Links 2/12/2021

Teen reunited with pet rooster lost at Alabama Cracker Barrel after Civil War reenactment

One eel of a story: the slippery truth of a fishy underground migration The Age

The ‘stonk’ bubble poses significant global risks FT

When It Comes to TRI, We Want TMI The Brockovich Report


Effectiveness of Mask Wearing to Control Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2 JAMA. Includes a very handy review of the literature in table form.

Why COVID Vaccines Are Taking So Long to Reach You Scientific American

Why the U.S. Is Struggling to Track Coronavirus Variants Smithsonian

The science of school reopenings Politico

‘Frankly wrong’: WHO official derides US intelligence on COVID Al Jazeera

The Fall Surge Is Finally Noticed, If Barely Mike the Mad Biologist

The Cherokee Response to Covid-19: Face Masks, Made in the Cherokee Nation Native News Online


China’s record corn purchases have traders wondering if bump can last FT

China’s Inequality Will Lead It to a Stark Choice Foreign Affairs. Well worth a read.

Why a takeout deliveryman in China set himself on fire Los Angeles Times

Chinese consumers stuck at home step up spending on poker, mahjong sets this Lunar New Year holiday South China Morning Post. And on the television:

Up to a Million People Fleeing Hong Kong Might Suit China Just Fine Bloomberg


Myanmar junta’s proposed cyber bill alarms Internet giants Reuters. As might this:

The rumor, unconfirmed, is that China will help the Myanmar set up its own Great Firewall.

How to squeeze Myanmar’s military without hurting its people Globe

Myanmar military releases more than 23,000 prisoners as protests against coup continue CNN. They need the cells….

Can Myanmar’s Protesters Succeed? Foreign Policy

Following the money behind Myanmar’s coup Asia Times


Kolkata: 150 Left-Congress workers, 15 policemen injured in clashes Indian Express

YouTube removes Punjabi songs related to farmers’ protest Deccan Herald

Govt Thought No Water, No Protest. They Were Wrong The Week

Ethiopia re-enters the abyss of war Ethopia Insight


ECB’s Panetta Says Digital Euro May Come With a Penalty Clause Bloomberg

Justice in chains Wings over Scotland

New Cold War

Putin’s Majority? New Left Review

Haiti judge accused of alleged coup plot released from prison: lawyer France24


Four takeaways from Day 3 of Trump’s impeachment trial WaPo. Not paywalled.

Here’s How the GOP Could Convict Trump Without Even Voting Vice

Democrats recreate January 6 riot using previously unseen footage FT. I know that impeachments are not Court proceedings, but isn’t “unseen footage” a graceful way of saying “evidence the accused was not allowed to examine”?

“Much To Do About Nothing”: The Withdrawal Of The Lee Claim Has “Much To Do” With A Glaring Flaw In The House Case Jonathan Turley. “Senators could conclude that the decision to rely on media reports rather than witnesses leaves the case inclusive and speculative on Trump’s state of mind or purpose.”

Opinion: Biden needs to figure out how to manage the Trump endgame David Ignatius, WaPo. Commentary:

Biden Transition

The Fed Gives Democrats the Green Light on Large Stimulus New York Magazine

In COVID-19 Relief Package, Lawmakers Confident They Can Secure Millions in Funding to Vaccinate Senior Citizens Morning Consult

Biden’s in no rush to engage China. Guess who’s trying to take advantage. Politico

The climate deniers Microsoft helped re-elect Heated

Democrats in Disarray

California Is Making Liberals Squirm Ezra Klein. Wait ’til Ezra hears about CalPERS!

Cuomo aide admits they hid nursing home data so feds wouldn’t find out NY Post (Bob).

Health Care

Democrats eye big ACA changes in COVID relief bill Axios. “Notably absent from all of this are policies that would meaningfully reduce the actual cost of care.” Oh.

My Generic Medications Failed Me. I’m Not Alone VIce


Bonfire of the Shorts Is a Precedent-Busting Black Swan John Authers, Bloomberg

GameStop: Intentionally Dying Chris Arnade, American Compass. Or, in gaming circles, “int-ing.”

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Former FBI Officials Tapped for Amazon’s Growing Security Apparatus The Intercept

Police State Watch

Charges dropped against Buffalo officers who pushed 75-year-old protester The Hill


3 years later, Parkland school shooting trial still in limbo Associated Press

200 Rounds of 55gr MC .223 Ammo by Remington UMC Ammo for Sale (Re Silc). “Out of Stock.” Oh.

Our Famously Free Press

How the Media Cracks Down on Critics of Israel Current Affairs

Facebook to pilot new ways to reduce political content Politico. “Our democracy.”

‘Independent, Culturally Relevant, Trusted Local Sources Are the Way’ FAIR. On Prometheus v. FCC.

Why Australia has taken on Google and what this means for the future of the internet NBC

Realignment and Legitimacy

After Record 2020 Turnout, State Republicans Weigh Making It Harder To Vote NPR

Fix the Senate III: Stochastic Gong Show Interfluidity

North Adams Trying to Address Failing Hydrant System iBerkshires (Re Silc: “Multiply this by about every town in USA USA…. But we have a space force!”

Class Warfare

After Co-Worker Died of COVID, 2 Texas Educators Fired for Union Organizing Payday Report

The Children Are Starving Heisenberg Report (Re Silc).

Unemployment insurance, job search, and spending during the pandemic JP Morgan

Getting Back to a Strong Labor Market Chair Jerome H. Powell, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. “Back”?

In Violation of Einstein, Black Holes Might Have ‘Hair’ Quanta

Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot Is Now Armed IEEE. With a robot arm, not an actual weapon. Of course. Who would be crazy enough to think that?

“The great reset.” The Scrum

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.


  1. fresno dan

    Fix the Senate III: Stochastic Gong Show Interfluidity

    This helps explain a stylized fact of American politics: The public detests Congress as a whole, but loves their own representatives.
    I love Waldman, but I think he is waaaay off base here. First, the whole design of the government, what with the electoral college, is anti democratic, not to mention that ridiculous 60 vote made up thing in the senate. Second, I could provide about a zillion references where policies supported by super majorities are blocked – which is because the American system of buying representatives OF COURSE makes the interests of the rich the interests of the government (and not the majority of citizens).
    And finally, the Chinese restaurant illusion – superficially, all sorts of choice, but of course, you can only have Chinese food. The public doesn’t love their representatives, because their two choices at election time are:
    A. blue representative who represents the wealthy
    B. red representative who represents the wealthy
    And as I have noted before, Trump won against 18 other republicans, because FINALLY there was someone at least saying something a little different.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I’m not so sure the public really does love their own representatives. Maybe they just reluctant to admit to pollsters that they voted for a complete [family blog]ger.

