Links 12/24/2020

Udderly brilliant! Cows are fitted with woolly BRAS in the world’s coldest village as temperatures drop to -45C in Siberia Daily Mail

Octopus punches fish in the head (just because it can) Live Science

Global Policy Responses to Capital Flow Volatility IMF Blog

Asia’s capital markets to focus on vaccine in 2021, say bankers Reuters

Shipping IPO prospects slim as capital-market access plunges Freight Waves

Rotating Sails Help to Revive Wind-Powered Shipping Scientific American

Google told its scientists to ‘strike a positive tone’ in AI research – documents Reuters


A Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibody for Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19 (PDF) NEJM. I don’t imagine that NEJM reads NC, but in any case, this is an improvement over the BNT162b2 debacle. “Protocol” on first mention: “The TICO platform protocol (available with the full text of this article at governs the testing of multiple candidate therapies in a multigroup, multistage, double-blind design…” Now embed the entire URL so the reader doesn’t to poke through the entire NEJM site, and even better, make the link clickable. Best of all, include the Supplementary Materials section in the PDF. Bytes are cheap.

* * *

I’m A Scientist. I Can’t Even Get My Own Family And Friends To Follow COVID-19 Rules. HuffPo. This is a must-read. (The author also has Strategies for Disseminating and Implementing COVID‐19 Public Health Prevention Practices in Rural Areas Journal of Rural Health, back in April.)

‘Mom’s worth it’: US holiday travel surges despite outbreak AP (Re Silc). Re Silc: Also her estate!

Let’s put the straw man of pandemic denial out of his misery STAT. Important:

The obsession with denialism isn’t just inaccurate. It’s corrosive for at least three reasons. First, it needlessly alienates the interested public with false accusations. Second, by conflating reasonable dissent with unreasonable misinformation, it stifles debate, even about issues that genuinely warrant discussion. Third, the myth of denial deflects blame from the policy failures of politicians, who use it to claim they’ve done all they could, leaving only the denialists (and cheesecake eaters) to blame.

Members of John MacArthur’s Church Say They’re Being Pressured Not to Report New COVID Outbreak The Roys Report. Gotta keep those collection plates moving.

* * *

Millions of U.S. vaccine doses sit on ice, putting 2020 goal in doubt Reuters (Re Silc). Last mile problems at the hospitals.

Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine above 50 per cent efficacy, says Brazilian institute South China Morning Post

The Mysterious Link Between COVID-19 and Sleep The Atlantic (MV).

* * *

Covid-19 has turned the spotlight on the uneven provision of oxygen—a stark health inequity British Medical Journal

Pulse Oximeters May Be Less Accurate for Black People. Should You Use One? NYT

Coronavirus in Plumbing Systems Contractor (Chris). Hong Kong. Building codes are not the same as in the US.

Coronavirus tracker: the latest figures as countries fight Covid-19 resurgence (free) FT. Handy chart:

Interpretive thread:


China Looks at Cutting Inequality in Order to Boost the Economy Bloomberg

Civics lesson:

The think tank behind Australia’s changing view of China Australian Financial Review

Virus success helps Taiwan buck global downturn with enviable growth Agence France Presse. WFW = chips.

These Places Thought They’d Nailed the Virus. It’s Creeping Back Bloomberg. South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand.

Finding community at a COVID-19 quarantine centre in Myanmar Reuters

The Koreas

North Korean Party Congress Primer 38 North


‘This is all a facade’: Kashmiris vote in staged election FT

Democracy in Africa is in retreat FT


On cusp of Brexit trade deal, EU and UK haggle over fish Reuters. Fish like:

As of this writing….


Plans for 30-minute Covid testing in England halted amid accuracy fears Guardian

New Cold War

With Biden’s New Threats, the Russia Discourse is More Reckless and Dangerous Than Ever Glenn Greenwald

Russia Cries War As U.S. Tries To Kill Nord Stream 2

Russian and Chinese bombers fly joint patrol over Pacific AP

Trump Transition

Trump Vetoes Defense Bill, Setting Up Congressional Vote To Potentially Override Him NPR

Trump pardons Manafort, Stone and Charles Kushner in latest round The Hill

Trump lauded, then derided Barr. A look inside the attorney general’s tumultuous term. CNN

AHA seeks emergency relief to block enforcement of price transparency rule Healthcare Dive

Dozens Of Women Allege Unwanted Surgeries And Medical Abuse In ICE Custody NPR

Biden Transition

Biden Declares Political Center Alive and Well WSJ


Where In The World Is Kamala Harris? David Sirota and Andrew Perez, The Daily Poster

Biden’s Pony Problem: Why The Hunter Biden Scandal Is No Dead Horse Jonathan Turley

Democrats en Dishabille

Investigator: DNC Was “Directly Involved” In Iowa Caucus App Development, Countering DNC Denial The Intercept. “The DNC’s meddling, which included a last-minute demand that developers of the Shadow app create a special software that would allow the DNC real-time access to the raw numbers before they went public, didn’t sit well with [Sanders supporter James] Zogby.” That seems odd. Why would the DNC need that?

The Democratic Divide in New York State Ross Barkan, Political Currents. I don’t think Yang knows what he’s getting into.

Health Care

The Fight for Medicare for All Must Log Off Aaron Thorpe, Space and Light

Retiree Living the RV Dream Fights $12,387 Nightmare Lab Fee KHN

Police State Watch

We should get rid of local policing. Ferguson shows why the system just doesn’t work. Sunil Dutta, WaPo. Dutta is a 17-year-veteran police officer in Los Angeles.

A Neighbor Describes What Happened When Law Enforcement Stopped Responding to an Armed Encampment in North Portland Willimette Week

XMas Pre-Game Festivities

TK Newsletter: Yuletide Edition Matt Taibbi, TK News

States Square Off Over Taxing Remote Workers’ Income WSJ

Class Warfare

Reddit Is A Window Into The American Nightmare The American Conservative

An Essential Worker’s List of Pandemic Chores for the Kids JAMA

Antidote du jour (NotBerlin):

NotBerlin writes: “Here is Magee, our one year-old puppy. She is an official “real” breed…. a Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Sir Walter Scott tagged this breed in a novel of his :) My wife and I just love her, and she runs the show. End of story. She’s the sweetest girl on the planet.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. The Rev Kev

    “Where In The World Is Kamala Harris?”

    Sharing a tub of ice-cream with Nancy Pelosi? Hiding out in Joe Biden’s basement? Getting her marching orders from Wall Street? Anywhere that she does not have to commit to one side or the other until it is all decided when she can re-emerge and then claim credit for negotiating behind the scenes for a successful conclusion.

    1. IdahoSpud

      She’s in training for her role as Commandant at Gitmo. It will soon be expanded to handle American citizens who engage in wrongthink.

    2. the suck of sorrow

      Dear Rev Kev:

      I can’t afford your sense of humor. I am a US citizen and resident here for this cluster (you know how that ends.)
      For those of us with Senators, let’s give them a call to get them on board with her May position.
      FFS, the New York Times is running an article without the ability for readers to comment that basically uses the faulty austerity biased economist blather to worry about sending money to citizens.
      We know damn well that other countries support their citizens. So can ours.
      It is not humorous in the least that many cannot afford a tiny $400 emergency. The money is necessary. This is not a joking matter.
      The only way the vaccines can get a grip is to pay people to stay home and as well provide a bonus for getting inoculated.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Personally I believe that many of your politicians (I can’t call them leaders) are gratuitously cruel and vindictive. There is no economic reason why there should not be support for US citizens as far as I can see. It would actually help the economy as it would create demand for basics such as food and people would be able to pay their rent which would benefit landlords. Instead, they literally could not care less about their fellow citizens and Pelosi is typical of this mindset.

        This idea of shelling out trillions to billionaires and pet causes like the Dalai Lama and regime change operations while only giving a pittance to their own citizens only proves that they will only concede what they have to in face of a demand. Progressives playing nice is not going to do it and at the moment I think that both major parties are beyond redemption. I think that only a radical change is going to do it but don’t know how that will play out.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Perhaps politicians in the US are not so “gratuitously cruel and vindictive” as they are collaterally cruel and vindictive to accomplish other goals. I suspect Big Money is still working on its Christmas lists of presents for itself. The most recent ‘relief’ package had a careless slapped together quality manifest in its ridiculous length. Perhaps there is a CARES Act II still in the works that requires that the US Populace endure dire circumstances to grease its passage wrapped in another ampule of sparingly administered ‘relief’.

          I am no longer certain we have any acting progressives in US Government, although there is occasional smoke and hot air. I agree a radical change is called for … but I fear and dread how that might have to be accomplished.

        2. tegnost

          There is no economic reason why there should not be support for US citizens as far as I can see

          the us min wage is 7.25 an hour. employers like employees who work as much as possible without qualifying for insurance etc… so no hour contracts (wtf) and 24-28 hour weeks spread among more employees is more desirable than fewer full time employees who then have more striking power. so a roughly 30 hour week at 7.25 is about 200/wk minus taxes is down to 170 ish. So 600 is like a free months pay and the serfs, oops employees may just decide to quit or look for other jobs. Now give those folks 2000 and there will be torn out employer hair littering the streets. This, imo, is the bind the corporation loving scoundrels known as the democrats find themselves in. Who’s gonna drive your instacart? Your uber? McDonalds, Wendy’s , the teriyaki place? 600 is probably the average monthly wage for a lot of those people. You want to give them 3 months pay? Think of the consequences, man. Be realistic!/s

          1. tegnost

            What if they pay down their credit card debt, ffs, or stop using payday loans?
            The ramifications are dire

        3. anon in so cal

          Getting more “cosmetic procedures”?

          Totally agree. Millions for “gender issues” in Pakistan, $433,000,000 to Ukraine (to Banderites to fuel the U.S. proxy war with Russia…..).

          Does anyone read Wolf Street? He and some of his readers take an opposing view.

          “Spending on durable goods backed off a crazy spike for the first time since April, falling by 1.7% in November from October to $1.76 billion (annual rate). But this was still up 13.2% from February and 13.0% from a year ago.

          For the 11 months through November, spending on durable goods was up 5.2% from the same period last year, despite the plunge in the spring.

          Consumers had spent a portion of the Pandemic money on these goods, such as laptops, smartphones, hot tubs, appliances, bicycles, and new vehicles. Many of these products or their components are imported from China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, etc., and the US stimulus ended up stimulating their economies. ”

          IMHO, we need UBI plus a total lockdown for two months, with food provided by the National Guard.
          Of course, this does not solve the problem of multi-gen households crammed into 1000 square feet.
          What is the remedy?

          Is Fauci suggesting they were following a herd immunity (aka culling the herd) strategy?

          1. campbeln

            Hillary lost so Cold War 2.0 / WWIII was put on hold (though back now it seems based on the 3x links above).

            We need to cull the working aged population somehow!

      2. Brian (another one they call)

        I have contacted my senators many times in the past. I have realized that they did nothing while the last president was in power and simply rail at the nastiness of the current president. One is famous for noting that really bad things are happening, but never gets a damned thing done about it.
        The emails I get from my senators tell me they are withdrawn and ignorant of the conditions the people are facing. Or, they are being well paid to ignore them. Either way, the rot is most apparent. I have voted for them for years and that was my mistake.
        And yes, Portland is the city in which they reside when away from the swamp.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        I agree with your sentiment.

        All this “joking” about kamala harris’ naked political striving or nancy pelosi’s expensive ice cream freezer trivializes the fact that they are in positions to do considerable harm to people who have already been harmed enough. And then some.

        It’s time to take these despicable creatures seriously, because they are dead serious.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I believe humour can be dead serious. Besides I believe sometimes things are so bad — getting worse each time you check on it — and there is nothing you can do about … except joke and laugh. The alternative is too depressing.

        2. polecat

          Hence my sarcastic responses towards the condescension and malfeasance of ‘Cold Bowl’ Nancy, and those of her ilk! – Regardless of party color.
          These people need to be invested into Stocks .. the kind with wooden pins n shackles, with public rubbishing bins topped full of offal for the throwing!

    3. Stephen C.

      She’s tidying up her IDpol resume, making sure she’s got all her pronouns in order, and having a woke English major comb through her definition of her particular mix blackness/not blackness for any errors, and other important things like that. Be patient, it might take 3.5 years to get this done.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    I’m A Scientist. I Can’t Even Get My Own Family And Friends To Follow COVID-19 Rules. HuffPo. This is a must-read.

