Links 12/23/2020

Thai man revives baby elephant with CPR after motorbike accident BBC (resilc)

He’s the deer of the year’: Carrot on way to recovery after arrow pulled from head Guardian. Resilc: “But nobody gives a shit about starving people in Yemen…”

Macron’s dog Nemo in video plea to be kind to pets BBC

Revealed: Nasa killed all 27 monkeys held at research center on single day in 2019 Guardian (David L) :-(

Mummified wolf pup dating back 57,000 years with its head, tail, fur paws and teeth perfectly preserved by permafrost is unearthed in Canada Daily Mail (Kevin W)

Son shoots family dogs, then he and his dad kill each other, Alabama police say Ledger-Enquirer

Stunning unseen footage reveals The Beatles as never before New York Post (David L)

Giant iceberg A68a shatters into large fragments BBC (resilc)

A new iron-based catalyst converts carbon dioxide into jet fuel Science News

‘Forever chemicals’ pollute water from Alaska to Florida Guardian (David L)

All you need to know to understand 5G Sabine Hossenfelder, YouTube (UserFriendly). I’ve only gotten a few minutes in, but it looks to be very good.

Humans Used to Be Able to Hibernate, Evidence Suggests Popular Mechanics (resilc)


Coronavirus spreads to Antarctic research station BBC (resilc)


BioNTech Says COVID Vaccine ‘Highly Likely’ to Work Against New UK Strain Vice (resilc)

Masks not enough to stop COVID-19’s spread without distancing: study American Institute of Physics (resilc)

How COVID-19 Hollowed Out a Generation of Young Black Men ProPublica. The partner of one of our aides has three relatives who have died of Covid, all under 40.

Covid patients plagued by symptoms months after infection, Australian study shows Guardian

COVID-19 Anticoagulation Trials ‘Paused’ for Futility, Safety Medscape (JTM)

Coronavirus cases recorded in Antarctica at Chilean research station (Kevin W)


Philippines Suspends U.K. Flights Dec. 24-31 on New Virus Strain Bloomberg


US deaths in 2020 top 3 million, by far most ever counted Associated Press (Kevin C). Biggest percentage increase since 1918.

New Virus Strain Could Be in U.S.; Fauci Gets Shot Bloomberg

As pandemic surges, California hospitals move to ration care WSWS

Why It’s So Hard to Keep California’s Hospitals Staffed New York Times (Kevin W)

Probe: Trump officials attacked CDC virus reports Associated Press

3 Men Allegedly Shot Up a Strip Club with AK-47s Over COVID Restrictions Vice (resilc)

How the school reopening debate is tearing Brookline, Massachusetts, apart. Slate


‘Let them eat cake’ trends in response to ‘meagre’ $600 Covid cheque Independent (resilc)

Some might not receive a $600 stimulus check this time around. Here’s why CNBC (furzy)

Biden’s Austerity Zealotry Cut The Stimulus Bill In Half David Sirota

Trump Asks Congress to Amend Covid-19 Package, Boost Direct Payments Wall Street Journal

Exposed: The 7 Most Shocking Things In the 5,593 Page Stimulus Bill New Civil Rights Movement (furzy)

Read the full text of the covid-19 economic relief bill Washington Post (furzy)

Wolff Responds: Congress’ Shameful Relief Bill YouTube (Kevin C)

Arizona charter school Primavera gets PPP loan, gives $10M to investor USA Today

$50-per-month emergency broadband subsidies approved in pandemic stimulus ars technica (resilc)


China caught between a moon rock and a hard place Asia Times (Kevin W)

After 11 Years, Australia Declares Its National Broadband Network Is ‘Built and Fully Operational’ The Register. 11 years??? I recall this as an initiative when I was in Sydney, 2002 to 2004.


Please read the entire tweetstorm. Later entries in the thread less encouraging than the earlier ones. Short version is there are serious sticking points in addition to fish.

Note limited sources and areas of progress cited fewer than the ones at issue per Connelly. Good intel, fog of negotiations, or gaslighting?


US considering legal immunity for Saudi crown prince in alleged assassination plot Middle East Eye (Kevin W). Hoo boy.

Germany to Iran: Don’t waste chance for rapprochement with U.S Reuters (resilc)

Israeli Government Collapses, Forcing 4th Election in 2 Years New York Times (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Some UK Stores Are Using Facial Recognition to Track Shoppers Wired

France Bans Use of Drones To Police Protests In Paris BBC

New York Halts Use of Facial Recognition in Schools

Cellebrite’s New Solution for Decrypting the Signal App WayBack Machine(David L)

From dk:

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Navy Wants to Recruit 450 Warrant Officers to Fly Its New MQ-25 Tanker Drones

Pistachio Tycoon Picks a Fight With the U.S. Navy Bloomberg (Kevin W)

Trump Transition

Trump Pardons Two Russia Inquiry Figures and Blackwater Guards New York Times (furzy). Contrast with WSJ headline: Trump Issues 15 Pardons and Five Commutations

London Breed: Alex Padilla’s Senate appointment ‘unfortunate’ and a ‘real blow’ SFGate. Agreed, but for different reasons. We followed Padilla’s stance on election integrity compared to his predecessor and it was poor.

NRA urges Americans to wrap guns for under the tree this Christmas Independent

The fading light of liberal democracy Martin Wolf, Financial Times (David L)

Calpers Seeking an Investment Chief With Staying Power Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

How Amazon Wins: By Steamrolling Rivals and Partners Wall Street Journal

New Trump rule could cost waiters more than $700 million in lost wages, allowing employers to take more of their tips to pay other workers Business Insider (Kevin W)

U.S. sues Walmart, accusing it of fueling opioid crisis NBC (furzy)

Walmart contributed to the prescription opioid crisis for years, breaking the law, the Justice Department alleges CNN

Antidote du jour:

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. zagonostra

    >Biden’s Austerity Zealotry Cut The Stimulus Bill In Half – David Sirota

    Conclusion from DS’s article”

    If progressive advocacy groups, activists and lawmakers do not call out and confront austerity politics head on, it is going to be a painful four years. They’ve been warned about Biden’s ideology for a long time — the stimulus bill is the biggest warning of all.

    Some political philosophy about “advocacy groups” “activist” and confrontation from Gaetano Mosca.

    Now the masses are stirred only at times of great spiritual unrest caused by events which governments either cannot avoid or fail to avoid. Such unrest cannot be created, it can only be exploited, by revolutionary societies. The disappointment of some great hope, a sudden economic depression, a defeat suffered by a nation’s army,… incidents that are well calculated to excite a multitude, provided it has previously been prepared for the shock by a revolutionary propaganda. If the rebellious group has developed a permanent organization and knows how to take advantage of such a moment, it can hope for success; but if it rushes into action without any support from exceptional circumstances, it is unfailingly and easily crushed, [pg 220)

    [T]he danger in broad based suffrage is not so much that if proletarians get the right to drop their ballots into a box their genuine representatives may come to be in the majority…, as many fear or hope. After all, whatever the election system, control will always remain with the more influential classes, rather than with the more numerous classes.

    Political power never has been, and never will be, founded upon the explicit consent of majorities. It always has been, and it always will be, exercised by organized minorities, which have had, and will have, the means, varying as the times vary, to impose their supremacy on the multitudes.

    1. cocomaan

      Biden’s “austerity” apparently includes billions in foreign aid to countries that give us very little to nothing in return, or are even are threats to our security and well-being. It gives plenty of money to various industries that are favored.

      Apparently keeping copyright trolls happy was absolutely critical to the functioning of the country.

      That bill was an absolute toxic waste dump of the legislative process.

      1. Young

        Is it only me, I wonder, that I want to puke every time when I see millions ( or billions ) and a foreign country in the same sentence in this bill.

        Then, I realized. The American people are cheap. They are for sale $600 a piece.

        Not enough for even a decent iPhone.

    2. zagonostra

      Link referenced in the Sirota article and written by Lee Fang of the Intercept

      If this wasn’t so sick, it would be amusing for the sheer chutzpah and disdain shown to the plebs.

      In a flurry of last-minute legislating over coronavirus relief, congressional leaders abandoned hazard pay for essential workers and emergency funding for local governments that may be on the brink of municipal bankruptcy.

      But lawmakers did find funding to dramatically increase the budget for the exclusive government-run health clinic that serves Congress.

      The Office of Attending Physician, which provides medical services to lawmakers, received a special boost of $5 million, more than doubling its annual budget, which is currently around $4.27 million.

      1. edmondo

        Why should AOC have to wait for a covid shot? She’s definitely high risk being almost 30. It didn’t take her long to realize that a fat paycheck is a wonderful thing.

          1. Aumua

            Come now, it’s obviously some selfish horrible reason that she got the shot already, and not because she has to or because she is setting an example. Because Jimmy Dore said AOC is a selfish horrible person, and you know it must be true because he yelled it so loud.

    3. DJG

      zagonostra: Whoa. Are you telling me that the tactic “elect and empower him first and then we’ll push him to the left” doesn’t work? On the guy who kept trumpeting that he defeated the socialist?

      Heck, I’m so old that I remember when the Hillaryites of 2015 and 2016 were yammering about Incremental Change. (Curiously, I recall this coming mainly from upper-middle-class careerist white women.)

      But don’t worry, the liberals and Democrats will soon trot out their evergreen admonition: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good!

      Funny how all of this sloganizing has led us collectively into the Slough of Despond.

      1. The Historian

        If anyone voted for Biden because they thought they could push him ‘to the left’, they were out of their minds. Neoliberals do not allow themselves to be ‘pushed to the left’.

