Links 1/11/2021

Feline Philosophy by John Gray — the wisdom of cats FT. “A cat’s life is good not when it knows itself, but when it realises its cat-nature.”

Animals Don’t Need Words to Demand Respect Current Affairs

Capitol Seizure

25 domestic terrorism investigations opened after assault on Capitol The Hill

Inside the Capitol siege: How barricaded lawmakers and aides sounded urgent pleas for help as police lost control WaPo

Capitol assault a more sinister attack than first appeared AP

Republican Attorneys General Dark Money Group Organized Protest Preceding Capitol Mob Attack Documented

The ‘Q Shaman’ on Why He Stormed the Capitol Dressed as a Viking National Review

A Crisis Of Faith: Why We Should Be Worried More About A Desecration Than An Insurrection Jonathan Turley

How Trumpism May Endure David Bright, NYT. “An effective, enduring Lost Cause story needs to know clearly what it hates, has to attain widespread control of its own communication and needs institutional rooting, and it must explain almost everything.” Speaking of which:


New York vaccination debacle. The whole thread is worth a read:

Liberal Democrats just love complex eligibility requirements.

Clinical Outcomes Of A COVID-19 Vaccine: Implementation Over Efficacy Health Affairs

At Elite Medical Centers, Even Workers Who Don’t Qualify Are Vaccinated NYT

Instead of debating ‘first-shot’ vs. ‘set-aside’ vaccine approaches, hospitals’ study should compare them STAT

Hospitals say syringes supplied by feds waste vaccine doses Politico

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Participation in Fraternity and Sorority Activities and the Spread of COVID-19 Among Residential University Communities — Arkansas, August 21–September 5, 2020 Morbidity and Mortality Report, CDC. From the Abstract: “At the start of the 2020–21 academic year, COVID-19 cases increased rapidly at an Arkansas university. Network analysis indicated that 91% of gatherings were associated with fraternity or sorority activities. Recruitment events held virtually were associated with fewer cases than those held in-person.”

Stanford pulls plug on the return of freshmen and sophomores to campus Mercury-News

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Saliva viral load is a dynamic unifying correlate of COVID-19 severity and mortality (preprint) medRxiv. From the Discussion: “Saliva viral load could significantly predict disease severity and mortality over age or nasopharyngeal viral load with the first sample collection, and, importantly, was enhanced with the inclusion of days from symptom onset. Nasopharyngeal viral load could not reliably distinguish severity or predict mortality in our study with the first sample collection—which varied from the date of admission.” From a tweet storm discussing the article (NP = nasopharyngeal):

So, to this layperson, it looks like the throat is the key battleground.

Kinetics of antibody responses dictate COVID-19 outcome (preprint) medRxiv. From the Discussion: “Our study demonstrated that neutralizing antibody responses developed within 14 days of symptom onset correlated with recovery, while those induced at later timepoints appear to lose this protective effect. It is unclear why antibodies generated after this time point are unable to promote viral clearance and recovery in COVID-19 patients. We speculate that the virus might become inaccessible to the antibodies after a certain time point, by establishing infection within immune privileged tissues. Alternatively, disease may be driven by late-onset antibody-mediated immunopathology.”

How the ‘Black Death’ Pandemic Reshaped Europe’s Feudal Economy Bloomberg (VE).


With Active COVID-19 Outbreaks, China Fears Lunar New Year Travel Sixth Tone

China’s Bottled Water King Is Now Richer Than Warren Buffett Bloomberg

Pro-establishment figure calls for curbs on dual citizenship in Hong Kong, saying those who obtain foreign nationality should be stripped of right of abode South China Morning Post

Indonesia Rescuers Pull Human Remains From Crashed Boeing Jet Bloomberg. PPRuNE forum.


The Political Fix: Why is BJP treating the Supreme Court like a tie-breaker for the farmers protest? The Scroll

India’s quick nod to homegrown COVID-19 vaccine seeds doubt AP


Pelosi to move forward with impeachment if Pence doesn’t act to remove Trump Politico

US senators balk at Trump impeachment over Capitol siege FT

Full text: Draft of articles of impeachment against Trump for ‘incitement of insurrection’ NBC. This is the Cicilline/Raskin/Lieu resolution. Be careful what you wish for:

Minister: Massive power outage leaves Pakistan in the dark ABC


A revolution in permanence Tempest

US Puts Top Iraqi Official Fayyadh On Blacklist Agence France Presse


One in five in England have had Covid, modelling suggests Guardian

Lax approach to England lockdown raises prospect of stricter rules FT

Thanks To COVID, The UK Is In A Sexual Recession Refinery 29

Nicola Sturgeon may have LIED to parliament over harassment claims against Alex Salmond, says former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson Daily Mail

In Pictures: Thousands stranded in Spain’s record snowstorm Al Jazeera. With some exceptions:


Business warns current post-Brexit border disruption is just ‘tip of the iceberg’ Trucker World. For example:

New Cold War

Gazprom to restart Nord Stream 2 construction FT


It’s Trump’s Last Chance to Declassify These Secrets of the Russia Collusion Dud Aaron Maté, RealClearInvestigations

Biden Transition

A Simple Thing Biden Can Do to Reset America Matt Stoller, BIG. I could put this under Class Warfare, too. Well worth a read.

Two Biden aides will recuse on BlackRock issues as past ties pose questions WaPo. “A Biden transition official said the incoming administration expects Deese and Adeyemo to recuse themselves from matters pertaining specifically to BlackRock for an “appropriate period” determined by law and an ethics agreement that is still in development.”

Joe Biden wants to set aside deficit concerns to invest in ailing U.S. economy NBC

Biden’s dog Major will get his own “Indoguration” as White House’s first rescue pup CBS. And presumably, unike millions of Americans, Major won’t be evicted from his house.

Here’s The Way Joe Biden And The Democrats Can Pass Their Agenda — Maybe HuffPo. Budget reconciliation. But “Senate Republicans can still wield the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to overcome,” and “the filibuster has become a de facto supermajority requirement” imply that abolishing the filibuster requires 60 votes. That is false; the filibuster can be abolished or modified by a simple majority. Which a party that wanted to govern would do. Of course, as the author points out, reconciliation is “limited by complex rules,” so you can see why liberal Democrats like it.

The Lincoln Project’s Predator The American Conservative

Democrats in Disarray

That’s quite an act. What do you call it?

The Democrats!

Realignment and Legitimacy

Corporate America halts donations to Republicans who voted to overturn the election CNN. So we’re forcing Republicans not to be corrupt, unlike Democrats?

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The Capitol Attack Doesn’t Justify Expanding Surveillance Wired

Patriot Act 2, Censorship, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone

Intelligence Community

US intelligence agencies have 180 days to share what they know about UFOs, thanks to the Covid-19 relief and spending bill CNN


Pontifications: Boeing’s exodus from Puget Sound Leeham News and Analysis

Class Warfare

Solidarity Now The Baffler

Algorithms and the coronavirus pandemic FT

Big Tech’s attention economy can be reformed. Here’s how. MIT Technology (DL).

Human will plays an important role here. What if the leaders behind Apple’s App Store revenue distribution model—which acts as the central bank or Federal Reserve of the attention economy—simply chose to distribute revenue to app makers based not on whose users bought the most virtual goods or spent the most time using the app, but on who among the app makers best cooperated with other apps on the phone to help all members of society live more by their values?

Autism Theory 25 Years in the Making (press release) Neuroscience News (original).

Antidote du Jour (via):

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.