    2. Kouros

      On the morning of May 29, 1787, in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, Edmund Randolph, governor of Virginia, opened the meeting that would become known as the Constitutional Convention by identifying the underlying cause of various problems that the delegates of thirteen states had assembled to solve. “Our chief danger,” Randolph declared, “arises from the democratic parts of our constitutions.” None of the separate states’ constitutions, he said, had established “sufficient checks against the democracy.”

      1. Patrick

        And establish sufficient checks against democracy is what they did. Harvard’s Thomas Patterson refers to them as “barriers to power”. They include the Electoral College as mentioned by fresno dan. This still existing barrier is an example of “indirect elections” – in the beginning only representative in the House were allowed to be directly elected by the people (thus the “peoples’ house”). For the Framers, the direct election of officials was “too much democracy”.

        And remember, in the beginning the right to vote was based on property requirements, so the state legislators who chose the electors were ostensibly working on behalf of “property interests” (see Charles Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution).

        Other barriers to power under the category of “indirect elections” include Senators who were not directly elected but chosen by state legislators (changed by the 17th Amendment) and the most important barrier to power – what Beard called “the final bulwark” against change (democratic reform?) – Supreme Court Justices are (still!) not elected at all but appointed by the indirectly elected President with the consent of the (originally) indirectly elected Senate. I guess that’s two or three degrees of separation.

        Even more barriers to power include “staggered terms” and “staggered elections” (only one-third of the Senate, with six year terms, comes up for election every two years; the president every four years, and Supreme Court Justices serve for life (now that’s a bulwark!). Judicial Review was quickly established to further strengthen the court’s role as the “final bulwark” against change.

        And in the beginning, elected representatives were considered “virtuous trustees” not required to heed the will of their constituencies (unless it served the interest of property?). The concept was changed in the Progressive Era (they became our “delegates”). Today (mostly corporate) money is their guiding light.

        The Framers also chose a “republic” – they very consciously rejected “democracy” (these were radically different concepts to the framers in 1787 that today are often conflated). Patterson describes a “republic“ as consisting of “carefully designed institutions that are responsive to the majority but not captive to it” – he says that it is a system in which the “peoples’ representatives decide policy through institutions that are structured in ways that foster deliberation, slow the decision process, and that filter popular sentiment …”.

        These are our so-called “checks and balances” (barriers to power that include separate branches of government, each with a different constituency that is responsive to different electors and to different interest groups) and a bicameral legislature designed to allow the Senate to “check” the House (the peoples’ house, i.e., the popular will). By the way, IIRC the U.S. is the only western democracy where the upper chamber is not merely ceremonial (but instead designed to act as a barrier to power, i.e., to limit democracy).

        Of course today (as fresno dan et al know) we live in a world where SCOTUS has created the legal fiction that corporations are “persons with speech rights” which allows them to fund our elections with unlimited amounts of money. And the legal precedent of “corporate personhood” was established in 1886 despite the Court never having ruled on the issue – it was reported to have done so by former RR Executive Bancroft Davis, that rascal of a Court Reporter.
        Hey! Its called (free market) capitalism.
        Ps. one last barrier to power: they made the constitution difficult to amend.

  2. Terry Flynn

    Fixing the Senate: Head is fuzzy but if current levels of dissatisfaction continue, I think the long-term equilibrium would be virtually the entire Senate standing for re-election every 2 years (thus resembling the House).

    I think you’d exchange one problem for another…. But I’m open to correction if my understanding of 2 years’ membership is the key factor to put you into the lottery is wrong.

      1. a different chris

        I’m not sure *either* makes any sense. Of course I think our whole governmental (emphasis on the “mental”) structure was a good first lick for the late 18th century but should have gone the way of steam tractors. (PS: I love steam tractors but reality is…)

        If you have a 2-yr election cycle then all they do is run for re-election. So you wind up with an un-elected group underneath that actually does the governing and is not easily rid of. If you have 6 years you get to pork enough stuff around that you become a fixture – I have already said that I would have to think hard about voting against Mitch McConnell if I lived in Kentucky. Dude can bring home as much bacon as anybody if he wishes. If he loses, then I have a freshman Senator sitting in the back.

        I like the Parliamentary system for it’s ability to call elections when everybody gets sick of everything that’s going on. But I don’t live under such a system so I’m sure plenty of exhausted Canadians/Brits etc. can school me on how that goes wrong, too.

        “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Democracy simply doesn’t work” – Kent Brockman.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Hehe thanks. I’ve spent a few more hours thinking and am even more sure the article’s idea won’t solve the “disliked congress” problem. If USA voters perceive Congress to be lacking in “long-term planning ability” – something the Senate was supposed to address (along with other things) – then the Senate enters a “doom loop”: dissatisfaction breeds more Senate seats being contested every TWO years which breeds a culture of “continuous campaigning” and no longer term planning which begets more dissatisfaction…. Etc!

        With 1/3 of seats being contested every 2 years it’s pretty easy to envisage the rest ending up being contested too. Thus, as already mentioned, a key difference from the House is eliminated. Given other recent issues raised about the Senate, I think it will accelerate moves to eliminate or fundamentally reform it.