        But now that he will be President and all that ‘divide and conquer’ chaos of the Trump Administration will be going away, perhaps people will finally be able to concentrate on what is truly important – how the neoliberal economy is destroying this country. I am sure Biden will make that very clear every day.

        And just maybe, and it is a very weak maybe, people will finally decide to do something about it.

        1. anon in so cal

          “the ‘divide and conquer’ chaos of the Trump administration will be going away…..”

          Democrats’ neoliberal strategy of ID politics is divide and conquer.

          Separately, anyone notice the increase in H2B Visas in the omnibus bill—more cheap gardeners, house remodeling, food—for the PMC—at the expense of the working class….

          1. JBird4049

            An increase of effectively serf tech workers to replace even more Americans from their few remaining decently paying jobs. How… I don’t know… callously greedy seems to be the appropriate description. Many of the Americans threatened are either libertarians or blue state Democrats which means that they were thrown under the bus before Biden has even been sworn in.

        2. km

          “We’ll hold his feet to the fire!” is one of those lies people tell themselves to rationalize doing what they want to do, even though they know better.

      2. marym

        Does anyone see signs that pushback from the left against Lucy+football, incremental, etc. neoliberal excuses is getting off to a better, more visible start than in previous iterations?

        1. The Historian

          I think we need to give it time. This $600 stimulus ‘gift’ is certainly not making anyone happy in this country. I think Richard Wolff nailed the reasons why in his video.

              1. zagonostra

                Sirota went on the TYT network and did an interview with Cenk the other day. Cenk was called out by JD for initially coming out in support of his proposal and then doing a 180 after his donors pulled the leash.

                On that TYT interview, you’ll see that Cenk’s own audience is overwhelming against his and Sirota’s account of the Forcethevote initiative. I’ve never seen the thumbs up/down so overwhelmingly against the show’s host. Terrible interview Sirota is better than that. Like the article above on the stimulus package, he does good work. It’s just unfortunate that he let his pride get the better of him on this one.

                The way that JD get’s under some people’s skin, I have the same reaction in spades when I hear/see Cenk. If your curious, link below, probably not worth your time unless it’s to see how he got “ratio’d.”


                1. Aumua

                  Yeah you might as well just say “the Biden corporate” or some such thing I mean it truly is a blob. I doubt Biden himself is going to making that much policy.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              Pelosi clearly feels the heat — she is suddenly pretending she’s always been ready to take Trump up on his offer to support $2,000 survival checks, even though prior to about an hour ago, she had never tried to triangulate Trump against McConnell on the issue. Earlier this month, she supported a deal that did not include checks at all, and just yesterday she insisted that $600 checks were “significant.”

              So Trump shows the squad how it’s done. Who would be willing to vote against it now that Trump has taken himself out of the equation? I predict we are about to learn of another arcane, obscure congressional “rule” that ties the speaker’s hands and prevents a floor vote that put’s every “representative” on the record.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                Help me.

                Trump has more power than the Squad. He can veto the bill. Their votes against it aren’t enough to mean squat.

                And I don’t buy the “withhold votes from Pelosi in the next session” strategy. That has zero impact on this bill. I doubt Pelosi is at all worried. And on top of that, none of the political armchair quarterbacks have named an alternative for Speaker. The Dems now have explicit pay to play rules regarding getting committee appointments and the Speakership. No one is even on the list unless they kick in stipulated amounts of cash to the party machine (see: And I suspect there are procedural gambits they have missed too.

                1. Glen


                  I had totally forgotten about Tom Ferguson’s article.

                  Would it even BE LEGAL for any other organization to decide roles in that fashion? Looks like a discrimination or corruption lawsuit to me.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            I’ve given it a few decades already. How long are you willing to wait?

            Voting doesn’t change anything – let me know when it’s time to bust out the agricultural implements.

          2. marym

            The discussion about force the vote is part of what got me thinking about whether there was some energy for putting the opportunists who signed on as sponsors and the old-school useless progressive caucus in the spotlight more than in the past.

            There’s been a M4A bill introduced in the House every year since 2003; and in some years a few versions of his own by Sanders in the Senate. There’s never been a vote or a push for a vote.

            I don’t expect anything worthwhile from elected Dems, or some supposedly “populist but not racist” version of Republicans. Giving them time won’t change them. However, giving them less room to hide from their failures, and fewer loyalists to make excuses for them may be useful to a broader movement for change (if there is one).

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Germany to Iran: Don’t waste chance for rapprochement with U.S.”

    But is Iran listening to Germany anymore? In international affairs Germany has not been covering itself with glory the past few years. The most recent example is in the UN. Germany’s UN envoy has just finished a two year stint as head of the UN Security Council and the Chinese UN envoy told him “Out of the bottom of my heart: Good riddance, ambassador Heusgen.” Russian Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitri Polyansky had a go at him too for Germany’s “hypocritical behavior” and in no uncertain terms stated that “we will not miss you” as Russia has been defending Syria and calling BS on the bogus OPCW charges of gas attacks that Heusgen was pushing. Add to that the German sanctions for the Navalny “affair” on Russia and I am not sure that Merkel’s Germany is in much of a position to advise countries like Iran anymore-

    1. km

      Translation from Diplomat to English: “Don’t waste your chance!” means “just agree to whatever outrageous demands the American overlords make of you and ask for nothing in return as if you had done something wrong and the Americans were kind enough to offer a conditional forgiveness.”

    2. Ander

      For all that Germany has done to tarnish their international reputation, I do believe that Iran will move back to the nuclear deal if they’re courted. It would be tremendously popular among the Iranian middle class, and vital to their economy as a whole. Then again, they were stabbed in the back last time they tried the deal and then they had a favorite general murdered, so we’ll see if they’re willing to come to the table at all

      1. Procopius

        I don’t believe Iran is going to resume full compliance with the JCPOA (which they have never left) unless America lifts all its illegal sanctions (some of which seem to be war crimes). I believe, although I don’t have a link, that Biden has already said he is not going to do that. I’ll bet he’s not going to move to restore any of the anti-nuclear treaties Trump has withdrawn from, either, because that would mean dealing with Russia in good faith, which the Democrats will never do.

  3. dougie

    One of my undesirable traits is that I never forget an insult. But I am usually pretty good about ignoring them…. A few weeks back, I commented about the fact that my business took a first round PPP loan, and that at that time, IRS guidance made the amount of the loan (even if forgiven) taxable to me, through my S Corp. In short, the gubmint was going to tax me for having accepted their loan.

    Someone, and I forget who, commented that I did not know what I was talking about.

    In the current (unsigned) bill, they finally remedied that. Here is what I received from my industry group’s fancy pants New York CPA last night. So, to whomever you were, MERRY Christmas, but apparently, I DID know what I was talking about.

    New Stimulus Bill Includes Second Round of PPP Loans for Small Business and Forgiveness Rule Changes Favorable to Borrowers

    Second Draw PPP Loans

    The most significant development in the legislation for small businesses is a second round of PPP loans. The new legislation allocates around $284 billion and refers to the new loans as second draw loans. The loan limit is $2 million, and the amount a small business will qualify for is determined by taking their average monthly payroll in 2019 and multiplying it by 2.5. In other words, the second round of PPP loans is meant to fund 2.5 months of payroll expenses. The bill has a special calculation for restaurants and food businesses and provides those businesses a larger loan amount of 3.5 months of average monthly payroll. So, for example, if you had an average monthly payroll in 2019 of $100,000, then your small business would qualify for $250,000. If you were a restaurant or other qualifying food business, then you would qualify for $350,000.

    To qualify:

    To qualify for a second draw PPP loan, a small business must have 300 employees or less, down from the original 500 employee maximum in the first round. And a small business must have already used or plan to use their original PPP funding. Similar to the original PPP loan program, the small business can use the loan proceeds over a period of 24 weeks and can use the funds for payroll, rent and mortgage expenses. The bill also adds some new expenses to the list of “qualifying expenses.” These new qualifying expenses include operating expenses, workplace protection costs to protect employees from Covid and covered property damage.

    25% Loss of Revenue Required to Qualify

    To qualify for a second draw loan, a small business must certify that they have had a loss of revenue of 25% or greater. This criterion is drastically different from the original qualification rules for PPP, which simply required the small business to state that economic uncertainty made the PPP loan necessary. Under the 25% loss-of-revenue test, the small business will compare their 2020 quarterly revenue (aka, gross receipts) against their 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of revenue in 2019. In order to qualify for a second draw PPP loan, a borrower must be able to show a loss in revenue of 25% or more from at least one quarter of 2020 as compared to that same quarter in 2019.

    Second Draw Loans Eligible for Forgiveness Under 60% Payroll Rule

    The second draw loans are forgivable but must be spent 60% on payroll costs. Since the loan amount is based on 2.5 months of average payroll, which is 10-11 weeks, and since the small business can use the funds over a 24-week period, it seems very likely that most small businesses will be able to use 60% of the PPP funds on payroll costs.

    Original and Second Draw PPP Loans Will Not be Taxable When Forgiven

    The new legislation provides that forgiven PPP loans will not be taxable to the small-business borrower. This applies to all existing PPP loans under the original CARES Act as well as the new second draw PPP loans. Prior to the legislation, the IRS had issued guidance to small businesses saying that PPP borrowers could not expense their wages and other qualifying costs that they used their PPP funds on if they ended up getting their PPP loan forgiven. By denying the deduction, the IRS was effectively taxing the small business for its PPP loan. This position seemed contrary to what Congress intended with the CARES Act and the original PPP legislation back in March, but it literally took an act of Congress here to correct the interpretation from the IRS. The good news for small businesses is that borrowers can have their PPP loan forgiven and they will still be able to deduct their payroll and other qualifying expenses that they used their PPP funds on.

