. Wind and landfill gas energy were in the $50 to $60/MWh range. Needless to say we signed wind and landfill gas contracts but passed on solar at that time.

      Natural gas combined cycle plants (gas jet engine and steam turbine combination) have a problem being profitable because they need at least eight consecutive hours of running. Three years ago, Calpine closed a six year old combined cycle plant in Northern California because it was losing money even though gas prices were in the $3/mmBTU range. Other combined cycle plants have also closed. Combustion turbines (gas jet engines) are running less but still running because they can come up in ten minutes and run for a few hours. Their problem is that they have a heat rate (efficiency) that is almost twice that of a combined cycle facility. Batteries are now doing the energy shift to the evening peak as well as providing the rapid response of combustion turbines for an hour or two and also providing phase regulation.

      As floating wind turbines come on line and provide night baseload, natural gas will become more marginal. Even that dolt Boris Johnson has said “Our seas hold immense potential to power our homes and communities with low-cost green energy, and we are already leading the way in harnessing its strengths,” Johnson said, adding that every home in the country will be powered by offshore wind by 2030.
      https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/boris-johnson-doubles-uk-offshore-wind-support

      The green energy (hydrogen from non-petroleum sources) is picking up momentum and may be a real renewable resource in the future.
      https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/how-the-u.s-can-catch-up-on-a-green-hydrogen-economy

      Geothermal may pick up steam if the well drilling equipment from failed fracking operations is used to drill for steam.

      Renewables are not going to flatline but continue their march to all to be the source of all electricity production.

      Reply
      1. c_heale

        Geothermal produces a lot of hydrogen sulphide which is a potent greenhouse gas and also toxic. I know someone who works in the industry.

        Reply
        1. heresy101

          Yes, I have pictures of the truckloads of yellow H2S that is captured and hauled away and disposed at the Geysers in CA. Only miniscule amounts of H2S go into the atmosphere.

          Reply
  3. crittermom

    >(Trump campaign advisor Mercedes Schlapp) “Now, I think the president is able to, you know, talk from the heart [about] how Covid has impacted him, has impacted his family and his staff, his closest staff,”

    Hmm… Trump has a heart? I’m not convinced.

    Reply
    1. Kevin DeNardo

      Standing on the steps of the White House last night, the only thing he was missing was the “Mission Accomplished” banner

      Reply
        1. Yik Wong

          He’s not out of the woods. Anyone remember Boris Johnson and his relapse that almost killed him? He was saved by use of a heart & lung machine keeping his blood oxygenated, no highly damaging ventilator for the toff. Most hospitals don’t even have one.

          Reply
      1. rhodium

        I started to wonder about that. He’s exactly the kind of guy to pull such a stunt. How much were the doctors paid to lie and pose?

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I think it’d be easier to pull off a fake Moon landing than keep the leaky ship of fools also faux infected with him from spilling the beans, it’s what they do.

          Reply
          1. Dr. John Carpenter

            +1

            There’s no way a fake covid infection would stay under wraps, either from the people who would be willing to leak blabbing or the administration’s own inability to keep to a single story.

            Reply
            1. rowlf

              I’m holding out for unnamed government sources to come out and say Trump didn’t have covid. That’s the only way we would know he had actually been infected.

              Maybe it was novichok also?

              Reply
          2. Grumpy Engineer

            @Wukchumni: Not to mention the president himself. For all of his great many flaws, there is a certain level of honesty that comes with his catastrophic lack of impulse control. He thinks it, he blurts it. The acronym is a little dated, but with Donald Trump, WYSIWYG.

            Reply
            1. barefoot charley

              And one of his 3 magic drugs is a steroid. He’s jacked up on steroids, which make you feel great, for a while . . . Such an old fat man can’t be on them for long, I just hope he crashes on camera, if not on Twitter.

              Reply
          3. Darthbobber

            Plus, if it were a stunt it was counterproductive and could have easily been predicted to be so. Plus all the Senators, staffers, and others. Why somebody would cunningly launch a conspiracy to portray themselves as unfunny Keystone Cops is far from evident to me.

            And you’re right about the likelihood of success with such a thing. “Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead” is roughly correct, and nowhere more so than among he scorpions in a bottle who populate the administration.

            Reply
      2. rob

        I think there is a chance of this .
        If he starts getting “better”. It was an awfully convenient 3 or 4 days to be sick. No one talking about his horrible debate performance, all the sympathy from the base … the bravado it will surely supply to the, ” covid ain’t no thing ” crowd. This would be a tv stunt,… his style.
        We can only hope for confirmation of an actual illness in the next week , by a resurgence of symptoms and his timely death…. THEN we will know for sure…. maybe.

        I am not sure if I should buy those “trump defeats covid ” coins for sale at the gift shop…. maybe if he dies, they will be worth something.

        Reply
        1. crittermom

          I questioned it for a short time at first, but soon came to believe he actually contracted it.

          His reckless behavior to me is a sign he’s feeling ‘better than in 20 yrs’ due to the steroids he’s on. A ‘manic’ reaction, if you will?

          I’d like to see him being forced to ‘step down’ as *cough* ‘leader’ while being so medicated.
          Too bad we don’t have an opposing party that would even mention such action.

          I think it’s a possibility his stupid behavior to stroke his ego may very well land him in his grave…
          … which makes me envision his ‘waterfall’ hair rising from the grave & a voice from beyond saying, “But I’m not done destroying this country yet for my benefit!”

          I’ve no doubt he’ll go down in history for many things, but to me I’ll always relate to him as what I read in a recent post: ‘He’ll go down in history as the first president who was so full of sh*t the country ran out of toilet paper’.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Agree, we need a leader who is not on strong meds. That rules out Biden too. I wonder what Kamala is on? Probably weed at a minimum, she can cackle like Hilary did when she murdered the leader of Libya, laughing at the legions she incarcerated for what she admits she did herself. While we’re at it, what’s in Nancy’s medicine chest?

            Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        Completely expected behavior last night from Trump. Too many people still haven’t realized that while they might like him to be a politician, he has no interest in doing so and will continue to play ‘reality show’, with all the stunts and kayfabe that goes with it.

        From a public health standpoint, what Trump has done over the last few days has left a bit to be desired to put it mildly.

        But from the standpoint of creating a spectacle, which is what we do here in the US of [family blog]ing A, it was tremendous.

        And on that note, I’d highly recommend taking a break from the 24/7 Trump coverage and listen to that Ellsburg interview that was posted earlier. If people want to be riled up about Trump, get riled about what his administration is doing to Assange.

        Reply
  4. zagonostra

    > John Lennon at 80

    I wish I could concur with concluding sentence which only skims the surface of what has been done by the permanent State, deep or otherwise.

    Long before Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning were being castigated for blowing the whistle on the government’s war crimes and the National Security Agency’s abuse of its surveillance powers, it was Lennon who was being singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files illegally collected on his activities and associations…

    The official U.S. war against Lennon began in earnest in 1972 after rumors surfaced that Lennon planned to embark on a U.S. concert tour that would combine rock music with antiwar organizing and voter registration. Nixon, fearing Lennon’s influence on about 11 million new voters (1972 was the first year that 18-year-olds could vote), had the ex-Beatle served with deportation orders “in an effort to silence him as a voice of the peace movement.”

    Then again, the FBI has had a long history of persecuting, prosecuting and generally harassing activists, politicians, and cultural figures. Most notably among the latter are such celebrated names as folk singer Pete Seeger, painter Pablo Picasso, comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, comedian Lenny Bruce and poet Allen Ginsberg…

    …those who neutralized the likes of John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy and others go wrong is in believing that you can murder a movement with a bullet and a madman.

    https://augustafreepress.com/john-lennon-at-80-one-man-against-the-deep-state-monster/

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      >others go wrong is in believing that you can murder a movement with a bullet and a madman.

      Huh? I think they’ve pretty well proved their case at this point.

      Reply
    2. km

      “…those who neutralized the likes of John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy and others go wrong is in believing that you can murder a movement with a bullet and a madman.”

      We can argue later whether all of the aforementioned had any real intent or chance at making any fundamental change, but it doesn’t matter – it worked. Forty-odd years later, the Permanent State is still very much in charge.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Preparing for their most triumphant moment ever, coalescing to push out the guy who on the surface at least was not with the program. They demonstrated that the intelligence agencies control the government with complete impunity, with no fear whatsoever of prosecution for fabricating evidence and then using it to try to destroy one party’s candidate.

        Raise your hand if you think that’s a good thing. And for those backing The Biden, good luck getting anything The Permanent Uniparty does not want you to have. There’s a reason Biden’s transition has three R’s on it but zero Bernie people, and it’s not because they want to spend fewer trillions on foreign wars or give people actual health care.