        As a British/Australian outsider, I certainly agree with above criticism about how the Senate currently works. However I admit to a certain admiration for the AIMS of a “properly functioning Senate”. Indeed on less hectic days I’m tempted to think up how a reformed British 2nd Chamber loosely based upon the Senate might preserve the Union and address many of the key constitutional and natural problems for the UK.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Charges dropped against Buffalo officers who pushed 75-year-old protester”

    Being The Hill, they were merely being polite. The real headline should have read “Charges dropped against Buffalo officers who cracked head of 75-year-old protester”

    1. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      February 12, 2021 at 7:42 am

      Remember Andrew Fitch? (unarmed, unequivocally completely innocent man killed by a trigger happy cop in a “spoofing” incident where the police were called to a fake crime). Flipping around the TV, I saw a crime show documentary about him the other day. I had read about him, but I had never seen the video. So the cop shoots an unarmed man with ABSOLUTELY no justification. No one was in any danger, no weapon was visible (or present). This man was not a imminent threat to anyone. Yet no repercussions what so ever…
      Not having every lived in another country, I would be curious if there is another country that appears to be so schizophrenic – so many people yammer about freedom and government power, but give absolute carte blanche to the police to use violence, the most extreme government power. Of course, how often does someone with a net worth of over a million ever get abused by the police (cough, cough, Jeffery Epstein, coughs lung out….)

      1. Isotope_C14

        Hi Fresno Dan,

        I’ve been in Germany now 3.5 or so years, and I’ve never heard of such cop nonsense here. I’ve certainly had shotguns pointed at me by police in the “free” USA, so been there, done that.

        I think it’s the decades of war-porn on the TV, and constant gun-shots to the head in the movies. It just normalizes horrible violence at a scale that isn’t happening in other countries. Germany doesn’t allow that level of violence on their standard broadcasts, and occasionally you’ll actually see nekkid people makin’ love not war in some of the German programs. In functionally not screwed up societies, you are allowed to see a woman’s chest, and not 24/7 .357 shots through the “perps” skull.

        Also USAians watch vastly more TV than Europeans. I don’t know about global south countries on the violence scale, nor on their TV content.

        You’d think Canada might have these problems too, but perhaps the antidote is the Red Green Show…

          1. Lee

            I watch a lot of European cop shows. I don’t know if this is reflective of actual policy, but a preference for the leg shot seems to be a thing in some of these shows. I recall cop character berating another for shooting a perp in the body instead of the leg.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          ahem…i have some experience as the target of copmadness.
          30 years ago, but still.
          one must also include education and training and the whole societal soup said cops come up in. cops tend to lean Right, so it follows that they were indoctrinated into that worldview as kids…this is reinforced all the way until they enter copschool. where (in Texas, it’s CLEAT, which is known for it’s right leaning assholery), they learn even more about how the black people, illegals, terrists and commies are under every bed, behind every tree…and all on PCP(which is exactly like weed, btw)…and that they should be in fear for their lives, but brave soldiers regardless…charging into the breach to defend white wimmens and property.
          every attempt that i’m aware of to fox the training issue…let alone to screen for psychopathy and/or birch society ideology…is met with the full force of the cop unions(which, unlike all the other unions, is as american as apple pie), who call press conferences to question the patriotism of anyone who questions their training or methods.

          and yes, there are “good cops” out there…i have even known a few, who stood between my weirdo long haired radical self and their more rabid brethren…but they are at a disadvantage in trying to rein in the “bad apples”*, due to the same sort of mechanism that is laid out above.
          i think that, like the military, we should have civilian control of cops…as in non-cops running things, with the power to fire evildoers.
          maybe even mandate civil rights advocates to be sheriffs and chiefs…for a dose of checks and balances.
          because of my experiences, long ago…and in spite of the handful of “good apples*” i have known…i loathe cops, and likely always will.
          i don’t trust people in uniforms, or people with badges of any kind.
          and prolly never will…that ship has sailed and sank.

          (* when procop folks try to excuse murderous coppers, they always pass bad behaviour off as “a few bad apples”…but the rest of that ancient anecdote is instructive, since it’s always left out of such defenses:” a bad apple spoils the whole bunch”)

        2. wilroncanada

          The Red Green show has unfortunately been long gone. The past few years it’s been Schitt’s Creek, and of course the perpetual 22 Minutes

      2. The Rev Kev

        I was reading up on the shooting of Andrew Finch earlier today after your comment and it was pretty bad. I can’t understand anyone thinking that swatting someone is a good idea as there are so many trigger-happy police out there. Certainly I believe that it may be a good idea to put an age restriction on new police recruits so that they have to be at least 25 years old first.

        Having seen police in different countries, they do differ. I always remember a Belgian cop with an assault rifle in the middle of a busy street. An assault rifle. I immediately exited stage left. I found it funny the other day how we western countries were criticizing the Russian police fighting against the Navalny protestors and so the Russians put together a short film showing police in other countries at work-

  4. Tom Stone

    I’m not at all surprised that a Grand Jury would absolve the officers who violently assaulted 75 year old Martin Gugino.
    It sets a standard for what “Reasonable Force” amounts to for Police officers in New York and likely elsewhere.

    Chelsea Manning’s essay on the US Grand Jury system is the best explanation of how the Grand Jury system works that I have encountered, well written and to the point.

    1. CoryP

      Do you recall where that essay was published?

      I haven’t figured out the correct search terms to locate it.

      1. fresno dan

        February 12, 2021 at 9:28 am

        I don’t have the one about Chelsea Manning, but the below reference explains well I believe, how the system is a big scam to protect the police.
        So, just as a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich, it can just as easily be manipulated to absolve a videotaped murder, provided the prosecutor wants to absolve the police (and the vast majority of the time, they do)

    2. carl

      Shortest explanation I can come up with: the grand jury is under the thumb of the prosecutor. If the prosecutor wants someone indicted, they will be indicted and the opposite is just as true. I took many many cases to the grand jury; they did exactly what I wanted, every time. You can present as much or as little of the “facts” as you need to to obtain the result you want. In the rare instances where a grand jury exercises independent judgment, the prosecutor will find a way to get around it.

      1. km

        This is the correct explanation. The prosecutor could simply refuse to bring charges, but that would look bad.

        So instead, the prosecutor familyblogs the indictment. That way, he can point his finger at the grand jury for not returning a true bill, the grand jury can say that they returned no true bill based on the information given, and besides, there were twelve of them.

        Nobody is in charge, nobody is responsible.

  5. zagonostra

    >“The great reset.” The Scrum

    “Stakeholder capitalism,”… positions private corporations as trustees of society, and is clearly the best response to today’s social and environmental challenges…There is the prospect, however likely or unlikely, that corporations will eventually be persuaded that shareholder capitalism is ultimately beneficial to their bottom lines—in effect a new profit-maximization strategy with the added benefit of preserving the social order—and enter in enthusiastically.