    The legislation also states that emergency EIDL Grants and Advances, which are considered forgiven and, in most instances, do not need to be re-paid, are also not taxable to the small business borrower.

    Loans of Less than $150,000 Will Get Simplified Forgiveness Application

    The legislation mandates the SBA to create a simplified PPP forgiveness application for small businesses whose PPP loans were less than $150,000. The simplified application must fit on one page and will include loan information as well as a certification from the business owner that the funds were used properly and are eligible for forgiveness, but will not include calculations or other additional information. The SBA already has a simplified one-page PPP forgiveness application for borrowers of $50,000 or less. It is likely that the SBA will utilize a similar application for borrowers with loans of less than $150,000. See my prior article on the simplified forgiveness application here.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I need to turn in, but Larry Summers on Twitter said the latest bill (>5000 pages!) makes expenses made with PPP loans deductible, so they might have tried to fix that mess with the new bill.

    2. chris wardell

      Maya Angelou // “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

      1. dougie

        It’s hard to stay “schooled up” when the rules keep changing! It looks like they finally got it right, this time.

      1. dougie

        I can only speak for my situation. We got rid of a couple of “problem children”, and replaced them with new people. As long as we spent the specified percentage on payroll, they did not do a deep dive into the particulars. If you didn’t , the loan was not forgiven, and it had to be repaid.

  4. timbers

    Why It’s So Hard to Keep California’s Hospitals Staffed New York Times (Kevin W)

    Maybe Biden and Dems can get Ursula Burns on this labor shortage thing in California hospitals. She might be able to make a difference, being almost officially on record in support of child slave labor with experience at Nestle and other slave labor using corporations, and since the new stimulus bill written by lobbyists includes expansion/continuation of unlimited importations of cheap labor, maybe she can come up with a plan to flood hospitals if not with child slaves than at least cheap imported labor.

    Granted we don’t yet know all of what the lobbyists put into the new stimulus bill, but that’s a small price to pay for Congress outsourcing it’s role as legislators to corporate lobbyists.

    1. edmondo

      It will be easier to keep the hospitals staffed once California repeals the 13th Amendment- the so-called anti-workers Amendment. Did employers have any problems finding workers before the abolished slavery? NO! This new idea -sponsored by Uber and Lyft – will try and turn back the clock on anti-business attitudes by making sure that there are adequate labor supplies to make America competitive again.
      Does anyone realize how much this liberal anti-slavery position has cost American business? We need to get on-board and make sure and make sure Bezos gets to be a trillionaire in our lifetime.

      Why doesn’t Biden just make Jeff the Sectetary of Labor and admit he doesn’t give a flying ….

      1. Procopius

        Wait, … what?

        Did employers have any problems finding workers before the abolished slavery? NO!

        They certainly did. After the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807 the price of slaves rose pretty rapidly. Slavery was still legal, buying and selling slaves was still legal, but there weren’t enough of them to fill the need. Besides the replacement price of replacing them, masters had to improve food and working conditions enough so their slaves would be able to bear children, and then feed the children without getting any return until they were old enough to work — five or six years. On the up side the children could be sold at better prices than before. /s

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      California has plenty of low cost human capital in their prisons. They just need to create a special certification category enabling trustees to work as nurses.

    3. Synoia

      We had a tenant who was a Kaiser Permanent employee.

      Form what she said, Kaiser is a very harsh employer.

      From what I saw in their call centers, they appeared very harsh on their staff.

    1. timbers

      So the ACA has failed (rising death rates shortly after it took affect) and Medicare4All would save us $650 billion and 100,000 lives a year.

      Wonder why no one runs for Congress or the White House on those facts?

      1. CitizenSissy

        Because, unfortunately, the facts would fall on deaf ears. Socialism and that, after all; the myth of American exceptionalism dies hard. Hoping for a lowered Medicare eligibility age to move the needle.

        1. timbers

          Don’t agree Sanders did because he implicitlty accepted media false claim it would increase cost when it actually would reduce it. He handled that part so badly whenever I saw him respond to cost questions and he even included a tax increase. And also he didn’t point out problem with ACA, but that part I understand – didn’t want to antaganize O voters.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Didn’t want to antagonize O voters? [Family blog] yeah! I saw this in person back in 2016.

            I was at Sanders’ second Tucson rally, this one at our city’s convention center right before the March Democratic primary. In a truly baffling moment, I saw Bernie shouting out Obama for restoring our nation’s economy after GWB made such a mess of things. The crowd went wild.

            Me? I was leaning against the media riser, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing.

            Under Obama my life got a LOT worse. I went from owning a successful business to living in poverty. And I wasn’t the only one.

            While the convention center was rocking with applause for the exalted Obama, I offered the slow clap. A very slow clap.

            I left the rally a short time later. And, no, it wasn’t over.

            1. Donald

              Obama’s greatest influence on American politics was convincing liberals they had to oppose single payer because pushing for it was an implicit criticism of the ACA.

              They might oppose it anyway out of class interest or something, but loyalty to Obama and his legacy plays a role. People of this sort absolutely love to posture as political realists even as they make significant change as hard as possible.

              It was the same on foreign policy. I think there had to be a decent interval to make Yemen Trump’s war before most Democrats would turn against it. I personally argued with people in 2016 who saw any mention of Yemen as an attack on Obama and reflexively came to his defense.

                1. Katniss Everdeen

                  Gotta admit he was “charming,” in that Ted Bundy sorta way.

                  But make no mistake, that racism card was always at the ready should his fulsome “charm” fail to carry the day, as both his supporters and detractors were acutely aware.

                  It was idpol before the idiot biden exposed idpol as pure, unadulterated tokenism.

            2. Aumua

              Well that sucks. I’m glad I didn’t go. I went to his first rally in the park in 2016 and it was great. The energy was awesome and his speech was on point.

              1. Arizona Slim

                Aumua, I was at the Reid Park rally back in October 2015. Matter of fact, I was an event volunteer. My job was to guide media types from one checkpoint to another.

                The atmosphere that evening was electric. Never had I experienced anything like it at a Tucson political event.

                I talked to people who had driven in from Bisbee, Arizona, which is 100 miles from Tucson, and Farmington, New Mexico, which is 300 miles away. After Bernie’s Tucson rally the Farmington people were planning to go up to Vegas for the first Democratic debate.

                Oh, one more thing. Remember the people who climbed trees so they could see Bernie? They really were that dedicated back then.

      1. Tinky

        Also age. From 2014-19, the 65+ group increased by roughly 2%, or six million. That’s a lot of people with increased risk of dying.

    2. Lex

      And while I was at it, I looked at the birthrate this morning, projected at .09% for 2020, or 2.9 million. But I have to think quite a few prospective moms and dads decided to put off having a child (or another) for another year.

  5. Richard H Caldwell

    RE: A new iron-based catalyst converts carbon dioxide into jet fuel
    A copy of my feedback to the article’s author —

    Ms. Temming –

    A promising and pleasant headline. A short tale of promising basic research. So far, so good.

    But what about the jet fuel in your headline? How exciting — jet fuel from “thin air”, right? Where’s the part of the story that explains where the necessary hydrogen comes from? Any data to include on the likely net energy efficiency of such a conversion at 300º celsius? Does it consume more process energy over the 24-48 hour catalysis than it generates in hydocarbon precursors? Can it likely be scaled up to production volumes? Oh, wait — hydrocarbon precursors… Huh. How do those precursors become actual, usable jet fuel? Huh again…

    These are some of the questions prompted by your article’s headline that went unanswered. I wish I could get excited about the jet fuel from thin air thing, but find I can’t. Maybe a less-jazzy headline would have been more honest. I know, the editors, the editors…

    Your article reads like a happy-talk press release from someone or someones in the aviation / travel / petrochemical industrial complex. “Wait, we’re making jet fuel from carbon dioxide, don’t kill us!” It reminds me of the infamous recipe for stone soup…

    1. John A

      “It reminds me of the infamous recipe for stone soup…”

      Never heard of this soup, but does it start with
      ‘First squeeze the blood out of your stone’?

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          It is one of my favorites too. I have toyed with the idea of trying to make it into a play for a community gathering where hot food is shared. It might work as as play for elementary school? Perhaps a short-story describing the play and its impacts on a gathering might work. Food is a powerful gift whose power grows when it is shared.

          1. Lex

            Hmmm, just brain storming here… how ’bout three large crockpots on a table with three different broths as soup base (chicken, beef, vegetable, or some such, steaming on high) and a clean stone placed in the bottom of each. Platters of veggies cut up small. So that at the end of the story the soup can be shared without triggering allergies or parents. Make a drawing of flames that you tape in a ring around the grouping of crockpots to simulate a campfire?
            In a former incarnation I was a caterer.

          2. HotFlash

            Sounds good! However, I’d recommend InstantPots, slow cookers cook things, vegetables especially, veeeeeerrrrrrry slowly, as in hours.

          3. The Rev Kev

            General Patton said he used that parable in WW2 as well. If he was denied an attack and the resources that he would need, he would send a reinforced reconnaissance platoon who would meet resistance. Then he would back them up with a company, then a battalion, then tanks and artillery until he got the full support of higher HQ for the attack that he wanted all along.

          1. Janie

            One of my favorites, too. Think I first heard it when kids watched Captain Kangaroo. He taught wonderful, kind lessons. Only program I encouraged them to watch.

    2. jefemt

      My first thought as I clicked on the link, I wonder how much energy they use, from what source, to get the reactions started?

      This from a poli-sci flunkie in flyover country.

      Covid/ climate change/ BLM incidents induced Paradigm Shift, or how do we keep the whole sh*t-show wobbling along to the brink?