        In 2024 maybe they can just send me an email saying which leader they selected, and I can just hit the Delete key. I can look back with fondness at a time when the people selected their leaders, and didn’t just have them rammed down their throats. What’s that sound? You choking on something? Shut up and obey, plebe, oh and don’t forget to vote LOL

        Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I dunno, we had a brief flurry with the Church Commission. You’re never going to control them completely but that does not mean you completely give up trying and just succumb, with the entire idea of a constitutional republic sinking beneath the waves without a trace. Start by letting the people, not the intelligence agencies, select the president and work on things from there.

            Reply
  5. Carla

    Re: “Exclusive: U.S. banks prepare to seize energy assets as shale boom goes bust”

    If anyone knows of any updates on this since April, pray tell !

    Reply
    1. Milton

      Not wanting to look into this further, but isn’t a majority of US shale exploitation being played on leased Gov’t land? How are the banks getting their mitts on these “assets”?

      Reply
      1. barefoot charley

        No, my elderly dad got suckered into the frac pits big time, all on private land in TX, LA and (who knew?) MS.

        Reply
  6. jackiebass

    The Article How Hatred Came To Dominate American Politics does a good job of explaining todays politics. I believe hatred of the other party became very public during the Clinton administration. From day 1 republicans were out to get Clinton. Before that it existed but wasn’t openly public. To me the hatred of Clinton confuses me because Clinton was really what used to be a moderate republican. This hatred accelerated since Clinton to what we have today. Karl Rove under Bush II really pushed this. We are at the point where it is difficult to have a rational political discussion between different political beliefs. Politics is now driven by name calling and smearing the candidate. Sadly the American public accepts this.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Besides the Southern shift,

      Republicans believed the pomp and circumstance of the White House belong to them. With Romney’s loss in 2012 to a bad President who won reelection despite anyone with his economic numbers previously losing, they reassessed, but I think they collectively believed they owned the White House after holding it for 20 of the previous 24 years. Clinton as a Democrat and non-Washington was simply a bridge too far.

      Reply
    2. Noone from Nowheresville

      Sadly Americans have their own narrative and Cognitive dissonances. Think about the term liar. I can easily apply it to the two most powerful US political figures Trump & Pelosi. Which one tells the bigger lies? What truths are they hiding behind the lies and which lies hide the truths?

      That said, David Brooks. Wow, that’s an extremely long piece. Been quite a while since I bothered with his folksy wisdom. I can see why he’s got such cultural influence among the establishment. A whole lotta words (truths to hide lies, lies to hide truths) to basically say blame ourselves and not the system.

      Reply
      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        Adding:

        A whole lotta words (truths to hide lies, lies to hide truths) to basically say blame ourselves and not the system.

        Brooks’ Truth in the article: Blame ourselves and not the system. Brooks’ Lie: No one could’ve seen where we’d end up after people controlling the policies made these purposeful policies choices. Although I suspect most would have a hard time parsing the lie. Too many distractions and misdirections in the article.

        Reply
      2. IdahoSpud

        Yeah, you have to love how Brooks gets all maudlin about loss of trust in our beloved institutions, but never really *goes there* about why that is, other than the recent killings of black guys by white cops.

        Maybe I can open up that conversation a bit more for him, on that lack of trust, since he seems so freaked out by Trump on one side and AOC on the other.

        New York Times Lying to get the US involved in the Iraq war – which Brooks supported
        Widespread pedophilia in the Catholic church – mostly not prosecuted
        Widespread financial fraud in major banks – rewarded with a taxpayer bailout under two different administrations.
        Russia! Russia! Russia!
        NAFTA, MFN for China, TPP
        Unethical human experimentation from WW2 to today
        Town hall meetings that are infomercials
        Covington Kid
        Bernie Bros
        Trump has Covid! OMG isn’t he the worst!

        I could go on, but none of the institutions peddling this deserve any measure of trust. The Weather forecaster deserves more trust on a 30 day forecast. Brooks deserves none.

        Reply
        1. Darthbobber

          Yes, a lament about the lack of trust in our venerable institutions that ignores the easily documented misbehaviour and failure of those institutions as a causal effect is a wee bit lacking.

          Reply
        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I love the surprise and shock by Brooks’ class when they see the state of the nation today. They’ve been working tirelessly for 40 years for exactly this outcome, but then are all surprised when it comes to fruition? The dog finally caught the car and got his snout firmly locked around the exhaust pipe, so I’d just say: Inhale deeply, David, and savor your triumphal moment

          Reply
    3. h2odragon

      Reagan had detractors, as did Carter and Nixon; in the era of modern media… Go back further and there were mean things said about presidential candidates and political figues back to Jefferson, Washington, and Franklin.

      But “it’s all the Republicans fault” is the only answer that can be given in public today, because thats what the tribe demands.

      Reply
    4. freebird

      I blame the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and organizations like them. The conflation of team sports with politics caught fire during those times. People honestly bought into ‘winning is the only thing’ philosophy, and any means necessary to ‘win’. Maybe some of the same folks were in the abortion movement, where they thought their goal was so noble that any tactic was okay, and God was on their side. Now it’s devolved into ‘anyone who has ever thought a liberal thought is Evil and Must be Stopped’. It’s sick and it’s growing because these people keep reinforcing their own beliefs among themselves.

      Reply
    5. Drake

      “From day 1 republicans were out to get Clinton. Before that it existed but wasn’t openly public. To me the hatred of Clinton confuses me because Clinton was really what used to be a moderate republican.”

      I think this is really the point. Clinton oriented the Democratic party into what was moderate Republican territory, pushing both the Dems and Repubs to the right. The latter hated him because he was poaching their base and radicalizing them at the same time. Dems have been pushing Repubs farther to the right ever since, and chasing them closely the whole way.

      Clinton was sort of a hybrid D/R president, though more to the R side, and imo Obama was a pure Republican, in so far as his administration was nearly a perfect continuation of the Bush admin with a mammoth Wall St bailout and a lobbyist-written healthcare plan besides. Rationally you would have expected the R’s to have considered Merrick Garland a victory for their side, but they couldn’t let the invaders of their ideological space get the credit.

      Reply
      1. Drake

        Also, I think as the two parties become more and more indistinguishable and the number of things they really disagree on continues to fall, the things they fight over to distinguish themselves become more superficial but also more violent. They agree on war, surveillance, deregulation, lower taxes, etc, so they have to really gin up the fights over abortion or gun control or social justice or whatever rank nonsense (to them — they really don’t care about any of these things, they just want us to bash each other’s heads in over them) to seem different.

        The Rs don’t want Barrett because she’s anti-abortion, they want her because she’s extraordinarily corporate-friendly and they can sell her as anti-abortion. She’s utterly perfect, for both parties.

        Reply
      2. John Anthony La Pietra

        Space . . . invaders?

        Now I’m going to have that rinky-dinky music in my head for a while . . . the same four-note theme repeating, and accelerating little by little. . . .

        Reply
    6. Dalepues

      The article only generally mentions “modern media”, ignoring the parallel rise of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News along with hate-radio. Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh are just two actors in this hate filled media.

      Reply
        1. Nakatomi Plaza

          The left-wing media is a reflection of the right-wing hate machine that started in the 1990s, but it’s badly misunderstanding the influence of Murdoch and Limbaugh to think liberal media has had remotely the same influence as conservative media.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            As evidenced by what, exactly? The three years the entire nation was held to ransom by the fabric of lies of RussiaGate? Or perhaps the bogus attempted impeachment of the president? The free pass Biden gets on the corruption subject? The complete whitewashing of his voting record? Or maybe you’re referring to the daily televised Inquisition by Democratic operatives the White House press corps?

            Reply
        2. CarlH

          I loathe MSNBC and the hooks it has in my Mother. I can’t get her to see that it is the exact mirror image of Fox News. I can no longer talk about many, many issues with her without either biting my tongue or walking away.

          Reply
    7. Dr. John Carpenter

      I always figured the Clinton hatred came from the fact that he was essentially doing the same things they wanted to do, but he got treated like a rock star and they didn’t. I also seemed to me they considered him this uncouth “Bubba” who wasn’t worthy of the dignity of the office. Maybe there’s more, but it always seemed as petty as that to me.

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        That’s it in a nutshell. They tried to remove him over the Lewinsky affair and lost two philandering Speakers of the House trying, while Slick Willie finished out his two terms and became buds with Jeffrey Epstein.

        Reply
        1. Moe Knows

          Maybe as to your conclusions, but all of this Dems v. republican, and Clinton (both), and Barry sounds all so much talking about a couple of football teams, which of course are wholly owned (the teams and us) by oligarchs. It doesn’t matter any of it. What Republicans did in 1980 was pure genius- they convinced oligarchs that they high taxes they paid were a waste of time. Why? Because the ‘poor people’ didn’t appreciate the social programs put in place to benefit them, and in many ways the people just hated them (the rich). True/false, didn’t matter it provided the excuse.