    The problem I have with the article is that the author seems to discount the full extent to which the ruling elites have already positioned themselves as the “trustees” of the “social order.” It’s as if this were hypothetical planning for the future whereas in it is clearly underscored in a recent Time article, referenced in below link, that the “Shareholders” (aka ruling elites) came out and boasted how they took measures to determine the 2020 Presidential election outcome.

    The “great reset” is an ongoing process whose various machinations are documented in many places, including here, at NC. Cloaking it in terms of “Stake Holder” vs. “Shareholder”, in my opinion, masks the more fundamental questions regarding human freedom, agency, and what it means to be human. When making statements that pertain to the relationship between the individual and society without reference once to “class” and or incorporating elements of class analysis, seems odd in an article that seeks to examine structural changes in capitalism

    1. Stephen V.

      Great link that, Zag. So rare to see the term *conspiracy* used so approvingly! Ends justifying means but, wow.
      I sent it to a friend a few days ago, a friend who blames me for the Iraq War because I voted Nader 2000. She wants Trump drawn and quartered now. Not sure if we are still friends. ..

    2. pjay

      “…It is hard to see corporations voluntarily switching to a stakeholder model after being accustomed to forty years of rapacious shareholder capitalism. What non-corporate entity could possibly force corporations to transform? Governments come to mind as they have, in the past, acted as shapers and regulators of capitalism…”

      “…Schwab nonetheless (and very ironically) makes the familiar claim we have come to call TINA since Margaret Thatcher made the phrase familiar—“there is no alternative”—and specifically dismisses state capitalism as a rival: “But while state capitalism may be a good fit for one stage of development, it, too, should gradually evolve into something closer to a stakeholder model, lest it succumb to corruption from within.”

      The fundamental requirement of this global neoliberal project is to destroy the capacity of nation-states to regulate economic activity. Perry Anderson’s recent three part opus on the EU illustrated this well. Ideologically, the fundamental requirement is the absolute demonization of “nationalism” and also “populism” as synonymous with fascism. This is why the Establishment reaction against Trump is so ferocious. This is also why the example of China is so threatening, and must be undermined at all costs.

      Neither Trump nor China represent my ideal exemplars. But both challenge the TINA arguments of the global elite that “stakeholder capitalism” our only real future. Trust the oligarchs!

    3. flora

      I agree with your assessment.

      In addition: I was a little confused by the author’s use of the terms “stakeholder” vs “shareholder” vs “state” capitalism. He starts out presenting them as different and opposed to each other in the WEF mind, and then uses them interchangeably in several places describing the WEF mind, imo. Hard for me to track what exactly he was saying, though I think I got the gist of it.

      1. Susan the other

        The big contradiction imo is that one group of corporate stake-holders is/will be positioned against another in a “post”capitalist world that still relies on profits. Schwab doesn’t discuss this underlying interest. It is avoided by disregarding state capitalism. And it begs the entire question. Just can kicking really.

    4. farragut

      In the same vein, a fantastic Twitter thread from Eric Weinstein:

      The entire war over fact checking is a war of 2 low resolution teams. One team wants absolute freedom to spread wild eyed theories that just about everything is a psyop or a false flag. The other team wants to impose institutional consensus reality on everyone via media & tech.

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      The Archdruid discussed the Davos “Great Reset” in November of last year: “The Great Leap Backward”, in which he pointed to the a “bit of fiction” by the Danish politician Ida Auken, “Here’s how life could change in my city by the year 2030” Poking around the World Economic Forum’s [WEF] site I was overcome with a creepy feeling. Wandering around the WEF’s site I ran across a link to an affiliated site “Business for Peace Foundation” and their Build Back Better Business call to action … which sounded too familiar: “Biden’s economic recovery plan, called Build Back Better, would spend over $7.3 trillion and invest in green infrastructure, health care and more” [I verified the link — it really does end with “-19-.html”. Wander these Davos sites and a few of the Green New Deal Sites, and I start to feel like I am wandering through variations on the UNorth commercial in the movie “Michael Clayton”. I feel we could be in for some very creepy days ahead. Beware Big Money interests bearing gifts.

    6. zagonostra

      Apropos the “great reset,” it is instructive to read the transcript given by Putin and directly addressed to Klaus Schwab and the audience at last month’s WET. It seems to me that in between the lines Putin is acknowledging what the Time article references but unlike those who saw this in a positive light, as getting rid of the bad Orange Man, Putin is underscoring the inherent dangers to what just happened (bold added).

      Modern technological giants, especially digital companies, have started playing an increasing role in the life of society. Much is being said about this now, especially regarding the events that took place during the election campaign in the US. They are not just some economic giants. In some areas, they are de facto competing with states. Their audiences consist of billions of users that pass a considerable part of their lives in these eco systems.

      In the opinion of these companies, their monopoly is optimal for organising technological and business processes. Maybe so but society is wondering whether such monopolism meets public interests. Where is the border between successful global business, in-demand services and big data consolidation and the attempts to manage society at one’s own discretion and in a tough manner, replace legal democratic institutions and essentially usurp or restrict the natural right of people to decide for themselves how to live, what to choose and what position to express freely? We have just seen all of these phenomena in the US and everyone understands what I am talking about now. I am confident that the overwhelming majority of people share this position, including the participants in the current event.

      1. 1 Kings

        Putin is spot on, but can anyone give One example of Trump and his Trumpettes stopping a monopoly. Pharma, Defense, Media, Finance, Warren Buffet, Transportation, Retail er Wall Mart and Amazon etc??????
        We’re we suppose to wait till his 2nd term, or Ivanka’s 1st, or maybe the Baron dude(really named him Baron?) when he becomes our first king(fingers crossed)?
        Biden is the absolute worst, as he will prove, but can we stop with they were trying to get rid of him for the good of their business and forever-more profits. They seem to have done pretty well the last four years.

  6. cocomaan

    Ezra Klein, California Is Making Liberals Squirm

    Boy, Ezra really manages to say a lot of nothing. Somehow, he manages to talk about the problems of the massively monied class of people running California without calling any of them specifically to task or advocating for anything meaningful. He quotes Ibram X Kendi and then does exactly what Kendi says you shouldn’t do: posture.