    Since the very beginning, I’ve noticed a sort of cognitive dissonance among many people with related expertise, in that they are often among the worst offenders in advocating the Covid rules, while breaking them. I know quite a few people in the medical field and hospital workers who flout the rules in private, often giving very convoluted justifications. In the early days of the pandemic there were several outbreaks, most notoriously the one in Russia caused by a top virologist who went to Spain on her holidays which were attributed to idiotic behavior by the last people who should have been doing it.

    What I find worrying is the gradual weakening of recommendations, which seem to be based on a sort of ‘well, people are going to break the rules anyway, we might as well just accept it’ approach, which I think is the exact opposite of where we should be going. I think a key reason why many Asian countries have done better is that they have a culture of ‘if a rule says you don’t do this, expect consequences if you break the rule’. This applies to everything from littering to traffic violations, and it should do so to disease control. On my cycle to work today, as per usual there were cars packed on the cycle tracks, and SUV’s blithely stopping on cycling advance stop lines. They do this because they are never, ever, ticketed here for that type of ‘minor’ violation. And when a cyclist gets killed because of it, its always ‘an accident’, not the outcome of poor policing. Gradually, the same casualness is creeping in with Covid controls.

    Much of this can be attributed I think to the obsession with ‘nudging’ for behavior. From the beginning I thought it was a mistake in so many European countries not to make a firm distinction between ‘recommendations’ and ‘rules’ – with the latter being strictly and unambiguously applied. The relentless fudging has allowed behavioral slippage, with the people suffering being those who follow the rules but still get infected thanks to other peoples bad behaviour.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that you are right. Clear borders and rules applied across the board so that people know where they stand. Just saw an application of this. So there was this guy in my own State that was awaiting a Coronavirus test but then decided that he just had to go drive to a MacDonalds for a meal. The police busted him so now he goes direct into government-provided hotel accommodation for the next two weeks at a cost of about $3,000-

      Then again, my own sister is going to Sydney where there is an outbreak at the moment. When asked, she stated that she knew that none of her kids and families would be infected. Gacchhh! And for a contrast, my State has two cases. One guy returned from a hot spot in Sydney and though his test indicated negative, self-isolated. He started to get sick and his next test came up positive but as he did the right thing, there was no harm. On the other hand the second case is on a super luxury yacht from the Maldives. Though they are denying it, they have not been forth-coming with contract-tracers trying to do their job so they may be in for an extended stay-

    2. Boomka

      Smart people often don’t get the simplest of things, and this scientist definitely does not get it. Complaining about his mother going to see her husband.

      At this point we have been asking many people to put themselves into solitary confinement for almost a year. Something that UN officially recognizes as a form torture. Thanks to the hollowing out the institution of family, the loneliness epidemic was with us well before COVID. With so many people living alone these days, I think invoking the word torture when talking about lockdowns is actually entirely appropriate (and yes I understands solitary confinement in prison is much worse but the same type of suffering is present).

      The time to make people follow the rules was in March last year. If people could believe then that the virus is getting eradicated and life is getting back to normal very soon afterwards, then maybe they would cooperate. Now everyone in Europe and Americas understands that the virus is not going anywhere, there is no plan or hope of eradicating it other than maybe with vaccines. They don’t understand why they should lock themselves up.

      This blindness to the plight and suffering of others is probably why this so called expert on public communication fails at his job so miserably.

      1. The Historian

        I’m 72 years old and I have 7 children and 15 grandchildren that I haven’t seen in a year. I also have had several jobs on my road to retirement. I once worked for a year and a half as a corrections officer in a prison. I also worked as a part time OJT respiratory therapist in the 70’s while I was paying my way through college.

        Let me tell you: Social distancing is NOTHING like being in solitary confinement! Solitary confinement is the lack of all meaningful stimulus – bare walls, no TV, no one to talk to, no personal effects, etc. That is NOT what happens during social distancing when you still have your home, your phone, your TV, your computer, etc. But as long as you keep telling yourself that social distancing is like solitary confinement, you start believing that it is and then you start feeling abused and sorry for yourself.

        When I was an OJT respiratory therapist, I saw people die – and one of the worst ways was to see people dying of pneumonia – drowning in your own bodily fluids is not a nice way to go. Why would you not do everything in your power to stop that from happening to people if you cared about them?

        Yes, we should have kept social distancing up from March, but we didn’t. In my town, we had a lockdown and we had a handle on Covid – we were down to 1 to 2 cases a day – and then we opened up the bars. We haven’t had a handle on Covid since. I do know that we could still get a handle on Covid if we did have a mask mandate and a shutdown of gathering places but we just don’t have the will to do it any more. And why? Because we as a society can no longer do the things we used to do for our communities – it is all about me, me, me these days and we build up great rationalizations, like social distancing is like being in a SHU to bolster our desires. We can also no longer delay gratification – not even for a moment – for the good of society. We need to see grandma NOW – we can’t wait a year. We need to eat out or go to a bar NOW – we can’t wait until it is safe. We want everything NOW!

        Everywhere you look, you can find stories of how some person brought Covid to someone they loved – and now they are very sorry – because sometimes that someone they loved died. Their inability to delay gratification cost a loved one their life. I can imagine THAT would be harder to live with than social isolation – any day!

        As I said, I have 7 children and 15 grandchildren that I haven’t seen in a year – and I miss them terribly even though I Zoom and Facetime with them often. But I’d rather have them all safe and well, and not get Covid and all that entails, like lingering side effects. I can put off my need for gratification a while longer to try and keep them safe! Sometimes you just have to think of others first.

        1. Boomka

          I am just explaining why many people will not practice social distancing for years and years. I understand you don’t like their reasoning or even their moral fibre. I understand you may think loneliess is no big deal or their suffering is overblown or may not even qualify as suffering. But if you want them to cooperate, you need to know how they think.

          If you really want to fight the virus, you go into very hard lockdown early, get rid of the virus entirely, and then stay on top of with mass testing and tracing.

          Anything else is just asking people to choose between one type of suffering and another, and then acting surprised that not everyone chooses the way you would.

          1. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

            One type of suffering: I have to skype mimaw to gossip instead of going to gossip in person :(

            Another type of suffering: oh sweet jesus I’m drowning in my own lungs

          2. Yves Smith

            My God, have you never gone on a diet or engaged in anything that required self-discipline, like learning a new language? Your not being willing to deal with loneliness and finding a way to keep yourself engaged is self indulgent and risking killing other people or quasi crippling them through long Covid (see IM Doc yesterday on his observations re frequency and severity among his patients).

            Find a hobby, fer Chrissakes. A busy mind doesn’t have time to get lonely. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has found that “flow” as in complete immersion in an activity, is key to happiness.

          3. Procopius

            But if you want them to cooperate, you need to know how they think.

            You know, that’s what I think that woman doesn’t get. I wonder who told her she’s an expert. She thinks she is because she published a couple of papers and she recommends strategies to state authorities? If her strategies don’t work with her own family, how does she think they will work with other people? She’s as much an expert as the high-priced consultants who run the DNC (why are their names never given?).

        2. tegnost

          70’s while I was paying my way through college.
          Not sure what that has to do with solitary confinement and yes it gets you merit points and I do appreciate your moral leadership but paying your way through college in the mid 70’s probably wasn’t that hard.TAP and pell grants were there for the taking and your tuition and rent were pennies compared to the world we now exist in.

          1. FluffytheObeseCat

            The point is he saw people drowning in their own lungs on that job, not that he paid his way through college with it. It’s why he knows that sniveling about boredom is disgusting when compared to the death you may force upon others via bar hopping and mask-less socializing right now.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              > It’s why he knows that sniveling about boredom is disgusting when compared to the death you may force upon others via bar hopping and mask-less socializing right now.

              “The right to infect others shall not be infringed.”

        3. Oh

          Three words sum up our society:
          It’s all about me. I want it now. I want more.

          BTW, there’s nothing wrong with lockdowns. It gives you a chance to explore your inner space.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            There’s nothing wring with lockdowns if the government would pay people to stay home. If they would even show an inkling that they gave a [family blog]. If they would follow their own rules and not keep getting caught flouting them.

            None of that is happening.

            Yes we have a selfish society, extremely so. But this country has been glorifying the myth of the ‘entrepreneur’ and the ‘self made man’ since its inception. There were some nice words about “We, The People” in order to gain independence once upon a time but it’s been Me Now More ever since, and that comes from our leadership, despite the protestations of millions of we the people over the years who truly wanted to create a more equitable society.

            The fish rots from the head.

              1. polecat

                Anyone here read David Collum’s year end review? He pulls no punches, slathering the muck quite thick on a whole slew of malcontents. Well worth a read. He’s one who can definately see, keeping his Hoffman lenses a might close to his breast pocket!

                Read it on Chris Martensen’s blogsite.

                just an fyi

      2. Nick

        The author describes her mother visiting her husband as something that occurred back in March. You talk about “facing solitary confinement for almost a year” but those was not the conditions under which that unwise decision was made.

        I’m sorry if your year has played out in a way that makes you more sensitive to the plight of people who miss interacting with others in person than to that of those who die or lose loved ones. You decry others’ blindness to the plight and suffering of others but use an inappropriate comparison of torture yourself that implies a shoddy understanding of the experience of solitary confinement. The suffering of prisoners in solitary confinement is not at all like the situation of serial COVID guideline violators, whose conduct not only puts themselves and others at risk but entails frequent interaction with others, and who also have many other options for social interaction.

        1. Boomka

          I am not saying people who violate distancing rules by visiting family and friends are blind to suffering of COVID victims. I am saying they have realized that their governments have no intention of eliminating the virus, so now they calculate their behaviors based on the virus just being there permanently.

          As a result, the risk calculation has become very similar to the type of risk calculation we perform when driving cars. It also carries significant danger of killing or crippling yourself, your family, or some strangers. Yet how many of us have never violated speed limit, or never used their phone while driving?

          1. t

            More like the risk calculation of driving to a bar or party planning to drink a lot and then drive your own drunk self home because, according to your own estimate, you can “handle it.”

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              > More like the risk calculation of driving to a bar or party planning to drink a lot and then drive your own drunk self home because, according to your own estimate, you can “handle it.”

              We should never have opened the bars, never. Closed, Crowded, Close Contact, an ideal environment for spread.

        2. diptherio

          Yes, yes, that’s the spirit! Shoot the messenger!

          I think Boomka has a point, much though it must pain some of you to admit it. Our government, and our corporate and scientific establishments have destroyed their credibility through their own actions, as I would expect NC readers to be well aware of. Our economic system has immiserated large portions of the populace, with many of us barely scraping by from month to month. A lot of us feel like we literally have no future, apart from destitution, and we already had an epidemic of loneliness before the pandemic. Meanwhile, many are forced to work in high-risk environments and spend their time serving complete strangers every day, but are then asked to forego spending time with the people they actually care about. In America, at least if you’re poor, if you’re working class, life is cheap. We shouldn’t be too surprised if that message has been internalized, and is acted upon.

          We’ve sown the wind and are reaping the whirlwind. Moralizing over the actions people caught in the middle of it is of no use…apart from filling one with a sense of superiority.

          1. lyman alpha blob


            I made a similar comment above, but you said it much better.

            I have the luxury of working from home for now at least – my industry has a decent chance of being severely downsized or wiped out by the pandemic. But 25 years ago I was a restaurant worker and I don’t even like to think about what would be happening if I still were in that situation. Most likely I would be trying to pick up some gig work to keep from being evicted, and like you say, after a day of serving strangers I don’t know as I would be all that willing to follow the advice of an uncaring, untrustworthy government either.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > In America, at least if you’re poor, if you’re working class, life is cheap. We shouldn’t be too surprised if that message has been internalized, and is acted upon.

            Now we know what “there’s no such thing as society” looks like when faced with a pandemic.

            Adding: I don’t think we have statistics on what I suppose I would call non-compliance. It may be that those who feel themselves secure are least likely to comply. That doesn’t sound like poor and working class to me.

            1. Massinissa

              “Now we know what “there’s no such thing as society” looks like when faced with a pandemic.”

              Considering two of the worst effected nations in this crisis are the ones previously headed by Reagan and Thatcher, that’s a really good point.