          Go ahead say to the oligarchs you don’t want there help and you hate them as well. Well, to working folk & the middle class that was it, since 1980, every day and every way people have been getting poorer. Inequality greater. I think greed feeds off itself. As does being poor. So here we are and our lives and the oligarchs couldn’t be more different. No one cares about us. And, it’s all going according to the plan, right?

          Reply
    8. Glen

      It has been INCREDIBLY EFFECTIVE at getting results. We now live in Reagan’s America, and the politics of hate and division have lead the way.

      Billionaires and Wall St elites RUN THE COUNTRY.
      Everybody else, Democratic and Republican voters argue over scraps.
      We are literally going to vote in a guy who’s promise is THAT NOTHING IS FUNDAMENTALLY GOING TO CHANGE.

      So a small prediction – you think you have it bad now? Hold on tight, the people that RUN AMERICA (and no, it’s not the people in DC) are going to squeeze the last drop of blood out of this country, and move on when it collapses. And we are collapsing as we watch. And the only way to stay on this course is for MASSIVE amounts of hate and division. And why not? It’s worked great so far for the people running the show.

      Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      I kind of thought the “maybe not yet out of woods” remark by the medical team actually meant, “definitely still deep in the heart of a dense forest”.

      The President’s “don’t be afraid of COVID/don’t let it interfere with your life” tweet angered me. I’m not on Twitter, but if I were, I would have replied “Yeah … don’t let it interfere with your lung function”

      The only way to reliably do that is to avoid becoming infected.

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Probably to his own mind, he is trying to be strong for America. To show that strength will overcome this virus. If it wasn’t entirely wrong message to send, it would be almost heroic. Sad, sad, SOB.

      Reply
      1. cocomaan

        His own doctor said in the press conference on Saturday that the worst effects of the virus are yet to come.

        This is so stupid. This is all so stupid.

        Reply
        1. YPG

          I was reading the blog of Philosopher Brian Leiter yesterday and he had this to say. Evidently, he lost his father to COVID:

          “They now acknowledge that his oxygen levels had fallen and that he needed some supplemental oxygen, but now think he can be discharged soon. This may all be true, but it also reminds me of my father’s experience with Covid last April. He was admitted April 8 but discharged about five days later, after the fever passed and his oxygen levels stabilized on a small amount of supplemental oxygen (he was 87, with underlying but stable COPD). Within a few days of discharge, things got markedly worse, and he had to be re-admitted and he ultimately died from the effects of Covid. I learned this roller-coaster pattern is not atypical: initial illness/symptoms, improvement after a few days, and then around days 7-10, relapse. Perhaps Trump will be lucky, but presumably the doctors understand the risks. If he is discharged tomorrow, say, and a week from now is still out of the hospital, then he will probably recover.”

          Reply
      2. UserFriendly

        Probably in his own mind he is tripping on dexamethasone. Some of the side effects of dexamethasone:
        https://www.rxlist.com/dexamethasone-side-effects-drug-center.htm

        Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychic disorders, vertigo.

        Reply
      3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Yes, I’d much prefer a leader who hides timidly under a bed in the basement and says it is important that we should all stay Very Fearful. Global economic collapse Endless Nanny Police State Lock Down Until A Virus That Cannot Be Eliminated Is Eliminated, great plan.

        For the Dems, it’s great to be out of power right now, it means they can cheerlead collapse and ruin and panic and defeat. Oops but if it was President Hilary up there you can believe the message would be Don’t Panic Take Hope Be Strong We Can Do This. Um, kind of like what Trump with all his faults is trying his best to do.

        I cannot wait until Teflon Joe gets installed and the narrative can magically flip 180 degrees overnight.

        Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            One party is 100% pro-business, and their current leader is an economic nationalist who believes China is our strategic rival.

            The other party is 100% pro-business, but pretends to represent the needs of Labor, which effectively keeps Labor’s demands from ever making their way to actual policy. They are globalists. Their leader thinks the rise of China has been good for America, and thinks Russia (!) is our strategic enemy that must be confronted militarily. His party believes that using the intelligence agencies to fabricate evidence in order to attempt to overturn the result of an election is simply business as usual.

            Draw your own conclusions. I have.

            Reply
            1. Drake

              Agreed. I can’t forgive the Democrats, the intelligence agencies, or the press for Russiagate, and never will. Republicans are sleazeballs in nearly every way imaginable, but they’ve never launched a coup.

              Reply
            2. Basil Pesto

              Hasn’t the broad conclusion been that Trump pretending to represent the interests of labour in flyover swing states how he won the election?

              Labelling Trump an economic nationalist, or, well, anything seems fraught given that he’s essentially protean and capricious, it seems to me. A personnel loaded with Goldman alumni (to say nothing of the nature of the entire business of the Trump Organization) doesn’t exactly scream “definitely not a globalist” to me.

              Have certain alternative media not shown evidence to demonstrate that the current administration’s actions toward Russia have been more aggressive than they have been for some time?

              Does his party not believe that using the intelligence agencies to fabricate evidence for war is A-okay?

              I can’t dispute that you have drawn your own conclusions.

              Outsider here, but I’ve always been inclined to the school of thought described by Aumua – if neither candidate deserves your vote, don’t give it to them. Indeed It seems elementary and axiomatic to me.

              Reply
        1. lyman alpha blob

          Me too.

          I’m so old I still remember this spring when the Biden campaign had mostly wrapped up the nomination, but not quite yet, and told people to get out and vote in the primary right after the CDC recommended no gatherings of more than 50 people. Covid only became really dangerous after the Dems got their preferred nominee.

          CoronaJoe has got to go. He doesn’t give a [family blog] any more than Trump does.

          Reply
          1. Dr. John Carpenter

            +1

            IIRC, there were poll workers and/or voters who traced their infection back to the primary voting. The least he could do is subject himself to the same risk he expected Democratic primary voters to face.

            Reply
            1. lyman alpha blob

              I recall the exact same thing, but it’s gone down the memory hole as far as the media is concerned.

              Reply
      1. a different chris

        Loved it.

        Ok, did they glue their hats to their heads in those days? I can barely keep my tied on mask from falling off, and one guy goes beyond horizontal and it just stays put. WTF? :D

        And I have no idea what the guy on the bike was thinking…

        Reply
    1. Maritimer

      Merde! Ces pauvres francais, ils ne savent pas comment faire des boules de neige. Au moins, ils sont experts en amour!

      Reply
  7. crittermom

    >How Reykjavik’s Sheet-Metal Homes Beat the Icelandic Winter

    I really enjoyed this article, and actually found their appearances quite charming.

    Moreover, with all the fires raging in the West currently, this especially caught my eye: “When the city experienced a major fire in 1915 that left metal-clad houses largely unharmed…”

    It seems Iceland isn’t afraid to ‘buck the norm’ and look at practicality.

    I must admit that country has impressed me (from the very little I’ve learned about it), since they prosecuted and imprisoned their banksters during ‘the great recession’. (Gawd, how I hate that term, still preferring to call it ‘the greatest Ponzi scheme in history’).

    Reply
    1. cocomaan

      It’s a fun place to visit. One thing you notice immediately is that it’s a nation of introverts. What can be reserved, is reserved. That is, there’s few things ostentatious. The adventuring in the mountains is mostly the domain of the tourists and foreign guides.

      Their attitude toward energy is really neat, with geothermal producing most of the energy. Instead of turning down the heat in your house, you open a window.

      Reply
    2. Brunches with Cats

      Barndomimium, anyone? With characteristic sheet-metal siding, “barndos” are a thing, mostly in Texas, where the trend started. They’re built largely in southern states, ostensibly due to climate, but that needn’t be a limiting factor.

      A young relative of mine went to Austin a few years ago to gain experience in a homebuilding trade and worked on some of these things. Now he’s building one in our rural area of Upstate New York, where homes built in the late-19th/early 20th century use heating oil (“updated” from coal). He’s addressing heating issues by heating the polished concrete floor — another hallmark barndo feature. And, of course, you can add insulation, double-paned windows, etc.

      https://www.architecturelab.net/what-are-barndominiums/

      The trend has grown into absurd barndo mansions, but the original idea was to have a small living space in a barn, with the rest for animals, a workshop, or large garage. Besides the practicality, there were property tax considerations, but apparently that didn’t last long. From what I’ve read, many homeowners build barndos with kits, but my young relative’s design is his own, and it’s in keeping with the original intent of basic living quarters — slightly larger than a tiny house — adjacent to a large garage/work shop for his growing business (kid made more money in five years out of high school than I earned in 40 years with a college degree, but that’s another story).

      I was particularly struck by the polished concrete floor, which was a feature in many Frank Lloyd Wright mid-century homes. The basic barndo model also parallels FLW’s “Usonian” houses, which he designed specifically to make DIY homebuilding accessible to families following WWII. FLW even designed a combination home-work model, but it was never published.

      In all my internet wandering, though, I never found anything about sheet-metal houses in Reykjavik. The things one learns on NC. Emailing the link immediately to the family innovator!