      Ho Ho Ho

    3. Oh

      I too thought it was a stupid article. No matter what catalyst they use it’ll take a lot of energy to break the C bond with O2 not to mention (as you rightly point out) the energy required to make the H2 and the subsequently the HC that is jet fuel. Energy is also required for the high pressure process.

    4. JeffC

      If rearranging atoms from one molecular configuration to another (burning jet fuel) releases X amount of energy, it will take X amount of energy (more given process losses) to “unrearrange” them (back into jet fuel). No free lunch.

    5. jonboinAR

      I’ll just keep on holding out for fusion energy. What happened to that “cold fusion” thing of some years back? Wonder how them guys are doing.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > holding out for fusion energy.

        Elsevier just published a book on it, so there may be something to it. From an article in 2007 by that book’s editor in the International Journal of Nuclear Energy Science and Technology:

        Therefore, most nuclear scientists tried to detect the assumed accompanying radiations produced by the well-known reaction D + D, which produces either He-3 and a neutron or tritium and a proton with equal probability. Not surprisingly, no neutrons, or very few compared with the amount expected from the announced excess heat, were detected. These types of approaches, plus the unwillingness of a portion of the scientific community to accept that electrochemistry under special conditions could produce nuclear reactions, pushed cold fusion into quasi clandestinity. Several hundred scientists worldwide did careful calorimetry experiments and showed that the effect was real, and certainly simple in principle, but not necessarily easy to reproduce. Artefacts were numerous, and the sources of error or misinterpretation were many. With a lot of patience, courage and stubbornness, they slowly made progress, and finally got to a point where the conditions of reproducibility were reached. They meet regularly at international meetings, starting with Salt Lake City in 1990, and more recently Boston in August 2003 and Marseilles in 2004. At present a lot has been demonstrated. We know now that the proposed reaction D + D → He-4 + 23 MeV is not the only possible reaction. Under other conditions not only fusion but also transmutation is occurring. People have measured X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, He-4, He-3 and anomalous isotopic distributions. This is why the name of the field has been changed to ‘condensed matter nuclear science’, which better fits the reality of the observations. The website has a large collection of papers that can be downloaded. The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of some key experiments that have been published.

        So, particle physicists looked at cold fusion and there were no particles, so…. Caveat: I’m not saying cold fusion is more legit than, say, string theory or the loanable funds theory, but some scientists are persisting in it. Maybe there’s something to it. Readers?

        1. RMO

          I don’t have much hope for “cold fusion.” For information on high temperature high pressure fusion (which is how the Sun works) you can look up articles on the ITER international project which is the largest. Net energy production has been realized already on small scales but making useful power hasn’t happened yet. The ITER has been progressing reasonably on schedule (especially for a large international joint project) but even then it’s only expected to be complete and fusing deuterium-tritium 2035. At the moment the only way human produced fusion power could be harnessed and used in a non destructive way would be by building a Project Orion type spacecraft. The timescale of fusion power development means it’s not going to be able to do much about keeping the climate from going off the rails unfortunately.

      2. HotFlash

        > holding out for fusion energy.

        We already have it. It is cheap, sustainable for the foreseeable future, and far enough away to be fairly safe. It is called the sun.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “The Navy Wants to Recruit 450 Warrant Officers to Fly Its New MQ-25 Tanker Drones”

    This sounds like something from WW2. The US Army Air Corps also recruited NCO pilots but eventually promoted them to officers when it was realized that they faced the same risks as officer pilots but without the privileges of an officer. But here, it is only aerial vehicle operators that they are talking about and the training is expected to last between 15 and 18 months. I have a proposal to make.

    I think that those 450 Warrant officers should be split up between those who grew up with a Microsoft Xbox and those who grew up with a Sony PlayStation. At the end of the course, it would be interesting to see which group ended doing up better and which group learned faster. What’s that you say? PC Gamers? What about them? Simple. You would immediately promote them to officers and get them to learn how to fly real aircraft. :)

  7. Robert Hahl

    A sobering thought I have not see addressed anywhere. If flu typically kills 50,000 people per year in the US even with vaccines, and COVID-19 is 4 to 10 times more deadly than flu, we can expect 200;000 to 500,000 deaths per year even with these new vaccines. We may be social distancing forever. Get used to it.

    1. Samuel Conner

      A concern like this was expressed by someone in NC comments back in the late Winter, that CV might become an annual epidemic like ‘flu; the implications for vulnerable populations of a recurring annual CV epidemic were not cheerful.

      Haven’t seen reflections like that in MSM forums, where the presumption seems to be that “life as normal” will return after the current crisis passes.

      I agree that precautions will be in order into the foreseeable future.

    2. Dr. Strangelove

      You’re assuming the same efficacy rates between the flu and COVID vaccines. From what I can tell, the COVID vaccine is much more effective.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The flu vaccine is an educated guess from year to year. I was brutalized by the flu three years ago despite a flu shot, and it was a beast locally in that 2017/2018 stretch.

      2. Aumua

        Yeah the influenza has a lot of variants which make it difficult to nail down with a vaccine. In the same way coronaviruses have a lot of variants too, it’s just that most of them only cause a cold and not COVID-19.

      3. Cuibono

        early days yet to be suggesting this.
        Please note” if the flu vaccine is as good as even it is supposed to be, bow come flu mortality isnt falling over time?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Flu mortality varies year to year depending on the what strain is out and about (some are nastier, like the 1957 and 1968 versions) And the efficacy of the flu vaccine varies because sometimes they anticipate well what the upcoming year’s flu will resemble (as in the strains they use are a pretty good match) and other years not. I believe that the seasonal flu mutates at a faster rate than coronaviruses.

            1. Phillip Cross

              Hardly anyone dies of flu. That huge CDC headline number includes pneumonia, which is the cause of the vast majority of the deaths in their reports

      4. ArvidMartensen

        Or from what the manufacturer is telling us via press releases etc. Like MS software back in the day, the beta testing will be done on the population. And then the questions of efficacy, longevity and side effects will become more apparent, as long as research isn’t suppressed. Things in researchland are bad when the BMJ complains btw.

        Recent personal experience with flu vaccine. We had one! social event in 5 months, a family gathering. Partner and I came away with a dose each of influenza B. My partner had already had the flu vaccine, but was really sick for a couple of weeks.
        I didn’t get the flu vaccine because it had run out. I was not as sick.
        And I get the flu vaccine every year and like clockwork, get the flu every year.

        So am thinking the flu vaccine is a waste of time. Am also thinking that the hyperventilating that the medicos do every autumn about how necessary it is, is just a sales pitch.

    3. Ander

      Worse than that are the survivors who then develop chronic conditions. My mom got this bug back in March, and her breathing still hasn’t returned to normal, now she struggles with hypoxia. I’ve been through IDK how many cases of the common cold as a kid, now I’m trying to imagine how it will be if those colds had real potential to cause permanent pulmonary or neurological damage.

    4. Ignacio

      I disagree in the ‘forever’ and with vaccines social distancing measures would be less and less radical than without. Once a significant part of the population has been vaccinated -if vaccines turn out to be as safe as tooted- it will change a lot. We have yet to check many things about the vaccines being approved in the fast track.

  8. Samuel Conner

    re: the headline of the CALPERS item on the search for a new Chief Investment Officer, (did not read the article),

    a line from Groucho Marx comes to mind; IIRC it goes something like:

    “I’d be reluctant to join any club whose standards were so low that they would be willing to have me.”

    Perhaps a public-spirited expert will be willing to wade into that mess and make some trouble in the beneficiaries’ interest.

  9. fresno dan

    According to a New York Times analysis, Fresno is the number one metro area in the country where new reported cases are rising the fastest.

    It shows that one week ago, the area had 3,188 new reported cases. One week later, it’s at 11,672 new reported cases.
    Whoo Hoo – we’re number one! Oh wait…
    I have no idea why its so bad. I pretty much stay in, but grocery store and big box stores that I still go to have pretty good mask compliance, though I do occasionally see the mask not fully over the nose. I have gone into a little donut shop I sometimes frequent, and neither the clerk nor customers are masked. Even though Fresno is in CA, culturally it is more akin to Oklahoma.

    1. Wukchumni

      When I was a kid, my dad crashed the family station wagon around Wawona, with repairs made on the jalopy in Fresno, and despite being only 5, those couple of days ensconced in it’s embrace seemed an eternity to a tyke, and even today an hour seems like dozen.

      The real trick to living in Fresno is be in Fresno-adjacent Clovis, which is nicer and doesn’t have the same feel, and you can easily do an hour in 60 minutes flat there

    2. Randy G

      I used to live near Coarsegold in the foothills above Fresno and did shopping in the city. The terrible air pollution and threat of fires recently compelled me to move out of California.
      (Fresno is boring and environmentally grim, but if you LIMIT your comparison to just Bakersfield, it seems almost pleasant. No offense to Dan intended!) Notably, Fresno has one of the highest rates of asthma among children in the entire country.

      I’m used to seeing lots of homeless people in Fresno — now standard for most of the U.S. — but was shocked a few weeks ago while visiting the Sierras to see how many tents had sprung up like mushrooms along Highway 41, which cuts right through the middle of Fresno. Never observed so many tents so close to the freeway before.

      1. Wukchumni

        I kid Fresno, and it’s almost like stealing candy from a baby armed with an AR-15 slung over its shoulder, making fun of it.

        1. fresno dan

          December 23, 2020 at 11:33 am

          Its well documented that Fresno was Satan’s first choice for Hell, but he decided that it was too hot and boring, as well as exceeding even the Devil’s ability to inflict such unrelenting cruelty.