              1. eg

                Yup. In America it’s what happens when a public health crisis hits a country without public health care.

          3. drexciya

            Totally agree with your point of view. In the Netherlands, the officials in charge have initially downplayed the virus, even while it was getting closer. Things went South during carnival (carnaval), in the part of the country which is heavily invested in that time of the year. Then things went from bad to worse; the reaction was still rather passive, and we got a lockdown somewhere in March, when the first wave was already receding.

            Then we had x months to prepare for the second wave, and they didn’t do anything useful at all. Behind the scenes it has been a disaster. No scaling up the capacity of health care (which has been gutted by 10 years of Mark Rutte, and there’s an ongoing scandal with the Dutch IRS – “toeslagen affaire”, which puts politicians in an even worse light), no planning or anything. Also ignoring the aerosol based spreading of the disease, which was clear by that time.

            And then we got hit again, and then things got really weird. Everything now revolves around the so-called cases; positive PCR tests. This moving of the goal posts has been the leading argument for implementing the second lockdown.

            The number of actually sick people, or people that died, is relatively small compared to the so called “cases”. That’s where alarm bells are starting to go off. Now I don’t want to downplay Covid-19, but we now know that the IFR and CFR are nowhere near as high as what we initially thought.

            And this is were the peoples’ response starts to go wrong. If you keep bombarding people with fear porn, when it is disproportionate to what people actually observe, and you set some really bad examples yourself (an official had a wedding without social distancing), you destroy any trust people still have in your policies, and the measures in general.

            And you top it off, by not taking any responsibility for all the damage your measures have caused (and are still causing), and blaming “the people” for not adhering to the rules. Especially the playing out of people against each other, is the worst about this whole thing. People who are even a tiny bit critical about what has been going on, are simply put away as retards (“wappies”), without any decent arguments or discussion, which has caused a real big split in society.

            The main problem in all of this, has been a lack on integrity with the people, who are supposed to know what they’re doing. We’ve seen some issues with experts having conflicting interests as well, which is just the icing on the cake.

            And let’s add the media to this as well, since they’ve jumped on the fear porn bandwagon, as well as writing glowing reviews of the policies; some media were almost begging for new and even stricter measures, while completely ignoring the growing criticism and any alternative approach (vitamin D, Ivermectin). The mainstream media has been so feckless, that it’s unbearable to watch. So-called journalists have only come up with softball questions in just about any press conference with our prime minister.

      3. Dirk77

        About “so-called experts”: Someone needs to send to the author the memo that being an “expert” doesn’t have as much cache as it used to among the general populace. And it may not be a bad thing as Lambert might say.

        1. Procopius

          I compare it to finding a snooker or soccer coach. What you want, as an ‘expert,’ is not someone who knows all the statistics, not someone who is an outstanding player, but someone whose students become outstanding players, or whose teams go on to win lots of their games.

      4. anon in so cal

        California now has >2 million Covid cases. No one has ever asked anyone to go into solitary.

        CA Gov Gavin Newsom quickly relaxed the early “lockdown” against the advice of Santa Clara County health director Dr. Sara Cody, who had recommended an actual lockdown.

        Now, as Los Angeles County registers 16,000 new daily cases and 180 daily fatalities, people are out and about shopping in crowded malls:

    3. larry

      PK, I have often wondered whether some of these people are what Germans would call Fachidiots, people who are quite accomplished in their own field but absolute idiots outside it. The Japanese refer to a person like this as a specialist idiot and they have a term for it. I don’t know of an English equivalent.

      1. Massinissa

        “people who are quite accomplished in their own field but absolute idiots outside it.”

        My favorite example of this is Ben Carson. One of the best pediatric neurosurgeons of his era, and he should be lauded for that. But he knows basically nothing about politics. He seems to have known even less about politics than the other Republican candidates he ran against in the 2016 Republican Primary, despite arguably being smarter in his field than any of his opponents were in theirs. I respect him greatly as a doctor, but not as a political candidate or head of HUD.

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        There is even a term for it – it’s called morosoph. The definition of this word is – a learned fool; an educated person who lacks common sense and good judgment.

      3. Harold

        “Learned ignoramus” is the term I’ve heard of.

        It began in 1367 with Petrarch’s polemic against some learned Aristotelians (who had called him ignorant because he didn’t know the works of Aristotle): De sui ipsius et multorum ignorantia, “Of His Own Ignorance and That of Many.”

        In the 1930s Jose Ortega Y Gasset wrote of what he called the Barbarism of Specialization. The specialist:

        “is not learned for he is formally ignorant of all that does not enter into his specialty; but neither is he ignorant, because he is a “scientist” and “knows” very well his tiny portion of the universe. We shall have to say that he is a learned ignoramus, which is a very serious matter, as it implies that he is a person who is ignorant, not in the fashion of the ignorant man, but with the petulance of one who is learned in his own special line. ….. By specializing him, civilization has made him hermetic and self-satisfied within his limitations; but this very inner feeling of dominance and worth will induce him to wish to predominate outside his specialty.


    4. CoryP

      ”despite my vocal and visible expertise [at health communication], I still can’t get my family or friends to follow the guidelines.” — this lament is repeated in a couple variations.

      Okay, maybe one’s friends and family may not take their expertise seriously, since they’ve seen the messy human side of the person, and would respond better to the same expertise coming from a different messenger.

      But otherwise,shouldn’t we conclude that there is something wrong with the expertise if it isn’t working? Not that the author isn’t themself an expert, but maybe some kind of larger problem in the field?

      I believe it was Clive (who I hope is doing well!!) who had a lot of interesting things to say about public health messaging and human nature. Obviously it’s a well studied field and the experts presumably aren’t making this up as they go along…

      Anyway it’s just in my snarky nature to turn the article’s complaining tone against the author. I may be off base. [edit: though I think it was the number of times the words “expert/ise” were used.

      Plus if she was a teenager in the mid aughts she’s my age and I think my cohort has at least another decade before we can really claim to be experts]

        1. t

          Or had Zoom conversations with some of my coworkers, received emails from my family and friends, seen Facebook posts from people I know personally who are, if anything, more outspoken IRL. FFS, there have been formal protests.

          Maybe it was a good piece about not painting all rule flouters with such a broad brush, and a click-hungry editor sexed it up.

    5. John Beech

      People are stupid. I wear a helmet when I ride my motorcycle because there are limits to my stupidity (else I wouldn’t be on one in the first place). What’s unusual about this? No helmet law in FL.

      Same with a mask, and other protective measures. Government said early on there was no indication masks helped wearers and only protected others. I didn’t give a damn, and wore a mask regardless.

      Government says don’t wash groceries, don’t worry about the mail, no need. I don’t care, and wash everything that enters the house and what isn’t washed is sprayed down with IPA (isopropyl alcohol).

      And getting the stuff in your nose isn’t a death sentence if you promptly attend to is by washing it out, just as you would a particle of dust. How? Simply, by using saline water with a Betadine solution via a Neti pot-like type device. I use this:
      . . . and the mix is dead nuts simple, 3-TBSP of non-iodized salt in a 2L bottle.

      Note: I actually mix two bottles, I’ll add 10cc of Betadine to the second (turns it the color of tea). This one is for when I fear contagion (following visits to the doctor’s office, people got too close to me for comfort in the grocery store line, or encountering people who don’t believe in mask use).

      Fact is, amongst those who get it, the vast majority are fine, like maybe 95%. The question is, do you want to be one of the unfortunates fighting for a bed and a chance of intubation? Me? I don’t want to be the last guy to die of it so just like practicing safe sex before meant a rubber, these days I take steps to protect myself from COVID19 because it’s not rocket science.

      1. Darius

        Very good. Also, be current with all your vaccinations. Take a multivitamin with minerals everyday. The worst outcome of your approach is you were overly cautious. No regrets.

    6. Steve D

      This HuffPost piece I think unintentionally indicts the ‘public health professionals’ for their own failings. Instead of maybe a little introspection of their own work, assumptions, & methods, the author falls back on blaming the people who weren’t smart enough to follow her ‘expert advice.’

      “Don’t wear a mask”; “Keep traveling”, “Stay at home” (when outdoors was already understood to be broadly protective), and a generalized failure to be specific with respect to likely transmission vectors, all have left “public health” with zero authority. She even repeats the “6 feet” rule without any qualification. Well deserved.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Thank you. From a different article dated Nov. 6:

        The dinner party Gov. Gavin Newsom apologized this week for attending — saying it was a mistake to dine with so many people amid the coronavirus pandemic — included two guests who lobby on behalf of California doctors, the very profession that has been imploring people to refrain from social activity that could hasten the virus’ spread.

        Dustin Corcoran, CEO of the California Medical Association, and Janus Norman, the group’s lobbyist and senior vice president, joined Newsom and several other guests Nov. 6 at the French Laundry, an exclusive restaurant in Napa County….One of the images shows at least 10 people sitting close together at an elegant table, none wearing masks. Norman is seated beside Newsom and Corcoran sits a few seats over.

        Now I am NOT an “expert” in how to “share” covid facts with the public, and I have NOT “published academic papers on how to disseminate COVID-19 guidelines and get people to follow them.”

        But somewhere in all that “communication” education there must have been at least some discussion of the value of consistency of message when attempting to influence behavior. Not to mention how many times people can be lied to (opiates are not addictive) regarding “health” concerns before they stop taking the “message” seriously.

        Maybe instead of lamenting her own family’s intransigence, she should ask gavin newsom and his guests, or Dr. Deborah Birx for that matter, why it is that the author has failed to persuade them.

        1. Phacops

          I think that “listen to the science” has drowned out the soft disciplines of behavioral specialties. I happen to think (as one practicing within the sciences) that not having effective behavioral specialists on a COVID task force is a mistake.

          I was in a virology class back when Marburg and Ebola were coming to light. One final exam question was to design a team and procedures to determine the agent. Part of the successful answer was in adding representation by vets and ethnologists. In one’s specialty, and unless you work to introduce viewpoints other than your own, one is Susciptible to Dunning Kreuger.

          Hmmm . . . is there anything like an ethical behavioral economist to assist in COVID policy or are they merely whores for the FIRE sector?

        2. Dirk77

          I think that plus just human nature: people have limited ability to relate to the plight of others unless they’ve experienced it themselves. I see this all the time from others and see it in myself. I see no mention in the article of the so-called slackers actually personally knowing anyone who has gotten ill. Perhaps if her mom were able to get out in her community and see the tears of others she knows. Just talking with others. But that’s not really allowed now in the pandemic.

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          > But somewhere in all that “communication” education there must have been at least some discussion of the value of consistency of message when attempting to influence behavior.

          The word is ethos.

          1. ambrit

            Sorry, but today’s elites have changed ‘ethos’ to ‘bathos.’ Changed it not necessarily by design, but changed nonetheless.

      2. marym

        There have been good faith and very bad faith failures, and bad behavior, by credentialed experts and nominally pro-“science” and pro-containment politicians and media.

        However, there’s also been plenty of influence by prominent elites in politics and media, and those they present as experts, claiming the pandemic is a hoax and precautions are tyranny; contributing to unfounded expectations about herd immunity; underreporting the impact; staging and attending indoor gatherings; etc.

        Given that many of the latter segment of influential elites availed themselves of work-from-home, frequent testing, high-end medical treatment if they got sick, and now vaccines, maybe their credibility will be questioned by their followers too.

      3. carl

        In which the author discovers to her dismay that members of her own family have the all-too-human characteristic of filtering inconvenient information. Welcome to the monkey house, doc.

    7. Louis Fyne

      bingo. compare-contrast the US with sanctuary non-enforcement for left-wing and right-wing positions.

      And over there the concept of personal shame is much, much stronger (or pernicious depending on one’s POV).

      Wonder what factors are behind Germany’s apparent discipline breakdown. Germany seemed to be doing very well until recently

    8. Darius

      You’re riding in the “just a bike lane.” As in, “Park the car here. It’s just a bike lane.” Bicyclists may find bike lanes useful where they’re not put to their highest and best uses as extra car parking spaces.

      If they’re serious about it, cities put the bike lane between the parking and the sidewalk. It really makes a difference. Most cities aren’t serious. Putting the bike lane between parking and traffic just makes it part of the auto zone.