      Reply
  8. Fireship

    > After Trump, the GOP Can Still Be Saved From Itself American Conservative

    If I see an AC article linked, I click. I love the comments. Like Gore Vidal, I am excited by stupidity. Like this zinger:

    “The Democrats are destroying cities, threatening and even killing political opponents, and chomping at the bit to institute a totalitarian cultural Marxist regime stateside. All this somehow seems to have escaped Bacevich’s notice.”

    Sadly, it is only slightly more unhinged than the article itself. So many deluded fools out there.

    Reply
      1. Fireship

        We all know neoliberalism is bipartisan. What I didn’t know was that Joe Biden was the reincarnation of Mao.

        Reply
        1. Redlife2017

          If he was, I would vote for him…Some quotes from Mao:

          “Dare to think, dare to speak, dare to act”

          “In approaching a problem a Marxist should see the whole as well as the parts. A frog in a well says, “The sky is no bigger than the mouth of the well.” That is untrue, for the sky is not just the size of the mouth of the well. If it said, “A part of the sky is the size of the mouth of a well”, that would be true, for it tallies with the facts.”

          “Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.”

          “Strategically we should despise all our enemies, while tactically we should take them all seriously.”

          “Racial discrimination in the United States is a product of the colonialist and imperialist system. The contradiction between the Black masses in the United States and the U.S. ruling circles is a class contradiction. Only by overthrowing the reactionary rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and destroying the colonialist and imperialist system can the Black people in the United States win complete emancipation. The Black masses and the masses of white working people in the United States have common interests and common objectives to struggle for. Therefore, the Afro-American struggle is winning sympathy and support from increasing numbers of white working people and progressives in the United States. The struggle of the Black people in the United States is bound to merge with the American workers’ movement, and this will eventually end the criminal rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class. ”

          “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery. It cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

          I might start quoting Mao from now on…

          Reply
          1. flora

            You might check the death toll from the Great Leap Forward and the great famine first. Ideology can kill. Pretty words don’t feed anyone. (Or save houses from fraudulent foreclosures or clean up lead contaminated water.) ;)

            Reply
              1. flora

                adding, and sorry to go on. I think your comment is great satire. I’m bumbling on about this only for any who may not know the Maoist history.

                Mao could have read Clausewitz but somehow overlooked that [Clausewitz] saw history as a vital check on erudite abstractions that did not accord with experience. (above link)

                It seems likely the neoliberals in both parties are the US Maoist equivalents. / ;)

                Reply
                1. fwe’zy

                  Hello flora! I highly doubt neoliberals are plotting the rapid improvement of standards of living and life expectancy seen under Mao, outlined by a couple of Mao critics:

                  [T]he Chinese Communist Party under Mao’s helm used its centralised political authority to mobilise limited national resources and built the basic industrial and human infrastructures of a modern nation.

                  A few statistics demonstrate the significance of that period. In 1949, industrial infrastructure was negligible. Electricity availability outside small urban areas was near zero. Literacy rate was below 20 per cent. Immunisation rate was virtually non-existent and average life expectancy 41 years old.

                  On the eve of Deng’s reforms in 1979, China had built the framework of basic industrial infrastructures, though still very limited. Extensive national and local grids with about 10,000 newly built hydroelectric dams increased electricity coverage to over 60 per cent even in the poorest rural areas. Literacy rate reached an astonishing 66 per cent meaning well over 80 per cent of youth – among the highest among poor developing nations. Hundreds of millions of people were immunised, nearly 100 per cent of children at the age of one, and average life expectancy reached 65. In fact, by 1978, China’s human development index was already closing in on much richer developed nations.

                  It’s very unclear how all this could’ve been achieved without a cultural revolution to get the heck rid of ancestor worship aka feudalism, foot binding, etc. Deng’s “reforms” were for a time and place and conditions. Mao’s actions were for a different set of circumstances and exigencies. I don’t know very much about Xi, and of course COVID is complicating matters more.

                  Reply
    1. Tom Doak

      I have to admit I was taken aback this summer when I stopped for gas in mid Michigan and tge lady in front of me in the convenience store was raving to the clerk how BLM were “trained Marxists”. She was certainly no political science major, so it brought home just how much Fox News (or on the other side MSNBC), and the Internet in general, have turned average people into radical true believers.

      Reply
        1. Nakatomi Plaza

          It’s such a tragedy that linking social justice and economics is forbidden in this country. We’ve virtually scrubbed MLK’s call for economic justice from history, as though all he ever talked about was racial freedom as an abstraction distinct from daily reality. Without economic justice, there cannot be racial justice, but we’re careful to destroy anybody who dares question the conditions that prevent us from making racial progress.

          I also think anybody who cares that some members of BLM have advocated for economic justice are casual racists looking for any excuse to avoid acknowledging racism in America.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            MLK asked that people be judged not by the color of their skin but rather by the content of their character. I’m white. Do I qualify?

            Reply
        2. Alfred

          I went to https://blacklivesmatter.com/ and read everything on the homepage, and also everything on the three linked About sub-pages. I couldn’t find anything that I could identify as “marxist.” All the copy struck me as garden-variety identitarian. Could you please provide a quote or two from the BLM website that you perceive as promoting marxist beliefs?

          Reply
          1. flora

            I’ll take your comment about the blm webpages as accurate. (I haven’t checked.) How is identitarianism different from siloed and separate groupings? How does it ever find economic common cause with other ‘identites’, based as it is on ‘identity, an amorphous ideation that’s changible with the political times and leaders needs? Hutus and Tutsis for example. It alway’s works in the rich classes favor. It sounds like the perfect divide-and-conquer strategy for the 1% to use to ensure no large polity challenges the curreent neoliberal rule. (Maybe that’s the point.) My 2 cents.

            Reply
        3. Payless Poster

          Sorry I just checked and saw nothing resembling Marxism on their site.
          Marxism centers on class, something I never hear these identity based groups do.
          It’s not Marxism just because Fox News says it is.

          Reply
        4. Aumua

          Everywhere there is public discourse these days you will find alt-right / far-right rhetoric encroaching from all sides. Their propaganda is very effective.

          Reply
  9. Wukchumni

    Las Vegas Tops U.S. in Rise of Apartment Tenants Not Paying Rent Bloomberg
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sink City is trying hard to act as if everything is normal, today’s lead headline in the local fishwrap:

    Las Vegas home prices set record in ‘remarkable’ streak amid pandemic

    About the resurgence of the nationwide housing bubble, why is Fannie Mae worth a whole crummy 2 bucks a share if everything is going so swimmingly?

    It was $60 a share in 2007 when on the cusp of housing bubble #1 busting.

    Reply
    1. chris

      From the DC/MD/NoVA area, I can tell you that bankers and brokers are once again assuming things that have no basis in real estate’s reality. We just had our house appraised and based on what we knew the market to be, the comps, the rules for calculating SF, etc. we thought we got a fair appraisal and it met our needs. But the broker we were working with had assumed we would appraise for nearly $50k more than we did. It’s spreadsheets enabling madness. “According to this formula here’s what you should have appraised at…”

      I think once the coronavirus shuffle ends we’re going to have another house price collapse because there won’t be buyers for the available properties at the prices people believe the properties should be sold at.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        We tend to be house rich and cash poor as a rule, and what if you cleverly kept the housing bubble going as the $ took a swan dive, which would accentuate housing values even more, transforming every crummy tired 1957 3/2 SFH into a add hock garage majal, in the ensuing scramble to buy something with your $’s that don’t buy much in the way of imports anymore.

        Reply
    2. a different chris

      >It was $60 a share in 2007 when on the cusp of housing bubble #1 busting.

      See!!! It’s not like that housing bubble at all!! Why do you hate Amurika?

      Reply
  10. Sam Adams

    Re: Nassau County Is A Hotbed Of Fraud And We Couldn’t Be Prouder.
    Meh, Nassau is a Little pisher. Go next door to Suffolk County for real corruption, grift and political cronies, remember to stop into the Central Islip Court Complex for a real taste.

    Reply
  11. sfp

    Re: “Middle-Class Joe”:

    The article is correct, but I would imagine some of the resentment and resistance on the part of the “middle class” comes from the mismatch between the income distributions and the wealth distributions in the US. Most likely people with large incomes may feel that their relatively wealthier neighbors may be more deserving of taxation, but this is the distinction between income tax and wealth tax. Enacting a large wealth tax is even less tenable than relaxing the definition of “middle class” used by the democratic party in recent years.

    Reply
    1. QuarterBack

      My guess is that part of the reason hat Joe’s number is 400K is because he doesn’t want to alienate the Dem strongholds of California, Oregon, Washington, and New York. The mean income around Silicon Valley and the rest of the tech boom headquarters is well above the national average. The same is true in the finance sectors in NYC and northern New Jersey (let alone the political sectors of the DC Beltway Bandits).