          1. polecat

            That Hard Pan however …. Hell! Even the Dark Angel himself can’t breach that stuff .. farmers, they’ll tell ya all about it, gabdumit!

  10. Tom Stone

    Austerity is on the way.
    Biden has a mean streak, people starving in the streets won’t bother him (FUIGM).
    And unrest will be a good excuse for both letting the Cops off the leash and more repressive laws.
    When Trump is being more sensible and empathic than the Dem Party…

    1. Samuel Conner

      I agree that DJT is talking, at the moment, more sensibly than the Ds on this subject. It might just be performative (which is not to say that I don’t welcome the introduction of the idea into the policy discussion).

      I would be thrilled if DJT were to “hang around” and beat both parties over the head with rhetoric that draws attention to their indifference to the suffering of the people.

      It would be rich irony if DJT proved to be more effective at driving the D party to the left than the progressives within the party have been.

      1. John Wright

        One advantage of installing Biden will be that somewhat leftest links aggregator Alternet will cease their “Trump will hang on” articles.

        For example, in today’s email from them,

        “Secret service has no resolution in place if Trump refuses to leave the White House, insiders say”


        The Secret Service has guns and manpower to physically remove the 74 year old Trump.

        And Trump should know that trying to overstay an eviction order in NYC is not the same in the White House.

        What will Trump do? Chain himself to the desk in the Oval Office?

        But I am resigned to watching the neo-liberals Biden-Harris rule with austere hands while hearing the refrain “But Trump would have been worse”.

        What will the Democrats do when they don’t have Trump to “kick around anymore”?

        1. Massinissa

          With as much horror as people are treating the concept of Trump running for another term, its not as if he’d be all that much worse than Biden or most of the rest of the Republican primary field. Basically every direction us lemmings can go in involves a cliff. The next 4-8 years are going to be super rough regardless of which of the duopoly parties maintain control.

        2. Bruno

          “What will the Democrats do when they don’t have Trump to “kick around anymore”?”
          No Problem.
          After four years of “What Do You Expect? He’s Trump!”
          We can confidently look forward to four years of “At Least [s]he’s Not Trump!”

          1. Massinissa

            *Biden enters the US into WW3*

            “Trump would have gotten us into WW4 by now! Biden is doing a great job!”

        3. Oh

          It’s not the job of the secret service to remove any occupant of the WH. It’s to protect him. May be the US Marshal’s job. IDK. I stopped reading the Alternet, Puffpost, Commondreams and other so called left wing websites. Most of them are shills for the DimRats. The so called left wing sites (except Counterpunch, BlackAgendaReports) don’t have the cojones to say anything bad about the Dims.

    2. Samuel Conner

      Me thinks that this might be a kind of vengeance on DJT’s part for MM’s failure to be more supportive of DJT’s attempts to obtain a different election outcome. While the enemy of my enemy is often not my friend, there is some value in having the enemies fight each other rather than everyone else. I hope DJT rediscovers his inner populist (in the Thomas Frank sense of the term “populist”; perhaps this would not be a rediscovery so much as a new discovery given the toxic character of much of DJT’s 2016 rhetoric) and keeps it up for the next 4 years.

        1. Bruno

          M. Trumpe-l’Oeil departs in Style.
          “it is one hell of a show.”
          For sure.
          But I’m unsure how to describe it.

          As the Satyr Play concluding 3 unbearably mediocre Tragedies?
          As a drama all its own continuing the Epic Saga of our times, and entitled “Encore Un Nouveau Ubu?”
          Act I: Père et Mère Ubu Se Querellent
          Act II: Ubu Président
          Act III: Ubu Se Dégage

          suggestions anyone?

      1. The Rev Kev

        And when you think about it, his supporters will say that Trump was fighting for them to get a full $2,000 that none of his enemies wanted to do, even though he was on his way out the door. It now also puts McConnell and the Democrats in the position of explaining why people deserve a pittance as regime-change programs get fully funded-

        Makes you wonder which regime should really be changed.

        1. Wukchumni

          Republicans to right of them,
          Democrats to left of them,
          Nobody behind them
          Volleyed and thundered;
          Stormed at with scorn and soft-sell,
          While President and precedent fell.
          They that had fought so well
          Came through the jaws of debt,
          Back into another round of unemployment hell,
          All that was left of them,
          Left of six hundred bucks.

    3. Brian (another one they call)

      Donald has finally realized what it takes to win again in 4 years. His offer of help might be very welcome to those of us crushed under the new austerity. It really doesn’t matter who works for the corporations that own the idea that was America.
      Of course the grinding of humans to flour goes on as they hollow out what remains.

  11. Lost in OR

    This opossum shoving a skunk into a pond …

    Nice allegory. Both creatures can be very nasty (in anthropomorphistic terms) animals.

    Is this the US Govt to the US citizenry or the other way around? One can only hope (thanks Obama).

    1. Lex

      Walked outside last week while my husband was replacing bulbs on our Christmas lights. I grabbed a lungful of what I anticipated would be cool, cold, clear winter air. Got a snoot full of skunk. I marveled at this for a minute because it’s winter. The air full of skunk stink is more a summertime phenomenon here. Captain Obvious turned to her husband and said too loudly, ‘SMELLS LIKE SOMEONE SPOOKED A SKUNK!’ He laughed and said, ‘Yeah. Neighbors.’ By which I assumed he meant that he had witnessed (?) a neighbor accidentally coming up on a skunk and getting sprayed, or had been told the story. Then I walked back into the house.

      When he came back inside and I repeated the obvious, because I was puzzled both by the presence of the smell in winter and his tolerance of it, he clarified. The neighbors were outside smoking a doobie. Variety: Skunk.

      Oh, fresh wonder. They paid for the privilege.

    2. crittermom

      I found that video hilarious. Thanks, NC!

      I’ve always liked skunks more than opossum (which I’m familiar with growing up in Michigan. They’re nasty mean!), so I saw it as the skunk being the citizenry, getting thrown under the bus–or in this case, thrown into a pond–by the govt.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Tony Connelly: After Michel Barnier’s briefing of EU ambassadors this afternoon, here’s where things stand”

    Where things really stand is that in a week’s time the UK leaves the EU without any trade deal in place. More to the point, this will be done with no forethought or realistic preparations for what they actually means as far as things like food, supply lines, etc. are concerned. Making this even worse is some forty countries barring people from the UK due to the strain of the Coronavirus spreading there. Kent will become the world’s first truck parking lot visible from space and come the spring, home gardens and allotments will be going ahead at a furious rate. Boris meanwhile will be telling the people of the UK the marvelous opportunities that will one day come the UK’s way under his leadership. Any countries with gold on deposit with the UK may be wise in getting it out at first opportunity. Just ask Venezuela on that one.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      To my astonishment, there are widespread reports in all the media here that a deal is pretty much done, and will be confirmed tomorrow. This is with the usual caveats that any one member state can nix any potential deal (and several are deeply unhappy with the fishing concessions to the UK), and of course its all subject to Johnson changing his mind at the last minute.

  13. cocomaan

    How COVID-19 Hollowed Out a Generation of Young Black Men

    My old college roommate, a black man 36 years old, died this fall of pneumonia, so a presumed Covid case. He’d struggled with depression, obesity, and substance abuse for as long as I knew him. I felt bad that I hadn’t been in touch with him, but we had a falling out and never really mended the friendship. Now we never will. He left behind his mother and his uncle, who he supported with his own job. She had a record and so couldn’t find any decent employment, and needed his help. Not sure what she’s going to do now.

    The article is okay, getting into the effect of stress on aging and immune response, but it gets way too far into the micro aggressions and doesn’t address head on realities like bad diet. I have seen people I know, black and white, eat caloric trash every single meal of every single day.

    The language in the article is someone “was overweight”, when being overweight for the vast majority of people means not eating well. That could be through ignorance or through poverty. As sad as it is, someone eats themselves into obesity. It does not happen to them, they participate in it. It’s a scourge of modern life and it needs to be addressed with a forthright attitude.

    Being obese kills you and being obese with covid around means it will kill you even faster.

    1. Carla

      “As sad as it is, someone eats themselves into obesity. It does not happen to them, they participate in it. It’s a scourge of modern life and it needs to be addressed with a forthright attitude.”

      Here’s my forthright attitude: our industrial food system makes it difficult, labor-intensive and expensive to find and prepare nutritious food. Let’s just take one example: the replacement of sugar in virtually all prepared foods and commercial baked goods with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which is essentially poison. Among many other things, HFCS causes oxidative stress, increases insulin resistance and destroys serum Vitamin D — all things that cause greater risk of serious illness and death from Covid-19.

      If I begin to list all the links to this information, my comment will never see the light of day. Here’s just one:

      People need our governments to protect us from the poisons foisted upon us by the criminal Big Food/Big Ag/Big Chemicals conspiracy. This is not a matter of individual responsibility alone.

      1. cocomaan

        People need our governments to protect us from the poisons foisted upon us by the criminal Big Food/Big Ag/Big Chemicals conspiracy. This is not a matter of individual responsibility alone.

        I agree with you to an extent, that there are some seriously twisted chemicals at play, and that government enables it.

        However big ag and especially big chemical were and are industries powered by war making and national defense. Dow makes napalm and it makes fertilizer. It and Bayer were involved with the Nazis and have been involved with war ever since.

        These companies are profiteers and there’s just no way the government is going to be able to regulate them as long as that permanent wartime gravy train keeps going.

        The local food movement is a push in the right direction. Those who weren’t conscious of their food need to start and we can’t wait for government to do that. I don’t see any other way to create consciousness about food without appealing to people on a personal level.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Local food can be local business. The more local people strengthen the local food business AS a business, the more power the local food business and its customers may have to fight off Big Food’s efforts to outlaw local food and local food business.