      1. Chas

        A few years back a friend of mine was killed when he bicycled along a bike path that was beside parking. Someone opened their car door just ahead of him and he slammed into it and was thrown into the air and landed on his helmeted head.

        1. Phacops

          Which is why, when one is a driver with a bike lane to your left, it is good practice to open the door with your right hand. Just that motion forces one to see approaching motion.

      1. KLG

        Depending on R0, effective herd immunity can require 90+% of the population to be immune, either through vaccination or survival of the infection. This has been known for a very long time. It is why those very few who cannot be vaccinated due to an underlying condition are both safe from the disease and unlikely to transmit the disease should they be unlucky. As measles vaccinations have declined from the high-90% range in many populations, that most transmissible of viral diseases has made several comebacks (thank you to the noted experts Drs. Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy).

        Here is a credible animation that is much more expressive than most I have seen:
        Until we get to whatever actual value for SARS-CoV-2 that is equivalent to the bottom center or lower right panel…

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I see that Dr Fauci has been hiding the truth again, for our own good of course.

        From the article:

        In the pandemic’s early days, Dr. Fauci tended to cite the same 60 to 70 percent estimate that most experts did. About a month ago, he began saying “70, 75 percent” in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said “75, 80, 85 percent” and “75 to 80-plus percent.”

        In a telephone interview the next day, Dr. Fauci acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts. He is doing so, he said, partly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.

        JFC another Noble Lie. And why? Because the last one on masks worked so well? This dude thinks he’s a Philosopher King in Plato’s Republic, not a public servant, and so he lies whenever he wants to.

        And we wonder why experts, as a class, aren’t trusted! Individual experts are often very trustworthy; we have some here. But Fauci is at the top of the food chain. One can only think he is so because of his proven ability to lie and get away with it — like so many others. And of course one of the first things Biden did was keep him on. Because of course.

          1. km

            My mother’s attitude towards Fauci borders on hero worship. If he lies, it’s for our own good and because we’re not worthy of the truth.

            Then again, my mother is an extremely committed and partisan supporter of Team D.

            1. polecat

              I see him as a kind of perversely folded Freudian prion, encapsulated inside an epidemiologist clinical garb shell.

        1. Maritimer

          This guy has made a Faucian Bargain with Big Pharma. Dante should do a rewrite and put in a Tenth Circle Of Hell for folks like Dr. Phauci.

        2. petal

          I tried to explain to my old principal the other week about Fauci’s lying, politics, the damage it’s done and will do, etc, and it was pointless. They think he’s a god and cannot be criticised. If you find fault with Fauci, you’re evil, dumb, and the rightest right winger ever/horrible Trump supporter. “He’s not Trump.” You’re not allowed to question him. He cannot be wrong.

      3. Cuibono

        For starters, we don’t even know if the concept of herd immunity makes sense for CV infections. It surely did not for the common cold. the data from the Pfizer trial shower that people previously infected were as likely as those not previously infected to get this again. OUCH

    9. Geof

      The author strikes me as emotionally fragile:

      The emotional toll this has taken on me is significant.

      they don’t seem to appreciate how their actions are also damaging the relationship. It feels like I’m the only one carrying this very heavy emotional burden.

      She’s catastrophizing:

      whether intentionally or unintentionally, we’re inflicting mortal emotional wounds on each other.

      She thinks she’s responsible for the whole world’s problems:

      I’ve vacillated between rage and resignation. One moment I want to scream at the top of my lungs and call them out at every turn ― even if it means burning that bridge ― to try to keep them and others safe.

      She is in possession of the “truth”, it’s her job to police others, and is accordingly entitled to respect:

      They say they “respect my position” ― as if following the guidelines to save others is a difference of opinion.

      We feel like we’ve been screaming into a void that we once thought loved, trusted and respected us.

      Yet she’s insecure about it:

      There’s also a feeling of being gaslighted, which at least seems to be very on-brand for 2020. You begin to question if you’re the one being unreasonable. Maybe I am asking too much of people? You feel guilty for your privileges.

      But at least she is pure:

      it is a positive to at least know how selfish and self-centered our fellow citizens are.


      I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. . . . in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. . . . The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all. . . . Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool. . . . Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

      We seem to be of an age when our responsibility is not only for ourselves, but for everyone else: and that responsibility becomes a duty: and that duty becomes a right. So we see self-will as disrespect, as foolishness that needs to be ruled by a stronger power. We cannot let people make their own choices, for they might be the wrong ones, and they might affect someone else. All this expertise ends up as might-makes-right, endless struggle, and a world that is undeserving. It ends, as here, in narcissistic suffering.

      1. Procopius

        Thanks for that. I’m not a Christian (I did go to Sunday School every week as a child), but I’ve always thought there was wisdom in Eccliastes. On the other hand, there’s the book of Daniel … Anyway, more preachers ought to return to that passage at least once a month.

      2. feox

        We seem to be of an age when our responsibility is not only for ourselves, but for everyone else: and that responsibility becomes a duty: and that duty becomes a right. So we see self-will as disrespect, as foolishness that needs to be ruled by a stronger power. We cannot let people make their own choices, for they might be the wrong ones, and they might affect someone else.

        It’s strange because you’re taking an ironic tone but I believe this is exactly the kind of thinking and attitude we need a lot more of in order to deal with modern global problems (inequality, environmental destruction, health) and to do away with the individualism of neoliberalism.

        1. Geof

          I agree about the problems. They pose existential threats.

          I don’t intend my comment ironically at all. What I describe is the belief that the ends justify the means. That it is the right of the few who possess superior knowledge (or so they believ) to use force to compel the many, for their own good.

          What does history say about that?

          The moment you believe that the only thing needed to legitimate your use of power is the rightness of your ends, power becomes your #1 priority. It is more important than good – because without power, you cannot do good. Power corrupts. Far from stepping away from individualism, the belief in personal righteousness is the apotheosis of individualism.

          Discarding consent, it guarantees conflict. Politics will always exist because there are fundamental differences of conviction and interest. The Star Trek: TNG fantasy that everything is just a misunderstanding is dangerous. You may think it worthwhile to sideline democracy to save the world. You will doom both.

          This is where were are today. It essentially is neoliberalism: the belief that technocrats can produce the greatest good for the greatest number if only they constrain the irrationality of the masses. What these technocrats fail to understand, what we have seen illustrated so clearly during the neoliberal era, is that the technocrats are no wiser – but they are more dangerous.

          The fundemental wrong behind neoliberalism, behind technocracy, behind the horrors of the 20th century – the wrong identified by the Frankfurt School scholars whose ideas spun off contemporary social justice – is the instrumental use of human beings. Turning the young (in particular) into agents of history, with the duty and the right to enforce righteousness, in order to correct the wrongs of past generations, is to treat them as tools towards inhuman ends. To sacrifice people to a cause like this is wrong, no matter how righteous the couse. And it will fail. Fight fire with fire – win or lose, you end up with scorched earth.

          Can we save the world without asserting our right to govern our fellow humans for their own good? I do not know. The wisdom of the ancients is that we are mortal; our potential is finite. The godlike arrogance I describe is authoritarian; at the limit, it is totalitarian. It has the potential to be an existential threat. We should fight it to the last, no matter what causes it claims to take up.

    1. Darius

      Dump Pelosi. The six vote margin makes it incredibly easy. The squad is worthless if this isn’t a matter of course. Think like Republicans. Take some hostages. Make demands. Make the mainstream Democrats agree to a compromise candidate and other demands.

      In 1855-56, the House had to take 133 ballots to elect a Speaker. The squad could blow up the House Democrats. They may as well. If they do nothing they’re getting nothing. On their current course, the Democrats are going to suffer a bloodbath in the midterms and everyone knows it. Blow it up now.

      1. Phacops

        I wonder if the reason for the pushback by AOC as well as the gentle chiding in the Thorpe article, both embracing incrementalism, is a response to protect the right-wing Dems from being publicly identified to be primaried in the next election.

        Obtaining single payer, universal coverage, is going to be a slog, and, even if a vote on Force the Vote is performative, what AOC seems not to support is leveraging that publicity through constant messaging and astroturf groups like the right wing used in a decades-long effort to capture the republican party.

        1. a different chris

          >what AOC seems not to support is leveraging that publicity through constant messaging and astroturf groups


          She isn’t an “astroturf group”. She has talked about these things to the point of boring everybody around her. She’s a congressperson, so she doesn’t get to just bang on about one thing all the time, that’s the job of an advocate. And we don’t have a good one for M4A.

          The expectations put on somebody just starting her second term would be comical in some other situation.

          Everybody points to polls (didn’t we see how damaged polling is nowadays?) about M4A, do you really believe them? Everybody polled has a different idea of what that means, and the Rethugs are brilliant at pushing those cracks wide open. Or maybe the leftish side of the American misleadership is just brilliant at the circular firing squad thingy, I dunno.

          We ain’t getting decent universal healthcare because of some 2nd term Congressperson who’s a boogywoman to 2/3 of the country. We will get it when We, The People, finally decide what that actually is, which is not an easy question, and then insist on it.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            We will get it when We, The People, finally decide what that actually is, which is not an easy question, and then insist on it.

            If you’re looking for reasons to derail the effort, I suppose this is as good a one as any.

            Jimmy Dore showed a cartoon on one of his recent segments, published in 1951, 70 years ago, of a family begging congress for things like “healthcare” and “education” and being turned away for various reasons including being “at war.” 70 years ago. That’s several generations.

            Dore’s point with regard to #ForceTheVote, IMNSHO an unassailable one, is “if not now, when?” This covid “healthcare” emergency has decimated the already uber-shitty american system of linking “healthcare” to employment/private insurance with the permanent loss of so many jobs. Though he doesn’t explicitly say it, the “never let a crisis go to waste” sword cuts both ways. Or in 1951 speak, strike while the iron is hot.

            Dore also plays and replays clip after clip of AOC advocating for doing the exact thing he and many others are currently demanding of her, and intimating that electing HER would make it happen.

            You must know that there will never be a “right time” to cut out the cancer that the medical-industrial complex has become, according to those who get power and profit from the current system.

            If you think that demanding that she put up or shut up right now is too harsh an ask of a newbie congressperson, please tell us all what the hell “insisting” actually looks like and what real world conditions would make such “insistence” politically acceptable.

          2. Dan

            The expectations put on somebody just starting her second term would be comical in some other situation.

            AOC said she wouldn’t mind being a one-term congressperson because you can get a lot done by making noise instead of falling in line. The incredible divergence between AOC’s words and actions is what’s comical. And one has to laugh to keep from crying, or becoming very, very angry. Her absolute lack of action – in the midst of a pandemic no less – after imploring people that she’d be a person of action – is nothing short of monstrous.

            1. Yves Smith

              AOC is one representative. Please tell me what any single representative, short of the Speaker, has ever gotten done. You are operating under a delusion as to what being in Congress means.

              Audit the Fed had Alan Grayson teaming up with Ron Paul, a Senator with a much much much longer track record than Grayson as a Fed critic. Even for her to get something done, she’d have to collaborate with someone in the Senate. Oh, but the Senate has a R majority…and what R Senator would work with her save on a pet issue just as Ron Paul did?

              I mean seriously, what fantasy land do you live in?

          3. Phacops

            It is easy for AOC to talk empty platitudes when she has nothing to risk. She, in the past, has stated that it is worth being a one-term congresswoman if it means doing something positive for Americans. You can hear her on the following at around 3:35.

            Talk is so cheap that I look to what people will do, especially when they have the power to force a useless leader, like Pelosi, to die on the hill of her refusal to work for actual healthcare. AOC, like many Dems secure in their district, refuses to lead when given the opportunity. It looks like she is adding to that enormous store of powder kept dry by Dems.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Last I checked, AOC kept the most powerful corporation in the world, Amazon, out of her district. Name me another freshman Congressman whose done something similar. Her responsibility is to her constituents, not to Jimmy Dore’s listening audience. Frankly, I think Dore has a hard-on for AOC not because she isn’t effective, but because she is.

              1. Dan

                She really had to stick her neck out to jump into the already established anti-Amazon craze. God she’s a dynamo. It took a lot of hard work on her part to jump on that bandwagon.

              2. Katniss Everdeen

                Seems like you’re making Dore’s point for him. It would seem logical to call on the most powerful one to get the ball rolling, especially when he’s asking her to do exactly what she said she would do.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  Power is relative, right?