      These regions are reliably blue but perhaps more importantly, they dominate the news and social media narratives that have been making great fortunes for people working for companies like Amazon, Google, and Gig Economy startups that are shutting down many of the companies and business models that most of the middle class depend on.

      Reply
      1. Tom Doak

        Oh absolutely, the PMC doesn’t want to pay more taxes to support all those Deplorables. Their main issue is getting their deductions back for state taxes and property taxes in NY, NJ and California.

        But the discussion is also a deepfake, because most Americans don’t think about the fact that the rich make most of their money not through earned income (subject to the higher headline tax rate), but through capital appreciation and capital gains where they’ll still pay a lower rate than the average citizen.

        Joe doesn’t really want to raise taxes at all, he just wants it to sound like he’s making the rich pay more. And they know the deal so they only pretend to object.

        Reply
    2. David

      Like a lot of similar articles, it misses the point by confusing middle class with middle income. The two are quite distinct, and the first is more about wealth than income. Classically, the middle class lived off rents and dividends, but didn’t necessarily own land as the aristocracy did. Even today, you can define the middle class as that group whose assets exceed their liabilities, (ie they own property outright, draw income from banks rather than owing money etc) whether or not they also work. Calculating a middle income doesn’t tell you very much about the actual distribution of economic power, and “tax cuts for the middle class” is at best an irrelevant slogan and at worst a dangerous one.

      Reply
      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        Middle class is in the US means I’m not one of the poors mentality for those in the working class and I’m not one of the wealthy by the merely rich. It’s a fluid smoke & mirrors category. In income / wealth distribution, the merely rich probably are the “middle.” Even the merely rich are leveraged here. They don’t have to be but many of them are.

        Agreed on the dangerous slogan bit.

        I think the article misses. Yes, we need to have class division conversation but we also need to have a real conversation about “funding” and the reality of what federal taxes are. They take money out of circulation but they don’t actually fund anything. I’d be down with a discussion like that. Not likely to happen in the mainstream in my lifetime but I live in hope.

        If only Weird Al would take Wuk up on his MMT song idea and do a 2nd take on that Money for nothing song.

        Reply
      2. hunkerdown

        To the contrary, I believe that IS the point. The casual Calvin-esque equation of income with class is meant to reify the false narrative of easy social mobility and, as always, fully extract the labor of the working class so that they have little to use against elites (including middle classes, of course).

        That’s a decent economic definition of the “middle class” petit-bourgeoisie, and a good explanation for their arrogant behavior and lack of susceptibility to social control.

        Reply
  12. Henry Moon Pie

    That’s quite a capitulation from Brooks. Along with globalism, he chucks liberalism:

    Liberalism is ill-suited for an age of precarity. It demands that we live with a lot of ambiguity, which is hard when the atmosphere already feels unsafe. Furthermore, it is thin. It offers an open-ended process of discovery when what people hunger for is justice and moral certainty. Moreover, liberalism’s niceties come to seem like a cover that oppressors use to mask and maintain their systems of oppression.

    Wow.

    And with the dream dead, he’s willing to go all Rod Dreher on us:

    The key to making decentralized pluralism work still comes down to one question: Do we have the energy to build new organizations that address our problems, the way the Brits did in the 1830s and Americans did in the 1890s? Personal trust can exist informally between two friends who rely on each other, but social trust is built within organizations in which people are bound together to do joint work, in which they struggle together long enough for trust to gradually develop, in which they develop shared understandings of what is expected of each other, in which they are enmeshed in rules and standards of behavior that keep them trustworthy when their commitments might otherwise falter. Social trust is built within the nitty-gritty work of organizational life: going to meetings, driving people places, planning events, sitting with the ailing, rejoicing with the joyous, showing up for the unfortunate. Over the past 60 years, we have given up on the Rotary Club and the American Legion and other civic organizations and replaced them with Twitter and Instagram. Ultimately, our ability to rebuild trust depends on our ability to join and stick to organizations.

    I think “decentralized pluralism” is Brooks-talk for a “let my gated community do my thing in peace and you can do yours where you live” thing. The left already had one of its own make a similar kind of offer years ago with libertarian municipalism. Sounds like a good start for negotiations. As Brooks rightly(now that’s a perilous opinion) admits, no one point of view has any hope of prevailing within what we quaintly still call the United States of America. The best hope for avoiding strife is to radically decentralize while simulaneously democratizing.

    And just one more thing. This particular Brooks piece deserves to be printed out and pinned to the wall for the day–coming very soon–when those meritocratic technocratic liberals ascend to power and tell us “I got this.”

    Reply
    1. Susan the other

      Also astonishing is the Pope’s Encyclical. Richard Murphy today posted paragraphs 168, calling it “powerful” and 169, calling it “radical”. All anti-neoliberal. Explicitly. So just amusing myself thinking how Amy Coney Barrett’s little Catholic cult will rationalize this and how will she turn her back on it, in light of her staunch neoliberal bias.

      Reply
  13. zagonostra

    >The Assange/Press Persecution

    While my guitar gently weeps…

    The New York Times…printed only two articles on the subject and has not mentioned Assange in over two weeks. Its broadcast journalism equivalent CNN, meanwhile, has not touched the issue at all…

    Silicon Valley tech giants are becoming increasingly closely intertwined with the state department, to the point where it is often difficult to tell where one ends, and another begins. “What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century…technology and cyber-security companies [like Google] will be to the twenty-first,” wrote Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen…

    Former C.I.A. chief Leon Panetta…recently admitted that Assange is being prosecuted as a warning to journalists. “All you can do is hope that you can ultimately take action against those that were involved in revealing that information so you can send a message to others not to do the same thing,” he told a German documentary crew.

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/reporters-claim-facebook-is-censoring-information-on-julian-assange-case/271773/

    Reply
    1. RMO

      “What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century…technology and cyber-security companies [like Google] will be to the twenty-first,” You mean one of the most notoriously corrupt companies ever? So bad that even by the standards of arms manufacturer’s they stood out as being particularly awful? yeah, I can buy Google being the 21st century equivalent of that.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Good thing Citizen Harris has all of the tech monopolist CEOs on speed dial (they’re the ones filling her coffers), she can march down and, like Hilary did to Wall St., tell them all to “cut it out”.

        Google’s search monopoly is far more dominant that Microsoft’s Windows OS ever was, but when you’re all in for the Permanent State Uniparty, pesky things like anti-trust laws do not apply.

        The last election. A few things are still sifting through the Twitter/Youtube/FB filters but by next round that glitch will be fixed. Q: now that it’s known it was 100% fake news, did Twitter immediately pull down all of those RussiaGate Tweets? I wonder why not?

        Reply
  14. Sailor Bud

    Climate migrants: the article gives no hint about where people are migrating to. Maybe it’s really diasporic, and there are no particular target regions, tendencies, or trends. If millions are displaced, one has to wonder how committed most of them are to staying as close as possible to their place of origin, job, wider family & friends, etc.

    I’m in a region west of the Cascades, right on the coast, which means I’m sandwiched between fires to the east and potential sea level issues to the west, but neither have adversely affected this area at all so far, save for some ashen-colored skies during the fires. RE prices have generally gone up and up, because this town is so Steinbeck-level poor that it’s affordable for home owners who want the benefits of Pac-NW living and can’t afford much else. Wondering if this will be a place of immigration or emigration now, tho.

    Reply
    1. QuarterBack

      There have been many news stories over the last year about people leaving California and moving to Texas. I can’t imagine that Texas would be your choice of destination if your primary motivation was climate sanctuary. The problem has spooked the California so much that they have enacted de facto exit taxes for CA residents that leave the state, even temporarily.

      Joe Rogan has been quite vocal about his exodus as primarily about leaving the political and economic craziness of California. I don’t remember “climate change” being on his list of reasons for moving to Texas.

      Reply
      1. chris

        There are lots of places in Texas that will weather the changing climate just fine. But making sure you have water in all those locations is the tricky part.

        I can’t imagine living in California right now. Traffic, wild fires, earthquakes, unbearable standard of living, crazy laws…head East young man! And make your fortune there :p

        Reply
      2. elissa3

        Please don’t stop in New Mexico on your way to Texas. We’re a very poor state. Usually hot, very dry, not enough mosquitos. And we have this thing called hantavirus. Also, usually a few cases of the plague (yes, THAT plague) every year.

        Reply
      3. rowlf

        The problem has spooked the California so much that they have enacted de facto exit taxes for CA residents that leave the state, even temporarily.

        I was joking with my sons about California’s push for all electric vehicles as a way to keep people from leaving the state. We live in Georgia and I asked my sons if they had ever seen a Tesla, a Leaf or any other all electric vehicle with out of state plates?

        Reply
  15. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    John Campbell has a video up named Update that examines Trump’s treatment in high detail.

    Besides the 3 listed in the President’s treatment article according to Trump’s doctor Sean Conley, he has also taken – Remdesiver, Famotidine, Melatonin, zinc, vitamin D, aspirin & statins.