    I hope California keeps being weird. But it needs to do better.

    Is this something Klein would say about any other state in the union? How about red ones? Ah well, Klein has always been a disappointment. Haven’t read him in years and years and it looks like he’s still a disappointment.

    1. furies

      “Santa CruzFeb. 11

      The reason “liberals” in California are “opposing” things like “affordable housing projects” is that nearly all such projects have fundamentally been and remain fast-buck developer scams. They do not lower housing costs to any measureable extent, nor do they any way help 99.9% of the lower income people they supposedly are intended to help. Their real overwhelming purpose is to systematically destroy local zoning controls, in order that developers can make more money more easily, not by building housing for the masses, but by destroying old low density buildings in order to replace them high density luxury buildings for the rich, with small fig leaves of “affordable housing” attached.
      The huge unaddressed question is why so many in the mainstream news media, instead of doing their homework, are instead swallowing such developer propaganda, hook, line and sinker, and repeating it, over and over and over.”

      this lifted from the comments–and perfectly describes my experiences with my former town’s water board.

      1. Carla

        “The huge unaddressed question is why so many in the mainstream news media, instead of doing their homework, are instead swallowing such developer propaganda, hook, line and sinker, and repeating it, over and over and over.”

        That is their JOB, and it is their only job.

        And that’s why, furies, we have to come here. Thanks to Yves, Lambert and the whole NC team for keeping this place going!

        1. cocomaan

          In the case of California, who else has been covering Calpers like they have?

          It’s maddening how little interest there is in calling to task the actors who have turned California into such a giant mess. It’s embarrassing.

          Before long, CA is going to go red like it did during the Reagan era. That wasn’t too long ago and it could happen again.

          1. fwe'theewell

            It already has. The tech powers that be are very conservative. Ezra Klein is playing word games when he says conservatism is about fighting change. Does that make Proposition 22 progressive, for the change it ramrods into labor laws?

      2. Lee

        You touch upon one of primary pet peeves. Here in Alameda, CA, our city council keeps trying to densify our town. The voters then rebel and reject the city council’s attempts to sell out the town to developers. The voters then get berated by various public officials and the editorials as NIMBYs and at times racists. We have repeated this cycle every few election cycles going back years.

        The town is located on two islands with limited points of ingress and egress so that car traffic is already a problem. Much of where they wish to build is on low-lying waterside landfill that is subject both to sea-level rise and liquefaction in the event of a highly probable future earthquake. The risk maps produced by trustworthy scientists seem to have had no effect on parties determined to build, build, build. The smaller of the two islands, Bay Farm, is already built out with relatively pricey housing, constructed in the 1980s, and based on the risk maps, 90% of it at some point in the foreseeable future will be literally under water.

        Liquefaction Map

        Sea-level rise Map

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        To what extent are the legacy MSM outlets now near-hollow shells without the money to hire the numbers of reporters who would be paid to find out about and write about things like that?

  7. The Rev Kev

    Austin Ramzy
    ‘Was that blackface in the CCTV chunwan gala opener?’

    I would put a different spin on this. How about Austin Ramzy, smug New York Times reporter, gets tired of tone-policing his fellow Americans at home. Gets transferred so that he is now the New York Times reporter in Hong Kong where he gets to tone-police another culture altogether according to New York Times standards. Austin had better be careful. Somebody might come up to him and say ‘Austin, are you saying that some cultures are better than others?’

  8. timbers

    Getting Back to a Strong Labor Market Chair Jerome H. Powell, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. “Back”?

    “…we made substantial revisions to our monetary policy framework, as described in the FOMC’s Statement on Longer-Run Goals and Monetary Policy Strategy…including our view that longer-run inflation of 2 percent is most consistent with our mandate to promote maximum employment and price stability.”

    What does increasing inflation have to do with creating jobs? And why 2%? Is 2 a magic mystical number the geniuses on the Fed just forget to reveal to us?

    There has been lots written how the Fed’s CPI inflation measure is a joke and total fraud. The Fed says with a straight face that medical, housing, and other costs are going up about 2%. No one believes that.

    The Fed is engulfed in the flames of inflation raging all around it (home prices going up 10% annually, intentionally removing most of medical expenditure out of inflation figures and instead adding it directly to GDP growth).

    The Fed produces massive inflation, than deliberately creates reports showing there is not inflation, so it continue with polices that transfer the work, earnings, and savings of working folks, the Fed super rich politically connected ultra rich friends of Jerome Powell, as well as to Jerome Powell himself, and their friends.

    1. cocomaan

      The Fed is just a bank, after all, run by bankers. Powell and Yellen are just bankers that use all the academic economist creeds as their SOP’s. Economist-speak just obfuscates the mission, which is to enrich a certain class of financial elite.

      So of course they’re going to push inflation. If they didn’t, the debts sloshing around in the toilet bowl we call our financial system would become unsustainable.

      They are going to tamp down on inflation only when it means their heads. When the mobs outside the gates aren’t able to afford bread anymore, they’ll figure it out. Until then, they’re only interested in enriching banks and financial players.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Mobs who can’t afford bread likely do not have the physical capacity or energy to unseat the well-fed wealthy and their vassals and minions. It is state policy in a lot of places where “unrest” due to inequality and repression are the norm, to underfeed or starve the lessers. Like our Empire and India and Palestine and Yemen …

        1. km

          Les Miz and romantic fantasies aside, as long as the 1% are united, revolutions don’t happen when the 99% get tired of being abused and overthrow the 1%, because the 1% will do whatever it takes to hang onto power.

          Revolutions happen when the 1% are divided amongst themselves. This is usually because they cannot agree on how to respond to a foreign threat or because they cannot agree on how to divide the spoils.

          Then 1% factions start casting about for allies.

        2. cocomaan

          We’ll see. I am sensing a lot of anger out there. If inflation hits, people will not be able to handle it.

          The world feels as if there’s no slack, no cushion. Rising inflation will be devastating and already is devastating for many families. We’ll see how long people put up with it.

          1. km

            Inflation is just dandy, taken from the point of view of people who are net debtors right now. They can pay back their loans with so much toilet paper and give their creditors the Double Bird.

            Inflation is not so good from the perspective of current net creditors or people who will become debtors in the future.