                  What’s the point? To separate the [glassbowls] from the good guys? In a performative vote? Who cares? We already know who the [glassbowls] are. I’m not even sure about #MedicareForAll. It certainly wasn’t a name to conjure with in 2020. (I don’t mean insofar as the universal benefit. I mean the framing, the name, perhaps the program concept.) To me, it looks a lot like doubling down on fail, a bad habit Democrats have.

                  I mean, come on. Let me know when the People’s Party has a ballot line.

                  NOTE Adding, a year ago, I probably would have been with Dore. But 2020 was such a debacle. Dore reminds me of the programming pearl: “You guys start coding, I’ll go find out what the requirements are.”

                  1. Katniss Everdeen

                    OK. Don’t get the “glassbowl” reference but whatever. I will say that that “performative” characterization is throwing a considerable monkey wrench into the works.

                    But, it’s Christmas Eve, and this discussion seems to be getting unproductively contentious.

                    So, since you’ve requested links, here’s a Dore link that I found persuasive. YMMV. I hope you watch it.

                    Merry Christmas.


        2. richard

          I agree phacops. if she wanted to accrue power through constant messaging and rallying popular support, as is done in the other party, that road is open to her. She chooses again and again to NOT to take that path, and has instead chosen to “accrue power by projecting hollow virtue” (Dylan Ratigan) as a Twitter pwog. But it doesn’t matter one whit what she says. She’s making/has made her decision, and we can all see what it is.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            It’s not clear why people think that AOC’s responsibility is to Jimmy Dore’s listening audience, as opposed to the constituency in her own district (and whatever larger constituency, if any, she may achieve).

            Does anybody know if the People’s Party is on any ballot line, anywhere?

            1. JTMcPhee

              I’m curious how AOC is serving her constituents by wishy-washy-ing on major substantive issues, the ones that would provide universal concrete material benefits to her constituents. Does Pelosi serve the interests of her constituents, which are the monied interests that bribe her? There are still poor and homeless people in her district to whom she regularly extends the middle finger as she churns the system to maintain her geriatric power in the House. Not much criticism of her as she forks the general welfare to protect the filthy rich and corporate bribers.

              Of course AOC is on the wrong side of the Iron Law of Institutions— thinking maybe to become more powerful by betraying the small contributors and canvassers and hope-blinded bulk of her constituents? How does that work? We see what happens as the power structure stratifies and acts to preserve its perks in the face of great public distress.

              On another front, it’s amazing how Tulsi Gabbard has become a non-person…

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                > I’m curious how AOC is serving her constituents

                Well, as I said elsewhere, by keeping the most powerful corporation in the world out of her district. That shows power.

                Incidentally, she would have had a lot more leverage on the GND on the Commerce Committee, but Pelosi kicked her in the teeth by not giving it to her. Now, I don’t know that’s because AOC did an ill-advised interview that said Pelosi had to go, and I don’t know that AOC did it in a foolish attempt to appease Dore and his crowd, but the timing is odd.

                My issue is this: Right now, the left is showing the same ability to engage in self-criticism is the Democrats did in 2016.

                If Sanders had won TX in addition to CA, the night of the long knives would never have happened, but he didn’t, and here we are. There are more officeholders on the left (Cori Bush) but so far as the left having actual power to drive policy, 2020 was a debacle. Even #MedicareForAll was a debacle and clearly at least how to make the case for it needs to be rethought, and perhaps even the program.

                Is AOC the “leader” the left needs? No. She’s an extremely interesting and talented politician, no more or less.

                Is Jimmy Dore the “leader” the left needs? No. He’s a talented comedian and media personality who has shown no operational capability whatever. No more or less.

                Is the AOC v. Dore circle jerk celebrity cage match at all interesting or useful? No, except possibly to the audience listening at home.

                I’m not smart enough to know what the way forward is, though.

                NOTE Yasha Levine puts all this better than I can. The entire tempest in a teapot is spectacularly misplaced energy.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > if she wanted to accrue power through constant messaging and rallying popular support, as is done in the other party, that road is open to her.

            This comment is, to put it mildly, an infantile conception of how to gain power. “As is done in the other party” implies support from the Koch Brothers. Is your model of taking power getting funding from a good billionaire?

            I did the arithmetic the day before yesterday. Dore has 650,000 YouTube listeners. Some percentage of those listeners, no doubt, are willing to, as it were, take the body by visiting Town Halls during the Recess and doing to their reps what the Tea Party did circa 2010. The opportunity is right here. Put up or shut up, right?

            1. furies

              Seems you *do* have a dog in the fight after all, Lambert.

              It appears to me you also have a blind spot when it comes to AOC. JMNSHO.

              1. Geo

                Good comeback. Almost as effective as “I’m rubber, you’re glue.”

                All this “showing their true selves” suspicion peddling over differing opinions on wielding power in Congress is like a Monty Python sketch come to life.

                Let’s just cancel them all and be done with it.

                We need real fighters right? How’s Allen Grayson’s political career doing? Dennis Kucinich? Ralph Nader?

                Maybe for them to fight they need the numbers to back them up? Maybe instead of obsessing over what they haven’t done we could also open our eyes to what they have accomplished?

                Nah, where’s the fun in that?

            2. upstater

              Isn’t the fact that progressives do NOT have deep pocketed sponsorship and MSM choral backup emphasize the point that different tactics are necessary to differentiate themselves from the sclerotic Dementiacrat leadership?

      2. Oh

        Ms. Gelato 2020 can go into her own basement. Time to get rid of her. The Squad is worthless (maybe Tlaib is an exception) because they soon forgot why the voters elected them. AOC had a bartender’s job and after election she’s gets a salary of $174,000, health care and retirement, travel privilages, free parties for fundraising and more. I can see why she would hesitate to buck the Dim party now. But she doesn’t realize that the Dims would dump her the first chance they get and she’d be en déshabillé!

        1. a different chris

          >But she doesn’t realize that the Dims would dump her the first chance they get

          AOC: “I wouldn’t even be in the same party….”

          Oh: “I don’t care what she says, I only want attention and bashing AOC seems to be the new thing so I’ll do that!!!!”

          The American Ritual of building people up and bashing them down, making absolutely sure that they see nothing but a caricature ever. Sigh. Gets us nowhere, but you go ahead.

            1. Geo

              They’ve been trained well by the media. Nothing sells better than a fall from grace.

              See many online are already turning on Nina Turner and Cori Bush. It’s fascinating. Seems nothing short of tossing a Molotov cocktail on the floor of the house every day is a betrayal of the people.

            2. ambrit

              Yet the press today doesn’t have a penchant for tearing the wings off of high flyers.
              The best [fill in the blank] that money can buy.
              Oh, and as to passive aggressive snark; wouldn’t that qualify for an anti-emoji? {A Cheshire Cat emoji head? Just a circle with a smiley mouth and eye holes?}
              Language gets my vote for being the defining characteristic of intelligence.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          I’ve noticed a paucity of links in the presumably Dore-driven AOC hate fest contingent. Perhaps you would be happier at Kos or Reddit? We know how you feel already.

          While I do appreciate the technical satisfaction of inventing new forms of invective (“Ms. Gelato 2020” is actually pretty funny) I myself did the same thing 2003-2006. I was very good at it, if hits and successful propagation are any measure. It accomplished precisely nothing, being mere symbol manipulation. Snark, in general, accomplished nothing. Worse than nothing, in fact, because it corrupted and disempowered those who engaged it in it. (Snark was a primitive form of social media’s dopamine loop.)

          1. Dan

            It’s not a hate-fest, it’s an accounting.

            And, for me anyway, it’s Briahna Joy Gray-driven.

            Oh yeah, and I forgot the most important thing: I agree with the policy.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Lol. I’ve been around the block. I didn’t fall off a turnip truck yesterday And when I see a media figure-driven* invective peddled by the yard, and links and analysis doled out by the millimeter, I know what I’m looking at, because I’ve seen it all before. I said hate-fest, and I meant it. (Adding, #ForceTheVote ins’t a policy. It’s a tactic.)

              * I think you are greatly in the minority, if Gray is your “driver.”

              1. Dan

                I should have to say you missed the point entirely. It wasn’t literal, it was meant to illustrate that this is bigger than Dore, as Briahna Joy Gray and others have recognized.

                I guess the block you went around didn’t prepare you for this moment.

                policy, from Merrriam’s: “a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions”

                Not the most common usage, I realize. Tactic works better, thank you.

                1. Dan

                  Actually, come to think of it, that definition of “policy” works better in this case, it’s just that it’s not what most people associate with the word. But that definition is essentially a more detailed descriptor of this particular “tactic.”

                  Ah semantics…

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Such thinking is infantile. If the left is in fact a movement, chances will come again and again. So why isn’t it? Because AOC isn’t sufficiently performative? Come the [family blog] on.

          1. ambrit

            Would I be stretching ‘it’ out too far to observe that all these calls for “action, action, action” suggest the underlying theme is the creation of a discreet faction within the Democrat Party, or even a new party? To that end, the “Call the Vote” meme is attempting to clarify the membership of a new faction.

            1. Aumua

              Right it’s a witch hunt in other words, or some other form of extreme purity test, the point of which is to expose the frauds. We start with the assumption that they are a fraud, and then if they don’t jump through these hoops then they have failed to prove their innocence of being fraudulent. That’s the aspect of it that really turns me off. I still think the tactic itself is… not a bad idea I guess.

        2. Big River Bandido

          I laugh at this fetish for the meaningless symbolic vote in a lame duck session. Performative resolutions are for chumps.

          The real political opportunity in the lame duck session was where Sanders, Hawley, and Trump (belatedly) focused: the stimulus check — universal concrete material benefits. Trump himself played the politics of that like a fiddle. Democrats ignored the issue, leaving all the potential political gains on the table. Natch.

          Next opportunity is in January when the new Congress convenes. If the partisan margin is slim enough that 6 members can block action…then they have some actual leverage to use to get something meaningful. But it’s useless to waste that power on something like a nonbinding resolution. If you want to exercise power, you must win something for your supporters while sticking it to your opponents. Democrats can’t even identify their opponents, or the levers of power.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Maybe America can try for full healthcare during the next pandemic. Perhaps that will be the right time. Maybe. When AOC is the Speaker of the House and she is in her 70s.

      4. Procopius

        OK, so you’re cool with Kevin McCarthy as Speaker? I think I have an idea how that will work out.

  3. Fireship

    > Reddit Is A Window Into The American Nightmare The American Conservative

    {Yet we increasingly understand that many people are latently ill—latent alcoholics, anorexics, hoarders, compulsive gamblers. A society that goes out of its way to trigger these tendencies is not kind or just. A society that pretends they are merely bad choices, and that whatever follows from them is deserved, is positively cruel. A sole focus on personal responsibility demands herculean effort against long odds, and is indeed a kind of complacent bravado. Any of us might bear the seeds of an illness waiting to be triggered or inflamed; any of us have the capacity to do evil. In Christian terms, we pray that we do not undergo the test. In policy terms, we do not run the test. Yet contemporary American culture is a great big testing ground, testing the bounds of greed and willpower and the ability of individuals and families not to crack under soul-crushing stress and deleterious incentives, many of which we euphemize as “economic growth.” }

    Seems like the AC is turning socialist (or at least social/christian democrat). The god damn cruelty of America to its own citizens is sickening. As a European, my greatest fear is not Russia or some other boogyman, but that the Anglo-Saxon sickness will infect our societies. To this end, I am very happy to see the UK leaving the EU. Hopefully, the Anglo-Saxon degeneracies will stand as warnings of what happens when a society descends into barbarity. Merry Christmas.

      1. Upwithfiat

        Except I don’t see how a definition of “capitalism” requires a government-privileged usury cartel.

        Or is it a given that government privileges for banks are natural? Or that government run banks are the only alternative to government-privileged banks?

        Ever consider that banks should be 100% private with 100% voluntary depositors? Or is that idea too balmy?

        Nothing personal Charger01, but I get upset with sloppy definitions of capitalism.

    1. Massinissa

      I mean, American Conservative is simply different from other conservative publications by being essentially the last major Paleocon outlet. Thus their perspective on… Pretty much everything, is very different than you will see from other conservative publications. Unfortunately though, about 3/4 of their articles essentially peddle regular conservative dogma, but on some issues they produce articles like this that are easily more well thought out than many right wing or center left publications.