    2. Keith

      And being America is the land of obesity, is it any wonder there are people dying. The lockdowns seem to make things worse, keeping people in where they are likely to eat more and exercise less, especially if they are neurotic by watching the news 24/7.

    3. Tom Doak

      All true, but at the same time, most people suffering from obesity have underlying emotional problems from childhood that were definitely NOT THEIR FAULT. Treating obesity as a strictly dietary problem is highly ineffective, and shaming people is just piling on to their underlying problems.

      1. Geo

        Well said. A very close friend who struggled with weight issues told me as a kid he wanted to be fat so the adults in his community wouldn’t want to touch him anymore. Thought making himself “ugly” would stop the abuse. Most of his life he battled weight issues, as well as drug and relationship issues stemming a lot from that abuse. A wonderfully kind and caring soul who struggles to find peace due to the monsters that wrecked his young mind and body.

        No “diet” can fix that.

      2. K.k

        Talk about missing the point, perhaps Keith didnt bother reading the article before commenting.
        Irony being, especially for black folks , intimately aware of subject being discussed will end up having raised cortisol levels while reading this article. Managed to wreck my state of mind for the day.

        Nevertheless, thank you kindly for the link.

      3. notberlin

        COVID deaths are of course part owing to poor health and nutrition, but also addressing emotional issues and victimization is important: you both are on the same team, me thinks.

    4. Jeffrey Radice

      I read the article and thought it was top notch. Your digression into nutrition and body weight strays from the main thrust entirely. Why do African American men die younger on average? Using the COVID pandemic, the author provides a handful of case studies. The thesis being that their bodies have had to process stress differently their whole lives and that the most successful among them kill themselves by pushing so hard to escape the velocity of their lot in life, much like the legend of John Henry. I found the article well written and referenced and the case studies compelling. It caused me to spend a little while researching the legend of John Henry, who I hadn’t thought was black, but of course he was.

      1. anon y'mouse

        childhood stress kills everyone it touches approx. 20 years younger than their peers. because it never leaves your nervous system.

        so sayeth a study Kaiser put out once using their extensive files stretching back now generations.

        1. notberlin

          This is sort of a ‘do or dare’ situation; you know you’ve been abused as a kid (we all have our idea of what that is). Everyone refers to the Tolstoy line, ‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ …

          But it’s in a way meaningless.

          I happen to think nutrition and nutritional education is super important. In everything. In every aspect of our lives. A bit of German slang, Voll Hammer!

          The kids in my neighborhood were not routinely hurled out the second floor bedroom window, for example. But some of us were. So there are different levels of dysfunction and trauma.

          So I agree, the question/s remain, how to heal? And embrace? And overcome?

          For me, never shame, never judge (unless you are a politician). Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk, and…. :)

          1. Massinissa

            I just… I don’t really know what to say here, but I found your post very meaningful, or more specifically the last few sentences. Thank you.

      2. cocomaan

        I admit that it’s kind of coldhearted, but I don’t see any other way out of this other than individual action. The government will not budge, or do anything remotely helpful. That much is certain at this point.

        The only way out of this is to empower individuals to make decisions that will benefit them. I work in non-profits trying to make this happen everyday. It’s the steepest mountain in an uphill battle, but I see no other way. We are on our own.

    5. HotFlash

      As sad as it is, someone eats themselves into obesity. It does not happen to them, they participate in it.

      Full disclosure: I have never been on a diet to lose weight, and I weigh the same as I did in college, half a century ago. But, I have friends who struggle with their weight, and even a few who *obsess* over it despite being, well, pretty thin, IMO. Something else is going on here, dunno what.

      Heredity? My sister always rags me about inheriting the skinny genes. Krystyn has written eloquently here of hereditary metabolic anomalies.

      Environment? My sister’s daughter was drinking diet soda from a toddler (what was in the house) and had a 100% pancreas failure at age 16. My guess is that her pancreas blew out after years of “sweet thing coming!” message from the taste buds activated insulin production, but there was no sugar to break down. Not my area of expertise, but I wonder.

      Diet? I cannot believe that the over-sweetened, over-processed, and over-preserved foods that are treated as a normal or even healthy diet, beginning with ‘infant formula’, are really that good for humans. We were never evolved to eat this stuff.

      I suspect that we will find out one day that much of our industrially produced, for-profit foodstuffs are detrimental and addictive. I suspect that sweet, fat, and salt are tastes that humans are programmed to seek out *because they are scarce in nature* but are normally found in foods that carry a lot of other stuff we need, although, because of their scarcity, *in small quantities*. There is a huge difference between the amount of sugar in, say, strawberries and white sugar. In nature we could probably never get fat eating berries, there aren’t enough of them in the wild, they are seasonal, they don’t have that much sugar, and they do have vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber that we need. Sugar has none of that, it is just pure sucrose. I believe that ‘sweet’ and ‘red’ or whatever are signals deep below our consciousness that this thing is a food we should seek out, but the ‘sweet’ or ‘red’ is just an evolutionary shorthand to get us to notice a ripe fruit that has many, many nutrients that we need.

      So, it’s complicated. Diet, obesity, nutrition — these involve so many factors, many (most?) of which are unconscious, I think. Until we understand better why we are attracted to certain tastes and foods and make that conscious, we will be at the mercy of those who exploit our unconscious.

      Anybody craving an Oreo? My naturopath says, “Yeah, chocolate, that’s magnesium.” YMMV.

      1. Procopius

        Certainly it’s complicated. Studies have shown that if you try to lose weight, your body works against you to prevent the imminent starvation it thinks is happening. If you succeed in losing weight, you’re almost certain to gain it back in a couple of years. My own opinion, based on something I read thirty or forty years ago is that it’s somehow related to the excessive use of antibiotics raising cattle and swine. Chickens, too, I suppose. Another small think that niggles at me — when did it become acceptable to “snack,” to eat between meals, as my parents would have put it. Or the idea that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Buddhist monks only eat once a day, nothing after noon until the following morning, yet some of them are overweight, if not obese.

  14. .Tom

    > All you need to know to understand 5G Sabine Hossenfelder

    I liked this video but has a weird ending. SPOILER: Hossenfelder explains that the effects of long-term exposure to 5G’s use of millimeter radio is unknown and then says, “How one should proceed in such a situation depends on how willing you are to tolerate risk and that’s not a question for science. That’s a question for politics.” Huh? How is politics supposed to deal with that?

    If we understand politics as what our corrupt governments who answer to big business do (as we often do here on NC) then I get it, that kind of politics can make an uninformed decision. But the kind of legit democratic politics I’d think scientists would be comfortable to cooperate with would need better information.

    1. Maritimer

      “Hossenfelder explains that the effects of long-term exposure to 5G’s use of millimeter radio is unknown….”

      Dr. Phauci “…explains that the effects of long-term exposure to…” vaccines “…is unknown…”

      A la Rumsfeld, the known long term effects are unknown. This seems to be the model for new tech. Maybe time to revive “JUST DO IT!”

  15. Medbh

    I initially read the headline “Fauci gets shot” as reporting an act of violence, not vaccination. I need to lay off the news for a while. I’m well-informed, but mostly about terrible things I can do nothing about. Maybe the people who don’t vote and are totally disengaged have the healthier approach.

    1. The Rev Kev

      No, there was an actual mistake in the headline. It should have read

      “New Virus Strain Could Be in U.S.; Fauci Should Be Shot”

    2. cocomaan

      I don’t know how Yves, Lambert, JL and the rest of the folks at NC do it, because this kind of constant information stream would break me down. Maybe I’m too sensitive but as I get too involved with the news, I find myself getting snappy, I brood more, and generally my anxiety level affects the rest of my life.

      Maybe if it was my full time job, it would be a different story, because I have methods of coping with job stress and keeping a divide between that and the home life.

      This year, with its blistering pace of news and the wildness of the spectacle, has taught me a lot about myself, my information habits, and the limits of what I can handle. And I have found that I can handle much less than I thought.

      Now, I try to do “functional” news consumption. If I’m reading news, I’m trying to find utility in it. Am I learning something by reading this piece? Is it informing some activity in my life, like work, hobby, personal enrichment, etc? It’s a bit of a self centered view, but it helps.

      If I am reading news just to reinforce my own ideology and ideas (and let’s face it, most ideology is just ego), I have tried to identify that behavior and shut it down. It is not helpful.

      1. Carla

        Thank you so much for this, cocomann — it is quite helpful to me.

        And I agree, I don’t know how the NC news curators do it.

      2. Geo

        Reminds me of when Jon Stewart left The Daily Show. Seemed the constant cycle of negativity was getting to him. And, I highly doubt the wonderful team at NC is financially compensated nearly as well as Stewart was for their efforts.

      3. Hutch

        I disagree with some of your comments, cocomaan, but this comment is truly insightful. Thank you for sharing it. +100

          1. Lost in OR

            I think you just hit the target. I see very little sanity in the world around me. People buying new cars and new houses getting excited about their stock market gains. And that’s just the local insanity. The world is in a pretty depressing state of affairs right now.

            I appreciate your comment as I’ve felt that way for a long time. Your comment is what sanity looks like to me. And all the high-level discussions and the humor and sarcasm.

            So thank you all. And merry Christmas.