          2. skippy

            @all above …

            The Fed is administrated by quasi monetarists for yonks so you’ll only see those sorts of policies.

            As far as inflation goes one should not confuse market/investor driven RE et al inflation with notions of hard money optics. More so fee extraction and price administration which is decoupled from core material inputs w/ a side of cramming down wages lest the real monster of inflation would destroy markets and everything else with it ….

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Biden’s in no rush to engage China. Guess who’s trying to take advantage.”

    That article had the following sentence embedded in it-

    ‘French President Emmanuel Macron insisted last week that the EU and U.S. ganging up on China will be “counterproductive.” ‘

    Yeah, well you can forget that one. Macron has just sent a nuclear attack submarine along with a support ship into the South China Seas because nothing is less “counterproductive” than a sub with nukes aboard-

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “Biden’s in no rush”

      An evergreen headline. How soon be for he starts the he just needs a second term then he can be good routine.

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      France’s submarine is not likely armed with nuclear weapons. It is merely nuclear powered. Nevertheless, it is a provocative move of questionable judgement.

  10. fresno dan
    The point is that while Q Anon was a motive for some of the people who rioted at the Capitol, it’s very much a fringe belief. And evidence suggests it’s support has dropped since the election and the inauguration. At this point it’s pretty insignificant. There are certainly many other political conspiracy theories out there (Russia! Russia! Russia!) with a lot more adherents.
    I am not gonna say that there is a conspiracy to make people believe that QAnon is a widely believed conspiracy because that would be…uh, …. conspiratorial.
    But, as they say, cui bono?

    1. Baldanders

      My parents aren’t out “Q” folks, but they went into near religious ecstasy at the Sydney Powell cavalcade of truth back in December and are total believers in the all-powerful Deep State.

      Whatever new theory they share with me about covid and the election is usually reflected in the comments here by a poster or two.

      Whatever number of people believe in Q, the number of people who believe the adjacent theories or at least follow folks who spread them seems far larger, but it’s possible my own experience is overwhelming my judgment on larger society.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I believe that there was a pedophile ring involving elite powerbrokers (Epstein) and also that there was a behind the scenes effort to remove Trump from office by any means possible ( Russiagate, Mueller report, impeachment over a phone call with a clown, etc). From what I understand those are a couple of the tenets of QAnon.

      I think a lot of people believe what I mentioned above, because they happen to be true. Does that make all of us QAnon?

      Like you, I think this whole QAnon thing is waaaaaaay overblown, but if you’re a political party who refuses to provide citizens with concrete material benefits and have nothing to run on, you go with what you’ve got – so Orange Man bad and QAnon it is! And let’s not forget that Obama made it legal to propagandize the American people and created a pretty hefty budget to catapult said propaganda.

      1. fresno dan

        lyman alpha blob
        February 12, 2021 at 1:29 pm

        I agree. And if you look at the nefariousness of the conspiracies, I think one could argue objectively that Russia! Russia! Russia! was the more disturbing due to its breath and widespread involvement of high government officials throughout the bureaucracy and senior politicians. Trump saying he won the election was very, VERY bad, but he really didn’t have any significant support, while Russiagate had a unified party (what percentage of dems deviated from Russiagate – I dare say it was considerably less than the number of repubs who deviated from Trump winning the election) AND the MSM. It really is disconcerting that so many people could so readily be led to believe something so easily debunked. Modern indoctrination.

        1. marym

          Republican officials and party leaders have supported Trumps claims of fraud in both legal actions and propaganda efforts, and right-wing media has been as much a purveyor of these claims as Dem-aligned media has been for Russiagate.

          Whether there are any consequences for Trump for the Capitol riot as a product of his own history of fraud allegations, the 2020 election claims will take their place – are already taking their place – in the Republican establishment’s long history of using unsubstantiated claims of fraud used as an excuse for voter suppression laws.

          1. skippy

            Both sides have their Pavlovian dog whistles which have been environmentally conditioned into their constituencies for yonks and each with its own dialectal framework of notions.

            Going off script would then bring into question a whole lot of what has been said and people might start thinking for themselves and then the whole construct is threatened … cant have the natives leaving the reservation … eh.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        As I’ve said, the image of globalist bloodsucking pedophile elites is directionally correct. The difficulty comes when coupling between individuals, factions, and events is too tight, Bond-villain fashion.

        ““Then, as his planet killed him, it occurred to Kynes that his father and all the other scientists were wrong, that the most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error.” CT-style thinking doesn’t handle accidents well.

    3. Aumua

      And evidence suggests it’s support has dropped since the election and the inauguration. At this point it’s pretty insignificant.

      I submit that this is in large part due to the social media suppression and blackout of all Q related (mis)info. Out of sight, out of mind, but the societal pressures which manifested Q are all still there, just below the surface. So we can expect the next iteration/evolution to show its face soon enough.

  11. ObjectiveFunction

    “Stonk” seems pretty popular these days; its other meaning dating back to WW1 Tommy slang is a mortar barrage fired off at irregular intervals and intensities to try to catch enemy infantry out of their holes.

    On a totally different topic, this BoredPanda photoessay sendup of the ultra-frumpy Target frontier dresses is a real hoot, and gawd knows we need a few. I like to imagine at least some of these folks are NC readers!

    1. Maritimer

      Hey, fella, you give yer misses a fine fancy frock like that and you’ll get a tasty plate o’ biscuits. ‘n gravy too!

  12. Ella

    Generic vs namebrand meds.

    My insurance stopped coveting name brand synthroid last year which I I take for hashimoto’s. So i had the pharmacy fill it with levothyroxine (generic).

    After 3 days on that medicine, I was a mess. Heart palpitations, massive anxiety and I was awake for 48 hours straight. Realized it was the meds. Got a prescription quickly for synthroid skipped a day or two of the meds, then within 2 days was ok.

    I paid an arm and a leg for the brand name because the insurance company would not accept my doctor’s note claiming I could not take generic. After giving up on it happening (and after paying full price for months), insurance did decide to cover the name brand.

    Generic and name brand are NOT the same.

    1. Jackalope

      I too take levothyroxine for Hashimotos and have used the generic for 8 years without issue in spite of being told only the name brand would do. My pharmacy will switch generic producers from time to time and still haven’t had an issue.