    2. dftbs

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you call it the “Anglo-Saxon” sickness. It’s a bit hard to identify it as such from within, particularly within a USA which at its elite levels likes to define itself as culturally pluralistic. But the system that governs us, and has pretense at governing the world, is Anglo-Saxon. It’s a culture that rose up from the legalistic norms developed in England, Britain, North America and the the antipodal colonial states, which broke down human societal relations into economic interactions where property rights superseded all others. To hell with crazy continental thoughts like “liberté, égalité, fraternité”; and never mind brown superstitions like “patria o muerte”.

      It is interesting to see writers at TAC recognizing the malaise and slowly shifting their ideological framework to fit their empirical reality. But there is also a built in futility in their attempt; certain hurdles they put in their analysis to keep them from prescribing any solution. Yes, the effects of advertising with unrealistically thin women, or the preponderance of big box stores, have a probabilistic effect on the development of eating disorders or “hoarderism”; but the existence of these things are natural outgrowths of the “Anglo-Saxon” sickness.

      Fortunately, despite their pretense at global control, the “Anglo-Saxon” sickness only affects a fraction, albeit a dramatically loud and self-important fraction, of the world’s population.

      1. apleb

        It affects all of us. It’s a bad example people all over the world aspire to. Especially all who are in “business”, all the billionaires of the world, all the companies that have to compete on the world market.

        Last but not least all the people who live in the same ecosphere. All that big box inventory has to come from somewhere and it’s not only from big Ag in flyover. All that ore has to be mined somewhere and processed, all that oil and coal burnt for processing. All that rainforest burnt for more soy.

        Tell it to the Bolivians it doesn’t affect them. Tell it to the Ukrainians, Syrians, Libyans, Iraqi, Afghanis, Vietnamese… and literally a hundred others. True, wars are fought without the anglosaxons participating or instigating, but it would certainly be quite a bit less wars over the years.

        1. DFTBS

          You’re right, I could’ve been more clear with my declaration of the limited effects of the “Anglo-Saxon” sickness. I don’t mean that the crimes of empire are limited to the US and its imperial appendages and vassals. We have all seen the way the Empire exports sickness and death.

          Rather I mean to say that those Bolivans, the Venezuelans, the people of the Donbass, Cubans, Nicaraguans, no doubt the Vietnamese who sent the GIs packing a generation ago; all these peoples have developed or are developing systems inoculated from the “Anglo Saxon” sickness. Not to mention the Chinese who command the worlds largest population and economy.

          Among the many calamities of 2020, one that seems specific to the “West”, is the notion of impending collapse. Even the Assistant Editor at TAC can’t shake it. But I think Fireship identified it correctly when he named it the “Anglo-Saxon” sickness. The rest of the world isn’t suffering the social decay and dementia we see here. In Bolivia, they’ve taken back their democracy; Cuba sends doctors all over the world to save lives; Venezuela reaffirmed their commitment to the Bolivarian revolution. Not to mention the Chinese, who are trying to handle our civilizational decline the way you may handle a sun-downing elder, minimizing the harm.

          Again, my apologies for my lack of clarity. Humanity does suffer from having to deal with the sick Anglo-sphere; but not all humanity suffers from the same sickness.

          1. apleb

            That is the thing: all those people aren’t any different than the anglo-saxons. The anglos might be the “market leaders” with a first mover advantage, but internally China or Russia and even Vietnam certainly aspire to the same hypercapitalism as the anglos since they have to: everyone is in competition with everyone else, internally in their home markets and also internationally between countries. This in turn leads to a race to the bottom and tragedy of the commons for everyone no matter where: Earth ressources are used up, oil is burnt, killing the climate and making places uninhabitable, etc.

            There are slight variations like China having a communist party in power with lots of inefficient state owned corporations they protect, while the US has an oligarchy with lots of big corporations like banks or Boeing, airlines, etc. which they protect.

            Those are mainly small differences, the result for the common people is ultimately the same. The main difference is China is still on the way up while the US is stagnating or rather going down, which leads to fights for the last scraps. China can give scraps to anyone “for free” since the economy is still growing as of now.

            So the anglosphere is acutely sick, yes and that leads to repercussions for others with all the colonial wars the US fights constantly trying to extract wealth there, but it’s not as if China is less sick, just further down the road in the future as opposed to now. China can still use the carrot when establishing trade with Africa and Asia developing countries (OBOR) while the US more and more has to use the stick.

      2. Louis Fyne

        to be a history pedant….

        blame the Anglo-Normans, 1066 on. The Saxons were relatively harmless.

        It was William I and his desendants (the big chunk of UK establishment for 900 years) who kickstarted the conquest of Wales, Ireland, and constant war on the Continent and with Scotland.

        Thank Napoleon and the Georgian era for English historians and the Establishment identifying themselves as culturally Saxon than of Norman/French-Scandinavian blood.

        1. dftbs

          I think you’re right. But I do wonder, if this “system of the world” (to borrow from fiction) which was largely laid out following the (questionably) Glorious Revolution, emanated from a people that wanted to free themselves of the “Norman yoke”. I think the new 18th century nation of Britain was propagandistically “Anglo-Saxon” and not “Anglo-Norman”. That said, I think we can all agree it’s a Gringo malady, whether from Albion or North-America.

          1. Count Zero

            No we can’t all agree that AT ALL. What kind of category is “Anglo-Saxon”? It was racist when it was developed in Victorian Britain. It served to demarcate Britain, Germany and perhaps the Scandinavians from the political and religious authoritarianism of the Latin “races” and from the political and cultural backwardness of Slavs and Celts. It was, of course, nonsense and politically poisonous. In the writings of the Englishman H.Stewart Chamberlain it fed into Nazism.

            All you are doing is reversing this kind of shallow racism. In what sense is the British or US population Anglo-Saxon? They aren’t! And how are the very specific political and economic regimes installed by Thatcher and Reagan in the 1980s an expression of this Anglo-Saxonism? Was the prevailing social-democratic Keynesian political economy of the 1950s and 1960s not Anglo-Saxon? If not, why not? And if it was, then the Anglo-Saxon “sickness” seems to point in all kinds of different directions.

            I probably detest everything represented by Thatcherism at least as much as any of you. And believe me a very large proportion of the English population suffered — and continues to suffer — from its brutal effects. I leave it others to say how Americans have fared in the last forty years. But to divide the world into racial-ethnic blocs is both incredibly superficial and politically reactionary. Presumably in this perspective the wrong side won in 1945 and the world would be a better place had the none-“Anglo-Saxon” Axis Powers triumphed? You might also think about the historical experience of Latin America in recent centuries — the clue is in the name.

              1. Count Zero

                Yes, the Soviet Union was essential to the defeat of Hitler and its sacrifices were huge, almost impossible to conceive of. But the Red Army alone couldn’t have finished the job. It required the 1944 D-day landings too, surely?

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Three quarters of all German soldiers killed in WW2 did so at the hands of Soviet troops so they probably could have finished the job themselves. The casualties may have been high but it may have led to a Red Europe which was something that Allied forces could never let happen.

          1. Count Zero

            I am not sure how “blood” can have a nationality. But you are right to point to the existence of an increasingly transnational upper class by the end of the C19th. The crowns of Britain, Germany and Russia were related by marriage, for instance.

    3. notberlin

      The god damn cruelty of America to its own citizens is sickening. As a European, my greatest fear is not Russia or some other boogyman, but that the Anglo-Saxon sickness will infect our societies

      As a now long term US citizen living in Europe (7 + years now), I have been from day one trying to have a dialogue with my European friends on this subject. Not preaching, but suggesting there is a lot to fear that is coming from the US model. The good nature and trust of people who were raised with health care and public schools and paid holidays, quality housing, so lovely to witness and know it exists…. but talking about the dangers of American Neoliberalism can be a hard argument to make. But I keep trying. Not saying anything is perfect or there are not problems over here in the least; but the intensity of the differences are immense. There is a lot at stake.

  4. 430MLK

    On office chairs and Hong Kong’s self-sufficient population:

    The image of the chairs at the train station reminded me of a similar self-sufficient act at some bus stops in my good ol’ upper-south American city. At about 5 or 6 of those ‘sign-only’ stops wit no shelter or bench that predominate, an anonymous resident began placing home-made pallet-benches. They were sturdy, worked, and used by bus-goers.

    Within weeks, the city (or its farmed-out bus service, LexTran) took down each of the benches for “safety” reasons that require first an ‘analysis’ of the site’s ability to handle a bench, and then the installation of an ‘approved’ bench. Three or four years on, still no benches at these stops.

    1. Arizona Slim

      And here in Tucson, where it is too [family blogging] hot to stand in the midday sun, we have many bus stops that are just that. Bus stops. No shelters. Because we don’t want those poors to get any ideas, now would we?

  5. Pat

    Well I did see Harris on a national news network bemoaning that Trump didn’t just rubber stamp the farce of a relief bill. *
    If, and I realize this is giving her too much credit, she was serious about all those relief efforts she launched in the Senate during the campaign a better response would be to say that for once she agrees with Trump, that $600 is NOT enough, that when others insist on a cap on the bill there should not be any monies sent to other countries, that every penny should be about providing relief to people in this country directly and through food supports, rent relief, and programs for small businesses. She could even use her bully pulpit to push her far more generous bills, but noooooo.

    Couldn’t be because she is now part of an administration whose view is we have to focus on the deficit now that we were elected. Nah, she has principles, bwahahhahaaha.

    *She and Joe Biden were also set pieces in the background for a blither blather speech by their nominee for Secretary of Education.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “The Mysterious Link Between COVID-19 and Sleep”

    ‘They get sunlight and they generate melatonin and it puts them to sleep.’

    A century ago during the great flu pandemic, it was noticed that those patients who lived in tents and spent their days in the sun did much better than those who were assigned to a proper hospital ward. Maybe this is why. The exposure to sunlight (and incidentally fresh air) let their body produce melatonin which helped induce sleep which also had an effect on their immune system. Maybe it is that simple.

    1. Stephen V.

      Another reason to love cats? They sun themselves, this creates Vit D in the oils on their fur, then! They clean themselves by licking their fur and obtain D that way. Amazing.

      1. a different chris

        Or to hate them. Annoying things are born with gifts we can’t even imagine, including the ability to both command and simultaneously not really need humans.

        …now I have to go feed them for some reason…at least it gets them off my bed.

      2. Mummichog

        Bugs Bunny is one up on Sylvester any day:

        “Cecotropes are full of nutrients that a rabbit needs. These special feces contain more protein and vitamins than normal poops have, so by consuming its cecotropes (and a healthy diet), a rabbit is getting all of the important nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. It is completely normal behavior for rabbits to eat cecotropes at night or early in the morning, but it is not normal for them to eat their normal stools during the day.”

        No truth to the Conspiracy Theory that Big Pharma is trying to monetize this concept for Humans (the few that are left).

  7. zagonostra

    > Intercept – Jordan Chariton “DNC Was “Directly Involved” In Iowa Caucus App Development, Countering DNC Denial ”

    Jordan was on a live JD show yesterday covering this story. He rightly mentions that for 4 years the country was focused on a made-up Russiagate story while the real meddling was going on in the DNC, just like it did in 2016.

    We don’t live in a democracy. This is a collective illusion that we play along with. It’s only by acknowledging that there is a ruling class directing the machinery of gov’t, that policy benefiting people can only succeed if within that ruling class there arises some sense of responsibility for the greater good. FDR was one such man in a previous generation. And, even if it was to preserve “capitalism”, he made the necessary adjustments to the political machinery. Where are today’s noble “aristocrats?”
    From Gaetona Mosca’s concluding paragraph in “Element! di Scienza Politico” written over a hundred years ago.