    Perhaps the final 4 are those that he usually takes on a daily basis, although that is only stated in reference to the aspirin.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjfCccnmTb4

    Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “How Hatred Came To Dominate American Politics”

    Yes, they hate each other and there are all sorts of factions but it doesn’t really matter. Don’t look at who they say they are but look instead at what they do. Ever notice how when it comes time to pass an extra $60 billion for the Pentagon, confirm scores of conservative judges or even give trillions of dollars to the top 1% to make them whole, that they march in lockstep? Look at the CARES Act a coupla months ago. The whole, complete, entire Senate voted as a solid block to pass it, including al the so-called progressives. And it sailed though the House with only a sole Republican speaking out against it. Last I saw of him, he was hanging around with Ralph Nader. No. This is all Theaterspiel so that it will play better in Peoria. These party hacks don’t really hate each other. They hate their voters more.

    Reply
    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      It’s story narrative. Good v evil themes (you’re either for or against us) developed to foster nationalism, tribalism and distraction back in the olden days. Tribalism is those days might have meant more direct action / accountability in the death culture sphere. Maybe.

      So a two-headed political coin. One face is Democrat and the face Republican. Note: It’s just one coin, not two.

      These party hacks don’t really hate each other.

      It’s the Ralph the wolf and Sam the Sheep-Dog cartoon. Notice there aren’t any sheep to protect and when they are off the clock, they even seem to be friends. So very very repetitive also.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECa1toPGth4

      Reply
  17. Samuel Conner

    > Resilc: “Get a new god.” Moi: OK, but for what purpose?

    Perhaps a European film director will chronicle these 4 (or 8) years in a future film.

    Proposed title:

    Trump der Zorn Gottes

    Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “Tasmanian Devils reintroduced into Australian wild”

    Last month, Chris “Thor” Hemsworth and his wife also took part in releasing a batch of the Tasmanian Devils out near Sydney. I saw a clip about the latest bunch being released which also showed a bunch of Tasmanian devil pups which were as cute as-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FmOKVB32uU

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      It’s a good thing they aren’t native to the bible belt, as we’d never hear the end of it from the evangs until they pouted a bunch and forced them to be renamed something less imaginary & threatening.

      Cute little devils, btw

      Reply
        1. KevinD

          I suppose this release is in response to the cancer that was ravaging them not too long ago. The article mentions dingos, but I remember cancer taking a toll on the population. Great to see them making a comeback.

          Reply
  19. Carolinian

    Re Dune–by Oct 2021 there may not be any movie theaters left. I’m finally getting around to reading the book. It’s a bit dialog heavy.

    Reply
    1. chris

      I recommend the audio play of the book on audible. They had a great cast of actors for the different characters.

      If you like Dune and haven’t read much of Herbert, I can also recommend the White Plague. And if you’re into the sci-fi concepts discussed in the book a good next step would be Ringworld by Larry Niven. A great take on similar political concepts also viewed through a sci-fi lens would be the Languages of Pao by Jack Vance.

      I think everyone should read Dune because it’s a miraculous example of world building and a brilliant analysis of politics. But I’m not bullish on the other books in the story or the later series. YMMV with the aggro warrior sex nuns :p

      Reply
  20. notabanker

    After watching the Tabbai video Lambert included in the water cooler last night, I think TDS is misplaced. A more accurate moniker would be TPS, Trump Profitability Syndrome.

    Ironically, whilst listening to Tabbai, I tuned into the last 2 minutes of the CBS coverage of his return to the White House, mainly because football was starting in 2 minutes, and was treated to commentary on how Trump had manipulated the full 30 minutes of 630-7 prime time coverage of his return. As if he was the only party involved. I guess it would have been irresponsible of them to not show a helicopter sitting on the White House lawn for however many minutes they did. /s

    Reply
  21. The Rev Kev

    “Trump health official meets with doctors pushing herd immunity”

    And this is why medical science is falling into disrepute during the middle of this pandemic. These three professors were all from top institutions, namely Harvard, Oxford and Stanford. Their idea is to allow the virus to spread uncontrolled among young, healthy people while protecting older adults and those at higher risk for serious illness. Based on our experience over the past several months, we know that if they got their way, that the virus would indeed be allowed to tear loose through the general population. But we also know that no effort will be made to protect the aged or those at risk. Those groups will be thrown to the wolves for ‘the good of the economy.’

    Last time I checked, my handle is still The Rev Kev and not Professor Rev Kev but I will say this. There is another linked story on this page saying ‘Study: COVID-19 antibodies decline quickly in donated plasma’. What that tells me is that when spring comes rocking around early next year, most Americans that suffered through an infection of this virus will have no antibodies in their bloodstream when the Coronavirus calls “Round Two!” And what that means is that herd immunity is a fantasy. As these professors would surely be aware of this fact, then I can only conclude that they are proving cover for those business interests to get people back to work and school again without having to worry about giving them adequate PPE. And like how Fauci did so much damage to himself and medical science by lying about masks a coupla months ago, what will be the effect when the US government pushes herd immunity knowing that it is a lie which will become obvious in a short order of time?

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      We had this big debate yesterday about precaution versus getting back to normal but I think Clive was right that it is easy for those of us who aren’t waiters or store clerks to be dismissive about “the economy.” One of the things that is different about this pandemic is that it may be the first time that large numbers of workers can work at home via computers and still earn a salary and be protected. I don’t have any answers, but I think we should all be looking for ways to end this as soon as possible rather than vice versa for the sake of those who don’t have the work at home option. The economy is not just greedy plutocrats.

      Reply
      1. Cuibono

        More preaching of a false dichotomy.
        Meanwhile the only countries to not suffer severe economic effects are those controlling the virus

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          False dichotomy or false comparison? The United States is nothing like New Zealand. Perhaps in some fantasy world the USG could have contact traced and travel restricted and somehow kept the virus under a lid but we don’t live in that world. Once it was out and the lockdowns and closures began the economic damage was inevitable.

          The point I’m making is that those lockdowns and school closures were enabled by a technology that saved some jobs while trashing others. In the years to come we will have a debate about how sensible the US reaction was. It’s too early to draw those conclusions now.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            False dichotomy or false comparison? The United States is nothing like New Zealand.

            The old joke was that on approach to Auckland the pilot of the 747 would announce:

            “Ladies & gentlemen, please set your clocks back 20 years as we’re about to land in New Zealand.”

            I’d say the 2 countries are much more similar than not, consumer based economies with housing bubbles, lots of individual debt and they (loosely) speak the same language.

            Reply
    2. Redlife2017

      I almost cried reading that article. The part about how people can be protected through “regular testing” – holy crap. I mean, I see how well that worked in the White House where they have access to daily tests. And probably 98% of the people do not have access to daily tests.

      And then them mentioning this: “In the meantime, the government could provide housing to vulnerable people who live in multigenerational homes, where younger people may bring the virus home.” Which the government would never do. EVAH.

      I’d have more sympathy with the argument to totally let it rip, if the prophylactic aspects of the proposal were at all going to happen. They won’t so they actually just don’t care and will let people die, get long-covid or get long-term heart damage. I mean this is total sophistry.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Ah yes, the Madeleine Albright school of public policy.

        The U.N.: “An additional 38 million people worldwide are facing imminent starvation because of the economic effects of the lockdowns”.

        Chicken Little Nanny Police State Economic Collapse Fan: “it would be worth it”

        Presumably because +/- 150,000 elderly in the U.S. on track to receive their heavenly reward in the next 12 months anyway will do so from pneumonia rather than the dreaded C-word

        Reply
        1. Aumua

          So I take it you don’t think that COVID is any kind of big deal and that there is no cause for concern about anyone dying from it? That, and you’re a Trump supporter? Interesting, tell us more.

          Reply
    3. ewmayer

      But wait a minute re. the plasma story – the key word there is “donated”. A normal antibody response after exposure to a pathogen is that one’s system selects for antibodies which are most effective at latching on to fragments of the pathogen carried by antigen-presenting cells of the immune system, then ramps up production of those until (hopefully) they exceed the rate of pathogen replication, then as one’s system mops up the pathogen, the antibody production rate gets ratcheted down. One is left with an extremely low circulating level of said antibodies, *but* with a supply of memory immune cells which allow for antibody production to be ramped up much more quickly on subsequent exposures to the same pathogen, or to sufficiently similar variants thereof. So obviously the best time to donate one’s plasma is when one has more or less cleared the pathogen from one’s own system, but while the levels of circulating antibody which have enabled said clearance remain high.