      1. Ella

        This shows you that every body is different. I’m super sensitive to meds. I took advil, 2 each night for 6 nights in a row for shoulder pain. Doc said it was ok. After 6th night, I had a massive nosebleed. I know it was the meds as I’ve only had 1 other nosebleed in my life (minor one when I was pregnant).

        Sensitive body chemistry I suppose. Makes me worry about my possible reactions to taking the covid vaccine. …

      2. Howard Beale IV

        One of my relatives wound up getting switched from one generic alprazolam to another – caused all sorts of issues. While a lot has been talked about the actual active drug, no one seems to want to talk about what kind of binders/inactive ingredients are in generic medication – wonder why?

    2. Jason Boxman

      What’s shocking and was linked here some months ago, is that nowhere in the value chain is anyone required to actually test pharmaceutical ingredients to ascertain if they’re even legitimate. Name brand and generic. It’s supposed to get tested in the factories, but the FDA hasn’t had enough people abroad for years, and surprise inspections are apparently unheard of abroad.

      This is a strange topic to search for, but I came up with this: A tiny pharmacy is identifying big problems with common drugs, including Zantac in WaPo.

    3. JTMcPhee

      A woman I know is a retired certified coagulation management nurse who is on lifetime anticoagulants. She has to maintain her International Normalized Ratio within a narrow range, to avoid clotting but to also avoid bleeding. She tests herself every week to make sure her dose is correct, to balance food intake of Vitamin K which increases the “clottiness” of the blood, risking strokes etc.

      The Coumadin name brand which she took for two decades is off the market due to manufacturing problems. Insurance switched her to generic and she had nothing but problems staying stable within the prescribed range, in addition to other side effects.

      There’s now another branded product,Jantoven,which seems to be much more equivalent to the quality and consistency of Coumadin (before the manufacturing problem,) which insurance will not pay for. Fortunately she can afford Jantoven from the pharmacy.

      They’re gonna get us, one way or another.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I was shocked by the prices charged for name brand drugs. I did not realize how very high Big Pharma had pushed prices. As I read the article on the generic suppliers in India and China and elsewhere, I wondered how much Big Pharma money found its way into those foreign suppliers, and how much control. An alternative explanation could be the “Chinaman Button” — a button that when pushed kills or injures a Chinaman on the other side of the world, but adds a gold piece to your hoard. But a “Chinaman Button” is symmetric with a “USian Button” in China or India or other places on the other side of the world. It is like Harry Lime counting dots in his view of the ground in the Ferris Wheel scene in “The Third Man”.

    5. Tom Bradford

      Here in New Zealand most prescribed drugs are obtained through Pharmac, a Govt. agency which bulk-buys them and makes them available through pharmacies at a standard NZ$5 charge.

      In 2019 Pharmac chose to move everyone prescribed one of three anti-epilepsy/mood stabilisers onto the single cheapest one to save money. I was one of those whose brand was changed as a result from – Lamictal to Logem – and I knew it wasn’t working within four days. My GP managed to get me a special dispensation to go back onto Lamictal within days and my condition stabilised again.

      Many others were adversely affected by the change and five suicides were attributed to it.

      In response Pharmac changed its position and most users went back onto their ‘usual’ brands at the subsidised rate –

      Logem isn’t a generic. It contains the same amount of the same active ingredient as the other two, but it seems that the formulation of the rest of the pill in each case is different, and clearly has significant effects on the way the active ingredient works. It’s possible that had I been started on Logem, or had even stuck with it for a couple of months, my body would have adjusted to it, but the change would have been highly unpleasant – for some to the extent of suicide.

      So even outside the named-brand v generic equation, even different named-brand pills and potions delivering the same active ingredient can work very differently within the body depending on their constituents and delivery mechanism.

  13. fresno dan
    Trump Fought Secret Prices
    On June 27, 2019, President Trump issued an Executive Order titled “Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First”

    Informing Patients About Actual Prices. (a) Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall propose a regulation, consistent with applicable law, to require hospitals to publicly post standard charge information, including charges and information based on negotiated rates and for common or shoppable items and services, in an easy-to-understand, consumer-friendly, and machine-readable format using consensus-based data standards that will meaningfully inform patients’ decision making and allow patients to compare prices across hospitals. The regulation should require the posting of standard charge information for services, supplies, or fees billed by the hospital or provided by employees of the hospital. The regulation should also require hospitals to regularly update the posted information and establish a monitoring mechanism for the Secretary to ensure compliance with the posting requirement, as needed.

    The American Hospital Association fought the ruling on first amendment rights.
    On December 29, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia upheld a district court’s ruling that the transparency requirement was legal.
    Hospitals are now required to publish the rates they charge specific insurers for 300 common services considered “shoppable” in a way consumers can easily access.
    Trump fought secret pricing and won. It was one of the best things Trump accomplished in his term.
    What is amazing is the number of supposed free market economists who argue that secret pricing should be allowed. If they actually believed their own ideology, they would understand that transparency is absolutely essential for a free market system to work. But when you have the interests of the wealthy paramount, than of course there is no logic, consistency, or principles involved.
    AND of course, I can’t end a post without some media bashing. Did anybody read any significant article about this in the MSM? I wonder how the Biden administration will proceed…
    AND with regard to Mish’s idea that all those people getting free medical are getting too much medical care too inexpensively is preposterous. If that isn’t the stupidest thing I ever read, its in the top ten. It is a perfect example of someone who lets their ideology supplant their ability to perceive reality accurately and ignorantly shoot off their mouth. Medicaid patients do not get expensive medical care, and often do not get medically necessary medical care. De jure benefits and de facto benefits are two different things. And all those people who just love their deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance of 3K, 5K or 10K before their insurance STARTS (and BTW, the co-pays never completely go away) are the problem with health care costs? If Mish would think critically, he would understand that the pharmaceutical industry isn’t the most profitable industry in the US due to competition and efficiency, but due to regulatory capture. Or maybe be aware of all the countries with healthcare for all at half the price of the US.

    1. Pat

      Published prices are one of the big items that were dropped when the Heritage Foundation adapted the Swiss system to come up with their alternative to Clinton’s possible proposal. Not surprisingly it was never added back in any of the later versions.