    Every generation produces a certain number of generous spirits
    who are capable of loving all that is, or seems to be, noble and
    beautiful, and of devoting large parts of their activity to improving
    the society in which they live, or at least to saving it from
    getting worse. Such individuals make up a small moral and
    intellectual aristocracy, which keeps humanity from rotting in
    the slough of selfishness and material appetites. To such
    aristocracies the world primarily owes the fact that many nations
    have been able to rise from barbarism and have never relapsed
    into it. Rarely do members of such aristocracies attain the outstanding
    positions in political life, but they render a perhaps more
    effective service to the world by molding the minds and guiding
    the sentiments of their contemporaries, so that in the end they
    succeed in forcing their programs upon those who rule the state.
    We cannot suppose that there will be any lack or deficiency of
    such generous souls in the generations that are now rising. But it
    has happened more than once in the long course of human history
    that the efforts and sacrifices of such people have not availed to
    save a nation or a civilization from decline and ruin. That has
    occurred, we believe, largely because the “best” people have had
    no clear and definite perception of the needs of their times, and
    therefore of the means best calculated to achieve social salvation

  8. John Wright

    re:Biden’s Pony Problem: Why The Hunter Biden Scandal Is No Dead Horse

    Perhaps the Democrats will develop an interest in the Hunter Biden scandal post Jan 21, 2021.

    This could allow early installation of Kamala Harris after a public display of Democratic Party righteousness/virtue signaling without having to play the Biden diminished capacity card.

    They simply need to get Biden installed and then install the intended, donor approved, candidate Harris before Biden has a chance to screw things up (as suggested by Obama).

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      At the risk of engaging in conspiracy theory, I’ve considered this is in their gameplan also. I just can’t put it past them (see the Iowa story if you need convincing that they are that conniving.)

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        But what if Harris starts whining that she wants ” ten years instead of eight”? Then the Dems might have to let the Bidens twist slowly, slowly in the wind for 2 years and a day before removing Simple Joe Malarkey from office.

    2. Jen

      I don’t see how they can install Harris as an alternative to Biden based on corruption. I’m still betting on “health issues” right after the Dems get clobbered in the mid terms.

      I think we should start a pool: date of Biden’s definestration + rationale.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “With Biden’s New Threats, the Russia Discourse is More Reckless and Dangerous Than Ever”

    It took a colossal amount of arrogance and self-entitlement for Washington to end up pushing Russia and China together and have them having meetings on cooperation. Normally they are competitors and have historical issues with their mutual border. That alone was a spectacular own goal. Because of that, Russia helped China improve its air defence systems and is supplying it with enormous amounts of energy. But now Biden has announced that he is going to double down on the attacks on Russia. Why? To unite Americans perhaps? To make corporations like Raytheon happy as they pump out even more weapons? Whatever the reason, you can be certain that it really only has to do with internal Washington politics.

    I can see where this is heading though. That joint Russian & Chinese bomber patrol was warning enough. If pushed too far, these two countries will unite in an actual military pact and then it will be Katy bar the door. Perhaps they will include Iran in their pact which will make the US posture in the Gulf impossible. At the moment the US Navy has received orders to aggressively push the Russian and the Chinese whenever they can so it is only a matter of time until they seriously push back. So you will before long hear of ships banging their hulls together like happened during the Cold War. The worse of it is that it was totally unnecessary. Russia and China could have been easily split apart like Nixon and Kissinger did back in the 70s but instead the opposite is happening. We really are going into Cold War II.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      In one of this interviews with Paul Jay [I recall still at RT news at the time(?)] following publication of his book the “Doomsday Machine” Daniel Ellsberg suggested the US MIC needed the USSR as an enemy to justify expenditures on the kinds of expensive weapons systems that bathed them in profits. Perhaps Washington’s “pushing Russia and China together” was not such “a spectacular own goal” — which is not say it isn’t remarkably dangerous and short-sighted. It could prove quite profitable, for awhile, and I am increasingly convinced the real players in the US Government are not human ‘persons’ who worry about things that trouble most sane humans.

      1. km

        The United States needs a scary enemy both as an excuse for sky-high military budgets and rampant “intelligence community” lawlessness, but also as a way to defuse any calls for domestic reform. “We can’t deal with healthcare or infrastructure now, don’t you know that we gotta fight Slobo Milosevic or whatever?! Maybe we can deal with that stuff once the GWOT is over, but right now Libya is a threat to Our Precious Freedoms!

        1. jen

          The problem with this logic under the present circumstances is that you need to have enough of the population feeling secure enough to view a foreign power as an existential threat. You’re not safe if you don’t have enough to eat. You’re not safe if you can’t afford health care. You’re not safe if you can’t afford an unexpected bill for $400. You’re not safe if you’re about to be evicted. You’re not safe if you have student loans that you can’t ever repay. You’re not safe if you have to out and interact with hundreds of strangers in order to earn a living in the middle of a pandemic. The existential threats are right in front of you every day, and they aren’t China, and they aren’t Russia.

          My congress critter gave up on the “keep us safe” rationale, and tried peddling her support for the defense bill on the basis of giving service members a 3% raise and paid family leave. It hasn’t gone well for her.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Kind of USA-centric — assuming the US establishment has agency to “push Russia and China together.” Or “split them apart.” Reeks of “Who lost China?” thinking, as if anyone in the US policy establishment “owned” China, that enormous historical thing, in the first instance. Seems to me the leaderships of both those nations have their own interests in focus. But these infinitesimal observations from armchair folks like me don’t mean beans, as the elephants dance across the world stage. No way to change the dance, or even perceive all the moving bits of the dance…

    1. albrt

      Yes, lots of coverage of political types chattering about the deal and saying nothing. Apparently it is an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what is in it.

      1. Geo

        Seems this “nobody to know what is in it” before it passes thing might be a feature, not a bug, for our modern governmental bodies. They never let a good crisis go to waste!

    2. occasional anonymous

      NC, Richard Murphy, etc, as well as people and places like Moon of Alabama who followed their lead on this issue, really shit the bed on this one. There was a Brexit deal. Is it a good deal? Almost certainly not. But there was one all the same. Craig Murray was right on this one.

  10. K.k

    “The new 501.V2 variant has troubling details: it seems to spread faster, has a higher viral load and [is] possibly more severe among young adults,” said Dr Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and senior fellow at the Federation American of Scientists.

    Does this mean the new SA variant can cause more severe illness? Every other article i have seen seem to be downplaying this possibility while focusing on likelihood of its capacity to spread faster and overwhelm hospital systems leading to higher fatality rates.

  11. marym

    House Dems – because they’re the party the people – pretended to want unanimous consent for raising the grotesquely inadequate, means-tested payment of $600 to a grotesquely inadequate, means-tested $2K. The R’s – who are not yet fully into pretending to be the new party of the people – declined.

    The R’s now seem to want to trade pandemic relief for less “tax dollars” to foreign countries. Well, maybe that’s a discussion worth having when people aren’t starving.

    Trump – who recently said 2 words about it because he’s a man of the people – is in FL and back to pursuing his agenda of pardoning cronies and war criminals, executing federal prisoners, disassembling the federal bureaucracy, and relentlessly working to negate the election.

    It’s not clear if Trump doesn’t know or doesn’t care that it’s not a pandemic relief bill. It’s some pandemic relief tacked on to the bill that keeps the government running after Tuesday. The Congress presumably does at least know, but not care.

    1. Aumua

      Well yes of course, the bill has to be limited to $1 trillion, for some reason that is never really discussed. So if we get $2000 checks then the money has to come from somewhere else in the bill, but not the military, heavens no God forbid.

      I’m sure if Trump tried to say the money should come from the Pentagon budget that the MSM would start wailing about how he was trying to block our troops from getting paid.

      1. marym

        They’re already saying that about his veto of the NDAA!

        Per twitter university, what’s in the bill (pandemic relief and other government spending) has been in negotiation for a long time and he’s objecting to items that were part of his own budget request. He had every opportunity to demand more relief and/or other changes if he actually cared about any of it.

  12. QuarterBack

    Re states squaring off over tax jurisdiction of telecommuters, this has great potential for abuse at the expense of employees as chattel.

    Consider large tech companies that can predominantly employ teleworkers like FaceBook, Google, airline and hotel booking agencies, and any number of cloud service companies. These companies could shop around their instantly re-jurisdictionable workforce to whatever state would offer the greatest incentives. These incentives could include waivers or corporate taxes, changes in tax laws to benefit the corporate executives, and tax payer funded improvements to infrastructure offsetting the operating expenses of the company. What the corporation can offer in return is a mountain of new payers into the tax base.

    This would of course be at the expense of employees who would likely have no say in the matter, and who might not even notice a difference in operations (other than a sudden increase in payroll taxes). The employees-domiciled states would lose tax revenues due to deductions for out of jurisdiction tax payments, and at some level, these deductions would likely reduce. I would predict that, if the Supreme Court rules in favor of New York and Massachusetts, that big states (and/or highest tax states) like California, New York, and Massachusetts would be able to provide the greatest incentives to corporations to relocate their telecommunications operations to their states. I would also predict a trend of megacorps to restructure to put their telecommute workforce into stand alone subsidiaries.

    Hopefully the Supreme Court will rule against NY and MA.

  13. Alex1

    Re We should get rid of local policing

    I don’t doubt his experience but the argument that the police would be more accountable if it were more centralised strikes me as very weird. In the places where I lived the lack of accountability is precisely the problem with the national police force.

    The arguments about savings are also not very convincing. Yes, in theory they should be able to cut redundancies, but in reality I doubt that a more centralised force which would require more bureaucracy to operate (as any other organisation of a similar size) would end up costing less.

    1. fresno dan

      December 24, 2020 at 11:16 am

      The latest incident unfolded in the early hours of Tuesday after officers responded to a non-emergency complaint about a man turning a car on and off for an extended period, Columbus police said in a statement.

      Shortly after the officers arrived, a man who had been inside a garage approached them on foot with his left hand holding a cellphone and his right hand not visible, police said, citing video from a body-worn camera.
      At that point, Officer Adam Coy shot the man, Andre Maurice Hill, 47, who died later at a hospital, they said.
      In Tuesday’s shooting, police said Hill had been visiting someone at the house where he was spotted, and that no weapon was found at the scene.
      I tend to agree with you Alex1. What type of bureaucracy is not as important as that the bureaucracy feels compelled to investigate. The next stage is that the bureaucracy feels compelled to do something that is effective at diminishing the police’s inability to distinguish guns from ANYTHING else. Maybe at some point in the far distant future the novel idea that the police shooting unarmed people is a serious matter and that criminal prosecution should be pursued, and the rest of society should agree and CONVICT.

      1. Alex1

        I’m saying that all is well. I don’t understand why the proposed reform would improve the situation. A centralised police force is quite capable of doing the same things.

          1. Phillip Cross

            Because local police forces and sheriff’s departments have a fiefdom problem, leading to capricious enforcement of the rules with little recourse for those not fairly served by their services.

    2. hunkerdown

      To be fair, the author of that six-year-old article appears to have been dead since last May and probably lacked access to this year’s happenings to inform his judgment.

      It’s important to remember that the purpose of police, as every part of the establishment, is to enforce private property without uncertainty, and that the ruling class likes to make structural changes to make relief from private property less likely and any breaches more temporary. It’s conceivable that a constituent-run police force might, just as Seattle declared pot possession the lowest law enforcement priority, likewise deprecate certain offenses against property (in all its forms), and then what would the rentiers do without taking their masks off and burning them.

  14. fresno dan

    NotBerlin writes: “Here is Magee, our one year-old puppy. She is an official “real” breed…. a Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Sir Walter Scott tagged this breed in a novel of his :) My wife and I just love her, and she runs the show. End of story. She’s the sweetest girl on the planet.”
    My ex girlfriend had two Yorkshire terriers, which were remarkably well trained (she had some mental issues, and I think one was having dogs that didn’t yap – don’t worry, she used a squirt bottle). Anyhoo, I really want to get me a couple of Yorkies – thing of it is, it is a rare, rate event for there to be any kind of a terrier, never the less a Yorkie at the Fresno SPCA. I think that they sell Yorkies for their weight in gold. Back when gold was 32$ an oz, I might have been able to swing it, but not anymore…

    1. petal

      fresno dan, there are a lot of breed-specific rescue groups, for example Adopt a Golden Birmingham, or Basset Hound Rescue of AL. Might be worth checking out in your area. Often if a purebred comes into a shelter, they swoop in right away and take them in.