    3. Oh

      I thought he got shot too! I thought “well one idiot gone, too many more to go”. I guess I;mm getting to be cold hearted.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I haven’t watched that video yet but that article was….remarkable. What’s that saying around here? Oh yeah – correlation is not cause. That article is something like those Mormon Mummies would sign up to who were featured here in a link the other day. I would more willingly believe that it was psychics that were the cause of this virus and if that was true, we would know what to do with them-

    2. Foy

      I always enjoy Sabine’s videos she explains many complex physics and cosmology topics very well. In the video she is talking about thermal effects from 5G to break molecular bonds. But she doesn’t mention how voltage changes caused by EMF might affect the normal functioning of voltage sensors within a human cell to regulate it.

      Martin Pall who is a professor of Biochemistry and Basic Medical sciences believes there are other non-thermal effects for the Electromotive Force (EMF) to affect human cells as he says EMF can activate the voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC) in our cells. He runs through many studies that demonstrate affects on fertility, neurological, cellular, apoptosis, oxidative, endocrine, cancer damage caused by non-thermal effects.

      He says pulsed EMFS are in most cases much more biologically active than non pulsed continuous wave EMFs -all wireless communication devices use pulsed waves.

      He says 28 different studies show that what is happening is that EMFS act by activating the VGCC, allowing calcium ions (Ca2+) to flow through the plasma membrane into the cell, and that most of the biological effects are caused by excessive calcium in the cell. Microwave frequency EMFs and and extremely low EMFs (such as from electrical power lines) and also static electrical and magnetic fields all act via VGCC activation.

      The VGCC regulate calcium into the cell but the EMFs change the voltage across the VGCC and allow more calcium into the cell. He believes this process is behind many diseases we see more of today. He says that besides VGCC there are also another 7 similar channels each of which has a similar voltage sensor affected by EMF

    3. Ed Miller

      5G and COVID video: An interesting test of the theory would be to observe what one would expect if the cause is as claimed. If the source of illness is from electromagnetic phenomena then the buildout of 5G will increase the prevalence of the virus indefinitely. What effect will vaccination have if this is not a contagious disease?

      Perhaps there will be a lull in viral spread from vaccination, but I would think within months it would take off again, probably in a somewhat mutated form which the vaccine doesn’t handle.

      All wild speculation but not as wild as the speculation in the article. In my opinion, of course.

      1. Late Introvert

        n=1, but since my daughter has been out of school for ~10 months she has not been sick once. Normally she would have been sick at least 5 and up to 7 or 8 times. So the school is a source of EMF or virus?

        1. Procopius

          It’s normal in military basic training for 10 – 15% of trainees to contract upper respiratory illness. In past times, more soldiers died from illness than from combat. Where armies went, plague went. Now we blame it on depleted uranium munitions or “burn pits.” Schools have been recognized as sinks of infection for generations. Colds, measles, mumps, etc. I can’t deny the possibility that EMF is harmful, but I want to see more robust demonstrations of cause and effect, myself. On the other hand I don’t intend to buy a 5G phone for at least another ten years, by which time harmful side effects should be known, if they are dangerous, but that’s because I’m a late adopter for technology and I only use my phone for telephone calls.

  16. flora

    re: The fading light of liberal democracy – FT

    I take his point. Yes, there’s a 3rd variant of capitalism as Wolf describe. Using T as the model of Wolf’s description is off-base, imo. It seemed more like an obligatory “Biden means well and he’s not T” in place of the obligatory political “T man bad” para in nearly every story for the last 4. I wonder if this is a harbinger of the next four years of MSM and a new form of the understood obligatory paragraph; these paragraphs are imo less about the story reported and more about a writer’s public adherence to whatever ideology the MSM demands…. or risk cancellation. ;)

    As far as assuming B will be better than T, B’s austerity tic doesn’t look promising. Whether or not B will be better for the country and most of the citizens is yet to be demonstrated. (O won the Nobel Peace Prize before he’d had time to do anything except replace W.) I hope Wolf’s opinion column inserting what looks like an obligatory T-man-bad-Biden-good is not an early taste of what’s coming from the MSM for the next four years.

    1. flora

      adding: Wolf missed a 4th possibility of undemocratic gov and capitalism, imo: a hybrid undemocratic form of rule by global corporations and billionaires that financially support candidates who will support what global corporations and global capital want. Neoliberal politicians elected in an oligarchic country, in other words. Oligarchies can have the forms of a real democracy except real democratic representation. Politicians can say very good things, very democratic and public minded things, they sound sincere, and we elect them… only to find out they really didn’t mean what they said in public, they only mean what they say in private to the biggest donors. Hills noted this at one point. Neoliberal politicians are imo interested in representing “the market”, the global corporations and the private capital that funds their campaigns; representing the voters issues – on finance or health or anti-monopoly e.g, are ignored. It seems like we have a democratic process in country run by neoliberals. See how careful one party is to make sure non-neoliberal candidates don’t make it out of the primary.

      1. nippersdad

        I am going to be watching the Turner campaign very closely for how the NeoLibs try and deep six it.

        It doesn’t strike me that any of the usual run of attacks are going to land with her, and I am going to enjoy watching how she turns them on their head. I think their only hope will be to take Fudge out of the nomination process.

    2. Carla

      Wolf: “Mr Trump is a natural outcome of the strategic goal of the donor class — tax cuts and deregulation. To achieve this end, they have to convince a large proportion of the population to vote against its economic interests by focusing on culture and identity.”

      I am SO tired of hearing this trope that a large part of the population votes against its own economic interests. When the other guys offer NOTHING, a large part of the population votes for the A-hole that they see saying “F- you” to the establishment.

      It’s not about what the Republicans are offering. It’s about what the damned Democrats offer: BUPKIS

      (As so many here know. Apologies for preaching to the choir — but who else will even comprehend me?)

      BTW, I was quite uplifted by Caitlin Johnstone’s piece linked on NC yesterday. Anyone else?

      If you missed it:

      1. Massinissa

        I have to agree with you. Economically, at least, people are essentially choosing between Coke and Pepsi. At least in real life the people who drink one think the drinkers of the other are deluded idiots who are drinking themselves into overweightness, while they… Drink themselves to overweightness using the other drink. Because that’s basically what the Republican/Democrat feud feels like to me at this point. Someone please stop the Montagues and Capulets from trying to fight each other, thanks.

        1. HotFlash

          At our Canadian National exhibition (similar to a state fair) in 1991, one of those cola companies presented The Pepsi Challenge. Attractive young persons poured some Beverage A and Beverage B (from 1 ltr bottles with paper tubes covering the logos) into two paper cups. Before tasting the contents, the participant was asked whether they preferred Coke or Pepsi (the order varied, so, fair). Many were very fierce about their brand preference. Subject was then was asked to taste the two samples and to say which was which. The tubes were lifted off the bottles and the brand was revealed! In the trials I saw while waiting in line, it looked like a least half the time, the subject decided wrong. But to me the most revealing thing was that the subjects, now holding two half-filled paper cups, *EVERY SINGLE ONE DUMPED THE CONTENTS OF THE ONE INTO THE OTHER*, discarded the empty cup and continued on down the midway.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Stunning unseen footage reveals The Beatles as never before”

    Great footage of the Beatles before they broke up but for some weird reason, there was this black-haired groupie that insisted on seating herself right in front of them while they were trying to record their music and getting in their way. I wonder whatever happened to her?

    1. Wukchumni

      When I was an aspiring juvenile delinquent, I really hoped the Beatles would get back, and when John’s assassination put paid to all that, it indelibly linked them to the 60’s as impressionist art without peer, kind of similar to about a century before.

      In retrospect, i’m glad I never got a chance to see them @ PetCo Park in San Diego, sitting in Uecker seats way down the right field line and up high.

      1. HotFlash

        That’s sad. I saw them live in 1964. Much screaming was heard by all.

        BTW, did you ever get to be a juvenile delinquent?

    2. Geo

      Sonic Youth did a collaboration with Ono months before they split up due to Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore’s divorce. Coincidence? My tinfoil hat says no! :)

      1. orlbucfan

        Was that SonicYouth’s idea? Yoko Ono is now 87 and even fame junkies get slowed down by old age.No telling when an obit will show up.

    3. ShamanicFallout

      Also funny that all we ever heard about the Let It Be sessions (in between the White Album and Abbey Road sessions) was how dismal it was and how they hated one and another. Looking at the ‘sneaky peak’ it looks like they were having a grand old time. Plenty of smiles and plenty of Beatle clowning and joking. I was glad to see this today

      1. Late Introvert

        There are hours and hours of audio recordings that are available, and they are pretty dismal. Musically and the way they are talking to each other. Paul trying to get everyone to agree to his project ideas and everyone else going ya, no. And Yoko right in the middle of everything.

        I’m sure Mr. Hobbit director is just a good editor, but I also can’t wait to see it.

  18. Tom Stone

    The article on Human hibernation was interesting, but the authors failed to consider something that seems obvious to me.
    If you are one of several competing Hominid Species and you decide to hibernate in a nice cozy cave…
    Someone from a competing Hominid Species might wander by and happily move into a new home with a full refrigerator.

    1. edmondo

      I believe that is exactly what happened to The Three Bears after their house invasion by that nasty little Goldilocks girl.

    2. crittermom

      I found the article interesting, & proof of why I tend to put on weight as winter comes. It’s in my genes, as I prepare to hibernate! A valid excuse!

      At least that’s my story & I’m stickin’ to it.

  19. lyman alpha blob

    RE: New York Halts Use of Facial Recognition in Schools

    I suppose that great and all, and it is, but I’m also kind of tired of seeing headlines like this so often to begin with. How was it exactly that the cops and various other ‘authorities’ were able to use all of this privacy invading tech to begin with? We see lots of articles about halting these practices, but little discussion of how it started in the first place. It’s as if it all just appeared out of nowhere with no agency whatsoever.