      I have always assumed that one of the big reasons such a logical requirement was ignored with the demands for “consumers” to have skin in the game and to be smart shoppers for medical care was that it makes patently clear there is no way an individual can be a smart shopper because the system is gamed, most of the time the price has no real relationship to the cost.

      1. fresno dan

        February 12, 2021 at 11:29 am

        Biggestlittlefarm movie is one of my FAVORITE all time movies. I think most denizens of NC would LOVE that movie. Really, really outstanding.

    1. Pat

      I also loved it. It is a visual treat, with a lovely score. The performances aren’t bad either.

      I was trying to find an emotional equivalent for a friend and used “The Hundred Foot Journey”. That one is about food not gardening (although food plays a part in “This Beautiful Fantastic” as well.)

      It is a very nice break from the turmoil of our daily existence.

    2. Basil Pesto

      you know, gardening as a theme/setting for films is very rare, now that I think about it. There was one a few years ago about a famous French landscaper whose name escapes me.

      A few years ago I went to a great exhibit called ‘gardens’ at the grand palais in Paris and it had some clips of film scenes involving gardens – the one that I remember is the scene from The Godfather where Corleone dies.

      There are loads of indie videogames about/featuring gardening though.

  14. arkansasangie

    Well … I find the …ECB’s Panetta Says Digital Euro May Come With a Penalty Clause … to be alarming. Taxing and control

    1. Susan the other

      Watched the impeachment all day yesterday and was hoping to see a clip somewhere from Dersh. Thanks for this. The house managers ran the silliest proceeding I’ve ever seen. But relentless. I’m left with lots of questions, one of them being, Why didn’t the house/senate see this coming themselves? Why didn’t they take necessary precautions? If they can override a president they can certainly arrange for their own protection. They are like a bunch of snowflakes now blaming Trump for not protecting them from a crowd so angry with their representatives’ malfeasance that it looked like a convention of screaming juvenile delinquents. The reason is probably because congress can’t admit, or even look like, they are in any way aware that they might be responsible for all the misery they have set in motion. No no no – they are completely innocent.

  15. Jason Boxman

    How about that — data collection is ancillary to getting paid in our for profit health system (As Millions Get Shots, F.D.A. Struggles to Get Safety Monitoring System Running):

    But even BEST [promised FDA monitoring system] will suffer from a data problem that is already hindering existing systems: the dearth of health insurance claims to show who got which vaccine, and when. Typically health care providers and patients submit such claims to insurers, but with the vaccines being given at no charge, often at government-sponsored events, few are bothering to file claims. Critics say that federal health officials should have predicted this glitch and prepared for it.

    “The current safety surveillance system in the U.S. is dependent on health insurance claims data and electronic health records,” said Dr. Salmon. “If the vaccine data information doesn’t get into the safety system, then that safety system is unable to function.”

    Our medical records system is billing-first, by design. Fun times.

    And how about the hubris of calling your system “BEST”, eh? And just where is BEST? Not ready yet, apparently:

    In interviews, F.D.A. officials acknowledged that a promised monitoring system, known as BEST, is still in its developmental stages.

    1. fresno dan

      Jason Boxman
      February 12, 2021 at 1:05 pm

      My dear, dear Jason Boxman – if only it was merely that f*cked up. You see, the part about the negative reactions – that’s voluntary.
      VAERS accepts reports of adverse events and reactions that occur following vaccination. Healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public can submit reports to the system. While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. In large part, reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind.
      Gosh, you would think something as important as vaccine adverse event reports would be mandatory, and information on the specifics of each case carefully collected and reported…of course, your thinking would be deficient because…well, there are the pokers, and the poked, and in our system the poked just aren’t that important.
      So we mostly don’t know who got vaccinated, and if they had an adverse reaction, we may not know that either

      1. Pat

        One might begin to think that public health and well being are at best afterthoughts if they are of any concern whatsoever.

        1. bob

          The biggest logistics problem with the vaccine is figuring out how to pay the correct people too much money for doing nothing at all.

          1. flora

            It sure seems that way sometimes. It’s all about bidness. ;)

            The CDC is using (contracting with?) Oracle’s Cloud service. In partnership with the Tony Blair Institute. (yes, that guy.) A giant public health EHR database on a private company’s servers?

            Google is tracking all sorts of metrics related to C19. This is one metric it tracks.

            This is all very reassuring. /s

      2. jrkrideau

        Apparently there are two other “real” vaccine monitoring systems is the US that actually gather good data. VAERS is a distant early warning system with no quality control. Fine for what it does but only antivaxers treat it as a serious monitoring system.

  16. RMO

    I didn’t see anything about the possible effect on teachers and other staff in the Politico “Science of School Openings” The “ifs” in that article are doing a lot of heavy lifting too (IF: ventilation, masks, hand washing, cleaning, ventilation, spacing…) On a personal note I was struck by this:

    “Students are struggling with anxiety, depression and isolation. They are falling behind in coursework. They are missing out on important social services like meals and counseling and the watchful eye of teachers trained to spot abuse or neglect.”

    It reminded me that my struggles with anxiety , depression and isolation were all an effect of having to go to school – and much of the abuse and neglect I suffered as a child came from my teachers!

  17. JohnMc

    Can anyone help me understand the logic of the opening sentence in the JAMA mask article, “Prior to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the efficacy of community mask wearing to reduce the spread of respiratory infections was controversial because there were solid relevant data to support their use.” Seems a non sequitur…or am i mis-reading it?

    i’m also puzzled why this simple intervention was never recommended prior to last year if such ‘solid relevant data’ was available to support its use.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Justice in chains Wings over Scotland”

    When I read stories like this, I begin to wonder if perhaps it was just as well the Scots did not win their referendum a coupla years ago. Otherwise they might find themselves living under a pretty authoritarian government. And I have little faith left in the Scottish justice system

    1. ambrit

      It shows that perceptions can be falsified.
      I always had reservations about the “brave little Scotland” fighting the “mean old England” story line. Having Scots relatives, I can assure all that we can be exemplars of dysfunction in all it’s manifestations.
      Just before the Reformation, the Catholic Church owned, it is asserted, “well nigh half the wealth of the land.” (John Macleod “Scottish Theology…” 1943.)
      Scotland has ‘form’ as an authoritarian state.

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