  15. Oso_in_Oakland

    “A Neighbor Describes What Happened When Law Enforcement Stopped Responding to an Armed Encampment in North Portland”
    Question to any Portland folks or those familiar with the ongoing protests who comment here – taken as an entity,in your observation are the protesters largely (or a large minority of them) Portland locals? i don’t mean local to the immediate neighborhood described in the article, rather what might be termed the greater Portland area. TY

    1. martell

      I don’t know who they are, these people in black. I’ve seen them several times, both going to and coming from events. I’ve unexpectedly encountered them during two events: the one described in the article as well as a march through the most bohemian part of town, a march for which they provided security. A good friend told me that he saw them at the very start of the first big protest this past year, the one that began in Peninsula Park. Other friends have seen them in action as far back as 2016, post election. I’m familiar with several local socialist organizations, such as Socialist Alternative, DSA, and ISO, and while I wouldn’t put it past some members of those groups to also be members of this group, I somehow doubt that there’s much overlap. I would think that any affiliation with BLM is also quite loose.

      Obviously, I cannot say with any certainty whether they are locals or not. But who at this point is a Portland local? Even if they presently live here, there’s a good chance that, like many a twenty or thirty something in these parts, they recently moved here from New York or California or some pit of despair in the Midwest. Portland has a reputation. For better or worse it is perceived as a haven for misfit toys. Longtime locals, the ones who were born here, like to blame that TV show.

      1. Oso_in_Oakland

        thank you Martell. Appreciate the commentary and insight. especially difficult to know “who’s who” when events created large numbers so spontaneously.

  16. Donald

    Does anyone understand Congress well enough to explain what this “ unanimous consent” thing is about? Is there a non cynical reason why one would try to pass the 2k stimulus bill under that rule? I am asking seriously, not rhetorically, though it would not surprise me if the cynical answer is the right one.

    1. Screwball

      I think that is a good question. I tried to read about it. Seems simple enough on it’s face. I also saw Tweets from AOC that said they revised the bill to $2000, but someone objected. This is all it takes to kill it as I read the definition of unanimous consent.

      Why wasn’t it a floor vote? Maybe it can’t work this way due to procedures. That’s where I am lost. One would think, since Pelosi and Schumer said they were for this, it could get done. But it didn’t.

      The cynic in me doesn’t buy this story as told.

        1. juno mas

          It wasn’t a floor vote because that requires a quorum to be present. Unanimous consent (all those for say “aye’, opposed “no”, circumvents the more formal, time consuming procedures. However, a single “no” ends the discussion and approval of the “question” ($2000 amendment to the previously passed legislation).

          Pelosi is planning for a formal, recorded floor vote (on Monday, I believe). This will put all members on record as to whether or not they support a $2000 amendment to the Omnibus/Stimulus bill

          1. The Rev Kev

            Unbelievable. Trump called her bluff and she folded and now has to put it to a formal vote instead of that insulting $600 pittance. His supporters will remember that in the years to come.

            1. marym

              The unemployment benefits and eviction moratorium from the first bill expire in a few days if some version of the bill doesn’t pass. Republicans are still saying no to the $2K.

              If Trump wanted to do something memorable that actually helps people, he should have put some effort into it instead of playing chicken with Pelosi at the last minute.

              It’s just a game to all of them – D’s, R’s, and Trump. None of their supporters should remember what they’re doing as anything but evil.

            2. juno mas

              TRK, you misinterpret my comment. Pelosi was seeking unanimous consent, because it could be accomplished (brought forth) quickly. She knew it would likely be blocked by Kevin McCarthy (R), minority leader in the House. But the timing was ripe; news media would note that Republicans blocked the $2000 amendment to the Omnibus/Stimulus bill.

              The formal vote on Monday will put ALL voting On The Record. If the two Georgia Republican Senate candidates vote against the $2K amendment they could lose some votes in the upcoming (Jan. 5th) election. If a few Senators in Congress don’t want to be seen as Grinch then the amendment could pass both houses and become law while also overriding the Trump veto.

              Trump is disintegrating with his idiotic antics.

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                No, Pelosi did not want unanimous consent. She just wanted a quick and easy unanimous consent VOTE. A blockage of unanimous consent by McCarthy (R) is exactly what she DID want and HOPED to proVOKE so she could say “nasty McCarthy” while falling back to her beloved $600 figure.

                If indeed she ( and they) are now to be forced to hold a formal vote which she NEVER wanted to have, then SHE and all the OTHER Catfood Democrats will have to risk voting against it, the way they know they WANT to do, before God AND c-span.

                I am not sure whom to thank for this forcing of a one-member one-name one-vote, but they should be thanked. Now every Catfood BiParticrat will be forced to expose itself in public.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > Unanimous consent

            This is what I was thinking of. Sirota in Jacobin:

            However, Pelosi’s statement of support includes a bit of a hedge. She says she wants to bring it up by unanimous consent — a process that gives any single member of the House the ability to raise an objection and block it. That could let her pretend she tried to force a vote, but was thwarted by a Republican dissenter. But she is House speaker — there are ways for her to truly force a vote…. Pelosi could, for instance, do it under a separate process of suspending the rules which would mean that to stop it, “140 Republicans have to buck Trump and deny a cash lump-sum payout to the American people.”

            Same deal on forcing the vote, no matter the policy objective.

  17. antidlc

    Graton Casino planning private 4,000-person New Year’s Eve party

    he Graton Casino in Rohnert Park is closing its doors to the public on New Years Eve, instead hosting a private party, according to their website.

    Sonoma County Officials say they are aware of the event.

    “It would be our preference to not have a party with 4,000 people indoors,” said Paul Gullixson, a spokesperson for Sonoma County during a press conference Wednesday.

    Sonoma County Public Health officer Dr. Sundari Mase said she had been in touch with the casino, but has no jurisdiction over sovereign land.

  18. Cuibono

    Speaking of straw men, what about claiming anyone who questions the data or science around the vaccines is ANTIVAX?
    It seems to me a huge effort is underway to marginalize anyone who dares to question the PR put out, or for that matter the science, such as it is…

    1. Oh

      The pharmas have a tried and tested propaganda machines and they want to push their vaccinnes so they make more and more $$$$. I’m reading “White Coat, Black Hat” suggested by one of our commentariat and it shows how deeply ingrained their misculture is in the health care industry.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Or rampant election illegality, or installing a new president who is a major counterespionage threat, or Trump vetoing the NDAA because it usurped the Commander in Chief powers, even some pretty fearless blogs have quarantined all OtherThink discussions these days.

      “When one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly.”

      – George Washington, 1795

    3. skippy

      I don’t know, how about the backdrop of the groups that vibrate the hardest – about such things – which then bleeds into everything else.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      If someone were to call me antivax, I would say it depends on the vax.

      I would then list the vaxxes I have had one by one, rhetorically saying ” well, I guess I’m not anti rabies vax, I guess I’m not anti-measles-vax, I guess I’m not anti prevnar-13 vax” etc. etc.

      Ending with . . . ” so what I really am is an mRNA neo vaccinoid skeptic. I will let my friends and neighbors be the beta test subjects for now. Including you.”

  19. IM Doc

    FWIW on a deep dive into the NEJM monoclonal antibody trial in the Links today.

    The inclusion and exclusion criteria in this trial are found on page 30 and 31 and 32 of the protocol. As you can see by looking at them, they are much more appropriately formatted and easier to follow.

    It is completely unlike the PFIZER Vaccine study where the exclusion criteria were really a mishmash. Curious that we would publish this study in a much more clear manner given the fact that this drug may be used in 1/10000 ( if that many) the patients as the vaccine.

    Interestingly, there are other areas highlighted in the exclusion criteria section, labeled “H” and “Appendix I”. They are written in blue type and I assume they would be a hyperlink to go right to these areas. However, I was unable to get any of these hyperlinks to work. (Indeed, I was unable to get these blue text areas that look like hyperlinks to work anywhere in the protocol.) It may just be my browser, the latest update of Firefox, but does not appear to work in google chrome either. Are they actually hyperlinks? If not, why are they blue? The entire Table of Contents is in the same blue and appears to be meant to click right to the area – but again – it would not work in any location. I am logged in by my own personal ID and password.

    I believe I found what they were talking about in “H” and “Appendix I”, (key word is believe) but it would have been nice to be taken right to the area they were referencing. I am not certain I am in the right area because these areas seemed to be tangential at best to the issues at hand.

    1. Gc54

      Try the free Acrobat Reader on those blue areas. Sometimes it opens links for me that browser plugins don’t.

      1. juno mas

        Yes, sometimes the tinted text opens up a “comment” balloon that has editorial/meta content.
        I use the technique when I’m annotating reports.

  20. russell1200

    Flettner Rooters – I gather the spinning of the tube increases the pressure difference and thus makes the tube act as a sail larger than it’s area.

    It should be noted that normal sails also are “pulled” by the wind, not pushed. I gather that he advantage of the cylinder is not having to deal with rigging, and the easy of switching it’s facing.

    Apparently they can work with the ship sailing much closer into the wind. But I don’t see anything comparing their performance otherwise to a modern schooner rig.

  21. satan's fax machine

    >Boris Johnson to claim victory in Brexit talks, leaked paper reveals – Document drafted in attempt to sell deal to Brexiter MPs suggests PM’s negotiators got their way on 43% of key issues – Boris Johnson will boast of a victory in the post-Brexit trade and security talks, claiming to have won 28 key battles compared with Brussels’ 11 triumphs while admitting to a fisheries compromise, according to a leaked government document. The paper, drafted as part of the UK government’s attempt to sell the deal to Brexiter MPs, suggests David Frost’s negotiators got their way on 43% of the major issues, compared with 17% for the EU’s Michel Barnier, with 40% of the treaty being a balanced compromise.


    I’m not British so I’m not sure if I can speak authoritatively on what true Brexiters think, but if they are as driven as they claim to be then a 57% failure rate is unacceptable and they will vote against ratification. They have no reason to compromise. So it gets thrown to Labour, themselves split on the EU, who must vote for Tory legislation or crash out. Also, the bill only pertains to trade and not services which will continue to be external to the EU which most centrists would balk at. Meanwhile the EU has to justify a 43% failure rate to 28 European countries that have their own pet issues with Britain.

    I don’t see how any of this can work out. It’s a hasty, broken solution that the Prime Minister is expecting MPs and MEPs to vote for just because he said so. Given how most of Europe has already shut off travel with Britain over his comments about a second Covid strain, who could trust him?

    Some other links that might prove useful:

  22. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here is an item from the reddit about a black MEDICAL DOCTOR who went to hospital with illness and was refused adequate treatment for a time-critical interval, and then sent home. She shortly went to a better hospital where she received decently race-neutral medical care but ended up dying of covid anyway.
    Did the crucial with-holding of care at the first hospital make the fatal difference?

    Here is the link.

    What if there were a multi-million-member social action movement ready and able to dox and expose the relevant doctors and others at the first hospital . . . . to millions of peoples’ millions of digital devices?
    What if such a social movement could leaderlessly organize an extermicott against the hospital involved to put it out of bussiness and into liquidation? What if such a social movement could destroy the lives of the doctor or doctors involved in the withholdment-of-care so thoroughly as to deprive them of paid employment so thoroughly as to cause them to lose their homes and freeze to death behind a dumpster or under a bridge?

    Would that deter other hospitals and/or caregivers from acting in such a manner?

  23. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here is a little video vignette ( ” vignetteo”?) from The Weather Channel. It tells about some glaciologists and other climatologists who have felt for a while that the IPCC projections about sea level rise between now and 2100 are woefully understated. These experts think the sea will rise 5 to 10 feet by then.

    When I saw this, I thought that if word of this more alarming projection spreads far and wide among the Climate Concern Community, that it may lead to a much accelerated flight from the coasts by way more people. And that got me thinking about what a truly enormous contrarian investing opportunity the mistaken fear of 5-10 feet of sea level rise by 2100 would offer to the Committed Climate Skeptics . . . if indeed such fears are mistaken.

    So I would urge every Climate Skeptic who reads Naked Capitalism to view this little video segment. If large parts of the coastal population flee inland or upslope to relieve their fear of such a thing, then huge amounts of coastal land may come up for sale real cheap real soon. That would give climate contrarian investors a huge opportunity to buy huge amounts of land within their own lifetime and leave it to their children or grandchildren. Climate contrarian investor-wannabes should get ready to sell everything they own and borrow all the money they can to cash in on this future-fortune-building opportunity when a sellers panic begins in earnest.

    Here is the link.

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