    And does anyone really believe they’ll actually stop? I’m sold old I remember when the Bushies and Poindexter ran the Total Information Awareness program up the flagpole and it was roundly castigated as too Orwellian. Of course they publicly scrapped the program and then went ahead and did it anyway.

    Who consented to any of this? We are all Moorish Sovereigns now, or should be given the state of what passes for ‘government’.

    1. anon y'mouse

      and i thought we were miserable in high school because they chained our fire escapes closed to prevent youthful shenanigans in the stairwells. oh, halcyon days long perished!

      *while the security staff ran craps games outside the closed exits, of course.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “The Best Linux Blog In the Unixverse: Linux sysadmin and devops engineer investigate your Linux system and containers including K8s cluster for security and other issues :P”

    Oh dear god! Those penguins are enormous. They must be at least forty feet tall! We’re all doomed I tell you. Well, I for one welcome our new Penguin Overlords.

    This opossum shoving a skunk into a pond video was hilarious. And it also proves that some animals can be just as big a d*** to each other as humans can.

  21. zagonostra

    >America is now ruled by people older than the ‘gerontocracy’ of Soviet Union’s twilight days – RT

    Comparing Bernie to CIA Pete and tough cop Kamala obviously demonstrates age is not the key indicator of a politician’s world view, but damn Feinstein is 87! Even Popes these days know enough when it’s time to step aside.

    Joe Biden, set to be the oldest-ever US president…Though all major power brokers in Washington are older than the “gerontocracy” that ruled the Soviet Union in the 1970s and the 1980s,

    1. Geo

      I’m not a against people working when they’re older. Especially when they live what they do. Sanders is still fighting for whatever scraps our overlords will allow him to get for us. In my world of filmmaking, I love that Scorsese is still cranking out amazing films. Personally hope that if I make it that long my last days are spent in a whirl of creative bliss.

      That said, I don’t get what Feinstein, Biden, and so many of the other elderly in government are getting from this. They’re already rich. Is the power that important? Is it truly enjoyable being at the service of donors? Wouldn’t they want their last years of somewhat mental health to be with loved ones enjoying their lavish lives they worked so hard to grift for? What is it about their role crushing progress that they find rewarding? It would be sad if it wasn’t for the fact they are doing real damage to the planet and humanity.

      1. Oh

        Contrary to public belief they just want a little more Money and a little more power. And most of all, they enjoy making the lives of the middle class and the “deplorables” worse and they get a lot from that aspect of their lives.
        Sanders on the other hand, likes his committee chairmanship and beating his head against the wall by asking (and not receiving) scraps.

  22. Wukchumni

    Pistachio Tycoon Picks a Fight With the U.S. Navy Bloomberg
    Its quite something to drive by this orchard on wind swept Hwy 395.

    If it was in the Central Valley, it’d be just another of around a gazillion orchards of size, but its the only game in town in the Owens Valley which was once known as America’s Switzerland pre-Mulholland, and you get it looking up to the oh so steep eastern flank of the High Sierra and a 400 mile long chain of peaks, just add gnomes and you’re practically in Zurich.

    The itty bitty enclave of Keeler is worth a diversion, The eastern dock for ships plying their trade on Owens Lake was here and it still exists, kind of hanging out 30 feet above nothing, as the once sizable lake closer resembles the Aral Sea.

    There was an apple orchard of around 10,000 trees once upon a time and was named after the Spanish word for apple trees: manzano.

    It was where the Manzanar relocation camp for Japanese-Americans was in WW2.

      1. Wukchumni

        When you read mid 19th century tomes on California, oftentimes field workers are described by the term: Kanaka, which is what they called Hawaiians back in the day.

        1. Lex

          Few full blood Hawaiians left even then. Most are of Japanese/Hawaiian descent. Imports off the islands? A general label used to disguise their origins?

          Hmm. I’ll think on this. Thank you, Wuk.

          The pistachio story was easily my favorite of the day… the article du jour. I hope more along this line magically appear here for our perusal. The future Water Wars are going to be interesting.

          If I open our garage door and look west to the Front Range, on a clear day, I can see a well- defined Long’s Peak. It’s the northernmost of the 54-14er’s and the source water for the Colorado River. I often think about the role water plays here in the west since reading Marc Reisner’s book, ‘Cadillac Desert’. Followed by Stegner, because one really should.

          1. Lex

            Gads! I was racing for a forgotten hair appt. when my brain said, No dear… not to protect the Japanese. To demonize them.
            Sorry. I’m having an Emily Latella day.

          2. Wukchumni

            Water in the west is fascinating, and subject to change.

            Its early in our winter of missed content here, with bare spots approaching the tops of barely camo’d white slopes.

    1. Lost in OR

      I grew up on Mt Whitney Fish Hatchery about 15 miles north of Manzanar. At 12 or 13 I hunted doves at the site. Even then at that age I always got a spiritual vibe whenever I saw the monument at Manzanar. Hallowed ground, I think.

  23. Solideco

    Cellebrite’s New Solution for Decrypting the Signal App

    While this initially sounds bad, it sounds more like a Cellbrite psyop.

    And Bruce Scheier chimes in:

    EDITED TO ADD (12/23): I need to apologize for this post. I finally got the chance to read all of this more carefully, and it seems that all Cellebrite is doing is reading the texts off of a phone they can already access. To this has nothing to do with Signal at all. So: never mind. False alarm. Apologies, again.

    1. johnson

      It’s not a psyop, it’s Cellebrite advertising that they are completely incompetent. It was obviously written by someone with very limited understanding of cryptography — (weak) computer science intern quality at best.

      You can use this story to easily filter out technical commentators that don’t know what they’re talking about. Anyone who read the Cellebrite blog post and didn’t laugh at it doesn’t have a clue.

  24. Wukchumni

    Things have taken a weird turn on just the other side of nowhere, with gangs of forced carolers imposing on porches singing all the hits such as ‘Its just a flu and i’ll be over it by Christmas’ & Rudolf the exposed nose reindeer’ among favorites.

    In reality the situation here is pretty wide open bad in a lot of ways, and i’ve decided to not go into a retail establishment for at least a month, too risky.

    Add in way too many people streaming into one place from all pandemic points in order to see Sequoias, and its scary stuff kids…

  25. NotTimothyGeithner

    Ugh, I just called my GOP congress rat’s office to ask a question about the recent bill. I was pleasant. 2020 just keeps getting worse and worse.

  26. Milton

    I am not understanding the love for this article or any accompanying video. The five paragraphs I read are complete garbage. Flu only being around since the 1700s? Are you serious? It is documented, that flu has been present since the times of the Fertile Crecent-over 6000 years ago. Natural phenominae such as electrically-charged particals and sunspot activity during Maunder minimum periods reads something straight out of the global warming denialist handbook. There is nothing redeeming at all in this piece.

  27. ProNewerDeal

    fwd Links candidate – Tracks vaccine preorders in doses by nation & vaccine SKU

    USA has 1100M of 6 vaccine SKU. I don’t know if all 6 vaccines require 2 doses, but if so, this represents enough for 550M persons, enough to cover 167% of entire US population.

    Company, VaccineName, VaccineType, MDoses
    Oxford, AZD1222, Non-Replicating Viral Vector, 500
    Moderna, mRNA-1273, 200
    Novavax, NVX-CoV2373, Protein, 110
    Janssen/J&J, Ad26.COV2.s, Non-Replicating Viral Vector, 100
    Pfizer, BNT162, RNA, 100
    Sanofi-GSK, Protein, 100

    Note there is NO US orders of the Inactivated Virus Type from the Chinese or Indian vendor. Inactivated Virus is the type for flu & polio. I guess Globalization & Free Market Competition & May The Best Product Win In The Market for Thee, but not for Me (where Me=US & Euro Pharma companies)?

    I didn’t take biology or organic chemistry in college, so I am just incompetently guesstimating based of examples of existing vaccines for other non-COVID viruses by Vaccine Type on

    My perception is that RNA is very experimental, Non-Replicating Viral Vector is somewhat experimental, Protein is somewhat mature, & Inactivated Virus is very mature.

    I would love for a subject matter expert like IM_Doc or Ignacio to opine on the 4 vaccine types in general, & these 6 vaccines in particular. I acknowledge that the other 4 besides Pfizer & Moderna might still be in the Phase 3 Trial stage such that limited data may be available as of now.

  28. Geo

    “How COVID-19 Hollowed Out a Generation of Young Black Men ProPublica. The partner of one of our aides has three relatives who have died of Covid, all under 40.“

    Sorry to hear about your aide’s partners losses. That’s tragic. My roommate, a young black man, got it too while visiting family a while back. Fortunately all recovered ok.

    The article was depressing. Has to stop reading it but will go back to it. Many of the stories are so similar to what my black friends and loved ones have had to deal with in their own lives. And the numbers are outrageous!

    Have read quite a bit over the years about “healthcare” and the black community. The book “Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired” is a good one. “The Protest Psychosis” another. So much of our nation’s history is clouded by a hostility toward the black community, often masked as merely apathy, that is absolutely horrifying.

    To put faces of loved ones to those stories is enough to crush a spirit. 3/5ths seems like it’s still the measure of their humanity in our society.

  29. K.k

    South Africa’s health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize earlier said clinicians had “anecdotal evidence” that a “larger proportion of younger patients with no co-morbidities presenting with critical illness”.

    However, Dr John Nkengasong, the director of the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Daily Telegraph: “We don’t yet have enough data on this to ascertain if the new strain could be more infectious for children and young adults.”

    So not only does the new variant spread faster but may also cause more severe illness. And now reports they have discovered the new variant from south africa in the u.k. If its in the u.k , its likely its in the u.s.
    important to note use of “anecdotal”.

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