      From the Wikipedia article on passive immunity:

      Artificially acquired passive immunity is a short-term immunization achieved by the transfer of antibodies, which can be administered in several forms; as human or animal blood plasma or serum, as pooled human immunoglobulin for intravenous (IVIG) or intramuscular (IG) use, as high-titer human IVIG or IG from immunized donors or from donors recovering from the disease, and as monoclonal antibodies (MAb). Passive transfer is used to prevent disease or used prophylactically in the case of immunodeficiency diseases, such as hypogammaglobulinemia.[11][12] It is also used in the treatment of several types of acute infection, and to treat poisoning.[2] Immunity derived from passive immunization lasts for a few weeks to three to four months.[13][14] There is also a potential risk for hypersensitivity reactions, and serum sickness, especially from gamma globulin of non-human origin.[8] Passive immunity provides immediate protection, but the body does not develop memory, therefore the patient is at risk of being infected by the same pathogen later unless they acquire active immunity or vaccination.[8]

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        I saw your comment below, and this is, again, very well pointed. The humoral response is quite variable when measured in time in longitudinal assays. There is a first response based on short-lived plasma cells (B-lymphocytes that are the true Ab factories) which usually produces less affinity Abs that will wane shortly after this is elicited and is usually followed by a second wave that produces longer lasting plasma cells, higher affinity Abs that might live about a year or so if we account for previous experience with MERS or SARS1.0.

        This longer lasting response is seen stronger in severe Covid cases while in milder cases might not result in large production because the virus is already cleared. Besides, there are the memory cells you mention. These will activated early in a second infection and might provide protection against new virus variants that could have aroused in the meantime.

        This is of course what we can call a standard reaction though in the population at large there will be many variations of this. The fact is that we still don’t know for how long and how protective will be the humoral response on average and with time once basal levels are reached but we should not take any conclusion from already published studies that suggest rapid waning of humoral response and loss of immunity (and are based on not-so-good immunological analyses).

        Special studies are needed to address this and a few have been done and these should go on through longer times. A couple of studies have shown that antibodies against the N protein wane quite rapidly while antibodies against the Spike protein last for at least the duration of the studies so far published (4 months or so).

        Reply
  22. zagonostra

    Wow, over 23 million views for 8 seconds of what appears to be labored breathing. If only 23 million people were paying attention to the Assange trial, ceaseless overseas military interventions, suffering of unemployed, transfer of wealth to the political/corporate ruling class, etc…this is political pathological derangement.

    Not sure democracy where the polity actually governs is possible, if it ever was.

    Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      +1

      If we as a society don’t start paying attention to the Assange trial (thank you NC for continuing to cover it!), it’s going to be a lot easier for the next president to hide the atrocities they commit. At least until one is on the receiving end of that atrocity.

      Obama didn’t face justice for droning a US teenager to death for example, but at least I know it happened and can judge the man’s character accordingly.

      Reply
      1. judy2shoes

        “Obama didn’t face justice for droning a US teenager to death for example, but at least I know it happened and can judge the man’s character accordingly.”

        Obama droned the teenager’s father first, and at some point Obama made a joke saying something to the effect that if any boys had designs on either of his daughters, “I have two words for you: predator drone.” Hahahaha! Hysterically funny…/s

        I’m never going to forget that, nor the Flint residents’ reaction to Obama’s pretending to drink the tainted water, nor Hillary’s infamous cackle over the brutal murder of Qaddafi. To say that Obama is a cruel human being is a gross understatement IMO, but then I am a “sanctimonious purist” (according to Obama) for daring to attempt to hold him to his campaign promises (“make me do it” he said).

        Reply
    2. anon

      Personally I am not surprised he is winded/short of breath after climbing stairs while recovering from CoV-2 pneumonia. The questions should be what are his resting respiratory rate (RR) and heart rate, how long does it take to recover, what is his room air oxygen saturation.

      Reply
      1. Ana

        The White House has elevators, I have been in them.

        My career was working with people with disabilities. That sort of breathing is more than labored. It indicates someone with diaphragm issues or insufficient lung capacity.

        Within the disabled community it’s called “frog breathing” and the use of neck muscles and mouthfuls of air can make the difference for someone who would otherwise need a c-pap or supplemental oxygen.

        Reply
  23. DJG

    The Pope’s Kicking Neoliberalism article. Wow. Yet it seems that many people, including many higher-level clergy and authoritarian Catholics like Newt Gingrich and Amy Coney Barrett, are studiously ignoring why the man chose Francis as his name–when they aren’t trying to undermine him. The article is brief, mainly a quotation of two radical paragraphs from the encyclical. And who was more radical than the Poverello from Assisi?

    I clicked through to a paragraph in the encyclical that runs shortly after what Murphy is quoting:
    “I would once more observe that “the financial crisis of 2007-08 provided an opportunity to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and new ways of regulating speculative financial practices and virtual wealth. But the response to the crisis did not include rethinking the outdated criteria which continue to rule the world”.[147] Indeed, it appears that the actual strategies developed worldwide in the wake of the crisis fostered greater individualism, less integration and increased freedom for the truly powerful, who always find a way to escape unscathed.”

    Pretty soon, Joe Biden is going to be running away from the Pope, just as he is running away from Bernie Sanders.

    I feel quite ironical today, as a lapsed/lapsed Catholic and occasional Buddhist, as I realize that the Bishop of Rome is one of the few people making sense these days.

    I wonder what the reaction from those oh-so-moral members of the People of Praise will be?

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      >I feel quite ironical today, as a lapsed/lapsed Catholic

      Ha gave up on them too soon, maybe? :D — my side of the family quit two generations ago, I guess the religious side (actually quite nice people) are gonna get the last laugh?

      Reply
  24. Winston Smith

    Great antidote, (snowy owls). I live near a beach with a large salt marsh and dunes. Snowy owls are often nesting on top of the dunes. Difficult to get people to leave them alone

    Reply
  25. madarka

    Well, I donated today. I’m a very occasional commenter and long time lurker (I think, 12yrs?). Thank you Yves, Lambert, and the rest of the team. NC has been a truly priceless resource, a fountain of information, and an excellent teacher. The morning always begins with your Links, the afternoon coffee accompanies Water Cooler. I hope to continue lurking for many years to come.

    Reply
  26. John Beech

    Deceptive Guardian headline. Excel didn’t cause the problem, someone exceeded the limits of the tool. Only a poor craftsman blames the tool, right?

    Reply
    1. Milton

      It’s the headlines that count, literally. All about the *PPCs you know.

      *pay per clicks

      BTW- check is in the mail.

      Reply
    2. Mel

      In the original concept, VisiCalc, SuperCalc, Quattro (if I can remember that far back), the promise was to bring computing ability to people who hadn’t studied computing. Buy your little desktop computer, install WhatsisCalc, and never fear numbers again. Tricky catches and limits and cutoffs were for assembly programmers like me — not for ordinary people.

      Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        So James Martin, Turing lecturer and author of 1982’s “Application Development Without Programmers” was wrong? Oh, horrors. If he weren’t dead, perhaps he could write a SeQueL.

        Reply
    3. John Wright

      Does Microsoft generate “Row count limit exceeded, data lost” indication on file import?

      That would seem to be a reasonable expectation for such a widely used program.

      Frequently electronic instruments and mechanical measurement devices detect overload and let the user know there is a problem.

      The account reads as if it was a data import overload issue that responsible software design could have raised a red flag to the user (tell the user they are trying to import more than 2^20 lines of data), rather than silently truncate the data.

      Why Microsoft could even detect such miss-applications and try up-sell the consumer to a more capable Microsoft tool.

      Sometimes a poor tool can share blame for poor work.

      Reply
      1. skk

        There’s no exact detail about this. theregister.co.uk, quoting the bbc details a few possibilities in more detail, one of them is :

        Then a more plausible explanation emerged: test results were automatically fetched in CSV format by PHE from various commercial testing labs, and stored in rows in an older .XLS Excel format that limited the number of rows to 65,536 per spreadsheet, rather than the one-million row limit offered by the modern .XLSX file format. Each test result, according to the BBC, took up several rows, so the real case limit was about 1,400 per sheet, and after that cutoff point, records were simply left off and not counted when imported.

        That led to results going missing, stats not being totaled up correctly, and contact-tracing alerts not going out.

        https://www.theregister.com/2020/10/05/excel_england_coronavirus_contact_error/

        Reply
      2. Laputan

        I don’t think they were importing data with 1M+ rows, I believe they were copy/pasting from .CSVs onto one spreadsheet that eventually exceeded the row. Access alerts the user of import errors, so I would expect the same from Excel.

        However it was done, if your job is to analyze data and you’re using Excel to go over hundreds of thousands of records, you’re not good at what you do.

        Reply
  27. allan

    Article III Project determined to strike in U.S.:

    Conservative judicial group assembles team of lawyers to bolster Barrett confirmation [CBS]

    The Article III Project, a conservative judicial group, is rolling out a coalition of lawyers to throw their weight behind the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as the Senate prepares to begin the confirmation process next week.

    The legal advisory board includes 14 lawyers and one legal fellow who will assist in the battle to confirm Barrett, 48, to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the high court. The group includes legal professionals with experience working in the executive branch and on Capitol Hill, as well as others in private practice. …

    a/k/a The Swamp. A 501-c-(4), so dark money.

    Reply
  28. The Rev Kev

    “Short on Money, Cities Around the World Try Making Their Own”

    If they are going to do this, then they should read up on the Wörgl experiment. They used one trick back then where that currency would lose 1% of its face value every month unless you paid for the difference with a stamp which encouraged people to spend that currency. It was so successful that the Austrian bank had it shut down and that town went back to being in poverty-

    http://www.metronomegazette.com/2013/02/the-worgl-experiment.html

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I’d try the White House experiment, and bang out as many $100 commemorative coins as possible (i’m thinking a Covid WH staff series has legs-and who wouldn’t want the ex-WH staff versions-strictly limited editions that!, along with another ensemble with Presidentisms from glorious leader) and get this country solvent again!

      Reply
  29. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ Delayed To October 1, 2021

    Dammit dammit dammit!!! It was supposed to come out in December and was the one thing I’ve been looking forward to for months. I just re-read Dune for the first time in 30 years, read the sequel for the first time and am now on the 3rd book, all so I could get up to speed before December. Boooooooooo!!!!

    Guess I’ll just have to rewatch the David Lynch version again and wonder again why with all that budget, the explosions in the final battle scene were created by someone flicking their Bic.

    Reply
    1. chuck roast

      Unforgivable weakness…amply demonstrated when actually allowing the opponent to answer a question independently posed to him by a moderator.

      Reply
  30. Laura in So Cal

    “High School Athletes and Depression” article:
    I have a teenage son, and I hear this very often now. My son has struggled with depression for the last several years and one of the consistent treatments is exercise. He has played both club soccer and now high school soccer and the daily outside exercise, exhilaration of competition, and interaction with his peers has always helped with his mental state. So kids who already had mental health issues are struggling badly and COVID shutdowns are now impacting kids who didn’t have those issues to begin with.
    This is just an adder to the issues associated with on-line school.

    Reply
    1. ShamanicFallout

      This is why continue to ask what is the true and full measure of Public Health. Is it just about the immediate issue of covid? What about stress and mental health due to lockdowns, “remote learning”, complete vaporization of jobs? The issue of suicides? What about evictions and foreclosures? Where do these people go and how does this manifest sooner or later as a Public Health issue?

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Blasphemer! Did you not know that we are re-ordering the entire society around the avoidance of one pathogen? That your pesky “side effect” deaths and dislocations and despairs are of absolutely no importance in THBTETWCBE (The Holy Battle To Eliminate That Which Cannot Be Eliminated)?

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL
          October 6, 2020 at 8:23 pm

          Or should that be

          OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL
          October 6, 1347 at 8:23 pm

          Reply
  31. Ignacio

    Study: COVID-19 antibodies decline quickly in donated plasma UPI. Consistent with other findings

    We should caution about the meaning of what is said here. The study, not linked in the article, with N = 15 is aimed at the serological analysis of plasma donors without specification of the kinds of serological analyses done. This is not about duration of immunity.

    If we think about how long will last protective immunity after infection (let’s let aside vaccination) analysis will have to be done in many subjects and for longer times. And it has to be done with better immunological assays. Simple serological analyses are not accurate. Better immunological analysis show more promising results. Here I will live links to a study in Finland (many individuals) that suggests the the humoral response against SARS CoV 2 has a duration of at least four months:

    Our results indicate that antiviral antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 did not decline within 4 months after diagnosis.

    Another study, this time in the US, (N = nearly 6,000) says basically the same as the Finnish analysis. This second study says that many other studies that show rapid waning of humoral response are detecting the usual decline of the first wave of antibodies produced (usually by short-lived plasma cells) which is often quick but they are also using assay systems that are not enough accurate and they are not doing longer term longitudinal analysis. They conclude that:

    In contrast to other reports, we conclude that immunity is durable for at least several months after SARS-CoV-2 infection

    ..

    So we really still don’t know how long lasting is the humoral response and we need more and longer-lasting immunological analysis, but it still could be that the duration is longer than 6 months or even a full year, particularly in the case of severe Covid 19.

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      Ignacio, I made a late reply-post to Rev Kev’s mention of the donated-plasma article, which is currently in moderation – a lot of people seem to be misapprehending the headline as saying something about rapid loss of acquired immunity, when it is really talking about the best time to harvest plasma from otherwise healthy post-infectees whose own antibody production will of *course* decline rapidly once they have successfully cleared the virus from their own system. A headline along the lines of “best time to harvest plasma for passive immunization” would have been much less misleading.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Even without his article, there have been others saying the same thing. That most of the antibodies do not stay in the system of a person that has had this virus so that they are vulnerable to a second infection once gain. Herd immunity without a workable vaccine is just a lazy, business approach to dealing with a pandemic that cannot work in the long run – as in not in this financial year’s quarter.

        Reply
        1. Ignacio

          ewmayer gets it right Rev, we should not take erroneous conclusions from the headline, and regarding other previous studies you mention I recommend you go to the studies i linked above that say a different thing. So far, nobody knows exactly for how long will the immune response (both humoral and cellular) will protect but Anti-SARS CoV 2 Abs usually persist for longer than some of those previous articles suggest. Some of these were done for too short time frames and without adequate immunological methods. If SARS or MERS could be considered good indicators humoral protection could well last for over a year and cellular based protection about two. This is still speculative, only time will tell us how long does it lasts on average but it is also true that nobody can say it is short lived (let’s say less than 6 months).

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            I understand what you guys are saying. I don’t mind being wrong mind you. I just hate being proven wrong! Something tells me that we won’t have a full answer to this question until springtime in the northern hemisphere to get a much better idea of the cycle of this virus. As it is, we are still only several months into this full blown pandemic and there are still things that we do not understand about the effects of this virus. Anyway, that is my answer and I am sticking to it! :)

            Reply
            1. Ignacio

              Nothing against it! You are right and we know nothing for certain about this. By the end of the year we should be having better knowledge of what protection we could expect in the first 6 months after Covid. It is like a universal Phase III trial where the ‘vaccine’ was the real virus. What worries me is if there are research groups doing the necessary studies. The results would also be relevant for vaccine development.

              Yet I recommend caution on claims about rapid humoral response waning.

              Reply
  32. Wukchumni

    You can preorder a $100 ‘Trump defeats COVID’ commemorative coin at White House Gift Shop USA Today
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Great, i’ll put it next to my ‘Titanic defeats iceberg’ commemorative coin. They’ll look perfect together.

    Reply
  33. flora

    About monopoly, congressional oversight, and MSM reporting, from Stoller:

    Reporters need to stop accepting standard partisan narratives. Big tech investigation isn’t like other areas. Start from the substance and work backwards to the politics. The report has large areas of bipartisan agreement that there is a monopoly problem and what to do about it.

    https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1313519651993923587

    Reply
  34. Henry Moon Pie

    It was especially sad to see Jenkins running around, begging money, I’m sure.

    In the old days, the Roman Catholic Church could sell indulgences to rich people scarred of suffering a little of Dante’s medicine. With an elite that laughs at the idea of hell–even most of the oh-so-pious gathered for Barrett–it’s now necessary to name a department or a building after them to pry the money loose.

    Reply
  35. John Anthony La Pietra

    RE: “Boris Johnson to unveil plan to power all UK homes with wind by 2030”

    Sorry, and I say it as shouldn’t because I’m in the US, but . . . when i saw this, the first thing I thought was: “What, personally?”

    Reply
  36. Foy

    Re ‘How to live with COVID? Case study tweet’

    I went and read the study in the link, it doesn’t seem to say what Dr Faheem Younus says. Here is the key paragraph:

    “She experienced nasal congestion 2 days later, her only symptom. That same day, she, her parents, and two brothers traveled to a gathering with 15 other relatives, which began the following day. Attendees belonged to five households in four states and ranged in age from 9 to 72 years. Fourteen relatives, including the index patient, stayed in a five-bedroom, two-bathroom house for 8–25 days. These relatives did not wear face masks or practice physical distancing. An additional six relatives (an aunt, an uncle, and four cousins) visited for 10 hours on day 3 and 3 hours on day 10, when six overnight attendees were potentially infectious, but maintained physical distance and remained outdoors; none wore face masks….None of the six relatives who remained outdoors and maintained physical distance developed symptoms”

    So the six people who didn’t get infected visited for 10 hours on one day and 3 hours on another (that’s all), and they stayed outside the whole time. And they didn’t wear masks. Or have I read this wrong?

    I wouldn’t call this living together. All it appears to show is that it is hard to catch the virus outside, even if not wearing a mask. It is very transmissible indoors, which we know.

    Reply
  37. Derek

    Please don’t judge me for not reading past the first paragraph, but David Brooks penning a piece highlighting ~60 year periodic moral convulsions in American society skipping right over the Civil War was just too much too bear.

    Reply

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